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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 63, No. 392, June, 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. 392, June, 1848" ***

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Transcriber's note:

This issue contains the index to Volume 63.

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 are
inconsistent, and have not been standardised.

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.



BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

NO. CCCXCII. JUNE, 1848. VOL. LXIII.


CONTENTS.

  HOW TO DISARM THE CHARTISTS,                    653

  STODDART AND ANGLING,                           673

  THE CAXTONS. PART III.                          685

  GUESSES AT TRUTH,                               701

  LIFE IN THE "FAR WEST." PART I.                 713

  LOMBARDY AND THE ITALIAN WAR,                   733

  THE INCA AND HIS BRIDE.--A MEDLEY,              750

  SENTIMENTS AND SYMBOLS OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC,  767

  AMERICAN FEELING TOWARDS ENGLAND,               780


                            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.



HOW TO DISARM THE CHARTISTS.


The tempest which has lately passed over the moral world has begun to
subside,--we no longer hear of empires revolutionised, monarchies
overturned, by every post. The states which were to be prostrated by
the blast have already fallen; those which have withstood the shock,
like a cannon which has borne a double-shotted discharge, are only the
more firm from having escaped uninjured from such a trial. France has
been utterly revolutionised: Prussia, to all appearance, scarcely less
thoroughly convulsed: Italy has been thrown into transports: the
smaller states of Germany have, more or less, become republican:
Austria has been violently shaken: the seeds of another bootless
democratic convulsion sown in Poland. This is enough for three months.
Even M. Ledru Rollin and Louis Blanc could scarcely, in their wildest
imaginations, have figured a more rapid consummation of their wishes.
But other states have stood firm. England, the firstborn of freedom,
has shown herself worthy of her glorious inheritance:--she has
repelled tyranny in the form of democracy, as she has repelled tyranny
in the hands of kings. Russia is yet unshaken;--her people have
responded to the call of the Czar, and are preparing on the Vistula
for a crusade into western Europe. Belgium, contrary to all
expectation, has withstood the tempter; the hordes sent down from
Paris to carry desolation into its beautiful plains have been repelled
with disgrace. Denmark has boldly thrown down the gauntlet to
revolutionised and spoliating Prussia, and is striving to maintain its
comparatively inconsiderable dominions against its gigantic aggressor;
and even the rickety and half-revolutionised monarchy of Spain has
survived the shock, and the streets of Madrid have witnessed the
overthrow of a power which the arms of France proved unable to combat.

The worst, therefore, is over, considering the convulsion as one
affecting the internal government and social concerns of nations. The
wild-beast has made his spring: he has cruelly lacerated some of the
party, but many have repelled his claws, and against others he has
missed his blow. But, even more than that, we derive consolation from
this reflection, that the force of the cosmopolitan and general
transports has been weakened, and they are rapidly turning into their
ordinary and comparatively regulated evils of war, conquest, and
military devastation. The polyglot fervour, for the present at least,
is stilled: the national are fast resuming the ascendency over the
social passions. Prussia is at open war with Denmark, in the hope of
wresting from it the German possessions of the Danish crown: Piedmont,
Tuscany, and Lombardy are combating Austria on the Adige: Naples has
declared war against Sicily, and Russia is only waiting till its
gigantic strength is collected in Poland to crush the efforts of
revolution in the Grand-duchy of Warsaw and Duchy of Posen. Thus
revolution is leading every where to its natural and oft predicted
result of universal hostility. The robbery of the weak by the strong,
as in a nation where the authority of law is at an end, has become
general. Spoliation is the order of the day. Nation is rising up
against nation--people against people; civil war has already broken
out in many parts of France--in others it is threatened: Paris is
openly preparing for the conflict: and the reign of liberty, equality,
and _fraternity_ in France is, to all appearance, about to deluge the
world with a stream of blood; second, perhaps, only to that which
followed and punished the first revolution.

God forbid that we should speak lightly of the calamities which such
general warfare must bring in its train. None know them better, or
deplore them more deeply than ourselves. But they are light in
comparison of the evils of successful revolution. War, even in its
bloodiest form, is under some control; it is conducted according to
fixed usages, and by men subject to discipline. But revolutions have
no customs: happily they have not been so frequent in history as to
have induced any consuetudinary usage. They are subject to no
discipline; the principle on which they proceed is the negation of all
authority. They are preceded by the destruction of all those barriers
which experience had erected, and found necessary to restrain vice's
baneful influence. If they bear any resemblance to war, it is to the
universal burst of passion which follows the storming of a fortress or
sack of a city. The murder, rape, and conflagration which then
invariably ensue, are but faint images of the wide-spread ruin which
never fails to follow even the least bloody successful revolution. The
evils of pillage, massacre, or storm affect only the immediate
sufferers under the soldiers' violence: even the dread of plunder by a
victorious host extends only as far as the arm of the marauder can
reach. But the shock to credit, the destruction of capital, the
wasting of industry by a successful revolution, are confined to no
such limits; it devastates like a conflagration every thing within its
reach, and spreads its baneful influence over the whole extent of the
civilised world. There are few operatives in Britain who are not
suffering at this moment under the effects of the French revolution.
Who ever heard of a war which, in two months, destroyed _two-thirds_
of the capital of a nation, and subjected thirty-four millions of men
to the despotism of two hundred thousand armed janizaries in the
capital, as the recent revolution has done in France?

Delivered by the firmness of our government, and the spirit of our
people--by the wisdom which centuries of freedom has diffused, and the
habits which wide-spread and long-continued prosperity have rendered
general--from the immediate dangers of a similar convulsion, it well
becomes us to take advantage of the breathing time thus afforded, to
consider how we may lessen the danger in future times, and remove
those causes which rendered it serious in the crisis through which we
have passed. It is in vain to conceal that the danger was very great.
For the first time for a hundred and sixty years, Revolution walked
our streets; a large portion of our manufacturing population looked
only for the telegraph from London on the 10th April to commence the
work of insurrection. That such insane attempts would have been
defeated is indeed certain; but what unutterable misery to the persons
engaged in them, and the whole industrious population in the realm,
awaited the successful issue of treason, even for a brief period, and
in a single city? If Glasgow had been three days in the hands of the
mob after the 6th March; if a portion even of London had remained in
the possession of the Chartists on the night of the 10th April; if
Dublin had become the theatre of a second rebellion on the 17th March,
and Sackville Street had witnessed the throwing of rockets and
storming of barricades, as Elbœuf and Rouen have lately done, who
can estimate the shock which would have been given to industry, the
ruin to capital, the destruction of employment, that must inevitably
have ensued throughout the empire? It would not have been--as was said
of the failure of the potatoes in Ireland--a famine of the thirteenth,
with the population of the nineteenth century; it would have been the
horrors of the Jacquerie, decimating the myriads of ancient Babylon.

The democratic party throughout the empire have a very simple remedy
for the evils which we have suffered and those we have escaped. They
say, "Extend the suffrage." It has already become evident that it is
to this point that all their efforts will be directed, and in a way
more likely in the end to be successful than by the coarse weapons,
false declamation, and monster meetings of the Chartists. Already an
"Extension of the Suffrage League" has been formed in Manchester with
Mr Cobden at its head; and its ramifications and efforts may be seen
in simultaneous meetings called on the subject in Glasgow, Birmingham,
Liverpool, Leeds, and other manufacturing towns. There is the more
reason to apprehend serious consequences from such a league from the
habit which government, following Sir R. Peel's example, has got into
of late years of yielding to any clamour soever, provided it is
sufficiently loud and lasting. There is reason to fear, from some
ominous hints that have been dropped in several influential Journals,
particularly the _Times_, that it may be in the contemplation of
government, by some concession in regard to the national
representation, to allay, as they conceive, the discontent which has
fostered Chartism in the manufacturing districts, and establish the
legislature in a way more adapted "to the spirit of the age, and the
growing intelligence of the people." It becomes of the last
importance, therefore, to consider what it is of which the Chartists
and discontented operatives really complain; what are the evils which
have rendered their discontent general and alarming on the present
occasion; and what effect an extension of the suffrage would have on
the actual, and, we fear, deep-rooted seats of evil, which at present
disturb the tranquillity and interrupt the industry, and may, in the
end, endanger the existence of the British empire.

The grand practical object of complaint, on the part of the working
classes at present, is _want of employment_. This is so general, at
least in the manufacturing districts, that it may be regarded as all
but _universal_ in those who depend on the chief branches of paid
industry. Statistical facts of unquestionable accuracy demonstrate
that this complaint is too well-founded, and in no situations more so
than in the chief marts of our manufacturing industry. The weekly
returns, made with so much accuracy by the police in Manchester, have
exhibited an average, for the last six months, of about 9000
operatives out of employment, and 11,000 working at short time;[1]
which, supposing there are only two persons on an average dependent on
each, will imply above 27,000 persons out of employment, and 30,000
working short time. At Glasgow, matters are still worse. From
inquiries made by the magistrates of that city, at the principal
manufacturing establishments, with a view to furnish with information
the deputation which was sent up to endeavour to procure some aid from
government to restore credit and relieve the unemployed, it was
ascertained that there are in that city above 11,000 persons out of
employment, and 7000 working on short time, and 14,000 railway
labourers on the railways connected with that city, who have been
dismissed. Taking the ascertained and known unemployed at 25,000, and
their dependents at 2 each, which is below the average of 2½, it is
certain there are 75,000 unemployed persons in Glasgow and its
vicinity. And if the unascertained poor, casual labourers, and Irish
are taken into account, it is much within the mark to say, that there
are A HUNDRED THOUSAND PERSONS IN GLASGOW AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD OUT OF
EMPLOYMENT, besides at least twenty thousand working short time! So
great and lamentable a prostration of industry is probably
unparalleled in Great Britain.

  [1] In the week ending April 29, 1848, the workers in Manchester stood
  thus,--
    Full time, 24,756.      Short time, 10,630.      Unemployed, 9,303.
                                                 _Times, May 4, 1848._

What is in a peculiar manner worthy of observation in this deplorable
prospect, is the _universality_ of the depression. It is not confined
to one branch of industry, or one employment; it spreads alike over
all the _urban_ population in the empire. Doubtless it is more
severely felt in the manufacturing districts than elsewhere, from the
entire dependence of industry in commercial localities on credit, and
the fearful sensitiveness with which any shock to the monetary system
is felt throughout the remotest ramifications of the mercantile world.
But distress, more or less, in towns at least, is now universal. In
Edinburgh the unemployed are increasing to such a degree, as to excite
serious alarm in the better class of citizens. In Dublin, between
general distress and repeal agitation, business is entirely at a
stand; rents cannot be recovered, sales have ended; and the universal
prostration resembles nothing known in recent times but the still more
general and poignant distress which in Paris has followed the triumph
of the revolutionists. London has suffered, as yet, much less than any
other part of the empire from the general depression, because it is
the seat of all the realised wealth and durable fortune of the empire:
it is the place where money is spent, fully more than where it is
made. But even in London, distress, wide-spread and serious, is
beginning to be felt: the diminished expenditure of the West End is
loudly complained of, and the incessant introduction of foreign
manufactures is a standing subject of irritation to the operative
classes. The revenue is collected slowly and with difficulty; and its
diminished amount, showing a falling off of above two millions a-year,
demonstrates that the permanent sources of our strength have at length
come to be affected.

It is extremely remarkable, too--and to this point we in an especial
manner request the attention of our readers--that the distress is felt
_much more strongly in the commercial than the agricultural classes_.
Indeed, were it not for the increased weight of poor-rates, owing to
the manufacturing distress, the multitude of railway labourers thrown
idle by the stoppage of their lines, and the number of land-holders
who have had their finances crippled by the universal fall of railway
and other shares, it may be doubted whether there would now be any
agricultural distress in the empire at all. Where it exists, it is
entirely the reflexion or re-echo, as it were, of commercial ruin.
This is the more remarkable, that the only serious and real disaster
which has affected the country since the depression began, has been
the failure of the potato crop in 1846, which of course blasted, in
the first instance at least, the labours of the cultivators only; and
that the distress now felt as so poignant has been continued only, not
created, by the French and German revolutions. Down to February last,
no class had suffered by real external calamity but the farmers: and
yet the distress which has become so extreme, has arisen not among
them, but among the merchants and manufacturers. This, too, has
occurred at a time when a great change has been made for the interest,
and at the desire, of the commercial classes, in our foreign
mercantile policy,--when free trade has been introduced, to cheapen
bread, lessen the cost of production, and facilitate exchanges; and
when the ruin which was anticipated from the measure was not to the
commercial but the landed interest. This is one of the most remarkable
circumstances in our present condition, and one on which it most
behoves both our legislators, and all interested in their country's
welfare, to ponder.

While this deplorable prostration of the interests of industry in all
its manufacturing branches has taken place, _no corresponding general
decline in prices has occurred_. The producer has in too many cases
been ruined, but the consumers have not as yet at least been
benefited. In some branches of manufacture, indeed, a most frightful
depreciation of value has taken place. Silks, muslins, and ladies'
dresses are now selling for half of what they were a year and a half
ago. But that is the effect of the French revolution, which has thrown
such an immense quantity of articles of this description into the
British market, and of the unparalleled number of failures amongst
ourselves, which have forced such prodigious masses of stock,
belonging to sequestered estates, to sale. These bankruptcies, and the
ruinous contraction of the currency which has occasioned them, afford
too satisfactory an explanation of the depressed prices in most of
the staple articles of British manufacture. But in those articles
which are not so dependent on the maintenance of commercial credit,
and in which the good effects of free-trade might have been expected
to appear, unmitigated by its attendant disasters, no diminution of
price is perceptible.

The last harvest was so fine, that a public thanksgiving was offered
for the blessing; and it came on the back of the importation of
£31,000,000 worth of foreign grain, or above 12,000,000 quarters in
the preceding fifteen months: but the price of wheat is still 51s. a
quarter, and that of oats and barley yet higher in proportion. Oxen
and sheep, as well as all kinds of provisions, have been imported to
an enormous extent during last year;[2] so great, indeed, as to make
the able writers in the _Times_ apprehend that they had drained away
the whole currency of the country in exchange; but butcher meat is
still 7d. a pound. The West Indies are irrecoverably and finally
ruined, but we are paying 5d. and 6d. a pound for our slave-grown Cuba
and Brazil sugar. The _Banker's Circular_ of May 2, 1848, asks whether
there was ever heard of before a monetary crisis which "had _lasted a
year_?" but no man, during that year of fine harvest, general peace,
and universal suffering, has found that his household expenses have
experienced the least diminution from what they were during the
previous years of protected industry, wide-spread contentment, and
unbroken prosperity. Free-trade is evidently driving some of the
staple branches of British industry out of the field; one is expiring
in the West Indies, another languishing in Manchester, a third
tottering in Glasgow; and the diminution of home production keeping
pace with the increase of foreign supply, prices remain what they
were--domestic is superseded by foreign industry; and we shall have
the satisfaction of finding that we have ruined many staple branches
of our own manufacture without benefiting any class of our people.

  [2] Imported from January 5 to October 10--

                          |   1845. |   1846. |   1847.
    ----------------------+---------+---------+---------
    Live animals,         |   19,593|   85,542|  172,355
    ----------------------+---------+---------+---------
    Provisions, cwts.,    |  109,550|  206,455|  403,577
    ----------------------+---------+---------+---------
    Grain, quarters,      |1,336,739|2,635,218|7,905,419
    ----------------------+---------+---------+---------
    Grain in flour, cwts.,|  394,908|2,631,341|7,900,800
                                 _Parl. Paper_, 12th Feb. 1848.

It must be evident to every rational observer that this extraordinary
and universal depression must have been owing to some cause _within
the control of the government of this country_, and that neither
external calamities, nor the inclemencies of nature have had any
material share in producing it. Within the short period of three years
not only was there no deficiency of employment in any part of the
empire, but labour bore a high, in general an extravagantly high price
in every part of the empire. Sir R. Peel in an especial manner dwelt
on this general flood of prosperity which had set in upon the country
in spring 1845, and ascribed it, and the diminution of crime with
which it was accompanied, to the measures for liberating commerce from
fiscal restraint, which he had introduced on his first coming into
power. Since that time no external disaster or warfare has arisen,
till the French Revolution broke out in February last, to account for
the stoppage of employment, or the general misery into which the lower
classes have fallen. We were at peace with all the world: our exports
in the year 1845 had reached the unprecedented amount, including the
colonial productions, of £150,000,000;[3] and railways, penetrating
the country in all directions, gave an extraordinary degree of
employment to the working classes. In autumn 1846, it is true, Ireland
and the West Highlands of Scotland were visited by a failure,
amounting in many places to a total ruin, of the potato crop, which is
said to have destroyed agricultural produce to the amount of
£15,000,000 sterling. But though this great defalcation was the source
of extreme distress to the cultivators who suffered by it, and to a
certain degree diminished the general supplies of the empire, yet it
could not be considered as the cause, by itself, of the wide-spread
ruin which has since overtaken every interest in the empire. The
agricultural productions of Great Britain are estimated by statistical
writers at above £300,000,000 sterling annually, and the manufacturing
and mining certainly exceed £200,000,000.[4] What is a failure of
£15,000,000 of potatoes in such a mass? Such as it was, the gap was
more than supplied by the importation, in a year after it occurred, of
£31,000,000, or double the amount in value, of foreign grain. The
harvest of 1847 was so fine that a solemn thanksgiving was, with the
general approbation of the nation, offered to Almighty God for its
blessings. Prices have since been not excessive, wheat being at an
average about 51s. a quarter--yet still, in May 1848, we are in
universal distress; and the want of employment is felt much more
strongly by the manufacturing classes, who have been affected by no
disaster whatever, than the agricultural, who have suffered one which
has now passed away.

  [3]
       Exports, Official Value.                 |            |Imports,
                                                |            |Declared Value.
  ----------------------------------+-----------+------------+---------------
  British and Irish Prod. and Manuf.| Colonial. |   Total.   |
  ----------------------------------+-----------+------------+---------------
         1844   £131,564,503        |£14,397,246|£145,961,789|  £58,584,292
  ----------------------------------+-----------+------------+---------------
         1845    134,599,116        | 16,280,870| 150,879,986|   60,111,081
  --PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, 358, 2d Edition.

  [4] Viz:--
              Agricultural Produce.                    |Manufactures and Mines.
                                                       |             1846.
  ----------------------------------------+------------+-----------+------------
  19,135,000 arable acres at £7 each,     |£133,945,000|           |
  ----------------------------------------+------------+-----------+------------
  27,000,000 grass and meadow, at £6 each,|162,000,000 |  Exports, |  51,000,000
  ----------------------------------------+------------+-----------+------------
  15,000,000 waste,                       |  5,000,000 |Home       | 133,000,000
                                          |            |market,
  ----------------------------------------+------------+-----------+------------
                         Total,           |£300,945,000|           |£184,000,000
  --PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, i. 177.

While these are the social evils which the working classes every where
experience, and which have alone rendered the Chartist movement
general or serious in the country, the great complaint, in a political
point, which they every where make is, that the legislature and the
government are alike indifferent to their representations; that they
turn a deaf ear to their complaints, show themselves insensible, to
their tales of woe, and refuse even to give that moderate relief to
them which is easily within their power, which a paternal government
is bound to extend to its distressed subjects, and which, in former
days, under Tory administrations, was never withheld from the people,
when suffering under dispensations not approaching to the present in
duration or intensity. To give an idea of the feeling _now universal_
in the commercial and manufacturing districts, we subjoin an extract
from a journal conducted with much ability, the _Daily Mail_ of
Glasgow.

     "The household suffrage movement originates in a deep-seated
     conviction that the present legislature works ill. There are
     practical measures offered for its acceptance, which it
     rejects; and yet the feeling of the country is in their
     favour. Means of employing the idle are suggested; but by
     the government and by the parliament they are heedlessly
     neglected. Some crotchet in political economy is introduced
     into a plain matter of accounting; and meanwhile the people
     starve, because their sustenance, in the way proposed, is
     inconsistent with something that somebody has written in a
     book. There is an obvious insufficiency of food, of
     employment, and of investment in the country, while land
     languishes for lack of tillage; and when the plain remedy
     for these great deficiencies is pressed, there arises the
     ghost of long-past folly, waving its parchment before the
     legislature, and so the living are starved, in strict
     accordance not with the meaning but with the mistake of the
     dead. Free-trade is proclaimed to be the rule of our
     political practice by the same men who enact and maintain
     laws to fetter and reduce the circulation of the country,
     which is the life of its trade. We hear of free-trade with
     foreign countries, in which duties equal to twenty, thirty,
     and forty per cent are charged upon our products, although
     the existence of freedom of trade under these circumstances
     is absolutely impossible.

     "The nation holds colonies in all quarters of the world,
     purchased and maintained at a costly rate, embracing every
     characteristic of soil and climate on the earth, competent
     to provide homes and sustenance for nearly the whole
     population of the world; and the legislature voluntarily
     casts away all interest to be derived from their progress,
     except its cost. The national affairs are managed on some
     kind of rule altogether different from any thing that a
     prudent man would adopt in the guidance of his private
     business; and so employment becomes scarce, and food dear
     together; while the natural and necessary results are,
     popular irritation, and a desire for change, which have led
     to the associations for extending the suffrage, now general
     throughout the great cities of the empire."--_Glasgow Daily
     Mail_, May 2, 1848.

There is too much foundation, all must admit, for these complaints. On
occasion of the dreadful monetary crisis of October 1847, when
ministers were compelled to break through the Bank Charter Act, and
nearly all railway labour and mercantile industry in the country was
suspended from the impossibility of finding funds to carry them on,
the government were besieged with the most earnest memorials from the
chambers of commerce in nearly all the commercial cities of the
empire, and especially London, Glasgow, Liverpool, Birmingham, and
Edinburgh, pointing out the ruinous effects of the Bank Restriction
Act of 1844; but still they did nothing. They contented themselves
with appointing a committee, in which the bullionists were understood
to have the majority, in parliament, which, after sitting long, and
examining a host of witnesses, and burying the question under heaps of
blue folios, will probably end by reporting a year hence in favour of
the present system. The most vigorous remonstrances have been made by
the same commercial bodies against the threatened abrogation of the
Navigation Laws; but that has not in the slightest degree shaken the
avowed determination of government, to carry the principle of
free-trade without limitation into that vital branch of our national
industry.

The West India interest demonstrated in a manner "_luce meridiana
clarius_," that the equalisation of the duties of foreign slave-grown
to home free-labour-raised sugar, would prove utter ruin to our West
India colonies, and reinstate in frightful activity the infernal
traffic of the slave-trade; but this did not produce the slightest
impression on government, and they without hesitation consigned these
noble colonies to destruction, and restored the slave-trade throughout
the globe, rather than abate one iota of the dogmas of free-trade, or
raise sugar a penny a-pound.[5] All the great cities of the empire
have sent deputations or memorials to government, beseeching in the
most earnest manner a grant of exchequer bills, or the aid of treasury
credit in some way, to set agoing the unfinished lines of railways,
and enable them to find a certain amount of labour for the unemployed;
but they have every where, met with a decided refusal. We must have
free-trade in every thing, in pauperism, typhus fever, and
insurrection, as well as in corn, cotton, or sugar. _Laissez faire_ is
the universal system: all government has to do is to hinder the
competitors coming to blows. Every thing must find its level, though
that level to one-half of the community is the bottom of the cellar.
One thing only is to be protected, and that is gold; one class only is
to be saved from competition, and that class is the great capitalists.

  [5] One of the oldest and wealthiest houses in Glasgow in the West
  India trade has just failed for £400,000, and in their circular
  announcing the suspension of their payments they observe:--

       "For upwards of half a century we have steadily followed our
       business of West India merchants, never engaging in
       speculations of any kind. Our assets chiefly consist of
       sugar estates in Trinidad and Demerara. These estates are in
       excellent condition, capable of making large crops; but they
       have been _rendered worse than unprofitable and of no value
       by acts of Parliament--the worst of which being the
       Sugar-duty Act of 1846_--whereby slave-made sugar was
       admitted to consumption in this country, on terms which the
       British colonies are altogether unprepared to compete with.
       We are, Sir, your most obedient Servants. ECCLES, BURNLEY, &
       CO."

  This is the truth, and nothing but the truth, honestly and manfully
  spoken. These gentlemen have been as completely spoliated by Act of
  Parliament as were the estates of the French emigrants by the
  Convention.

This obstinate resistance of government to the wishes, and declared
insensibility to the wants and necessities of the country, is the more
remarkable that it exhibits so striking a contrast to the paternal
spirit by which government was formerly actuated. Suffering, never
indeed approaching in extent and intensity to that which now afflicts
the nation, but still sufficiently distressing, has been often
experienced in former times; but on none of these did the government
hesitate to come forward with a large grant, founded on the public
credit, to alleviate the general calamity, and always with the very
best effects. In 1793, in consequence of the breaking out of the war,
and the general hoarding which took place in France during the terrors
of the Revolution, a great export of gold from the British islands to
the Continent took place; but Mr Pitt at once came forward with a
grant of £5,000,000 to aid the commercial interest; and so rapidly did
this well-timed advance restore credit, that a small part only of this
large sum was taken up, and very little of it was lost to the nation.
In February 1797, a similar cause produced that great run on the bank
which brought that establishment to the verge of ruin; but the same
minister instantly introduced the suspension of cash payments, which
at once restored credit, revived industry, and carried the nation in a
triumphant manner through all the dangers and crises of the war. In
1799 and 1800, two successive bad harvests brought the nation to the
verge of starvation; but government interposed by various sumptuary
laws regarding food, stopped distillation from grain, and themselves
imported immense quantities of Indian corn for the use of the people.
In 1811, a similar calamity ensued from the effects of Napoleon's
continental blockade, and the American Non-intercourse Act; but
government again interposed with an issue of exchequer bills, and
confidence was restored, and with it industry and commerce revived.

In 1826 very great depression existed in all branches of industry, in
consequence of the dreadful monetary crisis of December 1825; but
government stopped the crash, as Lord Ashburton has told us, by
issuing £2,000,000 of old and forgotten _notes_ from the Bank of
England, and then alleviated the distress by a copious issue of
exchequer bills to aid the commercial interest, which soon brought the
nation out of its difficulties. But since the government has been
popularised by the revolution of 1832, nothing of the kind has been
done. The long-protracted distress from 1838 to 1841, and the dreadful
suffering of 1847-8, have been alike unable to extort for British
suffering one farthing in aid of the national industry from the
Chancellor of the Exchequer. The principle _laissez faire_ has
prevailed alike over the strongest claims of justice and the most
piteous tales of suffering. Government seems resolved that the nation
shall drain the lees of free-trade to the dregs, and taste it in all
its bitterness. It is no consolation to suffering British industry to
see that £10,000,000 was in one year voted to suffering Irish
idleness, and £20,000,000 in another to the grand step in West Indian
ruin. The people see that the first was yielded to terror, the last to
fanaticism; and the melancholy conviction has forced itself on every
mind that government now yield to nothing but the strongest pressure
from without; and that the doors of the Treasury will be opened only
to the fierce demand of threatened high treason, or the reverberated
echoes of wide-spread delusion.

Ministers were aware of all this; and they knew also that, on the
first declaration of war with France or any foreign power, they would
at once raise a loan or issue exchequer bills to the extent of at
least £20,000,000 sterling. Here is an enemy worse than the French, or
the French and the Repealers united--want, fever, famine,
disaffection, despair, actually within our bosom, and consuming the
very vitals of the state! A word from the Chancellor of the Exchequer
would at once arrest the misery, dispel the sedition, restore bread to
millions, revive loyalty in a wasted and perishing state.[6] Why,
then, is it not instantly done? why does not government eagerly seize
so glorious an opportunity of healing the wounds of the suffering
people, and extinguishing, by deeds of beneficence, the demons of
discord and disaffection in the realm? Because it would interfere with
a _principle_; it would intercept the free employment of wealth; it
might alarm capitalists, lower the value of Exchequer bills, and for a
week or two depress the funds a-half, or perhaps one per cent. It
would be a substantial _extension of the currency_, and that would
imply an avowal that it had formerly been unduly contracted; it might
be quoted against ministers as a tardy and reluctant admission of the
error of their former monetary policy in the parliamentary committee,
or in the House of Commons! It is for such wretched considerations as
these that relief is refused, and want, wretchedness, and treason
prolonged throughout the kingdom. Were the subject not so serious, and
even terrible in all its bearings, their conduct would remind us of
the well-known reasons assigned by Dr Sangrado to Gil Blas, for
continuing, to the evident destruction of his patients, the system of
hot water and bleeding.

  [6] The inquest set on foot by the magistrates of Glasgow in support
  of their deputation, showed that six railway companies alone connected
  with that city could, if aided by government, employ _for a year_
  workmen as follows:--

    Caledonian Railway Company could employ                 14,000 men
    North British do. do.                                    8,500  "
    Scottish Central, and Scottish Midland Junction do. do.  3,500  "
    Edinburgh and Glasgow   do. do.                          2,500  "
    Barrhead and Neilston Direct do.  do.                      500  "
    Glasgow and Ayr, and Dumfries and Carlisle,  do.   do.  10,000  "
                                                            _______
                                            Total labourers 39,000

  Embracing, with their dependants, at least 120,000 persons, besides
  mechanics and others indirectly benefited.

"'Sir,' said I one evening to Dr Sangrado, 'I call heaven to witness,
that I exactly follow out your method, nevertheless all my patients
slip out of my hands to the other world: one would think they _take a
pleasure in dying, to discredit our system_.... If you would follow my
advice,' replied I, 'we would change our system of practice.' 'I would
willingly,' replied he, 'make the trial, if it led to no other
consequences than those you have mentioned; but I have published a
book in which I extol the frequent use of the lancet and hot water;
_do you wish me to decry my own work?_' 'Oh! you are right,' replied
I, 'you must _never think of giving such a triumph to your enemies:
they would say you have at length confessed your error; that would
ruin your reputation: perish rather the noblesse, the clergy, and the
people_. Let us go on as we have begun.' We continued accordingly our
system, and went on with such expedition, that in six weeks we had
occasioned as many funerals as the siege of Troy."[7]

  [7] _Gil Blas_, lib. 2, c. 5.

We speak advisedly, and after a full observation of its effects, when
we say, that the great majority of the unhappy persons who, within the
last year, have been sent into the Gazette, owe their ruin as
completely and exclusively to the measures of government, as Dr
Sangrado's patients did their death to the copious bleedings and warm
water draughts which he prescribed to them. Only think what our rulers
have done, and then say whether any save colossal private fortunes,
engaged in mercantile adventures, could withstand the effects of their
measures.

I. The government, in the first place, by the bill of 1819, compelled
the Bank of England to pay its notes in gold; by the act of 1826
prohibited the issuing of any notes below five pounds; and by the act
of 1844 in England, and 1845 in Scotland and Ireland, restricted the
notes issuable on securities, in the whole empire, to £32,000,000,
declaring that, for every note beyond that limit issued by any bank,
sovereigns to an equal amount must be stored up in the vaults of the
issuer. In a word, they made the whole circulation beyond £32,000,000
a metallic currency. At the same time, they provided that, for every
five sovereigns beyond a certain limit withdrawn from the Bank of
England, a five-pound note should be withdrawn by that establishment
from the circulation.

II. Having thus laid the nation fast in golden fetters, and prevented
the possibility of an extension of the currency, for carrying on all
undertakings beyond this £32,000,000, save by an augmentation of the
gold coin in the country, government next proceeded to give every
possible encouragement to railway undertakings, and to pass bills
through the legislature for new undertakings of that description,
requiring the outlay from 1845 to 1848 of at least £150,000,000
sterling, _in addition_ to the ordinary expenditure and operations of
the country, already raised at that period to an unusual and
unprecedented height.

III. Having thus, in 1844 and 1845, landed the empire in an
extraordinary and unheard-of amount of undertakings, requiring the
utmost possible extension of the currency to carry these on,
government, in 1846, next proceeded to introduce the free-trade
system--allow the free importation of foreign grain, and throw down
the protection barriers which had hitherto alone sheltered the native
industry of the empire, and prevented, save on extraordinary
emergencies, any considerable drain upon its metallic resources. They
thus raised the imports to £85,000,000, sent the metallic circulation
headlong out of the country, and of course contracted, by the force of
the law of 1844, in a similar proportion, its paper circulation. By
the two combined, they occasioned such a strain upon the bank that, in
the end of October 1847, it was within a few days of stopping payment.
Ministers were in consequence obliged to suspend the Bank Charter Act;
but not till an amount of bankruptcy had been brought upon the middle
class, and misery upon the people, unparalled in the history of Great
Britain.

IV. Free-trade having exposed our colonists in the West Indies, who
were charged with an indolent emancipated black population, to a
direct competition with the slave colonies of other countries, where
sugar, being raised by forced labour, could be brought to the market
at little more than half the price which it cost in the
British--government next obstinately adhered to their determination to
ruin these colonies, and destroy capital to the amount of £100,000,000
sterling, rather than abate one iota of their free-trade principles;
realising thus, indeed, the exclamation of Robespierre--"Perish the
colonies, rather than one principle be abandoned!" The consequence is,
that one half of the estates in the British West India islands will go
out of cultivation, and be choked with jungle in the course of this
year. Agricultural produce, once averaging £22,000,000 annually, will
be destroyed in the next: a market once taking off £3,600,000 of our
manufactures, and giving employment to 250,000 tons of our shipping,
will be extinguished; and the foreign slave-colonies, having beat down
British competition, will get the monopoly of the sugar-market of the
world into their own hands, and raise its price to 7d. or 8d. a pound
in the English market--thus terminating the miserable advantage for
which all these disasters are incurred.

Whoever considers seriously, and in a dispassionate mode, the
necessary effect of the measures on the part of government which have
now been detailed, so far from being surprised at the extent of the
devastation and ruin which has occurred simultaneously in Great
Britain, Ireland, the East and West Indies, will only be surprised
that it has not been greater and more wide-spread than it actually has
been. He will regard it as the most decisive proof of the vast
resources of the British empire, and the indomitable energy of the
British people, that they have been able to bear up at all against
such repeated and gratuitous blows, levelled, not intentionally, but
from mistaken principles, by their own rulers at the main sources of
national prosperity. And he will not consider it the least remarkable
circumstance, in this age of wonders, that when the ruinous effects of
these their own measures had been clearly and beyond all dispute
demonstrated by experience, government not only positively refused to
make the smallest abatement from, or change in their suicidal policy,
but in every instance declined to give the slightest assistance to the
persons ruined by, or suffering under it.

To us, reflecting on the causes to which this extraordinary and
unprecedented conduct on the part of government is to be imputed, it
appears that it can only be accounted for from two causes, to the
combined operation of which the present distressed condition and
recent danger of the British empire are entirely to be ascribed.

The first of these is the fatal and still undiminished influence of
the _political economists_ in the legislature. So great and disastrous
has it been, that we do not hesitate to say, that we regard that sect
as the worst enemies the empire ever had. What has made them so
disastrous to the best interests of their country is, that they have
introduced the custom of looking upon the science of government, not
as a matter to be based upon experience, modified by its lessons, but
as consisting of theories to be determined entirely by general
reasonings, and considered to depend solely on the conclusions of
philosophers, in works of abstract thought. They have thus come to
disregard altogether the sufferings of nations or classes of society
under their systems, and to adhere to them obstinately in the midst of
general ruin and lamentation, as Dr Sangrado did to his bleedings and
hot-water cure, though they had occasioned more funerals than the
siege of Troy? They look upon a nation as the surgeon does upon a
patient who is held down on the marble table to undergo an operations.
This was just the case with Turgot--one of the first and most eminent
of the economists, and who began the French Revolution by introducing
their doctrines into French legislation. "He regarded," says Senac de
Meilhan, "the body corporate not as a living and sentient, but as a
lifeless and insensible substance, and operated upon it with as little
hesitation as an anatomist does on a dead body." Beyond all doubt it
was the suffering produced by the contraction of the currency from
1826 to 1830 that brought about the storm of discontent which issued
in the Reform Bill. And if the empire is to be further revolutionised,
and the Chartist agitation is to end in household or five-pound
suffrage, it will unquestionably be owing to the wide-spread misery
which the combined operation of free-trade and a fettered currency
have extended through the empire.

The second cause to which this strange insensibility of government to
the evidence of facts, and the sufferings of the empire, is to be
ascribed, is the influence in the legislature of that very class which
was installed in power by the revolution of 1832. The movement in that
year was essentially democratic--it was by the effort of the masses,
joined to that of the middle classes and the Whig aristocracy, that
the crown was overawed, and the change forced upon the country. But
the change actually made was in the interest and for the benefit of
one of these parties only. The shopkeepers, by the framing of the
Reform Act, got the government into their own hands. By schedules A
and B, the colonies and shipping interest were at once disfranchised;
by the ten-pound clause, the majority of votes in the urban
constituencies was vested in the shopkeepers; by the places
enfranchised, two-thirds of the seats in the House of Commons were for
towns and boroughs. Thus the majority, both of the seats and the
constituents, was put into the hands of the trading classes. Thence
all the changes which have since taken place in our national policy.
The practised leaders of parliament soon discovered where power was
now practically vested,--they are as quick at finding out that as
courtiers are at finding out who are the favourites that influence the
sovereign. Thence the free-trade measures, and the obstinate retention
of a contracted currency. It is for the interest of capitalists to
lower the price of every thing except money, and render it as dear as
possible; it is for the interest of the retailer and merchant to buy
cheap and sell dear. Thence the free-trade system and contracted
currency, which have now spread such unheard-of devastation throughout
the empire. When a _class_ obtains the ascendency in government, it
becomes wholly inexorable, and deaf to every consideration of justice
or expedience urged by any other class. Of such class government may
be said, what Thurlow, with his usual wit and sagacity, said to a
suitor who was complaining of the denial of justice he had experienced
from an incorporation,--"Justice, Sir! did you ever expect justice
from an incorporation? which has no soul to be damned, and no body to
be kicked."

It is no doubt true that a large proportion of the persons who have
suffered under the system introduced into our colonies, have been the
very commercial and manufacturing class who have imposed it upon
government. The manufacturing operatives joined the shopkeepers in the
cry for free-trade,--and where has it left numbers of them?--in the
workhouse and the Gazette. But that is no uncommon thing in human
affairs; perhaps the greatest evils which befall both nations and
individuals are those which they bring upon themselves by their own
folly or grasping disposition. Providence has a sure mode of punishing
the selfishness of man, which is to let it work out its natural
fruits. If the deserved retribution to selfish and interested conduct
were to be taken out of human affairs, how much misery would be
avoided here below, but what impunity would exist to crime!

The working classes in the manufacturing districts, who now see how
entirely they have been deluded on this subject, and how completely
free-trade has turned to their own ruin, have a very simple remedy for
the evils under which they labour. They say, "Extend the suffrage;
give us a due sway in the legislature, and we will soon protect our
own interests. The revolution of 1832 in Great Britain, and that of
1830 in France, has turned entirely to the advantage of the
_bourgeoisie_; and we must have another Reform Bill to give us the
blessings which Louis Blanc, Ledru Rollin, and the Socialists promise
to France." This idea has taken a great hold of the public mind in a
certain class of society. It is the natural reaction of experience
against the innumerable evils which free-trade and a contracted
currency have brought upon the country. The manufacturing and working
classes, who joined the trading interest in raising the cry for these
measures, finding themselves now crushed, or deriving no benefit from
their effects, see no remedy but in taking the matter entirely into
their own hands, and putting an end at once, by obtaining the command
of the House of Commons, to all those measures which gratuitously, and
for no conceivable purpose but the interest of the trades, spread ruin
and desolation through the nation.

We object strenuously to any such change; and that from no attachment
to the free-trade and fettered currency system, to which we have
always given the most determined resistance, but from a firm desire
for, and clear perception of, the interests of the great body of the
people, to which, though often in opposition to their blind and
mistaken wishes, we have uniformly given the most undeviating support.

A uniform system of voting, such as a £5 or household suffrage, which
is now proposed as a remedy for all the evils of society, is of
necessity a _class representation_, and the class to which it gives
the ascendency is the _lowest_ in whom the suffrage is vested. It must
be so, because the poor being always and in every country much more
numerous than the rich, the humblest class of voters under every
uniform system must always be incomparably the most numerous. It is
this circumstance which has given the ten-pounders the command of the
House of Commons under the new constitution; they are the humblest and
therefore the most numerous class enfranchised by the Reform Act, and
consequently, under the uniform household suffrage, they have the
majority. They have so for the same reason that, under a similar
uniform system, the privates in an army would outnumber the whole
officers, commissioned and non-commissioned. But if the suffrage is
reduced so low as to admit the representatives of the operatives and
"proletaires," or those whom they influence, (which household or a £5
suffrage would undoubtedly do,) what measures in the present state of
society in this country, and feeling throughout the world, would they
immediately adopt? We have only to look at the newly formed republic
of France, where such a system is established, to receive the answer.
Repudiation of state engagements, (as in the case of the railways;)
confiscation of property under the name of a graduated income tax; the
abolition of primogeniture, in order to ruin the landed interest; the
issue of assignats, in order to sustain the state under the shock to
credit which such measures would necessarily occasion, might with
confidence be looked for. And the question to be considered is, would
these measures in the end benefit _any class of society_, or, least of
all, the operative, in a country such as Great Britain, containing, in
proportion to its population, a greater number of persons dependent on
daily wages for their existence than any other that ever existed?

What is to be expected from such ruin to credit and capital but the
immediate stoppage of employment, and throwing of millions out of
bread? Even if the whole land in the country were seized and divided,
it would afford no general relief--it would only shift the suffering
from one class to another. What, under such a system, would become of
the millions who now exist on the surplus expenditure of the wealthy?
They would all be ruined--England would be overrun by a host of
starving cultivators like France or Ireland. A plunge down to
household suffrage would soon effect the work of destruction, by
reducing us all in a few years to the condition of Irish bog-trotters.
It is no security against these dangers to say that the working class,
if they get the majority, will take care of themselves, and eschew
whatever is hurtful to their interests. Men do not know what is to
prove ultimately injurious in public, any more than they perceive, in
most cases, what is to be for their final interest in private life.
The bourgeoisie got the command of the country in France by the
Revolution of 1830, but have they benefited by the change? Let the
enormous expenditure of Louis Philippe's government, and the present
disastrous state of commerce in France, give the answer. The workmen
of Paris got the entire command of the government by the Revolution of
1848, and already 85,000 of them are kept alive, only working at the
"Ateliers Nationaux," while 200,000 are lounging about, eating up the
country with bayonets in their hands. The middle classes got the
command of Great Britain by the Reform Act, and their representatives
set about free-trade and restricted currency measures, which have
spread distress and bankruptcy to an unparalleled extent among
themselves. The Reform Bill, by establishing these measures, has
destroyed a fourth of the realised capital of Great Britain.[8]
Household or universal suffrage would at once sweep away _a half_ of
what remains, as it has recently done in France. And in what condition
would the 30,000,000 inhabitants of the British empire be if
_three-fourths_ of the capital--in other words, three-fourths of the
means of employing labour, or purchasing its fruits--were destroyed?
We should have Skibbereens in every village of Great Britain, and
grass growing in half of London.

  [8] This is within the mark. It, has lowered the funds from 100 to 80,
  or a fifth; railway stock on an average a third; West India property
  nine-tenths; and mercantile stock, in most cases, nearly a half.

What, then, is to be done to allay the present ferment, and
tranquillise the country, when so rudely shaken by internal distress
and external excitement? Are we to sit with our hands folded waiting
till the tempest subsides? and if the present system is continued, is
there any ground for believing it ever will subside? We answer,
_decidedly not_. We must do something--and not a little, but a great
deal. But what is required is not to augment the political power of
the working classes, but to remove their grievances;--not to give them
the government of the state, which they can exercise only to their own
and the nation's ruin, but to place them in such a condition that
they may no longer desire to govern it. This can be done only by
abandoning the system of class government for the interest chiefly of
the moneyed interests, and returning to the old system of general
protective and national administration.

The first thing which is indispensably necessary towards the
restoration of confidence and enterprise in the moneyed classes, and
consequent employment and happiness in the poor, is to repeal the Bank
Charter Acts of 1844 and 1845; and in lieu thereof to establish such a
system as may provide a _safe, sufficient, and equable_ circulation
for the empire. Above all, it is necessary to establish a circulation
which shall be capable of _expanding_, instead of _contracting_, as
specie is drawn out of the country. This is the one thing needful.
Till this is done, every attempt to alleviate the existing misery, in
a durable way, will prove abortive. Nobody wants to have French
assignats issued amongst us, or to have every insolvent who chooses to
call himself a banker authorised to issue currency _ad libitum_, and
substantially usurp the Queen's prerogative by coining worthless paper
into doubtful money. But as little can the nation go on longer with
our circulation based exclusively on gold coin, and liable to be
contracted as that coin is drawn out of the country; thereby _doubling
the evil_, by first inducing speculation when specie is plentiful, and
then withdrawing the currency when it becomes scarce. Still less can
this be borne, when a system of free-trade has been established
amongst us which has enormously increased our importations, especially
in articles of food and rude produce, for which experience proves
nothing but cash will be taken by the holders; and which, in
consequence, has induced a consequent _tendency outward_ in the
precious metals, from which, if no corresponding increase in domestic
circulation is permitted, nothing but contraction to credit stoppage
to speculation, and ruin to industry is to be anticipated. Least of
all can such a system of drawing in paper as the gold goes out, be
endured when political circumstances have so much increased the demand
for the precious metals in the neighbouring states; when the
revolutions in France and Germany have at once rendered hoarding
general in those countries, and deluged us with their bankrupt stocks,
for which nothing but specie will be taken in exchange; and when the
commencement of hostilities, both in Italy and Germany, has occasioned
the usual demand for gold, as the most portable of the precious
metals, to meet the necessities of war.

The way in which the dreadful evils consequent upon commercial credit,
and consequently universal employment, being kept dependent on such an
unstable equilibrium as that which gold must ever, and most of all in
such circumstances, afford, is perfectly evident. What is wanted is
something to _equalise the supply of currency_; to contract paper when
the precious metals are abundant, and, consequently, credit is
becoming dangerously expansive, and to expand it when they are
withdrawn, and, consequently, credit is in danger of being ruinously
contracted. Sir R. Peel's system does just the reverse of this: it
pours paper in profusion through the country, and consequently fosters
absurd and improvident speculation, when specie is abundant, and draws
it in suddenly, and with frightful rapidity, the moment that the
precious metals begin to be withdrawn, either from the effect of
extended importations or foreign warfare. To go right, and obviate the
dreadful evils which their system has introduced, we have nothing to
do but to establish a monetary policy _precisely the reverse_. What is
wanted is a _sliding scale for paper-money_,--a system which shall
tend to contract paper issues when specie is abundant, and pour them
forth with restorative and beneficial vigour the moment that it begins
to disappear. Thus, and thus alone, it was that Mr Pitt enabled the
country to combat the dangers and surmount the difficulties of the
revolutionary war.[9] Under Sir R. Peel's system, the nation, and
every one in it, would have been bankrupt when the bank stopped
payment in 1797, and we should long ere this have been irrecoverably
rendered a province of France.

  [9] Bank of England notes in circulation,--

    1796     £10,729,520
    1797      11,114,120
    1800     £16,854,809
    1810      21,019,609
  --_Alison's England in 1815 and 1845, Appendix._

It belongs to practical men, versed in the mysteries of Lombard Street
and the Stock Exchange, to say _how_ this important object is to be
attained with due attention to the security of the notes issued, and
sufficient safeguards against an over-issue, and consequent injury to
capital, by an undue rise of prices owing to that cause. That the
thing is _possible_ is self-evident. It appears to be essential to
such a system that one of two things should be done. Either that the
issuing of notes should be left to all banks, under the limitation
that private banks should be obliged to take up their notes at all
times,--in Bank of England paper or gold _or silver_--and deposit
government securities to the extent of the notes so issued, to be
appropriated to their payment in case of bankruptcy; and that the Bank
of England should be bound to pay its notes in gold _or silver_, at
the price those metals bear _at the time of presentment_. _Or_, that
the issuing of notes, like the coining of money, should be confined
entirely to government or its officers; and that the regulation of
their amount should be entrusted to certain elevated functionaries--
like the commissioners of the national debt--with instructions to them
to regulate their issues by the price of gold and silver, _increasing_
them when the rise in the value of those metals showed that they were
leaving the country, and contracting them when the price fell, and it
was evident that the necessity for an extended paper circulation was
passing away.

Of course it would be necessary, under such a system, to impose some
limit to the obligation of the Bank of England to pay in specie; but
this might be done either by obliging that establishment to pay in
either of those metals at the current price they bore in the market at
the date of presentment, or by providing, that beyond a certain amount
of notes payable on demand, as £40,000,000 for Great Britain, and
Ireland, notes of a _different colour_, as red, should be issued,
which were exchangeable for specie only when the precious metals had
again fallen to a certain price in the market. These notes should be
issued when gold rises to a certain price, and is evidently leaving
the country--just as grain from government stores should be issued to
the people in periods of scarcity--and drawn in when it returns, and
the price falls. We throw these out only as crude suggestions, which
may or may not be adequate to answer the purpose in view. What we rest
upon, and press in the most earnest manner upon the consideration of
the country, is the _absolute necessity_ of altering the present
system of contracting the paper when the gold is taken away--in other
words, _limiting the issues of bread when the beef fails_--and
substituting for it one of extending the issue of paper when the
precious metals are withdrawn; in other words, _increasing the issues
of bread when those of beef have become deficient_.

The next measure which appears indispensable to secure internal
tranquillity in the empire is, to make a very considerable government
grant, to enable the railway companies to complete the principal lines
now on foot, but still in an unfinished state. Every consideration of
justice, expedience, and necessity, calls for such a grant. Many of
these railways can be completed in no other way. Their directors have
already borrowed all the money on the security of the undertaking
which the law allows (a third;) and the diminished means and
straitened credit of the shareholders, for the present at least, has
disabled them from answering any further calls. The works must stand
still, a deformity and a disgrace to the country, if government relief
is not afforded. Parliament has declared the expedience of these lines
by having passed the bills for their formation. Most, perhaps all, of
these would have been completed ere this, had not the fetters imposed
on the currency by the Bank Charter Act so straitened credit that it
has become impossible. The very _name_ of government being willing to
advance a certain sum, as two or three millions, to enable these
companies to resume their work, would so restore and vivify credit,
that it is probable a very small part of the sum voted would be taken
up by these undertakings. The restoration of private credit, by such a
measure on the part of government, would unlock the immense coffers of
wealth which now, from the prostration of private credit, lie
unemployed in the country. For, such is the strange and anomalous
condition in which we stand, that while our streets are crowded with
thousands and hundreds of thousands of unemployed labourers and
artisans seeking employment, our banks and insurance offices are
crowded with thousands and hundreds of thousands of unemployed capital
seeking investment. Yet these two superfluities cannot reach or
relieve each other. Why? Because credit and currency are wanting to
enable the one to pass over to the other. Let government lay the
foundation of the bridge, and the communication, to mutual advantage,
will soon be restored.

Incalculable is the benefit which such a resumption of these works
would occasion, both to the individuals connected with, or employed by
them, and the country at large. It would give bread at once to
hundreds of thousands of unemployed labourers, who have been seduced
from their regular avocations by the high wages offered two years ago
on the lines, and now find return to their former employments
impossible, from these having been filled up: it would thin the
Chartist and household suffrage meetings, by stopping the distress
which fills them, and giving the working classes something better to
do than listening to intemperate and seditious speeches: it would
render productive the capital and labour already expended on these
undertakings, and give their directors the means both of paying a
dividend to the proprietors, and liquidating, at no distant period,
the whole debt borrowed from the state: it would assuage and relieve
unbounded distress, both in the once wealthy and the labouring classes
of the state: it would vivify and facilitate commerce, by opening up
means of communication through districts requiring it, and to the
formation of which the sanction of the legislature on that ground has
been given;--but most of all, it would evince, by deeds more eloquent
than words, the sympathy of government with the sufferings of the
people, wrest from the agitators their strongest arguments against the
constitution as it stands, and relieve government of the fearful
imputation to which it is now exposed, of first having encouraged the
nation to engage in vast and important internal measures, and then
deprived them, by legislative enactments, of the means of carrying
them, into complete execution.

A third step which is indispensable to disarm the Chartist agitation
and restore internal confidence and peace to the country, is to
provide on a great scale, and by government machinery, for the relief
of the _labour market_. Various causes have now conspired to render
this a matter of paramount necessity. In Ireland, the long-continued
agitation for Repeal, coinciding with the indolent and improvident
habits of the people, the desolating effects of the potato famine of
1846, and the enervating consequences of the noble government grant of
£10,000,000 to meet its necessities, joined to the seditious and
treasonable efforts of the insane Young Ireland party, have so
completely paralysed industry, that the Emerald Isle may now be
regarded as little more than a huge workshop of pauperism, a sort of
_officina pauperiei_, from whence starving multitudes are incessantly
issuing to deluge the adjoining states. The number of emigrants who
left it for distant colonies in 1847 was above one hundred thousand,
but that is but a small part of the dreadful stream of pauperism which
incessantly pours forth from its still crowded shores. In the first
nine months of 1847, the number of Irish who came to Glasgow was
49,981: and that number has since been on the increase, for, from the
last report of the parochial board of Glasgow, it appears, that in
_five_ months and ten days preceding 25th April 1848, the number of
Irish who landed in Glasgow was 42,288! This is at the rate of
_nearly_ 100,000 _a-year_; and these squalid immigrants, let it be
recollected, come, to a country where labour has already, from the
effects of free-trade and a fettered currency, and the disastrous
stoppage to orders produced by the French and German revolutions,
become a perfect drug in the market; and when in and around the single
city of Glasgow, above 100,000 human beings, including dependants, are
already out of work! Individual charity, local efforts, are nugatory
against such prodigious masses of pauperism; you might as well have
expected the staff of the Russian parishes to have resisted the
invasion of 1812.

Perhaps there is nothing which has occurred, in our time, so much to
be regretted, as that the noble grant of ten millions from Great
Britain to relieve the distress of Ireland during the famine, was not,
in part at least, devoted to the purposes of emigration. We all know
how it was spent. No inconsiderable portion was absorbed by the
never-failing frauds of the local Irish agents employed in its
distribution, and the remainder in making good roads bad ones. No part
was employed in a form which could reproduce itself. There was one
thing, and but one, _already good_ in Ireland, and that was the roads.
On that one good thing the whole magnificent grant was wasted. Now
half the grant, £5,000,000 sterling, would not only have provided
700,000 or 800,000 Irish with the means of crossing the Atlantic, but
it would have transported them from the coast up the country to the
frontier of the Forest. That is the great point which is never
attended to by those who contend for free-trade in emigration; in
other words, for liberty to transport the emigrants in crowded and
crazy ships, half manned and ill provisioned, to the shores of
America, and then leave them in sheds at the first harbour to starve
or die of fever.

The advocates for free-trade in emigration forget that labour is as
great a drug on the sea-coast of America as on the crowded shores of
the Emerald Isle: it is no unusual thing to see five thousand
emigrants, chiefly from Ireland, land at New York in a single day. But
as much as labour is redundant in the American sea-port towns, it is
scarce and in demand in the far west. Millions and tens of millions of
unappropriated acres are there to be had for the asking; and an
able-bodied man is sure to be instantly taken up at half-a-crown or
three shillings a-day. The American papers say that "a stout European,
with nothing in the world but his arms and his legs, _if moved on to
the far west_, is worth _a thousand dollars_ to the United States." He
is worth more to England; for, if settled in Canada, the Irish pauper
immediately becomes a consumer of British manufactures to the extent
of £2 a head: if to Australia, to the extent of £10 a head. The
free-trader in emigration stops short of all these things: instead of
transporting the emigrant to the edge of the Forest, where his labour
could produce these results to himself and his country, it leaves him
to pine, with his starving children, in a shed on the quay--a burden
to the community he is fitted to bless, and carrying with him the
seeds of a mortal typhus pestilence into any region which, if he
survives, he may visit. As a proof that these statements are not
overcharged, we subjoin an official return of the fate of the
emigrants who landed under the free-trade system in Canada in
1847.[10] It displays the most stupendous instance that ever was
exhibited of the manner in which the absurd principles of free-trade,
when applied to pauperism, misery, and typhus fever, may convert what
might, under proper management, be the greatest possible blessing to
our own people and the colonies, into the greatest possible curse to
both.

  [10] FREE-TRADE IN EMIGRATION.--The numbers who embarked in Europe, in
  1847, for Canada, were 90,006; viz., from England, 32,228; from
  Ireland, 54,329; from Scotland, 3,752; and from Germany, 7,697. Of the
  whole number, 91,882 were steerage passengers, 684 cabin, and 5,541
  were infants. Deducting from this aggregate the Germans and the cabin
  passengers, the entire number of emigrants who embarked at British
  ports was 89,738, of whom 5,293 died before their arrival, leaving
  84,445 who reached the colony. Of these, it is estimated that
  six-sevenths were from Ireland. Among the thousands who reached the
  colony, a large portion were labouring under disease in its worst
  types, superinduced by the extremity of famine and misery which they
  had suffered previous to embarkation. Of the 84,445 who reached the
  colony alive, no less than 10,037 died at arrival--viz., at
  quarantine, 3,452; at the Quebec Emigrant Hospital, 1,041; at the
  Montreal Hospital, 3,579; and at other places in the two Canadas,
  1,965--leaving 74,408. But of these no less than 30,265 were admitted
  into hospital for medical treatment. Thus it will be seen that more
  than one-seventh of the total embarkations died, that more than
  one-eighth of the total arrivals died, and that more than one-third of
  those who arrived were received into hospital. Up to the 12th of
  November last, the number of destitute emigrants forwarded from the
  agency at Montreal to Upper Canada was 38,781; viz., male adults,
  12,932; female adults, 12,153, children under twelve, 10,616; infants
  3,080.--_Report of Executive Council, Canada. Parl. Paper_, May 5,
  1848.

What should be done is perfectly plain and generally acknowledged. You
will not find ten men of sense or information in Great Britain, out of
the precincts of the colonial and other government offices, who have
two opinions on the subject. To relieve the labour market in Great
Britain and Ireland, a great effort should immediately be made to
transport some hundred thousand of _the very poorest class_, who
_cannot emigrate on their own resources_, to Canada, the Cape, and
Australia. Wages in the latter country are from 4s. to 5s. a-day for
common, 6s. and 7s. a-day for skilled labour. Ireland is the great
quarter to which this relief should be extended: if its surplus
multitudes are taken off, the pressure on Great Britain will speedily
be abated. Ships of war, to lighten the cost of transport, should be
employed to transport the emigrants as they do our regiments.
Government barracks should be established with proper officers, to
receive the emigrants at their landing, separate the healthy from the
sick, establish the latter in proper hospitals, so as to stop the
spread of typhus fever, and forward, at the public expense, the
healthy and active to the frontier. Other officers should be appointed
there to allot to them ground, find them tools, furnish them with
seed, or provide them with employment. This should be done to at least
three hundred thousand or four hundred thousand emigrants annually for
some years to come. We should like to see the Chartism or Repeal Mania
which would long stand against such a course of humane, and withal
wise and truly liberal, legislation.

But such great measures would require money. The average cost of each
emigrant so transported and looked to in the colony would be £6 or £7;
three or four hundred thousand persons so provided with the means of
emigration would cost from £2,000,000 to £2,500,000 a-year.
Granted.--Could the money be better bestowed? It would not yield no
return, like that devoted to making good Irish roads bad ones: it
would convert three hundred thousand paupers annually into consumers
of British manufactures to the amount of three or four pounds a head:
it would add £1,000,000 or £1,200,000 a-year to the export of British
manufactures: it would secure a durable vent for our goods by planting
British descendants in the New World: it would spread joy and comfort
through Manchester, Birmingham, and Glasgow, not less than Tipperary
and Galway: it would extinguish--and extinguish by means of Christian
beneficence--the flame of disaffection in the realm: it would give to
our people all that French socialism has that is really beneficial,
and save them from the unutterable and incalculable evils with which
it is fraught: it would restore the balance between capital and
industry, so grievously and ruinously deranged by the effects of
free-trade of late years: it would go far to alleviate the misery
which the pernicious dogmas regarding the currency have spread through
the country. For blessings such as these, is the issue of exchequer
bills to the extent of two or three millions a-year for some years an
extravagant price to pay? Would not _five times the sum_ be at once
borrowed by the state in a single year if war were to break out with
France or America? Are the dangers of any such war to be compared to
those which must inevitably be incurred if the present frightful mass
of pauperism, idleness, and destitution, is allowed to continue
unrelieved, and to go on increasing in the country? What must, in the
end, be the result of such a state of things, but internal anarchy,
foreign degradation, ultimate ruin? And is there no obligation upon
those whose policy since 1846 has brought these calamities on the
nation, to apply the national credit in the attempt at least to
relieve them? Hear the just and eloquent observations of the _Times_
on the subject:--

     "There is a multitudinous population growing yearly more
     multitudinous, more exacting, more wretched. The end of each
     succeeding year sees the addition of nearly a quarter of a
     million of human beings to the inhabitants of this country.
     The crowded seats of our manufactures and
     commerce--Liverpool and Manchester, Nottingham and
     Stockport--teem with the annual increment of creatures, who
     exclaim, 'Give us work and bread.' How shall we meet this
     cry? Shall we tell them that work is an affair of demand;
     that demand depends upon competition; that competition is an
     effect of population; that population outruns subsistence;
     that they are too many; in a word, that they have no right
     to exist? They would be bold men--that would be a bold
     government, which should hold such language as this. With
     Chartism in front, and discontent in the rear, it would be
     perilous to begin such lecturing. But is not the principle
     acted on, though not avowed, when--with a vast territorial
     dominion, in which labour might grow into power, and poverty
     into wealth--with mines of ore and fields of fertility--with
     capital calling for labour, and adventure crying for
     help--the State refuses to acknowledge the duty of settling
     its redundant multitudes in its own distant lands, or
     discharges it in a niggardly and grudging mood?

     "The danger of such neglect or such parsimony is great. Time
     glides on, adding alike to the numbers and the discontent of
     the masses. Misery has strange axioms. The misery of
     multitudes invents a wild policy. They whose normal
     condition is endurance, will avenge themselves on the empire
     by a normal agitation. They whom the national wealth does
     not assist in bettering their fortune, will wage an
     obstinate war against wealth, property, and order. We have
     put down Chartism; but we have not conciliated discontent.
     Let us beware lest the discontented become the majority.
     Much depends upon ourselves, much on the use to which we
     turn our existing establishments; and no establishments have
     we more valuable than our colonies. A colonial empire
     founded on the sparings of our superfluous wealth and the
     cravings of our unemployed industry, would be a grander
     commemoration of victorious order and triumphant law than a
     century of hospitals or a myriad of wash-houses. Those who
     were elated and those who were dejected by the 10th of
     April, might alike view with pleasure the glorious fabric of
     a new empire springing from the ruins of a broken faction
     and the energies of a noble purpose, emblematic of the 'bow
     of hope that spans the earth'--emblematic of the only faith
     that ever yet inculcated liberty, fraternity, and equality
     aright."--_Times_, May 12, 1848.

But towards finding this vent for our indigent and unemployed
population at home, in the colonies, it is indispensable that the
colonies should be preserved to the British crown; and from the
effects of free-trade, it is very doubtful whether this will long be
the case. Every body knows that the West Indies have been utterly
ruined by the act of 1846: estates are valueless, and the planting of
canes is rapidly ceasing. We know of an estate which, within fifteen
years, was sold for £38,000, which was knocked down within these few
weeks for £20! To give an idea of the feelings which the unexampled
injustice to which they have been subjected have excited in these once
noble and loyal islands, we subjoin an extract from the _Jamaica
Despatch_ of April 7:--

     "The affairs of Jamaica have now arrived at that desperate
     crisis that there is, we believe, not one man in the colony
     whose dependence rests solely on property invested within
     it, that would not, could his single voice effect the
     change, pronounce at once for adhesion to any other
     government than that which has beggared him. Loyalty is, at
     best, but a sentiment dependent for stability upon
     circumstances. We love our country so long as, and because
     we think, our country protects our lives, our liberties, and
     our properties. We are patriots whilst the government of our
     country secures to us those possessions which our industry
     has earned for us, and which the written constitution has
     guaranteed us. All human experience shows this limit to the
     most exalted spirit of loyalty and patriotism. True it is we
     have not the power of Canada. We are as unable as we are
     unwilling to change our lot by force; but let England beware
     lest passive alienation of every sentiment that can attach
     us to her as a nation do not prove even more dangerous to
     her colonial power than any active spirit of disaffection
     could be. This magnificent colony has, indeed, been sinfully
     and treasonably sacrificed. _The property of the Queen's
     subjects has been confiscated without offence on their
     part_; whilst, in a political point of view, each day
     renders the colony less and less valuable to the Crown as a
     national dependency. All commerce between Jamaica and the
     mother country must speedily cease. Of exports there can be
     none. Ministers--the fatal Whig Government, which has proved
     to be the evil genius of the West Indies whenever destiny
     has placed it in the ascendant--have pronounced the final
     doom of West Indian cultivation. After August next, when the
     present crops shall have been taken off, _five estates in
     six must of necessity cease to become sugar
     producers_."--_Jamaica Despatch_, April 7.

Canada will, ere long, if the present system be adhered to, follow the
example of the West Indies; and having ceased, from the destruction of
all its privileges, to have any interest in the maintenance of its
connexion with Great Britain, it will take the first convenient
opportunity to break it off. If we have lost our colonies, what
security have we that they will not refuse to admit the stream of
pauperism which now flows into them from the parent state: that they
will not treat them as the fraternising French republicans did the
British artisans, and send them all home? And even if they should
still consent to receive them, what security should we have for the
maintenance of export of the £16,000,000 of British manufactures which
now go out to our colonies, if, like the Americans, they levy their
whole revenue to maintain their independent government upon imports
from this country? Recollect the exports to America, with 20,000,000
inhabitants, are not £10,000,000 annually, or 10s. a head; to Canada,
with 1,900,000, about £3,800,000, or £2 a head; and to the West
Indies, hitherto about £3,000,000 to 800,000 souls, or nearly £4 a
head.

If the English like free-trade--if they are content to have their
sovereigns by the million go out, as in 1847, to buy foreign grain,
and foreign manufactures supplant British in all our staple branches
of manufacture, by all means let them have it. Let them perpetuate the
year 1847, with all its blessings, to all eternity. Free-trade is
their own work; let them taste its fruits, and drain the cup they have
selected to the dregs. But the colonies, be it recollected, had no
hand in introducing that system. They were utterly and entirely
disfranchised by the Reform Bill; schedules A and B cut up their
representation by the roots. Free-trade was forced upon them by the
representatives of Great Britain, not only without their concurrence,
but in opposition to their most earnest remonstrances. Whatever may be
said as to our present distress being the work of our own hands, and
of our now reaping the fruits of the seed we have sown, that is wholly
inapplicable to the colonies. Protection to their industry is what
they have always prayed for; it is to them the condition of existence;
it is the sole bond which unites them to the empire. Soon the bond and
the connexion will be dissolved. And when dissolved, we shall have the
woful reflection,--we shall incur the damning imputation with future
times, that it was lost for no national or worthy object; from no
foreign danger, or external catastrophe; but from the mere ascendency
of interested legislation in the parent state: and that the greatest
colonial empire that ever existed, that which had grown up during two
centuries, and resisted the assaults of Napoleon in the plenitude of
his power--was dissolved from the desire to maintain a principle which
promised no greater benefit but, for a few years, to lower the price
of sugar a penny a pound to the British consumers.

It is from measures such as we have now advocated, and from them
alone, that we expect the extinction of the Chartist or household
suffrage agitation, and the restoration of the wonted feelings of
steady loyalty in the British nation. The subordinate matters, so much
the objects of anxiety and care to the legislature, are not to be
despised; but they will prove entirely nugatory, if measures such as
these are not simultaneously and vigorously adopted. There is no way
of really improving the condition of the working classes, but by
augmenting the demand for labour. This is what they want; we never
hear of them petitioning for wash-houses and cold baths, or a
health-of-towns bill: it is a "fair day's wage for a fair day's work"
which they always desire. Rely upon it, they are right. By all means
give them wash-houses and cold baths; broad streets and common sewers;
airy rooms and moderately sized houses; but recollect, if you do not
give them work at the same time, it will all prove nugatory. Lodge
them all by a miracle, or a successful revolution, in Buckingham
Palace and Stafford House to-morrow, and in a week, if you do not give
them the means of earning good wages, they will be as filthy, squalid,
and diseased as ever. Thirty families will be located in the grand
saloon; twenty-five in the green library; forty or fifty starving
Irishmen will be comfortably lodged on the great stair. Typhus will
spread, sedition will be hatched, treason prepared in the royal
palaces, as well as in St Giles, or Manchester. There was not a more
depraved or miserable set in Paris than the seven or eight hundred
persons who squatted down in the Tuileries after the late revolution,
and were only dislodged by bringing up artillery. Restore protection
to colonial industry; relieve the great works in progress throughout
the empire; engage in a great system of government emigration; give
the country a currency adequate to its necessities, and commensurate
to its transactions; and you may bid defiance to Chartist agitation,
and drain off, if you cannot extirpate, the stream of Irish pauperism
and treason.



STODDART AND ANGLING.[11]


  [11] _The Angler's Companion to the Rivers and Lochs of Scotland._ By
  THOMAS TOD STODDART. William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London.
  1847.

We do not lose a moment--we take the earliest opportunity--to thank Mr
Stoddart for his book. Well, this is a cool piece of effrontery! So
say some flippant folks, who fancy themselves abreast of the
literature of the day, and in whose arid waste of mind, as in the
desert, one may pick up now and then a few dates. They are so kind as
to remind us that Mr Stoddart's book was published early in the spring
of 1847. Apart altogether from our perfect knowledge of the time of
the publication, we fling back the charge of effrontery with
imperturbable contempt. The spring of 1847! There never was any such
season. Who saw the glimpses of its smiles? who heard the chirping of
its songs? who smelt its perfume? who felt its refreshing airs? who
nibbled its green shoots? None of the human senses recognised its
presence, or acknowledged its influence. Notorious it is that a tiny
urchin in an infant school, whose little teeth had been previously
knocking together in its head in shivering concussion for a month,
refused, when brought up to the mellifluous passage, to perpetrate the
vernal invocation of Mr James Thomson; and equally defying the
allurements or the terrors--the sugar-cane or the birch-rod--the moral
or the physical force of tuition, pronounced with Denmanic emphasis
any allusion to "etherial mildness," or "showers of roses," even in
the month of May 1847, to be a delusion, a mockery, and a snare. He
never angled who speaks of the spring of 1847. The gentle craft
perished for a while beneath the obdurate inclemency of the weather,
and the ceaseless floods of snow-water, which polluted every lucid
stream into "gruel thick and slab." We do not pretend to remember when
the cloud and the tempest passed away; at all events, it was too late
for angling purposes. In breezy, ay in stormy days, there are many
bold and happy hits to be made by the cunning hand; but the zany, who
throws his line in the teeth of a perpetual tornado, will catch, of
course, nothing except what the indignant lexicographer has placed at
the extremity farthest from the worm. Besides, there are those,
including our author, who think that angling is a bilateral pastime.
It is a part of their creed, (which we may look into hereafter,) that
the silly fishes enjoy the fun of being captured, and often chuckle
audibly on being "encreeled" by a triumphant artist like Mr Stoddart.
And lordly salmon, or gentlemanlike trout, may probably dislike, as
much as their adversary, an excess of piercing winds and dirty waters.
In short, it was thoroughly understood, in the beginning of 1847, by
the fisher and the fished, that the atmosphere was too preposterously
rude to deserve encouragement at the hands or fins of either party.
The temporary cessation of hostilities was accordingly complete. What
could we do?

Little difficulty, to be sure, there was in finding pretexts daily for
putting up the rod in the dining-room four or five times in the course
of the forenoon, and executing, without line, a phantom cast of
unerring accuracy across the table diagonally into an imaginary eddy
rippling and softly gurgling on the floor round several bottles of
Alsop's pale ale, linking sometimes, in our mood of finest frenzy,
such preprandial dexterity, with the apparition in the same locality,
at a later hour, of a cod's head and shoulders, not without oyster
sauce. The music of the reel was also occasionally stirred by the
supposititious tugs of a voracious gillaroo, (which is by far the
dreadfullest fish of which we any where read,) enacted for the nonce
by the same curly scion of truth who disdained to lend himself, in the
miscalled spring of 1847, to the untruthful sycophancy of the bard of
Ednam. The very fact, however, of its being "our young barbarian at
play," and not a gillaroo in earnest, who was thus--

    "Untwisting all the chains that tie
    The hidden soul of harmony,"

carried the sound of the whirring thread to our ears "with a
difference." The glancing armoury of the fishing-book, meriting better
than Hector's helmet did the untranslatable epithet of Homeric
monotony, was over and over again paraded and arranged, disordered and
re-classified, extricated and intermingled, from pocket to pocket,
until each particular hook in the pools and currents of our fancy
became prospectively commemorative of multitudinous massacres, "making
the green one red." But the basket or the bag, (and we prefer the
latter,) would have felt, in the mean time, heavier under the burden
of a single minnow than it ever did feel beneath the possible pressure
of shoals of contingent bull-trouts. The experiment of wading through
the house in enormous India-rubber boots, taking four steps at once in
coming down stairs, and jumping suddenly from chairs upon the carpet,
for the purpose of persuading ourselves that we were getting into deep
water, afforded but a very transitory hallucination. The act of
jerking at dinner a young turkey, with a gaff, from a remote dish, to
our plate, did not elicit the general acknowledgment of its graceful
precision which we had anticipated; while an excellent and polished
steel-yard, with which, in the absence of a salmon, we had been
practising in the kitchen on a casual leg of mutton, having dazzled,
perhaps, the eye of the butcher's boy, and being forgotten by us for a
brief hour or so, has been, "like the lost Pleiad, seen no more
below." During such moments, the memory even of delectable old Isaac
was losing a little of its perennial fragrance--the reminiscences of
all kinds of fishes were beginning to stink in the nostrils. "Who
comes here?--A grenadier;" and in walked "The Angler's Companion to
the Lochs and Rivers of Scotland, by Thomas Tod Stoddart."

Ordinary mortals, to whom, as to Peter Bell, yellow primroses are
simply yellow primroses, might instantly, upon getting the book, open
it, read it, and be delighted with it. But we sat for six weeks gazing
at the volume without daring or wishing to lay a finger upon it. There
was a great deal for us to think about before spreading our sails for
another voyage with an old companion. The fact is, that we were
humming, after our own fashion, one of Mr Stoddart's angling songs at
the moment when his new work was placed before us, Now, these songs
were not published yesterday; and many a time and oft out of them had
we amused ourselves by forming the liveliest picture of the angler's
life, pursuits, meditations, and emotions. From his being up with the
sweet thrushes to meet "the morn upon the lea," till "homeward from
the stream he turns," we followed him in Stoddart's musical track. His
call to "bring him osier, line, and reel"--his scrutiny of the airs
and clouds of heaven--his communings with bird and bee, flower and
fay--his welcome to the cuckoo--his blessing of the "spring-tide
bland"--his entreaty to the winds to waken--

     "For the low welcome sound of their wandering wings"--

his repose and summer trance, "beneath a willow wide"--his pensive
musings, and comments, shaped by the enchanting realities around him,
or by the pleasant shadows of his own memory and fancy--his feats of
guile and skill--his patience and his toil--the excitement of his
suspense--the exultation of his victory, and the joyousness and
harmony which round his well-spent day,--all were represented and
embodied in numbers than which none more melodious, heartier, or
happier ever strengthened and gladdened, by stream or board, the
disciples of Cotton and Walton. We paused before unfolding a new book;
and then we read it thoroughly from beginning to end, without missing
any word.

But time brings with it many vicissitudes. Winter, when nobody but a
Stoddart fishes; swarms of European revolutions, which keep every
thing, including fishing-rods, out of joint; and again, in this
present 1848, a terrible spring-tide, which, standing sentinel at our
doors with the keenness of a sword and the strength of a portcullis,
has forbidden any body to think of fishing this year till June;--these
things have inevitably, forcibly, and wisely obliged us to be silent.
We take the earliest opportunity to thank Mr Stoddart for his book.

"Who is the happy warrior?" appears to us to be an interrogatory as
nearly as possible destitute of all meaning. But upon the double
hypothesis that it may have some meaning, and that we can paint in
fresco, such a question might suggest an idea that the felicitous
gentleman for whom the poet asks would be best pictured as Julius
Caesar in the act of correcting the proof-sheets of his Commentaries.
To do good and great actions is agreeable, but dangerous; to write
well and nobly of the great and good things we have done is also
agreeable, but troublesome; but when the danger and the trouble are
both past and gone, to read what we have well written of what we have
well done, with the conviction that an endless posterity will read it
after us with pleasure and approbation, must be, we shall venture to
imagine, most prodigiously agreeable to any respectable individual,
whether he is actually a soldier, having purchased his commission at a
heavy regulation price, or whether he is only provisionally obnoxious
to be balloted for militia service, or accidentally liable to be
called out, with a curse and a cutlet in his month, for the guerilla
warfare of a special constable. We avow for ourselves, without a
blush, that we are only one of those who may become warriors hereafter
by statutory or municipal contingency. As yet we have not served in
any campaign. On one occasion, indeed, the housemaid discovered, at
early dawn, sprouting from the key-hole of the door, a notice, by
which we were hastily summoned to quell a dreadful tumult at nine
o'clock the night before. Late as the summons came, on reading it a
thrill of posthumous glory permeated our frame; nor, when perusing in
the newspapers at breakfast the eloquent recognition by the public
authorities of the services of other special constables, could we
repress the riotous throbbings of martial spirit and martial sympathy
within us, as being one who, though _de facto_ inert in dressing-gown
and slippers, was entitled _de jure_, as the notice testified, to be
active with badge and baton. We severely reprimanded, of course, the
housemaid for bringing into the house stray bits of paper, which might
have wrapped up most deleterious combustibles. She promised to be more
cautious in future; and it has so happened that the magistrates have
never taken practical advantage of our vigilant anxiety to protect the
tranquillity of the city. But we are well aware that it has ever been
exactly with a corresponding spirit that we have studied the Gallic
battles and campaigns of the great Roman, where we have been free
alike from the risk of fighting, and the botheration of writing. Our
impression is, therefore, on the whole, exceedingly strong that the
happy warrior may be more faithfully portrayed by ourselves than by
Cæsar.

According to these principles of interpretation, let us inquire, who
is the happy angler? To such a question any body who, in the former
case, prefers Cæsar's claim to ours, will not fail to reply by bawling
out the name of Stoddart. The parallel is a very good one. There is
nothing in the science of angling theoretically of which Mr Stoddart
is ignorant; there is nothing in the art of angling practically which
Mr Stoddart has not tried with his own hand. He has been writing the
annals of a laborious, persevering, incessant, and successful
experience. He tells others what they may do, by showing them vividly
and precisely what he has himself done. It is the record of a
conqueror whose career exhibits occurrences so numerous, various, and
striking, that the simple narrative of events teaches general
principles; the mere accumulation of facts causes theory to
vegetate--the movements which lead to victory on a particular occasion
are adopted as laws to regulate subsequent operations in similar
circumstances; the strategy of the emergency is accepted as
universally normal. In a history so instructive, there must
necessarily be a remarkable amount of patience and zeal, assiduity and
skill, quick apprehension, and sagacious reflection. And where, as in
the present instance, it happens that all this information is
communicated with healthy racy vigour, and picturesque effect of
language, while a dewy freshness of enthusiasm exhilarates the whole
composition, it is not surely very surprising that, comfortably
pendulous in our rocking-chair, conscious of never having encountered
a billionth part of the fatigues undergone by Mr Stoddart, and
possessing, in the manageable volume in our hand, a complete repertory
of the fruits of the toil, experience, and judgment of that "admirable
Triton," we should thus complacently believe that we are the happy
angler--leaving it of course to Mr Stoddart, if he likes, to be a
Julius Cæsar.

From the frontispiece we start, and after perambulating the book, to
the frontispiece we return. "A day's fishing" will then be wondrously
intelligible, and ought to be regarded with an angler's love, and an
angler's pride. The picture from which the engraving is taken has been
long familiar to us. Who painted it? At the left-hand corner of the
plate the artist's name is legible enough; but there is much more,
besides the name, printed in sympathetic ink which is visible only to
the eye of the initiated. A word in thine ear, gentlest of piscatorial
readers! The skill of the pencil is the animated reflection of the
skill of the fishing rod. Nothing finny has the painter drawn which
the angler has not killed. On the canvass his faithful brush has
placed nothing which his success as an angler has not enabled him to
observe for himself, to mark, and to daguerreotype in his inmost soul.
No graceful outline has he traced; no gorgeous bulk has he stretched
out in massive breadth or wavy length; no small head has he delicately
curved; no, flood of light has he poured on gleaming panoply of
interwoven scales of gold and silver; no shifting ray of exquisite
colour has he caught in the very instant of brilliant evanescence; no
purple spot or crimson star has he made to shine with distinctive
brightness on the flank; no aureate or orange tint has he permitted to
fade away along the body into pearly whiteness; no fin quivers; no
tail curls; no gill is muddy red; no eye is lustreless,--without or
beyond the bidding, the teaching, the guarantee, and express image of
nature. Pity it is that we should not feel at liberty to say a word or
two of other matters--of a happy temper, which has cheered us with its
mellow sunshine on many a raw and cloudy day; or of a richly-stored
mind, which, when fish were sulky, has often made the lagging hours
spin on with jocund speed. Almost, under this hot bright sky, we are
tempted, unbidden, to enter the studio, and ask to share with yon
sequestered stags the shelter of the favourite pines. But we dare not;
for we know the man as well as the artist and angler. We know both
the anglers. It is, in sooth, fitting that GILES should illustrate
STODDART.

Is not angling cruel? Now, before attempting any responsive
observation, be so good as to read the following impetuous passage:--

     "Is it not, for instance, in the attitude of hope that the
     angler stands, while in the act of heaving out his flies
     over some favourite cast? Of hope increased, when he
     beholds, feeding within reach of his line, the monarch of
     the stream? But now, mark him! He has dropt the hook
     cautiously and skilfully just above the indicated spot; the
     fish, scarcely breaking the surface, has seized it. A fast,
     firm hold it has, but the tackle is fine, and the trout
     strong and active. Look! how the expression of his features
     is undergoing a change. There is still hope, but mingled
     with it are traces of anxiety--of fear itself. His
     attitudes, too, are those of a troubled and distempered man.
     Ha! all is well. The worst is over. The strong push for
     liberty has been made, and failed. Desperate as that
     summerset was, it has proved unsuccessful. The tackle--knot
     and barb--is sufficient. Look now at the angler. Hope with
     him is stronger than anxiety, and joy too beams forth under
     his eyelids; for lo! the fish is showing symptoms of
     distress. No longer it threatens to exhaust the winch-line;
     no longer it combats with the rapids; no more it strives,
     with frantic fling or wily plunge, to disengage the hook. It
     has lost all heart--almost all energy. The fins, paralysed
     and powerless, are unable for their task. So far from
     regulating its movements, they cannot even sustain the
     balance of the fish. Helpless and hopeless it is drawn
     ashore, upturning, in the act of submission, its starred and
     gleamy flanks. The countenance of the captor--his movements,
     (they are those which the soul dictates,) are all joyous and
     self-congratulatory. But the emotion, strongly depicted
     though it be, is short-lived. It gives way successively to
     the feelings of admiration and pity--of admiration, as
     excited on contemplating the almost incomparable beauty of
     the captive, its breadth and depth, the harmony of its
     proportions, as well as the richness and variety of its
     colours; of pity, as called forth in accordance with our
     nature,--an unconscious, uncontrollable emotion, which
     operates with subduing effect on the triumph of the moment.

     "And now, in their turn, content and thankfulness reign in
     the heart and develop themselves on the countenance of the
     angler; now haply he is impressed with feelings of adoring
     solemnity, stirred up by some scene of unlooked-for
     grandeur, or the transit of some sublime phenomenon. I say
     nothing of the feelings of disappointment, anger, envy, and
     jealousy, which sometimes find their way into the bosom, and
     are portrayed on the features even of the worthiest and
     best-tempered of our craft. Too naturally they spring up and
     blend themselves with our better nature; yet well it is that
     they take no hold on the heart--scorching, it may be true,
     but not consuming its day of happiness.

     "Hence it is, from the very variety of emotions which
     successively occupy the mind, from their blendings and
     transitions, that angling derives its pleasures; hence it
     holds precedence as a sport with men of thoughtful and ideal
     temperament; hence poets, sculptors, and philosophers--the
     sons and worshippers of genius--have entered, heart and
     hand, into its pursuit. Therefore it was that Thomson,
     Burns, Scott, and Hogg, and, in our present day, Wilson and
     Wordsworth, exchanged eagerly the gray-goose quill and the
     companionship of books, for the taper wand and the
     discourse, older than Homer's measures, of streams and
     cataracts. Therefore it was that Paley left his meditative
     home, and Davy his tests and crucibles, and Chantrey his
     moulds, models, and chisel-work,--each and all to rejoice
     and renovate themselves; to gather new thoughts and
     energies, a fresh heart and vigorous hand, in the exercise
     of that pastime which is teeming with philosophy."

Mr Stoddart blinks our problem altogether. Fish, it will be noticed,
are treated, firstly, as bits of cork, and, secondly, as lumps of
lead. But the bad example of all the great men before or since
Agamemnon will not lessen the cruelty, if it be cruelty, of dragging a
large fish or a little fish out of its "native element" forcibly, and
against its will. Obliging a fish to come out of the water when it has
not the slightest wish to be a fish out of water, has an apparent
resemblance to the ejecting of a human being unseasonably from his bed
who has made up his mind to prosecute a steady snooze for the next
three hours. The absence or presence of a little bodily suffering in
the process of ejection, has really nothing to do with the merits of
the abstract question. A man who is jerked out of bed by a string
tied to his toe must endure an uncomfortable twinge. But the votary of
Morpheus may be induced to change his quarters quite as effectually by
painlessly removing beyond his reach the blankets and the sheets. It
is not the application of positive compulsion to the person, but the
disturbance of existing comfort in his present condition, which may be
pain, and hardship, and cruelty. In point of fact, it is nothing of
the sort, because the analogy, as stated, is entirely fallacious. The
true analog is to be stated thus: Any body who, being already in bed,
and therefore legitimately somniferous, happens to overhear us in the
next room loudly declaring our intention of beginning forthwith a
supper of savoury and palatable dishes, and who, thereupon, greedily
shakes off his incipient torpidity, and rushes into the apartment in
order to share the banquet, but finds no supper, and ourselves
laughing at his credulity, has no right at all to assert that he has
been subjected to hardships or treated with cruelty. He left his
proper sphere, and was punished for his eccentricity. How is a fish
that lives in the water entitled to snap at a fly that lives out of
the water? But then the fly goes into the water. Very well: but if the
fish comes up into the air, as it does, to bite at a fly, which is a
denizen of the air, it is just that a fly, when it goes down into the
water, should indulge in a reciprocal bite at a fish, which is a
denizen of the waters. And if flies cannot bite for themselves, it is
a noble thing in man to bite for them. All the fish encreeled by all
the human fishers of every year make but a molehill to the mountain of
flies butchered and gorged by a single trout in a month. Heliogabalus
was temperate, Nero was merciful, when compared with a gillaroo. And
as for a PIKE!

Let us listen to Stoddart on pikes. It is proper, perhaps, to mention
that we are legally informed that the "open and advised speaking" of
our author about pikes is very constitutional, although very
marvellous. It pleases him now to buffet these freshwater sharks with
extremely hard words. Yet have we seen his nerves more fluttered by a
dead pike, surreptitiously introduced into his nocturnal couch at
Tibbie's--whom mortals, we believe, call Mrs Richardson, and whose
green rural hostelry, on the margin of St Mary's Loch, is the sweet
and loved haunt of every true brother of the craft--than ever was the
heart of fisherman when a twenty-pounder has darted off like an
express locomotive towards the foaming and rocky cataract. What horrid
shriek is that, making night hideous? With bursts of laughter at this
moment returns the scene when that grim visitor murdered the first
efforts of the weary angler to woo repose, as his naked feet came into
unexpected contact with the slimy mail of the water-pirate. Such
recollections are part and parcel of the many hundred things which
make the fisher's life a happy one. We shall hear, therefore, Mr
Stoddart avenging himself on all pikes, dead or living, not excluding
an incidental foray against eels; which latter are not surely, while
they live, loveable.

     "No one that ever felt the first attack of a pike at the
     gorge-bait can easily forget it. It is not, as might be
     supposed from the character of the fish, a bold, eager,
     voracious grasp; quite the contrary, it is a slow
     calculating grip. There is nothing about it dashing or at
     all violent; no stirring of the fins--no lashing of the
     tail--no expressed fury or revenge. The whole is mouth-work;
     calm, deliberate, bone-crashing, deadly mouth-work. You
     think at the moment you hear the action--the clanging
     action--of the fish's jaw-bones; and such jaw-bones, so
     powerful, so terrific! You think you hear the compressing,
     the racking of the victim betwixt them. The sensation is
     pleasurable to the angler as an avenger. Who among our
     gentle craft ever pitied a pike? I can fancy one lamenting
     over a salmon or star-stoled trout or playful minnow; nay, I
     have heard of those who, on being bereft of a pet gold-fish,
     actually wept; but a pike! itself unpitying, unsparing, who
     would pity?--who spare?

     "Returning, however, to the point in my narrative at which I
     broke off. I no sooner felt the well-known intimation, than,
     drawing out line from my reel, and slightly slackening what
     had already passed the top-ring of my rod, I stood prepared
     for further movements on the part of the fish. After a short
     time he sailed slowly about, confining his excursions to
     within a yard or two of the spot where he had originally
     seized the bait. It was evident, as I knew from experience,
     that he still held the trout cross-wise betwixt his jaws,
     and had not yet pouched or bolted it. To induce, him,
     however, to do so without delay, I very slightly, as is my
     wont, tightened or rather jerked the line towards myself, in
     order to create the notion that his prey was making
     resistance, and might escape from his grasp. A moment's halt
     indicated that he had taken the hint, and immediately
     afterwards, all being disposed of at one gulp, out he
     rushed, vigorous as any salmon, exhausting in one splendid
     run nearly the whole contents of my reel, and ending his
     exertions, in the meanwhile, with a desperate summerset,
     which revealed him to my view in all his size, vigour, and
     ferocity; the jaws grimly expanded, the fins erect, and the
     whole body in a state of uncontrollable excitement. Being
     provided with a single-handed rod, and winch-line suited in
     respect of strength and thickness to light fishing, it was a
     marvel that either of these stood the test on an occasion so
     very trying. The worst, however, was over; and although the
     pike, as fish of its kind under similar circumstances always
     do, showed signs of remaining strength, coupled with great
     sullenness, it nevertheless, in the course of a few minutes,
     submitted to its fate, and allowed itself to be drawn ashore
     at a convenient landing-place, which fortunately was not far
     off.

     "This fish, the first I ever captured in Teviot, weighed
     nearly a stone, and preceded in its fate no fewer than four
     others, of the respective weights, or nearly so, of ten,
     eight, seven, and three pounds, all of which I took from
     about the same spot in less than an hour's time. Shortly
     after, three or four days intervening, I killed two pike of
     twelve pounds weight each, close to the place mentioned, and
     in the same season met with an incident which, as it has
     some connexion with pike-trolling, is worthy of being
     recorded in this chapter. It happened in the month of July,
     on which day, Teviot, owing to recent rains, was somewhat
     discoloured, and I had ventured as far up its banks as the
     Roxburgh pool, intending to trout with fly and minnow, and
     also to give the pike a trial. That I might not, however,
     consume much time upon the latter fish, I had provided
     myself with a couple of set lines formed of strong cord.
     These it was my intention to lay out in a portion of the
     pool hitherto untried, and to allow them to remain there,
     while I angled for trout higher up the river. With the view
     of doing this, I had secured, by desultory throwing in my
     progress, towards Roxburgh, several small trout, and when
     arriving at the spot where I had intended to lay the lines,
     was unable to resist an anticipatory trial for pike with the
     rod itself, which, on this occasion, was a double-handed
     one, and provided with a good-sized reel and line to
     correspond.

     "Having affixed and baited a gorge-hook, I accordingly
     commenced operations, and in the course of a few throws
     hooked what I conceived to be a pike of extraordinary size.
     It pouched quickly, ran far, and forcibly crossed and
     recrossed the river, which, at the spot in question, is by
     no means narrow,--rushed upwards to a distance of at least a
     hundred yards and down again, seemingly without the least
     fatigue. Having regained, however, the spot from which it
     had commenced its run, all on a sudden the fish halted, and
     immediately, without any jerk or strain on my part, the line
     came to hand, neatly severed or cut through by the teeth,
     above the wire-fastenings to which the gorge-hook had been
     appended. No slight disappointment it was. I fancied of
     course that I had lost a pike of such uncommon size, as to
     have been able to engross, in pouching, the whole extent of
     arming in question, measuring nearly a foot. My sole
     resource therefore, or hope of retrieve,--and I was by no
     means sanguine of the result,--lay in the setting of the two
     lines I had brought along with me, at or near the spot where
     the fish had made its escape. Accordingly, baiting each with
     a trout of at least four ounces in weight, I threw them in
     not far from one another, with small floats attached, in
     order to show off the lure and keep it from the bottom. This
     done, I pursued my way further up the river, and commenced
     trouting. On my return, after the expiry of two or three
     hours, to the place where I had set the lines, I found that
     both the corks were out of sight and the cords stretched to
     the uttermost, but quite motionless. Drawing the nearer one,
     I was surprised to observe it, although made of strong and
     fresh material, snapped through at the middle. It was not
     so, however, with the other. There was evidently something
     attached to it of considerable weight and bulk, without,
     however, any live resistance. Imagine my surprise, when, on
     hauling it nearer the bank, I beheld a huge eel enveloped
     among the cords, quite choked and lifeless. Of river eels it
     was the largest I had ever witnessed, although I certainly
     have seen congers of greater size. About four feet and a
     half in length, and in girth fully eleven inches, I think it
     could not have weighed less than twenty pounds. This point,
     however, I wanted the ready means of determining, although I
     regret not having made an effort to acquaint myself with it.
     On examining the stomach of the monster, I found that it
     contained all the three gorge-hooks employed by me, and the
     trouts with which, individually, they had been baited. My
     experience in eel fishing has not been very great, but I
     have taken some hundreds of them in my time, and I do not
     remember above one or two that showed fight in the same
     manner this one did, while on the rod. In general, they
     waddle or twist about, betake themselves under rocks,
     stones, or roots of trees, but very seldom push out directly
     across or up the pool. With the gorge-hook indeed, and a
     small trout as the bait, I have often, both before and since
     the occasion above-mentioned, captured them; also while
     trolling for pike with gimp and swivel tackle, and that in
     mid water betwixt the bottom and surface; nor, indeed, will
     eels, when impelled by hunger, shrink from assailing the
     largest fish, should these happen to be sickly or in adverse
     circumstances. It is well known that what are termed river
     cairns, or heaps of stones raised by the tacksman of salmon
     fishings for the purpose of inveigling running fish into a
     certain description of net attached to them, afford shelter
     to large numbers of eels and lampreys, which, if the grilse
     or salmon happening to become entangled is allowed, through
     neglect or otherwise, to continue two or three hours in this
     state of thraldom, will, forcing an entrance through the
     gill or mouth, speedily disencumber it of its entrails; nay
     if allowed to pursue their work of molestation unchecked,
     absolutely hollow it out, until little remains but a sack or
     skinful of bones."

This is a horrible picture,--"a sack or skinful of bones," while the
salmon, we presume, still exists in its ribbed transparency. The
dreams of eels, who sup so full of horrors, must be very awful. But
infinitely more awful must be the visions which people the slumbers of
those mortals who, in their turn, eat those eels who have eaten those
salmon. Our repugnance to eel-pies was never strong. It were better
for us to think of something else.

A crust of statistics may ward off sickening and remorseful qualms.
The indiscriminate destructiveness which characterises pikes, is
unfortunately and disgracefully displayed by other queer fish. It is
not necessary to enumerate the perplexing multiplicity of devices
which human ingenuity has invented and constructed for annihilating
salmon. As of the kings about whose deaths their royal brother Richard
tells sad stories, so of salmon, however various may be the manner of
their dissolutions, it is safe to affirm that they are "all murdered."
Statutes kill myriads of them; poachers, in spite of statutes, kill
myriads more of them; honest anglers, who sport in the seasons, and
with the weapons proper to sportsmen, kill a few individual fishes;
and it will be demonstrated that pikes are the powerful and natural
allies of statutes and poachers:--

     "With regard to the ravages committed among the fry of the
     salmon, I may mention that almost every pike captured by me
     during the months of April and May contained in its stomach,
     or disgorged, on being landed, the remains of one or more
     smolts. These frequently were quite entire--to all
     appearance, indeed, newly killed; they were sometimes also
     in a partly-digested state, and on other occasions presented
     to the eye little more than was sufficient to distinguish
     them as having been small fish. I have taken five or six
     salmon-fry, in the stages above described, out of the
     stomach of a single pike. Two, three, or four, is a matter
     of common occurrence. Such being the case, and if it be
     true, what many ichthyologists affirm, that fish dissolve
     their food with such astonishing rapidity as to rival in
     some instances the action of fire; nay, allowing that the
     stomach of the pike occupied a couple of hours in completing
     the digestive process, the amount of havoc committed by this
     ravager on Teviot during the smolt season is quite
     astonishing. Confining my calculation within very moderate
     bounds, I shall presume that each pike, on the average, as
     his daily meal, during the months already referred to,
     engrosses four salmon or bull-trout fry. This, in the course
     of sixty days, gives an allowance to every individual in
     Teviot of two hundred and forty smolts; and supposing there
     are from Ancrumbridge downward, a stretch of water nine or
     ten miles in length, not more than one thousand pike, the
     entire number consumed by these, in less than one-sixth of
     the year, amounts to two hundred and forty thousand, or
     nearly a quarter of a million of salmon-fry,--a greater
     number, there is no question, than is killed during the
     same extent of time by all the angling poachers in the
     district put together."

We acknowledge that we must be indiscreet to involve ourselves again
in an offensive topic. A hint, however, of our opinion, and we pass
away from the subject. The abominable slaughter of "FOUL" fish,
perpetrated by people whom we are obliged to repudiate as sportsmen,
and whom we are not obliged to recognise as gentlemen, is a shocking,
dirty, disreputable mal-practice, to be condemned with unmodified
severity of language. Apologies, explanations, palliations, are in
vain. The filthy mass which is unrighteously dragged out of the water
is not then a fish. It is against the use of nature for the hand of
man to touch it. And yet the same man who would with easy indifference
"leister" a salmon in that state, teeming with ten thousand thousand
lives, shall, on the morrow, in a jury-box, violate his oath by
acquitting the guilty in the face of the clearest evidence, because he
thinks capital punishments unlawful. Phaugh! Call Mr Stoddart into
court as an authoritative witness.

     "I find a number of anglers at one with me in opinion upon
     this subject; and all who have witnessed night-leistering on
     Tweed during the autumnal or winter months, will acknowledge
     that even the romantic character which torch-light and
     scenery invest it with, fails as an apology for the ignoble,
     wasteful, and injurious nature of the occupation. In nine
     cases out of ten, it is pursued, either during the spawning
     season itself, or when the fish are heavy with roe--when
     they are red or foul, having lain a considerable time in the
     river, and, moreover, when they have lost all power of
     escape, or are cut off from exercising it, both by the
     lowness of water, and by the circumstance of their being
     hemmed in, at the head and foot of the pool or place of
     action, by nets and other contrivances stretched from bank
     to bank.

     "It can scarcely be credited, but I relate a fact known to
     many on Tweedside, that, about four or five years ago,
     upwards of three hundred breeding fish, salmon and grilses,
     were slaughtered in the course of a single night, from one
     boat, out of a stretch of water not far from Melrose, two
     leisters only being employed; and of this number--I allude
     to the fish--scarcely one was actually fit to be used as
     food, while by far the greater part of them were female
     salmon, on the eve of depositing their ova. In the
     neighbourhood of Kelso, upwards of ninety have frequently
     been butchered with this implement during a single night,
     from one boat,--all of them fish in the same rank and
     unhealthy condition above described. In September 1846,
     according to the most moderate calculation, no fewer than
     four thousand spawning fish, consisting chiefly of
     full-grown salmon, and comprehending the principal breeding
     stock of the season--those fish which, from their forward
     state, promised the earliest and most vigorous supply of
     fry, were slaughtered in Tweed, with the consent, and under
     the auspices, of the upper holders of fishings, in the
     manner I speak of. Need it be said, that the injury done to
     the salmon-fishings in general by this malpractice on the
     part of two or three lesser proprietors, is incalculable,
     and, when linked with the doings of poachers during
     closetime, to which it unquestionably gives encouragement,
     and the system pursued on Tweed of capturing and destroying
     the kelts and baggits, it must operate most prejudicially
     against every plan devised to further the breeding of this
     highly-prized article of food."

Simply we shall say, that any body who so leisters fish from this day
forward is a BRUTAL BARBARIAN, fit for the society of a Burke or a
Hare, who did not venture to immolate their victims till gross
physical corruption--the heavy prostration of drunkenness--rendered
them in general the easy and stupid prey of a disgusting assassin. Let
the leisterer of foul fish be accursed in the sporting calendar.

Under all circumstances, to be quite candid, we remonstrate against
the leister. It is not a fair way of going to work--the fish has no
option. There is too much of the tinge of the Venetian bravo in the
blow. Less apology must there always be for striking a salmon than for
striking a man behind his back. The man who detects the stealthy
thrust may turn and smite his enemy. The fish, vigilant happily of the
descending trident, can but shift its quarters and swim away. Basking,
too, at the moment under the broad beam of the all-rejoicing sun--as
motionless, as tranquil, as bright, and as beautiful, as the silver
pebbles in the river's bed--why should idle human violence invade and
extinguish that unsuspecting repose? At this very instant, while he is
in such attitude and mood, fling, if you can, with delicate precision,
over his snout the most attractive mottled wing in your book, and
then--if the pensive Zoroaster of the stream quits his meditations to
swallow your temptation--then hook him, play him, land him, and
encreel him; but do not, without any warning, plunge a barbed steel
fork into his heart. Or, at this very instant, let the seduction of
the triple worm travel athwart his ruminations, and if the glutton
shall overcome the sage, then, even in his voracious throat, strike
home, and overcome the glutton; but do not hack the noble form with
ruffianly prongs of rusty iron--

    "Let's carve him as a dish fit for the gods,
    Not hew him as a carcass fit for hounds."

Pr'ythee permit the leister, for the future, to decorate a museum
along with other implements of the Cannibal, not the British islands!

Mr Stoddart must feel neither anger nor surprise if we deliberately
avoid not merely any discussion, but even any notice whatever, of
theories or speculations, directly or collaterally referring to the
breeding or propagation of fishes. We have not been, as the pages of
Maga prove, unwatchful of what conjectural philosophy might propose,
or ingenious experimentalism might exhibit. We hold some piscine
opinions, so curious but so true, that if we could enunciate them in a
language intelligible to fish (which ought to be the Finnish dialect,)
the liveliest salmon in Norway could not execute summersets
sufficiently numerous to express his astonishment at our knowledge. We
could likewise put such puzzling objections to the most elaborate and
seemingly satisfactory systems, as to demonstrate irrefragably that,
in spite of every thing which every body has said about every variety
of the _salmo_ race, nobody knows any thing certain as to the age Of
OLD PARR. But, for one good reason, we shall be discreet and silent.
Nobody cares a straw, or a horse-hair, or a thread of gut, whether
Stoddart is overthrown, or Shaw is predominant,--nobody, whose sole
and laudable object is to enjoy a day's good fishing. The great fact
remains--the waters are full of fish. What matter is it whence the
fins came or come? The question is not how they got into, but how they
are to be taken out of the burn, the river, or the lake? It is not we
who mean to go

           "Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave;"

but up out of it we hope to draw many dozens of its peopling swarms.
And we desire to learn from Mr Stoddart how best we may, by baits and
guileful spells, reach and inveigle, them--

           "In their obscured haunts of inmost bowers."

The companion we want is the Angler's Companion. Now the angler is an
individual who sallies out at early dawn, rejoicing, not only in his
own strength, and, haply, the strength of a glass of whisky, but in a
fishing-basket, or pannier, or bag; in a fishing-rod, or three or four
fishing-rods; in a fishing-book, more voluminous in its single volume
than the Encyclopædia Britannica; in wading boots and water-proof
cloaklets; in a reel, and a gaff, and a landing net, and sometimes a
boat; in gut, and in horse hair; in hooks and hackles; in feathers and
silk thread; in wax and wire; in leads and floats; in tin boxes of
worms, and earthen pots of salmon roe; in minnows, and parr-tails; in
swivels and gorge-hooks; in lobs, and in bobs; in ferrules, and in
rings; in a brown paper parcel of four large sandwiches, and a pocket
flask of six large glasses of sherry; in a dingy coat, and
inexpressible unmentionables; and finally, in the best humour, and a
shocking bad hat. Is it imaginable that all this can be done, as it is
done every day, by any body who has not made up his mind, or who
thinks it necessary to know, what fish are, and where they came from?
There is no such humbug within him. He goes to the Tweed or the Tay;
the Don, or the Conan; to Loch Craggie, or Loch Maree; to Loch Awe, or
Loch Etive; to the Clyde, or the Solway; to Loch Doon, or Loch Ken;
because all over broad Scotland there is plenty of fish; and because,
where-ever he goes, Stoddart can tell him how there most readily, most
surely, and most pleasantly to encreel them. Of all the Caledonians
who, in countless crowds, daily leave their native homes in the flesh,
and return to the domestic hearthstone in the evening, with their
flesh more or less fishified, there are not twenty to whom it is not a
point of the utmost indifference, whether the fish in the Tweed, or
any other river where they have been angling, are rained down once a
month from the clouds, or are brought over as ballast in ships once
a-week from Denmark. The fish are there. We are going to catch them.
Hand us Stoddart's Angler's Companion.

As a teacher of practical angling in Scotland, we look on Mr Stoddart
to be without a rival or equal. To call him a good instructor in the
art, does not properly describe him. He is strictly and literally a
manuductor. Nature has given to him what Beddoes terms "a well
organised and very pliant hand," which for more than twenty years, as
we can honestly testify, has waved the osier over all the streams of
his native country. We exaggerate nothing in declaring angling to have
been, during that long period, Stoddart's diurnal and nocturnal study.
And the result has been what it ought to be. Nobody else, for example,
(we affirm it without fear of any contradiction or cavil,) could have
written, as it is written, the sixth chapter,--"On fishing with the
worm for trout."

     "To a perfect novice in the art of angling, nothing appears
     simpler than to capture trout with the worm, provided the
     water be sufficiently muddled to conceal the person and
     disguise the tackle of the craftsman. A mere urchin, with a
     pea-stick for a wand, a string for his line, and a pin for
     his hook, has often, under such favourable circumstances,
     effected the landing of a good-sized fish. But to class
     performances of this description among feats of skill were
     quite ridiculous, and they are just, to as small an extent,
     samples of successful worm-fishing. It may perhaps startle
     some, and these no novices in the art, when I declare, and
     offer moreover to prove, that worm-fishing for trout
     requires essentially more address and experience, as well as
     a better knowledge of the habits and instincts of the fish,
     than fly-fishing. I do not, be it observed, refer to the
     practice of this branch of the art as it is followed on hill
     burns and petty rivulets, neither do I allude to it as
     pursued after heavy rains in flooded and discoloured waters;
     my affirmation bears solely upon its practice as carried on
     during the summer months in the southern districts of
     Scotland, when the rivers are clear and low, the skies
     bright and warm. Then it is, and then only, that it ought to
     be dignified with the name of sport; and sport it assuredly
     is, fully as exciting, perhaps more so, than angling with
     the fly or minnow. In the hands of a skilful practitioner,
     indeed, there is no mode of capturing well-conditioned fish
     with the rod more remunerative;--I say well-conditioned, for
     in the spawning months, lean, lank, and unhealthy trout may
     be massacred in any number by means of salmon-roe or pastes
     formed from that substance.

     "In the present chapter, I shall attempt to make plain the
     principal points to be attended to by the worm-fisher
     desirous of success. These I class under the following
     heads:--

  1. The rod and tackle to be employed.
  2. The kind of worm, and how prepared,
  3. When and where to fish.
  4. How to bait and manage the line."

Excellently well is the task executed. At the conclusion of the
chapter, when he says "I have embraced, methinks, most of the points
connected with the subject it treats of, and endeavoured, to the best
of my ability, to set them forth in a plain and practical light," he
speaks with the modest but honest consciousness of one who has been
handling a subject so familiar, and yet so interesting to himself,
that if he has only allowed words to clothe his thoughts as they
flowed in their natural stream, he feels he must have written clearly,
sensibly, agreeably, and usefully. Mind you, we do not intend to
reprint Mr Stoddart's volume in these pages. Buy it and read it. But,
as we rebuked at starting those who spoke of the spring of 1847, we
shall not withhold at once comfort and advice from precipitate
anglers, who fancy they cannot commence operations too early in the
season.

     "On Tweedside, worm-fishing seldom commences until the
     latter end of May or beginning of June, when the main stream
     and its tributaries are in ordinary seasons considerably
     reduced. The trout in a certain measure require to be sated
     with fly-food before having recourse to any coarser
     aliment,--at any rate, some change seems to be effected in
     their tastes and habits, virtually inexplicable, but yet
     dependent upon the instinct implanted by nature--an instinct
     which, as regards many animals, has, in all ages, baffled,
     perplexed, and silenced the minutest inquiry. Before trout
     take the worm freely, it is necessary also that the
     temperature of the water should be at a state of
     considerable elevation--at least fifty degrees of
     Fahrenheit; and, moreover, that it be acted upon at the time
     by a fair proportion of sun-light; indeed, a bright hot day
     is not at all objectionable, the air being calm, or but
     slightly agitated. Such a condition both of water and
     weather often occurs during the month of June, and its
     occurrence is, indeed, frequently protracted throughout
     July. These, in fact--June and July, added to the latter
     half of May--constitute, as regards the southern districts
     of Scotland, our best worm-fishing months. Be it noted,
     however, by way of repetition, that I am not at present
     alluding to the simple and coarse practice of the art
     pursued among starved and unwary fish in mountain rivulets,
     nor do I refer to worm-fishing in flooded and discoloured
     streams; but I treat of it solely as respects clear waters,
     inhabited by cunning, cautious trout, and, in consequence,
     as a method of angling which requires of the craftsman great
     skill and no stinted amount of prudence. With regard to hill
     burn-fishing, undoubtedly it is more in season during August
     and September, when rains are frequent, than in June and
     July; and in discoloured waters, trout may be captured with
     worm throughout the whole year, no one month excepted."

Precocity does not flourish in Scotland. Never do any thing in a
hurry. In good time for all good purposes of angling,--not too soon,
but not a minute too late, have come our commendations of this
admirable treatise and manual. What does it lack? any thing? no, not
even a "SIMPLE RECIPE FOR COOKING A WHITLING OR GOOD TROUT BY THE
RIVER-SIDE." What a smack there is here of inimitable and beloved
Isaac! But, before we part, Mr Stoddart shall pronounce his benison.

     "Angler! that all day long hast wandered by sunny stream,
     and heart and hand plied the meditative art--who hast filled
     thy pannier brimful of star-sided trout, and with aching
     arms, and weary back, and faint wavering step, crossed the
     threshold of some cottage inn--a smiling, rural retreat that
     starts up when thy wishes are waning into despondency,--how
     grateful to thee is the merry song of the frying-pan, strewn
     over with the daintiest of thy spoils, and superintended by
     a laughter-loving hostess and her blooming image! and thou,
     too, slayer of salmon! more matured and fastidious, what
     sound when thy reel is at rest, like the bubbling and
     frothing of the fish-kettle! what fare more acceptable than
     the shoulder-cut, snowed over with curd, of a gallant
     sixteen-pounder; and where, in the wide world, is to be
     found wholesomer and heartier sauce, to the one as well as
     to the other, than a goblet generously mixed of Islay, and
     piping hot? Stretch thy hand over thy mercies, and be
     thankful."

Indispensable in all time to come, as the very strength and grace of
an angler's Tackle and Equipment in Scotland, must and will be
"STODDART'S ANGLER'S COMPANION."



THE CAXTONS.--PART III.


BOOK II.--CHAPTER I.

It was a beautiful summer afternoon when the coach set me down at my
father's gate. Mrs Primmins herself ran out to welcome me; and I had
scarcely escaped from the warm clasp of her friendly hand, before I
was in the arms of my mother.

As soon as that tenderest of parents was convinced that I was not
famished, seeing that I had dined two hours ago at Dr Herman's, she
led me gently across the garden towards the arbour. "You will find
your father so cheerful," said she, wiping away a tear. "His brother
is with him."

I stopped. _His_ brother! Will the reader believe it?--I had never
heard that he had a brother, so little were family affairs ever
discussed in my hearing.

"_His_ brother!" said I. "Have I then an Uncle Caxton as well as an
Uncle Jack?"

"Yes, my love," said my mother. And then she added, "Your father and
he were not such good friends as they ought to have been, and the
Captain has been abroad. However, thank heaven! they are now quite
reconciled."

We had time for no more--we were in the arbour. There, a table was
spread with wine and fruit--the gentlemen were at their dessert; and
those gentlemen were my father, Uncle Jack, Mr Squills, and, tall,
lean, buttoned-to-the-chin--an erect, martial, majestic, and imposing
personage, who seemed worthy of a place in my great ancestor's "Boke
of Chivalrie."

All rose as I entered; but my poor father, who was always slow in his
movements, had the last of me. Uncle Jack had left the very powerful
impression of his great seal-ring on my fingers; Mr Squills had patted
me on the shoulder, and pronounced me "wonderfully grown;" my
new-found relative had with great dignity said, "Nephew, your hand,
sir--I am Captain de Caxton;" and even the tame duck had taken her
beak from her wing, and rubbed it gently between my legs, which was
her usual mode of salutation, before my father placed his pale hand on
my forehead, and, looking at me for a moment with unutterable
sweetness, said, "More and more like your mother--God bless you!"

A chair had been kept vacant for me between my father and his brother.
I sat down in haste, and with a tingling colour on my cheeks and a
rising at my throat, so much had the unusual kindness of my father's
greeting affected me; and then there came over me a sense of my new
position. I was no longer a schoolboy at home for his brief holiday: I
had returned to the shelter of the roof-tree, to become myself one of
its supports. I was at last a man, privileged to aid or solace those
dear ones who had ministered, as yet without return, to me. That is a
very strange crisis in our life when we come home "_for good_." Home
seems a different thing: before, one has been but a sort of guest
after all, only welcomed and indulged, and little festivities held in
honour of the released and happy child. But to come home _for
good_--to have done with school and boyhood--is to be a guest, a child
no more. It is to share the every-day life of cares and duties--it is
to enter into the _confidences_ of home. Is it not so? I could have
buried my face in my hands, and wept!

My father, with all his abstraction and all his simplicity, had a
knack now and then of penetrating at once to the heart. I verily
believe he read all that was passing in me as easily as if it had been
Greek. He stole his arm gently round my waist, and whispered, "Hush!"
Then lifting his voice, he cried aloud, "Brother Roland, you must not
let Jack have the best of the argument."

"Brother Augustine," replied the Captain, very formally "Mr Jack, if I
may take the liberty so to call him"--

"You may indeed," cried Uncle Jack.

"Sir," said the Captain, bowing, "it is a familiarity that does me
honour. I was about to say that Mr Jack has retired from the field."

"Far from it," said Squills, dropping an effervescing powder into a
chemical mixture which he had been preparing with great attention,
composed of sherry and lemon-juice--"far from it. Mr Tibbetts--whose
organ of combativeness is finely developed, by the bye--was saying,--"

"That it is a rank sin and shame, in the nineteenth century"--quoth
Uncle Jack--"that a man like my friend Captain Caxton"--

"_De_ Caxton, sir--Mr Jack."

"De Caxton--of the highest military talents, of the most illustrious
descent--a hero sprung from heroes--should have served twenty-three
years in his Majesty's service, and should be only a captain on
half-pay. This, I say, comes of the infamous system of purchase, which
sets up the highest honours for sale as they did in the Roman
Empire"--

My father pricked up his ears; but Uncle Jack pushed on before my
father could get ready the forces of his meditated interruption;--

"A system which a little effort, a little union, can so easily
terminate. Yes, sir"--and Uncle Jack thumped the table, and two
cherries bobbed up and smote Captain de Caxton on the nose--"yes, sir,
I will undertake to say that I could put the army upon a very
different footing. If the poorer and more meritorious gentlemen, like
Captain de Caxton, would, as I was just observing, but unite in a
grand anti-aristocratic association, each paying a small sum
quarterly, we could realise a capital sufficient to outpurchase all
these undeserving individuals, and every man of merit should have his
fair chance of promotion."

"Egad, sir!" said Squills, "there is something grand in that--eh,
Captain?"

"No, sir," replied the Captain, quite seriously; "there is in
monarchies but one fountain of honour. It would be an interference
with a soldier's first duty--his respect for his sovereign."

"On the contrary," said Mr Squills, "it would still be to the
sovereigns that one would owe the promotion."

"Honour," pursued the Captain, colouring up, and unheeding this witty
interruption, "is the reward of a soldier. What do I care that a young
jackanapes buys his colonelcy over my head? Sir, he does not buy from
me my wounds and my services. Sir, he does not buy from me the medal I
won at Waterloo. He is a rich man, and I am a poor man; he is
called--colonel, because he paid money for the _name_. That pleases
him; well and good. It would not please me: I had rather remain a
captain, and feel my dignity, not in my title, but in the services of
my three-and-twenty years. A beggarly, rascally association of
stockbrokers, for aught I know, buy _me_ a company! I don't want to be
uncivil, or I would say, Damn 'em, Mr--sir--Jack!"

A sort of thrill ran through the Captain's audience--even Uncle Jack
looked touched, as I thought, for he stared very hard at the grim
veteran, and said nothing. The pause was awkward--Mr Squills broke it.
"I should like," quoth he, "to see your Waterloo medal--you have not
it about you?"

"Mr Squills," answered the Captain, "it lies next to my heart while I
live. It shall be buried in my coffin, and I shall rise with it, at
the word of command, on the day of the Grand Review!" So saying, the
Captain leisurely unbuttoned his coat, and, detaching from a piece of
striped ribbon as ugly a specimen of the art of the silversmith
(begging its pardon) as ever rewarded merit at the expense of taste,
placed the medal on the table.

The medal passed round, without a word, from hand to hand.

"It is strange," at last said my father, "how such trifles can be made
of such value--how in one age a man sells his life for what in the
next age he would not give a button! A Greek esteemed beyond price a
few leaves of olive twisted into a circular shape, and set upon his
head--a very ridiculous headgear we should now call it. An American
Indian prefers a decoration of human scalps, which, I apprehend, we
should all agree (save and except Mr Squills, who is accustomed to
such things) to be a very disgusting addition to one's personal
attractions; and my brother values this piece of silver, which may be
worth about five shillings, more than Jack does a gold mine, or I do
the library of the London Museum. A time will come when people will
think that as idle a decoration as leaves and scalps."

"Brother," said the Captain, "there is nothing strange in the matter.
It is as plain as a pike-staff to a man who understands the principles
of honour."

"Possibly," said my father mildly. "I should like to hear what you
have to say upon honour. I am sure it would very much edify us all."


CHAPTER II.

MY UNCLE ROLAND'S DISCOURSE UPON HONOUR.

"Gentlemen," began the Captain, at the distinct appeal thus made to
him--"Gentlemen, God made the earth, but man made the garden. God made
man, but man re-creates himself."

"True, by knowledge," said my father.

"By industry," said Uncle Jack.

"By the physical condition of his body," said Mr Squills. "He could
not have made himself other than he was at first in the woods and
wilds if he had fins like a fish, or could only chatter gibberish like
a monkey. Hands and a tongue, sir; these are the instruments of
progress."

"Mr Squills," said my father, nodding, "Anaxagoras said very much the
same thing before you, touching the hands."

"I can't help that," answered Mr Squills; "one could not open one's
lips if one were bound to say what nobody else had said. But, after
all, our superiority is less in our _hands_ than the greatness of our
_thumbs_."

"Albinus, _De Sceleto_, and our own learned William Lawrence, have
made a similar remark," again put in my father.

"Hang it, sir!" exclaimed Squills, "what business have you to know
every thing?"

"Every thing! No; but thumbs furnish subjects of investigation to the
simplest understanding," said my father, modestly.

"Gentlemen," recommenced my Uncle Roland, "thumbs and hands are given
to an Esquimaux, as well as to scholars and surgeons--and what the
deuce are they the wiser for them? Sirs, you cannot reduce us thus
into mechanism. Look within. Man, I say, re-creates himself. How? BY
THE PRINCIPLE OF HONOUR. His first desire is to excel some one
else--his first impulse is distinction above his fellows. Heaven
places in his soul, as if it were a compass, a needle that always
points to one end,--viz., to honour in that which those around him
consider honourable. Therefore, as man at first is exposed to all
dangers from wild beasts, and from men as savage as himself, COURAGE
becomes the first quality mankind must honour: therefore the savage is
courageous; therefore he covets the praise for courage; therefore he
decorates himself with the skins of the beasts he has subdued, or the
scalps of the foes he has slain. Sirs, don't tell me that the skins
and the scalps are only hide and leather; they are trophies of honour.
Don't tell me they are ridiculous and disgusting; they become glorious
as proofs that the savage has emerged out of the first brute-like
egotism, and attached price to the praise which men never give except
for works that secure or advance their welfare. By-and-by, sirs, our
savages discover that they cannot live in safety amongst themselves
unless they agree to speak the truth to each other; therefore TRUTH
becomes valued, and grows into a principle of honour; so, brother
Augustine will tell us that, in the primitive times, truth was always
the attribute of a hero."

"Right," said my father: "Homer emphatically gives it to Achilles."

"Out of truth comes the necessity for some kind of rude justice and
law. Therefore men, after courage in the warrior, and truth in all,
begin to attach honour to the elder, whom they intrust with preserving
justice amongst them. So, sirs, LAW is born--"

"But the first lawgivers were priests," quoth my father.

"Sirs, I am coming to that. Whence arises the desire of honour, but
from man's necessity of excelling--in other words, of improving his
faculties for the _benefit_ of others,--though, unconscious of that
consequence, man only strives for their _praise_? But that desire for
honour is unextinguishable, and man is naturally anxious to carry its
rewards beyond the grave. Therefore, he who has slain most lions or
enemies, is naturally prone to believe that he shall have the best
hunting fields in the country beyond, and take the best place at the
banquet. Nature, in all its operations, impresses him with the idea
of an invisible Power; and the principle of honour,--that is, the
desire of praise and reward,--makes him anxious for the approval which
that Power can bestow. Thence comes the first rude idea of RELIGION;
and in the death-hymn at the stake, the savage chants songs prophetic
of the distinctions he is about to receive. Society goes on; hamlets
are built; property is established. He who has more than another has
more power than another. Power is honoured. Man covets the honour
attached to the power which is attached to possession. Thus the soil
is cultivated; thus the rafts are constructed; thus tribe trades with
tribe; thus COMMERCE is founded and CIVILISATION commenced. Sirs, all
that seems least connected with honour, as we approach the vulgar days
of the present, has its origin in honour, and is but an abuse of its
principles. If men now-a-days are hucksters and traders--if even
military honours are purchased, and a rogue buys his way to a
peerage--still all arise from the desire for honour, which society, as
it grows old, gives to the outward signs of titles and gold, instead
of, as once, to its inward essentials,--courage, truth, justice,
enterprise. Therefore, I say, sirs, that honour is the foundation of
all improvement in mankind."

"You have argued like a schoolman, brother," said Mr Caxton
admiringly; "but still, as to this round piece of silver,--don't we go
back to the most barbarous ages in estimating so highly such things as
have no real value in themselves--as could not give us one opportunity
for instructing our minds."

"Could not pay for a pair of boots," added Uncle Jack.

"Or," said Mr Squills, "save you one twinge of the cursed rheumatism
you have got for life from that night's bivouac in the Portuguese
marshes--to say nothing of the bullet in your cranium, and that cork
leg, which must much diminish the salutary effects of your
constitutional walk."

"Gentlemen," resumed the Captain, nothing abashed, "in going back to
these barbarous ages, I go back to the true principles of honour. It
is precisely because this round piece of silver has no value in the
market that it is priceless, for thus it is only a proof of desert.
Where would be the sense of service if it could buy back my leg, or if
I could bargain it away for forty thousand a-year? No, sirs, its value
is this--that when I wear it on my breast men shall say, 'that formal
old fellow is not so useless as he seems. He was one of those who
saved England and freed Europe.' And even when I conceal it here,"
(and devoutly kissing the medal, Uncle Roland restored it to its
ribbon and its resting-place,) "and no eye sees it, its value is yet
greater in the thought that my country has not degraded the old and
true principles of honour by paying the soldier who fought for her in
the same coin as that in which you, Mr Jack, sir, pay your bootmaker's
bill. No, no, gentlemen. As courage was the first virtue that honour
called forth--the first virtue from which all safety and civilisation
proceed, so we do right to keep that one virtue at least clear and
unsullied from all the money-making, mercenary, pay-me-in-cash
abominations which are the vices, not the virtues, of the civilisation
it has produced."

My Uncle Roland here came to a full stop; and, filling his glass, rose
and said solemnly--"A last bumper, gentlemen.--'To the dead who died
for England!'"


CHAPTER III.

"Indeed, my dear, you must take it. You certainly _have_ caught cold:
you sneezed three times together."

"Yes, ma'am, because I would take a pinch of Uncle Roland's snuff,
just to say that I _had_ taken a pinch out of his box--the honour of
the thing, you know."

"Ah, my dear! what was that very clever remark you made at the same
time which so pleased your father--something about Jews and the
college?"

"Jews and--oh! '_pulverem Olympicum collegisse juvat_,' my dear
mother--which means, that it is a pleasure to take a pinch out of a
brave man's snuff-box. I say, mother, put down the posset. Yes, I'll
take it; I will, indeed. Now, then, sit here--that's right--and tell
me all you know about this famous old Captain. Imprimis, he is older
than my father?"

"To be sure!" exclaimed my mother indignantly; "he looks twenty years
older; but there is only five years' real difference. Your father must
always look young."

"And why does Uncle Roland put that absurd French _de_ before his
name--and why were my father and he not good friends--and is he
married--and has he any children?"

Scene of this conference--my own little room, new papered on purpose
for my return _for good_--trellis-work paper, flowers and birds--all
so fresh, and so new, and so clean, and so gay--with my books ranged
in neat shelves, and a writing-table by the window; and, without the
window, shines the still summer moon. The window is a little open; you
scent the flowers and new-mown hay. Past eleven; and the boy and his
dear mother are all alone.

"My dear, my dear! you ask so many questions at once."

"Don't answer them then. Begin at the beginning, as Nurse Primmins
does with her fairy tales--'Once on a time.'"

"Once on a time, then," said my mother--kissing me between the
eyes--"once on a time, my love, there was a certain clergyman in
Cumberland, who had two sons; he had but a small living, and the boys
were to make their own way in the world. But close to the parsonage,
on the brow of a hill, rose an old ruin, with one tower left, and
this, with half the county round it, had once belonged to the
clergyman's family; but all had been sold--all gone piece by piece,
you see, my dear, except the presentation to the living, (what they
call the advowson was sold too,) which had been secured to the last of
the family. The elder of these sons was your Uncle Roland, the younger
was your father. Now I believe the first quarrel arose from the
absurdest thing possible, as your father says; but Roland was
exceedingly touchy on all things connected with his ancestors. He was
always poring over the old pedigree, or wandering amongst the ruins,
or reading books of knight-errantry. Well, where this pedigree began I
know not, but it seems that King Henry II. gave some lands in
Cumberland to one Sir Adam de Caxton; and from that time, you see, the
pedigree went regularly from father to son till Henry V.; then,
apparently from the disorders, produced, as your father says, by the
wars of the Roses, there was a sad blank left--only one or two names,
without dates or marriages, till the time of Henry VII., except that
in the reign of Edward IV. there was one insertion of a William Caxton
(named in a deed.) Now in the village church there was a beautiful
brass monument to one Sir William de Caxton, who had been killed at
the battle of Bosworth, fighting for that wicked King Richard III. And
about the same time there lived, as you know, the great printer,
William Caxton. Well, your father, happening to be in town on a visit
to his aunt, took great trouble in hunting up all the old papers he
could find at the Heralds' College; and sure enough he was overjoyed
to satisfy himself that he was descended, not from that poor Sir
William, who had been killed in so bad a cause, but from the great
printer, who was from a younger branch of the same family, and to
whose descendants the estate came, in the reign of Henry VIII. It was
upon this that your Uncle Roland quarrelled with him; and, indeed, I
tremble to think that they may touch on that matter again."

"Then, my dear mother, I must say my uncle is wrong there, so far as
common-sense is concerned; but still, somehow or other, I can
understand it--surely this was not the only cause of estrangement!"

My mother looked down, and moved one hand gently over the other, which
was her way when embarrassed. "What was it, my own mother?" said I,
coaxingly.

"I believe--that is, I--I think that they were both attached to the
same young lady."

"How! you don't mean to say that my father was ever in love with any
one but you?"

"Yes, Sisty--yes, and deeply! and," added my mother after a slight
pause, and with a very low sigh, "he never was in love with me; and
what is more, he had the frankness to tell me so!"

"And yet you--"

"Married him--yes!" said my mother, raising the softest and purest
eyes that ever lover could have wished to read his fate in;--

"Yes, for the old love was hopeless. I knew that I could make him
happy. I knew that he would love me at last, and he does so! My son,
your father loves me!"

As she spoke, there came a blush as innocent as virgin ever knew, to
my mother's smooth cheek; and she looked so fair, so good, and still
so young, all the while, that you would have said that either Dusius,
the Teuton fiend, or Nock, the Scandinavian sea-imp, from whom the
learned assure us we derive our modern Daimones, "The Deuce" and Old
Nick, had indeed possessed my father, if he had not learned to love
such a creature.

I pressed her hand to my lips, but my heart was too full to speak for
a moment or so; and then I partially changed the subject.

"Well, and this rivalry estranged them more? And who was the lady?"

"Your father never told me, and I never asked," said my mother simply.
"But she was very different from me, I know. Very accomplished, very
beautiful, very high-born."

"For all that, my father was a lucky man to escape her. Pass on. What
did the Captain do?"

"Why, about that time your grandfather died, and shortly after an
aunt, on the mother's side, who was rich and saving, and unexpectedly
left them each sixteen thousand pounds. Your uncle, with his share,
bought back, at an enormous price, the old castle and some land round
it, which they say does not bring him in three hundred a-year. With
the little that remained, he purchased a commission in the army; and
the brothers met no more, till last week, when Roland suddenly
arrived."

"He did not marry this accomplished young lady?"

"No! but he married another, and is a widower."

"Why, he was as inconstant as my father; and I am sure without so good
an excuse. How was that?"

"I don't know. He says nothing about it."

"Has he any children?"

"Two; a son--by the bye, you must never speak about _him_. Your uncle
briefly said, when I asked him what was his family, 'a girl, ma'am. I
had a son, but,--'

'He is dead,' cried your father, in his kind pitying voice.

'Dead to me, brother,--and you will never mention his name!' You
should have seen how stern your uncle looked. I was terrified."

"But the girl,--why did not he bring her here?"

"She is still in France, but he talks of going over for her; and we
have half promised to visit them both in Cumberland.--But, bless me!
is that twelve? and the posset quite cold!"

"One word more, dearest mother--one word. My father's book--is he
still going on with it?"

"Oh yes, indeed!" cried my mother, clasping her hands; "and he must
read it to you, as he does to me--_you_ will understand it so well. I
have always been so anxious that the world should know him, and be
proud of him as we are,--so--so anxious!--for perhaps, Sisty, if he
had married that great lady, he would have roused himself, been more
ambitious--and I could only make him happy, I could not make him
great!"

"So he has listened to you at last?"

"To me!" said my mother, shaking her head and smiling gently: "No,
rather to your Uncle Jack,--who, I am happy to say, has at length got
a proper hold over him."

"A proper hold, my dear mother! Pray beware of Uncle Jack, or we shall
be all swept into a coal-mine, or explode with a grand national
company for making gunpowder out of tea-leaves!"

"Wicked child!" said my mother laughing; and then, as she took up her
candle and lingered a moment while I wound my watch, she said
musingly,--"Yet Jack is very, very clever,--and if for your sake we
_could_ make a fortune, Sisty!"

"You frighten me out of my wits, mother! You are not in earnest?"

"And if _my_ brother could be the means of raising _him_ in the
world"--

"Your brother would be enough to sink all the ships in the Channel,
ma'am," said I, quite irreverently. I was shocked, before the words
were well out of my mouth; and throwing my arms round my mother's
neck, I kissed away the pain I had inflicted.

When I was left alone and in my own little crib, in which my slumber
had ever been so soft and easy,--I might as well have been lying upon
cut straw. I tossed to and fro--I could not sleep. I rose, threw on my
dressing-gown, lighted my candle, and sat down by the table near the
window. First, I thought of the unfinished outline of my father's
youth, so suddenly sketched before me. I filled up the missing
colours, and fancied the picture explained all that had often
perplexed my conjectures. I comprehended, I suppose by some secret
sympathy in my own nature, (for experience in mankind could have
taught me little enough,) how an ardent, serious, inquiring
mind--struggling into passion under the load of knowledge, had, with
that stimulus sadly and abruptly withdrawn, sunk into the quiet of
passive, aimless study. I comprehended how, in the indolence of a
happy but unimpassioned marriage, with a companion so gentle, so
provident and watchful, yet so little formed to rouse, and task, and
fire an intellect naturally calm and meditative,--years upon years had
crept away in the learned idleness of a solitary scholar. I
comprehended, too, how gradually and slowly, as my father entered that
stage of middle life, when all men are most prone to ambition--the
long silenced whispers were heard again; and the mind at last escaping
from the listless weight which a baffled and disappointed heart had
laid upon it, saw once more, fair as in youth, the only true mistress
of Genius--Fame!

Oh! how I sympathised, too, in my mother's gentle triumph. How now,
looking over the past, I could see, year after year, how she had
stolen more and more into my father's heart of hearts,--how what had
been kindness had grown into love,--how custom and habit, and the
countless links in the sweet charities of home, had supplied that
sympathy with the genial man, which had been missed at first by the
lonely scholar.

Next I thought of the gray, eagle-eyed old soldier, with his ruined
tower and barren acres,--and saw before me his proud, prejudiced,
chivalrous boyhood, gliding through the ruins or poring over his
mouldy pedigree. And this son, so disowned,--for what dark
offence?--an awe crept over me. And this girl,--his ewe-lamb--his
all,--was she fair? had she blue eyes like my mother, or a high Roman
nose and beetle-brows like Captain Roland? I mused, and mused, and
mused,--and the candle went out--and the moonlight grew broader and
stiller; till at last I was sailing in a balloon with Uncle Jack, and
had just tumbled into the Red Sea--when the well-known voice of nurse
Primmins restored me to life, with a "God bless my heart! the boy has
not been in bed all this 'varsal night!"


CHAPTER IV.

As soon as I was dressed, I hastened down stairs, for I longed to
revisit my old haunts--the little plot of garden I had sown with
anemones and cresses; the walk by the peach wall; the pond wherein I
had angled for roach and perch.

Entering the hall, I discovered my Uncle Roland in a great state of
embarrassment. The maid-servant was scrubbing the stones at the hall
door; she was naturally plump, and it is astonishing how much more
plump a female becomes when she is on all fours!--the maid servant
then was scrubbing the stones, her face turned from the Captain, and
the Captain evidently meditating a sortie, stood ruefully gazing at
the obstacle before him, and hemming loud. Alas, the maid servant was
deaf! I stopped, curious to see how Uncle Roland would extricate
himself from the dilemma.

Finding that his hems were in vain, my uncle made himself as small as
he could, and glided close to the left of the wall: at that instant,
the maid turned abruptly round towards the right, and completely
obstructed, by this manœuvre, the slight crevice through which hope
had dawned on her captive. My uncle stood stock-still,--and to say the
truth, he could not have stirred an inch without coming into personal
contact with the rounded charms which blockaded his movements. My
uncle took off his hat and scratched his forehead in great perplexity.
Presently, by a slight turn of the flanks, the opposing party, while
leaving him the opportunity of return, entirely precluded all chance
of egress in that quarter. My uncle retreated in haste, and now
presented himself to the right wing of the enemy. He had scarcely done
so, when, without looking behind her, the blockading party shoved
aside the pail that crippled the range of her operations, and so
placed it that it formed a formidable barricade, which my uncle's cork
leg had no chance of surmounting. Therewith Captain Roland lifted his
eyes appealingly to heaven, and I heard him distinctly ejaculate--

"Would to God she was a creature in breeches!"

But happily at this moment the maid-servant turned her head sharply
round, and seeing the Captain, rose in an instant, moved away the
pail, and dropped a frightened curtsey.

My Uncle Roland touched his hat. "I beg you a thousand pardons, my
good girl," said he; and, with a half bow, he slid into the open air.

"You have a soldier's politeness, uncle," said I, tucking my arm into
Captain Roland's.

"Tush, my boy," said he, smiling seriously, and colouring up to the
temples; "tush, say a gentleman's! To us, sir, every woman is a lady,
in right of her sex."

Now, I had often occasion later to recall that aphorism of my uncle's;
and it served to explain to me, how a man, so prejudiced on the score
of family pride, never seemed to consider it an offence in my father
to have married a woman whose pedigree was as brief as my dear
mother's. Had she been a Montmorenci, my uncle could not have been
more respectful and gallant than he was to that meek descendant of the
Tibbettses. He held, indeed, a doctrine which I never knew any other
man, vain of family, approve or support,--a doctrine deduced from the
following syllogisms: 1st, That birth was not valuable in itself, but
as a transmission of certain qualities which descent from a race of
warriors should perpetuate, viz., truth, courage, honour; 2dly, That,
whereas from the woman's side we derive our more intellectual
faculties, from a man we derive our moral; a clever and witty man
generally has a clever and witty mother; a brave and honourable man, a
brave and honourable father. Therefore, all the qualities which
attention to race should perpetuate are the manly qualities traceable
only from the _father's_ side. Again, he held, that while the
aristocracy have higher and more chivalrous notions, the people
generally have shrewder and livelier ideas. Therefore, to prevent
gentlemen from degenerating into complete dunderheads, an admixture
with the people, provided always it was on the female side, was not
only excusable but expedient; and, finally, my uncle held, that,
whereas a man is a rude, coarse, sensual animal, and requires all
manner of associations to dignify and refine him, woman is so
naturally susceptible of every thing beautiful in sentiment, and
generous in purpose, that she has only to be a true woman to be a fit
peer for a king. Odd and preposterous notions, no doubt, and capable
of much controversy, so far as the doctrine of race (if that be any
way tenable) is concerned; but, then, the plain fact is, that my Uncle
Roland was as eccentric and contradictory a gentleman--as--as--why, as
you and I are, if we once venture to think for ourselves.

"Well, sir, and what profession are you meant for?" asked my uncle.
"Not the army, I fear?"

"I have never thought of the subject, uncle."

"Thank heaven," said Captain Roland, "we have never yet had a lawyer
in the family! nor a stockbroker; nor a tradesm--ahem!"

I saw that my great ancestor the printer suddenly rose up in that hem!

"Why, uncle, there are honourable men in all callings."

"Certainly, sir. But in all callings honour is not the first principle
of action."

"But it may be, sir, if a man of honour pursue it! There are some
soldiers who have been great rascals!"

My uncle looked posed, and his black brows met thoughtfully.

"You are right, boy, I dare say," he answered somewhat mildly. "But do
you think that it ought to give me as much pleasure to look on my old
ruined tower, if I knew it had been bought by some herring-dealer,
like the first ancestor of the Poles, as I do now, when I know it was
given to a knight and gentleman, (who traced his descent from an
Anglo-Dane in the time of King Alfred,) for services done in Aquitaine
and Gascony, by Henry the Plantagenet? And do you mean to tell me,
that I should have been the same man, if I had not from a boy
associated that old tower with all ideas of what its owners were, and
should be, as knights and gentlemen? Sir, you would have made a
different being of me, if at the head of my pedigree you had clapped a
herring-dealer; though, I dare say, the herring-dealer might have been
as good a man as ever the Anglo-Dane was! God rest him!"

"And for the same reason, I suppose, sir, that you think my father
never would have been quite the same being he is, if he had not made
that notable discovery touching our descent from the great William
Caxton, the printer!"

My uncle bounded as if he had been shot; bounded so uncautiously,
considering the materials of which one leg was composed, that he would
have fallen into a strawberry-bed if I had not caught him by the arm.

"Why, you--you--you young jackanapes," cried the Captain, shaking me
off as soon as he had regained his equilibrium. "You do not mean to
inherit that infamous crotchet my brother has got into his head? You
do not mean to exchange Sir William de Caxton, who fought and fell at
Bosworth, for the mechanic who sold blackletter pamphlets in the
sanctuary at Westminster?"

"That depends on the evidence, uncle!"

"No, sir, like all noble truths, it depends upon _faith_. Men,
now-a-days," continued my uncle, with a look of ineffable disgust,
"actually require that truths should be proved."

"It is a sad conceit on their part, no doubt, my dear uncle. But till
a truth is proved, how can we know that it is a truth?"

I thought that in that very sagacious question I had effectually
caught my uncle. Not I. He slipped through it like an eel.

"Sir," said he, "whatever, in Truth, makes a man's heart warmer, and
his soul purer, is a belief, not a knowledge. Proof, sir, is a
handcuff--belief is a wing! Want proof as to an ancestor in the reign
of King Richard! Sir, you cannot even prove to the satisfaction of a
logician that you are the son of your own father. Sir, a religious man
does not want to reason about his religion--religion is not
mathematics. Religion is to be felt, not proved. There are a great
many things in the religion of a good man which are not in the
catechism. Proof!" continued my uncle, growing violent--"Proof, sir,
is a low, vulgar, levelling, rascally Jacobin--Belief is a loyal,
generous, chivalrous gentleman! No, no--prove what you please, you
shall never rob me of one belief, that has made me--"

"The finest hearted creature that ever talked nonsense," said my
father, who came up like Horace's deity just at the right moment.
"What is it you must believe in, brother, no matter what the proof
against you?"

My uncle was silent; and with great energy dug the point of his cane
into the gravel.

"He will not believe in our great ancestor the printer," said I,
maliciously.

My father's calm brow was overcast in a moment.

"Brother," said the Captain loftily, "you have a right to your own
ideas, but you should take care how they contaminate your child."

"Contaminate!" said my father; and for the first time I saw an angry
sparkle flash from his eyes, but he checked himself on the instant;
"change the word, my dear brother."

"No, sir, I will not change it! to bely the records of the family!"

"Records! A brass plate in a village church against all the books of
the College of Arms!"

"To renounce, as your ancestor, a knight who died in the field!"

"For the worst cause that man ever fought for!"

"On behalf of his king!"

"Who had murdered his nephews!"

"A knight! with our crest on his helmet!"

"And no brains underneath it, or he would never have had them knocked
out for so bloody a villain!"

"A rascally, drudging, money-making printer!"

"The wise and glorious introducer of the art that has enlightened a
world. Prefer, for an ancestor, to one whom scholar and sage never
name but in homage, a worthless, obscure, jolter-headed booby in mail,
whose only record to men is a brass plate in a church in a village!"

My uncle turned round perfectly livid. "Enough, sir! enough! I am
insulted sufficiently. I ought to have expected it. I wish you and
your son a very good day."

My father stood aghast. The Captain was hobbling off to the iron gate;
in another moment he would have been out of our precincts. I ran up
and hung upon him. "Uncle, it is all my fault. Between you and me, I
am quite of your side; pray, forgive us both. What could I have been
thinking of, to vex you so! And my father, whom your visit has made so
happy!"

My uncle paused, feeling for the latch of the gate. My father had now
come up, and caught his hand. "What are all the printers that ever
lived, and all the books they ever printed, to one wrong to thy fine
heart, brother Roland? Shame on me! A bookman's weak point, you know!
It is very true, I should never have taught the boy one thing to give
you pain, brother Roland;--though I don't remember," continued my
father, with a perplexed look, "that I ever did teach it him either!
Pisistratus, as you value my blessing, respect, as your ancestor, Sir
William de Caxton, the hero of Bosworth. Come, come, brother!"

"I am an old fool," said Uncle Roland, "whichever way we look at it.
Ah, you young dog! you are laughing at us both!"

"I have ordered breakfast on the lawn," said my mother, coming out
from the porch, with her cheerful smile on her lips; "and I think the
devil will be done to your liking to-day, brother Roland."

"We have had enough of the devil already, my love," said my father,
wiping his forehead.

So, while the birds sang overhead, or hopped familiarly across the
sward for the crumbs thrown forth to them, while the sun was still
cool in the east, and the leaves yet rustled with the sweet air of
morning, we all sate down to our table, with hearts as reconciled to
each other, and as peaceably disposed to thank God for the fair world
around us, as if the river had never run red through the field of
Bosworth, and that excellent Mr Caxton had never set all mankind by
the ears with an irritating invention, a thousand times more
provocative of our combative tendencies than the blast of the trumpet
and the gleam of the banner!


CHAPTER V.

"Brother," said Mr Caxton, "I will walk with you to the Roman
encampment."

The Captain felt that this proposal was meant as the greatest
peace-offering my father could think of; for, 1st, it was a very long
walk, and my father detested long walks; 2dly, it was the sacrifice of
a whole day's labour at the great work. And yet, with that quick
sensibility, which only the generous possess, Uncle Roland accepted at
once the proposal. If he had not done so, my father would have had a
heavier heart for a month to come. And how could the great work have
got on while the author was every now and then disturbed by a twinge
of remorse?

Half-an-hour after breakfast, the brothers set off arm in arm; and I
followed, a little apart, admiring how steadily the old soldier got
over the ground, in spite of the cork leg. It was pleasant enough to
listen to their conversation, and notice the contrasts between these
two eccentric stamps from Dame Nature's ever-variable mould,--Nature
who casts nothing in stereotype, for I do believe that not even two
fleas can be found identically the same.

My father was not a quick or minute observer of rural beauties. He had
so little of the organ of locality, that I suspect he could have lost
his way in his own garden. But the Captain was exquisitely alive to
external impressions--not a feature in the landscape escaped him. At
every fantastic gnarled pollard he halted to gaze; his eye followed
the lark soaring up from his feet; when a fresher air came from the
hill-top, his nostrils dilated, as if voluptuously to inhale its
delight. My father, with all his learning, and though his study had
been in the stores of all language, was very rarely eloquent. The
Captain had a glow and a passion in his words which, what with his
deep, tremulous voice, and animated gestures, gave something poetic to
half of what he uttered. In every sentence of Roland's, in every tone
of his voice, and every play of his face, there was some outbreak of
pride; but, unless you set him on his hobby of that great ancestor the
printer, my father had not as much pride as a homœopathist could
have put into a globule. He was not proud even of not being proud.
Chafe all his feathers, and still you could rouse but the dove. My
father was slow and mild, my uncle quick and fiery; my father
reasoned, my uncle imagined; my father was very seldom wrong, my uncle
never quite in the right; but, as my father once said of him, "Roland
beats about the bush till he sends out the very bird that we went to
search for. He is never in the wrong without suggesting to us what is
the right." All in my uncle was stern, rough, and angular; all in my
father was, sweet, polished, and rounded into a natural grace. My
uncle's character cast out a multiplicity of shadows like a Gothic
pile in a northern sky. My father stood serene in the light like a
Greek temple at mid-day in a southern clime. Their persons
corresponded with their natures. My uncle's high aquiline features,
bronzed hue, rapid fire of eye, and upper lip that always quivered,
were a notable contrast to my father's delicate profile, quiet,
abstracted gaze, and the steady sweetness that rested on his musing
smile. Roland's forehead was singularly high, and rose to a peak in
the summit where phrenologists place the organ of veneration, but it
was narrow, and deeply furrowed. Augustine's might be as high, but
then soft, silky hair waved carelessly over it--concealing its height,
but not its vast breadth--on which not a wrinkle was visible. And yet,
withal, there was a great family likeness between the two brothers.
When some softer sentiment subdued him, Roland caught the very look of
Augustine; when some high emotion animated my father, you might have
taken him for Roland. I have often thought since, in the greater
experience of mankind which life has afforded me, that if, in early
years, their destinies had been exchanged--if Roland had taken to
literature, and my father had been forced into action--that, strange
as it may seem, each would have had greater worldly success. For
Roland's passion and energy would have given immediate and forcible
effect to study; he might have been a historian or a poet. It is not
study alone that produces a writer; it is _intensity_. In the mind, as
in yonder chimney, to make the fire burn hot and quick, you must
narrow the draught. Whereas, had my father been forced into the
practical world, his calm depth of comprehension, his clearness of
reason, his general accuracy in such notions as he once entertained
and pondered over, joined to a temper that crosses and losses could
never ruffle, an utter freedom from vanity and self-love, from
prejudice and passion, might have made him a very wise and enlightened
counsellor in the great affairs of life--a lawyer, a diplomatist, a
statesman, for what I know, even a great general--if his tender
humanity had not stood in the way of his military mathematics.

But, as it was--with his slow pulse never stimulated by action, and
too little stirred by even scholarly ambition--my father's mind went
on widening and widening, till the circle was lost in the great ocean
of contemplation; and Roland's passionate energy, fretted into fever
by every let and hindrance, in the struggle with his kind--and
narrowed more and more as it was curbed in the channels of active
discipline and duty--missed its due career altogether; and, what might
have been the poet, contracted into the humourist.

Yet, who that had ever known ye, could have wished you other than ye
were--ye guileless, affectionate, honest, simple creatures? simple
both, in spite of all the learning of the one, all the prejudices,
whims, irritabilities, and crotchets of the other? There you are both
seated on the height of the old Roman camp, with a volume of the
Stratagems of Polyœnus, (or is it Frontinus?) open on my father's
lap; the sheep grazing in the furrows of the circumvallations; the
curious steer gazing at you where it halts in the space whence the
Roman cohorts glittered forth. And your boy biographer standing behind
you with folded arms; and, as the scholar read or the soldier pointed
his cane to each fancied post in the war, filling up the pastoral
landscape with the eagles of Agrippa and the scythed cars of Boadicea!


CHAPTER VI.

"It is never the same two hours together in this country," said my
Uncle Roland, as, after dinner, or rather after dessert, we joined my
mother in the drawing-room.

Indeed, a cold drizzling rain had come on within the last two hours;
and, though it was July, it was as chilly as if it had been October.
My mother whispered to me, and I went out: in ten minutes more, the
logs (for we lived in a wooded country) blazed merrily in the grate.
Why could not my mother have rung the bell, and ordered the servant to
light a fire? My dear reader, Captain Roland was poor, and he made a
capital virtue of economy!

The two brothers drew their chairs near to the hearth: my father at
the left, my uncle at the right; and I and my mother sat down to "Fox
and geese."

Coffee came in--one cup for the Captain--for the rest of the party
avoided that exciting beverage. And on that cup was a picture of--His
Grace the Duke of Wellington!

During our visit to the Roman camp, my mother had borrowed Mr
Squills's chaise, and driven over to our market town, for the express
purpose of greeting the Captain's eyes with the face of his old chief.

My uncle changed colour, rose, lifted my mother's hand to his lips,
and sate himself down again in silence.

"I have heard," said the Captain, after a pause, "that the Marquis of
Hastings, who is every inch a soldier and a gentleman--and that is
saying not a little, for he measures seventy-five inches from the
crown to the sole--when he received Louis XVIII. (then an exile) at
Donnington, fitted up his apartments exactly like those his majesty
had occupied at the Tuilleries--it was a kingly attention, (my Lord
Hastings, you know, is sprung from the Plantagenets)--a kingly
attention to a king. It cost some money and made some noise. A woman
can show the same royal delicacy of heart in this bit of porcelain,
and so quietly, that we men all think it a matter of course, brother
Austin."

"You are such a worshipper of women, Roland, that it is melancholy to
see you single. You must marry again!"

My uncle first smiled, then frowned, and lastly sighed somewhat
heavily.

"Your time will pass slowly in your old tower, poor brother,"
continued my father, "with only your little girl for a companion."

"And the past!" said my uncle; "the past, that mighty world--"

"Do you still read your old books of chivalry, Froissart and the
Chronicles, Palmerin of England and Amadis of Gaul?"

"Why," said my uncle, reddening, "I have tried to improve myself with
studies a little more substantial. And" (he added with a sly smile)
"there will be your great book for many a long winter to come."

"Um!" said my father, bashfully.

"Do you know," quoth my uncle, "that Dame Primmins is a very
intelligent woman; full of fancy, and a capital story-teller?"

"Is not she, uncle!" cried I, leaving my fox in a corner. "Oh, if you
could have heard her tell me the tale of King Arthur and the enchanted
lake, or the grim white women!"

"I have already heard her tell both," said my uncle.

"The deuce you have, brother! My dear, we must look to this. These
captains are dangerous gentlemen in an orderly household. Pray, where
could you have had the opportunity of such private communications with
Mrs Primmins?"

"Once," said my uncle, readily, "when I went into her room, while she
mended my stock; and once--" he stopped short, and looked down.

"Once when? out with it."

"When she was warming my bed," said my uncle, in a half whisper.

"Dear!" said my mother, innocently, "that's how the sheets came by
that bad hole in the middle. I thought it was the warming-pan."

"I am quite shocked!" faltered my uncle.

"You well may be," said my father. "A woman who has been heretofore
above all suspicion! But come," he said, seeing that my uncle looked
sad, and was no doubt casting up the probable price of twice six yards
of Holland; "but come, you were always a famous rhapsodist or
tale-teller yourself. Come, Roland, let us have some story of your
own; something your experience has left strong in your impressions."

"Let us first have the candles," said my mother.

The candles were brought, the curtain let down--we all drew our chairs
to the hearth. But, in the interval, my uncle had sunk into a gloomy
reverie; and, when we called upon him to begin, he seemed to shake off
with effort some recollections of pain.

"You ask me," he said, "to tell you some tale which my own experience
has left deeply marked in my impressions--I will tell you one apart
from my own life, but which has often haunted me. It is sad and
strange, ma'am."

"Ma'am, _brother_?" said my mother reproachfully, letting her small
hand drop upon that which, large and sunburnt, the Captain waved
towards her as he spoke.

"Austin, you have married an angel!" said my uncle; and he was, I
believe, the only brother-in-law who ever made so hazardous an
assertion.


CHAPTER VII.

MY UNCLE ROLAND'S TALE.

"It was in Spain, no matter where or how, that it was my fortune to
take prisoner a French officer of the same rank that I then held--a
lieutenant; and there was so much similarity in our sentiments, that
we became intimate friends--the most intimate friend I ever had,
sister, out of this dear circle. He was a rough soldier, whom the
world had not well treated; but he never railed at the world, and
maintained that he had had his deserts. Honour was his idol, and the
sense of honour paid him for the loss of all else.

"There was something similar, too, in our domestic relationships. He
had a son--a child, an infant--who was all in life to him, next to his
country and his duty. I, too, had then such a son of the same years."
(The Captain paused an instant: we exchanged glances, and a stifling
sensation of pain and suspense was felt by all his listeners.) "We
were accustomed, brother, to talk of these children--to picture their
future, to compare our hopes and dreams. We hoped and dreamed alike. A
short time sufficed to establish this confidence. My prisoner was
sent to headquarters, and soon afterwards exchanged.

"We met no more till last year. Being then at Paris, I inquired for my
old friend, and learned that he was living at R----, a few miles from
the capital. I went to visit him. I found his house empty and
deserted. That very day he had been led to prison, charged with a
terrible crime. I saw him in that prison, and from his own lips
learned his story. His son had been brought up, as he fondly believed,
in the habits and principles of honourable men; and, having finished
his education, came to reside with him at R----. The young man was
accustomed to go frequently to Paris. A young Frenchman loves
pleasure, sister, and pleasure is found at Paris. The father thought
it natural, and stripped his age of some comforts to supply luxuries
to the son's youth.

"Shortly after the young man's arrival, my friend perceived that he
was robbed. Moneys kept in his bureau were abstracted he knew not how,
nor could guess by whom. It must be done in the night. He concealed
himself, and watched. He saw a stealthy figure glide in, he saw a
false key applied to the lock--he started forward, seized the felon,
and recognised his son. What should the father have done? I do not ask
_you_, sister! I ask these men; son and father, I ask you."

"Expelled him the house," cried I.

"Done his duty, and reformed the unhappy wretch," said my father.
"_Nemo repentè turpissimus semper fuit_--No man is wholly bad all at
once."

"The father did as you would have, advised, brother. He kept the
youth; he remonstrated with him; he did more--he gave him the key of
the bureau. 'Take what I have to give,' said he: 'I would rather be a
beggar than know my son a thief.'"

"Right: and the youth repented, and became a good man?" exclaimed my
father.

Captain Roland shook his head. "The youth promised amendment, and
seemed penitent. He spoke of the temptations of Paris, the
gaining-table, and what not. He gave up his daily visit to the
capital. He seemed to apply to study." Shortly after this, the
neighbourhood was alarmed by reports of night robberies on the road.
Men, masked and armed, plundered travellers, and even broke into
houses.

The police were on the alert. One night an old brother officer knocked
at my friend's door. It was late: the veteran (he was a cripple, by
the way, like myself--strange coincidence!) was in bed. He came down
in haste, when his servant woke, and told him that his old friend,
wounded and bleeding, sought an asylum under his roof. The wound,
however, was slight. The guest had been attacked and robbed on the
road. The next morning the proper authority of the town was sent for.
The plundered man described his loss--some billets of five hundred
francs in a pocket-book, on which was embroidered his name and coronet
(he was a vicomte.) The guest stayed to dinner. Late in the forenoon
the son looked in. The guest started to see him: my friend noticed his
paleness. Shortly after, on pretence of faintness, the guest retired
to his room, and sent for his host. 'My friend,' said he, 'can you do
me a favour? go to the magistrate, and recall the evidence I have
given.'

"'Impossible,' said the host. 'What crotchet is this?'

"The guest shuddered. '_Peste!_' said he: 'I do not wish in my old age
to be hard on others. Who knows how the robber may have been tempted,
and who knows what relations he may have--honest men, whom his crime
would degrade for ever! Good heavens! if detected, it is the galleys,
the galleys!'

"'And what then?--the robber knew what he braved.'

"'But did his father know it?' cried the guest.

"A light broke upon my unhappy comrade in arms: he caught his friend
by the hand--'You turned pale at my son's sight--where did you ever
see him before? Speak!'

"'Last night, on the road to Paris. The mask slipped aside. Call back
my evidence!'

"'You are mistaken,' said my friend calmly. 'I saw my son in his bed,
and blessed him, before I went to my own.'

"'I will believe you,' said the guest; 'and never shall my hasty
suspicion pass my lips--but call back the evidence.'

"The guest returned to Paris before dusk. The father conversed with
his son on the subject of his studies; he followed him to his room,
waited till he was in bed, and was then about to retire, when the
youth said, 'Father, you have forgotten your blessing.'

"The father went back, laid his hand on the boy's head, and prayed. He
was credulous--fathers are so! He was persuaded his friend had been
deceived. He retired to rest, and fell asleep. He woke suddenly in the
middle of the night, and felt (I here quote his words)--'I felt,' said
he 'as if a voice had awakened me--a voice that said 'Rise and
search.' I rose at once, struck a light, and went to my son's room.
The door was locked. I knocked once, twice, thrice--no answer. I dared
not call aloud, lest I should rouse the servants. I went down the
stairs--I opened the back-door--I passed to the stables. My own horse
was there, _not_ my son's. My horse neighed: it was old, like
myself--my old charger at Mount St Jean! I stole back, I crept into
the shadow of the wall by my son's door, and extinguished my light. I
felt as if I were a thief myself.'"

"Brother," interrupted my mother under her breath; "speak in your own
words, not in this wretched father's. I know not why, but it would
shock me less."

The Captain nodded.

"Before daybreak, my friend heard the back-door open gently; a foot
ascended the stair--a key grated in the door of the room close at
hand--the father glided through the dark into that chamber, behind his
unseen son.

"He heard the clink of the tinder box; a light was struck; it spread
over the room, but he had time to place himself behind the window
curtain which was close at hand. The figure before him stood a moment
or so motionless, and seemed to listen, for it turned to the right, to
the left, its visage covered with the black hideous mask which is worn
in carnivals. Slowly the mask was removed; could that be his son's
face? the son of a brave man?--it was pale and ghastly with scoundrel
fears; the base drops stood on the brow; the eye was haggard and
bloodshot. He looked as a coward looks when death stands before him.

"The youth walked, or rather sculked to the secretaire, unlocked it,
opened a secret drawer; placed within it the contents of his pockets
and his frightful mask; the father approached softly, looked over his
shoulder, and saw in the drawer the pocket-book embroidered with his
friend's name. Meanwhile, the son took out his pistols, uncocked them
cautiously, and was about also to secrete them, when his father
arrested his arm. 'Robber, the use of these is yet to come.'

"The son's knees knocked together, an exclamation for mercy burst from
his lips; but when, recovering the mere shock of his dastard nerves,
he perceived it was not the gripe of some hireling of the law, but a
father's hand that had clutched his arm, the vile audacity which knows
fear only from a bodily cause, none from the awe of shame, returned to
him.

"'Tush, sir,' he said, 'waste not time in reproaches, for, I fear, the
gens-d'armes are on my track. It is well that you are here; you can
swear that I have spent the night at home. Unhand me, old man--I have
these witnesses still to secrete,' and he pointed to the garments wet
and dabbled with the mud of the roads. He had scarcely spoken when the
walls shook, there was the heavy clatter of hoofs on the ringing
pavement without.

"'They come!' cried the son. 'Off dotard! save your son from the
galleys.'

"'The galleys, the galleys!' said the father, staggering back; 'it is
true--he said 'the galleys.''

"There was a loud knocking at the gate. The gens-d'armes surrounded
the house. 'Open in the name of the law.' No answer came, no door was
opened. Some of the gens-d'armes rode to the rear of the house, in
which was placed the stable-yard. From the window of the son's room,
the father saw the sudden blaze of torches, the shadowy forms of the
men-hunters. He heard the clatter of arms as they swung themselves
from their horses. He heard a voice cry 'Yes, this is the robber's
gray horse--see, it still reeks with sweat!' And behind and in front,
at either door, again came the knocking, and again the shout, 'Open in
the name of the law.'

"Then lights began to gleam from the casements of the neighbouring
houses; then the space filled rapidly with curious wonderers startled
from their sleep; the world was astir, and the crowd came round to
know what crime or what shame had entered the old soldier's home.

"Suddenly, within, there was heard the report of a firearm; and a
minute or so afterwards the front door was opened, and the soldier
appeared.

"'Enter,' he said, to the gens-d'armes: 'what would you?'

"'We seek a robber who is within your walls.'

"'I know it, mount and find him: I will lead the way.'

"He ascended the stairs, he threw open his son's room; the officers of
justice poured in, and on the floor lay the robber's corpse.

"They looked at each other in amazement. 'Take what is left you,' said
the father. 'Take the dead man rescued from the galleys, take the
living man on whose hands rests the dead man's blood!'

"I was present at my friend's trial. The facts had become known
beforehand. He stood there with his gray hair, and his mutilated
limbs, and the deep scar on his visage, and the cross of the legion of
honour on his breast; and when he had told his tale, he ended with
these words--'I have saved the son whom I reared for France, from a
doom that spared the life to brand it with disgrace. Is this a crime?
I give you my life in exchange for my son's disgrace. Does, my country
need a victim? I have lived for my country's glory, and I can die
contented to satisfy its laws; sure that if you blame me, you will not
despise; sure that the hands that give me to the headsman will scatter
flowers over my grave. Thus I confess all. I, a soldier, look round
amongst a nation of soldiers; and in the name of the star which
glitters on my breast, I dare the fathers of France to condemn me!'

"They acquitted the soldier, at least they gave a verdict answering to
what in our courts is called 'justifiable homicide.' A shout rose in
the court, which no ceremonial voice could still; the crowd would have
borne him in triumph to his house, but his look repelled such
vanities. To his house he returned indeed, and the day afterwards they
found him dead, beside the cradle in which his first prayer had been
breathed over his sinless child. Now, father and son, I ask you, do
you condemn that man?"


CHAPTER VIII.

My father took three strides up and down the room, and then, halting
on his hearth, and facing his brother, he thus spoke--"I condemn his
deed, Roland! At best he was but a haughty egotist. I understand why
Brutus should slay his sons. By that sacrifice he saved his country!
What did this poor dupe of an exaggeration save? nothing but his own
name. He could not lift the crime from his son's soul, nor the
dishonour from his son's memory. He could but gratify his own vain
pride, and, insensibly to himself, his act was whispered to him by the
fiend that ever whispers to the heart of man, 'Dread men's opinions
more than God's law!' Oh, my dear brother, what minds like yours
should guard against the most is not the meanness of evil--it is the
evil that takes false nobility, by garbing itself in the royal
magnificence of good." My uncle walked to the window, opened it,
looked out a moment, as if to draw in fresh air, closed it gently, and
came back again to his seat; but during the short time the window had
been left open, a moth flew in.

"Tales like these," renewed my father, pityingly--"whether told by
some great tragedian or in thy simple style, my brother,--tales like
these have their uses: they penetrate the heart to make it wiser; but
all wisdom is meek, my Roland. They invite us to put the question to
ourselves that thou hast asked--'Can we condemn this man?' and reason
answers, as I have answered--'We pity the man, we condemn the deed.'
We--take care, my love! that moth will be in the candle.
We--_whish!--whish!_"-- and my father stopped to drive away the moth.
My uncle turned, and taking his handkerchief from the lower part of
his face, on which he had wished to conceal the workings, he flapped
away the moth from the flame. My mother moved the candles from the
moth. I tried to catch the moth in my father's straw-hat. The deuce
was in the moth, it baffled us all; now circling against the ceiling,
now swooping down at the fatal lights. As if by a simultaneous
impulse, my father approached one candle, my uncle approached the
other; and just as the moth was wheeling round and round, irresolute
which to choose for its funeral pyre, both were put out. The fire had
burned down low in the grate, and in the sudden dimness my father's
soft sweet voice came forth as if from an invisible being:--"We leave
ourselves in the dark to save a moth from the flame, brother! shall we
do less for our fellow-men? Extinguish, oh! humanely extinguish the
light of our reason, when the darkness more favours our mercy." Before
the lights were relit, my uncle had left the room. His brother
followed him; my mother and I drew near to each other and talked in
whispers.



GUESSES AT TRUTH.[12]


  [12] _Guesses at Truth._ By Two Brothers. Third Edition. First series.

We remember perusing this book soon after its first appearance. The
shortness of the several sections into which it is divided, and the
frequent change of topics, keeping the mind in a constant state of
expectation, prevented us, we suppose, from feeling at that time a
sense of weariness. In the perpetual anticipation of finding something
new in the next paragraph or section, we forgot the disappointment
which the last had so often occasioned. It is only thus we can explain
the difference of feeling with which we have re-perused this third and
late edition of the same work. The brevity of chapters, and
interchange of topics, could not practise their kindly deception on us
twice. Like those intertwisted walks in a confined shrubbery, which
are designed to cheat the pedestrian into the idea of vast extent of
space, the imposition succeeds but once. At the second perambulation
we discover within what narrow boundaries we have been led up and
down, and made our profitless circuit. We are compelled to say that an
exceeding weariness came over us on the second perusal of these
_Guesses at Truth_. Notwithstanding the modesty of the title, there
are few books which wear so perpetually the air of superiority, of
profound and subtle thought, with so very little to justify the
pretension. There is a constant smile of self-complacency--but it
plays over a very barren landscape. The soil is sterile on which this
sunshine is resting. It is not uninstructive to notice how far an
assumption of superiority, coupled with a form of composition
indulgent to the reader's attention, and stimulating to his curiosity,
may succeed in giving popularity and very respectable reputation to a
work which, when examined closely, proves to be made up of materials
of the slightest possible value.

We are the more disposed to look a little into these _Guesses at
Truth_, because they afford a fair specimen of the manner and
lucubrations of a small class, or coterie, whom we have had amongst
us, and who may be best described as the _Coleridgean_ school of
philosophers. It is a class distinguished by the thorough contempt it
manifests for all whom the world has been accustomed to consider as
clear and painstaking thinkers--by an overweening, quiet arrogance--by
a general indolence of mind interrupted by fitful efforts of thought,
and much laborious trifling. They are not genuine conscientious
thinkers after any order of philosophy; they are as little followers
of Kant as they are of Locke; but they take advantage of the name and
reputation of the one to speak with something approximating to disdain
of the superficiality of the other. That they alone are right--would
be fair enough. To one who strenuously labours to bring out and
establish his principles, we readily permit a great confidence in his
own opinion; if he did not think others wrong and himself alone right,
why should he be labouring at our conviction? But these gentlemen do
_not_ labour; they have earned nothing with the sweat of their brow;
they hover over all things with a consummate self-complacency; they
investigate nothing; they condescend to understand no one. Men of
indolent ability, they would be supposed calmly to overlook the whole
field of philosophic controversy, and by dint of some learning, by the
perpetual proclamation of the shallowness of their contemporaries, and
a mysterious intimation of profundities of thought of their own, which
they are sufficiently cautious not to attempt too fully to
reveal,--they certainly contrive to make a marvellous impression upon
the good-natured reader.

That we are right in pronouncing Coleridge as the master who has
formed this coterie of writers, many passages in the present work
would testify; but Archdeacon Hare, the author of the greater portion
of it, has very lately, in the plenitude of his years, proclaimed his
great veneration, and a sort of allegiance, towards Coleridge the
philosopher. To Coleridge the poet be all honour paid--we join in
whatever applause may, within reasonable compass, be bestowed upon
him; but Coleridge the sage, the metaphysician, the divine, is a very
different person; and with all his undoubted genius, the very last
man, we humbly conceive, to give a wise and steady direction to the
thinking faculty of others. It is thus, however, that Archdeacon Hare,
in his late Memoir of John Sterling, speaks of this wilful, fitful,
erratic genius:--"At that time it was beginning to be acknowledged by
more than a few that Coleridge is the _true sovereign of modern
English thought_. The _Aids to Reflection_ had recently been
published, and were doing the work for which they were so admirably
fitted; that book to which many, as has been said by one of Sterling's
chief friends, 'owe even their own selves.' Few felt the obligation
more deeply than Sterling. 'To Coleridge (he wrote to me in 1836) I
owe _education_. He taught me to believe that an empirical philosophy
is none; that faith is the highest reason; that all criticism, whether
of literature, laws, or manners, is blind, without the power of
discerning the organic unity of the object, &c., &c.'" He taught him
to believe he had a meaning where he had none, to slight authors as
shallow because they were lucid and intelligible, to substitute
occasional efforts, and a dogmatism arising out of generous emotions,
for the steady discipline of philosophy, and the calm inquiry after
truth. The whole intellectual career of Sterling proves how
unfortunate he was in having fallen under the dominion of this "true
sovereign of modern English thought." With the finest moral temper in
the world, we find him never, for two years together, with the same
set of opinions, and his set of opinions at each time were such as a
_Coleridgean_ only could hold together in harmony.

Let any one not overawed by sounding reputations, examine the _Aids to
Reflection_,--this work which gives a claim to the sovereignty of
modern English thought,--the characteristic that will chiefly strike
him is the predominance of _hard writing_, which at first wears the
appearance, and is found to be the melancholy substitute, of _hard
thinking_. On closer examination, he will be surprised to find how
much space is wasted in verbal quibbles, which the author in vain
endeavours to raise into importance; and how often the quotations from
Leighton, dignified with the name of aphorisms, are such as any page
of any sermon would have supplied him with. Amidst this jumble of
crude metaphysics and distorted theology, there is from time to time
an admirable observation admirably expressed; and there is also from
time to time an absurdity so flagrant, that it requires all the
author's skill of composition to redeem it from the charge of utter
nonsense.

At the time when Coleridge wrote, what are known especially as German
metaphysics had hardly reached our shores. He had studied them, or,
like every active mind, had rather studied _on_ them. They had given
an impulse and direction to his own trains of thought; and if
Coleridge had been capable of a continuous application, and a complete
execution of any one work, he might have introduced a body of
metaphysics into this country which, though due in its origin to
German thinkers, would still have been justly entitled his own. But
for this continuous labour he was not disposed: we have, therefore, a
mere dim broken outline of a system of philosophy (intelligible only
to those who have studied that system in other works) applied, in a
very strange manner, to the dogmatic tenets of theology. This forms
the basis of the _Aids to Reflection_; and very much of aid or
assistance it must bring! We venture to say, that no one unacquainted,
from any other source, with the speculations of Kant or
Schelling,--let him give what attention, or bring what brains he may
to his task,--can understand the refracted and partial representation
of their tenets which Coleridge occasionally gives. Take, for
instance, a long note, which every reader of the book must remember,
upon _Thesis_ and _Antithesis_, and _Punctum Indifferens_. With all
the assistance of scholastic and geometrical terms, and that
illustration abruptly enough introduced of "sulphuretted hydrogen,"
the reader, we are persuaded, if he comes fresh to the subject, must
be utterly at a loss for a meaning. We have diagram and tabular view,
and algebraic signs, and chemical illustration, and all the
paraphernalia of a most desperate development of thought, and not one
sentence of lucid explanation.

On the great subject of the existence of God, Coleridge appears to us
to assume a most unsatisfactory and a somewhat perilous position. To
oppose the school of Locke and Paley--far too simple for his taste--he
gives a validity to the ambitious subtleties which made Shelley an
atheist. The great argument from design, so convincing to us all, he
slights,--it is too vulgar and commonplace for his purpose,--and finds
his grounds of belief in the _practical reason_ of Kant, (an
afterthought of the philosopher of Kœnigsberg, and evidently at
issue with the main tenets of his system,) or in certain ontological
dogmas, which of all things are most open to dispute.

     "I hold, then, it is true," he says, "that all the
     (so-called) demonstrations of a God either prove too little,
     as that from the order or apparent purpose in nature; or too
     much, namely, that the world is itself God; or they
     clandestinely involve the conclusion in the premises,
     passing off the mere analysis or explication of an assertion
     for the proof of it--a species of logical legerdemain not
     unlike that of the jugglers at a fair, who, putting into
     their mouths what seems to be a walnut, draw out a score
     yards of ribbon, as in the postulate of a First Cause. And,
     lastly, in all these demonstrations, the demonstrators
     presuppose the idea or conception of a God without being
     able to authenticate it; that is, to give an account whence
     they obtained it. _For it is clear that the proof first
     mentioned, and the most natural and convincing of all (the
     cosmological, I mean, or that from the order of nature),
     presupposes the ontological; that is, the proof of a God
     from the necessity and necessary objectivity of the Idea._
     If the latter can assure us of a God as an existing reality.
     the former will go far to prove his power, wisdom, and
     benevolence. All this I hold. But I also hold, that the
     truth the hardest to demonstrate, is the one which, of all
     others, least needs to be demonstrated; that though there
     may be no conclusive demonstrations of a good, wise, living,
     and personal God, there are so many convincing reasons for
     it within and without--a grain of sand sufficing, and a
     whole universe at hand to echo the decision!--that for every
     mind not devoid of all reason, and desperately
     conscience-proof, the truth which it is the least possible
     to prove, it is little else than impossible not to
     believe,--only indeed, just so much short of impossible as
     to leave some room for the will, and the moral election, and
     thereby to keep it a truth of religion, and the possible
     subject of a commandment."--(P. 132.)

We are not very partial to this notion of a truth of the reason being
a subject for the exercise of moral obedience, and least of all in the
case of a truth, the recognition of which must _precede_ any
intelligible exercise of the religious conscience. In common with the
vast majority of mankind, we hold that the cosmological argument is
complete in itself. Ontology, as a branch of metaphysics placed in
opposition to psychology, is, by the greater number of reflecting men,
regarded as a mere shadow, the region of utter and hopeless obscurity.
We know nothing in itself,--only its phenomena; _being_ escapes us,
except as that to which the phenomena belong. If we prove, or rather
if we _see_, order and wisdom in the material world, we have all the
demonstration of a being, intelligent and wise, that our minds are
capable of receiving. We have the same proof for the being of God, as
we have for the existence of matter or of mind; we cannot have more,
and we have not a jot less.

By way of compensation, our philosopher, when he is once in possession
of the Idea of God, evolves from it, by unassisted reason, the most
profound mysteries of revealed religion. Mark here the elated step of
the triumphant logician:--

     "I form a certain notion in my mind, and say, 'This is what
     I understand by the term God.' From books and conversation,
     I find that the learned generally connect the same notion
     with the same word. _I then apply the rules laid down by the
     masters of logic for the involution and evolution of terms_
     [the conjurer that he is!] and prove, to as many as agree
     with me in my premises, that the notion God involves the
     notion Trinity."--(P. 126.)

The further description of this successful process of the involution
and evolution of terms is postponed to a future work. It was a strange
and somewhat affected position that Coleridge assumed between the
philosophical and the religious world. He would belong to both, and
yet would be unhappy if you did not regard him as standing apart and
alone. He was the _Punctum Indifferens_, which might be both, or
neither. The philosopher among divines, the divine among philosophers,
he was delighted to appear to each class in a masquerade drawn from
the wardrobe of the other. Even on the most ordinary occasions, he
would sometimes eke out, or obscure, his explanations by a little of
the dialect of the chapel, or the meeting-house. Near the commencement
of the book is the following note:--

     "DISTINCTION BETWEEN THOUGHT AND ATTENTION.--By THOUGHT is
     here meant the voluntary reproduction in our own minds of
     those states of consciousness, or (_to use a phrase more
     familiar to the religious reader_) _of those inward
     experiences_, to which, as to his best and most authentic
     documents, the teacher of moral and religious truth refers
     us. In ATTENTION, we keep the mind _passive_; in THOUGHT, we
     rouse it into activity. In the former, we submit to an
     impression,--we keep the mind steady in order to receive the
     stamp. In the latter, we seek to imitate the artist, while
     we ourselves make a copy or duplicate of his work. _We may
     learn arithmetic or the elements of geometry by continued
     attention alone_; but self-knowledge, or an insight into the
     laws and constitution of the human mind, and, the grounds of
     religion and true morality, in addition to the effort of
     attention, requires the energy of thought."

Now this reference to the word _experience_, as one which would be
more familiar to the religious reader, is pure affectation; because he
must have known that religious people never use that term in the wide
or general sense of states of consciousness, but restrict its meaning
to a very peculiar class of feelings. As to the distinction which is
here laid down, we thought we agreed with Coleridge till we came to
the illustration that was to make all clear. He who has to learn
arithmetic, or geometry must assuredly exercise thought as well as
attention. It is by that "voluntary reproduction" of the ideas
presented to him, by which Coleridge defines thought, that he can
alone fully understand and make the subject his own.

At other times this erratic genius rejoices in astonishing all
philosophically-minded individuals by some extravagance got from the
remotest regions of the religious world. What but some morbid caprice
could have induced him to pen such a paragraph as this:--

     "It might be the means of preventing many unhappy marriages,
     if the youth of both sexes had it early impressed on their
     minds that marriage contracted between Christians is a true
     and perfect Symbol or Mystery; that is, the actualising
     Faith being supposed to exist in the receivers, it is an
     outward sign co-essential with that which it signifies, or a
     living part of that, the whole of which it represents."

Coleridge never did seriously think--of that we may be sure--that the
repetition of this _abracadabra_ could be the means "of preventing
many unhappy marriages."

The author of the _Aids to Reflection_ had, however, this undoubted
merit--that he _was_ a thinker--that, in his own fitful method, he
gave himself from time to time to strenuous meditation. He lacked,
indeed, the calm, and serene, and patient thought which characterises
the successful inquirer into philosophic truth. He could plunge boldly
in, and dive deeply down; but the tranquillity of mind which the diver
should possess in those depths where the light is so faint--this he
failed in; so that, from his perilous enterprises, he often rose with
tangled weeds instead of treasure, spasmodically clasped in both his
hands, and held aloft with a shout of triumph. This energy of mind
makes itself felt through all the cumbrous obscurity of his
exposition, and is the real secret of the influence which he exerted
over many, to whom he imparted a noble but irregular impulse, and a
sense of proud achievement where nothing complete had been
accomplished. His disciples are therefore distinguished, as we have
remarked, by undisciplined efforts of thought, and a fancied
superiority to the age in which they live,--a notion that they stand
upon an intellectual eminence they have neither attained nor fairly
toiled for.

But we are in danger of forgetting that it is not the _Aids to
Reflection_, but the _Guesses at Truth_, we are at present concerned
with. Guesses at _Truth_! You think, of course, that the modest
inquirer is about to give us the conclusions to which he has arrived
upon the great questions of philosophy,--to collect together the
results of his investigations into first principles and the eternal
problems of human life. But these results, whatever they may be, are
rather assumed than expressed throughout the whole book. As you read
on, you find the page still occupied with some trifling discussion
about words--strictures upon the contemporary tastes--odd bits of
criticism and politics--quibble and conundrum. Over all, indeed, is
seen hanging the beetle-brow of the pre-eminent sage, and you are to
presume that the meditative man is unbending, and merely at his sport.
But he is unbent always: the bow is never strung, or nothing flies
from it; the great thinker never sets himself earnestly to work. At
last you conclude that there is _no work in him_--that he never did,
and never will work; and that it is useless to wait any longer for
this nodding image, with its eternal smile of self-complacency, to
turn into an oracle of wisdom.

If, indeed, the writer or writers were verily sportive,--if there were
wit or amusement in this unbent condition of the bow, most readers
might think there was very little reason to complain: there would be
mirth, if not wisdom, to be had. But there is no such compensation.
With few exceptions, nothing can be more heavy or cumbrous than their
efforts at pleasantry. The illustrations, intended to be humorous and
sprightly, have no gaiety in them; and the satirical observations have
rarely any other characteristic of satire than their evident
injustice.

The manner in which these writers appear to have proceeded, in the
excogitation of their detached remarks, is after this fashion,--on all
occasions, trivial or important, to carp at any thing that assumes the
shape of a commonplace truth, any thing that is generally said or
admitted. By this means some merit of originality may surely be
obtained, and a lofty character for independence secured. Open the
book at the first page:--

     "The heart has often been compared to the needle for its
     constancy: has it ever been so for its variations?"

Why should it? Why should the magnetic needle, which is a popular
illustration for constancy of purpose, be chosen as an emblem also for
our mutability? Are there not the winds, and the clouds, and the
feather blown in the air, and a thousand other similes for this phase
of our nature? But "true as the needle to the pole" had been said so
long that it was time to see whether the saying could not be reversed.
We may as well quote the rest of the passage.

     "Yet were any man to keep minutes of his feelings from youth
     to age, what a table of variations would they present! how
     numerous! how diverse! how strange! This is just what we
     find in the writings of Horace. If we consider his
     occasional effusions--and such they almost all are--as
     merely expressing the piety or the passion, the seriousness
     or the levity of the moment, we shall have no difficulty in
     accounting for those discrepancies in their features which
     have so much puzzled professional commentators. Their very
     contradictions prove their truth. Or, could the face even of
     Ninon de l'Enclos at seventy be just what it was at
     seventeen? Nay, was Cleopatra before Augustus the same as
     Cleopatra with Antony? or Cleopatra with Antony the same as
     with the great Julius?"

A section half a page in length, and on so trite a subject, ought at
least to have boasted a greater distinctness of thought. One would
hardly have anticipated that the shifting humours of Horace and the
decline of Ninon's beauty (of whom it seems to be gravely asked,
whether she could be just the same at seventy as at seventeen,) would
be put in the same category. The form of composition adopted by the
author has not prevented a frequent confusion of ideas, though it has
rendered such a fault less excusable. His mode of progression is "like
a peacock's walk, a stride and a stand," yet he often fails to take
his single step with firmness and decision.

In a work of this kind, we know not how better to proceed than to
examine some of the sections in the order they occur; and, as we have
begun at the first page, we shall turn over the leaves of the book,
and, without too much anxiety of selection, extract for our comment
such as appear best to characterise the authors. Nor shall we attempt
to make any distinction between the writers. The larger portion, and
to which no signature is affixed, is the composition of Archdeacon
Hare; those signed U, are by his brother; and there are occasionally
other signatures, as A. and L., and A. and O. L., but what names these
stand for we are not informed,--nor are we anxious to know. It is as a
specimen of a certain class or coterie of thinkers we have been
induced to notice the work, and we would at all times rather assail
the thing said than the person who says it. It is remarkable that
there is as much harmony between the several parts of the work as if
the whole had been written by the same individual; and where
inconsistencies appear, they will generally be found in the portions
which bear the same signature, and which are the composition therefore
of the same writer.

     "Philosophy, like every thing else, in a Christian nation,
     should be Christian. We throw away the better half of our
     means, when we neglect to avail ourselves of the advantages
     which starting in the right road gives us. It is idle to
     urge that unless we do this, anti-Christians will deride us.
     Curs bark at gentlemen on horseback; but who, except a
     hypochondriac, ever gave up riding on that account?"

To say that philosophy should be Christian, is very much like saying
that truth should be Christian. The philosophy of a genuine Christian
will be Christian, we presume, unless he be capable of believing
contradictory propositions. Or does the writer mean that that alone is
Christian philosophy of which Coleridge has given us a slight
specimen, and where the attempt is made to deduce from human reason
alone the revealed mysteries of Christianity? What follows is as
carelessly penned as it is pointless and vapid. "It is idle to urge
that unless we _do this_ anti-Christians will deride us." It would be
impossible from the mere rules of grammar to know what it is that
anti-Christians would deride us for doing,--whether for going right or
wrong. But the illustration, by no means very elegant, which follows,
comes to our assistance. As the anti-Christians, are the curs, and the
gentleman on horseback the Christian philosopher, and as riding on
horseback is certainly a very commendable thing, we discover that it
is for going right that the anti-Christians would deride us.

The next is an instance how an observation, good in itself, may be run
to death.

     "'I am convinced that jokes are often accidental. A man in
     the course of conversation throws out a remark at random,
     and is as much surprised as any of the company, on hearing
     it, to find it witty.'

     "For the substance of this observation I am indebted to one
     of the pleasantest men I ever knew, who was doubtless giving
     the results of his own experience. _He might have carried
     his remark some steps further with ease and profit._ It
     would have done our pride no harm to be reminded, how few of
     our best and wisest, and even of our newest thoughts, do
     really and wholly originate in ourselves,--how few of them
     are voluntary, or at least intentional. Take away all that
     has been suggested or improved by the hints and remarks of
     others,--all that has fallen from us accidentally, all that
     has been struck out by collision, all that has been prompted
     by a sudden impulse, or has occurred to us when least
     looking for it--and the remainder, which alone can be
     claimed as the fruit of our thought and study, will in every
     man form a small portion of his store, and in most men will
     be little worth preserving."

This is carrying his friend's observation "a little further with ease
and profit!" It is carrying it to where it is utterly lost in mere
absurdity. "Take away all that has been suggested," &c.--(take away
all that we have ever learned)--"take away all that has been
prompted," &c.--(take away all excitement to thinking, as well as all
materials of thought)--and we should be glad to know what "remainder"
can be left at all. The paragraph continues thus--

     "We can no more make thoughts than seeds. How absurd, then,
     for a man to call himself a poet or _maker_! The ablest
     writer is a gardener first, and then a cook," (two very
     industrious professions at all events.) "His tasks are,
     carefully to select and cultivate his strongest and most
     nutritive thoughts; and, when they are ripe, to dress them
     wholesomely, and so that they may have a relish."

A very succulent image. The next sentence which our eye falls upon is
pretty, and we willingly extract it:--

     "Leaves are light, and useless, and idle, and wavering, and
     changeable; they even dance: yet God has made them part of
     the oak. In so doing, he has given us a lesson not to deny
     the stout-heartedness within, because we see the
     lightsomeness without."

The following truism we should have hardly thought deserving of a
place amidst _Guesses_ at Truth; but, being admitted, the section
devoted to it might surely have been preserved from obscurity to the
close:--

     "Time is no agent, as some people appear to think, that it
     should accomplish any thing of itself. Looking at a heap of
     stones for a thousand years will do no more toward building
     a house of them, than looking at them for a moment. For
     time, when applied to works of any kind, being only a
     succession of relevant acts, each furthering the work, it is
     clear that even an infinite succession of irrelevant and
     therefore inefficient acts would no more achieve or forward
     the completion, than an infinite number of jumps on the same
     spot would advance a man toward his journey's end. There is
     a _motion_, without progress in time as well as in space;
     where a thing often _remains stationary_, which appears to
     us to recede, while we are leaving it behind."

Plain sailing enough till we come to the last sentence. We dare not
say that "we do not understand this"--these writers tell us so often
that the critic fails in understanding simply from his own want of
apprehension--but we may venture to hint that whatever meaning it
contains might have been more clearly expressed. The hapless critic,
by the way, is severely dealt with by this school of philosophers. He
is told that "Coleridge's golden rule--_Until you understand an
author's ignorance, presume yourself ignorant of his understanding_--
should be borne in mind by all writers who feel an itching in their
forefinger and thumb to be carping at their wisers and betters." (P.
161) Our _wisers_ should have informed the critic how he is to fathom
an author's ignorance except by examining the accuracy and
intelligibility of the positive statements he makes. "A Reviewer's
business," we are assured in another part, "is to have positive
opinions upon all subjects, without need of steadfast principles or
thoroughgoing knowledge upon any: and he belongs to the hornet class,
unproductive of any thing useful or sweet, but ever ready to sally
forth and sting." Hard measure this. But we must not be judges in our
own cause.

Meanwhile nothing pleases our amiable writers so much as to gird at
the times in which they live, and find error in every general belief.

     "Another form of the same materialism, which cannot
     comprehend or conceive any thing, except as the product of
     some external cause, is the spirit so general in these
     times, which attaches an inordinate importance to mechanical
     inventions, and accounts them the great agents in the
     history of mankind. It is a common opinion with these
     exoteric philosophers that the invention of printing was the
     chief cause of the Reformation--that the invention of the
     compass brought about the discovery of America--and that the
     vast changes in the military and political state of Europe
     since the middle ages have been wrought by the invention of
     gunpowder. It would be almost as rational to say that the
     cock's crowing, makes the sun rise. U." (P. 85.)

Now it is _not_ the common opinion that the invention of printing was
the _chief_ cause of the Reformation, but that it afforded to the
reformers a great and very opportune assistance. It is not the common
opinion that the invention of the compass brought about of itself the
discovery of America, but it is a very general belief that Columbus
would have hardly sailed due west over the broad ocean without a
compass. It is not the common opinion that the vast changes, meaning
thereby all the changes that have taken place in the military and
political affairs of Europe since the middle ages, have been the
result of the invention of gunpowder; but it is a conviction generally
entertained that the use of fire-arms has had something more to do
with certain changes in our military and political condition than the
crowing of the cock with the rising of the sun.

Having in this candid manner exposed the popular errors upon this
subject, he substitutes in their stead this very luminous proposition,
that "the utility of an invention depends upon our making use of it!"

     "These very inventions had existed, the greatest of them for
     many centuries, in China, without producing any result. For
     why? Because the utility of an invention depends on our
     making use of it. There is no power, none at least for good
     [why this qualification?] in any instrument or weapon,
     except so far as there is power in him who wields it: nor
     does the sword guide or move the hand, but the hand the
     sword. Nay," he adds in a tone of triumphant discovery, "it
     is the hand that fashions the sword."

     "Or," continues the writer, starting afresh, "we may look at
     the matter in another light. We may conceive that, whenever
     any of the great changes ordained by God's providence in the
     destinies of mankind are about to take place, the means
     requisite for the effecting of those changes are likewise
     prepared by the same Providence."

What is this but the general opinion of mankind? which, however, as
entertained in the minds of others, is a vulgar materialism. What are
all the world saying, but simply this, that the inventions of the
printing press, of the compass, and of gunpowder, are great means
ordained by God's providence for the advancement of human affairs?

The beauties of inanimate nature have their turn to be descanted on;
and here our selecter spirits have a double task to perform: first, to
throw contempt on those who do not feel them; and, secondly, on those
who do. For, explain it how you will, they and their few friends are
evidently the only people who have an accurate perception of beauty as
well as of truth.

     "It is an uncharitable error to ascribe the delight with
     which unpoetical persons often speak of a mountain-tour, to
     affectation. The delight is as real as mutton and beef, with
     which it has a closer connexion than the travellers
     themselves suspect; arising, in great measure, from the good
     effects of mountain air, regular exercise, and wholesome
     diet, upon the spirits. This is sensual, indeed, though not
     improperly so; but it is no concession to the materialist. I
     do not deny that my neighbour has a soul, by referring a
     particular pleasure in him to the body." (P. 35.)

So much for the unpoetic traveller with staff and knapsack, glorying,
it may be, in his feats of pedestrianism. He is permitted, in spite of
his grossness, to have a soul within his body. But the more poetic
fraternity are not therefore to pass scatheless.

     "The noisiest streams are the shallowest. It is an old
     saying, but never out of season, least of all in an age the
     fit symbol of which would not be, like the Ephesian
     personification of nature, _multimamma_--for it neither
     brings forth nor nourishes--but _multilingua_. Your
     _amateur_ will talk by the ell, or, if you wish it, by the
     mile, about the inexpressible charms of nature; but I never
     heard that his love had caused him the slightest uneasiness.

     "It is only," continues the writer, in a style which becomes
     suddenly overclouded with a strange metaphysical
     obscurity,--"it is only by the perception of some contrast
     that we become conscious of our feelings. _The feelings,
     however, may exist for centuries, without the consciousness;
     and still, when they are mighty, they will overpower
     consciousness_; when they are deep, it will be unable to
     fathom them. Love has been called 'loquacious as a vernal
     bird,' and with truth; but his loquacity comes on him mostly
     in the absence of his beloved. Here too the same
     illustration holds: the deep stream is not heard until some
     obstacle opposes it. But can anybody, when floating down the
     Rhine, believe that the builders and dwellers in those
     castles, with which every rock is crested, were blind to all
     the beauties around them? Is it quite impossible that they
     should have felt almost as much as the sentimental tourist,
     who returns to his parlour in some metropolis, and puffs out
     the fumes of his admiration through his quill? Has the moon
     no existence independent of the halo about her? [_sic_] or
     does the halo even flow from her? Is it not produced by the
     dimness and density of the atmosphere through which she has
     to shine? Give me the love of the bird that broods over her
     own nest, rather than of one who lays her eggs in the nest
     of another, albeit she warble about parental affection as
     loudly as Rousseau or Lord Byron." (P. 50.)

Nevertheless, we should not adopt the present writer, with all his
two-fold fastidiousness, as our guide to enlighten us upon the highest
sort of pleasure which scenery produces. He lays far more stress than
to us seems due on the pictorial art as a means of cultivating a taste
for the beauties of nature. It is quite true that a person familiar
with the art of painting will see in an ordinary landscape points of
interest which another would overlook. But as the sublimer objects in
nature cannot be represented in pictures, so as to convey an
impression of sublimity, it is not here that we can learn how to
appreciate them. You paint a river and all the amenities of the
landscape through which it flows; you cannot paint the sea and its
grandeur. On no canvass can you transfer a mountain so as to bring
with it the true impression of its sublimity.

That which we call the love of nature must exist in very different
forms in minds of different habits and culture. The professional
artist notes the various forms, the various colours, how they blend
and contrast; he likes to see the whole field of vision richly and
harmoniously filled. The poet, after spending a whole day in rapture
amongst the mountains, could scarcely give you the exact outline of a
single peak; he cannot fill you a solitary canvass; he has grouped all
that his memory retains by the law only of his own feelings; he can
describe the scene only by the emotions it has called forth.

There is also, no doubt, a simpler love of natural objects that never
seeks to express itself either with the pencil or the pen. And this
may, as our writer suggests, form a component part of that love of
their country for which mountaineers are particularly distinguished.
Yet, having ourselves had occasion to notice how very destitute of
what is called _sentiment_, the peasantry of the noblest country are
found to be, we should rather attribute the passionate love of home
that is remarkable in the Swiss or the Norwegian to this,--that the
causes which make home dear to all men are aggravated in their case by
the mountainous seclusion in which they live. One who has resided in
the same valley all his life, knows every one in that valley, and
knows no one beyond it. The whole of the inhabitants form, as it were,
one family. And though the sublimity of the mountains around him
affects his mind but little, yet their lofty summits present to him
(merely as so much matter and form) great physical objects to which he
gets familiarised and attached. Each time he raises his eyes, he sees
them there eternal in the heavens he can go no where to escape them;
and they enclose for him whatever he possesses in common with all
other countrymen--his own field, its hedge, its stile,--the village
church,--the bridge over the torrent stream on which he played when a
boy, and stood and gossipped when a man.

     "When I was in the lake of Zug," says our author, "which
     lies bosomed among such grand mountains, the boatman, after
     telling some stories about Suwarrow's march through the
     neighbourhood, asked me,--_Is it true that he came from a
     country where there is not a mountain to be seen?_ _Yes_, I
     replied; _you may go hundreds of miles without coming to a
     hillock._ _That must be beautiful!_ he exclaimed: _das muss
     schön seyn...._ This very man, however, had he been
     transported to the plains he sighed for,--even though they
     had been as flat as Burnet's Paradise, or the _tabula rasa_
     which Locke supposed to be the _paradisiacal state of the
     human mind_--(why is this piece of folly introduced? or what
     wit or sense can there be in attributing this childish
     absurdity to Locke?) would probably have been seized with
     the homesickness which is so common among his countrymen, as
     it is also among the Swedes and Norwegians, but which I
     believe is hardly found, except in the natives of a
     mountainous and beautiful country."[13]

  [13] We have not thought it worth while to adhere in our quotations to
  the somewhat affected manner of spelling which the brothers Hare have
  adopted. For instance, _asked_ and _wished_ are spelt _askt_ and
  _wisht_: we have but one _l_ in traveller, and the French word
  _ragouts_ is rather oddly travestied into _ragoos_. The substitution
  of _t_ for _ed_ in the participle of many verbs, is the most
  systematic alteration attempted. Now the _d_ and the _t_, as is very
  well known, slide into one another by such fine gradations that it is
  impossible to determine, in many cases, which of these two letters
  most accurately represents the pronunciation in general use. As the
  termination _ed_ is what is understood by grammarians as the regular
  form, and is, moreover, in possession of the ground, it seems very
  futile to take any pains to alter it. In the instances we have already
  mentioned, wish_t_ for wish_ed_, ask_t_ for ask_ed_, the new
  orthography is no nearer to the actual daily pronunciation of the
  words than the old and received mode of spelling. We do not pronounce
  _wished_ and _asked_ as we do the word _waft_. Give the full sound of
  the _t_ in these words, and a pronunciation is introduced quite as
  novel as the mode of spelling.

We have said that the prevailing characteristic of these
semi-philosophers is the love of contradicting whatever to the
majority of men seems a simple and intelligible truth. We will give
two very short instances of this spirit of contradiction. We need not
say that they are religious men, or that the want of piety in the
world is their frequent subject of animadversion. "I was surprised
just now," says one of the brothers, "to see a cobweb round a knocker:
for it was not on the gate of heaven." You would suppose, therefore,
that a man could not be too earnest in knocking at this gate that it
might be opened to him. But this is what all the religious world is
saying, and to float with the stream would be intolerable. It is
discovered, therefore, that the religious world make of salvation, of
the entrance into heaven, a matter of too much _personal interest_.
"Catholic religion has wellnigh been split up into personal, so that
the very idea of the former has almost been lost; _and it is the
avowed principle of what is called the Religious World that every
body's paramount, engrossing duty is to take care his own soul_." (P.
194.) What is called the Religious World world be a little surprised
to hear itself censured by the archdeacon on such a ground as this.

Our next, which is very brief, is a still more striking instance of
this contradictious and exclusive spirit. "The glories of their
country,"--he is speaking of the ancient Greeks,--"inspired them with
enthusiastic patriotism; and an aristocratical religion--(_which,
until it was supplanted by a vulgar philosophy_, was revered in spite
of all its errors)--gave them," &c. It was a "vulgar philosophy" that
doubted of the truth of Paganism! It is, at all events, a very
commonplace philosophy at the present day which discredits the gods of
Olympus, and is therefore to be spoken of with due contempt.

Instead of being intelligible and vulgar, how much better to wrap up
our Christian philosophy in a style as rare and curious, and
undecipherable, as the hieroglyphic cerements of an Egyptian mummy!

     "The precepts of Christianity are holy and imperative; its
     mysteries vast, undiscoverable, unimaginable; and, what is
     still worthier of consideration, these two limbs of our
     religion are not severed, or even laxly joined, but, after
     the workmanship of the God of nature, so 'lock in with and
     over-wrap one another' that they cannot be torn asunder
     without rude force. _Every mystery is the germ of a duty:
     every duty has its motive in a mystery. So that if I may
     speak of these things in the symbolical language of ancient
     wisdom, every thing divine being circular, every right thing
     human straight--the life of the Christian may be compared to
     a chord, each end of which is supported by the arc it
     proceeds from and terminates in._" (P. 214.)

Literary criticism occupies a portion of these pages. Here also there
is a singular air of pretension, but _nothing done_. A vague
indefinite claim is made to very superior taste, and an exclusive
appreciation of the great poets, but nothing is ever attempted to
support this claim. The solitary criticism on a passage in Milton,
where the poet says of the great palace of Pandemonium, that it "rose
like an exhalation," is the only instance we remember where these
authors have put forth any positive criticism; and this example does
not appear to evince any very delicate or refined appreciation of
poetic imagery. A comparison is drawn (where there is very little room
for one) between this passage and the expression νυκτι εοικως,
which Homer uses in describing the coming of Apollo,--and the
ηυτ' ομιχλη, which he employs when speaking of Thetis rising
from the sea. "How inferior," says the writer, "in grandeur, in
simplicity, in beauty and grace, to the Homeric! which moreover has
better caught the spirit and sentiment of the natural appearances. For
Apollo does come with the power and majesty, and with the terrors of
night; and the soft waviness of an exhalation is a much fitter image
for the rising of the goddess, than for the massiness and hard stiff
outline of a building." It is the hard stiff outline which the very
image of Milton conceals from us, as the angel-built structure rises
gradually, continuously, like an exhalation from the earth.

Of Shakspeare we are, of course, told that neither we, nor any other
Englishmen, understand him.

     "How many Englishmen admire Shakspeare? Doubtless all who
     understand him, and, it is to be hoped, a few more; for how
     many Englishmen understand Shakspeare? Were Diogenes to set
     out on his search through the land, I trust he would bring
     home many hundreds, not to say thousands, for every one I
     should put up. To judge from what has been written about
     him, the Englishmen who understand Shakspeare are little
     more numerous than those who understand the language spoken
     in Paradise. You will now and then meet with ingenious
     remarks on particular passages, and even in particular
     characters, or rather in particular features in them. But
     these remarks are mostly as incomplete and unsatisfactory as
     the description of a hand or foot would be, unless received
     with reference to the whole body. He who wishes to trace the
     march and to scan the operations of this most marvellous
     genius, and to discern the mysterious organisation of his
     wonderful works, will find little help but what comes from
     beyond the German Ocean." (P. 267.)

We are very much disposed to think that the age which follows ours,
though still admiring Shakspeare as one of the greatest, if not the
greatest, of poets, will look upon this present age as eminently
distinguished for having talked a marvellous deal of nonsense about
that great man--whether with or without help from beyond the German
Ocean. There is, however, confessedly some light to be got from
another quarter, though still a very remote one. We are rather
affectedly told in the preceding page:--

     "Were nothing else to be learnt from the _rhetoric_ and
     _ethics_ of Aristotle, they should be studied by every
     educated Englishman as the best of commentaries on
     Shakspeare."

To Coleridge, indeed, whose snatches of literary criticism are
admirable, (when he is not evidently led away by some capricious
paradoxical spirit,) we have a debt to acknowledge on this subject. He
first taught us, if we mistake not, to appreciate the structure of
Shakspeare's plays, and vindicated them from that charge of rudeness
and irregularity which had been so frequently made that it had passed
for an admitted truth. He showed that there was a harmony in his
intricate plots of a far higher order than the disciples of the
_unities_ had ever dreamed of.

Whatever may be their critical appreciation of the poetic language of
others, these writers display very little taste themselves in the use
of imagery, or illustration, or metaphor. What is intended for wit or
pleasantry proves to be a cumbrous allegory or unwieldy simile; we
feel that we are to smile, but we do not smile. Instances of this may
be found at page 111, in a sort of fable about "leather" and
"stockings;" and at page 133 about "four-sided and five-sided fields."
The examples are too long to quote. At page 260, great men are
compared to mountains. The simile is not new, but the manner of
dealing with it has more of novelty than of grace.--"Mountains never
shake hands," &c.--like great men, they stand alone. "But if mountains
do not shake hands, neither do they kick each other." And here, at
page 259, is an instance, not too long to quote entire, which shows
how little tact and delicacy these writers have in dealing with
metaphorical language.

     "It is a mistake to suppose the poet does not know truth by
     sight quite as well as the philosopher. He must; for he is
     ever seeing her in the mirror of nature. The difference
     between them is, that the poet is satisfied with worshipping
     her reflected image, while the philosopher traces her out,
     _and follows her to her remote abode between cause and
     consequence, and there impregnates her_."

Frequently the illustration, standing alone, brief and obscure,
becomes a mere riddle, a conundrum, to which you can either attach no
meaning, or any meaning you please.

     "Instead of watching the bird as it flies above our heads,
     we chase the shadow along the ground, and finding we cannot
     grasp it, we conclude it to be nothing.

     "I hate to see trees pollarded--or nations.

     "What way of circumventing a man can be so easy and suitable
     as a _period_? The name should be enough to put us on our
     guard; the experience of every age is not."

The oracular wisdom which these and the like sentences contain, we
must confess ourselves unable to expound. We would not undertake to
act as interpreter of such aphorisms; and we feel persuaded that if
three of the most friendly commentators were to sit down before them,
they would each give a different explanation.

In quitting our somewhat ungracious task, we would not leave the
impression behind that there is absolutely nothing in this volume to
reward perusal. There are some sparkling sayings, and some sound
reflections, which, if the book had now appeared for the first time,
we should think it our duty to hunt out and bring together. But the
work has been long before the public, and our present object was
merely to point out some of the weaknesses of a very dogmatical class
of writers. The following _guess_, for instance, is very significant,
and extremely apposite, moreover, to our own times. That we may leave
our readers something to meditate upon, we will conclude by quoting
it:--

"_When the pit seats itself in the boxes, the gallery will soon drive
out both, and occupy the whole of the house._"--A.



LIFE IN THE "FAR WEST."


PART I.--CHAP. I.

Away to the head waters of the Platte, where several small streams run
into the south fork of that river, and head in the broken ridges of
the "Divide" which separates the valleys of the Platte and Arkansa,
were camped a band of trappers on a creek called Bijou. It was the
month of October, when the early frosts of the coming winter had
crisped and dyed with sober brown the leaves of the cherry and quaking
asp, which belted the little brook; and the ridges and peaks of the
Rocky Mountains were already covered with a glittering mantle of snow,
which sparkled in the still powerful rays of the autumn sun.

The camp had all the appearance of being a permanent one; for not only
did one or two unusually comfortable shanties form a very conspicuous
object, but the numerous stages on which huge strips of buffalo meat
were hanging in process of cure, showed that the party had settled
themselves here in order to lay in a store of provisions, or, as it is
termed in the language of the mountains, "make meat." Round the camp
were feeding some twelve or fifteen mules and horses, having their
fore-legs confined by hobbles of raw hide, and, guarding these
animals, two men paced backwards and forwards, driving in the
stragglers; and ever and anon ascending the bluffs which overhung the
river, and, leaning on their long rifles, would sweep with their eyes
the surrounding prairie. Three or four fires were burning in the
encampment, on some of which Indian women were carefully tending
sundry steaming pots; whilst round one, which was in the centre of it,
four or five stalwart hunters, clad in buckskin, sat cross-legged,
pipe in mouth.

They were a trapping party from the north fork of Platte, on their way
to wintering-ground in the more southern valley of the Arkansa; some,
indeed, meditating a more extended trip, even to the distant
settlements of New Mexico, the paradise of mountaineers. The elder of
the company was a tall gaunt man, with a face browned by a twenty
years' exposure to the extreme climate of the mountains; his long
black hair, as yet scarcely tinged with gray, hung almost to his
shoulders, but his cheeks and chin were cleanly shaved, after the
fashion of the mountain men. His dress was the usual hunting-frock of
buckskin, with long fringes down the seams, with pantaloons similarly
ornamented, and mocassins of Indian make. As his companions puffed
their pipes in silence, he was narrating a few of his former
experiences of western life; and whilst the buffalo "hump-ribs" and
"tender loin" are singing away in the pot, preparing for the hunters'
supper, we will note down the yarn as it spins from his lips, giving
it in the language spoken in the "far west:"--

"'Twas about 'calf-time,' maybe a little later, and not a hunderd year
ago, by a long chalk, that the biggest kind of rendezvous was held
'to' Independence, a mighty handsome little location away up on old
Missoura. A pretty smart lot of boys was camp'd thar, about a quarter
from the town, and the way the whisky flowed that time was 'some' now,
I can tell you. Thar was old Sam Owins--him as got 'rubbed out'[14] by
the Spaniards at Sacramenty, or Chihuahuy, this hos doesn't know
which, but he 'went under'[14] any how. Well, Sam had his train along,
ready to hitch up for the Mexican country--twenty thunderin big
Pittsburg waggons; and the way _his_ Santa Fé boys took in the liquor
beat all--eh, Bill?"

  [14] Killed, Died--both terms adapted from the Indian figurative
  language.

"_Well_, it did."

"Bill Bent--his boys camped the other side the trail, and they was all
mountain men, wagh!--and Bill Williams, and Bill Tharpe (the Pawnees
took his hair on Pawnee Fork last spring:) three Bills, and them
three's all 'gone under.' Surely Hatcher went out that time; and
wasn't Bill Garey along, too? Didn't him and Chabonard sit in camp for
twenty hours at a deck of Euker? Them was Bent's Indian traders up on
Arkansa. Poor Bill Bent! them Spaniards made meat of him. He lost his
topknot to Taos. A 'clever' man was Bill Bent as _I_ ever know'd trade
a robe or 'throw' a bufler in his tracks. Old St Vrain could knock the
hind-sight off him though, when it come to shootin, and old silver
heels spoke true, she did: 'plum-center' she was, eh?"

"_Well_, she was'nt nothin else.'"

"The Greasers[15] payed for Bent's scalp, they tell me. Old St Vrain
went out of Santa Fé with a company of mountain men, and the way they
made 'em sing out was 'slick as shootin'. He 'counted a coup' did St
Vrain. He throwed a Pueblo as had on poor Bent's shirt. I guess he
tickled that niggur's hump-ribs. Fort William[16] aint the lodge it
was, an' never will be agin, now he's gone under; but St Vrain's
'pretty much of a gentleman,' too; if he aint, I'll be dog-gone, eh,
Bill?"

  [15] The Mexicans are called "Spaniards" or "Greasers" (from their
  greasy appearance) by the Western people.

  [16] Bent's Indian trading fort on the Arkansa.

"He is _so-o_."

"Chavez had his waggons along. He was only a Spaniard any how, and
some of his teamsters put a ball into him his next trip, and made a
raise of _his_ dollars, wagh! Uncle Sam hung 'em for it, I heard, but
can't b'lieve it, no-how. If them Spaniards wasn't born for shootin',
why was beaver made? You was with us that spree, Jemmy?"

"No _sirre-e_; I went out when Spiers lost his animals on Cimmaron: a
hunderd and forty mules and oxen was froze that night, wagh!"

"Surely Black Harris was thar; and the darndest liar was Black
Harris--for lies tumbled out of his mouth like boudins out of a
bufler's stomach. He was the child as saw the putrefied forest in the
Black Hills. Black Harris come in from Laramie; he'd been trapping
three year an' more on Platte and the 'other side;' and, when he got
into Liberty, he fixed himself right off like a Saint Louiy dandy.
Well, he sat to dinner one day in the tavern, and a lady says to
him:--

"'Well, Mister Harris, I hear you're a great travler.'

"'Travler, marm,' says Black Harris, 'this niggur's no travler; I ar'
a trapper, marm, a mountain-man, wagh!"

"'Well, Mister Harris, trappers are great travlers, and you goes over
a sight of ground in your perishinations, I'll be bound to say.'

"'A sight, marm, this coon's gone over, if that's the way your 'stick
floats.'[17] I've trapped beaver on Platte and Arkansa, and away up on
Missoura and Yaller Stone; I've trapped on Columbia, on Lewis Fork,
and Green River; I've trapped, marm, on Grand River and the Heely
(Gila.) I've fout the 'Blackfoot' (and d----d bad Injuns they ar;)
I've 'raised the hair'[18] of more _than one_ Apach, and made a Rapaho
'come' afore now; I've trapped in heav'n, in airth, and h----, and
scalp my old head, marm, but I've seen a putrefied forest.'

  [17] Meaning,--if that's what you mean? The "stick" is tied to the
  beaver trap by a string; and, floating on the water, points out its
  position, should a beaver have carried it away.

  [18] Scalped.

"'La, Mister Harris, a what?'

"'A putrefied forest, marm, as sure as my rifle's got hind-sights, and
_she_ shoots center. I was out on the Black Hills, Bill Sublette knows
the time--the year it rained fire--and every body knows when that was.
If thar wasn't cold doin's about that time, this child wouldn't say
so. The snow was about fifty foot deep, and the bufler lay dead on the
ground like bees after a beein'; not whar we was tho', for _thar_ was
no bufler, and no meat, and me and my band had been livin' on our
mocassins, (leastwise the parflesh,[19]) for six weeks; and poor
doin's that feedin' is, marm, as you'll never know. One day we crossed
a 'cañon' and over a 'divide,' and got into a peraira, whar was green
grass, and green trees, and green leaves on the trees, and birds
singing in the green leaves, and this in Febrary, wagh! Our animals
was like to die when they see the green grass, and we all sung out,
'hurraw for summer doin's.'

  [19] Soles made of buffalo hide.

"'Hyar goes for meat,' says I, and I jest ups old Ginger at one of
them singing birds, and down come the crittur elegant; its darned head
spinning away from the body, but never stops singing, and when I takes
up the meat, I finds it stone, wagh! 'Hyar's damp powder and no fire
to dry it,' I says, quite skeared.'

"'Fire be dogged,' says old Rube. 'Hyar's a hos as'll make fire come;'
and with that he takes his axe and lets drive at a cotton wood.
Schr-u-k--goes the axe agin the tree, and out comes a bit of the blade
as big as my hand. We looks at the animals, and thar they stood
shaking over the grass, which I'm dog-gone if it wasn't stone, too.
Young Sublette comes up, and he'd been clerking down to the fort on
Platte, so he know'd something. He looks and looks, and scrapes the
trees with his butcher knife, and snaps the grass like pipe stems, and
breaks the leaves a-snappin' like Californy shells.'

"'What's all this, boy?' I asks.

"'Putrefactions,' says he, looking smart, 'putrefactions, or I'm a
niggur.'

"'La, Mister Harris,' says the lady; 'putrefactions, why, did the
leaves, and the trees, and the grass smell badly?'

"'Smell badly, marm,' says Black Harris, 'would a skunk stink if he
was froze to stone? No, marm, this child didn't know what
putrefactions was, and young Sublette's varsion wouldn't 'shine'
nohow, so I chips a piece out of a tree and puts it in my trap-sack,
and carries it in safe to Laramie. Well, old Captain Stewart, (a
clever man was that, though he was an Englishman,) he comes along next
spring, and a Dutch doctor chap was along too. I shows him the piece I
chipped out of the tree, and he called it a putrefaction too; and so,
marm, if that wasn't a putrefied peraira, what was it? For this hos
doesn't know, and _he_ knows 'fat cow' from 'poor bull,' anyhow.'

"Well, old Black Harris is gone under too, I believe. He went to the
'Parks' trapping with a Vide Pôche Frenchman, who shot him for his
bacca and traps. Darn them Frenchmen, they're no account any way you
lays your sight. (Any 'bacca in your bag, Bill?' this beaver feels
like chawing.)

"Well, any how, thar was the camp, and they was goin to put out the
next morning; and the last as come out of Independence was that ar
Englishman. He'd a nor-west[20] capôte on, and a two-shoot gun rifled.
Well, them English are darned fools; they can't fix a rifle any ways;
but that one did shoot 'some;' leastwise _he_ made it throw
plum-center. He made the bufler 'come,' _he_ did, and fout well at
Pawnee Fork too. What was his name? All the boys called him Cap'en,
and he got his fixings from old Choteau; but what he wanted out thar
in the mountains, I never jest rightly know'd. He was no trader, nor a
trapper, and flung about his dollars right smart. Thar was old grit in
him, too, and a hair of the black b'ar at that.[21] They say he took
the bark of the Shians when he cleared out of the village with old
Beaver Tail's squaw. He'd been on Yaller Stone afore that: Leclerc
know'd him in the Blackfoot, and up in the Chippeway country; and he
had the best powder as ever I flashed through life, and his gun was
handsome, that's a fact. Them thar locks was grand; and old Jake
Hawken's nephey, (him as trapped on Heely that time,) told me, the
other day, as he saw an English gun on Arkansa last winter as beat all
off hand.

  [20] The Hudson Bay Company, having amalgamated with the American
  North West Company, is known by the name 'North West' to the southern
  trappers. Their employés usually wear Canadian capôtes.

  [21] A spice of the devil.

"Nigh upon two hundred dollars I had in my possibles, when I went to
that camp to see the boys afore they put out; and you know, Bill, as I
sat to 'Euker' and 'seven up'[22] till every cent was gone.

  [22] "Euker," "poker," and "seven-up," are the fashionable games of
  cards.

"'Take back twenty, old coon,' says Big John.

"'H----'s full of such takes back,' says I; and I puts back to town
and fetches the rifle and the old mule, puts my traps into the sack,
gets credit for a couple of pounds of powder at Owin's store, and hyar
I ar on Bijou, with half a pack of beaver, and running meat yet, old
hos: so put a log on, and let's have a smoke.

"Hurraw, Jake, old coon, bear a hand, and let the squaw put them tails
in the pot; for sun's down, and we'll have to put out pretty early to
reach 'Black Tail' by this time to-morrow. Who's fust guard, boys:
them cussed 'Rapahos' will be after the animals to-night, or I'm no
judge of Injun sign. How many did you see, Maurice?"

"Enfant de Gârce, me see bout honderd, when I pass Squirrel Creek, one
dam war-party, parce-que, they no hosses, and have de lariats for
steal des animaux. May be de Yutes in Bayou Salade."

"We'll be having trouble to-night, I'm thinking, if the devils are
about. Whose band was it, Maurice?"

"Slim-Face--I see him ver close--is out; mais I think it White
Wolf's."

"White Wolf, maybe, will lose his hair if he and his band knock round
here too often. That Injun put me afoot when we was out on 'Sandy'
that fall. This niggur owes him one, any how."

"H----'s full of White Wolves: go ahead, and roll out some of your
doins across the plains that time."

"You seed sights that spree, eh, boy?"

"_Well_, we did. Some of em got their flints fixed this side of Pawnee
Fork, and a heap of mule-meat went wolfing. Just by Little Arkansa we
saw the first Injun. Me and young Somes was ahead for meat, and I had
hobbled the old mule and was 'approaching' some goats,[23] when I see
the critturs turn back their heads and jump right away for me.
'Hurraw, Dick!' I shouts, 'hyars brown-skin acomin,' and off I makes
for the mule. The young greenhorn sees the goats runnin up to him, and
not being up to Injun ways, blazes at the first and knocks him over.
Jest then seven darned red heads top the bluff, and seven Pawnees come
a-screechin upon us. I cuts the hobbles and jumps on the mule, and,
when I looks back, there was Dick Somes ramming a ball down his gun
like mad, and the Injuns flinging their arrows at him pretty smart, I
tell you. 'Hurraw, Dick, mind your hair,' and I ups old Greaser and
let one Injun 'have it,' as was going plum into the boy with his
lance. _He_ turned on his back handsome, and Dick gets the ball down
at last, blazes away, and drops another. Then we charged on em, and
they clears off like runnin cows; and I takes the hair off the heads
of the two we made meat of; and I do b'lieve thar's some of them
scalps on my old leggings yet.

  [23] Antelope are frequently called "goats" by the mountaineers.

"Well, Dick was as full of arrows as a porkypine: one was sticking
right through his cheek, one in his meat-bag, and two more 'bout his
hump ribs. I tuk 'em all out slick, and away we go to camp, (for they
was jost a-campin' when we went ahead) and carryin' the goat too.
Thar' was a hurroo when we rode in with the scalps at the end of our
guns. 'Injuns! Injuns!' was the cry from the green-horns; 'we'll be
'tacked to-night, that's certain.'

"''Tacked be ----' says old Bill; 'aint we men too, and white at that.
Look to your guns, boys; send out a strong hos'-guard with the
animals, and keep your eyes skinned.'

"Well, as soon as the animals were unhitched from the waggons, the
guvner sends out a strong guard, seven boys, and old hands at that. It
was pretty nigh upon sundown, and Bill had just sung out to 'corral.'
The boys were drivin' in the animals, and we were all standin' round
to get 'em in slick, when, 'howgh-owgh-owgh-owgh,' we hears right
behind the bluff, and 'bout a minute and a perfect crowd of Injuns
gallops down upon the animals. Wagh! war'nt thor hoopin'! We jump for
the guns, but before we get to the fires, the Injuns were among the
cavayard. I saw Ned Collyer and his brother, who were in the
hos'-guard, let drive at 'em; but twenty Pawnees were round 'em before
the smoke cleared from their rifles, and when the crowd broke the two
boys were on the ground, and their hair gone. Well, that ar
Englishman just saved the cavayard. He had his horse, a reglar
buffalo-runner, picketed round the fire quite handy, and as soon as he
sees the fix, he jumps upon her and rides right into the thick of the
mules, and passes through 'em, firing his two-shoot gun at the Injuns,
and by Gor, he made two come. The mules, which was a snortin' with
funk and running before the Injuns, as soon as they see the
Englishman's mare (mules 'ill go to h---- after a horse, you all
know,) followed her right into the corral, and thar they was safe.
Fifty Pawnees come screechin' after 'em, but we was ready that time,
and the way we throw'd 'em was something handsome, I tell you. But
three of the hos'-guard got skeared--leastwise their mules did, and
carried 'em off into the peraira, and the Injuns having enough of
_us_, dashed after 'em right away. Them poor devils looked back
miserable now, with about a hundred red varmints tearin' after their
hair, and whooping like mad. Young Jem Bulcher was the last; and when
he seed it was no use, and his time was nigh, he throw'd himself off
the mule, and standing as upright as a hickory wiping stick, he waves
his hand to us, and blazes away at the first Injun as come up, and
dropped him slick; but the moment after, you may guess, _he_ died.

"We could do nothin', for, before our guns were loaded, all three were
dead and their scalps gone. Five of our boys got rubbed out that time,
and seven Injuns lay wolf's meat, while a many more went away
gut-shot, I'll lay. How'sever, seven of us went under, and the Pawnees
made a raise of a dozen mules, wagh!"

Thus far, in his own words, we have accompanied the old hunter in his
tale; and probably he would have taken us, by the time that the Squaw
Chili-pat had pronounced the beaver tails cooked, safely across the
grand prairies--fording Cotton Wood, Turkey Creek, Little Arkansa,
Walnut Creek, and Pawnee Fork--passed the fireless route of the Coon
Creeks; through a sea of fat buffalo meat, without fuel to cook it;
have struck the big river, and, leaving at the "Crossing" the waggons
destined for Santa Fé, have trailed us up the Arkansa to Bent's Fort;
thence up Boiling Spring, across the divide over to the southern fork
of the Platte, away up to the Black Hills, and finally camped us, with
hair still preserved, in the beaver-abounding valleys of the Sweet
Water, and Câche la Poudre, under the rugged shadow of the Wind River
mountains, if it had not so befell, that at this juncture, as all our
mountaineers sat cross-legged round the fire, pipe in mouth, and with
Indian gravity listened to the yarn of the old trapper, interrupting
him only with an occasional wagh! or the assured exclamations of some
participator in the events then under narration, who would every now
and then put in a corroborative,--"This child remembers that fix," or,
"hyar's a niggur lifted hair that spree," &c.--that a whizzing noise
was heard to whistle through the air, followed by a sharp but
suppressed cry from one of the hunters.


CHAPTER II.

In an instant the mountaineers had sprung from their seats, and,
seizing the ever-ready rifle, each one had thrown himself on the
ground a few paces beyond the light of the fire, (for it was now
nightfall;) but not a word escaped them, as, lying close, with their
keen eyes directed towards the gloom of the thicket, near which the
camp was placed, with rifles cocked, they waited a renewal of the
attack. Presently the leader of the band, no other than Killbuck, who
had so lately been recounting some of his experiences across the
plains, and than whom no more crafty woodsman or more expert trapper
ever tracked a deer or grained a beaverskin, raised his tall,
leather-clad form, and, placing his hand over his mouth, made the
prairie ring with the wild protracted note of an Indian war-whoop.
This was instantly repeated from the direction where the animals
belonging to the camp were grazing, under the charge of the
horse-guard, and three shrill whoops answered the warning of the
leader, and showed that the guard was on the alert, and understood the
signal. However, with this manifestation of their presence, the
Indians appeared to be satisfied; or, what is more probable, the act
of aggression had been committed by some daring young warrior, who,
being out on his first expedition, desired to strike the first _coup_,
and thus signalise himself at the outset of the campaign. After
waiting some few minutes, expecting a renewal of the attack, the
mountaineers in a body rose from the ground and made towards the
animals, with which they presently returned to the camp; and, after
carefully hobbling and securing them to pickets firmly driven into the
ground, and mounting an additional guard, they once more assembled
round the fire, after examining the neighbouring thicket, relit their
pipes, and puffed away the cheering weed as composedly as if no such
being as a Redskin, thirsting for their lives, was within a thousand
miles of their perilous encampment.

"If ever thar was bad Injuns on these plains," at last growled
Killbuck, biting hard the pipe-stem between his teeth, "it's these
Rapahos, and the meanest kind at that."

"Can't beat the Blackfeet any how," chimed in one La Bonté, from the
Yellow Stone country, and a fine, handsome specimen of a mountaineer.
"However, one of you quit this arrow out of my hump," he continued,
bending forwards to the fire, and exhibiting an arrow sticking out
under his right shoulder-blade, and a stream of blood trickling down
his buckskin coat from the wound.

This his nearest neighbour essayed to do; but finding, after a tug,
that it "would not come," expressed his opinion that the offending
weapon would have to be "butchered" out. This was accordingly effected
with the ready blade of a scalp-knife; and a handful of beaver-fur
being placed on the wound, and secured by a strap of buckskin round
the body, the wounded man donned his hunting-shirt once more, and
coolly set about lighting his pipe, his rifle lying across his lap,
cocked and ready for use.

It was now near midnight--dark and misty; and the clouds, rolling away
to the eastward from the lofty ridges of the Rocky Mountains, were
gradually obscuring the little light which was afforded by the dim
stars. As the lighter vapours faded from the mountains, a thick black
cloud succeeded them, and settled over the loftier peaks of the chain,
which were faintly visible through the gloom of night, whilst a mass
of fleecy scud soon overspread the whole sky. A hollow moaning sound
crept through the valley, and the upper branches of the cotton woods,
with their withered leaves, began to rustle with the first breath of
the coming storm. Huge drops of rain fell at intervals, hissing as
they fell on the blazing fires, and pattered on the skins which the
hunters were hurriedly laying on their exposed baggage. The mules near
the camp cropped the grass with quick and greedy bites round the
circuit of their pickets, as if conscious that the storm would soon
prevent their feeding, and were already humping their backs as the
chilling rain fell upon their flanks. The prairie wolves crept closer
to the camp, and in the confusion that ensued from the hurry of the
trappers to cover the perishable portions of their equipment,
contrived more than once to dart off with a piece of meat, when their
peculiar and mournful chiding would be heard as they fought for the
possession of the ravished morsel.

As soon as every thing was duly protected, the men set to work to
spread their beds, those who had not troubled themselves to erect a
shelter getting under the lee of the piles of packs and saddles; while
Killbuck, disdaining even such care of his carcass, threw his buffalo
robe on the bare ground, declaring his intention to "take" what was
coming at all hazards, and "any how." Selecting a high spot, he drew
his knife and proceeded to cut drains round it, to prevent the water
running into him as he lay; then taking a single robe he carefully
spread it, placing under the end farthest from the fire a large stone
brought from the creek. Having satisfactorily adjusted this pillow, he
adds another robe to the one already laid, and places over all a
Navajo blanket, supposed to be impervious to rain. Then he divests
himself of his pouch and powder-horn, which, with his rifle, he
places inside his bed, and quickly covers up lest the wet reach them.
Having performed these operations to his satisfaction, he lighted his
pipe by the hissing embers of the half-extinguished fire (for by this
time the rain was pouring in torrents,) and going the rounds of the
picketed animals, and cautioning the guard round the camp to keep
their "eyes skinned, for there would be 'powder burned' before
morning," he returned to the fire, and kicking with his mocassined
foot the slumbering ashes, squats down before it, and thus
soliloquises:--

"Thirty year have I been knocking about these mountains from
Missoura's head as far sothe as the starving Gila. I've trapped a
'heap,'[24] and many a hundred pack of beaver I've traded in my time,
wagh! What has come of it, and whar's the dollars as ought to be in my
possibles? Whar's the ind of this, I say? Is a man to be hunted by
Injuns all his days? Many's the time I've said I'd strike for Taos,
and trap a squaw, for this child's getting old, and feels like wanting
a woman's face about his lodge for the balance of his days; but when
it comes to caching of the old traps, I've the smallest kind of heart,
I have. Certain, the old state comes across my mind now and again, but
who's thar to remember my old body? But them diggings gets too over
crowded now-a-days, and its hard to fetch breath amongst them big
bands of corncrackers to Missoura. Beside, it goes against natur to
leave bufler meat and feed on hog; and them white gals are too much
like picturs, and a deal too 'fofarraw' (fanfaron.) No; darn the
settlements, I say. It won't shine, and whar's the dollars? Howsever,
beaver's 'bound to rise;' human natur can't go on selling beaver a
dollar a pound; no, no, that arn't a going to shine much longer, I
know. Them was the times when this child first went to the mountains:
six dollars the plew--old 'un or kitten. Wagh! but it's bound to rise,
I says agin; and hyar's a coon knows whar to lay his hand on a dozen
pack right handy, and then he'll take the Taos trail, wagh!"

  [24] An Indian is always a "heap" hungry or thirsty--loves a
  "heap"--is a "heap" brave--in fact, "heap" is tantamount to very much.

Thus soliloquising, Killbuck knocked the ashes from his pipe, and
placed it in the gaily ornamented case which hung round his neck, drew
his knife-belt a couple of holes tighter, and once more donned his
pouch and powder-horn, took his rifle, which he carefully covered with
the folds of his Navajo blanket, and striding into the darkness,
cautiously reconnoitred the vicinity of the camp. When he returned to
the fire he sat himself down as before, but this time with his rifle
across his lap; and at intervals his keen gray eye glanced piercingly
around, particularly towards an old, weatherbeaten, and grizzled mule,
who now, old stager as she was, having filled her belly, was standing
lazily over her picket pin, with head bent down and her long ears
flapping over her face, her limbs gathered under her, and with back
arched to throw off the rain, tottering from side to side as she rests
and sleeps.

"Yep, old gal!" cried Killbuck to the animal, at the same time picking
a piece of burnt wood from the fire and throwing it at her, at which
the mule gathered itself up and cocked her ears as she recognised her
master's voice. "Yep, old gal! and keep your nose open; thar's brown
skin about, I'm thinkin', and maybe you'll get 'roped' (lasso'd) by a
Rapaho afore mornin." Again the old trapper settled himself before the
fire; and soon his head began to nod, as drowsiness stole over him.
Already he was in the land of dreams; revelling amongst bands of "fat
cow," or hunting along a stream well peopled with beaver; with no
Indian "sign" to disturb him, and the merry rendezvous in close
perspective, and his peltry selling briskly at six dollars the plew,
and galore of alcohol to ratify the trade. Or, perhaps, threading the
back trail of his memory, he passed rapidly through the perilous
vicissitudes of his hard, hard life--starving one day, revelling in
abundance the next; now beset by whooping savages thirsting for his
blood, baying his enemies like the hunted deer, but with the
unflinching courage of a man; now, all care thrown aside, secure and
forgetful of the past, a welcome guest in the hospitable trading fort;
or back, as the trail gets fainter, to his childhood's home in the
brown forests of old Kentuck, tended and cared for--no thought his,
but to enjoy the homminy and johnny cakes of his thrifty mother. Once
more, in warm and well remembered homespun, he sits on the snake fence
round the old clearing, and munching his hoe-cake at set of sun,
listens to the mournful note of the whip-poor-will, or the harsh cry
of the noisy catbird, or watches the agile gambols of the squirrels as
they chase each other, chattering the while, from branch to branch of
the lofty tameracks, wondering how long it will be before he will be
able to lift his father's heavy rifle, and use it against the tempting
game. Sleep, however, sat lightly on the eyes of the wary mountaineer,
and a snort from the old mule in an instant stretched his every nerve;
and, without a movement of his body, the keen eye fixed itself upon
the mule, which now was standing with head bent round, and eyes and
ears pointed in one direction, snuffing the night air and snorting
with apparent fear. A low sound from the wakeful hunter roused the
others from their sleep; and raising their bodies from their
well-soaked beds, a single word apprised them of their danger.

"Injuns!"

Scarcely was the word out of Killbuck's lips, when, above the howling
of the furious wind, and the pattering of the rain, a hundred savage
yells broke suddenly upon their ears from all directions round the
camp; a score of rifle-shots rattled from the thicket, and a cloud of
arrows whistled through the air, at the same time that a crowd of
Indians charged upon the picketed animals. "Owgh, owgh--owgh--owgh--g-h-h."
"A foot, by gor!" shouted Killbuck, "and the old mule gone at that. On
'em, boys, for old Kentuck!" and rushed towards his mule, which was
jumping and snorting mad with fright, as a naked Indian strove to
fasten a lariat round her nose, having already cut the rope which
fastened her to the plcket-pin.

"Quit that, you cussed devil!" roared the trapper, as he jumped upon
the savage, and without raising his rifle to his shoulder, made a
deliberate thrust with the muzzle at his naked breast, striking him
full, and at the same time pulling the trigger, actually driving the
Indian two paces backwards with the shock, when he fell in a heap and
dead. But at the same moment, an Indian, sweeping his club round his
head, brought it with fatal force down upon Killbuck's skull, and
staggering for a moment, he threw out his arms wildly into the air,
and fell headlong to the ground.

"Owgh! owgh, owgh-h-h!" cried the Rapaho as the white fell, and,
striding over the prostrate body, seized with his left hand the middle
lock of the trapper's long hair, and drew his knife round the head to
separate the scalp from the skull. As he bent over to his work, the
trapper named La Bonté caught sight of the strait his companion was
in, and quick as thought rushed at the Indian, burying his knife to
the hilt between his shoulders, and with a gasping shudder, the Rapaho
fell dead upon the prostrate body of his foe.

The attack, however, lasted but a few seconds. The dash at the animals
had been entirely successful, and, driving them before them, with loud
cries, the Indians disappeared quickly in the darkness. Without
waiting for daylight, two of the three trappers who alone were to be
seen, and who had been within the shanties at the time of attack,
without a moment's delay commenced packing two horses, which having
been fastened to the shanties had escaped the Indians, and placing
their squaws upon them, showering curses and imprecations on their
enemies, left the camp, fearful of another onset, and resolved to
retreat and câche themselves until the danger was over. Not so La
Bonté, who, stout and true, had done his best in the fight, and now
sought the body of his old comrade, from which, before he could
examine the wounds, he had first to remove the corpse of the Indian he
had slain. Killbuck still breathed. He had been stunned; but, revived
by the cold rain beating upon his face, he soon opened his eyes,
recognising his trusty friend, who, sitting down, lifted his head into
his lap, and wiped away the blood which streamed from the wounded
scalp.

"Is the top-knot gone, boy?" asked Killbuck; "for my head feels
queersome, I tell you."

"Thar's the Injun as felt like lifting it," answered the other,
kicking the dead body with his foot.

"Wagh! boy, you've struck a coup; so scalp the nigger right off, and
then fetch me a drink."

The morning broke clear and cold. With the exception of a light cloud
which hung over Pike's Peak, the sky was spotless; and a perfect calm
had succeeded the boisterous winds of the previous night. The creek
was swollen and turbid with the rains; and as La Bonté proceeded a
little distance down the bank to find a passage to the water, he
suddenly stopped short, and an involuntary cry escaped him. Within a
few feet of the bank lay the body of one of his companions who had
formed the guard at the time of the Indians' attack. It was lying on
the face, pierced through the chest with an arrow which was buried to
the very feathers, and the scalp torn from the bloody skull. Beyond,
and all within a hundred yards, lay the three others, dead and
similarly mutilated. So certain had been the aim, and so close the
enemy, that each had died without a struggle, and consequently had
been unable to alarm the camp. La Bonté, with a glance at the bank,
saw at once that the wily Indians had crept along the creek, the noise
of the storm facilitating their approach undiscovered, and crawling up
the bank, had watched their opportunity to shoot simultaneously the
four hunters who were standing guard.

Returning to Killbuck, he apprised him of the melancholy fate of their
companions, and held a council of war as to their proceedings. The old
hunter's mind was soon made up. "First," said he, "I get back my old
mule; she's carried me and my traps these twelve years, and I aint a
goin' to lose her yet. Second, I feel like taking hair, and some
Rapahós has to 'go under' for this night's work. Third, We have got to
câche the beaver. Fourth, We take the Injun trail, wharever it leads."

No more daring mountaineer than La Bonté ever trapped a beaver, and no
counsel could have more exactly tallied with his own inclination than
the law laid down by old Killbuck.

"Agreed," was his answer, and forthwith he set about forming a câche.
In this instance they had not sufficient time to construct a regular
one, so contented themselves with securing their packs of beaver in
buffalo robes, and tying them in the forks of several cotton-woods,
under which the camp had been made. This done, they lit a fire, and
cooked some buffalo meat; and, whilst smoking a pipe, carefully
cleaned their rifles, and filled their horns and pouches with good
store of ammunition.

A prominent feature in the character of the hunters of the far west is
their quick determination and resolve in cases of extreme difficulty
and peril, and their fixedness of purpose, when any plan of operations
has been laid requiring bold and instant action in carrying out. It is
here that they so infinitely surpass the savage Indian, in bringing to
a successful issue their numerous hostile expeditions against the
natural foe of the white man in the wild and barbarous regions of the
west. Ready to resolve as they are prompt to execute, and with the
advantage of far greater dash and daring with equal subtlety and
caution, they possess great advantage over the vacillating Indian,
whose superstitious mind in a great degree paralyses the physical
energy of his active body; and in waiting for propitious signs and
seasons before he undertakes an enterprise, he loses the opportunity
which his white and more civilised enemy knows so well to profit by.

Killbuck and La Bonté were no exceptions to this characteristic rule,
and, before the sun was a hand's-breadth above the eastern horizon,
the two hunters were running on the trail of the victorious Indians.
Striking from the creek where the night attack was made, they crossed
to another known as Kioway, running parallel to Bijou, a few hours'
journey westward, and likewise heading in the "divide." Following this
to its forks, they struck into the upland prairies lying at the foot
of the mountains; and crossing to the numerous water-courses which
feed the creek called "Vermillion" or "Cherry," they pursued the trail
over the mountain-spurs until it reached a fork of the Boiling
Spring. Here the war-party had halted and held a consultation, for
from this point the trail turned at a tangent to the westward, and
entered the rugged gorges of the mountains. It was now evident to the
two trappers that their destination was the Bayou Salade,--a mountain
valley which is a favourite resort of the buffalo in the winter
season, and also, and for this reason, often frequented by the Yuta
Indians as their wintering ground. That the Rapahos were on a war
expedition against the Yutas, there was little doubt; and Killbuck,
who knew every inch of the ground, saw at once, by the direction the
trail had taken, that they were making for the Bayou in order to
surprise their enemies, and, therefore, were not following the usual
Indian trail up the cañon of the Boiling Spring River. Having made up
his mind to this, he at once struck across the broken ground lying at
the foot of the mountains, steering a course a little to the eastward
of north, or almost in the direction whence he had come: and then,
pointing westward, about noon he crossed a mountain chain, and
descending into a ravine through which a little rivulet tumbled over
its rocky bed, he at once proved the correctness of his judgment by
striking the Indian trail, now quite fresh, as it wound through the
cañon along the bank of the stream. The route he had followed, which
would have been impracticable to pack animals, had saved at least
half-a-day's journey, and brought them within a short distance of the
object of their pursuit; for, at the head of the gorge, a lofty bluff
presenting itself, the hunters ascended to the summit, and, looking
down, descried at their very feet the Indian camp, with their own
stolen cavallada feeding quietly round.

"Wagh!" exclaimed both the hunters in a breath. "And thar's the old
ga'l at that," chuckled Killbuck, as he recognised his old grizzled
mule making good play at the rich buffalo grass with which these
mountain valleys abound.

"If we don't make 'a raise' afore long, I wouldn't say so. Thar plans
is plain to this child as beaver sign. They're after Yute hair, as
certain as this gun has got hind-sights; but they ar'nt agoin' to pack
them animals after 'em, and have crawled like 'rattlers' along this
bottom to câche 'em, till they come back from the Bayou,--and maybe
they'll leave half a dozen 'soldiers'[25] with 'em."

  [25] The young untried warriors of the Indians are thus called.

How right the wily trapper was in his conjectures will be shortly
proved. Meanwhile, with his companion, he descended the bluff, and
pushing his way into a thicket of dwarf pine and cedar, sat down on a
log, and drew from an end of the blanket, which was strapped on his
shoulder, a portion of a buffalo's liver, which they both discussed
with infinite relish--and _raw_; eating in lieu of bread (an unknown
luxury in these parts) sundry strips of dried fat. To have kindled a
fire would have been dangerous, since it was not impossible that some
of the Indians might leave their camp to hunt, when the smoke would at
once have discovered the presence of enemies. A light was struck,
however, for their pipes, and after enjoying this true consolation for
some time, they laid a blanket on the ground, and, side by side, soon
fell asleep.

If Killbuck had been a prophet, or the most prescient of "medicine
men," he could not have more exactly predicted the movements in the
Indian camp. About three hours before "sun-down," he rose and shook
himself, which movement was sufficient to awaken his companion.
Telling La Bonté to lie down again and rest, he gave him to understand
that he was about to reconnoitre the enemy's camp; and after examining
carefully his rifle, and drawing his knife-belt a hole or two tighter,
he proceeded on his dangerous errand. Ascending the same bluff from
whence he had first discovered the Indian camp, he glanced rapidly
round, and made himself master of the features of the ground--choosing
a ravine by which he might approach the camp more closely, and without
danger of being discovered. This was soon effected; and in half an
hour the trapper was lying on his belly on the summit of a
pine-covered bluff, which overlooked the Indians within easy
rifle-shot, and so perfectly concealed by the low spreading branches
of the cedar and arbor-vitæ, that not a particle of his person could
be detected; unless, indeed, his sharp, twinkling gray eye contrasted
too strongly with the green boughs that covered the rest of his face.
Moreover, there was no danger of their hitting upon his trail, for he
had been careful to pick his steps on the rock-covered ground, so that
not a track of his mocassin was visible. Here he lay, still as a
carcagien in wait for a deer, only now and then shaking the boughs as
his body quivered with a suppressed chuckle, when any movement in the
Indian camp caused him to laugh inwardly at his (if they had known it)
unwelcome propinquity. He was not a little surprised, however, to
discover that the party was much smaller than he had imagined,
counting only forty warriors; and this assured him that the band had
divided, one half taking the Yute trail by the Boiling Spring, the
other (the one before him) taking a longer circuit in order to reach
the Bayou, and make the attack on the Yutas, in a different direction.

At this moment the Indians were in deliberation. Seated in a large
circle round a very small fire,[26] the smoke from which ascended in a
thin straight column, they each in turn puffed a huge cloud of smoke
from three or four long cherry-stemmed pipes, which went the round of
the party; each warrior touching the ground with the heel of the
pipe-bowl, and turning the stem upwards and away from him, as
"medicine" to the Great Spirit, before he himself inhaled the fragrant
kinnik-kinnik. The council, however, was not general, for no more than
fifteen of the older warriors took part in it, the others sitting
outside and at some little distance from the circle. Behind each were
his arms--bow and quiver, and shield hanging from a spear stuck in the
ground, and a few guns in ornamented covers of buckskin were added to
some of the equipments.

  [26] There is a great difference between an Indian's fire and a
  white's. The former places, the ends of logs to burn gradually; the
  latter, the centre, besides making such a bonfire that the Indians
  truly say, that "The white makes a fire so hot that he cannot approach
  to warm himself by it."

Near the fire, and in the centre of the inner circle, a spear was
fixed upright in the ground, and on this dangled the four scalps of
the trappers killed the preceding night; and underneath them, affixed
to the same spear, was the mystic "medicine bag," by which Killbuck
knew that the band before him was under the command of the head chief
of the tribe.

Towards the grim trophies on the spear, the warriors, who in turn
addressed the council, frequently pointed--more than one, as he did
so, making the gyratory motion of the right hand and arm, which the
Indians use in describing that they have gained an advantage by skill
or cunning. Then pointing westward, the speaker would thrust out his
arm, extending his fingers at the same time, and closing and reopening
them several times, meaning, that although four scalps already
ornamented the "medicine" pole, they were as nothing compared to the
numerous trophies they would bring from the Salt Valley, where they
expected to find their hereditary enemies the Yutes. "That now was not
the time to count their coups," (for at this moment one of the
warriors rose from his seat, and, swelling with pride, advanced
towards the spear, pointing to one of the scalps, and then striking
his open hand on his naked breast, jumped into the air, as if about to
go through the ceremony.) "That before many suns all their spears
together would not hold the scalps they had taken, and that then they
would return to their village, and spend a moon in relating their
achievements, and counting coups."

All this Killbuck learned: thanks to his knowledge of the language of
signs--a master of which, if even he have no ears or tongue, never
fails to understand, and be understood by, any of the hundred tribes
whose languages are perfectly distinct and different. He learned,
moreover, that at sundown the greater part of the band would resume
the trail, in order to reach the Bayou by the earliest dawn; and also,
that no more than four or five of the younger warriors would remain
with the captured animals. Still the hunter remained in his position
until the sun had disappeared behind the ridge; when, taking up their
arms, and throwing their buffalo robes on their shoulders, the war
party of Rapahos, one behind the other, with noiseless step, and
silent as the dumb, moved away from the camp; and, when the last dusky
form had disappeared behind a point of rocks which shut in the
northern end of the little valley or ravine, Killbuck withdrew his
head from its screen, crawled backwards on his stomach from the edge
of the bluff, and, rising from the ground, shook and stretched
himself; then gave one cautious look around, and immediately proceeded
to rejoin his companion.

"_Lave_, (get up,) boy," said Killbuck, as soon as he reached him.
"Hyar's grainin' to do afore long,--and sun's about down, I'm
thinking."

"Ready, old hos," answered La Bonté, giving himself a shake. "What's
the sign like, and how many's the lodge?"

"Fresh, and five, boy. How do you feel?"

"_Half froze for hair._ Wagh!"

"We'll have moon to-night, and as soon as _she_ gets up, we'll make
'em 'come.'"

Killbuck then described to his companion what he had seen, and
detailed his plan--which was simply to wait until the moon afforded
sufficient light, approach the Indian camp and charge into it,--"lift"
as much "hair" as they could, recover their animals, and start at once
to the Bayou and join the friendly Yutes, warning them of the coming
danger. The risk of falling in with either of the Rapaho bands was
hardly considered; to avoid this, they trusted to their own foresight,
and the legs of their mules, should they encounter them.

Between sundown and the rising of the moon, they had leisure to eat
their supper, which, as before, consisted of raw buffalo-liver; after
discussing which, Killbuck pronounced himself "a 'heap' better," and
ready for "huggin."

In the short interval of almost perfect darkness which preceded the
moonlight, and taking advantage of one of the frequent squalls of wind
which howl down the narrow gorges of the mountains, these two
determined men, with footsteps noiseless as the panther's, crawled to
the edge of the little plateau of some hundred yards' square, where
the five Indians in charge of the animals were seated round the fire,
perfectly unconscious of the vicinity of danger. Several clumps of
cedar bushes dotted the small prairie, and amongst these the
well-hobbled mules and horses were feeding. These animals, accustomed
to the presence of whites, would not notice the two hunters as they
crept from clump to clump nearer to the fire, and also served, even if
the Indians should be on the watch, to conceal their movements from
them.

This the two men at once perceived; but old Killbuck knew that if he
passed within sight or smell of his mule, he would be received with a
hinny of recognition, which would at once alarm the enemy. He
therefore first ascertained where his own animal was feeding, which
luckily was at the farther side of the prairie, and would not
interfere with his proceedings.

Threading their way amongst the feeding mules, they approached a clump
of bushes about forty yards from the spot where the unconscious
savages were seated smoking round the fire; and here they awaited,
scarcely drawing breath the while, the moment when the moon rose above
the mountain into the clear cold sky, and gave them light sufficient
to make sure their work of bloody retribution. Not a pulsation in the
hearts of these stern determined men beat higher than its wont; not
the tremour of a nerve disturbed their frame. With lips compressed,
they stood with ready rifles, the pistols loosened in their belts, and
scalp-knives handy to their gripe. The lurid glow of the coming moon
already shot into the sky above the ridge, which stood out in bolder
relief against the light; and the luminary herself was just peering
over the mountain, illuminating its pine-clad summit, and throwing
its beams on an opposite peak, when Killbuck touched his companion's
arm, and whispered, "Wait for the full light, boy."

At this moment, however, unseen by the trapper, the old and grizzled
mule had gradually approached, as it fed along the plateau; and, when
within a few paces of their retreat, a gleam of moonshine revealed to
the animal the erect forms of the two whites. Suddenly she stood still
and pricked her ears, and stretching out her neck and nose, snuffed
the air. Well she knew her old master.

Killbuck, with eyes fixed upon the Indians, was on the point of giving
the signal of attack to his comrade, when the shrill hinny of his mule
reverberated through the gorge. The next instant the Indians were
jumping to their feet and seizing their arms, when, with a loud shout,
Killbuck, crying, "At 'em boy; give the niggurs h----!" rushed from
his concealment, and with La Bonté by his side, yelling a fierce
war-whoop, sprang upon the startled savages.

Panic-struck with the suddenness of the attack, the Indians scarcely
knew where to run, and for a moment stood huddled together like sheep.
Down dropped Killbuck on his knee, and stretching out his wiping
stick, planted it on the ground to the extreme length of his arm. As
methodically and as coolly as if about to aim at a deer, he raised his
rifle to this rest and pulled the trigger. At the report an Indian
fell forward on his face, at the same moment that La Bonté, with equal
certainty of aim and like effect, discharged his own rifle.

The three surviving Indians, seeing that their assailants were but
two, and knowing that their guns were empty, came on with loud yells.
With the left hand grasping a bunch of arrows, and holding the bow
already bent and arrow fixed, they steadily advanced, bending low to
the ground to get their objects between them and the light, and thus
render their aim more certain. The trappers, however, did not care to
wait for them. Drawing their pistols, they charged at once; and
although the bows twanged, and the three arrows struck their mark, on
they rushed, discharging their pistols at close quarters; La Bonté
throwing his empty one at the head of an Indian who was pulling his
second arrow to its head at a yard distance, and drawing his knife at
the same moment, made at him.

But the Indian broke and ran, followed by his living companion; and as
soon as Killbuck could ram home another ball, he sent a shot flying
after them as they scrambled up the mountain side, leaving in their
fright and hurry their bows and shields on the ground.

The fight was over, and the two trappers confronted each other: "We've
given 'em h--!" laughed Killbuck.

"_Well_, we have," answered the other, pulling an arrow out of his
arm.--"Wagh!"

"We'll lift the hair, any how," continued the first, "afore the
scalp's cold."

Taking his whetstone from the little sheath on his knife-belt, the
trapper proceeded to "edge" his knife, and then stepping to the first
prostrate body, he turned it over to examine if any symptom of
vitality remained. "Thrown cold," he exclaimed, as he dropped the
lifeless arm he had lifted. "I sighted him about the long ribs, but
the light was bad, and I could'nt get a 'bead' 'off hand,' any how."

Seizing with his left hand the long and braided lock on the centre of
the Indian's head, he passed the point edge of his keen butcher-knife
round the parting, turning it at the same time under the skin to
separate the scalp from the skull; then, with a quick and sudden jerk
of his hand, he removed it entirely from the head, and giving the
reeking trophy a wring upon the grass to free it from the blood, he
coolly hitched it under his belt, and proceeded to the next; but
seeing La Bonté operating upon this, he sought the third, who lay some
little distance from the others. This one was still alive, a
pistol-ball having passed through his body, without touching a vital
spot.

"Gut-shot is this niggur," exclaimed the trapper; "them pistols never
throws 'em in their tracks;" and thrusting his knife, for mercy's
sake, into the bosom of the Indian, he likewise tore the scalp-lock
from his head, and placed it with the other.

La Bonté had received two trivial wounds, and Killbuck till now had
been walking about with an arrow sticking through the fleshy part of
his thigh, the point being perceptible near the surface of the other
side. To free his leg from the painful encumbrance, he thrust the
weapon completely through, and then, cutting off the arrow-head below
the barb, he drew it out, the blood flowing freely from the wound. A
tourniquet of buckskin soon stopped this, and, heedless of the pain,
the hardy mountaineer sought for his old mule, and quickly brought it
to the fire (which La Bonté had rekindled,) lavishing many a caress,
and most comical terms of endearment, upon the faithful companion of
his wanderings. They found all the animals safe and well, and after
eating heartily of some venison which the Indians had been cooking at
the moment of the attack, made instant preparations to quit the scene
of their exploit, not wishing to trust to the chance of the Rapahos
being too frightened to again molest them.

Having no saddles, they secured buffalo robes on the backs of two
mules--Killbuck, of course, riding his own--and lost no time in
proceeding on their way. They followed the course of the Indians up
the stream, and found that it kept the cañons and gorges of the
mountains where the road was better; but it was with no little
difficulty that they made their way, the ground being much broken and
covered with rocks. Killbuck's wound became very painful, and his leg
stiffened and swelled distressingly, but he still pushed on all night,
and, at daybreak, recognising their position, he left the Indian
trail, and followed a little creek which rose in a mountain chain of
moderate elevation, and above which, and to the south, Pike's Peak
towered high into the clouds. With great difficulty they crossed this
ridge, and ascending and descending several smaller ones which
gradually smoothed away as they met the valley, about three hours
after sunrise they found themselves in the south-east corner of the
Bayou Salade.

The Bayou Salade, or Salt Valley, is the most southern of three very
extensive valleys, forming a series of table-lands in the very centre
of the main chain of the Rocky Mountains, known to the trappers by the
name of the "Parks". The numerous streams by which they are watered
abound in the valuable fur-bearing beaver, whilst every species of
game common to the west is found here in great abundance. The Bayou
Salade especially, owing to the salitrose nature of the soil and
springs, is the favourite resort of all the larger animals common to
the mountains; and, in the sheltered prairies of the Bayou, the
buffalo, forsaking the barren and inclement regions of the exposed
plains, frequent these upland valleys in the winter months; and
feeding upon the rich and nutritious buffalo grass which, on the bare
prairies, at that season, is either dry and rotten or entirely
exhausted, not only are enabled to sustain life, but retain a great
portion of the "condition" that the abundant fall and summer pasture
of the lowlands has laid upon their bones. Therefore is this valley
sought by the Indians as a wintering ground; and its occupancy has
been disputed by most of the mountain tribes, and long and bloody wars
have been waged to make good the claims set forth by Yuta, Rapaho,
Sioux, and Shians. However, to the first of these it may be said now
to belong, since their "big village" has wintered there for many
successive years; whilst the Rapahos seldom visit it unless on war
expeditions, against the Yutas.

Judging, from the direction the Rapahos were taking, that the friendly
tribe of Yutas were there already, the trappers had resolved to join
them as soon as possible; and therefore, without resting, pushed on
through the uplands, and, towards the middle of the day, had the
satisfaction of descrying the conical lodges of the village, situated
on a large level plateau, through which ran a mountain stream. A
numerous band of mules and horses was scattered over the pasture, and
round them several mounted Indians were keeping guard. As the trappers
descended the bluffs into the plain, some straggling Indians caught
sight of them; and instantly one of them, lassoing a horse from the
herd, mounted it, barebacked, and flew like wind to the village to
spread the news. Soon the lodges disgorged their inmates; first the
women and children rushed to that side where the strangers were
approaching; then the younger Indians, hardly able to restrain their
curiosity, mounted their horses, and some galloped forth to meet them.
The old chiefs, enveloped in buffalo robes, (soft and delicately
dressed as the Yutes alone know how,) and with tomahawk held in one
hand and resting in hollow of the other arm, sallied last of all from
their lodges, and, squatting in a row on a sunny bank outside the
village, awaited, with dignified composure, the arrival of the whites.
Killbuck was well known to most of them, having trapped in their
country and traded with them years before at Roubideau's fort at the
head waters of the Rio Grande. After shaking hands with all who
presented themselves, he at once gave them to understand that their
enemies, the Rapahos, were at hand, with a hundred warriors at least,
elated by the coup they had just struck the whites, bringing,
moreover, four white scalps to incite them to brave deeds.

At this news the whole village was speedily in commotion: the
war-shout was taken up from lodge to lodge; the squaws began to lament
and tear their hair; the warriors to paint and arm themselves. The
elder chiefs immediately met in council, and, over the medicine-pipe,
debated as to the best course to pursue,--whether to wait the attack,
or sally out and meet the enemy. In the meantime, the braves were
collected together by the chiefs of their respective bands, and
scouts, mounted on the fastest horses, despatched in every direction
to procure intelligence of the enemy.

The two whites, after watering their mules and picketing them in some
good grass near the village, drew near the council fire, without,
however, joining in the "talk," until they were invited to take their
seats by the eldest chief. Then Killbuck was called upon to give his
opinion as to the direction in which he judged the Rapahos to be
approaching, which he delivered in their own language, with which he
was well acquainted. In a short time the council broke up, and,
without noise or confusion, a band of one hundred chosen warriors left
the village, immediately after one of the scouts had galloped in and
communicated some intelligence to the chiefs. Killbuck and La Bonté
volunteered to accompany the war-party, weak and exhausted as they
were; but this was negatived by the chiefs, who left their white
brothers to the care of the women, who tended their wounds, now stiff
and painful; and spreading their buffalo robes in a warm and roomy
lodge, left them to the repose they so much needed.

The next morning, Killbuck's leg was greatly inflamed, and he was
unable to leave the lodge; but he made his companion bring the old
mule to the door, when he gave her a couple of ears of Indian corn,
the last remains of the slender store brought by the Indians from the
Navajo country. The day passed, and with sundown came no tidings of
the war-party, which caused no little wailing on the part of the
squaws, but which the whites interpreted as a favourable augury. A
little after sunrise, on the second morning, the long line of the
returning warriors was discerned winding over the prairie, and a scout
having galloped in to bring the news of a great victory, the whole
village was soon in a ferment of paint and drumming. A short distance
from the lodges, the warriors halted to await the approach of the
people. Old men, children, and squaws, sitting astride their horses,
sallied out to escort the victorious party in triumph to the village.
With loud shouts and, songs, and drums beating the monotonous Indian
time, they advanced and encircled the returning braves, one of whom,
with his face covered with black paint, carried a pole on which
dangled thirteen scalps, the trophies of the expedition. As he lifted
these on high, they were saluted with deafening whoops and cries of
exultation and savage joy. In this manner they entered the village,
almost before the friends of those fallen in the fight had ascertained
their losses. Then the shouts of delight were converted into yells of
grief; the mothers and wives of those braves who had been killed, (and
seven had "gone under,") presently returned with their faces, necks,
and hands blackened, and danced and howled round the scalp pole, which
had been deposited in the centre of the village, in front of the
lodge of the great chief.

Killbuck now learned that a scout having brought intelligence that the
two bands of Rapahos were hastening to form a junction, as soon as
they learned that their approach was discovered, the Yutas had
successfully prevented it; and attacking one party, had entirely
defeated it, killing thirteen of the Rapaho braves. The other party
had fled on seeing the issue of the fight, and a few of the Yuta
warriors were now pursuing them.

To celebrate so signal a victory great preparations sounded their
notes through the village. Paints,--vermilion and ochres--red and
yellow,--were in great request; whilst the scrapings of charred wood,
mixed with gunpowder, were used as substitute for black, the medicine
colour.

The lodges of the village, numbering some two hundred or more, were
erected in parallel lines, and covered a large space of the level
prairie in shape of a parallelogram. In the centre, however, the space
which half a dozen lodges in length would have taken up was left
unoccupied, save by one large one, of red-painted buffalo skins,
tatooed with the mystic totems of the "medicine" peculiar to the
nation. In front of this stood the grim scalp-pole, like a decayed
tree trunk, its bloody fruit tossing in the wind; and on another, at a
few feet distance, was hung the "bag" with its mysterious contents.
Before each lodge a tripod of spears supported the arms and shields of
the Yuta chivalry, and on many of them, smoke-dried scalps rattled in
the wind, former trophies of the dusky knights who were arming
themselves within. Heraldic devices were not wanting,--not, however,
graved upon the shield, but hanging from the spear-head, the actual
"totem" of the warrior it distinguished. The rattlesnake, the otter,
the carcagien, the mountain badger, the war-eagle, the kon-qua-kish,
the porcupine, the fox, &c., dangled their well-stuffed skins, and
displayed the guardian "medicine" of the warrior it pertained to, and
represented the mental and corporeal qualities which were supposed to
characterise the brave to whom it belonged.

From the centre lodge, two or three "medicine men," fantastically
attired in the skins of wolves and bears, and bearing long peeled
wands of cherry in their hands, occasionally emerged to tend a very
small fire which they had kindled in the centre of the open space;
and, when a thin column of smoke rose from it, one of them transferred
the scalp-pole, planting it obliquely across the fire. Squaws in robes
of whitely dressed buckskins, garnished with beads and porcupines'
quills, and their faces painted bright red and black, then appeared.
These ranged themselves round the outside of the square, the boys and
children of all ages, mounted on bare-backed horses, galloping and
screaming round and round, with all the eagerness of excitement and
curiosity.

Presently the braves and warriors made their appearance, and squatted
round the fire in two circles, those who had been engaged on the
expedition being in the first or smaller one. One medicine man sat
under the scalp-pole, having a drum between his knees, which he tapped
at intervals with his hand, eliciting from the instrument a hollow
monotonous sound. A bevy of women, shoulder to shoulder, then advanced
from the four sides of the square, and some shaking a rattle-drum in
time with their steps, commenced a jumping jerking dance, now lifting
one foot from the ground, and now rising with both, accompanying the
dance with a low chant, which swelled from a low whisper to the utmost
extent of their voices--now dying away, and again bursting into
vociferous measure. Thus they advanced to the centre and retreated to
their former positions; when six squaws, with their faces painted a
deadened black, made their appearance from the crowd, and, in a soft
and sweet measure, chanted a lament for the braves the nation had lost
in the late battle: but soon as they drew near the scalp-pole, their
melancholy note changed to the music (to them) of gratified revenge.
In a succession of jumps, raising the feet alternately but a little
distance from the ground, they made their way, through an interval
left in the circle of warriors, to the grim pole, and encircling it,
danced in perfect silence round it for a few moments. Then they burst
forth with an extemporary song, laudatory of the achievements of their
victorious braves. They addressed the scalps as "sisters," (to be
called a squaw is the greatest insult that can be offered to an
Indian,) and, spitting at them, upbraided them with their rashness in
leaving their lodges to seek for Yuta husbands; "that the Yuta
warriors and young men despised them, and chastised them for their
forwardness and presumption, bringing back their scalps to their own
women."

After sufficiently proving that they had any thing but lost the use of
their tongues, but possessed as fair a length of that formidable
weapon as any of their sex, they withdrew, and left the field in
undisputed possession of the men: who, accompanied by taps of the
drum, and the noise of many rattles, broke out into a war-song, in
which the valour of themselves was not hidden in a bushel, nor
modestly refused the light of day. After this came the more
interesting ceremony of a warrior "counting his coups."

A young brave, with his face painted black, mounted on a white horse
mysteriously marked with red clay, and naked to the breech clout,
holding in his hand a long taper lance, rode into the circle, and
paced slowly round it; then, flourishing his spear on high, he darted
to the scalp-pole, round which the warriors were now sitting in a
semicircle; and in a loud voice, and with furious gesticulations,
related his exploits, the drums tapping at the conclusion of each. On
his spear hung seven scalps, and holding it vertically above his head,
and commencing with the top one, he narrated the feats in which he had
raised the trophy hair. When he had run through these, the drums
tapped loudly, and several of the old chiefs shook their rattles, in
corroboration of the truth of his achievements. The brave, swelling
with pride, then pointed to the fresh and bloody scalps hanging on the
pole. Two of these had been torn from the heads of Rapahos struck by
his own hand, and this feat, _the_ exploit of the day, had entitled
him to the honour of counting his coups. Then, sticking his spear into
the ground by the side of the pole, he struck his hand twice on his
brawny and naked chest, turned short round, and, swift as the
antelope, galloped into the plain: as if overcome by the shock his
modesty had received in being obliged to recount his own high-sounding
deeds.

"Wagh!" exclaimed old Killbuck, as he left the circle, and pointed his
pipe-stem towards the fast-fading figure of the brave, "that Injun's
heart's about as big as ever it will be, I'm thinking."

With the Yutes, Killbuck and La Bonté remained during the winter; and
when the spring sun had opened the ice-bound creeks, and melted the
snow on the mountains; and its genial warmth had expanded the earth
and permitted the roots of the grass to "live" once more, and throw
out green and tender shoots, the two trappers bade adieu to the
hospitable Indians, who were breaking up their village in order to
start for the valleys of the Del Norte. As they followed the trail
from the bayou, at sundown, just as they were thinking of camping,
they observed ahead of them a solitary horseman riding along, followed
by three mules. His hunting-frock of fringed buckskin, and rifle
resting across the horn of his saddle, at once proclaimed him white;
but as he saw the mountaineers winding through the cañon, driving
before them half a dozen horses, _he_ judged they might possibly be
Indians and enemies, the more so as their dress was not the usual
costume of the whites. The trappers, therefore, saw the stranger raise
the rifle in the hollow of his arm, and, gathering up his horse, ride
steadily to meet them, as soon as he observed they were but two; and
two to one in mountain calculation are scarcely considered odds, if
red skin to white.

However, on nearing them, the stranger discovered his mistake; and,
throwing his rifle across the saddle once more, reined in his horse
and waited their approach; for the spot where he then stood presented
an excellent camping-ground, with abundance of dry wood and convenient
water.

"Where from, stranger?"

"The divide, and to the bayou for meat; and you are from there, I see.
Any buffalo come in yet?"

"Heap, and seal-fat at that. What's the sign out on the plains?"

"War-party of Rapahos passed Squirrel at sundown yesterday, and nearly
raised my animals. Sign, too, of more on left fork of Boiling Spring.
No buffalo between this and Bijou. Do you feel like camping?"

"_Well_, we do. But whar's your companyeros?"

"I'm alone."

"Alone! Wagh! how do you get your animals along?"

"I go ahead, and they follow the horse."

"Well, that beats all! That's a smart-looking hos now; and runs some,
I'm thinking."

"Well, it does."

"Whar's them mules from? They look like Californy."

"Mexican country--away down south."

"H----! Whar's yourself from?"

"There away, too."

"What's beaver worth in Taos?"

"Dollar."

"In Saint Louiy?"

"Same."

"H----! Any call for buckskin?"

"A heap! The soldiers in Santa Fé are half froze for leather; and
mocassins fetch two dollars, easy."

"Wagh! How's trade on Arkansa, and what's doin to the Fort?"

"Shians at Big Timber, and Bent's people trading smart. On North Fork,
Jim Waters got a hundred pack right off, and Sioux making more."

"Whar's Bill Williams?"

"Gone under they say: the Diggers took his hair."

"How's powder goin?"

"Two dollars a pint."

"Bacca?"

"A plew a plug."

"Got any about you?"

"Have _so_."

"Give us a chaw; and now let's camp."

Whilst unpacking their own animals, the two trappers could not refrain
from glancing, every now and then, with no little astonishment, at the
solitary stranger they had so unexpectedly encountered. If truth be
told, his appearance not a little perplexed them. His hunting frock of
buckskin, shining with grease, and fringed pantaloons, over which the
well-greased butcher-knife had evidently been often wiped after
cutting his food, or butchering the carcass of deer and buffalo, were
of genuine mountain make. His face, clean shaved, exhibited in its
well-tanned and weather-beaten complexion, the effects of such natural
cosmetics as sun and wind; and under the mountain hat of felt which
covered his head, long uncut hair hung in Indian fashion on his
shoulders. All this would have passed muster, had it not been for the
most extraordinary equipment of a double-barrelled rifle; which, when
it had attracted the eyes of the mountaineers, elicited no little
astonishment, not to say derision. But, perhaps, nothing excited their
admiration so much as the perfect docility of the stranger's animals;
which, almost like dogs, obeyed his voice and call; and albeit that
one, in a small sharp head and pointed ears, expanded nostrils, and
eye twinkling and malicious, exhibited the personification of a
"lurking devil," yet they could not but admire the perfect ease which
this one even, in common with the rest, permitted herself to be
handled.

Dismounting from his horse, and unhitching from the horn of his saddle
the coil of skin rope, one end of which was secured round the neck of
the horse, he proceeded to unsaddle; and whilst so engaged, the three
mules, two of which were packed, one with the unbutchered carcass of a
deer, the other with a pack of skins, &c., followed leisurely into the
space chosen for the camp, and, cropping the grass at their ease,
waited until a whistle called them to be unpacked.

The horse was a strong square-built bay; and, although the severities
of a prolonged winter, with scanty pasture and long and trying travel,
had robbed his bones of fat and flesh, tucked up his flank, and "ewed"
his neck; still his clean and well-set legs, oblique shoulder, and
withers fine as a deer's, in spite of his gaunt half-starved
appearance, bore ample testimony as to what he _had_ been; while his
clear cheerful eye, and the hearty appetite with which he fell to work
on the coarse grass of the bottom, proved that he had something in him
still, and was game as ever. His tail, ate by the mules in days of
strait, attracted the observant mountaineers.

"Hard doins when it come to that," remarked La Bonté.

Between the horse and two of the mules a mutual and great affection
appeared to subsist, which was no more than natural, when their master
observed to his companions that they had travelled together upwards of
two thousand miles.

One of these mules was a short, thick-set, stumpy animal, with an
enormous head surmounted by proportionable ears, and a pair of
unusually large eyes, beaming the most perfect good temper and
docility (most uncommon qualities in a mule.) Her neck was thick, and
rendered more so in appearance by reason of her mane not being
roached, (or in English, hogged,) which privilege she alone enjoyed of
the trio; and her short, strong legs, ending in small, round, cat-like
hoofs, were feathered with profusion of dark brown hair.

As she stood stock-still, while the stranger removed the awkwardly
packed deer from her back, she flapped backward and forward her huge
ears, occasionally turning her head, and laying her cold nose against
her master's cheek. When the pack was removed, he advanced to her
head, and, resting it on his shoulder, rubbed her broad and grizzled
cheeks with both his hands for several minutes, the old mule laying
her ears, like a rabbit, back upon her neck, and with half-closed eyes
enjoyed mightily the manipulation. Then, giving her a smack upon the
haunch, and a "hep-a" well-known to mule kind, the old favourite threw
up her heels and cantered off to the horse, who was busily cropping
the buffalo grass on the bluff above the stream.

Great was the contrast between the one just described and the next
which came up to be divested of her pack. She, a tall beautifully
shaped Mexican mule, of a light mouse colour, with a head like a
deer's, and long springy legs, trotted up obedient to the call, but
with ears bent back and curled up nose, and tail compressed between
her legs. As her pack was being removed, she groaned and whined like a
dog, as a thong or loosened strap touched her ticklish body, lifting
her hind-quarters in a succession of jumps or preparatory kicks, and
looking wicked as a panther. When nothing but the fore pack-saddle
remained, she had worked herself into the last stage; and as the
stranger cast loose the girth of buffalo hide, and was about to lift
the saddle and draw the crupper from the tail, she drew her hind legs
under her, more tightly compressed her tail, and almost shrieked with
rage.

"Stand clear," he roared, (knowing what was coming,) and raised the
saddle, when out went her hind legs, up went the pack into the air,
and, with it dangling at her heels, away she tore, kicking the
offending saddle as she ran. Her master, however, took this as matter
of course, followed her and brought back the saddle, which he piled on
the others to windward of the fire one of the trappers was kindling.
Fire-making is a simple process with the mountaineers. Their
bullet-pouches always contain a flint and steel, and sundry pieces of
"punk"[27] or tinder; and pulling a handful of dry grass, which they
screw into a nest, they place the lighted punk in this, and, closing
the grass over it, wave it in the air, when it soon ignites, and
readily kindles the dry sticks forming the foundation of the fire.

  [27] A pithy substance found in dead pine-trees.

The tit-bits of the deer the stranger had brought in were soon
roasting over the fire; whilst, as soon as the burning logs had
deposited a sufficiency of ashes, a hole was raked in them, and the
head of the deer, skin, hair, and all, placed in this primitive oven,
and carefully covered with the hot ashes.

A "heap" of "fat meat" in perspective, our mountaineers enjoyed their
ante-prandial pipes, recounting the news of the respective regions
whence they came; and so well did they like each other's company, so
sweet the "honey-dew" tobacco of which the strange hunter had good
store, so plentiful the game about the creek, and so abundant the
pasture for their winter-starved animals, that before the carcass of
the "two-year" buck had been more than four-fifths consumed; and,
although rib after rib had been picked and chucked over their
shoulders to the wolves, and one fore leg, and _the_ "bit" of all, the
head, still cooked before them, the three had come to the resolution
to join company and hunt in their present locality for a few days at
least,--the owner of the "two-shoot" gun volunteering to fill their
horns with powder, and find tobacco for their pipes.

Here, on plenty of meat, of venison, bear, and antelope, they merrily
luxuriated; returning after their daily hunts to the brightly burning
camp-fire, where one always remained to guard the animals, and
unloading their packs of meat,--all choicest portions, ate late into
the night, and, smoking, wiled away the time in narrating scenes in
their hard-spent lives, and fighting their battles o'er again.

The younger of the trappers, he who has figured under the name of La
Bonté, in scraps and patches from his history, had excited no little
curiosity in the stranger's mind to learn the ups and downs of his
career; and one night, when they assembled earlier than usual at the
fire, he prevailed upon the modest trapper to "unpack" some passages
in his wild adventurous life.

"Maybe," commenced the mountaineer, "you both remember when old Ashley
went out with the biggest kind of band to trap the Columbia, and
head-waters of Missoura and Yellow Stone. Well, that was the time this
niggur first felt like taking to the mountains."

This brings us back to the year of our Lord 1825; and perhaps it will
be as well, to render La Bonté's mountain language intelligible, to
translate it at once to tolerable English, and tell in the third
person, but from his lips, the scrapes which him befell in a sojourn
of more than twenty years in the Far West, and the causes which
impelled him to quit the comfort and civilisation of his home, and
seek the perilous but engaging life of a trapper of the Rocky
Mountains.

La Bonté was raised in the state of Mississippi, not far from Memphis,
on the left bank of that huge and snag-filled river. His father was a
Saint Louis Frenchman, his mother a native of Tennessee. When a boy,
our trapper was "some," he said, with the rifle, and always had a
hankering for the west; particularly when, on accompanying his father
to Saint Louis every spring, he saw the different bands of traders and
hunters start upon their annual expeditions to the mountains; and
envied the independent, _insouciant_ trappers, as, in all the glory of
beads and buckskin, they shouldered their rifles at Jake Hawkin's
door, (the rifle-maker of St Louis,) and bade adieu to the cares and
trammels of civilised life.

However, like a thoughtless beaver-kitten, he put his foot into a trap
one fine day, set by Mary Brand, a neighbour's daughter, and esteemed
"some punkins," or in other words toasted as the beauty of Memphis
County, by the susceptible Mississippians. From that moment he was
"gone beaver;" "he felt queer," he said, "all over, like a buffalo
shot in the lights; he had no relish for mush and molasses; homminy
and johnny cakes failed to excite his appetite. Deer and turkeys ran
by him unscathed; he didn't know, he said, whether his rifle had
hind-sights or not. He felt bad, that was a fact; but what ailed him
he didn't know."

Mary Brand--Mary Brand--Mary Brand! the old Dutch clock ticked it.
Mary Brand! his head throbbed it when he lay down to sleep. Mary
Brand! his rifle-lock spoke it plainly when he cocked it, to raise a
shaking sight at a deer. Mary Brand, Mary Brand! the whip-poor-will
sung it, instead of her own well-known note; the bull-frogs croaked it
in the swamp, and mosquitos droned it in his ear as he tossed about
his bed at night, wakeful, and striving to think what ailed him.

Who could that strapping young fellow, who passed the door just now,
be going to see? Mary Brand: Mary Brand. And who can Big Pete Herring
be dressing that silver fox-skin so carefully for? For whom but Mary
Brand? And who is it that jokes, and laughs, and dances with all the
'boys' but him; and why?

Who but Mary Brand: and because the love-sick booby carefully avoids
her.



LOMBARDY AND THE ITALIAN WAR.


To what is the difference of national character due? Is it to climate?
Is the Negro a barbarian by a law of nature? Do his fiery sunshine and
his luxuriant soil, his magnificent forest shades, or his mighty
rivers, hiding their heads in inaccessible solitudes, and winding for
thousands of miles through fields of the plantain and the sugar-cane,
condemn him to perpetual inferiority of intellect? Was the brilliancy
of the ancient Greek only an emanation from the land of bright skies
and balmy airs?--was it the spirit of the sounding cataracts, and the
impulse of the vine-covered hills? Was the northern tempest the
creator of the northern character? and the perpetual dash of the ocean
on the Scandinavian shore, or the roar of the thunder and the sweep of
the whirlwind over the Tartar steppe, the training of the tribes which
burst in upon the iron frontier of the Great Empire, and left it clay?

The controversy has never yet been settled. Yet, on the whole, we are
strongly inclined to think that the mightier impression is due to the
operation of man on the mind of man. To our idea, "the globe, with all
that it inherits," is but a vast school-room, with its scholars. The
nations may enter with different propensities and capacities, but the
purpose of the discipline is, to train all in the use of their
original powers, to modify the rougher faculties, to invigorate the
weaker; and perhaps, in some remoter period of the world and its
completion, to educate a universal mind for the duties of a universal
family.

What education is to the individual, institutions are to the nation.
Why was it that the ancient Roman was the conqueror, the legislator,
the man of stern determination, and the example of patriot virtue? Why
was he the man of an ambition to be satisfied with nothing narrower
than the supremacy of the globe--the defier of the desert, the master
of the ocean, the ruler of all the diadems of all mankind?

Yet what is the contrast in the history of his successors,--millions
living under the same sky, with the same landscape of hill and dale
before them--even with the bold recollections of their ancestry to
inspire them, and with frames as athletic, and intellects as vivid as
those of the days when every nation brought tribute to the feet of the
Cæsars? Why is it that the man of Thermopylæ and Platæa has now no
representative but the "cunning Greek," and the land, once covered
with trophies, is now only the soil of the trafficker and the tomb?
Why has even our own island, so memorable and so admirable, exhibited
a contrast to the early terrors and capricious bravery of the Briton
in the time of the Roman? For the charioteers and spearmen who fought
Cæsar on the shore were chiefly foreigners from Gaul and Germany,
defending their own beeves and merchandise, while the natives fled
into the forest, and submitted, wherever they were pursued. Why was
Russia, for a thousand years, the constant prey of the "riders of the
wilderness," who now offer so feeble a resistance to her firm
sovereignty? Or, to come to the immediate instance, why have the
fiercest tribe of Scandinavia, perhaps the most warlike of mankind in
their day, sunk into the feeble flexibility of the Italian, in whom
resistance is scarcely more than the work of exasperation, and the
boldest hostilities probably deserve no more than the name of a
paroxysm?

The name of the Lombards was famous as far back as the sixth century
and the reign of Justinian. The camp of Attila had collected the
chieftains of the barbarian tribes on the northern bank of the Danube,
and his death had left them to divide the vast inheritance which had
been won in the briefest period, and by the most remorseless
slaughter, in the memory of the world. Hungary and Transylvania were
seized by the roving warriors of the Gepidæ. The fears or the policy
of Justinian contracted the boundaries of the empire; and whether
despising the power, or relying on the indolence, of the barbarians,
he stripped the southern bank of its garrisons, for the defence of
Italy. The Gepidæ were instantly in arms, the river was crossed in
contempt or defiance of the imperial revenge; and this daring act was
not less daringly followed by a message to Constantinople, that "as
the emperor possessed territories more than he knew how to govern, or
could desire to retain, his faithful allies merely anticipated his
bounty in taking their share." The emperor suffered the insult in
silence, but resolved on revenge. With the artificial policy which
always increases the evils of an unprepared government, he invited a
new race of barbarians to act as the antagonists of the invader.

In the country between the Elbe and the Oder, about the time of
Augustus, a tribe had settled, of a singularly savage aspect, and, by
the exaggerations of national terror, described as having the "heads
of dogs," as lapping the blood of the slain in battle, and exhibiting
at once the ferocity of the animal and the daring of the man. On the
summons of Justinian, they instantly plucked up their spears and
standards from the graves of the Heruli, whom they had slaughtered in
Poland, crossed the Danube with the whole force of their warriors, and
finally, after a long and bloody war, extinguished the Gepidæ in a
battle in which forty thousand of the enemy were slain round their
king. The conqueror, with characteristic savageness, made a
drinking-cup of the skull of the fallen monarch, and in it pledged his
chieftains to their future fame.

This victory at last had taught the imperial court the hazards of its
policy; but the deed was done, and Italy lay open to a race whose
strange aspect, ferocity of habit, and invincible courage, had already
wrought the Italians to the highest pitch of terror.

Among the effeminacies of Italy, the classic arrangement of the hair
and beard seem to have held a foremost place. But, in their new
invaders, the nation saw a host of athletic warriors, indifferent to
every thing but arms, wearing their locks wild as nature had made
them, and with visages and manners which almost justified the popular
report, that they had the heads of dogs, and lapped up the blood of
their enemies. From this length and looseness of hair they had their
name. Savage as they were, they exhibited something of that spirit
which from time to time tinges barbarism with romance. Alboin, the
prince of the Longobards, young, handsome, and a hero, resolved to
possess at once the two great objects of the passions, love and glory.
To accomplish the first, he seized on Rosamunda, the beautiful
daughter of the fallen monarch; and for the second he made a royal
banquet, and, covering the tables with the fruits and wines of Italy,
demanded of his chieftains whether the land which produced such things
was not worth their swords? We may justly conceive that he was
answered with acclamation. Their trumpets were heard through every
tribe of the North, and the multitude were instantly in arms under a
leader whose name was a pledge of possession. His vanguard scaled the
Julian Alps. All the roving warriors of Gaul and Germany, with a
column of twenty thousand Saxons, instantly joined the Lombard banner.
Italy, exhausted by a long continuance of disease and famine, and now
accustomed to yield, had lain at the mercy of the first invader, and
Alboin, with his sword in the sheath, marched through a fugitive
population, and finished his bloodless triumph within the impregnable
ramparts and patrician palaces of Verona. From the Trentine hills to
the gates of Ravenna and Rome, all was the easy prize of Lombard
victory.

It is singular to hear, at the interval of more than a thousand years,
the same names of the cities which then became the possession of the
invaders, and to see the warlike movements of the present hour
following the track of the warriors of the sixth century. Alboin
conquered Milan by fear, and Pavia by famine; but the bold barbarian
disdained to reside in a city, however splendid, which had yielded
without a battle, and he fixed the Lombard throne in Pavia, which had
earned his respect by a siege of three years.

It is a striking illustration of the superiority of institutions to
climate, that the Lombard, even in Italy, continued the same bold,
restless, and resistless man of iron, which he had been in the barren
plains of Prussia, or on the stormy shores of the Baltic. With all the
luxuries of Italy to soften him, and even with all the fervours of an
Italian sun to subdue him into indolence, he was still the warrior,
the hunter, and the falconer. Leaving tillage to the degraded caste of
the Italian, he trained horses for war and the chase, in the famous
pastures bordering the Adriatic. He sent to his native Scandinavia for
the most powerful falcons; he trained the hound, that could tear down
alike the stag and the wolf; and prepared himself hourly by the chase
through the forests, which were now rapidly covering the depopulated
plains of Italy, for the hardships and enterprises of actual war. The
favourite distinctions of the Lombard noble were the hawk on the wrist
and the falchion by the side.

We now give a rapid sketch of the subsequent periods.

From the tenth century, when Germany assumed the form of a settled
state, its connexion with Italy was always exhibited in the shape of
mastery. The modern Italian character is evidently not made for
eminence in war. The hardships of German life, contrasted with the
easy indolence of Italy, have always given the Northern ploughman the
superiority over the vine-dresser of the South; and from the time when
Charlemagne first moved his men of mail over the Alps, Italy has been
a fair and feeble prize for German vigour and German intrepidity.

On the general dissolution of the empire of Charlemagne, Italy
naturally followed the fate of all vassal kingdoms. At the close of
the ninth century its provinces had been made a common field of battle
to the multitude of dukes, counts, and captains of banditti, who
suddenly started into a brief celebrity as spoilers of the great
German empire. A terrible period of almost a century of intestine war
followed, which covered the land with corpses, and made Northern Italy
but one capacious scene of blood and desolation. At length, a German
conqueror, Otho of Saxony, fortunately came, as of old, crushed all
rivalry, drove the peasantry from the field, commanded the nobles to
do him homage, and by the combined operation of the sceptre and the
sword, partially compelled his fierce feudatories to learn the arts of
peace. Still, perhaps, there was not upon the earth a more disturbed
district than Lombardy. In the lapse of centuries, it had grown
opulent, notwithstanding its spoilers. The native talent of the
Italian, his commercial connexion with Egypt and the East, and his
literary intercourse with the fugitives from Constantinople, and the
eagerness of the Western nations, even at that early period, to obtain
the produce of Italian looms and pencils, gave the nation wealth, and
with it constitutional power. This power resulted in the formation of
small commonwealths, which, though frequently at war with each other,
often exhibited a lustre and spirit worthy of the vivid days of
antique Italy.

The feudal system, the natural product of barbarian victory, by which
the land had been divided among the conquerors, was strongly opposed
by the commercial cities; and the most successful of all resistance,
that of popular interests, rapidly broke down the system. The first
struggle was by the class of the inferior nobles against the great
proprietors. The close of the eleventh century found the principle of
resistance advancing, and the populace now mingled in the contest.

The dissension was increased by the papal violences against the
married clergy in the middle of the century. This dispute gave rise to
one of the most important changes in the Romish discipline, and one of
the longest contests between the Pope and the people. The Church of
Milan, dating its liturgy from the times of the memorable Bishop
Ambrose, had continued almost wholly independent of the discipline and
the authority of Rome. By its especial rule, the priest who was
married before his ordination retained his wife; but, if unmarried, he
was not suffered to marry afterwards. This unfortunate compromise with
superstition naturally produced the loss of the original right. The
Jewish priesthood had been married under the direct sanction of a code
confessedly divine. Peter, and apparently others of the apostles,
were married; and there is no mention of any remonstrance on the part
of our Lord against this most essential of all relationships. St
Paul's wish "that the disciples should remain unmarried" in the time
of a threatened persecution, was evidently limited to the persecution;
and instead of denying the common right of the Christian clergy to
marry, he expressly insists on his personal _right_ to marry if he
should so please, as well as any other of the brethren. The
recommendation _not_ to marry at the time was also addressed _not_ to
the peculiar _teachers_ of Christianity, but to the whole body of the
Christians--a generalisation which of itself shows that it was merely
for the period; as it must be wholly irrational to suppose that the
gospel desired the final extinction of marriage _among all mankind_.

The contest continued with great violence until the accession of the
well-known Gregory VII., who, finding it impossible to overcome the
resistance of the clergy, while they were sustained by their
archbishop, dexterously dismantled the See, by annexing its suffragans
gradually to Rome. The power of the archbishops of Milan thus sank,
until they condescended to receive investiture from the Bishop of
Rome. The See lost its independence; and the law of celibacy--one of
the most corrupting to the morals of the priesthood, but one of the
most effective to establish the domination of the papacy throughout
Europe--became the law of Christendom.

The history of the Italian republics is an unhappy record for the
advocates of republicanism. It was a history of perpetual feuds among
the higher ranks, and perpetual misery among the people. The mediæval
annals of Italy, with all their activity and lustre, might be wisely
exchanged by any nation on earth for the quiet obscurity of a German
marsh, or the remote safety of an island in the heart of the ocean.
The only palliation was in the stimulus which all republics give to
human energy, by relaxing all impediments to the exertion of the
individual. But this good is strangely counteracted by the habitual
uncertainty of republics. No man's fortune _can_ be safe while it
remains under a popular government. A decree of the party in power may
strip him of his property in a day. The general object of the rule of
the rabble is the seizure of property, and the man of wealth to-day
may be the beggar to-morrow. The most despotic monarchy seldom preys
on the individual, and still seldomer takes him by surprise. For the
long period of five hundred years, Lombardy was one of the most
unfortunate countries in the world, from its republican propensities.
Factions, of every degree of tyranny and vice, tore it asunder. The
names of the Torriani, the Visconti, and the Sforze, are seen
successively floating on the tide of blood and misery which covered
this noblest of the Italian provinces; and each faction, at its
sinking, left little more than a new evidence of the guilt of
profligate governments, each exceeding the other in professions of
public virtue. A single, vigorous sceptre--a settled constitution,
however stern--a dynasty even of despots, which had the simple merit
of stability, would have rescued Lombardy from a condition scarcely to
be envied by a galley-slave. The historians of Italy recur to this
period in words of horror. The romancers find in it an exhaustless
fund of their darkest scenes. The poets revert to it for their
deepest-coloured images of national destruction. What must be the
condition of a country, when a military despotism, and that too the
despotism of a foreign power, was a desirable change?

In the middle of the sixteenth century this change occurred, in the
transfer of Lombardy to Charles V. After a century and a half of
subjection to the Spanish dynasty, it again passed, by the failure of
the line, into the hands of Austria. But at length, under the
well-intentioned government of the Empress Maria Theresa, property
became secure, the factions were suppressed by the strong hand of
authority, commerce felt new confidence, and the natural advantages of
climate, soil, and talent suddenly raised the country into a new and
vigorous prosperity; within a quarter of a century, its population
rose from less than a million to nearly a million and a quarter; and
the produce of the soil not only fed its population, but was largely
exported.

The French Revolution of 1789, which startled every kingdom of Europe,
shook Italy to its centre. The religion of Rome, while it fills the
eye with ceremonies, and the ear with dogmas, makes but little
impression on the heart, and none on the understanding. The boundless
profligacy of Italian manners had long corrupted public life. The
opera and the billiard-table were the only resources of an overgrown
nobility, pauperised by their numbers, and despised for their
pauperism. The facility of dispensing with oaths, in a religion which
gives absolution for every crime, and repeats it on every repetition
of the crime, practically extinguishes all sense of allegiance; and,
at the first offer of what the French pronounced liberty, every
province was ready to rush into republicanism.

The campaigns of Napoleon, in 1796 and 1797, incomparably conducted by
the genius of the French general, and wretchedly mismanaged by the
inveterate somnolency of the councils of Austria, gave a new stimulus
to the frenzy of revolution. Lombardy, already resolved on
self-government, was constituted a republic by the treaty of Campo
Formio in 1797--Austria receiving Venice as a compensation for Milan,
Mantua, and Belgium. The Venetian outcry against this compact was
bitter, but it was helpless. Napoleon had the sword which settled all
diplomatic difficulties; and she had good reason to rejoice in her
release from the perpetual robbery of her republican masters. The
coronation of Napoleon in 1804, followed by the memorable Austrian
campaign, which ended with the fatal fight of Austerlitz, again
changed the destinies of the north of Italy. By the treaty of Vienna,
Venice and Lombardy were united under France, and Napoleon assumed the
crown of Charlemagne, as King of Italy!

On the exile of Napoleon to Elba, the Austrian Emperor again became
master of Milan, Mantua, and Venice, combined under the name of the
Lombardo-Veneto kingdom, which was annexed to the imperial crown--the
whole being divided into nine Lombard provinces, and eight Venetian;
and the population of the entire, by the census of 1833, being
somewhat more than four millions and a half.

It cannot now be necessary to enter into the detail of the national
government; but it was of a much more popular order than might be
conceived from the formalities of Austria. Each of the great
provinces--Lombardy and Venice--had a species of administrative
council, consisting of deputies from the minor provinces, each
returning two, the one a noble and the other a plebeian, with a deputy
from each of the royal towns, the whole being elected for six years.
Those bodies, though not entitled to make laws, had yet important
functions. They settled the proportion of the taxes, superintended the
disbursements for roads, and had the especial care of the charitable
establishments. Nor were these all. In every chief town there was a
local administration, especially superintending the finance of their
respective districts; and the general taxation seemed to have been
light, and but little felt, and scarcely complained of.

Burke, in one of his prophetic anticipations, pronounced that the
first ruin of Europe would be in its finance, and that every kingdom
was, even in his day, wading into a boundless ocean of debt. Austria,
of course, had felt its share; and after the desperate wars of 1805
and 1809, nothing is more wonderful in the history of finance, or more
honourable to the great statesman who for forty years presided over
her fate, than that she should have escaped bankruptcy.

But her liberality to her Italian provinces never failed. Some of the
details, which have already reached the public, give an extraordinary
conception of the almost prodigality with which Austria has lavished
her means upon the bridges, roads, and general public communications
of Lombardy.

We give those items in francs.

Five millions spent in repairing and constructing dikes in the Mantuan
province.

Four millions in completing the canal of the Naviglio.

A million and a half for roads in the mountains of the Bergamesque.

A million and a half for the great commercial road of the Splugen.

Two millions and a half for the road over the Hiffer Jock.

Three millions for continuing it along the shore of the lake Como.

Three millions and a quarter for completing the cathedral of Milan.

A million for improvements in the city.

Half a million for the fine bridge over the Ticino.

Twenty-four millions for cross-roads, between 1814 and 1831, besides
miscellaneous expenditure;--the whole being not less than sixty-six
millions in the fifteen years preceding 1834, in the mere matter of
keeping up the means of intercourse in a country where, half a century
ago, the cross-roads were little more than goat-tracks; besides the
annual expense of about a million and a quarter on the repair of the
roads since. And this munificent liberality was expended in Lombardy
alone. The expenditure in Venice in the latter period of its
possession has been nearly equal. The first French conquest had given
it the name of a constitution, and nothing else. The famous republic
was plundered to the last coin. On its second seizure its treasury was
again emptied by its French emancipators; and when it was restored to
Austria in 1814, its population presented a pauper list of fifty-four
thousand individuals. Its commerce was in a state of ruin; its palaces
and public buildings were in a state of decay; its charitable
establishments were without funds; and a few years more must have
filled its canals with the wrecks of its houses. Within the next
twenty years the reparations cost the Austrian treasury not less than
fifty-three millions of francs! Thus Venice rose from a condition
which all our travellers, immediately after the peace of 1815,
pronounced to be irreparable ruin, and is now one of the first
commercial cities of Italy.

But the Austrian government had not been contented with a mere
improvement of the soil or of the modes of communication--it had
employed extraordinary efforts in giving education to the people. We
are to remember the difficulties which impede all such efforts in
Romish countries. Where the priest regulates the faith, he must always
be jealous of the education. But the German habits of the government
predominated over the superstition of Rome, and a species of military
discipline was introduced, to compel the young Italians to learn the
use of their indolent understandings. Within a few years after the
peace of 1815 a national school system was put in action in Lombardy.
Within a few more years it had spread over the whole country, with
such effect, that there was scarcely a commune without its public
place of education. The schools for boys amounted to upwards of two
thousand three hundred, and for girls to upwards of twelve hundred.
Nearly a hundred of the schools for boys taught a very extensive
course of practical knowledge. The higher classes learned
architecture, mechanics, geography, drawing, and natural history, in
the vigorous, useful way for which German education is distinguished.
Still higher schools, or portions of the former, were placed in the
chief towns, for the practical acquirement of the known ledge most
important for servants of public offices. There the chief studies were
history, commerce, mathematics, chemistry, and French, German, and
Italian. Under this system, it is evident that very solid and valuable
acquirements might be made; and those were solely the work of the
Austrian sovereignty.

We give a slight abstract of the plan of education in the female
schools, because it is on this point that England is still most
deficient.

The female elementary schools had three classes.

In the youngest were taught spelling and writing, mental and written
arithmetic, needlework, and the Catechism.

In the second were taught the elements of grammar, the four rules of
arithmetic, and needlework, consisting of marking and embroidery, with
religious instruction.

In the third were taught religion, sacred history, geography, Italian
grammar, letter-writing, weights and measures, and the nature and
history of coin.

All those acquirements were, of course, dictated by the necessities
and habits of native life; but they compose a scale of practical
knowledge which, while useful in their humblest capacity, would form
an admirable ground-work for every attainment of the female mind. It
is probably from some sense of hazard that we do not observe music
among the objects of education: for doubtless singing must have been
one of the habits of schools taught by a German system. We should also
have desired to see some knowledge of domestic arrangements, of the
culinary arts, and of making their own dress. However, it is probable
that these obvious advantages, especially for the life of the
peasantry, may have been added subsequently to the period from which
our information is derived.

We should rejoice to see in England national institutions of this
order established for the education of young females of every rank,
thus withdrawing the daughters of the peasantry from those coarse
drudgeries of the field which were never intended for them, relieving
the female population of the manufacturing towns alike from the
factory labour and the town habits, and training for the labouring
population honest, useful, and moral partners of their lives. In the
higher ranks, the activity, regularity, and practical use of all their
occupations would be scarcely less essential; and we should see in the
rising generation a race of accomplished women who had learned every
thing that was of importance to make them the intellectual associates
of the intelligent world, while they had acquired those domestic
habits, and were entitled to avail themselves of those graceful and
useful arts, which make home pleasing without feeble indulgence,
hospitality cheerful without extravagance, and even time itself pass
without leaving behind a regret for wasted hours.

The Lombard system had been subsequently applied to the Venetian
provinces; where, twenty years ago, the number of schools had risen to
between fourteen and fifteen hundred. The number of boys then
attending the schools was upwards of sixty thousand. Higher still,
there were eighty-six gymnasia or colleges, with three hundred
professors, and attended by upwards of seven thousand students, with
thirty-four colleges for females. Higher still were the twelve
Lyceums, for philosophical studies; and, at the summit of all, the two
universities of Padua and Pavia. The whole system being superintended
by the general boards at Milan and Venice.

Whether all those regulations are applicable to our own country, may
be a matter of question. But the grand difficulty experienced here,
the power of making the parents avail themselves of those admirable
opportunities, is easily solved by the German discipline. A register
is kept in every commune, of all the children from six to twelve years
old; and they are all _compelled_ to attend the schools, except in
case of illness, or some other sufficient cause. But the tuition is
gratuitous, the expense and the schoolmaster being paid by the
commune. Corporal punishment is wholly forbidden.

Such were the benefits lavished by Austria upon her Italian subjects;
benefits which they never would have dreamed of if left to themselves;
and which, in all probability, the pauperised exchequer of the revolt
will never be able to sustain. Under this government, too, Lombardy
had become the most fertile province of Italy, the most densely
peopled, and the most opulent, of the south of Europe. Venice, too,
which had been crushed almost into ruins by the French, rose again
into a resemblance of that commercial power, and civil splendour,
which once made her famous throughout the Mediterranean; and Milan,
though characterised in the Italian annals as the most luckless of all
the cities of earth, having been besieged forty times, taken twenty
times, and almost levelled with the ground by the conqueror four
times,--yet, when the late Emperor Francis visited her about twenty
years ago, exhibited a pomp of private wealth, and a magnificence of
public festivity, which astonished Europe, and was the most eloquent
refutation of the declamatory ravings of the mob of patriotism.

That Austria should be unwilling to give up so fine a possession is
perfectly natural; constituting, as it does, the noblest portion of
the Italian peninsula; or, in the striking language of the historian
Alison,--

"A plain, three hundred miles in length, by a hundred and twenty in
breadth, and in the greatest portion of its length exhibiting an
alluvial soil watered by the Ticino, the Adda, the Adige, the
Tagliamento, and the Piave, falling from the Alps, with the Taro and
other streams falling from the Apennines, and the whole plain
traversed through its centre by the Po, affording the amplest means of
irrigation, the only requisite in this favoured region for the
production of the richest pastures and the most luxuriant harvests."

"On the west," says this master of picturesque description, "it is
sheltered by a vast semicircle of mountains, which there unite the
Alps and the Apennines, and are surmounted by glittering piles of ice
and snow, forming the majestic barrier between France and Italy. In
those inexhaustible reservoirs, which the heat of summer converts into
perennial fountains of living water, the Po takes its rise; and that
classic stream, rapidly fed by the confluence of the torrents which
descend through every cleft and valley in the vast circumference, is
already a great river when it sweeps under the ramparts of Turin."

The description of its agriculture is equally glowing with that of its
mountain boundaries. "A system of agriculture, from which every nation
in Europe might take a lesson, has been long established over its
whole surface, and two, sometimes three, successive crops annually
reward the labours of the husbandman. Indian corn is produced in
abundance, and by its return, quadruple that of wheat, affords
subsistence for a numerous and dense population. An incomparable
system of irrigation, diffused over the whole, conveys the waters of
the Alps into a series of little canals, like the veins and arteries
in the human body, to every field, and in some places to every ridge,
in the grass lands. The vine and the olive thrive on the sunny slopes
which ascend from this plain to the ridges of the Alps, and a woody
zone of never-failing beauty lies between the desolation of the
mountain and the fertility of the plain. The produce of this region,
which most intimately combines its interests with those of the great
European marts, is silk. Italy now settles the market of silk over all
Europe. Since the beginning of the present century, it has grown into
an annual produce of the value of ten millions sterling! Within the
last twenty years the export from the Lombardo-Venetian States has
trebled." All those details give an impression of the security of
property, which is the first effect of a paternal government. They
fully answer all the absurd charges of impoverishment by Austria, of
barbarism in its laws, or of severity in its institutions. Lombardy,
independent, will soon have reason to lament the change from Austrian
protection.

We come to other things. Italy is now in the condition of a man who
thinks to get rid of all his troubles by committing suicide. Every
kingdom, princedom, duchy, and village has successively rebelled, and
proclaimed a constitution; and before that constitution was a month
old, has forgotten what it was. A flying duke, a plundered palace, a
barricade, and a national guard, are all that the philosopher can
detect, or the historian has to record, in the Revolution of Italy.
How could it be otherwise? Can the man who bows down to an image, and
listens to the fictions of a priest, exercise a rational understanding
upon any other subject? Can the slave of superstition be the champion
of true freedom? or can the man, forced to doubt the virtue of his
wife and the parentage of his children, which is the notorious
condition of all the higher circles of Italian society, ever find
fortitude enough to make the sacrifices essential to the purchase of
true liberty? If all Italy were republicanised to-day, there would be
nothing in its character to make liberty worth an effort,--nothing to
prevent its putting its neck under the feet of the first despot who
condescended to demand its vassalage.

The war of Piedmont and Austria is another chapter, written in
another language than the feeble squabbles of the little
sovereignties. There, steel and gunpowder will be the elements; here,
the convulsion finishes in a harangue and the coffee-house. Charles
Albert has passed the Mincio, but shall he ever repass it? Certainly
not, if the Austrian general knows his trade. If ever king was in a
military trap, if ever army was in a pitfall, the Piedmontese passage
of the Mincio has done the deed. But, this must lie in the book of
casualties. Austria is renowned for military blunders. In the Italian
campaigns of Napoleon, her reinforcements came up only in time to see
the ruin of the army in the field. Successive generals followed, only
to relieve each other's reputation by sharing a common defeat; until
Italy was torn by 50,000 Frenchmen from the hands of 100,000
Austrians. Yet the Germans have been always brave; their national
calamity was tardiness. It clings to them still. They have now been
gazing for a month at the army of Charles Albert; they ought to have
driven it into the Mincio within twenty-four hours.

The Italian spirit of hatred to the German has exhibited itself in a
thousand forms for a thousand years. It has murmured, conspired, and
made vows of vengeance, since the days of Charlemagne. It has
sentenced the "Teuton" in remorseless sonnets, has fought him in
sinfonias, and slaughtered him in ballets and burlesques. But the
German returned, chained the poets to the wall of a cell, and sent the
writers to row in the galleys. For the last hundred years, Italy has
implored all the furies in operas, and paid homage to Nemesis by the
help of the orchestra--all in vain. At length, the French Revolution,
by sweeping the Austrian armies out of Italy, gave the chance of
realising the long dream. The "Cisalpine Republic" flourished on
paper, and every Italian talked of Brutus, and the revival of the
Consulate, and the Capitol. But the French price of liberty was too
high for Italian purchase; the liberators robbed the liberated of
every coin in their possession, and shot them when they refused to
give it up. Even the "Teuton" was welcome, after this experience of
the Gaul; and Italy found the advantage of a government which, though
it exhibited neither triumphal chariots nor civic festivities, yet
suffered the land to give its harvests to the right owners.

But even this feeling was to have a new temptation. About fifteen
years ago, one of the chaplains of the King of Sardinia was struck off
the court list, for uttering opinions which, touched with the old
romance of Italian liberation, struck the whole court of Turin with
horror. Charles Albert was then at the head of the Jesuits, and the
Jesuits demanded the criminal Gioberti. Italy was no longer safe for
him: he fled across the Alps, and took refuge in Belgium. There he
wrote, through necessity. But he had something to revenge, and he
wrote with the vigour of revenge. But he was an enthusiast, and he
indulged in the reveries of enthusiasm. The double charm was
irresistible to the dreamy spirit of a nation which loves to imagine
impossible retribution, and achieve heroism in the clouds. His
writings crossed the Alps. No obstacle could stop them; they wound
their way through _douanes_; they insinuated themselves through the
backstairs of palaces; they even penetrated into the cells of
monks;--and his treatise "Del Primato Civile e Morale degl' Italiani,"
which appeared in 1843, was hailed with universal rapture. The
literature of modern Italy seldom rises into that region of publicity
which carries a work beyond seas and mountains. She has not yet
attained the great art of common sense--the only art which furnishes
the works of man with wings. Her poetry is local and trifling: her
prose is loose, feeble, and rambling. Her best writers seem to the
European eye what the wanderers through Soirees and Conversaziones are
to the well-informed ear,--men of words living on borrowed notions,
and, after the first half-dozen sentences, intolerably tiresome.

But the work of Gioberti was a panegyric on Italy, a universal
laudation of the Italian genius, the Italian spirit, the Italian
language, every thing that bore the name of Italian! Its very title,
"The _Pre-eminence_, Civil and Moral, of the Italians," was
irresistible.

The monster-folly of all foreigners is a passion for praise; and the
unpopularity of the Englishman on the Continent chiefly arises from
his tardiness in gorging this rapacious appetite. Gioberti, with
evident consciousness of the offence, labours to justify the
assumption. "Individuals may be modest, but modesty degrades nations,"
is his preliminary maxim. "A nation to have claims must have merits;
and who is to believe in her merits, unless she believes in them
herself?" This curious logic, which would make vanity only the more
ridiculous by the openness of its display, is the grand argument of
the book. It has made Italy suddenly imagine herself a nation of
heroes.

"When a nation," says Gioberti, "has fallen into social degradation,
the attempt to revive its courage must be by praise; possibly
dangerous at other times, but now a generous art." It is admitted,
however, "that the facts ought to be true, and the arguments forcible;
and that no good can come from adulation." And in consequence of this
wise precaution, the patriotic monk proceeds to inaugurate his country
with the precedency in the grand procession of all the kingdoms of the
earth! But another striking feature of this work was, that all those
changes must emanate from a centre, and that centre the Pope, that
Pope being a professor of liberalism, and having for his pupils all
the princes of Italy. Whether Gioberti saw futurity with the eye of
prophet, or only in the conjecture of a charlatan, there can be no
doubt that the coincidence between his theory and the facts is
sufficiently curious. We are to remember that book was published in
the reign of Gregory XVI.--a genuine monk, hardened in all the old
habits of the cell, who thought that a railroad would be the overthrow
of the tiara, and the expression of a political opinion would call up
the shades of all the past Holinesses from their purgatorial thrones.

The book declared that the Deity being the source of all influence on
the civilisation of man, the country which approached nearest to
general influence over the world must be the leading nation. It
contends that Italy fulfils this condition in three ways. First, that
it has created the civilisation of all other nations; second, that it
preserves in its bosom, for general use, all the principles of that
civilisation; and third, that it has repeatedly shown the power of
restoring that civilisation. He further contends that the true
principle of Italian power is federation, and the true centre of that
federation must be the Pope. He declares that the whole light of
Italy, in the eyes of the world, has flashed from the papal
throne--that the Roman States are to the rest of Italy what the site
of the Temple was to the Jewish people--and seems to regard the whole
Italian nation, in reference to Europe, as like the Chosen Land to the
rest of the world. Even then, he marked the Piedmontese throne as the
chief support of the federation, and Charles Albert as the champion of
the great pontifical revolution which, expelling all strangers, and
uniting all princes, was to place Italy in secure sovereignty over all
the mental and moral influences of the world.

The work is obviously a romance; but it is a romance of genius; it is
obviously unsuited to the realities of any nation under the moon, but
it touches every weak point of the national character with a new
colouring, and persuades the loose and lazy Italian that he has only
to start on his feet to be a model for mankind. With him the church of
Rome is no longer an antiquated building of the dark ages, full of
obscure passages and airless chambers, with modern cobwebs covering
its ancient gilding, and, with the very crevices which let in light,
exhibiting only its irreparable decay. It is on the contrary a temple
full of splendour, and spreading its light through the world, crowded
with oracular shrines, and uttering voices of sanctity that are yet
destined to give wisdom to the world.

It must be wholly unnecessary for Protestantism to expose the
superficial glitter of those views, and the feeble foundations of this
visionary empire. The true respondent is the actual condition of
Europe. Every Protestant nation has left Italy behind. Even the Romish
nations, which have borrowed their vigour from intercourse with
Protestantism, have left her behind. Of what great invention for the
benefit of man has Italy been the parent during the last three hundred
years? What command has she given us over nature? what territory has
she added to the civilised world in an age of perpetual discovery?
what enlargement of the human mind has she exhibited in her
philosophy? what advance in the amelioration of the popular condition
signalises her intelligent benevolence? what manly inquiry into any
one of the means by which governments or individuals distinguish
themselves as benefactors to posterity, and live in the memory of
mankind?

It is painful to answer queries like these with a direct negation; but
that negation would be truth. Italy has nothing to show for her
intellectual products during centuries, but the carnival and the
opera; for her gallantry, but the sufferings of French and German
invasions; for her political progress, but the indolent submission to
generations of petty kings, themselves living in vassalage to France,
Austria, and Spain; and for her religion, but the worship of saints,
of whom no living man knows any thing--miracles so absurd as to make
even the sacristans who narrate them laugh; new legends of every
conceivable nonsense, and leases of purgatory shortened according to
the pence dropped into the purse of the confessional.

Italy has two evils, either of which would be enough to break down the
most vigorous nation--if a vigorous nation would not have broken down
both, ages ago. These two are the nobles and the priesthood--both
ruinously numberless, both contemptibly idle, and both interested in
resisting every useful change, which might shake their supremacy.
Every period of Italian convulsion has left a class of men calling
themselves nobles, and perpetuating the title to their sons. The
Gothic, the Norman, the papal, the "nouveaux riches," every man who
buys an estate--in fact, nearly every man who desires a title--all
swell the lists of the nobility to an intolerable size. Of course, a
noble can never do any thing--his dignity stands in the way.

The ecclesiastics, though a busier race, are still more exhausting.
The kingdom of Naples alone has eighty-five prelates, with nearly one
hundred thousand priests and persons of religious orders, the monks
forming about a fourth of the whole! In this number the priesthood of
Sicily is not included, which has to its own share no less than three
archbishops and eleven bishops. Even the barren isle of Sardinia has
one hundred and seventeen convents! Can any rational mind wonder at
the profligacy, the idleness, and the dependence of the Italian
peninsula, with such examples before it? The Pope daily has between
two and three thousand monks loitering through the streets of Rome.
Besides these, he has on his ecclesiastical staff twenty cardinals,
four archbishops, ninety-eight bishops, and a clergy amounting to
nearly five per cent of his population. With those two millstones
round her neck, Italy must remain at the bottom. She may be shaken and
tossed by the political surges which roll above her head, but she
never can be buoyant. She must cast both away before she can rise.
Italy priest-ridden, and noble-ridden, and prince-ridden, must be
content with her fate. Her only chance is in the shock, which will
break away her encumbrances.

We now come to the Avatar, in which liberty is looked for by all the
romancers in Italy. On the 1st of June 1846, Pope Gregory XVI. died,
at the age of 81. He was a man of feeble mind, but of rigid habits,
willing to live after the manner of his fathers, and, above all
things, dreading Italian change. The occasional attempts at
introducing European improvements into the Roman territory struck him
with undisguised alarm; and even his old age did not prevent his
leaving six thousand state prisoners in the Roman dungeons. On the
16th of the same month the Bishop of Imola was chosen Pope. He was of
an Italian family, which had occasionally held considerable offices;
was a man of intelligence, though tinged with liberalism; and was one
of the youngest of the Popes since Innocent III., who took the tiara
at the age of 37. The Bishop of Imola was 54.

Adopting the name of Pius IX., his first act was one of clemency. He
published an amnesty for political offences, and threw open the prison
doors. An act of this order is usual on the accession of a Pope. But
the fears of the population had been so much heightened by the
singular stubbornness of his predecessor, that the discovery of their
having a merciful master produced a universal burst of rejoicing.

But the popular excitement was not to be satisfied with the
trumpetings and parades of the returning exiles--it demanded a new
tariff, which was granted, of course. Then followed fêtes and
illuminations, until the Pope himself grew tired of being blinded by
fireworks and deafened by shouts. A succession of acts of civility
passed between his Holiness and his people. He talked of railroads,
canals, and commerce. He formed a council, which, so far as any
practical effect has been produced by the measure, seems to have died
in its birth. He cultivated popularity, walked through the streets,
occasionally served the mass for a parish priest, and fully gained his
object, of astonishing the populace by the condescension of a pontiff.
To all this we make no imaginable objection. Pius IX. did but a duty
that seldom enters into the contemplation of the prelacy, and which it
would be well for their security, and not unwise in their calling, to
practise in every province of Christendom.

But it is to be observed that, in all this pageantry of parliaments,
and all those provinces of renovation, nothing has been done--that
none of the real machinery of the popedom has been broken up--that the
monk is still a living being, and the Jesuit, though a little
plundered, is still in the world--that every spiritual law which made
Rome a terror to the thinking part of mankind is in full vigour at
this moment, and that whatever may be thought of the enlightenment of
his Holiness, every weapon of spiritual severity remains still bright
and burnished, and hung up in the old armoury of faith, ready for the
first hand, and for the first occasion.

Lord Brougham, in his late memorable cosmopolite speech, has charged
the popedom with being the origin of the European convulsions. There
can be no doubt that the popedom, if it did not give birth to the
movement, at least set the example. The first actual struggle with
Austria was its quarrel about the possession of Ferrara, which was,
after all, but a straw thrown up to show the direction of the wind.
The call to the Italian states, though not loud, was deep; and an
Italian army, for the purpose of forming an Italian confederation,
made a part of every dream between the Alps and the sea.

Then came still more showy scenes of the great drama. France had
looked on the Ferrarese struggle with the eager interest which
inspires that busy nation on every opportunity of European
disturbance. But the Parisian revolution suddenly threw the
complimentary warfare of German and Italian heroism into burlesque.
The extinction of the throne, the flight of a dynasty, the sovereignty
of the mob, and the universal frenzy of a nation, were bold sports, of
which Italian souls knew nothing. But their effect was soon perilously
felt; the populace of Milan determined to rival the populace of
Paris--had an _emeute_ of their own, built barricades, fought the
Austrian garrison, and made themselves masters of the capital of
Lombardy.

But the Italian is essentially a dramatist without the power of
tragedy; he turns by nature to farce, and in his boldest affairs does
nothing without burlesque. Could it be conceived that a people,
resolving on a revolution, should have begun it by a revolt of cigars!
In England "sixty years ago," a noble duke exhibited his hostility to
the government of Pitt, by ordering his footman to comb the powder out
of his locks--this deficiency in the powder tax being regarded by the
noble duke as a decisive instrument in the overthrowing the national
policy. It must however be said, for the honour of England and the
apology of the duke, that he was a Whig,--which accounts for any
imbecility in this world.

The Milanese began by a desperate self-denying ordinance against
tobacco. No patriot was thenceforward to smoke! What the Italian did
with his hands, mouth, or thoughts, when the cigar no longer employed
the whole three, is beyond our imagination. His next act of patriotic
sacrifice was the theatre--the Austrian government receiving some rent
as tax on the performances. The theatre was deserted, and even Fanny
Ellsler's pirouettes could not win the rabble back. Even the public
promenade, which happened to have some connexion with Austrian
memories, was abandoned, and no Italian, man, woman, or child, would
exhibit on the Austrian Corso. To our northern fancies, all this seems
intolerably infantine; but it is not the less Italian--and it might
have gone on in the style of children raising a nursery rebellion to
this hour, but for the intervention of another character.

The history of the Sardinian states is as old as the Punic wars. But
the glance which we shall give looks only to the events of the last
century--excepting the slight mention, that from the period when Italy
was separated from the fallen empire of Charlemagne in the ninth
century, the command of the passes of Mont Cenis and Mont Genevre,
with the countries at the foot of the Cottian and Graian Alps, was put
in charge of some distinguished military noble, as the key of Italy,
that noble bearing the title of Marquis or Lord of the Marches.

We come, leaving nine centuries of feud and ferocity behind, to the
eighteenth century, when the house of Savoy became allied with the
royal succession of England, by the marriage of Victor Amadeus with
Anne Marie of Orleans, daughter of Philip, brother of Louis XIV., by
Henrietta, daughter of Charles I. of England.

There are few historical facts more striking than the effect of
position on the character of the princes of Savoy. The life of the
Italian sovereigns has generally been proverbial for the feebleness of
their capacities, or the waste of their powers; but Savoy exhibited an
almost unbroken line of sovereigns remarkable for political sagacity,
and for gallantry in the field. This was the result of their location.
They were to Italy what the Lords Wardens of the Border were to
England and Scotland; forced to be perpetually in the saddle--constantly
preparing to repel invasion--their authority dependent from year to
year on an outburst from France, or a grasp from the restless ambition
and vast power of the German emperors. It is not less remarkable, that
from the middle of the century, when the hazards of Savoy were
diminished by the general amelioration of European policy, the vigour
of the Savoyard princes decayed; and the court of Turin, instead of
being a school of diplomacy and war, sank into the feebleness of
Italian thrones, and retained its rivalry only in the opera.

But the French Revolution came, sent to try the infirmities of all
thrones. It found Victor Amadeus the Third sitting calmly in the seat
of his forefathers, and wholly unsuspicious of the barbarian storm
which was to sweep through his valleys. The French burst on Nice in
1792, then on Oniglia, and stripped Savoy of all its outworks to the
Alps.

But Napoleon came, another shape of evil. While the king was preparing
to defend the passes of the mountains, the young French general turned
the line of defence by the sea, and poured his army into Piedmont. A
succession of rapid battles carried him to the walls of Turin; and the
astonished king, in 1796, signed a treaty which left his dominions at
the mercy of Republicanism.

On the death of the king in this year of troubles, his son, Charles
Emanuel IV., succeeded him. But he was now a vassal of France; he saw
his country dismembered, his armies ruined, and his people groaning
under the cruel insults and intolerable exactions which have always
characterised French conquest. Unable to endure this torture, he
retired to Sardinia, and from Sardinia finally went to Rome, and there
abdicated in favour of his brother, Victor Emanuel.

The new monarch, whose states were undergoing from year to year all
the capricious and agonising vicissitudes of Italian revolution, at
length shared in the general European triumph over Napoleon, and at
the peace of 1814 returned to his dominions, augmented, by the treaty
of Vienna, by the important addition of Genoa.

But his return was scarcely hailed with triumph by his subjects, when
the example of Spain was followed in an insurrection demanding a new
constitution. The king, wearied of political disturbance, and being
without offspring, now determined to follow the example of his
predecessor, and gave up the crown to his brother, Charles Felix,
appointing, as provisional regent, Prince Charles Albert of Savoy
Carignano, a descendant of Victor Amadeus I.

After a reign of ten years, undistinguished by either vices or
virtues, but employed in the harmless occupations of making roads and
building schools, the king died in 1831, and was succeeded by the
Prince of Carignano.

Charles Albert has now been seventeen years upon the throne; yet, to
this hour, his character, his policy, and his purposes, are the
problems of Italy. His whole course strongly resembles those
biographies of studied mystery and sleepless ambition--those serpent
obliquities and serpent trails--which marked the career of the
mediæval princes of Italy; but which demanded not only a keen head,
but a bold resolve,--Castruccio, with a Machiavel, for the twin image
of the perfection of an Italian king.

The object of universal outcry for his original abandonment of "Young
Italy,"--an abandonment which may find its natural excuse in the
discovery that Young Italy was digging up the foundations of the
throne, on whose first step his foot was already placed, and to which
within a few years he actually ascended;--from that period he has
fixed the eyes of all Italy upon his movements, as those of the only
possible antagonist who can shake the power of Austria. He has at
least the externals of a power to which Italy can show no rival:
50,000 of the best troops south of the Alps, which a blast of the
trumpet from Turin can raise to 100,000; a country which is almost a
continued fortress, and a position which, being in the command of the
passes of Italy, can meet invasion with the singular probability of
making his mountains the grave of the invader, or open Italy to the
march of an auxiliary force, which would at once turn the scale. His
government has exhibited that cool calculation of popular impulse and
royal rights, by which, without a total prohibition of change, he has
contrived to keep the whole power of government in his hands. Long
watched by Austria, he had never given it an opportunity of direct
offence; and if he has at length declared war, his whole past conduct
justifies the belief, that he has either been driven to the conflict
by some imperious necessity, or that he has assured himself, on
deliberate grounds, of the triumph of his enterprise.

He has now taken the first step, and he has taken it with a daring
which must either make him the master of Italy, or make him a beggar
and an exile. By rushing into war with Austria, he has begun the game
in which he must gain all or lose all. Yet we doubt that, for final
success, far as he has gone, he has gone far enough. On the day when
he unfurled the standard against Austria, he should have proclaimed
Italian independence. We look upon the aggression on Austria as a
violation of alliance which must bring evil. But that violation being
once resolved on, the scabbard should have been thrown away, and the
determination published to the world, that the foreign soldier should
no longer tread the Italian soil. This declaration would have had the
boldness which adds enthusiasm to interest. It would have had the
clearness which suffers no equivocation; and it would have had the
comprehensiveness which would include every man of Italian birth, and
not a few in other countries, to whom unlicensed boldness is the first
of virtues.

The private habits of this prince are said to be singularly adapted to
the leader of a national war. His frame is hardy, his manner of living
is abstemious, and his few recreations are manly and active. He has
already seen war, and commanded a column of the French army in the
campaign of 1823, which broke up the Spanish liberals, and reinstated
the king upon the throne. But, with all those daring qualities, he
never forgets that the Italian is by nature a superstitious being;
that he is, at best, a compound of the mime and the monk--with the
monk three-fourths predominating; and that no man can hope to be
master of the national mind who does not take his share in the
priestly slavery of the people. This accounts for the extraordinary
reverence which from time to time he displays in the ceremonials of
the church, for his sufferance of the monkish thousands which blacken
the soil of his dominions, and for his tolerance of the Jesuits, whom
he, as well as probably every other sovereign of Europe, dreads, and
whom every other sovereign of Europe seems, by common consent, to be
fixed on expelling from his dominions.

What the ulterior views of the King may be, of course, it would
require a prophet to tell. Whether the crown of Lombardy is among the
dreams of his ambition, whether the Italian hatred of Austria
stimulates his councils, or whether the mere Italian passion for
freedom urges him to stake his own diadem on the chances of the field
for the liberation of the peninsula, are questions which can be
answered only by the event; but he has at last advanced,--has menaced
the Austrian possession of Italy; has pressed upon the Austrian army
in its retreat; has reduced it to the defensive; and has brought the
great question of Austrian dominion to the simple arbitration of the
sword.

The history of the Sardinian campaign has been hitherto a history of
skirmishes. The Piedmontese troops have advanced, and Radetski has
retired. The Austrian position is memorable for its strength, and has
been successively adopted by every defender of the Austro-Italian
provinces. Peschiera, Verona, and Mantua form the three angles of an
irregular triangle, of which the line of the Mincio forms the base.
Charles Albert, by crossing the Mincio at Goito, is now _within_ the
triangle. The three fortresses are strong, and he has already made
some attempts on Peschiera, which commands the head of the Lake of
Garda. Those attempts have failed, and Verona is now his object; and
there too he appears to have already undergone some failures. The true
wonder is, that he has been suffered to remain a moment making these
experiments, and that Austria, with 300,000 men under arms, should
allow an Italian army, of 50,000 men at the most, to shut up her
general, and lord it over half of her Italian territory. All this is
an enigma. It is equally an enigma, that the Austrian commander-in-chief
should have allowed himself to be driven out of the capital of
Lombardy by the rabble of the streets, and have marched out with a
garrison of 15,000 men, before a mob of half their number. He ought to
have fought in Milan to his last battalion. If he had been embarrassed
by orders from home, he ought to have resigned at once. A heavy blow
at the insurrection in Milan would have extinguished Italian
rebellion.

He has now a position in which he might fight with perfect security
for his flanks and rear; with the strongest fortress in Italy, Mantua,
for his place of refuge, if defeated; and, if successful, with the
certainty of ruin to his adversary;--yet he stands still. It was by a
brilliant movement in this position that the Austrian Kray gave the
French that tremendous defeat which ultimately drove them over the
Alps.

The surrounding country is of the most intricate kind--a perpetual
intersection of large rivers, guarded at every passage by _têtes de
pont_, and all the means known to military science. A war of this
order may be carried on for years; and, unless the Italian population
shall rise _en masse_, it must be a mere waste of blood and time.

The true tactique of an Italian invasion is a succession of rapid,
daring, and _hazardous_ attacks. This is the dictate of experience in
every example of Italian conquest. A bold rush into the interior,
leaving all fortresses behind, despising the obstacles of rivers,
lakes, and mountains, and only hurrying on to meet the enemy in line,
has been the principle of success from the first days of the French
assaults on Italy to the last. _Their_ war was an incursion, their
marches were a headlong charge, their battles were outbursts of
furious force; and, if their triumphs were transient, they failed
merely from the national caprice which tires of every thing, and from
the exhaustion of an ill-regulated finance. The French, even under the
old Bourbons, never descended the Alps without sweeping all resistance
before them. The campaigns of Napoleon in 1796, and the following
year, were on the same principle. He plunged into Italy at the head of
50,000 troops, ragged, hungry, and in beggary, but the first robbers
in Europe. He told them that, by beating the Italians, they should get
clothes, food, and money. As a strategist, he probably committed a
thousand faults, but he did not commit the grand fault of all, that of
giving the enemy time to recover his senses. He fought every day,--he
fought by night as well as by day. At Montenotte, he fought for twelve
hours, and was beaten; he again mounted his horse at midnight,
attacked the victor in his first sleep, and, before morning, was
master of the mountains, with the Austrian army in full flight, and
the gates of Turin open before him. The Russian campaign in Italy was
on the same principle. "When you are not fighting, march; when you are
not marching, fight." When the Austrian generals advised Suwarrow to
manœuvre, he laughed, and told them that tactics were only
trifling. "Make reconnoissances," said the greybeard pupils of the
Aulic Council. "My reconnoissances," said the great Russian, "are of
10,000 men. Form column, charge bayonet, plunge into the enemy's
centre. These are my only reconnoissances." In three months he drove
the French, under their two best officers, Macdonald and Moreau,
across the Alps, and cleared Italy. A lingering Italian campaign is
always a campaign thrown away, or a country lost. It is the work of a
military gambler. Napoleon's invasion of Italy, in his consulate, was
one of the most desperate hazards ever ventured in war. He might have
been defeated, and, if defeated, he must have been utterly ruined. But
he attacked the Austrians, was repulsed, renewed the attack in
desperation, repulsed the enemy in turn, and next day saw all Italy
capitulate to him.

What a month may bring forth is beyond our calculation; but while we
were writing those pages, there had been a general movement of the
Piedmontese troops on Verona, probably with the intention of aiding
some insurrectionary movement in the city. The Piedmontese artillery
speedily demolished the field-works in the approaches to the city. A
general advance was ordered, and the Austrian troops continued to
retreat, still turning on the advancing line, and fighting, through a
country the greater part of which is a low shrubby forest. At length,
however, a Piedmontese division was vigorously attacked, taken by
surprise, and broken with a loss so heavy, as to determine the retreat
of the army to its position of the morning. Still, this was but an
affair of posts; and, in the mean time, General Nugent, with an army
of 30,000 men, is putting down the insurgents in the Venetian
provinces, and is marching towards the flank of the Piedmontese.

One fact is evident, that Italy has _not_ risen in a body, and that,
with all the harangues of her revolutionary orators, and all the
promises of what those orators call "her heroic youth, burning to
extinguish the abomination of the Teutons," very few of them have
stirred from their coffee-houses. Italy, with her twenty millions of
men, has probably not furnished to the field twenty thousand
volunteers. Yet this is the time for which they have been all panting
in all kinds of sonnets; when the "new spirit of political
regeneration" has full range for its flight, when the Austrian police
are a dead letter, and when Spielberg and its bastions are a bugbear
no more.

But the movements of the Roman populace are matters of more rapid
execution. What the Pope was a month since, every one knows;--Pius the
powerful, Pius the popular, Pius the restorer of liberty to all the
aggrieved nations of Italy, with a slight appendix, including the
aggrieved nations of Europe. But the populace, which gave him his
titles, have now changed them, and he is "Pius the Monk."

In a year whose every week produces a revolution, who can predict the
events of a month? In the middle of this month of May, Pope Pius is
virtually a prisoner in his palace; within a week he may be
transferred to the castle of St Angelo; within a fortnight he may be
an exile, an outlaw, or a refugee in England.

The intelligence from Rome at the commencement of the month was
simply, that he was a cipher. The people, in their eagerness for
Austrian overthrow, demanded a declaration of war. But the German
bishops are said to have informed the Court of Cardinals, that a
measure of that order would instantly produce a renouncement of their
allegiance to the Roman See. A council of cardinals was now summoned,
before whom the Pope laid a recapitulation of his policy, which may be
considered in the light of a penitential speech. In the mean time, all
his ministers tendered their resignations, probably hoping to lay the
_onus_ of things on the shoulders of Pius himself, and glad to escape
from being massacred by the mob, or hanged by the Austrians.

But the Pope wisely determined, that whatever happened to one, should
happen to all, and refused to let them resign. The general staff then
held a "sitting," and the municipality marched in procession, to give
their opinion at the Vatican on matters of government, and recommend
"_abdication_!" Such are the benefits of telling the rabble that they
are the true depositaries of the national wisdom. In other and better
days, the Pope would have sent those volunteer privy-councillors to
the galleys, as their impudence richly deserved. But he may now thank
his own political visions.

The affair was not yet over. The civic guard, that darling creation of
regenerate freedom, took up its muskets, planted themselves at the
gates, and declared that no one, priest, bishop, or pope, should stir
from Rome. A kind of rabble proclamation was next made, that "no
ecclesiastic should hold any civil office." If this be persisted in,
there is an end of "Our Sovereign Lord the Pope." He may possibly be
allowed to say mass, hear confessions, and work miracles in the old
monkish fashion. But his tiara must pass away, his sceptre will be a
staff, and his toe will be kissed no more. The mob say that as they do
not wish to take him by surprise, they have allowed him some days to
settle the question of private life with himself. But the declaration
of war is the _sine quâ non_, and if he refuses, there is to be a
"provisional government."

"By six o'clock, on the 1st instant, no answer had been received."
Such is the new punctuality of popular dealings with princes and
popes; and such was the announcement of the mob leaders to all those
political reformers, the loungers of Rome. But at last the old
expedient of startled sovereignty has been adopted. The ministry, by
intelligence on the 5th, had been suffered to retire, and their
successors, more liberal than ever, were received with popular
acclamation.

The senate of Rome, probably to soften this measure to the Papal
feelings, presented Pius with a long address, which, however, contains
a repetition of the demand for war at any price. It says, "The people
do not expect _you_, a messenger of peace, to declare war. But they
only desire that you _should not prevent_ those to whom you have
confided the direction of temporal affairs _to undertake and conduct
it_." Thus the division is complete. The Pope is to be two distinct
personages--the messenger of peace, and the maker of war; unless, in
the latter instance, he is to be responsible for acts which he does
not guide, and to acknowledge his ministers to be "viceroys over him."
Of all the acts of sovereignty, the most inalienable is the making of
peace and war. But the sovereign of Rome is to have nothing of the
kind. He is to be a puppet in the hands of a Board. We may well
believe the accounts which represent him as "_in deep dejection_" at
these manifestations of popular dealings with princes and popes. If
his "Holiness" is not expeditious in his decision to obey his
Sansculotte statesmen, the conclusion will be as rapid as the
conception.

In all this chapter of change, whatever may be the coolness of our
respect for the Papacy, we feel for the Pope, as we should feel for
any man intolerably insulted by a conspiracy of wretches pampered into
gross arrogance by sudden power. His personal character is
unimpeachable; and if his vanity has met with a sudden and bitter
reproof, it is only the vanity of an Italian.

Even of the people of Italy we speak only with regret. If these pages
contain contemptuous expressions, wrung from us by the truth of
things, we are not the less ready to acknowledge the original merits
of a people spoiled only by their institutions. We admit every
instance which their panegyrists adduce of their natural ability, of
their kindliness of disposition, of their ancient intrepidity in the
field, and of their brilliancy in the arts. We impute all their waste
of those gifts to the fiction which they call their religion. We
lament over the hopelessness of Italian restoration while the nation
sees the melting of St Januarius's blood as a work of heaven; expects
the remission of sins from looking at the napkin of St Veronica; bows
down to an image of the Virgin as the worker of miracles, and as an
object of divine worship. While this lasts, the mind of Italy must
remain in the darkness of that of its fathers, it may have wars, but
it will have no advance in liberty; it may have revolutions, but it
will have no national vigour; it may have a thousand depositions of
sovereigns, but it will only be a change of masters, and every change
only leaving it the more a slave. Italy can have but one charter--the
Bible.

But now the world is in confusion. War in the north--war in the
south--war gathering in the east of Europe. Russia, with 120,000 men,
marching on Poland, to be followed by 300,000 more. France, with half
a million of men in arms, waiting but the blast of the revolutionary
trumpet to pour down on Italy. Can these things be by accident?
Universal convulsion after a tranquillity of thirty years! And are
these but the beginning of sorrows?



THE INCA AND HIS BRIDE.--A MEDLEY.


CHAPTER I.

ASTLEY'S.

"Most votes carry the point, as a matter of course," said the Doctor,
carefully distilling the last few drops of an incomparable Badmington
into his glass. "I must say I am strongly in favour of the Surrey Zoo.
They have got up Rome there in a style that is absolutely perfect; and
the whole thing puts one remarkably in mind of Tacitus."

"Very likely," replied our friend the Spaniard; "but it so happens
that my classical reminiscences are the reverse of agreeable. I don't
believe there was a single oak in the whole grove of Dodona; at least
my instinctive impression is towards the fact, that in the days of
Agricola the world was a wilderness of birch. No; I declare for the
opera. Pauline Viardot----"

"Bah!" said the Doctor. "These are no times to encourage foreigners.
What say you, Fred?"

"I pronounce decidedly against the opera. In the first place, I am for
the encouragement of native talent, especially in these revolutionary
days; and in the second, I am remarkably hard up for cash. I agree
with the Spaniard that Rome is rot. Suppose we go down to Astley's,
and indulge ourselves with the death of Shaw?"

"I rather think that Shaw is used up," replied the Doctor. "Gomersal
was the last of his race. However, Widdicomb survives, and there is
still a chance of fun. So Astley's be it."

Accordingly, we soon found ourselves at that notable place of
hippodramatic entertainment. In former years, Astley's was by far the
most national of all the metropolitan theatres. It afforded the best
practical exposition of the military history of Europe. One by one the
fiery fights of the Peninsula and of Flanders were reproduced with an
almost unnecessary amount of carnage. Real cannon--or at least
cylinders which had every appearance of being bored--rumbled nightly
across the stage. Squadrons of dragoons, mounted upon piebald,
cream-coloured, and flea-bitten chargers, used to dash desperately
through groves of canvass in pursuit of despairing fugitives; and
terrific were the thunders of applause as the chivalry assailed a
bridge, or overleaped the battlements of a fortification. No feat was
too impracticable for these centaurs--no chasm too enormous for their
vault; and it really was a touching thing to observe that, whenever a
trooper fell, his horse invariably knelt down beside him, and seemed
to beseech him to arise by pathetically nibbling at his buttons. The
entertainments usually concluded with a series of single combats, a
transparency of Britannia seated on a garden roller, and a most
prodigal distribution of laurel. They were not only blameless, but
highly praiseworthy and patriotic exhibitions; and it is deeply to be
regretted that they are rapidly falling into desuetude.

There is no denying the fact that Astley's has undergone a change.
There may be as much good riding as ever, and as fearless bounding on
the tight-rope--the courier of St Petersburg may still pursue the
uneven tenor of his way along the backs of six simultaneous
geldings--and the lover may regain his bride by passing through the
terrific ordeal of the blazing hoop as of yore. But the British
feeling--the indomitable spirit--the strong, burly, independent
patriotism of the ring has departed, and the Union Jack no longer
floats triumphant over a sea of sawdust. This is matter of painful
thought, for it is a marked sign of the decadence of the national
drama.

We were just in time to witness the last act of an entertaining
spectacle, which argued on the part of the author a particular
intimacy with natural history, and with the customs of the Oriental
nations. The scene was laid in some village of Hindostan; and it
appeared that sundry British subjects, male and female, had by
accident been caught trespassing within the confines of a grove sacred
to Bramah. No Highland thane in the act of detecting a stray geologist
on his territory could have exhibited more unbounded wrath than the
high-priest, whose white beard and coffee-coloured arms vibrated and
quivered with indignation. Regardless of the laws of nations, and
insensible to the duties of hospitality, the hoary heathen summoned
the captives before him, and offered them the fearful alternative of
embracing the worship of Bramah, or of undergoing the sentence of
Daniel, with the certainty of a worse catastrophe. It is hardly
necessary to add, that the whole party, even down to a deboshed
sergeant, whose religious scruples could hardly have been very strong,
spurned at the idea of repudiating their faith, and unanimously
demanded to be led on the instant to the menagerie. One young
lieutenant of the Irregulars, indeed, was liberal in his offers to die
for a certain lady, who had very unwisely followed him into the jungle
without a bonnet, and in a gauze dress of singular tenuity: but as the
old hierophant had made no offers whatever of a partial amnesty, it
did not exactly appear that such generous devotion could in any way be
carried into effect. The audience, accordingly, were led to prepare
for a scene of indiscriminate bone-crushing, when a new turn was given
to the posture of affairs by the appearance of a tall gentleman
arrayed in flesh-coloured tights, who demanded the priority of
sacrifice. The precise persuasion of this individual, and his claims
to such invidious distinction, were not accurately set forward; but as
he rejoiced in the appellation of Morok the Beast-tamer, it appeared
evident to us that at some period of his existence he had been
admitted to the privilege of an intimacy of M. Eugene Sue. After some
consideration, and an appeal to an invisible oracle, the high-priest
of Bramah, influenced probably by the distinguished literary position
of his prisoner, consented to the request; and a solemn festival, to
begin with the disparition of the European captives at the banquet of
the beasts, and to end with the incremation of about twenty young
native widows on the funeral pile, was decreed accordingly. This
announcement seemed to fill the hearts of the aforesaid widows with
unbounded rapture, for they incontinently advanced to the front of the
stage, where they executed an extempore mazourka.

The next scene exhibited a cave, divided into two compartments, each
of them stocked with a very fair supply of decrepid-looking lions and
attenuated leopards. There was some slight squalling from the pit on
the part of the female audience; for the interposed grating appeared
to be needlessly slight, and one of the lions, though possibly from
the mere ennui of existence, had a habit of yawning, which might have
struck terror into the heart of Androcles. The clown, however, though
not properly a protagonist in the drama, was kind enough to restore
confidence to the spectators, by walking several times upon his hands
before the bars, and exposing his motley person in divers tempting
attitudes to the wild beasts, without apparently exciting their
appetite. The yawning animal took no further notice of the invitation
than to raise himself on his hind legs, and rested his four paws upon
the cross-bar; after which he remained sitting like an enormous
terrier supplicating for a fragment of muffin. A sickly tiger in the
other compartment began to cough unpleasantly, as though the air of
the circus was too pungent or too loaded for his delicate lungs.

Presently the procession entered, singing a hymn, which must have been
highly gratifying to Bramah. In this ditty the widows joined with a
fortitude worthy of so many Iphigenias; and we were not a little
shocked to observe that some of the European captives were
participators in that heathen psalmody. However, for the credit of our
country, it should be stated, that neither the lieutenant of
Irregulars, nor Amelia Darlingcourt, the young lady in whose
affections he had a decided interest, took part in any such
apostasy--indeed the mind of the latter was wholly occupied by other
feelings, as she presently took occasion to assure us; for, the priest
of Bramah having proclaimed silence, she advanced to the foot lamps,
and warbled out an appropriate declaration that her heart was at that
moment in the Highlands. This over, she threw herself into her lover's
arms; and they both contemplated the menagerie with a calmness which
testified the triumph of affection over death.

At a given signal, Morok the Beast-tamer stepped undauntedly into the
den. We are ashamed to say that our friend the Doctor gloated upon
this part of the spectacle with evident interest--it being a favourite
theory of his that, on some occasion when the digestive organs of the
animals were more than ordinarily active, Morok was sure to go the way
of all flesh. Zumalacarregui was more indifferent,--pronounced the
whole exhibition a humbug, and contrasted it disparagingly with the
bull-fights in which, according to his own account, he was wont to
take an active share at Salamanca. For my own part, it did not strike
me that Mr Morok ran any particular danger. Either the animals were
gorged, or their native ferocity had been long ago subdued by a system
of judicious training. The lions submitted with perfect resignation to
have their jaws wrenched open, and showed no symptoms of any desire to
imitate the example of nutcrackers, even when the beast-tamer was
inspecting the structure of their throats. The panthers were as
pacific as though they had formed part of the body-guard of Bacchus;
and the leopards ran up the shoulders of the man, and even allowed
themselves to be twisted up into neckcloths, with a docility which was
positively engaging.

The _denoûment_ of the drama was, of course, simple. The high-priest
of Bramah, and indeed the deity himself, were taken thoroughly aback.
The oracle declared itself satisfied. The European captives were set
free without the slightest stain upon their honour. Morok was
discovered to be an eminent rajah--perhaps Tippoo Saib or Hyder Ali in
disguise; the elderly individual with the coffee-coloured arms gave
his benediction to the lovers--and the widows, sharing in the general
amnesty, and relieved from the statutory duty of performing as suttee,
testified their entire satisfaction with the whole proceedings by
another mazy dance; after which the curtain fell upon a highly
appropriate tableau.

"Well!" said the Doctor, "upon my honour, I must say that we should
have been quite as well off at the Surrey. In this hot weather, the
ammoniacal odour of the stables may be salubrious, but it is very far
from refreshing; and I question whether it is improved by an
intermixture of carnivorous exhalations."

"Were it not for that pretty face in the next box, I would have been
off before now," observed he of Salamanca; "this lion and tiger stuff
is enough to try the patience of Job."

"But the horsemanship, my dear fellow," said I.

"Psha! what do they know of real horsemanship here?" interrupted the
Spaniard. "When I was in the Christino cavalry."

"There! I knew it!" said the Doctor. "Once set him off on that yarn,
and we shall have the whole history of his campaigns, without the
slightest remorse or mitigation. Do, my dear Fred, be cautious! You
don't know what I endured yesterday at supper."

"You be shot!" replied the Iberian. "Was I not compelled to substitute
some rational topic of conversation for your interminable harangue
upon the symptoms of pulmonary complaint? It was enough to have
emptied an hospital. But see! they are bringing in the horses. By
Jove, how fresh Widdicomb looks! I wonder whether he was really master
of the ring at Trajan's amphitheatre. Not a bad brute, that one
striped like a Zebra. How on earth do they manage the colours?"

"It is a chemical process," said the Doctor. "Perhaps you are not
aware that the hyper-iodate of ----"

"Oh yes! we know all about it: very queer stuff too, I daresay.
Hallo--look here! what kind of character is this fellow intended to
personify?"

The question was not easily answered. The individual who provoked the
remark was attired in most parsimonious silk drawers, with a sort of
diminutive kilt around his waist. His head was decorated with a circle
of particoloured feathers springing from a spangled circlet, not
altogether unlike a highly decorated library-duster. On the whole, his
costume was such as might have suited a Peruvian climate; but it was
manifestly unfitted for the temperature of any untropical locality. By
his side was a young lady similarly attired, only with a more liberal
allowance of drapery, and rather more spangles upon her sleeves. The
clown proceeded to chalk their soles with an expression of devout
humility.

"These, I presume," said the Doctor, consulting the playbill, "are
intended to represent the Inca and his bride; though what Incas had to
do with horses, is utterly beyond my comprehension."

"They might have got them from the Spaniards, you know. Pizarro, is
said to have been a liberal fellow in his way. I know a descendant of
his at Cordova--"

"There they go--now for it!" said the Doctor. "I wonder if people ever
galloped across a prairie in that way, holding one another by the
hands, and standing each upon the point of one particular toe?"

"No more than Mercury ever chose to light upon the summit of a _jet
d'eau_," said I. "But you are very prosaical and matter-of-fact
to-night. See! up goes the lady on the Inca's knee. Do you call that
attitude nothing? Why, even the master of the ring is so lost in
admiration that he is forgetting to use his whip."

Here come the pole and ribbons. Yoicks! Capitally leaped! That young
lady bounds over the cords as light and playfully as a panther. Surely
the Inca is not going to disgrace himself by tumbling through a hoop?
Yes, by the powers he is!--and a very fair somersault he has made of
it! Now, then, put on the steam! Round they go like a whirlwind,
attitudinising as if in agony. She looks behind her--starts--points;
he turns his head--some imaginary foe must be in pursuit!
Onwards--onwards, loving pair! One leap now, and ye are safe! It is a
rasper, though--being nothing more nor less than a five-barred gate,
speaking volumes in favour of early Peruvian agriculture. Over it they
go both together; and Mr Merryman, in token of satisfaction, refreshes
himself with a swim upon the sawdust!

"That course alone is worth the money," said I. "Now, Chief, unless
you are bent upon prosecuting your conquest to the left, we may go. I
feel a strong craving in my inner man for a draught of Barclay and
Perkins."

"After all," remarked the Doctor, as we wended our way homewards,
"there is something remarkably refreshing in the utter extravagance of
the fictions which are presented at Astley's. They must keep in pay
some author of very extraordinary genius. He never seems for a moment
at a loss; and I doubt not that, at an hour's notice, he could get up
a spectacle as brilliant as Aladdin's, in the Arabian Nights."

"I wish some of our friends would profit by the example," said I.
"There is a fearful dearth of invention just now, especially in the
fictional department; and if no speedy improvement takes place, I
confess I do not know what is to become of the periodicals."

"I quite agree with you," remarked the Spaniard. "Some people are
rather given to hunt an idea to death. For example, I am acquainted
with a certain gentleman who can write about nothing except the
railways. Every story of his has some connexion with scrip or shares,
and the interest of the plot invariably turns upon a panic."

"Allow me to remark, Mr Zumalacarregui," said I, considerably nettled
at the allusion, which seemed excessively uncalled for, "that any
subject of domestic interest is much better than an incessant
repetition of low Peninsular skirmishes. You may probably think that
the public are interested in the exploits of Herrera the dragoon, in
the forcible strangulation of gipsies, attacks upon convents, and the
other wares in which you usually deal; but my opinion is very
different."

"No doubt of it!" exclaimed the Doctor, who was delighted at the
prospect of a literary row. "Every body is sick with the eternal
sameness of these señoras. I wonder, Chief, you don't change your
ground, and let us have something better."

"Better than what?" said the Spaniard. "Better than rigmarole stories
about surveyors, and gradients, and old gentlemen with pigtails that
dabble in stock. I rather suspect that, at all events, my bitterest
enemy cannot accuse me of having put out any thing worse."

"Nay, that's true, enough!" chimed in the Doctor: "I by no means
vindicate our friend. He is sufficiently tiresome upon occasion, I
allow."

"It is very easy for those who never wrote a line to pass criticisms
upon the works of others," said I.

"Works? railway works, you mean," said the Spaniard.

"Allow me to tell you, my fine fellow," replied I, "that I will back
myself for any given sum to write a tale against you on any possible
subject; and you may lay the locality, if you please, in your
favourite Spain, though I know no more about it than I do of
Timbuctoo."

"And I," said Zumala, "will knock under to no man, not even Alexander
Dumas, for invention. So the sooner we begin the better."

"Well, then, fix your subject. Shall it be at the siege of Salamanca?"

"In order that you may pilfer right and left from military memoirs, I
suppose. Thank you--I am not quite so foolish!"

"Take your own ground, then. Where shall it be? Asia, Africa, America,
or New Zealand, if you like it better."

"By no means let us interfere with G. P. R. James. He has taken the
convicts under his own especial charge. Let us say America, North or
South, and I leave it to you to select the century."

"I won't have any thing to do with Fenimore Cooper's Redskins," said
I. "Your gipsy practice would give you a decided advantage in
portraying the fiery eyes of a Crow or a Delaware Indian, glaring
through a sumach bush. Besides, I hate all that rubbish about wampum
and moccassins. But if you like to try your hand at a Patagonian tale,
or even a touch at the Snapping Turtle or Cypress Swamp, though that
is more in your line, I assure you I have no objection."

"Let me mediate," said the Doctor. "The whole of this discussion seems
to have arisen out of to-night's performances at Astley's, and I don't
see why you should not avail yourselves of a ready-made hint. There is
the Inca and his bride,--a capital suggestive subject. Take that as
the groundwork of your tales and pitch them in the days of Pizarro."

"Very well," said I--"only let us start in a mutual state of
ignorance. It is many years since I have read a word about the Incas,
and I do not mean to refresh my knowledge. What is your amount of
preparation, Hidalgo?"

"Precisely the same as yours."

"So far good. But--harkye--who is to decide between us?"

"The public, of course."

"But then, reflect--_two_ tales upon the same subject! Why, nobody
will have patience to read them!"

"Couldn't you try chapter about?" suggested the Doctor.

"A capital idea!" cried the Spaniard. "I am going down to Greenwich
to-morrow for a white-bait party, so you have a clear day to begin
with. We shall write it alternately, after the manner of the Virgilian
eclogues."

"_Arcades ambo_," quoth the Doctor. "Well, good-night, lads, and see
that you work out one another's ideas handsomely. I shall step into
the club for half an hour, and have a glass of cold brandy and water."

"I say, Zumala," said I, as I walked home with my rival, "I am afraid
the villain the Doctor is making game of us. Had we not better give
the idea up?"

"Not a whit of it," replied the Spaniard. "I really want to see how
the thing will do: and if you like to drag in the Doctor as a
character, I shall be happy to keep it up. I presume there were plenty
Caledonians wandering about the world even so far back as Pizarro's
time?"

"There is always plenty of that stock in the market," I replied, with
a groan. "Well, good-night. The MS. of the first chapter shall be sent
you to-morrow evening; and recollect that we are both upon honour to
avoid all kind of reference."


CHAPTER II.

THE RUBICON OF PERU.

It was the sunny dawn of a tropical morning. The sea had just ebbed,
leaving a vast expanse of white sand studded with strange
particoloured shells, between the primeval forest which formed the
boundary of the ocean verge, and the heavy line of breakers which
plashed sullenly along the shore. One vessel, partially dismasted, and
bearing tokens of the recent storm, was riding at anchor beyond the
outer ridge; another lay in hopeless wreck, a black and broken hulk,
upon the beach. Her timbers were stove in, her bulwarks swept away;
the once stately Estremadura would never more walk the waters like a
thing instinct with beauty and with life.

Upwards of three hundred hardy and bronzed veterans occupied the
beach. In the countenances of some might be traced that sullen
expression which is the result of absolute despair. Others used
vehement gesticulations, attempting apparently to convince their
comrades of the propriety of adopting some strong and dangerous
resolution. Others, who were either more used to peril, or more
indifferent to consequences, were playing at games of chance, as
composedly as if, instead of being outcasts on a foreign shore, they
were wiling away the tedium of an hour in their dear but distant
Spain.

Two men, who seemed by their garb and bearing to be the leaders, were
walking apart from the others. The eldest, a tall gaunt man, whose
forehead was seamed with the furrows of many years, appeared to be
dissuading his companion from some enterprise which the younger
eagerly urged. Ever and anon he stopped, pointed with his finger to
the gigantic, woods which stretched inward as far as the eye could
see, and shook his head in token of dissent and discouragement.

"I tell thee, Pizarro, it is madness, sheer madness!" said he. "The
foot of man has never yet penetrated that howling wilderness, from
which all last night there issued sounds that might have chilled the
bravest heart with terror. Even could we hope to penetrate alive
through its zone, what thinkest thou lies beyond? I see in the
distance a chain of dark and gloomy mountains, upon whose summits the
sun never shines, so thick are the clouds that obscure them; and I
fear me that, could we reach their top, we should but look down upon
the frightful abyss that is the uttermost boundary of the world!"

"Pshaw, Don Gonsalez! I did not think thou hadst been so weak as to
believe in such fables. Be the end of the world where it may, never
let it be said that, so long as one rood of land remains unexplored,
the bold Spanish Buccaneers shrank from their appointed task. But I
know that it is not so. Beyond yon dusky ridge there are valleys as
rich as ever basked in the glory of the sun--fields more fertile than
any in Spain--cities that are paved with silver and with gold. I have
seen them, old man, many and many a time in my dreams; and, by
Santiago, I will not forego their conquest!"

"Thou hast said the truth unwittingly, Pizarro," replied the other.
"These are indeed dreams, the coinage of a visionary brain, and they
will lure thee on to ruin. Bethink thee--even were it as thou
supposest--were El Dorado separated from us only by yon colossal
barriers of nature, how could we achieve its conquest with a handful
of broken men? Those valleys thou speakest of, if they do exist, must
be peopled--the cities will be strong and garrisoned. Men build not
that which they are utterly unable to defend; and our force, heaven
help us! is scarce strong enough to capture a village."

"Listen!" said Pizarro, and he laid his hand on the arm of the other.
"I am not a learned man, as thou knowest, but something have I seen
and heard. I have seen thirty determined men hold their own at point
of pike against an army. I have seen thirty horsemen scatter thousands
of the barbarians like chaff; and have we not more than thirty here?
Nay, listen further. I have heard that in the old time, when a land
called Greece was assailed--it might have been by the Saracens--three
hundred stalwart cavaliers, under the leadership of one Don Leonidas,
did, trusting in the might of Our Lady and Saint Nicolas, hold at bay
many thousands of the infidel scum; for which good service to this day
there are masses sung for their souls. And trow ye that we, with the
same number, cannot hold our own against heathen who never yet saw
lance glitter, axe smite, nor listened to the rattle of a corslet? Out
upon thee, old man! thy blood is thin and chill, or thou wouldst speak
less like a shaveling, and more like a belted Castilian!"

"Son of a swineherd!" cried the old man, drawing himself up to his
full height, whilst the red spot of passion rose upon his faded
cheek--"Son of a swineherd and a caitiff! is it for thee to insult the
blood of a hundred ancestors? Now, by the bones of those who lie
within the vaults of the Alhambra, had I no better cause of quarrel,
this speech should separate us for ever! Remain, then, if thou
wilt--nay, thou _shalt_ remain; but recollect this, that not one man
who calls me captain shall bear thee company. There lies thy black and
stranded hulk. Make the most of her that thou canst; for never again
shalt thou tread a Spanish deck where I, at least, have the
authority!"

During this insulting speech, the brow of Pizarro grew livid, and his
hand clutched instinctively at the dagger. But the man, though
desperate, had learned by times the necessity of habitual control; he
thrust the half-naked weapon back again into its sheath, and proudly
confronted his commander.

"It is well for thee, Don Gonsalez," he said, "that thine years are
wellnigh spent, else, for all thy nobility, I had laid thee as low as
those who are rotting beneath the marble. Hearken, then--I take thee
at thy word, so far that thou and I never more shall tread the
quarter-deck together. Thy vessel is safe. Mine is lost--well, then,
take thine own and be gone! But mark me! Over the men here thou hast
no power. In this land there is no fealty due to the flag of Spain. No
man owes allegiance save to the leader of his adoption, to the strong
heart and stout arm of him whom he selects to be his chief. If there
be but one among them willing to cast his lot with mine, I will dare
the issue. Do not, as thou regardest thy life, attempt to gainsay me
in this. I am armed and resolved, and thou knowest that I am not wont
to dally."

So saying, he strode towards the place where the sailors were
congregated, and, with his sheathed rapier, drew a deep line along the
sand. All gazed in silence, wondering what his meaning might be; for
the brow of Pizarro was now bent with that resolute frown which it
seldom wore except on the eve of battle, his lips were compressed, and
his eyes flashing as if with an inward fire.

"Spaniards!" he said, "the hour for action has arrived. There lies the
ship, ready-winged to transport you back again to Spain, not as
conquerors of the New World, but as beggars returning to the old. Go,
then--plough the seas, greet the friends of your childhood, and when
they ask you for the treasures that were to be gathered in this
distant land, tell them that you have surrendered all at the moment
when victory was secure. If they ask for your leader, tell them that
you abandoned him on a foreign shore--that he only remained steadfast
to his purpose and his oath--that he is resolved to win a crown, or to
perish nobly in the attempt!"

"No, by the blessed scallop-shell of Compostella!" cried a burly
soldier, pressing forward: "come what will of it, Pizarro, there is
one at least who will not flinch from thy side! Here stand I, Herrera
the dragoon, ready to follow thee to the death. It shall never be said
that I crossed the salt sea twice without striking one blow for Spain,
or that I left my captain in his extremity!"

"Therein I recognise my ancient comrade!" cried Pizarro, pressing his
hand. "Gallant Herrera! stalwart brother! I knew that I might count on
thee."

"And I," said another soldier, "would have small objection to do the
same; because, d'ye see, it has always struck me that Don Pizarro had
the root of the matter in him--"

"Ha, my tall Scot! sayest thou?" cried Pizarro: "wilt thou too cast
thy lot with us? I know thee for a hardy blade that loves hard knocks
better than oily words. See--I have drawn this line upon the sand: let
those come over who will follow fortune and Pizarro!"

"Hooly and fairly!" replied the other, whose high cheek-bones and
sandy hair bore unequivocal testimony to his race. "There's some small
matters to be settled first; for it seems to me that this is verra
like the taking of a new service. Now, we have a proverb in the North
that short accounts make long freends; and I would fain speer of your
valour, in the event of my biding here, what wad become of the
arrearages to whilk I am righteously entitled?"

"Base fellow!" cried Herrera, "wouldst thou barter thy honour for
gold?"

"By your leave, sergeant," replied the Scot drily, "maist men barter
baith their life and honour for little else. But I cannot allow that
this is a case of barter. I hold it to be a distinct contract of
service, or rather of location and hire, anent which it is written in
the book of _Regiam Majestatem_, that no new contracts shall be held
effectual until all previous conditions are purged and liquidated.
Wherefore, touching these arrears, which amount for service of man and
horse to nine doubloons, four maravedis, excluding interest and
penalty as accords--"

"Hearken!" said Pizarro; "if a man owed thee a handful of dollars, and
offered, as the condition of his release, to show thee a mine of
diamonds, wouldst thou reject his proposal?"

"Assuredly not," replied the Scot; "I wad indubitably accept of the
same, reserving always my right of diligence and recourse, until the
furthcoming and valuation of the aforesaid jewellery."

"Well, then, the matter stands thus," continued Pizarro: "Gold have I
none to pay thee; but if thou wilt follow me across yonder mountains,
I will lead thee to a land richer far than any of your native
valleys--"

"That's impossible," interrupted the Scot. "It's clear ye never saw
Dalnacardoch!"

"A land which we will win and hold for ourselves and our heirs for
ever!"

"Blench, doubtless, or for a mere nominal reddendo," remarked the
Scot. "There's some sense in that; and since ye say that the arrears
are scantly recoverable, by any form of process, I care not if I sist
procedure thereanent, and take service under my freend the sergeant,
whose acquaintance with the Pandects is somewhat less than his
dexterity in the handling of a halbert."

So saying, the Scot stepped across the line, and was warmly greeted by
Herrera. His example, however, was by no means contagious. Gonsalez,
though not absolutely popular with his men, had nevertheless commanded
their respect, and was well known to be a judicious and experienced
leader. His strong opposition to the rash project of Pizarro had
materially shaken the confidence of many who would otherwise have been
forward in any enterprise which promised a favourable termination.
Besides, their position was such, that the hardiest adventurer might
well have been excused for hesitating to expose himself to further
danger. Only one ship remained, and with the departure of that, all
chance of returning to Spain seemed at an end. The aspect of the
country was sterile and uninviting. No inhabitants had flocked down to
welcome the Europeans to their shore--none of the happy omens which
hailed the advent of Columbus had been visible to them. It seemed as
if nature, revolting at the cruelties which had already been exercised
by the invading Spaniards on the denizens of the infant world, had
closed her gates against this marauding band, and absorbed her
treasures into her womb. Of the three hundred Spaniards, only
twenty-five crossed the boundary line, and declared themselves ready
to take part in the desperate fortunes of Pizarro.

"Farewell, then!" said that haughty chieftain, addressing himself to
the others. "I need you not; for what is a strong arm without a
resolute and determined heart? Farewell! I have pointed out to you the
path, and ye will not tread it!--I have held up the banner, and ye
will not rally under it!--I have sounded the trumpet, and your ears
are deaf to the call! Henceforward there is nothing for us in common.
Go, cravens as ye are! back to Spain--work for hire--dig--sweat--labour
at the oar! It is your portion, because ye know not what valour and
glory are! But for you, gentlemen--who, superior to the vulgar ties of
country and of home, have sunk the name of Spaniard in the glorious
title of buccaneer--let us be up and doing! Our march may be toilsome,
the danger great; but before us lies the new world which it is our
glorious destiny to subdue. Mount, gentlemen cavaliers! Herrera, do
thou display the standard! One last look at the ocean, and then
forward for victory or death!"

"One word, Pizarro, before thou goest," said Gonsalez. "Amidst all thy
rashness, I cannot but discern the flashing of a noble spirit. I would
fain not part with thee in anger. It may be I have wronged thee,
and--"

"Old man, what art thou and thy wronging to me?" replied Pizarro. "But
yesterday I was thy subaltern--now, I am a chief. The soul of a
conqueror is swelling in my bosom, and thou and such as thou have no
power to do me wrong. I have no time to waste. Set on, I say! Another
hour has struck in the mighty destiny of the world!"

A few moments afterwards, the watchers on the beach heard the last
note of Pizarro's trumpet dying away in the depths of the Peruvian
forest.

       *       *       *       *       *

"A very fair chapter," said I, folding up the MS. "Strong, terse,
spirited, and a good deal in the Waverley style. It is a pity I could
not manage to foist in the Doctor, but this other sort of character
will do remarkably well. Not a word about the Inca as yet.
Well--that's the hidalgo's look-out. I wonder what kind of work he
will make of the next chapter!"


CHAPTER III.

THE CHILDREN OF THE SUN.

"Oneiza!"

"My love--my lord!"

"Look upon me with thy lustrous eyes till I see my image dancing in
them. O my beautiful, my beloved! Tell me, Oneiza! when the song of
the nightingale warbles across the lake, what dost thou think of
then?"

"Of thee--of thee, my adored one!"

"And when the stars are glittering in heaven like sapphires in thine
ebon hair--what then, Oneiza?"

"Of thee--still of thee!"

"When the humming-bird is stooping o'er the chalice of the
flower,--when the sweet azalea blossom bursts brightly from the
bower,--when the very breeze is loaded with odour and perfume, and the
murmur of the hidden brook comes singing through the gloom,--when the
fire-flies light the thicket like spangles struck from gold,--when all
the buds that love the morn their tiny cups unfold,--when the dew is
falling warmest on blade, and leaf, and tree--where is thy soul,
Oneiza?"

"With thee, my love! with thee!"

Never, surely, since the first blight fell upon Eden, did the virgin
moon look down upon a lovelier or a more innocent pair!! Manco Capl
was of the race of the Incas, whom tradition asserted to be the direct
offspring of the sun. But a shrewd physiological observer would have
had no difficulty in recognising the traces of a descent more human
but not less illustrious. The clustering curls, the dark eye, the
aquiline nose, and the full underlip, of the young Inca, bore a
striking resemblance to that ideal of beauty which far transcends the
product of the Grecian chisel. They were the features of a prince of
the Captivity--of a leader of the most ancient race that ever issued
from the defiles of the Caucasus. For it is not to Assyria, or even to
Thibet, that we must look for a solution of the great mystery
attendant upon the departure of the Ten Tribes; They were not destined
to remain by the streams of Babylon, hewers of wood and drawers of
water in an unkind and alien country. The Israelitish spirit, which in
former times had expanded to the strength of a Sampson, would not
brook such a degradation, and the second mighty pilgrimage of the
nation was even more prolonged than the first. At length they reached
a land of rest and refuge;--Dan took possession of Mexico, and Zebulon
was located in Peru.

Manco Capl had long loved Oneiza, the daughter of the Peruvian
high-priest, with that ardour and entire devotion which is unknown to
the callous nations of the north, whose affections are as cold as the
climate in which they shiver and exist. She, in return, had
surrendered to him that treasure than which the world contains nothing
of more estimable and priceless value--a perfect trusting heart. Child
of a paradise in which the trail of the serpent was hardly visible,
she knew none of the coy arts which are practised by European maidens
for the sake of concealing those emotions which, in reality,
constitute the highest excellence of our being. She loved--warmly,
keenly, passionately; and she felt that to conceal the expression of
that love, was to defraud her betrothed of his due. Oh! if women only
knew what they sacrifice through fictitious delicacy--if they had but
once experienced the delight of an unrestricted communion of
soul--they would throw restraint to the winds, and worship with the
ardour of Herodias!

"Oneiza, dearest!"

"Say on, my soul hears thee!"

"Look up, love, into the starry firmament. See'st thou that glittering
zone, light as the girdle beneath which beats the heart of my Oneiza?
Is it not very beautiful?"

"It is--it is!"

"Would'st thou think there was danger there?"

"How! thou makest me tremble."

"Little shrinking one! did I say that it boded danger to thee? Am not
I here to ward away any thunderbolt that might threaten the breast of
my Oneiza?"

"Oh, peace! tell me of the stars. Canst thou read them, then, my
Manco?"

"Listen, dearest. Thou knowest the traditions of our race. Long, long
ago, before the seed from which these hoary trees are sprung had
ripened,--before a stone of yonder pyramid was hewn from its native
rock--our fathers dwelt in a land that was named Chaldea. It is far
away from this, Oneiza, across the salt and briny sea; and I know not
how they had power to traverse the wilderness of waters. It was a
land, too, not like ours, sweet and pleasant, but very, very dreary;
with no placid pools and running streams, but a huge tract of sand,
which the sun always glared upon in his wrath."

"Oh Manco--that is terrible! But the stars?"

"Ay--the stars--the stars, Oneiza! They, too, were there, large and
lustrous as thine own eyes; and our fathers, as they lay at night by
the margin of some lonely well, watched them in their courses, until
they learned to read the mysterious symbol-book of heaven, and drew
strange knowledge front the aspect of the sidereal junctions."

"And thou, too, hast this knowledge Manco?"

"Little foolish one! Wouldst thou have me more ignorant than my
ancestry? It was taught me by one who had watched the heavens for a
whole year from the flaming top of Atlpacaca; and long ago he foretold
that danger for Peru which I now see depending in the midst of yonder
constellation."

"Danger for Peru? Oh Manco!"

"Ay, love, but not for thee. Look a little lower. See that star,
sometimes hidden for a moment by the waving branch of the cactus. How
mild and clear it is, like the eye of a happy spirit! Mark how bright
it sparkles, in the ether far; that, my own Oneiza, is thy natal
star!"

"And which is thine, dearest?"

"The stars," replied Manco, proudly, "have no influence over the
destiny of the children of the sun! He that would read our fate, must
gaze steadfastly upon the orb of the great luminary of the heavens,
and not shrink, although the rays pierce hot and dazzlingly through
his brain. But enough of this, beloved! Let us to our rest. The dew is
falling heavily upon my plume, and thy tresses too are damp."

"Oh Manco!--I would fain tell thee something--"

"Speak, darling."

"I had a dream last night, and yet--wouldst thou believe it?--it was
not of thee!"

"And yet thou canst remember it, Oneiza?"

"Ay, for it was so very terrible. Let me rest my head upon thy bosom,
and I will tell thee all. Methought I was lying yonder, under the
broad palm-trees by the lake, watching the young alligators as they
chased each other in innocent sport among the reeds, and scared from
their resting-place swarms of the golden butterfly. All of a sudden
there came a hush, as though the great heart of nature were thrilled
to its centre. The scaly creatures of the lake sank noiselessly into
its silver depths, and disappeared. A fawn that had come out of the
thicket to drink, gazed round in terror and retired. The lizard crept
into the hollow trunk, and the voices of the birds were silenced. I
looked towards the city, and, behold, a dark cloud had gathered over
it! Its spires and domes no longer flashed in fervent radiance to the
sun: the face of heaven was obscured with a cold and leaden hue. I
looked to the colossal statue of our mighty deity, the sun. Its face
no longer wore that deep smile of unearthly beauty, but was distorted
with an expression of unutterable and agonising woe. Presently,
methought, the figure was endowed with superhuman life. I saw it rise
from its pedestal, Manco,--I saw it stretch out its arm towards the
east, and a dismal voice proclaimed these words--'Peru is given to the
stranger!' But thou dost not speak, Manco!"

"Go on, Oneiza! I listen."

"I looked towards the mountains, and lo! Ilaxlipacpl, from its
stupendous peak, was vomiting forth flames to the sky. Huge seams of
liquid lava were bursting through its sides. The solid rocks seemed to
be bursting every where; and, as I gazed in awe and terror on the
hideous sight, the glowing element took shape and form, and I could
read, in characters of fire, that awful sentence--'Peru is given to
the stranger!'"

"Was this all, Oneiza?"

"Oh, not all! for while I looked, methought the earth began to
tremble, and strange noises, as of brazen instruments and the clash of
iron, arose. I heard shouting and the voices of men, but they spoke in
a language which I understood not, and it sounded harsh and uncouth to
my ear. And by-and-by there passed such terrible forms, Manco, towards
the city! Surely they could not be human. The upper part resembled the
shape of man, but they were covered with bright steel, and carried
long javelins in their hands. The rest of their figure was that of a
strong beast, its hoofs armed with metal, and the ground shook as they
came on. Methought one of them stooped to seize me, and I uttered a
scream and awoke, and, behold, thou wert lying by my side, and the
moonbeam was shining upon thy brow."

"Hast thou spoken of this to thy father, Oneiza?"

"Not yet. Are not the earliest of my thoughts for thee?"

"Dear one! This is a warning from the gods. Let us hasten to the city,
and warn the Emperor ere it be too late. Thy dream, combined with the
aspect of the heavens, may well make the bravest tremble."

They arose and hastened together, hand in hand, along the margin of
the lake towards the town. But, ere they reached it, it became evident
that some unexpected events had occurred. Torches were glittering
through the streets, a vast pyre sent up its column of flame from the
mighty altar of the sun, and the clanging of the cymbals was heard.

"What is this, Ilazopli?" cried Manco Capl to a young Peruvian, whose
countenance bore token of strong excitement; "what means this sudden
uproar?"

"The gods have descended in a human shape, and the Emperor has asked
them to a banquet!"

"Peace, impious!" said Manco sternly. "Art thou beside thyself?"

"It is a fact, and there's no denying it!" replied the other. "I have
seen them myself. Such grand heroic figures, all clothed in shining
steel, with beards like the tail of a llama! By Beersheba!" exclaimed
the young man--for the Peruvians had not yet altogether forgotten the
traditions of their ancestors,--"by Beersheba! you should see the
creatures that brought them hither! their snorting is like that of a
he-alligator: when they toss their heads the foam flies out like
flakes of the cotton-tree in autumn, and the smite of their iron hoofs
is heavy as the fall of a stone from heaven! Huzza for the new
deities!"

"Blasphemer!" cried Manco, "what knowest thou of the gods? are there
not demons who can take their form?"

"I never saw any," replied Ilazopli. "I am no priest, Inca, but I can
tell you that Axtloxcl is quite delighted with them, and says that
they have come down from the sun on purpose."

"Axtloxcl! my father!" cried Oneiza.

"Hush, dearest!" said her husband. "Let us hope the best. It may be
that he has received a revelation from above, and that the omens and
thy dreams were false."

"Oh never--never!" said Oneiza. "The sun and the stars do not lie. Are
not these the very shapes, the same terrible phantoms I beheld in
slumber, when the voice from the unknown world proclaimed the downfall
of Peru? Hast not thou, too, read the signs of its downfall in the
heavens? and can the coming of those new deities--if deities they
are--bring us good?"

"Well!" said Ilazopli, "tastes differ. For my own part I prefer
deities who can walk about, and talk, to our old images of the sun,
who never say so much as thank ye in return for all our offerings. But
I must away--there is a great feast going on at the palace, and the
Emperor expects all the Incas. You, Manco Capl, will be looked for."

"Away, then!" said the young Inea, "I will follow betimes. Insensate
fool!" continued he, as he watched the departing footsteps of the
other, "thou art like all thy race, who welcome destruction when it
comes beneath a glittering guise! But why should I blame thee more
than the rest, when wiser and older men have yielded to the fatal
lure? Hearken, my Oneiza; my soul is sad within me, but it is for thee
chiefly that I fear. Thou hast not been long with me, Oneiza, but were
I to lose thee, the light of my life were gone. Promise me, then, that
whatever may befall our unhappy country, we never shall be
separated--that in death as in life we may be together--and sweet, oh
unutterably sweet, would that death which should find me clasped in
thy arms!"

"Oh Manco, Manco! canst thou doubt?"

"No; I never doubted. But my heart misgives me as to the issue. See,
Oneiza,--this plain is not all the world. Beyond these mountains are
valleys and broad savannahs where the foot of the invader can never
come. I have seen them as I hunted the fierce jaguar on the hills; and
even amidst all the magnificence of our own stately city, I have
sighed for a hut by the side of some lonely stream, with thee for my
sole companion. If the day should come when ruin bursts upon us,
wouldst thou, Oneiza, tender nurtured as thou art, be prepared to
leave all, and follow thy husband into the depths of the unknown
wilderness? There are dangers, Oneiza, but love will watch over us!"

"Were this Eden, my husband, and the valley of Hinnom lay beyond, I am
thine--thine--thine for ever!"

"Oh say no more, my darling, my love, my own, my sweet! Were all the
world my kingdom, I'd lay it at thy feet. What treasure could I offer
to buy a heart like thine? My soul is strong within me like a giant's
stirred with wine! I boast the blood of him who met and smote the
Philistine! Come on then, dearest--dearest, come! together let us go.
The lights are flashing from the towers, the evening star is low!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Along with the foregoing MS. I received the following note from the
Spaniard. "I don't relish your chapter much. It is palpable cribbage
in many parts, and those absurd patriotic prejudices of yours have
brought you into a scrape. I've met with a character very much like
your mercenary Scot before. I should have brought him into this
chapter, only I don't comprehend the northern gibberish, and you have
forgotten to nominate your heathen. I shall say nothing about mine,
except this, that it is eminently touching, pathetic, and original.
Match it if you can."

"Original, indeed!" said I. "Does he think I never read the Wondrous
Tale of Alroy? Tender! What can be easier than to write a dialogue of
unmitigated maudlin? Touching! Why, it is half rhyme, and very
skimble-skamble versification too. I wish he would give his Peruvians
pronounceable names, for never in my life before have I seen such a
ruthless dislocation of the alphabet! However, I must follow the lead.
The next chapter, I calculate, will be a stunner."


CHAPTER IV.

THE HALL OF FIRE.

That night there was a scene of revelry in the imperial palace of
Caxamalca. Innocent and confiding as an infant, the chief Inca,
Atahualpa, had welcomed the coming of the Spaniards as messengers of
the gods, if not as actual deities; and, with true barbaric vanity,
had set forth a display of his costliest treasures. Atahualpa himself
was in the prime of life, beautiful as a pard, and with a native port
of majesty which well might have been envied by the haughtiest monarch
of Christendom. And indeed his costume, borrowed, though but remotely,
from the Oriental model, was far more noble and magnificent than that
which European habit has rigorously assigned to our modern kings. Over
his clustering hair he wore a carcanet of diamonds, surmounted by the
precious plumage of the bird of Paradise. His surcoat and vest were
curiously inlaid with the brilliant feathers of the humming bird,
alternating with rows of the rarest gems, and the triple necklace of
rubies around his neck was worth the ransom of Hindostan. At his feet
lay a tamed jaguar, which fawned like a dog upon its master; and in
his right hand he held an ivory sceptre, surmounted by a single pearl,
of which the world did not contain the equal. Such was Atahualpa, the
supreme autocrat of Peru.

Around him were gathered his princely Incas, scarce inferior in
magnificence to their sovereign. The table was heaped with vessels and
flagons of the purest gold, which gave a still richer colour to the
sparkling juice of the grape--for the art of manufacturing wine had
still been retained by the undoubted descendants of Noah. The
strangers, as they sate at the feast, gazed around them with greedy
eyes, astonished at the amount of plunder which was so speedily to
become their own.

"Ye have gold enough here, Inca," said Pizarro, who was seated at the
right hand of Atahualpa; "ye have gold enough and to spare. By the
bones of Christopher Columbus! it is a shame to see this red metal so
vilely used!"

"Ye may say that," cried the Scot, whose head was half-buried in a
flagon; "it is downright wastrife in thae bodies to make pats and pans
out of as gude gold as was ever coined into bonnet-pieces. We could
not afford that at the Leadhills, though the district there is no far
short o' Ophir."

"Run me through the body," muttered Herrera the dragoon, "if the
temptation of handling those dear delightful platters is not too much
for the patience of any Christian cavalier. I wonder when our general
will give the order to begin the sack?"

"Peace, son!" said the famous monk, Vincent Valverde, who was opposite
to the sergeant. "Why shouldst thou seek to hasten the work? Are they
not given unto us utterly for a spoil? Wherefore, tarry thou in
patience."

"Yon's no a bad-looking lass!" cried the Scot, as Manco Capl led
Oneiza into the hall; "though, certes, if she had nae mair tocher than
her claes, she is like to bring bare eneuch luck to her gudeman."

"Och, by the powers!" said an Irish trooper, of the name of
O'Rafferty, "but she's a jewel! I wonder if that spalpeen keeps her
company. He's mighty like a young Jew that diddled me at the fair of
Limerick!"

"Ho, Inca!" cried Pizarro, "why art thou silent? Hearest thou not what
I ask? Hast more such gear as this?"

"Doth my lord inquire after the household stuff?" replied Atahualpa.
"We reck not of it. Let him take whatever pleaseth him."

"That's eneuch for me!" cried the Scot, appropriating an enormous
flagon; "fient ane o' me ever yet looked a gift-horse in the mouth!"

"And the diamonds, Inca--the diamonds?" said Pizarro, casting a
covetous glance at the superb garniture of his host; "are they, too,
offerings to the guests whom the gods have sent hither?"

"They are the heir-looms of the sun," replied the Inca, "and they may
not be gifted away. But what seekest thou, noble stranger? Is it
hospitality? Our palaces are open to you. Are you hungry? We will feed
you. Would you till the land? We can give you valleys. Tarry with us,
and become the adopted children of the sun."

"Ha! wretched infidel!" shouted Valverde; "wouldst thou tempt us to
deny our faith? Noble Pizarro! it needed but this to complete the
measure of their iniquity. Up! and let the sword of the true Church
attest the might of her crozier."

"Patience, holy father!" cried Pizarro. "Know, Inca, that we have a
direct mission from heaven; and I am sent to reclaim from thee those
jewels which thou and thine ancestors have worn."

"Let the gods, then, who gave them, come and take them," said the
Inca, calmly.

"Thou wilt not yield them?" said Pizarro; "then, by Santiago! I will
seize on them as my lawful prey."

So saying, the ruffian snatched at the chain of rubies which encircled
the neck of the Inca. But ere the subordinate Peruvian chiefs, who
hardly understood the import of the scene, could interfere, a powerful
defender rose before Atahualpa. No sooner had the hand of the Spaniard
been laid upon the sacred person of his master, than the jaguar leaped
up with a tremendous roar, and sprang at the throat of Pizarro. Well
was it for the marauder that on that day he was sheathed in the
tempered armour of Castile, else the fangs of the wild beast would
have avenged this atrocious insult. As it was, the buccaneer was borne
backwards upon the floor, where he lay struggling in the gripe of the
infuriated monster.

Herrera the dragoon unsheathed his broadsword.

"Let me get a blow at the brute!" he cried. "I will sliver it in twain
like a kitten."

But Manco Capl stepped before him.

"Robber!" he said, "wouldst thou slay the animal for defending
faithfully the person of its master? Down with thy weapon, or, by the
might of Moses! I will smite thee dead with my mace!"

"A Jew!--a Jew!" roared Valverde; "a palpable, self-acknowledged Jew!
Down with him, cavaliers!--hew the circumcised villain to
pieces!--trample him under foot, as ye would tread on the forehead of
an asp!"

But the sanguinary orders of the monk were not so easily obeyed. Quick
as lightning, Manco Capl had grappled with the gigantic trooper, and
for once the Peruvian agility proved a match for the European
strength. Encumbered with his armour, Herrera staggered and fell,
dragging his antagonist with him, who, however, kept the upper hold.

"In the name of the fiend!" shouted Pizarro, "rid me of this monster!
Juan! Diego! O'Rafferty!--will you see me murdered before your eyes?"

"Hold!" cried the Inca to the soldiers; "no violence! I will call the
creature off. Come hither, Bicerta!" and the jaguar quitted its hold
of Pizarro, and came crawling to the feet of its master.

"Ye are trusty knaves indeed!" said Pizarro, when he had risen from
the earth; "had it depended upon your succour, I might have been torn
limb from limb."

"Troth, ye're no that far wrang," observed the Scot; "it's an unchancy
beast to deal wi', and far waur nor a wull-cat!"

"But what is this?" cried Pizarro. "Herrera down? By Heaven! the best
and bravest of my soldiers has been slain!"

And so it was. Unable to shake off the superincumbent weight of the
young Inca, Herrera had felt for his poniard, and aimed a desperate
stroke at the bosom of Manco Capl. But the active youth caught him by
the wrist, and with a dexterous turn forced the steel from his hand.
The clutch of the dragoon was by this time fastened in his hair, and
no means of extrication were left save to use the weapon. The steel
flashed thrice, and each time it was buried in the throat of Herrera.
Gradually he relaxed his hold, his huge frame quivered strongly, a
film gathered over his eyes, and he lay a senseless corpse. The black
blood flowed lazily from his wounds--the jaguar crept forwards, and
purred as he licked it up.

Meanwhile, where was Oneiza? Pale as death, she had been clinging to
her father while the conflict lasted; but now, when her husband was
victorious, and standing, brave and beautiful, over his prostrate foe,
his large eye flashing with indignation, and his nostril dilating with
triumph, she sprang forward, and threw her arms around him.

"Back!--back, Oneiza!" cried the Inca; "this is no place for women! To
the temple all of you, save those who have strength to fight for their
Emperor and their homes! These are no gods, but bloody, desperate
villains, whom it is ours to punish. See!--one of them is already
smitten down, and his blood is sinking into the floor. Gods do not
bleed thus. O my friends! be true to yourselves, and we may yet save
our country! Away--away, Oneiza, if thou lovest me! Axtloxcl, carry
her hence! To the temple; and if we join you not there, fire dome and
shrine, and leave nothing but ashes to the invader!"

The women and the priests obeyed, and none save the combatants
remained in the palace. The Peruvians, though numerically superior to
their opponents, were yet at a great disadvantage in point of arms.
Unaccustomed to warfare, they carried such weapons only as were more
useful for show than for defence, whilst every one of the Spaniards
was armed from head to heel. At one end of the hall stood Atahualpa,
surrounded by his native chivalry, each eager to shed his lifeblood in
defence of his beloved monarch; at the other was gathered the small
phalanx of the Spaniards, to whom retreat was impossible, and remorse
or pity unknown.

"Why wait we further?" cried Pizarro: "the blood of Herrera calls out
for vengeance. Be firm, men--unsling your hackbuts--fire!" and the
first deadly discharge of musketry thundered through the Peruvian
hall.

Several of the Peruvians fell, but their fall was of less moment than
the terror which seized the survivors on witnessing the effect of
these unknown engines of destruction.

"The gods! the gods are wroth with us! We have seen them in the smoke
and the fire!" cried several, and they fell unwounded on their faces,
in fear and consternation, among the dead.

Manco Capl alone stood unappalled.

"Be they gods or no!" he cried, "they are our foemen, and the enemies
of Peru! Can those be of the sun, who come hither to massacre his
children? Let us meet fire with fire--kindle the palace--and try how
these strangers will breathe amidst the roar of the devouring
elements!"

So saying, the intrepid young man, as if actuated by the spirit of his
great ancestor, the indomitable Judge of Israel, caught up a torch,
and applied it to the hangings of the wall. Quick as thought, the
flames ran up--their fiery tongues licked the ceiling--the beams began
to crackle and to blaze--the smoke descended in thick spiral wreaths
throughout the room. Once again, and but once, sped the volley of the
Spaniards: next moment they were engaged hand to hand with Manco Capl,
and a body of the young Incas, whom his words had roused to
desperation. The struggle was terrible, but not long. The Europeans,
trained to the use of arms from their infancy, made wild havoc among
their slender assailants. One by one they fell, vainly defending their
king, who was soon within the grasp of Pizarro.

Soon the flickering of the flames, and the rolling columns of smoke
which issued from the burning hall, announced to those who had taken
refuge in the adjacent temple the nature of the awful catastrophe.

"O Axtloxcl--O my father! let me go!" cried Oneiza. "My husband is
perishing in the fire! Oh, let me go and die with him, if I cannot
hope to save him!"

At this moment a door of the palace burst open, and Manco Capl, his
vesture bloody, and his long plumes broken, rushed through the
intervening space. The jaguar followed at his heels.

"My bride--my Oneiza! where art thou!" he cried; and, with a loud
scream of joy, his wife tore herself from the grasp of her father, and
leaped into the young man's arms.

"Thou art safe! thou art safe!" she cried.

"Hush, Oneiza! The Great Spirit has been very merciful, but there is
danger yet. Canst fly, beloved?"

"With thee, my love?--to the boundary of the solid earth."

"Then away with me, for death is near at hand!"

The horses of Pizarro and his followers had been picketed close to the
gates of the temple. Whether from negligence, or the conviction that
the fear which the Peruvians had already manifested at the sight of
these strange animals would be their safeguard, or from the
impossibility of sparing one single soldier of the scanty band, these
had been left without a sentry. Actuated by an impulse, which perhaps
in a calmer moment he would scarcely have felt, Manco Capl snatched
the reins of one of them, a splendid piebald charger, which indeed was
Pizarro's own, lifted Oneiza upon a second, sprang into the saddle,
and in an instant was galloping away.

"Fire upon the dog!" cried Pizarro, who was just then rushing out,
sword in hand. "Fire upon him, I say! I would not lose Onagra for his
weight in virgin gold!"

Three shots were fired, but none of them struck the fugitives. Onward
they rushed towards the lake with the jaguar bounding by their side.

"Mount and after them!" shouted Pizarro.

O'Rafferty and the Scot obeyed--threw themselves hastily on horseback,
and gave spur in pursuit.

We throw a veil over the deeds of atrocity which were that night
perpetrated in Caxamalca.

       *       *       *       *       *

Short and sweet, said I, as I laid down my pen: I question whether
Dumas ever turned out any thing more dramatic. At all events, I have
done a material service to the public, by exterminating Herrera the
dragoon. I hardly suppose that, after this, the hidalgo will venture
to bring him forward again. Peace to his manes! It was a tough job to
kill him, but I think I have effected it at last, rather neatly than
otherwise.


CHAPTER V.

THE CATARACT OF THE ROCKS.

"Huzza, huzza! along the shore, across the desert wild, none meet the
Inca and his bride, the free, the undefiled! Huzza, huzza! our steeds
are fleet, the moon shines broad and clear; at every stride a tree
goes by, we pass them like the deer! Hold up, hold up, my only love!
the desert paths are near. I know the ways that skirt the rocks where
foemen cannot ride. Nay, never wring thy hands and weep, my own
devoted bride. We leave behind a ruined home, but freedom lies before;
and hostile bands and savage arms shall never vex thee more. Why dost
thou start so wildly, love? Why look in terror back? Fear'st thou the
mailed enemies that follow in our track?"

"Oh, my husband! there are two!"

"Were there twenty, love, I fear not! Give thy willing steed the rein.
Ho, Bicerta! noble creature, how he bounds along the plain! See, his
eager eye is glowing with a fierce and sullen fire! Let the caitiffs
dare to harm us, he will rend them in his ire. Onward, onward, love!
the mazes of the forest now are past. Hark! I hear the hollow roaring
of the mountain stream at last."

They were nearing a gloomy crevice of the rocks, through which a rapid
river found its way. The chasm was a fearful one. More than a hundred
feet below, the torrent boiled and whirled. The precipices on either
side were sheer--a fall was inevitable death. The Inca saw and felt
the danger, but there was no retreat. Grasping with one hand the reins
of Oneiza's horse, he smote with the other the flank of his own. The
dagger of Herrera, which the Peruvian still held, did service as a
spur--both animals cleared the gulf, and alighted panting on the
farther side.

"Deil's in your beast, O'Rafferty!" shouted the Scot, "pu' up hard,
man, or ye're intil a hole as deep as the cauldron at the Yetts o'
Muckart!"

The warning came too late. The young Irish horse upon which the
foremost trooper was mounted went steadily at the chasm, gathered
itself like a cat for the leap, and very nearly succeeded in achieving
it. But the weight of the rider, sheathed as he was in heavy armour,
was too much for its strength. It alighted, indeed, with its forefeet
on the turf, made one convulsive struggle, and then fell heavily down
the precipice. There was a sullen plunge, but no cry arose from the
abyss.

"Weel," said the Scot, as he dismounted and peered over the edge of
the rock, "that was a maist fearsome loup! Puir O'Rafferty! I aye
tellt him he was a fule, and noo the fact has become maist veesible to
ocular demonstration. I maun hae a shot, tho', at that lang chield wi'
the feathers."

So saying, he unbuckled his carabine, and took deliberate aim over his
saddle. But the villanous purpose was frustrated. No sooner had the
fugitives halted, than the jaguar returned, creeping stealthily to the
brink, and measuring the distance for its spring. The eyes of the Scot
was intent upon his victim, his finger was placed upon the trigger,
when, with a tremendous roar, the panther cleared the gulf, and seized
the trooper by the throat. He spoke one sentence, and nothing more.

"Wha will tell this in Dysart, that I suld hae lived to be worried by
a wull-cat?"

Next evening, in a cool grotto of the mountains, on a couch of the
softest moss, far away from ravage and misery, and the armed grasp of
the assassin, Manco Capl and Oneiza sung their bridal hymn.

"Oh, dearer than the evening star, art thou to me, my love! It gleams
in glory from afar in yonder heaven above. But thou art in my arms, my
sweet, nor nearer canst thou be! Where is thy soul, Oneiza?"

"With thee, my lord, with thee!"

       *       *       *       *       *

"My humble opinion," said the Doctor, after listening to the foregoing
pages--"my humble opinion is, that they manage matters better at
Astley's."



SENTIMENTS AND SYMBOLS OF THE FRENCH REPUBLIC.


When Lamartine, in the face of a mob still excited with battle and
bloodshed, still drunken with the intoxication of victory, demanding,
of those whom the chances of a destiny-fraught hour had placed at
their head in the perilous post of command, they scarce knew what, and
yet ready to recommence destruction and death were it not
granted--when Lamartine tore aside the blood-red banner of terror,
that had been seized on as the symbol of the newly proclaimed French
Republic, and lifted aloft the tricolor flag as the true standard of
the Republic of peace and order which he hoped to found, he did not
only an act of personal courage--one to be mentioned among the great
traits of heroism in the annals of history--but he consummated a deed
upon which the destiny of France, perhaps of the whole world, for the
moment depended. To those far away, who know not the strange compound
that forms the character of the French, the mere change of one flag
for another may appear a matter of but little moment: but in truth it
was one of almost inestimable importance, for the destiny of the
country depended on it. And this Lamartine knew. He knew his people
too--he knew how easily they are led away by the outward show, how
completely their sentiments would be engaged in the outward symbols;
and he reared the symbol of order against the banner of violence and
blood; though he raised it aloft at the hazard of his life. At that
moment the poet-statesman stood forth a man ready to die for his
convictions: at that moment, guns, pikes, swords, daggers, every
instrument of death was directed at his head by a furious mob,
screaming for that ideal, the Republic, from which it had been taught
by demagogues to expect some vague, supernatural, at least wholly
visionary good, as if it were a talisman to raise up a golden age by
the mere power of its name; a mob, senseless, enraged, and deaf to
reason, flushed with the acquisition of sudden and sovereign power,
and yet goaded by the idea that treachery was at hand to snatch it
from their grasp. In the face of such an assemblage, before the
historical old building of the Hôtel de Ville of Paris,--upon those
steps on which so many scenes of history had already passed, and none,
perhaps, more important in its results than this,--he stood forth,
pale, but erect and resolute: a single word from the crowd, the cry
"he is a traitor! he deceives us!" might have been the signal for his
massacre: a gesture might have done the deed: the wag of one nerve of
a finger on the lock of the gun might have levelled him, and with him
France, at once: and he knew it. He knew, too, that FATE was in his
hands; he knew that in that seemingly senseless change of colours on a
flag-staff lay the destiny of Paris; and he was prepared to fall a
victim or to rise a hero. To the red flag popular fancy attached the
idea of violence, war, revenge; it was the bloody pirate flag of
propagandism by force of arms, by the terror of the scaffold. The
tricolor flag, although it had waved over many a ruin, many a deed of
horror, in the dreadful history of the past, had led on the nation to
glory and military renown; for the last eighteen years it had typified
the national watchwords of _that_ time, "Liberty and Public Order;"
and it was set forth once more, under a more democratic rule, but not
a rule of anarchy--liberty, public order, peace. To each symbol was
attached a sentiment. On the one symbol, on the one sentiment,
Lamartine had staked the future destinies of France, as he had staked
the hazard of his life. Unsupported he stood before those yelling,
suspicious, infuriated thousands. He was the man of the moment. A
powerful appeal to the feelings of such a mob--one of those appeals,
one of those words of history that are carried down to all
posterity--one of those electric touches of simultaneous sentiment,
which often suddenly pervade great crowds, seemingly thrilling through
all frames at once alike, coming as it were from some supernatural
influence, but which few mortal men know how to direct, when, and far
less _as_ they would--such an appeal was to be made--such a word to
be spoken--such a blow given. Again we repeat, he was the man of the
moment--for he was the man of high poetic sentiment. Thence alone
could come the electric stroke; and it was struck. The simple
eloquence of the poet's heartfelt convictions fell over the crowd. He
raised the tricolor banner; guns, swords, and pikes were lowered:
"_Vive Lamartine!_" burst from every mouth: the cause of humanity was
gained--_for the time at least_. That symbol stamped the sentiment of
the future French Republic.

Spite of the frivolous, sceptical, denying, and, in latter years,
positive and anti-poetical character of the French people, there is no
nation more easily led away by a word, however incomprehensible--an
idea, however vague; but when that word, that idea, is embodied in an
outward symbol, it is remarkable with what blind tenacity the French
will cling to it, hoist it on high, worship it. What the deism of the
Encyclopedists could not effect in the revolution of the last century;
what even the frantic political atheism of the sect that followed in
their footsteps could not accomplish over the masses; what the
persecution of the priesthood could not establish over the minds of
the people, was wrought by the personification of atheism in the
embodiment of the Goddess of Reason. When the reason that denied a
Godhead stood before them in a living and material form, the people
fell down and worshipped; the orgies of atheism in the face of that
half-naked bacchante form became universal.

This spirit arises, probably, from the theatrical nature of the
people. Individually each Frenchman seems to consider that he is born
to act a part, not only in the stage of life in general, but in his
own individual sphere, act a part as a comedian, a part he assumes,
not the part that Providence has destined for him; in fact, to use a
French expression, he must always _poser et faire de l'effet_. Louis
XIV. acted the comedy of royalty, not as if he had a conviction of his
real kingship, but as if he was "making believe;" he throned it always
like a tragedy king--he _posa_ on his throne. Even to the lower
classes--and perhaps they more than any other--the Frenchman of this
day, however quiet and estimable in private life, will _poser_ as an
actor, as soon as he has an audience, and shows himself "before the
face of men," be it in the _salon_, or the tribune, or at the street
corner. So strong is the desire for theatrical effect, especially
among the lower classes, that each _homme du peuple_ seems ever to be
striving to set up for a hero on his own little stage of existence,
even if that hero be a villain. Among the more reckless of them in
latter years, the mania _de faire parler de soi_ has frequently gone
as far as committing suicide or atrocious crime, in order to die with
_eclat_ or a _coup de théâtre_. The opportunities afforded to the
people by successive revolutions, of showing themselves off in
characters that have been applauded "to the echo" as noble and
sublime, have contributed to foster that craving for notoriety and
part-acting in the eyes of the world, which an overweening vanity of
character, and the desire for effect, have made a portion of their
habitual life. It may be a question even, whether, in scenes of
popular convulsion, the reckless courage of the French--unquestionable
as is that courage--does not arise from a sort of fancy that the whole
drama of contention they are acting is, in a manner, unreal--that they
are but actors on a living stage--that the whole, in fact, is a
theatrical part. To see them attitudinising on a barricade, with flag
and sabre raised aloft, flinging up their arms in picture-like
gesture, and sweeping back their hair to give effect to their tableau,
it might be natural to suppose so. With this theatrical mania, then,
so prevalent in all classes, it follows very naturally that the
outward show, the embodied sentiment, the symbol, in fact, should
assert such a powerful sway over their excitable minds.

Those, consequently, who know the character of the nation cannot but
be aware of the importance, in the guidance of the people, of the
symbol in which the sentiment is to be embodied. Those who do not even
reason upon this fact, feel it instinctively; and the importance
attached by both parties, the moderates and ultra-violent republicans,
to the symbols which each party strives to make predominate, is
visible in many of their acts. The one party is constantly
endeavouring to remove all such as recall to mind the recollection of
a bloody and destructive past; the other is as constantly using all
its efforts to renew and adopt them, and to make them the rallying
banner of the faction. The Republic, forced upon all France by the
active violence of a small minority in the capital alone, has been
accepted by the majority, partly from that feeling of resignation with
which most meet a _fait accompli_--partly from the desire to maintain
a _statu quo_, whatever it may be, for the sake of peace and
order--partly from the conviction that, under the circumstances, when
a dynasty so hastily fled in alarm before an insurrection, and left
the country to its fate, no other form of government was possible for
the moment. But let a symbol of the past be raised, of that past to
which so many look back with horror, and, _as yet at least_,
indignation and scorn will be shown by the better-thinking majority,
by whom the importance of the act, slight as it may appear in our
eyes, is instinctively felt and understood.

When Paris was, for many days and almost weeks, given up to the
fanciful caprices of a mob, that pocketed the public money and repaid
it by the fantastic diversions of its idleness--when it streamed about
the streets with banners, and flags, and ribbons and music, carrying
about bedizened may-poles, and grubbing holes on every _Place_, before
every public monument, in every street, in almost every hole and
corner of all Paris, in which to plant them, it was not the yelling of
the crowd, it was not the incessant firing of guns and letting off of
crackers by night as well as day, it was not the compulsory
subscription _à domicile_ for the expenses of a mob's fête of every
moment, it was not the threatening cry of "_des lampions_--illuminate
in our honour, or we break your windows," it was not the tumult, the
constraint, the menace that cast a vague terror over the public
mind;--it was the feeling that scenes of a terrible memory were about
to be acted over again;--it was the knowledge that such had been in
gone-by times the gay, green, laughing prologue to a hideous
tragedy;--it was the consciousness that the so-called trees of liberty
were symbols in the minds of a mob of an era of license, and riot, and
carnage--that the pike, and the sabre, and the axe were the
accessories of the gay picture, although still in the dimness of a
dark background--that the leaves those bare stems might bear were to
sprout, perchance, with spots of blood upon their young verdure. Men
looked askance: the symbol of a people's drunkenness in power was
waving before their windows: how far, they asked, was the sentiment
that thus darkly arose in their minds, predominant also in the minds
of the mob, when it raised that symbol? It was in vain they reasoned,
that the France of the nineteenth century was no longer the France of
the eighteenth--that the bloodthirstiness and the reckless cruelty had
passed away from the character of a people advanced in civilisation--that
the present had no analogy with the past: it was in vain they sought a
reassurance in the fact that the pale priest was dragged from the
church to bestow his blessing, with all the pomp of Catholic
ecclesiastical ceremony, upon the symbol, and give a seemingly
religious sanction to a people's fantastic rite of patriotism--that
there was consequently a feeling of holiness in the people's mind in
the accomplishment of that ceremony. On the contrary, the very mockery
alarmed: the very compulsory attendance of the clergy seemed to prove
that there was rather a desire in the mob to show its power than to
attach a sanctity, which it needed not otherwise in common life, to
the deeds it did: a terror, vague, ill-defined, unreasoned, but none
the less real, floated over every mind. The symbol flaunted abroad the
sentiment of the past. It was not until the authorities too late
issued decrees, to prohibit the further practice of these fantastic
allegorical popular manifestations, that confidence, or rather
forgetfulness of the uneasiness that such demonstrations of popular
sentiment had instinctively conveyed, began slowly to return to the
public mind. The trees of liberty stand, it is true, and flourish, and
put forth leaves, amid the flags, and ribbons, and withered wreaths,
and tricolor streamers, which flaunt, and twine, and flutter around
them; but it was not the fact--it was the sentiment that caused alarm.
As a symbol, however, they remain: and may yet re-evoke the sentiment
that for a while has been forgotten, and still act a part in the
future troubled chronicles of the streets of Paris.

There is one object, above all, that is accepted and recognised as a
symbol of the past--as a symbol, in fact, of terror and violence: it
is the Phrygian cap of liberty. So dear does this symbol appear to the
would-be Roman heart of the violent republican, that he seems not to
be able to perform any act, not only of his political but of his
social existence, without its evidence before his eyes. This graceless
head-dress--graceless, inasmuch as, instead of being allowed to fall
into a natural curve, and rounded knob above, as is even the fashion
to the present day of its offspring the _lazzaroni_ cap of Naples, it
is cut into a stiff, constrained, and badly imitated form of natural
folds--this graceless head-dress seems the idol of his day-dreams, the
bodily presence of the deity he falls down and worships, the
ecstatical and rhapsodical apparition of the visions of his sleep. It
figures in his allegorical pictures, surrounded by the rays of a sun
of glory, like an emblem of the Godhead or the Trinity: it must be
placed upon its sanctuary in his room like the crucifix in the oratory
of the Catholic: it must be stamped upon his coins like the Mother of
God upon the kreutzer pieces of Catholic Austria. When it is placed
upon his head, all his very self seems changed--he dreams but of
violence, he raves but of blood: it seems like a talisman that, once
it touches his skull, disturbs his intellects, heats his brains,
causes his mouth to open to vomit forth destruction and death to all
his fancied enemies: it is the cap of the fairy-tale that renders not
invisible but brings into reality and action all that is reckless,
cruel, arbitrary, hateful in his nature. He may be in private life the
mild and gentle man, full of suavity and affection, the loving
husband, and the kind father; let him don the Phrygian cap of liberty,
and he thinks it necessary to put on the face and wear the heart of a
demon--he is tyrannical, brutal, implacable; all that lends not a hand
to his sweeping designs, in furtherance of his _exalted_ opinions,
must be mown down, or torn up like the tares amidst the wheat, and
flung into the pit of destruction; and, in his mind, the good grain is
rare; but, when the tares are rooted out of the land, the good grain
will flourish and multiply, he thinks: and the raising of this symbol,
of the Phrygian cap of liberty, on high, he fancies, will cause the
dazzled eyes of those he calls reactionary counter-revolutionists to
blink and close, if it cast them not utterly to the earth with the
force of an African _coup de soleil_ by the mere brilliancy of those
rays of glory his imagination has shed around it. No less, on the
contrary, is this symbol of the past history of the old republic a
hateful eyesore to the vast majority, composed of the better-thinking
mass of the citizens of France in their new republic: the attempt at
its second deification fills them with an instinctive disgust: and,
_as yet_--alas! this _as yet_ must be ever repeated with foreboding
emphasis by those who stand looking on as spectators of the dangerous
game which a country is playing,--who see an active and violent
minority engaged in flogging and goading it on in the fatal path,
already traced in blood, and a passive majority looking on and holding
forth its hand, too feeble to stop it in its mad career, much less to
tear, with vigour, the frantic drivers from their seat;--_as yet_,
then, France rejects the Phrygian cap of liberty from among its
republican symbols, as the harbinger of a sentiment that it would
gladly repudiate, as it would throw a veil over the past. Frantic
republicans, then, may worship it: a few of the men of the people,
proud of their violent opinions, prompted by party rulers, and eager
to make an effect, may publicly place it on their heads, and swagger
with it through the streets of Paris or of Lyons: a few loose women,
still more reckless, may stick it jauntily over their brows, and fancy
themselves new goddesses of reason: citizen Louis Blanc, as one of the
members of the ultra-minority of the provisional government, may have
it engraved upon his visiting-cards, flaming with the above-mentioned
rays of glory, amidst banners and joined hands, and other such
allegorical emblems of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity;" but the
sentiment of the country at large rejects the evil symbol, and looks
upon it with aversion. A striking instance of this horror was
exhibited in the French colony of Algeria. There also, as in the
greater part of France, the establishment of the republic was received
as a _fait accompli_, against which resistance was useless, and as a
necessity, under the circumstances of the hour. The republic was
accepted unwillingly, and without the enthusiasm of which French
papers have lied to us; but with resignation--by some, perhaps, with
hope: and Algeria saw the prince, who had been sent to rule its
destinies, and his brother, both there honoured and beloved, depart
from its shores with regret and tears, and marks of the deepest
sympathy and honour. The population of Algeria then looked on and
waited. When the liberty-tree-planting mania reached the distant
shores of Africa, it saw a band of men erecting the tree upon a public
square, and still looked on in indifference. But when upon the summit
was placed the Phrygian cap of liberty, popular indignation at once
broke forth; the liberty-tree gardeners were attacked; a riot broke
out, and it was not until the obnoxious symbol was removed, by order
of the authorities, that this effervescence, that had nigh led to
bloodshed, for the maintenance on one hand of a symbol, for its
overthrow on the other, could be appeased. The population of Algeria
felt how deeply the sentiment was connected with this symbol in French
minds; and that, where facts of such vital importance had not produced
resistance, the symbol brought it forth at once, even to death, for
the triumph of the principles of each party. When once the blood-red
cap of liberty shall be lifted aloft in France, "to be seen of the
eyes of men," and call for the bowed head and the bended knee, it will
be time for all honest men to take sword in hand, or quit the country,
as the plague-smitten land that soon will be a desert, blood-stained
waste.

The red colour, the colour of blood, in fact--the colour of that flag
which Lamartine rejected, is in and by itself adopted as the symbol of
the ultra-republican sentiment. Tacitly it is adopted as the banner of
the party of violence and terror; instinctively it is avoided by the
advocates for moderate republican progress. The fellow that flares
along the boulevards with a red cravat may be recognised at once as
one of those who call themselves the only true and pure democrats: his
symbol will not belie him; and see how his brow is knit! see how his
eyes roll! see how furiously he sticks out his black beard! He
considers it necessary, lest his symbol should not sufficiently
declare his character, to look as extravagantly uncompromising as
possible, and tell the world at large, by the wag of the beard, the
roll of the eye, and the knit of the brow, that he is one of those
enemies of tyranny who would grasp it all in their own hands; one of
those friends of liberty who claim it only for themselves, and would
crush it in those whose opinions may be a thought milder; one of those
redressers of the wrongs of the oppressed, who would advocate the
strongest oppression, despotism, dictatorship,--no matter
what,--provided that strong enough it be, against that "foul and
infamous majority of the country," that dares to say "nay" when he
says "ay." This republican Sir Jupiter Tonans wears a red cockade, in
defiance of the government, or rather with the knowledge how he is
supported by its factious minority; and if he smear not his face with
red like the Indian, scarcely less savage than himself, he hopes to
smear his hands of that colour soon, and of the purest and most
natural blood-red tint. Already he follows the cry of his leading
ultra journals, "_aux armes! aux armes!_" He declares that the country
is betrayed, and the republic in danger; because, in the universal
suffrage that has been given it, the nation has proclaimed the triumph
of moderate opinions and the defeat of his party, because the minority
has not worked its evil will, because a faction has been condemned by
the judgment of the nation. He hopes, however, to compensate himself
by shortly imbruing his hands in the blood of his countrymen, to the
greater glory of his favourite colour. He tosses his head proudly as
he walks; his brow, his beard, his eyes, as well as his cravat, all
cry "_aux armes!_" See how he sneers upon the tricolor banner as he
passes. Let him alone, and he will declare the tricolor _suspect_: his
symbol, the red, is alone to be acknowledged: those who recognise it
not shall amply be taxed with their life's blood to supply its dye.
Awful is this symbol; but it is the general symbol of the sentiment of
the _soi-disant_ "pure democratic," ever-revolutionising party of
violence and force: it is the symbol of that party which, were you to
ask them what was meant by a republic, would seriously inform you, a
constant state of convulsive revolution, to lop off, break down, and
destroy; the rebuilding on the ruins is with them but a matter of very
secondary consideration.

When, in the disastrous insurrection of Rouen, the ultra party used
all its instruments, and excited a few misguided artisans to take up
arms for the purpose of annulling the "universal suffrage" elections,
that had turned out in favour of the moderate majority, the "red" was
hoisted as the symbol of the party sentiment. Whatever may have since
been written by the party journals, there was no doubt, at this time,
of the republican opinions of both parties; the violent faction took
upon itself the denomination of the "_red_ republic," and thought to
stigmatise the moderates by the title of the "blue republic." Red and
blue were the rallying symbols,--the red, of anarchy and violence; the
blue, of order and moderation. Throughout the country, during the many
insurrections that burst out on account of the triumph of the moderate
party in the elections, the symbol was ever the same: that of the
party of order varied, but that of the ultra faction was invariably
the same. In the many strange and curious episodes that followed the
revolution in Paris of February,--it is necessary to distinguish by
dates, since, before these lines are printed, none can tell but that
another may have already taken place,--that of those strange gangs,
who constituted themselves the _soi-disant_ guardians of the
Tuileries, or the defenders of the cannon of the Hôtel de Ville, was
one of the most extraordinary, and by these men the same colour was
adopted as their symbol: they bound red cravats about their necks, and
tied red scarfs around their waists. The band of brigands that had
assumed the governorship of the palace of the Tuileries, was with
difficulty ejected from it, after much weak parleying and truckling on
the part of the government, and was at length reduced by a threat of
famine; but that of the Hôtel de Ville maintained its power. It was
thought necessary to come to a compromise with it, by legally
instituting it as the "Republican Guard" of the seat of government;
but nothing could persuade the self-organised troop to remove its
ill-omened, blood-red, ultra-republican symbols from neck or body: the
point was yielded, and the republican guard is still looked upon with
apprehension, as it scours the streets on horseback, or frowns on
quiet citizens on foot, flaunting its red scarfs abroad. Among the
other anomalous circumstances that were born of a state of things
consecutive upon a republican revolution, was also the mysterious
existence of that editor of a violent ultra journal, who instituted,
on his own authority, a _comité de salut public_, and sent a band of
myrmidons into the streets of Paris to arrest, upon the warrant of his
autocratic will, all unfortunate citizens who might be detected in the
groups, upon public places, discoursing moderation, and who were
consequently to be treated as _reactionnaires_ and _contre-
revolutionnaires_--or, in other words, as the _suspects_ of
this new self-appointed _montagnard régime_.

These myrmidons were all decorated with the fatal symbol, in neckcloth
and scarf, around their _blouses_. Who were they? who connived at
their illegal proceedings? how came it that the editor of the _Commune
de Paris_ was permitted to have a body-guard at his service, employed
to arrest the inhabitants of Paris at his will? For a long time all
was mystery: no one could tell, or could do more than hint at the
solution of these questions. With difficulty the truth was learnt. As
connected with the red symbol of violence and terror, and the history
of the parties formed in the new French republic, the story of Citizen
Sobrier, the self-instituted president of a _comité de salut public_,
unrecognised by any authority, edict or decree, the self-appointed
_Prefêt de Police_, No. 2, as he was called by a people that jokes of
things the most serious, is a curious and not uninteresting one. When,
in a moment of insurrection and disorder, an armed and tumultuous
handful of republicans in the Chamber of Deputies changed the
destinies of a country, and hastily consented to the appointment of
those few men, whose names came uppermost, as the Provisional
Government of the country, and then declared them elected by the
general voice of the "sovereign people," a certain Caussidière posted
off to the _Prefêcture de Police_, established himself in its bureau,
and, when questioned what he did there, declared that he was as much
elected _Prefêt de Police_ by the voice of the sovereign people, as
the other good gentlemen members of the government. This argument was
a clinching one; and it prevailed. But, lo and behold! a little later
arrived another _Prefêt de Police_, equally elected upon the same
principles by the voice of the sovereign people: and Citizen Sobrier
declared himself equally authorised to wield the authority of the
Parisian police. The two divine missionaries--divine by that "_voix du
peuple qui est la voix de Dieu_," agreed for a time to share the power
as double delegates; but two wild tiger-cats live seldom amicably in
the same cage according to the laws of nature, even be it that of
republican fraternity.[28] After much snarling and showing of teeth,
Citizen Sobrier was fairly driven out by his brother tiger-cat, and
retreated back to his editorial den, vowing vengeance against the
elected of the voice of the sovereign people. Citizen Sobrier,
however, was the friend of the minister of the interior, the chief of
the ultra violent minority in the government; and by the connivance of
Citizen Ledru-Rollin, a sop was thrown to Cerberus: the money he
demanded was lavished upon him for the support of his ultra journal,
above all for the support of the body-guard, supplied him from the
ranks of the republican guard of the Hotel de Ville, and incorporated
by him under the title of his "_Montagnards_:" and his authority, thus
connived at and protected, was used, as before stated, to harass and
arrest the _suspects_ of modern days among the citizens of Paris,
until they rose to protest by petition and remonstrance against this
monstrous illegal abuse. Since then the lustre of the red banner of
Citizen Sobrier has been dimmed for a season; and Parisians can talk
peace and moderation upon the boulevards without being bodily arrested
by living agents of the hated symbol. Another proof of the abhorrence
in which this fatal symbol, the red colour, is held by the
better-thinking French republicans, may be deduced from circumstances
that attended the dispersion of a Jacobin club in the first days of
the revolution. When the club was declared dissolved, and the would-be
president was turned out of the room by the indignant majority of the
inhabitants of the district of Paris in which it was attempted to
establish it, the cry "_à bas les Jacobins_" was but little heard; the
general indignation was excited by the red symbols worn by the baffled
institutor of the club--the general cry was "Down with the red cravat!
down with the red scarf! down with the blood of the guillotine!" Those
who cried this were workmen, men of the people,--at most small
shopkeepers: but they felt instinctively the force of the symbol; they
dreaded its influence; they feared its propagation of the sentiment
connected with it; they attached themselves to its downfall. The
visible symbol had more importance in their minds than the sentiment
itself; and perhaps no expression of sentiments, however violent,
would have excited an outburst of indignation so general and strong as
did the blood-red symbol.

  [28] This paper was written and despatched from Paris by our
  correspondent before the affair of the 15th May, when Citizen Sobrier
  and Citizen Caussidière seem to have played such parts as might have
  been expected of them.

Although they cannot, of course, find their place as "symbols,"
inasmuch as music cannot be said to assume an outward and bodily form,
yet the "patriotic hymns," as they are called, which are to be heard
upon all occasions, by day and by night, screamed discordantly in
chorus by a people that vaunts its musical capabilities, but
invariably sings out of tune,--shouted by groups of workmen, assuming
the nature of a very inharmonious glee in knots,--yelled at the top of
voices in quartets, duos, and trios of wandering _gamins_,--screeched
in ear-rending solos,--whistled by workmen,--bawled by little
children, hummed by women, or played on hand-organs on the boulevards,
and hunting-horns at the street corners,--may be also taken as
expressions of sentiments. The "_Marseillaise_" is accepted as a
traditionary musical accompaniment of all liberal, and especially
republican revolutionary movements in France. As the revolutionary
movement is incontestible, and as the establishment of the republic is
looked upon as a _fait accompli_, nothing can be said upon its being
chorussed incessantly,--much as, internally, many a musical ear may
flinch from the torture committed upon it by the hideous disharmony of
its executors,--much as the words may be repulsive to many feelings,
and appear senseless in the mouths of the citizens of a republic
established upon a basis of peace and order--much as many a heart may
beat painfully, the flesh creep with a shudder upon many a body, and
the hair stand on an end on many a head, on hearing that fearful
melody, however finely it may be composed, which recalls to so many a
mind the horrors of past days--scenes of pikes supporting bleeding
heads, a parent dead upon the scaffold, or a narrow personal escape
from death. But the Marseillaise has in general been accepted as the
symbolical hymn of the republic, and people "make up their minds to
it." The newly-composed hymn of the Girondins, as it is called,
affords little cause for horror and dismay, more especially as it has
been taken from a drama, in which the terrors of the first revolution
have been placed upon the stage with a truth and force of nature
sufficient to cause every soul that witnesses them to shudder with
apprehension, at the barest thought of their possible return. The
eternal recurrence at all times to the ear of the words, "_Mourir pour
la patrie, c'est le sort le plus digne d'envie_," may raise a smile
when heard from such mouths as often chorus it about, or may again
appear an anomaly in the character officially assumed by the present
republic--but the Girondin hymn is connected with no thought of past
evil or of living terror. Both these melodies, then, are accepted
without any repugnance, except the repugnance that the wearied ear
must feel at hearing the same notes dinned into it at all times, in
all places, and with every species of disharmony. But there are other
melodies, from which the better-thinking mass draws back with horror
and disgust--they are looked upon as symbolical of terror, violence,
and bloodshed--they turn the soul "sick with fear." If a body of
workmen--and, for the character of the French republic be it said,
that this is of rare occurrence--or a mob, formed of those fearful
hordes that come rushing down upon the city from the distant
faubourgs, or seem to spring out of the earth one knows not whence, at
all times of tumult or disorderly movement--be heard shouting the
_Carmagnole_ or the "_Ca ira_," of terrific memory, men turn aside;
for such fellows who can sing such songs cannot be otherwise than
ruffians of the lowest description, or, at best, men led astray by the
violence of the party rancour instilled into them by evil-thinking
_exaltés_, or too young and foolish, or too reckless and headstrong,
to know the fearful importance of the words they sing, and the terror
they inspire. Let it be hoped that in truth they know not what words
they use, when they howl, "_Les aristocrates à la lanterne--les
aristocrates on les tuera_," and the inflammatory consequences the
repetition of such words may bring forth. As yet the "_Ca ira_" is
heard but seldom, and but partially. When this symbolical chaunt of
destruction and death shall be chorussed aloud by a populace in
general mass, then most assuredly will the sentiment also have been
spread abroad, and widely--the sentiment of envy, rancour,
intolerance, and bloodshed--the sentiment of 1793; and then may France
be assured that she is lost--that she has fallen into the very slough
and mire of blood and terror. Heaven protect her from the "_Ca ira_!"
One of the first acts of a legally-constituted authority should be to
punish every wretch who dared even to hum it under his breath.

For the same reason a protest should be made against the singing of
the "Marseillaise" by the far-famed actress, Mademoiselle Rachel, at
the first theatre of France, and more especially since this terrific
exhibition is given also upon the occasions when the theatre is
gratuitously opened to the public. The terrible vigour of this actress
in the delineation of the worst and fiercest passions of the human
breast--anger, rage, scorn, malice--is well known to the world. The
singing of the "Marseillaise" has excited a tumult of enthusiasm. At a
time when all the theatres in Paris languished, and pined away to the
bare benches, and even died--some of them from inanition, poor
things!--the Théâtre Français was nightly crammed to its throat in the
very upper galleries, to gaze upon this strange spectacle. Before
witnessing this feat of Mademoiselle Rachel, it was natural to suppose
that she would assume the part of an inspired Joan of Arc, leading on
a people to combat and victory. Bitter was the disappointment of those
who indulged this poetic fancy. Her gestures, while singing the
patriotic hymn, are energetic, if not grand, her attitudes fine, her
_poses plastiques_ picture-like; but what is the whole character of
her delivery--what the expression she bestows? Those of hatred,
malice, revenge, bloodthirstiness. She calls "to arms" as Satan may
have summoned the accursed angels. She is not for a moment the
inspired guardian angel of a suffering country, heaven-sent to avenge
its wrongs: she is the demon of darkness scattering destruction and
death from the sheer love of death and destruction. Her flatterers
have called her "a Muse"--then she must needs be the Muse of
Vengeance! the Muse of Malice! the Muse of Blood! She sinks her voice
to sing the words, "_Amour sacré de la patrie_;" but with what a
spirit of concentrated bitterness does she pronounce them! There is
not a breath of love in the least inflexion of her voice: every tone
breathes "hate--hate--hate," with all the bitterness of hatred. What a
look of fury, malice, scorn, and reckless revenge possesses her face
during her whole delivery! One would suppose that she must have some
private wrongs of her own to avenge upon society, or upon the
denounced aristocracy of society, so spontaneous appears the flood of
blood-mixed bile that flows from her lips. A shudder pervades your
whole frame, your hair stands on end; and willingly would you turn
away your head with horror and disgust, did she not fascinate you by
the power of her energy, and cast an evil spell upon you by the charm
of the sculptured beauty of her forcible attitudes. Ay! would a
sculptor study a true model of a demon of revenge, he could not study
a better one than Mademoiselle Rachel, as she delivers the
Marseillaise. But it is this very fascination that is dangerous.
Hundreds of spectators, who applaud with frenzy, leave the theatre
instinctively connecting in their minds the Marseillaise with all the
most fearful and deadly passions of the human breast. The bitterness
of bitterness pervades their recollection of it--a vision of the
demon-like actress floats before their eyes; they murmur the melody
themselves involuntarily, with the same feelings of hatred, revenge,
and bloodthirstiness. Oh! anathema on the actress who would inspire
the citizens of France with feelings so vile--who knows her power over
the masses, and so fearfully misuses it--who, when she might modify,
exaggerates, and goads on to fury! The evil that this representation
may produce is incalculable. Who can tell how far the leaven of gall
that she infuses into the popular melody, that is in every body's
mouth, and rings in every body's ear, may not leaven the whole
sentiment connected with it? Yes! woe and anathema to the actress! The
more terrible sentiment connected with the symbol had faded from men's
minds, and she would again connect the symbol with sentiments of
terror and revenge.

All tendencies to return upon the bloody track of the past are equally
condemnable: every symbolical reminiscence of that past is equally to
be avoided. It ought to be scouted by the good sense of the
better-thinking citizens of France, and put down by all the moral
force that public remonstrance, reasoning, satire, and ridicule may
command in the public prints. There was a time when a new-born French
republic, in the heyday folly of its early youth, and with all the
silly fancies of silly puerile years--and who of us, as a youngster,
has not had such?--sought for its models, and emblems, and symbols, in
the most ancient republics of Europe; and weened that, if it assumed
the outward forms, and wore the names of those old times, it must
necessarily inherit the supposed virtues of the days of Greece and
Rome: those virtues which, to its fancy, consisted chiefly in
uncompromising sternness, and _soi-disant_ patriotic hard-heartedness.
And, like a silly boy, the first French republic rendered itself
ridiculous by its extravagant absurdities. Like a stage-struck hero of
the same age, it exaggerated and overacted its part: it fancied that
it had but to put on the robe, and take the name, and strut and
swagger; and that it would act the part, if not to the life, at least
with wonderful effect. Unlike the silly boy, however, it went beyond
the contemptible,--it became frantic, furious, bloodyminded--it became
terrible: its hot young brains were turned, and dreamt bad dreams of
cruelty and carnage. Those were the days when men unbaptised
themselves of their old names, and called themselves "Brutus," and
"Aristides," and "Scevola," and "Leonidas," and deemed themselves
great and doughty patriots, with all the virtues of the antique,
because they had so put their names down among the _dramatis personæ_
in the bill of the play. Those were the days when women wore Grecian
tunics, and exposed their naked charms to the inclemencies of a foggy
northern sky; and happy would the results of all this nonsense have
been, had the republic only caught a cold, or a sore throat, or a
toothach: unfortunately, it caught a fever, a sore soul, and a
heartach. Those were the days when fasces were carried abroad in
public fêtes, as emblems of liberty,--fasces! those true emblems of
constraint and tyranny--of constraint by the stick, of tyranny by the
axe,--fasces! such as lictors carried before Nero; and the fasces were
stamped upon the coins of the republic, surmounted by a cap of
liberty! Those were the days when Greece and Rome were _soi-disant_
models, greedily swallowed, ill digested, and producing nausea,
loathing, and sickness. The Grecian and the Roman symbols, therefore,
were symbols to be avoided and repulsed. They remind of the past; they
prepare people's minds for its return; they bring with them visions of
blood. In the very heart's core of the people, with the Grecian
allegories, and the Spartan virtues, and the fasces, are intimately
connected _comités de salut public_, and denunciations unto death, and
the guillotine. Away with them then! refer not to them again! repel
them, second French republic, from your fêtes, and your public
ceremonies, and your coins! They are all so many prickly whips to
drive men's minds back to the bloody past, and urge them again along
the self-same blood-stained road. Surely, too, the day of such
worn-out theatrical humbug is past: the world has grown more civilised
and more sensible: the age of allegorical absurdities is gone by.
True! the world has also lost much of its poetry and romance; and
there may be those who regret it, and would be foolish still; but all
this _Greco-Franco_ republican romance and poetry, borrowed of the
ancients, is now sadly out of place. What do I say?--is to be shunned
as the plague-fraught garment from the East, that, when thrown upon
your shoulders, may extend a fatal disease far and wide among the
land, that may become another robe of Nessus to burn and consume you
to the bones; and when once thrown on, not to be torn away again
without tearing with it the healthful flesh, and the very blood of
life. And yet there are those who would seem determined ever to refer
back to the past days, ever to spur along the old road, and who appear
to dream that they can never produce the effect they want, but by
spreading the poisoned garment over the back of France. There has been
a reckless Minister of the Interior, who, hand-in-hand with a
strong-minded but ill-judging woman, full of strange subversive
fancies, which she proclaims with a masculine voice, and in a nominal
masculine garb, seems to forget the importance of such symbols over
the easily exciteable imaginations of the French, or perhaps even--may
God forgive him, if so it be!--adopts the symbols of the past, in
order to prepare the way for its return, and for the return to his own
hands of the tyranny of democratic despotism. It is he who has
declared it his high will, that the spirit of the country should be
_travaillé_--_i. e._ tortured--to his own furious sense: and, in
truth, the maintenance of such symbols is a pretty and convenient
manner to _travailler_ the public spirit with all the taking gaudiness
of outward show. As Minister of the Interior, he is supreme institutor
and instigator of popular fêtes, and public republican ceremonies:
and, whether of his own fancy, or under the influence of the
promptings of minor masters of ceremonies, or of those who would be
such, he appears determined that modern republican shows, festivities,
and ceremonials, should bring back as many reminiscences of those of a
fatal time as possible. In the funeral ceremony of the interment of
those who fell in the days of February,--which, in its very nature, as
well as from the immense masses it called forth of men of all classes,
all corporations, all bodies of the state, citizen troops, and
military, with music, and banners, and streaming ribands, was
sufficiently imposing,--in this ceremony Paris was again bid to
delight itself with the aspect of modern lictors preceding the members
of the Provisional Government, with antique fasces--those eternal
emblematical fasces,--that had been borrowed from the boards of the
_ci-devant_ Théâtre Francais, where they had been used, poor dirty old
things, to be paraded by knock-kneed bearers before all the bloody
tyrants of the classic drama of France: they were "freshened up," it
is true, and made smart, to meet the time and circumstance, by being
bound with new tri-color ribands: but they were no less foolish
symbols, and worse than foolish, from the effect they might have on
sentiments. But this was but the caviare to the feast. A new
republican fête is prepared by the same minister of the interior, and
that, too, at a time when the public treasury is empty, and a national
bankruptcy stares the country in the face--a fête that has no purpose
as an anniversary, unless it be some anniversary of a time to be
forgotten--an uncalled-for fête, that is to be symbolical of a
republican word called "Fraternity," the sense of which no one in
France seems, by any effort, to be able to understand,--in fact, to be
the vague vain emblem of a vague vain word. What does the programme of
this fête set forth? Antique cars, bearing Grecian allegorical
personifications of the new-old deities of the day, drawn by huge oxen
with gilded horns, borrowed of the Eleusinian mysteries!--and little
Lacedemonian girls in white Grecian tunics, singing French patriotic
hymns on the boulevards under Grecian pavilions,--hear it, shade of
Coleman's Mr Sterling, and rejoice!--and Grecian tripods with burning
flames at street-corners--and painted Grecian statues, allegorical of
all sorts of fancied Grecian virtues, under the trees of the Champs
Elysées--and nonsense only knows how many other Grecian attributes of
canvass and pasteboard, and carpentry-work, and stage decoration in
all manner of high places. Out upon them all! Were we to turn to some
edict of the past, issued for the celebration of the pure and mighty
virtues of the days of the Convention, we should find exactly the same
programme of some fête of fraternity in those fraternal times,
ordained and arranged by the famous artist, Citizen David, the pure
taste of whose classic pictures all amateurs, who have visited Paris,
may have had the happiness of admiring in the galleries of the
_ci-devant_ Louvre.

No less to be condemned, for similar reasons, as uselessly and even
deleteriously calling into life the past, was the edict of the
Provisional Government, enacting that the representatives of the
people in the national assembly should have a uniform costume, similar
to that worn by the heroes of the Convention. This idea emanated,
doubtless, from the same violent and misdirected source as the
Greco-republican programme de fête: but why, it may be asked, did the
more sensible and moderate majority of that government lend its hand
to sign such a decree? The immense, majority, however, of the
representatives of the people, who are unwilling, at the same time, to
be the representatives of the ideas of '93, have, in their good
sense, done justice to this edict, by their disdain of its ordinances,
and their refusal to wear the costume imposed upon them. They felt the
full force of the symbol they were told to adopt; they felt the
dangerous importance of the sentiment that would be attached to it:
they rejected the symbol; and they disavowed the sentiment. And they
did well. The cocked hat with its gold-lace border, such as may be
seen, in pictures, on the head or in the hand of Danton or St Just,
was declared simply absurd, if nothing more: the tri-color scarf, to
be bound round their waists, with its gold fringe, was thought
puerile; but the celebrated white waistcoat, the fatal white
waistcoat, with its broad lappels flung back upon the shoulders--that
waistcoat known only under the popular names of the "_gilet à la
Robespierre_,"--or the "_gilet à la guillotine_"--the new
representatives of the people of a new republic, founded upon other
principles, flung aside with indignation. The "_gilet à la
Robespierre!_"--the very name was sufficient to excite feelings of
abhorrence; and the edict, although it of course withheld the name,
raised a storm of angry remonstrance and refusal. The whole
affair,--the edict as the indignation,--may be considered as puerile,
frivolous, and unworthy of strong feeling. But, again it must be
repeated, the men who were told to don this costume knew what the
sentiment would be that such a display of symbolical attire would
excite; and a great importance was attached to it, which men in other
countries may not understand, but which those who know the French, and
their facility to be led away by the outward symbol, will entirely
appreciate. It may seem ridiculous to say--and yet it may not be far
off the truth--that many a representative of the people, who may now
talk sage and sensible moderation, might have thundered forth the
excess of democratic violence, had his bosom borne across it the
"_gilet à la Robespierre_."

There are other symbols of the great watchwords of the day; those ill
understood and oft misconstrued words,--those words which are so
constantly put forward by the violent to mean the very contrary of
what they are intended to express,--the words "_Liberté! Egalité!
Fraternité!_" and these symbols men think it necessary to exhibit on
all occasions. So be it. They are the rallying cry of the new
republic; let them be symbolised. But let men take care how, and in
what manner, it be done. In the new coins of the republic, upon which
the three mystic words shine, they are strangely enough typified--the
old die of the old coin of the old republic has been used; and perhaps
the allegorical personages that figure on them had then another
signification. As it is, the Hercules in the midst, with the two
ladies by his side, may be interpreted in various ways. Curious
speculators in allegories would in vain endeavour to affix each of
these three personages to each of the abstractions they are supposed
to represent: there are many, at all events, who decline the task.
Which does Hercules typify? Liberty perchance--the liberty, then, of
force. Or, if the ladies alone represent the qualities that are of the
feminine gender in the French language, which of the three is absent?
which of the three is excluded from being symbolised on the coins of
the French republic? This would be, again, a difficult task to
investigate. All the three are so constantly called in question, so
continually menaced, above all, so little comprehended in general in
the first steps of the French republic, that it would be hard to say
which is the least recognised, although many may give their votes in
favour of the first of the three good dames. But it is not alone upon
the coins that the three deities find their emblems. Lithographic
prints, of every species of good or bad drawing, display them in a
bodily form to admiring eyes at every print-shop. Led away by
pictures, as by all other outward and visible emblems, the French are
easily inflamed by such productions. And, again, a protest should be
entered against the character commonly given to the republican
deities--against that of goddess Liberty more especially. She is
almost invariably represented in an attitude of demoniacal vengeance,
worthy of Mademoiselle Rachel. She has the so-called cap of liberty,
of course, upon her head, but her hand always grasps a sabre, or a
pike, or some such deadly weapon; her countenance is furious, angry,
vengeful. Why should Liberty be represented thus, then, as a
bloodthirsty angel of wrath? why should she be an object to be dreaded
and not loved? Rulers of France, ye should have a care how the
divinity ye proclaim is symbolised to the eyes of the people! the
effect produced, in the fostering of the sentiment, may be more
important than ye choose to think or to acknowledge. The same
reprehension should be cast upon the greater part of those models and
pictures which are exhibited in the _Ecole des beaux arts_, for the
prize to be given for the best personification of the French Republic.
The great majority of these models represent, once more, a perfect
fury of wrath, in all the extravagance of frantic theatrical gesture.
But, my good artists, this is a representation of a French Republic
such as it was in the worst moments of its last reign--not of the
French Republic proclaimed as the living exemplification, not only of
liberty, equality, and fraternity, but of peace, and order, and love!
Could you do nothing better than make bad imitations of a detestable
past? It will be for the famous Minister of the Interior, probably, to
decide which of these personifications is to be raised on high as the
symbol of the republic. He who offered the prize will probably award
it: Paris, then, will soon see what sentiment is to be taught, in the
name of all France, to attach to the symbol.

There is another little trait connected with a people's sentiments
that, slight as it is, may be of more influence in the direction which
the violence of popular commotion may take. This little trait,
although born of an evil and violent feeling, may have a tendency that
not only will not be a harmful one, but may protect from harm. At the
commencement of the revolution,--upon every greater or lesser
demonstration of popular feeling,--the first cry, to the rich or the
supposed rich, was to illuminate their houses in honour of the
sovereign people, or rather of those who assumed the rank and title of
sovereignty wholly to themselves. Above the cries, "_à bas les riches!
à bas les aristocrats!_" prevailed the cry "_des lampions! des
lampions!_" So often, and for so long a time, was this cry heard in
the streets of Paris, that it has now taken the distinct form of one
of those popular shouts used upon all occasions. Is the mob angry, or
is it merry, it cries "_des lampions!_" Is it angry only, this cry
often changes its wrath to merriment: is it impatient, it cries "_des
lampions!_" is it witty, "_des lampions!_" By day as well as night, on
all popular occasions, the cry is heard, and now never fails to excite
a laugh. In the theatres, is a piece to be damned?--the pit and the
galleries cry, "_des lampions!_" Does a declaimer in a street crowd
displease the multitude?--it cries again, "_des lampions!_" The words,
then, have become a popular demonstrative cry; and who can tell how
much in the future this habit may efface the hideous cry of "_à la
lanterne_?"--how much the cry for light may cause the people to forget
the cry for the darkness of death upon the lamp-post--how much, in
truth, popular sentiment may be hereafter influenced by a trait of
popular habit so slight, so frivolous, so ridiculous, and yet,
perhaps, so important in its results. Should it have this working,
there are many who have lost their temper at the ear-rending,
monotonous, irritating cry of "_des lampions_," who may bless the day
when the fancy of the mob adopted this popular and almost historical
cry. Who can tell, indeed, upon what a trifle may depend the direction
given to a people's outbreak, to the course of a revolution, to the
destinies of a country?

Since the courageous action of Lamartine gave a first stamp to the
character of the revolution, by putting down a dangerous sentiment in
its bloody symbol, the violent party has in vain again endeavoured,
_as yet_, to assume its lost supremacy. The horizon is dark with its
menace, it is true, and its thunder growls, its lightnings flash, from
time to time: the storm may be dispersed, or it may break forth, and
then pass away. This is for the future. But whatever men may rule the
destinies of France, they should, like Lamartine, be well aware that
if the French people must be amused with constant displays of symbols,
those symbols must be chosen with care, as the direct, and leading,
and active instigators of their sentiments.



AMERICAN FEELING TOWARDS ENGLAND.


We believe it to be impossible to overrate the importance of the
triumph of order on the 10th of April in London, either as to its
effects on Great Britain or on the world. The complete and signal
success, and at the same time the calm working of the machinery by
which the end was accomplished,--the impression of a vast power felt
throughout, though purposely kept in the background, ready to act if
necessary, but only in the case of necessity; the proof which it
afforded of the perfect soundness of the English mind, extending even
to the masses of the capital amidst the revolutionary contagion; and
the contrast which it exhibited between the well-balanced and elastic
strength of the English constitution, and the unsubstantial systems or
crumbling governments of the Continent, formed a spectacle which no
one could witness without pride, or remember without a feeling of
gratitude and of increased security. It has tranquillised for many a
year the fears of those who had begun to doubt whether even the strong
anchor of our constitution could continue to hold fast against the
strain of the revolutionary current. It has proved, if that indeed
were doubtful, how essentially different are the elements of the
British character from those of the fickle populations of Southern
Europe, among whom revolution had found its adherents; and how
deep-seated in that character is the love of order, respect for
property, deference to established authority, calm and practical good
sense, and that solid groundwork of moral and religious feeling, on
which alone any stable form of government can ever be reared. If,
since that memorable 10th of April, the Continent has begun to obtain
a little truce and breathing time; and even in France the possessors
of property and the friends of order are beginning to be alive at once
to their own danger, and their own strength, and to the necessity of
exerting the forces, moral and physical, which are at their disposal
to put down the approach of anarchy in its most undisguised and
hideous form--it is to the peaceful and majestic triumph of order in
England that these results are to be ascribed.

It cannot but be matter of deep interest to us to learn with what
feelings the danger and the escape of Great Britain were contemplated
in America; a country where the experiment of a republic had been
tried, and where--if the same spirit of propagandism existed which
appears to be the curse of France--it might have been supposed that
the chance of a democratic constitution being established in England,
would have been a subject of congratulation and anticipated triumph.
In Paris, upon the morning of the 12th April, nothing, we are told,
but disappointment was experienced, when the peaceful, and, as they
deemed it, ignominous termination of the proceedings at Kennington
Common was made known. How were the news received by our Transatlantic
brethren? A short extract from the letter of a valued friend in New
York, and one or two from the American papers, will be interesting, we
think, to our readers, as illustrating the state of feeling on the
subject in America.

The tone of the American press on this question has on the whole been
most creditable to the periodical literature of that country. It
proves that, though many points of difference may and must exist
between the two countries,--though the elder may not always have borne
her faculties in the meekest way, and the younger may have often
announced her pretensions with more of petulance than discretion,--
nations sprung of the same lineage, speaking the same language,
cherishing the same literature, cannot be so alienated from each other
by difference of political institutions, or opposition of commercial
interests, as not to feel a warm and cordial interest in each other's
welfare; and to lament, not from mere selfish considerations of
interest, but from higher and more generous sympathies, every calamity
which threatens a kindred nation, with which it feels itself united by
the ties of moral and intellectual relationship.

Our correspondent thus writes:--

                                "_New York, May 1st, 1848._

     ... "The arrival of the steam-ship America at this port on
     Saturday last, bringing the good news of the complete
     triumph of law, liberty, and order in our Fatherland, was
     hailed with a degree of joy that well became true-born
     descendants of British ancestors. That arrival terminated a
     week which, to myself as well as to thousands of others, had
     been one of intense and painful anxiety; for although I
     never dreamed of the probability of a revolution, and never
     doubted the power of government to quell the threatened
     insurrection of the Chartists, I did greatly fear that a
     conflict was inevitable; and I trembled at the possible
     results that might follow, were only a single man in the
     procession to parliament to fall before the bayonets of the
     soldiery. How universal was this fear the newspapers which I
     send you clearly tell; and you will smile at hearing that
     even bets were made that the revolution was complete, and
     England a republic.

     "The course pursued by government, in trusting to a
     voluntary police rather than to the military, exhibited
     their usual wisdom, and has greatly added to the moral
     dignity of their triumph. And the result has fully verified
     the remark in your letter to me in March, that 'the upper
     and middle classes, as also the respectable operatives, are
     most determined to maintain order and the law, irrespective
     of all political differences;' and proves beyond a doubt the
     truth of the proud declaration, in the last number of your
     Magazine, that 'the unbought loyalty of men--the cheap
     defence of nations--still, thank God, subsists among _you_.'

     "Notwithstanding all the extreme excitement aroused
     throughout our land by the Revolution in France, and its
     astounding progress on the Continent, and the confident
     predictions of many that England could not unshaken meet the
     shock of Chartist rebellion,--the instant it was known that
     she had met it and was unmoved--that it had passed
     harmlessly by as a summer cloud, without awakening from its
     slumbers the giant strength it had threatened to
     overcome,--a sensation of relief, a thrill of gladness, a
     feeling of thankfulness, of security, and of admiration,
     seemed to be almost universal, and men greeted each other in
     the streets as those might who had together feared and
     together escaped a great personal calamity.

     "That much of this rejoicing arose from selfishness is very
     true, for so closely connected are the social and commercial
     relations of the two countries, that no blow struck at the
     prosperity of England could be long unfelt in these United
     States. But the fact is scarcely on that account the less
     striking, nor will it, I venture to hope, deprive it of its
     intense significance with those who, like yourselves,
     exercise so great an influence upon the opinions and the
     sympathies of two great nations."

The effect produced upon the _commercial_ affairs of America by the
apprehension of a revolutionary movement in Great Britain, and the
restoration of confidence when the news of the peaceful termination of
the demonstration of the 10th arrived, are thus given in the _Weekly
Herald_ of New York:--


                                    _Sunday, April 30--6 p.m._

     "The week just closed has been one of the most intense
     excitement. The most gloomy anticipations had been formed
     relative to the expected news from England; and we have
     never before seen such a panic growing out of a probable
     event, as that which had taken possession of the public
     mind. The whole thing turned upon the result of the Chartist
     movement in London; and such were the hopes and fears of
     those connected in any way with Great Britain, that it was
     difficult to escape the general depression. Vessels
     freighted for ports in England were not permitted to depart
     until after the arrival of the steamer. Drawers of exchange
     refused to sell any more bills on their agents; prices for
     cotton were steadily drooping in anticipation of a complete
     overthrow of the British government; and a thorough
     derangement existed in every department of industry, and, in
     fact, the greatest consternation prevailed. As soon as it
     was announced that the steamer America was telegraphed, the
     public mind was at once relieved, and stocks advanced, even
     before the news became known. The fact that the steamer was
     coming, that she had sailed on her regular day, satisfied
     all that there had been no change in the government--that
     the Chartist movement had not succeeded, and that, so far
     as political affairs in Great Britain were concerned, every
     thing was quiet. This gave a buoyancy to the market, and the
     reaction upon the public mind was tremendous. When the news
     was read from an _Extra Herald_ to the crowd in Wall Street,
     many men shed tears, and almost a universal shaking of hands
     took place. Many, who imagined they were ruined, found their
     fears groundless; and the long, anxious faces which met us
     at every turn in the business portion of the city during the
     past week, were suddenly changed to those of joy. Vessels
     which have been under an embargo, will now resume their
     voyages; and produce which has been held back, will go
     forward more rapidly. Trade will again move on in the usual
     channels, and renewed confidence will give an impetus to
     commercial transactions generally. The news by the America
     is of vast importance, inasmuch as it has removed the
     immense weight pressing upon the minds of mercantile men,
     and given great relief to all classes; otherwise the news
     does not amount to much, in a commercial point of view. The
     advance in consols was the result more of the reaction in
     the public mind, caused by the manner in which the Chartist
     demonstration passed off, than any thing else, as the
     position of affairs on the Continent kept the market very
     sensitive."

The following article is from the _Morning Express_; and it is
valuable for the justice of its remarks upon the anomalies which
pervade the democratic American constitution, as well as our own, and
which must exist under every form of government which deserves the
name:--

     "THE ATTEMPTED INSURRECTION IN ENGLAND.--The public mind was
     gratefully relieved on Saturday, by the intelligence, flying
     like wild-fire upon the arrival of the America, that the
     Chartist demonstration on Kennington Common failed of its
     main object--viz., that of creating an insurrection among
     the two millions of London, like that which had been created
     among the million of Paris. If England had swung from her
     moorings, as France has, and Italy and Germany have, no one
     could have foreseen the consequences, or ventured to predict
     upon the probable results. Certain it is, however, that
     almost every British business-doing house in the United
     States would have been crushed, and the commerce of the
     world would have been annihilated for a season.

     "The 'six points' of the Chartists of England are no doubt
     known to our readers. The petitioners pray (1) for annual
     parliaments, (2) universal suffrage, (3) vote by ballot, (4)
     equal electoral districts, (5) no property qualification,
     and (6) the payment of members. Now, at the first blush, all
     these seem reasonable enough, if the people want
     them--although there is no proof that they do, but rather
     proof to the contrary,--but when we remember that, in this
     country, not one of these points, save the payment of
     members of Congress, is universally recognised as the law of
     the land, it is not for us to say a word in favour of the
     Chartists of England, at least until we make their
     theoretical 'points' _our_ 'points' in practice. We have no
     _annual Congress_. Members of the House are elected for two
     years, and members of the Senate for six years. We have no
     universal suffrage. The three millions of slaves do not
     vote. The negroes in the Free States do not vote (two or
     three States excepted) without a property qualification. In
     democratic Virginia, a man must be a freeholder to vote. In
     some of the other States there are also rigid restrictions.
     The vote by ballot is known nowhere in the Slave States. The
     _viva voce_ is the only mode of voting, and it is not
     certain that it is not the best way. Equal electoral
     districts do not exist in this country. Six hundred white
     men in South Carolina or Louisiana elect as many members of
     Congress as six thousand in New York. The little State of
     Delaware, entitled to but one member of Congress, elects as
     many Senators as New York, entitled to her thirty-six
     members in the Lower House. Thus, whatever evils the
     Chartists groan under, if any, we groan under here in these,
     their _beau-ideal_, United States. But, if we are
     misgoverned here, or if misgovernment exists in England, it
     is vain to deny that it is our own fault. No revolution, no
     exertion of physical force, can better our condition. The
     cause of order is the cause of liberty; tyrants and thieves
     alone thrive by confusion. The progress of popular power is
     founded on knowledge, and the best fruit of knowledge is
     peace. It is kings and autocrats whose trust is in the
     bayonet, and whose only faith is in the rifle and parks of
     artillery. Let the people show they are worthy to be free by
     practising the virtues of freemen--by a reliance on the
     power of reason, on the march of intelligence, on the force
     of public opinion, on the justice of their cause, and the
     certain triumph of truth and right, naked and unarmed,
     except in the panoply of virtue and the majestic spirit of
     humanity.

     "But the demonstration in London is not to be without its
     effect on the map of the world. It is the first check that
     the revolutionary ball has met with since it started in
     Paris, and ran like a meteoric storm over continental
     Europe. The British empire, at all events, is safe. Whatever
     is to be achieved for Liberty and Progress there, has got to
     be achieved, as such victories have been for two hundred
     years past, viz., by changing the law of the land through
     the constitutional action of the ballot box. It is very true
     that the British government, for the first time for many
     years, has manifested symptoms of alarm over a seditious
     meeting,--and there was reason for it, so sudden had been
     the revolutions in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Milan, Venice,
     Munich, Wirtemberg, and indeed throughout nearly all the
     cities in continental Europe,--and it is very true, also,
     that London, in the excitement, lost her trade and forgot
     business for nearly a week, while the actual cost of the
     demonstration in behalf of law and order is estimated to be
     full half a million of dollars; but, as the London _Times_
     well says:--

     "'It is worth at least £1,000,000 in the additional value it
     will give to British securities now and for good all over
     the world.'

     "The British character, British reverence for law and order,
     British public opinion, now stand higher than ever. No
     spectacle can be more beautiful than that of 200,000 special
     constables qualifying from all classes of society, and
     taking oath to obey the officers of the law in preserving
     property and protecting the city. The Chartist multitude of
     some ten, or twenty, or it may be, fifty thousand--for
     authorities differ in their estimation of the number on
     Kennington Common,--naturally enough quailed before such a
     moral demonstration. Their courage all oozed out of their
     fingers' ends, and their leaders evaporated on the trial
     day, as well enough they might. The whole thing turned out a
     farce, or an abortion; and the 'six points' of the Charter,
     well enough in the main, now stand about as high, in London,
     under such auspices, as the 'five points' in New York.

     "Rejoicing, however, as we do in this suppression of a mob
     demonstration in our Fatherland, we do not shut our eyes to
     the fact that the British ministry must keep up with the
     spirit and the intelligence of the age, in all possible or
     rational meliorations of the aristocratic features of the
     British constitution. There is, however, the greatest pledge
     that this will be done in the very form itself of the
     constitution,--for there can be scarcely a doubt, we think,
     that there is now as near an approximation to universal
     suffrage in the House of Commons as in our own House of
     Representatives,--remembering, as we must, in the latter
     body, the _numbers_ and _colours_ of its differing
     constituency. The Senate of the United States is no more
     based upon 'equal representation,' as all know, than the
     House of Peers."

     "WALL STREET ON SATURDAY LAST.--If there are any among us
     who doubt the close union, social, intellectual, and
     commercial, which binds in sympathy our people with those of
     Great Britain,--if there are any who deemed Americans mere
     passive, disinterested spectators of the revolutionary
     crisis, which, previous accounts would have it, was to
     provoke a civil war in England, and to submerge all the then
     existing law and order there, beneath the turbulent
     whirlpool of mob violence--we wish they had been in Wall
     Street, or, indeed, in any of the other business
     thoroughfares in the lower part of the city, on Saturday
     last, about noon. We are perfectly sure that the result of
     the intended-to-be belligerent demonstration in the English
     metropolis, on the eventful 10th of April, was not more
     anxiously awaited in Liverpool, in Edinburgh, or Glasgow,
     than it was here in Transatlantic New York, albeit three
     thousand miles and more away from the theatre of action.
     Early in the morning, as soon as it was proclaimed on the
     newspaper bulletins that the steamer was telegraphed off
     Sandy Hook, men began to gather in knots at the corners of
     the streets, discussing the probable character of the news
     at hand,--and, for the time being, all business of
     importance was at a pause. Speculation in Ohio 6's,
     Pennsylvania 5's, Reading Bonds and railroad shares, was
     laid aside for speculation in an anticipated fresh batch of
     revolutions and dynasties overthrown. Cotton, flour, and
     grain were all forgotten, and the only article thought of in
     the provision line was a _Provisional Government_ in the
     realms of Queen Victoria. Hanover Street, at the corner of
     Wall,--that well-known rendezvous for street
     operations,--was in a state of terrible suspense; and even
     the stoic who superintends the dog-market in the
     neighbourhood of the Custom House, concluded to suspend all
     transactions in his quadrupedal profession, till the
     character of the news should be divulged. The excitement on
     all hands was intense; but the suspense was of short
     duration, for soon the booming of cannon across the bay
     announced that the New America had reached her wharf at
     Jersey City. An hardly had the echoes died in the distance,
     ere a 'Wilmer,' or one of the innumerable 'Extras' that now
     deluged the streets, was in the hands of every body who
     could read. By this time the various newspaper
     establishments were in a state of actual beleaguerment. Into
     some, the rush was so unceremonious and indiscriminate,
     that, as the speediest means to get rid of the crowd, an
     individual was delegated to ascend the desk and read aloud
     the details of the intelligence. Englishman, Irishman,
     German, and Frenchman, were among the eager listeners; and
     according as from the reader's lips would fall some sentence
     congenial to the feelings of one or the other, it amused us
     to hear the involuntary ejaculations of applause that would
     now and then break out. All, indeed, were patient
     listeners,--the American hardly less so than the European.
     And now that the Chartist bugbear had eventuated in a
     contemptible abortion, many were the congratulations
     exchanged--though some expressions of disappointed hope here
     and there met our ear. The internal peace of England had
     been undisturbed--the government had wisely allowed the
     'demonstration' to take place,--it had 'all ended in
     smoke,'--Parliament hadn't even been menaced with those
     awful pikes,--the vast financial and commercial concerns of
     the nation were not seriously affected,--in short, because
     every thing now gave good assurance that the mighty
     conflagration which has irresistibly swept over all
     continental Europe, consuming many a regal edifice in its
     march, has left unscathed the governmental fabric of
     Britain, and therefore preserved all the mighty interests
     which, falling with it in the general ruin, would have
     immersed half the world in bankruptcy and distress--people
     returned to their homes and to their places of business with
     better heart. The cloud of gloom that hung over the business
     world, the week past, in anticipation of sad tidings from
     abroad, at once evaporated, and in the twinkling of an eye,
     all was sunshine and hope again. SUCH WAS SATURDAY IN WALL
     STREET."

To the sentiments expressed in these passages every British heart must
respond; and we feel the more called upon to lay them before our
readers from having seen some absurd and foolish ravings reprinted in
this country as the verdict of the American Press upon the events
which have been and are passing around us.

We do not much wonder at such passages as we allude to being quoted
here, for, like many of those transatlantic extravagances which have
now attained the distinctive name of "Americanisms," they certainly
form rather amusing reading; but it requires only a very superficial
inspection of these tirades, to see that they no more reflect the real
tone of American opinions or American sympathies, than the harangues
of the United Irishmen or of Conciliation Hall represent the feelings,
judgments, or wishes of the Irish nation. Doubtless, among the less
intelligent classes of the community, and the "Suisses" of the Press,
on both sides of the Atlantic, there is abundance of rancour and bad
feeling, in some cases the offspring of mere ignorance, in others of
bad faith, disguised under the cloak of nationality and patriotism:
but among the educated and the thoughtful portion of the public, and
among the higher organs of periodical literature in both countries, a
very different spirit is evidently gaining ground. A feeling of mutual
respect, a spirit of cordiality is every day becoming more apparent,
as the conviction of the common interest of the two countries becomes
more palpable; and a union is gradually in the course of formation,
which the storms that are agitating the rest of Europe will only tend,
we trust, to cement and confirm. How, indeed, should it be otherwise?
How, at least, should it _long continue_ to be otherwise? For what
country but Great Britain has ever sent forth from its bosom such a
colony as now forms the United States of America? What colony could
ever look back upon a loftier lineage than America, when, comparing
her own wide and thriving domains with many of the sinking empires of
Europe, she remembers her British descent, and feels, in a thousand
traces of blood and thoughts and habits and morals, her connexion with
"the inviolate island of the sage and free."



INDEX TO VOL. LXIII.


  Abercrombie, general, 430.

  Aberdeen, kidnapping in, 612.

  Ackland, colonel, 335, 336,
    --his death, 339.

  Ackland, lady Harriet, 336, _et seq._

  Acre, defence of, by Sir Sidney Smith, 323.

  Aids to Reflection, criticism on the, 702.

  Agricultural produce, importation of, 11
    --classes, present state of, 655.

  Alaimo de Sentini, 592
    --defence of Messina by, 595
    --his death, 602.

  Alba, battle of, 450.

  Alexander, emperor of Russia, sketch of career of, 133, 135, _et seq._

  Alfred, improvement of the English law under, 463.

  Allen, Ethan, exploits of, 430.

  America, periodical literature of, 106
    --copyright in, 127
    --feeling in, towards England, 780.

  Angler's Companion, Stoddart's, review of, 673.

  Armstrong, Johnny, execution of, 305.

  Army, &c., Cobden on the, 261.

  Arnold, Benedict, exploits of, 332, 336, 430.

  Athole, earl of, murder of, 300.

  Atterbury, bishop, 471.

  Austria, the revolutionary movement in, 639, _et seq._ 650
    --its government of Lombardy and Venice, 736, 737
    --the war with Sardinia, 746.

  Autobiography of a German headsman, the, 148.


  Ballantyne's Hudson's Bay, review of, 369.

  Bank restriction act, passing of the, and its effects, 1
    --Peel's, 720.

  Baring, Mr, on the income-tax, 386.

  Barrow's life of Sir Sidney Smith, review of, 309.

  Beatification, the, 290.

  Benevento, battle of, 444.

  Blackwood and copyright in America, 127.

  Blairs and Drummonds, feud between, 306.

  Blanc, Louis, 399.

  Bolingbroke, lord, 472.

  Brazil, present state of, 236.

  Brest, exploit of Sir Sidney Smith at, 319.

  Brougham, lord, on the present state of France, 642.

  Budget the, 383.

  Buffalo-hunting, sketches of, 374.

  Buonaparte, Napoleon, at Toulon, 318
    --defeat of, at Acre, 323.

  Burgoyne, general, 331
    --history of his enterprise, 333.

  Buxton on the increase of the slave-trade, 7.

  Byng, admiral, 482.

  Bysset, Sir Walter, 300.


  Canada, my route into, part. I., 328
    --part II., 425.

  Cannibalism, prevalence of, among the American Indians, 375.

  Cara Vita, the, a scene at Rome, 287.

  Carleton, Sir Guy, 332.

  Carlos, Don, son of Philip II., 70.

  Catechism in the Minerva, a scene at Rome, 281.

  Catherine of Russia, 132, 133, 134.

  Caxtons, the, a family picture; chap. I. 513
      --chap. II., 514
      --chap. III., 516
      --chap. IV., 518
      --chap. V., 522
      --chap. VI., 523
      --chap. VII., 525
      --chap. VIII., 527
      --chap. IX., 531
      --chap. X., 537.
    --Book II., chap. I., 685
      --chap. II., My uncle Roland's discourse upon honour, 687
      --chap. III., 688
      --chap. IV., 691
      --chap. V., 694
      --chap. VI., 696
      --chap. VII., My Uncle Roland's tale, 697
      --chap. VIII., 700.

  Cervantes, Miguel, 72.

  Champlain, lake, 425.

  Charles of Anjou, conquest of Naples by, 436
    --revolt of Sicily from him, and his further history, 589
    --his death, 603.

  Charles Albert, King of Sardinia, 746, _et seq._

  Charles Edward, prince, notices of, 475, _et seq._

  Chartist movements in Great Britain, the, 650
    --feeling in America regarding, 780.

  Chartists, how to disarm the, 653.

  Clermont assizes, Flechier's chronicle of, 47.

  Cobden on the national defences, 261
    --movement of, for extended suffrage, 655.

  Coercion bill, the, and its necessity in Ireland, 3, 4
    --character of Sir George Grey's, 115.

  Coleridge, the philosophy of, 702.

  Commerce, present condition of, 10.

  Conciliation, effect of, toward Ireland 113.

  Conquest of Naples, the, 436.

  Conradin, sketch of the career of, 446, _et seq._

  Constance, Queen of Arragon, 600.

  Constantine, the grand-duke, 141.

  Constantinople, early attacks of the Russians on, 130.

  Corlaer, tradition regarding, 423.

  Country house, building, &c., of a, 28.

  Cree Indians, the, 376.

  Crémieux, M., 401.

  Crimes and remarkable trials in Scotland; incidents of the earlier
        reigns; an inquiry into the character of Macbeth, 293
    --kidnapping, Peter Williamson's case, 607.

  Criticism, characteristics requisite for, 107.

  Cromwell, advancement of the navy under, 309.

  Crown Point, fortress of, 431.

  Cuba, cost of producing sugar in, and its increased production, 229,
        231, 234.

  Currency system, change in the, by the bank restriction act, 1
    --effects of Peel's system, 7, 20, 661.


  Defences, the national, Cobden on, 261
    --a military discussion regarding, 362.

  Demerara, depreciation of property in, 231.

  Democratic Review, the, 106, 111.

  Direct taxation, evils of, 384.

  Don John of Austria, 70.

  Downie, captain, defeat and death of, 432.

  Drummonds and Blairs, feud between the, 306.

  Duncan, investigation into the alleged murder of, 294.

  Durie, Lord, abduction of, 609.


  Edinburgh after Flodden, 165.

  Education in Wales, 540.

  Edward the Confessor, improvement of the law under, 463.

  Elizabeth, progress of the British navy under, 309.

  Emancipation, increase of the slave-trade from, 220.

  Emigration, proposed government system of, 668
    --statistics of, 669.

  Employment, present want of, 655.

  England, American feeling toward, 780.

  Escovedo, secretary to Don John of Austria, 75
    --murder of, 77.

  Europe, the revolutions in, 638.

  Eusebius, letter to, on subjects for pictures, 176.

  Evenings at sea. No. III. The Surgeon, 33.


  Fall of the throne of the barricades, the, 393.

  Finances of Britain, the, 383.

  Finances of France, state of, since the Revolution, 404.

  Flechier's chronicle of Clermont assizes, 47.

  Fletcher of Salton, curious scheme of, 610.

  Flodden, Edinburgh after, 165.

  Forbes, the master of, conspiracy of, 303.

  France, the present revolution in, 395, 638
    --its symbols, 767.

  Frazer, general, death of, 335.

  Frederick the Hohenstauffe, notices of, 438, _et seq._

  Frederick III. of Sicily, 605.

  Frederick, fort, 431.

  Free-trade, results of Peel's system of, 8, 21, 662.

  French republic, sentiments and symbols of the, 767.

  Fur-trade, sketches of, 374.


  Gates, general, 329.

  George II., character of, 470, 483.

  German ditty, a, 419.

  German Headsman, autobiography of a, 148.

  Gioberti's work on Italy, influence, &c., of, 741, _et seq._

  Glammis, lady, execution of, 303.

  Glasgow, unemployed in, 655.

  Gordon, George Huntly, two sonnets by, 420.

  Green mountains, the, 431.

  Greenwich time, 354.

  Grey, Sir George, on the state of Ireland, 4
    --character of his coercion bill, 115.

  Griffiths, Mr, on education in Wales, 548.

  Guesses at Truth, review of, 701.

  Guiana, decline in produce of, 225.

  Gustavus of Sweden, sketch of the career of, 313.


  Hardwicke, lord, life and times of, 463.

  Harris's life of Lord Hardwicke, review of, 463.

  Havre, capture of Sir Sidney Smith at, 321.

  Headsman, autobiography of a, 148.

  Heigho! 572.

  Herqui, exploit of Sir Sidney Smith at, 320.

  Herring, archbishop of York, 477.

  Hood, lord, at Toulon, 318.

  How to disarm the Chartists, 653.

  How we got possession of the Tuileries, chap. I. Heads or Tails? 484
    --chap. II. The Ides of March, 489
    --chap. III. The Barricades, 493
    --chap. IV. The Tuileries, 497
    --chap. V. Two provisional governments, 502
    --chap. VI. A republican wedding, 506
    --chap. VII. Adieu, sweet France, 511.

  Howe, lord, death of, 430.

  Hudson's Bay, sketches of, 369.

  Huskisson, introduction of the reciprocity system by, 2.


  Inca and his Bride, the, a medley, chap. I. Astley's, 751.
    --chap. II. The Rubicon of Peru, 755.
    --chap. III. The Children of the Sun, 758.
    --chap. IV. The Hall of Fire, 762.
    --chap. V. The Cataract of the Rocks, 765.

  Income tax, imposition, evils, &c., of the, 384, 385.

  Infant schools, remarks on, 284.

  Intercepted letters, the, a tale of the bivouac, 340.

  Ireland, change in the system of government of, and its effects, 3
    --the famine in, and its effects, 19
    --and the ministerial measures, 113
    --exemption of, from the income tax, 389
    --sketch illustrating the results of repeal to it, 627.

  Iroquois, contests of, with the French, 426.

  Italy, present state and prospects of, 101
    --the revolutionary movement in, 638
    --the movement and war in, 733.

  Ivan, the first Czar of Russia, 131.


  Jamaica, decline in the produce of, from the effects of the
        emancipation act, 6, 225
    --depreciation of property in, 232, 233.

  James I. of Scotland, murder of, 303.

  Jerusalem, by W. Sinclair, 192.

  John of Austria, sketch of the life of, 70.

  Johnson, Mr, on education in Wales, 548, 550, 554.


  Kenneth III., tradition of the death of, 294.

  Kidnapping, sketch of the history of, in Britain, and especially
        in Aberdeen, 607.

  Koch, Ernest, the Silver Cross, a campaigning sketch by, 564.


  La Cara Vita, an Italian sketch, 287.

  Lamartine, the works of, 399.

  Laprairie, town of, 434.

  Last Walk, the, by B. Simmons, 629.

  Lauria, Ruggiero de, 598, 599.

  Law of England, sketch of the history of, 463.

  Lepanto, battle of, 71.

  Letter to Eusebius, a, on subjects for pictures, 176.

  Liberal Legislation, thirty years of, 1.

  Life and Times of Lord Hardwicke, 463.

  Life in the Far West, Part I. chap. I. 713
    --chap. II. 717.

  Longen, Mr, on Education in Wales, 546, 549, 551, 553, 555.

  Lombardy and the Italian war, 733.

  London, the Chartist movement in, 650.

  Louis Philippe, fall of, 395
    --his pusillanimity, 405, 406.

  Lucera, the town and Saracens of, 439, _et seq._

  Lunfanan, the death-scene of Macbeth, 297.


  Macbeth, inquiry into the character and crime of, 293.

  Macclesfield, the Earl of, trial of, 472.

  M'Crea, Miss, murder of, 331, 334.

  Macdonough, Commodore, 432.

  Magna Charta, promulgation of, 465.

  Mainfroy, prince of Tarento, 438, _et seq._
    --his death, 445.

  Man is a Featherless Biped, a tale, 631.

  Manchester, unemployed in, 655.

  Mansfield, Lord, character of Hardwicke by, 482.

  Manufactures, depressed condition of the, 10.

  Messina, city of, 590
    --its revolt against the French, 594, 595.

  Metternich, Prince, 137.

  Military discussion, a, touching our coast defences, 362.

  Mont Blanc, a sonnet, 420.

  Montgomery, General, death of, 332.

  Moscow, city of, 146.

  Murillo, account of the battle of Lepanto by, 73.

  My English Acquaintance, 194.

  My route into Canada,--Part I. 328
    --Part II. 425.


  Naples, conquest of, by Charles of Anjou, 436.

  National defences, Cobden on the, 261.

  Navigation laws, threatened repeal of the, 2, 3.

  Navy of England, attention paid to, by successive sovereigns, 309.

  Nicholas the emperor of Russia, 134, 142, _et seq._

  Night's peril, a, 83.

  Norman conquest, effect of, on the law of England, 464.

  Novgorod, foundation of kingdom of, 130.

  Now and Then, review of, 239.


  Ossian, supposed burial-place of, 299.

  Our West Indian colonies, 219.


  Palermo, city of, 590
    --its revolt against Charles of Anjou, 594.

  Paris, state of, as republican, 402, 573.

  Paul, the emperor of Russia, 133.

  Pedro of Arragon, conquest of Sicily by, 589.

  Peel, Sir Robert, results of his banking act, 7, 20
    --his administration toward Ireland, 114
    --imposition of the income tax by, 384.

  Peel Bog, the, 298.

  Perez, Antonio, 73, 77.

  Peril of a night, a, 83.

  Periodical Literature of America, the, 106.

  Peter the Great of Russia, 129, 132.

  Philip II. of Spain, notices of, 70, _et seq._

  Pictures, subjects for, a letter to Eusebius, 176.

  Piedmont, the war of, with Austria, 740, _et seq._

  Pius IX., the movement headed by, 101.

  Plattsburg, battle of, 432.

  Poetry: Edinburgh after Flodden, 165
    --Jerusalem, 192
    --A German ditty, 419
    --Two Sonnets by George Huntly Gordon, 420
    --Heigho! 572
    --The Last Walk, by B. Simmons, 629.

  Poland, the partitions of, 133.

  Political Economists, effects of the supremacy of, 663.

  Prussia, the revolutionary movement in, 638, _et seq._ 649.


  Radetsky, General, 747.

  Railways, general stoppage of works on, 9.

  Rebellion of 1745, the, 475.

  Reciprocity system, introduction of, by Huskisson, 2.

  Reform Bill, effects of the passing of, 4, 663.

  Reformation, influence of the, on English law, 465.

  Reidesel, the Baroness, 337, _et seq._

  Repealer's wish granted, the, an Irish tale, 627.

  Republican Paris, 573.

  Revenue, state of the, 383.

  Revolution in Europe, the, 638.

  Romanism in Rome: Catechism in the Minerva, 281
    --La Cara Vita, 287
    --the Beatification, 290.

  Ruric, kingdom of, bounded, 130.

  Russell, Lord John, financial statements, schemes, &c., of, 383.

  Russian empire, sketch of the recent history of the, 129.


  St Domingo, effects of slave emancipation on, 6.

  St Jean d'Acre, siege of, 323.

  St Louis, sketches of, 442.

  St Priest's history of the conquest of Naples, Part I., 436
    --Part II., 589.

  Saratoga, battle of, 330, 335.

  Sardinia, revolutionary movements in, 101.

  Savings' banks, the French, effects of the revolution on, 408.

  Saxon law, characteristics of, 463.

  Schools, state of, in Wales, 540.

  Schnitzler's secret history of Russia, review of, 129.

  Schuyler, General, 329.

  Scottish crimes and trials, remarkable: those of the earlier reigns, 293
    --Kidnapping, and the case of Williamson, 607.

  Shipping, British and Foreign, effect of the reciprocity system on, 2.

  Sentiments and symbols of the French republic, 767.

  Sicilian Vespers, the, 436, 493.

  Sicily, conquest of, by the Spaniards, 589.

  Simmons, B., the Last Walk by, 629.

  Sir Sidney Smith, 309.

  Silver Cross, the, a campaigning sketch, from the German of Ernest
        Koch: night-quarters, 564
    --In the mountains, 565
    --Hidden treasure, 567
    --The wine skin, 570
    --The hospital, _ib._

  Sinclair, William, Jerusalem, a poem by, 192.

  Slave-trade, abolition of, and the subsequent emancipation of the
        slaves, effects of, 5, 220, 235.

  Smith, Adam, on the Navigation Laws, 2.

  Smith, Sir Sidney, sketch of the life, &c., of, 309.

  Something like a country house, 28.

  Soto, Juan, 74.

  Spaniard in Sicily, the, 589.

  Stoddart and Angling, 673.

  Subjects for pictures, a letter to Eusebius, 176.

  Suffrage, movement for extending the, 655.

  Sugar, comparative cost of free and slave grown, 229.

  Sugar Act, the, and its effects, 221.

  Surgeon's tale, the, 33.

  Sweden, history of, under Gustavus, 313.

  Switzerland and Italy, 98.

  Symbols of the French republic, 767.

  Symons, Mr, on education in Wales, 547, 550.


  Tagliacozzo, battle of, 450.

  Tenant right in Ireland, question of, 119.

  Thirty years of liberal legislation, 1.

  Ticonderoga, fort, 428, 429.

  Timour, invasion of Russia by, 131.

  To ----, a sonnet, 420.

  Tocqueville on republicanism in France, 416.

  Toulon, services of Sir Sidney Smith at, 317.

  Toushi the Tartar, invasion of Russia by, 130.

  Travelling in Taffyland, 455.

  Tuileries, How we got possession of the, 484.

  Tuscany, the grand-duke of, 101.

  Two Sonnets, by George Huntly Gordon, 420.


  Unemployed, statistics connected with the, 655.

  United States, periodical literature of, 106
    --copyright in, 127
    --feeling in, towards England, 780.


  Valery, Erard, de, 450.

  Venice, the government of, by Austria, 742.

  Vices, the prevalent, in Wales, 556.


  Wales, travelling in, 455
    --education in, 540.

  Walpole, Sir Robert, 473, 475.

  Warren's Now and Then, review of, 239.

  Wellington, Lacretelle's character of, 144
    --on the national defences, 263, 268.

  West Indian colonies, the, 219
    --the policy toward, 5, 659.

  Whitehall, town of, 427.

  Williamson, Peter, sketch of the history of, 607.


  York factory, life at, 371, _et seq._


          _Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._





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