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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 63, No. 391, May, 1848
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 63, No. 391, May, 1848" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early
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Transcriber's note:

Spelling and punctuation are sometimes erratic. A few obvious
misprints have been corrected, but in general the original spelling
and typesetting conventions have been retained. Accents in foreign
language phrases are inconsistent, and have not been standardised.

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

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             BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCXCI.       MAY, 1848.         VOL. LXIII.



CONTENTS.


  THE CAXTONS. Part II.                                 525

  EDUCATION IN WALES                                    540

  THE SILVER CROSS                                      564

  HEIGH-HO!                                             572

  REPUBLICAN PARIS--(March, April, 1848,)               573

  THE SPANIARD IN SICILY                                589

  CRIMES AND REMARKABLE TRIALS IN SCOTLAND.
  KIDNAPPING--PETER WILLIAMSON'S CASE                   607

  THE REPEALER'S WISH GRANTED                           627

  THE LAST WALK. BY B. SIMMONS                          629

  MAN IS A FEATHERLESS BIPED                            631

  THE REVOLUTIONS IN EUROPE                             638


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

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

        SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

         PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.



THE CAXTONS.--PART II.


CHAPTER VII.

When I had reached the age of twelve, I had got to the head of the
preparatory school to which I had been sent. And having thus exhausted
all the oxygen of learning in that little receiver, my parents looked
out for a wider range for my inspirations. During the last two years
in which I had been at school, my love for study had returned; but it
was a vigorous, wakeful, undreamy love, stimulated by competition, and
animated by the practical desire to excel.

My father no longer sought to curb my intellectual aspirings. He had
too great a reverence for scholarship not to wish me to become a
scholar if possible; though he more than once said to me somewhat
sadly, "Master books, but do not let them master you. Read to live,
not live to read. One slave of the lamp is enough for a household; my
servitude must not be a hereditary bondage."

My father looked round for a suitable academy; and the fame of Dr
Herman's "Philhellenic Institute" came to his ears.

Now, this Dr Herman was the son of a German music-master, who had
settled in England. He had completed his own education at the
university of Bonn; but, finding learning too common a drug in that
market to bring the high price at which he valued his own, and having
some theories as to political freedom which attached him to England,
he resolved upon setting up a school, which he designed as an "era in
the history of the human mind." Dr Herman was one of the earliest of
those new-fashioned authorities in education, who have, more lately,
spread pretty numerously amongst us, and would have given, perhaps, a
dangerous shake to the foundations of our great classical seminaries,
if those last had not very wisely, though very cautiously, borrowed
some of the more sensible principles which lay mixed and adulterated
amongst the crotchets and chimeras of their innovating rivals and
assailants.

Dr Herman had written a great many learned works against every
pre-existing method of instruction: that which had made the greatest
noise was upon the infamous fiction of SPELLING-BOOKS: "A more lying,
roundabout, puzzle-headed delusion than that by which we CONFUSE the
clear instincts of truth in our accursed systems of spelling, was
never concocted by the father of falsehood." Such was the exordium of
this famous treatise. "For instance, take the monosyllable CAT. What
brazen forehead you must have, when you say to an infant C, A,
T,--spell CAT: that is, three sounds, forming a totally opposite
compound--opposite in every detail, opposite in the whole--compose a
poor little monosyllable, which, if you would but say the simple
truth, the child will learn to spell merely by looking at it! How can
three sounds, which run thus to the ear, _see_--_eh_--_tee_, compose
the sound _cat_? Don't they rather compose the sound _see-eh-té_, or
_ceaty_? How can a system of education flourish that begins by so
monstrous a falsehood, which the sense of hearing suffices to
contradict? No wonder that the horn-book is the despair of mothers!"
From this instance, the reader will perceive that Dr Herman, in his
theory of education, began at the beginning!--he took the bull fairly
by the horns. As for the rest, upon a broad principle of eclecticism,
he had combined together every new patent invention for youthful
idea-shooting. He had taken his trigger from Hofwyl; he had bought his
wadding from Hamilton; he had got his copper-caps from Bell and
Lancaster. The youthful idea! he had rammed it tight! he had rammed it
loose! he had rammed it with pictorial illustrations! he had rammed it
with the monitorial system! he had rammed in every conceivable way,
and with every imaginable ramrod; but I have mournful doubts whether
he shot the youthful idea an inch farther than it did under the old
mechanism of flint and steel! Nevertheless, as Dr Herman really did
teach a great many things too much neglected at schools; as, besides
Latin and Greek, he taught a vast variety in that vague complexity
now-a-days called "useful knowledge;" as he engaged lecturers on
chemistry, engineering, and natural history; as arithmetic and the
elements of physical science were enforced with zeal and care; as all
sorts of gymnastics were intermingled with the sports of the
play-ground;--so the youthful idea, if it did not go farther, spread
its shots in a wider direction; and a boy could not stay there five
years without learning _something_, which is more than can be said of
all schools! He learned at least to use his eyes, and his ears, and
his limbs; order, cleanliness, exercise, grew into habits; and the
school pleased the ladies, and satisfied the gentlemen; in a word, it
thrived: and Dr Herman, at the time I speak of, numbered more than one
hundred pupils. Now, when the worthy man first commenced the task of
tuition, he had proclaimed the humanest abhorrence to the barbarous
system of corporeal punishment. But, alas! as his school increased in
numbers, he had proportionately recanted these honourable and
antibirchen ideas. He had, reluctantly, perhaps,--honestly, no doubt,
but with full determination,--come to the conclusion, that there are
secret springs which can only be discovered by the twigs of the
divining-rod; and having discovered with what comparative ease the
whole mechanism of his little government, by the admission of the
birch-regulator, could be carried on, so, as he grew richer, and
lazier, and fatter, the Philhellenic Institute spun along as glibly as
a top kept in vivacious movement by the perpetual application of the
lash.

I believe that the school did not suffer in reputation from this sad
apostacy on the part of the head master; on the contrary, it seemed
more natural and English,--less outlandish and heretical. And it was
at the zenith of its renown, when, one bright morning, with all my
clothes nicely mended, and a large plumcake in my box, I was deposited
at its hospitable gates.

Amongst Dr Herman's various whimsicalities, there was one to which he
had adhered with more fidelity than to the anti-corporeal punishment
articles of his creed; and, in fact, it was upon this that he had
caused those imposing words, "Philhellenic Institute," to blaze in
gilt capitals in front of his academy. He belonged to that illustrious
class of scholars who are now waging war on our popular mythologies,
and upsetting all the associations which the Etonians and Harrovians
connect with the household names of ancient history. In a word, he
sought to restore to scholastic purity the mutilated orthography of
Greek appellatives. He was extremely indignant that little boys should
be brought up to confound Zeus with Jupiter, Ares with Mars, Artemis
with Diana--the Greek deities with the Roman; and so rigidly did he
inculcate the doctrine that these two sets of personages were to be
kept constantly contradistinguished from each other, that his
cross-examinations kept us in eternal confusion.

"Vat," he would exclaim to some new boy fresh from some grammar-school
on the Etonian system--"Vat do you mean by dranslating _Zeus_
Jupiter? Is dat amatory, irascible, cloud-compelling god of Olympus,
vid his eagle and his ægis, in the smallest degree resembling de
grave, formal, moral Jupiter Optimus Maximus of the Roman Capitol?--a
god, Master Simpkins, who would have been perfectly shocked at the
idea of running after innocent Fraulein dressed up as a swan or a
bull! I put dat question to you vonce for all, Master Simpkins."
Master Simpkins took care to agree with the Doctor. "And how could
you," resumed Dr Herman majestically, turning to some other criminal
alumnus--"how could you presume to dranslate de _Ares_ of Homer, sir,
by de audacious vulgarism Mars? _Ares_, Master Jones, who roared as
loud as ten thousand men when he was hurt, or as you vill roar if I
catch you calling him Mars again! _Ares_ who covered seven plectra of
ground; _Ares_, the man-slayer, with the Mars or Mavors whom de Romans
stole from de Sabines! Mars, de solemn and calm protector of Rome!
Master Jones, Master Jones, you ought to be ashamed of yourself!"--and
then waxing enthusiastic, and warming more and more into German
gutturals and pronunciation, the good Doctor would lift up his hands,
with two great rings on his thumbs, and exclaim--"Und Du! and dou,
_Aphroditè_; dou, whose bert de Seasons velcomed! dou, who didst put
Atonis into a coffer, and den tid durn him into an anemone; dou to be
called _Venus_ by dat snivel-nosed little Master Budderfield! Venus,
who presided over Baumgartens and funerals, and nasty tinking sewers!
Venus Cloacina,--O mein Gott! Come here, Master Budderfield; I must a
flog you for dat; I must indeed, liddle boy!" As our Philhellenic
preceptor carried his archæological purism into all Greek proper
names, it was not likely that my unhappy baptismal would escape. The
first time I signed my exercise, I wrote "Pisistratus Caxton" in my
best round-hand. "And dey call your baba a scholar!" said the Doctor
contemptuously. "Your name, sir, is Greek; and, as Greek, you vill be
dood enough to write it, vith vat you call an _e_ and an _o_--P, E, I,
S, I, S, T, R, A, T, O, S; and you vill alway put de accent over de
_i_. Vat can you expect for to come to, Master Caxton, if you don't
pay de care dat is proper to your own dood name--de _e_, and de _o_,
and de accent? Ach! let me see no more of your vile corruptions! Mein
Gott! Pi! ven de name is Pei!"

The next time I wrote home to my father, modestly implying that I was
short of cash, that a trap-bat would be acceptable, and that the
favourite goddess amongst the boys (whether Greek or Roman was very
immaterial) was _Diva Moneta_, I felt a glow of classical pride in
signing myself, "your affectionate Peísistratos." The next post
brought a sad damper to my scholastic exultation. The letter ran thus:

     "MY DEAR SON,--I prefer my old acquaintances Thucydides and
     Pisistratus to Thoukudídes and Peísistratos. Horace is
     familiar to me, but Horatius is only known to me as Cocles.
     Pisistratus can play at trap-ball; but I find no authority
     in pure Greek to allow me to suppose that that game was
     known to Peísistratos. I should be too happy to send you a
     drachma or so, but I have no coins in my possession current
     at Athens at the time when Pisistratus was spelt
     Peísistratos. Your affectionate father,

                                                     "A. CAXTON."

Verily, here indeed was the first practical embarrassment produced by
that melancholy anachronism which my father had so prophetically
deplored. However, nothing like experience to prove the value of
compromise in this world! Peísistratos continued to write exercises,
and a second letter from Pisistratus was followed by the trap-bat.


CHAPTER VIII.

I was somewhere about sixteen when, on going home for the holidays, I
found my mother's brother settled among the household lares. Uncle
Jack, as he was familiarly called, was a light-hearted, plausible,
enthusiastic, talkative fellow, who had spent three small fortunes in
trying to make a large one.

Uncle Jack was a great speculator; but in all his speculations he
never affected to think of himself,--it was always the good of his
fellow-creatures that he had at heart, and in this ungrateful world
fellow-creatures are not to be relied upon! On coming of age, he
inherited £6000 from his maternal grandfather. It seemed to him then
his fellow-creatures were sadly imposed upon by their tailors. Those
ninth-parts of humanity notoriously eked out their fractional
existence by asking nine times too much for the clothing which
civilisation, and perhaps a change of climate, render more necessary
to us than to our ancestors the Picts. Out of pure philanthropy, Uncle
Jack started "_a Grand National Benevolent Clothing Company_," which
undertook to supply the public with inexpressibles of the best Saxon
cloth at 7s. 6d. a pair; coats, superfine, £1, 18s.; and waistcoats at
so much per dozen. They were all to be worked off by steam. Thus the
rascally tailors were to be put down, humanity clad, and the
philanthropists rewarded (but that was a secondary consideration) with
a clear return of 30 per cent. In spite of the evident charitableness
of this Christian design, and the irrefragable calculations upon which
it was based, this company died a victim to the ignorance and
unthankfulness of our fellow-creatures. And all that remained of
Jack's £6000 was a fifty-fourth share in a small steam-engine, a large
assortment of ready-made pantaloons, and the liabilities of the
directors.

Uncle Jack disappeared, and went on his travels. The same spirit of
philanthropy which characterised the speculations of his purse
attended the risks of his person. Uncle Jack had a natural leaning
towards all distressed communities: if any tribe, race, or nation was
down in the world, Uncle Jack threw himself plump into the scale to
redress the balance. Poles, Greeks, (the last were then fighting the
Turks,) Mexicans, Spaniards,--Uncle Jack thrust his nose into all
their squabbles! Heaven forbid I should mock thee, poor Uncle Jack!
for those generous predilections towards the unfortunate; only,
whenever a nation is in misfortune, there is always a job going on!
The Polish cause, the Greek cause, the Mexican cause, and the Spanish
cause, are necessarily mixed up with loans and subscriptions. These
Continental patriots, when they take up the sword with one hand,
generally contrive to thrust the other deep into their neighbours'
breeches' pockets. Uncle Jack went to Greece, thence he went to Spain,
thence to Mexico. No doubt he was of great service to these afflicted
populations, for he came back with unanswerable proof of their
gratitude in the shape of £3000. Shortly after this appeared a
prospectus of the "New, Grand, National Benevolent Insurance Company,
for the Industrious Classes." This invaluable document, after setting
forth the immense benefits to society arising from habits of
providence, and the introduction of insurance companies--proving the
infamous rate of premiums exacted by the existent offices, and their
inapplicability to the wants of the honest artisan, and declaring that
nothing but the purest intentions of benefiting their fellow-creatures,
and raising the moral tone of society, had led the directors to
institute a new society, founded on the purest principles and the most
moderate calculations--proceeded to demonstrate that twenty-four and a
half per cent was the smallest possible return the shareholders could
anticipate. The company began under the fairest auspices: an
archbishop was caught as president, on the condition always that he
should give nothing but his name to the society. Uncle Jack--more
euphoniously designated as "the celebrated philanthropist, John Jones
Tibbets, Esquire"--was honorary secretary, and the capital stated at
two millions. But such was the obtuseness of the industrious classes,
so little did they perceive the benefits of subscribing
one-and-ninepence a-week from the age of twenty-one to fifty, in order
to secure at the latter age the annuity of £18, that the company
dissolved into thin air, and with it dissolved also Uncle Jack's
£3000. Nothing more was then seen or heard of him for three years. So
obscure was his existence, that on the death of an aunt, who left him
a small farm in Cornwall, it was necessary to advertise that "If John
Jones Tibbets, Esq., would apply to Messrs Blunt and Tin, Lothbury,
between the hours of ten and four, he would hear of something to his
advantage." But, even as a conjuror declares that he will call the ace
of spades, and the ace of spades, that you thought you had safely
under your foot, turns up on the table--so with this advertisement
suddenly turned up Uncle Jack. With inconceivable satisfaction did the
new land-owner settle himself in his comfortable homestead. The farm,
which was about two hundred acres, was in the best possible condition,
and saving one or two chemical preparations, which cost Uncle Jack,
upon the most scientific principles, thirty acres of buckwheat, the
ears of which came up, poor things, all spotted and speckled, as if
they had been inoculated with the small-pox, Uncle Jack for the first
two years was a thriving man. Unluckily, however, one day Uncle Jack
discovered a coal-mine in a beautiful field of swedish turnips; in
another week the house was full of engineers and naturalists, and in
another month appeared, in my uncle's best style, much improved by
practice, a prospectus of "the Grand, National, anti-Monopoly Coal
Company, instituted on behalf of the poor Householders of London, and
against the Monster Monopoly of the London Coal Wharfs.

"A vein of the finest coal has been discovered on the estates of the
celebrated philanthropist, John Jones Tibbets, Esq. This new mine, the
Molly Wheel, having been satisfactorily tested by that eminent
engineer, Giles Compass, Esq., promises an inexhaustible field to the
energies of the benevolent and the wealth of the capitalist. It is
calculated that the best coals may be delivered, screened, at the
mouth of the Thames, for 18s. per load, yielding a profit of not less
than forty-eight per cent to the shareholders. Shares, £50, to be paid
in five instalments. Capital to be subscribed, one million. For
shares, early application must be made to Messrs Blunt and Tin,
solicitors, Lothbury."

Here, then, was something tangible for fellow-creatures to go
on--there was land, there was a mine, there was coal, and there
actually came shareholders and capital. Uncle Jack was so persuaded
that his fortune was now to be made, and had, moreover, so great a
desire to share the glory of ruining the monster monopoly of the
London wharfs, that he refused a very large offer to dispose of the
property altogether, remained chief shareholder, and removed to
London, where he set up his carriage, and gave dinners to his
fellow-directors. For no less than three years did this company
flourish, having submitted the entire direction and working of the
mines to that eminent engineer, Giles Compass--twenty per cent was
paid regularly by that gentleman to the shareholders, and the shares
were at more than cent per cent, when, one bright morning, when least
expected, Giles Compass, Esq. removed himself to that wider field for
genius like his, the United States; and it was discovered that the
mine had for more than a year run itself into a great pit of water,
and that Mr Compass had been paying the shareholders out of their own
capital. My uncle had the satisfaction this time of being ruined in
very good company: three doctors of divinity, two county members, a
Scotch lord, and an East India director, were all in the same
boat,--that boat which went down with the coal-mine into the great
water pit!

It was just after this event that Uncle Jack, sanguine and
light-hearted as ever, suddenly recollected his sister, Mrs Caxton;
and not knowing where else to dine, thought he would repose his limbs
under my father's _trabes citrea_, which the ingenious W. S. Landor
opines should be translated "mahogany." You never saw a more charming
man than Uncle Jack. All plump people are more popular than thin
people. There is something jovial and pleasant in the sight of a round
face! What conspiracy could succeed when its head was a lean and
hungry-looking fellow, like Cassius? If the Roman patriots had had
Uncle Jack amongst them, perhaps they would never have furnished a
tragedy to Shakspeare. Uncle Jack was as plump as a partridge--not
unwieldy, not corpulent, not obese, not "_vastus_," which Cicero
objects to in an orator--but every crevice comfortably filled up. Like
the ocean, "time wrote no wrinkles on his glassy (or brassy) brow."
His natural lines were all upward curves, his smile most ingratiating,
his eye so frank, even his trick of rubbing his clean well-fed
English-looking hands, had something, about it coaxing and
_debonnair_, something that actually decoyed you into trusting your
money into hands so prepossessing. Indeed, to him might be fully
applied the expression--"Sedem animæ in extremis digitis habet;" "He
had his soul's seat in his finger ends." The critics observe that few
men have ever united in equal perfection the imaginative with the
scientific or musing faculties. "Happy he," exclaims Schiller, "who
combines the enthusiast's warmth with the worldly man's light"--light
and warmth, Uncle Jack had them both. He was a perfect symphony of
bewitching enthusiasm and convincing calculation. Dicæopolis in the
_Acharnenses_, in presenting a gentleman called Nicharchus to the
audience, observes--"He is small, I confess, but there is nothing lost
in him: all is knave, that is not fool." Parodying the equivocal
compliment, I may say, that though Uncle Jack was no giant, there was
nothing lost in him. Whatever was not philanthropy was arithmetic, and
whatever was not arithmetic was philanthropy. He would have been
equally dear to Howard and to Cocker. Uncle Jack was comely,
too--clear-skinned and florid, had a little mouth, with good teeth,
wore no whiskers, shaved his beard as close as if it were one of his
grand national companies; his hair, once somewhat sandy, was now
rather grayish, which increased the respectability of his appearance,
and he wore it flat at the sides and raised in a peak at the top; his
organs of constructiveness and ideality were pronounced by Mr Squills
to be prodigious, and those freely developed bumps gave great breadth
to his forehead. Well-shaped, too, was Uncle Jack, about five feet
eight, the proper height for an active man of business. He wore a
black coat; but to make the nap look the fresher, he had given it the
relief of gilt buttons, on which were wrought a small crown and
anchor; at a distance this button looked like the king's button, and
gave him the air of one who has a place about Court. He always wore a
white neckcloth without starch, a frill and a diamond pin; which last
furnished him with observations upon certain mines of Mexico, which he
had a great but hitherto unsatisfied desire of seeing worked by a
Grand National United Britons Company. His waistcoat of a morning was
pale buff--of an evening, embroidered velvet; wherewith were connected
sundry schemes of an "association for the improvement of native
manufactures." His trousers, matutinally, were of the colour vulgarly
called "blotting-paper;" and he never wore boots, which, he said,
unfitted a man for exercise, but short drab gaiters and square-toed
shoes. His watch-chain was garnished with a vast number of seals: each
seal, indeed, represented the device of some defunct company, and they
might be said to resemble the scalps of the slain, worn by the
aboriginal Iroquois, concerning whom indeed he had once entertained
philanthropic designs, compounded of conversion to Christianity on the
principles of the English Episcopal Church, and of an advantageous
exchange of beaver-skins for bibles, brandy, and gunpowder.

That Uncle Jack should win my heart was no wonder; my mother's he had
always won from her earliest recollection of his having persuaded her
to let her great doll (a present from her godmother) be put up to a
raffle for the benefit of the chimney-sweeps. "So like him--so good!"
she would often say pensively; "they paid sixpence a-piece for the
raffle--twenty tickets, and the doll cost £2. Nobody was taken in, and
the doll, poor thing, (it had such blue eyes!) went for a quarter of
its value. But Jack said nobody could guess what good the ten
shillings did to the chimney-sweeps!" Naturally enough, I say, my
mother liked Uncle Jack! but my father liked him quite as well, and
that was a strong proof of my uncle's powers of captivation. However,
it is noticeable that when some retired scholar is once interested in
an active man of the world, he is more inclined to admire him than
others are. Sympathy with such a companion gratifies at once his
curiosity and his indolence: he can travel with him, scheme with him,
fight with him, go with him through all the adventures of which his
own books speak so eloquently, and all the time never stir from his
easy-chair. My father said "that it was like listening to Ulysses to
hear Uncle Jack!" Uncle Jack, too, had been in Greece and Asia Minor,
gone over the site of the siege of Troy, eat figs at Marathon, shot
hares in the Peloponnesus, and drank three pints of brown stout at the
top of the Great Pyramid.

Therefore, Uncle Jack was like a book of reference to my father.
Verily at times he looked on him _as_ a book, and took him down after
dinner as he would a volume of Dodwell or Pausanias. In fact, I
believe that scholars who never move from their cells are not the less
an eminently curious, bustling, active race, rightly understood. Even
as old Burton saith of himself--"Though I live a collegiate student,
and lead a monastic life, sequestered from those tumults and troubles
of the world, I hear and see what is done abroad, how others run,
ride, turmoil and macerate themselves in town and country," which
citation sufficeth to show that scholars are naturally the most active
men of the world, only that while their heads plot with Augustus,
fight with Julius, sail with Columbus, and change the face of the
globe with Alexander, Attila, or Mahomet, there is a certain
mysterious attraction, which our improved knowledge of mesmerism will
doubtless soon explain to the satisfaction of science, between that
extremer and antipodal part of the human frame, called in the vulgate
"the seat of honour," and the stuffed leather of an armed-chair.
Learning somehow or other sinks down to that part in which it was
first driven in, and produces therein a leaden heaviness and weight,
which counteract those lively emotions of the brain, that might
otherwise render students too mercurial and agile for the safety of
established order. I leave this conjecture to the consideration of
experimentalists in the physics.

I was still more delighted than my father with Uncle Jack. He was full
of amusing tricks, could conjure wonderfully, make a bunch of keys
dance a hornpipe, and if ever you gave him half-a-crown, he was sure
to turn it into a halfpenny. He was only unsuccessful in turning my
halfpennies into half-crowns.

We took long walks together, and in the midst of his most diverting
conversation my uncle was always an observer. He would stop to examine
the nature of the soil, fill my pockets (not his own) with great lumps
of clay, stones, and rubbish, to analyse when he got home, by the help
of some chemical apparatus he had borrowed from Mr Squills. He would
stand an hour at a cottage door, admiring the little girls who were
straw-platting, and then walk into the nearest farm-houses, to suggest
the feasibility of "a national straw-plat association." All this
fertility of intellect was, alas! wasted in that "ingrata terra" into
which Uncle Jack had fallen. No squire could be persuaded into the
belief that his mother-stone was pregnant with minerals; no farmer
talked into weaving straw-plat into a proprietary association. So,
even as an ogre, having devastated the surrounding country, begins to
cast a hungry eye on his own little ones, Uncle Jack's mouth, long
defrauded of juicier and more legitimate morsels, began to water for a
bite of my innocent father.


CHAPTER IX.

At this time we were living in what may be called a very respectable
style for people who made no pretence to ostentation. On the skirts of
a large village, stood a square red brick house, about the date of
Queen Anne. Upon the top of the house was a balustrade; why, heaven
knows--for nobody, except our great tom-cat Ralph, ever walked upon
the leads--but so it was, and so it often is in houses from the time
of Elizabeth, yea, even to that of Victoria. This balustrade was
divided by low piers, on each of which was placed a round ball. The
centre of the house was distinguishable by an architrave, in the
shape of a triangle, under which was a niche, probably meant for a
figure, but the figure was not forthcoming. Below this was the window
(encased with carved pilasters) of my dear mother's little
sitting-room; and lower still, raised on a flight of six steps, was a
very handsome-looking door. All the windows, with smallish panes and
largish frames, were relieved with stone copings;--so that the house
had an air of solidity and well-to-do-ness about it--nothing tricky on
the one hand, nothing decayed on the other. The house stood a little
back from the garden gates, which were large, and set between two
piers surmounted with vases. Many might object, that in wet weather
you had to walk some way to your carriage; but we obviated that
objection by not keeping a carriage. To the right of the house the
enclosure contained a little lawn, a laurel hermitage, a square pond,
a modest green-house, and half-a-dozen plots of mignionette,
heliotrope, roses, pinks, sweet-william, &c. To the left spread the
kitchen-garden, lying screened by espaliers yielding the finest apples
in the neighbourhood, and divided by three winding gravel-walks, of
which the extremest was backed by a wall, whereon, as it lay full
south, peaches, pears, and nectarines sunned themselves early into
well-remembered flavour. This walk was appropriated to my father. Book
in hand, he would, on fine days, pace to and fro, often stopping, dear
man, to jot down a pencil-note, gesticulate, or soliloquise. And
there, when not in his study, my mother would be sure to find him. In
these deambulations, as he called them, he had generally a companion
so extraordinary, that I expect to be met with a hillalu of
incredulous contempt when I specify it. Nevertheless I vow and protest
that it is strictly true, and no invention of an exaggerating
romancer. It happened one day that my mother had coaxed Mr Caxton to
walk with her to market. By the way they passed a sward of green, on
which sundry little boys were engaged upon the lapidation, or stoning,
of a lame duck. It seemed that the duck was to have been taken to
market, when it was discovered not only to be lame, but dyspeptic;
perhaps some weed had disagreed with its ganglionic apparatus, poor
thing. However that be, the good-wife had declared that the duck was
good for nothing; and upon the petition of her children, it had been
consigned to them for a little innocent amusement, and to keep them
out of harm's way. My mother declared that she never before saw her
lord and master roused to such animation. He dispersed the urchins,
released the duck, carried it home, kept it in a basket by the fire,
fed it and physicked it till it recovered; and then it was consigned
to the square pond. But lo! the duck knew its benefactor; and whenever
my father appeared outside his door, it would catch sight of him, flap
from the pond, gain the lawn, and hobble after him, (for it never
quite recovered the use of its left leg,) till it reached the walk by
the peaches; and there sometimes it would sit, gravely watching its
master's deambulations; sometimes stroll by his side, and, at all
events, never leave him, till, at his return home, he fed it with his
own hands; and, quacking her peaceful adieus, the nymph then retired
to her natural element.

With the exception of my mother's dining-room, the principal
sitting-rooms--that is, the study, the dining-room, and what was
emphatically called the "best drawing-room," which was only occupied
on great occasions--looked south. Tall beeches, firs, poplars, and a
few oaks, backed the house, and indeed surrounded it on all sides but
the south; so that it was well sheltered from the winter cold and the
summer heat. Our principal domestic, in dignity and station, was Mrs
Primmins, who was waiting gentlewoman, housekeeper, and tyrannical
dictatrix of the whole establishment. Two other maids, a gardener, and
a footman composed the rest of the serving household. Save a few
pasture-fields, which he let, my father was not troubled with land.
His income was derived from the interest of about £15,000, partly in
the three per cents, partly on mortgage; and what with my mother and
Mrs Primmins, this income always yielded enough to satisfy my
father's single hobby for books, pay for my education, and entertain
our neighbours, rarely, indeed, at dinner, but very often at tea. My
dear mother boasted that our society was very select. It consisted
chiefly of the clergyman and his family, two old maids who gave
themselves great airs, a gentleman who had been in the East India
service, and who lived in a large white house at the top of the hill;
some half-a-dozen squires and their wives and children; Mr Squills,
still a bachelor: And once a-year cards were exchanged--and dinners
too--with certain aristocrats, who inspired my mother with a great
deal of unnecessary awe; since she declared they were the most
good-natured easy people in the world, and always stuck their cards in
the most conspicuous part of the looking-glass frame over the
chimney-place of the best drawing-room. Thus you perceive that our
natural position was one highly creditable to us, proving the
soundness of our finances and the gentility of our pedigree, of
which--but more hereafter. At present I content myself with saying on
that head, that even the proudest of the neighbouring squirearchs
always spoke of us as a very ancient family. But all my father ever
said, to evince pride of ancestry, was in honour of William Caxton,
citizen and printer in the reign of Edward IV.--"Clarum et venerabile
nomen!" an ancestor a man of letters might be justly vain of.

"Heus," said my father, stopping short, and lifting his eyes from the
Colloquies of Erasmus, "salve multum, jucundissime."

Uncle Jack was not much of a scholar, but he knew enough Latin to
answer, "Salve tantundem, mi frater."

My father smiled approvingly. "I see you comprehend true urbanity, or
politeness, as we phrase it. There is an elegance in addressing the
husband of your sister as brother. Erasmus commends it in his opening
chapter, under the head of 'Salutandi formulæ.' And indeed," added my
father thoughtfully, "there is no great difference between politeness
and affection. My author here observes that it is polite to express
salutation in certain minor distresses of nature. One should salute a
gentleman in yawning, salute him in hiccuping, salute him in sneezing,
salute him in coughing;--and that evidently because of your interest
in his health; for he may dislocate his jaw in yawning, and the hiccup
is often a symptom of grave disorder, and sneezing is perilous to the
small blood-vessels of the head, and coughing is either a tracheal,
bronchial, pulmonary, or ganglionic affection."

"Very true. The Turks always salute in sneezing, and they are a
remarkably polite people," said Uncle Jack. "But, my dear brother, I
was just looking with admiration at these apple-trees of yours. I
never saw finer. I am a great judge of apples. I find, in talking with
my sister, that you make very little profit of them. That's a pity.
One might establish a cider orchard in this county. You can take your
own fields in hand; you can hire more, so as to make the whole, say a
hundred acres. You can plant a very extensive apple-orchard on a grand
scale. I have just run through the calculations; they are quite
startling. Take 40 trees per acre--that's the proper average--at 1s.
6d. per tree; 4000 trees for 100 acres £300;, labour of digging,
trenching, say £10 an acre--total for 100 acres, £1000. Pave the
bottoms of the holes, to prevent the tap-root striking down into the
bad soil--oh, I am very close and careful, you see, in all
minutiæ,!--always was--pave 'em with rubbish and stones, 6d. a hole;
that, for 4000 trees the 100 acres is £100. Add the rent of the land,
at 30s. an acre, £150. And how stands the total?" Here Uncle Jack
proceeded rapidly ticking off the items with his fingers:--

  "Trees,            £300
  Labour,           1,000
  Paving holes,       100
  Rent,               150
                   ------
      Total,       £1,550

That's your expense. Mark.--Now to the profit. Orchards in Kent
realise £100 an acre, some even £150; but let's be moderate, say only
£50 an acre, and your gross profit per year, from a capital of £1550,
will be £5000.--£5000 a year. Think of that, brother Caxton. Deduct
10 per cent, or £500 a-year, for gardeners' wages, manure, &c., and
the net product is £4500. Your fortune's made, man--it is made--I wish
you joy!" And Uncle Jack rubbed his hands.

"Bless me, father," said eagerly the young Pisistratus, who had
swallowed with ravished ears every syllable and figure of this
inviting calculation, "Why, we should be as rich as Squire Rollick;
and then, you know, sir, you could keep a pack of fox-hounds!"

"And buy a large library," added Uncle Jack, with more subtle
knowledge of human nature as to its appropriate temptations. "There's
my friend the archbishop's collection to be sold."

Slowly recovering his breath, my father gently turned his eyes from
one to the other; and then, laying his left hand on my head, while
with the right he held up Erasmus rebukingly to Uncle Jack, he said--

"See how easily you can sow covetousness and avidity in the youthful
mind! Ah, brother!"

"You are too severe, sir. See how the dear boy hangs his head!
Fie!--natural enthusiasm of his years--'gay hope by fancy fed,' as the
poet says. Why, for that fine boy's sake, you ought not to lose so
certain an occasion of wealth, I may say, untold. For, observe, you
will form a nursery of crabs; each year you go on grafting and
enlarging your plantation, renting, nay, why not buying, more land?
Gad, sir! in twenty years you might cover half the county; but say you
stop short at 2000 acres, why, the net profit is £90,000 a-year. A
duke's income--a duke's--and going a begging as I may say."

"But stop," said I modestly; "the trees don't grow in a year. I know
when our last apple tree was planted--it is five years ago--it was
then three years old, and it only bore one half bushel last autumn."

"What an intelligent lad it is!--Good head there. Oh, he'll do credit
to his great fortune, brother," said Uncle Jack approvingly. "True, my
boy. But in the meanwhile we could fill the ground, as they do in
Kent, with gooseberries and currants, or onions and cabbages.
Nevertheless, considering we are not great capitalists, I am afraid we
must give up a share of our profits to diminish our outlay. So,
harkye, Pisistratus--(look at him, brother--simple as he stands there,
I think he's born with a silver spoon in his mouth)--harkye, now to
the mysteries of speculation. Your father shall quietly buy the land,
and then, presto! we will issue a prospectus, and start a company.
Associations can wait five years for a return. Every year, meanwhile,
increases the value of the shares. Your father takes, we say, fifty
shares at £50 each, paying only an instalment of £2 a share. He sells
35 shares at cent per cent. He keeps the remaining 15, and his
fortune's made all the same; only it's not quite so large as if he had
kept the whole concern in his own hands. What say you now, brother
Caxton? 'Visne edere pomum?' as we used to say at school."

"I don't want a shilling more than I have got," said my father,
resolutely. "My wife would not love me better; my food would not
nourish me more; my boy would not, in all probability, be half so
hardy, or a tenth part so industrious; and----"

"But," interrupted Uncle Jack, pertinaciously, and reserving his grand
argument for the last, "the good you would confer on the
community--the progress given to the natural productions of your
country, the wholesome beverage of cider, brought within cheap reach
of the labouring classes. If it was only for your sake, should I have
urged this question? should I now? is it in my character? But for the
sake of the public! mankind! of our fellow-creatures! Why, sir,
England could not get on if gentlemen like you had not a little
philanthropy and speculation."

"Papæ!" exclaimed my father, "to think that England can't get on
without turning Augustine Caxton into an apple-merchant! My dear Jack,
listen. You remind me of a colloquy in this book; wait a bit--here it
is--_Pamphagus and Cocles_--'Cocles recognises his friend who had been
absent for many years, by his eminent and remarkable nose.--Pamphagus
says, rather irritably, that he is not ashamed of his nose. 'Ashamed
of it! no, indeed,' says Cocles: 'I never saw a nose that could be put
to so many uses!' 'Ha,' says Pamphagus, (whose curiosity is aroused,)
'uses! what uses?' Whereon (_lepidissime frater!_) Cocles, with
eloquence rapid as yours, runs on with a countless list of the uses to
which so vast a development of the organ can be applied. 'If the
cellar was deep, it could sniff up the wine like an elephant's
trunk,--if the bellows were missing, it could blow the fire,--if the
lamp was too glaring, it could suffice for a shade,--it would serve as
a speaking-trumpet to a herald,--it could sound a signal of battle in
the field,--it would do for a wedge in wood-cutting,--a spade for
digging,--a scythe for mowing,--an anchor in sailing; till Pamphagus
cries out, 'Lucky dog that I am! and I never knew before what a useful
piece of furniture I carried about with me.'" My father paused and
strove to whistle, but that effort at harmony failed him--and he
added, smiling, "So much for my apple trees, brother John. Leave them
to their natural destination of filling tarts and dumplings."

Uncle Jack looked a little discomposed for a moment; but he then
laughed with his usual heartiness, and saw that he had not yet got to
my father's blind side. I confess that my revered parent rose in my
estimation after that conference; and I began to see that a man may
not be quite without common-sense, though he is a scholar. Indeed,
whether it was that Uncle Jack's visit acted as a gentle stimulant to
his relaxed faculties, or that I, now grown older and wiser, began to
see his character more clearly, I date from those summer holidays the
commencement of that familiar and endearing intimacy which ever after
existed between my father and myself. Often I deserted the more
extensive rambles of Uncle Jack, or the greater allurements of a
cricket match in the village, or a day's fishing in Squire Rollick's
preserves, for a quiet stroll with my father by the old peach
wall;--sometimes silent, indeed, and already musing over the future,
while he was busy with the past, but amply rewarded when, suspending
his lecture, he would pour forth hoards of varied learning, rendered
amusing by his quaint comments, and that Socratic satire which only
fell short of wit because it never passed into malice. At some
moments, indeed, the vein ran into eloquence; and with some fine
heroic sentiment in his old books, his stooping form rose erect, his
eye flashed; and you saw that he had not been originally formed and
wholly meant for the obscure seclusion in which his harmless days now
wore contentedly away.


CHAPTER IX.

"Egad, sir, the county is going to the dogs! Our sentiments are not
represented in parliament or out of it. The County Mercury has ratted,
and be hanged to it! and now we have not one newspaper in the whole
shire to express the sentiments of the respectable part of the
community!"

This speech was made on the occasion of one of the rare dinners given
by Mr and Mrs Caxton to the grandees of the neighbourhood, and uttered
by no less a person than Squire Rollick, of Rollick Hall, chairman of
the quarter sessions.

I confess that I, (for I was permitted on that first occasion not only
to dine with the guests, but to outstay the ladies, in virtue of my
growing years, and my promise to abstain from the decanters)--I
confess, I say, that I, poor innocent, was puzzled to conjecture what
sudden interest in the county newspaper could cause Uncle Jack to
prick up his ears like a warhorse at the sound of the drum, and rush
so incontinently across the interval between Squire Rollick and
himself. But the mind of that deep and truly knowing man was not to be
plumbed by a chit of my age. You could not fish for the shy salmon in
that pool with a crooked pin and a bobbin, as you would for minnows;
or, to indulge in a more worthy illustration, you could not say of
him, as St Gregory saith of the streams of Jordan, "a lamb could wade
easily through that ford."

"Not a county newspaper to advocate the rights of--" here my uncle
stopped, as if at a loss, and whispered in my ear, "What are his
politics?" "Don't know," answered I. Uncle Jack intuitively took down
from his memory the phrase most readily at hand, and added, with a
nasal intonation, "the rights of our distressed fellow-creatures!"

My father scratched his eyebrow with his forefinger, as he was apt to
do when doubtful; the rest of the company--a silent set--looked up.

"Fellow-creatures!" said Mr Rollick--"fellow-fiddlesticks!"

Uncle Jack was clearly in the wrong box. He drew out of it
cautiously--"I mean," said he, "our _respectable_ fellow-creatures;"
and then suddenly it occurred to him that a "County Mercury" would
naturally represent the agricultural interest, and that if Mr Rollick
said that the "County Mercury ought to be hanged," he was one of those
politicians who had already begun to call the agricultural interest "a
Vampire." Flushed with that fancied discovery, Uncle Jack rushed on,
intending to bear along with the stream, thus fortunately directed,
all the "rubbish"[1] subsequently shot into Covent Garden and the Hall
of Commerce.

  [1] "We talked sad rubbish when we first began," says Mr Cobden in one
  of his speeches.

"Yes, respectable fellow-creatures, men of capital and enterprise! For
what are these country squires compared to our wealthy merchants? What
is this agricultural interest that professes to be the prop of the
land?"

"Professes!" cried Squire Rollick, "It is the prop of the land, and as
for those manufacturing fellows who have bought up the Mercury--"

"Bought up the Mercury, have they, the villains!" cried Uncle Jack,
interrupting the Squire, and now bursting into full scent--"Depend
upon it, sir, it is a part of a diabolical system of buying up, which
must be exposed manfully.--Yes, as I was saying, what is that
agricultural interest which they desire to ruin? which they declare to
be so bloated--which they call 'a vampire!' they the true
blood-suckers, the venomous millocrats! Fellow-creatures, sir! I may
well call distressed fellow-creatures, the members of that much
suffering class of which you yourself are an ornament. What can be
more deserving of our best efforts for relief, than a country
gentleman like yourself, we'll say--of a nominal £5000 a-year--compelled
to keep up an establishment, pay for his fox-hounds, support the whole
population by contributions to the poor rates, support the whole
church by tithes; all justice, jails, and prosecutions by the county
rates, all thoroughfares by the highway rates--ground down by
mortgages, Jews, or jointures; having to provide for younger children;
enormous expenses for cutting his woods, manuring his model farm, and
fattening huge oxen till every pound of flesh costs him five pounds
sterling in oil-cake; and then the lawsuits necessary to protect his
rights; plundered on all hands by poachers, sheep-stealers,
dog-stealers, church-wardens, overseers, gardeners, gamekeepers, and
that necessary rascal, his steward. If ever there was a distressed
fellow-creature in the world, it is a country gentleman with a great
estate."

My father evidently thought this an exquisite piece of banter; for by
the corner of his mouth I saw that he chuckled inly.

Squire Rollick, who had interrupted the speech by sundry approving
exclamations, particularly at the mention of poor rates, tithes,
county rates, mortgages, and poachers, here pushed the bottle to Uncle
Jack, and said civilly--"There's a great deal of truth in what you
say, Mr Tibbets. The agricultural interest is going to ruin; and when
it does, I would not give _that_ for Old England!" and Mr Rollick
snapped his finger and thumb. "But what is to be done--done for the
county? There's the rub."

"I was just coming to that," quoth Uncle Jack. "You say that you have
not a county paper that upholds your cause, and denounces your
enemies."

"Not since the Whigs bought the ----shire Mercury."

"Why, good heavens! Mr Rollick, how could you suppose that you will
have justice done you, if at this time of day you neglect the press?
The press, sir--there it is--air we breathe! What you want is a great
national--no, not a national--A PROVINCIAL proprietary weekly journal,
supported liberally and steadily by that mighty party whose very
existence is at stake. Without such a paper, you are gone, you are
dead, extinct, defunct, buried alive; _with_ such a paper, well
conducted, well edited by a man of the world, of education, of
practical experience in agriculture and human nature, mines, corn,
manure, insurances, acts of parliament, cattle shows, the state of
parties, and the best interests of society--with such a man and such a
paper, you will carry all before you. But it must be done by
subscription, by association, by co-operation, by a grand provincial
Benevolent Agricultural, Anti-innovating Society."

"Egad, sir, you are right!" said Mr Rollick, slapping his thigh; "and
I'll ride over to our Lord-Lieutenant to-morrow. His eldest son ought
to carry the county."

"And he will, if you encourage the press, and set up a journal," said
Uncle Jack, rubbing his hands, and then gently stretching them out,
and drawing them gradually together, as if he were already enclosing
in that airy circle the unsuspecting guineas of the unborn
association.

All happiness dwells more in the hope than the possession; and at that
moment, I dare be sworn that Uncle Jack felt a livelier rapture,
_circum præcordia_, warming his entrails, and diffusing throughout his
whole frame of five feet eight the prophetic glow of the Magna Diva
Moneta, than if he had enjoyed for ten years the actual possession of
King Crœsus's privy purse.

"I thought Uncle Jack was not a Tory," said I to my father the next
day.

My father, who cared nothing for politics, opened his eyes.

"Are you a Tory or a Whig, papa?"

"Um," said my father--"there's a great deal to be said on both sides
of the question. You see, my boy, that Mrs Primmins has a great many
moulds for our butter-pats; sometimes they come up with a crown on
them, sometimes with the more popular impress of a cow. It is all very
well for those who dish up the butter to print it according to their
taste, or in proof of their abilities; it is enough for us to butter
our bread, say grace, and pay for the dairy. Do you understand?"

"Not a bit, sir."

"Your namesake Pisistratus was wiser than you, then," said my father.
"And now let us feed the duck. Where's your uncle?"

"He has borrowed Mr Squills's mare, sir, and gone with Squire Rollick
to the great lord they were talking of."

"Oho!" said my father, "brother Jack is going to print his butter!"

And indeed Uncle Jack played his cards so well on this occasion, and
set before the Lord-Lieutenant, with whom he had a personal interview,
so fine a prospectus, and so nice a calculation, that before my
holidays were over, he was installed in a very handsome office in the
county town, with private apartments over it, and a salary of £500
a-year--for advocating the cause of his distressed fellow-creatures,
including noblemen, squires, yeomanry, farmers, and all yearly
subscribers in the NEW PROPRIETARY AGRICULTURAL, ANTI-INNOVATING
----SHIRE WEEKLY GAZETTE. At the head of his newspaper Uncle Jack
caused to be engraved a crown supported by a flail and a crook, with
the motto "Pro rege et grege," and that was the way in which Uncle
Jack printed his pats of butter.


CHAPTER X.

I seemed to myself to have made a leap in life when I returned to
school. I no longer felt as a boy. Uncle Jack, out of his own purse,
had presented me with my first pair of Wellington boots; my mother had
been coaxed into allowing me a small tail to jackets hitherto
tailless; my collars, which had been wont, spaniel-like, to flap and
fall about my neck, now, terrier-wise, stood erect and rampant,
encompassed with a circumvallation of whalebone, buckram, and black
silk. I was, in truth, nearly seventeen, and I gave myself the airs of
a man. Now be it observed, that that crisis in adolescent existence
wherein we first pass from Master Sisty into Mr Pisistratus, or
Pisistratus Caxton, Esq.--wherein we arrogate, and with tacit
concession from our elders, the long envied title of "young
man"--always seems a sudden and imprompt up-shooting and elevation. We
do not mark the gradual preparations thereto; we remember only one
distinct period in which all the signs and symptoms burst and
effervesced together;--Wellington boots, tail, stiffener, down on the
upper lip, thoughts on razors, reveries on young ladies, and a new
kind of sense of poetry.

I began now to read steadily, to understand what I did read, and to
cast some anxious looks towards the future, with vague notions that I
had a place to win in the world, and that nothing is to be won without
perseverance and labour; and so I went on till I was seventeen, and at
the head of the school, when I received the two letters I subjoin.

1.--FROM AUGUSTINE CAXTON, ESQ.

     "MY DEAR SON,--I have informed Dr Herman that you will not
     return to him after the approaching holidays. You are old
     enough now to look forward to the embraces of our beloved
     Alma Mater, and I think studious enough to hope for the
     honours she bestows on her worthier sons. You are already
     entered at Trinity,--and in fancy I see my youth return to
     me in your image. I see you wandering where the Cam steals
     its way through those noble gardens; and, confusing you with
     myself, I recall the old dreams that haunted me when the
     chiming bells swung over the placid waters. 'Verum
     secretumque _Mouseion_, quam multa dictatis, quam multa
     invenitis!' There, at that illustrious college, unless the
     race has indeed degenerated, you will measure yourself with
     young giants. You will see those who, in the Law, the
     Church, the State, or the still cloisters of Learning, are
     destined to become the eminent leaders of your age. To rank
     amongst them you are not forbidden to aspire; he who in
     youth 'can scorn delight, and love laborious days,' should
     pitch high his ambition.

     "Your Uncle Jack says he has done wonders with his
     newspaper,--though Mr Rollick grumbles, and declares it is
     full of theories, and that it puzzles the farmers. Uncle
     Jack, in reply, contends that he creates an audience, not
     addresses one,--and sighs that his genius is thrown away in
     a provincial town. In fact, he really is a very clever man,
     and might do much in London, I dare say. He often comes over
     to dine and sleep, returning the next morning. His energy is
     wonderful, and--contagious. Can you imagine that he has
     actually stirred up the flame of my vanity, by constantly
     poking at the bars? Metaphor apart--I find myself collecting
     all my notes and common-places, and wondering to see how
     easily they fall into method, and take shape in chapters and
     books. I cannot help smiling when I add, that I fancy I am
     going to become an author; and smiling more when I think
     that your Uncle Jack should have provoked me into so
     egregious an ambition. However, I have read some passages of
     my book to your mother, and she says "it is vastly fine,"
     which is encouraging. Your mother has great good sense,
     though I don't mean to say that she has much
     learning,--which is a wonder, considering that Pic de la
     Mirandola was nothing to her father. Yet he died, dear great
     man, and never printed a line,--while I--positively I blush
     to think of my temerity!

     "Adieu, my son; make the best of the time that remains with
     you at the Philhellenic. A full mind is the true Pantheism,
     _plena Jovis_. Wherever there is knowledge, there is God. It
     is only in some corner of the brain which we leave empty,
     that Vice can obtain a lodging. When she knocks at your
     door, my son, be able to say, 'No room for your
     ladyship,--pass on.'--Your affectionate father,

                                               "A. CAXTON."

       *       *       *       *       *

2.--FROM MRS CAXTON.

     "MY DEAREST SISTY,--You are coming home!--My heart is so
     full of that thought that it seems to me as if I could not
     write any thing else. Dear child, you are coming home;--you
     have done with school, you have done with strangers,--you
     are our own, all our own son again! You are mine again, as
     you were in the cradle, the nursery, and the garden, Sisty,
     when we used to throw daisies at each other! You will laugh
     at me so, when I tell you, that as soon as I heard you were
     coming home for good, I crept away from the room, and went
     to my drawer where I keep, you know, all my treasures. There
     was your little cap that I worked myself, and your poor
     little nankeen jacket that you were so proud to throw
     off--oh! and many other relics of you when you were little
     Sisty, and I was not that cold formal 'Mother' you call me
     now, but dear 'Mamma.' I kissed them, Sisty, and said 'My
     little child is coming back to me again!' So foolish was I,
     I forgot all the long years that have passed, and fancied I
     could carry you again in my arms, and that I should again
     coax you to say 'God bless papa.' Well, well! I write now
     between laughing and crying. You cannot be what you were,
     but you are still my own dear son--your father's son--dearer
     to me than all the world--except that father.

     "I am so glad, too, that you will come so soon: come while
     your father is really warm with his book, and while you can
     encourage and keep him to it. For why should he not be great
     and famous? Why should not all admire him as we do? You know
     how proud of him I always was; but I do so long to let the
     world know _why_ I was so proud. And yet, after all, it is
     not only because he is so wise and learned,--but because he
     is so good, and has such a large noble heart. But the heart
     must appear in the book too, as well as the learning. For
     though it is full of things I don't understand, every now
     and then there _is_ something I do understand--that seems as
     if that heart spoke out to all the world.

     "Your uncle has undertaken to get it published; and your
     father is going up to town with him about it, as soon as the
     first volume is finished.

     "All are quite well except poor Mrs Jones, who has the ague
     very bad indeed; Primmins has made her wear a charm for it,
     and Mrs Jones actually declares she is already much better.
     One can't deny that there may be a great deal in such
     things, though it seems quite against the reason. Indeed
     your father says, 'Why not? A charm must be accompanied by a
     strong wish on the part of the charmer that it may
     succeed,--and what is magnetism but a wish?' I don't quite
     comprehend this; but, like all your father says, it has more
     than meets the eye, I am quite sure.

     "Only three weeks to the holidays, and then no more school,
     Sisty--no more school! I shall have your room all done
     freshly, and made so pretty; they are coming about it
     to-morrow.

     "The duck is quite well, and I really don't think it is
     quite as lame as it was.

     "God bless you, dear, dear child!--Your affectionate happy
     mother,

                                                     "K. C."

The interval between these letters and the morning on which I was to
return home, seemed to me like one of those long, restless, yet half
dreamy days which in some infant malady I had passed in a sick-bed. I
went through my task-work mechanically, composed a Greek ode in
farewell to the Philhellenic, which Dr Herman pronounced a
_chef-d'œuvre_, and my father, to whom I sent it in triumph,
returned a letter of false English with it, that parodied all my
Hellenic barbarisms by imitating them in my mother tongue. However, I
swallowed the leek, and consoled myself with the pleasing recollection
that, after spending six years in learning to write bad Greek, I
should never have any further occasion to avail myself of so precious
an accomplishment.

And so came the last day. Then, alone, and in a kind of delighted
melancholy, I revisited each of the old haunts. The robbers' cave we
had dug one winter, and maintained, six of us, against all the police
of the little kingdom. The place near the pales where I had fought my
first battle. The old beech stump on which I sate to read letters from
home!

With my knife, rich in six blades, (besides a cork-screw, a
pen-picker, and a button-hook,) I carved my name in large capitals
over my desk. Then night came, and the bell rang, and we went to our
rooms. And I opened the window and looked out. I saw all the stars,
and wondered which was mine--which should light to fame and fortune
the manhood about to commence. Hope and Ambition were high within
me;--and yet, behind them, stood Melancholy. Ah! who amongst you,
readers, can now summon back all those thoughts, sweet and sad--all
that untold, half-conscious regret for the past--all those vague
longings for the future, which made a poet of the dullest amongst you
on the last night before leaving boyhood and school for ever!



EDUCATION IN WALES.[2]

  [2] _Reports of the Commissioners of Inquiry into the State of
  Education in Wales, appointed by the Committee of Council on
  Education._ Parts I. II. III. 1847.


That it is the duty of a wise and foreseeing government to inquire
into the condition of whatever affects the well-being of the people,
is almost a political truism, and may certainly be received as a
political axiom. More especially, however, when the subject is one of
such vital importance as education, does such an inquiry become
necessary: and, in truth, the leaders of the state cannot be
considered as doing their duty, unless they make themselves acquainted
with the practical bearings and results of the system, whatever it may
be, that exists. Not that the government of this country, until very
recent periods at least, ever troubled themselves with such matters:
the more direct political business of the state, the clash of parties,
and the struggle for power, absorbed their whole attention; and
education was left, as a matter of private and local concern, to the
clergy and the gentry exclusively. The voluntary system, superinduced
upon the country by the indolence or neglect of those who held the
reins of authority, was allowed to remain in unaided operation as far
as education was concerned; and until the establishing of National
Schools, as they are commonly termed, and for some time after that
event, the governments that followed each other in the dingy recesses
of Downing Street cared no more for village schoolmasters, and knew no
more about them, than they did about village blacksmiths. It was
enough if the people went on tolerably well, and paid their taxes;
whether they learned any thing at school, or whether they had schools
in which any thing might be learned, was, at head-quarters, a matter
of no moment. Most of the upper classes of the nation were of the same
feeling--the middle classes, too, folded their arms and looked on.[3]
Had it not been for the force of events, and the efforts of a few
energetic men, education had been shelved, as a musty useless topic,
for an indefinite period.

  [3] This, it will be understood, does not apply to Scotland,--where
  education has been a very popular interest for nearly two centuries
  back.

Now, however, in this forty-eighth year of the nineteenth century, it
is viewed in a far different light. The middle classes have begun to
take up the matter as they had never done before,--"purging and
unsealing their long abused sight" to the manifold advantages involved
in it for themselves; while the upper classes look more to how it
fares in this respect with the very poor or the profligate. And so
much pressed on this subject, from many quarters, is the government,
that neither Lord John Russell, as long as he remains on the Treasury
Bench, nor any body else, who may get there, can ever hope to avoid
doing something for the education of the people.

There has been a growing sense of the importance of this subject on
the part of the nation at large, which has acted on the nervous
sensibilities of all occupants of office in later years; and the very
force of events themselves, apart from all theoretic reasoning as to
expediency or the contrary, has compelled each successive government
to look after the schoolmaster, and even to send him abroad in the
world, though at the risk of making him the laughing-stock of his
scholars for want of due preparation.

We do not purpose to write the history of the educational movement of
this realm since the middle of the eighteenth century--volumes might
be compiled on the topic, and it would still remain unexhausted.

There are, however, two things which we would point out to the
attention of our readers. The first is, that the constituted
authorities of this country and the legislature, ever since the time
of the Reformation, have acted too much upon the principle that the
ecclesiastical establishments of the nation, aided by the Foundation
schools of the land, not only were sufficient to attend to the moral
and religious welfare of the community, but that they actually did
effect this end, and that they did bring up the people in the right
way; whereas we now know, that not only has the constitution of the
ecclesiastical revenues and administration been lamentably unequal and
ineffective, but that provisions for teaching, upon a general and
effective plan, could hardly be said to exist. At all events, when the
population began to increase rapidly--when the great movement of the
Methodists took place in England--and later, when religious dissent
not only reared its hydra head, but became encouraged in high
places--the nation seemed all at once to start from its lethargy, and
to inquire into what means it possessed for enlightening and
civilising the humblest classes of its children; and, when it did so
inquire, those means were found wanting.

Again, in these our own days, when crime is shown to be increasing in
a much faster ratio than either the enormous wealth or the already
great population of the country; and when legal inquirers have traced
back adult crime to puerile and even infantine neglect and ignorance;
when the brutality of the people shows itself at every man's door and
homestead, in the burning of farming-stock or the destruction of
machinery and dwelling-houses, and makes itself to be paid for in the
form of constantly increasing poor-rates,--in times such as these, it
behoves every man, who has any thing to dread from the insurrectionary
rising of the lower classes, to look sharply around him, and to see
how best the sources of the evil torrent may be dried up; where the
strongest dam may be thrown across its impetuous course, and into what
side-channels its blind strength may be diverted. It behoves every
thoughtful lover of his country to consider well how the innate
national energies of his fellow countrymen may be improved, humanised,
and directed to proper objects; and how the mass of the people,
instead of being dreaded as a mob of hungry, savage levellers, may
come to be looked on as the broad basis and support of the whole
national edifice. And this is to be effected by attending, not merely
to the physical and material well-being of the people, but by giving
well directed and unceasing diligence to the promotion of "true
religion and sound knowledge" among them. We maintain that hitherto,
and even at the present time, the public constituted means for
attaining this important end have been, and are, altogether
insufficient; and we further maintain, that the necessity of making
some adequate provision is increasing every day, and cannot long be
postponed without imminent danger to the community.

We would also beg our readers to observe that, in the case of these
commissions of inquiry into the existing state of education in any
given district, but especially in Wales, the commissioners had not got
to look into what the existing government, or previous governments,
had done, nor into how their systems acted--those governments had done
nothing, and they had no system; but they rather went to see what the
people, abandoned to their own resources by the state, which ought to
have aided them, had been able to effect out of their own means and
goodwill, and to witness the results of the voluntary and fortuitous
systems which were then in full and unaided operation. Whatever causes
of blame and offence the commissioners might meet with--whatever
imperfections, and shortcomings, and ill doings, they might
perceive--these could not so much be laid to the blame of the people,
as they might in fairness be attributed to the neglect and apathy of
the nation at large. It was entirely owing to the private efforts of
the people in their various localities, unconnected with each
other--to their desultory and varying efforts--that any thing had been
done at all. It was obviously better that something should have been
done rather than nothing; but the debt of gratitude for the
"something" was due to the people--the blame of the "nothing" lay
with the legislature and the nation at large.

It would, therefore, be highly unbecoming in such commissioners, to
show any flippant petulancy in their animadversions on the generally
defective results which the isolated operations of the several
parishes and districts might evince. It would behove them to look on
with rather a benevolent eye, and to speak with a guarded tongue
concerning the evils they might witness. We think they have not
altogether shown these qualifications in the Reports now before us;
and after perusing them, we rise with the feeling that the
commissioners seem to have thought themselves authorised to find out
how far the various teachers, &c., had neglected duties imposed on
them by the public, and that they had expected to find perfection
pervading the country; whereas they should have anticipated that
imperfection and neglect would prove to be the rule--perfection and
care the few and distant exceptions.

It is by no means so easy to inspect a school, or to find out the
knowledge and the modes of thinking of young people, as might be
supposed. It is not to be done by any one stalking stiffly into a
school-room, giving himself the airs of a Dr Busby, and putting
questions with the consequence of an examiner in the schools at
Oxford. The very idea of a stranger being in the room, and much more
of one authorised to examine, is enough to dislocate the thoughts of
children, older and riper than village boys and girls commonly are;
and the mere interruption of the usual formalities of class
arrangement and class work is sufficient to break up the discipline
which, in all parochial schools at least, rests upon a very precarious
and doubtful basis. Much less is it possible, by a flying visit of
one, or two, or three hours, to get at a true perception of what the
average knowledge of children may be fairly rated at: it is only by
repeated and patient inspection that the ordinary amount of work done,
and knowledge gained, can be discovered. The young mind, too, does not
commonly retain facts--it rather receives general impressions, and,
though this is not produceable knowledge, it is, nevertheless,
information, and cultivation of the mental powers, and formation of
the character, not without great value. But because a child cannot
answer certain questions at a certain time and place, it does not
therefore follow that it is ignorant of the subject. The thoughts
cannot be concentrated, the powers of the memory and of expression
have not been sufficiently cultivated; the faculty of reproduction,
and the method of arrangement and classification of ideas, do not
exist. It is impossible for such a child to pass through the ordeal.
And yet the common expression of young people, when the question they
could not answer is explained for them--"Oh yes! I knew that--only I
could not remember it," tells the whole truth, and reveals at once the
constitution and the weakness of their minds. Examinations, unless
they immediately follow the subject learnt, are not suited to young
children, and may tend to give a false idea of their real
acquirements. But, if to this dread of answering questions be added
the awe arising from an examiner's--a strange examiner's presence, the
physical impossibility of obtaining satisfactory replies is thereby
confirmed. We remember it in our own case at school; in the presence
of the university examiner, who periodically visited us, it was

       "Obstupui, steteruntque comæ; vox faucibus hæsit;"

and even in the schools of adolescent life, the examiners put us many
a stiff question in Plato and Aristotle at which we hung our heads and
stammered out nonsense; but which, as soon as we got back to our rooms
in college, came to our memory in provoking vividness.

The commissioners seem to have hoped for unimpeachable
examinations--and in almost every case they were disappointed: they
could often hardly get a reply to the commonest questions. Much of
this arose from their examining chiefly in subjects that were taught
in a foreign language. But of this more anon.

The nature and object of this inspection of Welsh schools are
sufficiently explained in the instructions from Mr Kay Shuttleworth,
the secretary to the Committee of Council, which preface the first of
the three goodly volumes to which these Reports extend. These
instructions say:--

     "Attention was called, during the last session of
     parliament, to the state of education in Wales, by a motion
     in the house of commons, for an address to the Queen,
     praying her majesty 'to direct an inquiry to be made into
     the state of education in the principality of Wales,
     especially into the means afforded to the labouring classes
     of acquiring a knowledge of the English language.'

     "The secretary of state for the home department undertook on
     that occasion, on behalf of her majesty's late government,
     that such an inquiry should be instituted, and he intimated
     that it should be conducted under the authority of the
     committee of council on education.

     "The object of your commission is, to ascertain, as
     accurately as circumstances will permit, the existing number
     of schools of all descriptions, for the education of the
     children of the labouring classes, or of adults--the amount
     of attendance--the ages of the scholars--and the character
     of the instruction given in the schools; in order that her
     majesty's government and parliament may be enabled, by
     having these facts before them, in connexion with the wants
     and circumstances of the population of the principality, to
     consider what measures ought to be taken for the improvement
     of the existing means of education in Wales."

It will be perceived from this portion of the instructions, that the
inquiries of the Commissioners were to be limited to the schools
intended for the lower classes only; and therefore that they would
have to look for the workings of the voluntary and the isolated system
in its fullest extent. The further definition of the object of the
Commission is thus specified:--

     "The schools for the instruction of the poorer classes in
     Wales have chiefly been erected by private beneficence, and
     some have been endowed from the same source; such of them as
     have no permanent endowment are supported by the small
     payments of the poor, by collections in religious
     congregations, and by voluntary subscriptions.

     "Their lordships cannot confer on you any absolute authority
     to enter into and examine schools, nor to require from any
     persons information respecting them which they may be
     unwilling to communicate.

     "If no objection is made to your visit, you will personally
     examine, where practicable, the condition of the school,
     keeping in view the following particulars, as those on which
     it will be important to obtain correct information:--The
     tenure of the school, whether held under a mere temporary
     occupation, or secured by deed for ever, or for a term of
     years--the capacity of the school-room--the state of the
     school furniture and apparatus--the number of the children
     on the books--the average attendance--the organisation of
     the school, and the methods used--the subjects professed to
     be taught--the time allotted to each--the books
     used--whether the children are instructed in the Welsh
     language, or in the English, or in both--whether in each
     case in the grammar or not--the actual condition of their
     instruction on all subjects professed to be taught. You will
     ascertain the amount and sources of the annual income
     available for the necessary expenses; the number of
     teachers--their ages--whether trained at a normal school or
     at a model school--for what period, and when. At what age
     they commenced their vocation as teachers; their previous
     occupation--the salaries of each teacher--their income from
     school pence, and other emoluments. Whether they follow any
     trade, or hold any other office. Whether they have a house
     rent-free, a garden rent-free, fuel, or other emoluments.

     "Numerous Sunday-schools have been established in Wales, and
     their character and tendencies should not be overlooked, in
     an attempt to estimate the provision for the instruction of
     the poor. The Sunday-school must be regarded as the most
     remarkable, because the most general, spontaneous effort of
     the zeal of Christian congregations for education. Its
     origin, organisation, and tendencies, are purely religious."

So far so good; the spirit of these instructions is wise and humane;
we can only regret that such a commission had not been issued a
century earlier. But shortly after, there follows a sentence which, to
any one tolerably well acquainted with Wales, must appear at first
sight absolutely trivial, and then highly extraordinary:--

"In some parts of the country it will probably be necessary that you
should avail yourselves of the services of persons possessing a
knowledge of the Welsh language."

Why, of course, when Welsh is the living spoken language of
three-fourths of the whole district to be examined, and when English
is essentially a foreign language, imperfectly understood in those
portions,--in some parts, indeed, hardly at all known,--the very least
of the qualifications that we should suppose a commissioner or school
inspector ought to possess, would be a good knowledge of the Welsh
language. Did, then, the lords of the privy council, composing the
committee of education, know so little of the country they wished to
have inspected, that they thought it only "probable" that in "some
parts" of the country a knowledge of Welsh would be necessary? If they
had been sending travelling commissioners to the Continent to inquire
into the state of public education in France or Germany, would they
then have sent to the former country those who knew no other foreign
language than German, and to the latter those who knew none but
French? This is a regular piece of official oversight, betraying
one-sided and crude views of the subject to be treated; and showing
that the examination of it was begun in a hasty and somewhat
inconsiderate manner. It might have been predicted that any one not
thoroughly conversant with Welsh could never obtain original
information for himself, but would have to speak through other
people's mouths, hear with their ears, and even see with their eyes.
He would never gain the confidence of the people, but would return
with an imperfect, and all but a second-hand report. He would resemble
the honest tar who, on his return from Cherbourg, gave it as his
opinion that the French were the dullest nation on the face of the
earth, since they could not speak common English. And so it has
actually proved to be the case with these very Commissioners. Not only
do we find the main grievance in their reports to be the ignorance of
the children in the English language, but the prevalent feeling, all
over Wales, is, that these gentlemen have gone out of it nearly as
wise, concerning the actual knowledge of the people, as they came into
it: and that, could the examinations have been conducted by them in
the Welsh tongue, their reports would have assumed a very different
character. What? complain of children not twelve years of age for not
comprehending questions addressed to them in a foreign language? Bring
a French Government inspector of schools from Paris, and set him to
examine all the boarding-schools round London in the French tongue, he
himself using it all the while for his questions; and then let him go
home and declare that not one child in ten knew any thing about what
he said to them,--and he would come near the truth;--and very like
this is the result of this inspection of Welsh schools by English
examiners. The Government, however, do not seem to have learnt wisdom
in this respect, for they have very recently appointed, as permanent
inspectors for Wales, a gentleman named Morell, and one of the authors
of this very report, Mr Symons; neither of whom, we will bet a leek to
a potato, can hold a conversation in Welsh.

One of the main difficulties in the way of education in Wales, if not
the principal difficulty of all, results from the circumstance that
the language of the principality is not that of the rest of the
kingdom. To understand this difficulty fully, it must be remembered
that the Welsh belong to a race of men essentially and altogether
distinct from those that inhabit the lands eastward of Offa's dyke;
that the peculiarities of national character which subsist among them
have been only in a very small part removed by amalgamation of the two
races; and that these differences are so wide, and so deeply seated,
that here, as elsewhere--wherever, indeed, the Celtic and Teutonic
races have been brought into contact,--a struggle and an opposition, a
repulsive tendency, more or less open and active, have ever existed,
and have brought about the subjugation, the inferiority, and, to a
certain degree, the degradation of the former. The Saxons produced few
or no results of importance by their attacks on the Welsh; the hardy
mountaineers generally gave them as much as they brought; and, had
they been doomed to meet with no men of sterner stuff, they would
still have held their own in unbroken integrity. But the energy of the
Normans, their fire and gallantry, animating and directing the slower
impulses of their Teutonic vassals, made the monarch of England at
length the conquering sovereign of Wales; and, from that moment, with
the transient exception of Owen Glyndwr's bright resistance, Wales not
only became the conquered and suffering country, but showed all the
symptoms of it, and brought forth all its fruits. The higher classes
either became replaced by Anglo-Norman nobles, or imitated both their
customs and their language;--many of the largest landed proprietors no
longer resided in the principality; and those who did, held themselves
far above their Celtic vassals in proud and domineering exclusiveness.
The common people--the mass of the nation, including the petty
free-holders and the remains of the conquered native nobles--formed a
national party, ever opposed to their haughty masters; adhered to
their national language with the greater devotion, as it was to them
the only relic of their former independence; retained their ancient
national customs and superstitions; and were content to turn their
backs upon the progress of that nation whose power they could not
throw off, though the desire to do so remained, and is not, even at
the present day, extinguished. The Welsh still call themselves "the
Cymry," and the English "the Saeson." They still look on the English
as foreigners; and this fact alone speaks volumes as to the antagonism
that still subsists between the two races. It is not our intention to
go into any discussion upon the political bearings of this state of
things: we will only observe, that the gentry and clergy of Wales
having mainly carried on their studies in the English language, and
having been anxious to do so as a mark of distinction from their
humbler neighbours, not only has the Welsh language remained almost
stationary since the time of the conquest, but the national mind, the
intelligence of the common people, has never kept pace with that of
England. Nearly all the literature and science, all the poetry,
history, and belles-lettres of the English nation, have been to the
Welsh totally unknown. They have never been translated; and, for that
very reason, the middle classes of the country, and of course all the
lower ones, are, it may be said, almost totally ignorant of them.

Another circumstance tending to this comparative isolation, is the
physical formation of the country, which, by keeping the people, down
to the present time, fixed to their bleak hills and extensive
moorlands, and by discouraging the growth of large towns, has retained
the people in a state of primitive agricultural simplicity, which,
while it may make them enjoy a certain amount of happiness not
inferior to that of their trade-enslaved neighbours, retards them in
what we suppose to be the _summum bonum_--the march of civilisation.

The language, the feelings, the aspirations of the Welsh are different
from those of the English--altogether different: and the million of
inhabitants, who are of Celtic race--just like the two millions of
Celts in France who retain the name of Britons; and the seven millions
of the Erse in Ireland, who also differ altogether in sympathies, and
to a great extent in language, from their conquerors--never will unite
with the Saxon race so far as to keep pace with them in what is called
"improvement" and "knowledge." This fundamental difference is alone
sufficient to account for the different degrees of education in the
two countries, even supposing that, after all, this difference should
turn out to be less than it is actually supposed to be by her
Majesty's inspectors; and it will also account for the immense
preponderance of dissent in Wales, and for the pining state of the
church. Ever since the time of Henry VIII., the English church has
been the church of the conqueror. The conquered have been left to form
their own religious creed; and, at the present moment, the Welsh
adhere with all the warmth of national enthusiasm, and with all the
devotion of a conquered people, to any form of worship but that which
they see adopted by the upper classes--by their Anglo-Norman lords
and masters. The limits of a review do not allow of our pursuing this
portion of the subject to the extent we might wish; but we know that
what we have here asserted is at the bottom of some of the main
differences between the Welsh and the English characters; and we do
not know of any means whereby these causes can be removed, except
through the soothing and permuting influence of time. We appeal to the
knowledge and experience of the more intelligent of the Welsh gentry
for a confirmation of these views; we find ample evidence in support
of them in the pages of these very reports. All through these
volumes--in almost every page--there is the same complaint that the
difference of language impedes the communication of knowledge; and,
indeed, we very much doubt whether any _English_ parent or
schoolmaster, who wished to convey all ideas of religious and secular
knowledge to his children through the medium of the _Welsh_
language,--to be taught them by an _Englishman_,--from the age of
eight years old and upwards, would not arrive at the same negative
result as the _Welshman_ who makes the same experiment by means of the
_English_ tongue.

We may here quote the following important observations from the report
of Mr Lingen--by far the most able, and the best digested of the
three. And we take the opportunity of pointing out this gentleman's
introductory remarks, as conveying the most valuable information which
we have met with concerning the actual state of Wales,--as well as for
the highly enlightened and philosophic spirit in which they are
conceived.

Mr Lingen observes:--

     "My district exhibits the phenomenon of a peculiar language
     isolating the mass from the upper portion of society; and,
     as a further phenomenon, it exhibits this mass engaged upon
     the most opposite occupations at points not very distant
     from each other; being, on the one side, rude and primitive
     agriculturists, living poorly, and thinly scattered; on the
     other, smelters and miners, wantoning in plenty, and
     congregated in the densest accumulations. An incessant tide
     of immigration sets in from the former extreme to the
     latter, and, by perpetuating a common character in each,
     admits of their being contemplated under a single point of
     view. Whether in the country, or among the furnaces, the
     Welsh element is never found at the top of the social scale,
     nor in its own body does it exhibit much variety of
     gradation. In the country, the farmers are very small
     holders, in intelligence and capital nowise distinguished
     from labourers. In the works, the Welsh workman never finds
     his way into the office. He never becomes either clerk or
     agent. He may become an overseer or sub-contractor, but this
     does not take him out of the labouring and put him into the
     administering class. Equally in his new, as in his old,
     home, his language keeps him under the hatches, being one in
     which he can neither acquire nor communicate the necessary
     information. It is a language of old-fashioned agriculture,
     of theology, and of simple rustic life, while all the world
     about him is English.

     "Thus his social sphere becomes one of complete isolation
     from all influences, save such as arise within his own
     order. He jealously shrinks from holding any communication
     with classes either superior to, or different from, himself.
     His superiors are content, for the most part, simply to
     ignore his existence in all its moral relations. He is left
     to live in an under world of his own, and the march of
     society goes so completely over his head that he is never
     heard of, excepting when the strange and abnormal features
     of a revival, or a Rebecca or Chartist outbreak, call
     attention to a phase of society which could produce any
     thing so contrary to all that we elsewhere experience.

     "Cut off from, or limited to a purely material agency in,
     the practical world, his mental faculties, so far as they
     are not engrossed by the hardships of rustic, or the
     intemperance of manufacturing, life, have hitherto been
     exerted almost exclusively upon theological ideas. In this
     direction too, from causes which it is out of my province to
     particularise, he has moved under the same isolating
     destiny, and his worship, like his life, has grown different
     from that of the classes over him. Nor has he failed of
     tangible results in his chosen province of independent
     exertion. He has raised the buildings, and maintains the
     ministry of his worship over the whole face of his country,
     to an extent adequate to his accommodation."

     "On the manifold evils inseparable from an ignorance of
     English, I found but one opinion expressed on all hands.
     They are too palpable, and too universally admitted, to need
     particularising. Yet, if interest pleads for English,
     affection leans to Welsh. The one is regarded as a new
     friend to be acquired for profit's sake; the other as an old
     one, to be cherished for himself, and especially not to be
     deserted in his decline. Probably you could not find in the
     most purely Welsh parts a single parent, in whatever class,
     who would not have his child taught English in school; yet
     every characteristic development of the social life into
     which that same child is born--preaching--prayer-meetings--
     Sunday-schools--clubs--biddings--funerals--the denominational
     magazine (his only press), all these exhibit themselves to
     him in Welsh as their natural exponent, partly, it may be,
     from necessity, but, in some degree also, from choice. 'In
     the Cymreigyddion (benefit societies) it is _a rule_ that no
     English shall be spoken.' It is true that the necessities of
     the world more and more force English upon the Welshman; but,
     whether he can speak no English, or whether he speaks it
     imperfectly, he finds it alike painful to be reminded of his
     utter, or to struggle against his partial, inability of
     expression. His feelings are impetuous; his imagination
     vivid; his ideas (on such topics as he entertains) succeed
     each other rapidly. Hence he is naturally voluble, often
     eloquent. He possesses a mastery over his own language far
     beyond that which the Englishman of the same degree possesses
     over his. A certain power of elocution (viz., to pray
     'doniol,' as it is called, _i. e._, in a gifted manner), is
     so universal in his class that to be without it is a sort of
     stigma. Hence, in speaking English, he has at once to forego
     the conscious power of displaying certain talents whereon he
     piques himself, and to exhibit himself under that peculiar
     form of inability which most offends his self-esteem. From
     all those favourite scenes of his life, therefore, which can
     still be transacted without English, he somewhat eagerly
     banishes it as an irksome imposition.

     "Through no other medium than a common language can ideas
     become common. It is impossible to open formal sluice-gates
     for them from one language into another. Their circulation
     requires a net-work of pores too minute for analysis, too
     numerous for special provision. Without this net-work, the
     ideas come into an alien atmosphere in which they are
     lifeless. Direct education finds no place, when indirect
     education is excluded by the popular language, as it were by
     a wall of brass. Nor can an old and cherished language be
     _taught down_ in schools; for so long as the children are
     familiar with none other, they must be educated to a
     considerable extent through the medium of it, even though to
     supersede it be the most important part of their education.
     Still less, out of school, can the language of lessons make
     head against the language of life. But schools are every day
     standing less alone in this contest. Along the chief lines
     of road, from the border counties, from the influx of
     English, or English-speaking labourers, into the iron and
     coal-fields--in short from every point of contact with
     modern activity, the English tongue keeps spreading, in some
     places rapidly, but sensibly in all. Railroads, and the
     fuller development of the great mineral beds, are on the eve
     of multiplying these points of contact. Hence the
     encouragement vigorously to press forward the cause of
     popular education in its most advanced form. Schools are not
     called upon to impart in a foreign, or engraft upon the
     ancient tongue a factitious education conceived under
     another set of circumstances (in either of which cases the
     task would be as hopeless as the end unprofitable), but to
     convey in a language, which is already in process of
     becoming the mother tongue of the country, such instruction
     as may put the people on a level with that position which is
     offered to them by the course of events. If such instruction
     contrasts in any points with the tendency of old ideas, such
     contrast will have its reflex and its justification in the
     visible change of surrounding circumstances."

We find the same statements amply corroborated by the evidence of Mr
Symons, another of her Majesty's inspectors. He observes:--

     "The Welsh language is a vast drawback to Wales, and a
     manifold barrier to the moral progress and commercial
     prosperity of the people. It is not easy to overestimate its
     evil effects. It is the language of the Cymri, and anterior
     to that of the ancient Britons. It dissevers the people from
     intercourse which would greatly advance their civilisation,
     and bars the access of improving knowledge to their minds.
     As a proof of this, there is no Welsh literature worthy of
     the name. The only works generally read in the Welsh
     language are the Welsh monthly magazines, of which a list
     and description are given in the Appendix lettered H. They
     are much more talented than any other Welsh works extant,
     but convey, to a very limited extent, a knowledge of passing
     events, and are chiefly polemical and full of bitter
     sectarianism, and indulge a great deal in highly-coloured
     caricatures and personality. Nevertheless they have
     partially lifted the people from that perfect ignorance and
     utter vacuity of thought which otherwise would possess at
     least two-thirds of them. At the same time, these
     periodicals have used their monopoly as public instructors
     in moulding the popular mind, and confirming a natural
     partiality for polemics, which impedes the cultivation of a
     higher and more comprehensive taste and desire for general
     information. This has been conclusively proved by Mr Rees,
     the enterprising publisher at Llandovery. He commenced the
     publication of a periodical similar to the Penny Magazine,
     in the Welsh language, but lost L.200 by it in a year. This
     was probably too short a trial of the experiment; but it
     sufficiently evinces the difficulty of supplanting an
     established taste, by means however inoffensive.

     "The evil of the Welsh language, as I have above stated, is
     obviously and fearfully great in courts of justice. The
     evidence given by Mr Hall (No. 37) is borne out by every
     account I have heard on the subject; it distorts the truth,
     favours fraud, and abets perjury, which is frequently
     practised in courts, and escapes detection through the
     loop-holes of interpretation. This public exhibition of
     successful falsehood has a disastrous effect on public
     morals and regard for truth. The mockery of an English trial
     of a Welsh criminal by a Welsh jury, addressed by counsel
     and judge in English, is too gross and shocking to need
     comment. It is nevertheless a mockery which must continue
     until the people are taught the English language; and that
     will not be done until there are efficient schools for the
     purpose."

The Reverend Mr Griffiths, of the Dissenting college, Brecknock,
says:--

     "It (the English language) is gaining ground in the border
     counties, but not so fast as Englishmen are apt to suppose.
     Very few pulpits or Sunday-schools have changed languages
     within the memory of man. Until that is done, the English,
     however employed in ordinary matters of business, can have
     little effect on the formation of character. As to the
     desirableness of its being better taught, without entering
     on considerations of commerce or general literature,
     confessedly important as they are, perhaps you will forgive
     my taking an extract from the address published by the
     Llandovery conference" [from which the following passage may
     be cited]:--"'Hallowed by religion and rich with the magic
     of genius and associations of home, it (the Welsh language)
     cannot be otherwise than dear to our hearts. It has done
     good service in its day, and the sooner that service is
     acknowledged, the better for all parties concerned. If die
     it must, let it die fairly, peacefully, and reputably.
     Attached to it as we are, few would wish to postpone its
     euthanasy. But no sacrifice would be deemed too great to
     prevent its being murdered. At the best, the vanishing for
     ever of a language which has been spoken for thousands of
     years is a deeply touching event. There is a melancholy
     grandeur in the very idea, to which even its bitterest
     enemies cannot be wholly insensible. What, then, must the
     actual fact be to those who have worshipped and loved in its
     accents from the earliest hours of childhood, and all whose
     fondest recollections and hopes are bound up in its
     existence?'"

Mr Johnson, the third inspector, publishes a most curious list of all
the books now circulating in the Welsh language. They are only 405 in
number, and out of these 309 relate to religion or poetry, 50 to
scientific subjects, and only the remaining 46 to general subjects.
What can be done for the education of a people with such a literature?
Evidently nothing, until one of these two contingencies shall take
place: either that the people forsake their own language, and adopt
English exclusively, or that a very considerable number of the best
elementary and educational books in the English language be translated
into Welsh, and the people taught in them. Neither of which
contingencies are likely to fall out for many generations yet to come;
though the latter is clearly possible and desirable; and the former
not only impossible except in the lapse of ages, but also, for reasons
that we shall advert to hereafter, highly to be deprecated even if it
lay within the limits of feasibility.

We now address ourselves to the main features of the reports
themselves; and shall begin by observing that each volume consists of
an introductory report, followed and supported by an immense mass of
detailed evidence, accounts of the examination of each school, and
elaborate tables, enough to confound the diligence of the most
indefatigable reader, and amply sufficient to satisfy the statistical
appetites of Mr Kay Shuttleworth, the secretary of the committee, and
Mr Williams, late M.P. for Coventry, in whose motion these volumes
originated.

The first volume (Mr Lingen's) contains 62 pages of introductory
report, and 492 of evidence and tables. The second volume, (Mr
Symons's,) 68 of report, and 266 of evidence, &c.; and the third, (Mr
Johnson's,) which is the volume devoted to North Wales, has also 68 of
report, and 358 of evidence.

The reports of nearly all the schools, with very few and
widely-scattered exceptions, run all on the same themes; the inability
of the children to answer the examiner's questions, and their
ignorance, bad pronunciation, bad syntax, &c., of the English
language. We know for a fact, on the other hand, that the returns of
the inspectors are disputed in a great number of cases by competent
judges residing in or near the parishes where the examinations took
place; and that the inspectors are accused of having conducted their
examinations not only in an off-hand flippant manner, with much
precipitancy, but with a method so decidedly English, and therefore
foreign, as at once to unnerve both the children and the
schoolmasters, and thus to have produced the most negative and
unfavourable results possible. In a great many instances, too, the
inspectors are accused of having made erroneous returns. We have been
ourselves at the pains to make inquiries into these points, but for
the very obvious reason of not wishing to involve ourselves in
controversy, we abstain from discussing the evidence, especially with
three lawyers for our antagonists: we leave this task to the Welsh
local press, which has been for some time past running a-muck at them,
and is disposed to devour them--reports, pens, ink, wigs, gowns, and
all. We shall content ourselves with stating, that we know of one
instance in which the inspector has sent in a very unfavourable report
of a considerable school, which had been thoroughly and patiently
examined only a few weeks before by one of the Welsh bishops, aided by
some local clergymen, in the presence of a large concourse of the
laity, and when the result had turned out to be highly creditable both
to the teachers and the scholars. In the latter case, the children had
been questioned both in Welsh and English by Welsh people, and by
people whom they knew and were not afraid of. In the former, they had
been examined by one of her Majesty's inspectors, learned in the law,
but not in the Welsh language, nor in the art of conciliating the
Welsh people. We shall take instances from each of the three reports,
diving into these parliamentary folios quite at hazard, and fishing up
the first returns that meet our eye: they will give some idea of the
inspectors' skill, and of the condition of the schools.

Mr Lingen reports as follows of a school in the parish of Llangwnnor,
Carmarthenshire.

     "I visited this school on the 24th of November; it is held
     in a ruinous hovel of the most squalid and miserable
     character, which was originally erected by the parish, but
     apparently by encroachment. On Sunday the Calvinistic
     Methodists hold a school in it; the floor is of bare earth,
     full of deep holes; the windows are all broken; a tattered
     partition of lath and plaster divides it into two unequal
     portions; in the larger were a few wretched benches, and a
     small desk for the master in one corner; in the lesser was
     an old door with the hasp still upon it, laid crossways upon
     two benches, about half a yard high, to serve for a
     writing-desk! Such of the scholars as write retire in pairs
     to this part of the room, and kneel on the ground while they
     write. On the floor was a heap of loose coal, and a litter
     of straw, paper, and all kinds of rubbish. The vicar's son
     informed me that he had seen eighty children in this hut. In
     summer the heat of it is said to be suffocating; and no
     wonder.

     "The master appeared a pains-taking and amiable man, and had
     a very good character given of him. He had been disabled
     from following his trade (that of a carpenter) by an
     accident. He was but indifferently acquainted with English;
     one of the copies set by him was 'The Jews slain Christ.' I
     stood by while he heard two classes--one of two little
     girls, and another of three little boys and a girl--read.
     The two first read an account of our Lord's temptation; the
     master asked them to spell a few words, which they did, and
     then to give the Welsh equivalents for several English
     words, which they also did; he asked no other questions. The
     other class read small sentences containing a repetition of
     the same word, _e. g._, 'The bad do sin--wo to the bad--the
     bad do lie,' &c. They were utterly unable to turn such
     sentences into Welsh; they knew the letters (for they could
     point to particular words when required,) and they knew to
     some extent the English sound of them; they knew also the
     meaning of the single words (for they could give the Welsh
     equivalents,) but they had no idea of the sentence. With
     them, therefore, English reading must be (at best) a mere
     string of words, connected only by juxtaposition."

Mr. Symons gives the following report of a school at Llanfihangel
Creiddyn, in Cardiganshire.

     "This parish contains a very good modern school-room, but it
     is not finished inside. There is no floor of any sort. The
     school, nevertheless, is of the most inferior description,
     devoid of method in the instruction, and of capacity in the
     master. During the whole of last summer the school was shut,
     and the room was used by the carpenters who were repairing
     the church. One of their benches is now used as a writing
     table. Few of the children remain a year; they come for a
     quarter or half-a-year, and then leave the school. Fourteen
     children were present, together with two young men who were
     there to learn writing. Four of the children only could read
     in the Testament, and the master selected the 1st chapter of
     Revelation for them to read in. They stammered through
     several verses, mispronouncing nearly every word, and which
     the master took some pains to correct. None of them knew the
     meaning, or could give the Welsh words for 'show,' 'gave,'
     or 'faith.' One or two only knew that of 'grace,' 'woman,'
     'nurse.' Their knowledge of spelling was very limited. Of
     Scripture they knew next to nothing. Jesus was said to be
     the son of Joseph; one child only said the Son of God;
     another thought he was on earth now; and another said he
     would come again 'to increase grace,' grace meaning
     godliness. Three out of the five could not tell why Christ
     came to the earth, a penny having been offered for a correct
     answer. Two could not tell any one thing that Christ did,
     and a third said he drew water from a rock in the land of
     Canaan. None knew the number of the Apostles; one never
     heard of them, and two could not name any of them. Christ
     died in Calvary, which one said was in England, and the
     others did not know where it was. Four could not tell the
     day Christ was born, or what it was called. The days of a
     week were guessed to be five, six, four, and seven. The days
     in the month twenty and fifteen, and nine could name the
     months. None knew the number of days in the year; and all
     thought the sun moved round the world. This country was said
     to be Cardiganshire, not Wales. Ireland one thought a town,
     and another a parish. England was a town, and London a
     country. A king was a reasonable being (creadwr rhesymnol.)
     Victoria is the Queen, and it is our duty to do every thing
     for her. In arithmetic they could do next to nothing, and
     failed to answer the simplest questions. I then examined the
     young men, promising two-pence to those who answered most
     correctly. They had a notion of the elements of Scripture
     truths. Two of them had no notion of arithmetic. The third
     answered easy questions, and could do sums in the simple
     rules. On general subjects their information was very little
     superior to that of the children."

And Mr Vaughan Johnson, in examining the church school of Holyhead, in
the Isle of Anglesey, reports as follows:--

     "_Holyhead Church School._--A school for boys and girls,
     taught by a master and mistress, in separate rooms of a
     large building set apart for that purpose. Number of boys,
     96; of girls, 47; 10 monitors are employed. Subjects taught,
     reading, writing, and arithmetic, the Holy Scriptures and
     Church catechism. Fees, 1d. per week.

     "This school was examined November 9. Total number present,
     117. Of these, 20 could write well on paper; 40 were able to
     read with ease; and 22 could repeat the Church catechism, 15
     of them with accuracy. In knowledge of Holy Scripture and in
     arithmetic, the boys were very deficient. Scholars in the
     first class said that there were 18 gospels, that
     Bartholomew wrote one and Simon another; that Moses was the
     son of David. These answers were not corrected by the rest.
     By a lower class it was said, that Jerusalem is in heaven,
     and that St Paul wrote the gospel according to St Matthew;
     another believed it was written by Jesus Christ. The oldest
     boy in a large class said, that Joseph was the son of
     Abraham. A child about 10 years old said, that Jesus Christ
     was the Saviour of men; but, upon being asked 'From what did
     he save mankind?' replied, 'from God.'

     "Having heard from the patrons that the scholars were
     particularly expert in arithmetic, I requested the master to
     exhibit his best scholars. Thirteen boys accordingly
     multiplied a given sum of £ _s. d._ by (25 + ½.) The
     process was neatly and accurately performed by every boy. I
     then examined the same class in arithmetic, and set each boy
     a distinct sum in multiplication of money. Instead of (25 +
     ½) I gave 5 as the number by which the several sums were
     to be multiplied. I allowed each boy for this simple process
     twice as much time as he had required for the preceding,
     which was far more complicated; but only two of the 13
     could bring me a correct answer. This is well worthy of
     remark. The original sum appears to be one which they are in
     the habit of performing before strangers; many had copied
     the whole process from those next them, without
     understanding a single step.

     "The girls were further advanced in arithmetic and in Holy
     Scripture. But the 2d class asserted that St Matthew was one
     of the prophets; that Jesus Christ is in the grave to this
     day; and two stated that Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary
     were the same person. Although these questions were put in
     English and in Welsh, few of the children could understand
     what they heard or read in the English language. The
     questions were therefore interpreted."

We should here observe that a considerable number of the examinations
were conducted not by the inspectors themselves, but by persons hired
by them, more or less on account of their knowledge of the Welsh
language. To these we attach little or no weight, because they have
not the sanction of a Government commission, nor do the persons
themselves hold any official or private rank by which their capacities
for conducting such examinations can be ascertained.

As a specimen of the state in which some of the peasantry are, we find
Mr Lingen, while in Pembrokeshire, remarking thus:--

     "I entered two cottages, where the children were said not to
     be attending school. In the first I found an extremely
     well-spoken and intelligent girl of twelve or thirteen years
     old, and her brother somewhat younger. They had been to
     Yerbeston day-school for about a quarter, and to Molleston
     Sunday-school for about two years, though not for the last
     month. It was closed during the bad weather and short days.
     She read about Jesus in the Testament; but could tell me
     _nothing_ about him except that he was called the Son of
     Man. She said, 'They only teach us to read; they don't tell
     us any of these things at the Sunday-school.'

     "In the other cottage I found two little children, a boy and
     girl, going, and having been, to no school of any kind. The
     girl was nursing an infant: there were two other children
     from home. The mother of four of them was a widow, the fifth
     child was apparently a pauper, billeted upon her in
     consideration of 5s. per week from the parish. At the time
     of my visit the mother was out at farm-work (winnowing), and
     had to be called; I could get no answer from the two
     children. The girl, who was the eldest, and in her ninth
     year, only replied to my questions by a cunning, unpleasant
     grin, though her face was intelligent and not ill-looking.
     The boy had a most villainous expression of sullen
     stolidity; he was mixing culm with his hands. They knew no
     prayers, nor who to pray to--and of course never prayed. The
     mother could not read nor write--'worse luck,' as she said;
     her only chance of educating these children was a
     free-school. The entire 5s. went in food at the present high
     prices, and 'not enough then.'

     "In this same neighbourhood I asked some questions of a
     little boy, nearly seven, whom I met on the road. It was in
     vain that I tempted him with half-pence to answer; he knew
     nothing of Sunday--of God--of the devil--'had heard of Jesus
     Christ from Jemmy Wilson,' but could give no account
     whatever about him; he knew neither the then day of the
     week, nor how many days in a week, nor months in a year; he
     had never been in any school; his brother and sister were
     going to St Issell's school. I had to repeat my questions
     two or three times over before they seemed to impress any
     thing more than his ears. The first answer _invariably_ was,
     and it was, often repeated half a dozen times--'_What ee'
     say?_' and the next '_Do' know_.'"

The condition of the buildings in which the schools are commonly held
in the country parishes is wretched in the extreme. Take the following
brief accounts, some of which might furnish admirable sketches to a
Cattermole or a Maclise:--

     "(1.) The school was held in a miserable room over the
     stable; it was lighted by two small glazed windows, and was
     very low; in one corner was a broken bench, some sacks, and
     a worn-out basket; another corner was boarded off for
     storing tiles and mortar belonging to the chapel. The
     furniture consisted of one small square table for the
     master, two larger ones for the children, and a few benches,
     all in a wretched state of repair. There were several panes
     of glass broken in the windows; in one place paper served
     the place of glass, and in another a slate, to keep out wind
     and rain; the door was also in a very dilapidated condition.
     On the beams which crossed the room were a ladder and two
     larch poles.

     "(2.) The school was held in a room built in a corner of the
     churchyard; it was an open-roofed room; the floor was of the
     bare earth, and very uneven; the room was lighted by two
     small glazed windows, one-third of each of which was patched
     up with boards. The furniture consisted of a small square
     table for the master, one square table for the pupils, and
     seven or eight benches, some of which were in good repair,
     and others very bad. The biers belonging to the church were
     placed on the beams which ran across the room. At one end of
     the room was a heap of coal and some rubbish, and a worn-out
     basket, and on one side was a new door leaning against the
     wall, and intended for the stable belonging to the church.
     The door of the schoolroom was in a very bad condition,
     there being large holes in it, through which cold currents
     of air were continually flowing."

If, however, the condition of the school-buildings is thus unsuitable,
the previous education and training of the teachers is not less
faulty. The subjoined extract from Mr Lingen's report is borne out by
precisely similar statements from those of his coadjutors:--

     "The present average age of teachers is upwards of 40 years;
     that at which they commenced their vocation upwards of 30;
     the number trained is 12·5 per cent of the whole ascertained
     number; the average period of training is 7·30 months; the
     average income is L.22, 10s. 9d. per annum; besides which,
     16·1 per cent have a house rent-free. Before adopting their
     present profession, 6 had been assistants in schools, 3
     attorneys' clerks, 1 attorney's clerk and sheriff's officer,
     1 apprentice to an ironmonger, 1 assistant to a draper, 1
     agent, 1 artilleryman, 1 articled clerk, 2 accountants, 1
     auctioneer's clerk, 1 actuary in a savings' bank, 3
     bookbinders, 1 butler, 1 barber, 1 blacksmith, 4
     bonnet-makers, 2 booksellers, 1 bookkeeper, 15 commercial
     clerks, 3 colliers, 1 cordwainer, 7 carpenters, 1
     compositor, 1 copyist, 3 cabinet-makers, 3 cooks, 1
     corn-dealer, 3 druggists, 42 milliners, 20 domestic
     servants, 10 drapers, 4 excise-men, 61 farmers, 25
     farm-servants, 1 farm-bailiff, 1 fisherman, 2 governesses, 7
     grocers, 1 glover, 1 gardener, 177 at home or in school, 1
     herald-chaser, 4 housekeepers, 2 hatters, 1 helper in a
     stable, 8 hucksters or shopkeepers, 1 iron-roller, 6
     joiners, 1 knitter, 13 labourers, 4 laundresses, 1
     lime-burner, 1 lay-vicar, 5 ladies'-maids, 1 lieutenant R.
     N., 2 land-surveyors, 22 mariners, 1 mill-wright, 108
     married women, 7 ministers, 1 mechanic, 1 miner, 2 mineral
     agents, 5 masons, 1 mate, 1 maltster, 1 militia-man, 1
     musician, 1 musical-wire-drawer, 2 nursery-maids, 1
     night-schoolmaster, 1 publican's wife (separated from her
     husband,) 2 preparing for the church, 1 policeman, 1 pedlar,
     1 publican, 1 potter, 1 purser's steward, 1 planter, 2
     private tutors, 1 quarryman, 1 reed-thatcher, 28
     sempstresses, 1 second master R. N., 4 soldiers, 14
     shoemakers, 2 machine-weighers, 1 stonecutter, 1 serjeant of
     marines, 1 sawyer, 1 surgeon, 1 ship's cook, 7 tailors, 1
     tailor and marine, 1 tiler, 17 widows, 4 weavers, and 60
     unascertained, or having had no previous occupation.

     "In connexion with the vocation of teacher, 2 follow that of
     assistant-overseer of roads, 6 are assistant overseers of
     the poor, 1 accountant, 1 assistant parish clerk, 1
     bookbinder, 1 broom and clog-maker, 4 bonnet-makers, 1 sells
     Berlin wool, 2 are cow-keepers, 3 collectors of taxes, 1
     drover (in summer,) 12 dressmakers, 1 druggist, 1 farmer, 4
     grocers, 3 hucksters or shopkeepers, 1 inspector of weights
     and measures, 1 knitter, 2 land-surveyors (one of them is
     also a stonecutter,) 2 lodging-house keepers, 1 librarian to
     a mechanics' institute, 16 ministers, 1 master of a
     workhouse, 1 matron of a lying-in hospital, 3 mat-makers, 13
     preachers, 18 parish or vestry clerks (uniting in some
     instances the office of sexton), 1 printer and engraver, 1
     porter, barber, and layer-out of the dead in a workhouse, 4
     publicans, 1 registrar of marriages, 11 sempstresses, 1
     shopman (on Saturdays,) 8 secretaries to benefit societies,
     1 sexton, 2 shoemakers, 1 tailor, 1 teacher of modern
     languages, 1 turnpike man, 1 tobacconist, 1 writing-master
     in a grammar-school, and 9 are in receipt of parochial
     relief."

Upon this the inspector observes with great good sense--

     "No observations of mine could heighten the contrast which
     facts like the above exhibit, between the actual and the
     proper position of a teacher. I found this office almost
     every where one of the least esteemed and worst remunerated;
     one of those vocations which serve as the sinks of all
     others, and which might be described as guilds of refuge;
     for to what other grade can the office of teacher be
     referred after the foregoing analysis? Is it credible that,
     if we took 784 shoemakers, tailors, carpenters, or any other
     skilled workmen, we should find them (one with another) not
     to have commenced their calling before 30 years of age? nor
     more than 47·3 per cent of them who had not previously
     followed some other calling nor more than 1 in every 8 who
     had served any apprenticeship to it, nor even this 8th man
     for a period much longer than half a year? The miserable
     pittance which they get is irregularly paid."

The pecuniary part of the question, the ways and means for supporting
an efficient system of education in Wales, may be very fairly inferred
from the following extract of the report on three of the most
prosperous counties in the principality, corroborated as it is by
similar statements and returns in other districts:--

     "There is a great and general deficiency of voluntary funds
     for the maintenance of schools for the poor in the rural
     parts of South Wales. By far the most liberal contributors
     to such schools in England are the clergy. The following
     table exhibits the clerical income of the beneficed clergy
     in my district. I would beg to call particular attention to
     the average area and population of the parishes in
     Carmarthenshire, and to the income of the clergy in the
     remote hundreds of Dewisland and  Kemess:--

  +----------------+---------+----------+------------+----------+--------------+
  |                |         |          |            |          |              |
  |                |Number of|          |Vicarages or|Number of | Total Income |
  |     Counties.  |Parishes.|Rectories.| Perpetual  |  Glebe   |of Clergy from|
  |                |         |          | Curacies.  | Houses.  |  Benefices.  |
  |                |         |          |            |          |              |
  +----------------+---------+----------+------------+----------+--------------+
  |                |         |          |            |          |       £      |
  |Carmarthenshire,|    77   |    16    |     72     |    26    |     9,974    |
  |Glamorganshire, |   125   |    53    |     83     |    33    |    18,101    |
  |Pembrokeshire,  |   140   |    58    |     85     |    34    |    17,418    |
  +----------------+---------+----------+------------+----------+--------------+
  |The three       |   342   |   127    |    240     |    93    |    45,493    |
  |Counties,       |         |          |            |          |              |
  +----------------+---------+----------+------------+----------+--------------+

  +----------------+------------------+--------------+-----------+------------+
  |                |      Average     |  Number of   |           |Average area|
  |                |     Income of    | Parishes on  |  Average  | of square  |
  |     Counties.  |    Clergy per    |  which the   |population |   miles    |
  |                |      Parish.     |average Income|per Parish.|per Parish. |
  |                |                  |  is taken.   |           |            |
  +----------------+------------------+--------------+-----------+------------+
  |                |    £   _s._  _d._|              |           |            |
  |Carmarthenshire,|   119   13    0  |      75      |   1,380   |     12     |
  |Glamorganshire, |   153    7   11  |     118      |   1,364   |      6     |
  |Pembrokeshire,  |   129    0    5  |     135      |     255   |      4     |
  +----------------+---------+----------+------------+----------+-------------+
  |The three       |   133    0    4  |     328      |   1,068   |      6     |
  |Counties,       |                  |              |           |            |
  +----------------+------------------+--------------+-----------+------------+

     "The poor provision which the church offers to an educated
     man, and the necessity of ordaining those only, for the
     great majority of parishes, who understand the Welsh
     language, are facts which bear powerfully upon the education
     of the country. A large portion of the Welsh clergy complete
     their education exclusively in Wales. The licensed grammar
     schools, from which they were formerly ordained, have been
     superseded for St David's College, Lampeter.

     "Still, so far as daily education has hitherto been
     supported by voluntary payments, this has been mostly in
     connexion with the church. For, putting aside 31·1 per cent
     of the day-scholars as belonging to private adventure
     schools, and 10·9 percent for children in union workhouse
     and workmen's schools, there remains 39·9 per cent of the
     day-scholars in connexion, and 18·1 per cent not in
     connexion, with the church."

Whatever deficiencies there may be in the system of daily and secular
education, much more zeal and energy is shown in the Sunday schools;
the causes and objects of which are so graphically and accurately
described by Mr Lingen, that we must again quote his own
words:--observing that the two other reports tell the same tale
exactly, only in different language--

     "The type of such Sunday schools is no more than this. A
     congregation meets in its chapel. It elects those whom it
     considers to be its most worthy members, intellectually and
     religiously, to act as 'teachers' to the rest, and one or
     more to 'superintend' the whole. Bible classes, Testament
     classes, and classes of such as cannot yet read, are formed.
     They meet once, generally from 2 to 4 P.M., sometimes in the
     morning also, on each Sunday. The superintendent, or one of
     the teachers, begins the school by prayer; they then sing;
     then follows the class instruction, the Bible and Testament
     classes reading and discussing the Scriptures, the others
     learning to read; school is closed in the same way as it
     began. Sections of the same congregation, where distance or
     other causes render it difficult for them to assemble in the
     chapel, establish similar schools elsewhere. These are
     called branches. The constitution throughout is purely
     democratic, presenting an office and some sort of title to
     almost every man who is able and willing to take an active
     part in its administration, without much reference to his
     social position during the other six days of the week. My
     returns show 11,000 voluntary teachers, with an allowance of
     about seven scholars to each. Whatever may be the accuracy
     of the numbers, I believe this relative proportion to be not
     far wrong. The position of teacher is coveted as a
     distinction, and is multiplied accordingly. It is not
     unfrequently the first prize to which the most proficient
     pupils in the parochial schools look. For them it is a step
     towards the office of preacher and minister. The
     universality of these schools, and the large proportion of
     the persons attending them who take part in their
     government, have very generally familiarised the people with
     some of the more ordinary terms and methods of organisation,
     such as _committee_, _secretary_, and so forth.

     "Thus, there is every thing about such institutions which
     can recommend them to the popular taste. They gratify that
     gregarious sociability which animates the Welsh towards each
     other. They present the charms of office to those who, on
     all other occasions, are subject; and of distinction to
     those who have no other chance of distinguishing themselves.
     The topics current in them are those of the most general
     interest; and are treated in a mode partly didactic, partly
     polemical, partly rhetorical, the most universally
     appreciated. Finally, every man, woman, and child feels
     comfortably at home in them. It is all among neighbours and
     equals. Whatever ignorance is shown there, whatever mistakes
     are made, whatever strange speculations are started, there
     are no superiors to smile and open their eyes. Common habits
     of thought pervade all. They are intelligible or excusable
     to one another. Hence, every one that has got any thing to
     say is under no restraint from saying it. Whatever such
     Sunday-schools may be as places of instruction, they are
     real fields of mental activity. The Welsh working man rouses
     himself for them. Sunday is to him more than a day of bodily
     rest and devotion. It is his best chance, all the week
     through, of showing himself in his own character. He marks
     his sense of it by a suit of clothes regarded with a feeling
     hardly less Sabbatical than the day itself. I do not
     remember to have seen an adult in rags in a single Sunday
     school throughout the poorest districts. They always seemed
     to me better dressed on Sundays than the same classes in
     England."

As a specimen of the relative number of Sunday schools belonging to
the different religious persuasions in North Wales, we will take Mr
Johnson's summary, which gives the following tabular result; and which
is nearly in the same proportion in the rest of the principality:--

  SUNDAY SCHOOLS.

  Church of England,         124
  Baptists,                   73
  Calvinistic Methodists,    545
  Independents,              232
  Wesleyan Methodists,       183
  Other Denominations,         4
                            ----
                Total,      1161

But if we take the returns of the daily schools for the same six
counties, the proportions will be found to, be greatly changed:--

  DAY SCHOOLS FOR THE POOR.

                                     Schools.    Scholars.
  Church,                              269        18,732
  Baptists,                              0             0
  Calvinistic Methodists,                3           140
  Independents,                          6           275
  Roman Catholics,                       2            55
  Wesleyans,                             2           285
  British and Foreign,                  42         4,979
  Schools, not British and Foreign,     29         1,726
  Workhouse Schools,                     8           463
  Factory,                               1            30
  Private adventure,                   216         5,348
                                       ---        ------
                  Total,               578        32,033

Out of these daily schools for the poor, not less than 269, or 46½
per cent of the whole number, (to say nothing of many of the private
schools,) are publicly provided by the Church; and it should be
remembered that of the Dissenting Sunday schools nearly all are held
in their meeting-houses, and form part and parcel of their religious
system; whereas the Church Sunday school is mostly an institution
apart from the church itself, and established on its own separate
footing.

With regard to the funds for supporting schools, the following remarks
by Mr Johnson, as applied to North Wales, are too important to be
omitted. He says:--

     "It appears, from the foregoing analysis of the funds of 517
     schools, that the amount annually raised by charitable
     contributions of the rich is (in round numbers) £5675, that
     raised by the poor £7000. It is important to observe the
     misdirection of these branches of school income, and the
     fatal consequences which ensue.

     "The wealthy classes who contribute towards education belong
     to the Established Church; the poor who are to be educated
     are Dissenters. The former will not aid in supporting
     neutral schools; the latter withhold their children from
     such as require conformity to the Established Church. The
     effects are seen in the co-existence of two classes of
     schools, both of which are rendered futile--the Church
     schools supported by the rich, which are thinly attended,
     and that by the extreme poor; and private-adventure schools,
     supported by the mass of the poorer classes at an exorbitant
     expense, and so utterly useless that nothing can account for
     their existence except the unhealthy division of society,
     which prevents the rich and poor from co-operating. The
     Church schools, too feebly supported by the rich to give
     useful education, are deprived of the support of the poor,
     which would have sufficed to render them efficient. Thus
     situated, the promoters are driven to establish premiums,
     clothing-clubs, and other collateral inducements, in order
     to overcome the scruples and reluctance of Dissenting
     parents. The masters, to increase their slender pittance,
     are induced to connive at the infringement of the rules
     which require conformity in religion, and allow the parents
     (sometimes covertly, sometimes with the consent of the
     promoters) to purchase exemption for a small gratuity; those
     who cannot afford it being compelled to conform, or expelled
     in case of refusal. Where, however, the rules are
     impartially enforced, or the parents too poor to purchase
     exemption, a compromise follows. The children are allowed to
     learn the Church catechism, and to attend church, so long as
     they remain at school, but are cautioned by their parents
     not to believe the catechism, and to return to their
     paternal chapels so soon as they have finished schooling. A
     dispensation, in fact, is given, allowing conformity in
     matters of religion during the period required for
     education, provided they allow no impression to be made upon
     their minds by the ritual and observances to which they
     conform. The desired object is attained by both parties.
     Outward conformity is effected for the time, and the
     children return in after-life to the creed and usages of
     their parents."

The fact is, that the farmers and all the lower classes care little
for education _per se_, though they wish their children to profit by a
knowledge of English, in order to facilitate their advancement in
after life; and they are unwilling, at the same time, to support
schools in connexion with the Church. That Church is to them the
church of the rich man as distinguished from the poor; of the
conqueror as distinguished from the conquered; of the Englishman as
distinguished from the Welsh; it is the Church of England, not of
Wales; and their affections as well as their prejudices are all
opposed to it. This again is one of the main causes--and it is so
pointed out by the commissioners--of the slow progress of education in
Wales, supported, as it mainly is, by the upper classes. It is not the
proper place to enter here into any further discussion as to _all_ the
causes of dispute in Wales; we will merely state that we believe it to
be now confirmed, not only by the national antagonism of the two
races, but also by the democratic principles which are so widely
diffused throughout the country, and which are sure to break out again
to a most dangerous extent in Wales on the first opportunity. Hear
what Mr Lingen states on the subject:--

     "Most singular is the character which has been developed by
     this theological bent of minds isolated from nearly all
     sources, direct or indirect, of secular information.
     Poetical and enthusiastic warmth of religious feeling,
     careful attendance upon religious services, zealous interest
     in religious knowledge, the comparative absence of crime,
     are found side by side with the most unreasoning prejudices
     and impulses; an utter want of method in thinking and
     acting; and (what is far worse) wide-spread disregard to
     temperance, wherever there are the means of excess, of
     chastity, of veracity, and of fair dealing. I subjoin two
     extreme instances of the wild fanaticism into which such
     temperaments may run. The first concerns the Rebecca riots.
     W. Chambers, jun., Esq. of Llanelly House, kindly furnished
     me with a large collection of contemporary documents and
     depositions concerning the period of those disturbances. An
     extract from the deposition of one Thomas Phillips of
     Topsail, is illustrative of the vividly descriptive and
     imaginative powers of the Welsh, and of the peculiar forms
     under which popular excitement among them would be sure to
     exhibit itself.

     "Shoui-yschwr-fawr and Dai Cantwr were _noms de guerre_
     borne by two ringleaders in these disturbances.

     "Between ten and eleven o'clock on the night of the attack
     on Mr Newman's house, I was called upon by
     Shoui-yschwr-fawr, and went with the party. On my way I had
     a conversation with Dai Cantwr. Thomas Morris, a collier, by
     the Five Cross Roads, was walking before us, with a long
     gun. I said "Thomas is enough to frighten one with his long
     gun." Dai said, "There is not such a free man as Tom Morris
     in the rank. I was coming up Gellygwlwnog field, arm in arm
     with him, after burning Mr Chambers's ricks of hay; and he
     had a gun in the other hand, and Tom said, "Here's a hare,"
     and he up with his gun and shot it slap down--and it was a
     horse--Mr Chambers's horse. One of the party stuck the horse
     with a knife--the blood flowed--and Tom Morris held his
     hand under the blood, and called upon the persons to come
     forward and dip their fingers in it, and take it as a
     sacrifice instead of Christ; and the parties did so.' And
     Dai added, 'that he had often heard of a sacrament in many
     ways, but had never heard of a sacrament by a horse before
     that night.'

     "The other instance was told me by one who witnessed much of
     the Chartist outbreak. He said that 'the men who marched
     from the hills to join Frost, had no definite object beyond
     a fanatical notion that they were to march immediately to
     London, fight a great battle, and conquer a great kingdom.'
     I could not help being reminded of the swarm that followed
     Walter the Penniless, and took the town which they reached
     at the end of their first day's march for Jerusalem."

We could point out several districts in Wales, in which few gentry
reside, such as the south-western portion of Caernarvon, and some
parts of Anglesey, where the most republican and levelling doctrines
prevail extensively among the farmers and the labouring classes, and
where resistance to tithes, and not only to tithes, but to rents, is a
subject fondly cherished for future opportunity. The town of
Caernarvon itself is a pestilent hot-bed of discontent; so is Merthyr
Tydvil; so is Newtown; so is Swansea; and so are many others.

The commissioners dwell rather lightly on this part of the subject--on
these consequences of the past and present condition of the country,
and of the defective education existing in it. Many of the assistants
employed by the commissioners were Dissenters, and their examinations
of Church schools may be therefore suspected; at least we fancy that
we can discern a certain warmth of admiration, and intensity of
unction, in the reports on the Dissenting schools, which are not
bestowed on the others. However this may be, we cannot but admit that
these reports do actually show the existence of a very defective state
of things in the principality; and we find the commissioners justly
pointing out and reprobating two glaring vices in the Welsh character,
the existence of which we admit, and to which we shall, of our own
knowledge, add a third.

The first refers to the want of chastity, or rather to the lax ideas
of the common order of people on that subject previous to marriage.
This, with every wish to excuse the national feelings and failings of
the Welsh, we must allow to be proved by the concurrent testimony and
experience of every one well acquainted with the principality. This
vice, however, is more systematically established in the northern than
in the southern counties; and the existence of this system is, we have
no doubt, of very long standing, ranking, indeed, among the national
customs which lose their origin in the night of ages. The common
notion prevalent among the lower classes in Wales, and generally acted
on, is, that want of chastity before marriage is no vice, though
afterwards it is considered a crime, which is very rarely committed.
Before we pass a sweeping condemnation on the rude population of the
Welsh mountains for this laxity, let us remember that, such is the
false state of "over-civilisation" in England, the same ideas and
practices exist universally among the male portion, at least, of the
people, and pass without any thing beyond a formal, we might almost
say, a legal reprimand: that in France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and,
it may be, other countries of Europe, this laxity exists not so much
_before_ as _after_ marriage; and that therefore the poor Celtic
mountaineers do not stand alone in their ignorance of what is better.

It appears by the official returns, that the proportion of
illegitimate children in North Wales shows an excess of 12·3 per cent
above the average of all England and Wales upon the like numbers of
registered births. We know ourselves of a union of 48 parishes in
which there are now 500 bastard children supported out of the
poor-rates; and, in fact, the prevalence of the vice is not to be
denied. The volumes of these reports contain numerous minutes of
evidences and letters from magistrates and clergymen corroborative of
this fact; and they all agree in referring it to the ignorance of the
people. We are not inclined to lift the veil which we would willingly
allow to hang over the faults, the weaknesses, and the ignorance of a
poor uncultivated people; believing, as we do, that the remedies for
such a state of things are not far off, nor difficult to find; and
knowing that, if there be any palliation of such a state of things, it
is to be found in this circumstance, that the married state is most
duly honoured and observed in that country, and also, that the women
marry early in life, and support all the duties of their state in an
exemplary manner. We could also pick out county after county in
England, where we know that the morality of the lower orders is
little, if at all, elevated above this standard, and where the
phenomenon of the pregnant bride is one of the most ordinary
occurrence. The statement of these facts, as published by the
commissioners, has caused great indignation throughout Wales, and has
set the local press in a ferment, but has not produced any
satisfactory refutation of the impeachment.

Another vice, correlative to, and consequent upon the other, is the
want of truth and honesty in petty matters observable throughout the
land. This is the common complaint of almost every gentleman and
magistrate in the twelve counties--that the word of a Welshman of the
lower classes is hardly to be trusted in little matters; and that the
crime of false swearing in courts and at quarter-sessions is
exceedingly frequent. In the same manner, the people generally, in the
minor transactions of life, are given to equivocations and by-dealing,
and make light of telling an untruth if it refers only to a matter of
minor importance. Were a Welshman called as a witness in a case of
felony, we think his oath might be depended upon as much as an
Englishman's; but is he called up on a case of common assault, or the
stealing of a few potatoes from his neighbour's field--or is he
covenanting to sell you coals or corn at a certain price and
weight--we should be uncommonly careful how we trusted to his
deposition or his assurances.

A clergyman of Brecknockshire says:--

     "The Welsh are more deceitful than the English; though they
     are full of expression, I cannot rely on them as I should on
     the English. There is more disposition to pilfer than among
     the English, but we are less apprehensive of robbery than in
     England. There is less open avowal of a want of chastity,
     but it exists; and there is far less feeling of delicacy
     between the sexes here in every-day life than in England.
     The boys bathe here, for instance, in the river at the
     bridge in public, and I have been insulted for endeavouring
     to stop it. There is less open wickedness as regards
     prostitution than in England. Drunkenness is the prevailing
     sin of this place and the county around, and is not confined
     to the labouring classes, but the drunkenness of the lower
     classes is greatly caused by the example of those above
     them, who pass their evenings in the public-houses. But
     clergymen and magistrates, who used to frequent them, have
     ceased to do so within the last few years. I have preached
     against the sin, and used other efforts to check it, though
     I have been insulted for doing so in the street. I think
     things are better than they were in this respect.... I do
     not think they are addicted to gambling, but their chief
     vice is that of sotting in the public-houses."

A magistrate, in another part of the county, gives the following
testimony:--

     "Crimes of violence are almost unknown, such as burglary,
     forcible robbery, or the use of the knife. Common assaults
     are frequent, usually arising from drunken quarrels. Petty
     thefts are not particularly numerous. Poultry-stealing and
     sheep-stealing prevail to a considerable extent. There is no
     rural police, and the parish constables are for the most
     part utterly useless, except for serving summonses, &c.
     Sheep and poultry stealers, therefore, very frequently
     escape with impunity. Drunkenness prevails to a lamentable
     extent--not so much among the lowest class, who are
     restrained by their poverty, as among those who are in
     better circumstances. Every market or fair day affords too
     much proof of this assertion. Unchastity in the women is, I
     am sorry to say, a great stain upon our people. The number
     of bastard children is very great, as is shown by the
     application of young women for admission into the workhouse
     to be confined, and by the application to magistrates in
     petty sessions for orders of affiliation. In hearing these
     cases, it is impossible not to remark how unconscious of
     shame both the young woman and her parents often appear to
     be. In the majority of cases where an order of affiliation
     is sought, marriage was promised, or the expectation of it
     held out. The cases are usually cases of _bonâ fide_
     seduction. Those who enter the workhouse to be confined are
     generally girls of known bad character. I believe that in
     the rural districts few professed prostitutes would be
     found."

The clerk, to the magistrates at Lampeter observes:--

     "Perjury is common in courts of justice, and the Welsh
     language facilitates it; for, when witnesses understand
     English, they feign not to do so, in order to gain time in
     the process of translation, to shape and mould their answers
     according to the interest they wish to serve. Frequently
     neither the prisoner nor the jury understand English, and
     the counsel, nevertheless, addresses them in English, and
     the judge sums up in English, not one word of which do they
     often understand. Instances have occurred when I have had to
     translate the answers of an English witness into Welsh for
     the jury; and once even to the grand jury at Cardigan I had
     to do this. A juryman once asked me, 'What was the nature of
     an action in which he had given his verdict.'

     "Truth and the sacredness of an oath are little thought of;
     it is most difficult to get satisfactory evidence in courts
     of justice."

Upon the above evidence, Mr Symons, the inspector, remarks:--

     "Notwithstanding the lamentable state of morals, the jails
     are empty. The following comparison between the relative
     criminality of the three counties in my district with that
     of the neighbouring agricultural county of Hereford,
     exhibits this moral anomaly in the Welsh character very  forcibly:--

             |          |   Committals    |
             |          |  for Trial at   | Centesimal
             |          |   Assizes and   | Proportion
  Counties of|Population|Quarter Sessions |of Offenders
             | in 1841  | for the 5 years |to Population
             |          |ending with 1845.|
  -----------+----------+-----------------+-------------
  Brecknock  |   55,603 |        261      |      .46
  Cardigan   |   68,766 |        135      |      .19
  Radnor     |   25,356 |        140      |      .55
  Hereford   |  113,878 |      1,198      |     1.05

     "Crimes, therefore, are twice as numerous in Herefordshire
     as in Radnorshire or Brecknockshire, and five times more so
     than in Cardiganshire.

     "I attribute this paucity of punishable offences in Wales
     partly to the extreme shrewdness and caution of the people,
     but much more to a natural benevolence and warmth of heart,
     which powerfully deters them from acts of malice and all
     deliberate injury to others. And I cannot but express my
     surprise that a characteristic so highly to the credit of
     the Welsh people, and of which so many evidences presented
     themselves to the eye of the stranger, should have been left
     chiefly to his own personal testimony. Facts were
     nevertheless related to me which bore out my impression; and
     I may instance the ancient practice among neighbouring
     families of assisting the marriages of each other's children
     by loans or gifts of money at the 'biddings' or marriage
     meetings, to be repaid only on a similar occasion in the
     family of the donor, as well as the attendance of friends at
     times of death or adversity, as among the incidents which
     spring from and mark this honourable characteristic."

Notwithstanding all this, we know, from official sources, that the
proportion per cent of commitments for North Wales is _sixty-one_ per
cent _below_ the calculated average for all England _and Wales_, on
the same amount of male population of the like ages. In fact, the
jails of Wales are commonly empty, or the next thing to it; and the
whole twelve counties would hardly keep one barrister, on the crown
side, above starving-point. Maiden assizes are any thing but uncommon
in that country.

That particular _foci_ of evil do exist, we have asserted before; and
we find the following trace of this portion of the subject in the
report of Mr Vaughan Johnson on Montgomeryshire:--

     "The following evidence relates to the parishes of _Newtown_
     and _Llanllwchaiarn_, which contain 6842 inhabitants:--

     'It appears that, previously to the year 1845, no district
     in North Wales was more neglected, in respect of education,
     than the parishes of Newtown and Llanllwchaiarn. The effects
     were partly seen in the turbulent and seditious state of the
     neighbourhood in the year 1839. The permanent evils which
     have sprung from this neglect it will require many years of
     careful education to eradicate. A memorial, presented by the
     inhabitants to the Lords of the Committee of Council on
     Education, at the close of the year 1845, contains the
     following plea for assistance in providing popular
     education:--

     "In the spring of the year 1839 the peace of the town and
     neighbourhood was threatened by an intended insurrection on
     the part of the operative class, in connexion, it is
     supposed, with other parts of the kingdom, with a view to
     effect a change in the institutions of the country; but such
     an insurrection, if intended, was prevented by the presence
     of an armed force; and a military force has ever since been
     stationed in the town, with a view of preserving its peace.

     'Your memorialists believe that, if the inhabitants had had
     the benefit of a sound moral and religious culture in early
     life, the presence of an armed force to protect the peace of
     the town would not be needed in so comparatively small a
     place; and your memorialists are under a firm conviction
     that no better way can be devised for the removal of all
     disposition to vice and crime, than by enlightening the
     ignorant, and especially by sowing in early life, by the
     hands of the teacher, the seeds of religion and morality.'"

     'The alarm occasioned by these disturbances has passed away;
     but I ascertained, by a careful inquiry among the persons
     best acquainted with the condition of the working-classes,
     that even at the present day low and unprincipled
     publications, of a profane and seditious tendency, are much
     read by a class of the operatives; that private and secret
     clubs exist for the dissemination of such writings, by means
     of which the class of operatives have access to the writings
     of Paine and Volney, to Owen's tracts, and to newspapers and
     periodicals of the same pernicious tendency. It is stated
     that many persons who read such works also attend Sunday
     schools, from their anxiety to obtain a knowledge of the art
     of reading, which they cannot otherwise acquire. It is the
     opinion of those who are best acquainted with the evils
     complained of, that the most efficacious remedy would be the
     circulation of intelligent publications on general subjects,
     within the comprehension of the working-classes, by the help
     of reading-societies and circulating libraries, at terms
     which the operatives would be able to afford.'"

The third vice--for it is a vice--which we know to be prevalent in
Wales, is the extreme dirt and untidiness of all the inhabitants. Go
into any Welsh town or village, and observe the squalid shabby look of
the houses and their tenants; visit their farms and cottages, and see
the wretched filth in which men and animals herd together, and you
will bear witness to the truth of our assertion. There is no spirit of
order and improvement among them; every thing is done on the principle
of the least possible present trouble. Were the Welsh blessed with the
climate of Naples, they would, every one of them, become pure
Lazzaroni,--as it is, they approximate to the Irish in their innate
indolence and love of dirt. Whenever the commissioners for the health
of towns receive their full power, they will have an Augean stable to
cleanse, comprising the whole Principality.

Even here, however, we are disposed to find some excuse for the
people. They have so few resident gentry, at least of the larger
proprietors; their country is so wild and so lonely; the difficulties
of poverty and bad weather which they have to contend against are so
great, that the philanthropical inquirer must make large allowances
for them on this head. The commissioners found most of the country
schools conducted in the most wretched buildings; but perhaps these
buildings were some of the very best and cleanest in the district:
they thought them neglected, and in bad repair; whereas the
inhabitants might have supposed that they "had done the correct
thing," and had adorned them in a style of lavish expenditure.

We might go on multiplying our extracts and our comments _ad
infinitum_, but we purposely abstain; and we shall conclude our review
of these highly important documents with one or two inferences that
seem to us obviously necessary.

In the first place, as long as the Welsh language cannot reckon, among
its literary treasures, the principal portion of the good elementary
books of instruction which have long been employed in England, and are
still issuing from the English press, it is obviously impossible to
place the education of the Welsh on the same level as that of their
Saxon neighbours. Not only should the best English books be translated
into Welsh--we mean for the instruction and amusement of the middle
and lower classes,--but translations might be made most advantageously
from other tongues; and the literature of Wales might become
permanently enriched with the best fruits of all nations. We by no
means coincide in opinion with those who would discourage the study of
Welsh, and would even attempt to suppress that language altogether; we
look upon it as one of the most interesting and valuable, though not
one of the most fortunate and gifted, of European tongues. In
_ancient_ literature, in poetry, and in an immense mass of oral
tradition, it is uncommonly rich, and, by the mere dignity of age, is
worthy of its place being ever kept for it among the languages of the
world. But, further than this, though it operates to a certain extent
as a social bar to the more intimate connexion of the Welsh and
English populations, it serves also as a strong bond and support of
Welsh nationality, and keeps alive in their breasts that indomitable
love of their country, and that spirit of national pride, which is the
best safeguard of the liberties of the realm, and its protection from
democratic invasion. It hinders the operations of centralisation--that
odious and destructive principle of government which Whigs and
Democrats are so fond of copying from their masters, the revolutionary
French; and it teaches the people to rely on their own resources, and
to preserve the ancient freedom of their country. In times like these,
when the aggressive levelling spirit of democracy is actively at work,
and when the ancient liberties of the country are gradually falling
beneath the scythe of radical innovation, any thing that may serve as
a check to the decline and fall of the empire is not to be lightly
despised or abandoned. The Welsh, like the Basques, like the Bretons,
like the Hungarians, have preserved their national language and
feelings, though all these are united to empires and people far more
powerful and numerous than themselves; and thus are destined to form
the most energetic and abiding portions of those empires, when the
excessive advance of civilisation, and the destruction of all national
virtues, shall have brought about their disruption and ruin. Let the
higher orders and the government of the country show, the former more
enlightened and more energetic patriotism, and the latter more
intelligence and foresight than hitherto. Let them provide the people
with the materials of education and instruction; let them call forth
the numerous learned men to be found amongst the clergy of the
Principality; let them require and pay for the formation of an
elementary literature, and the nucleus thus originated will grow
betimes into a goodly mass, fit for the work required, and itself
generating the means of its future increase. The natural acuteness of
the Welsh people is such--and the Commissioners bear ample testimony
to the fact--that, had they but books in their own tongue, the facts
of knowledge would be universally acquired. They would make as much
progress in secular as they now do in theological research; and were
their powers of acquisition well directed, the whole character of the
nation would undergo an elevating and improving change.

We would have them taught English as a foreign language--as an
accomplishment, in fact. It belongs to a totally different family of
languages, and must always be a foreign tongue to a Celt--but still it
may be acquired sufficiently for all the common purposes of life;
while all facts, all instruction, all matters for reflection and
memory, should be conveyed in the national tongue, the pure Cymric
language.

Government need not trouble itself by attempting to carry the details
of educational systems into operation; all that it is required to
supply is the moving and the controlling power; the various duties of
the great machine will be better fulfilled by the people at
large--that is to say, by the local authorities, the constituted
voices and hands of the national body.

We are aware of the many difficulties that are sure to meet any
government, or rather any political party, that should attempt at the
present day to carry into effect a scheme of general education. The
sectarian spirit of the country is so thoroughly excited, the minds of
the people are so thoroughly wild upon certain subjects, that any
thing like a patriotic sinking of interests for the general good is
out of the question; much less is it to be expected that, under Whig
leaders, the discordant members of the state would be inclined to
defer to the superior authority of the legislators. The predominance
of the democratic element in the present phase of the constitution of
England hinders the action of government, and injures in this, as in
most other respects, the very best interests of the country. Still we
cannot but think that, were there at the head of affairs a band of
statesmen in whose political integrity, private honour, and public
capacity, the country could firmly rely, the mass of the people might
be made to rally round their standard, rather than round the
gathering-posts of factious leaders, whether political or religious.
But at the present moment, when the tone of political morality and
parliamentary consistency is so low, when treason and tergiversation
are the order of the day, and when the undisguised pursuit of gain--by
fair means or by foul, but still by some means or other--is allowed to
usurp an undue place in the councils of the nation, it is in vain to
hope for any very satisfactory results.

We would say, follow out the Church scheme fearlessly and boldly, but
without intolerance--follow it out consistently and honestly, and you
will obtain more numerous and more worthy followers, you will produce
more permanent and more beneficial results, than by truckling to this
sect or to that, or by the vain endeavour to curry favour with all. At
the same time we think, with the commissioners, that to make the Bible
the sole book of education, as is the case in most schools, is a bad
plan; it brings the sacred volume itself into contempt and dislike,
and it limits the field of instruction in an undue degree. We would
introduce more of secular subjects even into the common schools, and
certainly not less of real religion; and to that end we would
endeavour to fit the teachers for their duties, and suit the
extensiveness of the schools to the amount of work to be done.
Religious education being maintained daily as a part, not as the
whole, of education, it should be made the exclusive topic of Sunday
education; and the amount of information on religious topics thus
gained would be found to be greater, in a given time, than when the
child's mind is bent to that one subject alone--the hardest, the
sublimest of all subjects--and when all his thoughts, all his ideas,
are concentrated on the Bible, the Prayer-Book, and the Catechism. In
this matter, however, the heads of the Church are the authorities with
whom the move for improvement ought to originate; and, would they but
act with energy and unanimity, there is no doubt that they would carry
the weight and influence of the nation along with them.

The third observation we have to offer refers to the lamentably
inadequate provision made, in a pecuniary point of view, for the
education of the people. Not only are the teachers totally unprepared
by previous education, but, even let their talents and acquirements be
what they may, their brightest prospect is that of earning less than
at any trade to which they may be take themselves--without any
prospect of ever, by some turn of fortune's wheel, amassing for
themselves a store for their declining years. Work, to be done well,
no matter what its nature may be, must be properly recompensed; no
system that is not adequately supported with funds can be expected to
continue in a state of efficiency--it will speedily degenerate,
decline, and ultimately perish.

Not to dwell upon truisms of this kind, we shall at once state what we
think would form a sufficient fund for the maintenance of a uniform
and effective system of public instruction in Wales, and the means of
carrying it into effect. We conceive that the advantages of education,
being felt by every man--even whether he be the direct recipient of it
or not--should be paid for out of a common fund, raised in an
equitable manner by the state. On the other hand, in an agricultural
country, where the main interests of the state are in the hands of the
great landed proprietors, and where the well-being and safety of the
whole depends upon the morality and the physical good of the labouring
classes, the magistrates of the country, and all the owners of land,
are most intimately bound up with the healthy action and welfare of
the whole people; nor can they by any means shift from their shoulders
the duty of providing for the happiness of their tenants and
dependents. For similar reasons, the merchants, manufacturers, and
other citizens of large towns, have a direct interest in the welfare
and in the in moral advancement of all the working and inferior
classes of the urban population. Now, we maintain that one of the
most efficient and ready methods for the promotion of industry, the
suppression of vagrancy, the diminution of drunkenness, sensuality,
and crime, and therefore the lowering of poor-rates, police-rates,
county-rates, &c., would be the giving the people a better religious
and secular education, and the raising of them in the scale of social
beings. It would follow from these premises, if assented to, that an
education tax would be one of the fairest and most directly
advantageous which could be imposed on the country; and we are further
persuaded that, as its effects began to make themselves felt, its
justice would be acquiesced in by all who should pay it.

We would therefore suggest, 1st, That a general poll-tax should be
raised on the country, without distinction of person, or age, or sex,
for the purposes of education; and, in order that people might not
murmur at it for its oppressiveness, we would fix it at the value of
one day's work of an adult agricultural labourer. 2d, On all the
acreage of the country we would recommend a land-tax to be levied,
with the same intent, and without exception for any class of property
whatsoever. This we would fix at some small fractional part of the
annual value of the land in rent charge,--say at one penny per acre.
3d, On all household property in towns, for tenements, belonging to
persons not in the condition of labourers, we would lay a similar tax
of a small fractional portion of the annual rent; and on all mining
and manufacturing property, wherever situated, we would impose a
certain small annual charge. To fix ideas, we will suppose that the
sum produced by this latter class of property should be equal to
one-half of that charged for the same purpose on the landed
proprietors. The sums to be raised may be thus calculated:--

1st., The entire population of North and South Wales, as ascertained
by the census of 1841, is 911,603: and the average rate of wages for
an able-bodied agricultural labourer may be safely estimated at 1s.
6d. per diem, as a minimum throughout Wales, A poll-tax, therefore, of
1s. 6d. per head on the _whole_ population, would produce a sum of
£68,375.

2d., The entire acreage of Wales is very nearly 5,206,900 acres; and a
land-tax of 1d. per acre would therefore produce £21,695.

3d., Estimating a tax on houses, and mining and manufacturing property
throughout Wales, at only half the amount of that raised on the land,
we should have a sum of £10,847.

The whole would stand thus:--

  Poll-tax          L.68,375
  Land-tax            21,695
  House-tax, &c.      10,847
                   ---------
                   L.100,917

Now assuming that, whether by adhering to the old division of parishes
for the formation of educational districts--and for many reasons,
religious as well as political, we should be sorry to see this
arrangement disturbed--there would be required, at the rate of at
least one school for each parish, the total number of 863 schools. But
on account of the increased size of some of the towns, and the
accumulation of mining population in several mountainous districts, it
might be necessary to provide more than this number. We will
therefore, at a guess, fix it at 1000, and this would furnish at least
one school for every 1000 of the whole population, adult as well as
infantine--a proportion which will be allowed to be abundantly
sufficient, when it is considered that such schools are intended only
for the lower classes.

To support, however, a school in a proper state of efficiency--that is
to say, to furnish it with properly trained teachers, male and female,
and with the requisite books and other instruments of teaching--we do
not think that we are overstraining the point if we assign the annual
sum of one hundred pounds as necessary. This sum might either be
divided in the proportion of sixty pounds per annum for a male
teacher, and forty pounds per annum for a female,--or it might most
advantageously, in some cases, be bestowed on a teacher and his wife,
supposing them both capable of undertaking such duties. Of course, in
all cases suitable buildings, including school-rooms for both sexes,
residences and gardens for the teachers, should be provided at the
public expense, and maintained in repair from a distinct fund. We
shall then perceive that the sum mentioned above, amounting in round
numbers to one hundred thousand pounds per annum, would be sufficient
for the purpose; and we think that it would not only be so, but that,
it would be made to furnish a sufficient sum for retiring and
superannuated pensions, on the principle adopted in several of the
Continental states, of an annual percentage being deducted from the
salaries of all civil servants to form a fund of this nature,
specially devoted to their own benefit. We do not throw out any
specific hints for the collection and management of this fund; but it
might be raised along with other local rates, and by the same local
officers, so that the smallest possible addition might be thereby made
to the cost of collecting it.

One part of this plan, however, without which the whole would be
inefficient, would be the forming of a body of inspectors, and the
establishing of training-schools or colleges for teachers. The latter
are already beginning to exist, and machinery for the former is now at
work under the direction of the Committee of Council. But we should
hope to see training-schools established on a much larger and more
efficient scale than at present; and we should desire to see the
appointment of inspectors, and the management of the education funds,
taken out of the hands of such a body as the Privy Council, and given
to the local and provincial authorities, civil and ecclesiastical, of
Wales. If such appointments remained in the hands of government,
political jobbing would act upon them with greater intensity than
through the medium of local interests and county influence; and, what
would be far worse than this, another impulse would be given to the
principle of centralisation, one of the most fatal for national spirit
and national freedom that can be devised, and which we are called upon
to resist at all times, but especially when a party of Whig
politico-economists, as wild and destructive in the ultimate
tendencies of their theories as the Girondists of France, are in
possession of the reins of power.

We say nothing on the subject of Sunday schools; we leave them
altogether to the consideration and support of the Church, and the
various sects in Wales, by whom, if they are wanted, they can be
efficiently maintained without any interference of the state. But we
call loudly upon the legislature of the United Kingdom to give at
least the initiative and the moving power to the natural inertness of
the Welsh people; and we would summon them, as they value the
happiness, the tranquillity, and the moral advancement of that portion
of the country, to take the matter of education under their primary
control, and to form a general system, harmonious in its manner of
working, comprehensive in its extent, and tolerant in its religious
tendencies. Much opposition and prejudice and clamour would have to be
combated, as upon every question seems now to be the case in what we
fondly consider the model of all political constitutions. But unless
the legislature and the statesmen at the head of affairs are prepared
to meet these obstacles, and to remove them in their sovereign wisdom,
they had better declare their incapacity openly, and renounce their
functions.



THE SILVER CROSS.--A CAMPAIGNING SKETCH.

FROM THE GERMAN OF ERNEST KOCH.[4]

  [4] This sketch is derived partly from the note-book, and partly from
  the conversation, of a young German, now living upon a small estate
  near Barèges in the Upper Pyrenees.


NIGHT-QUARTERS.

In the village of Careta, upon the mountains near the Arga, which
flows from the Pyrenees to Pampeluna, the wind whistled and the snow
drifted upon a stormy January evening of the year 1836. It was about
seven of the clock: José, a sturdy peasant, sat by his kitchen fire,
on which withered vine-branches blazed and crackled, and dried his
hempen sandals. Beside him knelt a haggard old woman, handsome in the
ugliness of one of those strongly-marked, melancholy, yellow
countenances, in which a legend of the Alhambra seems to lurk. Dressed
in rusty black, she crouched like an animal by the hearth, poking and
blowing at the fire, which sometimes broadly illuminated the remotest
corners of the room and rafters of the roof, at others was barely
sufficiently vivid to light up her mysterious old physiognomy.
Suddenly a tremendous gust of wind burst open the wooden shutter, and
howled into the apartment.

"_Dios!_ what weather!" croaked the old woman.

An affirmative _carajo_ was her husband's reply, as he knocked the dry
mud from his leathern gamashes against the edge of the raised
hearthstone.

"God help the poor troops in the mountains!" continued the old woman.
"Daughter, shut the window."

A young girl, who sat, spindle in hand, upon a wooden bench in the
gloom of the chimney corner, obeyed the order. Her coarse woollen
dress could not wholly disguise the graces of her form, as she tripped
across the kitchen through the fitful firelight, which shone upon her
gipsy features and clear brown skin, and upon the two long plaited
tails of jet-black hair that fell down her back nearly to her heels.
Before closing the window she listened, with the true instinct of a
vedette, to the sounds without. In a lull of the blast, her ear caught
the noise of distant drums, beaten not in irregular guerilla fashion,
but by well-trained drummers, in steady quick time.

"Father," cried Manuela, "troops are at hand."

"Nonsense, child: 'tis the garrison tattoo below at Larasuena."

"No, father, it draws nearer. 'Tis the French. Mother, hide the beds."

Beds were hidden, a sack of white beans was carefully concealed, the
family jackass was tethered in the darkest corner of the cellar-like
stable. Preceded by rattle of drums, two wet and weary battalions of
the French Legion marched into Careta, and after a few minutes' halt
the shivering alcalde was hurrying from house to house, allotting
quarters to the tired strangers.

An hour later I sat beside José's hearth, smoking a friendly
cigarillo, with the surly old peasant. Upon the earthen floor, at
various distances from the fire, at which sundry pair of white
gaiters, newly washed, hung to dry, lay those soldiers of my squad (I
was then a corporal) who had not fallen in that day's fight by
Larasuena. At a sort of loop-hole in the wall, looking out into the
street, a sentry stood. For a long while José sat with folded hands,
gazing at the fire. I did all I could to make him talk; told him about
German customs and German men; then spoke of Spain, of the
Constitution and so forth; less, however, if truth must be told, with
a view to his amusement than to that of the sweet-faced girl with the
long black locks who sat over her spindle in the opposite corner. At
last José's sullenness thawed so far that he asked me very earnestly
if the German jackasses were as big and as strong as those in Navarre.
What could I reply to such a question!

Suddenly a long shrill whistle was heard outside the house. "Keep a
bright look-out!" cried I, to the sentry at the loophole. Again all
was still. Father José dropped off to sleep; the patrona went down
stairs to fodder the donkey, and I addressed my conversation to pretty
Manuela. I know not how it was, but we got on so well together that
soon I found myself seated close beside her, one arm round her waist,
whilst the other hand played with a silver cross that hung from her
neck, and on which were engraved the words, "Mary, pray for me!" And
she told me of her brother Antonio, who was away from home, and of her
sister Maria, who was with relations at Hostiz, in the valley of the
Bastan.

"And where is your brother Antonio, Manuela?"

"My brother is--in the mountains. You seem good and kind, stranger;
you tell me you are not a Frenchman, but a German. Oh! if you meet my
brother in fight, do not kill him--spare him for my sake!"

"But, dear Manuela, how am I to know your brother? One Carlist is so
like another."

"No, no! you are sure to know him: he resembles me, and he wears upon
his breast a silver cross like mine. The same words are written upon
it, and not a bullet has touched him since he has worn it."

"So, your brother is a soldier of Don Carlos, your sister dwells in a
Carlist village, and your parents--at least your father, judging from
his looks when I spoke of the Constitution,--also hold for the
Pretender. Do you not fear Christino troops?"

"No, Señor--at least I should not, if they were all as good as you,
who protected me from that rude Italian.--_Dios!_" she exclaimed,
suddenly interrupting herself, and springing from her chair like a
scared deer. From under the bench on the other side of the fire peered
forth the dark countenance of a Piedmontese soldier, his checks
flushed with wine, his eyes sparkling with a sullen fire, his ignoble,
satyr-like features expressing a host of evil passions. He shot a
venomous glance from under his dirty eyelashes, then turned himself
round, grinding between his teeth an Italian malediction. He still lay
where I had violently thrown him, when, upon our first entrance, I
rescued Manuela from his brutality.

"To bed, girl!" screamed the old woman, who just then re-entered the
kitchen. Manuela went to bed, and I composed myself to sleep upon the
bench by the fire. It was eleven o'clock, and the silence in the
village was unbroken save by the howling of the storm and the
occasional challenge of a sentry.


IN THE MOUNTAINS.

The road from Pampeluna to France passes by a mountain of some size,
whose real name I have forgotten, but which our soldiers called the
Hill of Death, because, for a league around, it emitted an odour of
unburied corpses. Close to the road, but at a considerable elevation,
a conical peak springs from the hill-side.

Around this peak, upon a July night, about six months after the scene
at Careta, lay a column of Carlists, awaiting the dawn. There they
are, scattered about the fires, forlorn figures of unconquerable
endurance, barefoot, in linen trousers and thin cloth jackets, the
scarlet plate-shaped cap upon their heads. Burnt brown by the
Castilian sun, their daring picturesque countenances assume an
additional wildness of aspect in the red light of the watch-fires.
From one of these, Fernando, a handsome Arragonese lad, whose father
and brothers have been shot, and whose sister is a _fille-de-joie_ at
Saragossa, snatches a charcoal with his fingers, and places it upon a
stone, to light his paper cigar. Then comes Hippolito, a pale
emaciated boy of sixteen, and sets upon the fire a small pot of
potatoes, which he has carried with him since morning. The Carlists
caught him in Catalonia, and dragged him along with them, and often
does he swear a peevish oath that his death will be in the hospital.
Beside him lies Cyrillo, a desperate scapegrace from Estremadura,
intended for the university, but whom restlessness and evil courses
have brought under the banners. He has a piece of bacon on his
bayonet, and toasts it at the flame. Hard by, a brace of Andalusians
have got a guitar, and strike up a melody, so plaintive and yet so
strangely spirit-stirring, that a bearded dragoon, slumbering upon his
back, with his hands beneath his head, suddenly opens his great wild
eyes. One of his comrades stands near him, his arms folded on his
breast, gazing down wistfully into the valley of the Arga, now veiled
by the mists of evening, and which he perhaps for many a long day has
not dared to visit--as if the tones of the guitar brought melancholy
to his mind. Suddenly the measure is changed, and the musician breaks
into the lively fandango; a joyous Navarrese seizes the pensive
trooper by the arm and whirls him round, but receives in return a push
that sends him staggering against the guitar player, whilst he grasps
at his girdle for the ready knife. An obscene curse burst from
half-a-dozen throats; with fierce looks the two men confront each
other, but are separated by force, and again the guitar tinkles in the
night air, whilst Hippolito gathers up his potatoes, upset and
scattered in the scuffle. A dirty priest comes up, a decoration upon
his black coat, and enjoins order and peace. He has scarcely walked
away, when a soldier in handsome uniform rushes up to the fire, and
throws himself down, breathless and half fainting. He is a deserter
from the Christino regiment of Cordova. They give him unlimited wine,
and he tells them the latest news from the hostile camp. The _bota_
passes from mouth to mouth; and whilst the deserter sleeps off his
libations and fatigue, his new comrades cast lots for his good shirt
and strong shoes.

The same evening four battalions of the foreign legion were quartered
at Villalba, four leagues nearer to Pampeluna. Upon an open space in
the village, whence the sun had long since burned away the grass, a
party of Germans sat upon scattered blocks of stone, and discussed,
whilst a gourd of wine circulated slowly amongst them, an order just
issued to hold themselves ready to march at a minute's notice.

"Who knows," said one of them, a tailor from Regensburg, "whether we
shall be alive to-morrow? Let's have a song."

"A song, a song!" repeated another, a shoemaker from Rhenish Prussia,
who had found himself uncomfortable in the Vauban barracks in
Luxemburg.

"What shall it be?" cried a journeyman mechanic, who, when upon his
travels, ran short of work and money.

Before any one could answer, a capering Frenchman struck up,

      "Entendez-vous, le tambour bat, le clairon sonne," &c.

"Hold your infernal French tongue!" shouted the Germans. "Here's the
sergeant from Munich will give us a song."

The Bavarian, nothing loath, struck up a song, whose simple strain and
familiar words brought home and friends to the memory of all present.
The melody echoed far through the still evening air, and, when it
concluded, tears were in every eye, and no one spoke, save the
Regensburg tailor, who muttered,

"God take us safe out of this cutthroat country!"

The sun went down. A few pieces of ship-biscuit were shared for the
evening meal, and then the drums beat to roll-call, which was held in
quarters, and at whose next repetition many a man then present was
doomed to be missing.

That same night, twelve o'clock had scarcely struck, when the three
solemn taps with which the French _générale_ begins, resounded through
the village of Villalba. In less than ten minutes the battalions were
under arms, hurrying at quick step along the desolate road to
Larasuena. In a meadow, outside this village, half an hour's halt was
allowed, for the men to fill their flasks with vinegar and water, as a
remedy for the faintness occasioned by heat. Then the march continued.
The column had scarcely halted, for the second time, in rear of the
houses of Zubiri, when a sharp fire of musketry was heard from the
mountain above. At charging pace the weary troops hurried up the steep
acclivity. The sun was scorching hot; the knapsacks seemed
insupportably heavy. Nearer and nearer was the noise of the fight; in
the ranks of the ascending soldiers short suppressed gasps and groans
were heard. The tailor from Regensburg fell forward, with froth upon
his lips, and gave up the ghost.

On reaching a small level, we saw it was high time for our arrival.
The second regiment of the royal guard already gave ground, when the
cry "La Legion!" changed the fortune of the day. With fixed bayonets
our battalions rushed like tigers upon the factious ranks, which were
disordered by the shock. The Bavarian sergeant fell amongst five
Carlists, who settled him with their knives. A pale subaltern of the
factious came in contact with three of our grenadiers, and begged
piteously for mercy. But the grenadiers had no time; they cut a bad
joke in Swabian dialect, and brained him with their muskets. Of the
first encounter of the day, these are the only episodes I remember.
Suddenly the Carlist bugles sounded the retreat. We formed column and
hurried in pursuit, followed by the royal guard. From time to time the
enemy halted, till the bayonet again dislodged them. By turns our
battalions were sent forward as skirmishers. It was nearly noon. A
dying officer of ours begged me for a mouthful of vinegar. I had but
two; one for myself, and one for my comrade, whom I had not seen,
however, the whole of the day, and never saw afterwards. It was about
twelve o'clock when my company advanced to skirmish. The line
deployed, and as we slowly advanced, loading and firing, I had to pass
through the corner of a small thicket. Just as I entered it, I
observed a Carlist horseman, at its other extremity, fire his carbine
at one of our men. Then he disappeared amongst the trees, and five
seconds later I saw him riding towards me. "Surrender!" he shouted in
Navarrese patois, and stooped behind his horse's head. At my shot the
animal stood stock-still, and the rider fell from his saddle. Blood
streamed from a wound between neck and shoulder. I released his foot
from the stirrup, propped him up against a beech-tree, and unbuttoned
his jacket from over his panting breast. As I did so, a silver cross
fell almost into my hand. It hung from his neck by a ribbon, and upon
it were the words, "Mary, pray for me!" I had seen such a cross
before. "Open your mouth, Antonio!" I cried. He obeyed, and I poured
upon his parched tongue the last contents of my flask. He thanked me
with his dying breath. I concealed the cross within his jacket, and
followed the signal that called the skirmishers forward.


HIDDEN TREASURE.

A fortnight later, at about the same hour as in the previous January,
the Legion marched into Careta. As before, old José was seated upon
the bench in the chimney corner, making a cigarillo out of the stumps
of a dozen others, carefully treasured in his coat cuff; and the
patrona jumped up with a shrill "_Dios de mi alma!_" as the foreign
drums announced her former guests. "The old billets" was the
convenient order, as regarded quarters; and with shout and song, and
clatter of musket-buts, my company rushed up the well-known staircase.
The rough greeting over, and a demand for wine complied with, I
inquired after Manuela. "She is with friends in the mountains,"
grumbled the old woman.

It was ten o'clock. With four other non-commissioned officers I betook
myself, an iron lamp in hand, to the room allotted us. José and the
patrona had been long asleep. The soldiers lay for the most part in
the deathlike slumber of extreme fatigue, upon the chairs and in the
kitchen. The floor of our room was of tiles, affording a cold,
uncomfortable resting-place. As to bedding, it was not to be thought
of.

Whilst examining our dreary lodgings, one of my companions pointed out
an opening in the wall, closed up with square flat stones, laid upon
each other, but not cemented. Judging from the external aspect of the
house, we conjectured this condemned doorway to lead into another
apartment.

The suspicion that beds or wine were perhaps concealed there, induced
us to remove the upper stones, and when enough of them were out to
allow of ingress, my comrades hoisted me up to the opening, through
which I held the lamp, and saw a passage with several doors. Taking my
bayonet and havresack, I bid my comrades remain where they were, and,
promising an equitable division of spoils, I climbed over the wall.
Shading the lamp with my hand lest a ray should meet the eye of old
José, I moved along as noiselessly as possible, whilst behind me my
companions poked their heads through the opening, and made eager and
curious inquiries as to what I saw. In one corner I found a pile of
sheep's wool, which I threw out to serve as bed. In the room I found
some rude furniture, broken and worthless, old shrivelled goatskins,
empty casks, and the like. I was about to cease my investigation, when
I noticed a wooden partition cutting off the end of a room. There was
a door in it, which I opened. Whilst my comrades were busy spreading
out the wool, it revealed an alcove, containing a clean, white bed, in
which some one lay.

Hastily shading the lamp I gently closed the door. But perceiving that
the person in the bed, whoever it was, did not stir, I ventured
nearer, and beheld a mass of long black hair spread out in rich waves
over the snow-white sheet. The sleeper's face was turned to the wall;
another glance, and I recognised Manuela. My heart throbbed violently.
It was a hard fight, harder than that on the 4th July. She lay so
still and unconscious, breathing so softly, and her dark hair twined
so temptingly over the bed-clothes, like snakes out of paradise. But
upon her partially unveiled bosom lay the silver cross, and the
lamp-light shone upon the words, "Mary, pray for me!" Silently I shut
the door and returned to my comrades. Upon my assurance that I had
found nothing worth looking after, the stones were replaced in the
opening, and we lay down to sleep. But I have often slept more soundly
upon bare tiles than I did that night upon José's wool.

At daybreak the _diana_ called us, as usual, under arms, to wait the
return of the morning reconnoissance. After that, various duties
occupied me for some hours. Upon my return to the house, I had all the
difficulty in the world to appease Manuela's mother, who showered upon
us, to the astonishment of the whole company, every malediction the
Spanish language affords. The old lady had found the wool scattered
about our room, and naturally concluded that was not the full extent
of our depredations. Manuela now made her appearance, bathed in
tears--her presence in the house being already known, so her mother
supposed, to all of us.

It was again evening. The thunder rolled, and a heavy summer shower
poured down in torrents, when, as I ascended the stairs, a flash of
lightning showed me José equipped and girt for the road. Manuela hung
sobbing round his neck, and bid him God-speed. On my appearance, the
old peasant darted through the back-door; and a second flash gave me a
glimpse of his brown cloak as he strode over the garden fence and
disappeared across the country.

An hour later our drums beat for unexpected departure, and the
soldiers hurried out of the house. I lingered an instant, and, with my
arm round Manuela's waist, told her, in few words, my discovery of the
previous night. Her cheeks burned like flame, and she raised her great
dark eyes timidly and gratefully to my face. "May God repay it to your
sisters and mother!" were her words. "I said you were not like the
rest. But your home is far hence, and if the war spares you, poor
Manuela will soon be forgotten."

"Give me something whereby to remember you, Manuela. A kiss, if you
will."

"Take this cross. I give it you. Wear it in battle, as my brother
Antonio does his, and show it him if you meet in strife. May it shield
and accompany you to your distant home, and remind you sometimes of
the poor Navarrese maiden."

I pressed the sweet girl closer to my breast, took a farewell kiss,
and whispered, "Adieu, poor Manuela!" Just then, through the half-open
door, appeared the unclean countenance of the Piedmontese. He grinned
with rage and disappointment, and disappeared at Manuela's cry of
alarm.

Ten or twelve leagues south-west from Pampeluna lies the fortress of
Lerin, perched high upon the summit of a hill. Thence, a few weeks
after the preceding scene, the second division of the foreign legion
started suddenly at midnight, the object of the mysterious march
unknown even to the officers. When the column had reached the bottom
of the road that zig-zags down the hill, a peasant, tied, by
precaution, to one of the horses of the advanced guard, conducted them
rapidly across the Ega, through meadows and vineyards, and wild broken
country. It was very dark, and now and then a man or horse fell down a
bank or into a ditch. When day broke, however, it was discovered that
the wrong direction had been taken. The column went to the right
about, and reached, just as the sun rose, a beaten track leading
direct to Sesma, a village occupied by Carlist troops. Bright blazed
the bayonets in the sunbeams, betraying our presence to the foe we
were to have surprised. Whilst we gave the Carlists employment in the
adjacent woods and fields, our general made a dash into the village,
caught the alcalde, and, by threats of a short shrift and a sharp
volley, made him pay down a small portion of the long arrears due to
the legion.

Upon our orderly retreat to Lerin, effected in squares of battalions,
on whose skirts hosts of Carlist cavalry impotently hovered, we were
surprised to see our peasant guide led along with bound hands. When
the sight of the fort's artillery made the enemy cease the pursuit and
return to Sesma, the column was formed into one large square, a
drum-head court-martial was held upon the peasant, and preparation
made for his instant execution. Although well acquainted with the
country, he had led the troops astray, exposing them to great danger,
and partly frustrating the object of the expedition. Further proof of
his guilt was found upon him, in the shape of a letter from the
Carlist village of Hostiz. With bowed head, and in sullen silence, he
listened to his sentence, announced with a threefold rattle of drums.
For the first time the unpleasant duty devolved upon me of forming one
of the firing party. Heavens! how I started as I drew near to the
victim, and recognised old José from Careta. Poor Manuela! I trembled
as I looked round, expecting her to appear. Just then came pouring out
of the town, with a woman at their head, a crowd of peasants in Sunday
garb, hat in hand, and approached the general, slackening their pace
respectfully as they drew near. But Manuela's mother (she it was who
accompanied them) sprang forward like a fury, menacing the general
with her clenched fist and mad Cassandra-like countenance, and heaping
upon him curses such as only an angry Spaniard can lay tongue to. Her
shrill imprecations contrasted oddly with the humble and deprecating
entreaties of the men, and with the muttered prayers of José, who
awaited his last minute upon his knees before the firing party.

Permission given, one of the men stepped forward as spokesman.

"May it please your Excellency," said he to the general, "to spare
this man's life. He is unacquainted with the country. He first came
hither only a month ago, after his hearth had been ravaged, his family
scattered, his house burned. Be merciful, Señor. We will all be
sureties for his good behaviour. Let him return to his wife: and so
shall the blessed Mary and the angels comfort your Excellency in the
hour of agony!"

"No, no!" yelled the woman, sputtering with fury, her long grizzled
hair streaming around her distorted face. "No! they shall not comfort
him, the vile heretic! José Lopez! husband! die bravely, curse the
heretic dogs with thy last breath, and the angels will hear thee!
Curse upon ye, strangers, come to destroy our dwellings, to slay our
men, to slight our faith! Death and agony to your souls, pest in your
veins, ravens on your carcass, ashes on your threshold! Die, José,
for the King and the holy faith! _Viva la Santa Maria! Viva Carlos
Quinto!_"

Four men led away the peasants and the furious woman. The word of
command was given, and I had to aim at the breast to which, only a
month previously, poor Manuela had been pressed in the cottage at
Careta. Once more José exclaimed, in a loud voice, "Mary, pray for
me!" Then there was the rattle of a volley, the peasant sprang into
the air, and fell down upon his face, his jacket smoking with burnt
wadding.

The band struck up, and we marched back to Lerin.


THE WINE-SKIN.

Three days afterwards, on the 14th August, the legion made an
unexpected incursion into the valley of the Bastan, a district full of
strong positions, and formerly, for some time, the abiding place of
the Pretender, of whose cause its inhabitants were enthusiastic
partisans.

Moving with extreme rapidity, we swept, with small resistance, one
village after another. On our approach, soldiers, peasants, women, and
children, packed their beds upon jackasses, and fled with bag and
baggage to concealment in the mountains. Towards noon, every sign of a
foe having disappeared, we retired rapidly through the valley towards
the Arga, and on this retreat some plundering occurred in the
villages.

Arrived at Hostiz, I entered what appeared the best house in the
village. The streets were strewn with clothes, linen, and other
objects, dropped or thrown away by the fugitives. I met two soldiers
carrying large red curtains of heavy rich silk; others had laden
themselves with cheeses, others with honey or wine; one man had got a
large crucifix. Half-naked women ran screaming through the streets.
Eager for a draught of wine, for I was exhausted to faintness by the
extreme heat and by the fatigue of a long rapid march, I hurried up
the stairs. The house bore witness to utter wantonness of destruction.
Every thing was broken and smashed; and hence I was not a little
surprised to observe the good-humoured air with which a handsome young
woman, standing in the roomy vestibule, distributed wine to a large
party of our soldiers, who drank in greedy haste, laughing, singing,
and extolling the charms of their Hebe.

"Hallo! my girl, a drink of wine, for heaven's sake!"

I had scarcely uttered the words when an adjacent door opened; and,
with arms extended and dishevelled hair, Manuela rushed towards me.

"Give him none, Maria!" she cried; "and you," she added, seizing both
my hands, "for God and the saints' sake, drink not a drop!"

At the words, her sister Maria dropped the mouth of the wine-skin,
allowing the red liquor to gush over the floor, and disappeared. The
drums beat to fall in and march. But now the soldiers, an instant
before so joyous, sank down, one after the other, like poisoned flies,
writhing and bemoaning themselves upon the stairs and in the passage.
Manuela hung senseless upon my arm. I stooped to lay her gently on the
ground, when a musket was fired not three paces behind me. I looked
round. It was the Piedmontese, grinning horribly in mingled agony and
exultation, as he doubled himself like a worm in the pangs of poison.
But the wretch's aim had been too true. Her breast pierced by the
bullet, Manuela fell dead beside the other victims.

How beautiful she was, even in death, whilst her left breast poured
forth in a crimson stream the many sorrows she had sighed under! Poor
Manuela! How pale was now your cheek! How different the last farewell
kiss on your chill blue lips from that warm and thrilling one in
Careta!


THE HOSPITAL.

The military hospital at Pampeluna was formerly the palace of the
bishop, who fled to Don Carlos at the commencement of the war. Its
spacious halls and corridors were converted into twelve large wards,
four of them for wounded men, and four others for fever patients. Each
ward contained about fifty beds, in which, upon dirty mattresses,
Christino soldiers pined and suffered. Most of the sick of the foreign
legion there gave up the ghost. The nurses were sisters of the Order
of Mercy; but these, like nearly all Spaniards pertaining to the
church, were adherents of the Pretender, and any thing but zealous in
the discharge of their duty towards us. People spoke even of the
poisoning of soups and drinks given to the patients--a thing certainly
not impossible, all such matters being prepared by the sisterhood,
whose proceedings were but carelessly superintended.

In each of these wards, during the dead hours of night, a single lamp
burned, leaving the two extremities of the room in darkness. The
hospital being close to the town wall, there was never a lack of
night-birds, attracted to the windows by the smell of corpses. Day and
night the sisters moved about the wards, in white veils and black
dresses--a mass of keys, beads, and crucifixes, suspended at their
side. And frequent were the visits of the episcopal chaplain, Don
Rafael Salvador, preceded by bell-ringing urchins, and bearing the
last sacrament to some expiring sinner.

Repeated bivouacs in inclement weather, and especially that of the
11th March, at the foot of the Dos Hermanas, laid me, on the 15th
March 1837, seven months after the incident last related, upon a sick
bed in this house of suffering.

Four bloodlettings within two days had done something towards calming
the fever that burned in my veins, but still enough remained to beset
my couch with delirious images. Grim and horrible visages, pale,
mournful figures that seemed of moonshine, and vaguely reminded me of
my home, scenes from my childhood, and others from the war in which I
had been nearly two years a sharer, passed rapidly before me. Now it
was the tailor from Regensburg, with froth on his lips, expiring on
the mountain side; then old José, with sightless eyes and pierced by a
dozen bullets, danced a ghastly fandango at my bed-foot; and then I
beheld a colossal breast, white and beautiful, offering blood to drink
to a host of thirsty soldiers.

From such visions as these I one night awoke and lay with my eyes
fixed upon the lamp, which hung just opposite to me, revolving wild
and melancholy fancies in my fevered brain. Do what I would, Manuela's
image continually recurred to me, and with the strange pertinacity of
delirium I repeated to myself that she would come and rescue me from
my unhappy condition. In a bed behind me, an Andalusian prayed with
the chaplain, who threw a red silk coverlid over his emaciated body,
received his confession, and administered the holy wafer. At the
window a screech-owl uttered its annoying cries. Upon a bed opposite
to me a sick German sang--

    "Jetzt bei der Lampe Dämmerschein
    Gehst du wohl in dein Kämmerlein."

Further off another patient whistled a fandango; and next to me, upon
my left hand, an unhappy creature, frantic with fever, and bound down
upon his bed with leathern straps, wrought and strove till he got rid
of his coverings, and wrenched the bandage from his arm, which
forthwith sent up into the air a spout of blood from a recently opened
vein. For a moment the German's kindly song soothed and calmed my
perturbed ideas; but suddenly José gave a bound before me, and held up
his fist with a frightful laugh, and yelled out like a lunatic, "_Viva
Carlos Quinto!_" And Manuela wrung her hands till my two sisters came
and consoled and prayed with her. Then suddenly her pale face,
surrounded by a white veil, was bent down till it nearly touched mine;
and she said, in soft and tender tones:--

Poor stranger, will you drink?"

"Yes," I replied, and looked her full in the face. Manuela it was. I
well remembered the sweet countenance, first seen in Careta. I raised
myself, and would fain have seized hold of her, but she moved slowly
away, her rosary and golden crucifix and black gown rustling through
the room. It was no deception. Again Manuela came, and brought me some
cooling drink. Once more I looked her hard in the eyes. God! now I
remembered! It was the same beautiful woman who distributed the wine
at Hostiz and would fain have given me some. "Faugh!" I exclaimed, and
raised myself in bed to call the Piedmontese to shoot her. But she
bent soothingly over me, and laid hold of the ribbon upon which I wore
Manuela's silver cross. I thought she was about to strangle me; but
she smiled kindly, and showed me that she wore a similar cross upon
her breast. And she gave me to drink, and then took away the little
earthen jug, and disappeared at the dark end of the room. And I lay
thinking how like she was to Manuela, the poor girl in Careta, who
loved me and saved my life.

The same night--how long afterwards I cannot tell, perhaps five
minutes, perhaps two hours--the pale sad face again bowed over me.
Just then two hospital attendants bore away a corpse, rolled in its
bed-clothes. My neighbour, No. 50, cried out, "Pierre! they are
burying you!" and laughed horridly, whilst the German opposite sang
gently and mournfully:

    "Sei still! ich steh' in Gottes Hut,
    Der schützt ein treu Soldatenblut."

But close beside me a soft voice whispered: "Sleep, and be at rest;
God give thee peace and health. I am not Manuela--I am Maria. I found
thy cross, and I pray for thee. Thou shalt recover and return to thy
country!"

And her prayers and care prevailed. I did recover, and returned to
friends and home. But often still do I think of poor Manuela, and of
my loves and perils and sufferings in yon strange land beyond the
Pyrenees.



                 HEIGH-HO!

    A pretty young maiden sat on the grass,
      Sing heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho!
    And by a blythe young shepherd did pass,
      In the summer morning so early.
    Said he, "My lass will you go with me,
    My cot to keep, and my bride to be,
    Sorrow and want shall never touch thee,
      And I will love you rarely?"

    "Oh! no, no, no!" the maiden said,
      Sing heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho!
    And bashfully turn'd aside her head,
      On that summer morning so early:
    "My mother is old, my mother is frail,
    Our cottage it lies in yon green dale;
    I dare not list to any such tale,
      For I love my kind mother rarely."

    The shepherd took her lily-white hand,
      Sing heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho!
    And on her beauty did gazing stand,
      On that summer morning so early.
    "Thy mother I ask thee not to leave,
    Alone in her frail old age to grieve,
    But my home can hold us all, believe--
      Will that not please thee fairly?"

    "Oh! no, no, no! I am all too young,
      Sing heigh-ho! sing heigh-ho!
    I dare not list to a young man's tongue,
      On a summer morning so early."
    But the shepherd to gain her heart was bent;
    Oft she strove to go, but she never went;
    And at length she fondly blush'd consent--
      Heaven blesses true lovers so fairly.



REPUBLICAN PARIS.

[MARCH, APRIL 1848.]


Is there any former lover of Paris who imagines that, when the
barricades of the last insurrection have been removed, the
devastations repaired, and the street lanterns mended, Paris will
wear, with its republican face, the same aspect as it did of old? If
there be such a man, let him still cherish the fond delusion, and not
come and see. Or, would he learn the truth, let him try the experiment
of taking from the fairest face he knows and loves, the gay,
coquettish cap of gauze and ribbon, the light, butterfly-like
_chef-d'œuvre_ of the most tasty fancy of a French _marchande des
modes_, and let him put on that head the Phrygian cap of liberty, the
_bonnet rouge_, in all its startling coarseness of red cloth. He
thinks, perhaps, that the face will be the same, or at least wear the
same expression as before! Fatal mistake! Animated, gay with colour,
flushed with the red reflected tints, picture-like even, may be the
pretty face--but it will have utterly lost its former charm; it will
look staring, vulgar, swaggering, disordered, at best Bacchante-like.
Or, to take a more psychological comparison:--Let him think back upon
the time when he was in love, and wandered in the company of the
beloved, and try to remember how he looked upon the objects that
surrounded him. Of a surety, whatever their natural want of beauty
they wore a peculiar look of brightness; there was a magical veil of
rose-coloured charm upon all. Let him then reflect upon the aspect of
the same spot when _she_ was gone. The objects remained the same, but
certainly they wore not the same air to his eyes; they were the
identical objects he had looked upon before, and yet he could have
sworn that they were changed--that the whole landscape was
discoloured. And so it is with Paris. Streets, squares, and houses are
the same, but its moral appearance is totally altered: there is a
changed look in the very air; the impression on the mind is as
different as rose-colour is from gray upon the sense; the
psychological tint has been washed out, blurred away, and replaced by
a troubled, confused, indescribably unharmonious and uncongenial
colour.

But without attempting to convey to others a feeling impossible to
define, it is easy enough to point out the altered state of being of
the French capital in the outward physical aspect of republican Paris.
True, the marks of devastation have been almost entirely removed from
the Boulevards and principal streets with wonderful alacrity on the
part of the municipal authorities. Young trees have been planted on
the spots where the old ones were cut down to form barricades: they
look stunted, meagre, and unhappy enough, to be sure--very like the
young republic that their frail stems typify--but they manage to keep
up the look of the line of avenue. There they stand, all ready to be
cut down again for the construction of fresh barricades, if ever they
grow big enough before they are wanted, which is certainly a very
doubtful matter. The asphalte is already laid down once more in the
holes of the broken-up _trottoirs_, or at least smoke and stench
enough prevail in the labours of plastering it down; and in a short
time the iron railings of the Boulevard du Rempart will again prevent
drunken citizens in smocks from falling down into the street below; at
all events, there is mortar and solder enough ready on the pavement to
do the work. On the opposite side of the way, that fatal building, the
Hotel of Foreign Affairs, before which so frightful a scene of carnage
was acted, looks much as it did of yore--perhaps only a little
dirtier, a little more public-office-like--although young citizens _en
blouse_ mount guard before its gates instead of soldiers of the line,
and on its walls, smeared with blood-dipped fingers, glare before
one's eyes, unwashed away by rain, the startling capitals--"MORT A
GUIZOT." But it is to be presumed that the eyes of passers-by will get
used to the bloody words--forgotten, perhaps, before many months in
other visions of blood--perhaps smeared over in their turn by "_Mort
à_ ----." Who can tell? The pavement has been long since restored to
the streets; although, to tell the truth, here and there the
disjointed, ill-replaced stones still slightly lift their heads to
tell a tale of past devastation, and proclaim their readiness to rise
again at a moment's warning; and _fiacres_ jolt uneasily over
them--very much like the Provisional Government over the rough work
left them to stumble against by the Revolution. But, upon the whole,
Paris has nigh recovered its former material look, and might almost
cheat the wanderer, who looks only upon stone walls, and pavements,
and lamp-posts, into the belief that it has undergone no change, and
retained no scars from its late burning eruptive disorder, unless he
stroll past two spots which startle him into a recollection of the
truth. Here the long façade of the palace of the Tuilleries, its
window-panes all smashed, its shutters shattered--the broken casket of
royalty! There the quondam Palais-Royal, its walls still blackened by
the bonfires of royal furniture lighted in its courts; its windows
paneless, its once flowered terraces bare or boarded with planks. And,
opposite, the smoked walls of that ruined building, on the other side
of the square, where the last defenders of royalty were shot down, or
were flung back to perish in the blazing pile of the vast guard-house.

But if Paris has thus washed away its blood and dirt, thus mended its
rent garments, thus patched over its scars, where then is the great
change? Come and see! The scenes with which the streets of republican
Paris teem are such as those who have only known the city in its
kingly garb have never witnessed.

What was the aspect of Paris formerly on one of those bright
champagne-like spring days, when the Parisian butterflies of all
classes, the humble gray moth as the sparkling tiger-fly, came forth
to sun themselves in the golden air? There were crowds--but listless,
easy, careless crowds, that sauntered they knew not whither, and
turned back they knew not why--crowds of beings who ran over each
other, and almost over themselves, as they fluttered hither and
thither, enjoying the brightness of the sky without rendering
themselves any reckoning of their enjoyment. There are still crowds in
the streets; but no longer listless, easy, careless crowds. They form
in large groups, and knots, and circles on the pavement, and at street
corners, and at the entrance of galleries and passages; and, from the
midst of the mass, if you can get near enough to hear, comes the sound
of haranguing or of disputing. Each group is an _al fresco_ club in
which the interests of the country at large are being discussed; and
round about is ever a dark murmuring, and a rumour, and a ferment--and
sometimes minor disputants break off from the parent knot; and
presently they form a nucleus for a fresh encircling crowd; and
another group takes up its standing; and a great banian-tree of
politicising knots drops its branches, which thus take root up and
down the Boulevards, far and wide, until the whole long avenue is
planted with separate little circles of disputants or spouters. Here a
well-dressed man assures his unknown auditors that the arbitrary and
despotic measures of an obnoxious Minister of the Interior destroy all
confidence, and prepare the ruin of the country, with the fear of
another Reign of Terror: there a workman on a bench, with violent
gesture and inflamed countenance, declares that the salvation of the
republic, one and indivisible, hangs upon the despotism--he gives it
another name--of the same Minister of the Interior--for the time
being, the hero of the people. But think not that the _blouse_ is
sundered from the frock-coat, or the varnished boot from the clouted
shoe. Here you see a young _élégant_ of the Faubourg St Germain, his
legitimist principles and his old dynastic hopes prudently concealed
behind the axiom, "All for France! _Français avant tout!_" discussing
amicably a knotty point about elections, or the measures of the
Provisional Government, with an unshaved artisan in a smock: and look!
they are of one mind--or apparently so--and the kid-gloved hand grasps
the rough, callous, toil-hardened palm. Here again a good
_bourgeois_, a shopkeeper, in his uniform as a National Guard, the
grocer of your street corner maybe, holds _Monsieur_ the ex-Count, his
customer, by the button, to develop his last republican scheme for the
certain remedy of the financial crisis. A little further on, a
dark-browed man, in a ragged coat, with a tricolor cockade, scarcely
concealing the blood-red ribbon beneath, declares to a knot of young
schoolboys, that the only method to avert the general misery is by the
spoliation of the vile rich; but meets with little sympathy, and goes
away scowling, as if he thought that his time would yet come. And here
again a _gamin_, a very child, with his snub nose insolently cocked in
the air, his sabre bound about his body, and his musket on his
arm--for he just comes from keeping guard--is holding forth upon the
interests of the Republic to a red-faced, mustached old gentleman, who
looks like an old general; and who smiles good-temperedly on the
urchin, and listens, until the young patriot thinks probably that he
has sufficiently enlightened "granny" upon the art of sucking
republican eggs, and swaggers off, screeching _Mourir pour la Patrie_,
at the top of his shrill voice. And around each of these minor centres
of two suns is all the hemisphere of listening planets and satellites.
And thus every where is a fusion, according to the best-established
republican principles of _égalité_: and no great harm done, were the
doctrine to rest there--every where ferment, commotion, murmur,
movement. But the old Parisian _flaneur_, with his easily satisfied
curiosity, his desultory wanderings, his careless movements--and what
Parisian of the street-crowds, man, woman, or child, had not formerly
more or less of the spirit of a true _flaneur_?--is gone from the
streets of Paris. A _citizen_ has something else to do than _flaner_:
he feels all the weight of the interests of the country on his own
individual shoulders; and he has no time now but for making harangues,
on which the welfare of France depends, and discussing political or
social questions, equally for the welfare of all humanity. It is
wonderful how quickly the change has come over the spirit of his
dream. But fashion and contagion work miracles.

Come! look at this picture now. It is a bright moonlight night. The
beams of the full moon are whitening the long line of elevated columns
of the Bourse. In the large, open, moonlit _place_ before it are
crowds--every where crowds--in isolated circles again, looking like
clumps of little wooded islands in a glistening lake. Let us approach
one of the dark masses. In the midst of the circle stands a young
fellow, bare-headed, shaking his fair locks about him most
theatrically, and "baying at the moon." He is mounted on a tub, or
some such temporary pulpit. His arms are tossed aloft in the moonlight
with such energy that we feel convinced he fancies himself a second
Camille Desmoulins animating the Parisian population against the
tyrants of the country. We get as near as we can, and we now catch his
words. He is, in truth, haranguing against tyranny, but the tyranny of
the shopkeepers; and he calls upon all _citoyens_ and true patriots to
join him in a petition to the Government for the closing of shops on
Sundays and holidays at twelve o'clock, instead of three in the
afternoon! But the mass around does not seem to catch his enthusiasm;
for I see none of those shifting lights in the _chiaro-obscuro_ of the
crowd, that would indicate one of those electric movements that fall
upon popular masses, under the influence of inspiration. Now, he
cries, "_Vive la Republique!_ citizens, friends, let us to the
Faubourg St Antoine!"--the workman's quarter, where _émeutes_ are
generally cooked up. But no one seems inclined to follow him into that
distant region, in order to get up a shop-shutting insurrection; and
more than one voice calls out, "_plus souvent!_" or, _Anglice_, "I
wish you may get it!"

Come! here is another picture. The night this time is dark and
drizzly. Upon the pavement of the now naked flower-market, beneath the
quiet ghostly white walls of the Madeleine, stand thick groups of men:
there are some hundreds of them--some in cloaks, some in thick coats,
some with their hats slouched down upon their brows, all wearing, in
their several patches of murmuring forms, an air of conspiracy, which
is greatly increased by the sombre and inclement state of the night.
And conspirators they are--but bold-faced conspirators in the face of
a dripping heaven. In republican Paris, however, there is, _as yet_,
no police to prevent conspiracy: and in this instance the plotters are
not conspiring against republican France, but against monarchies and
empires. The dusky forms are those of the German democrats, who are
holding a desultory council for the raising of a German army to go and
conquer the liberties of the great German republic they intend to
found. To-morrow their address to the "_citoyens Français_," calling
on them to lend arms and give money towards the recruitment of their
force, will be on all the walls of Paris. In a day or two a few
hundreds will be off, with the full conviction that they are to mix
their own republican leaven of sourness into all the freshly baked
German constitutional governments, and proclaim their republic
wherever they go. They are talking, in this bigger group, not only of
"breaking tyrant-chains," but of "wreathing laurels for their own
brows."

Think not also that the Boulevards retain their glittering aspect of
rich decorated shops, teeming with the luxury of colour and gilding as
before. We are in the midst of a financial crisis, and misery and want
are increasing daily. Trade has ceased with the want of confidence;
ruin has fallen on many; workmen have been dismissed, and shop-boys
turned adrift in hundreds upon the streets; and, in spite of the
"roasted larks" all ready for hungry mouths, and "showers of gold"
which the Government promises as about to fall from the heaven of the
republic upon the working classes, it is not only on the faces of the
tradespeople at their shop-doors, or behind the mockery of their
plate-glass windows, that there is impressed a gloom, but upon the
many hundreds and thousands who seek work and cannot find it, and who
wander up and down with hanging heads, or while away their weary hours
in lounging about the outskirts of the disputing groups. See! how many
shops are shut! See! how sadly the placard of "_boutique à louer_,"
upon the closed doors, meets the eye at every ten steps, and tells a
tale of bankruptcy; how many rows of dismal shutters, like coffin-lids
erect upon their ends, give by day to the streets that funereal look
they formerly only gave by night; and chalked upon these shutters are
still the words--"_armes donnés au peuple_," a still remaining
_souvenir_ of the days of tumult, disorder, and bloodshed, when every
house in Paris was scrawled over by the same announcement, in order to
prevent the forcible entry of the mob into private dwellings to carry
off defensive weapons. If we step aside into one of those
monster-shops, with their vast corridors, and avenues, and galleries,
and staircases, which lately were so crowded that it was difficult for
customers to be served even by the hundred _commis_ within, what a
scene of desert listlessness meets our eyes! There is scarce a
solitary customer who wanders amongst their long galleries, vainly
draperied and beshawled with all the rich wonders of modern
manufacture. The weary-looking shop-boys, the few that remain, run out
of breath from one end of a long gallery to another to get what you
want, for they have now several departments of the establishment under
their care. There is not a trace here of Paris as it was.

Come out in the streets again! What has become of the bright look they
wore? There are no longer the _belles toilettes_ of the last Parisian
fashion--no gay dresses, or but a scanty, worn-out, tawdry show--none
of the ancient splendour of rich Paris. A few _élégants_, it is true,
familiar faces, may be still met upon their former lounging haunts on
the Boulevards; but they are few, and their varnished boots even have
a dull lustreless look, that is perfectly sympathetical with the
general gloom. Several, certainly, may be met in the uniform of the
National Guard, but with such an altered, any thing but "lion"-like
mien, that you do not recognise them at first, and cut half your best
acquaintances. The equipages which formerly dashed hither and thither
over the pavement, are now _raræ aves_ in the streets; and the few
who exhibit thus openly their superior wealth have, for the most part,
considered it advisable to have the armorial bearings upon the pannels
of their vehicles painted over. Most of the upper classes have put
down their carriages, and sold or sent away their horses. The
unfortunate "rich," however, are in sad straits; if they show
themselves _en voiture_, while their humbler neighbours walk on foot,
they may stand a chance, in the new realm of "_égalité_," of having
their ears saluted with the menacing cry of "_à bas les
aristocrates--à bas les riches!_" if they restrict their expenses and
reduce their establishments, they run the risk of being seriously
denounced as favourers of the "_conspiration de l`économie_," which
they are supposed to form in order to injure the republic by refusing
to spend their money. Where the people are lords and masters, the
upper classes have evidently a far harder game to play, and much less
tolerance to expect, than in the contrary rule. In the aspect of the
streets, then, there is not a trace of Paris as it was.

How looks the scene? There are plenty of ill-dressed men moving about
with anxious faces: they are the hungry crew from the provinces, come
to solicit places in the new order of things, and snatch what morsel
of the cake they can in the general scramble. They may be known by the
size of their tricolor cockades, and streaming ribbons at their
buttonhole; for they think it necessary to proclaim, as flauntingly as
they can, by symbol, the republican principles which, they suddenly
find out, always and from all times, although unknown to themselves,
animated their souls. And _blouses_ there are in plenty, as of course.
They are the kings of the day, and they are not yet chary of their
royal persons, or tired of exhibiting the consciousness of their
royalty in the streets. Some of these _braves citoyens_ have got far
beyond the comparison, "drunk as a lord"--they are "drunk as an
emperor:" and with their ideas of aristocratic power, and their maxim
of "all for us, and nothing for nobody else," why should they not be?
Besides, as they choose to have much pay and no work, how could they
better employ their time? The uniforms of the National Guards are now
almost more numerous than the frock-coat and round hat; and though so
fallen from their high estate before the frowning demonstration of the
people, these former _soi-disant_ defenders of the liberties of their
country assert a certain predominance in the aspect of the moving
scene. Where so lately arms were never seen, having been strictly
prohibited by orders of the police, now pass by you, at all times,
bands of armed men, in tolerably ragged attire, or _en blouse_, with
muskets on their arms, their white sword and cartouche belts crossing
their breasts, and little bits of card-paper stuck in their caps.
These are small battalions of the newly recruited _garde
mobile_--recruited chiefly from the idle refuse of the people; and as
they march hither and thither continually, they seem still to have a
faint idea that they are obeying orders from their officers: but how
long this fancy of obedience and discipline will be still entertained
among them, is a very ticklish question. Some of them are standing
sentinels at the gates of the government buildings and public offices,
in lieu of the soldiers of the line that formerly met your eye there.
Here again, before the Hotel de la Marine, are a few sturdy-looking
sailors, the most honest in physiognomy of most of the individuals you
meet; and with their blue dresses, and ribbon-bound glazed hats, give
a new feature, and not an unpicturesque one, to the street scene. A
few soldiers still roam about in desultory manner; the jealousy of the
people will not allow of any armed force but their own within the
walls of Paris; and they have a debauched demoralised look that they
wore not of old; for they no longer obey orders, wander about at will,
and return to their barracks only when they want to be fed. Without
seeking for any marked republican fashion, there may be thus found
sufficient change in the outward attire of the general throng to show
at once that you are in the streets of republican Paris, and not Paris
as it was. And yet, specimens of the fantastic republican attire of a
gone-by time, the recollections of which few, one would think, would
wish to recall, are not altogether wanting. A few _bonnets
rouges_,--the Phrygian caps of liberty,--with tricolor cockades on one
side, startle the eye sometimes: some adventurous female of the lower
classes crosses your path now and then with a similar _coiffure_, and
in a tricolor dress of red, blue apron, and white collar; and here and
there a tricolor-bedecked fellow, with a fanner in his hands, invites
you to witness his feats of republican jugglery. This, however, is the
mere child's play that mocks an old comedy,--an old tragedy, I should
have said. Little is as yet done to parody that fearful epoch of
French history: people do not even address each other as "_citoyen_"
and "_citoyenne_." The name appears only in public documents. What
King People may require, when it feels more fully its own
strength--what comedy, or what tragedy, of old times it may choose to
act again, remains to be seen upon the dark and gloomy page of the
future. The new-born giant only stretches his arms as yet, and crushes
a fly or two in sport; as yet he scarcely knows his awful power.

Now listen to the street-cries in the formerly orderly thoroughfares
of the capital. What an incessant screeching of voices,--rough,
shrill, clear, and husky--fills the air, and, if not deafens, tears
the ears. From an early hour of the morning until after midnight, the
hoarse screaming ceases not in the streets. Wo betide the nervous and
impressionable! they are sure to go to bed nightly with a headach. All
this eardrum-rending clamour has reference only to one object of
all,--that of the necessary daily food of republican Paris--of the
newspapers. Their name now is legion. With one ambitious exception,
all the old established newspapers are submerged in this deluge of
republican prints. We have now two or three "_Republiques_," "_La
Reforme_," "_La Liberté_," "_Le Salut Public_," "_La voix du Peuple_,"
and who can tell how many other "voices" besides, including "_La voix
des Femmes_;" for the milder sex already lifts its voice still more
fiercely if possible than the ruder. But it would be as difficult to
enumerate all the names of the demons in a fantastic poet's
"_inferno_," as all the titles of the new republican newspapers that
howl around one in the distracted streets of Paris. There is one, as
was before said, that is screeched more noisily, more assiduously,
more sturdily, than all the others; and the sounds of its hawking ring
long in the ears after the streets have been left, and even pursue the
bewildered street-wanderer to his bed, and in his dreams. It weighs in
weight of noise against all the other papers of Paris taken in the
mass. Listen! What do you hear? Nothing but "_Démandez la Presse!_"
"_La Patrie!_" "_Démandez la Presse!_" "_La voix des Clubs!_"
"_Démandez la Presse!_" "_La vrai Démocrate!_" "_Démandez la Presse!_"
and so on to the "crack of doom." It is the journal of an intriguing
man, of strong sense, and stronger ambition, who has not yet obtained
that power at which he grasps; but as the whole paper is for one
_sou_, it will be strange if, with this active system of living
puffing, he arrive not at some great pinnacle, or fall not into some
deep abyss. Ears, however, will get accustomed to the cannon of the
battlefield; but the harassed spirit gets not easily accustomed to the
bodily assaults of every moment. At every step newspaper-venders
obstruct your path, rushing down upon you like cab-drivers in the
streets of Naples: the thousand rival sheets of printed paper are
flared in your face, thrust into your hand, forced into your bosom,
ten at a time, with the accompanying howl of "only a _sou_!--only five
_centimes_!"

Suppose that, for a moment--a bold supposition!--you have escaped from
the attacks of these invading hordes of republican journalism, you
must not fancy that your future path is unobstructed. Of course, in
republican Paris, a street-police would be considered as the most
frightful of tyrannies; universal license is the order of the day.
Besides the politicising and haranguing crowds already mentioned, your
course is hemmed by countless others. Here is a juggler--there a
quack-doctor--there a monkey--here a pamphlet-vender; and each has its
thick encircling throng of idlers around it. And, alas! how many there
are who have now no business but to idle. The thickest crowd, perhaps,
is round a long-haired meagre fellow, who is crying "_Les crimes de
Louis Philippe, et les assassinats qu'il a commis--all for two
sous!_" to an admiring and applauding throng of the lowest classes.
Some better feelings murmur at this useless ass's kick at the dead
lion; but they are few. Move on! There is another obstructing crowd
before a host of caricatures on the walls; of course, they are all
directed against Louis File-vite," as he is termed, and his accolyte
"Cuit-sot." There is a rare lack of wit in them, be they allegorical,
typical, or fanciful; but they are sure to attract a gaping and a
laughing throng. Move on again, if you can! You find two or three
_hommes du peuple_, in _blouses_, planted before you, who cry,
authoritatively, and without budging themselves to the right or to the
left--"_Faites place, nom de Dieu!_" And you, of course, make room;
and if you are disposed to reverence, you will take off your hat to
them too; for these are your lords and masters,--what say I? your
kings! and no autocrat was ever more despotically disposed. Move on
again, if you can! You will stumble over the countless beggars
stretched across the pavement, or squatting in gipsy-like groups, or
thrusting wounds and sores into your face. Many there may be real
sufferers from the present misery, but the most are of the got-up
species. It is now the beggars' saturnalia; they keep high holiday in
the streets. The people have cried "_A bas les municipaux--à bas les
sergents de ville!_" Those execrable monsters, the agents of a
tyrannical power, have been driven away, if not massacred, in the last
"three glorious days:" and the people want no police,--"the great, the
magnanimous, the generous, the virtuous," as the Government calls it
in its proclamations.

Try to move on once more! Before the walls, all plastered with
handbills of every kind, are again throngs to read and comment. On
every vacant space of wall, at every corner, are posted countless
addresses and advertisements. The numerous white bills are decrees,
proclamations, addresses, and republican bulletins of the Provisional
Government, all headed with those awful words, "_Republique
Française_," which make many a soul sink, and sicken many a heart,
with the remembrance of a fearful time gone by. And decrees there are
which hurry on the subversion of all the previously existing social
edifice, without reorganising in the place, destroying and yet not
building anew;--and proclamations more autocratic and despotic, in the
announcement of the reign of republican liberty, than ever was
monarchic ordinance;--and addresses to the people, couched in vague
declamation, telling these rulers of the day, "_Oui, peuple! tu es
grand--oui, tu es brave--oui, tu es magnanime--oui, tu es
généreux--oui, tu es beau!_" with an odious flattering such as the
most slavering courtier never ventured to bestow upon the most
incensed despot;--and bulletins declaring France at the pinnacle of
glory, and happiness, and pride--the object of envy and imitation to
all people. Private addresses from individuals or republican bodies
there are also innumerable, in the same sense; until one expects to
see angels' wings growing behind the backs of every _blouse_, forming
harmonious contrast with the black unshaven faces. But we are far from
being at the end of the long lines of handbills, that give Paris the
look of a city built up of printed paper. Here we have announcements
of clubs--the _mille e tre_ noisy mistresses that court the
fascinating, seductive, splendid Don Juan of a Republic; there are
four or five in every quarter of the town, almost in every street. And
then come their _professions de foi_; and then _their_ addresses to
the people, and their appeals, and their counsels to the Government,
and their last resolutions, and their future intentions--say, their
future exactions. Most greet the fall of the social edifice with
triumph; but few, if any, let you know how they would reconstruct
anew: some boldly state their object to be "the enlightenment of a
well-intentioned but ignorant Government, which it is their duty to
instruct:" others call down "the celestial vengeance, and the thunders
of heaven, on their head, if ever they should deceive or lead astray
the people." Here again we have petitions to Government, and demands,
and remonstrances from individuals or small bodies--delegates, they
tell you, of the people's rights;--some wild and inflammatory, some
visionary to the very seventh heaven of political rhapsody, but all
flattering to the _Peuple Souverain_, whose voice is the _voix de
Dieu_! Here again we have whole newspapers pasted on the walls, with
articles calling upon the people to take arms again, since their first
duty to their country is "mistrust." Now a proposition to tax the
revenues of the rich in a progressive proportion of one per cent for
every fortune of a thousand francs, two for every two thousand, fifty
for every fifty thousand, "and so on progressively,"--without stating,
however, whether those who possess a revenue of a hundred thousand
francs are to pay a hundred per cent, or what is to become of those
who possess two hundred thousand. Now, a menacing call upon the
Government to perform their duty in exacting the disgorgement of that
vile spoliation of the nation, the indemnity granted to the emigrants
at the Restoration, as belonging to the people alone. Here again are
numerous addresses and appeals from and to all foreign democrats in
Paris--Germans, Belgians, Italians, Poles--calling for meetings, and
begging the "_braves Français_" to give them arms and money to go and
conquer the republics of their respective countries by force. Here
again, other notices from all trades, and companies, and employments,
appointing meetings for the consideration of the interests of their
_partie_; tailors, café-waiters, bootmakers, _choristes_ of theatres,
_gens de maisons_, (servants,) even to the wandering hawkers on the
public ways, and lower still, all wanting to complain to the
Provisional Government of the restraint laid on their free rights.
Here again, proposals for congratulatory addresses, and felicitations
to the Government, from all manner of various representatives of
nations resident in Paris. Here again, ten or twelve solitary voices
of _braves citoyens_, proposing infallible remedies for the doctoring
of the financial crisis. Here again, advertisements, in republican
phrase, recommending to the "_citoyennes_," "now that the hour is
come, to take up their carpets," some especial wax for their floors;
or reminding the "_Citoyens Gardes Nationaux_," that, "in this moment
of the awakening of a country's glory, when they watch over the
interests of France, and are indefatigable in patrolling the streets
of the capital," the _citoyen_ "so and so" will cut their corns with
cheapness and ease! And all these are pasted about in confused
pell-mell; all are headed with the necessary "_Vive la Republique!_"
Wonder then not, at the thick crowds about these documents, all
treating of a country's weal, all announcing some new and startling
design, all devoured by eager eyes. Wo betide, however, the _citoyen_
who may leave his house door closed for a whole day!--he will find it
barricaded with plastered paper from top to bottom on the morrow; or
the shopkeeper who may lie too long a-bed--it will be a difficult task
for him to take down his placarded shutters: and both will stand a
chance of getting hooted for venturing to displace a printed paper
headed with the talismanic words, proclaiming individual liberty of
person and opinion. No tyranny like a mob tyrant, I trow.

_Apropos_ of advertisements, the play-bills will no less startle the
ancient _habitué_ of Paris, were he now again to return to his old
haunts. The names, formerly so familiar to his eyes, are gone in many
instances. The old Académie de Musique is now the Théâtre de la
Nation; the Théâtre Français, the Théâtre de la Republique; the
Théâtre du Palais Royal, the Théâtre Montansier. In this confusion he
will be still more confounded by the composition of the bills: every
where the announcement of patriotic songs and chorusses, sung between
the acts--of _àpropos_ pieces, allegorical or historical--of titles
such as "_Les Barricades_," "_Les Trois Revolutions_," "_Les Filles de
la Liberté_," "_La Revolution Française_," and so forth, throughout
all the theatres in Paris. Even in the ex-Théâtre Français he will
scarcely trust his astonished eyes to see that "Mademoiselle Rachel
will sing the _Marseillaise_ between the acts." Oh! theatre-loving old
_habitué_ of Paris, you will think that your wits have gone astray,
and that your senses are deceiving you! The new names of streets will
no less bewilder your mind. All that smacked of royalty, or dynasty,
or monarchic history have already republicanised themselves, as is the
old wont of Paris streets under every change of government: there are
many that have long since forgotten all the hundred and one names that
they have already borne. Then you will know how to pity the
embarrassment of an unlucky man who lived in the Rue Royale St Honoré.
On going out in the morning of the 25th of February, he found
unexpectedly that he lived in the Rue de la Republique. Well, he made
up his mind to that; but the Rue Rambuteau had already claimed this
glorious title; so the Rue Royale had to make shift with that of the
Rue de la Revolution. But now came again another prior claim; and the
ex-Rue Royale was again despoiled. Now it has no name at all: and the
poor individual in question, as far as his direction goes, might as
well live in the ruins of Palmyra.

But to return to the outward aspect of republican Paris.

Hark! what a noise of awkward drumming! and see! a host of men of the
lower classes comes pouring down the street, in hundreds--nay, in
thousands. Several banners are borne among them: they shout "_Vive la
Republique!_" and sing with that utter bold disregard of time, which,
the French themselves would tell you, is peculiar only to supposed
unmusical England. The _Marseillaise_ or the now so popular _Mourir
pour la Patrie_, or the _Ca ira_ of fearful memory; and interlard
their discordant efforts at chorus with screams of "_à bas les
aristocrates!_" Scarcely has the horde rushed past you, than there
comes another, and another, and another, until your brain whirls with
the unceasing throngs. Now it is a troop of women, banners also at
their head; now again a long line of more orderly, and better dressed
men; but they cry "_Vive le Gouvernement Provisoire!_" Now again a
band of ruffian fellows, with the howl of "_à bas les riches!_" They
cross your path at every step, these marching bands. Sometimes they
are deputations of all the different trades, or subdivisions of
peculiar branches of handiwork--tailors, joiners, scavengers,
paviours, sign-painters, wet-nurses, cooks, and so forth, as far as
the imagination or the memory can reach in enumeration, and still
further; and they are all streaming to the Hotel de Ville, to harangue
the Provisional Government on their several rights and wrongs, desires
and demands. Sometimes they are mere bands promenading for the sake of
promenading, screeching for the sake of screeching, and making
demonstrations, because whatever is theatrical, whatever smacks of
show and parade, whatever gives them the opportunity of exhibition,
and with it the hope of admiration, is the ruling passion of the
people; or because they have nothing else to do, and will not work,
although the Government pays them daily with the country's money. Now
comes a troop of would-be Hungarian patriots, in their national dress,
their _attilas_, pelisses, braided pantaloons, singing a national
hymn--somewhat better than the French, by the way--flaring about
banners, and getting up all sorts of Quixotic theatrical
manifestations, lowering their banners in mere sport, flourishing them
upon others, and calling upon the manes of several of the "victims of
liberty murdered in their country's cause." These are specimens of the
Hungarian nation of the frantic description, who, after carrying
felicitations to the Provisional Government in the name of their
country, are now parading the streets to show themselves off. Now
comes again a long troop of young fellows in light-coloured _blouses_,
bound with lacquered leather belts around their waists: they have
broad white beavers on their heads, mounted by black, red, and yellow
cocks' feathers; and they bear banners of black, red, and gold--a more
picturesque throng than those you usually meet. The colours are the
colours of the German nationality: the young men are German patriots.
Poor deluded young fellows! their minds have been excited by designing
men; and they are about to march off to Germany "to conquer the
liberties of the German republic," expecting that all Germany is to
rise again at their puny call, and at the sound of that magical name
"republic." They have been begging for arms and ammunition, and money,
of all Paris; and now, with the slender succour they have obtained,
they go to meet their fates.

But now comes a fresh marching mass of many thousands, with the usual
accompanying drums and banners: there are women and children among the
throng--if children still there be in France, when every urchin
fancies himself a man. They distinguish themselves from the others by
the tall bare poplar stems they bear. These are great poetically and
symbolically-minded patriots of the lower classes, who are bent on
planting trees of liberty all over Paris. They protest that they are
fully earning the pay the country gives them, by enacting these
wonderful feats for the country's good. Their delegates knock at
house-doors, and thrust themselves into private dwellings, to beg--no!
to _demand_ contributions for the celebration of their _fête_; and
these republican _fêtes_ are of every day and every hour. The ancient
_habitué_ of Paris will not find his capital much embellished by the
aspect of these tall unsightly bare stems erected at every corner, on
every square, on every vacant space of ground, although they be all
behung with banners, and garlands, and tricolor streamers. Let us
follow some of these immense gangs. In some instances they have got a
priest among them to bless their patriotic _fête_: and the poor
ecclesiastic is dragged along with them, oft-times pale and trembling
at the thought of the unusual ceremony he is thus violently called
upon to perform. Now again they summon the whole clergy of some rich
parish church to come forth in cope and stole, and with incense and
banner, and all the hundred other rich accessories of the pomp of
Catholic ceremony, to bestow the blessing on these naked emblems of a
country's naked liberties, and pronounce a political sermon,
felicitating France on the awakening glories of the republic,
established by divine Providence and a people's might, before the poor
ragged pole. Sometimes again they come, fresh with triumphs, from the
Hotel de Ville, where they have constrained one or more of the members
of the Provisional Government to accompany them--some of them nothing
loth, when popular demonstrations are to be theatrically made--and to
give vent to wonderful speeches, flattering to this people, "_si
grand, si magnanime, si généreux, si beau!_" &c., &c., as before, as
every day, as in every word they are to hear; all which flattering
words teach them how their excellence is ill recompensed, and how it
ought to exact still more. They are now at work with more or less of
this pomp, and in the midst of a greater or lesser concourse of
spectators. The pavement is torn up: a hole is dug in the street; the
tree is planted, pulled up to its elevation, firmly fixed in the
ground--although, by the way, in many instances, the poor tree of
liberty looks in a very tottering state--and the havock committed in
the pavement more or less repaired. The acclamation is great: shouts,
shrieks, cries rend the air: the religious benediction is over: the
priests hurry away as quietly as they can: the members of the
Government retreat, escorted by a deputation of delegates, after an
oration: and now the _Marseillaise_, or the _Mourir pour la Patrie_,
are again screeched in discordant chorus, amidst the incessant firing
off of guns. All day the tumult lasts throughout the city: to a late
hour of night the firing in the air is incessant. A barricade of
stones and poles is erected round the precious emblem of liberty: the
surrounding houses are constrained by threats of window-breaking to
illuminate in honour of King-People: pitch fires are bright at each
corner of the barricade: and patriotic boys, who devote themselves for
their country's weal, are posted, with muskets on arm, to do
sentry-duty all night round the tree--lest any audacious enemy of the
country should compromise the safety of the republic by attempting to
pull down one of the many hundreds of its emblems that now disfigure
the streets of Paris. Again, who would recognise his old Paris in
these strange scenes, or in the night pictures, thus faintly sketched,
which meet his eye at every turn? When these mighty deeds for a
country's welfare and glory shall come to end--when Paris shall have
been all so beplanted that it will resemble a naked forest, what great
feats to prove their zeal in behalf of Republican France will they
next invent? "_Qui vivra verra_" is a favourite French proverb.
Heaven grant that it be not reversed, and that "_qui verra ne vivra
pas!_"

But see! they have already invented another great patriotic amusement.
Whence come those discordant howlings? A band of fellows is rushing up
and down the Boulevards, dragging along a bust of the ex-King, by
means of a rope round its neck; they have attached to it a label,
"_Louis Philippe à la lanterne!_" See! what a frantic delight they
express in their schoolboy amusement. How wonderfully their ferocious
faces picture forth "the grand, the generous, the magnanimous, the
beautiful!" They flourish sticks about at carriage windows, with the
cry of "_à bas les riches! à bas les aristocrates!_" and they
forcibly turn such equipages out of their royal way, if their path be
crossed by adventurous coachmen. But _as yet_ they do no real harm;
and the pacific majority is hopeful in its force to restrain, if the
time for restraint should come.

Now again comes pouring down from the Rue du Faubourg St Denis,
another host of men, women, and children, howling the "_Ca Ira_." They
have got a great placard among them, declaring, that if their
landlords do not remit to them their rents, for two quarters at least,
they will burn down their masters' houses over their heads: and,
unobstructed, this screeching mob invades the streets. But this is
rather too much, even amidst the license due to King People in
Republican Paris. To-morrow will be posted on the walls of the
capital, a notice from the Prefet de Police, appealing to the _good
sense_ of the mob not to burn houses, and containing a half-concealed
under-current, but an under-current only, of threat.

Now again you may be witness to a grotesque scene of a high
revolutionary tone. We are in the purlieus of one of the great public
schools of Paris--the _colléges_, as they are termed. Suddenly the
street is invaded by several hundred boys: they rush along uttering
hideous vociferations; before them flies a well-dressed middle-aged
man: he flies as if for his life, and is pursued by showers of stones
from the young revolutionary insurgents. This flying man, these
screaming and pursuing children--what a lesson there is in it! Let us
catch hold of one of the little urchins, and ask what all the uproar
means. He tells us that the object of all his schoolboy hate, is a
tyrant--a tyrant like Louis Philippe; and that, like Louis Philippe,
they are driving him forth with scorn. "What has he done then?" we
ask. "He was too strict," is the only reply; and on rushes again the
young revolutionist to join in the general pursuit, with a big oath,
and the cry of "_Vive la Republique! à bas les tyrans!_"

Now again, late in the evening, hurries past a detachment of National
Guards. We ask, what now is afloat in a city where every day something
new and startling crosses our life's path. We are told that the
citizen troops are hastening to the rescue of a newspaper editor, who
has ventured to write articles in opposition to the Government. His
house is being stormed by an angry and excited mob; they threaten to
break his presses, if not burn the whole establishment. In vain he
meets the mob with courage, and asserts the right of that "liberty of
opinion," which the republic has proclaimed as one of its first
benefits. He is not listened to. What is liberty of opinion, or any
liberty, in the sense of a mob, compared with its own liberty of doing
what it listeth? They advance upon the house with threatening
gesture--they pour in: the National Guards arrive, and a scuffle
ensues. With difficulty the mob is driven back, and sentinels are
posted. But now the crowds, in the dim night, grow thicker on the
Boulevards than ever; and violent declamation is still heard from the
midst against the man who, whatever be his real ends and aims, has the
courage to assert an opinion contrary to the mass. Partisans there
are, for and against: and high words arise, and threats are again
proffered: and along the damp night air comes ever the murmur of many
angry voices far and near: and the rumour ceases not, the crowd
disperse not. And in the distracted city, where was firing, and
shouting, and singing, and drumming, all day, there is still the
agitation and the tumult long and late into the night.

But let us take a turn to the neighbourhood of the Hotel de Ville, the
seat of the Government; other fresh scenes will there meet our eyes.

Daily and hourly pour up into the open space before the fine old
building, such troops of drumming, banner-bearing men and women as
have been before described. Sometimes they are deputations from the
various trades, full of all sorts of grievances, for which the members
of the Provisional Government are expected to find immediate
remedy;--sometimes they are bands of workmen, all couching, under
different expressions, the demand for much pay and little
work;--sometimes they bear addresses from various nations all speaking
in the name of their country, which probably would disavow
them;--sometimes they are delegates from the thousand and one clubs of
Paris, who all choose to lay their resolutions, however frantic and
impracticable they may be, before the Government, and expect to impose
upon it their distracted will;--sometimes they are a body of
individuals, who have got some fancy for a remedy of the financial
crisis, which, of course, unless it would offend them bitterly, the
Government is expected forthwith to adopt. Deputations, addresses,
counsels, demands, exactions,--they must all be admitted, they must
all be heard, they must all receive flattering promises, that probably
never will, and never can be fulfilled. See! they come streaming up
from all sides, from streets and quays, in noisy inundating floods;
and now the streams mingle and roar together, and struggle for
precedence. Generally, delegates are despatched to obtain audiences of
the persecuted members of the Government; but sometimes, again, some
tired minister or other is forced to appear in front, and harangue
their importunate petitioners, amidst cries of "_Vive la Republique!_"
For those who dwell upon this _place_, Paris must appear to be in a
state of constant revolution. The noise, the tumult, the drumming, the
shouting, the marching and the countermarching, never cease for a
moment.

See! to-day there is a tumult before the façade of the old building.
Battalions of National Guards have marched up, without arms, to
protest against a despotic and arbitrary ordinance of an ambitious and
reckless minister. They bring up their petition as thousands of other
deputations have brought up theirs; the square is filled for the most
part with long military-looking lines of their uniforms. But in a
sudden, they have come to a check. Before the long façade of the line
of building, are posted bodies of armed men, of the lower classes,
with muskets charged and bayonets fixed. The demonstration of the
National Guards, who dare to murmur at the will of their governors,
spite of the proclamation of the reign of liberty, is not to be
received. Anger and indignation is on the faces of all the
citizen-soldiers; their feelings are excited; they cry, "down with"
the obnoxious minister; they are met by cries from the armed people,
of "down with the National Guards! down with the aristocrats!" The
middling classes are now considered, then, as the aristocrats of the
day; and the people treat them, as _they_ have treated, in days gone
by, the titled _noblesse_--as enemies! But now they advance in rank
and file, determined to force an entrance to the Government palace:
and the people oppose them with pointed bayonets; and drive them back;
disperse them like sheep; pursue them down the quays; and the unarmed
mob, collected in countless crowds around, joins in the cry of "down
with the National Guards!" The National Guards are vanquished. They
were considered in the revolutionary days of combat as the heroes, and
allies, and defenders of the people. Only a few weeks are gone by
since then; and they, in turn, are overthrown in a bloodless
revolution. Their _prestige_ is lost for ever. The last barrier is
thrown down between the upper and the lower classes--the breakwater is
swept away: and when the day of storm and tempest shall come, when the
angry waters shall rise, when the inundation shall sweep on and on in
tumultuous tide, what shall there be now to oppose it?

On the morrow, what a scene! From a very early hour of the morning,
bands of hundreds and of thousands, in marching order, have poured
down upon Paris from all the suburbs. From north, south, east, and
west, they have come in countless hordes into the central streets and
squares of the capital. Along the Boulevards, from the Bastile, from
the heights of Montmartre, down the avenues of the Champs Elysées and
the quays--from beyond the water and the Faubourg St Martel, they have
come, sweeping on like so many mountain torrents. Every where as they
advanced they have proferred cries of "Down with the National Guards!
down with the aristocrats! down with the legitimists! down with the
enemies of the Republic!" Better dressed men in many instances have
marshalled them on their way; and among the inhabitants of Paris goes
forth a murmur, that they have been roused to this state of tumult by
the accolytes of the obnoxious minister, with the intention of
overawing his colleagues and displaying his own power. And if, in
truth, they shout "long live" any one, it is _his_ name they cry: his
noble-hearted and more moderate colleague, lately so popular, has lost
a people's favour. And now the hundred torrents have met upon the
quays, and before the Hotel de Ville; and hundreds of banners with
manifold inscriptions are waving in the air; and troop upon troop is
marshalled into some degree of order: but fearful is the mass: awful
is the demonstration of a people! And now the members of the
Government are compelled, one and all, to come down upon the elevated
terrace before the façade of the Hotel de Ville: they are behung with
tricolor scarfs, the ends of which stream with long gold fringes;
their heads are bared before their masters and the rulers of the land.
And now the host of people defiles before them; and they make
speeches, and cry "_Vive la Republique! Vive le peuple!_" And the
people, proud of its force, and rejoicing in its demonstration, that
shows its power over the _bourgeois_, answers with shouts that rend
the air. Heavens! what a scene! This is Republican Paris, indeed, I
trow!

But come quickly to the Boulevards: the mighty mass has passed away to
the column of liberty in the Place de la Bastile; and it will come
down the Boulevards in overwhelming tide, exulting in its triumph. And
now it comes. The long line, five abreast--there are nearly two
hundred thousand in this great army--stretches on and on, almost from
one end to the other of the immense central artery of the capital. It
comes, and the chorus of the _Marseillaise_ rolls like thunder along,
dying away but to burst forth again. Hark! how it peels along the
Boulevards! It comes, and the senses swim as the host goes by,
marching on, and on, and on--confusing the sight with the incessant
passing of such a stream of living beings, and its waving banners;
deafening the ears with the menacing cries of "Down with the
aristocrats!" and the discordant chorussing of confused patriotic
songs--for the _Marseillaise_ now gives way to the fearful _Ca Ira_.
It comes, and it seems as if it never would end. Awful, indeed, is the
display of a people's force, thus excited and inflamed by designing
leaders! At last the mighty procession passed away, leaving
consternation and alarm behind it. But think not that Paris resumes
its usual aspect. The various bands break up at last, but they still
parade the streets in several battalions: and the shouting and howling
and singing cease not during the day.

But the night of the same day is come, and all is not yet done. Not
content with its triumph, the people demands that all Paris should
honour it with a festival, whether it will or not. Down the Boulevards
come the hordes again, slowly, and pausing as they came on: they are
chanting, in measured notes, the words "_Des lampions! des lampions!_"
amidst the cries of "Illuminate, or we break your windows! Down with
the aristocrats!" Why all Paris should be illuminated, because it has
pleased King People to make a demonstration, it would be too insolent
to inquire. It is a fancy, a caprice--and autocrats will have fancies
and caprices. It is the people's will; and, however fantastic or
unreasonable, the will must be obeyed. "_Des lampions! des lampions!_"
The monotonous chant is impressed upon the ears with stunning force,
until you believe that you must retain it in your bewildered brain
until your dying day. And as they come along, see how readily the will
of the people is obeyed! There is no readiness so quick as the
readiness of fear. Up and down, from above and from below, right and
left, in long irregular lines, until the lines of light become more
general and more regular--see the illumination bursts forth from the
façades of all the houses. Windows are rapidly opened on every side,
in sixth stories as on first floors, on every terrace, on every
balcony; and lamps, lanterns, candles, pots of grease, all flaming,
are thrust out at every one. See! how the light darts up and down like
wildfire, dancing along the houses in the darkness of the night, with
an increasing phosphoric flicker. You may mark the progress of the
mob, as it goes farther on in dusky mass, and is lost to sight in the
gloom, not only by the eternal monotonous cry that bids the
inhabitants illuminate, coming from the distance, but by the gleaming
track it leaves behind it like a gigantic, broad tail of fire.
Presently all the Boulevards will be brightly lighted; and the gleams
of the many thousand points of light will illuminate a thickly moving
crowd of beings, that look like the uneasy spirits of some gloomy
pandemonium. Fairy-like, however, has the magical illumination sprung
forth at the people's bidding, and fairy-like does it flicker on all
sides in the night. All the other principal streets are burning also
on either side, like long bands of spangled stuff glittering in the
sun. The Faubourg St Germain, suspected of legitimacy, has long since
been the first to yield to threats, and demonstrate at its windows its
supposed sympathy in a people's triumph; and to-morrow we shall be
told by the republican papers, how Paris was in an ecstasy of joy--how
all the population strove in zeal, with one accord, to _fêter le
peuple généreux_--how spontaneous was this illumination of republican
enthusiasm. Spontaneous was the feeling that dictated it, certainly;
but it was the spontaneity of fear--the fear of the quietly-disposed
in the face of a reckless and all-powerful mob!

Let us turn now from the glittering illuminated streets.

What is that unusual light, streaming dimly, and in blurred rays,
across the damp night air, from the windows of the chapel of St
Hyacinthe, attached to the church of the Assumption in the Rue St
Honoré? In such a place, at such an hour, it has something ghastly and
unearthly in its nature. And hark! from within there comes a noise of
hoarse murmuring, which swells sometimes suddenly into discordant
shouts, that are almost groans. The impression conveyed by both sight
and sound is little like any that Paris, even on its murkiest nights,
and under its most dismal veil, ever bestowed on you before. The
unwary wanderer in Paris streets by night, in search of romance, may
have had visions of theft, assassination, misery, crime, before his
eyes, in the dark silent thoroughfares, but always visions of a most
positive earthly nature; now he cannot help fancying himself
transported into some old town of mystic Germany, with some fantastic,
mysterious, unearthly, Hoffmannish deed going on near him. Are the
headless dead, among the victims of a prior revolution, risen from
their bloody vaults, to beckon unto their ghastly crew new victims of
another? or are demons rejoicing in that once sanctified building,
that the reign of men's most evil passions should have begun again in
that disturbed and fermenting city? Such is the first impression the
dim scene conveys. Do you ever remember such in other days? Let us
follow those dark forms that are gliding across the court of the
church, and mounting the steps of the illumined chapel. We enter; and
the scene, although neither ghastly nor demoniac, is scarcely less
strange than if spectres and demons had animated the interior. Faintly
lighted by a few dripping candles is the long dismantled chapel; and
damp, dreary, funereal-looking, is the whole scene. A dim crowd, in
this "darkness visible," is fermenting, thronging, struggling, and
pushing in the aisle. At the further end, in that vaulted semicircle
where once stood the altar of the Lord, rises a complicated
scaffolding behung with black cloth. With your imagination already
excited, you may fancy the dark construction a death-scaffold for the
execution of a criminal--it is only the death-scaffold of the social
state of France. We are in the midst of a republican club. On the
highest platform, occupying the space where was the altar, sit
president and secretaries of the society--the new divinities of the
consecrated building. Yes! the new divinities; for they arrogate to
themselves the same right against which they declaimed as blasphemy in
kings--the "right divine." You will not listen long before they tell
you so; besides, their first maxim is, "_La voix du peuple est la voix
de Dieu_." On the lower platform before them stand the orators. Hark
to the doctrines that they promulgate for the subversion of all
existing order in the country, amidst shouts and screams, and cries of
violent opposition sometimes, but generally of applause. See! the
haggard, lanky-haired republican youths, who have shouted out all
their fury, give way to a quiet, respectable-looking old man, whose
gray hairs glimmer faintly in the candle-light. A feeling of greater
calm comes over you: you imagine, after all this "sound and fury,
signifying nothing," his old head will pacify the hot, maddened blood
of frantic boys. What does he say?--"Yes, the republic is one and
indivisible--it is more than indivisible--it is GOD!" You shrink back
disgusted. Can the rhapsody of republican fanaticism go further? Are
these Christian men? or are they really evil unearthly beings in a
human form? The confused scene around you is almost enough to make you
think so. But real enough is the eternal clatter of the president's
hammer on his table. He rolls his eyes furiously; he browbeats every
orator who may not be of his own individual opinion, and dares to be
"moderate" when he is "_exalté_;" and when your head aches--your heart
has ached long ago--with the furious noise of the president's hammer,
which you expect every moment to smash the table to pieces, you edge
your way out of the dark fermenting crowd, and hurry forth, glad to
breathe the purer air of heaven.

Ferment there is ever enough now in the streets of Paris by night: it
ceases not. There are throngs pouring in and out of all the various
thousand-and-one republican clubs of Paris, like wasps about their
nest; but it is in the dim night air, and not in the bright sunlight
of day--in dirty coats and smocks, and not with bright wings and
variegated bodies. The wasp, too, stings only when he is attacked--the
republican wasps seek to attack that they may sting. The _al fresco_
clubs also crowd the Boulevards, in the chance medley confusion of all
men and all principles. But see! there is here again, in the Rue du
Faubourg du Roule, a confusion of a still more complicated nature--the
swarming in and out of the small district school-house is even more
virulent than is usual. It is another night-scene, such as the old
_habitué_ of Paris never witnessed, certainly. What is occurring? Let
us crowd in with the others. What a scene of frantic confusion! A
crowd springing upon benches, howling, screeching, yelling. At the
further end of the low room is a ruined gallery, in which stands,
surrounded by his friends, a man dressed in a red scarf, with the red
cap of liberty on his head: he has a pike in his hand, and he vainly
endeavours to make himself heard by the excited crowd. For some time
you will be unable to comprehend the nature of the scene: at last you
discover that an _ultra_ republican, of the most inflamed ideas, wants
to establish a Jacobin club. A "Jacobin club!" There is terror in the
very word, and in all the fearful recollections it conveys. But here
the good sense of the artisans and small tradespeople of the district
is against so appalling a reminiscence of a fatal time. "Down with the
_bonnet rouge_!" they cry. "Down with the red scarf! No Jacobins! no
Jacobins! their day is gone. No terror!" Thank God! there is some good
sense still among the people. "Down with the president--away with
him!" they cry. He doffs at last his blood-red Phrygian cap--they are
not content: he doffs his blood-red scarf--they are not content: he
lays aside his red cravat--they are not content: the pike--all--his
very principles, probably, if they would have them. But no. They make
a rush at last up into the "tribune;" they drive the would-be Jacobin
and his friends down. In vain a small minority declares them all
"aristocrats--paid agents of legitimacy"--I know not what republican
names of reproach. The honest workmen thrust the party forth from
their district school-house. They escort these objects of their
contempt with ironical politeness to a side-door, bearing the candles
they have seized from the tribune in their hands. The door is closed
over the Jacobin party--a shout of triumph resounds. But in the
street, before the school, is long a noisy throng. The good moon,
although now and then obscured by passing clouds, shines kindly on it.
She seems to smile more kindly upon those who have done a good deed,
although a deed of suppressed violence, than on most of the distracted
throngs she illumines in her course over the disturbed city. Good
moon! would we could accept thy augury, and hope for holy calm! The
scenes thou shinest upon cannot continue thus, 'tis true. A change
must come--a change for the better _or the worse_. Heaven grant that
our foreboding prove not true--that, when thou comest forth in thy
fulness again, another month, thou mayest smile on better order, on
calmer groups!

Before we part company, old _habitué_ of Paris, we must cast a glance
at all the public buildings we pass. On all--public offices, columns,
fountains, monuments, churches, dismantled palaces--on all alike
floats the republican banner--on _all_ are painted in broad characters
the words, "LIBERTÉ, EGALITÉ, FRATERNITÉ!" "_Fraternité!_" Vain word,
when each man grows day by day more and more bitterly his neighbour's
enemy. "_Egalité!_" Vain word again, and vain word ever, spite of the
efforts of the rulers of France to bring down to one level all the
intelligence, the talent, the feelings, and passions of human nature,
that Providence, in its holy wisdom, has made so different and so
unequal. "_Liberté!_" Vainest word of all! In the present state of
things, there is constraint in every scheme, tyranny in every
tendency, despotism in every doctrine.

But enough. We will not begin to discuss and speculate upon the
destinies of France. All this sketch would strive to do, is to convey
an idea, however vague, of the present outward state of Republican
Paris.



THE SPANIARD IN SICILY.[5]

  [5] _Histoire de la Conquête de Naples par Charles d'Anjou, frère de
  St Louis._ Par le Comte ALEXIS DE ST PRIEST, Pair de France. 4 vols.
  8vo. Paris, 1848. Vol. iv.


The insatiable spider, who, after securing in her gossamer meshes
ample store of flies for the day's consumption, again repairs, with
unwarrantable greed, to the outer circles of the delicate network, in
quest of fresh and superfluous victims, must not wonder if, on return
to the heart of the citadel, she finds a rival Arachne busy in the
larder, and either is expelled from her own cobweb, or suffers
seriously in ejecting the intruder. At risk of offending his admiring
biographer by so base a parallel, we compare Charles of Anjou to the
greedy spider, and think him justly punished for his rash cupidity by
the evils it entailed. This French count, who, although a king's
brother, had no chance of a crown save through aggressive conquest,
found himself, whilst still in the vigour of life, and as the result
of papal favour, great good fortune, and of his own martial energy,
sovereign of an extensive and flourishing realm. King of Southern
Italy, Protector of the North, Count of Provence, Vicar of Tuscany,
Senator of Rome, all-powerful with the Pope--whose word had then such
weight that his friendship was worth an army, whilst from his malison
men shrunk as from the dreaded and inextinguishable fire of
Greece--Charles of Anjou was still unsatisfied. The royal spider had
cast his web afar; it embraced wide possessions, with whose enjoyment
he might well have been content, whose administration claimed his
undivided attention. But on their verge an object glittered from which
he could not avert his eyes, whose acquisition engrossed his every
thought. "'Twas the clime of the East, 'twas the land of the sun," the
gorgeous and romantic region so attractive to European conquerors.
Doubtless, crusading zeal had some share in his oriental cravings; but
ambition was his chief motor. He was willing enough to wrest Palestine
from the infidel, but his plan of campaign led first to
Constantinople. His notion was to seek at St Sophia's mosque the key
of Christ's sepulchre.

Whilst thus looking abroad and meditating distant conquest, Charles
treated too lightly the projects of a prince, less celebrated, but
younger and more crafty than himself, who silently watched the
progress of events, and skilfully devised how best he might derive
advantage from them. Pedro of Arragon, who had married Mainfroy's
daughter, Constance, cherished pretensions to the crown of the
Sicilies; and, ever since the year 1279, he had been intriguing with
the chiefs of the Ghibellines, with a view to an invasion of Charles's
dominions. He spoke publicly of Sicily as the inheritance of his
children, and did not dissimulate his animosity to its actual ruler.
Whilst Charles prepared a fleet for his Eastern expedition, Don Pedro
assembled another in the harbour of Portofangos, and kept it in
constant readiness to sail, but none knew whither. Its destination was
suspected, however, by some; and the Pope, who entertained no doubt
concerning it, demanded to know Pedro's intentions, whilst Philip III.
of France, at the request of his uncle, Charles of Anjou, sent
ambassadors to the Arragonese monarch to make a similar inquiry. The
answer given is variously stated by the archives and chronicles of the
time, as evasive, prevaricatory, and even as a direct falsehood. It
left no doubt upon Charles's mind that mischief was meant him by the
Spaniard. "I told you," he wrote to Philip, "that the Arragonese was a
contemptible wretch." Unfortunately, he carried his contempt of his
wily foe rather too far; he would not believe that so small a
potentate, "_un si petit prince_," would dare attack him in Italy,
but took for a strategem the avowal of his intentions that appears to
have escaped Pedro, and thought his views were directed in reality to
Provence, whither he accordingly despatched his eldest son. Meanwhile,
Don Pedro lingered in port, in hopes of an insurrection in Sicily,
which John of Procida and others of his Sicilian adherents were
fomenting by every means in their power, until his position became
positively untenable, so pressed was he with questions by different
European powers, and even by his own great vassals. One of these, a
_rico hombre_, by name the Count of Pallars, having publicly asked
him, in the name of the Arragonese nobility, the object of his voyage,
and whither it would lead, Don Pedro replied: "Count, learn that if my
left hand knew what my right was about to do, I would instantly cut it
off." And still he clung to the Catalan coast, always on the eve of
departure, but never lifting an anchor, until the tidings, so long and
ardently desired, at last reached his car. They were unaccompanied,
however, by the popular summons and proffered sceptre he had
sanguinely and confidently anticipated. But we are outstripping
events, and must revert to the eloquent opening of M. de St Priest's
fourth volume.

"The name of Sicily is illustrious in history. If the reputation of a
people had for sole foundation and measure the number of inhabitants,
the extent of its territory, the duration of its influence, the
Sicilians, impoverished by continual revolutions, decimated by
sucessive tyrannies, more isolated from the general progress by their
internal organisation, than from the mainland by their geographical
position, would hold, perhaps, in the annals of the world, no more
room than their island occupies on the map of Europe. But they need
not fear oblivion: they have known glory,--and what glory touches,
though but transitorily, for ever retains the mark. For individuals as
for nations, it suffices that their lot be cast in those rare and
splendid epochs whose contact ennobles every thing, which illuminate
all things by their brilliancy, and stamp themselves indelibly upon
the memory of the remotest generations. Happy who then lives, for he
shall never die! Vast kingdoms, boundless regions, peopled by numerous
races, powerful by material force, but intellectually vulgar, then
yield in dignity and grandeur to the least nook of land, to some petty
peninsula or remote island. Such was Greece, such also was Sicily, her
rival, her competitor, and the asylum of her illustrious exiles.

"In the middle ages there was no vestige of the ancient Trinacria--of
that land of art and learning, the home of every branch of human
knowledge--of that politic and warlike power which yielded to Rome and
Carthage only when she had made them dearly pay a long-disputed
victory--of that Sicily, in short, which Plato taught and Timoleon
governed--which Archimedes defended and Theocritus sang. Formerly the
whole island was covered with cities. In the thirteenth century, most
of these had disappeared. Agrigentum could boast but the ruins of its
colossus and temples. Syracuse still retained some shadow of past
greatness: she was not yet reduced, as now, to the quarries whence she
sprung; she had not yet become less than a ruin; but her splendour was
extinct. Catania, overthrown by earthquakes, found it difficult again
to rise. Nevertheless other Sicilian towns preserved their importance,
and Christendom could not boast cities handsomer and more
populous--more abounding in wealth and embellished by monuments--than
commercial Messina and kingly Palermo."

These two cities were at the time referred to the abode of luxury and
pleasure. Messina, at once the market and the arsenal of the island,
"_portus et porta Siciliæ_," as Charles of Anjou called it, was the
principal posting-house upon the road from Europe to Asia, and was
enriched by the constant passage of pilgrims and crusaders. Sumptuary
laws were deemed necessary to repress the extravagance of a population
whose women wore raiment of silk, then more precious than silver and
gold, with tiaras upon their heads, encrusted with pearls and
diamonds and other precious stones. Asia and Europe were there
united; Catholics and Mussulmans lived side by side in peace and
amity. In the streets, the Arab's burnous and the turban of the Moor
moved side by side with priestly robe and cowl of monk. The pleasures
there in vogue were no longer the simple and innocent ones vaunted by
Virgil and Theocritus. It was a hotbed of debauchery, frequented by
pirates, gamblers, and courtesans--a mart of commerce, whither traders
of all nations repaired. Palermo, on the other hand, was the residence
of kings. The Normans established there the seat of their power,
inhabiting it constantly; and although the wandering life of Frederick
of Swabia denied him a fixed abode, he loved Palermo the Happy, and
dwelt there whenever able. Very different were the predilections of
Charles of Anjou. He disliked Sicily as much as he loved Naples. By an
effect, perhaps, of that love of contrast often found implanted in the
human breast, his stern and sombre gaze took pleasure in the bright
and joyous scenery of his continental dominions, which it could not
derive from the more sad and serious beauties of the opposite island.
Moreover, he held the Sicilians disaffected to his rule, and his hand
was heavy upon them. Heavier still, doubtless, were those of his
delegates and officers, who presumed upon his known dislike, and upon
his preoccupation with schemes of foreign aggrandisement, to exceed
the measure of oppression he prescribed and authorised. A very
different course should have been adopted with a nation already
abundantly prepared to detest their French masters. The antagonism of
character was alone sufficient cause for mutual aversion. There was no
point of sympathy between conquerors and conquered--nothing that could
lead to friendly amalgamation. On the one hand, reserve,
dissimulation, silence; on the other, an indiscreet frankness,
vivacity, and noise. On both sides, a strong attachment to their
native country, and conviction of its superiority over all others--a
strong partiality for its language, usages, and customs--a sincere
contempt for all differing from them. M. de St Priest, who strives
earnestly, but not very successfully, to vindicate the memory of his
countrymen of the thirteenth century, is still too veracious a
historian not to admit that they treated with shameful insolence and
rudeness a people whom the kindest treatment would with difficulty
have induced to look kindly upon their conquerors. He is painfully
anxious to make out a good case for those he calls his "brothers,"
(very old brothers by this time,) but succeeds so little to his
satisfaction, that he is fain to throw himself on the mercy of his
readers, by asking the rather illogical question, whether the crime of
a few individuals is to be imputed to a nation, or _even to a part of
a nation_? Then he enumerates some of the grievances which brought on
the massacre known as the Vespers. "It is certain," he says, "that
Charles of Anjou, not by himself, but by military chiefs, to whom he
abandoned himself without reserve, abused of the means necessary to
retain in subjection a people hostile to his cause, and whom that very
excess of oppression might drive to shake off an iron yoke. He abused
of the feudal prerogative which gave him right of controlling the
marriages of the vassals of the crown, by compelling rich heiresses to
marry his Provençal adherents, or by retaining in forced celibacy
noble damsels whose inheritance the royal exchequer coveted." This is
pretty well for a beginning, and enough to stir the bile of a more
patient race than the Sicilians, even in an age when such acts of
feudal tyranny were less startling and odious than they now would
seem. But this is merely the first item. Charles also abused of an old
law that existed both in Sicily and Spain, and which has been but
recently abolished in the latter country. The law of the _mesta_ gave
the sheep of the royal domain right of range of all the pastures in
the country, no matter who the proprietors. With this vexatious
privilege Charles combined exorbitant monopolies. He compelled the
rich landholders to take on lease his horses, flocks, cattle, bees,
and fruit-trees, and to account to him for them every year at a fixed
rate, even when disease decimated the animals, and the sirocco had
withered and uprooted the trees and plants. And nothing was less rare,
M. de St Priest acknowledges, than the personal ill-treatment of those
who delayed to pay the impost, often twice levied upon the same
persons, under pretence of chastising their unwillingness.
Imprisonment, confiscation, and the bastinado, punished their
indigence. The nefarious tricks played with the currency completed the
measure of misery poured out upon the unhappy Sicilians. Like Alphonso
X. of Castile, and most of the potentates of the period, Charles
coined pieces of money with much alloy, which he named, after himself,
_Carlini d'oro_, and exchanged them by force against the augustales,
an imperial coinage of the purest gold. The public voice was loud
against such tyranny and abuse, but it reached not the arrogant ears
of the Beaumonts, the Morhiers, and other haughty Frenchmen who
successively governed Sicily. The Bishop of Patti and brother John of
Messina, complained to the Pope in presence of Charles himself. The
king heard them in silence, but, after the pontifical audience, he had
his accusers seized. Brother John was thrown into a dungeon, and the
bishop only escaped prison by flight.

Besides the heavy griefs above stated, other grounds of complaint,
more or less valid, were alleged against Charles I. Amongst these, he
was accused of persecuting highwaymen and banditti with overmuch
rigour. The nations of southern Europe have ever had a sneaking
tenderness for the knights of the road. He was also reproached with
the abolition of certain dues, unjustly exacted in the ports of Patti,
Cefalu, and Catania, by the bishops of those towns. M. de St Priest
brands the Sicilians as barbarians for thus quarrelling with their own
advantage. But it is a fair query how far Charles made the diminution
of episcopal exactions a pretext for the increase of royal ones, and
whether the draconic system adopted for the repression of evil-doers,
may not have been occasionally availed of for the oppression of the
innocent. Then the Sicilian nobles, lovers of pomp, show, and external
distinctions, grumbled at the absence of a court; and this was in fact
so weighty a grievance, that its removal might perhaps have saved
Sicily for Charles, or at any rate have retarded the revolt, and given
him time to prosecute his designs on the East. Palermo might have been
conciliated by sending the Prince of Salerno to live there. A gay
court, and the substitution of the heir to the throne for obscure and
detested governors, would have made all the difference. Charles did
not think of this, and moreover he had no great affection for his
eldest son, "a prince of monkish piety, timid and feeble, although
brave; a dull and pale copy of his uncle Louis IX., and whose faults
and virtues were not altogether of a nature to obtain his father's
sympathy. When speaking of the Prince of Salerno, the King of Naples
sometimes called him '_That Priest!_'" The strongest motive of
discontent, however, the most real, and which placed the nobility and
higher classes amongst the foremost of the disaffected, was the
bestowal of all public offices upon foreigners. At the beginning of
his reign Charles had left to Neapolitans and Sicilians all fiscal and
judicial posts, lucrative to the holders and productive to him; the
strangers who accompanied him, ignorant of the country, would not have
known how to squeeze it properly, as did Gezzolino della Marra, Alaimo
de Lentini, Francesco Loffredo, and other natives. In these he reposed
confidence, and, even after the defeat of Conradin, he still left
Sicilians in the places of _Maestri razionali_, _Segreti_,
_Guidizieri_, &c. But about 1278, we find Italian names disappearing
from the list, and replaced almost entirely by those of Provençals and
Frenchmen. At that date there seems to have been a clean sweep made of
the aborigines. Such a measure was sure to cause prodigious
dissatisfaction and hatred to the government. Those who depended on
their places were reduced to beggary, and those who had private
fortunes regretted a state of things which swelled these, besides
giving them influence and power.

To the latter class belonged Alaimo de Lentini, one of the richest and
best born of the Sicilian barons, possessed of great political and
military talents. He had served Mainfroy, had quarrelled with and
been proscribed by him, and then, espousing the interests of Charles,
had shown himself an implacable persecutor of his countrymen. His good
qualities were frequently clouded and neutralised by his versatility
and evil passions; his life was a mingled yarn of noble actions and
frequent treachery. Left to himself, he might have bequeathed a higher
reputation to his descendants, but he was led astray by the evil
influence of his wife. He was already in the decline of life when he
married this woman, who was of plebeian birth and Jewish origin, but
the widow of Count Amico, one of the principal nobles of Sicily. Her
name was Maccalda Scaletta, and soon she obtained complete empire over
Alaimo. Of dissolute morals, ironical wit, and of an insolent and
audacious character, that feared nothing and braved every thing,
Maccalda's youth had been more adventurous than reputable, and amongst
other pranks she had rambled over all Sicily in the disguise of a
Franciscan monk. Her love of pleasure was not more insatiable than her
vanity, and she eagerly desired to figure in the first rank at a
court. So long as Alaimo retained the high office of chief magistrate
of Sicily, her gratified pride allowed him to remain a faithful
subject: but towards the year 1275, Charles of Anjou suspected and
dismissed him, and thenceforward Alaimo, instigated by his wife, was
the mortal enemy of the French. He joined the intrigue set on foot by
John of Procida in favour of the King of Arragon, and laboured
efficiently in the cause of his new patron.

M. de St Priest does not himself narrate the oft-told tale of the
Sicilian Vespers, but gives the accounts of Saba Malaspina and
Bartolomeo de Neocastro, asserting that of the former writer to be the
most correct, as it is certainly the most favourable to the French. He
then enters into a long argument on points of no great importance; his
logic being principally directed to show that if the French fell an
easy prey to the infuriated Sicilians, it was through no lack of
courage on their part, but because they were unarmed, surprised, and
overmatched. He also takes some useless trouble to upset the story
generally accredited of the immediate cause of the massacre, namely,
an insult offered to a bride of high birth. The spirit of exaggerated
nationality, apparent in this part of his book, stimulates his
ingenuity to some curious hypotheses. It is a French failing, from
which the best and wisest of that nation are rarely quite exempt,
never to admit a defeat with temper and dignity. There must always
have been treachery, or vastly superior numbers, or some other
circumstance destructive to fair play. Not a Frenchman from Strasburg
to Port Vendres, but holds, as an article of faith, that, on equal
terms, the "_grande nation_" is unconquered and invincible. M. de St
Priest seems to partake something of this spirit, so prevalent amongst
his countrymen, and actually gets bitter and sarcastic about such a
very antiquated business as the Sicilian Vespers. "Who does not
recognise in this story (that of the insulted lady) an evident desire
to exalt the deed of the Sicilians of the thirteenth century by
assimilating it to analogous traits, borrowed from Roman history? Who
does not here distinguish a Lucretia, or, better still, a Virginia; a
Tarquin, or an Appius? The intention is conspicuous in the popular
manifestos that succeeded the event. In these, reminiscences of
antiquity abound. The heroes of the Vespers sought to make themselves
Romans as quickly as possible, lest they should be taken for
Africans." And so on in the same strain. "It is clearly seen," says
the French historian in another place, "that the first outrage upon
that day was perpetrated by the Sicilians, and not by the French; we
behold brave and unsuspicious soldiers, inspired by good-humoured
gaiety and deceitful security, barbarously stricken, in consequence of
demonstrations, very indiscreet certainly, but whose inoffensive
character is deposed to by a contemporary, hostile to the French and
to their chief." The facts of the case are told in ten words. By a
long course of injustice and oppression the French had dug and
charged, beneath their own feet, a mine which a spark was sufficient
to ignite. It is immaterial what hand applied that spark. Enough that
the subsequent explosion involved the aggressors in universal
destruction, and freed Sicily from its tyrants. The statement of Saba
Malaspina is not, however, altogether so exculpatory of the French, on
the unimportant point of ultimate provocation, as might be inferred
from some of M. de St Priest's expressions. "When the Signor Aubert
(Herbert) d'Orleans governed Sicily," says the chronicler, "several
citizens of Palermo, of both sexes, went out of the town to celebrate
the festival of Easter. Some young strangers joined them, and perhaps
amongst those were many who carried weapons, concealing them on
account of the edict forbidding them to be borne under very severe
penalties. Suddenly some French varlets, probably servants of the
justiciary of the province, associated themselves with the public
rejoicings, less, however, to share than to trouble them. Would to
heaven they had never been born, or had never entered the kingdom! At
sight of all this crowd which danced and sang, they joined the
dancers, took the women by the hands and arms, (more, perhaps, than
was decent and proper,) ogling the handsomest, and provoking, by
significant words, those whose hands or feet they could not press. At
these excessive familiarities, which may be said, however, to have
been inspired only by gaiety, several young men of Palermo, and
certain exiles from Gaéta, lost their senses so far as to assail the
foreigners with injurious words, such as the French do not easily
suffer. Then said the latter amongst themselves, 'It is impossible but
that these pitiful _Patarins_[6] have arms about them, otherwise they
would never venture such insolent language; let us see if some of them
have not concealed swords, or, at any rate, poignards or knives.' And
they began to search the Palermitans. Then these, very furious, threw
themselves upon the French with stones and weapons, for a great number
came up who were armed. The varlets fell for the most part stoned and
stabbed to death. Thus does play engender war. The entire island
revolted, and every where was heard the cry, 'Death to the French!'"
The details of the ensuing massacre are as horrible as they are well
known; and M. de St Priest passes lightly over them. Men, women, and
children, soldiers and priests, all fell before the vengeful steel of
the insurgents. The little fortress of Sperlinga alone afforded
shelter to the fugitive Frenchmen, giving rise to the proverb still
current in Sicily, "_Sperlinga negó_."[7] Messina, however, at first
took no part in the movement, and continued tranquil in the possession
of a French garrison. This was cause for great alarm to the
Palermitans, already somewhat embarrassed with their rapid victory and
sudden emancipation. Messina hostile, or even neuter, nothing was
done, and Sicily must again fall into the vindictive hands of Charles
of Anjou. As usual, in Sicilian revolutions, Palermo had given the
impulse, but a satisfactory result depended on the adhesion of
Messina. Flattering overtures were made by the insurgents to the
Messinese; but the latter still hesitated, and, far from joining the
massacre, sent six galleys to blockade Palermo, and armed two hundred
cross-bowmen to reduce the fortress of Taormine. The effort was in
vain. Instead of attacking Taormine, the bowmen re-entered Messina,
and pulled down the _fleurs-de-lis_, whilst the inhabitants of
Palermo, upon the appearance of the galleys, hoisted the Messinese
cross beside their own flag, and fraternised with the fleet that came
to block their port. This completed the revolution, and Messina also
had its massacre. The viceroy, Herbert of Orleans, finding it
impossible to hold out longer in his fortress of Mattagriffone,
capitulated, and embarked for Calabria with five hundred Frenchmen,
amidst the menacing demonstrations of a furious mob. Sicily was
declared a republic, and a deputation was sent to the Pope, to place
it under his protection. An attempt made by the Arragonese party to
obtain the preference for Don Pedro was premature, and consequently
failed.

  [6] "Is it true that virgins, torn from their mothers' arms, were the
  habitual victims of the conqueror's brutality?... Is it true that,
  when a Frenchman met a Sicilian on horseback, he made him dismount,
  and forced him to follow upon foot, however long the road? Is it true,
  that the foreigners could not find themselves with the people of the
  country without insulting them with the odious name of _Patarins_, an
  insult which the Sicilians repaid with usury, by styling them
  _Ferracani_?"--_St Priest_, vol. iv. pp. 23, 24.

  [7] Since augmented into the Latin line--

         "Quod placuit Siculis, sola Sperlinga negavit."


Charles of Anjou was with the Pope at Montefiascone, when news reached
him of the revolt and massacre at Palermo. His first emotion was a
sort of religious terror, which expressed itself in the following
singular prayer, recorded by Villani and all the historians:--"Lord!"
he said, "you who have raised me so high, if it be your will to cast
me down, grant at least that my fall be gradual, and that I may
descend step by step." Although he as yet knew nothing but the
insurrection of a single town, he seems to have beheld the shadow cast
before by the evil day at hand. He left Montefiascone, having obtained
from Martin IV., whose indignation equalled his own, a bull of
conditional interdiction against the Sicilians, should they not return
to their allegiance. The Pope also sent Cardinal Gerard of Parma to
Sicily, to bring about the submission of the rebels. But at Naples
Charles learned the insurrection of Messina, and his fury knew no
bounds. Neocastro and other chroniclers represent him as roaring like
a lion; his eyes full of blood, and his mouth of foam, whilst he
furiously bit the baton he bore in his hand--a favourite practice of
his when angry and excited. After writing to his nephew, Philip of
France, for a subsidy and five hundred men, he set sail himself with
his queen, Margaret of Burgundy, at the head of the formidable
armament fitted out for the conquest of the East. There were two
hundred vessels bearing an army composed of French and Provençals, of
Lombards and Tuscans, including fifty young knights of the noblest
families in Florence, and (a strange spectacle in the host of
Mainfroy's conqueror) a thousand Lucera Saracens. The total was
fifteen thousand cavalry and sixty thousand infantry, and the
rendezvous was at Catona, a Calabrian town opposite Messina, where, by
the king's orders, forty galleys already awaited him.

Undaunted by the formidable array, the Messinese prepared a vigorous
defence, repairing their walls, barricading their port with beams, and
even assuming the offensive with their galleys, which chased some of
the King's into the port of Scylla. Yet a bold and sudden assault
would probably have taken the town, and the reduction of all Sicily
must necessarily have followed. This course was urged by Charles's
principal officers; but he preferred the advice of the Count of
Acerra, who, from cowardly or perfidious motives, urged him to wait
the result of the legate's negotiations with the rebels. This was a
fatal error. Delay was destruction. At the very moment it would well
have availed him, Charles abdicated his usual fiery impetuosity in
favour of temporising measures. Encamping four leagues to the south of
Messina, he lost precious time in idle skirmishes. Whilst he burned
their woods and vines, the Messinese raised fortifications, and named
Alaimo de Lentini captain of the people, the chief office in the new
republic. Whilst Alaimo took charge of the defence of Messina, his
wife Maccalda, with helm on head and cuirass upon breast, armed and
valiant like another Pallas, marshalled the garrison of Catania.

Hostilities were about to commence when Cardinal Gerard of Parma
reached Messina. Alaimo received him with the greatest respect, and
offered him the keys of the town in token of liege homage to the holy
see. The Cardinal replied by a vague offer of pardon if they submitted
to the King. "At the word submission, Alaimo snatched the keys from
the legate's hand, and exclaimed in a voice of thunder, 'Sooner death
than a return to the odious French yoke!' After this theatrical burst,
probably a piece of mere acting on the part of a man who had served
under so many banners, serious negotiations began." It was impossible
to agree. The exasperation of the Messinese reached a height that
terrified the legate, who made his escape, after placing the city
under interdict. The proposals he took to Charles were "the immediate
raising of the siege, and return of the army to the Continent; taxes
as in the time of William the Good; and, finally, a formal engagement
that the island should no longer be garrisoned by French or
Provençals, but by Italians or Latins. "If these conditions are
refused," said the bold Messinese, "we will resist till death, though
we should eat our children!" The Cardinal admonished Charles of the
prudence of accepting these terms, hinting that it might be less
necessary to observe them, when the island was again in his hands.
Charles was too angry and too honourable to listen to the jesuitical
insinuation, and war was the word. The legate returned to Rome, in
despair at the hot-headed monarch's intractability. Charles's knights
and officers were clamorous for an instant assault; but he preferred a
blockade, not wishing, he said, to punish the innocent with the
guilty. M. de St Priest discredits the motive, and attributes such
unusual forbearance on the part of the Lion of Anjou to the fear of
losing, by the indiscriminate pillage that would follow a successful
assault, the great riches Messina was known to contain.

The foe's decision published, Messina threw away the scabbard. A life
of freedom, or a glorious death, was the unanimous resolve of its
heroic inhabitants. Every man became a warrior; the very women gave
example of the purest patriotism and sublimest devotedness. "Matrons
who, the preceding day, clothed themselves in gold and purple, young
girls, brought up in the lap of luxury and ease--all, without
distinction of rank or riches, with bare feet and dresses tucked up to
the knee, bore upon their shoulders stones and fascines, and heavy
baskets of bread and wine. They helped the labourers, supplied them
with food, attended to all that could increase their physical and
moral strength. From the summit of the ramparts they hurled missiles
on the besiegers. They held out their children to their husbands,
bidding them fight bravely, and save their sons from slavery and
death. _Oh! it was a pity_, says a song still popular in Sicily,
_great pity was it to see the ladies of Messina carrying chalk and
stones._"

    "Deh com' egli é gran pictate
    Delle donne di Messina,
    Veggiendo iscapighate,
    Portando pietre e calcina."

Not long ago a wall was still shown, built by these heroines. The
names of two of them, Dina and Clarentia, have been handed down to
posterity. Whilst Dina upset whole squadrons by hurling stones from
warlike engines, Clarentia, erect upon the ramparts, sounded the
charge with a brazen trumpet. Such incidents gave a fine field to the
superstitious and imaginative; and persons were not wanting who
affirmed they had seen the Virgin Mary hover in white robes above the
city, whilst others maintained she had appeared to Charles of Anjou's
Saracens.

The great assault was on the 14th September 1282. "You have no need to
fight with these boors and burgesses," said Charles to his knights;
"you have merely to slaughter them." He undervalued his foe. In vain
did his chivalry advance against the town like a moving wall of steel;
in vain did his fleet assail the port. Beams and chains, hidden under
water, checked and destroyed his shipping; men and horses fell beneath
the missiles of the besieged. One of these would have killed Charles,
had not two devoted knights saved him. They covered the King with
their bodies, and fell crushed and lifeless at his feet. On the side
of the Sicilians, Alaimo displayed great military talents and personal
courage. He was every where to be seen, animating his men by his
example. When the French were finally repulsed with terrible loss, and
compelled to raise the siege, Charles tried to corrupt Alaimo by
immense offers, and went so far as to send him his signature upon a
blank paper. The Sicilian resisted the temptation--rejecting treasures
and dignities, to yield, at a later period, to the influence of a
treacherous woman.

Meanwhile the deputation charged to offer Sicily to the Pope, returned
with a refusal. Martin IV. would have nothing to say to them. He would
have better served Charles by acceptance. Subsequently he might have
restored the island to the King. As it was, he drove the Sicilians
into the snares of the aristocratic league that supported Pedro of
Arragon. The republican government was unequal to the task it had
undertaken, and the Pope's rejection of the protectorate threw them
into great perplexity. A meeting was held to debate the course to be
adopted; and the Spanish party, schooled by former failure, achieved a
decisive triumph. Its leaders remained mute; but an old man, of such
obscure condition that his name was not exactly known, harangued the
assemblage, recalled the memory of the house of Swabia, reminded his
countrymen that Constance was the legitimate heiress to the crown, and
proposed to offer it to her husband, the King of Arragon, then at the
port of Collo, on the coast of Africa, near Constantina. The words
were scarcely spoken, when a thousand voices extolled the wisdom of
the speaker, and ambassadors were immediately named from the people of
Palermo to the King of Arragon. Don Pedro had lingered at Portofangos,
in expectation of such a summons, for more than a month after the
insurrection at Palermo; but finding the secret negotiations of John
of Procida with the chiefs of the Sicilian aristocracy less
immediately successful than he had hoped, he had sailed for the coast
of Africa, on pretext of interfering in a quarrel between the King of
Constantina and two of his brothers, but in reality to be nearer the
stage on which he hoped soon to play an important part. He affected
surprise at the arrival of the Sicilian envoys, who threw themselves
at his feet, bathed in tears and dressed in deep mourning, and in a
studied harangue implored him to reign over Sicily, and relieve them
from the intolerable yoke of the Count of Provence. They said nothing
of Conradin's glove,--the anecdote, M. de St Priest says, not having
been yet invented.

Don Pedro delayed reply till he should have consulted his principal
vassals. Most of them urged him not to engage in a hazardous
enterprise, that would draw upon him the displeasure of the King of
France; "but to be content with what he already possessed, without
seeking to acquire what would assuredly be valiantly defended. Don
Pedro heard their objections in silence, and broke up the council,
merely announcing that the fleet would sail next day, without saying
whether for Catalonia or Sicily. According to one account, scarcely
credible, and bearing strong resemblance to a popular report, he
declared the wind should decide his destination. The wind blew for
Sicily, much to the discontent of some of the barons, and to the
secret and profound joy of the King. After a prosperous voyage of only
three days' duration, Don Pedro landed at the port of Trapani. The
inhabitants received him as a liberator, and he proceeded to Palermo,
where his stay was one unbroken triumph." He did not remain there
long. He was as active and indefatigable as Charles of Anjou; like him
sleeping little, and rising before the sun. He resolved to march to
the succour of Messina, and to intercept the French army's
communications with Calabria. He sent forward two noble Catalan
knights to warn the King of Naples off the island, with the
alternative of war should he refuse. A judge from Barcelona
accompanied them,--it being the custom of the time to compose such
embassies partly of military men, and partly of persons learned in the
law. The envoys were courteously received in the French camp, but
their lodging did not correspond with their reception. Either through
contempt or through negligence, they were quartered in a church,
without bed or chair, and had to sleep upon straw. At night they
received two jugs of black wine, six loaves equally dark coloured, two
roasted pigs, and an enormous quantity of bacon-soup. Coarse fare and
hard couch did not, however, prevent their sleeping soundly, and
repairing next morning to the royal presence, richly attired in fine
cloth lined with vair. Charles, who was unwell, received them
reclining under curtains of magnificent brocade, and with a little
stick between his teeth, according to his habit. He listened patiently
whilst the chief of the embassy summoned him to evacuate the island,
and replied, after a few minutes' reflection, that Sicily belonged
neither to him nor to the King of Arragon, but to the holy see. "Go
then," he said, "to Messina, and bid the people of that city declare
an eight days' truce, for the discussion of necessary things." This
the ambassadors agreed to do, but got a rude reception from Alaimo,
who would not credit their quality of Arragonese envoys, when he heard
them advocate a truce. Don Pedro was no longer at liberty to treat
with Charles, even had he wished it: the Sicilians, at least that
party of them that had invoked his aid, had done so for their own
ends, and would permit no transaction. The ambassadors returned to
Charles and announced their ill success, and the King bade them repose
till next morning, when he would speak further with them. But the next
morning they learned that he and the Queen had left the camp during
the night, and had embarked for Calabria. Many historians have
severely blamed this retreat; M. de St Priest vindicates its wisdom
and propriety. Defection was increasing in Charles's army, weary of a
fruitless siege that had lasted seventy-four days, and he was in
danger of being cut of from Calabria; for although he still had his
fleet, it consisted of heavy, unwieldy transports, and was very
unmanageable. Soon after his departure from Sicily it was destroyed
and captured by the Arragonese fleet. He began also to form a juster
estimate of his formidable adversary, whose politic and generous
conduct contrasted with his own severity, often pushed to barbarity.
He resolved to try a system of conciliation with the Sicilians; and,
being too proud and stiff-necked to adopt it in person, he sent his
son Charles, Prince of Salerno, to carry it out. "It was necessary to
find a pretext in order honourably to absent himself. The customs of
the time furnished him with one. He did not show himself their slave,
as has often been said, but made them serve his purpose, and skilfully
used them to mask the difficulties of his position. It was not, then,
from a Quixotic and foolish impulse, unbecoming at his age, but with a
political object,--in order to escape from the scene of his
disappointments and defeats, and to draw his enemy from that of his
victories and triumphs,--that he took the resolution to challenge
Pedro of Arragon to single combat." A friar bore the cartel; Pedro
accepted it; and this strange duel between two powerful kings was
fixed to take place in a plain near Bordeaux, an English town, as the
chroniclers call it, Bordeaux then belonging to Edward I. of England.
Pending the preliminary negotiations and arrangements for this combat,
hostilities continued, and the results were all in favour of Don
Pedro. His natural son, Don Jaime Pâris, or Peres, admiral of the
Catalan fleet, made a night excursion from Messina to Catona, upon the
opposite coast, surprising and massacring five hundred French
soldiers. Carried away by youthful ardour, he then pushed on to
Reggio; but fell into an ambush, and lost a dozen men. Although the
final result of the enterprise was highly satisfactory, Pâris
returning victor with a rich booty, his father, indignant that his
orders had been overstepped, spared his life only at the entreaties of
his courtiers, degraded and banished him, and gave the command of the
fleet to Ruggiero de Lauria. This was a lucky hit. Lauria, although
violent and perfidious by character, was of courage as great as his
good fortune was invariable. Once at the head of the Arragonese fleet,
the success of Don Pedro ceased to be doubtful.

The conditions of the projected duel being arranged and agreed to by
both parties, Charles left Reggio, the Prince of Salerno remaining
there at the head of an army brought in great part from France. The
war was now transported in great measure into Calabria. There every
thing was favourable to the Arragonese. His soldiers found themselves
in a climate, and amongst mountains, reminding them of their native
country. The Almogavares, hardy and reckless guerillas, lightly
equipped, and with sandalled feet, were more than a match for the
French knights and men-at-arms, with their heavy horses and armour.
"One day, whilst the Prince of Salerno was at Reggio, an Almogavare
came alone to his camp to defy the French. At first they despised the
challenge of the ill-clad savage, but finally a handsome young knight
left the ranks, and accepted the defiance. He was conquered by his
opponent, who, after bringing him to the ground, buried his knife in
his throat. The Prince of Salerno, true to the laws of chivalry,
dismissed the conqueror with rich guerdon. The King of Arragon would
not be surpassed in courtesy, but sent in exchange ten Frenchmen, free
and without ransom, declaring that he would always be happy to give
the same number for one Arragonese." This piece of Spanish rodomontade
was backed, however, by deeds which proved Pedro no impotent boaster;
and the Prince of Salerno was compelled to retire from Reggio--whose
inhabitants, favourable to his rival, hypocritically affected grief at
his departure--to an adjacent level, known as the _pianura di San
Martino_.

Charles of Anjou was now at Rome, whose Pope he found friendly and
supple as ever. A crusade was promulgated, the usurper of Sicily was
excommunicated, and his Arragonese crown was declared forfeit and
given to Charles de Valois, second son of Philip the Bold, whom the
Italians called _Carlo Senza Terra_, because he tried many crowns but
could never keep one. To cloak his manifest partiality, Martin IV.
strove to make Charles give up the duel, and, failing to do so,
declared himself openly against a project which he treated as mad and
impious. He declared null and void the agreement and conditions fixed
between the champions, and exhorted the King of England to forbid the
encounter of the two sovereigns upon his territory. Edward I. was not
the man to spoil sport of this kind; he neither made nor meddled in
the matter. On the appointed day, (25th May 1283,) Charles, coming
from Paris, where his intended duel had excited the enthusiasm of the
French youth, entered Bordeaux, armed cap-à-pie, at the head of a
hundred knights, established himself with them in the lists, and
waited from sunrise till sundown. Then, the King of Arragon not
appearing, he sent for Jean de Grailly, seneschal of Guienne, had a
certificate of his presence at Bordeaux drawn up in due form, and set
out for his county of Provence. Various causes have been assigned for
Pedro's non-appearance. It is certain that he left Sicily, after
having summoned thither his queen and all his children, excepting the
eldest, Alphonso, who remained in Arragon. The only distinct cause
assigned by M. de St Priest, for his defalcation in the lists, is the
Arragonese version. "Don Pedro had gone from Valentia to Collioure,
and already the hundred chevaliers he had chosen to accompany him were
assembled at Jaca, on the frontier, ready to enter Guienne, when he
was suddenly informed that, at the request of Charles of Anjou, Philip
of France had accompanied his uncle to Bordeaux, and lay near that
town with twenty thousand men. Warned by the King of England that the
King of France was in ambush for him, Pedro decided not to show
himself publicly at Bordeaux; but being at the same time fully
resolved to acquit his promise by going thither, he disguised himself
as a poor traveller, and took with him two gentlemen dressed with less
simplicity, all three mounted on good horses, and without other
baggage than a large bag full of provisions, that they might not be
obliged to stop any where. The King acted as servant to his
companions, waiting on them at table, and giving the horses their
corn. In this manner they arrived very quickly at Bordeaux, where Don
Pedro was received and concealed by an old knight, a friend of one of
the two gentlemen. Upon the morrow, which was the day appointed for
the duel, Pedro repaired to the lists, with the seneschal, who was
devoted to him, before the sun rose, consequently earlier than Charles
of Anjou. There he caused his presence to be certified by a notarial
act, then fled precipitately, and put an interval of several hours
between his departure and the pursuit of the Kings of France and
Sicily." This is rather an improbable story, as M. de St Priest justly
remarks; and, even if true, it is a sort of evasion that does little
credit to the King of Arragon's chivalry. It appears likely that
Pedro, standing upon his well-established reputation of personal
bravery, thought himself justified for once in consulting prudence,
and felt little disposed to stake his life and crown upon the goodness
of his lance and charger. Abandoning to his rival the honours of the
tourney, he gained, with his fleet and army, more solid advantages.
Soon after Charles's return to Provence, twenty-nine galleys
despatched by him from Marseilles to the succour of Malta were
attacked and destroyed by Ruggiero de Lauria, in spite of the valiant
efforts of the Provençal admiral, William Cornut.

"In the heat of a terrible and prolonged combat, and seeing himself
about to be vanquished, Cornut jumped upon Lauria's galley and
attacked the admiral, axe in one hand and lance in the other. The
lance point pierced Ruggiero's foot, and, nailing him to the deck,
broke off from the pole; the Provençal raised his axe, when the
Sicilian, active and furious as a tiger, snatched the iron from his
bleeding wound, and, using it as a dagger, stabbed his enemy to the
heart." The sea was the real field of battle, and, unfortunately for
Charles of Anjou, the French lacked the naval skill and experience of
the Catalans. Pedro was detained in Arragon by some turbulent
proceedings of his nobility, but he was ably replaced by his wife.
Queen Constance was no ordinary woman. Adored by the Sicilians, who
persisted in regarding her as the rightful descendant of their kings,
her influence exceeded that of Pedro himself. Surrounded by her
children, and followed by her Almogavares, she traversed the island in
all directions, going from Palermo to Messina, from Messina to
Catania, encouraging the people by kind and valiant words, giving
bread to the necessitous, and followed by the blessings and admiration
of her new subjects. By the advice of John of Procida, she resolved to
anticipate the Prince of Salerno, who only awaited his father's
arrival to make a descent upon Sicily. "She sent for Ruggiero de
Lauria, who was the son of Madonna Bella, her nurse, and spoke to him
thus: 'Friend Ruggiero, you know that you have been brought up, from
your earliest infancy, in my father's house and in mine; my lord the
King of Arragon has loaded you with favours, making you first a good
knight and then an admiral, such confidence has he in your valour and
fidelity. Now, do better still than heretofore; I recommend to you
myself, my children, and all my family.' When the Queen had spoken,
the admiral put knee on ground, took the hands of his good mistress in
his in sign of homage, kissed them devoutly, and replied: '_Madonna_,
have no fear; the banner of Arragon has never receded, and still shall
conquer. God gives me confidence that I shall again work to your
satisfaction, and that of my lord the King.' Then the Queen made the
sign of the cross over the admiral, who quitted her to put himself at
the head of thirty galleys, and of a host of light vessels armed at
Messina. With these he entered the gulf of Salerno." The son of
Charles of Anjou had no suspicion of the sortie of the Arragonese
fleet, and an officer whom he sent to reconnoitre brought back a false
account of the enemy's strength, diminishing the number of their
vessels. Thereupon the Prince of Salerno resolved to give battle,
being urged to do so by the Count of Acerra, the same who had formerly
advised Charles to postpone the assault of Messina. The count's
advice, whether treacherous or sincere, proved fatal in both
instances. The Sicilian fleet, which had advanced to the very Molo of
Naples, passed under the windows of the Castello Nuovo, insulting the
Prince of Salerno by words injurious to his nation, his father, and
himself. Too angry to be prudent, and forgetting Charles's orders on
no account to stir before his arrival, the prince, covered with new
and brilliant armour, bravely embarked, lame though he was, on board
the royal galley, followed by the flower of the French chivalry.
Lauria, cunning as skilful, feigned to fly at his approach. Riso, the
Messinese, and other Sicilian exiles, showed chains to Lauria, calling
out, "Brave admiral, here is what awaits you; turn and look!" Lauria
obeyed their order, turned about, and fell furiously upon the
Neapolitan fleet, which was defeated by the very first shock. The
Prince of Salerno and the French knights defended themselves with the
courage of despair. The royal galley alone held out, until at last
the Prince, seeing it about to sink with the weight of combatants, and
having bravely fought and dearly sold his liberty, gave up his sword
to Ruggiero, who offered him his hand to conduct him on board the
admiral's galley. "Sir Prince," said the Arragonese, "if you do not
covet the fate of Conradin, order your captive, the Infanta Beatrix,
sister of our Queen, and daughter of King Mainfroy, to be instantly
delivered up to us." With the fierce Lauria it was unsafe to trifle or
delay. The Prince wrote to his wife, Mary of Hungary, that, vanquished
and a prisoner, his life depended on the release of Beatrix. On
receiving his letter, the Princess of Salerno hurried to the prison of
Mainfroy's daughter, embraced her, clothed her in her richest apparel,
and instantly gave her up to Lauria's envoy.

At the news of the Prince's capture, the Neapolitans were on the point
of revolt. An incident occurred that did not leave him the least doubt
of their sentiments. When seated on the deck of Ruggiero's galley, in
the midst of a circle of knights who kept respectful silence, he saw
approach a number of boats filled with peasants, who asked permission
to come on board. They brought baskets of those large figs called
_palombale_, and also a present of gold augustales. Taking the Prince,
on account of his magnificent armour, and of the respect of those
around him, they knelt before him and said, "Admiral, accept this
fruit and this gold; the district of Sorrento sends them you as an
offering, and may you take the father as you have taken the son!"
Notwithstanding his misfortunes, the young man could not help smiling,
as he said, "Truly these are very faithful subjects of my lord the
King." He was taken to Sicily and landed at Messina, where Queen
Constance and the Infante Don Jaime then resided.

When Charles of Anjou learned the double disaster that had befallen
him in the capture of his fleet and son, his first expression was one
of bitter irony. "The better," he exclaimed, "that we are quit of that
priest, who spoiled our affairs and took away our courage!" Bitter
grief succeeded this factitious gaiety. He shut himself up in a
private chamber of the _Castel Capuano_, sent away the attendants and
torches, repulsing even the tender caresses of his queen, and groaned
and lamented in solitude and darkness. When day appeared he forgot his
sorrow to think of vengeance. In his absence, Naples had nearly
escaped him. From Pausilippo to the Molo, shouts for Pedro of Arragon
had been heard. Naples must expiate the crime. Charles prepared to
shed an ocean of blood, but the Pope's legate interceded; and the
enraged sovereign contented himself with hanging a hundred and fifty
of the most guilty from the battlements of the Castel Nuovo. Then,
with his usual impetuous activity, he armed a fleet, and sailed for
Messina, but was met by a message from Constance, that if he touched
the shore of Sicily his son's head should roll upon the scaffold. What
could the murderer of Conradin reply to this threat? Trembling with
fury, he returned to Calabria. The position of his son justified great
anxiety. A large majority of the Sicilians were clamorous for his
death, as an expiatory sacrifice to the manes of Conradin. Queen
Constance, who had nobly resolved to save him, was compelled so far to
yield to public clamour that a parliment was assembled to deliberate
on his fate. With the exception of Alaimo de Lentini, all the members
voted for the Prince's death. But Constance would not ratify the
sentence till she heard from Don Pedro, to whom she had already
despatched intelligence of the important capture. As she had foreseen,
Pedro ordered the Prince, and the chief amongst his companions, to be
sent immediately to Arragon. This was done, and Sicily seemed
guaranteed for a long time from the aggressions of the house of Anjou.

To foreign warfare internal strife succeeded. The Sicilian nobles, the
same men who had entreated Pedro of Arragon to reign over them, now
repented of their choice. They had found a master where they had
intended a crowned companion. Already the failure of a rebellion had
cost several of them their heads, when a second plot was got up, in
which Alaimo de Lentini took a prominent part. The rank, influence,
and services of this man, the first in Sicily, rendered Pedro uneasy,
and excited the jealousy of his two ministers, John of Procida and
Ruggiero de Lauria. Alaimo's indulgent vote upon the trial of the
Prince of Salerno, although conformable to the wishes of the King, yet
had increased suspicions he for some time had entertained. These,
however, would not have broken out but for the imprudent audacity of
Maccalda, Alaimo's wife, who had flattered herself she should be able
to govern Pedro of Arragon. During the siege of Messina, she presented
herself before him in her Amazonian garb, a silver mace in her hand;
but this warlike equipment could not restore her youth, and,
notwithstanding the King's passionate admiration of the fair sex, he
passed the night in talking to her of his ancestors, and finally fell
asleep. Irritated by this contempt of her charms, Maccalda vowed
hatred to Queen Constance. Although of very low origin, the insolent
matron pretended herself at least the equal of the daughter of
Mainfroy the bastard. She refused her the title of queen, and never
spoke of her but as the mother of the Infante Don Jaime. Every advance
made by Don Pedro's wife was insolently rejected by her. The Queen
wished to become godmother to one of her children; Maccalda
disdainfully declined the honour. The Queen had a litter made to take
air in Palermo, a piece of luxury unprecedented in Sicily. Maccalda
immediately rambled about the island in a litter twice the size,
eclipsing her sovereign by her presumptuous splendour. In short, the
court of Arragon could not endure this incessant struggle, and soon
serious grounds for vengeance were found. All powerful with her
husband, Maccalda excited him to revolt. He corresponded with Charles
of Anjou, then in Calabria; one of his letters, in which he promised
to deliver Sicily to the King of Naples, fell into the hands of John
of Procida. Don Pedro, informed of Alaimo's treason, dissimulated and
wrote him an affectionate invitation to Spain, under pretence of
conferring with him on the affairs of Sicily. Resistance and obedience
were equally dangerous; but the latter left most time to turn in, so
Alaimo obeyed. He no sooner reached Arragon than he was thrown into a
dungeon. At the same time Maccalda, stripped of her husband's
possessions, was put in prison in Sicily. There she preserved her
courage and gaiety, and passed her time in laughing at Queen
Constance, and in playing at chess with a Moorish king, prisoner like
herself.

Sixty French knights were massacred in the prison of Matagrifone, at
the instigation of the ferocious Ruggiero de Lauria, so soon as he
learned the treason of Alaimo and Maccalda. For these a tragical end
was reserved. At the commencement of the following reign, the defender
of Messina was thrown into the sea, a halter round his neck; and it
was conjectured that Maccalda Scaletta, also met a violent death in
the obscurity of her dungeon.

Charles was not more fortunate in military operations than in secret
plottings. In vain did he besiege Reggio; for want of provisions he
was compelled to return to Naples. But although fortune proved so
fickle, his bold spirit remained unbroken, and he conceived a gigantic
plan, which was to avenge all his disasters. He resolved to fall upon
Sicily at the head of considerable forces, whilst a powerful French
army entered Arragon. But death nullified his schemes. Whilst upon the
road from Naples to Brindes, to prepare the new armament, he was
compelled by the violent attacks of ague, from which he suffered
continually since his misfortunes, to stop at Foggia. His hour had
come. By his will, made upon the day of his death, he left the kingdom
of the Two Sicilies and the county of Provence to his son Charles
prince of Salerno; and, failing him, to his grandson Charles Martel,
then twelve years old. His testamentary dispositions completed, he
turned his thoughts to things spiritual. Margaret of Burgundy,
summoned in all haste to her husband's side, arrived but just in time
to receive his last adieu. He expired in her arms, the victim of grief
as much as of disease, overtaken by premature old age, but full of
faith in his good right and in divine justice. Upon his deathbed he
was untormented by remorse; he beheld neither the threatening shade of
Conradin nor the rivers of blood with which he had inundated Sicily;
his eyes and lips were fixed with love upon the cross, whose most
faithful defender he esteemed himself. At the supreme hour, and with
his last breath, he made a final and impious manifestation of the
overweening pride and self-confidence that were amongst his most
prominent qualities during his life. "He confessed himself, and
demanded the last sacrament, sat up in his bed to receive it worthily,
fixed his eyes upon the redoubtable mystery, and, speaking directly to
the body and blood of Christ, addressed to them these words of
audacious conviction: '_Sire Dieu_, as I truly believe you to be my
Saviour, I pray you show mercy to my soul. Since it is certain that I
undertook the affair of Sicily more to serve the holy church than for
my own advantage, you ought to absolve me of my sins.'"[8]

  [8] The death of Cardinal Richelieu offers a singular resemblance with
  that of Charles of Anjou. Having demanded the Viaticum: "Here is my
  Lord and my God," he exclaimed; "before him I protest that in all I
  have undertaken, I have had nothing in view but the good of religion
  and of the state."--ST PRIEST, vol. iv. p. 165.

The body of Charles was transported to Naples, and buried in the
cathedral, under a pompous mausoleum. His heart was taken to Paris,
and deposited in the church of the _Grands Jacobins_, with this
inscription:--

       "LI COER DI GRAND ROY CHARLES QUI CONQUIT SICILE."

Upon her husband's death Margaret retired to her county of Tonnerre,
where she had founded an hospital, and passed the rest of her life in
pious and charitable exercises. "The first chevalier in the world has
ceased to live," exclaimed Pedro of Arragon, on learning the death of
Charles of Anjou. He himself survived his great rival but a few
months. After conquering Philip III. of France in the defiles of
Arragon, a victory which procured the fortunate Arragonese the
_soubriquet_ of _Pedro de los Franceses_, he died very penitent,
restoring his possessions to the church, whose liegeman he
acknowledged himself, and putting under the protection of the holy see
his two kingdoms of Arragon and Sicily, which he bequeathed to his
sons, Alphonso III. and Jaime II. About the same time Martin IV. ended
his days, full of grief for the loss of Charles of Anjou, to whom he
was devotedly and blindly attached,--"An attachment," says M. de St
Priest, "which excites interest, so rare is friendship upon thrones,
and especially in old age. Thus was Charles of France, brother of St
Louis, followed to the tomb by the most remarkable of his
contemporaries. A new epoch began; the age of Philip le Bel, of
Boniface VIII., and of Dante. The great poet, so severe to the living
Capétiens, has treated them better in the invisible world. Whilst he
has precipitated Frederick II. and the most illustrious Ghibellines
into the depths of the eternal chasms, he shows us--not in torture,
but awaiting a better destiny--not in the flames of purgatory, but in
the bosom of monotonous repose, in the shade of a peaceful forest, in
a valley strewed with unknown flowers--Charles of Anjou and Pedro of
Arragon, seated side by side, reconciled by death, and uniting their
grave and manly voices in hymns to the praise of the Most High."

The political separation of the island and continent of Sicily was now
complete, but none foresaw its long duration. The period immediately
succeeding the death of Charles of Anjou was one continuous struggle
between Naples and Palermo, the former striving to regain lost
supremacy, the latter to retain conquered independence. For a moment
the kingdom of the Two Sicilies, torn in twain by a great popular
movement, was on the point of reuniting; the great result obtained by
the Sicilian Vespers seemed about to be lost, and the Vespers
themselves to lose their rank of revolution, and subside into the
vulgar category of revolts and insurrections. Strange to say, the
foreign dynasty that had profited by the successful rebellion, was
itself on the eve of destroying the work of its partisans. After the
ephemeral reign of Alphonso III. King of Arragon, eldest son and
successor of Don Pedro, Don Jaime, second son of this Prince, united
upon his head the crowns of Sicily and Arragon. The will of the two
deceased kings had been to keep these crowns separate. Don Pedro
verbally, Don Alphonso by a written will, had called the Infante
Frederick, son of one and brother of the other, to reign in Sicily so
soon as Don Jaime should take possession of the hereditary sceptre of
Arragon and Catalonia. Jaime disregarded their wishes. He kept Sicily,
not for himself, but to restore it to the enemies of his family, to
his prisoner, now chief of the house of Anjou, agreeably to a secret
treaty they had entered into during the captivity of Charles II. If M.
de St Priest is correct in placing the first negotiation of this
treaty so far back as the summer of 1284, soon after the action in
which Charles lost his liberty, it is difficult to understand what
could then have been Don Jaime's motives. His father and elder brother
dead, it is more easy to explain them. We must remember that before
falling into the hands of the terrible Ruggiero de Lauria, Charles,
then Prince of Salerno, commissioned by the King of Naples to make
concessions to his subjects, had proclaimed a political reform, under
the auspices of Martin IV. After the death of this Pope, his successor
Honorius, also a declared partisan of the house of Anjou, extended
still further these political privileges, and the convention known in
the history of Naples as the Statutes of Honorius (Capitoli d'Onorio)
there long had the force of law. In view of these privileges, imposed
by papacy, and conceded by the dynasty whose despotism had driven
Sicily to revolt, the dynasty established by that revolt was compelled
to bid higher for popular approbation. The rival royalties began a
dangerous race in the path of reform. The Arragonese could not allow
the Angevine to surpass him in generosity. Don Jaime saw himself
compelled to make such concessions to the clergy and aristocracy, that
Sicily retained but the mere shadow of a monarchy. The authority
awaiting him in Arragon was certainly not more absolute; but there, at
least, he found himself in his native country and hereditary
dominions; habit, tradition, old affinities, compensated what the
supreme power lacked in strength and extent. In Sicily things were
very different. The island was altogether in an unsatisfactory state.
The chiefs of the aristocracy, the authors of the revolution, had all
rebelled in turn. It had been found necessary to put to death
Caltagirone, Alaimo de Lentini, and other leaders of the Arragonese
intrigue. The air of Sicily seemed loaded with rebellious infection.
Even Ruggiero de Lauria, and John of Procida,[9] were suspected of
disaffection. Nor did the profits of the island compensate the anxiety
it caused. Exhausted by war, Sicily yielded no revenue, but required
support in men and money. More than this, the papal anathema still
remained upon the family of Pedro of Arragon. It weighed upon Don
Jaime and upon his mother Queen Constance. Courageous though she was,
the daughter of the excommunicated Mainfroy, the widow of the
excommunicated Pedro, had difficulty to support the interdict.
Successive popes sustained the interests of the French dynasty, and
bestowed the crown of Arragon, a fief of the holy see, upon Charles of
Valois, brother of Philip le Bel. True, possession did not accompany
the gift, to which the Arragonese did not subscribe, but drove back
Philip the Bold when he tried to introduce his son into his new
kingdom, an attempt which cost him his reputation and his life. Still
Don Jaime was anxious, for various reasons, to have the donation
annulled. To this end he addressed himself to the King of Naples,
still prisoner at Barcelona, offering to give him up Sicily, and even
to aid him to reconquer it, on condition that the Pope removed the
interdict from his house, and that Charles of Valois was compelled to
renounce the title of King of Arragon. Moreover, a matrimonial
alliance, always an important tie, but especially so in the middle
ages, was to seal the friendship of the two monarchs. Don Jaime was to
marry the princess Blanche, eldest daughter of the King of Naples, and
granddaughter of the great Charles of Anjou. Boniface VIII., greatly
attached, at the commencement of his popedom, to the interests of
France, joyfully acquiesced in these arrangements.

  [9] Procida died at an advanced old age, in his native province of
  Salerno, reconciled with the Pope and with the King of Naples, at
  enmity with Sicily, and re-established in his possessions by Charles
  II.--St Priest, vol. iv. p. 172.

Every thing seemed arranged, when unexpected obstacles arose. On the
one hand, Charles of Valois, having neither dominions nor crown,
obstinately resisted the transfer of his imaginary kingdom; on the
other, the Sicilians declared they would die to a man rather than
acknowledge the sovereignty of the house of Anjou. They summoned Don
Jaime to renounce his project, and when he persisted in it, they
raised to the throne the Infante Frederick, at first with the title of
Lord of Sicily, afterwards with that of King. This prince proved
worthy of the national choice. In vain did Boniface VIII. assail him
in turn with flattery and menace; the new king of Sicily remained
faithful to his people. By a strange concurrence of circumstances, he
found himself opposed in arms to his brother Jaime of Arragon, now the
ally of his father-in-law, Charles II., who had recovered his liberty
and returned to his dominions. In spite of his own and his subjects'
valour, Frederick III. was at first nearly overcome. The house of
Anjou would have reconquered Sicily, but for the defection of the
fickle King of Arragon, who abandoned his allies and returned home,
carrying with him the contempt of all parties. After various changes
of fortune, a definitive treaty of peace was concluded between the
belligerents, under the auspices of Rome. By its conditions, Frederick
III. was to retain the crown of Sicily for his life, with the title of
King of Trinacria, invented to avoid infringement on the rights of
Charles II., who kept the title of King of Sicily, with the reversion
of the dominions for himself and his direct heirs, after the death of
Frederick, who married Eleanor, youngest daughter of Charles. The
basis of this treaty was manifestly unstable, its very letter was soon
effaced: and Frederick, disdaining the singular title of King of
Trinacria, soon resumed his rightful one. There were thus two kings of
Sicily, on this and that side the straits, and from that period dates
the term, the Two Sicilies.

During a reign of thirty-four years, Frederick III. did much for the
nation that had placed him at its head. A scholar and a legislator, he
encouraged letters, navigation, and trade, established a national
representation, and bequeathed his subjects the famous Sicilian
constitution, which was entirely destroyed only in the present
century. But the tendency of power in Sicily was to the hands of the
nobles. Frederick struggled hard to keep down the aristocracy, but his
efforts had no permanent success: at his death the barons became
omnipotent, the feudal system prevailed, and for more than a century
the annals of the island are but a confused history of the rivalries
of the Chiaromonte and the Vintimiglia, the Palizzi and the Alagona,
the Luna and the Perolla, and many others besides. The Chiaromonte,
notwithstanding their French origin,[10] were the chiefs of the
Italian or Latin party; they became absolute masters of Palermo, and
reigned over it from the summit of their castle of Steri, whose
massive masonry still exists in the heart of that city. The kings of
Sicily, to obtain their support, sought the hands of their daughters;
but at last the haughty patricians fell from their pinnacle of
greatness, and by treason or stratagem were led to the scaffold.
Distracted and weakened by discord, Sicily offered, at this time, an
easy prey to Naples, had the descendants of the first Charles been the
men to profit by the opportunity. But they were far from inheriting
the martial energy of their great ancestor, and, in spite of
circumstances frequently favourable, Sicily was never reconquered by
the race of Charles of Anjou.

  [10] "It is at this time (the moment when Charles of Anjou raised the
  siege of Messina) that estimable, but second-rate historians place the
  pretended adventure of a French chevalier of the name of Clermont, to
  whose wife, they say, Charles of Anjou had offered violence. They add,
  that, after revenging himself by a similar outrage to one of the
  king's daughters, this French knight fled to Sicily, where he founded
  the powerful house of Chiaromonte, Counts of Modica." (St Priest, vol.
  iv. p. 104.) M. de St Priest disbelieves this anecdote, which is
  certainly inconsistent with the character for rigid morality and
  chastity he assigns to his hero.

The concluding line of M. de St. Priest's work contains a sentiment
which will doubtless find ready echo in the hearts of his countrymen,
ever jealous of Great Britain's aggrandisement and territorial growth.
"May Sicily" he says, "never become a second Malta." The wish, whose
heartfelt sincerity cannot be doubted, points to the possibility, not
to say the probability, of the event deprecated; an event which,
however unwelcome to France, would, in many respects, be highly
advantageous to the two parties more immediately concerned. So
manifest are the benefits that it is almost impertinent to point them
out. Sicily would find efficient protection, commercial advantages, a
paternal and liberal government; England would obtain a storehouse and
granary, and an excellent position whence to observe and check French
progress in Northern Africa, should the ambition of the young
republic, or of any other government that may succeed it, render
interference necessary. At the present moment, when half Europe is
unhinged, political speculation becomes doubly difficult; but whatever
turn events take, there is little likelihood of France either
abandoning her African colony or resting contented with its present
extent. Doubtless, she will some day lay hold of Tunis, or at least
make the attempt. It is but a short sail from Tunis to Sicily. The
peace-at-all-price men, who would fain dispense with fleets and
armies, and trust to the spread of philanthropy for the protection of
Britain and its colonies, would have no fresh cause for their insipid
and querulous grumblings in the annexation of Sicily to the British
empire. It would be unnecessary to recruit an additional drummer, or
man a cock-boat the more. The island Sicilians, of more hardy frame
and courageous temper than their Continental neighbours, are, as they
have lately shown, able to defend their liberties. They would furnish
troops and mariners, who, with British discipline and direction, need
be second to none in Europe. Increased advantages should of course be
afforded to Sicilian produce imported into Great Britain. This would
cut two ways. Whilst benefiting the Sicilian, and encouraging him to
industry, it would spur the stolid and stubborn lawgivers of Spain to
moderate the absurd tariff which excludes foreign manufactures from
that country, save through illicit channels. Under British protection
and British laws, Sicily, if she cannot hope ever to resume her
ancient grandeur and prosperity, would flourish and improve to an
extent impossible during her ill-assorted union with Naples.



CRIMES AND REMARKABLE TRIALS IN SCOTLAND.

KIDNAPPING--PETER WILLIAMSON'S CASE.


Before entering on the personal history of a man whose adventures
carried him through all the strata of social life, from the feathered
savage of the Prairies to the industrious burgess in small-clothes,
let us give a few incidental notices of that crime--kidnapping, or
man-stealing,--his subjection to which was the opening scene of his
eventful career. We can, perhaps, scarcely point to a more distinct
type of feebleness in the law of any country than the frequency of
this crime. In that community where the people, marked off by any
distinction in race or appearance--where persons born in serfdom, or
of a particular line, or speaking a peculiar language--are doomed to
slavery, the laws may be unjust and barbarous in the extreme, but it
does not follow that they are feeble. The slavery exists _by_ them,
not _in spite of_ them. It is in the country where the person, free by
the law, is seized, and, in defiance of the law, held in forced
bondage, in obedience to the interest or the malevolence of
individuals, that this characteristic of feebleness is so prominently
developed. The purloiner of coin or plate can only be tracked by
external incidents; there is nothing in his connexion with the
property that in itself proclaims his crime. The horse and
cattle-stealer have to deal with less silent commodities; but even the
objects of _their_ depredations are not placed in an unnatural
position by ownership, and have no voice wherewith to proclaim their
custodier's dishonesty. But the man who holds another in possession in
a free country, is a criminal in the eye of every one who sees him
exercise his ownership; and he carries about with him a perpetual
witness and accuser, who is under the strongest inducements to be ever
vigilant and ever active. The law under which common thefts are
practised, is only that which does not see far into a millstone; but
the law under which kidnapping may be pursued with impunity, is deaf,
and blind, and, paralytic. Owing to the strong central administration
of justice in England, it does not appear that this crime was ever
very prevalent in the south. We find, indeed, in _Whitelock's
Memorials_, under the date of 9th May 1645--"An ordinance against such
who are called _spirits_, and use to steal away and take up children,
and, bereave their parents of them, and convey them away." The measure
then adopted, which will be found among the ordinances of the Long
Parliament, shows us that it had become customary to seize children
and carry them out of the country, to be employed as slaves in the
plantations, or probably to be sold to the Mediterranean pirates. The
ordinance says, "Whereas, the houses of Parliament are informed that
divers lewd persons do go up and down the city of London and
elsewhere, and in a most barbarous and wicked manner steal away many
little children, it is ordered by the Lords and Commons, in Parliament
assembled, that all officers and ministers of justice be hereby
straitly charged and required to be very diligent apprehending all
such persons as are faulty in this kind, either in stealing, selling,
buying, enveigling, purloining, conveying, or receiving children so
stolen, and to keep them in safe imprisonment till they may be brought
to severe and exemplary punishment. It is further ordered, that the
marshals of the Admiralty and the Cinque Ports do immediately make
strict and diligent search in all ships, and vessels upon the river,
and at the Downs, for all such children, according to such directions
as they have, or shall receive from the committee of the Admiralty and
Cinque Ports." The few reports we have of English cases of kidnapping
are too profusely dressed up with technicalities to permit us to see
the naked facts. Shower reports the case of Lees v. Dassigny, the 34th
of Charles II. An English common-law reporter never condescends to
know the year of the Christian era; he knows only that of the king's
reign, and if he had to mention the foundation of the Turkish empire,
he would mark it as the 28th Edward I.; while the discovery of America
would as undoubtedly be an event of the 8th Henry VII. When we turn to
our chronological tables, we find that the 34th of Charles II. means
the year 1682. How far the pleadings throw any light on the adventures
of the youth who had been kidnapped and sent abroad, the reader may
judge from a fair specimen:--"They sue an _homine replegiando_ in the
name of the young Turbett; and after an _alias_ and a _pluries_, they
get an _elongatus est per quendam Philippum Dassigny infra nominatum_.
This was to the Sheriff of London, whereas the defender never lived in
London, but at Wapping, in Middlesex," &c. The effect of the pleading,
of which this is the commencement, was, that the accused might be
bailed, "and on security to bring home the boy in six months, death
and the perils of the seas excepted, he was discharged on bail. In
Trinity term the boy came home, and being brought into court was
delivered to the father; but they never proceeded." Sir Thomas Raymond
gives us the further information, that the kidnapper was a merchant
trading to Jamaica, and that the victim "was a scholar at Merchant
Taylor's school, and a hopeful young youth."[11] An act of King
William's reign shows that the offence was still prevalent, by
imposing penalties on the masters of vessels leaving people behind in
"his Majesty's plantations or elsewhere." It appears to have been
almost solely for the foreign market that kidnapping was practised in
England. The cultivated and populous character of the country, the
power of the laws, and the perpetual vicinity of a kind of parochial
municipalities, probably rendered the forcible seizure and
imprisonment of individuals within the country too difficult and
dangerous an operation to have been frequently accomplished by force;
though the fatal facilities for confinement in lunatic asylums may
have frequently made them the living tombs of those whom the rapacity,
or the malignant passions of others, have doomed to imprisonment. Yet,
were we to take foreign novelists as true painters of English manners,
we would find in Madame Cotin's _Malvina_, that a French beauty having
secured the affections of an English duke, his powerful relations
seize her after she has become his wife, and lock her up in a turret
of their private castle, where, though the neighbouring physician and
the clergyman visit her, and all the world knows that she is
imprisoned, no one dares to interfere in her behalf; and her fate is
only balanced by that of her husband, whom the Attorney-General
transports, by a writ of _Habeas Corpus_, to the West Indies. Somewhat
similar, if our memory serves us right, are the notions of British
liberty embodied in _Walladmor_, the story got up to pass as a
Waverley novel at one of the Leipsic fairs, where, in the year 1818,
the Lord Lieutenant is found committing every person with whom he
quarrels to his private dungeons in his own castle.

  [11] Raymond's _Reports_, 474.

We need no writers of romance to find instances of kidnapping in
Scotland before the Union. The vast solitudes which frequently
separated inhabited districts from each other, the feudal fortalices
scattered hither and thither, the weakness of the crown, the judicial
powers possessed by many of the barons; and we may add to this, the
spirit of clanship, which surrounded every Highland chief with an army
of retainers, as faithful to the preservation of his secrets as they
were relentless in avenging his feuds--all conspired to render it too
easy for a powerful individual to adopt such a form of outrage against
his enemy. Not that the practice was pursued in the manner of a sordid
trade, as we have found it followed in England, and as we shall find
that at a later period it was adopted among ourselves. The Scots had
no colonies to be supplied with this species of living merchandise;
and in truth the human animal has seldom been with us so valuable a
commodity in the home market, as greatly to raise the cupidity of his
neighbour.

Those who ventured on kidnapping flew at high game. A young or a
superannuated king requiring the aid of able counsellors, nay,
sometimes a monarch in the vigour of his power, would be the object of
such an attempt. Among lesser personages, statesmen offensively
powerful, dignified churchmen about to issue ecclesiastical censures,
and judges of the Court of Session prepared to give adverse decisions,
were in great request, and eagerly sought after. Alexander Gibson of
Durie, for some time a principal clerk of session, and afterwards a
judge in that court--lawyers know him as the author of a folio volume
of reports of more than average unreadability--was a special victim,
having been twice successfully spirited away. In 1604, George Meldrum,
younger of Dumbreck, was tried for several acts of this description,
of one of which Durie, then "ane of the clerks of our sovereign Lord's
Council and Session," was a victim. Among those whom the kidnapper
took to his assistance were--"John Johnston, called Swyne-foot," and
some other worthies, comprehensively described as "ane company of
common and notorious thieves, brigands, and murderers," who assembled
"with swords, hagbuts, and pistolets." Durie was residing in St
Andrews, and it appears that his enemy employed "ane fellow called
Craik, the said George Meldrum's own man," to watch his motions. He
was riding, as it would appear, on the bank of the Firth of Tay,
opposite to Dundee, accompanied by a brother barrister and his
servant, when the ambuscade "treasonably put violent hands on their
persons," and "took them captives and prisoners." Their captor "reft
fra them their purses, with certain gold and silver being therein,
extending to the quantity of three hundred merks or thereby"--an act
which the indictment reproachfully mentions as specially unworthy of
"ane landed man." Meldrum proceeded with his captive through Fifeshire
to Kinghorn, on the Forth; thence, crossing over to Leith, he marched
through Edinburgh, "passing the palace gate of Holyroodhouse"--a
circumstance to which the indictment alludes as a powerful
illustration of the audacity of the transaction. The party then
proceeded through Lothian and Tweeddale across the Border "unto
England, to George Ratcliff's house, where they detained him captive
and prisoner for the space of eight days or thereby."[12] Thus was
this high official conveyed a distance of about a hundred miles, not
only through the most populous and fertile part of the kingdom, but
through the centre of the metropolis, under the very shadow of the
throne; and that not by any of the great barons who could command an
army of followers, but by a petty country gentleman, aided by a few
Border freebooters.

  [12] Pitcairn, ii. 428.

The second private captivity of Durie was accomplished on the
principle on which an elector is sometimes abstracted. It was for the
purpose of defeating his adverse vote on the bench in a cause then
before the court. Sir Walter Scott mentions the incident in the notes
to the "Border Minstrelsy;" and the reader who remembers his
picturesque and spirited narrative may perhaps be amused by seeing how
the same event appears in the sober garb of a reporter of decisions.
Forbes, in his "Journal of the Session," says--

     "Some party in a considerable action before the session,
     finding the Lord Durie could not be persuaded to think his
     plea good, fell upon a stratagem to prevent the influence
     and weight that his lordship might have to his prejudice, by
     causing some strong masked men kidnap him in the Links of
     Leith at his diversion on a Saturday afternoon, and
     transport him to some blind and obscure room in the country,
     where he was detained captive without the benefit of
     daylight a matter of three months--though otherwise civilly
     and well entertained--during which time his lady and
     children went in mourning for him as dead. But after the
     cause aforesaid was decided, the Lord Durie was carried back
     by incognitoes, and dropped in the same place where he had
     been taken up."[13]

  [13] Forbes's _Journal of the Session_, preface, p. xviii.

During the civil wars of the seventeenth century, the victorious party
frequently found it difficult to dispose of their captives. In England
many of them were sent to the plantations; and perhaps the idea which
this practice communicated to the public, of the value of captives
transported to the colonies, may have first instigated those acts of
kidnapping against which we have found the Long Parliament protesting.
Scotland had no such means of disposing of her prisoners, whose
numbers were frequently very inconvenient. Many of them were sent
abroad to be soldiers under those continental leaders who were
considered on the same side with the victorious party at home; others
were subjected to a sort of slavery in this country; but wherever
their lot might be cast, their captivity would be very apt to be
abbreviated by some revolution in the fortunes of war. A person who
preserved accurate notes of political events as they passed under his
eye, kept the following very business-like account of the distribution
of the common soldiers taken in the battle in which Montrose was made
prisoner:--

     "Tuesday, 21st May [1650].--This day the two hundred and
     eighty-one common soldiers taken at Kerbester, that were in
     the Canongate prison--the house ordains forty of them, being
     forced from Orkney, and have wife and children, to be
     dismissed. The house gives six of them, being fishers, to
     the lieutenant-general; also other six fishers of them,
     given by the parliament to the Marquis of Argyle; and six of
     them being lusty fellows, given to Sir James Hope, to his
     lead-mines. The remnant of them the house gives to the Lord
     Angus and Sir Robert Murray, to recruit the French regiments
     with, to be transported out of the country to France."[14]

  [14] Balfour's _Brieffe Memorials of Church and State_, 18.

It may be questioned if these gifts were very valuable to their
receivers, or if the coerced labour they inferred was worth
possessing. Certainly so little valuable was the mere human being to
the community, some thirty years afterwards, that the liberal and
patriotic Fletcher of Saltoun pleaded hard for the establishment of
slavery in Scotland, not as a privilege to the aristocracy, but as a
boon to "so many thousands of our people who are, at this day, dying
for want of bread." He saw that sheep and oxen, being property, were
cared for and kept alive, and, by a process of reasoning which he
seemed to consider a very natural one, he thought that he had but to
convert his fellow beings into property, to let them be also cared
for. Yet, like all men who conceive social paradoxes, he was haunted
by the shadow, cast before, of the revulsion of common sense against
his proposal, and thus anticipated the obloquy it would incur. "I
doubt not that what I have said will meet, not only with all the
misconstruction and obloquy, but all the disdain, fury, and outcries,
of which either ignorant magistrates or proud lazy people are capable.
Would I bring back slavery into the world? Shall men of immortal
souls, and by nature equal to any, be sold as beasts? Shall they and
their posterity be for ever subjected to the most miserable of all
conditions, the inhuman barbarity of masters, who may beat, mutilate,
torture, starve, or kill, so great a number of mankind at pleasure?
Shall the far greater part of the commonwealth be slaves, not that the
rest may be free, but tyrants over them? With what face can we oppose
the tyranny of princes, and recommend such tyranny as the highest
virtue, if we make ourselves tyrants over the greatest part of
mankind? Can any man, from whom such a thing has escaped, ever offer
to speak for liberty? But they must pardon me if I tell them, that I
regard not names but things; and that the misapplication of names has
confounded every thing."[15]

  [15] Balfour's _Brieffe Memorials of Church and State_, 18.

His plan of social reorganisation was, that "every man of a certain
estate in this nation should be obliged to take a proportional number
of the poor, and employ them in hedging and ditching his grounds, or
any other sort of work," while the young were to be "educated in the
knowledge of some mechanical art." Here we have one of the earliest
undoubted expositions of communism. But Fletcher called things by
their accepted names, and for Saint Simon's _industriel_ and _chef_,
we have _slave_ and _owner_; for Fourier's _Phalanges_ we have
_gangs_. Nor does the illustrious patriot flinch from describing in
their proper harsh colours the coercive means necessary for thus
keeping society in fetters. We recommend to M. Louis Blanc the passage
where he says:--"These things, when once resolved, must be executed
with great address, diligence, and severity; for that sort of people
is so desperately wicked, such enemies of all work and labour, and,
which is yet more amazing, so proud, in esteeming their own condition
above that which they will be sure to call slavery; that, unless
prevented by the utmost industry and diligence, upon the first
publication of any orders necessary for putting in execution such a
design, they will rather die with hunger in caves and dens, and murder
their young children, than appear abroad, to have them and themselves
taken into such a kind of service."

There is spirit--almost sympathy in this picture of the desperation of
savage liberty; and the enthusiasm with which the lover of his own
freedom describes the love of the poor outcasts for theirs, sounds as
if it gave the lie to the sincerity of the project. It seems to have
had no supporters. The state of "the labour market" did not make the
possession of human beings a desirable investment, and landed
gentlemen were not anxious to become the owners of their poorer
neighbours, for the general good of the community. Kidnappings and
deportations for political purposes, still continued to be
occasionally practised. One memorable instance was the far-famed story
of Lady Grange, to which we propose to dedicate a separate notice, in
virtue of our having perused some documents with which the world at
large does not seem yet to be acquainted. There is little doubt that
occasionally a person who showed a disposition to impart dangerous
Jacobite secrets was spirited away to France, to give an account of
his views and intentions, under circumstances in which he might not be
so likely to forget the obligations he had incurred to the exiled
house. Generally speaking, however, kidnapping was worthless in a
commercial sense; though Lovat, whose actions were scarcely in
conformity with any particular social rule, choosing to have in his
service a well-trained London footman, without paying him, got
possession of his person, and kept it as safe in his own custody at
Castle Dounie as if he had taken him to Algiers.

It was, however, when the Scottish trade with the plantations began to
open up, soon after the Union, that the disgraceful practice of
kidnapping and transporting children became prevalent. The power
possessed by many of the chiefs, as independent local judges, with but
a nominal responsibility to the control of the crown or the
intervention of the supreme courts, gave facilities for this traffic,
which poor human nature seems to have been incapable of resisting. The
victims were sometimes persons tried and convicted before the
hereditary tribunal; and since they _must_ be punished, it were pity
to allow an opportunity to be lost, by which the infliction might be
turned to the profit of the judge or his friends. Thus we find Lovat,
desirous to propitiate the favour of Duncan Forbes, offering his
brother a gift of "a few Strathglass rogues," clansmen of his next
neighbour and hereditary enemy, whom he had caught in his own domain,
and convicted in his own court. He had at first proposed to send them
to America; but, as they are "handsome fellows," he offers them to
Forbes, for his nephew's Dutch regiment. "I shall send them to him,"
says the accommodating chief, "without any expense in keeping of them;
for I will send immediately orders to carry them south with a guard.
There is a captain there of Arthur's regiment, who will receive them
and deliver them to Arthur; and I'll send him other two Camerons that
are in your prison--tall fellows; and five such good men will do him
more service, now that the Dutch expect a war, than thirty men next
season."[16]

  [16] _Culloden Papers_, 118.

It was in reference to such practices that the engineer officer, who,
while employed in laying out the military roads through the Highlands,
preserved so many shrewd remarks on the manners of the people, added
the following to his budget:--

     "When any ship in these parts is bound for the West Indies,
     to be sure, a neighbouring chief, of whom none dares openly
     to complain, has several thieves to send prisoners to town.

     "It has been whispered their crimes were only asking their
     dues, and such-like offences; and I have been well assured
     they have been threatened with hanging, or at least
     perpetual imprisonment, to intimidate and force them to sign
     a contract for their banishment, which they seldom refused
     to do, as knowing there could be no want of witnesses
     against them, however innocent they were; and then they were
     put on board the ship, the master paying so much a head for
     them. Thus two purposes were served at once--viz.: the
     getting rid of troublesome fellows, and making money of them
     at the same time."[17]

  [17] Burt's _Letters from the North of Scotland_, 5th Edit., i. 50.

But our more immediate concern, in the present instance, is with no
frightful feudal baron, presiding over chains and dungeons, in the
mysterious recesses of his own solitary moated tower. The offenders
exposed in Peter Williamson's history, were grave, sober
burghers--bailies and town-councillors of one of the most worshipful
and respectable corporations in the United Kingdom--men of peace,
staid in their demeanour, cautious in their walk of life--careful not
to rub their smooth, well-brushed broad-cloth against any impure
thing. Their proceedings had the fairest and most innocent appearance:
men of industry and business themselves, keepers of their bonds and
engagements, they were but somewhat rigid in exacting industry and
punctual performance of obligations from others. "Kidnapping,"
"crimping," "deforcement," "slavery," were words unknown in their
vocabulary,--they did but hire servants: it was nominally for a period
of years, it might happen to be virtually for life; it might be to
bear the burden, under a tropical sun, in the steaming swamps of the
Antillas--still it was a mere contract. They would have been
frightened by the name of a slave-ship, but they meekly acknowledged
that they freighted vessels "in the servant trade," with "cargoes of
boys."

    "For them alone did seethe
    A thousand men in troubles wide and dark:
    Half-ignorant, they turn'd an easy wheel,
    That set sharp racks at work to pinch and peel."

Many years had passed over the guilty traffic, ere an accident having
disturbed the placid surface it assumed to the world, some men of
honour, courage, and high station resolved to probe its mysteries; and
discovered that the sleek burgesses, by their corporate authority, had
been able noiselessly to accomplish as wide and devastating a tyranny
as ever had been revealed by the dungeons of some mouldering baronial
tower to frighten this world against feudality.

Peter Williamson was born at Hirnley, in the parish of Aboyne,
Aberdeenshire, the clergyman of which mentions him in the statistical
account, along with the celebrated Father Innes, and Ross, the author
of "the Fortunate Shepherdess," as one of the eminent men connected
with his parish.[18]

  [18] _New Statistical Account_, Aberdeen, 1054.

The district, though situated on the slopes of the higher Grampians,
has not, within the reach of history, been inhabited by Celts, and
Williamson's name speaks to his Saxon origin. He says he was, "if not
of rich, yet of reputable parents;" and they evidently belonged to a
poor and frugal, but independent class, who may still be found rearing
their humble fortunes on those somewhat sterile uplands, neither as
masters nor as servants, but each independently farming his own croft.
One of the witnesses, examined more than twenty years afterwards, said
"he knew James Williamson having a plough going in Upper Balnacraig,
to the best of the deponent's remembrance, and heard he had likewise a
plough going in Hirnley, when he lived there; and that he was in such
circumstances as to keep his children and his family, without their
being obliged to beg their bread." We take the brief history of his
seizure from Peter's own narrative.

     "I was sent to live with an aunt at Aberdeen, where, at
     eight years of age, playing on the quay, with others of my
     companions, being of a stout, robust constitution, I was
     taken notice of by two fellows belonging to a vessel in the
     harbour, employed (as the trade then was) by some of the
     _worthy_ merchants of the town, in that villanous and
     execrable practice called _kidnapping_; that is, stealing
     young children from their parents, and selling them as
     slaves in the plantations abroad. Being marked out by those
     monsters of iniquity as their prey, I was easily cajoled
     aboard the ship by them, where I was no sooner got, than
     they conducted me between the decks, to some others they had
     kidnapped in the same manner. At that time I had no sense of
     the fate that was destined for me, and spent the time in
     childish amusements with my fellow-sufferers in the
     steerage, being never suffered to go upon deck while the
     vessel lay in the harbour, which was till such a time as
     they had got in their loading, with a complement of unhappy
     youths for carrying on their wicked commerce."[19]

  [19] _Life and various Vicissitudes of Peter Williamson._

We shall take our further notices of this occurrence from a very
different source--a huge bundle of papers, chiefly printed, consisting
of the documents connected with the long train of litigation in which
Williamson was subsequently involved, owing to the publication of the
passage we have just cited. The papers consist of pleadings, accounts,
letters, and the testimonies of witnesses--a sort of mass in which it
is clear from the beginning that one cannot fail to find curious
things by boring holes through it here and there. We are not aware
that this valuable source of information about the manners of the
place and period has ever been heretofore applied to literary uses,
with the exception of some references made to it, in a curious and
very able compendium of provincial lore, called "The Book of Bon
Accord, or a guide to the city of Aberdeen;" a work which, like
"Tooke's diversions of Purley," not unknown to collectors of juvenile
circulating libraries, appears to have been christened with some
peculiar object of hiding the learning and ingenuity of its contents
under a frivolous exterior.

At the time when legal investigations were commenced, Williamson was a
man in middle life, who had gone through adventures and vicissitudes
enough for a century of ordinary human existence. The first step was
to identify the trained travelled man with the poor boy who had
mysteriously disappeared from the streets of Aberdeen; and the next to
prove the act of kidnapping. Several witnesses remembered Williamson;
he was described by them as "a rough, ragged, bumble-headed, long,
stourie clever boy, by which is meant a growthy boy;" and "a stout,
clever, rough loon, and very ill to guide, and very ragged till he got
clothes." A neighbour of the old crofter said he believed, "upwards of
four years before the battle of Culloden, it was the general report of
the country, that when the said Peter Williamson was a little boy
going with a clipped head, he was taken at Aberdeen, and carried to
Philadelphia with several other boys." He remembered conversations
with the youth's father, who complained that "he came into Aberdeen
seeking his son Peter, but they would not let him near hand him; that
his son Peter was in a barn in Aberdeen, and they would not let him
speak with him;" and, "that the merchants in Aberdeen had carried away
his son to Philadelphia, and sold him for a slave"--observing, that it
was commonly rumoured that several merchants there, whom he named,
"did deal in that way of carrying away boys;" and he concluded by
saying "he saw the father shed many salt tears on that account." The
session clerk, who had been at Peter's baptism, recognised him when he
saw him, as "the same identical Peter Williamson at whose baptism he
had been present," and confirmed the story of his father's having
attempted in vain to get access to him in the barn, characterising the
old man's lamentation as "very sore and grievous." Mr Fraser of
Findrac, a neighbouring proprietor, "knew several of James
Williamson's children, and had heard it was the practice of some of
the merchants of Aberdeen to kidnap young children, and send them to
the plantations to be sold as slaves. He heard in the country that the
said James Williamson or his wife had gone into Aberdeen, and one of
their sons called Peter Williamson had followed; and that James Smith,
saddler in Aberdeen, had picked up the said Peter; and the deponent
heard he was either put in prison, or put on board a ship, till the
ship sailed; it was the voice of the county that James Williamson and
his wife regretted, or made a clamour for the loss of their son, not
knowing what was become of him."

The investigation brought to light some other cases, and gradually
opened up the whole mystery of iniquity. One old woman, the miller's
widow, who remembered that Peter "was sent into Aberdeen, to be under
his aunts, his mother being dead, and that soon thereafter he was
missing," said that in the parish of Aboyne "they were generally
afraid to send their boys on errands to Aberdeen, for fear they should
be carried off." Some witnesses remembered having in their youth made
marvellous escapes; and Alexander Grigson, domestic at Aboyne Castle,
had a story to tell, "that about twenty years ago, he and another boy
were coming from the mill of Crathie, where they had been seeking
their meat; and near to a birch wood, near to the Kirk of Crathy,
three countrymen on horseback came up with them, but the deponent knew
none of them; and they asked him and the other boy that was along with
him, if they would go with them, and they would clothe them like
gentlemen; but the deponent being elder than the other boy, made
answer that they would not go along with them, for it struck the
deponent in the head that perhaps he and the other boy were to be
carried abroad, in respect a rumour prevailed in the country that
young boys were carried abroad at that time." The men threatened
force; and the boys, who could not fail then to have the blackest
notions of their intentions, took to their heels while the kidnappers
were tying their horses, and defied discovery in the recesses of the
old forest of Mar, which, fortunately for them, skirted the road. This
incident may have been a trick to frighten two country lads. Another,
recorded by a chairman in Edinburgh, has a more business-like
appearance. "In the year 1728 or 1729, he went to Aberdeen to see an
uncle and an aunt, who lived there; and whilst he was there he was
carried up to a house by a person whom he did not know, where he got a
dram and a piece of biscuit, and was promised a new coat and great
encouragement, if he would agree to go over to America with the other
lads that were engaged to go there; that he signified his willingness
to agree to the proposal; that upon this he was desired to go and come
back to his breakfast again; but when he told this to some of the
countrymen of his acquaintance, they told him that he was a fool, for
he would be sold to the blacks, and they would eat him; that upon this
he resolved immediately to leave the town, which he did."

It appeared that those who endeavoured to recover their children were
threatened with coercive measures; and the poor people seem to have
been impressed with the conviction, that they were in the hands of an
overwhelming power, with which it would be vain to contend. Thus one
individual, having recovered possession of his son, met the captain of
the transport vessel in the street, who bade him send back the youth,
otherwise he might expect unpleasant consequences. Therefore he
"promised and engaged to return his said son, which he accordingly
did. Depones, that if he could have hindered his son from going to
America he would have done it; and if he had known as much then as he
does now, he would have done it. Depones, that before he promised to
return his son to the said ship as above, he was himself threatened to
be put into the Tolbooth."

The line of defence adopted by the kidnappers was, that no one was
forced, in the first instance; that each boy was the object of a
distinct agreement, either with his parents or with himself; and the
subsequent coercion employed towards them, which could not be denied,
was thus interpreted to be a judicious protection by the employers of
the property they had fairly acquired. But the very evidence given by
their own emissaries--almost every sentence bearing in its bosom a
general assurance that nothing illegal was done--is quite sufficient
in the description of minute facts to support, if not confirm, the
darkest suspicions. Thus one of the crimps, desiring to excite some
feeling against the exiles, as a graceless inconsiderate class,
unworthy of sympathy, said "that such persons, whether boys or older
people, whom the deponent engaged to go to America on board the said
ship, the Planter, after they had been--some four, some five, some six
weeks clothed and maintained by him at the expense of his employers,
were endeavouring to desert and run away, and were tampered with, or
decoyed to engage or take on with other people in the town of
Aberdeen, who were, at the very same time, engaging and indenting
servants to America; and, in order to prevent their being so decoyed,
the older people so engaged by the deponent were put in prison, and
the younger people were put into the workhouse or poor's hospital."
There was, it seems, much competition in the trade; and, at the same
time, the live commodity had a propensity to remove itself from the
custody of its owners. Thus might the employment be termed a doubly
hazardous one; and a certain scrupulous citizen, who had grave doubts
about the propriety of joining the speculation, though he wished to be
a part-owner of the ship in which it was conducted, gave this account
of his hesitation: "Having been informed that servants had been
indented by Ragg and his owners to go on board of his said ship to
America, and the deponent not inclining to be concerned in that
_servant trade_, proposed to Ragg to hold a share of the ship if he
was to have no concern of that adventure of the servants, as he was an
utter stranger _to any merchandise or trade in that way_; to which
Robert Ragg said, that he could not have any concern with the ship
without having a concern in the servants, which made him break up any
farther communing with Ragg about the matter." But this witness was an
instance of the instability of good resolutions: he was strongly
pressed by friends for whom he had a high esteem; the profits and
advantages of the undertaking--but that, of course, was a secondary
matter--were largely spoken of in support of these importunities, "to
hold a share in the same way as the other owners had done, as well in
the adventure of the servants as in the ship,--to which importunities
the deponent at last yielded." Not less tell-tale is a letter by the
captain of the vessel, written in a spirit of honest indignation to
one of the parties involved in the legal proceedings.

     "Dear Sir,--I am favoured with yours of the 28th September,
     and am sorry you are put to trouble about one Williamson. I
     do not remember any of that name that went out in the
     Planter, and am certain, if he is not mentioned in _the
     account of what was got for the servants' indentures_,"
     [that is to say, of course, for the sale of the 'servants'
     themselves,] "if even he was ever indented, he must have run
     away at Aberdeen, or at Cape May, where the ship was lost:
     and I am sure there was no servant in that ship but what was
     legally attested before they went from Aberdeen. I cannot
     tell _if any register is kept at Philadelphia of the sale of
     servants_, but I imagine not."

These admissions, that the "servants" required coercion; that they
were confined in the public prison and other convenient places; and
that they were _sold_, are of course, amply confirmed by the witnesses
on the other side. A witness, William Jamieson, had a pathetic little
history of his own to tell. He lived in the village of Old Meldrum, in
the year 1740, and he had then a son John, between ten and eleven
years old. One evening his boy did not come home; and in the course of
his anxious inquiries, next day, about the missing youth, he was told
by some neighbours, "that they saw a man, whom they said was a servant
to John Burnet, late merchant in Aberdeen, who was commonly called
Bonny John, with the deponent's said son, and two other boys, much
about the same age, travelling towards Aberdeen, and that his son
would be sent to the plantations." The kind of alarm that would be
conveyed to the father's heart by such an intimation, may be
imagined; and the poor villager, surrounded by people among whom a
dread of this species of kidnapping had become a panic, would be
little relieved from his anxieties, by hearing the neighbours describe
the horrors of the slavery to which such of their offspring as
underwent the calamity of capture were subjected, and lament their
utter feebleness to resist the strong hand, fortified by law and
authority, by which the injury was perpetrated. Jamieson, however,
resolved to make an effort for his son. He went presently to Aberdeen,
and saw Burnet, who apparently transacted too large a business in the
"servant trade," to be conscious of so small an item in the account as
the villager's son, "and told him that he had several boys, but did
not know whether the deponent's son was amongst them; but said, though
he was, the deponent would not get him back, because he was engaged
with him." The "deponent"--a word which in Scotland is the technical
term for witness; we are sorry that it is necessary to use it so
often, but we cannot help it--after his interview with the great
kidnapper, wandered along the broad links or downs on the sea-shore,
"where he had been informed the boys were out getting the air." There
"he observed a great number of boys--he thinks about sixty: that they
were attended by a man who, the deponent was informed by the people of
the town, was employed for the purpose by the said John Burnet; that
this man had a horsewhip, and the deponent observed him striking the
boys therewith, when they went out of the crowd." The poor man saw his
own boy John in the little herd, and joyfully hailed him. The boy, by
a natural impulse, ran to his father, and said he would gladly follow
him home if he dared. "Immediately upon this, the person who was Mr
Burnet's overseer, came up and gave the boy a lash with his whip, and
took him by the shoulder and carried him amongst the rest, and
immediately drove them off." The father kept company with the
procession, and thus describes its progress.

     "When the boys were marching up to the barn, the deponent
     kept pace with the overseer, who followed immediately after
     the boys, entreating of him to get liberty to speak to his
     son; who answered him that he should get leave to speak to
     him by-and-by, when they were come to the barn; but when
     they came there the overseer locked the door, and refused
     the deponent access; _that he never saw his son after this_.
     That the deponent in passing through the town of Aberdeen,
     after his son was so locked up from him, was told by several
     tradespeople, and others to whom he had told the story of
     his son, that it would be in vain for him to apply to the
     magistrates to get his son liberated, because some of the
     magistrates had a hand in those things, as well as the said
     John Burnet; upon which the deponent went home."

A very characteristic record of these transactions still remained in
the books and accounts of the parties implicated. Among these
documents, one of the witnesses, denominated "Walter Scott, writer to
the signet," produces "the ship book," apparently the same which some
of the witnesses more descriptively call "the kidnapping book." It is
needless to say whose father it was who possessed this curious
document. The investigation occurred in 1762--nine years before the
birth of Sir Walter; and it was perhaps one of the last ideas that
would have ever occurred to his respectable parent, that it was worth
while communicating to his offspring any information from a mere
merchant's account book, which had been placed in his hands in the
usual routine of his business, and probably afterwards forgotten. Yet
what a lively history might have been woven out of its dry materials,
had it remained among the other lumber in George Square, to be
rummaged out by the lame boy! Mr Scott was the agent for the
kidnappers. It is satisfactory to observe that he appears to have been
too honest an agent for their purposes; for we find that he
transmitted to them this book by post, in order that it might be
exhibited in the course of the arbitration, to which we shall
hereafter allude; but his employers knew their own interest too well
to produce it, until they were subsequently compelled to do so.

The extracts from the books transferred to the papers before us, are
of course those only which have some reference to the case of Peter
Williamson; thus--

  "Jan. 8, 1743. To a pair of stockings    s.   d.
              to Peter Williamson          0    6
           To a woollen cap to ditto       0    5
       13, To five days of ditto           1    3

And a more emphatical entry--

  "To the man that brought Williamson      1    6

_Listing_ appears to have been the slang, or, more properly speaking,
the business term for kidnapping, and the price of the operation
passes through a scale of sums, graduated probably to the difficulty
of the task. Thus, while Williamson was procured for 1s. 6d., there is
an entry "To a Serjeant for listing Mackie, 5s.;" while on the other
hand, there is only "1s. 4½d. to Lighton and a soldier for listing
Robert Paterson." There is one sweeping charge of a guinea, "to
Maclean, sent to the country to list servants,"--amount of business
done not stated, but it must have been considerable, as there are
occasional entries of "cash sent to the country to Maclean." Sometimes
sums are entered as paid to the parties themselves--as 5s. "to
Margaret Robertson, when listed;" yet this can scarcely have been a
voluntary operation on Margaret's part, as the immediate succeeding
item is 1s. 6d. "to the wright on board and one of the boys for
listing her." Five shillings are entered as "to two soldiers for
listing Allardyce." He must have been a difficult boy to catch, as
there is a further entry of 2s., as "cash they spent with him."

This item introduces us to a dark feature in the expenditure of the
kidnappers,--the sums that appear to have been spent by them in
vicious indulgences to their young captives, to prevent the tedium of
their imprisonment, from driving them to desperate efforts for their
escape. We have thus,--"to the boys to play at cards, 1s.;" and in
another place, "to the boys to drink, when put in the workhouse, 1s.;
to six packs of cards to them, 9d." It is almost a relief in the
perusal of these heartless business-like columns--every red line of
which has the hard outline of premeditated cruelty--to read of 1s. 6d.
being paid "to the piper for playing in the workhouse two days." But
in the neighbourhood of this, there are some entries which we dare not
copy. There is a candid explicitness about these accounts, which we
must confess that we have not sufficient virtuous courage to imitate,
by transferring to our columns some charges, of which we would yet
fain give our readers an idea. The person who kept the books no doubt
"called a spade a spade;" and, indeed, he bestowed on many other
things their ordinary vulgar nomenclature. We tremble in approaching
his most explicit declarations; we almost fear reproach in offering to
the reader an extract of an item, in which he has been very decorous,
considering the subject; but such an item! who shall explain its
meaning? Here it is--"To Colonel Horsie for his concubine, £1!"

Some entries referring to "the boys in the Tolbooth," or, more
briefly, the prisoners," remind us, were this necessary, that these
accounts related to persons kept in bondage. Other parts indicate the
comprehensive nature of the business done in "the servant trade."
Thus, on the 12th of May, there is a charge of 7s. 6d. "to three days'
board of ten servants from the Tolbooth;" and on the same day, "to
five days' board of thirty-four servants, £2, 2s. 6d." The latter
number is frequently repeated in the account, and probably represents
the stock of one considerable holder. It was estimated by the
witnesses that sixty-nine were transported in one cargo in 1743; "and
when," says a writer already alluded to, "it is considered that the
trade was carried on to an equal extent for nearly six years, it is
impossible to estimate the number of unhappy beings carried off at
less than six hundred.[20]

  [20] _Book of Bon Accord_, 90.

We have endeavoured in our account of these transactions to be sternly
and rigidly prosaic,--perhaps our readers may think we have no great
merit in accomplishing such a resolution, but we also take merit for
having adhered to the facts attested with impartial accuracy. To
afford some relief to the plainness of our detail, we shall wind it
up by treating the reader to a part of the eloquent and denunciatory
exordium of Williamson's counsel, Maclaurin, brother of the great
mathematician.

     "Persons of every character, sex, and age, were
     kidnapped,--men, women, half-grown lads, and infants, some
     of them not above six years old. The whole country was in
     terror and consternation, afraid to let their children go
     near Aberdeen, and trembling for fear of a kidnapping
     excursion from that place. The unfortunate creatures that
     had been wheedled or pressed into the service, were at first
     confined in a barn or workhouse, where they had a piper to
     play to them, and cards allowed them, in order to hinder
     them to think, or meditate their escape; but that they soon
     attempted, and one or two of them with success; upon which
     the rest were shut up in the Tolbooth.

     "During their confinement, the parents and other relations
     of those who had been enticed or forced away, flocked to
     Aberdeen in hopes of effectuating their release,--hopes
     which they would never have entertained had they reflected
     that the town-clerk and one of the bailies were deeply
     interested to thwart them. Accordingly, no entreaties or
     solicitations availed; and those who seemed too importunate
     were threatened themselves with banishment, incarceration,
     and other distress. It will readily occur that it is much
     easier to imagine than describe the scenes which it is in
     proof ensued; for nothing more piteous and moving can well
     be figured than to see fathers and mothers running frantic
     through the streets, crowding to the doors and windows where
     their children were imprisoned, there giving them their
     blessing, taking farewell of them for ever, and departing in
     anguish and despair, imprecating curses upon those who were
     the authors of their misery."

So much for the first step,--the catching of the prey.

We have some farther testimony to the judicious strictness with which
the worshipful merchants protected their property after it was stowed
away; but we do not hear that their "cargo of young lads," as one of
them calls it in a confidential letter, was insured. William Wilson,
one of the sailors, testified, however,--"that there were several men
in the ship besides the sailors, and also several boys and girls; that
he saw these boys and girls put on board; that they were brought to
the ship in a boat, and were guarded by a number of porters from
Aberdeen, who continued to guard them all night till the ship sailed,
going home always in the morning and returning at night; that during
the day they were guarded by the ship's crew, the one half of whom did
the duty of the ship, and the other half took care of the boys and
girls, notwithstanding whereof two of them made their escape. Some of
these boys appeared to the deponent to be about fourteen years of age,
some to be about sixteen or eighteen, and others not to exceed ten or
twelve years of age; that after the boys were put on board, the
hatches of the ship were put down and locked every night, both while
the ship continued in the harbour of Aberdeen, and afterwards when she
was at sea."

It will naturally occur to the reader, that though the magistrates and
other public officers of a corporation might combine together to
perpetrate such acts, they could not carry their authority across the
Atlantic, or compel the governors of the foreign possessions of the
crown to acknowledge the brand of slavery they had set upon their
captives. This naturally suggested itself to us from the beginning, as
throwing a doubt over the essential movements of the transaction; but
it was speedily cleared away by discoveries very creditable to the
ingenuity, if to no other quality, of these astute burgesses. Every
captive was indented in the presence of a magistrate,--the captor
himself, of course, or some other person engaged in "the servant
trade"--and that for a limited number of years. The indenture was
certified and transmitted to the place of destination. This expedient
brought each captive within the colonial code, which applied very
rigorous rules to indented emigrants,--rules which virtually placed
them in the category of slaves. These harsh regulations were justified
by the circumstance that the class generally consisted of
convicts--indenture being the form in which criminals obtained the
alternative of transportation as a mitigation of some more dreaded
punishment. When the emigrant arrived at Virginia, the ceremony by
which he was sold was an assignment of his indenture. This could, of
course, only convey a right to the labour of his body for a limited
period; but as the convict emigrants required to be under a very
potent discipline, powers were put into the hands of the planters by
which they were enabled to protract the indented period; and
Williamson himself describes with apparent accuracy,--"the children
sent off and sold, no doubt to cruel masters, whose ill treatment
obliges them often-times to elope to avoid slavery; and as there is no
probability of making their escape, as they are always taken and
brought back, and for every day they are away from their master they
serve a week, and for every week a month, and for every month a year;
besides obliged to pay all costs and charges that is advertised for
apprehending them, which will probably bring him in a slave for four
or five years longer at least."

We shall now, in the briefest shape, give an outline of Williamson's
adventures, as detailed by himself, between his removal from the
country, and his return to vex his oppressors with multiform
litigation.

The vessel stranded on a sand bank at the mouth of the Delaware, and
was for some time deserted by its crew, the cargo of boys being left
to an anticipated fate, which Williamson says he often in his
subsequent miseries wished had really overtaken them. Being afterwards
taken on shore, they were relieved by a vessel sailing to
Philadelphia, where they were sold "at about £16 per head." "What
became of my unhappy companions," says Williamson, "I never knew; but
it was my lot to be sold to one of my countrymen, whose name was Hugh
Wilson, a North Briton, for the term of seven years, who had in youth
undergone the same fate as myself.... Happy was my lot in falling into
my countryman's power, as he was, contrary to many others of his
calling, a humane, worthy, honest man. Having no children of his own,
and commiserating my unhappy condition, he took care of me until I was
fit for business." He was allowed by his indulgent master occasionally
to attend a school, where he picked up some crumbs of education; and
finally, at the age of seventeen, he became the old gentleman's heir.
After a few vagrant years he married, and settled as a substantial
planter near the forks of the Delaware. He was in a place much exposed
to the inroads of the French Indians, who, he tells us, in the spirit
of the military profession to which he was subsequently attached,
"generally appeared in small skulking parties, with yellings,
shoutings, and antic postures, instead of trumpets and drums." In one
of these inroads they burned his comfortable dwelling and substantial
steadings, and carried him off captive. All the world knows what is
conveyed in the simple statement of such a fact; and Williamson's
description of the tortures he underwent impart little additional
horror to the simple announcement of his seizure. It is possible to
discern people's nature in their own account of their actions; and not
unfrequently do we see the brave man in the description of dangers
avoided, as we do the poltroon in the exaggerated account of those
courted and overcome. Williamson's narrative conveys the irresistible
impression that he was a man of eminently firm nerve, undying hope,
and unconquerable energy--such a character as the Indian tribe would
respect, and, after a sufficient trial, desire to incorporate with
itself. Hence, while others are slowly slaughtered, Williamson is
still permitted to live, struggle, and endure. In the difference
between his own trials, terrible as they were, and the ignominious
brutalities heaped on a poor fellow captive, who met his fate with
gentleness, prayers, and weeping, we see the indication of the savage
respect paid to the unbroken spirit of the Aberdonian, whose body they
might rend inch by inch, but whose spirit remained firm and
impenetrable as his native granite. At length, after several months of
wandering, he made his escape; and the manner in which he did so was
in keeping with his resolute spirit. He planned no stratagems, and
consulted no confederates, but fled outright; and, though naked,
emaciated, and ignorant of the country, defeated his pursuers by sheer
fleetness of foot and endurance of fatigue. Profusely bleeding--without
even such a verdant show of clothing as Ulysses endowed himself with
when he met Nausica--emaciated to the last extremity, he somewhat
astonished and also alarmed a female neighbour by an unceremonious
morning call, dropping exhausted on the floor ere he could communicate
or receive intelligence. Little need had he too speedily to recover
his faculties; the first news he heard was that his broken-hearted
wife had not long survived the calamity of his capture. He seems to
have now acquired a decided taste for vagrant habits, mingled with a
spirit of vindictive animosity towards the Indians, against whom he
records several exterminating onsets with a sort of horrible relish.
He enlisted himself as a soldier. But American warfare then allowed a
far wider latitude for varied military operations than the ordinary
experience of the ranks: and sometimes he was an Indian warrior,
patiently unravelling and following up a trail; at another time we
find him commanding a detachment of colonists as one versed in the
native mode of fighting, with the rank and emoluments of a lieutenant.
In his little book he details his various military adventures with
much spirit and apparent truthfulness. We have from his pen a
description of one enterprise, which is a little romance in itself. A
lover, hearing that the home of the object of his affections has been
desolated, and his beloved carried off by a band of one of the most
formidable of the tribes of predatory Indians, in his frantic zeal
raises a party of adventurers, with whom he tracks their path. He
arrives just in time to save the damsel from the worst horrors of such
a fate, and the marauders are put to the sword. The whole narrative
has an animation and interest not unworthy of Cooper, who appears to
have been acquainted with Williamson's book, and may not improbably
have derived from it a part of his information about the military
operations of Vaudreuil and Montcalm with the Indians in the French
interest. Williamson was indeed a captive at that capitulation of
Oswego which has cast so deep a stain on the honour of this commander,
and he was soon afterwards sent to England as an exchanged prisoner.
He complains that, on his voyage, "though the French behaved with a
good deal of politeness, we were almost starved for want of
provisions." He arrived at Plymouth in November 1765, and, owing to a
severe wound in one of his hands, was discharged as incapable of
farther service.

No longer able to apply his energies to Indian warfare, he looked
around him for that employment which in his native country would best
supply its place, and found it to be--literature. He published "A
Brief Account of the War in North America, showing the principal
causes of our former miscarriages; as also the necessity and advantage
of keeping Canada, and maintaining a friendly correspondence with the
Indians." This pamphlet is dated in 1760; and we here mention it, that
we may not allow it to interrupt the narrative of the somewhat
momentous consequences of a little book which he published two years
later, with the title "French and Indian cruelty exemplified, in the
Life and various Vicissitudes of fortune of Peter Williamson:
containing a particular account of the manners, customs, and dress, of
the savages; of their scalping, burning, and other barbarities
committed on the English in North America, &c., &c." Mr Williamson was
somewhat prolix in his title pages, and we cannot inflict the whole of
this one on the reader. It was dedicated, with considerable sagacity,
to William Pitt. In the frontispiece there is a full-length portrait
of "Mr Peter Williamson, in the dress of a Delaware Indian." Much as
Catlin's book and other works have tended to make us acquainted of
late with Indian customs, the drapery of this portrait carries with it
a decided appearance of accuracy, and attention to detail. The face is
probably a likeness. Divest it of the feathered head-gear, it is that
of a hard-featured inhabitant of the north-east coast, somewhat
impregnated with an air of fierceness and excitement. Contemplate the
entire figure: it is certainly a very fair representation of the
Indian, such as we have seen him in the few importations exhibited in
this country. For several years this representation was one of the
main attractions of the booksellers' windows in Scotland; and many an
infant has the careless parent or ignorant nurse frightened into
constitutional nervousness, by the intimation that the wild man, whose
picture had been seen during the morning walks, would appear to the
infant in the dark, and visit his misdeeds with some mysterious
punishment. Besides the occupation of the literary man, Williamson
pursued that of the actor. During the day he sat behind a stall,
vending his account of his adventures--in the evening he rehearsed
them in the largest room of some popular tavern; where, like Catlin,
he made the people acquainted with the costume and habits of the
people, of whom he had acquired that acute experience which boys are
said to have obtained of the boundary marks where they have been
whipped.

In a moment of infatuation, the magistrates of Aberdeen, finding that
the interest attached to Williamson's narrative and exhibitions
subjected them to unpleasant reflections, resolved to punish him. He
had migrated northwards, creating a little public curiosity and wonder
wherever he went, until, on reaching his native city, he was brought
before the magistrates, charged with a libel on the community,
contained in that passage descriptive of his seizure on the pier of
Aberdeen, which has been already quoted. The magistrates, being at
once the prosecutors and the judges, had little difficulty in
committing him; and he was thus very roughly awakened from a dream in
which he "began to think himself happy in having endured these
misfortunes, a recital of which promised to put him in a more
prosperous situation than he had ever hoped for." The stock in hand of
his books, amounting to three hundred and fifty copies, was seized and
burned in the market-place by the common hangman, and he was committed
to prison until he should sign a recantation of the passage containing
the account of the kidnapping. The mind that bore up against the
fiercest cruelties of the savages, seems to have bowed before these
judicial terrors. In the centre of the torturing hordes, without a
civilised eye to look on him, he acquired the stern virtues of those
on whom he looked--

    "Impassive, fearing but the shame of fear,
    A stoic of the woods, a man without a tear."

Among his own people, beneath the shield of British justice, with a
public to whom oppression never appeals in vain he sank unmanned; and
in utter prostration of spirit he signed the recantation in the terms
in which it was desired, and marched out of prison a heartbroken and
ruined man.

But the cup of the iniquities of his oppressors was now full, and
their hour of retribution was at hand. The blow dealt against them was
not so severe as injured justice might have required, but it was dealt
with an ignominious scorn that made compensation for its want of
severity. There were at that time many men of high spirit and great
attainments in the Scottish bar. They knew that the age they belonged
to was one, in which the safety of the public liberties was intimately
allied with the independence of the bar. It was not an uncommon
practice for a few of the ablest and most popular advocates to unite
together in vindication of the victim of some formidable system of
oppression; and, fortunately for Williamson, his case attracted their
generous interest. Andrew Crosbie, the prototype of Scott's Pleydell,
threw his whole energies, and they were not small, into this cause.
The pleadings at our bar at that time were full of philosophy, general
declamation, and poetry; and we have before us some papers from
Crosbie's pen which are brilliant and pleasing specimens of this class
of forensic rhetoric. At the present day the rhetoric of the law
appeals only to the jury, and in the shape of vocal oratory. In the
days of our grandfathers it was addressed to the learned bench, and
was embodied in carefully prepared written pleadings. The intellectual
rank of the audience to be influenced, and the medium of
communication, would thus naturally invest the pleadings of these old
lawyers with a literary turn, not equalled in the corresponding
productions of this age. So we find that Crosbie bursts open the case
with these well-turned periods:--

"That liberty which the constitution of this country considers as its
favourite object, is the result of the due equipoise which our law has
established between the authority of magistrates and the rights of the
people. As the relative duties of society must be enforced by the
magistrate, and compliance with the laws exacted from the citizens by
means of his authority, all the power that is necessary for these
salutary purposes is bestowed upon him; and, in the due execution of
it, he is not only entitled to the protection of the law, but is an
object of its veneration. Yet the same principles that have thus armed
him with authority, for the benefit of society, have wisely imposed on
him a restraint from abusing it."

The result of these proceedings was, that, in 1762, the Court
unanimously awarded to Williamson damages to the extent of £100; and
it was declared that, for this sum as well as £80 of costs, the guilty
individuals should be personally liable, "and that the same shall be
no burden upon the town of Aberdeen." A corporation is a sort of ideal
object; it has no personality; it has been pronounced, by a high
authority, to have no conscience; it has just one reality about it--it
has a purse. Into this purse its members may have been accustomed,
from time to time, to dip for the deeds done by them in the
flesh--that is, in their corporeal, not their corporate capacity.
Perhaps the law, in countenancing this arrangement, considered that
the members of a corporation must be so essentially wound up in its
interests, that parting with the money of the corporation--that is,
with the money of the public--was as great a punishment for their own
individual delicts as parting with their own. Be this as it may, the
Court decreed that, on this occasion, the public of Aberdeen should
not pay for the outrage inflicted on Williamson. Now let us behold the
ingenuity with which these worshipful gentlemen baffled the Court, and
made the public pay after all. There were certain dues collected by
the magistrates, as deputies of the Lord High Admiral of the Coast. It
appears that this high official might have applied the sums so levied
to his own use, but he had ceased for some considerable time to exact
them, and, by consuetude, they had been added to the revenues of the
corporation. Now, if the Lord High Admiral had set covetous eyes on
this fund, to apply it to his own domestic purposes, the act might
have been considered one of unutterable meanness--perhaps the
corporation would have resisted it. But, on the other hand, to demand
a portion of this money, and use it for getting the members of the
corporation out of a scrape, was a highly public-spirited act. The
High Admiral assigned £180 from this fund, to pay the damages and
costs to Williamson:[21] it need not be said, that of course this
application was suggested to him by persons who had the best reason to
believe that the corporation would not resist it, and that all the
business arrangements for his operation on the fund were simplified to
his hand.

  [21] Kennedy's _Annals of Aberdeen_, i. 296.

Having been so far successful, Williamson, who seems to have had an
insuperable objection to half-measures, raised an action of damages
against his kidnappers. It has been asserted, though we do not know on
what authority, that the Crown was desirous to institute criminal
proceedings against them, but that they were protected by a clause of
indemnity in some act of parliament. Williamson boldly laid his
damages at £1000. His perseverance drove his adversaries to a series
of extraordinary, and in this country, fortunately, unprecedented
measures. They persuaded Williamson that it would be for the mutual
advantage of the parties to have the matter settled by arbitration,
without the costly intervention of the Court of Session. He adopted
the advice, and the decision fell to be given by James Forbes of
Shiels, Sheriff-Substitute of Aberdeenshire, acting as oversman. We
are introduced to this gentleman's convivial character in a most
startling manner, by the statement of counsel that the Sheriff's
mother, Lady Shiels, "died about the 4th of November, and there can be
no doubt that he would get a hearty dose at her burial." It was
accordingly on that occasion that the worthy judge appears to have
commenced a series of potations, under the pressure of which he
speedily followed his parent to the grave. Williamson's affair came
through his hands in the very climax of his convivial fit; and both
parties seem to have considered it their duty to minister assiduously
to these furious cravings, which ever cried with the Cyclop
"Δος μοι ἑτι προφρων."

Williamson was not backward in contributing to the Sheriff's
conviviality. His own account of his motives was, that knowing Forbes
to be prepared to decide unfairly, he wished to keep him so hard at
his beloved pursuit of drinking, that he should have no opportunity of
exercising his other avocation of judging. Accordingly, he employed a
friend "to tenchel and drink" the Sheriff--or, as it is elsewhere
expressed, "to drink him hard;" in fact, the operation is talked of
quite in an abbreviated and technical form, as a common proceeding in
the way of business in the Sheriff Court. The drouthy crony who
performed this duty seems to have taken to it with the same
disinterested zeal, with which Kean sat up three nights drinking with
a friend under depression, for the purpose of keeping up his spirits.
The favoured individual must have felt his task coming light to his
hands, when he found the Sheriff in a tavern "busy at hot punch about
eleven o'clock forenoon." An attempt was made on him by the enemy, but
Williamson and his drinking assistant carried him off in triumph to
the "New Inn" to dinner, where, however, they were obliged to submit
to the presence of the other party, who held a hospitable competition
with them in plying the Sheriff with the liquor which he loved. Here
they all "sat close drinking, as is the phrase in that part of the
country, _helter skelter_--that is, copiously and alternately of
different liquors--till 11 o'clock at night, when Forbes, by this time
dead-drunk, was conveyed home by his two servant maids, with the
assistance of George Williamson, Gerard, and the Pursuer." This is the
counsel's history of the day, and that it is not an exaggerated one,
we may infer from an average quotation from the evidence: one of the
witnesses thus concludes his narrative:--

     "Depones, that from four o'clock in the afternoon to eleven
     o'clock that night, they all drunk what they call in
     Aberdeenshire _Helter Skelter_, alternately of different
     liquors, and plentifully, in such a way that the Sheriff in
     particular was very drunk, and the deponent himself was also
     drunk. That the Sheriff's two servant maids came for him
     with a lantern to carry him home, and came into the room
     where the company was, and staid there some time--fully a
     quarter of an hour--and got some drink, but what it was he
     cannot tell. That the Sheriff called for a good part of the
     liquor which was drunk. That at last the deponent assisted
     to carry home the Sheriff, who was not able to walk; and
     either the pursuer or Mr Gerard assisted the deponent in so
     doing; and the two maids went before him with a lantern, and
     placed him in his easy-chair in his bedroom, and then the
     Sheriff called upon his maids to give the company drink,
     which the maids refused to give, and then they came away and
     left him."

Next day the enemy took possession of Forbes by a _coup de main_. They
seized him in bed, half through his drunken sleep, and conveyed him to
a favourite houf, kept by a man with the historical name of Archibald
Campbell. There "tea and coffee were called for to breakfast, but as
these insipid liquors were not to Forbes's mind, a large dose of
spirits, white wine, and punch was administered to him, with cooling
draughts of porter from time to time." The kidnappers hired a whole
floor of the inn for that eventful day--it was the last on which the
reference remained valid, so that if it passed without a decision, the
question went back to the Court of Session; and the worthy
confederates gave express instructions that Williamson was not to
obtain access to their conclave, and that Forbes was to be denied to
him. That sport of fortune became naturally alarmed when he heard that
Forbes was not at home; and knowing instinctively where else he was
likely to be, searched for him "in all the taverns in town," as Seldon
tells us that the King of Spain was searched for in London when he was
outlawed. One of the waiters, in his evidence, stated that Williamson
came to the house and "inquired at the deponent if Shiels was there,
to which he answered, in obedience to the orders he had received from
collector Finlayson, that Shiels was _not_ there; that on this the
pursuer left Mr Campbell's house, and (having returned in about an
hour) he insisted with the deponent that Shiels was in the house, and
that it was to no purpose to deny him, for that he knew by the
deponent's face that he was there. But deponent still denied that
Shiels was in the house." Deponent was, unfortunately for his
professional prospects, not sufficiently brazen-faced for a waiter.
The Sheriff was soon brought "up to the mark." Cards were introduced,
and they had a roaring day of it. For the sake of appearances, at the
time when he was making up his judicial mind, the Sheriff retired to a
room alone. Here a message was conveyed to him from his sister,
intimating that he had made an appointment for that day, and the time
to keep it had arrived. "Whereupon," says a witness, "Shiels touched
his nose with his finger, and said 'Jode'--a by-word of his--'Davie,
you see from whence this comes'--that Shiels returned for answer to
his servant that he could not go, being engaged about peremptory
business." He first spoke about awarding "a trifle" to Williamson. In
the end he gave a decision entirely against his claim; and the
confederates considered this so great a triumph, that next morning,
being Sunday, they were reported to have read the "Decree Arbitral" to
a circle of impatient well-wishers on the "Plainstones" or
market-place, while the citizens were on their way to church. After
having pronounced the decree, the Sheriff, according to the testimony
of one witness, "was very merry and jocose, and engrossed a good deal
of the conversation;" and the waiter who refused Williamson admission
to him had to testify that "he conveyed him home to his own house, as
he had done many a night besides that."

There were many picturesque little incidents in the whole affair. Thus
we are told by one witness, in a very pathetic strain, of abortive
efforts made by the Sheriff to go through the public market-place from
one tavern to another. "In a little the Sheriff and the deponent came
down to go to the New Inn; and upon the Sheriff's observing that there
were too many people upon the exchange, and that he was too far gone
in liquor to cross the street, he turned in again to John Bain's, and
afterwards made another attempt of the same kind, and returned for the
same reason; and a little after two o'clock they made a third attempt,
and, observing that the exchange was thin of people, they went over to
the New Inn." Discreet Sheriff--he had achieved the Greek sage's
problem of knowing himself! But other people knew him, too; and thus
the hostess of the inn, being asked if "when Shiels was once drunk, he
did not keep in a hand--that is, he continued drunk for some days,"
answered, that "she has observed Shiels as in drink at one time and to
continue so for several days after, and that was too commonly his
case; that it is her opinion, when Shiels was in liquor, by flattering
of his vanity, he might be very easily induced to do things which he
would not otherwise do; and the deponent has had occasion to see
several instances of this sort, by which she means that she has heard
Shiels, when in liquor, promise to do things which she believes he
would not have done if sober; nor does the deponent remember or know
that ever Shiels did do any of these things when sober that he said he
would do when in liquor."

But there are two sides to all questions; and as human nature has a
tendency towards extremes, there were some people prepared to testify
to the supernatural and alarming intenseness of the Sheriff's
sobriety. It was, we believe, a townsman of this same Sheriff who,
when thrown from his horse, being asked by a sympathising lady who was
passing, if he were hurt? answered in the intenseness of his
politeness--"Oh! no, mem! quite the reverse--_quite_ the _reverse_."
So it appeared in the eyes of some of his friends that Forbes was not
merely as sober as a judge, but upon the whole a good deal more sober
than a well-constituted judge ought to be--if he had any blemish, it
was on the reverse side of intoxication. One of the several landladies
whose establishments he frequented--not the lady already quoted--was
especially eloquent on this point. "At dinner-time they only drank a
bottle of wine and half a mutchkin of punch [the witness makes no
allusion to the consumption before and after.] Mr Forbes also drank
tea in the deponent's house, and she had occasion to see Mr Forbes at
breakfast and dinner, and when he went out of her house when the
company parted after supper at night; and upon all these occasions he,
Mr Forbes, was perfectly sober, and sufficiently capable of business,
and when he went out of her house, she remembers perfectly, she turned
in to her servants and said, that she never knew Mr Forbes sit so long
in her house on so little drink; and she added, God grant that neither
Mr Forbes nor she might be fey." So awful and portentous was his
sobriety! Another witness who testified to the production of so many
items of liquor that it makes one giddy to read the list, winds up by
saying--"After drinking a few glasses, they were told that supper was
on the table in another room, to which they moved: That after supper
they drank a moderate quantity of wine, and punch, and parted sober
about eleven o'clock: That the deponent had a particular proof of Mr
Forbes's sobriety after supper, by his maintaining, with great spirit
and elocution, one side of a problematical question that occurred in
the company."

The law is extremely averse to review the decision of an arbiter. He
may be stupid and careless; he may have utterly misunderstood both the
law and the facts; but the parties have adopted the reference as a
_succedaneum_ to litigation, and they "must stand the hazard of the
die." In a few instances, however, where there has been gross
corruption, or a palpable combination against one of the parties, the
law has interfered to reverse the proceedings. The case of Peter
Williamson is one of these instances; and on the 3d of December 1768,
some years after the poor Sheriff-Substitute had bidden himself from
his disgrace by drinking himself into the grave, the Court awarded
Peter Williamson damages to the extent of £200 against the persons
who, nearly thirty years previously, had spirited him away from the
pier of Aberdeen.

The subsequent career of Peter Williamson, though not all directly our
present purpose, is so inviting that we cannot pass it over. He was
one of those men who, with no settled purpose of life, have their
brains perpetually spinning forth projects, and their hands
perpetually putting them in operation. Wherever external circumstances
placed him, there his internal nature predestined him turn the
opportunities afforded him to the best account. We have seen him
exercising the isolated energies of the self-sustaining savage in the
wilderness; we shall now see him regulating the complex wheels of
mutually dependent civilisation. One of his earliest projects was
announced, in 1762, through a letter in the _Edinburgh Courant_. The
drain of able-bodied men by the war had, he stated, prompted him to
endeavour to discover some labour-saving machine, to facilitate the
operations of the harvest; and he had at considerable expense invented
an engine which would, "in the hands of a single man, do more
execution in a field of oats in one day, and to better purpose, than
it is in the power of six shearers to do. This machine," he continues,
"is now completed, and is constructed in such a manner that, when the
corn is tolerably thick, it will cut down near a sheaf at a stroke,
and that without shaking the grain, or disordering the straw, besides
laying down the corn as regularly as the most expert shearer can do."
The machine possessed other qualifications far too numerous to be
recapitulated here; and though the inventor protested that "neither
vanity nor conceit," but the sole desire to serve the public, prompted
him to expatiate on its merits, it is not absolutely necessary, at the
present day, to join in all his anticipations of its wonderful
influence on the amelioration of mankind. We are no authority on the
abstruse practical subject of reaping-machines; but justice to our
hero renders it right to say that his invention found a place in
agricultural nomenclature, as "the basket-scythe."[22] We have
already mentioned some of his achievements in literature. He
published a pamphlet on the Militia: and, contemporaneously with the
invention of the scythe, we find him advertising, along with his
account of his adventures, that "Commissions from the country will be
punctually answered for this and all other sorts of books; as also
stationery-ware of all sorts;" and in connexion with this general
announcement of a stationery-establishment, he enlarges on another
book, apparently of his own composition, called "A General View of the
Whole World; containing the Names of the principal Countries,
Kingdoms, States, and Islands,--their length, breadth, and capital
cities, with the longitude and latitude; also the produce, revenue,
strength, and religion of each country." This encyclopedia, political,
statistical, and theological, was to be had for six shillings
sterling. From such comprehensive themes we find him descending to the
object of the following curious advertisement, dated 9th April 1772:--

     "This day was published, price one shilling the pack, and
     sold by Peter Williamson, printer, in the head of Forester's
     Wynd, Edinburgh, the IMPENETRABLE SECRETS which is called
     PROVERB-CARDS, containing excellent sentiment, and are so
     composed, that they discover the thoughts of one's mind in a
     very curious and extraordinary manner. The explanation of
     the secret is given gratis with the pack; each set consists
     of twenty cards, and ten lines upon each card."[23]

  [22] A representation of it will be found in the _Scots Magazine_ for
  1762, p. 404.

  [23] This advertisement, with other curious newspaper-scraps regarding
  Williamson, is preserved in the biographical notices of Kay's
  Portraits, i. 137.

We may here, perhaps, have traced to its invention the well-known toy
called "Conversation-Cards," which has enlivened many a little
Christmas party. If this be so, the debt of youth in general, to the
poor kidnapped boy, is not small.

In 1776 he started a weekly periodical called "The Scot's Spy, or
Critical Observer," which appears to have been continued through the
following year with the title of "The New Scot's Spy." In the mean
time, he kept a tavern, over the door of which he advertised himself
as "from the other world." It appears to have been for some time in
the Parliament Square, and subsequently in the interior of the
Parliament House itself, part of the wide area of which was
partitioned into booths. Every now and then he was dropping before the
public some invention great or small. Now it was a "new invented
portable printing-press;" next, marking-ink for linen, "which stands
washing, boiling, and bleaching, and is more regular and beautiful
than any needle." But the chief monument of his energy was the
establishment of a penny post-office for the city of Edinburgh, which
he supported as a private speculation. It appears to have been soon
after the year 1780 that he commenced this undertaking, and
contemporaneously with it he published a Street Directory. One might
suppose that the post-office, the directory, and the tavern, with an
occasional invention or pamphlet, would form sufficient occupation,
not only for one head, but one family. Williamson, however, must have
_all_ his fires full of irons; and so we find that his wife and
daughter had to appear before the public as busy as himself in their
own department. On the cover of his directory it is intimated, that
"Mantua-making is carried on in all its branches as formerly," by "Mrs
Williamson and daughter;" who, lest any means of exercising their
craft should pass them, by reason either of its insignificance or its
gravity, are made to state, that they "engraft silk, cotton, thread,
and worsted stockings; make silk gloves, and every article in the
engrafting branch, in the neatest manner, and on the most reasonable
terms; likewise silk stockings washed in the most approved style; also
grave-clothes made on the shortest notice."

One would naturally imagine that all these professions of activity
must have indicated a thrifty, industrious, moral, happy home. Alas,
no! In 1789 Williamson was obliged to divorce his second wife, the
mother of several children; and the revolting details of the inquiry
show too plainly that the degraded woman pursued another profession
besides those efforts of decent industry which her husband advertised
to the world. She, on her part, charged her husband with having
acquired tipling habits, and keeping low dissipated company; while she
stated that, notwithstanding the considerable sums that passed through
his hands in the course of his various speculations, his family were
frequently subjected to great privations. The inquiries connected with
the divorce exhibit throughout, tokens of sordid squalor, which show
that Williamson was little fitted to seize the tides of fortune that
so frequently ran in his favour, or to direct his energies into any
satisfactory path of self-advancement. Active and turbulent as he had
been--dreaded, admired, nay, respected for his services as a
citizen--he had never bettered his condition, or risen above the rank
of the vagabond. His total want of early education may have unfitted
him to take advantage of his opportunities. "The reader," he says, in
one of his pamphlets, "will be here asking what school I was brought
up at? I shall only tell them, that the extent of it was upwards of
four thousand miles, and the height thereof as high as the heavens,
governed by Indians of many nations; and regular education is no way
taught among them, but handed down from one generation to another; and
their records are kept, marked with tomahawks on the outside of trees,
and can be distinguished by themselves for centuries back." It might
be a sublime school--but not a hopeful seminary for sober citizens.
Yet, among Kay's exquisitely hard etchings there is a portrait of
Peter, from which it is evident that lie must have been a very
handsome worshipful-looking man, with that well-fed self-assured
air--that corporation dignity of manner, and citizen urbanity, if one
may use the expression, which beseem the corporate officer. Nature and
the tailor seem at the moment to have united to represent in his
person a Deacon at least, if not a Bailie. He is depicted in
conversation with Abyssinian Bruce, and as saying to the haughty Lord
of Kinnaird--"There is more truth in one page of my Edinburgh
directory, than in all your five volumes 4to; so, when you talk to me,
don't imagine yourself at the source of the Nile." Poor Williamson's
eventful life came to an end on the 19th January 1769.



THE REPEALER'S WISH GRANTED.[24]--AN IRISH TALE.

IN ONE SHORT CHAPTER.

  [24] As this paper was being printed, we were struck with the
  coincidence between the general idea contained in it and two striking
  articles in the _Times_ newspaper. We know that the writer of the
  present article had not, when he wrote it, seen the articles in the
  _Times_. But these views, in our opinion, cannot be too often
  impressed on the attention of the reflecting portion of the Irish
  people.


Nobody doubts that there was hot blood--misunderstanding--difficulty--
at the beginning. It is clear enough, also, that many arrangements
which followed were not of a soothing kind. Nor can it well be
denied;--but stop a little! The other side of the question seems to be
perpetually consigned to oblivion. Numbers of people are in ecstasies
with the year 1782. The wildest democrats of the present day revert
with pride to the glimpse of nationality exhibited by Ireland
immediately before the Union. The grand choral cry of Repealers is for
a Parliament _once more_ in Dublin. Oh, melancholy, deplorable, almost
ludicrous inconsistency! The year 1782 and Repeal! The independence of
Ireland after 1782 and Repeal! The old Irish Parliament and Repeal!
Plunket--a son of Ireland--talked of history being an old almanac.
Memorable indeed was the year 1782. BUT ITS TROPHIES WERE, THE
HANDIWORK OF THE SAXON. Bright may have been the gleam of independence
which succeeded that year. The whole movement owed character and
solidity to GREAT SAXON LEADERS. Conspicuous is the fame of those men
who protested with fiery eloquence against the treaty of the Union;
and THESE WERE ALL SAXONS. It is very strange, but very true, that the
sinews and loins of the agitation now-a-days are all begotten of Saxon
spirit and Saxon freedom. There is not a letter in the alphabet of
self-government--there is not a syllable in the code of municipal
law--there is not a sentence in the charter of political liberty--of
Ireland, which is not the lesson, the example, or the boon of the
Saxon. Every thing that Ireland now demands is an imitation of a Saxon
institution. And Ireland only demands these things, because for ages
Saxon institution have pervaded her soil, and imbued her people.
GRATTAN and CHARLEMONT are Saxon names. In all the principles for
which these remarkable men contended, no vestige of a Celtic idea can
be traced. Until the Saxon--conqueror as he was--touched the Irish
soil, there did not grow, blossom, or bear fruit any intelligible
notion of social order, or public liberty. But the gratitude of
nations is not different from the gratitude of individuals. Away with
the Saxon!

Can nothing cure the madness? Large practical wisdom in legislation,
exuberant boundless prodigality of munificence, are equally
unavailing. Away with the Saxon! But disgust may at length do what
force never could have done. Honest, sober, orderly folks in Britain
begin to cherish strange thoughts. And the wings of thoughts are words
outspoken.

Are ye ready, O Milesians! for such a dawn when it breaks?

       *       *       *       *       *

There was nothing either very bright or very dull about the morning.
Yet not a single human being you met was inclined even to whistle
merrily or recklessly. And was there, then, silence over the whole
land? Very far from it, I assure you. At the harbour of every
sea-port, where a vessel of any size could come, there was a most
unmistakeable noise. Heavily, steadily, dreadfully, came down along
the rugged stones of each quay the continual tread and tramp of armed
men, who, coldly and speechlessly as statues, marched towards the
ships. But there was no other noise. The officers gave no word of
command; nor was any command needed. Unbroken as the stream of the
river, hundreds after hundreds, without any clash, or din, or tumult,
passed from the solid land on board of the floating bulwarks of Old
England, and without a shout or a sigh--without a murmur of
adieu--without the momentary radiance of a smile on a solitary
face--departed FROM IRELAND. The Saxons were going. The quick strokes
of the paddle-wheels whitened the waters;--the sail bellied bigly to
the wind. From ERIN the GREEN, the Saxons were GONE. Then rose from
earth to sky--what?

For many a day thousands of eyes had been gazing at the bustling
scene. At first, the spectacle of such crowds of all sorts of people
going leisurely away with all their kith and kin, with all their bag
and baggage, brought with it no distinct idea. The first loaded ship
which left the harbour with such a freight took its departure beneath
a shower of triumphantly derisive shouts. And so did many a vessel
afterwards. But people become tired of shouting at the same thing.
Likewise, a constant repetition of the same thing, which in certain
circumstances will destroy wonder, does in other circumstances beget
and spread wonder. The sameness of the business began to be painful.
Countless throngs of lookers-on still choked the quay: but the gibe
was rarely heard; the cheer had quite died away. It was incredible how
time lagged in its flight. Suddenly, once more, a stir ran through
these gazing tens of thousands. A feeble cry--more like a cry of pain
than of joy--rang from the discord of the innumerable lips. Every body
was gone, except the soldiers. Of the hated Saxons, all who lived by
the arts or occupations of peace, all were at length away--men, women,
and children. The soldiers remained till all their peaceful brethren
were safely on the bosom of the treacherous sea--safer than the bosom
of ungrateful Ireland. The soldiers now went themselves. It was not an
hour or a day, in which that embarkation could be completed. On it
went without interruption. And the people stood by, and saw it going
on. Why was there not the continuous roar of exultation from moment to
moment, as file after file, regiment after regiment, mass after mass
of the bloody servants of the Saxon sullenly and silently retreated?
Strange, surely, that it was not so! Strange, surely, that there was
no whisper all this time from the bystanders! Strange, surely, that
the bystanders, as the ships, ship after ship, sailed away with those
very Saxon soldiers, began to turn their regards off altogether from
the ships, and to fling unquiet doubtful glances one on the other! The
detested foreigner was gone;--and was there, therefore, more
neighbourly love among those that remained?

What! Erin Mavourneen, is not your emancipation come? Why is there no
shout? The Saxons are going. The quick strokes of the paddle-wheels
whiten the waters. Where is the pæan of the ransomed and redeemed? The
sail bellies bigly to the wind. From Erin the Green, the Saxons are
gone. Then rose from earth to sky--what?

IRELAND IS LEFT TO ITSELF--WHOLLY, ENTIRELY, ABSOLUTELY TO ITSELF. The
Repealer has his wish. The sea runs between Ireland and England--and
all that is Irish and all that is English. The cable is cut. The
Emerald Isle is adrift. No Saxon soldier pollutes her soil; but not a
Saxon shilling glistens in her purse. The British Viceroy is no more;
neither is the British Chancellor of the Exchequer any more--THERE.
Ireland has got its own parliament. ALSO IRELAND HAS GOT ITS OWN POOR.
Not a stiver of English millions now crosses St George's Channel. Not
for one death by starvation now is England or the Saxon answerable.
IRELAND HAS HER OWN EXUBERANT EXCHEQUER. IRELAND POURS ABUNDANCE INTO
THE MYRIAD MOUTHS OF HER FAMINE-STRICKEN PEOPLE. Shout, then, O
Ireland! shout!

The sail bellies bigly to the wind. From Erin the Green the Saxons are
gone. The sun of Repeal is at its noon. Then rose from earth to
sky--what?

And they looked into the faces of each other with a dull, blank
look--and from earth to sky arose the yell of wild despair, of
irretrievable confusion, and of maddening perdition.

The Repealer had his wish. The cable was cut. Ireland was adrift--and
LEFT TO ITSELF. Order, law, justice, peace, trade, industry, money,
prosperity, and--oh terrible truth!--INDEPENDENCE were gone
away--quite away with the SAXON.

       *       *       *       *       *

And the Milesian Republic endured--we blush to number the hours of its
ephemeral and horrible existence. Every where the fair face of the
beautiful ISLE was hideously seamed with scars of civil war. Every
where mounted upwards the smoke of roof-trees destroyed, and
hearthstones desolated. Every where over the surface of the great
surrounding ocean boomed the discordant wail of the land torn by the
vultures of anarchy.

Again! at the harbours of sea-ports there was an unmistakeable noise.
Over the rugged stones went the continual tramp and tread of armed
men, who, with bursts of brutal insolence, marched from the ships. The
clang of foreign arms again sounded in the cities, along the plains,
and across the hills of Erin. Ireland had become the province of a
foreign power which did not speak the English tongue. Ireland was that
day trampled on by the iron heel of a new master.

Albion, from its white cliffs, saw the scene. But the ties had been
long broken.



                 THE LAST WALK.

                 BY B. SIMMONS.


    Oh lost Madonna, young and fair!
      O'er-leant by broad embracing trees,
    A streamlet to the lonely air
      Murmurs its meek low melodies;
    And there, as if to drink the tune,
      And mid the sparkling sands to play,
    One constant Sunbeam still at noon
      Shoots through the shades its golden way.

    My lost Madonna, whose glad life
      Was like, that ray of radiant air,
    The March-wind's violet scents blew rife
      When last we sought that fountain fair.
    Blythe as the beam from heaven arriving,
      --Thy hair held back by hands whose gleam
    Was white as stars with night-clouds striving--
      Thy bright lips bent and sipp'd the stream.

    Fair fawn-like creature! innocent
      In soul as faultless in thy form,--
    As o'er the wave thy beauty bent
      It blushed thee back each rosy charm.
    How soon the senseless wave resign'd
      The tints, with thy retiring face,
    While glass'd within my mournful mind
      Still glows that scene's enchanting grace.

    Ah! _every_ scene, or bright or bleak,
      Where once thy presence round me shone,
    To echoing Memory long shall speak
      The Past's sweet legends, Worshipp'd One!
    The wild blue hills, the boundless moor,
      That, like my lot, stretch'd dark afar,
    And o'er its edge, thine emblem pure,
      The never-failing evening star.

    The lawn on which the Sunset's track
      Crimson'd thy home beside the Glen--
    The village pathway, leading back
      From thee to haunts of hated men--
    The walk to watch thy chamber's ray,
      'Mid storm and midnight's rushing wings--
    These, these were joys, long pass'd away,
      To dwell with Grief's eternal things.

    My lost Madonna, fair and young!
      Before thy slender-sandall'd feet
    The dallying wave its silver flung,
      Then dash'd far ocean's breast to meet;
    And farther, wider, from thy side
      Than unreturning streams could rove,
    Dark Fate decreed me to divide--
      _To me_, my henceforth buried Love!

    Yes! far for ever from thy side,
      Madonna, now for ever fair,
    To death of DISTANCE I have died,
      And all has perished, but--Despair.
    Whether thy fate with woe be fraught,
      Or Joy's gay rainbow gleams o'er thee,
    I've died to all, but the mad thought
      That WHAT WAS ONCE NO MORE SHALL BE.

    'Tis well:--at least I shall not know
      How time or tears may change that brow;
    Thine eyes shall smile, thy cheek shall glow
      To me in distant years as now.
    And when in holier worlds, where Blame,
      And Blight, and Sorrow, have no birth,
    Thou'rt mine at last--I'll clasp the same
      Unalter'd Angel, loved on earth.



MAN IS A FEATHERLESS BIPED.


I have heard--I saw yesterday that fact enlarged upon in Mrs Thunder's
_Tales of Passion_--that people's hair may be turned gray by intense
anxiety, intense fear, intensity of any kind, in a single day. My hair
is not exactly gray (far from it, indeed, considering my time of
life)--but, if the above physical phenomenon did ever really occur, it
ought to be silvery-white. For I have passed through a day, the
consequences of which colour, and will colour, my whole existence.
Life's fever came to a crisis, and the crisis turned out unfavourably.
The threads of my destiny got into a tangle, and Fate in a passion cut
the knot with her scissors. My earthly career has been divided into
two distinctly-marked portions, and the point where the two are
united--the bending-stone (as the Greeks say) of the race-course, is
the day on which I was _plucked_.

Reader of Maga, as your experiences are possibly confined to the land
of Maga's nativity, I will explain to you what it is to be plucked. It
is to have your degree refused at one of the English universities. Now
don't suppose that, when I have said this, I have said all. The
mischief does not end with the refusal. It is bad enough, truly, to
have gone through three years of reading and walking, or of port-wine
drinking and tandem-driving, and then to get nothing for your trouble.
But that's not it. A plucking brings with it consequences quite
peculiar to itself--consequences hardly intelligible out of
England--hardly intelligible, indeed, out of the sphere of the upper
classes in England. The English universities are the nurseries of
adolescent English gentlemen--of the whole aristocracy, church, and
bar. And the many thousand persons comprised in these very extensive
denominations, although they may have nothing else in common, agree in
fond and not very discriminating reverence for Oxford and Cambridge. I
really believe that many a man, whose actual reminiscences of these
seats of learning are confined to the pace of the boats and the
badness and dearness of the wine, yet manages to persuade himself that
his being was somehow exalted by his three years' course. And then the
sacredness which attaches to their verdict! A fellow will pass current
any where with the university stamp upon him. I _know_ that Muggleton,
who got a medal, and is the slowest dummy in creation, used to be
invited occasionally to dinner-parties as a substitute for the late S.
S. Besides, university life is common ground to half the world. You
place Tories and Whigs, high churchmen and low churchmen, round the
same table, and there follows a wrangle or a quarrel; but, let the
conversation once veer round to the incidents of "Slogger's year," or
the character of Dr ----, and you will find the talk flowing freely,
and opinions unanimous.

So you see the unpleasantness of there being nothing to be said about
one, under such circumstances, except that one was _plucked_. Of Mr
Pennefeather, of Elmstead Lodge, Surrey, (my present designation,)
little is known in the neighbourhood of the aforesaid Elmstead Lodge,
beyond the fact that he and his charming family live there. But the
name of Pennefeather of St Saviour's, Cambridge, is common property,
and hundreds know it in connexion with certain unfortunate
circumstances, already alluded to.

I was always in my college considered rather a reading man. I attended
chapel and lecture regularly. I went to few parties or none. Grindham
of St John's (the present dean of ----), and Swetter of Trinity (the
new Queen's counsel), backed by their respective colleges for the
senior wranglership, were old school-fellows of mine, and we continued
our acquaintance. By dint of flattering Swetter, and listening to
Grindham's endless holdings forth on mathematical subjects, I grew
into favour with both. I believe the worthy fellows began to think me
one of themselves,--nothing very brilliant, perhaps, but still sure of
a decent place in the honour-list. And, indeed, had fate pleased,
their influence might have brought things to a better issue. I was
induced to keep my outer door scrupulously shut till two o'clock P.M.;
and, though I often fell asleep in my chair, and conic sections
always made my head ache, I nevertheless made some way. But I was
ruined by a flute! I had learned to play in early life--my mother
liked me to accompany my sisters; and now the accomplishment, of which
I had grown most school-boyishly ashamed, was discovered by a lazy,
handsome, perfumed, kid-gloved _flaneur_ of a fellow, Jenkyns of our
college, whose rooms were above mine. He was just then getting up a
musical association, and of all things wanted a second flute. I have
no patience to narrate the steps of the seduction and triumph,--how I
resisted his overtures at first, then gave way conditionally, then
unconditionally,--how we had meetings, and held committees, and gave
concerts,--how the dons first looked suspicious, then indifferent,
then applausible,--and how, finally, far conspicuous with my white
waistcoat and baton, I led the band on the first anniversary of our
foundation, in the presence of the vice-chancellor and a brilliant
assemblage of professors and heads of houses. But the degree
examination was approaching--unappeasable, inevitable.

Grindham, I confess, had begun to look cold on me; but Swetter, who
was a little ambitious of being considered an accomplished gentleman
as well as a great mathematician, rather countenanced my proceedings.
He never joined us himself--he was a great deal too deep for that--but
he largely affected contempt for fellows who maintained that fiddling
and reading were incompatible. And indeed, without being in the least
aware of it, I had been made, as it were, the pattern-man of our
association and the new system. Did any one object to our concerts,
rehearsals, and practisings, as occupying too much time, he was
referred to Pennefeather of St Saviour's, "a regular leading man, by
Jove--pal of Grindham and Swetter--goes home after a concert, and sits
up half the night with a wet cloth round his head." So said
report--lying as usual; and my fall was the greater in consequence.

The examination was over, and the result was to be announced next
morning. I had felt my ideas rather vague on the subject of the
questions asked, and half suspected that my answers partook of their
looseness. Still I had my hopes--I had covered a good deal of paper
with my writing--a wranglership was not so very unlikely. With this
conviction I went to bed, and slept, on the whole, very soundly. In
the morning I dressed, shaved, and breakfasted, with considerable
deliberation; and, just before nine o'clock, walked down to the
senate-house. The scene there, on this and like occasions, is
sufficiently exciting to an uninterested person--something more than
exciting to one in a situation like mine. A crowd of young men, half
mad with expectation, beset the doors of the edifice. The fate of
themselves and their friends, their bets and the honour of their
respective colleges, are at stake. They shout and scream. The doors
are thrown open. All rush in. A pandemoniac confusion ensues. Then
some patriotic individual volunteers to read aloud the expanded list,
and, hoisted on the shoulders of his neighbours, begins,--WRANGLERS,
"Grindham, St John's; Swetter, Trinity; Pump, Trinity, ("Hooray!"
shouts somebody, and runs off to convey the intelligence to Mr Pump,
who is funking in his room)--Mullins, St John's; Shobley, St Saviours;
&c., &c." I listened calmly to the first half of the wrangler-list,
anxiously to the last, tremblingly to the names in the next class,
agonisedly to those in the third and last. _My name was not there at
all!_ In the hope that it might have been omitted by mistake, I waited
until the crowd thinned, and then, with dim eyes, read the paper
myself. There was no mistake at all. I ran, unobserved, to my rooms,
locked myself in, and during the next three hours I won't say what I
did or thought. There _are_ moments--but never mind! I'm a father of a
family now.

The day was verging towards the afternoon when I put on my hat,
determined to go out and brave the mocking looks of the undergraduate
world. I thought I had some notion of what was to be expected, but the
bitterness of the draught surpassed all my anticipations. I had hardly
got outside the gate of my college, when there turned the nearest
corner a walking party of fifteen gentlemen abreast--the centre-piece
was Grindham. The two wings were composed of his admiring, flattering
friends. My appearance caused a singular alteration in the
countenances of the party. Some looked awkwardly; most of them
manifested a strong inclination to laugh; but Grindham himself would
have passed without recognising me, had not his neighbour whispered
something in his ear. He turned and shook hands--I would have given
the world so that he had cut me, for I expected some of that pity
which "d----d goodnatured" friendship proffers on such occasions.
Alas! my friend had forgotten _my_ position in his own: he did not
seem in the least aware that any person except himself and Swetter,
the defeated Swetter, had been interested in the late examination. He
talked incoherently for some minutes, for repressed exultation was
making his eyes dim, and causing his tongue to stutter; and there we
stood, he the victor and I not even worthy to be considered the
vanquished, chattering on the most indifferent matters--even about
that confounded musical association--and neither of us venturing to
touch upon the subject which was filling each of our hearts to
overflowing. Had any one of the fourteen young men who were tittering
together at a little distance, been a cynic or a psychologist, he
might have freely fed his humour, or made a valuable addition to his
stock of observation. Grindham, Pennefeather--pride struggling hard to
be modest; shame striving to gloss itself over with gay
indifference--human nature in either case denying and belying
itself--what lesson, or what a caricature! But, just before we
separated, something seemed to strike my companion. He suddenly became
more confused than ever, and then was clearly striving hard to look
sentimental. "By the bye, my dear fellow--oh! ah! I was very sorry ...
better luck next time, eh!" And so we parted. But I had lost my
friend.

I proceeded. An indistinct object became visible on the other side of
the way, which, as I approached, gradually assumed the form and
proportions of a man. It was a figure, not unfrequently seen in my day
in the streets of Cambridge: a broad-brimmed, low-crowned hat, which
completely concealed the countenance of the wearer, just permitted to
loom out of its shadow a many-coloured neckhandkerchief, printed with
the flags of all nations. This last cosmopolitan habiliment shone in
advantageous contrast to a dogskin waistcoat, of indescribable hue,
and immensely broad trousers of white flannel. No coat at all was
visible in front, but behind you might perceive that one of bright
olive-coloured cloth came sharply out immediately below the arms,--a
sporting Newmarket coat, exaggerated to intensity. Such was the outer
man of Mr Charles Maxey, of St Saviour's; the inner man was full of
all corruption and wickedness. This gentleman, being rather at a loss
for occupation amid the uncongenial excitements of the day, was
engaged in somewhat roughly schooling a small and horribly ugly
terrier puppy to follow him up and down the street. I had no
acquaintance with him. I knew nothing of him whatever, beyond the fact
that he generally entered the College Hall very much after the proper
time, dressed in a rough pilot coat, and invariably swearing
violently, as he came in, at some unknown person or object outside the
door. But it appeared that, if I had lost one friend, I had gained
another. He, who would never have ventured to speak to me before--for
the credit of our college, let me say that he was completely and
universally cut--now rushed across the street, and shaking me by the
hand, bade me "cheer up, (I had flattered myself I was looking
tolerably cheerful,) and d--n the concern!" The beast then favoured me
with a dissertation on the nature, cause, and consequences of mishaps
like mine; in the course of which he explained that his own two
pluckings had been entirely owing to the remissness of his private
tutor, in not providing cigars at his (the private tutor's) rooms, and
thereby failing to render Mr Maxey's studies sufficiently agreeable.
"B--and T--," censoriously remarked that gentleman, "always do it: so
I shall go to one of them, and cut old Z--, next term." Finally, he
insisted on taking me off to breakfast, (breakfast at two o'clock!) at
the rooms of a friend of his, who had been plucked fifteen times, and
meant going on to the twentieth plucking, to entitle himself
(according to an old Cambridge tradition,) to a gratuitous degree. I
accompanied him in passive helplessness, and found a room some thing
more than filled with about thirty Maxeys, smoking and singing. I
remember it all to this day;--the indescribable songs--the spiced
ale--Maxey's story about trotting the gray mare to Newmarket--the
jocular allusions to myself--all this comes over me now like a dream
of purgatory. The events of that day are indissolubly linked together
in my mind; and I can never recall my misfortune without recalling too
the meeting with Grindham and the party at the rooms of Mr Maxey's
friend. But hard as these things were to endure in our little world at
Cambridge, I have since experienced worse consequences of that
accursed plucking among grown men, and in a manner made more painful
to a sensitive organisation like mine.

I won't say what my father said when he heard of this termination of
my university career. He had been a chancellor's medallist himself,
and, in virtue of his medal, was listened to in parliament before the
war. I believe he thought that all a man's doings in life were
contained in his university exploits, like the chicken in the egg. Me
he sent off to read theology with a clergyman in the country,
previously to taking orders--for a family living awaited me. In this
position I remained two years. I may mention, in passing, that my
worthy instructor, a perfect ninny, though a former fellow of his
college, despised me utterly for my past failure, and was at no pains
to conceal his contempt; and at the end of that time, I set out for
the cathedral city of F----, to go through the bishop's preparatory
examination. Now, there is a prevalent notion in England, or at least
in the English universities, that a bishop's examination is regulated
after a peculiar fashion. It is reported that the prelate, or his
chaplain, examines beforehand the calendars of the two universities,
and adapts his subsequent questions to the information thence derived,
in what may be called reverse order. Thus, a wrangler or
first-classman, being supposed fit for any thing, is asked nothing in
particular. It was even whispered--ay! even in these days of priestly
dignity--that when my friend Grindham's eldest son, himself a second
senior wrangler, went up a few weeks ago to the Bishop of ----, his
lordship merely demanded information respecting the feeling of the
university on the Hampden question, and on being satisfactorily
answered, remarked that he dined at six, and dismissed his examinee.
But, to resume--the questions are said, or rather were said, to
increase in difficulty with the decreasing honours of the applicant. A
second-classman had questions of average difficulty put to him, a man
who took no honours, was stiffly catechised; a plucked man--but how it
fared, and perhaps still fares, with plucked men, you shall judge from
my case. After a night of excessive nervousness at the inn, I
proceeded to the palace at ten o'clock in the morning. A number of
serious-looking, white-cravatted, young men were waiting in the outer
room, into which I was ushered. It was bitterly cold: there was, it is
true, a fire; but it was actually going out, because no one dared to
stir the Episcopal embers. An inner door every now and then opened and
shut, admitting each time some one individual of the shivering crowd
into the dreaded presence. Many old familiar faces were there. I
should perhaps have shrunk from their aspect, had not nervousness, and
perhaps a feeling that every one of them might in a few minutes find
himself in my identical position, placed us all on a level. So I
looked almost boldly about me. After a few minutes, I was on the point
of addressing an old acquaintance, when, above the shoulder of the man
to whom I was about to speak, there appeared a face, often seen but
always loathed in my walking and sleeping visions. It was Maxey's. The
cosmopolitan handkerchief had disappeared, and the debauched eyes
looked brighter and less bloodshot than of old; but it was the same
Maxey who fraternised with me on the day of my fall. He was--I am
sorry to say--attempting to get into orders. He had been rejected, he
told me, once before, but he had now been "coached by so-and-so half a
year, and meant to manage it this time." Whether Mr So-and-So provided
cigars for theological pupils I did not inquire; I was too much
sickened by Maxey's presence,--so much so that it was really a relief
when I was summoned in my turn to the Bishop's apartment. I passed
through a long passage, then through an ante-room; lastly, a door
opened, and displayed his lordship sitting solemnly at a large green
table. The chaplain was leaving the room just as my name was
announced. I saw him put his hand to his mouth, and distinctly heard
him whisper in a loud aside--"_Plucked in_ 18--, my Lord."

The Bishop's face assumed an expression of yet more awful solemnity.
He gravely motioned me to sit down, and then, looking me full in the
eyes, said--"Ah hem! I have no doubt, Mr Pennefather, you have
sufficiently prepared yourself for the--hem--important office you
propose to take on yourself. I am sorry to say that this--ah!--hem--most
important office is often entered upon without sufficient--hem--
preparation."

A pause. Fluency was not his lordship's forte. But if the moral
annihilation of the object addressed is the end and aim of oratory, he
proved himself in this case a Demosthenes.

He then continued--"Nothing is more--hem--essential to a clergyman
than a knowledge of the early history of Christianity. Let me ask you
what you know of the Patripassian heresy?"

I don't know what I might have answered under other circumstances, but
the chaplain's whisper and the Bishop's exordium were too much for me.
I could not utter a word. Other questions followed, to which I
answered nothing or nonsense. In the end I recollect that his lordship
made me a long speech, from which I gathered--it was not difficult to
do this, as it consisted of the same sentence repeated in every
variety of collocation--that he was very sorry that he could not admit
me into orders with such--hem--ah--insufficient preparation.

I bowed and left the room, passed through the ante-chamber and passage
into the apartment where the rest of the candidates were waiting, and
thence made my exit with some words of Mr Maxey's dancing and humming
in my ears,--"_so we're plucked again, old boy!_"

Between this scene and the next passage of my life, which I shall
sketch or the reader's benefit, there was an interval of several
years. I had been abroad most of the time, and had very nearly managed
to forget my university misfortune. There was no occasion to revert to
the bishop, for my elder brother died, and I stepped into his
place--the family living being duly put out to nurse for my brother
Tom. From the proximate parson, I had become the bachelor heir, with
rooms in Piccadilly, a groom, and a brougham.

One day--it was in the course of my first season in town--I was dining
with Jobson in Hamilton Place. Why I went so frequently to Jobson's,
any body who remembers Emily Jobson, and what an angel she looked in
that lilac silk, will easily guess. I had flattered myself I was not
prospering badly with her. But I knew there was a rival in the
field--no other person than my old friend Swetter, then a rising
junior of five-and-thirty at the chancery bar. We were running on a
_tie_, as I fancied--Swetter and I. The dear girl was, I am sure, very
much puzzled to decide between us; and I often thought I could see, by
the expression of her face, that she was balancing Swetter, his
advantages and disadvantages, his possible peerage, and the necessity
entailed on his wife of staying in London through the winter, against
me and my little place in Surrey. And all the time, I had an uneasy
consciousness that my rival could get the start, if he pleased, by
confiding to Emily certain awkward antecedents of mine, known to the
reader. But, to do him justice, he was too much of a gentleman to head
me by such means. This I knew, and though at this very dinner-party he
was sitting opposite Emily and myself, and looking exquisitely
uncomfortable every time I whispered in her ear between the spoonfuls
of _bisque d'écrivisses_, I felt certain that even greater provocation
would not tempt him to peach. So all went smoothly--as smoothly as
things ought to go at one of Jobson's admirable dinners. But towards
the middle of the second course, Jobson's voice, which had been
growing gradually louder since we sat down, became so overpowering as
to beat down and absorb all other conversation. He was talking about
Cambridge and his son Plantagenet. Jobson is a _nouveau riche_ (some
of his friends call him Tyburn Jobson, because he made his money in
hemp), and rather unnecessarily fond of introducing the now well-known
facts that Plantagenet is at the university, and Tudor in the Guards.
So, Jobson giving the cue, Cambridge became the text of the general
conversation. Glauber, who stammers horridly, and, like most
stammering men, takes every opportunity of telling long and
inextricable stories, began to hold forth, in the midst of general
silence, concerning Lady Ligham's son William, whom her ladyship would
persist in believing a genius, and whom she had sent to Cambridge
expressly to be senior wrangler. "But," added Glauber, "only the other
d..d..d..day I heard he was p..p..p..pluck--."

The word was not out of his mouth, when that brute Jones, who was next
him, gave him a tremendous admonitory poke in the side. Glauber first
turned wrathfully on him, and then, beginning to comprehend, looked
straight at me--his red face becoming redder with confusion, and his
great goggle eyes almost starting out of his head.

"I b . . b . . b . . beg your p . . p . ." begun the wretch; but
Swetter and Jones, who had been writhing with suppressed laughter,
here gave vent to such sounds as effectually drowned his miserable
voice. I gulped down a glass of champagne, and made things worse by
choking myself. Meanwhile Emily looked on with a face of the utmost
astonishment.

Well, we concluded dinner, drank Jobson's wine, and ascended to the
drawing-room. No sooner did we enter, than I saw Emily go straight up
to Swetter, and ask a question. He laughed a good deal at first, and
then visibly commenced a long story. I followed it in Emily's face as
clearly as if I had been listening to it. Yes! the temptation was too
much for Swetter; and, to say the truth, he only did what any one else
would have done in like circumstances. He told all. Determined to know
my fate, I walked to Emily's chair, and began conversing in my usual
strain. She was civil--just civil--but in less than five minutes, she
managed to inform me that she hoped her dear brother Plantagenet would
work hard at Cambridge--_for the honour of his family_. It was enough.
Swetter and she were married in two months.

I left London without waiting for the season to conclude, and buried
myself and a fishing-rod in a lonely Welsh cottage. For months I saw
nobody but the old woman whom I brought from Monmouth to cook my
dinners. She, I believe, thought me decidedly mad--principally because
I once swore dreadfully at her, when, _àpropos_ of a chicken on which
I was to dine, she used a word vernacularly employed to signify the
stripping birds of their feathers. I fished, caught nothing, and mused
on Emily. At last, however, on casually extending a ramble to a
greater length than usual, I found that a house, five miles from my
present residence, and quite as solitary, had been taken by an English
family. As a matter of course--though I really cannot precisely
remember in what way--we became acquainted. All I know is, that I
determined the acquaintance should commence as soon as possible,
immediately after meeting a young lady in a pink bonnet, who was
sauntering along the side of the stream in which I was pretending to
fish. This was Caroline Lumley. They were the Lumleys--Captain and Mrs
Lumley, and two daughters. The family had lived the anomalous life
common to English semi-genteel families with small incomes. They had
resided, now in Jersey, now in Dublin, now on the Continent--every
where but in civilised and inhabitable parts of England. At present
they had settled themselves down, for the sake of cheapness, in a spot
where every thing except mutton and house-rent was twice as expensive
as in London, and where they had to walk five miles to meet with a
neighbour.

That neighbour was myself. I was sick with disappointed love, and
Caroline Lumley was dying with ennui. Need I say that in six weeks we
were engaged!

I really believe that she worshipped me as a superior being. There had
been few or no men in the out-of-the-way places where they had lived.
There never are. They are all draughted off to business and
employments of various kinds. So I not only had no equal in her
estimation, but could not, by any possibility, have had one. She
thought me the handsomest man in the world. She used to praise my
talents and accomplishments to my face. Indeed, by the side of old
Captain Lumley, who, prosy by nature, had long ago exhausted all his
topics, I might have appeared a Crichton. Every now and then, however,
when Caroline had called me clever, there used to come over me a
shudder. Could _she_ be ever brought to think of me as Emily Jobson
probably did? The idea was positively maddening. Many a night did I
lie awake, speculating whether, after all, it might not be better to
secure myself against another such cross of destiny by freely
revealing to her my great secret.

At last, reflection, building on the reminiscences of an old Cambridge
tradition, suggested to me a plan which I lost no time in executing.

"My love," said I to Caroline one morning, "did you ever hear of
Cambridge?"

"Oh yes!" she replied, apparently quoting from Pinnock; "it's the
capital of Cambridgeshire."

"Did you never hear any thing else about it?" rejoined I.

"It's famous for its university, isn't it?" said she, seemingly from
the same source.

"On this hint I spake," and told her how that I had been educated at
Cambridge, and how that, after three years of intense study, I had
received the greatest honour the university had to bestow--_a
plucking_.

"Yes," said I, my face radiant with a triumphant expression--"I was
actually plucked."

"I am sure you were, you dear, clever thing!" cried she, throwing her
arms round my neck.

We were married at Monmouth, and I took my bride straight to London. I
own I was a little desirous of showing Emily Jobson, or rather Emily
Swetter, that there was a young lady in the world quite as pretty as
herself, and with better taste. Swetter and his wife called on us as
soon as he heard we were in town; and shortly afterwards we dined with
them at their new house in Torrington Square. Among the guests was
Grindham--_my_ Grindham, but how changed! He had become tutor of his
college, and had expanded into the most perfect specimen of the
university don I ever beheld. He was positively swelling with
importance. So inordinately conspicuous, indeed, was his air of
self-appreciation, that even my little Caroline noticed it; and I
heard her ask Mrs Swetter who and what he was.

"He took the very highest honours at Cambridge," said she in reply.

Caroline smiled, and seemed to think him quite justified in looking as
important as he did.

The cloth was removed. Caroline was sitting by Grindham's side. She
had spoken little during dinner-time; but I had noticed that several
times she had seemed fidgetty, as though she ought to say something to
her neighbour. Now my wife had at that time a bad habit of speaking in
a very loud voice--in consequence of a deaf father, and of the little
society she had seen. The conversation, accordingly, had no sooner
stopped (as is its wont) with a dead pause, than she turned to
Grindham, and said in a tone of appalling distinctness--

"Mr Grindham, _were you ever plucked_?"

Had a trumpet been suddenly blown close to Grindham's ear, he could
not have looked more thoroughly taken aback.

Caroline repeated her words with yet more frightful clearness--

"_I understand that you were plucked at Cambridge._"

Grindham's countenance grew purple; we had a room full of university
men, and the insulting speech was overheard by all. There was a
universal stare and stir; and Mrs Swetter seemed to be saying to
herself, "what wild beast have I got here!"

Caroline, perceiving she had done something very much amiss, got
frightened, and bent over her plate during the rest of dinner.

When the gentlemen came to the drawing-room, Mrs Swetter and she were
sitting together. They had been talking, and Caroline's face was very
red. Our eyes met: her look was full of contempt.

She has been more than my better half ever since. There never passes a
day on which I am not taunted with my plucking.



THE REVOLUTIONS IN EUROPE


When an Eastern sage was desired by his sultan to inscribe on a ring
the sentiment which, amidst the perpetual change of human affairs, was
most descriptive of their real tendency, he engraved on it the
words:--"And this, too, shall pass away." It is impossible to imagine
a thought more truly and universally applicable to human affairs than
that expressed in these memorable words, or more descriptive of that
perpetual oscillation from good to evil, and from evil to good, which
from the beginning of the world has been the invariable characteristic
of the annals of man, and so evidently flows from the strange mixture
of noble and generous with base and selfish inclinations, which is
constantly found in the children of Adam.

"And this, too, shall pass away." The moral whirlwind which has lately
swept over the states of Europe, and shaken all the kingdoms to their
foundations, will subside. Old habits will in the end return--old
affections revive--old desires resume their sway--old necessities
become imperious. Institutions may be modified--dynasties
overturned--forms of government altered--monarchs sent into exile; but
the human heart remains, and will for ever remain, the same. That
foundation being unaltered, the social necessities of men will in the
end compel them to the old establishment of authority, under names
perhaps new. Old power will revive, old rule be established, old
authority be confirmed. The great body of men will still remain hewers
of wood and drawers of water; because Nature never intended them for
any other destination, and she has rendered them incapable of
discharging the duties of any other station. Respectable, useful, and
virtuous, when confined to it, they become pernicious and ridiculous
when for a time withdrawn from it to be placed in another. Mind will
ere long resume its sway over matter, moral over physical strength.
Nations may rise in insurrection; they may destroy the existing
government; they may establish a democratic or republican
institution;--but that will not alter the nature of things; it will
not compensate the incapacity for self-government of the great body of
mankind; it will not relieve them from _the first of human
necessities, that of being directed by a few_. Under one name or
another--that of Decemvirs, a Triumvirate, a Committee of Public
Salvation, a Directory, or a Provisional Government, the old authority
is speedily evolved, only the more powerful that it has been cradled
in violence. It is not the weakness, it is the irresistible strength
of a democratic government which is its greatest evil. It is the iron
grasp it never fails to lay on the property of others which is its
principal danger, the never-failing instrument of its speedy
overthrow. Property is soon swept away by it, but liberty is swept
away still more quickly. A Cæsar, a Cromwell, a Napoleon, arises like
an avatar to stay the wrath of Heaven let loose in the unbridled
passions of men; and ages of servitude succeed one terrible and
unforgotten period of popular license.

It is the more important to refer to these lasting principles in human
affairs at this time that the events which have recently occurred on
the Continent seem at first sight to set all former experience and
history at defiance. Not only has monarchy been again overthrown, and
a republic restored in France by a single urban tumult, but the
contagion of the example has spread to other countries, hitherto
deemed the stronghold of the conservative principle, and farthest
removed from the influence of the revolutionary mania. That Italy,
following in the wake of a reforming Pope, should be speedily
convulsed by popular fervour, was anticipated, and might easily be
understood. That Lombardy and Venice, long impatient of the Tramontane
yoke, should seize the first opportunity to cast it off, was what
every person acquainted with the feelings of the people in those
beautiful provinces has long expected. That Prussia, the most highly
educated state in Europe, and which has long murmured at the delay in
conceding the popular institutions promised during the struggle with
Napoleon in 1813, should make an effort now to obtain them, might be
understood. That the Poles, smarting under their recent dismemberment,
and mourning their lost nationality, should eagerly grasp at the
shadow even of the means of restoring it, was of course to be
expected. But that Austria, the most aristocratic monarchy in
Europe--that Austria, without either seaports, commercial cities, or
manufacturing emporiums, should be seized by the same passions, and
that the monarchy which had defeated Napoleon at Aspern, and all but
destroyed him at Wagram, should be overturned by an urban tumult,
headed by a burgher guard and the beardless students of the
university--this indeed surpassed human comprehension.

It not unnaturally induced in superstitious or highly excited minds
the belief that the end of the world was approaching, or that an
entire new era had opened upon human affairs, to which nothing which
had preceded it could furnish any thing like a parallel. According to
the temper of their minds, men and women either believed that the dark
prophecies of the Revelation were about to be accomplished, and that
the great battle of Armageddon was to precede the advent of the
Millennium, or that the era of commercial organisation and socialist
felicity was approaching, and that all the miseries of mankind were to
expire amidst the universal dominion of the people. In the midst of
these general hopes and fears, more experienced or practical observers
fixed their eyes on the spoliation of Austria by liberalised Piedmont;
of Denmark, by revolutionised Prussia; and of Lithuania, by
regenerated Poland; and drew the conclusion that human selfishness was
the same in all times and ages; that pirates could sail under the red
as well as the black flag, and that the fervour of Louis Blanc and
Lamartine would terminate in a conflict as fierce, and disasters as
wide-spread, as those which followed the visions of Siêyes, and the
philanthropy of Robespierre.

What is in a peculiar manner worthy of consideration in the overthrow,
in so short a time, of so many of the established governments of
Europe, is the facility with which they appear to have been overturned
by sudden urban tumult, and the immediate submission of the whole
provinces and remainder of the empire, the moment the ruling power in
the capital was changed. It was not thus, in former days, either in
France or any of the other European monarchies. Paris was often lost
and won during the English wars, the contests of the League and the
Fronde, but the provinces were not dismayed by the loss of the
capital; and, in their fidelity, Charles VII. and Henry V. found the
means of changing the scales of fortune, and again wresting it from
the arms of rebels or strangers. Charles I. set up his standard at
Northampton; and London, from the very outset of the conflict, was in
the hands of the Long Parliament; but he found, in the fidelity of the
northern and western counties, the means of maintaining for years a
gallant conflict, in which victory more than once was on the verge of
rendering triumphant the royalist cause. Berlin, during the Seven
Years' War, was twice taken by the Russians; but Frederick the Great
emerged victorious out of that terrible strife. Vienna, in the time of
Maria Theresa, was wrested from her arms by the French and Bavarians;
but she threw herself on the fidelity of the Hungarians, and, ere
long, the standards of France were driven with disgrace behind the
Rhine. The double capture of the same city by Napoleon did not
determine the conflict between France and Austria; but a desperate
struggle was subsequently maintained, with almost balanced success, at
Austerlitz, Aspern, and Wagram. But now a single tumult, in which the
loss of life does not equal that of an ordinary skirmish, has
overthrown the greatest monarchies. That of Louis Philippe fell before
fifty men had been killed in the streets of Paris; that of Prussia
sank in a conflict in which one hundred and eighty-seven men fell on
the popular side; and an échauffourée, which scarcely would deserve a
place in military history, overturned the monarchy of Austria, within
sight of the steeples of Aspern, and around the cathedral which had
witnessed the victory of John Sobieski and the triumphant entry of
Maria Theresa!

It is impossible not to conclude that moral and political causes have
here enervated the minds of men, and weakened, to a most ruinous
extent, the strength of nations. The depositaries of power have not,
in general, shown themselves worthy of the trust which they held.
There is no reason to suspect them of personal cowardice; but the
moral courage which carries through a crisis, and so often _averts
danger by venturing to face it_, appears to have been generally
awanting. Men forgot the words of Napoleon, on occasion of Malet's
conspiracy--"The death of a soldier would be the most glorious of all,
if that of a magistrate, slain in the faithful discharge of his civil
duties, were not still more honourable." Of few in these days can it
be said, in the words of the poet,--

    "Justum et tenacem propositi virum
    Non civium ardor prava jubentium,
    Non vultus instantis tyranni,
      Mente quatit solidâ;
    Si fractus illabatur orbis,
      Impavidum ferient ruinæ."

A long peace seems to have enervated the minds of the higher orders on
the Continent; habitual luxury to have disinclined them to sacrifices
by which it might be endangered. To slip through a crisis quietly, and
with as little risk or disturbance as possible, seems to have been the
great object; to avert danger at the moment, by pushing it forward to
future times, the universal system. With how much success it was
practised, the present deplorable state of France, Prussia, Austria,
and Lombardy, sufficiently attests. The army was apparently everywhere
faithful, and fought bravely; it was the want of moral courage and
determination in the government which ruined every thing. They forgot
the words of Mirabeau--"Such is the fate of those who hope, by
concessions dictated by fear, to disarm a revolution."

But farther, the surprising facility with which the governments of
these great military monarchies have been overthrown, in the late
extraordinary revolutions, and the immediate submission of all the
provinces to the new central power in the capital, suggests another,
and a still more important consideration:--that is, the danger
attendant on that system of centralisation, which, adopted by all the
governments of France, monarchical and republican, for two centuries,
from Imperial Rome, and from thence imitated over all Europe, has now
apparently concentrated the whole strength of a state, moral as well
as physical, in the capital. That such a system is very convenient;
that it improves and facilitates administration in many respects, and
greatly augments the national strength, when held together by
unanimous feeling, and ably directed, may readily be conceded. The
great power and extraordinary triumphs of Prussia under Frederick the
Great, and of France under Louis XIV. and Napoleon, sufficiently
demonstrate that. But what is the situation of such a centralised
power when assailed, not in its circumference, but in its centre; not
in the extremities, but the heart? Can any thing be expected of it but
immediate submission to the power, _whatever it be_, which is in
possession of the wonted seat of government, which has the command of
the palace, the bank, the treasury, the post-office, and the
telegraph? These revolutions, of which so much is said, cease to be
national, to become merely urban movements; they are no longer an
effort of plebeians against patricians, but of one set of prætorians
in the capital against another. They are no longer "révolutions
d'état," but "révolutions du palais." It is of no consequence who
inhabits the palace--a king, a tribune, an emperor, or a decemvir. It
is there, under whatever name that despotic power resides, it is
discovered where the vital spring is to be found. Deprived of its
capital, a centralised state, be it republican or monarchical, is
Samson when shorn of his hair; it becomes the victim of any Dalilah
who takes the trouble to lure it to perdition.

That this is the true character of the revolutions which have lately
taken place on the Continent, and struck the world with such
astonishment, from the magnitude of the changes which they involved,
and the facility with which they were accomplished, is apparent on the
very surface of things. They were all urban tumults, not national
movements; the nation was never consulted on them at all. They were
all concluded before the provinces heard of their commencement; they
succeeded so easily, because the nations in which they occurred had
been accustomed to obey the commands of the capital as implicitly as
troops do the orders issuing from headquarters. The national consent
of France, so far as it could be collected, was decidedly in favour of
the Duchess of Orleans and the Count de Paris on the night of the 24th
February; for two-thirds of the Chamber of Deputies were for that
government. But what then? The armed mob, the prætorians of the
capital, rushed in--the refractory deputies were dragged from their
benches as summarily as the Council of Five Hundred were expelled from
their seats by the grenadiers of Napoleon on the 18th Brumaire; a
voice called "_C'est trop tard. A l'Hotel de Ville! Vive la
Republique!_" and the Orleans dynasty was overthrown, and universal
suffrage established. In Prussia the whole affair was a combat in the
capital, between fifteen thousand regular troops and thirty thousand
trained and disciplined citizens, (every man in Prussia is bred a
soldier;) and after one hundred and eighty-seven men on the popular
side had been killed, the King yielded, and the nation rushed
headlong, from absolute despotism to household suffrage, equal
electoral districts, and a single National Assembly. This is just the
Cadiz constitution of 1812, which has ever since been the rallying
point of the democrats throughout the south of Europe, over again. It
was the same at Vienna: the whole affair there was determined in a
single day, before intelligence of the commencement of the revolt had
reached either Lintz or Presburg. It is ridiculous to talk of these as
_national_ movements, or revolutions of the state: they are mere urban
tumults, originating in a struggle for the dictatorship in the
capital, and decided without the sense of the nation being taken
either on the one side or the other.

But, most of all, these Continental revolutions teach a lesson of
inestimable importance to the people of this country, and which recent
events have so well illustrated, as to the incalculable value of a
hereditary order of succession in the government, supported by
hereditary respect, and resting on the _disinterested_ loyalty of the
people. It is in vain to conceal that it was the fact of its being a
_usurping government_ which proved fatal, in the crisis of its fate,
to the monarchy of Louis Philippe. He was the King of the Barricades,
and how could he withstand the force of the Barricades? It was the
same with the government of Robespierre, the Directory, and Napoleon:
they were all usurpations, and fell before the power which had created
them. They had not taken root in the loyal and generous affections of
men. The dynasty of Cromwell perished with himself; Charles II. was
restored amidst the unanimous transports of the whole nation. It was
the same with the government of Great Britain for long after the
Revolution of 1688: it is well known that, during the last years of
the reign of Queen Anne, it was almost an open question in both houses
of parliament, whether the Stuart line should be restored, or the
Hanoverian family, in terms of the Act of Settlement, be called to the
throne. The devastating civil wars and bloody contests of the
Prætorian Guards with the legions, which stained with blood the
annals, and shortened the existence of the Roman empire, may show what
is the fate of a great nation which, having cast away the bonds of
hereditary loyalty, has nothing to be guided by, in the choice of a
ruler, but the blind partiality of armed men, or the corrupted support
of interested hirelings. It will be long before either will produce
the fidelity of the Scottish Highlanders in 1745, or the glories of La
Vendée in 1793. Usurpation of the throne is a sure prelude to endless
dissension, national corruption, and endangered freedom. The expulsion
of the Tarquins brought Rome to the brink of ruin; its effects were
not removed for two centuries. England took nearly a century to
recover the effects of the most just and necessary revolution in
which men were ever engaged--that which chased James II. from the
throne. Our present stability, amidst the fall of so many other
governments, is mainly owing to this, that by the long possession of
the throne by her ancestors, Queen Victoria unites in her person the
two firmest foundations of regal power--a nation's consent, and a
nation's loyalty.

If any doubt could exist as to the importance of the barrier which the
government of Louis Philippe and the administration of M. Guizot
opposed to the torrent of revolutionary anarchy, and the ascendant of
selfish ambition, it would be removed by the dreadful nature of the
events which have since taken place, or are in progress, in every part
of Europe. Never was so clearly demonstrated the incalculable moment
of the restraint which religion, law, and order impose on the
rapacious and selfish passions of men, or the truth of Hobbes'
doctrine that the natural state of man is a state of war. Instantly,
as if by magic, the world has been thrown into confusion; and out of
the chaos have arisen not the virtuous and benevolent, but the vicious
and aggrandising propensities. While "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"
are in every mouth, "tyranny, rapacity, enmity" are in every heart. A
legion of demons seem to have been suddenly let loose upon the world;
the original devil was expelled, but straightway he returned with
seven other devils, worse than himself, and the last state was worse
than the first. Kings and Kaisars, ministers and generals, demagogues
and aristocrats, seem to have become alike seized with the universal
contagion. In the general scramble, when society seemed to be breaking
up, as in the horrors of a shipwreck or the disasters of a retreat,
all subordination has been lost, all sense of rectitude passed away,
and the prevailing principle appears to have been to make the most of
the crisis to the purpose of separate advantage.

The great parent republic took the lead in this demoniac race. From
the very first, its steps were disgraced by rapine and robbery; by the
most audacious violation of vested rights, and the most shameful
disregard of private interests. The first thing they did was to burn
the railway stations, and expel with savage barbarity several thousand
inoffensive and industrious English and Belgian labourers and
artisans, without their wages or their effects, from the French
territory. The next was, to confiscate the savings' banks throughout
France--virtually destroying thereby nine-tenths of the accumulated
savings of French industry since the peace. The suspension of cash
payments soon after lowered the value of all realised property a
third. A heavy addition (45 per cent) was imposed on direct taxes: the
period of payment anticipated by six months. Fifty millions of francs
(£2,000,000) was next exacted from the Bank of France without
interest; the "Bons du Trésor Royal" (Exchequer Bills) were thrown
overboard; a _progressive_ income-tax is hinted at; and Government
have now openly commenced the work of spoliation by seizing upon the
Paris and Orleans and Orleans and Vierzon railways, and directing
their whole proceeds, averaging 200,000 francs (£8000) a week, to be
paid into the public treasury! This is done without a hint at
disapprobation, or even an expression of dissent, from the whole press
of France. Nay, they have now taken to stopping, like footpads, common
travellers, and forcing them to give up their specie in exchange for
worthless paper. We doubt if the whole history of mankind contains an
account of the perpetration, in so short a time, of so many acts of
rapacity, or such an instance of the slavish degradation into which
the press has fallen.

Lord Brougham, a great liberal authority in his day, has given, in the
House of Peers, the following graphic and characteristic account of
the state of France at this time, (April 17,) from which he has just
returned:--

     "The present condition of Paris, if it continue for any
     time, would inevitably effect the ruin of that glorious
     country. Paris governs France, and a handful of the mob
     govern Paris. He hoped and trusted that they would live to
     see better times. He hoped that what they now saw passing
     before their eyes--the general want of credit, the utter
     impossibility of commerce going on, the complete ruin of
     trade in the capital and great towns, the expedients to
     which the Provisional Government finds itself compelled to
     have recourse day by day to perpetuate its existence, and to
     make its ephemeral being last--one day taking possession of
     the banks of deposit to the robbery of the poor--another,
     stopping the supplies of the rich--a third day stopping
     travellers for the purpose of taking their money from them
     (hear, hear, and laughter) at the barriers, upon the ground
     that the town was in want of cash. He hoped, he said, that
     they would soon see such an unsettled state of things give
     way to a more firm form of government. He knew some of those
     individuals who had severely suffered by these
     circumstances--(hear, and laughter)--but he should inform
     their Lordships that he was not here present. (Continued
     laughter.) Although it was a pity to spoil their merriment,
     he yet rejoiced in being able to show them that there was
     not a shadow of foundation for the report which had been
     circulated respecting himself; when he came to the barrier,
     the circumstance occurred which had no doubt given rise to
     the story. He was told that he should stop in order that his
     baggage might be examined. On requiring further explanation
     for this conduct, he was informed that the inquiry was
     sought for _for the purpose of seeing whether he had any
     money_. (Laughter.) He had heard a great deal respecting the
     misgovernment of former rulers, but he had never heard of
     such a step as this being tolerated. He knew one person
     _from whom they took 200,000 francs, giving him bank paper
     instead_. The state of trade in that country was
     dreadful--the funds falling suddenly from 70 to 32; the bank
     stopping, notwithstanding the order for the suspension of
     cash-payments; the taking possession of one of the railways,
     with the proceeds, amounting to about £8000 a-week, which
     were put into Louis Blanc's pocket to be dispensed again
     according to his peculiar theory. In the same way, it was
     said, the Provisional Government intended to act with all
     the other railways. They had, no doubt, a right to do all
     this, if they pleased, and also, as it was rumoured they
     intended to do, to seize the bank, and to issue a paper
     currency to a very large amount. He only hoped that at the
     meeting of the National Assembly, they would open their eyes
     to the necessity of taking such steps as to prevent that
     mischief to which such experiments as these were likely to
     lead. (Hear, hear.) He believed that the certain result of
     such a government would be this--that they would be stricken
     down with imbecility, and would become too weak to perform
     the ordinary functions of a government. They might struggle
     on for a time, until some military commander would rise and
     destroy the Republic, and perhaps plant in its place a
     military despotism. At this moment he was of opinion that
     any one general, with 10,000 men, marching into Paris, would
     have the effect of at once putting an end to the Republic.
     No man could doubt it. The Belgian ambassador the other day
     had applied to M. Lamartine for protection; the latter said
     in reply, he admitted the full right of the ambassador to
     such protection, but he had not really three men at his
     disposal. The people in Paris were as uneasy as any persons
     could be at this state of things, but they have made up
     their minds to the fact that this experiment of a Republic
     must be tried; so that France must remain a Republic for
     some time, whether it be for her advantage or
     not."--_Morning Chronicle_, April 13, 1848.

Wretched as this account of the present state of France is, its
prospects are if possible still more deplorable. The misery brought on
the working-classes by the ruin of commerce, destruction of credit,
and flight of the opulent foreigners, is such that it is absolutely
sickening to contemplate it. _Seventy-five thousand persons_ are out
of employment in Paris alone, which, with the usual number of
dependents, must imply two hundred thousand human beings in a state of
destitution. The only way of supporting this enormous mass of
indigence is by maintaining it as an armed force; and it is said that
200,000 idlers are in this way paid thirty sous a-day to keep them
from plundering the capital! But the resources of no country, far less
one shipwrecked in capital, trade, and industry, can withstand such a
strain. The following is one of the latest accounts of the financial
and social condition of France, by an able observer on the spot:--

     "The time is now fast approaching when the pecuniary
     resources left in the treasury at the revolution will be
     exhausted. The old loan has ceased to be paid up. The new
     loan remains a barren failure. The regular taxes are paid
     with reluctance, and are not paid beforehand except in
     Paris. The additional impost of 45 centimes (near 50 per
     cent on the direct taxes) is positively refused as illegal
     by the rural districts and provincial cities. The stock of
     bullion in the Bank of France decreases, and, in short, the
     progress of financial ruin goes steadily on. We pointed out
     some weeks ago the exact and inevitable course of this
     decline, and we now read in a French journal of repute the
     precise confirmation of our predictions:--'We are now,' says
     the _Journal des Debats_, 'but two steps removed from a
     complete system of paper-money; and if we enter on that
     system, we shall not get out of it again _short of the total
     ruin of private persons and of the state_, after having
     passed through the most rigorous distress; for it would be
     the suspension of production and of exchange.' The plan
     proposed, though not yet sanctioned by the Provisional
     Government, seems to be a _general seizure and incorporation
     with the state of all the great financial and trading
     companies, such as the Bank of France, the railways, the
     canals, mines, &c._, and the issue of a vast amount of paper
     by the state on the alleged credit of this property--in
     short, a _pure inconvertible system of assignats_. Monstrous
     as such a proposal appears, we are inclined to think that
     the rapid disappearance of the precious metals will render
     some such scheme inevitable, and it will be the form given
     to the bankruptcy and ruin of the nation."--_Times_, 14th
     April.

In the midst of these woful circumstances, the Provisional Government
does not for a moment intermit in the inflaming the public mind by the
most fallacious and false promises of boundless future prosperity from
the adherence to republican principles, and the return of stanch
republicans to the approaching assembly. In the same able journal it
is observed,--

     "We have now before us a handbill entitled the _Bulletin de
     la Republique_, and printed on white paper, the distinctive
     mark of _official_ proclamations, headed, moreover, with the
     words "Ministère de l'Intérieur." This document is one of
     those semi-officially circulated, as we understand, by M.
     LEDRU ROLLIN, for the purpose of exciting the Republican
     party. A more disastrous appeal to popular passions, and a
     more delusive pledge to remedy all human sufferings, we
     never read; for after having laid to the charge of existing
     laws _all_ the miseries of a poor man's lot, heightened by
     inflammatory description, the working classes are told that
     'henceforth society will give them _employment, food,
     instruction, honour, air, and daylight_. It will watch over
     the preservation of their lives, their _health, their
     intelligence, their dignity_. It will give asylum to the
     aged, work for their hands, confidence to their hearts, and
     rest to their nights. It will watch over the virtue of their
     daughters, the requisite provision for their children, and
     the obsequies of the dead.' In a word, this exceptional and
     transitory power, whose very form and existence are still
     undefined, announces some necromantic method of interposing
     between man and all the laws of his existence on this
     globe--of suspending the principles of human nature, as it
     has already done those of society--and of changing the whole
     aspect of human life. No delusions can be so enormous: the
     word is too good for them--_they are frauds_; and these
     frauds are put forward by men who know well enough that the
     effect of the present crisis already is, and will be much
     more hereafter, to plunge the very classes to whom these
     promises are made _into the lowest depths of human
     suffering_."--_Times_, 14th April.

One of the most instructive facts as to the ruinous effect of the late
Revolution on the best interests of French industry, is to be found in
the progressive and rapid decline in the value of all French
securities, public and private, since it took place. It distinctly
appears that _two-thirds of the capital of France has been destroyed
since the Revolution_, in the short space of six weeks! Attend to the
fall in the value of the public funds during that brief but disastrous
period:--

     French 3 per cents.                5 per cents.

         Fr. Ct.                        Fr. Ct.
  1825   76  35    July  23      1817   69   0    July  29
  1829   86  16    Dec.   5      1821   90  60    Nov.   2
  1830   85  35    Jan.  18      1822   95   0    Sept.  5
  1831   70  50    Dec.   2      1824  104  80    Feb.   5
  1834   85  50    Nov.  30      1828  109   0    Sept.  4
  1840   86  65    July  22      1829  110  65    Mar.   4
  1844   85  65    Dec.  22      1831   98  30    Dec.  15
  1845   86  40    May   20      1835  110  36    Feb.   4
  1846   85   0    Feb.  28      1837  111   0    Sept.  5
  1847   80  30    Jan.   2      1841  117   5    Sept.  4
  1848   47   0    Mar.  15      1844  126  30    Mar.   4
  1848   41  27    Mar.  28      1847  119  40    Feb.  22
  1848   35  67    April  1      1848  116  75    Feb.  22
  1848   34  64    April  5      1848   97  50 {fell to 80 Mar. 7.}
  1848   33  10    April 14      1848   65  80    April  2
                                 1848   51   0    April 12

         _La Presse_, March 12, and _Times_ since that date.

The value of railway stock and bank shares has declined in a still
more alarming proportion. Bank shares, which in 1824 sold for 3400
francs, are now selling at 900 francs--or little more than A FOURTH of
their former value. Railway stock is unsaleable, being marked out for
immediate confiscation. Taking one kind of stock with another, it may
safely be affirmed that TWO-THIRDS _of the capital of France has
perished since the Revolution, in the short space of seven weeks_. The
fruit of thirty-three years' peace, hard labour, and penurious saving,
has disappeared in seven weeks of anarchical transports!! Of course,
the means of employing the people have declined in the same
proportion; for where credit is annihilated, how is industry to be
maintained, before its produce comes in, but by realised capital? How
is its produce to be disposed of if two-thirds of the classes
possessed of property have been rendered bankrupt? Already this
difficulty has been experienced in France. The Paris papers of 13th
April announce that seventy-five thousand persons will be employed at
the "ateliers Nationaux," or public workshops, at 30 sous a-day, in
the end of April--at a cost of 112,500 francs a-day, or 3,375,000
francs, (£150,000) a-month. This is in addition to an armed force of
above 100,000 men, paid for the most part two francs a-day for doing
nothing. No exchequer in the world can stand such a strain; far less
that of a bankrupt and revolutionised country like France. It is no
wonder that the French funds are down at 32, and an issue of
assignats--in other words, the open and avowed destruction of all
realised property--is seriously contemplated.

This is exactly the condition to which France was brought during the
Reign of Terror, when the _whole_ inhabitants of Paris fell as a
burden on the government, and the cost of the 680,000 rations daily
issued to them, exceeded that of the fourteen armies which combated on
the frontiers for the Republic. In those days the misery in Paris, the
result of the Revolution, was so extreme, that the bakers' shops were
besieged day and night without intermission by a famishing crowd; and
the unhappy applicants were kept all night waiting during a severe
frost, with a rope in their hands, and the thermometer often down at
5° Fahrenheit, to secure their place for the distribution when the
doors were opened. There is nothing new in the condition of France and
Paris at this time: it has been seen and experienced in every age of
the world; it has been familiar to the East for three thousand years.
The principle that the state is the universal proprietor, the middle
class the _employés_ of government, and the labouring class the
servants of the state, is exactly the oriental system of government.
It is just the satraps and fellahs of Persia--the mandarins and
peasants of China--the zemindars and ryots of Hindostan over again.
Exact parallels to the armed and insolent rabble who now lord it over
Paris, and through it over France, may be found in the Prætorians of
Rome--the Mamelukes of Egypt--the Janissaries of Constantinople. The
visions of perfectibility and utopian projects of Louis Blanc,
Lamartine, and Ledru Rollin, have already landed the social interests
of France in the straits of the Reign of Terror--its practical
government in the armed despotism of the Algerine pirates, or the
turbulent sway of the Sikh soldiery.

But the contagion of violence, the ascendant of ambition, the lust of
rapine have not been confined to the armed janissaries of Paris, or
their delegates the Provisional Government. They have extended to
other countries: they have spread to other states. They have infected
governments as well as their subjects; they have disgraced the throne
as well as the workshop. Wherever a revolution has been successful,
and liberal governments have been installed, there a system of
_foreign aggression_ has instantly commenced. The first thing which
the revolutionary government of Piedmont did, was to invade Lombardy,
and drive the Austrian armies beyond the Po; the first exploit of
constitutional Prussia, to pour into Sleswig to spoliate Denmark. Open
preparations for revolutionising Lithuania are made in the grand-duchy
of Posen. A war has already commenced on the Po and the Elbe; it is
imminent on the Vistula. Lamartine's reply to the Italian deputation
proves that France is prepared, on the least reverse to the Sardinian
arms, to throw her sword into the scale; his conduct in permitting an
armed rabble to set out from Paris to invade Belgium, and another from
Lyons to revolutionise Savoy, that the extension of the frontier of
France to the Rhine and the Alps is still the favourite project of
the French republic. If he declines to do so, the armed prætorians of
Paris will soon find another foreign minister who will. France has
600,000 men in arms: Austria 500,000: 150,000 Russians will soon be on
the Vistula. Hardly was uttered Mr Cobden's memorable prophecy of the
approach of a pacific millennium, and a universal turning of swords
into spinning-jennies, when the dogs of war were let slip in every
quarter of Europe. Hardly was M. Lamartine's hymn of "liberty,
equality, fraternity," chanted, when the reign of internal spoliation
and external violence commenced in France, and rapidly extended as far
as its influence was felt throughout the world.

"And this, too, shall pass away." The reign of injustice is not
eternal: it defeats itself by its own excesses: the avenging angel is
found in the human heart. In the darkest days of humanity, this great
law of nature is unceasingly acting, and preparing in silence the
renovation of the world. It will bring about the downfall of the
prætorian bands who now rule France, as it brought about the overthrow
of Robespierre, the fall of Napoleon. The revolutionary tempest which
is now sweeping over Europe cannot long continue. The good sense of
men will reassume its sway after having violently reeled: the feelings
of religion and morality will come up to the rescue of the best
interests of humanity: the generous will yet combat the selfish
feelings: the spirit of heaven will rise up against that of hell. It
is in the eternal warfare between these opposite principles, that the
true secret of the whole history of mankind is to be found: in the
alternate triumph of the one and the other, that the clearest
demonstration is to be discerned of the perpetual struggle between the
noble and generous and selfish and corrupt desires which for ever
actuate the heart of man.

"To rouse effort by the language of virtue," says Mr Alison, "and
direct it to the purposes of vice, is the great art of revolution."
What a commentary on these words have recent events afforded! Judging
by the language of the revolutionists, they are angels descended upon
earth. Nothing but gentleness, justice, philanthropy is to be seen in
their expressions: nothing but liberty, equality, fraternity in their
maxims. Astræa appears to have returned to the world: the lion and the
kid have lain down together--Justice and Mercy have kissed each other.
Judging by their actions, a more dangerous set of ruffians never
obtained the direction of human affairs: justice was never more
shamelessly set at nought in measures, robbery never more openly
perpetrated by power. Their whole career has been one uninterrupted
invasion of private rights; their whole power is founded on continual
tribute to the selfish desire of individual aggrandisement among their
followers. We do not ascribe this deplorable contrast between words
and actions to any peculiar profligacy or want of conscience in the
Provisional Government. Some of them are men of powerful intellect or
fine genius; all, we believe, are sincere and well-meaning men. But
"Hell is paved with good intentions." They are pushed on by a
famishing crowd in their rear, whom they are alike unable to restrain
or to feed. They are fanatics, and fanatics of the most dangerous
kind--devout believers in human perfectibility, credulous assertors of
the natural innocence of man. Thence their enormous error--thence the
enormous evils they have brought upon the world--thence the
incalculable importance of the great _experimentum crucis_ as to the
justice of these principles which is now taking place upon the earth.

To give one instance, among many, of the way in which these
regenerators of society proceed to spoliate their neighbours, it is
instructive to refer to the proposals officially promulgated by the
Provisional Government, in their interview with the railway
proprietors of France, whom, by one sweeping act, it was proposed to
"_absorb_" into the state. The Minister of the Interior stated that it
was proposed to "purchase" the shares of the proprietors; and the word
"purchase" sounded well, and was doubtless a balm to many a quaking
heart, expecting unqualified confiscation. But he soon explained what
sort of "purchase" it was which was in contemplation. He said that it
was the intention of Government to "absorb" all the railway shares
throughout France; to take the shares at the _current price in the
market_, and give the proprietors not money but _rentes_, or public
securities, to the same amount! That is, having first, by means of the
revolution, lowered the current value of railway stock to a twentieth,
or, in some cases, a fiftieth part of what it was previous to that
convulsion, they next proceed to _estimate it at_ that depreciated
value, and then pay the unhappy holders, not in cash, but in
Government securities, themselves lowered to a third of their value,
and perhaps ere long worth nothing. A more shameful instance of
spoliation, veiled under the fine names of "absorption,"
centralisation, and the like, never was heard of; but the Minister of
the Interior had two conclusive arguments to adduce on the subject.
Some of the railway lines at least were "paying concerns," and the
republic must have cash; and all of them afforded work for the
labouring classes, and Government must find employment for the
unemployed.

To such a length have these communist and socialist projects proceeded
in Paris, that a great effort of all the holders of property was
deemed indispensable to arrest them. The effort was made on Monday,
17th April; but it is hard to say whether the dreaded evils or the
boasted demonstration were most perilous, or most descriptive of the
present social condition of the French capital. Was it by argument in
the public journals, or by influencing the electors for the
approaching Assembly, or even by discussion at the Clubs, as in the
days of the Jacobins and the Cordeliers, that the thing was done?
Quite the reverse: it was effected by a demonstration of _physical
strength_. They took a leaf out of the book of the Chartists--they
copied the processions of the Janissaries in the Atmeidan of
Constantinople. The National Guard, _two hundred and twenty thousand
strong_, mustered on the streets of Paris: they shouted out, "A bas
les Communistes!"--"A bas Blanqui!"--"Vive le Gouvernement
Provisoire!" and the Parisians flattered themselves the thing was
done. Is not the remedy worse than the disease? What were fifteen
thousand unarmed workmen spouting socialist speeches in the Champs de
Mars to 200,000 armed National Guards, dictating their commands alike
to the Provisional Government and the National Assembly! Was ever a
capital handed over to such a lusty band of metropolitan janissaries?
What chance is there of freedom of deliberation in the future Assembly
in presence of such formidable spectators in the galleries? Already M.
Ledru Rollin is calculating on their ascendancy. Like all persons
engaged in a successful insurrection--in other words, who have been
guilty of treason--he is haunted by a continual, and in the
circumstances ridiculous, dread of a counter-revolution; and in his
circular of 15th April, he openly avows the principle that Paris is
the soul of France; that it is the advanced guard of Freedom, not for
itself alone, but the whole earth; and that the departments must not
think of gainsaying the will of their sovereign leaders, or making the
cause retrograde, in which all nations are finally to be blessed.

The account of this extraordinary demonstration, given in the Paris
correspondence of the _Times_ of 19th April, is so characteristic and
graphic, that we cannot forbear the satisfaction of laying it before
our readers. It recalls the preludes to the worst days of the first
Revolution.

     "Ever since the appearance of this bold defiance to the
     moderate majority in the Provisional Government, and its
     announcement that 'the gauntlet was thrown down--the
     death-struggle was at hand,' the city has naturally been in
     a state of subdued ferment. Various reports, some of the
     most extravagant kind, were circulated from mouth to mouth.
     It was said that the majority of the members of the
     Government intended retreating to the Tuileries, and
     fortifying their position--that a collision between the
     violent and moderate parties was imminent--that the Ultras,
     led by Blanqui, were to profit by a new manifestation in
     favour of a further delay in the general elections, and
     against the admission of the military into the city upon the
     occasion of the great fraternisation _fete_, in order to
     upset the moderate party in the Government; in fine, that
     Ledru Rollin, with two or three of his colleagues, was
     instigating, aiding, and abetting Blanqui in this movement
     to get rid of that majority of his other colleagues that
     thwarted his designs. Whatever the truth of all these
     rumours, the alarm was general. It soon became generally
     known that a monster meeting of the working classes was to
     be held in the Champ de Mars on the Sunday, and that Messrs
     Louis Blanc and Albert, instigated, it was said, by the
     Minister of the Interior, had convoked this assembly. The
     Ultra party, it was added, designed to make use of this
     manifestation in order to forward the schemes already
     mentioned. This was the state of things on Sunday morning.
     In the Champ de Mars, a little after noon, the scene was
     certainly an exciting one. Delegates of all the trades and
     guilds of Paris were assembled, to the number of nearly
     100,000 men. Banners were waving in all directions, and the
     fermenting crowd filled about a third of the vast space of
     the plain. It was with difficulty that an explanation could
     be obtained of the real object of the meeting. Its
     ostensible object, however, appeared to be the election from
     among the working classes of fourteen officers for the staff
     of the National Guard; although other motives, such as the
     choice of candidates among them for the general elections,
     and various deputations to the Government upon various
     matters connected with the endless organisation of work,
     were also put forward. There is every reason to believe that
     the greater part of the meeting had in reality no other
     object in view, and that the other secret intrigues fomented
     by the Blanqui party were confined, at all events, to but a
     chosen few. About two o'clock the monster procession began
     to move towards the Hotel de Ville. Along the outer
     boulevards, along the esplanade of the Invalides, over the
     Pont de la Concorde, and along the quays, it moved on, like
     a huge serpent, bristling with tricoloured banners. The head
     of the monster appeared to have nearly reached its
     destination before the tail had fully left the Champ de
     Mars. In passing through the Faubourg St Germain, I found
     the _rappel_ beating in every street; the National Guards
     were hurrying to their places of meeting, columns were
     marching forward; in every mouth was the cry that the
     Provisional Government was in danger from the _anarchists_
     of the Ultra party.

     On reaching the quays, I found every thing in a state of
     revolution. They were already lined, literally from one end
     to the other, by files of the National Guards; other
     battalions were advancing towards the Hotel de Ville; the
     legions of the _Garde Mobile_ were hurrying in the same
     direction, and seemed, as far as I could judge, animated by
     the same spirit of resistance as the National Guards to the
     supposed _coup-de-main_ expected to be directed against the
     majority of the Government. It was with difficulty that the
     advancing legions could proceed along with the monster
     procession, which seemed surprised and stupified by the
     force displayed. Thousands upon thousands of spectators
     crowded the long thoroughfare also, all endeavouring to push
     on to the scene of action. I reached at last the Place de
     l'Hotel de Ville; it appeared a very sea of bayonets; a
     small space only was left for the passage of the procession.
     The force of the armed citizens of the National Guards and
     the _Garde Mobile_ made certainly a tremendous show. In this
     state matters remained upon the Place for about four hours,
     during which the members of the Government were employed
     probably in receiving the delegates of the monster meeting
     of the working classes. From time to time, however, when
     they appeared at the windows of the old building, shouts
     were raised by the Guards, and the caps, hats, shakos,
     képys, and all the other variations of _coiffure_, that
     suddenly burst up, like a forest, into the air upon every
     bayonet point, had a most singular effect. This was repeated
     continually. During the whole of this long scene, in which
     such of the armed force as filled the Place kept its
     position, the ferment among the surrounding crowd was
     intense. Several _hommes du peuple_ were in a very angry and
     excited state; they declared that the working classes were
     insulted by this demonstration of the National Guards; that
     the National Guards were the enemies of the people; that the
     people must rise once more against them, &c. The cry against
     the Moderates was raised under the name of "_reactionaires_"
     and "_faux republicains_;" the counter cry was "_anarchie_"
     and "_communisme_." Several times the angry parties among
     the spectators were on the point of coming to blows, and
     much hustling took place. This state of things remained the
     same when I left the Place de l'Hotel de Ville at six
     o'clock. In addition to the lines of National Guards that
     still occupied the quays, battalions after battalions of the
     different legions were still pouring along towards the Hotel
     de Ville even at that hour. The advancing columns reached
     through the Place du Carrousel far upon the Rue de Rivoli.
     They were hurrying on as quickly as the intense press
     permitted them, shouting almost universally, "_A bas les
     Anarchistes!_" or more commonly, for that was the real
     rallying cry, "_A bas les Communistes!_" General Courtais,
     with his staff, was riding up and down among the advancing
     ranks, declaring, as far as I could hear, that the
     Government was _no longer_ in danger, but thanking them for
     this demonstration of their desire to support it.--_Times_,
     19th April.

On the following night, (Monday 17,) attacks were made by the
Communists on the Treasury, the Hotel de Ville, and several other
posts; but they were defeated by the National Guard.

It thus appears that the Provisional Government, before it has been
seven weeks in office, is already passed in the career of revolution
by a force from below! It is fain to summon the National Guard for its
protection, and to receive the petitions of the _proletaires_ and
_ouvriers_ from the Champ de Mars, surrounded not by the love of the
people, but the bayonets of sixty thousand National Guards grouped
round the Hotel de Ville! Insane projects of communism, and the
division of all profits among the workmen, without leaving any thing
for the profits of stock, have made such progress among them, that in
a few weeks the Provisional Government is accused of imitating the
conduct of Louis Philippe, because they do not forthwith adopt these
without limitation, and are significantly warned to avoid his fate. It
is evident that the destiny of the whole civilised world is wound up
with allowing these communist ideas in France to run their course
unmolested, and work out their appropriate and inevitable fruits.

We anticipate no good from the revolution in Prussia. We are well
aware, indeed, of the intelligence and energy of that gallant people.
We know that her inhabitants are the most highly educated of any
people in Europe, and second to none in patriotism and spirit. Prussia
is capable, in good time, and from her _own exertions_, of working out
the elements of constitutional freedom. But we distrust all
revolutions brought about by example. Contagion never yet spread the
spirit of real freedom: foreign imitation may for a while overthrow
existing governments, but it cannot establish new ones in their stead
on a durable foundation. The Republic of Rienzi, who, according to the
fine expression of Madame de Stael, "mistook recollections for hopes,"
perished in a few years without leaving a wreck behind. Where are now
the Batavian, Cisalpine, Ligurian, and Parthenopeian Republics, which
arose during the fervour of the first Revolution around the great
parent Republic? What has been the result of the revolutionary mania
which in 1820 threw down the established government in Piedmont,
Naples, Spain, or Portugal? What has become of the Republics of South
America, which borrowed their institutions from the French or Spanish
model? Has any one of these countries obtained real freedom in
consequence of their exertions? Have they not all, on the contrary,
suffered dreadfully, and in nothing so much as their capacity for
liberty, from their effects? Has not capital been so abridged,
industry so blighted, security so endangered, violence so general,
that the cause of freedom has been postponed for centuries, if not
rendered entirely hopeless, from the triumph of foreign imported
liberalism? Whatever it may effect elsewhere, _free-trade in
revolutions_ does nothing but evil in society. Nothing but what is of
home growth, in constitutions at least, can succeed there. It is
difficult enough to make the tree of liberty prosper even where it is
indigenous in the earth; but who ever heard of a _transplanted tree of
liberty_ thriving in the soil to which it was transferred?

Already all the usual and well-known effects of successful revolution
are to be seen in Berlin. Extravagant ideas among the working
classes,--visions of unbounded felicity in all. Hopes that can never
be realised,--expectations inconsistent with the first laws of
society. In the midst of this chaos of excitement, transports, and
chimerical projects, have come the inevitable attendants on such an
assault on the established interests and order of society,--shaken
credit, frequent bankruptcy, diminished employment, a falling revenue,
augmented discontent, foreign warfare, general suffering. These
effects follow so universally and invariably from the triumph of
Revolution, that they may be fairly set down as its inevitable
results. It is in the midst of this scene of danger, excitement, and
tribulation, that Prussia, without the least previous preparation for
it, is to plunge at once into _universal suffrage_, equal electoral
districts, and a deputy for every 50,000 souls! England, with its
centuries of freedom, cautious habits, realised wealth, and opulent
middle classes, could not withstand such a constitution. The abolition
of the national debt, of the house of peers, and a division of
property, would follow from it in three months. What, then, is to be
expected from Prussia, which, so far from having served an
apprenticeship to freedom, is not yet entered with the craft?

So strange and sudden has been the revolt at Vienna, that it is
scarcely possible to conceive that it can be of lasting effects. The
framework of society there, the habits of the people, the ideas
prevalent among them, are essentially aristocratic. The change in the
government was entirely the work of a few thousand ardent students and
discontented burghers in the capital. There is no material suffering
in the Austrian provinces: Chartism is not there, as here, fanned by
the misery produced by free-trade and a contracted currency. In these
circumstances, it is not unlikely that, after the first blush of the
insurrection is over, and men begin to consider in what respect they
have benefited by it, there will be a general inclination to return to
the former government. Probably a few concessions--as of a national
Diet, where the wants of the country may be made known by a majority,
still composed of nobles and landed proprietors--will satisfy the
general wish. Old feelings will revive, old ideas return, old habits
retain their ascendancy; foreign warfare will make the national
supersede the social passions. It will be with them as was said of the
first French Revolution in La Vendée,--giving privileges to the people
is like casting water on a higher level--it speedily finds its way to
the lower. The Revolution of 1848 in Vienna will be--like that of Jack
Cade in England, or Rienzi in Italy, and all similar movements in
countries not prepared for them--a brief and painful effort which
leaves not a trace behind. But this much may without the least
hesitation be predicted. If this return to old feelings and habits
does not take place--and Austria, with its various races, provinces,
and interests, and accustomed submission to authority, is really
revolutionised, its power will be annihilated, its provinces
partitioned, its people enslaved, its happiness destroyed, and a fatal
breach made in the great Germanic barrier which separates French
Insurrection from Russian Absolutism.

What a contrast to the storms which now agitate and have so profoundly
shaken the Continental states does the aspect of Great Britain at the
same period afford? We, too, have our dangers: we have our Chartists
and our Repealers: the whole force of revolution in this island, and
of insurrection in the neighbouring one, have been directed to assail
and overturn the constitution. This treasonable attempt, too, has been
made at a time of all others most likely to give it success: when the
ruinous dogmas of free-trade had paralysed industry, and of a gold
currency had shattered it; when bankruptcies to an unheard of extent
had shaken commerce to its centre, and an unexampled number of persons
in all the manufacturing districts were thrown out of employment. Yet
even in these, the most favourable of all circumstances for the
success of sedition, when real and wide-spread internal suffering is
aggravated by vehement external excitement, how has it fared with the
revolutionists? Their treasonable designs have been every where met
with calm resolution by the Government and the country; and with
scarce any effusion of blood, without a contest which can be dignified
with the name of rebellion, without a single execution, as yet at
least, on the scaffold, their designs have been rendered abortive. The
Press has stood nobly forward on this momentous crisis; and to its
ability and truly patriotic spirit, the defeat of the disaffected,
without bloodshed, is mainly to be ascribed. England has shown one
instance at least of an empire saved by the unbought loyalty of her
people and the free independence of her Press. The metropolis has set
a splendid example of mingled patriotism and firmness: and Europe,
which expected to see the treason of the Chartists triumphant on the
10th of April, and another republic, proclaimed on the banks of the
Thames, was astonished to behold their boasted multitudes shrink from
a contest with six thousand soldiers supported by an equal number of
police. Beyond all question, it was the glorious display of public
spirit then made by the middle and higher classes, who came forward to
a man to defend the cause of order, which paralysed the audacity of
the revolutionists, and saved the empire from the horrors of hopeless
indeed, but in any event disastrous, civil warfare.

The following observations by a distinguished journal, long known for
its able and intrepid defence of the cause of religion and order, put
this memorable event in its true light:--

     "The _eleventh of April_, in the year 1848, has arrived, and
     the United Kingdom is still a _monarchy_. The day, the great
     day, which was to revolutionise the nation, and to establish
     a republic on the French model, has passed over, and we find
     no change. The Parliament sits at its ease as heretofore;
     the courts of law administer justice as heretofore; and the
     officers of the executive are transacting the business of
     the Government without molestation. All other business, too,
     is proceeding in its ordinary course.

     "A better means of estimating the strength of the Chartists
     than has yet been afforded, was afforded by the exhibition
     yesterday on Kennington Common. The five millions and a half
     mustered 10,000, or, to take the highest estimate, 15,000.
     It may be said that these were the Chartists of London and
     its neighbourhood; but though we have shown that this is not
     the fact, let it be so,--London and its neighbourhood
     comprise a population of two millions, giving five hundred
     thousand men of military age. Of these, then, but 15,000 at
     most--we say but 10,000--are Chartists: 1 _in_ 500
     _according to our estimate_, 1 in about 330 according to the
     higher estimate of the number on the common.

     "Let us now turn to the more pleasing side of yesterday's
     proceedings; and let us, in the first place, acknowledge the
     true fountain of domestic peace, and of every other
     blessing--'UNLESS THE LORD KEEPETH THE CITY, THE WATCHMAN
     WAKETH BUT IN VAIN.' To the bounty of Divine Providence we
     owe it, that this morning we arise in peace to pursue our
     peaceful occupations. May we not add, with humility, that to
     the Giver of all good we owe the honour that the metropolis
     of England has won, in setting to the world an example of a
     peaceful victory over the worst spirit of rebellion,
     encouraged by the triumph of rebellion in almost every other
     capital of Europe. Yes, it is to Him, and to the teaching of
     His word, the glory is due.

     "We have told the number of _Chartists_; now what was the
     number of _special constables_?--Two hundred thousand; the
     _Morning Chronicle_ says, we believe truly, two hundred and
     fifty thousand--no sickly spectres, like those whose
     perverse activity summoned them from their usual avocations,
     but the _manhood_ of the metropolis, from the high-spirited
     nobility and gentry downward, through all the gradations of
     society, to the strong-armed artisan, and the robust drayman
     or coal-whipper. Yes, the special constables enrolled
     yesterday presented a body for spirit, strength, and number,
     not to be matched, out of Great Britain, on the face of the
     earth. How truly did we say a few weeks ago, that every
     Sunday saw meekly kneeling in the churches of the metropolis
     a body of men that could laugh to scorn the assault of any
     enemy, foreign or domestic, that could by possibility be
     brought to confront them. These men look for spirit, and
     strength, and safety in the right quarter, and _they
     themselves_ yesterday exhibited the proof.

     "The military preparations of the Government were prudent,
     as providing against the danger of local success on the part
     of the enemies of order, but it is plain that they did not
     operate by terror, for a soldier was not to be seen; it was
     _the little staff of the special constable_ that quelled
     sedition, and it is right that this should be known to all
     our foreign enemies, and to domestic traitors, as proof
     beyond all doubt that the people of England are firmly
     united in defence of their constitution."--_Standard_, April
     11.

That the Chartists fully expected a Revolution to be effected in
London that day is decisively proved by their conduct in the
provinces. At Glasgow, a placard appeared, headed

                         "THREATENED
                    REVOLUTION IN LONDON;"

and invited the people to be ready to come out by their thousands and
tens of thousands, the moment farther intelligence was received. The
"absorption" of the Electric Telegraph by Government was a sad blow to
them, for it left them at a loss how to act.

It is impossible to exaggerate the moral guilt of the movement thus
happily defeated by the firmness of the Government and the loyalty of
the immense majority of the people. Situated as the Continent now
is--with capital destroyed and credit ruined in France; war imminent,
and commerce paralysed in Germany; and hostilities actually raging in
Italy, it is evident that Great Britain, if secure of internal
tranquillity, may again, as during the war, become the workshop and
emporium of the world. Secure within her sea-girt shores, protected
alike by her fleets, her armies, her past renown and present spirit,
she, has advantages during such a strife which no other country
possesses, provided she does not throw them away by her own insanity.
But this the proceedings of the Chartists and Repealers are precisely
calculated to do. Had the London demonstration turned out successful,
these prospects would have been utterly ruined, credit destroyed here
as it has been in France, and the misery of the people augmented to a
degree never, perhaps, before witnessed in modern Europe. Every
Chartist meeting, by prolonging the period of distrust, by checking
the return of confidence, by preventing the outlay of capital,
postpones the restoration of prosperity by a certain period. As long
as they continue, trade never can revive, industry must continue to
languish, poverty to increase, suffering to be prolonged, woe to be
augmented. What, then, is the guilt of those who, for their own
selfish purposes, or to gratify a senseless vanity, prolong an
agitation fraught with such disastrous consequences--retain the
people, in whom they profess to be interested, steeped in such
misery--and avert, when about to set in, the returning flood of
prosperity to their country?

The French journalists, in the interest of revolution, are loud in
their condemnation of the apathy, as they call it, of the great bulk
of the English nation on this occasion, and express their astonishment
that the Chartists, for some reason they cannot understand, shrank
from a contest with the Government, under circumstances which gave
them, as they think, every prospect of success. We will tell them the
reason--which is not the less true, that it may not be altogether
pleasing to their vanity: The English are major and they are minor;
the English are men and they are schoolboys. We, too, have had our
dreams of communism, but they were brought forward by Jack Cade in the
days of Richard II.; we, too, have indulged in social aspirations, but
it was in the days of the Fifth-Monarchy Men, and they ended in the
despotism of Cromwell. It is very well for schoolboys and juvenile
academicians to indulge in extravagant freaks suited to their years;
but they do not become bearded veterans. When England became a man,
she put away childish things. France, by the spoliations and
destruction of the first Revolution, has lost the elements of freedom.
But Germany yet possesses them; and if she does not abuse her
advantages, in two hundred years she may possess the mingled freedom
and stability which now constitute at once the glory and happiness of
England. It requires that time to be free of the craft of liberty;
there is no royal road to freedom any more than geometry. England has
preceded other nations by two centuries in this glorious path; it
would ill suit the masters to recede, and imitate the follies of such
as are only becoming tyros in the attempt to follow it. Those who have
long ago reached the summit, and know with what difficulty it was
attained, can afford to smile at the young aspirants who invite them
to descend and renew the toil of the ascent. Those who have spread
political power with safety over a million of pacific electors
diffused over a whole empire, have no occasion to imitate the example
of those who would establish despotic power in the hands of two
hundred thousand armed Janissaries of a single capital.

_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Page 553: The transcriber has divided the large table into two sections.

Page 596: No closing quotation mark was provided in the original--'were
"the immediate raising of the siege, and return of the army to the
Continent; ...'

Page 636: "she used a word vernacularly employed to signify the
stripping birds of their fathers." 'fathers' has been replaced with
'feathers'.

The chapter title "THE CAXTONS" has two consecutive chapters entitled
Chapter IX.





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