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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 65, No. 403, May, 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 65, No. 403, May, 1849" ***

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



    BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

    NO. CCCCIII.      MAY, 1849.      VOL. LXV.



CONTENTS.


    COLONISATION--MR WAKEFIELD'S THEORY,         509

    THE REACTION, OR FOREIGN CONSERVATISM,       529

    MADAME D'ARBOUVILLE'S "VILLAGE DOCTOR,"      542

    NATIONAL EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND,              567

    ARARAT AND THE ARMENIAN HIGHLANDS,           577

    LEGITIMACY IN FRANCE,                        590

    THE COLLEGE. A SKETCH IN VERSE,              601

    JACK MOONLIGHT,                              606

    MOONLIGHT MEMORIES. BY B. SIMMONS,           613

    AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY,                         614



EDINBURGH:

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & 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.



    BLACKWOOD'S EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

    NO. CCCCIII.      MAY, 1849.      VOL. LXV.



COLONISATION--MR WAKEFIELD'S THEORY.[1]


We agree with those, and they are the majority of reflective minds,
who, taking a survey of our half-peopled globe, and considering the
peculiar position which England occupies on it--her great maritime
power, her great commercial wants, her overflowing numbers, her
overflowing wealth--have concluded that colonisation is a work to
which she is especially called. She is called to it by her marked
aptitude and capability for the task, as well as by an enlightened
view of her own interests. Without too much national partiality,
without overlooking our own faults, and that canker of a too
money-loving, too money-making morality, which has eaten into our
character, (though perhaps not more so than it has corroded the
character of other European nations, who have quite as strong a
passion for gold, without the same industry in obtaining it,) we may
boldly say that the best seed-plot of the human race that now exists
(let the best be estimated as it may by the moralist and the divine)
is to be found in this island of Great Britain. To plant the
unoccupied regions of the earth, or regions merely wandered over by
scattered tribes of savages, who cannot be said to possess a soil
which they do not use, by off-sets from this island, is itself a good
work. It is laying no ill foundation for the future nations that shall
thus arise, to secure to them the same language, the same literature,
the same form of religion, the same polity, or, at all events, the
same political temper (the love and obedience to a constitution) that
we possess; to make native to them that literature in which the great
Christian epic has been written, in which philosophy has spoken most
temperately, and poetry most profusely, diversely, and vigorously. Nor
will England fail to reap her own reward from this enterprise. In
every part of the world an Englishman will find a home. It will be as
if his own native soil had been extended, as if duplicates of his own
native land had risen from the ocean. A commercial intercourse of the
most advantageous character will spring up; the population and the
wealth of the old country will find fresh fields of employment in the
new; the old country will itself grow young again, and start in the
race with her own children for competitors. Neither will the present
age pass by without participating in the benefit, since its
overcrowded population will be relieved by the departure of many who
will exchange want for plenty, and despondency for hope. Whatever
opinion may be held of the remedial efficacy against future pauperism
of a system of emigration, it must be allowed that this present relief
arrives most opportunely, as a balance to that extraordinary pressure
produced by the distress in Ireland, and the influx of its
famine-stricken peasantry into other parts of the kingdom.

On this subject--the measure of permanent relief which colonisation
will afford to this country by carrying off its surplus
population--the degree in which emigration may be calculated upon as
the future antagonist of pauperism--we would speak with caution. We
are so far hopeful that we see here a great resource against the
national evil of an unemployed population, but it is a resource which
must be rightly understood and wisely taken advantage of; it is a
great resource for an intelligent people; it comes in aid of that
fundamental remedy, a good sound education for the people, moral and
religious, but is no substitute for that most necessary of all
measures. Misunderstood, and vaguely relied on by those who know not
how properly to avail themselves of it, the prospect of emigration may
even prove mischievous, by rendering the thoughtless and improvident
still more reckless, still more improvident.

Granted, it may be said, that emigration supplies an outlet annually
for a certain excess of population, it supplies, by that very reason,
an additional and constant impulse to an increase of population. The
old country may overflow, but it is always kept full, and to the brim.
The restraint of prudence is relaxed. "We can feed ourselves; and, as
to our children, are there not the colonies?" may be said by many an
improvident pair. People even of the better sort, who would shrink
from the idea of their children sinking into a lower grade of society
than they themselves occupied, would find in emigration a vague
provision for the future family--a provision which would often
disappoint them, and which they would often fail in resolution to
embrace.

Let it be borne in mind that, when we speak of the duty of restraining
from improvident marriage, we are not inculcating any new morality
founded upon the recent science of political economy. It is a duty as
old as the love of a parent to his child, and needs only for its
enforcement an anticipation of this parental affection. No man who
_has_ married, and become a father, ever doubted of the existence of
such a duty, or spoke slightingly of it. Ask the Scotch peasant, ask
the simplest Switzer, who knows nothing of reading-clubs or mechanics'
institutes--who has perhaps never quitted his native valley, and all
whose knowledge is the growth of his own roof-tree--what he thinks of
the morality of him who becomes the father of a family he cannot rear,
or must rear like wild beasts more than men--he will give you an
answer that would satisfy the strictest Malthusian. The prudence that
would avoid famine, the just and righteous fear of having hungry
children about our knees--this is no new wisdom in the world, though,
like all our old wisdom, it continually cries in vain in our streets.
Now the operation of this, in every respect, moral restraint would be
materially interfered with, if the notion should prevail, that in the
colonies there existed (without any distinct knowledge how it was to
be secured) an inexhaustible provision for human life. Numbers would
marry, trusting to this resource, yet the offspring of such marriages
might never reach their destined refuge, or reach it only after much
suffering, and in the degraded condition of uneducated paupers. And
men who have calculated that, at all events, without seeking aid from
Government or the parish, they shall be able to send their child
abroad, when the child has grown up, will hesitate to part with it.
They had calculated what they would do, when parents, before they
became such. They had not been able to anticipate that bond of
parental affection which, we may observe in passing, is by no means
weakest in the humblest ranks, but, on the contrary, until we reach
the very lowest, seems to increase in strength as we descend in the
social scale.

The fact is, that it is not as a distant provision for their children
that the youthful pair should be taught to look on emigration. If it
comes at all into their calculation, they should embrace it as a
provision for themselves, and, through them, for their future
offspring. They should carry their hopes at once to the climate which
is to realise them. Marriage should be the period of emigration. At
this period a man can readily leave his country, for he can leave his
home. The newly married couple, as it is commonly said, and with no
undue exaggeration, are all the world to each other. It is at this
period that men have double the strength, for they have twice the
hope, and exhilaration, and enterprise, that they have at any other
epoch of their lives. That slender hoard, too, which will so soon be
wasted in this country, which a few pleasures will drain, would carry
them creditably into another, and lay the foundation for the utmost
prosperity their birth and condition has led them to wish for. To the
distant colony let them not devote their ill-fed and ill-taught
children; but, going thither themselves, rear a healthy race for whom
they will have no cares. If at this period of life it should become
the fashion of the humbler classes to emigrate, it would be difficult
to say how far our colonies might become a real, and effectual, and
permanent resource against overpopulation. At all events, the
mischievous influence we have been describing could never arise. We
see not why England, if she learns rightly to use them, may not reap
from her colonies all those advantages which the United States have
been so frequently felicitated upon in their territories in the Far
West. Much will depend on the current which public opinion takes.
Presuming that Government discontinues entirely the old system of
transportation, which must always render emigration extremely
unpalatable; presuming that a steady, equitable rule is adopted in
dealing with the unappropriated land, so that a moderate price, a
speedy possession, and a secure title may be depended upon--we think
it highly probable that colonisation will become very popular amongst
us. The more that is learnt about the colonies, the more the
imagination is familiarised with them by accounts of their climate,
products, and the mode of life pursued in them, the less apparent, and
the less fearful will their distance become, and the more frequently
will men find themselves carrying their hopes and enterprises in that
direction. If, therefore, an intelligent and practicable view is taken
of colonisation, we may re-echo, without scruple, the words of our
thoughtful poet--

                    "Avaunt the fear
    Of numbers crowded in their native soil,
    To the prevention of all healthful growth
    Through mutual injury! Rather in the law
    Of increase, and the mandate from above,
    Rejoice!--and ye have special cause for joy.
    For, as the element of air affords
    An easy passage to the industrious bees,
    Fraught with their burdens, and a way as smooth,
    For those ordained to take their sounding flight
    From the thronged hive, and settle where they list,
    In fresh abodes--their labour to renew;
    So the wide waters open to the power,
    The will, the instincts, and the appointed needs
    Of Britain; do invite her to cast off
    Her swarms, and in succession send them forth
    Bound to establish new communities
    On every shore whose aspect favours hope
    Or bold adventure; promising to skill
    And perseverance their deserved reward."

                                        _Excursion_, book 9.

How best to colonise; how far Government should undertake the
regulation and control of the enterprise; how far leave it to the
spirit and intelligence of private individuals, separate or banded
together in groups, or companies; and especially under what terms it
shall permit the occupation of the unappropriated soil--all these have
become highly interesting topics of discussion.

For ourselves, we will at once frankly confess that we have no faith
in any model colonies, in ideals of any description, or in any "_Art_
of colonisation." What has been done, may be done again; what America
is doing every day on the banks of the Mississippi, England may do in
her Australian continent. With regard more particularly to the last
and most important matter that can affect a new settlement, the mode
of dealing with the land, it appears to us that the duties of
Government are few, simple, and imperative--as simple in their
character as they are indispensable. A previous survey, a moderate
price, lots large and small to suit all purchasers--these are what we
should require. The land-jobber, who interposes between Government
and the emigrant, to make a cruel profit of the latter, must be kept
out, either by laying a tax (as they do in America, under the
denomination of the "Wild-land Tax,") on all land not reclaimed within
a certain time, or by declaring the purchase forfeited, if, within
that time, the soil is not cultivated. Government also must restrain
its own hands from large grants to favoured individuals, who are no
better than another species of land-jobbers. This, though a merely
negative duty, will probably be the last performed, and the most
imperfectly. Few readers are perhaps aware of the criminal ease with
which the Government has been persuaded into lavish grants of land to
persons who had, and could have, no immediate prospect of making use
of it; enormous grants unjust to other settlers, and ruinous to the
young colony, by dispersing the emigrants, interposing between them
wide tracts of barren property. We ourselves read with no little
surprise the following statement, which we extract from the work
before us, Mr Wakefield's _Art of Colonisation_:--

     "There are plenty of cases in which mischievous dispersion
     has taken place, but not one, to my knowledge, in which the
     great bulk of settlers had a choice between dispersion and
     concentration. In the founding of West Australia there was no
     choice. In disposing of the waste land, the Government began
     _by granting 500,000 acres (nearly half as much as the great
     county of Norfolk) to one person_. _Then came the governor
     and a few other persons, with grants of immense extent._ The
     first grantee took his principality at the landing-place; and
     the second, of course, could only choose his outside of this
     vast property. Then the property of the second grantee
     compelled the third to go further off for land; and the
     fourth again was driven still further into the wilderness. At
     length, though by a very brief process, an immense territory
     was appropriated by a few settlers, who were so effectually
     dispersed, that, as there were no roads or maps, scarcely one
     of them knew where he was. Each of them knew, indeed, that he
     was where he was positively; but his relative position--not
     to his neighbours, for he was alone in the wilderness, but to
     other settlers, to the seat of government, and even to the
     landing-place of the colony--was totally concealed from him.
     This is, I believe, the most extreme case of dispersion on
     record. In the founding of South Africa by the Dutch, the
     dispersion of the first settlers, though superficially or
     _acreably_ less, was as mischievous as at Swan River. The
     mischief shows itself in the fact, that two of the finest
     countries in the world are still poor and stagnant colonies.
     _But in all colonies, without exception, there has been
     impoverishing dispersion, arising from one and the same
     cause._"--(P. 433.)

Two very different _ideals_ of colonisation have often haunted the
imaginations of speculative men, and coloured very diversely their
views and projects on this subject. Both have their favourable
aspects; neither is practicable. As is usual, the rough reality rides
zig-zag between your ideals, touching at both in turns, but running
parallel with neither.

With one party of reasoners, the ideal of a colony would be a
miniature England, a little model of the old country, framed here, at
home, and sent out (like certain ingeniously-constructed houses) to be
erected forthwith upon the virgin soil. A portion of all classes would
sally forth for their New Jerusalem. The church, with tower and
steeple, the manor-house, the public library, the town-hall, the
museum, and the hospital, would all simultaneously be reproduced.
Science would have its representatives. Literature with its light
luggage, thoughts and paper, would be sure to hover about the train.
Nobility would import its antique honours into the new city, and, with
escutcheon and coat of arms, traditionally connect it with knighthood
and chivalry, Agincourt, and the Round Table. There would be
physicians and divines, lawyers, and country gentlemen "who live at
ease," as well as the artisan and ploughman, and all who work in wood
and in iron. Dr Hind, the present Dean of Carlisle, in an elegantly
written essay, incorporated in Mr Wakefield's book, proposes and
advocates this mode of colonisation. After remarking on the greater
success which apparently accompanied the schemes of the Greeks and
Romans to found new communities, Dr Hind thus proceeds.--The italics,
it may be as well to say, are his, not ours.

"The main cause of this difference may be stated in few words. We send
out colonies of the limbs, without the belly and the head; of needy
persons, many of them mere paupers, or even criminals; colonies made
up of a _single class_ of persons in the community, and that the most
helpless, and the most unfit to perpetuate our national character, and
to become the fathers of a race whose habits of thinking and feeling
shall correspond to those which, in the mean time, we are cherishing
at home. The ancients, on the contrary, sent out _a representation of
the parent state--colonists from all ranks_." And further on, after
insisting on the propriety of appointing to the colony educated and
accomplished clergymen, he says--"The same may be urged in respect of
men of other professions and pursuits. The desirable consummation of
the plan would be, that a specimen, or sample, as it were, of all that
goes to make up society in the parent country, should _at once_ be
transferred to its colony. Instead of sending out bad seedlings, and
watching their uncertain growth, let us try whether a perfect tree
will not bear transplanting."

We apprehend that this project of "transplanting a perfect tree" is
none of the most feasible. However the Greeks managed matters, we
moderns find it absolutely necessary to begin "at the beginning," and
with somewhat rude beginnings. If the Greeks had the art in the
colony, as in the epic poem, of rushing _in medias res_--of starting
with and from maturity--then indeed must colonisation be reckoned, as
Dr Hind seems half to suspect, amongst the _artes perditæ_. Anything
more lamentable than a number of cultivated men--"samples" of all
kinds, physicians, and divines, and lawyers, with, of course, their
several ladies--set down upon the uncultivated soil, on the long green
grass, we cannot imagine. It seems to us quite right and unavoidable
to send out "a single class," first--good stout "limbs," without much
of "the belly"--which must mean, we presume, the idle folks, or much
of "the head," which must mean the thinkers. That class, or those
classes which cultivate the soil, and render the place somewhat
habitable, had better surely precede, and act as pioneers, before the
gentry disembark from their ships. Other classes must follow as they
are wanted, and find room and scope. What would the physician do with
his elaborate skill and courtesy, without that congregation of idlers
on whose ailments he rides and dines? What need yet of eloquent
barrister, or are his fees forthcoming, when a new estate could be
purchased with less money than would serve to defend the old one by
his pleading? Who would attend to the man of science, and his latest
experiments on magnetic currents, when every one is trying over again
the very first experiment--how to live?--where corn will grow, and
what the potato will yield? Even your clergy must be of a somewhat
different stamp from the polished ecclesiastic, the bland potentate of
our drawing-rooms. He must have something more natural--"some
rough-cast and a little loam" about him, be serviceable, accessible.
And the fair "sample" partners of all these classes, what is to become
of them? As yet, pin-money is not. There is nothing refined and
civilised; men talk of marriage as if for prayer-book purposes. Very
gross ideas!

The ancients, says Dr Hind, "began by nominating to the honourable
office of captain, or leader of the colony, one of the chief men, if
not the chief man of the state--like the queen bee leading the
workers. Monarchies provided a prince of the blood royal; an
aristocracy its choicest nobleman; a democracy its most influential
citizen." In order to entice some one of our gentry--some one of
wealth, station, and cultivated mind, to act as "queen bee" of the
colony--seeing that a prince of the blood royal, or a Duke of
Northumberland, would be hard to catch--the Doctor proposes to bestow
upon him a patent of nobility. Wealth he has already, and wealth would
not bribe him, but honour might. We see nothing ridiculous whatever in
the suggestion. A patent of nobility might be much worse bestowed;
but, unless we err greatly in our notion of what colonisation really
is, the bribe would be lamentably insufficient. The English gentleman
of fortune and of taste, who should leave his park and mansion in the
county of Middlesex, to share the squabbles and discomforts of a crowd
of emigrants--too often turbulent, anxious, and avaricious--would have
well earned his earldom. He would be a sort of hero. Men of such a
temper you may decorate with the strawberry leaf, but it is not the
coronet, nor any possible bribe--nothing short of a certain thirst for
noble enterprise can prompt them.

The other ideal of what colonisation might be is quite the reverse,
presents a picture every way opposite to this of our classical dean.
Many energetic and not uncultured spirits, wearied with the endless
anxieties, cares, hypocrisies, and thousand artificialities of life,
are delighted with the idea of breaking loose from the old trammels
and conventionalities of civilisation. Their romance is to begin life
afresh. Far from desiring to form a part of the little model-England,
they would take from the Old World, if possible, nothing more than
knowledge, seeds, and tools. To a fresh nature they would take a fresh
heart, and a vigorous arm. Fields rescued by themselves from the waste
should ripen under their own eyes. Thus, with a rude plenty, care and
luxury alike cut off, no heartburnings, no vanity, a cultivated temper
and coarse raiment--they and their families, and some neighbours of
kindred dispositions, would really enjoy the earth, and the being God
had given them. Not theirs the wish to see a matured society spring
from the new soil. They regret to think that their own rustic
community must inevitably advance, or decline, into some one of the
old forms of civilisation; but they and their children, and perhaps
their grandchildren, would be partakers of a peculiar and envied state
of social existence, where the knowledge and amenity brought from the
old country would be combined with the healthy toil and simple
abundance of the new; where life would be unanxious, laborious, free;
where there would be no talk of wars, nor politics, nor eternal
remediless distress; but a disciplined humanity, in face of a kindly
nature whose bounty had not yet been too severely taxed.

A charming ideal! which here and there is faintly and transiently
realised. Here and there we catch a description of this simple,
exhilarating, innocuously enterprising life, either in some Canadian
settlement, or in the forests of America, or even in _the Bush_ of
Australia. There is rude health in all the family; housekeeping is a
sort of perpetual pic-nic, full of amusing make-shifts; there is
rudeness, but not barbarism; little upholstery, but wife and child are
caressed with as much amenity and gentle fondness as in carpeted and
curtained drawing-rooms. If the tin can should substitute the china
cup, the tea is drunk with not the less urbanity. Such scenes we have
caught a glimpse of in this or that writer. But alas! that which
generally characterises the young settlement, let it be young as it
may--that which would so wofully disappoint our pastoral and romantic
emigrant, is precisely this: that, instead of leaving care behind
them, the care to get rich, _to get on_, as it is disgustingly
called--our colonists take a double portion of this commodity with
them. Comparatively few seem to emigrate simply to live then and there
more happily. They take land, as they would take a shop, to get a
profit and be rich. And then, as for the little community and its
public or common interests, it is the universal remark that, if
politics in England are acrid enough, colonial politics are bitterness
itself. The war is carried on with a personal hatred, and attended by
personal injuries, unknown in the old country.

One would indeed think that people, fatigued with this anxious passion
which plays so large a part in English life--this desire to advance,
or secure, their social position--would seize the opportunity to
escape from it, and rejoice in their ability to live in some degree of
freedom and tranquillity. But no. The man commerce bred cares not to
enjoy life and the day. He must make a profit out of himself; he must
squeeze a profit out of others; he toils only for this purpose. If he
has succeeded, in the new colony, in raising about him the requisite
comforts of life--if he has been even rescued from threatened famine
in England, and is now living and well housed, he and his family--you
find him full of discontent because of the "exorbitant wages" he has
to pay to the fellow emigrants who assist him in gathering in his
corn--full of discontent because he cannot make the same profit of
another man's labour _there_ that he could have done in the old
country--in that old country where he could not for his life have got
so much land as the miserable rag upon his back would have covered.
Such men carry out a heart to work, none to enjoy: they have not been
cultivated for that. The first thing the colonist looks for is
something _to export_. It was in vain that Adelaide boasted its
charming climate and fruitful fields; it was on the point of being
abandoned--so we hear--by many of its inhabitants, when some mines
were discovered. There was then something that would sell in England,
something to get rich with; so they that would have left the soil,
stayed to work in the bowels of the earth. In _the Bush_ you hear of
the shepherds and small owners of sheep living, the year round, on
"salt beef, tea, and damper," which last is an extemporised bread, an
unleavened dough baked in such oven as the usual fire-place supplies.
But fresh mutton, you exclaim, is plentiful enough; what need to diet
themselves as if they were still in the hold of that vessel which
brought them over? True, plentiful enough--it sells in Sydney at some
three-halfpence a pound; but while the sheep lives it grows wool upon
its back. For this wool it is bred. Sometimes it is boiled down bodily
for its tallow, which also can be exported. Mutton-chops would be a
waste; it would be a sin to think of them.

Set sail from England in whichever direction you will, East or West,
over whichever ocean, the first thing you hear of, in respect to
colonial society, is its proverbial "smartness"--an expression which
signifies a determination to cheat you in every possible manner. The
Old World, and the worst of it, is already there to welcome you. Nay,
it has taken possession of the very soil before the spade of the
emigrant can touch it. There lies the fresh land, fresh--so geologists
say of Australia--as it came up at its last emergence from the ocean.
You are first? No. The land-jobber is there before you. This foulest
harpy from the stock exchange has set its foot upon the greensward,
and screeches at you its cry for _cent per cent_!

There is yet a third and later ideal of colonisation--the ideal of the
political economist. With him colonisation presents itself under the
especial aspect of a great _exploitation_ of the earth. He is desirous
that capital and labour should resort to those spots where they will
be most productive. Thus the greatest possible amount of production
will be generated between man and his terraqueous globe; capital and
labour are with him the first elements of human prosperity; and to
transfer these in due proportions, and as quickly as possible, to the
new land, when they may be most profitably employed, is the main
object of his legislation. Hitherto, it may be observed, the political
economist has limited his efforts to the _undoing_ what he conceives
has been very unskilfully done by previous legislators. In this matter
of emigration he steps forward as legislator himself. It is no longer
for mere liberty and _laissez-faire_ that he contends; he assumes a
new character, and out of the theory of his science produces his
system of rule and regulation. He knows how a small village becomes a
great city; he will apply his knowledge, and by positive laws expedite
the process. Let us see with what success he performs in this new
character.

Mr Wakefield's system--for it is he who has the honour of originating
this politico-economical scheme--consists in putting a price upon
unoccupied land, and with the proceeds of the sale raising a _fund for
the transmission of emigrant labourers_. This is, however, but a
subordinate part of his project, which we mention thus separately,
because, for a purpose of our own, we wish to distinguish it from the
rest. This price must, moreover, (and here is the gist of the matter,)
be that "sufficient price" which will _debar the labourer from
becoming too soon a proprietor of land_, and thus deserting the
service of the capitalist.

The object of Mr Wakefield, it will be seen at once, is to procure the
speedy transmission in due proportion of capital and labour. The
capitalist would afford the means of transferring the labourer to the
scene of action; the labourer would be retained in that condition in
order to invite and render profitable the wealth of the capitalist.
The twofold object is good, and there is an apparent simplicity in the
means devised, which, at first, is very captivating. There is nothing
from which the colonial capitalist suffers so much as from the want of
hired labour. He purchases land and finds no one to cultivate it; the
few he can engage he cannot depend upon; the project of agricultural
improvement which, if it be not completed, is utterly null and
useless, is arrested in mid progress by the desertion of his workmen;
or his capital is exhausted by the high wages he has paid before the
necessary works can be brought to a termination. The capitalist has
gone out, and left behind him that class of hired labourers without
which his capital is useless. Meanwhile, in England, this very class
is super-abundant; but it is not the class which spontaneously leaves
the country, or can leave it. Mr Wakefield's scheme supplies the
capitalist with the labour so essential to him, and relieves our
parishes of their unemployed poor. But these emigrant labourers would
soon extend themselves over the new country, as small proprietors,--Mr
Wakefield checks this natural tendency by raising the price of land.

There is, we say, an apparent and captivating simplicity in the
scheme; but we are persuaded that, the more closely it is examined,
the more impracticable and perplexing it will reveal itself to be. As
Mr Wakefield's system has made considerable progress in public
opinion, and obtained the approval, not only of eager speculative
minds, but of cool and calculating economists--as it has already
exerted some influence, and may exert still more, upon our colonial
legislation--and as we believe that the attempt to carry it out will
give rise to nothing better than confusion and discontent, we think we
shall be doing no ill service to the cause of colonisation by entering
into some investigation of it.

We are compelled to make a division, or what to Mr Wakefield will
appear a most unscientific _fracture_, of the two parts of his scheme.
We acquiesce in fixing _a_ price upon unappropriated land, and with
the proceeds of the sale forming a fund for the transmission and
outfit of the poor emigrant. We do not say that these proceeds must
necessarily supply _all_ the fund that it may be thought advisable to
spend in this matter, or that the price is to be regulated solely
according to the wants of this emigration fund. But we do _not_
acquiesce in the proposal to fix a price for the specific purpose of
retarding the period at which the labourer may himself become a
proprietor. The doctrine of "a sufficient price" (as it has been
called, and for brevity's sake we shall adopt the name) we entirely
eschew. To the imposing of an artificial value upon the land, for this
purpose, we will be no parties. Simply to transport the labourer
hence, shall be the object of our price, beyond such other reasons as
may be given for selling at a certain moderate sum the waste land of
the colonies, instead of disposing of it by free grant. This object
may be shown to be equitable; it appeals to the common justice of
mankind. But as to the longer or shorter term the hired labourer
remains in the condition of hired labourer, for this the capitalist
must take his chance. This must be determined, as it is in the old
country, and as alone it can be determined amicably, by that current
of circumstances over which neither party can exercise a direct
control. To such collateral advantage as may accrue to the capitalist
from even the price we should impose, he is welcome; only we do not
legislate for this object--we neither give it, nor take it away.

The wild unappropriated land of our colonies belongs to the crown, to
the state--it is, as Mr Wakefield says, "a valuable national
property." In making use of this land, one main object would be to
relieve the destitute of the old country; to give them, if possible, a
share of it. What more just or more rational? To give, however, the
soil itself to the very poor would be idle. They cannot reach it, they
cannot travel to their new estate--they have no seeds, no tools, no
stock of any kind wherewith to cultivate it. The gift would be a mere
mockery. We will sell it, then, to those who can transport themselves
thither, and who have the necessary means for its cultivation, and the
purchase-money shall be paid over to the very poor. By far the best
way of paying over this purchase-money, which as a mere gift of so
much coin would be all but worthless, and would be spent in a week, is
by providing them with a free passage to the colony where they will
permanently improve their condition; obtaining high wages, and
probably, after a time, becoming proprietors themselves; and assisting
in turn, by the purchase-money their own savings will have enabled
them to pay, to bring over other emigrants to the new field of labour,
and the new land of promise.

This is an equitable arrangement, and, what is more, the equity of it
is level to the common sense of all mankind. It effects also certain
desirable objects, though not such as our theorist has in view. It
places the land in the possession of men who will and can cultivate
it, and who, by paying a certain moderate price, have shown they were
in earnest in the business; and it has transmitted, at their expense,
labourers to the new soil. With the question, how long these shall
continue labourers, it interferes not. It is a question, we think, no
wise man would meddle with. Least of all does it represent that the
capitalist has obtained any claim upon the services of the labourer,
by having paid for his passage out: this payment was no gift of his;
it was the poor man's share of the "national property." They meet in
the colony as they would have met in England, each at liberty to do
the best he can for himself.

Observe how the difficulties crowd upon us, when we enter upon the
other and indeed the essential part of Mr Wakefield's scheme. The
emigrant is not "too soon" to become a proprietor. What does this "too
soon" mean? How long is he to be retained in the condition of hired
labourer? How many years? Mr Wakefield never fixes a period. He could
not. It must depend much upon the rapidity of immigration into the
colony. If the second batch of immigrants is slow of coming in, the
first must be kept labourers the longer. If the stream of labour flow
but scantily into this artificial canal, the locks must be opened the
more rarely. But how is the "sufficient price" to be determined until
this period be known? It is the sum the labourer can save from his
wages, during this time, which must constitute the price of so much
land as will support him and his family, and enable him to turn
proprietor. Thus, in order to regulate the sufficient price, it will
be necessary to find the average rate of wages, the average amount of
savings that a labourer could make (which, again, must depend upon the
price of provisions, and other necessaries of life) during an unknown
period!--and, in addition to this, to determine the average produce of
so many acres of land. The apparent simplicity of the scheme resolves
itself into an extreme complexity. The author of it, indeed, proposes
a short method by which his sufficient price may be arrived at without
these calculations: what that short method is, and how fallacious it
would prove, we shall have occasion to show.

But granting that, in any manner, this "sufficient price" could be
determined, the measure has an unjust and arbitrary character. It is
not enough that such a scheme could be defended, and shown to be
equitable, because for the general good, before some committee of
legislators; if it offends the popular sense of justice it can never
prosper. "I know," the humble emigrant might say--"I know there must
be rich and poor in the world; there always have been, and always will
be. To what is inevitable one learns to submit. If I am born poor
there is no help for it, except what lies in my own ability and
industry. But if you set about, by artificial regulations, in a new
colony, where fruitful land is in abundance, to keep me poor, because
I am so now, I rebel. This is not just. Do I not see the open land
before me unowned, untouched? I well enough understood that, in old
England, I could not take so much of any field as the merest shed
would cover--not so much as I could burrow in. Long before I was born
it had been all claimed, hedged, fenced in, and a title traced from
ancestor to ancestor. Here, I am the ancestor!"

Tell such a man that a price is put upon the land in order that some
companions whom he left starving in England may come over and partake
the benefit of this unbroken soil,--he will see a plain justice here.
He himself was, perhaps, brought over by the price paid by some
precursor. What he received from one more prosperous, he returns to
another less prosperous than himself. But tell him that a price is put
upon the land, in order that he may serve a rich master the
longer,--in order that he may be kept in a subordinate station, from
which circumstances now permit him to escape--he will see no justice
in the case. He will do everything in his power to evade your law; he
will look upon your "sufficient price" as a cruel artificial barrier
raised up against him; he will go and "squat" upon the land, without
paying any price at all.

Indeed, the objection to his scheme, which Mr Wakefield seems to feel
the strongest,--to which he gives the least confident reply, is just
this--that, equitable or not, it would be impossible to carry out his
law into execution; that if the price were high enough to answer his
purposes, the land, in colonial dialect, would be "squatted"
on,--would be taken possession of without any payment whatever. A
moderate price men will cheerfully pay for the greater security of
title: Englishmen will not, for a slight matter, put themselves
wittingly on the wrong side of the law. But, if coupled with a high
price, there is a rankling feeling of injustice: they will be very apt
to satisfy themselves with actual possession, and leave the legal
title to follow as it may. It is true, as Mr Wakefield urges, the
richer capitalists will by no means favour the squatter; they will be
desirous of enforcing a law made for their especial benefit. But they
will not form the majority. Popular opinion will be against them, and
in favour of the squatter. It would not be very easy to have a police
force, and an effective magistracy, at the outskirts of a settlement
stretching out, in some cases, into an unexplored region. Besides, it
is a conspicuous part of Mr Wakefield's plan to give municipal or
local governments to our colonies: these, as emanating from the
British constitution, must need be more or less of a popular
character; and we are persuaded that no such popular local government
would uphold his "sufficient price," or tolerate the principle on
which it was founded.

But, even if practicable, if carried out into complete execution, it
remains to be considered whether the measure proposed would really
have the effect contemplated by our theorist--that of supplying the
capitalist with the labour he needs. With a certain number of
_labourers_ it might,--but of what character? It is not a remote
possibility that will influence a common day-labourer to save his
earnings. It is one of the terms of the proposition that high wages
are to be given; for without these there would be no emigration, and
certainly no fear of a too speedy promotion to the rank of proprietor.
It follows, therefore, that you have a class of men earning high
wages, and not under any strong stimulus to save--a class of men
always found to be the most idle and refractory members of the
community. A journeyman who has no pressing motive for a provident
economy, and who earns high wages, is almost invariably a capricious
unsteady workman, on whom no dependence can be placed; who will
generally work just so many days in the week as are necessary to
procure him the enjoyments he craves. One of these enjoyments is
indolence itself,--a sottish, half-drunken indolence. Drinking is the
coarse pleasure of most uneducated men: it is so even in the old
country; and in a colony where there are still fewer amusements for
the idle hour, it becomes almost the sole pleasure. How completely it
is the reigning vice of our own colonies is known to all. Imagine a
labourer in the receipt of high wages, little influenced by the remote
prospect of becoming, by slow savings, a proprietor of land--and
feeling, moreover, that he was retained in a dependent condition,
arbitrarily, artificially, expressly for the service of the
capitalist--what amount of _work_ think you the capitalist-farmer
would get from such a labourer? Not so much in seven years as he
would have had from him in two, if, at the end of that two, the man
had calculated upon being himself a farmer.

Recollect that it is not slave labour, or convict labour, that we are
here dealing with: it is the free labour of one man working for
another man, at wages. He gets all the wages he can, and gives as
little labour as he can. If the wages are high, and the inducement to
save but feeble, he will probably earn by one day's work what will
enable him to pass the two next in idleness and debauchery. What boon
will Mr Wakefield have conferred upon the capitalist?

The theory of a "sufficient price" is, therefore, placed in this
hopeless predicament:--1. It would be almost impossible to enforce it;
and, 2. If enforced, it would fail of its purpose. It would supply the
capitalist with inefficient, profligate, and idle workmen, on whose
steady co-operation and assistance he could never calculate.

That it may be desirable to tempt the capitalist abroad by securing
him an abundance of hired labour, something like that which lies at
his door in England, we do not dispute. But the thing is impossible.
You cannot manage this by direct legislation. You cannot combine in
one settlement the advantages of a new and of an old country. It is
not in the wit of man to bring together these two stages of society.
Our political economist is in too great a haste to be rich: he forgets
the many lessons he has given to others against bootless and
mischievous intermeddling with the natural course of things. Meanwhile
"the attempt will confound us,"--it will throw an unpopularity over
the whole subject of emigration in the minds of the working classes.
Already we hear it murmured that the land is to be made a monopoly for
the rich; that the man of small substance is to be discouraged; that
the sole object of the moneyed class is to make profit of the labours
of others; and that they are bent upon creating, artificially, in the
colony, those circumstances which put the workmen in their power in
the old country. We would earnestly counsel those who are interested
in the subject of emigration, to consider well before they teach or
practise this new "_art_ of colonisation."

Those who have not perused Mr Wakefield's book may, perhaps, entertain
a suspicion that, in thus separating the objects for which a price is
to be laid on land, admitting the one and rejecting the other, we are
only engaging ourselves unnecessarily in a theoretical debate. If a
price is to be affixed, the result, it may seem to them, is
practically the same, whatever the object may be. But the practical
result would be very different; for a very different price would be
exacted, according to the object in view, as well as a very different
motive assigned for imposing it. The price at which a considerable
fund would be raised for the purpose of emigration, would be too low
to answer the purpose of restraining the labourer from soon becoming a
proprietor of land. Those, however, who are familiar with Mr
Wakefield's book, know well that this last purpose forms the very
substance of the plan it proposes; and that hitherto no
price--although it has ranged as high as 40s. per acre--has been
considered sufficiently high to effect the object of the theorist.

     "There is but one object of a price," says Mr Wakefield, (p.
     347,) "and about that there can be no mistake. The sole
     object of a price is to prevent labourers from turning into
     landowners too soon: the price must be sufficient for that
     one purpose, and no other." "The sufficient price," he says,
     (p. 339,) "has never yet been adopted by a colonising
     government." And a little further, (p. 341,) he thus
     continues: "There are but three places in which the price of
     new land has had the least chance of operating beneficially.
     These are South Australia, Australia Felix, and New Zealand.
     In none of these cases did the plan of granting with
     profusion precede that of selling; but in none of them did
     the price required prevent the cheapest land from being cheap
     enough to inflict on the colony all the evils of an extreme
     scarcity of labour for hire. In these cases, moreover, a
     large portion of the purchase-money of waste land was
     expended in conveying labourers from the mother-country to
     the colony. If this money had not been so spent, the
     proportion of land to people would have been very much
     greater than it was, and the price of new land still more
     completely inoperative. More facts might be cited to show the
     insufficiency of the highest price yet required for new
     land."

We will continue our first quotation from p. 347. The manner in which
Mr Wakefield himself exposes the difficulties of fixing the
"sufficient price," and the very inadequate expedient he points out
for obviating, or avoiding, these difficulties, may throw some further
light upon the matter.

     "The sole object of a price is to prevent labourers from
     turning into landowners too soon: the price must be
     sufficient for that one purpose, and no other. The question
     is, What price would have that one effect? That must depend,
     first, on what is meant by 'too soon;' or on the proper
     duration of the term of the labourer's employment for hire;
     which again must depend upon the rate of the increase of
     population in the colony, especially by means of immigration,
     which would determine when the place of a labourer, turning
     out a landowner, would be filled by another labourer; and the
     rate of labour-emigration again must depend on the popularity
     of the colony at home, and on the distance between the
     mother-country and the colony, or the cost of passage for
     labouring people. Secondly, what price would have the desired
     effect, must depend on the rate of wages and cost of living
     in the colony, since according to these would be the
     labourer's power of saving the requisite capital for turning
     into a landowner: in proportion to the rate of wages, and the
     cost of living, would the requisite capital be saved in a
     longer or a shorter time. It depends, thirdly, on the soil
     and climate of the colony, which would determine the quantity
     of land required (on the average) by a labourer, in order to
     set himself up as a landowner. If the soil and climate were
     unfavourable to production, he would require more acres; if
     it were favourable, fewer acres would serve his purpose: in
     Trinidad, for example, ten acres would support him well; in
     South Africa, or New South Wales, he might require fifty or a
     hundred acres. But the variability in our wide colonial
     empire, not only of soil and climate, but of all the
     circumstances on which a sufficient price would depend, is so
     obvious, that no examples of it are needed. It follows, of
     course, that different colonies, and sometimes different
     groups of similar colonies, would require different prices.
     To name a price for all the colonies, would be as absurd as
     to fix the size of a coat for mankind.

     "'But, at least,' I hear your Mr Mother-country say, 'name a
     price for some particular colony--a price founded on the
     elements of calculation which you have stated.' I could do
     that, certainly, for some colony with which I happen to be
     particularly well acquainted, but I should do it doubtingly,
     and with hesitation; for, in truth, the elements of
     calculation are so many, and so complicated in their various
     relations to each other, that in depending on them
     exclusively there would be the utmost liability to error. A
     very complete and familiar knowledge of them in each case
     would be a useful general guide, would throw valuable light
     on the question, would serve to inform the legislator how far
     his theory and his practice were consistent or otherwise;
     but, in the main, he must rely, and if he had common sagacity
     he might solely and safely rely, upon no very elaborate
     calculation, but on experience, or the facts before his eyes.
     _He could always tell whether or not labour for hire was too
     scarce or too plentiful in the colony. If it were too
     plentiful, he would know that the price of new land was too
     high--that is, more than sufficient: if it were hurtfully
     scarce, he would know that the price was too low, or not
     sufficient. About which the labour was--whether too plentiful
     or too scarce--no legislature, hardly any individual, could
     be in doubt_, so plain to the dullest eye would be the facts
     by which to determine that question. If the lawgiver saw that
     the labour was scarce, and the price too low, he would raise
     the price; if he saw that labour was superabundant, and the
     price too high, he would lower the price; if he saw that
     labour was neither scarce nor superabundant, he would not
     alter the price, because he would see that it was neither too
     high nor too low, but sufficient."

Admirable machinery! No steam-engine could let its steam on, or off,
with more precision. The legislature or governor "could always tell
whether or not labour for hire was too scarce or too plentiful," and
open or close his value accordingly. "No legislature, hardly any
individual could be in doubt" about the matter! Indeed! when was hired
labour ever thought too cheap--in other words, too plentiful--by the
capitalist? When was it ever thought too dear--in other words, too
scarce--by the labourer? Could the most ingenious man devise a question
on which there would be more certainly two quite opposite and
conflicting opinions? And suppose the legislature to have come to a
decision--say that the labour was too scarce--there would still be this
other question to decide, whether to _lower_ the price, in order to
tempt emigrants, might not be as good a means of rendering labour more
plentiful, as to _raise_ the price in order to render it still more
difficult for labourers to become landowners? Here there is surely
scope for the most honest diversity of opinion. One party might very
rationally advise to entice thither the stream of emigration:--"Let it
flow more copiously," they might exclaim, "though we retain the waters
for a shorter time;" while the party thoroughly imbued with the
doctrine of the "sufficient price" would devise fresh dikes and dams,
and watch the locks more narrowly.

In his "sufficient price," Mr Wakefield has discovered the secret
spring that regulates the economical relations of society. He has his
hand upon it. He, or his lawgiver, will henceforward regulate the
supply of labour, and the remuneration of labour, upon scientific
principles. Unenviable post! We should infinitely prefer the task of
the philosopher in _Rasselas_, who fancied himself commissioned to
distribute rain and sunshine, in just proportions, to all the farmers
in the neighbourhood.

It is quite curious to observe how strong a faith our projector has in
his theory of a sufficient price, and how singular a bias this has
exerted on his mind in some other matters of speculation. He finds
that slavery, both in olden and modern times, has been all owing to
"cheapness of land." Could he have fixed his sufficient price upon the
arable land in Chaldea, or about the cities of Athens and Rome,
neither the patriarchs, nor the Greeks, nor the Romans, would have
known the institution of slavery. "Slavery is evidently," he says, "a
make-shift for hiring; a proceeding to which recourse is had only
where hiring is impossible, or difficult. Slave labour is, on the
whole, much more costly than the labour of hired freemen; and slavery
is also full of moral and political evils, from which the method of
hired labour is exempt. Slavery, _therefore_, is not preferred to the
method of hiring: the method of hiring would be preferred if there was
a choice."--(P. 324.) Most logical "_therefore_!" The mode of hiring
is preferred by those to whom experience has taught all this; but
slavery, so far from being the "make-shift," is the first expedient.
It is the first rude method which unscrupulous power adopts to engross
the produce of the earth. The stronger make the weaker labour for
them. "It happens," he continues, "wherever population is scanty in
proportion to land." It happens wherever people prefer idleness to
work, and have been able to coerce others to labour for them, whether
land has been plentiful or not. Was it abundance of land, or the
military spirit, that produced the amiable relationship between the
Spartan and the Helot?--or was there any need of a "sufficient price"
to limit the supply of good land in Egypt, which lay rigidly enough
defined between the high and low margin of a river? Or could any
governor, with his tariff of prices, have performed this duty more
effectually than the Nile and the desert had done between them?

But the most amusing instance is still to follow. "It was the
cheapness of land that caused Las Casas (the Clarkson or Wilberforce
of his time, as respects the Red Indians of America) to invent the
African slave-trade. It was the cheapness of land that brought African
slaves to Antigua and Barbadoes."--(P. 328.) It was the cheapness of
land! If land had been dearer, the Spaniards would have worked for
themselves, and not have asked the Red Indians for their assistance!
If land had been dearer in Antigua and Barbadoes, the climate would
have lost its influence on European frames, and Englishmen would have
laboured in their own sugar plantations!

Doubtless the difficulty of obtaining hired labour has been sometimes
a reason, and sometimes an excuse, for the continuance of slavery. It
is also true that the willingness of the discharged slave to work, as
a hired labourer, is almost a necessary condition to the extinction of
slavery. But, losing sight of all our amiable passions and
propensities, to describe slavery as originating altogether in the
scarcity of hired labour, (as if the slave had first had the offer
made to him to work for wages, and had refused it,) and then to
resolve this cause again into no other circumstance than the
"cheapness of land," is something like monomania.

In America, those states which have colonised so rapidly have not been
the slave-holding states, nor have they needed slaves; nor has land
been scarce; nor has much been done by the mere capitalist who goes to
hire labour; but almost all by the man who goes there to labour
himself, upon property of his own. And who, after all, we would ask,
are the best of emigrants, in every new country where the land has yet
to be reclaimed? Not those who seek the colony with an intention of
making a fortune there, and returning to England; nor even those who
go with some feeling that they shall be the Cæsars of the village; nor
the easy capitalist, who expects, from the back of his ambling nag, to
see his fields sprout with corn and grow populous with cattle. The
best of emigrants, as pioneers of civilisation, are those who intend
to settle and live on the land they shall have reduced to cultivation,
who go to labour with their own hands on property they shall call
their own. It is the labour of such men that has converted into
corn-fields the dark forests of America. That ardent and indefatigable
industry which has been so often admired in the peasant
proprietor--the man who has all the hardy habits of the peasant and
all the pride of proprietorship--is never more wanted, never more at
home, than in the new colony. We have a sympathy with these men--we
like their hearty toil, their guiltless enterprise. This is not the
class of men we would disgust; yet it is precisely this class who go
forth with their little store of wealth in their hand, or with hope
soon to realise it, whom the "sufficient price" of Mr Wakefield would
deter from entering the colony, or convert, when there, into
unwilling, discontented, uncertain labourers.

The rights of every class must, of course, be determined by a
reference to the welfare of the whole community. The poorer settler
must have his claims decided, and limited, according to rules which
embrace the interest of the empire at large. We hope we shall not be
misunderstood on so plain a matter as this. We do not contemplate the
settler as arriving on the new land unfettered by any allegiance he
owes to the old country. He belongs to civilised England; carries with
him the knowledge and the implements which her civilisation has
procured him; lives under her protection, and must submit to her laws.
But in limiting the rights of the settler in a land spreading open
before him--where nothing has taken possession of the soil but the
fertilising rain, and the broad sunshine playing idly on its
surface--you must make out a clear case, a case of claims paramount to
his own, a case which appeals to that sense of justice common to the
multitude, which will bear examination, which readily forces itself
upon an honest conviction. It must not be a mere speculative measure,
a subtle theory, hard for a plain man to understand--benevolently
meant, but, intricate in its operation, and precarious in its
result--that should come betwixt him and the free bounty of nature.
Not of such materials can you make the fence that is to coop him up in
one corner of a new-found continent. Laudable it may be, this
experiment to adjust with scientific accuracy the proportion of
capital and labour; but a man with no peculiar passion for political
economy, will hardly like to be made the subject of this experiment,
or that a scientific interest should keep his feet from the
wilderness, or his spade from the unowned soil. It would be an
ungracious act of parliament, to say the least of it, whose preamble
should run thus--"Whereas it is expedient that the labouring
population emigrating from England should be 'prevented from turning
too soon into landowners,' and thus cultivating the soil for
themselves instead of for others, Be it enacted," &c. &c.

Although this theory of a "sufficient price" is the chief topic of Mr
Wakefield's book, yet there are many other subjects of interest
discussed, and many valuable suggestions thrown out in it; and if we
have felt ourselves compelled to enter our protest against his main
theory, we are by no means unwilling to confess our share of
obligation to one who has made colonisation the subject of so much
study, and who has called to it the attention of so many others. It
was he who, struck with the gross error that had been committed of
stocking certain of our colonies with too large a proportion of the
male sex, first pointed out that the period of marriage was the most
appropriate period for emigration. Do not wait till want drives out
the half-famished children, but let the young married couple start
whilst yet healthy and vigorous, and not broken down by poverty. Some
might be disposed to object that these will do well enough in England.
They might, but their children might not. It is wise to take the
stream of population a little higher up, where it yet runs clear; not
to wait till the waters have become sluggish and polluted.

In a literary point of view, Mr Wakefield's book is an extremely
entertaining one. It is difficult to believe what we are told in the
preface, and hear with regret, that it was written in ill health, so
elastic a spirit is observable throughout. The work assumes the form
of letters passing between a statesman, who is in search of
information and theory on the subject of colonisation, and a colonist
who has both to give. One would naturally conclude, from the letters
themselves, that both sets were written by the same author, and that
the correspondence was but one of those well-understood literary
artifices by which the exposition of certain truths or opinions is
rendered more clear or interesting. The letters of the statesman have
that constrained fictitious aspect which responses framed merely for
the carrying on of the discussion are almost sure to acquire. At all
events, it was hardly necessary for Mr Wakefield to describe himself
in the title-page as "_one_ of the writers;" since the part of the
statesman, in the correspondence, is merely to ask questions at the
proper time, to put an objection just where it ought to be answered,
and give other the like promptings to the colonist.

With many readers it will add not a little to the piquancy of the
work, that a considerable part is occupied in a sharp controversy with
the Colonial Office and its present chief. Mr Wakefield does not spare
his adversaries; he seems rather to rejoice in the wind and stir of
controversy. What provocation he has received we do not know: the
justice of his quarrel, therefore, we cannot pretend to decide upon;
but the manner in which he conducts it, is certainly not to our taste.
For instance, at p. 35 and p. 302, there is a littleness of motive, a
petty jealousy of him (Mr Wakefield) attributed to Lord Grey as the
grounds of his public conduct--a sort of imputation which does not
increase our respect for the person who makes it. But into this
controversy with the Colonial Office we have no wish to enter. So far
as it is of a personal character, we can have no motive to meddle with
it; and so far as the system itself is attacked, of governing our
colonies through this office, as at present constituted, there appears
to be no longer any controversy whatever. It seems admitted, on all
hands, that our colonies have outgrown the machinery of government
here provided for them.

In the extract we lately made from Mr Wakefield's book, some of our
readers were perhaps startled at meeting so strange an appellation as
_Mr Mothercountry_. It is a generic name, which our writer gives to
that gentleman of the Colonial Office (though it would seem more
appropriate to one of the female sex) who for the time being really
governs the colony, and is thus, in fact, the representative of the
mother country. The _soubriquet_ was adopted from a pamphlet of the
late Mr Charles Buller, in which he very vividly describes the sort of
government to which--owing to the frequent change of ministry, and the
parliamentary duties of the Secretary of State--a colony is
practically consigned. We wish we had space to quote enough from this
pamphlet, to show in what a graphic manner Mr Buller gradually narrows
and limits the ideas which the distant colonist entertains of the
ruling mother country. "That mother country," he finally says, "which
has been narrowed from the British isles into the Parliament, from the
Parliament into the Executive Government, from the Executive
Government into the Colonial Office, is not to be sought in the
apartments of the Secretary of State, or his Parliamentary
under-secretary. Where are we to look for it?" He finds it eventually
in some back-room in the large house in Downing Street, where some
unknown gentleman, punctual, industrious, irresponsible, sits at his
desk with his tape and his pigeon-holes about him. This is the
original of Mr Mother-country.

That which immediately suggests itself as a substitute and a remedy
for the inefficient government of Downing Street, is some form of
local or municipal government. As Mr Wakefield justly observes, a
local government, having jurisdiction over quite local or special
matters, by no means implies any relinquishment by the imperial
government of its requisite control over the colony. Neither does a
municipal government imply a republican or democratic government. Mr
Wakefield suggests that the constitution of a colony should be framed,
as nearly as possible, on the model of our own--that there should be
two chambers, and one of them hereditary. The extreme distance of
many, of most of our colonies, absolutely precludes the possibility of
their being efficiently governed by the English Colonial Office, or by
functionaries (whether well or ill appointed) who have to receive all
their instructions from that office. Throughout our colonies, the
French system of centralisation is adopted, and that with a very
inadequate machinery. And the evil extends with our increasing
settlements; for where there is a "seat of government" established in
a colony, with due legislative and executive powers, every part of
that colony, however extensive it may be, has to look to that central
power for the administration of its affairs.

     "In our colonies," says Mr Wakefield, "government resides at
     what is called its seat; every colony has its Paris, or 'seat
     of government.' At this spot there is government; elsewhere
     little or none. Montreal, for example, is the Paris of
     Canada. Here, of course, as in the Paris of France, or in
     London, representatives of the people assemble to make laws,
     and the executive departments, with the cabinet of ministers,
     are established. But now mark the difference between England
     on the one hand, and France or Canada on the other. The laws
     of England being full of delegation of authority for local
     purposes, and for special purposes whether local or not,
     spread government all over the country; those of Canada or
     France in a great measure confine government to the capital
     and its immediate neighbourhood. If people want to do
     something of a public nature in Caithness or Cornwall, there
     is an authority on the spot which will enable them to
     accomplish this object, without going or writing to a distant
     place. At Marseilles or Dunkerque you cannot alter a high
     road, or add a gens-d'arme to the police force, without
     correspondence with Paris; at Gaspé and Niagara you could
     not, until lately, get anything of a public nature done,
     without authority from the seat of government. But what is
     the meaning, in this case, of a correspondence with Paris or
     Montreal? It is doubt, hesitation, and ignorant objection on
     the part of the distant authority; references backwards and
     forwards; putting off of decisions; delay without end; and
     for the applicants a great deal of trouble, alternate hope
     and fear, much vexation of spirit, and finally either a rough
     defeat of their object or evaporation by lapse of time. In
     France, accordingly, whatever may be the form of the general
     government, improvement, except at Paris, is imperceptibly
     slow; whilst in Old, and still more in New England, you can
     hardly shut your eyes anywhere without opening them on
     something new and good, produced by the operation of
     delegated government specially charged with making the
     improvement. In the colonies it is much worse than in France.
     The difficulty there is even to open a correspondence with
     the seat of government; to find somebody with whom to
     correspond. In France, at any rate, there is at the centre a
     very elaborate bureaucratic machinery, instituted with the
     design of supplying the whole country with government--the
     failure arises from the practical inadequacy of a central
     machinery for the purpose in view: but in our colonies, there
     is but little machinery at the seat of government for even
     pretending to operate at a distance. The occupants of the
     public offices at Montreal scarcely take more heed of Gaspé,
     which is five hundred miles off and very difficult of access,
     than if that part of Canada were in Newfoundland or Europe.
     Gaspé, therefore, until lately, when, on Lord Durham's
     recommendation, some machinery of local government was
     established in Canada, was almost without government, and one
     of the most barbarous places on the face of the earth. Every
     part of Canada not close to the seat of government was more
     or less like Gaspé. Every colony has numerous Gaspés. South
     Africa, save at Cape Town, is a Gaspé all over. All Australia
     Felix, being from five hundred to seven hundred miles distant
     from its seat of government at Sidney, and without a made
     road between them, is a great Gaspé. In New Zealand, a
     country eight or nine hundred miles long, without roads, and
     colonised, as Sicily was of old, in many distinct
     settlements, all the settlements, except the one at which the
     government is seated, are miserable Gaspés as respects
     paucity of government. In each settlement, indeed, there is a
     meagre official establishment, and in one of the settlements
     there is a sort of lieutenant-governor; but these officers
     have no legislative functions, no authority to determine
     anything, no originating or constructive powers: they are
     mere executive organs of the general government at the
     capital, for administering general laws, and for carrying
     into effect such arbitrary instructions, which are not laws,
     as they may receive from the seat of government. The
     settlers, therefore, are always calling out for something
     which government alone could furnish. Take one example out of
     thousands. The settlers at Wellington in New Zealand, the
     principal settlement of the colony, wanted a light-house at
     the entrance of this harbour. To get a light-house was an
     object of the utmost importance to them. The company in
     England, which had founded the settlement, offered to advance
     the requisite funds on loan. _But the settlement had no
     constituted authority that could accept the loan and
     guarantee its repayment._ The company therefore asked the
     colonial office, whose authority over New Zealand is supreme,
     to undertake that the money should be properly laid out and
     ultimately repaid. But the colonial office, charged as it is
     with the general government of some forty distinct and
     distant communities, was utterly incapable of deciding
     whether or not the infant settlement ought to incur such a
     debt for such a purpose; it therefore proposed to refer the
     question to the general government of the colony at Auckland.
     But Auckland is several hundred miles distant from
     Wellington, and between these distant places there is no road
     at all--the only way of communication is by sea; and as there
     is no commercial intercourse between the places,
     communication by sea is either so costly, when, as has
     happened, a ship is engaged for the purpose of sending a
     message, or so rare, that the settlers at Wellington
     frequently receive later news from England than from the seat
     of their government: and moreover the attention of their
     government was known to be, at the time, absorbed with
     matters relating exclusively to the settlement in which the
     government resided. Nothing, therefore, was done; some ships
     have been lost for want of a lighthouse; and the most
     frequented harbour of New Zealand is still without one."--(P.
     212.)

This is a long extract, but it could not be abridged, and the
importance of the subject required it. Mr Wakefield has some remarks
upon the necessity of supplying religious instruction and the means of
public worship to our colonies, with which we cannot but cordially
agree. But we rubbed our eyes, and read the following passage twice
over, before we were quite sure that we had not misapprehended it: "I
am in hopes of being able, when the proper time shall come for that
part of my task, to persuade you that it would now be easy for England
to plant _sectarian colonies_--that is, colonies with the strong
attraction for superior emigrants, of a peculiar creed in each
colony"--(P. 160.) We thought that it was one of the chief boasts, and
most fortunate characteristics of our age, that men of different
sects, Presbyterians and Episcopalians, Independents and Baptists, had
learned to live quietly together. It is a lesson that has been slowly
learnt, and through much pain and tribulation. What is the meaning of
this retrograde movement, this drafting us out again into separate
corps? Possibly the fact of the whole settlement being of one sect of
Christians may tend at first to promote harmony--although even this
cannot be calculated upon; but differences of opinion are sure, in
time, to creep in; and the ultimate consequence would be, that such a
colony, in a future generation, would be especially afflicted with
religious dissensions, and the spirit of persecution. It would have to
learn again, through the old painful routine, the lesson of mutual
toleration. We suspect that Mr Wakefield is so engrossed with his
favourite subject of colonisation, that, if the Mormonites were to
make a good settlement of it, he would forgive them all their
absurdities; perhaps congratulate them on their harmony of views.

We have hitherto regarded colonisation in its general, national, and
legislative aspect: the following passage takes us into the heart of
the business as it affects the individuals themselves, of all classes,
who really think of emigrating. It is thus Mr Wakefield describes
"the charms of colonisation:"--

     "Without having witnessed it, you cannot form a just
     conception of the pleasurable excitement which those enjoy
     who engage personally in the business of colonisation. The
     circumstances which produce these lively and pleasant
     feelings are, doubtless, counteracted by others productive of
     annoyance and pain; but, at the worst, there is a great deal
     of enjoyment for all classes of colonists, which the fixed
     inhabitants of an old country can with difficulty comprehend.
     The counteracting circumstances are so many impediments to
     colonisation, which we must examine presently. I will now
     endeavour to describe briefly the encouraging circumstances
     which put emigrants into a state of excitement, similar to
     that occasioned by opium, wine, or winning at play, but with
     benefit instead of fatal injury to the moral and physical
     man.

     "When a man, of whatever condition, has finally determined to
     emigrate, there is no longer any room in his mind for thought
     about the circumstances that surround him: his life is for
     some time an unbroken and happy dream of the imagination. The
     labourer--whose dream is generally realised--thinks of light
     work and high wages, good victuals in abundance, beer and
     tobacco at pleasure, and getting in time to be a master in
     his trade, or to having a farm of his own. The novelty of the
     passage would be a delight to him, were it not for the ennui
     arising from want of occupation. On his arrival at the
     colony, all goes well with him. He finds himself a person of
     great value, a sort of personage, and can indulge almost any
     inclination that seizes him. If he is a brute, as many
     emigrant labourers are, through being brutally brought up
     from infancy to manhood, he lives, to use his own expression,
     'like a fighting cock,' till gross enjoyment carries him off
     the scene. If he is of the better sort, by nature and
     education, he works hard, saves money, and becomes a man of
     property--perhaps builds himself a nice house, glories with
     his now grand and happy wife in counting the children, the
     more the merrier, and cannot find anything on earth to
     complain of, but the exorbitant wages he has to pay. The
     change for this class of men being from pauperism, or next
     door to it, to plenty and property, is indescribably, to our
     apprehensions almost inconceivably, agreeable.

     "But the classes who can hardly imagine the pleasant feelings
     which emigration provides for the well-disposed pauper, have
     pleasant feelings of their own when they emigrate, which are
     perhaps more lively in proportion to the greater
     susceptibility of a more cultivated mind to the sensations of
     mental pain and pleasure. Emigrants of cultivated mind, from
     the moment when they determine to be colonists, have their
     dreams, which, though far from being always, or ever fully
     realised, are, I have been told by hundreds of this class,
     very delightful indeed. They think with great pleasure of
     getting away from the disagreeable position of anxiety,
     perhaps of wearing dependence, in which the universal and
     excessive competition of this country has placed them. But it
     is on the future that their imagination exclusively seizes.
     They can think in earnest about nothing but the colony. I
     have known a man of this class, who had been too careless of
     money here, begin, as soon as he had resolved on emigration,
     to save sixpences, and take care of bits of string, saying
     'everything will be of use _there_.' There! it is common for
     people whose thoughts are fixed 'there,' to break themselves
     all at once of a confirmed habit--that of reading their
     favourite newspaper every day. All the newspapers of the old
     country are now equally uninteresting to them. If one falls
     in their way, they perhaps turn with alacrity to the shipping
     lists, and advertisements of passenger ships, or even to an
     account of the sale of Australian wool, or New Zealand flax;
     but they cannot see either the parliamentary debate, or the
     leading article which used to embody their own opinions, or
     the reports, accidents, and offences, of which they used to
     spell every word. Their reading now is confined to letters
     and newspapers from the colony, and books relating to it.
     They can hardly talk about anything that does not relate to
     'there.'"--(P. 127.)

A man is far gone, indeed, when he has given up his _Times_! This zeal
for emigration amongst the better classes, and especially amongst
educated youths, who find the avenues to wealth blocked up in their
own country, is, we apprehend, peculiar to our day, and amongst the
most novel aspects which the subject of colonisation assumes. How many
of these latter find their imaginations travelling even to the
antipodes! _Where_ shall we colonise? is a question canvassed in many
a family, sometimes half in jest, half in earnest, till it leads to
the actual departure of the boldest or most restless of the circle.
Books are brought down and consulted; from the ponderous folio of
Captain Cook's voyages--which, with its rude but most illustrative of
prints, was the amusement of their childhood, when they would have
thought a habitation in the moon as probable a business as one in New
Zealand--to the last hot-pressed journal of a residence in Sydney; and
every colony in turn is examined and discussed. Here climate is so
delicious you may sleep without hazard in the open air. Sleep! yes, if
the musquitoes let you. Musquitoes--oh! Another reads with delight of
the noble breed of horses that now run wild in Australia, and of the
bold horsemanship of those who drive in the herd of bullocks from
their extensive pasturage, when it is necessary to assemble in order
to number and to mark them. The name of the thing does not sound so
romantic as that of a buffalo-hunt; but, armed with your tremendous
whip, from the back of a horse whom you turn and wind at pleasure, to
drive your not over-tractable bullocks, must task a good seat, and a
steady hand, and a quick eye. A third dwells with a quieter delight on
the beautiful scenery, and the pastoral life so suitable to it, which
New Zealand will disclose. Valleys green as the meadows of Devonshire,
hills as picturesque as those of Scotland, and the sky of Italy over
all! and the aborigines friendly, peaceable. Yes, murmurs one, until
they eat you. Faugh! but they are reformed in that particular.
Besides, Dr Dieffenbach says, here, that "they find Europeans salt and
disagreeable." Probably they had been masticating some tough old
sailor, who had fed on junk all his life, and they found him salt
enough. But let no one in his love of science suggest this explanation
to them; let us rest under the odium of being salt and disagreeable.

These aborigines--one would certainly wish they were out of the way.
Wild men! Wild--one cannot have fellowship with them. Men--one cannot
shoot them. In Australia they are said to be not much wiser than
baboons--one wishes they were altogether baboons, or altogether men.
In New Zealand they are, upon the whole, a docile, simple people. The
missionaries are schooling them as they would little children. A very
simple people! They had heard of horses and of horsemanship; it was
some tradition handed down from their great discoverer, Captain Cook.
When lately some portly swine were landed on the island, they
concluded _these_ were the famous horses men rode upon in England.
"They rode two of them to death." Probably, by that time, they
suspected there was some error in the case.

Hapless aborigines! How it comes to pass we cannot stop to inquire,
but certain it is they never prosper in any union with the white man.
They get his gin, they get his gunpowder, and, here and there, some
travesty of his religion. This is the best bargain they make where
they are most fortunate. The two first gifts of the white man, at all
events, add nothing to the amenity of character, and happen to be
precisely the gifts they could most vividly appreciate. Our
civilisation seems to have no other effect than to break up the sort
of rude harmony which existed in their previous barbarism. They
imitate, they do not emulate; what they see of us they do not
understand. That ridiculous exhibition, so often described, which they
make with our costume--a naked man with hat and feathers stuck upon
his head; or, better still, converting a pair of leathers into a
glistening helmet, the two legs hanging down at the back, where the
flowing horse-hair is wont to fall--is a perfect emblem of what they
have gained in mind and character from our civilisation.

These poor New Zealanders are losing--what think you says Dr
Dieffenbach?--their digestion; getting dyspeptic. The missionaries
have tamed them down; they eat more, fight less, and die faster. One
of the "brethren," not the least intelligent to our mind, has
introduced cricket as a substitute for their war-dances and other
fooleries they had abolished.

When we want the soil which such aborigines are loosely tenanting, we
must, we presume, displace them. There is no help for it. But, in all
other cases, we could wish the white man would leave these dark
children of the earth alone. If there exists another Tahiti, such as
it was when Cook discovered it, such as we read of it under the old
name of Otaheite, we hope that some eternal mist, drawn in a wide
circle round the island, will shroud it from all future navigators.
Were we some great mariner, and had discovered such an island, and had
eaten of the bread-fruit of the hospitable native, and reclined under
their peaceful trees, and seen their youths and maidens crowned with
green boughs, sporting like fishes in their beautiful clear seas, no
mermaid happier--we should know but of one way to prove our
gratitude--to close our lips for ever on the discovery we had made. If
there exist in some untraversed region of the ocean another such spot,
and if there are still any genii, or jins, or whatever sea-fairies may
be called, left behind in the world, we beseech of them to protect it
from all prying circumnavigators. Let them raise bewildering mists, or
scare the helmsman with imaginary breakers, or sit cross-legged upon
the binnacle, and bewitch the compass--anyhow let them protect their
charge. We could almost believe, from this moment, in the existence of
such spirits or genii, having found so great a task for them.

We have no space to go back to other graver topics connected with
colonisation which we have passed on our road. On one topic we had
not, certainly, intended to be altogether silent. But it is perhaps
better as it is; for the subject of transportation is so extensive,
and so complicate, and so inevitably introduces the whole review of
what we call secondary punishments--of our penal code, in short--that
it were preferable to treat it apart. It would be very unsatisfactory
merely to state a string of conclusions, without being able to throw
up any defences against those objections which, in a subject so full
of controversy, they would be sure to provoke.

In fine, we trust to no ideals, no theory or art of colonisation.
Neither do we make any extraordinary or novel demands on Government. A
great work is going on, but it will be best performed by simple means.
We ask from the Government that it should survey and apportion the
land, and secure its possession to the honest emigrant, and that it
should delegate to the new settlement such powers of self-government
as are necessary to its internal improvement. These, however, are
important duties, and embrace much. The rest, with the exception of
such liberality as may be thought advisable, in addition to the fund
raised by the sale of waste land, for the despatch and outfit of the
poor labourer or artisan--the rest must be left to the free spirit of
Englishmen, whether going single or in groups and societies.

FOOTNOTE:

[1] _A View of the Art of Colonisation, with present reference to the
British Empire; in Letters between a Statesman and a Colonist._ Edited
by (one of the writers) EDWARD GIBBON WAKEFIELD.



THE REACTION, OR FOREIGN CONSERVATISM.


                                    BOSTON, _February 1849_.

It is the sage remark of Montesquieu, that, under a government of
laws, liberty consists simply in the power of doing what we ought to
will, and in freedom from any constraint to do what we ought not to
will. The true conservative not only accepts this maxim, but he gives
it completeness by prescribing a pure religion as the standard of what
a people ought to will, and as the only sober guide of conscience. And
this may be added as a corollary, that so long as a free people is
substantially Christian, their conscience coinciding with absolute
right, their liberty, so far as affected by popular causes, will
preserve itself from fatal disorders. Such a people, possessed of
liberty, will know it and be content. But where the popular conscience
is morbid, they may have liberty without knowing it. They will fancy
that they ought to will what they are not permitted to will, and the
most wholesome restraints of wise laws will appear tyrannical. For
such a people there can be no cure, till they are restored to a
healthy conscience. A despotism successfully established over them,
and then moderately maintained, and benevolently administered, is the
only thing that can save them from self-destruction.

I was not writing at random, then, my Basil, when I said in my last
letter that the first want of France is a national conscience. As a
nation, the French lack the moral sense. What sign of moral life have
they shown for the last fifty years? The root of bitterness in the
body politic of France, is the astonishing infidelity of the people.
Whatever be the causes, the fact is not to be denied: the land whose
crown was once, by courtesy, _most Christian_, must draw on courtesy
and charity too, if it be now called Christian at all. The spirit of
unbelief is national. It is the spirit of French literature--of the
French press--of the French academy--of the French senate; I had
almost added of the French church; and if I hesitate, it is not so
much because I doubt the corrupting influences of the French
priesthood, as because they are no longer Gallican priests, but simply
the emissaries of Ultramontanism. There is no longer a French church.
The Revolution made an end of that. When Napoleon, walking at
Malmaison, heard the bells of Ruel, he was overpowered with a sense of
the value of such associations as they revived in his own heart, and
forthwith he opened the churches which had so long been the sepulchres
of a nation's faith, convinced that they served a purpose in
government, if only as a cheap police. He opened the churches, but he
could not restore the church of France. He could do no more than
enthrone surviving Ultramontanism in her ancient seats, and that by a
manoeuvre, which made it a creature and a slave of his ambition. When
it revolted, he talked of Gallican liberties, but only for political
purposes. Nor did the Restoration do any better. The church of St
Louis was defunct. Gallican immunities were indeed asserted on paper;
but, in effect, the Jesuits gained the day. The Orleans usurpation
carried things further; for the priesthood, severed from the state,
became more Ultramontane from apparent necessity, and lost,
accordingly, their feeble hold on the remaining respect of the French
people. Who was not startled, when the once devout Lamartine talked of
"the new Christianity" of Liberty and Equality over the ruins of the
Orleans dynasty, and thus betrayed the irreligion into which he had
been repelled by the Christianity of French ecclesiastics! Thus always
uncongenial to the national character, Ultramontanism has coated, like
quicksilver, and eaten away those golden liberties which St Louis
consecrated his life to preserve, and with which have perished the
life and power of Christianity in France.

The history of France is emphatically a religious history. Every
student must be struck with it. To understand even the history of its
court, one must get at least an outline of what is meant by Jansenism
and Molinism, and Ultramontanism, and the whole tissue of isms which
they have created. No historian gives us an exemption from this amount
of polemical information. The school of Michelet is as forward as that
of de Maistre, in claiming a "religious mission" for France among the
nations; and de Stael and Chateaubriand are impressed with the same
idea. Her _publicists_, as well as her statesmen, have been always, in
their own way, theologians; and, from Louis IX. to Louis XVI., the
spirit of theology was, in some form or other, the spirit of every
reign. Not only the Mazarins, but the Pompadours also, have made
religion part of their craft; and religion became so entirely
political under Louis XV., that irreligion was easily made political
in its stead. In the court of France, in fact, theology has been the
common trade; the trade of Condé and of Guise, of Huguenot and Papist,
of Jansenist and Jesuit, of philosopher and poet, of harlots, and
almost of lap-dogs. Even Robespierre must legislate upon the
"consoling principle of an _Etre Suprême_," and Napoleon elevates
himself into "the eldest son of the church." "A peculiar
characteristic of this monarchy," says de Maistre, "is that it
possesses a certain theocratic element, special to itself, which has
given it fourteen centuries of duration." This element has given its
colour to reigns and revolutions alike; and if one admit the necessity
of religion to the perpetuity of a state, it deserves our attention,
in the light of whatever contending parties have advanced upon the
subject.

Let us begin with the revolutionists themselves. In the month of June
1844, Monsieur Quinet, "of the college of France," stood in his
lecture-room, venting his little utmost against the "impassioned
leaven of Reaction," which he declared to be fermenting in French
society. His audience was literally the youth of nations; for, as I
gather from his oratory, it embraced not only his countrymen, but,
besides them, Poles, Russians, Italians, Germans, Hungarians,
Spaniards, Portuguese, and a sprinkling of negroes. Upon this
interesting assembly, in which black spirits and white must have
maintained the proportion, and something of the appearance, of their
corresponding ebony and ivory in the key-board of a pianoforte, and
which he had tuned to his liking by a series of preparatory exercises,
he played, as a grand _finale_, a most brilliant experimental
quick-step, which satisfied him that every chord vibrated in harmony
with his own sweet voice. He was closing his instructions, and
addressed his pupils, not as disciples, but as friends. His great
object seems to have been to convince them of their own importance, as
the illuminated school of a new gospel of which he is himself the
dispenser, and through which, he promised them, they would become,
with him, the regenerators of the world. Having fully indoctrinated
them with his new Christianity, it was necessary to work them into
fury against the old. He had already established the unity of politics
and religion; he had shown, very artfully, that Christianity had
identified itself with Ultramontanism, and that France must perish if
it should triumph; and he had only to convince them of danger from
that quarter, to influence the combustible spirits of his credulous
hearers to the heat which his purpose required. This he did by
bellowing _Reaction_, and anathematising Schlegel and de Maistre.

You were mistaken then, my Basil, in supposing this word _Reaction_
altogether a bugbear, and in understanding it with reference only to
the counter-spirit in favour of legitimacy, which has been generated
by the revolution of last year. You see it was the hobgoblin of a
certain class of fanatics, long before Louis Philippe had received his
notice to quit. It was an "impassioned leaven" in French society five
years ago, in the heated imagination, or else in the artful theory, of
Quinet. What was really the case? There was, in his sober opinion, as
much danger from the reaction at that time as from the Great Turk, and
no more. He merely used it as an academic man-of-straw to play at
foils with. He held it up to contempt as an exploded folly, and then
pretended it was a living danger, only to increase his own reputation
for daring, and to quicken the development of antagonist principles.
He little dreamed the manikin would come to life, and show fight for
the Bourbons and legitimacy. He cried _Wolf_ for his own purposes, and
the actual barking of the pack must be a terrible retribution! The
reaction of 1848 must have come upon the professors like doomsday. I
can conceive of him, at present, only as of Friar Bacon, when he
stumbled upon the discovery of gunpowder. A moment since, he stood in
his laboratory compounding the genuine elixir of life, and assuring
his gaping disciples of the success of his experiment; but there has
been a sudden detonation, and if the professor has miraculously
escaped, it is only to find chaos come again, his admiring auditors
blown to atoms, and nothing remaining of his philosophical
trituration, except his smutty self, and a very bad smell. I speak of
him as the personification of his system. Personally, he has been a
gainer by the revolution. Guizot put him out of his place, and the
Republic has put him back; but the Reaction is upon him, and his
theories are already resolved into their original gases. "The college
of France" may soon come to a similar dissolution.

Let us look for a while at foreign conservatism through Monsieur
Quinet's glasses. I have introduced you to de Maistre, and de Maistre
is to him what the Pope was to Luther. Quinet is, in his own way,
another reformer; in fact, he announces his system, in its relations
to Protestantism, as another noon risen upon mid-day. The theological
character of foreign politics is as prominent in his writings as in
those of his antagonists. Thus, to illustrate the character of the
French Revolution, he takes us to the Council of Trent; and to
demolish French Tories, he attacks Ultramontanism. This is indeed
philosophical, considering the actual history of Europe, and the
affinities of its Conservative party. Action and reaction are always
equal. The cold infidelity of Great Britain was met by the cool reason
of Butler, and sufficiently counteracted by even the frigid apologies
of Watson, and the mechanical faith of Paley. But the passionate
unbelief of the Encyclopædists produced the unbalanced credulity of
the reaction; and Diderot, d'Alembert, and Voltaire, have almost, by
fatality, involved the noble spirits of their correctors in that
wrongheaded habit of believing, which shows its vigorous weakness in
the mild Ballanche and the wavering Lamennais, and develops all its
weak vigour in de Maistre and de Bonald. Thus it happens that Mons.
Quinet gives to his published lectures the title of _Ultramontanism_;
for he prefers to meet his antagonists on the untenable field of their
superstition, and there to win a virtual victory over their
philosophical and political wisdom. His book has reached me through
the translation of Mr Cocks,[2] who has kindly favoured the literature
of England with several similar importations from "the College of
France," and who seems to be the chosen mouthpiece of the benevolent
author himself, in addressing the besotted self-sufficiency of John
Bull. So far, indeed, as it discusses _Ultramontanism_ in itself, the
work may have its use. It shows, with some force and more
vociferation, that it has been the death of Spain, and of every state
in which it has been allowed to work; and that, moreover, it has been
the persevering foe of law, of science, and of morality. This is a
true bill; but of him, as of his master Michelet, it may be said with
emphasis, _Tout, jusqu' à la vérité, trompe dans ses écrits_. It does
not follow, as he would argue, that political wisdom and Christian
truth fall with Ultramontanism; nor does he prove it be so, by proving
that de Maistre and others have thought so. The school of the Reaction
are convicted of a mistake, into which their masters in Great Britain
never fell. That is all that Quinet has gained, though he crows
lustily for victory, and proceeds to construct his own political
religion, as if Christianity were confessedly defunct. As to the
style of the Professor, so far as I can judge it from a tumid and
verbose translation, it is not wanting in the hectic brilliancy of
rhetoric raised to fever-heat, or of French run mad. Even its
argument, I doubt not, sounded logical and satisfactory, when its
slender postulate of truth was set off with oratorical sophistry,
enforced with professorial shrugs of the shoulders, or driven home
with conclusive raps upon the auxiliary _tabatière_. But the inanimate
logic, as it lies coffined in the version of Mr Cocks, looks very
revolting. In fact, stripped of its false ornament, all its practical
part is simply the revolutionism of the Chartists. Worse stuff was
never declaimed to a subterranean conclave of insurgent operatives by
a drunken Barabbas, with Tom Paine for his text, and a faggot of pikes
for his rostrum. The results have been too immediate for even Mons.
Quinet's ambition. From hearing sedition in the "College of France,"
his motley and party-coloured audience has broken up to enforce it
behind the barricades. They turned revolutionists against reaction _in
posse_, and reaction _in esse_ is the very natural consequence.

"Every nation, like every individual, has received a certain mission,
which it must fulfil. France exercises over Europe a real magistracy,
which cannot be denied, and she was at the head of its religious
system." So says de Maistre, and so far his bitter enemy is agreed.
But, says de Maistre, "She has shamefully abused her mission; and
since she has used her influence to contradict her vocation, and to
debauch the morals of Europe, it is not surprising that she is
restored to herself by terrible remedies." Here speaks the spirit of
Reaction, and Quinet immediately shows fight. In his view she has but
carried out her vocation. The Revolution was a glorious outbreak
towards a new universal principle. In the jargon of his own sect, "it
was a revolution differing from all preceding revolutions, ancient or
modern, precisely in this, that it was the deliverance of a nation
from the bonds and limits of her church, into the spirit of
universality." The spirit of the national church, he maintains, had
become Ultramontane; had lost its hold on men's minds; had made way
for the ascendency of philosophy, and had tacitly yielded the sceptre
of her sway over the intelligence and the conscience to Rousseau and
Voltaire. Nor does the Professor admit that subsequent events have
restored that sceptre. On the contrary, he appeals to his auditors in
asserting that the priesthood have ceased to guide the French
conscience. His audience applauds, and the enraptured Quinet catches
up the response like an auctioneer. He is charmed with his young
friends. He is sure the reaction will never seduce them into
travelling to heaven by the old sterile roads. As for the
_réactionnaires_, no language can convey his contempt for them. "After
this nation," says he, "has been communing with the spirit of the
universe upon Sinai, conversing face to face with GOD, they propose to
her to descend from her vast conceptions, and to creep, crestfallen,
into the spirit of sect." Thus he contrasts the catholicity of
Pantheism with the catholicity of Romanism; and thus, with the
instinct of a bulldog, does he fasten upon the weak points of foreign
Conservatism, or hold it by the nose, a baited victim, in spite of its
massive sinews and its generous indignation. This plan is a cunning
one. He sinks the Conservative principles of the Reaction, and gives
prominence only to its Ultramontanism. He shows that modern
Ultramontanism is the creature of the Council of Trent, and reviews
the history of Europe as connected with that Council. He proves the
pernicious results of that Council in every state which has
acknowledged it; shows that not preservation but ruin has been its
inevitable effect upon national character; and so congratulates France
for having broken loose from it in the great Revolution. He then
deprecates its attempted resuscitation by Schlegel and de Maistre,
and, falling back upon the "religious vocation" of France, exhorts his
auditors to work it out in the spirit of his own evangel. This new
gospel, it is almost needless to add, is that detestable impiety which
was so singularly religious in the revolution of last February,
profaning the name of the Redeemer to sanctify its brutal excesses,
and pretending to find in the spirit of his gospel the elements of its
furious Liberty and Equality. In the true sentiment of that
revolution, an ideal portrait of the Messiah is elaborately engraved
for the title-page of Mr Cock's translation! So a French quack adorns
his shop with a gilded bust of Hippocrates! It is a significant hint
of the humble origin of a system which, it must be understood, owes
its present dignity and importance entirely to the genius of Mons.
Quinet.

That the Reaction is thus identified with Ultramontanism, is a fact
which its leading spirits would be the very last to deny. The
necessity of religion to the prosperity of France is their fundamental
principle; and religion being, in their minds, inseparable from
Romanism, they will not see its defects; and their blind faith, like
chloroform, makes them absolutely insensible to the sharp point of the
weak spear with which Quinet pierces them. And it is but fair to
suppose that Quinet and his colleagues are equally honest in
considering Christianity and Ultramontanism synonymous. They see that
the old religion of France has become, historically, a corrupt thing,
and they propose a fresh Christianity in its place. Of one thing I am
sure--they do not over-estimate the political importance of the
Council of Trent. Let it be fairly traced in its connexions with
kingdoms, with science, with letters, and with the conscience of
nations, and it will be seen that Quinet is not far from correct, in
taking it as the turning-point of the history of Europe. It produced
Ultramontanism, or rather changed it from an abstraction into an
organised system; and Ultramontanism, in its new shape, gave birth to
the Jesuits. Christendom saw a new creed proposed as the bond of
unity, and a new race of apostles propagating it with intrigue and
with crime, and, in some places, with fire and sword. In proportion as
the states of Europe incorporated Ultramontanism with their political
institutions, they withered and perished. Old Romanism was one thing,
and modern Ultramontanism another. Kingdoms that flourished while they
were but Romanised, have perished since they became Tridentine.

Among English writers this distinction has not been generally made.
Coleridge seems to have observed it, and has incidentally employed it
in treating of another subject. But foreign literature is full of it,
either tacitly implied or openly avowed, in different ways.
Ultramontanism is, in Europe, a political and not merely a theological
word,--its meaning results from its history. Before the Tridentine
epoch, the national churches of Europe were still seven candle-sticks,
in which glittered the seven stars of an essential personality and
individual completeness. The "Church of Rome" still meant the Roman
See, and, vast as were its usurpations over the national churches, it
had neither reduced them to absolute unity in theology, nor absorbed
their individuality into its own. The Roman Church, as we now
understand it, was created by the Council of Trent, by a consolidation
of national churches, and the quiet substitution of the creed of Pius
IV. for the ancient creeds, as a test of unity. This fact explains the
position of the Reformed before and after that extraordinary assembly.
Till its final epoch, they had never fully settled their relations to
the Papal See. The history of England is full of illustrations of this
fact. Old Grostete of Lincoln spurned the authority of the Pope, but
continued in all his functions as an English bishop till his death, in
the thirteenth century. Wycliffe, in the fourteenth, was still more
remarkable for resisting the papal pretensions, yet he died in the
full exercise of his pastoral office, while elevating the host at
Childermas. Henry VIII. himself had the benefit of masses for his
pious soul at Notre Dame; and his friend Erasmus lived on easy terms
with the Reformed, and yet never broke with the Vatican. Even the
English prayer-book, under Elizabeth, was sanctioned by papal
authority, with the proviso of her recognition of the supremacy, and
for twelve years of her reign the popish party lived in communion with
the Reformed Church of England. During all this period the dogmas of
popes were fearlessly controverted by Cisalpine theologians, who still
owned their supremacy in a qualified sense, and who boldly appealed
to a future council against the decisions of the See of Rome.
Ultramontanism had then, indeed, its home beyond the mountains, and
when it came bellowing over its barrier, it was often met as "the
Tinchel cows the game." But modern Ultramontanism is another thing. It
is an organised system, swallowing up the nationalities of constituent
churches, and giving them the absolute unity of an individual Roman
church, in which Jesuitism is the circulating life-blood, and the
Italian consistory the heart and head together. Such was the prodigy
hatched during the seventeen years of Tridentine incubation. It
appeared at the close of those interminable sessions, so different
from all that had been anticipated, that it startled all Europe. It
had quietly changed everything, and made Rome the sole church of
Southern Europe. Quinet has not failed to present this fact very
strongly. "That Council," says he, "had not, like its predecessors,
its roots in all nations; it did not assemble about it the
representatives of all Christendom. Its spirit was to give full
sanction to the idea, which certain popes of the middle ages had
established, of their pre-eminence over oecumenical assemblies.
Thenceforward, what had been the effect of a particular genius, became
_the very constitution of the church_. The great adroitness consisted
_in making the change without anywhere speaking of it_. The church
which was before tempered by assemblies convoked from all the earth,
became an absolute monarchy. From that moment the ecclesiastical world
is silent. The meeting of councils is closed, no more discussions, no
more solemn deliberations; everything is regulated by bulls, letters,
and ordinances. Popedom usurps all Christendom; the book of life is
shut; for three centuries not one page has been added." One would
think the school of the Reaction would feel the force of facts so
efficiently urged, even in spite of their towering disgust at the
purposes for which they are employed. In fact, their own maxims may be
turned against them with great power, in this matter of
Ultramontanism. De Maistre, in his argument for unwritten
constitutions, speaks of the creeds of the church as furnishing no
exception to his rule; for these, he argues, are not _codes of
belief_, but they partake the nature of hymns--they have rhythmical
beauty, they are chanted in solemn services, they are confessed to GOD
upon the harp and organ. Now this is indeed true of those three
ancient creeds which are still chanted in the service of the Church of
England; but the creed of Pius IV., which is the distinguishing creed
of the Roman church, is absolutely nothing else than a _code of
belief_, and is the only creed in Christendom which lacks that
rhythmical glory which he considers a test of truth! Even Quinet
notices this liturgic impotence of the Ultramontane religion. "The
Roman church," he says, "has lost in literature, together with the
ideal of Christianity, the sentiment of her own poetry. What has
become of the burning accents of Ambrose and Paulinus? Urban VIII.
writes pagan verses to the Cavalier Berni;[3] and instead of _Stabat
mater_ or _Salutaris hostia_, the princes of the church compose
mythological sonnets, at the very moment when Luther is thundering
_Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott_, that Te Deum of the Reformation."

No wonder France was reluctant to acknowledge a Council which had thus
imposed a new creed on Christendom, and which dictated a new
organisation to the ancient churches of Southern Europe. While other
nations subscribed with artful evasions, she hesitated and submitted,
but gave no formal assent. Rome had come over the Alps to absorb her,
and she was loth to yield her birthright. She stood long in what
Schlegel calls "a disguised half-schism," struggling against
dissolution, the last lump to melt away in the Tridentine element. But
where now is the church which St Louis left to France, strong in her
anti-papal bulwarks? Where now are those bulwarks, the labour of his
life, and the chief glory of a name which even Rome has canonised? As
for Spain, Ultramontanism was riveted upon her by the Inquisition,
and she is twice dead. One sees no more the churches of Western
Christendom, fortified by Pragmatic Sanctions, and treated with as
younger sisters, even by domineering Rome! They have disappeared; and
the only light that lingers in their places is the sad sepulchral
flame that owes its existence to decay.

Such is Ultramontanism. Follow its history, in connexion with
political events in France, and you cannot fail to charge it with all
the responsibility of French infidelity, and, consequently, of the
present lamentable condition of the nation. Thrice has the spirit of
France been in deadly collision with it--in the fire, in the wind, and
in the earthquake. Its first antagonists were the Huguenots, and over
them it triumphed by the persecutions of Louis XIV., following up the
policy of Catherine de Medicis. It was next confronted by Jansenism
under Louis XV., and that it overcame by intrigue and by ridicule.
Under Louis XVI. it was obliged to meet the atheism of the
Encyclopædists, which it had itself produced, and which terribly
visited upon its head its own infernal inventions. To overwhelm the
Port-Royalists, it had resorted to low caricatures and epigrams, and
to philosophical satires upon their piety. Voltaire took from these
the hint of his first warfare against Christianity. This was first a
joke and a song, and then _Ca Ira_ and _A la lanterne_; first the
popguns of wit, then the open battery of _Ecrasez l'infâme_, and then
the exploding mine of revolution. It merely reversed the stratagems of
Ultramontanism, which began in massacre, and finished its triumphs
with a jest; and both together have stamped the nation with its
indelible character of half tiger and half monkey. The origin of such
an issue of infamy cannot be concealed. France owes it all to her
conduct in the crisis of the Reformation. Had the Gallic Church, under
Henry of Navarre, fully copied the example of England, or had she even
carried out her own instincts, repudiating the Council of Trent, and
falling back upon the Pragmatic Sanction for a full defence of her
independence, how different would have been her history, and that of
the monarchy to which she would have proved a lasting support! Let the
difference between Henri Quatre and Louis Quatorze, between Sully and
Richelieu, illustrate the reply. Or it may be imagined, by comparing
the campaigns of Cevennes with the peaceful mission of Fenelon to the
Huguenots of Saintonge. Where now both church and state appear the
mere materials of ambition to such as Mazarin and Dubois, or where
even the purer genius of such as Bossuet and Massillon is exhibited in
humiliating and disgraceful associations, the places of history might
have been adorned by such bright spirits as were immured at
Port-Royal, or such virtue as sketched the ideal kingdom of
_Télémaque_, and rendered illustrious a life of uncomplaining sorrow
in the pastoral chair of Cambray. Where the court can boast one
Bourdaloue, there would have been, beside him, not a few like Pascal;
and in the rural parishes there would have been many such as Arnauld
and Nicole, training in simple piety and loyal worth the successive
generations of a contented people. As for the palace, it would never
have been haunted by the dark spirit of Jesuitism, which has so often
hid itself in the robes of royalty, and reigned in the sovereign's
name; and the people would have known it only as a fearful thing
beyond the Pyrenees, whose ear was always in the confessional, and
whose hand was ever upon the secret wires of the terrible Inquisition.
The capital would have been a citadel of law, and the kingdom still a
Christian state. Its history might have lacked a "Grand Monarque," and
certainly a Napoleon; but then there would have been no _dragonnades_,
and possibly no Dubarrydom; no _Encyclopædie_, and no _Ca Ira_! The
bell of St Germain l'Auxerrois would have retained its bloody memory
as the tocsin of St Bartholomew's massacre, but it would never have
sounded its second peal of infamy as the signal for storming the
Tuileries, and for opening those successive vials of avenging woe, in
which France is expiating her follies and her crimes.

Bossuet, in his funeral oration upon Queen Henrietta, unhappily for
his own cause, has challenged a comparison between the histories of
France and England, which, if he were living in our days, he would
hardly renew with pleasure. The Anglican Reformation was rashly
charged by him with all the responsibility of the Great Rebellion; but
facts have proved that revolutions are by no means confined to
anti-papal countries, while history may be safely appealed to by
Englishmen, in deciding as to the kind of religion which has best
encountered the excesses of rebellion, and most effectually cured the
disease. The Anglican Church survived the Great Rebellion, with
fidelity to itself: the Gallic Church perished in the Revolution.
Before the vainglorious taunt of Bossuet had passed from the memory of
living men, all those causes were at work in France, which bred the
whirlwind of infidelity, and which insured a revolution, not of
fanaticism, but of atheism. The real power of the two churches, in
moulding the character of a people, and retaining the loyalty of its
noblest intellect, became, then, singularly apparent. In France, it
was superstition to believe in GOD. In France, philosophers were
afraid to own a great First Cause. In France, noblemen were ashamed to
confess a conscience. In France, bishops and cardinals were foremost
in apostasy, and claimed their sacerdotal rank only to become the
high-priests of atheistic orgies. It is needless to cite, in
comparison, the conduct of parallel classes during the Great Rebellion
in England; while, at the very moment in which these things were
transacting, the brightest genius in her Imperial Parliament could
proclaim himself not only a believer, but a crusader for Christianity.
It was a noble answer to the ghost of poor Bossuet, when such a man as
Burke, addressing a gentleman of France, declared the adhesion of
England to her Reformed religion to be not the result of indifference
but of zeal; when he proudly contrasted the intelligent faith of his
countrymen with the fanatical impiety of the French; and when, with a
dignity to which sarcasm has seldom attained, he reminded a nation of
atheists, that there was a people, every whit its peer, which still
exulted in the Christian name, and among whom religion, so far from
being relegated to provinces, and the firesides of peasants, still sat
in the first rank of the legislature, and "reared its mitred front" in
the very face of the throne. The withering rebuke of such a boast must
be measured by the standard of the time when it was given. In Paris,
the mitre had just been made the ornament of an ass, which bore in
mockery, upon its back, the vessels of the holy sacrament, and dragged
a Bible at its tail.

Thus the colossal genius of Burke stood before the world, in that war
of elements, trampling the irreligion of France beneath his feet, like
the Archangel thrusting Satan to his bottomless abyss. The spectacle
was not lost. It was that beautiful and sublime exhibition of moral
grandeur that quickened the noblest minds in Europe to imitative
virtue, and produced the school of the Reaction. It was rather the
spirit of British faith, and law, and loyalty, personified in him. The
same spirit had been felt in France before: it had moulded the genius
of Montesquieu, abstractly; but Burke was its mighty concrete, and he
wrote himself like a photograph upon kindred intellect throughout the
world. Before his day, the character of English liberty had been
laboriously studied and mechanically learned; but he, as its living
representative and embodiment, made himself the procreant author of an
intellectual family. I fear you will regard this as a theory of my
own, but I would not have ventured to say this on my mere surmise. One
whose religion identifies him with Ultramontanism has made the
acknowledgment before me. I refer to the English editor and translator
of Schlegel's _Philosophy of History_. According to him, Schlegel at
Vienna, and Goerres at Munich, were "the supreme oracles of _that
illustrious school of liberal conservatives_, which numbered, besides
those eminent Germans, a Baron von Haller in Switzerland, a Viscount
de Bonald in France, a Count Henri de Merode in Belgium, and a Count
de Maistre in Piedmont."[4] From the writings of these great men, in a
greater or less degree, he augurs the future political regeneration of
Europe; and yet, strongly warped as he is away from England, and
towards Rome, as the source of all moral and national good, he does
not conceal the fact that this splendid school of the Reaction was
"founded by our great Burke." My hopes from the writings of these men
are not so sanguine: but, so far as they are true to their original,
they have been already of great service. They may hereafter be made
still more powerful for good; and if, at the same time, the rising
school of Conservatism, which begins to make itself felt in America,
shall impart its wholesome influences to an off-shoot of England, so
vast already, and of such grand importance to the future, then, and
not till then, will be duly estimated the real greatness of those
splendid services which Burke was created to perform, not for his
country only, but for the human race.

Perhaps it could hardly have been otherwise; but it must always be
deplored that the Conservatism of England was reproduced on the
Continent in connexion with the Christianity of Ultramontanism. The
conservatism of de Stael and of Chateaubriand, though repudiated by
the _réactionnaires_, is indeed worthy of honourable mention, as their
characters will ever be of all admiration; yet it must be owned to be
deficient in force, and by no means executive. It was the Conservatism
of impulse--the Conservatism of genius, but not the Conservatism of
profound philosophy and energetic benevolence. The spirit that
breathes in the _Génie du Christianisme_ is always beautiful, and
often devout, yet it has been justly censured, as recommending less
the truth than the beauty of the religion of Jesus Christ; and though
it doubtless did something to reproduce the religious sentiment, it
seems to have effected nothing in behalf of religious principle. Its
author would have fulfilled a nobler mission had he taught his
countrymen, in sober prose, their radical defects in morality, and
their absolute lack of a conscience. The Conservatives of the Reaction
have at least attempted greater things. They have bluntly told the
French nation that they must reform; they have set themselves to
produce again the believing spirit: their mistake has been, that they
have confounded faith with superstition, and taken the cause of the
Jesuits into the cause of their country and their God. Nothing could
have been more fatal. It arms against them such characters as
Michelet,[5] with his _Priests, Women, and Families_, and makes even
Quinet formidable with his lectures on "the Jesuits and
Ultramontanism." Yet it must be urged in their behalf, that they have
been pardonably foolish, for they drew their error with their mother's
milk; and when even faith was ridiculed as credulity, it was an
extravagance almost virtuous to rush into superstition. Such is the
dilemma of a good man in Continental Europe: his choice lies between
the extremes of corrupt faith and philosophic unbelief. This was the
misfortune of poor Frederick Schlegel; and, disgusted with the hollow
rationalism of Germany, he became a Papist, in order to profess
himself a Christian. The mistake was magnanimously made. We cannot but
admire the man who eats the book of Roman infallibility, in his hunger
for the bread of everlasting life. Even Chateaubriand must claim our
sympathies on this ground. Our feelings are with such errorists--our
convictions of truth remain unaltered; and we cannot but lament the
fatality which has thus attended European Conservatism like its
shadow, and exposed it to successful assaults from its foes. I have
shown how they use their opportunity. And no wonder, when this
substitution of Ultramontanism for Christianity has involved de
Maistre in an elaborate defence of the Inquisition--debased the
Conservatism of de Bonald to slavish absolutism;[6] and when true to
its deadening influence upon the conscience, it implicated von Haller
in the infamous perjury which, though committed under the sanction of
a Romish bishop, led to his ignominious expulsion from the sovereign
council at Berne. Chateaubriand has not escaped an infection from the
same atmosphere. It taints his writings. In such a work as the _Génie
du Christianisme_, denounced as it is by the Ultramontanists
generally, there is much that is not wholesome. The eloquent champion
of faith wields the glaive as stoutly for fables as for eternal
verities. The poet makes beauty drag decay in her train, and ties a
dead corpse to the wings of immortality. Truth itself, in his apology,
though brought out in grand relief, is sculptured on a sepulchre full
of dead men's bones; and, unhappily, while we draw near to examine the
perfection of his ideal, we find ourselves repelled by a lurking scent
of putrefaction.

The career of de Maistre is, in epitome, that of his school. Disgusted
with Jacobinism, and naturally delighting in paradox, it seemed to
afford him relief to avow himself a papist, in an age of atheism. He
was not only the author of the reactionary movement, but his character
was itself the product of Reaction. Driven with his king to Sardinia,
in 1792, by the invasion of Piedmont, his philosophical contempt for
the revolutionists was exhibited in his _Considerations sur la
France_, from which, in a former letter, I have made so long a
quotation. In this work--in some respects his best--his Ultramontanism
is far from extravagant: and not only his religious principles as they
were then, but also the effect which everything English was then
producing on his mind, is clearly seen in a comment upon the English
Church, which, as it passed his review, and was printed again in 1817
with no retractation, must be regarded as somewhat extraordinary. "If
ever Christians reunite," says he, "as all things make it their
interest to do, it would seem that the movement must take rise in the
Church of England. Calvinism was French work, and consequently an
exaggerated production. We are pushed too far away by the sectarians
of so unsubstantial a religion, and there is no mean by which they may
comprehend us: but the Church of England, which touches us with one
hand, touches with the other a class whom we cannot reach; and
although, in a certain point of view, she may thus appear the butt of
two parties, (as being herself rebellious, though preaching
authority,) yet in other respects _she is most precious_, and may be
considered as one of those chemical _intermèdes_, which are capable of
producing a union between elements dissociable in themselves." He
seldom shows such moderation; for the Greek and Anglican churches he
specially hates. In 1804 he was sent ambassador to St Petersburg; and
there he resided till 1817, fulfilling his diplomatic duties with that
zeal for his master, and that devotion to conservative interests,
which are the spirit of his writings. There he published, in 1814, the
pithy _Essai sur le principe générateur des Constitutions_, in which
he reduced to an abstract form the doctrines of his former treatise on
France. His style is peculiarly relishable, sometimes even sportive;
but its main maxims are laid down with a dictatorial dignity and
sternness, which associate the tractate, in the minds of many, with
the writings of Montesquieu. This essay, so little known in England,
has found an able translator and editor in America, who commends it to
his countrymen as an antidote to those interpretations which are put
upon our constitutional law by the political disciples of Rousseau. I
commend the simple fact to your consideration, as a sign of the more
earnest tone of thinking, on such matters, which is beginning to be
felt among us. The fault of the essay is its practical part, or those
applications into which his growing Ultramontanism diverted his sound
theories. His principles are often capable of being turned upon
himself, as I have noticed in the matter of creeds. His genius also
found a congenial amusement in translating Plutarch's _Delays of
Divine Justice_, which he accompanied with learned notes, illustrating
the influence of Christianity upon a heathen mind. On his return from
St Petersburg in 1817, appeared his violent Ultramontane work, _Du
Pape_, in which he most ingeniously, but very sophistically, uses in
support of the papacy an elaborate argument, drawn from the good which
an overruling Providence has accomplished, by the very usurpations and
tyrannies of the Roman See. As if this were not enough, however, he
closes his life and labours with another work, the _Soirées de St
Petersbourg_, in which, with bewitching eloquence, he expends all his
powers of varied learning, and pointed sarcasm, and splendid
sophistry, upon questions which have but the one point of turning
everything to the account of his grand theory of church and state.
Thus, from first to last, he identifies his political and moral
philosophy with religious dogmas essentially ruinous to liberty, and
which, during three centuries, have wasted every kingdom in which they
have gained ascendency. To the direct purpose of uprooting the little
that remained of Gallicanism, he devoted a treatise, which accompanies
his work _Du Pape_, and of which the first book is entitled, _De
l'Esprit d'opposition nourri en France contre le Saint-Siège_. Its
points may be stated in a simple sentence from the works of his
coadjutor, Frederick Schlegel, who, in a few words, gives the theory
which has been the great mistake of the Reaction. "The disguised
half-schism of the Gallican church," says he,--"_not less fatal in its
historical effects than the open schism of the Greeks_--has
contributed very materially towards the decline of religion in France,
down to the period of the Restoration."[7] He illustrates it by the
disputes of Louis XIV. with the court of Rome, but forgets to say
anything of his extermination of the Huguenots. In one sense, however,
he is right. It was precisely the _half_-schism to which the mischief
is attributable. This half-way work it was that enabled Louis XIV. to
assert the Gallican theory against a semi-Protestant pope, for the
very purpose of fostering genuine Ultramontanism and favouring the
Jesuits; while under another pontiff he could repudiate Gallicanism,
and force the clergy to retract what he had forced them to adopt! The
schism of England was doubtless "an open schism," in the opinion of
Schlegel, and if so, it should have been followed, on his theory, by
worse effects; but Schlegel lives too long after the days of Bossuet
to bring her example into view. The natural appeal would have been to
that example, as its history is cotemporary; but he adroitly diverts
attention from so instructive a parallel, and cunningly drags in "the
open schism _of the Greeks_!" Thus, against a bristling front of
facts, he drives his theory that France has not been Romish enough,
and lends all his energies to render her less Gallican and more
Tridentine. Were he now alive, he might see reason to amend his
doctrine in the condition of Rome itself! But the condition of France
is quite as conclusive. Since the Restoration, the French Church has
been growing more and more Ultramontane, and the people are worse and
worse. Gallicanism is extinct, but results are all against the
Reactionary theory. France has no more a la Vendée; there will be no
more Chouans; the present Church is incapable of reviving such things.
It makes the infidels. I know there is less show of rampant atheism
just now than formerly; but if there is less of paroxysm, there is
less of life. France dies of a chronic atheism. The Abbé Bonnetat,
writing in 1845 on _The Religious and Moral Wants of the French
Population_, expresses nothing but contempt for the alleged
improvement in religious feeling. According to him, almost a tenth of
the male population, in any given district, not only do not believe in
GOD, but glory in their unbelief. Half of all the rest make no secret
of their infidelity as to the immortality of the soul; and their wives
are equally sceptical, to the curse of their children's children! "The
residue believe," says the Abbé, "only in the sense of not denying.
They affirm nothing, but, as compared with the others, they lack the
science of misbelief." To go on with his melancholy picture, the
divine and salutary institution of the Lord's day no longer effects
its purpose. In towns, the working classes and tradespeople scarcely
ever enter the churches. In the rural districts, a tenth of the people
never go to church at all; and of the rest, one half may hear a mass
on the five great festivals, while the other half, though more
frequent in attendance, are very irregular. One Sunday they perform
the duty perfunctorily; the next they work in the fields; the next
they stay at home, amuse themselves, and forget religion as part of
"dull care." The young folk, in many places, receive their first and
last communion at twelve or fourteen, and that is the end of their
conformity. A worse feature yet in the domestic manners, resulting
from this state of religion, is the fact that girls and boys are
brought up very much in the same way, and are thrown promiscuously
together, spending their evenings where they choose. Parents have
ceased to ask their children--_Why were you not at church? Were you at
vespers? Were you at mass?_ and in fact are the first to corrupt their
offspring, by their brutal irreligion, and coarse language, and
shameless behaviour.[8]

Such is the moral picture of France. The Abbé has brightened his mass
of shadow with here and there a reflection of light, but there is no
mistaking his work for a Claude Lorraine. France is in a moral
eclipse, and her portrait presents, of necessity, the _chiaro 'scuro_
of a Rembrandt. One needs no more than these confessions of a French
ecclesiastic to account for her false and fickle notions of liberty,
and for her interminable _émeutes_ and revolutions. Yet if Quinet has
not wholly invented his assertions, the Conservatism of France is
pledged to prescribe as remedies the same old poison from which the
disease results. It would take the Christianity of the nation, at its
last gasp, and dose it anew with Ultramontanism. They have adopted the
sound principle, that Christianity moulds a people to enlightened
notions of liberty, but they seem not to know that it does this by
acting directly upon the conscience; and hence their political system
is spoiled by their fatal substitution, for pure Christianity, of that
spurious religion whose great defect is precisely this, that it does
not undertake to cleanse and cure the conscience, but only to subject
it, mechanically, to irrational authority. Montesquieu, in asserting
the importance of Christianity, without question failed to detect this
essential defect in Popery, but he instinctively taught his
countrymen, by memorable example, to eschew Ultramontanism. In the
closing scene of a life which, with all its blemishes, was a great
life, and, in comparison with his times, a good one, he accepted with
reverence the ministrations of his parish priest, but repulsed from
his deathbed, with aversion and disgust, the officious and intrusive
Jesuits.[9] De Maistre is more devout than Montesquieu, but he is less
jealous of liberty, and his ideas of "what a people ought to will" are
limited, if not illiberal. His more moderate ally, Ballanche, has not
unjustly characterised him as "not, like Providence, merciful, but,
like destiny, inexorable." It is impossible that a Conservatism, of
which such is the sovereign genius, should achieve anything for the
restoration of such a country as France. I have, indeed, predicted the
restoration of the Bourbons, according to de Maistre's principles, by
the sheer tenacity of life which belongs to a hereditary claim, and by
which it outlasts all other pretensions. But I cannot think that
either he or his disciples have done much to bring it about; and still
less do I imagine that their system, as a system, can give permanence
to the monarchy or prosperity to the state. On the contrary, let Mons.
Berryer, or the Comte de Montalembert, attempt the settlement of the
kingdom on the theory of the _réactionnaires_, and they will speedily
bring it to that full stop which Heaven at last adjudges to princes as
well as to people, "who show themselves untutored by calamity, and
rebels to experience." They will, at best, prolong the era of
revolutions to some indefinite epoch of futurity, and consign the
nation to a fever, which will return periodically, like a tertian, and
wear it out by shakings.

It will be well, then, if the imperial farce that must precede "the
_legitimate_ drama" shall prove somewhat protracted. The Legitimists,
meantime, may become convinced of the blunder of the Reaction, and
resolve upon a wiser and more sound conservatism. De Maistre hazards
some predictions in his works, on which he stakes the soundness of his
theories, and for which he challenges derision and contempt to his
doctrines, if they fail. The position of _Pio Nono_, from the very
outset of his career, has stultified those theories already; and if he
remains permanently where he now is, it will be to good-breeding alone
that de Maistre will owe his preservation from the contempt he has
invoked, by staking his reputation on the conservative character of
that very court of Rome, from which the democratic wildfire, that has
inflamed all Europe, has proceeded! In any conceivable settlement of
the Roman States, the Pontiff will hardly be to Europe what he has
been during the former years of this century; and if he is to sink to
a mere patriarchal primate, the grand dream of ultramontanism is
dissipated.[10] It is to be hoped, then, that the restoration may be
deferred till the Legitimists have been effectually taught the grand
fallacy of ultramontane conservatism; and that Henry V. will ascend
the throne, cured of the hereditary plague of his immediate ancestors,
and willing to revert, for his example, to his great name-sake, Henri
Quatre. He will need another Sully to restore France to a sound mind.
His cause demands a minister who will not trust it to the tide of
impulse on which it will come in, but who will labour with prudence
and with foresight, to gain an anchorage before the ebb. Give but a
minister to the restoration capable of that kind of patient and
practical forecast, which sent Peter to the dock-yards; and let him
begin with the parochial schools, to mould a new race of Frenchmen
under the influences of true religion; and let him have the seventeen
years which Louis Philippe wasted on steam-ships and bastions, and
Montpensier marriages; and then, if it be "men that constitute a
state," there is yet a future of hope for France. And forgive me for
adding, Basil, that if England shall reverse this policy, and make the
national schools the sources of disaffection to the national
religion--then may she expect to see her Oxford and Cambridge degraded
to such seats of sedition as "the College of France," and their
ingenuous youth converted from gownsmen into blousemen, under such
_savans_ as Quinet. Remember, too, in connexion with what I have
written, that Ireland is the most ultramontane of all nations under
heaven, and you will be able to estimate the value of government
measures for its relief! May God open the eyes of all who seek the
prosperity of the British empire to the primary importance of a
wholesome national religion, retaining its hold on the national heart,
and moulding the national conscience to the grand political wisdom of
the proverb--"My son, fear the Lord and the king, and meddle not with
them that are given to change." Yours,

                                                     ERNEST.

FOOTNOTES:

[2] _Ultramontanism; or the Roman Church and Modern Society._ By E.
QUINET, of the College of France. Translated from the French. Third
edition, with the author's approbation, by C. COCKS, B.L. London: John
Chapman. 1845.

[3] He surely means _Bernini_, and is a _ninny_ for not saying so. But
Mr Cocks' translation says _Berni_--p. 144.

[4] _Literary Life of Frederick von Schlegel._ By James Burton
Robertson, Esq.

[5] See _Blackwood_ for August 1845.

[6] Mr Robertson says of de Bonald, "As long as this great writer
deals in general propositions, he seldom errs; but when he comes to
apply his principles to practice, then the political prejudices in
which he was bred lead him sometimes into exaggerations and errors."
For "political prejudices" substitute _Ultramontanism_, and Mr
Robertson has characterised the whole school of the Reaction.

[7] _Philosophy of History._

[8] _De l'Etat et des besoins Religieux et Moraux des Populations en
France_: par M. L'ABBÉ J. BONNETAT. Paris. 1845.

[9] See _Blackwood_, October 1845.

[10] "Le Souverain Pontife est la base nécessaire, unique, et
exclusive du Christianisme.... Si les évènements contrarient ce que
j'avance, j'appelle sur ma mémoire le mépris et les risées de la
postérité."--_Du Pape_, chap. v. p. 268.



MADAME D'ARBOUVILLE'S "VILLAGE DOCTOR."


The readers of _Blackwood_ can hardly have forgotten a charming French
tale, of which an abridged translation appeared, under the title of
"_An Unpublished French Novel_," in the number of the Magazine for
December 1847. In the brief notice prefixed to it, we mentioned the
existence of a companion story by the same authoress, which had
obtained wider circulation than its fellow, through arbitrary transfer
to the pages of a French periodical; and which, on that account,
although of more convenient length than the _Histoire Hollandaise_, we
abstained from reproducing. Having thus drawn attention to one of the
most pleasing tales we in any language are acquainted with, we fully
expected speedily to meet with it in an English version. Not having
done so, our vivid recollection of the great merits of "_Le Médecin du
Village_" now induces us to revoke our first decision--the more
readily that we have repeatedly been solicited to give the English
public an opportunity of appreciating a tale unprocurable in the form
in which it was originally printed, and which few persons in this
country are likely to have read in the _Revue des Deux Mondes_. The
exquisite delineation of the erring, but meekly penitent Annunciata,
and of the long-suffering and enthusiastically pious Christine, may
well inspire a wish to become acquainted with other productions of the
same delicate and graceful pen. The simple story of the _Village
Doctor_ will not disappoint expectation. We ourselves, deeply sensible
of the fascinations of the Countess d'Arbouville's style, consider it
her happiest effort; and although we once hinted a doubt of the
probability of its crowning incident, we forget to play the critic
when under the influence of her touching pathos and delightful
diction. In our present capacity of translators we feel but too
strongly the impossibility of rendering the artless elegance of her
style, which flows on, smooth, fresh, and sparkling, like a summer
streamlet over golden sands. And, with all her apparent simplicity,
Madame d'Arbouville is a cunning artist, playing with skilful hand
upon the chords of the heart, which vibrate at her lightest touch. The
effects she produces are the more striking because seemingly unsought.
But her merits will be better exhibited by this second specimen of her
writings than by any praise we could lavish; and we therefore proceed,
without further preamble, to the narrative of Eva Meredith's sorrows,
as given by her humble friend,


THE VILLAGE DOCTOR.

"What is that?" exclaimed several persons assembled in the dining-room
of the château of Burcy.

The Countess of Moncar had just inherited, from a distant and slightly
regretted relation, an ancient château which she had never seen,
although it was at barely fifteen leagues from her habitual summer
residence. One of the most elegant, and almost one of the prettiest
women in Paris, Madame de Moncar was but moderately attached to the
country. Quitting the capital at the end of June, to return thither
early in October, she usually took with her some of the companions of
her winter gaieties, and a few young men, selected amongst her most
assiduous partners. Madame de Moncar was married to a man much older
than herself, who did not always protect her by his presence. Without
abusing the great liberty she enjoyed, she was gracefully coquettish,
elegantly frivolous, pleased with trifles--with a compliment, an
amiable word, an hour's triumph--loving a ball for the pleasure of
adorning herself, fond of admiration, and not sorry to inspire love.
When some grave old aunt ventured a sage remonstrance--"_Mon Dieu!_"
she replied; "do let me laugh and take life gaily. It is far less
dangerous than to listen in solitude to the beating of one's heart.
For my part, I do not know if I even have a heart!" She spoke the
truth, and really was uncertain upon that point. Desirous to remain
so, she thought it prudent to leave herself no time for reflection.

One fine morning in September, the countess and her guests set out for
the unknown château, intending to pass the day there. A cross road,
reputed practicable, was to reduce the journey to twelve leagues. The
cross road proved execrable: the travellers lost their way in the
forest; a carriage broke down; in short, it was not till mid-day that
the party, much fatigued, and but moderately gratified by the
picturesque beauties of the scenery, reached the château of Burcy,
whose aspect was scarcely such as to console them for the annoyances
of the journey. It was a large sombre building with dingy walls. In
its front a garden, then out of cultivation, descended from terrace to
terrace; for the château, built upon the slope of a wooded hill, had
no level ground in its vicinity. On all sides it was hemmed in by
mountains, the trees upon which sprang up amidst rocks, and had a dark
and gloomy foliage that saddened the eyesight. Man's neglect added to
the natural wild disorder of the scene. Madame de Moncar stood
motionless and disconcerted upon the threshold of her newly-acquired
mansion.

"This is very unlike a party of pleasure," said she; "I could weep at
sight of this dismal abode. Nevertheless here are noble trees, lofty
rocks, a roaring cataract; doubtless, there is a certain beauty in all
that; but it is of too grave an order for my humour," added she with a
smile. "Let us go in and view the interior."

The hungry guests, eager to see if the cook, who had been sent forward
upon the previous day, as an advanced guard, had safely arrived,
willingly assented. Having obtained the agreeable certainty that an
abundant breakfast would soon be upon the table, they rambled through
the château. The old-fashioned furniture with tattered coverings, the
arm-chairs with three legs, the tottering tables, the discordant
sounds of a piano, which for a good score of years had not felt a
finger, afforded abundant food for jest and merriment. Gaiety
returned. Instead of grumbling at the inconveniences of this
uncomfortable mansion, it was agreed to laugh at everything. Moreover,
for these young and idle persons, the expedition was a sort of event,
an almost perilous campaign, whose originality appealed to the
imagination. A faggot was lighted beneath the wide chimney of the
drawing-room; but clouds of smoke were the result, and the company
took refuge in the pleasure grounds. The aspect of the gardens was
strange enough; the stone-benches were covered with moss, the walls of
the terraces, crumbling in many places, left space between their
ill-joined stones for the growth of numerous wild plants, which sprung
out erect and lofty, or trailed with flexible grace towards the earth.
The walks were overgrown and obliterated by grass; the parterres,
reserved for garden flowers, were invaded by wild ones, which grow
wherever the heavens afford a drop of water and a ray of sun; the
insipid bearbine enveloped and stifled in its envious embrace the
beauteous rose of Provence; the blackberry mingled its acrid fruits
with the red clusters of the currant-bush; ferns, wild mint with its
faint perfume, thistles with their thorny crowns, grew beside a few
forgotten lilies. When the company entered the enclosure, numbers of
the smaller animals, alarmed at the unaccustomed intrusion, darted
into the long grass, and the startled birds flew chirping from branch
to branch. Silence, for many years the undisturbed tenant of this
peaceful spot, fled at the sound of human voices and of joyous
laughter. The solitude was appreciated by none--none grew pensive
under its influence; it was recklessly broken and profaned. The
conversation ran upon the gay evenings of the past season, and was
interspersed with amiable allusions, expressive looks, covert
compliments, with all the thousand nothings, in short, resorted to by
persons desirous to please each other, but who have not yet acquired
the right to be serious.

The steward, after long search for a breakfast-bell along the
dilapidated walls of the château, at last made up his mind to shout
from the steps that the meal was ready--the half-smile with which he
accompanied the announcement, proving that, like his betters, he
resigned himself for one day to a deviation from his habits of
etiquette and propriety. Soon a merry party surrounded the board. The
gloom of the château, its desert site and uncheery aspect, were all
forgotten; the conversation was general and well sustained; the health
of the lady of the castle--the fairy whose presence converted the
crazy old edifice into an enchanted palace, was drunk by all present.
Suddenly all eyes were turned to the windows of the dining-room.

"What is that?" exclaimed several of the guests.

A small carriage of green wicker-work, with great wheels as high as
the body of the vehicle, passed before the windows, and stopped at the
door. It was drawn by a gray horse, short and punchy, whose eyes
seemed in danger from the shafts, which, from their point of junction
with the carriage, sloped obliquely upwards. The hood of the little
cabriolet was brought forward, concealing its contents, with the
exception of two arms covered with the sleeves of a blue _blouse_, and
of a whip which fluttered about the ears of the gray horse.

"_Mon Dieu!_" exclaimed Madame de Moncar, "I forgot to tell you I was
obliged to invite the village doctor to our breakfast. The old man was
formerly of some service to my uncle's family, and I have seen him
once or twice. Be not alarmed at the addition to our party: he is very
taciturn. After a few civil words, we may forget his presence;
besides, I do not suppose he will remain very long."

At this moment the dining-room door opened, and Dr Barnaby entered. He
was a little old man, feeble and insignificant-looking, of calm and
gentle countenance. His gray hairs were collected into a cue,
according to a bygone fashion; a dash of powder whitened his temples,
and extended to his furrowed brow. He wore a black coat, and steel
buckles to his breeches. Over one arm hung a riding-coat of
puce-coloured taffety. In the opposite hand he carried his hat and a
thick cane. His whole appearance proved that he had taken unusual
pains with his toilet; but his black stockings and coat were stained
with mud, as if the poor old man had fallen into a ditch. He paused at
the door, astonished at the presence of so many persons. For an
instant, a tinge of embarrassment appeared upon his face; but
recovering himself, he silently saluted the company. The strange
manner of his entrance gave the guests a violent inclination to laugh,
which they repressed more or less successfully. Madame de Moncar
alone, in her character of mistress of the house, and incapable of
failing in politeness, perfectly preserved her gravity.

"Dear me, doctor! have you had an overturn?" was her first inquiry.

Before replying, Dr Barnaby glanced at all these young people in the
midst of whom he found himself, and, simple and artless though his
physiognomy was, he could not but guess the cause of their hilarity.
He replied quietly:

"I have not been overturned. A poor carter fell under the wheels of
his vehicle; I was passing, and I helped him up." And the doctor took
possession of a chair left vacant for him at the table. Unfolding his
napkin, he passed a corner through the buttonhole of his coat, and
spread out the rest over his waistcoat and knees. At these
preparations, smiles hovered upon the lips of many of the guests, and
a whisper or two broke the silence; but this time the doctor did not
raise his eyes. Perhaps he observed nothing.

"Is there much sickness in the village?" inquired Madame de Moncar,
whilst they were helping the new comer.

"Yes, madam, a good deal."

"This is an unhealthy neighbourhood?"

"No, madam."

"But the sickness. What causes it?"

"The heat of the sun in harvest time, and the cold and wet of winter."

One of the guests, affecting great gravity, joined in the
conversation.

"So that in this healthy district, sir, people are ill all the year
round?"

The doctor raised his little gray eyes to the speaker's face, looked
at him, hesitated, and seemed either to check or to seek a reply.
Madame de Moncar kindly came to his relief.

"I know," she said, "that you are here the guardian genius of all who
suffer."

"Oh, you are too good," replied the old man, apparently much engrossed
with the slice of pasty upon his plate. Then the gay party left Dr
Barnaby to himself, and the conversation flowed in its previous
channel. If any notice was taken of the peaceable old man, it was in
the form of some slight sarcasm, which, mingled with other discourse,
would pass, it was thought, unperceived by its object. Not that these
young men and women were generally otherwise than polite and
kind-hearted; but upon that day the journey, the breakfast, the
merriment and slight excitement that had attended all the events of
the morning, had brought on a sort of heedless gaiety and
communicative mockery, which rendered them pitiless to the victim whom
chance had thrown in their way. The doctor continued quietly to eat,
without looking up, or uttering a word, or seeming to hear one; they
voted him deaf and dumb, and he was no restraint upon the
conversation.

When the guests rose from table, Dr Barnaby took a step or two
backwards, and allowed each man to select the lady he wished to take
into the drawing-room. One of Madame de Moncar's friends remaining
without a cavalier, the village doctor timidly advanced, and offered
her his hand--not his arm. His fingers scarcely touched hers as he
proceeded, his body slightly bent in sign of respect, with measured
steps towards the drawing-room. Fresh smiles greeted his entrance, but
not a cloud appeared upon the placid countenance of the old man, who
was now voted blind, as well as deaf and dumb. Quitting his companion,
Dr Barnaby selected the smallest, humblest-looking chair in the room,
placed it in a corner, at some distance from everybody else, put his
stick between his knees, crossed his hands upon the knob, and rested
his chin upon his hands. In this meditative attitude he remained
silent, and from time to time his eyes closed, as if a gentle slumber,
which he neither invoked nor repelled, were stealing over him.

"Madame de Moncar!" cried one of the guests, "I presume it is not your
intention to inhabit this ruin in a desert?"

"Certainly I have no such project. But here are lofty trees and wild
woods. M. de Moncar may very likely be tempted to pass a few weeks
here in the shooting season."

"In that case you must pull down and rebuild; clear, alter, and
improve!"

"Let us make a plan!" cried the young countess. "Let us mark out the
future garden of my domains."

It was decreed that this party of pleasure should be unsuccessful. At
that moment a heavy cloud burst, and a close fine rain began to fall.
Impossible to leave the house.

"How very vexatious!" cried Madame de Moncar. "What shall we do with
ourselves? The horses require several hours' rest. It will evidently
be a wet afternoon. For a week to come, the grass, which overgrows
everything, will not be dry enough to walk upon; all the strings of
the piano are broken; there is not a book within ten leagues. This
room is wretchedly dismal. What can we do with ourselves?"

The party, lately so joyous, was gradually losing its gaiety. The
blithe laugh and arch whisper were succeeded by dull silence. The
guests sauntered to the windows and examined the sky, but the sky
remained dark and cloud-laden. Their hopes of a walk were completely
blighted. They established themselves as comfortably as they could
upon the old chairs and settees, and tried to revive the conversation;
but there are thoughts which, like flowers, require a little sun, and
which will not flourish under a bleak sky. All these young heads
appeared to droop, oppressed by the storm, like the poplars in the
garden, which bowed their tops at the will of the wind. A tedious hour
dragged by.

The lady of the castle, a little disheartened by the failure of her
party of pleasure, leaned languidly upon a window-sill, and gazed
vaguely at the prospect without.

"There," said she--"yonder, upon the hill, is a white cottage that
must come down: it hides the view."

"The white cottage!" cried the doctor. For upwards of an hour Dr
Barnaby had been mute and motionless upon his chair. Mirth and
weariness, sun and rain, had succeeded each other without eliciting a
syllable from his lips. His presence was forgotten by everybody: every
eye turned quickly upon him when he uttered these three words--"The
white cottage!"

"What interest do you take in it, doctor?" asked the countess.

"_Mon Dieu, madame!_ Pray forget that I spoke. The cottage will come
down, undoubtedly, since such is your good pleasure."

"But why should you regret the old shed?"

"I--_Mon Dieu!_ it was inhabited by persons I loved--and--"

"And they think of returning to it, doctor?"

"They are long since dead, madam; they died when I was young!" And the
old man gazed mournfully at the white cottage, which rose amongst the
trees upon the hill-side, like a daisy in a green field. There was a
brief silence.

"Madam," said one of the guests in a low voice to Madame de Moncar,
"there is mystery here. Observe the melancholy of our Esculapius. Some
pathetic drama has been enacted in yonder house; a tale of love,
perhaps. Ask the doctor to tell it us."

"Yes, yes!" was murmured on all sides, "a tale, a story! And should it
prove of little interest, at any rate the narrator will divert us."

"Not so, gentlemen," replied Madame de Moncar, in the same suppressed
voice. "If I ask Dr Barnaby to tell us the history of the white
cottage, it is on the express condition that no one laughs." All
having promised to be serious and well-behaved, Madame de Moncar
approached the old man. "Doctor," said she, seating herself beside
him, "that house, I plainly see, is connected with some reminiscence
of former days, stored preciously in your memory. Will you tell it us?
I should be grieved to cause you a regret which it is in my power to
spare you; the house shall remain, if you tell me why you love it."

Dr Barnaby seemed surprised, and remained silent. The countess drew
still nearer to him. "Dear doctor!" said she, "see what wretched
weather; how dreary everything looks. You are the senior of us all;
tell us a tale. Make us forget rain, and fog, and cold."

Dr Barnaby looked at the countess with great astonishment.

"There is no tale," he said. "What occurred in the cottage is very
simple, and has no interest but for me, who loved the young people:
strangers would not call it a tale. And I am unaccustomed to speak
before many listeners. Besides, what I should tell you is sad, and you
came to amuse yourselves." And again the doctor rested his chin upon
his stick.

"Dear doctor," resumed the countess, "the white cottage shall stand,
if you say why you love it."

The old man appeared somewhat moved; he crossed and uncrossed his
legs; took out his snuff-box, returned it to his pocket without
opening it; then, looking at the countess--"You will not pull it
down?" he said, indicating with his thin and tremulous hand the
habitation visible at the horizon.

"I promise you I will not."

"Well, so be it; I will do that much for them; I will save the house
in which they were happy.

"Ladies," continued the old man, "I am but a poor speaker; but I
believe that even the least eloquent succeed in making themselves
understood when they tell what they have seen. This story, I warn you
beforehand, is not gay. To dance and to sing, people send for a
musician; they call in the physician when they suffer, and are near to
death."

A circle was formed round Dr Barnaby, who, his hands still crossed
upon his cane, quietly commenced the following narrative, to an
audience prepared beforehand to smile at his discourse.

"It was a long time ago, when I was young--for I, too, have been
young! Youth is a fortune that belongs to all the world--to the poor
as well as to the rich--but which abides with none. I had just passed
my examination; I had taken my physician's degree, and I returned to
my village to exercise my wonderful talents, well convinced that,
thanks to me, men would now cease to die.

My village is not far from here. From the little window of my room, I
beheld yonder white house upon the opposite side to that you now
discern. You certainly would not find my village handsome. In my eyes,
it was superb; I was born there, and I loved it. We all see with our
own eyes the things we love. God suffers us to be sometimes a little
blind; for He well knows that in this lower world a clear sight is not
always profitable. To me, then, this neighbourhood appeared smiling
and pleasant, and I lived happily. The white cottage alone, each
morning when I opened my shutters, impressed me disagreeably: it was
always closed, still and sad like a forsaken thing. Never had I seen
its windows open and shut, or its door ajar; never had I known its
inhospitable garden-gate give passage to human being. Your uncle,
madam, who had no occasion for a cottage so near his château, sought
to let it; but the rent was rather higher than anybody here was rich
enough to give. It remained empty, therefore, whilst in the hamlet
every window exhibited two or three children's faces peering through
the branches of gilliflower at the first noise in the street. But one
morning, on getting up, I was quite astonished to see a long ladder
resting against the cottage wall; a painter was painting the
window-shutters green, whilst a maid-servant polished the panes, and a
gardener hoed the flower-beds.

"All the better," said I to myself; "a good roof like that, which
covers no one, is so much lost."

From day to day the house improved in appearance. Pots of flowers
veiled the nudity of the walls; the parterres were planted, the walks
weeded and gravelled, and muslin curtains, white as snow, shone in the
sun-rays. One day a post-chaise rattled through the village, and drove
up to the little house. Who were the strangers? None knew, and all
desired to learn. For a long time nothing transpired without of what
passed within the dwelling. The rose-trees bloomed, and the fresh-laid
lawn grew verdant; still nothing was known. Many were the commentaries
upon the mystery. They were adventurers concealing themselves--they
were a young man and his mistress--in short, everything was guessed
except the truth. The truth is so simple, that one does not always
think of it; once the mind is in movement, it seeks to the right and
to the left, and often forgets to look straight before it. The mystery
gave me little concern. No matter who is there, thought I; they are
human, therefore they will not be long without suffering, and then
they will send for me. I waited patiently.

At last one morning a messenger came from Mr William Meredith, to
request me to call upon him. I put on my best coat, and, endeavouring
to assume a gravity suitable to my profession, I traversed the
village, not without some little pride at my importance. That day many
envied me. The villagers stood at their doors to see me pass. "He is
going to the white cottage!" they said; whilst I, avoiding all
appearance of haste and vulgar curiosity, walked deliberately, nodding
to my peasant neighbours. "Good-day, my friends," I said; "I will see
you by-and-by; this morning I am busy." And thus I reached the
hill-side.

On entering the sitting-room of the mysterious house, the scene I
beheld rejoiced my eyesight. Everything was so simple and elegant.
Flowers, the chief ornament of the apartment, were so tastefully
arranged, that gold would not better have embellished the modest
interior. White muslin was at the windows, white calico on the
chairs--that was all; but there were roses and jessamine, and flowers
of all kinds, as in a garden. The light was softened by the curtains,
the atmosphere was fragrant; and a young girl or woman, fair and fresh
as all that surrounded her, reclined upon a sofa, and welcomed me with
a smile. A handsome young man, seated near her upon an ottoman, rose
when the servant announced Dr Barnaby.

"Sir," said he, with a strong foreign accent, "I have heard so much of
your skill that I expected to see an old man."

"I have studied diligently, sir," I replied. "I am deeply impressed
with the importance and responsibility of my calling: you may confide
in me."

"'Tis well," he said. "I recommend my wife to your best care. Her
present state demands advice and precaution. She was born in a
distant land: for my sake she has quitted family and friends. I can
bring but my affection to her aid, for I am without experience. I
reckon upon you, sir. If possible, preserve her from all suffering."

As he spoke, the young man fixed upon his wife a look so full of love,
that the large blue eyes of the beautiful foreigner glistened with
tears of gratitude. She dropped the tiny cap she was embroidering, and
her two hands clasped the hand of her husband. I looked at them, and I
ought to have found their lot enviable, but, somehow or other, the
contrary was the case. I felt sad; I could not tell why. I had often
seen persons weep, of whom I said--They are happy! I saw William
Meredith and his wife smile, and I could not help thinking they had
much sorrow. I seated myself near my charming patient. Never have I
seen anything so lovely as that sweet face, shaded by long ringlets of
fair hair.

"What is your age, madam?"

"Seventeen."

"Is the climate of your native country very different from ours?"

"I was born in America--at New Orleans. Oh! the sun is far brighter
than here."

Doubtless she feared she had uttered a regret, for she added--

"But every country is beautiful when one is in one's husband's house,
with him, and awaiting his child!"

Her gaze sought that of William Meredith; then, in a tongue I did not
understand, she spoke a few words which sounded so soft that they must
have been words of love.

After a short visit I took my leave, promising to return. I did
return, and, at the end of two months, I was almost the friend of this
young couple. Mr and Mrs Meredith were not selfish in their happiness;
they found time to think of others. They saw that to the poor village
doctor, whose sole society was that of peasants, those days were
festivals upon which he passed an hour in hearing the language of
cities. They encouraged me to frequent them--talked to me of their
travels, and soon, with the prompt confidence characterising youth,
they told me their story. It was the girl-wife who spoke:--

"Doctor," she said, "yonder, beyond the seas, I have father, sisters,
family, friends, whom I long loved, until the day when I loved
William. But then I shut my heart to those who repulsed my lover.
William's father forbade him to wed me, because he was too noble for
the daughter of an American planter. My father forbade me to love
William, because he was too proud to give his daughter to a man whose
family refused her a welcome. They tried to separate us; but we loved
each other. Long did we weep and supplicate, and implore the pity of
those to whom we owed obedience; they remained inflexible, and we
loved! Doctor, did you ever love? I would you had, that you might be
indulgent to us. We were secretly married, and we fled to France. Oh
how beautiful the ocean appeared in those early days of our affection!
The sea was hospitable to the fugitives. Wanderers upon the waves, we
passed happy days in the shadow of our vessel's sails, anticipating
pardon from our friends, and dreaming a bright future. Alas! we were
too sanguine. They pursued us; and, upon pretext of some irregularity
of form in our clandestine marriage, William's family cruelly thought
to separate us. We found concealment in the midst of these mountains
and forests. Under a name which is not ours we live unknown. My father
has not forgiven--he has cursed me! That is the reason, doctor, why I
cannot always smile, even with my dear William by my side."

How those two loved each other! Never have I seen a being more
completely wrapped up in another than was Eva Meredith in her husband!
Whatever her occupation, she always so placed herself, that, on
raising her eyes, she had William before them. She never read but in
the book he was reading. Her head against his shoulder, her eyes
followed the lines on which William's eyes were fixed; she wished the
same thoughts to strike them at the same moment; and, when I crossed
the garden to reach their door, I smiled always to see upon the gravel
the trace of Eva's little foot close to the mark of William's boot.
What a difference between the deserted old house you see yonder, and
the pretty dwelling of my young friends! What sweet flowers covered
the walls! What bright nosegays decked the tables! How many charming
books were there, full of tales of love that resembled their love! How
gay the birds that sang around them! How good it was to live there,
and to be loved a little by those who loved each other so much! But
those are right who say that happy days are not long upon this earth,
and that, in respect of happiness, God gives but a little at a time.

One morning Eva Meredith appeared to suffer. I questioned her with all
the interest I felt for her. She answered me abruptly.

"Do not feel my pulse, doctor," she said; "it is my heart that beats
too quick. Think me childish if you will, but I am sad this morning.
William is going away. He is going to the town beyond the mountain, to
receive money."

"And when will he return?" inquired I, gently.

She smiled, almost blushed, and then, with a look that seemed to say,
Do not laugh at me, she replied, "_This evening!_"

Notwithstanding her imploring glance, I could not repress a smile.
Just then a servant brought Mr Meredith's horse to the door. Eva rose
from her seat, went out into the garden, approached the horse, and,
whilst stroking his mane, bowed her head upon the animal's neck,
perhaps to conceal the tear that fell from her eyes. William came out,
threw himself lightly into the saddle, and gently raised his wife's
head.

"Silly girl!" said he, with love in his eyes and voice. And he kissed
her brow.

"William, we have never yet been so many hours apart!"

Mr Meredith stooped his head towards that of Eva, and imprinted a
second kiss upon her beautiful golden hair; then he touched his
horse's flank with the spur, and set off at a gallop. I am convinced
that he, too, was a little moved. Nothing is so contagious as the
weakness of those we love; tears summon tears, and it is no very
laudable courage that keeps our eyes dry by the side of a weeping
friend. I turned my steps homeward, and, once more in my cottage, I
set myself to meditate on the happiness of loving. I asked myself if
an Eva would ever cheer my poor dwelling. I did not think of examining
whether I were worthy to be loved. When we behold two beings thus
devoted to each other, we easily discern that it is not for good and
various reasons that they love so well; they love because it is
necessary, inevitable; they love on account of their own hearts, not
of those of others. Well, I thought how I might seek and find a heart
that had need to love, just as, in my morning walks, I might have
thought to meet, by the road-side, some flower of sweet perfume. Thus
did I muse, although it is perhaps a wrong feeling which makes us, at
sight of others' bliss, deplore the happiness we do not ourselves
possess. Is not a little envy there? and if joy could be stolen like
gold, should we not then be near a larceny?

The day passed, and I had just completed my frugal supper, when I
received a message from Mrs Meredith, begging me to visit her. In five
minutes I was at the door of the white cottage. I found Eva, still
alone, seated on a sofa, without work or book, pale and trembling.
"Come, doctor, come," said she, in her soft voice; "I can remain alone
no longer; see how late it is!--he should have been home two hours
ago, and has not yet returned!"

I was surprised at Mr Meredith's prolonged absence; but, to comfort
his wife, I replied quietly, "How can we tell the time necessary to
transact his business? They may have made him wait; the notary was
perhaps absent. There were papers to draw up and sign."

"Ah, doctor, I was sure you would find words of consolation! I needed
to hear some one tell me that it is foolish to tremble thus! Gracious
heaven, how long the day has been! Doctor, are there really persons
who live alone? Do they not die immediately, as if robbed of half the
atmosphere essential to life? But there is eight o'clock!" Eight
o'clock was indeed striking. I could not imagine why William was not
back. At all hazards I said to Mrs Meredith, "Madam, the sun is hardly
set; it is still daylight, and the evening is beautiful; come and
visit your flowers. If we walk down the road, we shall doubtless meet
your husband."

She took my arm, and we walked towards the gate of the little garden.
I endeavoured to turn her attention to surrounding objects. At first
she replied, as a child obeys. But I felt that her thoughts went not
with her words. Her anxious gaze was fixed upon the little green gate,
which had remained open since William's departure. Leaning upon the
paling, she suffered me to talk on, smiling from time to time, by way
of thanks; for, as the evening wore away, she lacked courage to answer
me. Gray tints succeeded the red sunset, foreshadowing the arrival of
night. Gloom gathered around us. The road, hitherto visible like a
white line winding through the forest, disappeared in the dark shade
of the lofty trees, and the village clock struck nine. Eva started. I
myself felt every stroke vibrate upon my heart. I pitied the poor
woman's uneasiness.

"Remember, madam," I replied, (she had not spoken, but I answered the
anxiety visible in her features,) "remember that Mr Meredith must
return at a walk; the roads through the forest are not in a state to
admit fast riding." I said this to encourage her; but the truth is, I
knew not how to explain William's absence. Knowing the distance, I
also knew that I could have gone twice to the town and back since his
departure. The evening dew began to penetrate our clothes, and
especially Eva's thin muslin dress. Again I drew her arm through mine
and led her towards the house. She followed unresistingly; her gentle
nature was submissive even in affliction. She walked slowly, her head
bowed, her eyes fixed on the tracks left by the gallop of her
husband's horse. How melancholy it was, that evening walk, still
without William! In vain we listened: there reigned around us the
profound stillness of a summer night in the country. How greatly does
a feeling of uneasiness increase under such circumstances. We entered
the house. Eva seated herself on the sofa, her hands clasped upon her
knees, her head sunk upon her bosom. There was a lamp on the
chimney-piece, whose light fell full upon her face. I shall never
forget its suffering expression. She was pale, very pale--her brow and
cheeks exactly the same colour; her hair, relaxed by the night-damp,
fell in disorder upon her shoulders. Tears filled her eyes, and the
quivering of her colourless lips showed how violent was the effort by
which she avoided shedding them. She was so young that her face
resembled that of a child forbidden to cry.

I was greatly troubled, and knew not what to say or how to look.
Suddenly I remembered (it was a doctor's thought) that Eva, engrossed
by her uneasiness, had taken nothing since morning, and her situation
rendered it imprudent to prolong this fast. At my first reference to
the subject she raised her eyes to mine with a reproachful expression,
and the motion of her eyelids caused two tears to flow down her
cheeks.

"For your child's sake, madam," said I.

"Ah, you are right!" she murmured, and she passed into the
dining-room; but there the little table was laid for two, and at that
moment this trifle so saddened me as to deprive me of speech and
motion. My increasing uneasiness rendered me quite awkward; I had not
the wit to say what I did not think. The silence was prolonged; "and
yet," said I to myself, "I am here to console her; she sent for me for
that purpose. There must be fifty ways of explaining this delay--let
me find one." I sought, and sought--and still I remained silent,
inwardly cursing the poverty of invention of a poor village doctor.
Eva, her head resting on her hand, forgot to eat. Suddenly she turned
to me and burst out sobbing.

"Ah, doctor!" she exclaimed, "I see plainly that you too are uneasy."

"Not so, madam--indeed not so," replied I, speaking at random. "Why
should I be uneasy? He has doubtless dined with the notary. The roads
are safe, and no one knows that he went for money."

I had inadvertently revealed one of my secret causes of uneasiness. I
knew that a band of foreign reapers had that morning passed through
the village, on their way to a neighbouring department.

Eva uttered a cry.

"Robbers! robbers!" she exclaimed. "I never thought of _that_ danger."

"But, madam, I only mention it to tell you it does not exist."

"Oh! the thought struck you, doctor, because you thought the
misfortune possible! William, my own William! why did you leave me?"
cried she, weeping bitterly.

I was in despair at my blunder, and I felt my eyes fill with tears. My
distress gave me an idea.

"Mrs Meredith," I said, "I cannot see you torment yourself thus, and
remain by your side unable to console you. I will go and seek your
husband; I will follow at random one of the paths through the forest;
I will search everywhere and shout his name, and go, if necessary, to
the town itself."

"Oh, thanks, thanks, kind friend!" cried Eva Meredith, "take the
gardener with you and the servant; search in all directions!"

We hurried back into the drawing-room, and Eva rang quickly and
repeatedly. All the inhabitants of the cottage opened at the same time
the different doors of the apartment. "Follow Dr Barnaby," cried Mrs
Meredith.

At that moment a horse's gallop was distinctly heard upon the gravel
of the garden. Eva uttered a cry of happiness that went home to every
heart. Never shall I forget the divine expression of joy that
illumined her face, still inundated with tears. She and I, we flew to
the house-door. The moon, passing from behind a cloud, threw her full
light upon a riderless and foam-covered horse, whose bridle dragged
upon the ground, and whose dusty flanks were galled by the empty
stirrups. A second cry, this time of intensest horror, burst from
Eva's breast; then she turned towards me, her eyes fixed, her mouth
half open, her arms hanging powerless.

The servants were in consternation.

"Get torches, my friends!" cried I, "and follow me! Madam, we shall
soon return, I hope, and your husband with us. He has received some
slight hurt, a strained ancle, perhaps. Keep up your courage. We will
soon be back."

"I go with you!" murmured Eva Meredith in a choking voice.

"Impossible!" I cried. "We must go, fast, perhaps far, and in your
state--it would be risking your life, and that of your child--"

"I go with you!" repeated Eva.

Then did I feel how cruel was this poor woman's isolation! Had a
father, a mother been there, they would have ordered her to stay, they
would have retained her by force; but she was alone upon the earth,
and to all my hurried entreaties she still replied in a hollow voice:
"I go with you!"

We set out. The moon was again darkened by dense clouds; there was
light neither in the heavens nor on the earth. The uncertain radiance
of our torches barely showed us the path. A servant went in front,
lowering his torch to the right and to the left, to illumine the
ditches and bushes bordering the road. Behind him Mrs Meredith, the
gardener, and myself followed with our eyes the stream of light. From
time to time we raised our voices and called Mr Meredith. After us a
stifled sob, murmured the name of William, as if a heart had reckoned
on the instinct of love to hear its tears better than our shouts. We
reached the forest. Rain began to fall, and the drops pattered upon
the foliage with a mournful noise, as if everything around us wept.
Eva's thin dress was soon soaked with the cold flood. The water
streamed from her hair over her face. She bruised her feet against the
stones of the road, and repeatedly stumbled and fell upon her knees;
but she rose again with the energy of despair, and pushed forwards. It
was agonising to behold her. I scarcely dared look at her, lest I
should see her fall dead before my eyes. At last--we were moving in
silence, fatigued and discouraged--Mrs Meredith pushed us suddenly
aside, sprang forward and plunged into the bushes. We followed her,
and, upon raising the torches--alas! she was on her knees beside the
body of William, who was stretched motionless upon the ground, his
eyes glazed and his brow covered with blood which flowed from a wound
in the left temple.

"Doctor?" said Eva to me. That one word expressed--"Does William
live?"

I stooped and felt the pulse of William Meredith; I placed my hand on
his heart and remained silent. Eva still gazed at me; but, when my
silence was prolonged, I saw her bend, waver, and then, without word
or cry, fall senseless upon her husband's corpse.

"But, ladies," said Dr Barnaby, turning to his audience, "the sun
shines again; you can go out now. Let us leave this sad story where it
is."

Madame de Moncar approached the old physician. "Doctor," said she, "I
implore you to continue; only look at us, and you will not doubt the
interest with which we listen."

There were no more smiles of mockery upon the young faces that
surrounded the village doctor. In some of their eyes he might even
distinguish the glistening of tears. He resumed his narrative.

"Mrs Meredith was carried home, and remained for several hours
senseless upon her bed. I felt it at once a duty and a cruelty to use
every effort to recall her to life. I dreaded the agonising scenes
that would follow this state of immobility. I remained beside the poor
woman, bathing her temples with fresh water, and awaiting with anxiety
the sad and yet the happy moment of returning consciousness. I was
mistaken in my anticipations, for I had never witnessed great grief.
Eva half opened her eyes and immediately closed them again; no tear
escaped from beneath their lids. She remained cold, motionless,
silent; and, but for the heart which again throbbed beneath my hand, I
should have deemed her dead. Sad is it to behold a sorrow which one
feels is beyond consolation! Silence, I thought, seemed like a want of
pity for this unfortunate creature: on the other hand, verbal
condolence was a mockery of so mighty a grief. I had found no words to
calm her uneasiness; could I hope to be more eloquent in the hour of
her great suffering? I took the safest course, that of profound
silence. I will remain here, I thought, and minister to the physical
sufferings, as is my duty; but I will be mute and passive, even as a
faithful dog would lie down at her feet. My mind once made up, I felt
calmer; I let her live a life which resembled death. After a few
hours, however, I put a spoonful of a potion to her lips. Eva slowly
averted her head. In a few moments I again offered her the drug.

"Drink, madam," I said, gently touching her lips with the spoon. They
remained closed.

"Madam, your child!" I persisted, in a low voice.

Eva opened her eyes, raised herself with effort upon her elbow,
swallowed the medicine, and fell back upon her pillow.

"I must wait," she murmured, "till another life is detached from
mine!"

Thenceforward Mrs Meredith spoke no more, but she mechanically
followed all my prescriptions. Stretched upon her bed of suffering,
she seemed constantly to sleep; but at whatever moment I said to her,
even in my lowest whisper, "Drink this," she instantly obeyed; thus
proving to me that the soul kept its weary watch in that motionless
body, without a single instant of oblivion and repose.

There were none beside myself to attend to the interment of William.
Nothing positive was ever known as to the cause of his death. The sum
he was to bring from the town was not found upon him; perhaps he had
been robbed and murdered; perhaps the money, which was in notes, had
fallen from his pocket when he was thrown from his horse, and, as it
was some time before any thought of seeking it, the heavy rain and
trampled mud might account for its disappearance. A fruitless
investigation was made and soon dropped. I endeavoured to learn from
Eva Meredith if her family, or that of her husband, should not be
written to. I had difficulty in obtaining an answer. At last she gave
me to understand that I had merely to inform their agent, who would do
whatever was needful. I hoped that, at least from England, some
communication would arrive, decisive of this poor creature's future
lot. But no; day followed day, and none seemed to know that the widow
of William Meredith lived in utter isolation, in a poor French
village. To endeavour to bring back Eva to the sense of her existence,
I urged her to leave her bed. Upon the morrow I found her up, dressed
in black; but she was the ghost of the beautiful Eva Meredith. Her
hair was parted in bands upon her pale forehead, and she sat near a
window, motionless as she had lain in bed.

I passed long silent evenings with her, a book in my hand for apparent
occupation. Each day, on my arrival, I addressed to her a few words of
sympathy. She replied by a thankful look; then we remained silent. I
waited an opportunity to open a conversation; but my awkwardness and
my respect for her grief prevented my finding one, or suffered it to
escape when it occurred. Little by little I grew accustomed to this
mute intercourse; and, besides, what could I have said to her? My
chief object was to prevent her feeling quite alone in the world; and,
obscure as was the prop remaining, it still was something. I went to
see her merely that my presence might say, "I am here."

It was a singular epoch in my life, and had a great influence on my
future existence. Had I not shown so much regret at the threatened
destruction of the white cottage, I would hurry to the conclusion of
this narrative. But you have insisted upon knowing why that building
is hallowed to me, and I must tell you therefore what I have thought
and felt beneath its humble roof. Forgive me, ladies, if my words are
grave. It is good for youth to be sometimes a little saddened; it has
so much time before it to laugh and to forget.

The son of a rich peasant, I was sent to Paris to complete my studies.
During four years passed in that great city, I retained the
awkwardness of my manners, the simplicity of my language, but I
rapidly lost the ingenuousness of my sentiments. I returned to these
mountains, almost learned, but almost incredulous in all those points
of faith which enable a man to pass his life contentedly beneath a
thatched roof, in the society of his wife and children, without caring
to look beyond the cross above the village cemetery.

Whilst contemplating the love of William and of Eva, I had reverted to
my former simple peasant-nature. I began to dream of a virtuous,
affectionate wife, diligent and frugal, embellishing my house by her
care and order. I saw myself proud of the gentle severity of her
features, revealing to all the chaste and faithful spouse. Very
different were these reveries from those that haunted me at Paris
after joyous evenings spent with my comrades. Suddenly, horrible
calamity descended like a thunderbolt upon Eva Meredith. This time I
was slower to appreciate the lesson I daily received. Eva sat
constantly at the window, her sad gaze fixed upon the heavens. The
attitude, common in persons of meditative mood, attracted my attention
but little. Her persistence in it at last struck me. My book open upon
my knees, I looked at Mrs Meredith; and well assured she would not
detect my gaze, I examined her attentively. She still gazed at the
sky--my eyes followed the direction of hers. "Ah," I said to myself
with a half smile, "she thinks to rejoin him _there_!" Then I resumed
my book, thinking how fortunate it was for the weakness of women that
such thoughts came to the relief of their sorrows.

I have already told you that my student's life had put evil thoughts
into my head. Every day, however, I saw Eva in the same attitude, and
every day my reflections were recalled to the same subject. Little by
little I came to think her dream a good one, and to regret I could not
credit its reality. The soul, heaven, eternal life, all that the old
priest had formerly taught me, glided through my imagination as I sat
at eventide before the open window. "The doctrine of the old _curé_,"
I said to myself, "was more comforting than the cold realities science
has revealed to me." Then I looked at Eva, who still looked to heaven,
whilst the bells of the village church sounded sweetly in the
distance, and the rays of the setting sun made the steeple-cross
glitter against the sky. I often returned to sit opposite the poor
widow, persevering in her grief as in her holy hopes.

"What!" I thought, "can so much love address itself to a few particles
of dust, already mingled with the mould; are all these sighs wasted on
empty air? William departed in the freshness of his age, his
affections yet vivid, his heart in its early bloom. She loved him but
a year, one little year--and is all over for her? Above our heads is
there nothing but void? Love--that sentiment so strong within us--is
it but a flame placed in the obscure prison of our body, where it
shines, burns, and is finally extinguished by the fall of the frail
wall surrounding it? Is a little dust all that remains of our loves,
and hopes, and passions--of all that moves, agitates, and exalts us?"

There was deep silence in the recesses of my soul. I had ceased to
think. I was as if slumbering between what I no longer denied, and
what I did not yet believe. At last, one night, when Eva joined her
hands to pray, beneath the most beautiful starlit sky possible to
behold, I know not how it was, but I found my hands also clasped, and
my lips opened to murmur a prayer. Then, by a happy chance, and for
the first time, Eva Meredith looked round, as if a secret instinct had
whispered her that my soul harmonised with hers.

"Thanks," said she, holding out her hand, "keep him in your memory,
and pray for him sometimes."

"Oh, madam!" I exclaimed, "may we all meet again in a better world,
whether our lives have been long or short, happy or full of trial."

"The immortal soul of William looks down upon us!" she replied in a
grave voice, whilst her gaze, at once sad and bright, reverted to the
star-spangled heavens.

Since that evening, when performing the duties of my profession, I
have often witnessed death; but never without speaking, to the
sorrowing survivors, a few consoling words on a better life than this
one; and those words were words of conviction.

At last, a month after these incidents, Eva Meredith gave birth to a
son. When they brought her her child,--"William!" exclaimed the poor
widow; and tears, soothing tears too long denied to her grief, escaped
in torrents from her eyes. The child bore that much-loved name of
William, and a little cradle was placed close to the mother's bed.
Then Eva's gaze, long directed to heaven, returned earthwards. She
looked to her child now, as she had previously looked to her God. She
bent over him to seek his father's features. Providence had permitted
an exact resemblance between William and the son he was fated not to
see. A great change occurred around us. Eva, who had consented to live
until her child's existence was detached from hers, was now, I could
plainly see, willing to live on, because she felt that this little
being needed the protection of her love. She passed the days and
evenings seated beside his cradle; and when I went to see her, oh!
then she questioned me as to what she should do for him, she explained
what he had suffered, and asked what could be done to save him from
pain. For her child she feared the heat of a ray of sun, the chill of
the lightest breeze. Bending over him, she shielded him with her body,
and warmed him with her kisses. One day, I almost thought I saw her
smile at him. But she never would sing, whilst rocking his cradle, to
lull him to sleep; she called one of her women, and said, "Sing to my
son that he may sleep." Then she listened, letting her tears flow
softly upon little William's brow. Poor child! he was handsome,
gentle, easy to rear. But, as if his mother's sorrow had affected him
even before his birth, the child was melancholy: he seldom cried, but
he never smiled: he was quiet; and at that age quiet seems to denote
suffering. I fancied that all the tears shed over the cradle froze
that poor little soul. I would fain have seen William's arms twined
caressingly round his mother's neck. I would have had him return the
kisses lavished upon him. "But what am I thinking about?" I then said
to myself; "is it reasonable to expect that a little creature, not yet
a year upon the earth, should understand that it is sent hither to
love and console this woman?"

It was, I assure you, a touching sight to behold this young mother,
pale, feeble, and who had once renounced existence, clinging again to
life for the sake of a little child which could not even say "Thanks,
dear mother!" What a marvel is the human heart! Of how small a thing
it makes much! Give it but a grain of sand, and it elevates a
mountain; at its latest throb show it but an atom to love, and again
its pulses revive; it stops for good only when all is void around it,
and when even the shadow of its affections has vanished from the
earth!

Time rolled on, and I received a letter from an uncle, my sole
surviving relative. My uncle, a member of the faculty of Montpellier,
summoned me to his side, to complete in that learned town my
initiation into the secrets of my art. This letter, in form an
invitation, was in fact an order. I had to set out. One morning, my
heart big when I thought of the isolation in which I left the widow
and the orphan, I repaired to the white cottage to take leave of Eva
Meredith. I know not whether an additional shade of sadness came over
her features when I told her I was about to make a long absence. Since
the death of William Meredith such profound melancholy dwelt upon her
countenance that a smile would have been the sole perceptible
variation: sadness was always there.

"You leave us?" she exclaimed; "your care is so useful to my child!"

The poor lonely woman forgot to regret departure of her last friend;
the mother lamented the loss of the physician useful to her son. I did
not complain. To be useful is the sweet recompense of the devoted.

"Adieu!" she said, holding out her hand. "Wherever you go, may God
bless you; and should it be His will to afflict you, may He at least
afford you the sympathy of a heart compassionate as your own."

I bowed over the hand of Eva Meredith; and I departed, deeply moved.

The child was in the garden in front of the house, lying upon the
grass, in the sun. I took him in my arms and kissed him repeatedly; I
looked at long, attentively, sadly, and a tear started to my eyes.
"Oh, no, no! I must be mistaken!" I murmured, and I hurried from the
white cottage.

"Good heavens, doctor!" simultaneously exclaimed all Dr Barnaby's
audience, "what did you apprehend?"

"Suffer me to finish my story my own way," replied the village doctor;
"everything shall be told in its turn. I relate these events in the
order in which they occurred."

On my arrival at Montpellier, I was exceedingly well received by my
uncle; who declared, however, that he could neither lodge nor feed me,
nor lend me money, and that as a stranger, without a name, I must not
hope for a patient in a town so full of celebrated physicians.

"Then I will return to my village, uncle," replied I.

"By no means!" was his answer. "I have got you a lucrative and
respectable situation. An old Englishman, rich, gouty, and restless,
wishes to have a doctor to live with him, an intelligent young man who
will take charge of his health under the superintendence of an older
physician. I have proposed you--you have been accepted; let us go to
him."

We betook ourselves immediately to the residence of Lord James
Kysington, a large and handsome house, full of servants, where, after
waiting some time, first in the anteroom, and then in the parlours, we
were at last ushered into the presence of the noble invalid. Seated in
a large arm-chair was an old man of cold and severe aspect, whose
white hair contrasted oddly with his eyebrows, still of a jet black.
He was tall and thin, as far as I could judge through the folds of a
large cloth coat, made like a dressing-gown. His hands disappeared
under his cuffs, and his feet were wrapped in the skin of a white
bear. A number of medicine vials were upon a table beside him.

"My lord, this is my nephew, Dr Barnaby."

Lord Kysington bowed; that is to say, he looked at me, and made a
scarcely perceptible movement with his head.

"He is well versed in his profession, and I doubt not that his care
will be most beneficial to your lordship."

A second movement of the head was the sole reply vouchsafed.

"Moreover," continued my relation, "having had a tolerably good
education, he can read to your lordship, or write under your
dictation."

"I shall be obliged to him," replied Lord Kysington, breaking silence
at last, and then closing his eyes, either from fatigue, or as a hint
that the conversation was to drop. I glanced around me. Near the
window sat a lady, very elegantly dressed, who continued her
embroidery without once raising her eyes, as if we were not worthy her
notice. Upon the carpet at her feet a little boy amused himself with
toys. The lady, although young, did not at first strike me as
pretty--because she had black hair and eyes; and to be pretty,
according to my notion, was to be fair, like Eva Meredith; and
moreover, in my inexperience, I held beauty impossible without a
certain air of goodness. It was long before I could admit the beauty
of this woman, whose brow was haughty, her look disdainful, and her
mouth unsmiling. Like Lord Kysington, she was tall, thin, rather pale.
In character they were too much alike to suit each other well. Formal
and taciturn, they lived together without affection, almost without
converse. The child, too, had been taught silence; he walked on
tiptoe, and at the least noise a severe look from his mother or from
Lord Kysington changed him into a statue.

It was too late to return to my village; but it is never too late to
regret what one has loved and lost. My heart ached when I thought of
my cottage, my valley, my liberty.

What I learned concerning the cheerless family I had entered was as
follows:--Lord James Kysington had come to Montpellier for his health,
deteriorated by the climate of India. Second son of the Duke of
Kysington, and a lord only by courtesy, he owed to talent and not to
inheritance his fortune and his political position in the House of
Commons. Lady Mary was the wife of his youngest brother; and Lord
James, free to dispose of his fortune, had named her son his heir.

Towards me his lordship was most punctiliously polite. A bow thanked
me for every service I rendered him. I read aloud for hours together,
uninterrupted either by the sombre old man, whom I put to sleep, or by
the young woman, who did not listen to me, or by the child, who
trembled in his uncle's presence. I had never led so melancholy a
life, and yet, as you know, ladies, the little white cottage had long
ceased to be gay; but the silence of misfortune implies such grave
reflections, that words are insufficient to express them. One feels
the life of the soul under the stillness of the body. In my new abode
it was the silence of a void.

One day that Lord James dozed and Lady Mary was engrossed with
embroidery, little Harry climbed upon my knee, as I sat apart at the
farther end of the room, and began to question me with the artless
curiosity of his age. In my turn, and without reflecting on what I
said, I questioned him concerning his family.

"Have you any brothers or sisters?" I inquired.

"I have a very pretty little sister."

"What is her name," asked I, absently, glancing at the newspaper in my
hand.

"She has a beautiful name. Guess it, Doctor."

I know not what I was thinking about. In my village I had heard none
but the names of peasants, hardly applicable to Lady Mary's daughter.
Mrs Meredith was the only lady I had known, and the child repeating,
"Guess, guess!" I replied at random,

"Eva, perhaps?"

We were speaking very low; but when the name of Eva escaped my lips,
Lord James opened his eyes quickly, and raised himself in his chair,
Lady Mary dropped her needle and turned sharply towards me. I was
confounded at the effect I had produced; I looked alternately at Lord
James and at Lady Mary, without daring to utter another word. Some
minutes passed: Lord James again let his head fall back and closed his
eyes, Lady Mary resumed her needle, Harry and I ceased our
conversation. I reflected for some time upon this strange incident,
until at last, all around me having sunk into the usual monotonous
calm, I rose to leave the room. Lady Mary pushed away her embroidery
frame, passed before me, and made me sign to follow. When we were
both in another room she shut the door, and raising her head, with the
imperious air which was the most habitual expression of her features:
"Dr Barnaby," said she, "be so good as never again to pronounce the
name that just now escaped your lips. It is a name Lord James
Kysington must not hear." She bowed slightly, and re-entered her
brother-in-law's apartment.

Thoughts innumerable crowded upon my mind. This Eva, whose name was
not to be spoken, could it be Eva Meredith? Was she Lord Kysington's
daughter-in-law? Was I in the house of William's father? I hoped, but
still I doubted; for, after all, if there was but one Eva in the world
for me, in England the name was, doubtless, by no means uncommon. But
the thought that I was perhaps with the family of Eva Meredith, living
with the woman who robbed the widow and the orphan of their
inheritance, this thought was present to me by day and by night. In my
dreams I beheld the return of Eva and her son to the paternal
residence, in consequence of the pardon I had implored and obtained
for them. But when I raised my eyes, the cold impassible physiognomy
of Lord Kysington froze all the hopes of my heart. I applied myself to
the examination of that countenance as if I had never before seen it;
I analysed its features and lines to find a trace of sensibility. I
sought the heart I so gladly would have touched. Alas! I found it not.
But I had so good a cause that I was not to be discouraged. "Pshaw!" I
said to myself, "what matters the expression of the face? why heed the
external envelope? May not the darkest coffer contain bright gold?
Must all that is within us reveal itself at a glance? Does not every
man of the world learn to separate his mind and his thoughts from the
habitual expression of his countenance?"

I resolved to clear up my doubts, but how to do so was the difficulty.
Impossible to question Lady Mary or Lord James; the servants were
French, and had but lately come to the house. An English
valet-de-chambre had just been despatched to London on a confidential
mission. I directed my investigations to Lord James Kysington. The
severe expression of his countenance ceased to intimidate me. I said
to myself:--"When the forester meets with a tree apparently dead, he
strikes his axe into the trunk to see whether sap does not still
survive beneath the withered bark; in like manner will I strike at the
heart, and see whether life be not somewhere hidden." And I only
waited an opportunity.

To await an opportunity with impatience is to accelerate its coming.
Instead of depending on circumstances we subjugate them. One night
Lord James sent for me. He was in pain. After administering the
necessary remedies, I remained by his bedside, to watch their effect.
The room was dark; a single wax candle showed the outline of objects,
without illuminating them. The pale and noble head of Lord James was
thrown back upon his pillow. His eyes were shut, according to his
custom when suffering, as if he concentrated his moral energies within
him. He never complained, but lay stretched out in his bed, straight
and motionless as a king's statue upon a marble tomb. In general he
got somebody to read to him, hoping either to distract his thoughts
from his pains, or to be lulled to sleep by the monotonous sound.

Upon that night he made sign to me with his meagre hand to take a book
and read, but I sought one in vain; books and newspapers had all been
removed to the drawing-room; the doors were locked, and unless I rang
and aroused the house, a book was not to be had. Lord James made a
gesture of impatience, then one of resignation, and beckoned me to
resume my seat by his side. We remained for some time without
speaking, almost in darkness, the silence broken only by the ticking
of the clock. Sleep came not. Suddenly Lord James opened his eyes.

"Speak to me," he said. "Tell me something; whatever you like."

His eyes closed, and he waited. My heart beat violently. The moment
had come.

"My lord," said I, "I greatly fear I know nothing that will interest
your lordship. I can speak but of myself, of the events of my
life,--and the history of the great ones of the earth were necessary
to fix your attention. What can a peasant have to say, who has lived
contented with little, in obscurity and repose? I have scarcely
quitted my village, my lord. It is a pretty mountain hamlet, where
even those not born there might well be pleased to dwell. Near it is a
country house, which I have known inhabited by rich people, who could
have left it if they liked, but who remained, because the woods were
thick, the paths bordered with flowers, the streams bright and rapid
in their rocky beds. Alas! they were two in that house--and soon a
poor woman was there alone, until the birth of her son. My lord, she
is a countrywoman of yours, an Englishwoman, of beauty such as is
seldom seen either in England or in France; good as, besides her, only
the angels in heaven can be! She had just completed her eighteenth
year when I left her, fatherless, motherless, and already widowed of
an adored husband; she is feeble, delicate, almost ill, and yet she
must live;--who would protect that little child? Oh! my lord, there
are very unhappy beings in this world! To be unhappy in middle life or
old age, is doubtless sad, but still you have pleasant memories of the
past to remind you that you have had your day, your share, your
happiness; but to weep before you are eighteen is far sadder, for
nothing can bring back the dead, and the future is dim with tears.
Poor creature! We see a beggar by the roadside suffering from cold and
hunger, and we give him alms, and look upon him without pain, because
it is in our power to relieve him; but this unhappy, broken-hearted
woman, the only relief to give her would be to love her--and none are
there to bestow that alms upon her!

"Ah! my lord, if you knew what a fine young man her husband
was!--hardly three-and-twenty; a noble countenance, a lofty brow--like
your own, intelligent and proud; dark blue eyes, rather pensive,
rather sad. I knew why they were sad. He loved his father and his
native land, and he was doomed to exile from both! And how good and
graceful was his smile! Ah! how he would have smiled at his little
child, had he lived long enough to see it. He loved it even before it
was born: he took pleasure in looking at the cradle that awaited it.
Poor, poor young man!--I saw him on a stormy night, in the dark
forest, stretched upon the wet earth, motionless, lifeless, his
garments covered with mud, his temple shattered, blood escaping in
torrents from his wound. I saw--alas! I saw William--"

"You saw my son's death!" cried Lord James, raising himself like a
spectre in the midst of his pillows, and fixing me with eyes so
distended and piercing, that I started back alarmed. But
notwithstanding the darkness, I thought I saw a tear moisten the old
man's eyelids.

"My lord," I replied, "I was present at your son's death, and at the
birth of his child!"

There was an instant's silence. Lord James looked steadfastly at me.
At last he made a movement; his trembling hand sought mine, pressed
it, then his fingers relaxed their grasp, and he fell back upon the
bed.

"Enough, sir, enough: I suffer, I need repose. Leave me."

I bowed, and retired.

Before I was out of the room, Lord James had relapsed into his
habitual position; into silence and immobility.

I will not detail to you my numerous and respectful representations to
Lord James Kysington, his indecision and secret anxiety, and how at
last his paternal love, awakened by the details of the horrible
catastrophe, his pride of race, revived by the hope of leaving an heir
to his name, triumphed over his bitter resentment. Three months after
the scene I have described, I awaited, on the threshold of the house
at Montpellier, the arrival of Eva Meredith and her son, summoned to
their family and to the resumption of all their rights. It was a proud
and happy day for me.

Lady Mary, perfect mistress of herself, had concealed her joy when
family dissensions had made her son heir to her wealthy brother. Still
better did she conceal her regret and anger when Eva Meredith, or
rather Eva Kysington, was reconciled with her father-in-law. Not a
cloud appeared upon Lady Mary's marble forehead. But beneath this
external calm how many evil passions fermented!

When the carriage of Eva Meredith (I will still give her that name)
entered the court-yard of the house, I was there to receive her. Eva
held out her hand--"Thanks, thanks, my friend!" she murmured. She
wiped the tears that trembled in her eyes, and taking her boy, now
three years old, and of great beauty, by the hand, she entered her new
abode. "I am afraid!" she said. She was still the weak woman, broken
by affliction, pale, sad, and beautiful, incredulous of earthly hopes,
but firm in heavenly faith. I walked by her side; and as she ascended
the steps, her gentle countenance bedewed with tears, her slender and
feeble form inclined towards the balustrade, her extended arm
assisting the child, who walked still more slowly than herself, Lady
Mary and her son appeared at the door. Lady Mary wore a brown velvet
dress, rich bracelets encircled her arms, a slender gold chain bound
her brow, which in truth was of those on which a diadem sits well. She
advanced with an assured step, her head high, her glance full of
pride. Such was the first meeting of the two mothers.

"You are welcome, madam," said Lady Mary, bowing to Eva Meredith.

Eva tried to smile, and answered by a few affectionate words. How
could she forbode hatred, she who only knew love? We proceeded to Lord
James's room. Mrs Meredith, scarcely able to support herself, entered
first, took a few steps, and knelt beside her father-in-law's
arm-chair. Taking her child in her arms, she placed him on Lord James
Kysington's knee.

"His son!" she said. Then the poor woman wept and was silent.

Long did Lord James gaze upon the child. As he gradually recognised
the features of the son he had lost, his eyes became moist, and their
expression affectionate. There came a moment when, forgetting his age,
lapse of time, and past misfortune, he dreamed himself back to the
happy day when he first pressed his infant son to his heart. "William,
William!" he murmured. "My daughter!" added he, extending his hand to
Eva Meredith.

My eyes filled with tears. Eva had a family, a protector, a fortune. I
was happy; perhaps that was why I wept.

The child remained quiet upon his grandfather's knees, and showed
neither pleasure nor fear.

"Will you love me?" said the old man.

The child raised its head, but did not answer.

"Do you hear? I will be your father."

"I will be your father," the child gently repeated.

"Excuse him," said his mother; "he has always been alone. He is very
young; the presence of many persons intimidates him. By-and-by, my
lord, he will better understand your kind words."

But I looked at the child; I examined him in silence; I recalled my
former gloomy apprehensions. Alas! those apprehensions now became a
certainty; the terrible shock experienced by Eva Meredith during her
pregnancy had had fatal consequences for her child, and a mother only,
in her youth, her love, and her inexperience, could have remained so
long ignorant of her misfortune.

At the same time with myself Lady Mary looked at the child. I shall
never forget the expression of her countenance. She stood erect, and
the piercing gaze she fixed upon little William seemed to read his
very soul. As she gazed, her eyes sparkled, her mouth was half-opened
as by a smile--she breathed short and thick, like one oppressed by
great and sudden joy. She looked, looked--hope, doubt, expectation,
replaced each other on her face. At last her hatred was clear-sighted,
an internal cry of triumph burst from her heart, but was checked ere
it reached her lips. She drew herself up, let fall a disdainful glance
upon Eva, her vanquished enemy, and resumed her usual calm.

Lord James, fatigued by the emotions of the day, dismissed us and
remained alone all the evening.

Upon the morrow, after an agitated night, when I entered Lord James's
room, all the family were already assembled around him, and Lady Mary
had little William on her knees: it was the tiger clutching its prey.

"What a beautiful child!" she said. "See, my lord, these fair and
silken locks! how brilliant they are in the sunshine! But, dear Eva,
is your son always so silent? does he never exhibit the vivacity and
gaiety of his age?"

"He is always sad," replied Mrs Meredith. "Alas! with me he could
hardly learn to laugh."

"We will try to amuse and cheer him," said Lady Mary. "Come, my dear
child, kiss your grandfather! hold out your arms, and tell him you
love him."

William did not stir.

"Do you not know how? Harry, my love, kiss your uncle, and set your
cousin a good example."

Harry jumped upon Lord James's knees, threw both arms round his neck,
and said, "I love you, uncle!"

"Now it is your turn, my dear William," said Lady Mary.

William stirred not, and did not even look at his grandfather.

A tear coursed down Eva Meredith's cheek.

"'Tis my fault," she said. "I have brought up my child badly." And,
taking William upon her lap, her tears fell upon his face: he felt
them not, but slumbered upon his mother's heavy heart.

"Try to make William less shy," said Lord James to his
daughter-in-law.

"I will try," replied Eva, in her submissive tones, like those of an
obedient child. "I will try; and perhaps I shall succeed, if Lady Mary
will kindly tell me how she rendered her son so happy and so gay."
Then the disconsolate mother looked at Harry, who was at play near his
uncle's chair, and her eyes reverted to her poor sleeping child. "He
suffered even before his birth," she murmured; "we have both been very
unhappy! but I will try to weep no more, that William may be cheerful
like other children."

Two days elapsed, two painful days, full of secret trouble and
ill-concealed uneasiness. Lord James's brow was care-laden; at times
his look questioned me. I averted my eyes to avoid answering. On the
morning of the third day, Lady Mary came into the room with a number
of play-things for the children. Harry seized a sword, and ran about
the room, shouting for joy. William remained motionless, holding in
his little hand the toys that were given to him, but not attempting to
use them; he did not even look at them.

"Here, my lord," said Lady Mary to her brother, "give this book to
your grandson; perhaps his attention will be roused by the pictures it
contains." And she led William to Lord James. The child was passive;
he walked, stopped, and remained like a statue where he was placed.
Lord James opened the book. All eyes turned towards the group formed
by the old man and his grandson. Lord James was gloomy, silent,
severe; he slowly turned several pages, stopping at every picture, and
looking at William, whose vacant gaze was not directed to the book.
Lord James turned a few more pages; then his hand ceased to move; the
book fell from his knees to the ground, and an irksome silence reigned
in the apartment. Lady Mary approached me, bent forward as if to
whisper in my ear, and in a voice loud enough to be heard by all--

"The child is an idiot, doctor!" she said.

A shriek answered her. Eva started up as if she had received a blow;
and seizing her son, whom she pressed convulsively to her breast--

"Idiot!" she exclaimed, her indignant glance flashing, for the first
time, with a vivid brilliance; "idiot!" she repeated, "because he has
been unhappy all his life, because he has seen but tears since his
eyes first opened! because he knows not how to play like your son, who
has always had joy around him! Ah! madam, you insult misfortune! Come,
my child!" cried Eva, all in tears. "Come, let us leave these pitiless
hearts, that find none but cruel words to console our misery!"

And the unhappy mother carried off her boy to her apartment. I
followed. She set William down, and knelt before the little child. "My
son! my son!" she cried.

William went close to her, and rested his head on his mother's
shoulder.

"Doctor!" cried Eva, "he loves me--you see he does! He comes when I
call him; he kisses me! His caresses have sufficed for my
tranquillity--for my sad happiness! My God! was it not then enough?
Speak to me, my son, reassure me! Find a consoling word, a single word
for your despairing mother! Till now I have asked nothing of you but
to remind me of your father, and leave me silence to weep. To-day,
William, you must give me words! See you not my tears--my terror? Dear
child, so beautiful, so like your father, speak, speak to me!"

Alas! alas! the child remained motionless, without sign of fear or
intelligence; a smile only, a smile horrible to behold, flitted across
his features. Eva hid her face in both hands, and remained kneeling
upon the ground. For a long time no noise was heard save the sound of
her sobs. Then I prayed heaven to inspire me with consoling thoughts,
such as might give a ray of hope to this poor mother. I spoke of the
future, of expected cure, of change possible--even probable. But hope
is no friend to falsehood. Where she does not exist her phantom cannot
penetrate. A terrible blow, a mortal one, had been struck, and Eva
Meredith saw all the truth.

From that day forwards, only one child was to be seen each morning in
Lord James Kysington's room. Two women came thither, but only one of
them seemed to live--the other was silent as the tomb. One said, "My
son!" the other never spoke of her child; one carried her head high,
the other bowed hers upon her breast, the better to hide her tears;
one was blooming and brilliant, the other pale and a mourner. The
struggle was at an end. Lady Mary triumphed. It was cruel how they let
Harry play before Eva Meredith's eyes. Careless of her anguish, they
brought him to repeat his lessons in his uncle's presence; they
vaunted his progress. The ambitious mother calculated everything to
consolidate her success; and, whilst abounding in honeyed words and
feigned consolation, she tortured Eva Meredith's heart each moment in
the day. Lord James, smitten in his dearest hopes, had resumed the
cold impassibility which I now saw formed the foundation of his
character. Strictly courteous to his daughter-in-law, he had no word
of affection for her: only as the mother of his grandson, could the
daughter of the American planter find a place in his heart. And he
considered the child as no longer in existence. Lord James Kysington
was more gloomy and taciturn than ever, regretting, perhaps, to have
yielded to my importunities, and to have ruffled his old age by a
painful and profitless emotion.

A year elapsed; then a sad day came, when Lord James sent for Eva
Meredith, and signed to her to be seated beside his arm-chair.

"Listen to me, madam," he said, "listen with courage. I will act
frankly with you, and conceal nothing. I am old and ill, and must
arrange my affairs. The task is painful both for you and for me. I
will not refer to my anger at my son's marriage; your misfortune
disarmed me--I called you to my side, and I desired to behold and to
love in your son William, the heir of my fortune, the pivot of my
dreams of future ambition. Alas! madam, fate was cruel to us! My son's
widow and orphan shall have all that can insure them an honourable
existence; but, sole master of a fortune due to my own exertions, I
adopt my nephew, and look upon him henceforward as my sole heir. I am
about to return to London, whither my affairs call me. Come with me,
madam--my house is yours--I shall be happy to see you there."

Eva (she afterwards told me so) felt, for the first time, her
despondency replaced by courage. She had the strength that is given by
a noble pride: she raised her head, and if her brow was less haughty
than that of Lady Mary, on the other hand it had all the dignity of
misfortune.

"Go, my lord," she answered, "go; I shall not accompany you. I will
not witness the usurpation of my son's rights! You are in haste to
condemn, my lord. Who can foresee the future! You are in haste to
despair of the mercy of God!"

"The future," replied Lord James, "at my age, is bounded by the
passing day. What I would be certain to do I must do at once and
without delay."

"Act as you think proper," replied Eva. "I return to the dwelling
where I was happy with my husband. I return thither with your
grandson, William Kysington; of that name, his sole inheritance, you
cannot deprive him; and though the world should know it but by reading
it on his tomb, your name, my lord, is the name of my son!"

A week later, Eva Meredith descended the stairs of the hotel, holding
her son by the hand, as she had done when she entered this fatal
house. Lady Mary was a little behind her, a few steps higher up: the
numerous servants, sad and silent, beheld with regret the departure of
the gentle creature thus driven from the paternal roof. When she
quitted this abode, Eva quitted the only beings she knew upon the
earth, the only persons whose pity she had a right to claim--the world
was before her, an immense wilderness. It was Hagar going forth into
the desert.

"This is horrible, doctor!" cried Dr Barnaby's audience. "Is it
possible there are persons so utterly unhappy? What! you witnessed all
this yourself?"

"I have not yet told you all," replied the village doctor; "let me get
to the end."

Shortly after Eva Meredith's departure, Lord James went to London.
Once more my own master, I gave up all idea of further study; I had
enough learning for my village, and in haste I returned thither. Once
more I sat opposite to Eva in the little white house, as I had done
two years before. But how greatly had intervening events increased her
misfortune! We no longer dared talk of the future, that unknown moment
of which we all have so great need, and without which our present joys
appear too feeble, and our misfortunes too great.

Never did I witness grief nobler in its simplicity, calmer in its
intensity, than that of Eva Meredith. She forgot not to pray to the
God who chastened her. For her, God was the being in whose hands are
the springs of hope, when earthly hopes are extinct. Her look of faith
remained fixed upon her child's brow, as if awaiting the arrival of
the soul her prayers invoked. I cannot describe the courageous
patience of that mother speaking to her son, who listened without
understanding. I cannot tell you all the treasures of love, of
thought, of ingenious narrative she displayed before that torpid
intelligence, which repeated, like an echo, the last of her gentle
words. She explained to him heaven, God, the angels; she endeavoured
to make him pray, and joined his hands, but she could not make him
raise his eyes to heaven. In all possible shapes she tried to give him
the first lessons of childhood; she read to him, spoke to him, placed
pictures before his eyes--had recourse to music as a substitute for
words. One day, making a terrible effort, she told William the story
of his father's death; she hoped, expected a tear. The child fell
asleep whilst yet she spoke: tears were shed, but they fell from the
eyes of Eva Meredith.

Thus did she exhaust herself by vain efforts, by a persevering
struggle. That she might not cease to hope, she continued to toil; but
to William's eyes pictures were merely colours; to his ears words were
but noise. The child, however, grew in stature and in beauty. One who
had seen him but for an instant would have taken the immobility of his
countenance for placidity. But that prolonged and continued calm, that
absence of all grief, of all tears, had a strange and sad effect upon
us. Suffering must indeed be inherent in our nature, since William's
eternal smile made every one say, "The poor idiot!" Mothers know not
the happiness concealed in the tears of their child. A tear is a
regret, a desire, a fear; it is life, in short, which begins to be
understood. Alas! William was content with everything. All day long he
seemed to sleep with his eyes open; anger, weariness, impatience, were
alike unknown to him. He had but one instinct: he knew his mother--he
even loved her. He took pleasure in resting on her knees, on her
shoulder; he kissed her. When I kept him long away from her, he
manifested a sort of anxiety. I took him back to his mother; he showed
no joy, but he was again tranquil. This tenderness, this faint
glimmering of William's heart, was Eva's life. It gave her strength
to strive, to hope, to wait. If her words were not understood, at
least her kisses were! How often she took her son's head in her hands
and kissed his forehead, as long and fervently as if she hoped her
love would warm and vivify his frozen soul! How often did she dream a
miracle whilst clasping her son in her arms, and pressing his still
heart to her burning bosom! Often she lingered at night in the village
church. (Eva Meredith was of a Roman Catholic family.) Kneeling upon
the cold stone before the Virgin's altar, she invoked the marble
statue of Mary, holding her child in her arms, "O virgin!" she said,
"my boy is inanimate as that image of thy Son! Ask of God a soul for
my child!"

She was charitable to all the poor children of the village, giving
them bread and clothes, and saying to them, "Pray for him." She
consoled afflicted mothers, in the secret hope that consolation would
come at last to her. She dried the tears of others, to enjoy the
belief that one day she also would cease to weep. In all the country
round, she was loved, blessed, venerated. She knew it, and she offered
up to Heaven, not with pride but with hope, the blessings of the
unfortunate in exchange for the recovery of her son. She loved to
watch William's sleep; then he was handsome and like other children.
For an instant, for a second perhaps, she forgot; and whilst
contemplating those regular features, those golden locks, those long
lashes which threw their shadow on his rose-tinted cheek, she felt a
mother's joy, almost a mother's pride. God has moments of mercy even
for those he has condemned to suffer.

Thus passed the first years of William's childhood. He attained the
age of eight years. Then a sad change, which could not escape my
attentive observation, occurred in Eva Meredith. Either that her son's
growth made his want of intelligence more striking, or that she was
like a workman who has laboured all day, and sinks at eve beneath the
load of toil, Eva ceased to hope; her soul seemed to abandon the task
undertaken, and to recoil with weariness upon itself, asking only
resignation. She laid aside the books, the engravings, the music, all
the means, in short, that she had called to her aid; she grew silent
and desponding; only, if that were possible, she was more affectionate
than ever to her son. As she lost hope in his cure, she felt the more
strongly that her child had but her in the world; and she asked a
miracle of her heart--an increase of the love she bore him. She became
her son's servant--his slave; her whole thoughts were concentrated in
his wellbeing. If she felt cold, she sought a warmer covering for
William; was she hungry, it was for William she gathered the fruits of
her garden; did she suffer from fatigue, for him she selected the
easiest chair and the softest cushions; she attended to her own
sensations only to guess those of her son. She still displayed
activity, though she no longer harboured hope.

When William was eleven years old, the last phase of Eva Meredith's
existence began. Remarkably tall and strong for his age, he ceased to
need that hourly care required by early childhood: he was no longer the
infant sleeping on his mother's knees; he walked alone in the garden;
he rode on horseback with me, and accompanied me in my distant visits;
in short the bird, although wingless, left the nest. His misfortune was
in no way shocking or painful to behold. He was of exceeding beauty,
silent, unnaturally calm--his eyes expressing nothing but repose, his
mouth ignorant of a smile: he was not awkward, or disagreeable, or
importunate: it was a mind sleeping beside yours, asking no question,
making no reply. The incessant maternal care which had served to occupy
Mrs Meredith, and to divert her mind from dwelling on her sorrows,
became unnecessary, and she resumed her seat at the window, whence she
beheld the village and the church-steeple--at that same window where
she had so long wept her husband. Hope and occupation successively
failed her, and nothing was left her but to wait and watch, by day and
by night, like the lamp that ever burns beneath cathedral vaults.

But her forces were exhausted. In the midst of this grief which had
returned to its starting-point, to silence and immobility, after
having in vain essayed exertion, courage, hope, Eva Meredith fell into
a decline. In spite of all the resources of my art, I beheld her grow
weak and thin. How apply a remedy, when the sickness is of the soul?

The poor foreigner! she needed her native sun and a little happiness
to warm her; but the ray of sun and the ray of joy were alike wanting.
It was long before she perceived her danger, because she thought not
of herself; but when at last she was unable to leave her arm-chair,
she was compelled to understand. I will not describe to you all her
anguish at the thought of leaving William without a guide, without
friend or protector--of leaving him alone in the midst of strangers,
he who needed to be cherished and led by the hand like a child. Oh,
how she struggled for life! with what avidity she swallowed the
potions I prepared! how many times she tried to believe in a cure,
whilst all the time the disease progressed! Then she kept William more
at home,--she could no longer bear to lose sight of him.

"Remain with me," she said; and William, always content near his
mother, seated himself at her feet. She looked at him long, until a
flood of tears prevented her distinguishing his gentle countenance;
then she drew him still nearer to her, and pressed him to her heart.
"Oh!" she exclaimed, in a kind of delirium, "if my soul, on leaving my
body, might become the soul of my child, how happy should I be to
die!" No amount of suffering could make her wholly despair of divine
mercy, and when all human possibility disappeared, this loving heart
had gentle dreams out of which it reconstructed hopes. But how sad it
was, alas! to see the poor mother slowly perishing before the eyes of
her son, of a son who understood not death, and who smiled when she
embraced him.

"He will not regret me," she said: "he will not weep: he will not
remember." And she remained motionless, in mute contemplation of her
child. Her hand then sometimes sought mine: "You love him, dear
doctor?" she murmured.

"I will never quit him," replied I, "so long as he has no better
friends than myself." God in heaven, and the poor village doctor upon
earth, were the two guardians to whom she confided her son.

Faith is a great thing! This woman, widowed, disinherited, dying, an
idiot child at her side, was yet saved from that utter despair which
brings blasphemy to the lips of death. An invisible friend was near
her, on whom she seemed to rest, listening sometimes to holy words,
which she alone could hear.

One morning she sent for me early. She had been unable to get up. With
her wan, transparent hand she showed me a sheet of paper on which a
few lines were written.

"Doctor," she said, in her gentlest tones, "I have not strength to
continue; finish this letter!"

I read as follows:--

"My Lord,--I write to you for the last time. Whilst health is restored
to your old age, I suffer and am about to die. I leave your grandson,
William Kysington, without a protector. My Lord, this last letter is
to recall him to your memory; I ask for him a place in your heart
rather than a share of your fortune. Of all the things of this world,
he has understood but one--his mother's love; and now she must leave
him for ever! Love him, my Lord,--love is the only sentiment he can
comprehend."

She could write no more. I added:--

"Mrs William Kysington has but few days to live. What are Lord James
Kysington's orders with respect to the child who bears his name?

                                       "The Doctor Barnaby."

This letter was sent to London, and we waited. Eva kept her bed.
William, seated near her, held her hand in his: his mother smiled
sadly upon him, whilst I, at the other side of the bed, prepared
potions to assuage her pains. Again she began to talk to her son, as
if no longer despairing that, after her death, some of her words might
recur to his memory. She gave the child all the advice, all the
instructions she would have given to an intelligent being. Then she
turned to me--"Who knows, doctor," she said, "one day, perhaps, he
will find my words at the bottom of his heart!"

Three more weeks elapsed. Death approached, and submissive as was the
Christian soul of Eva, she yet felt the anguish of separation and the
solemn awe of the future. The village priest came to see her, and when
he left her I met him and took his hand.

"You will pray for her," I said.

"I have entreated _her_ to pray for _me_!" was his reply.

It was Eva Meredith's last day. The sun had set: the window, near
which she so long had sat, was open: she could see from her bed the
landscape she had loved. She held her son in her arms and kissed his
face and hair, weeping sadly. "Poor child! what will become of you?
Oh!" she said, with tender earnestness, "listen to me, William:--I am
dying! Your father is dead also; you are alone; you must pray to the
Lord. I bequeath you to Him who watches over the sparrow upon the
house-top; He will shield the orphan. Dear child, look at me! listen
to me! Try to understand that I die, that one day you may remember
me!" And the poor mother, unable to speak longer, still found strength
to embrace her child.

At that moment an unaccustomed noise reached my ears. The wheels of a
carriage grated upon the gravel of the garden drive. I ran to the
door. Lord James Kysington and Lady Mary entered the house.

"I got your letter," said Lord James. "I was setting out for Italy,
and it was not much off my road to come myself and settle the future
destiny of William Meredith: so here I am. Mrs William?----"

"Mrs William Kysington still lives, my lord," I replied.

It was with a painful sensation that I saw this calm, cold, austere
man approach Eva's chamber, followed by the haughty woman who came to
witness what for her was a happy event--the death of her former rival!
They entered the modest little room, so different from the sumptuous
apartments of their Montpellier hotel. They drew near the bed, beneath
whose white curtains Eva, pale but still beautiful, held her son upon
her heart. They stood, one on the right, the other on the left of that
couch of suffering, without finding a word of affection to console the
poor woman who looked up at them. They barely gave utterance to a few
formal and unmeaning phrases. Averting their eyes from the painful
spectacle of death, and persuading themselves that Eva Meredith
neither saw nor heard, they passively awaited her spirit's
departure--their countenances not even feigning an expression of
condolence or regret. Eva fixed her dying gaze upon them, and sudden
terror seized the heart which had almost ceased to throb. She
comprehended, for the first time, the secret sentiments of Lady Mary,
the profound indifference and egotism of Lord James; she understood at
last that they were enemies rather than protectors of her son. Despair
and terror portrayed themselves on her pallid face. She made no
attempt to soften those soulless beings. By a convulsive movement she
drew William still closer to her heart, and, collecting her last
strength--

"My child, my poor child!" she cried, "you have no support upon earth;
but God above is good. My God! succour my child!"

With this cry of love, with this supreme prayer, she breathed out her
life: her arms opened, her lips were motionless on William's cheek.
Since she no longer embraced her son, there could be no doubt she was
dead--dead before the eyes of those who to the very last had refused
to comfort her affliction--dead without giving Lady Mary the
uneasiness of hearing her plead the cause of her son--dead, leaving
her a complete and decided victory.

There was a moment of solemn silence: none moved or spoke. Death makes
an impression upon the haughtiest. Lady Mary and Lord James Kysington
kneeled beside their victim's bed. In a few minutes Lord James arose.
"Take the child from his mother's room," he said, "and come with me,
doctor; I will explain to you my intentions respecting him."

For two hours William had been resting on the shoulder of Eva
Meredith, his heart against her heart, his lips pressed to hers,
receiving her kisses and her tears. I approached him, and, without
expending useless words, I endeavoured to raise and lead him from the
room; but he resisted, and his arms clasped his mother more closely.
This resistance, the first the poor child had ever offered to living
creature, touched my very soul. On my renewing the attempt, however,
William yielded; he made a movement and turned towards me, and I saw
his beautiful countenance suffused with tears. Until that day, William
had never wept. I was greatly startled and moved, and I let the child
throw himself again upon his mother's corpse.

"Take him away," said Lord James.

"My lord," I exclaimed, "he weeps! Ah, check not his tears!"

I bent over the child, and heard him sob.

"William! dear William!" I cried, anxiously taking his hand, "why do
you weep, William?"

For the second time he turned his head towards me; then, with a gentle
look, full of sorrow, "My mother is dead," he replied.

I have not words to tell you what I felt. William's eyes were now
intelligent: his tears were sad and significant; and his voice was
broken as when the heart suffers. I uttered a cry; I almost knelt down
beside Eva's bed.

"Ah! you were right, Eva!" I exclaimed, "not to despair of the mercy
of God!"

Lord James himself had started. Lady Mary was as pale as Eva.

"Mother! mother!" cried William, in tones that filled my heart with
joy; and then, repeating the words of Eva Meredith--those words which
she had so truly said he would find at the bottom of his heart--the
child exclaimed aloud,

"I am dying, my son. Your father is dead; you are alone upon the
earth; you must pray to the Lord!"

I pressed gently with my hand upon William's shoulder; he obeyed the
impulse, knelt down, joined his trembling hands--this time it was of
his own accord--and, raising to heaven a look full of life and
feeling: "My God! have pity on me!" he murmured.

I took Eva's cold hand. "Oh mother! mother of many sorrows!" I
exclaimed, "can you hear your child? do you behold him from above? Be
happy! your son is saved!"

Dead at Lady Mary's feet, Eva made her rival tremble; for it was not I
who led William from the room, it was Lord James Kysington who carried
out his grandson in his arms.

I have little to add, ladies. William recovered his reason and
departed with Lord James. Reinstated in his rights, he was
subsequently his grandfather's sole heir. Science has recorded a few
rare instances of intelligence revived by a violent moral shock. Thus
does the fact I have related find a natural explanation. But the good
women of the village, who had attended Eva Meredith during her
illness, and had heard her fervent prayers, were convinced that, even
as she had asked of Heaven, the soul of the mother had passed into the
body of the child.

"She was so good," said they, "that God could refuse her nothing."
This artless belief took firm root in the country. No one mourned Mrs
Meredith as dead.

"She still lives," said the people of the hamlet: "speak to her son,
and she will answer you."

And when Lord William Kysington, in possession of his grandfather's
property, sent each year abundant alms to the village that had
witnessed his birth and his mother's death, the poor folks
exclaimed--"There is Mrs Meredith's kind soul thinking of us still!
Ah, when she goes to heaven, it will be great pity for poor people!"

We do not strew flowers upon her tomb, but upon the steps of the altar
of the Virgin, where she so often prayed to Mary to send a soul to her
son. When taking thither their wreaths of wild blossoms, the villagers
say to each other--"When she prayed so fervently, the good Virgin
answered her softly: 'I will give thy soul to thy child!'"

The _curé_ has suffered our peasants to retain this touching
superstition; and I myself, when Lord William came to see me, when he
fixed upon me his eyes, so like his mother's--when his voice, which
had a well-known accent, said, as Mrs Meredith was wont to say--"Dear
Doctor, I thank you!" Then,--smile, ladies, if you will--I wept, and
I believed, like all the village, that Eva Meredith was before me.

She, whose existence was but a long series of sorrows, has left behind
her a sweet, consoling memory, which has nothing painful for those who
loved her.

In thinking of her we think of the mercy of God, and those who have
hope in their hearts, hope with the greater confidence.

But it is very late, ladies--your carriages have long been at the
door. Pardon this long story: at my age it is difficult to be concise
in speaking of the events of one's youth. Forgive the old man for
having made you smile when he arrived, and weep before he departed."

These last words were spoken in the kindest and most paternal tone,
whilst a half-smile glided across Dr Barnaby's lips. All his auditors
now crowded round him, eager to express their thanks. But Dr Barnaby
got up, made straight for his riding-coat of puce-coloured taffety,
which hung across a chair back, and, whilst one of the young men
helped him to put it on--"Farewell, gentlemen; farewell, ladies," said
the village doctor. "My chaise is ready; it is dark, the road is bad;
good-night: I must be gone."

When Dr Barnaby was installed in his cabriolet of green wicker-work,
and the little gray cob, tickled by the whip, was about to set off,
Madame de Moncar stepped quickly forward, and leaning towards the
doctor, whilst she placed one foot on the step of his vehicle, she
said, in quite a low voice--

"Doctor, I make you a present of the white cottage, and I will have it
fitted up as it was when you loved Eva Meredith!"

Then she ran back into the house. The carriages and the green chaise
departed in different directions.



NATIONAL EDUCATION IN SCOTLAND.


The subject of the Parochial School System of Scotland claims some
attention at the present moment. Following up certain ominous
proceedings of other parties high in authority, Lord Melgund, M. P.
for Greenock, has given notice of a motion for the appointment of a
select committee of the House of Commons to consider the expediency of
a fundamental revision of that system. The question here involved is
one of national importance; and the family and other ties by which
Lord Melgund is connected with the Government, are likely, we fear, to
secure for his proposed innovations on that institution which has been
hitherto, perhaps, the pre-eminent glory of Scotland, a certain degree
of favour.

It may be of some use to preface the few observations we have to offer
on the Scottish system, and the proposed alterations of it, by a brief
recapitulation of some of the more prominent methods and statistics of
popular education in other countries, taken chiefly from a very
carefully prepared and important Appendix to the Privy Council
committee's _Minutes_ for 1847-8. The information was obtained through
the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, from the Governments of
the principal states of Europe and America.

The _cost_ of public instruction is defrayed by different means in
different countries--means varying, however, more in detail than in
principle. In Prussia, a regular school-rate, varying from 3d. to 6d.
per month, according to circumstances, is levied upon all who have
children; but this is supplemented by a grant from the state budget
which, for elementary schools alone, amounted in 1845 to £37,000. A
similar practice prevails not only in the other countries of Central
Europe, but in Pennsylvania, where it was introduced by the German
emigrants, and, of late years, also in some other parts of the United
States. The income of schools in the Austrian Empire is derived from a
variety of sources, of which school-money constitutes little more
than one-third; the remainder, as far as we can understand the
technical phraseology of the report, being partly derived from old
endowments, partly from provincial revenues, and partly from the
imperial treasury. In Holland, the governments of the towns and
provinces are charged with the cost of maintaining their own schools,
aided by grants from the state. On the first year that separate
accounts were kept for the northern provinces, after their separation
from Belgium, the sum raised in this way amounted (in a population of
2,450,000) to no less than £76,317. In Belgium, where the funds are
derived from old foundations and local endowments, aided by the
government, two-fifths of the scholars received, in 1840, their
education gratuitously; but the provision seems to be not very
complete, for in that year, out of 2510 communes, 163 were without any
school.

As to _management_, there appears to be no country in Europe in which
public instruction is not directed by a department of the government.
No regular system of superintendence, however, has yet been
established in the United States. In Prussia, there is a minister of
public instruction, who is also at the head of church affairs, and
under whom are local consistories and school inspectors, one of the
latter being always the superintendent or bishop of the district. In
Würtemberg, each school is inspected by the clergyman of the
confession to which the schoolmaster belongs, and is subject to the
control of the presbytery. In the Grand-duchy of Baden, the minister
of the interior has charge of the department of education. The local
school authority is commonly a parochial committee, consisting of
clergy and laymen combined. The parish clergyman is the regular school
inspector, but where there are different confessions, each clergyman
inspects the school of his own church. Certain functionaries, called
"Visitors" and "County Authorities," are also intrusted with special
powers. In Lombardy, the direction is committed to a chief inspector,
with a number of subordinates, and the parish clergy. (By _clergy_, of
course, throughout these details, must usually be understood Roman
Catholic priests.) In Holland, every province was in 1814 divided into
educational districts, with a school inspector for each district, and
provincial school commissions chosen from the leading inhabitants, to
which were afterwards added provincial "juries." In Russia, public
instruction is superintended by the government.

The details regarding _religious instruction_ are not so full as we
should have wished. The great difficulty as regards this appears,
however, in most of the European states to be met by the establishment
of separate schools for the different sects. In Würtemberg, "if, in a
community of different religious confessions, the minority comprises
sixty families, they may claim the establishment and support of a
school of their own confession, at the expense of the whole
community." The ecclesiastical authorities of the various sects are
not, however, independent of, but merely associated with, the state
functionaries, whose sanction is indispensable for the catechisms and
school-books in use in every school. Such, at least, is said to be the
case in Würtemberg; and, as far as we can judge from the not very
precise statements made on this subject, the rule appears to be
universal. Roman Catholic, Protestant, Greek Church, and Jewish
schools are, in the Austrian empire, alike established by law,
according to the necessities of each province and district. But in the
state of New York (and we believe a like practice prevails in other
parts of the Union) the sectarian difficulty is overcome in a
different way. By a recent act of the legislature, it is provided that
"no school shall be entitled to a portion of the school-moneys, in
which the religious sectarian doctrine or tenet of any particular
Christians, or other religious sect, shall be taught, inculcated, or
practised."

The only other particulars we shall notice relate to school
attendance. It must be premised that, in the countries of central
Europe, the attendance of every child at the elementary schools is
compulsory--the only alternative being private instruction. _Fines and
imprisonment are employed to enforce this regulation._ Free education
is also provided, at the general expense, for those unable to pay the
school fees.

In Prussia, the proportion of those enjoying school education was to
the population, in 1846, as 1 to 6.

In Bavaria, in 1844, nearly as 1 to 4.

In the Austrian empire, as 1 to 9 for boys, and as 1 to 12 for girls;
but in Upper and Lower Austria, as 1 to 6 for boys, and as 1 to 7 for
girls.

In Holland, 1 in 8 received, in 1846, public instruction.

In Sweden, in 1843, the proportion was no more than as 1 to 165 of the
population.

In Belgium, in 1840, it was as 1 to 9.

In Russia, the number attending schools of all kinds, including the
universities, amounted, in 1846, to 195,819, which, in a population of
60,000,000, gives a proportion of less than 1 to 300 of the
inhabitants.

In Pennsylvania, in 1840, 1 in 5 of the population had the advantage
of instruction in common schools; in New York, on the first of January
1847, nearly 1 in 16; in Massachusetts, about 1 in 6-1/2 of the
population.

It is impossible to read these details without two reflections
especially being immediately suggested to the mind. One of these is
the necessary connexion between the success of any system of national
education and the special circumstances of each individual state to
which it may be applied. To introduce the Prussian system into
Scotland, with any prospect of its working here as well as it does
there, one would require to change the whole character of the
government, and the whole habits, nay, the very nature of the people,
to make Scotchmen Prussians and Scotland Prussia.

But there is a still more important reflection forced upon us. How
little mere secular education, apart from that which we hold to be an
indispensable accompaniment to it--sound religious education--avails
for the elevation of the people, let these statistics, read in the
light of recent events, tell! The murderers of Count Latour were all
well-educated persons, after that fashion which it has been proposed
to introduce into this country as the national system. They had all
been at schools--at schools from which religious instruction, however,
was either excluded, or worse than excluded.

But, to come to National Education in Scotland. On this subject there
are two questions wholly distinct from each other, which at present
occupy some attention. The one relates to the long-tried and approved
parochial system, the other to the plans, professedly of a
supplementary character, recently introduced by a committee of the
Privy Council, which constitutes a government board for the
application of the parliamentary grant, now voted annually for some
years, for educational purposes. In a pamphlet[11] lately published by
Lord Melgund, which is of some importance now, as indicating the views
with which his motion in parliament is introduced, these two questions
have, we think, been unfairly confounded: with the former we have
particular concern at present.

We agree, however, with Lord Melgund in condemning utterly the
procedure of the Privy Council in regard to those schools which are at
this moment rising up in almost every parish in Scotland, not for the
purpose, even ostensibly, of supplying destitute localities with the
means of education, but as parts of an ecclesiastical system, whose
avowed object is to supersede in all its departments the Established
Church. These schools receive much the greater part (in fact nearly
two-thirds) of the whole sum voted for education in Scotland; that is
to say, about two-thirds of the parliamentary grant, intended to
promote general education in this part of the kingdom, is by the Privy
Council diverted altogether from its proper object, and applied to
purposes exclusively and avowedly sectarian.

This is an abuse which cannot be too severely reprobated. Lord
Melgund, in his pamphlet, with some justice calls attention to the
strictly exclusive character of the Free Church--an exclusiveness to
which the Established Church affords no parallel--to the fact that it
is an irresponsible body, with whose affairs no man not a member has
any more right to interfere, than he has with those of a railway
company to which he does not belong. It is not, however, on this
ground alone, or chiefly, that the Privy Council's proceedings in
regard to the Free Church schools are objectionable.

Out of the sum of £5463 granted, according to the committee's minutes
last issued, to Scotland in 1847, no less than £3485 was apportioned
to Free Church schools. Let us inquire on what conditions, in what
circumstances, so large a proportion of the fund at the disposal of
the committee has been thus expended. If this sum had been
appropriated _bonâ fide_ for educational purposes, to aid in building
schools in localities previously unprovided with them, perhaps no very
serious exception could have been taken to the, in that case,
comparatively trivial circumstance, that the persons by whom the money
was to be applied happened to be dissenters from the Established
Church,--dissenters whose doctrinal standards are the same as those
recognised by law. In this case, it might with some reason have been
said by defenders of the Privy Council, "Why should these localities
remain without schools of any kind, merely because the Free Churchmen
have been the only parties zealous enough to obtain for them this
boon?"

But what are the facts? Even on the face of the minutes of council
themselves, it appears that at least the greater part of the large
grant in question has been given _to aid in erecting schools where
there was no pretence at all of destitution_--in localities already
amply supplied with the means of education, including both parochial
and non-parochial schools; and has been given, therefore, not for the
purpose of supplementing, but for the purpose of SUPPLANTING existing
institutions; not for the advancement of education, but for the
advancement of Free Churchism.

An assertion of so serious a nature as this requires proof, and proof
is easily given.

In the return in the minutes of council for 1847-8, of the grants for
education in Scotland, sixteen of the schools aided are marked F. C.
S., (Free Church of Scotland;) and there is, in the case of most of
these, a return as to the existing school accommodation of the
district, an inquiry on this subject being always and very properly
made--oftener, as appears, however, made than attended to. The
following are some of the returns, taken almost at random:--

_Brigton in Polmont._--Population of school district, 3584: existing
schools--"The parish school, Establishment, (attended by 150
scholars;) Redding Muir, Establishment, (100;) Redding village,
Establishment and Free Church, (80;) Redding Muir, Methodist,
(40.)"[12] Grant to Free Church, £143.

_Dalkeith._--Population, 6000: existing school accommodation--"The
parochial or grammar school, and _other schools_, partially supported
by the Duke of Buccleuch." No further particulars. Grant to Free
Church, £248.--In the following instance, a notable attempt is made to
manufacture a case of crying destitution:--

_Ellon._--Population, 3000: existing schools--"The parochial school is
situate about a quarter of a mile distant, at the eastern extremity of
the old town; the new school will be at the western extremity of the
new town!" In consideration, however, of the "one-fourth mile,"
coupled with the interesting topographical information that this is
the exact distance between the eastern extremity of the old and the
western extremity [or "west-end"] of the new town of Ellon, and,
doubtless, for other grave reasons not expressed, £162 is subscribed
to the funds of the Free Church.

These are average examples of all the cases. Everybody, indeed, knows
what the practice of the Free Secession has been in choosing sites,
alike for their churches and for their schools. Their endeavour has
been to plant both as near as possible to the parish church and the
parish school,--a most natural, and, for their purposes, wise
arrangement; but an arrangement, one would imagine, which ought not to
have been countenanced by the Privy Council. That body might have been
expected to reply to such an application as that from Polmont
parish--"The funds at our disposal are intended to supply deficiencies
in the means of education. We cannot recognise your case as one of
destitution. As a public body, administering public money, it is not
permitted to us to agree with you in setting aside the parochial
schools, and the other schools in the district as of no account,
merely because they are not under your sectarian control. You are
applying for our aid, not to supplement, but to supersede existing
educational institutions; and this is an object to which we could not
contribute without a gross misappropriation of the national funds." In
having, instead of returning this answer to the promoters of the
proposed new school in Polmont, sent them £143, the Privy Council's
committee have, be it noticed, established a precedent which is not
likely to be left unimproved: indeed the Free Church are said to have
about 500 similar applications ready.[13]

The practical evils of such a course are obvious. "Suppose," (say
the parish schoolmasters, in their memorial to Lord John
Russell,)--"suppose the people of the parishes where these schools
shall be established wished to be divided betwixt the parochial
schools and those of the Free Church, instead of resorting
exclusively to the former, _are they likely to be better educated in
consequence of the change_? Is it not rather to be feared that,
instead of one efficient, two comparatively inefficient schools will
in consequence be established in a great number of parishes?... At
all events, the loss resulting from the injury done to the old and
tried system is certain; the advantages of the new system are
problematical; and the sacrifice of the former to the latter,
therefore, seems to us to be inexpedient and unwise."[14]

That "old and tried system" is, however, exposed to other perils. Lord
Melgund not only finds fault with the above and other abuses of the
Privy Council's scheme of education, but with the original parochial
system; and not only suggests that that recent scheme should be
re-organised, but that the whole system of national education in
Scotland should undergo a thorough revisal. Let us come at once to
that reform which it appears to be the chief aim of his pamphlet to
recommend, and of his motion to effect; which is of a very sweeping
and fundamental character, and which, in a word, consists in the
severance of the subsisting connexion between the parochial schools
and the Established Church.

It is not necessary at present to go back to the origin of the
ecclesiastical institutions Of Scotland. The question is, not what
the law _is_, but what the law ought to be; and we shall here assume
that, whatever may be the vested interests of the Church in the parish
schools, it is competent for parliament to consider the propriety, in
existing circumstances, of introducing a new national system of
education, irrespective altogether of historical considerations. By
thus arguing the question on its merits, to the exclusion of
historical associations, we deprive ourselves of many pleas against a
change which appear relevant and cogent to friends of the Church whose
judgment is entitled to the highest respect. But we take the ground
which, if the matter be discussed at all, will doubtless be taken by
most of those who engage in the controversy, and on which, doubtless,
the result will be made ultimately to depend.

The parish-school system of Scotland may be described in a few words.
In every parish, at the present day, there is (except in the case of
some of the large towns) at least one school,[15] which, with the
teacher's house, has been erected, and is kept up by the heritors, or
landed proprietors, of each parish; by whom also a salary is provided
for the schoolmaster, which, exclusive of house and garden, at present
varies, according to circumstances, from £25 the minimum, to £34 the
maximum allowance. This certainly most inadequate remuneration is
supplemented partly by school fees--which, however, are fixed at a low
rate, and always dispensed with in cases of necessity--partly by the
schoolmaster being allowed to hold, in conjunction with his school,
the offices of heritors' and session clerk, which yield, on an
average, to each about £14 more, (_Remarks_, p. 15;) and partly,
though in comparatively few parishes, by local foundations. In 1834,
the number of parochial schools was 1,047; and the emoluments of the
teachers amounted for the whole (excluding the augmentations from the
Dick Bequest) to £55,339: of this sum £29,642 being salaries, £20,717
school fees, and £4,979 other emoluments.[16]

With regard to management: the election of the teacher is vested in
the heritors (_the sole rate-payers_) and minister of the parish.
Before admission to his office, however, the schoolmaster-elect must
pass a strict examination before the presbytery of the bounds, as to
his qualifications to teach the elementary branches of education, and
such of the higher branches as either the heritors on the one hand, or
the presbytery[17] on the other hand, may think necessary in every
case; and must profess his adherence to the Established Church by
signing the Confession of Faith and formula. The parish minister acts
as the regular school-inspector: and every presbytery is bound to hold
an annual examination of all the schools within its jurisdiction,
usually conducted in the presence of the leading inhabitants, and to
make returns to the supreme ecclesiastical court of the attendance,
the branches taught, the progress of the scholars, and the efficiency
of the teachers. It must be here added that, although thus placed
under the superintendence of the national church, and although based
on the principles of the national faith, the parish schools are
acknowledged to be free from anything which, in Scotland at least,
could be called a _sectarian_ character. Lord Melgund frankly admits
that "the teachers and presbyteries appear to have dealt liberally by
all classes of Dissenters in religious matters, and certainly cannot
be reproached with having given offence by dogmatical teaching, or by
attempts to proselytise"--(_Remarks_, p. 24;) and adduces some proofs
in support of this view, with which we shall content ourselves,
though they might easily be multiplied. About twelve years ago, a
series of queries was sent to all the parish schools, containing,
among many others, the following,--"Do children attend the school
without reference to the religious persuasion of their parents?" and,
as quoted by Lord Melgund, out of 924 answers, 915 were in the
affirmative.--(_Remarks_, p. 27.) "It is but justice to the present
teachers," said the Rev. Dr Taylor of the Secession Church to the
House of Lords' Committee, in 1848, (_Remarks_, p. 34,) "to say that,
as far as my knowledge goes, they do not generally attempt to
proselytise or interfere with the religious opinions of the children."
Mr John Gibson, the Government inspector, states, that not only the
children of orthodox Dissenters, but even Roman Catholic children,
find these schools non-sectarian. "Roman Catholic children (he says)
have been wont to attend the schools of the Church of Scotland in the
Highlands and Islands. This they seem to have done in consequence of
the manner in which these schools have been conducted in reference to
the Roman Catholic population."--(_Remarks_, p. 32.) With respect,
indeed, to the great body of dissenters from the Established Church,
there can be no difficulty. The Catechism taught in the parish
schools, and, with the exception of the Bible, the only textbook
insisted upon by the church, is a religious standard acknowledged by
them all, and is taught almost as generally in the non-parochial as in
the parochial schools.

Our answer to Lord Melgund's principal reason for a fundamental
revisal of this the present parochial school system of Scotland is,
that that reason is founded on a great delusion. The reason may be
thus stated, that while the parish schools, however useful as far as
they go, are confessedly inadequate to the increased population, their
present constitution stands in the way of the introduction into
Scotland of a general system of national education.--(See _Remarks_,
p. 35 and _passim_.)

It may be here noticed, in passing, that rather more than enough is
perhaps sometimes said as to the inadequacy of the provision for
education made in the parish schools. The population has certainly
enormously increased since 1696; but so has the wealth of the country,
and so also, along with the power, has the desire increased, of
compensating, by voluntary efforts, for the growing disproportion
between the legal provision and the actual wants of the people in
regard to education. In a great measure, the parish schools continue
to serve efficiently some of the main purposes contemplated in their
institution. In a great measure, they still afford a legal provision
for education, _as far as legal provision is absolutely
necessary_.[18]

That a strictly national system of education is on many accounts
desirable, no one will doubt, any more than that the connexion between
the parish schools and the National Church is, in the present state of
opinion in the country, an insuperable obstacle to any such material
extension of the present machinery, as would constitute a strictly
national educational system. But whether the necessity or propriety
of an alteration of the present system be an inference from these
premises is a different question. Our answer to Lord Melgund here is,
that to remove the parish schools from the superintendence of the
Church would not have the smallest effect in facilitating arrangements
for the purpose which Lord Melgund and others profess--doubtless,
sincerely--to have so much at heart, and that, upon the whole, a
national system of education for Scotland, of a more general
description than the one already in operation, is, at least in present
circumstances, _wholly impracticable_ on any conditions or terms,
after any fashion, or mode, or plan whatsoever. It is right that this
should be distinctly understood. If Lord Melgund believes that the
only or even the principal difficulty in the way of his utopian scheme
of a strictly national system for this country, which shall unite all
sects and parties, is the connexion between the parish school and the
parish church, he must be extremely ignorant of the state of public
opinion in Scotland, where, in fact, any such scheme is, on every
account, notoriously out of the question.

Whether, with all its defects, the present system is not better than
no system at all, is therefore a question deserving the serious
consideration even of those who are most inimical to it. We would
venture here to suggest, that if the existing system is to be
interfered with, that interference should not at least be attempted
until a _strictly national substitute_ for it has been actually agreed
upon. But it is vain to talk thus. The education system of 1696,
already established, to which the people have long been habituated,
and whose value they have had the best means of appreciating, is the
only approximation to a national system which would now be tolerated
for a moment, and, if it were set aside, could not be replaced by any
other.

In the first place, the Church herself would not consent to any scheme
which deprived her of her present securities for the "godly
upbringing" of the children of her own communion. Abolish in the
parish schools the tests and rights of supervision which she now
possesses, and she must seek, in schools raised by voluntary
contribution, the means of carrying out her principles on the subject
of education.

It is equally well known, that neither would the dissenters agree
among themselves as to a national system of education. Of these
members of the community, a large proportion would object to any
system which excluded the Bible and the Shorter Catechism from the
schools; and another large proportion--all who are voluntaries--would
be equally bound, on their own principles, to oppose any plan which
did NOT exclude the Bible and the Shorter Catechism--the latter class
holding that the state cannot, without sin, interfere in any way in
the religious instruction of the people, as strongly as the former
class holds such interference to be the duty of the state. But this is
not all. Thus, for instance, the Free seceders have shown, in the most
unequivocal manner, that their objection is not only to the parish
schools, as at present organised, but to all schools not under their
own special superintendence.

What the views of the present rate-payers would be remains to be seen.
The endowment of the parish schools cannot be called national. It
comes exclusively out of the pockets of the landed gentry and other
heritors of the country, who, as far as we are aware, have never as a
class expressed any dissatisfaction with its present application, or
any wish to interfere at all with the general ecclesiastical system
with which it is connected. How far their concurrence to a radical
alteration in the appropriation of funds, for which they originally
consented to assess themselves on specified conditions, could be
secured, we do not know; but we have strong suspicions that not the
least of the difficulties would arise from this quarter, which is not
usually taken into account. In short, let the question be put to the
test. Propose a substitute for the enactment of 1696. Draw up a bill
in which the details of a workable national system of education are
intelligibly set forth, and let that system be what it will, liberal
or illiberal, exclusive or catholic--a system in which all sects are
endowed, as in many of the German states, or from which all religious
instruction is excluded, as in America--let it be the wisest, most
comprehensive, most flexible scheme ever devised--and see the result:
see whether the true difficulty in setting in motion a more extended
and more strictly national system of education than at present exists,
lies in the connexion between the parish schools and the Established
Church, which an act of parliament might remedy any day, or in causes
which no strong-handed measure of the legislature can reach--in the
irremediable differences of opinion on the subject of education, and
on the subject of religion, and on the subject of national endowments,
prevalent at this day in Scotland, to a degree, and with
complications, perhaps, nowhere else to be found in the world.

We consider it unnecessary to say anything as to the only other reason
alleged by Lord Melgund for an interference with the present
management of the parish schools--namely, the practical injustice
suffered by dissenters from the Established Church, by the exclusive
character of that management. We almost hope we misinterpret his
lordship's statement, in attributing to him an objection which is
nowhere announced in explicit terms, but which seems to us to be not
the less obviously suggested. The objection, however, is a common one.
Thus, as quoted by Lord Melgund himself, the Rev. Dr Taylor stated
before the Lords' Committee, that the "Dissenters desired the reform
of the parish schools less on account of the education of the
children, than to open a field of employment for persons who wish to
be schoolmasters, and are members of congregations not belonging to
the Established Church;" and that "Dissenters consider it a grievance,
or badge of inferiority, and an act of injustice, that they should be
excluded from holding office in schools which are national
institutions."

We think it needless to enter upon this topic, for if the reason here
alleged be valid as against the parish schools, it is also valid as
against the parish churches--against, in a word, the whole system of
the national religious Establishment; and we trust that the time is
not yet come when the propriety of overthrowing that institution,
and--for all must stand or fall together--those of the sister
kingdoms, admits of serious discussion. It is worthy of notice,
however, in passing, not only that such is at bottom the true state of
the question, but that, with almost the whole of the advocates of a
change, it is acknowledged to be so; and that that change, like the
similar proposed innovations in the universities, and like the Lord
Advocate's Marriage and Registration Bills, is mainly desired, when
desired at all, as an important step towards the gradual
accomplishment of an ulterior object, which it is not yet expedient to
seek by open and straightforward means.

Before concluding this protest against the sweeping measures proposed
by Lord Melgund and the party which he represents, it is right to take
some notice of another question. Is the school system of Scotland
incapable of any alteration whatever for the better? Granting that its
fundamental principles ought to remain intact, may it not, and should
it not, be rendered more efficient in the details of its
administration, by the aid of the legislature?

One matter of detail which has been often pointed out as calling for
legislative interference, is the difficulty, under the present law, of
relieving parishes from the burden of incompetent schoolmasters, and
particularly of schoolmasters who have become unfit for their duties
by age or infirmity. Unhappily there are no retiring allowances
provided in the parochial school system of Scotland. The consequence
is, that it depends upon the mere liberality of the heritors--who
however, to their honour, are seldom found wanting in such
cases--whether a man who has outlived his usefulness shall continue to
exercise his functions. For this evil it is very desirable that the
obvious remedy should be furnished; and we think that there are no
insurmountable practical difficulties to arrangements on the subject
being carried into effect. It might also be proper to give greater
facilities to presbyteries in dismissing teachers for wilful neglect
of duty--a contingency which it is right to mention is both of very
rare occurrence, and is best provided against by care in the
selection, on the part of the heritors, and in the rigorous exercise
by presbyteries of their large powers of examination and rejection,
when the appointments are originally made.

With regard to the existing salaries, their inadequacy has been
already insisted upon. Nor, for many reasons, can we accept the
recently propounded--if it can be said to be propounded, for its terms
are not a little ambiguous--plan of the Privy Council's Committee for
their augmentation as any remedy whatever. That plan--not to speak of
more serious objections to it--includes certain conditions which are
so framed, as practically to exclude from participation in the grant
all parishes except the wealthiest and most liberal, which, of course,
least need it. It is enough to mention here, that one of the
conditions on which this grant, in every case, depends, is the
_voluntary_ concurrence of the heritors themselves in the payment of a
considerable proportion of any addition to the present salary. We, of
course, wish, that eventually some truly practicable means may be
adopted to secure for the parish schoolmasters, throughout the
country, allowances more in proportion than their present pittances to
the importance--which can hardly be overrated--of their duties, and,
we may add, to their merits.

These matters of detail admit, we repeat, of improvement. It is
desirable that something should be done in the case of both. Better,
however, a hundredfold, that things should remain altogether as they
are, than that the principles lying at the foundation of the system
should be shaken. It is to be hoped that the Church will be true to
herself in regard to the question of pecuniary aid either from
government, or by government legislation; refusing for its sake to
compromise in the least degree her sacred rights--or let us rather
call them her sacred duties--of superintendence; Better to be poor
than not pure.

One word more. Alarming as is the proposal of the member for Greenock,
we have to state, with great regret, that it does no more than confirm
apprehensions for the safety of a system hitherto found to work well,
which have been awakened by actual proceedings already adopted. It is
impossible that any one can have watched the gradual development of
the plan, in regard particularly, though not exclusively, to Scotland,
of that anomalous board, the Privy Council's Committee on Education,
without being persuaded that they are, we do not say intended, but, at
least, most nicely adapted to the eventual attainment of the very same
object which Lord Melgund would accomplish _per saltum_. The every-day
increasing claims of the Board to a right of interference with the
internal management of all schools, its assumption of apparently
unlimited legislative powers, and its continual indications of special
hostility to the parochial school system, constitute an ominous
combination of unfavourable circumstances. Even in the act of
ostensibly aiding, it is secretly undermining that system. It is not
only weakening its efficiency by the encouragement of rival
schools--_rival_ in the strictest sense of the term--but, by its
grants to the parish schools themselves, on the conditions now
exacted, it is purchasing the power, and preparing the way, for an
eventual absorption of these schools in a comprehensive system to be
under its own exclusive control, and to be regulated by principles at
direct variance with those under the influence of which, in the
schools of Scotland, have been for nearly two centuries brought up a
people--we may say it with some pride--not behind any other in
intelligence, or in moral and religious worth.

FOOTNOTES:

[11] _Remarks on the Government Scheme of National Education in
Scotland_, 1848.

[12] We observe, however, that by the Parliamentary Returns of 1834,
the school accommodation was even then considerably greater than is
here stated. The greatest number attending the parish school was 246,
and non-parochial schools 443; which, to the population there given of
3210, was nearly a proportion of 1 in 5 of the inhabitants--a larger
proportion than in Prussia!

[13] They have taken care to sound the committee on the subject, and
have received an answer encouraging enough. The following extract is
from their report of a deputation to the Lord President:--"2. In
regard to applications for annual grants under the minutes, it was
asked--What evidence will ordinarily be required to satisfy the
Committee of the Privy Council that any particular school is needed in
the district in which it stands, and that it ought to be recognised as
entitled to its fair share of the grant equally with others similarly
situated? Supposing, in any given school, all the other conditions, as
to pecuniary resources, the qualifications of teachers, &c.,
satisfactorily complied with, will it be held enough to have the
report of the Government inspector or inspectors that a sufficient
number of children (say 50 or 60 in the country, and 90 or 100 in
towns) either are actually in attendance upon the school, or engaged
to attend, _without the question being raised as to the contiguity of
other schools_ of a different denomination, or the amount of vacant
accommodation in such schools? In reply, it was stated that the
Committee of Privy Council could not limit their discretion in judging
of the comparative urgency of applications; their lordships were
disposed to receive representations, and to inquire as to the
sufficiency of the existing school accommodation; and they would also
consider any other ground which might be urged for the erection of a
new school where a school or schools had been previously
established."--_Minutes for 1847-8_, vol. l, p. lxiv.

[14] _Schoolmasters' Memorial_, p. 3.

[15] In many parishes side schools are built and endowed, in addition
to the parish school, from the same funds: the salary in these cases
being fixed by the Act at about £17.

[16] _Parliamentary Inquiry_, 1837, _Appendix_.

[17] That the presbytery has the power of insisting upon
qualifications supplementary to those prescribed by the heritors, was
decided, we think about a dozen years ago, in the case of Sprouston.

[18] The Church herself, to a considerable extent, supplements
deficiencies in the legal school provision by means of her "Education
Scheme," whose object and efficiency may be partly gathered from the
two first sentences of the last report of the managing committee:--

"The schools under the charge of your committee (as has often been
stated) are intended to form auxiliaries to the parish schools, not to
compete or interfere with these admirable institutions; and,
accordingly, are never planted except where, owing to local
peculiarities, it is impossible that all the youth of the district
requiring instruction can be gathered into one place. While much
needed, your schools continue to be most useful; and, indeed, by the
divine blessing, they appear to have been rendered eminently
beneficial.

"The number of schools under the care of your committee may be
reported of thus:--Those situated in the Highlands and Islands, 125;
those in the Lowlands, 64; and those planted at the expense of the
Church of Scotland's Ladies' Gaelic School Society, and placed under
your committee's charge, 20; in all, 209."



ARARAT AND THE ARMENIAN HIGHLANDS.[19]


It were a worthy and novel undertaking for a man of science,
enterprise, and letters, to explore and describe in succession the
most celebrated of the earth's mountains. And we know of no person
better fitted for such a task, and likely to accomplish it with more
honour to himself and advantage to the world, than the persevering
traveller and able writer, the title of whose latest work heads this
page. Has he allotted himself that task? We cannot say; but what he
has already done looks like its commencement, and he has time before
him to follow the path upon which he has so successfully and
creditably entered. In Dr Moritz Wagner we have an instance of a
strong natural bent forcing its way in defiance of obstacles.
Compelled by the pressure of peculiar circumstances to abandon his
academical studies at Augsburg before they were completed, and to
devote himself to commercial pursuits, he entered a merchant's house
at Marseilles. Business took him to Algiers, and his visit to that
country, then in the early years of French occupation, roused beyond
the possibility of restraint the ardent thirst for travel and
knowledge which had always been one of his characteristics. Abandoning
trade, he returned to Germany and devoted himself to the study of
natural history, and especially to that of zoology, which he had
cultivated in his youth. In 1836, being then in his twenty-ninth year,
he started from Paris for Algeria, where he travelled for two years,
sharing, in the capacity of member of a scientific commission, in the
second and successful expedition to Constantina. It is a peculiarity,
and we esteem it laudable, of many German travellers of the more
reflective and scientific class, that they do not rush into type
before the dust of the journey is shaken from their feet, but take
time to digest and elaborate the history of their researches. Thus it
was not until three years after his return to Europe, that Dr Wagner
sent forth from his studious retirement at Augsburg an account of his
African experiences, in a book which still keeps the place it at once
took as the best upon that subject in the German language.[20] The
work had not long been issued to the public, when its author again
girded himself for the road. This time his footsteps were turned
eastwards; Asia was his goal: he passed three busy and active years in
Turkey and Russia, Circassia and Armenia. The strictly scientific
results of this long period of observant travel and diligent research
are reserved for a great work, now upon the anvil. To the general
reader Dr Wagner addressed, a few months ago, two volumes of
remarkable spirit and interest, which we recently noticed; and he now
comes forward with a third, in its way equally able and attractive.
The apparent analogy between the subjects of the two books, as
treating of contiguous countries and nations, but slightly cloaks
their real contrast. The two mountain ranges, whose world-renowned
names figure on their title-pages, are, although geographically
adjacent to each other, as far apart as the antipodes in their history
and associations, and in the character of their inhabitants. Of the
one the traditions are biblical, of the other pagan and mythological.
Upon a crag of Caucasus Prometheus howls, and Medea culls poison at
its base; upon Ararat's summit the ark reposes, and Noah, stepping
forth upon the soaked and steaming earth, founds the village of
Arguri, and plants the first vine in its valley. In modern days the
contrast is not less striking. Amongst the Caucasian cliffs the rattle
of musketry, the howl of warlike fanatics, the glitter of Mahomedan
mail, the charging hoofs of chivalrous squadrons, the wave of rich
robes and the gleam of costly weapons purchased with the flesh and
blood of Circassia's comely daughters. "Curse upon the Muscovite!
Freedom or death!" is here the cry. Upon Ararat's skirts how different
the scene and sounds! Cloisters and churches, monks and bishops,
precious relics and sainted sites, the monotonous chant of priests and
the prayer-bell's musical clang, the holy well of Jacob and the
vestiges of Noah's floating caravan.[21] Dr Wagner esteems his journey
to Armenia one of the most interesting episodes of his three years'
Asiatic wanderings. In the preface to its record, he pays a handsome
and well-deserved tribute to the enterprise of English travellers--to
the names of Ker Porter, Wilbraham, Fraser, Hamilton, Ainsworth, and
many others--who have contributed more, he says, to our geographical
knowledge of Asia, than the learned travellers of all the other
nations of Europe. He himself, he modestly and truly intimates, has
added in the present volume to the store of information.

     "When I undertook, in the year 1843, a journey to Russian
     Armenia, Mount Ararat was the object I had particularly in
     view. Various circumstances then compelled me to content
     myself with a visit to the north side of that mountain. But
     in the following year, during my journey to Turkish Armenia
     and Persia, it was vouchsafed me to explore the previously
     entirely unknown south side of the Ararat group, and to abide
     upon Turkish and Persian territory, in the vicinity of the
     mighty boundary-stone of three great empires. The striking
     position of Ararat, almost equidistant from China and from
     the Iberian peninsula, from the ice-bound Lena in the high
     northern latitudes of Siberia, and from the slimy current of
     the Ganges in Southern Hindostan, has at all periods
     attracted the attention of geographers. For years I had
     harboured the ardent wish to visit the mysterious mountain.
     Towering in the centre of the Old Continent, an image of the
     fire whose mighty remains extend to the regions of eternal
     ice, Ararat is indicated by Jewish and Armenian tradition as
     the peak of refuge, round which the deluge roared, unable to
     overflow it. From the summit of the gigantic cone descended
     the pairs of all creatures, whose descendants people the
     earth."

On Ararat, as in many other places, tradition and science disagree.
Diluvial traces are sought there in vain. On the other hand, evidences
of volcanic devastation on every side abound; and a wish to
investigate this, and to ascertain the details of the subterranean
commotion that had destroyed Arguri three years previously, was one of
the principal motives of Dr Wagner's visit to Armenia. Towards the
middle of May he started from Tefflis, the most important town of the
Russian trans-Caucasian provinces, accompanied by Abowian, a
well-educated Armenian and accomplished linguist, and attended by
Ivan, the doctor's Cossack, a sharp fellow, and a faithful servant
after his kind, but, like all his countrymen, an inveterate thief.
Their vehicle was a Russian _telega_, or posting carriage, springless,
and a perfect bone-setter on the indifferent roads of Armenia. They
travelled in company with that well-known original and indefatigable
traveller, General Baron Von Hallberg,[22] of whose appearance, and of
the sensation it excited in the streets of Erivan, Dr Wagner gives an
amusing account:--

     "Amongst the travellers was a strange figure, around which
     the inquisitive mob assembled, with expressions of the utmost
     wonderment. It was that of an old man, hard upon eighty, but
     who, nevertheless, sprang into the carriage, and took his
     seat beside a young Russian lady, with an air of juvenile
     vigour. From his chin and furrowed cheeks fell a venerable
     gray beard, half concealing the diamond-studded order of St
     Anna, which hung round his neck, whilst upon his left breast
     four or five other stars and crosses glittered from under the
     black Russian caftan, and his bald head was covered by a red
     Turkish fez, to the front of which a leathern peak was sewn.
     'Who can he be?' murmured the curious Armenians and Tartars,
     who could not reconcile the old gentleman's brilliant
     decorations with his coachman's caftan and Turkish cap.
     'Certainly a general, or perhaps a great lord from the
     emperor's court--a man of the first _tschin_!'--'Or mayhap a
     foreign ambassador!' quoth others. 'Since he wears the fez,
     he must come from Stamboul.' A Munich _gamin_ would have
     enlightened the good folks of Erivan. The interesting
     stranger, as some of my readers may already have conjectured,
     was no other than Baron Von Hallberg of Munich, (known also
     as the Hermit of Gauting,) my much-respected countryman. I
     made the acquaintance of this remarkable man, and great
     traveller, in 1836, at Algiers, where we passed many a
     cheerful day together, in the society of some jovial
     fellow-countrymen. After a lapse of seven years, I again met
     him at Tefflis, and we travelled together to Armenia. Since
     our parting at the foot of Atlas, he had visited the pyramids
     of Egypt, and the ruined temples of Heliopolis, and now the
     unwearied traveller thirsted after a sight of the capital of
     Persia's kings. He had come down the Wolga, and over the
     Caucasus, and was about to cross the Persian frontier."

At Pipis, the chief town of a circle, and residence of its captain, Dr
Wagner was struck by the appearance of a handsome modern building; and
soon he learned, to his astonishment, that it was a district-school
erected by the former governor, General Von Rosen. A school in this
wild district, scantily peopled with rude Tartars and Armenians,
seemed as much out of place as a circulating library in an Ojibbeway
village. He proceeded forthwith to visit the seminary, whose
folding-doors stood invitingly open. The spacious halls were
unfurnished and untenanted; over the mouldy walls spiders spread their
webs with impunity; the air was damp, the windows were broken, and a
great lizard scuttled out of sight upon the traveller's intrusion.
There were neither benches nor desks, teachers nor pupils. Nor had
there ever been any of these, said a Cossack lieutenant, whose horses
were feeding in the court-yard. The school-house was a mere impromptu
in honour of the Russian emperor. In many countries, when the
sovereign travels, his progress is celebrated by triumphal arches,
garlands, and illuminations. In Russia it is different. Nicholas is
known to prefer use to ornament, and when he visits the remote
provinces of his vast dominions, his lieutenants and governors strain
their ingenuity to make him credit the advance of civilisation and the
prosperity of his subjects. The property-men are set to work, and
edifices spring up, more solid, but, at present, scarcely more useful
than the pasteboard mansions on a theatrical stage. On his approach to
Tefflis, the school was run up in all haste, and plans and schemes
were shown for the education of Tartar and Armenian. Languages and
every branch of knowledge were to be taught, and money was to be
given to the people to induce them to send their children to the hall
of learning. "The project was splendid," said the Cossack officer to
Dr Wagner, "but there the matter rested. No sooner had the Emperor
seen the school-house, and expressed his satisfaction, than the hands
of masons and carpenters seemed suddenly crippled. Not another ruble
reached Pipis for the prosecution of the philanthropical work, the
architect took himself off, and we took possession of the empty house.
The court-yard is convenient for our horses, and in the hot summer
days my Cossacks find pleasant lying in the large cool halls." Not all
the acuteness, foresight, and far-sightedness, and many kingly
qualities, which combine to render Nicholas the most remarkable of
existing monarchs, can protect from such impositions as this the
sovereign of so extensive a country as Russia. In vain may the czar,
indefatigable upon the road, visit the remotest corners of his
dominions; unless he do so incognito, after the fashion of Haroun
Alraschid, he will still be cheated. The governing part of the
population, the civil and military officials, conspire to deceive him;
and the governed dare not reveal the truth, for their masters have
abundant means at their disposal to punish an indiscretion. "Life is
delightful in this country," said Mr Ivanoff, a Russian district
overseer in Armenia, as he reclined upon his divan, wrapped in a
silken caftan, sipping coffee and smoking a cigar; "how absurd of
people in Russia to look upon Caucasus as a murder-hole, and to pity
those who have to cross it, as if they were going straight to
purgatory! I reckon one vegetates here very endurably, and he who
complains is either an ass, a rascal, or a liar. You see, my house is
tolerably comfortable, my table not bad: I have four-and-twenty
saddle-horses in my stable, superb beasts, fit for a prince's stud,
and to crown all, I am loved and honoured by the twenty thousand human
beings over whom I rule as the sardar's representative." Ivanoff's
frank avowal of his satisfaction contrasted with the hypocritical
complaints of many of his colleagues, who, whilst filling their
pockets and consuming the fat of the land, affect to consider
residence in trans-Caucasus the most cruel of inflictions. "Truly,"
says Dr Wagner, "nothing was wanting to the comfort of life in Mr
Ivanoff's dwelling: convenient furniture, a capital kitchen, wine from
France, cigars from the Havannah, horses of the best breeds of Arabia,
Persia, and Turkistan--all these things have their value, and yet, to
procure them, Mr Ivanoff had a salary of only six hundred paper
rubles, (about six-and-twenty pounds sterling!) He had a tolerably
pretty wife, on whom he doated, and to whom he brought all manner of
presents whenever he returned from the Erivan bazaar, which he visited
generally once a-week. Trinkets and silken stuffs and rich
carpets--whatever, in short, the little woman fancied--she at once
got, and if not to be had at Erivan, it was written for to Tefflis....
When Ivanoff rode forth in his official capacity, it was with a
following of twenty horsemen, all belonging to his household, and with
a banner waving before him. What a life! comfort, riches, oriental
pomp, and despotic power! Who would not be chief of a Russian district
in Armenia?" All this upon ten shillings a-week! It was more
astounding even than the school-house at Pipis. Abowian, as yet
inexperienced in Russian ways, regarded the riddle as unsolvable.
Ivanoff confessed he had nothing beside his salary. How then did he
maintain this princely existence? He assured the travellers he was
beloved by his people, and the Armenian peasants confirmed the
assurance. Extortion and violent plunder could not therefore be the
means employed. It was not till some days later, and in another
district, that Dr Wagner elucidated the mystery. He saw a long
procession of Armenian and Tartar peasants proceeding to the house of
Ivanoff's official brother. They were gift-laden; one led a horse,
another a sheep, a third dragged a stately goat by the horns, and
forced the bearded mountaineer to kneel before the Russian's corpulent
wife, who received the animals, the eggs, milk, cakes, and other
offerings, as well in coin as in kind, quite as matter of course. Nay,
she even looked sour and sulky, as though the tribute were scanty;
and Dr Wagner, who was an unobserved witness of the scene, heard her
say to the leader of the deputation, (probably the mayor of some
Armenian village:) "Think yourselves lucky to get off so cheaply, for
if it were known that the _tschuma_ is amongst you!..." The shrewd
doctor caught at this menacing phrase, as a possible key to what had
so greatly puzzled him. The meaning of the Russian word _tschuma_,
which, upon the man to whom it was addressed, seemed to have the
effect of a thunderbolt, being unknown to him, he inquired it of his
companion. _Tschuma_ means the PLAGUE. This frightful disease the
governor of the trans-Caucasian provinces, stimulated by stringent
orders from St Petersburg, makes it his constant effort to extirpate at
any price from the territory under his rule. Let a district-overseer
report a village infected, and forthwith it is placed in the most rigid
quarantine by means of a circle of Cossack pickets; for months the
unlucky inhabitants are deprived of communication with the surrounding
country; their agriculture is suspended, their crops rot in the ground,
and they lack the necessaries of life. All their clothes, bedding,
blankets, everything capable of conveying infection, are burned without
reserve, and the compensation allowed does not repay a tithe of the
loss. Hence the terrible power of the district overseer: a word
suffices; he will declare the village infected! The first death from
fever, or any other endemic, furnishes him with a pretext. At the least
threat of this nature, the peasants, apprehending ruin, hasten to
sacrifice part of their substance, and to avert the evil by gifts to
the great man, who is maintained in opulence and luxury by these
illegitimate imposts. Here was the secret of Ivanoff's five-and-twenty
horses and other little comforts. Nevertheless he was liked in the
country, for he did not over-drive the willing brute he lived upon,
neither did he hoard like his colleagues, but spent his money freely
and generously. And the poor peasants brought him their contributions
unasked and almost gladly, eager to keep him in good humour, and
fearful of changing him for a severer task-master. Suppose Czar
Nicholas on a visit to his Armenian provinces, and how can it be
expected that the poor ignorant wretches who offer up their sheep and
chickens as ransom from the plague-spot, will dare carry to his august
feet a complaint against their tyrants? They may have heard of his
justice, and feel confidence in it--for it is well known that the
emperor is prompt and terrible in his chastisement of oppressive and
unjust officials, when he can detect them--and yet they will hesitate
to risk greater evils by trying to get rid of those that already
afflict them. The _esprit-de-corps_ of Russian _employés_ is notorious,
and a disgraced governor or overseer may generally reckon pretty
confidently on his successor for vengeance upon those who denounced
him. The corruption, according to Dr Wagner, extends to the very
highest; and men of rank and birth, princes and general officers, are
no more exempt from it than the understrapper with a few hundred rubles
per annum. "One crow does not pick out another's eyes," says the German
proverb. But in spite of his officers' cunning and caution, the emperor
can hardly visit his distant provinces without detecting abuses and
getting rid of illusions. One of these was dispelled when he, for the
first time, beheld, upon his journey to Russian Armenia in 1837, the
much-vaunted fortifications of Erivan's citadel. Count Paskewitch's
pompous bulletins had led him to expect something very different from
the feeble walls, composed of volcanic stones, loosely cemented with
mud and straw, upon whose conqueror a proud title had been bestowed.
The result of all the emperor's observations at that time had great
influence--so says Dr Wagner--upon his subsequent policy. His love of
peace, and his moderation with respect to Asiatic conquest, were
confirmed by the impression he then received. Of this the doctor was
assured by many well-informed and trustworthy persons in the
trans-Caucasus. "This country needs much improvement," said Nicholas to
a high official who accompanied him through the monotonous,
thinly-peopled, and scantily-tilled wildernesses, and through the
indigent towns and villages of Armenia. His desire for conquest was
cooled, and his wish to consolidate and improve what he already
possessed was strengthened tenfold. Everywhere upon the south-eastern
frontier of Russia Dr Wagner traced evidence of this latter feeling.
But he also beheld forts on a scale and of a construction hinting
offensive as well as defensive projects on the part of their builder.
One of them was in process of erection at Erivan, to replace the crazy
edifice already referred to. In 1843, the progress of the works was
slow, for another expensive citadel was building on the Turkish
frontier, and it was desirable to limit the annual outlay for this
item. And a hostile demonstration against Russia, from Persians beyond
the river Araxes, was the last thing to be apprehended.

     "The great new fortress is far less intended for a defence
     than for a storehouse and place of muster for a Russian army
     of operations against the Persian frontier provinces, whose
     conquest the Emperor Nicholas undoubtedly bequeaths to his
     successors. The formidable constructions at Sevastopol,
     Nicolajeff, and Gumri, are to answer the same end against
     Turkey as that of Erivan against Persia. These frontier forts
     are the sword of Damocles, which the emperor--not greedy of
     conquest himself, but far-calculating for the
     future--suspends over the heads of his Moslem neighbours, to
     be drawn from its scabbard under more favourable
     circumstances by a warlike son or grandson."

The appearance of the forts in question gives a show of reason to Dr
Wagner's prognostications. Gumri--or Alexandropol, as the Russians
have re-baptised the contiguous town--is built on a rocky eminence,
whose crags serve it in some measure for walls. It contains barracks,
case-mates, storehouses, and hospitals, all as strong as they are
spacious, and which could be defended as detached citadels, supposing
an enemy to have mastered the walls and rocky out-works. It is adapted
for an army of sixty thousand men, and is so roomy, that in case of a
sudden inroad of the Pasha of Kars--who, if war broke out, could
probably bring an army to the river Arpatschai before the Russians
could assemble one at Tefflis, and march to the frontier--not only the
whole population of Alexandropol, (in 1843 about 6000 souls,) but the
entire peasantry of the surrounding country would find shelter within
its walls. Its natural and artificial strength is so great, that a
small garrison might laugh at the attacks of Turks and Persians.

     "'From these turrets,' said the mustached Russian major who
     showed me all that was worth seeing in the fortress of Gumri,
     'our eagle will one day wing its victorious flight.' If the
     Russians ever conquer Asiatic Turkey, the first step will
     undoubtedly be taken from this spot, and therefore has the
     sagacious emperor commanded no expense to be spared in the
     perfection of the works. 'The power of Russia is patient as
     time, vast as space,' once exclaimed a renowned orator in the
     tribune of the French Chamber. Persons who assert that
     Nicholas has no ambition, that all thirst of conquest is
     foreign to his character, are perhaps right; but greatly do
     those err who believe that he contents him with playing the
     part of the first Tory in Europe, and thinks only of closing
     the Russian frontier to liberal ideas, of drilling his guards
     and passing brilliant reviews. The works done, doing, and
     planned, at Nicolajeff, Sevastopol, Gumri, Erivan, prove the
     potent monarch to have ulterior views. For himself, he may be
     content not to enlarge the enormous territory within whose
     limits his voice is law. So long as he lives, perhaps, no
     ukase will silence the Hatti-scherif of the padishad beyond
     the Arpatschai. But under the shadow of this much-vaunted
     moderation and love of peace, the prudent emperor forgets not
     to clear the road of conquest into Asia, and to leave it
     broad, smooth, and convenient for some succeeding Romanoff."

Such speculations as these, proceeding from a man who has travelled,
with slow step and observant eye, every inch of the ground to which he
refers, and to whom a clear head, reflective habits, and much
communion with the people of the country, have given peculiar
facilities for the formation of a sound judgment, are of high interest
and value. Dr Wagner is no dogmatist, but a close and candid reasoner,
abounding in facts to support what he advances, and having at his
fingers' ends all that has been written not only in his own country,
but in England and elsewhere, on the subject of Russia and her
emperor, of her policy and her eastern neighbours. And it is to the
credit of his impartiality that his writings afford no clue to his own
political predilections. He stigmatises abuses wherever he meets
them, and from whatever cause proceeding; but whilst showing due
sympathy with the gallant Circassians and long-suffering Armenians, he
wholly eschews the insane propagandism so rife in the writings of many
of his countrymen. He is evidently not of opinion that autocrat and
oppressor are always synonymous, and that absolutism is essentially
the worst tyranny.

A preferable site having been found for the new fort of Erivan, the
old one was still standing at the period of Dr Wagner's visit. He
gives an amusing account of its interior, and especially of the
apartments of the ex-sardar, Hussein Khan, whose walls were painted in
fresco, an art still quite in its infancy amongst the Persians. The
pictures, as might be expected, were rather grotesque than graceful in
their execution.

     "The subject of one of them is the history of Jussuf (Joseph)
     in Egypt, based upon the Arabian tradition. Zuleikha, the
     wife of Potiphar--so runs the Moslem legend--had become the
     laughing-stock of the ladies of Pharaoh's court, by the
     failure of her attempt to seduce the beautiful Joseph. To
     revenge herself, she invited all those court-dames to visit
     her, and commanded Joseph to hand them fruit and sherbet. But
     when the women beheld him, they were so bewitched by his
     beauty, that they bit their fingers instead of the
     pomegranates. This is the moment selected by the Persian
     artist. One of the ladies is seen to swoon from surprise, and
     Zuleikha triumphs at this incident, and at the confusion of
     the scoffers."

There was considerable license in the subjects of some of the other
pictures, one of which was intended to turn the Armenian Christians
into ridicule, by representing their priests and bishops in profane
society and riotous revel. Amongst the portraits, one of the last
sardar of Erivan represented him with a gloomy and forbidding
countenance--an expression which, if true to life, was by no means in
conformity with his character.

     "Hussein Khan was esteemed, even by the Armenians, as an able
     ruler. He was a brave warrior, a great protector of the fine
     arts, and tolerably moderate and just in his actions. In the
     struggle with the Russians he exhibited the utmost personal
     gallantry, but his example had no effect upon his cowardly
     soldiery. Without his knowledge his brother had attempted to
     have the Russian general murdered. When, after the surrender
     of the citadel, they both fell into the hands of the
     Russians, Count Paskewitch was inclined to take his revenge,
     by excluding the sardar's brother, as an assassin, from the
     benefits of the capitulation. But the firm bearing and cold
     resignation of the Persian, when brought before his
     conqueror, moved the latter to mercy. 'Every nation,' said
     the prisoner to Count Paskewitch, (the words were repeated to
     Dr Wagner by an eye-witness of the interview,) 'has its own
     way of making war. With us Persians, all means are held good
     and praiseworthy by which we can injure our foe. Thy death
     would have profited us, by spreading confusion and alarm
     amongst thy troops, and we should have availed ourselves of
     the circumstance for an attack. And if I sought to kill thee,
     it was solely in the interest of my sovereign's cause. If you
     desire revenge, you are free to take it. I am in your power,
     and shall know how to meet my fate.' This calm courage made a
     great impression upon the staff of general Paskewitch,
     (although the Persian noble was a man of very bad
     reputation,) and the Russian commander generously gave his
     enemy his life, and ultimately his freedom."

The sardar's harem has less decoration than the state apartments.
Formerly its walls were covered with frescos, mosaic work, and
porcelain ornaments of many colours; but since the Russians took
possession all these have disappeared, leaving the walls bare and
white. During the czar's short stay at Erivan, he inhabited one of
these rooms, and wrote, with his own hand, in firm, well-formed
characters, his name upon the wall. The signature is now framed and
glazed. In many houses where the emperor passed a night, when upon his
travels, he left a similar memento of his presence, sometimes adding a
few friendly words for his host.

From Erivan Dr Wagner started for the far-famed Armenian convent of
Eshmiadzini; his journey enlivened, or at least saved from complete
monotony, by the eccentricities of his Cossack attendant. Ivan, warmed
by a glass of _wodha_, and no way affected by the jolting, which to
his master was martyrdom, basked in the morning sun, and chanted a
ditty of the Don, from time to time turning round his mustached
physiognomy, and looking at the doctor as for applause. An active,
cunning fellow, with a marvellous facility for making himself
understood, even by people of whose language he knew not a syllable,
Dr Wagner was, upon the whole, well contented with him, although
utterly unable to break him of stealing. He never left his night's
quarters without booty of some kind, although his master always warned
the host to keep a sharp eye upon his fingers. But when anything was
to be pilfered, the Don-Cossack's sleight of hand threw into the shade
that of the renowned Houdin himself. Even from the wretched Jesides,
who have scarcely anything to call their own, he carried off a pot of
buttermilk rather than depart empty-handed.

     "Carefully as I locked away from him my little stock of
     travelling money, he nevertheless found some inexplicable
     means of getting at it. At last I adopted the plan of
     counting it every evening before his eyes, and making him
     answerable for all deficiencies. Still, from time to time,
     something was missing, and Ivan employed his utmost eloquence
     to convince me of the culpability of the Armenian drivers
     whom I occasionally had in my service. I never could catch
     him in the fact; but one evening I examined his clothes, and
     found a packet of silver rubles in a secret pocket. Whereupon
     the Cossack, with a devout grimace, which sat comically
     enough upon his sly features, held up his ten fingers in the
     air, and swore, by all the saints of the Russian calendar,
     that he had economised the sum out of his wages, and had
     hidden it for fear of an attack by robbers."

The doctor pardoned his servant's peculations more easily than his
blunders--one of which, that occurred upon the road to Erivan, was
certainly provoking enough to so eager a naturalist. On the lonely
banks of a canal, apparently the work of nature rather than of man,
(although local traditions maintain the contrary,) one of the outlets
of the alpine lake of Chenk-sha, or Blue Water, Dr Wagner encountered
some Armenian anglers, who had secured a rich store of extremely
curious fish. He purchased a dozen specimens, and on arriving at the
next posting station, he bade his Cossack put them in a leathern
bottle of spirits of wine, whilst he himself, armed with the
geological hammer, availed himself of the short halt to explore some
adjacent rocks. On his return, he found Ivan hard at work executing
his orders, in obedience to which this Fair-service from the Don had
duly immersed the icthyological curiosities in alcohol, but had
previously _cut them in pieces_, "in order that on arriving at Erivan,
they might taste more strongly of the pickle."

Eshmiadzini is about fifteen miles from Erivan, across the plain of
the Araxes, a monotonous stony flat, offering little worthy of note.
Dr Wagner had expected, in the church and residence of the chief of
the Armenian Christians, a stately and imposing edifice, something
after the fashion of Strassburg cathedral; and he wondered greatly not
to behold its turrets or spire rising in the distance long before he
came within sound of its bells. In this, as in various other instances
during his travels, by indulging his imagination, he stored up for
himself a disappointment. A clumsy stunted dome, a mud-walled convent,
ugly environs, a miserable village, black pigs wallowing in a pool of
mud--such was the scene that met his disgusted vision. The people were
worthy of the place, but from them he had not expected much. He had
seen enough of the Armenian priesthood at Tefflis, in Constantinople,
and elsewhere, to appreciate them at their just value. Some dirty,
stupid-looking monks lounged about the convent entrance, gossiping and
vermin-hunting. The travellers were conducted into a large room, where
the archbishops held their conclaves. Five of these dignitaries were
seated at a long table, dressed in blue robes with loose sleeves, and
with cowls over their heads. The one in a red velvet arm-chair, at the
head of the table, represented the absent patriarch. He was a handsome
man, with an imposing beard, of which he was very vain. Laying his
hand upon his heart, with an assumption of great dignity, he addressed
a few words of flattering welcome to Dr Wagner, of whose coming he had
been forewarned by the Russian general Neidhardt. "We have long
expected you," he said. "The whole of our clergy rejoice to welcome
within their walls a man of your merit and reputation." The
compliment, although laconic, was not ill turned, but it was
thoroughly insincere. An eruption of Ararat, or a troop of Kurdish
robbers at their gates, were scarcely a more unwelcome sight to the
reverend inmates of Eshmiadzini than is the arrival of a literary
traveller. They well know that little good can be written about them,
and that even Parrot, habitually so lenient in his judgments, gave but
an unflattering sketch of the Armenian priesthood. European learning
is an evil odour in their nostrils, and naturalists, especially, they
look upon as freethinkers and unbelievers, condemned beyond redemption
to an eternal penalty. Moreover, the holy fraternity are accustomed to
measure the importance of their visitors by the Russian standard of
military rank and decorations, and Dr Wagner's plain coat excited not
their respect. With wondering eyes they examined the unassuming
stranger, and asked each other in whispers how the governor-general
could possibly have taken the trouble to announce the advent of an
individual without epaulets or embroidered uniform, without _tschin_
or orders. "When I at last left the room, to visit the church and
other buildings, Archbishop Barsech (the patriarch's substitute)
accompanied me, and seemed disposed to act as my cicerone, but
suddenly bethinking himself, he deemed it perhaps beneath his dignity,
for he hastily retired. I was escorted by an archimandrite, and
Abowian by a young Russian official. Barsech's absence was doubly
agreeable to me, as permitting me to examine at leisure all parts of
the convent, and to ask many questions which the patriarch's reverend
vicar might have deemed scarcely becoming."

The attention of the various English travellers who have written about
Armenia has been chiefly directed to its southern portion, to the
regions adjacent to the great alpine lakes of Urmia and Van. The
northern parts of Upper Armenia, north of Mount Ararat, and adjacent
to Caucasus, have received the notice of several French and German
writers. But most of these took travellers' license to embellish the
places they wrote about; or else the change for the worse since their
visits, now of rather ancient date, has been most grievous. In the
second half of the seventeenth century, three Frenchmen, Tavernier,
Chardin, and Tournefort, gave glowing accounts of the prosperity and
opulence of Eshmiadzini. At the time of Tavernier's visit, (1655,)
large caravans of traders and merchandise were frequently upon the
road, bringing wealth to the country and numerous pilgrims to the
church, many of these being opulent Armenian merchants, whose generous
offerings enriched the shrine. Tavernier was astonished at the
treasures of Eshmiadzini, which apparently had then not suffered from
the spoliating attacks of Turks and Persians. The church was fitted up
with the utmost luxury, and the conventual life was not without its
pleasures and diversions, relieving the wearisome monotony that now
characterises it. In honour of Monsieur Tavernier and of his
travelling companions, the Christian merchants of the caravan, the
patriarch gave a grand bull-fight, in which eight bulls were exhibited
and two killed. Tournefort wrote in raptures of the fertility and
excellent cultivation of the environs of the convent, dividing his
praise between the rich adornments of the church and the blooming
parterres of the garden, and winding up by declaring Eshmiadzini a
picture of paradise. Dr Wagner, who, before visiting a country, makes
a point of reading all that has been written of it, had perused these
glowing descriptions, and was duly disappointed in consequence.

     "Good heavens!" he exclaims, in intense disgust, "how little
     do those enthusiastic descriptions agree with what is now to
     be seen! To-day the convent garden is small, run to waste,
     miserably stocked. Instead of pinks and amaranths, which
     rejoiced the senses of the lucky Tournefort, I could discern
     in this Armenian 'paradise' naught besides turnips and
     cabbages, with here and there a stunted, unhealthy-looking
     mulberry or apricot tree, and the melancholy wild olive, with
     its flavourless fruits. No shade from the sun, nothing
     pleasant to the eye. And neither the interior of the convent
     nor that of the church exhibit any traces of the splendour
     vaunted by the old travellers. In the patriarch's
     reception-chamber, the windows are prettily painted in the
     Persian style; and here my guide expected, but in vain, to
     see me struck with wonder and admiration. In the same room is
     a bust of the Emperor Nicholas, dating, doubtless, from the
     early years of his reign, for it has no mustaches, and the
     breast wants breadth. In the next apartment, where the
     patriarch daily receives the higher clergy of the
     establishment, is a Madonna, after Raphael, so exquisitely
     embroidered in silk, that at a short distance it appears a
     painting. This piece of needlework was sent to the patriarch
     from Hindostan, by a pious Armenian woman. Then there is an
     ivory bass-relief of Abraham's sacrifice; and on the walls
     are depicted horrible scenes of martyrdom, especially the
     sufferings of St Gregory, buried alive in a deep well. A most
     artistically carved arm-chair, occupied by the patriarch upon
     state occasions, was also sent, only a few years ago, from
     Hindostan, whence, and from other foreign communities of
     Armenian Christians, far more gifts are received than from
     Tefflis and other neighbouring places inhabited by many rich
     Armenians. Behind this arm-chair is a full-length portrait of
     the Czar of all the Russias, of whom the prelates never speak
     but in a tone of anxious humility."

The church of Eshmiadzini is rich in monkish legends and precious
relics. It contains an altar, through which is a passage into
subterranean excavations, and which stands on the exact spot where the
Saviour is said to have appeared to St Gregory, armed with a club, and
to have hurled the heathen gods and evil spirits into the chasm. To
this day, when, as often happens, the wind whistles through the
vaults, the bigoted and ignorant monks believe they hear the howling
of the tortured demons. Eshmiadzini's relics are renowned far and wide
amongst the scattered Armenian congregations of the East.

     "The chamber of relics, situated on the south-east side of
     the church, contains, besides the right hand of St Gregory,
     (with the possession of this relic, the dignity of the
     Catholicos is indissolubly connected,) and a portion of the
     skull of St Hripsime, a bit of Noah's ark, and the lance with
     which Christ's side was pierced. I expressed a wish to see
     these relics, to which the archimandrite replied that their
     exhibition could take place only with great ceremonies, with
     prayers and choral singing, for which a small pecuniary
     sacrifice was necessary. 'Two ducats,' he whispered in my
     ear. Curious though I was to have a close view of the lance
     and the piece of the ark, and to ascertain what effect the
     lapse of so many centuries had had upon them, I thought the
     price too high, and as the worthy archimandrite looked
     inquiringly in my face, I told him dryly, that for the sight
     of a piece of wood, however old and holy, a poor German
     naturalist had no ducats to spare."

The first stone of the church of Eshmiadzini was laid by St Gregory in
the year 302, since which date it has frequently been partially
restored, and more than once entirely rebuilt, and now exhibits a very
motley architecture. The convent library would doubtless afford an
Armenian scholar much curious information concerning its history. This
library long lay in dusty heaps in a dark hole, probably to protect it
from the Vandalic outrage of Persian, Kurd, and Turkish plunderers.
When Erivan was annexed to Russia, and law restored to the land, a
room was cleared for it, and a good many volumes were ranged upon
shelves; but a large number, Dr Wagner informs us, still are heaped in
frightful disorder upon the floor. At the time of his visit, the
confusion in this celebrated library was as great as if French
marauders had had the run of it.

     "I can aver, as an eye-witness," says the doctor, who gladly
     reverts to his African adventures, "that after the storming
     of Constantina, when the scientific commission visited the
     house of Ben-Aissa, the library of that wealthy _Kurugli_,
     which had been ransacked by the conquerors, presented not a
     picture of worse desolation than the library of the patriarch
     of Armenia's residence. I asked the monk-librarian, who
     accompanied me, to show me amongst the historical works the
     book of Moses of Chorene. The answer was, he could not find
     it. The learned guardian of the library knew not where to
     seek even this best-known and most popular of Armenian books
     of history! I then inquired the number of the manuscripts.
     The monk replied shortly, he did not know it!"

Well might the vicegerent of the Armenian pope--which the Catholicos
in fact is, although his title is improperly rendered by foreigners as
patriarch--and his brother archbishops, feel misgivings at sight of
the quiet-looking German, who replied to their welcome by a gravely
ironical compliment on their many virtues and distinguished
reputation; and who now, having got them upon paper, draws, quarters,
and dissects them with a merciless scalpel. Whatever their previous
experience of note-taking travellers, it was insufficient to guard
them from imprudence, and they allowed Dr Wagner to witness an
examination of the pupils in their clerical seminary. Here proof was
quickly elicited of the almost incredible ignorance of scholars and
teachers. The oldest lad in the school, which included young men
eighteen and twenty years old, was unable to decline the Russian noun
_matj_, (mother,) although, for years past, an archimandrite had
officiated as professor of that language. The professor came to the
assistance of his embarrassed pupil, (whom Abowian questioned,) and
managed to prove beyond possibility of doubt, that he himself did not
know the Russian declensions.

     "I now requested Mr Abowian to ask the boys the simplest
     possible questions, as, for instance, how many days the year
     has. Not one of them could answer, although many were already
     bearded men. And from these dunces are selected archbishops
     for all Armenia! The instruction in this convent-seminary is
     limited to mechanical learning by rote, and to a heedless and
     unmeaning repetition of prayers and Scripture passages. The
     scholars are well drilled in respect of fasts; and for the
     slightest offence against external order, for unsteadiness
     during mass, or the like, they are cruelly chastised with
     blows. It is not surprising if such treatment extinguishes
     all vivacity of intellect. It needs but a glance at the pale,
     thin, stolid countenances of the lads, to discern the hideous
     effects of their slavish, mind-destroying education. With
     deep disgust I left the school."

The absurd hours kept in the convent doubtless contribute to the
unhealthy appearance of these nursling priests. Nothing can be more
ridiculous and ill-judged, or more indicative of barbarous stupidity
and bigotry, than the system adopted at Eshmiadzini. At one in the
morning church-service begins, attended by every one but the
patriarch. The archbishops and bishops read prayers and portions of
Scripture; the archimandrites, deacons, and seminarists sing. This
service lasts from three to four hours, and as every one stands during
its whole duration, it is productive of no slight fatigue. On
returning to their cells and dormitories, those priests who have
private resources take refreshment before retiring to sleep; but the
younger portion of the congregation, who have greatest need of such
sustenance, are generally penniless, and must wait till ten in the
forenoon before obtaining a scanty meal of soup or milk, followed by
rice or fish. During the long fasts even the fish is suppressed. To
break a fast in Armenia is a most heinous sin, far exceeding theft in
enormity. In the day-time, school; in the afternoon and evening, more
chanting and praying; then to bed, to be again roused at
midnight--such is the joyless wearisome life of the inmates of
Eshmiadzini. No study of science or history, no cultivation of the
fine arts, varies the monotony of their tedious existence.
Instrumental music is unknown amongst them. Whatever contributes to
the cheerfulness or elegance of seclusion is rigidly banished and
prohibited. "Nowhere," says Dr Wagner, "does an educated European find
life so tiresome as amongst Armenian monks, in comparison with whom
even Italy's monachism appears genial and agreeable."

The election of the patriarch occurred in April 1843, and Dr Wagner,
in Tefflis at the time, had fully intended witnessing the ceremony;
but a sudden outbreak of the plague, in the province of Erivan,
delayed his visit to Eshmiadzini, as he had no wish to risk a forty
days' quarantine before he should be allowed to re-enter Georgia. He
gives some account of the ceremony at second-hand, which is less
interesting, however, than his narrative of preceding circumstances.
The choice of the Gregorian congregations fell upon Narses, archbishop
of Kischenew, a prelate noted for piety, intelligence, and patriotism,
and so popular, both with priests and laymen, by reason of his mild
and amiable character, that he would have been elected ten years
previously, on the death of old Jephrem (Ephraim)--the venerable
patriarch of whom Parrot and Dubois make mention--but for a serious
dispute with Count Paskewitch.

     "In the time of the war between Russia and Persia, when the
     crooked sabres of Aderbidjan's Tartars had driven the Cossack
     lances across the Araxes, a short pause ensued in the
     operations of the campaign, Count Paskewitch awaiting
     reinforcements from the interior of Russia before crossing
     the Araxes and marching upon Tauris. A division of the
     Persian army, chiefly Kurds and Tartars, attempted to
     surprise Eshmiadzini; but the reverend tenants were on their
     guard, and intrenched themselves behind their lofty earthen
     walls. Besieged and sorely pressed by the wild hordes, Narses
     (then archbishop of Eshmiadzini) sent a courier to a Russian
     colonel, who lay, with a few battalions, a short day's
     journey distant. This colonel was an Armenian by birth, and
     entertained a child-like veneration for Archbishop Narses.
     Unable to resist the latter's earnest entreaty for
     assistance, he made a forced march upon the convent, although
     he had been strictly forbidden by his general to quit his
     position without express orders. Meanwhile the Persians had
     been reinforced by a detachment of Abbas Mirza's regular
     troops, and were five times the strength of their advancing
     foe. In front of Eshmiadzini the Russians suffered a defeat,
     and the fault was imputed to Archbishop Narses, whose
     priestly influence had moved the colonel to disregard the
     orders of his chief. By imperial command, Narses was removed
     from Eshmiadzini, and sent as archbishop to Kischenew. But in
     1843, when, in spite of his disgrace with the emperor, the
     venerated prelate received the unanimous suffrages of the
     electors, convoked at Eshmiadzini, Nicholas would not oppose
     the manifest wish of priests and laymen, but confirmed the
     election. Once more the sun of imperial grace and favour
     shone full upon Narses. He was sent for to St Petersburg, was
     received with the utmost distinction, and soon the star of
     the first class of the order of St Anna glittered upon his
     blue caftan. In the autumn of 1844 he crossed the Caucasus,
     met a joyful reception at Tefflis, and, amidst sound of bells
     and song of priests, re-entered, as spiritual chief of
     Armenian Christendom, the old convent upon the Araxes, which,
     sixteen years previously, he had quitted almost as an exile.
     Narses is eighty years old; his intellects, which long
     preserved their healthy tone, have latterly, it is said,
     become weakened."

The election here referred to was one of particular significance and
importance. There has been no lack of schism in the Armenian church.
Ambitious priests and false patriarchs have at various periods started
up and found adherents. For several centuries, one of these sham
patriarchates had its seat on an island in the lake of Van, and
maintained itself independent of the Eshmiadzini synod. These Armenian
anti-popes never, however, obtained a very widely-spread influence,
and latterly that which they did enjoy sensibly dwindled. "The
mother-church of Ararat gradually resumed its undivided authority and
privileges, and, in 1843, Eshmiadzini witnessed, what for many years
it had not seen, the presence within its walls of deputies from almost
all the Gregorian congregations of the East, united at the historical
centre of their country for the choice of a spiritual shepherd."

With his usual shrewdness Dr Wagner analyses Russian policy in
Armenia, and for a moment dwells admiringly on its depth, foresight,
and activity. We have already heard him express his conviction that
under the emperor's present moderation, lurk vast designs of future
conquest, which he will bequeath as a legacy to his descendants,
should time and circumstances prevent their execution by himself. This
is the doctor's fixed idea, and he certainly makes out a good case in
its support. He has shown us the extensive forts that are to serve as
depots and places of muster for the Russian armies, which, according
to his theory and belief, will sooner or later assail Turkey and
Persia. He now turns to the consideration of the support the Russians
may expect beyond their own frontier. He extols the wisdom of the
emperor's conduct towards his Armenian subjects, and points out the
ulterior advantages to be derived from it by Russia. We shall conclude
our article by an extract from this curious chapter of a very
interesting book.

     "In Asia, the Islam nations and governments daily decline,
     whilst the Christian elements daily assume greater weight;
     these are not yet strong enough to found a dominion of their
     own; but, as auxiliaries to a conquering European power, they
     would be of high importance. When, after the triumphant
     entrance of Paskewitch's army into the capital of Aderbidjan,
     Feth Ali Shah trembled on his throne, and submissively
     subscribed the conditions of peace dictated to him by the
     Russian general, many thought that Russia had been
     extraordinarily generous to her humbled foe: she might just
     as easily have kept the conquered district of Aderbidjan for
     herself, or have compelled the Persian king to give up the
     beautiful provinces of Gilan and Masendran. The portion of
     Armenia with which she contented herself is no very enticing
     possession, either for its size or for its fertility, but it
     includes within its limits the Gregorian mother-church; and
     its temporal ruler disposes of the spiritual weapons of the
     Catholicos and of the synod, whose religious influence
     extends whithersoever Armenians dwell. In its last treaty of
     peace with Turkey and Persia, the Russian government tacitly
     but fully recognised the value of this territory, so sacred
     to all Armenians. It was also prudent enough to annex to the
     country on the left bank of the Araxes, where Eshmiadzini is
     situated, a portion of the territory on the right bank of
     that stream, and to secure a part of Ararat itself--the north
     side of the mountain, viewed with such holy reverence by the
     Armenian people, with the convent of St Jacob, since
     overwhelmed by the eruption of 1840. These districts compose
     the really classic ground of the Armenian-Gregorian church
     history. No spot in the entire Orient is more attractive and
     hallowed to the religious feelings of the Armenians--not even
     the grave of the Redeemer at Jerusalem, or the renowned
     convent of John the Baptist on the eastern Euphrates. The
     annual number of pilgrims to Eshmiadzini, although not so
     great as when Tavernier and Chardin explored that
     neighbourhood, is still very considerable; and at Easter it
     is by no means rare to find collected there pious travellers
     from the Ganges, the Indus, the Don, the Jordan, and the
     Nile. Both the Shah and the Porte well know the importance of
     Russian occupation of that territory, as the point where all
     the religious sympathies of the Armenians concentrate. As
     viceroy of Aderbidjan, Abbas Mirza always made much of the
     Catholicos and the synod, and sought to win them to the
     Persian interest. And long did the warlike prince urge his
     royal father rather once more to try the fortune of arms,
     than to suffer a territory to be wrenched from him, less
     valuable from the revenue it yielded than from the religious
     power it gave over the Christian subjects of Persia."

The treaty of cession concluded, the Shah did all in his power to
discourage the emigration of Armenian Christians into Russian Armenia,
and his example was followed by the Porte; but the labour of both was
in vain. Permission for such emigration was stipulated by the treaty,
and the only real check upon it was mistrust of Russia, whose
intolerant reputation made many Armenian priests suspect an intention
of proselytising. But Russia, cruel and unsparing to her Roman
Catholics, whose spiritual chief is out of the reach of her direct
influence, showed herself tolerant and considerate towards the
Armenian church, in which she discerned, according to Dr Wagner, a
most useful instrument for her projects of future aggrandisement: and,
on occasion of the election of 1843, the Russian government
particularly insisted that the new patriarch should be named by the
voices of all the Armenian congregations in the entire East. Flattered
by this invitation to direct co-operation, the Armenian priesthood of
Constantinople, who, last of all, still recused the authority of the
Eshmiadzini synod, suffered themselves to be won over, and sent their
delegates to the convocation. For Russia it was another triumph, for
Turkey a fresh vexation.

FOOTNOTES:

[19] _Reise nach dem Ararat und dem Hochland Armenien_, von Dr MORITZ
WAGNER. Mit einem Anhange: Beiträge zur Naturgeshichte des Hochlandes
Armenien. Stuttgart und Tübinger, 1848.

[20] _Reise in der Regentschaft Algier in den Jahren 1836-8._ 3
volumes. Leipzig, 1841.

[21] The Armenian Christians abound in traditions respecting Noah and
his ark. We have already mentioned the one relating to Arguri, which
he is said to have founded, and which should therefore have been the
oldest village in the world, up to its destruction in 1840 by an
earthquake and volcanic eruption, of which Dr Wagner gives an
interesting account. The simple and credulous Christians of Armenia
believe that fragments of the ark are still to be found upon Ararat.

[22] This eccentric old soldier and author, who calls himself the
Hermit of Gauting, from the name of an estate he possesses, is not
more remarkable for the oddity of his dress and appearance, than for
the peculiarities and affected roughness of his literary style, and
for the overstrained originality of many of his views. In his own
country he is cited as a contrast to Prince Puckler Muskau, the
dilettante and silver-fork tourist _par excellence_, whose
affectation, by no means less remarkable than that of the baron, is
quite of the opposite description. Von Hallberg's works are numerous,
and of various merit. One of his most recent publications is a
"_Journey through England_," (Stuttgard, 1841.) The chief motive of
his travels is apparently a love of locomotion and novelty. When
travelling with Dr Wagner, he took little interest in his companion's
geological and botanical investigations, and directed his attention to
men rather than to things. After passing the town of Pipis, three
days' journey from Tefflis, the country and climate assumed a very
German aspect, strongly reminding the travellers of the vicinity of
the Hartz Mountains. "It is folly," exclaimed old Baron Hallberg,
almost angrily, "perfect folly, to travel a couple of thousand miles
to visit a country as like Germany as one egg is to another." "I
really pitied the old man, who had daily to support the rude jolting
of the Russian _telega_, besides suffering greatly from the assaults
of vermin, and who found so little matter where with to fill his
journal."--_Reise nach dem Ararat, &c._, p. 15.



LEGITIMACY IN FRANCE.[23]


Under the circumstances of the strange anomaly presented by the actual
condition of France, which never better deserved its title of a
republic without republicans, it may fairly become a matter of
speculation, in how much a return to monarchical institutions
possesses a degree of probability in the future, and, more especially,
how far the principles of legitimacy stand a chance of assuming,
hereafter, a supremacy in France. We say "a matter of speculation," in
as much as the _uncertain_ must ever remain the presiding genius of
the chances of a revolutionary epoch: and, in such times, it would be
more than presumption to attempt to prophesy upon a nation's
destinies. But still there are signs of the times in France, which are
of sufficient importance to be chronicled; curious facts, that cannot
but attract attention; and revelations that possess a deep
interest--all bearing upon the possible restoration of the exiled
prince of the elder branch of the Bourbons; and, as far as regards
this eventuality--and who can any more say it shall not be than they
can say it shall?--the chances appear not so unequal in the balance
held by the hand of fate--they may be considered worthy of notice and
comment.

It would be scarcely correct, however, to speak of such a _possible_
eventuality as the realisation of the prospects of a Legitimate party.
As a _party_, properly so called, in the language of political and
revolutionary struggle, the legitimists of France can scarcely be said
to exist, even although a stanch but small nucleus, professing
decidedly legitimist principles, may be found among a certain body of
men, chiefly belonging to the old families of France, in private life.
During the reign of the Orleans branch, the legitimists gradually
dwindled into comparative obscurity--almost every family which
professed to entertain legitimist opinions having attached itself,
openly or in an underhand manner, to the existing order of things, by
means of some one of its members: and even in the present day they
have pursued the same line of policy--a policy which wears now,
however, a more respectable garb, inasmuch as it is professedly based
upon the seemingly patriotic and disinterested maxim, "_Français avant
tout_," which, in declaring the revolution that caused the fall of
Louis Philippe the work of the "finger of God," and in accepting a
government founded upon a nation's universal suffrage, as preferable
to that of a "usurping king," they have adopted as the device of
chivalry, to influence every action of their lives in such a juncture.
In fact, with this appearance of more straightforward patriotism, they
bide their time in faith and patience, and, with a feeling almost
allied to superstition, repudiate every idea of political intrigue,
much more of any conspiracy against the existing order of things.

But, if this passive position of the old legitimists does not permit
them to assume the attitude of a decided _party_, or even of bearing
properly such a designation, it must not be supposed that the cause of
legitimacy is dead, or even dormant, in France. Far from it. The
present state of legitimacy in France, however, must be studied less
among the avowed legitimists, who have long given themselves the name,
than in the dispersed and floating elements pervading the mass of the
nation. The preference of the great majority of the country for
monarchical institutions, or, at all events, its strong
anti-revolutionary feeling, and aversion to the republican rule, after
the sad experience of much misery and misfortune--and from its despair
of the realisation of that "hope deferred," in the restoration of
confidence and prosperity, which "maketh the heart sick"--are facts
which cannot be denied by any man of unprejudiced feelings and sincere
convictions. By degrees, then, feelings have been latterly assuming a
form favourable to the cause of legitimacy: and that such sentiments
now notoriously exist in the hearts of a great proportion of the
country at large can scarcely be disputed. They are based, it is true,
in no ways, among the mass, upon any political opinions or
philosophical principles--they spring up from a desire of having a
"something" at the head of the state which may be the type of
stability, and thus the representative of confidence, peace, and
restored prosperity: and this "something" is best embodied, in the
minds of men, in the person of a young prince, who represents the
apparently most stable form of monarchical government--that founded on
legitimacy. They arise from no personal attachment to the elder branch
of the Bourbons, or to the Duke of Bordeaux individually, but solely
from a desire to return to monarchical government, and from the
growing conviction that, among the many pretenders to the supreme
power in France, were a monarchy to be established, the sole one who
presents a firmer hope of stability--who represents a principle, and
who thus best offers to be pilot to the _terra firma_ of a "promised
land" to those who are still tossing hither and thither upon the waves
of revolution, with storms eternally menacing a still more complete
shipwreck on the horizon--is he who bases his pretensions upon the
long-scouted theory of legitimacy. To this form of hoped-for
stability, then, men now begin to attach themselves more and more, in
their aspirations for the future; and thus legitimist expectations,
predilections, sympathies--call them what you will--grow, increase,
spread like a banian tree, which still ever plants its dropping
branches, and takes root farther and farther still; and they thus
implant themselves more and more, on all sides, on the soil of the
revolution. We speak here of a great proportion of men _of all
classes_ in France. At the same time, it is very clear that a
conviction is daily gaining more ground, that, in the possible or
probable revolutionary chances, spite of the popularity of the
President in the capital, the _prestige_ more or less attached to his
name, and the party supposed to be connected with his interests, the
balance chiefly lies between the republic as it is and Henry V. Even
the ultra-republicans and Socialists appear to feel this so strongly,
that, in a pamphlet entitled "_La République ou Henri V.--quelques
mots à Bonaparte_," a certain Monsieur Pertus, a violent Socialist and
adherent of the so-called democratic and social republic, has given,
in powerful language, the reasons of the party why the destinies of
France may be supposed to lie between these two alternatives only, and
why Louis Napoleon, should he put forward his pretensions to an
ultimate permanency of power, would probably meet with an utter defeat
from the nation at large. The immediate interests of the younger
Bourbon branch are entirely set out of sight in the political
combinations upon which men speculate in France: adherents they have
none: they exist not in men's minds, much less in their hearts: they
are never spoken of.

It is evident, then, to every observing eye, that the cause of
legitimacy is daily gaining ground in France; although it must be
admitted that, with all this, attachment to the person of the exiled
prince of the elder branch of the Bourbons, to the family, or even to
legitimist principles in theory, has as yet had little to do. But that
even this personal attachment has been growing gradually and steadily
in men's minds, as a natural consequence, may also be seen. To this
latter feeling two men have contributed by their writings--the one a
friend, the other an avowed enemy to the ancient dynasty--and perhaps
the latter far the most powerfully. The strange circumstances, which
have produced results that may have a powerful influence on the future
destinies of the country, are worthy of record. A singular fate has
been attached to the two small books here alluded to, more especially
in the case of that written by a stanch republican, naturally hostile
to monarchies and princes; and, on that account, although it is
posterior in date of publication, it may be as well first to direct
our attention to this latter.

In sight of the struggle, which is continually going on in newspapers,
pamphlets, printed notices, and every other form of publication,
between the Socialists and Red-Republicans on the one hand, and the
"friends of order" on the other--a struggle carried on by the former
not only with the utmost violence and virulence, but with every most
desperate weapon of calumny, falsehood, distorted fact, and perverted
reasoning--in sight of the propagandising efforts, made by these same
men, to demoralise and debauch the army from its allegiance to the
country by every underhand corrupting poison--it is quite "refreshing"
to the spirit, to use a hackneyed phrase, to greet a few words of
conviction in favour of those considered the enemies of the republic,
penned, in spite of previous prepossessions and firm opinions, by an
honest-hearted republican. To men of real and genuine convictions all
honour is due, more especially in the confusion of party intrigue and
reckless personal ambition of these revolutionary times, even although
they be our adversaries: respect may be shown them, even if they
appear to us mistaken. Unhappily, such men seem in France to be but
few. But if we find them firm and honest in the expression of their
convictions, even when in open _opposition_ to their preconceived
notions, and to the direct tendency of their political opinions, a
tribute of especial admiration may be given them. And such a tribute
may be frankly and willingly bestowed upon M. Charles Didier, for his
little book entitled _Une visite au Duc de Bordeaux_,--a book which
has lately excited considerable sensation in France, not so much as a
curious historical document, giving a simple but charming account of
the life, manners, appearance, and attitude in exile of such prominent
historical figures as the Duke of Bordeaux, and that patient and pious
victim of revolutions, the Duchess d'Angoulême; but, in the eyes of
the legitimists, as a striking refutation of various calumnies
attached to the person, as well as the education and opinions of the
young prince, and the highest eulogium of their monarch--in the eyes
of all, as a "feeler," (in spite of the intentions of the author,) in
the obscure chances of the future.

Had not the character of Monsieur Charles Didier stood so high, and
had not his almost rough honesty, and perhaps _naiveté_ of nature,
been so generally acknowledged by rightly-thinking men, doubts might
have been entertained, on the one hand, whether he was really acting
in good faith in his character as a republican; had not his talent,
discernment, and good sense been sufficiently appreciated in public as
well as private life--in his literary and lately political career, as
well as among his acquaintances--suspicions might have been excited,
on the other, that he had been led into delusions by artful manoeuvre.
But neither of these suppositions are admissible. Due credit must be
given to his good faith in the one respect, and to his enlightenment
of mind and clear-sightedness in the other. Such an explanation
becomes necessary for a full appreciation of the contents of this
remarkable little book. To a French reader it would be needless, for
M. Didier is well known.

As has already been said, the sensation produced by this work has been
great: and there can be little doubt that the effect which the
publication will produce must necessarily have a very considerable
influence upon a great portion of the nation, in the present state of
France.

Under such circumstances, and with such probable results, which could
not but be partly apparent to the author himself, the production of
such a book by a well-known, stanch, and honest republican, such as M.
Charles Didier, requires some explanation. It was well known among the
party that M. Didier had been sent upon a _quasi_-diplomatic mission
to Germany, in the first days of the French revolution; it was
afterwards rumoured that, upon some occasion, he had paid a visit to
the members of the exiled family of France in their retreat in
Austria--and, upon these _data_, M. Didier became the object of
various calumnies and misrepresentations. His enemies declared that he
had been sent expressly as a spy upon the ex-royal family. But it was
more especially his _soi-disant_ friends and allies, the republicans
_de la veille_, who attached a host of unfounded misrepresentations to
the objects and results of his journey. While some attacked him as a
traitor, who had betrayed his trust, and deserted his cause, by
caballing with the exiled family, others published accounts in their
journals, as if emanating from his mouth, which affixed not only the
greatest ridicule and scorn to the person and manners of the Duke of
Bordeaux, but the hatred and contempt of all "true patriots" to his
supposed opinions. It was to refute these calumnies, then, and to deny
these perversions of truth, that M. Didier at last found himself
reluctantly compelled to publish a simple account of his "_Visite au
Duc de Bordeaux_." He complains, with much _naiveté_, in a species of
preface, that he has been forced to this step, which he himself looks
upon as an indiscretion, by his own party, since, although the whole
affair appears in his eyes little more than "much ado about nothing,"
by such means alone, in declaring the whole truth, he can establish
simple facts. The very same sentiment, he says--that, probably, of
delicacy--which enjoined his silence at first, now, combined with a
love of truth, enjoins his giving publicity to an account in which he
affirms that all is truth, simple truth, and no more nor less than the
truth. It was as a republican that he presented himself, he goes on to
say, and as a republican that he was received. In support of his
words, although refuting all pretensions to discuss politics, he gives
his republican "_profession de foi_." "I have been thus driven," he
continues, "to paint, from nature, an interior of an exiled family,
which struck me by its politeness and dignity. Such was the task
before me; and I have accomplished it conscientiously, without any
regard for persons, and without any sacrifice of opinion. The prestige
of rank has exercised no influence on me. I have been simply true."
And what has been the result? The supposed friends of M. Didier, the
arch-republicans, have _forced_ him, an ardent republican himself--a
republican _de l'avant-veille_, as he calls himself, but genuine and
sincere--to forward the cause of legitimacy, to publishing an
eulogium, of the most striking description, of the young prince who
represents legitimacy in France. Dreamers might almost see the hand of
Providence in this result of factious calumny.

It is needless, here, to follow M. Didier into the details of the
mission given him by Lamartine, when minister of foreign affairs, of
which he explains neither the cause nor the purposes, although he
dwells at some length upon the cause of his journey through Austria,
Hungary, Croatia, and a part of Germany, and more especially upon the
dates of his progress, probably with the intention of refuting the
calumny which asserted that he was officially sent as a spy upon the
ex-royal family of the elder branch. It may be remarked, however, _en
passant_, that he speaks not over-well of the Austrian revolutionists,
with whom he mixed, and that he readily acknowledges the veritable
anti-revolutionary spirit of the army and the masses. On the
conclusion of his mission, and his return to France by the north of
Italy, he heard by chance, on his passage to Trieste, for the first
time, he declares, that not far from his road lay the chateau of
Frohsdorf, and that this same chateau of Frohsdorf was inhabited by
the exiled family of France. It was only many months afterwards,
however, when he returned to Germany, for his own pleasure and
information, and as "_simple voyageur_," that having received, by
chance, a letter from a friend in Paris for the Duc de Lévis, one of
the faithful adherents attached to the little court of the exiled
Bourbons, he determined to profit by it, in order to visit Frohsdorf
on his way once more from Vienna to the north of Italy. Before
commencing the recital of this passage of his journey, M. Didier again
deprecates any purpose but that of interest and curiosity, and enters
into very minute details, to prove that he made no mystery or
concealment of his intention.

It would lead to too great diffuseness also to enter into M. Didier's
description (however prettily written) of his journey through Baden,
(near Vienna,) Wiener Neustadt; of the deserted and abandoned railroad
from thence to Oldenburg in Hungary, on which "the station-houses
were closed, the signals motionless, and the grass grew between the
rails"--all communication having been cut off on account of the war.
The description, however, of the habitation of the exiled family of
French princes offers a more lively interest in an historical point of
view. We shall quote M. Didier:--

     "Frohsdorf is an old feudal estate, which, from the hands of
     some Austrian family, the name of which I do not know,
     passed, under the Restoration, into those of Madame Caroline
     Murat, the ex-queen of Naples. By her it was sold to the
     Duchess d'Angoulême, under the name of the Duke of Blacas.
     The domain administered by a steward, is not vast as a
     princely domain; but the habitation is spacious, although
     scarcely sufficing for the number of the inhabitants. It is
     surrounded on all sides by a dry moat, which is, more
     properly speaking, only a long area for the kitchen and
     household offices, crossed by a stone bridge in face of the
     principal entrance. I do not know whether any other exists: I
     believe not. The chateau has nothing feudal, much less royal,
     in appearance. It is a great white German house, the pointed
     roof of which is crowned with chimneys and garret-windows,
     and ornamented in the middle with a triangular gable. The
     ground-floor is on a level with the bridge, and is surmounted
     by two stories. The façade presents nine windows, those of
     the second floor being small and square, the others of
     reasonable dimensions: one alone, immediately above the
     doorway, which is large and arched, is ornamented by a
     balcony, and flanked by flattened pillars. These pillars, and
     the gable above, are the only portions of the façade which
     have the appearance of any architectural design. A great
     round tower flanks the western side: it descends into the
     moat; but, unfortunately, is truncated, and cut off at the
     level of the roof. In this tower is the chapel: behind is the
     park, terminated by a _jardin Anglais_, both of which are of
     no considerable size. A little further is a broken hill,
     planted with green trees, upon which is built the _Maison de
     Garde_, a pretty little house, which any Parisian family
     would occupy with pleasure. A little further, and as if to
     terminate the view, is a ruin, which marks, I believe, the
     limits of the estate. The site is stern, and impressed with a
     certain melancholy. To the west lies a vast plain, at the
     extremity of which rises, in all its magnificence, the chain
     of mountains which separates Styria from the Archduchy of
     Austria. The horizon was dentellated by the mountain points;
     and the snow, with which the highest was covered, sparkled in
     the sun with the frozen fire of its thousand diamonds. On the
     east the aspect was different: on this side, and at
     musket-shot distance, runs a long hill of no prepossessing
     appearance, although wooded, upon the summit of which runs
     the limit of the Hungarian frontiers, guarded, when I was
     there, by armed peasants. The town of Oldenburg may be seen
     from it.... Frohsdorf is thus very near the Hungarian
     frontier--so near, that such an abode is not without its
     dangers in the present war. In case of an attack, the few
     troops in the village--the last in Austria on this
     side--would prove a very insufficient defence. But,
     accustomed to the vicissitudes of exile, hardened by
     adversity, and with confidence in God, or their destinies,
     the inhabitants of Frohsdorf appeared to me to pay no heed to
     a peril, the possibility of which they could not deny.... The
     entrance of the chateau is cold and sad as that of a convent;
     and in the court, narrow and deep, is an air of dampness.
     Such, at least, was my impression. On the right, in the
     entrance-hall, is the porter's lodge, and near the door is
     suspended a great bill indicating the hours of departure and
     arrival of the trains--the only sign of communication between
     this solitude and the world beyond. I asked, in French, for
     the Duke of Levis; and it was in French I was answered; for,
     from the cellars to the garrets, even to the veriest drudge,
     all is French. I was conducted, with much politeness, to a
     large bedroom looking on the country, where lay on the table
     some French newspapers. M. de Levis joined me immediately."

After some conversation, which naturally turned upon the position of
France, in which M. Didier was surprised to find the Duc de Levis "_si
bien au fait des choses et des hommes_,"--the Duke quitted him to ask
when it would please the Duc de Bordeaux to receive the stranger, and
returned shortly to say that it would immediately. The following is
curious in the mouth of the republican:--

     "I was ignorant what title to give to the prince; and, having
     come to seek him under his own roof, I was naturally desirous
     to do what was customary, neither more nor less. I asked M.
     de Levis. 'There is no etiquette here,' he replied; 'we are
     exiles. We address the prince, however, as _Monseigneur_.' I
     took the hint; and, although little accustomed to the
     language of courts, I hope I did what was _convenable_ under
     the circumstances. I ought to confess, at the same time, that
     I was afterwards less happy with the Duchess of Bordeaux, and
     the Duchess of Angoulême, to whom I sometimes gave the title
     of 'Highness.' Now, it struck me afterwards, that this title,
     which was a deference on my part, must have appeared to them
     both a want of respect, and a direct denial of their supposed
     rights; to the one, because she considers herself queen since
     her marriage with the descendant of Henri IV., who, in her
     eyes, is necessarily Henri V.; to the other, because she
     considers herself to have been queen also in virtue of the
     abdication of Charles X.; and the fact is, that, even in her
     presence, the inhabitants of Frohsdorf call her, among
     themselves, the Queen."

The most remarkable part of the book, in a political point of
view--that, in fact, which has produced in France the sensation
already alluded to among all parties--now follows. We must quote M.
Didier verbally:--

     "_Monsieur le Duc de Bordeaux_ occupies the ground-floor of
     the chateau. He received me in a study simply furnished,
     which looks out upon the distant hills of Hungary. I remarked
     a collection of guns, and an arm-chair entirely made of
     deer-skin, the horns forming the arms and back. The prince
     was standing by a writing-table, placed in the middle of the
     room, with one hand resting upon his arm-chair. He neither
     sat down, nor bade me be seated, at first; and his reception
     of me was not exempt from a sort of solemnity. In a word, he
     received me _en roi_. Habituated to the visits of his
     partisans, and of his partisans alone, I was a novelty to
     him. He knew no more of me than my opinions, and some works,
     the matter of which could evidently not be to his taste.
     Perhaps he expected to find in me one of those furious
     democrats, who, to use a common phrase, _mettent les pieds
     dans les plats_, and supposed that I might attack him
     coarsely. Hence his reserve at first. It was very evident
     that he stood on the defensive, and waited to see me advance.
     His inquiring and somewhat strained look expressed, at least
     so I read it, what I have here said. After a few trivial
     remarks, the necessary preamble of every visit, and
     especially of such a one, he begged me to be seated, and the
     conversation commenced. As far as I can recollect, the
     following was the first serious remark I addressed to
     him,--'_Monseigneur_, I am ignorant, and God alone can know,
     what destinies are reserved for you in the future; but if you
     have a chance of reigning one day in France, which, for my
     own part, I do not desire, the chance is this: If, by any
     impossibility, France, exhausted by her experiments, at the
     end of her resources, no longer finds in the elective power
     the stability she seeks--if discouragement and misreckoning
     cause her to turn her eyes towards the hereditary principle
     as the most stable basis of authority--it is you who
     represent this principle; and in that case France herself
     will seek you out. Till then you have but one thing to do--to
     await events.' The Duke of Bordeaux listened to me with
     attention; as I spoke, his rigidity visibly relaxed; the ice
     was broken. He answered me without hesitation, that I had
     interpreted his own thoughts; that he never would undertake
     anything against the established powers; that he never would
     put himself forward, and that he had no personal ambition;
     but that he considered himself, in fact, the principle of
     order and stability; and that he would leave this principle
     untouched, were it only for the future peace of France; that
     this principle constituted his whole power; that he had no
     other; that he would always find sufficient force in himself
     to fulfil his duty, whatever it might be, and that God would
     then stand by him. 'If ever I return to France,' he added,
     'it would be to promote conciliation; and I believe that I
     alone am able to effect that object fully.'"

"There was a sincerity in the words of the young prince," pursues M.
Didier, "which brought conviction to the heart."

Although frank and open in speaking of his personal opinions, the Duke
of Bordeaux seems to have been very reserved when speaking of _men_,
and he evidently appears to have made M. Didier talk more than he
talked himself. Upon this expression of opinions M. Didier makes the
following remarks:--

"The Duke of Bordeaux is far from entertaining the principles of
Charles X., and, to cite one example, the grandson repudiates all
those forms--that etiquette, and that extreme respect paid to the
royal person--which played so great a part in the House of Bourbon,
and on which the grandfather laid so much stress. He disregards all
these pompous inanities, and goes so far in this respect that he is
determined, should he ever mount upon the throne of France, to have
no court." And further, "The Duke of Bordeaux directs his attention to
all the questions of the day; he studies them all thoroughly; he is
acquainted with all the theories respecting labour. During his stay in
England, he carefully visited its chief manufactories." And
again--"Two questions principally occupy his mind--the administrative
organisation of France, by the commune, and the social problem of the
working classes. On this latter point he appeared to be imbued with
social errors, and labouring under illusions. He attributes religious
sentiments to the working classes of Paris, which they are far from
entertaining, at least in the sense he attached to the words, and is
not fully aware of the extent of their repugnance for the _drapeau
blanc_." It must not be forgotten, that M. Didier does not take into
account the progress of reactionary ideas in the few last months. M.
Didier states, that he told the Prince this bitter truth, and was
listened to with calmness and placidity. "He would have made, I am
convinced," continues the republican visitor, in a sort of _resumé_,
"an excellent constitutional monarch. The very disposition of his
mind, with his natural qualities, seem all adapted to such a
government; and his education has been directed with such ideas.
Party-spirit represents him as an _absolutist_; and such he appears to
the crowd in the distance of his exile. The truth is, that there is
not perhaps in Europe a more sincere constitutionalist than he--I
should call him also a religious liberal, without his devotion
degenerating, as has been said, into bigotry." He then proceeds with a
statement of his conviction in the moderate liberal ideas of the young
prince, "which his forefathers might have condemned as those of a
political heretic." "Many intrigues," continues the honest republican,
"have been set on foot in his name, but I would wager boldly that he
is mixed up in none, that he is ignorant of all, would disavow all. As
much as his mother (the Duchess of Berri) was fond of adventure, is he
averse to anything of the kind. He would not have a drop of blood shed
for him. I do not blame him, in this appreciation of his
character--quite the contrary; I only mean to say that this merit is
not great, perhaps, inasmuch as it is in him a matter of temperament."
"He possesses," pursues M. Didier, "good sense, candour, an excessive
kindliness of heart, and an uncontrollable, I may say, uncontested
natural generosity. He is an honest man, in the full force of the
expression." What greater eulogium could the republican pass on his
political adversary? The only words of blame which he let fall may be
comprised in the following remark. "He seems to want a directing
spirit; and perhaps wants resolution. His is a cultivated rather than
an inventive mind: he probably conceives more than he creates, and
receives more than he gives."

In justice to Monsieur Didier, who might appear to arrogate to himself
a degree of discernment which went beyond all probable limits, we must
not omit to note his own remarks, when, in another passage, he speaks
of his own _impressions_. "It would be a ridiculous presumption, or
very idle to imagine, that I could have captivated the confidence of
the prince, or penetrated his secret character. I am far from putting
forward so ridiculous a pretension. What was I to him? A stranger; at
most a curious visitor. He evidently only said to me just what he
wished to say, went only as far as he intended to go, and made me
speak more than he spoke himself. I should have wished that it had
been the contrary; but I was, of course, not the master of the
conversation." And again he says, "God alone reads the heart! To him
alone belongs the secret of men's consciences. But still I think I can
take upon myself to affirm, that all the words of the prince were
sincere."

On the person of the young prince M. Didier has the following--and
although there may be, in truth, something of the Lord Burleigh shake
of the head in the extreme complication of discernment contained in
the first phrase, yet the impression evidently made upon the mind of
the republican, by the appearance of the exiled heir of the throne of
France, bears none the less the stamp of truthfulness:--"His
physiognomy reveals an extreme uprightness of heart and mind, and a
lively sentiment of duty and justice, united to a love of all that is
good. In person he is of middle stature, and inclined to be stout; but
he is far from having that obesity with which he is generally
supposed, and I myself believed him, to be afflicted. The fall he had
from his horse at Kirchberg, some years ago, has left traces of the
accident. He walks heavily, and, when once seated, has difficulty in
rising; but they say that he looks well on horseback. He has silky
fair hair, and although rather full, and marked with the Bourbon type,
his face is agreeable, frank, open, sympathetic, with an air of youth
and health--the air, in fact, of his 28 years. He wears a _collier de
barbe_ and a slight mustache. His eyes are of a limpid blue, lively
and soft at the same time; he listens well, and inquires constantly:
he looks at you so straight and fixedly in the face, that I should
consider it impossible for any one to look _him_ in the face and lie.
As to himself, one look suffices to assure you of his veracity."

The following remarks about the habits of the young prince are not
without their historical interest, and complete the eulogium forced
from the mouth of the republican. "His life is far from being an idle
one; before and after breakfast he reads several letters, several
newspapers, and reports, often of a very voluminous description,
relative to the different questions which are the order of the day in
France; then he gives a few hours of the afternoon to exercise. He
scrupulously observes his religious duties, attending divine service
two or three times a-week in the chapel of the chateau, and every
Sunday at the parish church. He writes with considerable grace, and
his letters are remarkable for their correctness and elegance."

Perhaps the most striking, and certainly the most touching, part of
the book of M. Charles Didier, is that in which he speaks of the
Duchess d'Angoulême. It belongs not exactly to the subject of
legitimacy or its prospects in France; but the interest attached to it
is so full of pathos, and, in an historical point of view, so
considerable, that we cannot refrain from quoting a few words of the
author's account of his interview with this remarkable princess.

M. Didier seems to have hesitated about being introduced to the aged
duchess. He was naturally scrupulous as to the effect which might be
produced upon the mind of this victim of revolutions, by the
presentation of one of those republicans, to the very name of whom,
the disastrous calamities of her early life must have inspired her
with an unconquerable horror. But he was led on by the Duc de Levis,
"not without a degree of uneasiness," and his reception by the austere
princess, in her plain dark attire, and in her severely simple room,
was as amiable as could be expected from one naturally stern,
reserved, and cold almost to harshness in manner. M. Didier appears to
have been inexpressibly touched by her appearance, as well as by her
kindly reception of him. It is thus that he speaks of the poor
"_orpheline du Temple_:"--"All party hatred must be extinguished in
the presence of the reverses of fortune she has undergone. I had
before me the woman who has suffered what woman never suffered here
below, can never suffer again. What matter that she be princess? She
is no less the daughter and the sister, thrice proscribed! She belongs
no less to a human family. This is certainly the most striking
historical figure in Europe. She produced the most profound impression
upon me, and I could not conceal the emotion that thrilled through me.
My heart was divided betwixt respect and pity. I seemed to see before
me one of those victims of fatality, immortalised by antique art. Only
Christian resignation has impressed upon the daughter of Louis XVI. a
more touching stamp, and raised her on this Christian elevation far
above the types of antiquity." What a homage is this, complete as it
is pathetic, from the mouth of the descendant of the enemies of her
race! The duchess seems to have questioned M. Didier much about that
country which he would have imagined she must have abhorred, but
which, he tells us, she cherishes with love resembling that of a
spaniel to the master whose hand has beaten him. He speaks more than
once of her extreme devotion, and indeed of that of the whole group
of exiles, to their fatherland. Another trait, which calls for respect
and admiration in the aged princess, lies in the moderation and
tolerance which M. Didier records of her. "She spoke of France with
tact and reserve, made inquiries as to the religious sentiments of the
people of Paris, and mentioned, with feelings of admiration, the death
of the Archbishop of Paris on the barricades of June. His was the only
name of which she proffered mention." And when the conversation was
made to turn upon the Orleans branch, now exiled in its turn, she was
silent about Louis Philippe, but spoke in kind and affectionate terms
of his family, and of the Duchess of Orleans; and when M. Didier
addressed her with the words, "It is impossible, Madame, but that you
must have seen, in the fall of Louis Philippe, the finger of God," she
replied in words characteristic of that type of Christian resignation,
"It is in all!" "The answer," pursues the narrator, "was given with
the utmost simplicity, and without my being able to discover in it the
least leaven of bitterness." "It may be boldly asserted that there was
no gall in this heart, which has offered, as holocaust to God, all its
griefs and all its passions. Religion is now the principal occupation,
the only consolation, of a life tried by unparalleled adversity." When
still further M. Didier--indiscreetly, it appears to us--pressed the
point by saying, "But you must own, Madame, that in spite of your
Christian magnanimity, the day you heard the news was not one of the
most unhappy of your life." "She held her peace, but with an air which
seemed to say, 'You ask too much.'"

After giving his testimony as to the extreme politeness of the Duchess
d'Angoulême, and recording instances of her boundless charity,
"immense," he says, "for her present revenue," M. Didier has the
following touching description of the apartments of the aged princess.
"The Duchess of Angoulême, lives in the midst of the _souvenirs_ of
her youth--and yet what _souvenirs_! Far from flying from them, she
seems to cherish them; as if she found a strange funereal pleasure in
filling each day the cup of bitterness, in order each day to drain it
to the dregs. In her bedroom, which is of an austerity almost
cloistral, she has around her only objects which must recall to her
the tragic scenes of her childhood,--the portraits of her father, her
mother, and her mother's friend, the Princess of Lamballe; near her
bed, which is without curtains, a _prie-dieu_ filled with relics
sacred to her, such as the black waistcoat which her father wore in
going to the scaffold, and the lace kerchief which her mother was
forced to mend with her own hands before appearing at the
Revolutionary Tribunal. She alone has the key of these sad memorials;
and once a-year, on the 21st of January, she takes them out from the
shrine which encloses them, and lays them before her, as if in order
to live more nearly with the beloved dead who wore them. On that day
she sheds her tears in the most complete retirement: she sanctifies
the bloody anniversary by solitude and prayer."

On this subject there is yet more touching matter, which would lead
us, however, too far. For the same reason we cannot follow the details
into which M. Didier enters respecting the Duke of Lévis, the young
Duke of Blacas, M. de Montbel, and other adherents of the exiled
family: they must be passed over, as not of immediate interest. The
following words, however, are sufficiently remarkable in the mouth of
the republican:--"I found them all not only polite and well-informed,
but most reasonable upon political topics. They are no democrats,
assuredly, but they are men of sense, who have advanced with the
progress of the age, and are fully aware of the new needs and new
interests of Europe in general, and of France in particular. They are
no conspirators; that I will answer for."

M. Didier is pressed to stop the night; but, hurried in his journey,
only remains to dinner; and it is in the drawing-room, before dinner,
that he is presented to the young Duchess of Bordeaux. This figure in
the group of royal exiles, although of less importance as regards the
prosperity of legitimacy in France, and of the attachment which the
family may hereafter command, is worth recording also, as an
interesting historical portrait.

     "This princess," pursues M. Didier, "is daughter of the late
     Duke of Modena. She speaks French with a mixed accent, half
     Italian, half German, which reveals her double origin, as
     German princess born in Italy. She is, I believe, two years
     older than her husband. She is slim, and rather thin, but of
     an elegant figure, with beautiful black wavy hair, dark eyes,
     full of life and spirit. A natural defect slightly impairs
     the effect of her mouth when she speaks, which is a pity,
     for, with this exception, she is a very pretty woman. She
     wore a white evening dress, with naked arms, and a velvet
     scarf upon her shoulders. Her toilet was, perhaps, too
     simple--a reproach rarely to be made--that is to say, with
     too little of personal _coquetterie_ in it: it was easy to
     see that no Parisian _femme de chambre_ had superintended the
     arrangement. Hers is evidently a _nature distinguée_. I was
     told she was of a kindly, easy disposition, and well
     educated; she was evidently desirous of pleasing. Although a
     princess of ancient race, she appeared to me to be timid; but
     her embarrassment was not without its charm of grace. Proud
     of her alliance with the descendant of Louis XIV., she has
     the highest opinion of her husband; and her love for him
     amounts, I was told, to adoration. She thinks him
     irresistible; and, more impatient than he, but impatient far
     more for him than for herself, she is firmly convinced that
     he has but to show himself, in order to subjugate all the
     world as he has subjugated her. In this lie all her political
     opinions; that is to say, her politics are those of the
     heart."

It is to be regretted, perhaps, that we have not space for the
anecdotes of the moderation and good sense of the Duke of Bordeaux,
which M. Didier records, as collected from the mouths of his
adherents, and which must necessarily complete, upon the minds of the
great portion of the French nation, the impression made by the rest of
the book. But we must now hurry on.

The dinner of the exiled princely family is described by the
republican visitor as simple, although served with a certain state. He
sits by the side of the Duchess of Angoulême, whose every word is one
of "politeness, courtesy, or forbearance." "The Duchess of Bordeaux,"
he says, "continually fixed her eyes upon me, as with a look of
wonder. In truth, the position was a strange one--a French republican
sitting at the table of a prescribed French prince, and eating out of
plate engraved with the royal arms of France!" The evening passes, in
this little court, almost as in a private family in some French
chateau. Billiards, tapestry-work, conversation, occupy the various
personages. The republican again converses with the prince, who
listens to contradiction with the utmost good-humour. When he departs,
the whole family express, in their last words, their longing for that
country which he is about to revisit so soon, but from which they are
exiled.

We have dwelt upon the book of M. Didier at considerable length, not
only on account of its historical interest, but on account of the
strange circumstances which induced its publication, its startling
result, the sensation it has created, and the ultimate effect it may
produce in France in paving the way for legitimacy, by attaching
interest and admiration to the person of its representative--perhaps,
also, because it does honour to the sincerity of the author, and to
the more honest republican party to which he belongs. But we have thus
excluded ourselves from the possibility of giving more than a brief
notice of the other book alluded to above, that of the Vicomte
d'Arlincourt, although, in truth, it merits, in all respects, a far
more extended observation, as a frank and straightforward expression
of the sentiments of the legitimists. We must confine ourselves, then,
principally to the circumstances which, independently of its merits,
have given the little book so great a notoriety in France, and carried
it on to the almost unexampled honours of a forty-eighth edition. They
are curious enough in themselves, and bear some analogy to those which
have determined the publication and the success of the book of M.
Didier, inasmuch as it was the ardency of republicanism which forced
upon the public notice a book, likely to forward the cause of
legitimacy in France. The little work of M. d'Arlincourt is written,
however, avowedly upon legitimist principles, and for the purpose of
awakening the attention of the nation to the cause of the man whom
the author looks upon as the ultimate saviour of the troubled country.
This legitimist book, under the title of "_Dieu le veut_," written
after the bloody days of June, might, in spite of the vigour of its
language, and the justice and good sense of most of its reasonings and
remarks, never have emerged so prominently from the inundation of
political pamphlets which floods republican France, had it not pleased
the government, pushed on by the clamours of a more violent party, to
seize the work, and bring the author to trial. The affair made a
considerable sensation in August last; the court of justice was
crowded: the interest excited was great. The passages more
particularly incriminated were, that which likened the republic to the
plague; that which said the sovereignty of the people, when not a
bloody truth, was a ridiculous mystification; and that which contained
the words, "the Republic will have proved to be the necessary
transition from a revolutionary tempest to a social regeneration. In
the general movement of men's minds is written the happy advent of the
chosen of Providence. He draws nearer! he will come!" After the
defence of his own counsel, M. d'Arlincourt himself rose and
supported, in a striking speech, the honesty of his intentions and his
designs as a _bon citoyen_, without bating one iota of his legitimist
principles. The result was a unanimous verdict of "not guilty" from
the jury. A burst of applause, which no authority could check,
resounded through the court. It was from the common classes, also,
that came the approbation: workmen shouted in the court, "_Dieu le
veut! Dieu le veut!_" to the rhythm of the famous "_des lampions!_"
and, on the morrow, delegates of the _dames de la Halle_, and of the
artisans of Paris came, with _bouquets_, to felicitate the author on
his acquittal. We will not lay an unnecessary weight upon this
movement of a portion of the lower classes, which may arise from the
sentiments of a small minority, although perhaps more considerable
than seems to be generally supposed. The result, however, of the trial
has been to spread the book through the country in its almost
interminable editions, and thus to spread more and more abroad those
legitimist feelings, which, we confidently assert are daily more and
more gaining ground throughout France, and which may one day, in case
of another revolution, that may be brought upon the country by the
excesses of the ultra party, bear their fruits. At all events the
destiny of these two books, in furthering the cause of legitimacy, in
the one case contrary to the opinions of the author, in the other by
the very means intended to check and even crush it, is singular
enough.

Whatever may be written upon the dark pages of a nation's future, it
is very evident that "Legitimacy in France" has made considerable
ground among the masses. It cannot, certainly, be said to have been
from the influence of convictions, or, in the general herd, from any
reliance upon theories of legitimacy, properly speaking. It has arisen
from disgust and distrust of other governments; from the sad
experience of the miseries occasioned to the country by the present
revolution; from despair in the stability of a republican rule, with
insurrection always growling beneath the surface; from hope in a
greater stability and confidence under a legitimate monarchy.
Legitimacy, then, can but grow and flourish in France in the chances
of revolutions; and if it triumphs, it will be by the excesses of its
enemies, and the restless subversive attempts of the ultra-republican
party. But again: who can say confidently that it will triumph? Still
more: who shall dare, in the present state of France, to say that it
_shall not_?

FOOTNOTE:

[23] _Une Visite â Monsieur le Duc de Bordeaux._ Par CHARLES DIDIER.
Paris: 1849. _Dieu le Veut._ Par VICOMTE D'ARLINCOURT. Paris: 1848-9.



THE COLLEGE.--A SKETCH IN VERSE.

    "Scinditur incertum studia in contraria vulgus."

      Oft has some fair inquirer bid me say,
    What tasks, what sports beguile the gownsman's day;
    What cares are ours--by what light arts we try
    To teach our sober-footed hours to fly.
    List, then, ye belles, who, nursed in golden ease,
    No arts need study, but the arts to please;
    Who need no science, while with skill ye know
    To wield the weapons which your charms bestow--
    With grace to thread the dance's mazy throng--
    To strike the tuneful chords, and swell the song--
    To rouse man's sterner spirit to his toil,
    And cheer its harshness with a grateful smile.
    Thus my weak muse a bolder flight shall raise,
    Lured by the glorious hope of Beauty's praise.

      Soon as the clouds divide, and dawning day
    Tints the quadrangle with its earliest ray,
    The porter, wearied with his watchings late,
    Half opes his eyelids and the wicket gate;
    And many a yawning gyp comes slipshod in,
    To wake his master ere the bells begin.

      Round yon gray walls, enchained by slumber's spell,
    Each son of learning snores within his cell.
    For though long vigils the pale student keep,
    E'en learning's self, we know, must sometimes sleep--
    So morn shall see him, with a brightened face,
    Fresh as a giant, to resume his race.
    But hark! the chimes of yonder chapel-tower
    Sound the arrival of the unwelcome hour.
    Now drowsy Lentulus his head half rears,
    To mumble curses on the Dean he fears.
    What though his gyp exhort him, ere too late,
    To seek the chapel and avert his fate?
    Who, when secure his downy sheets between,
    Recks of the threatenings of an angry Dean!
    Slow rolling round he bids his mentor go
    And bear his warnings to the shades below.
    Soon shall he, summoned to the well-known room,[24]
    Repent his recklessness and learn his doom,
    Within the walls a dull constraint to know,
    And many a midnight jollity forego.
    Far happier he, to whom the harsh-tongued bell
    Sounds, as it should, his murdered slumber's knell.
    Cold he contemns, and, shuffling on his clothes,
    Boldly stalks forth, nor heeds his redd'ning nose.
    Straight o'er the grass-plot cuts his dewy line
    In mad defiance of the College fine;
    Breathless with hurry gains the closing grate,
    And thanks his stars he was not just too late.
    His name prick'd off upon the marker's roll,
    No twinge of conscience racks his easy soul,
    While tutor's wines and Dean's soft smiles repay
    His prompt submission to the College sway.

      The service o'er, by Cam's dull bank of sedge
    He strides, while hunger gains a keener edge;
    (Though fasting walks I cannot loathe too much,
    Since such my custom, my advice be such.)
    For him, who straight returns, what horrors wait!
    How chill and comfortless his chamber's state.
    The crackling fuel only serves too well
    To show the cold it vainly strives to quell;
    While the grim bedmaker provokes the dust,
    And soot-born atoms, which his tomes encrust:
    Awhile suspended high in air they soar,
    Then, sinking, seek the shelves on which they slept before.
    Down bolt his commons and his scalding tea,
    Then off to lectures in pedantic glee.
    He notes each artifice and master-stroke--
    Each musty parallel and mustier joke;
    Snaps up the driblets to his share consigned,
    And as he cram'd his body crams his mind;
    Then seeks at home digestion for his lore,
    And slams in Folly's face the twice-barred door.

      This hour, perchance, sees Lentulus descend
    To seek the chamber of some jovial friend--
    Yawn o'er the topics of the passing day,
    Or damn the losses of his last night's play;
    While well he augurs from the clattering plates,
    The glad intelligence that breakfast waits.

      From Memory's store the sportive muse may glean
    The charms that gild awhile the careless scene--
    The song, the anecdote, the bet, the joke,
    The steaming viands, and the circling smoke--
    The racy cider-cup, or brisk champagne,
    Long prompt the merriment and rouse the strain;
    Till Pleasure, sated of the loaded board,
    Seeks what amusement fresher scenes afford.
    Some prove their skill in fence--some love to box--
    Some thirst for vengeance on the dastard fox;
    Each by his fav'rite sport's enchanting power,
    Cheats of its tediousness the flying hour.

      Now the dull court a short siesta takes,
    For scarce a footstep her still echo wakes,
    Save where the prowling duns their victim scout,
    And seize the spendthrift wretch that dares steal out.

      Come, let us wander to the river's bank,
    And learn what charm collects yon breathless rank;
    The hope or horror pictured in each face
    Marks the excitement of the coming race.
    Hark! o'er the waters booms the sound of strife;
    Now the hush'd voices leap at once to life;
    Now to their toil the striving oarsmen bend;
    Now their gay hues the flaunting banners blend;
    Now leap the wavedrops from the flashing oar;
    Now the woods echo to the madd'ning roar;
    Now hot th' enthusiastic crowd pursue,
    And scream hoarse praises on the unflinching crew;
    Now in one last wild chance each arm is strained;
    One panting struggle more--the goal is gained.
    A scene like this, what stream can boast beside?
    Scarce rival Isis on her fairer tide.[25]
    But think not thus could live the rower's power,
    Save long privation steeled him for the hour.
    The couch relinquished at the voice of morn,
    The toilsome exercise, the cup forsworn,
    The frugal dinner, and scarce-tasted wine--
    Are these no sacrifice at glory's shrine?
    Thus with new trophies shall his walls be graced--
    Each limb new strengthened, and each nerve new braced.

      Some idlers to the pavements keep their feet,
    And strut and ogle all the passing street.
    And if 'tis Sunday's noon, on King's Parade,[26]
    See the smug tradesman too and leering maid;
    See the trim shop-boy cast his envious eye
    On Topling's waistcoat and on Sprightly's tie,
    Bravely resolved to hoard his labour's fruit,
    And ape their fancies in his next new suit.

      But now the sounding clocks in haste recall
    Each hungry straggler to his College hall;
    For Alma Mater well her nursling rears,
    Nor cheats his gullet, while she fills his ears.
    Heavens! what a clatter rends the steam-fraught air--
    How waiters jostle, and how Freshmen stare!
    One thought here strikes me--and the thought is sad--
    The carving for the most part is but bad.
    See the torn turkey and the mangled goose!
    See the hack'd sirloin and the spattered juice!
    Ah! can the College well her charge fulfil,
    Who thus neglects the petit-maître's skill?
    The tutor proves each pupil on the books--
    Why not give equal license to the cooks?
    As the grave lecturer, with scrupulous care,
    Tries how his class picks up its learned fare--
    From Wisdom's banquet makes the dullard fast--
    Denied admittance till his trial's past--
    So the slow Freshman on a crust should starve,
    Till practice taught him nobler food to carve:
    Then Granta's sons a useful fame should know,
    And shame with skill each dinner-table beau.

      High on the daïs, and more richly stored,
    Well has old custom placed the Fellow's board:
    Thus shall the student feel his fire increased
    By brave ambition for the well-graced feast--
    Mark the sleek merriment of rev'rend Dons,
    And learn how science well rewards her sons.
    But spare, my muse, to pierce the sacred gloom
    That veils the mysteries of the Fellows' room;
    Nor hint how Dons, their untasked hours to pass,
    Like Cato, warm their virtues with the glass.[27]

      Once more, at sound of chapel chime, repairs
    The surpliced scholar to his vesper prayers;
    For discipline this tribute at his hands,
    First and last duty of the day, demands.
    Then each, as diligence or mirth invite,
    Careful improves or thriftless wastes the night.

      Stand in the midst, and with observant eye
    Each chamber's tenant at his task descry.
    Here the harsh mandate of the Dean enthrals
    Some prayerless pris'ner to the College walls,
    Who in the novel's pages seeks to find
    A brief oblivion for his angry mind.
    Haply the smoke-wreathed meerschaum shall supply
    An evenness of soul which they deny.
    Charm! that alike can soothing pleasure bring
    To sage or savage, mendicant or king;
    Sov'reign to blunt the pangs of torturing pain,
    Or clear the mazes of the student's brain!
    Swift at thy word, amidst the soul's misrule,
    Content resumes her sway, and rage grows cool.

      Here pores the student, till his aching sight
    No more can brook the glimmering taper's light;
    Then Slumber's links their nerveless captive bind,
    While Fancy's magic mocks his fevered mind;
    Then a dim train of years unborn sweeps by
    In glorious vision on his raptured eye:
    See Fortune's stateliest sons in homage bow,
    And fling vain lustre o'er his toilworn brow!
    Away, ye drivellers! dare ye speak to him
    Of cheek grown bloodless, or of eye grown dim?
    Who heeds the sunken cheek, or wasted frame,
    While Hope shouts "Onward! to undying fame."

      Glance further, if thine eye can pierce the mist
    Raised round the votaries of Loo and Whist;
    Scarce such kind Venus round her offspring flung
    To bear him viewless through the Punic throng;[28]
    Scarce such floats round old Skiddaw's crown of snow,
    And veils its grimness from the plains below.
    Here, too, gay Lentulus conspicuous sits,
    Chief light and oracle of circling wits.
    Who with such careless grace the trick can take,
    Or fling with such untrembling hand his stake?
    But though with well-feigned case his glass he sips,
    And puffs the balmy cloud from smiling lips,
    Care broods within--his soul alone regards
    His ebbing pocket and the varying cards;
    While one resolve his saddened spirit fills--
    The diminution of his next term's bills.

      Lamp after lamp expires as night grows late,
    And feet less frequent rattle at the gate.
    The wearied student now rakes out his fire--
    The host grows dull, and yawning guests retire--
    Till, all its labours and its follies o'er,
    The silent College sinks to sleep once more.

      Thus roll the hours, thus roll the weeks away,
    Till terms expiring bring the long-feared day,
    When rake and student equal terror know--
    That lest he's plucked, this lest he pass too low.
    Though different epochs mark their wide careers,
    And serve for reck'ning points through fleeting years--
    To this a tripos or a Senate's grace,
    To that a fox-hunt, ball, or steeple-chase,--
    When three short years of toil or sloth are past,
    This common bugbear scares them all at last.

      The doors flung wide, the boards and benches set,
    The nervous candidates for fame are met.
    See yon poor wretch, just shivering from his bed,
    Gnaw at his nails and scratch his empty head;
    With lengthened visage o'er each question pore,
    And ransack all his memory for its store.
    This Euclid argued, or this Newton taught--
    Thus Butler reasoned, or thus Paley thought;
    With many a weapon of the learned strife,
    Prized for an hour, then flung aside for life.
    Ah! what avails him now his vaunted art,
    To stride the steed, or guide the tandem-cart?
    His loved ecarté, or his gainful whist?
    What snobs he pommelled, or what maidens kissed?
    His ball-room elegance, his modish air,
    And easy impudence, that charmed the fair?
    Ah! what avails him that to Fashion's fame
    Admiring boudoirs echoed forth his name?
    All would he yield, if all could buy one look,
    Though but a moment's, o'er the once-scorned book.
    --Enough, enough, once let the scene suffice;
    Bid me not, Fancy, brave its horrors twice.
    The wrangler's glory in his well-earned fame,
    The prizeman's triumph, and the pluck'd man's shame,
    With all fair Learning's well-bestowed rewards,
    Are they not fitting themes for nobler bards?
    Poor Lentulus, twice plucked, some happy day
    Just shuffles through, and dubs himself B. A.;
    Thanks heaven, flings by his cap and gown, and shuns
    A place made odious by remorseless duns.
    Not so the wrangler,--him the Fellows' room
    Shall boast its ornament for years to come;
    Till some snug rectory to his lot may fall,
    Or e'en (his fondest wish) a prebend's stall:
    Then burst triumphant on th' admiring town
    The full-fledged honours of his Doctor's gown.

      Yes, Granta, thus thy sacred shades among
    Join grave and thoughtless in one motley throng.
    Forgive my muse, if aught her trifling air
    Seems to throw scorn upon thy kindly care.
    Long may thy sons, with heaven-directed hand,
    Spread wide the glories of a grateful land--
    Uphold their country's and their sovereign's cause--
    Adorn her church, or wield her rev'rend laws;
    By virtue's might her senate's counsel sway,
    And scare red Faction powerless from his prey.

      And ye, who, thriftless of your life's best days,
    Have sought but Pleasure in fair Learning's ways,
    Though nice reformers of the sophists' school
    Mock the old maxims of Collegiate rule,
    Deem them not worthless, because oft abused,
    Nor sneer at blessings, which yourselves refused.--U. T.

FOOTNOTES:

[24] _Videlicet_--the Dean's apartment; a visit to which frequently
concludes by the visitor's finding himself "gated," _i. e._, obliged
to be within the college walls by 10 o'clock at night; by this he is
prevented from partaking in suppers, or other nocturnal festivities,
in any other college or in lodgings.

[25] Be not indignant, ye broader waves of Thames and Isis! In the
number of contending barks, and the excitement of the spectators of
the strife, Cam may, with all due modesty, boast herself unequalled.
To the swiftness of her champion galleys ye have yourselves often
borne witness.

[26] The most fashionable promenade for the "spectantes" and
"spectandi" of Cambridge.

[27]

    "Narratur et prisci Catonis
    Sæpe mero caluisse virtus."--HORACE, _Odes_.

[28] VIRGIL, _Æneid_, i. 415.



JACK MOONLIGHT.


Some time ago, on the way from Glasgow to Liverpool, amongst the
confusion and bustle in the railway terminus at Greenock, I was
interested by seeing what struck me more by contrast with the rest of
the scene, but, from old associations, would have drawn my attention
at any time. Passengers, porters, and trucks were meeting from both
directions; ladies and gentlemen anxious about their bandboxes and
portmanteaus; one engine puffing off its steam, and another screaming
as it departed. Through the midst of all, a group of six seamen, from
a third-class carriage, were lugging along their bags and hammocks,
dingy and odorous with genuine tar in all its modifications. Five of
the party, of different heights, ages, and sizes, were as dark-brown
mahogany-colour, in face, throat, and hands, as some long sea-voyage
had made them, evidently through latitudes where the wind blows the
sun, if the sun doesn't burn the wind. One was a fine, stout,
middle-aged man, with immense whiskers and a cap of Manilla grass, a
large blue jacket, with a gorgeous India handkerchief stuffed in its
capacious outside pocket, and brown trousers, with boots, whom I at
once set down for the boatswain of some good East-Indiaman. The sixth
was a woolly-pated negro lad, about nineteen or twenty, dressed in
sailor's clothes with the rest, but with his characteristically
shapeless feet cramped up in a pair of Wellingtons, in which he
stumped along, while his companions had the usual easy roll of their
calling. The fellow was black as a coal, thick-lipped and flat-nosed;
but if, like most negroes, he had only kept grinning, it would not
have seemed so ridiculous as the gravity of his whole air. Some young
ladies standing near, with parasols spread to save their fair
complexions from the sun, said to each other, "Oh, do look at the
foreign sailors!" I knew, however, without requiring to hear a single
word from them, that they were nothing else but the regular true-blue
English tars; such, indeed, as you seldom find belonging to even the
sister kingdoms. A Scotchman or an Irishman may make a good sailor,
and, for the theory of the thing, why, they are probably "six and
half-a-dozen;" but, somehow, there appears to be in the English
sea-dog a peculiar capacity of developing the appropriate ideal
character--that frank, bluff, hearty _abandon_, and mixture of
practical skill with worldly simplicity, which mark the oceanic man.
All dogs can swim, but only water-dogs have the foot webbed and the
hair shaggy. The Englishman is the only one you can thoroughly salt,
and make all his bread biscuit, so that he can both be a boy at fifty,
and yet chew all the hardships of experience without getting conscious
of his wisdom.

So I reflected, at any rate, half joke, half earnest, while hastening
to the Liverpool steamer, which lay broadside to the quay, and,
betwixt letting off steam and getting it up, was blowing like a mighty
whale come up to breathe. The passengers were streaming up the plank,
across by her paddle-boxes, as it were so many Jonahs going into its
belly; amongst whom I was glad to see my nautical friends taking a
shorter cut to the steerage, and establishing themselves with a sort
of half-at-home expression in their sunburnt weatherly faces. In a
little while the "City of Glasgow" was swimming out of the firth, with
short quick blows of her huge fins, that grew into longer and longer
strokes as they revolved in the swells of the sea; the jib was set out
over her sharp nose to steady her, and the column of smoke from her
funnel, blown out by the wind, was left, in her speed, upon the
larboard quarter, to compare its dark-brown shadow with the white
furrow behind. At the beginning of the long summer evening the round
moon rose, white and beautiful, opposite the blue peaks of Arran,
shining with sunset. By that time the steamer's crowded and lumbered
decks had got somewhat settled into order; the splash of the paddles,
and the clank of the engine, leaping up and down at the window of its
house, kept up a kind of quiet, by contrast, in spite of the
different noises going on around. Amongst such, a nuisance apparently
inseparable from and peculiar to steamboats, is a blind fiddler, whose
everlasting infernal scrape, squeaking away on the foredeck, one
cannot help blending with the thump and shudder of those emetic
machines on a large scale, and considering it not the least element in
producing the disagreeable phenomena so well known on board of them.
One of these said floating musicians, who thus wander probably in
imitation of Arion, and in revenge for his fate, was now performing to
the groups near the paddle-boxes. Beyond them, however, by the
steamer's patent iron windlass, there was a quiet space at the bow,
where, in a short time, I perceived the figures of the sailors
relieved against the brisk sea-view above the insignificant bowsprit.
I went forward out of the privileged regions to smoke a cigar, and
found the two elder ones sitting over the windlass in conversation
with another seafaring passenger, evidently less thoroughbred,
however. The rest were walking backwards and forwards to a side, with
the quick rolling walk, limited in extent, so characteristic of the
genus _nauta_--the negro turning his head now and then to grin as he
heard the music, but otherwise above mixing in the rabble of already
disconsolate-looking people behind. He was plainly considered by his
shipmates, and considered himself, on a footing of perfect equality:
his skin was no odium to the men of the sea, whose lot he had no doubt
shared, whatever it might have been in the cabin. Their bedding was
already spread under shelter of the half top-gallant forecastle at the
heel of the bowsprit, amongst spars and coils of rope. Although
sailors are understood to go half-fare in steamers, they no doubt
preferred the accommodation thus chosen. It was amusing to notice how
the regular, long-sea, wind-and-canvass men seemed to look down upon
the hermaphrodites of the "funnel-boat," and were evidently regarded
by them as superior beings; nor did they hold much communication
together.

While standing near, I made a remark or two to the eldest of the
seamen, whom I had marked down for the leader of the little nautical
band; and it was not difficult to break ice with the frank tar. He was
more intelligent and polished than is usual even with the superior
class of his vocation, having seen more countries of the globe, and
their peculiarities, than would set up a dozen writers of travels.
They had all sailed together in the same vessels for several voyages:
had been last to Calcutta, Singapore, and Canton, in a large Liverpool
Indiaman, to which they were returning after a trip, during the
interval, on some affair of the boatswain's at Glasgow; and, curiously
enough, they had made a cruise up Loch Lomond, none of them having
seen a fresh-water lake of any size before. In the mean time, while
the negro passed up and down with his companions before me, I had been
remarking that his naked breast, seen through the half-open check
shirt, was tattooed over with a singular device, in conspicuous red
and blue colours: indeed, without something or other of the sort he
could scarcely have been a sailor, for the barbarians of the sea and
those of the American forest have a good deal in common. This peculiar
ornament of the sable young mariner I at length observed upon to the
boatswain. "Jack Moonlight!" said the seaman, turning round, "come
here, my son: show the gentleman your papers, will ye?" The black
grinned, looked flattered, as I thought, and, opening his shirt,
revealed to me the whole of his insignia. In the middle was what
appeared meant for a broken ring-bolt; above that a crown; below an
anchor; on one side the broad arrow of the dock-yard, and on the other
the figures of 1838. "My sartif'cates, sar, is dat!" said the negro,
showing his white teeth. "That's his figure-head, sir," said one of
the younger sailors, "but he's got a different mark abaft, ye know, Mr
Wilson!" "Never mind, Dick," said the boatswain; "the one scores out
the other, my lad." The black looked grave again, and they resumed
their walk. "What's his name, did you say?" I inquired,--"Moonlight?"
"Yes, sir; Jack Moonlight it is." _Ut lucus a non lucendo_, thought I:
rather a preternatural moonlight--a sort of _dark_-lantern! "Why, who
christened him that?" I said. "Well, sir," replied the boatswain, "the
whole ship's company, I think: the second mate threw a ship's-bucket
of gulf-stream water over his head, too, for a blessing; and the black
cook, being skilled that way, gave him the marks. Jack is his christen
name, sir--_Moonlight_ is what we call his on-christen one." "There's
a entire yarn about it, sir," remarked the other sailor. "I wish you
would tell it me!" said I to the boatswain, seating myself on the
windlass, while his two companions looked to him with an expression of
the same desire. "Why, sir," said the bluff foremast officer, hitching
up his trousers, and looking first at one boot and then at the other,
"I'm not the best hand myself at laying up the strands of a matter;
but however, as I was first whistle in the concern, why, you shall
have the rights of it. You see, sir," continued he, "we were lying at
that time inside the Havannah, opposight the Mole--the Mary Jane of
Bristol, Captain Drew, a ship o' seven hundred tons. 'Twas in the year
'38, I think, Tom?" "Ay, ay, Mr Wilson," replied the other sailor,
"'tis logged correct enough on Jack Moonlight's breast." "She was
round from Jamaica for some little matter to fill up," continued the
boatswain, "so we didn't leave the cable long betwixt wind and water;
but, two nights before the Mary Jane sailed, a large Portugee schooner
came in, and brought up within thirty fathoms of our starboard
quarter, slam on to us, so as we looked into her cabin windows, but
nothing else. She'd got the American flag flying, and a Yankee mate
that answered sometimes, 'twas said, for the skipper; but by the looks
of her, and a large barracoon being a'most right in a line with her
bowsprit, we hadn't no doubt what she was after. The first night, by
the lights and the noise, we considered they landed a pretty few score
of blacks, fresh from the Guinea coast and a stew in the middle
passage. And all the time there was the Spanish guard-boats, and the
court sitting every few days to look after such tricks, and saying
they kept a watch the devil himself couldn't shirk. There was a
British cruiser off the Floridas, too, but we reckoned she'd been
blown up the Gulf by a hurricane the morning before. Next night was
bright moonlight, so they were all quiet till two bells of the third
watch; then they began to ship off their _bales_ again, as they call
'em--the moon being on the set, and the schooner in a shadow from the
ware-houses. 'Twas all of a sort o' smothered bustle aboard of her,
for the sailmaker and I was keeping our hour of the anchor-watch. I
was only rated able seaman at that time in the Mary Jane. Well, the
shadow of the schooner came almost as far as the currents about our
rudder, and I was looking over the quarter, when I thought I saw a
trail shining in it, as if something was swimming towards us.
'Sailmaker,' says I, 'is that the shark, d'ye think, that they say is
fed alongside of one o' them slavers here for a sentry?' 'Where?' said
the sailmaker, and 'Look,' says I. Just that moment what did I see but
the woolly black head of a nigger come out into the stroak of white
water, 'twixt our counter and the schooner's shadow, swimming as quiet
as possible to get round into ours! 'Keep quiet, mate,' I said; 'don't
frighten the poor fellow! He's contrived to slink off, I'll bet you,
in the row!' Next we heard him scrambling up into the mizen chains,
then his head peeps over the bulwarks, but neither of us turned about,
so he crept along to the forecastle, where the scuttle was off, and
the men all fast in their hammocks. Down he dives in a moment. The
sailmaker and I slipped along to see what he'd do. Right under the
fok'sle ladder was the trap of the cook's coal-hole, with a ring-bolt
in it for lifting; and just when we looked over, there was the nigger,
as naked as ye please, a heaving of it up to stow himself away,
without asking where. As soon as he was gone, and the trap closed,
'Why,' said the sailmaker, 'he's but a boy.' 'He's a smart chap,
though, sure enough, sailmaker!' says I. 'But what pauls me, is how
quick he picked out the fittest berth in the ship. Why, old Dido won't
know but what it's his wife Nancy's son, all blacked over with the
coals!' 'Well, bo',' says the sailmaker, laughing, 'we mustn't let
the black doctor get down amongst his gear, on no account, till the
ship's clear away to sea!' _Doctor_, you know, sir--that's what we
call the cook at sea. 'Never fear, mate,' says I, 'I'll manage old
Dido myself, else he'd blow the whole concern amongst them confounded
planters in the cabin.' This Dido, you must understand, sir, was the
black cook of the Mary Jane: his name, by rights, was Di'dorus
Thomson; but he'd been cook's mate of the Dido frigate for two or
three years before, and always called himself Dido--though I've heard
'twas a woman's name instead of a man's. He was a Yankee nigger, as
black as his own coals, and had married a Bristol woman. She had one
son, but he was as white as herself; so 'twas a joke in the ship
against old Dido, how he'd contrived to wash his youngster so clean,
and take all the dirt on himself. We run the rig on him about his
horns, too, and the white skin under his paint, till the poor fellow
was afraid to look in a glass for fear of seeing the devil.

"Next morning, before we began to get up anchor, the cook turns out of
his hammock at six o'clock to light the galley fire, and down he comes
again to the forecastle to get coals out of his hold. 'Twas just
alongside of my hammock, so I looked over, and says I, 'Hullo, doctor!
hold on a minute till I give ye a bit of advice.' 'Mine yar own
bus'ness, Jack Wilson,' says the cross-grained old beggar, as he was.
'Dido,' says I, 'who d'ye think I see goin' down your trap last
night?' 'Golly!' says he, 'don't know; who was dat, Jack--eh?' and he
lets go of the trap-lid. 'Why, Dido,' I told him, ''twas the devil
himself!' 'O Lard!' says the nigger, giving a jump, 'what dat
gen'leman want dere? Steal coal for bad place! O Lard!--Hish!' says
he, whispering into my hammock, 'tell me, Jack Wilson, he black or
white--eh?' 'Oh, black!' I said; 'as black as the slaver astarn.' 'O
Lard! O Lard! black man's own dibble!' says old Dido; 'what's I to do
for cap'en's breakfast, Jack!' 'Why, see if you haven't a few chips o'
wood, doctor,' says I, 'till we get out o' this infernal port. Don't
they know how to lay the old un among your folks in the States, Dido?'
I said, for I'd seen the thing tried. 'Golly! yis!' says the nigger;
'leave some bake yam on stone, with little rum in de pumpkin--'at's
how to do!' 'Very good!' says I; 'well, whatever you've got handy,
Dido, lower it down to him, and I daresay he'll clear out by
to-morrow.' 'Why, what the dibble, Jack!' says he again, scratching
his woolly head, 'feed him in 'e ship, won't he stay--eh?' 'Oh, for
that matter, Dido,' says I, 'just you send down a sample of the ship's
biscuit, with a fid of hard junk, and d--me if he stay long!' A good
laugh I had, too, in my hammock, to see the cook follow my advice: he
daren't open his hatch more than enough to shove down a line with some
grub at the end of it, as much as would have provisioned half a dozen;
so I knew there was a stopper clapped on the spot for that day.

"When we began to get up anchor, a boat belonging to the schooner
pulled round us, and they seemed to want to look through and through
us, for them slavers has a nat'ral avarsion to an English ship. They
gave a squint or two at old black Dido, and he swore at 'em in
exchange for it like a trooper: 'tis hard to say, for a good slack
jaw, and all the dirty abuse afloat, whether a Yankee nigger, or a
Billingsgate fishwoman, or a Plymouth Point lady, is the worst to
stand. I do believe, if we'd been an hour later of sailing, they'd
have had a search-warrant aboard of us, with a couple of Spanish
guardos, and either pretended they'd lost a fair-bought slave, or got
us perhaps condemned for the very thing they were themselves. However,
off we went, and by the first dog-watch we'd dropped the land to
sou'-west, with stunsails on the larboard side, and the breeze on our
quarter.

"Next morning again the black cook gives me a shake in my hammock, and
says he, 'Mus' have some coal now, Jack; he gone now, surely--eh,
lad?' 'Go to the devil, you black fool,' says I, 'can't ye let a
fellow sleep out his watch without doing your work for you?' 'O
Golly,' says the cook in a rage, 'I sarve you out for dis, you damn
tarry black-guard! Don't b'lieb no dibble ever dere! I water you tea
dis blessed mornin' for dis!' 'Look out for squalls, then, doctor,'
says I; and he lifts the trap, and began to go down the ladder,
shaking his black fist at me. 'Good b'ye, Dido!' says I, 'make my
respects to the old un!' 'O you darty willain!' he sings out from the
hole; and then I heard him knocking about amongst his lumber, till all
of a sudden he gave a roar. Up springs the young nigger from under
hatches, up the ladder and through the trap, then up the fok'sle steps
again, and out on deck, and I heard him running aft to the
quarter-deck, where the mate was singing out to set another stunsail.
Down fell the trap-lid over the coal-hole, and old Dido was caught
like a mouse. If it hadn't been for our breakfast, I daresay we'd have
left him there for a spell; but when the doctor got out he was as
cowed as you please. 'Jack Wilson,' says he to me, 'you say quite
right--him black dibble dere sure 'naff, Jack! see him go up in flash
'o fire out of de coal, den all as dark as ---- Hullo, 'mates,' says
he, 'you laugh, eh? Bery funny though, too--ho-ho-ho!' so he turned to
grinning at it till the tears ran out of the big whites of his eyes.
'What does the parson say, doctor?' asks an old salt out of his
hammock--'stick close to the devil, and he'll flee from ye!'
'Ho-ho-ho!' roars old Dido; 'bery good--ho-ho-ho!' says he; 'old
dibble not so bery frightenful after all, now I see he right black!'
'I say, though, old boy,' puts in the foremastman again, 'I doesn't
like to hear ye laugh at the devil that way--ye don't know what may
turn up--'tis good seamanship, as I reckon, never to make an enemy of
a port on a lee-shore, cook!' 'Ay, ay, old ship,' said another; 'but
who looks for seaman's ways from a cook?--ye can't expect it!' 'I
tar'ble 'fraid of white dibble, though, lads,' said old Dido, giving
an impudent grin. 'Well, if so be,' says the old salt, 'take my word
for it, ye'd better keep a look-out for him--that's all. White or
black, all colours has their good words to keep, an' bad ones brings
their bad luck, mate!'

"Well, sir, as for the young run-away, 'twas all of a kick-up on the
quarterdeck about him; he couldn't speak a word of English, but he
hung on the mate's feet like one for bare life. Just then the captain
came on deck with two lady passengers, to take a look of the morning;
the poor fellow was spar-naked, and the ladies made a dive below
again. The captain saw the slave-brand on his shoulder, and he twigged
the whole matter at once; so he told the mate to get him a pair of
trousers, and a shirt, and put him to help the cook. Dido laughed
louder than ever when he found out the devil wasn't so black as he was
painted; and he was for indopting the youngster, by way of a sort o'
jury son. However, the whole of the fok'sle took a fancy to him,
considering him a kind of right to all hands. He was christened Jack,
as I said before, and instead of hanging on, cook's mate, he was put
up to something more seaman-like. By the time the Mary Jane got home,
black Jack could set a stunsail, or furl a royal. We got Dido to give
him a regular-built sartificate on his breast, of his being free to
blue water, footing paid, and under the British union-jack, which
'twas the same as you saw just now, sir."

"Well," said I, "but you haven't explained why he was called by such a
curious appellation as Moonlight, though?"

"Hold on a bit, sir," said the boatswain, "that's not the whole affair
from end to end, yet. The next voyage I sailed again in the Mary Jane
to Jamaica, for I always had a way of sticking to the same ship, when
I could. I remember Dido, the cook, had a quarrel with his wife,
Nancy; and one of the first nights we were at sea, he told black Jack,
before all the fok'sle, how he meant to leave him all his savings,
which everybody knew was no small thing, for Dido never spent any of
his wages, and many a good cask of slush the old nigger had pocketed
the worth of. We made a fine run of it that time down the Trades, till
we got into the latitude of the Bahamas, and there the ship stuck like
a log, with blue water round her, as hot as blazes, and as smooth as
glass, or a bowl of oil. Once or twice we had a black squall that sent
her on a bit, or another that drove her back, with a heavy swell, and
now and then a light air, which we made the most of--setting
stunsails, and hauling 'em down again in a plash of rain. But,
altogether, we thought we'd never get out of them horse latitudes at
all, having run over much to west'ard, till we saw the line of the
Gulf Stream treading away on the sea line to nor'west, as plain as on
a chart. There was a confounded devil of a shark alongside, that stuck
by us all through, one of the largest I ever clapped eyes on. Every
night we saw him cruising away astarn, as green as glass, down through
the blue water; and in the morning, there he was under the counter,
with his back fin above, and two little pilot-fish swimming off and on
round about. He wouldn't take the bait either; and every man forud
said there was some one to lose his mess before long; however, the
cook made a dead set to hook the infernal old monster, and at last he
did contrive to get him fast, with a piece of pork large enough for
supper to the larboard watch. All hands tailed on to the line, and
with much ado we got his snout over the taffrail, till one could look
down his throat, and his tail was like to smash in the starn windows;
when of a sudden, snap goes the rope where it spliced to the chain,
down went the shark into the water with a tremendous splash, and got
clear off, hook, chain, bait an' all. We saw no more of him, though;
and by sunset we had a bit of a light breeze, that began to take us
off pleasantly.

"We had had full moon nearly the night before, and this night, I
remember, 'twas the very pearl of moonlight--the water all of a ripple
sparkling in it, almost as blue as by day; the sky full o' white
light; and the moon as large as the capstan-head, but brighter than
silver. You might ha' said you saw the very rays of it come down to
the bellies of the sails, and sticking on the same plank in the deck
for an hour at a time, as the ship surged ahead. Old Dido, the cook,
had a fashion of coming upon deck of a moonlight night, in warm
latitudes, to sleep on top o' the spars; he would lie with his black
face full under it, like a lizard basking in the sun. Many a time the
men advised him against it, at any rate to cover his face; for, if it
wouldn't spoil, they said, he might wake up blind, or with his mouth
pulled down to his shoulder, and out of his mind to boot. It wasn't
the first time neither, sir, I've known a fellow moonstruck in the
tropics, for 'tis another guess matter altogether from your hazy bit
o' white paper yonder: why, if you hang a fish in it for an hour or
two, 'twill stink like a lucifer match, and be poison to eat. Well,
sir, that night, sure enough, up comes Dido with a rug to lie upon,
and turns in upon the spars under the bulwarks, and in five minutes he
was fast asleep, snoring with his face to the moon. So the watch,
being tricky inclined ways on account of the breeze, took into their
heads to give him a fright. One got hold of a paint-pot out of the
half-deck, and lent him a wipe of white paint with the brush all over
his face; Dido only gave a grunt, and was as fast as ever. The next
thing was to grease his wool, and plaster it up in shape of a couple
o' horns. Then they drew a bucket of water, and set it on the deck
alongside, for him to see himself. When our watch came on deck, at
eight bells, the moon was as bright as ever in the west, and the cook
stretched out like Happy Tom on the spars, with his face slued round
to meet it. In a little the breeze began to fall, and the light
canvass to flap aloft, till she was all of a shiver, and the topsails
sticking in to the masts, and shaking out again, with a clap that made
the boom-irons rattle. At last she wouldn't answer her wheel, and the
mate had the courses hauled up in the trails; 'twas a dead calm once
more, and the blue water only swelled in the moonlight, like one sheet
of rear-admiral's flags a-washing in a silver steep,--that's the
likest thing I can fancy. When the ship lay still, up gets the black
doctor, half asleep, and I daresay he had been laying in a cargo of
Jamaica rum overnight: the bucket was just under his nose as he looked
down to see where he was, and the moon shining into it. I heard him
roar out, 'O de dibble!' and out he sprang to larboard, over the
bulwarks, into the water. 'Man overboard, ahoy!' I sang out, and the
whole watch came running from aft and forud to look over. 'Oh Christ!'
says one o' the men, pointing with his finger--'Look.' Dido's head
was just rising alongside; but just under the ship's counter what did
we see but the black back-fin of the shark, coming slowly round, as
them creatures do when they're not quite sure of anything that gives
'em the start. 'The shark! the shark!' said every one; 'he's gone, by
----' 'Down with the quarter-boat, men!' sings out the mate, and he
ran to one of the falls to let it go. The young nigger, Jack, was
amongst the rest of us; in a moment he off with his hat and shoes,
took the cook's big carving-knife out of the galley at his back, and
was overboard in a moment. He was the best swimmer I ever chanced to
see, and the most fearless: the moonlight showed everything as plain
as day, and he watched his time to jump right in where the shark's
back-fin could be seen coming quicker along, with a wake shining down
in the water at both fins and tail. Old Dido was striking out like a
good un, and hailing for a rope, but he knew nothing at all of the
shark. As for young Jack, he said afterwards he felt his feet come
full slap on the fish's back, and then he laid out to swim under him
and give him the length of his knife close by the jaw, when he'd turn
up to bite--for 'twas what the youngsters along the Guinea coast were
trained to do every day on the edge of the surf. However, curious
enough, there wasn't another sign of this confounded old sea-tiger
felt or seen again; no doubt he got a fright and went straight off
under the keel; at any rate the boat was alongside of the cook and
Jack next minute, and picked 'em both up safe. Jack swore he heard the
chain at the shark's snout rattle, as he was slueing round his head
within half a fathom of old Dido, and just as he pounced upon the
bloody devil's back-bone; the next moment it was clear water below his
feet, and he saw the white bells rise from a lump of green going down
under the ship's bends, as large as the gig, with its belly glancing
like silver. If so, I daresay the cook's legs would have stuck on his
own hook before they were swallowed; but, anyhow, the old nigger was
ready to believe in the devil as long as he lived. The whole matter
gave poor Dido a shake he never got the better of; at the end of the
voyage he vowed he'd live ashore the rest of his days, to be clear of
all sorts o' devilry. Whether it didn't agree with him or not, I can't
say, but he knocked off the hooks in a short time altogether, and left
young Jack the most of his arnings, on the bargain of hailing by his
name ever after. 'Twas a joke the men both in the Mary Jane and the
old Rajah got up, when the story was told, to call the cook Dido
Moonlight, because, after all, 'twas the death of him: and when Jack
shipped with the rest of us here aboard of the Rajah, having seen Dido
to the ground, why, all hands christened him over again Jack
Moonlight; though to look at him now, I daresay, sir, you wouldn't
well fancy how such things as black Jack's face and moonlight was
logged together, unless the world went by contrairies!"



MOONLIGHT MEMORIES.

BY B. SIMMONS.


I.

    They say Deceit and Change divide
      The empire of this world below;
    That, whelm'd by Time's resistless tide,
      Love's fountain ebbs, no more to flow.
    Dawn-brow'd MADONNA, deem not so,
      While to my truth yon Moon in heaven
    I loved thee by, so long ago,
      Is still a faithful "witness" given!

II.

    All brightly round, that mellow Moon
      Rose o'er thy bright, serene abode,
    When first to win thy smiles' sweet boon
      My tears of stormy passion flowed.
    Where Woodburn's larches veil'd our road,
      I sued thy cheek's averted grace,
    And, while its lustre paled and glowed,
      Drank the blest sunshine of thy face.

III.

    And when the darkening Fate, that threw
      Its waste of seas between us, Sweet,
    With refluent wave restored me to
      The soundless music of thy feet,
    How wild my heart's delighted beat,
      Once more beneath the mulberry bough,
    To see the branching shadows fleet
      Before thy bright approaching brow!

IV.

    Then rose again the Moon's sweet charm,
      Not in her full and orbéd glow,
    But young and sparkling as thy form
      That moved a sister-moon below.
    The rose-breeze round thee loved to blow--
      Blue Evening o'er thee bent and smiled--
    Rejoicing Nature seemed to know,
      And own, her wildly-gracious child.

V.

    Forth came the Stars, as if to keep
      Fond watch along thy sinless way;
    While thy pure eyes, through Ether deep,
      Sought out lone Hesper's diamond ray,
    Half shy, half sad, to hear me say,
      That haply, mid the tearless bliss
    Of that far world we yet should stray,
      When we have burst the bonds of this.

VI.

    Too short and shining were those hours
      I loved, enchanted, by thy side!
    Hoarding the wealth of myrtle-flowers
      That in thy dazzling bosom died.
    Sweet Loiterer by Glenarra's tide,
      Dost thou not sometimes breathe a prayer
    For Him who never failed to glide
      At eve to watch and worship there?

VII.

    Fate's storms again have swept the scene,
      And, for that fair Moon's summer gleam,
    Through winter's snow clouds drifting keen
      I hail at midnight now her beam.
    Soft may its light this moment stream,
      My folded Flower! upon thy rest,
    And, melting through thy placid dream,
      This heart's unshaken faith attest.

VIII.

    Yes--Rainbow of my ruined youth,
      Now shining o'er the wreck in vain!
    Thy rosy tints of grace and truth
      Life's evening clouds shall long retain.
    My very doom has less of pain
      To feel that, ere from Time's dark river
    Thy form or soul could take one stain,
      Despair between us came for ever.

IX.

    And if, as sages still avow,
      The rites once paid on hill and grove
    To Beings beautiful as thou,
      To Dian, Hebe, and to Love,
    Were so imperishably wove
      Of fancies lovely and elysian,
    Their spirit to this hour must rove
      The earth a blest abiding vision;[29]

X.

    Then surely round that mountain rude,
      And Bridgeton's rill and pathway lone,
    In years to come, when thon, the Wooed,
      And thy fond Worshipper are gone,
    Each suppliant prayer, each ardent tone,
      Each vow the heart could once supply,
    Whose every pulse was there thine own,
      In many an evening breeze will sigh.

FOOTNOTE:

[29] It was the fanciful opinion of Hume that the purer Divinities of
pagan worship, and the system of the Homeric Olympus, were so
lastingly beautiful, that somewhere or other they must, to this hour,
continue to exist.



AUSTRIA AND HUNGARY.


We have been so much accustomed to regard the Austrian empire as one
German nation, that we sometimes forget of how many separate kingdoms
and principalities it consists, and of how many different and
disunited races its population is composed. It may not, therefore, be
unnecessary to recall attention to the fact that the Austrian
dominions of the last three hundred years--the Austrian empire of our
times--consists of three kingdoms and many minor principalities,
inhabited by five distinct races, whose native tongues are
unintelligible to each other, and who have no common language in which
they can communicate; who are divided by religious differences; who
preserve their distinctive characteristics, customs, and feelings;
whose sentiments are mutually unfriendly, and who are, to this day,
unmixed in blood. The Germans, the Italians, the Majjars or
Hungarians, the Sclaves, and the Wallacks, are distinct and alien
races--without community of origin, of language, of religion, or of
sentiments. Except the memory of triumphs and disasters common to them
all, their allegiance to one sovereign is now, as it was three
centuries ago, the only bond that unites them. Yet, in all the
vicissitudes of fortune--some of them disastrous--which this empire
has survived, these nations and races have held together. The
inference is inevitable--whatever may have been its defects, that form
of government could not have been altogether unfit for its purposes,
which so many different kingdoms and races united to support and
maintain.

It would be a mistake, however, to assume that these various states
were under one form of government. There were almost as many forms of
government as there were principalities; but they were all
monarchical, and one sovereign happened to become the monarch of the
whole. The house of Hapsburg, in which the imperial crown of Germany,
the regal crowns of Hungary, Bohemia, and Lombardy, and the ducal
crowns of Austria, Styria, the Tyrol, and nearly a dozen other
principalities, became hereditary, acquired their possessions, not by
conquest, but by election, succession, or other legitimate titles[30]
recognised by the people. The descendants of Rodolph thus became the
sovereigns of many separate states, each of which retained, as a
matter of right, its own constitution. The sovereign, his chief
advisers, and the principal officers of state at his court, were
usually Germans by birth, or by education and predilection; but the
constitution of each state--the internal administration, and those
parts of the machinery of government with which the people came more
immediately into contact--were their own. In some we find the monarchy
elective, as in Hungary, Bohemia, and Styria; in all we find diets of
representatives or delegates, chosen by certain classes of the people,
without whose concurrence taxes could not be imposed, troops levied,
or legislative measures enacted; and we find municipal institutions
founded on a broad basis of representation. In none of them was the
form of government originally despotic.

To the unquestionable titles by which they acquired their
crowns--titles by which the pride of nation or of race was not
wounded--and to the more or less perfect preservation, in each state,
of its national institutions and privileges--to the enjoyment by each
people of their laws, their language, customs, and prejudices--the
princes of the house of Hapsburg owed the allegiance of subjects who
had little else in common. There, as elsewhere in continental Europe,
the sovereign long continued to encroach upon the rights of his
subjects, and at length usurped an authority not recognised by the
laws of his different possessions, or consistent with the conditions
on which he had received their crowns. These usurpations were
frequently resisted, and not unfrequently by force of arms. Belgium
asserted her independence, and was permanently separated from Austria.
But, in such contests, the sovereign of many separate states had
obvious advantages. His subjects, divided by differences of race,
language, religion, and sentiment, were incapable of combining against
him; and however solicitous each people might be to preserve their own
liberties and privileges, they were not prepared to resist
encroachments on those of a neighbouring people, for whom they had no
friendly feeling. The Austrians and Italians were ready to assert the
emperor's authority in Hungary or Bohemia, the Hungarians and
Bohemians to put down resistance in Lombardy. Even in the same kingdom
the races were not united. In Hungary, the Sclave was sometimes ready
to aid the emperor against the Majjar, the German against the Sclave.
The disunion which was a source of weakness to the empire was a source
of strength to the emperor.

Partly by compulsory changes, effected according to constitutional
forms, partly by undisguised usurpations, in which these forms were
disregarded, the emperors were thus enabled to extend the prerogative
of the crown, to abridge the liberties of their subjects in each of
their possessions, and, in some of them, to subvert the national
institutions.

In the Hereditary States of Austria, the power of the emperor has long
been absolute. The strength of Bohemia was broken, and her spirit
subdued, by the confiscations and proscriptions that followed upon the
defeat of the Protestants, near Prague, in the religious wars of
Frederick II.; and for many years her diet has been subservient.
Lombardy, the prize of contending armies--German, Spanish, and
French--passing from hand to hand, has been regarded as a conquered
country; and, with the forms of a popular representation, has been
governed as an Austrian province. Hungary alone has preserved her
independence and her constitution. But these usurpations were not
always injurious to the great body of the people; on the contrary,
they were often beneficial. In most of these states, a great part of
the population was subject to a dominant class, or nobles, who alone
had a share in the government, or possessed constitutional rights, and
who exercised an arbitrary jurisdiction over the peasants. The crown,
jealous of the power of the aristocracy, afforded the peasants some
protection against the oppressions of their immediate superiors. A
large body of the people in each state, therefore, saw with
satisfaction, or without resentment, the increasing power of the
crown, the abridgment of rights and privileges which armed their
masters with the power to oppress them, and the subversion of a
constitution from which they derived no advantage. If the usurpations
of the crown threatened to alienate the nobles, they promised to
conciliate the humbler classes.

On the other hand, every noble was a soldier. The wars in which the
emperor was engaged, while they forced him occasionally to cultivate
the good-will of the aristocracy, on which he was chiefly dependent
for his military resources, fostered military habits of submission,
and feelings of feudal allegiance to the sovereign. Military service
was the road to distinction--military glory the ruling passion. The
crown was the fountain of honour, to which all who sought it repaired.
A splendid court had its usual attractions; and the nobles of the
different races and nations, rivals for the favour of the prince,
sought to outdo each other in proofs of devotion to his person and
service. Thus it was, that, notwithstanding the usurpations of the
emperor, and the resistance they excited, his foreign enemies
generally found all classes of his subjects united to defend the
dignity of his crown, and the integrity of his dominions.

Still there was nothing to bind together the various parts of this
curious fabric, except the accident of allegiance to one sovereign.
This was but a precarious bond of union; and the imperial government
has, therefore, been unremitting in its efforts to amalgamate the
different parts into one whole. The Germans were but a small minority
of the emperor's subjects, but the imperial government, the growth of
their soil, reflected their mind; and it does not appear to have
entered the Austrian mind to conceive that a more intimate union could
be accomplished in any other way than by extending the institutions of
the Hereditary States to all parts of the empire, and thus ultimately
converting the Italians, the Majjars, and the Sclaves, into Austrian
Germans.

This policy has been eminently unsuccessful in Hungary, where it has
frequently been resisted by force of arms; but its failure is not to
be attributed solely to the freedom of the institutions of that
country, or to the love of independence, and the feelings of
nationality which have been conspicuous in her history. The imperial
government, while it resisted the usurpations of the see of Rome in
secular matters, asserted its spiritual supremacy with unscrupulous
zeal. Every one is acquainted with the history of the Reformation in
Bohemia--its early manifestations, its progress, its unsuccessful
contests, and its suppression by military force, by confiscations and
proscriptions, extending to half the property and the proprietors in
that kingdom; but perhaps it is not so generally known, or remembered,
that the Majjars early embraced the Reformed doctrines of the school
of Calvin, which, even now, when more than half their numbers have
become Roman Catholics, is known in Hungary as "the Majjar faith." The
history of religious persecution, everywhere a chronicle of misery and
crime, has few pages so revolting as that which tells of the
persecutions of the Protestants of Hungary, under her Roman Catholic
kings of the house of Austria. It was in the name of persecuted
Protestantism that resistance to Austrian autocracy was organised; it
was not less in defence of their religion than of their liberties that
the nation took up arms. Yet there was a time when the Majjars, at
least as tenacious of their nationality as any other people in the
empire, might perhaps have been Germanised--had certainly made
considerable advances towards a more intimate union with Austria.
Maria Theresa, assailed without provocation by Prussia--in violation
of justice and of the faith of treaties, by France, Bavaria, Saxony,
Sardinia, and Spain, and aided only by England and the United
Provinces--was in imminent danger of losing the greater part of her
dominions. Guided by the instinct of a woman's heart, and yielding to
its impulse, she set at naught the remonstrances of her Austrian
counsellors, and relied on the loyalty of the Hungarians. Proceeding
to Presburg, she appeared at the meeting of the diet, told the
assembled nobles the difficulties and dangers by which she was
surrounded, and threw herself, her child, and her cause, upon their
generosity. At that appeal every sabre leapt from its scabbard, and
the shout, "Moriamur pro rege nostro, Maria Theresâ!" called all
Hungary to arms. The tide of invasion was rolled back beyond the Alps
and the Rhine, and the empire was saved.

     "On avait vu," says Montesquieu, "la maison d'Autriche
     travailler sans reláche à opprimer la noblesse Hongroise;
     elle ignorait de quel prix elle lui serait un jour. Elle
     cherchait chez ces peuples de l'argent, qui n'y était pas;
     elle ne voyait pas les hommes, qui y étaient. Lorsque tant de
     princes partagaient entre eux ces états, toutes les pièces de
     la monarchie, immobiles et sans action, tombaient, pour ainsi
     dire, les unes sur les autres. Il n'y avait de vie que dans
     cette noblesse, qui s'indigna, oublia tout pour combattre, et
     cru qu'il était de sa gloire de périr et de pardonner."

The nobles of Hungary had fallen by thousands; many families had been
ruined; all had been impoverished by a war of seven years, which they
had prosecuted at their private charge; but their queen had not
forgotten how much she owed them. She treated them with a kindness
more gratifying than the highest distinction; acquired their
confidence by confiding in them; taught them to speak the language of
her court; made their residence in her capital agreeable to them;
promoted alliances between the noble families of Hungary and Austria;
obtained from their devotion concessions which her predecessors had
failed to extort by force; and prepared the way for a more intimate
union between two nations which had hitherto regarded each other with
aversion.

M. A. de Gerando has discovered, in the portrait-galleries of the
Hungarian magnates, amusing traces of some of the means by which the
clever empress-queen extended Austrian influence and authority into
Hungary.

     "Il est curieux," (he says,) "de voir, dans les châteaux de
     Hongrie, les galeries de portraits de famille. Aussi haut que
     l'on remonte, ce ne sont d'abord que de graves figures
     orientales. Les hommes out la mine heroïque, comme on se
     représente ces hardis cavaliers, qui invariablement
     finissaient par se faire tuer dans quelque action contre les
     Turcs; les femmes sont austères et tristes ainsi qu'elles
     devaient l'être en effet. A partir de Marie-Therèse, tout
     change et la physionomie et l'expression des personnages. On
     voit bien que ceux-là ont paru à la cour de Vienne, et y ont
     appris les belles manières. Le contraste est frappant dans le
     portrait du magnat qui le premier épousa une Allemande. Le
     Hongrois, seul, occupe un coin de la toile. Il est debout,
     digne, la main gauche sur la poignée de son sabre recourbée;
     la droite tient une masse d'armes. De formidables éperons
     sont cloués à ses bottines jaunes. Il porte un long dolman
     galonné, et une culotte de hussard brodée d'or. Sur son
     épaule est attachée une riche pelisse, ou une peau de tigre.
     Sa moustache noire pend à la turque, et de grands cheveux
     tombent en boucles sur son cou. Il y a du barbare dans cet
     homme-là. Sa femme, assise, en robe de cour, est au milieu du
     tableau. Elle règne et elle domine. Près de son fauteuil se
     tiennent les enfants, qui ont déjà les yeux bleus et les
     lèvres Autrichiennes. Les enfants sont à elle, à elle seule.
     Ils sont poudrés comme elle, lui ressemblent, l'entourent, et
     lui parlent. Ils parlent l'Allemand, bien entendu."--(Pp.
     17-18.)

The son and successor of Maria Theresa, Joseph II., attempted, in his
summary way, by arbitrary edicts promising liberty and equality, to
subvert the constitution of every country he governed, and to extend
to them all one uniform despotic system, founded on that of Austria.
To him Hungary is indebted for the first gleam of religious
toleration; but his hasty and despotic attempts to suppress national
distinctions, national institutions and languages, provoked a fierce
and armed resistance in Hungary, and in other portions of his
dominions, and more than revived all the old aversion to Austria. His
more prudent successor made concessions to the spirit of independence,
and the love of national institutions, which Joseph had so deeply
wounded. Leopold regained the Hungarians; but Belgium, already
alienated in spirit, never again gave her heart to the emperor; and he
never lost sight of the uniformity of system that Maria Theresa had
done so much to promote, and which Joseph, in his haste to accomplish
it, had for the moment made unattainable. From the days of Ferdinand
I. until now, the attempt to assimilate the forms and system of
government, in every part of their possessions, to the more arbitrary
Austrian model, has been steadily pursued throughout the reigns of all
the princes of the house of Hapsburg. These persevering efforts to
extend the power of the crown by subverting national institutions, and
thus to obliterate so many separate nationalities, have aroused for
their defence a spirit that promises to perpetuate them.

Feelings of community of race and language, which had slumbered for
many generations, have been revived with singular intensity. Italy for
the Italians--Germany for the Germans--a new Sclavonic empire for the
western Sclaves--the union of all the Sclave nations under the empire
of the Czar--are cries which have had power to shake thrones, and may
hereafter dismember empires.

The separation between the different members of the Austrian empire,
which the havoc of war could not effect in three centuries, a few
years of peace and prosperity have threatened to accomplish. The
energies that were so long concentrated on war, have now, for more
than thirty years, been directed to the development of intellectual
and material resources. The ambition that sought its gratification in
the field, now seeks to acquire influence in the administration, and
power to sway the opinions of men. The love of national independence,
that repelled foreign aggression, has become a longing for personal
liberty, that refuses to submit to arbitrary power. The road to
distinction no longer leads to the court, but to the popular assembly;
for the rewards conferred by the voice of the people have become more
precious than any honours the sovereign can bestow. The duty of
allegiance to the crown has become a question of reciprocal
obligations, and has ceased to rest upon divine right. The only bond
that held the Austrian empire together has thus been loosened, and the
parts are in danger of falling asunder.

Lombardy, which was united to the German empire nine hundred years
ago, renounced its allegiance, and refused to be Austrian. Bohemia, a
part of the old German empire, inhabited chiefly by a Sclavonic race,
has been dreaming of Pansclavism. Carried away by poetical rhapsodies,
poured forth in profusion by a Lutheran preacher at Pesth, and
calculated, if not designed, to promote foreign influence and
ascendency, she has awoke from her dreams to find herself engaged in a
sanguinary conflict, which was terminated by the bombardment and
submission of her capital. Vienna, after having twice forced her
emperor to fly from his capital, has been taken by storm, and is held
in subjection by a garrison, whose stragglers are nightly thinned by
assassins. Hungary, (to which we propose chiefly to direct our
attention,) whose blood has been shed like water in defence of the
house of Hapsburg--whose chivalry has more than once saved the
empire--whom Napoleon, at the head of a victorious army in Vienna, was
unable to scare, or to seduce from her allegiance to her fugitive
king--whose population is more sincerely attached to monarchy than
perhaps any other people in Europe, except ourselves, is in arms
against the emperor of Austria. All the fierce tribes by which the
Majjars are encircled have been let loose upon them, and, in the name
of the emperor, the atrocities of Gallicia, which chilled Europe with
horror, have been renewed in Pannonia. The army of the Emperor of
Austria has invaded the territories of the King of Hungary, occupies
the capital, ravages the towns and villages, expels and denounces the
constituted authorities of the kingdom, abrogates the laws, and boasts
of its victories over his faithful subjects, as if they had been
anarchists who sought to overturn his throne.

The people of this country have long entertained towards Austria
feelings of kindness and respect. We may smile at her proverbial
slowness; we may marvel at the desperate efforts she has made to stand
still, while every one else was pressing forward; the curiously
graduated system of education, by which she metes out to each class the
modicum of knowledge which all must accept, and none may exceed--her
protective custom-houses, which destroy her commerce--her quarantines
against political contagion, which they cannot exclude--her system of
passports, with all its complications and vexations, and the tedious
formalities of her tardy functionaries,--may sometimes be subjects of
ridicule. But, though the young may have looked with scorn, the more
thoughtful amongst us have looked with complacency on the social repose
and general comfort--on the absence of continual jostling and
struggling in all the roads of life--produced by a system, unsuited to
our national tastes and tempers, no doubt, but which, till a few months
ago, appeared to be in perfect harmony with the character of the
Austrian German. We respect her courage, her constancy in adversity. We
admire the sturdy obstinacy with which she has so often stood up to
fight another round, and has finally triumphed after she appeared to be
beaten. We call to mind the services she rendered to Christian
civilisation in times past. We remember that her interests have
generally concurred with our own--have rarely been opposed to them. We
cannot forget the long and arduous struggles, in which England and
Austria have stood side by side, in defence of the liberties of
nations, or the glorious achievements by which those liberties were
preserved. It is because we would retain unimpaired the feelings which
these recollections inspire, because we consider the power and the
character of Austria essential to the welfare of Europe, that we look
with alarm on the course she has pursued towards Hungary.

The time has not yet come when the whole course of the events
connected with this unnatural contest can be accurately known. The
silence maintained and imposed by Austria may have withheld, or
suppressed, explanations that would justify or palliate much of what
wears a worse than doubtful aspect. But the authentic, information now
accessible to the public cannot fail to cause deep anxiety to all who
care for the reputation of the imperial government--to all who desire
to see monarchy come pure out of the furnace in which it is now being
tried. The desire to enforce its hereditary policy of a uniform
patriarchal system would not justify, in the eyes of Englishmen, an
alliance with anarchy to put down constitutional monarchy in Hungary,
or an attempt to cover, with the blood and dust of civil war, the
departure of the imperial government from solemn engagements entered
into by the emperor.

The nature of the relations by which Hungary is connected with
Austria--the origin and progress of their present quarrel, and the
objects for which the Hungarians are contending--appear to have been
very generally misunderstood, not in this country only, but in a great
part of Europe. Men whom we might expect to find better informed, seem
to imagine that Hungary is an Austrian province in rebellion against
the emperor, and that the origin and tendency of the movement was
republican. The reverse of all this is true. Hungary is not, and never
was, a province of Austria; but has been and is, both _de jure_ and
_de facto_, an independent kingdom. The Emperor of Austria is also
King of Hungary, but, as Emperor of Austria, has neither sovereign
right nor jurisdiction in Hungary. The Hungarians assert, and
apparently with truth, that they took up arms to repel unprovoked
aggression, and to defend their constitutional monarchy as by law
established; that their objects are therefore purely conservative, and
their principles monarchical; and that it is false and calumnious to
accuse them of having contemplated or desired to found a republic--a
form of government foreign to their sentiments, and incompatible with
their social condition.

The kingdom of Hungary (Hungarey) founded by the Majjars in the tenth
century, had for several generations been distinguished amongst the
nations of Europe, when another pagan tribe from the same
stock--issuing like them from the Mongolian plains, and turning the
Black Sea by the south, as they had done by the north--crossed the
Bosphorus, overturned the throne of the Cæsars, and established on its
ruins an Asiatic empire, which became the terror of Christendom. The
Majjars, converted to Christianity, encountered on the banks of the
Danube this cognate race, converted to Islamism, and became the first
bulwark of Christian Europe against the Turks. The deserts of Central
Asia, which had sent forth the warlike tribe that threatened Eastern
Europe with subjugation, had also furnished the prowess that was
destined to arrest their progress. The court of Hungary had long been
the resort of men of learning and science; the chivalry of Europe had
flocked to her camps, where military ardour was never disappointed of
a combat, or religious zeal of an opportunity to slaughter infidels.
In 1526, Ludovic, King of Hungary and Bohemia, with the flower of the
Hungarian chivalry, fell fighting with the Turks at the disastrous
battle of Mohacs--the Flodden field of Hungary. The monarchy was then
elective, but when the late king left heirs of his body the election
was but a matter of form. When the monarch died without leaving an
heir of his body, the nation freely exercised its right of election,
and on more than one such occasion had chosen their king from amongst
the members of princely houses in other parts of Europe. In this
manner Charles Robert, of the Neapolitan branch of the house of Anjou
and Ladislas, King of Bohemia, son of Casimir King of Poland, and
father of Ludovic who fell at Mohacs, had been placed upon the throne.
Ludovic died without issue, and he was the last male of his line--it
therefore became necessary to choose a king from some other house.
Ferdinand, brother of the Emperor Charles V., had married his cousin
Anne, daughter of Ladislas, and sister of Ludovic the late King of
Hungary and Bohemia. His personal character, his connexion with the
royal family of Hungary, and the support he might expect from the
emperor in the war against the Turks, prevailed over the national
antipathy to Austria, and he was elected to the vacant throne, though
not without a contest. He was crowned according to the ancient customs
of Hungary, and at his coronation took the oath which had been
administered on similar occasions to his predecessors. He thereby
bound himself to govern according to the laws, and to maintain and
defend the constitution and the territory of Hungary. He was likewise
elected King of Bohemia, after subscribing a document, by which he
renounced every other claim to the crown than that which he derived
from his election. The emperor surrendered to him the crown of
Austria, and these three crowns were thus, for the first time, united
in a prince of the house of Hapsburg. These states were altogether
independent one of another, had their separate laws, institutions, and
customs, and had no other bond of connexion than the accidental union
of the crowns in one person--a union which might at any time, on the
demise of the crown, have been dissolved. It resembled, in this
respect, the union of the crowns of Great Britain and Hanover in the
persons of our own sovereigns, that it left the kingdoms both _de
jure_ and _de facto_ independent of each other. In 1558, Ferdinand was
elected Emperor of Germany; but as emperor he could claim no
jurisdiction in Hungary, which was not then, and never was, included
in the German empire. The monarchy of Hungary continued to be
elective, and the nation continued to give a preference to the heirs
of the late monarch. The princes of the house of Hapsburg, who
succeeded to the throne of Austria, were thus successively elected to
that of Hungary; were separately crowned in that kingdom, according to
its ancient customs; and at their coronation took the same oath that
Ferdinand had taken.

In 1687 the states of Hungary decreed that the throne, which had
hitherto been filled by election, should thenceforward be hereditary
in the male heirs of the house of Hapsburg; and in 1723, the diet, by
agreeing to the Pragmatic sanction of Charles III. of Hungary, (the
Emperor Charles VI. of Germany,) extended the right of succession to
the female descendants of that prince. These two measures were
intended, and calculated, to perpetuate the union of the two crowns in
the same person. The order of succession to the crown of Hungary was
thus definitively settled by statute, and could not legally be
departed from, unless with the concurrence both of the diet and of the
sovereign. So long, therefore, as the crown of Austria was transmitted
in the same order of succession as that in which the crown of Hungary
had been settled, the union would be preserved; but any deviation in
Austria from the order fixed by law in Hungary would lead to a
separation of the crowns, unless the Hungarian diet could be induced
to consent to a new settlement. Thus we have seen the crowns of Great
Britain and Hanover united for four generations, and separated in the
fifth, because one was settled on heirs male or female, the other on
heirs male only.

An attempt has been made, with reference to recent events, to found on
the Pragmatic Sanction pretensions that might derogate from the
absolute independence of Hungary; but the articles of the Hungarian
diet[31] of 1790 appear to be fatal to any such pretensions. By
Article 10 of that year it is declared, that "Hungary is a country
free and independent in her entire system of legislation and of
government; that she is not subject to any other people, or any other
state, but that she shall have her own separate existence, and her own
constitution, and shall consequently be governed by kings crowned
according to her national laws and customs." By Article 12 of the same
diet it was declared, that the power to enact, to interpret, and to
abrogate the laws, was vested conjointly in the king, legitimately
crowned, and the diet; and that no attempt should ever be made to
govern by edicts or arbitrary acts. By Article 13 it was decreed, that
the diet should be called together once every three years at the
least. By Article 19 it was declared, that imposts could not be levied
at the king's pleasure, but must be freely voted by the two tables
(houses) from one diet to another. All these acts received the formal
assent of Leopold II., and thus became statutes of the kingdom.

The successors of Leopold--Francis II., and Ferdinand, who has
recently abdicated--received the crown of Hungary on the conditions
implied in the coronation oath, which was administered to them in the
usual manner, and by which they bound themselves to respect and
maintain the constitution as by law established, and to govern
according to the statutes. The question whether the late emperor
should be addressed Ferdinand I. or Ferdinand V. was a subject of
debate in the diet while Mr Paget was at Presburg, and he gives the
following account of the proceedings:--

     "The bill now brought up from the deputies, and to which the
     degree of importance attached by all parties appeared
     ridiculous to a stranger, had reference to the appellation of
     the new king.... The matter, however, was not so unimportant
     as it may appear; the fact is, he is Emperor Ferdinand I. of
     Austria, and King Ferdinand V. of Hungary; and unless Hungary
     had ceased to be an independent country, which the greatest
     courtier would not dare to insinuate, there could be no
     question as to his proper title. The magnates, however,
     thought otherwise: it was understood that the court desired
     that the style of Ferdinand I. should be used, and the
     magnates were too anxious to please not to desire the same
     thing. The deputies had now for the fourth time sent up the
     same bill, insisting on the title of Ferdinand V.; and for
     the fourth time the magnates were now about to reject it....
     At the moment when the magnates were as firm as rocks on the
     wrong side, the court took the wise course of showing its
     contempt for such supporters, by sending down a proclamation
     'We Ferdinand V., by the grace of God, King of Hungary, &c.
     &c.'"

It must not be supposed that these articles of 1790 conferred upon the
diet any new powers, or implied any new concessions on the part of the
king. They were declaratory acts, framed for the purpose of exacting
from Leopold II. securities against a renewal of the arbitrary
proceedings to which Joseph had resorted; and they merely reasserted
what the Hungarian constitution had provided long before the election
of Ferdinand I.--what had for several generations been the law of the
land.

The Hungarians were not satisfied with having obtained from Leopold a
formal renunciation of Joseph's illegal pretensions. They felt, and
the cabinet admitted, that the ancient institutions of Hungary--which
had with difficulty been preserved, and which for some generations had
been deteriorating rather than improving under the influence of the
Austrian government--were no longer suited to the altered
circumstances of the country, to the growing intelligence and
advancing civilisation of its inhabitants. But they desired to effect
all necessary ameliorations cautiously and deliberately. They were
neither enamoured of the republican doctrines of France, nor disposed
to engage in destructive reforms for the purpose of framing a new
constitution. They desired to improve, not to destroy, that which they
possessed. They would probably have preferred to effect the necessary
ameliorations in each department successively; but they feared the
direction that might be given by the influence of the crown, to any
gradual modification of the existing institutions that might be
attempted. By the constitution of Hungary, the diet is precluded from
discussing any measures that have not been brought before it in the
royal propositions, or king's speech--unless cases of particular
grievances which may be brought before the diet by individual members.
To engage in a course of successive reforms would have exposed the
diet to the danger of being arrested in its progress, as soon as it
had passed such measures as were acceptable to the cabinet. They
therefore named a commission, including the most enlightened and the
ablest men in the country, to report on the whole legislation of
Hungary in all its branches. This great national commission was formed
of seven committees, or sub-commissions, each of which undertook to
report on one department. The committees were--1st, That on the
Urbarial code, or the condition of the peasants, and their relations
to the proprietors: 2d, On the army, and all that related to it: 3d,
On public policy, including the powers and jurisdiction of the diet,
and of its different component parts: 4th, On matters ecclesiastical
and literary, including education: 5th, On commerce: 6th, On the civil
and criminal codes: and 7th, On contributions, including the whole
system of taxation, and everything connected with the public revenue.
The reports of this national commission, which are known as the
"Operata systematica commissionis regnicolaris," recommended
comprehensive ameliorations of the laws, and were creditable to the
intelligence, science, statesmanship, and good sense of the
commissions. The reports upon the commercial and the criminal codes,
more especially, attracted the attention and the admiration of some of
the ablest men in Germany.

From this time forward, each succeeding diet endeavoured to get the
recommendations of the commission introduced into the royal
propositions. The cabinet never refused--often promised to comply with
this demand, but always deferred the discussion. Probably it was not
averse to some of the measures proposed, or at least not unwilling to
adopt them in part. The projected reform of the Urbarial code would
have tended to increase the revenue, and to facilitate its collection;
but it would at the same time have imposed upon the nobles new
burdens, and required of them considerable sacrifices--and, before
submitting to these, they were desirous to secure a more efficient
control over the national expenditure, and ameliorations of the
Austrian commercial system, which, by heavy duties, had depreciated
the value of the agricultural produce that furnished their incomes.
The diet, therefore, desired to get the _operata systematica_
considered as a whole; the cabinet, and the party in Hungary which
supported it, sought to restrict the diet to the discussion of such
changes only as were calculated to benefit Austria.

When Francis II., who had for some years been Palatine of Hungary,
ascended the thrones of that kingdom and of Austria in 1792, there was
no question as to the independence of Hungary, which had been so fully
recognised by his father. The usual oath was administered to him at
his coronation, which was conducted in the usual manner; and in his
reply to the address of the Hungarian diet, on his accession, he
showed no disposition to invade the constitutional rights of the
Hungarians. "I affirm," he said, "with sincerity, that I will not
allow myself to be surpassed in the affection we owe to each other.
Tell your citizens that, faithful to my character, I shall be the
guardian of the constitution: my will shall be no other than that of
the law, and my efforts shall have no other guides than honour, good
faith, and unalterable confidence in the magnanimous Hungarian
nation." To these sentiments the diet responded by voting all the
supplies, and the troops, demanded of them by the king.

In 1796, the diet was again called together, to be informed that,
"attacked by the impious and iniquitous French nation, the king felt
the necessity of consulting his faithful states of Hungary,
remembering that, under Maria Theresa, Hungary had saved the
monarchy." The diet voted a contingent of 50,000 men, and undertook to
provision the Austrian army, amounting to 340,000 soldiers. It urged
the government to propose the consideration of the _operata
systematica_; but the cabinet replied that it must consult and
reflect; and, in the mean time, the diet was dissolved after only
nineteen sittings. These proceedings produced a general feeling of
discontent in Hungary, which threatened to become embarrassing; but
the success of the French armies aroused the military spirit and
loyalty of the Hungarians, and the appointment, at the same time, of
the amicable and enlightened Archduke Joseph to the dignity of
Palatine of Hungary, in which he retained for fifty years the respect
and affection of all parties, tended to preserve their attachment,
though it did not silence their complaints.

When the diet met in 1802, the peace of Amiens had been concluded.

     "Until now," (said the king in his answer to the address,)
     "circumstances have not permitted my government to attend to
     anything but the war, which has afforded you an occasion to
     show your zeal and your fidelity. With commendable
     generosity, you have voted the contingents and the subsidies
     which the situation of the empire demanded; and the
     remembrance of your devotion shall never be extinguished in
     my heart, or in the hearts of my family. But, now that peace
     is concluded, I desire to extend my solicitude to the kingdom
     of Hungary--to the country which has most effectually aided
     me in the wars I have had to sustain--which, by its extent,
     its population, its fertility, the noble character and the
     valour of its inhabitants, is the chief bulwark of the
     monarchy. My desire is to arrange with the states of Hungary
     the means of increasing her prosperity, and to merit the
     thanks of the nation."

But the peace of Amiens proved to be a hollow truce, and this
flattering communication became the prelude to renewed demands for men
and money. To hasten the votes on the supplies, the diet was informed
that it would be dissolved in two months. In the debate which ensued,
one of the members uttered the sentiments of the nation, when he
said--"It is plain that the king calls us together only when he wants
soldiers and supplies. He knows that, after all, we have too much
honour to allow the majesty of the King of Hungary to be insulted by
his enemies." The impost was increased, and the contingent raised to
64,000 men; but the consideration of the measures recommended by the
great national commission, though promised, was deferred by the king.
The diet of 1805 resembled that of 1802--the same promises ending in
similar disappointment.

The diet of 1807 was more remarkable. To the usual demands was added
the royal proposition, that the "insurrection," or _levée en masse_,
should be organised, and ready to march at the first signal. The
patience of the nation was exhausted. The diet represented to the
king, in firm but respectful addresses, the disorder in the finances
produced by the amount of paper-money issued in disregard of their
remonstrances, and called upon the government to repair the evil. They
said that, during many years, the country had done enough to prove its
fidelity to the sovereign, whose royal promises had not been
fulfilled; and that henceforth the Hungarians could not expend their
lives and fortunes in the defence of his hereditary states, unless he
seriously took in hand the interests of their native country. They
demanded the revision of the commercial system, and liberty freely to
export the produce of the country, and freely to import the
productions of other countries. They complained of a new depreciation
of the currency, demanded a reduction of the duty on salt, (the
produce of their own mines,) which had recently been augmented, and
denounced "the injustice of paralysing the industry of a people, while
requiring of them great sacrifices."

The justice of these representations was admitted, but no satisfactory
answer was returned; and the murmurs at Presburg became loud enough to
cause alarm at Vienna. The advance of Napoleon to the frontiers of
Hungary turned the current of the national feeling. It was now the
sacred soil of Hungary that was threatened with desecration, and the
diet not only voted all the subsidies and 20,000 recruits, but the
whole body of the nobles or freemen spontaneously offered one-sixth of
their incomes, and a _levée en masse_ was decreed for three years.
Napoleon's attempts to detach the Hungarians from the cause of their
king were unavailing, and their devotion to his person was never more
conspicuous than when he had lost the power to reward it.

In 1811 the royal propositions, in addition to the usual demands,
requested the diet to vote an extraordinary supply of twelve millions
of florins, and to guarantee Austrian paper money to the amount of one
hundred millions, (about ten millions sterling.) The diet called for
the account of the previous expenditure, and were told that the
details of the budget were secrets of state. This answer excited the
greatest indignation, and they refused to vote any extraordinary
supply till the accounts were produced. They complained that the
finances of Hungary were administered by Austrians--foreigners, who
were excluded by law from a voice in their affairs--and that the
cabinet of the emperor had illegally mixed up the finances of Hungary
with those of the hereditary states of Austria. Some members of the
diet even threatened to impeach the ministers. In their addresses to
the throne, the financial administration of the imperial government
was roughly handled; and the cabinet, perceiving that the debates at
Presburg had inconveniently directed attention, even in the Hereditary
States, to financial questions, hastily withdrew their propositions.

The peace of 1815 restored to Europe the repose she had long desired,
and to Hungary many of her sons who had long been absent. In the midst
of war, her diet had never ceased to attend to the internal
administration of the country, to the improvement of her resources,
and the advancement of her population in material prosperity and
intelligence. All the comprehensive measures prepared with this view
had been postponed or neglected by the king, acting by the advice of
his Austrian cabinet, and supported by a powerful party of the
magnates of Hungary. But though her hopes had been disappointed,
Hungary had never failed, in any moment of difficulty or danger, to
apply her whole power and resources to the defence of the empire. She
never sought, in the embarrassments, the defeat, and misfortunes of
Austria, an opportunity to extort from her king the justice he had
denied to her prayers. She never for a moment swerved from devoted
allegiance to her constitutional monarch. "After all, she had too much
honour to allow the majesty of the King of Hungary to be insulted by
his enemies." She forgave the frequent delays and refusals, by which
the most salutary measures had been frustrated or rejected, because
she knew that the thoughts and the energies of her sovereign and his
Austrian cabinet had been directed to the defence of the empire, and
the preservation of its independence. But now that these were no
longer threatened, that the good cause for which she had fought with
so much gallantry and devotion had triumphed, she had a right to
expect a grateful return for her services--or at least that the
promises, on the faith of which she had lavished her blood and her
treasure in defence of her king and of his Austrian dominions, would
be fulfilled. But the republican outbreak in France had led to long
years of war and desolation; the triumph of monarchy and order over
anarchy had at length been achieved, and men had not only abjured the
doctrines from which so much evil had sprung, but monarchs had learned
to look with distrust on every form of government that permitted the
expression of public opinion, or acknowledged the right of the people
to be heard. Even the mixed government of England, to which order owed
its triumph, was regarded as a danger and a snare to other countries.
The Holy Alliance was formed, and the Austrian cabinet, which for more
than twenty years had flattered the hopes of Hungary when it wanted
her assistance, now boldly resolved to govern that kingdom without the
aid of its diet. In vain did the county assemblies call for the
convocation of the national parliament, which the king was bound, by
the laws he had sworn to observe, to summon every three years. Their
addresses were not even honoured with an answer. In 1822, an attempt
was made to levy imposts and troops by royal edicts. The comitats
(county assemblies) refused to enforce them. In 1823, bodies of troops
were sent--first to overawe, and then to coerce them. The county
officers concealed their archives and official seals, and dispersed.
Royal commissioners were appointed to perform their functions, and
were almost everywhere resisted. The whole administration of the
country, civil and judicial, was in confusion; and, after an unseemly
and damaging contest, the cabinet found it necessary, in 1825, to give
way, and to summon the diet, after an interval of twelve years. One
personal anecdote will convey a more correct impression of the
feelings with which the Hungarians, who were most attached to the
emperor-king, viewed these proceedings, than any detail we could give.
John Nemet, Director Causarum Regalium of Hungary, at a personal
interview with the king, denounced the proceedings of the cabinet. "Do
you know," said the irritated monarch, "that I am emperor and king;
that you may lose your head?" "I know," replied Nemet, "that my life
is in your majesty's hands; but the liberty of my country, and the
honour of my sovereign, are dearer to me than my life."

When the diet met in 1825, the king, in his reply to the address,
admitted that "things had happened which ought not to have occurred,
and which should not occur again." The diet did not conceal its
resentment. The comitat of Zala, through its representatives, demanded
the names of the traitors who had misled the king; and the
representatives of all the other counties supported the proposition.
One of the royal commissioners came in tears to apologise to the diet;
another, who attempted to justify himself on the ground of obedience
to the king, was told that a faithful subject honoured his sovereign
when he reminded him of his duty. The articles of 1790 were declared
to have been openly violated, and the diet complained that the public
security had been outraged by arrests and prosecutions, founded on
anonymous denunciations. The address to the king, in which they set
forth their grievances, concluded with the following petition:--

     "Convinced that these acts do not emanate from your Majesty,
     but that they proceed from a system constantly pursued for
     several centuries, we entreat your Majesty henceforth not to
     listen to evil counsels--to despise anonymous
     denunciations--not to exact any impost or any levy of
     soldiers without the concurrence of the diet--to reinstate
     the citizens disgraced for having legally resisted the royal
     commissioners, and regularly to convoke the states, with whom
     you share the sovereign power."

In his answer, Francis blamed the diet for their proceedings, but
wisely conceded their demands. By article 3d of 1825, he engaged to
observe the fundamental laws of the kingdom. By article 4th, never to
levy subsidies without the concurrence of the diet; by article 5th, to
convoke the diet every three years.

The attempt of Francis II. to subvert the constitution of Hungary
terminated, as the similar attempt of Joseph II. had terminated
thirty-five years before--in renewed acknowledgments of the
independence of Hungary, and the constitutional rights of the
Hungarians.

After three centuries of contention, the cabinet of Vienna now
appeared to have abandoned the hope it had so long entertained, of
imposing upon Hungary the patriarchal system of Austria. Relinquishing
the attempt to enforce illegal edicts, it relied upon means more in
accordance with the practice of constitutional governments. It could
command a majority at the table of Magnates, and it endeavoured, by
influencing the elections, to strengthen its party in the Deputies.
But in this kind of warfare the cabinet of an absolute monarch were
far less skilful than the popular leaders of a representative
assembly. The attempts to influence the elections by corrupt means
were generally unsuccessful, and, when exposed, exhibited the
government in a light odious to a people tenacious of their liberties
and distrustful of Austria.

There had long been two parties in the diet, of which one, from
supporting the views of the court, was considered Austrian; the other,
from its avowed desire to develop the popular institutions and
separate nationality of Hungary, was considered Hungarian, and took
the designation of the patriotic party. There was thus a government
party and an opposition, which, in 1827, was systematically organised.
But as Hungary had not a separate ministry, responsible to the diet,
that could be removed from office by its votes, there was little
ground for the usual imputation of a struggle for place. The patriotic
party could expect no favour from the court; their opposition was,
therefore, so far disinterested, and was, in fact, founded upon the
instructions of the counties they represented.

It must appear extraordinary that the majority of an assembly composed
of nobles, of which nine-tenths of the members were elected by
hereditary nobles or freeholders, should advocate opinions so liberal
as to alarm even the Austrian government. A great majority of the
electors, it is true, though rejoicing in the designation of nobles,
were men who tilled the soil with their own hands; but they are truly
described by Mr Paget as "generally a proud, unruly set of fellows,
with higher notions of privilege and power than of right and justice;
but brave, patriotic, and hospitable in the highest degree." After
describing the national character of the Majjars, he adds,--

     "It is scarcely necessary to say that, with such
     dispositions, the Majjar is strongly inclined to
     conservatism; he hates new-fangled notions and foreign
     fashions, and considers it a sufficient condemnation to say,
     'not even my grandfather ever heard of such things.'"

To suppose that these men had republican tendencies would, of course,
be absurd; and as the patriotic party in the diet represented their
opinions, we may be well assured that they were not such as, to any
party in this country, would appear dangerous from excess of
liberality.

To the government of Austria, however, nothing caused greater
uneasiness than attempts to consolidate and improve the popular
institutions of Hungary, or to foster feelings of separate
nationality, which it had been the constant aim of its policy to
obliterate. Determined to maintain, at all hazards, her own
patriarchal system, Austria saw Hungary already separated from the
Hereditary States by the form of her institutions and by national
feelings, and dreaded the wider separation which the onward march of
the one, and the stationary policy of the other, must produce. In
superficial extent, Hungary is nearly half the empire--in population,
more than one-third. The separation of the crowns would reduce Austria
to the rank of a second-rate power; and Hungary separated from
Austria, and surrounded by despotic governments jealous of her
constitutional freedom, could not be safe. Not only an Austrian, but a
patriotic Hungarian, might therefore resist, as perilous to his
country, any course of legislation that appeared to lead towards such
a result. If Hungary continued to advance in material prosperity and
intelligence, and succeeded in giving to her constitution a basis so
broad as to insure a just distribution of the public burdens, and to
unite all classes of her population in its support, she must
ultimately separate from Austria, or Austria must abandon her
stationary policy, and advance in the same direction. It was
impossible that two contiguous countries, of extent and resources so
nearly equal, governed on principles so different, and daily
increasing the distance between them, should long continue to have
their separate administrations conducted by one cabinet, or could long
be held together by their allegiance to the same sovereign. To give
permanence to their connexion, it was necessary that Austria should
advance, or that Hungary should stand still. But the condition and
circumstances of more than one-half of her population made it
indispensable to her safety--to her internal tranquillity, her
material prosperity, and social order--that Hungary should go forward.
The nobles, holding their lands by tenure of military service, bore no
part of the public burdens during peace. The peasants, though they
were no longer serfs, and had acquired an acknowledged and valuable
interest in the lands they held from the proprietors, for which they
were indebted to Maria Theresa, were yet subject to all manner of
arbitrary oppressions. They had been promised ameliorations of their
condition as early as 1790, but these promises had not yet been
fulfilled. In the mean time, the peasants had been left to endure
their grievances, and did not endure them without murmuring. The more
intelligent and enlightened nobles felt the danger, and sought to
remedy the evil, and hitherto without success. But it is unjust to
attribute to Austrian influence all the opposition encountered by
those who sought to ameliorate the condition of the peasants. Men who
had hitherto been exempted from all public imposts, and who considered
it humiliating to be taxed, resisted the equalisation of the burdens;
men who had been taught to consider the peasant as a creature of an
inferior race, shrank from giving him civil rights equal to their own.
Nevertheless, in 1835, measures were passed which greatly improved the
position of the oppressed classes. We cannot stop to trace the course
of legislation, or to point out the wisdom and disinterested humanity
that distinguished the leaders in this movement. Amongst them stands
conspicuous the name of Szechenyi, to whom his country owes an
everlasting debt of gratitude. Alas! that a mind like his, whose
leading characteristic was practical good sense, that rejected every
visionary project, should now be wandering amidst its own morbid
creations in an unreal world. Several of the wealthier nobles put
beyond all question the sincerity of the opinions they had maintained,
by voluntarily inscribing their names in the list of persons subject
to be taxed; and thus shared the public burdens with their peasants.

Writing after the acts of 1835 had been passed, Mr Paget thus
describes the feelings of the peasants,--

     "I know that the Hungarian peasant feels that he is
     oppressed; and if justice be not speedily rendered him, I
     fear much he will wrest it--perhaps somewhat rudely too--from
     the trembling grasp of the factitious power which has so long
     withheld it from him."--(Vol i., p. 313.)

The elective franchise was still withheld from a man born a peasant,
whatever might be his stake in the country. He was not equal with the
noble before the law; and, what was perhaps still more grievous to
him, he continued to bear the whole burden of taxation, local and
national. The noble contributed nothing. Besides the labour and
produce he gave to his proprietor as rent for his land, the peasant
paid tithes to the church, and a head-tax and property-tax to the
government. He paid the whole charges for the administration of
justice, which he could rarely obtain; for the municipal government,
in the election of which he had no vote; for the maintenance of public
buildings, from many of which he was excluded; and by much the greater
part of the expenses of the army, in which he was forced to serve,
without a hope of promotion. He alone made and repaired the roads and
bridges, and he alone paid tolls on passing them. On him alone were
soldiers quartered, and he had to furnish them, not only with lodgings
in the midst of his family, but with fuel, cooking, stable-room, and
fodder, at about one halfpenny a-day, often not paid, and to sell his
hay to the government, for the use of the troops, at a fixed price,
not equal to one-fourth of its value in the market. At the same time,
a noble who tilled the ground like the peasant--who was perhaps not
more intelligent, not more industrious--had a hereditary privilege of
exemption from all these burdens, and enjoyed a share in the
government of the country.

The revolt of the Ruthene peasants of Gallicia in 1846, who had
massacred whole families of the Polish nobles, and the belief that the
Austrian government had encouraged the revolt, had been slow to put it
down, and had rewarded its leaders, produced agitation amongst the
peasants in Hungary, and the greatest anxiety in the minds of the
nobles. They felt that the fate of Gallicia might be their own, if the
peasants should at any time lose hope and patience, or if the Austrian
government should be brought to adopt, in Hungary, the policy
attributed to it in Gallicia. In short, it was plain that, so long as
the grievances of the peasants remained unredressed, there could be no
security for Hungary. But these grievances could not be redressed
without imposing new burdens on the nobles, and, at the same time,
restricting their privileges. If they were to tax themselves, they
required an efficient control over the public expenditure, and a
relaxation of the Austrian commercial system, which prevented the
development of the country's resources.

The diet had been summoned for November 1847; and in June of that
year, the patriotic party put forth an exposition of its views
preparatory to the elections, which, in Hungary, are renewed for every
triennial meeting of the diet. In that document, a translation of
which is now before us, they declare, that "our grievances, so often
set forth, after a long course of years, during which we have
demanded, urged, and endured, have to this day remained unredressed."
After enumerating some of these grievances, they proceed to state
their demands--

     "1st, The equal distribution of the public burdens amongst
     all the citizens; that the diet should decide on the
     employment of the public revenue, and that it should be
     accounted for by responsible administrators.

     "2d, Participation, by the citizens not noble, in the
     legislation, and in municipal rights.

     "3d, Civil equality.

     "4th, The abolition, by a compulsory law, of the labour and
     dues exacted from the peasants, with indemnity to the
     proprietors.

     "5th, Security to property and to credit by the abolition of
     _aviticite_, (the right of heirs to recover lands alienated
     by sale.)"

They go on to declare that they will endeavour to promote all that
tends to the material and intellectual development of the country, and
especially public instruction: That, in carrying out these views, they
will never forget the relations which, in terms of the Pragmatic
Sanction, exist between Hungary and the Hereditary States of Austria:
That they hold firmly to article 10, of 1790, by which the royal word,
sanctified by an oath, guarantees the independence of Hungary: That
they do not desire to place the interests of the country in
contradiction with the unity or security of the monarchy, but they
regard as contrary to the laws, and to justice, that the interests of
Hungary should be made subordinate to those of any other country: That
they are ready, in justice and sincerity, to accommodate all questions
on which the interests of Hungary and Austria may be opposed, but they
will never consent to let the interests and constitution of Hungary be
sacrificed to unity of the system of government, "which certain
persons are fond of citing as the leading maxim, instead of the unity
of the monarchy."

"That unity in the system of government," they assert, "was the point
from which the cabinet set out when, during the last quarter of the
past century, it attacked our nationality and our civil liberty,
promising us material benefits in place of constitutional advantages.
It was to this unity in the system of government that the constitution
of the Hereditary States of Austria was sacrificed, and it was on the
basis of absolute power that the unity of the government was
developed."

They declare that they consider it their first and most sacred duty to
preserve their constitution, and to strengthen it more and more by
giving it a larger and more secure basis; and they conclude by
expressing their persuasion "that, if the Hereditary States had still
enjoyed their ancient liberties, or if, in accordance with the demands
of the age, they were again to take their place amongst constitutional
nations, our interests and theirs, which now are often divided,
sometimes even opposed, would be more easily reconciled. The different
parts of the empire would be bound together by greater unity of
interests, and by greater mutual confidence, and thus the monarchy,
growing in material and intellectual power, would encounter in greater
security the storms to which times and circumstances may expose it."

The diet which met in November 1847, had scarcely completed the
ordinary forms and routine business with which the session commences,
when all Europe was thrown into a revolutionary ferment, from the
Mediterranean to the Baltic, from the Atlantic to the Black Sea. The
revolution of February in Paris, was followed by that of March at
Vienna, by the expulsion of the Austrians from Milan, and by Sclavonic
insurrections in Prague and Cracow. Constitutional Hungary alone
remained tranquil. Surrounded by revolutions, incited by daily reports
of republican triumphs, Hungary preserved her composure, her
allegiance, and her internal peace. At a moment when republican
doctrines found favour with a powerful party in every other portion of
the emperor's dominions, the diet of Hungary, with the full
concurrence of the Archduke Palatine, peacefully and unanimously
passed those acts which the national party had prepared and announced
some months before the storms had arisen that shook the thrones of
Europe. At Paris, Berlin, Naples, Rome, Vienna, and in almost every
minor capital of Germany and Italy, it became a question whether
monarchy was to be preserved, or whether social order was to be
overthrown. In Hungary no such questions ever arose or could arise.
True to their conservative principles, and firm in their allegiance to
their king, the nobles of Hungary sought by constitutional means, in
the midst of general anarchy, the same ameliorations of their
constitution which, in the midst of general tranquillity, they had
already demanded. But the emperor had, in the mean time, conceded
constitutional government, and a responsible ministry, to the
revolutionary party in the Hereditary States, and the change which had
thus been effected required a modification of the relations between
Hungary and the imperial government. By the laws of Hungary, no
foreigner could hold office in her administration; and, by the same
laws, every Austrian was a foreigner. These laws had been respected;
Austrians had not been appointed to offices in the Hungarian
administration. No act of the government of Hungary, no communication
from the king to the diet, had ever been countersigned by an Austrian
minister. A ministry responsible to the parliament of Austria, and not
responsible to the parliament of Hungary, could not administer the
government of the latter country; and the same ministry could not be
responsible to both parliaments. If Hungary was not to be incorporated
with Austria, it was necessary that she should have a separate
ministry, responsible only to her own diet. An act providing such a
ministry was passed unanimously, in both houses of the diet, with the
full concurrence of the Archduke Palatine.

To complete the administration of the kingdom, and to preserve and
maintain the due influence of the crown in the constitution, it was
demanded, on the part of the crown, that the powers of the Palatine or
viceroy should be extended; and having found a precedent--a
preliminary almost as necessary in the diet of Hungary as in the
parliament of Great Britain and Ireland--an act was passed without
opposition, giving the Palatine, in the absence of the king, full
powers to act in the name and on behalf of the sovereign.

By unanimous votes of both houses, the diet not only established
perfect equality of civil rights and public burdens amongst all
classes, denominations, and races in Hungary and its provinces, and
perfect toleration for every form of religious worship, but, with a
generosity perhaps unparalleled in the history of nations, and which
must extort the admiration even of those who may question the wisdom
of the measure, the nobles of Hungary abolished their own right to
exact either labour or produce in return for the lands held by
urbarial tenure, and thus transferred to the peasants the absolute
ownership, free and for ever, of nearly half the cultivated land in
the kingdom, reserving to the original proprietors of the soil such
compensation as the government might award from the public funds of
Hungary. More than five hundred thousand peasant families were thus
invested with the absolute ownership of from thirty to sixty acres of
land each, or about twenty millions of acres amongst them. The
elective franchise was extended to every man possessed of capital or
property of the value of thirty pounds, or an annual income of ten
pounds--to every man who has received a diploma from a university, and
to every artisan who employs an apprentice. With the concurrence of
both countries, Hungary and Transylvania were united, and their diets,
hitherto separate, were incorporated. The number of representatives
which Croatia was to send to the diet was increased from three to
eighteen, while the internal institutions of that province remained
unchanged; and Hungary undertook to compensate the proprietors for the
lands surrendered to the peasants, to an extent greatly exceeding the
proportion of that burden which would fall on the public funds of the
province. The complaints of the Croats, that the Majjars desired to
impose their own language upon the Sclavonic population, were
considered, and every reasonable ground of complaint removed.
Corresponding advantages were extended to the other Sclavonic tribes,
and the fundamental laws of the kingdom, except in so far as they were
modified by these acts, remained unchanged.

The whole of the acts passed in March 1848 received the royal assent,
which, on the 11th of April, the emperor personally confirmed at
Presburg in the midst of the diet. These acts then became statutes of
the kingdom, in accordance with which the new responsible Hungarian
ministry was formed, and commenced the performance of its duties with
the full concurrence of the emperor-king and the aid of the Archduke
Palatine. The changes that had been effected were received with
gratitude by the peasants, and with entire satisfaction, not only by
the population of Hungary Proper, but also by that of all the
Sclavonic provinces. From Croatia, more especially, the expression of
satisfaction was loud, and apparently sincere.

     "If," says Prince Ladeslas Teleki, "the concessions of the
     emperor-king to the spirit of modern times had been sincerely
     made, if his advisers had honestly abandoned all idea of
     returning to the past, Hungary would now be in the enjoyment
     of the peace she merited. The people who but yesterday held
     out the hand of brotherhood, would have proceeded, in peace
     and harmony, on the way of advancement which was opened to
     them, and civilisation, in its glory and its strength, would
     have established itself in the centre of Eastern Europe. But
     the reactionary movement commenced at Vienna the very day
     liberty was established there. The recognised rights of
     Hungary were considered but as forced concessions, which must
     be destroyed at any price--even at the price of her blood.
     Could there be surer means of attaining that end than
     dividing and weakening her by civil war? It was not
     understood that honest conduct towards a loyal nation would
     more certainly secure her attachment, than attempts to revive
     a power that could not be re-established. Neither was it
     understood _that the interests of Hungary demanded that she
     should seek, in a cordial union with constitutional Austria,
     securities for her independence and her liberties_."

A party at the Austrian court, opposed to all concessions, and
desirous still to revert to the patriarchal system that had been
overturned, saw in the established constitutional freedom of Hungary
the greatest impediment to the success of their plans. Seeking
everywhere the means of producing a reaction, it found in Croatia a
party which had been endeavouring to get up a Sclavonic movement in
favour of what they called Illyrian nationality, and which was
therefore opposed to Majjar ascendency in Hungary. The peculiar
organisation of the military frontier, which extends from the Adriatic
to the frontiers of Russia, and which is in fact a military colony in
Hungary, under the immediate influence and authority of Austria, and
composed almost exclusively of a Sclavonic population, afforded
facilities for exciting disturbances in Hungary. But it was necessary
to provide leaders for the Sclavonic revolt against the Hungarians.
Baron Joseph Jellachich, colonel of a Croat regiment in the army of
Italy, was selected by the agitators for reaction as a man fitted by
his position, his character, and military talents, as well as by his
ambition, to perform this duty in Croatia. He was named Ban of that
province, without consulting the Hungarian ministry, whose
countersignature was necessary to legalise the nomination. This was
the first breach of faith committed by the imperial government; but
the Hungarian ministry, desirous to avoid causes of difference,
acquiesced in the appointment, and invited the Ban to put himself in
communication with them. His first act was to interdict the Croat
magistrates from holding any communication with the government of
Hungary, of which Croatia is a province, declaring that the Croat
revolt was encouraged by the king. On the representation of the
Hungarian ministry, the king, in an autograph letter, dated 29th May,
reprobated the proceedings of the Ban, and summoned him to Innspruck.
On the 10th of June, by a royal ordinance, he was suspended from all
his functions, civil and military; but Jellachich retained his
position, and declared that he was acting in accordance with the real
wishes and instructions of his sovereign, while these public
ordinances were extorted by compulsion. At the same time, and by
similar means, a revolt of the Serbes on the Lower Danube was
organised by Stephen Suplikacs, another colonel of a frontier
regiment, aided by the Greek patriarch. Several counties, some of
which were principally inhabited by Hungarians, Wallacks, and
Germans, were declared to have been formed into a Serbe Vayoodat or
government, which was to be in alliance with Croatia. The Serbes,
joined by bands from Turkish Servia, attacked the neighbouring
Hungarian villages, slaughtered the inhabitants, and plundered the
country. But this did not prevent Jellachich, who had been denounced
and charged with high treason, or the Greek patriarch Rajaesis, the
accomplice of Suplikacs, from being received by the emperor and his
brother, the Archduke Francis Charles, at Innspruck. In a letter,
dated the 4th of June, addressed to the frontier regiments stationed
in Italy, Jellachich declared that the imperial family of Austria
encouraged the insurrections against the Hungarians. Meanwhile the
Serbes were carrying on a war of extermination, massacring the
inhabitants, burning towns and villages, even when they encountered no
resistance; and a force was collected on the frontiers of Croatia with
the manifest intention of invading Hungary.

     "In such a crisis," says Count L. Teleki, "the Hungarian
     government experienced the most painful feelings. Condemned
     to inaction while entire populations were being exterminated,
     it acquired the sad conviction that the Austrian ministry
     only kept the national troops out of the country, and
     abandoned Hungary to the protection of foreign troops,
     through connivance with the enemy."

The revolt continued to be pushed forward in the name of the
emperor-king, and the diet was about to be opened. The Hungarian
ministers, therefore, entreated his majesty to open the diet in
person, in order by his presence to prove the falsehood of the enemies
of Hungary; but the invitation had no effect.

The new national assembly of Hungary, returned for the first time by
the suffrage of all classes of the nation, was opened at Pesth, when
it was found that, with scarcely an exception, all the members of the
diet, formerly elected by the nobles, had been again returned--so
calmly had the people exercised their newly-acquired privileges. On
the 2d of July the Archduke Palatine, who had been unanimously chosen
by the diet on the presentation of the king, alluded in his opening
speech to a revolt in Croatia, and to the proceedings of armed bands
in the counties of the Lower Danube. His Imperial Highness made the
following statement:--

     "His majesty the king has seen with profound grief, after
     having spontaneously sanctioned the laws voted by the last
     diet, because they were favourable to the development of the
     country, that agitators, especially in Croatia and the Lower
     Danube, had excited against each other the inhabitants of
     different creeds and races, by false reports and vain alarms,
     and had urged them to resist the laws and the legislative
     authority, asserting that they were not the free expression
     of his majesty's will. Some have gone so far to encourage the
     revolt, as to pretend that their resistance is made in the
     interest of the royal family, and with the knowledge and
     consent of his majesty. For the purpose, therefore, of
     tranquillising the inhabitants of those countries, I declare,
     in the name of his majesty, their lord and king, that his
     majesty is firmly resolved to protect the unity and the
     inviolability of the royal crown of Hungary, against all
     attack from without or disturbance in the interior of the
     kingdom, and to carry out the laws which he has sanctioned.
     At the same time that his majesty would not allow any
     infraction of the lawful rights of his subjects, he blames,
     and in this all the members of the royal family agree with
     him, the audacity of those who have dared to pretend that
     illegal acts are compatible with the wishes of his majesty,
     or were done in the interest of the royal family. His majesty
     sanctioned, with the greatest satisfaction, the incorporation
     of Transylvania with Hungary, not only because he thus
     gratified the ardent desire of his beloved people--both
     Hungarians and Transylvanians--but also because the union of
     the two countries will give a more firm support to the throne
     and to liberty, by the combined development of their power
     and their prosperity."

The diet, rejoiced by these assurances, immediately sent a deputation
to entreat the king to repair to Pesth, as the only means of
disabusing the minds of the Croats and Serbes, who were made to
believe that his public acts were the result of coercion. The prayer
of the deputation was refused. The Servian insurrection continued to
gain ground; the Austrian troops stationed in Hungary, for the defence
of the country, refused to obey the government, and at length a
communication to the Hungarian ministry, dated the 29th of June, three
days prior to the speech of the Archduke Palatine, announced the
intention of the Austrian ministry to put an end to the neutrality it
had hitherto observed, and to support Croatia openly. All the
Hungarians were then convinced that their constitution, and the
independence of the country, must be defended by force of arms. But
the ministry and the diet would not depart from the constitutional and
legal course. A levy of 200,000 men was decreed, as well as an issue
of bank-notes to cover the deficits; and the acts were presented for
the royal assent by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice:
but a long time elapsed before any reply could be obtained. In the
mean time the situation of the country every day became worse, and
another deputation was sent to the king, headed by the president of
the Chamber of Deputies, to obtain the royal assent to the laws
already presented; the recall of the Hungarian troops of the line,
quartered everywhere except in Hungary; and orders to the foreign
troops stationed in that country to discharge their duty faithfully.
Finally the king was again entreated to come into his kingdom, to
restore to her peace and order. The deputation received an evasive
reply. But at the same time, and while the two ministers were at
Vienna, the king, without acquainting them, despatched, on the 31st of
August, a letter to the Palatine, directing him to send several
members of the Hungarian ministry to Vienna, for the purpose of
concerting measures with the Austrian ministry, to consolidate and
insure the unity of the government and of the monarchy, and to open
negotiations with the Croats for the reconciliation of their
differences. But the king declared it to be an indispensable condition
that the Ban Jellachich--who in the end of May had been denounced as a
traitor--should take a part in the conferences; that all preparations
for war should cease on both sides; and that the districts of the
military frontier, which have always formed part of Hungary, should be
provisionally subject to the Austrian ministry. _In this same
document_ a communication was made to the Hungarian ministry, of a
note of the Austrian government, on the relations to be established
between Austria and Hungary. It was stated "that the provisions of the
law of 1848, by which the Archduke Palatine had been appointed
depository of the royal authority, and chief of the executive power in
the absence of the king--and by which a responsible ministry had been
conceded to Hungary, detaching from the central government of Vienna
the administration of war, finance, and commerce--were contrary to the
Pragmatic Sanction, opposed to the legal relations between Austria and
Hungary, and detrimental alike to the interests of Hungary and
Austria. These concessions were declared illegal and of none effect,
under the pretext that they had not been consented to by the
responsible Austrian ministry; and although they had been sanctioned
by the royal word on the 11th of April, and again formally recognised
in the speech from the throne on the 2d July, it was announced that
these laws were to be considerably modified, in order that a central
power might be established at Vienna."

Never, we venture to say, was a discreditable breach of public faith
palliated on pretexts more futile. Hungary is as independent of the
Hereditary States as the Hereditary States are of Hungary; and, in
matters relating to Hungary, the ministers of Austria, responsible or
irresponsible, have no more right to interfere between the King and
his Hungarian ministers, or Hungarian diet, than these have to
interfere between the Emperor of Austria and his Austrian ministers,
in matters relating to the Hereditary States. The pretension to submit
the decisions of the Hungarian diet, sanctioned by the King, to the
approval or disapproval of the Austrian ministers, is too absurd to
have been resorted to in good faith. The truth appears to be, that the
successes of the gallant veteran Radetzki, and of the Austrian army in
Italy, which has so well sustained its ancient reputation, had
emboldened the Austrian government to retrace the steps that had been
taken by the emperor. Trusting to the movements hitherto successful in
Croatia and the Danubian provinces of Hungary,--to the absence of the
Hungarian army, and of all efficient preparation for defence on the
part of the Hungarian government, and elated with military success in
Italy,--the Austrian ministers resumed their intention to subvert the
constitution of Hungary, and to fuse the various parts of the
emperor's dominions into one whole. Their avidity to accomplish this
object prevented their perceiving the stain they were affixing to the
character of the empire, and the honour of the emperor; or the injury
they were thereby inflicting on the cause of monarchy all over the
world. "Honour and good faith, if driven from every other asylum,
ought to find a refuge in the breasts of princes." And the ministers
who sully the honour of their confiding prince, do more to injure
monarchy, and therefore to endanger the peace and security of society,
than the rabble who shout for Socialism.

The Austrian ministry did not halt in their course. They made the
emperor-king recall, on the 4th September, the decree which suspended
Jellachich from all his dignities, as a person accused of high
treason. This was done on the pretext that the accusations against the
Ban were false, and that he had exhibited undeviating fidelity to the
house of Austria. He was reinstated in all his offices at a moment
when he was encamped with his army on the frontiers of Hungary,
preparing to invade that kingdom. In consequence of this proceeding,
the Hungarian ministry, which had been appointed in March, gave in
their resignation. The Palatine, by virtue of his full powers, called
upon Count Louis Bathianyi to form a new ministry. All hope of a
peaceful adjustment seemed to be at an end; but, as a last resource, a
deputation of the Hungarian deputies was sent to propose to the
representatives of Austria, that the two countries should mutually
guarantee to each other their constitutions and their independence.
The deputation was not received.

Count Louis Bathianyi undertook the direction of affairs, upon the
condition that Jellachich, whose troops had already invaded Hungary,
should be ordered to retire beyond the boundary. The king replied,
that this condition could not be accepted before the other ministers
were known.

But Jellachich had passed the Drave with an army of Croats and
Austrian regiments. His course was marked by plunder and devastation;
and so little was Hungary prepared for resistance, that he advanced to
the lake of Balaton without firing a shot. The Archduke Palatine took
the command of the Hungarian forces, hastily collected to oppose the
Ban; but, after an ineffectual attempt at reconciliation, he set off
for Vienna, whence he sent the Hungarians his resignation.

The die was now cast, and the diet appealed to the nation. The people
rose _en masse_. The Hungarian regiments of the line declared for
their country. Count Lemberg had been appointed by the king to the
command of all the troops stationed in Hungary; but the diet could no
longer leave the country at the mercy of the sovereign who had
identified himself with the proceedings of its enemies, and they
declared the appointment illegal, on the ground that it was not
countersigned, as the laws required, by one of the ministers. They
called upon the authorities, the citizens, the army, and Count Lemberg
himself, to obey this decree under pain of high treason. Regardless of
this proceeding, Count Lemberg hastened to Pesth, and arrived at a
moment when the people were flocking from all parts of the country to
oppose the army of Jellachich. A cry was raised that the gates of Buda
were about to be closed by order of the count, who was at this time
recognised by the populace as he passed the bridge towards Buda, and
brutally murdered. It was the act of an infuriated mob, for which it
is not difficult to account, but which nothing can justify. The diet
immediately ordered the murderers to be brought to trial, but they had
absconded. This was the only act of popular violence committed in the
capital of Hungary.

On the 29th of September, Jellachich was defeated in a battle fought
within twelve miles of Pesth. The Ban fled, abandoning to their fate
the detached corps of his army; and the Croat rearguard, ten thousand
strong, surrendered, with Generals Roth and Philipovits, who commanded
it.

In detailing the events subsequent to the 11th of April 1848, we have
followed the Hungarian manifesto, published in Paris by Count Ladeslas
Teleki, whose character is a sufficient security for the fidelity of
his statements; and the English translation of that document by Mr
Brown, which is understood to have been executed under the Count's own
eye. But we have not relied upon the Count alone, nor even upon the
official documents he has printed. We have availed ourselves of other
sources of information equally authentic. One of the documents, which
had previously been transmitted to us from another quarter, and which,
we perceive, has also been printed by the Count, is so remarkable,
both because of the persons from whom it emanates, and the statements
it contains, that, although somewhat lengthy, we think it right to
give it entire.

     _The Roman-Catholic Clergy of Hungary to his Apostolic
     Majesty, Ferdinand V., King of Hungary._

     Representation presented to the Emperor-King, in the name of
     the Clergy, by the Archbishop of Gran, Primate of Hungary,
     and by the Archbishop of Erlaw.

     "Sire! Penetrated with feelings of the most profound sorrow
     at the sight of the innumerable calamities and the internal
     evils which desolate our unhappy country, we respectfully
     address your Majesty, in the hope that you may listen with
     favour to the voice of those, who, after having proved their
     inviolable fidelity to your Majesty, believe it to be their
     duty, as heads of the Hungarian Church, at last to break
     silence, and to bear to the foot of the throne their just
     complaints, for the interests of the church, of the country,
     and of the monarchy.

     "Sire!--We refuse to believe that your Majesty is correctly
     informed of the present state of Hungary. We are convinced
     that your Majesty, in consequence of your being so far away
     from our unfortunate country, knows neither the misfortunes
     which overwhelm her, nor the evils which immediately threaten
     her, and which place the throne itself in danger, unless your
     Majesty applies a prompt and efficacious remedy, by attending
     to nothing but the dictates of your own good heart.

     "Hungary is actually in the saddest and most deplorable
     situation. In the south, an entire race, although enjoying
     all the civil and political rights recognised in Hungary, has
     been in open insurrection for several months, excited and led
     astray by a party which seems to have adopted the frightful
     mission of exterminating the Majjar and German races, which
     have constantly been the strongest and surest support of your
     Majesty's throne. Numberless thriving towns and villages have
     become a prey to the flames, and have been totally destroyed;
     thousands of Majjar and German subjects are wandering about
     without food or shelter, or have fallen victims to
     indescribable cruelty--for it is revolting to repeat the
     frightful atrocities by which the popular rage, let loose by
     diabolical excitement, ventures to display itself.

     "These horrors were, however, but the prelude to still
     greater evils, which were about to fall upon our country. God
     forbid that we should afflict your Majesty with the hideous
     picture of all our misfortunes! Suffice it to say, that the
     different races who inhabit your kingdom of Hungary, stirred
     up, excited one against the other by infernal intrigues, only
     distinguish themselves by pillage, incendiarism, and murder,
     perpetrated with the greatest refinement of atrocity.

     "Sire!--The Hungarian nation, heretofore the firmest bulwark
     of Christianity and civilisation against the incessant
     attacks of barbarism, often experienced rude shocks in that
     protracted struggle for life and death; but at no period did
     there gather over her head so many and so terrible tempests,
     never was she entangled in the meshes of so perfidious an
     intrigue, never had she to submit to treatment so cruel, and
     at the same time so cowardly--and yet, oh! profound sorrow!
     all these horrors are committed in the name, and, as they
     assure us, by the order of your Majesty.

     "Yes, Sire! it is under your government, and in the name of
     your Majesty, that our flourishing towns are bombarded,
     sacked, and destroyed. In the name of your Majesty, they
     butcher the Majjars and Germans. Yes, sire! all this is done;
     and they incessantly repeat it, in the name and by the order
     of your Majesty, who nevertheless has proved, in a manner so
     authentic and so recent, your benevolent and paternal
     intentions towards Hungary. In the name of your Majesty, who
     in the last Diet of Presburg, yielding to the wishes of the
     Hungarian nation, and to the exigencies of the time,
     consented to sanction and confirm by your royal word and
     oath, the foundation of a new constitution, established on
     the still broader foundation of a perfectly independent
     government.

     "It is for this reason that the Hungarian nation, deeply
     grateful to your Majesty, accustomed also to receive from her
     king nothing but proofs of goodness really paternal, when he
     listens only to the dictates of his own heart, refuses to
     believe, and we her chief pastors also refuse to believe,
     that your Majesty either knows, or sees with indifference,
     still less approves the infamous manner in which the enemies
     of our country, and of our liberties, compromise the kingly
     majesty, arming the populations against each other, shaking
     the very foundations of the constitution, frustrating legally
     established powers, seeking even to destroy in the hearts of
     all the love of subjects for their sovereign, by saying that
     your Majesty wishes to withdraw from your faithful Hungarians
     the concessions solemnly sworn to and sanctioned in the diet;
     and, finally, to wrest from the country her character of a
     free and independent kingdom.

     "Already, Sire! have these new laws and liberties, giving the
     surest guarantees for the freedom of the people, struck root
     so deeply in the hearts of the nation, that public opinion
     makes it our duty to represent to your Majesty, that the
     Hungarian people could not but lose that devotion and
     veneration, consecrated and proved on so many occasions, up
     to the present time, if it was attempted to make them believe
     that the violation of the laws, and of the government
     sanctioned and established by your majesty, is committed with
     the consent of the king.

     "But if, on the one hand, we are strongly convinced that your
     majesty has taken no part in the intrigues so basely woven
     against the Hungarian people, we are not the less persuaded,
     that that people, taking arms to defend their liberty, have
     stood on legal ground, and that in obeying instinctively the
     supreme law of nations, _which demands the safety of all_,
     they have at the same time saved the dignity of the throne
     and the monarchy, greatly compromised by advisers as
     dangerous as they are rash.

     "Sire! We, the chief pastors of the greatest part of the
     Hungarian people, know better than any others their noble
     sentiments; and we venture to assert, in accordance with
     history, that there does not exist a people more faithful to
     their monarchs than the Hungarians, when they are governed
     according to their laws.

     "We guarantee to your majesty, that this people, such
     faithful observers of order and of the civil laws in the
     midst of the present turmoils, desire nothing but the
     peaceable enjoyment of the liberties granted and sanctioned
     by the throne.

     "In this deep conviction, moved also by the sacred interests
     of the country and the good of the church, which sees in your
     majesty her first and principal defender, we, the bishops of
     Hungary, humbly entreat your majesty patiently to look upon
     our country now in danger. Let your majesty deign to think a
     moment upon the lamentable situation in which this wretched
     country is at present, where thousands of your innocent
     subjects, who formerly all lived together in peace and
     brotherhood on all sides, notwithstanding difference of
     races, now find themselves plunged into the most frightful
     misery by their civil wars.

     "The blood of the people is flowing in torrents--thousands of
     your majesty's faithful subjects are, some massacred, others
     wandering about without shelter, and reduced to beggary--our
     towns, our villages, are nothing but heaps of ashes--the
     clash of arms has driven the faithful people from our
     temples, which have become deserted--the mourning church
     weeps over the fall of religion, and the education of the
     people is interrupted and abandoned.

     "The frightful spectre of wretchedness increases, and
     develops itself every day under a thousand hideous forms. The
     morality, and with it the happiness of the people, disappear
     in the gulf of civil war.

     "But let your majesty also deign to reflect upon the terrible
     consequences of these civil wars; not only as regards their
     influence on the moral and substantial interests of the
     people, but also as regards their influence upon the security
     and stability of the monarchy. Let your majesty hasten to
     speak one of those powerful words which calm tempests!--the
     flood rises, the waves are gathering, and threaten to engulf
     the throne!

     "Let a barrier be speedily raised against those passions
     excited and let loose with infernal art amongst populations
     hitherto so peaceable. How is it possible to make people who
     have been inspired with the most frightful thirst--that of
     blood--return within the limits of order, justice, and
     moderation?

     "Who will restore to the regal majesty the original purity of
     its brilliancy, of its splendour, after having dragged that
     majesty in the mire of the most evil passions? Who will
     restore faith and confidence in the royal word and oath? Who
     will render an account to the tribunal of the living God, of
     the thousands of individuals who have fallen, and fall every
     day, innocent victims to the fury of civil war?

     "Sire! our duty as faithful subjects, the good of the
     country, and the honour of our religion, have inspired us to
     make these humble but sincere remonstrances, and have bid us
     raise our voices! So, let us hope, that your majesty will not
     merely receive our sentiments, but that, mindful of the
     solemn oath that you took on the day of your coronation, in
     the face of heaven, not only to defend the liberties of the
     people, but to extend them still further--that, mindful of
     this oath, to which you appeal so often and so solemnly, you
     will remove from your royal person the terrible
     responsibility that these impious and bloody wars heap upon
     the throne, and that you will tear off the tissue of vile
     falsehoods with which pernicious advisers beset you, by
     hastening, with prompt and strong resolution, to recall peace
     and order to our country, which was always the firmest prop
     of your throne, in order that, with Divine assistance, that
     country, so severely tried, may again see prosperous days; in
     order that, in the midst of profound peace, she may raise a
     monument of eternal gratitude to the justice and paternal
     benevolence of her king.

    "_Signed at Pesth, the 28th Oct. 1848_,

            "THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH OF HUNGARY."


The Roman Catholic hierarchy of Hungary, it must be kept in mind, have
at all times been in close connexion with the Roman Catholic court of
Austria, and have almost uniformly supported its views. The Archbishop
of Gran, Primate of Hungary, possesses greater wealth and higher
privileges than perhaps any magnate in Hungary.

In this unhappy quarrel Hungary has never demanded more than was
voluntarily conceded to her by the Emperor-King on the 11th of April
1848. All she has required has been that faith should be kept with
her; that the laws passed by her diet, and sanctioned by her king,
should be observed. On the other hand, she is required by Austria to
renounce the concessions then made to her by her sovereign--to
relinquish the independence she has enjoyed for nine centuries, and to
exchange the constitution she has cherished, fought for, loved, and
defended, during seven hundred years, for the experimental
constitution which is to be tried in Austria, and which has already
been rejected by several of the provinces. This contest is but another
form of the old quarrel--an attempt on the part of Austria to enforce,
at any price, uniformity of system; and a determination on the part of
Hungary, at any cost, to resist it.

We hope next month to resume the consideration of this subject, to
which, in the midst of so many stirring and important events in
countries nearer home and better known, it appears to us that too
little attention has been directed. We believe that a speedy
adjustment of the differences between Austria and Hungary, on terms
which shall cordially reunite them, is of the utmost importance to the
peace of Europe--and that the complications arising out of those
differences will increase the difficulty of arriving at such a
solution, the longer it is delayed. We believe that Austria,
distracted by a multiplicity of counsels, has committed a great error,
which is dangerous to the stability of her position as a first-rate
power; and we should consider her descent from that position a
calamity to Europe.

FOOTNOTES:

[30] Chiefly by marriage with princesses who were heirs to these
kingdoms and principalities. It was thus that Hungary, Bohemia, and
the Tyrol were acquired. Hence the lines--

    "Bella gerant alii; tu, felix Austria, nube:
    Nam quæ Mars aliis, dat tibi regna Venus."

    You, Austria, wed as others wage their wars;
    And crowns to Venus owe, as they to Mars.

It was by marriage that the Saxon emperor, Otho the Great, acquired
Lombardy for the German empire.

[31] The acts passed by the diet are numbered by articles, as those of
our parliament are by chapters. Each of these articles, when it has
received the royal assent, becomes a statute of the kingdom, in the
same manner as with us, and of course equally binds the sovereign and
his subjects.


    _Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

Obvious typographical errors were repaired.

Hyphenation and accent variations retained as in original.

Footnotes on p.509, 577 (first footnote), and 590 were unanchored in
the original. They have been anchored to the chapter headings on those
pages.





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