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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 47, No. 416, June 1850
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 47, No. 416, June 1850" ***

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  NO. CCCCXVI.        JUNE, 1850.         VOL. LXVII.


  LATTER-DAY PAMPHLETS,                                       641

  THE HUNGARIAN JOSEPH,                                       658


  A MONTH AT CONSTANTINOPLE,                                  679

  MADAME SONTAG AND THE OPERA,                                688

  THE GREEN HAND--A "SHORT" YARN. PART X.,                    701

  PALACE THEATRICALS. A DAY-DREAM,                            722

  THE QUAKER'S LAMENT,                                        733


  INDEX,                                                      783

PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON. _To whom all communications (post paid) must
be addressed._





  NO. CCCCXVI.      JUNE, 1850.      VOL. LXVII.


  [1] _Latter-Day Pamphlets_, edited by THOMAS CARLYLE. No. I. The
  Present Time. No. II. Model Prisons. No. III. Downing Street. No.
  IV. The New Downing Street. London: 1850.

It is nothing unusual, in this wayward world of ours, to find men
denouncing, with apparent sincerity, that very fault which is
most conspicuous in themselves. How often do we detect the most
quarrelsome fellow of our acquaintance, the Hotspur of his immediate
circle, uttering a grave homily against intemperance of speech, and
rebuking for some casual testiness a friend, whose general demeanour
and bearing give token of a lily-liver? What more common than to
hear the habitual drunkard railing at the sin of inebriety, and
delivering affecting testimony against the crying iniquity of the
ginshop? We have listened to discourses on the comeliness of honesty,
and the degrading tendencies of mammon-worship, from gentlemen
who, a few hours before, had given private instructions to their
brokers to rig the market, and who looked upon George Hudson as the
greatest ornament of the age. Cobden mounts the platform to propose
a motion in favour of universal peace and brotherhood, and, by way
of argument, suggests the propriety of crumpling up the empire of
the Russias, like the sheet of white paper which trembles in his
omnipotent hand. He is seconded by a Quaker.

Mr Thomas Carlyle has, of late years, devoted a good deal of
his leisure time to the denunciation of shams. The term, in his
mouth, has a most extended significance indeed--he uses it with
Catholic application. Loyalty, sovereignty, nobility, the church,
the constitution, kings, nobles, priests, the House of Commons,
ministers, Courts of Justice, laws, and lawgivers, are all alike,
in the eyes of Mr Carlyle, shams. Nor does he consider the system
as of purely modern growth. England, he thinks, has been shamming
Isaac for several hundred years. Before the Commonwealth it was
overridden by the frightful Incubus of Flunkeyism; since then, it
has been suffering under Horsehair and Redtapism, two awful monsters
that present themselves to Mr Carlyle's diseased imagination,
chained at the entrances of Westminster Hall and Downing Street.
Cromwell, perhaps, was not a sham, for in the burly regicide brewer
Mr Carlyle discerns certain grand inarticulate strivings, which
elevate him to the heroic rank. The gentlemen of the present age,
however, are all either shams or shamming. The honourable Felix
Parvulus, and the right honourable Felicissimus Zero, mounted
respectively upon "desperate Sleswick thunder-horses"--M'Crowdy the
political economist--Bobus--Flimnap, Sec. Foreign Department--the
Right Honourable Minimus, and various other allegorical personages,
intended, we presume, to typify carnal realities, are condemned as
Solemn Shams, Supreme Quacks, Phantasm Captains, the Elixir of the
Infatuated, and Able-Editor's Nobles.

It is natural to suppose that an individual who habitually deals in
such wholesale denunciation, and whose avowed wish is to regenerate
and reform society upon some entirely novel principle, must be a man
of immense practical ability. The exposer of shams and quackeries
should be, in his own person, very far indeed above suspicion of
resembling those whom he describes, or tries to describe, in language
more or less intelligible. If otherwise, he stands in imminent
danger of being treated by the rest of the world as an impertinent
and egregious impostor. Now, Mr Thomas Carlyle is anything but a
man of practical ability. Setting aside his style for the present,
let us see whether he has ever, in the course of his life, thrown
out a single hint which could be useful to his own generation, or
profitable to those who may come after. If he could originate any
such hint, he does not possess the power of embodying it in distinct
language. He has written a history of the French Revolution, a
pamphlet on Chartism, a work on Heroes and Hero-worship, and a sort
of political treatise entitled _Past and Present_. Can any living man
point to a single practical passage in any of these volumes? If not,
what is the real value of Mr Carlyle's writings? What is Mr Carlyle
himself but a Phantasm of the species which he is pleased to denounce?

We have known, ere now, in England, political writers who,
single-handed, have waged war with Ministers, and denounced the
methods of government. But they were men of strong masculine
understanding, capable of comprehending principles, and of exhibiting
them in detail. They never attempted to write upon subjects which
they did not understand: consequently, what they did write was well
worthy of perusal, more especially as their sentiments were conveyed
in clear idiomatic English. Perhaps the most remarkable man of this
class was the late William Cobbett. Shrewd and practical, a master
of figures, and an utter scorner of generalisation, he went at once
in whatever he undertook to the root of the matter, and, right or
wrong, demonstrated what he thought to be the evil, and what he
conceived to be the remedy. There was no slip-slop, burlesque, or
indistinctness about William Cobbett. Mr Carlyle, on the other hand,
can never stir one inch beyond the merest vague generality. If he
were a doctor, and you came to him with a cut finger, he would regale
you with a lecture on the heroical qualities of Avicenna, or commence
proving that Dr Abernethy was simply a Phantasm-Leech, instead of
whipping out his pocket-book, and applying a plaster to the wound.
Put him into the House of Commons, and ask him to make a speech on
the budget. No baby ever possessed a more indefinite idea of the
difference between pounds, shillings, and pence. He would go on
maundering about Teufelsdrökh, Sauerteig, and Dryasdust, Sir Jabez
Windbag, Fire-horses, Marsh-jötuns, and vulturous Choctaws, until he
was coughed down as remorselessly as ever was Sir Joshua Walmsley.
And yet this is the gentleman who has the temerity to volunteer his
services as a public instructor, and who is now issuing a series of
monthly tracts, for the purpose of shedding a new light upon the most
intricate and knotty points of the general policy of Great Britain!

Something of this kind we have already witnessed in a neighbouring
country, but never in the like degree. France has had her Flocons
and her Louis Blancs, small, pert, presumptuous animals, chalking
out schemes of social regeneration, organised labour, industrial
regiments, and the like. We do not intend to insinuate that either
of these scribes is entitled to be ranked, for parity of intellect,
with Mr Carlyle, because by doing so we might involve ourselves in
a squabble with some of his benighted admirers. But we say, with
perfect sincerity, that so far as regards political attainments
and information, clear views, and we shall even add common sense,
(distant as that attribute is from any of the parties above named,)
MM. Flocon and Blanc are at least as capable guides as Mr Carlyle
can pretend to be. Something tangible there is, however pernicious
to society, in the propositions of the former--the latter does not
favour us with propositions at all; he contents himself with abusing
men and matters in a barbarous, conceited, uncouth, and mystical

One peculiarity there is about the _Latterday Pamphlets_, as
contradistinguished from their author's previous lucubrations, which
has amused us not a little. Mr Carlyle has hitherto been understood
to favour the cause of self-styled Liberalism. His mania, or rather
his maunderings, on the subject of the Protector gained him the
applause of many who are little less than theoretical republicans,
and who regard as a glorious deed the regicide of the unfortunate
Charles. Moreover, certain passages in his _History of the French
Revolution_ tended to strengthen this idea; he had a kindly side for
Danton, and saw evident marks of heroism in the loathsome miscreant
whom, in his usual absurd jargon, he styles "the pale sea-green
Incorruptible," Robespierre. On this ground, his works were received
with approbation by a section of the public press; and we used
to hear him lauded and commended as a writer of the profoundest
stamp, as a deep original thinker, a thorough-paced philanthropist,
the champion of genuine greatness, and the unflinching enemy of
delusions. Now, however, things are altered. Mr Carlyle has got a new
crochet into his head, and to the utter discomfiture of his former
admirers, he manifests a truculent and ultra-tyrannical spirit,
abuses the political economists, wants to have a strong coercive
government, indicates a decided leaning to the whip and the musket
as effectual modes of reasoning, and, in short, abjures democracy!
The sensation caused by this extraordinary change of sentiment has
been as great as if Joe Hume had declared himself a spendthrift. Only
think of such a document as the following, addressed to the sovereign

     "_Speech of the British Prime Minister to the floods of Irish
     and other Beggars, the able-bodied Lackalls, nomadic or
     stationary, and the general assembly, outdoor and indoor, of the
     Pauper Populations of these Realms._

     "Vagrant Lackalls! foolish most of you, criminal many of you,
     miserable all; the sight of you fills me with astonishment
     and despair. What to do with you I know not; long have I been
     meditating, and it is hard to tell. Here are some three millions
     of you, as I count; so many of you fallen sheer over into the
     abysses of open Beggary; and, fearful to think, every new unit
     that falls is _loading_ so much more the chain that drags
     the other over. On the edge of the precipice hang uncounted
     millions; increasing, I am told, at the rate of 1200 a-day. They
     hang there on the giddy edge, poor souls, crumping themselves
     down, holding on with all their strength, but falling, falling
     one after another; and the chain is getting _heavy_, so that
     ever more fall; and who at last will stand! What to do with you?
     The question, what to do with you? especially since the potato
     died, is like to break my heart!

     "One thing, after much meditating, I have at last discovered,
     and now know for some time back: That you cannot be left to roam
     abroad in this unguided manner, stumbling over the precipices,
     and loading ever heavier the fatal _chain_ upon those who might
     be able to stand; that this of locking you up in temporary Idle
     Workhouses, when you stumble, and subsisting you on Indian meal,
     till you can sally forth again on fresh roamings, and fresh
     stumblings, and ultimate descent to the devil;--that this is
     _not_ the plan; and that it never was, or could out of England
     have been supposed to be, much as I have prided myself upon it!

     "Vagrant Lackalls! I at last perceive, all this that has been
     sung and spoken, for a long while, about enfranchisement,
     emancipation, freedom, suffrage, civil and religious liberty
     over the world, is little other than sad temporary jargon,
     brought upon us by a stern necessity,--but now ordered by a
     sterner to take itself away again a little. Sad temporary
     jargon, I say; made up of sense and nonsense,--sense in small
     quantities, and nonsense in very large;--and, if taken for the
     whole or permanent truth of human things, it is no better than
     fatal infinite nonsense eternally _untrue_. All men, I think,
     will soon have to quit this, to consider this as a thing pretty
     well achieved; and to look out towards another thing much more
     needing achievement at the time that now is."

Flat burglary as ever was committed! O villain! thou wilt be
condemned into everlasting redemption for this--so say the political
Dogberrys to the gentleman whom they used to applaud. We are not
surprised at their wrath. It _is_ rather hard to be told at this time
of day that ballot-boxes and extension of the suffrage are included
in Mr Carlyle's catalogue of Shams, and that Messrs Thompson, Fox,
and Co., must even submit to the charge of talking unveracities and
owlism. Surely there is some mistake here. Not a whit of it. Mr
Carlyle is in grim earnest, and lays about him like a man. He has
not studied the records of the French Revolution for nothing; and he
is not able to discern in the late Continental revolts any ground
for general congratulation on the improved prospects of mankind.
Such language as the following must sound as a strange rebuke in the
ears of divers organs of the public press, who, not long ago, were
flinging up their caps in ecstasies at the fall of constitutions,
backing up Garibaldi against the Pope, Charles Albert against
Radetsky, the Sicilian insurgents against their Sovereign of Naples,
Kossuth against the Emperor, Von Gagern against Federalism, Ledru
Rollin against Civilisation, and Lamartine against Common-sense.

     "Certainly it is a drama full of action, event fast following
     event; in which curiosity finds endless scope, and there are
     interests at stake, enough to arrest the attention of all men
     simple and wise. Whereat the idle multitude lift up their
     voices, gratulating, celebrating sky-high; in rhyme and prose
     announcement, more than plentiful, that _now_ the New Era, and
     long-expected Year One of Perfect Human Felicity has come.
     Glorious and immortal people, sublime French citizens, heroic
     barricades; triumph of civil and religious liberty--O Heaven!
     one of the inevitablest private miseries, to an earnest man in
     such circumstances, is this multitudinous efflux of oratory
     and psalmody from the universal human throat; drowning for the
     moment all reflection whatsoever, except the sorrowful one that
     you are fallen in an evil, heavy-laden, long-eared age, and
     must resignedly bear your part in the same. The front-wall of
     your wretched old crazy dwelling, long denounced by you to no
     purpose, having at last fairly folded itself over, and fallen
     prostrate into the street, the floors, as may happen, will still
     hang on by the mere beam-ends and coherency of old carpentry,
     though in a sloping direction, and depend there till certain
     poor rusty nails and wormeaten dovetailings give way:--but is it
     cheering, in such circumstances, that the whole household burst
     forth into celebrating the new joys of light and ventilation,
     liberty and picturesqueness of position, and thank God that now
     they have got a house to their mind?"

Sham-kings may and do exist, thinks Mr Carlyle, but the greatest
unveracity of all is this same Democracy, which people were lately
so very willing to applaud. It must be admitted that our author is
perfectly impartial in the distribution of his strokes. He has no
love for Kings, or Metternichs, or Redtape, or any other fiction
or figure of speech whereby he typifies existing governments: he
disposes of them in a wholesale manner of Impostors and Impostures.
But no more does he regard with affection Chartist Parliament, Force
of Public Opinion, or "M'Crowdy the Seraphic Doctor with his last
evangel of Political Economy." M'Culloch is, in his eyes, as odious
as the First Lord in Waiting, whoever that functionary may be.
Clenching both his fists, he delivers a facer to the Trojan on the
right, and to the Tyrian on the left. Big with the conviction that
all Governments are wrong, as presently or lately constituted, he can
see no merit, but the reverse, in any of the schemes of progress, or
reform, or financial change, which have yet been devised. Here follow
some of his notions with regard to the most popularly prescribed

     "A divine message, or eternal regulation of the Universe, there
     verily is, in regard to every conceivable procedure and affair
     of man: faithfully following this, said procedure or affair will
     prosper, and have the whole universe to second it, and carry
     it, across the fluctuating contradictions, towards a victorious
     goal; not following this, mistaking this, disregarding this,
     destruction and wreck are certain for every affair. How find it?
     All the world answers me, 'Count heads'; ask Universal Suffrage
     by the ballot-boxes, and that will tell! Universal Suffrage,
     ballot-boxes, count of heads? Well,--I perceive we have got
     into strange spiritual latitudes indeed. Within the last half
     century or so, either the Universe or else the heads of men
     must have altered very much. Half a century ago, and down from
     Father Adam's time till then, the Universe, wherever I could
     hear tell of it, was wont to be of somewhat abstruse nature;
     by no means carrying its secret written on its face, legible
     to every passer-by; on the contrary, obstinately hiding its
     secret from all foolish, slavish, wicked, insincere persons,
     and partially disclosing it to the wise and noble-minded alone,
     whose number was not the majority in my time!--Or perhaps the
     chief end of man being now, in these improved epochs, to make
     money and spend it, his interests in the Universe have become
     amazingly simplified of late; capable of being voted on with
     effect by almost anybody? 'To buy in the cheapest market, and
     sell in the dearest:' truly if that is the summary of his
     social duties, and the final divine message he has to follow,
     we may trust him extensively to vote upon that. But if it is
     _not_, and never was, or can be? If the Universe will not carry
     on its divine bosom any commonwealth of mortals that have no
     higher aim,--being still 'a Temple and Hall of Doom! not a mere
     Weaving-shop and Cattle-pen? If the unfathomable Universe has
     decided to _reject_ Human Beavers pretending to be Men; and will
     abolish, pretty rapidly perhaps, in hideous mud-deluges, their
     'markets' and them, unless they think of it?--In that case, it
     were better to think of it; and the Democracies and Universal
     Suffrages, I can observe, will require to modify themselves a
     good deal!"

Now, reader, what do you think of all this? We doubt not you are
a good deal puzzled: and an admission to that effect would be no
impeachment of your intellect. Well then, let us try to extract from
these pamphlets of Mr Carlyle some tendency, if not distinct meaning,
which may at least indicate the current of his hopes and aspirations.
Putting foreign governments altogether out of the question, we
gather that Mr Carlyle considers this realm of Britain as most
scandalously misgoverned; that he looks upon Downing Street as an
absolute sewer; that he decidedly yields to Mr Hawes in reverence for
Lord John Russell; that he regards the Protectionists as humbugs;
that he laughs at ballot-boxes, despises extension of the suffrage,
and repudiates, as a rule of conduct, the maxim about the markets,
which indeed, by this time, stinks in every British nostril as yet
unplugged with calico; that he detests the modern brood of political
economists with a cordiality which does him credit; and that he is
firmly convinced that democracy is a thing forever impossible. This
is a tolerably extensive creed, though as yet entirely a negative
one--is there no one point upon which Mr Carlyle will condescend to
be positive?

Yes, one there is; not apparent perhaps to the casual reader, but
detectible by him who studies closely those pages of oracular
thought--a point very important at the present moment, for this
it is--that there is ONE MAN existing in her Majesty's dominions
who could put everything to rights, if he were only allowed to do
so. Who that man is we may possibly discover hereafter. At present
we are hardly entitled to venture beyond the boundaries of dim
conjecture. Nor is it very clear in what way the Unknown, or rather
the Undeveloped, is to set about his exalted mission. Is he to be
minister--or something more? Perhaps Mr Carlyle did not like to be
altogether explicit on such a topic as this; but we may possibly gain
a little light from indirect and suggestive passages. Take this for

     "Alas, it is sad enough that anarchy is here; that we are not
     permitted to regret its being here,--for who that had, for this
     divine Universe, an eye which was human at all, could wish that
     shams of any kind, especially that Sham Kings should continue?
     No: at all costs, it is to be prayed by all men that Shams may
     _cease_. Good Heavens, to what depths have we got, when this
     to many a man seems strange! Yet strange to many a man it does
     seem; and to many a solid Englishman, wholesomely digesting his
     pudding among what are called the cultivated classes, it seems
     strange exceedingly, a mad ignorant notion, quite heterodox,
     and big with mere ruin. He has been used to decent forms long
     since empty of meaning, to plausible modes, solemnities grown
     ceremonial,--what you in your iconoclast humour call shams,--all
     his life long; never heard that there was any harm in them,
     that there was any getting on without them. Did not cotton spin
     itself, beef grow, and groceries and spiceries come in from the
     East and the West, quite comfortably by the side of shams?
     Kings reigned, what they were pleased to call reigning; lawyers
     pleaded, bishops preached, and honourable members perorated; and
     to crown the whole, as if it were all real and no sham there,
     did not scrip continue saleable, and the banker pay in bullion,
     or paper with a metallic basis? 'The greatest sham, I have
     always thought, is he that would destroy shams.'

     "Even so. To such depth have _I_, the poor knowing person of
     this epoch, got;--almost below the level of lowest humanity, and
     down towards the state of apehood and oxhood! For never till in
     quite recent generations was such a scandalous blasphemy quietly
     set forth among the sons of Adam; never before did the creature
     called man believe generally in his heart that this was the rule
     in this Earth; that in deliberate long-established lying could
     there be help or salvation for him, could there be at length
     other than hindrance and destruction for him."

We have been sorely tempted to mark with italics certain portions of
the above extract, but on second thoughts we shall leave it intact.
After applying ourselves most diligently to the text, with the view
of eliciting its meaning, we have arrived at the conclusion, that
it is either downright nonsense, or something a great deal worse.
Observe what he says. It is to be prayed for by all men that Shams
may cease--more especially Sham Kings. But certain solid Englishmen
are not prepared for this. They have been "used to decent forms long
since fallen empty of meaning, to plausible modes, solemnities grown
ceremonial,--what you in your iconoclast humour call shams." They
thought no harm of them. "Kings reigned, what they were pleased to
call reigning; lawyers pleaded, bishops preached, and honourable
members perorated," &c. And those who differ in their estimate of
these things from Mr Carlyle are "almost below the level of lowest
humanity, and down towards the state of apehood and oxhood:"--and
their belief is a "scandalous blasphemy." So then, the Monarchy
is a sham, and so are the laws, the Church, and the Constitution!
They are all lies, and in deliberate long-established lying there
can be no help or salvation for the subject! This may not be Mr
Carlyle's meaning, and we are very willing to suppose so; but he
has no title to be angry, were we to accept his words according to
their evident sense. If men, through conceit or affectation, will
write in this absurd and reckless fashion, they must be prepared
to stand the consequences. The first impression on the mind of
every one who peruses the above passage must be, that the author is
opposed to the form of government which is unalterably established
in these kingdoms. If this be so, we should like to know in what
respect such doctrines differ from the pestilential revolutionary
trash which has inundated France and Germany? What kind of overturn
does Mr Carlyle contemplate, for overturn there must be, and that
of the most extensive kind, if his views are ever destined to be
realised? Is it not, perhaps, as melancholy a spectacle as may be,
to find a man of some genius, and considerable learning, attempting
to unsettle the minds of the young and enthusiastic, upon points
distinctly identified with all that is great and glorious in our past
history; and insinuating doctrines which are all the more dangerous
on account of the oblique and uncertain language in which they are
conveyed? Fear God and honour the King, are precepts not acknowledged
by Mr Carlyle as the rudiment and foundation of his faith. He does
not recognise them as inseparably linked together. He would set up
instead some wretched phantom of his own imagination, framed out of
the materials which he fondly supposes to be the attributes of the
heroic character, and he would exalt that above all other authority,
human and divine. He is, if we do not entirely misconstrue the tenor
of these pamphlets, possessed at this moment with the notion of the
advent of another Cromwell, the sole event which, as he thinks, can
save England from being swallowed up by the evils which now beset
her. What these evils are, we shall shortly endeavour to ascertain;
in the mean time, let us keep our attention fixed on this primary
matter of authority.

Cromwellism, then, if we may use the term, is Mr Carlyle's secret
and theory. Cromwellism, is, we know, but another phrase for
despotism; and we shall not put so harsh a construction on the
term as to suppose that it necessarily involves extinguishment of
the royal function. The example of Richelieu is sufficient to save
us from such a violent interpretation, and therefore we may fairly
assume that our author contemplates nothing more than the lodgment
of the executive power in the hands of some stern and inexorable
minister. To this the whole of his multitudinous political ravings,
when melted into intelligible speech, would seem to tend. He has
little regard for Kings, despises Lords, contemns Bishops, scouts
the House of Commons, sneers at Chartists, repudiates the political
economists, spurns the mob, and laughs at the Ten-pounders. There
is here a tolerably extensive range of scorn--we doubt whether it
could have been equalled by the reflective philosopher of the tub.
Now, lest we should be thought harsh in our judgment of Mr Carlyle,
or uncharitable in our method of construing him, let us hear what
he has to say with regard to popular representation. Let us suppose
that monarchy is cleared away as a Sham, or at all events placed
in respectable abeyance, and that there is no farther debate as to
hereditary right or even constitutional sovereignty. Also that we
have got rid of Peers and Bishops. Now, then, as to Congress:--

     "To examine this recipe of a Parliament, how fit it is for
     governing Nations, nay, how fit it may now be, in these new
     times, for governing England itself where we are used to it so
     long: this, too, is an alarming inquiry, to which all thinking
     men, and good citizens of their country, who have an ear for
     the small still voices and eternal intimations, across the
     temporary clamours and loud blaring proclamations, are now
     solemnly invited. Invited by the rigorous fact itself; which
     will one day, and that perhaps soon, demand practical decision,
     or redecision of it from us,--with enormous penalty if we decide
     it wrong. I think we shall all have to consider this question,
     one day; better perhaps now than later, when the leisure may
     be less. If a Parliament, with suffrages and universal or any
     conceivable kind of suffrages, _is_ the method, then certainly
     let us set about discovering the kind of suffrages, and rest no
     moment till we have got them. But it is possible a Parliament
     may not be the method! Not the whole method; nor the method at
     all, if taken as the whole? If a Parliament with never such
     suffrages is _not_ the method settled by this latter authority,
     then it will urgently behove us to become aware of that fact,
     and to quit such method;--we may depend upon it, however
     unanimous _we_ be, every step taken in that direction will,
     by the Eternal Law of things, be a step from improvement, not
     towards it."

Was there ever so tantalising a fellow? We only know of one parallel
instance. Sancho, after a judicial hearing at Barrataria, sits down
to dinner, but every dish upon which he sets his fancy is whisked
away at the command of a gaunt personage stationed on one side of his
chair, having a wholesome rod in his hand. Fruit, meat, partridges,
stewed rabbits, veal, and olla-podrida, vanish in succession, and
for the removal of each some learned reason is assigned by the
representative of Esculapius. We give the remainder of the anecdote
in the words of Cervantes. "Sancho, hearing this, threw himself
backward in his chair, and, looking at the doctor from head to foot,
very seriously, asked him his name, and where he had studied. To
which he answered: 'My Lord Governor, my name is Doctor Pedro Rezio
de Aguero; I am a native of a place called Tirteafuera, lying between
Caraquel and Almoddobar del Campo on the right hand, and I have taken
my doctor's degree in the University of Ossuna.' 'Then hark you,'
said Sancho in a rage, 'Signor Doctor Pedro Rezio de Aguero, native
of Tirteafuera, lying on the right hand as we go from Caraquel to
Almoddobar del Campo, graduate in Ossuna, get out of my sight this
instant--or, by the light of heaven! I will take a cudgel, and,
beginning with your carcase, will so belabour all the physic-mongers
in the island, that not one of the tribe shall be left!--I mean of
those like yourself, who are ignorant quacks; for those who are
learned and wise I shall make much of, and honour, as so many angels.
I say again, Signor Pedro Rezio, begone! or I shall take the chair I
sat on, and comb your head with it, to some tune, and, if I am called
to an account for it, when I give up my office, I will prove that I
have done a good service, in ridding the world of a bad physician,
who is a public executioner.'"

Mr Carlyle, though he may not be aware of it, is even such a
political doctor. He despises De Lolme on the British Constitution,
and peremptorily forbids his patient to have anything to do with
that exploded system. "I should like to have," says the pupil
placed under his charge, "in the first place, a well-regulated
constituted monarchy." "'Tis a sham!" cries Signor Doctor Thomas
Carlyle--"Are solemnly constituted Impostors the proper kings of
men? Do you think the life of man is a grimacing dance of apes?
To be led always by the squeak of a paltry fiddle? Away with it!"
The wand is waved, and constitutional monarchy disappears. "Well
then," quoth the tyro, "suppose we have an established Church and a
House of Peers?" "Avaunt, ye Unveracities--ye Unwisdoms," shrieks
the infuriated graduate. "What are ye but iniquities of Horsehair?
O my brother! above all, when thou findest Ignorance, Stupidity,
Brute-mindedness,--yes, there, with or without Church-tithes and
Shovelhat, or were it with mere dungeons, and gibbets, and crosses,
attack it, I say; smite it wisely, unweariedly, and rest not while
thou livest and it lives! Instead of heavenly or earthly Guidance for
the souls of men, you have Black or White Surplice Controversies,
stuffed Hair-and-leather Popes;--terrestrial Law-words, Lords, and
Lawbringers organising Labour in these years, by passing Corn Laws.
Take them away!" "What say you to the House of Commons, doctor?"
"Owldom! off with it." "A Democracy?" "On this side of the Atlantic
and on that, Democracy, we apprehend, is for ever impossible." "And
why will none of these things do?" "Because," quoth the graduate
with a solemn aspect, "you perceive we have actually got into the
New Era there has been such prophesying of: here we all are, arrived
at last;--and it is by no means the land flowing with milk and honey
we were led to expect! very much the reverse. A terrible new country
this: no neighbours in it yet, that I can see, but irrational flabby
monsters (philanthropic and other) of the giant species; hyænas,
laughing hyænas, predatory wolves; probably _devils_, blue (or
perhaps blue-and-yellow) devils, as St Guthlac found in Croyland long
ago. A huge untrodden haggard country, the chaotic battlefield of
Frost and Fire, a country of savage glaciers, granite-mountains, of
foul jungles, unhewed forests, quaking bogs;--which we shall have our
own ados to make arable and habitable, I think!" What wonder if the
pupil, hearing this pitiable tirade, should bethink him of certain
modes of treatment prescribed by the faculty, in cases of evident
delirium, as extremely suitable to the symptoms exhibited by his
beloved preceptor?

Let us now see what sort of government Mr Carlyle would propose
for our adoption, guidance, and regeneration. Some kind of shapes
are traceable even in fog-banks, and the analogy encourages us to
persevere in our Latter-day researches.

Mr Carlyle is decidedly of opinion that it is our business to
find out the very Noblest possible man to undertake the whole
job. What he means by Noblest is explicitly stated. "It is the
Noblest, not the Sham-Noblest; it is God Almighty's Noble, not
the Court-Tailor's Noble, nor the Able-Editor's Noble, that must
in some approximate degree be raised to the supreme place; he and
not a counterfeit--under penalties." This _Noblest_, it seems, is
to have a select series or staff of _Noblers_, to whom shall be
confided the divine everlasting duty of directing and controlling
the Ignoble. The mysterious process by means of which "the Noblest"
is to be elevated--when he is discovered--is not indicated, but the
intervention of ballot-boxes is indignantly disclaimed. "The Real
Captain, unless it be some Captain of mechanical Industry hired by
Mammon, where is he in these days? Most likely, in silence, in sad
isolation somewhere, in remote obscurity; trying if, in an evil
ungoverned time, he cannot at least govern himself." There are limits
to human endurance, and we maintain that we have a right to call upon
Mr Carlyle either to produce this remarkable Captain, or to indicate
his whereabouts. He tells us that time is pressing--that we are
moving in the midst of goblins, and that everything is going to the
mischief for want of this Noblest of his. Well, then, we say, where
is this Captain of yours? Let us have a look at him--give us at least
a guess as to his outward marks and locality--does he live in Chelsea
or Whitehall Gardens; or has he been, since the general emigration
of the Stags, trying to govern himself in sad isolation and remote
obscurity at Boulogne? If you know anything about him, out with
it--if not, why pester the public with these sheets of intolerable

As to the Nobler gentry, who are to surround the Noblest, whenever
that Cromwell Redivivus shall appear, there is, in Mr Carlyle's
opinion, no such pitiable uncertainty. They may not, perhaps, be
altogether as plentiful as blackberries on an autumnal hedge, yet
nevertheless they are to be found. "Who are available to your offices
in Downing Street?" quoth he. "All the gifted souls, of every rank,
who are born to you in this generation. These are appointed, by the
true eternal 'divine right' which will never become obsolete, to be
your governors and administrators; and precisely as you employ them,
or neglect to employ them, will your State be favoured of Heaven or
disfavoured. This noble young soul, you can have him on either of two
conditions; and on one of them, since he is here in the world, you
must have him. As your ally and coadjutor; or failing that, as your
natural enemy: which shall it be?" Now, this we call speaking to the
point. We are acquainted, more or less intimately, with some couple
of dozen "noble young souls," all very clever fellows in their way,
who have not the slightest objections to take permanent quarters in
Downing Street, if anybody will make it worth their while; and we
undertake to show that the dullest of them is infinitely superior,
in point of intellect and education, to the present Secretary of
the Board of Control. But are _all_ the noble young souls, without
exception, to be provided for at the public expense? Really, in these
economical times, such a proposal sounds rather preposterous; yet
even Mr Carlyle does not insinuate that the noble young souls will
do any work without a respectable modicum of pay. On the contrary,
he seems to admit that, without pay, they are likely to be found in
the opposition. Various considerations crowd upon us. Would it have
been a correct or a creditable thing for M. Guizot to have placed in
office all the noble young souls of the _National_, simply by way of
keeping them out of mischief? The young nobility connected with that
creditable print certainly did contrive to scramble into office along
the ridges of the barricades, and a very nice business they made of
it when they came to try their hands at legislation. But perhaps Mr
Carlyle would only secure talent of the very highest description.
Well, then, what kind of talent? Are we to look out for the best
poets, and make them Secretaries of State? The best Secretaries of
State we have known in our day, were about as poor poets as could be
imagined; and we are rather apprehensive that the converse of the
proposition might likewise be found to hold good.

     "How sweet an Ovid was in Melbourne lost!"

sighed a Whig critic, commenting with rapture on some of that
nobleman's early lucubrations; and yet, after all, we have no reason
to think that the roll of British bards has been impoverished by
the accidental exclusion. Flesh and blood could not have endured a
second tragedy from Lord John Russell, and yet the present Premier,
despite of Don Carlos, is thought by some partial friends to cut a
tolerably decent figure as a politician. As to that, we shall venture
no opinion. Mr Carlyle, however, is clear for the poets. Listen to
his instance.

     "From the lowest and broadest stratum of Society, where the
     births are by the million, there was born, almost in our own
     memory, a Robert Burns; son of one who 'had not capital for his
     poor moor-farm of twenty pounds a-year.' Robert Burns never had
     the smallest chance to get into Parliament, much as Robert Burns
     deserved, for all our sakes, to have been found there. For the
     man,--it was not known to men purblind, sunk in their poor dim
     vulgar element, but might have been known to men of insight who
     had any loyalty, or any royalty of their own,--was a born-king
     of men: full of valour, of intelligence and heroic nobleness;
     fit for far other work than to break his heart among poor mean
     mortals, gauging beer. Him no ten-pound Constituency chose, nor
     did any Reforming Premier."

Of course they did not, and why should they? If Burns was alive at
the present moment, in the full glory of his intellect and strength,
would any sensible constituency think of sending him to Parliament?
Of all the trash that Mr Carlyle has ever written--and there is a
good deal of it,--this about Robert Burns, whom he calls the "new
Norse Thor," not being selected as a statesman, is perhaps the most
insufferable. The vocation of a poet is, we presume, to sing; to
pour forth his heart in noble, animating, or touching strains; not
to discuss questions of policy, or to muddle his brains over Blue
Books, or the interminable compilations of Mr Porter. Not so thinks
Carlyle. He would have shut up Burns in Downing Street, debarred him
from the indulgence of verse, and clapped him at the head of a Board
of Poor-law Commissioners. "And the meagre Pitt, and his Dundasses,
and red-tape Phantasms (growing very ghastly now to think of) did not
in the least know or understand, the impious god-forgetting mortals,
that Heroic Intellects, if Heaven were pleased to send such, were the
one salvation for the world and for them and all of us." Mr Carlyle
seems to have most original notions on the subject of nature's gifts.
It would be as reasonable to say that, because a nightingale sings
more sweetly than its compeers, it ought to be taken to the house and
trained as a regular falcon.

We are very far indeed from wishing to maintain that literary men
may not be possessed of every quality which is most desirable in
a statesman. But instances of this combination are rare, and on
the whole we think that our "Heroic Intellects," and "noble young
souls," will acquit themselves most creditably by following out
the peculiar bent of their own genius. If they have any political
tendency, it will develop itself in due season; but we protest, most
strenuously, against a Parliament of men of genius, or a cabinet of
literateurs. We have seen quite enough of that in other countries.
A more laughable spectacle, if it had not also been painful, than
the Frankfort chamber, composed very much of suchlike materials, was
never given to public gaze. Old Ludwig Uhland, for all the appearance
he made, had better have stuck to his ballads. In France, Victor
Hugo, whose name is second in literature to none, cuts a most sorry
figure. Even Lamartine is sadly out of his place, though a longer
experience of the Chamber saves him from incurring that constant
ridicule which is the reward of his dramatic brother. Eugene Sue, we
observe, is another noble young soul, who is panting for political
renown. Far be it from us to anticipate his final destiny: as to his
deservings, there can be little difference of opinion.

It cannot be denied that exceptions, and very plausible ones, might
be taken to the very best ministry ever formed, on the score of
talent. Nay, even that ministry known by the distinguishing title
of "all the Talents," could hardly have borne a searching scrutiny.
But, upon the whole, we are by no means convinced that a Cabinet
of uniform brilliancy is a thing to be desired. One light would be
apt to burn emulously beside another. Moreover talent, though an
excellent and admirable quality, is not the only requisite for a
statesman. Barrington was one of the cleverest fellows of his day;
yet it might have been somewhat hazardous to trust him with the
keys of the Treasury. There have been in our own time in the House
of Commons divers noble young souls, of great and undoubted talent,
whose accession to office would by no means have increased the
confidence of the public in Ministers. And there are men _now_ in the
House of Commons who, to a certain extent, agree with Mr Carlyle,
and complain very bitterly that talent is not allowed to occupy its
proper place. At a meeting of the National Reform Association held
on 23d April last, Mr W. J. Fox, M.P. for Oldham, is reported to
have said--"That the great object they had in view was a _social
revolution_, not gained by blood, or disturbing the constitution,
but raising _the aristocracy of intelligence_ and morality to a
place beside the cliques which had ruled the country merely by the
influence of property and wealth.... An open career to talent was
a favourite maxim of Napoleon, who, so far as he had acted on it,
gave the signal for a great change in the public mind. He hoped that
responsibility would assume the place now held by the interests and
privileges of family cliques, and that talent would thus be made true
to its duties and instincts." Here is another Heroic Intellect quite
ready to take office if he can get it, and ready, moreover, to put
the ballot-box and all manner of extended suffrage into motion, in
order that he may attain his object. We have no doubt that Mr Fox
is a very clever person, and also that he is fully imbued with the
same gratifying impression; nevertheless, we are free to confess that
we would rather see him on the outside, than in the interior of the
hen-roost of Downing Street. There may be persons within it who might
as well, on public considerations, be out; but there are also many
without, who, notwithstanding their vaunted breadth of intellect,
should be kept from getting in. Will Mr Fox venture to aver that, in
Britain, there is not an open career for talent? Now, as ever, talent
will not fail in its aim, provided its possessor is endowed with
other qualities and virtues which are requisite to command success by
securing confidence and esteem.

Let us now suppose that Mr Carlyle has succeeded in his quest after
capable men--that he has fairly bolted his Noblest, like an overgrown
badger, from the hole in which he lies presently concealed, and has
surrounded him with a staff of the Nobler, including, we presume, the
author of the Latter-day Pamphlets. Noblest and Nobler must now go to
work in serious earnest, taking some order with the flabby monsters,
laughing hyænas, predatory wolves, and blue, or blue and yellow
devils, which abound in this New Era. What is the first step to be
adopted? We find it in No. I.

We have transcribed already the commencement of the speech to be made
by the new British Minister to the assembled paupers--let us hear a
few sentences--

     "But as for you, my indigent incompetent friends, I have to
     repeat, with sorrow but with perfect clearness, what is plainly
     undeniable, and is even clamorous to get itself admitted, that
     you are of the nature of _slaves_,--or if you prefer the word of
     _nomadic, and now even vagrant and vagabond servants that can
     find no master on those terms_; which seems to me a much uglier
     word. Emancipation? You have been emancipated with a vengeance!
     Foolish souls! I say the whole world cannot emancipate
     you. Fealty to ignorant unruliness, to gluttonous sluggish
     Improvidence, to the Beerpot and the Devil, who is there that
     can emancipate a man in that predicament? Not a whole Reform
     Bill, a whole French Revolution executed for his behoof alone."

In this style, Noblest proceeds for a page or two, haranguing the
unlucky paupers upon the principle that poverty is crime; taunting
them with previous doles of Indian meal and money, and informing them
that the Workhouses are thenceforward inexorably shut. Finally, he
announces that they are to be embodied into industrial regiments,
with proper officers; and marched off "to the Irish Bogs, to the
vacant desolations of Connaught now falling into Cannibalism, to
mis-tilled Connaught, to ditto Munster, Leinster, Ulster, I will lead
you; to the English fox covers, furze-grown Commons, New Forests,
Salisbury Plains; likewise to the Scotch Hillsides, and bare rushy
slopes which as yet feed only sheep." All these are to be tilled by
the slave regiments under the following penalties for recusancy.
"Refuse to strike into it; shirk the heavy labour, disobey the
rules--I will admonish and endeavour to incite you; if in vain, I
will flog you; if still in vain, I will at last shoot you,--and make
God's Earth, and the forlorn-hope in God's Battle, free of you.
Understand it, I advise you!" O rare Thomas Carlyle!

The language in which this significant and notable plan is conveyed,
is more original than the plan itself. Other Liberals than Mr
Carlyle have propounded the doctrine that the pauper is a slave of
the state. A century and a half ago, Fletcher of Saltoun wrote a
treatise to that effect, and probably a more determined republican
than Fletcher never stepped in upper leathers. But somehow or other,
although Scotland was then less scrupulous in matters of personal
freedom than the sister kingdom, the scheme was by no means received
with acclamation. Heritable jurisdictions were all very well in
their way, but the idea of reducing the peasantry to the state of
Russian serfdom, was rather more than the free parliament of the
Scots Estates could contrive to stomach. It has been very shrewdly
remarked that there is a wide circle in politics, whereof the
connecting link lies between ultra-liberalism and absolute tyranny.
Mr Carlyle, without meaning it, gives us a fair exemplification of
this in the present pamphlets. Messrs Cobden and Bright afford us an
unmistakeable exemplification of it, in their endeavours to frustrate
the operation of the Ten Hours' Bill. M. Ledru Rollin demonstrated
it in his circulars, on the occasion of the first French republican
election. Liberty is a beautiful term, but its true signification is
unknown to the thorough-paced demagogue.

According to the spirit of the British laws, labour can only be
enforced as the penalty of crime. Mr Carlyle would change this, and
would place the pauper upon precisely the same level as the convict.
We are not prepared to say that some important improvements might
not be made in the practical operation of the poor-laws. We have
read various pamphlets, published in this city and elsewhere, which
strenuously recommend the employment of the able-bodied poor in the
reclaiming of waste lands, and their immediate removal from the
towns. There is, however, much more philanthropy than philosophy in
these schemes. In order to discover a proper remedy, we ought in
every case to direct our primary attention to the nature and origin
of the disease; and this is precisely what our modern philanthropists
neglect to do. People do not crowd into towns of their own choice.
Give them their free will, and the means of subsistence, and one and
all of them will prefer the fresh air, and the sights and sounds
of nature, to the stifling atmosphere, the reeking filth, and the
discordant cries of the city lanes and courts. But no such free will
exists: the balance has not been kept between the country and the
towns. No encouragement has been given to the small manufactures,
which in former times were the support of villages now rapidly
falling into decay. The gigantic power of machinery, set in motion
by large capital, has nearly abolished the hand-loom. Worsted
knitting, yarn-spinning, straw-plaiting, are now rendered almost
profitless occupations. In order to live, the villagers have been
forced to migrate to the towns. We need hardly refer to the earliest
of the Free-trade measures, which, by substituting Spanish barilla
for kelp, threw whole districts of the West Highlands at once into
a state of pauperism. At this moment, a new cause is aggravating
the evil. The stagnation of agricultural employment occasioned by
the abolition of the corn duties, has given a new impetus to rural
emigration; and those who cannot afford their passage to foreign
parts naturally seek refuge in the towns. In another year--if the
experiment should be continued so long--the effects of this last
change will become more evident than they are now. The able-bodied
ploughman is the last of the agricultural class who will suffer.
Those who have already been compelled to change their homes, or to go
upon the parish-list, are the cottars, who derived their subsistence
from the employment given them by resident proprietors. So long
as encouragement to agricultural improvement existed, these poor
people never wanted work; but now the calamitous fall in the price
of produce, and the prospect of a great diminution of rents, have
compelled the landlords to discontinue their improvements, and to
reduce the expenses of their establishments to the lowest possible
limit. In this way, country labour is lessened, and town labour, by
the increasing competition of hands, is cheapened. This is the true
secret of all those startling revelations as to the misery, want,
and positive oppression of the working classes which have lately
appeared in the public journals, and which have engendered in the
minds of many a natural despair as to the destiny of a state in which
such things are suffered to exist. The remedy undoubtedly is neither
an easy nor a speedy one; still, it is by no means to be included
in the category of impossibilities. Machinery, which is the first
great cause of British pauperism, cannot indeed be checked, _but it
may very easily be taxed_. "An acre of land," says a late eminent
writer, "if cultivated, must pay a tithe of its productions to
support the religion of the state, and an equal contribution with any
other property in respect of the poor, county, and church rates; but
mechanical power may exercise its productive faculty _ad infinitum_,
with but a trifling reference or liability to either the one or the
other. The building may be rated at £200, £500, or £1000 a-year, but
it has a power within it which, as compared with landed property
rated at the same amount, will produce a hundredfold as great a
return--a principle in legislation as deteriorating in its operation
on the masses as it is unjust to individuals." That machinery, which
has changed the whole character of our population, and which, in
fact, has been the means of creating this stern reality of pauperism,
is not taxed upon the principle of its productive power. That it
should be so, seems evident upon the smallest reflection. Land is
not taxed on the principle of acreage, but on that of value, which
again depends entirely on production. Why should not the manufactory
be rated in the same manner? It is true that, by such a measure as
this, pauperism could not be removed, but it would be materially
checked, for the fair proportion of the burden would thus be thrown
on the shoulders of those who occasioned it. But nothing effectual
can be done until the nation has finally determined what policy it
is to pursue for the future, and in all time coming, with respect
to native industry. If Free Trade is to go on, pauperism must
continue like a Upas tree to spread and overshadow the land. It is
not within the range of possibility that this can be otherwise. No
church-extension, education, cheap literature, ventilation, sewerage,
public baths, or model lodging-houses, can avail to mitigate the
evil. It is town competition--made triply worse by the operation of
low tariffs--which is driving the working classes to the verge of
the pit of despair; and that town competition is increasing, and
will increase, so long as a fresh daily supply of hands is driven
from country labour. The scheme of the philanthropists to whom we
have referred, is to take the surplusage from the towns and to send
them to the country. This, in the present state of matters, is about
as feasible an undertaking as if we were to try to make a stream of
water run up-hill. Why, the misery and indigence which they seek
to relieve, is not the result of mere idleness, dissipation, or
profligacy--it arises from over-competition in one department of
industry, occasioned by the utter want of profitable employment in
another. There would be no need of industrial regiments to cultivate
the soil, if its cultivation were allowed to be remunerative. But to
set our pauper population at work upon anything which will not repay
private enterprise is mere delusion. We have said this much upon a
topic of the greatest interest, and the utmost importance, because
we are convinced that many persons, who are fully impressed with the
magnitude of the evil, have mistaken the remedy from the want of a
due consideration of the causes from whence that evil has arisen. It
is, however, a subject too large for incidental discussion, and we
shall probably return to it on a future occasion, when we can state
our views without reference to the whimsical vagaries of Mr Carlyle.

So then, the Noblest having made his speech, and wound up with
a significant hint of flogging and pistoling every one of the
unfortunate serfs who shall fail to wield the hoe with becoming
alacrity, what next? Nothing more, in so far as the interests of the
working classes are concerned; at least nothing tangible. Perhaps it
would be absurd to expect anything more. The man who can propound
a scheme to rid us of pauperism, with all its concomitant misery,
would be a greater benefactor to the commonwealth, and to the human
race, than a thousand Howards in one. Mr Carlyle is perhaps the most
strenuous advocate for work that we ever encountered. He would have
made a first-rate taskmaster under the old Egyptian economy. He is,
with great reason, indignant at the state to which our West Indian
Colonies have been reduced by means of Exeter Hall emancipation,
and he scouts emancipation itself as a gross delusion of the fiend.
It is to be regretted that his views have been so late of ripening.
Time was, when a fair and common-sense protest, advanced by a Liberal
philosopher, against the absurdity of attempting to change the hue
of the Ethiopian by a single momentary scrubbing, might have been
of some actual use: now, it is in vain to recommend a protracted
application of the tub. The Noblest, when Mr Carlyle has discovered
him and put him forward, will hardly achieve his ends by using the
following language, even supposing that he wielded the lightning, and
were able to put his threats into execution.

     "Beautiful Black Peasantry, who have fallen idle, and have
     got the Devil at your elbow; interesting White Felonry, who
     are not idle, but have enlisted into the Devil's regiments of
     the line,--know that my benevolence for you is comparatively
     trifling! What I have of that divine feeling is due to others,
     not to you. A universal Sluggard-and-Scoundrel Protection
     Society is not the one I mean to institute in these times, where
     so much wants protection, and is sinking to sad issues for want
     of it! The scoundrel needs no protection. The scoundrel that
     _will_ hasten to the gallows, why not rather clear the way for
     him? Better he reach _his_ goal and outgate by the natural
     proclivity, than be so expensively dammed up and detained,
     poisoning everything as he stagnates and meanders along, to
     arrive at last a hundred times fouler, and swollen a hundred
     times bigger! Benevolent men should reflect on this.--And you
     Quashee, my pumpkin,--(not a bad fellow either, this poor
     Quashee, when tolerably guided!)--idle Quashee, I say you must
     get the Devil _sent away_ from your elbow, my poor dark friend!
     In this world there will be no existence for you otherwise. No,
     not as the brother of your folly will I live beside you. Please
     to withdraw out of my way, if I am not to contradict your folly
     and amend it, and put it in the stocks if it will not amend. By
     the Eternal Maker! it is on that footing alone that you and I
     can live together. And if you had respectable traditions dated
     from beyond Magna Charta, or from beyond the Deluge, to the
     contrary, and written sheepskins that would thatch the face of
     the world,--behold I, for one individual, do not believe said
     respectable traditions, nor regard said written sheepskins,
     except as things which you, till you grow wiser, will believe.
     Adieu, Quashee; I will wish you better guidance than you have
     had of late."

The meaning of this passage is, that the black population of our
colonies ought no longer to be permitted to dwell in perfect
idleness in their provision grounds, rearing pumpkins for their own
consumption, without regard to the cultivation of the sugar-cane.
As we have already remarked, this view is somewhat of the latest;
nevertheless truth, like repentance, can never come too late to
be received. Divorced from the folly of his speech, Mr Carlyle's
sentiment is sound. Twenty millions of British money, wrung from
the hard-taxed labour of our people, were given--for what? Not only
to emancipate the Negroes, but to place them in such a position
that they could effectually control their former masters--our own
colonists and countrymen, to whom our faith was solemnly plighted
for the maintenance of their privileges and commerce. Let it be
granted that slavery was a gross sin, was it incumbent upon us to
elevate the emancipated Blacks so high, that they could control the
labour market--to give them the status of untaxed yoemen, without any
security for the slightest manifestation of their gratitude? It was
more than preposterous that those whose freedom was purchased should
be placed in a better position, and invested with more immunity from
labour and want, than the great bulk of the people who made the
sacrifice in order to secure that freedom; and the result has amply
demonstrated the gross folly of the scheme. There are thousands, nay
millions of men in Britain and Ireland, whose lot, compared with
that of the emancipated Blacks of Jamaica, is one of speechless
misery--and yet their cry to be relieved from a competition which is
crushing them down to the dust, is unheard and uncared for amidst
the din of contending politicians, and the perpetual hum of the busy
proselytes of Mammon.

Here we cannot forbear from quoting a characteristic passage from
Mr Carlyle's tracts. The idea is not original, but the handling
is worthy of Astley's humourist; and we commend it to the special
attention of all free-trading philanthropists.

     "Certainly Emancipation proceeds with rapid strides among us,
     this good while; and has got to such a length as might give rise
     to reflections in men of a serious turn. West Indian Blacks are
     emancipated, and it appears refuse to work. Irish Whites have
     long been entirely emancipated; and nobody asks them to work,
     or on condition of finding them potatoes (which, of course, is
     indispensable) permits them to work. Among speculative persons,
     a question has sometimes risen. In the progress of Emancipation,
     are we to look for a time when all the Horses also are to be
     emancipated, and brought to the supply-and-demand principle?
     Horses too have 'motives;' are acted on by hunger, fear, hope,
     love of oats, terror of platted leather; nay they have vanity,
     ambition, emulation, thankfulness, vindictiveness; some rude
     outline of all our human spiritualities,--a rude resemblance to
     us in mind and intelligence, even as they have in bodily frame.
     The Horse, poor dumb four-footed fellow, he too has his private
     feelings, his affections, gratitudes; and deserves good usage;
     no human master, without crime, shall treat him unjustly either,
     or recklessly lay on the whip where it is not needed:--I am
     sure if I could make him 'happy,' I should be willing to grant
     a small vote (in addition to the late twenty millions) for that

     "Him, too, you occasionally tyrannise over; and with bad result
     to yourselves among others; using the leather in a tyrannous,
     unnecessary manner; withholding, or scantily furnishing,
     the oats and ventilated stabling that are due. Rugged
     horse-subduers, one fears they are a little tyrannous at times.
     'Am I not a horse, and _half_-brother?' To remedy which, so far
     as remediable, fancy--the horses all 'emancipated;' restored to
     their primeval right of property in the grass of this Globe;
     turned out to graze in an independent supply-and-demand manner!
     So long as grass lasts, I daresay they are very happy, or think
     themselves so. And Farmer Hodge sallying forth, on a dry spring
     morning, with a sieve of oats in his hand, and agony of eager
     expectation in his heart, is he happy? Help me to plough this
     day, Black Dobbin; oats in full measure if thou wilt. 'Hlunh!
     No--thank!' snorts Black Dobbin; he prefers glorious liberty
     and the grass. Bay Darby, wilt not thou perhaps? 'Hlunh!' Gray
     Joan, then, my beautiful broad-bottomed mare,--O Heaven! she
     too answers Hlunh! Not a quadruped of them will plough a stroke
     for me. Corn-crops are ended in this world!--For the sake, if
     not of Hodge, then of Hodge's horses, one prays this benevolent
     practice might now cease, and a new and a better one try to
     begin. Small kindness to Hodge's horses to emancipate them! The
     fate of all emancipated horses is, sooner or later, inevitable.
     To have in this habitable earth no grass to eat,--in black
     Jamaica gradually none, as in White Connemara already none;--to
     roam aimless, wasting the seed-fields of the world; and be
     hunted home to Chaos, by the dire watch-dogs and dire hell-dogs,
     with such horrors of forsaken wretchedness as were never seen
     before! These things are not sport; they are terribly true, in
     this country at this hour."

One other sham, perhaps the greatest which our age has witnessed, Mr
Carlyle accidentally denounces--we mean the late Colonial policy. If
the Whigs have an official aptitude for anything, it is the coopering
up of Constitutions. Is one colony indignant at some outrage or
insult proceeding from headquarters--is another dissatisfied with
the conduct of the Governor, and urgent for his recall--is a third
aggrieved by the commercial vacillation and fiscal measures of a
Parliament in which it has neither voice nor power--the universal
panacea is, Give them a Constitution! We hope the present Ministry
will profit by the following criticism--not volunteered by us, who
neither look upon them with affection, nor entertain any sanguine
hope of their conversion to a patriotic policy,--but penned by a
writer who, not long ago, was considered by their organs as one of
the deepest thinkers of the age.

     "Constitutions for the Colonies," says Mr Carlyle, "are now on
     the anvil; the discontented Colonies are all to be cured of
     their miseries by Constitutions. Whether that will cure their
     miseries, or only operate as a Godfrey's Cordial to stop their
     whimpering, and in the end worsen all their miseries, may be
     a sad doubt to us. One thing strikes a remote spectator in
     these Colonial questions: the singular placidity with which
     the British Statesman at this time, backed by M'Crowdy and the
     British moneyed classes, is prepared to surrender whatsoever
     interest Britain, as foundress of those establishments, might
     pretend to have in the decision. 'If you want to go from us,
     go; we by no means want you to stay: you cost us money yearly,
     which is scarce; desperate quantities of trouble too: why
     not go, if you wish it?' Such is the humour of the British
     Statesman at this time.--Men clear for rebellion, 'annexation'
     as they call it, walk openly abroad in our American Colonies;
     found newspapers, hold platform palaverings. From Canada there
     comes duly by each mail a regular statistic of Annexationism:
     increasing fast in this quarter, diminishing in that;--Majesty's
     Chief Governor seeming to take it as a perfectly open question;
     Majesty's Chief Governor, in fact, seldom appearing on the scene
     at all, except to receive the impact of a few rotten eggs on
     occasion, and then duck in again to his private contemplations.
     And yet one would think the Majesty's Chief Governor ought to
     have a kind of interest in the thing? Public liberty is carried
     to a great length in some portion of her Majesty's dominions.
     But the question, 'Are we to continue subjects of her Majesty,
     or start rebelling against her? So many as are here for
     rebelling, hold up your hands!' Here is a public discussion of
     a very extraordinary nature to be going on under the nose of a
     Governor of Canada? How the Governor of Canada, being a British
     piece of flesh and blood, and not a Canadian lumber-log of mere
     pine and rosin, can stand it, is not very conceivable at first
     view. He does it, seemingly, with the stoicism of a Zeno. It is
     a constitutional sight like few."

With Earl Grey at the head of the Colonial Department, backed and
assisted by that pattern of candour, Mr Hawes--with Lord Elgin in
Canada, and Lord Torrington in Ceylon--the integrity of the British
empire is certainly exposed to peril. But a more dangerous symptom
is the spirit which of late years has prevailed in the councils of
the nation, and owes its origin to the false views and perverse
unpatriotic doctrines of the political economists. They refuse to
admit into their calculations any element which may not be reduced
to the standard of money-value, and they consider that the worth of
a colony is to be measured solely by the returns of its traffic.
This is a leading dogma of Free Trade; and no doubt, were Free Trade
capable of entire realisation, if the nations of the earth had no
other ambition than to buy and sell, after the manner recommended
by Mr Cobden, and if reciprocity were a thing universal, a good
deal might be urged in its favour. If we apply the same test to
Ireland, we shall find that it is greatly for the advantage of
the people of Great Britain to pronounce in favour of Repeal, and
to allow the young patriots of the Emerald Isle to enter into any
kind of relationship which they may choose with the sympathising
republicans of France. This is Free Trade in its plain, undisguised
form; and to some such consummation as this we must come at last,
by virtue of the grand experiment, should that, like Sir Robert
Peel's temporary Income Tax, be extended to a limitless perpetuity.
At present, in so far as regards the welfare of a great portion of
the inhabitants of the country, it is difficult to perceive what
advantage they derive from the boasted character of Britons, except
the privilege of contributing to the heaviest load of taxation that
was ever laid upon the industry of a people. We acknowledge that the
Free-traders have planned their scheme with consummate adroitness
and dexterity. If their object was, as we believe it was, to sap
those principles of high morality, rectitude, honour, and patriotism,
which carried Great Britain successfully through the dangers of wild
European revolution, anarchy, and war, they could not have hit upon
a better or a surer method. Many a disheartened agriculturist has
lately asked himself, what is the nature of the ties which bind him
imperatively to Britain, when a richer soil and a fairer climate
can be found elsewhere, a home not daily harassed by the knock of
the tax-gatherer, and the London market ever ready to receive the
product of his industry? It is not good that these questions should
arise in the minds of our yeomen, for they are calculated to engender
a train of thoughts very hostile to the maintenance of that credit
which England dare not lose, without forfeiting her reputation, her
fame, her honour, and her sway. The thoughts of the colonies have
long been bent in a similar direction; and we doubt not that many
of them have been amazed to find that, so far from being checked in
their preliminary mutterings of revolt, they have the hearty good
wishes of the Manchester men in dissolving their connection with
the mother country, whenever they may choose to do so. Thus do we
stand at present in our home and colonial relations, the clank of
the constitution hammer resounding from the cooperage, and dull-eyed
Imbecility sitting lazily at the helm.

We must now take our leave of Mr Carlyle, sincerely regretting that
we cannot, with any degree of truth, congratulate him either on the
tone or the character of his late lucubrations. These pamphlets, take
them altogether, are about the silliest productions of the day; and
we could well wish, for his sake, that they had never been compiled.
Very few people, we imagine, will be disposed to wait with confidence
for the avatar of his Noblest and Noblers, such as he has depicted
them. Our faith and hopes lie in a different direction; nor have
we any wish to see a Cromwell at the head of affairs, supported by
a staff of noble young souls, poetical or otherwise, who require
to be bought over for the purpose. Towards the close of his fourth
pamphlet, our author lets drop a hint from which we gather that it
is not impossible that his Noblest may hereafter appear embodied in
the person of Sir Robert Peel. All we shall say on that score is,
that Sir Robert has already had sufficient opportunity vouchsafed him
to exhibit the extent of his qualifications. It is not likely that
the Statesman who, in the eve of life, and enjoying the undiminished
confidence of his Sovereign, finds himself in the House of Commons
without the semblance of a party to support him, can ever make
another desperate rally. It would be difficult to find in the annals
of history any instance of a leading politician who has been so
often trusted, and impossible to find one who has so often abused
that trust. Even Mr Carlyle cannot deny the Unveracities of which
Sir Robert stands convicted; and although he appears to think that
lapses from truth are of so common occurrence as to be venial, we
beg to assure him that his opinion is not the general one, nor is
it altogether creditable to the morality of the man who ventures
to express it. We are sorry to observe that, in the conclusion of
this latter tract, Mr Carlyle has condescended to borrow some hints
from that most eminent master of modern scurrility, the late Daniel
O'Connell. This is, in every respect, to be deplored. Wit is not Mr
Carlyle's forte, and this kind of wit, if wit it be, is, when served
up at second hand, both nauseous and revolting. At a calmer moment,
and on more mature reflection, we feel convinced that Mr Carlyle
will blush for the terms which he has allowed himself to apply to so
eminent a genius as Mr Disraeli; and that he will in future abstain
from testifying his gratitude for a humiliating invitation to dinner
in a shape so abject as that of casting personal and low abuse upon
the political adversaries of his entertainer.

If Mr Carlyle feels that his vocation is political--if the true
spirit of the prophet is stirring within him--he ought to endeavour
in the first place to think clearly, and, in the second, to amend his
style. At present his thoughts are anything but clear. The primary
duty of an author is to have a distinct understanding of the matter
which he proposes to enunciate, for unless he can arrive at that,
his words must necessarily be mystical and undefined. If men are
to be taught at all, let the teaching be simple, and level to the
common capacity; and let the teacher be thoroughly conversant with
the whole particulars of the lesson. We have a strong suspicion that
Cassandra must have been a prophetess reared in the same school
as Mr Carlyle. Her predictions seem to have been shrouded in such
thorough mysticism, that no one gave her credit for inspiration;
and in consequence the warnings which might have saved Troy, were
spoken to the empty winds. Here, perhaps, we ought to guard ourselves
against a similar charge of indistinctness. We by no means intend to
certify that Mr Carlyle is a prophet, or that there is any peculiar
Revelation in these Latter-day Pamphlets which can avert the fall
of Britain, should that sad catastrophe be foredoomed. We simply
wish to express our regret that Mr Carlyle, who may lay claim to
the possession of some natural genius and ability, will not allow
us the privilege of understanding the true nature of his thoughts,
and therefore exposes himself to a suspicion that the indistinctness
lies quite as much in the original conception of the ideas, as in the
language by means of which they are conveyed.

As to his style, it can be defended on no principle whatever.
Richter, who used to be his model, was in reality a first-rate
master of language and of verbal music; and although in some of
his works, he thought fit to adopt a quaint and abrupt manner of
writing, in others he exhibited not only great power, but a harmony
which is perhaps the rarest accomplishment of the rhetorical artist.
His "Meditation on a Field of Battle," for example, is as perfect
a strain of music as the best composition of Beethoven. But in Mr
Carlyle's sentences and periods, there is no touch or sound of
harmony. They are harsh, cramped, and often ungrammatical; totally
devoid of all pretension to ease, delicacy, or grace. In short,
we pass from the Latter-day Pamphlets with the sincere conviction
that the author as a politician is shallow and unsound, obscure and
fantastic in his philosophy, and very much to be reprehended for his
obstinate attempt to inculcate a bad style, and to deteriorate the
simple beauty and pure significancy of our language.


The following poem is intended to commemorate a very interesting
episode, which lately enlivened the deliberations of the National
Reform Association. The usual knot of Parliamentary orators having
somewhat cavalierly left the delegates to their own rhetorical
resources, on the third day of conference, and the conversation
having taken a doleful turn, owing to the paucity of subscriptions,
the Chairman, Sir Joshua Walmsley, thought fit to enliven the spirits
of the meeting by the introduction of an illustrious visitor. The
following extract from the morning papers will explain the incident,
as well as the commemorative verses:--

     "The Chairman (Sir J. Walmsley) here left the platform, and
     shortly afterwards returned, leading a short, stout, elderly,
     intelligent-looking gentleman, with a very formidable mustache
     and bushy beard of snowy whiteness, whose appearance created
     considerable excitement in the audience, and gave rise to great
     satisfaction in the minds of several delegates, who were under
     the impression that they beheld Mr Muntz, the hon. member for
     Birmingham, whose beard is so well known by report to the
     Liberal party.

     "The CHAIRMAN.--Gentlemen, you observed that I left the platform
     for a short time, and returned with a gentleman who is now near
     me. It is no other than the Joseph Hume of the Hungarians. (Loud
     cheers, followed by cries of 'Name, name.')

     "The chairman did not appear able to afford the desired
     information, and the venerable Hungarian financier wrote his
     name on a slip of paper, from which Sir Joshua Walmsley read
     aloud what sounded like 'Eugene Rioschy.' (Cheers; and voices,
     'We don't know it now,' 'I can't tell my wife;' and laughter.)


    No, no! 'tis false! it cannot be!
      When saw a mortal eye
    Two suns within the firmament,
      Two glories in the sky?
    Nay, Walmsley, nay! thy generous heart
      Hath all too wide a room:
    We'll not believe it, e'en on oath--
      There's but one Joseph Hume!


    Unsay the word so rashly said;
      From hasty praise forbear!
    Why bring a foreign Pompey here
      Our Cæsar's fame to share?
    The buzzard he is lord above,
      And Hume is lord below,
    So leave him peerless on his perch,
      Our solitary Joe!


    He may be known, that bearded wight,
      In lands beyond the foam;
    He may have fought the fiery fight
      'Gainst taxes raised at home.
    And hate of kings, and scorn of peers,
      May rankle in his soul:
    But surely never hath he reached
      "The tottle of the whole."


    Yes, he may tell of doughty deeds,
      Of battles lost and won,
    Of Austrian imposts bravely spurned
      By each reforming Hun.
    But dare he say that he hath borne
      The jeers of friend and foe,
    Yet still prosed on for thirty years
      Like our transcendant Joe?


    Or hath he stood alone in arms
      Against the guileful Greek,
    Demanding back his purchase-coin
      With oath, and howl, and shriek?
    Deemed they to hold with vulgar bonds
      That lion in the net?
    One sweep of his tremendous paw
      Could cancel all their debt.


    How could we tell our Spartan wives
      That, in this sacred room,
    We dared, with impious throats, proclaim
      A rival to the Hume?
    Our children, in their hour of need,
      Might style us England's foes,
    If other chief we owned than one,
      The member for Montrose.


    O soft and sweet are Cobden's tones
      As blackbird's in the brake;
    And Oldham Fox and Quaker Bright
      A merry music make;
    And Thompson's voice is clear and strong,
      And Kershaw's mild and low,
    And nightingales would hush their trill
      To list M'Gregor's flow;


    But Orpheus' self, in mute despair,
      Might drop his magic reed
    When Hume vouchsafes, in dulcet strains,
      The people's cause to plead.
    All other sounds of earth and air
      Are mute and lost the while;
    The rasping of a thousand saws,
      The screeching of the file.


    With him we'll live, with him we'll die,
      Our lord, our light, our own;
    We'll keep all foemen from his face,
      All rivals from his throne.
    Though Tory prigs, and selfish Whigs,
      His onward course assail.
    Here stand a hundred delegates,
      All joints of Joseph's tail.


    Ho, there! remove that hairy Hun
      With beard as white as snow;
    We need no rank reformers here
      To cope with honest Joe.
    Not Muntz, with all his bristly pride,
      From him our hearts can wean:
    We know his ancient battle-cry--
      "Shave close, my friends, and clean!"




Although I have not specified every place at which we halted, or
through which we passed, it may be proper to state that we arrived
in due course at St Sever, which was distant only one day's march
from the actual headquarters of the British army, Aire on the Adour.
Here Pledget interposed his professional authority, and decided that
neither Mr Chesterfield nor Jones must proceed farther. They both
remained, therefore, under surgical treatment at St Sever. Pledget
and Gingham, deeming the road now safe, pushed forward to Aire,
leaving the cart to follow with the convoy. At the same time, our
numbers experienced a still more considerable diminution. Our cavalry
escort, also, received orders to push forward, and started before
us in high spirits, with the prospect of immediate operations. The
convoy was, accordingly, left with only the infantry as a guard,
under Corporal Fraser.

Before starting for this our last day's march I saw both our wounded
men, neither of them well pleased at being left behind. As to Jones,
I was getting used to him, and could have better spared a better man.
I found him confined to his bed, in a house full of sick and wounded;
very much down in the mouth, fractious, a little feverish, and not at
all satisfied with hospital diet. "Please, sir, the doctor don't not
allow me a drop of sperrits, sir; no, nor wine nayther, sir; nothing
whatsomdever to drink, only powders, sir."

"Powders to drink, Jones? What d'ye mean, man?"

"Please, sir, what I means is powders, sir. Hope no offence, sir.
Doctor calls 'em everfizzing powders, sir."

From the Hon. Mr Chesterfield I parted with unfeigned regret. I
believe he had won the respect of the whole party. His manner
was a little stiff and aristocratical at first. But he mended on
acquaintance; and, in everything connected with duty, he was both
highly competent, and pleasant to act with. We got off in good time,
and proceeded on our march as on former days, our road carrying us
through two or three villages.

In passing one of these, I pulled up to make some trifling purchase;
and, when I came out of the shop, found our whole convoy and escort
halted. "How's this, Fraser? Why are we not getting on?"

"Orders for the whole party to halt have just arrived from
headquarters, sir."

"Indeed! Who brought them?"

"A gentleman belonging to your department, sir."

I rode forward to the head of the column; and there, sure enough,
at the entrance of the village inn, saw a uniform resembling my
own. In fact, I recognised not only the coat, but the wearer of it,
though he did not recognise me. He was a foreigner--Westphalian,
Saxon, Bohemian, High Dutch, Low Dutch, or something of that sort;
had served at Lisbon as clerk in a civil department attached to the
British army; and, in some situation of trust and responsibility,
had incurred suspicions of an awkward kind. He had in consequence
been suspended. The matter was referred to the home authorities,
and the result was his dismissal. This was what I knew of him. As
to his having subsequently obtained employment in our department,
of this I knew nothing. And it did appear rather curious that a
person "disadvantageously known," as he was, should have gained a
footing where trustiness was so indispensable. Yet there he stood in
full fig, enormous staff-hat, and all the departmental toggery. He
addressed me in French, with a tone of authority.

"Why have you come this road? You have followed the wrong route.
Your way was by the left bank of the river."

"I came by the high road, of course. The maps show no route by the
other side. All the troops take this way, and of course I followed
their example."

"Nothing of the kind. They all take the other, which is shorter by
nearly a league. Besides, you should not have come by St Sever at
all. I am sent from headquarters, to show you the right direction."

"Very good. Of course, then, you bring written orders."

"No written orders are requisite. My directions are, to turn you into
the other route. This, in fact, is not safe. You will therefore cross
at the ford, and proceed to headquarters along the other bank of the

"If, as you say, the other is the usual route, of course they must
suppose at headquarters that I have taken it. Very droll they should
have sent you to turn me back from this, then."

"Such were my orders. You will proceed by the other road."

"Allow me to inquire," said I, "were your orders from our own
department, or from the Quartermaster-General's?" That was a poser;
for, if they came from our own, the question would at once arise,
Could any such authority enjoin departure from a regular route, given
in writing? If, on the other hand, it had been deemed expedient, from
circumstances grave and unforeseen, to send me fresh instructions
from the higher authority, the bearer of them would probably come
direct from the same quarter. He hesitated--looked rather at a loss.

"The directions," said he at length, "come from your own department,
of course. I was ordered to ride off, make you come by the other
road, and accompany you to the end of the march."

"I had much rather march by the present route. Rather doubt whether I
should be justified in leaving it."

"Oblige me," said he, in an altered tone, "by just stepping into the
house with me. I am charged with a communication of some importance."

Leaving Sancho in care of an attendant, I followed him into the
Auberge. "Have the goodness," said he, "to step into that apartment.
Excuse me for one moment. I must just speak to the landlord."

I entered. It was an apartment on the ground floor, with a table laid
for two--by no means a disagreeable surprise on a march. On the table
were already placed the bread, and the bottle of wine uncorked--sure
signs, in a French inn, that dinner will soon make its appearance.
"Really, he seems a very good sort of a fellow, after all. This is
just the way with the lads of our department. Suspicion be hanged! my
first impressions were unjust."

He entered; and the garçon followed with the soup. "Ah," said my new
acquaintance, "now be quick with the other things. Come, Mons. d'Y--,
this is your longest day's march; you must be hungry, no doubt. Come,
sit down; take some soup. We shall soon be better acquainted. Excuse
this little _ruse_."

"Readily," said I; "and you must excuse my quitting you this instant."

A glance from the window had effected a second revolution in my
sentiments. Looking out before I sat down, I discovered that the
convoy and escort were off! Far down the street, I perceived the last
of them disappearing along the road!--walked straight towards the
door. He was too quick for me; locked it, and placed himself with
his back to it, pocketing the key. "No, no, Mons. d'Y--," said he;
"you are my guest. You really must not depart till after dinner. It's
absurd. For you I ordered it. Would you hurry away without taking a

Had I removed him by force, I must still have forced the door; and
that might have brought upon me the whole establishment, and caused
further delay. I therefore took three steps from the door to the
window, threw it open, and soon found myself on the _pavé_, which
was higher than the floor of the apartment. To my surprise, Sancho
also had disappeared! My first impression was, that he had gone on
with the convoy, and I was about to follow on foot;--thought it best,
though, to look in the stables first. There he was, sure enough. The
attendant had already taken off his saddle, and was about to remove
his bridle. "What are you about there, my friend? I requested you to
hold him at the door."

"Monsieur, the other English officer came out after you had entered,
and desired me to bring him here, take off his saddle and bridle, and
give him some _orge_."

I whipped on the saddle again in no time, mounted, and soon overtook
the escort. "Corporal Fraser, why did you go on?"

"I understood that we went on by your orders, sir."

"My orders? Nothing of the sort."

"I am very sorry if I have done wrong, sir. The gentleman who joined
just now came out from the inn, and directed us to proceed. Said you
would follow immediately. As he wears the same uniform, I supposed a
command from him was the same as one from yourself, sir. Indeed, he
said it was your order."

"He received no order from me; and he had no business to send you on

"Shall I halt the party, sir?"

"No, no; keep on. It was a mistake our stopping at all."

As we passed out of the village, I began to ruminate upon what
had just occurred. First of all, there was the character of this
gentleman, well known at Lisbon, and, I supposed, at headquarters.
Then there was the improbability of his story, to say nothing of one
or two little contradictions. Then, it was clear, he had attempted to
separate me from the convoy, and to prevent my following it. Then,
too, his conduct was doubly incorrect; in taking upon himself, first,
to halt the party, secondly, to send it on. Item, in the course of
our short interview, he had, it appeared to me, told as many fibs as
could well be got into the given time. Moreover, he had attempted
to divert us from our route, which was just what Hookey did; and,
what made it very remarkable, Hookey and he both wished us to turn
aside in the same direction, namely, by the left bank of the river,
when the regular route was by the right. Something was evidently
not straight. For all that, though, the manner of this intelligent
individual was so very easy and impudent, and he seemed so bent upon
accomplishing his purpose, whatever it might be, that I felt a strong
impression we had not seen the last of him, especially as he appeared
utterly unconscious that I knew his previous history.--"Corporal

"What's your pleasure, sir?"

"If that person comes up, I wish you to keep near me. Take no notice;
but be prepared, if I direct, to arrest him."

The corporal looked a little queer. "Very good, sir," said he; "upon
receiving your _orders_," (he intoned the word _orders_,) "I shall be
ready to do so."

"In case of my giving you an order to that effect, I, of course, am
responsible, not you. If I turn round, give you a look, and say,
'Fraser,' you will consider that you have got your directions."

"Very good, sir; it shall be done."

My anticipations proved correct. Mounted on what had very much the
appearance of a French post-horse, my would-be entertainer presently
came up at a laborious canter. The moment he got alongside, he began
to expostulate. Was profoundly grieved that I had declined his
hospitality. It was a long day's march, the longest from Passages to
headquarters. "A little refreshment would have recruited your forces,
Mons. d'Y--."

"I cannot separate from the convoy and escort. As you thought fit to
send them on, I had no choice but to follow."

"Well, pardon me, if I have done wrong," said he. "My intentions
were pure, at any rate. Positively, though, you must not follow this
road. The way to the ford is now close at hand. Come, let me be your

"Were you not at Lisbon last autumn?" said I.

"Were you?" said he, in a tone of alarm.

"I was. And though you do not know me, I know you."

"Nothing to my prejudice, I feel convinced." (Still more uneasy.)

"Very well. All will be cleared up at headquarters. Of course, you
will accompany us."

"At any rate," replied he, anxious to back out, "I hope to have the
pleasure of meeting you there."

"No, no," said I; "you go with us."

By this time he was decidedly in a fidget, and began to hang behind.
Just then we came suddenly to a lane, branching off to the right.
This was probably the very direction he had wished me to take; though
whether it really led to a ford over the Adour, or to what it led,
was a different question. Before I was aware of his design, he turned
sharp in that direction; and, when I looked after him, he was already
some distance down the lane, digging his heels into the old poster's
sides. This operation had put the gay old stager into something as
much like a gallop as you can hope to get out of a French post-horse.
He was off! Ah! our cavalry had left us too soon. I looked round, and
shouted "Fraser!"

Fraser, prepared for my order, and anxious to have all ready
for executing it, had three men marching at hand, with loaded
firelocks. Three balls whistled down the lane. But it was a waste
of his Majesty's powder and shot; the fugitive escaped unhurt.
Not so, though, the lively old post-horse. His screwed tail, his
stradding hind-legs, and his action--for a moment prancing, not
progressive--gave evident indications that the luckless beast had not
got off so easily as his rider. Then, in an agony of apprehension
lest his scutcheon should receive a second totem, he plunged forward
again at his previous rate, and soon disappeared down the lane.
Pursuit was out of the question, for Sancho's best pace was an
up-and-down; even a French horse was too fast for a French pony: so
both horse and horseman got off.

My first care, on reaching headquarters, was to make inquiry
respecting this new member of our department. You will hardly need to
be informed, that there was no such person belonging to us. The only
question was, how did he get the uniform coat? It certainly was not
that of the corresponding department of the French service, which not
only rejoiced in the appropriate embellishment of a key embroidered
on the collar, but differed in other respects from ours. Some said
he must have procured the coat at Lisbon. Some said he had got it
made for the occasion. A gentleman of the Commissariat suggested that
he had picked up a coat at headquarters, cast off when some of us
had been promoted. But the worst of it was, our department couldn't
recollect when any such cheering event had taken place.

As both Hookey, and this more recent adviser, strenuously insisted
on our proceeding to headquarters by the country to the south-east
of the Adour, and as Hookey particularly inculcated the duty and
necessity of our passing through Hagetmau, which lies a few miles to
the south of St Sever, it is curious to discover, at this interval
of time, that the very neighbourhood indicated by these two talented
individuals as offering us the best route, was precisely the most
unsafe. I reached headquarters on the 17th of March. The next day
the Commander-in-Chief (_vide_ Gurwood) writes to Sir J. Hope,--"I
use the cipher, because I understand the enemy were at Hagetmau
_yesterday_." That's just where we should have been on the same
day, had I followed Hookey's advice; so that we should have walked
right into them; and that, no doubt, was what Hookey intended. But
further, by a letter from the Commander-in-Chief to the Mayor of
Hagetmau, dated 21st March, we learn that, on the 18th, there was in
that place an affair of partisans. It was, therefore, a very eligible
neighbourhood to which our two friends wished to introduce us.

When I reached headquarters at Aire with the convoy and escort, a
forward movement of the troops appeared to have already commenced.
Firing was heard at hand; and the operation was attended with rather
more noise than those in which we were engaged the day before. A
great army advancing upon the enemy, like the chariot of Jove,
cannot move without thunder. I know not how far the arrival of the
treasure which we brought up contributed to this movement. Suffice it
to say, I find our Commander-in-Chief writing to Sir J. Hope, March
18--"I waited quietly till all my means coming up were arrived, and
I am now moving upon them in earnest." Ah, Hookey! you played great
stakes, and a deep game, too. But it wouldn't do.

The hour of my arrival, though, was signalised by that event, of all
others, which men chronicle as the most important of their lives--an
interview with a great man. In my case, it was a _very_ great man.
To be sure, he didn't speak to me. But what does that signify? I
spoke to him. On arriving with the treasure at the office of our
own department, I was directed to go forthwith and report myself at
the office of the Quartermaster-General. I went, and found it in a
very humble mansion. On entering the passage, found a door to the
right, where I was desired to go in. Saw a long table by the window,
with two or three officers writing. Before the fire stood ANOTHER.
He was drenched with rain; all in a steam, like a hot potato; lost
in thought; looked awful; a middle-aged and remarkably well-built
man, with a striking--nay, more than striking--with a _particular_
expression of countenance; such a face as I had never seen before;
a very keen eye--the eagle's, that can look at the sun, would have
quailed before his; and oh, what a beak! I felt rather at a loss. No
one did me the honour to notice my _entrée_. No one took any notice;
no one vouchsafed me a look! I stood, for a moment, in silence.
As all the others were hard at work, and one was doing nothing, I
of course concluded that he was the Head of the Department; and,
with crude atrocity, addressed him--though with a queer kind of
feeling, which I myself didn't exactly understand--"Are you the
Quartermaster-General, sir?"

No reply on his part--no look, no movement of the head, no change of
countenance! He merely raised his arm, and pointed to the table. By
that act alone he indicated a consciousness of being spoken to; and
had he, the next moment, been called upon to describe the speaker,
why, I firmly believe he couldn't have done it. I then turned towards
the table. One of the writers rose from his seat in silence, walked
me out into the passage, made an inquiry or two, and walked in again.

The next day I was once more on the march, riding side by side with a
brother clerk. "There he is!" said he. I now beheld, on horseback--a
regular centaur, part of his horse--that same distinguished
individual whom, the day before, I had so unceremoniously addressed,
as he stood reeking before the fire, while great guns were banging
right and left, the troops advancing, and he at the best of all
possible points to direct and control the vast machinery that he had
set in motion.

Life at headquarters proved to be much what I had anticipated. In
attending the movements of the army, we officials had sometimes very
little work; sometimes, especially when the troops remained a few
days stationary, a great deal. While they moved from day to day,
we seldom had much to do but to follow them, and make ourselves as
comfortable as we could at the end of the day's march. The military
movements from Aire to Toulouse were curious. From Aire we went
right down to the south, as far as Tarbes and Vic Bigorre--a course
which almost brought us back again to the Spanish frontier and the
foot of the Pyrenees; then up again to the Garonne and Toulouse.
A sailor would have called it tacking. Of course, one could not
follow even an advancing and victorious army without undergoing some
hardships. On one occasion, after much previous fatigue, in passing
a wild and mountainous district, we were suddenly overtaken by a
snow-storm. While nodding on Sancho's back from sheer exhaustion,
I was caked on the left, from head to foot, with snow, which first
began to melt with the warmth of the body, then froze hard with the
keenness of the wind. The next moment the sun blazed forth, to the
right, with scorching heat. Thus roasted on one side, and frozen on
the other, I dozed and nodded on, with just sufficient consciousness
to form virtuous resolutions of knocking off the snow, but without
sufficient energy to carry them into effect. After all, though, a
civilian following the army, supplied pretty regularly with rations
for himself, pony, and servant--tolerably sure, too, of a good
billet at night, and generally provided with a few dollars, easily
convertible into francs--has no business to talk of hardships. The
real hardships of a campaign fall on the marching officers and
privates. What they endure is past conception. Gingham and I were
much together, and carried out our plan of campaigning in company
as far as circumstances would allow. At headquarters, also, I fell
in again with my old acquaintance and fellow-voyager, Mr Commissary
Capsicum, who gloried in giving good dinners. He was never better
pleased than when I accepted his invitations, but always gave me a
good blowing-up if I dined with Gingham in preference.

Amongst all my reminiscences of campaigning, none are more vividly
impressed upon my mind, than the reminiscence of a campaigning
appetite, which I am persuaded is altogether extraordinary, and a
thing _per se_. Did you ever visit Cintra? Now there's the Cintra
appetite, and a very good one it is, too. This, also, has its
distinguishing feature--namely, that on the one hand, while you are
riding about (or, if a sensible person, going on foot, exploring,
climbing, scrambling) amongst rocks, and peaks, and splendid scenery,
the pleasing idea of the dinner that will be ready for you, on
returning to your hotel, blends itself, by a gentle amalgamation,
with every discovery, with every prospect; and while, on the other
hand, the said dinner is actually on the table before you, and under
discussion, the splendid scenes you have been witnessing, like
dissolving views, pass in procession before your mind. Thus your
dinners are romantic, while your rambles are appetising.

Then, again, there's the nautical appetite, which comes on you like
a giant, when you have mastered the qualms of the first few days at
sea. The nautical appetite, also, has its peculiar feature, which is
this--that the intervals of time between one meal and another appear
so awfully long. That's because you've nothing to do. But--

The campaigning appetite, I say, differing from both these, has
also its characteristic proper to itself--namely, that there never
is a moment when you are unprepared to eat; the instant you have
done, you are ready to begin again. You sit down, at headquarters,
to a breakfast where the table groans with various and abundant
provender--tea, coffee, chocolate, bread, eggs, cold meat, ham,
tongue, sausages sublimed with garlic, enormous rashers of bacon,
beefsteaks, not to name knick-knackeries innumerable, and something
short as a calker. You do ample justice--oh, haven't you made a
famous breakfast? and in half-an-hour you are ready for another! If,
having stowed away breakfast for two, you happen to pop in upon a
friend who is taking his, you join him as a matter of course. And,
my dear madam, what makes it so peculiar in my case is, I was always
such a very small eater. The only exception to this perpetuity of a
campaigning appetite, is when something extraordinary is going on in
front--a battle, or what looks just like it, a skirmish. Then, for a
while, you forget that you are hungry. The stomach is still equally
in a state of preparation to receive and digest food. But, for the
nonce, you ignore the fact; the wolf lies dormant. Oh, how savage
he wakes up, though, when the fighting is over, and you all at once
remember that you haven't dined. In short, with plenty always at
command, with no real want unsupplied, I never suffered so much from
hunger as when campaigning, and I never ate so often. Your only plan
is this: Whenever the opportunity presents itself, _take in stock_.
Breakfast, as if you had no prospect of a dinner; dine, as if you had
not breakfasted.

Generally, then, at headquarters, I fared as Gingham fared; and to
say that is to say enough. But it was not always so. His engagements,
or my duties, sometimes made a separation; and then I learned my
loss. Once, when I was so circumstanced, my servant came home with
disconsolate looks and a melancholy report: "To day, no beefy,
senhor." At that moment, I could have eaten my gloves! Went with him
myself; was politely received by a gentleman in a blue apron with a
steel dangling in front. "What, no beef to-day?"

"Oh yes, bless your heart. Plenty, sir."

"Well, here's the order. Let's have some, then. Where is it?"

"There it is, sir."

"Don't see any. Where?"

"Why, it's in that 'ere pen, sir. Only you jest look in through the
gateway. Wherry find beastesses, I calls 'em. In two hours we shall
begin to kill."

He pointed to a large stone enclosure, in which stood a captive herd
of horned cattle. An anxious bullock rested his chin upon the wall,
and, breathing a misty sigh, with melancholy countenance looked full
in mine!

At another time I had been riding on in front, and was coming home at
a rambling pace through lanes and by-paths, when suddenly the wolf
returned--I was appallingly hungry--must eat or faint. Contrived
to ride on to a lone cottage--tapped at the door. It was opened by
a very respectable quiet-looking man; old gentleman, I ought to
say, for such he was, both in aspect and manners. His garb, indeed,
was homely; but his air was superior, his address manly and simple
with a certain finish, and his carriage perfectly upright. He
courteously invited me to enter; the door led at once into a large
room, which was in fact the whole ground-floor of the cottage. A
little preliminary chat sufficed to inform him what I was, and me
what he was--namely, an old soldier, who had got his discharge, and
was living in retirement. No one came to attend on him; a regular
old campaigner, he did for himself. I soon came to the point--was in
a state of inanition--would pay with alacrity for anything eatable,
even bread. "No, no," said he, "wait a while, _mon enfant_, I shall
soon have the pleasure of setting before you a superb repast. It
will diversify my existence! Ah! I shall experience an emotion!" He
immediately unhooked from the wall an old iron frying-pan, as black
inside as out--the only cooking utensil that graced his menage;
poured in water, and set it on the fire to simmer. He then took down
from the shelf a large brown bowl, and brought out from under the
table a goodly loaf of coarse but excellent bread, part of which he
cut into the bowl, and sprinkled with a little salt. Then, walking
out into his garden, he pulled a leek, and collected two or three
kinds of herbs, all which he added to the water, with something
that resembled the fat of bacon, though not so solid. When all was
scalding hot, he doused it into the bowl upon the bread, then handed
me a pewter spoon, and begged me to use no ceremony. Hunger is indeed
the best sauce; and, homely as was the fare, I never made a heartier

Somewhat recruited in strength, I rose to take leave, having first
requested my brave old entertainer to accept payment, which he
declared impossible. However, I had now been long enough on Gallic
ground to understand the _idiom_, so laid my "legal tender" on the
table, and said farewell, with many thanks. He tottled with me to the
door; then, suddenly stopped me, and looked earnestly in my face,
as if he had something very particular to communicate. What was he
going to say? He begged to assure me I had laid him under an infinite
obligation. Again he arrested my progress, with the door in his
hand. Hoped I would honour his menage with a second visit. Admired
the brave English, and lamented that he had never had the pleasure
of meeting them professionally. "_Peut-être encore! Mais hélas! nous
sommes les f--s!_" Halted me a third time outside. "His cottage
was mine, with all that it contained." He had marched through half
Europe, and was a simple-hearted, civil, old Frenchman.

There was one circumstance, though, not a little to the advantage of
those who dined with Gingham or Capsicum; and this was, that there
arose between these two worthies an amicable rivalry on this very
affair of giving dinners. The contest, in fact, had its origin a year
before, on our voyage from Falmouth to Lisbon, when Capsicum brewed a
bowl of punch, and Gingham brewed a better. Capsicum could not brook
the idea that any man should brew punch, or give dinners, equal to
his. The style of the two entertainers was different. Capsicum's
dinners were more profuse, Gingham's more _recherchés_. Gingham, in
fact, had all the appliances of the table in greater perfection. He
had plate enough for a handsome dinner--mind, I don't mean to say a
state dinner--of eight or ten. His whole dinner-service, too, was
handsome, elegant; wines, the choicest that money could command; all
the little etceteras excellent--coffee, for instance; such coffee
as you could not get elsewhere in France, where they are too apt to
make a mess of it. I don't think much of French coffee, except such
as you get here and there at private houses. Gingham's coffee was a
pure, genial, high-flavoured decoction. Ah! you tasted the berry.
As summer came on, Gingham intended ices. And good fish, till we
arrived at Bordeaux, being next to unattainable, he had organised a
plan for procuring salmon in ice from England. Capsicum, on the other
hand, had resources which Gingham had not. He could always command
the best cut of the best commissariat beef; and this advantage told
with stunning effect when he gave a spread. He had other advantages
in foraging, and he knew how to turn them to account. In short, the
characteristic of his dinners was abundance; and, with the guests who
partook of them on actual service, this would generally secure the

Many dinners might I describe--and, oh! describe _con amore_--both
Capsicum's and Gingham's. But I select one in particular, which
was signalised by a hoax. I abstain from entering into the general
subject of hoaxes, as hoaxes were practised at headquarters. He
that would do justice to it must also treat of shaves. Let us
confine ourselves, for the present, to a particular branch of the
subject--namely, the dinner hoax. The dinner hoax was twofold.
Was it a time of scarcity, when ration beef was all that could be
got? Then the hoax was, to create a persuasion in the mind of the
unfortunate hoaxee that something else was coming. "Major, a little
more _bouillie_?" "No, I thank you. I'm keeping a corner for the
turkey." Hoaxee hears that. He also will keep a corner for the
turkey--plays with the beef. Next _entrée_ is--the cheese! Was it,
on the other hand, a season of abundance? Then the hoax, equally
unfeeling, assumed an opposite character. "Sorry, gentlemen, we're
so badly off now," says the host, with a wink seen by all at table,
hoaxee excepted; "hope you'll contrive, for once, to make a dinner on
soldier's fare." Hoaxee pitches into the beef--stows away a double
ration--is pressed and helped, pressed and helped, till he positively
declines another mouthful--then enter the roast pig. Unhappy hoaxee!
He has dined!

The object of the hoax at Capsicum's was an individual of a
particular class. You must know, the home authorities had got a
notion, that, amongst the departments attached to the Peninsular
army, abuses of all kinds were rife, and required to be looked
after. For this purpose, they occasionally sent out some intelligent
individual, whose business was to see and report. Sometimes he came
for the avowed purpose. It was to a talented character of this kind
that the greatest man amongst us--who was as good at a joke as he
was at polishing the French--gave the name of "Argus." Sometimes the
individual's object was merely suspected; partly betrayed, perhaps,
by his own homebred simplicity, which was no proof against the
penetration of old campaigners. In either case, as will easily be
understood, such a person was no favourite, and was deemed a fair
subject for a hoax.

I was walking down a lane towards Capsicum's quarters, when I was
overtaken by a gentleman on horseback, who was evidently a fresh
arrival from England. Everything about him looked new, a regular
London outfit. You'd have said he came direct from Piccadilly in a
bandbox. His manner, moreover, announced him to be somebody; he was
evidently a very great man. "Pray, sir," said he, "can you inform me
the way to Mr Capsicum's?"

"I am going that way myself, sir. I shall be happy to show you the
road, as it has one or two turnings."

"Much obleeged, sir. I am going there by invitation to dinner."

"So am I, sir."

"Understand his dinners are capital, sir," said the newly-arrived,
somewhat softening.

"Few equal to them at headquarters, sir. He is very great in that
line; takes a pleasure in it."

"Really, sir, I'm not sorry to hear it," said he, still more
mollified; "for, to tell you the truth, I'm not yet quite at home
here; no more is my servant. I've been forced to rough it; and have
sometimes come off with short commons."

Other conversation followed, and led to the mention of my own
official rank, in the humble capacity of a departmental clerk. A
great change took place when the gentleman heard this. He became
dignified, absent, and monosyllabic. When we arrived at Capsicum's,
as there was no one in attendance, I thought it devolved on me to
perform the rites of hospitality, and stepped up to take charge of
his horse. He handed me the bridle, and walked at once into the
house, without waiting to look, or say, "Much obleeged to you."

The guests, including Pledget, Gingham, the new comer, and myself,
amounted to seven. I saw at once that the recent arrival was not
very affectionately viewed by Capsicum, who betrayed his feelings by
his manner. This, amongst his particulars, was off-hand, easy, and
jocular. But towards his newly arrived guest, he was all courtesy
and high etiquette. In fact, that gentleman came out professedly
to serve, but unfortunately was regarded as a spy. His Christian
name was William; a surname was found to fit it; and, ere he left
Capsicum's premises, he was dubbed "William Tell." Delighted
with the prospect of a dinner such as he had not seen since he
disembarked at Santander, with red face and red hair, large in form,
and coarse-featured, a burly, bull-necked, bullet-headed man with
goggling eyes, his air more confident than genteel; in manners,
laboriously free and easy; ostentatiously dressed, and smiling with
agreeable anticipations, at one time he twiddled with his forefinger
an enormous bunch of seals, at another he complacently boxed his
right fist into his open left. The hands then amalgamated, and the
punch subsided in a bland and complacent rub.

The cloth was already laid--at headquarters you must manage as
you can--in the room where the company met. Mr Barnacles glanced
approvingly at the preparations. Ever see a man's eye glisten,
when you told him of some generous deed? So glistened the eye of
Barnacles, while it glanced at the plates, glasses, bottles, knives
and forks, spoons, tumblers, and saltcellars, which in goodly order
graced Capsicum's hospitable board.

We sat down; I, under a mandate growled by Capsicum, at the lower
end of the table as Vice. Proposed mischief twinkled in the corner
of Capsicum's eye. First, as a matter of course, came the soup and

"Mr Capsicum," said a brother commissary, "I know it's not genteel
to be helped twice to soup; but I'll trouble you for a little more."
This was move the first, in the game of hoax.

"Quite right, quite right," said Capsicum. "No market in these
country places. Sorry, gentlemen, there's so little variety just
now." The speakers exchanged winks. The game was now fairly opened; a
hoax had already commenced, and Barnacles was the destined victim.

"Well," said another commissary, "I can always make a good dinner off

Barnacles, it was clear, had now received the desired impression.
Beef, he fully understood, was to be the staple of our dinner; and he
accordingly stowed with beef. In fact, he did wonders; cleared plate
after plate of boiled beef. At length, having stowed till he could
stow no more, he sat back in his chair pompously and complacently. A
mild perspiration bedewed his forehead; and the damask of his cheeks
had given place to a rosy suffusion of the whole countenance. The
fingers of his two hands were interlaced over his stomach, while his
thumbs stood erect, meeting in a point.

"Mr Barnacles, I beg ten thousand pardons. Pray give me leave to send
you a little more beef."

"Much obleeged, sir; not a morsel more. Never made a better dinner in
my life."

"Sure you won't, Mr Barnacles? Just a shave from this end, with a
morsel of fat."

"Thank you, sir, kindly--I couldn't. Must beg you to excuse me. Much
obleeged. Not a morsel more."--Table cleared.

Fresh plates! more knives and forks! Now it was, in reality, that
the dinner began;--enormous sirloin, spitting with volcanic heat;
roast fowls, that would have softened the hardest heart; elegant
hind-quarter of mutton; pretty little fillet of veal; tongue, ham,
boiled turkey, &c.

Behold, a new feature in the game! Barnacles wasn't beat yet. In
the attempt to hoax Barnacles, allowance had not been made for his
gastronomic powers, and previous privations. Never mind. The more

"Mr Barnacles, a slice of the sirloin. Upper cut, or under cut?"

Barnacles, at the sight of the good things before him, contrary to
all calculation sat up with renewed vigour, and paused ere he replied.

"Why, if I do take anything more, I think it must be a small slice of
this mutton."

Barnacles helped himself. A small slice! Why, if he didn't cut away
into the hind quarter, slice after slice, till he had sunk a regular
well. Then spooned out the gravy.

"Give Mr Barnacles the currant jelly. Mr Gingham, we owe that to you."

"Plenty more at your service, sir," said Gingham; "got three or four
dozen jars. Always bring some when I visit headquarters. Got it in
Berkley Square."

Barnacles now sets to again, fresh as when he began. What powers!
what capacity! what deglutition! In fact, it was not only the stomach
of Barnacles that needed filling. And that's why you see carnivorous
cadaverous men perform such extraordinary feats with knife and fork.
Not their stomach merely, their system is hungry. So it was now
with Barnacles; and his meal was on a commensurate scale. He was
redressing the balance of his constitution--compensating previous
inanition. When a man, accustomed to full feeding, has been a few
days without it, it isn't the mere filling of his stomach that will
satisfy his appetite.

Gingham caught the eye of one of the guests--slightly raised his

"Oh yace," replied a squeaking voice; "now sall I trink you go

I started. When, when, had I heard that voice before? My eye, for
the first time, took a particular view of the speaker. He was a
diminutive personage, his complexion a sodden white, with unwholesome
patches of red; forehead enormous and mis-shapen; bumps prominent and
misplaced; large spectacles, no eyes, upper part of nose wanting,
a notch where there should have been a bridge; lower limb of nose
broad and sunken, as if squashed down between two puffy cheeks, which
bagged on each side; between nose and mouth a space incredible;
in fact, a huge upper lip was the most prominent feature of the
face; for mustaches, a few detached and very coarse black bristles,
pointing opposite ways like a cat's whiskers--each particular bristle
standing alone, and individually discernible from its insertion to
its extremity; mouth, long and sinuous; lips, viciously twisted out;
chin, emaciated. Again he spoke, as Gingham drank to him: "You go t'
hell!" Where _could_ I have heard that voice? Why, wasn't it at the
ferry, among the Frenchmen that opposed our passage? No, no, that
can't be; it's impossible.--"Who's that?" I whispered Gingham.

"A man of science, sir; a Russian--Mr Wowski, an ardent botanist.
Wished to examine the flora of the South of France; brought out
letters of recommendation; joined the army, and follows its
movements. You'll like his acquaintance vastly." Then louder--"Mr
Wowski, my friend, Mr Y--; your junior, but a promising naturalist.
Hope at an early day you'll meet him to dinner at my quarters."

"Mr Barnacles, shall I have the pleasure?--some turkey, sir?"

By this time Mr Barnacles seemed again to feel that he had dined.

"The least possible shave," said Mr Barnacles. "I really have made a
most capital dinner."

I helped him to a good plateful, which he cleared off.--All removed.

Next followed a few made dishes, light articles; and one real
delicacy, which was first introduced to our acquaintance by Gingham.
This was no other than a kid, baked whole. I take the liberty, my
dear sir, of very particularly and pointedly calling your attention
to the dish in question. I have, on previous occasions, ventured to
offer gastronomic hints. But a kid thus dressed is a real delicacy,
worthy of a place on any table. N. B.--If you bake, envelop in paste.
Should you prefer roasting, cover with paper. Let the roasting be
_gentle_, but _complete_. Of course you don't stretch out the legs.
Double them up, and skewer to the sides. For sauce, chop up the
pluck. Sauce should be piquant, with lots of cayenne, subacid. Or
make a separate dish, with the pluck and heart.

Pensive regret was mingled, in the face of Barnacles, with intense
curiosity, while he viewed this novel _entrée_, as it made its
appearance in a case of dough. Capsicum asked no question; sent him
a plateful; a great part of which he was forced to send away. It was
clear Mr Barnacles was now beat to a standstill.

The dish, though, was rather rich; and what he had eaten took effect.
His countenance changed. Suddenly he became pallid, with an effort to
look _degagé_. This lasted about a minute, in which time he swallowed
two successive bumpers of madeira. The dose so far kept him right,
that Barnacles didn't leave the table: but he was evidently _hors de

Mr B. being now brought to a standstill, the _joke_ was so far
successful. Yet was not the _hoax_ complete, unless there appeared
something on table that he liked, and yet something of which he could
not partake.

The sweets now made their appearance, and were viewed by Mr Barnacles
with indifference. But when the table was wellnigh covered, and space
remained for only a single dish--

Enter a splendid plum-pudding--yes, a regular English
plum-pudding--its summit hoary with pounded sugar, its sides
distilling brandy sauce.

The eyes of Barnacles lit up again--sparkled. He was alive in a
moment. Once more his fist went bang into his hand; once more his
hands embraced and rubbed, as in mutual congratulation. Forgetting
all his previous performances, he accepted a substantial slice of the
plum-pudding. Alas! he had kept no corner!

"You don't seem," said Capsicum, "to like your pudding, Mr Barnacles."

"Oh yes! Oh yes!" said Barnacles, with emotion. "Indeed I do, sir.
It's what I never, never expected to see again till my return--till
my return to the British metropolis. But"----It ended in a
watering-pot scene--a regular boo-hoo. He put his handkerchief to his
face. It was too much for his feelings. Plum-pudding before him as
good as could be got in London, and he not able to eat a mouthful!
The poor man cried.

He made up after dinner, though, by copious potations. After coffee,
sat down to a rubber. One of the party proposed guinea points. But
Capsicum saw how matters stood with Barnacles, and wouldn't stand
it. "No, no, gentlemen," said he; "no stakes; no stakes." In the
course of the evening Mr Barnacles disappeared. Alarmed by his
prolonged absence, Capsicum sent a servant, who came back with the
report that he was not very well. He returned--took a stiff glass
of whisky-punch--again disappeared. I, by Capsicum's request, went
this time in search. Found him at length in the stable. He was trying
to saddle his horse;--couldn't. He wanted to steal away. I reported
to Capsicum, who at once decided. "Mr Barnacles must not go home
to-night. We must find him a shake-down on the premises." In one way
only could this arrangement be effected. Mr Wowski consented to turn
out, and accompanied me to my billet.

Amidst the din of war and the monotony of headquarters society, I
was really glad to meet with a naturalist and man of science, and
cultivated the acquaintance of Mr Wowski accordingly. When, however,
I came to try him, he appeared to know about as much of botany
as I did myself. Neither, I remarked, in search of specimens, did
he visit the most out-of-the-way and likely places. He generally
sought those points, in preference, where the troops were moving in
masses; and apparently looked much more sharply after the movements
of the army than after bulbs. Once, when we had halted at a village,
which stood in a wide-spread plain, he invited me to ascend the
turret of the church. We reached the summit just in time to behold
a comical spectacle. From the church top we looked down vertically
on the _Place_, or open area of the village, which was full, at the
moment, of soldiers--British, Portuguese, and Spanish; muleteers,
camp-followers--men, women, children--a motley multitude. Just at
that moment a fellow rushed into the midst, shouting at the top of
his voice, and bearing something aloft in his two hands. It was a
bullock's bladder. The multitude gathered round him, eager for a
promiscuous game of football, which he soon commenced by a kick that
sent the bladder sky-high. Football, probably, you have seen played,
or have played at. But did you ever see it played by four or five
hundred persons at once, of four or five different nations, and you
looking right down upon them from the top of a church? Each was eager
to get a kick at the bladder; but a far greater number than succeeded
got kicks on their shins. It was a stormy sea of heads. The shout
came up to us. No one was more conspicuous in the throng than my
Spanish Capataz, whose activity was equal to his bulk. Being stumpy
as well as stout, he cut a droll figure viewed from above, as, with
sprawling arms and legs, he flung himself forward with a flying leap,
and a kick that, if it missed the bladder, was seldom expended on
the air. At length the bladder was driven down a street; the rush
followed it, shouting; the market-place again became quiet; and I
turned to address Mr Wowski, who, like myself, I supposed, had been
engaged in surveying the tumultuous scene beneath. Not he. Ensconced
behind the parapet, where no one could see him from below, he was
quietly looking in advance with a pocket-telescope, as if surveying
the movements of the troops. On my approach he started, slapped
together the joints of his glass, and hastily restored it to his
pocket, where, till that moment, I never knew he carried one.

Mr Wowski, highly recommended by letters, received a good deal of
attention. To Gingham he brought a letter from Warsaw. For my own
part, I saw reason to doubt whether he was really what he professed
himself. Two or three things about him struck me as strange; and,
when he spoke, never could I forget the voice at the river.[2]

  [2] Having described in this Chapter a dish introduced to our
  acquaintance by Gingham, I must here, though with an apology for
  discussing a matter of such importance in a note, beg leave to
  mention another dish, which I also partook of at Gingham's table
  while residing at Bordeaux in the subsequent Autumn, a period not
  included in the present narrative. I believe the dish is French; a
  boiled turbot, cold, with jelly sauce. I mention it with a degree of
  hesitation, because it is not exactly a dish for our climate, nor
  would it harmonise with the general character of an English
  "spread." The turbot, when boiled, should be kept in the coolest
  place you have got, till brought to table. So should the jelly. It
  is a dish for a _bonâ fide_ warm climate, and should come to table
  _bonâ fide_ cold.

  The same _entrée_ was part of a most splendid dinner given in one of
  the seaports of southern Europe, by some French to some British
  naval officers. This was at a more recent period,--my informant, the
  Rev. W. G. Tucker, Chaplain of the Royal Navy, who was one of the
  guests on the occasion, and whose approval may be safely deemed
  definitive, in all matters of taste. In the discharge of his
  professional duties, my Rev. friend is equally distinguished; and
  should the authorities think fit to appoint a nautical Bishop--that
  _prime desideratum_ in the service--he is their man.--G. Y.


Mr Wowski, during his short sojourn at headquarters, was one day
placed in an awkward position. In the south of France, we often met
with large fierce dogs, which in country places we sometimes found
ugly customers; though, in reality, not one in ten of them possessed
the pluck of an English pug. Early one morning, I had to ride a
little distance on duty. It was a cross country road, and Gingham
favoured me with his company. While ambling along, we overtook Mr
Wowski, who had started for one of his peregrinations on foot; and
slackened our pace, to secure the pleasure of his society. Presently
we came to a hamlet of some ten or a dozen houses, in passing which
we were savagely attacked by a gang of formidable-looking dogs. Had
Gingham and I been by ourselves, we should soon have been rid of the
annoyance, by the mere act of passing on. But the real danger was
our pedestrian companion's, whom the whole barking angry pack seemed
determined to assail. One shaggy, powerful ruffian led the van; he
might have sat to Schneider. His mouth, yawning like a sepulchre,
reuttered a deep, sonorous yow--yow; his fangs stood out, ready for
action; his eyes flashed fire; while, in size somewhere between a
wolf and a jackass, he rushed right up to the unfortunate Wowski,
whose only defence was a walking-stick. Wowski cut one, two--one,
two--with just sufficient energy to keep off the foe, who contrived
to maintain his nose in position, just an inch beyond the range of
the sapling. He was backed up by the rest of the curs, who, barking
and snarling, formed a semicircle, that threatened to hem in the
hapless Wowski. Gingham and I could do nothing. I had only a switch;
Gingham hadn't even that. Still the chief assailant, his back
bristling like a wild boar's, and his tail swollen and ruffled like
an angry cat's, pressed the attack; it was yow--yow on one side, and
cut--cut on the other. He jumped, he circled, he ramped, he flew up
in the air, spun round, and flew up again;--every moment I expected
to see him fly at Wowski's throat. I noticed a woman looking out from
the door of one of the cottages--called to her, and made signs--on
which she thought fit to disappear. Wowski was now becoming pale and
exhausted. "Shorten your stick," said I. He did so. The foe came
nearer. "Now give him the full length." Wowski took the hint, and the
big beast of a cur caught a crack on his muzzle--a regular smasher;
instantly turned tail, and cut away with dismal yowlings. The whole
pack, like so many humans, turned against him, and pursued; the great
powerful brute was half-a-dozen times knocked over and worried, ere
he found refuge in an outhouse. The woman now reappeared, armed with
a broomstick; and followed into the shed, where a fresh succession
of howls and yells announced a needful though tardy process of
castigation. Wowski walked along with us, flourishing his stick;
only wished it had been a lion! There may be really courageous dogs
among the big-limbed monsters of this part of France; but, from my
own observation, I should say the most part are a pluckless race.
Indeed, an officer of the Guards, who had got out dogs from England,
complained to me that they lost their courage on a foreign soil.

Gingham himself, a few days after, had a much more serious adventure.

We were on the march together, after a wet and stormy night. The
morning was unsettled, but soon became sultry. Then followed a shower
of hail. Gingham began to philosophise; thought he could explain the
phenomenon of hail better than any one else. "It has been remarked,"
said I, "that hail is never formed, except where there are two strata
of clouds, one over the other."

"True," said Gingham; "and some meteorologists have imagined that the
hail is generated by the alternate action of the two strata, which
action they suppose to be electrical."

"Curious, if true."

"Yes," said Gingham; "but I question the theory altogether. According
to the best views of the subject which I have been able to form,
the hail is produced simply by a current of very cold air, passing
rapidly through hot air charged with vapour. Were the current less
rapid, or less cold, the effect would be merely condensation, and we
should have rain; but, being both cold and rapid in a high degree,
the effect is congelation, and we have hail. The noise which so often
accompanies hail-storms is the rush of this current of cold air.
Currents of air, I admit, in the higher regions of the atmosphere,
are usually mute. But, in this instance, the rush is rendered vocal
by the hailstones. As to the two strata of clouds, they merely mark
the superior and inferior limit of the intrusive current; and they
are due to the action of the cold, there more modified, on the
vapour. And as to electricity--"

Gingham's lecture was here interrupted by our reaching a river. The
bridge having been destroyed by the enemy, we could cross only by
fording; and just as we reached the ford, we saw some persons passing
on mules and horses. Half way over appeared a small island, which was
in fact only a bank of shingle, thrown up by some previous flood. We
perceived, by those who preceded us, that the depth was sufficient to
wet our boots, if we rode, as they did; and therefore it was resolved
to pass in the cart. The river, though not at the moment swollen,
was dark and rapid. It rushed sullenly on, with small whirlpools,
but without a ripple; and murmurs were heard at intervals, hoarse
and deep, which came not from its surface, but boomed up from the
gloomiest and most profound recesses of its vexed channel and hollow
banks. By the side, waiting for a passage, we found some slightly
wounded soldiers, a party of four. These Gingham mounted at once into
the cart; and I, calculating that with Joaquim the driver, Mr Wowski,
and Gingham himself, there were now quite passengers enough by that
conveyance, turned Sancho's head, and followed Coosey--who led the
way across the stream, mounted on one horse, and leading another,
while the cart brought up the rear. The cart, it appears, on reaching
the island, stuck fast. Its wheels cut into the loose gravel; and
there was no remedy, except for the passengers to alight. The wheels
were then lifted by main force; and, time having been given for
the whole party to remount, Joaquim drove on, and the remainder
of the passage was effected. All those who had started from the
opposite bank then got out, with one exception. Where was Gingham? My
attention was first attracted by an angry shout from Coosey:

"You Joe King, you precious willain, vhy, if you han't a-been and
left your master a-standin on the highland!"

To a geologist like Gingham, the loose stones of the bank of
gravel, shoved up by the force of the water from the depths of the
stream, presented an attraction which banished every other thought
from his mind. He had commenced picking up specimens the moment he
alighted from the cart; and was so intent upon this pursuit, that he
suffered the party to proceed without him. How they came to leave
him behind can only be explained by supposing that each, as soon as
he remounted, was occupied by the portion of the passage--it was
ticklish work--that remained to be effected, and therefore began
looking out ahead.

The moment Coosey spoke, I looked toward the island, and there,
sure enough, was Gingham, still intent on stone-picking, and, to
all appearance, utterly unconscious that the cart had left. The
river, meanwhile, had risen considerably. Its course was more turbid
and violent, its murmur louder and more continuous, and the island
already smaller. We shouted to Gingham--there was need to shout.
He looked up, and at once became aware of his position, which
was evidently far from eligible. He appeared perfectly cool, but

Suddenly, the water came down, in a sort of bank. It was less than a
foot high; but the rise left Gingham with much less ground to stand
upon, in the midst of the boiling flood. Large trunks of trees,
plunging and careering, were now brought rapidly down the current;
while the rush of the waters was like the roar of receding billows on
a storm-vexed strand. Coosey was about to dash into the flood, which
swept by the bank, boiling like a mill-stream. Had I not stopped
him, the plucky little Londoner would soon have been carried away,
prone and struggling on the angry torrent. He then sprang into the
cart; but Gingham made signs to prohibit the attempt, or both cart
and Coosey would probably have been lost. In our agony we tore off
the cords from the boxes, tied them together, and fastened the end
to a large stone, which Coosey attempted to pitch towards Gingham.
It fell near him; but out of his reach, in deep water. While we were
cautiously hauling it in, down came another freshet. The island was
now in great part submerged; and Gingham stood on a mere strip of
shingle, with the flood roaring down on each side. The stone was
pitched again; and this time went truer than before, but was at once
carried off into the deep water below. I again began to haul the
line home. It had caught, and wouldn't come in. What could be done?
Gingham, I really feared, was a lost man!

Down came another bank of water. Gingham had now scarcely
standing-room. The water rushed rapidly by him, and I began to fear
he might not long have a footing. At this critical moment, the trunk
of a tree, with most of its branches broken off, but here and there
a small bough still remaining, came right down towards Gingham,
shearing, surging on the tumultuous waters, hung for a moment on the
shallow, and then began moving on again with the current. Gingham
stooped forward to seize it--he did well, it was his only hope--but
lost his feet. He threw himself astride the timber, like Waterton
on the crocodile's back, and was borne off from the island, still
retaining his hold, though turned over and over by the violence of
the current. I saw no hope. What could prevent his being carried
away? Yet there was still a possibility of escape, though unforeseen.
The trunk, carried a few yards down, was caught by an eddy, and swung
round into the slack water below, where the current was broken by
the bank on which Gingham had just been standing. There the huge
log began slowly moving round in a circle, first ascending in a
direction opposite to the stream, then descending again. On reaching
the lowest point of the circle, the trunk, with Gingham upon it, was
again caught by an eddy, and twirled round like a spindle; then, with
solemn movement, began gradually to ascend again, describing the same
circle as before. This second time, though, in going down, it reached
a lower point ere it was again caught and twirled, by which law, it
was clear, the third time it would go with the current. Manfully did
Gingham still hold on, though so often under water; and now, for
the third time, he and his log began slowly to move in an ascending
orbit. A third time he reached the highest point; and a third time,
to all appearance the last, he began--I often dream of it--to go down
with the stream! We had given up all hope. Joaquim stood wringing his
hands; Coosey was like a man distracted; even the crippled soldiers
would gladly have given their aid, had any devisable expedient
presented itself. There was no visible alternative; this time he
must be carried away!--What's that? Something stirred at my feet! I
looked down. There was again a little movement. The rope twitched,
as if beginning to run out! My foot was on it, in an instant. The
next, I and Coosey held it fast. The tree, in moving round and round,
had fished hold, and disengaged it from the catch. "Pull away, pull
away!" shouted the soldiers.--"Now run him up to the bank."--"Now's
your time."--"Make haste!"

"Steady, Coosey, steady," said I. "Take time, or we shall loosen the
hitch, perhaps break the rope."

We did not pull. We merely held on. The log and Gingham swung to the

He was silent, almost exhausted. It was well there were hands to
drag him ashore; for he was too far spent to land himself. Awhile
he sat motionless on the bank. With eyes uplifted, and lips moving
inaudibly, he was apparently returning fervent and heartfelt thanks
to heaven, for his all but miraculous deliverance. Coosey, meanwhile,
had rushed for some brandy, which he administered with great apparent

"Hadn't we better take you to the nearest cottage?" said I. "Here's
one at hand."

"No, no," replied Gingham, gasping. "Get me into the cart."

We lifted him in. Coosey then let down the tarpaulin, and assisted
his master in a thorough change of garments from head to foot.
Presently, with solemn look, and an air of authority, Coosey got down
from the cart.

"It's master's vishes," said he, "to be left, jist for a few minits,
alone by his-self."

Gingham ere long made his appearance, shifted and dry; and, though
still looking shakey and exhausted, remounted his horse. When I
once saw him fairly across the saddle, and just as we were about to
proceed, I turned with vindictive, with savage exultation, to take
a parting view of the angry torrent. The island had disappeared.
Where Gingham had stood there was now a small race of swift-following
rollers, which subsided, below the ledge, in tumultuous undulations
and foaming eddies, around a dark, deep fissure in the flood, which
gaped like a grave. Ha! Is it so? The hungry waters yawn for their
rescued prey, and brawl forth their disappointment in a lengthened
moan! We continued our march.

"And as to electricity," said Gingham, resuming where he broke off,
"it may, when hail is generated, be disengaged by the process, I
admit. But that it is in any way the medium of producing the hail,
I strenuously deny. Hail is sufficiently accounted for by the
supposition of a current of cold air passing rapidly through warm
air charged with vapour; and the same theory will solve all the

To which theory I, not being so deep in the subject as Gingham, urged
no objections. I remarked, however, that Mr Wowski, professedly a man
of science, manifested not the least interest in the question; did
not appear to have even an idea on the subject, let alone an opinion.
In the late critical scene at the ford, though, he was eminently
conspicuous; and, as far as skipping about, shrieking, and getting in
the way, his assistance was invaluable.

We lost the little botanist sooner than we expected. A mail--joyful
event!--arrived from England; and I was sent to the "Post Office" for
our departmental letters. This was not part of my regular duty; but
on the occasion in question I received express directions, and went
accordingly. Found the post office, a cottage with a front garden.
I could but admire the diligent and active exertions to meet the
general anxiety of the army, by sorting and delivering the contents
of the mail with the least possible delay. The whole lot, say three
or four bushels, had been shot out in the middle of the room on the
earthen floor. Newspapers, love letters, officers' letters, soldiers'
letters, there they lay, and there they were left to lie. In the
apartment were two persons, perhaps I ought to say personages. One
sat on each side of the hearth; each had torn open a newspaper; and
both were conning the news from England. I never saw two people more
comfortable in my life. When I entered, neither of them raised his
eyes, or took the least notice. They read on. I waited. Still they
read. I so far presumed as to announce my mission--had come for
the departmental letters. Paused for a reply--stood expectant. At
length one of the illustrious two favoured me with an utterance, in
a tone somewhat querulous though, and without looking off from his
reading--"Three o'clock."

"What, gentlemen!" thought I, "only four hours hence? Why, at this
rate, hadn't you better say three o'clock to-morrow?"

So thinking, (not saying,) I walked off. Just as I was going,
the one who had not spoken rose. He followed me out, and came on
walking by my side down the path toward the garden gate. I really
was green enough to fancy he was doing the polite--_seeing_ me to
the entrance; felt quite overwhelmed. Any approach, at headquarters
to "the sweet courtesies of life"--it was something new! I began to
deprecate--hoped he wouldn't. "Pray, sir, don't come a step farther.
I can mount without assistance--can open the gate for myself."
Without vouchsafing a reply, he began questioning.

"Know Mr Wowski?"

"Have known him for the last few days."

"What is he?"

"He professes himself a botanist, a man of science."

"What does he want at headquarters?"

"He states his object to be botanical research."

"_States_, you say; _professes_. Isn't he really a botanist?"

This was an awkward question, for I was beginning to have my doubts.
I remained silent.

"You must answer."

"For the last two or three days I have felt it a question, I confess."


"He collects specimens, but doesn't preserve or arrange them. At
dinner time he brings home a bundle of common herbs or grasses,
which, next morning, he throws away. Then goes out again, and brings
home another bundle like it. Don't think he knows much about botany."

"What's your opinion of him?"

"Have hardly known him long enough to form one. He seems decidedly,
though, to have a military taste; takes great interest in the
movements of the troops."

"Fond of going up steeples?"

"When we enter a place, I believe he makes that his first object; at
least, whenever there is a steeple to the church."

"Ever see him making signals?"

"Never noticed anything of the kind."

"Know anything more about him?"

"He brought letters of introduction"--

"Oh, yes; I know all about that. Ever met him before you joined?"

"Can't say. First time we met at headquarters, thought I had heard
his voice."


"On our way up with treasure, we were opposed by the peasantry in
passing the ferry at--"

"Yes, yes; I know. See him with them?"

"No; I heard a voice, though, which I afterwards thought was very
like his."

"Then you didn't see him with them next day, I suppose, when they
wounded the officer of your escort?"

"I saw nothing of him then; wasn't near enough to distinguish

"Oh, I suppose you don't use spectacles. Very well. Say nothing about

My questioner then returned to the cottage. He didn't say good
morning; and, till I missed him from my side, I wasn't aware of his
departure. Then, looking round, I saw him quietly opening the door
and going in. Mr Wowski didn't come back to dinner, and we saw him
no more. Whether he was arrested, or merely advised to botanise
elsewhere, I never knew.

Following the movements of the army from place to place, we
approached at length the banks of the Garonne, and the neighbourhood
of Toulouse. We now halted for some days at the village of Seysses,
where, better off than many of my fellow-campaigners, I enjoyed the
luxury of a most enviable bed. On the earthen floor of my apartment
was arranged a small stack of faggots. This was the bedstead. On
the faggots was spread a lot of worn-out sacking, old clothes, and
equally ancient blankets, which, with a very clean pair of sheets,
constituted my bed. The first night, I was settling off for a snooze,
when a commotion, like a small earthquake, disturbed my _prima
quies_. Something was stirring, immediately under me! What can it be?
Why, I can feel it! It's in the bed! What's that again? A mixture
of squeaking and scrambling! Oh, rats. They had burrowed through
the floor, had established themselves in the faggots, had eaten
into the bedding, and there held their midnight revels. There they
lived and bred, squeaked and grunted, wriggled and fought, scurried
and cuddled, close under the sheet, undulating the whole surface
of the bed. Presuming that they would let me alone if I let them
alone, I again composed myself to sleep; and, so well was the truce
kept on both sides, I had them every night for my bed-fellows. If
the tumblification became intolerable, I had only to move, and in a
moment all was hushed. When I was still, they stirred; but when I
stirred, they were still.

Our last halting place, before we fought the battle of Toulouse,
was Grenade, a small town, or large village, a few leagues below
the scene of combat, on the left bank of the Garonne. Come, I'll
just give you a short account of my entertainment in one more
billet, and then we'll rush into the thick of the fight. Approaching
Grenade, with the mingled multitude that follow an army, I was met
by a French gentleman, who immediately addressed me, and entered
into conversation like an old acquaintance. That's the best of the
French. In five minutes we were intimate. He was a tall, hearty
fellow, in age about five-and-twenty, with rosy cheeks, curly hair,
broad shoulders, and prodigious development of the _poitrine_.
Begged to know who and what I was--my age, name, rank, and family.
Were my parents living? Had I brothers? A sister? Was I married or
unmarried? Had I any intentions? Ever felt the tender passion? What
was my pay _par mois_? Vilinton or Bonaparte, which did I consider
the greater general? Ever fought a duel? Were the English merry or
_tristes_? How did I like the French? But the French ladies? Which
excelled in female beauty, France or England? Been in many battles?
Was I Torrie or Ouigge? Would I accept of a billet in his _ménage_?
By this time my inquisitive friend had turned, and we were walking
on together towards Grenade. On our arrival there, he knocked at the
door of a great stack of a house in the market-place. In five minutes
Sancho was nuzzling a feed of oats in the stable, I was stropping
and lathering in an elegant bedroom, and my servant was making love
to Cookey in the kitchen. The fact is, when the news arrived that
the English were walking in, my new friend had walked out, to secure
an inmate to his mind, and I was the fortunate individual. The
Parisians ridicule provincials, and so do the Cockneys. But let me
tell both Cockneys and Parisians, they have nothing to boast above
the rural gentry whom they respectively despise, in good breeding, in
refinement, in cultivation, in bonhomie, in gentility, in anything
that constitutes a dignified, simple, and likeable character. Happy
family! Here, in one house, living together, and happy together,
kind, hospitable, loving, and beloved, resided an aged father, a
venerable mother, a charming daughter, three strapping sons--one
married, with his lively little titbit of a wife, the pet of the
household--two single, of whom my friend was the senior. There they
dwelt together, in domestic harmony and peace. Yet there too, in that
tranquil domicile, sorrow had found an entrance. A son was missing.
It was the old story; you couldn't travel through France in those
days, without hearing it a hundred times repeated. He had entered
the army--entered Spain--and no one knew what had become of him. The
family supper--what a meeting of friends, what a cheerful reunion!
Each treated the other with marked attention and kindness, as though
they were then first met after a long separation. The lady of the
house, "madame," advanced in years, but sharp, quick, cheerful,
and conversable, demanded from me a reply to the oft-repeated
interrogatory, which were fairer, the English fair or the French. I
tried to evade it. "No, no," said every voice at table; "Madame has
asked. Monsieur must reply."--"Most willingly would I obey," said I,
bowing till my nose touched the tablecloth; "but in your presence,
madame, how can I decide without prepossession?" (_prévention?_)
This compliment addressed to a dame of sixty-five, with gray hairs,
and nothing of beauty but its vestiges, you will of course say was
absurd, extravagant, and perfectly out of place. In England, I
grant, it would be. But there, in France, where a compliment paid
is a benefit conferred, and where civility, like a gift amongst
ourselves, is always accepted as a token of goodwill, it was viewed
with favour, and received with gratitude. The company, tickled, but
delighted, raised a shout of applause; and madame herself, smirking
and twinkling, made her acknowledgments with courtly elegance, as
though I had conferred an obligation; while her lovely daughter,
exclaiming, "Ah, maman!" flung her arms about her neck, with eyes
full of tenderness and delight. In short, I was one of the family.
In a week I quitted them with regret. The old gentleman made me a
parting present of cigars; a small token of gratitude, he was kind
enough to say, for the pleasure of my company; and that after I had
been hospitably lodged, handsomely entertained, and fèted from first
to last as if every day had been a jubilee.

Those cigars! Oh, those cigars! I never smoked the like of those
cigars! They beat General Thouvenot's out of the field. They were
at least three years old--nearer two pounds of them than one. You
may have smoked a good cigar. You may have smoked an old cigar. But
these united the two qualities; they were both old and good. The
military son had brought them with him from Spain, and left them
on his return to the army. The gift of them to me, then, implied a
melancholy sentiment; _he_ could not want them. This was expressed
by the father, in making the present. It was touching--it was
perfectly French. They had one fault, only one; a fault from which no
old cigars are free. They were gone too soon; they burned out like
tinder. But oh! while they were burning, how shall I describe the
sensation! Sensation? It was more than that; it was mental elevation;
a vision, a trance, a transfer to the regions of hope, imagination,
and enchantment. Every-day nature became prismatic. Matter-of-fact
sparkled with variegated lamps. Pledget might have smoked, and
fancied himself a poet. Each cigar a tranquillising stimulant, a
volatile anodyne, excited, and while it excited soothed, every
faculty of the soul; fancy, sentiment, recollection, anticipation,
and stern resolve. But ah, my cigar is out! A few puffs have
sufficed! Too soon, too soon, it begins to burn my nose! Its last,
its dying odours are hurried away by the envious breeze; and the
visions which they inspired are gone like a beautiful dream!


  [3] _A Month at Constantinople._ By ALBERT SMITH. London: 1850.

Books of travel in the region which modern tourists particularly
designate as "the East," and which may be considered to comprise
Turkey, Syria, and Egypt, do not, as a class, very forcibly challenge
our sympathy and criticism. The best horse may be ridden to death;
and no country, however rich in associations and peculiar in its
characteristics, however remarkable in configuration and interesting
by its traditions, can yield continual fresh pastures to literary
travellers, when they descend upon it like a swarm of locusts instead
of dropping in at reasonable intervals. Time must be allowed for
change and reproduction, or repetition and exhaustion will be the
inevitable result. The East, moreover, as a theme for book-wrights,
has not only been overdone, but, in many instances, very badly done.
People have gone thither with the preconceived idea of publishing,
on the strain for the marvellous, the romantic, and the picturesque;
and, disdaining the common-sense course of setting down what they
saw and giving their real and natural impressions, they have gilt
and embellished, like a coach-painter at a sheriff's carriage, till
they forced upon us the conviction that they cared more for glitter
than for truth. Some, piquing themselves on diplomatic acumen,
have filled their volumes with politics, and settled all manner of
Eastern questions much to their own satisfaction, and greatly to
the weariness of their readers; and these form perhaps the most
intolerable of the many classes into which Oriental travellers
are subdivisible, but which we shall not here further enumerate,
preferring to turn to the examination of the latest Eastern tour
that has issued from the English press and found its way to our
critical sanctum.

Mr Albert Smith's name, well known within sound of Bow-bells, is
far from unfamiliar to a large circle of dwellers without that
populous circumference. We cannot affirm that we have read all his
numerous works, but with some of them we are acquainted, and we
are disposed to think him one of the most amiable and praiseworthy
of the school of popular humorists to which he belongs. His jokes
are invariably good-humoured and inoffensive--without being on
that account deficient in point. He does not wrap radicalism up in
fun, as cunning grandmothers envelop sickly drugs with marmalade;
nor has his flow of gaiety a sour and mischievous under-current.
Neither does he belong to the gang of facetious philanthropists
whose sympathies are so exclusively granted to the indigent and
miserable, that they have nothing left but gall and bitterness for
those of their fellow-creatures who wear a decent coat, and have
the price of a dinner in its pocket. A gentleman of most versatile
ability, he is by turns dramatist, journalist, essayist, naturalist,
novelist, correspondent of a London paper, critic of the ballet,
a writer of songs and a manufacturer of burlesque. Such a host of
occupations naturally entails the necessity of a little relaxation;
and accordingly, in the summer of last year, Mr Smith laid down
his pen, shook the sawdust from his buskins, and started for the
Mediterranean. As far as Malta we have not ascertained how it fared
with him, but of his subsequent proceedings he has informed us in a
volume which we had little idea of reviewing when first we learned
its expected appearance, but whose perusal has convinced us that it
deserves such brief notice as the crowded state of our pages in these
busy days will permit us to bestow upon it. We have already implied
our opinion that it takes a skilful hand to write an amusing book
on so hackneyed a text as a visit to Constantinople. Mr Smith has
surmounted the difficulty in an easy and natural manner; and, whilst
telling things just as they appeared to him, without affectation
or adornment, he has contrived to give an agreeable freshness and
originality to a subject which we really deemed threadbare and

It was on board the _Scamandre_, French Mediterranean mail-steamer,
that Mr Albert Smith left Malta on an August evening of the year
1849, bound for Constantinople. The weather was fine and the sea
smooth as a lake, and there could be no reasonable apprehension of
shipwreck even for the crazy French vessel, whose last voyage, save
on rivers or along coast, this was intended to be. But although
somewhat rickety, of very moderate speed, and not particularly clean
externally, the interior accommodations of the Scamandre were by
no means bad. And the cabin passengers presented an amusing medley
of nations and characters. There were French milliners, striving
to pass themselves off as governesses, an elderly French actress
from the St James's theatre, a brace of Marseilles bagmen, an
enterprising Englishman bent upon smuggling muskets into Hungary, a
young Irish officer who had thrown up his commission in the British
service to campaign with Bem and Kossuth, and who must have arrived
at his destination just as the war reached its end. There was also
Mr Sophocles, an intelligent Greek professor from an American
university, on his way home after twenty years' absence, and sundry
persons unnamed, making about twenty in all, and Mr Smith himself,
who, we venture to say, was not the least active and efficient in
beguiling the tedium of a week's voyage in a slow steamboat, and
who gives us an extremely amusing account of his fellow-passengers
and their proceedings. Travelling quite as a citizen of the world,
without pretension or care for luxuries, now footing it across the
Alps with knapsack on shoulder, then a deck passenger from Genoa to
Naples, availing himself of the smooth when it offered, but taking
the rough readily when it came, sleeping sometimes on boards for
want of a bed, with the knapsack aforesaid for a pillow--Mr Smith
seems to have carried through the whole of his ramble those best of
travelling companions, imperturbable good humour, and a determination
to be pleased with everything and everybody. It is accordingly with
all possible indulgence that he views the little foibles of his
fellow-passengers per Scamandre, and there is not an atom of acid in
the dry humour with which he parades them for the entertainment of
his readers. Indeed, before the week's voyage is over, we begin to
feel quite intimate with the motley company--to view with indulgence
Mademoiselle Virginie's barefaced flirtations with the French
commissary, and to sympathise with the good-tempered American, who,
having had the misfortune to engage his berth in the first-class
cabin--a sort of extra-magnificent place, whose chief distinction
from the second class consists, as on German railways, in a heavy
additional charge--preferred now and then dining with the less
aristocratic inmates of the second cabin, "to know what was going
on." There is no place like shipboard for betraying people's habits
and peculiarities: everybody is more or less in deshabille; and such
a group as that on the Scamandre is a mine to a shrewd observer. Mr
Smith kept his eyes and ears wide open, as is his wont, and little
escaped him. We select the following specimen of his strictures on
foreign habits.

     "I should be very sorry to class foreigners, generally, as a
     dirty set of people when left to themselves; but I fear there
     is too much reason to suppose that (in how many cases out of
     ten I will refrain from saying) a disrelish for a good honest
     plunging wash is one of their chief attributes. It requires but
     very little experience, in even their best hotels, to come to
     this conclusion. I do not mean in those houses where an influx
     of English has imposed the necessity of providing large jugs,
     baths, and basins; but in the equally leading establishments
     patronised chiefly by themselves. In these, one still perceives
     the little pie-dish and milk-jug, the scanty doily-looking
     towel, and the absence of a soap dish; whilst it would be
     perfectly futile to ask for anything further. So, on board
     the Scamandre, this opinion was not weakened. They dipped a
     corner of a little towel, not in the basin, but in the stream
     that trickled from the cistern as slowly as vinegar from any
     oyster-shop cruet, and dabbed their face about with it. Then
     they messed about a little with their hands; and then, having
     given a long time to brushing their hair, they had a cigarette
     instead of a tooth brush, and their toilet was complete. This
     description does not only apply to the Scamandre passengers, but
     to the majority of their race, whom I afterwards encountered
     about the Mediterranean."

We have a vivid recollection of the consternation of an amiable
and numerous French family, in whose house a friend of ours once
was domiciled, on finding that he each morning required, for his
personal use, more fresh water than sufficed for their entire daily
consumption, internal and external. Doubtless the worthy people
indulged, every eight days or so, in a warm bath; but they had no
notion of such a thing as diurnal ablutions above the waist or
below the chin, and they shrugged and grinned monstrously at the
eccentricity of the Englishman who commenced the day by a general
sluice, whereas they rarely thought of washing even their fingers
till they dressed for their ante-prandial promenade. And when our
friend was laid up, some time later, with a smart twinge of gout,
provoked by too liberal use of a very different liquid from water,
the entire family, from the elderly father down to the youngest of
the precocious juveniles, gave it as their unqualified opinion,
that the ailment proceeded from their inmate's rash and obstinate
indulgence in the ungenial and, in their opinion, extremely
superfluous element.

"Athens in six hours," Mr Smith observes, is rather quick work;
but he nevertheless found he could see in that time nearly as much
of it as he wished. The Scamandre allowed but a day, and certainly
he made good use of the brief halt. At Athens, as in Switzerland
and on the Rhine, he found the ubiquitous _Murray's Handbook_ the
great authority and certificate of the native competitors for
custom. A skirmish with clubs and boat-hooks--the former brought
evidently in anticipation of the contest--took place amongst the
fancy-ball-looking boatmen, in white petticoats and scarlet leggings,
who crowded in light skiffs round the foot of the steamer's ladder.
In the intervals of the fight a dialogue was carried on in English,
more or less broken.

     "'I say, sir! here, sir! Hotel d'Orient is the best. Here's the
     card, sir--old palace--Murray says ver good,' cried one of the

     "'Hi!' screamed another; 'don't go with him, master--too dear!
     Come with me?'

     "The parties were immediately engaged in single combat.

     "'Hotel d'Angleterre à Athènes, tenu par Elias Polichronopulos
     et Yani Adamopulos,' shouted another, all in a breath. I copy
     the names from the card he gave me, for they were such as no one
     could remember.

     "'Yes, sir; good hotel,' said his companion. 'Look in Murray,
     sir--page 24--there, sir; here, sir; look, sir!'

     "'Who believes Murray?' asked a fellow in plain clothes, with a
     strong Irish accent.

     "'You would, if he put your house in the Handbook,' replied

By considerable display of mental and physical energy, a few of the
passengers at last got into a boat and gained the quay of the Piræus.
_Grog's-shop_ was written on the shutter of a petty coffee-house,
and a smart-looking Albanian stepped up, and proffered his services
in excellent English. He had lived in London, he said: was a subject
of Queen Victoria, and had the honour of being set down in Murray,
page 25. With such recommendations, who could refuse the guidance
of Demetri Pomorn? Not Mr Smith and his party, evidently, for they
immediately engaged him for the day, hired a shabby vehicle from
an adjacent cab-stand, and started on their hot and dusty road to
Athens, thence about five miles distant. There they killed the lions,
ate quince ices, bought Latakia tobacco, dined at the Hotel d'Orient
_à l'Anglaise_, with Harvey sauce and pale ale, off English plates
and dishes, and pulled on board again at night, to the tune of _Jim
Crow_, played by an Anglified violin in one of the "grog's-shops"
aforesaid. At five in the morning sleep was at an end, thanks to
the clanking, stamping, and bawling upon the steamer's deck, and Mr
Smith left the cabin, to reconnoitre and breathe fresh air. Some
deck passengers had come on board at Athens; amongst others, a poor
Albanian family, bound to Smyrna to pack figs. They were miserable,
broken-spirited looking people, but picturesque in spite of their
poverty; a melon or two and some coarse bread composed their entire
stores for the voyage. This, however, was of no great duration, for
at daybreak the next morning the passengers per Scamandre were told
they were off Smyrna.

     "It was very pleasant to hear this--to be told that the land I
     saw close to us was Asia, and that the distant slender spires
     that rose from the thickly clustered houses were minarets--that
     I should have twelve hours to go on shore, and see real camels,
     fig-trees, scheiks, and veiled women! And yet I could scarcely
     persuade myself that such was the case--that the distant
     Smyrna--of which I had only heard, in the Levant mail, as a
     remote place, burnt down once a-year, where figs came from--was
     actually within a good stone's throw of the steamer."

The travellers' expectations were more than realised. "I do not
believe," says Mr Smith, "that throughout the future journey any
impressions were conveyed more vivid than those we experienced
during our first half hour in the bazaars of the sunny, bustling,
beauty-teeming Smyrna." The appearance of a party of foreigners, and
of the well-known face of the _valet-de-place_, caused a stir amongst
the dealers, one of whom accosted Mr Smith in good English.

     "'How d'ye do, sir; very well? that's right. Look here, sir;
     beautiful musk purse; very fine smell. Ten piastres.'

     "A piastre is worth twopence and a fraction.

     "'How did you learn to speak English so well?' I asked.

     "'All English gentlemen come to me, sir,' he said, 'and I learn
     it from the ships, and from the Americans. Shake hands, sir;
     that's right. Buy the purse, sir?

     "'How much is it?' asked one of our party.

     "'Six piastres,' replied the brother of the merchant, who also
     spoke English, but had not heard the first price.

     "'And you asked me ten!' I said to the other.

     "'So I did, sir,' he replied with a laugh; 'then, if I get the
     other four, that's my profit--eh? But what's four piastres to
     an English gentleman?--nothing. It's too little for him to know
     about. Come--buy the purse. What will you give?'

     "'Five piastres,' I answered.

     "'It is yours,' he added directly, with a hearty laugh, throwing
     it to me.

     "'What a merry fellow you are!' I observed.

     "'Yes, sir; I laugh always; very good to laugh. English
     gentlemen like to laugh, I know; laugh very well. Look at his
     turban--laugh at that.'

     "He directed our attention to an old Turk, who was going by with
     a most ludicrous and towering head-dress. It was diverting to
     find him making fun of his compatriot."

The mode of dealing, which in Christian Europe is stigmatised as
Jewish--the system, namely, of asking thrice the value and twice what
the seller means to take--is received, and by no means discreditable,
in Turkish bazaars. The only way to purchase in such places, without
being imposed upon, is at once to offer half the price demanded. This
is met with a refusal; you walk away, the merchant calls you back,
and you then offer him twenty per cent less than before. This plan
Mr Smith, having picked up experience at Smyrna, put in practice at
Constantinople, and generally found to answer.

Fig-packing, camels, and the slave-market are the three things which
at Smyrna first attract the curiosity of the traveller from the
West. Of the first-named, Mr Smith gives us a picturesque account.
In the shade of a long alley of acacia and fig trees the packers
were seated--Greeks by nation, and the women very handsome. "They
first brought the figs from the warehouses, on the floor of which I
saw hundreds of bushels, brought in on camels from the country. They
were then pulled into shape, this task being confided to females;
and after that sent on to the men who packed them. They gathered
six or seven, one after the other, in their hand, and then wedged
them into the drum, putting a few superior ones on the top, as we
have seen done with strawberries." We have already mentioned that
our sharp-sighted and lively traveller is somewhat of a naturalist,
and here he favours us with the result of his observations upon the
camel. That uncouth, but useful hunchback has been belauded and
vaunted in prose and verse to such an exaggerated extent that we are
quite tired of hearing of his virtues, and feel much indebted to the
author of _A Month at Constantinople_ for exhibiting his failings
after the following fashion:--

     "Your camel is a great obtainer of pity, under false pretence.
     He can be as self-willed and vicious as you please; and his
     bite is particularly severe: when once his powerful teeth have
     fastened, it is with the greatest difficulty that he is made
     to relinquish his hold. The pitiful noise too, which he makes,
     as small natural historians remark, upon being overladen,
     is all sham. It proceeds from sheer idleness, rather than a
     sense of oppression. With many camels, if you make pretence
     to put a small object on their back--a tile or a stone, for
     instance--whilst they are kneeling down, they begin mechanically
     to bellow, and blink their eyes, and assume such a dismal
     appearance of suffering and anguish, that it is perfectly
     painful for susceptible natures to regard them. And yet, when
     their load is well distributed and packed, they can move along
     under seven hundredweight."

But we must get on to Constantinople. Often as the magnificent
spectacle has been described that bursts upon the view as you round
Seraglio Point and glide into the Golden Horn, it yet would seem
affected or eccentric of a traveller who writes about Constantinople
were he to neglect recording the impression made upon him by that
singularly lovely panorama. Mr Albert Smith's description is to
the purpose, and we like it the better for the complete absence of
that magniloquence in which so many tourists have indulged when
discoursing upon the beauties of Stamboul. Probably no city in the
world presents so great a contrast as Constantinople, when seen from
a short distance and when examined in detail. Floating on the blue
waters of the Bosphorus, the wondering stranger gazes upon a fairy
spectacle of domes, and minarets, and cypress groves, of graceful
palaces and stately mosques, gilded wherries and gaily-attired
crowds. A few minutes elapse: the grave custom-house officials in
their handsome barge have received the sixpenny bribe which exempts
his luggage from examination; he lands at the Tophanné Stairs, and
enters the steep lane that leads up to Pera, and in an instant the
illusion is dissipated:--

     "I felt," says Mr Smith, who readily avails himself, and in
     this instance very happily, of a theatrical comparison, "that
     I had been taken behind the scenes of a great 'effect.' The
     Constantinople of Vauxhall Gardens, a few years ago, did not
     differ more, when viewed in front from the gallery and behind
     from the dirty little alleys bordering the river. The miserable,
     narrow, ill-paved thoroughfare did not present one redeeming
     feature--even of picturesque dreariness. The roadway was paved
     with all sorts of ragged stones, jammed down together without
     any regard to level surface; and encumbered with dead rats,
     melon-rinds, dogs, rags, brickbats, and rubbish, that had fallen
     through the mules' baskets, as they toiled along it. The houses
     were of wood--old and rotten; and bearing traces of having been
     once painted red. There was, evidently, never any attempt made
     to clean them, or their windows or doorways. Here and there,
     where a building had been burnt, or had tumbled down, all the
     ruins remained as they had fallen. Even the better class of
     houses had an uncared-for, mouldy, plague-imbued, decaying
     look about them; with grimy lattices instead of windows, on
     the upper stories, and dilapidated shutters and doors on the

It will have occurred to many, acquainted with the scenes portrayed,
to exclaim, when gazing upon the bright pictures of a David Roberts,
a Leopold Robert, or a Villamil, "What a deal of dirt is hidden
under all that gay colouring!" It will not do for the artist to look
too closely into the details of southern cleanliness and domestic
economy; he must elevate his subject and wash off the dirt, or at
least paint over it. Constantinople must be viewed as a panorama, not
investigated as if for sale. If he would preserve the enchantment
unbroken, the spectator must keep his distance, as from a picture
painted for distant effect. If he will not do this, if curiosity
impels him onwards, let him make up his eyes and olfactories to a
cruel disappointment. A minute ago, fairyland was spread before
him; he lands, and stumbles over a dead dog. Touching dogs, by
the bye, we have a word to say. Mr Smith has numerous passages
relating to that quadruped, esteemed in Christendom, abominable in
Constantinople. Having once, he informs us, been severely bitten
by a hound, and having, moreover, seen several persons die of
hydrophobia, he entertains a very justifiable mistrust of the canine
race, or at least of such of its specimens as present themselves with
slavering mouths, inflamed eyes, guttural yells, and hides ragged and
bloody. Now, this being the habitual appearance and bearing of the
eighty-thousand pugnacious and starving curs that infest the streets
of the Turkish capital, Mr Smith, had he been a nervous person,
would have passed rather an agreeable "month in Constantinople."
With a paper lantern in one hand, however, and a jagged stone in the
other--the usual weapons of defence--he prosecuted his wanderings
most courageously, at almost any hour of the night, through the
filth-strewn and dog-haunted streets. His first introduction to these
pleasant animals was auricular; and truly, compared to their uproar,
a German frog-swamp or a strong party of Christmas waits, jangling
a negro melody in defiance of time and tune, must be considered a
delightful _réveil-matin_.

     "To say that if all the sheep-dogs going to Smithfield on a
     market-day had been kept on the constant bark, and pitted
     against the yelping curs upon all the carts in London, they
     could have given any idea of the canine uproar that now first
     astonished me, would be to make the feeblest of images.
     The whole city rung with one vast riot. Down below me at
     Tophanné--over at Stamboul--far away at Scutari--the whole
     eighty thousand dogs that are said to overrun Constantinople
     appeared engaged in the most active extermination of each other,
     without a moment's cessation. The yelping, howling, barking,
     growling, and snarling, were all merged into one uniform and
     continuous even sound, as the noise of frogs becomes when heard
     at a distance. For hours there was no lull. I went to sleep, and
     woke again; and still, with my windows open, I heard the same
     tumult going on; nor was it until daybreak that anything like
     tranquillity was restored."

The traces of these nocturnal combats are plainly discernible the
next morning. There is not a whole skin in the entire canine legion;
some have lost eyes, others ears, some a collop of the little flesh
that remains on their unfortunate bones, and all bear the scars of
desperate conflicts. They keep an active look-out for dead horses
and camels, and are even said to devour their defunct comrades;
but there is no authenticated account of their making a meal of a
human being, although a story is current in Galata of their having
one night torn down a tipsy English sailor, and left nothing but
his bones to tell the tale in the morning. Drunkards, however, must
expect to go to the dogs. Mr Smith kept sober, and carried a lantern.
Solely to these two precautions, perhaps, are we to-day indebted for
the pleasure of reading his book, instead of mourning his interment
in the ravenous stomachs of Mahomedan mongrels.

It can hardly have escaped the observation of any one who has
travelled at all, that the presence of even a very few English
settlers in a town or district, speedily entails the establishment
of "the English shop." The keeper of this is not necessarily an
Englishman; he may be of any nation--Pole, Jew, Frenchman, German;
the essential is, that he should have a smattering of English and a
trader's knowledge of the heterogeneous articles which, in foreign
estimation, are indispensable to the existence of Englishmen.
Foremost amongst these are beer and pickles, mustard and cayenne,
Warren's blacking and Windsor soap, the pills of Professor
Holloway, the kalydor of the world-renowned Rowland. Thanks to the
extraordinary power of puffing, we dare to say that the paletot of
Sheriff Nicoll by this time finds its nook in "the English shop."
The growth of these philanthropical depots for the consolation of
exiled Britons is often miraculously mushroom-like. Land an English
regiment to occupy a menaced point on some distant foreign shore, and
within the week "the shop" appears, though it be but a booth with a
hamper of porter and a dozen pickle pots for sole stock in trade. In
Constantinople, where English abound, either as residents or birds
of passage, Stampa is a celebrity. The admirable establishment of
Galignani is not more famed for books and newspapers--and especially
for that far-famed _Messenger_, which reaches to the uttermost
ends of the earth--than is the shop of Stampa as a rendezvous and
receptacle for men and things English. There you may buy everything,
from a Stilton to a cake of soap, from a solar lamp to a steel pen;
and there obtain all manner of information, from the address of a
Galata[4] merchant to the sailing hour of a steamer. Nay, should you
be weary of kebobs and craving for a beefsteak, Stampa will provide
it you. He did so at least for Mr Smith; but perhaps that gentleman
was a favoured customer, as he seems indeed to have found means of
rendering himself at more than one place during his ramble.

  [4] The names of the various districts of Constantinople, sometimes
  rather indiscriminately used in travellers' narratives, are apt
  to puzzle those readers unfamiliar with the divisions of the
  city. The following note puts its distribution clearly before
  them:--"_Stamboul_ may be termed Constantinople proper, inhabited by
  the Turks, and containing the Seraglio, chief mosques, great public
  offices, bazaars, and places of Government and general business.
  It is the most ancient and most important part, _par excellence_.
  _Galata_ is the Wapping of the city: here we find dirty shops for
  ships' stores; merchants' counting-houses, and tipsy sailors.
  _Tophanné_ is so called from the large gun-factory close at hand.
  Both these suburbs are situated at the base of a very steep hill; the
  upper part of which is _Pera_, the district allotted to the Franks,
  or foreigners, and containing the palaces of the ambassadors, the
  hotels, the European shops, and the most motley population under the
  sun. _Scutari_ is to Stamboul as Birkenhead to Liverpool, and is in
  Asia. It is important in its way, as being the starting-place of all
  the caravans going inland. There are some other districts of less
  interest to the average tourist."--_A Month at Constantinople_, p. 46.

At Constantinople, as at Smyrna, Mr Smith visited the slave
market. There is a volume in the word, and we all know the sort of
phantasmagoria it summons up for the benefit of English ladies and
gentlemen, as they sit at home at ease, dandling their fancies by
the chimney corner. Exeter Hall and the picture shops have made
slave-markets of their own, compared to which the reality is a tame
and spiritless affair. We are all familiar, at a proper distance,
with that group of young ladies, more or less nude, and of every
tint--from the pale Georgian to the sable Ethiop--huddled together
in great alarm and the most graceful attitudes, whilst a shawled
and jewelled Turk scans their perfections with licentious eye, and
counts gold into the palm of a truculent dealer in human flesh.
None of us but have been painfully affected by representations,
both printed and pictorial, of whips and manacles, fettered hands
and striped shoulders, kneeling negroes and barbarous taskmasters,
whereby tender-hearted gentlemen are moved to unbutton their pockets,
and philanthropical ladies of excitable nerve, overlooking the
misery that is often close to their doors, are set sewing flannels
for remote blacks. We have all seen this sort of thing, and have
been interested and touched accordingly. But Mr Smith, in the most
unfeeling manner, robs us of our illusions, so far, at least, as
Smyrna or Constantinople are concerned. In the slave-market at
the latter place--where blacks only are exposed, the Circassian
and Georgian beauties being secluded in the dealers' houses--he
arrived at the conclusion that the creatures he saw wrapped in their
blankets and crouching in corners, and in whom sense and feeling were
evidently at the very lowest ebb, had much better chance of such
happiness as they were capable of enjoying, if sold as slaves than if
left to their own savage resources.

     "I should be very sorry," he says, "to run against any proper
     feelings on the subject, but I do honestly believe that if any
     person of average propriety and right-mindedness were shown
     these creatures, and told that their lot was to become the
     property of others, and work in return for food and lodging, he
     would come to the conclusion it was all they were fit for....
     The truth is, that the 'virtuous indignation' side of the
     question holds out grander opportunities to an author for fine
     writing than the practical fact. But this style of composition
     should not always be implicitly relied upon. I knew a man who
     was said, by certain reviews and literary _cliques_, to be
     'a creature of large sympathies for the poor and oppressed,'
     because he wrote touching things about them; but who would
     abuse his wife, and brutally treat his children, and harass
     his family, and then go and drink until his large heart was
     sufficiently full to take up the 'man-and-brother' line of
     literary business, and suggest that a tipsy Chartist was as good
     as quiet gentleman."

Mr Albert Smith is evidently a hard-hearted person, and we begin to
repent of noticing his book. In the same pitiless matter-of-fact
manner he continues to tilt at the several articles of our Eastern
creed, pressing into his service as a witness Demetri the Second,
(not him of Athens, but a Constantinople cicerone,) a terrible fellow
for rubbing the romantic lacquer off Turkish manners and customs.
After the slaves, the sack and scimitar are disposed of. "Not many
executions now," quoth Demetri,--"only English subjects. Here's where
they cut the heads off; just here, where these two streets meet, and
the body is left here a day or two, and sometimes the dogs get at
it." This was rather startling intelligence, until explained. The
"English subjects" proved to be emigrants from Malta and the Ionian
islands--the greatest scamps in Pera--which is saying no little, for
Pera abounds with scamps. At that time, however, there had not been
an execution for a whole year past.

     "All English gentlemen," continued Demetri, "think they cut off
     heads every day in Stamboul, and put them, all of a row, on
     plates at the Seraglio gate. And they think people are always
     being drowned in the Bosphorus. Not true. I know a fellow who
     is a dragoman, and shows that wooden shoot which comes from the
     wall of the Seraglio Point, as the place they slide them down.
     It is only to get rid of the garden rubbish. Same with lots of
     other things."

Nothing like travel to dispel prejudice and romance. People are too
apt to adopt Byron's notions of the East. To those who would have
their eyes opened we recommend the Mediterranean steamers, or, if
these would take them too far, they may stay at home and read Mr

     "Travel," such is his advice to the seeker after truth, "with
     a determination to be only affected by things as they strike
     you. Swiss girls, St Bernard dogs, Portici fishermen, the Rhine,
     Nile travelling, and other objects of popular rhapsodies,
     fearfully deteriorate upon practical acquaintance. Few tourists
     have the courage to say that they have been 'bored,' or at
     least disappointed by some conventional lion. They find that
     Guide-books, Diaries, Notes, Journals, &c. &c., all copy one
     from the other in their enthusiasm about the same things; and
     they shrink from the charge of vulgarity, or lack of mind, did
     they dare to differ. Artists and writers _will_ study effect
     rather than graphic truth. The florid description of some
     modern book of travel is as different to the actual impressions
     of ninety-nine people out of a hundred--allowing all these to
     possess average education, perception, and intellect--when
     painting in their minds the same subject, as the artfully tinted
     lithograph, or picturesque engraving of the portfolio or annual,
     is to the faithful photograph."

Mr Smith's concluding chapter, including his lazaretto experiences
and departure for Egypt, is very amusing, and he shows up the
abuses of the quarantine system, his own annoyances when in sickly
durance, and the eccentricities of his Mahometan and Christian
fellow-travellers, with spirit and humour. We have good will, but no
space, to accompany him further in his peregrinations. An appendix,
including estimates of expenses, and various remarks suggested by
his recent travelling experience, will be found useful by persons
contemplating a similar trip. The general texture of his book is
certainly of the slightest; but, as already implied, it pretends not
to solidity or to the discussion of grave topics. It is just such
a volume as might be composed by the amalgamation of a series of
epistles from a lively and fluent letter-writer to friends at home,
during a few weeks' ramble and abode in Turkey. If it occasionally
reminds us of Cockaigne, its author, we are sure, is too patriotic
to be ashamed of his native village, and we have no mind to quarrel
with him for the almost exclusively metropolitan character of his
tropes and similes, for his frequent reminiscences of London streets
and Surrey hills, or for his preference of the sunset seen from "The
Cricketers" at Chertsey Bridge, to the same sight from "The little
Burial-ground" at Pera. A good result--probably the one he aimed
at--of the selection, as points of comparison, of localities more
particularly familiar to Londoners, is that he thereby conveys, to
those who will doubtless form a very large proportion of his readers,
a clear idea of the places he visited and would describe. And his
little volume affords evidence of good temper and feeling sufficient
to cover a multitude of Cockneyisms.

When reviewing, about two years ago, a volume of rambles[5] in
a very different region, we stated our opinion as to the style
of illustration appropriate to books of this kind, in which cuts
or engravings are most acceptable when they explain scenes and
objects that written description, even at great length, would less
accurately and clearly place before the reader. Mr Smith is evidently
of the same way of thinking. "I have given," he says, "only those
illustrations which appeared to be the most characteristic rather
than the most imposing." In so doing he has shown judgment, and used
to the best advantage the pencils and colour-box, which formed part
of the heterogeneous contents of his well-stuffed knapsack. The
reader will be more obliged to him for the appropriate and useful
little sketches that thickly stud his pages, than for any drawings
of greater pretensions, whose introduction the size and price of the
volume would have permitted.

  [5] Ballantyne's _Hudson's Bay_.


It is now between three and four years since the town was startled
by intelligence that the Opera House was divided against itself, and
that melody and grace were about to take flight from the bottom of
the Hay-market to the top of the Garden. In our quality of determined
foes to unnecessary changes and theoretical reforms, we received the
intelligence regretfully, and so, we have reason to believe, did
that very considerable section of the London and provincial public
into whose annual calculations of refined enjoyments the Italian
Opera largely enters. Without going into the merits of the dispute,
which up to this hour we have never heard clearly elucidated, we
plainly discerned one thing--namely, that there was discord in the
operatic camp; that harmony had abandoned its favourite abode; that
managers, musicians, singers, and dancers, were drawing different
ways: in short, that the Opera, taking the lead in a fashion that
soon afterwards became disagreeably prevalent throughout Europe, was
in a state of revolution. With whom the fault lay we knew not, and
little cared: all that concerned us was the unpleasant fact that the
pleasures of the music-loving multitude, _quorum pars sumus_, were
seriously endangered. It is pretty notorious that, with very rare
exceptions, professional votaries of the Muses are capricious, and
difficult to deal with. Painters are accused of unpunctuality and
improvidence; composers are often idle dogs, fretting _impresarios_
into fevers, as Rossini did Barbaja, and fulfilling their engagements
only at the last minute of the eleventh hour, with the _polenta_
smoking on the table;[6] even authors we have heard declared, upon
no mean authority, to be queer cattle to guide; but, of all classes
whose occupation derives from art and poetry, none, assuredly,
are harder to manage and to please than actors and musicians. From
those early days of Opera, when a Lully shivered Cremonas upon the
heads of a refractory orchestra, to the recent ones when a Lumley
in vain essayed to appease the petulance of a prima donna, and calm
the choler of a conductor, the tribulations of managers have been
countless as the pebbles on the shore. To judge, indeed, from their
own account, few of the penalties so picturesquely set forth in Fox's
martyr-book, but would be preferable to ten years' management of a
large lyric theatre. Consult the comedians, and we are presented with
the reverse of the medal. A manager, we shall be told, is a covetous
and Heliogabalian tyrant, fattening upon the toil and talents of
the artist; a sort of vampire in a black coat, sucking the blood of
genius, faring sumptuously on the proceeds of a tenor, squeezing
the cost of his stud out of a soprano, and making large annual
investments on the strength of an underpaid barytone. These things
may be true, but we shall more readily credit them when we less
frequently see managers in the _Gazette_, and when we hear of singers
putting down their carriages, retrenching their suburban villas, and
contenting themselves with salaries less enormous than those they now
unblushingly exact. Upon such matters, however, it is not our purpose
to expatiate. Theatrical quarrels rarely excite much general interest
in this country, except inasmuch as they may exercise an unfavourable
influence on the pleasures of the public--which has not been the
case, we are happy to say, in the most recent and important instance
of disagreement between the lessee of the first London theatre and
certain members of his company.

  [6] Rossini's desperate idleness and habits of procrastination
  are proverbial. On more than one occasion personal restraint was
  resorted to, to compel the fulfilment of his engagements. Thus,
  at Milan, sentinels were placed at his door, and no exit allowed
  him, until he had completed an opera of which the two first acts
  were already in rehearsal. Barbaja, the celebrated _impresario_,
  kept him for some time prisoner in his palace on the Naples Toledo,
  refusing him liberty until he should have composed the long-promised
  opera of Otello. Remonstrances were disregarded by the inflexible
  manager, so Rossini set to work, and, with his usual facility, soon
  sent down a portion of the score, headed _Introduzione_. This was
  transmitted to the copyist; but the same evening Rossini applied
  for it again, on pretext of alteration. Next morning another MS.
  reached Barbaja, inscribed _Caratina_. It followed its predecessor
  to the copyist, and, in like manner, was re-demanded for correction.
  Barbaja gleefully rubbed his hands at finding that these revisions
  did not delay Rossini, who sent down page after page of copy, to the
  extent of an entire act. But the irritable manager was like to go
  distracted when, on applying to the copyist for the whole score, he
  found the introduction was all that had been composed. It had been
  travelling to and fro between Rossini and the theatre, and, at each
  journey, the incorrigible composer had headed it with a different
  title. The trait is characteristic, and strictly authentic. The same
  story is told, at greater length, and with some embellishments, in
  one of Alexander Dumas' volumes of Italian travelling sketches.
  Managers, however, found compensation in Rossini's rapidity for his
  provoking idleness. When he did set to work, he got over the paper
  at a gallop; and, when driven to the last minute, his fertility and
  invention were wonderful. Some of his finest things were composed
  on the spur of the moment, and in breathless haste. The celebrated
  air _Di tanti Palpiti_ is one of these. His dinner hour was at hand,
  when, driven to the wall by urgent solicitations, he one day sat
  down to compose it. His cook, learning that the _Maestro_ was really
  about to work--no very common occurrence--thrust his head in at the
  door, and ventured a supposition that he had "better not put the
  rice to boil." "On the contrary, boil it directly," replied Rossini,
  who was hungry. Before the rice, that indispensable preface to an
  Italian dinner, was fit for table, the air and its introduction were
  composed. _Di tanti Palpiti_ is still familiarly known as the _Aria
  dei rizzi_.

At no period, probably, since London has possessed an Italian
Opera, was there more room and a better chance of success for two
establishments of that description than just now. Indeed, even if
the particular circumstances that have caused a second establishment
to be formed had not occurred, it might not improbably have arisen
out of the want of remunerative patronage for high musical talent
upon the Continent, entailed by the revolutionary convulsions of the
last two years. Another circumstance favourable to the Italians is
to be found in the depressed state of the native stage--a depression
which we maintain is to be attributed to bad management and bad
acting, more than to any decline in the public taste for the drama.
Second-rate talent, such as now occupies the high places on our
principal theatres, will no more permanently attract full houses,
than will the burlesque and tinsel that has monopolised the minor
stage. It is our conviction that high tragedy and good comedy will
still draw together discriminating and desirable audiences; but they
must be well acted. Could you bring back Kemble and Siddons, Kean and
Young, rely upon it that the taste for the theatre would revive, and
Drury Lane might be opened with better than a bare chance of success.
And although those masters of their art have disappeared from the
scene, there still are actors who, if they would condescend to pull
together, might do much to prop the declining national drama. In the
provincial towns the Charles Keans, Miss Faucit, or Macready, always
draw full houses; and it is our belief they would do so the year
through at Drury Lane, if they all belonged to its company, under a
judicious management. It is idle to say that the public has lost its
taste for theatres, because it will not encourage mediocrity and bad
taste; and the best proof of the contrary is, that anything really
good in theatricals, no matter in what style, at once draws. We need
not go far for examples. About three years ago, the little French
theatre in St James's had a good working company, besides a constant
flow of still better actors, succeeding each other by twos and threes
from Paris. The consequence was, that the house was nightly crowded;
not only, be it observed, in its more fashionable divisions, but in
those cheaper regions of gallery, pit, and boxes, more accessible
to moderate purses and to the general public. In short, the theatre
was popular, because the performances were good; although it is,
assuredly, but a very limited portion of the English middle classes
that can fully enter into and enjoy the spirit of French plays.
When the management injudiciously changed the system, which, one
would think, must surely have answered its purpose as well as that
of the public, and gave indifferently sung comic operas instead of
well-acted vaudevilles, dramas, and _petites comédies_, popularity
and audience dwindled. It was no longer good of its kind. People will
not be persuaded, for any length of time, that a star and a bundle of
sticks compose a theatrical company worth listening to. We may take
another instance, still nearer home. Under the management of Vestris
and Mathews, and in spite of a deplorable absence of ventilation,
the Lyceum Theatre has for many months past been nightly full to
the roof, whilst nearly every other London manager has been wofully
grumbling at the state of his benches and treasury. It is not that
the performances at the Lyceum have been of a very high class; but
of their kind they have been good, the company pulls well together,
and there is a certain spirit and originality in the conduct of the
theatre. And here, whilst avoiding comparisons with any particular
theatre to which they might be unfavourable, we are yet led to
remark, that an utter want of originality is one of the chief and
most lamentable present characteristics of the London stage. Such a
monotonous set of imitators was surely never beheld. They all follow
each other in a string, like the boors after Dummling's precious
goose. Unfortunately the golden feathers become dross in their grasp.
If one makes a hit, forthwith the others copy; without pausing to
reflect whether the novelty was not the principal charm, which
will evaporate on repetition. Thus, last Christmas, at the theatre
already referred to, a fairy spectacle of extraordinary beauty was
brought out, and "ran," as the phrase is, an unusual number of
nights, long outliving most of the very middling pantomimes and
holiday entertainments elsewhere produced. Easter came, and behold!
half-a-dozen other theatres, taking their cue from the lucky Lyceum,
came out in the same line. Ambitious scenery, gorgeous decoration,
wholesale glitter, and many-coloured fires, dazzled the eye in all
directions. "If your voice were as fine as your feathers," said
the crafty fox to the cheese-bearing crow, "what a bird you would
be!" Were your taste equal to your tinsel, managers of the London
theatres, what an improvement there would be in your receipts! Your
dress-boxes and your cash-boxes would alike be replenished; and you
would no longer have a pretext to indulge in undignified wailings
about want of encouragement to native talent, preference given to
foreigners, and the other querulous commonplaces with which the
public is periodically bored.

To return, however, to the Opera. As we have already observed, about
four years ago its prospects were bad. Discord, the forerunner of
dissolution, had squatted itself in the Green-room. With one or
two exceptions, the artists who for some years had been the chief
pillars of that stage abandoned it for a rival establishment. With
the few hands who stuck by the old ship, it seemed scarcely possible
to make a fight. But at the most gloomy moment, when all seemed
desperate, a good genius came to the rescue. One Swede proved more
than an equivalent for half-a-dozen Italians, and impending ruin
was replaced by triumphant success. London presented the singular
spectacle--unprecedented, we believe, in any capital--of two enormous
theatres simultaneously open for the representation of Italian
operas. How it fares with the more modern establishment, we have
no positive knowledge. Not too well, we fear, judging from the
balance-sheet of a recent lessee. Should the experiment succeed, the
public will doubtless be the gainers. We shall be glad to learn that
all thrive and flourish; but meanwhile we are particularly pleased
to find that the more ancient temple of music and dance, endeared to
us by long habit, old associations, and much enjoyment, has risen,
at the very moment when ill-omened prophets predicted its fall, to
as high a pitch of excellence as, within our recollection, it ever
attained; and has escaped conversion to an equestrian circus, a
shilling concert room, a Radical debating hall, or any other of
the profane and degrading purposes to which of late years it has
been too much the fashion to apply the large London theatres. When
the enthusiasm excited by Jenny Lind, which at one time approached
infatuation, began to subside, and that amiable and charitable,
but--if rumour lie not--somewhat capricious lady, fluctuating between
matrimony and fame, at last took a middle course, and decided to
cross the Atlantic, Her Majesty's Theatre had another stroke of good
fortune. The Swede disappeared, but Germany came to the rescue. A
singer whose name recalls the most glorious days of the Opera, and
who, for nearly twenty years, had exchanged the artist's laurel
wreath for the coronet of a countess--the plaudits of Europe for the
ease and elegance of a court--was induced to return to the profession
of which, during the short time she in her youth had exercised it,
she had been one of the brightest ornaments.

The double interest excited by her brilliant talent as a vocalist,
and by the peculiar circumstances under which she has again sought
the scene of her former triumphs, has been so strong, that by this
time few can be unacquainted with the leading incidents of the
Countess Rossi's career. A humble origin, the precocious development
of an exquisite voice and of extraordinary aptitude for music, the
conquest with almost unexampled rapidity of a place beside the first
singers of the day, a few short years of theatrical triumphs, an
advantageous marriage, loss of fortune, return to the stage--and the
tale is told. Even in this meagre outline there is no slight savour
of the romantic. "The Countess Rossi," it has been truly observed by
a French writer, "has scarcely performed in any lyrical drama fuller
of incident and romance than her own life. For her the line of flame
which in theatres separates the real from the ideal world, has not
existed."[7] Doubtless the details of this accomplished lady's life
would be otherwise interesting than the bare outline of its leading
events with which the world is fain to content itself. Twenty-five
years, divided between the aristocracy of musical talent, and the
aristocracy of diplomacy and high birth, must afford rich materials
for autobiography. Nor would the period of her childhood be without
its strong attraction, were she able to remember, and pleased to
tell, of those days of infantine renown, when Coblenz and the banks
of Rhine rang with praises of the seven-year-old songstress, whose
parents, although they had the good sense to refuse the solicitations
of managers, anxious to produce the prodigy, would yet at times
place her on their table, and bid her sing for the gratification of
admiring friends. Her first appearance in public was at the age of
eleven, on the Darmstadt theatre; and perhaps even now that dullest
of German capitals remains in her memory as a place of brightness
and beauty, associated as it is with her early and complete success.
But little Henrietta was not yet to continue the career she had so
auspiciously begun. Hot theatres and unlimited praise composed a
dangerous atmosphere for one so young, and her next step was to the
Conservatory or great musical school at Prague, to the head of which
she speedily made her way. At the age of fourteen or fifteen her
proficiency in the various branches of her art was so great, that her
cautious parents had scarcely a pretext for withholding her longer
from the stage, which she manifestly was destined to adorn. Still
they hesitated, when accident cast the die. The _prima donna_ of the
Prague opera was taken ill: not of one of those fleeting maladies to
which singers and dancers are proverbially liable--and which appear
an hour or two after noon, to disappear in time for a late breakfast
next morning--but seriously, and without hope of speedy recovery. The
despairing manager appealed to the pity of the Sontags. His only hope
was in Henrietta, and Henrietta was allowed to appear upon the boards
of the Imperial Opera of Prague--a theatre to which immortality
is secured by the first performance of the _Nozze di Figaro_ and
the _Clemenza di Tito_ having taken place within its walls. From
a recently published and authentic sketch of Madame Sontag's
professional life,[8] we extract an account of her entrance.

  [7] Theophile Gautier, _L'Ambassadrice. Biographie de la Comtesse
  Rossi_. Paris: 1850.

  [8] _A Memoir of the Countess de Rossi_, (Madame Sontag.) London:

     "If nothing was wanting in courage, natural gifts of voice,
     and intellectual power, on the part of the child, as regards
     the height of her person there was a _mancamento_ of several
     inches. But the stage-manager was not oblivious of the means
     by which the Greeks gave altitude to their scenic heroes and
     heroines; and the little _prima donna_, to whom was assigned
     for her _début_ the principal female part in a translation of
     the favourite French opera _Jean de Paris_, was supplied with
     enormous cork heels. There was a time, at the court of Louis
     XV., when an inch and a half of red heel was the distinctive
     characteristic of a marquis, or of a lady of sufficient quality
     to be allowed to sit in the presence of royalty. On the
     occasion of the _début_ of Henriette Sontag, four inches of
     vermillion-coloured cork foreshadowed the rank of the little
     lady, destined to become one of the most absolute mimic queens
     of the lyrical world, and afterwards a real and much respected
     countess. When the singer who enacted the pompous seneschal in
     the opera of _Jean de Paris_ came forward, and said, 'It is no
     less a personage than the Princess of Navarre whose arrival
     I announce!' the applause and laughter was universal. When
     the little prodigy appeared on her cork pedestal, the house
     re-echoed with acclamations. As the business of the stage
     proceeded, the auditors found there was no longer any indulgence
     necessary on the score of age, but that there were claims
     on their admiration for a voice which, for purity, peculiar
     flute-like tone, and agility, has never been surpassed. The
     celebrated tenor, Gerstener, that night surpassed himself,
     finding he had to cope with the attraction of a new musical
     power. Many nights successively did she thus sing the Princess
     of Navarre, with increasing success, to crowded houses. Her next
     part was one far more difficult--that of the heroine in Paer's
     fine opera, _Sargin_. But the capital of Bohemia was not long
     to retain her. The Imperial court heard of her extraordinary
     success, and Henriette Sontag was summoned to Vienna, where she
     appeared, the very next season, at the German Opera."

Fraulein Sontag had not been long in the Austrian capital when the
eccentric Domenico Barbaja, then lessee of La Scala, the San Carlo,
and of the Italian Opera at Vienna, arrived there, incredulous of the
merits of the new _prima donna_. His incredulity must not be ascribed
to mere prejudice, for at that time Italy was generally believed to
have the monopoly of melodious throats; and even now the exceptions
are only just enough to prove the rule, at least as regards female
singers. Of these, Germany and Scandinavia have produced but three
who have acquired European reputation. The capricious but wonderfully
talented Gertrude Schmeling (La Mara,) who at nine years of age drew
large audiences at Vienna by her performance on the violin, who
afterwards achieved first-rate excellence on the piano, and then, for
nearly forty years, held undisputed sway, as unapproachable _prima
donna_, over the entire musical world--and whose name is almost as
celebrated by reason of the strange adventures and vicissitudes of
her life as on account of her astonishing voice and genius--is the
most ancient of these, and Madame Sontag and Jenny Lind complete
the trio. When at length prevailed upon to visit the German Opera,
Barbaja was astonished, and he immediately offered the young singer
an engagement for the San Carlo. This was declined, her parents
having a wholesome, perhaps an exaggerated, dread of the temptations
and perils that would await their daughter in the luxurious land of
Naples. Nay, so deeply rooted was the aversion of the honest Germans
for things Italian, that it was with the greatest difficulty Barbaja
could obtain their permission for Henrietta to appear at the Italian
Opera at Vienna. There she had colleagues worthy of herself--Rubini,
the prince of tenors, and the evergreen Lablache, with whom, after
an interval of five-and-twenty years, she is now again singing.
There also she heard Madame Mainvielle Fodor, by the study of whose
admirable style she greatly improved herself. Leipzig and Berlin
next witnessed her triumphs, and there she excited great enthusiasm
by her singing in Weber's operas of _Der Freischütz_ and _Euryanthe_.

     "The admirers of the genius of that great composer," says
     M. P. Scudo, in a lively, but not strictly correct sketch
     of Madame Sontag's career, inserted in the _Revue des Deux
     Mondes_, "consisted of the youth of the universities, and of
     all the ardent and generous spirits who desired to emancipate
     Germany intellectually as well as politically from foreign
     domination.... They were grateful to Mademoiselle Sontag for
     consecrating a magnificent voice, and a method rarely found
     beyond the Rhine, to the energetic and profound music of Weber,
     Beethoven, Spohr, and the new race of German composers, who had
     broken _all compact with foreign impiety_, and given an impulse
     to the national genius. Receiving universal homage, celebrated
     by wits, serenaded by students, and escorted by the huzzas of
     the German press, Mademoiselle Sontag was called to Berlin,
     where she made her appearance with immense success at the
     Koenigstadt Theatre. It was at Berlin, as is well known, that
     the _Freischütz_ was for the first time performed, in 1821. It
     was at Berlin, the Protestant and rationalist city, the centre
     of an intellectual and political movement which sought to absorb
     the activity of Germany at the expense of Vienna--that catholic
     capital, where the spirit of tradition, sensuality, the soft
     breezes and melodies of Italy reigned--it was at Berlin that
     the new school of dramatic music founded by Weber had taken
     the firmest hold. With enthusiasm, as the inspired interpreter
     of the national music, Mademoiselle Sontag was there welcomed.
     The disciples of Hegel took her for the text of their learned
     commentaries, and hailed, in her limpid and sonorous voice, _the
     subjective confounded with the objective in an absolute unity_!
     The old King of Prussia received her at his court with paternal
     goodness. There it was that diplomacy had the opportunity to
     approach Mademoiselle Sontag, and to make an impression on the
     heart of the muse."

With all deference to M. Scudo, who is rather smart than accurate, we
will remark that the applause of the Berliners was elicited less by
the nationality of the music than by the excellence of the singing;
and that they were perfectly satisfied to listen to translations of
Rossini, and to the music then in vogue in the other chief opera
houses of Europe. Doubtless they were proud of their countrywoman;
and their jealousy and indignation were highly excited when, after
a visit to Paris, she came back to Berlin with the avowed intention
of returning to the French capital. This raised a storm, and on her
first appearance at the Koenigstadt, she was received, probably for
the first and last time in her life, with a storm of groans and
hisses. So violent was the tumult that the other actors left the
stage in alarm; but the Sontag remained, strong in her right and
regardless of the unmerited hurricane of censure, and of the almost
menacing adjurations addressed to her by the audience to break off
with the French, and remain in her own country. At last, hopeless
of making an impression on the resolute young lady, the incensed
Prussians calmed themselves, and from that night to the day of her
departure she was as popular as ever.

At Paris was fully confirmed the favourable judgment passed upon
Mademoiselle Sontag at Prague, Vienna, and Berlin. And, in one
respect, her triumph there was more important and complete than any
she had previously enjoyed--more important, not so much on account of
the superior critical acumen and taste of her hearers, as by reason
of the formidable rivals with whom she had to compete. We are far
from belonging to that class of persons--a class confined, as we
believe, almost exclusively to France--which holds the favourable
verdict of the Parisian musical world the most difficult to obtain,
and the most flattering to the artist, of any in Europe. This notion
has been diligently set abroad by the Parisians themselves, who,
with characteristic self-complacency, look upon their tribunal as
the court of last appeal in matters of art and music. The only solid
ground upon which such a presumption can plausibly be sustained, is
the fact that Paris (by its gaiety and central position the European
metropolis of pleasure) annually assembles,--or did assemble, before
recent disastrous follies closed its saloons and deterred foreign
visitors--a very large portion of the intellectual and art-loving
of all countries. Upon this basis rests the sole claim of Paris
to fastidiousness and infallibility of judgment. This only can
give superior value to the laurel wreaths bestowed in the Salle
Ventadour, or the Rue Lepelletier, over those that may be acquired
in half-a-dozen other European opera houses. As regards the worth
of the verdict of an exclusively French audience, we confess that,
when we see the crowds that are attracted, and the enthusiasm that
is excited, by the usually flimsy and second-rate music given at
the _Opera Comique_, (for many years past unquestionably the most
uniformly prosperous and popular of the Paris musical theatres,) we
incline to answer in the affirmative the question put by one of the
shrewdest and wittiest of Frenchmen, whether the French nation be not
rather song-loving than musical?[9] But if Mademoiselle Sontag, after
conquering the unbounded applause of Vienna and Berlin audiences,
and the suffrage of so keen a connoisseur as Barbaja, had no need
to dread the ordeal of Parisian criticism, on the other hand she
well might feel trepidation at thoughts of the competitors she was
about to encounter, foremost amongst whom were the great names of
Pasta, Pisaroni, and Malibran. In presence of such a trio, any but a
first-rate talent must have succumbed and fallen back into the rear
rank. Not so did the Sontag, but at once took and kept her place on
a level with those great singers. It was with Malibran, the ardent,
warm-hearted, passionate Spaniard, that she was brought into most
frequent comparison. But although many tales have been told of the
bitterness of their rivalry, these have been suggested by probability
or malice, not by fact; for, from a very early period of their
acquaintance, a sincere friendship existed between them. The Countess
de Merlin, in her memoir of Malibran, gives the following account of
its origin:--

     "The presence of Mademoiselle Sontag at the Italian Theatre
     was fresh stimulus for Maria's talent, and contributed to its
     perfection. Each time that the former obtained a brilliant
     triumph, Maria wept and exclaimed, '_Mon Dieu!_ why does she
     sing so well?' Then from those tears sprang a beauty and
     sublimity of harmony, of which the public had the benefit.
     It was the ardent desire of amateurs to hear these two
     charming artists sing together in the same opera; but they
     mutually feared each other, and for some time the much-coveted
     gratification was deferred. One night they met at a concert at
     my house; a sort of plot had been laid, and towards the middle
     of the concert they were asked to sing the duet in _Tancredi_.
     For a few moments they showed fear, hesitation; but at last
     they yielded, and approached the piano, amidst the acclamations
     of all present. They both seemed agitated and disturbed, and
     observant of each other; but presently the conclusion of
     the symphony fixed their attention, and the duet begun. The
     enthusiasm their singing excited was so vivid and so equally
     divided, that at the end of the duet, and in the midst of the
     applause, they gazed at each other, bewildered, delighted,
     astonished; and by a spontaneous movement, an involuntary
     attraction, their hands and lips met, and a kiss of peace was
     given and received with all the vivacity and sincerity of youth.
     The scene was charming, and has assuredly not been forgotten by
     those who witnessed it."[10]

  [9] Beaumarchais, in his admirable preface to the opera of _Tarare_.

  [10] _Madame Malibran_, par la COMTESSE MERLIN. Paris: 1838.

The good understanding thus brought about was permanent, and many
proofs of it are on record. From that time forward Sontag and
Malibran frequently sang together, both in Paris and London, and
displayed an amiability very rare amongst operatic celebrities,
in respect to distribution of parts, and to other points which
often prove a prolific source of strife behind the scenes. In the
little English memoir already referred to, we find some anecdotes
illustrative of the kindly feeling between the blue-eyed soprano and
the dark-browed contralto. Towards the close of the London opera
season of 1829, Malibran one day met Donzelli, the celebrated tenor,
with discontent stamped upon his features. She asked the cause of his
vexation. The time was at hand for his benefit, he said, and he had
been unable to fix on an attractive opera.

     "'Have you thought of nothing?' inquired Malibran.

     "'Yes; I had thought of the _Matrimonio Segreto_; but Pisaroni
     says she is quite ugly enough without playing Fidalma: and then
     you would not be included in the cast; and I don't know what
     opera to choose in which you would not have the second part to
     Mademoiselle Sontag's first--that would not please you, and I am
     in despair.'

     "'Well,' said Malibran, 'to please you, and to show you I would
     play any part with Sontag, I will play Fidalma.'

     "'What, old Fidalma? You are joking!'

     "'To prove that I am in earnest, announce it this very day.'"

The opera was announced; Malibran was as good as her word, and played
the old aunt admirably: not as Fidalma has since been sometimes
misrepresented by singers who sacrificed scenic truth to their own
coquetry, but with the due allowance of wrinkles and the antiquated
costume appropriate to the part.

Some time previously to the date of this last-recorded incident,
Mademoiselle Sontag had twice changed her name. The old King of
Prussia, informed of her projected marriage with a Sardinian nobleman
and diplomatist, to whose sovereign it was possible that her humble
birth might be objectionable, ennobled her under the name and title
of Mademoiselle de Launstein, which she soon afterwards abandoned for
that of Countess de Rossi. Her first visit to England was subsequent
to her marriage, then kept private, although pretty generally known.
She first sang in this country at a concert at Devonshire House,
her passage to which was through a throng of gazers, drawn together
by her reputation for grace, beauty, and musical genius. A few days
afterwards, on Tuesday the 15th April 1828, occurred her appearance
at the London Opera, in the character of Rosina, in the _Barbiere
di Seviglia_. For two seasons she sang in London; then in Berlin
and St Petersburg; and then, the King of Sardinia having authorised
her husband to declare his marriage, she left the stage--for ever,
as she doubtless thought. But in days when kings are discarded,
constitutions annulled, and empires turned upside down at a few
hours' notice, who shall presume to foretell his fate? For eighteen
years Madame de Rossi adorned the various courts to which her husband
was successively accredited as ambassador. The Hague, Frankfort,
St Petersburg, Berlin, each in turn welcomed and cherished her.
Then came the storm: her fortune was swallowed up; her husband's
diplomatic prospects were injured; she thought of her children,
and sacrificed herself--if sacrifice it is to be called, by which,
whilst fulfilling what she feels to be her duty to her family, she
may reckon on speedily retrieving the pecuniary losses consequent on
German and Sardinian revolutions.

     "The position of an actress," says a clever French theatrical
     critic, in a pamphlet already quoted, "is a very singular
     one, even in these days, when prejudice is supposed to have
     disappeared. She is a mark for applause and adulation, for gold
     and flowers; she is intoxicated with incense and persecuted
     by lovers; the gravest personages enact follies for her sake;
     men unharness her horses, and carry her in triumph; the crowns
     refused to great poets are thrown to her in profusion; the
     homage that would be servile, done to a queen, seems quite
     natural when offered to a prima donna. Only, she must not cross
     the row of lamps which flame at her feet like a magic circle.
     From the ivory or golden throne of her lyric empire she may
     demand what she pleases; but let her attempt to overstep the
     limit, to take her place in the drawing-room by the side of
     one of those ladies who applaud her to the bursting of their
     white gloves, and who pluck the bouquets from their bosoms to
     throw to her, and what a change is there! How haughty now the
     mien of those who so lately admired! What chilling reserve;
     what insulting politeness; what a deep and sudden line of
     demarcation! A polar breeze has succeeded to the warm breath of
     enthusiasm; frost has replaced flowers; the idol is no longer
     even a woman, but a _creature_.

     "Some of those singers who are adored amongst the most
     celebrated and beautiful, imagine that they go into society,
     because, on certain nights, when camelias deck the staircases
     and lustres sparkle to the wax-lights, when a crowd throngs the
     saloons and obstructs the entrance, they are allowed to present
     themselves, between eleven and twelve o'clock, at everybody's
     hour, at the hour of uncared-for acquaintances and friends one
     does not know. But, on their appearance, how quickly is the
     music-book opened, how speedily are they manœuvred towards
     the piano or singing desk, how pitilessly is every possible note
     extracted from these fine singers! If by chance, instead of
     _roulades_, they venture upon conversation, and aspire to enjoy
     the pleasures of elegant and polite society, how quickly comes
     the cloud on the brow of the fair hostess! How evident is it
     that, in admitting the singer, she excludes the woman! Let the
     best received presume to have a cold, and she will soon see!

     "A prima donna may obtain everything in the world except one
     thing. For a smile, for a glance, for a single pearl from her
     string of notes, for a single rose-leaf from her bouquet, she
     shall have guineas, rubles, bundles of bank-notes, marble
     palaces, equipages that kings might envy; the heirs of ancient
     houses shall give her the castles of their ancestors, and efface
     their fathers' scutcheon to substitute her cipher. But what she
     shall not have, and what she never will have is a quarter of an
     hour's conversation at the chimney corner, in a tone neither too
     polite nor too familiar, on a footing of equality with a great
     lady and an honest woman.

     "The Countess de Rossi has attained this marvellous result;
     and certainly, to those who know the invincible obstacles
     she had to overcome, her talent as a singer will appear but
     a secondary quality. None can tell all the judgment, tact,
     reserve, sagacity, delicacy, intuition, the various qualities,
     in short, that have been required to accomplish this most
     difficult metamorphosis of the actress into the woman of good
     society.... To behold the prima donna an ambassadress is strange
     and striking; but still more so is it to see the ambassadress,
     after twenty years passed in the highest spheres of life, on
     an equality with all that is most brilliant and illustrious in
     nobility and diplomacy, again become a prima donna, taking up
     her success where she had left it, continuing in womanhood what
     she had begun in early youth, resuming her part in that duet
     where Malibran, alas! is now missing, and reconquering applause
     greater perhaps than that of former days. Time has flown for all
     of us, except for her. Europe has been revolutionised, a throne
     has crumbled, a republic has replaced the monarchy; but that
     one thing, so frail, so fleeting, so aërial, that a nothing can
     annihilate it--that crystal bell which the slightest shock may
     crack or shiver, the voice of a songstress--has preserved itself
     unimpaired; in that pure organ still vibrate the silver notes of

M. Gautier is well known to be a man of wit and talent; in the
passages from his pen, whose spirit and letter we have here done our
best to render, he gives proof of keen observation and good feeling.
But whilst implying his sympathy with the musical artist, who, like
Tantalus, beholds but may not partake, and whose admittance to the
saloons of good society is as a show, not as a guest, he forgets
even to glance at the causes of such exclusion, necessary as a rule,
but doubtless admitting of exceptions. He omits reference to the
laxity of usages and morals which, although perhaps less so than
formerly, is still the frequent characteristic of theatrical and
musical professors, and which causes them to be, as he shows, kept
at arm's length in good French society. In this country--in such
matters the least facile and tolerant of any--there is still greater
scruple of admitting singers and actresses, however eminent their
talent, to the intercourse even of those classes into which, but for
their profession, they would have a right to admission. Exceptions
have occasionally, and with much propriety, been made, and royalty
itself has been known to set the example. But only under the peculiar
circumstances of Madame de Rossi's eventful career--only in presence
of a reputation which the breath of scandal has never dared assail,
and of social qualities and graces which render her an acquisition to
any circle--can it occur to a singer to pass from the boards of the
Opera to the most exclusive of London's saloons, to be welcomed as
an equal by those who, a few minutes previously, applauded her as an

With respect to Madame Sontag's voice and talent, it is unnecessary
to be diffuse. Few comprehend, and still fewer care for, the jargon
of contrapuntal criticism, whether applied to a singer or an
opera; and for those few, abundant food is continually supplied by
_dilettanti_ more profound and scientific than ourselves. Purity,
sweetness, flexibility, are the most prominent characteristics of
Madame Sontag's voice; her execution is extraordinarily brilliant,
correct and elegant, and supremely easy. No appearance of effort
ever distresses her audience; the most difficult passages are
achieved without the swelling of a vein, the strain of a muscle, or
the slightest contortion of her agreeable countenance. Although
excelling in those _tours-de-force_ which captivate the multitude,
and skilled to decorate the composer's theme with an embroidery of
sweet sounds as intricate as graceful, she also well knows how to
captivate the true connoisseur by her exquisite taste and sobriety
in rendering simple melodies, and such music as would be the worse
for adornment. We commenced this paper with a determination to avoid
comparisons, and we shall therefore make none: but assuredly Madame
Sontag need fear none. In her own style she is quite unrivalled.
That style we consider to be more particularly the genteel comedy
of opera--a combination of sentiment with gaiety and grace. In her
younger days she was considered less successful in more impassioned
parts, but this is no longer the case. None who have witnessed her
admirable personation of Amina, Linda, and Elvira, will tax her with
want of soul and of dramatic energy; and we scarcely know whether to
prefer her in those parts, or in the gayer ones of Rosina, Susanna,
and Norina--which last character, peculiarly adapted to her arch
and ladylike style of acting, she has made her own as completely
as Lablache has identified himself with that of her elderly and
disappointed wooer. To say the truth, when we first heard of Madame
Sontag's expected return to the stage, it was with no pleasurable
feeling. The reappearance of a singer after twenty years' absence can
in few instances be other than a melancholy sight. It is mournful to
listen to the efforts of a deteriorated voice that one has known in
its melodious freshness. But an agreeable disappointment awaited all
who ventured such unpleasant anticipations with respect to Madame
Sontag. Her early campaign had been so short that she was yet in her
vigorous prime when she returned, a veteran in fame but not in age
or voice. Amidst various statements of her age, the most favourable
give her forty-one years, whilst the least so add but two or three to
that number. The subject is a delicate one, and we are too happy to
give her the benefit of the doubt, which she is the more entitled to
that neither on nor off the stage does she look even the least of the
ages assigned to her. This would make her but three years older than
Madame Grisi, who first saw the light, if theatrical records tell
truth, in 1812, and in whose voice none, that we are aware of, have
as yet pretended to discover a falling off. Whether twenty years of
almost constant exercise, or the same period of comparative repose,
be most favourable to the preservation of the singing faculties, we
shall not decide. Madame Sontag, however, has never risked by disuse
the rusting of her fine organ. At the different courts at which she
resided, she invariably showed the utmost complaisance, and willingly
contributed, for the pleasure of her friends--and, on occasion, for
the purposes of charity--those treasures of song for which managers,
before and since, have been glad to pay a prince's ransom. This
season her voice is even fresher and more flexible than in 1849; and
there can be no reason why the opera-loving public should not, for
many years to come, applaud her as their chief favourite--unless,
indeed, the very high rate of remuneration her talent commands
should, by speedily realising her object in returning to the stage,
induce her soon to quit it. We believe it is no secret that her
present engagement secures her about fourteen thousand pounds for
twelve months' performances--about thrice the salary of a secretary
of state. The sum is a very satisfactory one; and, whatever the
fortune Madame Sontag has lost, she has evidently at her disposal the
means of rapidly amassing another of no mean amount. Who will give
the odds that we do not again see her an ambassadress?

A host in herself, Madame Sontag is powerfully seconded. The
management of the Opera House, aware of the danger of trusting for
success to any one singer, however eminent, to the neglect of that
general excellence essential to an effective operatic company, has
shown great activity, and has been exceedingly fortunate, in filling
those vacancies left by the defections already alluded to. Of first
appearances, the most remarkable this season has been that of a
young tenor, who has at once taken a very high place amongst that
rare class of singers. Since Mario made his debut, a dozen years
ago, on the boards of the _Académie Royale_, Beaucarde is the only
pure tenor who has come forward that can fairly be considered a
first-rate. Mario, although his debut was decidedly successful, was
little appreciated for some time after his first appearance, and,
when desirous to transfer himself to the Italian stage, the manager
of the French Opera readily cancelled his engagement on a nominal
forfeit. The world knows the excellence, both as actor and singer,
to which he has since attained. Beaucarde has come before the London
public with more experience of the stage than Mario possessed when
he first presented himself to the Parisians, and he has become
immediately highly and most deservedly popular. Could any doubt of
his excellence have existed in the minds of those who had heard him
in other parts, his singing and acting of _Arturo_ in the _Puritani_
must at once have dissipated them. Tenderness and elegance marked
his delivery of the whole of that graceful music, which displayed
his beautiful quality of voice to the utmost advantage. Beaucarde
is a very young man, and a very young singer. His father, a French
engineer officer, who had settled at Florence after Napoleon's
fall, intended him for a painter; but his own bias was for music,
the study of which he secretly and enthusiastically pursued. It is
not yet two years since his father's death left him at liberty to
follow his own inclinations. With great difficulty he obtained an
engagement at a second-rate theatre in his native city. There he was
so little appreciated that, after being several months before the
public, he was refused the very humble salary of two hundred pounds
a-year. He was not discouraged. Perhaps he thought of Rubini--how
that tenor of tenors, in his early days, could obtain no better
place wherein to warble than a squalid booth at a country festival.
Many who knew him in his after period of unrivalled prosperity
and renown, will remember, in that room full of trophies, amidst
plate and jewels bestowed upon him by kings and emperors, where the
eye was dazzled with the glitter of gold and diamonds, a certain
picture frame which he was wont to turn round and exhibit to his
admiring visitors, who beheld with astonishment on its reverse
the announcement of his performance at a fair, admission a single
_soldo_--in English currency, a halfpenny. With such an instance
before his eyes, Beaucarde might well persevere. At Florence, Romani,
the celebrated musical professor, heard him sing, and insisted upon
giving him lessons--by which, however, he did not long profit,
having accepted an engagement at a Neapolitan minor opera. At Naples
he speedily ascended in the scale, and finally made his debut with
complete success at the San Carlo. Mercadante, struck by the beauty
of his voice, immediately offered his services as his instructor;
but, like Romani, he did not long retain his pupil. Perhaps it was
as well he did not; for, whatever Beaucarde might have gained in
modish art under his tuition, would have been at the expense of that
chaste simplicity which now characterises his style, constituting,
in our opinion, one of its greatest merits. How far the taste of his
present public will suffer that extreme refinement of style to be
compatible with his permanent and complete popularity, may be matter
of doubt. The London opera is indebted for his acquisition to the
veteran Lablache, who, whilst indulging in a vacation ramble through
his old haunts, heard him at the San Carlo, and brought news of his
excellence from the shores of the Mediterranean to the banks of the

Calzolari, a remarkably sweet singer and graceful actor, and Sims
Reeves, complete such a trio of tenors as has not often been united
at one opera house. Mr Reeves' reception on the stage of the Italian
theatre has certainly not been the less favourable on account of his
being of home growth; and the same remark applies to Miss Catherine
Hayes, a delightful singer, who will do well to pay attention to her
acting. We make this remark in no unfriendly spirit: we are amongst
the warm admirers of Miss Hayes' voice and talent, but we have seen
her in parts whose dramatic requirements she seemed somewhat to
overlook. It may express our meaning to say that she at times reminds
us of the concert room. Upon the stage this should never be. We may
instance her performance of Cherubino. Her singing in that charming
part was excellent; her delivery of the thrilling and impassioned
air, _Voi che sapete_, left nothing to wish for, and elicited as
fervent an encore from a very crowded house as the most ambitious
could desire. But as to illusion, we are bound to confess there was
little enough--what with the ladylike calmness of her acting, and
the epicene costume in which she thought proper to appear. We beheld
before us a graceful young woman and an excellent singer--but of the
wilful and enamoured page we had but glimpses. A little more spirit,
and a little less satin, would have been a decided improvement. Of
course we are all cognisant of the "wild sweet-briery fence" which,
Mr Moore asserts, environs the beauties of Erin. But is it quite
necessary that Miss Hayes should interpret the metaphor into feminine
attire when she plays a male part?

We are unable, nor is it necessary, individually to criticise all
the members of the Italian company now performing at her Majesty's
Theatre, and which, in all respects, is excellent and most effective.
There is one other singer, however, who must have a word of mention,
were it only that he was the indirect means of making the English
public acquainted with Jenny Lind. Belletti was formerly engaged
at the opera at Stockholm, and was a great favourite with the late
king, Bernadotte. Jenny Lind heard him, and his admirable method and
acting at once revealed to her the treasures of the Italian school.
She saw that she had much to acquire, and departed for Paris to
study. But Belletti has a claim to other than second-hand gratitude.
His singing and acting are alike first-rate. Nothing can be better
than his Figaro; in less important characters he is equally careful
and efficient. His forte is in _buffo_ parts, where his rich mellow
voice and contagious merriment are greatly relished. He will probably
become--we will not say popular, for that he already is in the
highest degree, but an indispensable member of the London company. We
regret to learn that he is shortly to accompany Miss Lind to America,
and trust his absence will not be of long duration.

Can we close this enumeration without a word of our old acquaintance,
Luigi Lablache? Surely a small corner may be found for the great man,
who flourishes in unabated vigour, in spite of accumulating years
and, as we fancy, annually increasing bulk. There is a geniality
and a joviality about this long-standing pillar of the opera, which
never fails of its effect upon his public. Probably no foreign actor
ever enlisted so uniformly and heartily the goodwill of an English
audience; and his popularity, although of course augmented by his
vocal merits, is by no means dependent on them. We lately somewhere
encountered a hypercritical comment upon his acting, in which he
was accused of condescending to buffoonery. Never was charge more
unfounded and absurd. One of the most remarkable characteristics of
Lablache is the extreme skill with which he draws the line between
humour and vulgarity; the perfect good taste distinguishing his
drolleries and occasional deviations from the letter of his part.
The practice of now and then introducing a French or English word or
sentence in an Italian opera, for the purpose of producing a comic
effect, is one that certainly should only be indulged with great
discretion; but in this, and in all other respects, we may be sure
that any dereliction from correct taste would promptly be detected
and reproved by so sensitive an audience as that of her Majesty's
Theatre. But from his first appearance in London, in 1829, to the
present day, an instance, we believe, was never known of a sally of
Lablache not obtaining at least a smile--far oftener a hearty laugh.
In him the rich Italian humour of the _buffo Napolitano_, the droll
of the San Carlino, still exists, happily tempered and modified
by the gentlemanly tact of the experienced comedian. Long may the
colossus of bassos preserve his voice and his good humour! His loss
would be sorely felt, and his place be hard to fill. Who, after him,
shall dare undertake Dulcamara and Pasquale? One thing certain is,
that, whenever fulness of years or pocket may detach him from the
stage he has so long adorned, to bask away his old age, with dignity
and ease, in some sunny Italian town, the public of London and
Paris, accustomed to his annual presence amongst them, will regret,
in Lablache, not less the accomplished actor than the amiable and
kind-hearted man.

We have not room for any particular review of the operas that have
been this year performed; and, for the same reason, we can give
but a few words to the chief novelty announced. We refer to the
forthcoming opera of the _Tempest_, whose composition devolved,
after the death of Mendelssohn, upon Halévy, the youngest, and
one of the most distinguished, of living French composers. Scribe
has supplied the poem. Upon his merits as a librettist it were
superfluous to expatiate; it were perhaps more necessary, did it
come within the scope of this paper, to correct the popular error
that, compared with the music, the libretto of an opera is of
little or no consequence. That kind of poetry has certainly been
much degraded by the incapacity of many who have presumptuously
undertaken it. Good writers of librettos are even more rare than good
composers. Since Metastasio's day, those who alone can fairly claim
a place in the first rank are Romani, Da Ponte, (the librettist of
Don Giovanni,) and Scribe, that able and indefatigable purveyor of
the stage, to whom English managers and playwrights owe so heavy a
debt of gratitude--a debt which they are not always very prompt to
acknowledge. Mendelssohn, when he agreed to compose an opera on the
_Tempest_, stipulated that the libretto should be confided to Scribe,
who willingly undertook it, and afterwards declared that he knew few
subjects so well adapted for music. This opinion, proceeding from
a man who, amongst the various classes of theatrical composition
in which he has succeeded, is considered to have been especially
successful in that of libretti--so much so, indeed, that it has been
asserted he owed more than one vote, at his election as member of the
French Academy, to their excellence alone--is of no slight weight.
Nor were it reasonable to doubt that the composer of the _Juive_ and
of _Guido et Ginevra_, who seems to have caught, especially in the
last-named opera, no feeble spark of the inspiration of his brother
Israelite, the great Meyerbeer, will have succeeded in clothing the
verse of Scribe in music correspondingly worthy.

We must conclude without even touching upon the ballet. It needs no
praise from us: the names alone of Carlotta Grisi, Marie Taglioni,
and Amalia Ferraris, are sufficient guarantee of its excellence.
Perhaps upon some future day we may be able to discuss its merits.




As soon as you near St Helena by a few miles, the trade-wind falls
light; and making the rock, as you do from the South Atlantic, a
good deal to leeward of the harbour, 'twould be pretty slow work
beating round to north-east, but for the breeze always coming off
the height, with the help of which one can coast easy enough along.
Captain Wallis said no more than to bid the first lieutenant make the
brig's number at her mast-head, while she still bore in direct upon
the breast of the land, as much out of soundings as the day before;
the smooth heavy swell seeming to float the island up in one huge
lump ahead of us, till you saw it rolling in to the very foot, with a
line of surf, as if it all rose sheer out of the bottom of the sea;
as grim and hard as a block of iron, too, and a good deal the same
colour. By noon, it hung fairly as it were over our mast-heads, the
brig looking by comparison as tiny and as ticklish as a craft made
of glass; she coasting away round, with yards braced first one way
then another, and opening point after point from three hundred to
two thousand feet high; while at times she would go stealing in with
a faint ripple at her bows, near enough to hear the deep sound of
the sea plunging slowly to the face of the rock, where the surf rose
white against it without a break. There wasn't so much as a weed to
be seen, the rocks getting redder and more coppery, sending out the
light like metal, till you'd have thought they tingled all over with
the heat. Then as you opened another bulge in the line, the sharp
sugar-loaf hills, far away up, with the ragged cliffs and crags, shot
over against the bare white sky in all sort of shapes; and after a
good long spell of the sea, there was little fancy needed to give one
the notion they were changing into these, as we passed ahead, to mock
you. There was one peak for all the world like the top of St Paul's,
and no end of church spires and steeples, all lengths and ways; then
big bells and trumpets, mixed with wild-beasts' heads, grinning
at each other across some split in the blue beyond, and soldier's
helmets--not to speak of one huge block, like a Nigger's face with a
cowl behind it, hanging far out over the water. Save for the colour
of it all, in fact, St Helena reminds one more of a tremendous
iceberg than an island, and not the less that it looks ready in some
parts to topple over and show a new face; while the sea working
round it, surging into the hollows below water-mark, and making
the air groan inside of them, keeps up a noise the like of which
you wouldn't wish to cruise alongside of every day. The strangest
thing about it, however, was that now and then, as you came abreast
of some deep gully running up inland, a sudden blast of wind would
rush out of it, sufficient to make the Podargus reel--with a savage
thundering roar, too, like the howl out of a lion's mouth; while you
looked far up a narrow, bare black glen, closing into a hubbub of red
rocks, or losing itself up a grey hill-side in a white thread of a
water-course; then the rough shell of the island shut in again, as
still as before, save the light breeze and the deep hum of the surf
along its foot. Curiously enough in a latitude like St Helena's, the
island seems, as it were, a perfect bag of air. What with the heat
of the rock, its hollow inside, the high peaks of it catching the
clouds, and the narrow outlets it has, 'tis always brewing wind, you
may say, to ventilate that part of the tropics--just as one may keep
up cold draughts through and through a wet heap of loose stones,
no matter how hot the weather is, as long as he pleases. As for a
landing-place, though, there wasn't one of the gullies that didn't
yawn over without falling to the sea; and not to mention the surf
underneath, where the dark swell came in unbroken from deep water
without a shoal to soften it, why, watching it from the brig's side,
I shouldn't have said a cat would scramble up or down the steep
slopes and the wreck of stones, from the water's edge to the jaws of
the easiest gully you saw.

Once or twice, standing further off, we caught sight of Diana's Peak
over the shoulder of a hill, with the light haze melting about it;
at last you noticed a large gun mounted against the sky on a lofty
peak, where it looked like a huge telescope; and on clearing another
headland, a beautiful frigate came in between us and the burst of
light to seaward, cruising to windward under easy sail. She bore up
and stood towards the brig-of-war, just as the line of wall was to be
seen winding round the middle of Sugar-Loaf Point, where the sentry's
bayonet glittered near his watch-box, and the soldiers' red coats
could be seen moving through the covered passage to the batteries.
Five minutes after, the Podargus swept round the breast of Rupert's
Hill into the bay, in sight of James Town and the ships lying off the
harbour; cluing up her sails and ready to drop anchor, as the frigate
hove to not far astern.

You can fancy land heaving in sight after thrice as many weeks as
you've been at sea, ladies; or the view of a ship to a man that's
been long laid up in bed ashore; or a gulp of fresh water in a sandy
desert,--but I question if any of them matches your first glimpse of
James Town from the roadstead, like a bright piece of fairy-work in
the mouth of the narrow brown valley, after seeing desolation enough
to make you wish for a clear horizon again. More especially this
time, when all the while one couldn't help bringing to mind one's
notion of the French Emperor, how, not long ago, the sight of the
French coast, or a strange frigate over the Channel swell, used to
make us think of him far ashore, with half the earth for his own,
and millions of soldiers. We reefers down in the cockpit would save
our grog to drink confusion to Napoleon, and in a rough night near a
lee-shore, it was look alive aloft, or choose betwixt cold brine and
the clutch of a gendarme hauling you to land. I do believe we looked
upon him as a sort of god, as Captain Wallis did in the Temple; every
ship or gun-boat we saw taken, or had a hand in the mauling of, why,
'twas for the sheer sake of the thing, and scarce by way of harm to
Boney; while nothing like danger, from breakers on the lee-bow to a
November gale, but had seemingly a taste of him. None of us any more
thought of bringing him to this, than we did of his marching into
London, or of a French frigate being able to rake our old Pandora in
a set-to on green water or blue, with us to handle her.

But _there_ was the neat little cluster of houses, white, yellow, and
green, spreading down close together in the bottom of the valley, and
out along the sea's edge; the rough brown cliffs sloping up on each
side, with the ladder-like way to the fort on the right, mounting,
as it were, out of the very street, to the flag-staff on the top,
and dotted with red-coats going up and down; a bright line of a pier
and a wall before the whole, the Government House dazzling through
a row of spreading trees, and a little square church tower to be
seen beyond. 'Twas more like a scene in a play, than aught else;
what with the suddenness of it all, the tiny look of it betwixt the
huge rocks, the greenness of the trees and bushes, and patches of
garden struggling up as far as they could go into the stone, and the
gay little toys of cottages, with scarce flat enough to stand upon:
save for the blue swell of the sea plunging lazily in through the
bit of a bay, and the streak of air behind, that let you in high
over the head of the hollow, up above one height and another, to a
flat-headed blue rise in the distance, where Longwood could be seen
from the main-cross-trees I had gone to as the sails were furled. The
sunlight, striking from both the red sides of the ravine, made the
little village of a place, trees and all, glitter in a lump together,
out of it, like no spot in the rest of the world; while elsewhere
there wasn't so much as a weed to be seen hanging from the rock, nor
the sign of another human habitation, saving the bare batteries on
each hand, with a few sheds and warehouses over the beach along the
landing-place. Once or twice the same sudden gust as before would
come slap down through the valley into the brig's bare rigging, hot
as the air was, with a howling kind of a sigh you took some time to
get accustomed to, lest there was a hurricane to follow: in fact
one didn't well know whether it was the wild look of it outside, or
the lovely spot in its grim mouth of a landing-place, but the whole
island gave you the notion of a thing you couldn't be long sure of,
without fancying it would give a shake some day or other again; or
else spout fire, as no doubt it had done before, if there wasn't more
fear of Napoleon getting back somehow to France, and wreaking bloody
vengeance on the kings that shut him up in St Helena.

There was apparently a busy scene ashore, however, both in the little
town, which has scarce more than a single street, and along the quay,
full of residents, as well as passengers from two Indiamen lying
in-shore of us, while the Government esplanade seemed to be crowded
with ladies, listening to the regimental band under the trees. The
Newcastle frigate, with Sir Dudley Aldcombe's flag hoisted at her
mizen, was at anchor out abreast at Ladder Hill; and our first
lieutenant had scarce pulled aboard of the Hebe, which was hove-to
off the brig's quarter, before I noticed the Admiral's barge lying
alongside the Hebe. Seeing Mr Aldridge on his way back shortly after,
I came down the rigging, more anxious than ever to have my own matter
settled; indeed, Captain Wallis no sooner caught sight of my face,
uncomfortable as I daresay it looked, than he told me he was going
to wait on the Admiral aboard the Hebe, and would take me with him
at once, if I chose. For my part, I needed nothing but the leave,
and in ten minutes time I found myself, no small mark of curiosity,
betwixt the waist and the quarterdeck of the Hebe, where the officers
eyed me with as little appearance of rudeness as they could help,
and I overhauled the spars and rigging aloft as coolly as I could,
waiting to be sent for below. The Hebe, in fact, was the very beauty
of a twenty-eight; taking the shine, and the wind, too, clean out of
everything even at Plymouth, where I had seen her once a year or two
before: our poor dear old Iris herself had scarce such a pattern of
a hull, falling in, as it did, from the round swell of her bilge, to
just under the plank-sheer, and spreading out again with her bright
black top-sides, till where the figurehead shot over the cut-water,
and out of her full pair of bows, like a swan's neck out of its
breast. As for the Iris, our boatswain himself one day privately
confessed to me, almost with tears in his eyes, that she tumbled home
a thought too much just in front of the fore-chains, and he'd tried
to get it softened off with dead planking and paint, but it wouldn't
do; everybody saw through them. The truth was, to feel this fine ship
under one, with her loose topsails hanging high against the gloom of
the red gully towards Longwood, and the gay little town peeping just
over her larboard bow, a mile away, it somehow or other cleared one's
mind of a load. I was thinking already how, if one had the command of
such a craft, to do something with her at sea--hang it! but surely
that old Judge couldn't be too proud to give him a fair hearing. By
Jove! thought I--had one only wild enough weather, off the Cape,
say--if I wouldn't undertake to bother even a seventy-four a whole
voyage through, till she struck her flag; in which case a fellow
might really venture to hold his head up and speak his mind, lovely
as Violet Hyde would be in Calcutta. But then, again, _there_ was St
Helena towering red and rough over the ships, with the grand French
Emperor hidden in it hard and fast, and all the work he used to give
us at an end!

Just at the moment, happening to catch sight of the American mate's
sallow black visage over the brig-of-war's hammock-cloths, peering
as he did from the cliffs to the lofty spars of the frigate, while
his Negro shipmates were to be made out nearer the bows--somehow
or other the whole affair of their being burnt out and picked up
started into my mind again, along with our late queer adventures in
the Indiaman. Not to mention Captain Wallis's story, it flashed upon
me all at once, for the first time, that the strange schooner was
after some scheme as regarded the island; and a man more likely to
try something uncommon than the Frenchman, I never had seen yet. The
truth was, but for my thoughts being otherwise taken up, I'd have
wondered at my own confounded stupidity in not fathoming the thing
sooner; whereas now, I'm not going to deny it, I half began actually
to wish him good success, or else a close miss of it, where either
way one couldn't well fail having a share in the squall. At any rate,
I saw it was cunningly enough gone about; this same burnt barque of
the Yankee's, I perceived in a moment, was part of the plot; though
as for meddling in it till I saw more, 'twas likely to spoil the
whole; let alone making an ass of one's-self in case of mistake. I
was eyeing the shipwrecked mate, indeed, when one of the lieutenants
told me politely the Admiral wanted to see me in the cabin below.

Not being much accustomed to admirals' society, as a little
white-haired fellow-reefer of mine once said at a tea-party ashore,
I came in at the door with rather an awkward bow, no doubt; for
Sir Dudley, who was sitting on the sofa with his cocked hat and
sword beside him, talking to Captain Wallis, turned his head at the
captain's word, as if he were trying to keep in a smile. A tall,
fine-looking man he was, and few seamen equal to him for handling
a large fleet, as I knew, though his manners were finished enough
to have made him easy in a king's court. As for the captain of the
Hebe, he was leaning out of an open stern-window, seemingly a young
man, but who he might be I didn't know at the moment. The Admiral
had only a question or two to put, before he looked back to Captain
Wallis again, remarking it was clear he had brought away the wrong
man. "I didn't think you were so dull in the Podargus," said he,
smiling, "as to let an Indiaman play off such a trick on you--eh,
Captain Wallis!" Captain Wallis glanced round the cabin, and then
sideways down at Sir Dudley's cocked hat, in a funny enough way, as
much as to say he took all the blame on himself; and it struck me
more than ever what a kind heart the man had in him--if you only set
aside his hatred to Buonaparte, which in fact was nothing else but
a twisted sort of proof of the same thing. "Pooh, pooh, Wallis,"
continued Sir Dudley, "we can't do anything in the matter; though,
if the service were better than it really is at present, I should
certainly incline to question a smart young fellow like this, that
has held His Majesty's commission, for idling in an Indiaman after
the lady passengers! I am afraid, sir," said he to me, "you've lost
your passage, though,--unless the captain of the Hebe will give you
his second berth here, to make amends." "You need not be afraid, Lord
Frederick!" added he, looking toward the captain of the frigate, and
raising his voice; "you do not know him, after all, I suppose!" The
captain drew in his head, saying he had been doubtful about one of
the pivots of the rudder, then turned full round and looked uneasily
at me, on which his face brightened immediately, and he said, "No,
Sir Dudley, I do not!" I was still in ignorance for a moment or so,
myself, who this titled young post-captain might be, though I had
certainly seen him before; till all at once I recollected him, with
a start as pleasant to me as his seemed to him at _not_ knowing me.
Both Westwood and I had been midshipmen together for a while in the
Orion, fifty-gun ship, where _he_ was second lieutenant, several
years before. As for me, I was too fond of a frigate to stay longer
in her than I could help; but I remembered my being a pest to the
second lieutenant, and Tom's being a favourite of his, so that he
staid behind me, and got master's mate as soon as he was 'passed.'
The Honourable Frederick Bury he was then, and the handsomest young
fellow in the squadron, as well as the best-natured aboard. I
don't believe he knew how to splice in a dead-eye, and any of the
masters'-mates could take charge of the ship better in a rough night,
I daresay; but for a gallant affair in the way of hard knocks, with
management to boot, there wasn't his match. He never was known to
fail when he took a thing in hand; lost fewer men, too, than any one
else did; and whenever there turned up anything ticklish for the
boats, it was always "Mr Bury will lead." "The honourable Bury," we
used to call him, and "Fighting Free-the-deck." Westwood was one of
his school, whereas _I_ had learnt from Jacobs in a merchantman's
forecastle; and many a time did we play off such tricks on the second
lieutenant as coming gravely aft to him during the watch, three or
four of us together, me carrying a bit of rope where a "turk's-head"
or a "mouse" was be worked, while I asked him innocently to show us
the way. Or else it was some dispute we contrived beforehand, as to
the best plan of sending up new topmasts at sea, or running out of
a "round" gale in the Indian Ocean, on which the men forward would
be all ready to break out laughing; and the second lieutenant, after
thinking a moment, would quietly pitch upon me to go aloft, and study
the point for two hours at the mast-head.

"What is _your_ name then, young man?" inquired Sir Dudley Aldcombe
of me. The instant I told him, Lord Frederick Bury gave me another
look, then a smile. "What?" said he, "Collins that was in the Orion?"
"Yes, Lord Frederick," said I, "the same; I was third in the Iris off
the West African coast, since then." "Why," said he, "I recollect
you quite well, Mr Collins, although you have grown a foot, I think,
sir--but your eye reminds me of sundry pranks you used to play on
board! What nickname was it your mess-mates called you, by the bye?"
"Something foolish enough, I suppose, my lord," replied I, biting my
lip; "but I remember clearly having the honour to steer the second
cutter in shore one dark night near Dunkirk, when your lordship
carried the Dutch brig and the two French chasse-marées--" "'Faith,"
broke in the captain of the Hebe, "you've a better memory than I
have--I do not recollect any chasse-marées at all, that time, Mr
Collins!" "Why," said I, "I got a knock on the head from a fellow in
a red shirt--that always kept me in mind." "Oh," remarked the Admiral
to Captain Wallis, laughing, "Lord Frederick Bury must have had so
many little parties of the kind, that his memory can't be expected
to be very nice! However, I shall go ashore at present, gentlemen,
leaving the Hebe and you to dispose of this runaway lieutenant in
someway or other. Only you'd better settle it before Admiral Plampin
arrives!" "Have you seen the--the--Longwood lately, Sir Dudley?"
asked the captain of the Podargus, carelessly. "Yes, not many days
ago I had an interview," said the Admiral gravely; "proud as ever,
and evidently resolved not to flinch from his condition. 'Tis
wonderful the command that man has over himself, Wallis--he speaks
of the whole world and its affairs like one that sees into them, and
had them still nearly under his foot! All saving those miserable
squabbles with Plantation House, which--but, next time, I shall
take my leave, and wash my hands of the whole concern, I am glad to
think!" Lord Frederick was talking to me meanwhile at the other end
of the cabin, but I was listening in spite of myself to Sir Dudley
Aldcombe, and noticed that Captain Wallis made no answer. "By the
way, Wallis," continued the Admiral, "'tis curious that he seemed
anxious more than once to know what you think of him--I believe he
would like to see you!" "To see _me_!" said the commander of the
Podargus, suddenly. "At last, does he! No, Sir Dudley, he and I never
_will_ meet; he ought to have thought of it twelve years sooner! God
knows," he went on, "the commander of a ten-gun brig is too small a
man to see the Emperor Napoleon a prisoner--but in ten years of war,
Sir Dudley, what mightn't one have been, instead of being remembered
after as only plain John Wallis, whom Buonaparte kept all that time
in prison, and who was sent, in course of time, to cruise off St
Helena!" Here the Admiral said something about a British sailor not
keeping malice, and Captain Wallis looked up at him gravely. "No,"
replied he; "no, Sir Dudley, I shouldn't have _chosen_ the thing;
but in the mean time I'm only doing my duty. There's a gloomy turn
in my mind by this time, no doubt; but you've no idea, Sir Dudley,
how the thought of other people comes into one's head when he's years
shut up--so _I_ may stand for many a one Buonaparte will never see
more than myself, that'll ring him round surer than those rocks
there, though they're dead and in their graves, Sir Dudley!" The
Admiral shook his head, observing that Napoleon was no common man,
and oughtn't to be judged as such. "Too many victories in that eye
of his, I suspect, Captain Wallis," said he, "for either Plantation
House or his own conscience to break his spirit!" "Ay, ay sir,"
answered the captain respectfully, "excuse me, Sir Dudley, but there
it is--so long as he's got his victories to fall back upon, he can't
see how, if he'd regarded common men more, with all belonging to
them, he wouldn't have been here! Why did Providence shut him up in a
dead volcano, with blue water round it, Sir Dudley, if it wasn't to
learn somehow or other he was a man after all?" Sir Dudley Aldcombe
shrugged his shoulders and looked to Lord Frederick, upon which he
rose, and the two captains followed him out of the cabin; in five
minutes I heard the side piped for the Admiral's leaving, and soon
after the captain of the Hebe came below again.

"This is a disagreeable affair of your old messmate's, Mr Collins,"
said he, seriously. "You are, perhaps, not aware that Captain
Duncombe was a relative of my own, and the fact of his property
having fallen by will to myself, rendered my position the more
peculiarly disagreeable, had I been obliged not only to recognise
Lieutenant Westwood here, but afterwards to urge proceedings against
him, even if he were let off by court-martial. I cannot tell you how
the sight of a stranger, as I thought, relieved me, sir!" "Indeed,
Lord Frederick!" replied I, too much confused in the circumstances to
say more. However, his lordship's manner soon set me at my ease, the
old good-humoured smile coming over his fine features again, while he
went on to offer me the place of his second lieutenant, who was going
home very ill by one of the homeward bound Indiamen; adding, that Sir
Dudley would confirm the appointment; indeed, he could scarce help
himself, he said, as there was nobody else he could get at present.
"You must be a thorough good sailor by this time, Collins," continued
he, "if you have gone on at the rate you used to do. I remember how
fond you were of having charge for a minute or two of the old Orion,
or when I let you put her about in my watch. Why they called you
'young Green,' I never could understand, unless it was '_ut lucus a
non lucendo_' as we used to say at Eton, you know. Well, what do you
say?" Now, as you may suppose, the idea of boxing about St Helena,
for heaven knew how long, didn't at all suit my liking--with the
thought of the Seringapatam steering away for Bombay the whole time,
and a hundred notions of Violet Hyde in India,--'twould have driven
me madder than the Temple did Captain Wallis: but it was only the
_first_ part of my mind I gave Lord Frederick. "What!" exclaimed
he, with a flush over his face, and drawing up his tall figure,
"you didn't suppose _I_ should remain here? Why, the Hebe is on her
way for Calcutta and Canton, and will sail as soon as the Conqueror
arrives at James Town with Admiral Plampin." "Your lordship is very
kind," said I looking down to cover my delight; "and if I am not
worthy of the post, it shan't be my fault, Lord Frederick." "Ah, very
good!" said he smiling; "'tis an opportunity you oughtn't to let
slip, Collins, let me tell you! For my own part, I should just as
soon cut out a pirate in the Straits of Malacca as a French brig in
the Channel; and there are plenty of them, I hear, there. As for a
chase, sir, I flatter myself you won't easily see a finer thing than
the Hebe spreading her cloth after one of those fast proas will be--I
think you are just the fellow to make her walk, too, Mr Collins--pah!
to compare a day on the Derby turf with _that_, would be a sin!
You have no idea, sir, how one longs for a fair horizon again, and
brisk breezes, when so ineffably tired out of all those ball-rooms,
and such things as you see about town just now--only I fear I shall
wish to be second lieutenant again, eh?" The noble captain of the
Hebe turned to look out through the stern window to seaward, his
face losing the weary sort of half-melancholy cast it had shown
for the last minute, while his eye glistened; and it struck me
how well-matched the Hebe and her commander were: you'd have said
both had good blood in them, both being models to look at of their
kind, and the frigate lifting under you at the moment, from the keel
upward, with a check aloft in her main-topsail, that lifted her stem
to the surge. A small telescope rolled off the sofa on to the cabin
deck, and as I picked it up, another gust could be heard coming down
St James' Valley from inside the island; through the gun-port one
saw the trees wave over the hot white houses in the bright coloured
little town, while the ship's canvass gave another flutter above
decks. Lord Frederick laughed, and said, "Then, I suppose, we need
say no more about it, Mr Collins, except referring once for all
to Sir Dudley?" I bowed, and the upshot was, that, an hour or two
after, I had my acting commission sent me from the Admiral, the same
boat having called at the Podargus for my things; upon which Lord
Frederick introduced me to the first lieutenant, and I found myself
once more doing duty in the service--the Hebe standing out to leeward
with the last light, just as the Podargus was tripping anchor to beat
round again the other way. As for our friends from the burnt vessel,
I must say I had forgot them already, for the time at least.

Every block, crag, and knot in the huge crust of the rock, shone
terribly bright for a minute or two, aloft from over the yard-ends,
as she stood suddenly out into the fiery gleam of the sun going down
many a mile away in the Atlantic. Then up leapt the light keener and
keener to the very topmost peak, till you'd have thought it went in
like a living thing behind a telegraph, that stood out against a
black cleft betwixt two cliffs. We saw the evening gun off Ladder
Hill flash upon the deep blue of the sky, seemingly throwing up the
peak and flag-staff a dozen feet higher; and the boom of the gun
sounding in among the wild hills and hollows within the island, as
if one heard it going up to Longwood door. Scarce was it lost, ere a
star or two were to be seen in the shadow on the other side, and you
listened almost, in the hush following upon the gunfire, for an echo
to it, or something stranger; in place of which the Hebe was already
forging ahead in the dark to get well clear of the land, every
wave bringing its own blackness with it up toward her forechains,
then sparkling back to her waist in the seeth of foam as she felt
the breeze; while St Helena lay towering along to larboard, with
its ragged top blotting against the deep dark-blue of the sky, all
filling as it was with the stars.

I had the middle watch that night; the ship being under short
canvass, and slowly edging down to make the most leewardly point of
the island, from which she was to beat up again at her leisure by
the morning. All we had to do was to keep a good look-out, on the
one hand, into the streak of starlight to seaward, and on the other
along the foot of the rocks, as well as holding her well in hand, in
case of some sudden squall through the valleys from inside. However,
I shan't easily forget the thoughts that ran in my mind, walking
the quarterdeck, with the frigate under charge, the first time I
noticed Orion and the Serpent begin to wheel glittering away from
over Diana's Peak--the others stealing quietly into sight after them,
past the leech of our main-topsail: scarce an English star to be seen
for the height of the island off our quarter; some of the men on one
side of the booms humming a song about Napoleon's dream, which you'll
hear to this day in ships' forecastles; another yarning solemnly, on
the other side, about some old sweetheart of his--but all of them
ready to jump at my own least word. In the morning, however, there
we were, stretching back by degrees to go round the lee side of the
island again; the haze melting off Diana's Peak as before, and the
sea rolling in swells as blue as indigo, to the huge red lumps of
bare crag; while the bright surges leapt out of them all along the
frigate's side, and the spray rose at times to her figure-head.

During the day we cruised farther out, and the Hebe had enough
to do in seeing off one Indiaman for home, and speaking another
outward-bound craft, that passed forty miles off or so, without
touching; the governor's telegraphs were eternally at work on the
heights, bothering her for the least trifle, and making out a sail
sixty miles off, it was said. For my part, I was pretty well tired
of it already, sincerely wishing for the Conqueror, with Admiral
Plampin, to heave in sight; but glad enough all aboard the Hebe were,
when, after an entire week of the thing, it came to her turn, with
the Newcastle and Podargus, to lie at anchor off James Town, where
half the ship's company at a time had their liberty ashore. For my
part, I had to see after the frigate's water-tanks, and a gang at
the rigging, till the afternoon, when Lord Frederick took the first
lieutenant and myself ashore with him in his gig; and no joke it was
landing even there, where the swell of the surf nighhand hove her
right up on the quay, while you had to look sharp, in case the next
wave washed you back again off your feet. The whole place was hot as
could be from the sun's rays off the rocks, slanting bare red to the
cloudless sky, on both sides of the neat little gaudy houses crowded
in the mouth of the valley, which narrowed away beyond the rise of
the street, till you didn't see how you'd get farther. But for the
air of the sea, indeed, with now and then a breath down out of the
hills, 'twas for all the world like a half-kindled oven; except under
the broad trees along the Government esplanade, where one couldn't
have stood for people. What with blacks, lascars, Chinamen, and
native 'Yamstocks,' together with liberty men from the men-of-war and
Indiamen, as well as reefers trotting about on ponies and donkeys,
the very soldiers could scarce get down the foot of the road up
Ladder Hill: as for the little town holding one half of them, it was
out of the question, but the noise and kick-up were beyond aught else
of the kind, saving a Calcutta bazaar. Accordingly, it was pleasant
enough at last to come within a shady walk of thick green fig-trees,
growing almost out of the rock near the main battery, above the small
sound of the water far below; the very sea looking bluer through the
leaves, while some birds no bigger than wrens hopped, chirruping,
about the branches. Here we met Sir Dudley Aldcombe coming down from
the batteries along with some Company's officers from India, and he
stopped to speak to Lord Frederick, giving the first lieutenant and
me a bow in return, as we lifted our hats and waited behind. The
Admiral proposed to get Lord Frederick a pass to visit Napoleon along
with himself next day, as the Conqueror would probably arrive very
soon. "You will oblige me greatly, Sir Dudley," said the captain
of the Hebe. "He seems as fond of seeing a true sailor," said the
Admiral, "as if we'd never done him harm! Things will be worse
after I go. By the way," added he suddenly, "'tis curious enough,
but there's one person on the island at present, has made wonderful
progress in Sir Hudson's good graces, for the short time--that
American botanist, or whatever he calls himself, that Captain Wallis
took off the burnt vessel on his way here. Your new lieutenant was
aboard at the time, you know, Lord Frederick." "You saw him, sir, of
course?" said the Admiral, looking to me. "Only for a minute that
night, Sir Dudley," answered I; "and afterwards both he and his
servant were under the surgeon's charge below." "Well," continued
Sir Dudley to the captain, "they seem quite recovered now; for I
saw them to-day up at Plantation House, where the philosopher was
in close discourse with the Governor about plants and such things;
while her ladyship was as much engaged with the assistant, who can
only speak Spanish. A remarkable-looking man the latter is, too; a
Mexican, I understand, with Indian blood in him, apparently--whereas
his principal has a strong Yankee twang; and queer enough it was to
hear him snuffling away as solemnly as possible about _buttany_ and
such things--besides his hinting at some great discovery likely to be
made in the island, which Sir Hudson seemed rather anxious to keep
quiet from _me_." What Sir Dudley said made me prick up my ears, as
you may fancy. I could scarce believe the thing; 'twas so thoroughly
rich, and so confoundedly cool at once, to risk striking at the very
heart of things this way with the Governor himself; but the whole
scheme, so far, flashed upon me in a moment, evidently carried on, as
it had been all along, by some one bold enough for anything earthly,
and with no small cunning besides. All that he needed, no doubt, was
_somebody else_ with the devil's own impudence and plenty of talk;
nor, if I'd thought for a day together, could one have pitched easily
upon a customer as plausible as our friend Daniel, who hadn't a spark
of fear in him, I knew, just owing to his want of respect for aught
in the entire creation. Still I couldn't, for the life of me, see
what the end of their plan was to be, unless the strange Frenchman
might have been some general or other under Buonaparte, and just
wanted to see his old commander once more; which, thought I, I'll be
hanged if I don't think fair enough, much pains as he had put himself
to for the thing.

"How!" asked Lord Frederick, "a discovery, did you say, Sir Dudley?"
"Oh, nothing of the kind we should care about, after all," said the
Admiral; "from what I could gather, 'twas only scientific, though the
American called it '_a_ pretty importaint fact.' This Mr Mathewson
Brown, I believe, was sent out by the States' Government as botanist
in an expedition to southward, and has leave from Sir Hudson to use
his opportunity before the next Indiaman sails, for examining part
of the island; and to-day he thought he found the same plants in
St Helena as he did in Gough's Island and Tristan d'Acunha, twelve
hundred miles off, near the Cape; showing, as he said, how once on
a time there must have been land between them, perhaps as far as
Ascension!" "Why," put in Lord Frederick, "that would have made a
pretty good empire, even for Napoleon!" "So it would, my lord,"
said Sir Dudley, "much better than Elba,--but the strangest part of
it is, this Mr Brown was just telling his Excellency, as I entered
the room, that some of the ancient philosophers wrote about this
said country existing in the Atlantic before the Flood--how rich
it was, with the kings it had, and the wars carried on there; till
on account of their doings, no doubt, what with an earthquake, a
volcano, and the ocean together, they all sunk to the bottom except
the tops of the mountains! Now I must say," continued the Admiral,
"all this learning seemed to one to come rather too much by rote out
of this gentleman's mouth, and the American style of his talk made it
somewhat ludicrous, though he evidently believed in what may be all
very true--particularly, in mentioning the treasures that must lie
under water for leagues round, or even in nooks about the St Helena
rocks, I thought his very teeth watered. As for Sir Hudson, he had
caught at the idea altogether, but rather in view of a historical
work on the island, from the earliest times till now--and I believe
he means to accompany the two botanists himself over toward Longwood
to-morrow, where we may very likely get sight of them."

"O--h?" thought I, and Lord Frederick Bury smiled. "Rather a novelty,
indeed!" said he; and the first lieutenant looked significantly
enough to me, as we leant over the battery wall, watching the hot
horizon through the spars of the ships before James Town. "What
amused me," Sir Dudley said again, "was the American botanist's utter
indifference, when I asked if he had seen anything of 'the General'
in the distance. The Governor started, glancing sharp at Mr Brown,
and I noticed his dark companion give a sudden side-look from the
midst of his talk with her ladyship, whereupon the botanist merely
pointed with his thumb to the floor, asking coolly 'what it was to
science?' At this," added Sir Dudley to the captain, "his Excellency
seemed much relieved; and after having got leave for myself and
your lordship to-morrow, I left them still in the spirit of it. It
certainly struck me that, in the United States themselves, educated
men in general couldn't have such a vulgar manner about them,--in
fact I thought the Mexican attendant more the gentleman of the
two--his face was turned half from me most of the time, but still
it struck me as remarkably intelligent." "Ah," said Lord Frederick
carelessly, "all the Spaniards have naturally a noble sort of air,
you know, Sir Dudley--they'll never make republicans!" "And I must
say," added the Admiral, as they strolled out of the shade, up the
battery steps, "little as I know of Latin, what this Mr Brown used
_did_ seem to me fearfully bad!"

"And no wonder!" thought I "from a Yankee schoolmaster," as I had
found my late shipmate was, before he thought of travelling; but
the valuable Daniel turning his hand to help out some communication
or other, no doubt, with Napoleon Buonaparte in St Helena, took me
at first as so queer an affair, that I didn't know whether to laugh
at him or admire his Yankee coolness, when he ran such risks. As
for the feasibleness of actually getting the prisoner clear out of
the island, our cruising on guard was enough to show me it would be
little short of a miracle; yet I couldn't help thinking they meant
to try it; and in case of a dark night, which the southeaster was
very likely to bring, if it shifted or freshened a little,--why, I
knew you needn't call anything impossible that a cool head and a
bold heart had to do with, provided only they could get their plans
laid inside and out so as to tally. The more eager I got for next
day, when it would be easy enough for any of us to go up inland
after Lord Frederick, as far as Hut's Gate, at least. Meantime the
first lieutenant and I walked up together to where the little town
broke into a sort of suburb of fancy cottages, with verandahs and
green venetians in bungalow style, scattered to both sides of the
rock amongst little grass plots and garden patches; every foot of
ground made use of. And a perfect gush of flowers and leaves it was,
clustering over the tiles of the low roofs; while you saw through a
thicket of poplars and plantains, right into the back of the gulley,
with a ridge of black rock closing it fair up; and Side Path, as they
call the road to windward, winding overhead along the crag behind the
houses, out of sight round a mass of cliffs. Every here and there,
a runlet of water came trickling down from above the trees to water
their roots; you saw the mice in hundreds, scampering in and out of
holes in the dry stone, with now and then a big ugly rat that turned
round to face you, being no doubt fine game to the St Helena people,
ill off as they all seemed for something to do--except the Chinese
with their huge hats, hoeing away under almost every tree one saw,
and the Yamstock fishermen to be seen bobbing for mullet outside the
ships, in a blaze of light sufficient to bake any heads but their
own. Every cottage had seven or eight parrots in it, apparently;
a cockatoo on a stand by the door, or a monkey up in a box--not
to speak of canaries in the window, and white goats feeding about
with bells round their necks: so you may suppose what a jabbering,
screaming, whistling, and tinkling there was up the whole hollow,
added to no end of children and young ladies making the most of the
shade as it got near nightfall--and all that were out of doors came
flocking down Side-Path.

Both of us having leave ashore that night, for a ball in one of
these same little bungalows near the head of the valley, 'twas
no use to think of a bed, and as little to expect getting off to
the ship, which none could do after gunfire. For that matter, I
daresay there might be twenty such parties, full of young reefers
and homeward-bound old East Indians, keeping it up as long as might
be, because they had nowhere to sleep. The young lady of the house
we were in was one of the St Helena beauties, called "the Rosebud,"
from her colour. A lovely creature she was, certainly, as it was
plain our Hebe's first lieutenant thought, with several more to boot:
every sight of her figure gliding about through the rest, the white
muslin floating round her like haze, different as her face was, made
one think of the Seringapatam's deck at sea, with the men walking
the forecastle in the middle watch, and the poop quiet over the
Judge's cabins. Two or three times I had fancied for a moment that,
if one had somewhat stirring to busy himself with, why, he might so
far forget what was no doubt likely to interfere pretty much with a
profession like my own; and so it might have been, perhaps, had I
only seen her ashore: whereas now, whether it was ashore or afloat,
by Jove! everything called her somehow to mind. The truth is, I defy
you to get rid very easily of the thought about one you've sailed
in the same ship with, be it girl or woman--the same bottom betwixt
you and the water, the same breeze blowing your pilot-coat in the
watch on deck, that ripples past her ear below, and the self-same
dangers to strive against! At a break in the dance I went out of the
dancing-room into the verandah, where the cool of the air among the
honeysuckle flowers and creepers was delightful to feel; though it
was quite dark in the valley, and you couldn't make out anything but
the solemn black-blue of the sky full of stars above you, between the
two cliffs; or right out, where the stretch of sea widening to the
horizon, looked almost white through the mouth of the valley, over
the house-roofs below: one heard the small surf plashing low and slow
into the little bay, with the boats dipping at their moorings, but I
never saw sea look so lonely. Then tip at the head of the gulley one
could mark the steep black crag that shut it up, glooming quiet and
large against a gleam from one of the clusters of stars: the sight of
it was awful, I didn't know well why, unless by comparison with the
lively scene inside, not to say with one's own whole life afloat, as
well as the wishes one had at heart. 'Twas pretty late, but I heard
the music strike up again in the room, and was going back again, when
all of a sudden I thought the strangest sound that ever came to one's
ears went sweeping round and round far above the island, more like
the flutter of a sail miles wide than aught else I can fancy; then a
rush of something like those same blasts of wind I was pretty well
used to by this time--but wind it was not--growing in half a minute
to a rumbling clatter, and then to a smothered roar, as if something
more than mortal shot from inland down through the valley, and passed
out by its mouth into the open sea at once. I scarce felt the ground
heave under me, though I thought I saw the black head of the ravine
lift against the stars--one terrible plunge of the sea down at the
quays and batteries, then everything was still again; but the whole
dancing party came rushing out in confusion at my back, the ladies
shrieking, the men looking up into the sky, or at the cliffs on both
sides; the British flag, over the fort on Ladder Hill, blowing out
steadily to a stiff breeze aloft. It wasn't for some time, in fact,
that they picked up courage again, to say it had been an earthquake.
However, the ball was over, and, as soon as matters could be set
to rights, it was nothing but questions whether it had aught to do
with _him_ up at Longwood, or hadn't been an attempt to blow up the
island--some of the officers being so much taken aback at first,
that they fancied the French had come. At last, however, we who had
nothing else for it got stowed away on sofas or otherwise about the
dancing-room: for my part, I woke up just early enough to see the
high head of the valley coming out as clearly as before against the
morning light, and the water glancing blue out miles away beyond
the knot of ships in the opening. The news was only that Napoleon
was safe, having been in his bed at the time, where he lay thinking
one of the frigates had blown up, they said. Not a word of his that
got wind but the people in James Town made it their day's text--in
the want of which they'd even gossip about the coat he wore that
morning--till you'd have said the whole nest of them, soldiers and
all, lay under his shadow as the town did at the foot of the cliffs,
just ready to vanish as soon as he went down. The Longwood doctor had
told some one in the Jew Solomon's toy-shop, by the forenoon, that
Buonaparte couldn't sleep that night for making some calculations
about a great battle he had fought, when he counted three separate
shocks of the thing, and noticed it was luckily right up and down, or
else James Town would have been buried under tons of rock. The doctor
had mentioned besides that there was twice an earthquake before in
the island, in former times; but it didn't need some of the town's
people's looks to tell you they'd be afraid many a night after, lest
the French Emperor should wake up thinking of his battles; while, as
for myself, I must say the notion stuck to me some time, along with
my own ideas at that exact moment--at any rate, not for worlds would
I have lived long ashore in St Helena.

Mr Newland the first lieutenant, and I, set out early in the day,
accordingly, with a couple of the Hebe's midshipmen, mounted on as
many of the little island ponies, to go up inland for a cruise about
the hills. You take Side Path along the crags, with a wall betwixt
the hard track and the gulf below, till you lose sight of James Town
like a cluster of children's toy-houses under you, and turn up above
a sloping hollow full of green trees and tropical-like flowering
shrubs, round a pretty cottage called the Briars--where one begins
to have a notion, however, of the bare blocks, the red bluffs, and
the sharp peaks standing up higher and higher round the shell of
the island. Then you had another rise of it to climb, on which you
caught sight of James Town and the harbour again, even smaller than
before, and saw nothing before your beast's head but a desert of
stony ground, running hither and thither into wild staring clefts,
grim ravines, and rocks of every size tumbled over each other like
figures of ogres and giants in hard fight. After two or three miles
of all this, we came in view of Longwood hill, lying green on a
level to north and east, and clipping to windward against the sea
beyond; all round it elsewhere was the thick red crust of the island,
rising in ragged points and sharp spires:--the greenish sugar-loaf of
Diana's Peak shooting in the middle over the high ridge that hid the
Plantation House side of St Helena to leeward. Between the spot where
we were and Longwood is a huge fearful-looking black hollow, called
the Devil's Punch-Bowl, as round and deep as a pitch-pot for caulking
all the ships in the world--except on a slope into one corner of it,
where you saw a couple of yellow cottages with gardens about them;
while every here and there a patch of grass began to appear, a clump
of wild weeds and flowers hanging off the fronts of the rocks, or
the head of some valley widening away out of sight, with the glimpse
of a house amongst trees, where some stream of water came leaping
down off the heights and vanished in the boggy piece of green below.
From here over the brow of the track it was all like seeing into an
immense stone basin half hewn out, with all the lumps and wrinkles
left rising in it and twisting every way about--the black Devil's
Punch-Bowl for a hole in the middle, where some infernal liquor or
other had run through: the soft bottoms of the valleys just bringing
the whole of it up distincter to the green over Longwood hill; while
the ragged heights ran round on every side like a rim with notches
in it, and Diana's Peak for a sort of a handle that the clouds could
take hold of. All this time we had strained ourselves to get as fast
up as possible, except once near the Alarm House, where there was a
telegraph signal-post, with a little guard-hut for the soldiers; but
_there_ each turned round in his saddle, letting out a long breath
the next thing to a cry, and heaving-to directly, at sight of the
prospect behind. The Atlantic lay wide away round to the horizon from
the roads, glittering faint over the ragged edge of the crags we
had mounted near at hand; only the high back of the island shut out
the other side--save here and there through a deep-notched gully or
two--and accordingly you saw the sea blotched out in that quarter to
the two sharp bright ends, clasping the dark-coloured lump between
them, like a mighty pair of arms lifting it high to carry it off.
Soon after, however, the two mids took it into their wise heads
the best thing was to go and climb Diana's Peak, where they meant
to cut their names at the very top; on which the first lieutenant,
who was a careful middle-aged man, thought needful to go with them,
lest they got into mischief: for my part I preferred the chance of
coming across the mysterious Yankee and his comrade, as I fancied not
unlikely, or what was less to be looked for, a sight of Buonaparte

Accordingly, we had parted company, and I was holding single-handed
round one side of the Devil's Punch-Bowl, when I heard a clatter
of horse-hoofs on the road, and saw the Admiral and Lord Frederick
riding quickly past on the opposite side, on their way to
Longwood--which, curiously enough, was half-covered with mist at
the time, driving down from the higher hills, apparently before a
regular gale, or rather some kind of a whirlwind. In fact, I learned
after that such was often the case, the climate up there being quite
different from below, where they never feel a gale from one year's
end to the other. In the next hollow I got into it was as hot and
still as it would have been in India, the blackberry trailers and
wild aloes growing quite thick, mixed with prickly pear-bushes,
willows, gum-wood, and an African palm or two; though, from the look
of the sea, I could notice the south-east trade had freshened below,
promising to blow a good deal stronger that night than ordinary,
and to shift a little round. Suddenly the fog began to clear by
degrees from over Longwood, till it was fairly before me, nearer
than I thought; and just as I rode up a rising ground, out came the
roof of a house on the slope amongst some trees, glittering wet as
if the sun laid a finger on it; with a low bluish-coloured stretch
of wood farther off, bringing out the white tents of the soldiers'
camp pitched about the edge of it. Nearly to windward there was one
sail in sight on the horizon, over an opening in the rocks beyond
Longwood House, that seemingly let down toward the coast; however, I
just glanced back to notice the telegraph on the signal-post at work,
signalling to the Podargus in the offing, and next minute Hut's Gate
was right a-head of me, not a quarter of a mile off--a long-shaped
bungalow of a cottage, inside of a wall with a gate in it, where I
knew I needn't try farther, unless I wanted the sentries to take me
under arrest. Betwixt me and it, however, in the low ground, was a
party of man-o'-war's-men under charge of a midshipman, carrying some
timber and house-furniture for Longwood, as I remembered, from seeing
them come ashore from the Podargus that morning; so I stood over, to
give my late shipmates a hail. But the moment I got up with them,
it struck me not a little, as things stood, to find three of the
four Blacks we had taken aboard from that said burnt barque of the
American mate's, trudging patiently enough under the heaviest loads
of the gang. Jetty-black, savage-looking fellows they were, as strong
as horses, and reminded me more of our wild friends in the Nouries
River, than of 'States niggers; still, what caught my notice most
wasn't so much their being there at all, as the want of the fourth
one, and where _he_ might be. I don't know yet how this trifling
bit of a puzzle got hold on me, but it was the sole thing that kept
me from what might have turned a scrape to myself--namely, passing
myself in as officer of the party; which was easy enough at the time,
and the tars would have entered into the frolic as soon as I started
it. On second thoughts, nevertheless, I bade them good-day, steering
my animal away round the slant of the ground, to see after a good
perch as near as possible; and, I daresay, I was getting within the
bounds before I knew it, when another sentry sung out to me off the
heights to keep lower down, first bringing his musket to salute for
my uniform's sake, then letting it fall level with a ringing slap of
his palm, as much as to say it was all the distinction I'd get over
plain clothes.

At this, of course, I gave it up, with a blessing to all
lobster-backs, and made sail down to leeward again as far as the
next rise, from which there was a full view of the sea at any rate,
though the face of a rough crag over behind me shut out Longwood
House altogether. Here I had to get fairly off the saddle--rather
sore, I must say, with riding up St Helena roads after so many weeks
at sea--and flung myself down on the grass, with little enough fear
of the hungry little beast getting far adrift. This said crag, by the
way, drew my eye to it by the queer colours it showed, white, blue,
gray, and bright red in the hot sunlight; and being too far off to
make out clearly, I slung off the ship's glass I had across my back,
just to overhaul it better. The hue of it was to be seen running all
down the deep rift between, that seemingly wound away into some glen
toward the coast; while the lot of plants and trailers half-covering
the steep front of it, would no doubt, I thought, have delighted
my old friend the Yankee, if he _was_ the botanising gentleman in
question. By this time it was a lovely afternoon far and wide to
Diana's Peak, the sky glowing clearer deep-blue at that height than
you'd have thought sky could do, even in the tropics--the very peaks
of bare red rock being softened into a purple tint, far off round
you. One saw into the rough bottom of the huge Devil's Punch-Bowl,
and far through without a shadow down the green patches in the little
valleys, and over Deadwood Camp,--there was _nothing_, as it were,
between the grass, the ground, the stones and leaves, and the empty
hollow of the air; while the sea spread far round underneath, of a
softer blue than the sky over you. You'd have thought all the world
was shrunk into St Helena, with the Atlantic lying three-quarters
round it in one's sight, like the horns of the bright new moon
round the dim old one; which St Helena pretty much resembled, if
what the star-gazers say of its surface be true, all peaks and dry
hollows--if, indeed, you weren't lifting up out of the world, so to
speak, when one looked through his fingers right into the keen blue

If I lived a thousand years, I couldn't tell half what I felt lying
there; but, as you may imagine, it had somewhat in it of the late
European war by land and sea. Not that I could have said so at
the time, but rather a sort of half-doze, such as I've known one
have when a schoolboy, lying on the green grass the same way, with
one's face turned up into the hot summer heavens: half of it flying
glimpses, as it were, of the French Revolution, the battles we used
to hear of when we were children--then the fears about the invasion,
with the Channel full of British fleets, and Dover Cliffs--Trafalgar
and Nelson's death, and the battle of Waterloo, just after we heard
_he_ had got out of Elba. In the terrible flash of the thing all
together, one almost fancied them all gone like smoke; and for a
moment I thought I was falling away off, _down_ into the wide sky,
so up I started to sit. From that, suddenly I took to guessing and
puzzling closely again how I should go to work myself, if I were the
strange Frenchman I saw in the brig at sea, and wanted to manage
Napoleon's escape out of St Helena. And first, there was how to get
into the island and put _him_ up to the scheme--why, sure enough, I
couldn't have laid it down better than they seemed to have done all
along: what could one do but just dodge about that latitude under all
sorts of false rig, then catch hold of somebody fit to cover one's
landing. No Englishman _would_ do it, and no foreigner but would set
Sir Hudson Lowe on his guard in a moment. Next we should have to get
put on the island,--and really a neat enough plan it was to dog one
of the very cruisers themselves, knock up a mess of planks and spars
in the night-time, set them all a-blaze with tar, and pretend we were
fresh from a craft on fire; when even Captain Wallis of the Podargus,
as it happened, was too much of a British seaman not to carry us
straight to St Helena! Again, I must say it was a touch beyond
me--but to hit the Governor's notions of a hobby, and go picking up
plants round Longwood, was a likely enough way to get speech of the
prisoner, or at least let him see one was there!

How should I set about carrying him off to the coast, though? That
was the prime matter. Seeing that even if the schooner--which was
no doubt hovering out of sight--were to make a bold dash for the
land with the trade-wind, in a night eleven hours long--there were
sentries close round Longwood from sunset, the starlight shining
mostly always in the want of a moon; and at any rate there was rock
and gully enough, betwixt here and the coast, to try the surest foot
aboard the Hebe, let alone an emperor. With plenty of woods for a
cover, one might steal up close to Longwood, but the bare rocks
showed you off to be made a mark of. Whew! but why were those same
Blacks on the island, I thought: just strip them stark-naked, and let
them lie in the Devil's Punch-bowl, or somewhere, beyond military
hours, when I warrant me they might slip up, gully by gully, to the
very sentries' backs! Their colour wouldn't show them, and savages as
they seemed, couldn't they settle as many sentries as they needed,
creep into the very bedchamber where Buonaparte slept, and manhandle
him bodily away down through some of the nearest hollows, before any
one was the wiser? The point that still bothered me was, why the
fourth of the Blacks was wanting at present, unless he had his part
to play elsewhere. If it was chance, then the _whole_ might be a
notion of mine, which I knew I was apt to have sometimes. If I could
only make out the fourth Black, so as to tally with the scheme, on
the other hand, then I thought it was all sure: but of course this
quite pauled me, and I gave it up, to work out my fancy case by
providing signals betwixt us plotters inside, and the schooner out
of sight from the telegraphs. There was no use for her to run in and
take the risk, without good luck having turned up on the island; yet
any sign she could profit by must be both sufficient to reach sixty
miles or so, and hidden enough not to alarm the telegraphs or the
cruisers. Here was a worse puzzle than all, and I only guessed at it
for my own satisfaction--as a fellow can't help doing when he hears a
question he can't answer--till my eye lighted on Diana's Peak, near
three thousand feet above the sea. There it was, by Jove! 'Twas quite
clear at the time; but by nightfall there was always more or less
cloud near the top; and if you set a fire on the very peak, 'twould
only be seen leagues off: a notion that brought to mind a similar
thing which I told you saved the Indiaman from a lee-shore one night
on the African coast,--and again, by George! I saw _that_ must have
been meant at first by the Negroes as a smoke to help the French brig
easier in! Putting that and that together, why it struck me at once
what the fourth Black's errand might be--namely, to watch for the
schooner, and kindle his signal as soon as he couldn't see the island
for mist. I was sure of it; and as for a dark night coming on at sea,
the freshening of the breeze there promised nothing more likely; a
bright white haze was softening out the horizon already, and here
and there the egg of a cloud could be seen to break off the sky to
windward, all of which would be better known afloat than here.

The truth was, I was on the point of tripping my anchor to hurry
down and get aboard again, but, on standing up, the head of a peak
fell below the sail I had noticed in the distance, and, seeing she
loomed large on the stretch of water, I pretty soon found she must
be a ship of the line. The telegraph over the Alarm House was hard
at work again, so I e'en took down my glass and cleaned it to have
a better sight, during which I caught sight, for a minute, of some
soldier officer or other on horseback, with a mounted red-coat behind
him, riding hastily up the gully a good bit from my back, till they
were round the red piece of crag, turning at times as if to watch the
vessel. Though I couldn't have a better spy at him for want of my
glass, I had no doubt he was the Governor himself, for the sentries
in the distance took no note of him. There was nobody else visible
at the time, and the said cliff stood fair up like a look-out place,
so as to shut them out as they went higher. Once or twice after, I
fancied I made out a man's head or two lower down the gully than the
cliff was; which, it occurred to me, might possibly be the botanists,
as they called themselves, busy finding out how long St Helena had
been an island: however, I soon turned the glass before me upon the
ship, by this time right opposite the ragged opening of Prosperous
Bay, and heading well up about fourteen miles or so off the coast, as
I reckoned, to make James Town harbour. The moment I had the sight of
the glass right for her--though you'd have thought she stood still on
the smooth soft blue water--I could see her whole beam rise off the
swells before me, from the dark side and white band, checkered with a
double row of ports, to the hamper of her lofty spars, and the sails
braced slant to the breeze; the foam gleaming under her high bows,
and her wake running aft in the heave of the sea. She was evidently a
seventy-four: I fanced I could make out her men's faces peering over
the yards toward the island, as they thought of "Boneypart;" a white
rear-admiral's flag was at the mizen-royal-masthead, leaving no doubt
she was the Conqueror at last, with Admiral Plampin, and, in a day or
two at farthest, the Hebe would be bound for India.

I had just looked over my shoulder toward Longwood, letting the
Conqueror sink back again into a thing no bigger than a model on a
mantelpiece, when, all at once, I saw some one standing near the brow
of the cliff I mentioned, apparently watching the vessel, with a long
glass at his eye, like myself. 'Twas farther than I could see to make
out anything, save so much; and, ere I had screwed the glass for
such a near sight, there were seven or eight figures more appearing
half over the slope behind; while my hand shook so much with holding
the glass so long, that at first I brought it to bear full on the
cracks and blocks in the front of the crag, with the large green
leaves and trailers on it flickering idly with the sunlight against
my eyes, till I could have seen the spiders inside, I daresay. Next I
held it too high, where the Admiral and Lord Frederick were standing
by their horses, a good way back; the Governor, as I supposed,
sitting on his, and two or three others along the rise. At length,
what with kneeling down to rest it on one knee, I had the glass
steadily fixed on the brow of the rocks, where I plainly saw a tall
dark-whiskered man, in a rich French uniform, gazing to seaward--I
knew him I sought too well by pictures, however, not to be sadly
galled. Suddenly a figure came slowly down from before the rest, with
his hands behind his back, and his head a little drooped. The officer
at once lowered the telescope and held it to him, stepping upward,
as if to leave him alone--what dress he had on I scarce noticed; but
there he was standing, single in the round bright field of the glass
I had hold of like a vice--his head raised, his hands hiding his
face, as he kept the telescope fixed fair in front of me--only I saw
the smooth broad round of his chin. I knew, as if I'd seen him in the
Tuileries at Paris, or known him by sight since I was a boy--I _knew_
it was Napoleon!

During that minute the rest of them were out of sight, so far as the
glass went--you'd have supposed there was no one there but himself,
as still as a figure in iron; watching the same thing, no doubt, as
I'd done myself five minutes before, where the noble seventy-four
was beating slowly to windward. When I _did_ glance to the knot
of officers twenty yards back, 'twas as if one saw a ring of his
generals waiting respectfully while he eyed some field of battle or
other, with his army at the back of the hill; but next moment the
telescope fell in his hands, and his face, as pale as death, with
his lip firm under it, seemed near enough for me to touch it--his
eyes shot stern into me from below his wide white forehead, and I
started, dropping my glass in turn. That instant the whole wild lump
of St Helena, with its ragged brim, the clear blue sky and the sea,
swung round about the dwindled figures above the crag, till they were
nothing but so many people together against the slope beyond.

'Twas a strange scene to witness, let me tell you; never can I forget
the sightless, thinking sort of gaze from that head of his, after the
telescope sank from his eye, when the Conqueror must have shot back
with all her stately hamper into the floor of the Atlantic again!
Once more I brought my spyglass to bear on the place where he had
been, and was almost on the point of calling out to warn him off the
edge of the cliff, forgetting the distance I was away. Napoleon had
stepped, with one foot before him, on the very brink, his two hands
hanging loose by his side, with the glass in one of them, till the
shadow of his small black cocked hat covered the hollows of his eyes,
and he stood as it were looking down past the face of the precipice.
What he thought of no mortal tongue can say, whether he was master
at the time over a wilder battle than any he'd ever fought--but just
then, what was the surprise it gave me to see the head of a man,
with a red tasselled cap on it, raised through amongst the ivy from
below, while he seemed to have his feet on the cracks and juts of
the rock, hoisting himself by one hand round the tangled roots, till
no doubt he must have looked right aloft into the French Emperor's
face; and perhaps he whispered something,--though, for my part, it
was all dumb-show to me, where I knelt peering into the glass. I
saw even _him_ start at the suddenness of the thing--he raised his
head upright, still glancing down over the front of the crag, with
the spread hand lifted, and the side of his face half turned toward
the party within earshot behind, where the Governor and the rest
apparently kept together out of respect, no doubt watching both
Napoleon's back and the ship of war far beyond. The keen sunlight
on the spot brought out every motion of the two in front--the _one_
so full in my view, that I could mark his look settle again on the
other below, his firm lips parting and his hand out before him, like
a man seeing a spirit he knew; while a bunch of leaves on the end
of a wand came stealing up from the stranger's post to Napoleon's
very fingers. The head of the man on the cliff turned round seaward
for one moment, ticklish as his footing must have been; then he
looked back, pointing with his loose hand to the horizon--there was
one minute between them without a motion, seemingly--the captive
Emperor's chin was sunk on his breast, though you'd have said his
eyes glanced up out of the shadow on his forehead; and the stranger's
red cap hung like a bit of the bright-coloured cliff, under his two
hands holding amongst the leaves. Then I saw Napoleon lift his hand
calmly, he gave a sign with it--it might have been refusing, it might
have been agreeing, or it might be farewell, I never expect to know;
but he folded his arms across his breast, with the bunch of leaves
in his fingers, and stepped slowly back from the brink toward the
officers. I was watching the stranger below it, as he swung there
for a second or two, in a way like to let him go dash to the bottom;
his face sluing wildly seaward again. Short though the glance I had
of him was--his features set hard in some bitter feeling or other,
his dress different, too, besides the mustache being off, and his
complexion no doubt purposely darkened--it served to prove what I'd
suspected: he was no other than the Frenchman I had seen in the brig,
and, mad or sensible, the very look I caught was more like that he
faced the thunder-squall with, than aught besides. Directly after,
he was letting himself carefully down with his back to my glass;
the party above were moving off over the brow of the crags, and the
Governor riding round, apparently to come once more down the hollow
between us. In fact, the seventy-four had stood by this time so
far in that the peaks in the distance shut her out; but I ran the
glass carefully along the whole horizon in my view, for signs of the
schooner. The haze was too bright, however, to make sure either way;
though, dead to windward, there were some streaks of cloud risen with
the breeze, where I once or twice fancied I could catch the gleam of
a speck in it. The Podargus was to be seen through a notch in the
rocks, too, beating out in a different direction, as if the telegraph
had signalled her elsewhere; after which you heard the dull rumble
of the forts saluting the Conqueror down at James Town as she came
in: and being late in the afternoon, it was high time for me to crowd
sail downward, to fall in with my shipmates.

I was just getting near the turn into Side Path, accordingly, after
a couple of mortal hours' hard riding, and once more in sight of
the harbour beneath, when the three of them overtook me, having
managed to reach the top of Diana's Peak, as they meant. The first
lieutenant was full of the grand views on the way, with the prospect
off the peak, where one saw the sea all round St Helena like a ring,
and the sky over you as blue as blue water. "But what do you think
we saw on the top, Mr Collins?" asked one of the urchins at me--a
mischievous imp he was himself, too, pockmarked, with hair like a
brush, and squinted like a ship's two hawse-holes. "Why, Mister
Snelling," said I, gruffly--for I knew him pretty well already, and
he was rather a favourite with me for his sharpness, though you may
suppose I was thinking of no trifles at the moment--"why, the devil
perhaps!" "I must say I thought at first it was him, sir," said the
reefer, grinning; "'twas a black Nigger, though, sir, sitting right
on the very truck of it with his hands on his two knees, and we'd
got to shove him off before we could dig our knives into it!" "_By_
the Lord Harry!" I rapped out, "the very thing that--" "'Twas really
the case, though, Mr Collins," said the first lieutenant; "and I
thought it curious, but there are so many Negroes in the island."
"If you please, sir," put in the least of the mids, "perhaps they
haven't all of 'em room to meditate, sir!" "Or sent to the masthead,
eh, Roscoe?" said Snelling. "Which you'll be, sirrah," broke in the
first lieutenant, "the moment I get aboard, if you don't keep a small
helm!" We were clattering down over James Town by this time, the sun
blazing red off the horizon, into it and the doors of the houses,
and the huge hull and spars of the Conqueror almost blocking up the
harbour, as she lay anchored outside the Indiamen. The evening gun
fired as we pulled aboard the Hebe, which immediately got under weigh
by order, although Lord Frederick was not come down yet; but it fell
to her turn that night to supply a guard-boat to windward, and she
stood up under full sail round Sugar-Loaf Point, just as the dusk
fell like a shadow over the island.

The Newcastle's boat was on the leeward coast that night, and one
of our cutters was getting ready to lower, nearly off Prosperous
Bay, to windward; while the frigate herself would hold farther out
to sea. One of the master's mates should have taken the cutter; but
after giving the first lieutenant a few hints as far as I liked
to go, I proposed to go in charge of her that time, myself--which
being laid to the score of my freshness on the station, and the mate
being happy to get rid of a tiresome duty, I got leave at once. The
sharp midshipman, Snelling, took it into his ugly head to keep me
company, and away we pulled into hearing of the surf. The moment
things took the shape of fair work, in fact, I lost all thoughts of
the late kind. In place of seeing the ragged heights against the
sky, and musing all sorts of notions about the French Emperor, there
was nothing but the broad bulk of the island high over us, the swell
below, and the sea glimmering wide from our gunwale to the stars;
so no sooner did we lose sight of the Hebe slowly melting into the
gloom, than I lit a cheroot, gave the tiller to the mid, and sat
stirring to the heart at the thought of something to come, I scarce
knew what. As for Buonaparte, with all that belonged to him, 'twas
little to me in that mood, in spite of what I'd seen during the day,
compared with a snatch of old Channel times: the truth was, next
morning I'd feel for him again.

The night for a good while was pretty tolerable starlight, and in a
sort of a way you could make out a good distance. One time we pulled
right round betwixt the two points, though slowly enough; then again
the men lay on their oars, letting her float in with the long swells,
till the surf could be heard too loud for a safe berth. Farther on in
the night, however, it got to be dark--below, at least--the breeze
holding steady, and bringing it thicker and thicker; at last it was
so black all round that on one side you just _knew_ the rocks over
you, with the help of a faint twinkle of stars right aloft. On the
other side there was only, at times, the two lights swinging at the
mast-head of the Podargus and Hebe, far apart, and one farther to sea
than the other; or now and then their stern-window and a port, when
the heave of the water lifted them, or the ships yawed a little. One
hour after another, it was wearisome enough waiting for nothing at
all, especially in the key one was in at the time, and with a long
tropical night before you.

All of a sudden, fairly between the brig and the frigate, I fancied I
caught a glimpse for one moment of another twinkle; then it was out
again, and I had given it up, when I was certain I saw it plainly
once more, as well as a third time, for as short a space as before.
We were off a cove in the coast, inside Prosperous Bay, where a
bight in the rocks softened the force of the surf, not far from the
steep break where one of these same narrow gullies came out--a good
deal short of the shore, indeed, but I knew by this time it led up
somewhere toward the Longwood side. Accordingly the idea struck me of
a plan to set agoing, whether I hit upon the right place or not; if
it _was_ the schooner, she would be coming down right from windward,
on the look-out for a signal, as well as for the spot to aim at: the
thing was to lure her boat ashore there before their time, seize her
crew and take the schooner herself by surprise, as if we were coming
back all right; since signal the ships we couldn't, and the schooner
would be wary as a dolphin.

No sooner said than done. I steered cautiously for the cove,
fearfully though the swell bore in, breaking over the rocks outside
of it; and the reefer and I had to spring one after the other for
our lives, just as the bowman prized her off into the back-wash. As
for the cutter, it would spoil all to keep her off thereabouts; and
I knew if a boat did come in of the kind I guessed, why she wouldn't
lay herself out for strength of crew. Snelling and I were well armed
enough to manage half a dozen, if they fancied us friends, so I
ordered the men to pull clear off for an hour, at least, leaving fair
water. In fact there were sentries about the heights, I was aware, if
they could have heard or seen us; but the din of the surf, the dark,
and the expectation of the thing set us both upon our mettle; while
I showed the boat's lantern every now and then, like the light I had
noticed, such as the Channel smugglers use every thick night on our
own coast. I suppose we might have waited five or ten minutes when
the same twinkle was to be caught, dipping dark down into the swell
again, about opposite the cove: next we had half an hour more--every
now and then we giving them a flash of the lantern, when suddenly the
reefer said he saw oars glisten over a swell, which he knew weren't
man-o'-war's strokes, or else the fellows ought to have their grog
stopped. I had the lantern in my hand, slipping the shade once more,
and the other to feel for my cutlass hilt, when the mid gave a cry
behind me, and I turned just in time to see the dark figure of a
Black spring off the stones at our backs. One after another, three
or four more came leaping past me out of the gloom--the Frenchman's
red cap and his dark fierce face glared on me by the light of the
lantern; and next moment it was down, with him and me in a deadly
struggle over it in the thick black of the night. Suddenly I felt
myself lose hold of him in the heave of the swell, washing away back
off the rock; then something else trying to clutch me, when down I
swept with the sea bubbling into my mouth and ears.

I came up above water again by the sheer force of the swell, as it
seemed to me, plunging into the shore; with the choice, I thought, of
either being drowned in the dark, or knocked to a jelly on the rocks;
but out I struck, naturally enough, rising on the huge scud of the
sea, and trying to breast it, though I felt it sweep me backwards at
every stroke, and just saw the wide glimmer of it heave far and wide
for a moment against the gloom of the cliffs behind. All at once, in
the trough, I heard the panting of some one's breath near alongside
of me, and directly after, I was caught hold of by the hair of the
head, somebody else grabbing at the same time for my shoulder. We
weren't half-a-dozen fathoms from the stranger's boat, the Blacks
who had fallen foul of me swimming manfully together, and the boat
lifting bow-on to the run of the sea, as her crew looked about for us
by the light of their lantern. I had just got my senses enough about
me to notice so much, when they were hauling me aboard; all four
of the Negroes holding on with one hand by the boat's gunnel, and
helping their way with the other; while the oars began to make for
the light, which was still to be caught by fits, right betwixt those
of the two cruisers, as the space widened slowly in the midst of
them, standing out to sea. Scarce had I time to feel some one beside
me as wet as myself, whether the reefer or the Frenchman I didn't
know, when crash came another boat with her bows fairly down upon our
gunwale, out of the dark. The spray splashed up betwixt us, I saw the
glitter of the oar-blades, and heard Snelling's shrill voice singing
out to "sink the villans, my lads--down with 'em--remember the second
lieutenant!" The lantern in the French boat flared, floating out
for a single instant amongst a wreck of staves and heads, bobbing
wildly together on the side of a wave. One of my own men from the
cutter pulled me by the cuff of the neck off the crest of it with his
boat-hook, as it rose swelling away past, till I had fast grip of
her quarter; the Blacks could be seen struggling in the hollow, to
keep up their master's body, with his hands spread helplessly hither
and thither above water. The poor devils' wet black faces turned so
wistfully, in their desperation, toward the cutter, that I gasped out
to save him. They kept making towards us, in fact, and the bowman
managed to hook him at last, though not a moment too soon, for the
next heave broke the unlucky wretches apart, and we lost sight of
them; the cutter hanging on her oars till they had both him and me
stowed into the stern-sheets, where the Frenchman lay seemingly dead
or senseless, and I spitting out the salt water like a Cockney after
a bathe.

"Why, Mister Snelling," said I, as soon as I came fully to myself,
"I can't at all understand how I got into the water!" "Nor I either,
sir," said he; "I'll be hanged, sir, if I didn't think it was a
whirlwind of Niggers off the top of Diana's Peak, seeing I made out
the very one we found there this afternoon--the four of them took
you and this other gentleman up in their arms in a lump, as you
were floundering about together, and took to the water like so many
seals, sir!" I looked down into the Frenchman's face, where he lay
stretched with his head back and his hair dripping. "Is he gone?"
said I. "Well, sir," said the mid, who had contrived to light the
lantern again, "I'm afraid he's pretty near it. Is he a friend of
yours, sir?--I thought as much, by the way you caught him the moment
you clapped eyes on each other, sir." "Silence, sirrah!" said I:
"d'ye see anything of the light to seaward?" For a minute or two we
peered over the swells into the dark, to catch the twinkle of the
signal again, but to no purpose; and I began to think the bird was
flown. All of a sudden, however, there it was once more, dipping as
before beyond the heave of the sea, and between the backs of it,
sliding across the open space, with the blind side to the cruisers.
"Hallo, my lads!" said I, quickly, and giving myself another shake
as I seized the tiller, "give way seaward--stretch your backs
for ten minutes, and we have her!" We were pulling right for the
spot, when the light vanished, but a show of our lantern brought
it gleaming fairly out again, till I could even catch glimpse by
it of some craft or other's hull, and the iron of one boom-end,
rising over the swells. "Bow-oar, there!" whispered I; "stand by,
my lad, and look sharp!" "Hola!" came a short sharp hail over
the swells; "_d'où venez-vous?" "Oui, oui!_" I sung out boldly,
through my hand, to cover the difference as much as possible; then
a thought occurred to me, recollecting the French surgeon's words
on board this very craft the first time we saw her--"De la cage de
l'_Aigle_"--I hailed--"bonne fortune, mes amis!" "C'est possible!
c'est possible, mon capitaine!" shouted several of the schooner's
crew, jumping upon her bulwarks, "que vous apportez _lui-même_?" We
were pulling for her side as lubberly as possible, all the time--a
man ran up on her quarter with a coil of line ready to heave--but
still the main boom of the schooner was already jibing, her helm
up, and she under way; they seemed half doubtful of us, and another
moment might turn the scales. "Vite, vite!" roared I, choosing my
French at hap-hazard. "Oui, oui, jettez votre corde--venez au lof,
mes amis!"--luff, that was to say. I heard somebody aboard say it was
the American--the schooner came up in the wind, the line whizzing
off her quarter into our bows, and we came sheering down close by
her lee quarter, grinding against her bends in the surge, twenty
eager faces peering over at us in the confusion; when I sung out
hoarsely to run for brandy and hot blankets, as he was half-drowned.
"Promptement--promptement, mes amis!" shouted I, and as quickly there
was a rush from her bulwarks to bring what was wanted, while Snelling
and I made dash up her side followed by the men, cutlass in hand.
Three minutes of hubbub, and as many strokes betwixt us, when we
had driven the few that stood in our way pell-mell down the nearest
hatchway. The schooner was completely our own.

We hoisted up the cutter, with the French captain still stretched
in the stern-sheets--hauled aft the schooner's head-sheets, let her
large mainsail swing full again, and were soon standing swiftly out
toward the light at the frigate's masthead.

When the Hebe first caught sight of us, or rather heard the sound of
the schooner's sharp bows rushing through the water, she naturally
enough didn't know what to make of us. I noticed our first luff's
sudden order to clear away the foremost weather-gun, with the rush
of the men for it; but my hail set all to rights. We hove-to off
her weather quarter, and I was directly after on board, explaining
as simply as possible how we had come to get hold of a French craft
thereabouts in such a strange fashion.

Accordingly, you may fancy the surprise at James Town in the
morning, to see the Hebe standing in with her prize; let alone the
governor's perfect astonishment at suspecting some scheme to carry
off Napoleon, apparently, so far brought to a head. The upshot of
it was, to cut this bit of my story short, he and the military
folks would have it, at last, that there was nothing of the kind;
but only some slaver from the African coast wanting to land a
cargo, especially as there were so many Blacks aboard of her; and
the Frenchman at once took the cue, the little Monsieur of a mate
swearing he had been employed by several of the islanders, some
months before, to bring them slaves. For my own part, all things
considered, I had nothing to say; and, after some likelihood of a
shine being kicked up about it at first, the matter was hushed up.
However, the schooner was of course condemned in the mean time, as
the Hebe's fair prize, till such time as the Admiralty Court at the
Cape should settle it on our outward-bound voyage.

As the Hebe was to sail at once for India, the governor took the
opportunity to send two or three supernumeraries out in the vessel
along with us to the Cape of Good Hope, amongst whom was the Yankee
botanist; and though, being in the frigate, I didn't see him, I made
as sure as if I had it was my old shipmate Daniel.

Well, the morning came, when we weighed anchor from St James's Bay
for sea, in company with the prize: it wasn't more than ten or eleven
days since we had arrived in the Podargus, but I was as weary with
the sight of St Helena as if I'd lived there a year. The frigate's
lovely hull, and her taunt spars, spreading the square stretch of her
white canvass sideways to the Trade, put new life into me: slowly
as we dropped the peaks of the island on our lee-quarter, 'twas
something to feel yourself travelling the same road as the Indiaman
once more, with the odds of a mail coach, too, to a French diligence.
What chance might turn up to bring us together, I certainly didn't
see; but that night, when we and the schooner were the only things
in the horizon, both fast plunging, close-hauled, on a fresh breeze,
at the distance of a mile, I set my mind, for the first time,
more at ease. "Luck and the anchors stowed!" thought I, "and hang
all forethoughts!" I walked the weather quarterdeck in my watch
as pleasantly as might be, with now and then a glance forward at
Snelling, as he yarned at the fife-rail beside a groggy old mate, and
at times a glimmer of the schooner's hull on our lee-beam, rising wet
out of the dusk, under charge of our third lieutenant.

It was about a week afterwards, and we began to have rough touches
of Cape weather, pitching away on cross seas, and handing our
'gallant-sails oftener of a night, that Lord Frederick said to me
one evening, before going down to his cabin, "Mr Collins, I really
hope we shall not find your Indiaman at Cape Town, after all!"
"Indeed, Lord Frederick!" said I, respectfully enough; but it was
the very thing I hoped myself. "Yes, sir," continued he; "as I
received strict injunctions by Admiral Plampin to arrest Lieutenant
Westwood if we fell in with her there, and otherwise, to send the
schooner in her track, even if it were to Bombay." "The deuce!" I
thought, "are we never to be done with this infernal affair?" "'Tis
excessively disagreeable," continued the Captain, swinging his gold
eye-glass round his finger by the chain, as was his custom when
bothered, and looking with one eye all the while at the schooner.
"A beautiful craft, by the way, Mr Collins!" said he, "even within
sight of the Hebe." "She is so, my lord," said I; "if she had only
had a sensible boatswain, even, to put the sticks aloft in her." "I
say, Mr Collins," went on his lordship, musingly, "I think I have it,
though--the way to get rid of this scrape!"

I waited and waited, however, for Lord Frederick to mention this; and
to no purpose, apparently, as he went below without saying a word
more about it.



I never heard, nor is it important, why my father, Major Von Degen,
an old officer of the King's German Legion, resolved to have me
educated in his native country, unvisited by him since boyhood, and
supplanted in his affections, to all outward appearance, by the land
he long had served and dwelt in, of whose daughters he had taken a
wife, and in which he proposed to end his days. Be that as it may,
at an early age I was sent from England to a town in the north of
Germany, where I passed four years in the house of a worthy and
kind-hearted professor, and which I quitted at the age of eighteen
to proceed to the university of Heidelberg. For me, as for most
young men, the gay, careless, light-hearted student-life, with its
imaginary independence and fantastical privileges, its carouses of
Rhenish wine and Bavarian beer, its harmless duels and mock-heroic
festivals, at first had strong attractions. And when, after a
certain number of joyously-kept terms and pleasant vacation rambles,
university diversions began to pall, and I became a less constant
attendant in the fencing hall and at the evening potations, I still
was detained at Heidelberg--not by love of study, for to study, being
destined to no profession, I little applied, but by the force of
habit, by the charm of a delightful country, and, more particularly,
by the agreeable society I found in a number of families resident
in and around the town. Although but moderately attentive to the
branches of learning usually pursued at a university, I was not
altogether unmindful of my improvement. I busied myself with modern
languages, exercised my pencil by sketching the surrounding scenery,
and, above all, assiduously cultivated a tolerable talent for music.
In this I was particularly successful. Enthusiastically fond of the
art, gifted by nature with a good tenor voice, and having chanced
upon an excellent instructor, I made rapid progress; and during
the latter part of my residence at Heidelberg, no musical party or
amateur concert for miles around was deemed complete without me.

I left the university in my five-and-twentieth year, and, after
passing another twelvemonth in a tour through southern Europe, I was
upon my way to England, when I paused for a day in the village of
Mauseloch, capital of the Duchy of Klein-Fleckenberg--an independent
and sovereign state of which geographers make little mention, and
historians still less, but which is known, at least by name, to
most persons who have travelled through those pleasant districts
of central Germany watered by the Rhine and its tributaries. Those
ignorant of its existence, and curious of its whereabout, will do
well to consult the larger and more accurate maps of that country;
upon which, greatly to the credit of the topographers, they will
find it noted down, although its entire superficies is scarcely more
extensive than that of the private park of more than one European
monarch. Its population is perhaps equal to that of the Jews' quarter
in Frankfort on the Maine, and its revenue would enable a private
gentleman to live in tolerably good style in London or Paris.
Its standing army, which, when seen upon parade, bears a strong
resemblance to a sergeant's guard, greatly distinguished itself in
the wars against Napoleon, sustained dreadful losses, and by its
valour, as several patriotic Klein-Fleckenbergers have informed
me, decided the fate of more than one hard-fought field. In most
respects Klein-Fleckenberg differs so little from many other German
principalities, duchies, landgraviates, &c. &c., that description
is almost superfluous. In spring it is white with the blossoms of
plum and pear, fruits which constitute no unimportant article of its
consumption and commerce; it is celebrated for sour kraut; its pigs
yield the best of sausages; it has half a dozen corn-fields and a
hop-ground, and also a mineral-spring, whose waters, although not
sufficiently renowned to attract strangers, annually work miraculous
cures upon sickly natives. At the time I speak of, the reigning duke
was Augustus IX., an amiable and easy-going prince, whose illustrious
brows were more frequently bound with a velvet smoking-cap than with
a golden diadem, and whose hand, in lieu of sceptre, usually carried
a riding-whip, sometimes a fowling-piece. His mild sway was lightly
borne by his loyal subjects, who failed not, each successive Sabbath,
to pray for his welfare and preservation, and who, if they sometimes
grumbled when called upon for the contributions destined to support
his princely state, imputed blame only to the tax-gatherer, and
never dreamed of attaching it to their benevolent and well-beloved

The chapel of the ducal residence of Mauseloch was filled to the
roof, when, upon a bright Sunday morning of the year 183--, I entered
and looked around for a vacant seat. Not one was to seen. More than
one good-natured burgess screwed himself, as I passed near him, into
the smallest possible compass, to try to make room for me, but on
that sultry autumn morning I had too great regard both for my own
comfort and that of others, to avail myself of the scanty space thus
courteously afforded. In the whole church there literally was not
a sitting vacant, and several persons seemed, by their attitude,
to have resigned themselves to stand out the service. I hesitated
whether to do the same or to leave the church, when somebody touched
my arm, and on looking round I saw the precentor beckoning to me,
and pointing to an empty stool behind the singing-desk. Glad of the
offer, I at once installed myself amongst the choristers.

The extraordinary concourse in the church was not owing, as I
afterwards learned, to any unwonted pious fervour of the Klein
Fleckenbergers, but to the presence--for the first time after a visit
of some weeks to a brother potentate--of the reigning duke and his
duchess, and of their daughter the Princess Theresa. From my seat in
the choir, I had a full view of these distinguished personages. The
duke was a sleek elderly gentleman, with at least as much _bonhomie_
as dignity in his bearing; his wife, with rather more of the starch
of a petty German court, was yet a kindly-looking princess enough.
But their daughter was a pearl of beauty. She seemed about twenty
years of age, slender and graceful, with darker eyes and hair than
are common amongst her countrywomen, and--but I shall not attempt to
describe her. With all the advantages of ivory tablets and silken
brushes, and the seven tints of the rainbow, it would need a cunning
artist to do justice to her perfections; so it were absurd of me, a
mere sketcher, with pen, paper, and an indifferent ink-bottle for
sole materials, to attempt to portray them. I will therefore merely
say, that with elegance of form and regularity and delicacy of
feature, she combined the highest charm that grace and intelligence
of expression can bestow. Fresh from the sunburnt shores of Italy,
where I had basked at the foot of Vesuvius till my heart was as
inflammable as tinder, I took fire at once. My eyes were riveted
upon the peerless Theresa, when she chanced to look up. There was
electricity in the glance. I was stricken on the spot; my heart was
brought down like a snipe with a slug through his wing, and fell
fluttering at its conqueror's feet. I know not how long I had gazed,
when I was roused from my contemplation by a stir in the choir, and
the choristers struck up a psalm to a fine old German air, in which I
had often joined at concerts of Handel's and Haydn's splendid church
music. Instinctively I took my accustomed part, and was scarcely
conscious of doing so, until, after a few bars, I perceived myself
the object of the choristers' curious attention, and saw the singer
whose part I had taken cease to sing, either of his own accord or at
a sign from the precentor. Certainly the wiry quavering and unskilled
execution of the Klein Fleckenberger tenor could not compete for
an instant with a voice which was then in its mellow prime, and of
very considerable power; without vanity, the substitution was for
the better, and so apparently thought the congregation, for a cat's
footfall might have been heard in the church, and all eyes were
turned towards the choir. Amongst them I particularly observed the
beautiful hazel orbs of the Princess Theresa, which more than once
fixed themselves upon me, so I fancied, as if she singled out my
voice and distinguished it from the less cultivated vocalisation of
my companions. The singing at an end, I observed her whisper the
duke, who immediately cast a glance in my direction.

The service over, I hurried from the church, eager to catch a view
of my divinity, on whose passage I stationed myself. Presently an
open carriage, with high-pacing Mecklenberg horses and a bearded
chasseur, rolled rapidly by, its occupants receiving on their passage
the respectful greetings of the people. In my turn I took off my hat,
and I could not but think there was a gleam of recognition in the
beautiful Theresa's eyes as she gracefully bent in acknowledgment of
my salutation. And when the carriage had passed me a few yards, the
duke put his head out and looked back, but for whom or what the look
was intended I could not decide, before a turn of the road hid the
vehicle from my view.

The ragouts at the Fleckenberger Arms were not of such excellence as
to induce me to linger over them, even if my appetite had not been
somewhat destroyed by the feverish excitement in which the sight of
the peerless Theresa had left me. The fact was, absurd as it may
seem, that I had actually, and at first sight, allowed myself to
fall violently in love with the charming and high-born German. I say
absurd; because, although my father was of a good enough Brunswick
family, and my mother, a rich English heiress, had brought him a
rent-roll perhaps not much inferior to the combined civil list and
private revenue of the dukes of Klein Fleckenberg, yet a princess
is always a princess, whether her realm be wide as China or limited
as Monaco, a hemisphere or a paddock; and I was well assured of the
haughty astonishment with which Augustus IX. would not fail to repel
the presumptuous advances of plain Charles von Degen. At the time,
however, I did not stay to calculate all this, but yielded to the
impulse of the moment.

I was sitting after dinner in the public room of the hotel, and
planning a walk abroad in hopes of obtaining another glimpse of
the lady of my thoughts, when I heard my name pronounced. The door
was half open, and by a slight change of position I saw into the
entrance-hall, where Herr Damfnudel, landlord of the Fleckenberger
Arms, was exhibiting, to a stranger in a dapper brown coat and of
smug and courtly aspect, the folio volume in which, according to
German custom, each visitor to the hotel was expected to inscribe
his name and calling, his whence-come and his whither-go. Presently
the stranger entered the room and paced it twice in its entire
length, whilst I sat at the table turning over a newspaper, in whose
perusal I affected to be busied, but at the same time observing,
by the aid of a friendly mirror, the appearance and movements of
the stranger, to whom I was evidently an object of curiosity and
examination. Presently he took up a paper, sat down at no great
distance from me, offered me snuff, and glided into talk. Aided
by tolerable familiarity with the ways and style of little German
courts and courtiers, I soon made up my mind as to what he was. His
manner, appearance, and tone of conversation convinced me he was in
some way or other attached to the ducal residence, although I had
difficulty in conjecturing his motive for trying to extract from me
various particulars concerning myself and my country, and especially
concerning the object of my visit to Mauseloch. He either did not
possess, or thought it unnecessary to employ, any great amount of
_finesse_, and I soon detected his drift. My pure German accent
could have left him no doubt that in me he addressed a countryman;
the hotel-book told him little besides my name, for I had inscribed
myself as a _particulier_ or private gentleman, coming from the last
town I had slept at, and proceeding to the next at which I proposed
pausing on my journey homewards. Hope and vanity combined to flatter
me with the belief that the chamberlain, or whatever else he was,
acted merely as an agent in the affair; and, at any rate, I thought
it wise to affect the mysterious, being sufficiently acquainted with
optics to know that a fog magnifies the objects it envelops. The
stranger could make nothing of me. At times his sharp little grey
eyes assumed an expression of doubt, and at others his manner had a
tinge of deep respect that puzzled me not a little. At last he took
his departure, and it was my turn to play the inquisitor. Calling for
Herr Damfnudel, I preferred those two requests which no innkeeper
was ever known to refuse--namely, a bottle of his best wine, and his
company to drink it. The generous juice of the Rhine grape speedily
oiled the hinges of his tongue; and at the very first assault,
by speaking of the stranger as the Kammerherr or chamberlain, I
ascertained that he really held a somewhat similar post in the duke's
household. Before the bottle, of which I took care my host should
drink the greater part, was quite empty, I had learned all that the
worthy Damfnudel knew. This amounted to no great deal. The duke's
gentleman had been inquisitive as to who I was, had inspected the
book, had inquired if I had a servant, and had seemed disappointed
at finding I was quite alone, and that the innkeeper could tell
him little or nothing about me. Damfnudel was much inclined to
believe, indeed had heard it rumoured in the town, that an important
personage was expected at the castle, whom it was thought possible
might be standing in my boots under the assumed name of Charles von
Degen. Flattering as was the implied compliment to the aristocratic
distinction of my appearance, I nevertheless repudiated the
incognito, declared myself to be no other than I seemed, and begged
Damfnudel to treat me and charge me as an ordinary traveller, and by
no means as a prince, ambassador, or field-marshal, or other great
dignitary. Dumfnudel, however, was of opinion that in these times so
many real and ex-potentates travel incognito, that it is impossible
to say who is who, and that a prudent innkeeper must consequently
suspect all his guests of high rank until the contrary be proven, and
charge accordingly.

Although I most perseveringly perambulated Mauseloch and its
vicinity, I saw nothing more that day of the too fascinating Theresa.
I ascertained, however, that the following morning was fixed for a
grand shooting party in the ducal preserves, and that there I might
confidently expect to obtain a view of my enchantress. Accordingly,
at an early hour I mingled with the sportsmen and idlers who were
thronging to the scene of action, and had not very long to wait
before the party from the castle drove through the park gates. At
first I had no eyes but for the lovely Theresa, who stepped lightly
from her carriage, more beautiful than ever, her sweet face and
graceful form shown to the utmost advantage by a closely-fitted
hunting dress, in which she might have been taken for the queen of
the Amazons, or for Cynthia herself newly descended from Olympus to
hunt a boar in Klein Fleckenberg. Bright was her glance, gay and
graceful her smile, as she alighted on the turf whose blades her
fairy foot scarce bent. There was a murmur of admiration amongst
the bystanders as she bowed cheerfully and kindly around, and again
I thought her eye rested half a second's space on me, as I stood a
little in the background, in the shadow of the trees. The duke and
duchess were with her, and the three were attended by their little
court, amongst whose members I recognised my inquisitive friend of
the previous day.

The kind of park in which the battue was to take place, was a
romantic tract of forest land, veined and dotted with rows and
clusters of trees, abounding in excellent cover, and interspersed
with grassy glades and lawns, whose delightful freshness was
preserved by the meanderings of two rivulets, feeders of a
neighbouring river, which flowed shallow and rapid over beds of
white sand, and between banks gorgeous with wild flowers. The sport
began. There was no lack of beaters. Besides a certain number of
peasants, whose duty it was to attend when their lord went a-hunting,
half the idlers of the duchy were at hand, eager to volunteer their
services; and soon began a shouting and clamour, a thrashing of
bushes and rummaging of brushwood, which drove the terrified game
headlong from form and harbour, across the open ground, in full view
and under the muzzles of the sportsmen. Loud then rang rifle and
fowling-piece, and cheerily clanged the horns, arousing the echoes of
the woods, and reverberated back from the clefts and ravines of the
neighbouring mountains, whilst the lusty cries of German woodcraft
were on every side repeated. So gay and inspiriting was the scene,
that for a moment it had almost diverted my thoughts from Theresa,
when I was suddenly accosted by my friend the Spy. With a low bow
he offered me a double-barrelled gun and a hunting-knife. "His
highness," he said, in a tone of the utmost ceremony and respect,
"was far from seeking to dispel the strict incognito I thought fit
to maintain, but he trusted I would be pleased to take post, and
share in the sports of the day." Having said thus much, he made
another profound bow, wished me good sport, then bowed again, and
retreated, leaving me so astonished and perplexed, that I was scarce
able to reply to his civility, and to stammer out something about
"a mistake under which his highness laboured," words which elicited
only a bland and respectful smile, and another obeisance deeper than
before. I was utterly confounded; puzzled and anxious to see how
the mistake, of which I was evidently the subject, would ultimately
be cleared up; whilst at the same time I could not help caressing
a sweet presentiment that the misapprehension of the court would
afford me opportunity of nearer acquaintance with the princess.
Before these thoughts had passed through my mind, the gun was in my
grasp, the hunting-knife by my side, and I was alone and without
choice but to stand like an advanced sentry in the open ground, or
to take post in the line of sportsmen stationed around the skirt
of an adjacent cover. I chose the latter; but truly neither hare
nor roebuck had much to fear from me. I had been too recently shot
through the heart myself to be a very formidable foe to the startled
creatures that scampered and scudded in all directions. I had made
but slight addition to the stock of venison, when an end was put to
this part of the day's sport, and a respite given to the smaller
game by the appearance of a huge wild boar. The bristly monarch
of the German forest had been tracked and driven upon a previous
day into a _sau-garten_, an enclosure allotted for the purpose,
and was now let out into the duke's chase. With eyes inflamed with
fury, bristles erect, and white tusks protruding from under the
blood-red wrinkles of his lip, he now dashed along, pursued by a
few stanch mastiffs, more than one of which, when pressing too
closely on the monster, atoned for his temerity with his life. Thus
escorted, the fierce animal came careering down a long green alley,
when one of the duke's counsellors, seized suddenly with a perilous
ardour, brandished a boar-spear, planted himself in the middle of
the path, and awaited the onset. In appearance he was not much of
a Nimrod, being chiefly remarkable for the shortness of his legs
and rotundity of his body, which seemed but ill at ease in a tight
green hunting-coat, whilst the picturesque low-crowned hat and bunch
of cock's feathers sat oddly enough above a jolly rubicund visage
that might have belonged to Falstaff himself. The comical twinkle
in his eye, which seemed to indicate his vocation to be that of
court-jester in the drawing-room, rather than court-champion in
the hunting-field, was quenched and replaced by a stare of visible
uneasiness as the wild pig came bowling along, squinting ominously
at him from under its shaggy eyebrows, and evidently wondering what
manner of man thus rashly awaited its formidable charge. The worthy
privy counsellor already puffed and perspired with his exertions,
but still he manfully stood his ground, and, greeting his antagonist
with the customary defiant cry of _Hui Sau!_ he lowered his broad,
keen spear-point, and prepared for a deadly thrust. But the dangerous
contest required a firmer and prompter hand than his. Evading the
weapon, the boar darted forward, thrust himself between the legs
of the portly sportsman, and, without injuring him, carried him
fairly off, astride upon his back. At this moment a _char-à-banc_,
containing the duchess, the Princess Theresa, and two other ladies,
and escorted by the duke and some gentlemen on horseback, drove
out of a cross-road, and the cavalcade obtained a full view of the
scene. The piteous mien of the fat counsellor astride upon the
pig, whose curly tail he grasped with a vehemence that augmented
the indignation of the furious animal, was irresistibly ludicrous.
There was a peal of laughter from the spectators, the duke swayed
to and fro in his saddle with excess of mirth, and even the ladies
caught the contagion. The joke, however, became serious earnest when
the boar, by a sudden wriggle of his unclean body, shook off the
counsellor, and turned upon him with the evident purpose of ripping
his rotundity with his dangerous tusks. This occurred within a few
steps of where I stood, and at the moment that the mirth of the
spectators was exchanged for cries of anxious horror, and when the
swine's ivory seemed already fumbling the ribs of the fallen man,
I sprang forward and drove my _couteau de chasse_ deep into the
shoulder of the grunting savage. The next moment, a well-directed
and powerful thrust from a huntsman's boar-spear laid the brute
expiring upon the ground, cheek by jowl with the luckless sportsman
who had so nearly been its victim. Bewildered by his fall, and
panting with terror, the corpulent courtier, when set upon his legs
by the huntsman, at first seemed in doubt whether the blood that
sprinkled his smart hunting-dress belonged to himself or the pig.
Satisfied upon this point, he picked up his crushed castor, and,
without replacing it on his head, turned to me, with an air of
profound respect. "Gracious sir," he said, bowing to the ground,
"I am doubly fortunate in being rescued by so illustrious a hand
from so imminent a danger." I at first thought the man was playing
the buffoon by addressing me in this style, which had been more
appropriate to a prince than to an unpretending commoner like myself,
and I scanned his features sharply, but their sole expression was
one of satisfaction at his deliverance, and of obsequious gratitude
to his deliverer. Before I could frame a disclaimer of the honour
thrust upon me, we were surrounded by the court. In a tone of mingled
cordiality and circumspection, the duke paid me a compliment on the
prompt aid afforded to his trusty friend and counsellor, upon whom
he then opened a smart fire of good-humoured sarcasms, which, as in
duty bound, his suite heartily laughed at and applauded. His wit
was lost upon me, engrossed as I was by the presence of the lovely
Theresa, who, encouraged by her father's example, smiled approvingly,
and addressed to me a few obliging words, whilst a blush mantled
her beauteous cheek. Then the _char-à-banc_ drove on, accompanied
by the horsemen, and I remained as one entranced, her silver tones
yet ringing in my ear, her sweet and graceful smile still shedding
sunshine around me. I had not yet recovered full possession of my
senses, scattered and confused by the quick succession of events, and
the curious dilemma in which I found myself, when one of the duke's
grooms led up a saddle-horse, and respectfully held the stirrup
for me to mount. I began to be resigned to the sort of _equivoque_
in which I was entangled, and, somewhat tired by the exertions of
the morning, I willingly availed myself of the proffered steed. At
the door of the hotel I gave the animal up to my attendant, with a
_douceur_ whose liberality may certainly have contributed to maintain
a belief of my being a more important personage than I seemed. My
appearance on a horse of the duke's, and attended by one of his
grooms, produced a great and manifest impression upon Herr Damfnudel,
who treated me with redoubled respect, and, I have little doubt,
augmented my score in the same proportion.

Left to solitude and reflection, after the bustle and excitement of
the morning, a certain uneasiness took possession of me. Hurried
along by a stream of odd but agreeable incidents, I had as yet
lacked time to weigh the possible consequences. I almost wished I
had kept in the background, and contented myself with sighing at
a hopeless distance for the amiable Theresa, instead of accepting
proffered attentions, and so passively encouraging the error into
which the duke and his family had evidently run. I felt that I was
in some degree an impostor, unless I at once broke down the blunder
by declaring who I was. On the other hand, I could not make up my
mind thus rudely to alter a state of things which I had not brought
about, for which I consequently was not to blame, and which, I
plainly saw, was likely to afford me opportunities of interviews,
and even of intimacy, with her by whom my thoughts were now entirely
engrossed. Another course was certainly open to me, namely, instant
departure; but to this I had great difficulty in making up my mind.
My perplexities haunted me in my dreams, and the next morning found
me in the same state of painful indecision, when a letter weighed
down the scale of inclination, and made prudence kick the beam. It
was brought me by a servant in the duke's livery, and written in
courtly French by the marshal of his household. I had betrayed, it
said, so charming a musical talent, that I must not feel surprised at
the inference that my dramatic abilities were equally remarkable. To
celebrate the birthday of his highness the duke, the court proposed
getting up Kotzebue's play of the Love Child, and it was earnestly
hoped I would not refuse to take the part of Ehrmann, which was
accordingly enclosed. There was to be a rehearsal that evening at the

This tempting invitation swept away my uncertainties like cobwebs.
My theatrical experience little exceeded a few acted charades, but I
had always been a great playgoer, and had long frequented a school
of elocution, where I had acquired readiness of delivery, and the
habit of speaking before a numerous audience. So I doubted not of
making at least a respectable appearance upon the boards of the
palace theatre. I had no reason to complain of the part assigned
to me, for it was to be rewarded upon the stage with the hand of a
beautiful baroness. Like more than one pious congregation, I thought
the Klein-Fleckenbergers were in distress for a good parson, and
doubtless I might pass muster as a tolerable one. It was no small
stimulus to me to accept the part and do my best, that I should
thereby be giving pleasure to her who I felt assured would be at
once the most illustrious and the most lovely of my audience. And
since the court persisted in discerning in me, an undisguised and
unassuming private gentleman, a distinguished Incognito, whose mask,
however, it carefully abstained from plucking off, I made up my mind
there was no harm in letting the mistake go a stage further.

Kotzebue's agreeable play of the Love Child (_Das Kind der Liebe_)
has, I think, appeared in an English dress, and will be known to
many. I need here refer but to a small portion of the plot. Baron
Wildenhain, a wealthy nobleman, destines the hand of his beautiful
and artless daughter, Amelia, to Count Von der Mulde, a Frenchified
German and empty coxcomb, but in other respects an advantageous
match. Unwilling, however, to bestow her hand upon one to whom she
may be unable to give her heart, he commissions Ehrmann, a clergyman,
who has been her tutor, to ascertain her feelings towards the count,
and to warn her against accepting him as a companion for life if
she is unable to love and esteem him. Ehrmann, who has long been
secretly attached to Amelia, but has scrupulously concealed his
passion, magnanimously accepts the difficult and delicate mission;
but whilst accomplishing it, and explaining to his former pupil
the indispensable conditions of conjugal happiness, he is at once
surprised, pained, and overjoyed by her _naive_ confession that
the sentiments of esteem and affection he tells her she ought
to entertain towards her future husband, are exactly those she
experiences for himself. This scene is skilfully managed, and a
happy _dénouement_ is brought about by the baron's preferring
his daughter's happiness to his own pride, and giving her to the
humbly-born but accomplished and virtuous minister.

By assiduous application during the whole of that day, I knew my part
pretty well when the hour of rehearsal came. On reaching the palace,
I was conducted to one of the wings, where a small but very complete
theatre was fitted up. The marshal of the household, who received
me with the most courteous attention, played Baron Wildenhain; his
lady was Wilhelmina Bottger; the humorous part of the butler was
worthily filled by my boar-hunting friend of the previous day. The
other male characters had all found very tolerable representatives,
with the exception of the important one of Count Von der Mulde, which
was taken by a young secretary who had scarcely set foot over the
boundary of the duchy, and who, strive as he might, was but a tame
and inefficient representative of the mincing Frenchified fop. The
morrow being the duke's birthday, there was time but for this one
rehearsal, which was therefore to be gone through in full dress. A
costume awaited me, and I flattered myself I made a most reverend and
imposing appearance in my priestly sables. My next concern was to
know who took the character of the baron's daughter, the sprightly
and innocent Amelia, with whom my own part was so closely linked. I
conjectured it would be the marshal's daughter, but did not choose
to ask. Great indeed was my surprise when, in the second act, the
Princess Theresa made her entrance in a morning dress of exquisite
elegance and freshness, and, in the character of Amelia, tripped and
prattled, with natural and enchanting grace, through the scene where
the baron sounds his daughter respecting Count Von der Mulde. With
lightning swiftness the tender scenes I should have to play with her
flashed across my memory, and drove every drop of blood to my heart.
It was fortunate I was not then required on the stage, for I should
have been unable to remember or utter a word. During that and the
following scene, however, I had time to recover my composure; and
when I at last went on for an interview with the father, I quickly
glided into the spirit of my part, and acquitted myself well enough.
Soon I found myself alone on the stage with Amelia, with the task
set me to expose and explain to her the joys and sorrows of wedlock,
and then her admirable acting and my feelings towards her converted
the dramatic fiction into gravest reality--so far, at least, as I
was concerned. When she so innocently and artlessly confessed her
love, when she placed her hand in mine to move me to an avowal of
affection, when I felt the pressure of her delicate fingers, it was
all I could do to adhere to the letter of my part, and not avow in
earnest the passion I was to appear to repress and conceal. With
what seductive simplicity did she deliver the passage, "Long have
I wondered what made my heart so full; but now I know; 'tis here!"
And as she spoke, her bosom rose and fell beneath its covering of
snow-white muslin. "Lady!" I exclaimed, and never were words more
heartfelt, "you have destroyed my peace of mind for ever!"

It was with feelings approaching to rapture that I observed how
completely the princess identified herself with her part. More than
once I saw tears of sensibility suffuse her eyes. Her admirable
performance elicited from the other actors applause too hearty and
cordial to be the mere tribute of courtly adulation. And the scene in
which Amelia, pretending to seek a needle beside her father's chair,
throws herself suddenly on his neck, and passionately implores his
consent, took the hearts of all present by storm. As for mine, it had
long since surrendered at discretion.

The better to adapt it to the means and circumstances of a private
theatre, the play had been a good deal cut and altered. The scene
in which the fortunate Ehrmann obtains the hand of Amelia had been
somewhat toned down, in consideration for the rank of the actress;
and the embrace and kiss had been struck out. But, as it often
happens that one involuntarily does the very thing that should be
avoided, so, when Baron Wildenhain said, "I am indeed deeply in your
debt: Milly, will you pay him for me?" she adhered to the uncurtailed
version, let herself fall upon my arm, and exclaimed, with tender
emotion, as my lips pressed her cheek, "Ah, what joy is this!" That
thrill of felicity could not be surpassed. Immense was the happiness
concentrated in that one brief moment. How incredulously should I
have listened had I been told, twenty-four hours previously, that I
so soon was to press that angel to my breast, and feel upon my arm
the quick throbbings of her heart!

The rehearsal over, I was divesting myself of my clerical robe, when
the princess passed near me, accompanied by the marshal's lady.

"Dear Mr Ehrmann!" she said, "surely we soon shall see you doff
another disguise?"

"Gracious princess," I was forced to reply, "unhappily I am and must
ever remain what I now appear."

With a half-incredulous, half-mournful look she passed on, and left
the theatre.

On returning to the hotel, I found there had been an arrival during
my absence. A gentleman, mounted on a fine horse, and attended by a
servant, had alighted about an hour previously at the Fleckenberger
Arms, and was now seated in the coffee-room at supper. The stranger,
a young man of agreeable exterior and remarkably well-bred air,
had already heard of the private theatricals in preparation at the
palace, and doubtless the loquacious Damfnudel had also informed him
I was one of the performers; for scarcely had we exchanged a few of
those commonplace remarks with which travellers at an hotel usually
commence acquaintance, when, with an air of lively interest, he
began to question me on the subject. I told him what the play was,
described the arrangement of the theatre and the distribution of
the parts, and added some remarks on the comparative merits of the
performers, the least effective of whom, I observed, was the young
secretary, who took the prominent and difficult character of Count
Von der Mulde. There was something so encouraging to confidence
in the frank and pleasing manner of the stranger, that before we
retired to bed, after a pretty long sitting over our cigars, I
narrated to him the curious chain of trifling circumstances that
had led to my sharing in the projected performance, and did not
even conceal that the inmates of the palace evidently took me for
some great personage travelling incognito. I said little about the
Princess Theresa, and nothing at all of the romantic passion with
which she had inspired me. The stranger was vastly diverted at the
whole affair; and declared me perfectly justified in yielding to
the gentle violence done me, and profiting for my amusement by the
harmless misapprehension. He then told me that he himself was a great
lover of theatricals, and that he should like exceedingly to share
in the performance at the palace; and, if possible, to take the part
of Count Von der Mulde, in which he had frequently been applauded in
his own country. He was a Livonian baron, who had been much at Paris;
and I made no doubt that he really would perform the Gallomaniac fop
extremely well, the more so that he himself was a little Frenchified
in his manner. And I felt sure the general effect of the performance
would be greatly heightened if a practised actor replaced the present
unskilled representative of Von der Mulde. It was out of the question
for me to think of proposing or presenting him, when my own footing
was so precarious; but I informed him that the whole management was
vested in the marshal of the duke's household--an affable and amiable
person, by whom, if he could obtain the slightest introduction, I
thought his aid would gladly be accepted. My Livonian friend mused a
little; thought it possible he might get presented to the marshal;
fancied he had formerly known a cousin of his at Paris; would think
over it, and see in the morning what could be done. Thereupon we
parted for the night.

I passed the whole of the next morning studying my part, and it
was afternoon before I again met the accomplished stranger. With
a pleasant smile, and easy, self-satisfied air, he told me he had
settled everything, and should have the honour of appearing that
evening as my unsuccessful rival for the hand of the fair Amelia
Wildenhain. He had procured an introduction to the marshal, (he did
not say through whom,) and that nobleman, delighted to recruit an
efficient actor in lieu of a stop-gap, had proposed calling a morning
rehearsal; but this the new representative of Von der Mulde declared
to be quite unnecessary. He was perfectly familiar with the part, and
undertook not to miss a word.

The hour of performance came. The little theatre was thronged with
Klein-Fleckenbergers, noble and gentle, from country and town.
The duke and duchess made their appearance, and were greeted by a
flourish of trumpets, whilst the audience rose in a body to welcome
them. Count Von der Mulde dressed at the hotel, and did not appear in
the greenroom till towards the close of that portion of the play in
which he had nothing to do. In the fifth scene of the second act he
made his entrance, and almost embarrassed Wildenhain and Amelia by
the great spirit and naturalness of his acting. Kotzebue himself can
hardly have conceived the part more vividly and characteristically
than the stranger rendered it.

"I have scarcely recovered myself yet, dear Mr Ehrmann," said the
Princess Theresa to me, between the acts. "The count quite frightened
me. I could not help fancying it was the real Von der Mulde."

The completeness of the illusion was undeniable. The jests of the
portly boar-hunter, in the part of the butler, passed unperceived,
amidst the admiration excited by the count, who bewailed the
pomatum-pot, forgotten by his servant, as though it were his best
friend he had been compelled to leave behind, and whose eyes actually
glistened with tears as he whined forth his apprehensions that
unsavoury German mice would devour the most delicate perfume France
had ever produced. The question passed round, amongst actors and
audience, who this admirable performer was, and the duke himself sent
behind the scenes to make the inquiry. "A Livonian gentleman," was
the reply, "who would shortly have the honour to pay his respects to
his highness."

The play proceeded, and if the rehearsal had had circumstances
peculiarly gratifying to me as an individual, as an amateur of
art I could not withhold my warmest approbation from this day's
performance. The admirable tact and delicacy of the princess's
acting, combined with the utter absence of stage-trick and
conventionality, gave an unusual and extraordinary charm to her
personation of a part that is by no means easy. The honours of the
evening were for her and the count, and with justice, for few of
the many German theatres I had visited could boast of such able
and tasteful actors. Between the acts, the marshal's lady took
her jestingly to task, and asked her whether, if the play were
reality, she should not be disposed, without disparagement to me,
to admit that the count was no despicable or unlikely wooer? "To
her thinking," the princess replied, "our merits in real life might
very well bear about the same relative proportion as those of the
characters we assumed, and, for her part, she preferred her amiable
and gentle tutor." Then perceiving, as she finished speaking, that I
was within hearing, she turned away with a blush and a smile, that
seemed to me like an opening of the gates of Elysium. Upon this
occasion, however, the embracing scene was gone through according to
the corrected version--that is to say, with the embrace omitted--but
my vanity consoled me by attaching so much the greater price to the
deviation that had been made in my favour upon the preceding evening.
In short, I gave myself up to the enchantment of the hour: I was,
or fancied myself, desperately in love; visions of felicity flitted
through my brain to the exclusion of matter-of-fact reflections; I
had dreamed myself into an impossible Paradise, whence it would take
no slight shock to expel me. One awaited me, sufficiently violent to
dissipate in a second the whole air-built fabric.

The performance was drawing to a close, when a sudden commotion arose
behind the scenes, and cries of alarm were uttered. The flaring
of a lamp, fixed in one of the narrow wings, had set fire to the
elaborate frills and floating frippery that decorated the coxcombical
costume of Count Von der Mulde. His servant, a simple fellow, who
had attended him to the theatre, was ludicrously terrified at seeing
his master in a blaze. "Water!" he shouted, at the top of his lungs.
"Water! water! the Prince of Schnapselzerhausen is on fire!"

And, snatching up a crystal jug of water that stood at hand, he
dashed it over his master, successfully quenching the burning
muslin, but, at the same time, drenching him from head to foot. His
exclamation had attracted universal attention.

"The Prince of Schnapselzerhausen!" repeated fifty voices.

"Blockhead!" exclaimed the stranger.

"Count Von der Mulde, I mean!" cried the bewildered servant. "Well,"
he added, seeing that none heeded his correction, "the murder is out;
but it was better to tell his name than let him burn."

The murder was out, indeed. With much ado the scene was played to an
end, and the curtain fell. Every one crowded round the singed and
dripping Von der Mulde. The princess, instead of greeting in him
the son of the reigning Prince of Schnapselzerhausen, her destined
bridegroom, seemed bewildered and almost shocked at the discovery,
and was carried fainting from the theatre. The prince was hurried
away by his future father-in-law, whilst I, with my brain in a whirl,
betook myself to my inn.

After a feverish and sleepless night, I fell at daybreak into a
slumber, which lasted till late in the day. On getting out of bed,
with the sun high in the sky, and before I was well awake, I began,
almost unconsciously, to pack my portmanteau. The instinct was a true
one; evidently I had now nothing to stay for in Klein-Fleckenberg.
I rang for the waiter, and bade him secure me a place in that day's
_eilwagen_. I was not yet dressed, when a servant brought me a letter
and a small packet. I opened the former first. It was from the
Countess Von P----, the wife of the marshal of the household. Its
contents were as follows:--

"Rev. Mr Ehrmann--I thus address you because it is in that character
we shall longest remember you. You are entitled to an explanation
of certain circumstances and overtures concerning whose origin the
appearance of his highness the Prince of Schnapselzerhausen will
already have partly enlightened you.

"The description given us of the prince in the last letter of our
confidential correspondent at his father's court--in which letter his
musical skill and love of dramatic performances were particularly
referred to--coincided, as did also the probable time of his arrival
here, so closely with your appearance, that, when the real prince
presented himself, under the assumed name of a Livonian gentleman, we
were far from suspecting who he really was.

"I am commissioned to thank you, in the joint names of the
Princess Theresa and her illustrious parents, for your excellent
performance in yesterday's play. The princess, who is suffering
from indisposition, brought on by the alarm of fire and subsequent
surprise, requests your acceptance of the accompanying trinket as a
slight token of her esteem."

The trinket was a gold ring, with the initial T. in brilliants. I
pressed it to my lips, and I know not why I should be ashamed to
confess that my eyes grew dim as I gazed upon it. I had had a vain
but happy dream, and the moment of awakening was painful. An hour
later I crossed for the last time the frontier of the pleasant little

The _Gotha Almanack_ supplies the date of the marriage of the
Princess Theresa of Klein-Fleckenberg with the son of the reigning
Prince of Schnapselzerhausen. It also records a series of subsequent
events which would induce many to believe in the conjugal felicity
of the illustrious pair;--the birth, namely, of half a dozen little
Schnapselzerhausens. That the second-born is christened Charles, may
be ascribed by the world to caprice, accident, or a god-father: my
vanity explains it otherwise.


[The subject of the following poem will best be gathered from the
entry in the notice-sheet of the House of Commons of 7th May last.
We do not disguise our delight at finding that Mr Bright is about
to take up the cause of protection in any portion of Her Majesty's
dominions; and although his sympathies seem to have been awakened at
a considerable distance from the metropolis, we are not without hope
that the tide will set in, decidedly and strongly, towards the point
where it is most especially needed. It is, at all events, refreshing
to know that the Ryots of India have secured the services of so
powerful and determined a champion, who has now ample leisure, owing
to the general dulness of trade, to do every justice to their cause.

"MR BRIGHT,--That an humble Address be presented to her Majesty,
praying her Majesty to appoint a commission to proceed to India,
to inquire into the obstacles which prevent an increased growth of
cotton in that country, and to report upon any circumstances which
may injuriously affect the economical and industrial condition of
the native population, being cultivators of the soil within the
presidencies of Bombay and Madras. _Tuesday 14th May._"]


    All the mills were closed in Rochdale,
      Shut the heavy factory door;
    Old and young had leave to wander,
      There was work for them no more.
    In the long deserted chambers
      Idly stood the luckless loom,
    Silent rose the ghastly chimney
      Guiltless of its former fume.


    Near a brook that leaped rejoicing,
      Freed once more from filthy dye,
    Dancing in the smokeless sunlight,
      Babbling as it wandered bye--
    Walked a middle-aged Free-trader,
      Forwards, backwards, like a crab:
    And his brow was clothed with sorrow,
      And his nether-man with drab.


    Chewing cud of bitter fancies,
      Dreaming of the by-gone time,
    Sauntered there the downcast Quaker
      Till he heard the curfew chime.
    Then a hollow laugh escaped him:
      "Let the fellows have their will--
    With a dwindling crop of cotton,
      They may ask a Five-hours Bill!


    "Side by side I've stood with Cobden,
      Roared with him for many a year,
    And our only theme was cheapness,
      And we swore that bread was dear;
    And we made a proclamation
      Touching larger pots of beer,
    Till the people hoarsely answered
      With a wild approving cheer.


    "Did we not denounce the landlords
      As a ravening locust crew?
    Did we not revile the yeomen,
      And the rough-shod peasants too?
    Clodpoles, louts, and beasts of burden,
      Asses, dolts, and senseless swine--
    These were our familiar phrases
      In the days of auld-langsyne.


    "And at length we gained the battle:
      Oh, how proudly did I feel,
    When the praise was all accorded
      To my brother chief by Peel!
    But I did not feel so proudly
      At the settling of the fee--
    Cobden got some sixty thousand--
      Not a stiver came to me!


    "Well, they _might_ have halved the money--
      Yet I know not--and who cares?
    After all, the free disposal
      Of the gather'd fund was theirs:
    And it is some consolation
      In this posture of affairs,
    To reflect that 'twas invested
      In the shape of railway shares!


    "O, away, ye pangs of envy!
      Wherefore dwell on such a theme,
    Since a second grand subscription
      Is, I know, a baseless dream?
    Haunt me not with flimsy fancies--
      Soul, that should be great and free!
    Yet--they gave him sixty thousand,
      Not a pennypiece to me!


    "But I threw my spirit forwards,
      As an eagle cleaves the sky,
    Glaring at the far horizon
      With a clear unflinching eye.
    Visions of transcendant brightness
      Rose before my fancy still,
    And the comely earth seemed girdled
      With a zone from Rochdale Mill.


    "And I saw the ports all opened,
      Every harbour free from toll:
    Countless myriads craving shirtings
      From the Indies to the pole.
    Lapland's hordes inspecting cotton,
      With a spermaceti smile,
    And Timbuctoo's tribes demanding
      Bright's 'domestics' by the mile!


    "O the bliss, the joy Elysian!
      O the glory! O the gain!
    Never, sure, did such a vision
      Burst upon the poet's brain!
    Angel voices were proclaiming
      That the course of trade was free,
    And the merchants of the Indies
      Bowed their stately heads to me!


    "Out, alas! my calculation
      Was, I know, too quickly made;
    Even sunlight casts a shadow,
      There is gloom in briskest trade.
    I forgot one little item--
      Though the fact of course I knew,
    For I never had considered
      Where it was that cotton grew.


    "Wherefore in this northern valley,
      Where the ploughshare tears the sod,
    Spring not up spontaneous bushes
      Laden with the precious pod?
    What an Eden were this island,
      If beside the chimney-stalk
    Raw material might be gathered,
      Freely of an evening walk!


    "But alas, we cannot do it.
      And the Yankee--fiends confound him!--
    Grins upon us, o'er the ocean,
      With his bursting groves around him.
    And these good-for-nothing Negroes
      Are so very slow at hoeing,
    That their last supply of cotton
      Will not keep our mills a-going.


    "Also, spite of Cobden's speeches
      Made in every foreign land,
    Which, 'tis true, the beastly natives
      Did not wholly understand,
    Hostile tariffs still are rising,
      Duties laid on twist and twine;
    And the wild pragmatic Germans
      Hail with shouts their Zollverein.


    "They, like madmen, seem to fancy
      That a nation, to be great,
    Should as surely shield the workman
      As the highest in the state:
    And they'd rather raise their taxes
      From the fruits of foreign labour,
    Than permit, as nature dictates,
      Each man to devour his neighbour.


    "So my golden dreams have vanished,
      All my hopes of gain are lost;
    Fresh accounts of glutted markets
      Come with each successive post.
    And I hear the clodpoles mutter
      As they pass me in the street,
    That they can't afford to purchase,
      At the present rate of wheat.


    "Well, I care not--'tis no matter!
      My machines won't eat me up;
    And the people on the poor-rates
      Have my perfect leave to sup.
    Let the land provide subsistence
      For the children of the soil,
    I am forced to feed my engines
      With a daily cruise of oil.


    "Ha! a bright idea strikes me!
      'Tis the very thing, huzzay!
    I have somewhere heard that cotton
      May be cultured in Bombay.
    Zooks! it is a splendid notion!
      Dicky Cobden is an ass.
    Wherefore should we pay the Yankees
      Whilst Great Britain holds Madras?


    "Cotton would again be cultured
      If, with a benignant hand,
    Fair protection were afforded
      To the tillers of the land.
    'Tis a sin and shame, we know not
      Where our real riches lie;
    Yes! they _shall_ have just protection,
      Else I'll know the reason why.


    "Surely some obscene oppression,
      Weighs the natives' labour down,
    Or their energies are palsied
      By a tyrant master's frown.
    To my heart the blood is gushing--
      Righteous tears bedew my cheek--
    Parliament shall know their burdens,
      Ere I'm older by a week!


    "Ha! those fine devoted fellows!
      'Twere a black and burning shame,
    If we let the Yankees swamp them
      In their mean exclusive game.
    I have always held the doctrine,
      Since my public life begun,
    That it was our bounden duty
      To take care of Number One.


    "What!--allow the faithful Indian
      To be crushed in cotton-growing?
    O forbid it, truthful Wilson!
      O refuse it, saintly Owen!
    Have their claims been disregarded?
      There is life within a mussel;
    And I've got a kind of bridle
      On the neck of Johnny Russell.


    "I shall move a special motion,
      Touching this o'erlooked affair:
    El-Dorado would be nothing
      To the wealth that waits us there.
    Let us get a fair protection
      For our native Indian niggers,
    And, I think, the Rochdale mill-book
      Would display some startling figures!


    "Ha! I've got another notion!
      Things are rather dull at home,
    And I feel no fixed objection,
      In my country's cause to roam.
    It is needful that some cautious
      Hand should undertake the task,
    Hum--there _must_ be a commission--
      Well--I've only got to ask.


    "They'll be rather glad to spare me,
      In their present precious fix:
    Charley Wood is somewhat shakey
      With his recent dodge on bricks.
    Palmerston's in hottest water,
      What with France, and what with Greece;
    As for little Juggling Johnny
      He'll pay anything for peace.


    "Faith, I'll do it! were it only
      As a most conclusive trick,
    And a hint unto our fellows
      That I'm quite as good as Dick.
    Hang him! since he's made orations,
      In a sort of mongrel French,
    One would think he's almost equal
      To Lord Campbell on the bench.


    "Time it is our course were severed;
      I'm for broad distinctions now.
    Since my mills are fairly stoppaged,
      At another shrine I bow.
    Send me only out to India
      On this patriotic scheme,
    And I'll show them how protection
      Is a fact, and not a dream."


We have considered it our duty to record in a permanent form the
proceedings of the most important meeting which has been held in
Britain, since Sir Robert Peel deliberately renounced that policy
of which he was once the plighted champion. Not many months have
elapsed since the Free-traders were wont to aver, with undaunted
effrontery, that all idea of a return to the principles of Protection
to native industry was eradicated from the minds of the British
public; that, saving some elderly peers and a few bigoted enthusiasts
like ourselves, no sane man would attempt to overturn a system which
placed the untaxed foreigner on a level with the home-producer;
and that cheapness, superinduced by exorbitant competition, was
in reality the greatest blessing which could be vouchsafed to
an industrious people. The great measure of the age, originally
propounded as an experiment, was eagerly assumed as a fact; and we
were told, for the first time in British history, that legislation,
however faulty it might prove, was to be regarded as a thing

It was, however, rather remarkable that, whilst making these broad
assertions, the Free-traders manifested a distinct uneasiness as to
the working of their favourite scheme. If the measures which they
advocated and carried were indeed final, there was surely no need
for the bluster which was repeated, week after week, and day after
day, from platform and from hustings, in Parliament and out of it,
in pamphlet, broad-sheet, and review. If no considerable party cared
about Protection, and still less meditated a vigorous effort for
its revival, why should Mr Cobden and his brother demagogues have
uselessly committed themselves by threatening, in so many words,
to shake society to its centre, and overturn the constitution of
the realm? Men never resort to threats, when they deem themselves
positively secure. Such language was, to say the least of it,
injudicious; since it was calculated to create an impression,
especially among the waverers, that the temple of Free Trade, (which,
by the way, is to be roofed in next year,) might after all have its
foundation on a quicksand, instead of being firmly established on the
solid stratum of the rock.

No charge can be made against the country party, that they have
precipitately commenced their movement. On the contrary, we believe
it would be impossible to find an instance of a vast body of men
betrayed by their appointed leader; aggrieved by a course of
legislation which they could not prevent, since a direct appeal to
the suffrages of the nation was denied; injured in their property;
and taunted for their apathy even by their opponents--yet submitting
so long and so patiently to the operation of a cruel law which day
by day was forcing them onwards to the brink of ruin. The practical
working of the withdrawal of agricultural protection dates from
February 1849, when that event was inaugurated by a Manchester
ovation. In April the price of wheat had fallen to about 44s.--in
December it was below 40s.; and then, and not till then, was the
spirit of the people fairly and thoroughly aroused. We need not
here advert to the foolish and deplorable trash put forward by the
political economists in defence of a system of cheapness, caused by
an unnatural depreciation of the value of British produce. That such
a depreciation could take place, without lowering in a corresponding
degree the rates of labour all over the country, and curtailing the
demand for employment in proportion to the diminished means of the
consumers, was obviously impossible. Nor could the wit of man devise
any answer to the proposition at once so clear and so momentous, that
the burden of taxation, already felt to be severe, was enormously
aggravated and increased by the measures which virtually established
a new standard of value for produce, and which violently acted upon
the incomes of almost every ratepayer in the kingdom. But it is well
worth noting that the leading advocates of Free Trade, previous
to the conversion of Sir Robert Peel, cautiously abstained from
arguing their case on the ground of permanent cheapness. We have
on this point the valuable testimony of Mr Cobden, who repeatedly
declared his conviction that the farmers, and even the landowners,
would derive a large and direct advantage from the repeal of the corn
laws. We have the treatises of Mr Wilson, Secretary of the Board of
Control, pathetically pointing out the positive detriment to the
country which must ensue from a long continuance of low prices of
grain. And finally, we have Sir Robert Peel's distinct admission that
56s. per quarter is the average price for which wheat can be raised
with a profit in Great Britain. It was not until all rational hope
of a rise was extinguished--until the amount of importations poured
into this country demonstrated the fallacy of all the calculations
which had been made as to the amount of surplus supply available from
the Continent and from America--that any section of the Free-traders
ventured to proclaim the doctrine that cheapness, ranging below the
level of the cost of home production, was a positive advantage to the
nation. It is true that this monstrous fallacy is now maintained by
only a few of the more unscrupulous and desperate of the party; and
that the Ministry have as yet abstained from committing themselves
to so fatal a dogma. They would have us rather cling to the hope
that present prices are only temporary, though they cannot assign a
single plausible reason to account for the continued depression. They
talk, in vague general terms,--the surest symptoms of their actual
incapacity and helplessness--of "transition states of suffering," of
"partial derangement inseparable from the formation of a new system
of commercial policy," and much more such pompous and unmeaning
jargon; whilst, at the same time, they refuse to commit themselves
to any decided line of action, if it should actually be found that
they were wrong in their calculations, and that prices so low as
to be absolutely ruinous are _not_ temporary in their operation,
but must hereafter prevail as the rule. How often have we heard, on
the part of their organs, even within the last two months, joyous
assertions that the markets were again rising, and foreign supplies
diminishing! Within this last fortnight, the _Times_, emboldened by
the continuance of cold easterly winds, and the backward state of
the vegetation, prophesied, with more than its usual confidence, a
rapid rise and a consequent diminution of cheapness. On the 13th of
May, our prospects were thus described:--"Happily just now corn is
rising, and we are quite as likely to see wheat at 60s. as 30s. in
the course of the year." On the 14th, the journalist again returned
to the charge--"Just now the market is rising all over the world, and
it seems likely enough that the farmer will soon have, in the natural
course of things, what Mr G. Berkeley wants to obtain by a return to
Protection.... The same agreeable tidings pour in from all parts of
the kingdom, and indeed from all parts of the world." Alas for human
prescience! On the 21st, the note was changed, and the bulletin from
Corn-Exchange announced that "the trade was dull, and the prices
gave way 1s. to 2s. per quarter before any progress could be made
in sales." The aggregate average of wheat for the six weeks ending
May 11th, was 37s. 1d.--a rate at which no one, not even the most
sanguine dabbler in agricultural improvement, has ventured to aver
that corn can be raised, under present burdens, without occasioning
an enormous loss to the grower.

We do not complain of these calculations or prophecies, however
fallacious they may be; but we do complain, very seriously, that
Ministers, their organs and their underlings, are halting between
two opinions. If cheapness is their watchword and principle, then
they have no right to plume themselves upon any rise in the value of
produce. We can understand the thorough-paced Free-trader who tells
us broadly, that the cheaper food can be bought, no matter whence
it comes, so much the better for the community. That is, at all
events, plain sailing. But we say deliberately, that a more pitiable
spectacle of mental imbecility cannot be imagined than that which is
now presented by the Cabinet, who, with cheapness in their mouths,
are eagerly catching at the faintest shadow of a rise in prices; and
who, did such a rise take place, would be the first to congratulate
the country on the improved condition of its prospects! Mr Wilson,
who usually communicates to the Premier, in the House of Commons,
the invaluable results of his experience, has been blundering on for
months in the preposterous hope of getting rid of facts by trumpery
and fallacious statistics; and has at last landed himself in such a
quagmire of contradictions, that his best friends are compelled to
despair of his ultimate extrication. Yet this gentleman is one of
those authorities whom we are told to regard with reverence; and whom
we do regard with just as much reverence as we would bestow upon a
broker's clerk who had set up for himself in business as a dealer in
the scrip of exploded and abandoned lines.

It was not until sinking markets, and continued foreign importations,
showed as clearly as facts could do that the depression of value was
permanent, and not temporary--until the farmers of England found
that they were absolute losers in their trade, and that their stock
had become unprofitable--until wages were beginning to fall in many
important districts, and the means of employment for thousands
were gradually taken away--not until all this was seen, and felt,
and known, that the suffering interests awoke from their presumed
lethargy, and commenced that system of active agitation which, in
an incredibly short period of time, has become universal over the
face of the country. We shall not particularise the language which
was used by men of the opposite party during the first period of
the movement. All that insolence, bluster, and menace could do, was
attempted by the former leaders of the League, to intimidate those
who knew that they were performing their duty to their country and
themselves, by making head against the most monstrous system of
tyranny which ever yet was devised for the oppression of a free and
prosperous people. Mr Cobden had the consummate folly--we need not
call it wickedness--to threaten that, if one iota of the free-trade
policy were reversed, he would raise up such a storm as would shake
England to its centre and thoroughly revolutionise society. And,
to the eternal disgrace of the Government be it spoken--the name
of the demagogue who had dared to hold such language was allowed
by the first Minister of the Crown to stand on a list of public
commissioners! Then the landowners were emphatically warned to
beware of originating a struggle, from which they might chance
to emerge with something worse than a mere depreciation of their
property. The warning, though doubtless well meant, was almost
wholly unnecessary. The marked and characteristic feature of the new
agitation is, that the landlords, as a body, have kept themselves
so far aloof from it that their apathy has more than once been made
a topic for the severest censure. It was among the tenant-farmers
and yeomen of England--we say it to their praise and glory--that
this mighty movement began. They saw how they had been deceived
and betrayed by those to whom they had intrusted their cause; and
the gallant Saxon spirit, never so greatly shown as when roused by
a sense of oppression, was exerted to vindicate and champion the
rights of their insulted order. The men of almost every county of
England spoke out manfully in their turn. By a wise and timely system
of organisation, skilfully planned and energetically carried into
effect, their isolated efforts were directed into one grand channel
of action. The National Association for the Protection of Industry
and Capital, under the presidency of that high-minded and patriotic
nobleman, the Duke of Richmond, and the energetic direction of Mr
George Frederick Young, whose services to the cause can never be
adequately acknowledged, afforded a centre and rallying point to the
operations of the English Protectionists; and county after county,
division after division, town after town, came forward to give new
impulse and confidence to the movement. It might have been expected
that a feeling so general, so undeniably powerful in itself, might
have been treated with fair respect by the experimental party and
their organs. The fact was otherwise. The farmers were branded with
falsehood, with fraud, with getting up fictitious cases of distress,
with ignorance in not understanding their own peculiar business.
Last year they had been invited to join the enemy, and to embark
in a crusade the object of which was not explicitly set forth;
but enough was disclosed to indicate that it boded no good to the
maintenance either of the constitution or the public credit, or the
interests of society as these have hitherto been acknowledged. They
were told to let the landlords fight their own battle, and they,
the farmers, would be cared for. Those who held such language had
forgotten that, of all known sins, hypocrisy is the one most odious
to the English mind. True, if familiarity with hypocrisy could have
blunted that finer moral sense, it might have been assumed that the
many public examples to be gathered from the history of the last
few years, might have overcome that extreme repugnance to deceit
which is part of the national character. If so, the Free-traders
little understood the temper of the men with whom they had to deal.
The proposal of an amalgamation with those who had never scrupled
to use the most tortuous and questionable means for the attainment
of their own object, was rejected with consummate scorn; and the
disappointed agitators revenged themselves by discharging against the
agriculturists whole volleys of unmeaning invective.

As if to add to real injury as much insult as the most perverted
ingenuity could devise, the yeomen and farmers were publicly and
repeatedly told, that the suffering of which they complained was
their own deliberate choice. There was plenty of excellent land for
tillage elsewhere than in Britain--acres might be had at a cheap
rate either in America or in Poland--why not emigrate to those
countries, and assist in augmenting that stream of importation which
would only swamp them at home? Such was the advice tendered, and
tendered seriously, in more than one of the leading journals of the
day; and we hardly know whether to reprobate it most on account of
its folly or its wickedness. If it was meant as a jest, all we shall
say is, that a sorrier or more indecent one was never hatched in a
shallow brain. We have not yet, thank God! arrived at such a pass
that love of country and of kindred, and those ties which ought to be
dearest to the human heart, are regarded by Englishmen as no better
than idle and unmeaning terms--we are not yet prepared to abandon
our nationality, and receive the fraternal hug from the arms of
cosmopolitan democracy. That such insults as these have been felt
bitterly, we know; and it is small wonder. Those who coined them
knew little of the workings of human nature, if they hoped by such
wretched means to deter any one from the path of duty. They have
simply succeeded in arousing a feeling which had far better have
been allowed to slumber--a conviction on the part of those whom they
deride, that the injury which the Free-trading party has inflicted on
the community at large arose less from an error in judgment than from
a wilful obduracy of heart.

We have spoken thus strongly, because we would fain see less
bitterness connected with a contest which is clearly inevitable,
and which ought to be one of principle. Men who are in the deepest
earnest, and thoroughly impressed with the truth and magnitude
of their cause, are not apt to make allowance for the play of
ill-regulated sarcasm, or the efforts of a clumsy humour. Still less
will they brook such insolent defiance as lately emanated from Mr
Cobden at Leeds. To the latter individual we presume to offer no
advice. He stands chargeable with having done his utmost to excite
a war of classes, and if he fails in doing so, it will not be for
want of determination of purpose. But we do say to others, and we say
it most seriously, that it is not safe, in the present posture of
affairs, to heap insult upon a body of men, comprehending in their
numbers the very flower of England's population--a body at all times
averse to combination, and to those agitating arts which of late
years have been so successfully practised in the towns--a body which
never is roused except on occasion of the utmost moment; but which,
when, once roused, will never rest till it has triumphantly achieved
its purpose.

The movement, which has been so rapid in the south, has also extended
to Scotland. A Central Protective Association has been instituted in
Edinburgh, comprising amongst its members many of the highest rank
and greatest intelligence in the country. Local societies have been
formed in East Lothian, Morayshire, Banffshire, Ross-shire, Aberdeen,
Roxburghshire, and elsewhere; and, from the communications received
from every quarter, we have no doubt that, in a very short while,
similar Protection Associations will be organised in every county
of Scotland from Berwick to Caithness. From the present Parliament
it is now quite plain that nothing can be expected. We never were
so unreasonable as to expect that, however strong might be the
convictions of individual members--however public opinion and the
lessons of experience might shake the faith of many in the wisdom
of our late commercial policy--this Parliament would undo the work
which was sanctioned by its predecessor. Had the Free-trade question
been before the public at the last general election, we might have
entertained an opposite opinion. But it was not so. Sir Robert
Peel had no intention that the country should have a voice in the
matter. He seized the moment when, by an extraordinary combination of
circumstances, a majority was at his command, to play into the hands
of the enemy, and to complete, by the surrender of the Corn Laws,
the furtive scheme of which his tariffs were the mere commencement.
That once carried, the nation was unwilling to disturb, by premature
opposition or attempt at a reversal, an experiment in behalf of which
such weighty testimony had been given. No impediment was thrown in
the way--no unnecessary obstacle interposed. The Whig Ministry,
who, in their new character of Free-traders, had undertaken the
superintendence of affairs, were allowed by the constituencies of
the Empire to have more than a working majority; so that, at all
events, whatever might be the issue of the scheme, they could not
pretend that a fair trial was denied to it. The question now arises,
whether the trial has been of sufficiently long endurance. On that
point there is no doubt in the minds of the agriculturists, of those
connected with the Colonies, of the shipowners, of a large proportion
of the merchants, and of a considerable body of the tradesmen. The
effect of the experiment has been felt; and that, too, more severely
and intensely than perhaps the most determined opponent of the
Free-trade policy had anticipated. The movement has been begun, as is
most natural, among those who are first in the order of suffering;
and who now see, very clearly, that longer endurance and quiescence
is tantamount to absolute ruin. Each day swells their ranks by a
fresh accession of adherents, whilst the opposite party, defeated
in argument, and unable to adduce a single proof of the advantages
which they formerly prophesied, are compelled to have recourse to
the Janus-like attitude which we have already attempted to sketch,
and, when hard pressed, to repeat their sullen refusal of originating
a change--for no better reason than that they are ashamed to
acknowledge the extent of their error.

From the present Parliament, then, we expect little. Whatever
impression may be made upon it by the present unmistakeable ferment
abroad, we cannot indulge in a rational hope that it will depart
from its original character. Our business is to prepare for a change
by that pacific but most necessary agitation, which, if properly
conducted, must compel the most obstinate Minister, for his own sake,
and in fulfilment of his sworn duty to his Sovereign, to advise that
opportunity of an appeal to the sense of the country which is now so
generally demanded, and which can scarce be constitutionally refused.

In the following pages our readers will find a correct report of
the proceedings of the delegates who were deputed from almost every
part of the United Kingdom to assemble in London in the earlier part
of May, and to hold a conference on the present alarming prospects
of the industrial condition of the nation. We shall not offer any
comment on the speeches delivered at the great public meeting at
the Crown and Anchor on the 7th ult.--a meeting which has stricken
with confusion and dismay those who affected to deny the existence
of general distress throughout the kingdom--further than to notice
the odious and unfounded charge of disloyalty and disaffection which
has been preferred against some of the speakers. That the leading
journals opposed to Protection should have made the most of casual
expressions uttered by honest men, unused to platform exhibitions,
whilst referring to circumstances of almost unparalleled provocation,
appears to us nowise wonderful. The journalist, writing at short
notice, has a certain conventional license of interpretation; and
unless he is unusually stringent or unfair, few people are inclined
to quarrel with the pungency of a leading article. But we confess
that we were not prepared for the sudden bursts of loyalty which
emanated from the Whigs. With the memory of the T. Y. correspondence
still vividly impressed upon our minds, we were surprised by the
improved delicacy and refinement of tone exhibited by certain
parties who are popularly supposed to know something of those famous
letters. For their satisfaction, we are glad to inform them that
their apprehensions are as groundless as their insinuations are
hypocritical. It never has been, and it never will be, a charge
against the yeomanry and tenantry of Great Britain that they are
cold in their loyalty, or deficient in their duty and devotion
to their Sovereign. But when they are taunted and defied by the
approvers of republican institutions--when they are told broadly,
from the manufacturing districts, that whatever may be the decision
of another Parliament, whatever may be the verdict of the electoral
body throughout the kingdom--that decision and that verdict shall
avail nothing to reinstate them in their former position, but shall
be nullified and overwhelmed by revolutionary risings and appeals to
physical force--it is not only most natural, but most proper, that
they should declare their resolute determination to vindicate their
rights, if needful, by all the means which Providence has placed in
their power, and to rescue their country from the lawless usurpation
and tyranny of those who have been audacious enough to disclose the
true nature and character of their schemes. It is perhaps needless
to say any more upon this subject; indeed, after the remarks which
fell from Lord John Russell at his interview with the delegates, it
would be absurd to proceed further in the refutation of a charge
which can only recoil with disgrace and ridicule on those who
ventured to prefer it. Nor do we think it any matter of regret that
the persons who have so often taunted the agricultural interest with
their supineness, and drawn unfavourable conclusions as to their zeal
from the singular extent of their patience, should at length be made
aware that it may be dangerous to trifle with men who are driven by
indefensible legislation to the brink of misery and ruin.

The annexed report of the meeting at the Crown and Anchor, revised by
the several speakers, will show the unanimity which prevailed, the
ability with which the interests of the country party were advocated,
and the enthusiasm with which the spirited addresses were received.
It was indeed an assembly which will be long remembered after the
excitement and emergency which created it have passed away. We need
not dwell upon details which are still fresh in the public mind: we
shall best perform our duty by making one or two commentaries upon
the replies which were made to the addresses of the delegates who
were deputed to wait upon the Premier and on Lord Stanley.

The address to Lord John Russell is a document deserving of the
most serious attention. It is a broad protest and warning, on the
part of the loyal and constitutional people of the realm, against
obstinate perseverance in a course of policy which has already proved
disastrous to many of the most important interests. After setting
forth in clear and temperate language the nature of the measures
complained of, it concludes with as solemn a remonstrance and charge
of responsibility as ever yet was addressed to a Minister of Great
Britain. Lord John Russell accepts the responsibility, which, indeed,
he cannot deny; but, without ignoring the justice of the complaint,
he refuses the required relief. Perhaps no other answer was expected
by the most sanguine of those who formed the deputation, nor should
we have done more than simply note the general tenor of the refusal,
had not Lord John Russell volunteered a statement which, we humbly
think, is by no means calculated to augment his reputation as a
minister, and which discloses certain views which we maintain to be
at utter variance with the genius and spirit of the constitution.
The passage to which we refer is as follows:--"I am sorry to say
that I think the conduct of the agricultural, the colonial, and the
other interests, was not prudent in declaring that there should be
no change in 1841. Still, that was their decision, and in 1846 a
much greater change was effected in those laws. In 1847, a general
election took place, by which the electors had to decide upon the
conduct of those who had taken part in the adoption of these changes;
and the result was the election of the present Parliament, which has
decided upon continuing the policy which the House of Commons had
laid down in 1846. I own I do think it was very unwise, if I may
be allowed to say so, in 1841, not to have sought some compromise;
but I think it would be far more unwise now to seek to restore a
system of protective duties." Here we have the acknowledgment, quite
unreservedly made, that expediency and not justice is the principle
recognised by Her Majesty's Government. What Lord John Russell
said resolves itself clearly into this: "If you, who represent the
agricultural, colonial, and other interests, had thought fit to make
a bargain with us in 1841, we, in return for your support, would have
insured you a certain amount of protection. I think you were fools
not to have done so; but, as you did not, you must even take the
consequences." We should like very much to know upon what principle
of ethics this singular declaration can be defended. To us it appears
at utter variance with honesty, fair dealing, and honour. If, as the
Free-traders say, the continuance of protection was a manifest wrong
to the industrious classes of the community, what right could Lord
John Russell have had to effect any manner of compromise? From every
Government, whatever be its constitution, we are entitled to expect
clear and uninfluenced justice. We know of no rule acknowledged
in heaven or on earth, which, by the most forced construction,
can justify Ministers in sacrificing the general interests of the
community for the advantage of one particular class, or in making
compromises between public right and private monopoly and gain. For
ourselves, and those who think with us, we declare emphatically that
we never would be parties to any such degrading compromise; that we
should feel ourselves dishonoured if we were advocating merely the
interests of a class; and that it is because we know that we have
justice on our side that we are resolute in our present appeal. To
talk now of former lapsed opportunities of compromise, is to use the
language of a freebooter. It reminds us forcibly of an incident in
the life of the famous outlaw Rob Roy Macgregor, who, when challenged
for having driven away a herd of cattle belonging to his neighbour,
very coolly replied--"And what for, then, did he not pay me
black-mail?" The cases are perfectly similar. In 1841 no black-mail
was tendered: in 1850, after the depredation has _been made_, we are
taunted with not having purchased the favour and the protection of
the Whigs!

What right, moreover, we may ask, has Lord John Russell to separate
the interests of classes, and to talk of the agriculturists and
those connected with the colonies as having taken a distinct and
responsible part in the deliberations of 1841? According to the
constitutional view, Parliament is the sole tribunal for the
settlement of national questions. It is rather too much at the
present day to insinuate such a taunt, and to tell the ruined farmer
that he has only himself to blame, when, in all human probability,
the expected negotiator on the other side, who ought to have made
terms with the Whigs, was no less notable a person than Sir Robert
Peel! It is difficult to imagine a more detestable and dangerous
state of affairs, or one more hurtful to the general morality of the
country, than must ensue if these indicated views of the Premier were
to pass into general acceptance; and if it were to be understood
that individuals, and corporations, and interests, might, on special
occasions, effect compromises with the Government, at variance with
public justice, with equity, and with honour. We all know what sort
of "compromises" were made by Sir Robert Walpole in the course of
last century; and evil indeed will be the day when the example so set
shall be acted on by a British minister, with this difference merely,
that large and avowed "compromises" are substituted for private

Very different, indeed, was the reception which the delegates
received from Lord Stanley. At this peculiar crisis, before the many
hundreds of gentlemen who had assembled in the metropolis from all
parts of the United Kingdom separated, each to report progress to
those of his own county or district, it was determined that a select
number of them should wait upon the man to whom the eyes of all were
turned as their chosen leader--not only to testify their deep respect
for his character and principles, but respectfully to ask advice as
to the course which they ought in future to pursue. The universal
feeling of the delegates--their confidence in Lord Stanley--their
prospects, and the spirit which animated them, were admirably
expressed by Mr Layton, who was intrusted with the duty of presenting
the address; and the speech of Lord Stanley, which that address
elicited, can never pass from the memory of those who were privileged
to hear it.

Clearly, rapidly, and with a master hand, Lord Stanley described
the position of parties in both Houses of Parliament, not
vindicating--for vindication was unnecessary--but guarding himself
and those who acted with him against any charge of apathy or
indifference in the cause that lay most warmly at their hearts. He
explained for the satisfaction of those who, in their impatience,
would have precipitated measures, why it was that the leaders of
the Protection party had abstained from originating that direct
discussion which their opponents, confident in the possession of
a majority, were so palpably eager to provoke. Admitting to the
full, and deploring the magnitude and prevalence of the suffering
which Free Trade has brought upon the country, he did not disguise
his belief that a yet further period of probation must be endured,
ere the full conviction of the fallacy of those schemes which have
passed into law came home to the understanding of the nation. The
advice, so cordially asked, was frankly and freely given. "You ask
me for advice," said the noble lord--and we cannot forbear again
quoting his memorable words, "I say, go on, and God prosper you. Do
not tire, do not hesitate, do not falter in your course. Maintain
the language of strict loyalty to the crown; and, with a spirit of
unswerving obedience to the laws, combine in a determined resolution
by all constitutional means to obtain your rights, and to enforce
upon those who now misrepresent you the duty of really representing
your sentiments, and supporting you in Parliament.... If you ask my
advice, I say persevere in the course you have adopted. Agitate the
country from one end to the other. Continue to call meetings in every
direction. Do not fear, do not flinch from discussion. By all means
accept the offer of holding a meeting in that magnificent building at
Liverpool; and in our greatest commercial towns show that there is a
feeling in regard to the result of our so-called Free Trade widely
different from that which was anticipated by the Free-traders, and
from that which did prevail only a few years ago. Your efforts may
not be so soon crowned with success as you hope; but depend upon it,
let us stand hand to hand firmly together; let the landlord, the
tenant, and the labourer--ay, and the country shopkeeper--ay, before
long, the manufacturer himself, be called on to show and to prove
what the effects of this experiment are--and, as sure as we stand
together, temperately but firmly determined to assert our rights,
so certainly--at the expense, it may be, of intense suffering, and
perhaps of ruin to many--of ruin which, God knows, if I could avert,
I would omit no effort for that purpose--but ultimately, certainly,
and securely we shall attain our object, and recede from that insane
policy which has been pursued during the last few years."

We shall not attempt to describe the effect which that address
produced upon those who were present--suffice it to say, that every
individual there esteemed it a privilege to be allowed to labour
in the same cause with the true-hearted, patriotic, and eloquent
statesman who had that day so frankly ratified their unanimous
choice of a leader, and in whose honour, integrity, and perseverance
they reposed the fullest confidence that can be yielded by man to
man. Of this our readers may be well assured, that the movement so
auspiciously begun will not be allowed to flag; and that it will not
be abandoned until the full measure of justice is conceded to all
classes throughout the British empire who have been made the victims
of a rash experiment, and of one-sided and unjustifiable legislation.


     A General Meeting was convened by the above body at the Crown
     and Anchor on Tuesday, 7th May, at one o'clock. The great hall
     was crowded from one extremity to the other by delegates and
     others from various parts of the kingdom. Nearly two thousand
     gentlemen were present during the proceedings, whilst many more
     were compelled to retire without having obtained admittance
     for want of standing room. On the platform were--the Duke of
     Richmond, K.G., in the Chair; Major William Beresford, M.P.;
     Mr Richard Blakemore, M.P.; Captain Boteler, R.E.; Mr T. W.
     Bramston, M.P.; Mr R. Bremridge, M.P.; Sir Brook W. Bridges,
     Bart.; Mr L. W. Buck, M.P.; Sir Charles M. Burrell, Bart.,
     M.P.; Viscount Combermere, G.C.B.; Major Chetwynd, M.P.;
     Colonel Chatterton, M.P.; Mr E. Cayley, jun.; Mr E. S. Chandos
     Pole; Mr R.A. Christopher, M.P.; the Marquis of Downshire;
     Baron Dimsdale; Mr J. W. Dod, M.P.; Mr E. Fellowes, M.P.; Mr
     Floyer, M.P.; Lord Feversham; Mr H. Frewen, M.P.; the Earl of
     Glengall; Mr A. L. Goddard, M.P.; Mr Howell Gwyn, M.P.; Sir
     Alexander Hood, M.P.; Mr William King; Sir C. Knightley, Bart.,
     M.P.; Sir Ralph Lopez, Bart., M.P.; Mr W. Long, M.P.; the Earl
     of Malmesbury; Mr W. F. Mackenzie, M.P.; Lord John Manners,
     M.P.; Mr J. Neeld, M.P.; Mr Newdegate, M.P.; Mr C. W. Packe,
     M.P.; Mr Melville Portal, M.P.; Lord Rollo; Earl Stanhope;
     Viscount Strangford, G.C.B.; Sir Michael Shaw Stewart; Lord
     Sondes; Colonel Sibthorpe, M.P.; Mr A. Stewart; Earl Talbot;
     the Hon. and Rev. C. Talbot; Alderman Thompson, M.P.; Sir
     John Trollope, Bart., M.P.; Sir John T. Tyrell, Bart., M.P.;
     Captain R. H. R. Howard Vyse, M.P.; Mr H. S. Waddington; the
     Rev. Edward Young; Mr P. Foskett; Mr G. F. Young; Professor
     Aytoun, Edinburgh; Mr J. Butt, Q.C.; Professor David Low;
     Lieutenant-Colonel Blois; Rev. W. M. S. Marriott; Sir James
     Ramsay, Bart.; Mr W. Caldecott; Captain E. Morgan; Mr Richard
     Oastler; Rev. A. Duncombe Shafto; Colonel Warren; Mr C. Byron;
     Rev. H. Franklin; Mr George Edward Frere; Captain Pearson; Sir
     John Hall, Bart., of Dunglass; Sir Thomas G. Hesketh, Bart.; Mr
     C. G. White, Limehouse; Rev. R. Exton; Rev. V. G. Yonge; Rev. C.
     H. Mainwaring; Major Rose; Sir James Drummond, Bart.; Mr Henry
     Burgess; Mr Samuel Kydd; Mr Delaforce, secretary of trades'
     delegates; Mr John Blackwood, Edinburgh; Mr H. Higgins, &c., &c.

The following is a correct list of the delegates from the different


       BEDFORDSHIRE.--Messrs Joseph Pain, John Rogers, William Biggs,
         Benjamin Prole, Thomas Gell, T. James.


       BERKSHIRE.--Messrs E. Tull, R. Warman, George Shackel, J. J.
         Allnatt, J. Brown, Job Lousley, William Aldworth, W. Sharp.

       NEWBURY DISTRICT.--Messrs John Brown, Job Lousley.


       BUCKINGHAM.--Messrs Philip Box and Henry Smith.

       AMERSHAM DISTRICT.--Messrs Philip Goddard and Robert Ranshaw.

         Edward Stone and Edwin W. Cox.


       CAMBRIDGESHIRE.--Messrs Alexander Cotton, Edward Hicks, Thomas
         St Quintin, Samuel Webb, John Ellis, W. Bennett, John King,
         Edward Ball, Samuel Jonas, James Witt, King, John Oslar,
         Wilson, Holben, Peter Grain, James Leonard, Samuel Witt,
         James Ivatt.

       ISLE OF ELY.--Messrs Joseph Little, W. Layton, John Vipan, (High
         Sheriff,) J. Fryer, Henry Martin, Thomas Saberton, Henry
         Rayner, J. Cropley, W. Martin, W. Saberton, T. W. Granger, W.
         Harlock, John Cutlack, H. Martin, Thomas Vipan, John Reid, W.
         Luddington, W. E. Reid, John Swift, John Hall, Henry Martin,
         jun., George Cook, William Vipan.

       NEWMARKET.--Messrs R. D. Fyson (chairman,) P. Smith (vice
         chairman,) J. Dobede, W. Layton, G. F. Robins, John Fyson,
         William Fyson, Edward Staples, Waller Miles King, George
         Dennis, John Lyles King, R. F. Seaber, William Staples,
         William Westrope, Thomas Gardner, Robert Fyson, Ambrose


       SOUTH DERBYSHIRE.--E. S. Chandos Pole Esq., Mr Malins.


       SOUTH DEVON BRANCH.--J. Elliott, Esq.

       DEVON AND EXTER BRANCH.--Sir J. Y. Buller, Bart., M.P., L. W.
         Buck, M.P., R. Bremridge, Esq., M.P., Lawrence Palk, Esq.,
         George Turner, Esq., R. Brent, Esq., M.D., secretary, Sir J.
         Duckworth. Bart., M.P., Edward Trood, Esq.


       DORCHESTER.--J. Floyer, Esq., M.P., W. Symonds, Esq.


       ESSEX PROTECTION SOCIETY.--Messrs John Ambrose, S. Baker, Jas.
         Barker, John Barnard, T. Bridge, Geo. Carter, John Clayden,
         J. G. Fum, John Francis, Jos. Glascock, Jas. Grove, W. Fisher
         Hobbs, Jos. Lawrence, S. Reeve, T. K. Thedam, W. Yall, S.
         Willis, and H. T. Biddell (the secretary.)

       ROMFORD DISTRICT.--Messrs Christopher Thomas Tower, William
         Bowyer Smyth, Robert Field, John S. Thompson, Major Crosse,
         J. Gilmore, G. Mashiter, E. Vipan Ind, W. Haslehurst, John
         Bearblock, John Coseker, James Paulin, Hon. and Rev. H. W.
         Bertie, Rev. T. L. Fanshawe, Rev. D. G. Stacey, Rev. George
         Fielding, Thomas Mashiter, jun., W. H. Clifton, Thomas Lee,
         Robert Pemberton, J. Wallen, James Biggs, John P. Peacock,
         Henry Moss, T. W. Brittain, James Laming Padnall, George
         Hooper Theydon, Richard Bunter, Henry Joseph Hance, Thomas
         Champness, Charles Mollett, Richard Webb, James Hill, George
         Porter, John Bearblock (Hall Farm,) John Francis, S. B.
         Gooch, Frederick Francis, Henry Joslin, Wm. Baker, Wm.
         Blewitt, Thomas Surridge, Rowland Cowper, Collinson Hall,
         S. R. G. Francis, Daniel Haws, Wm. Freeman, W. Sworder,
         Charles Pratt, Daniel Hicks.

       GRAYS DISTRICT.--Messrs Richard Meeson, J. Curtis, T. Sturgeon,
         Thos. Skinner, Chas. Asplin, Chas. Squier, W. L. Bell, W.
         C. Cook, J. Sawell, Richard Knight, W. Willis, W. Stevens,
         H. Sackett, R. Bright, J. Nokes, R. Cliff, C. Sturgeon,
         R. Ingram, D. Jackson,--Uwins, H. Long, S. Newcome, A.
         Causton,--Woodthrope, Rev. W. Goodchild, Rev. C. Day, Rev. H.
         S. Hele, Rev. J. Boulby, Rev. J. Tucker.

       BILLERICAY.--Messrs Isaac Crush, J. Brewitt, G. Shaw.


       GLAMORGAN.--Rev. Robert Knight, Captain Boteler, Dr Carne;
         Messrs A. Murray, E. David, William Llewellyn, and R.


       CIRENCESTER AND GLOUCESTERSHIRE.--Messrs P. Matthews, Edmund
         Ruck, David Bowly.


       ALTON DISTRICT.--Messrs H. Holding, Edward Knight, H. J.
         Mulcock, W. Garnett, J. Eggan.

       BASINGSTOKE.--Mr George Harriott.


       BOTLEY AND SOUTH HANTS.--Messrs Edward Twynam, Josh. Blundell,
         Caleb Gater, W. C. Spooner.


       HEREFORDSHIRE.--Mr Henry Higgins.

       LEDBURY DISTRICT.--Rev. Edward Higgins, Messrs Reynolds Petton,
         Thomas France.

       ROSS DISTRICT.--Mr H. Chillingworth.


       HUNTINGDONSHIRE.--Rev. James Linton, Messrs John Mann, Hammond,
         Ibbot Mason, Robert T. Moseley, Geo. Brighty, Peter Purvis,
         John Warsop.

     KENT, EAST.

       EAST KENT.--Sir B. W. Bridges, Bart., Messrs D. H. Carttar,
         Edward Hughes, John Abbot, Edward C. Hughes, Rev. Bradley
         Dyne, Musgrave Hilton, Charles Neame.

     KENT, WEST.

       CRANBROOK.--Rev. W. M. S. Marriott, Messrs J. E. King, R. Tooth,
         Geo. Hinds, J. E. Wilson.

       GRAVESEND.--W. M. Smith, Esq., late high sheriff, Messrs W. F.
         Dobson, T. Collyer, Pinching, W. E. Russell, R. C. Arnold, J.
         Armstrong, W. Brown, W. Hubble, T. Mace.

       ROCHESTER.--Messrs W. Mauclark, W. Miles, C. Lake.

       MAIDSTONE.--Messrs T. Abbott, F. B. Eloy, G. Powell.

       EDENBRIDGE.--Messrs W. Searle, sen., J. Holmden, Geo. Arnold.

       SEVENOAKS.--Messrs J. Selby, G. Turner, E. Crook.

       BROMLEY.--Messrs Hammond, Moysar, and Edgerton.

       DARTFORD.--Messrs W. Allen, J. Solomon, and Slaughter.

       TONBRIDGE.--Rev. G. Woodgate, and others.

       WROTHAM.--Messrs Leary, Thomas Spencer, and Charlton.


       LIVERPOOL.--Messrs Richard C. Naylor, II., Clever Chapman,
         Charles Turner, Lawrence Peel, Thomas Bold.


       LEICESTERSHIRE.--Messrs Perkins, G. Kilby.

       WALTHAM.--Messrs John Clark, F. Vincent.


       MARKET HARBOROUGH.--Messrs Edward Fisher, jun., Josh. Perkins.

       HINCKLEY.--Messrs Matthew Oldacres, John Champion, Charles D.
         Breton, Thomas Swinnerton, John Brown, Richard Warner, John
         P. Cooke, James H. Ward.


       LINCOLN AND LINDSEY.--Colonel Sibthorp, M.P., R. A. Christopher,
         Esq., M.P., Mr T. Greetham, Mr J. G. Stevenson.

       GRIMSBY.--Mr F. Iles.

       CAISTOR.--Mr Wm. Torr.

       ALFORD.--Mr W. Loft.


       LONG SUTTON AND HOLBEACH.--Messrs Wm. Skelton, Spencer Skelton,
         George Prest.

       SLEAFORD.--Messrs Tinley and Nickolls.


       EAST LINCOLNSHIRE.--Messrs Fricker, Joseph Rinder, jun.


       NORTH WALSHAM.--John Warnes, Esq.


       NORTHAMPTONSHIRE.--Messrs Gray, Rogers, and J. Scriven.


       NORTHUMBERLAND.--Sir Matthew White Ridley, Bart., Messrs Robert
         David, John Ayersby, John Robson, Walter Johnson, Thomas
         Smith, H. Wilkin.


       NORTH NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.--Messrs John Holmes, John Walker, T.

       SOUTH NOTTINGHAMSHIRE.--Messrs George Storer, W. Chouler,
         Richard Milward, W. Champion, J. Parkinson, jun., H. Gilbert.


       BANBURY.--Messrs S. Lovell, J. Gardner, J. Selby.


       RUTLAND BRANCH.--Messrs Thomas Spencer, Christopher Smith,
         Samuel Cheetham.

       UPPINGHAM BRANCH.--Messrs Owsley, Edward Wortley.


       SHROPSHIRE.--Four delegates.

       OSWESTRY DISTRICT.--S. Bickerton, Esq.


       BRIDGNORTH.--E. W. Powell, Esq., John Stephens, Esq.


       SOMERSET.--Messrs Cridland and Bult, John Wood, H. G. Andrews,
         R. Hooke, J. Hooke.

         chairman) and Mr T.B. Morle.


       STAFFORD.--Major Chetwynd, Messrs T. Hartshorne, W. T. Lockyer,
         C. Keeling, J. Nickisson, J. Aston.


       ECCLESHALL BRANCH.--Rev. V. G. Yonge, Rev. Charles Mainwaring.


       EAST SUFFOLK.--Rev. Mr Alston, Messrs John Mosely, N.
         Barthropp, P. Dykes, W. Bloss.

       IPSWICH BRANCH.--C. Lillingston, Esq. Deputy Lieutenant, Messrs
         T. Haward, W. F. Schrieber, J. Garnall, Venn, W. Back, W.
         Rodwell, J.D. Everett, Morgan, R. C. Perry, Mark Wade, Rev.
         F. K. Steward.

       HARTISMERE BRANCH.--Dr Chevalier, Messrs Samuel Peck and Deck.

       STRADBROKE DISTRICT.--W. L. B. Frener, Esq., Rev. A. Cooper.

       WEST SUFFOLK.--Messrs King, Vrall, Simpson, Woodward, George

       COSFORD HUNDRED.--Messrs C. Kersey, P. Postans.

       BUNGAY BRANCH.--Two delegates.


       KINGSTON.--Messrs G. Nightingale and Daniels.

       CROYDON BRANCH.--Messrs Cressingham, (chairman,) Rowland,
         Raincock, Robinson, Walker, and Gutteridge.

       REIGATE BRANCH.--Messrs Peter, Caffyn, Jesse Pym.

         TANDRIDGE HUNDRED BRANCH.--Messrs Isaac Stavely, Edward


       WEST SURREY UNITED ASSOCIATION.--Col. Holme Summer, Rowland
         Goldhawk, Esq.

       EPSOM DISTRICT.--Messrs Francis Garner and King.

       DORKING DISTRICT.--Messrs Weller and Dewdney.


       SUSSEX.--Messrs W. Rigden, A. Denman, S. H. Bigg, Edward Wyatt.

       EAST GRINSTED.--Messrs George Head, Wm. Turner, John Rose, John
         Mills, John Payne.


       RUGBY AND DUNCHURCH BRANCH.--Messrs H. Townsend, John Perkins.

       SUTTON COLDFIELD.--The Hon. E. S. Jervis, W. M. Jervis, Esq.,
         Rev. W. K. B. Bedford, Messrs R. Fowler, R. Fowler, jun.,
         Bodington, Sadler, Osborne, Buggins.

       COLESHILL.--Messrs Cook, Gilbert, H. Thornley, John York, and
         Dr Davies.


       WARWICKSHIRE.--Messrs Edward Greaves, C. M. Caldecott, Luke
         Pearman, J. H. Walker, W. W. Bromfield, R. Hemming, S.
         Umbers, B. Sedgeley, John Moore, H. Brown.


       Messrs G. Brown, W. Ferris, J. A. Williams, R. Strange, J.
         Wilkes, E. L. Rumbold, L. Waldron.


       SALISBURY BRANCH.--Messrs Stephen Mills, F. King, George Burtt,
         Leonard Maton, B. Pinnegar,--Lush.


       WORCESTERSHIRE BRANCH.--The Hon. and Rev. W. C. Talbot, F.
         Woodward, Esq., Richard Gardner.


       KNARESBOROUGH.--Mr T. Collins, jun., of Scotton.

       EASINGWOLD.--Mr Charles Harland.


       EAST RIDING.--Mr John Almack.

       MALTON.--E. Cayley, Esq.

       HOLDERNESS.--Messrs Josh. Stickney and G. C. Francis.

       POCKLINGTON.-- -- Cross.


       BOROUGHBRIDGE BRANCH.--Wm. Josh. Coltman, Esq.


         Professor Aytoun, Professor Low, Dr Gardner, Messrs Geo.
         Makgill, Jno. Dickson, Jno. Dudgeon, J. Murdoch, J. Shand,
         Blackwood, Garland, Hugh Watson, Cheyne, Steuart of

       EAST LOTHIAN.--Sir Jno. Hall, Bart. of Dunglass, Messrs R. Scot
         Skirving and Aitchison, of Alderston.

       ABERDEENSHIRE.--Dr Garden.


       COUNTY DOWN.--The Marquis of Downshire.

The noble CHAIRMAN rose and said--Gentlemen, it will not be necessary
for me upon the present occasion to trespass but a few moments upon
your attention, because I am happy to say that there are gentlemen
much more able to discuss the question upon which we are met here
to-day than the individual who now stands before you--more able, I
say; but there is no man in the United Kingdom who is more deeply
impressed than I am with the conviction that, if this country is to
continue to be great and free, moderate import duties must be imposed
(loud cheers.) Though some persons have called free trade a "great
experiment," and wish us to wait and see what the result of that
"experiment" is to be, I tell them fairly now, that that experiment
has been tried--that it has failed--and that common sense always
said it would fail (great cheering.) But during the trial of this
"great experiment," have they calculated the amount of hazard which
they are incurring? Are they aware of the mass of landowners and
tenant-farmers of England who must be cast away if this experiment is
not immediately put an end to? (loud cheers.) We are met here to-day
to receive deputations from different parts of the country, and it
has been thought advisable to convene this meeting, because doubts
have been expressed in Parliament, whether distress was universal or
not. We are met to-day to hear from the tenant-farmers from various
parts of the country the prospects of their localities (hear, hear.)
Gentlemen, I fear those prospects are bad indeed. But still I will
say before you that which I stated in Parliament--that I have the
greatest confidence in the good feeling of the people of England
(cheers.) I believe that the tenant-farmers will follow the advice
which I have ventured to give them, and persevere (hear, hear.) They
know the justice of their cause. Let you, all of you, when you return
home, tell your neighbours to persevere; and depend upon it, justice
will, sooner or later, be done to you (loud cheers.) I will not
now detain you longer than to say I hope that the expressions which
may be made use of here to-day will be to show that, ill used as we
are, we are still loyal to our Sovereign, and firmly attached to the
constitution of our country (tremendous cheering.)

Mr T. W. BOOKER, Ex-High-Sheriff of Glamorganshire, of Velindra
House, near Cardiff, was then called upon by the noble chairman,
and amidst great applause stepped forward to propose the first
resolution--"That the difficulty and intolerable distress pervading
the agricultural and other great interests of the country, and the
state of deprivation and suffering to which large masses of the
industrial population are reduced, are, in the opinion of this
meeting, fraught with consequences the most disastrous to the
public welfare, and if not speedily remedied must prove fatal to
the maintenance of public credit, will endanger the public peace,
and may even place in peril the safety of the state."--Mr Booker
spoke as follows: My lord duke, my lords, and gentlemen,--It is, I
do most unfeignedly assure you, with the deepest diffidence, if not
with the deepest reluctance, that I stand before you thus early in
the proceedings of this most eventful day; for, gentlemen, I came
here under the sincere hope that I might be allowed to listen to
others instead of myself occupying your time. But there are times,
and this is an occasion, when I feel that it would ill become any
man to shrink from the discharge of a public duty which those with
whom he has an identity of feeling and a community of interest will
and wish should devolve upon him. Humble, therefore, though my name
may be, yet I will, without further apology, proceed at once to the
objects which have called us together. (Cheers.) At this time of day,
and on this occasion, I need not, I think, enter upon any lengthened
argument, nor need I adduce any elaborate statements of statistical
facts, to prove that the condition of Great Britain and Ireland and
her dependencies is, to say the least, most unsatisfactory. (Hear,
hear.) Your own experience will tell you that. Therefore to save your
time, and with a knowledge of those who will have to follow me, I
will assume three propositions. First of all, I will assume that the
agricultural interest is immeasurably the most important interest of
the state. (Hear.) Secondly, I will assume that that interest is in
a state of alarming and greatly increasing depression. (Hear, hear.)
And, thirdly, I will assume that that depression is occasioned and
aggravated by the adoption and continuance in that altered policy of
the country which now prevails. (Cheers.) I presume that my two first
propositions will be conceded to me everywhere; and as to the third,
here at least I presume we are unanimous, that the difficulties, the
dangers, the distresses, and the disasters that now accompany us are
attributable to that vile, suicidal policy falsely called free trade.
(Cheers.) Having gone thus far, and having arrived at this point, it
will not be of much advantage to you that I should dwell long upon
the nature and extent of the distress which now accompanies you, and
now environs you. That I will leave to others of those intelligent
practical men who, in such multitudinous numbers, have left their
homes and have come here to tell, in this central heart of England,
their feelings upon the distresses and dangers that have overtaken
them. But I will just glance at what is the prevailing symptom of
the distress of the present day. And, strange as it may appear, the
prevailing symptom is cheapness--cheapness of all the necessaries and
conveniences of life--cheapness of the bountiful gifts of Providence,
the productions of the earth--cheapness of the works of man, the
produce of his skill and labour. And how is it that this cheapness,
which augurs plenty and abundance, should not be accompanied with its
usual, nay, its invariable concomitants--ease, enjoyment, safety,
and repose? (Cheers.) There must be something fundamentally wrong in
a state which produces such startling results. It was the opinion
of one whose opinion, and whose memory too, ought to be an object
of veneration with every Free-trader, as unquestionably they are of
respect, from the sterling, amiable, pains-taking qualities of the
man--I allude to the late Mr Huskisson--it was his opinion, and he
delivered it in his place in the House of Commons so long ago as the
year 1815--it was his opinion that nothing could be more delusive
than the proposition that cheapness in the price of provisions is
always a benefit. On the contrary, cheapness, without a demand for
labour, is a symptom of distress. (Cheers.) The French, he adds, in
his day, had cheapness without capital, and that was a proof in them
of progressive decay. But this all-pervading state of cheapness is so
ably glanced at and set forth in a document which I hold in my hand,
and which has been transmitted to me since my arrival in town, that
I cannot forbear quoting some passages from it. It is the Address of
the Metropolitan Trades' Delegates to their fellow-countrymen, on the
interests and the present position of the labouring classes of the
empire; and if there can be words of solemn warning and import, they
are contained in this most extraordinary document. It commences:--

"Fellow-Countrymen,--There is not recorded an era in the history of
our country, nor, indeed, in the history of all nations, when the
great subject of the natural and social rights of those who live by
means of their labour was required to be so thoughtfully considered,
so clearly explained, and so zealously and faithfully supported, as
the present era."

It afterwards goes on to treat the question of cheapness thus:--

"We have it announced to us that it is under the operation of
unregulated, stimulated, and universal competition, we are henceforth
to live.

"Cheapness is proclaimed to be the one great and desirable
attainment. But the cheapness that is attained under this system
is not the result of fair and distributory abundance--being mainly
acquired by diminishing the enjoyments, or the consumption, of
those by whose labour productions are derived, and by that economy
of labour by which, in so many instances, the labourer is cast off
altogether from employment, because a cheaper, that is, a less
consuming instrument than his body, is invented and applied. The
labour of the working man thus becomes a superfluous commodity in the
market, so that he must either be an outcast altogether from society,
or else find some way of doing more work for less of materials of
consumption; and even then, if he should succeed in this course of
realising cheapness, he becomes instrumental in bringing many others
of his fellow-labourers down to the same degraded level to which he
is reduced. (Loud cheers.)

"Bad and appalling, however, as is the existing condition of so
many whose only means of supporting themselves and their families
is the exercise of their daily labour, yet we maintain that the
prospect before us is still more dark and gloomy. We declare to
you our conviction that a far greater degree of suffering and of
destitution impends over the labouring class and their families,
both of this and of all other nations, unless the falseness of
the free or competitive system be thoroughly penetrated, clearly
exposed, and a course of general commerce, very different from that
emanating from the free system, be entered upon." (Great cheers.)
In this manner do these practical men, who are practically groaning
under the evils of this altered system, dispose of the question of
cheapness. The men whose signatures are appended to that document,
have done me the honour also of communicating with me since I have
been in town, and of stating to me what their intentions and objects
are. They write me on the 4th of May inst. that "The delegates have
a desire to collect all the statistics in their power showing the
decline in the employment of the people, and also showing the gradual
falling-off of wages since the introduction of free-trade measures
to their respective trades; and also the condition of those trades
which have not been directly interfered with by foreign imports, but
which the delegates have reason to believe are indirectly affected
by the displaced hands, from other industrial branches, continually
forcing themselves into the above-mentioned trades--this is the
reason they have appealed to all who are friends to native industry
for assistance." But, gentlemen, it is said that free trade has not
yet had fair play. Most fortunately I am indebted to the kindness
and courtesy of a member of parliament, a personal friend of my
own, the invaluable member for Falmouth, Mr Gwyn, for the returns
of trade and navigation up to the close of last month, which only
appeared and were placed in my hands last night. I have gone through
these documents with all the business habits that I am capable of;
and I come to this conclusion and result, the truth of which I defy
any Free-trader to controvert. (Cheers.) The flourishing state of
the cotton trade is boasted of. Why, these documents prove to you
that the export of cotton goods has increased 10 per cent, but the
consumption of cotton altogether has decreased 20 per cent. (Loud
cheers.) And what does this show? That there is a decrease in the
consumption of cotton of 30 per cent. What! free trade not had fair
play! Why, our colonies have had free trade for the last twenty
years. For the last ten years they have had the blessing of free and
unrestricted trade, and let me appeal to any colonist, what is the
universal language which defies even contradiction--We are ruined!
(loud cheers.) Our own British possessions get their supplies cheaper
from the United States than they can from Great Britain or our North
American colonies. They expend the property of their own colonies,
and of ours too, which they get there, in fostering the trade of our
rivals to the destruction and exclusion of their own. Free trade not
had fair play! Why, what have been its effects in Ireland? (hear,
hear.) In the year 1844 or 1845, there were of acres cultivated in
wheat in Ireland, 1,059,620; but in 1847, the blessed year that
followed the consummation of free trade, the number was reduced to
743,871, and in 1848 it was still further reduced to 565,746, thus
showing a decrease in three years of the palmy days of free trade
of no less than 500,000 acres of wheat, equal to the production of
2,100,000 quarters, and in value, at what ought to be the price
of wheat, upwards of six millions sterling. (Shouts of "hear,
hear.") This shows with a vengeance that capital is flowing from
the banks of the Shannon to the shores of the Vistula (hear, hear.)
Free trade not had fair play! What will you, farmers, your wives
and daughters, say to this? In the year 1833, the export of salt
butter from Ireland was 25,000 tons, in value L.3,000,000 sterling,
and it would take 260,000 cows to produce that quantity of butter.
Now, let the Free-traders tell us what has been the export of salt
butter from Ireland during the last year (hear, hear.) Ireland has
broken up her old pastures, and has sown wheat upon them; and yet
with all that forced and ruinous cultivation, the foreigner beats
her out-and-out. But it is only a waste of time to go through the
extent and the nature of the distress which afflicts you. I will
no longer dilate upon it. I will leave its effects upon England to
those admirable men whose public spirit and whose private wrongs
have brought them here. And I will at once ask, what is to be the
remedy? You will answer me with one acclaim, There can be but one,
and that is a return to the policy of protection to native industry
(cheers.) And how is this remedy to be attained? Why, by a cordial
union of all classes whose labour has been invaded, and the produce
of whose skill, enterprise, and industry has been excluded by that
vile policy which has supplanted us in our own markets. I presume,
and I say it with all respect and deep humility, that you can have
no remaining hope from the present parliament (cheers), nor from the
present advisers of the Crown (tremendous cheering.) But we have
a constitutional sovereign, who well knows that her own peace and
happiness depend upon the welfare and prosperity of her people. She
well knows that upon that peace and prosperity, not only her own
happiness, but the security of her throne (cheers,) and the stability
of the monarchy that she administers, all alike depend (cheers.) Let
us carry to the foot of the throne the wishes of her faithful people.
Let us tell her of the distress and difficulties that are overtaking
the industrious cultivators of the soil of the empire which she
benignly governs. (Loud cries of "hear.") Let us tell her of the
dangers and disasters that environ the hard-working, industrious
occupiers of the territorial domains of the ancient nobility and
gentry of her land (hear, hear.) Let us tell her, as the noble
duke said, that, although oppressed, we are still faithful--still
uncompromising--still unswerving--still unseduceable--still loyal
and true to her; and I will stake my life on it, that she will be
compassionate and true to us (hear, hear.) The humble individual
who now addresses you is no proud aristocrat--he is no lordly
possessor of wide-spread territorial domains; but he has obtained
his fortune by the active pursuits of commercial industry (hear,
hear.) He affords daily employment to hundreds, and thousands are
dependent for their daily bread on his care and success (hear,
hear.) I hope, therefore, that I speak with a due sense of the
responsibility of my words and actions; and I desire--and, with
God's blessing, I shall use every energy and talent that my Maker
has endowed me with (loud cheers)--I desire, and with God's help,
I shall endeavour to transmit to my children's children unimpaired
those laws and liberties, those customs and institutions, which
have afforded me protection during my own career of successful toil
(cheers.) You will take one word of counsel from me. You, the owners
and industrious occupiers of the soil, will, I hope, from this vast
assembly hurl back with proud defiance that gross threat, that, if
success should attend your exertions for a restoration of protection,
the foundations of property would be shaken to their centre (hear,
hear.) Such is the language used by Free-traders in fustian, in
words as well as in merchandise (hear, hear.) Ay, forsooth, by the
apostle of peace, who would have the manly quarrels of nations, as
well as of individuals, settled by palaver and humbug, instead of
musketry and gunpowder (great cheering.) Hurl back, I say, that
defiance, and let your answer reach the ears of all who dare to
obstruct the exercise of free discussion, and the results of free
discussion in this hitherto free and prosperous land (hear.) But,
in the struggle that must of necessity ensue before we can obtain
the gracious accession of our beloved Sovereign to the prayers of
her people, it may and will happen that our friends who, amidst
treachery and desertion unparalleled (hear, hear,) had stood firm and
faithful to their principles and professions, may be inconvenienced,
and that their seats in the legislature may be jeopardised by the
miscellaneous onslaught of our ministerial and jacobinical opponents
(hear, hear.) But this must not, this shall not, be; for these men
must be protected at the hustings (hear, hear.) When I look at this
vast, this magnificent assemblage--when I consider whom and what it
represents--I cannot for a moment doubt that there are, in the ranks
of the protectionists of England, Ireland, Wales, and Scotland, a
thousand men who will put down their hundred pounds a-piece to form a
fund against all aggressors (hear, hear.) For myself, I shall at once
avow that I will be one, either of a thousand to put down my hundred
pounds (hear, hear,) or, if need be, I will be one of a hundred to
put down my thousand pounds (loud cheers,) for this national, this
necessary object. And then having done our duty, and having among
our hereditary legislators a Richmond (cheers,) a Stanhope (hear,) a
Stanley (cheers,) an Eglinton, a Talbot, a Downshire, a Malmesbury,
a Beaufort, and a host of others, who will forgive me if I now fail
to name them; and a Disraeli (great cheering followed the mention
of Mr Disraeli's name,) a Granby (hear, hear,) a Manners (hear,
hear,) a Beresford, a Stuart, a Newdegate, and many more such whom
we will send to aid them in the House of Commons, let us commit our
cause, the cause of peace and plenty, the cause of truth and justice
(cheers,) the sacred cause of protection to native industry and
capital (hear, hear)--let us commend that cause to our Sovereign, to
our country, and to our God (loud cheers.) My lords and gentlemen,
I must apologise for the undue length at which I have addressed
you. I thank you most cordially for the kindness and the enthusiasm
with which you have listened to me, and I now beg to propose the
resolution with which I have the honour to be intrusted.

The honourable gentleman sat down amidst the most deafening cheers.

Mr W. CHOULER, South Muskham, Newark, Notts, in rising to second
the resolution, said he should not waste their time by offering any
apologies for his unfitness to address them upon that occasion. He
had come forward to state facts, and he should at once proceed to
discharge that duty to the best of his ability. He should first
of all advert to the state of the labourers in his own immediate
neighbourhood. He could state that the wages of those labourers
had of late been reduced nominally from 12s. to 10s., and in some
parts of the county to 9s. a-week; while the real reduction was
much greater, because, in consequence of the depressed condition
of their employers, they had been deprived of that piece-work
by which they had formerly earned a further sum of 1s. or 2s.
a-week. Since he had come to London he had received a statement of
the condition of the labourers in a part of Leicestershire which
adjoined South Nottinghamshire, and from that statement he found
that during the winter there had been many unemployed labourers
in that district; and that latterly, even at the approach of the
spring-time, eight of those labourers had been going about begging.
They had not asked, however, for alms, but for employment, by which
they could have obtained an honest livelihood for themselves and
their families. (Hear, hear.) Now, he appealed to every one whom he
was addressing, whether a cultivator of the soil could be placed
in a more heartrending situation than when he found himself unable
to afford employment to an honest and industrious, but necessitous
labourer? But, feeling dissatisfied with things at home, he had taken
some trouble to ascertain how the labourers are situated in other
districts with which he had no immediate connexion. As a matter
of course, he had thought that the place in which he might expect
to find perfection was the estate of Sir Robert Peel. (Loud cries
of "hear, hear," jeers, and laughter.) He had read the document
issued some time since by Sir Robert Peel to his tenantry, and
through his tenantry to the country at large; and from the wording
of that document he had been led to suppose that in the parish of
Kingsbury, the property of Sir Robert Peel, the labourers were fully
employed, well housed, and well fed. But he would tell them what
he had seen there only a few days ago. The parish of Kingsbury was
an extensive one, and the farms there were large, for that part of
the country, as they varied from 300 to 400 acres. But instead of
the labourers in Kingsbury being lodged in comfortable cottages, he
found scarcely any labourers' cottages upon the estate. There were
no small holdings, no cottage allotments in the parish; and he had
been told that the labourers employed in it resided at a distance
of two or three miles from the place. The fact was, that for some
years a system had been carried on in that parish for reducing the
number of its agricultural labourers, (hear, hear,) and removing the
poor off the property. He confessed he only wondered that the "Times
Commissioner" had not been down there (hear, and laughter,) to tell
the tenantry how much of the physical force of the labourer was lost
by living so far from his work. But he had found worse than that.
He had found that English labourers were being gradually displaced
by low-priced Irish labourers. He had found that the tenants of Sir
Robert Peel had been employing during the winter, is well as during
the summer, six or eight Irish labourers each, to whom they paid
little or no money wages. (Cries of "shame.") Now he should not have
thought much about that if he had found that the Irish labourers were
prospering, as they are British subjects; but he had seen them in a
very wretched condition, to which the English labourers also were
being rapidly reduced. The Irish there have no house to live in, no
bed to lie on, or fire to go to, but lay on straw in an outhouse;
therefore this system has this tendency,--to depress the English
labourer to the Irish or Continental level, without elevating the
other. He would pass, however, from the parish of Kingsbury to a
district represented by another lion of the day. (A laugh.) They
would recollect that Mr C. Villiers, the member for Wolverhampton,
had stated at the commencement of the session that there had been
L.91,000,000 a-year saved to the country by the fall in prices
which had followed the adoption of the free-trade policy. Now it
had occurred to him that the constituents of Mr Villiers must have
obtained a pretty good share of that sum. But he had found that in
Wolverhampton the poor-rates had been gradually increasing during the
last eight or ten years. It appeared that, during the twelve months
ending in March 1842, the poor-rates in the union of Wolverhampton
had not amounted to half the sum which they had reached during the
twelve months ending in March 1850. It further appeared that in the
year ending March 25, 1849, they had amounted to only L.10,007, while
in the year ending March 25, 1850, they had amounted to L.11,625. He
had mentioned these facts for the purpose of showing that the people
of Wolverhampton had derived no advantage from the supposed saving of
L.91,000,000 a-year effected by the adoption of a free-trade policy.
But he said, without fear of contradiction, that no such saving had
been made. He admitted that that sum had been lost to one class in
this country (hear, hear,) but he denied that it had been gained by
any other. (Cheers and laughter.) Lord John Russell said last Friday
night week, that if Mr Henley brought forward a direct motion in
favour of protection, he should be prepared to show that the great
mass of the people were in possession of as great comforts as they
ever had been. Now this was three months after the country had been
said to have been the gainer of L.91,000,000 a-year, and yet all that
Lord John Russell could say was that the people were in "as good"
a position as ever they were. He would admit, if necessary, that
this sum had been lost to one class, but it had not been gained by
another. He should not be so much dissatisfied if the farmers had
lost it, if only some other class had gained it. But the farmers
had lost it and no one in this country had gained it. (Cheers.)
Two-thirds of the people of this country were engaged in agricultural
pursuits, and could any policy, he would ask, be more suicidal than
to deprive them of L.91,000,000 a-year, without conferring any
benefit on the remaining one-third of the population? (Hear, hear.)
He had no hesitation in saying that the agriculturists, as a body,
had never been in a worse position than that in which they were at
present placed. He felt convinced that, if the existing prices for
agricultural produce were to continue much longer, the tenant-farmers
would be wholly unable to afford full employment to labourers; great
efforts had been made last winter to employ the labourers; and when
parliament met we were told, because we had employed them, that there
was no distress. But if the class of able-bodied labourers were
offered no alternative but to perish from destitution or to enter the
workhouse, he had no hesitation in saying that this country would
soon be reduced to a state which he should be most sorry to witness.
Already the agricultural labourers talked of combinations; and
although the farmers might be able to stem the torrent by affording
them employment until the termination of the harvest, he could not
help anticipating the most serious perils after that period. The
labourers did not blame the farmers for their condition, for they
were well aware that the farmers had not the means for affording them
employment; and under those circumstances, could it be expected that
the farmers would mount their horses for the purpose of opposing
the just demands of their humbler fellow-countrymen? (Hear, hear.)
If a man was willing and able to work in this country, he had a
right to have the means of living in comfort in it. (Hear, hear.)
Mr Cobden had said what he would do if a system of protection were
re-established, and what would then become of the landlords. But I
will say openly and publicly, that if the landlords will stick to us,
we will stick to them. (Loud and enthusiastic cheers.) But I will go
further than that--I have not yet quite finished the subject. We own
nine-tenths of the horses of the kingdom, and we have the men to ride
upon them. (Vociferous cheering.) And we go further still: we will
support the Crown as well as the landlords. (Cheers.) Her Majesty
need not fear, if she turn her back upon the towns, that she will
not be supported. Protected ourselves, we will protect her against
all assailants. (Loud cheers.) Mr Chouler then proceeded to say
that, in his opinion, it matters not what prices were, provided all
interests were placed upon the same footing. But if one interest were
reduced below another, if employment were lessened whilst taxation
was kept up, if more money left the country than came into it, the
result must be beggary. (Cries of "Hear," and "Now for the rents.")
He would come to that directly; but first stop a bit. (Laughter.) He
had not quite done yet, (cheers;) but would mention to them the case
of a tenant-farmer who had applied to him for advice as to what he
should do under his present circumstances. This gentleman occupied
three farms, had a large family, and employed a good deal of capital.
The ages of his children varied from 24 to 9. He stated that his
wheat wanted hoeing, and that he had no money to do it with; that
he intended to have placed his family on the farms, but that if he
were to do so they could not live. What could he do with them? Some
of them were too old to be put to trades, and then, if he were to
take out his capital, all his dead stock would go almost for nothing.
He (Mr Chouler) knew he could not do anything for him. The man was
a good cultivator, in good circumstances, and that was the case of
hundreds and thousands of tenant-farmers. (Hear, hear.) Rent had
been alluded to by some one just now. He had always regarded rent
as a private bargain between two individuals. He did not come there
to find fault with either his own landlord or the landlord class
generally, because, as a class, he had seen them act as the very
best friends of the people. But he did think that in this particular
movement, latterly, they had left it almost entirely not only to
the tenants to do the work--that he should not care anything about;
but to defray all the expenses. (Cheers and laughter.) Now, if the
tenant-farmer could not cultivate his land properly, his labourers
and himself would get worse off, and he would be in a worse position
to pay his rent, his tithes, and his taxes; and if no tithes and rent
were paid, how are the clergy and aristocracy to pay their taxes and
servants? (Cheers.) With regard to taxes, he would ask, was there a
class of men in any other country who produced an article that was
taxed from 75 to 100 per cent, before they could use it themselves?
for that was the case with the malt-tax in this country at the
present moment. (Cheers.) Sir Robert Peel had told them that the food
of the labouring man should be free from taxation; but what was the
fact? Why, he held in his hand a list of no less than 15 articles,
all of which were eatables or drinkables, and necessaries to the
poor man, which had to pay taxes at this moment. They were--butter,
cheese, cocoa, coffee, corn and meal, eggs, fruits, hams, rice,
spices, spirits, sugar, refined ditto, molasses, and tea; and they
produced a revenue to the country of L.13,677,795. And yet this
"wiseacre" had said that the food of the working man should be
free from taxation. In addition to that, there were the articles
of tobacco and snuff, which produced upwards of L.4,000,000 more.
(Hear.) And was not tobacco a necessity of the working man? (Hear,
hear.) Well, that brought the amount up to L.18,000,000 sterling,
or more than one-third of the whole of the general taxation of the
country, raised upon articles of food. (Laughter and cheers.) With
regard to the malt tax, he thought that no impost was more unjust,
because there was not a great quantity of malt liquor consumed by the
higher classes, the greater portion being consumed by the working
classes; and, with the exception of one or two cyder counties, malt
liquor, in one shape or other, was the universal beverage of the
labourers. But beer must be taxed, forsooth! That was not the food
of the people! (Hear.) There is only one other point (continued Mr
Chouler) upon which I will make an observation, and that is with
reference to the great "Exhibition" of 1851. (Oh, oh! groans and
hisses.) I have heard of many curious things in my lifetime; but
there is one thing which I have always regarded as visionary, or as
never having had an existence--but it has actually been realised
in this 19th century, and in this great city--ay, in this year of
grace 1850--a "mare's" (mayor's) nest has been discovered. (Roars
of laughter.) Yes; and in this "mayor's nest" was "the Prince," and
what does "the Prince" say? Now I beg that it may be distinctly
understood that I mean no disrespect to my Sovereign or the Prince;
but I came here to speak the truth, and I have spoken it fearlessly,
and the truth I will know before I go home. The Prince says that,
when you get the productions of all countries and nations before
you, you have only to choose which is the cheapest and the best.
Well, if you are to do that, is it not to show you that you have the
opportunity of buying them? (Hear, hear.) A little umbrage has been
taken at this exhibition as savouring somewhat of free-trade, and
the royal commissioners have told us that they do not intend that
the articles shall be sold, but that they shall be merely shown. But
do you believe that the foreigner will bring his produce across the
Channel or the Atlantic, and take it back again without receiving
English money for it? Now, I want to know who does speak the truth?
(Cries of "the Prince.") I suppose the Prince does. (Shouts of "no.")
Well, well, have it as you like. (Roars of laughter.) I am come here
as a delegate from the part of the country in which I reside. I came
to seek the truth, and I will know it and declare it. I ask, is the
foreign corn that will be imported into England in the year 1851,
to come in and be looked at without being sold? (Loud cheers.) What
will the foreigner say? Why, he will say "I care nothing about your
'looks,' give me your money" (Cheers and laughter.) That is what
he will say. It is my duty then to ascertain whether or not it is
intended still to encourage the sending out of the country money
which it would be better to circulate at home. And I hope I am not
exceeding my functions as a delegate in asking that question. Now you
have heard my opinions upon this subject, and the concluding remarks
I shall make are these: that without an alteration this country will
be so shaken--after harvest, mind you, as there will be a good deal
of work until then, not before--that I am perfectly confident it will
be totally impossible to preserve the public peace. (Loud cheers.)
I am not surprised at untruths coming from the royal commission,
considering whom that commission is composed of, when I find Peel and
Cobden amongst them. (Groans and hisses.) There is one name amongst
them, however, which I am always in the habit of speaking of with
respect and honour, and that is the name of Lord Stanley. (Cheers.)
How far he will come out from among these royal commissioners without
harm (bravo, loud cheers, and laughter,) from such a den of--you must
supply the rest--I do not know, but I have confidence in the man.
(Loud cheers, and great laughter.)

The resolution was put from the chair, and carried unanimously.

Mr EDWARD BALL, Burwell, Cambridgeshire, then moved the next
resolution:--"That the indifference with which the just complaints
of the people have been received by the House of Commons, its
disinclination to adopt any measures for removing or alleviating the
existing distress; and the want of sympathy it has exhibited for the
sufferings of the people, have produced a widely-diffused feeling of
disappointment, discontent, and distrust, which is fast undermining
their reliance on the justice and wisdom of Parliament, the best
security for loyalty to the Throne, and for the maintenance of the
invaluable institutions of the country." The attendance of the noble
duke this day, observed Mr Ball, imposes a fresh debt of gratitude
upon us, and realises the hope we entertain, that whenever there is
a grand field day he will be found in his right position--at the
head of the troops. As our great commander, it is obligatory upon
us that we should observe his orders, and one of those orders is,
that we should express ourselves temperately and with moderation.
(Hear, hear.) But I am sure that, from his experience of the field
of conflict, he knows that sometimes the ardour and zeal of the
British troops carry them somewhat beyond the exact line marked
out by their leader and chief. (Cheers.) And if we should be found
upon this occasion to advance a little beyond that strict line of
propriety which he has chalked out for us, his kindness will excuse
it when he knows that it is out of the fulness of our hearts, and the
deep distress in which we are plunged, that we are assembled to-day
to make our representations and complaints. (Cheers.) Coming, then,
to the resolution which I have to propose, I ask is the allegation
contained in it true? For if the thing stated in it be not true, it
is useless for us to use it as an argument in justification of our
assembling here to-day. Is it true? (Cries of "Yes; it is true.") Is
it true that the House of Commons has shown great disregard to our
petitions? (Cheers.) Is it true that it has rushed on heedless of the
entreaties of the whole body of agriculturists, and passed a measure
which it was elected for the very end and purpose of preventing? This
(proceeded Mr Ball) constituted the bitterness of their grief, that
when Lord John Russell's commercial measures of 1841 were defeated,
a new parliament was called, and the voice of the nation proclaimed
through that parliament against free trade--that the great mass of
the constituencies rallied around the banner of protection--that
they raised such a number of men to represent them in the House of
Commons, that Lord J. Russell was obliged to throw up the reins of
government into the hands of Sir Robert Peel, who took the leadership
of the House of Commons with a good majority of 100, who were thought
truly and honourably to represent the agricultural interest, and
ready to protect their cause. (Cheers.) Then he wanted to know if
the complaint in the resolution was not just when they saw that very
house, which was congregated for the express purpose of maintaining
protection, unhesitatingly strike that protection down, defeat all
their objects, blast all their hopes, and prove untrue and unfaithful
to the great constituencies of the empire. (Loud cheers.) I say,
exclaimed Mr Ball, that we will never cease to represent that it was
not by fair and legitimate means that we were beaten (cheers;) but
that it was by the unfair, the foul play, the treacherous betrayal of
those who had headed us to lead us on to victory, but who conducted
the enemy into the camp, introduced the foe into the citadel, and
destroyed all our hopes and prospects. (Loud cheers.) That being
true, what is the language of the Free-trader upon the occasion? He
sees a consequence that he never anticipated. He sees the result
which we pointed out, and which he disbelieved. He finds that prices
are as ruinous as we stated that they would be, and that free trade
is as great a hindrance to the welfare of agriculture as we always
reported that it would be. And now how does he shelter himself?
Instead of coming forward, and honestly saying we have failed--it
was only an experiment, which was forced upon us, and having made
an error we will endeavour to correct it--he says that it is an
exceptional case; that it is not the legitimate consequence, but that
there are some particular circumstances which make the principles of
free trade press with unusual severity just now. (Hear, and oh.) Now,
look at the reasoning of this. If the foreigner, when he had no hope
of such a market being opened to him, could for the last two years
send in a supply of nearly twenty-two million quarters of various
descriptions of corn, and if he could do that out of his surplus
produce, what will he do now that he has the market entirely open
to him--when he has got our capital to improve his cultivation, and
when he knows that he may produce and send an unlimited quantity into
our markets? (Hear.) I want to know how it is that, with an express
declaration of the principles of the people upon the question of
free trade, the landlords in the House of Lords and in the House of
Commons, contrary to their own creed and in opposition to their own
judgment, swerved from all that they had promised us, and threw up
to those who were more impassioned and boisterous than themselves
all that protection which they were bound in honour and in interest
to uphold? (Loud cheers.) I feel that it is painful to speak of
the landlords of this kingdom in the presence of so many of that
aristocracy who shed a lustre upon their order, and whose presence
here shows us how much they respond to our own principles. (Cheers.)
We can never forget that those laurels which adorn the brow of the
noble duke who presides over us were won in the most terrible and
hard-fought encounters that ever brought glory, honour, and renown
to the British arms, and that the noble duke has, from the period
that he turned his sword into a ploughshare, ever stood true to the
best interests of agriculture--(loud cheers)--has ever stood true to
the declarations which he has made; and under all changes, and in
the midst of the vapourings of his opponents, has been steadfast,
untarnished, and unsullied, and now comes before us with renewed
glory and increased claims upon our gratitude and support. (Loud
cheers.) We cannot forget that the noble lord on his right--the
Earl Stanhope--(great cheering)--whom it has been my privilege for
five-and-twenty years to follow in the paths of philanthropy--who
has come to the evening of a long and a useful life, in which he
has shown sympathy to the poor, and has had the best interests of
his fellow-men at heart--that he comes here, too, for the purpose
of giving his powerful support to the great principles to which he
and we are alike devoted. (Loud cheers.) They had also several other
noble and honourable gentlemen present. They all knew the undaunted
courage with which the Marquis of Downshire had fought for their
right. They knew that the gentlemen around him were noble exceptions
to that great defalcation which had been committed by so large a
portion of the aristocracy. (Cheers.) Therefore, he (Mr Ball) could
not discharge what he considered to be his duty now, without pointing
them out as exceptions to the statement he was about to make--that
they had fallen, not by Cobden's--that they had fallen, not by the
League's tricks--that they had fallen, not by the treachery of Peel;
but because their landlords--the aristocracy--those who should have
upheld them--had swerved from their duty in the houses of Parliament.
(Cheers.) We had the power--we had the majority--we had the voice of
the country, not loud, but strong and firm, and ready to manifest
itself when the moment for action came; but they were faint-hearted,
they failed in the hour of need, and sacrificed us to the discordant
elements of demagogueism and free-tradeism. (Uproarious cheering.)
Moreover, they have contrived to take the full tale from the poverty
and the debilitated circumstances of a struggling tenantry. (Loud
cheers.) Let me put this simple case to you. I take the free-trade
landlord, and I take the tenant-farmer. They are in partnership, are
engaged in the same pursuit, and have a joint interest in the same
property. A is the landlord, B the tenant-farmer. A comes to B and
says, "We must make an experiment upon this land. We must introduce
certain fresh modes of cultivation. We must change our plan; and if
we do so-and-so you will farm better, my rent will be more secure,
and we shall be altogether in more favourable circumstances than
before." B, the tenant, says, "No, it is too frightful an experiment.
No, it may involve me in ruin. No, you risk nothing--I risk all."
(Great cheering.) But A is the richer man--A has the greater power,
and he insists upon the experiment being made, in spite of the tears
and protestations of the tenant. In the legislature A assents that
the experiment shall be made. Thus he sweeps away and brings down to
ruin the tenant who, in his wretchedness, looks up to the landlord
for relief; and I do say that, according to the immutable principles
of justice, and on the ground of what is due from man to man, the
landlord, who is a party to the passing of free-trade measures, is
bound to sustain and uphold his tenant, and reimburse his losses.
(Vehement cheers.) I want to know, also, if I have L.5000, L.10,000,
or L.20,000, placed in the funds, and a similar sum invested in the
land, both of them being sustained and supported by the law--I want
to know if the land be to pay the interest of the national debt,
whether it is fair and just to take away the income out of which
the interest of the national debt is to be paid, and what right
or justice there is in demanding the full payment of the national
debt? (Loud cheers.) If the fundholder has looked on and encouraged
the movement which was made to bring us to ruin, I want to know
with what propriety or consistency he can ask to gather out of our
ruined means the wealth which, under other circumstances, we would
gladly and cheerfully pay him? (Cheers.) But we are told that our
landlords cannot now reverse this policy--that they have gone too
far to recede--and Cobden, in that celebrated speech of his, which
he made at the close of last year in Leeds, said "Only let the
agriculturist come forward and put on one shilling in the shape of
corn duty, and I will create such a tumult as shall shake the kingdom
to its centre." (Laughter.) Most deliberately and dispassionately
my answer to that is--The sooner the better! (Tremendous cheering;
the whole of the vast assemblage rising to their feet, and waving
their hat and hands.) I say that we have a conscience, that we have
a superintending Providence, that we have laws violated, that we
have all these things which will sustain and give endurance to us in
any conflict that may approach; and that, therefore, we may laugh
at all threatenings, and set them at defiance. (Loud cheering.) But
what have the tenant-farmers to fear at the approach of discord? Can
you be worse off? (No, no.) Can any alteration damage you? (Renewed
cries of "no no.") All is lost! Persevere in your free-trade laws,
and there is no concealing the fact that, as a class, we are swept
away. (Hear.) Persevere in those laws, our homes will be taken from
us. Persevere in those laws, our wives will be without protection.
Persevere in those laws, our children will become paupers. (Cheers.)
Will you then tell me, when laws have been enacted that reduce
me to that position, that I, a broken-hearted man, passing into
poverty and my family degraded, that I shall fear the threats of
a demagogue? (Much cheering.) My answer for the whole body of the
tenantry of the country is this--that we are disposed to risk all,
brave all, dare all! (vociferous cheering, again and again repeated;)
and that we are prepared, come what will, and cost what it may, at
the hour of our country's peril, for our homes, our wives, and our
families, to take those terrible steps which are the most frightful
for a good and peaceable man to imagine, but which necessity and
unjust treatment hurry us on and bring us to the contemplation
of. (Vehement plaudits.) The most abominable part of it is this,
however. If it had been a calamity brought on in the Providence of
God--by the failure of the seasons, or by something which was above
legislative control, we would have humbly bowed to it. But here comes
the scourge--we fell through the cowardice and faint-heartedness of
him whom we considered to be the greatest of modern statesmen; and
when the history of the age that is passing has been recorded, it
will tell us that at the same period there was in Italy a man (Count
Rossi) who had been appointed minister of the Pope; that he was the
witness of a rising tumult and a coming desolation; and that on the
very morning of his death he was told not to go to the Senate, for
if he did so there would be danger attending him. His reply was, "I
have taken office--and when I did that, I took not only its honours
and emoluments, but its duties and its dangers." He went to the
Senate, and perished upon the steps of the Forum. But our statesman
(Sir Robert Peel) saw the approach of the storm, quailed at the
tempest, bowed down to the lowering cloud, dishonoured the country,
brought infamy upon his own name, and poverty upon the people. (Great

Mr J. ALLIN WILLIAMS, of Wiltshire, seconded the resolution. He stood
before them that day as a Wiltshire farmer, second to none in the
kingdom in his loyalty and attachment to the throne and his love of
the constitution of old England. (Cheers.) Moreover, he stood before
them deputed by the farmers of the county of Wilts, for the purpose
of protesting against the treatment to which the occupiers of the
soil of Great Britain, as a class, had been subjected by the measures
of her Majesty's Ministers and by the House of Commons. (Cheers.)
He wished he could think that those measures and their consequences
had been properly considered and contemplated by their framers
before they were brought forward. Despite the remonstrances of the
defenders of the agricultural interest in the House of Commons, and
of the noble duke in the chair, and of other noblemen in the Upper
House of the Legislature, her Majesty's Ministers persisted in those
measures which must ultimately reduce the tenantry of England to
beggary. (Hear, hear.) An individual, whom he would not name, as his
name appeared to grate upon the ears of every honest farmer in this
country--(cheers)--but whom it was impossible to forget, as he had
laid down maxims which they felt obliged to take up and consider--a
few years ago that individual laid down, as a rule, that the British
farmer could not grow wheat in this kingdom under 56s. per quarter.
(Hear, hear.) And upon the faith of that statement many of the men
that he saw before him, himself included, had entered into agreements
with their landlords for the purpose of occupying their estates for
a certain period of years. (Hear, hear.) He himself had taken a
lease for 14 years. What, then, must be the condition of the farmers
of those estates when they were obliged to sell wheat at 36s. per
quarter? The consequence was, that all, or the greater part of those
who were similarly situated with himself, must be ruined. Upon the
same figures was also based the Tithe Commutation Act; and by that
act, which, as they too well knew, was ruled by a septennial clause,
last year, when they were selling their wheat at the price of two
guineas per quarter, they were compelled to pay after the rate of
54s. 10d. per quarter as the tithe of their produce; and this year,
when they were selling their wheat at from 36s. to 40s. per quarter,
they had to pay upon an average of 53s. (Hear, hear.) It was on that
account that he came there to proclaim that her Majesty's Ministers
had done the farmers a great piece of injustice, and that they had in
fact emptied the pockets of the British farmers by their legislation.
If there had been a necessity for the late Free-trade measures, (and
he denied that there was any such necessity,) he contended that every
portion of the community ought to have been made to bear a fair share
of the burdens which had been placed upon the agriculturists. But
what was the fact? He maintained that the industrious classes, the
producers, alone were made to feel the burden, and that property
and capital were wholly exempt. (Hear, hear.) The Free-traders,
when proposing their ruinous measures, appear to have made a grand
discovery, and assert, that we have no right to tax the food of
the people. But did it ever enter their brains that on the wheat
produced by the British farmer he paid a large tax in the shape of
the superior wages paid to the labourers as compared with those of
the labourers of the foreigner, to meet the taxes that are imposed
on them upon the necessaries of life? That in fact the proportion of
labour in a quarter of wheat (which he would assert to be two-thirds)
was taxed to the enormous extent of 33 per cent? (Hear, hear, hear.)
Again, was not the wheat produced by the British farmer taxed by the
poor rates, the highway rates, &c.? and the heavy rents which he
paid as compared with the foreign farmer, (such rents as were not
heard of in any other country in the world,) was it not on account
of the heavy taxes the landlords had to pay? If these things never
entered the brains of her Majesty's Ministers, they were no men of
business. (Hear, hear.) If they did enter into their brains, then
their conduct was most knavish, most scandalous; for thereby they
compelled the farmers of England to compete on most unequal terms
with the foreigner. (Hear, hear.) The aristocracy of this country,
he regretted to say, had not as a body done their duty in this
matter. (Hear, hear.) Had the farmers of England had the aristocracy
and the clergy of the country with them, they might easily have
resisted the iniquitous measures of the Free-traders, and they would
not have been in their present deplorable condition. (Cheers.) But
now let them look for a remedy. Let them from that day call forth
those men who had hitherto been blind and apathetic as regarded
their own best interests, as well as those of their own immediate
dependents. Let them call upon the landed gentry and the clergy
throughout the country to do their duty. (Hear, hear.) He thought
he might say with confidence, if they responded to that call, that
the agricultural interest had nothing to fear. If nothing else would
rouse the aristocracy of the country to a proper attention to their
vital interests, as well as those of their common country, surely the
insolent language of Mr Cobden at Leeds was enough to rouse them from
their lethargy. But if they still refused to do their duty, he would
call upon them, in the language of Milton, to

  "Awake! arise! or be for ever fallen."

(Cheers.) He knew that time was pressing on, and that he must be
brief. He would therefore conclude by again protesting against
the treatment they had received, and most heartily seconding the
resolution which had been proposed to them by Mr Ball. But he
could not resume his seat before he had conjured them to send Whig
principles to the winds. (Laughter and cheers.) His belief was, that
Dr Samuel Johnson never made so happy a hit in his definition of
those principles, as when he said that the devil was the first Whig.
(Great laughter and cheers.)

The resolution was then put and unanimously carried.

Professor AYTOUN, of Edinburgh then came forward, amidst loud
cheering, to propose the following resolution:--"That this meeting
attributes the depression and distress of the agricultural, colonial,
shipping, and other interests to the rash and impolitic changes
in the laws which had long regulated the importation of foreign
productions; that it is of opinion that those laws were based on the
most just principles, and dictated by the soundest policy; that,
under their salutary influence, the British nation had attained an
unexampled state of prosperity, and a proud pre-eminence in the
scale of nations; and that if their object and spirit in fostering
and protecting native industry be finally abandoned, many of the
most important interests of the state will be sacrificed, and the
national prosperity and greatness be ruinously impaired." The
learned Professor proceeded as follows:--Gentlemen, I have been
desired, perhaps, rather than requested, on the part of the Scottish
Protective Association, (hear, hear,) to attend this meeting, and
to move one of the resolutions. I most sincerely wish that the task
had been confided to abler hands than mine; but all of us have a
distinct duty to perform; and those of my countrymen who act with
me feel that, on such an occasion as this, it would be wrong and
faint-hearted if Scotland, which is so deeply interested in the
grand question of protection to native industry, were to hang back,
and refuse to come forward to testify to you and to the tenantry
of England that our zeal in this cause is as great, our feeling
as decided, our determination as strong as your own. (Cheers.) I
cannot offer to you the testimony of a practical agriculturist, but,
perhaps, I may be allowed to say that I do not consider this is a
meeting entirely of agriculturists. (Hear, hear.) Every man in this
nation, from the lowest to the highest, has, I conceive, a distinct
stake in this question. Every man, whatever be his occupation or his
calling, is entitled to come forward here and declare his opinion
upon those measures which have been thrust on the nation by an act of
perfidy and treachery, to find a parallel for which we shall search
the pages of history in vain. (Hear, hear.) I do not exaggerate
our case when I say that Scotland is, if possible, more interested
than England in the maintenance or the restoration of protection to
native industry. Far later in point of time were our fields broken
up, our moors reclaimed, our morasses drained; and the prosperity
of Scotland, great as it has been, can hardly be reckoned as of
older date than the last seventy years. Glasgow, the largest city
of Scotland, the second city of the United Kingdom, rose to its
present high wealth and distinction by its colonial connexion within
a comparatively recent period. Our counties and our towns are alike
interested in this matter. The "transition state" of suffering which
our opponents now affect to have foreseen as the inevitable result
of their measures--though they took especial care to conceal that
revelation from every human eye--is more than beginning to make
itself felt in the latter: in the former, it is evident and undenied,
and already, I am sorry to say, in our remote Highland districts
the work of desolation has begun. They may call it peace if they
please; it is not peace, alas! it is solitude. (Hear, hear.) Now,
there are certain things you have imported from Scotland for which
perhaps you may not thank us very much, and one of those things is a
certain race called Political Economists. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)
I do not, however, wish to include among the number the father of
political economy, Adam Smith, now in his grave three-quarters of a
century, who wrote at a time and under circumstances very different
from those in which we are at present placed. I observe that Mr
Cobden is going about the country with the works, as he says, of
Adam Smith in his hands, and favouring the public with his comments
on those works; but I hope those comments will be taken by the
public, as I take them, at their true value--estimating the quality
of the text at a different ratio from the perverted interpretations
of the expounder. There is another Scottish Political Economist,
Mr M'Culloch, who has written a great deal on the subject of the
corn trade, and who has been hitherto, during his long life, a
decided enemy to all restrictive duties; but who, I believe, is now
discovering at the last hour, that he has been going too fast in his
views, and that the total withdrawal of protection is not likely to
do all the good which he had at one time anticipated from it. Then,
there is another gentleman, who is an ornament to the present House
of Commons--the illustrious Mr Macgregor, (roars of laughter,) the
gifted and infallible seer, who won the suffrages of a benighted
city by telling its electors from the hustings that the nation was
to increase in wealth, under the free-trade system, at the rate of
precisely L.2,000,000 a-week. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) That was
to be the national gain; a gain in which we were all to participate
the moment the corn laws were swept away. Mr Macgregor also told the
people of Glasgow that in this matter he was the political tutor of
Sir R. Peel, (hear, hear, and laughter;) that he, the two million
a-week man, was the individual who laid down that grand plan under
which we are all at present suffering. If that be true, all I shall
remark is this, that surely never did any pupil select so singular
a master. Under these circumstances, I must admit that, however we
may be entitled to appear here as a deputation, one gift which we
have sent you from Scotland, in the shape of political economists,
is a gift for which you cannot be very thankful. This is, I may
add, an age in which men have been more befooled by figures than by
anything else which we can mention. (Hear) Half a century ago, when
any extraordinary account appeared in the newspapers, it used to be
said that it must be true because it was to be found in print. Now,
that delusion seems to have passed away; the charm of infallibility
is broken, and people do not at present suppose that the press has
got any particular exemption from error. But a delusion quite as
great, and even more baneful, still prevails with respect to figures.
There are men seated in their closets, with blue-books before them,
casting up long columns of accounts, and making out statements which
they call statistics, which are to form the invariable rules by
which mankind is to be governed, and by which the commerce of this
country is to be regulated; and it is by putting their noxious dogmas
into effect that this country has of late been exposed to so much
suffering. The system is older even than the days of Adam Smith; for
about a century ago there went forth from Edinburgh a man of the
name of John Law, the founder of the famous Mississippi scheme--a
scheme for enriching men by foreign trade and for conferring on them
fortunes at once, while it did away with native industry. History
has its cycles, and we have again arrived at a period when quackery
and imposture have usurped the place of sound common-sense, of wise
policy, and I fear not to add, of truthful and Christian legislation.
(Great cheering.) I know well that it is not my part to dwell long
upon topics with which others are better acquainted, but if you will
allow me, I shall make a few observations with regard to the present
state of agricultural industry in Scotland. We have of late years
been much flattered by commendations of our system of farming in that
country. Whenever any of the farmers of England were supposed not
to be quite up to the mark, it used to be said by Sir Robert Peel
and his friends, that those farmers had only to imitate the example
of the men of the same class in the Lothians. But in the beginning
of this year, after a fair trial had been given to the so-called
experiment of free trade, the farmers of the Lothians came forward,
and testified by the leading members of their body that they were
losing under the present system, and that their industry, skill,
energy, and frugality were employed in vain so long as that incubus
weighed upon them. (Hear, hear.) What followed? Why, the note was
immediately changed, and it was said that those men were not farming
high enough! That discovery was made by a gentleman who now appears
to be Sir Robert Peel's great authority upon the subject--a certain
Mr Caird. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) Now that gentleman, although a
farmer, does not happen to be able to say that he ever made anything
himself by farming. But he is acquainted with another individual,
who is the factor on an estate of a very liberal landlord, who lets
him have land for a merely nominal rent. That individual is at
present in possession of a fine peat-moss, exceedingly well fitted
for growing potatoes; and, as there has been less rot this year in
his potatoes than in those of the greater portion of other farmers,
he had derived from them a considerable profit. That is the farmer
whose example is now recommended by Mr Caird as the grand panacea
for all the evils under which the agricultural class is suffering.
(Hear, hear.) So you see, gentlemen, in what you are to put your
trust--peat-moss and potatoes! (Great laughter.) These are the twin
resources with which you are to meet unlimited importations of grain!
Pity, for the sake of Ireland, where both articles are abundant,
that the discovery was made so late! I believe, indeed I know, you
have something of the same sort here. Mr Mechi--(hear, hear, and
laughter)--a gentleman whose razors are of undeniable excellence--has
been attempting to show the farmers of England how to shave close
(a laugh;) and the unclean spirit of free trade, finding no other
place of refuge, has at last flown into the herd of Mr Huxtable's
swine. (Immense cheering.) But I must say a few words with regard
to the poorer districts--with regard to the Highlands of Scotland.
The misery prevailing in many of those districts, more especially
in the west and in the islands, did not proceed solely from the
repeal of the corn laws; for it was also in a great measure owing
to the noxious tariffs of Sir R. Peel, which admitted provisions
duty-free into this country. It appears--indeed I believe it is an
uncontradicted fact--that the British fleet is now victualled by
foreign product. (Cries of "Shame.") I hold in my hand a letter from
a banker in the town of Oban in Argyleshire, stating that emigration
is now taking place to a very considerable extent there, that most of
those who can scrape a few pounds together are taking their passage
to America, and that shortly the landlords will be left with no
class of people on their lands save the reckless, the improvident,
and the idle. Free trade is now rapidly driving from the Highlands
their most industrious inhabitants; and I believe that unless we
compel the Government to retrace their steps, a large portion of
Scotland will soon be brought back to the condition in which she was
placed at the time when the Heritable Jurisdictions were repealed,
and when the country was in a half savage state. (Hear.) I say that
Scotland is now rapidly assuming the place which Ireland has hitherto
occupied. A deluge of Irish labourers is already flowing over to
us, and forcing down wages all over the country. I believe that, if
this fatal experiment should be allowed to go on for another year,
the cry from Scotland, and especially from her remoter districts,
will become overpowering and appalling. We have seen the recent
revelations made by the public press with regard to the state of the
poor in this country. Everybody, I believe, has read in the graphic
letters in the _Morning Chronicle_ upon that subject, tales of the
most appalling distress, flowing from excessive competition in
every branch of industry. But that competition must necessarily be
increased by that crowding into the towns from the country, which I
know is now taking place in Scotland, of labourers who would emigrate
if they had the means of doing so. I observe that it has been
proposed, in a pamphlet recently published by an eccentric writer,
that the surplus population of our towns should be marched out in
industrial regiments, and sent to till the bogs and reclaim the hill
sides. Such schemes are utterly visionary; and they are founded upon
a shallow and perverted view of the social grievances against which
we emphatically protest. Why, it is the want of occupation in the
country just now which is doing the whole of the mischief, and which
is creating that mass of pauperism which we all deplore. (Hear,
hear.) It would seem, indeed, as if the present Ministers and the
Free-traders would wish to realise no better picture of Great Britain
than this--

    "Wasted fields and crowded cities,
      Swarming streets and desert downs;
    All the light of life concentred
      In the focus of the towns."

The Free-traders tell us that they are at present as determined as
ever on persisting in their experiment; but they talk incoherently
about some future measure of relief, which, if we will consent to
be quiet, they may possibly, out of their great bounty, vouchsafe
to the victims of their policy. Now, let us see in what position we
are placed. For the first time probably in the memory of man, the
Whig Chancellor of the Exchequer has a surplus; but he does not well
know what to do with it; and he thinks that perhaps the best way
of employing a portion of it is to give the manufacturers another
bonus by taking the duty off bricks; but he calls that a boon to the
agriculturists. (Hear.) Why, in a single factory stalk there are more
bricks than would build cottages for a whole parish! Let us see,
however, how that surplus has been occasioned. That surplus would
be a deficit, and a large deficit, were it not for the property and
income tax laid on by Sir R. Peel--(hear, hear)--under a promise as
solemn as ever flowed from the lips of man, that it was to be but
temporary in its operation. But that tax has never been removed,
and never will be removed, unless this country shall speak with
more determination upon the subject than it has hitherto done. How
does that tax work on you farmers? (Cheers.) You are charged to the
income-tax in proportion to the amount of your rents, so that you do
not pay it out of your profits. Now, I say that the continuance of
that tax on the farmers, after the legislature has deprived them of
the profits of their business, is a crying iniquity. (Hear, hear,
and cries of "We will no longer pay it.") I suppose you will not pay
it because you cannot pay it; that is, no doubt, the reason. But
let us see what argument is advanced in favour of the continuance
of Free Trade. What tangible ground have they for telling us that
we are still bound to persevere? There is none; there cannot be any
argument advanced in its favour. The experiment was adopted, we are
told, with a view to stimulate exports, and to give the manufacturers
of this country more extended markets for their produce. Well, but
last year the amount of these exports had not reached the amount of
the year 1845--the last year of Protection. (Immense cheering.) So
then, even the exporting manufacturers have been disappointed. As to
the home trade, we all know, and the manufacturers themselves know to
their cost, in what a wretched position that is placed. But when the
Free-traders were asked why they had adopted the Free-trade policy
or why they continued it, they replied that it was because if they
had not done so there would have been a revolution in this country.
(Hear, and laughter.) That is, indeed, the most precious reason I
have ever heard assigned for any course of policy. What does that
say for the loyalty of the individuals for whom the change has been
made? (Loud cries of "Hear, hear.") But you are known to be loyal,
and you therefore the class selected to be sacrificed to buy up the
loyalty of the towns. (Enormous cheering.) Test this argument of
theirs in any way you will, and I defy you to arrive at any other
conclusion. Is it not enough to make one sick to see such legislation
going on? But it is not confined to Great Britain alone: we have it
in Canada also at this moment. There the Government is buying up the
rebels, compensating those who rose in arms against this country,
and spreading disaffection among the loyal people of that colony,
who were ready to lay down their lives in defence of the Queen and
the Constitution. But I fear I have already detained you longer than
I ought to have done. We are here simply to tell you, that in this
great national struggle, for a principle which is scarce less vital
to us than our liberties, our co-operation, according to the measure
of our ability, shall be cordially and unreservedly given. (Loud
cheering.) This is not England's battle only: it is ours as well;
and therefore are we here to-day. It is matter for regret that the
tenantry in Scotland have not oftener had opportunities of meeting
their brethren in the south, and, indeed, that the agriculturists
of the country generally cannot, from obvious reasons, be brought
into contact with each other as frequently as would be desirable.
But this I will say, that I believe the feelings among the yeomanry
and the tenantry in both countries are the same; and that those two
classes who, in days long gone by, met in hostile conflict, are
now united in their determination to have the infamous measures
which are over-riding us all repealed; and when the red cross of St
George and the silver cross of St Andrew are blended indissolubly
together, I fear no Cobdens--I fear no opposing force: I fear neither
the machinations of the intriguer, nor the empty bluster of the
demagogue. (Loud and long-continued cheers.) I despise their threats,
as I know that their hearts are cowardly; and I tell them that their
insolent challenge has been taken up, in a manner which they fear to
answer, by the true men and the valiant spirits of Britain; and in
the justice of the cause we repose our faith in its issue. (Loud and
vociferous cheering.)

Sir M. RIDLEY WHITE, Bart., of Northumberland, seconded the
resolution. He could undertake to say, from his personal knowledge,
that, in the important county with which he was more intimately
connected, the Free-trade policy had proved most seriously
prejudicial to the agricultural classes. Earl Grey had declared that
he did not consider the value of his property had been diminished by
the adoption of that policy. But he (Sir M. Ridley White) could state
one very striking fact, which, he thought, would show how groundless
was that declaration. The noble Earl possessed, among other fine
farms on his large estates, what might be called the picked farm
of the county, as regarded the production of barley and turnips.
That farm had been tenanted, a few years ago, by an intelligent and
enterprising man, who had hitherto paid for it a rent of L.2240. The
tenant had, some time since, announced that the circumstances of the
times were such that he could no longer pay that rent, and that it
should be reduced to L.1600. That proposal had not been agreed to by
the noble Earl, and the farm had been advertised in all the local
prints, as well as in other portions of England and in Scotland.
One offer had been made for it, which, however, had subsequently
been withdrawn, and the highest sum afterwards bid for it was a
rent of L.1680. That offer had been refused by the noble Earl, and
the result was that that farm, the pick, as it were, of the county,
was at present occupied by the noble Earl himself. (Loud cries of
"Hear, hear.") With such a fact staring the noble Earl in the face,
he (Sir M. Ridley White) supposed he would not again get up in his
place in the House of Lords and say that his property had not been
depreciated by the adoption of the Free-trade system. But he should
proceed to lay before the meeting a number of other facts, the truth
of which he should at any time be ready to substantiate, for the
purpose of showing how much the value of agricultural property had,
of late, been diminished in the county of Northumberland. Many farms
in that county had been recently relinquished in consequence of the
depressed state of the markets for agricultural produce, and the
rentals of those that had been re-let, had, in general, been reduced.
A few instances to the contrary might be cited, but that variation
could be satisfactorily accounted for. In the farm of Berwick Hill,
the old rent had been L.500, the new rent was L.300. In Great Ryle,
in the parish of Whittingham, the old rent had been L.1100, the new
rent was L.855, being a decrease of 22 per cent. In Morwick, in the
parish of Warkworth, the old rent had been L.715, the new rent was
L.533, being a decrease of 22-1/2 per cent. Prestwick East Farm, in
the parish of Dinnington, within five miles Of the populous town
of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which had been recently let at L.300, was
re-let this year at L.220, being a diminution of 26-1/2 per cent.
Then, again, he found that agricultural capital had been reduced
very considerably, and in many cases rents were being paid out of
the capital, and not from the returns of the farms. Reductions had
been made in the wages paid to labourers to the amount of from 1s.
to 2s. per week, and in the northern parts of the county to 2s. 6d.
The sales of farm-stock had been unprecedented, both as to numbers,
extent, and importance: the reduction in value at ready-money sales,
as compared with former years, had been very considerable in every
instance, varying from 20 to 40 per cent. Many labourers had been
thrown out of employment, and the demand for able-bodied workmen was
much reduced, while improvements in agriculture were not carried on
to the same extent, or with the same spirit, as in former years.
The demand for adventitious manures had also decreased, and that
depression extended to the towns throughout the county, in which
the tradesmen, whose prosperity was mainly dependent on that of the
agriculturists, had suffered a depreciation to the amount of from
30 to 35 per cent. Having submitted those facts to the meeting, he
had much pleasure in recommending the resolution for their adoption.

The resolution was then put, and unanimously agreed to.

Mr J. J. ALLNATT, Wallingford, in Berkshire, proposed the following
resolution:--"That no relief from general or local taxation, which
is consistent with the maintenance of national faith, and the
efficiency of public establishments, can enable the British and
colonial producer to maintain a successful competition with foreign
productions, and that the only hope of replacing the agricultural
and other British interests in a state of prosperity rests on the
re-establishment of a just system of import duties." He regretted
to find that at that advanced hour he could trespass but a few
minutes on their attention, because he had much to say of the
atrocious position in which the agricultural classes had been placed
by the legislation adopted of late years in this country. He felt
convinced that unless that policy were speedily reversed, it would be
impossible to continue to raise the amount of revenue necessary for
the maintenance of those great establishments on which the national
safety and honour mainly depended. He did not see why the farmers
should be made the victims of an experiment which every one, except
her Majesty's Ministers and the Free-traders, had foretold must
bring ruin on the country. But what would be the nature and extent
of that ruin? Were those institutions which constituted our pride
and the world's envy to be toppled down merely that an "experiment"
might be tried? Why, that experiment had already been tried, and,
moreover, had most signally failed. He spoke as a Berkshire farmer,
representing the feelings and opinions of the Berkshire farmers, and
he might say of Oxfordshire too, for he lived upon the borders of
the Thames, which separated the two counties; and he spoke advisedly
and decidedly when he said that these insane laws had already
produced great distress amongst the agricultural classes generally
in these counties, and, he regretted to add, had also shaken those
constitutional feelings and that attachment to the Crown which were
once their boast. (Cheers.) Now, if he asked a brother farmer how he
felt upon certain points of great importance connected with these
matters, he would answer him thus--"I thought it was the duty of a
government to uphold and protect every individual who is called on
to pay taxes for the support of that government. I thought that we
owed our fealty upon certain conditions, and that we had a right to
demand protection, in the exercise of our skill and industry, against
unfair competition." I am not enamoured of the word Protection,
but I certainly thought we had a right to live and to say to any
government--"You shall not, and you dare not, put your hand into my
pocket and rob me." (Loud cheers.) Reference had been made to the
statement of Mr Charles Villiers--that L.90,000,000 sterling had been
saved to the country through the operation of Free Trade, and that
therefore the country was the richer to that amount. He (Mr Allnatt)
denied that proposition. He admitted that the agricultural interest
had been robbed of L.90,000,000, but the country was not the richer
for the transaction. (Hear, hear.) And if it were a fact that from
a depreciation in the value of agricultural produce the country
was gaining L.90,000,000 a-year, the agricultural interest had had
taken from them to that extent their capability of paying the taxes
of the country; and if so, truly did the resolution he was about to
propose express one important fact, that the national faith was in
danger. (Cheers.) Was it to be supposed that if they were still to
be robbed of 90,000,000 a-year of their income, they would not look
to the public funds and say, "It is impossible that we, the working
bees, having been plundered of our honey, can continue to support the
drones." This consideration was of great importance, and ought to
sink deeply into the minds of those who, because they possessed fixed
incomes, must of course feel a certain degree of temporary prosperity
on account of the depreciation in the value of agricultural produce;
but he warned those gentlemen not to put too much faith in that
temporary prosperity. If the agricultural interest were to be
thus treated--if they were to be thus robbed--for he could find no
other expression that would accurately describe their treatment--he
warned the fundholders that their time of trial and suffering would
speedily arrive, and that shortly the term "national faith" would
not be found in the vocabulary of the farmer. (Great cheering.)
With regard to public establishments, he was as much disposed to
support just and useful establishments as any man; but there were
establishments in existence that were much too costly; and it was
unjust that those persons who were connected with them should be in
the receipt of the same amount of salary that was paid to them when
wheat was 60s. a quarter. Therefore he told these officials--ay, the
greatest of them--for he would go to the very pinnacle of power, and
descend to the meanest of those who were paid by the State--"There
ought to be some understanding as to how we are to pay you, and
what amount we are to pay you in future." (Cheers.) But when he saw
men like Mr Cobden and Mr Bright, professing the highest attachment
to the principles of financial reform, and then reflected on their
recent conduct in the House of Commons, when Mr Henley, the honest
and patriotic member for Oxfordshire, brought forward his proposal
embodying a proposition that was irrefutably true, and these men
had the audacity, the hardihood, (a voice--"Impudence,")--ay,
the impudence to meet that proposal by voting for the previous
question, he (Mr Allnatt) was almost afraid to avow himself a
financial reformer, lest he should be thought by honest men in
some degree to partake of the inconsistency and hypocrisy of the
leaders of the Free-trade faction. (An explosion of cheers.) The
resolution concluded by the simple proposition that no relief which
could be given by the remission of general taxation could save the
agricultural interest from impending ruin. With respect to the House
of Commons, he had formerly taken an active part in getting up
petitions to that honourable house, but he had now done with that.
(Loud cheers.) He should no more think of signing a petition to the
House of Commons, under present circumstances, on behalf of the
agricultural classes, than he should to the man in the moon. (Renewed
cheers.) There was a time when he (Mr A.) was under the impression
that the farmers of Great Britain and Ireland would, at all events,
receive the sympathy, if not the assistance, of the majority of
that branch of the Imperial Legislature at all times of difficulty
and distress; That delusion had now vanished; and when he saw a
majority of that House disbelieving the honest representations of
those who were suffering the deepest distress, when he witnessed, in
that majority, a disposition to evade the fair inference from facts
which they dared not positively deny, and that they would do nothing
voluntarily for the relief of that distress, which had been effected
by their own erroneous legislation; then, he said, he considered it
utterly useless either to trouble himself or disturb the calm repose
of such an assembly as that, by stating to them his apprehensions
of the impending ruin of British agriculture, and humbly soliciting
their aid in averting so dire a calamity, which must ere long place
in jeopardy even the most valued institutions of this great and
powerful nation. (Cheers.) Did the farmers recollect what Mr S.
Herbert had said about them--that they were coming before the House
of Commons, ingloriously "whining for protection?" Now, I (continued
Mr A.) do not mean to "whine." I mean to say, farmers of England!
that you have no cause for whining--that you can, if you will, raise
up your heads erect and _demand_ the restoration of protection.
(Vehement cheering.) I say it advisedly, that upon you, and upon
the class which you represent, depends the great question, whether
eventually the monarchy shall rest upon a rock, stable as those
rocks which gird our shores, or whether a system shall be introduced
breeding disaffection, alienating the attachment of the good and the
loyal, and producing general confusion in the country. (Loud cheers.)
I know, and I affirm fearlessly, that the continuance of the present
system will ruin the landed interest of the country. _We_ shall go
first, but noble lords and the aristocracy of England will be the
next to follow. It is impossible that the aristocracy of the country
can be supported without the tenantry. We have lived long enough
to find out that the expression of "rowing in the same boat" has
been used figuratively, and has meant nothing. True, there are many
exceptions, and noble lords and the gentlemen on the platform are
amongst them. The allusion to "rowing in the same boat" is no longer
generally applicable. We have rowed in the same boat, but they have
too often pulled one way while we pulled another. (Cheers.) I want
to see each one with a labouring oar in his hand. Let the landlords
join the tenantry in pulling towards the desired haven, and I will
be bound that the tenantry pull harder than they. (Loud cheers.) We
come forward not only in defence of our own rights, but the rights
of our landlords, and the rights of our labourers also. I am proud
of the aristocracy of the country, and I believe their eyes will yet
be opened, and that, when united with the tenant-farmer, they will
not only re-establish his right to live and prosper on the soil of
Old England, but preserve the Throne and prevent the establishment of
a republican form of government in this country, which would be but
the prelude to anarchy, bloodshed, and national disgrace. Mr Allnatt
concluded by moving the resolution, amidst loud cheers.

Mr HUGH WATSON, Keillor, N.B., considered it a high compliment to
the farmers of Scotland, that he, as representing that body, should
be called upon to take a part in the business of this great meeting
by seconding the resolution, so ably moved and introduced, for which
purpose he now rose. He had come there as one of a deputation from
the Protective Association of Scotland, and could answer for his
brother farmers in the North, that in heart and soul they were with
them. The farmers of Scotland had been accused, perhaps justly, of
being a little slow in the Protection movement; but if they were so,
it was not for lack of good will, but from motives of expediency or
prudence. Although we had not made any great public demonstration in
the North, we had, thanks to a valuable portion of the periodical
press in Scotland, been enabled to express our feelings. To this
influential organ of public opinion, which was not to be bought or
sold, we owed a debt of deep gratitude, for it had stood by us in our
adversity as well as in former prosperity. He was sorry that he was
not able to tell that things were better in Scotland than they were
in England. The tale that he might have related to them, was one of
as great misery as any they had been called upon to listen to that
day. At this late hour of the meeting, he would not go much into
detail. The experiment now being made has nearly ruined the farmers
of Scotland--a large portion of the arable land must go out of
cultivation--and confiscation of property had this year extended to
more than the gross rental of that kingdom. But, though the farmers
felt they were grievously oppressed, they were not yet subdued.
(Loud cheers.) There was a time when the interests of the landlords
and tenantry of Scotland were regarded as inseparable; but, he was
sorry to say, that feeling was not now so strongly entertained as
formerly. Delusions and deceptions had been practised which had, in
some cases, weaned the affections of the one class from the other;
he could see, however, a growing disposition to return to the path
in which they had formerly trod. He would say to his brother farmers
of England, that some apology was due to them from the farmers of
Scotland, for the unfounded aspersions which had been cast upon them
by a few empirical pretenders, who, from their insignificance, only
deserved their contempt. Let them be assured that the farmers of
Scotland were not so ignorant of the modes of farming, the management
of stock, and the general economy of well-managed English farms,
or of the intelligence of English farmers, as to try and deceive
them by any fine-spun theories of high-farming, or any such humbug.
(Cheers and laughter.) They might depend upon it, that the parties
who thus attempted to deceive them, or their landlords, were not
those sterling farmers of Scotland we have been accustomed to look
to during the last forty years. (Hear, hear.) One subject, which had
been alluded to here and in other places, had roused his Scottish
blood a little. The tenant farmers have been told that they have
not the courage, moral or physical, to stand up, and insist upon
their rights. Surely the fools who made such assertions as these do
not know of what stuff the yeomanry of England are composed. (Loud
cheers.) Surely they could never have seen such a sample of an
Irishman as was then on his left hand--(the Marquis of Downshire);
and I am quite sure they were equally ignorant of the character
of the hardy sons of Scotland, who would spend the last drop of
their blood rather than submit to insult. (Cheers.) In conclusion,
this I will say, that if such men as this Apostle of Peace and his
satellites choose to insult us, the men of England, Ireland, and
Scotland, or dare us to the strife, then say I--

  "Come on, Macduff,
  And damned be he who first cries--Hold, enough!"

(Vociferous cheering.)

The resolution was carried unanimously.

WILLIAM CALDECOTT, Esq.--My Lords and Gentlemen, I rise not only
as a landowner of one farm, and an occupier of another, but as a
delegate from the neighbourhood of Colchester, deputed by my brother
delegates to move the following resolution:--"That the members of the
various delegations from all parts of the United Kingdom now present
cannot separate without recording their deep sense of the invaluable
services rendered to the cause of Protection by the noble President,
the respected chairman of the acting committee, and the other members
of the National Association, in whom the whole agricultural community
repose the most deserved and unbounded confidence. And they earnestly
recommend to their fellow-countrymen who desire the restoration
of protection as the leading principle of legislative policy, to
support the Association; and whatever differences of opinion may
prevail on minor points, unitedly to follow its energetic but prudent
guidance in the great struggle in which they are engaged." In my
case, gentlemen, you see an instance of the distinction made between
classes; for, when in private life as a merchant, my funded property
escaped all contribution to tithes, poor-rates, and all other taxes;
but no sooner was I induced, by the assurances of Sir Robert Peel,
(the Judas Iscariot of political life,) that it would be madness to
alter his corn-law, to invest it in land, than it became subject to
an unequal and unjust share of public burdens, and which ought and
must be inquired into, since faith has been broken with us; or how
are we to keep faith with the national creditor when the means of
doing so are taken from us? Knowing as I do from private friends,
(Free-traders,) that the ulterior objects of the Free-traders are
the destruction of the union between Church and State, the abolition
of the Monarchy, and the establishment of a republic; and, lastly,
the application of the sponge to the national debt, I tell Lord
John Russell that, in aiding and abetting the Free-traders in these
designs, instead of being a public reformer, he will prove himself
a public destroyer, by alienating from her Majesty the most loyal
and attached body in her kingdoms--the yeomanry of England. For the
purpose of remedying the distress which was complained of, I would
not (exclaimed Mr Caldecott) petition the House of Commons; but if we
are to have no protection, let us go thousands in a body to insist
upon equality of burdens. We have the power in our own hands. If they
will not listen to the voice of reason--if constitutional means will
not avail, band yourselves together in a league for withholding the
taxes, the tithes, and the poor-rates, (immense cheering,) until the
Government do listen to your complaints.

    "What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?
    Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just;
    And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
    Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted."

Mr WILLIAM RIGDEN, Hove, Sussex, seconded the resolution, and said
at that late hour he would not detain the meeting, but merely make
a single remark upon the report of the "_Times'_ Commissioner" in
reference to the county of Sussex. In the course of his travels the
"Commissioner" seemed to have encountered a farm of 400 acres in
the neighbourhood of Brighton, upon which he said the occupier had
made a profit of £900 last year. He (Mr R.) undertook to say that
that statement was not true, and he now publicly challenged the
"Commissioner" to prove his assertion. (Loud cheers). As a proof of
the distress prevailing in the county of Sussex, he might state, that
within the last fortnight he had had more than fifty able-bodied
labourers applying to him for work.

The resolution was put from the chair, and carried by acclamation.

Mr GEORGE BODINGTON, of Sutton Coldfield, said--I appear here
to-day from the county of Warwick; and on behalf of the men of
Warwickshire I say, that whatever may take place in this country
as the consequence of the false policy of Free Trade, they will,
under all circumstances, be ready to do their duty. It is, I
think, a most surprising spectacle to see the yeomanry of England
and Scotland assembled in the centre of this metropolis, for the
purpose of carrying on an agitation in opposition to the measures of
Government. We might almost appear to come forward in a new character
upon this occasion, for we have been always ready to support the
Monarchy, the Government, and the Constitution of this country. It
might seem as if at present we were placed in a false position, but
in reality we appear in the same position we have ever occupied,
namely, as defenders of the institutions of the country. Free Trade
is the policy of the Government, and it is a policy founded on the
success of an agitation which was unconstitutional in its character
and objects, and therefore we are here to-day to oppose it. The
agitation which was carried on by the Anti-Corn-Law League, went to
an extent, and had a purpose in view, far beyond the limits which the
Constitution safely and fairly allows in the conduct and movement of
measures by the people against the Government of the country. But
how came the Constitution to fail on that occasion? For my part, I
have faith in the British Constitution; and I do not believe that
that great error would ever have been committed except through the
treachery of those to whom its administration had been intrusted. Our
cause has been lost by treachery and cowardice. (Cheers.) But how are
we to rectify the error? I fear it can only be done by a dissolution
of the present Parliament, and the election of another in its stead
determined to vindicate the rights of native industry, and re-assert
the authority and dignity of the Constitution from the violence
and degradation to which it has been subjected. Are the present
Ministers prepared to add to the dark catalogue of Free-trade
disasters, (embracing the ruin of the West Indian colonies, the
disaffection and threatened alienation of the Canadas, the entire
ruin of Ireland, which, through Free Trade, special as well as
general, is sunk to the lowest depths of misery and destitution,) the
utter destruction of the capital in the hands of the tenant-farmers
and yeomen of the country?--and with that, as a consequence, of the
aristocracy?--and with that, of the throne? Why, these things must
follow as the inevitable results of one another. It had been asserted
by Sir R. Peel, on a recent occasion in the House of Commons, that
the doctrine of Free Trade was analogous in principle to the law of
gravitation which governs the great material world around us. He
used this allusion, however, merely as a piece of empty declamation,
without the smallest particle of reasonable argument to support
his position. It is obvious that the law of gravitation operates
as a restrictive, repulsive, and prohibitive power, as well as an
attractive; or otherwise the planet we inhabit and the other spheres
would quit their orbits, run in upon the sun the great centre, and
produce chaos and universal ruin. (Loud cheers.) And thus, to compare
great things with small, in the commercial world, Great Britain, the
sun and centre, is producing confusion and general disorder by her
abandonment of those great negative principles which are essential to
the maintenance of natural distinctions and differences, and of the
several inferior commercial centres, so to speak, in their respective
orbits. And these results are exemplified in the destruction of
the labour-interest of Ireland, involving, as we see it does, the
destruction there of every other interest; in the deterioration of
the labour-interest of England; in the outcast, from circulation,
of a very large proportion of monetary capital from the commercial
world; in the conflict of classes, now induced both abroad and now at
length at home; and in a host of other social and political evils.
And thus this analogous allusion, fairly argued, justifies the
principle of Protection by restrictive laws, and utterly repudiates
that of unguarded intercourse.

Free Trade will inevitably lead to the ruin of every great national
interest, and it is therefore the duty of every one who wishes
well to the British Empire, to assist in obtaining as speedily as
possible a complete reversal of that policy. I will not detain
the Meeting any longer, but at once read the resolution which has
been intrusted to me, as follows:--"That a Memorial to the right
hon. the First Lord of the Treasury be prepared, founded on the
foregoing resolutions, protesting in the strongest manner against
the continuance of the present system of miscalled 'Free trade,' and
solemnly casting on the Administration, of which his Lordship is
the head, the heavy responsibility of rejecting the appeals of the
people for the abandonment of that system, and that a deputation be
appointed for the purpose of presenting the same to his Lordship, and
of representing to him the present critical and alarming position of
many districts of this country, and of some of the most important
colonies and dependencies of the British Crown."

Mr H. HIGGINS, of Herefordshire, came forward to second the
resolution. He said that the county which he then represented
suffered greater distress than had ever been known within the memory
of the oldest inhabitant. He believed that if the present Free-trade
policy were persisted in they would no longer have any of those
fine exhibitions of cattle for which that county had hitherto been
so famous. An hon. gentleman who preceded him had told them of the
distress which at present prevailed in Ireland. But for his part,
he believed that England was now being Ireland-ised as fast as
possible. (Hear, hear.) And for whom had they (the tenant-farmers)
been victimised? Who were reaping the harvest of their ruin? Why, the
foreigner, the drone, and the millocrat. (Hear, hear.) It was not the
industrious classes, as asserted by Mr Villiers, that had effected a
saying of L.90,000,000 a-year by the repeal of the corn laws; for the
greater portion of that sum went into the pocket of the foreigner.
He told the Government that the industrious classes in this country
would not stand that much longer. He warned the Government against
driving these classes to desperation, and he told them that it was
their firmness and loyalty which had at all times mainly contributed
to keep the country in peace and quietness. But when a man lost his
property he became reckless of consequences: for, in the scramble
that might take place, he had everything to gain and nothing to lose.
He would address one word to the landlords of England. He would tell
them that they had not done their duty. (Hear, hear.) But he would
further tell them, not to be misled by the delusion that they could
derive from extra production a compensation for the depreciation
of prices. He would call on the Legislature of this country to
redress the wrongs of the agricultural classes, unless they intended
to excite those classes to exercise the strength which they still
retained in their hands. If they could not obtain justice by rational
means--if they could not succeed by moral force--he for one was
prepared to do anything in defence of his own. (Hear, hear.)

The Right Hon. the Earl of EGLINTON then came forward, amidst loud
cheers, to move the following resolutions:--"That the cordial thanks
of this meeting be respectfully offered to his Grace the Duke of
Richmond, K.G., for his manly and consistent maintenance of the cause
of Protection on all occasions, and especially for the able and
impartial manner in which he has presided over the proceedings of
this day." The noble earl said, that meeting had been characterised
by more unanimity than any meeting, perhaps, at which he had ever
assisted; but he felt certain that whatever might be the unanimity,
and whatever might be the enthusiasm with which they had received
the preceding resolutions, the one which he had then to propose
would be received with still more unanimity, and with still greater
enthusiasm. He had to propose the thanks of the meeting to their
noble chairman. (Loud and long continued cheers.) Many censures
had that day been unsparingly, but he should confess most justly,
showered down upon that class to which he belonged. He was, however,
proud to say, that he, in common with hundreds of others, had escaped
from that censure. He was also proud to say that the class to which
he more especially belonged--he meant the peerage of Scotland--had
been particularly exempt from that vacillation and apathy which had
distinguished too many of the nobility of the empire. (Hear, hear.)
When he told them that out of 16 representative peers who sat in the
House of Lords for Scotland, on the great division which took place
with respect to the repeal of the corn laws, 10 had voted against
the measure, 2 had not voted at all, one of whom was now as stanch
a Protectionist as any present, and only 4 had recorded their votes
against the principle of Protection--one of these being thousands
of miles off, and perhaps incapable of forming any decision of his
own upon the subject--when he told them those facts, he thought they
would admit that the peerage of Scotland had not as a body been
deficient in their duty upon that occasion. One of the most eloquent
speakers who had addressed them that day, Professor Aytoun, had told
them of some bad articles which came from Scotland in the shape
of political economists. But he (the Earl of Eglinton) could not
refrain from saying one word in favour of "Auld Scotland" upon that
occasion, and he would ask them whether they had not seen one good
article come from that country in the shape of the Professor himself?
(Cheers.) It might not be so well known to the body of the meeting
as it was to him, how deeply the Protectionist cause was indebted to
that gentleman (hear); but he knew that the most powerful, the most
eloquent, and the most convincing statements in favour of Protection
had come from his pen. (Cheers.) He should also call to their
recollection the honest specimen of a Scotch tenant-farmer--namely,
Mr Watson, whom they had heard that day, and of whom he confessed he,
as a countryman, felt proud, (hear, hear;) but, above all, he begged
to state, that Scotland owned one-half of their noble chairman. The
noble duke was one-half a Scotchman by birth, by property, and by
feeling. (Hear, hear.) He knew that that was not a time of the day to
go on descanting on all that they owed to the noble duke, and still
more did he know that the presence of the noble duke did not afford
the fitting opportunity for adopting such a course. He should say,
however, that he well knew that there was not in that room, or in the
country, a sincere well-wisher to the British empire, who did not
look upon the noble duke as one of the most straightforward, one of
the most gallant, and one of the most useful men whom this country
ever possessed. (Cheers.) He should not detain them longer; but would
content himself with leaving the resolution in their hands. (Great

Lord JOHN MANNERS, M.P., came forward, amidst very loud and
general cheering, to second the resolution. The noble lord said
that in terminating the proceedings of that most remarkable
meeting--remarkable not only for the ability of the speeches which
they had heard, and the unanimity that had characterised their
proceedings, but also for the presence of so many delegates,
representing, and representing so truly, every suffering interest
in this great community--he felt that he had a task at once most
difficult and most gratifying to perform. Most truly had Lord
Eglinton said that in the presence of the noble duke a certain
reserve was necessary in speaking of those qualities which commanded
their admiration; but still they should not be doing justice to their
feelings if they permitted that opportunity to pass without saying
that they did not know in the whole peerage one man who more justly
commanded the respect, the admiration, and the affection of the
industrious classes of this country. (Cheers.) Lord Eglinton had said
some thing in favour of that house to which the noble duke belonged;
and he (Lord J. Manners) hoped he might be allowed for one moment to
say something in favour of that house to which he had so recently
been returned. He could not, like some of the gentlemen who had that
day addressed them, despair even of the present graceless House of
Commons. (Hear, hear, and laughter.) If they asked him his reason, he
should tell them that he found one in the fact, that, when that House
of Commons had first met, the majority then against those principles
which that meeting had assembled to enforce, and which they intended
to carry into successful operation, amounted to not less than 100;
while at the present moment that majority could not, he believed,
be estimated at more than a score of votes. Another reason why he
did not despair of the present House of Commons was derived from the
recent election of the hon. and gallant colonel the member for Cork,
who was then assisting at their proceedings. (Hear, hear.) He had no
doubt but that at future elections they would continue further to
increase the number of members ready to advocate and support their
cause. If he might be permitted to give one word of advice, he would
suggest that, while they took every precaution for returning, for the
future, members who were prepared to vindicate the great principle
of protection to native industry, they ought not to discourage,
but to aid, those members in the present House of Commons who
zealously sought to put down that system which they believed in their
consciences to be working the destruction of this mighty empire.
(Hear.) He should further say, that he found a fresh justification
for a return of their somewhat waning confidence in the House of
Lords, in the presence among them that day of the noble duke to whom
they were going to offer by acclamation the vote of their unbounded
confidence and admiration. (Cheers.) When they saw the noble duke
supporting the dignity of the peerage with so much gallantry, so
much honesty, and such unswerving onwardness of purpose, they might,
he thought, well take courage; and believe that both Houses of
Parliament would yet faithfully represent, and faithfully carry out,
the principles on which the Constitution of this country had so long
depended, and on which it must continue to depend if it was still to
remain the Constitution of the greatest empire of the known world.
(Hear, hear.) He called on them to vote by acclamation the resolution
which he had the honour to second. He called upon them to rise as one
man and give three lusty cheers for their noble chairman the Duke
of Richmond. (The call was responded to with enthusiasm, the whole
meeting rising as one man.)

The NOBLE DUKE proceeded to acknowledge the compliment as follows:--I
rise, as you may well conceive that I must, impressed with a deep
feeling of gratitude to you, the delegates from nearly every county
in England and Scotland, for the very kind and flattering manner
in which you have been pleased to pass the present resolution. I
claim no merit for myself for what I have done in Parliament and
out of Parliament, with the view of preventing the adoption of the
Free-trade policy, or with a view of regaining protection to native
industry. I claim no merit to myself for the course I have pursued,
because I think that course is absolutely necessary, not only for the
welfare and the prosperity of the landed interest of the country, but
for the welfare of all classes of our fellow-subjects. (Hear, hear.)
I never advocated protection to the farmer without also advocating
protection to the silk weaver and to the manufacturer. (Hear, hear.)
I am called on in Parliament not to legislate for one class, but to
legislate for all classes, and I therefore have not pledged myself
to the maintenance of the principle of protection without an earnest
inquiry into the whole subject. I have, however, thought it my duty
to give a pledge, and, with God's help, I will never violate it.
(Cheers.) I am not made of that stuff which would permit me to veer
about like the wind, and to flatter every popular demagogue. (Hear,
hear.) I have one English quality in me, which is, that I will not
be bullied into any course of which my judgment disapproves. (Hear,
hear.) I will not allow a knot of Manchester Free-traders to dictate
to the good sense of the community at large. (Hear, hear.) I will
not consent to lose the colonies of this great empire. (Hear, hear.)
I will not help to carry out a system which is bringing ruin to our
shipping interest, (cheers,) and which forces to emigration those
honest and industrious mechanics, who, by their skill, their energy,
and their good conduct, have, up to the time of the repeal of the
Navigation Laws, been able to get a fair day's wages for a fair
day's work. (Cheers.) Neither will I consent to have the honour and
glory of this great country dependent upon Mr Cobden and his party.
(Cheers.) I am for English ships, manned by English hearts of oak.
(Renewed cheers.) I am for protecting domestic industry in all its
branches. (Hear, hear.) I feel, however, that at this time of the
evening I ought not to trespass at any length on your attention;
but cordially agreeing with all the resolutions that have been put
here to-day, and carried unanimously, and agreeing with much that
has fallen from the different eloquent gentlemen who have addressed
you, I must speak out my own mind; and I hope that you, the farmers
of England, will not respect me the less for doing so. (Hear.) Well,
then, I must say that I only recommend constitutional means, (hear,
hear,) and I certainly do not recommend the adoption of any threats
of violence or force, and still less do I recommend that we should
band ourselves together not to pay taxes, (Hear, hear.) We are the
representatives of a truly loyal people. By constitutional means we
shall gain a victory of which we shall afterwards have reason to
be proud; but if we descend to the miserable and degrading tricks
of the Anti-Corn Law League, (hear, hear,) we cannot be respected,
because we cannot respect ourselves. I thank you for the confidence
you have shown towards me. I thank you, in my own name, and in the
name of many Protectionists who have not been able to be present
here to-day, for the unanimous manner in which you have carried the
resolutions, and the patience with which you have listened to him
who is now addressing you, who is so little worthy of attention.
But as long as I shall continue to have health, I shall take every
opportunity of meeting the tenant-farmers of this country, (hear,
hear,) notwithstanding that I may be told in the House of Lords, in a
majority of whose members I have no confidence, (hear, hear,) that by
presiding at meetings of this description I am creating a panic among
the tenantry. That, gentlemen, is the last attack that has been made
on me and on my noble friends around me. I was told the other night,
in the House of Lords, by a noble lord who is a disciple of Sir R.
Peel, that it was to myself and to those who pursued a similar course
to mine that the lowness in the price of corn is to be attributed.
(Hear, hear, and laughter.) His assertion was, "That the speeches
delivered in this country found their way into the German newspapers,
and that the German farmers, believing that shortly a duty on the
import of foreign corn would be imposed, sent over their corn to this
country and sold it here at a loss." In reply I stated that, if this
statement was correct, I could not regret that I had contributed
to the foreigners losing money, if they choose to send their corn
here. I have no bad feeling to the foreigner; but I may say that,
if we are exposed to taxes from which he is exempt, I could feel no
pity for any loss that he might sustain in his competition with the
agriculturists of this country. (Cheers.) One word on the subject
of the income tax, which is now so oppressive to the tenant-farmer.
When I stated in the House of Lords, a few evenings ago, that the
farmers had no right to be called upon to pay that tax whilst they
derived no profit from their holdings, Lord Grey said that he
admitted the hardness of the case, but that he and his party had not
originally enacted the law, but that it emanated from Sir R. Peel.
(Hear, hear, and laughter.) To that I felt it my duty to say, that
although they did not originally enact the law, they had extended the
time of its operation. (Hear, hear.) At the same time, I certainly
did not attempt to justify Sir R. Peel; for I would be the last man
to undertake such a task. (Hear, hear.) I again thank you for the
confidence you have shown towards me; and if my services can ever
be of the slightest use to the tenantry of this country, or to its
domestic industry, I can only say that those services, such as they
are, will ever be at your disposal. (The noble Duke concluded amidst
enthusiastic cheering.)

The meeting immediately separated, Mr G. F. Young informing the
delegates that the National Association was anxious for their
presence at their rooms, at the South Sea House, on the following
morning, at eleven o'clock.


The delegates re-assembled in considerable numbers at the South Sea
House on Saturday morning, when they agreed to the following address
to the Prime Minister, which had been prepared, in conformity with
the resolutions passed at the great aggregate meeting at the Crown
and Anchor on Tuesday last:--


     "May it please your Lordship,--We are deputed to address
     you in the name and at the desire of a public meeting held
     in this metropolis on the 7th inst., which, consisting of a
     considerable number of members of both Houses of Parliament,
     merchants, shipowners, tradesmen, and others connected with the
     most important interests of the nation, and comprising nearly
     500 owners and occupiers of land, specially delegated by the
     agriculturists of every part of the United Kingdom, to represent
     the present condition of their respective localities, and to
     express their opinion on the public policy of your lordship's
     administration, presents a just claim to the serious attention
     of her Majesty's Government.

     "On the authority of this meeting, unanimously expressed, it is
     our duty to declare to your lordship that intolerable distress
     now almost universally pervades the British agricultural
     interest; that many branches of the colonial interest are fast
     sinking into ruin; that the shipping and other great interests
     of the country are involved in difficulty and deep depression;
     and that large masses of the industrial population are reduced
     to a state of lamentable deprivation and suffering.

     "It must be obvious that such a condition of affairs is fraught
     with consequences disastrous to the public welfare; and if not
     speedily remedied, it is the conviction of the meeting that it
     will endanger the public peace, prove fatal to the maintenance
     of public credit, and may even place in peril the safety of the

     "It is our duty further to declare to your lordship that the
     dangerous evils we have thus described are, in the deliberate
     judgment of the meeting, attributable to the recent changes
     made in those protective laws by which the importation of
     articles of foreign production had long been regulated, which
     changes it regards as most rash and impolitic. It considers
     the ancient system of commercial law to have been based on
     the most just principles, and dictated by the soundest views
     of national policy. It cannot forget that, under that system,
     Great Britain attained an unexampled state of prosperity and a
     proud pre-eminence in the scale of nations; and it is its firm
     conviction that if the principle of fostering and protecting
     British industry and British capital be abandoned, many of
     the most important interests of the State will be utterly and
     cruelly sacrificed, and the national prosperity and greatness be
     ruinously impaired.

     "The meeting is further of opinion that no relief from
     general or local taxation, which would be consistent with
     the maintenance of public faith and the efficiency of public
     establishments, could enable the British and colonial producer
     successfully to compete with foreign productions; and that
     the only hope of replacing the agricultural and other native
     and colonial interests in a state of prosperity rests on the
     re-establishment of a just system of import duties.

     "The meeting deeply deplores that the distressing and
     destructive consequences of the system of miscalled Free Trade
     having been repeatedly and urgently pressed on the attention of
     Parliament, the House of Commons has treated the just complaints
     of the people with indifference, has exhibited a total want of
     sympathy for their sufferings, and has refused to adopt any
     measures for removing or alleviating the prevalent difficulty
     and distress.

     "This conduct has naturally produced a widely-diffused feeling
     of disappointment, discontent, and distrust, which is rapidly
     undermining the reliance of the people in the justice and wisdom
     of Parliament, the best security for loyalty to the Throne,
     and for the maintenance of the invaluable institutions of the

     "Having thus faithfully represented to your lordship the general
     views on the policy of the country, expressed in the recorded
     resolutions of the meeting we represent, we proceed to discharge
     the further duty intrusted to us of addressing your lordship as
     the head of that Administration by which the policy so strongly
     deprecated is continued and defended.

     "We are charged earnestly to remonstrate and protest on the
     part of the deeply injured thousands whose property has been
     torn from them by the unjust and suicidal impolicy of which
     we complain; and still more emphatically on behalf of the
     millions of the industrial population dependent on them for
     employment, and consequently for subsistence, against the
     longer continuance of a system which, under the specious name
     of Free Trade, violates every principle of real freedom,
     since it dooms the taxed, fettered, and disqualified native
     producer to unrestricted competition in his own market with the
     comparatively unburdened foreigner. We not only deny the moral
     right of any government or of any legislature to have involved
     in certain loss and suffering large masses of a flourishing
     community, for the sake of giving trial to a mere experiment;
     but we assert that the experiment has been tried, and has
     signally and disastrously failed, and we demand therefore, as
     the right of those we represent, the prompt restoration of that
     protection from unrestricted foreign import which can alone
     rescue them from impending destruction.

     "It is painful for us to declare, but it is our duty not to
     disguise, that the pertinacious adherence of the Cabinet, of
     which your lordship is at the head, to the policy of miscalled
     Free Trade, and its determined rejection of the appeals of
     the people for a reversal of that policy, have extended to
     the executive government of the country the same feelings of
     distrust and discontent which are widely diffused with respect
     to the representative branch of the Legislature. We solemnly
     adjure your lordship to remember that discontent unattended to
     may ripen into disaffection.

     "We know that the loyalty of the people to their most gracious
     Sovereign, under all their grievances and wrongs, remains, and
     will remain, unshaken; but we are aware, and it is our duty,
     therefore, to warn her Majesty's Government, that the state of
     feeling in many districts of the country is most critical and
     alarming, hazardous to its peace, perilous to the maintenance of
     public credit, and dangerous to its established institutions;
     nor must we be deterred, either by our unqualified respect for
     your lordship's personal character, or by the just consideration
     we owe to the elevated position you occupy, from casting on your
     lordship and your colleagues the awful responsibility of all the
     consequences that may result from a continuance of your refusal
     either to redress the wrongs of the people, or to allow them the
     constitutional opportunity for the vindication of their rights,
     by dissolving the Parliament and appealing to the voice of the

  "London, May 11, 1850."

  George Frederick Young, Chairman of Acting Committee,}
  F. Cayley Worsely, Vice Chairman,                    }
  James Blyth, Vice Chairman,                          }
  Augustus Bosanquet, Chairman of Colonial Committee,  } Of the National
  Richard Davis,         }                             }  Association.
  Benjamin B. Greene,    } Members of Ditto,           }
  David Charles Guthrie, }                             }
                                      Charles Beke, Secretary.

  W. Tindall.
  H. C. Chapman, Liverpool.
  Wm. Layton, Cambridgeshire.
  Nathaniel Barthropp, Suffolk.
  Edward Tull, Berkshire.
  James Linton, Huntingdonshire.
  Paul Foskett, East Surrey.
  John King, Somerset.
  John Elliot, South Devon.
  Robert Baker, Essex.
  Joseph Pain, Bedfordshire.
  Samuel Cheetham, Rutland.
  Thomas Vowe, Leicestershire.
  John Simpson, Suffolk.
  Frederick King, Wilts.
  Richard Strange, Wiltshire.
  John Walker, Nottinghamshire.
  George Storer, Nottinghamshire.
  William Skelton, Lincolnshire.
  J. H. Walker, Warwickshire.
  John Ellman, Sussex.
  Rowland Goldhawk, West Surrey.
  William Mallins, South Derbyshire.
  Charles Day, clerk, South Essex.
  W. E. Russell, West Kent.
  Reynolds Peyton, Herefordshire.
  Math. Henry Bigg, West Sussex.
  Daniel Baker, Monmouthshire.
  E. J. Perkins, North Warwick.
  Thomas Hartshorne, South Staffordshire.
  Thomas Jesty, Dorsetshire.
  G. P. Dawson, Yorkshire, West Riding.
  W. T. Lockyer, North Stafford.
  Samuel Lovell, Oxfordshire.
  Douglas Lynes, West Norfolk.
  E. Cayley, jun., East Yorkshire.
  R. Hewett, Northamptonshire.
  William Gray, Northamptonshire.
  Philip Box, Buckinghamshire.
  S. Musgrave Hilton, East Kent.
  Charles Lillingston, Ross-shire.
  Edward Trood, Devonshire.
  Richard Franklen, Glamorganshire.
  Thomas Bold, Liverpool.
  J. Parsons Cook, Leicestershire, South.
  John Wood, East Somersetshire.
  Charles Harland, North Riding of Yorkshire.
  M. White Ridley, Northumberland.
  Richard Belton, South Shropshire.
  John Hall, Bart., East Lothian.
  R. Scot Skirving, Haddingtonshire.
  H. St. V. Rose, Ross-shire.
  James A. Cheyne, Argyllshire.
  George Burtt, North Hampshire.

Shortly after twelve o'clock the deputation proceeded to the
Premier's official residence in Downing Street. It consisted of
the several gentlemen whose names were appended to the address,
and was accompanied by Mr Newdegate, M.P., Colonel Sibthorp, M.P.,
Mr Bickerton, (Shropshire,) Sir J. F. Walker Drummond, Bart.,
(Midlothian,) Mr Hugh Watson, (Keillor,) Forfarshire; Mr John
Dudgeon, (Spylaw,) Roxburghshire, &c.

On the deputation being ushered into the reception-room, Lord John
Russell welcomed the gentlemen composing it with characteristic
courtesy, and cordially shook Mr Young by the hand, at the same time
expressing his regret that the Duke of Richmond was unable to attend.

Mr YOUNG.--I was about to explain to your lordship that his Grace is
unable to attend from indisposition, and that I this morning received
a letter from his Grace, which I will read to your lordship:--

  "Goodwood, May 10, 1850."

     "My Dear Sir,--I write to ask you to make my excuses to the
     deputation if I do not make my appearance to-morrow at a quarter
     past twelve in Downing Street. I have not been able to leave
     my room to-day from a violent cold and rheumatism, and if not
     better, shall not be able to go to London for some days.

  "Believe me, my dear sir, yours sincerely,

  "G. F. Young, Esq.      (Signed) "RICHMOND."

Mr Young continued--I feel deep regret that his Grace is unable to
attend here to-day; but I beg to assure your lordship that we have
his Grace's concurrence in all our proceedings, and I am about to
place in your lordship's hands a document which has been drawn up
under his full sanction, and to which his Grace's signature would
have been affixed if his absence from indisposition had not prevented
it, and we had not been ignorant of that fact until it was too late
to transmit it to him for signature. Your Lordship is, no doubt,
aware that a large public meeting took place in this metropolis on
Tuesday last, at which certain resolutions were adopted relative to
protection to native industry; and amongst them one appointing a
deputation to wait upon your lordship with a memorial, and to furnish
you with such explanations as you may require. With your lordship's
permission, I will now proceed to read the address with which I have
the honour to be intrusted. Mr Young here read the address, and
continued thus:--I do not know, my lord, that it becomes me to make
any comments upon this document, which has been prepared with the
unanimous assent of the gentlemen whom I have here with me to-day,
except to refer you generally to the opinions which it contains, and
on their behalf to tender any explanation which your lordship may
deem requisite in reference to the assertions therein made, or to
any point connected with the subject which is now brought under your
lordship's notice with very great pain on the part of those for whom
I have the honour to speak.

Lord J. RUSSELL.--I may be allowed to say--and I do not do so without
due consideration--that, of course, I am ready at all times to take
upon myself all the responsibility which belongs to the executive
government; but with regard to the assertions in this address
respecting the House of Commons, you state--"That the meeting is
further of opinion that no relief from general or local taxation
which would be consistent with the maintenance of public faith, and
the efficiency of public establishments, could enable the British and
colonial producer successfully to compete with foreign productions."
Now, that proposal for relief from general and local taxation,
consistent with the maintenance of public faith and the efficiency of
public establishments, is, in fact, the only proposition of a large
nature that has been rejected by the House of Commons. You also say
here, "that the only hope of replacing the agricultural and other
native and colonial interests in a state of prosperity, rests on the
re-establishment of a just system of import duties." I do not deny,
or wish in any way to shrink from the responsibility which rests upon
her Majesty's government for the line of policy they have adopted;
but no such proposition has been made to the House of Commons, and
the House of Commons has not rejected any such proposition.

Mr YOUNG.--It is intended to express the deep disappointment we felt
that no such proposition has been made, whether as emanating from the
Government, or from any party in the House of Commons.

Mr NEWDEGATE.--Your lordship will permit me to remind you, that
although no direct motion has been made in the House of Commons for
the immediate restoration of Protection, that great question has been
admitted to have been involved in the course of discussions that have
arisen upon other questions.

Lord J. RUSSELL.--That is true; but whilst some persons have said
it would be beneficial, there are others who say that it would be

Mr YOUNG.--I wish to impress upon your lordship's mind that I, and
those with whom I am associated, do not attach much importance to
those discussions in the House of Commons, because we are perfectly
well aware that, if such a proposition were made, it would certainly
be rejected. We attach no importance to them. We think that the House
of Commons, as at present constituted, does not truly represent the
feelings and opinions of the majority of the people of this country,
and we should be glad to have the opportunity of seeing whether it
does or not.

Mr JOHN H. WALKER (of Leamington.)--I am here as the representative
of South Warwickshire, to express to your lordship my conviction that
a great change has taken place in the opinions of the people with
regard to free trade. I am in the habit of travelling a great deal,
and I never enter a railway carriage or go into company that I do
not find those who were formerly regular Free-traders, and have now
become quite the reverse. They object to the operation of free trade,
that the foreigner gets all the benefits which we are losing.

Mr YOUNG.--It does not become us now to attempt to enter upon the
discussion of so wide a question as that. I feel that we should
not be able to do so with advantage, or be justified in intruding
upon your time for that purpose. There is, however, one part of the
proceedings at the recent meeting, a report of which your lordship
has no doubt seen, upon which I wish to make a few observations. You
will there have seen that some rather strong expressions were used.
Without at all wishing to apologise for those expressions, or giving
an opinion as to their propriety or impropriety, I will take the
liberty of expressing our hope that, whatever opinion your lordship
may have formed of those expressions, you will not take them as
speaking the general sentiments of the meeting--which ought alone
to be held responsible for the opinions expressed in their recorded
resolutions. I allude to this simply as a matter of explanation,
for I should be sorry if your lordship were led to depart from
the general principle laid down, of only recognising the acts of
the meeting, without judging of its character by merely isolated
expressions falling from individual speakers.

Lord JOHN RUSSELL.--I can assure you, Mr Young, that I should not
have adverted to that circumstance, as I am quite aware that in
public meetings, where a number of persons are desirous of giving
expression to their opinions, great latitude of speech must be
allowed. With regard to the expressions alluded to, though I may
think them rather stronger than necessary, I observed in the report
of the proceedings that the Duke of Richmond, in his reply, went as
far in censure of them as I should be disposed to do; and having
every confidence in the Duke of Richmond's loyalty, his wish to
support the law, and his discretion, I think what he said upon the
subject was amply sufficient.

Mr YOUNG.--I will only add that many of us are magistrates ourselves,
and that we are fully conscious of the duty which devolves upon us to
do all we can for the maintenance of the public peace. What was said,
I believe, was only intended to show the facts of our position to the
House of Commons, from whom we claim protection, as an act of justice.

Lord JOHN RUSSELL.--Mr Newdegate, do you wish to say anything further?

Mr NEWDEGATE.--I wish merely to express my concurrence in the
objects of the deputation, and that I consider it fortunate that
your lordship has permitted the deputation this opportunity of
bringing before your notice the reality and extent of the distress
which prevails in many districts, the severity of its pressure, and
the danger from the feelings of discontent which has unhappily but
indubitably grown up under the severe depression to which a large
portion of the community is now exposed.

Lord JOHN RUSSELL, (addressing Mr Young.)--You have very truly stated
that it would be quite useless to enter into a discussion here upon,
not only one large question, but the several large questions, which
are involved in this memorial, and which refer to our commercial
laws, the state of agriculture and shipping, and the condition of
the country at large. These various subjects would lead to a most
extended discussion, if once we were to enter upon it. All I can say,
therefore, is, that I take upon myself the whole responsibility of
any advice which I may consider it my duty to give to my Sovereign.
Certainly my experience leads me, I confess it, to a directly
opposite conclusion with respect to the main point contained in this
memorial--I think it would neither be desirable to go back from
free trade to prohibition or restriction; nor advisable to dissolve
Parliament in order to ask the opinion of the country upon the
subject. That is the conclusion to which I have come. With respect
to the suffering which has been stated to exist, it is neither
inconsistent with my expectations, nor inconsistent with what I have
heard, that in various parts of the country deep suffering does
exist, and that that suffering is partly--and I should say in part
only--owing to recent changes in our commercial laws. I believe that
these changes were, in their general aspect, inevitable. I believe
that ten years ago it might have been foreseen that this country, as
it became more opulent and commercial, would require great changes in
that direction, and my object was at that time to make the transition
accompanied by as little suffering and distress as possible. But the
advice I gave with that view was rejected, not only with contempt,
but with indignation. Other changes have taken place since then, and
the changes which have now taken place have been certainly of a much
more decisive character than those which I originally proposed. I
am sorry to say that I think the conduct of the agricultural, the
colonial, and other interests, was not prudent in declaring that
there should be no change in 1841. Still that was their decision,
and in 1846 a much greater change was effected in those laws. In
1847 a general election took place, by which the electors had to
decide upon the conduct of those who had taken part in the adoption
of these changes, and the result was the election of the present
parliament, which has decided upon continuing the policy which the
House of Commons had laid down in 1846. I own I do think it was very
unwise--if I may be allowed to say so--in 1841, not to have sought
some compromise; but I think it would be far more unwise now to seek
to restore a system of protective duties. I believe that that, so far
from leading to a settlement of this great question, would lead to
fresh agitation, and a renewal of the present law--the law repealing
those protective duties. I would put it to any man who is engaged
in industrial pursuits of any kind, however he may think it would
be advisable to restore the ancient system of protection, whether
it would be wise or advantageous to have those laws re-enacted in
1851, again to be repealed in 1852 or 1853? I own I must think that
to all interests concerned, especially to the agricultural interest,
those changes and those renewals would be the very worst measures
that could be adopted. All return to the former system being, as I
believe, impossible, it may be desirable to equalise, if possible,
the charges upon land, which I believe to be the wish of all parties.
The changes which have been made, I believe to be, in their general
aspect, agreeable to the progress of society in this country, and
that the endeavour of all interests should henceforth be to adapt
themselves to those changes rather than attempt their reversal. I may
be mistaken in these views, but in the position I occupy, whether as
a minister of the Crown or as a member of parliament, I feel that I
cannot do otherwise than act upon convictions which I so strongly
entertain; and if I held your opinions I should act as you do.

MR YOUNG.--Perhaps you will not deem me unreasonable if I advert to
one or two remarks which have just fallen from your lordship. In the
first place, your lordship says it will not be wise again to return
to a system of protection and restriction. I can speak especially
for the interest to which I belong--and being almost altogether
unconnected with the landed interest, I could have wished some of
the gentlemen whom I see around me stood in the position in which I
have been unexpectedly placed; but I can speak especially for the
shipping interest, and I believe I may also for the agricultural
interest, when I say that they do not seek, that they do not desire,
a system of prohibition. If you refer to the expressions which are
contained in that memorial, you will find that all they ask is a just
and equitable system of import duties. We do not presume to dictate
the degree which would constitute justice; but we believe that, if
the principle were once acknowledged, there would be no difficulty in
placing the details upon such a basis as to give satisfaction to all
parties. The next point upon which I would venture to offer one word
by way of explanation, and as the expression of that which I know to
be the universal sentiment of this deputation, is, that although,
after the enactment of the changes of 1846, namely, in 1847, a
general election did take place, yet your lordship will recollect
that which is imprinted upon the mind of the country at large, that
that election took place under circumstances which had shattered to
pieces all parties in the state, and had placed the constituencies
in such a position that, as we think, the election of 1847 was not a
fair exponent of the sentiments and opinions which were entertained
by the people at large.

MR GUTHRIE.--Your lordship has expressed it as your opinion that it
was unwise to reject the proposition which you made in 1841, for
imposing a fixed duty of 8s. per quarter on wheat. Now, supposing
your lordship acted wisely in proposing that measure, and the other
party unwisely in rejecting it, if the other party should come round
to your lordship's former opinion upon that subject, allow me to ask
if you think it would be wrong, in 1850, to revert to the proposal
which you deemed to be so perfectly right in 1841.

LORD J. RUSSELL.--I can easily answer that question. Without going
into other considerations, supposing the price of corn to be at that
time 58s., a law that would reduce the average to 50s. would be well
taken; whereas, if the price were 42s., the law which would raise it
from 42s. to 50s. would be ill taken.

MR YOUNG.--Allow me, on behalf of the deputation, to thank your
lordship for the attention with which you have heard us, and to
express a hope that, should any of the observations in the address
which I have had the honour to place in your lordship's hands appear
too strong, you will not consider it as any mark of disrespect
to yourself, but merely as an indication of the feelings which
we entertain on the subject. I can now only apologise for having
detained your lordship so long, but trust the important nature of the
interests we represent will be a sufficient excuse.

MR GUTHRIE.--Are you not going to say anything relative to the
colonial interests?

MR YOUNG.--I left that in your hands. I thought you were going to
speak upon that subject rather than upon agriculture.

MR GUTHRIE.--Then, perhaps, your lordship will excuse me for again
occupying your attention for a few moments relative to the interests
of the colonies. I had the honour to wait upon you once before on the
same subject, and can assure you that the difficulties under which
the colonies laboured last year are in no degree diminished. Indeed,
since that time the creditors have become the possessors of the
estates, and the proprietors are now between sinking and swimming.
Whether or not they shall he ruined will depend upon whether the
differential duties shall be continued or not. I consider that the
colonists have a right to demand that some protection should be given
to them, seeing the difficulties that have been thrown in their way
in obtaining labour. Those duties are to be again reduced in July
next, and go off entirely in the following July; but I consider
that some measure ought to be introduced to put the produce of the
colonies on an equal footing with the produce of slave countries.
Immense sums have been spent by this country to put a stop to the
slave trade, while every encouragement is given to the produce of
slave-holding countries. The tendency of all the legislation of late
years has been to raise the value of foreign produce, and depress
the property of the colonies. I am sure that I need not inform your
lordship that a deep sympathy is felt throughout the country for the
sufferings of the colonists, and I hope that your lordship will give
the subject your early consideration and attention, as the distress
existing among the various interests of the country bound us as in a
common bond to endeavour to revise and amend our present position.

The audience then terminated, and the deputation withdrew to the
large room at the King's Arms, Palace Yard, where several delegates
delivered spirit-stirring addresses, which contained earnest
exhortations to each other, and to their friends in the country, to
combine and manfully to fight the battle of protection for England's
best interests; and a determination was expressed to act, in their
respective localities, upon the advice of the committee of the
National Association, to "Register, register, register."


Lord STANLEY having complied with the request which had been made
to him, founded upon a resolution agreed to at the meeting at the
South Sea House, on Thursday last, to receive an address from the
delegates, on the termination of the above proceedings, a large body
of gentlemen, headed by Mr William Layton, the chairman of the Isle
of Ely Protectionist Society, proceeded to Lord Eglinton's mansion
in St James's Square, for that purpose, there being no room in Lord
Stanley's residence sufficiently large for their reception. In
addition to the delegates already named, there were present the noble
owner of the mansion; the Earl of Malmesbury; Mr W. Forbes Mackenzie,
M.P.; Mr Newdegate, M.P.; Colonel Sibthorp, M.P.; Mr Albert Williams;
Mr W. Long of Hurts Hall, Suffolk; Major Playfair, St Andrew's; Mr
Ritchie, Dunbar; Professor Aytoun, and Mr Blackwood.

Mr LAYTON, who was intrusted with the duty of presenting the address
to Lord STANLEY, said that the gentlemen then present had been
deputed by their co-delegates to wait upon his lordship, as the
leader of the Protectionist party in the House of Lords, to make
known to him the extent of the distress which was at this time
prevailing in all parts of the country, and to ask his advice with
regard to the course which it was most advisable for them to pursue
in the midst of their difficulties. They felt that they had been
deserted by a considerable portion of the members of both houses of
the legislature, and in this extremity they turned to his lordship,
who had so long been the ablest and most powerful of the advocates in
this cause. (Hear.) They had that morning had the honour of waiting
upon Lord John Russell; but grieved to heart was he to say that the
noble lord, the Prime Minister of England, was unwilling in any way
to respond to the appeal which had been made to him on behalf of the
suffering tenantry of the country. He (Mr Layton) held in his hand
a copy of the address which had been submitted to Lord J. Russell,
and, with Lord Stanley's permission, would lay it before him, that he
might gather therefrom what were the feelings and sentiments which
were entertained by the great body of the agricultural community.
The delegates were prepared, if his lordship would give them
encouragement, to return to their respective localities, and use
their best exertions for the purpose of accomplishing the overthrow
of that insane policy to which was attributable the distress of which
they complained. (Hear.) Mr Disraeli had stated that it was outside
the walls of the Houses of Parliament that this great battle was now
to be fought. And we are prepared to fight the battle--exclaimed Mr
Layton--we are prepared to go into our respective localities, and
convince the House of Lords that the yeomanry and tenant-farmers of
this country, amongst whom this great movement emanates, will not
cease agitating until we have attained our object. (Hear, hear.) We
have to-day been taunted by Lord J. Russell that there has been no
movement made by the Protectionist party in parliament to reverse
the present policy. But, as you, my Lord Stanley, know well, this
is for the best of all possible reasons. You know that we have not
that support and encouragement in either house, which will warrant an
attempt to reverse that iniquitous policy. (Hear, hear.) We have come
to town at great expense and inconvenience to ourselves. I myself
am deputed from a locality which is distinguished in every respect,
alike for the richness of its soil, and the industry, the virtuous
habits, and the loyalty of its people--the Isle of Ely. That district
comprises 300,000 acres of the most fertile and productive land in
the United Kingdom, and yet, with all these advantages, we have been
plunged into difficulties; and unless we have the powerful aid and
co-operation of men like your lordship, we must inevitably be ruined.
(Hear, hear.) If such be the case with a country like that of the
Isle of Ely, what must be the state of those districts where the cold
clay soils prevail? (Hear, hear.) I am the owner of property, and I
find it impossible to collect my rents. Believe me that we do not
come here under false colours. We simply desire, as honest men, to
inform your lordship of the exact position in which we are placed;
and also, I regret to say, of the deplorable condition to which
the agricultural labourers are being reduced. With your lordship's
permission I will now read the address:--


     "My Lord,--We have the honour to wait upon your lordship, in
     your acknowledged character of leader of the great Protection
     party in the House of Lords. We form a portion of a numerous
     body of delegates this week assembled in London, from the
     various local agricultural societies in Great Britain, and our
     object in troubling your lordship is to represent to you the
     sentiments of those delegates, and of their constituents, on the
     present alarming position of the agricultural interest in this

     "Your lordship has probably seen in the public prints the
     reports of the proceedings of the great meeting of delegates,
     held at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, in the Strand, on Tuesday
     last. The resolutions of that meeting embody generally the
     sentiments of the delegates on the subjects then under
     discussion, and to them, therefore, we beg respectfully to refer
     your lordship, and also to the very important facts stated by
     the various speakers, and the arguments advanced by them in
     support of the resolutions.

     "Your lordship will be able to collect from them the following
     distinct propositions:--

     "That the existing system of a free importation of foreign
     agricultural produce is destroying the income of the farmer, and
     gradually undermining his capital.

     "That the labourer, from inadequacy of wages and dearth
     of employment, is fast approaching a state of poverty and
     destitution, and that he is becoming discontented, dispirited,
     and dissatisfied with the laws of his country.

     "That land is rapidly declining in value, and in many districts,
     as well as in the colonies, is becoming unsaleable, except at
     great sacrifices on the part of the owners.

     "That the difficulties of entering into new engagements for the
     hire of farms are increasing to an alarming extent, and that
     in various parts of the country occupations have been already

     "That many of the great trading interests of the country are
     beginning to feel the mischievous effects of the free trade
     policy; and the home trade, already in a languishing state, will
     soon become greatly depressed.

     "That in some parts of Scotland and England an extensive
     emigration of small farmers and labourers prevails, affording
     the strongest proof that can be adduced of their perilous
     condition in this country.

     "That the evils adverted to are fraught with imminent danger to
     the best interests of the state, which can only be averted by a
     just system of import duties based on a fair remuneration to the
     cultivators of the soil.

     "That prompt and efficacious measures of relief ought to be
     adopted, and any postponement of them to a future session, or
     a future parliament, may be fatal in its consequences, and may
     have the effect of seriously damaging, if not of destroying,
     some of the most valuable of our institutions in Church and

     "The aforegoing propositions, my lord, we sincerely believe will
     be found on examination to contain indisputable truths. We have
     already been in communication on the subject with the First
     Lord of the Treasury, and we have felt it our bounden duty, in
     a matter of such vast importance to the national interests,
     to convey to your lordship a frank and explicit avowal of our
     sentiments. We firmly believe that any delay in redressing the
     grievances under which the agricultural and other interests
     labour, will be found pregnant with danger to the institutions
     of the country, and, as loyal subjects of the Throne, firmly
     attached to those institutions, we have not hesitated to
     give warning of it in every quarter where any degree of
     responsibility may be considered to rest. We feel well assured
     your lordship will give to this communication, and to any
     observations any member of the deputation may address to you, a
     most anxious and earnest consideration.

  "With great respect,
  "I have the honour to be, my Lord,
  "Your Lordship's very obedient servant,
  "WILLIAM LAYTON, Chairman,

  "And on behalf of the Delegates now assembled in London."

     Having informed Lord Stanley of the intended Protectionist
     meeting at Liverpool at which a great number of agricultural
     delegates were to be present, Mr Layton concluded by assuring
     his lordship of the determination of those gentlemen to be
     guided by his counsels in prosecuting their future crusade
     against the destructive system of free trade. (Hear, hear.)

Lord STANLEY.--Gentlemen,--I need hardly say to you that I have
listened to the observations so forcibly made by Mr. Layton with
very mingled feelings. I have listened to them with feelings of deep
gratitude for the kindness with which, in your present alarming
circumstances, you have expressed the confidence which you feel in
me; and at the same time with an earnest desire that you may find
that confidence not to have been misplaced, if not with regard to my
ability, at least with regard to my inclination to serve you. But
mixed with those feelings of personal gratification there cannot
but be others of a most painful character. (Hear.) Mr Layton has
truly observed that this delegation, and this move, is altogether
unparalleled in the history of the country. The agricultural interest
is not one that is generally quick to move, eager and ready to
combine, or disposed to agitate. (Hear, hear.) It is of all other
interests the most stable, the most peaceful, the least excitable;
and great indeed must have been the distress of all connected with
that interest--of landlords, of tenants, and of labourers--when it
has been such as to overcome the natural difficulties which stand
in the way of their combination, to excite so mighty a movement as
that which is now stirring the country from one end to the other,
and to create such a manifestation of opinion as I have read of as
displayed in your proceedings the other day, and as I see embodied
in the deputation whom I have now the honour to address. But,
lamentable as have been the consequences of a mistaken and an insane
policy, they are not greater than those which, when that policy was
first proposed, I fearfully and anxiously anticipated. (Hear, hear.)
So far, at least, I may claim, I hope, some justification for the
confidence which you have been pleased to repose in me; for from the
first I have never entertained a doubt of the melancholy results
that would flow from that policy; and being convinced that that
policy was alike unwise and unjust, my part was taken at once. (Hear,
hear.) Office, and everything that is gratifying to a public man, was
abandoned without hesitation; and to that policy I declared then, as
to that policy I repeat my declaration now, that I would not, and
I will not be a party. (Hear, hear.) Gentlemen, the anticipations
of those who opposed the repeal of the corn laws have been fully
accomplished, whilst the predictions of those who justified that
repeal, and the arguments by which they sought to vindicate that
repeal, have been falsified by the test of experience. (Hear, hear.)
Importations of foreign produce have increased to the full amount
that we anticipated they would do under the system of free trade.
Prices have fallen to the full amount, and to a greater amount, than
we ventured to predict, and for predicting which our apprehensions
were ridiculed as exaggerated and absurd. The distress has gone on
increasing. That distress is still increasing. That distress is
pressing upon every portion of the community; and it is the most
lamentable part of this case that I feel convinced--and here I must
speak to you frankly and plainly--that the reversal of that policy
can only be obtained at the expense of still greater suffering on the
part of still more extended interests. (Hear.) Mr Layton has stated
that we have been taunted in the House of Commons, and taunted in
the House of Lords, with bringing forward no specific measure, and
asking for no decision by parliament on the merits of this question.
Gentlemen, the taunt proceeds from our political opponents, and the
advice implied in the taunt being the advice of an enemy, I must
take the liberty of regarding it in that light, and not looking
upon it as most likely to forward the objects and to be productive
of the results which we desire. (Hear, hear.) Firmly adhering to
the principle of protection--going along with the resolutions which
have been read by Mr Layton--believing that a return to a system of
reasonable import duties is indispensable to the prosperity of this
country--not accepting the experiment which has been tried as an
accomplished fact--not acquiescing in that policy, and determined
to do all in my power to reverse it, I in the House of Lords, and
my friends in the House of Commons, must be guided as to the course
which is most likely to attain our ends in the several assemblies
which we have to address, by our own knowledge of the dispositions
of the bodies with which we have to deal. I know there are those who
say we are slack, that we are not bringing forward measures, nor
asking for the decision of the Houses of Parliament. Take the House
of Commons to begin with. If we bring forward a distinct proposition,
embodying our own principles, what have we to expect from the present
House of Commons? Have we to expect--can we believe that that House
of Commons, which has sanctioned the free-trade measures of the
Government, will stultify itself by reversing its own decision, and
pronouncing against the policy which it has approved? (Hear, hear.)
If it will not, and still more, if there be some who, agreeing
with us, but doubting the policy of bringing forward the question,
would desert our ranks, and if the result of raising the question
in the House of Commons would be to show an apparently diminishing
minority for us, and an apparently increasing majority against us, I
ask what advantage have we gained for our cause within the walls of
parliament, and what encouragement have we given to our friends out
of doors? (Hear, hear.) You and we have different parts to play. I
rejoice to see the energy, I rejoice to see the zeal, I rejoice to
see the courage and the perseverance with which the agricultural body
of England are exerting themselves, and that throughout the length
and breadth of the land, in every corner, in every agricultural
district--ay, and in the great towns they are working upon public
opinion, and compelling the country to look this question in the
face, and to judge of the effects which have resulted from our
present course. You ask me for advice. I say, Go on, and God prosper
you. (Hear, hear.) Do not tire, do not hesitate, do not falter in
your course. Maintain the language of strict loyalty to the Crown
and obedience to the laws. Do not listen to rash and intemperate
advisers, who would urge you to have recourse to unwise and disloyal
threats. But with a spirit of unbroken and unshaken loyalty to the
Crown, and with a spirit of unswerving obedience to the laws, combine
in a determined resolution by all constitutional means to obtain
your rights, and to enforce upon those who now misrepresent you the
duty of really representing your sentiments and supporting you in
Parliament. (Loud cheering.) It is not in the House of Lords--it
is not in the House of Commons--it is in the country at large that
your battle must be fought, and your triumph must be achieved.
(Hear, hear.) You have the game in your own hands. You may compel
your present members--or, at least, you may point out to them the
necessary, the lamentable consequences to themselves of persisting
in their present courses; and when the time shall come you will have
it in your own power, by the return of men who really represent
your sentiments, to exercise your constitutional influence over the
legislature of the country, and to enforce your just demands in
another House of Parliament. (Hear, hear.) If, as I said before, it
be unwise in my judgment to bring forward a definite proposition in
accordance with our own views, as a party question in the House of
Commons--I say that, looking at the constitution and character of the
House of Lords, it is more unwise still to bring it forward there.
Remember that the House of Lords is not like the House of Commons,
a fluctuating body, of which one class of representatives may at a
general election be replaced by another. The House of Lords is a
permanent body, composed for the most part of men advanced in years,
exercising their judgment--their independent judgment I will hope,
though I won't say I speak confidently (hear, and a laugh)--cautious
in coming to a decision, but still more cautious and naturally
reluctant to reverse that decision when they have once formed it.
At present I lament to say--and there is no use in concealing the
fact--we are in a minority in the House of Commons; we are also in
a minority in the House of Lords. How then are we to change that
minority into a majority? In the House of Commons you have it in
your own hands. Through the House of Commons and through the country
you may act--not perhaps as speedily or as quickly as you or I might
desire; but depend upon it that, when by a general election, or by
individual elections as they occur, you have produced an effect upon
the judgment and the votes of the House of Commons, the opinion of
the country, as represented in the House of Commons, will never be
lost upon the House of Lords. (Hear, hear.) The House of Lords, I do
not doubt, many of them most unwillingly, gave their assent to the
fatal measure which came up recommended by the Commons. I did all
in my humble power to prevent their coming to that decision; but I
failed in doing so. I should fail still more signally if, the House
of Lords having come to that decision, I were to bring forward week
after week, or even month after month, specific motions for reversing
the decision to which they had so come. (Hear). Men are slow to come
forward and confess that they have been mistaken, and, confessing
that they have been mistaken, reverse the votes they previously
gave; and if I compelled the House of Lords to pronounce a judgment
upon the merits of the question month after month, or week after
week, every vote given by those--and they are not a few--who have
increasing doubts and misgivings, but are not fully convinced as to
the mischievous result of the experiment, pledges them anew to the
position which they originally took up, and adds to the difficulty
of overcoming the present majority. The view which I have taken,
and in which I am supported by those of the wisest and soundest
judgment with whom I am in the habit of consulting, is not to meet
this question by direct motions in the House of Lords for a reversal
of this policy, but never to lose an opportunity of showing, if
need be, week after week, the progressive effects of the experiment
which is now going on. Now, observe, since last year--I will not say
since last year, but since the commencement of the present session
of Parliament--there has been a material change in the language of
the Government. They who a short time ago advocated a reversal of
this policy, or even doubted the finality of its adoption, were
either scouted as madmen or ridiculed as fanatics. But we now hear
the Marquis of Lansdowne, in the House of Lords, and the Chancellor
of the Exchequer, in the House of Commons, speaking of this policy
as "an experiment"--as an experiment in course of progress--and no
longer as an act that has been decided, and therefore irreversible.
They admit, moreover, that prices are low--lower than they expected;
and it is admitted also by the Government, not simply that Free
Trade has produced low prices, but lower prices than they had ever
intended, and they apologise for this effect, which, upon the
principles of Free Trade, ought to have been the triumph of their
policy. (Hear). Well, then, we have brought them to admit that it is
an experiment--we have brought them to admit that this cheapness is
not what they intended or desired--we have brought them to apologise
for its existence, as an exceptional and temporary state of things,
and not attributable to their experiments. And step by step, if it
is not the quickest, it is at least the soundest, policy; we shall
have first this man and then that man saying, "The experiment has
been tried long enough." "I am satisfied that it has not answered
the intended purpose." "I think something must be done." "Really
matters are become alarming." And gradually, in that manner, and
in that manner only, shall we, in a permanent body like the House
of Lords, convert a minority against Free Trade into a majority in
favour of our protective principles. (Hear). That is the course which
I have felt it to be my duty to pursue during the present session
of Parliament. That is the course which--not taking the advice of
our opponents--I shall continue to pursue. Constantly we shall bring
before them the results of their experiment. I hold in my hand at
this moment a paper, which I received only this morning, and which
was moved for by my noble friend the Earl of Malmesbury this session,
in order to controvert an assertion of the Government, that at
present prices the foreigner could not by possibility import, that
present prices would not pay for the importation, and that we should
therefore see a rapid and great diminution of the imports of foreign
corn. That was the language which they held so late as the month of
January last. I have heard several persons say that February or March
would show an improvement in prices. We waited till February and
March were past, and at my suggestion the Earl of Malmesbury moved in
April for a return, showing the weekly price of wheat in the British
markets, and the quantity of corn imported from abroad during each
week in the present year. The result is, that, so far from indicating
a falling-off in imports, or a rise in price, this return shows that
the prices have fallen from 40s. on the 5th day of January, to 37s.
10d. on the 20th of April; whilst the imports have increased from
36,000 quarters of wheat in the second week of January, to 118,000
quarters of wheat, exclusive of flour, in the week ending the 17th
of April. And the total amount of imports, in little more than three
months, with an average price of from 37s. to 38s. a quarter, has not
been far short of 1,000,000 quarters of corn, converting the flour
into quarters at the ordinary rate. By the production of this paper
before the House of Lords, we disprove the assertions of those who
tell us that we have no reason to be alarmed at the course which the
experiment is taking, or that at all events we have not sufficient
grounds to call on Parliament to put an end to it. And in this course
of practical argument from facts as they occur we mean to persevere.
I know that this is a policy which is wearisome in its nature. (Hear,
hear). I know that "Hope deferred maketh the heart sick." I know that
there must be increasing distress. I know that every month and every
week that this fearful experiment is in progress the dangers and the
difficulties are increasing. But how, with the present constitution
of Parliament--how, with the present constitution of the House of
Lords--how, with the present constitution of the House of Commons,
with the best desire to serve you, with the most earnest and anxious
wish to promote your interests--how can we take any step which shall
more rapidly force conviction upon the minds of those whom it is
necessary to convince before we can attain our ends? (Hear, hear.)
I say again, do not complain of our apathy. Believe that we have no
such feeling. Believe that we deeply sympathise with the misfortunes
of those with whom we are bound up by so many ties; in whom all our
interests--not to say our affections, are centred; and if we appear
to be less speedy and energetic in the House of Lords and the House
of Commons than you would desire us to appear to be, believe that it
is not from indifference--believe that it is from a well-calculated
policy, and a deliberate adoption of the course by which alone we may
attain the object which you and we desire. (Hear, hear.) If you ask
my advice, I say persevere in the course you have adopted. Agitate
the country from one end to the other. Continue to call meetings
in every direction. Do not fear, do not flinch from discussion. By
all means accept the offer of holding a meeting in that magnificent
building at Liverpool; and in our greatest commercial towns show
that there is a feeling in regard to the result of our so-called
Free Trade widely different from that which was anticipated by the
Free-traders, and from that which did prevail only a few years ago.
(Hear, hear). Your efforts may not be so soon crowned with success
as you hope; but depend upon it, let us stand hand to hand firmly
together; let the landlord, the tenant, and the labourer--ay, and
the country shopkeeper--ay, before long, the manufacturer himself,
be called on to show and to prove what the effects of this experiment
are,--and as sure as we stand together, temperately but firmly
determined to assert our rights, so certainly, at the expense, it
may be, of intense suffering, and perhaps of ruin to many--of ruin
which, God knows, if I could avert I would omit no effort for that
purpose--but ultimately, certainly and securely we shall attain our
object, and recede from that insane policy which has been pursued
during the last few years. (Hear, hear). I have now only to return
you my most grateful thanks for the compliment you have paid me
in wishing me to receive this deputation. I have heard with the
liveliest interest the statements of Mr Layton. If in any part of
the country--for now through you I address every district--if there
be but one district in which a suspicion is entertained that I am
flinching from, or hesitating in my advocacy of, those principles
on which I stood in conjunction with my late deeply-lamented friend
Lord George Bentinck, I authorise you--one and all of you--to assure
those whom you represent, that in me they will find no hesitation,
no flinching, and no change of opinion; that, attached as I have
ever been to the principle of Protection, that attachment remains
unchanged; and I only look for the moment when it may be possible for
us to use the memorable words of the Duke of Wellington on the field
of Waterloo, and to say, "Up, Guards, and at them!" (Loud cheers.)

     Mr PAUL FOSKETT.--My Lord Stanley, I know I speak the universal
     sentiments of the delegates who have attended our meetings this
     week, when I say that the address you have just delivered to
     us has penetrated our heart of hearts, and has made us feel
     that under your leadership our triumph is secure. (Cheers.) We
     shall now return to our several homes, and "agitate," "agitate,"
     "agitate," until our object is attained. (Hear, hear.)

     After a few observations from Mr Newdegate, Mr Box, (of
     Buckinghamshire,) and Mr Malins, (of Derbyshire,)

     Mr LAYTON expressed the gratification he experienced at the
     result of the interview with Lord Stanley. They might all take
     comfort that they had such a leader and friend; and on the part
     of the delegation and the tenantry and labourers of the land, he
     begged to convey to his lordship his unqualified admiration and
     thanks for the manner in which he had received the deputation,
     and for the encouragement and hope he had held out to the
     various suffering interests of the country. (Hear, hear.)

     Lord STANLEY in taking leave of the deputation, hoped that on
     their return to their several localities their efforts would be
     crowned with success. They might depend upon it, that whilst
     they kept up the pressure from without, if they would authorise
     him, he would not fail to keep up the pressure within.

     The deputation then took their leave; and upon re-assembling at
     the King's Arms,

     Mr LAYTON briefly reported the reception which had been given to
     them by Lord Stanley; and amidst the enthusiastic cheering of
     the audience, the following resolution was unanimously adopted:--

     "That this meeting cannot separate without recording their
     grateful acknowledgments to Lord Stanly for the courteous and
     satisfactory reception he has afforded them this day, and their
     high gratification at the encouraging approval he has expressed
     of the steps they are taking; and they beg his lordship will
     receive the assurance of their perfect confidence in his
     powerful and talented advocacy of the cause of Protection in the
     House of Lords.

     "That a copy of this resolution be transmitted to Lord Stanley."

     It was also resolved,--

     "That it is the opinion of the delegates now assembled in
     London, that a meeting in Liverpool, on as early a day as
     practicable, is highly desirable; and the delegates now present
     pledge themselves to support such meeting by personal attendance
     as far as practicable.

     "And that as circumstances may occur, either during the present
     session of Parliament or after a prorogation, which may render
     it necessary for the delegates to reassemble in London, this
     meeting of delegates be at its rising adjourned till again
     summoned by the committee of the National Association, to which
     summons they will be ready instantly to respond; and that in
     such case, this meeting considers that one delegate at least for
     each district should attend the meeting."

     After the transaction of some routine business, the meeting


  Aberdeen, lord, on the Greek constitution, 528.

  Aberdeen, state of the shipping interest at, 356.

  Aberdeen Journal, on "British Agriculture, &c," Appendix, 34.

  Aberdeenshire, statistics of farming in, 113.

  Actress, social position of the, 695.

  Agricultural depreciation, amount of, 615
    --depression, continued, 382
    --its influence on commerce, 385
    --interest, magnitude of the, 241
    --labourers, state of the, 366
    --question, not a landlords' one, 382.

    --opening of the session, _ib._
    --prospects of financial reform, _ib._
    --the Royal speech, _ib._
    --speeches on the address, 348
    --debate in the commons, 349
    --probable prices in future, 351
    --failure of free trade prophecies, 353
    --state of the shipping interest, 355
    --G. F. Young on it, 359
    --state of manufactures, 361
    --value of the home and foreign markets, 363
    --state of various manufactures, 365
    --of the agricultural labourers, 366
    --comparative value of agriculture and manufactures, 368
    --imports and exports, 1845 and 1849, 370
    --alleged increase of bullion, and its causes, 372
    --general conclusions, 373
    --influence of the depreciation of land on life assurance, 374.

  Agriculture, British, _see_ British Agriculture
    --state of, in Greece, 532
    --and manufactures, comparative values of, 368.

  Agriculturists, contrast between, and the manufacturers, 132.


  Aikin's Life of Howard, remarks on, 52.

  Alfieri and Shakspeare, contrast between, 636.

  Algeria, sketches in, 292.


  Allnatt, Mr J. J., at the protection meeting, 763.

  Allston, Washington, 198.

  America, importation of beef, &c. from, and its prices, 129.


  Americans, the, in Mexico, 42.

  Annexation movement in Canada, the, 266.

  Anton, prophecies of, 566.

  Appin, state of the cattle trade in, 240.

  Argyleshire, state of the cattle trade in, 237 _et seq._

  Armansperg, count, government of Greece by, 527.

  Army, state of the, in Greece, 532
    --treachery of the, in France, 618.

  Artistic biography, scarcity of true, 192.

  Asem, Goldsmith's tale of, 299.

  Athens, sketches at, 681.

  Aubigné, Agrippa d', sketch of the life of, 174.

  Auchness system of farming, on the, 105, 453.

  Austria, reaction in, 3
    --want of moral firmness in the government of, 4
    --war of races and fidelity of the army in, 7
    --danger to Europe from its dismemberment, 9.

  Autobiographies, on, 192.

  Aytoun, Professor, at the protection meeting, 759.

  BAILEY'S FESTUS, review of, 415.

  Ball, Mr E., at the protection meeting, 755.

  Ballot, abuses of the, in Greece, 536.


  Barbour & Co., Trade circular of, 600.

  Bath, the Turkish, 294.

  Bath Chronicle, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 37.

  Beaucarde the singer, 698.

  Beef, importation, &c. of, 128 _et seq._

  Belletti the singer, 699.

  Bentinck, lord George, 617.

  Berthier, sketches of, 574.

  Berwick Warder, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 40.

  Beykirch, Th., Prophetic voices by, 561.

  Birch-tree, battle of the, prophecies of the, 563, 565, 567,
      568, 569.

  Bird the painter, 196.

  Birmingham, state of manufactures in, 365.

  Boddington, Mr G., at the protection meeting, 766.

  Booker, T. W., at the protection meeting, 749.

  Boston, state of the shipping interest at, 356.

  Boston Atlas, the, on Canada, 257.

  Brandenburg, prophecies regarding, 561.

  Bricks, proposed abolition of the duty on, 513.

  BRITAIN'S PROSPERITY, a new song, 389.

    --Peel on the lowest remunerating price of wheat, _ib._
    --Ducie and Kinnaird on high farming, 95
    --and Caird, 97, 104
    --quantities of grain available for importation, 99
    --prices of grain abroad, 100
    --expense of freight, &c. 103
    --the Auchness system of farming, 105
    --returns from various farmers, of produce, expenses, &c. under
          protection and free trade, 107 _et seq._
    --remarks on these, 119
    --policy urged by Cobden, &c. 120
    --The Times on Agricultural prospects, 121
    --answer to the arguments founded on rise of rents, 122
    --on Mr W. E. Gladstone's speech at Fettercairn, 124
    --inconsistencies of the Free-traders, 127, 131
    --effects of free trade on live stock, 128
    --and on the provision trade, 129
    --one-sidedness of recent legislation, 130
    --contrast between the manufacturers and agriculturists, 132
    --concluding remarks, 135.
  No. II. Reply to the Times on former article, 222
    --letter from Mr Watson in answer to it, _ib. et seq._
    --reply to the Morning Chronicle, 225
    --comparative rates of rent in England and Scotland, 226
    --inability of high farming to contend against free trade, 227
    --increase of cultivation on the Continent, 228
    --probable future prices, 229
    --Continental prices, &c. 230
    --importations from Moldavia, 231
    --on professor Low's Appeal, 232
    --cost of raising wheat, &c. in the United States, _ib._
    --Peel's letter to his tenantry, 233
    --reply to it, 235
    --effects of free trade on live stock, 237
    --increased burden of taxation, 241
    --present tactics of the Free-traders, 242
    --Lord Drumlanrig's letter, 243
    --state of the cotton manufactures, 247
    --The newspaper press on No. I. Appendix.

  Britannia, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 17.

  Broad, W., letter from, on farming statistics, 111.

  Brown, Peter, letter from, on farming statistics, 112.

  Brown's life of Howard, on, 52.

  Buckland, Dr, on Agriculture, &c. 95.

  Budget, the, 513.

  Bullion, alleged increase of, and its causes, 372.

  Burke, eulogy on Howard by, 63
    --and Goldsmith, anecdote of, 142.

  Burn, Mr, statistics, &c. of the cotton trade by, 595.


  Cadiz, Urquhart's account of, 282.

  Caernarvon, state of the shipping interest at, 356.

  Caird's High farming, on, 97, 104.


  Caldecott, Mr W., at the protection meeting, 765.

  California, sketches in, 35
    --conduct of the United States toward, 263.

  Calzolari the singer, 698.

  Camel, the, 683.

    --geographical sketch, &c. of the, 259.

  CANADIAN LOYALTY, an ode, 345.

  Canning, sir Stratford, sent to Greece, 531.



  Cassio, on the character of, 483.


  Cattle, importations, &c. of, 128
    --effects of free trade on the rearing of, 237.

  Cervi, the island of, case regarding, 538.

  Charles Albert, the final overthrow of, 3.

  Chartists, overthrow of the, 3.

  Cheltenham Chronicle, the, on "British Agriculture, &c."
      Appendix, 79.

  Chester Courant, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 35.

  Cheyne, Mr, on the cattle trade in Argyle, 239.

  Chouler, Mr W., at the protection meeting, 752.

  Christopher under Canvass, No. VI., 481
    --No. VII., 622.

  Citizen of the World, publication of the, 149
    --notices of the, 296, 298, 306.



  Cobbett, anticipation of, as to the effects of free trade, 519.

  Cobden, inconsistencies of, 131
    --on the effects of free trade, 353.

  Coblenz, prophecy regarding, 567.

  Cocoa, diminished consumption of, 385.

  Coffee, diminished consumption of, 386.

  Coleridge, S. T., on the character of Iago, 482
    --on Othello, 484
    --criticism on, 623, 624.

  Coletti, Greek minister, 527, 530.


  Cologne cathedral and city, prophecies regarding, 564, 567.

  Colonial government, new system of, announced by ministers, 377.

  Colonial policy, Carlyle on, 655.

  Colonies, recent legislation toward the, and its effects, 249
    --general discontent in, 380.

  Commerce, reaction of Agricultural distress on, 385
    --depressed state of, as shown by the trade circulars, 589
        _et seq._

  Commons, speeches in, on the address, 349.

  Conservatives, conduct of the, in regard to the Reform Bill, 608.


  Constitutionalism, failure of, in Greece, 534.

  Cork, state of the shipping interest at, 356.

  Corn Laws, their repeal foreseen by Mr Alison, 609
    --his anticipations as to its effects, 610.

  Cotton trade and manufactures, statistics relating to the, 247, 361,
      385, 590, 595, 597.


  Cultivation, state of, in Greece, 532, 533.

  Currency bill, effects of the, 520.

  Currency system, Alison on the effects of the changes in, 614.

  Δ. THE DARK WAGGON, by, 71.

  Daily News, the, on Canada, 253.

  Dantzic, prices of wheat at, 231, 232.

  DARK WAGGON, THE, by ΔΔ., 71.

  Day, Mr, exposure of Cobden by, 131.

  Denmark, price of wheat in, 102.

  Derby Mercury, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 30.

  Deserted village, notices of the, 298, 304.

  Dies Boreales, No. VI., 481
    --on the character of Iago, _ib._
    --on Othello, 483
    --on the question as to his being a negro, 485
    --opposite characteristics shown in him, 486
    --majesty of his character, 487
    --impression left by the tragedy, 488
    --the time of the tragedy, 489 _et seq._
    --proof of short time, _ib._
    --of long, 498
    --attempt to show mixed, 506
    --No. VII., 622
    --errors of poets in delineating nature, 623 _et seq._
    --Othello continued, 626
    --on the Greek tragedy, 636.

  Direct taxes, amount of, repealed since the peace, 517.

  Dixon's life of Howard, review of, 50.

  Dogs of Constantinople, the, 684.

  Doncaster Chronicle, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 40.

  Dorset County Chronicle, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 84.

  Doubleday, Mr, anticipations of, as to the effects of free
      trade, 245.

  Douglas, captain, the case of, 269.

  Drama, causes of the decline of the, 689.

  Drogheda, state of the shipping interest at, 357.

  Drumlanrig, lord, letter to his tenantry by, 243.

  Dublin Mail, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 29.

  Dublin Press, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 28.

  Duclos, anecdotes of Louis XIV. by, 188, 190.

  Dudgeon, Mr, statistics of farming produce, expenses, &c., by, 108
    --letter from, to the editor of the Kelso Chronicle,
          Appendix, 104.

  Dumfries Herald, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 51.


  Dundee, statistics of the provision trade from, 129.

  Dundee Courier, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 51, 53
    --letter to, by Justitia, Appendix, 93.


  Eastlake, Mr, and the National Gallery, 205.

  Economist, the, on the Cotton manufacture, 247
    --on the state of the cotton trade, 362
    --on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 88, 89, 99, 109
    --answer of Mr Watson to it, 103
    --and of the editor, 118.

  Edinburgh Advertiser on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 25.

  Edinburgh Evening Courant on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 66.

  Edinburgh Evening Post on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 24.

  Edinburghshire, statistics of farming, &c. in, 116, 117.

  Eddowes' Worcester Journal on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 79.

  Eglinton, the Earl of, at the protection meeting, 768.

  Election, system of, in Greece, 535.

  Emancipation, Carlyle on, 655.

  Emigration, increase of, from the Highlands and Islands, 239, 240
    --statistics &c. of, from Liverpool, 592.

  Emilia, on the character of, 504.

  England, rates of rent &c. in, compared with Scotland, 226
    --statistics of cotton spinning, &c. in, 595 _et seq._

  Essex, the earl of, speech of, on the address, 348.

  Europe, general reaction against revolution in, 2 _et seq._
    --increase of grain cultivation in, 228.

  Exeter Gazette, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 85.

  Exports, 1845 and 1849, comparison of, 370
    --the alleged increase in, examination of it, 383.


  Farming, statistics of, under protection and free trade, 107 _et seq._

  Faust, observations on the, 415.

  Felix Farley's Bristol Journal, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 44.

  FESTUS, 415.

  FEZENSAC, M. DE, his journal of the Russian campaign reviewed, 573.

  Fiars, the Scotch, 382.

  Fig packing at Smyrna, 683.

  Finances, the French, effects of the Revolution on, 12.

  Financial reform, prospects of, 347.

  Ford's Spain, remarks on, 281.

  Forster's life of Goldsmith, remarks on, 139, 140.

  Fothergill, C., sketches of the Canadas by, 259.

  France, reaction in, 2, 3
    --variety of interests assailed in, by the Revolution, 11
    --effects of it on the finances of, 12
    --prophecy regarding, 563, 564.
    See also French.


  Free trade, influence of the system of, on Canada, 252
    --its effects in diminishing the number of Irish voters, 380
    --Sir William Napier on, 386
    --its effects on taxes and their amount, 519
    --reaction against it in Liverpool, 593
    --its manifested effects, and present language of its supporters,
    --losses caused to all parties by, 612.

  Free-traders, present tactics of the, 242
    --their indifference to the national glory, 250
    --their diminished confidence, 603.

  Freights, rates of, 359
    --of corn, cost of, 103
    --coasting and foreign, comparison between, 604.

  French revolution, the first, influence of the memory of, 5
    --revolutions, Alison on, 617
    --satirical novels, on, 431.

  Fundholders, danger to the, 384.

  Galatz, prices of wheat at, 231.

  Gentleman's Magazine, life of Howard in the, 60.


  Gibraltar, Dumas' account of, 286.

  Gibson, John, statistics of farming by, 117, 118
    --reply to the Scotsman by, Appendix, 65.

  Gladstone, Mr Ewart, speech of, at Fettercairn, 124.

  Glasgow, distress in, 1848, 13 note.

  Glasgow Constitutional, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 34.

  Glass trade, state of the, 365.

  Gloucester Chronicle, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 37.

  Goethe's Faust, observations on, 415.

  Gold region of California, the, 44.

  GOLDSMITH, Part I., biography, 137
    --Part II., works, 296.

  Görres, Joseph von, prophecies of, 562.

  Grain, present importation of, 99
    --prices of, abroad, 100 _et seq._
    --prospects as regards its future prices, 229
    --importations of, 1845 and 1849, 370.

  Great Britain, reaction in, 3
    --fidelity of the troops in, 6
    --suppression of the threatened convulsions in, 14
    --survey of her conduct toward Canada, 264
    --her conduct toward Greece, 526.


  Greek constitution of 1848, the, 528
    --senate, 536.

  Greek drama, contrast between, and Shakspeare's, 636.

  Green Hand, the, Part VII., 76
    --Part VIII., 208
    --Part IX., 329
    --Part X., 701.

  Greenock Advertiser, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 50.

  Gregory, professor, account of German popular prophecies by, 560.

  Haddington, prices of wheat at, 382.

  Haig, James, statistics of farming produce by, 113.

  Hamburg beef, importation &c. of, 129.

  Hamlet, remarks on, 634, 635.

  Harvest of 1849, the, 229.

  Hay, W., letter from, on farming statistics, 114.

  Hayes, Miss Catherine, 698.

  Haynau, the cruelties of, in Hungary, 11.

  Henry IV., sketches of, 177 _et seq._, _passim._

  Herrmann, the prophecies of, 561.

  Hertford County Press, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 47.

  Higgins, Mr H., at the protection meeting, 766.

  High farming, inability of, to contend against free trade, 227.

  Highlands, effects of free trade on the cattle trade of the, 237.

  Hollingshed & Co., trade circular of, 598.

  Holt, George, & Co., trade circular of, 590.

  Home and foreign consumption of cotton, comparison between, 596
    --markets, relative value of, 363.

  Hood, David, letter from, on farming produce, &c., 112.

  HOWARD, 50.

  Howden, Andrew, letter from, on farming statistics, 111.

  Huguenots, sketches of the, 175.


  Hungary, the subjugation of, 3
    --the struggle in, 8
    --its true character, 9
    --the severities in, 10.

  Hutchison, John, letter from, on farming statistics, 112.

  Iago, on the character of, 482.

  Ibraila, prices of wheat at, 231, 232.

  Imports, 1845 and 1849, comparison between, 370
    --increase of, 385
    --diminished consumption of, 589.

  Indian corn, culture of, in Canada, 261.

  Indians, massacres of the, by the Americans, 35.

  Indirect taxes, amount of, repealed since the peace, 517.

  Insolvency, effect of, in inducing the reaction, 12.

  Insurance, on, and its relations to the Agricultural question, 374.

  Interests, variety of, in France, endangered by the Revolution, 11.

  Inverness Courier, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 80.

  Ionian republic, claim advanced to Cervi, &c., by, 538.

  Ireland, suppression of the rebellion in, 3, 14
    --extinction of voters in, by free trade, 380 _et seq._
    --state of, 384.

  Irish, immigration of the, into Scotland, 367.

  Irish Reform bill, the new, 377 _et seq._

  Irving's Life of Goldsmith, review of, 137.

  Italian Opera, the, 688.

  Italy, re-establishment of Austrian domination in, 3
    --rapid suppression of the revolution in, 13.

  Jackson, Mr, on the Agricultural question, 242.

  Jaspers, the prophecies of, 562.

  John Bull, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 9.

  Johnson's Sights in the Gold regions, review of, 34.

  Justitia, letter to Dundee Courier by, Appendix, 93.

  Kappelmann, prophecies of, 569.

  Kelso Chronicle, letter from Mr Dudgeon to, Appendix, 104.

  Kelso Mail, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 85.

  Kinnaird, lord, on high farming, &c., 96.

  Krasnoi, the battle of, 577.

  Lablache the singer, 699.

  Labouchere, Mr, on the state of the shipping interest, 355
    --answer of G. F. Young to, 360.

  Lansdowne, lord, speech of, on the Address, 349.



  Layton, Mr, Presentation of Address to Lord Stanley by, 777.

  Lear, remarks on, 634.

  Leeds Intelligencer, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 27.

  Lehnin, the prophecy of, 561.

  Leicester Journal, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 86.

  Leperos of Mexico, the, 41.

  Liberals, general policy of the, 378
    --their conduct with reference to the Reform Bill, 608.

  Liberalism, Carlyle's denunciations of, 643.

  Life Insurance, on, as affected by free trade, 374.

  Lindsay & Co., tables of freights by, 359.

  Littledale & Co., state of the cotton trade reported by, 385
    --tenor of the circulars of, 589.

  Live Stock, effects of free trade on, 128, 237
    --comparison between importation of, 1845 and 1849, 370.

  Liverpool, importation of beef &c., into, 129
    --state of the shipping interest at, 357
    --state of trade at, 589
    --prices current in, 591
    --statistics of emigration from, 592.

  Liverpool Standard, the, on the Cotton trade, 361
    --on British competition, &c., Appendix, 69.

  Lochfine, effects of free trade on cattle rearing in district
      of, 237.

  Lombardy, re-establishment of Austrian domination in, 3.

    --importation of grain into, 127
    --present rate of its increase, 514.

  Londos, M., Greek minister, 530.

  Louis XIV., marriage of, to Madame Maintenon, &c., 186 _et seq._

  Louis Philippe, pusillanimity of, 4
    --his overthrow, 619.

  Louvois, anecdote of, 180 note.

  Low's Appeal, remarks on, 232.

  Lyceum Theatre, the, 690.

  Lyons, sir E., in Greece, 526.

  M'Combe, William, letter from, on farming statistics, 112.

  M'Culloch, on the cotton manufacture, &c., 595.

  M'Culloch's system of farming, on, 105.

  Mackay, Mr, on the cost of wheat in the United States, 232.

  M'Millan, J., on the cattle trade in Appin, 240.

  M'Nair & Co., the trade circulars of, 598.


  Magyars, the, 8.

  Maintenon, madame de, career of, 181.

  Malibran, anecdotes of, 694.

  Manchester, state of the cotton manufactures in, 361
    --its depressed state, 383.

  Manchester Courier, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 26.

  Manners, lord John, at the protection meeting, 768.

  Manufactures, protection still enjoyed by, 130
    --list of articles still protected, 225
    --state of, 361
    --depression under which labouring, 383
    --experienced effects of free trade on, 612, 613.

  Manufacturers, contrast between, and the Agriculturists, 132.

  Manufacturing districts, depressed state of the, 590.

  Mark Lane Express, the, on the probable price of wheat, 351
    --on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 39.

  Maryport, state of the shipping interest at, 357.

  Maurice, Mr, on the condition of the Agricultural labourers, 366.

  Mercantile class in Greece, the, 533.

  Methuen, lord, speech of, on the Address, 348.

  Mexico, sketches in, 37.

  Michael Angelo, Wilkie on, 201.

  Military, general loyalty of the, in 1848, 5.

  Ministerial measures, the, 377
    --the Irish Reform bill, 378
    --new colonial measures, 379
    --general discontent in the colonies, 380
    --extinction of voters in Ireland, _ib._
    --continued depression of Agriculture, 382
    --alleged increase of exports, 383
    --danger to the moneyed interest, 384
    --influence of Agricultural distress on commerce, 385
    --Sir William Napier on free trade, 386.

  Ministry, subjection of the, to mob domination, 513.


  Moldavia, wheat-growing capabilities of, 231.

  Moneyed interest, present danger to the, 384
    --its influence, 522.

  Monmouth Beacon, the, on "British Agriculture," &c., Appendix, 57.

  Monro, Mr, his answer to Caird's High Farming, 104.


  Montreal, loyalty of, during the Rebellion, 251
    --contrast in 1848, 252.

  Moore, W., letter from, on the state of the shipping interest, 358.

  Morland the painter, notices of, 194, 195.

  Morning Chronicle, reply to the, 225
    --on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 10
    --Letter from W. to it, and reply, Appendix, 13.

  Morning Herald, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 3
    --reply to the Times on it, Appendix, 14.

  Mortgages, lord Drumlanrig on, 244.

  Moscow, the burning of, 575.

  Municipal government, system of, in Greece, 535
    --institutions, necessity for, there, 531.

  Münster, prophecy regarding, 567.

  MY PENINSULAR MEDAL, Part III. chap. vii. 15
    --chap. viii. 22
    --chap. ix. 26
    --Part IV. chap. x. 313
    --chap. xi. 318
    --Part V. chap. xii. 393
    --chap. xiii. 401
    --chap. xiv. 405
    --Part VI. chap. xv. 542
    --chap. xvi. 547
    --Part VII. chap. xvii. 661
    --chap. xviii. 673.

  Myers, T. M., Liverpool Prices current from, 591.

  Napier, admiral sir Charles, on free trade &c., 387.

  Napier, sir William, on free trade, 386
    --letter from, 640.

    --reaction in, 3.

  Napoleon in Russia, sketches of, 574.

  National debt, recent additions, &c. to the, 513
    --amount of, paid off by the sinking-fund, 516 _et seq._

  National Gallery, on the, 205.

  Navigation laws, effects of the repeal of, 355.

  Negro emancipation, Carlyle on, 654.

  Newcastle Courant, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 43.

  Newcastle Journal, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 54.

  Ney, sketches of, during the Moscow retreat, 576 _et seq._

  Ninon de l'Enclos, sketches of, 184.

  Nisbet, Mr, letter from, on farming statistics, 111.

  NOAILLES, THE DUC DE, his Memoirs of Madame de Maintenon reviewed,

  North British Agriculturist, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 39.

  North of Scotland Gazette, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 76.

  Nottingham Guardian, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 47.

  Oats, fiars price of, 382.

  Opera, the, 688.

  Orleans dynasty, pusillanimity of the, 4.

  Orleans, the duchess d', heroism of, 4.

  Osnabruck, prophecy regarding, 567.

  Othello, the character and tragedy of, its time, &c., 483, 626.

  Otho, King of Greece, sketch of government, &c., of, 526.

  OVID'S SPRING-TIME translated, 621.


  Palmerston, lord, policy of, toward Greece, 526, 529 _et seq._

  Paris, distress in, after the Revolution, 13 note.

  Parkman's California, review of, 34.

  Pauperism, Carlyle on, 643.

  Peasantry, the Greek, state, &c. of, 532.

  Peel, sir R., remunerative price for wheat fixed by, 94
    --his letter to his tenantry, on, 233
    --his conduct with regard to free trade, 617.

  Peers, house of, speeches in, on the address, 348.


  Penny postage, sacrifice of revenue by the, 523.

  Periodical essays, on the republication of, 605.

  Perth Courier, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 31, 83.

  Phanariotes, character, &c. of the, 532.

  Phillips, J., letter from, on the state of the operatives, 366.

  Piscatory, Mr, French minister in Greece, 526.

  Pius IX., weakness of, 4.

  Plague, Howard's exertions regarding the, 67.

  Plymouth, state of the shipping interest at, 357.

  Poetry, The Dark Waggon, 71
    --A Farewell to Naples, 279--To Burns' Highland Mary, 309
    --Canadian Loyalty, 345
    --Britain's Prosperity, 389
    --The Dwarf and the Oak tree, 411
    --The Clearing of the Glens, 475
    --The Modern Argonauts, 539
    --The Penitent Free-trader, 585
    --Ovid's Spring-time, 621
    --the Hungarian Joseph, 658
    --the Quaker's Lament, 733.

  Poland, prices of wheat in, 101.

  Political Essays, republication of, 605.

  Political Novels, modern French, 431.

  Poor-rates, alleged diminution of, 383.

  Pork, American, importation, &c. of, 129.

  Portrait painting, the English school of, 203.

  Post-office, statistics of, under the penny postage system, 523.

  Pottgiesser, prophecy of, 564.

  Poussin, Gaspar, 202.

  Price, Dr, connection of, with Howard, 56.

  Primates, the Greek, 532.

  Prinny, a dog, anecdote of, 206.

  Prisons, Howard's exertions in connection with, 63 _et seq._

  Property, necessity of security of, 1
    --destruction of, through recent legislation, 522.


  Proprietors, character, state, &c., of, in Greece, 532.


  Protective system, past benefits of the, to Canada, 255.

  Provision trade, influence of free trade on, 129.

  Provisions, importations of, 1845 and 1849, 370.

  Prussia, reaction in, 3
    --want of moral courage in the government of, 4
    --fidelity of the troops in, 6
    --prophecies regarding, 561 _et seq._


  Railways, depreciation of, 383
    --causes of their depressed state, 613
    --German prophecies regarding, 563, 565.


  Reeves, Sims, the singer, 699.

  Reform Bill, extinction of the Sinking fund by the, 517
    --Alison's essay on the, 607.

  Rembrandt, Wilkie on, 202.

  Rent, rates of, in England and Scotland, 226.

  Rents, alleged rise of, and its causes, 122.

  Representation, proposed colonial system of, 379.

  Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, the, 187.

  Revolution, philanthropic pretexts under which begun, 2
    --causes of the success of, 4
    --causes of the reaction against the, 5 _et seq._
    --the first French, influence of the remembrance of it, 5
    --that of 1848, Alison on, 619.

  Reybaud, Louis, the political novels of, 431.

  Richmond, the duke of, speeches of, at the protection meeting,
      748, 769.

  Rigden, Mr W., at the protection meeting, 766.

  Roberton, James, statistics of farming produce, &c., by, 114.

  Rolink, prophecies of, 569.

  Rome, reaction at, 3.

  Rossi, the countess, career of, 690.

  Rossini, anecdotes of, 688 note.

  Roubiliac the sculptor, anecdote of, 143.

  Roxburgh, returns of farming produce, &c., in, 108.

  Roy, J. L., letter from, on farming statistics, 111.

  Royal Academy, on the, 206.

  Royal speech, the, 347.

  Runcorn, state of the shipping interest at, 358.

  Russell, lord John, on the Agricultural question, 352, 353
    --presentation of the protectionist memorial to, 770 _et seq._

  Russia, effects of the intervention of, in Hungary, 9.

  RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN, history of a regiment during the, 573.

  Rusticus, letter from, to the Courant, Appendix, 66.

  Ruxton, William, letter from, on farming statistics, 112.

  Sacramento, battle of, 39.


  Sadler, Thomas, letter from, on farming statistics, 111
    --statement of these by him, 116.

  Sandars, Mr, on the price of wheat abroad, 102
    --his pamphlet on the Agricultural question, 374.


  Sapienza, the island of, the case regarding, 538.

  Scarron, marriage of madame de Maintenon to, 182.

  Scotland, statistics of farming in, 107 _et seq._
    --rates of rent in, 226
    --effects of free trade on the cattle trade of, 237
    --state of the agricultural interest in, 367
    --present prices of grain in, 382
    --increase of poor rates in, 384.

  Scotsman, the, on the "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 57
    --letter of Mr Gibson to, Appendix, 65.

  Scott, sir Walter, anecdote of, 207
    --errors of, in describing nature, 624.

  Sebastian del Piombo, Collins on, 203.

  Segur's account of the Moscow campaign, on, 573.

  Shakspeare's Othello, see Othello.

  Sheep, effects of free trade on the rearing of, 238.

  Sherborne Journal, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 38.

  Shipping Gazette, the, on the state of the shipping interest, 355.

  Shipping interest, state of the, 355 _et seq._

  Shrewsbury Journal, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 34.

  Sidi Ibrahim, combat of, 292.


  Simpson, Robert, letter from, on farming statistics, 112.

  Sinking fund, table showing the operation of the, 516 _et seq._

  Slave market at Constantinople, the, 685.

  Smith, Adam, on colonial policy, 263.

  Smith, Sidney, anecdote of, 196.


  Smolensko, the French at, during the Moscow retreat, 577.

  Smyrna, sketches of, 682.

  Socialism, interests assailed by, in France, 11.


  Spackman, estimate by, of the value of Agriculture and Manufactures,

  Spain, Urquhart's sketches in, 282.

  Spectator, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 20.

  Spielbahn, prophecies of, 564.

  Staffordshire Agriculturist, letter of a, 235.

  Stamps, proposed reduction of duties on, 513.

  Standard, the, on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 67.

  Standard of Freedom, the, on "British Agriculture, &c."
      Appendix, 73.

  Stanley, lord, presentation of protectionist memorial to, 777
      _et seq._

  State of the nation, pamphlet on the, 246.

  Stephens, Mr, on Caird on high farming, 104.

  Stewart, J. F., on the cotton crop of 1849, 601.

  Strathmore, statistics of farming produce in, 107.

  Sudolf, prophecies of, 569.

  Suffrage, extended, the great remedy of the Liberals, 378.

  Sugar, &c., diminished consumption of, 386.

  Sunderland, state of shipbuilding, &c., at, 358.

  Tangiers, sketches by Dumas in, 285.

  Taxation, increased burden of, under free trade, 241.

  Taxes, amount of, repealed, &c., since the peace, 517.

  Taylor's life of Howard, on, 53.

  Tea, comparative consumption of, 1845 and 1849, 371
    --diminished consumption of, 386.


  Thomson, John, letter from, on farming statistics, 111.

  Thouvenel, M., French minister in Greece, 530.

  Time, Shakspeare's treatment of, 481 _et seq._, 622 _et seq._

  Times, the, on the prospects of the Agricultural interest, 121
    --reply and letter from Mr Watson to, 222
    --tactics of the, on the Agricultural question, 242
    --on "British Agriculture, &c." Appendix, 6
    --John Bull in answer to it, Appendix, 9
    --Morning Herald, Appendix, 14
    --and Britannia, Appendix, 17.

  Tintoretto's Crucifixion, on, 202.

  Titian, Collins on, 200.

  Tooke, Mr, on the expected importation of grain, 99.

  Towns, present state of the, 612
    --state of the, in Greece, 532.


  Traveller, Goldsmith's, 301.

  Turkey, the attack by Russia and Austria on, 10.

  Turkish bath, the, 294.

  United States, cost of raising wheat in the, 232
    --present internal policy of the, 250
    --comparison between, and Canada, 253 _et seq._
    --state of the cotton crop, &c., in, 601.

  Universal suffrage, evils of, in Greece, 535.

  Urquhart's Pillars of Hercules, review of, 281.

  Vandervelde the painter, 202.

  Vasari's Life of Angelico, on, 192.

  Vicar of Wakefield, the, 297, 307.

  Villiers, Mr, speech of, on the Address, 349, 353
    --on the shipping interest, 355.

  Voters, diminution in number of, in Ireland, 380.

  W., letter from, to the Morning Chronicle, and answer, Appendix, 13.

  W. E. A., translation of Ovid's Springtime by, 621.

  Wakefield Journal, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 49.

  Wallachia, wheat-growing capabilities of, 231.

  Walmsley, sir Joshua, 347, 658.

  Warren, S., review of his letter on the case of Captain Douglas,

  Watson, Mr, statement of farming produce by, 107
    --reply of, to the Times, 222
    --and to the Economist, Appendix, 103
    --at the protection meeting, 765.

  West of England Conservative, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.,"
      Appendix, 53.

  Westphalia, prophecies regarding, 563.

  Wheat, culture of, in Canada, 261
    --Peel on the lowest remunerative price of, 352
    --fiars, prices of, 382
    --freights of, from various quarters, 604.

  Wilkie, sir David, correspondence of, with Collins, 199.

  William, Mr J. A., at the protection meeting, 757.

  Wilson, James, on the lowest remunerative price of wheat, 352, 353,
      364 _et seq._, 366. See also Economist.

  Wilson, sir Robert, Dumas' account of, 286.

  Wilts Standard, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 35.

  Wise's Los Gringos, review of, 34.

  Wood, sir Charles, speech of, on the Address, 350
    --on the state of the shipping interest, 355
    --speech of, on the finances, 514.

  Worcester Journal, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 78.

  Wyse, Mr, British minister in Greece, 530.


  York Gazette, the, on "British Agriculture, &c.," Appendix, 71.

  Young, G. F., on the shipping interest, 360
    --at the presentation of the protectionist memorial, 770 _et seq._

  Youth of Elsen, prophecies of the, 566.

_Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edingbrgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.

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.

The cover for the eBook version of this book was created by the
transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

The transcriber has made the following changes:

1. Supplied anchors for footnotes 1 and 3.

2. Page 644: Missing single ending quote has been added--'Count

3. Page 736: Incorrect stanza number "XXI" has been changed to "XIX".

4. Page 760: "were supposed not be be quite up to the mark"--changed
   "be be" to "to be".

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