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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 64, No. 398, December 1848
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 64, No. 398, December 1848" ***

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Transcriber's note:

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

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

This issue contains the index to Volume 64.



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.


No. CCCXCVIII. DECEMBER, 1848. VOL. LXIV.


CONTENTS.

  MRS HEMANS,                                          641

  ON THE MISERIES OF IRELAND, AND THEIR REMEDIES,      658

  THE CAXTONS. PART VIII.,                             672

  REPUBLICAN FIRST-FRUITS,                             687

  PROPHECIES FOR THE PRESENT,                          703

  SIGISMUND FATELLO,                                   714

  THE "GREEN HAND."--A "SHORT" YARN,                   743

  EASTLAKE'S LITERATURE OF THE FINE ARTS,              753

  INDEX,                                               767


                        EDINBURGH:

    WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET;
             AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.
  _To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed._
      SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

     PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.



MRS HEMANS.


Felicia Hemans and the poetesses of England! Such would probably be
the form in which the toast would run, if literary toasts were the
fashion, or such a mode of compliment the one exactly suited to the
case. Not that we would venture positively to assert that Mrs Hemans
stands at the head of our poetesses, the first absolutely in point of
genius,--though there is but one name, that of Joanna Baillie, which
occurs to us, at the moment, as disputing with hers that
pre-eminence,--but because she, in a more complete manner than any
other of our poetesses, represents the mind, the culture, the
feelings, and character, of the English gentlewoman. Her piety, her
resignation, her love of nature and of home,--that cheerfulness easily
moved by little incidents, that sadness into which reflection almost
always settled,--all speak of the cultivated woman bred under English
skies, and in English homes. Her attachment to the privacy of life,
her wise dislike and avoidance of the _éclat_ of literary renown, and
the dull, dry, fever-heat of fashionable circles, tend to complete her
qualifications as a fitting representative of her fair countrywomen.
The cultivation of her mind, in its weakness as well as elegance,
savoured, perhaps, too much of what we are compelled to call feminine.
Alive at all times to beauty in all its forms, to music, to tender and
imaginative thought, she seems to have been almost equally averse to
whatever bore the aspect of an analysis of feeling, or an approach to
a severe investigation of truth. Present her with the beautiful, but
spare her all scientific dissection of it. Let the flower live as her
companion; do not rend it to pieces to show its conformation. Let but
the faith be tender and _true to the heart_, and disturb her not with
rude inquiries whether it possess any other truth or not. That too
much melancholy (at least for her own happiness) which is traceable in
her poems, arose in part from events in her life, but in part, also,
from this too partial and limited cultivation of the mind. The
feelings were excited or refined, but the reasoning powers not enough
called forth: no task-work was therefore given to the active
intellect; and a mind that could not be at rest was left to brood over
sentiments, either the sad heritage of all mortality, or the peculiar
offspring of afflictions of her own. We are not imputing, in this
remark, any shadow of blame to her; we make the remark because we
think that, eminent as she was, she still suffered much from the
unwise and arbitrary distinction which is made in the education of the
two sexes.

The difference between the mental qualities of the sexes is owing, we
apprehend, far more to education than to nature. At all events, there
is no such natural difference as warrants the distinction we make in
the mental discipline we provide for them. There are certain
professional studies with which no one thinks of vexing the mind of
any one, man or woman, but those who intend to practise the
professions; but why, in a good English library, there should be one
half of it, and that the better half, which a young woman is not
expected to read--this we never could understand, and never reflect on
with common patience. Why may not a Locke, or a Paley, or a Dugald
Stewart, train the mind of the future mother of a family? or why may
not an intelligent young woman be a companion for her brother or her
husband in his more serious moods of thought, as well as in his gayer
and more trifling? Would the world lose any thing of social happiness
or moral refinement by this intellectual equality of the two sexes?
You vex the memory of a young girl with dictionaries and vocabularies
without end; you tax her memory in every conceivable manner; and at an
after-age you give the literature of sentiment freely to her pillage;
but that which should step between the two--the culture of the
reason--this is entirely forbidden. If she learns a dozen modern
languages, she does not read a single book in any one of them that
would make her think. Even in her religious library, the same
distinction is preserved. Books of sentimental piety--some of them
maudlin enough--are thrust with kindest anxiety and most liberal
profusion upon her: any work of theology, any work that discusses and
examines, is as carefully excluded.

We are not contending that there is no difference whatever in the
mental constitution of the two sexes. There may be less tendency to
ratiocination in woman; there is certainly more of feeling, a quicker
and more sensitive nature. One sees this especially in children. Mark
them in their play-hours, in their holiday freedom, when they are left
to themselves to find matter of enjoyment,--how much more pleasure
does the girl evidently derive from any beautiful or living thing that
comes before it than the boy! We have an instance of it almost as we
write. There is a group of children on the beach. The little girl is
in perfect ecstasies, as she looks at the sparkling waves that come
bounding to her feet; she shouts, she leaps, she herself bounds
towards them, then springs back as they approach, half frightened and
half pleased--she knows not how to express her delight at this great
playfellow she has found. Meanwhile the boy, her brother, does nothing
but throw stones at it--of that he seems never wearied. The beach is a
perfect armoury to him, and he pelts the graceful waves remorselessly.
What is their grace to him? So, too, in an inland scene, a garden or a
lawn, we have often noticed what exquisite pleasure a little girl will
feel, as she watches a sparrow alight near her upon the ground, in
search of crumbs or other food. Her little frame quite thrills as this
other little piece of life comes hopping and pecking about her. She
loads it, but with suppressed voice, with all the endearing epithets
her vocabulary supplies. She is evidently embarrassed that they are so
few: she makes up by their frequent repetition. She absolutely _loves_
the little creature, with all whose movements she seems to have the
keenest sympathy. Her brother, the boy, he has nothing for it but his
unfailing stone, or he flings his hat at it. Unfailing, fortunately,
the stone is not; for, if his skill as a marksman responded to his
destructive zeal, there is nothing that a stone would kill that would
be left alive, or that a stone would break that would be left whole. A
mere blind animal-activity seems, at that very interesting age, to
distinguish the future lord of the creation.

At an after period of life, when thought has educated the youth into
feeling, the picture is often entirely reversed. Then, unless the man
be bred up a mere pleasure-hunter, seeking what he calls amusement in
town or country, the superior education he has received makes him the
more feeling, the more imaginative, because the more reflective of the
two. That brother who once shocked his little sister by his stupid and
cruel amusements, now looks with something like contempt at the
frivolous tastes and occupations--at the system of poor artificial
enjoyments--to which that sister has betaken herself. Now, if they are
at the sea-side together, it is he who finds companionship in the
waves, who finds thought grow more expanded, freer and bolder, in the
presence of the boundless ocean. She, too, dotes upon the sea, and
sits down beside it--to read her novel. Now, if they ride or walk
through the country together, it is his eye that sees the bird upon
the bough--hers is on the distant dust some equipage is making.

But matters are mending, and will continue to mend. There are so many
women of richly cultivated minds who have distinguished themselves in
letters or in society, and made it highly feminine to be intelligent
as well as good, and to have elevated as well as amiable feelings,
that by-and-by the whole sex must adopt a new standard of education.
It must, we presume, be by leaders of their own starting out of their
own body, that the rest of the soft and timid flock must be led.

Yes, we are mending. Very different are our times from those when
Madame de Genlis published her little work, _De l'Influence des Femmes
sur la Littérature Française comme Protectrices des Lettres, et comme
Auteurs_. She had to contend, with the same acrid energy, for the
privilege of a lady to write, as a Turkish dame of the present century
might be supposed to display, who should contend for the privilege of
walking abroad unveiled, or rather unmuffled. And even she herself
thinks it necessary to give certain rules to young women who write--as
she would to young women who dance--how to comport themselves with
consummate propriety; as not to enter into controversy, or use big
words--in short, to deal with printer's ink without soiling the most
delicate fingers. As to that argument drawn from the supposed neglect
of domestic duties--which it seems, in those days just emerging from
barbarity, was still heard of--she dismisses it very briefly. "Comme
ces devoirs dans une maison bien ordonnée, ne peuvent jamais prendre
_plus d'une heure par jour_, cette objection est absolument nulle." As
there is much implied in that "maison bien ordonnée," and as Madame de
Genlis did not write for simple gentle-folks, it is to be hoped that
the one hour per diem may admit of extension without any forfeiture of
literary privileges. In her time, too, there was thought to be a sort
of feud between authors and authoresses--a thing which in our day, is
quite inconceivable--for she writes, apropos of a charge of
plagiarism, against La Fontaine, in the following indignant
strain:--"Quelles que soient le bonhomie et la candeur d'un auteur, il
sait que, par une loi tacite mais universelle, il est toujours
dispensé de convenir qu'il doit à une femme une idée heureuse. Dans ce
cas seulement le plagiat et le silence sont également légitimes."

We have changed all that: we have had too many instances of women of
talent and of genius to doubt their ability to excel--we make no
exception--in any branch of literature whatever. We give them, on the
other hand, no monopoly of elegance or grace, or delicacy of touch, as
some affect to do. These qualities they are very likely to display;
but they will be superior in them to authors of the male sex, only
just so far as they are superior to those authors in genius and
talent. There is still a practice in many critics to detect the style
feminine from the style masculine. The sooner this is laid aside the
better. There are styles which, speaking metaphorically, one may say
have a feminine grace, or a feminine weakness. Such an observation has
been made, by Sir James Mackintosh, on the style of Addison. But to
pretend to say of a given page of composition whether a man or a woman
has penned it, is absurd. We often hear it said, that none but a woman
could have written the letters of Madame de Sévigné. If Cowper had
been a woman, people would have said the same thing of his letters.
They are unrivalled, at least in our own language, for grace and
elegance, and wit and playfulness. No woman, we believe--and the
epistolary style is supposed to belong by especial right to the female
pen--has ever written such charming letters as those to Lady Hesketh,
and his old friend Thomas Hill. As to the letters of Madame de
Sévigné, they so evidently come from a mother to a daughter, that it
is impossible to forget for a moment the sex of the writer. But if the
qualities which have given them literary celebrity are, to be
pronounced feminine, half the literature of France is of the same
gender. Still less can we tolerate the affectation that pretends to
discern a certain weakness, a tremulousness of the hand, when the pen
is held by a woman. There is grace and elegance, but, forsooth, a
certain hesitation--a want of vigour and certainty of touch.
Nonsense. Take _Our Village_, by Miss Mitford, and the _Sketch-Book_,
by Washington Irving: they are both of the graceful and elegant order
of style; but the lady writes the English language with far more
freedom, ease, and vigour, than the gentleman. The poetic element is
mingled in her diction with far more taste and judgment. It glitters
through her prose as the sunlight in the green tree--throwing its gold
amongst the foliage, yet leaving it the same green, and simple, and
refreshing object as before.

No--we will grant to woman no monopoly in the lighter elegancies, and
presume nothing against her ability to excel in the graver qualities
of authorship. We have said that Mrs Hemans was peculiarly the poetess
of her countrywomen, but we do not mean to imply by this that her
style is peculiarly feminine--for we do not pretend to know what a
feminine style is; we thus characterised her because the sentiments
she habitually expresses are those which will almost universally find
a response in the minds of her countrywomen.

It seems an ungracious thing to say, but we do wish that the
biographical notice of Mrs Hemans, appended to the last edition of her
works, had not been written by a sister. So near a relative may be
presumed, indeed, to know more of the person whose life she undertakes
to narrate than any one else; but she may not know what to tell us.
Her very familiarity with the subject is against her: she cannot place
it at a distance from her, and regard it with a freshness of view; she
does not think of recording, she does not even remember, what to her
has none of the interest of novelty. A sister who should give to any
impartial biographer the materials he required of her, would be found
to contribute far more to our knowledge of the person whose life was
written, than by holding the pen herself. Besides, a sister can have
none, and show none, but sisterly feelings; and though these are very
proper and amiable, we want something more.

The two or three events which we learn from this biographical notice,
and which bear upon the education of _the poetess_, are soon recorded,
and they are the only class of events we feel particularly interested
in. Felicia Dorothea Browne--such was the maiden name of Mrs
Hemans--was born at Liverpool, 25th September 1793. She is described
as distinguished "almost from her cradle by extreme beauty and
precocious talents." When of the age of seven years, her father, who
had been a merchant of considerable opulence, met with a reverse of
fortune, and the family retired to Wales, "where for the next nine
years they resided at Gwrych, near Abergele, in Denbighshire, a large
old mansion, close to the sea, and shut in by a picturesque range of
mountains,"--a change of residence which was, at all events, highly
propitious for the development of the poetic character. "In the calm
seclusion of this romantic region, with ample range through the
treasures of an extensive library, the young poetess passed a happy
childhood, to which she would often fondly revert amidst the
vicissitudes of her after-life. Here she imbibed that intense love of
nature which ever afterwards 'haunted her like a passion,' and that
warm attachment for the 'green land of Wales'--its affectionate,
true-hearted people; their traditions, their music, and all their
interesting characteristics--which she cherished to the last hours of
her existence." A pleasant picture this--the large old house near the
sea, and amongst mountains, with Welsh harpers and Welsh traditions,
and great store of books, and the little girl ranging at will through
all. This, and the picture we have of the young student conning her
Shakspeare, her choicest recreation, "in a secret haunt of her own--a
seat amongst the branches of an old apple-tree--where she revelled in
the treasures of the cherished volume"--are all we learn of her
childhood, and all perhaps that remained to tell.

Our poetess was very soon in print. Few have commenced their life of
authorship so early. In 1808 some friends, "perhaps more partial than
judicious," published a collection of her poems, written at and before
the age of fourteen, in a quarto volume. "Its appearance" our fair
biographer tells us, "drew down the animadversions of some
_self-constituted_ arbiter of taste." We never heard of any critics
being constituted by royal patent, or any mode of popular
election--certainly not by a committee of authors. Self-constituted!
why did not the lady call him a self-conceited knave, while she was
about it? Just or unjust, there would have been some meaning in the
phrase, at least. We suspect, for our part, that these friends, "more
partial than judicious," who published the rhymes of a young girl of
fourteen in a quarto volume, were themselves strangely constituted
arbiters of taste.

Not long after this first publication of her poems, the next great
event of her life took place--her introduction to Captain Hemans. "The
young poetess was then only fifteen, in the full glow of that radiant
beauty which was destined to fade so early. The mantling bloom of her
cheeks was shaded by a profusion of natural ringlets, of a rich golden
brown; and the ever-varying expression of her brilliant eyes gave a
changeful play to her countenance, which would have made it impossible
for any painter to do justice to it." No wonder that so fair a being
should excite the admiration of a gallant captain. And the love on
both sides was ardent and sincere: it supported the absence of three
years; for Captain Hemans, soon after their introduction, was called
upon to embark with his regiment for Spain. On his return, in 1812,
they were married. Of their domestic happiness, or unhappiness,
nothing is said; but six years after, in 1818, we are simply told that
the Captain went to Rome--and never returned. The separated pair never
met again.

"To dwell on this subject," says her biographer, "would be
unnecessarily painful; yet it must be stated, that nothing like a
permanent separation was contemplated at the time, nor did it ever
amount to more than a tacit conventional arrangement, which offered no
obstacle to the frequent interchange of correspondence, nor to a
constant reference to their father in all things relating to the
disposal of her boys. But years rolled on--seventeen years of absence,
and consequently alienation; and from this time to the hour of her
death, Mrs Hemans and her husband never met again."

We are not in general anxious to pry into the domestic afflictions of
any pair whom wedlock has mismatched. If we feel a little curiosity to
know more than the sister has told us, in this instance, it is merely
from a wish to learn how far the poetic temperament of Mrs Hemans
could be assigned as the real cause of her matrimonial unhappiness.
Did the Captain grow weary of the society of one whose feelings were
pitched in too high a key for him to sympathise with?--was there too
much of poetry mingled with the daily food of life?

           "Men, by St Thomas! cannot live like bees."

Did he yearn for something more homely, as she, on her side, yearned
for something more elevated? Had he been made to feel that he did not
approach the ideal of her imagination, and that the admiration she
once had given was withdrawn? Or should we say of her, in lines of her
own:--

                            There are hearts
    So perilously fashioned, that for them
    God's touch alone hath gentleness enough
    To waken, and not break, their thrilling strings.

Of this perhaps some future biographer may tell us. There are many
passages in her poetry which show an intense longing for the sympathy
of other minds; which show that, while her feelings were of a rare
order for their refinement and elevation, she yet sought--what for
such a one it was difficult to obtain--for the kindred sympathy of
others. She could not worship her goddesses alone. This tendency of
mind many of her verses indicate; and there is one sweet little poem
where, if our fancy does not mislead us, she secretly reproves herself
for having exacted too much in this respect from others: we do not say
from any one in particular, for the verses bear reference to a
brother, not a husband. Yet some personal reminiscence, or regret of
this kind, might lead to the strain of thought so beautifully
expressed in the following lines:--

                KINDRED HEARTS.

    Oh! ask not, hope not thou too much
      Of sympathy below;
    Few are the hearts whence one same touch
      Bids the sweet fountains flow:
    Few--and by still conflicting powers,
      Forbidden here to meet;
    Such ties would make this life of ours
      Too fair for aught so fleet.

    It may be that thy brother's eye
      Sees not as thine, which turns
    In such deep reverence to the sky
      Where the rich sunset burns:
    It may be that the breath of spring,
      Born amidst violets lone,
    A rapture o'er thy soul can bring--
      A dream, to his unknown.

    The tune that speaks of other times--
      A sorrowful delight!
    The melody of distant chimes,
      The sound of waves by night;
    The wind that, with so many a tone,
      Some chord within can thrill--
    These may have language all thine own,
      To _him_ a mystery still.

    Yet scorn thou not, for this, the true
      And steadfast love of years;
    The kindly, that from childhood grew,
      The faithful to thy tears!
    If there be one that o'er the dead
      Hath in thy grief borne part,
    And watched through sickness by thy bed--
      Call _his_ a kindred heart!

    But for those bonds all perfect made,
      Wherein bright spirits blend;
    Like sister-flowers of one sweet shade,
      With the same breeze that bend;
    For that full bliss of thought allied,
      Never to mortals given--
    Oh! lay thy lonely dreams aside,
      Or lift them unto heaven.

We follow no further the events of her biography. We have here all
that reflects a light upon the poems themselves. That Welsh life among
the mountains--the little girl with her Shakspeare in the
apple-tree--that beauty of fifteen, full of poetry and enthusiasm and
love--marriage--disappointment--and the living afterwards, with her
children round her, in a condition worse than widowhood;--here is all
the comment that her biography affords on her sweet and melancholy
verse.

And how vividly the verse reflects the life! How redolent of nature is
her poetry! how true her pictures of mountain, and forest, and river,
and sky! It requires that the reader should have been himself a long
and accurate observer of rural scenes, to follow her imagination, and
feel the truth of her rapid and unpretending descriptions. It is
singular how, without the least apparent effort, all the persons she
brings before us are immediately localised on the green earth--trees
wave around them, flowers spring at their feet, as if this were quite
natural and unavoidable. How sweet a part does the quiet charm of
nature take in the piece called

   THE VOICE OF HOME TO THE PRODIGAL.

    Oh! when wilt thou return
      To thy spirit's early loves?
    To the freshness of the morn,
      To the stillness of the groves?

    The summer birds are calling
      The household porch around,
    And the merry waters falling
      With sweet laughter in their sound.

    And a thousand bright-veined flowers,
      From their banks of moss and fern,
    Breathe of the sunny hours--
      But when wilt thou return?

    Oh! thou hast wandered long
      From thy home without a guide;
    And thy native woodland song
      In thine altered heart hath died.

    Thou hast flung the wealth away,
      And the glory of thy spring;
    And to thee the leaves' light play
      Is a long-forgotten thing.

There is something very touching in the simplicity of these pleasures,
contrasted with what imagination immediately suggests of the career
and the tastes of the prodigal.

One great spectacle in nature alone, seems strangely to have lost its
fascination upon our poetess--she never kindled to the sea. She seemed
to view it as the image only of desolation and of ruin; to have
associated it only with tempests and wreck, and have seen in it only
the harmless waste of troubled waters. More than once she adopts a
scriptural phrase--"And there shall be no more sea," as an expression
of singular joy and congratulation. We question whether a single
reader of her poems has ever felt the force of the expression as she
did. The sea, next to the sky, is the grandest and most beautiful
thing given to the eyes of man. But, by some perverse association, she
never saw it in its natural beauty and sublimity, but looked at it
always as the emblem of ruthless and destroying power. In _The Last
Song of Sappho_, it is singular how much more the dread sea, into
which Sappho is about to fling herself, possesses her imagination than
the moral tempest within of that hapless poetess:--

    Sound on, thou dark unslumbering sea!
      Sound in thy scorn and pride!
    I ask not, _alien world_, from thee
      What my own kindred earth has still denied.

      .      .      .      .      .

    Yet glory's light hath touched my name,
      The laurel-wreath is mine--
    With a lone heart, a weary frame,
      O restless deep! I come to make them thine!

    Give to that crown, that burning crown,
      Place in thy darkest hold!
    Bury my anguish, my renown,
      With hidden wrecks, lost gems, and wasted gold.

And with what an indignant voice, and with what a series of harshest
epithets, does she call upon the sea to deliver up its human prey, in
the fine spirited poem, called--

                 THE TREASURES OF THE DEEP.

    What hidest thou in thy treasure-caves and cells,
    Thou hollow-sounding and mysterious main?
    Pale glistening pearls and rainbow-coloured shells,
    Bright things which gleam unrecked of and in vain!
    Keep, keep thy riches, melancholy sea!
                We ask not such from thee.

    Yet more, the depths have more!--what wealth untold,
    Far down, and shining through their stillness, lies!
    Thou hast the starry gems, the burning gold,
    Torn from ten thousand royal Argosies!
    Sweep o'er thy spoils, thou wild and wrathful main!
                Earth claims not _these_ again.

    Yet more, the depths have more!--thy waves have rolled
    Above the cities of a world gone by!
    Sand hath filled up the palaces of old,
    Sea-weed o'ergrown the halls of revelry--
    Dash o'er them, ocean! in thy scornful play!
                Man yields them to decay.

    Yet more! the billows and the depths have more!
    High hearts and brave are gathered to thy breast!
    They hear not now the booming waters roar,
    The battle-thunders will not break their rest.
    Keep thy red gold and gems, thou stormy grave!
                Give back the true and brave.

    Give back the lost and, lovely!--those for whom
    The place was kept at board and hearth so long!
    The prayer went up through midnight's breathless gloom,
    And the vain yearning woke midst festal song.
    Hold fast thy buried isles, thy towers o'er-thrown,
                But all is not thine own.

    To thee the love of woman hath gone down;
    Dark flow thy tides o'er manhood's noble head--
    O'er youth's bright locks, and beauty's flowery crown;
    Yet must thou hear a voice--Restore the dead!
    Earth shall reclaim her precious things from thee!
                Restore the dead, thou sea!

But if she loved in nature, pre-eminently, the beautiful and the
serene--or what she could represent as such to her imagination--it was
otherwise with human life. Here the stream of thought ran always in
the shade, reflecting in a thousand shapes the sadness which had
overshadowed her own existence. Yet her sadness was without bitterness
or impatience--it was a resigned and Christian melancholy; and if the
spirit of man is represented as tossed from disappointment to
disappointment, there is always a brighter and serener world behind,
to receive the wanderer at last. She writes _Songs for Summer Hours_,
and the first is devoted to Death! and a beautiful chant it is. Death
is also in Arcadia; and the first thing we meet with in the land of
summer is the marble tomb with the "Et in Arcadia Ego." One might be
excused for applying to herself her own charming song,--

              A WANDERING FEMALE SINGER.

    Thou hast loved and thou hast suffered!
      Unto feeling deep and strong,
    Thou hast trembled like a harp's frail string--
      I know it by thy song!

    Thou hast loved--it may be vainly--
      But well--oh! but too well--
    Thou hast suffered all that woman's heart
      May bear--but must not tell.

    Thou hast wept and thou hast parted,
      Thou hast been forsaken long;
    Thou hast watch'd for steps that came not back--
        I know it by thy song!

    By its fond and plaintive lingering
      On each word of grief so long,
    Oh! thou hast loved and suffered much--
      I know it by thy song!

But with this mournful spirit we have no quarrel. It is, as we have
said, without a grain of bitterness; it loves to associate itself with
all things beautiful in nature; it makes the rose its emblem. It does
so in the following lines to

         THE SHADOW OF A FLOWER.

    'Twas a dream of olden days,
      That Art, by some strange power,
    The visionary form could raise
      From the ashes of a flower:

    That a shadow of the rose,
      By its own meek beauty bowed,
    Might slowly, leaf by leaf, unclose,
      Like pictures in a cloud.

      .      .      .      .      .

    A fair, yet mournful thing!

    For the glory of the bloom
      That a flush around it shed,
    And the soul within, the rich perfume,
      Where were _they_?--fled, all fled!

    Naught but the dim, faint line
      To speak of vanished hours--
    Memory! what are joys of thine?
      Shadows of buried flowers!

We should be disposed to dwell entirely on the shorter pieces of Mrs
Hemans, but this would hardly be just. There is one of her more
ambitious efforts which, at all events, seems to demand a word from
us. _The Vespers of Palermo_ is not perhaps the most popular, even of
her longer productions--it is certainly written in what is just now
the most unpopular form--yet it appears to us one of the most vigorous
efforts of her genius. It has this advantage too--it can be happily
alluded to without the necessity of detailing the plot--always a
wearisome thing, to both the critic, and the reader: every body knows
the real tragedy of the Sicilian Vespers. The drama is unpopular as a
form of composition, because the written play is still considered as a
production, the chief object of which is missed if it is not acted;
and the acting of plays is going into desuetude. When the acting of
tragedies shall be entirely laid aside, (as it bids fair to be,)--that
is, as an ordinary amusement of the more refined and cultivated
classes of society--and the drama shall become merely a class of
literature, like all others, for private perusal--then its popularity,
as a form of composition, will probably revive. For there is one order
of poetry--and that the more severe and manly--which seems almost to
require this form. When an author, careless of description, or not
called to it by his genius, is exclusively bent on portraying
character and passion, and those deeper opinions and reflections which
passion stirs from the recesses of the human mind, the drama seems the
only form natural for him to employ.

The opinion we have ventured to express on the inevitable decease of
the acting drama--of tragic representations--as a general amusement of
an age increasing in refinement, will probably subject us, in certain
quarters, to an indignant reproof. Shakspeare, and the legitimate
drama! seems, with some, to have all the sacredness of a national
cause. Shakspeare, by all means--Shakspeare for ever! eternally!--only
we would rather read him--if we could creep up there--with little
Felicia Browne, in the apple-tree. Shakspeare supports the stage--so
far as it remains supported--not the stage Shakspeare. And can he
support it long? Consider what sort of amusement it is which tragic
representation affords--for of comedy we say nothing--consider that it
must either thrill us with emotions of a most violent order, (which
the civilised man in general avoids), or it becomes one of the saddest
platitudes in the world. Your savage can support prolonged ennui, and
delights in excitement approaching to madness; your civilised man can
tolerate neither one nor the other. Now your tragedy deals largely in
both. It knows no medium. Every body has felt that, whether owing to
the actor or the poet, the moment the interest of the piece is no
longer at its height, it becomes intolerable. You are to be either
moved beyond all self-control, which is not very desirable, or you are
to sit in lamentable sufferance. In short, you are to be driven out of
your senses, one way or the other. Depend upon it, it is a species of
amusement which, however associated with great names--though Garrick
acted, and Dr Johnson looked on--is destined, like the bull-fights of
Spain, or the gladiatorial combats of old Rome, to fall before the
advancing spirit of civilisation.

But to Mrs Hemans' _Vespers of Palermo_. It was not the natural bent
of genius which led her to the selection of the dramatic form; and
when we become thoroughly acquainted with her temperament, and the
feelings she loved to indulge, we are rather surprised that she
performed the task she undertook with so much spirit, and so large a
measure of success, than that she falls short in some parts of her
performance. Nothing can be better conceived, or more admirably
sustained, than the character of Raimond de Procida. The elder
Procida, and the dark revengeful Montalba, are not so successfully
treated. We feel that she has designed these figures with sufficient
propriety, but she has not animated them; she could not draw from
within those fierce emotions which were to infuse life into them. The
effort to sympathise, even in imagination, with such characters, was a
violence to her nature. The noble and virtuous heroism of the younger
Procida was, on the contrary, no other than the overflow of her own
genuine feeling. Few modern dramas present more spirit-stirring
scenes, than those in which Raimond takes the leading part. Two of
those we would particularly mention--one when, on joining the
patriot-conspirators, and learning the mode in which they intended to
free their country, he refuses, even for so great an object, to stain
his soul with assassination and murder; and the other, where, towards
the close of the piece, he is imprisoned by the more successful
conspirators--is condemned to die for imputed treachery to their
cause, and hears that the _battle_ for his country, for which his
spirit had so longed, is going forward. We cannot refrain from making
a quotation from both these parts of the drama. We shall take the
liberty of omitting some lines, in order to compress our extracts.

The conspirators have met, and proclaimed their intended scheme--

      _Sicilians._ Be it so!
    If one amongst us stay the avenging steel
    For love or pity, be his doom as theirs!
    Pledge we our faith to this.

      _Raim._ (_rushing forward indignantly._) Our faith to _this!_
    No! I but _dreamt_ I heard it: Can it be?
    My countrymen, my father!--Is it thus
    That freedom should be won?--Awake!--awake
    To loftier thoughts!--Lift up, exultingly,
    On the crowned heights, and to the sweeping winds,
    Your glorious banner!--Let your trumpet's blast
    Make the tombs thrill with echoes! Call aloud,
    Proclaim from all your hills, the land shall bear
    The stranger's yoke no longer!--What is he
    Who carries on his practised lip a smile,
    Beneath his vest a dagger, which but waits
    Till the heart bounds with joy, to still its beatings?
    That which our nature's instinct doth recoil from,
    And our blood curdle at--ay, yours and mine--
    A murderer! Heard ye?--Shall that name with ours
    Go down to after days?

      _Mont._ I tell thee, youth,
    Our souls are parched with agonising thirst,
    Which must be quenched though death were in the draught:
    We must have vengeance, for our foes have left
    No other joy unblighted.

     _Pro._ O, my son!
    The time has passed for such high dreams as thine:
    Thou knowest not whom we deal with. We must meet
    Falsehood with wiles, and insult with revenge.
    And, for our names--whate'er the deeds by which
    We burst our bondage--is it not enough
    That, in the chronicle of days to come,
    We, through a bright "For ever," shall be called
    The men who saved their country.

      _Raim._ Many a land
    Hath bowed beneath the yoke, and then arisen,
    As a strong lion rending silken bonds,
    And on the open field, before high heaven,
    Won such majestic vengeance as hath made
    Its name a power on earth.

      _Mon._ Away! when thou dost stand
    On this fair earth as doth a blasted tree,
    Which the warm sun revives not, _then_ return
    Strong in thy desolation; but till then,
    Thou art not for our purpose;--we have need
    Of more unshrinking hearts.

      _Raim._ Montalba! know,
    I shrink from crime alone. Oh! if my voice
    Might yet have power among you, I would say,
    Associates, leaders, _be_ avenged! but yet
    As knights, as warriors!

      _Mon._ Peace! Have we not borne
    Th'indelible taint of contumely and chains?
    We are _not_ knights and warriors: Our bright crests
    Have been defiled and trampled to the earth.
    Boy! we are slaves--and our revenge shall be
    Deep as a slave's disgrace.

      _Raim._ Why, then, farewell:

    I leave you to your counsels. What proud hopes
    This hour hath blighted!--yet, whate'er betide,
    It is a noble privilege to look up
    Fearless in heaven's bright face--and this is mine,
    And shall be still.         [Exit.

Our other extract is from a later scene in the drama, which we think
very happily conceived. Raimond, accused of treachery, and condemned
to die by his own father, is in chains and in prison. The day of his
execution has arrived, but the Sicilians are called on to give battle
before their gates; he is left alone, respited, or rather forgotten,
for the present. His alternation of feeling, as he at first attempts
to respond to the consolations of the priest Anselmo, and then, on
hearing of the battle that is being fought for his country, breaks out
into all that ardent love of glory, which was the main passion of his
soul, is very admirably expressed.

    _Ans._ But thou, my son!
    Is thy young spirit mastered, and prepared
    For nature's fearful and mysterious change?

    _Raim._ Ay, father! of my brief remaining task
    The least part is to die! And yet the cup
    Of life still mantled brightly to my lips,
    Crowned with that sparkling bubble, whose proud name
    Is--glory! Oh! my soul from boyhood's morn
    Hath nursed such mighty dreams! It was my hope
    To leave a name, whose echo from the abyss
    Of time should rise, and float upon the winds
    Into the far hereafter; there to be
    A trumpet-sound, a voice from the deep tomb,
    Murmuring--Awake, Arise! But this is past!
    Erewhile, and it had seemed enough of shame
    To sleep _forgotten_ in the dust; but now,
    Oh God! the undying record of my grave
    Will be--Here sleeps a traitor! One whose crime
    Was--to deem brave men might find nobler weapons
    Than the cold murderer's dagger!

    _Ans._ O my son!
    Subdue these troubled thoughts! Thou wouldst not change
    Thy lot for theirs, o'er whose dark dreams will hang
    The avenging shadows, which the blood-stained soul
    Doth conjure from the dead!

    _Raim._ Thou'rt right. I would not.
    Yet 'tis a weary task to school the heart,
    Ere years or griefs have tamed its fiery spirit
    Into that still and passive fortitude
    Which is but learned from suffering. Would the hour
    To hush these passionate throbbings were at hand!

    _Ans._ It will not be to-day. The foe hath reached
    Our gates, and all Palermo's youth, and all
    Her warrior men, are marshalled and gone forth.
    Thy father leads them on.

    _Raim._ (_starting up._) They are gone forth!
      my father leads them on!
    All--all Palermo's youth! No! _one_ is left,
    Shut out from glory's race! They are gone forth!
    Ay, now the soul of battle is abroad--
    It burns upon the air! The joyous winds
    Are tossing warrior-plumes, the proud white foam
    Of battle's roaring billows! On my sight
    The vision bursts--it maddens! 'tis the flash,
    The lightning-shock of lances, and the cloud
    Of rushing arrows, and the broad full blaze
    Of helmets in the sun! Such things are
    Even now--and I am here!

    _Ans._ Alas, be calm!
    To the same grave ye press--thou that dost pine
    Beneath a weight of chains, and they that rule
    The fortunes of the fight.

    _Raim._ Ay, _thou_ canst feel
    The calm thou wouldst impart, for unto thee
    All men alike, the warrior and the slave,
    Seem, as thou say'st, but pilgrims, pressing on
    To the same bourne.

_Vittoria_, who had taken a leading part in the conspiracy, now rushes
in, bringing the intelligence that the Sicilians are worsted--are in
flight. Procida still strives--

    But all in vain! The few that breast the storm,
    With Guido and Montalba, by his side,
    Fight but for graves upon the battle-field.

    _Raim._ And I am _here_! Shall there be power, O God!
    In the roused energies of fierce despair.
    To burst my heart--and not to rend my chains?

Vittoria, however, gives orders for his release, and he rushes forth
to the field, where he turns the tide of battle, and earns that
glorious death he sighed for.

The failure of the play at Covent Garden theatre was attributed,
amongst the friends of the authoress, to the indifferent acting of the
lady who performed the part of Constance. In justice to the actress,
we must confess she had a most difficult part to deal with. There is
not a single speech set down for Constance, which, we think, the most
skilful recitation could make effective. The failure of Mrs Hemans, in
this part of the drama, is not very easily accounted for. Constance is
a gentle, affectionate spirit, in love with the younger Procida, and
the unfortunate cause of the suspicion that falls upon him of being a
traitor. It is a character which, in her lyrical effusions, she would
have beautifully portrayed. But we suppose that the exclusion from her
favourite haunts of nature--the inability of investing the grief of
her heroine in her accustomed associations of woods, and fields, and
flowers--the confinement of her imagination to what would be suitable
to the _boards_ of a theatre--embarrassed and cramped her powers.
Certain it is, she seems quite at a loss here to express a strain of
feeling which, on other occasions, she has poured out with singular
fluency and force. Constance has no other manner of exhibiting her
distress but swooning or dreaming, or thinking she must have been
dreaming, and recovering herself to the remembrance of what no mortal
so situated could ever have forgotten--the most common, and, to our
taste, one of the most unfortunate expedients that dramatists and
novelists have recourse to. We are loath to quote any thing half so
uninteresting as instances of this practice; we shall content
ourselves with giving, in a note below, two brief passages to
exemplify what we mean.[1]

  1: Vittoria has told Constance that Raimond is to die; she then leaves
  her with the priest Anselmo--

      _Con._ (_Endeavouring to rouse herself._) Did she not say
      That some one was to die? Have I not heard
      Some fearful tale? Who said that there should rest
      Blood on my soul? What blood? I never bore
      Hatred, kind father! unto aught that breathes;
      Raimond doth know it well. _Raimond! High Heaven!_
      _It bursts upon me now!_ and he must die!
      For my sake--e'en for mine!

  Is it very probable that a person in the situation of Constance should
  have to go this round of associations to recall what had just been
  told her, that her lover was to be tried for his life?

  Constance, in order to save him by surrendering herself, rushes to the
  tribunal, where this mock trial is taking place. Their judges sentence
  both. Constance swoons in the arms of Raimond, and then ensues this
  piece of _unaffecting_ bewilderment.

      _Con._ (_slowly recovering._)
      There was a voice which call'd me. Am I not
      A spirit freed from earth?--Have I not pass'd
      The bitterness of death?

      _Ans._ Oh, haste, away!

      _Con._ Yes, Raimond calls me--(_There he stands beside her!_)
                          He, too, is released
      From his cold bandage. We are free at last,
      And all is well--away!          [_She is led out by Anselmo._

It ought to be borne in remembrance, however, that the _Vespers of
Palermo_, although not the "first" with respect to publication, was
the first written of Mrs Hemans' dramatic works. It was produced in
solitude, and away from the bustle of theatres, and, be it also
confessed, probably with a very scanty knowledge of what
stage-representation required. Indeed, the result proved this to be
the case. The _Siege of Valencia_, written on a different principle,
although probably even less adapted for stage representation,
possesses loftier claims as a composition, and, as a poem, is
decidedly superior. Its pervading fault consists in its being pitched
on too high a key. All the characters talk in heroics--every sentiment
is strained to the utmost; and the prevailing tone of the author's
mind characterises the whole. We do not say that it is deficient in
nature--it overflows alike with power and tenderness; but its nature
is too high for the common purposes of humanity. The wild, stern
enthusiasm of the priest--the inflexibility of the father--the
wavering of the mother between duty and affection--the heroic devotion
of the gentle Ximena, are all well brought out; but there is a want of
individuality--the want of that, without which elaboration for the
theatre is vain, and with which, compositions of very inferior merit
often attract attention, and secure it.

Passing over _Sebastian of Portugal_, and the two or three sketches in
the _Scenes and Hymns of Life_, as of minor importance, _De Chatillon_
is the only other regular drama that Mrs Hemans subsequently
attempted. Unfortunately for her, the _Vespers_, although long prior
in point of composition, had not been brought out when the _Siege of
Valencia_ was written; and, consequently, she could not benefit by the
fate and failure which was destined for that drama. This is much to be
lamented, for _De Chatillon_, as a play, far exceeds either in power
and interest. The redundancies in imagery and description, the
painting instead of acting, which were the weaker side of its
precursors, were here corrected. It is unfortunate that it wanted the
benefit of her last corrections, as it was not published till some
years after her death, and from the first rough draft--the amended
one, which had been made from it, having been unfortunately lost. But,
imperfect in many respects as it may be found to be, it is beyond
compare the best and most successful composition of the author in this
department. Without stripping her language of that richness and poetic
grace which characterises her genius, or condescending to a single
passage of mean baldness, so commonly mistaken by many modern
dramatists as essentially necessary to the truth of dialogue, she has
in this attempt preserved adherence to reality, amid scenes allied to
romance; brevity and effect, in situations strongly alluring to
amplification; and, in her delineation of some of the strongest as
well as the finest emotions of the heart, she has exhibited a
knowledge of nature's workings, remarkable alike for minuteness and
truth.

When we consider the doubtful success which attended the only drama of
Mrs Hemans which was brought out, we cannot wonder that she latterly
abandoned this species of writing, and confined herself to what she
must have felt as much more accordant with her own impulses. The most
laboured of all her writings was _The Forest Sanctuary_, and it would
appear that, in her own estimation, it was considered her best. Not so
we. It has many passages of exquisite description, and it breathes
throughout an exalted spirit; but withal it is monotonous in
sentiment, and possesses not the human interest which ought to have
attached to it, as a tale of suffering. To us _The Last Constantine_,
which appears to have attracted much less attention, is in many
respects a finer and better poem. Few things, indeed, in our
literature, can be quoted as more perfect than the picture of heroic
and Christian courage, which, amid the ruins of his empire, sustained
the last of the Cæsars. The weight of the argument is sustained
throughout. The reader feels as if breathing a finer and purer
atmosphere, above the low mists and vapours of common humanity; and he
rises from the perusal of the poem alike with an admiration of its
hero and its author.

_The Last Constantine_ may be considered as the concluding great
effort of Mrs Hemans, in what of her writings may be said to belong to
the classical school. She seems here first to have felt her own power,
and, leaving precept and example, and the leading-strings of her
predecessors, to have allowed her muse to soar adventurously forth.
The _Tales and Historic Scenes_, the _Sceptic_, _Dartmoor_, and
_Modern Greece_, are all shaped according to the same model--the
classical. The study of modern German poetry, and of Wordsworth,
changed, while it expanded, her views; and the _Forest Sanctuary_
seems to have been composed with great elaboration, doubtless, while
in this transition state. In matter it is too flimsy and etherial for
a tale of life; it has too much sentiment and too little action. But
some things in it it would be difficult to rival. The scenery of
Southern America is painted with a gorgeousness which reminds us of
the Isle of Palms and its fairy bowers; and the death and burial at
sea is imbued with a serene and soul-subduing beauty.

Diminishing space warns us to betake ourselves again to the lyrics and
shorter pieces, where so much poetry "of purest ray serene" lies
scattered. Of these we prefer such as are apparently the expressions
of spontaneous feelings of her own to those which are built upon some
tale or legend. It happens too, unfortunately, that in the latter case
we have first to read the legend or fable in prose, and then to read
it again in verse. This gives something of weariness to the _Lays of
Many Lands_. Still less fortunate, we think, is the practice Mrs
Hemans indulges in of ushering in a poem of her own by a long
quotation--a favourite stanza, perhaps--of some celebrated poet. We
may possibly read the favourite stanza twice, and feel reluctant to
proceed further. For instance, she quotes the beautiful and well-known
passage from Childe Harold upon the spring, ending with--

     I turned from all she brought to all she could not bring;

and on another occasion, that general favourite, beginning--

      And slight, withal, may be the things which bring;

and then proceeds to enlarge upon the same sentiments. Her own strain
that follows is good--but not _so_ good. Is it wise to provoke the
comparison?--and does it not give a certain frivolity, and the air of
a mere exercise, to the verse which only repeats, and modifies, and
_varies_, so to speak, the melody that has been already given? Or if
the quotation set out with is looked on as a mere prelude, is it good
policy to run the risk of the prelude being more interesting than the
strain itself? The beautiful passage from Southey--

       They sin who tell us love can die, &c.,

is too long to be quoted as merely a key-note to what is to follow,
and is too good to be easily surpassed.

But this is a trifling remark, and hardly deserving of even the little
space we have given to it. It is more worthy of observation, that Mrs
Hemans, a reader and admirer of German poetry, contrived to draw a
deep inspiration from this noble literature, without any disturbance
to her principles of taste. A careful perusal of her works, by one
acquainted with the lyrical poetry of Germany, will prove how well and
how wisely she had studied that poetry--drawing from it just that
deeper spirit of reflection which would harmonise with her own mind,
without being tempted to imitate what, either in thought or in manner,
would have been foreign to her nature.

We fancy we trace something of this Teutonic inspiration in the poem,
amongst others, that follows:--

         THE SILENT MULTITUDE.

    A mighty and a mingled throng
      Were gathered in one spot;
    The dweller, of a thousand homes--
      Yet midst them voice was not.

    The soldier and his chief were there--
      The mother and her child:
    The friends, the sisters of one hearth--
      None spoke--none moved--none smiled.

    There lovers met, between whose lives
      Years had swept darkly by;
    After that heart-sick hope deferred,
      They met--but silently.

    You might have heard the rustling leaf,
      The breeze's faintest sound,
    The shiver of an insect's wing,
      On that thick-peopled ground.

    Your voice to whispers would have died
      For the deep quiet's sake;
    Your tread the softest moss have sought,
      Such stillness not to break.

    What held the countless multitude
      Bound in that spell of peace?
    How could the ever-sounding life
      Amid so many cease?

    Was it some pageant of the air,
      Some glory high above,
    That linked and hushed those human souls
      In reverential love?

    Or did some burdening passion's weight
      Hang on their indrawn breath?
    Awe--the pale awe that freezes words?
      Fear--the strong fear of death?

    A mightier thing--Death, Death himself,
      Lay on each lonely heart!
    Kindred were there--yet hermits all,
      Thousands--but each apart.

In any notice of Mrs Hemans' works, not to mention _The Records of
Woman_ would seem an unaccountable omission. Both the subject, and the
manner in which it is treated especially characterise our poetess. Of
all these _Records_ there is not one where the picture is not more or
less pleasing, or drawn with more or less power and fidelity.
Estimated according to sheer literary merit, it would perhaps be
impossible to give the preference to any one of them. Judging by the
peculiar pleasure which its perusal gave us, we should select, for our
favourite, _The Switzer's Wife_. Werner Stauffacher was one of the
three confederates of the field of Grutli. He had been marked out by
the Austrian bailiff as a fit subject for pillage; but it was to the
noble spirit of his wife that he owed the final resolution he took to
resist the oppressor of his country. The whole scene is brought before
us with singular distinctness. It is a beautiful evening in the Alpine
valley,--

    For Werner sat beneath the linden tree,
      That sent its lulling whispers through his door,
    Even as man sits, whose heart alone would be
      With some deep care, and thus can find no more
    Th' accustomed joy in all which evening brings
    Gathering a household with her quiet wings.

    His wife stood hushed before him, sad, yet mild
      In her beseeching mien,--he marked it not.
    The silvery laughter of his bright-haired child
      Rang from the greensward round the sheltered spot,
    But seemed unheard; until at last the boy
    Raised from his heaped up flowers a glance of joy,

    And met his father's face; but then a change
      Passed swiftly o'er the brow of infant glee,
    And a quiet sense of something dimly strange
      Brought him from play to stand beside the knee
    So often climbed, and lift his loving eyes,
    That shone through clouds of sorrowful surprise.

    Then the proud bosom of the strong man shook;
      But tenderly his babe's fair mother laid
    Her hand on his, and with a pleading look
      Through tears half-quivering, o'er him bent and said,
    "What grief, dear friend, hath made thy heart its prey,
    That thou shouldst turn thee from our love away?

    "It is too sad to see thee thus, my friend!
      Mark'st thou the wonder on thy boy's fair brow,
    Missing the smile from thine? Oh, cheer thee! bend
      To his soft arms, unseal thy thoughts e'en now!
    Thou dost not kindly to withhold the share
    Of tried affection in thy secret care."

    He looked up into that sweet earnest face,
      But sternly, mournfully: not yet the band
    Was loosened from his soul.

He then tells how the oppressor's envious eye "had been upon his
heritage," and to-morrow eve might find him in chains. The blood
leaves her cheek, and she leans back on the linden stem, but only for
a moment; the free Alpine spirit wakes within her--

    And she that ever through her home had moved
      With the meek thoughtfulness and quiet smile
    Of woman, calmly loving and beloved
      And timid in her happiness the while,
    Stood brightly forth, and steadfastly, that hour--
    Her clear glance kindling into sudden power.

    Ay, pale she stood, but with an eye of light,
      And took her fair child to her holy breast,
    And lifted her soft voice, that gathered might
      As it found language:--"Are we thus oppressed?
    Then must we rise upon our mountain-sod,
    And man must arm, and woman call on God!

    "I know what thou wouldst do;--and be it done!
      Thy soul is darkened with its fears for me.
    Trust me to heaven, my husband; this, thy son,
      The babe whom I have borne thee, must be free!
    And the sweet memory of our pleasant hearth
    May well give strength--if aught be strong on earth.

    "Thou hast been brooding o'er the silent dread
      Of my desponding tears; now lift once more,
    My hunter of the hills, thy stately head,
      And let thine eagle glance my joy restore!
    I can bear all but seeing _thee_ subdued--
    Take to thee back thine own undaunted mood.

    "Go forth beside the waters, and along
      The chamois' paths, and through the forests go;
    And tell in burning words thy tale of wrong
      To the brave hearts that midst the hamlets glow,
    God shall be with thee, my beloved!--away!
    Bless but thy child and leave me--I can pray!"

It is ever thus with all her women,--gentle, courageous, full of
self-devotion, and, alas! of sorrow and suffering. This is her ideal
of woman, from which she rarely departs--a heart, overflowing with
tenderest affection--ill-requited--yet refusing to receive any earthly
boon as a substitute for the returned affection it seeks. Fame is no
compensation--

    Away! to me, a woman, bring
    Sweet waters from affection's spring.

Genius when she sings to Love is made to say--

    They crown me with the glistening crown,
      Borne from a deathless tree;
    I hear the pealing music of renown--
      O Love, forsake me not!
      Mine were a lone dark lot,
        Bereft of thee!
    They tell me that my soul can throw
      A glory o'er the earth;
    From thee, from _thee_, is caught that golden glow!
      Shed by thy gentle eyes,
      It gives to flower and skies
        A bright new birth!

    _Genius singing to Love._

It is not often we find the superstitions of dark and ignorant ages
dealt with in so gentle and agreeable a manner as by Mrs Hemans. She
seizes, in common with others, the poetic aspect these present, but
diffuses over them, at the same time, a refinement of sentiment
gathered entirely from her own feelings. A subject which from another
pencil would have been disagreeable and offensive to us, is made by
her graceful touches to win upon our imagination. Witness the poem
called _The Wood Walk and Hymn_; we will quote the commencement of it.

               WOOD WALK AND HYMN.

    "Move along these shades
    In gentleness of heart--with gentle hand
    Touch--for there is a spirit in the woods."
                                           WORDSWORTH

                        FATHER--CHILD.

    _Child._--There are the aspens with their silvery leaves
    Trembling, for ever trembling; though the lime
    And chestnut boughs, and these long arching sprays
    Of eglantine, hang still, as if the wood
    Were all one picture!

    _Father._--Hast thou heard, my boy,
    The peasant's legend of that quivering tree?

    _Child._--No, father; doth he say the fairies dance
    Amidst the branches?

    _Father._--Oh! a cause more deep,
    More solemn far, the rustic doth assign
    To the strange restlessness of those wan leaves!
    The cross, he deems, the blessed cross, whereon
    The meek Redeemer bow'd his head to death,
    Was framed of aspen wood; and since that hour,
    Through all its race the pale tree hath sent down
    A thrilling consciousness, a secret awe,
    Making them tremulous, when not a breeze
    Disturbs the airy thistle down, or shakes
    The light lines of the shining gossamer.

An eminent critic in the _Edinburgh Review_ has spoken of the neatness
and perfect finish which characterise female writers in general, and
Mrs Hemans in particular. Now, these qualities imply a certain
terseness and concentration of style, which is no more a peculiarity
of all authoresses than of all authors, and which we should not
pronounce to be peculiarly characteristic of Mrs Hemans' poetry. To us
it often appears wanting in this very conciseness; we occasionally
wish that some lines and verses were excluded--not because they are
faulty in themselves, but because they weaken the effect, and detract
from the vigour of the whole: we wish the verses, in short, were more
closely packed together, so that the commencement and the close, which
are generally both good, could be brought a little nearer to each
other. It is not so much a redundancy of expression, as of images and
illustrations, that we have sometimes to complain of in Mrs Hemans.
She uses two of these where one would not only suffice, but do the
work much better. There is a very pleasing little poem, called _The
Wandering Wind_: we will quote--first, because it is thus pleasing;
and, secondly, because we think it would have been rendered still more
so had there been somewhat more of concentration and terseness in the
style. The lines which we have printed in italics, and which contain
the pith and marrow of the whole, would then have struck upon the ear
with more distinctness and prominence.

           THE WANDERING WIND.

    The wind, the wandering wind
      Of the golden summer eves--
    _Whence is the thrilling magic_
      _Of its tones amongst the leaves?_
    Oh! is it from the waters,
      Or from the long tall grass?
    Or is it from the hollow rocks
      Through which its breathings pass?

    Or is it from the voices
      Of all in one combined,
    That it wins the tone of mastery?
      The wind, the wandering wind!
    No, no! the strange, sweet accents
      That with it come and go,
    They are not from the osiers,
      Nor the fir trees whispering low.

    They are not of the waters,
      Nor of the cavern'd hill,
    _'Tis the human love within us_
      _that gives the power to thrill._
    They touch the links of memory
      Around our spirits twined,
    _And we start, and weep, and tremble,_
      _To the wind, the wandering wind!_

The verses beginning "I dream of all things free" might also be cited
as an instance of this tendency to over-amplify--a tendency which
seems the result of a great affluence of poetical imagery. This would
be a more powerful poem merely by being made shorter. We wait too
long, and the imagination roves too far, before we arrive at the
concluding lines, which contain all the point and significance of the
piece:--

    "My heart _in chains_ is bleeding,
    And I dream of all things free."

Of the measures and the melody of a lyrical poet something is expected
to be said. But what we feel we have chiefly to thank Mrs Hemans for
here is, that, in the search after novelty and variety of metre, she
has made so few experiments upon our ear, and that she has not
disdained to write with correctness and regularity. She has not
apparently laboured after novelties of this kind, but has adopted that
verse into which her thoughts spontaneously ran. An author who does
this is not very likely to select a rhythm, or measure, which is
incongruous with the subject-matter of his poem; nor, do we think,
could many instances of such a fault be detected in Mrs Hemans.

We will close our extracts with a strain that fairly exemplifies the
serene and lucid current of sentiment, and the genuine natural pathos,
of our poetess. It is thus she makes the Hebrew mother sing to her
first-born, whom she has devoted to the Lord.

    Alas! my boy, thy gentle grasp is on me;
    The bright tears quiver in thy pleading eyes;
        And now fond thoughts arise,
    And silver cords again to earth have won me,
    And like a vine thou claspest my full heart--
        How shall I hence depart?

    How the lone paths retrace where thou wert playing
    So late along the mountains at my side?
        And I, in joyous pride,
    By every place of flowers my course delaying,
    Wove, e'en as pearls, the lilies round thy hair
        Beholding thee so fair!

    And oh! the home whence thy bright smile hath parted,
    Will it not seem as if the sunny day
        Turn'd from its door away!
    While through its chambers wandering, weary-hearted,
    I languish for thy voice, which past me still
        Went like a singing rill?

    Under the palm-tree thou no more shalt meet me,
    When from the fount at evening I return,
        With the full water urn;
    Nor will thy sleep's low dove-like breathings greet me,
    As midst the silence of the stars I wake,
        And watch for thy dear sake.

    And thou, will slumber's dewy cloud fall round thee,
    Without thy mother's hand to smooth thy bed?
        Wilt thou not vainly spread
    Thine arms when darkness as a veil hath wound thee,
    To fold my neck, and lift up, in thy fear,
        A cry which none shall hear?

    What have I said, my child? Will _He_ not hear thee,
    Who the young ravens heareth from their nest?
        Shall He not guard thy rest,
    And in the hush of holy midnight near thee,
    Breathe o'er thy soul, and fill its dreams with joy?
        Thou shalt sleep soft, my boy.

    I give thee to thy God--the God that gave thee
    A well-spring of deep gladness to my heart!
        And, precious as thou art,
    And pure as dew of Hermon, He shall have thee,
    My own, my beautiful, my undefiled!
        And thou shalt be His child.

    "Therefore farewell! I go--my soul may fail me,
    As the hart panteth for the water brooks,
        Yearning for thy sweet looks.
    But thou, my first-born, droop not, nor bewail me,
    Thou in the Shadow of the Rock shalt dwell,
        The Rock of Strength--Farewell!"

We must now draw to a conclusion. One great and pervading excellence
of Mrs Hemans, as a writer, is her entire dedication of her genius and
talents to the cause of healthy morality and sound religion. The
sentiment may be, on occasion, somewhat refined; it may be too
delicate, in some instances, for the common taste, but never is it
mawkish or morbid. Never can it be construed into a palliative of
vice--never, when followed out to its limits, will it be found to have
led from the paths of virtue. For practical purposes, we admit that
her exemplars are not seldom too ideal and picturesque. The general
fault of her poetry consists in its being rather, if we may use the
term, too _romantical_. We have a little too much of banners in
churches, and flowers on graves,--of self-immolated youths, and
broken-hearted damsels;--too frequent a reference to the Syrian
plains, and knights in panoply, and vigils of arms, as mere
illustrations of the noble in character, or the heroic in devotion.
Situations are adduced as applicable to general conduct, which have
only occurred, or could only have occurred, in particular states of
society, and are never likely, from existing circumstances, to occur
again. Far better this, however, than a contrary fault; for it is the
purpose of poetry to elevate, and not to repress. Admitting that the
effervescence is adventitious, still it is of virtuous growth, and
proceeds from no distortion of principle. If not the reflection of
human nature as it actually is, it is the delineation of the _fata
morgana_ of a noble mind--of something that occurs to us "in musings
high," and which we sigh to think of as of something loftier and
better, to which that nature would willingly aspire. We can readily
conceive, that to a woman of the exquisite taste possessed by Mrs
Hemans, any attempt at the startling or _bizarre_, either in
conception or subject, was a thing especially to be avoided. We do not
mean to imply by this, that, as every true poet must have, she had not
a manner of her own. To this honour, no author of our day has higher
or less equivocal claims. She knew what to admire in others, but she
felt that she had a mission of her own. To substantiate this, we have
only to suppose her productions blotted out from our literature, and
then remark whether or not any blank be left; for, wherever we have
originality, we have accession. We admit that originality is of all
shades and grades, from a Burns to a Bloomfield, from a Crabbe to a
Clare--still the names of the second and the fourth are those of true
poets, as well as those of the authors of "The Cottar's Saturday
Night," and "Sir Eustace Gray,"--Parnassus, as Dr Johnson observes,
having its "flowers of transient fragrance, as well as its cedars of
perennial growth, and its laurels of eternal verdure." In the case of
Mrs Hemans, this question is set at rest, from her having become the
founder of a school, and that only eclipsed in the number of its
adherents and imitators by those of Scott, Byron, and Wordsworth. In
America especially has this been the case; a great part of the recent
poetry in that country--more particularly that of its female
writers--has been little more than an echo of her _Records of Woman_,
and _Lays of Many Lands_, and lyrical strains; and, from Mrs
Sigourney--"the American Mrs Hemans"--downwards, there are only
corroborative proofs of a Cisatlantic fact, that no copyist, however
acute and faithful, has ever yet succeeded in treading on the kibes of
his master, far less of outstripping him in the struggle for
excellence.

Like all original writers, Mrs Hemans has her own mode and her own
province. In reading the poetry of Wordsworth, we feel as if
transferred to the mountainous solitudes, broken only by the scream of
the eagle and the dash of the cataract, where human life is indicated
but by the shieling in the sheltered holm, and the shepherd boy, lying
wrapt up in his plaid by the furze-bush, with his "little flock at
feed beside him." By Scott we are placed amid the men and things of
departed ages. The bannered castle looms in the distance, and around
it are the tented plain--the baron and his vassals--all that pertains
to "ladye-love and war, renown and knightly worth." We have the
cathedral-pomp, and the dark superstition, and the might that stands
in the place of right,--all the fire and air, with little of the earth
and water of our elemental nature. The lays of Wilson reflect the
patriarchal calm of life in its best, and purest, and happiest
aspects--or, indeed, of something better than mere human life, as the
image of the islet in the sunset mirror of the lake is finer and
fairer than the reality. Coleridge's inspiration is emblemed by ruins
in the silver and shadow of moonlight,--quaint, and queer, and
fantastic, haunted by the whooping owl, and screamed over by the
invisible nighthawk. Campbell reminds of the Portland vase, exquisite
in taste and materials, but recalling always the conventionalities of
art.

When placed beside, and contrasted with her great cotemporaries, the
excellences of Mrs Hemans are sufficiently distinct and
characteristic. There can be no doubt of this, more especially in her
later and best writings, in which she makes incidents elucidate
feelings. In this magic circle--limited it may be--she has no rival.
Hence, from the picturesqueness, the harmony, the delicacy and grace,
which her compositions display, she is peculiarly the poet of her own
sex. Her pictures are not more distinguished for accuracy of touch
than for elegance of finish. Every thing is clear, and defined, and
palpable; nothing is enveloped in accommodating haze; and she never
leaves us, as is the trick of some late aspiring and mystical
versifiers, to believe that she must be profound because she is
unintelligible. She is ever alive to the dignity of her calling, and
the purity of her sex. Aware of the difficulties of her art, she
aspired towards excellence with untiring perseverance, and improved
herself by the study of the best models, well knowing that few things
easy of attainment can be worth much. Her taste thus directed her to
appropriate and happy subjects; and hence it has been, as with all
things of sterling value, that her writings have not been deteriorated
by time. They were not, like the ice-palace of the Empress Catherine,
thrown up to suit the whim of the season, or directed to subjects of
mere occasional interest, to catch the gale of a passing popularity.
Mrs Hemans built on surer foundations, and with less perishable
materials. The consequence is, that her reputation has been steadily
on the increase. Of no one modern writer can it be affirmed with less
hesitation, that she has become an English classic; nor, until human
nature becomes very different from what it now is, can we imagine the
least probability that the music of her lays will cease to soothe the
ear, or the beauty of her sentiment to charm the gentle heart.



ON THE MISERIES OF IRELAND, AND THEIR REMEDIES.


In resuming this subject, we feel that we cannot be justly accused of
going out of our own province, or of meddling with matters which
concern only our neighbours. In the present state of this country, we
not only recognise the people of Ireland as our fellow-subjects, but
we practically feel, as we ought to do, that their miseries are
reflected upon us. This might be illustrated in various ways, but
there is one illustration which comes peculiarly home to all people of
this country at this moment. Much has been said and written, of late
years, on the sanitary condition of the great towns of this country,
and on the importance of thorough cleansing and draining, as a
preservative against the epidemic diseases which have so often lately
afflicted, and in some instances nearly decimated, our population; and
when we state that, in the neighbouring city of Glasgow, during last
year only, the mortality was one in nineteen of the population, and
that the number of deaths exceeded the number of births by more than
sixteen thousand,--that the mortality from fever, in particular, is
known very generally to fall upon those who, in a worldly point of
view, are the most valuable lives in society, and that a new and still
more appalling epidemic is already among us--we have surely said
enough to show that there cannot be a more important or serious object
of contemplation, or of inquiry, than the means of purification and
sanitary improvement of such graves of the human race, as so many
parts of that and others of our great towns are at this moment.

It is equally certain that "atmospheric impurity" has been justly
charged as the most general and effective of all the causes, which so
depress the vital energies as to dispose the living human body to
suffer, and sink under, such visitations of Providence.

But, in order to understand how this prolific cause of evil acts on
the human race, it is necessary not only to look to the draining,
sweeping, and cleaning of streets, courts, and closes, but to enter
the houses, and attend to the "conditions of existence" of their
inmates, in the lowest and most unhealthy portions of all our great
towns. When we do this, we find that, in all those houses which are
the chief seats of epidemic disease, there are congregated together in
small and dirty rooms such masses of destitute human beings, usually
ill-clothed and inadequately protected from cold, that it is mere
mockery to speak of improving the atmosphere of their rooms,
especially during the night, by any appliances to the streets or
courts from which they are entered, or even by any means of
ventilation to which, at least in cold weather, the inmates will
submit.

It is even in vain that we issue directions for the cleansing of the
rooms, or regulations, in the case of lodging-houses, for limiting the
number of persons to be taken into them, or that we form model
lodging-houses, in which a certain number of persons may be decently
accommodated. All such measures have a good effect on a certain number
of the people; but those among whom the epidemic diseases are always
found making most progress have no means of availing themselves of
these advantages: they can no more pay for clean or well-aired rooms
than they could pay for any of the luxuries of civilised life. "Their
state of destitution binds them firmly to one description of
locality," and forces them to congregate together in masses,
necessarily implying such a contamination of the atmosphere in which
they live, as no such measures can counteract for six hours.

Now, if we inquire further into the history of the inhabitants who
live crowded together in this miserable way, we shall find, no doubt,
a certain number, in every great town, in whom this state of
destitution is the result of disease, death of relations, or personal
profligacy; and of the best means to be adopted to limit the evils
resulting from these causes, we do not propose to speak at present,
only observing that they may be and are met much more effectually in
some countries and some towns than in others. But we maintain, also,
with perfect confidence, from much personal observation and many
inquiries, that at this moment, in all the great towns of this
country, the most numerous class of the destitute poor, among whom
epidemic diseases prevail--from whom they extend to other ranks of
society, and by whose illness or death their families become a burden
on all other ranks--are not more profligate or less deserving of
compassion and assistance than the great body of our labouring
classes, and have no distinctive peculiarity but this, that _they are
Irish_.[2] Many of them have had possession of bits of land, others
have been labourers, or are families of labourers: they have formed
part of that enormous immigration of human beings, from Ireland to
Britain, which has been going on for many years, which has given Irish
labourers to all our public works, has formed an Irish quarter in
every one of our great towns, and has impressed all the promoters of
our schemes of philanthropy with the intimate conviction, that "if we
would cut off the sources of mendicity and misery, we must _first cut
off Ireland_;" _i. e._, looking on the Irish as fellow-subjects, if we
wish to perform towards them, or towards all who suffer in common with
them, the great Christian duty of charity, we must endeavour to
ascertain and counteract, in Ireland itself, whatever causes have
swelled that flood of poverty and destitution which has been so
prolific of evils to us.

  [2] The numbers of Irish in the fever wards of the Royal Infirmary
  Edinburgh, in 1847, were, to the number of native Scotch, as 100 to
  38; and in the fever hospitals of Glasgow, as 100 to 62; and the
  number of Irish were to the number of English in those wards, in both
  towns, as 100 to less than 2.

Now, without entering on any abstruse discussions, either metaphysical
or economical, we think it quite possible to state certain principles,
drawn from observations of human nature, and generalised in the same
manner as any general truths in physical science, by which the
phenomenon in question may be explained; and the only truly effective
remedies that can be devised for the present peculiarly miserable
condition of Ireland must be applied and regulated.

In the present state of that country, all her peculiar sufferings may
be ranked under the single head of redundant population, or, what is
the same thing, an overstocked labour market,--a population greater
than is required for all the works, productive or unproductive, for
which the possessors of capital, or the richer classes generally, are
willing to pay; and, in consequence, great numbers of the lower
classes whose employment is precarious, whose wages are scanty, whose
mode of life is irregular and debased, who are continually liable to
disease from poor living and insufficient clothing, and whose
sufferings under disease and destitution are greater, and extend their
effects more among the higher classes in their own country, and among
neighbouring nations--England, Scotland, even America--than those of
any other nation in Europe. As long as this miserable condition of the
Irish poor exists, it must be regarded both as a national disgrace,
indicating that, notwithstanding the boasted excellence of our
constitution, the British government is really less effective as
regards one-third of its subjects, in securing the main object of all
governments, _ut cives feliciter vivant_, than that of any other
civilised country.

Now, whatever secondary causes for a redundant population may be
assigned, all who attend carefully to the subject must admit that the
great, primary, and fundamental cause for it in all countries is, the
power of reproduction granted by nature to human beings, and which is
capable of multiplying the species more rapidly than the means of
their subsistence can be increased.

If it be true that this is a general law of human nature, and yet
that, in other countries, where ample time and opportunity have been
afforded for similar indications of redundant population to show
themselves, these are altogether absent, the first question for
consideration is not, why are not the resources of Ireland more
developed, but why has not the population accommodated itself better
to the resources that exist? Comparing Ireland with other countries
long inhabited, we find that in many others,--viz. in Switzerland, in
many districts of England, in Sweden, Norway, &c.,--although the
resources of the country and the demand for labour are small, the
population has accommodated itself to them; it has remained nearly
stationary for ages, or has gradually increased only as the
productions of the country and the demand for labour extended; and the
miseries of redundant population are comparatively unknown.

Continuing this line of inquiry, we observe that the most powerful and
the only desirable check on population, by which it is habitually
restrained from passing the limits which the demand for labour may be
regarded as imposing, is that to which political economists give the
name of _moral restraint_, by which we know that men and women, in all
ranks of society, may frequently, and, to a certain degree, uniformly
limit the reproduction of the species greatly within the bounds of its
possible increase, rather than allow their progeny to incur any
imminent risk of descent in the scale of society, and of abject
destitution.

If we next inquire what are the circumstances in which this beneficial
limitation on our population operates most efficiently, and what are
those which counteract its influence, we shall find distinctly and
unequivocably--whether we limit our observations to individuals, where
we can assure ourselves of the most influential motives of conduct, or
extend our views to large communities, and so avoid the fallacies
attending partial collections of facts--that the only security for the
existence of moral restraint is the habit of comfort, and the feeling
of artificial wants which that habit gradually imposes on the human
mind; and that those who are brought up in a state of destitution, who
are themselves strangers to that habit and feeling in early life,
hardly ever look forward to the means of securing the supply of these
wants for their children, and yield to the instincts of nature, as to
the propagation of their species, almost as blindly and recklessly as
animals do.

If this be so, it is obvious that the first subject for consideration,
as to the social state of any country, and the only means by which we
can hope to avert the evils, which the known tendency of human nature
to multiply more rapidly than the means of its subsistence would
otherwise involve, is to extend and secure the habit of comfort among
the poorer classes of society, and preserve them from sinking into
those habits of alternate physical suffering and reckless indulgence,
which abject destitution implies. And we have the more confidence in
this conclusion, as it is in strict accordance with the distinct,
authoritative, and frequently repeated injunction of Scripture, as to
the duty of those who have the means, to supply the wants of the poor.

This being so, the question as to the means of preventing or
correcting the evils of redundant population in any country, resolves
itself simply into the question, how the lower ranks of society there
may be best and most permanently preserved in habits of comfort? And
this question, likewise, is held to be sufficiently decided by
experience.

A moment's reflection is enough to show that there can be no claim on
the higher ranks in any country to place the poor--_i. e._, those who
are unable to work from age, sex, or infirmity, or who are unable to
find work--on a better footing than the lowest of those who can
maintain themselves by labour, and that any such attempt would
speedily tend to disorder and do injury to the whole frame of society,
and especially to the working classes; but it is confidently
maintained, that a country in which these classes are regularly and
uniformly preserved, by the contributions of the higher ranks, from
falling into lower habits than those which prevail among the poorest
of the people who maintain themselves by regular labour,--is also that
in which the population will adapt itself most strictly to the demand
for labour--remaining, if necessary for this purpose, quite stationary
for ages together.

There are different modes in which the contributions of the rich for
these purposes have been received and applied; but it may be stated
with perfect confidence, as the result of experience, that the only
truly and uniformly effectual means is, to give them the security and
uniformity of a legal enactment. For several ages, the general mode
throughout Europe was through the intervention of the Christian
church, for "the distribution of alms and food by the clergy was not
merely a voluntary charity, but was a legal obligation. It was a rule
of ecclesiastical discipline throughout Europe, and was a condition
expressed in all the grants by which they held their possessions, and
in every appropriation of benefices to the regular orders." The
maintenance of the religious houses was thus the poor-law of the
Middle Ages; and when their property was alienated, the necessity of
another law, to secure the same object, soon became manifest
throughout the greater part of Europe.

We need not inquire how it has happened that no such law for the
benefit of the poor has succeeded to the alienation of the church
lands from the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, during the long
interval that has elapsed between that event and the present time;
but, on the contrary, that various laws, securing to the higher ranks
the undisturbed possession of their property, and repressing all
claims of the lower ranks, have succeeded to that change. It is enough
for our purpose to state the fact, and to observe that, consistently
with the principles above stated, all the results which have followed
were naturally to be expected. That unprofitable but important portion
of every social fabric--the poor, as distinguished from the working
classes--has been left to precarious and insufficient charity. The
consequences have been, a general reduction of the diet, clothing,
lodging, and whole habits of the whole lower classes; frequent
destitution, and its uniform attendant, a peculiar liability to
epidemic diseases; much vagrancy and mendicity; the general prevalence
of an irregular, precarious, reckless mode of life; a general failure
of the grand preventive check on population; a continually-increasing
redundancy; a minute subdivision of the land to support this
redundancy, and a ruinous competition for these small portions of
land, keeping the cultivators of the soil in a constant dependence on
the proprietors; much voluntary emigration; and, both among the
emigrants and the lower orders at home--all feeling these miseries,
but few of them rightly comprehending the cause--a blind hatred at
their rulers, very generally diffused. In thus asserting the powerful
operation of this legal neglect of the poor in producing the miseries
of Ireland, it is not, of course, intended to deny that various causes
have co-operated in different parts of the country--_e. g._, the
ignorance of the people, and the effect of the Roman Catholic
religion in checking, rather than encouraging, any habits of thought
or reflection; the absence of so many proprietors, and their habitual
estrangement from the cultivators of the soil; political excitement,
and the bad passions generated by it and religious dissensions: all
these have been injurious; but the experience of other nations may
show us that they could not have produced this specific effect on
population, if they had not been aided by that general predisposing
cause of redundancy--_neglect of the poor_.

This state of things has, however, naturally rendered residence in
Ireland much less agreeable to the feelings of the proprietors of the
soil, than residence in almost any other country. Those sufferings of
their neighbours and dependants, which the laws of other countries
would have imposed on them the duty of mitigating at their source,
have, in consequence, fallen rarely under their personal observation;
while the frauds and falsehoods by which poverty, when taking the form
of mendicity, always attempts to arrest attention and procure
sympathy, have been constantly obtruded on them. Add to this, that
they have continually been told that the peculiarity of their
situation, which absolved them from any legal obligation to relieve
the wants of their poor--which secured to them the rights of property,
and released them from its obligations--was a wise and judicious
regulation, and a great advantage to themselves and their country; and
without attributing to the Irish proprietors, and particularly to the
absentees, more carelessness or selfishness than we must all admit to
be a common attribute of human nature, we can easily understand that
the general conduct of the Irish proprietors and capitalists must be
such as to aggravate, instead of relieving, the miseries resulting
from the over-population of their country.

To this state of things we do not pretend to apply a single specific;
but we assert with confidence, that experience has sufficiently
demonstrated the efficacy and expediency of several powerful remedies,
and that, by the combined influence of these, a gradual improvement
may be certainly obtained.

The first step has been already taken in the enactment of a
law--unfortunately delayed till nearly half a century had elapsed
after the union with England,--probably imperfect, and brought first
into operation at a time of famine, therefore beginning to act in the
most unfavourable circumstances possible, but by which the right to
relief, under circumstances of destitution, is granted to every
description of the poor. By the gradual operation of this law,
correcting the habits of vagrancy and mendicity, it maybe expected
that the process of degradation hitherto extending among the Irish
poor may be corrected, and the same motives which, in other nations,
are found to restrain excessive population, will gradually be
introduced. But a more immediate effect of the law is on the views and
habits of the proprietors. When the aged poor, the sick poor, the
widows and orphans, and the unemployed poor, become immediately a
charge on the land and capital of the country, it becomes the obvious
and undoubted interest of every proprietor and capitalist, first, to
throw all obstacles in his power in the way of early marriages, and
excessive reproduction of the species; and, secondly, to exert himself
to procure for the existing population as much as possible of
remunerative employment. Such employment as he would hardly regard as
remunerative, with a view only to his own profits, becomes an object
of real importance to him, when the alternative is the maintenance of
able-bodied labourers in idleness. That these motives are already
operating extensively among the Irish proprietors, appears from their
general complaint of the hardship of being obliged to maintain the
poor in unremunerating employment, and from their increased anxiety to
clear their estates of cottars and small crofters, among whom the most
rapid redundancy of population shows itself. If the law is firmly and
steadily administered, they will not be allowed to rid themselves of
the burden of these poor; and the true question will be, Whether they
are to maintain them in idleness, or devise for them reproductive
labour? Thus it may be hoped that the resources of the country will be
gradually developed, and its power of supporting industry be increased
contemporaneously with a diminution of vagrancy and mendicity, and an
improvement of the habits of the people.

But it must be observed, that this expectation proceeds on two
suppositions--_first_, That resources not yet developed for the
maintenance of industry do exist in the country; and, _secondly_, That
the proprietors have the means and the knowledge necessary to enable
them to avail themselves of these. The first of these, we are fully
assured, is truly the case; but the latter supposition, although we
may expect it to be realised in the course of time, is certainly very
far from being an element in the existing condition of the country;
nor can it become so within such a time as would be requisite to
enable us to reckon on it as a means of meeting a pressing emergency.
And although the newly-enacted Irish Poor-Law is equally just as that
under which all English proprietors have for centuries held their
possessions, yet it must be admitted that, in the present
circumstances of Ireland, as to redundancy of population, it must fall
with peculiar severity on that country, and that, in some districts,
the sacrifice thus required of the proprietors--particularly on such
of them as may not comprehend the means which we believe to be in
their power, for the improvement of the country--may almost amount to
a confiscation of their property.

Now, if the foregoing exposition of the main cause of the redundant
population in Ireland is correct, it follows that the legislature of
this country, which has so long approved and sanctioned that state of
the laws which withhold from the suffering population of Ireland the
right of relief, as it has shared the national sin, ought also to
share the sacrifices by which the consequences of that sin may be
expiated. For a time, therefore, and particularly after the famine
which has befallen their country, the proprietors and capitalists in
Ireland may reasonably expect a certain amount of aid from the
legislature of England (granted, of course, with proper safeguards
against abuse or misapplication), to enable them to perform their
newly-prescribed duties towards their own poor.

Now, there are two modes of relief, both to the proprietors and the
poor in Ireland, which may be afforded by government, or rather which
may be aided and directed by government, to a much greater degree than
has been yet done--certainly at a much less expense than the
relief-works of the year 1846, when several millions, contributed from
the British treasury, were expended on the roads in Ireland, with an
injurious rather than beneficial effect;--and the results of which, if
they are carried into effect with common prudence, may be expected to
be so distinctly beneficial, as assuredly to reconcile the British
public to the expenditure.

The first is Emigration to the colonies, on a larger scale than has
been yet undertaken, and with a more earnest desire, on the part of
government, to make it a really effective means of relief than has
been yet shown--the arrangements to be made, and the vessels to be
contracted for and victualled, at the public expense, and the
emigrants, therefore, having no further pecuniary burdens imposed on
them than the means of supporting themselves from the time of their
landing until they can procure employment. Even this last difficulty
of emigrants may undoubtedly be much lessened by a little pains, and a
little well-directed expense, on the part of the colonial governments,
to ascertain during the winter season, and make known to those
arriving in spring, the precise districts where there is the most
demand for their labour; and it seems impossible to doubt that, if
there were a regular provision made by government, for a few seasons,
for receiving, from the different parts of Ireland, families
recommended by the clergy of all persuasions in the different
districts, as proper for emigration, and unable to afford the
passage-money, and for removing these families at the public expense
to Canada or Australia--directing them at once to the proper points--a
very considerable relief could be afforded to the most crowded
districts in Ireland, at the same time that the danger of such
sufferings during the passage, and after arrival in the colonies, as
befel too many of the emigrants of 1847, and deterred too many of
their countrymen from following their example, may be almost certainly
avoided.

Emigration, however, even on these terms, (which it is certainly
within the power of government to arrange,) should only be recommended
to those who can command the means of tolerably comfortable
outfitting, and subsistence for a short time after their arrival in
the colonies. For a much larger number of the Irish poor, the resource
so perseveringly advocated by Mr P. Scrope and others, is the only one
yet shown to be really available, viz., their employment on some of
the waste lands, ascertained to be reclaimable, which abound in
Ireland itself. The improvement of these, chiefly by spade labour,
would give employment to nearly all the labourers now in Ireland; and,
when reclaimed, they might be divided into allotments of from five to
eight acres each, which should afterwards become the property of the
men by whose labour they have chiefly been reclaimed, on the payment
of a moderate quit-rent.

There may be some difference of opinion as to the details of this
plan, and particularly as to the kind and extent of the direct
assistance which the government should give; and we know that in all
countries, and perhaps more especially in Ireland, there will be a
disposition on the part of many persons to avail themselves of and to
abuse this public aid, by no means confined to the poorest classes of
society, and against which it behoves a beneficent government to be
constantly on their guard. The simplest mode of procedure seems to be,
that the waste lands destined for this purpose (and on which
government officers, employed at a great expense to the public, have
already reported)--should be purchased by government, by compulsion if
necessary--in all the distressed parts of the country; that these
should be presented to the different poor-law unions, on condition of
their being reclaimed by the labours of their able-bodied paupers, and
in conformity with plans to be proposed, and the execution of which
shall be superintended by persons employed by government. The
preliminary operations of drainage, and of making roads for the
benefit of these lands only, may likewise be undertaken by government;
and with this aid, and under this direction, it is reasonable to
expect, that the operations by which certain of the waste lands are to
be reclaimed, and the unions to be gradually provided with productive
farms, let to industrious cottars, may serve as a model for similar
improvements by individuals. There are difficulties of detail, which
the government of the United Kingdom may be expected to foresee and to
surmount. But as to the principle that it is wise and right for the
legislature of Britain;--nay, that it is incumbent on that
legislature, looking to its duty towards all classes of the people, to
the extent of misery in Ireland, and the disgrace and injury thereby
brought on itself, to the legal neglect of the poor in Ireland, so
long sanctioned by the British legislature, and to the deficiency of
capital actually existing in that country,--to direct and aid the
operations by which its surplus population may be reduced, and its
resources for the maintenance of population in future may be
augmented; and that these operations, if skilfully conducted, must
eventually lead to a great increase, both of wealth and of happiness,
in Ireland and in the colonies,--are propositions which we hold to be
fully demonstrated, and which, we think, the periodical press of this
country cannot at this moment be better employed than in keeping
constantly before the public, and impressing, by all possible means,
on the attention of the legislature. The property of those lands
remaining, in part, in the poor-law unions, the produce raised on them
will contribute to the support of the poor, and the relief of the
rate-payers in Ireland, in all time coming.

That the opinion we have thus given of the feasibility and of the
wisdom of the plan of bringing the idle hands of Ireland to bear on
the waste lands, is supported by men of thorough knowledge of the
subject, of all parties of the state, may be easily shown.
Preparations for such a measure were made, and plans of the drainage
requisite for the purpose were laid down, at an expense of nearly
£50,000 to the country, and deposited in the archives of the Irish
government, so long ago as 1814, by the Bog Commission. It was part of
the recommendation of the Poor-Law Inquiry Commission in 1836; it was
strongly recommended in the report by the Commission of Inquiry into
the Tenure of Land, presided over by Lord Devon; it has been
frequently proposed, and fully and ably discussed in various
publications both by speculative reasoners, and by practical men,--by
Mr Mill, in his standard work on Political Economy; by Mr Thornton, in
his pamphlets on Over-Population, and on Peasant Proprietorship; by Mr
Fagan, member for Wexford, in his work on the Improvement of Ireland
by means of her Waste Lands; by Mr Poulett Scrope, in several
pamphlets as well as speeches in Parliament, to which nothing like an
intelligible answer has been returned; by Mr Douglas, and several
other writers in England; by Mr French, and several other Irish
members; by public meetings in Ireland--one of them, of the
freeholders in Waterford, presided over by Lord Stuart de
Decies;--nay, it was announced in the beginning of 1847, under the
name of a Waste Lands Bill, by Lord John Russell, as an accompaniment
of his Poor-Law Bill, but withdrawn without any reason for the change
ever having been assigned. Whether this was done, as has been stated,
as a compromise with certain Irish landlords on their withdrawing
their opposition to the latter bill, or not, is a matter of small
importance to the country, although, certainly, of very considerable
importance to the character of any such landlords for judgment or
intelligence. A much stronger measure of what appears to them as
justice towards the cottar population of Ireland, has been strongly
recommended by several intelligent foreigners who have visited and
examined the country. But, without quoting any of these authorities in
favour of the proposal, let us merely ask what answer can be returned
to the following simple statements in support of it by an intelligent
and practical author:--"An addition of three million acres of
cultivable surface would be an incalculable advantage, and contribute
to the health, comfort, and happiness of millions of our
fellow-subjects. _We ought not to be behind the Chinese in this work
of civilisation._ During my recent examination of the middle and
northern districts of China, I noticed every where a great extent of
reclaimed land. Every inlet where the sea formerly encroached on the
land was embanked, drained, and cultivated. No capital or labour was
spared to augment the surface capable of yielding sustenance to man;
and I feel satisfied that, _if the extent of bog-land now existing in
Ireland were in the central provinces of China, five years would not
elapse without its being made fertile and productive_. Ought the
people of England or of Ireland to show inferiority to the Chinese in
the most requisite of all labour? Ought the government, in deference
to some abstract principle, to refuse the fulfilment of the first
natural duty--the providing food for its subjects?"[3]

  [3] _Ireland before and after the Union._ By R. M. MARTIN, Esq., 3d
  edit., p. 88.

Examples are not wanting in Ireland itself to show the feasibility of
this plan of relief to its poverty. "Mr Stuart French, of Monaghan,
has reclaimed three hundred acres of mountain-land in four years, and
raised its value from two shillings to thirty-five shillings per acre.
The entire cost was repaid by the crops in three years. Mr Reade, of
Wood-Park, county Galway, reclaimed five hundred acres of moorland and
mountain at a cost of from £10 to £17 per acre, which was repaid by
the crop of the second year, and the land, formerly worth two
shillings and sixpence per acre, now pays twenty shillings per acre
annually. This same Mr Reade, who has made the experiment on a large
scale, and can speak from experience, says, _there are 128,000 acres
of such reclaimable wastes in Galway, where thousands have died during
the past year_, and many are now (April 1848) dragging out a miserable
and useless existence. Mr Coulthurst, in county Cork, reclaimed a bog
farm for which the tenants could not pay four shillings per acre. The
drainage and reclamation cost £16 per acre, which was repaid before
the fifth year, and the land is now rated at the poor-law valuation at
£4 per acre. Sir Charles Sligh, Bart., and his amiable lady, have
effected great good on their estate in Donegal, by locating the
surplus population on the waste lands, and assisting the poor farmers
to cultivate them. This English family gave up their rents for two
years, and _permanent employment has been found for six times as many
persons as the land could formerly support; and its produce has been
multiplied tenfold_."[4]

  [4] _Ireland before and after the Union._ By R. M. MARTIN, Esq., 3d
  edit., p. 90.

It may be asked, why are these examples not followed? and doubts have
been thrown out as to the accuracy of the statements of the able
inquirers who have reported on the Irish waste lands, because they are
not actually reclaimed. One simple reason has been stated by Lord
Cloncurry, viz., that "arterial drainage on a large scale is
indispensable as a commencement, cutting through many properties,
deepening river-beds, perhaps to a considerable distance. Hence
government alone can set on foot such undertakings on that
comprehensive scale, and with that engineering skill, which is
necessary."[5] But a more general answer will suggest itself to any
one who knows the general habits and circumstances of the great Irish
proprietors. Many of them have not the habits of life or the knowledge
which would enable them to superintend or judge of such improvements;
and many more have not the means of encountering even the small
expense which will be requisite in their commencement. Further, it is
always to be observed, that, in the present state of the country,
another mode of greatly and rapidly improving the value of their
estates, without any such outlay either of skill or capital, always
presents itself to the Irish proprietors--viz., that of clearing their
estates of the cottar population, and throwing them into large farms,
to be cultivated in the improved English or Scotch style of
agriculture--or even into pasture; the objection to which is simply
that, in that case, they would not require for their cultivation more
than a third part of the population now located on them, and,
therefore, that this is a system relieving the landlords only, and
greatly aggravating all the evils which make the management of Ireland
an object of concern to the nation at large.

  [5] MR SCROPE'S _Letter_ in the _Morning Chronicle_, April 26, 1848.

This leads us to consider the question, which is the most momentous of
any that can be proposed on this topic--If the plan of locating the
idle hands of Ireland on her waste lands is not adopted, what other
resource exists for the relief of the redundant population, which is,
as we have stated, so enormous and unquestionable a burden on England
and Scotland? It is clear that, in Ireland itself, as the law now
stands, two plans only are thought of, and if government does not
bring forward a third plan, one or other of these must quickly
predominate. Either the main body of the landlords, who are known to
be quite incredulous as to any improvements being effected by their
cottar tenants, must be allowed to pursue their own system of keeping
them on hand--_i.e._, only as tenants-at-will--and clearing their
lands of them as rapidly as possible, with a view to large farms or
sheep-pastures; or else that system must be adopted, which is demanded
generally by the tenantry and by the Roman Catholic priests in
Ireland, of giving to the tenants one form or other of what has been
called "fixity of tenure"--_i.e._, such security against a ruinous
rise of rent, or dispossession, as may induce them to exert all their
energies, and sometimes to bring forth concealed capital, for the
improvement of the soil, and, in many instances, for the reclamation
of wastes;--this party maintaining that the main cause of the
generally wretched condition of the cottars, and imperfect cultivation
of the soil, is not the indolence of the people, but their knowledge
that they are constantly liable to a rise of rent, or expulsion from
their farms, immediately on its being perceived that they are
effecting any improvement.

These are the two remedies for the existing state of matters in
Ireland, which these two parties wish to apply, and unless a third
plan be adopted by government, one or other of these must quickly
predominate. Now, let us consider the results to be expected in either
case.

If government does nothing, but merely protects, by an armed force,
the proprietors and their agents from the fury of the people, the
system of clearance of the estates will be more and more acted on; and
we must reckon on one-half or even two-thirds of the still existing
population on most of the estates being turned adrift. No doubt the
poor-law will make these outcasts a heavy burden on the proprietors;
and it is held by many, and very probably with justice, that, instead
of turning their cottar tenants adrift, and then having to deal with
them as unemployed poor, if they were to accord to them such a
tenant-right as exists generally, as a voluntary compact, in Ulster,
they might expect the poor-rate to be so much less, the cultivation so
to improve and extend, and the payment of rents to become gradually so
much more punctual, that their own condition would be gradually
amended. But it is certain that _this is not the view that they take
of their own position_ at this moment, nor that on which they will
voluntarily act; _for if it were, the tenant-right, or at least the
practice of granting long leases, would be as general_ in other parts
of Ireland as it now is in Ulster, or in Scotland.

This being so, the poor-law, giving the right to relief to the ejected
poor, must either be enforced or not enforced. If it is enforced, and
no other resource for the relief of those people is presented, there
is every prospect of many of the unions becoming bankrupt, and the
proprietors being involved in the ruin. We know that this consummation
is already proclaimed by many of the proprietors in Ireland and their
friends as nigh at hand; and the only advantage which in that case can
be said to be derived from the poor-rate is, that the ruin and
degradation, otherwise confined to the lower ranks, will have
extended, as in justice they should, to every class of society. Again,
if the poor-law is not enforced, and the redundant population is
thrown, as heretofore, on its own resources, we have _first_, that
_res pessimi exempli_--a law openly violated--that the rich may escape
its inflictions, and the poor be deprived of its protection; and
_secondly_, we have no other prospect before us but a continuance and
increase of all that misery, vagrancy, famine, and pestilence in
Ireland, and all that extension of these evils to the great towns of
England and Scotland, which have made our connexion with Ireland the
bane of this country.

On the other hand, if the legislature were to adopt the only effectual
means of restraining the clearances by the landlords--_i.e._, to grant
the desired boon of fixity of tenure, at the existing rent, to all the
tenants--or even absolutely require leases of a certain duration to be
given to them all--it cannot be denied that they would commit the
grave political offence of extensive interference not only with
portions of private property, (which, all admit, may be justly taken,
on reasonable compensation, for public objects,) but with the whole
income of many individuals. This offence is of such a character, that
we can hardly expect to see a measure involving it ever adopted by any
legislature in this country; and it must be confessed that, however
well adapted such a measure may be to the exigency of the present time
in Ireland, the precedent thereby established would go far to justify
many acts, as regards other possessions of property, which can hardly
be called by any other name than spoliation.

These are the considerations which lead us to believe that, in the
present circumstances of Ireland--a population having grown up in the
absence of any poor-law--with which a law, enacted tardily, and at a
most disastrous period, cannot be expected to cope--the newly-acquired
right to existence of the Irish poor must be aided and supported--as
was always desired by Mr P. Scrope, and all the more enlightened
advocates of that measure, and at one time proposed by the present
Premier--by another measure, on the part of government, whereby
_employment may be procured for them, the resources of the country
improved_, and the proprietors taught, by example much more
effectually than they can ever be by precept, how these duties, now
legally imposed on them for the benefit of the poor, may be made to
consist with improvement of their own position.

What is often said of the impolicy of government coming into the
market for the purchase and improvement of lands in Ireland, as
deterring private speculators from coming forward, and checking the
influx of really productive capital, would be a very fair allegation,
if the object in view were merely the economical one of raising the
value of the land and the income of the landed proprietors. But this
is not adverting to the real difficulty of the case, _the existence of
a redundant population_--the result of the causes above explained,
_but now possessing a legal right to existence in the country_--_much
more numerous than is required for that improved cultivation of the
soil, which would be the most obviously and rapidly profitable to the
proprietors_. The problem for solution is, not simply how to enrich
the country, but how to enrich it without exterminating any part of
this redundant population. This is no object for private speculators,
looking only to pounds, shillings, and pence; but it is, or should be,
an object of paramount importance to the government of a country, to
whom even an increase of wealth ought to be desirable, not for its own
sake, but because it is the essential condition, and therefore the
exponent, of an extension of human happiness; to whom, therefore, the
lives of the poor ought to be at least as sacred as the purses of the
proprietors and capitalists in Ireland.

Taking this view of the duty of government, we may cordially acquiesce
in the statement of Mr Thornton, quoted and approved by Mill, that the
great want of Ireland at this moment is, not the influx of capital (as
it might be if we were at liberty to disregard the lives of the
people, and look only to the wealth of the country,) but the
protection and encouragement of its industry, and such an increase of
its capital only as may be consistent with, or even produced by, an
increase of the labour of all its able-bodied inhabitants. And it is
because it is evident that the existing proprietors cannot in general
perceive how this is to be done, or command the means of doing it,
that the interference of government appears to be the only possible
means of rescuing that unhappy country from misery.

Many high authorities are fully convinced that the improvement of the
cultivated portion of the land, and even of the rents of the
proprietors, may be equally well effected by the _petite culture_, by
keeping the cottars in their places, and merely giving them
instruction as to cultivation, and security for a fair share of the
profits of the improvements they effect--as by clearing the land of
them, and enlarging the farms. All who have studied the subject, seem
to be agreed as to the very general "almost superhuman" industry of
peasant _proprietors_, in all parts of the world, and among all races
of men. "The idea of property, however," says Mr Mill, "does not
necessarily imply that there should be no rent, any more than that
there should be no taxes. It merely implies, that the rent should be a
fixed charge, not liable to be raised against the possessor by his own
improvements, or by the will of a landlord." "Give a man a secure
possession of a bleak rock," says Arthur Young, "and he will turn it
into a garden; give him only a nine-years' lease of a garden, and he
will convert it into a desert." It is accordingly stated by this
author, and by others, as the result of experience, that long leases,
at a low rent, will effect wonders, even in Ireland; and in proof of
this, Mr Mill refers to the example of a company, called the Irish
Waste Land Improvement Society, who have undertaken improvements in
Ireland, not by creating large farms, and cultivating them by hind
labour, but by farms only of a size sufficient for a single
family--giving, however, small advances of capital, and a temporary
security of tenure by thirty-one years' leases. Col. Robinson, the
manager of this Society, reports of their operations in 1845,--"These
245 tenants and their families have, by spade husbandry, reclaimed
and brought into cultivation 1032 acres of land, previously
unproductive waste, on which they raised, last year, crops valued at
£3896, being the proportion of £15, 18s. each tenant; and their live
stock, now on the estates, is valued, according to present prices in
the neighbouring markets, at £4162, being at the rate of £16, 19s. for
each--£1304, a sum equal to their present annual rent, having been
added since February 1844;" and he adds, "By the statistical tables
and returns, it is proved that the tenants, in general, improve their
little farms, and increase their cultivation and crops, in _nearly
direct proportion to the number of available working persons_ of both
sexes of which their families consist." The occupants of larger farms
than 20 acres, he states to be "a class too often deficient in the
enduring industry indispensable for the successful prosecution of
mountain improvements."[6] Mr Mill's general conclusion is, that
"under the new Irish Poor-Law there are no means for the landlords for
escaping ruin," (as has been stated above,) "unless, by some potent
stimulant to the industrial energies of the people, they can largely
increase the produce of agriculture; and since there is no stimulant
available so potent as a permanent interest in the soil, either the
present landlords, or their English mortgagees, to whom the estates of
the more impoverished landowners must inevitably pass, would find it
to their advantage, if not to grant at once this permanent interest to
their tenants, at least to hold out to them, the prospect of acquiring
it."[7] To the same purpose, Sir Robert Kane states his belief that
"there are not people enough in Ireland for the small-farm system" if
it were carried on in the manner which the experience of other
countries has shown to be practicable, and which requires only a
certain amount of instruction and of encouragement to the tenants, to
enable them to raise at least as much produce, and pay a better rent,
than large farms would do.[8] But although this appears a very
probable, as well as hopeful view, of the position of the cultivated
parts of Ireland, and of the prospects of individual proprietors
undertaking to reclaim the wastes, yet it is obvious that we can have
no security for the landlords taking this view of their position, and
that it would be a very questionable stretch of power to compel them
to act upon it. And what we wish particularly to urge is, that _it is
not necessary to come to any decision_ on the disputed question of the
grand or _petite culture_ as applicable to the _cultivated_ districts
of Ireland, because the _waste_ lands fortunately furnish a resource
which is _clear addition_ to the existing means of maintaining the
agricultural population, available at a small preliminary expense
only, which, we maintain, ought to be borne by the government of this
country. The redundant population being thus disposed of, all the
landlords will be left at liberty to try whatever modes of improving
their estates they may think fit--subject always to this salutary
check, that if by any of these modes they render an additional part of
the population redundant, they will be compelled, by the poor-law, to
pay more or less for them.

  [6] _Mill's Principles of Political Economy_, vol. i. p. 387.

  [7] Ibid. 398.

  [8] _See the Large and Small Farm Question, considered in regard to
  the Present Circumstances of Ireland._

The digest of Lord Devon's report shows, that there were in Ireland,
when it was drawn up, "326,089 occupiers of land, whose holdings were
under eight acres each, and that the consolidation of these small
holdings, up to eight acres, would require the removal of about
192,363 families; but, then, the _first_ class of _improvable waste
lands_ in Ireland (on which we wish to see them employed) would
furnish to all those removed families locations of about eight acres
each--or, the first and second qualities of improvable waste land,
taken together, would furnish them with locations of twenty acres
each." These facts seem fully sufficient to justify Mr Mill's
conclusion, (formerly quoted,) that if we "suppose such a number
drafted off to a state of independence and comfort, together with a
very moderate additional relief by emigration, the introduction of
English capital and farming over the _remaining surface_ of Ireland
(at least where the proprietors may think it necessary) would at once
cease to be chimerical."[9] At least we feel justified by these facts,
by all the statements here made, and by the authorities by whom this
plan has been recommended, in demanding that a measure which promises
so much relief, not only to the miseries of Ireland, but to the
various philanthropic designs in this country--which are so
continually thwarted by the influx of Irish poor--should be fairly and
openly canvassed; and that, if any serious objections can be stated to
it, they should be publicly brought forward and discussed.

  [9] Mill's _Principles of Political Economy_, vol. i. p. 393.

As to the simply economical objection, on the score of the outlay that
would be required, we do not lay stress on the statement made on no
less authority than Lord Devon's Commission, that, in fact, it ought
to cost nothing; and that the improved rental of the land ought to
bring in a return of ten per cent on the capital invested in the
speculation. We may admit that this is too sanguine a view of the
matter--that the sums advanced by the government of this country will
probably be tardily and only partially repaid. Still, when we reflect
on the facts that have been stated as to the actual cultivation of
waste lands in Ireland, and on the concurrent opinion of so many able
and experienced men, who have examined the country carefully, and
report specifically on the facilities for the improvement of its
different parts, it seems impossible to doubt, that, if the
expenditure of the sums advanced by government is superintended and
controlled by the talent and experience which the country may expect
that the government can command, the repayment of a considerable part
of the outlay, particularly of that which may be advanced on the
credit of the poor-law unions, may be expected within a few years. And
even if there were ultimately a loss to the extent of one-half of the
£10,000,000, which has been stated as the probable expense of the
whole change, the money will at all events have gone to the immediate
relief of Irish suffering, and been better spent than what was
formerly voted for that purpose; and we cannot think that a nation
which spent a larger sum, only two years ago, in the mere relief of
the sufferings of the Irish people, without any attempt at
improvement, and very generally with a deteriorating (because not
previously considered) effect on the resources of the country--and
which spent £20,000,000 only a few years ago with very questionable
effect, but certainly without being grudged, in attempting to assuage
the sufferings, and raise the condition of the negroes in the West
Indies--can repent the loss of a fourth part of that sum, in an
attempt which can hardly by possibility fail of producing considerable
effect, to provide remunerative employment for the hordes of Irish
labourers in their own country, and arrest those grievous calamities
which their diffusion over this country has brought on themselves, and
on so many others who have come in contact with them.

In thus stating the grounds of a very decided opinion as to the
measure supplementary to the new poor-law, which is most essentially
required for Ireland, we do not of course mean to deny, that various
other means may be adopted, with more or less of good effect, in
furtherance of the same grand object. We have no doubt that both
religious and secular education are of the utmost importance to the
civilisation and improvement of every country; and although we do not
regard education, as some authors do, as the main remedy for the evils
of over-population, (being thoroughly persuaded that nature has
provided for this object more surely than education can, by that
growth of artificial wants in the human mind, which is the result and
the reward of pains taken to relieve suffering and secure comfort
during youth,) we are as anxious as any of our contemporaries for the
extension of education in Ireland. We believe that instruction in
agriculture, as well as encouragement to industry, is very much
needed in most parts of Ireland; and that measures for the direct
communication of such instruction, both to landlords and tenants, may
be very useful. We believe that in Ireland, as in this country, there
is great need of sanitary regulations; and we trust that the draining,
cleaning, and paving of the Irish towns will be regarded with as much
interest as similar purifications in England and Scotland. But we
think no one who reflects on the subject can fail to perceive two
truths, and to acknowledge their direct bearing on the subject of
Irish misery--_first_, that to a people nurtured in destitution and
amidst scenes of suffering, something of the great mental stimuli of
_employment_ and _hope_ must be applied, in order to enable them to
appreciate, or permanently to profit by, any kind of education; and,
_secondly_, that in the existence of laws securing sustenance to all
the poor of a country, and at the same time enabling the higher ranks
to exact labour as the price of that sustenance, we possess a security
such as no other social arrangements can afford, for habitual
attention to all means of bettering the condition of the poor, on the
part of those who have it in their power to apply those means, and on
whose exertions their successful application must necessarily depend.
Thus the poor-laws of Ireland, and the subsidiary measures for
procuring employment for the poor there, so far from being opposed to
any wise system of instruction, or of sanitary improvement, must be
regarded as in truth an essential preliminary to the truly beneficial
operation of any system that may be devised for either of these
purposes.



THE CAXTONS.



PART VIII.


CHAPTER XXXV.

There entered, in the front drawing-room of my father's house in
Russell Street--an Elf!!! clad in white,--small, delicate, with curls
of jet over her shoulders;--with eyes so large and so lustrous that
they shone through the room, as no eyes merely human could possibly
shine. The Elf approached, and stood facing us. The sight was so
unexpected, and the apparition so strange, that we remained for some
moments in startled silence. At length my father, as the bolder and
wiser man of the two, and the more fitted to deal with the eirie
things of another world, had the audacity to step close up to the
little creature, and, bending down to examine its face, said, "What do
you want, my pretty child?"

Pretty child! was it only a pretty child after all? Alas! it would be
well if all we mistake for fairies at the first glance could resolve
themselves only into pretty children!

"Come," answered the child, with a foreign accent, and taking my
father by the lappet of his coat--"come! poor papa is so ill! I am
frightened! come--and save him--"

"Certainly," exclaimed my father quickly: "where's my hat, Sisty?
Certainly, my child! we will go and save papa."

"But who is papa?" asked Pisistratus--a question that would never have
occurred to my father. He never asked who or what the sick papas of
poor children were, when the children pulled him by the lappet of his
coat.--"Who is papa?"

The child looked hard at me, and the big tears rolled from those large
luminous eyes, but quite silently. At this moment, a full-grown figure
filled up the threshold, and, emerging from the shadow, presented to
us the aspect of a stout, well-favoured young woman. She dropped a
curtsy, and then said, mincingly,

"Oh, miss! you ought to have waited for me, and not alarmed the
gentlefolks by running up stairs in that way. If you please, sir, I
was settling with the cabman, and he was so imperent: them low fellows
always are, when they have only us poor women to deal with,
sir,--and----"

"But what is the matter?" cried I; for my father had taken the child
in his arms, soothingly, and she was now weeping on his breast.

"Why, you see, sir, (another curtsy,) the gent only arrived last night
at our hotel, sir--The Lamb, close by Lunnun Bridge--and he was taken
ill--and he's not quite in his right mind like:--so we sent for the
doctor, and the doctor looked at the brass plate on the gent's
carpet-bag, sir,--and then he looked into the _Court Guide_, and he
said, 'There is a Mr Caxton in Great Russell Street,--is he any
relation?' and this young lady said, 'That's my papa's brother, and we
were going there.'--And so, sir, as the Boots was out, I got into a
cab, and miss would come with me, and----"

"Roland--Roland ill!--Quick--quick, quick!" cried my father; and, with
the child still in his arms, he ran down the stairs. I followed with
his hat, which, of course, he had forgotten. A cab, by good luck, was
passing our very door; but the chambermaid would not let us enter it
till she had satisfied herself that it was not the same she had
dismissed. This preliminary investigation completed, we entered and
drove to The Lamb.

The chambermaid, who sate opposite, passed the time in ineffectual
overtures to release my father of the little girl, who still clung
nestling to his breast,--in a long epic, much broken into episodes, of
the causes which had led to her dismissal of the late cabman, who, to
swell his fare, had thought proper to take a "circumbendibus!"--and
with occasional tugs at her cap, and smoothings down of her gown, and
apologies for being such a figure, especially when her eyes rested on
my satin cravat, or drooped on my varnished boots.

Arrived at The Lamb, the chambermaid, with conscious dignity, led us
up a large staircase, which seemed interminable. As she mounted the
region above the third story, she paused to take breath, and inform
us, apologetically, that the house was full, but that, if the "gent"
stayed over Friday, he would be moved into No. 54, "with a look-out
and a chimbly." My little cousin now slipped from my father's arms,
and, running up the stairs, beckoned to us to follow. We did so, and
were led to a door, at which the child stopped and listened; then
taking off her shoes, she stole in on tiptoe. We entered after her.

By the light of a single candle, we saw my poor uncle's face: it was
flushed with fever, and the eyes had that bright, vacant stare which
it is so terrible to meet.--Less terrible is it to find the body
wasted, the features sharp with the great life-struggle, than to look
on the face from which the mind is gone,--the eyes in which there is
no recognition. Such a sight is a startling shock to that unconscious
habitual materialism with which we are apt familiarly to regard those
we love: for, in thus missing the mind, the heart, the affection that
sprang to ours, we are suddenly made aware that it was the something
_within_ the form, and not the form itself, that was so dear to us.
The form itself is still, perhaps, little altered; but that lip which
smiles no welcome, that eye which wanders over us as strangers, that
ear which distinguishes no more our voices,--the _friend_ we sought is
not there! Even our own love is chilled back--grows a kind of vague
superstitious terror. Yes, it was not the matter, still present to us,
which had conciliated all those subtle nameless sentiments which are
classed and fused in the word "_affection_,"--it was the airy,
intangible, electric _something_,--the absence of which now appals us.

I stood speechless--my father crept on, and took the hand that
returned no pressure:--The child only did not seem to share our
emotions,--but, clambering on the bed, laid her cheek on the breast
and was still.

"Pisistratus," whispered my father at last, and I stole near, hushing
my breath--"Pisistratus, if your mother were here!"

I nodded; the same thought had struck us both. His deep wisdom, my
active youth, both felt their nothingness then and there. In the sick
chamber, both turned helplessly to miss the _woman_.

So I stole out, descended the stairs, and stood in the open air in a
sort of stunned amaze. Then the tramp of feet, and the roll of wheels,
and the great London roar, revived me. That contagion of practical
life which lulls the heart and stimulates the brain,--what an
intellectual mystery there is in its common atmosphere! In another
moment I had singled out, like an inspiration, from a long file of
those ministrants of our Trivia, the cab of the lightest shape and
with the strongest horse, and was on my way, not to my mother's, but
to Dr M---- H----, Manchester Square, whom I knew as the medical
adviser to the Trevanions. Fortunately, that kind and able physician
was at home, and he promised to be with the sufferer before I myself
could join him. I then drove to Russell Street, and broke to my
mother, as cautiously as I could, the intelligence with which I was
charged.

When we arrived at The Lamb, we found the doctor already writing his
prescription and injunctions: the activity of the treatment announced
the danger. I flew for the surgeon who had been before called in.
Happy those who are strange to that indescribable silent bustle which
the sick-room at times presents--that conflict which seems almost hand
to hand between life and death--when all the poor, unresisting,
unconscious frame is given up to the war against its terrible enemy;
the dark blood flowing--flowing; the hand on the pulse, the hushed
suspense, every look on the physician's bended brow; then the
sinaplasms to the feet, and the ice to the head; and now and then,
through the lull or the low whispers, the incoherent voice of the
sufferer--babbling, perhaps, of green fields and fairyland, while your
hearts are breaking! Then, at length, the sleep--in that sleep,
perhaps, the crisis--the breathless watch, the slow waking, the first
_sane_ words--the old smile again, only fainter--your gushing tears,
your low--"Thank God! thank God!"

Picture all this; it is past: Roland has spoken--his sense has
returned--my mother is leaning over him--his child's small hands are
clasped round his neck--the surgeon, who has been there six hours, has
taken up his hat, and smiles gaily as he nods farewell--and my father
is leaning against the wall, with his face covered with his hands.


CHAPTER XXXVI.

All this had been so sudden that, to use the trite phrase--for no
other is so expressive--it was like a dream. I felt an absolute, an
imperious want of solitude, of the open air. The swell of gratitude
almost stifled me--the room did not seem large enough for my big
heart. In early youth, if we find it difficult to control our
feelings, so we find it difficult to vent them in the presence of
others. On the spring side of twenty, if any thing affects us, we rush
to lock ourselves up in our room, or get away into the streets or the
fields; in our earlier years we are still the savages of Nature, and
we do as the poor brute does,--the wounded stag leaves the herd, and,
if there is any thing on a dog's faithful heart, he slinks away into a
corner.

Accordingly, I stole out of the hotel, and wandered through the
streets, which were quite deserted. It was about the first hour of
dawn, the most comfortless hour there is, especially in London! But I
only felt freshness in the raw air, and soothing in the desolate
stillness. The love my uncle inspired was very remarkable in its
nature: it was not like that quiet affection with which those advanced
in life must usually content themselves, but connected with the more
vivid interest that youth awakens. There was in him still so much of
vivacity and fire, in his errors and crotchets so much of the
self-delusion of youth, that one could scarce fancy him other than
young. Those Quixotic exaggerated notions of honour, that romance of
sentiment, which no hardship, care, grief, disappointment, could wear
away, (singular in a period when, at two-and-twenty, young men declare
themselves _blasés_!) seemed to leave him all the charm of boyhood. A
season in London had made me more a man of the world, older in heart
than he was. Then, the sorrow that gnawed him with such silent
sternness. No--Captain Roland was one of those men who seize hold of
your thoughts, who mix themselves up with your lives. The idea that
Roland should die--die with the load at his heart unlightened, was one
that seemed to take a spring out of the wheels of nature, an object
out of the aims of life--of my life at least. For I had made it one of
the ends of my existence to bring back the son to the father, and
restore the smile, that must have been gay once, to the downward curve
of that iron lip. But Roland was now out of danger,--and yet, like one
who has escaped shipwreck, I trembled to look back on the danger past;
the voice of the devouring deep still boomed in my ears. While rapt in
my reveries, I stopped mechanically to hear a clock strike--four; and,
looking round, I perceived that I had wandered from the heart of the
city, and was in one of the streets that lead out of the Strand.
Immediately before me, on the door-steps of a large shop, whose closed
shutters wore as obstinate a stillness as if they had guarded the
secrets of seventeen centuries in a street in Pompeii,--reclined a
form fast asleep; the arm propped on the hard stone supporting the
head, and the limbs uneasily strewn over the stairs. The dress of the
slumberer was travel-stained, tattered, yet with the remains of a
certain pretence: an air of faded, shabby, penniless gentility made
poverty more painful; because it seemed to indicate unfitness to
grapple with it. The face of this person was hollow and pale, but its
expression, even in sleep, was fierce and hard. I drew near and
nearer; I recognised the countenance, the regular features, the raven
hair, even a peculiar gracefulness of posture: the young man whom I
had met at the inn by the way-side, and who had left me alone with the
Savoyard and his mice in the churchyard, was before me. I remained
behind the shadow of one of the columns of the porch, leaning against
the area rails, and irresolute whether or not so slight an
acquaintance justified me in waking the sleeper--when a policeman,
suddenly emerging from an angle in the street, terminated my
deliberations with the decision of his practical profession; for he
laid hold of the young man's arm and shook it roughly,--"You must not
lie here, get up and go home!" The sleeper woke with a quick start,
rubbed his eyes, looked round, and fixed them upon the policeman so
haughtily that that discriminating functionary probably thought that
it was not from sheer necessity that so improper a couch had been
selected, and with an air of greater respect he said, "You have been
drinking, young man,--can you find your way home?"

"Yes," said the youth, resettling himself--"you see I have found it!"

"By the Lord Harry!" muttered the policeman, "if he ben't going to
sleep again! Come, come! walk on, or I must walk you off."

My old acquaintance turned round. "Policeman," said he, with a strange
sort of smile, "what do you think this lodging is worth?--I don't say
for the night, for you see that is over, but for the next two hours?
The lodging is primitive, but it suits me; I should think a shilling
would be a fair price for it, eh?"

"You love your joke, sir," said the policeman, with a brow much
relaxed, and opening his hand mechanically.

"Say a shilling, then--it is a bargain! I hire it of you upon credit.
Good-night, and call me at six o'clock."

With that the young man settled himself so resolutely, and the
policeman's face exhibited such bewilderment, that I burst out
laughing, and came from my hiding-place.

The policeman looked at me. "Do you know this--this"--

"This gentleman?" said I, gravely. "Yes, you may leave him to me;" and
I slipped the price of the lodging into the policeman's hand. He
looked at the shilling--he looked at me--he looked up the street and
down the street--shook his head, and walked off. I then approached the
youth, touched him, and said--"Can you remember me, sir; and what have
you done with Mr Peacock?"

STRANGER (_after a pause_.)--I remember you; your name is CAXTON.

PISISTRATUS.--And yours?

STRANGER.--Poor-devil, if you ask my pockets--pockets, which are the
symbols of man; Dare-devil, if you ask my heart. (_Surveying me from
head to foot_)--The world seems to have smiled on you, Mr Caxton! Are
you not ashamed to speak to a wretch lying on the stones?--but, to be
sure, no one sees you.

PISISTRATUS (_sententiously_.)--Had I lived in the last century, I
might have found Samuel Johnson lying on the stones.

STRANGER (_rising_.)--You have spoilt my sleep; you had a right, since
you paid for the lodging. Let me walk with you a few paces; you need
not fear--I do not pick pockets--yet!

PISISTRATUS.--You say the world has smiled on me; I fear it has
frowned on you. I don't say "courage," for you seem to have enough of
that; but I say "_patience_," which is the rarer quality of the two.

STRANGER.--Hem! (_Again looking at me keenly_)--Why is it that you
stop to speak to me--one of whom you know nothing, or worse than
nothing?

PISISTRATUS.--Because I have often thought of you; because you
interest me; because--pardon me--I would help you if I can--that is,
if you want help.

STRANGER.--Want!--I am one want! I want sleep--I want food;--I want
the patience you recommend--patience to starve and rot. I have
travelled from Paris to Boulogne on foot, with twelve sous in my
pocket. Out of those twelve sous in my pocket I saved four; with the
four I went to a billiard-room at Boulogne; I won just enough to pay
my passage and buy three rolls. You see I only require capital in
order to make a fortune. If with four sous I can win ten francs in a
night, what could I win with a capital of four sovereigns, and in the
course of a year?--that is an application of the Rule of Three which
my head aches too much to calculate just at present. Well, those
three rolls have lasted me three days; the last crumb went for supper
last night. Therefore, take care how you offer me money, (for that is
what men mean by help.) You see I have no option but to take it. But I
warn you, don't expect gratitude!--I have none in me!

PISISTRATUS.--You are not so bad as you paint yourself. I would do
something more for you, if I can, than lend you the little I have to
offer: will you be frank with me?

STRANGER.--That depends--I have been frank enough hitherto, I think.

PISISTRATUS.--True; so I proceed without scruple. Don't tell me your
name or your condition, if you object to such confidence; but tell me
if you have relations to whom you can apply? You shake your head:
well, then, are you willing to work for yourself? or is it only at the
billiard-table--pardon me--that you can try to make four sous produce
ten francs?

STRANGER (_musing_.)--I understand you; I have never worked yet--I
abhor work. But I have no objection to try if it is in me.

PISISTRATUS.--It is in you: a man who can walk from Paris to Boulogne
with twelve sous in his pocket, and save four for a purpose--who can
stake those four on the cool confidence in his own skill, even at
billiards--who can subsist for three days on three rolls--and who, on
the fourth day, can wake from the stones of a capital with an eye and
a spirit as proud as yours, has in him all the requisites to subdue
fortune.

STRANGER.--Do you work?--you?

PISISTRATUS.--Yes--and hard.

STRANGER.--I am ready to work, then.

PISISTRATUS.--Good. Now, what can you do?

STRANGER (_with his odd smile_.)--Many things useful. I can split a
bullet on a penknife: I know the secret tierce of Coulon, the
fencing-master: I can speak two languages (besides English) like a
native, even to their slang: I know every game in the cards: I can act
comedy, tragedy, farce: I can drink down Bacchus himself: I can make
any woman I please in love with me--that is, any woman good-for-nothing.
Can I earn a handsome livelihood out of all this--wear kid gloves, and
set up a cabriolet?--you see my wishes are modest!

PISISTRATUS.--You speak two languages, you say, like a
native,--French, I suppose, is one of them?

STRANGER.--Yes.

PISISTRATUS.--Will you teach it?

STRANGER (_haughtily_.)--No. _Je suis gentilhomme_, which means more
or less than a gentleman. _Gentilhomme_ means well born, because free
born,--teachers are slaves!

PISISTRATUS (_unconsciously imitating Mr Trevanion_.)--Stuff!

STRANGER (_looks angry, and then laughs_.)--Very true; stilts don't
suit shoes like these! But I cannot teach: heaven help those I should
teach!--Anything else?

PISISTRATUS.--Anything else!--you leave me a wide margin. You know
French thoroughly;--to write as well as speak?--that is much. Give me
some address where I can find you,--or will you call on me?

STRANGER.--No! Any evening at dusk I will meet you. I have no address
to give; and I cannot show these rags at another man's door.

PISISTRATUS.--At nine in the evening, then, and here in the Strand, on
Thursday next. I may then have found something that will suit you.
Meanwhile--(_slides his purse into the Stranger's hand_. N.B.--_Purse
not very full._)

STRANGER, with the air of one conferring a favour, pockets the purse;
and there is something so striking in the very absence of all emotion
at so accidental a rescue from starvation, that PISISTRATUS
exclaims,--

"I don't know why I should have taken this fancy to you, Mr
Dare-devil, if that be the name that please you best. The wood you are
made of seems cross-grained, and full of knots; and yet, in the hands
of a skilful carver, I think it would be worth much."

STRANGER (_startled_.)--Do you? do you? None, I believe, ever thought
that before. But the same wood, I suppose, that makes the gibbet could
make the mast of a man-of-war. I tell you, however, why you have taken
this fancy to me,--the strong sympathise with the strong. You, too,
could subdue fortune!

PISISTRATUS.--Stop; if so--if there is congeniality between us, then
liking should be reciprocal. Come, say that; for half my chance of
helping you is in my power to touch your heart.

STRANGER (_evidently softened_.)--If I were as great a rogue as I
ought to be, my answer would be easy enough. As it is, I delay
it.--Adieu--on Thursday.

STRANGER vanishes in the labyrinth of alleys round Leicester Square.


CHAPTER XXXVII.

On my return to The Lamb, I found that my uncle was in a soft sleep;
and after an evening visit from the surgeon, and his assurance that
the fever was fast subsiding, and all cause for alarm was gone, I
thought it necessary to go back to Trevanion's house, and explain the
reason for my night's absence. But the family had not returned from
the country. Trevanion himself came up for a few hours in the
afternoon, and seemed to feel much for my poor uncle's illness.
Though, as usual, very busy, he accompanied me to The Lamb, to see my
father, and cheer him up. Roland still continued to mend, as the
surgeon phrased it; and as we went back to St James's Square,
Trevanion had the consideration to release me from my oar in his
galley, for the next few days. My mind, relieved from my anxiety for
Roland, now turned to my new friend. It had not been without an object
that I had questioned the young man as to his knowledge of French.
Trevanion had a large correspondence in foreign countries, which was
carried on in that language, and here I could be but of little help to
him. He himself, though he spoke and wrote French with fluency and
grammatical correctness, wanted that intimate knowledge of the most
delicate and diplomatic of all languages to satisfy his classical
purism. For Trevanion was a terrible _word-weigher_. His taste was the
plague of my life and his own. His prepared speeches (or rather
perorations) were the most finished pieces of cold diction that could
be conceived under the marble portico of the Stoics,--so filed and
turned, trimmed and tamed, that they never admitted a sentence that
could warm the heart,--or one that could offend the ear. He had so
great a horror of a vulgarism that, like Canning, he would have made a
periphrasis of a couple of lines to avoid using the word 'cat.' It was
only in extempore speaking that a ray of his real genius could
indiscreetly betray itself. One may judge what labour such a
super-refinement of taste would inflict upon a man writing in a
language not his own to some distinguished statesman, or some literary
institution,--knowing that language just well enough to recognise all
the native elegances he failed to attain. Trevanion, at that very
moment, was employed upon a statistical document, intended as a
communication to a Society at Copenhagen, of which he was an honorary
member. It had been for three weeks the torment of the whole house,
especially of poor Fanny, (whose French was the best at our joint
disposal.) But Trevanion had found her phraseology too mincing, too
effeminate, too much that of the _boudoir_. Here, then, was an
opportunity to introduce my new friend, and test the capacities that I
fancied he possessed. I therefore, though with some hesitation, led
the subject to "Remarks on the Mineral Treasures of Great Britain and
Ireland," (such was the title of the work intended to enlighten the
_savans_ of Denmark;) and, by certain ingenious circumlocutions, known
to all able applicants, I introduced my acquaintance with a young
gentleman who possessed the most familiar and intimate knowledge of
French, and who might be of use in revising the manuscript. I knew
enough of Trevanion, to feel that I could not reveal the circumstances
under which I had formed that acquaintance, for he was much too
practical a man not to have been frightened out of his wits at the
idea of submitting so classical a performance to so disreputable a
scapegrace. As it was, however, Trevanion, whose mind at that moment
was full of a thousand other things, caught at my suggestion, with
very little cross-questioning on the subject, and, before he left
London, consigned the manuscript to my charge.

"My friend is poor," said I timidly.

"Oh! as to that," cried Trevanion hastily, "if it is a matter of
charity, I put my purse in your hands; but don't put my manuscript in
his! If it is a matter of business, it is another affair, and I must
judge of his work before I can say how much it is worth--perhaps
nothing!"

So ungracious was this excellent man in his very virtues!

"Nay," said I, "it _is_ a matter of business, and so we will consider
it."

"In that case," said Trevanion, concluding the matter, and buttoning
his pockets, "if I dislike his work, _nothing_; if I like it, twenty
guineas. Where are the evening papers?" and in another moment the
member of parliament had forgotten the statist, and was pishing and
tutting over the _Globe_ or the _Sun_.

On Thursday, my uncle was well enough to be moved into our house; and
on the same evening, I went forth to keep my appointment with the
stranger. The clock struck nine as we met. The palm of punctuality
might be divided between us. He had profited by the interval, since
our last meeting, to repair the more obvious deficiencies of his
wardrobe; and though there was something still wild, dissolute,
outlandish, about his whole appearance, yet in the elastic energy of
his step, and the resolute assurance of his bearing, there was that
which Nature gives to her own aristocracy,--for, as far as my
observation goes, what has been called the "grand air" (and which is
wholly distinct from the polish of manner, or the urbane grace of high
breeding,) is always accompanied, and perhaps produced, by two
qualities--courage, and the desire of command. It is more common to a
half-savage nature than one wholly civilised. The Arab has it, so has
the American Indian; and I suspect it was more frequent among the
knights and barons of the middle ages than it is among the polished
gentlemen of the modern drawing-room.

We shook hands, and walked on a few moments in silence; at length thus
commenced the STRANGER,--

"You have found it more difficult, I fear, than you imagined, to make
the empty sack stand upright. Considering that at least one third of
those born to work cannot find it, why should I?"

PISISTRATUS.--I am hard-hearted enough to believe that work never
fails to those who seek it in good earnest. It was said of some man,
famous for keeping his word, that "if he had promised you an acorn,
and all the oaks in England failed to produce one, he would have sent
to Norway for an acorn." If I wanted work, and there was none to be
had in the Old World, I would find my way to the New. But, to the
point: I _have_ found something for you, which I do not think your
taste will oppose, and which may open to you the means of an
honourable independence. But I cannot well explain it in the streets,
where shall we go?

STRANGER (_after some hesitation_.)--I have a lodging near here, which
I need not blush to take you to--I mean, that it is not among rogues
and castaways.

PISISTRATUS (_much pleased, and taking the stranger's arm_.) Come,
then.

Pisistratus and the stranger pass over Waterloo Bridge, and pause
before a small house of respectable appearance. Stranger admits them
both with a latch-key--leads the way to the third story--strikes a
light, and does the honours to a small chamber, clean and orderly.
Pisistratus explains the task to be done, and opens the manuscript.
The stranger draws his chair deliberately towards the light, and runs
his eye rapidly over the pages. Pisistratus trembles to see him pause
before a long array of figures and calculations. Certainly it does not
look inviting; but, pshaw! it is scarcely a part of the task, which
limits itself to the mere correction of words.

STRANGER (_briefly_.)--There must be a mistake here. Stay!--I
see,--[He turns back a few pages, and corrects with rapid precision an
error in a somewhat complicated and abstruse calculation.]

PISISTRATUS (_surprised_.)--You seem a notable arithmetician.

STRANGER.--Did I not tell you that I was skilful in all games of
mingled skill and chance? It requires an arithmetical head for that: a
first-rate card-player is a financier spoilt. I am certain that you
could never find a man fortunate on the turf, or at the gaming-table,
who had not an excellent head for figures. Well, this French is good
enough apparently: there are but a few idioms, here and there, that,
strictly speaking, are more English than French. But the whole is a
work scarce worth paying for!

PISISTRATUS.--The work of the head fetches a price not proportioned to
the quantity, but the quality. When shall I call for this?

STRANGER.--To-morrow. [And he puts the manuscript away in a drawer.]

We then conversed on various matters for nearly an hour; and my
impression of this young man's natural ability was confirmed and
heightened. But it was an ability as wrong and perverse in its
directions or instincts as a French novelist's. He seemed to have, to
a high degree, the harder portion of the reasoning faculty, but to be
almost wholly without that arch beautifier of character, that sweet
purifier of mere intellect--_the imagination_. For, though we are too
much taught to be on our guard against imagination, I hold it, with
Captain Roland, to be the divinest kind of reason we possess, and the
one that leads us the least astray. In youth, indeed, it occasions
errors, but they are not of a sordid or debasing nature. Newton says
that one final effect of the comets is to recruit the seas and the
planets by a condensation of the vapours and exhalations therein; and
so even the erratic flashes of an imagination really healthful and
vigorous deepen our knowledge and brighten our lights; they recruit
our seas and our stars. Of such flashes my new friend was as innocent
as the sternest matter-of-fact person could desire. Fancies he had in
profusion, and very bad ones; but of imagination not a _scintilla_!
His mind was one of those which live in a prison of logic, and cannot,
or will not, see beyond the bars: such a nature is at once positive
and sceptical. This boy had thought proper to decide at once on the
numberless complexities of the social world from his own harsh
experience. With him the whole system was a war and a cheat. If the
universe were entirely composed of knaves, he would be sure to have
made his way. Now this bias of mind, alike shrewd and unamiable, might
be safe enough if accompanied by a lethargic temper; but it threatened
to become terrible and dangerous in one who, in default of
imagination, possessed abundance of passion: and this was the case
with the young outcast. Passion, in him, comprehended many of the
worst emotions which militate against human happiness. You could not
contradict him, but you raised quick choler; you could not speak of
wealth, but the cheek paled with gnawing envy. The astonishing natural
advantages of this poor boy--his beauty, his readiness, the daring
spirit that breathed around him like a fiery atmosphere--had raised
his constitutional self-confidence into an arrogance that turned his
very claims to admiration into prejudices against him. Irascible,
envious, arrogant--bad enough, but not the worst, for these salient
angles were all varnished over with a cold repellant cynicism, his
passions vented themselves in sneers. There seemed in him no moral
susceptibility; and, what was more remarkable in a proud nature,
little or nothing of the true point of honour. He had, to a morbid
excess, that desire to rise which is vulgarly called ambition, but no
apparent wish for fame, or esteem, or the love of his species; only
the hard wish to succeed, not shine, not serve,--succeed, that he
might have the right to despise a world which galled his self-conceit,
and enjoy the pleasures which the redundant nervous life in him seemed
to crave. Such were the more patent attributes of a character that,
ominous as it was, yet interested me, and yet appeared to me
redeemable,--nay, to have in it the rude elements of a certain
greatness. Ought we not to make something great out of a youth under
twenty who has, in the highest degree, quickness to conceive and
courage to execute? On the other hand, all faculties that can make
greatness contain those that can attain goodness. In the savage
Scandinavian, or the ruthless Frank, lay the germs of a Sidney or a
Bayard. What would the best of us be, if he were suddenly placed at
war with the whole world? And this fierce spirit _was_ at war with the
whole world--a war self-sought, perhaps, but it was war not the less.
You must surround the savage with peace, if you want the virtues of
peace.

I cannot say that it was in a single interview and conference that I
came to these convictions; but I am rather summing up the impressions
which I received as I saw more of this person, whose destiny I had
presumed to take under my charge.

In going away, I said, "But, at all events, you have a name in your
lodgings: whom am I to ask for when I call to-morrow?"

"Oh, you may know my name now," said he, smiling: "it is
Vivian--Francis Vivian."


CHAPTER XXXVIII.

I remember one morning, when a boy, loitering by an old wall, to watch
the operations of a garden spider, whose web seemed to be in great
request. When I first stopped, she was engaged very quietly with a fly
of the domestic species, whom she managed with ease and dignity. But
just when she was most interested in that absorbing employment, came a
couple of May-flies, and then a gnat, and then a blue-bottle,--all at
different angles of the web. Never was a poor spider so distracted by
her good fortune! She evidently did not know which godsend to take
first. The aboriginal victim being released, she slid half-way towards
the May-flies; then one of her eight eyes caught sight of the
blue-bottle! and she shot off in that direction;--when the hum of the
gnat again diverted her; and in the middle of this perplexity, pounce
came a young wasp in a violent passion! Then the spider evidently lost
her presence of mind; she became clean demented; and after standing,
stupid and stock-still, in the middle of her meshes, for a minute or
two, she ran off to her hole as fast as she could run, and left her
guests to shift for themselves. I confess that I am somewhat in the
dilemma of the attractive and amiable insect I have just described. I
got on well enough while I had only my domestic fly to see after. But
now that there is something fluttering at every end of my net, (and
especially since the advent of that passionate young wasp, who is
fuming and buzzing in the nearest corner!) I am fairly at a loss which
I should first grapple with--and, alas! unlike the spider, I have no
hole where I can hide myself, and let the web do the weaver's work.
But I will imitate the spider as far as I can; and while the rest hum
and struggle away their impatient, unnoticed hour, I will retreat into
the inner labyrinth of my own life.

The illness of my uncle, and my renewed acquaintance with Vivian, had
naturally sufficed to draw my thoughts from the rash and unpropitious
love I had conceived for Fanny Trevanion. During the absence of the
family from London, (and they stayed some time longer than had been
expected,) I had leisure, however, to recall my father's touching
history, and the moral it had so obviously preached to me; and I
formed so many good resolutions, that it was with an untrembling hand
that I welcomed Miss Trevanion at last to London, and with a firm
heart that I avoided, as much as possible, the fatal charm of her
society. The slow convalescence of my uncle gave me a just excuse for
discontinuing our rides. What time Trevanion spared me, it was natural
that I should spend with my family. I went to no balls or parties. I
even absented myself from Trevanion's periodical dinners. Miss
Trevanion at first rallied me on my seclusion with her usual lively
malice. But I continued worthily to complete my martyrdom. I took care
that no reproachful look at the gaiety that wrung my soul should
betray my secret. Then Fanny seemed either hurt or disdainful, and
avoided altogether entering her father's study; all at once, she
changed her tactics, and was seized with a strange desire for
knowledge, which brought her into the room to look for a book, or ask
a question, ten times a-day. I was proof to all. But, to speak truth,
I was profoundly wretched. Looking back now, I am dismayed at the
remembrance of my own sufferings: my health became seriously affected;
I dreaded alike the trial of the day and the anguish of the night. My
only distractions were in my visits to Vivian, and my escape to the
dear circle of home. And that home was my safeguard and preservative
in that crisis of my life. Its atmosphere of unpretending honour and
serene virtue strengthened all my resolutions; it braced me for my
struggles against the strongest passion which youth admits, and
counteracted the evil vapours of that air in which Vivian's envenomed
spirit breathed and moved. Without the influence of such a home, if I
had succeeded in the conduct that probity enjoined towards those in
whose house I was a trusted guest, I do not think I could have
resisted the contagion of that malign and morbid bitterness against
fate and the world which love, thwarted by fortune, is too inclined of
itself to conceive, and in the expression of which Vivian was not
without the eloquence that belongs to earnestness, whether in truth or
falsehood. But, somehow or other, I never left the little room that
contained the grand suffering in the face of the veteran soldier,
whose lip, often quivering with anguish, was never heard to murmur;
and the tranquil wisdom which had succeeded my father's early trials,
(trials like my own,) and the loving smile on my mother's tender face,
and the innocent childhood of Blanche, (by which name the Elf had
familiarised herself to us,) whom I already loved as a sister,--without
feeling that those four walls contained enough tosweeten the world, had
it been filled to its capacious brim with gall and hyssop.

Trevanion had been more than satisfied with Vivian's performance--he
had been struck with it. For though the corrections in the mere
phraseology had been very limited, they went beyond verbal
amendments--they suggested such words as improved the thoughts; and,
besides that notable correction of an arithmetical error, which
Trevanion's mind was formed to over-appreciate, one or two brief
annotations on the margin were boldly hazarded, prompting some
stronger link in a chain of reasoning, or indicating the necessity for
some further evidence in the assertion of a statement. And all this
from the mere natural and naked logic of an acute mind, unaided by the
smallest knowledge of the subject treated of! Trevanion threw quite
enough work into Vivian's hands, and at a remuneration sufficiently
liberal to realise my promise of an independence. And more than once
he asked me to introduce to him my friend. But this I continued to
elude--heaven knows, not from jealousy, but simply because I feared
that Vivian's manner and way of talk would singularly displease one
who detested presumption, and understood no eccentricities but his
own.

Still Vivian, whose industry was of a strong wing, but only for short
flights, had not enough to employ more than a few hours of his day,
and I dreaded lest he should, from very idleness, fall back into old
habits, and reseek old friendships. His cynical candour allowed that
both were sufficiently disreputable to justify grave apprehensions of
such a result; accordingly, I contrived to find leisure in my evenings
to lessen his _ennui_, by accompanying him in rambles through the
gas-lit streets, or occasionally, for an hour or so, to one of the
theatres.

Vivian's first care, on finding himself rich enough, had been bestowed
on his person; and those two faculties of observation and imitation
which minds so ready always eminently possess, had enabled him to
achieve that graceful neatness of costume peculiar to the English
gentleman. For the first few days of his metamorphosis, traces indeed
of a constitutional love of show, or vulgar companionship, were
noticeable; but one by one they disappeared. First went a gaudy
neckcloth, with collars turned down; then a pair of spurs vanished;
and lastly, a diabolical instrument that he called a cane--but which,
by means of a running bullet, could serve as a bludgeon at one end,
and concealed a dagger in the other--subsided into the ordinary
walking-stick adapted to our peaceable metropolis. A similar change,
though in a less degree, gradually took place in his manner and
conversation. He grew less abrupt in the one, and more calm, perhaps
more cheerful, in the other. It was evident that he was not insensible
to the elevated pleasure of providing for himself by praiseworthy
exertion--of feeling for the first time that his intellect was of use
to him, _creditably_. A new world, though still dim--seen through mist
and fog, began to dawn upon him.

Such is the vanity of us poor mortals, that my interest in Vivian was
probably increased, and my aversion to much in him materially
softened, by observing that I had gained a sort of ascendency over his
savage nature. When we had first met by the roadside, and afterwards
conversed in the churchyard, the ascendency was certainly not on my
side. But I now came from a larger sphere of society than that in
which he had yet moved. I had seen and listened to the first men in
England. What had then dazzled me only, now moved my pity. On the
other hand, his active mind could not but observe the change in me;
and, whether from envy or a better feeling, he was willing to learn
from me how to eclipse me, and resume his earlier superiority--not to
be superior chafed him. Thus he listened to me with docility when I
pointed out the books which connected themselves with the various
subjects incidental to the miscellaneous matters on which he was
employed. Though he had less of the literary turn of mind than any one
equally clever I have ever met, and had read little, considering the
quantity of thought he had acquired, and the show he made of the few
works (chiefly plays) with which he had voluntarily made himself
familiar, he yet resolutely sate himself down to study; and though it
was clearly against the grain, I augured the more favourably from
tokens of a determination to do what was at the present irksome for a
purpose in the future. Yet, whether I should have approved the
purpose--had I thoroughly understood it--is another question! There
were abysses, both in his past life and in his character, which I
could not penetrate. There was in him both a reckless frankness and a
vigilant reserve. His frankness was apparent in his talk on all
matters immediately before us; in the utter absence of all effort to
make himself seem better than he was. His reserve was equally shown in
the ingenious evasion of every species of confidence that could admit
me into such secrets of his life as he chose to conceal: where he had
been born, reared, and educated; how he came to be thrown on his own
resources; how he had contrived, how he had subsisted, were all
matters on which he seemed to have taken an oath to Harpocrates, the
god of silence. And yet he was full of anecdotes of what he had seen,
of strange companions, whom he never named, but into whose society he
had been thrown. And, to do him justice, I remarked that, though his
precocious experience seemed to have been gathered from the holes and
corners, the sewers and drains of life, and though he seemed wholly
without dislike to dishonesty, and to regard virtue or vice with as
serene an indifference as some grand poet who views them both merely
as ministrants to his art, yet he never betrayed any positive breach
of honesty in himself. He could laugh over the story of some ingenious
fraud that he had witnessed, and seem insensible to its turpitude; but
he spoke of it in the tone of an unreproving witness, not of an actual
accomplice. As we grew more intimate, he felt gradually, however, that
_pudor_, or instinctive shame, which the contact with minds habituated
to the distinctions between wrong and right unconsciously
produces,--and such stories ceased. He never but once mentioned his
family, and that was in the following odd and abrupt manner,--

"Ah!" cried he one day, stopping suddenly before a print-shop, "how
that reminds me of my dear, dear mother."

"Which?" said I eagerly, puzzled between an engraving of Raffaelle's
"Madonna," and another of "The Brigand's Wife."

Vivian did not satisfy my curiosity, but drew me on in spite of my
reluctance.

"You loved your mother, then?" said I, after a pause.

"Yes, as a whelp may a tigress."

"That's a strange comparison."

"Or a bull-dog may the prizefighter, his master! Do you like that
better?"

"Not much; is it a comparison your mother would like?"

"Like!--she is dead!" said he, rather falteringly.

I pressed his arm closer to mine.

"I understand you," said he, with his cynic repellant smile. "But you
do wrong to feel for my loss. I feel for it; but no one who cares for
me should sympathise with my grief."

"Why?"

"Because my mother was not what the world would call a good woman. I
did not love her the less for that--and now let us change the
subject."

"Nay; since you have said so much, Vivian, let me coax you to say on.
Is not your father living?"

"Is not the Monument standing?"

"I suppose so,--what of that?"

"Why, it matters very little to either of us; and my question answers
yours!"

I could not get on after this, and I never did get on a step farther.
I must own that, if Vivian did not impart his confidence liberally,
neither did he seek confidence inquisitively from me. He listened with
interest if I spoke of Trevanion, (for I told him frankly of my
connexion with that personage, though you may be sure that I said
nothing of Fanny,) and of the brilliant world that my residence with
one so distinguished opened to me. But if ever, in the fulness of my
heart, I began to speak of my parents, of my home, he evinced either
so impertinent an _ennui_, or assumed so chilling a sneer, that I
usually hurried way from him, as well as the subject, in indignant
disgust. Once especially, when I asked him to let me introduce him to
my father--a point on which I was really anxious, for I thought it
impossible but that the devil within him would be softened by that
contact--he said with his low, scornful laugh--

"My dear Caxton, when I was a child, I was so bored with 'Telemachus,'
that, in order to endure it, I turned it into travesty."

"Well."

"Are you not afraid that the same wicked disposition might make a
caricature of your Ulysses?"

I did not see Mr Vivian for three days after that speech; and I should
not have seen him then, only we met, by accident, under the Colonnade
of the Opera-House. Vivian was leaning against one of the columns, and
watching the long procession which swept to the only temple in vogue
that Art has retained in the English Babel. Coaches and chariots,
blazoned with arms and coronets--cabriolets (the brougham had not then
replaced them) of sober hue, but exquisite appointment, with gigantic
horses and pigmy "tigers," dashed on and rolled off before him. Fair
women and gay dresses, stars and ribbons--the rank and the beauty of
the patrician world--passed him by. And I could not resist the
compassion with which this lonely, friendless, eager, discontented
spirit inspired me--gazing on that gorgeous existence in which it
fancied itself formed to shine, with the ardour of desire and the
despair of exclusion. By one glimpse of that dark countenance, I read
what was passing within the yet darker heart. The emotion might not be
amiable, nor the thoughts wise, yet, were they unnatural? I had
experienced something of them--not at the sight of gay-dressed people,
of wealth and idleness, pleasure and fashion; but when, at the doors
of parliament, men who have won noble names, and whose word had weight
on the destinies of glorious England, brushed heedlessly by to their
grand arena; or when, amidst the holiday crowd of ignoble pomp, I had
heard the murmur of fame buzz and gather round some lordly labourer in
art or letters. That contrast between glory so near, and yet so far,
and one's own obscurity, of course I had felt it--who has not? Alas,
many a youth not fated to be a Themistocles, will yet feel that the
trophies of a Miltiades will not suffer him to sleep! So I went up to
Vivian, and laid my hand on his shoulder.

"Ah!" said he, more gently than usual, "I am glad to see you--and to
apologise--I offended you the other day. But you would not get very
gracious answers from souls in purgatory, if you talked to them of the
happiness of heaven. Never speak to me about homes and fathers!
Enough, I see you forgive me. Why are you not going to the opera?
_You_ can!"

"And you too, if you so please. A ticket is shamefully dear, to be
sure; still, if you are fond of music, it is a luxury you can afford."

"Oh, you flatter me if you fancy the prudence of saving withholds me!
I did go the other night, but I shall not go again. Music!--when you
go to the opera, is it for the music?"

"Only partially, I own: the lights, the scene, the pageant, attract me
quite as much. But I do not think the opera a very profitable pleasure
for either of us. For rich idle people, I dare say, it may be as
innocent an amusement as any other, but I find it a sad enervator."

"And I just the reverse--a horrible, stimulant! Caxton, do you know
that, ungracious as it will sound to you, I am growing impatient of
this 'honourable independence!' What does it lead to?--board, clothes,
and lodging,--can it ever bring me any thing more?"

"At first, Vivian, you limited your aspirations to kid gloves and a
cabriolet--it has brought you the kid gloves already, by-and-by it
will bring the cabriolet!"

"Our wishes grow by what they feed on. You live in the great
world--you can have excitement if you please it--I want excitement, I
want the world, I want room for my mind, man! Do you understand me?"

"Perfectly--and sympathise with you, my poor Vivian; but it will all
come. Patience! as I preached to you while dawn rose so comfortless
over the streets of London. You are not losing time--fill your mind,
read, study, fit yourself for ambition. Why wish to fly till you have
got your wings? Live in books now: after all, they are splendid
palaces, and open to us all, rich and poor."

"Books, books!--ah, you are the son of a bookman! It is not by books
that men get on in the world, and enjoy life in the meanwhile."

"I don't know that; but, my good fellow, you want to do both--get on
in the world as fast as labour can, and enjoy life as pleasantly as
indolence may. You want to live like the butterfly, and yet have all
the honey of the bee; and, what is the very deuce of the whole, even
as the butterfly, you ask every flower to grow up in a moment; and as
a bee, the whole hive must be stored in a quarter of an hour!
Patience, patience, patience!"

Vivian sighed a fierce sigh. "I suppose," said he, after an unquiet
pause, "that the vagrant and the outlaw are strong in me; for I long
to run back to my old existence, which was all action, and therefore
allowed no thought."

While he thus said, we had wandered round the Colonnade, and were in
that narrow passage that runs from Piccadilly into Charles Street, in
which is situated the more private entrance to the opera; and close by
the doors of that entrance, two or three young men were lounging. As
Vivian ceased, the voice of one of these loungers came laughingly to
our ears.

"Oh!" it said, apparently in answer to some question, "I have a much
quicker way to fortune than that; I mean to marry an heiress!"

Vivian started, and looked at the speaker. He was a very good-looking
fellow. Vivian continued to look at him, and deliberately, from head
to foot; he then turned away with a satisfied and thoughtful smile.

"Certainly," said I gravely, (construing the smile,) "you are right
there; you are even better-looking than that heiress-hunter!"

Vivian coloured; but before he could answer, one of the loungers, as
the group recovered from the gay laugh which their companion's easy
coxcombry had excited, said,--

"Then, by the way, if you want an heiress, here comes one of the
greatest in England; but instead of being a younger son, with three
good lives between you and an Irish peerage, one ought to be an earl
at least to aspire to Fanny Trevanion!"

The name thrilled through me--I felt myself tremble--and, looking up,
I saw Lady Ellinor and Miss Trevanion, as they hurried from their
carriage towards the entrance of the opera. They both recognised me,
and Fanny cried,--

"You here! How fortunate! You must see us into the box, even if you
run away the moment after."

"But I am not dressed for the opera," said I, embarrassed.

"And why not?" asked Miss Trevanion; then, dropping her voice, she
added, "Why do you desert us so wilfully?"--and, leaning her hand on
my arm, I was drawn irresistibly into the lobby. The young loungers at
the door made way for us, and eyed me, no doubt, with envy.

"Nay!" said I, affecting to laugh, as I saw Miss Trevanion waited for
my reply. "You forget how little time I have for such amusements
now,--and my uncle--"

"Oh, but mamma and I have been to see your uncle to-day, and he is
nearly well--is he not, mamma? I cannot tell you how I like and admire
him. He is just what I fancy a Douglas of the old day. But mamma is
impatient. Well, you must dine with us to-morrow--promise!--not
_adieu_, but _au revoir_," and Fanny glided to her mother's arm. Lady
Ellinor, always kind and courteous to me, had good-naturedly lingered
till this dialogue, or rather monologue, was over.

On returning to the passage I found Vivian walking to and fro; he had
lighted his cigar, and was smoking energetically.

"So this great heiress," said he smiling, "who, as far as I could
see--under her hood--seems no less fair than rich, is the daughter, I
presume, of the Mr Trevanion whose effusions you so kindly submit to
me. He is very rich, then? You never said so, yet I ought to have
known it: but you see I know nothing of your _beau monde_--not even
that Miss Trevanion is one of the greatest heiresses in England."

"Yes, Mr Trevanion is rich," said I, repressing a sigh--"very rich."

"And you are his secretary! My dear friend, you may well offer me
patience, for a large stock of yours will, I hope, be superfluous to
you."

"I don't understand you."

"Yet you heard that young gentleman as well as myself; and you are in
the same house as the heiress."

"Vivian!"

"Well, what have I said so monstrous?"

"Pooh! since you refer to that young gentleman,--you heard, too, what
his companion told him,--'one ought to be an earl, at least, to aspire
to Fanny Trevanion!'"

"Tut! as well say that one ought to be a _millionnaire_ to aspire to a
million!--yet I believe those who make millions generally begin with
pence."

"That belief should be a comfort and encouragement to you, Vivian. And
now, good-night,--I have much to do."

"Good-night, then," said Vivian, and we parted.

I made my way to Mr Trevanion's house, and to the study. There was a
formidable arrear of business waiting for me, and I sate down to it at
first resolutely; but, by degrees, I found my thoughts wandering from
the eternal blue-books, and the pen slipped from my hand, in the midst
of an extract from a Report on Sierra Leone. My pulse beat loud and
quick; I was in that state of nervous fever which only emotion can
occasion. The sweet voice of Fanny rang in my ears; her eyes, as I had
last met them, unusually gentle--almost beseeching--gazed upon me
wherever I turned; and then, as in mockery, I heard again those
words,--"One ought to be an earl, at least, to aspire to"--Oh! did I
aspire? Was I vain fool so frantic?--household traitor so consummate?
No, no! Then what did I under the same roof?--why stay to imbibe this
sweet poison, that was corroding the very springs of my life? At that
self-question, which, had I been but a year or two older, I should
have asked long before, a mortal terror seized me; the blood rushed
from my heart, and left me cold--icy cold. To leave the house! leave
Fanny!--never again to see those eyes--never to hear that
voice!--better die of the sweet poison than of the desolate exile! I
rose--I opened the windows--I walked to and fro the room: I could
decide nothing--think of nothing; all my mind was in an uproar. With a
violent effort at self-mastery, I approached the table again. I
resolved to force myself to my task, if it were only to re-collect my
faculties, and enable them to bear my own torture. I turned over the
books impatiently, when, lo! buried amongst them, what met my
eye--archly, yet reproachfully? the face of Fanny herself! Her
miniature was there. It had been, I knew, taken a few days before, by
a young artist whom Trevanion patronised. I suppose he had carried it
into his study to examine it, and so left it there carelessly. The
painter had seized her peculiar expression--her ineffable smile--so
charming, so malicious; even her favourite posture,--the small head
turned over the rounded Hebe-like shoulder--the eye glancing up from
under the hair. I know not what change in my madness came over me; but
I sank on my knees, and, kissing the miniature again and again, burst
into tears. Such tears! I did not hear the door open--I did not see
the shadow steal over the floor; a light hand rested on my shoulder,
trembling as it rested. I started--Fanny herself was bending over me!

"What is the matter?" she asked tenderly. "What has happened?--your
uncle--your family--all well? Why are you weeping?"

I could not answer; but I kept my hands clasped over the miniature,
that she might not see what they contained.

"Will you not answer? Am I not your friend?--almost your sister? Come,
shall I call mamma?"

"Yes--yes; go--go."

"No, I will not go yet. What have you there?--what are you hiding?"

And innocently, and sister-like, those hands took mine; and so--and
so--the picture became visible! There was a dead silence. I looked up
through my tears. Fanny had recoiled some steps, and her cheek was
very flushed, her eyes downcast. I felt as if I had committed a
crime--as, if dishonour clung to me; and yet I repressed--yes, thank
Heaven! I repressed the cry that swelled from my heart, that rushed to
my lips--"Pity me, for I love you!" I repressed it, and only a groan
escaped me--the wail of my lost happiness! Then, rising, I laid the
miniature on the table, and said, in a voice that I believe was firm--

"Miss Trevanion, you _have_ been as kind as a sister to me, and
therefore I was bidding a brother's farewell to your likeness; it _is_
so like you--this!"

"Farewell!" echoed Fanny, still not looking up.

"Farewell--_sister_! There--I have boldly said the word; for--for"--I
hurried to the door, and, there turning, added, with what I meant to
be a smile--"for they say at home that I--I am not well; too much for
me this; you know mothers will be foolish; and--and--I am to speak to
your father to-morrow; and--good-night--God bless you, Miss
Trevanion!"



REPUBLICAN FIRST-FRUITS.[10]


  [10] _Jérome Paturot à la Recherche de la Meilleure des Républiques._
  Par LOUIS REYBAUD. Volumes 1 to 3. Paris: 1848.

  _Monsieur Bonardin, ou les Agrémens de la République--Proverbe en
  plusieurs Décades._ Paris: 1848.

When reviewing, in last month's Magazine, the accumulated French
novels of the summer, we reserved two, partly on account of
incompleteness and tardy arrival, but chiefly as worthy of a separate
notice. They belong to a branch of literature not much cultivated in
France of late years, but which revives and flourishes by favour of
recent convulsions, and of the present feverish political atmosphere
of the country. Political satire, even in the gay disguise of fiction,
was not quite a safe venture during the reign of Louis Philippe the
king. Bearing in mind certain arbitrary infractions of the liberty of
the press, it might well have proved a dangerous one under the rule of
Cavaignac the dictator. Nevertheless, here are two books of sharp
jests, that must be caustic to the cuticle of the heroes and votaries
of the republican regime. In style different, their aim is identical:
it is nothing less than an exposure of the faults, follies, and
deceptions of the French republic. One is comedy, the other broad
farce; whilst the latter plunges into burlesque, the former rarely
oversteps the limits of polished satire, and often but faithfully
depicts--with altered names, but with scarcely a touch of
caricature--scenes and personages in the great serio-comic drama
enacting in France since February last. There can be no dispute as to
the comparative merits of the books, nor, indeed, can a comparison be
instituted between them. _Jérome Paturot_ has, in some parts, almost
the weight of history, and it would not be surprising to see it
hereafter so referred to. It is the work of a man of acknowledged
talent, an esteemed and experienced writer, a member of the
legislative chamber both before and since the expulsion of the King of
the French. If occasionally rather diffuse, M. Louis Reybaud is always
witty and shrewd: he is an acute observer; and, to crown our praise,
he is evidently of stanch Tory principles. There is a strong good
sense, a calm contempt of cant and of pseudo-liberalism, a stripping,
whipping, and pickling of humbug, in his _Jérome Paturot_, at any time
agreeable to behold, but peculiarly refreshing just now, by its
contrast with the folly, hypocrisy, and fanaticism of many of his
countrymen. We are glad to find there still are Frenchmen capable of
thinking and writing so soundly and sensibly--a fact which, with every
disposition to judge the nation favourably, recent events have almost
made us doubt. "_Jérome Paturot in quest of the best possible
Republic_" is more than witty, spirited, and amusing. Its strong good
sense and sledge-hammer truths may and must influence, in a right
direction, the minds of many of its French readers. Should any of
these be so obtuse as not fully to appreciate Jérome's sly wit and
pungent epigrams, to them _Monsieur Bonardin_ addresses himself,
secure of comprehension: him every one will understand. The dramatised
narrative of his misadventures, commencing on the morrow of the
republic's proclamation, and comprised in thirteen decades, was
doubtless suggested by the perusal of _Paturot_, and this the
anonymous author tacitly acknowledges, rather than attempts to
conceal. He chooses his hero in the same respectable trade to which
Jérome devoted his time and industry, when the ambitious cravings of
his restless youth had subsided, and before increasing wealth, the
epaulets of a captain of nationals, and the glitter of a
citizen-king's court, turned him from the paths of commerce, to climb
an eminence whence he finally got a fall. Paturot and Bonardin are
both _bonnetiers_, or hosiers--venders of unpoetical white nightcaps,
pointed and tasselled, and of other wares woven of cotton. Either on
account of the prosaic associations suggested by these useful
manufactures, or for some other reason, to us unknown, the _bonnetier_
is a favourite character with French writers when they wish to portray
a good, simple-hearted, steady-going, pusillanimous Parisian burgess.
Bonardin is all this: a bachelor and an epicure, he leads a monotonous
but happy existence in the society of Babet and Criquet, his
housekeeper and clerk; loves his dinner, his bed, and his ease; and,
although a corporal in the national guard, has attained the mature age
of fifty-five in profound ignorance of the process of loading and
firing a musket. In short, he is the last man in the world to make or
meddle with the revolution, whose passive victim, from the mere fact
of his lot being cast in Paris, he unfortunately becomes. Paturot is
another sort of character. Originally simple enough, his wit has been
sharpened by deceptions and reverses. Although to many of our readers
M. Reybaud's former works[11] are already well known, we briefly
sketch, for the use of those who have not met with them, the career of
Jérome Paturot previously to the advent of the republic. Aspiring, as
a young man, to higher occupations than the sale of cottons, he
refused a partnership with his uncle, a thriving hosier, to dabble in
literature, art, journalism, and various unlucky speculations.
Reclaimed at last, he settled down to stockings; married Malvina, a
warm-hearted, ready-witted, high-spirited grisette, who had long
shared his precarious fortunes; throve apace, went to court, was
elected deputy, and at last, by extravagance and mismanagement, found
himself ruined, and was fain to retire into a provincial nook, to
vegetate upon the wretched salary of a petty government appointment.
Here, soured by misfortune, he grumbled himself into republicanism.
But when the republic came, he, the only pure and genuine "republican
of the eve" in the town, was elbowed aside by mushroom "republicans of
the morrow," and deprived of his place; whereupon his wife sent him to
Paris, to recover it or get a better one, and followed him herself,
after bringing about, by an active canvass and clever manœuvres,
the election to the National Assembly of one Simon--an honest,
ignorant miller, with a strong arm, a thick head, and a sonorous
voice--at whose house the Paturots had occasionally paused for
refreshment in their country walks, and through whom Malvina reckons
on advancing her husband's interests, and on commanding a vote in the
Chambers.

  [11] Mill's _Principles of Political Economy_, vol. i. p. 393.

At Paris, Paturot meets an old friend, Oscar, an artist, remarkable
for a large beard and a small talent, and for a vanity that nothing
can intimidate. In his society, and in the intervals of his
place-hunting--to all appearance a fruitless chase--Jérome begins a
course of "Life under the Republic," his rambles and adventures
serving as pegs whereon to hang cutting satire of the anomalies and
absurdities of the new order of things. At first he is greatly struck
by the gay aspect of the town.

"Paris was in continual festival--its busy life exchanged for complete
idleness. Eager for amusement, the crowd quitted the workshop, to pick
and choose amongst the pastimes offered them. These were abundant;
archery, games at the ring, lotteries in the open air--a perpetual
fair. It seemed a new Cocaigne, and a people exempt from all cares for
the future. Happy shepherds! fortunate sheep! Theological
divertisements for those; for these a free field and plenteous
pasture. Thus were the parts distributed in this eclogue worthy of
Gessner. Now and then, it is true, there were a few more fireworks
than were ordered, and some of the illuminations were not quite
spontaneous; but these were imperceptible blemishes in a glorious
picture. In pursuit of an idea, I was tempted to think I had found it
realised on my path without trouble or effort, and as a gift of
circumstances.

"Nevertheless I had my doubts, my fears, that this apparent joy was a
mask to mysterious sufferings. In these joyous cries and bursts of
enthusiasm, there was a something harsh and artificial, which roused
my suspicions. At the bottom of this feverish activity, I sought
labour, serious labour--the health of the soul and the bread of the
body--and I found it not. These men, so ardent in their rejoicings,
daily borrowed from the commonwealth a portion of its substance,
giving nothing in return. Could this last? Did they themselves think
it could? The inquiry was worth making. I addressed myself to persons
of all ranks and classes. The problem was simple enough. If the
republic was really the joy and pride of France, it of course insured
the happiness of individuals."

The result of Jérome's inquiries was that the joy was on the surface,
not in the heart. The spectacle he had before him was the pitiable one
of a people getting drunk upon its own acclamations, raising a
senseless clamour to drown the fiend of misery, which approached their
door with swift and certain step. Already the bony foot of the monster
was on many a threshhold. Paturot questioned a banker. "Alas!" was the
reply,--"see you not what occurs? Twenty first-class banking-houses
unable to meet their engagements; others will follow. Those who
continue to pay decline business and announce their winding up. Before
two months there will be no cashing a bill in all Paris. Every body is
suspected--you, I, the bank, the treasury. Credit is lost, confidence
extinguished." This was discouraging; but Jérome, not satisfied with
one testimony, passed on to a manufacturer. "Manufactures!" said this
man, a republican of the very first water--"you ask the state of
manufactures, citizen! you might as well ask after a dead man's
health. I employed two thousand workmen; now I employ one hundred, and
only for humanity's sake do I keep them. Our country asked us to make
her a present of two hours' work a-day. We sacrificed our interest to
a principle, and did so. But two hours' work is a loss of ten per
cent, and as my average gain was only five, you understand I am
obliged to stop my looms. If the public would pay a better price for
our stuffs, well and good; but there seems little chance of that. Poor
customers, citizen,--a parcel of ruined men. For half-nothing I would
be off to America, with my foremen and my patents." The fundholder's
account of the matter was no better. "Buy my stock?" said he to his
interrogator--"shall have it cheap. My fives cost me 122, and my
threes 84: I had confidence, sir--the word explains every thing. Now
the threes are at 34, and the fives at 50. I have railway shares of
all the lines--Orleans, North, Rouen, &c. God knows the hard cash I
paid for them! To-day they are worth the paper: here they are, blue,
green, and red. I would as soon have shares in the Mississippi. I had
treasury bonds--cash lent, payable at will; I reckoned on it. Door
shut. Come another day, my good man, and we will see what we can do.
If you are in a hurry, go on 'Change. You will get 500 francs for
1000." Heart-sick, Paturot descended the social scale, but the song
was every where the same. "I fought in July and in February," said the
shopkeeper; "I helped to take the Louvre and the Tuileries; I was seen
upon the barricades, musket in hand. What is my reward? a shop full of
goods, and an empty till. For two months past, not a purchaser.
Debtors will not pay, and creditors will be paid." As a last forlorn
hope, Jérome accosted an artisan. "You want to know my opinion,
citizen? You shall have it, in two words. The thing is a failure, and
must be done over again. 'Lend a hand to the Revolution,' they said to
us, 'and this time you shall not be forgotten.' Very good; word
passed, bargain accepted. In a turn of the hand, the thing is done.
Here are your goods, where's your money? There the difficulty began.
'Let us organise labour,' they exclaimed at the Luxembourg. Very well;
organise, citizens--take your time. The workman has his savings, he
will wait. Three days, four days, pass in speeches, embraces, mutual
congratulations. The workman has deputed comrades who sit upon the
benches of the peers; it is always an honour, if it does not fill the
belly. He takes patience, and forgets himself for the general good,
until a voice is heard from the Luxembourg saying, 'We are going to
try to organise labour.' The deuce, says the workman; the first day
they organise, and now they try to organise; that is not like
progress. Meanwhile, he is on the street, more pinched than ever.
Little by little his money goes, and his credit too. He returns to his
workshop; door shut, nothing doing. He tries another; same answer.
Whilst they 'tried to organise,' work had disappeared. I am
wrong--nominal work was still to be had--alms in the guise of labour.
Sooner break my arm than have recourse to it."

The reader will recognise in these passages exact statements of facts.
The artisan's last reference is, of course, to the national workshops,
whither we shall presently accompany M. Reybaud's hero. The disease of
the social body, of which Paturot's inquiries gave him warning, soon
became too prevalent for concealment; and, as usual in such cases, a
host of quacks started up, puffing their panaceas. This, however, was
not till the self-appointed, but more regular physicians of the
Republic had made desperate attempts at a cure. Attempts and
quackeries were alike recorded in the journals of the day. M. Reybaud
writes a chronicle, and deserves our gratitude for its lucid and
pointed style. The first prescription of the lawful practitioner was a
national loan, to be subscribed at par. On reflection, however, the
drug was thought too expensive, the electuary did not advance beyond
the state of a project, and, of course, the patient was no better. The
next remedy was a wooden one, but none the worse for that. "It was
resolved to apply to the diseased organs a portion of the
crown-forests, millions of ash and birch trees--antiquated elms, and
historical limes--all the vegetable riches of the country! What
treasury would not be saved at this price? The responsible doctor
could not doubt success; he hugged himself for the bright idea. Well!
heaven, jealous of his genius, frustrated his combinations.
Unfortunately, the forests could not be applied to the patient's
relief in their natural state. The ash-trees positively refused to
enter the public cash-box in the form of an essence; the birches were
equally obstinate, the elms no less so. It was necessary to transmute
them into metal, and there was the difficulty. With time, the thing
might have been done; but what avails distant succour to a dying man?"
Other plans were then suggested; decree followed decree with startling
rapidity, but without avail; distress gained ground, and the crisis
reached its height. Entire streets closed their shops and
counting-houses. Time-honoured names found their way into the gazette;
some of their owners nobly sustaining the shock, others yielding to
despair and rushing to suicide. It was a frightful and unexpected
scene of ruin, which surprised the financial world in the midst of the
abuse of credit, and of a fever of speculation.

"How arrest the evil? What dyke oppose to this growing devastation?
There was no lack of saviours--they swarmed; nor of miraculous
plans--the walls were covered with them. Every day hundreds of
individuals presented themselves, offering to contract with the
country for a supply of felicity. In their eyes, all this misfortune
was but a mistake; to remedy it they had sure balsams and magic
charms. It was a new profession that suddenly started up, that of
saviour of the country, with or without government guarantee."

The quacks were the leaders of the clubs, several of which were
visited by Oscar and Paturot; and Jérome was surprised to find how
little freedom of discussion was allowed amongst men professing
universal equality. Contradiction to the great orator of the hour and
place was usually a signal for the expulsion of the rash offender,
unless the follower of Fourier interposed, and expressed his
willingness to enter the lists of argument. Cabet and the Icarians are
capitally shown up. At the end of the discussion, which more resembled
a lecture, the pontiff of the community produced a packet of letters,
received from the colony where his Utopian schemes were to be carried
out, and read extracts to his admiring auditors, interlarding them
with reflections of his own. "Father," the despatch began, "all goes
well; fraternity intoxicates us. We cannot sleep at night for the
mosquitoes; but, like every thing else, these insects are in common:
that thought consoles us."

'Poor dear children!'

"We have been visited by a great drought; it was common to us all.
Grass failed for the flocks, and meat for man. But with fraternity all
is light--even our diet. Yesterday morning we went to draw water from
the Tair. The river was dry; we got nothing but locusts."

'Divine! pastoral! like a page of the Bible.'

"To-day a tribe of Sioux paid us a neighbourly visit. We invited them
to join our brotherhood. They scalped two of our brethren. Father,
this concerns us greatly. Two scalped and the others not. Where is the
equality? They should have scalped us all."

'Touching scruple!'

"You are expected here with the liveliest impatience, and will be
received with open arms. We run short of shirts; hasten to send us
some, or we shall find ourselves in the condition of a primitive
people. Father, bless your children.

                  "THE COLONY OF THE TAIR."

       *       *       *       *       *

There is more caricature in this than M. Reybaud generally permits
himself. The reading of the despatch from the communist pioneers was
followed by a collection, whose announcement nearly cleared the room,
and whose result was pitifully small, the enthusiasm of the assembly
having expired upon the road from the lips to the pocket. Jérome
departed in disgust. He was scarcely better pleased at the next club
he visited, whose orator harped perpetually upon one string, whence it
was impossible to detach him. "Let us associate all men's capital,
labour, and talent," said he emphatically. "It is the salvation and
reconciliation of all interests." Jérome, who had always disliked
"those sententious aphorisms which resemble pompous signs before empty
shops," could not forbear an interruption, and requested the speaker
to explain his words. But it was impossible to drag the socialist from
his formula. His reply was a repetition of the same nonsense in other
words. "Do what I would, I could not detach him from these
common-place and pompous generalities. A controversy ensued, and I
tried to bring it round to the boreal crown and the cardinal aromas.
He refused to follow; and at last, finding himself hard pressed, he
made me the offer of a ministry of progress. If there had been no
door, I certainly should have jumped out of window." After a visit to
Louis Blanc at the Luxembourg, Paturot repaired to the national
workshops, whose administration occupied the park and pavilions of
Monceaux.

"The following problem being given:--How to realise the least possible
work with the greatest possible number of workmen;

"And supposing it is desired to discover the institution, existing or
to exist, which shall most completely fulfil the end proposed;

"The solution will necessarily be--

                        THE NATIONAL WORKSHOP.

"Never perhaps did a fact of this nature present itself, especially
with such proportions. Before us, it had occurred to no one to
confound alms with work. Nobody ever thought of cloaking alms with the
appearance of a useless labour. In a few individual cases of misery,
this way of concealing the donor's hand may leave some illusion to him
who receives; but the assistance afforded by the public treasury to an
entire army, to a hundred thousand men, admits of no doubt as to its
nature. It is nothing more or less than English pauperism in the
rudimental state."

Jérome had heard Oscar speak of these national workshops, one of whose
brigades contained, according to the artist's account, the flower of
Parisian society--five sculptors, twelve painters, and a whole company
of authors. One of the sculptors had fixed his own task at twenty-five
pebbles a-day. Monday he carried them from right to left; on Tuesday
from left to right, and so on. The twenty-five pebbles had already
brought him in seventy-five francs, three francs a pebble, and in time
he hoped to get them up to a napoleon a-piece. Each workman received
two francs a-day when employed; one franc when idle. Eight francs
a-week were guaranteed to him, at work or not. Paturot, who doubted
Master Oscar's details, resolved to use his own eyes, and set out for
Monceaux. The gates were besieged by discontented workmen, clamorous
to see the director, who was in no haste to show himself. Work was the
cry, on account of the additional franc gained by a day of nominal
labour. And work there was none for three-fourths of the sixty
thousand men (subsequently 120,000) then upon the roll of the national
workshops. And even when the director, to save the park gates from
destruction, made his appearance and heard their complaints, they
still were hard to please. They would find terrace-making at the Champ
de Mars:--they were tired of that. They might break stones at
Asnières;--many thanks; it spoiled their hands. Would they condescend
to plant early potatoes in the fields of St Maur? They should have the
eating of them when ripe. The offer was treated with contempt. At last
they were suited. A nurseryman at Ville d'Avray was to deliver a lot
of saplings to plant upon the Boulevards, in lieu of those trees
planted after the revolution of 1830, which just began to afford an
appearance of shade when they were swept away by that of 1848. It was
a pleasant walk to Ville d'Avray, across the Bois de Boulogne and by
St Cloud; and the national workmen set out, two hundred and fifty in
number. The nurseryman was astounded at their arrival. He had already
hired two carts, for fifteen francs, to convey the two hundred and
fifty acacias, which were carefully packed in mould and matting. Torn
from their envelopes, they were shouldered by the workmen. On the way
back to Paris, rain came on, and at Sevres a halt was called: the
trees were piled by the roadside, and the bearers crowded the
wine-houses. Paturot and Oscar, who had accompanied them on their
walk, entered the tavern patronised by Comtois and Percheron, in whom
M. Reybaud typifies the Parisian populace. Comtois was a giant, strong
as a horse, and gentle as a lamb; Percheron, weaker of arm, was
stronger of head, and far more glib of tongue. "The one represented
the strength and goodness of the people, the other its turbulence and
causticity." One was resistance, the other restless progress. These
two men, who thereafter frequently figure in the book, attracted
Paturot's particular attention. A few bottles of wine won their
hearts; they proposed his health, and offered to elect him deputy at
the next election. Speeches followed, and bitter complaints of a
government that neglected the workman. Percheron was then called upon
for a song, and gave parodies of the _Marseillaise_ and of the _Mourir
pour la Patrie_, which he converted into _Nourris par la Patrie_. When
he came to the last couplet of the _Marseillaise_, his comrades called
out for the flag accompaniment.

"'As at the _Français_, Percheron! as at the _Français_!

"'Really! What epicures! Nothing but the best will serve you, it
seems. Well, my boys, you shall be satisfied.'

"At the same time he arranged a couple of napkins in the fashion of a
flag, draping himself with them picturesquely; then, rolling his eyes
in their orbits, he threw himself on his knees, and assumed the airs
of a Pythoness who has diligently studied posture before her mirror."

The parodies, rich in thieves' slang, at an end, and the bottles
empty, the grateful pensioners of the national workshops resumed their
march, cutting practical jokes, and cudgel-playing with the acacias,
which were considerably deteriorated by the proceeding. "Such," says
Jérome Paturot, "was the end of this memorable day, during which Oscar
and myself were enabled to appreciate a national workshop and the
services it rendered. The account was easily made up. Two hundred and
fifty men had carried two hundred and fifty saplings. Two francs for
each man's day's work, and three francs for each acacia, made five
hundred francs on the one hand, and seven hundred and fifty on the
other. Total cost, twelve hundred and fifty francs. Not one of the
plants survived the consequences of the breakfast, notwithstanding
which there was the expense of planting them, and afterwards that of
digging them up. Double work, double charges. Such were the national
workshops; such the profits of the institution."

The allusion in the tavern-scene to Mademoiselle Rachel is not the
only cut administered by M. Reybaud to the tragedy-queen of the French
republican stage.

Jérome and Oscar, strolling one evening down the Rue Richelieu, found
a crowd at the theatre doors. The Provisional Government treated the
people to the play. The whole mass of tickets was divided amongst the
twelve mayors of Paris, who distributed them in their _arrondissements_.
But somehow or other a considerable number had got into the hands of
the ticket merchants, and for twenty francs Paturot and his companion
obtained a couple of stalls. The play over, the hour of the
_Marseillaise_ arrived.

"The tragedian approached the foot-lamps, a tricoloured flag in her
hand. Her manner of singing the republican hymn at once carried away
and revolted the hearer. It was like the roar of the lioness urging
her male to the combat. The tone was not of our period; its energy and
ferocity had no sufficient motive. It breathed vengeance--where was
the injury to revenge? conquest--and where the territory to conquer?
Even as an artistical study, the effect should have been more
measured, more restrained. That effect was nevertheless great, and was
felt by every one in the theatre. Under the flash of that glance and
the power of that voice, a sort of low shuddering ran along the
benches, and was broken only by a universal acclamation. The
enthusiasm sustained itself thus to the last couplet, which was of
itself a scene and a _tableau_."

The song over, a workman in a blouse leaped upon the stage, bent his
knee before the actress, and presented her with a bouquet of choice
flowers and a paper. The manager, at the demand of the audience, read
the latter aloud. It was the following acrostic in honour of Rachel:--

    R eine de l'empire magique,
    A vous ce don de l'ouvrier;
    C harmez-nous par votre art magique,
    H éroïne au royal cimier,
    E t chantez d'un accent guerrier
    L' hymne ardent de la république.

This apropos piece of gallantry drew down thunders of applause, to
which the members of the Provisional Government there present
contributed their share. But Paturot had recognised, to his great
surprise, in the bouquet-bearer, the smart young scamp of whom he had
purchased his admission, and whom he had noticed as being evidently a
leading character amongst the not very reputable fraternity of
ticket-mongers. Curious to penetrate the secret of his sudden
metamorphosis, he followed him, and overheard his conversation with
his colleagues. The bouquet had cost fifty francs, the acrostic five,
flowers of literature being cheaper under the republic than those of
the hothouse. Mitouflet's comrades are bewildered by his extravagance,
until he divulges the secret that--government pays. "Happy nation!"
exclaims Jérome, "whom a benevolent government finds in bread and
tragedies! What more can it desire?"

No class of society escapes M. Reybaud's satire. Under the title of
"The Victims of Events," he devotes a chapter to the authors, artists,
and actors whom the revolution has deprived of bread. They deserve
their fate, he maintains; they have abandoned the true for the worship
of false gods, they have dealt in maleficent philters instead of
wholesome medicines; they have used their power to mislead and
corrupt, not to guide and rightly direct, those who pinned their faith
on their performances. They were mischievous quacks, not conscientious
physicians. The literary sufferers are the first whom he exhibits.
"Some employed history as a die, and struck with it a coin of very
base metal." Take that, M. Dumas. "Others fomented violent instincts
in the bosom of the masses, and invited them to sacrilegious revolts,
exhibiting only the impurities of civilisation, and conducting the
people to anger by the road of disgust." This, we need hardly say, is
levelled at the Sue school. But the names of these men, one day so
loud in the ears of the multitude, the next were drowned in the tumult
of revolutions. "To fill the cup of bitterness to the brim, it was not
honour alone that remained on this calamitous field of battle. The
bank-notes shared the same fate. Who would have predicted this, in
those opulent days, when a piece of gold was found at the end of
every line, like the natural product of a seemingly inexhaustible
mine? Who would have foretold it in those hours of success, amidst the
intoxications of luxury, and in the indulgence of a thousand caprices
worthy an Eastern prince? Every road was then strewed with emeralds,
every path covered with rubies. There was no style of living that
Imagination, with its fairy fingers, could not sustain. She gave her
favourites every thing--coaches and lackeys, open house, and a
prince's retinue. How remote is that happy time! What a falling off in
that Asiatic existence! Where are the emeralds? where the rubies? The
bank-note is a figment; gold a chimera. Money and glory have gone down
into the same tomb.... But the man of style was not easy to vanquish.
He braved neglect, and, deeming himself a necessary element in the
world's economy, he set to work again--only, following the example of
the modern divinities, he took care to transform himself. Hitherto,
politics had appeared to him of secondary importance, and he had
abandoned them to colourists of an inferior grade. Events had rendered
them worthy of the great pens of the age. 'Aha!' said the man of
style--'Aha! they force us to it: very well, they shall see. We lived
quietly in the sanctuary of art, asking but sequins and perfumes of
the external world. Provided the sherbet was cool and the amber
bright, what cared we for the rest? But now they besiege us in our
favourite asylum. Distress is at the door, pressing and menacing. To
arms, then, to institute a new system of politics.' And the man of
style entered the arena of politics, ferula in hand, and spur on
heel." But only to encounter a lamentable break-down. It is pretty
evident whom M. Reybaud had in view when making this sketch, here
greatly abridged, but which is very exact and amusing in its details,
and must be particularly gratifying to Alexander Dumas. He then takes
up the painters, and exposes the system of mutual puffing and hired
criticism. The comedian has his turn: "But lately he reigned and laid
down the law. Each note of his voice was a priceless treasure; his
gestures were current coin. For him the bank had not enough notes, nor
fame enough trumpets. The mob crowded round him, when he walked
abroad, as round a prince of the blood. Vienna and Petersburg disputed
him; the two worlds were his domain. How believe that such an idol
should one day be hurled from his pedestal? Nevertheless it came to
pass. He beheld vacant benches and an empty treasury. He had been
improvident, and misery sat down by his hearth. Perhaps he then
remembered how he had defied fate, and squandered wealth; how he had
abused every thing--his health and his talent, the public and himself.
Had he not given into that vein of falsehood and monstrosity, which
made the theatre a school of perversity, and art an instrument of
disorder? Had he not degraded the stage by creakings of snuff-boxes
and misplaced hiccups? Had he not ridiculed, in a celebrated type,
instincts the most sacred and worthy of respect? Such excesses escape
not punishment." There is much truth in this. But is it a fact, that
Frederick Lemaitre (here evidently selected as the type of his
profession) has thus suddenly lost his popularity and sunk into
poverty? The last time we saw his name in a French theatrical
feuilleton, his successful appearance in a new piece was recorded. Has
he not also, since the revolution, drawn crowds to witness his
performance of Robert Macaire, the piece to which M. Reybaud more
particularly alludes, and which was prohibited under the monarchy,
because Lemaitre, in acting the part of the swindler Robert, used to
make himself up to resemble Louis Philippe, and introduced unpleasant
hits at the King of the French? There is no question, however, that
Lemaitre is an instance of the prostitution of great talents. With
more respect for himself and for the public, he might have aspired to
a high place in the profession, with one of whose lower walks he has
all his life remained contented.

Meanwhile, secret hands were at work preparing a movement, of which
the national workshop was to be the chief instrument. One morning,
when stone-breaking at the Porte Maillot, Percheron took Comtois
aside to inform him that the clubs had decided on an outbreak. Comtois
does not at first relish the idea, and is anxious to return to his
hammer and pebbles, but Percheron, who, by reason of his superior
intelligence, is one of six workmen to whom the plan has been
communicated, bewilders the simple giant by the sunny prospects he
exposes. This time it is the people who will reap the profits of the
revolution. No more kid gloves and varnished boots; the blouse will be
the passport to the good things of this life. No more wages. All
Frenchmen are to be partners. An immense association; real equality;
the workman well dressed, well fed, well housed, and always with
twenty-five francs in his pocket, guaranteed by the state. The
_bourgeois_, the rich man, is to be entirely abolished. Under pain of
death, no one is to have more than a hundred francs in his possession.
Costly furniture, plate, carriages, liveries, fine houses, jewellery,
statues, pictures--all are to be suppressed. Poor stupid Comtois,
venturing to inquire what will become of servants, jewellers,
coach-makers, &c., &c., is forthwith snubbed by his smarter comrade.
"They will do something else; there is to be work for every body." The
communists have found an apt scholar in Percheron. Comtois reflects,
admits they can always break stones, and agrees to place himself, upon
the following Monday, at the orders of the conspirators. Upon that day
(the famous 15th May) the fate of the Poles is to be discussed in the
National Assembly; and, under colour of a demonstration in their
favour, a clean sweep is to be made of the representatives of the
people.

There had been so much talk about this debate, that Madame Paturot
resolved to witness it, and by great exertions she obtained a ticket.
She could no longer reckon on Simon for admission, the ungrateful
miller having passed over to the enemy, and yielded himself captive to
the fleshpots and flatteries of the "Provisional." Jérome, who had a
presentiment of danger, urged her not to go, the more so as she would
have to go alone, for he could get no order. But the exgrisette, all
courage and confidence, laughed at the notion of danger, despised
caution, and betook herself to the Chamber. Paturot and Oscar
sauntered on the Boulevards. Nothing indicated a disturbance, until
they reached the Porte St Denis. There the scene changed as suddenly
as at shifter's whistle. A multitude of heads covered the Boulevard,
green branches forming above them an undulating canopy of verdure. The
throng moved steadily in one direction: songs and cries broke from its
bosom. The name of Poland was predominant. Oscar caught the infection
and repeated the cry, "_Vive la Pologne!_" In vain Paturot
remonstrated. The artist's beard bristled with excitement. He had
passed seven years of his childhood in the same room with a portrait
of Poniatowski taking his famous leap into the Elster. After that,
would Jérome have him forget Poland? Forbid it, heaven! And "_Vive la
Pologne!_" "The column advanced, with its leafy trophies--the clubs,
the national workshops, (Comtois and Percheron in the van,) with flags
and banners, cards in their hatbands, and other rallying signs. There
was a certain degree of order. Here and there, at street corners, were
seen the great leaders of the manifestation, presidents of clubs, or
persons to whom captivity had given celebrity, encouraging their men
by word and gesture, now by a short speech, or apropos cheer, then by
a shake of the hand. Oscar knew all these heroes of revolt, these
princes of the prison." And knowing them, the impetuous artist was at
least convinced that Poland was only the pretext. He ceased his
ill-advised hurras, and resumed the part of a mere observer. As the
column advanced, the shops shut. The air was full of menacing sounds.
Thousands of Poles and Italians, bearing the banners of their
respective countries, joined the mob. Uniforms abounded, officers'
epaulets were not rare: even those corps charged with the police of
the city contributed their quota to the concourse. The multitude
pressed forward with the confidence of people who dispose of an
empire. The chiefs of the insurrection were not men to enter the field
unadvisedly, and their countenances betrayed a consciousness of
strength. Their passage afforded evidence of a vast complicity. They
advanced, without obstacle or impediment, even to the very doors of
the Assembly. A few bayonets upon the bridge leading to the palace
were overthrown in an instant, and the building was forthwith
surrounded by furious groups. The gates were burst by Comtois and his
companions: the Assembly was invaded. "A shameful page in our
history!" exclaims M. Reybaud. "A sad and fatal commencement! Time
itself cannot efface the stain. Upon the roll of history will remain
recorded the fact, worthy of a barbarian horde, that, during three
hours, an Assembly, chosen by the voices of the whole nation, was left
exposed, defenceless, to the outrages of turbulent scholars, and to
the contact of impure adventurers."

Uneasy about his wife, Jérome Paturot tried to enter the house, but
one of the insurgents replaced the usual guardian of the gate, and
demanded the card of his club. No admission without proof of his
belonging to the Droits de l'Homme, or the Conservatory, or the Palais
National. So Jerome waited outside. Suddenly a cry was raised, "To the
Hotel de Ville!" and there was an instant rush in that direction.
Oscar, who hitherto had watched for Malvina at one entrance of the
Chamber, whilst his friend stood sentry at the other, could resist no
longer. He had a relapse of the revolutionary vertigo.

"To the Hotel de Ville!" shouted the mob.

"Hurra for the Hotel de Ville!" repeated Oscar. "It is not exactly the
way to the land of the Jagellons; but what matter? What a curious
people! Nothing will serve them but to take the Hotel de Ville every
week."

And away went Oscar to share in the capture. The rescue had come, and
the mob was expelled from the Chamber. Jérome, who could see nothing
of Malvina, returned to his lodgings in great alarm. After a while a
porter brings him a letter. It is from Madame Paturot, giving, in the
well-known _grisette_-dialect, an account of her adventures, written
down in the interval between the expulsion of the rioters and the
resumption of the sitting. It is about ten times as long as could be
written in the time, but it is necessary to narrate what passed within
the Chamber, as well as what occurred without; and no one is more
capable than Malvina. In her picturesque and popular style, she gives
a graphic bulletin of the strange events she has witnessed. The
recital acquires additional interest, when we remember that M. Reybaud
is a member of the Assembly, and was doubtless present at the scene
described. After a certain amount of satirical gossip touching the
appearance of the Assembly, dress of the members, and the like,
Malvina proceeds to _the_ event of the day: "A black-coated orator
occupied the tribune, recalling the memories of the Empire, and
dwelling warmly on the exploits of the Polish lancers, when a
formidable noise made itself heard. It seemed to come sometimes from
without, sometimes from beneath the ground. I began to think coiners
had established themselves in the palace vaults, or that the Allies
had re-entered Paris to blow up the bridge of Jena. The noise had
nothing sustained or regular,--it was in great bursts, followed by
sudden silence. It is best to tell things as they are, my dear; no use
flattering people. The first impression the Assembly experienced was
disagreeable enough: there were some of the elect of the people, who
may not have admitted it to themselves, but who would have liked to be
elsewhere. A mere matter of preference! A deputy is a man, after all,
and the roar at the door of the palace had nothing very soothing.
However, the first emotion did not last; the sentiment of duty
overcame it. They sat down and waited the event. I don't deny they
listened less to Poland than to what passed outside, but their bearing
was becoming, and their countenance good. You may believe me, for I am
a judge."

Presently crash went the door, and there entered a legion of ruffians
in blouses. The spectators' galleries and the body of the house were
alike invaded. All the doors gave way, and the Chamber was thronged.
The atmosphere was infected by the obscene multitude, reeking with
wine and tobacco. Filthy flags were waved over the heads of the
deputies. The vilest language was heard; the utmost confusion
prevailed; not one of the intruders seemed to know why he was there,
or what he came to do. The president was under a kind of arrest,
guarded on one side by an artillery-man with drawn sabre, on the
other by a ruffian dressed as a workman; and every moment the banners
of the clubs were waved over his head. Sometimes he was almost pushed
out of his arm-chair by the popular orators, who got astride upon its
back, or stood upon his table. "The representatives," Madame Paturot
speaks, "kept their seats, and did the Roman senator very tolerably.
The rioters did not meddle much with them, except with two or three,
who had scuffles with the insurgent leaders. Simon was one of those.
His seat was under the gallery, and an insurgent, risking a perilous
leap from the elevation, alighted upon his shoulders. Our miller was
not accustomed to such treatment. A sack of flour--well and good; but
a man was too much. He took this one by the collar, and shook him
nearly to death. The fellow bellowed for assistance, but Simon's
strength deterred interference, and the affair went no further. Others
of the elect of the people were less fortunate, and received at the
hands of their constituents a new baptism, not prescribed by the
constitution. What then, Jerome? Who loves well chastises well. Thus
did these sovereigns of the street testify their affection." The
orator's tribune was besieged by the chiefs of the insurrection--all
anxious to speak. It was continually assaulted and taken; one speaker
pulled down, and another taking his place, to be, in his turn,
expelled. Those who succeeded in making themselves heard, proposed
absurdities. One clamoured for Poland; another would levy an impost of
a thousand millions, to be paid by the rich; a third declared a
traitor to his country whosoever should cause the drums to beat alarm;
a fourth notified to the Assembly that it was then and there
dissolved. This last announcement raised a hurricane. "The mob no
longer shouted--it roared. The president still protesting, his
arm-chair was carried by assault. In an instant every thing was swept
away. The _bureau_ of the Assembly was filled with workmen, who
assumed heroic postures, stamped upon and broke every thing. The
representatives could do nothing in this scene of devastation. One by
one they retired. The clubs remained masters of the field of battle,
and the Red banner floated in the hall. The scene attained the utmost
height of confusion. The clubs had the power, or thought they had, but
knew not what to do with it. Lists were made out, and again destroyed.
Names were proclaimed, and forthwith hissed. It was the Tower of
Babel. Who can say how it would have ended but for the interference of
the _mobile_? Brave _mobile_! At the very moment they were least
expected, their drums resounded close at hand." The sound was enough
for the rioters, who ran in every direction, and in ten minutes the
hall was clear. Malvina subjoins her indignant reflections on these
extraordinary scenes, casts a considerable deal of dirt upon the
beards of the Provisional Government, and is curious to know what sort
of fricassee Buonaparte would have made of such a set of braggarts and
incapables.

Madame Paturot had borne herself with her accustomed valour in the
midst of the scuffle, and was then under Simon's protection. Jerome,
no longer anxious on her account, is about to retire to rest, when a
tremendous noise is heard on the staircase, and Oscar rushes in,
imploring shelter and concealment, and declaring himself a state
criminal. He had been to the Hotel de Ville with the insurgents;
Percheron and Comtois had recognised him, and, in memory of his having
stood treat at Ville d'Avray, had elected him general on the spot. The
Hotel de Ville taken, it was necessary to appoint a government. A
party of workmen established themselves in a sumptuous saloon, on
velvet cushions and rich carpets, to deliberate on this important
point. Percheron had his list cut and dried in his head. It was heard
with acclamation, at once adopted, and inscribed upon a slate hung
against the wall. The three first names ran thus:--

    OSCAR, President of the Council.
    PERCHERON, Minister of Finance.
    COMTOIS, Minister at War.

Surprised by the national guards just after the issue of a decree
providing for its personal comforts, the new government was suddenly
broken up. Assisted by Comtois, who forced two or three doors with his
shoulder, Oscar escaped, pursued by horrible visions of an army of
police on his track, of capture, a dungeon, or perhaps the scaffold.
With the greatest difficulty Paturot persuades him that his retreat is
not an object of diligent inquiry on the part of the executive, and
that, during the day's brief anarchy, too many lists of new
governments have been drawn up for particular attention to be paid to
that, at whose head figures the name of the crack-brained artist. As a
good precaution, however, he advises Oscar to shave his beard and his
head, and take a course of cold douches, measures calculated to
mislead as to his identity, and to calm the effervescence of his
ideas.

But Oscar is incorrigible. A mob is for him an irresistible magnet. He
must join it, and, having joined it, he must swell the cry for the
crotchet of the hour. For a time (a _long_ time Paturot calls it, in
consideration of the popular fickleness) the republic had been the
ruling mania, and held undisputed sway with the multitude. Alone she
waved her banners to the breeze, and filled the air with clamour,
defying opposition. Suddenly a new sound was borne upon the gale, an
echo of military glories not yet forgotten; a new standard was
unfurled, inscribed with the names of Austerlitz and Jena. "The Empire
raised its head; it had its emblems and its rallying-cries; it had
also its candidates. The manifestation was sudden as it was
unexpected. It had been thought that the Old Guard and the Emperor
were done with: the latter slept under the granite of the Invalids;
the former, sculptured on the Vendôme column, mounted spirally towards
heaven. Dear and sacred memories! why disturb you by absurd
pretensions? Why load you with the responsibility of ridiculous
enterprises? Your greatest honour, your highest title, is your
isolation in history, detached from past and future, like a terrible
and luminous meteor." The people did not reason thus. They wanted
change, a new toy, no matter what. Every night, from eight to ten,
crowds assembled on the boulevard near the gates of St Denis and St
Martin, (the old resort of the disaffected,) and animated discussions
went on. Groups were formed, orators stood forth, the throng
increased, the circulation was impeded, until at last the armed force
appeared and the mob dispersed. For some time this was the order of
every night. "Revolutionary emotions yielded the ground to imperial
emotions. Vincennes was eclipsed by the fort of Ham. Was it
calculation or impulse? Perhaps both: calculation on the part of the
chiefs, impulse and enthusiasm on that of the people. Strange people,
lovers of noise and gunpowder, who rush into the street without a
motive, and fight to the death ignorant why or wherefore!"

Oscar was easily seized by the imperial mania. His dreams were of
dinners at the sovereign's table, of the run of the palace, princely
estates, and diamond snuff-boxes. According to him, art had never
received such patronage as from Napoleon: and he greatly distressed
and alarmed his friend Jérome, by spouting under gas-lamps
highly-coloured harangues concerning the marvels of the imperial
palace, and of the King of Rome's baptism. As Paturot drags him away
one evening from his _al-fresco_ audience, they are followed and
accosted by Comtois, who carries them off to a wine-house, to make an
important communication to the general, as he persists in calling
Oscar since the memorable day at the Hotel de Ville. The Emperor, he
solemnly and mysteriously informs the friends, has arrived in Paris.
His exact whereabout in the capital is not known. Some say he is in
the _lanterne_ at the Pantheon, examining the city with his telescope;
others are positive he has gone down into the Catacombs at the head of
42,000 Indians: but the general opinion, according to Comtois, is,
that he has a plan for reducing Paris in three minutes by the clock.
Comtois is of such evident good faith, that Paturot tries to undeceive
him, telling him the Emperor is dead. Thereupon the giant smiles
contemptuously, and, when Jérome persists, he looks upon him with
suspicion. Then he condescends to give the reason of his credulity.
His father had served in the dragoons of the Empress, and had stood
sentry a hundred times at Napoleon's door, had followed him to the
wars, had never left him, in short. "Comtois,"--these had been his
last words to his son--"when they tell you the Emperor is dead, answer
at once 'It is a lie of the enemy. The English spread the report; it
is their interest to do so.' Yes, my son, though you be alone and
unsupported, always maintain he is _not_ dead, and add that he will
come back. In the court-yard of Fontainebleau he promised us he would,
and he has never broken his promise."--"You understand, general,"
concluded Comtois to Oscar; "after that, there is not a word to be
said. What can you have stronger than that?--a dragoon of the Empress,
a mustache that grew gray in the service of the Emperor. It is
authentic, at any rate." In the midst of this curious conversation, a
private cab drives up to the door, and a gentleman sends in for
Comtois, who presently returns, his face beaming with joy. The Emperor
has inquired after him--after him, Comtois, native of Baume-les-Dames,
son of a dragoon of the Empress! Who would not fight for such a man?
Comtois is ready to empty his veins in his service. In a few days the
coronation will take place--the Pope will come to Rheims on
purpose--the Emperor has one thousand five hundred millions in his
pocket to distribute to the needy, and has decided there shall be no
more poor. All opposition will be in vain. Comtois is well assured
England will scatter gold in Paris to raise opponents to Napoleon; but
what then?--the imperialists are not without means of stimulating the
people. And thereupon Comtois, after assuring himself there are no
eavesdroppers, draws from under his blouse--a magnificent stuffed
eagle. With this on the top of a flagstaff, and his father's uniform
on his back, Comtois feels himself invincible. Paturot is unfeeling
enough to inquire if he proposes exhibiting it for money. Comtois
indignantly repudiates the idea. "It is our banner, sir," he says;
"our banner for the great day. By it the sons of the Empire will be
recognised. See the noble bird, the glorious fowl! I have already cut
a pole to stick it upon. As to the tricolor flag, every body has got
that. One government hands it over to another. But the eagle! the
eagle is not so easily tamed; it has but one master, and that is the
Emperor. The Emperor is come back, it is the eagle's turn!"

And Comtois departed, ready to brave any odds on behalf of his
Emperor, and under shadow of the eagle's wing. "We have seen," says M.
Reybaud, "how he understood the plot in which he was associated. This
illusion was common at the time. More than one Parisian artisan, more
than one villager of western France, believed he deposited in the
electoral urn a vote in favour of the Emperor. The name preserved all
its _prestige_, but did not delegate it. The inheritance was too heavy
to support. It resembled the iron crown; none might touch it with
impunity. There was much obscurity and misconception in what then
occurred; more than one appeal was made to ignorance and credulity.
The stuffed eagle had found a victim, the living eagle made others.
Ambition played its part, and more than one personage beheld, in the
perspective of the plot, visions of grand-crosses and senatorships."

We find M. Reybaud too veracious, in other parts of the book, to cast
a doubt on his assertion that, in the year 1848, and in Paris, after
Napoleon's coffin has been opened at Courbevoie, and his corpse
deposited in the church of the Invalids, there still are to be found
men sufficiently stupid and credulous to believe the Emperor alive,
and to await his return. In the provinces, and especially in those
most remote from the capital, we know, from actual observation, that
within a very few years the Emperor's existence was an article of
faith with thousands, who, like Comtois, looked upon the report of his
death as a mere invention of the enemy. Although the imperial veterans
are now scarcely more plentiful in France than the Peninsular heroes
in this country, there still remain a sprinkling, who infect their
children and grandchildren with their own superstitious fancies
regarding Napoleon. The lower classes of provincial Frenchmen are not
remarkable for intelligence, and they receive the traditions of the
_vieux de l'Empire_, collected under the summer-porch, and in the
winter-night's gossip, with a sort of semi-credence which a trifling
corroborative circumstance ripens into implicit belief. The mutilated,
red-ribboned relic of the Grande Armée, who tells, from beneath the
shadow of the domestic vine, or from the bench at the _auberge_ door,
such thrilling tales of past campaigns, of Austerlitz' glory and
Moscow's snows, shakes his gray head doubtingly when he hears it said
that Napoleon has perished, a captive and in solitude, on a rock of
the distant ocean. The gesture is not lost on the gaping bumpkins, who
greedily devour the old man's reminiscences. They muse on the matter
whilst tracing the next morning's furrow, or perhaps, taken next day
by the greedy conscription, they meet, at the regiment, some ancient
corporal who confirms the impression they have received. The
traditions of the barrack-room are all imperial; how should they be
otherwise? Were not those the days when every recruit went to battle
with a marshal's baton in his havre-sack,--when no rank, honours, or
riches were beyond the grasp of the daring and fortunate soldier? The
six years' service expires; the soldier returns to his plough--an
election arrives, the name of Napoleon is every where placarded--interested
persons tell the newly-fledged voter, as the gentleman in the cab told
Comtois, that the _Petit Tondu_ has returned to France. The
_soldat-laboureur_, whose prejudices are much strengthened, and his
intelligence but little brightened, by his term of military service,
doubts, hopes, is bewildered, and finally, in the uncertainty, votes
for a stuffed bird instead of a genuine eagle.

We have dwelt so long upon Jérome Paturot that we can afford but a few
lines to his brother in hosiery. Poor Monsieur Bonardin! Never, since
humanity first took to stocking-wearing, was a vender of that useful
article more scurvily treated than he was by the French republic of
1848. The 25th of February beheld him a prosperous man and an ardent
republican,--"a republican of the morrow," certainly, but no worse for
that; four months of liberty and fraternity brought him to ruin and
suicide. At first, all his anticipations are rose-coloured. Increase
of trade, an unlimited demand for hosiery, must be the consequences of
the new order of things. He is fully persuaded great days are coming
for the renowned establishment at the sign of the Spinning Monkey. The
day after the revolution he opens his shop as usual, but only to be
bullied by an _ouvrier_ who steps in to buy a red cap, finds none but
white, curses Bonardin for a Carlist, and carries off his national
guardsman's musket. Uproar recommences in the street; the shop is
shut, and continues so for some days. The end of the month arrives;
there are payments to be made, and M. Bonardin sends Criquet to the
bank with bills for discount--first-rate paper at short date. Criquet
brings them back; the best signatures no longer find cash. M. Bonardin
is in all the agonies of a punctual paymaster who sees a chance of his
signature's dishonour, when suddenly he is summoned to his duty as
national guard. On his return, after a sleepless night and a fagging
day, he has scarcely got amongst the blankets, when he is roused by
voices in the street calling out, in a measured chant, for lamps at
his windows.

_M. Bonardin_, awaking in alarm, and jumping out of bed--

What is that? (_Cries in the street, 'Des lampions! des lampions!'_)
Good! here they are again with their infernal lamps! Impossible to
sleep under this republic!

_Voices of boys in the street._--Hallo! first floor! Spinning Monkey!
Lamps! lamps!

_M. Bonardin._--What a nuisance! (_calling out_)--Babet! Babet!

_The boys shouting_,--Lamps or candles!... break the ugly monkey's
windows, if he does not light up directly!

_M. Bonardin._--Lord bless me!... Babet! Babet!...

_Babet_, (_running in_,)--What is it, sir?

_M. Bonardin._--Don't you hear them? Cut a candle in eight pieces
directly. Not a minute to lose!

_The boys._--It's a _Carlisse_, (_Carlist_.) Hallo, there! lamps or
candles!

_M. Bonardin_, (_in his nightgown, opening the window_.)--Directly,
citizens, directly! A minute's patience!

_The boys._--Ah! there's the old monkey himself! Bravo! bravo!

         'D'un sang impur engraissons nos sillons!'

_M. Bonardin_, (_flourishing his nightcap_.)--Yes, yes, my friends,
_d'un sang impur!..._ Certainly, by all means; _Vive la République!_

_The boys._--_Vive la République!_ Down with the _Carlisses_! (_Babet
enters with candle-ends; M. Bonardin retreats behind his
bed-curtains._) Ah! there's the monkey's wife lighting up at last.
Bravo! bravo! _Vive la République!_ The monkey's wife not bad-looking
in her night-dress!

_Babet_, (_shutting the window_.)--Do you hear, sir, those ragamuffins
call me your wife?

_M. Bonardin._--Well! are you not flattered?

_Babet._--Yes, indeed, the monkey's wife! It's flattering! They take
me for an ape, then?

_M. Bonardin._--If they will only let me sleep at last. Midnight
already.

_Babet._--Pray, sir, is this to last long? This is our sixth
illumination. A whole packet of fives gone already!

_ M. Bonardin._--No, no, Babet--it is only the first moment. Recollect,
the republic is but ten days old.... A single decade, no more.

_Babet._--A proper business it has been, your decade! Alarms at every
hour of the day and night; the shop shut three-quarters of the time,
and no buyers when it is open! A nice decade! And then the bank, that
refuses your paper; and then your bills, which you can't pay; and then
...

_M. Bonardin._--Let me sleep, my poor Babet.... All that is very true;
but what matter? We have got the republic; and you know as well as I
do--THERE ARE NO ROSES WITHOUT THORNS."

With this trite saying, the epigraph of the book, Bonardin, a bit of a
philosopher in his way, consoles himself, at the close of each
disastrous decade, for the annoyances and calamities he has
experienced in its course. These are countless, and of every kind. Now
it is a polite note from the tax-gatherer, requesting him to pay down,
in advance, the whole of the year's taxes, including an extraordinary
contribution just decreed by government. Then Criquet, who has imbibed
communist principles, insists on sharing his master's profits, and M.
Bonardin is afraid to refuse. Criquet, however, is glad to fall back
upon his wages, on finding that, instead of profit, the shop leaves a
heavy loss. Next comes a scamp of a nephew, emancipated from Clichy by
the abolition of imprisonment for debt, who gets his uncle into
various scrapes; and a drunken godson, one Pacot, a soldier, who
knocks his sponsor under the table, on pretence of his being
reactionary. Bonardin goes to Rouen to assist at a wedding, and the
railway takes him into a cross-fire, the town being in full
revolution. Rent-day arrives, and he sets out as usual with receipts
and a canvass-bag to collect the quarter's rent from the occupants of
the five upper stories of his house; but nobody pays. The workman in
the attics takes the receipt and refuses the money, threatening to
hang out the black flag if his landlord insists. One tenant feigns
madness--another declares himself ruined--a third denies himself. Poor
Bonardin returns home with a heavy heart and an empty bag. In short,
his misfortunes are innumerable. He is mixed up in revolts against his
will, and without his knowledge; is sent to prison, thumped with
musket-buts, hidden in a cask, robbed in the national workshop.
Finally, at the end of the thirteenth decade, he stands upon the
bridge leading to the National Assembly, his face partly concealed by
a handkerchief, singing republican songs and asking alms. None give
them. "I am a proprietor, my poor man," says one; "I can give you
nothing." "Impossible, my good fellow," says the next; "I am a
manufacturer." "No change," says a third; "I am a shopkeeper, and I
sell nothing." "Sorry for you, my friend," replies another, "but I am
an artist. In these times, that is as much as to tell you I have not a
sou in the world." "Alas!" exclaims a fifth, "I would relieve you with
pleasure, but I am a poor _employé_, and the revolution has struck off
a quarter of my salary." "What ill luck!" cries Bonardin; "the
revolution has ruined every body, it seems. But this is about the time
when the representatives of the people repair to the National
Assembly. They are generous, the worthy representatives. The millions
they daily vote away sufficiently prove it. Courage! people who spend
so many millions will perhaps give me a few coppers." He is mistaken;
the deputies pass, but none give him any thing; whereupon he concludes
they have not yet received their five-and-twenty francs. And as the
republic will not give him bread, he resolves to seek water in the
river, climbs the parapet, and throws himself into the Seine--thus
tragically terminating the volume, which, up to that point, is a
farce, both broad and long, crammed with jokes and double-entendres of
various merit, but all exhibiting, in a light as unfavourable as it is
true, the disastrous effects of the revolution upon the trade and
prosperity of Paris.

We hoped to have included in this review the fourth volume of _Jérome
Paturot_, but it has not yet reached us, only a portion of it being
published. The work comes out in parts, and it is said the fourth
volume will be the last of the series. In that case, it will probably
close with the June revolt. If M. Reybaud likes, and dares, he may
find in subsequent events abundant food for his satirical chronicle.
Perhaps he will think fit to wait Cavaignac's exit before criticising
his performance. There are numerous points in the brief history of the
republic upon which he has not yet touched. We hope yet to accompany
Jérome to the cell of an imprisoned journalist, to the court-martials
upon the June insurgents, to debates in the Assembly, and to
consultations in the cabinet. A retrospective flight to the days of
the Convention, and an incidental inquiry into the antecedents of M.
Cavaignac the father, of whose exploits the son has expressed himself
so proud, were not without interest. But the subject we are especially
curious to see M. Reybaud take up, is that of French journalism in
1848. He might fill a most amusing volume with an elucidation of its
mysteries and rivalries; and we cannot believe, after reading the bold
judgments and revelations contained in the three published volumes of
_Jérome_, that he would be deterred from the task by apprehension of
editorial wrath, whether expressed in the field or in the feuilleton,
by a challenge or a criticism.



PROPHECIES FOR THE PRESENT.


Prophecies and miracles, we are told, have long since ceased upon the
earth, as permitted only, by Divine goodness, to those ages when faith
was not firmly established, and revelation needed the active and
visible interference of Divine influence to make its way into the
heart of obstinate and denying man. This is a doctrine which, in these
present times of reason, we are naturally inclined to accept. But yet
there are circumstances, occurring even in our day, which sometimes
surprise the imagination, and even startle that reason which is so
ready to assert its supremacy. It is thus that we have regarded with
much curiosity, more wonder, and an impression which it is difficult
to drive away from our minds, certain strange documents relative to
the most important events of modern history, which, if their
authenticity be accepted, are among the most striking revelations
emanating from a prophetic spirit. They appear before us avowed
prophecies, coming from seemingly well-authenticated sources, and
backed by such assurances in the genuineness of their antiquity, from
credible mouths, as takes off from them that paulo-post-future sort of
suspicion, that inevitably attaches itself to predictions, which make
their appearance to the world after fulfilment. In laying them before
our readers, we are able to offer some little proof, as far as it
goes, in support of their authenticity; and we still call to them the
attention of those who may nevertheless refuse their credence, as
highly interesting documents of a strange character, relating to past,
present, and even future political events. As they do, in truth, refer
also to a future still to be accomplished, as well as to the present,
our readers, it is to be hoped, may be able to judge for themselves
how far the predictions as to the future will bear out those which now
already relate to the past, and to what, if such an expression may be
pardoned, might be called the present just gone by.

Two of these revelations bear the character of direct and avowed
prophecies, given _as such_ by holy men, and are imbued throughout
with that mystic spirit, which, however incomprehensible as regards
the future, becomes clear to an extraordinary degree of distinctness
when applied to the test of the past: they wear, in fact, the strange
air of predictions never intended to be comprehended until after their
fulfilment; as if, even although the inspired soul of certain
individual men had been permitted to raise itself, in its ecstasy,
from the earth into those unknown realms where past and future are
confounded in eternity, and shake off for the time the mortal trammels
of our limited understanding, but retain still afterwards the
consciousness and the power to reveal what there it saw; yet, by some
mysterious dispensation, the revelations should not be allowed to be
expounded in the clearness of their truth, so as to be comprehensible
to the intellects of the uninspired and undeserving herd. Why, then,
should the future be revealed, it might be asked, if the revelation
should serve nothing to mankind? With such deep and awful mysteries we
have not to deal: we cannot answer: we are of the blind who cannot
lead the blind. At all events, if these documents be forgeries--mere
devices fabricated after facts--and that they cannot be so _entirely_,
will be seen hereafter--certainly a degree of genius that is almost
incomprehensible presided over their fabrication, with this strange
stamp of vague oracular language, which is only comprehensible in its
after-application.

Such are two of these prophetic writings. As they are supposed to
proceed from the mouths of religious men, renowned for the sanctity of
their lives, they naturally refer more to the condition of the
Christian church, and to the fate of the "faithful," than immediately
to political events; but yet so closely is the destiny of the faithful
of the Christian world mixed up inevitably with the destiny of men and
countries in general, that the political events of our day are there
set down in prediction, with all the minuteness which the vague and
mystic language of prophetic revelation, dimly depicting what even
the inspired eye can only dimly trace in cloudy vision, "through a
glass darkly," is able to bestow upon detail. The third revelation
assumes to be no more than an interpretation of the prophetical book
of the New Testament, and repudiates all supposition of aiming at any
spirit of prophecy in itself; a portion, however, of this
interpretation of a part of Scripture so obscure as the book of the
Revelation, is so remarkable in its application to present events, as
to wear the very air of prophecy that its interpreter repudiates.

The longer and more important of the two prophecies, which have both
appeared in France, and refer chiefly to events immediately connected
with French history, is one popularly designated as the "Prophecy of
Orval:" it has been already translated into English, and
published,[12] with a preface, an introduction, and explanatory notes,
chiefly referring to the authenticity of the document, and to its
possession in the hands of a variety of credible and respectable
persons during the whole of the present century, and some of the later
years of the last. The little pamphlet has been got up with much
intelligence, and apparently with a strictly conscientious spirit. We
cannot here follow the editor through all the details he lays before
us, to prove that the prophecy has been copied from a book printed at
Luxembourg in the year 1544, and recopied, by gentlemen of standing
and respectability, from copies already made, as early as the year
1792--or through all the evidence adduced, some years ago, in such
respectable religious French papers as the _Invariable_, and the
_Propagateur de la Foi_, accompanied by notes from the editor himself,
with regard to his own personal experience, and the testimony he has
received from personages worthy of the highest credit, known to
himself. It may be said, however, that he communicates extracts of
letters and other authorities, which, could they be forgeries, would
assuredly be some of the most ingenious of the kind, even if they had
any great end or aim in their fabrication; and it ought to be added,
that a great part of this testimony is compiled from a _brochure_
called _The Oracle for 1840_, and published by a certain Henry
Dujardin in Paris, in the month of March 1840, consequently anterior,
at all events, to the remarkable circumstances of the present day. On
these matters we must refer our readers to the interesting little
pamphlet itself. The authority upon which rests the fact that the
prophecy, generally known under the title of "_Les Prévisions
d'Orval_," and entitled "Certain Previsions revealed by God to a
Solitary, for the Consolation of the Children of God," was actually
printed at Luxembourg in the year 1544, seems every way as conclusive
as possible in such matters of ancient lore; and the writer of this
present paper has only to add that he himself has seen in Paris the
whole prophecy, as far as it is still in existence, printed in a
newspaper of the year 1839, (he _believes_, as far as his memory
reaches, in the _Journal des Villes et des Campagnes_), and
consequently, to his own knowledge, published to the world previously,
at least, to the events of the present year; that an old English lady,
upon whose faith he can implicitly rely, positively declared to him
that she had it in her hands as early as the year 1802, and thus even
before the crowning of Napoleon as Emperor; and that its reappearance,
since the breaking out of the revolution of this year, excited so much
sensation in the French capital, that measures were taken by the
republican government of the day to establish a sort of _surveillance_
over persons known to possess and propagate the prediction--a fact
also mentioned by the editor of the English pamphlet--as conspirators
against the stability of the republic. With these premises, we proceed
to do no more than lay before our readers the prophecy in question,
claiming for the notice that follows such credence as every man's
conviction or scepticism, imagination or cooler reason, may choose to
bestow.

  [12] _Prophecy of Orval._ James Burns: 1848.

The Abbey of Orval, from which the prediction has taken its title,
was, it appears, a religious institution, situated in the diocese of
Treves, on the frontiers of Luxembourg; and it is said that the abbot
and the monks, when they fled from their convent, during the siege of
Luxembourg by the French revolutionary army, to the "refuge" in the
town, conveying a part of their archives as well as their sacred
vessels with them, first communicated the _printed_ copy of the
_Previsions of a Solitary_ of 1544 to Marshal Bender, who commanded
the army, and other French gentlemen, by whom copies were then taken
as a matter of curiosity, and put in circulation. Tradition at that
time attributed the prediction to a monk of the name of Philip
Olivarius, although the exact period of the existence of the
"Solitary" does not appear to have been well known. What at present
remains, or is supposed to remain, commences only with the history of
Napoleon Buonaparte, although the "Oracle" of Henri Dujardin speaks of
the prediction relative to the death of Louis XVI. as having excited
considerable sensation among the emigrant circles of that time; and
the circumstance of the absence of any events anterior to the
prophecy, as it stands at present, is accounted for by a remark made
in the _Propagateur de la Foi_, that, when it was discovered, at the
conclusion of the last century, the copyists generally neglected to
transcribe what related to the past, and contented themselves only
with that portion, the accomplishment of which was still to come.

The prophecy, as will be seen, astoundingly and suspiciously minute in
its details; but yet, when the predictions as to the future are
considered--to our eyes at present so vague and mysterious, and still
perhaps in their fulfilment, if so it should prove, as exact in
detail,--it may well be imagined that the portions which now refer to
the past, may in their day have appeared equally mysterious and vague.
It runs as follows, as it now stands:--

"At that time a young man, come from beyond the sea into the country
of Celtic Gaul, shows himself strong in counsel. But the mighty to
whom he gives umbrage will send him to combat in the land of
Captivity. Victory will bring him back. The sons of Brutus will be
confounded at his approach, for he will overpower them, and take the
name of emperor. Many high and mighty kings will be sorely afraid, for
the eagle will carry off many sceptres and crowns. Men on foot and
horse, carrying blood-stained eagles, and as numerous as gnats in the
air, will run with him throughout Europe, which will be filled with
consternation and carnage; for he will be so powerful, that God shall
be thought to combat on his side. The church of God, in great
desolation, will be somewhat comforted, for she shall see her temples
opened again to her lost sheep, and God praised. But all is over, the
moons are passed."

It must be remarked here, that the moons, continually alluded to in
the prophecy, may be found, by the calculation of thirteen lunar
mouths to a year, to arrive at an extraordinary accuracy of prediction
as to the date of the events prophesied: those which have been
mentioned above must be considered to refer probably to a period of
time alluded to in the portion of the "Previsions" supposed to be
lost.

"But all is over; the moons are passed. The old man of Sion cries to
God from his afflicted heart; and behold! the mighty one is blinded
for his crimes. He leaves the great city with an army so mighty, that
none ever was seen to be compared to it. But no warrior will be able
to withstand the power of the heavens; and behold! the third part, and
again the third part, of his army has perished by the cold of the
Almighty. Two lustres have passed since the age of desolation; the
widows and the orphans have cried aloud to the Lord, and behold! God
is no longer deaf. The mighty, that have been humbled, take courage,
and combine to overthrow the man of power. Behold, the ancient blood
of centuries is with them, and resumes its place and its abode in the
great city; the great man returns humbled to the country beyond the
sea from which he came. God alone is great! The eleventh moon has not
yet shone, and the bloody scourge of the Lord returns to the great
city; the ancient blood quits it. God alone is great! He loves his
people, and has blood in abhorrence; the fifth moon has shone upon
many warriors from the east. Gaul is covered with men, and with
machines of war; all is finished with the man of the sea. Behold again
returned the ancient blood of the Cap! God ordains peace, that His
holy name be blessed. Therefore shall great peace reign throughout
Celtic Gaul. The white flower is greatly in honour, and the temples of
the Lord resound with many holy canticles. But the sons of Brutus view
with anger the white flower, and obtain a powerful edict, and God in
consequence is angry on account of the elect, and because the holy day
is much profaned; nevertheless God will await a return to Him during
eighteen times twelve moons. God alone is great! He purifies His
people by many tribulations; but an end will also come upon the
wicked. At this time a great conspiracy against the white flower moves
in the dark, by the designs of an accursed band; and the poor old
blood of the Cap leaves the great city, and the sons of Brutus
increase mightily. Hark! how the servants of the Lord cry aloud to
him! The arrows of the Lord are steeped in His wrath for the hearts of
the wicked. Woe to Celtic Gaul! The cock will efface the white flower;
and a powerful one will call himself king of the people. There will be
a great commotion among men, for the crown will be placed by the hands
of workmen who have combated in the great city. God alone is great!
The reign of the wicked will wax more powerful; but let them hasten,
for behold! the opinions of the men of Celtic Gaul are in collision,
and confusion is in all minds."

It must here be again remarked that, as regards the accomplishment of
the events which follow immediately in the prophecy, the writer has
himself seen this record in a printed form--since the fulfilment, it
is true, but in a newspaper published in the year 1839.

"The king of the people will be seen very weak: many of the wicked
will be against him; but he was _ill-seated_; and, behold! God hurls
him down." How striking is the expression, "_mal assis!_" To proceed:
"Howl, ye sons of Brutus! Call unto you the beasts that are about to
devour you. Great God! what a noise of arms! a full number of moons is
not yet completed, and, behold, many warriors are coming!"

This advance of many warriors upon the capital is an event which,
according to the prophecy, must be accomplished before a full number
of moons is completed, or, it would seem, within the year from the
date of the outbreak of the Revolution. These warriors are not said to
come from any foreign lands. May they be supposed--in accepting the
truth of the prediction--to refer to the march of the national guards
of the departments upon Paris, from all parts of France, at the time
of the outbreak of June? or do the words remain still to be verified
in a more striking manner? The period of the "ten times six moons, and
yet again six times ten moons," of which mention is about to be made,
is peculiarly vague and uncertain, as are the predictions, as far as
time is concerned, of all the events to come. According to the
calculation adopted, this period of time would be that of about nine
years and a quarter. Is the accomplishment of the awful prediction
that follows, to be delayed for such a space of time? An enlightened
churchman has conceived that this calculation of moons refers to the
past period, during which the church was oppressed, and the anger of
the Lord excited in the first French Revolution, when the "measure of
wrath was filled." But, then, is the desolation to come to be
accomplished also, like "the advance of the many warriors," before "a
full number of moons is completed"--_i. e._, within a year? This is
one of the mysterious obscurities already alluded to, which are the
attributes of all prophecy, and of which time alone can give a
solution--if a solution is to be given. The details relative to the
more immediately ensuing events are precise enough: it is only the
date of their accomplishment that seems involved in the dimness of
insolvable obscurity. Thus runs the denunciation--the prediction of
desolation to be poured out like another "vial of wrath" over the
doomed city of Paris.

"It is done! The mountain of the Lord hath cried in its affliction
unto God. The sons of Judah have cried unto God from the land of the
foreigner; and, behold! God is no longer deaf. What fire accompanies
His arrows! Ten times six moons, and yet again six times ten moons,
have fed His wrath. Woe to the great city! Behold the kings armed by
the Lord! But already hath fire levelled thee with the earth. Yet the
faithful shall not perish. God hath heard their prayer. The place of
crime is purified by fire. The waters of the great stream have rolled
on towards the sea all crimsoned with blood. Gaul, as it were
dismembered, is about to reunite. God loves peace. Come, young prince,
quit the isle of captivity. Listen! from the lion to the white flower!
come!"

It may be well understood now why the republican government of France
attaches so much importance to the fact of the propagation of this
prophecy, which formally predicts the return of the last bud of the
white flower, or lily of the Bourbons. Its publication was looked upon
as a manœuvre of the Legitimist faction, to prepare the minds of
men for the advent of Henri V., and, by exciting men's imaginations,
to tend towards the accomplishment of the prediction--with the
foreknowledge that hazarded predictions will often help to accomplish
themselves by the very natural course of events which they, in
themselves, produce. At all events, the promulgators of such a
prophecy, which definitively predicted the overthrow of the republic,
were to be considered as being among its enemies, and were carefully
watched in their movements as such. The writer of the present paper,
however, who was in Paris during the period when the "Previsions of
Orval" first began to create a sensation, can confidently assert that
copies were handed about, even among the silenced Legitimists, as
curious and interesting documents only, and without the least pretence
of that _arrière pensée_, which the government of the republic chose
to ascribe to its circulation. The allusion to the "lion," is
peculiarly obscure. Belgium and England are the only countries that
bear a lion on their arms. A union with a daughter of the dynasty
reigning in the former, can scarcely be contemplated, since the young
prince alluded to is already married. A strict alliance with one or
the other country--or perhaps more especially with England, as more
generally typically represented by the lion--might be supposed to bear
out the fulfilment of the prediction. The Orval prophecy then goes on
to predict the firm establishment of the child of the "white flower"
on his throne.

"What is foreseen, that God wills. The ancient blood of centuries will
again terminate long struggles. A sole pastor will be seen in Celtic
Gaul. The man made powerful by God will be firmly seated. Peace will
be established by many wise laws. So sage and prudent will be the
offspring of the Cap, that God will be thought to be with him. Thanks
to the Father of Mercies, the Holy Sion chants again in her temples to
the glory of one Lord Almighty."

The future previsions of the prophecy become necessarily more and more
obscure; although those, which more immediately follow, are
sufficiently distinct, much as their accomplishment may be a matter of
very necessary doubt.

"Many lost sheep come to drink at the living spring. Three kings and
princes throw off the mantle of heresy, and open their eyes to the
faith of the Lord. At that time two third parts of a great people of
the sea will return to the true faith. God is yet blessed during
fourteen times six moons, and six times thirteen moons. But God is
wearied of bestowing his mercies; and yet, for the faithful's sake, he
will prolong peace during ten times twelve moons. God alone is great!
The good is passed away. The saints shall suffer. The Man of Sin shall
be born of two races. The white flower becomes obscured during ten
times six moons, and six times twenty moons. Then it shall disappear
to be seen no more. Much evil, and little good, will there be in those
days. Many cities shall perish by fire. Israel then returns entirely
to Christ the Lord. The accursed and the faithful shall be separated
into two distinct portions. But all is over. The third part of Gaul,
and again the third part and a half, will be without faith. The same
will be among other nations. And behold! six times three moons, and
four times five moons, and there is a general falling off, and the end
of time has begun. After a number, not complete, of moons, God will
combat in the persons of His two just ones. The Man of Sin shall carry
off the victory. But all is over! The mighty God has placed before my
comprehension a wall of fire. I can see no more. May He be blessed
evermore. Amen."

Thus terminates the reputed prophecy of the Solitary of Orval. The
conclusion has been supposed to imply a prediction of the end of the
world; and, by the calculation of the number of as many moons as are
mentioned, that event would thus take place within a period of fifty
years from the present time. But it does not appear absolutely to
follow that the "wall of fire" placed before the comprehension of the
inspired Solitary, that he should see no more, should be referred to
the "end of all things," because he has exclaimed just previously--"But
all is over!" This expression he has already used before in a different
sense. Any disquisition, however, upon the uncertain fulfilment of a very
uncertain prophecy, would be again a discursive ramble, that would lead
us much too far out of our beat.

The other French prophecy, to which allusion has been made, professes
to be only of a much later date. It is said to have emanated from a
Jesuit priest, who died towards the end of the last century at
Bordeaux, in the "odour of sanctity," and to have been communicated by
him to a novice residing with him in an establishment of the Jesuits
at Poitiers, some time previous to the outbreak of the first French
Revolution. It is supposed to have been transcribed and preserved by
the novice, who afterwards became himself a Jesuit priest, and by him
to have been given into the hands of several persons, who still
possess it, or who may have in turn given circulation to it. Not much
importance was attached to it until the events of the Revolution,
which confirmed so many of its predictions, were accomplished; and
again, since the events of the present year, it has been called to
men's minds. Like the Orval prophecy, its predictions, as regards what
is now past, have been wonderfully distinct, and, relative to the
events of this present year, no less so. With respect to its existence
previously to these latter events, the writer can also give testimony,
as in the case of the Orval prophecy, that it was transcribed as far
back as the year 1836, from the mouth of the _supérieure_ of a convent
in Lyons, who testified that she had heard it from the novice to whom
it was first delivered. The authenticity of its prophetic revelations
can thus be proved as far as regards the present day. It bears, in
many respects, a great analogy to the Previsions of the Solitary of
Orval, and the predictions it delivers coincide in most respects with
the latter: but it contains distinct references to other events, of
which the Orval prophecy makes no mention. As the revelation also of a
holy churchman, prophetically inspired, its contents naturally refer,
in a great measure, to the state of the church, or perhaps even to the
condition of the order of the Jesuits alone. The whole is necessarily
couched in mysterious language in this respect: and it ought, perhaps,
to be premised that the "counter-revolution" alluded to refers to the
triumph of the priesthood in general, or, as was before said, of the
Jesuit order. The portions of this prophecy which have fallen into the
writer's hands refer only to the events immediately following the fall
of Napoleon; although he has been assured that, in other copies, it
goes back to circumstances antecedent to the first Revolution.

"There will then be a reaction," says the portion now before us,
"which shall be thought to be the counter-revolution--it will last
during some years, so that people shall suppose that peace is really
restored: but it will be only a patchwork--an ill-sewn garment. There
will be no schism; but still the Church shall not triumph. Then shall
come disturbances in France: a name hateful to the country shall be
placed upon the throne. It will not be until after that event that the
counter-revolution shall take place. It will be done by strangers. But
two parties will first be formed in France, who will carry on a war of
extermination. One party will be much more numerous than the other,
but the weaker shall prevail. Blood will flow in the great towns, and
the convulsion shall be such that men might think the last day to be
at hand. But the wicked will not prevail, and in this dire catastrophe
shall perish of them a great multitude. They will have hoped to have
utterly destroyed the Church; but for this they will not have had
time, for the fearful crisis shall be of short duration. There will be
a movement when it will be supposed that all is lost; but still all
shall be saved. The faithful shall not perish; such signs will be
given them as shall induce them to fly the city. During this
convulsion, which will extend to other lands, and not be for France
alone, Paris shall be so utterly destroyed, that when, twenty years
afterwards, fathers shall walk with their children, and the children
shall ask, 'Why is that desolate spot?' they shall answer, 'My
children, here once stood a great city, which God destroyed for its
crimes.' After this fearful convulsion, all will return to order, and
the counter-revolution shall be made. Then shall the triumph of the
Church be such that nothing like it shall be ever seen again, for it
will be the last triumph of the Church on earth."

In one respect, at least, this prophesy has already taken a step
towards fulfilment. "Two parties shall be formed in France." Does not
the struggle between the Moderates and the Red-Republicans still
harass the land? "They will carry on a war of extermination." Have
they not already commenced it in June in the streets of Paris? "One
party will be much more numerous than the other." The Moderate party
is well known to have an immense majority throughout the country. "But
the weaker shall prevail"--for a time, that is--goes on to say the
fearful prediction. That result lies yet in the womb of fate. The
probabilities of its fulfilment we shrink from investigating--the more
so, as it is a conviction which has always instinctively forced itself
upon our minds. In all their previsions on this subject, the two
prophesies, as far as they go, perfectly agree. We do not even leave
the sceptical the pleasure of finding out that "doctors differ." The
collision of parties--the devouring beasts--and the eventual
destruction of the "great city" in the struggle--are circumstances
foretold in both, with a graphic force which gives them almost the
minuteness of details relative to a history of the past. The triumph
of the Church, after this great convulsion, is likewise prophesied by
both. The Orval previsions, more diffuse as to general history, alone
connect this event with the restoration of a Prince of the Lily. On
the contrary, however, the prediction of the Jesuit--as yet only
occupied with the interests of his Church--now goes on to foretell
historical events, of which the Orval prophecy makes no mention. The
two do not contradict each other, but each mentions circumstances of
which the other does not speak.

"These events shall be known to be at hand," continues the Poitiers
prophecy, "by the sign that England shall begin to suffer throes of
pain, even as it is known that the summer is nigh when the fig-tree
puts forth its leaves. England shall experience a revolution, which
will be of sufficient duration to give unhappy France time to breathe.
Then it shall be by the assistance of France that England shall be
fully restored to peace."

Certainly there appears at present no probability of any
accomplishment of this part of the prediction. And, whatever vague
faith we may place in our innermost hearts upon the authenticity of
these prophecies, we should be very glad to find ourselves, and avow
ourselves, and even proclaim ourselves, utter dupes, rather than
witness the slightest approach to a fulfilment of the last paragraph
of the Jesuit priest's oracular revolutions. He has given us, however,
a fair chance of learning the truth of his prediction, or of giving
him the lie in his coffin, by an answer, which the tradition preserved
by the excellent _supérieure_ of the convent of the Sacré Cœur at
Lyons reports that he made, when asked as to the period of the
fulfilment of his prophecies--for he had not, like the Solitary of
Orval, been at all precise in his arithmetical calculations of moons,
or other methods of bestowing dates, as we have seen. His answer is
said to have been, that those who saw the first French Revolution, and
who lived through this crisis, would bless God for having preserved
them to be witnesses of the great triumph of His Church. Consequently,
the events foretold ought to receive their fulfilment in a period of
time within the probable life of a man born before the epoch of 1789;
and thus, reckoning the "threescore years and ten" as the utmost limit
of man's natural life, before the year 1859. We ourselves, and all our
readers, it is to be hoped, have thus the probabilities before us of
testing the powers of prophecy of the good old gentleman of Poitiers.
And yet, if they are to be verified to the letter as concerns "Old
England," we cannot add "May we be there to see."

Beyond these two prophecies, there are others which at the present
time abound in France; but as we are unable to offer any evidence
whatever as to their authenticity of antiquity, we shall not enter
into their details, much less into any disquisition as to their
credibility. Most of them predict the utter destruction of Paris by
fire, during a convulsion occasioned by insurrection and civil war.
The best known are those of Bug de Thilas, a prophet of the Pyrenees
in the sixteenth century--a Breton traditionary prediction, which
enters into very minute and graphic details relative to the great fire
of Paris, and fixes the epoch for this disaster in the nineteenth
century; and the far better known and somewhat famous _Prophétie
Lorraine_, in verse, in which the same event is foretold. This latter
prophecy enters into very minute poetical descriptions of the great
catastrophe, and warns the Parisian that he will perish entirely by
his own fault. It is more especially curious, inasmuch as a
calculation has been made by a good, hearty, and sound believer in
such predictions, in which it is shown that, by taking the most
striking and important words of the prediction, and reckoning each
letter as a number, according to its standing in the alphabet--"a" as
1, "b" as 2, "c" as 3, &c.--the sum total of all the letters, thus
reckoned, will amount to eighteen hundred and forty-nine. Of course,
also, the prediction made by Lady Hester Stanhope to Lamartine, as
recorded by that author in his _Voyage en Orient_, and founded by
herself on cabalistic and astronomical calculations, found
enthusiastic commentators in France, when the poet at last reached the
object of his ambition, and became a statesman, by being placed at the
summit of power in the revolutionary government.

The other prediction, or rather prophetic deduction from analytical
interpretations of the Book of Revelations, to which allusion has been
made, is too singular not to take its place also among these supposed
"foreshadowings of coming events." At the same time, we do not attempt
to rank it in any way in the same category with those strange and
doubtful revelations already given. It is based upon a system of
reasoning and calculation: a key is given as the real and true one,
for the opening of the door of mysteries of acknowledged divine
origin. How far this key may be the right one or the wrong, or how far
it may be permitted to use it, are, once more, subjects for
disquisition into which it is not for us to enter. The contrast
between the nature of the revelations of the Roman Catholic ascetics,
and of those of the Protestant clergyman, is striking enough to
preclude any analogy between them. On the one hand, we have confident
predictions; on the other, the cool, calm, searching, calculations of
a system of minute reasoning;--on the one, the supposed bestowal of
the flash of light; on the other, the careful groping in the mystical
darkness of sacred writings, in order with true conscience to find the
right way;--on the one, the pictorial, graphic, highly-coloured
language of the presumed "_divine afflatus_;" on the other, the
deductions of speculative reasoning;--on the one, the supposed flame
coming from above; on the other, the cautious steps planted on the
earth;--in short, on the one, supposed inspiration; on the other,
evident and acknowledged reason. We do not pretend to class them
together; but as they all refer to the same periods of history, they
find mention together in this notice.

The Rev. Robert Fleming was the Protestant minister of the Scotch
churches at Rotterdam and Leyden, and afterwards of the Presbyterian
church of Lothbury, during the reign of William III.; he was renowned
for his piety as well as his learning, and was even much favoured by
the reigning monarch. His _Discourse concerning the Rise and Fall of
Papacy_, in which the prophetic deductions have been formed, was
published in the year 1701. The species of mystical history of the
Romish church, which forms the main subject of his work, is sought for
entirely, by the author, in the prophetic enunciations of the Book of
Revelations; and in order to attach a great interest to his
interpretations, and the deductions thence drawn, it is necessary to
accept _à priori_, as a matter of faith, those _postulata_, which the
author considers certain at his very outset, and which he sets down as
incontrovertible,--namely, that "the Revelations contain the series of
all the remarkable events and changes of the state of the Christian
church to the end of the world;" that "The mystical Babylon _doth_
typify Rome in an anti-Christian church state;" that "The seven heads
of the beast _are_ indubitably the seven forms of government that
obtained successively among the Romans;" and that, consequently, "The
grand apocalyptical question answers the great antichrist," which is
thus assumed to be Papal Rome. Once more, it is not our present
purpose to enter into any theological discussions: we do no more than
place before our readers the curious and interesting deduction of a
divine, celebrated for his piety, his learning, and his sacred
research. The key with which Fleming proceeds to open the mysteries of
what he calls "the dark apocalyptical times and periods," is certainly
of singularly ingenious construction. He commences by entering into a
proof that the different periods mentioned, of 1260 days, of forty-two
months, and of "a time, times, and a half," are absolutely
synchronical, and refer exactly to the same period of time, being
meant to describe the duration of the anti-Christian kingdom; and that
each day must be taken to mean prophetically a year, or Julian year of
that age. By a similarly ingenious calculation, relative to the dates
and times of days, he ascribes the period, as regards the church, to
the so-called rotations of the all-enlightening sun; and as refers to
the Beast, to the rotations of the unstable moon. Upon these
calculations he goes on, with singularly marvellous ability, and an
infinite patience of minute reckoning, to comment upon the apocalyptic
prophecies. He traces thus the regular series of the prophecy, in the
opening of the seven seals, which, in his application of historical
events, he refers to the condition of the Christian church during the
Roman empire;--of the seven trumpets, as bearing relation to the
gradual growth and increase of the anti-Christian enemies of the
church;--and, lastly, of the seven vials, as plagues and judgments
poured out upon that Babylon, which he assumes to be "Rome Papal;" and
the vials, more especially, he argues upon as types of the struggles
between the Roman and the Reformed parties, each vial typifying an
event, or conclusion of some new periodical attack of the former upon
the latter. It is not necessary to follow the ingenious and
indefatigable commentator through all his explanations of the other
vials; we only refer to his deductions as bearing upon "Prophecies for
the Present." Our business lies chiefly with his interpretation of the
fifth vial, inasmuch as, by his system of calculation, he predicts the
fulfilment of this vial for a period, which, by a singular coincidence
at least, he fixes between the two dates of 1794 and 1848. It is the
express mention of this latter year which naturally attracts the
attention as an extraordinary coincidence, at a moment when, in that
year, so many convulsions, and so many events important in the history
of the world, have taken place. There is no precise prophetic
deductions, however, attached by the interpreter to this latter
_datum_, except that he fixes it as the period of the fall, or at
least of the tottering and probable decline, of the Papal power; and,
in the present wavering condition of the temporal power of the
sovereign pontiff, the deduction has, at least, a singular bearing
upon the events of the latter year specified. It was at the period of
the former year, however, that the interpretations of Fleming, made
at a time when France was in the zenith of her power, and there seemed
no probability whatever of their justice, excited at first a great
sensation; probably at the time of their delivery they were looked
upon merely as matters of interesting and patient analysis. In
commenting upon the fourth vial of the Revelations, which he mentions
as likely to expire about the year 1794, he says--"the pouring out of
this vial on the sun must denote the humiliation of some eminent
potentates, whose influence and countenance cherish and support the
Papal cause. And these, therefore, may be principally understood of
the houses of Austria and Bourbon." In continuing to give his opinion
concerning the events connected with this vial, and much posterior to
the time in which he lived, we have the following striking expressions
also, which, even in their serious importance, are not without their
quaint humour:--"Perhaps the French monarchy may begin to be
considerably humbled about that time; for whereas the French king
takes the sun for his emblem, and this for his motto--'_Nec plurìbus
impar_,' he may at length, or rather his successors, and the monarchy
itself, (at least before the year 1794,) be forced to acknowledge that
(in respect to neighbouring potentates) he is even _singulis impar_."
The extraordinary coincidence between these intimations and the date
fixed by the interpreter, when the first French Revolution took place,
could not fail to strike the minds of those who were acquainted with
his work. Accordingly, the _Discourse_ was republished in 1792, and
was read and commented upon with avidity; and now that, in the year he
named as 1848, another of his prophetic intimations came to be more or
less exemplified, and another coincidence was destined to strike the
minds of men, after the sagacious and learned interpreter had been
dead nearly a century and a half, the whole discourse has been again
republished in a variety of forms, and very widely circulated.

It has been "in fear and trembling" that we have ventured to approach
any subject of so sacred a character, inasmuch as it refers to
undeniable divine revelations, and bears upon one of the books of the
Holy Scriptures: the matter, however, was so intimately connected with
our present subject, that it could not be well avoided. Upon the
absolute acceptance of Fleming's interpretations, and upon his
assumption, _à priori_, that the "scarlet woman of Babylon" and the
anti-Christ do verily typify the Papal power, we must needs be still
more cautious of entering into any argument: it is not for us to
reason upon the "how, when, and where" of the anti-Christian "denying
spirit."

As connected with "Prophecies for the Present," the writer may yet add
one other, which was known to him in Germany many years ago. The
latter part of it runs as follows:--"I would not be a king in 1848. I
would not be a soldier in 1849. I would not be a gravedigger in 1850."
There was an awful solemnity in these last words, that always struck
fearfully upon the imagination. "I would be any thing you will in
1851." Again, also, there is a vague ambiguous sense in this latter
expression, that gives a shudder to the whole frame. "What you will!"
Does the term refer to future hope in better days, or is it the
recklessness of despair? There were, attached to this prophecy, other
remarks respecting the preceding years: they referred to the
corn-blade and the vine-plant; but they have now passed too much out
of the writer's memory to be exactly recorded.

Before we quit the subject of the "Prophecies for the Present," it may
be as well to allude to a comparison of the coincidences between the
events of the revolution of July and that of the present year, which
has been ingeniously compiled by a certain M. Langlois. The analogy
between the circumstances of these different epochs forms a curious
page in modern history, and is not without its peculiar interest; and
also, as far as the events of the earlier epoch were singularly
prophetic of those of the latter, these striking coincidences may
almost be said to belong to the predictions of the day.

In the elder branch of the Bourbons, the Duke de Berri, the son of
Charles X., espoused a foreign princess, and had by her a son, who
was regarded as the heir to the throne: in the younger, the Duke of
Orleans, the son of Louis Philippe I., likewise espoused a foreign
princess, and had by her a son, likewise regarded as the eventual heir
of the dynasty. The father of the Duke de Bordeaux was assassinated on
the _13th_ of February 1820; the father of the Count of Paris died by
an accident on the _13th_ of July 1842. In both the years preceding
the fall of either monarch, the price of provisions was at an
excessive height, the want was great, and the cold such that the Seine
was frozen over--a circumstance which did not occur between the
winters of 1829 and 1847. In both instances, the anti-liberal
tendencies of the heads of the state, after most inviting promises,
called forth from their best friends remonstrances upon the course
they were pursuing, and warnings of an approaching crisis, which in
both instances were rejected. In both instances, the last speech of
the crown to the parliament assembled, contained words concerning the
"culpable manœuvres," or "blind inimical passions," of the
Opposition which created the discontent, and called forth the protest
of several deputies, and the resolution to hold the famous banquet.
The capture of the Dey of Algiers, and that of Abd-el-Kader, which
immediately preceded each catastrophe, were both in vain considered as
triumphs by the ministry of the day. The ordinances of July suspended
the liberty of the press; an ordinance in February prohibited the
banquet. In both cases these ordinances caused a commotion in the
capital, and a species of presentiment of revolution on the Monday
evening; on the following day the revolt broke out, and lasted during
three days, commencing on the Tuesday, and terminating on the
Thursday; and the power fell into the hands of the insurgents. The
gendarmerie in the one case, the municipal guard--another name for the
same corps--in the other, offered the chief defence of royalty, were
overcome, and finally disbanded. Charles X. fell from his throne at
the age of seventy-four, Louis Philippe at the same age; the one in
July, the month in which the Duke of Orleans died--the other in
February, the month in which the Duke de Berri was assassinated. Each
monarch abdicated in favour of his grandson; each was met by the fatal
cry, "_Il est trop tard_." In each case a provisional government was
established, and the royal family was obliged to quit the French
territory; both the monarchs sought a refuge in England. Here,
however, the "coincidences" offer a striking dissimilitude. The one
monarch was accompanied, in his departure, by his guards and numbers
of faithful servitors--the other fled poor, wretched, and in disguise,
abandoned by those who had called themselves his friends: the one shed
tears on landing in the country of exile--the other hailed it with
joy. In both cases, the ministers of the fallen king were impeached.
In even smaller circumstances, other coincidences have been recorded.
During the combats of both revolutions, the temperature was
excessively warm for the season of the year--a circumstance not wholly
without its weight, if the well-known barometric nature of the
Parisian temperament be considered; and a few days after, in both
years, an extraordinarily terrific tempest burst over the capital,
obscured it for many hours in darkness, and swept down the new flag
placed aloft upon the column of the Place Vendôme.

Coincidences, predictions, revelations--all may, perhaps, be looked
upon, by the sceptically reasoning mind of plain matter-of-fact, with
scorn. To such, then, they are here only given as curious matters of
historical interest. At the same time, in the uncertainty as to the
issue of the convulsions under the throes of which Europe is at
present writhing, the troubled mind may surely attach itself to the
obscure revelations of such strange announcements, and endeavour
clearly to see its way through their dimness, without too much
deserving the stigma usually attached to superstitious credulity.



SIGISMUND FATELLO.


CHAP. I.--THE OPERA.

It was a November night of the year 184-. For a week past, the
play-bills upon the convenient but unsightly posts that disfigure the
boulevards, had announced for that evening, in conspicuous capitals,
the first performance of a new opera by a popular composer. Although
the season of winter gaieties had scarcely begun, and country-houses
and bathing-places retained a portion of the fashionable population of
Paris, yet a string of elegant carriages, more or less coroneted,
extended down the Rue Lepelletier, and deposited a distinguished
audience at the door of the Académie de Musique. The curtain fell upon
the first act; and a triple round of applause, of which a little was
attributable to the merits of the opera, and a good deal to the
parchment palms of a well-drilled _claque_, proclaimed the composer's
triumph and the opera's success, when two men, entering the house at
opposite sides, met near its centre, exchanged a familiar greeting,
and seated themselves in contiguous stalls. Both belonged to the class
which the lower orders of Parisians figuratively designate as _gants
jaunes_; the said lower orders conscientiously believing primrose
gloves to be a covering as inseparable from a dandy's fingers as the
natural epidermis. The younger of these two men, the Viscount Arthur
de Mellay, was a most unexceptionable specimen of those _lions dorés_
who, in modern French society, have replaced the _merveilleux_, the
_roués_, and _raffinés_ of former days. Sleek of face and red of lip,
with confident eye and trim mustache, his "getting up" was evidently
the result of deep reflection on the part of the most tasteful of
tailors and scrupulous of valets. From his varnished boot-heel to the
topmost wave of his glossy and luxuriant _chevelure_, the severest
critic of the mode would in vain have sought an imperfection. Born,
bred, and polished in the genial atmosphere of the noble faubourg, he
was a credit to his club, the admiration of the vulgar, the pet of a
circle of exclusive and aristocratic dames, whose approving verdict is
fashionable fame. His neighbour in the stalls, some years older than
himself, was scarcely less correct in externals, although bearing his
leonine honours much more carelessly. Like Arthur, he was a very
handsome man, but his pale face and fair mustache contrasted with the
florid cheek and dark hair of his companion. The Austrian baron Ernest
von Steinfeld had acquired, by long and frequent residences in Paris,
rights to Parisian naturalisation. He had first visited the French
capital in a diplomatic capacity, and, after abandoning that career,
had spent a part of every year there as regularly as any native
_habitué_ of the club Grammont, the Chantilly race-course, and the
Bois de Boulogne. Although a German and a baron, he was neither
coarse, nor stupid, nor smoky. He did not carry a tobacco-pipe in his
pocket, or get muddled at dinner, or spit upon the floor, or
participate in any other of the nastinesses common to the majority of
his tribe. A nobleman in Austria, he would have been accounted a
gentleman, and a highly bred one, in any country in the world. He was
of old family, had been much about courts, held a military rank,
possessed a castle and fine estate in the Tyrol, mortgaged to the very
last _zwanziger_ of their value, was somewhat _blasé_ and troubled
with the spleen, and considerably in debt, both in Vienna and Paris.
He had arrived in the latter capital but a fortnight previously, after
nearly a year's absence, had established himself in a small but
elegant house in a fashionable quarter, and as he still rode fine
horses, dressed and dined well, played high and paid punctually,
nobody suspected how near he was to the end of his cash and credit;
and that he had sacrificed the last remnant of his disposable property
to provide ammunition for another campaign in Paris--a campaign likely
to be final, unless a wealthy heiress, a prize in the lottery, or an
unexpected legacy, came in the nick of time to repair his shattered
fortunes.

The second act of the opera was over. The applause, again renewed, had
again subsided, and the hum of conversation replaced the crash of the
noisy orchestra, the warbling of Duprez, and the passionate
declamation of Madame Stolz. The house was very full; the boxes were
crowded with elegantly dressed women, a few of them really pretty, a
good many appearing so by the grace of gas, rouge, and costume. The
curtain was no sooner down than de Mellay, compelled by the despotism
of the pit to silence during the performance, dashed off at a
colloquial canter, scattering, for his companion's benefit, a shower
of criticisms, witticisms, and scandal, for which he found abundant
subjects amongst his acquaintances in the theatre, and to which the
baron listened with the curled lip and faint smile of one for whose
palled palate caviar no longer has flavour, scarcely vouchsafing an
occasional monosyllable or brief sentence when Arthur's gossip seemed
to require reply. His eyes wandered round the house, their vision
aided by the double glasses of one of those tremendous opera-telescopes
by whose magnifying powers, it is said, the incipient wrinkle and the
borrowed tint are infallibly detected, and the very _tricot_ of
Taglioni is converted into a cobweb. Presently he touched the arm of
Arthur, who had just commenced an animated ocular flirtation with a
blue-eyed belle in a stage-box. The baron called his attention to a
box on the opposite side of the theatre.

"There is a curious group," he said.

"Oh, yes," replied de Mellay carelessly, levelling his glass for a
moment in the direction pointed out. "The Fatellos." And he resumed
his mute correspondence with the dame of the azure eyes.

Steinfeld remained for a short space silent, with the thoughtful
puzzled air of a man who suspects he has forgotten something he ought
to remember; but his efforts of memory were all in vain, and he again
interrupted Arthur's agreeable occupation.

"Whom did you say?" he inquired; indicating, by a glance rather than
by a movement, the group that had riveted his attention.

"The Fatellos," replied de Mellay, with a sort of surprise. "But,
pshaw! I forget. You were at Venice last carnival, and they have not
been twelve months at Paris. You have still to learn the affecting
romance of Sigismund and Catalina: how the red knight from Franconie
did carry off the Paynim's daughter,--his weapons adapted to the
century--bank-notes and bright doubloons, in lieu of couched lance and
trenchant blade. Why, when they arrived, all Paris talked of them for
three days, and might have talked longer, had not Admiral Joinville
brought over from Barbary two uncommonly large baboons, which diverted
the public attention. They call them beauty and the beast--the
Fatellos, I mean, not the baboons."

The persons who had attracted Steinfeld's notice, and elicited this
uncomplimentary tirade from the volatile viscount, occupied one of the
best boxes in the theatre. In front were two ladies, likely to be the
more remarked from the contrast their appearance offered with the
Parisian style of beauty. Their jet-black hair, large almond-shaped
eyes, and complexion of a rich glowing olive, betrayed their southern
origin. Behind them sat a man of five-and-thirty or forty; a tall,
high-shouldered, ungainly figure, with a profusion of reddish hair,
and a set of Calmuck features of repulsive ugliness. His face was of
an unhealthy paleness, excepting about the nose and cheekbones, which
were blotched and heated; and the harsh and obstinate expression of
his physiognomy was ill redeemed by the remarkably quick and
penetrating glance of his small keen gray eyes.

"Do you mean to say yonder ungainly boor is the husband of one of
those two beautiful women, who look as if they had stepped out of a
legend of the Alhambra, or of a vintage-piece by Leopold Robert?"

"Certainly--husband of one, brother-in-law of the other. But I will
tell you the whole story. Sigismund Fatello is one of those men born
with a peculiar genius for money-getting, who, if deposited at the
antipodes without a shoe to their foot, or a sou in their pocket,
would end by becoming _millionnaires_. Although little heard of in
good society till a year ago, he has long been well known on the
Bourse, and in foreign capitals, as a bold financier and successful
speculator. Two years ago he had occasion to go to the south of Spain,
to visit mines offered by the Spanish government as security for the
loan of two or three of his millions. Amongst other places he visited
Seville, and was there introduced to Don Geronimo Gomez Garcia
Gonfalon, (and a dozen other names besides,) a queer old hidalgo,
descended from Boabdil of the Bloody Crescent, or some such Moorish
potentate. The don dwelt in the shadow of the Giralda, and possessed
two daughters reputed fair;--you see them there--judge for yourself.
With one of these Fatello fell desperately in love, and asked her in
marriage. The lady, who had no wish to abandon her native land for the
society of so ugly and unpleasant a helpmate, demurred. But the suitor
was urgent and the papa peremptory. Old Boabdil had an immense opinion
of Fatello, was dazzled by his wealth and financial reputation, and
insisted on his daughter's marrying him, vowing that he himself was
poor as a poet, and that if she refused she should go to a nunnery.
After the usual amount of tears, threats, and promises, the marriage
took place. The descendant of the Saracen made an excellent bargain
for his child. Fatello, infatuated by his passion, would have agreed
to any conditions, and made immense settlements on the beautiful
Catalina. His father-in-law, like an old semi-African hunks as he was,
pleaded poverty, hard times, forced contributions, and so forth, as
excuses for giving his daughter no other portion than a few rather
remarkable diamonds, and some antiquated plate dating from the kings
of Granada, and better suited for a Moorish museum than a Christian
sideboard. Fatello, whose dealings with the Spanish government had
given him no very exalted idea of the opulence of Spanish subjects,
cared not for the old boy's maravedis, and credited his plea of
poverty. A few weeks afterwards, Fatello and his wife being still in
Seville, Boabdil retired for his usual siesta, but not reappearing at
the usual hour, a servant went to awaken him, and found him purple
with apoplexy. The unfortunate Saracen never spoke again. The next day
he was buried, (they lose no time in those warm latitudes); and
behold, when the will was opened, he had left upwards of three
millions of reals to his disconsolate daughters--about four hundred
thousand francs to each of them. When the decencies had been observed
in the way of mourning, and Fatello had finished his affairs, he
brought his wife and her sister to Paris, took a magnificent hotel in
the Faubourg St Honoré, and gave Lucullian dinners, and entertainments
such as are read of in the Arabian Nights, but rarely seen in the
nineteenth century."

"And were his fêtes well attended?"

"Not quite immediately. At first everybody asked who this Mr Fatello
was, and nobody could tell. All sorts of queer stories were got up
about him. Some said he was a Polish Jew, formerly well known in
Prague, and who had commenced his fortune by attending horse-fairs.
Others,--misled by his name, which has an odd Italian sound--swore he
was a Lombard, continuing the financial and speculative traditions of
his race. He himself claims to be of a good Alsatian family; and I
believe the truth is, that his father was a small proprietor in a
northern department, who sent his son to Paris, as a boy, to seek his
fortune, which, by virtue of industry and arithmetic, he has been
lucky enough to find. But people got tired of asking _who_, and
changed the interrogation to _what_. This was much more easily
answered--'The signature of Sigismund Fatello is worth millions upon
every Exchange in Europe,' was the prompt reply. You know our good
Parisians, or rather, you know the world in general. If John Law, or
Dr Faustus, returned upon earth, with wealth proceeding from the devil
or a swindle, and gave banquets and balls, their rooms would not long
be empty. No more were those of Fatello, against whom, however,
nothing improper was ever substantiated, except a want of
ancestors,--a venial offence, in these days, to be charged against a
millionnaire! With a citizen king, and Jews in the chamber, _or_ upon
_argent_ is the truest blazonry, my word for it."

"By their assistance, then, he has got into good society?" said
Steinfeld.

"Into almost the best. He has not made much progress beyond the Seine;
but on this side the water, he is every where in good odour. They make
much of him at the Tuileries and in diplomatic circles; and in the
Chaussée d'Antin, amongst the aristocracy of finance, his money gives
him right to a high place. And if he plays the Amphitryon this winter
in the style he did the last, there is no saying whether some of our
stiff-necked countesses of the _vieille roche_ may not relent, and
honour his halls with their transcendental presence. His
entertainments of all kinds are quite superlative; and if he be a
plebeian and a brute, his wife and sister, on the other hand, are
graceful as gazelles, and date from the deluge. He is an ugly-looking
monster, certainly," added the handsome viscount; "but fortune has
atoned for nature's stinginess. A man may forget his resemblance to a
chimpanzee, when he has millions in his strong box, one of the finest
houses, and best filled stables, and prettiest wives in Paris,--when
he possesses strength and health, and has every prospect of living
long to enjoy the goods the gods have showered upon him."

"Wrong in the last particular,--quite wrong, my dear viscount," said a
bland and unctuous voice behind de Mellay. The young men turned and
found themselves face to face with a comely middle-aged personage,
whose smug costume of professional black was relieved by a red ribbon
in the button-hole, and who, gliding into the stall in their rear,
whilst they were engrossed with their conversation, had overheard its
latter sentences.

"Ha! doctor," exclaimed the viscount, "you here, and eaves-dropping!
How am I wrong, most sapient and debonair of Galens?"

Dr Pilori was a physician in high practice, and of a class not
uncommon in Paris,--at once a man of pleasure and a votary of science.
With a fair share of talent and an inordinate one of self-conceit, he
had pushed himself forward in his profession, applying himself, in
conformity with the Parisian rage for rage for _spécialités_,
particularly to one class of complaint. The lungs were the organ he
had taken under his special protection: his word was law in all cases
of pulmonary disease. He was physician to an hospital, member of the
Legion of Honour, and of innumerable learned societies; his portrait
graced the shop-windows of medical booksellers, whilst his works, on
maladies of the lungs, occupied a prominent place on their shelves.
His patients were numerous and his fees large. So far the man of
science. The man of pleasure occupied a gorgeous apartment in the
vicinity of the Madeleine; gave smart and frequent soirées, (as one
means of increasing his connexion,) where singers of the first water
gave their notes in payment of his advice. He was frequently at the
opera,--occasionally at the Café de Paris,--lived on bad terms with
his wife, and on good ones with a ballet-dancer, and was in request as
an attendant at duels amongst the young dandies of the clubs, with
most of whom he was on a footing of familiarity amounting almost to
intimacy.

"How am I wrong, doctor?" repeated de Mellay.

"In your prediction of Fatello's longevity. Of course it is of him you
speak?"

"Of no other. What ails him?"

"He is dying of consumption," gravely replied Pilori.

The viscount laughed incredulously, and even Steinfeld could not
restrain a smile, so little appearance was there of a consumptive
habit in the robust frame, and coarse, rough physiognomy of the
financier.

"Laugh if you please, young gentlemen," said the doctor. "It is no
laughing matter for Monsieur Fatello, I can tell you. His life is not
worth a year's purchase."

"You have been prescribing for him then, doctor," said Arthur
maliciously.

"I have," said the physician, suffering the hit to pass unnoticed. "No
longer ago than yesterday he consulted me for a trifling
indisposition, and, in studying his idiosyncrasy, I detected the
graver disease. What do you think he called me in for? I ought not to
tell these things, but the joke is too good to keep. He was annoyed
about the blotches on his face--anxious for a clear complexion. In
what strange places vanity finds a corner! Poor fellow! he little
thinks how soon the worms will be at work upon his cuticle."

"You did not tell him, then?" said de Mellay, still doubtful of the
doctor's sincerity, and with a sort of shudder at his dissecting-room
style.

"What was the use? The seeds of decay are too deeply set to be
eradicated by the resources of art. Although to a non-medical eye he
presents little appearance of pulmonary derangement, the malady has
already taken firm hold. Probably it is hereditary. It advances slowly
but surely, and will not be turned aside. The forms of that terrible
disease are many and various, from the _pulmonia fulminante_ of Spain,
and the _galloping consumption_ of our island neighbours, to those
more tedious varieties whose ravages extend over years, to kill as
surely at last. But I do not tell you that I _shall_ not inform M.
Fatello of his condition. It is our duty to strive to the last, even
when we have no hope but in a miracle. I shall see him to-morrow and
break the matter to him."

"And send him to Italy or Madeira, I suppose," said Steinfeld, with an
appearance of greater interest than he had previously taken in the
conversation.

"What for? As well let him die in Paris, where he will at least have
all the alleviations the resources of art and high civilisation can
afford. But enough of the subject. And you, young gentlemen, say
nothing of what I have told you, or you will damage my reputation for
discretion."

The rise of the curtain put a period to the conversation, and, before
the act was over, a box-keeper delivered a letter to Dr Pilori, who,
after reading it, rose with a certain air of importance and
solicitude, and hurried out of the theatre,--his sortie provoking a
smile amongst some of the habitual frequenters of the stalls, who were
accustomed to see this manœuvre repeated with a frequency that gave
it the air of an advertisement. The opera over, Steinfeld and de
Mellay left the house together, and, whilst driving along the
boulevard, the sentence of death pronounced so positively by Pilori
upon Fatello, was the subject of their conversation. The viscount was
incredulous, took it for a hoax, and would have amused the club by its
repetition, and by a burlesque of Pilori's dogmatical and pompous
tone, had not Steinfeld urged him to be silent on the subject, lest he
should injure the indiscreet physician. Arthur promised to say nothing
about it, and soon forgot the whole affair in the excitement of a
_bouillotte_-table. Steinfeld, equally reserved, neither forgot the
doctor's prophecy, nor doubted the conviction that dictated it. De
Mellay's gossip about the Fatellos had doubtless excited his
curiosity, and given him a wish to know them,--for, two days
afterwards, his elegant _coupé_ drove into the court of their hotel,
and a dandified secretary of legation presented, in due form, the
Baron Ernest von Steinfeld to the wealthy financier and his handsome
wife and sister.


CHAP. II.--THE MASQUERADE.

Three months had elapsed, and Paris was in full carnival. Since the
beginning of the year, the town had been kept in a state of unusual
excitement by the anticipation of a ball, for which the rich and
fashionable Countess de M---- had issued invitations to her immense
circle of friends and acquaintances. The position of the
countess--who, herself the daughter of an illustrious house, and
reckoning amongst her ancestors and their alliances more than one
sovereign prince and constable of France, had married a man enriched
and ennobled by Napoleon--gave her peculiar facilities for collecting
around her all that was distinguished and fashionable in Paris, and
for blending the various coteries into which political differences,
as much as pride of descent on the one hand, and pride of purse on the
other, split the higher circles of Parisian society. Her invitations
included stiff-necked legitimists from the dull but dignified streets
of St Germain's faubourg, noble as a La Tremouille or a Montmorency,
and still sulking against the monarchy of the 7th August; wealthy
_parvenus_ from the Chaussée d'Antin, military nobles of imperial
fabrication, Russian princes, English lords, Spanish grandees,
diplomatists by the dozen, and a prince or two of the reigning family.
Under ordinary circumstances, Madame de M---- might have hesitated to
bring together so heterogeneous an assemblage--to have mingled in the
same saloons all these conflicting vanities, opinions, and prejudices;
but the character of her entertainment removed the inconveniences of
such confrontation. It was no ordinary ball or common-place rout of
which the palatial mansion of the countess was upon this occasion to
be the scene. She had conceived the bold idea of resuscitating, upon a
large scale, an amusement which in Paris has long since degenerated
into vulgar license and drunken saturnalia. Her entertainment was to
be a masquerade, to which no one was to come with uncovered face or in
ordinary costume. A mask and a disguise were as essential to obtain
entrance, as was the ticket of admission sent to each individual
invited, and which was to be delivered up at the door, accompanied by
the holder's engraved visiting card. This precaution was to guard
against the recurrence of an unpleasant incident that had occurred two
years previously at a minor entertainment of similar character, when
two ingenious professors of legerdemain, better known to the police
than to the master of the house, found their way into the ball-room
under the convenient covering of dominos, and departed, before their
presence was discovered, carrying with them a varied assortment of
watches, purses, and jewellery.

The night of the much talked-of fête had arrived; the tailors,
milliners, and embroiderers, who, for a month past, had slaved in the
service of the invited, had brought home the results of their labours:
the fashionable hairdressers had had a hard day's work--some hundreds
of wreaths and nosegays, which in June would have been beautiful, and
in January seemed miraculous, and whose aggregate cost was a
comfortable year's income, had been composed by the tasteful fingers
of the Parisian flower-girls. The hour was at hand, and many a fair
bosom palpitated with pleasurable anticipations. The hotel of the rich
Fatello, as the successful speculator was usually called, had its
share of the bustle of preparation; but at last, knotty questions of
costume were satisfactorily settled, and the ladies committed
themselves to the hands of their tire-women. In his library sat
Sigismund Fatello, opening a pile of notes and letters that had
accumulated there since afternoon. Some he read and put carefully
aside; to others he scarcely vouchsafed a glance; whilst a third class
were placed apart for perusal at greater leisure. At last, he opened
one by whose contents he was strangely moved, for, on reading them, he
started and turned pale, as if stung by an adder. Passing his hand
over his eyes, as though to clear his vision, he stood up and placed
the paper in the very strongest glare of the powerful Carcel lamp
illuminating the room. A second time he read, and his agitation
visibly increased. Its cause was a small note, containing but four
lines, written in a feigned hand. It was an anonymous letter, striking
him in his most vulnerable point. Again and again he perused it,
striving to recognise the handwriting, or conjecture the author. All
his efforts were in vain. Once, inspired by his good genius, he
crushed the treacherous paper in his hand, and approached the
fire-place to destroy it in the flames. But, as he drew near the logs
that glowed and crackled on the hearth, his pace became slower and
slower, until he finally stood still, smoothed the crumpled paper, and
once more devoured its contents. Then he walked several times up and
down the apartment, with a hurried step. The three months that had
elapsed since Arthur de Mellay and Baron Steinfeld had met in the
stalls at the opera, had not passed over the head of Fatello without
producing a certain change in his appearance. He was thinner and
paler, his eyes were more sunken, and a dark line was pencilled
beneath them. The change, however, was not such as an indifferent
person would notice; it might proceed from many causes--from mental
labour, uneasiness, or grief, as well as from bodily disease--the idea
of which latter was unlikely to enter the head of a careless observer
of his massive frame and features, and of the general appearance of
great muscular strength, still remarkable in the ill-favoured
financier. Now, however, he was unusually pale and haggard. The letter
he still held in his hand had worked upon him like a malevolent charm,
hollowing his cheek and wrinkling his brow. For nearly half an hour he
continued his monotonous walk, alternately slackening and accelerating
his pace. At times he would come to a momentary halt, with the absent
air of one absorbed in working out a puzzling problem. At last he
opened a secretaire, touched a spring which made a secret drawer fly
open, placed in this drawer the letter that had so greatly disturbed
him, closed the desk, and, lighting a taper, took the direction of his
wife's sitting-room, in the opposite wing of the hotel.

Madame Fatello and Mademoiselle Sebastiana Gonfalon were equipped for
the ball and in readiness to depart. Between the two sisters, in whose
ages there was a difference of two years, so strong a resemblance
existed that they frequently were taken for twins. Exactly of the same
stature, they had the same large dark eyes, abundant hair, and brown
tint of skin, and the same mouth, not very small, but beautiful in
form, and adorned with teeth of dazzling whiteness. Both had the grace
and fascination for which their countrywomen are renowned. The chief
difference between them was in expression. Catalina was the more
serious of the two: her gravity sometimes verged upon sullenness, and
this was especially observable since she had been compelled to a
marriage repugnant to her feelings, but which she had lacked energy
and courage to resist. Her father would have found it a far less easy
task to force Sebastiana to a union opposed to her inclinations. As
high-spirited as her sister was irresolute, Mademoiselle Gonfalon was
one of those persons whose obstinacy is increased by every attempt at
coercion. Laughing and lively, amidst all her gay coquetries there
still was a decision in her classically moulded chin and slightly
compressed lip, and a something clandestine but resolute in her eye,
which a physiognomist would have interpreted as denoting a degree of
intelligence and a passionate strength of character denied by nature
to her feebler sister. Upon this evening, however, it might have been
thought the two young women had exchanged characters. Sebastiana, in
general all smiles and sprightliness, was thoughtful and preoccupied,
almost anxious; whilst the listless and melancholy Catalina had an
unusual appearance of gaiety and animation. Her cheek was flushed, her
eyes were brilliant, and she looked repeatedly at a jewelled
bijou-watch, as though she would fain have advanced the hour at which
she could with propriety make her entrance into Madame de M----'s
saloons.

The door opened and Fatello came in. By a powerful exertion of that
self-command which he possessed in no ordinary degree, he had banished
from his countenance nearly every trace of recent agitation. He was
perhaps a shade paler than usual, but his brow was unclouded, and his
uncouth countenance was lighted up by the most agreeable smile it
could assume.

"So, ladies," he said, with a liveliness that sat but clumsily upon
him; "you are armed for conquest. Accept my compliments on the
excellent taste of your costumes. They are really charming. If you are
detected, it will hardly be by your dress. Those loose robes and that
convenient cowl are the best possible disguises."

"All the better!" cried Sebastiana. "Nothing like the dear black
domino, under which you can be impertinent as you like, with scarce a
possibility of discovery. There will be fifty such dresses as ours in
the room."

"No doubt of it," replied her brother-in-law, thoughtfully. And his
piercing green-gray eye scanned the dominos that shrouded the graceful
figures of his wife and her sister. They were of plain black satin;
but the art of the maker had contrived to impart elegance to the
costume which, of all others, generally possesses it the least. The
two dresses were exactly alike, except that Catalina's was tied at the
wrists with lilac ribbons, whilst nothing broke the uniform blackness
of her sister's garb. Black gloves and masks, and two bouquets of
choice exotics, the masterpieces of the celebrated bouquetière of the
Madeleine boulevard, completed the ladies' equipment.

"I am sorry," said Fatello, "to deny myself the pleasure of
accompanying you to the Countess's fête; but I am behindhand with my
correspondence, and have received important letters, which I must
answer by the morning's post. My night, a part of it at least, will be
passed at the desk instead of in the ball-room."

There was nothing in this announcement to excite surprise; the tone
and manner in which it was made were perfectly natural; but,
nevertheless, Sebastiana Gonfalon darted a keen quick glance at her
brother-in-law, as though seeking in his words a double meaning or
disguised purpose. Madame Fatello showed neither surprise nor
disappointment, but, approaching a table, she took from a costly
basket of gold filagree, overflowing with cards and invitations, an
envelope containing three tickets for the masquerade. Selecting two of
them, she threw the third into the basket, and again looked at her
watch. At that moment the door opened, and her carriage was announced.

"Come, Sebastiana," said Madame Fatello, impatiently. "Good-night, M.
Fatello." And, with a slight bow to her husband, she passed into the
ante-room.

"Good-night, Sigismund," said Sebastiana. "Change your mind and follow
us."

"Impossible," said Fatello, with the same smiling countenance as
before.

Sebastiana followed her sister. Fatello lingered a few moments in the
drawing-room, and then returned to his study. As he entered it, he
heard the roll of the carriage-wheels driving out of the court.

The masquerade given by the Countess de M---- was that kind of
magnificent and extraordinary entertainment which forms _the_ event of
the year in which it occurs; which is long held up as a pattern to
gala-givers, and as marking a red-letter epoch in the annals of
fashion and pleasure. Nothing was spared to make it in all respects
perfect. An entire floor of the Countess's vast mansion had been
cleared, for the occasion, of all superfluous furniture; three
splendid saloons were appropriated to dancing; two others, equally
spacious, to refreshments. In these, the appetites of the guests had
been richly catered for. One was the coffee-house, the other the
_restaurant_. In the former, on a multitude of small marble tables, a
regiment of attentive waiters served ices and sherbets, wine and
chocolate, coffee and liqueurs. In the latter, tables were laid for
supper, and upon each of them lay a printed bill of fare, where the
hungry made their selection from a list of the most delicate dishes,
whose appearance followed the order with a celerity that would have
done honour to the best-appointed hotel in Paris. A long, wide
gallery, and some smaller rooms, were used as a promenade, where the
company freely circulated. In a music-hall, a strong party of
professional singers kept up an unceasing concert for the
entertainment of all comers; and in a chamber fitted up as a tent, an
Italian juggler, with peaked beard, and in antique costume of black
velvet, performed tricks of extraordinary novelty and ingenuity. Every
part and corner of this magnificent suite of apartments was lighted _a
giorno_, draped with coloured silks and muslins, and enlivened by a
profusion of tall mirrors, multiplying tenfold the fantastical figures
of the maskers and the flame of the countless _bougies_. Many hundreds
of porcelain vases, containing the choicest plants, forced prematurely
into flower, and all remarkable for brilliancy of colour or fragrance
of perfume, lined the broad corridors and the recesses of the windows,
which latter were further filled by admirably executed transparencies,
forming a series of views from the Italian lakes. The whole resembled
a scene from fairyland, or an enchanted palace, raised by the wand of
some benevolent gnome for the delectation of the sons and daughters of
mortality. If the entertainment was of unparalleled magnificence, the
appearance of the guests did it no discredit. Tasteful and ingeniously
devised costumes crowded the apartments; history and romance had been
ransacked for characters; the most costly materials had been lavishly
employed in the composition of dresses for that one night's diversion.
All was glitter of jewels, wave of plumes, and rustle of rich
brocades. In diamonds alone, an emperor's ransom was displayed; and
more than one fair masker bore upon her neck and arms, and graceful
head, the annual revenue of half-a-dozen German princes.

As Sebastiana had predicted, there was a considerable sprinkling of
dominos amongst the motley throng; and as usual, of those who had
selected that dress, more favourable to concealment and intrigue than
to display of personal graces or costly ornaments, at least one half
had preferred black to any other colour. These latter seemed the
subject of the particular attention of one of their number, who, soon
after twelve o'clock, made his appearance in the ball-room. Impatience
to share in the much-talked-of fête, had rendered the invited
punctual; by that hour nearly all had arrived, and in such numbers
that the rooms, though so large and numerous, were crowded at least as
much as was convenient and consistent with circulation. Hence the
black domino was frequently impeded in the rapid movements he
commenced whenever one of his own species--that is to say, a domino of
the same colour--caught his eye, movements which had for their object
to meet or overtake the person of garb similar to his own. On such
occasions, so great was his impatience, that in a public ball-room he
would surely have incurred a quarrel by the somewhat too vigorous use
he made of his elbows. But Madame de M----'s well-bred guests merely
shrugged their shoulders, and wondered who the _man-ant_ could be who
thus imported into their élite society the unceremonious usages of an
opera-house masquerade. The black domino heeded not their mute
wonderment, nor cared for the unfavourable impression he might leave
upon the ribs and the minds of those he jostled. He was evidently
looking for somebody, and however discouraging the task of seeking one
particular black domino in a crowded masquerade, where there were two
or three score of them, he persevered, in spite of repeated
disappointments. At last it seemed as if success had rewarded his
constancy. With the suddenness and certainty of a well-broken pointer,
he came to a dead stop at sight of a black satin domino leaning on the
arm of an elegant Hungarian hussar. To the steps of this couple he
thenceforward attached himself. Whithersoever they went, he followed,
keeping at sufficient distance to prevent their noticing his pursuit;
regulating his pace by theirs, but occasionally accelerating it so as
to pass them, and lingering for a second when close at their side, as
if trying to distinguish the tones of their voices, or to catch a few
words of their discourse. Whilst thus engaged, he did not observe that
he had himself become an object of attention to a third black domino,
who, previously to him, had been dogging, but at greater distance, and
with still more precaution than he observed, the steps of the hussar
and his companion. The curiosity and caution of domino No. 3, appeared
to receive fresh stimulus from the apparition of a rival observer,
over whose movements he kept careful watch, but from afar, and
concealed as much as possible amongst the crowd, somewhat after the
fashion in which the Red Indian observes, from his shelter amidst the
trees of the forest, the movements of the hunter, who himself watches
from an ambush the course of a herd of deer.

The only portion of the apartments thrown open to the maskers that was
not rendered light as day by a profusion of wax candles, was a vast
conservatory, the entrance to which was through two large French
windows, opening out of one of the dancing rooms. Paved with a mosaic
of divers-coloured marbles and fanciful device, it contained a choice
collection of exotics and evergreens, of such remarkable size and
beauty, that the topmost leaves of many of them rustled against the
elevated glass roof. These trees and shrubs were so arranged as to
form a sort of miniature labyrinth, upon whose paths a mild light was
thrown by lamps of coloured glass suspended to the branches. This
illumination, although ample to guide the steps of the promenaders
between the verdant and flowering hedges, seemed but a twilight, from
its contrast with the broad glare of the adjoining apartments. The
change from a strong to a subdued light had been purposely contrived
by the judicious arrangers of the fête, as a relief for eyes wearied
by the brilliancy of the ball-room. As yet, however, few persons
seemed eager for the transition, and the conservatory was little
resorted to except at the close of a dance, when its comparatively
fresh atmosphere was gladly sought.

Quadrilles had just commenced in all the dancing-rooms, when the
Hungarian hussar and his domino, making their way slowly and with some
difficulty in rear of the dancers, took refuge in the conservatory
from the din of music and pressure of the crowd. They were evidently
so absorbed in their conversation, so much alone in the midst of the
multitude, that their eternal pursuer ventured unusually near to them,
and was close at their heels when they passed through the glass door.
Then, instead of continuing to follow them, he struck into another
path, which ran nearly parallel to the one they took. On reaching a
circle of beautiful arbutus, whose white bells and bright strawberries
gleamed like pearls and blood-drops in the light of the purple lamps
that hung amongst them, the hussar and his companion paused beside a
porphyry basin, supported by a sculptured pedestal of the same
material. For a few moments they stood silent, gazing at the goldfish
that swam their monotonous circle in the basin; and at the little
fountain that spouted up in its centre. Then, leaning upon the edge of
the vase, they resumed their conversation in tones less guarded than
before, for here they might almost consider themselves alone--the few
groups and couples sauntering in the conservatory being too much
engrossed in their own discourse to heed that of others. The Hungarian
removed his mask, still, however, holding it ready to apply to his
face in case of intrusion; whilst the domino contented herself with
raising the silken beard of hers, to allow the musical tones
proceeding from a pair of rosy and youthful lips to fall more clearly
upon her companion's ear. Thus they continued a conversation
apparently of deep interest to both, and which they suspended only
when some passing party of masks lingered for an instant beside the
fountain, until the end of the quadrille brought a throng of dancers
into the conservatory. Then they left the place, and sauntered back
into the ball-room.

Meanwhile the third domino watched the conservatory doors with a
lynx-eyed vigilance worthy a pupil of the celebrated Vidocq. Although
the loose black dress might have covered either a short man or a woman
of the middle stature, the delicacy of the gloved fingers, and of the
tiny foot that peeped from below its border, left little doubt as to
the sex of its wearer. From a convenient position on the steps leading
up to an orchestra, the fringe of her mask confined by her hand, so as
to prohibit even a glimpse of her ivory chin, she subjected to a rigid
scrutiny all who issued from the conservatory. Suddenly, from the door
nearest to her, the hussar and his companion made their appearance,
and, as they passed, she shrouded herself behind the portly figure and
sumptuous embroideries of a Venetian doge. Then she resumed her watch,
and a minute had not elapsed when she saw the tall black domino, whom
she had observed during the evening, re-enter the dancing-room and
make his way as fast as the crowd would allow him to the nearest door
of exit, with a hurried and irregular step, hardly to be explained
otherwise than by sudden illness or violent emotion. She followed him
to the head of the staircase, down which he rushed, disappearing at
its foot through the crowd of lackeys in the hall. Having seen this,
she re-entered the ball-room, sought out the hussar and his companion,
and soon afterwards was whirling with the former in the giddy circles
of a waltz.

Some hours later, as the Hungarian retired from the ball, almost
borne along in the dense stream of masks that now flowed through the
rooms, he felt a momentary pressure of his hand. A paper remained in
its palm, upon which his fingers mechanically closed. Amidst the
ever-moving throng it was impossible to detect the person from whom he
had received it. By this time a large portion of the company,
oppressed by the heat, had unmasked, but he knew none of the faces he
saw around him, whilst of those who had preserved their vizards he
could fix on none as object of suspicion. So soon as he could
extricate himself from the crowd, he unfolded the paper. It contained
the following mysterious words, hastily scrawled with a pencil:--

"One whom you think asleep wakes and watches. He is here; has followed
and overheard you, and will seek revenge. Be prepared. Proof is
difficult: denial may be safety. Adopt it at all risks. Masked, the
sisters are undistinguishable. Credit this warning from a sincere
friend."

       *       *       *       *       *

Thrice the Hungarian perused this mysterious billet; and then,
thrusting it into the breast of his richly braided jacket, slowly left
the house.


CHAP. III.--THE ACCUSATION.

The house selected by Baron Ernest von Steinfeld, wherein to pass what
might possibly be his last season in Paris, was situated in the Rue St
Lazare. It was one of those buildings, of frequent occurrence in
modern Parisian architecture, which seem intended to gratify the taste
of such persons as prefer the English fashion of occupying an entire
house, to the French one of dwelling upon a floor. At the bottom of a
paved court-yard, around three sides of which was built a large
mansion containing many tenants, stood one of those edifices known in
French parlance as pavilions--not that they possess a dome, resemble a
tent, or, for the most part, have any of the qualities of a
summer-house, but because, in Paris, the term "house" is grudgingly
bestowed upon a building of less than five stories and thirty or forty
rooms. This pavilion had but three stories and a dozen rooms; it was a
particularly complete and independent habitation, standing well back
from the body of the house, under whose number it was included, and of
which, although detached, it was considered to form part; and having
two entrances, one through the court, the other from a lane running at
right angles with the street. The ground-floor contained, besides a
light and commodious vestibule and servant's offices, only one
apartment, a handsome dining-room, in which, however, it was
impossible, for three quarters of the year, to dine without lamps--the
daylight admitted by its one broad window being greatly limited by the
walls of a nook of garden, and by the impending branches of a laburnum
and acacia, which mingled their boughs in affectionate union, twin
lords of a square yard of grass, and of a fathom's length of
flower-bed, and in the spring-time rejoiced the inmates of the
pavilion with the odorous rustle of their yellow clusters and
rose-coloured blossoms. The first floor contained two pleasant
drawing-rooms and a boudoir; the second, bath, bed, and dressing
rooms. The roof, flat and surrounded by a parapet, commanded a view
over the adjacent gardens of an extensive bathing establishment and
_maison de santé_, and was no unpleasant resort, on a fine day, for
persons desirous to inhale the fresh air, or to scent it with the
fumes of Havana's weed. This pavilion, described by the _Petites
Affiches_ as _fraîchement décoré_--the said decoration consisting in
fresh paint and paper, and in a profusion of that cheerful French
luxury, large and excellent mirrors--was rented for six months by
Baron Steinfeld, who had hired, for the same period, from a
fashionable upholsterer--for a sum which would almost have furnished
the house permanently in a plainer manner--a complete set of
furniture, against whose perfect elegance and good taste not a
syllable could be breathed. His establishment was as correct as his
residence. It consisted, in the first place, of a French cook, with
whose sauces Arthur de Mellay had repeatedly expressed his willingness
to eat a fragment of his father; which offer--considering the worthy
count had been a guardsman in the time of Louis XVI., and,
consequently, was neither young nor tender--was certainly a high
testimonial to the merits of sauce and cook. Then came an Italian
valet, quite as skilful a personage in his way as the professor of
gastronomic science--speaking three or four languages, accumulating in
his own individuality the knowledge and acquirements of a legion of
hairdressers, tailors, perfumers, and the like--thoroughly versed in
the arcana of the toilet, a secretary in case of need, and a perfect
Mercury in matters of intrigue. The third person of Steinfeld's
household, the last, and also by much the least--physically speaking,
that is to say, but by no means in his own estimation--was one of
those miniature tigers, (copied from the English, and essential
appendages to the establishment of a Paris lion,) who look as if they
had been subjected to that curious Chinese process by which lofty
shrubs and forest trees are stunted to dimensions that permit the
plantation of a grove in a flower-pot--wizen-faced, top-booted
abortions, uniting the mischief and the proportions of a monkey, and
frightfully precocious in every species of villany. The house also
contained, during the day, an old Frenchwoman, of a species indigenous
and confined to Paris--the patient butt of the cook's ill-humours and
of the groom's pranks, with bearded chin and slipshod feet, and
willing for any sort of dirty work, from the scouring of a kettle to
the administration of the remedy renowned in French pharmacy.

It was an hour past noon on the day succeeding the Countess of M----'s
masquerade, and Steinfeld sat alone at breakfast. It were more correct
to say that he sat at the breakfast table; for the savoury meal before
him was still untasted, and he seemed in no haste to attack it. In
vain the green oysters from Ostend lay invitingly open, and one of
Chevet's pies displayed, through a triangular aperture in its crust,
the tender tints of an exquisite _foie-gras_--the result of the
martyrdom of some unhappy Strasburg duck; in vain a fragrant steam of
truffles oozed from beneath the covers of two silver dishes, fresh
from the laboratory of Macedoine the cook, and mingled its odours with
the flowery aroma of a bottle of Sauterne, from which Rufini the valet
had just extracted the long yellow-sealed cork. Apparently, none of
these creature-comforts dwelt in the desires of the baron, who sat
sideways to the table, his chin resting on his hand, gazing upon
vacancy with an intenseness bespeaking deep preoccupation. One
acquainted with Steinfeld's circumstances would have hesitated little
in conjecturing the nature of the unpleasant reflections in which he
seemed absorbed. They might very well have for motive the unprosperous
state of his exchequer, the heavy incumbrances weighing upon the
hereditary acres, the approaching decease of that convenient but
fickle ally, on whose succour half the world exist, and whose name is
Credit. The baron had been any thing but a prudent man. Too careless
of the future, he had neglected fortune when she offered herself to
his embrace; and now she revenged herself by averting her countenance.
Of high descent and fair estate, handsome person and fascinating
manners, for some years Steinfeld might have aspired to the hand of
almost any heiress in Vienna or Paris. Numerous were the matrimonial
overtures that had been more or less directly made to him, at a time
when, in love with his bachelorhood, and celebrated for his _bonnes
fortunes_, he looked upon the bonds of Hymen as the most oppressive of
fetters, intolerable even when sheathed in gold. The matchmakers,
repulsed without exception, at last renounced all further attempts
upon the hand of the handsome Austrian--as Steinfeld was generally
called in Paris--and declared him an incorrigible partisan of
celibacy. To the unmolested enjoyment of his bachelor bliss the baron
was for some years left, until one morning he awoke to the
disagreeable consciousness that profuse expenditure had done its
work, and that ruin or a rich marriage were the only alternatives left
him. He was fully alive to the difficulties placed in the way of the
latter by the change in his circumstances. His ancient name and
personal advantages remained, but his fair estate was in the hands of
the harpies; and however disposed romantic young ladies might be to
overlook this misfortune, prudent papas would deem it a serious
stumbling-block. Then it was that, roused by horrid visions of
approaching poverty from his usual state of happy _insouciance_, the
baron gathered together the relics of his past opulence, squeezed and
exhausted every remaining resource, and, assuming a bold front against
bad fortune, returned to Paris, with much the feelings of the soldier
who screws up all his energies to conquer or to die. It was no
apprehension, however, as to the result of this final struggle--no
nervous trepidation arising from the imminence of his situation, that
now clouded Steinfeld's brow and spoiled his appetite. On the
contrary, he deemed victory secure, and beheld himself, in no remote
perspective, emerging triumphantly from his difficulties, even as a
snake, casting its shabby skin, reappears in glittering scales of
gold. He had not wasted the three months he had passed in Paris, and
was well satisfied with the result of his exertions. His present
uneasiness had a different origin--one similar to the cause by which,
some fifteen hours previously, we saw Sigismund Fatello so deeply
moved. The baron turned and twisted in his hand a letter, to whose
contents he again and again recurred, pondering them intently. Like
that received by the banker, the billet was anonymous; like his, it
contained but three or four lines; but, despite its brevity and want
of authenticity, it proved, on the part of the writer, whoever that
might be, an acquaintance with the baron's most important secret, that
did not fail greatly to disquiet him. Who had thus detected what he
deemed so surely concealed? He strained his eyes and memory, in vain
endeavouring to recognise the handwriting; and, more than once,
fancying he had done so, he fetched notes and letters from a desk in
the adjoining boudoir, to compare them with the anonymous epistle. But
the comparison always dissipated his suspicion. Then, taking a pen,
and a diminutive sheet of amber-scented paper, he began a note, but
tore the paper after writing only three words, and threw the fragments
impatiently into the fire. Just then the pavilion bell rang loudly;
the next minute there was a knock at the room door, and Celestin the
tiger made his appearance, bearing a card inscribed with the name of
M. Sigismund Fatello, and an inquiry whether Monsieur le Baron was at
home and visible.

On reading the banker's name, Steinfeld made a slight and sudden
movement, almost amounting to a start, but, instantly recovering
himself, he bade his groom show the visitor up stairs. At the same
time he hastily seated himself, ordered Rufini to take off the covers,
poured some wine into a glass, and helped himself from the first dish
that came to hand; so that when Fatello, ushered in by the groom,
entered the apartment, he had all the appearance of one whose whole
faculties were concentrated, for the time being, in the enjoyment of
an excellent meal. Rising from his chair, with an air of jovial
cordiality, he hastened to welcome the banker.

"An unexpected pleasure, my dear Fatello," said he. "What favourable
chance procures me so early a visit? You are come to breakfast, I
hope. Rufini, a knife and fork for M. Fatello."

"I have breakfasted, M. le Baron," replied Fatello, with a dryness
amounting almost to incivility. "If my call is untimely, my business
is pressing----and private," he added, with a glance at the Italian,
who stood in respectful immobility behind his master's chair.

"Leave the room, Rufini," said Steinfeld.

The well-drilled valet bowed in silence, and glided noiselessly from
the apartment.

"Now then, my good friend," said the Austrian, in the same gay offhand
tone as before, "I am all ear and attention. What is up? Nothing bad,
I hope; nothing so serious as to spoil my appetite. I have heard a
proverb condemning discourse between a full man and a hungry one."

Fatello made no immediate reply. There was something very peculiar in
his aspect. His lips were pale and compressed, and his brows slightly
knit. He seemed constraining himself to silence until he felt he could
speak calmly on a subject which roused anger and indignation in his
breast. Whilst seemingly engrossed by his breakfast, Steinfeld lost
not a look or motion of his visitor's, not a line of his physiognomy,
or a glance of his small piercing eye. And the baron, notwithstanding
his assumed careless levity of manner, did not feel altogether at his
ease.

"You have not turned conspirator, I hope," said he, when Fatello,
after a short but awkward pause, still remained silent. "No
Henri-quinquist plot, or plan to restore the glorious days of the
guillotine and the Goddess of Liberty? No, no; a Crœus of your
calibre, my dear Fatello, would not mix in such matters. Your plotters
are hungry dogs, with more debts than ducats. Talking of hunger--I am
grieved you have breakfasted. This mushroom omelet does honour to
Macedoine."

The baron would have talked on,--for at that moment any sort of babble
seemed to him preferable to silence. But Fatello, who had not heard a
word he had said, suddenly rose from his seat, rested his hands upon
the table, and leaning forward, with eyes sternly fixed upon
Steinfeld, uttered these remarkable words, in tones rendered harsh and
grating by the effort that made them calm:

"Monsieur le Baron de Steinfeld, you are courting my wife!"

The most expert physiognomist would have failed to detect upon the
countenance of the ex-diplomatist any other expression than one of
profound astonishment, tinged by that glow of indignation an innocent
man would be likely to feel at an unfounded accusation, abruptly and
brutally brought. After sustaining for a few seconds Fatello's fixed
and angry gaze, his features relaxed into a slightly contemptuous
smile.

"The jest is surely in questionable taste, my dear M. Fatello. And the
severity of your countenance might alarm a man with a conscience less
clear than mine."

"I jest not, sir, with my honour and happiness," retorted Fatello,
with a rude fierceness that brought a flush to the baron's cheek--a
flame of anger which the next moment, however, dispelled.

"Then, my dear M. Fatello," said Steinfeld, "since, instead of a bad
jest, you mean sober earnest, I can only say you are grossly
misinformed, and that your suspicions are as injurious to Madame
Fatello, as your manner of expressing them is insulting to myself."

"I have no suspicions," replied Fatello, "but a certainty."

"Impossible!" said the baron. "Name my accuser. He shall account for
the base calumny."

"He desires no better," replied Fatello, sternly. "I myself accuse
you. No slanderous tongues, but my own ears, are evidence against you.
And yourself, sir, shall confess what you now so stubbornly deny. You
were at last night's masquerade."

"I was so."

"In hussar uniform--crimson vest and white pelisse."

Steinfeld bowed assent. "The uniform of the regiment to which I
formerly belonged."

"A black domino was on your arm."

"_Ma foi!_" cried the baron, with a laugh that sounded rather forced,
"if you demand an account of all the masks I walked and danced with, I
shall hardly be able to satisfy you. Dominos there were, doubtless;
and, of all colours, black amongst the rest."

"You equivocate, sir," said Fatello, angrily. "I will aid your memory.
The domino I mean was your companion early in the night. The domino I
mean danced once with you, (a waltz,) and afterwards walked with you
through the rooms, in deep conversation. The domino I mean stood with
you for more than ten minutes beside the fountain in the conservatory.
The domino I mean was my wife; and you, Baron Steinfeld, are a
villain!"

During this singular conversation Steinfeld had sat, leaning back in
his large elbow-chair, in an attitude of easy indifference--one
slippered foot thrown carelessly over the other, and his hands thrust
into the pockets of his damask dressing-gown. On receiving this last
outrageous insult, his lip blanched with passion, his whole person
quivered as with an electric shock, and he half rose from his
semi-recumbent position. But the baron was a man of vast self-command;
one of those cool-headed cool-hearted egotists who rarely act upon
impulse, or compromise their interests by ill-timed impetuosity. The
first choleric movement, prompting him to throw Fatello down stairs,
was checked with wonderful promptitude, and with little appearance of
effort. In reality, however, the effort was a violent one. As a
soldier at the triangles bites a bullet with the rage of pain, so
Steinfeld clenched his hands till the strong sharp nails almost cut
into the palm. As he did so, a paper in his pocket rustled against his
knuckles. It was the note so mysteriously conveyed to him at the
masquerade, and which he had been pondering when Fatello was
announced. To one so quick-witted, the mere touch of the paper was as
suggestive as a volume of sage counsels. In an instant every sign of
annoyance disappeared from his features; he rose quietly from his
seat, and with easy dignity and an urbane countenance, confronted
Fatello, who stood gloomy and lowering before the fire.

"I see, M. Fatello," he said, "that you are bent upon our cutting each
other's throats; but, strange as it may seem, after the terms you have
employed, I still hope to avert the unpleasant necessity. For one
moment moderate your language, and give me time for brief explanation.
If I rightly understand you, it is from your own observations you thus
accuse me; and I presume you did me the honour of a personal
surveillance at last night's ball?"

Fatello, his violence checked for the moment from further outbreak by
the baron's courtesy and coolness, made a gesture of sullen assent.

"And that you overheard a part, but not the whole, of my conversation
with the black domino in question?"

"I heard enough, and too much," replied Fatello, with a savage scowl
at his interlocutor. "This is idle talk, mere gain of time. Baron
Steinfeld!" cried the banker, in a voice that again rose high above
its usual pitch, "you are----"

"Stop!" interrupted Steinfeld, speaking very quickly, but with an
extraordinary and commanding calmness, which again had its effect.
"Descend not to invective, M. Fatello. There is always time for
violence. Hear reason. You are in error, an error easily explained. I
certainly saw Madame Fatello at the ball, saw and spoke with
her--patience, sir, and hear me! But the domino, of my conversation
with whom you heard a part, was _not_ Madame Fatello, but Mademoiselle
Gonfalon. You take little interest in the frivolities of a masquerade,
and are possibly unaware that the two ladies' dresses were exactly
similar. You can have heard our conversation but imperfectly, or you
would not have wronged me by this suspicion."

Whilst uttering these last sentences, Steinfeld redoubled the keenness
of the scrutiny with which he regarded the banker's uncomely and
agitated physiognomy. But although piquing himself, as a former
diplomatist, on skill in reading men's thoughts through their faces,
he was unable to decipher the expression of Fatello's countenance on
receiving this plausible explanation of the error into which he had
been led by the sisters' identity of costume. As he proceeded with it,
the banker's lips, slightly parting, gave his face an air of stupefied
wonderment, in addition to its previously inflamed and angry aspect.
When Steinfeld concluded an explanation uttered with every appearance
of sincerity and candour, and in that flexible and affable tone which,
when he chose to employ it, imparted to his words a peculiarly
seductive and persuasive charm, Fatello's lips were again firmly
closed, and curled with a curious and inexplicable smile. This faded
away; he struck his left hand against his forehead, and remained for
some moments plunged in thought, as if he hastily retraced in his
memory what he had heard the night before, to see how it tallied with
the explanation just given him. Thus, at least, Steinfeld interpreted
his manner; and although the Austrian's countenance preserved its
serenity, his heart throbbed violently against his ribs during the
banker's brief cogitation. The result of this was evidently
satisfactory to Fatello, from whose brow, when his hand again dropped
by his side, the lowering cloud had disappeared, replaced by
affability and regret.

"I see," he said, with better grace than might have been expected from
him, and taking a step towards Steinfeld, "that nothing remains for me
but to implore your pardon, baron, for my unwarrantable suspicions,
and for the harsh and unbecoming expressions into which they betrayed
me. Jealousy is an evil counsellor, and blinds to the simplest truths.
I scarce dare hope you will forgive my intemperate conduct, without
exacting the hostile meeting for which I was just now as eager as I at
present am to avoid it. If you insist, I must not refuse, but I give
you my word that if I have a duel with you to-day, nothing shall
induce me to depart from the defensive."

"I should be unreasonable," replied Steinfeld graciously, "if I
exacted ampler satisfaction than this handsome apology, for what,
after all, was no unnatural misconception. Ten years ago, I might have
been more punctilious, but after three or four encounters of the kind,
a duel avoided, when its real motive is removed, is a credit to a
man's good sense, and no slur upon his courage."

"No one will ever attack yours, my dear baron," said Fatello. "I only
hope you will always keep what has passed between us this morning as
profound a secret as I, for my own sake, certainly shall do. I am by
no means disposed to boast of my part in the affair."

Steinfeld bowed politely, and the two men exchanged, with smiles upon
their faces, a cordial grasp of the hand.

"Out of evil cometh good," said the banker sententiously, subsiding
upon the silken cushions of a _causeuse_ that extended its arms
invitingly at the chimney-corner. "I am delighted to find that the
leaden bullet I anticipated exchanging with you is likely to be
converted into a golden ring, establishing so near a connexion between
us as to render our fighting a duel one of the least probable things
in the world. My dear baron, I shall rejoice to call you
brother-in-law."

"It would be a great honour for me," replied Steinfeld, "but you
over-rate the probability of my enjoying it. Nothing has passed
between Mademoiselle Gonfalon and myself to warrant my reckoning on
her preference."

"Tush, tush! baron," said Fatello, apparently not heeding, or not
noticing the somewhat supercilious turn of Steinfeld's phrases, "you
forget the new and not very creditable occupation to which the demons
of jealousy and suspicion last night condemned me. You forget that I
tracked you in the promenade, and lay in ambush by the fountain, or
you would hardly put me off with such tales as these."

The baron winced imperceptibly on being thus reminded how closely his
movements had been watched.

"You are evidently new at the profession of a scout," said he
jestingly, "or you would have caught more correctly my conversation
with your amiable sister-in-law. Mademoiselle Gonfalon is a charming
person; the mask gives a certain license to flirtation, and a partial
hearing of what passed between us has evidently misled you as to its
precise import."

"Not a bit of it!" cried Fatello, with an odd laugh--"I heard better
than you think, I assure you; and what I did hear quite satisfied me
that you are a smitten man, and that Sebastiana is well disposed to
favour your suit."

"I must again protest," said Steinfeld, expressing himself with some
embarrassment, "that the thought of becoming Mademoiselle Gonfalon's
husband, great as the honour would be, has never yet been seriously
entertained by me; and that, however you may have been misled by the
snatches of our conversation you overheard, nothing ever passed
between us exceeding the limits of allowable flirtation--the not
unnatural consequence of Mademoiselle Sebastiana's fascinating
vivacity, and of the agreeable footing of intimacy on which, for the
last three months, I have found admittance at your hospitable house."

Sigismund Fatello preserved, whilst the baron waded through the
intricacies of his artificial and complicated denial, a half-smile of
polite but total incredulity.

"My dear baron," said he, gravely, when Steinfeld at last paused, "I
am sure you are too honourable a man to trifle with the affections of
any woman. I know you as the very opposite character to those
heartless and despicable male coquets, who ensnare susceptible hearts
for the cruel pleasure of bruising or breaking them, and sacrifice, in
their vile egotism, the happiness of others to the indulgence of
paltry vanity. I detect the motives of your present reserve, and,
believe me, I appreciate their delicacy. Rumour, that eternal and
impertinent gossip, has asserted that Baron Ernest von Steinfeld has
impaired, by his open hand and pursuit of pleasure, the heritage of
his forefathers. I do not mean that this has become matter of common
report; but we bankers have opportunities of knowing many things, and
can often read in our bill-books and ledgers the histories of families
and individuals. In short, it is little matter how I know that your
affairs, my dear baron, are less flourishing than they might be, or
than you could wish. But this, after all, is an unimportant matter.
The dirty acres are still there--the Schloss Steinfeld still stands
firm upon its foundation, and though there be a bit of a mortgage on
the domain, and some trouble with refractory Jews, it is nothing, I am
sure, but what a clear head, and a little ready cash, will easily
dispose of."

It was natural to suppose that a lover, whose position on the brink of
ruin made him scruple to ask the hand of his mistress of her nearest
male relative and protector, and who found his embarrassments suddenly
smoothed over and made light of by the very person who might be
expected to exaggerate them, would be the last man to place fresh
stumbling-blocks on the path to happiness thus unexpectedly cleared
before him. Steinfeld, however, appeared little disposed to chime in
with the banker's emollient view of his disastrous financial position.
With an eagerness that bespoke either the most honourable
punctiliousness, or very little anxiety to become the husband of
Mademoiselle Gonfalon, he set Fatello right.

"I heartily wish," said he, "matters were no worse than you suppose.
You quite underrate my real embarrassments. My estate is mine only
nominally; not a farthing it produces comes into my pocket; the very
castle and its furniture are pledged; some houses in Vienna, and a few
thousand florins of Austrian _rentes_, derived from my mother, melted
away years ago; I am deeply in debt, and harassed on all sides by duns
and extortioners. I calculated my liabilities the other day--why, I
know not, for I have no chance of clearing them--and I found it would
require three hundred thousand florins to release my lands and pay my
debts. You see, my dear M. Fatello, I am not a very likely match for
an heiress."

Fatello had listened with profound attention to the insolvent
balance-sheet exhibited by the baron.

"Three hundred thousand florins--six hundred thousand francs," said
he, musingly--"allowing for usury and overcharges, might doubtless be
got rid of for a hundred thousand less. Well, baron, when Sebastiana
marries, she will have more than that tacked to her apron. Her father
left her something like half a million, and I have not let the money
lie idle. She is a richer woman, by some thousand louis d'ors, than
she was at his death. I don't carry her account in my head, but I
daresay her fortune would clear your lands, and leave a nice nest-egg
besides. And although she certainly might find a husband in better
plight as regards money matters, yet, as you are so much attached to
each other, and happiness, after all, is before gold, I shall make no
difficulties. I noticed the girl was absent and sentimental of late,
but never guessed the real cause. Ah, baron! you fascinating dogs have
much to answer for!"

Whilst Fatello thus ran on, with, as usual, more bluntness than good
breeding, Steinfeld was evidently on thorns; and at the first
appearance of a pause in the banker's discourse, he impatiently struck
in.

"I must beg your attention, M. Fatello," said he, "whilst I repeat
what you evidently have imperfectly understood--that it has never
entered my head to gain Mademoiselle Gonfalon's affections, and that I
have no reason to believe I should succeed in the attempt. I again
repeat that nothing but the most innocent and unimportant flirtation
has passed between us. I am deeply sensible of your kind
intentions--grateful for your generous willingness to overlook my
unfortunate circumstances, and to promote my marriage with your
sister-in-law; but, flattering and advantageous as such a union would
be to me, I am not certain it would lead to that happiness which you
justly deem preferable to wealth. I doubt whether my disposition and
that of Mademoiselle Sebastiana would exactly harmonise. Moreover,
necessitous though I am, it goes against my pride to owe every thing
to my wife. It would pain me to see her dowry swallowed up by my
debts. Let us drop the subject, I entreat you. To-morrow you will
appreciate and rejoice at my hesitation. I fully comprehend the
generous impulse that prompts you. Having done me an injustice, you
would compensate me beyond my merits. Thanks, my good friend; but,
believe me, if happiness resides not in wealth, neither is it found in
hasty or ill-assorted unions. And, to tell you the truth, however
politic a rich marriage might be in the present critical state of my
affairs, I long ago made a vow against matrimony, which I still
hesitate to break."

"You are the best judge of your own motives," said Fatello, stiffly,
"but you quite misconstrue mine. It never entered my head to view you
as a victim, or to think myself called upon to atone, by providing you
with a rich and handsome wife, for the jealousy you so successfully
proved groundless. Such compensation would be excessive for so slight
an injury. No, no, baron--you have quite mistaken me. As the nearest
connexion and natural guardian of Mademoiselle Gonfalon, it is my duty
to watch over her, and not to allow her feelings to be trifled with.
For some time past, I have suspected her affections were engaged, but
it never occurred to me they were fixed upon you. Well--last night I
go to a ball, and, actuated by suspicions to which it is unnecessary
to recur, I listen to your conversation with my sister-in-law. To a
plain man like myself, it bore but one interpretation--that you have
sought and won her heart. You deny this, and assert your language to
have been that of common gallantry and compliment, such as may be
addressed to any woman without her inferring serious intentions. Here,
then, we are gravely at issue. You maintain my ears deceived me; I
persist in crediting their evidence. Fortunately, an arbiter is easily
found. I shall now return home, see my sister-in-law, and confess to
her my eaves-dropping, keeping its real motive and my visit to you
profoundly secret. From her I shall learn how matters really stand. If
her account agree with Baron Steinfeld's, I shall evermore mistrust my
hearing; if the contrary, and that the baron, himself a sworn foe to
marriage, has compromised the happiness of a young and confiding
woman, why, then, he will not be surprised if I seek of him, for so
grave an offence, the reparation which a short time ago I was ready to
afford him for one comparatively insignificant." And Fatello bowed
formally, and with severe countenance moved towards the door. But
before he could leave the room, Steinfeld, who had stood for a moment
thoughtful and perplexed, hurried to intercept him, and laid his hand
upon the lock.

"You are really too hasty, Fatello," said he, "and not altogether
reasonable. What ill weed have you trodden upon, that makes you so
captious this morning? Own that our conversation has taken an odd
turn! Would any one believe that you, Fatello the _millionnaire_,
press a marriage between your sister, the wealthy Mademoiselle
Gonfalon, and myself, the needy Baron Steinfeld--and that it is I, the
ruined spendthrift, from whom the obstacles to the match proceed?
Neither in romance nor in real life has the case a precedent. And you
may be assured the world will not applaud your wisdom, nor
Mademoiselle Sebastiana feel grateful for your zeal."

"For the world's applause I care not that," replied Fatello, snapping
his fingers. "As to my sister, I have neither will nor power to
constrain her. I do but afford her the protection she is entitled to
at my hands. I press her upon no man, but neither do I suffer her to
be trifled with. Sebastiana Gonfalon does not lack suitors, I can
assure you."

"Unquestionably," said Steinfeld, with an absent air; "Mademoiselle
Gonfalon is indeed a most charming person, and, were she penniless,
would still be a prize to any man. I only wish I enjoyed the place in
her good opinion you so erroneously imagine me to occupy."

"Well, well," said Fatello, striving to get at the door, before which
the baron had planted himself, "since error there is, it will soon be
cleared up. You cannot blame me, baron, for preferring, in so delicate
an affair, the testimony of my own ears to that of any one person. But
if two unite against me, I shall think myself crazed or bewitched, and
shall at least be silenced and confounded, if not entirely convinced."

"Answer me one question," said Steinfeld. "If yesterday, before you
overheard a part of my conversation with your sister, I had asked of
you her hand, exposing to you at the same time the state of my
fortunes, or rather of my misfortunes, would you then have sanctioned
my suit and pleaded my cause with Mademoiselle Gonfalon? Would you,
and will you now--for, believe me, I need it more than you think--add
the weight of your arguments and advocacy to the prepossession you
persist in thinking your sister has in my favour, a prepossession of
whose existence I hardly dare flatter myself?"

"Why not?" said Fatello, with an air of straightforward cordiality.
"Why not? You are not rich, certainly but Sebastiana is rich enough
for both. You have high birth, talents, interest with the Emperor,
and, once married, with your debts paid, and your wild oats sown, you
may take ambition instead of pleasure for a mistress, and aspire to
high employment. Why not return to diplomacy, for which you are so
admirably qualified, and come back to us as Austrian ambassador?
Believe me, baron, there is a fine career before you, if you will but
pursue it."

"Perhaps," said Steinfeld, smiling to himself, like a man to whom a
bright perspective is suddenly thrown open; "and, as you say, the
first step would be a suitable marriage, which, by ridding me of all
encumbrance, might enable me to climb lightly and steadily the hill of
wealth and honours."

"And a _millionnaire_ brother-in-law to give you an occasional push by
the way," added Fatello, with one of his heavy, purse-proud smiles;
"pushes you may repay in kind, for diplomatist and financier should
ever hunt in couples."

"My dear Fatello," said Steinfeld, "the prospect is too charming to be
lightly relinquished. You must think strangely of my first reluctance
to avail myself of your friendly disposition in my favour; but I so
little suspected it, I was so bewildered by its sudden revelation, so
embarrassed by my own difficulties--and then pride, you know--a morbid
fear of being thought mercenary; in short, you will make allowance for
my strange way of meeting your kind encouragement. I can only say,
that since you deem me worthy of her, and if you can obtain her
consent, (a more difficult task, I fear, than you imagine,) I shall be
the happiest of men as the husband of the adorable Sebastiana."

"That is speaking to the purpose," said Fatello; "and, for my part, I
repeat that I shall be happy to call you brother-in-law. I will do my
best for you with Sebastiana, to whom I will at once communicate your
formal demand in marriage. But, pshaw! you rogue," added he, with a
clumsy attempt at archness, "you have made pretty sure of her consent,
and need no brotherly advocate."

"Indeed you are mistaken," replied Steinfeld earnestly. "I only wish I
were as confident, and with good reason, as you think me."

"Well, well, no matter," said the banker. "You shall shortly hear your
fate."

"I shall be on thorns till I learn it," said the baron. "And, my dear
Fatello," said he, detaining the banker, who, after shaking hands with
him, was about to leave the room, "it is perhaps not necessary to
refer--at least not weigh upon--our conversation at last night's
masquerade. It might vex Mademoiselle Gonfalon--to learn that she had
been overheard--or--she might doubt your having heard, and think I had
been confiding to you a presumptuous and unfounded belief of her
partiality for myself. Women, you know, are susceptible on these
points; it might indispose her towards me, and lessen my chance. In
short," he added, with a smile, "if you will be guided by an
_ex-roué_, now reformed, but who has some little experience of the
female heart, you will confine yourself to the communication of my
proposals, without reference to any thing past, and apply all your
eloquence to induce Mademoiselle Sebastiana to receive them as
favourably as yourself."

Fatello nodded knowingly.

"Ay, ay," said he, "I see I need not despair of my ears. They do not
serve me so badly. But never fear, baron--I will know nothing, except
that you are desperately in love, and that your life depends on your
suit's success. That is the established formula, is it not?"

When the baron--after escorting Fatello, in spite of his resistance,
to the door of the pavilion, where the banker's carriage awaited
him--re-entered the breakfast-room, the joyous and hopeful expression
his countenance had worn during the latter part of his conversation
with his visitor was exchanged for one of anxiety and doubt. Instead
of returning to the breakfast, of which he had scarcely eaten a
mouthful, he drew his arm-chair to the fire, threw himself into it,
and fell into a brown study. The attentive valet, who came in full of
concern for his master's interrupted meal, was sharply dismissed, with
an order to admit no callers. After a short time, however, Steinfeld's
cogitations apparently assumed a rosier hue. The wrinkles on his brow
relaxed their rigidity, he ceased to gnaw his mustache, and at length
a smile dawned upon his features, and grew till it burst into a laugh.
Something or other inordinately tickled the baron's fancy; for he lay
back in his chair and laughed heartily, but silently, with the eyes
rather than the mouth, for nearly a minute. Then getting up, and
lounging pensively through the room, he indulged in a soliloquy of
muttered and broken sentences, which, like the secret cipher of a band
of conspirators, were unintelligible without a key. Their obscurity
was increased by a style of metaphor borrowed from the card-table, and
which a man of such correct taste as Steinfeld would doubtless have
scrupled to employ in conversation with any one but himself.

"What an odd caprice of fate!" he said. "A strange turn in the game,
indeed! The card I most feared turns up trumps! It rather deranges my
calculations; but perhaps it is as good a card as the other. Decidedly
as sure a one. What certainty that yonder pedantic booby is right in
his prognostics? And then there was no avoiding it. Provided, only,
Fatello is silent about last night. If not, all is spoilt. And if she
makes a scene! Your Spanish dames are reputed fiery as Arabs; but I
take her for one of the milder sort--rather a pining than a storming
beauty. What if I were to miss both, by some infernal _quiproquo_ or
other. Query, too, whether Sebastiana accepts; but I think, with
Fatello to back me, I need not fear much on that score. I detect his
motives. To your rich upstart, money is dirt compared with descent,
connexion, title. He would like to be an ambassador's brother-in-law,
the near connexion of a family dating from Charlemagne--he, the man of
nothing, with plebeian written on his front. Upwards of half a
million. Seven hundred thousand, I daresay. I had reckoned on nearly
double, and now I may lose both. Well, _à la grâce du diable_. I will
go take a gallop."

And in another half hour the aspirant to the hand and fortune of
Sebastiana Gonfalon was cantering round the Bois de Boulogne, followed
at the prescribed distance by Celestin, who, mounted on a fine English
horse, near sixteen hands high, bore no slight resemblance to an ape
exalted on an elephant.


CHAP. IV.--THE CAPTAIN'S ROOM.

The hotel of the Northern Eagle, situated in one of the most
respectable of the numerous small streets between the Rue St Honoré
and the Rue Neuve des Petits Champs, is one of several hundred
establishments of the class, scattered over Paris, and which, although
bearing the ambitious title of "_hotel_," differ in no essential
respect from what in London are styled third or fourth-rate
lodging-houses. It is a tall, narrow, melancholy-looking edifice,
entered through an archway, which devours a great part of the
ground-floor, and is closed at night by a heavy coach-door, and in the
daytime by a four-foot palisade, painted a bright green, with a gate
in the middle, and a noisy bell that rings whenever the gate is
opened. Under the archway, and in the little paved court that
terminates it, there is always a strong smell of blacking in the
morning, and an equally strong smell of soup in the afternoon; the
former arising from the labours of Jean, a strapping, broad-shouldered
native of Picardy, who makes beds, cleans boots, and carries water for
the entire hotel; the latter emanating from a small, smoky den, not
unlike a ship's caboose, where a dingy cookmaid prepares the diurnal
_pot-au-feu_ for the mistress of the hotel, her son and husband, and
for a couple of pensioners, who, in consideration of the moderate
monthly payment of fifty francs each, are admitted to share the frugal
ragouts of Madame Duchambre's dinner-table. By an architectural
arrangement, common enough in old Paris houses, and which seems
designed to secure a comfortable gush of cold air through the crevices
of every door in the building, the foot of the staircase is in the
court, open to all weathers--a circumstance most painful to Jean, who
takes pride in the polish of his stairs, and is to be seen, whenever
his other avocations leave him a moment's leisure, busily repairing,
with a brush buckled on his foot, and a bit of wax in a cleft stick,
the damage done to their lustre by the muddy boots of the lodgers. The
hotel contains about five-and-twenty rooms, all let singly, with the
exception of the first floor, divided into two "_appartemens_" of two
rooms and a cupboard each, for which Madame Duchambre obtains the
extravagant rent of ninety and one hundred francs per month. Above the
first floor the rooms are of various quality--from the commodious
chamber which, by the French system of an alcove for the bed, is
converted in the daytime into a very tolerable imitation of a
parlour--to the comfortless attic, an oven in summer, an ice-house in
winter, dearly paid at five francs a-week by some struggling artisan
who works hard enough in the day to sleep anywhere at night.

At the period referred to by this narrative, a room upon the third
floor of the hotel of the Northern Eagle was occupied, as might be
ascertained by inspection of a lithographed visiting card, stuck upon
the door with a wafer, by Godibert Carcassonne, captain in the 1st
African Chasseurs, known emphatically amongst the permanent tenants of
the hotel as "The Captain." Not that military occupants were a rarity
under the wings of the Northern Eagle; captains were common enough
there--majors not very scarce--and it was upon record that more than
one colonel had occupied the yellow _salon_ upon the first floor. But
none of these warriors bore comparison with Captain Carcassonne in the
estimation of Madame Duchambre, an elderly lady with a game leg, and a
singularly plain countenance, who had seen better days, and had a
strong sense of the proprieties of life. In general she professed no
great affection for men of the sword, whom she considered too much
addicted to strong drink and profane oaths, and who did not always,
she said, respect _la pudeur de la maison_. The captain, however, had
completely won her heart--not by any particular meekness or
abstinence, for he consumed far more cognac than spring water, had a
voice like a deep-mouthed mastiff, and swore, when incensed, till the
very rafters trembled. Nevertheless he had somehow or other gained
her affections; partly, perhaps, by the regularity with which, upon
all his visits to Paris during the previous fifteen years, he had
lodged in her house and paid his bills; partly, doubtless, by the
engaging familiarity with which he helped himself from her snuff-box,
and addressed her as Maman Duchambre.

It was eight o'clock at night, and, contrary to his wont, Captain
Carcassonne, instead of contesting a pool at billiards in his
accustomed café, or occupying a stall at his favourite Palais Royal
theatre, was seated in his room, alone, a coffee-cup and a bottle on
the table beside him, the amber mouthpiece of a huge meerschaum pipe
disappearing under his heavy dark mustache, smoking steadily, and
reading the _Sentinelle de l'Armée_. He was a powerful active man,
about forty years of age, with a red-brown complexion, martial
features, and a cavalier air, in whom Algerine climate and fatigues
had mitigated, if it had not wholly checked, that tendency to
corpulence early observable in many French cavalry officers, for the
most part a sedentary and full-feeding race. Of a most gregarious
disposition, no slight cause would have induced the captain to pass in
slow solitude those evening hours, which, according to his creed,
ought invariably, in Paris, to dance merrily by in the broad light of
gas, and in the excitement of a theatre or coffee-house. Neither was
it, in his eyes, a trifle that had placed him, as he expressed it,
under close arrest for the evening. He was paying a small instalment
of a debt of gratitude, which many would have held expunged by lapse
of time, but which Carcassonne still remembered and willingly
acknowledged. Many years previously--within a twelvemonth after his
promotion from a sergeantcy in a crack hussar regiment to a cornetcy
in a corps of chasseurs, newly formed for African service, and in
which he had since sabred his way to the command of a troop--Godibert
Carcassonne, when on leave of absence at Paris, had been led, by
thoughtlessness and by evil associates, rather than by innate vice,
into a scrape which threatened to blast his prospects in the army, and
consequently in life, and of his extrication from which there was no
possibility, unless he could immediately procure five thousand francs.
The sum was trifling, but to him it seemed immense, for he estimated
it by the difficulty of obtaining it. Driven to desperation, thoughts
of suicide beset him, when at that critical moment a friend came to
the rescue. By the merest chance, he stumbled upon a former
school-fellow, a native of the same department as himself, and his
accomplice in many a boyish frolic. They had not seen each other for
years. When Carcassonne was taken by the conscription, his schoolmate
had already departed to seek fortune at Paris, the Eldorado of
provincials, and there, whilst the smart but penniless young soldier
was slowly working his way to a commission, he had taken root and
prospered. He was not yet a wealthy man, but neither was he a needy or
niggardly one, for, on hearing the tale of his friend's difficulties,
he offered him, after a few moments' internal calculation, the loan of
the sum on which his fate depended, and gruffly cut short the
impetuous expression of gratitude with which the generous offer was
joyfully accepted. The loan was in fact a gift, for when, some time
afterwards, Carcassonne remitted to his friend a small instalment of
his debt, scraped together by a pinching economy that did him honour,
out of his slender pay, the little draft was returned to him, with the
words, "You shall pay me when you are colonel." And as all subsequent
attempts were met by the same answer, the money was still unpaid. But
never did loan bear better interest of gratitude. Carcassonne had
never forgotten the obligation, was never weary of seeking
opportunities of requiting it. These were hard to find, for his friend
was now a rich man, and there was little the dragoon could do for him
beyond choosing his horses, and giving his grooms valuable veterinary
hints, derived from his long experience of the chevaline race in the
stables of the 1st Chasseurs. Once only was he fortunate enough to
hear his benefactor slightingly spoken of at a public table in Paris.
That was a happy day for Carcassonne, and a sad one for the offender,
who was taken home a few hours afterwards with pistol bullet in his
shoulder.

The object of this devoted attachment on the part of the rough but
honest-hearted soldier, was not insensible to the sincerity and value
of such friendship, and returned it after his own fashion,--that is to
say, somewhat as the owner of a noble dog permits its demonstrations
of affection, and requites them by an occasional caress. When
Carcassonne came to Paris, which he did as often as he could get leave
of absence from his duties in Africa, his first visit was always for
his benefactor, who invariably got up a dinner for him--not at his own
house, which the dragoon would have considered a tame proceeding, but
at some renowned restaurant--a regular _bamboche_, as the African
styled it, where champagne corks flew and punch flamed from six in the
evening till any hour after midnight. Then, the civilian's occupations
being numerous, and his sphere of life quite different from that of
the soldier, the two saw but little of each other, except through a
casual meeting in the rich man's stables, or on the boulevard, or
when--but this was very rare--Carcassonne was surprised in his room,
at the Northern Eagle, by an unexpected but most welcome visit from
his friend, come to smoke a passing cigar, and have ten minutes' chat
over boyish days and reminiscences.

These visits were a great treat to the captain; and it was the
anticipation of one of them that now kept him in his room. To his
astonishment, he had received that morning a note from his friend,
requesting him to remain at home in the evening, as he would call upon
and crave a service of him. Carcassonne was delighted at the
intimation, and not feeling quite certain when evening might be said
to begin, he shut himself up in his room at four o'clock, ordered in
dinner from a neighbouring _traiteur_, sipped his coffee in contented
solitude, and now awaited, with the dutiful patience of a soldier on
sentry, the promised coming of his friend. At last a cough and a heavy
footstep were heard upon the stairs; the captain took up a candle,
opened the door, and, stepping out into the gloomy corridor, the light
fell upon the tall ungainly figure, and sullen features, of Sigismund
Fatello.

"Come in, my dear fellow," cried Carcassonne in his stentorian tones,
and with a soldier's oath. "I've expected you these three hours.
What--wet? Snow? Come to the fire, and take a sup of cognac till the
punch is made."

It snowed heavily outside, and the banker's upper coat had caught a
few large flakes in crossing the court. He heeded them not, but
putting down, untasted, the glass of brandy handed to him by the
captain, he took a chair, and motioned Carcassonne to another.

"What the deuce is the matter with you, Sigismund?" said the captain,
looking hard at his friend. "Are you ill?"

"Better than I have for a long time been. Fresh from a wedding."

"Oho!" said Carcassonne. "I thought you had not put on full dress to
visit your old comrade in his den at the Northern Eagle. And whose
wedding was it?"

"A singular one," replied the banker, parrying the question.
"Strangely brought about, certainly. Would you like to hear its
history, Carcassonne?"

"By all means," said the captain, who always liked whatever Fatello
proposed. "But the business you came about?--you said I could do
something for you. What is it?"

"Plenty of time for that. It will keep. Let me tell you of this
marriage."

"Delighted to listen," said Carcassonne, settling himself in his
chair, and filling his pipe from a huge embroidered bag, once the
property of an Arabian Emir's lady, but which a razzia had degraded
into a receptacle for tobacco.

"You must know, then, Carcassonne," said Fatello, "that a friend of
mine, named Oliver, a man of middle age, more calculated to shine in a
counting-house than in a boudoir, was fool enough, not very long ago,
to fall in love with a beautiful girl, twenty years younger than
himself; and as he was rich, and her father avaricious, the marriage
was brought about, although not altogether with her good will."

"Bad," quoth the captain, between two puffs of his pipe. "An unwilling
bride is apt to prove a sour wife."

"Once married," continued Fatello, without heeding his friend's
interruption, "Oliver, who knew he had not his wife's love, spared no
pains to obtain her friendship. He was not such a man, either by
person, manners, or temper, as women are apt to fancy; but, to atone
for his deficiencies, he covered her with gold, was the slave of her
caprices, forestalled her slightest wish. Her amusement and happiness
were the whole study of his life; and after a while his efforts seemed
crowned with success. She treated him as a friend, and appeared
contented with her lot. This was all he had dared to hope, and, having
attained this, he was happy. His existence, from boyhood upwards, had
been agitated and laborious, but riches had rewarded his toils, and he
could now look forward to a long period of happiness and repose. At
the very moment he indulged these visions of a bright future, a single
word, whispered in his ear by a physician of high repute, crumbled the
entire fabric. That word was Consumption, and when he heard it he knew
his doom was sealed. His father, his elder brother, his sisters, all
had been carried off, in the prime of their strength, by the insidious
disease, whose germ, implanted in their system before they saw the
light, was ineradicable by the resources of art. The shock was
severe--it could not be otherwise--for most of the things were his for
which men prize life. But he was no poltroon, to pine at the approach
of death; and he nerved himself to meet like a man his inevitable
fate. Although with scarce a shadow of hope, he neglected no means of
combating the deadly malady; and, enjoining secrecy to his physician,
he concealed from every one his belief that his days were numbered and
his race wellnigh run. He was calm and resigned, if not hopeful, when
he one day received a letter that chilled his very soul. His wife, it
told him, loved another, whom she would meet that night at a
masquerade. Although anonymous, its indications were so precise, that
Oliver, spurred by fiercest jealousy, disguised himself and went
secretly to the ball. There he discovered his wife, in the company of
a foreign fopling, who, for some time previously, had been a frequent
visitor at his house. He kept near them, occasionally catching a
sentence confirmatory of his suspicions, until they withdrew from the
crowd, and sought a retired nook, where to converse uninterrupted. He
found means to secrete himself in their vicinity, and overheard--no
evidence of his dishonour, for then he had stabbed them where they
stood--but words whence he gathered the existence of the most
heartless, perfidious, and cold-blooded calculation.

"The wife of his bosom, to gain whose affection he had squandered
millions, and changed his very nature, impatiently awaited his death
to bestow her hand, and the fortune he should bequeath her, on the
smooth-tongued seducer whose arts had beguiled her. The secret of his
fatal malady had been divulged by the physician, to whom alone it was
known, in the hearing of this foreign adventurer, who, ever upon the
watch to redeem his broken fortunes by a wealthy marriage, profited by
the disclosure. He obtained an introduction to Oliver's house, and
applied every art and energy to gain his wife's affections. He was but
too successful. She listened to his protestations, and on learning her
husband's impending death, pledged herself to become his, when she
should be released by it from ties she abhorred. All this, and more,
Oliver gathered from their conversation, to which he had the courage
to listen to the end, although each sentence went to his heart like a
stab, leaving in the wound the venom of hate and jealousy, to rankle
there until the latest moment of his life. What had you done,
Carcassonne, had you been in his place?"

"_Pardieu!_" said the captain, who had listened with profound
attention, and great expenditure of smoke, to his friend's narrative;
"I can hardly say, Sigismund. If I had kept my hands off the butterfly
scoundrel when I heard him courting my wife, I should have followed
him when he had had his chat out, and requested the pleasure of
crossing swords with him at his earliest convenience; and had I got
one good cut at him, he should not have needed another. What did your
friend?"

"Very nearly what you have said. He went home and destroyed his will,
and made another. Then he sought his enemy, to challenge him to an
instant encounter. The mean villain denied his treachery, and swore
that her to whom his vows of love were addressed was not Oliver's
wife, but his sister-in-law. Oliver well knew this to be a lie, but he
affected to believe he had been deceived by similarity of dress and
imperfect hearing, for the subterfuge had suddenly suggested to him a
sure means of punishing his faithless wife, and defeating her
seducer's aim. He declared himself willing to aid the views of the
foreigner--one Baron Steinfeld, an Austrian of high family, but ruined
fortunes--and to urge his sister-in-law to accept his hand.
Disagreeably surprised at such willingness, where he had wished and
expected opposition, Steinfeld strove to recede, but found extrication
impossible from the trap he had rushed into. Finally he was compelled
to yield; the less unwillingly because the bride thus given him was
not without fortune, which Oliver exaggerated, the better to allure
him. So that, when Oliver left him, it was to convey his formal
proposals to the lady, who was nothing loath, and to-day they were
married."

"To-day!" exclaimed Carcassonne. "This, then, is the wedding you come
from. And what said Madame Oliver?"

"What could she say? Made all the secret opposition she could, no
doubt; and then, finding it in vain, for her sister seemed as much
fascinated by the Austrian Lothario as she was herself, she took ill
and kept her bed. It needed all her woman's pride, and her fear of
malicious comment, to carry her calmly through to-day's ceremonies and
festivities."

"A very strange tale!" cried the captain. "And all true, eh?"

"To the letter. But that is not all. To-day, after the marriage,
Oliver sought five minutes' conversation with his newly-made
brother-in-law; and his first act, when they were alone, was to hand
him the anonymous letter he had received on the day of the masquerade,
in which was mentioned the colour of the ribbons worn by Madame Oliver
at the ball, as a sign by which Steinfeld was to distinguish her
amongst the crowd of dominos."

"Good!" said Carcassonne emphatically. "And what said the Kaiserlic?"

"Denied every thing, until Oliver recapitulated, word for word,
certain phrases of the conversation he had overheard. This struck him
dumb; but soon he recovered his effrontery, and expressed surprise at
Oliver's reviving the subject, especially at that moment."

"'Since you deemed it advisable to overlook the offence at the time,
and to promote my marriage with your sister-in-law,' he said, 'I
cannot understand your motive for now raking up the grievance.'

"'I will explain,' replied Oliver. 'I married you to my sister-in-law
that you might never be my widow's husband, whether I die a few months
hence, by the hand of God, or to-morrow by yours, in the duel which
shall no longer be delayed.'"

"The devil!" shouted the captain, at this announcement. "Your friend
Oliver is the wrong man to jest with, I see that. But will he really
fight his sister's husband?"

"He really will," replied Fatello, calmly. "Should you scruple, in his
place?"

"By my soul, it's hard to say, till one is tried. We are used in
Africa to hear fellows reckoning on our boots before we think of
leaving them off. But that hurts neither us nor the boots, whilst a
man's wife----It is aggravating, certainly, particularly to a man of
your Oliver's temper. A saint or a priest might not approve, but, as a
soldier and sinner, I must say revenge, in such a case, seems sweet
and natural."

"Then," said Fatello, "I may reckon on your assistance to-morrow?"

"On my assistance!--I--you! What the devil do you mean?" cried
Carcassonne, dropping his pipe, and starting from his seat in
extraordinary perturbation.

"Merely that my friend Oliver and your friend Fatello are one and the
same person, whose business here to-night is to ask you to second him
in his duel to-morrow with Baron Ernest von Steinfeld, married this
morning to Mademoiselle Sebastiana Gonfalon."


CHAP. V.--THE DAY AFTER THE WEDDING.

It may easily be imagined that Steinfeld, brave as he unquestionably
was, did not feel particularly pleased at finding himself called upon
to risk his life in a profitless duel, at the very moment when that
life had acquired fresh value in his eyes, through his acquisition of
a pretty wife and a handsome fortune. The former, it is true, the
baron, whose utter selfishness made him incapable of love in the
higher sense of the word, prized only as a child does a new plaything,
or an epicure a fresh dish presented to his sated palate. Pretty and
attractive as his bride was, her personal charms weighed far less with
him than her golden ones. Even in these he had been somewhat
disappointed. Although considerable, they were less than Fatello's
round-numbered generalities had led him to expect; and, moreover, when
the time came to discuss the settlements, the banker fought hard to
secure his sister-in-law's fortune upon her own head and that of her
children. This, however, Steinfeld vigorously resisted, urging the
necessity of extricating his estates from pawn; and Sebastiana,
enamoured of her handsome bridegroom, and whose ardent and jealous
imagination drew a romantic picture of a tête-à-tête existence in a
secluded chateau, far from the rivalries of a capital, expressed so
strongly her will to apply her fortune in the manner Steinfeld
desired, that Fatello, after much opposition, and with no good grace,
was compelled to yield the point. The sum thus placed in the
Austrian's power, although less than he had anticipated, was yet so
large to a man in his position, that its possession threw a pleasant
rose-coloured tint over his existence, of which the prospect of
poverty, and the annoyances of duns, had for some time past deprived
it. So that when, upon his wedding-day, Fatello fiercely taxed him
with his perfidy, repeated the words of insult he had addressed to him
on the morrow of the masquerade, and insisted upon a duel, the baron
did all in his power to pacify him, urging their new but near
connexion as an insuperable obstacle to a quarrel, and even humbling
himself to express contrition for his offence, which he persisted,
however, would have been viewed as but a venial one by any but so
morbid, jealous, and vindictive a person as Fatello, and which, in no
case, considering the relation they now stood in to each other, could
be held to justify them in seeking each other's life. But to his
expostulations, apologies, and arguments, Fatello replied with such
savage invective and ungovernable violence, taunting the baron with
cowardice, and threatening him, if he refused the reparation demanded,
with public exposure and manual chastisement--threats, of whose
execution Fatello's intemperate character and colossal frame (the
latter still muscular and powerful in spite of the disease mining it)
allowed very little doubt--that Steinfeld saw there was no alternative
but to accept the meeting; and, assuming the cold and haughty tone of
an injured man, he briefly arranged with Fatello its principal
conditions. To avoid scandal, and to insure, as far as possible, the
safety of the survivor, the duel was to take place in the grounds of a
country house belonging to the banker, at about a league from Paris,
and the seconds and surgeon were to be pledged to the strictest
secrecy. Fatello named Captain Carcassonne, and Steinfeld the Viscount
Arthur de Mellay, between whom the details of the affair were to be
settled.

Both the principals, however, in this singular duel, were destined to
experience difficulties from the friends they had fixed upon to second
them. Captain Carcassonne, who himself cared no more for a duel than
an English prizefighter does for a round with the gloves, and who
never slept a wink the fewer, or ate a mouthful less breakfast before
going out to fight one, was seized with a sudden trepidation when he
learned that his friend, whom he well knew to be unskilled in fence
and fire, was to enter the field with a man reputed expert in both.
At first he would not hear of the meeting taking place, swearing, in
direct opposition to what he had just before said, that he should not
think of fighting for such a trifle. When this plea was overruled, a
bright idea struck him. He would pick a quarrel with Steinfeld, and
wing him with a pistol-shot, or spoil his beauty with a sabre-cut,
just as Fatello chose; ay, would kill him outright, if nothing less
would satisfy his vindictive friend. But Fatello, whose morbid desire
of revenge had assumed the character of a monomania, rejected all the
captain's plans; and Carcassonne, whose affection and deference for
his old companion and benefactor were unbounded, ceased to make
objections, and fixed his thoughts solely upon the necessary
preliminaries. As to Fatello's announcement of the danger his life was
in from lurking disease, (a danger more remote, but also more certain
than that he would incur upon the morrow,) it would deeply have
grieved the worthy captain had he attached the least credit to it; but
his contempt for doctors and their prognostications prevented his
dwelling on it longer than to give a smile to the credulity of his
friend. Meanwhile Steinfeld had some trouble with de Mellay. It not
being the fashion in France for newly-married couples to escape from
the place of their wedding as fast as four posters can carry them, the
baron had taken his bride to his house in the Rue St Lazare, which a
little arrangement had adapted for their residence during the few days
that were to elapse before their departure for Germany. There, upon
the evening of his wedding-day, he had a conference with the viscount,
who, startled, like Carcassonne, at the news of the projected duel,
insisted on full explanations before consenting to render Steinfeld
the service required of him. These explanations Steinfeld was
compelled to give; and although he spread over them a varnish
favourable to himself, de Mellay plainly saw that the part the
Austrian had played in the whole affair did him no credit, and that
Fatello's extraordinary vindictiveness, if not justified, was in some
degree extenuated, by his adversary's perfidious manœuvres and
gross breach of hospitality. He at first insisted on attempting a
reconciliation, but Steinfeld having convinced him of its
impossibility, he would not refuse to stand by an intimate friend and
companion, who had more than once gone upon the ground with him. He
suggested, however--almost, indeed, made it a condition--that the
baron should fire wide, or not at all the first time, in doing which
he ran little risk, for Fatello was known to be unskilled with the
pistol. De Mellay resolved to place the duellists as far apart as
possible, and to make them fire together. He made sure Fatello would
miss the first shot, and that then, if Steinfeld had not fired, the
affair could easily be made up.

It was three in the afternoon, and the snow lay thick upon the ground,
when Steinfeld and his second entered a small door in the paling of
the banker's park, at a short distance from which they had dismissed
their hackney coach. Fatello, Carcassonne, and Dr Pilori, had preceded
them in the banker's carriage. The five men met upon a bowling-green
surrounded by trees, which, although leafless, were so thickly planted
as to form an impervious screen. More for form's sake and the
satisfaction of conscience, than with hope of success, the seconds
essayed a reconciliation. The attempt was rendered fruitless by
Fatello's firm determination; and after a brief conference between the
viscount and Carcassonne, the combatants were placed at twenty paces.
It was agreed they were to fire together, when six had been counted.
The seconds stepped aside. Carcassonne counted. When he came to
"_six_" a single report followed. Steinfeld staggered. De Mellay ran
to him.

"Nothing," said the baron. "My dear brother-in-law shoots better than
I thought, that is all." And he showed a rent made by Fatello's bullet
in the front of his tightly-buttoned surtout, near the waist. A button
had been cut away, and the ball had grazed the skin, but without
drawing blood.

"This shall not avail you, sir," cried Fatello, in a tone of
indescribable exasperation. "We came to fight, not to play. Fire,
sir!" And he stood sideways, expecting his adversary's bullet.

Steinfeld smiled bitterly. Then raising his pistol, he took aim at a
red-breast, which, scared from the bough by Fatello's fire, had again
settled, tamed by cold and hunger, upon a sapling five-and-twenty
paces off. Bark and feathers flew at the same time, and the unlucky
little bird lay disembowelled upon the snow. Carcassonne and de Mellay
exchanged a word or two, and advanced towards Fatello.

"Enough done, my dear Sigismund," said the captain. "After the baron's
forbearance, this can go no farther."

Fatello's reply was a torrent of imprecations. His eyes were
bloodshot, his cheeks pale as death: he was insane with passion. The
captain in vain endeavoured to soothe and calm him. He raged and
stormed like a madman.

"Monsieur Fatello," said de Mellay, with surprise--almost with
disgust--"for heaven's sake compose yourself. This persistence is
unworthy of you. What injury have you received to justify such
malignity? Neither your second nor myself can let this affair proceed,
otherwise than to a reconciliation."

There was a decision in the young man's tone and manner that seemed to
strike Fatello and check his fury. For a moment or two he gazed
silently at the viscount, as if recalled to reason by his
remonstrance. It was the trick of the maniac, to put the keeper off
his guard. Suddenly pushing Carcassonne aside, he reached, in two
bounds, a pistol-case that lay open at a short distance, and, seizing
one of the weapons, levelled it at Steinfeld. With a cry of horror, de
Mellay and Carcassonne threw themselves before the baron.

"This is murder!" exclaimed the viscount.

"Stop!" said Steinfeld, pale, but quite calm. "Wait a moment, sir, and
you shall be satisfied. There is no alternative, my dear de Mellay.
Monsieur Fatello insists. Give me the other pistol."

De Mellay hesitated, and looked at the captain.

"_Ma foi!_" said Carcassonne, shrugging his shoulders, as if he
thought a bullet more or less hardly worth so much discussion--"if
they _will_ have it!" The principals resumed their ground, and the
word was again given. This time both pistols were discharged.
Steinfeld stirred not, but Fatello fell to the ground and lay there
without motion. Dr Pilori ran forward, and, kneeling beside him,
unbuttoned his coat. There was a small blue spot on the breast, from
which oozed a drop or two of blood. The doctor seized the wrist of the
fallen man. Steinfeld and the seconds gazed anxiously in his face,
awaiting his verdict.

"I aimed at his arm," said Steinfeld gloomily, "but the cold made my
hand shake."

Carcassonne seemed not to hear the remark. De Mellay glanced at the
baron, and then at the bird that lay upon the blood-sprinkled snow
more than twenty yards off.

"Quite dead," said Pilori, letting the arm fall. "It is a painful
thing to kill a man," added the materialist doctor to Steinfeld, who
stood regarding his victim with a moody and regretful gaze. "It may be
satisfactory to you to know that he could not have lived six months
longer."

In France, a few years ago, duels, even when fatal in result, did not
necessarily entail strict judicial investigation, unless such
investigation was provoked by the friends of the fallen man. In the
instance here recorded, no one thought proper to take vindictive
steps. Fatello's coachman was instructed, and largely bribed, to say
that his master had been struck with apoplexy in his carriage, and
that, on discovering his condition, he had at once driven him to Dr
Pilori. The physician's arrival at the house, in company with the
corpse, and the absence of hemorrhage from the wound, rendered it easy
to conceal the latter, and gave plausibility to the story, which found
general credit. It was not till several days afterwards that a report
spread of the real cause of the banker's death. Even then it attained
little publicity, and by many was looked upon as a malicious
fabrication. Before it got wind, however, the survivors of the
domestic drama we have narrated, were far from its scene. By a will
made a month before his death, Fatello had left the whole of his
great riches, with the exception of some munificent donations to
public charities, and of an ample legacy to Captain Carcassonne, to a
cousin of his own name in Alsace. But he could not alienate his wife's
fortune, or deprive her of the splendid jointure secured to her by her
father's cautious greediness; and these constituted very large wealth,
with which his widow, shortly after his death, left Paris for her
native country. Her Parisian friends and acquaintances were edified,
in the highest degree, by the grief she displayed at Fatello's
decease. She was disconsolate; and, for at least a day and a half,
"_cette pauvre Madame Fatello_" was the prevailing topic of
conversation, and the object of universal sympathy. Hen-pecked
husbands held her up as a model of conjugal affection; and wicked
wives secretly wondered at the poignant regret shown by such a young,
rich, and handsome widow, for so ugly, unprepossessing, and morose a
man. But it occurred to no one to seek the cause of her excessive
grief in a bridal wreath instead of in a funeral shroud; to trace the
source of her sorrow to the loss of an expected husband whom she
passionately loved, not to that of a departed one, whom she never
regretted.

Although little apprehensive of persecution, many motives concurred to
render Paris an undesirable residence for the survivor of the duel in
which Fatello met his death. The day after the fatal meeting, a
travelling carriage left Paris by the road to Brussels. It contained
Ernest von Steinfeld and his bride. In spite of some practice in
duelling, and of the triple armour of selfishness in which he was
habitually cased, there was a cloud upon the baron's brow which change
of scene and the caresses of his young wife did not always suffice to
dissipate. And, although sensible to his bride's beauty and
fascination, and grateful, as far as it was in his nature to be so,
for the passionate affection she showed him, it may be doubted whether
he would not have repulsed her endearments, and spurned her from him,
had he detected a secret that lay buried in the innermost recesses of
her heart--had he recognised, in Sebastiana Gonfalon, the writer of
the two anonymous letters that tended so materially to bring about her
marriage, and the violent death of Sigismund Fatello.

As it was, the Baroness von Steinfeld had not long to congratulate
herself on the success of her culpable manœuvres, whose sole
extenuation was to be found in the fiery passions of her race, and in
a moral education totally neglected. Doubtless, when planning and
carrying out her guilty scheme, the possibility of so terrible a
result never occurred to her; and it were attributing improbable
depravity to one so young to doubt that she felt remorse at the
catastrophe. She did not long await her punishment. Bright as were her
hopes of happiness when led to the altar by the man she adored, she
soon was bitterly convinced, that no true or permanent felicity could
be the consequence of a union achieved by guilty artifice, and sealed
with a brother's blood. A few months were sufficient to darken her
destiny and blight her joys. Her fortune swallowed up by Steinfeld's
debts and extravagance, her person speedily became indifferent to the
sated and cold-hearted voluptuary; and whilst her reckless husband,
faithful to nothing but to his hatred of matrimonial ties, again
galloped upon the road to ruin, in the most dissipated circles of the
Austrian capital, she saw herself condemned to solitude and unavailing
regrets, in the very castle where she had anticipated an existence of
unalloyed bliss.



THE "GREEN HAND."

A "SHORT" YARN.[13]


  [13] "_Short_"--nauticè, _unfinished_.

"Come, old ship, give us a yarn!" said the younger forecastle-men to
an old one, on board of an Indiaman then swiftly cleaving the waves of
the western Atlantic before the trade-wind, and outward-bound, with a
hearty crew and a number of passengers. It was the second of the two
dog-watches; and, the ship being still in the region of evening
twilights, her men, in a good humour, and with leisure, were then
usually disposed, as on this occasion, to make fast their roaming
thoughts by help of a good yarn, when it could be got. There were
plenty of individuals, amongst a crew of forty, calculated by their
experience, or else by their flow of spirits and fancy, to spin it.
Each watch into which they were divided had its especial story-teller,
with whose merits it twitted the other, and on opportunity of a
general _reunion_, they were pitted against one another like two
fighting-cocks, or a couple of rival novelists in more polished
literary society at home. The one was a grave, solemn, old North-Sea
whaler with one eye, who professed to look down with contempt upon all
raw head-work, on navigation compared with seamanship, and fiction
against fact. As for himself, he rested all his fame upon actual
experience, and told long dry narratives of old shipmates, of his
voyages and adventures, and sometimes of the most incredible
incidents, with a genuine briny gusto which pleased the veteran
stagers beyond expression. They were full of points of seamanship--
expedients for nice emergencies, tacks, knots, and splices; he gave
the very conversation of his characters, with all the "says he" and
"says I;" and one long recital of the old fellow's turned upon the
question between himself and a newfangled second-mate about the right
way to set up back-stays, in which he, the sailor, was proved correct
by the loss of the ship. The other story-teller, again, was a Wapping
man; a lively, impudent young Cockney, who had the most miraculous
faculty of telling lies--not only palpable lies, but lies absolutely
impossible: yet they were so sublimely told often, and he contrived to
lug into them such a quantity of gorgeous tinsel ornament, as, in his
happier efforts, decidedly to carry the day against his opponent. The
London hand had seen _life_ too, of which, with respect to what is
called the world, his competitor was as ignorant as a child. He had
his sentimental vein, accordingly, in which he took the last love-tale
out of some "Penny Story-Teller" or fashionable novel he had spelled
over below, and turned it over into a parody that would have thrown
its unfortunate author into convulsions of horror, and his critics
into shrieks of laughter. The fine language of lords and ladies, of
romantic heroines, or of foreign counts and bandits, was gravely
retailed and gravely listened to by a throng of admiring jack-tars;
while the old whaler smoked his pipe sulkily apart, gave now and then
a scornful glance out of his weather-eye, and called it "all
_high-dic_' and soger's gammon."

On this occasion, however, the group forward did not solicit the
services of either candidate, as they happened to have present among
them a shipmate who, by general confession, "took the shine" out of
both, although it was rarely they could get hold of him. "Old Jack,"
the captain's private steward, was the oldest seaman on board, and
having known the captain when the latter went to sea, had sailed with
him almost ever since he commanded a ship, as well as lived in his
house on shore. He did not now keep his watch, nor take his "trick at
the helm," except when he chose, and was altogether a privileged sort
of person, or one of "the idlers." His name was Jacobs, which afforded
a pretext for calling him "Old Jack," with the sailor's fondness for
that Christian cognomen, which it is difficult to account for, unless
because Jonah and St John were seafaring characters, and the Roman
Catholic holy clerk St Nicholas was baptised "Davy Jones," with sundry
other reasons good at sea. But Old Jack was, at any rate, the best
hand for a yarn in the Gloucester Indiaman, and had been once or twice
called upon to spin one to the ladies and gentlemen in the cuddy. It
was partly because of his inexhaustible fund of good-humour, and
partly from that love of the sea which looked out through all that the
old tar had seen and undergone, and which made him still follow the
bowsprit, although able to live comfortably ashore. In his blue
jacket, white canvass trousers edged with blue, and glazed hat, coming
forward to the galley to light his pipe, after serving the captain's
tea of an evening, Old Jack looked out over the bulwarks, sniffed the
sharp sea-air, and stood with his shirt-sleeve fluttering as he put
his finger in his pipe, the very embodiment of the scene--the model of
a prime old salt who had ceased to "rough it," but could do so yet if
needful.

"Come, old ship!" said the men near the windlass as soon as Old Jack
came forward, "give us a yarn, will ye?" "Yarn!" said Jack,
smiling--"what yarn, mates? 'Tis a fine night, though, for that
same--the clouds flies high, and she's balling off a good ten knots
sin' eight bells." "That she is, bo'--so give us a yarn now, like a
reg'lar old A. 1. as you are!" said one. "'Vast there, mate," said a
man-o'-war's-man, winking to the rest,--"you're always a-cargo-puddling,
Bill! D'ye think Old Jack answers to any other hail nor the Queen's? I
say, old three-decker in or'nary, we all wants one o' your close-laid
yarns this good night. Whaling Jim here rubs his down with a thought
overmuch o' the tar, an' young Joe dips 'em in yallow varnish,--so if
you says Nay, why, we'll all save our grog, and get drunk as soon as
may-be." "Well, well, mates," said Jack, endeavouring to conceal his
flattered feelings, "what's it to be, though?" "Let's see," said the
man-o'-war's-man--"ay, give us the Green Hand!" "Ay, ay, the Green
Hand!" exclaimed one and all. This "Green Hand" was a story Old Jack
had already related several times, but always with such amusing
variations, that it seemed on each repetition a new one--the listeners
testifying their satisfaction by growls of rough laughter, and by the
emphatic way in which, during a pause, they squirted their
tobacco-juice on the deck. What gave additional zest to this
particular yarn, too, was the fact of its hero being no less than the
captain himself, who was at this moment on the poop quarter-deck of
the ship, pointing out something to a group of ladies by the
round-house--a tall handsome-looking man of about forty, with all the
mingled gravity and frank good-humour of a sailor in his firm
weather-tinted countenance. To have the power of secretly contrasting
his present position and manners with those delineated by Old Jack's
episode from the "skipper's" previous biography, was the _acme_ of
comic delight to these rude sons of Neptune, and the narrator just hit
this point.

"Ye see," began he, "'tis about six-an'-twenty year gone since I was
an able seaman before the mast, in a small Indyman they called the
Chester Castle, lying at that time behind the Isle of Dogs in sight of
Grenidge Hospital. She was full laden, but there was a strong breeze
blowing up that wouldn't let us get underweigh; and, besides, we
waited for the most part of our hands. I had sailed with the same ship
two voyages before; so, says the captain to me one day, "Jacobs,
there's a lady over at Greenwich yonder wants to send her boy to sea
in the ship--for a sickening I s'pose. I'm a going up to town myself,"
says he, "so take the quarter-boat, and two of the boys, and go ashore
with this letter, and see the young fool. From what I've heard," says
the skipper, "he's a jackanapes as will give us more trouble than
thanks. However, if you find the lady's bent on it, why, she may send
him aboard to-morrow if she likes. Only we don't carry no young
gentlemen, and if he slings his hammock here, you must lick him into
shape. I'll make a sailor of him, or a cabin-boy." "Ay, ay, sir," says
I, shoving the letter into my hat; so in half an hour's time I knocks
at the door of the lady's house, rigged out in my best, and hands
over the screed to a fat fellow with red breeches and yallow swabs on
his shoulders, like a captain of marines, that looked frightened at my
hail, for I thou't he'd been deaf by the long spell he took before he
opened the door. In five minutes I heard a woman's v'ice ask at the
footman if there was a sailor awaiting below. "Yes, marm," says he;
and "show him up," says she. Well, I gives a scrape with my larboard
foot, and a tug to my hair, when I gets to the door of _such_ a fine
room above decks, all full o' tables, an' chairs, an' sofers, an'
piangers, an' them sort o' highflying consarns. There was a lady all
in silks and satins on one of the sofers, dressed out like a widow,
with a pretty little girl as was playing music out of a large
book--and a picter of a man upon the wall, which I at once logged it
down for him she'd parted company from. "Sarvint, ma'am," says I.
"Come in, my good man," says the lady. "You're a sailor?" says
she--asking, like, to be sure if I warn't the cook's mate in
dish-guise, I fancy. "Well, marm," I raps out, "I make bould to say as
I hopes I am!"--an' I catches a sight o' myself in a big looking-glass
behind the lady, as large as our sky-sail,--and, being a young fellow
in them days, thinks I, "Blow me, if Betsy Brown asked me that now,
I'd ask her if _she_ was a _woman_!" "Well," says she, "Captain Steel
tells me, in this here letter, he's agoing to take my son. Now," says
she, "I'm sore against it--couldn't you say some'at to turn his mind?"
"The best way for that, yer ladyship," says I, "is to let him go, if
was only the length of the Nore. The sea'll turn his stomach for him,
marm," I says, "an' then we can send him home by a pilot." "He wanted
for to go into the navy," says the lady again, "but I couldn't think
on that for a moment, on account of this fearful war; an', after all,
he'll be safer in sailing at sea nor in the army or navy--don't you
think so, my good man?" "It's all you knows about it," thinks I;
hows'ever, I said there wasn't a doubt on it. "Is Captain Steel a rash
man?" says she. "How so, marm?" says I, some'at taken aback. "I hope
he does not sail at night, or in storms, like too many of his
profession, I'm afeard," says she; "I hope he always weighs the anchor
in such cases, very careful." "Oh, in course," says I, not knowin',
for the life of me, what she meant. I didn't like to come the rig over
the poor lady, seein' her so anxious like; but it was no use, we was
on such different tacks, ye see. "Oh yes, marm," I says, "Captain
Steel al'ays reefs taups'ls at sight of a squall brewing to wind'rd;
and we're as safe as a church, then, ye know, with a man at the wheel
as knows his duty." "This relieves my mind," the lady says, "very
much;" but I couldn't think why she kept sniffing all the time at her
smelling bottle, as she wor agoin' to faint. "Don't take it to heart
so, yer ladyship," I says at last; "I'll look after the young
gentleman till he finds his sea-legs." "Thank you," says she; "but, I
beg your pardon, would ye be kind enough for to open the winder, and
look out if you see Edward? I think he's in the garding.--I feel sich
a smell of pitch and tar!" I hears her say to the girl; and says she
to me again, "Do you see Edward there?--call to him, please."
Accordingly, I couldn't miss sight of three or four young slips
alongside, for they made plenty of noise--one of 'em on top of a
water-barrel smoking a segar; another singing out inside of it for
mercy; and the rest roaring round about it, like so many Bedlamites.
"No wonder the young scamp wants to sea," thinks I, "he's got nothin'
arthly to do but mischief." "Which is the young gentleman, marm?" says
I, lookin' back into the room--"Is it him with the segar and the red
skull-cap?" "Yes," says the lady--"call him up, please." "Hallo!" I
sings out, and all runs off but him on the barrel, and "Hallo!" says
he. "You're wanted on deck, sir," I says; and in five minutes in comes
my young gemman, as grave as you please. "Edward," says the mother,
"this is one of Captain Steel's men." "Is he going to take me?" says
the young fellow, with his hands in his pockets. "Well, sir," I says,
"'tis a very bad look-out, is the sea, for them as don't like it.
You'll be sorry ten times over you've left sich a berth as this here,
afore you're down Channel." The young chap looks me all over from clue
to earing, and says he, "My mother told you to say that!" "No, sir,"
says I, "I says it on my own hook." "Why did you go yourself, then?"
says he. "I couldn't help it," answers I. "Oh," says the impertinent
little devil, "but you're only one of the common sailors, ain't you?"
"Split me, you little beggar!" thinks I, "if I doesn't show you the
odds betwixt a common sailor, as ye call it, and a lubber of a boy,
before long!" But I wasn't goin' to let him take the jaw out o' me, so
I only laughed, an' says I, "Why, I'm captain of the foretop at sea,
any how." "Where's your huniform, then?" says the boy, lowering his
tone a bit. "Oh," I says, "we doesn't al'ays wear huniform, ye know,
sir. This here's what we call ondress." "I'm sorry, sir," says the
lady, "I didn't ax you to sit down." "No offence at all, marm," I
says, but I took a couple o' glasses of brandy as was brought in. I
saw 'twas no use goin' against the young chap; so, when he asked what
he'd have to do aboard, I told him nothing to speak of, except count
the sails now and then, look over the bows to see how the ship went,
and go aloft with a spy-glass. "Oh," says his mother at this, "I hope
Captain Steel won't never allow Edward to go up those dangerous
ladders! It is my pertic'lar request he should be punished if he
does." "Sartainly, marm, I'll mention it to the captain," I says, "an'
no doubt he'll give them orders as you speak on." "The captain desired
me to say the young gentleman could come aboard as soon as he likes,"
says I, before goin' out of the door. "Very well, sir," says the lady,
"I shall see the tailor this same arternoon, and get his clothes, if
so be it must." The last word I said was, putting my head half in
again to tell 'em, "There was no use gettin' any huniforms at present,
seein' the ship's sailmaker could do all as was wanted arterwards,
when we got to sea."

Well, two or three days after, the captain sent word to say the ship
would drop down with the morning tide, and Master Collins had better
be aboard by six o'clock. I went ashore with the boat, but the young
gemman's clothes warn't ready yet; so it was made up he was to come on
board from Gravesend the day after. But his mother and an old lady, a
friend of theirs, would have it they'd go and see his bed-room, and
take a look at the ship. There was a bit of a breeze with the tide,
and the old Indiaman bobbed up and down on it in the cold morning; you
could hear the wash of water poppling on to her rudder, with her
running gear blown out in a bend; and Missus Collins thought they'd
never get up the dirty black sides of the vessel, as she called 'em.
The other said her husband had been a captain, an' she laid claim to a
snatch of knowledge. "Sailor," says she to me, as we got under the
quarter, "that there tall mast is the main-bowsprit, ain't it? and
that other is the gallant bowling you call it, don't you?" says she.
"No doubt, marm," says I, winking to the boys not to laugh. "It's all
right," I says. Howsoever, as to the bed-room, the captain showed 'em
over the cabin, and put 'em off by saying the ship was so out of order
he couldn't say which rooms was to be which yet, though they needn't
fear Master Ned would get all comfortable; so ashore the poor woman
went, pretty well pleased, considerin' her heart was against the whole
consarn.

Well, the next afternoon, lying off Gravesend, out comes a wherry with
young master. One of the men said there was a midshipman in it.
"Midshipman, be blowed!" says I; "did ye ever see a reefer in a
wherry, or sitting out o' the starn-sheets? It's neither more nor less
nor the greenhorn we've got." "Why don't the bo'sun pipe to man
side-ropes for him!" says th' other; "but, my eye, Bob," says he to
me, "what a sight of traps the chap's got in the boat!--'twill be
enough to heel the Chester Castle to the side he berths upon, on an
even keel. Do he mean to have the captain's cabin, I wonder!" Up the
side he scrambles, with the help of a side-ladder, all togged out to
the nines in a span-new blue jacket and anchor buttons, a cap with a
gould band, and white ducks made to fit--as jemmy-jessamy a looking
fellow as you'd see of a cruise along London parks, with the watermen
singing out alongside to send down a tackle for the dunnage, which it
took a pair of purchase-blocks to hoist them out on board. "What's all
this?" says the mate, coming for'ard from the quarter-deck. "'Tis the
young gemman's traps, sir," I says. "What the devil!" says the mate,
"d'ye think we've room to stow all this lumber? Strike it down into
the forehold, Jacobs--but get out a blue shirt or two, and a Scotch
cap, for the young whelp first, if he wants to save that smooth
toggery of his for his mammy. You're as green as cabbage, I'm feared,
my lad!" says he. By this time the boy was struck all of a heap, an'
didn't know what to say when he saw the boat pulling for shore, except
he wanted to have a sight of his bed-room. "Jacobs," says the mate,
laughing like an old bear, "take him below, and show him his bed-room,
as he calls it!" So down we went to the half-deck, where the
carpenter, bo'sun, and three or four of the 'prentices, had their
hammocks slung. There I left him to overhaul his big donkey of a
chest, which his mother had stowed it with clothes enough for a lord
ambassador, but not a blessed thing fit to use--I wouldn't 'a given my
bit of a black box for the whole on it, ten times over. There was
another choke-full of gingerbread, pots o' presarves, pickles, and
bottles; and, thinks I, "The old lady didn't know what _shares_ is at
sea, I reckon. 'Twill all be gone for footing, my boy, before you've
seen blue water, or I'm a Dutchman."

In a short time we was up anchor, going down with a fast breeze for
the Nore; and we stood out to sea that night, havin' to join a convoy
off Spithead. My gentleman was turned in all standing, on top o' some
sails below; and next day he was as sick as a greenhorn could be,
cleaning out his land-ballast where he lay, nor I didn't see him till
he'd got better. 'Twas blowing a strong breeze, with light canvass all
in aloft, and a single reef in the tops'ls; but fine enough for the
Channel, except the rain--when what does I see but the "Green Hand" on
the weather quarter-deck, holding on by the belaying-pins, with a
yumberella over his head. The men for'ard was all in a roar, but none
of the officers was on deck save the third mate. The mate goes up to
him, and looks in his face. "Why," says he, "you confounded
long-shore, picked-up son of a green-grocer, what _are_ you after?"
an' he takes the article a slap with his larboard-flipper, as sent it
flying to leeward like a puff of smoke. "Keep off the quarter-deck,
you lubber," says he, giving him a wheel down into the lea-scuppers,--"it's
well the captain didn't catch ye!" "Come aft here, some of ye," sings
out third mate again, "to brace up the mainyard; and you, ye lazy
beggar, clap on this moment and pull!" At this the greenhorn takes out
a pair o' gloves, shoves his fingers into 'em, and tails on to the
rope; behind. "Well, dammit!" says the mate, "if I ever see the likes
o' that! Jacobs, get a tar-bucket and dip his fists in it; larn him
what his hands was made for! I never could bear to see a fellow ashore
with his flippers shoed like his feet; but at sea, confound me, it
would make a man green-sick over again!" If you'd only seen how Master
Collins looked when I shoved his missy fingers into the tar, and
chucked the gloves o'board! The next moment he ups fist and made a
slap at me, when in goes the brush in his mouth; the mate gives him a
kick astarn; and the young chap went sprawling down' into the
half-deck ladder, where the carpenter had his shavin'-glass rigged to
crop his chin--and there he gets another clip across the jaws from
Chips. "Now," says the mate, "the chap'll be liker a sailor to-morrow.
He's got some spunk in him, though, by the way he let drive at you, my
lad," says he: "that fellow'll either catch the cat or spoil the
monkey. Look after him, Jacobs, my lad," says the third mate; "he's in
my watch, and the captain wants him to rough it out; so show him the
ropes, and let him taste an end now an' then. Ha! ha! ha!" says he
again, laughing, "'tis the first time I ever see a embreller loosed
out at sea, and but the second I've seen brought aboard even! He's the
greenest hand, sure enough, it's been my luck to come across! But
green they say's nigh to blue, so look out if I don't try to make a
sailor of the young spark!"

Well, for the next three or four days the poor fellow was knocked
about on all hands: he'd got to go aloft to the 'gallant cross-trees,
and out on the yard foot-ropes the next morning, before breakfast;
and, coming down, the men made him fast till he sent down the key of
his bottle-chest to pay his footing. If he closed his eyes moment in
the watch, slash comes bucketful o' Channel water over him; the third
mate would keep him two hours on end, larnin' to rig out a sternsail
boom, or grease a royal mast. He led a dog's life of it, too, in the
half-deck: last come, in course, has al'ays to go and fill the bread
barge, scrub the planks, an' do all the dirty jobs. Them _owners'
prentices_, sich as he had for messmates, is always worse to their own
kind by far nor the "_common sailors_," as the long-shore folks calls
a foremast-man. I couldn't help takin' pity on the poor lad, bein' the
only one as had seen the way of his upbringing, and I feelt a sort of
a charge of him like; so one night I had a quiet spell with him in the
watch, an' as soon's I fell to speak kind-ways, there I seed the water
stand i' the boy's eyes. "It's a good thing," says he, tryin' to gulp
it down--"it's a good thing mother don't see all this!" "Ho, ho!" says
I, "my lad, 'tis all but another way of bein' sea-sick! You doesn't
get the land cleared out, and snuff the blue breeze nat'ral like, all
at once! Hows'ever, my lad," says I, "take my advice--bring your
hammock an' chest into the fok'sle; swap half your fine clothes for
blue shirts and canvass trowsers; turn-to ready and willing, an' do
all that's asked you--you'll soon find the differ 'twixt the men and a
few petty officers an' 'prentices half out their time. The men'll soon
make a sailor of you: you'll see what a seaman is; you'll larn ten
times the knowledge; an', add to that, you'll not be browbeat and
looked jealous on!"

Well, next night, what does he do but follows what I said, and afore
long most of his troubles was over; nor there wasn't a willin'er nor a
readier hand aboard, and every man was glad to put Ned through any
thing he'd got to do. The mates began to take note on him; and though
the 'prentices never left off callin' him the Green Hand, before we
rounded the Cape he could take his wheel with the best of them, and
clear away a sternsail out of the top in handsome style. We were out
ten months, and Ned Collins stuck to the fork'sle throughout. When we
got up the Thames, he went ashore to see his mother in a check shirt,
and canvass trowsers made out of an old royal, with a tarpaulin hat I
built for him myself. He would have me to come the next day over to
the house for a supper; so, havin' took a kindness to the young chap,
why, I couldn't say nay. There I finds him in the midst of a lot o'
soft-faced slips and young ladies, a spinning the wonderfullest yarns
about the sea and the East Indgees, makin' 'em swallow all sorts of
horse-marines' nonsense, about marmaids, sea-sarpents, and sichlike.
"Hallo, my hearty!" says he, as soon as he saw me, "heave a-head here,
and bring to an anchor in this here blessed chair. Young ladies," says
he, "this is Bob Jacobs, as I told you kissed a marmaid his-self. He's
a wonderful hand, is Bob, for the fair!" You may fancy how
flabbergasted I was at this, though the young scamp was as cool as you
please, and wouldn't ha' needed much to make him kiss 'em all round;
but I was al'ays milk-an'-water alongside of women, if they topped at
all above my rating. "Well," thinks I, "my lad, I wouldn't ha' said
five minutes agone there was any thing of the green about ye yet, but
I see 'twill take another voy'ge to wash it all out." For to my
thinkin', mates, 'tis more of a land-lubber to come the rig over a few
poor creatures that never saw blue water, than not to know the ropes
you warn't told. "O Mister Jacobs!" says Missus Collins to me that
night, before I went off, "d'ye think Edward is tired of that 'ere
horridsome sea yet?" "Well, marm," I says, "I'm afeared not. But I'll
tell ye, marm," says I, "if you want's to make him cut the consarn,
the only thing ye can do is to get him bound apprentice to it. From
what I've seen of him, he's a lad that wont bear aught again his
liberty; an' I do believe, if he thought he couldn't get free, he'd
run the next day!" Well, after that, ye see, I didn't know what more
turned up of it; for I went myself round to Hull, and ships in a
timber-craft for the Baltic, just to see some'at new.

One day, the third voy'ge from that time, on getting the length of
Blackwall, we heard of a strong press from the men-o'-war; and as I'd
got a dreadful mislike to the sarvice, there was a lot of us
marchant-men kept stowed away close in holes an' corners till we could
suit ourselves. At last we got well tired, and a shipmate o' mine and
I wanted to go and see our sweethearts over in the town. So we hired
the slops from a Jew, and makes ourselves out to be a couple o'
watermen, with badges to suit, a carrying of a large parcel and a
ticket on it. In the arternoon we came back again within sight of the
Tower, where we saw the coast was clear, and made a fair wind along
Rosemary Lane and Cable Street. Just then we saw a tall young fellow,
in a brown coat, an' a broad-brim hat, standing in the door of a shop,
with a paper under his arm, on the look-out for some one. "Twig the
Quaker, Bob!" my shipmate says to me. As soon as he saw us, out the
Quaker steps, and says he to Bill, in a sleepy sort of a v'ice,
"Friend, thou'rt a waterman, I b'lieve?" "D---- it, yes," says Bill,
pretty short like, "that's what we hails for! D'ye want a boat,
master?" "Swear not, friend," says the broad-brim; "but what I want is
this, you see. We have a large vessel, belonging to our house, to send
to Havannah, and willin' to give double wages, but we can't find any
mariners at this present for to navigate. Now," says he, "I s'pose
this onfortunate state o' things is on account of the sinful war as is
agoin' on--they're afraid of the risk. Hows'ever, my friends," says
he, "perhaps, as you knows the river, ye could put us upon a way of
engagin' twenty or more bold mariners, as is not afeared of ventering
for good pay?" and with this he looks into his papers; and says Bill,
"Well, sir, I don't know any myself--do you Bob?" and he gives me a
shove, and says under the rose, "No fear, mate," says Bill, "he's all
over green--don't slip the chance for all hands of us at Jobson's."
"Why, master," I says, "what 'ud ye give them mariners you speaks on,
now?" "Six pound a-month, friend," says he, looking up; "but we gives
tea in place of spirits, and we must have steady men. We can't wait,
neither," says he, "more nor three days, or the vessel won't sail at
all." "My eye!" says Bill, "'t won't do to lose, Bob!--stick to him,
that's all." "Well, sir," I says, "I thinks I does have a notion of
some'at of the sort. If you sends your papers to Jobson's Tavern
to-night, in the second lane 'twixt Barnaby Street and the Blue Anchor
Road, over the water, why, I'll get ye as many hands to sign as you
wants!" "Thanks, friend," says the young broad-brim, "I will attend to
thine advice,"--so he bids us good-day, and stepped into his door
again. "Bill," says I, as we went off, "now I think on it, I can't
help a notion I've seen that chap's face afore!" "Very like," says
Bill, "for the matter o' that 'tis the same with me--them broad-brims
is so much of a piece! But that 'ere fellow don't know nothin' of
ships, sure enough, or he wouldn't offer what he did, and the crimps'
houses all of a swarm with hands!"

"Take my word, mate," says I, "it's a paying trip, or he wouldn't do
it--leave a Quaker alone for that! Why, the chap's a parfit youngster,
but I am blessed if he don't look as starched as if he'd sat over a
dask for twenty year!"

Well, strike me lucky, mates all, if the whole affair warn't a
complete trap! Down comes a clerk with the papers, sure enough--but in
ten minutes more the whole blessed lot of us was puckalowed, and hard
an' fast, by a strong press-gang. They put us into a cutter off
Redriff Stairs, an' the next noon all hands was aboard of the Pandora
frigate at Sheerness. The first time of being mustered on deck, says
Bill to me, "Cuss my eyes, Bob, if there isn't the 'farnal Quaker!" I
looked, and sees a midshipman in uniform like the rest, and so it was.
"The sly soft-sauderin' beggar!" says I. "All fair in war, and a
press-mate!" says one o' the frigate's men. All the while I kept
looking and looking at the midshipman; and at last I says to Bill when
we got below, giving a slap to my thigh, "Blessed if it ain't! it's
the _Green Hand_ himself!" "Green Hand!" says Bill, sulky enough,
"who's the Green Hand? Blow me, Bob, if I don't think we're the green
hands ourselves, if that's what you're upon!" So I told him the story
about Ned Collins. "Well," says he, "if a fellow was green as China
rice, cuss me if the reefers' mess wouldn't take it all out on him in
a dozen watches. The softest thing I know, as you say, Bob, just now,
it's to come the smart hand when you're a lubber; but to sham green
after that style, ye know, why 'tis a mark or two above either you or
I, messmate. So for my part, I forgives the young scamp, cause I ought
to ha' known better!"

By the time the frigate got to sea the story was blown over the whole
main-deck; many a good laugh it gave the different messes; and Bill,
the midshipman, and I, got the name of the "Three Green Hands."

One middle-watch, Mister Ned comes for'ard by the booms to me, and
says he, "Well, Bob Jacobs, you don't bear a grudge, I hope?" "Why,"
says I, "Mister Collins, 'twould be mutiny now, I fancy, you bein' my
officer!" so I gave a laugh; but I couldn't help feelin' hurt a
little, 'twas so like a son turnin' against his father, as 'twere.
"Why, Bob," says he, "did ye think me so green as not to know a seaman
when I saw him? I was afeared you'd known me that time." "Not I, sir,"
I answers: "why, if we hadn't sailed so long in company, I wouldn't
known ye now!" So Master Ned gave me to understand it was all for old
times he wanted to ship me in the same craft; but he knew my misliking
to the sarvice, though he said he'd rather ha' lost the whole haul of
'em nor myself. So many a yarn we had together of a dark night, and
for a couple of years we saw no small sarvice in the Pandora. But if
ye'd seen Ned the smartest reefer aboard, and the best liked by the
men, in the fore-taups'l bunt in a gale, or over the main-deck hatch,
with an enemy's frigate to leeward, or on a spree ashore at Lisbon or
Naples, you wouldn't ha' said there was any thing green in his eye, I
warrant ye! He was made acting lieutenant of a prize he cut out near
Chairboorg, before he passed examination; so he got me for prize
bo'sun, and took her into Plymouth. Soon after that the war was ended,
and all hands of the Pandora paid off. Master Ned got passed with
flying colours, and confirmed lieutenant besides, but he had to wait
for a ship. He made me say where I'd be found, and we parted company
for about a year.

Well, I was come home from a short trip, and one day Leftenant Collins
hunts me up at Wapping Docks, where I'd had myself spliced, six year
before, to Betsy Brown, an' was laid up for a spell, havin' seen a
good deal of the sea. Ye must know the young leftenant was fell deep
in love with a rich Indy Naboob's daughter, which had come over to
take her back to the East Ingees. The old fellow was hard close-hauled
again the match, notwithstanding of the young folks makin' it all up;
so, he'd taken out berths aboard of a large Company's ship, and bought
over the captain on no account to let any king's navy man within the
gang-ways, nor not a shoulder with a swab upon it, red or blue, beyond
the ship's company. But, above all, the old tyrant wouldn't have a
blue-jacket, from stem to starn, if so be he'd got nothing ado but
talk sweet; I s'pose he fancied his girl was mad after the whole
blessed cloth. The leftenant turns over this here log to me, and, says
he, "I'll follow her to the world's end, if need be, Bob, and cheat
the old villain!" "Quite right too, sir," says I. "Bob," says he,
"I'll tell ye what I wants you to do. Go you and enter for the
Seringpatam at Blackwall, if you're for sea just now; I'm goin' for to
s'cure my passage myself, an' no doubt doorin' the voy'ge something'll
turn up to set all square; at any rate, I'll stand by for a rope to
pull!" "Why here's a go!" thinks I to myself; "is Ned Collins got so
green again, spite of all that's come an' gone, for to think the waves
is a-goin' to work wonders, or ould Neptune under the line's to play
the parson and splice all!" "Well, sir," I says, "but don't you think
the skipper will smoke your weather-roll, sir, at sea, as you did Bill
Pikes an' me, you know, sir?" says I. "Oh, Bob, my lad," says the
leftenant, "leave you that to me. The fellow most onlikest to a sailor
on the Indyman's poop will be me, and that's the way you'll know me!"

Well, I did ship with the Seringpatam for Bombay: plenty of passengers
she had; but only clerks, naboobs, old half-pay fellows, and ladies,
not to speak o' children and nurses, black and white. She sailed
without my sein' Leftenant Collins, so I thought I was to hear no more
on it. When the passengers began to muster on the poop, by the time we
got out o' Channel, I takes a look over the ladies, in coilin' up the
ropes aft, or at the wheel; I knowed the said girl at once by her good
looks, and the old fellow by his grumpy, yallow frontispiece. All on a
sudden I takes note of a figger coming up from the cuddy, which I made
out at once for my Master Ned, spite of his wig and a pair o'
high-heeled boots, as gave him the walk of a chap treading amongst
eggs. When I hears him lisp out to the skipper at the round-house if
there was any fear of wind, 'twas all I could do to keep the juice in
my cheek. Away he goes up to windward, holding on by every thing, to
look over the bulwarks behind his sweetheart, givin' me a glance over
his shoulder. At night I see the two hold a sort of a collogue abaft
the wheel, when I was on my trick at the helm. After a while there was
a row got up amongst the passengers, with the old nabob and the
skipper, to find out who it was that kept a singing every still night
in the first watch, alongside of the ladies' cabin, under the poop. It
couldn't be cleared up, hows'ever, who it was. All sorts o' places
they said it comed from--mizen-chains, quarter-galleries, lower-deck
ports, and davit-boats. But what put the old hunks most in a rage was,
the songs was every one on 'em such as "Rule Britannia," "Bay of
Biscay," "Britannia's Bulwarks," and "All in the Downs." The captain
was all at sea about it, and none of the men would say any thing, for
by all accounts 'twas the best pipe at a sea-song as was to be heard.
For my part, I knowed pretty well what was afloat. One night a man
comed for'ard from the wheel, after steering his dog-watch out, and
"Well I'm blessed, mates," says he on the fok'sle, "but that chap aft
yonder with the lady--he's about the greenest hand I've chanced to
come across! What d'ye think I hears him say to old Yallow-chops an
hour agone?" "What was it, mate?" I says. "Says he, "Do ye know, Sar
Chawls, is the hoshun reelly green at the line--_green_ ye know, Sar
Chawls, _reely_ green?' 'No sir,' says the old naboob, ''tis blue.'
'Whoy, ye don't sa--ay so!' says the young chap, pullin' a long
face.'" "Why, Jim," another hand drops in, "that's the very chap as
sings them first-rate sea-songs of a night! I seed him myself come out
o' the mizen-chains!" "Hallo!" says another at this, "then there's
some'at queer i' the wind! I _thought_ he gave rather a weather-look
aloft, comin' on deck i' the morning! I'll bet a week's grog that
chap's desarted from the king's flag, mates!" Well, ye know, hereupon
I couldn't do no less nor shove in my oar, so I takes word from all
hands not to blow the gaff,[14] an' then gives 'em the whole yarn to
the very day, about the Green Hand--for somehow or another I was
al'ays a yarning sort of a customer. As soon as they heard it was a
love consarn, not a man but swore to keep a stopper on his jaw; only,
at findin' out he was a leftenant in the Royal Navy, all hands was for
touching hats when they went past.

  [14] Let out the secret.

Hows'ever, things went on till we'd crossed the line a good while; the
leftenant was making his way with the girl at every chance. But as for
the old fellow, I didn't see he was a fathom the nearer with _him_;
though, as the Naboob had never clapped eyes on him to know him like,
'twa'n't much matter before heaving in sight o' port. The captain of
the Indyman was a rum old-fashioned codger, all for plain sailing and
old ways--I shouldn't say overmuch of a smart seaman. He read the
sarvice every Sunday, rigged the church an' all that, if it was
anything short of a reef-taups'l breeze. 'Twas queer enough, ye may
think, to hear the old boy drawling out, "As 'twas in the
beginning,"----then, in the one key, "Haul aft the mainsheet,"----"Is
now, and ever shall be,"----"Small pull with the weather-brace,"----
"Amen,"----"Well the mainyard,"----"The Lord be with you,"----"Taups'l
yard well! "As for the first orficer, he was a dandy know-nothing
young blade, as wanted to show off before the ladies; and the second
was afraid to call the nose on his face his own, except in his watch;
the third was a good seaman, but ye may fancy the craft stood often a
poor chance of being well handled.

'Twas one arternoon watch, off the west coast of Africay, as hot a day
as I mind on, we lost the breeze with a swell, and just as it got down
smooth, land was made out, low upon the starboard bow, to the
south-east. The captain was turned in sick below, and the first
orficer on deck. I was at the wheel, and I hears him say to the second
how the land breeze would come off at night. A little after, up comes
Leftenant Collins, in his black wig and his 'long-shore hat, an'
begins to squint over the starn to nor'west'ard. "Jacobs, my lad,"
whispers he to me, "how do ye like the looks o' things?" "Not
overmuch, sir," says I; "small enough sea-room for the sky there!" Up
goes he to the first officer, after a bit. "Sir," says he, "do ye
notice how we've risen the land within the last hour and a-half?" "No,
sir," says the first mate; "what d'ye mean?" "Why, there's a current
here, takin' us inside the point," says he. "Sir," says the Company's
man, "if I didn't know what's what, d'ye think I'd larn it off a
gentleman as is so confounded green? There's nothing of the sort," he
says. "Look on the starboard quarter then," says the leftenant, "at
the man-o'-war bird afloat yonder with its wings spread. Take three
minutes' look!" says he. Well, the mate did take a minute or two's
look through the mizen-shroud, and pretty blue he got, for the bird
came abreast of the ship by that time. "Now," says the leftenant,
"d'ye think ye'd weather that there point two hours after this, if a
gale come on from the nor'west, sir?" "Well," says the first mate, "I
daresay we shouldn't--but what o' that?" "Why, if you'd cruised for
six months off the coast of Africa, as I've done," says the leftenant,
"you'd think there was something ticklish about that white spot in the
sky, to nor'west! But on top o' that, the weather-glass is fell a good
bit since four bells." "Weather-glass!" the mate says, "why, that
don't matter much in respect of a gale, I fancy." Ye must understand,
weather-glasses wan't come so much in fashion at that time, except in
the royal navy. "Sir," says the mate again, "mind _your_ business, if
you've got any, and I'll mind mine!" "If I was you," the leftenant
says, "I'd call the captain." "Thank ye," says the mate,--"call the
captain for nothing!" "Well," in an hour more the land was quite plain
on the starboard bow, and the mate comes aft again to Leftenant
Collins. The clouds was beginning to grow out of the clear sky astarn
too. "Why, sir," says the mate, "I'd no notion you was a _seaman_ at
all! What would you do yourself now, supposin' the case you put a
little ago?" "Well, sir," says Mr Collins, "if you'll do it, I'll tell
ye, at once----"

At this point of Old Jack's story, however, a cabin-boy came from aft,
to say that the captain wanted him. The old seaman knocked the ashes
out of his pipe, which he had smoked at intervals in short puffs, put
it in his jacket pocket, and got up off the windlass end. "Why, old
ship!" said the man-o'-war's-man, "are ye goin' to leave us in the
lurch with a _short yarn_?" "Can't help it, bo'", said Old Jack;
"orders must be obeyed, ye know," and away he went. "Well, mates,"
said one, "what was the upshot of it, if the yarn's been overhauled
already? I did'nt hear it myself." "Blessed if I know" said
several--"Old Jack didn't get the length last time he's got now."
"More luck!" said the man-o'-war's-man; "'tis to be hoped he'll finish
it next time!"



EASTLAKE'S LITERATURE OF THE FINE ARTS.


We are surrounded by an external world, which it has pleased the great
Maker of the universe to clothe with infinite beauty, cognisable to us
through the senses, yet scarcely ours, until, by a more intimate
appropriation through the mind, we have added ourselves to it, made it
a part of, and in some no inconsiderable degree subject to, the will
of our own nature. The inventive faculties of the mind gather all
within their reach, which it is their province to combine, and
remodel, and revivify with human feeling; and thus, by becoming to a
limited extent creative ourselves, we are the more enabled to look up,
and in admiration adore the divine power that has made all things out
of nothing, and the divine goodness which has given us a perception of
a portion of His works. Through the senses we know indeed but
imperfectly--more imperfectly than those who have not considered the
subject will allow. They minister first to our actual wants,
presenting few charms and enticements but such as barely suffice to
refresh the mind under the weariness of its daily experience. The bulk
of mankind are under a hard necessity, which limits their senses to
the work of life: were they enlarged to a greater capacity, that work
would be the more irksome. The senses are then, like the air we
breathe, reduced from an extreme fineness and purity, for the
temporary use of yet unpolished humanity. But they are not intended to
continue ever in this state of imperfection.

The great business--the providing for the first wants of life--done,
industry is rewarded not by absolute rest and idleness, but by the
succession of new and higher wants, which the growing mind demands;
and it accordingly taxes the senses, and gives them command to be
purveyors, and cultivates them for the purpose of enlarged
gratification. They are thus capable of great extension, and, as it
were, of an influx of living power to awaken and spiritualise their
dormant or inert matter. All life is in progression: sciences must be
discovered; arts must be created; and could we conceive an entirely
sluggish and uncultivated social state, how few would see what may be
seen, or hear what may be heard! The earth, teeming with sights of
wonder, and breathed over with a divine music, would be to its
inhabitants, in such a condition, but a waste and thankless
wilderness. And which is nature--the bare, the imperceptible, for any
beauty it contains, or the riches of the mind's discovery, the
imaginative creation? We are inventive, that we may discover what
nature is; nor is that the less, but rather the more, nature which is
art. Art is but nature discovered--the hidden brought to light, and
home to us, and acknowledged and felt--more or less felt as we
cultivate reciprocally the mind through the senses, and the senses
through the mind. With this view, all the artificial enchantments of
life are nature--all arts, all sciences: for how could they be to
embellish society,--indeed without which there would be no
_society_--had they not an independent existence somewhere in the
great storehouse of infinity, and were they not bountifully thrown out
to us as truths to gather, as fruits to nourish and to gratify? We
would wish to vindicate all nature, and unfetter it from that petty
distinction which many are fond of drawing between nature and art.
These make but one whole. For why should we separate ourselves, with
all our faculties, perceptive and inventive, from our intimate and
purposed connexion with the great universe? It is nature, because it
is every where man's doing, to write and act plays, to compose music,
and to paint pictures, raise noble edifices, and make marble seem to
live in statues. And besides, as man himself is the chief work of
nature, so is that which he does, even out of a partial imitation of
other nature, the more natural, as it to a certain degree recedes from
its model, and participates in and adopts the feeling of him that
makes it. It is this nature which makes beauty perfect--which renders
the music of Handel better than the sounds of winds and waters, and of
a higher nature than they, as it is of a more extensive power, in all
variety of movement, to touch our feelings, and stir us at will. And
such is poetry, which influences us where fact fails. And all this not
by mere imitation, which some are so fond of thrusting forward as the
means; for there is nothing quite like to itself. With such means of
exquisite enjoyment within our reach--by this enlargement of the
boundary of our senses, of entering upon the improved faculties of our
minds--it does seem strange that any gifted with leisure and
understanding should neglect the cultivation of arts and sciences,
which offer in the pursuit and in the attainment such unlimited
riches. It is as if an heir to a large and beautiful estate, a mansion
opulent in treasures, should willingly turn his back upon his
inheritance, and be content to live in a hovel, and habitate with
swine that feed him. And so it is when life, that might be thus
embellished and enjoyed, is worse than wasted in low pursuits, and in
those meaner gratifications which the untutored senses supply.

We hold that a real taste for the Fine Arts is the _acme_ of a
nation's civilisation, and a greater, a more general happiness, the
certain result. We hold, too, that it is a creature of growth--that it
may spring up where once sown and tended with care, in apparently the
most unpromising soils. The revival of arts and of letters took place
in "Agresti Latio." And how is the whole world benefited by that era
of cultivation! There is no country under the sun that so much stands
in need of an education in the Arts as our own. With energy to
produce, and wealth at command, where shall we look for more favouring
national circumstances? This country has been the mart where the
finest productions of the genius of other times have found the most
liberal purchasers, neglected sadly by our governments; individual
collectors have enriched the nation. If we have suffered too many of
the finest works--the purchase of which would have been as nothing out
of the public purse--to leave our shores, and now to be the ornament
of foreign galleries; yet our private collectors are so numerous, that
at least a love for the arts has been more generally disseminated. But
we have had no previous education to qualify us for the taste which we
would possess. There have been no great works, to which the public eye
could be directed, growing up amongst us. Hitherto we have had no
Vaticans to embellish, and our temples have been closed against the
hand of genius; yet are we now, as it were, upon the turning-point of
the character of our cultivation: there is a general stir, a common
talk about art, an expressed interest, an almost universal appetence
in that direction. We are perfectly surprised at the very large sums
which have been recently given for works of even moderate pretensions.
There is much to observe that indicates the general desire, but less
that indicates a general knowledge. There is an incipient taste, but
there is a great want,--education--education for art and in art. How
is this to be promoted? The lectures of academies are thought to be
exclusively for the professors or rather students, and are too often
neglected by them. The lectures of Sir Joshua, of Fuseli, and others,
contain much valuable matter, but they scarcely reach the public. The
most interesting foreign publications remain untranslated. Vasari is
as yet unknown in our language. Transcripts, in outline or in more
full engraving, of the finest works, exist not among us: these are the
things that should be before the eyes of all, together with a
systematic reading education upon the principles. Whatever has been
done that is great, that is ennobling, should be, as far as is
possible, seen and known. As yet, in all this, there is a great
deficiency. The public is left to, at best, an incipient taste; which,
to judge from the kind of productions that find the readiest market,
is not good--at all events is not high, and scarcely improving. The
love is at present for picture imitation, that lowest condition in
which art may be said to flourish. We want an education in its
principles, that its just aim and proper influence may be understood.
The Fine Arts should be a part of our literature, and thus become a
branch of general education. We hail with pleasure every work of the
kind we see announced; we rejoice in the publication of our
"hand-books," and the many volumes on the arts, as they flourished in
other countries, which now begin in some measure to interest the
reading public. But is nothing done towards a foundation for education
in the principles of the arts? We are happy to say there is much done.
If the commission on the Fine Arts had done nothing more than the
drawing up their "reports" by their secretary, in that they have done
much. Valuable, however, as these "reports" are, they were nearly a
dead letter: the title was not enticing; few looked to reports as
other than statistical accounts; whereas, in reality, they contained
deep research, accurate knowledge, and clearly set forth the
principles upon which, as a foundation, true taste must rest. We are
happy that these most able essays have been rescued from the common
fate of "reports," by their being now preserved in a collected form,
together with other most valuable treatises from the pen of the
secretary to the commission, under the title of _Contributions to the
Literature of the Fine Arts_. Mr Eastlake has conscientiously imposed
upon himself an arduous undertaking, beyond the implied condition of
his secretaryship. In so doing, he deserves the greatest commendation,
for he has greatly increased the utility of the commission. Not
content with promoting the arts by these excellent theoretical
treatises, he has addressed the artists themselves, and led them to
the best practical views. He has, with great industry, labour, and
patient investigation, cleared away the common errors respecting the
"Old Masters." We have already noticed his _History of Painting in
Oil_--that is, the first volume, which treats of the practice of the
Flemish school. It is now no matter of conjecture what colours or what
vehicles were in use--we have sure documentary evidence before us. It
remains to make known the alterations and additions to that practice
by the Italian schools, and this will be the subject of his
forthcoming volume. In the first work, indeed, we have glimpses of the
Italian method, and recipes of the varnish supposed to be used by
Correggio; but we look to certain information, which is the fair
promise of the second volume.

In the _Contributions to the Literature of the Fine Arts_, in addition
to the essays on painting, sculpture, and architecture, taken from the
"reports," we have Mr Eastlake's review of Passavant's _Life of
Raphael_, extracted from the _Quarterly Review_; notes from Kugler's
_Hand-Book_, on the subject of the paintings in the Capella Sistina;
extracts from the translation of Goethe's _Theory of Colours_, on the
Decoration of a Villa; and, perhaps the most interesting of all, if we
may not say the most important, a fragment on "The Philosophy of the
Fine Arts," not noticed in the chapter of contents. To this last,
being so entirely speculative upon the very cause of beauty, and so
new in matter, we should feel disposed to invite discussion on the
side of doubt--partly because, it being professedly a fragment, by
suggesting the difficulties attending his theory, a clearer exposition
in the further prosecution of it may be the result.

If it were not, so to speak, for the genius of materials--or if genius
be not allowed, we may say the characteristics of materials--poetry,
painting, and sculpture would be subject but to one order of
criticism, under one set of rules. But though each has its agreement
with the others in the same leading principles--the foundation of
general taste, and mostly arising from moral considerations--yet have
they, individually, their own diverging points, from which they seem
freed from the "commune vinculum." It requires a nice discrimination
to ascertain for each art these points of deviation from the general
rules. These rules are, from observation and from books, more easily
comprehended, and the common scope of all the arts understood; but, to
an inquiring mind, difficulties will often present themselves, when
seeming differences and contradictions occur; for undoubtedly all
these arts must be reconciled with each other, and made akin. It
becomes, therefore, an important step in the education of taste, to
learn the necessarily different modes by which they each approach
their ends--the same as far as the general principles are concerned,
but with a variance according to the characteristics of each. Mr
Eastlake has been very successful in pointing to these distinctions,
in showing the rules which guide all, and those which necessitate the
differences. We were particularly struck with this discrimination in
his _Treatise on Sculpture_, than which we have never read any thing
more clear and convincing. We quote a passage with this bearing:--

     "The first question, then, in examining the style of a given
     art, is, in what does this difference of means, as compared
     with nature, consist? The answer may for the present be
     confined to sculpture. It is agreed, then, or it is a
     _convention_, that a colourless hard substance shall be the
     material with which the sculptor shall imitate the
     perfection of life. His means are, by the primary condition,
     effectually distinguished from those of nature; and it
     remains for him to cheat the imagination (not the senses)
     into the pleasing impression that an equivalent to nature
     can be so produced. He may, therefore, imitate the
     characteristics of life closely. His select representation,
     however faithful, is in no danger of being literally
     confounded with reality, because of the original
     conventions, viz., the absence of colour, and the nature of
     his material. But it is not the same with the imitation, in
     this art, of many other surfaces. As already observed, a
     rock in sculpture and a rock in nature can be identical; it
     may, therefore, be sometimes necessary to imitate the
     reality less closely, or even, in extreme cases, like that
     now adduced, to depart from nature. The reason is obvious:
     the degree of resemblance to reality which is attainable in
     the principal object of imitation--the surface of the living
     figure--is, from the established convention, limited; and it
     is desirable that the spectator should forget this
     restriction. He is, therefore, by no means to be reminded of
     it by greater reality in other, and necessarily inferior,
     parts of the work. In painting, it is sometimes objected
     that inferior objects are more real than the flesh. The
     defect is great; but there is this difference between the
     two cases--in painting, the inferiority in the imitation of
     the flesh may be only from want of power in the artist; in
     sculpture, the perfect resemblance of the flesh to nature is
     impossible, in consequence of the absence of colour. The
     literal imitation of subordinate objects is, for this
     reason, more offensive in sculpture than in painting. A
     manifest defect in the art seems more hopeless than a defect
     in the artist."

     "In pursuing the analogies here I considered, it is
     necessary to compare mere art with art--the form, as such,
     of the one, with the form of the other. Thus, in comparing
     sculpture and poetry together, the parallel conditions are
     to be sought in the strictly corresponding departments. As
     sculpture, in reference to nature, (to repeat an observation
     before made,) gives substance for substance, so poetry gives
     words for words. Accordingly, the form of poetry is by
     agreement or convention (similar in principle to that which
     dictates the conditions of sculpture) effectually
     distinguished from the form of ordinary language. And it
     will now be seen that the limitations of poetry, in such
     outward characteristics, are more definite and more
     comprehensive than those of sculpture; for whereas the
     material of marble may sometimes coincide literally with
     that of substances in nature, the form of poetry never can
     entirely coincide with that of ordinary language. This
     greater liability of sculpture to be confounded with reality
     certainly adds to its difficulty, since the doubtful cases,
     which may be left to the taste of the sculptor, are often
     settled by an immutable rule for the poet."

Whoever would desire a knowledge of the original causes of the
differences of alto, basso, and mezzo relievo, should read the
admirable treatise on the subject. They are not to be confounded as
arising from the same conditions, and subject to the same rules. The
differences of position and light, by their distinct requirements,
separate the three styles of relievo, the alto, basso, and mezzo. It
is not, as many suppose, that the basso, the lower relief, is less
finished than the alto, or high relief; the finish of each is
differently placed. "In the highest relief, however decided the
shadows may, and must of necessity be, on the plane to which the
figure is attached, the light on the figure itself is kept as unbroken
as possible; and this can only be effected by a selection of open
attitudes; that is, such an arrangement of the limbs as shall not cast
shadows on the figure itself. In basso-relievo, the same general
effect of the figure is given, but by very different means: the
attitude is not selected to avoid shadows on the figure, because,
while the extreme outline is strongly marked, the shadows within it
may be in a great measure suppressed; so that the choice of attitudes
is greater. Mezzo-relievo differs from both; it has neither the
limited attitudes of the first, nor the distinct outline and
suppressed internal markings of the second: on the contrary, the
outline is often less distinct than the forms within it, and hence it
requires, and is fitted for, near inspection. Its imitation may thus
be more absolute, and its execution more finished, than those of the
other styles."

In all relievo, as the shadows fall upon the background, the peculiar
adaptation to architecture is manifest. As they are intended for
minute inspection, gems are generally in mezzo-relievo. The workers in
bronze and the goldsmiths--the former from the facility in casting,
the latter for the minuteness and less distinctness of their
works--adopting the flattest kind of mezzo-relievo, fancifully
deviated from the original purity of the style, by introducing
landscape and building backgrounds. An artist of the greatest genius
fell into this error--Lorenzo Ghiberti, in the beautiful bronze doors
of the baptistery of San Giovanni at Florence. In these celebrated
compositions he attempted the union of basso-relievo with the
principles of painting. His excellent workmanship and skill in
composition was such as led the sculptors of the fifteenth century to
consider this innovation upon the old simplicity an improvement. In
inferior hands the failure would have been manifest, for the practice
is in violation of the principle which the character of the material
should determine. That Ghiberti was led into the error is not
surprising, as he learned his art from a goldsmith. In his case it was
a singular instance of ill-constituted judges choosing well. The
judges who selected Ghiberti from his many competitors, were
goldsmiths, painters, and sculptors--the majority were likely to
favour that which approached nearest to their own practice. It is to
the credit of our Flaxman that he revived the purer taste. This whole
essay on relievo should be read attentively: it is so connected in all
its parts that it is impossible to give its true character by either a
few quotations or an at tempt at analysis.

In the essay entitled "Painting," Mr Eastlake keeps in view throughout
the main object of the commission--the decoration of public buildings.
He has to show how certain principles of art adjust themselves to the
conditions imposed by the dimensions, light, and general character of
the buildings for which works are required. At first view it might
appear that, whether a picture be large or small, there should be no
difference in the manner of painting it--that the small magnified, or
the large reduced, could answer every purpose. But not so: a moment's
consideration will show that the spectator's eye must be consulted,
which sees not minutiæ of form or colour at the distance from which
large works are to be seen, and that it seeks for those as the objects
are brought nearer. It becomes necessary, then, in large works, lest
they be indistinct, that masses be strongly preserved, and,
accordingly, that neither forms nor colours be much broken. Hence, the
larger the work, in general, the lighter, for the sake of
distinctness, it should be: and such is the character of the great
fresco works, which are, besides, in this respect, mainly aided by the
materials of fresco, which is non-absorbent of light. We believe this
also to be true to nature; for if we reduce any scene of nature by a
diminishing glass to very small dimensions, the quantity of colour,
which is never lost, becomes concentrated, and therefore more intense.
The Flemish masters were great observers of nature; and we find in
their smallest pictures the greatest depth and intensity of colour.
Colour, in this view, even contends powerfully with perspective
itself, and is often in distance, by being to the eye reduced, of an
intensity that would seem to contradict aërial influence. The
phenomenon of the strength of bright colour in distance is extremely
curious: every one must have noticed that a lighted candle may be seen
miles off, where, according to perspective rules, it would not be
possible to draw its dimensions; nay, it shall appear larger than when
at a moderate distance, and that not from its being a magnified light
reflected from the walls of a room, for the same effect will be
observed if we see the single light in the midst of a dark wood, where
it is reflected not at all, and even seen in a space which, without
the candle, would be too small to be discernible. But the contrary
effect takes place with regard to form, which becomes indistinct at a
very small distance. A bright colour is frequently very distinct,
where the form to which it belongs is lost. But to return to the
essay. Mr Eastlake clearly shows the principles, with regard to
colour, upon which the great Venetian masters worked--how, by what
artificial means, they preserved colour without losing light. To their
practice and modelling in fresco were the Venetians indebted for the
largeness of their system of colouring, and probably to the rich
specimens of painted glass, for which Venice was celebrated, for their
brilliancy and illumination. This little treatise is peculiarly useful
to those who would aspire to undertake public works of large
dimensions, and could not have been offered to their notice by a more
fit person than the Secretary to the Commission of the Fine Arts. The
following is excellent:--"To conclude: the resources, whether abundant
or limited, of the imitative arts, are, in relation to nature,
necessarily incomplete; but it appears that, in the best examples, the
very means employed to compensate for their incompleteness are, in
each case, the source of a characteristic perfection, and the
foundation of a specific style. As it is with the arts, compared with
each other, so it is with the various applications of a given art: the
methods employed to correct the incompleteness or indistinctness,
which may be the result of particular conditions, are, in the works of
the great masters, the cause of excellencies not attainable to the
same extent by any other means. In the instance last mentioned--the
school of the Netherlands--it is apparent that no indirect
contrivances or conventions are necessary to counteract the effects of
indistinctness; on the contrary, all that would be indistinct in other
modes of representation is here admissible, with scarcely any
restriction. The incompleteness to be overcome, which is here the
cause of peculiar attractions, therefore resides solely in conditions
and imperfections of the art itself, which, on near inspection, are in
greater danger of being remembered. These are--a flat surface, and
material pigments; and these are precisely the circumstances which, by
the skill of the artists in the works referred to, are forgotten by
the spectator. The consequences of the difficulty overcome are, as
usual, among the characteristic perfections of the style."

_Passavant's Life of Raphael_[15] is by far the most satisfactory
account of that great and too short-lived painter. It deservedly
engaged the attention of Mr Eastlake, who, in his review, has, in an
able summary, connected the genius of this extraordinary man with the
influence of his times and the place of his birth. Hitherto the school
of Umbria has been too much overlooked. Yet Urbino, at the time of
Raphael's birth, more than rivalled in art Rome and Florence. The
palace built there by Duke Federigo was not only magnificent in
itself, but was adorned with treasures of art. Federigo was to this
"Athens of Umbria" what Cosmo and Lorenzo de Medici were to Florence.
It is not the least interesting fact, that Raphael's father, Giovanni
Santi, was the historian of its greatness, which he celebrates in a
poem, in which the painters of fame are not omitted. It is probable
that the early mind of Raphael grew there under the influence of
classic art, for many were the treasures of Grecian sculpture there
collected. The idea is ably combated by Mr Eastlake, that Italian art
was independent of this classic influence, as attempted to be proved
by the German school, who wrote to establish the entire independence
of early Christian art. The classic influence was felt by Raphael, and
by him promoted. It was indeed Giotto who, a century before, had set
the example of emancipating art from the previous formal
types--animating, as it were, the "_dead bones_" of art.

  [15] We here adopt the spelling of the name as we find it in Mr
  Eastlake's review of that Life.

The young Raphael, an orphan at twelve years of age, had probably been
an early scholar with his father, Giovanni Santi, and was, soon after
his father's death, placed with Perugino. He must have seen at Urbino
a work of Van Eyck's, which Duke Federigo had procured. Giovanni Santi
calls the inventor of oil-painting "Il gran Johannes." Among the
painters celebrated by Santi is Gentile, of whom Michael-Angelo said,
when he had seen a Madonna and Child painted by him, that "he had a
hand like his name." The young Raphael was then favourably
circumstanced in his earliest years. He remained at Urbino and in
Perugia till twenty-one years of age, 1504; was then at Florence till
1508; and from that time to his death, 1520, with the exception of a
visit to Florence, he was at Rome.[16] A very interesting account of
many of the works of this great man is added. The "Raphael ware," so
commonly believed to be designed by Raphael, was nevertheless not his
work. These designs were executed twenty years after his death.
Raffaello del Colla was one employed in these designs. The name
probably gave rise to the surmise that they were from the hand of
Raphael.

  [16] In page 215, it is said Raphael repaired to his native city at
  the age of twenty-one. This seems not to agree with the account of his
  not having left it till twenty-one years of age. It has been said
  also, at page 210, that he revisited Urbino in 1499, having been said
  not to have left it till 1504.

Of the nature of the intercourse between Raphael and the Fornarina,
whatever may be the conjectures, not only is no additional information
brought forward, but there is every reason to believe the previous
statements to be fable, manufactured according to the love for romance
so common both to readers and authors. Whether the name La Fornarina
implies that she was a potter's or a baker's daughter, there is still
a doubt. Nor does it much concern the history of art, nor the real
character of the biography, as it should be, of such a man, to sift
the gossip of the idle or curious of any age. Passavant clearly
vindicates the life of Raphael from the general impurities which such
gossip has ever been as busy as desirous to attach to the names of men
of genius. The jealousy said to have existed between M. Angelo and
Raphael, probably had some origin in the impetuous temper of M.
Angelo, who confounded the gentle Raphael with his architectural
rival, Bramante. That Raphael owed something to M. Angelo cannot be
doubted, but no unfair imitation has been proved--nay, we would
venture to assert, that unfair imitation is almost impossible to
genius, for it will make its own, whatever, to an indiscriminating
eye, it seems only to borrow. It was not possible that Raphael should
not be influenced even in his style by that of M. Angelo. No painter
can come to any perfection in his art utterly ignorant or uninfluenced
by the works of others, whether predecessors or contemporaries. Nor
was Raphael slow to express himself as happy in being born in the age
of M. Angelo. "Whatever Raphael knew in the art, he knew from me,"
said M. Angelo. We do not view this as a censure, but a praise; for it
shows an admission on the part of that giant of art, that the genius
of Raphael was worthy the affiliation. We have sufficient evidence, we
think, of the originality, of the greatness, and of the more tender
virtue--gentleness--of Raphael in his works. To those who would seek
more, we would refer to the letter of Raphael himself, and more
especially to the touching pictures of his genius and character as we
find them in Vasari, and in the heartfelt regretting, at his death, of
his friend Castiglione.

The doubts raised a few years since respecting the place of Raphael's
burial have been removed. The tomb has been found, as described by
Vasari, behind the altar of the church of Sta Maria Bella Rotonda,
(the Pantheon,) "in a chapel which he himself had built and endowed,
and near the spot where his betrothed bride had been laid." The tomb
was opened in the presence of the members of the academy of St Luke,
who were not a little interested in the investigation, having been
long in possession of a supposed skull of Raphael, which the
character-casting phrenologists had, in their zeal for their theory,
held up to admiration, and as a test of the accuracy of their science.
It must have been to their no small mortification that their relic was
discovered to have "belonged to an individual of no celebrity." We
reluctantly pass over the interesting notes from Kugler's _Hand-Book_
"on the subjects of the paintings in the Capella Sistina."

To the artist, the "Extracts from the translation of Goethe's _Theory
of Colours_ will be most valuable. The usual diagrams of the
chromatic circle are shown to have one great defect. "The opposite
colours--red and green, yellow and purple, olive and orange--are made
equal in intensity; whereas the complemental colour, pictured on the
retina, is always less vivid, and always darker or lighter than the
original colour. This variety undoubtedly accords more with harmonious
effects in painting." To indirect opposition of colours--the
opposition should not only be of the colours, the hues, but in their
intensity--"the opposition of two pure hues of equal intensity,
differing only in the abstract quality of colour, would immediately be
pronounced crude and inharmonious. It would not, however, be strictly
correct to say that such a contrast is too violent; on the contrary,
it appears that the contrast is not carried far enough, for, though
differing in colour, the two hues may be exactly similar in purity and
intensity. Complete contrast, on the other hand, supposes
dissimilarity in all respects. In addition to the mere difference of
hue, the eye, it seems, requires difference in the lightness or
darkness of the hue." Artists who are so partial to extreme light--a
white light--and, at the same time, of exhibiting vivid, strong, and
crude colours, are far more unnatural in their effects than those who
prefer altogether the lower scale. In fact, it is the lower scale
which can alone truly show colours,--very vivid light and colour
cannot co-exist. Colour is called by Kircher "_lumen opacatum_." That
increase of colour supposes increase of darkness, so often stated by
Goethe, may be granted without difficulty. To what extent, on the
other hand, increase of darkness--or rather diminution of light--is
accompanied by increase of colour, is a question which has been
variously answered by various schools. The reconcilement of Goethe's
theory with the practice of the best of the great Venetian colourists,
is shown with much critical discrimination.

Leonardo da Vinci, the obscurity and want of arrangement of whose
treatises are so much to be regretted, had, as is shown by the
juxtaposition of passages, borrowed largely from Aristotle. It is
agreed by both, that when light is overspread with obscurity, a red
colour appears; the why remains for the more accurate investigation of
philosophers. The blue of the sky arises from the interposition of
white against the black. The following from Leonardo is
curious,--"This (effect of transparent colours on various grounds) is
evident in smoke, which is blue when seen against black, but when it
is opposed to the light, (blue sky), it appears brownish and
reddening."

The letter "On the decoration of a villa" comes very opportunely.
Architecture, with all its accompanying decoration of furniture and
ornament, has been with us for nearly two centuries in abeyance. The
taste is reviving, and with it knowledge. The science is studied, and
with the extension of the science, convenience, which had long been
the sole aim, and inadequately pursued, is in advance. There is much
to be done, not only in villas and mansions, the houses of the rich,
but in those of the moderate citizens. It too often happens that
families are weary of their homes, they know not why--fly off to
watering-places for a little novelty--establish themselves in
inconvenient lodging-houses--all, in reality, because they lack a
little variety at home. We have seen houses, where most of the rooms
are not only of the same dimensions, but are, as near as possible,
coloured, papered, painted and furnished alike: the eye is wearied
with the perpetually obtruding sameness, and the eye faithfully
conveys this disgust to the mind. We may be thought to have whimsical
notions in this respect, yet we venture to the confession of a
somewhat singular taste. Had we wealth at command, we would borrow
something from every country and climate under the sun. We would enter
subterranean palaces with the ancient Egyptians, all artificially
lighted. Arabians, Greeks, and Romans should contribute architectural
designs. Our house should represent, in this sense, a map of the
world: we would inhabit Europe, Asia, Africa, America--(no, scarcely
the latter)--yet without being shocked by too sudden transitions;
though we would retain somewhat of this electrifying source of
revivifying the too slumbering spirits. We would be able to walk "the
great circle, and be still at home." We would create every gradation
of light, and every gradation of darkness, to suit or to make every
humour of the mind. We would have gardens such as few but Aladdin saw;
and who less than a genie, or most consummate of geniuses, should
complete our last unfinished window?--unfinished; for, with all this,
it would still be a blessing to have something to do. And a pleasant
thing to be the lord, master, emperor, in an architectural world of
acres. Who does not love the lordly spirit of Wolsey? but we would go
beyond him--would, as well as the imperial palace, have the poet's
house, the painter's house; and in their works, all their works, (we
are becoming as ambitious as Alnaschar,) be in daily familiarity with
the great and wise of every age. Our libraries--we speak plurally, in
the magnificence of the great idea--our picture-galleries,
statue-galleries, should tax the skill of purveyors and architectural
competitors without end. None that have ever yet been built or
supplied with treasures would suffice, for they are for cramped
positions. We would have no lack of space, and would not mind building
a room for a single work. The idea of magic to construct, only shows
the real want of man. Magic is but a prenomen to genius. Did we learn
all this extravagance from our early story-books of princes and
princesses, and their fairy palaces--from Arabian tales, and, in later
time, from the enchantments of Boyardo and Ariosto? Whatever were the
sources--though it should turn out to have been but an old nurse--we
are heartily thankful for these variable, fanciful treasures; and, had
we the riches, in reality would add a further extravagance of cost and
fancy--a mausoleum to her bewitching bones. We remember thinking
Menelaus, as pictured in the _Agamemnon_ of Æschylus, happy even in
his grief for the loss of Helen, in that he paced his galleries gazing
upon her statues.

            "Ma ritorniamo al nostro usato canto."

For more practical views and uses, we refer those who would build and
decorate houses of pretensions and taste to the good sense contained
in Mr Eastlake's _Reply_.

It seems to be scarcely a fable that beauty (as often personified in
romantic poetry) is hid in an enchanted castle that few can reach; and
those fortunate few either see but the skirts of her robe, as she
majestically passes from corridor to corridor, or are so bewildered
with the sight, that, having worshipped with downward eyes, they can
give but a poor account of that "vultus nimium lubricus aspici;" while
many of the adventurers are at once overcome by the monsters of error
that in every shape sentinel the bridge and turret; while others,
scarcely on the verge of the precincts, gather a few flowers, and come
away under the delusion that they have entered the true garden of all
enchantment. Some are fascinated with the "false Duennas" that assume
a shape of beauty, and lead them far away, to their utter
bewilderment; and these never return to the real pursuit.--There are
who meet with fellow adventurers, accompany each other but a short
way, dispute about the route they should take, breathe a combative
atmosphere in the byepaths of error, and had rather slaughter each
other than continue the adventure. Such seems to have been the thought
of Mr Eastlake, in the commencement of his fragment "On the Philosophy
of the Fine Arts," which he has clothed in more sober prose becoming
the combatant for Truth--for Truth and Beauty are one. He has been out
upon the adventure--yet scarcely thinks himself safe from the weapons
of combatants, old or new, the discomfited or the aspirant, and
expects little credit will be given to the discoveries he professes to
have made. "To hint at theories of taste," he asserts, "is to invite
opposition. The reader who gives his attention to them at all is eager
to be an objector; he sets out by fancying that his liberty is in
danger, and instinctively prepares to resist the supposed aggression."
We would by no means break a lance with one so skilful, and of such
proof-armour, as that which this accomplished combatant wears; but we
may venture to gather up the fragments of the broken lances that strew
the field, and patch them up for other hands--nay, offer them, with
the humility of a runner in the field, to Mr Eastlake himself, who
will, on good occasion, show of what wood and metal they are made. To
carry on this idea of enchantment, it is possible that Mr Eastlake may
resemble the happy prince in search of the ninth statue. Eight had
been set up (we are not quite sure of the number): there they stood on
their pedestals of finest marble, but they were cold to the touch. The
prince in the tale found the ninth he was commanded to discover to be
a living beauty. If we mistake not, Mr Eastlake considers beauty but
the type of life. "Life is pre-eminently an element of beauty: the
word itself presents at once to the imagination the ideas of movement,
of energy, and of bloom: the fact itself constitutes the greatest and
most admirable attribute of nature." Again, establishing the curve,
though not the precise curve of Hogarth, as the line of beauty, "a
variously undulating curve may therefore be proposed as the visible
type of life: such a form is constantly found in nature, as the
indication and concomitant of life itself. It was this which Hogarth
detected in various examples, without tracing it to its source. His
illustrations are often excellent, but the type itself he adopted was
singularly unfortunate. His "line of beauty" constantly repeats
itself, and is therefore devoid of variety or elasticity--the
never-failing accompaniments of perfect vitality." Variation, whether
of line or of other elements, has on all hands been admitted as an
ingredient of beauty. Mr Burke's illustration of the dove is good:
"Here we see the head increasing insensibly to the middle, from whence
it lessens gradually until it mixes with the neck; the neck loses
itself in a larger swell, which continues to the middle of the body,
when the whole decreases again to the tail. The tail takes a new
direction, but it soon varies its new course; it blends again with the
other parts, and the line is perpetually changing above, below, upon
every side." Burke adds to this the other element--softness--which, we
suspect, Mr Eastlake will admit only in a minor degree; for Mr Burke
considers not only softness, but a certain degree of weakness--a
delicacy almost amounting to it, at least--as necessary to the idea of
beauty; and they would ill agree with the perfect "vitality" of our
author.

But simply as to lines, we are inclined to believe with Burke, that
though the varied line is that in which beauty is found most complete,
there is no particular line which constitutes it. Mr Eastlake, in
referring that line to its resemblance to life, or to the antagonistic
principles that make and destroy life, if we mistake not, cautiously
abstracts this line of beauty from ideas of association; whereas his
whole argument, in form and matter, appears to be one of association
only. But such an association of life may be, if it existed, often
destructive of that impression which a beautiful object is intended to
make. Lassitude, death itself, may be beautiful in form. When Virgil
compares Euryalus dying to the flower cut down--to the poppies
drooping, weighed down with rain--he has in his eye objects beautiful
in themselves; rather than life, they express Burke's idea of a
certain weakness and faintness.

    Inque humeros cervix collapsa recumbit.
    Purpureus veluti cum flos succisus aratro,
    Languescit moriens; lassove papavera collo,
    Demisere caput, pluviâ cùm fortè gravantur.

Perhaps Mr Eastlake may reply, that the simile expresses _privation_
of life, and therefore shows the matter capable of receiving it; but
this appears further to involve the necessity of association, which
denies the beauty of the line _per se_. The idea of privation is a
sentiment; but the question is, if there be _a_ line of beauty
independent of sentiment or association. Let us attempt to answer it
by another--the opposite. Is there _a_ line of ugliness? We think
there is not: if there be, what line? certainly not a straight line,
(we must not here refer any to an object.) Perhaps we may not be very
wrong in saying that _a_ line _per se_ is one of "indifference"--similar
to that state of the mind before, as Burke says, we receive either
pain or pleasure. May we not further say that, very strictly speaking,
there is no one line but the straight--that every figure is made up of
its inclinations, which are other or equivalent to other lines? If
there be any truth in this, the "line of beauty" (here adopting for a
moment the word) is not a single but a complicated thing: the straight
line has no parts, until we make them by divisions: the curved line
has parts by its deviations, which constitute a kind of division,
without the abruptness which the divided straight line would have. The
organ of sight requires a moving instinct: that instinct is curiosity;
but that is of an inquiring, progressive nature. Without some variety,
therefore, in the object, it would die ere it could give birth to
pleasurable sensation. It is too suddenly set to rest by a straight
line _per se_; but when that line is combined with others, the sense
is kept awake, is exercised; and it is from the exercise of a sense
that pleasure arises. Too sudden divisions, by multiplying one object,
distract; but in the curve, in the very variety, the unity of the
object is preserved. A real cause may possibly here exist for what we
will still call a "line of beauty," without referring it at all to so
complicated a machinery of thought as that of life, with its
antagonistic principle, with which it continually contends. This is,
doubtless, physically and philosophically true; but it is altogether a
thought which gives beauty to the idea of the line after we have
contemplated it--not before. The line may rather give rise to and
illustrate the philosophical thought, than be made what it is by that
thought, which it altogether precedes.

Mr Eastlake objects to Hogarth's line that it repeats itself. We are
not quite satisfied of the validity of this objection: for we find a
certain repetition the constant rule of nature--a repetition not of
identity, but similarity--an imitation rather, which constitutes
symmetry--which, again, is a kind of correspondence, or, to clothe it
with a moral term, a sympathy. To this symmetry, when a freedom of
action is given, it but makes a greater variety; for we never lose
sight of the symmetry, the balancing quantity always remaining. Thus,
though a man move one arm up, the other down, the balance of the
symmetry is not destroyed by the motion. We know that the alternation
may take place,--that the arms may shift positions: we never lose
sight of the correspondence, of the similarity. Every exterior swell
in the limb has its corresponding interior swell. The enlargement by a
joint is not one-sided. Every curve has its opposite. The face
exemplifies it, which, as it is the most beautiful part, has the least
flexible power of shifting its symmetry. Mark how the oval is
completed by the height of the forehead and the declination of the
chin. In nature it will be mostly found that, when one line rises,
there is an opposite that falls,--that where a line contracts to a
point, its opposite contracts to meet it. And this is the pervading
principle of the curve carried out, and is most complete when the
circle or oval is formed, for then the symmetrical or sympathetic line
is perfected. Let us see how nature paints herself. Let us suppose the
lake a mirror, as her material answering to our canvass. We see this
repetition varied only by a faintness or law of perspective, which, to
the eye, in some degree changes the line from its perfect exactness.
As we see, we admire. There is no one insensible to this beauty. Nay,
we would go further, and say that the artist cannot at random draw any
continuous set of lines that, as forms, shall be ugly, if he but apply
to them this imitation principle of nature, which, as it is
descriptive of the thing, may be termed the principle of Reflexion,
and which we rather choose, because it seems to include two natural
propensities not very unlike each other--imitation and sympathy. We
say "not very unlike each other," because they strictly resemble each
other only in humanity. The brute may have the one--imitation, as in
the monkey; but he imitates without sympathy, therefore we love him
not: and it is this lack which makes his imitation mostly mischievous,
for evil acts are the more visible,--the good discernible by feeling,
by sympathy. The sympathy of the symmetry of nature is its sentiment,
and may therefore be at least an ingredient in beauty, and thus
exhibited in lines. Lines similar, that approach or recede from each
other, do so by means of their similarity in a kind of relation to
each other; and by this they acquire a purpose, a meaning, as it
were, a sentient feeling, or, as we may say, a sympathy. A line of
itself is nothing--it has no vital being, no form, until it bear
relation to some other, or, by its combination with another, becomes a
figure; and because it is a figure, it pleases, and we in some degree
sympathise with it, as a part, with ourselves, of things created. Thus
the curve, or Hogarth's line of beauty, which we assume to be made up
of straight lines, whose joining is imperceptible, is the first
designated figure of such lines, and in it we first recognise form,
the first essential of organic being and beauty. It is like order
dawning through chaos,--life not out of death, but out of that
unimaginable nothing, before death was or could be. It is the
Aphrodite discarding the unmeaning froth and foam, and rising
altogether admirable. Now again as to Hogarth's line--carried but a
little further, it would be strictly according to this principle of
Reflexion. Divide it by an imaginary line, and you see it as in a
mirror. If the serpentine line, then, as Hogarth called it, be a line
of beauty, let us see in what that line is rendered most beautiful.
Let us take the caduceus of Hermes as the mystic symbol of beauty.
Here we see strictly the principle of reflexion, (for it matters not
whether lateral or perpendicular,) and here, as a separation, how
beautiful is the straight line! Take away either serpent, where is the
beauty? We have a natural love of order as well as of variety,--of
balancing one thing with another. If we remember, Hogarth falls into
the error of making it a principle of art to shun regularity, and
recommends a practice, which painters of architectural subjects have,
as we think, erroneously adopted, of taking their views away from a
central point. The principle of reflexion of nature would imply that
they lose thereby more than they gain, for they lose that complete
order which was in the design of the architect, and which, by not
disturbing, so aids the sense of repose--a source of greatness as well
as beauty. But to return to this Reflexion. It has its resemblance to
Memory, which gives pleasure simply by reflecting the past,--by
imitating through sympathy. We are pleased with similitudes, when
placed in opposition. They are, like the two sides of Apollo's lyre,
divided only by lines that, through them, discourse music,--harmony or
agreement making one out of many things. The painter knows well that
he requires his balancing lines to bring all intermediate parts into
the idea of an embracing whole. If any of Hogarth's lines, as given
examples in his plate, (though he gives the preference to one,) had
its corresponding, as in the caduceus, it would at once become a
beautiful line.

We took occasion some years ago, in a paper in Maga, to notice the
practice, according to this principle of nature, followed by perhaps
as great a master of composition (of lines) as any that art has
produced--Gaspar Poussin; and we exemplified the rule by reference to
some of his pictures; and we remarked that, by this his practice, he
made more available for variety and uniformity the space of his
canvass. We have since, with much attention, noticed the lines of
nature, when most beautiful,--have watched the clouds, how they have
arched valleys, and promoted a correspondence of sentiment,--and how,
in woods, the receding and approaching lines of circles have made the
meetings and the hollows, which both make space, and are agreeable. We
are not setting forth _our_ line of beauty. We would rather suggest
that it is possible the idea of the wave or curve, right in itself,
may be carried to a still greater completeness. It may, in fact, only
be a part of beauty, which must scarcely be limited to a single line,
or rather figure. We should have hesitated, lest we should seem to
have hazarded a crude theory, if it had appeared to be entirely in
opposition to Mr Eastlake. We think, upon the whole view, it rather
advances his, and reconciles it as a part only with that of Burke and
Hogarth. The thing stated may be true, when the reason given for it
may be untrue, or at least insufficient. The notion of life and its
antagonism is true; but its application may be more ingenious, and in
the nature of a similitude, than an absolute foundation; for many
similar referable correspondences of ideas may be given, as the range
of similitude is large. But the objection to them is that they are
mental, and will not, therefore, apply unconditionally in a theory
from which we set out by abstracting association.

Nor can we go so far as to carry this idea of "life" into the theory
of colour.

     "Colour," says Mr Eastlake, "viewed under the ordinary
     effects of light and atmosphere, may be considered according
     to the same general principles. It is first to be observed
     that, like forms, they may or may not be characteristic, and
     that no object would be improved by means, however
     intrinsically agreeable, which are never its own. Next, as
     to the idea of life: creatures exhibit the hues with which
     nature has clothed them in greatest brilliancy during the
     period of consummate life and health. Bright red, which, by
     universal consent, represents the idea of life, (perhaps
     from its identity with the hue of the blood,) is the colour
     which most stimulates the organs of sight."

We doubt if any one colour, as we doubted of any one line, is _the_
colour of beauty; and as to red representing life, possibly by
resemblance to blood, speaking to the eye of Art, we should not say
that redness is the best exponent of the beautiful flesh of human
life. If so, it is most seen in earliest infancy, when it positively
displeases. The young bird and young mouse create even disgust from
this too visible blood-redness.

What is beauty? is quite another question from that of whether there
is _a_ line of beauty. Lines may be pleasing or displeasing, in a
degree independent of the objects in which they happen to be. Lines
that correspond in symmetry, as well as colours which agree in
harmony, may exist in disagreeable objects, leaving yet the question
of beauty to be answered; though beauty, whatever it is, may require
this correspondence of parts, this order, this sympathy in symmetry.

Burke has separated the sublime from the beautiful. Mr Eastlake has,
we suppose intentionally, with a view to his ulterior object, in this
fragment omitted any such distinction. He may be the more judicious in
this, as Burke admits ugliness into his Sublime.

It has been supposed that the ancient artists studied the forms of
inferior animals for the purpose of embellishing the human. The bull
and lion have been recognised in the heads of Jupiter and Hercules. Mr
Eastlake lays stress upon the necessity in avoiding, in representing
the human, every characteristic of the brute; and quotes Sir Charles
Bell, who says, "I hold it to be an inevitable consequence of such a
comparison, that they should discover that the perfection of the human
form was to be attained by avoiding what was characteristic of the
inferior animals, and increasing the proportions of those features
which belong to man."

This is doubtless well put; but there is an extraordinary fact that
seems to remove this characteristic peculiarity from the idea of
beauty, however it may add it to the idea of perfection. Man is the
only risible animal: risibility may be said, therefore, to be his
distinguishing mark. If so, far from attributing any beauty to it,
even when we admit its agreeability, we deny its beauty,--we even see
in it distortion. Painters universally avoid representing it. They
prefer the

               "Santo, onesto, e grave ciglio."

Some have thought the smile, so successfully rendered by Correggio,
the letting down of beauty into an inferior grace.

Perhaps the sum of the view taken by Mr Eastlake may be best shown by
a quotation:--

     "We have now briefly considered the principal æsthetic
     attributes of the organic and inorganic world. We have
     traced the influence of two leading principles of
     beauty--the visible evidence of character in form, and the
     visible evidence of the higher character of life. We have
     endeavoured to separate these from other auxiliary sources
     of agreeable impressions--such as the effect of colours, and
     the influences derived from the memory of the other senses.
     Lastly, all these elements have been kept independent of
     accidental and remote associations, since a reference to
     such sources of interest could only serve to complicate the
     question; and render the interpretation of nature less
     possible.

     A third criterion remains; it is applicable to human beings,
     and to them only. Human beauty is then most complete, when
     it not only conforms to the archetypal standard of its
     species, when it not only exhibits in the greatest
     perfection the attributes of life, but when it most bears
     the impress of mind, controlling and spiritualising both."
     "The conclusion which the foregoing considerations appear to
     warrant, may be now briefly stated as follows:--_Character
     is relative beauty--Life is the highest character--Mind is
     the highest life._"

We confess, in conclusion, that we are not yet disposed to admit, from
any thing we have read, that Burke's "Sublime and Beautiful" is
superseded. We can as readily believe that the sublime and beautiful
may be reunited in one view, as that it is optional to separate them.
The sublime and the beautiful both belong to us as human beings,
making their sensible impressions all sources of pleasure, greatly
differing in kind. It is inseparable from our condition to have a
sense of a being vastly superior to ourselves: sublimity has a
reference to that superior power over us, and to ourselves, as subject
to it: while it renders us inferior, it lifts our minds to the
knowledge of the greater. Beauty, on the contrary, seems to look up to
us for aid, support, or sympathy. It thus flatters while it pleases,
and, in contradiction to the subduing influence of the sublime, it
makes ourselves in some respects the superior, and puts us in good
humour both with the object and ourselves.

We are loath to quit this most interesting subject. We thank Mr
Eastlake for bringing it so charmingly before us. We feel that our
remarks have been very inadequate, both with regard to the nature of
the subject, and as "The Philosophy of the Fine Arts" may seem to
demand. But we are aware that to do both justice would require larger
space than can be here allowed, and an abler pen than we can command.
We almost fear a complete elucidation of beauty is not within the
scope of the human mind. It may be to us not from earth, but from
above; and we are not prepared to receive its whole truth. Burke
somewhere observes that--"The waters must be troubled ere they will
give out their virtues." The allusion is admirable, and justifies
disturbing discussions. On such a subject, where the root of the
matter grows not on earth, it may be added, in further allusion, that
the stirring hand should be that of an angel.



INDEX TO VOL. LXIV.


  Acting in China, 89.

  Agriculture of France and England, comparison of, 3.

  Alain family, the, extracts from, 560.

  Algoa bay, settlement of, 159.

  American thoughts on European revolutions, 31.

  American war, caricatures illustrating the, 552.

  Anne, queen, character of, 327.

  Antwerp, a legend from, 444.

  Arabian nights, the, 472.

  Aristocracy, necessity of a, to Britain, 14.

  Art its prospects, 145
    Eastlake's literature of, 753.

  Art-unions, results of, 146.

  Ashley, lord, on the juvenile population, 66.

  Ateliers Nationaux, sketches of the, 249.

  Auersperg, count, 382, 532.

  Australia, importance of, 66
    demand for emigration to, 67
    Mitchell's researches in, 68.

  Austria, the revolution in, 519.


  Baden, state of, 378.

  Baikal, the lake, 88.

  Balloons, rage for, 554.

  Balzac, M. de, 572.

  Banking act, suspension of the, 262, 263

  Barbauld's hymns, 404.

  Barnard's cruise, &c., review of, 158.

  Bashkirs, the, 81.

  Basil, letter to, 31.

  Baston, Robert, 222, 223.

  Bavaria, the revolution in, 518.

  Beauty, Eastlake's theory of, 762.

  Beaver and Beaver-stone, the, 84.

  Beggar's Opera, origin of the, 336.

  Belgium, state of, 521.

  Bentinck, lord George, death of, 632.

  Beresov, town of, 80, 81.

  Bernard, Andrew, 225, 226.

  Blue Dragoon, the, 207.

  Blum, Robert, 532.

  Bright, John, 271.

  British navy, the, 595.

  Buraets, the, 90.

  Buried flower, the, 108.

  Burke's eulogy on Walpole, 331.

  Byron's address to the ocean, on, 499.


  Cabrera, movement under, 630.

  Caged skylark, to a, 290.

  Call, a, by Julia Day, 625.

  Canning, rupture of Castlereagh with, 620.

  Canterbury tales, the, 466.

  Cape, sketches of the, 158.

  Caricatures of the 18th century, the, 543.

  Caroline, queen, 331, 332, 334, _et seq._

  Carpentaria, gulf of, expedition to, 68.

  Castlereagh, lord, memoirs of, 610.

  Catholic priesthood, proposed endowment of the, 638.

  Cavaignac, general, 259.

  Caxtons, the, Part IV. chap. ix., 40
    chap. x., 41
    chap. xi., 43
    chap. xii., 44
    chap. xiii., 48
    chap. xiv., 50
    Part V. chap. xv., 171
    chap. xv., 179
    chap. xvi., 181
    chap. xvii., 182
    Part VI. chap. xviii., 315
    chap. xix., 317
    chap. xx., 318
    chap. xxi., _ib._
    chap. xxii., 320
    chap. xxiii., 321
    chap. xxiv., 323
    chap. xxv. 324
    Part VII. chap. xxvi., 388
    chap. xxvii., 392
    chap. xxviii., 395
    chap. xxix., 396
    chap. xxx., My father's first love, 397
    chap. xxxi., Wherein my father continues his story, 400
    chap. xxxii., Wherein my father brings about his denouement, 402
    chap. xxxiii., 405
    chap. xxxiv., _ib._
    Part VIII. chap. xxxv., 672
    chap. xxxvi., 674
    chap. xxxvii., 677
    chap. xxxviii., 680.

  Chartism, classes among whom prevalent, 269.

  Chartist demonstration, feeling regarding, in America, 35.

  Chartists, sympathy between, and the Irish, 261.

  Chaucer as laureate, 224.

  Cheremisses, the, 87.

  Chesterfield, lord, 334.

  China, Erman's travels in, 88.

  Chuvasses, the, 87.

  Cibber, Colley, 230.

  Cinque Cento, the, 145.

  Cleghorn's ancient and modern art, review of, 145.

  Cobden, Mr, reductions proposed by, 265, 266.

  Coercion, necessity of, in Ireland, 485.

  Coercion bill, the Irish, 281.

  Cologne, state of, 378, 521.

  Colonial legislation, review of recent, 275.

  Colonisation, 66.

  Colours, Goethe's theory of, 759.

  Compton, Sir Spencer, 329.

  Commerce, statistics of, 496.

  Commercial classes, rise of, to power, 115.

  Commercial crisis, the, 262.

  Conciliation, failure of, in Ireland, 485.

  Congress of Vienna, errors of the, 516.

  Conservative union, 632.

  Constitution of the United States, the, 33.

  Continental revolutions--Irish rebellion--English distress, 475.

  Cossacks, the, 81.

  Cottier system, the, 423.

  Cotton manufactures, growth of, 409.

  Crown security bill for Ireland, the, 283.

  Currency, on the, 492.


  Da Vinci, Leonardo, 760.

  Dante's Beatrice, 220.

  Danube and the Euxine, the, 608.

  Davenant, William, 227, 228.

  Day, Julia, "A Call" by, 625.

  De Chatillon, Mrs Hemans', 652.

  Deer forests and deer-stalking, 92.

  Denmark, state and character of, 286
    sonnet to, 292.

  Devonshire, the duke of, 329.

  Dickens, the novels of, 468.

  Dogs of Siberia, the, 86.

  Doomster's first-born, the, chap. I., The tavern, 447
    chap. II., The lovers, 450
    chap. III., Father and son, 453
    chap. IV., The execution, 455.

  Drama, decline of the, 648.

  Dryden as laureate, 228.

  Dudevant, madame, and her works, 568.

  Dumas, Alexander, 557, 558, 695.

  Dunbar, William, 226.


  Eastern life, Miss Martineau's, reviewed, 185.

  Eastlake's literature of the fine arts, review of, 753.

  Economists, rise and doctrines of the, 408.

  Egypt, Miss Martineau on, 185.

  Eighteen hundred and twelve, a retrospective review, 190
    part II., The Moscow retreat, 359.

  Electric telegraph in America, the, 31.

  Emersonianism in America, 38.

  Emigration, importance of, 66
    from Ireland, necessity of, 663.

  England, necessity of an aristocracy to, 14
    under George II., 327
    the history of, illustrated by caricatures, 543
    the present position of, 477, 492.

  English and French agriculture, comparison of, 3
    laureates, sketches of, 221.

  Entail, the law of, 1
    bill, examination of the, 9.

  Erman's Siberia, review of, 76.

  Ernest, letter from, 31.

  European revolutions, American thoughts on, 31.

  Eusden, Lawrence, 229.

  Eusebius, letter to, on novels, 459.

  Eustathius, the romances of, 472.

  Excise bill, Walpole's, 336, _et seq._

  Exports, diminution of, 274.


  Fashions in the 18th century, the, 554.

  Female poetesses, on, 641.

  Feudal law of succession, the, 5.

  Few words about novels, a, 459.

  Fielding's novels, on, 460, 466.

  Financial measures, recent, 263.

  Findhorn river, the, 96.

  Fine arts commission, the, 148
    Eastlake's literature of the, 753.

  Fishing in Russia, 83.

  Fitzgerald, lord Edward, 615, 616.

  Fleming on the papacy, notice of, 710.

  Fleury, cardinal, 332.

  Fo, temple of, 89.

  Foote, Samuel, 550.

  Forty shilling franchise in Ireland, the, 611.

  Fox, caricatures of, 553.

  France, agriculture of, compared with that of England, 3
    her law of real property, succession, &c., 6, 11
    feeling in America on the revolution in, 31
    State of, June 1848, 51
    the present state of, and lessons from it, 476, 477
    pictures of, from Jérome Paturot, 687.

  François le Champi, notices of, 568.

  Frankfort, appearance of the town of, 525
    the insurrection in, 541
    parliament, the, 375, 380, 515.

  Frederick-William, character, policy, &c., of, 518, 519, 523.

  Free trade, progress of, 114
    its influence on shipping, 125
    its failure, 264, 268
    examination of its principles, 269, 409.

  French actors, riots against, in London, 1755, 549
    literature, recent, 557
    novels, on, 471.

  Fur trade of Siberia, the, 84.


  Gagern, Herr von, 381, 531.

  Gaming in England, rage for, 554.

  George I., accession of, 328.

  George II., life and times of, 327
    his personal and public character, 329
    sketches and anecdotes of him, 334, _et seq._

  George III., caricatures of, 552.

  German novels, modern, 190.

  Germanic confederation, the, 285.

  Germany, objects of the revolutionary party in, 373
    and its parliament, a glimpse at, 515
    errors of the congress of Vienna regarding, 516
    democratic character of the smaller states, 517
    first outbreak and rapid progress of the movement, 518
    objects of the democratic party, 536
    state of the country, 538.

  Gillray the caricaturist, 544, 553.

  Glass, painting on, 156.

  Glimpse at Germany and its parliament, a, 515.

  Godwin's novels, on, 466.

  Goethe's Theory of Colours, 759.

  Gothic architecture, rise of, 145.

  Gower the poet, 224.

  Grattan, close of the career of, 620.

  Gravière's sketches of the naval war, review of, 595.

  Great Britain, importance of Australia to, 66
    present state of 479, 492.

  Great Tragedian, the, chap. I., 345
    chap. II., 348
    chap. III., 349
    chap. IV., 352
    chap. V., 355
    chap. VI, 358.

  Greek sculpture, on, 154
    romances, 472.

  Green Hand, the, 743.

  Gulielmus, the first English laureate, 222.


  Habeas corpus act, suspension of the, in Ireland, 284.

  Harrington, lord, 341.

  Harrowby, lord, notices of Castlereagh by, 621

  Heidelberg, first revolutionary assembly at, 518
    state of, 378.

  Hemans, Mrs, 641.

  Hervey's life and times of George II., review of, 327.

  Heywood the poet, 226.

  Highway robbery, prevalence of, in 1720, 546.

  Hoadley, bishop, 342.

  Hogarth as a painter, 153
    his first caricature, 548
    career of, 551.

  Horse-dealer, the, a tale of Denmark, 232.

  Huzzah for the rule of the Whigs, 112.


  Imports, increase of manufactured, 273.

  Income tax, modifications of, proposed, 421, note.

  Intestacy, law of succession in, 5.

  Ireland, agriculture and laws of property in, 12
    amount of immigration from, 261
    legislation of the session regarding, 279
    its state, remedies proposed, &c., 421, 423
    the rebellion in, 480, _et seq._
    proper government for, 489
    state of, before the union, 611
    the rebellion of 1798, 615
    the union, 619
    the miseries of, and their remedies, 658.

  Irish crime bill, the, 281.

  Irkutsk, town of, 88.

  Italy, Whig policy toward, 286
    present state of, 476.


  Jacobitism, prevalence of, under George I., 545.

  Jahn, professor, 531.

  Jane Eyre, remarks on, 473.

  Jérome Paturot, review of, 687.

  Jervis, Sir John, 599.

  Jewish disabilities bill, the, 279
    an American on the, 36.

  John, the archduke, 520.

  Johnson, Daniel and Ben, 227.


  Kaffirland, 158.

  Kames, lord, on the law of entail, 3.

  Karr, M., and his writings, 560.

  King, lord chancellor, 339.

  Kock, Paul de, 571.

  Kosacks of the Ural, the, 81.


  La Famille Alain, the, 560.

  Lady tourists, on, 185.

  Laffan, archdeacon, 280.

  Lamb plant, the, 79.

  Lamoricière, general, 259.

  Land, the laws of, 1.

  Last Constantine, Mrs Hemans', 652.

  Laurels and laureates, 220.

  Law, John, career of, 546.

  Laws of land, the, 1.

  Lays of the Deer Forest, review of, 92.

  Legend from Antwerp, a. Introduction, 444
    The Doomster's first-born; chap. I., The tavern, 447
    chap. II., The lovers, 450
    chap. III., Father and son, 453
    chap. IV., The execution, 455.

  Leiningen, prince, 383.

  Letter to Eusebius, a, on novels, 459.

  Lichnowsky, prince, 532
    his murder, 533.

  Life and times of George II., the, 327.

  Life in the Far West, part II., 17
    part III., 130
    part IV., 293
    part V., 429
    part VI., 573
    memoir of the author, 591

  London, state of, under George I., 545.

  Londonderry, lord, memoirs of Lord Castlereagh by, reviewed, 610.

  Louis XV., character of, 332.

  Louis Philippe, American estimation of, 32.

  Lyons, state of, 59.


  Macculloch on the succession to property vacant by death, review of, 1.

  Madame de Malguet, remarks on, 474.

  Maimachen, town of, 88.

  Manufactures, state of exports and imports, 273, 274.

  Mariage de Paris, notice of the, 565.

  Martineau's Eastern life, review of, 185.

  Masquerades, prevalence of, during the eighteenth century, 548, 550.

  Mayence, state of, 525.

  Memoirs of Lord Castlereagh 610.

  Menchikoff, a Russian favourite, 81.

  Mery, M., the works of, 565.

  Mill's political economy, review of, 407.

  Mill, Mr, on the waste lands of Ireland and their improvement,
        668, _et seq._

  Miseries: of Ireland, the, and their remedies, 658.

  Mississippi scheme, the, 546.

  Mitchell, trial and condemnation of, 283.

  Mitchell's Australia, review of, 66.

  Modern tourism, 185.

  Molesworth, Sir William, 271.

  Monceaux, sketches in the park of, 249, 691.

  Monsieur Bonardin, review of, 687, 700.

  Montemolin, the Count de, and his party in Spain, 627.

  More, Hannah, works of, 461.

  Mormons, sketches of the, 577.

  Mosaic law, the, relative to land, 3.

  Moscow, the burning of, 79
    the retreat from, 359.

  Moses, Miss Martineau's theory of, 188.

  Muggite societies in London, the, 545.

  Musset, Paul de, 567.


  Naples, affairs of, 286.

  Napoleon, caricatures of, 555.

  National gallery, the, 150.

  National workshops of Paris, sketches of the, 249, 691.

  Narvaez, the policy of, 627, 629.

  Naval war of the French Revolution, the, 595.

  Navigation laws, the, 114.

  Nelson, career and character of, 597.

  Nicholson's The Cape and its colonists, review of, 158.

  Nijni Novgorod, fair of, 79.

  Novels, a few words about, 459.


  O'Connell, John, on Ireland, 281.

  Orange, the princess of, 339, 342.

  Orval, the prophecy of, 704, 705, _et seq._

  Ostyaks, the, 82, 83, _et seq._


  Painting, Eastlake on, 757.

  Painting on glass, on, 156.

  Parcel from Paris, a, 557.

  Paris, state of, 51
    its supremacy, 53
    this beginning to fail, 55, _et seq._
    sketches in, 248
    a parcel from, 557
    pictures of, from Jérome Paturot, 688.

  Passavant's Life of Raphael, notice of, 758.

  Peel, Sir R., on the sugar act, 276
    the adherents of, 633
    his banking act, suspension of it, 263.

  Pericles, the age of, 155.

  Petrarch's Laura, 220.

  Philosophy of the fine arts, Eastlake's, 755.

  Poetry: The Buried flower, 108
    Huzzah for the rule of the Whigs, 112
    To a caged skylark, 290
    Sonnet to Denmark, 292
    Danube and the Euxine, 608
    A Call, 625.

  Poitiers prophecy, the, 708.

  Polar bear, the, 85.

  Political economy, 407.

  Poor-law, long want of, in Ireland, 661
    that lately passed, and supplementary measures required, 662.

  Population, redundancy of, in Ireland, and means of restraining it, 660.

  Previsions of the solitary of Orval, the, 704, _et seq._

  Primogeniture, sketch of the history of, 3
    its advantages, 5.

  Prisons, &c., expense of, 67, 75.

  Prophecies for the present, 703.

  Prussia, state of, 476
    recent policy of, 517
    the revolutionary movement in, 519.

  Pye, Henry James, 231.

  Pyramids, the, 186.


  Queensberry, the duchess of, 335.


  Rachel, mademoiselle, 693.

  Raffaelle, the Madonnas of, 152
    Passavant's Life of, 758.

  Ragged schools, statistics of, 67.

  Reaction, dread of, in France, 56.

  Rebellion, the Irish, of 1798, 615, _et seq._

  Records of Woman, Mrs Hemans', 653.

  Reichsverweser of Germany, the, 520, 535.

  Rellstab, Lewis, 190, 359.

  Republican France, June 1848, 51
    First-fruits, 687.

  Review of the last session, a, 261.

  Revolutions of England, the, 327
    on the Continent, the, 475
    of 1830 and 1848, coincidences between, 712.

  Reybaud's Jérome Paturot, review of, 687.

  Richardson, the novels of, 460.

  Roads of Russia, the, 83.

  Roman law of succession, the, 5.

  Rowe, Nicholas, 229.

  Rowlandson the caricaturist, 544, 554, 556.

  Russell, Lord John, review of the policy and measures of, 262, 270.

  Russia, Erman's travels in, 78.

  Ruxton, the late George Frederick, 591.


  St John's Wild Sports of the Highlands, 96.

  St Maur, the national workshops at, 253.

  St Paul's church, Frankfort, 530.

  St Vincent, lord, 599.

  Samoyedes, the, 85, 87.

  Sand, George, and her works, 568.

  Satires and Caricatures of the eighteenth century, 543.

  Saxon law of succession, the, 3, 6.

  Sayer the caricaturist, 553.

  Scarborough, lord, 334.

  Scotch agriculture, effects of entail on, 3.

  Scotland, the law of entail in, 7.

  Scottish Deer Forests, the, 92.

  Scrope's deer-stalking, 94.

  Sculpture, Eastlake on, 756.

  Seal-catching in the North, 85.

  Session, review of the, 261.

  Shadwell the laureate, 228.

  Shipping, influence of the navigation laws on, 116
    statistics of, 118.

  Siberia, 76
    treatment of the exiles in, 80.

  Sicily, the revolt of, 286.

  Sigismund Fatello, chap. I., The opera, 714
    chap. II., The masquerade, 718
    chap. III., The accusation, 724
    chap. IV., The captain's room, 734
    chap. V. The day after the wedding, 739.

  Silk, increased importation of, 274.

  Simmons, B., To a caged skylark, by, 290.

  Skelton, the laureate, 225.

  Sketches in Paris, 248.

  Smith, Adam, 407
    on the navigation laws, 114.

  Sonnet to Denmark, 292.

  South Sea scheme, the, 547.

  Southey as laureate, 231
    remarks on his "Doctor," 470.

  Spain, Whig policy toward, 289
    present state of, 627.

  Spenser as laureate, 226.

  Stuart's Lays of the deer-forest, review of, 92.

  Sturgeon, fishing for the, 83.

  Stuttgardt, state of, 379.

  Succession, the laws of, 1.

  Suffolk, lady, 341, 343.

  Sugar duties, the committee on, 276.

  Sugar trade, statistics regarding the, 273.

  Switzerland, present state of, 538.


  Tapestry, on, 157.

  Taquinet le Bossu, notice of, 571.

  Tasso, 221.

  Tatar domination in Russia, the, 79.

  Tate, Nahum, 229.

  Taxes, abolition of indirect, 268.

  Thompson, colonel, 271.

  Tobolsk, town of, 82.

  Tourists, publications of, 185.

  Townshend, lord, 334.

  Trollope, Mrs, the novels of, 469.

  Tunguzes, the, 91.


  Uhland the poet, 531.

  Union of Ireland, the, 617, _et seq._


  Venetian school of painting, the, 153.

  Vespers of Palermo, Mrs Hemans', 648, 649.

  Vicar of Wakefield, the, 466.

  Vienna, the insurrection in, 537.

  Vincennes, the castle and forest of, 253, _et seq._


  W. E. A., The Buried flower, by, 108
    Danube and the Euxine, by, 608.

  Walmoden, Madame, 343.

  Walpole, Sir Robert, 329, _et seq._

  Ward's Five years in Kaffirland, review of, 158.

  Warren's novels, remarks on, 469.

  Warton, Thomas, 231.

  Waste lands of Ireland, proposed employment of the, 665, _et seq._

  Watering-places of Germany, state of the, 538.

  Wealth, the duties of, 414.

  Wellington, a Frenchman's estimate of, 601
    sketch of his career in answer to it, 603.

  West Indies, legislation toward the, 276.

  What is Spain about?, 627.

  What would revolutionising Germany be at?, 373.

  Whig ministry, review of the conduct of the, 262.

  Whitehead, William, 230.

  Winther, Christian, the Horse-dealer, by, 232.

  Wood, Sir Charles, 264.

  Woodward, caricature by, 556.

  Wright's England under the house of Hanover, review of, 543.

  Wurtemberg, state of, 379.


  Yakutsk, town of, 91.

  Yekaterinburg, town of, 81.

  Yenisei, the Ostyaks of the, 85.

  Yellow Goat, the, 567.


  Zitz, a member of the Frankfort parliament, 533.

  Zollverein, real object of the, 517.


_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._





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ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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