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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 66 No.406, August 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 66 No.406, August 1849" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early



NO. CCCCVI.      AUGUST, 1849.      VOL. LXVI.


  CHARLES LAMB,                                             133

  THE CAXTONS.--PART XV.                                    151

  JONATHAN IN AFRICA,                                       172

  THE GREEN HAND.--A "SHORT" YARN.--PART III.               183

  FOR THE LAST PAGE OF "OUR ALBUM,"                         205

  THE INSURRECTION IN BADEN,                                206

  LAMARTINE'S REVOLUTION OF 1848,                           219




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





NO. CCCCVI.      AUGUST, 1849.      VOL. LXVI.


To Charles Lamb shall be allotted--general assent has already assigned
it to him, and we have no wish to dispute his claim--a quiet, quaint
niche, apart to himself, in some odd nook or corner in the great
temple of English literature. It shall be carved from the solid oak,
and decorated with Gothic tracery; but where Madonnas and angels
ordinarily appear, there shall be all manner of laughing cherubs--one
amongst them disguised as a chimney-_sweep_--with abundance of sly and
humorous devices. Some such niches or stalls may occasionally be seen
in old cathedrals, sharing the eternity of the structure, and drawing
the peculiar regard of the curious and loitering visitor. You are
startled to find a merry device, and a wit by no means too reverential,
side by side with the ideal forms of Catholic piety. You approach to
examine the solemn-looking carving, and find, perhaps, a fox clothed in
priestly raiment--teaching, in his own way, divers lessons of morality
to the bears and geese. Such venerable and Gothic drollery suspends for
a moment, but hardly mars, the serious and sedate feelings which the
rest of the structure, and the other sculptured figures of the place,
are designed to excite.

[1] _The Works of Charles Lamb._

_Final Memorials of Charles Lamb._ By THOMAS NOON TALFOURD.

Some such peculiar place amongst our literary worthies seems, as we
have said, to be assigned by general consent to Charles Lamb, nor
are we about to gainsay his right to this position. He has all the
genius that could comport with oddity, and all the oddity that could
amalgamate with genius. With a range of thought most singularly
contracted, considering the times in which he lived, and the men by
whom he was surrounded, he has contrived, by a charming subtlety of
observation, and a most felicitous humour, to make us in love even
with that contractedness itself, which in another would be despised,
as evidencing a sluggishness and obtuseness of mind. Perhaps there are
few writers who could be named, of these later days, on whose peculiar
merits there is so little difference of opinion. As a poet, he was,
at all events, inoffensive, and his mediocrity has been pardoned him
in favour of that genius he displayed as the humorous and critical
essayist. The publication of his letters, too, has materially added
to his reputation, and confirmed him as a favourite with all to whom
his lambent and playful wit had already made him known and esteemed.
We are not aware, therefore, that we have anything to dispute, or
essentially to modify, in the verdict passed by popular opinion on this
writer. Yet something may remain to be said to assist in appreciating
and discriminating his peculiar merits as a humorist--something to
point out where praise is due, and something to draw the limits of that
praise. Moreover, his biography, as presented to us by Mr Talfourd,
claims some notice; disclosing, as it does, one of the saddest
tragedies, and one of the noblest acts of heroism, which ever afflicted
and dignified the life of a man of letters. This biography is also
written by one who is himself distinguished in the literary world, who
was an intimate friend of Lamb, and personally acquainted with those
literary characters by whom Lamb had surrounded himself, and who are
here grouped around him. Upon the whole, therefore, the _Life and
Writings of Elia_, though a subject which no longer wears the gloss of
novelty, still invites and may repay attention.

We hardly know whether to regret it as a disadvantage to us, on the
present occasion, that we never enjoyed the slightest acquaintance with
Charles Lamb, or indeed with any of those literary friends amongst
whom he lived. We never saw this bland humorist; we never heard that
half-provoking, half-pleasing stutter, which awakened anticipation
whilst it delayed enjoyment, and added zest to the witticism which it
threatened to mar, and which it had held back, for a moment, only to
project with the happier impetus. We never had before us, in bodily
presence, that slight, black-coated figure, and those antique and
curiously-gaitered legs, which, we have also been assured, contributed
their part to the irresistible effect of his kindly humour. We never
even knew those who had seen and talked with him. To us he is a purely
historic figure. So, too, of his biographer--which argues ourselves
to be sadly unknown--we have no other knowledge than what runs about
bruited in the world; even his displays of eloquence, forensic or
parliamentary, we have never had an opportunity of hearing; we know him
only by his writings, and by that title we have often heard bestowed
on him, the amiable author of _Ion_;--to which amiability we refer,
because to this we must attribute, we suppose, a large portion of that
too laudatory criticism which, in these volumes, he bestows so lavishly
and diffusely. We cannot, therefore, bring to our subject any of those
vivid reminiscences, anecdotes, or details which personal acquaintance
supplies. But, on the other hand, we have no bias whatever to contend
against, whether of a friendly or hostile description, in respect of
any of the literary characters whom we may have occasion to speak of.
Had they all lived in the reign of good Queen Anne, they could not have
been more remote from our personal sympathies or antipathies.

It is probably known to most of our readers that when, shortly after
the decease of Charles Lamb, his letters were given to the world with
some biographical notices, there were circumstances which imposed
silence on certain passages of his life, and which obliged the editor
to withhold a certain portion of the letters. That sister, in fact, was
still alive whose lamentable history was so intimately blended with the
career of Lamb, and an allusion to her unfortunate tragedy would have
been cruel in any one, and in an intimate friend utterly impossible.
Serjeant Talfourd had no other course than to leave the gap or hiatus
in the biography, and cover it up and conceal it as well as might be,
from the eyes of such readers as were not better informed from other
sources. Upon the decease of that sister, there no longer existed any
motive for this silence; and, indeed, shortly after this event, the
whole narrative was revealed by a writer in the _British Quarterly
Review_, who had himself waited till then before he permitted himself
to disclose it, and by its disclosure do an act of justice to the moral
character of Lamb. Mr Talfourd was, therefore, called upon to complete
his biographical notice, and also the publication of the letters. This
he did in the two volumes entitled _Final Memorials_, &c.

As a separate and subsidiary publication became inevitable, and as
probably the exigencies of _the trade_ required that it should be of a
certain bulk and substance, we suppose we must rather commiserate Mr
Talfourd than cast any blame upon him for the manifest difficulty he
has had to fill these two volumes of _Final Memorials_. One of them
would have been sufficient for all that he had to communicate, or that
it was wise to add. Many of the letters of Lamb here printed are such
as he had very properly laid aside, in the first instance, not because
they trenched upon too delicate ground, but because they were wholly
uninteresting. He had very correctly said, in what, for distinction's
sake, we will call _The Life_--"I have thought it better to omit much
of this verbal criticism, which, not very interesting in itself, is
unintelligible without a contemporary reference to the poems which are
its subject."--(P. 12.) Now we cannot, of course, undertake to say that
the letters given us here are precisely those which he speaks of as
being wisely rejected on the former occasion, but we know that there
was the same good reason for this rejection, for they are occupied
with a verbal criticism utterly uninteresting. Surely, what neither
illustrates a man's life, nor adds a tittle to his literary reputation,
ought not to be allowed to encumber for ever, as with a dead weight,
the collected works of an author. The mischief is, that, if materials
of this kind are once published, every succeeding editor finds it
incumbent on him to reprint them, lest his edition should be thought
less perfect than others, and thus there is no getting rid of the
useless and burdensome increment. It is otherwise with another portion
of these two volumes, the sketches of the contemporaries and friends
of Lamb, which Mr Serjeant Talfourd, or any future editor, can either
retrench, omit, or enlarge, at his option.

In the next edition that is published of the works of Lamb, we hope
the editor may be persuaded altogether to recast his materials. The
biography should be kept apart, and not interspersed piecemeal amongst
the letters. This is an arrangement, the most provoking and irritating
to the reader that could have been devised. Let us have all the
biography at once, and then sit down and enjoy the letters of Lamb. Why
be incessantly bandied from the one to the other? Few of the letters
need any explanation; if they do, the briefest note at the head or at
the foot would be sufficient. Not to add, that, if it is wished to
refer to any event in the biography, one does not know where to look
for it. And, _apropos_ of this matter of reference, it may be just
worth mentioning that the present volume is so divided into _Parts_,
and the parts so paged, that any reference to a passage by the number
of the page is almost useless. The numbers recommence some half-dozen
times in the course of the volume; so that if you are referred to page
50, you may find five of them--you may find page 50 five times over
before you come to the right one. For which reason we shall dispense
ourselves, in respect to this volume, with our usual punctuality of
reference, for the reference must be laboriously minute, and even
then will impose a troublesome search. In the mere and humble task of
editing, the Serjeant has been by no means fortunate.

Lying about in such confusion as the fractions of the biography do at
present, we shall perhaps be rendering a slight service if we bring
together from the two different publications the leading events of the
life of Lamb.

"Charles Lamb," says the first publication, "was born on the 18th
February 1775, in Crown-office Row, in the Inner Temple, where he
spent the first seven years of his life." At the age of seven he was
presented to the school of Christ's Hospital, and there remained till
his fifteenth year. His sweetness of disposition rendered him a general
favourite. From one of his schoolfellows we have the following account
of him:--"Lamb," says Mr Le Grice, "was an amiable, gentle boy, very
sensible, and keenly observing, indulged by his schoolfellows and by
his master, on account of his infirmity of speech. His countenance
was mild; his complexion clear brown, with an expression which might
lead you to think that he was of Jewish descent. His eyes were not
each of the same colour--one was hazel, the other had specks of gray
in the iris, mingled as we see red spots in the bloodstone. His step
was _plantigrade_, (Mr Le Grice must be a zoologist--Lamb would have
smiled to hear himself so scientifically described,) which made his
walk slow and peculiar, adding to the staid appearance of his figure.
I never heard his name mentioned without the addition of Charles,
although, as there was no other boy of the name of Lamb, the addition
was unnecessary; but there was an implied kindness in it, and it was
a proof that his gentle manner excited that kindness." Mr Le Grice
adds that, in the sketch Lamb gave in his _Recollections of Christ's
Hospital_, he drew a faithful portrait of himself. "While others were
all fire and play, he stole along with all the self-concentration of a
young monk." He had, in fact, only passed from cloister to cloister,
and, during the holidays, it was in the Temple that he found his home
and his only place of recreation. This cloistering-in of his mind was
the early and constant peculiarity of his life. He would have made an
excellent monk; in those good old times, be it understood, when it
was thought no great scandal if there was a well-supplied cellarage
underneath the cloister.

After quitting Christ's Hospital, he was employed for some time in the
South Sea House, but on the 5th April 1792 obtained that appointment in
the accountant's office in the East India Company which was his stay
and support, in more senses than one, through life.

A little anecdote is here introduced, which strikes us as very
characteristic. It reveals the humorist, ready to appreciate and
promote a jest even at his own expense, and at the easy sacrifice of
his own dignity or self-respect: but it reveals something more and
sadder; it seems to betray a broken, melancholy spirit, that was no
longer disposed to contend for its claim to respect from others. "In
the first year of his clerkship," says Mr Le Grice, "Lamb spent the
evening of the 5th November with some of his former schoolfellows,
who, being amused with the particularly large and flapping brim of his
round hat, pinned it up on the sides in the form of a cocked hat. Lamb
made no alteration in it, but walked home in his usual sauntering gait
towards the Temple. As he was going down Ludgate Hill, some gay young
men, who seemed not to have passed the London Tavern without resting,
exclaimed, 'The veritable Guy!--no man of straw!' and with this
exclamation they took him up, making a chair with their arms, carried
him, seated him on a post in St Paul's Churchyard, and there left him.
This story Lamb told so seriously, that the truth of it was never
doubted. He wore his three-cornered hat many evenings, and retained the
name of Guy ever after. Like Nym, he quietly sympathised in the fun,
and seemed to say 'that was the humour of it.'" Some one may suggest
that probably Lamb was himself in the same condition, on this 5th
of November, as the young men "who had not passed the London Tavern
without resting," and that therefore all peculiar significance of the
anecdote, as it bears upon his character and disposition, is entirely
lost. But Lamb relates the story himself, and afterwards, and when
there is no question of sobriety, quietly acquiesces and participates
in the absurd joke played upon himself.

At this time his most constant companion was one _Jem_ White, who
wrote some imaginary "Letters of John Falstaff." These letters Lamb
went about all his life praising, and causing others to praise, but
seems never to have found any one to share his admiration. As even Mr
Talfourd has not a good word to throw away upon the literary merits of
Jem White, we may safely conclude that Lamb's friendship had in this
instance quite overruled his critical judgment.

But the associate and friend who really exercised a permanent and
formative influence upon his mind, was a man of a very different
stamp--Samuel Taylor Coleridge. They had been schoolfellows at Christ's
Hospital, and, though no particular intimacy existed at that time,
the circumstance formed a foundation for a future friendship. "While
Coleridge," writes Mr Talfourd, "remained at the university, they met
occasionally on his visits to London; and when he quitted it and came
to town, full of mantling hopes and glorious schemes, Lamb became his
admiring disciple. The scene of these happy meetings was a little
public-house, called the _Salutation and Cat_, in the neighbourhood
of Smithfield, where they used to sup, and remain long after they had
'heard the chimes at midnight.'"

These suppers at the Salutation and Cat, in Smithfield, seem to carry
back the imagination far beyond the period here alluded to; they
seem to transport us to the times of Oliver Goldsmith, or to take us
across the water into Germany, where poetry and philosophy may still
occasionally find refuge in the beer-shop. They were always remembered
by Lamb as the brightest spots of his life. "I think I hear you again,"
he says, writing to Coleridge. "I imagine to myself the little smoky
room at the Salutation and Cat, where we sat together through the
winter nights, beguiling the cares of life with poetry." And in another
place he alludes to "those old suppers at our old inn--when life was
fresh and topics exhaustless--and you first kindled in me, if not
the power, yet the love of poetry, and beauty, and kindliness." It
was in these interviews that the project was started, we believe, of
publishing a volume of poems, the joint production of the two friends.

But this pleasing project, and all the poetry of life, was for a time
to give place, in the history of Lamb, to a domestic tragedy of the
most afflicting nature. It is here that the Final Memorials take up
the thread of the biography. It was on the 22d September 1796, that
the terrible event took place which cast so perpetual a shade, and
reflected also so constant an honour, on the life of Lamb. He was
living at this time with his father, mother, and sister, in lodgings
in Little Queen Street, Holborn. After being engaged in his taskwork
at the India House, he returned in the evening to amuse his father by
playing cribbage. The old man had sunk into dotage and the miserable
selfishness that so often attends on old age. If his son wished to
discontinue for a time the game at cribbage, and turn to some other
avocation, or the writing of a letter, he would pettishly exclaim,--"If
you don't play cribbage, I don't see the use of your coming home at
all." The mother also was an invalid, and Miss Lamb, we are told,
was worn down to a state of extreme nervous misery, by attention to
needlework by day, and to her mother by night, until the insanity
which had been manifested more than once broke out into frenzy. "It
appeared," says the account extracted from the _Times_, (an account of
the inquest, in which the names of the parties are suppressed,) "that
while the family were preparing for dinner, the young lady seized
a case-knife lying on the table, and in a menacing manner pursued
a little girl, her apprentice, round the room. On the calls of her
infirm mother to forbear, she renounced her first object, and with
loud shrieks approached her parent. The child by her cries quickly
brought up the landlord of the house, but too late. The dreadful scene
presented to him the mother lifeless, pierced to the heart, on a chair,
her daughter yet wildly standing over her with the fatal knife, and
the old man, her father, weeping by her side, himself bleeding at the
forehead from the effects of a severe blow he received from one of the
forks she had been madly hurling about the room."

The following is the letter which Lamb wrote to Coleridge shortly after
the event. From this it appears that it was he, and not the landlord,
who took the knife from the hand of the lunatic.

"MY DEAREST FRIEND,--White, or some of my friends, or the public
papers, by _this_ time may have informed you of the terrible calamities
that have fallen on our family. I will only give you the outlines. My
poor, dear, dearest sister, in a fit of insanity, has been the death
of her own mother. I was at hand only time enough to snatch the knife
out of her grasp. She is at present in a madhouse, from whence I fear
she must be removed to an hospital. God has preserved to me my senses.
I eat, and drink, and sleep, and have my judgment, I believe, very
sound. My poor father was slightly wounded, and I am left to take care
of him and my aunt. Mr Norris of the Blue-coat School has been very
kind to us, and we have no other friend; but, thank God, I am very calm
and composed, and able to do the best that remains to do. Write as
religious a letter as possible, but no mention of what is gone and done
with. With me 'the former things are passed away,' and I have something
more to do than to feel.

"God Almighty have us all in his keeping!--C. LAMB.

"Mention nothing of poetry; I have destroyed every vestige of past
vanities of that kind. Do as you please; but if you publish, publish
mine (I give free leave) without name or initial, and never send me a
book, I charge you.

"Your own judgment will convince you not to take any notice of this yet
to your dear wife. You look after your family--I have my reason and
strength left to take care of mine. I charge you, don't think of coming
to see me--write. I will not see you if you come. God Almighty love
you, and all of us."--C. LAMB.

Miss Lamb was of course placed in an asylum, where, however, she was in
a short time restored to reason. And now occurred the act of life-long
heroism on the part of the brother. As soon as she was recovered,
he petitioned the authorities to resign her to his care; he pledged
himself to be her guardian, her provider, her _keeper_, for all her
days to come. He was at that time paying his addresses to a young lady,
with what hopes, or with what degree of ardour, we are not informed.
But marriage with her, or with any other, was now to be entirely
renounced. He devoted his life, and all his love, to his unhappy
sister, and to the last he fulfilled the obligation he had taken upon
himself without a murmur, and without the least diminution of affection
towards the object of it.

We have called it an act of heroism; we applaud it, and rejoice that it
stands upon record a complete and accomplished act. There it stands,
not only to relieve the character of Lamb from such littleness as it
may have contracted from certain habits of intemperance, (of which
perhaps more has been said than was necessary;) but it remains there
as an enduring memorial, prompting, to all time, to the like acts
of self-denying kindness, and unshaken generosity of purpose. But,
admiring the act as we do, we must still be permitted to observe, that
there was a degree of imprudence in it which fully justified other
members of the family in their endeavours to dissuade Lamb from his
resolution, and which would have justified the authorities (whoever
they were--and about this matter there seems a singular obscurity, and
a suspicion is created that even in proceedings of this nature much is
done carelessly, informally, uncertainly) in refusing to accede to his
request. Miss Lamb had several relapses into temporary derangement;
and, although she never committed, as far as we are informed, any acts
of violence, this calmness of behaviour, in her seasons of mental
aberration, could not have been calculated on. We confess we should
have shrunk from the responsibility of advising the generous but
perilous course which was adopted with so fortunate a result.

How sad and fearful a charge Lamb had entailed upon himself, let the
following extract suffice to show. The subject is too painful to be
longer dwelt upon than is necessary. "The constant impendency of
this great sorrow saddened to 'the Lambs' even their holidays, as
the journey which they both regarded as the relief and charm of the
year was frequently followed by a seizure; and, _when they ventured
to take it, a strait-waistcoat, carefully packed up by Miss Lamb
herself, was their constant companion_. Sad experience at last induced
the abandonment of the annual excursion, and Lamb was contented with
walks in and near London during the interval of labour. Miss Lamb
experienced, and full well understood, premonitory symptoms of the
attack, in restlessness, low fever, and the inability to sleep; and,
as gently as possible, prepared her brother for the duty he must soon
perform; and thus, unless he could stave off the terrible separation
till Sunday, obliged him to ask leave of absence from the office as
if for a day's pleasure--a bitter mockery! On one occasion Mr Charles
Lloyd met them slowly pacing together a little footpath in Haxton
Fields, _both weeping bitterly, and found, on joining them, that they
were taking their solemn way to the accustomed asylum_!"[2]

[2] _Final Memorials_, vol. ii., p. 212.

It seems that a tendency to lunacy was hereditary in the family, and
Charles Lamb himself had been for a short period deprived of his

On this subject Mr Talfourd makes the following excellent remark:--"The
wonder is, that, amidst all the difficulties, the sorrows, and the
excitements of his succeeding forty years, the malady never recurred.
Perhaps the true cause of this remarkable exemption--an exemption the
more remarkable when his afflictions are considered in association with
one single frailty--will be found in the sudden claim made on his moral
and intellectual nature by a terrible exigency, and by his generous
answer to that claim; _so that a life of self-sacrifice was rewarded by
the preservation of unclouded reason_."

We will not weaken so admirable a remark by repeating it in a worse
phraseology of our own. We wish the Serjeant always wrote in the same
clear, forcible, and unaffected manner. With respect to this seizure
which Lamb, in an early part of his life, had experienced, there is a
reference in one of his letters too curious to pass unnoticed. Writing
to Coleridge, he says--"At some future time I will amuse you with an
account, as full as my memory will permit, of the strange turns my
frenzy took. I look back upon it at times with a gloomy kind of envy,
for, while it lasted, I had many, many hours of pure happiness. Dream
not, Coleridge, of having tasted all the grandeur and wildness of fancy
till you have gone mad! All now seems to me vapid, or comparatively so."

The residue of Lamb's life is uneventful. The publication of a book--a
journey into Cumberland--his final liberation from office, are the
chief incidents. These it is not necessary to arrange in chronological
order: they can be alluded to as occasion requires. But we will pursue
a little further our notice of Mr Talfourd's biographical labours, that
we may clear our way as we proceed.

We have seen that Lamb, in the first agony of his grief, rudely
threw aside his poetry, and his scheme of publishing conjointly with
Coleridge. Poetry and schemes of publication are not, however, so
easily dismissed. As his mind subsided into a calmer state, they were
naturally resumed. The literary partnership was extended, and Lloyd
was admitted to associate his labours in the forthcoming volume. "At
length," says Mr Talfourd, "the small volume containing the poems of
Coleridge, Lloyd, and Lamb, was published by Mr Cottle at Bristol.
It excited little attention." We do not wonder at this, if the
lucubrations of Mr Lloyd had any conspicuous place in the volume. How
the other two poets--how Coleridge especially, could have consented
to this literary partnership, with so singularly inept and absurd a
writer, would be past explaining, if it were not for some hint that we
receive that Charles Lloyd was the son of a wealthy banker, and might,
therefore, be the fittest person to transact that part of the business
which occurs between the author and the publisher. Here we have a
striking instance of Mr Talfourd's misplaced amiability of criticism.
"Lloyd," he says, "wrote _pleasing_ verses, and with great facility--a
facility fatal to excellence; but his mind was chiefly remarkable
for _the fine power of analysis which distinguishes his 'London,'_
and other of his later compositions. In this power of discriminating
and distinguishing--carried to a pitch almost of painfulness--Lloyd
has scarcely been equalled; and his poems, though rugged in point of
versification, will be found, by those who will read them with the calm
attention they require, replete with critical and moral suggestions
of the highest value." Very grateful to Mr Serjeant Talfourd will any
reader feel who shall be induced, by his recommendation, to peruse, or
attempt to peruse, Mr Lloyd's poem of "London!" We were. "Fine power of
analysis!" Why, it is one stream of mud--of theologic mud. "Rugged in
point of versification!" There is no trace of verse, and the style is
an outlandish garb, such as no man has ever seen elsewhere, either in
prose or verse. Poor Lloyd was a lunatic patient!--on him no one would
be severe; but why should an intelligent Serjeant, unless prompted by
a sly malice against all mankind, persuade us to read his execrable
stuff? The following is a fair specimen of the drug, and is, indeed,
taken as the book opened. We add the two last lines of the preceding
stanza, to give all possible help to the elucidation of the one we
quote. The italics are all Mr Lloyd's:--

    "If you affirm _grace irresistible_,
    You must deny all liberty of will.


    "But you reply, grace irresistible
      Our creed admits not. I am sorry for't.
    Enough, or not enough, to bind the free will,
      Grace must be. Not enough? The dose falls short.
    This is of _cause_ the prime condition still
      That it be _operative_. Yet divines exhort
    Us to deem grace _sole source_ of all salvation,
    And if we're damned, blame _but its application_."

But divinity of this kind, it may be said, though well calculated to
display "the power of discriminating and distinguishing, carried to
a pitch almost of painfulness," is not exactly favourable to flowing
verse. Here is a specimen where a lady is the subject, and the verse
should be smooth then, if ever.

    "I well remember her years, five-and-twenty,
      (Ah! now my muse is got into a gallop,)
    Longer perhaps! But time sufficient, plenty
      Of treasured offices of love to call up.
    She was then, as I recollect, quite dainty,
      And delicate, and seemed a fair envelope
    Of virgin sweetness and angelic goodness;
    That fate should treat her with such reckless rudeness!"

The poor man seems to have had not the least appreciation of the
power of language, so as to distinguish between the ludicrous and
the pathetic. He must have read "Hudibras" with tears, _not_ of
laughter, in his eyes, and hence drawn his notion of tenderness of
diction as well as harmony of verse. The most surprising thing about
Lloyd is, that such a man should have chosen for his literary task to
translate--Alfieri! And although he has performed the task very far
from well, he has accomplished it in a manner that could not have been
anticipated from his original compositions.

After this specimen of Mr Talfourd's laudatory criticism, we need not
be astonished at any amount of eulogy he bestows on such names as
Hazlitt and others, which really have a certain claim on the respect
of all men. And yet, even after this, we felt some slight surprise at
hearing Mr Talfourd speak of "the splendid reputation" of Mr Harrison
Ainsworth! Would Mr Talfourd _have_ such a reputation, if it were
offered him? Would he not rather have remained in complete obscurity
than be distinguished by such "splendours" as the authorship of _Jack
Sheppard_ would have invested him with? Why should he throw about
this indiscriminate praise, and make his good word of no possible
value? Splendid reputation! Can trash be anything but trash, because
a multitude of the idle and the ignorant, whom it exactly suits, read
and admire? By-and-by they grow ashamed of their idol, when they find
they have him all to themselves, and that sensible people are smiling
at their enthusiasm; they then discard him for some new, untried, and
_unconvicted_ favourite. Such is the natural history of these splendid

The second volume of the "Final Memorials" is in great part occupied
with sketches of the literary friends and companions of Lamb. These Mr
Talfourd introduces by a somewhat bold parallel between the banquets
at the lordly halls of Holland House and the suppers in the dark and
elevated chambers in the Inner Temple, whither Lamb had removed. We are
by no means scandalised at such a comparison. Wit may flow, and wisdom
too, as freely in the garret as in the saloon. To eat off plate, to be
served assiduously by liveried attendants, may not give any more real
zest to colloquial pleasure, to good hearty talking, than to attack
without ceremony "the cold beef flanked with heaps of smoking potatoes,
which Becky has just brought in." Nor do we know that claret in the
flagon of beautifully cut glass, may be a more potent inspiration
of wit than "the foaming pots of porter from the best tap in Fleet
Street." We are not at all astonished that such a parallel should be
drawn; what surprises us is, that, being in the humour to draw such
comparisons, the Sergeant could find only _one_ place in all London
which could be brought into this species of contrast, and of rivalry,
with Holland House. "Two circles of rare social enjoyment, differing as
widely as possible in all external circumstances--_but each superior
in its kind to all others_, were at the same time generously opened to
men of letters." We, who have been admitted to neither, have perhaps
no right to an opinion; but, judging by the bill of fare presented to
us, we shrewdly suspect there were very many circles where we should
have preferred the intellectual repast to that set out in Inner Temple
Lane. We doubt not the Serjeant himself has assembled round his own
table a society that we should greatly more have coveted the pleasure
of joining. We have the name of Godwin, it is true, but Godwin never
opened his mouth;--played whist all the evening. Had he not written
his book? why should he talk? We have Hazlitt,--but by all accounts he
was rarely in a tolerable humour, perpetually raving, with admirable
consistency, in praise of republics and Bonaparte. Coleridge was too
rarely a visitor to be counted in the list; and certain we are that
we should have no delight in hearing Charles Lloyd "reason of fate,
free-will, foreknowledge absolute," to Leigh Hunt. Some actors are
named, of whose conversational powers we know nothing, and presume
nothing very extraordinary. Lamb's "burly jovial brother, the Ajax
Telamon of clerks," and a Captain Burney, of whom we are elsewhere
told that he liked Shakspeare "because he was so much of a gentleman,"
promise little on the score of intellectual conversation; neither
should we be particularly anxious to sit opposite a certain M. B., of
whom Lamb said, "M., if dirt were trumps, what hands you would hold!"

After this singular parallel, we are shown round a gallery of
portraits. First we have George Dyer, who appears to be the counterpart
of our old friend Dominie Sampson. But, indeed, we hold George Dyer
to be a sort of myth, a fabulous person, the creation of Charles
Lamb's imagination, and imposed as a reality on his friends. Such an
absurdity as he is here represented to be could not have been bred,
could not have existed, in these times, and in London. If we are to
credit the stories told of him, his walking in broad day into the canal
at Islington was one of the wisest things he did, or could possibly
have done. Lamb tells him, in the strictest confidence, that the
"Waverley Novels" are the works of Lord Castlereagh, just returned from
the Congress of Sovereigns at Vienna! Off he runs, nor stops till he
reaches Maida Hill, where he deposits his news in the ears of Leigh
Hunt, who, "as a public man," he thinks ought to be possessed of the
great fact. At another time Lamb gravely inquires of him, "Whether it
was true, as was commonly reported, that he was to be made a lord?" "Oh
dear, no! Mr Lamb," he responds with great earnestness, "I could not
think of such a thing: it is not true, I assure you." "I thought not,"
replies the wit, "and I contradict it wherever I go; but the government
will not ask your consent--they may raise you to the peerage without
your even knowing it." "I hope not, Mr Lamb; indeed, indeed, I hope
not; it would not suit me at all," repeats our modern Dominie, and goes
away musing on the possibility of strange honours descending, whether
he will or not, upon his brow. It goes to our heart to disturb a good
story, but such a man as the George Dyer here represented never could
have existed.

We have rather a long account of Godwin, with some remarks not very
satisfactory upon his intellectual character. That Mr Godwin was
taciturn, that he conversed, when he did talk, upon trivial subjects,
and in a small precise manner, and that he was especially fond of
sleeping after dinner--all this we can easily understand. Mr Godwin's
mental activity was absorbed in his authorship, and he was a very
voluminous author. But we cannot so easily understand Mr Talfourd's
explanations, nor why these habits should have any peculiar connexion
with the intellectual qualities of the author of _Caleb Williams_, and
a host of novels, as well as of the _Political Justice_, of the _Life
of Chaucer_, and the _History of the Commonwealth_. Such habits are
rather the result of a man's temperament, and the manner of life which
circumstances have thrown him into, than of his intellectual powers.
Profound metaphysicians have been very vivacious talkers, and light and
humorous writers very taciturn men. Mr Talfourd finds that Godwin had
no imagination, was all abstract reason, and thus accounts for his
having no desire to address his fellowmen but through the press. The
passage is too long to quote, and would be very tedious. We must leave
him in quiet possession of his own theory of the matter.

It was new to us, and may be to our readers, to hear that Godwin
supported himself "by a shop in Skinner Street, where, under the
auspices of 'Mr J. Godwin & Co.,' the prettiest and wisest books
for children issued, which old-fashioned parents presented to their
children, without suspecting that the graceful lessons of piety and
goodness which charmed away the selfishness of infancy, were published,
and sometimes revised, and now and then written, by a philosopher
whom they would scarcely venture to name!" We admire the good sense
which induced him to adhere to so humble an occupation, if he found it
needful for his support. But what follows is not quite so admirable.
He was a great borrower; or, in the phrase of Mr Talfourd, "he met
the exigencies of business with the trusting simplicity which marked
his course; he asked his friends for aid without scruple, considering
that their means were justly the due of one who toiled in thought for
their inward life, and had little time to provide for his own outward
existence, and took their excuses when offered without doubt or
offence." And then the Serjeant proceeds to relate, in a tone of the
most touching simplicity, his own personal experience upon this matter.
"The very next day after I had been honoured and delighted by an
introduction to him at Lamb's chambers, I was made still more proud and
happy by his appearance at my own on such an errand, which my poverty,
not my will, rendered abortive. After some pleasant chat on indifferent
matters, he carelessly observed that he had a little bill for £150
falling due on the morrow, _which he had forgotten till that morning_,
and desired the loan of the necessary amount for a few weeks. At first,
in eager hopes of being able thus to oblige one whom I regarded with
admiration akin to awe, I began to consider whether it was possible
for me to raise such a sum; but, alas! a moment's reflection sufficed
to convince me that the hope was vain, and I was obliged, with much
confusion, to assure my distinguished visitor how glad I should have
been to serve him, but that I was only just starting as a special
pleader, was obliged to write for magazines to help me on, and had not
such a sum in the world. 'Oh dear!' said the philosopher, 'I thought
you were a young gentleman of fortune--don't mention it, don't mention
it--I shall do very well elsewhere!' And then, in the most gracious
manner, reverted to our former topics, and sat in my small room for
half-an-hour, as if to convince me that my want of fortune made no
difference in his esteem." How very gracious! The most shameless
borrower coming to raise money from a young gentleman of fortune, to
meet "a little bill which he had forgotten till that morning," would
hardly, on finding his mistake, have made an abrupt departure. He would
have coolly beat a retreat, as the philosopher did. We never hear, by
the way, that he returned "to my small room" at any other time, for
half-an-hour's chat. But how very interesting it is to see the learned
Serjeant, whose briefs have made him acquainted with every trick and
turn of commercial craft, retaining this sweet and pristine simplicity!

The Serjeant, however, has a style of narrative which, though on the
surface it displays the most good-natured simplicity, slyly insinuates
to the more intelligent reader that he sees quite as far as another,
and is by no means the dupe of his own amiability. Thus, in his
description of Coleridge, (which would be too long a subject to enter
into minutely,) he has the following passage, (perhaps the best in the
description,) which, while it seems to echo to the full the unstinted
applause so common with the admirers of that singular man, gives a
quiet intimation to the reader that he was not altogether so blind as
some of those admirers. "If his entranced hearers often were unable
to perceive the bearings of his argument--too mighty for any grasp
but his own--and sometimes reaching beyond his own--they understood
'a _beauty_ in the words, if not the words;' and a wisdom and a piety
in the illustrations, even when unable to connect them with the idea
which he desired to illustrate." Mr Talfourd reveals here, we suspect,
the true secret of the charm which Coleridge exercised in conversation.
His hearers never seemed to have carried away anything distinct or
serviceable from his long discourses. They understood "a beauty in the
words, if not the words;" they felt a charm like that of listening to
music, and, when the voice ceased, there was perhaps as little distinct
impression left, as if it had really been a beautiful symphony they had

There is only one more in this gallery of portraits before which we
shall pause, and that only for a moment, to present a last specimen
of the critical manner of Mr Talfourd. We are sorry the last should
not be the best; and yet, as this sketch is a reprint, in an abridged
form, of an essay affixed to the _Literary Remains of Hazlitt_, it
may be considered as having received a more than usual share of the
author's attention. It is thus that he analyses the mental constitution
of one whom he appears to have studied and greatly admired--William
Hazlitt. "He had as unquenchable a desire for truth as others have
for wealth, or power, or fame: he pursued it with sturdy singleness
of purpose, and enunciated it without favour or fear. But besides
that love of truth, that sincerity in pursuing it, and that boldness
in telling it, he had also a fervent aspiration after the beautiful,
a vivid sense of pleasure, and an _intense consciousness of his own
individual being_, which sometimes produced obstacles to the current
of speculation, by which it was broken into dazzling eddies, or urged
into devious windings. Acute, fervid, vigorous as his mind was, it
wanted _the one great central power of imagination, which brings all
the other faculties into harmonious action, multiplies them into each
other, makes truth visible in the forms of beauty, and substitutes
intellectual vision for proof_. Thus in him truth and beauty held
divided empire. In him the spirit was willing but the flesh was
_strong_, and when these contend it is not difficult to anticipate the
result; 'for the power of beauty shall sooner transform honesty from
what it is into a bawd, than the person of honesty shall transform
beauty into its likeness.' This 'sometime paradox' was vividly
exemplified in Hazlitt's personal history, his conversation, and his

[3] Vol. ii., p. 157.

Are we to gather from this most singular combination of words, that
Hazlitt had a grain too much of sensuality in his composition, which
diverted him from the search after truth? The expression, "the flesh
was strong," and the quotation so curiously introduced from Shakspeare,
seem to point this way. And then, again, are we to understand that
this too much of sensuality was owing to a want of imagination?--that
central power of imagination which is here described in a manner that
no system of metaphysics we have studied enables us in the least to
comprehend. We know something of Schelling's "intellectual intuition"
transcending the ordinary scope of reason. Is this "intellectual
vision, which the imagination substitutes for proof," of the same
family? But indeed it would be idle insincerity to ask such questions.
Sergeant Talfourd knows no more than we do what it means. The simple
truth is, that here, as too frequently elsewhere, he aims at a
certain subtlety of thought, and falls unfortunately upon no thought
whatever--upon mere confusion of thought, which he attempts to hide by
a quantity of somewhat faded phrase and rhetorical diction.

If we refer to the original essay itself, we shall not be aiding
ourselves or Mr Talfourd. The statement is fuller, and the confusion
greater. In one point it relieves us--it relieves us entirely from
the necessity of too deeply pondering the philosophic import of any
phraseology our critic may adopt, for the phrase is changed merely to
please the ear; and what at first has the air of definition proves
to be merely a poetic colouring. He thus commences his essay: "As an
author, Mr Hazlitt may be contemplated principally in three aspects--as
a moral and political reasoner, as an observer of character and
manners, and as a critic in literature and painting. It is in the
first character only that he should be followed with caution." In the
two others he is, of course, to be followed implicitly. Why he was
not equally perfect as a moral and political reasoner, Mr Talfourd
proceeds to explain. Mr Hazlitt had "a passionate desire for truth,"
and also "earnest aspirations for the beautiful." Now, continues our
critic, "the vivid sense of beauty may, indeed, have fit home in the
breast of the searcher after truth, but then he must also be endowed
with the highest of all human faculties--the great mediatory and
interfusing power of imagination, which presides supreme over the
mind, brings all its powers and impulses into harmonious action, and
becomes itself the single organ of all. At its touch, truth becomes
visible in the shape of beauty; the fairest of material things become
the living symbols of airy thought, and the mind apprehends _the finest
affinities of the world of sense and spirit 'in clear dream and solemn
vision.'_" This last expression conveys, we presume, all the meaning,
or no-meaning, of the phrase afterwards adopted--the "intellectual
vision which it substitutes for truth." Both are mere jingle. The rest
of the passage is much the same as it stands in the _Final Memorials_.
Somehow or other Mr Hazlitt is proved to have been defective as a
reasoner, because he wanted imagination!--and imagination was wanted,
not to enlarge his experience of mental phenomena, but to step between
his love of truth and his sense of beauty. Did he ever divulge this
discovery to his friend Hazlitt?--and how did the metaphysician receive

To one so generous towards others, it would be ungracious to use hard
words. Indeed, to leave before an intelligent reader these specimens of
"fine analysis," and "powers of discriminating and distinguishing," is
quite severe enough punishment. We wish we could expunge them, with a
host of similar ones, not only from our record, but from the works of
the author himself.[4]

[4] The author of _Ion_ ought not to be held in remembrance for any of
these prosaic blunders he may have committed.

It is time that we turn from the biography to the writings of
Charles Lamb--to Elia, the gentle humorist. Not that Charles Lamb is
exclusively the humorist: far from it. His verse is, at all events,
sufficient to demonstrate a poetic sensibility, and his prose writings
display a subtlety of analysis and a delicacy of perception which were
not always enlisted in the service of mirth, but which were often
displayed in some refined criticism, or keen observation upon men
and manners. Still it is as a humorist that he has chiefly attracted
the attention of the reading public, and obtained his popularity and
literary _status_. But the coarser lineaments of the humorist are not
to be found in him. His is a gentle, refined, and refining humour,
which never trespasses upon delicacy; which does not excite that common
and almost brutal laughter, so easily raised at what are called the
comic miseries of life--often no comedy to those who have to endure
them. It is a humour which generally attains its end by investing what
is lowly with an unexpected interest, not by degrading what is noble
by allying it with mean and grotesque circumstance, (the miserable art
of parody;) it is a humour, in short, which excites our laughter, not
by stifling all reflection, but by awakening the mind to new trains of
thought, and prompting to odd but kindly sympathies. It is a humour
which a poet might indulge in, which a very nun might smile at, which
a Fenelon would at times prepare himself mildly to admonish, but, on
seeing from how clear a spirit it emanated, would, relaxing his brows
again, let pass unreproved.

There is a great rage at present for the comic; and, to do justice
to our own times, we think it may be said that wit was never more
abundant--and certainly the pencil was never used with more genuine
humour. But we cannot sympathise with, or much admire, that class of
writers who seem to make the comic their exclusive study, who peer into
everything merely to find matter of jest in it. Everything is no more
comic than everything is solemn, in this mingled world of ours. These
men, reversing the puritanical extravagance, would _improve_ every
incident into the occasion of a laugh. At length one extreme becomes
as tedious as the other. We have, if we may trust to advertisements,
for we never saw the production itself, a _Comic History of
England!_ and, amongst other editions of the learned commentator,
_A Comic Blackstone!_ We shall be threatened some day with a _Comic
Encyclopædia_; or we shall have these comic gentry following the track
round the whole world which Mrs Sommerville has lately taken, in her
charming book on Physical Geography. They will go hopping and grinning
after her, peeping down volcanoes, and punning upon coral reefs, and
finding laughter in all things in this circumnavigable globe. Well, let
them go grinning from pole to pole, and all along the tropics. We can
wish them no worse punishment.

This exclusive cultivation of the comic must sadly depress the organ of
veneration, and not at all foster any refined feelings of humanity. To
him who is habitually in the mocking vein, it matters little what the
subject, or who the sufferer, so that he has his jest. It is marvellous
the utter recklessness to human feeling these light laughers attain to.
Their seemingly sportive weapon, the "satiric thong" they so gaily use,
is in harder hands than could be found anywhere else out of Smithfield.
Nor is it quite idle to notice in what a direct barefaced manner these
jesters appeal to the coarse untutored malice of our nature. If we
were to analyse the jest, we should sometimes find that we had been
laughing just as wisely as the little untaught urchin, who cannot hold
his sides for "fun," if some infirm old woman, slipping upon the slide
he has made, falls down upon the pavement. The jest only lasts while
reflection is laid asleep.

In this, as we have already intimated, lies the difference between
the crowd of jesters and Charles Lamb. We quit their uproarious
laughter for his more quiet and pensive humour with somewhat the same
feeling that we leave the noisy, though amusing, highway, for the cool
landscape and the soft greensward. We reflect as we smile; the malice
of our nature is rather laid to rest than called forth; a kindly and
forgiving temper is excited. We rise from his works, if not with any
general truth more vividly impressed, yet prepared, by gentle and
almost imperceptible touches, to be more social in our companionships,
and warmer in our friendships.

Whether from mental indolence, or from that strong partiality he
contracted towards familiar things, he lived, for a man of education
and intelligence, in a singularly limited circle of thought. In the
stirring times of the first French Revolution, we find him abstracting
himself from the great drama before him, to bury himself in the gossip
of _Burnet's History_. He writes to Manning--"I am reading _Burnet's
own Times_. Quite the prattle of age, and outlived importance....
Burnet's good old prattle I can bring present to my mind; I can make
the Revolution present to me--the French Revolution, by a converse
perversity in my nature, I fling as far _from_ me." Science appears
never to have interested him, and such topics as political economy
may well be supposed to have been quite foreign to his nature. But
even as a reader of poetry, his taste, or his partialities in his
range of thought, limited him within a narrow circuit. He could make
nothing of Goethe's _Faust_; Shelley was an unknown region to him,
and the best of his productions never excited his attention. To Byron
he was almost equally indifferent. From these he could turn to study
George Withers! and find matter for applause in lines which needed,
indeed, the recommendation of age to give them the least interest. His
personal friendship for Wordsworth and Coleridge led him here out of
that circle of old writers he delighted to dwell amongst; otherwise, we
verily believe, he would have deserted them for Daniell and Quarles.
But perhaps, to one of his mental constitution, it required a certain
concentration to bring his powers into play; and we may owe to this
exclusiveness of taste the admirable fragments of criticism he has
given us on Shakspeare and the elder dramatists.

In forming our opinion, however, of the tastes and acquirements of
Lamb, we must not forget that we are dealing with a humorist, and that
his testimony against himself cannot be always taken literally. On
some occasions we shall find that he amused himself and his friends
by a merry vein of self-disparagement; he would delight to exaggerate
some deficiency, or perhaps some Cockney taste, in which, perhaps, he
differed from others only in his boldness of avowal. He had not, by all
accounts, what is called an ear for music; but we are not to put faith
in certain witty descriptions he has given of his own obtuseness to
all melodious sounds. We find him, in some of his letters, speaking of
Braham with all the enthusiasm of a young haunter of operas. "I follow
him about," he says, "like a dog." Nothing has given more scandal to
some of the gentle admirers of Lamb, than to find him boldly avowing
his preference of Fleet Street to the mountains of Cumberland. He
claimed no love for the picturesque. Shops, and the throng of men, were
not to be deserted for lakes and waterfalls. It was his to live in
London, and, as a place to _live in_, there was no peculiarity of taste
in preferring it to Cumberland; but when he really paid his visit to
Coleridge at Keswick, he felt the charm fully as much as tourists who
are accustomed to dwell, rather too loudly, upon their raptures. The
letters he wrote, after this visit, from some of which we will quote,
if our space permits us, describe very naturally, unaffectedly, and
vividly, the impressions which are produced on a first acquaintance
with mountainous scenery.

Indeed we may remark, that no man can properly enter into the character
or the writings of a humorist, who is not prepared both to permit and
to understand certain little departures from truth. We mean, that
playing with the subject where our _convictions_ are not intended to
be seriously affected. Those who must see everything as true or false,
and immediately approve or reject accordingly, who know nothing of that
_punctum indifferens_ on which the humorist, for a moment, takes his
stand, had better leave him and his writings entirely alone. "I like a
smuggler," says Charles Lamb, in one of his essays. Do you, thereupon,
gravely object that a smuggler, living in constant violation of the
laws of the land, ought by no means to be an object of partiality
with any respectable order-loving gentleman? Or do you nod assent and
acquiesce in this approbation of the smuggler? You do neither one nor
the other. You smile and read on. You know very well that Lamb has no
design upon your serious convictions, has no wish whatever that _you_
should like a smuggler; he merely gives expression to a partiality of
his own, unreasonable if you will, but arising from certain elements in
the smuggler's character, which just then are uppermost in his mind.
A great deal of the art and tact of the humorist lies in bringing out
little truths, and making them stand in the foreground, where greater
truths usually take up their position. Thus, in one of Lamb's papers,
he would prove that a convalescent was in a less enviable condition
than a man downright ill. This is done by heightening the effect of a
subordinate set of circumstances, and losing sight of facts of greater
importance. No error of judgment can really be introduced by this
sportive ratiocination, this mock logic, while it perhaps may be the
means of disclosing many ingenious and subtle observations, to which,
afterwards, you may, if you will, assign their just relative importance.

It would be a work of supererogation, even if space allowed us, to go
critically over the whole writings of Lamb--his poems, his essays,
and his letters. It is the last alone that we shall venture to pause
upon, or from which we may hope to make any extract not already
familiar to the reader. His poetry, indeed, cannot claim much critical
attention. It is possible, here and there, to find an elegant verse,
or a beautiful expression; there is a gentle, amiable, pleasing tone
throughout it; but, upon the whole, it is without force, has nothing to
recommend it of deep thought or strong passion. His tragedy of _John
Woodville_ is a tame imitation of the manner of the old dramatists--of
their manner when engaged in their subordinate and preparatory scenes.
For there is no attempt at tragic passion. We read the piece asking
ourselves when the play is to begin, and while still asking the
question, find ourselves brought to its conclusion. If the poems are
read by few, the _Essays of Elia_ have been perused by all. Who is not
familiar with what is now a historic fact--the discovery of roast pig
in China? This, and many other touches of humour, it would be useless
here to repeat. His letters, as being latest published, seem alone to
call for any especial observations, and from these we shall cull a few
extracts to enliven our own critical labours.

What first strikes a reader, on the perusal of the letters, is their
remarkable similarity in style to the essays. Some of them, indeed,
were afterwards converted into essays, and that more by adding to
them than altering their structure. That style, which at first seems
extremely artificial, was, in fact, natural in Lamb. He had formed for
himself a manner, chiefly by the study of our classical essayists,
and of still older writers, from which it would have been an effort
in him to depart. With whatever ease, therefore, or rapidity, he may
have written his letters, it was impossible that they should bear
the impress of freedom. His style was essentially a lettered style,
partaking little of the conversational tone of his own day. They could
obtain the case of finished compositions, not of genuine letters. For
this, if for no other reason, they can never be brought into comparison
with those charming spontaneous effusions of humour which flowed from
Cowper, in his letters to his old friend Hill, and his cousin, Lady
Hesketh. They are charming productions, however, and the best of his
letters will take rank, we think, with the best of his essays, in the
public estimation.

We must first quote from a letter to Manning, after his visits to
the lakes, to rescue his character in the eyes of the lovers of the
picturesque from the imputation of being utterly indifferent to the
higher beauties of nature.

     "Coleridge received us with all the hospitality in the world. He
     dwells upon a small hill by the side of Keswick, in a comfortable
     house, quite enveloped on all sides by a net of mountains: great
     floundering bears and monsters they seemed, all couchant and
     asleep. We got in in the evening, travelling in a post-chaise from
     Penrith, in the midst of a gorgeous sunshine, which transmuted all
     the mountains into colours, purple, &c., &c. We thought we had
     got into fairyland. But that went off (and it never came again;
     while we stayed we had no more fine sunsets), and we entered
     Coleridge's comfortable study just in the dusk, when the mountains
     were all dark with clouds on their heads. Such an impression I
     never received from objects of sight before, nor do I suppose that
     I can ever again. Glorious creatures, fine old fellows--Skiddaw,
     &c.--I never shall forget ye, how ye lay about that night like
     an entrenchment--gone to bed, as it seemed for the night, but
     promising that ye were to be seen in the morning.... We have
     clambered up to the top of Skiddaw; and I have waded up the bed
     of Lodore. In fine, I have satisfied myself that there is such a
     thing as tourists call _romantic_, which I very much suspected
     before; they make such a sputtering about it.... Oh! its fine
     black head, and the bleak air atop of it, with the prospects of
     mountains about and about, making you giddy. It was a day that
     will stand out like a mountain, I am sure, in my life."

Of Mr Manning we are told little or nothing, though he seems to have
been one of the very dearest friends of Lamb. His best letters are
written to Manning--the drollest, and some of the most affecting. The
following was written to dissuade him from some scheme of oriental
travel. Manning was, at the time, at Paris:--

  "_Feb. 19, 1803._

     "MY DEAR MANNING,--The general scope of your letter afforded no
     indications of insanity; but some particular points raised a
     scruple. For God's sake, don't think any more of 'Independent
     Tartary.' What are you to do among such Ethiopians? Read Sir John
     Mandeville's travels to cure you, or come over to England. There
     is a Tartar-man now exhibiting at Exeter Change. Come and talk
     with him, and hear what he says first. Indeed, he is no favourable
     specimen of his countrymen! Some say they are cannibals; and then
     conceive a Tartar fellow _eating_ my friend, and adding the _cool
     malignity_ of mustard and vinegar! I am afraid 'tis the reading
     of Chaucer has misled you; his foolish stories about Cambuscan,
     and the ring and the horse of brass. Believe me, there are no such
     things. These are all tales--a horse of brass never flew, and a
     king's daughter never talked with birds. The Tartars really are
     a cold, insipid, smoutchy set. You'll be sadly moped (if you
     are not eaten) amongst them. Pray try and cure yourself. Shave
     yourself oftener. Eat no saffron; for saffron eaters contract a
     terrible Tartar-like yellow. Shave _the upper lip_. Go about like
     a European. Read no books of voyages, (they are nothing but lies;)
     only now and then a romance, to keep the fancy _under_. Above
     all, don't go to any sights of _wild beasts_. _That has been your

And when Manning really departed on his voyage to China, he writes to
him in the following mingled strains of humour and of feeling. Being
obliged to omit a great deal, it would only be unsightly to mark every
instance where a sentence has been dropt. The italics, we must remark,
are not ours. If Lamb's, they show how naturally, even in writing to
his most intimate friend, he fell into the feelings of the author:--

  "_May 10, 1806._

     "... Be sure, if you see any of those people whose heads do
     grow beneath their shoulders, that you make a draught of them.
     It will be very curious. Oh! Manning, I am serious to sinking
     almost, when I think that all those evenings which you have made
     so pleasant are gone, perhaps for ever. Four years, you talk of,
     may be ten--and you may come back and find such alterations! Some
     circumstance may grow up to you or to me, that may be a bar to the
     return of any such intimacy. I dare say all this is hum! and that
     all will come back; but, indeed, we die many deaths before we die,
     and I am almost sick to think that such a hold I had of you is

  "_Dec. 5, 1806._

     "Manning, your letter dated Hottentots, August the--what was it?
     came to hand. I can scarce hope that mine will have the same
     luck. China--Canton--bless us! how it strains the imagination,
     and makes it ache. It will be a point of conscience to send you
     none but bran-new news (the latest edition), which will but grow
     the better, like oranges, for a sea voyage. Oh that you should be
     so many hemispheres off--if I speak incorrectly you can correct
     me--why, the simplest death or marriage that takes place here must
     be important to you as news in the old Bastile."

He then tells him of the acceptance of his farce--_Mr H._; which farce,
by the way, was produced, and failed, Lamb turning against his own
production, and joining the audience in hissing it off the stage. It
certainly deserved its fate.

     "Now, you'd like to know the subject. The title is, 'Mr H.'
     No more; how simple, how taking! A great H sprawling over the
     play-bill, and attracting eyes at every corner. The story is, a
     coxcomb appearing at Bath, vastly rich--all the ladies dying for
     him--all bursting to know who he is; but he goes by no other name
     than Mr H.--a curiosity like that of the dames of Strasburg about
     the man with the great nose. But I won't tell you any more about
     it. Yes, I will; but I can't give you any idea how I have done it.
     I'll just tell you that, after much vehement admiration, when his
     true name comes out, 'Hogsflesh,' all the women shun him, avoid
     him, and not one can be found to change her name for him; that's
     the idea--how flat it is here--but how whimsical in the farce! And
     only think how hard upon me it is, that the ship is despatched
     to-morrow, and my triumph cannot be ascertained till the Wednesday
     after. But all China will ring of it by-and-by. Do you find, in
     all this stuff I have written, anything like those feelings which
     one should send my old adventuring friend that is gone to wander
     among Tartars, and may never come again? I don't; but your going
     away, and all about you, is a threadbare topic. I have worn it
     out with thinking. It has come to me when I have been dull with
     anything, till my sadness has seemed more to have come from it
     than to have introduced it. I want you, you don't know how much;
     but if I had you here, in my European garret, we should but talk
     over such stuff as I have written.

     "Good Heavens! what a bit only I've got left! How shall I squeeze
     all I know into this morsel! Coleridge is come home, and is going
     to turn lecturer on taste at the Royal Institution. How the paper
     grows less and less! In less than two minutes I shall cease to
     talk to you, and you may rave to the great Wall of China.--N.B. Is
     there such a wall? Is it as big as Old London Wall by Bedlam? Have
     you met with a friend of mine, named Ball, at Canton? If you are
     acquainted, remember me kindly to him."

But we should be driven into as hard straits as Lamb, at the close of
his epistle, if we, should attempt, in the small space that remains to
us, to give any fair idea of the various "humours" and interests, of
many kinds, of these letters. We pass at once to those that illustrate
the last important incident of his life, his retirement from office. It
is thus he describes his manumission, and the sort of troubled delight
it brought with it, to Wordsworth:--

  "_6th April, 1825._

     "Here am I then, after thirty-three years' slavery, sitting in my
     own room, at eleven o'clock this finest of all April mornings, a
     freed man, with £441 a-year for the remainder of my life, live I
     as long as John Dennis, who outlived his annuity and starved at

     "I came home FOR EVER on Tuesday of last week. The
     incomprehensibleness of my condition overwhelmed me. It was
     like passing from life into eternity. Every year to be as long
     as three; _i. e._, to have three times as much real time--time
     that is my own in it! I wandered about thinking I was happy, but
     feeling I was not. But that tumultuousness is passing off, and I
     begin to understand the nature of the gift."

And to Bernard Barton he writes:

     "My spirits are so tumultuary with the novelty of my recent
     emancipation, that I have scarce steadiness of hand, much more of
     mind, to compose a letter. I am free, Bernard Barton--free as air!

    'The little bird, that wings the sky,
    Knows no such liberty.'

     I was set free on Tuesday in last week at four o'clock. I came
     home for ever!

     "I have been describing my feelings, as well as I can, to
     Wordsworth, and care not to repeat. Take it briefly, that for a
     few days I was painfully oppressed by so mighty a change, but it
     is becoming daily more natural to me. I went and sat among them
     all, at my old thirty-three years' desk yester morning; and deuce
     take me, if I had not yearnings at leaving all my old pen-and-ink
     fellows, merry sociable lads, at leaving them in the lurch--fag,
     fag, fag! The comparison of my own superior felicity gave me
     anything but pleasure.

     "B. B., I would not serve another seven years for seven hundred
     thousand pounds! I have got £440 net for life, with a provision
     for Mary if she survives me. I will live another fifty years."

But to live without any steady compulsory occupation requires an
apprenticeship as much as any other mode of life. An idle man ought
to be born and bred to the profession. With Lamb, literature could be
nothing but an amusement, and for a mere amusement literature is far
too laborious. It cannot, indeed, serve long as an amusement except
when it is adopted also as a labour. He was destined, therefore, to
make the humiliating discovery, which so many have made before him,
that one may have too much time, as well as too little, at one's own
disposal. Writing to the same Bernard Barton, a year or two afterwards,
he says:--

     "What I can do, and over-do, is to walk; but deadly long are
     the days, these summer all-day days, with but a half-hour's
     candle-light and no fire-light. I do not write, tell your kind
     inquisitive Eliza, and can hardly read. 'Tis cold work authorship,
     without something to puff one into fashion.... I assure you _no
     work_ is worse than _over-work_. The mind preys on itself, the
     most unwholesome food. I bragged, formerly, that I could not have
     too much time. I have a surfeit; with few years to come, the days
     are wearisome. But weariness is not eternal. Something will shine
     out to take the load off that crushes me, which is at present
     intolerable. I have killed an hour or two in this poor scrawl.
     Well; I shall write merrier anon. 'Tis the present copy of my
     countenance I send, and to complain is a little to alleviate."

He had taken a house at Enfield, but the cares of housekeeping were
found to be burdensome to Miss Lamb, and they took up their abode as
boarders in the house of a neighbour. To this circumstance he alludes
in the following extract from a letter to Wordsworth, which is the last
we shall make, and with which we shall bid farewell to our subject.
It will be found to be not the least remarkable amongst the letters
of Lamb, and contains one passage, we think, the boldest piece of
extravagance that ever humorist ventured upon with success. It just
escapes!--and, indeed, it rather takes away our breath at its boldness
than prompts to merriment.

  "_January 2, 1831._

     "And is it a year since we parted from you at the steps of
     Edmonton stage? There are not now the years that there used to
     be. The tale of the dwindled age of men, reported of successional
     mankind, is true of the same man only. We do not live a year
     in a year now. 'Tis a _punctum stans_. The seasons pass with
     indifference. Spring cheers not, nor winter heightens our gloom;
     autumn hath foregone its moralities. Let the sullen nothing
     pass. Suffice it, that after sad spirits, prolonged through many
     of its months, we have cast our skins; have taken a farewell of
     the pompous, troublesome trifle, called housekeeping, and are
     settled down into poor boarders and lodgers at next door, the
     Baucis and Baucida of dull Enfield. Here we have nothing to do
     with our victuals but to eat them; with the garden but to see it
     grow; with the tax-gatherer but to hear him knock; with the maid
     but to hear her scolded. Scot and lot, butcher, baker, are things
     unknown to us, save as spectators of the pageant. We are fed we
     know not how; quieted--confiding ravens. Yet in the self-condemned
     obliviousness, in the stagnation, some molesting yearnings of
     life, not quite killed, rise, prompting me that there was a
     London, and that I was of that old Jerusalem. In dreams I am in
     Fleet Market, but I wake and cry to sleep again. I die hard, a
     stubborn Eloisa in this detestable Paraclete. What have I gained
     by health? Intolerable dulness. What by early hours and moderate
     meals? A total blank. Oh! let no native Londoner imagine that
     health, and rest, and innocent occupation, interchange of converse
     sweet, and recreative study, can make the country anything better
     than altogether odious and detestable. _A garden was the primitive
     prison, till man, with Promethean felicity and boldness, luckily
     sinned himself out of it._"

Any further summary than what we have already given, of the literary
character of Lamb, would be only tedious. He is one who will be
generally _liked_, who with a smaller class will be greatly admired,
and who will never excite hostile criticism, unless his injudicious
friends shall elevate him to a higher pedestal than is due to him, or
than he is manifestly fit to occupy. Such is the cold and calm verdict
with which criticism must dismiss him. But those who have thoroughly
enjoyed the essays of Elia and the letters of Lamb, will feel a warmer,
a more partial affection than Criticism knows well how to express:
she becomes somewhat impatient of her own enforced gravity; she would
willingly throw away those scales with which, like Justice, we suppose,
she is symbolically supplied, and, embracing the man as he is, laugh
and be pleased with the rest of the world, without further thought of
the matter.



"Please, sir, be this note for you?" asked the waiter.

"For me--yes; it is my name."

I did not recognise the handwriting, and yet the note was from one
whose writing I had often seen. But formerly the writing was cramped,
stiff, perpendicular, (a feigned hand, though I guessed not it was
feigned;) now it was hasty, irregular, impatient--scarce a letter
formed, scarce a word that seemed finished--and yet strangely legible
withal, as the handwriting of a bold man almost always is. I opened the
note listlessly, and read--

"I have watched for you all the morning. I saw her go. Well!--I did
not throw myself under the hoofs of the horses. I write this in a
public-house, not far. Will you follow the bearer, and see once again
the outcast whom all the rest of the world will shun?"

Though I did not recognise the hand, there could be no doubt who was
the writer.

"The boy wants to know if there's an answer," said the waiter.

I nodded, took up my hat, and left the room. A ragged boy was standing
in the yard, and scarcely six words passed between us, before I was
following him through a narrow lane that faced the inn, and terminated
in a turnstile. Here the boy paused, and, making me a sign to go on,
went back his way whistling. I passed the turnstile, and found myself
in a green field, with a row of stunted willows hanging over a narrow
rill. I looked round, and saw Vivian (as I intend still to call him)
half kneeling, and seemingly intent upon some object in the grass.

My eye followed his mechanically. A young unfledged bird, that had
left the nest too soon, stood, all still and alone, on the bare short
sward--its beak open as for food, its gaze fixed on us with a wistful
stare. Methought there was something in the forlorn bird that softened
me more to the forlorner youth, of whom it seemed a type.

"Now," said Vivian, speaking half to himself, half to me, "did the bird
fall from the nest, or leave the nest at its own wild whim? The parent
does not protect it. Mind, I say not it is the parent's fault--perhaps
the fault is all with the wanderer. But, look you, though the parent is
not here, the foe is!--yonder, see!"

And the young man pointed to a large brindled cat, that, kept back from
its prey by our unwelcome neighbourhood, still remained watchful, a few
paces off, stirring its tail gently backwards and forwards, and with
that stealthy look in its round eyes, dulled by the sun--half fierce,
half frightened--which belongs to its tribe, when man comes between the
devourer and the victim.

"I do see," said I, "but a passing footstep has saved the bird!"

"Stop!" said Vivian, laying my hand on his own, and with his old bitter
smile on his lip--"stop! do you think it mercy to save the bird? What
from? and what for? From a natural enemy--from a short pang and a quick
death? Fie!--is not that better than slow starvation? or, if you take
more heed of it, than the prison-bars of a cage? You cannot restore the
nest, you cannot recall the parent. Be wiser in your mercy: leave the
bird to its gentlest fate!"

I looked hard on Vivian; the lip had lost the bitter smile. He rose and
turned away. I sought to take up the poor bird, but it did not know its
friends, and ran from me, chirping piteously--ran towards the very jaws
of the grim enemy. I was only just in time to scare away the beast,
which sprang up a tree, and glared down through the hanging boughs.
Then I followed the bird, and, as I followed, I heard, not knowing, at
first whence the sound came, a short, quick, tremulous note. Was it
near? was it far?--from the earth? in the sky? Poor parent-bird!--like
parent-love, it seemed now far and now near; now on earth, now in sky!

And at last, quick and sudden, as if born of the space, lo! the little
wings hovered over me!

The young bird halted, and I also. "Come," said I, "ye have found each
other at last--settle it between you!"

I went back to the outcast.


PISISTRATUS.--How came you to know we had stayed in the town?

VIVIAN.--Do you think I could remain where you left me? I wandered
out--wandered hither. Passing at dawn through yon streets, I saw the
ostlers loitering by the gates of the yard, overheard them talk, and so
knew you were all at the inn--all! (_He sighed heavily._)

PISISTRATUS.--Your poor father is very ill! O cousin, how could you
fling from you so much love!

VIVIAN.--Love!--his!--my father's!

PISISTRATUS.--Do you really not believe, then, that your father loved

VIVIAN.--If I had believed it, I had never left him! All the gold of
the Indies had never bribed me to leave my mother!

PISISTRATUS.--This is indeed a strange misconception of yours. If we
can remove it, all may be well yet. Need there now be any secrets
between us? (_persuasively._) Sit down, and tell me all, cousin.

After some hesitation, Vivian complied; and by the clearing of his
brow, and the very tone of his voice, I felt sure that he was no
longer seeking to disguise the truth. But, as I afterwards learned
the father's tale as well as now the son's, so, instead of repeating
Vivian's words, which--not by design, but by the twist of a mind
habitually wrong--distorted the facts, I will state what appears to me
the real case, as between the parties so unhappily opposed. Reader,
pardon me if the recital be tedious. And if thou thinkest that I bear
not hard enough on the erring hero of the story, remember that he who
recites judges as Austin's son must judge of Roland's.




It was during the war in Spain that a severe wound, and the fever which
ensued, detained Roland at the house of a Spanish widow. His hostess
had once been rich; but her fortune had been ruined in the general
calamities of the country. She had an only daughter, who assisted to
nurse and tend the wounded Englishman; and when the time approached
for Roland's departure, the frank grief of the young Ramouna betrayed
the impression that the guest had made upon her affections. Much of
gratitude, and something, it might be, of an exquisite sense of honour,
aided, in Roland's breast, the charm naturally produced by the beauty
of his young nurse, and the knightly compassion he felt for her ruined
fortunes and desolate condition.

In one of those hasty impulses common to a generous nature--and which
too often fatally vindicate the rank of Prudence amidst the tutelary
Powers of Life--Roland committed the error of marriage with a girl of
whose connexions he knew nothing, and of whose nature little more than
its warm spontaneous susceptibility. In a few days subsequent to these
rash nuptials, Roland rejoined the march of the army; nor was he able
to return to Spain till after the crowning victory of Waterloo.

Maimed by the loss of a limb, and with the scars of many a noble wound
still fresh, Roland then hastened to a home the dreams of which had
soothed the bed of pain, and now replaced the earlier visions of
renown. During his absence a son had been born to him--a son whom he
might rear to take the place he had left in his country's service; to
renew, in some future fields, a career that had failed the romance
of his own antique and chivalrous ambition. As soon as that news had
reached him, his care had been to provide an English nurse for the
infant--so that, with the first sounds of the mother's endearments, the
child might yet hear a voice from the father's land. A female relation
of Bolt's had settled in Spain, and was induced to undertake this
duty. Natural as this appointment was to a man so devotedly English,
it displeased his wild and passionate Ramouna. She had that mother's
jealousy, strongest in minds uneducated; she had also that peculiar
pride which belongs to her country-people, of every rank and condition;
the jealousy and the pride were both wounded by the sight of the
English nurse at the child's cradle.

That Roland, on regaining his Spanish hearth, should be disappointed
in his expectations of the happiness awaiting him there, was the
inevitable condition of such a marriage; since, not the less for his
military bluntness, Roland had that refinement of feeling, perhaps
over-fastidious, which belongs to all natures essentially poetic; and
as the first illusions of love died away, there could have been little
indeed congenial to his stately temper in one divided from him by an
utter absence of education, and by the strong but nameless distinctions
of national views and manners. The disappointment probably, however,
went deeper than that which usually attends an ill-assorted union;
for, instead of bringing his wife to his old tower, (an expatriation
which she would doubtless have resisted to the utmost,) he accepted,
maimed as he was, not very long after his return to Spain, the offer
of a military post under Ferdinand. The Cavalier doctrines and intense
loyalty of Roland attached him, without reflection, to the service of
a throne which the English arms had contributed to establish; while
the extreme unpopularity of the Constitutional Party in Spain, and
the stigma of irreligion fixed to it by the priests, aided to foster
Roland's belief that he was supporting a beloved king against the
professors of those revolutionary and Jacobinical doctrines, which
to him were the very atheism of politics. The experience of a few
years in the service of a bigot so contemptible as Ferdinand, whose
highest object of patriotism was the restoration of the Inquisition,
added another disappointment to those which had already embittered the
life of a man who had seen in the grand hero of Cervantes no follies
to satirise, but high virtues to imitate. Poor Quixote himself--he
came mournfully back to his La Mancha, with no other reward for his
knight-errantry than a decoration which he disdained to place beside
his simple Waterloo medal, and a grade for which he would have blushed
to resign his more modest, but more honourable English dignity.

But, still weaving hopes, the sanguine man returned to his Penates. His
child now had grown from infancy into boyhood--the child would pass
naturally into his care. Delightful occupation!--At the thought, Home
smiled again.

Now, behold the most pernicious circumstance in this ill-omened

The father of Ramouna had been one of that strange and mysterious
race which presents in Spain so many features distinct from the
characteristics of its kindred tribes in more civilised lands.
The Gitáno, or gipsy of Spain, is not the mere vagrant we see on
our commons and roadsides. Retaining, indeed, much of his lawless
principles and predatory inclinations, he lives often in towns,
exercises various callings, and not unfrequently becomes rich. A
wealthy Gitáno had married a Spanish woman;[5] Roland's wife had been
the offspring of this marriage. The Gitáno had died while Ramouna
was yet extremely young, and her childhood had been free from the
influences of her paternal kindred. But, though her mother, retaining
her own religion, had brought up Ramouna in the same faith, pure from
the godless creed of the Gitáno--and, at her husband's death, had
separated herself wholly from his tribe--still she had lost caste with
her own kin and people. And while struggling to regain it, the fortune,
which made her sole chance of success in that attempt, was swept away,
so that she had remained apart and solitary, and could bring no friends
to cheer the solitude of Ramouna during Roland's absence. But, while my
uncle was still in the service of Ferdinand, the widow died; and then
the only relatives who came round Ramouna were her father's kindred.
They had not ventured to claim affinity while her mother lived; and
they did so now, by attentions and caresses to her son. This opened
to them at once Ramouna's heart and doors. Meanwhile, the English
nurse--who, in spite of all that could render her abode odious to her,
had, from strong love to her charge, stoutly maintained her post--died,
a few weeks after Ramouna's mother, and no healthful influence remained
to counteract those baneful ones to which the heir of the honest old
Caxtons was subjected. But Roland returned home in a humour to be
pleased with all things. Joyously he clasped his wife to his breast,
and thought, with self-reproach, that he had forborne too little, and
exacted too much--he would be wiser now. Delightedly he acknowledged
the beauty, the intelligence, and manly bearing of the boy, who played
with his sword-knot, and ran off with his pistols as a prize.

[5] A Spaniard very rarely indeed marries a Gitána or female gipsy. But
occasionally (observes Mr Borrow) a wealthy Gitáno marries a Spanish

The news of the Englishman's arrival at first kept the lawless kinsfolk
from the house; but they were fond of the boy, and the boy of them, and
interviews between him and these wild comrades, if stolen, were not
less frequent. Gradually Roland's eyes became opened. As, in habitual
intercourse, the boy abandoned the reserve which awe and cunning at
first imposed, Roland was inexpressibly shocked at the bold principles
his son affected, and at his utter incapacity even to comprehend that
plain honesty and that frank honour which, to the English soldier,
seemed ideas innate and heaven-planted. Soon afterwards, Roland found
that a system of plunder was carried on in his household, and tracked
it to the connivance of the wife and the agency of the son, for the
benefit of lazy bravos and dissolute vagrants. A more patient man than
Roland might well have been exasperated--a more wary man confounded,
by this discovery. He took the natural step--perhaps insisting on it
too summarily--perhaps not allowing enough for the uncultured mind and
lively passions of his wife: he ordered her instantly to prepare to
accompany him from the place, and to give up all communication with her

A vehement refusal ensued; but Roland was not a man to give up such
a point, and at length a false submission, and a feigned repentance
soothed his resentment and obtained his pardon. They moved several
miles from the place; but where they moved, there, some at least, and
those the worst, of the baleful brood, stealthily followed. Whatever
Ramouna's earlier love for Roland had been, it had evidently long
ceased in the thorough want of sympathy between them, and in that
absence which, if it renews a strong affection, destroys an affection
already weakened. But the mother and son adored each other with all
the strength of their strong, wild natures. Even under ordinary
circumstances, the father's influence over a boy yet in childhood is
exerted in vain, if the mother lend herself to baffle it. And in this
miserable position, what chance had the blunt, stern, honest Roland
(separated from his son during the most ductile years of infancy)
against the ascendency of a mother who humoured all the faults, and
gratified all the wishes, of her darling?

In his despair, Roland let fall the threat that, if thus thwarted, it
would become his duty to withdraw his son from the mother. This threat
instantly hardened both hearts against him. The wife represented Roland
to the boy as a tyrant, as an enemy--as one who had destroyed all the
happiness they had before enjoyed in each other--as one whose severity
showed that he hated his own child; and the boy believed her. In his
own house a firm union was formed against Roland, and protected by the
cunning which is the force of the weak against the strong.

In spite of all, Roland could never forget the tenderness with which
the young nurse had watched over the wounded man, nor the love--genuine
for the hour, though not drawn from the feelings which withstand the
wear and tear of life--that lips so beautiful had pledged him in the
bygone days. These thoughts must have come perpetually between his
feelings and his judgment, to embitter still more his position--to
harass still more his heart. And if, by the strength of that sense
of duty which made the force of his character, he could have strung
himself to the fulfilment of the threat, humanity, at all events,
compelled him to delay it--his wife promised to be again a mother.
Blanche was born. How could he take the infant from the mother's
breast, or abandon the daughter to the fatal influences from which
only, by so violent an effort, he could free the son?

No wonder, poor Roland! that those deep furrows contracted thy bold
front, and thy hair grew gray before its time!

Fortunately, perhaps, for all parties, Roland's wife died while Blanche
was still an infant. She was taken ill of a fever--she died delirious,
clasping her boy to her breast, and praying the saints to protect him
from his cruel father. How often that deathbed haunted the son, and
justified his belief that there was no parent's love in the heart
which was now his sole shelter from the world, and the "pelting of its
pitiless rain." Again I say, poor Roland!--for I know that, in that
harsh, unloving disrupture of such solemn ties, thy large generous
heart forgot its wrongs; again didst thou see tender eyes bending over
the wounded stranger--again hear low murmurs breathe the warm weakness
which the women of the south deem it no shame to own. And now did it
all end in those ravings of hate, and in that glazing gaze of terror!



Roland removed to France, and fixed his abode in the environs of Paris.
He placed Blanche at a convent in the immediate neighbourhood, going
to see her daily, and gave himself up to the education of his son. The
boy was apt to learn; but to unlearn was here the arduous task--and
for that task it would have needed either the passionless experience,
the exquisite forbearance of a practised teacher, or the love, and
confidence, and yielding heart of a believing pupil. Roland felt that
he was not the man to be the teacher, and that his son's heart remained
obstinately closed to him. He looked round, and found at the other
side of Paris what seemed a suitable preceptor--a young Frenchman of
some distinction in letters, more especially in science, with all
a Frenchman's eloquence of talk, full of high-sounding sentiments,
that pleased the romantic enthusiasm of the Captain; so Roland, with
sanguine hopes, confided his son to this man's care. The boy's natural
quickness mastered readily all that pleased his taste; he learned to
speak and write French with rare felicity and precision. His tenacious
memory, and those flexile organs in which the talent for languages
is placed, served, with the help of an English master, to revive his
earlier knowledge of his father's tongue, and to enable him to speak
it with fluent correctness--though there was always in his accent
something which had struck me as strange; but, not suspecting it to
be foreign, I had thought it a theatrical affectation. He did not go
far into science--little farther, perhaps, than a smattering of French
mathematics; but he acquired a remarkable facility and promptitude in
calculation. He devoured eagerly the light reading thrown in his way,
and picked up thence that kind of knowledge which novels and plays
afford, for good or evil, according as the novel or the play elevates
the understanding and ennobles the passions, or merely corrupts the
fancy, and lowers the standard of human nature. But of all that Roland
desired him to be taught, the son remained as ignorant as before. Among
the other misfortunes of this ominous marriage, Roland's wife had
possessed all the superstitions of a Roman Catholic Spaniard, and with
these the boy had unconsciously intermingled doctrines far more dreary,
imbibed from the dark paganism of the Gitános.

Roland had sought a Protestant for his son's tutor. The preceptor was
nominally a Protestant--a biting derider of all superstitions indeed!
He was such a Protestant as some defender of Voltaire's religion says
the Great Wit would have been had he lived in a Protestant country. The
Frenchman laughed the boy out of his superstitions, to leave behind
them the sneering scepticism of the _Encyclopédie_, without those
redeeming ethics on which all sects of philosophy are agreed, but
which, unhappily, it requires a philosopher to comprehend.

This preceptor was doubtless not aware of the mischief he was doing;
and for the rest, he taught his pupil after his own system--a mild and
plausible one, very much like the system we at home are recommended
to adopt--"Teach the understanding, all else will follow;" "Learn
to read _something_, and it will all come right;" "Follow the bias
of the pupil's mind; thus you develop genius, not thwart it." Mind,
Understanding, Genius--fine things! But, to educate the whole man,
you must educate something more than these. Not for want of mind,
understanding, genius, have Borgias and Neros left their names as
monuments of horror to mankind. Where, in all this teaching, was one
lesson to warm the heart and guide the soul?

O mother mine! that the boy had stood by thy knee, and heard from thy
lips, why life was given us, in what life shall end, and how heaven
stands open to us night and day! O father mine! that thou hadst been
his preceptor, not in book-learning, but the heart's simple wisdom! Oh!
that he had learned from thee, in parables closed with practice, the
happiness of self-sacrifice, and how "good deeds should repair the bad!"

It was the misfortune of this boy, with his daring and his beauty, that
there was in his exterior and his manner that which attracted indulgent
interest, and a sort of compassionate admiration. The Frenchman liked
him--believed his story--thought him ill-treated by that hard-visaged
English soldier. All English people were so disagreeable, particularly
English soldiers; and the Captain once mortally offended the Frenchman,
by calling Vilainton _un grand homme_, and denying, with brutal
indignation, that the English had poisoned Napoleon! So, instead of
teaching the son to love and revere his father, the Frenchman shrugged
his shoulders when the boy broke into some unfilial complaint, and
at most said, "_Mais, cher enfant, ton père est Anglais--c'est tout
dire_." Meanwhile, as the child sprang rapidly into precocious youth,
he was permitted a liberty in his hours of leisure, of which he availed
himself with all the zest of his early habits and adventurous temper.
He formed acquaintances among the loose young haunters of cafés,
and spendthrifts of that capital--the wits! He became an excellent
swordsman and pistol-shot--adroit in all games in which skill helps
fortune. He learned betimes to furnish himself with money, by the cards
and the billiard-balls.

But, delighted with the easy home he had obtained, he took care to
school his features, and smooth his manner, in his father's visits--to
make the most of what he had learned of less ignoble knowledge, and,
with his characteristic imitativeness, to cite the finest sentiments he
had found in his plays and novels. What father is not credulous? Roland
believed, and wept tears of joy. And now he thought the time was come
to take back the boy--to return with a worthy heir to the old Tower.
He thanked and blest the tutor--he took the son. But, under pretence
that he had yet some things to master, whether in book knowledge or
manly accomplishments, the youth begged his father, at all events,
not yet to return to England--to let him attend his tutor daily for
some months. Roland consented, moved from his old quarters, and took
a lodging for both in the same suburb as that in which the teacher
resided. But soon, when they were under one roof, the boy's habitual
tastes, and his repugnance to all paternal authority, were betrayed.
To do my unhappy cousin justice, (such as that justice is,) though
he had the cunning for a short disguise, he had not the hypocrisy to
maintain systematic deceit. He could play a part for a while, from an
exulting joy in his own address; but he could not wear a mask with the
patience of cold-blooded dissimulation. Why enter into painful details,
so easily divined by the intelligent reader? The faults of the son
were precisely those to which Roland would be least indulgent. To the
ordinary scrapes of high-spirited boyhood, no father, I am sure, would
have been more lenient; but to anything that seemed low, petty--that
grated on him as gentleman and soldier--there, not for worlds would
I have braved the darkness of his frown, and the woe that spoke like
scorn in his voice. And when, after all warning and prohibition were
in vain, Roland found his son, in the middle of the night, in a resort
of gamblers and sharpers, carrying all before him with his cue, in the
full flush of triumph, and a great heap of five-franc pieces before
him--you may conceive with what wrath the proud, hasty, passionate man,
drove out, cane in hand, the obscene associates, flinging after them
the son's ill-gotten gains; and with what resentful humiliation the
son was compelled to follow the father home. Then Roland took the boy
to England, but not to the old Tower; that hearth of his ancestors was
still too sacred for the footsteps of the vagrant heir!



And then, vainly grasping at every argument his blunt sense could
suggest--then talked Roland much and grandly of the duties men
owed--even if they threw off all love to their father--still to their
father's name; and then his pride, always so lively, grew irritable and
harsh, and seemed, no doubt, to the perverted ears of the son, unlovely
and unloving. And that pride, without serving one purpose of good, did
yet more mischief; for the youth caught the disease, but in a wrong
way. And he said to himself,--

"Ho! then my father is a great man, with all these ancestors and big
words! And he has lands and a castle--and yet how miserably we live,
and how he stints me! But if he has cause for pride in all these dead
men, why, so have I. And are these lodgings, these appurtenances, fit
for the 'gentleman' he says I am?"

Even in England, the gipsy blood broke out as before; and the
youth found vagrant associates, heaven knows how or where; and
strange-looking forms, gaudily shabby, and disreputably smart, were
seen lurking in the corner of the street, or peering in at the window,
slinking off if they saw Roland--and Roland could not stoop to be a
spy. And the son's heart grew harder and harder against his father,
and his father's face now never smiled on him. Then bills came in,
and duns knocked at the door. Bills and duns to a man who shrunk from
the thought of a debt, as an ermine from a spot on its hide! And the
son's short answer to remonstrance was,--"Am I not a gentleman?--these
are the things gentlemen require." Then perhaps Roland remembered the
experiment of his French friend, and left his bureau unlocked, and
said, "Ruin me if you will, but no debts. There is money in those
drawers--they are unlocked." That trust would for ever have cured
of extravagance a youth with a high and delicate sense of honour:
the pupil of the Gitános did not understand the trust; he thought it
conveyed a natural though ungracious permission to take out what he
wanted--and he took! To Roland this seemed a theft, and a theft of the
coarsest kind: but when he so said, the son started indignant, and saw
in that which had been so touching an appeal to his honour, but a trap
to decoy him into disgrace. In short, neither could understand the
other. Roland forbade his son to stir from the house; and the young man
the same night let himself out, and stole forth into the wide world, to
enjoy or defy it in his own wild way.

It would be tedious to follow him through his various adventures and
experiments on fortune, (even if I knew them all, which I do not.) And
now, putting altogether aside his right name, which he had voluntarily
abandoned, and not embarrassing the reader with the earlier aliases
assumed, I shall give to my unfortunate kinsman the name by which I
first knew him, and continue to do so, until--heaven grant the time
may come!--having first redeemed, he may reclaim, his own. It was in
joining a set of strolling players that Vivian became acquainted with
Peacock; and that worthy, who had many strings to his bow, soon grew
aware of Vivian's extraordinary skill with the cue, and saw therein
a better mode of making their joint fortunes than the boards of an
itinerant Thespis furnished to either. Vivian listened to him, and
it was while their intimacy was most fresh that I met them on the
highroad. That chance meeting produced (if I may be allowed to believe
his assurance) a strong, and, for the moment, a salutary effect upon
Vivian. The comparative innocence and freshness of a boy's mind were
new to him; the elastic healthful spirits with which those gifts were
accompanied startled him, by the contrast to his own forced gaiety and
secret gloom. And this boy was his own cousin!

Coming afterwards to London, he adventured inquiry at the hotel in
the Strand at which I had given my address; learned where we were;
and, passing one night in the street, saw my uncle at the window--to
recognise and to fly from him. Having then some money at his disposal,
he broke off abruptly from the set into which he had been thrown. He
resolved to return to France--he would try for a more respectable mode
of existence. He had not found happiness in that liberty he had won,
nor room for the ambition that began to gnaw him, in those pursuits
from which his father had vainly warned him. His most reputable friend
was his old tutor; he would go to him. He went; but the tutor was now
married, and was himself a father, and that made a wonderful alteration
in his practical ethics. It was no longer moral to aid the son in
rebellion to his father. Vivian evinced his usual sarcastic haughtiness
at the reception he met, and was requested civilly to leave the house.
Then again he flung himself on his wits at Paris. But there were plenty
of wits there sharper than his own. He got into some quarrel with the
police--not indeed for any dishonest practices of his own, but from an
unwary acquaintance with others less scrupulous, and deemed it prudent
to quit France. Thus had I met him again, forlorn and ragged, in the
streets of London.

Meanwhile Roland, after the first vain search, had yielded to the
indignation and disgust that had long rankled within him. His son had
thrown off his authority, because it preserved him from dishonour. His
ideas of discipline were stern, and patience had been wellnigh crushed
out of his heart. He thought he could bear to resign his son to his
fate--to disown him, and to say, "I have no more a son." It was in this
mood that he had first visited our house. But when, on that memorable
night in which he had narrated to his thrilling listeners the dark
tale of a fellow-sufferer's woe and crime--betraying in the tale, to
my father's quick sympathy, his own sorrow and passion--it did not
need much of his gentler brother's subtle art to learn or guess the
whole, nor much of Austin's mild persuasion to convince Roland that he
had not yet exhausted all efforts to track the wanderer and reclaim
the erring child. Then he had gone to London--then he had sought every
spot which the outcast would probably haunt--then had he saved and
pinched from his own necessities, to have wherewithal to enter theatres
and gaming-houses, and fee the agencies of police; then had he seen
the form for which he had watched and pined, in the street below
his window, and cried in a joyous delusion, "He repents!" One day a
letter reached my uncle, through his banker's, from the French tutor,
(who knew of no other means of tracing Roland but through the house
by which his salary had been paid,) informing him of his son's visit.
Roland started instantly for Paris. Arriving there, he could only learn
of his son through the police, and from them only learn that he had
been seen in the company of accomplished swindlers, who were already
in the hands of justice; but that the youth himself, whom there was
nothing to criminate, had been suffered to quit Paris, and had taken,
it was supposed, the road to England. Then at last the poor Captain's
stout heart gave way. His son the companion of swindlers!--could he be
sure that he was not their accomplice? If not yet, how small the step
between companionship and participation! He took the child left him
still from the convent, returned to England, and arrived there to be
seized with fever and delirium--apparently on the same day (or a day
before that on which) the son had dropped shelterless and penniless on
the stones of London.



"But," said Vivian, pursuing his tale, "but when you came to my aid,
not knowing me--when you relieved me--when from your own lips, for
the first time, I heard words that praised me, and for qualities that
implied I might yet be 'worth much.'--Ah! (he added mournfully,) I
remember the very words--a new light broke upon me--struggling and dim,
but light still. The ambition with which I had sought the truckling
Frenchman revived, and took worthier and more definite form. I would
lift myself above the mire, make a name, rise in life!"

Vivian's head drooped, but he raised it quickly, and laughed--his
low mocking laugh. What follows of his tale may be told succinctly.
Retaining his bitter feelings towards his father, he resolved to
continue his incognito--he gave himself a name likely to mislead
conjecture, if I conversed of him to my family, since he knew that
Roland was aware that a Colonel Vivian had been afflicted by a runaway
son--and, indeed, the talk upon that subject had first put the notion
of flight into his own head. He caught at the idea of becoming known to
Trevanion; but he saw reasons to forbid his being indebted to me for
the introduction--to forbid my knowing where he was: sooner or later,
that knowledge could scarcely fail to end in the discovery of his real
name. Fortunately, as he deemed, for the plans he began to meditate,
we were all leaving London--he should have the stage to himself. And
then boldly he resolved upon what he regarded as the master scheme of
life--viz., to obtain a small pecuniary independence, and to emancipate
himself formally and entirely from his father's control. Aware of poor
Roland's chivalrous reverence for his name, firmly persuaded that
Roland had no love for the son, but only the dread that the son might
disgrace him, he determined to avail himself of his father's prejudices
in order to effect his purpose.

He wrote a short letter to Roland, (that letter which had given the
poor man so sanguine a joy--that letter after reading which he had said
to Blanche, "Pray for me,") stating simply, that he wished to see his
father; and naming a tavern in the city for the meeting.

The interview took place. And when Roland, love and forgiveness in
his heart--but (who shall blame him?) dignity on his brow, and rebuke
in his eye--approached, ready at a word to fling himself on the boy's
breast, Vivian, seeing only the outer signs, and interpreting them by
his own sentiments--recoiled; folded his arms on his bosom, and said
coldly, "Spare me reproach, sir--it is unavailing. I seek you only to
propose that you shall save your name, and resign your son."

Then, intent perhaps but to gain his object, the unhappy youth
declared his fixed determination never to live with his father, never
to acquiesce in his authority, resolutely to pursue his own career,
whatever that career might be, explaining none of the circumstances
that appeared most in his disfavour--rather, perhaps, thinking that,
the worse his father judged of him, the more chance he had to achieve
his purpose. "All I ask of you," he said, "is this: Give me the least
you can afford to preserve me from the temptation to rob, or the
necessity to starve; and I, in my turn, promise never to molest you in
life--never to degrade you in my death; whatever my misdeeds, they will
never reflect on yourself, for you shall never recognise the misdoer!
The name you prize so highly shall be spared." Sickened and revolted,
Roland attempted no argument--there was that in the son's cold manner
which shut out hope, and against which his pride rose indignant. A
meeker man might have remonstrated, implored, and wept--that was not in
Roland's nature. He had but the choice of three evils, to say to his
son: "Fool, I command thee to follow me;" or say, "Wretch, since thou
wouldst cast me off as a stranger, as a stranger I say to thee--Go,
starve or rob, as thou wilt!" or lastly, to bow his proud head, stunned
by the blow, and say, "Thou refusest me the obedience of the son, thou
demandest to be as the dead to me. I can control thee not from vice,
I can guide thee not to virtue. Thou wouldst sell me the name I have
inherited stainless, and have as stainless borne. Be it so!--Name thy

And something like this last was the father's choice.

He listened, and was long silent; and then he said slowly, "Pause
before you decide."

"I have paused long--my decision is made! this is the last time we
meet. I see before me now the way to fortune, fairly, honourably; you
can aid me in it only in the way I have said. Reject me now, and the
option may never come again to either!"

And then Roland said to himself, "I have spared and saved for this son;
what care I for aught else than enough to live without debt, creep
into a corner, and await the grave! And the more I can give, why the
better chance that he will abjure the vile associate and the desperate
course." And so, out of that small income, Roland surrendered to the
rebel child more than the half.

Vivian was not aware of his father's fortune--he did not suppose the
sum of two hundred pounds a-year was an allowance so disproportioned
to Roland's means--yet when it was named, even he was struck by the
generosity of one to whom he himself had given the right to say, "I
take thee at thy word; 'just enough not to starve!'"

But then that hateful cynicism which, caught from bad men and evil
books, he called "knowledge of the world," made him think, "it is not
for me, it is only for his name;" and he said aloud, "I accept these
terms, sir; here is the address of a solicitor with whom yours can
settle them. Farewell for ever."

At those last words Roland started, and stretched out his arms vaguely
like a blind man. But Vivian had already thrown open the window, (the
room was on the ground floor) and sprang upon the sill. "Farewell," he
repeated: "tell the world I am dead."

He leapt into the street, and the father drew in the outstretched arms,
smote his heart, and said--"Well, then, my task in the world of man is
over! I will back to the old ruin--the wreck to the wrecks--and the
sight of tombs I have at least rescued from dishonour shall comfort me
for all!"



Vivian's schemes thus prospered. He had an income that permitted him
the outward appearances of a gentleman--an independence modest indeed,
but independence still. We were all gone from London. One letter to
me, with the postmark of the town near which Colonel Vivian lived,
sufficed to confirm my belief in his parentage, and in his return to
his friends. He then presented himself to Trevanion as the young man
whose pen I had employed in the member's service; and knowing that
I had never mentioned his name to Trevanion--for without Vivian's
permission I should not, considering his apparent trust in me, have
deemed myself authorised to do so--he took that of Gower, which he
selected haphazard from an old Court Guide, as having the advantage in
common with most names borne by the higher nobility of England, viz.,
of not being confined, as the ancient names of untitled gentlemen
usually are, to the members of a single family. And when, with his
usual adaptability and suppleness, he had contrived to lay aside, or
smooth over, whatever in his manners would be calculated to displease
Trevanion, and had succeeded in exciting the interest which that
generous statesman always conceived for ability, he owned candidly, one
day, in the presence of Lady Ellinor--for his experience had taught him
the comparative ease with which the sympathy of woman is enlisted in
anything that appeals to the imagination, or seems out of the ordinary
beat of life--that he had reasons for concealing his connexions for
the present--that he had cause to believe I suspected what they were,
and, from mistaken regard for his welfare, might acquaint his relations
with his whereabouts. He therefore begged Trevanion, if the latter had
occasion to write to me, not to mention him. This promise Trevanion
gave, though reluctantly; for the confidence volunteered to him seemed
to exact the promise; but as he detested mystery of all kinds, the
avowal might have been fatal to any farther acquaintance; and under
auspices so doubtful, there would have been no chance of his obtaining
that intimacy in Trevanion's house which he desired to establish, but
for an accident which at once opened that house to him almost as a home.

Vivian had always treasured a lock of his mother's hair, cut off on her
deathbed; and when he was at his French tutor's, his first pocket-money
had been devoted to the purchase of a locket, on which he had caused to
be inscribed his own name and his mother's. Through all his wanderings
he had worn this relic; and in the direst pangs of want, no hunger had
been keen enough to induce him to part with it. Now, one morning the
ribbon that suspended the locket gave way, and his eye resting on the
names inscribed on the gold, he thought, in his own vague sense of
right, imperfect as it was, that his compact with his father obliged
him to have the names erased. He took it to a jeweller in Piccadilly
for that purpose, and gave the requisite order, not taking notice of
a lady in the further part of the shop. The locket was still on the
counter after Vivian had left, when the lady coming forward observed
it, and saw the names on the surface. She had been struck by the
peculiar tone of the voice, which she had heard before; and that very
day Mr Gower received a note from Lady Ellinor Trevanion, requesting
to see him. Much wondering, he went. Presenting him with the locket,
she said smiling, "There is only one gentleman in the world who calls
himself _De_ Caxton, unless it be his son. Ah! I see now why you wished
to conceal yourself from my friend Pisistratus. But how is this? can
you have any difference with your father? Confide in me, or it is my
duty to write to him."

Even Vivian's powers of dissimulation abandoned him, thus taken by
surprise. He saw no alternative but to trust Lady Ellinor with his
secret, and implore her to respect it. And then he spoke bitterly
of his father's dislike to him, and his own resolution to prove the
injustice of that dislike by the position he would himself establish
in the world. At present, his father believed him dead, and perhaps
was not ill-pleased to think so. He would not dispel that belief till
he could redeem any boyish errors, and force his family to be proud to
acknowledge him.

Though Lady Ellinor was slow to believe that Roland could dislike his
son, she could yet readily believe that he was harsh and choleric, with
a soldier's high notions of discipline; the young man's story moved
her, his determination pleased her own high spirit;--always with a
touch of romance in her, and always sympathising with each desire of
ambition--she entered into Vivian's aspirations with an alacrity that
surprised himself. She was charmed with the idea of ministering to the
son's fortunes, and ultimately reconciling him to the father,--through
her own agency;--it would atone for any fault of which Roland could
accuse herself in the old time.

She undertook to impart the secret to Trevanion, for she would have no
secrets from him, and to secure his acquiescence in its concealment
from all others.

And here I must a little digress from the chronological course of my
explanatory narrative, to inform the reader that, when Lady Ellinor
had her interview with Roland, she had been repelled by the sternness
of his manner from divulging Vivian's secret. But on her first
attempt to sound or conciliate him, she had begun with some eulogies
on Trevanion's new friend and assistant, Mr Gower, and had awakened
Roland's suspicions of that person's identity with his son--suspicions
which had given him a terrible interest in our joint deliverance of
Miss Trevanion. But so heroically had the poor soldier sought to resist
his own fears, that on the way he shrank to put to me the questions
that might paralyse the energies which, whatever the answer, were then
so much needed. "For," said he to my father, "I felt the blood surging
to my temples; and if I had said to Pisistratus, 'Describe this man,'
and by his description I had recognised my son, and dreaded lest I
might be too late to arrest him from so treacherous a crime, my brain
would have given way;--and so I did not dare!"

I return to the thread of my story. From the time that Vivian confided
in Lady Ellinor, the way was cleared to his most ambitious hopes; and
though his acquisitions were not sufficiently scholastic and various to
permit Trevanion to select him as a secretary, yet, short of sleeping
at the house, he was little less intimate there than I had been.

Among Vivian's schemes of advancement, that of winning the hand and
heart of the great heiress had not been one of the least sanguine.
This hope was annulled when, not long after his intimacy at her
father's house, she became engaged to young Lord Castleton. But he
could not see Miss Trevanion with impunity--(alas! who, with a heart
yet free, could be insensible to attractions so winning?) He permitted
the love--such love as his wild, half-educated, half-savage nature
acknowledged--to creep into his soul--to master it; but he felt no
hope, cherished no scheme while the young lord lived. With the death
of her betrothed, Fanny was free; _then_ he began to hope--not yet to
scheme. Accidentally he encountered Peacock. Partly from the levity
that accompanied a false good-nature that was constitutional with
him, partly from a vague idea that the man might be useful, Vivian
established his quondam associate in the service of Trevanion. Peacock
soon gained the secret of Vivian's love for Fanny, and, dazzled by the
advantages that a marriage with Miss Trevanion would confer on his
patron, and might reflect on himself, and delighted at an occasion to
exercise his dramatic accomplishments on the stage of real life, he
soon practised the lesson that the theatres had taught him--viz: to
make a sub-intrigue between maid and valet serve the schemes and insure
the success of the lover. If Vivian had some opportunities to imply his
admiration, Miss Trevanion gave him none to plead his cause. But the
softness of her nature, and that graceful kindness which surrounded
her like an atmosphere, emanating unconsciously from a girl's harmless
desire to please, tended to deceive him. His own personal gifts were
so rare, and, in his wandering life, the effect they had produced
had so increased his reliance on them, that he thought he wanted but
the fair opportunity to woo in order to win. In this state of mental
intoxication, Trevanion, having provided for his Scotch secretary, took
him to Lord N----'s. His hostess was one of those middle-aged ladies of
fashion, who like to patronise and bring forward young men, accepting
gratitude for condescension, as a homage to beauty. She was struck by
Vivian's exterior, and that 'picturesque' in look and in manner which
belonged to him. Naturally garrulous and indiscreet, she was unreserved
to a pupil whom she conceived the whim to make '_au fait_ to society.'
Thus she talked to him, among other topics in fashion, of Miss
Trevanion, and expressed her belief that the present Lord Castleton had
always admired her; but it was only on his accession to the marquisate
that he had made up his mind to marry, or, from his knowledge of Lady
Ellinor's ambition, thought that the Marquis of Castleton might achieve
the prize which would have been refused to Sir Sedley Beaudesert. Then,
to corroborate the predictions she hazarded, she repeated, perhaps
with exaggeration, some passages from Lord Castleton's replies to her
own suggestions on the subject. Vivian's alarm became fatally excited;
unregulated passions easily obscured a reason so long perverted, and a
conscience so habitually dulled. There is an instinct in all intense
affection, (whether it be corrupt or pure,) that usually makes its
jealousy prophetic. Thus, from the first, out of all the brilliant
idlers round Fanny Trevanion, my jealousy had pre-eminently fastened on
Sir Sedley Beaudesert, though, to all seeming, without a cause. From
the same instinct, Vivian had conceived the same vague jealousy--a
jealousy, in his instance, coupled with a deep dislike to his supposed
rival, who had wounded his self-love. For the marquis, though to be
haughty or ill-bred was impossible to the blandness of his nature,
had never shown to Vivian the genial courtesies he had lavished upon
me, and kept politely aloof from his acquaintance--while Vivian's
personal vanity had been wounded by that drawing-room effect, which the
proverbial winner of all hearts produced without an effort--an effect
that threw into the shade the youth, and the beauty (more striking, but
infinitely less prepossessing) of the adventurous rival. Thus animosity
to Lord Castleton conspired with Vivian's passion for Fanny, to rouse
all that was worst by nature and by rearing, in this audacious and
turbulent spirit.

His confidant, Peacock, suggested from his stage experience the
outlines of a plot, to which Vivian's astuter intellect instantly gave
tangibility and colouring. Peacock had already found Miss Trevanion's
waiting-woman ripe for any measure that might secure himself as her
husband, and a provision for life as a reward. Two or three letters
between them settled the preliminary engagements. A friend of the
ex-comedian's had lately taken an inn on the North road, and might be
relied upon. At that inn it was settled that Vivian should meet Miss
Trevanion, whom Peacock, by the aid of the abigail, engaged to lure
there. The sole difficulty that then remained would, to most men, have
seemed the greatest--viz., the consent of Miss Trevanion to a Scotch
marriage. But Vivian hoped all things from his own eloquence, art, and
passion; and by an inconsistency, however strange, still not unnatural
in the twists of so crooked an intellect, he thought that, by insisting
on the intention of her parents to sacrifice her youth to the very man
of whose attractions he was most jealous--by the picture of disparity
of years, by the caricature of his rival's foibles and frivolities,
by the commonplaces of "beauty bartered for ambition," &c., he might
enlist her fears of the alternative on the side of the choice urged
upon her. The plan proceeded, the time came: Peacock pretended the
excuse of a sick relation to leave Trevanion; and Vivian, a day before,
on pretence of visiting the picturesque scenes in the neighbourhood,
obtained leave of absence. Thus the plot went on to its catastrophe.

"And I need not ask," said I, trying in vain to conceal my indignation,
"how Miss Trevanion received your monstrous proposition!"

Vivian's pale cheek grew paler, but he made no reply.

"And if we had not arrived, what would you have done? Oh, dare you look
into the gulf of infamy you have escaped!"

"I cannot, and I will not bear this!" exclaimed Vivian, starting
up. "I have laid my heart bare before you, and it is ungenerous and
unmanly thus to press upon its wounds. You can moralise, you can speak
coldly--but I--I loved!"

"And do you think," I burst forth--"do you think that I did not love
too!--love longer than you have done; better than you have done; gone
through sharper struggles, darker days, more sleepless nights than
you,--and yet--"

Vivian caught hold of me.

"Hush!" he cried; "is this indeed true! I thought you might have had
some faint and fleeting fancy for Miss Trevanion, but that you curbed
and conquered it at once. Oh no; it was impossible to have loved
really, and to have surrendered all chance as you did!--have left the
house, have fled from her presence! No--no, that was not love!"

"It _was_ love! and I pray Heaven to grant that, one day, you may
know how little your affection sprang from those feelings which make
true love sublime as honour, and meek as is religion! Oh cousin,
cousin!--with those rare gifts, what you might have been! what, if
you will pass through repentance, and cling to atonement--what, I
dare hope, you may yet be! Talk not now of your love; I talk not of
mine! Love is a thing gone from the lives of both. Go back to earlier
thoughts, to heavier wrongs!--your father--that noble heart which you
have so wantonly lacerated, that much-enduring love which you have so
little comprehended!"

Then with all the warmth of emotion I hurried on--showed him the true
nature of honour and of Roland (for the names were one!)--showed him
the watch, the hope, the manly anguish I had witnessed, and wept--I,
not his son--to see; showed him the poverty and privation to which
the father, even at the last, had condemned himself, so that the son
might have no excuse for the sins that Want whispers to the weak.
This, and much more, and I suppose with the pathos that belongs to
all earnestness, I enforced, sentence after sentence--yielding to no
interruption, over-mastering all dissent; driving in the truth, nail
after nail, as it were, into the obdurate heart, that I constrained and
grappled to. And at last, the dark, bitter, cynical nature gave way,
and the young man fell sobbing at my feet, and cried aloud, "Spare me,
spare me!--I see it all now! Wretch that I have been!"


On leaving Vivian, I did not presume to promise him Roland's immediate
pardon. I did not urge him to attempt to see his father. I felt the
time was not come for either pardon or interview. I contented myself
with the victory I had already gained. I judged it right that thought,
solitude, and suffering should imprint more deeply the lesson, and
prepare the way to the steadfast resolution of reform. I left him
seated by the stream, and with the promise to inform him at the small
hostelry, where he took up his lodging, how Roland struggled through
his illness.

On returning to the inn, I was uneasy to see how long a time had
elapsed since I had left my uncle. But on coming into his room, to
my surprise and relief I found him up and dressed, and with a serene
though fatigued expression of countenance. He asked me no questions
where I had been--perhaps from sympathy with my feelings in parting
with Miss Trevanion--perhaps from conjecture that the indulgence of
those feelings had not wholly engrossed my time.

But he said simply, "I think I understood from you that you had sent
for Austin--is it so?"

"Yes, sir; but I named * * * * *, as the nearest point to the Tower,
for the place of meeting."

"Then let us go hence forthwith--nay, I shall be better for the change.
And here, there must be curiosity, conjecture--torture!" said he,
locking his hands tightly together. "Order the horses at once!"

I left the room, accordingly; and while they were getting ready the
horses, I ran to the place where I had left Vivian. He was still there,
in the same attitude, covering his face with his hands, as if to
shut out the sun. I told him hastily of Roland's improvement, of our
approaching departure, and asked him an address in London at which I
could find him. He gave me as his direction the same lodging at which I
had so often visited him. "If there be no vacancy there for me," said
he, "I shall leave word where I am to be found. But I would gladly be
where I was, before--" He did not finish the sentence. I pressed his
hand and left him.


Some days have elapsed; we are in London, my father with us; and Roland
has permitted Austin to tell me his tale, and received through Austin
all that Vivian's narrative to me suggested, whether in extenuation
of the past, or in hope of redemption in the future. And Austin has
inexpressibly soothed his brother. And Roland's ordinary roughness has
gone, and his looks are meek, and his voice low. But he talks little,
and smiles never. He asks me no questions; does not to _me_ name his
son, nor recur to the voyage to Australia, nor ask 'why it is put off,'
nor interest himself as before in preparations for it--he has no heart
for anything.

The voyage _is_ put off till the next vessel sails, and I have
seen Vivian twice or thrice, and the result of the interviews has
disappointed and depressed me. It seems to me that much of the previous
effect I had produced is already obliterated. At the very sight of
the great Babel--the evidence of the ease, the luxury, the wealth,
the pomp, the strife, the penury, the famine, and the rags, which the
focus of civilisation, in the disparities of old societies, inevitably
gathers together--the fierce combative disposition seemed to awaken
again; the perverted ambition, the hostility to the world; the wrath,
the scorn; the war with man, and the rebellious murmur against Heaven.
There was still the one redeeming point of repentance for his wrongs to
his father--his heart was still softened there; and, attendant on that
softness, I hailed a principle more like that of honour than I had yet
recognised in Vivian. He cancelled the agreement which had assured him
of a provision at the cost of his father's comforts. "At least, there,"
he said, "I will injure him no more!"

But while, on this point, repentance seemed genuine, it was not so
with regard to his conduct towards Miss Trevanion. His gipsy nurture,
his loose associates, his extravagant French romances, his theatrical
mode of looking upon love intrigues and stage plots, seemed all to rise
between his intelligence and the due sense of the fraud and treachery
he had practised. He seemed to feel more shame at the exposure than at
the guilt; more despair at the failure of success than gratitude at
escape from crime. In a word, the nature of a whole life was not to be
remodelled at once--at least by an artificer so unskilled as I.

After one of these interviews, I stole into the room where Austin sat
with Roland, and, watching a seasonable moment when Roland, shaking off
a reverie, opened his Bible, and sat down to it, with each muscle in
his face set, as I had seen it before, into iron resolution, I beckoned
my father from the room.

PISISTRATUS.--I have again seen my cousin. I cannot make the way I
wish. My dear father, you must see him.

MR CAXTON.--I!--yes, assuredly, if I can be of any service. But will he
listen to me?

PISISTRATUS.--I think so. A young man will often respect in his elder,
what he will resent as a presumption in his contemporary.

MR CAXTON.--It maybe so: (_then, more thoughtfully,_) but you describe
this strange boy's mind as a wreck!--in what part of the mouldering
timbers can I fix the grappling-hook? Here, it seems that most of the
supports on which we can best rely, when we would save another, fail
us. Religion, honour, the associations of childhood, the bonds of
home, filial obedience--even the intelligence of self-interest, in the
philosophical sense of the word. And I, too!--a mere book-man! My dear
son!--I despair!

PISISTRATUS.--No, you do not despair--no, you must succeed; for, if you
do not, what is to become of Uncle Roland? Do you not see his heart is
fast breaking?

MR CAXTON.--Get me my hat; I will go. I will save this Ishmael--I will
not leave him till he is saved!

PISISTRATUS (_some minutes after, as they are walking towards Vivian's
lodgings._)--You ask me what support you are to cling to! A strong and
a good one, sir.

MR CAXTON.--Ay, what is that?

PISISTRATUS.--Affection! There is a nature capable of strong affection
at the core of this wild heart! He could love his mother; tears gush to
his eyes at her name--he would have starved rather than part with the
memorial of that love. It was his belief in his father's indifference
or dislike that hardened and embruted him--it is only when he hears how
that father loved him, that I now melt his pride and curb his passions.
You have affection to deal with!--do you despair now?

My father turned on me those eyes so inexpressibly benign and mild, and
replied softly, "No!"

We reached the house; and my father said, as we knocked at the door,
"If he is at home, leave me. This is a hard study to which you have set
me; I must work at it alone." Vivian was at home, and the door closed
on his visitor. My father stayed some hours.

On returning home, to my great surprise I found Trevanion with my
uncle. He had found us out--no easy matter, I should think. But a good
impulse in Trevanion was not of that feeble kind which turns home at
the sight of a difficulty. He had come to London on purpose to see and
to thank us.

I did not think there had been so much of delicacy--of what I may
call the "beauty of kindness"--in a man whom incessant business had
rendered ordinarily blunt and abrupt. I hardly recognised the impatient
Trevanion in the soothing, tender, subtle respect that rather implied
than spoke gratitude, and sought to insinuate what he owed to the
unhappy father, without touching on his wrongs from the son. But of
this kindness--which showed how Trevanion's high nature of gentleman
raised him aloof from that coarseness of thought which those absorbed
wholly in practical affairs often contract--of this kindness, so noble
and so touching, Roland seemed scarcely aware. He sat by the embers of
the neglected fire, his hands grasping the arms of his elbow-chair,
his head drooping on his bosom; and only by a deep hectic flush on
his dark cheek could you have seen that he distinguished between an
ordinary visitor and the man whose child he had helped to save. This
minister of state--this high member of the elect, at whose gift are
places, peerages, gold sticks, and ribbons--has nothing at his command
for the bruised spirit of the half-pay soldier. Before that poverty,
that grief, and that pride, the King's Counsellor was powerless. Only
when Trevanion rose to depart, something like a sense of the soothing
intention which the visit implied seemed to rouse the repose of the old
man, and to break the ice at its surface; for he followed Trevanion
to the door, took both his hands, pressed them, then turned away, and
resumed his seat. Trevanion beckoned to me, and I followed him down
stairs, and into a little parlour which was unoccupied.

After some remarks upon Roland, full of deep and considerate feeling,
and one quick, hurried reference to the son--to the effect that his
guilty attempt would never be known by the world--Trevanion then
addressed himself to me with a warmth and urgency that took me by
surprise. "After what has passed," he exclaimed, "I cannot suffer
you to leave England thus. Let me not feel with you, as with your
uncle, that there is nothing by which I can repay--no, I will not so
put it. Stay and serve your country at home: it is my prayer--it is
Ellinor's. Out of all at my disposal, it will go hard but what I shall
find something to suit you." And then, hurrying on, Trevanion spoke
flatteringly of my pretensions, in right of birth and capabilities,
to honourable employment, and placed before me a picture of public
life--its prizes and distinctions--which, for the moment at least,
made my heart beat loud and my breath come quick. But still, even
then, I felt (was it an unreasonable pride?) that there was something
that jarred, something that humbled, in the thought of holding all my
fortunes as a dependency on the father of the woman I loved, but might
not aspire to;--something even of personal degradation in the mere
feeling that I was thus to be repaid for a service, and recompensed for
a loss. But these were not reasons I could advance; and, indeed, so for
the time did Trevanion's generosity and eloquence overpower me, that I
could only falter out my thanks, and my promise that I would consider
and let him know.

With that promise he was forced to content himself; he told me to
direct to him at his favourite country-seat, whither he was going that
day, and so left me. I looked round the humble parlour of the mean
lodging-house, and Trevanion's words came again before me like a flash
of golden light. I stole into the open air, and wandered through the
crowded streets, agitated and disturbed.


Several days elapsed--and of each day my father spent a considerable
part at Vivian's lodgings. But he maintained a reserve as to his
success, begged me not to question him, and to refrain also for the
present from visiting my cousin. My uncle guessed or knew his brother's
mission; for I observed that, whenever Austin went noiseless away, his
eye brightened, and the colour rose in a hectic flush to his cheek. At
last my father came to me one morning, his carpet-bag in his hand, and
said, "I am going away for a week or two. Keep Roland company till I

"Going with _him_?"

"With him."

"That is a good sign."

"I hope so; that is all I can say now."

The week had not quite passed when I received from my father the
letter I am about to place before the reader; and you may judge how
earnestly his soul must have been in the task it had volunteered, if
you observe how little, comparatively speaking, the letter contains of
the subtleties and pedantries (may the last word be pardoned, for it is
scarcely a just one) which ordinarily left my father a scholar even in
the midst of his emotions. He seemed here to have abandoned his books,
to have put the human heart before the eyes of his pupil, and said,
"Read, and _un_learn!"


     "MY DEAR SON,--It were needless to tell you all the earlier
     difficulties I have had to encounter with my charge, nor to repeat
     all the means which, acting on your suggestion, (a correct one,)
     I have employed to arouse feelings long dormant and confused, and
     allay others, long prematurely active, and terribly distinct. The
     evil was simply this: here was the intelligence of a man in all
     that is evil--and the ignorance of an infant in all that is good.
     In matters merely worldly, what wonderful acumen! in the plain
     principles of right and wrong, what gross and stolid obtuseness!
     At one time, I am straining all my poor wit to grapple in an
     encounter on the knottiest mysteries of social life; at another,
     I am guiding reluctant fingers over the horn-book of the most
     obvious morals. Here hieroglyphics, and there pot-hooks! But as
     long as there is affection in a man, why, there is Nature to begin
     with! To get rid of all the rubbish laid upon her, clear back the
     way to that Nature, and start afresh--that is one's only chance.

     "Well, by degrees I won my way, waiting patiently till the bosom,
     pleased with the relief, disgorged itself of all 'its perilous
     stuff,'--not chiding--not even remonstrating, seeming almost to
     sympathise, till I got him Socratically to disprove himself. When
     I saw that he no longer feared me--that my company had become
     a relief to him--I proposed an excursion, and did not tell him

     "Avoiding as much as possible the main north road, (for I did not
     wish, as you may suppose, to set fire to a train of associations
     that might blow us up to the dog-star,) and, where that
     avoidance was not possible, travelling by night, I got him into
     the neighbourhood of the old Tower. I would not admit him under
     its roof. But you know the little inn, three miles off the trout
     stream?--we made our abode there.

     "Well, I have taken him into the village, preserving his
     incognito. I have entered with him into cottages, and turned the
     talk upon Roland. You know how your uncle is adored; you know
     what anecdotes of his bold, warm-hearted youth once, and now of
     his kind and charitable age, would spring up from the garrulous
     lips of gratitude! I made him see with his own eyes, hear with his
     own ears, how all who knew Roland loved and honoured him--except
     his son. Then I took him round the ruins--(still not suffering
     him to enter the house,) for those ruins are the key to Roland's
     character--seeing them, one sees the pathos in his poor foible
     of family pride. There, you distinguish it from the insolent
     boasts of the prosperous, and feel that it is little more than the
     pious reverence to the dead--'the tender culture of the tomb.'
     We sat down on heaps of mouldering stone, and it was there that
     I explained to him what Roland was in youth, and what he had
     dreamed that a son would be to him. I showed him the graves of his
     ancestors, and explained to him why they were sacred in Roland's
     eyes! I had gained a great way, when he longed to enter the home
     that should have been his; and I could make him pause of his own
     accord, and say, 'No, I must first be worthy of it.' Then you
     would have smiled--sly satirist that you are--to have heard me
     impressing upon this acute, sharp-witted youth, all that we plain
     folk understand by the name of HOME--its perfect trust and truth,
     its simple holiness, its exquisite happiness--being to the world
     what conscience is to the human mind. And after that, I brought
     in his sister, whom till then he had scarcely named--for whom he
     scarcely seemed to care--brought her in to aid the father, and
     endear the home. 'And you know,' said I, 'that if Roland were to
     die, it would be a brother's duty to supply his place; to shield
     her innocence--to protect her name! A good name is something,
     then. Your father was not so wrong to prize it. You would like
     yours to be that which your sister would be proud to own!'

     "While we were talking, Blanche suddenly came to the spot, and
     rushed to my arms. She looked on him as a stranger; but I saw his
     knees tremble. And then she was about to put her hand in his--but
     I drew her back. Was I cruel? He thought so. But when I dismissed
     her, I replied to his reproach, 'Your sister is a part of Home.
     If you think yourself worthy of either, go and claim both; I will
     not object.'--'She has my mother's eyes,' said he, and walked
     away. I left him to muse amidst the ruins, while I went in to see
     your poor mother, and relieve her fears about Roland, and make her
     understand why I could not yet return _home_.

     "This brief sight of his sister has sunk deep into him. But I now
     approach what seems to me the great difficulty of the whole. He is
     fully anxious to redeem his name--to regain his home. So far so
     well. But he cannot yet see ambition, except with hard, worldly
     eyes. He still fancies that all he has to do is to get money and
     power, and some of those empty prizes in the Great Lottery, which
     we often win more easily by our sins than our virtues. (Here
     follows a long passage from Seneca, omitted as superfluous.) He
     does not yet even understand me--or, if he does, he fancies me
     a mere bookworm indeed, when I imply that he might be poor, and
     obscure, at the bottom of fortune's wheel, and yet be one we
     should be proud of! He supposes that, to redeem his name, he has
     only got to lacker it. Don't think me merely the fond father, when
     I add my hope that I shall use you to advantage here. I mean to
     talk to him to-morrow, as we return to London, of you, and of your
     ambition: you shall hear the result.

     "At this moment, (it is past midnight,) I hear his step in the
     room above me. The window-sash aloft opens--for the third time;
     would to Heaven he could read the true astrology of the stars!
     There they are--bright, luminous, benignant. And I seeking to
     chain this wandering comet into the harmonies of heaven! Better
     task than that of astrologers, and astronomers to boot! Who among
     them can 'loosen the band of Orion?'--but who amongst us may not
     be permitted by God to have sway over the action and orbit of the
     human soul?

     "Your ever affectionate father,

  A. C."

Two days after the receipt of this letter, came the following; and
though I would fain suppress those references to myself which must be
ascribed to a father's partiality, yet it is so needful to retain them
in connexion with Vivian, that I have no choice but to leave the tender
flatteries to the indulgence of the kind.

     "MY DEAR SON,--I was not too sanguine as to the effect that your
     simple story would produce upon your cousin. Without implying any
     contrast to his own conduct, I described that scene in which you
     threw yourself upon our sympathy, in the struggle between love and
     duty, and asked for our counsel and support; when Roland gave you
     his blunt advice to tell all to Trevanion; and when, amidst such
     sorrow as the heart in youth seems scarcely large enough to hold,
     you caught at truth impulsively, and the truth bore you safe from
     the shipwreck. I recounted your silent and manly struggles--your
     resolution not to suffer the egotism of passion to unfit you for
     the aims and ends of that spiritual probation which we call LIFE.
     I showed you as you were, still thoughtful for us, interested in
     our interests--smiling on us, that we might not guess that you
     wept in secret! Oh, my son--my son! do not think that, in those
     times, I did not feel and pray for you! And while he was melted by
     my own emotion, I turned from your love to your ambition. I made
     him see that you, too, had known the restlessness which belongs to
     young ardent natures; that you, too, had your dreams of fortune,
     and aspirations for success. But I painted that ambition in its
     true colours: it was not the desire of a selfish intellect, to be
     in yourself a somebody--a something--raised a step or two in the
     social ladder, for the pleasure of looking down on those at the
     foot, but the warmer yearning of a generous heart; your ambition
     was to repair your father's losses--minister to your father's very
     foible, in _his_ idle desire of fame--supply to your uncle what he
     had lost in his natural heir--link your success to useful objects,
     your interests to those of your kind, your reward to the proud and
     grateful smiles of those you loved. That was thine ambition, O
     my tender Anachronism! And when, as I closed the sketch, I said,
     'Pardon me: you know not what delight a father feels, when, while
     sending a son away from him into the world, he can speak and think
     thus of him! But this, you see, is not your kind of ambition. Let
     us talk of making money, and driving a coach-and-four through this
     villanous world,'--your cousin sank into a profound reverie, and
     when he woke from it, it was like the waking of the earth after a
     night in spring--the bare trees had put forth buds!

     "And, some time after, he startled me by a prayer that I would
     permit him, with his father's consent, to accompany you to
     Australia. The only answer I have given him as yet, has been in
     the form of a question: 'Ask yourself if I ought? I cannot wish
     Pisistratus to be other than he is; and unless you agree with him
     in all his principles and objects, ought I to incur the risk that
     you should give him your knowledge of the world, and inoculate him
     with your ambition?' He was struck, and had the candour to attempt
     no reply.

     "Now, Pisistratus, the doubt I expressed to him is the doubt
     I feel. For, indeed, it is only by home-truths, not refining
     arguments, that I can deal with this unscholastic Scythian, who,
     fresh from the Steppes, comes to puzzle me in the Portico.

     "On the one hand, what is to become of him in the Old World? At
     his age, and with his energies, it would be impossible to cage him
     with us in the Cumberland ruins; weariness and discontent would
     undo all we could do. He has no resource in books--and I fear
     never will have! But to send him forth into one of the overcrowded
     professions--to place him amidst all those 'disparities of social
     life,' on the rough stones of which he is perpetually grinding
     his heart--turn him adrift amongst all the temptations to which he
     is most prone--this is a trial which, I fear, will be too sharp
     for a conversion so incomplete. In the New World, no doubt, his
     energies would find a safer field; and even the adventurous and
     desultory habits of his childhood might there be put to healthful
     account. Those complaints of the disparities of the civilised
     world, find, I suspect, an easier if a bluffer reply from the
     political economist than the Stoic philosopher. 'You don't like
     them, you find it hard to submit to them,' says the political
     economist; 'but they are the laws of a civilised state, and you
     can't alter them. Wiser men than you have tried to alter them,
     and never succeeded, though they turned the earth topsy-turvy!
     Very well; but the world is wide--go into a state that is not so
     civilised. The disparities of the Old World vanish amidst the
     New! Emigration is the reply of Nature to the rebellious cry
     against Art.' Thus would say the political economist: and, alas,
     even in your case, my son, I found no reply to the reasonings! I
     acknowledge, then, that Australia might open the best safety-valve
     to your cousin's discontent and desires; but I acknowledge also a
     counter-truth, which is this--'It is not permitted to an honest
     man to corrupt himself for the sake of others.' That is almost the
     only maxim of Jean Jacques to which I can cheerfully subscribe! Do
     you feel quite strong enough to resist all the influences which a
     companionship of this kind may subject you to--strong enough to
     bear his burthen as well as your own--strong enough, also--ay, and
     alert and vigilant enough--to prevent those influences harming
     the others, whom you have undertaken to guide, and whose lots are
     confided to you? Pause well, and consider maturely, for this must
     not depend upon a generous impulse. I think that your cousin would
     now pass under your charge, with a sincere desire for reform;
     but between sincere desire and steadfast performance there is a
     long and dreary interval--even to the best of us. Were it not for
     Roland, and had I one grain less confidence in you, I could not
     entertain the thought of laying on your young shoulders so great a
     responsibility. But every new responsibility to an earliest nature
     is a new prop to virtue;--and all I now ask of you is--to remember
     that it _is_ a solemn and serious charge, not to be undertaken
     without the most deliberate gauge and measure of the strength with
     which it is to be borne.

     "In two days we shall be in London.--Yours, my Anachronism,
     anxiously and fondly,

  A. C."

I was in my own room while I read this letter, and I had just finished
it when, as I looked up, I saw Roland standing opposite to me. "It is
from Austin," said he; then he paused a moment, and added in a tone
that seemed quite humble, "May I see it?--and dare I?" I placed the
letter in his hands, and retired a few paces, that he might not think I
watched his countenance while he read it. And I was only aware that he
had come to the end by a heavy, anxious, but not despondent sigh. Then
I turned, and our eyes met, and there was something in Roland's look,
inquiring--and as it were imploring. I interpreted it at once.

"Oh, yes, uncle," I said, smiling; "I have reflected, and I have no
fear of the result. Before my father wrote, what he now suggests had
become my secret wish. As for our other companions, their simple
natures would defy all such sophistries as--but he is already half
cured of those. Let him come with me, and when he returns he shall be
worthy of a place in your heart, beside his sister Blanche. I feel, I
promise it--do not fear for me! Such a change will be a talisman to
myself. I will shun every error that I might otherwise commit, so that
he may have no example to entice him to err."

I know that in youth, and the superstition of first love, we are
credulously inclined to believe that love, and the possession of the
beloved, are the only happiness. But when my uncle folded me in his
arms, and called me the hope of his age, and stay of his house--the
music of my father's praise still ringing on my heart--I do affirm that
I knew a greater and a prouder bliss than if Trevanion had placed
Fanny's hand in mine, and said, "She is yours."

And now the die was cast--the decision made. It was with no regret
that I wrote to Trevanion to decline his offers. Nor was the sacrifice
so great--even putting aside the natural pride which had before
inclined to it--as it may seem to some; for, restless though I was,
I had laboured to constrain myself to other views of life than those
which close the vistas of ambition with images of the terrestrial
deities--Power and Rank. Had I not been behind the scenes, noted all
of joy and of peace that the pursuit of power had cost Trevanion, and
seen how little of happiness rank gave even to one of the polished
habits and graceful attributes of Lord Castleton? Yet each nature
seemed fitted so well--the first for power, the last for rank! It is
marvellous with what liberality Providence atones for the partial
dispensations of Fortune. Independence, or the vigorous pursuit of it;
affection, with its hopes and its rewards; a life only rendered by art
more susceptible to nature--in which the physical enjoyments are pure
and healthful--in which the moral faculties expand harmoniously with
the intellectual--and the heart is at peace with the mind: is this a
mean lot for ambition to desire--and is it so far out of human reach?
"Know thyself," said the old philosophy. "Improve thyself," saith
the new. The great object of the Sojourner in Time is not to waste
all his passions and gifts on the things external that he must leave
behind--that which he cultivates within is all that he can carry into
the Eternal Progress. We are here but as schoolboys, whose life begins
where school ends; and the battles we fought with our rivals, and the
toys that we shared with our playmates, and the names that we carved,
high or low, on the wall, above our desks--will they so much bestead us
hereafter? As new facts crowd upon us, can they more than pass through
the memory with a smile or a sigh? Look back to thy school days, and


Two weeks, since the date of the preceding chapter, have passed; we
have slept our last, for long years to come, on the English soil. It is
night; and Vivian has been admitted to an interview with his father.
They have been together alone an hour and more, and I and my father
will not disturb them. But the clock strikes--the hour is late--the
ship sails to-night--we should be on board. And as we two stand below,
the door opens in the room above, and a heavy step descends the stairs;
the father is leaning on the son's arm. You should see how timidly the
son guides the halting step. And now, as the light gleams on their
faces, there are tears on Vivian's cheek; but the face of Roland seems
calm and happy. Happy! when about to be separated, perhaps for ever,
from his son? Yes, happy! because he has found a son for the first
time; and is not thinking of years and absence, and the chance of
death--but thankful for the Divine mercy, and cherishing celestial
hope. If ye wonder why Roland is happy in such an hour, how vainly have
I sought to make him breathe, and live, and move before you!

       *       *       *       *       *

We are on board; our luggage all went first. I had had time, with the
help of a carpenter, to knock up cabins for Vivian, Guy Bolding, and
myself in the hold. For, thinking we could not too soon lay aside the
pretensions of Europe--"_de_-fine-gentlemanise" ourselves, as Trevanion
recommended--we had engaged steerage passage, to the great humouring of
our finances. We had, too, the luxury to be by ourselves, and our own
Cumberland folks were round us, as our friends and servants both.

We are on board, and have looked our last on those we are to leave,
and we stand on deck leaning on each other. We are on board, and the
lights, near and far, shine from the vast city; and the stars are on
high, bright and clear, as for the first mariners of old. Strange
noises, rough voices, and crackling cords, and here and there the sobs
of women, mingling with the oaths of men. Now the swing and heave of
the vessel--the dreary sense of exile that comes when the ship fairly
moves over the waters. And still we stood, and looked, and listened;
silent, and leaning on each other.

Night deepened, the city vanished--not a gleam from its myriad lights!
The river widened and widened. How cold comes the wind!--is that a
gale from the sea? The stars grow faint--the moon has sunk. And now,
how desolate look the waters in the comfortless gray of dawn! Then we
shivered and looked at each other, and muttered something that was not
the thought deepest at our hearts, and crept into our berths--feeling
sure it was not for sleep. And sleep came on us soft and kind. The
ocean lulled the exiles as on a mother's breast.


A new school of novelists is evidently springing up on the western
shores of the Atlantic. The pioneers are already in the field--and
the main body, we suppose, will shortly follow. The style of these
innovators seems a compound imitation of _Gulliver_, _Munchausen_,
_The Arabian Nights_, and _Robinson Crusoe_; the ingredients being
mixed in capricious proportions, well stirred, seasoned with Yankee
bulls and scraps of sea-slang, and served hot--sometimes plain, at
others with a _hors d'oeuvre_ of puffs. We know not how such queer
ragouts affect the public palate; but we are inclined to prefer dishes
of an older fashion. Mr Herman Melville, of New York and the Pacific
Ocean, common sailor, first introduced the new-fangled kickshaw. This
young gentleman has most completely disappointed us. Two or three
years ago, he published two small volumes of sea-faring adventure and
island-rambles, of which we thought more highly than of any first
appearance of the kind we for a long time had witnessed. In the pages
of Maga, where praise is never lightly or lavishly bestowed, we said as
much; and were glad to hope that Typee and Omoo were but an earnest of
even better things. And, therefore, sadly were we disgusted on perusal
of a rubbishing rhapsody, entitled _Mardi, and a Voyage Thither_.
We sat down to it with glee and self-gratulation, and through about
half a volume we got on pleasantly enough. The author was afloat; and
although we found little that would bear comparison with the fine vein
of nautical fun and characteristic delineation which we had enjoyed
on board the Little Jule, and afterwards at Tahiti, yet there was
interest--strong interest at times; and a scene on board a deserted
vessel was particularly exciting,--replete with power of a peculiar
and uncommon kind. But this proved a mere flash in the pan--the ascent
of the rocket which was soon to fall as a stick. An outlandish young
female, one Miss Yillah, makes her first appearance: Taji, the hero and
narrator of the yarn, reaches a cluster of fabulous islands, where the
jealous queen Hautia opens a floral correspondence with him: where the
plumed and turbaned Yoomy sings indifferent doggerel; and Philosopher
Babbalanja unceasingly doth prose; and the Begum of Pimminee holds
drawing-rooms, which are attended by the Fanfums, and the Diddledees,
and the Fiddlefies, and a host of other insular magnates, with names
equally elegant, euphonious, and significant. Why, what trash is
all this!--mingled, too, with attempts at a Rabelaisian vein, and
with strainings at smartness--the style of the whole being affected,
pedantic, and wearisome exceedingly. We are reminded, by certain parts
of _Mardi_, of Foote's nonsense about the nameless lady who "went into
the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf to make an apple-pie;" and at whose
wedding the Joblilies, and the Picninnies, and the Great Panjandrum,
danced till the gunpowder ran out at their boot-heels. Foote wrote his
absurd paragraph, we believe, to try a friend's memory; Mr Melville
has evidently written his unintelligible novel to try the public's
patience. Of three things we are certain, namely, that the Panjandrum
story is quite as easy to understand as _Mardi_; that it is much more
diverting; and, the chief advantage of all, an infinite deal shorter.

[6] _Kaloolah, or Journeyinqs to the Djébel Kumri: an Autobiography of
Jonathan Romer._ Edited by W. S. MAYO, M.D. London: 1849.

_Mardi_, which we dismissed from our mind when we closed it with a yawn
a day or two after its publication, has been recalled to our memory
by another book, also proceeding from America, although published in
London; and which, like Mr Melville's romance, blends the real and
the possible with the ideal and the fantastic. _Kaloolah_ (Heaven
help these Yankee nomenclators) professes to be the autobiography of
Jonathan Romer, a young Nantucket sailor, to whose narrative, during
his absence in the interior of Africa, one of his countrymen, Dr W.
S. Mayo, obligingly acts as editor. Most readers will probably be
of opinion that the American M.D. might claim a nearer interest in
the literary bantling--the first-born, we apprehend, of his own pen
and imagination. But our business is with the book, and not with the
author, whose name, whether Romer or Mayo, is as yet unknown to fame,
but who need not despair of achieving reputation. _Kaloolah_ combines
with certain faults, which may presently be indicated, some very
excellent qualities, and has several chapters, whereof any one contains
more real good stuff, and ingenuity, and amusement, than the whole of
the second and third volumes of _Mardi_, reduced to a concentrated
essence. Besides, it is manifest that the two books must be viewed
and judged differently--one as a first, and by no means unpromising
attempt; the other, as the backsliding performance of a man who has
proved himself capable of far better things.

Before commencing his own story, young Jonathan Romer introduces us to
his ancestors, and asserts his right to a life of adventure. "Descended
on both sides of the house from some of the earliest settlers of
Nantucket, and more or less intimately related to the Coffins, the
Folgers, the Macys, and the Starbucks of that adventurous population,
it would seem that I had a natural right to a roving disposition, and
to a life of peril, privation, and vicissitude. Nearly all the male
members of my family, for several generations, have been followers
of the sea: some of them in the calm and peaceful employment of the
merchant-service; others, and by far the greater number, in the more
dangerous pursuit of the ocean monster." After relating some of the
feats of his family, and glancing at his own childhood, which gave
early indications of the bold and restless spirit that animated him at
a mature period, Jonathan presents himself to his readers at the age of
eighteen--a stalwart stripling and idle student; the best rider, shot,
swimmer, and leaper for many miles around, with little taste for books,
and a very decided one for rambling in the woods with rifle and rod. At
this time the academy, of which he had for four years been an inmate,
is nearly broken up by what is called "a revival of religion;" in other
words, a violent fit of fanatical enthusiasm, provoked and fed by
Baptist and Methodist preachers. Pupils and teachers alike go mad with
fervent zeal, classes are at an end, unceasing prayer is substituted
for study, and Jonathan, who ls one of the few unregenerated, walks
into the forest, and knocks the head off a partridge with a rifle-ball.
The bird is picked up, and the excellence of the aim applauded by an
old trapper and hunter, Joe Downs by name, well known along the shores
of the Rackett and Grass rivers, in the northern and uninhabited part
of the state of New York. Joe is not the wild, semi-Indian trapper of
the south and west, whom Sealsfield and Ruxton have so graphically
sketched; there is as much difference between the two characters as
between a sailor in the coasting trade and a Pacific Ocean beachcomber.
There is nothing of the half-horse, half-alligator style about Joe,
whose manner is so mild, and his coat so decent, that he has been taken
for a country parson. He despises the Redskins, sets no value on their
scalps, and would not shed their blood, except in self-defence. How he
had once been thus compelled to do so, he relates to Jonathan in the
course of their first conversation.

     "It was the way towards Tupper's lake. There had been a light
     fall of snow, and I was scouting round, when I happened to make a
     circumbendibus, and came across my own track, and there I saw the
     marks of an Indian's foot right on my trail. Thinks I, that is
     kind of queer; the fellow must have been following me; howsomever
     I'll try him, and make sure; so I made another large circle, and
     again struck my own track, and there was the tarnal Indian's foot
     again. Says I, this won't do; I must find out what this customer
     wants, and how he'll have it. So I stopped short, and soon got
     sight of him; he knew that I saw him, so he came along up, in the
     most friendly manner you can think. But I didn't like his looks;
     he was altogether too darned glad to see me. He had no gun, but he
     had an almighty long-handled tomahawk, and a lot of skins and real
     traps. Thinks I, may be, old fellow, your gun has burst, or you've
     pawned it for rum, and you can't raise skins enough to redeem it,
     and you want mine, and perhaps you'll get it.

     "At last I grew kind of nervous; I knew the fellow would hatchet
     me if I gave him a chance, and yet I didn't want to shoot him
     right down just on suspicion. But I thought, if I let him cut my
     throat first, it would be too late to shoot him afterwards. So I
     concluded that the best way would be to give him a chance to play
     his hand; and if so be he'd lead the wrong card, why I should
     have a right to take the trick. Just then, at the right time, a
     partridge flew into a clump that stood five or six rods off. So I
     kind of 'noeuvred round a little. I drew out my ramrod, as if to
     feel whether the ball in my rifle was well down; but instead of
     returning it again, I kept it in my hand, and, without letting the
     vagabond see me, I got out a handful of powder. I then sauntered
     off to the bush, shot the partridge, and in an instant passed my
     hand over the muzzle of my rifle, and dropped the powder in. I
     picked up the bird, and then just took and run my ramrod right
     down upon the powder. Now, he thought, was his chance before I
     loaded my gun again. He came towards me with his hatchet in his
     hand. I saw that he was determined to act wicked, and began to
     back off; he still came on. I lowered my rifle, and told him to
     keep away. He raised his tomahawk, gave one yell, and bounded
     right at me. When he was just about three or four feet from the
     muzzle, I fired. You never see a fellow jump so. He kicked his
     heels up in the air, and came down plump on his head, dead as
     Julius Cæsar. He never winked; the ramrod--a good, hard, tough
     piece of hickory--had gone clean through him, and stuck out about
     two feet from his back. Served him right; didn't it?"

The old trapper urges Jonathan to accompany him on an expedition into
the woods, promising, as an inducement, to put him "right alongside
the biggest catamount he has ever seen," and to let him fight it
out, with rifle, hatchet, and knife, without making or meddling in
the contest. He also pledges himself to show him a fishpond, "where
the youngest infants, of a genteel pickerelto family, weigh at least
three pounds." Such inducements are irresistible. Jonathan packs up a
brace of blankets and his shooting and fishing fixings, and goes off
in the canoe with Joe Downs on a pleasant up-stream cruise, enlivened
by a succession of beautiful scenery, and by the varied and original
conversation of his companion. On their way they fell in with a party
of Indians, amongst them one Blacksnake, a brother of the gentleman
whom Joe had spitted on his ramrod. He suspects Joe of having shot his
kinsman, and Joe strongly suspects him of having already attempted to
revenge his death.

     "'I was leaning out of the second story doorway of Jones's shop
     one day,' said Joe, 'looking across the river, when, whizz, a
     rifle bullet came and buried itself in the doorpost. I hain't
     the least doubt that that very identical Blacksnake sent it.
     Thank God, his aim was not as his will! He's a bad chap. Why, I
     really believe it was he who murdered my old friend Dan White
     the trapper. If I only knew it was the fact, I wish I may be
     stuck, forked end uppermost, in a coon hole, if I wouldn't send a
     ball through his painted old braincase, this 'ere very identical
     minute. Darn your skin!' energetically growled Joe, shaking his
     fist at the distant canoe."

It would have saved Mr Downs some trouble and suffering if he had
yielded to the impulse, and expended half-an-ounce of lead upon
Blacksnake, who, about a week later, sneaks up, with two companions,
to the trapper's pine-log fire, and shoots the unfortunate Joe, but
is shot down himself, the very next moment, by Jonathan Romer, whose
double-barrel settles two of the murderers, and then descends with
crushing force upon the cranium of the third. Joe not being dead,
although very badly wounded, his young companion conveys him to a cave,
whose hidden entrance the trapper had revealed to him the previous day,
and there tends him till he is able to bear removal. With his committal
to the hands of a village surgeon, Mr Romer's backwoods adventures
terminate, a source of regret to the reader, since they are more lively
and attractive than some subsequent portions of the book, evidently
deemed by the author more interesting and important, and therefore
dwelt upon at greater length. Indeed it is our opinion that the author
of _Kaloolah_ is mistaken, as young authors constantly are, in the real
scope and nature of his own abilities, and that he would shine much
more in a novel of backwoods life, or nautical adventure, than in the
mixed style he has selected for his first attempt, which is a sort of
mosaic, distinguished rather for variety and vividness of colour than
for harmony and regularity of design.

Jonathan reaches home in time to receive the last adieu of his mother,
a worthy but eccentric old lady, who had fitted out her son, on his
departure for school, with a winding-sheet, amongst other necessaries,
that he might be buried decently should he die far from his friends,
and that he might be reminded of his mortality as often as he emptied
his trunk. It was a curious conceit, but, as Jonathan observes, she
was from Nantucket, and they are all queer people there, and filial
affection induced him long to preserve the shroud. Mrs Romer dead, her
son applies to the study of surgery, gets himself into trouble by a
body-snatching exploit, has to levant to New York, and there, finding
he is still in danger from the friends of the disinterred corpse, who
have set the police upon his track, ships himself on board the fine
fore-topsail schooner, "Lively Anne," bound for the Western Islands,
and commanded by Captain Coffin, an old shipmate of his father's.
In this smart little craft, he sees some country and more water,
until, upon the voyage from the Azores to Malaga, a white squall or a
waterspout--which of the two he could never ascertain--capsizes the
schooner and dashes him senseless down the hatchway, whence he was just
emerging, in alarm at the sudden uproar on deck. On recovering himself,
he finds the vessel dismasted, the deck swept of all its fixtures, and
the captain and crew missing. Doubtless they had been hurled into the
waves by the same terrible force that had shattered the bulwarks and
carried away boats, casks, and galley. The horizon was now clear, not a
sail was in sight, and Jonathan Romer was alone on a helpless wreck in
the middle of the wide ocean. But he was a man of resource and mettle,
whom it was hard to discourage or intimidate; and finding the schooner
made no water, he righted her as well as he could, and resigned himself
to float at the will of the wind until he should meet a rescuing
sail. This did not occur for some weeks, during which he floated
past Teneriffe in the night, within hail of fishermen, who would not
approach him for fear of the quarantine laws. At last, sitting over his
solitary dinner, he perceived a ship heading up for the schooner.

     "As she came on, I had full time to note all her beautiful
     proportions. She was small, apparently not above 300 tons,
     and had a peculiarly trim and clipper-like look. Her bright
     copper, flashing occasionally in the sunlight, showed that she
     was in light sailing trim; whilst from the cut of her sails,
     the symmetrical arrangement of her spars and rigging, and her
     quarter-boats, I concluded she must be a man-of-war. Passing me
     about half a mile astern, she stood on for a little distance,
     then, hoisting the bilious-looking flag of Spain, she tacked
     and ran for me, backing her main-topsail within twenty yards of
     my larboard beam. Her quarter-boat was immediately lowered, and
     half-a-dozen fellows, in red caps and flannel shirts, jumped into
     it, followed by an officer in a blue velvet jacket, with a strip
     of gold lace upon his shoulders, and a broad-brimmed straw hat
     upon his head. I ran below, stuffed all the money that I had in
     gold--about a thousand dollars--into my pockets, and got upon
     deck again just as the boat touched the side."

The precaution was a good one: the saucy Bonito, Pedro Garbez master,
was bound from Cuba to the coast of Africa, with a cut-throat crew
and an empty slave-deck. Owing to an accident, she had sailed without
a surgeon, and Romer was well received and treated so soon as his
profession was known. When he discovered the ship's character, he would
gladly have left her, but means were wanting, for the Bonito loved not
intercourse with passing craft, and touched nowhere until she reached
her destination--Cabenda Bay, on the western coast of Africa. There
being no slaves at Cabenda, it was resolved to run a few miles up the
Congo river.

     "We at length reached Loonbee, and anchored off the town, which is
     the chief market or slave-depot for Embomma. It consists of about
     a hundred huts of palm-leaves, with two or three block-houses,
     where the slaves are confined. About two hundred slaves were
     already collected, and more were on their way down the river, and
     from different towns in the interior. After presents for the King
     of Embomma, and for the Mafooka (a sort of chief of the board of
     slave-trade,) and other officials, had been made, and a deal of
     brandy drunk, we landed, and in company with several Fukas, or
     native merchants, and two or three Portuguese, went to take a
     look at the slaves. Each dealer paraded his gang for inspection,
     and loudly dilated upon their respective qualities. They were all
     entirely naked, and of all ages, sexes, and conditions, and all
     had an air of stolid indifference, varied only in some of them by
     an expression of surprise and fear at sight of the white men."

In one of these unfortunate groups of dingy humanity, Romer was struck
by the appearance of a young girl, whose features widely differed
from the usual African stamp, and whose complexion, amongst a white
population, would not have been deemed too dark for a brunette. Her
gracefully curling hair contrasted with the woolly polls of her
companions; her eyes were large and expressive, and her form elegant,
but then emaciated by fatigue and ill-treatment. This is Kaloolah.
On inquiry of the slave-dealer, a great burly negro, wielding a long
thong of plaited buffalo hide, Romer learned that she is of a far
distant nation, called the Gerboo Blanda, who dwell in stone houses on
an extensive plain. The slave-dealer knows them only by report, and
Kaloolah and her brother, who is near at hand, are the first specimens
he has seen of this remote tribe. He had bought her two months' journey
off, and then she had already come a long distance. And now that he had
got them to the coast, he esteems them of small value compared to the
full-blooded blacks; for Kaloolah has pined herself away to a shadow,
and her brother, Enphadde, is bent upon suicide, and cannot be trusted
with unfettered hands; so that for thirty dollars Romer buys them both.
The Bonito having been driven out to sea by the approach of a British
cruiser, he passes some days on shore with his new purchases; during
which time, with a rapidity bordering on the miraculous, he acquires
sufficient of their language, and they of his, to carry on a sort of
piebald conversation, to learn the history of these pale Africans, and
some particulars of their mysterious country.

     "The Gerboo Blanda, I found, was a name given to their country by
     the Jagas, that its true name was Framazugda, and that the people
     were called Framazugs. That it was situated at a great distance
     in the interior, in a direction west by north, and that it was
     surrounded by negro and savage nations, through whom a trade was
     carried on with people at the north-west and east, none of whom,
     however, were ever seen at Framazugda, as the trade had to pass
     through a number of hands. Enphadde represented the country to
     be of considerable extent, consisting mostly of a lofty plateau
     or elevated plain, and exceedingly populous, containing numerous
     large cities, surrounded by high walls, and filled with houses of
     stone. Several large streams and lakes watered the soil, which,
     according to his account, was closely cultivated, and produced
     in abundance the greatest variety of trees, fruits, flowers,
     and grain. Over this country ruled Selha Shounsé, the father of
     Enphadde and Kaloolah, as king. It was in going from the capital
     to one of the royal gardens that their escort was attacked by
     a party of blacks from the lowlands, the attendants killed or
     dispersed, and the young prince and princess carried off."

Thirty dollars could hardly be deemed a heavy price for the son and
daughter of the great Shounsé, and Jonathan was well pleased with his
bargain, although it was not yet clear how he should realise a profit;
but meanwhile it was something to be the proprietor of their royal
highnesses of Framazugda; something too to gaze into Kaloolah's bright
black eyes, and listen to her dulcet tones, as she warbled one of her
country's ditties about the Fultul, a sweet-scented lily flourishing
beside the rivulets of her native mountains. The verses, by the bye,
are not to be commended in Mr Romer's version; they perhaps sounded
better in the original Framazug, and when issuing from the sweet lips
of Kaloolah.

Instead of a week, the Bonito was month absent, having been caught in
a calm. Captain Pedro Garbez promised the Virgin Mary the value of a
young negro in wax-lights for a capful of wind, but in vain; and he was
fain to tear the hair from his head with impatience. Meanwhile Jonathan
had caught a fever in the swamps of Congo, and Kaloolah had made his
chicken-broth, and tended him tenderly, and restored him to health,
although he was still so altered in appearance that Garbez knew him not
when he mounted the side of the slaver. All speed was now made to buy
and ship a cargo. The account of the latter process is interesting,
and, we have no doubt, perfectly authentic; for although the author of
_Kaloolah_ has chosen to interlard, and perhaps deteriorate his book by
strange stories of imaginary countries, animals, flowers, &c., it is
not difficult to distinguish between his fact and his fiction, and to
recognise the internal evidence of veracity and personal observation.
A short extract may here with propriety be made, for the benefit of
anti-slavery philanthropists.

     "The first slaves that came on board were taken below the
     berth-deck, and arranged upon a temporary slave-deck placed over
     the water-casks, and at a distance of not more than three feet and
     a half from the deck overhead.... The slaves were arranged in four
     ranks. When lying down, the heads of the two outer ranks touched
     the sides of the ship, their feet pointing inboard or athwart the
     vessel. They, of course, occupied a space fore and aft the ship,
     of about six feet on either side, or twelve feet of the whole
     breadth. At the feet of the outside rank came the heads of the
     inner row. They took up a space of six feet more on either side,
     or together twelve feet. There was still left a space running up
     and down the centre of the deck, two or three feet in breadth;
     along this were stretched single slaves, between the feet of the
     two inner rows, so that, when all were lying down, almost every
     square foot of the deck was covered with a mass of human flesh.
     Not the slightest space was allowed between the individuals of
     the ranks, but the whole were packed as closely as they could be,
     each slave having just room enough to stretch himself out flat
     upon his back, and no more. In this way about two hundred and
     fifty were crowded upon the slave-deck, and as many more upon the
     berth-deck. Horrible as this may seem, it was nothing compared
     to the 'packing' generally practised by slavers. Captain Garbez
     boasted that he had tried both systems, tight packing and loose
     packing, thoroughly, and found the latter the best.

     "'If you call this loose packing,' I replied, 'have the goodness
     to explain what you mean by tight packing?'

     "'Why, tight packing consists in making a row sit with their legs
     stretched apart, and then another row is placed between their
     legs, and so on, until the whole deck is filled. In the one case
     each slave has as much room as he can cover lying; in the other
     only as much room as he can occupy sitting. With tight packing
     this craft ought to stow fifteen hundred.'"

The Bonito was not above three hundred tons. Such are the blessings for
which the negroes are indebted to the tender-mercied emancipators who
have ruined our West Indian colonies.

     "'When it comes to closing the hatches,' (in the event of a
     gale) said Captain Pedro, 'it is all up with the voyage. You can
     hardly save enough to pay expenses. They die like leeches in a
     thunderstorm. I was once in a little schooner with three hundred
     on board, and we were compelled to lie-to for three days. It was
     the worst sea I ever saw, and came near swamping us several times.
     We lost two hundred and fifty slaves in that gale. We couldn't
     get at the dead ones to throw them overboard very handily, and so
     those that didn't die from want of air were killed by the rolling
     and tumbling about of the corpses. Of the living ones some had
     their limbs broken, and every one had the flesh of his leg worn to
     the bone, by the shackle irons.'

     "'Good God! and you still pursue the horrible trade?'

     "'Certainly; why not? Despite of accidents the trade is
     profitable, and, for the cruelty of it, no one is to blame except
     the English. Were it not for them, large and roomy vessels would
     be employed, and it would be an object to bring the slaves
     over with every comfort, and in as good condition as possible.
     Now, every consideration must be sacrificed to the one great
     object--escape from capture by the British cruisers.'

     "I had no wish to reply to the captain's argument. One might as
     well reply to a defence of blasphemy or murder. Giddy, faint,
     and sick, I turned with loathing from the fiends in human guise,
     and sought the more genial companionship of the inmates of my

These were Kaloolah and Enphadde. To conceal the beauty of the former,
perilous amidst the lawless crew of the slaver, Jonathan had marked
her face with caustic, producing black spots which had the appearance
of disease. This temporary disfigurement secured her from licentious
outrage, but not from harsh treatment. Monte, second captain of
the Bonito, was an ex-pirate, whose vessel had been destroyed by
Yankee cruisers. To spite Romer, whom he detested as an American, he
threatened to send Kaloolah and her brother amongst the slaves, and
took every opportunity of abusing them. Chapter xxi. passes wholly on
board the slaver, and is excellent of its kind. The Bonito is chased
by a man-of-war, but escapes. At daybreak, whilst lying in his berth,
Romer hears a bustle on deck, followed by shrill cries and plunges in
the water. The following is good:--

     "I jumped from my berth and stepped out upon deck. A dense fog
     brooded upon the surface of the ocean, and closely enveloped the
     ship--standing up on either side, like huge perpendicular walls
     of granite, and leaving a comparatively clear space--the area of
     the deck and the height of the main-topmast crosstrees. Inboard,
     the sight ranged nearly free fore-and-aft the ship, but seaward no
     eye could penetrate, more than a yard or two, the solid-looking
     barrier of vapour. A man standing on the taffrail might have seen
     the catheads the whole length of the deck, whilst at the same
     time, behind him, the end of the spanker boom, projecting over
     the water, was lost in the mist. I looked up at the perpendicular
     walls and the lofty arch overhead with feelings of awe, and, I may
     add, fear. Cursed, indeed, must be our craft, when the genius of
     the mist so carefully avoided the pollution of actual contact. His
     rolling legions were close around us, but vapoury horse and misty
     foot shrank back affrighted from the horrors of our blood-stained

The phenomenon was doubtless attributable to the hot air generated in
the crowded 'tween-decks. The cries and plashings that had startled
Jonathan were soon explained. Virulent ophthalmia raged on board, and
Monte was drowning the blind, whose value of course departed with their
eyesight. A blind slave was "an encumbrance, an unsaleable article,
a useless expense. Pitch him overboard! Twenty-five to-day, and a
dozen more to-morrow!" But retribution was at hand, threatened, at
least, by a British brig-of-war, which appeared when the fog cleared,
at about a mile and a half to windward. During the chase, Monte,
casually jostled by Kaloolah, struck her to the deck, and a furious
scuffle ensued between him and Jonathan, who at last, seeing some of
the crew approaching, knife in hand, leaped overboard, dragging his
antagonist with him, and followed by Enphadde and Kaloolah. After a
deep dive, during which Monte's tenacious grasp was at last relaxed,
the intrepid Jonathan regained the surface, where he and his friends
and enemy easily supported themselves till picked up by the brig. The
swift slaver escaped. Monte was put in irons, Romer and his Framazugdan
friends were made much of by Captain Halsey and the officers of her
Majesty's brig Flyaway, and landed in the picturesque but pestilent
shores of Sierra Leone. Then Kaloolah and her brother propose to seek
their way homewards, and Jonathan takes ship for Liverpool. Previously
to his departure, there are some love passages between the Yankee and
the Princess of Framazugda. These are not particularly successful.
Sentiment is not Dr Mayo's _forte_: he is much happier in scenes of
bustle and adventure--when urging his weary dromedary across boundless
tracts of sand, or waging deadly combat with the fierce inmates of
African jungles. His book will delight Mr Van Amburgh. There is a duel
between a lion and a boa that we make no doubt of seeing dramatised
at Astley's, as soon as a serpent can be tamed sufficiently for the
performance. That Dr Mayo's lions are of the very first magnitude, the
following description shows:--"His body was hardly less in size than
that of a dray-horse; his paw as large as the foot of an elephant;
while his head!--what can be said of such a head? Concentrate the
fury, the power, the capacity, and the disposition for evil of a dozen
thunderstorms into a round globe about two feet in diameter, and one
would then be able to get an idea of the terrible expression of that
head and face, enveloped and set off as it was by the dark framework
of bristling mane!" This pleasing quadruped, disturbed in its forest
solitude by the advent of Jonathan and the fair Kaloolah, who have
wandered, lover-like, to some distance from their bivouac, at once
prepares to breakfast upon them. Jonathan had imprudently laid down
his gun to pluck wild honeysuckles for his mistress, when the lion,
stepping in, cuts him off from his weapon. Suddenly "the light figure
of Kaloolah rushed past me: 'Fly, fly, Jon'than!' she wildly exclaimed,
as she dashed forward directly towards the lion. Quick as thought, I
divined her purpose, and sprang after her, grasping her dress, and
pulling her forcibly back, almost from within those formidable jaws.
The astonished animal gave several jumps sideways and backwards,
and stopped, crouching to the ground, and growling and lashing his
sides with renewed fury. It was clearly taken aback by our unexpected
charge upon him, but yet was not to be frightened into abandoning his
prey. His mouth was made up for us, and there could be no doubt, if
his motions _were_ a little slow, that he considered us as good as
gorged." Pulling back Kaloolah, and drawing his knife, Romer awaits,
with desperate determination, the monster's terrible onslaught, when
an unexpected ally arrives to the rescue. "It seemed as if one of the
gigantic creepers I have mentioned had suddenly quitted the canopy
above, and, endowed with life and a huge pair of widely distended
jaws, had darted with the rapidity of lightning upon the crouching
beast. There was a tremendous shaking of the treetops, and a confused
wrestling and jumping and whirling over and about, amid a cloud of
upturned roots and earth and leaves, accompanied with the most terrific
roars and groans. As I looked again, vision grew more distinct.
An immense body, gleaming with purple, green, and gold, appeared
convoluted around the majestic branches overhead, and, stretching down,
was turned two or three times around the struggling lion, whose head
and neck were almost concealed from sight within the cavity of a pair
of jaws still more capacious than his own." A full-grown boa, whose
length is estimated by Mr Romer at about a hundred feet, (much less
than many he subsequently saw, but still "a very respectable-sized
snake,") had dropped a few fathoms of coil from the gigantic tree
around which he was twined, and enveloped the lion, who soon was
crushed to death in the scaly embrace. Jonathan makes no doubt that the
serpent was about to swallow his victim whole, according to the custom
of his kind; and it is certainly to be regretted that the entreaties
of Kaloolah, combined with the "strong sickly odour" diffused by the
boa, prevented his remaining to witness a process of deglutition which,
considering the dimensions of the morsel to be swallowed, could not
have been otherwise than curious.

Wrecked a second time, Romer again reaches the coast of Africa, in
company with an old sailor named Jack Thompson. They fall into the
hands of the Bedouins, and suffer much ill treatment, an account of
which, and of various adventures and escapes, occupy many chapters,
and would have borne a little curtailment. Romer is wandering about
with a tribe, upon whom he has passed himself off as an Arab from a
distant region, when he is compelled to join in an attack on a caravan.
Kaloolah is amongst the prisoners. She has been captured by a party of
slave-hunters, and is on her way to Morocco, where her master hopes
her beauty will fetch a good price from the Emperor Muley Abderrahman.
In the partition of the spoil, she falls to the share of an old Arab,
who is ill satisfied with the acquisition. "He was extremely chagrined
at the turn of fortune which threatened to throw into the wrangling
elements of his domestic felicity a feminine superfluity--or, as he
expressed it, 'another tongue in his tent.'

"'Bismillah!' he exclaimed; 'God is great, but this is a small thing!
She is not a man; she is not a black--she cannot work; but won't she
eat and talk! They all eat and talk. I take a club sometimes, and knock
them down; beat them; break their bones; but they still eat and talk!
God's will be done! but it is too much to put such a thing upon me for
my share! She is good for nothing: I cannot sell her.'"

The grumbling old Bedouin did sell her, however, to Jonathan, for
three or four cotton shirts. Flight now becomes necessary, for Hassan,
son of the chief of the tribe, seeks Jonathan's life, and Mrs Ali,
the chief's wife, persecutes him with her misplaced affection, and is
spiteful to Kaloolah, whom she looks upon as the chief obstacle to its
requital. Upon this head our Yankee is rather good: "Respect for the
sex," he says, "and a sentiment of gentlemanly delicacy, which the
reader will appreciate, prevents me from dwelling upon the story at
length. It was wrong, undoubtedly, in Seffora to love any other than
her old, rugose-faced, white-bearded husband; but it is not for me to
blame her. One thing, however, in her conduct can hardly be excused.
True, I might have treated her affection with more tenderness; I might
have nursed the gentle flowers of passion, instead of turning away
from their fragrance; I might have responded to that 'yearning of the
soul for sympathy'--have relieved, with the food of love, 'the mighty
hunger of the heart;' but all this, and more that I might have done,
but did not do, gave her no right to throw stones at Kaloolah." To
avoid the pelting and other disagreeables, the lovers take themselves
off in the night-time, mounted on _heiries_--camels of a peculiar
breed and excellence, famed in the desert for endurance and speed. On
their road they pick up, in a Moorish village, an Irish renegade; at
some salt-works, they find Jack Thompson working as a slave; and soon
afterwards their party is increased to five persons, by the addition
of Hassan, a runaway negro. With this motley tail, Mr Romer pushes
on in the direction of Framazugda. Here the editor very judiciously
epitomises six long chapters in as many pages; and, immediately after
this compressed portion, there begins what may be strictly termed the
fabulous, or almost the supernatural part of the book. Previously to
this there have been not a few rather startling incidents, but now
the author throws the rein on the neck of his imagination, and scours
away into the realms of the extravagant; still striving, however,
by circumstantial detail, to give an appearance of probability to
his astounding and ingenious inventions. Some of the descriptions of
scenery and savage life in the wilderness are vivid and striking, and
show power which might be better applied. Of the fabulous animals, the
following account of an amiable reptile, peculiar to central Africa,
will serve as a sufficient specimen of Yankee natural history:--

     "It is an amphibious polypus. If the reader will conceive a large
     cart-wheel, the _hub_ will represent the body of the animal, and
     the spokes the long arms, about the size and shape of a full-grown
     kangaroo's tail, and twenty in number, that project from it. When
     the animal moves upon land, it stiffens these radii, and rolls
     over upon the points like a wheel without a felloe. These arms
     have also _the capability of a lateral prehensile contraction in
     curves, perpendicular to its plane of revolution_, and enable
     the animal to grasp its prey, and draw it into its voracious
     mouth. It attacks the largest animals, and even man itself;
     but, if dangerous upon land, it is still more formidable in the
     water, where it has been known to attack and kill an alligator.
     This horrible monster is known by the name of the Sempersough
     or 'snake-star,' and is more dreaded than any other animal of
     Framazugda, inasmuch as the natives have no way of destroying it,
     except by catching it when young, in cane traps sunk in the water,
     and baited with hippopotamus cubs(!) Fortunately it is not very
     prolific; and its increase is further prevented by the furious
     contests that these animals have among themselves. Sometimes
     twenty or thirty will grasp each other with their long arms,
     and twist themselves up into a hard and intricate knot. In this
     situation they remain, hugging and gnawing each other to death;
     and never relaxing their grasp until their arms are so firmly
     intertwined that, when life is extinct, and the huge mass floats,
     they cannot be separated. The natives now draw the ball ashore,
     cut it up with axes, and make it into a compost for their land."

Is Dr Mayo addicted to heavy suppers? We can just fancy an unfortunate
individual, after a midnight meal on a shield of brawn and a
Brobdingnagian crab, which he has omitted to qualify by a subsequent
series of stiff tumblers, sinking into an uneasy slumber, and being
rolled over by such an incubus as this vivacious waggon-wheel.
Doubtless there is a possibility of a man dieting himself into this
style of writing, whereof a short specimen may excite a smile, but
whose frequent recurrence is necessarily wearisome, and which obviously
escapes criticism. But the author of _Kaloolah_ is not contented with
brute monstrosities. He chronicles reports that reach his hero's ears,
of nations of human monsters, with teeth filed to a sharp point (no
uncommon practice amongst certain negro tribes,) with tusks projecting
like those of a wild boar, and with pendant lips that continually
drop blood. All this is childish enough; but Jack Thompson, who is a
dry dog, caps these astounding fictions with a cannibal yarn from the
Southern Hemisphere.

     "'I've been among the New Zealanders,' quoth Jack, 'and there
     they use each other for fresh grub, as regular as boiled duff in
     a man-of-war's mess. They used to eat their fathers and mothers,
     when they got too old to take care of themselves; but now they've
     got to be more civilised, and so they only eat rickety children,
     and slaves, and enemies taken in battle.'

     "'A decided instance of the progress of improvement, and march of
     mind,' said I.

     "'Well, I believe that is what the missionaries call it,' replied
     Jack; 'but it's a bad thing for the old folks. They don't take
     to the new fashion--they are in favour of the good old custom. I
     never see'd the thing myself; but Bill Brown, a messmate of mine
     once, told me that, when he was at the Bay of Islands, he see'd a
     great many poor old souls going about with tears in their eyes,
     trying to get somebody to eat them. One of them came off to the
     ship, and told them that he couldn't find rest in the stomachs of
     any of his kindred, and wanted to know if the crew wouldn't take
     him in. The skipper told him he was on monstrous short allowance,
     but he couldn't accommodate him. The poor old fellow, Bill
     said, looked as though his heart would break. There were plenty
     of sharks round the ship, and the skipper advised him to jump
     overboard; but he couldn't bear the idea of being eaten raw.'"

The great audacity of Dr Mayo's fictions preclude surprise at the
boldness of his tropes and similes. The tails of his lions lash the
ground "with a sound like the falling of clods upon a coffin;" their
roar is like the boom of a thirty-two pounder, shaking the trees, and
rattling the boulders in the bed of the river. Of course, allowance
must be made for the vein of humorous rhodomontade peculiar to certain
American writers, and into which Dr Mayo sometimes unconsciously
glides, and, at others, voluntarily indulges. His description of the
conjuring tricks of the Framazugdan jugglers comes under the latter

     "Some of them were truly wonderful, as, for instance, turning a
     man into a tree bearing fruit, and with monkeys skipping about in
     the branches; and another case, where the chief juggler apparently
     swallowed five men, ten boys, and a jackass, threw them all up
     again, turned himself inside out, blew himself up like a balloon,
     and, exploding with a loud report, disappeared in a puff of
     luminous vapour. I could not but admire the skill with which the
     tricks were performed, although I was too much of a Yankee to be
     much astonished at anything in the _Hey, Presto!_ line."

A countryman of Mr Jefferson Davis is not expected to feel surprise at
anything in the way of sleight of hand, or "double shuffle;" and there
was probably nothing more startling to the senses in the evaporation
of King Shounsé's conjuror, than in the natural self-extinction of the
Mississippian debt. It is only a pity that Jonathan Romer did not carry
his smart fellow-citizen to the country of the _Pholdefoos_, a class
of enthusiasts who devote their lives to a search for the germs of
moral, religious, and political truth. Mr Davis would have felt rather
out of his element at first, but could not have failed ultimately to
have benefited by his sojourn amongst these singular savages.

On coming in sight of her father's capital, Kaloolah is overcome
with emotion, and sinks weeping into her brother's arms. "I felt,"
says Jonathan, "that this was a situation in which even the most
sympathising lover would be _de trop_. There were thronging
associations which I could not share, vibrating memories to which my
voice was not attuned, bonds of affection which all-powerful love might
transcend, and even disrupt, but whose precise nature it could not
assume. There are some lovers who are jealous of such things--fellows
who like to wholly monopolise a woman, and who are constantly on the
watch, seizing and appropriating her every look, thought, and feeling,
with somewhat of the same notion of an exclusive right, as that with
which they pocket a tooth-pick. I am not of that turn. The female heart
is as curiously and as variously stocked as a country dry-goods store.
A man may be perhaps allowed to select out, for his own exclusive use,
some of the heavier articles, such as sheetings, shirtings, flannels,
trace-chains, hobby-horses, and goose-yokes; but that is no reason why
the neighbours should be at once cut off from their accustomed supply
of small-wares."

We venture to calculate that it takes a full-blooded Yankee to write
in this strain, which, reminds us, remotely, it is true, of some of Mr
Samuel Slick's eccentric fancies. Dr Mayo has considerable versatility
of pen; he dashes at everything, from the ultra-grotesque to the
hyper-sentimental, from the wildest fable to the most substantial
matter-of-fact; and if not particularly successful in some styles, in
others he really makes what schoolboys call "a very good offer." But
the taste of the day is by no means for extravaganza travels, after the
fashion of Gulliver, but without the brilliant and searching satire
that lurks in Lilliput and Laputa. Mr Herman Melville might have known
that much; although we have heard say that certain keen critics have
caught glimpses in his _Mardi_ of a hidden meaning--one, however, which
the most penetrating have hitherto been unable to unravel. We advise
Dr Mayo to start afresh, with a better scheme. Instead of torturing
his inventive faculties to produce rotatory dragons, wingless birds,
(propelled through the air by valves in their heads,) and countries
where courtiers, like Auriol in the ring at Franconi's, do public
homage by standing on their hands; let him seek his inspiration in real
life, as it exists in the wilder regions of the vast continent of which
he is a native. A man who has strayed so far, and seen so much, can
hardly be at a loss. The slaver's surgeon, the inmate of the Bedouin's
tent, the bold explorer of the deadly swamps of Congo, had surely
rambled nearer home before a restless fancy lured him to such distant
and dangerous latitudes. Or are we too bold in assuming that the wilds
and forests of Western America have echoed to the crack of his rifle,
and that the West Indian seas have borne the furrow of his vessel's
prow? It is in such scenes we would gladly find him, when next he risks
himself in print: beneath the shade of the live oak or on the rolling
prairie, or where the black flag, with the skeleton emblem, floats from
the masthead. He has worked out his crotchet of an imaginary white
nation in the heart of Africa, carrying it through with laborious
minuteness, and with results hardly equal to the pains bestowed: let
him now turn from the ideal to the real, and may our next meeting be
on the Spanish main under rover's bunting, or west of the clearings,
where the bison roams and the Redskin prowls, and the stragglers from
civilisation have but begun to show themselves.



The evening after that in which the commander of the Gloucester
Indiaman introduced his adventures, nearly the same party met on the
poop to hear them continued.

"Well then," began Captain Collins, leaning back against a stanchion of
the quarter-rail, with folded arms, legs crossed, and his eyes fixed on
the weather-leech of the mizen-topsail to collect his thoughts;--"well
then, try to fancy the Seringapatam in chase of the Gloucester; and if
I _do_ use a few extra sea-terms, I consider the ladies good enough
sailors for them already. At any rate, just throw a glance aloft now
and then, and our good old lady will explain herself; to her own sex,
she's as good as a dictionary without words!"

[7] See No. CCCCI., March 1849.

The second day out we had the wind more from seaward, which broke up
the haze into bales of cloud, and away they went rolling in for the
Bay of Biscay; with a longer wave and darker water, and the big old
Indiaman surged over it as easily as might be, the blue breeze gushing
right into her main-tack through the heave of the following seas, and
the tail of the trade-wind flying high above her trucks in shreds and
patches. Things got more ship-shape on deck; anchor-flukes brought
inboard on the head-rail, and cables stowed away--the very best sign
you can have of being clear of the land. The first officer, as they
called him, was a good-looking fellow, that thought no small-beer of
himself, with his glossy blue jacket and Company's buttons, white
trowsers, and a gold thread round his cap: he had it stuck askew to
show how his hair was brushed, and changed his boots every time he came
on deck. Still he looked like a sailor, if but for the East India brown
on his face, and there was no mistake about his knowing how to set a
sail, trim yards, or put the ship about; so that the stiff old skipper
left a great deal to him, besides trusting in him for a first-rate
navigator that had learned headwork at a naval school. The crew were to
be seen all mustering before tea-time in the dog-watch, with their feet
just seen under the foot mat of the fore-course, like actors behind a
playhouse curtain: men that I warrant you had seen every country under
heaven amongst them, as private as possible, and ready to enjoy their
pots of tea upon the forecastle, as well as their talk.

The old judge evidently fought shy of company, and perhaps meant to
have his own mess-table under the poop as long as the voyage lasted:
scarcely any of the ladies had apparently got their sea-qualms over
yet, and, for all I knew, _she_ might not be on board at all; or, if
she were, her father seemed quite Turk enough to keep her boxed up
with jalousie-blinds, Calcutta fashion, and give her a walk in the
middle watch, with the poop tabooed till morning! The jolly, red-faced
indigo-planter was the only one that tried to get up anything like
spirit at the table; indeed, he would have scraped acquaintance with
me if I had been in a mood for it: all I did was to say 'Yes' and
'No,' and to take wine with him. "Poor fellow!" said he, turning to
three or four of the cadets, that stuck by him like pilot-fish to
an old shark, "he's thinking of his mother at home, I daresay." The
fools thought this was meant as a joke, and began to laugh. "Why, you
unfledged griffins you," said the planter, "what d'ye see to nicker
at, like so many jackals in a trap? D'ye suppose one thinks the less
of a man for having a heart to be sick in, as well as a stomach--eh?"
"Oh, don't speak of it, Mr Rollock!" said one. "Come, come, old boy!"
said another, with a white mustache on his lip, "'twon't do for you
to go the sentimental, you know!" "Capsize my main-spanker, 'tis too
funny, though!" put in a fellow who wore a glazed hat on deck, and
put down all the ropes with numbers on paper, as soon as he had done
being sick. The planter leant back in his chair, looked at them coolly,
and burst out a-laughing. "Catch me ever 'going home' again!" said
he. "Of all the absurd occasions for impudence with the egg-shell
on its head coming out, hang me if these fifteen thousand miles of
infernal sea-water ain't the worst! India for ever!--that's the place
to _try_ a man! He's either sobered or gets room to work there; and
just wait, my fine fellows, till I see _you_ on the Custom-house
_Bunda_ at Bombay, or setting off up country--you're all of you the
very food for _sircars_ and _coolies_! That quiet lad there, now, soft
as he looks,--I can tell by his eye he won't be long a griff--He'll
do something! I tell you what, as soon as he's tasted a mango-fish,
he'll _understand_ the country! Why, sir!" said he again, smacking his
lips, "'tis worth the voyage of itself--you begin a new existence, so
to speak! I'll be bound all this lot o' water don't contain one single
mango-fish! Remember, boys, I promised you all a regular blow-out of
mango-fish, and _florican_ with bread sauce, whenever you can get
across to Chuckbully Factory!" "Blow good breeze, then; blow away
the main jib!" said the nautical young gentleman; "I'll join you,
old fellow!" "Not the best way to bring it about, though!" said the
indigo-planter, good-naturedly, not knowing but there _was_ such a sail
on the ship.

The yellow setting sun was striking over the starboard quarter-boat,
and the Bay of Biscay lay broad down to leeward for a view--a couple of
large craft, with all studding-sails set before the wind, making for
land, far enough off to bring their canvass in a piece, and begin to
look blue with the air--one like a milkwoman with pitchers and a hoop;
the other like a girl carrying a big bucketful of water, and leaning
the opposite way to steady herself. There was one far to north-east,
too, no more than a white speck in the gray sky; and the land-cloud
went up over it into so many sea-lions' heads, all looking out of their
manes. The children clapped their hands and laughed; and the ladies
talked about the vessels, and thought they saw land--Spain or the
Pyrenees, perhaps. However, it wasn't long before my American friend
Snout caught sight of me in the midst of his meditations, as he turned
bolt round on his toes to hurry aft again. "The fact is, mister," said
he, "_I'm_ riled a little at _the_ 'tarnation pride of you Britishers.
There now," said he, pointing at the blaze of the sun to westward, with
his chin, "there's _a_ consolation! I calculate the sun's just over
Noo-York, which I expect to give you old country folks considerable

"No doubt!" said I, with a sigh, "one can't help thinking of a banker
run off with ever so much English gold!" "You're a sensible chap, you
are. It's _a_ right-down asylum _for_ oppressed Eur_o_pains, that
can't be denied." "And Africans too," I put in. "Indy, now," said he,
"I reckon there's a sight of dollars made in that country--you don't
s'pose I'm goin' out there for nothing? We'll just take it out o' your
hands yet, mister. I don't ought to let you into the scheme till I know
you better, you see; but I expect to want a sort o' company got up
before we land. There's one of your nabobs, now, came into the ship at
Possmouth with a whole tail of niggers-dressed-up ----." "And a lady
with him, I think?" said I, as coolly as I could.--"I'll somehow open
on that chap about British tyranny, I guess, after gettin' a little
knowledge out of him. We'd just _rise_ the niggurs, if they had _not_
such a right-down cur'ous _my_-thullogy--but I tell you now, mister,
that's one of the very p'ints I expect to meet. Miss'naries won't
do it so slick off in two thousand years, I kinder think, as this
indentical specoolation will in _ten_,--besides payin' like Peruvain
mines, which the miss'nary line don't. I'm a regoolar Down-easter, ye
see--kinder piercin' into a subject, like our nation in gin'ral--and
the whull schim hangs together a little, I calculate, mister?" "So I
should think, Mr Snout, indeed," I said. Here the American gave another
chuckle, and turned to again on his walk, double quick, till you'd
have thought the whole length of the poop shook: when who should I see
with the tail of my eye, but my friend the _Kitmagar_ salaaming to
Mr Snout, by the break of the quarterdeck. The Yankee seemed rather
taken aback at first, and didn't know what to make of him. "S'laam,
sah'b," said the dark servant, with an impudent look, and loud enough
for me to hear, as I stepped from aft,--"Judge sahib i-send genteeman
salaam--say too much hivvy boot he got--all same as _Illimphant_!
S'pose master not so much loud walk, _this_ side?" "_Well!_" broke out
the American, looking at the Bengalee's flat turban and mustache, as if
he were too great a curiosity to be angry with, then, turning on his
heel to proceed with his walk, "Now, mister," said he to me, "that's
what I call an incalculable imp_u_dent black--but he's the first I
ever saw with hair on his lip, it's a fact!" "Master not _mind_?" said
the Kitmagar, raising his key next time Mr Snout wheeled round. "Judge
sahib burra burra buhadoorkea!--ver' great man!" "D---- niggur!" said
Mr Snout, tramping away aft; "there's your British regoolations, I say,
young man! niggurs bààing on the quarterdeck, and free-born citizens
put off it!" "_Bhote khoob_, mistree!" squeaked out the native again;
"burra judge sahib not i-sleep apter he dine?--ver_i_ well--I tell the
sahib, passiger mistree moor stamp-i-stamp all the moor I can say!"
So off he went to report in the poop-cabin. A little after, up shot a
head wrapped in a yellow bandanna, just on the level of the poop-deck,
looking through the breast-rail; and the next thing I saw was the
great East Indian himself, with a broad-flapped Manilla hat over
this top-gear, and a red-flowered dressing-gown, standing beside the
binnacle with Captain Williamson. "What the deuce, Captain Williamson!"
said the judge, with an angry glance up to the poop, "cannot I close
my eyelids after dinner for one instant--in my own private apartments,
sir--for this hideous noise! Who the deuce _is_ that person there--eh,
eh?" "He's an American gentleman, I believe, Sir Charles," replied
the captain. "_Believe_, sir!" said the judge, "you ought to _know_
every individual, I think, Captain Williamson, whom you admitted into
this vessel! I expressly stipulated for quiet, sir--I understood that
no suspicious or exceptionable persons should travel in the same
conveyance with _my_ suwarry. I'd have taken the whole ship, sir!"
"I've no more to do than tell him the regulations aboard, Sir Charles,"
said the captain, "and the annoyance will cease." "_Tell_ him, indeed!"
said the judge, a little more good-humouredly, "why, captain, the man
looks like a sea-pirate! You should have taken only such raw griffins
as that young lad on the other side. Ho, kitmagar!" "Maharaj?" said the
footman, bowing down to the deck. "_Slippers lao!_" "Jee, khodabund,"
answered the native, and immediately after he reappeared from the
round-house door, with a pair of turned-up yellow slippers. "Take
them up with my salaam to that gentleman there," said Sir Charles, in
Hindostance, "and ask him to use them." "Hullo!," sung out Mr Snout,
on being hove-to by the kitmagar, with one hand on his breast and the
other holding the slippers, "this won't do! You'd better not _rile_ me
again, you cussed niggur you--out o' my way!" There they went at it
along the poop together, Mr Snout striding right forward with his long
legs, and the kitmagar hopping backward out of his way, as he tried to
make himself understood; till, all at once, the poor fellow lost his
balance at the ladder-head, and over he went with a smash fit to have
broken his neck, if the captain's broad back hadn't fortunately been
there to receive it. The rage of Sir Charles at this was quite beyond
joking; nothing else would satisfy him but the unlucky Yankee's being
shoved off the poop by main force, and taken below--the one stamping
and roaring like an old buffalo, and the other testifying against all
"aristocratycal _ty_ranny."

At eight bells, again, I found it a fine breezy night, the two upper
mates walking the weather quarterdeck in blue-water style, six steps
and a look to windward, then a wheel round, and, now and then, a glance
into the binnacle. I went aft and leant over the Seringapatam's lee
quarter, looking at the white backwash running aft from her bows, in
green sparks, into the smooth alongside, and the surge coming round
her counter to meet it. Everything was set aloft that could draw, even
to a starboard main-topmast-stunsail; the high Indiaman being lighter
than if homeward-bound, and the breeze strong abeam, she had a good
heel-over to port: but she went easily through the water, and it was
only at the other side you heard it rattling both ways along the bends.
The shadow of her went far to leeward, except where a gleam came on
the top of a wave or two between the sails and under their foot. Just
below the sheer of the hull aft it was as dark as night, though now
and then the light from a port struck on it and went in again; but
every time she sank, the bight of her wake from astern swelled up away
round the counter, with its black side as smooth as a looking-glass. I
kept peering into it, and expecting to see my own face, while all the
time I was very naturally thinking of one quite different, and felt
uneasy till I should actually see her. "Confound it!" I thought, "were
it only a house, one might walk round and round it till he found out
the window!" I fancied her bewitching face through the garden door,
as clearly as if I saw it in the dark head of the swell; but I'd have
given more only to hear that imp of a cockatoo scream once--whereas
there was nothing but the water working up into the rudder-case; the
pintles creaking, and the tiller-ropes cheeping as they traversed;
and the long welter of the sea when the ship eased down, with the
surgeon and his friends walking about and laughing up to windward.
From that, again, I ran on putting things together, till, in fact,
Jacobs's notion of a shipwreck seemed by far the best. No doubt Jacobs
and Westwood, with a few others, would be saved, while I didn't even
object much to the old nabob himself, for respectability's sake, and to
spare crape. But, by Jove, wouldn't one bring him to his bearings soon
enough there! Every sailor gets hold of this notion some night-watch
or other, leaning over the side, with pretty creatures aboard he can
scarce speak to otherwise; and I was coiling it down so fast myself,
at the moment, that I had just begun to pitch into the nabob about our
all being Adam's sons and daughters, under a knot of green palm-trees,
at the door of a wooden house, half thatched with leaves, when I was
brought up with a round turn by seeing a light shining through the
hazy bull's-eye in the deck where I stood. No doubt the sweet girl I
had been thinking of was actually there, and going to bed! I stretched
over the quarter, but the heavy mouldings were in the way of seeing
more than the green bars of the after window--all turned edgeways to
the water, where the gallery hung out like a corner turret from the
ship's side. Now and then, however, when she careened a little more
than ordinary, and the smooth lee swell went heaping up opposite, I
could notice the light through the venetians from the state-room come
out upon the dark water in broad bright lines, like the grate across
a fire, then disappearing in a ripple, till it was gone again, or
somebody's shadow moved inside. It was the only lighted window in the
gallery, and I looked every time it came as if I could see in; when
at last, you may fancy my satisfaction, as, all of a sudden, one long
slow heave-over of the ship showed me the whole bright opening of
the port, squared out of her shadow, where it shone upon the glassy
round of the swell. 'Twas as plain as from a mirror in a closet,--the
lighted gallery window with its frame swung in, a bit of the deck-roof
I was standing on, and two female figures at the window--mere dark
shapes against the lamp. I almost started back at the notion of their
seeing me, but away lengthened the light on the breast of the swell,
and it sank slowly down into a black hollow, as the Indiaman eased up
to windward. Minute by minute, quite breathless, did I watch for such
another chance; but next time she leant over as much, the port had
been closed, and all was dark; although those few moments were enough
to send the heart into my mouth with sheer delight. The figure I had
seen holding with one hand by the portsill, and apparently keeping up
her dress with the other, as if she were looking down steadily on the
heave of the sea below--it couldn't be mistaken. The line of her head,
neck, and shoulders, came out more certain than if they hadn't been
filled up with nothing but a black shadow; it was just Lota Hyde's, as
she sat in the ball-room amongst the crowd, I'd have bet the Victory to
a bumboat on it: only her hair hung loose on one side, while the girl
behind seemed to be dressing the other, for it was turned back, so that
I saw clear past her cheek and neck to where the lamp was, and her ear
gleamed to the light. For one moment nothing could be plainer, than the
glimpse old Davy Jones gave me by one of his tricks; but the old fellow
was quite as decorous in his way as a chamberblind, and swallowed his
pretty little bit of blab as quickly as if it had been a mermaid caught
at her morning toilet. Whenever I found there was to be no more of it
for the night, the best thing to calm one's feelings was to light a
cigar and walk out the watch; but I took care it should rather be over
the nabob's head than his daughter's, and went up to the weather side,
where there was nobody else by this time, wishing her the sweetest of
dreams, and not doubting I should see her next day.

I daresay I should have walked out the first watch, and the second too,
if Westwood hadn't come up beside me before he turned in.

"Why, you look like the officer of the watch, Ned!" said my friend,
after taking a glance, round at the night. "Yes--what?--a--a--I don't
think so," stammered I, not knowing what he said, or at least the
meaning of it, though certainly it was not so deep. "I hope not though,
Tom!" said I again, "'tis the very thing I don't want to look like!"
"You seem bent on keeping it up, and coming the innocent, at any
rate," said he; "I really didn't know you the first time I saw you in
the cuddy." "Why, man, you never saw our theatricals in the dear old
Iris, on the African station! I was our best female actor of tragedy
there, and _did_ Desdemona so well that the black cook who stood for
Othello, actually cried. He said, 'Nobody but 'ee dibble umself go
forsmudder missee Dasdemoner!'" "I daresay," said Westwood; "but what
is the need for it _now_, even if _you_ could serve as a blind for me?"
"My dear fellow!" said I, "not at all--you've kept it up very well so
far--just go on." "Keep it up, Ned?" inquired he, "what do you mean?
I've done nothing except keep quiet, from mere want of spirits." "So
much the better," I said; "I never saw a man look more like a prophet
in the wilderness; it doesn't cost you the least trouble--why you'd
have done for Hamlet in the Iris, if for nothing else! After all,
though, a missionary don't wear blue pilot-cloth trousers, nor tie his
neckerchief as you do, Tom. You must bend a white neckcloth to-morrow
morning! I'm quite serious, Westwood, I assure you," continued I.
"Just think of the suspicious look of two navy men being aboard an
_Indiaman_, nobody knows how! Why, the first frigate we speak, or port
we touch at, they'd hand one or both of us over at once--which I, for
my part, shouldn't at all like!" "Indeed, Collins," said Tom, turning
round, "I really cannot understand _why_ you went out in her! It
distresses me to think that here you've got yourself into this scrape
on my account! At least you'll put back in the first home-bound ship

"Oh!" exclaimed I, blushing a little in the dark though, both at
Westwood's simplicity and my not wishing to tell him my secret
yet--"I'm tired of shore--I _want_ to see India again--I'm thinking of
going into the _army_, curse it!" "The _army_, indeed!" said Westwood,
laughing for the first time, "and you midshipman all over. No--no--that
won't do! I see your drift, you can't deceive _me_! You're a true
friend, Ned,--to stand by an old schoolmate so!" "No, Tom!" said I;
"'tis yourself has too kind a heart, and more of a sailor's, all fair
and above-board, than I can manage! I _won't_ humbug _you_, at any
rate--I tell you I've got a scheme of my own, and you'll know more of
it soon." Tom whistled; however I went on to tell him, "The long and
the short of it is, Westwood, you'll bring both of us by the head if
you don't keep up the missionary." "Missionary!" repeated he; "you
don't mean to say you and Neville intended all that long toggery you
supplied my kit with, for me to sail under _missionary_ colours? I
tell you what, Ned, it's not a character I like to cut jokes upon,
much less to sham!" "Jokes!" said I; "there's no joking about it; 'tis
serious enough." "Why," said Westwood, "_now_ I know the reason of a
person like a clergyman sighting me through his spectacles for half an
hour together, these two evenings below! This very afternoon he called
me his brother, and began asking me all manner of questions which I
could no more answer than the cook's mate." "Clergyman be hanged!"
said I, "you must steer clear of him, Tom--take care you don't bowse
up your jib too much within hail of him! Mind, I gave your name, both
to the head-steward and the skipper, as the Reverend Mr Thomas, going
back to Bombay." "The devil you did!" "Why there was nothing else for
it, Westwood," I said, "when you were beyond thinking for yourself. All
you've got to do with that solemn chap in the spectacles, is just to
look as wise as possible, and let him know you belong to the _Church_.
And as for shamming, you needn't sham a bit--_taketoit_ my dear
fellow, if that will do you good!" I said this in joke, but Westwood
seemed to ponder on it for a minute or two. "Indeed, Collins," said he
gravely, "I _do_ think you're right. What do we sailors do, but give
up everything in life for a mere schoolboy notion, and keep turning
up salt water for years together like the old monks did the ground;
only they grew corn and apples for their pains, and we have nothing
but ever so many dull watches and wild cruises ashore to remember!
How many sailors have turned preachers and missionaries, just because
something, by accident as it were, taught them to put to account what
you can't help feeling now and then in the very _look_ of the sea? What
does it mean in the Scriptures, Ned, about 'seeing the wonders of the
Lord in the deep?'" As Westwood said this, both of us stopped on the
taffrail, and, somehow or other, a touch of I didn't well know _what_
went through me. I held my breath, with his hand on my arm, just at the
sight I had seen a thousand times--the white wake running broad away
astern, with a mark in the middle as if it had been torn, on to the
green yeast of the waves, then right to their black crests plunging in
the dark. It was midnight ahead, and the clouds risen aloft over where
I had been looking half all hour before; but the long ragged split
to westward was opened up, and a clear glaring glance of the sky, as
pale as death, shot through it on the horizon. "I can't be sorry for
having gone to sea," said Westwood again; "but isn't it a better thing
to leave home and friends, as those men do, for the sake of carrying
the gospel to the heathen?" As soon as we wheeled round, with the ship
before us, leaning over and mounting to the heave, and her spread of
canvass looming out on the dark, my thoughts righted. "Well," said I,
"it may be all very well for some--every one to his rope; but, for my
part, I think if a man hadn't been made for the sea, he couldn't have
built a ship, and where would your missionaries be _then_? You're older
than I am, Westwood, or I'd say you let some of your notions run away
with you, like a Yankee ship with her short-handed crew!" "Oh, Ned,"
said he, "of all places in the world for one's actions coming back on
him the sea is the worst, especially when you're an idler, and have
nothing to do but count the sails, or listen to the passengers' feet
on deck. These two days, now, I've thought more than I ever did in my
life. I can't get that man's death out of my head; every time, the sea
flashes round me as I come from below, I think of him--it seems to me
he is lying yet by the side of the Channel. I can't help having the
notion he perhaps _fired in the air_!" "'Twas a base lie!" said I; "If
_he_ weren't _there_, you wouldn't be here, I call tell you, Westwood."
"I don't know how I shall ever drag through this voyage," continued he.
"If there were a French gunboat to cut out to-morrow morning, or if we
were only to have a calm some day in sight of a Spanish slaver,--'tis
nothing but a jogging old Indiaman though! I shall never more see the
flag over my head with pride--every prospect I had was in the service!"

Next morning was fine, and promised to be hot; the ship still with a
sidewind from near south-west, which 'twas easy to see had slackened
since midnight with a pour of rain, the sails being all wet, and coats
hung to dry in the fore-rigging; she was going little more than five or
six knots headway. The water was bluer, lifting in long waves, scarce
a speck of foam except about the ship; but instead of having broke
up with the sun, or sunk below the level, the long white clouds were
risen high to leeward, wandering away at the top and facing us steady
below out of the sky, a pretty sure sign they had more to do. However,
the Indiaman was all alive from stem to stern: decks drying as clean
as a table; hens and ducks clucking in the coops at their food; pigs
grunting; stewards and cabin-boys going fore and aft, below and above,
and the men from aloft coming slowly down for breakfast, with an eye
into the galley funnel. Most of the passengers were upon deck, in knots
all along the poop-nettings, to look out for Corvo and Flores, the
westernmost of the Azores, which we had passed before daybreak.

"I say, Fawd!" said the warlike cadet with the mustache, all of a
sudden yawning and stretching himself, as if he'd been struck with the
thing himself, "Cussed dull this vessel already, ain't it?" "Blast me,
no, you fellow!" said Ford, the nautical man--"that's because you're
not interested in the ocean--the sea--as I am! You should study the
_craft_, Bob, my boy! I'll teach you to go aloft. I only wish it would
blow harder--not a mere capful of wind, you know, but a tempest!" "By
Jove! Fawd," said the other, "_how_ we _shall_ enjoy India--even that
breakfast with old Rollock! By the bye, ain't breakfast ready yet?"
These two fellows, for my part, I took for a joint-model, just trying
to hit a mid-helm betwixt them, else I couldn't have got through it:
accordingly they both patronised me. "Haw, Cawlins!" said one, nodding
to me. "Is that you, my boy?" said the other; "now you're a fellow
_never_ would make a sailor!" "I daresay not," I said, gravely, "if
they have all to commence as horse-marines." "Now, such ignorance!"
said Ford; "marines don't ride horses, Collins, you fellow!--how d'you
think they could be _fed_ at sea--eh?" "Well--now--that didn't occur
to me!" said I, in the cadet key. "Fawd, my boy, you--demmee--you
know too much--you're quite a sea-cook!" "Oh, now! But I'm afraid,
Winterton, I never shall land ashore in India--I _am_ tempted to
go into the navy instead." "I say, Mr Ford," put in a fat unlicked
cub of a tea-middy, grinning as he listened, "I've put you up to a
few _rises_ aboard, but I don't think I told you we've got a dozen
or so of _donkeys_[8] below in the steerage?" "Donkeys!--no?" said
the griffin. "Yes," replied the midshipman; "they kick like blazes,
though, if they get loose in a gale--why mine, now, would knock a hole
through the side in no time--I'll show you them for a glass of grog,
Mr Ford." "Done!" and away they went. "That fool, Fawd, you know,
Cawlins, makes one sick with his stuff; I declare he chews little
bits of tobacco in our room till he vomits as much as before," said
Winterton. "I tell you what, Cawlins, you're a sensible man--I'll let
you into a secret! What do you think--there's the deucedest pretty girl
in the vessel, we've none of us seen except myself; I caught a sight
of her this very mawning. She don't visit the cuddy at all; papa's
proud, you pusseeve--a nabob in short!" "Oh, dear!" said I. "Yes, I
do assure you, quite a bew-ty! What's to be done?--we absolutely must
meet her--eh, Cawlins?" Here I mused a bit. "Oh!" said I, looking up
again, "shall we send a deputation, do you think?" "Or get up a ball,
Cawlins?--Hallo, what's this?" said he, leaning over the breast-rail
to look at a stout lady who was lugging a chubby little boy of three
or four, half-dressed, up the poop-stair, while her careful husband
and a couple of daughters blocked it up above. "See, Tommy, dear!"
said she, "look at the _land_--the nice, land, you know, Tommy." "Come
away, my love," said her spouse, "else you won't see it." Tommy,
however, hung back manfully. "Tommy don't want wook at _yand_," sang
out he, kicking the deck; "it all such 'mell of a sheep, ma; me wook
at 'at man wis _gate feel_. Fare other _feel_, man? Oh, fat a ugwy
man!" The honest tar at the wheel pulled up his shirt, and looked
terribly cut at this plain remark on his phiz, which certainly wasn't
the most beautiful; meanwhile he had the leech of the main to'gallant
sail shaking. "Mind your helm, there," sung out the second mate from
the capstan. "My good man," said the lady, "will you be so kind as to
show us the land?" "Ay, ay, sir," growled he, putting up his weather
spokes; "sorry I carn't, ma'am--please not to speak to the man at the
wheel." Jacobs was coiling down the ropes on a carronade close by, and
stepped forward: "Beg your ladyship's pardon," said he, "but if ye'll
give me charge o' the youngster till you goes on the poop--why, I've
got a babby at home myself." The stout lady handed him over, and Jacobs
managed the little chap wonderfully. This was the first time Tommy had
been on deck since leaving home, and he couldn't see over the high
bulwarks, so he fancied it was a house he was in. "Oh, suts big _tees,
man_!" shouted he, clapping his hands as soon as he noticed the sails
and rigging aloft; "suts warge birds in a _tees_!" "Ay, ay, my little
man," answered Jacobs, "that's the wonderfowl _tree_! Did ye ever
hear Jack and the Bean-stalk, Tommy?" "Oh, 'ess, to be soo, _man_!"
said Tommy, scornfully, as if he should think he had. "Well, little
un," said Jacobs, "that's it, ye see. It grows up every night afore
Jack's door--and them's Jack an' his brothers a-comin' down out on
the wonderfowl country aloft, with fruits in their hands." The little
fellow was delighted, and for going aloft at once. "Ye must wait a bit,
Tommy, my lad, till you're bigger," said Jacobs; "here I'll show you
the country, though;" so he lifted the boy up to let him see the bright
blue sea lying high away round the sky. In place of crying, as he would
have done otherwise, Tommy stared with pleasure, and finished by vowing
to get as soon big as possible, Jacobs advising him to eat always as
hard as he had been doing hitherto.

[8] Sea slang for sailors' chests.

This morning the breakfast party was in high spirits: Mr Finch, the
chief officer, rigged up to the nines in white trowsers and Company's
jacket, laying himself out to please the young ladies, with whom he
began to be a regular hero. He was as blustering as a young lion, and
as salt-tongued as a Channel pilot to the men; but with the ladies, on
the poop or in the cabin, he was always twisting his sea-talk into fine
language, like what you see in books, as if the real thing weren't good
enough. He rubbed his hands at hearing the mate on deck singing out
over the skylight to trim yards, and gave a look along to the captain.
"You must understand, ladies," said the mate, "this is what we mariners
call the 'ladies' wind!'" "Oh delightful!" "Oh _so_ nice!" "You sailors
_are_ so polite!" exclaimed the young ladies--"then does it actually
_belong_ to us?" "Why it's a _Trade_ wind, Miss Fortescue!" said Ford
the nautical cadet, venturing to put in a word; but the ladies paid
no attention to him, and the chief mate gave him a look of contempt.
"You see, ladies, the reason is," said the mate, in a flourishing way,
"because it's so regular, and as gentle as--as--why it wafts your bark
into the region of, you see,--the--" "The 'Doldrums,'" put in the
third mate, who was a brinier individual by far, and a true seaman,
but wished to pay his compliments too, between his mouthfuls. "At any
rate," Finch went on, "it's congenial, I may say, to the feelings of
the fair--you need never touch her braces from one day to another. I
just wish, Miss Fortescue, you'd allow me the felicity of letting you
see how to put the ship about!" "A _soldier_ might put her in stays,
miss," said the third mate again, encouragingly, "and out of 'em again;
she's a remarkable easy craft, owing to her----" "Confound it! Mr
Rickett," said the first mate, turning round to his unlucky inferior,
"you're a sight too coarse for talking to ladies. Well the captain
didn't hear you!" Rickett looked dumbfoundered, not knowing what was
wrong; the old ladies frowned; the young ones either blushed or put
their handkerchiefs to their mouths, and some took the occasion for
walking off.

The weather began to have a different turn already by the time we got
up--the clouds banking to leeward, the sea dusky under them, and the
air-line between rather bluish. Two or three lazy gulls in our wake
began to look alive, and show themselves, and a whole black shoal of
porpoises went tumbling and rolling across the bows for half an hour,
till down they dived of a sudden, head-foremost, one after another in
the same spot, like so many sheep through a gap.

My gentleman-mate was to be seen everywhere about the decks, and active
enough, I must say: the next minute he was amongst two or three young
ladies aft, as polite as a dancing-master, showing them everything
in board and out, as if nobody knew it except himself. Here a young
girl, one of Master Tommy's sisters, came skipping aft, half in a
fright. "Oh, Miss Fortescue!" cried she, "just think!--I peeped over
into a nasty black hole there, with a ladder in it, and saw ever so
many common sailors hung up in bags from the ceiling. Oh, what do you
think, one of them actually kissed his hand to me!" "Only one of the
watch below awake, Miss," said the mate; "impertinent swab!--I only
wish I knew which it was." "Poor fellows!" said the young ladies;
"pray, don't be harsh to them--but what have they been doing?" "Oh,
nothing," said he, with a laugh, "but swing in their hammocks since
eight bells." "Then are they so lazy as to dislike getting up to such
delightful-looking occupations?" "Why, ma'am," said the mate, staring
a little, "they've been on deck last night two watches, of four hours
each, I must say that for them." "Dear me!" broke out the ladies; and
on this the chief officer took occasion to launch out again concerning
"the weary vigils," as he called them, "which we mariners have to keep,
far distant from land, without a smile from the eyes of the fair to
bless us! But, however, the very thought of it gives courage to the
sailor's manly heart, to disregard the billows' fearful rage, and reef
topsails in the tempest's angry height!" Thought I, "he'd much better
do it before." However, the young ladies didn't seem to see that,
evidently looking upon the mate as the very pink of seamen; and he
actually set a second lower stud-sail, to show them how fast she could

"D'ye know, sir," put in the third mate, coming from forward, "I'm
in doubt it's going to be rather a sneezer, sir, if ye look round
the larboard stuns'ls." Sure enough, if our fine gentleman had had
time, amidst his politeness, just to cast an eye beyond his spread
of cloth, he would have noticed the clouds gathered all in a lump to
north-eastward, one shooting into another--the breast of them lowering
down to the horizon, and getting the same colour as the waves, till
it bulked out bodily in the middle. You'd have fancied the belly of
it scarce half a mile off from the white yard-arms, and the hollow of
it twenty--coming as stealthily as a ghost, that walks without feet
after you, its face to yours, and the skirt of its winding-sheet in
"kingdom come" all the while. I went up on the poop, and away behind
the spanker I could see the sun gleam for one minute right on the eye
of stray cloud risen to nor'-west, with two short streaks of red,
purple, and yellow together--what is called a "wind-gall;" then it was
gone. The American was talking away with jovial old Rollock and Ford,
who began to look wise, and think there was mischief brewing in the
weather. "Mind your helm there, sirrah!" sung out the mate, walking
aft to the wheel, as everything aloft fluttered. "She won't lie her
course, sir!" said the man. "All aback for'ud!" hailed the men at work
on the bowsprit; and hard at it went all hands, trimming yards over
and over again; the wind freshening fast, stunsails flapping, booms
bending, and the whole spread of canvass in a cumber, to teach the mate
not to be in such a hurry with his infernal merchantman's side-wings
next time. The last stunsail he hauled down caught full aback before
the wheel could keep her away quick enough; the sheet of it hitched
foul at the boom-end, and crack through went the boom itself, with a
smash that made the ladies think it a case of shipwreck commencing. The
loose scud was flying fast out from behind the top of the clouds, and
spreading away overhead, as if it would catch us on the other side;
while the clouds themselves broke up slowly to both hands, and the
north-east breeze came sweeping along right into the three topsails,
the wind one way and the sea another. As she rounded away steadying
before it, you felt the masts shake in her till the topsails blew out
full; she gave one sudden bolt up with her stern, like an old jackass
striking behind, which capsized three or four passengers in a heap; and
next minute she was surging along through the wide heave of the water
as gallantly as heart could wish, driving a wave under her bows that
swung back under the forechains on both sides, with two boys running up
the rigging far aloft on each mast to stow the royals. The next thing
I looked at was poor Ford's nautical hat lifting alongside on the top
of a wave, as if it were being handed up to him; but no sooner seen,
than it was down in the hollow a quarter of a mile off, a couple of
white gulls making snatches at it and one another, and hanging over
it again with a doubtful sort of a scream. Still the wind was as yet
nothing to speak of when once aft; the sea was getting up slowly, and
the Indiaman's easy roll over it made every one cheerful, in spite of
the shifts they were put to for getting below. When the bell struck for
dinner, the sun was pretty clear, away on our starboard bow; the waves
to south-westward glittered as they rose; one side of the ship shone
bright to the leech of the mainto'gallant-sail, and we left the second
mate hauling down the jibs for want of use for them.

The splendid pace she went at was plain, below in the cuddy, to
everybody; you felt her shoving the long seas aside with the force of
a thousand horses in one, then sweep they came after her, her stern
lifted, she rolled round, and made a floating rush ahead. In the middle
of it all, something darkened the half-open skylight, where I perceived
the Scotch second-mate's twisted nose and red whiskers, as he squinted
down with one eye aloft, and disappeared again; after which I heard
them clue up to'gallant-sails. Still she was driving through it rather
too bodily to let the seas rise under her; you _heard_ the wind hum of
the main-topsail, and sing through betwixt it and the main-course, the
scud flying over the skysail-mast truck, which I could see from below.
The second mate looked in once more, caught the first officer's eye
with a glance aloft, and the gallant mate left attending to the ladies
to go on deck. Down went the skylight frame, and somebody carefully
threw a tarpaulin over it, so that there was only the light from the
port-windows, by which a dozen faces turned still whiter.

The moment I shoved my head out of the booby-hatch, I saw it was
like to turn out a regular gale from nor'-east. Both courses brailed
close-up, and blowing out like rows of big-bladders; the three
topsail-yards down on the caps to reef, their canvass swelling and
thundering on the stays like so many mad elephants breaking loose; the
wild sky ahead of us staring right through in triumph, as it were, and
the wind roaring from aft in her bare rigging; while a crowd of men
in each top were laying out along the foot-ropes to both yard-arms.
Below, they were singing out at the reef-tackles, the idlers tailing on
behind from the cook to the cabin-boys, a mate to each gang, and the
first officer with his hands to his mouth before the wheel, shouting
"Bear a hand!--d'ye hear!--two reefs!" It did one's heart good, and I
entered into the spirit of it, almost forgiving Finch his fine puppy
lingo, when I saw him take it so coolly, standing like a seaman, and
sending his bull's voice right up with the wind into the bellies of
the topsails--so I e'en fell-to myself, and dragged with the steward
upon the mizen reef-tackle till it was chock up. There we were, running
dead before it, the huge waves swelling long and dark after us out
of the mist, then the tops of them scattered into spray; the glaring
white yards swayed slowly over aloft, each dotted with ten or a dozen
sturdy figures, that leant over with the reef-points in their hands,
waiting till the men at the _earings_ gave the word; and Jacobs's face,
as he looked round to do so--hanging on heaven knows what at one of
the ends--was as distinct as possible against the gray scud miles off,
and sixty feet above the water. A middy, without his cap, and his hair
blowing out, stood holding on in the main-top to quicken them; the
first mate waved his hand for the helmsman to "luff a little." The
ship's head was rounding slowly up as she rose on a big blue swell,
that caught a wild gleam on it from westward, when I happened to glance
towards the wheel. I could scarcely trust my eyes--in fact it had never
been less in my mind since coming aboard than at that very point--but
outside one of the round-house doors, which was half open, a few feet
from the bulwark I leant over--of all moments in the day, _there_ stood
Lota Hyde herself at last! Speak of faces!--why, I hadn't even power
to turn farther round, and if I was half out of breath before, what
with the wind and with pulling my share, I was breathless now--all my
notions of her never came up to the look of her face at that instant!
She just half stopped, as it were, at sight of the state of things,
her hands letting go of the large shawl, and her hair streaming from
under a straw hat tied down with a ribbon--her lips parted betwixt
dread and bewilderment, and her eyes wandering round till they settled
a-gazing straight at the scene ahead, in pure delight. I actually
looked away aloft from her again, to catch what it was she seemed to
see that could be so beautiful!--the second reef just made fast, men
crowding in to run down and hoist away with the rest, till, as they
tailed along decks, the three shortened topsails rose faster up against
the scud, and their hearty roaring chorus was as loud as the gale.
"Keep her away, my lad!" said the mate, with another wave of his hand;
the topsails swelled fair before it, and the Indiaman gave a plunge
right through the next sea, rising easily to it, heave after heave.
The setting sun struck two or three misty spokes of his wheel through
a cloud, that made a big wave here and there glitter; the ship's white
yards caught some of it, and a row of broad backs, with their feet
stretching the foot-rope as they stowed the foresail, shone bright out,
red, blue, and striped, upon the hollow of the yellow fore-topsail, in
the midst of the gale; while just under the bowsprit you saw her black
figure-head, with his white turban, and his hand to his breast, giving
a cool salaam now and then to the spray from her bows. At that moment,
though, Lota Hyde's eye was the brightest thing I could find--all the
blue gone out of the waves was in it. As for her seeing myself, I
hadn't had space to think of it yet, when all of a sudden I noticed
her glance light for the first time, as it were, on the mate, who was
standing all the while with his back to her, on the same plank of the
quarterdeck. "Down main-course!" he sung out, putting one hand in his
jacket-pocket; "down both tacks--that's it, my men--down with it!"--and
out it flapped, slapping fiercely as they dragged it by main force into
the bulwark-cleats, till it swelled steady above the main-stay, and the
old ship sprang forward faster than before, with a wild wash of the
Atlantic past her sides. "Another hand to the wheel, here!" said the
first officer. He took a look aloft, leaning to the rise of her bows,
then to windward as she rolled; everything looked trim and weatherly,
so he stepped to the binnacle, where the lamp was ready lighted, and it
just struck me what a smart, good-looking fellow the mate was, with his
sun-burnt face; and when he went to work, straight-forward, no notion
of showing off. "Confound it, though!" thought I of a sudden, seeing
_her_ eyes fixed on him again, and then to seaward. "Mr Macleod," said
he to the second mate, "send below the watch, if you please. This
breeze is first-rate, though!" When he turned round, he noticed Miss
Hyde, started, and took off his cap with a fine bow. "I beg pardon,
ma'am," said he, "a trifle of wind we have! I hope, Miss Hyde, it
hasn't troubled you in the round-house?" What Miss Hyde might have said
I don't know, but her shawl caught a gust out of the spanker, though
she was in the lee of the high poop; it blew over her head, and then
loose--I sprang forward--but the mate had hold of it, and put it over
her again. The young lady smiled politely to the mate, and gave a cold
glance of surprise, as I thought, at me. I felt, that moment, I could
have knocked the mate down and died happy. "Why, sir," said he, with a
cool half sneer, "I fancied none of you gentlemen would have favoured
us this capful of wind--plenty of air there is on deck, though." It
just flashed through my mind what sort of rig I was in--I looked over
my infernal 'long-shore toggery, and no wonder she didn't recollect me
at all! "_Curse_ this confounded folly!" muttered I, and made a dart to
run up the poop-steps, where the breeze took me slap aback, just as the
judge himself opened the larboard door. "Why, Violet!" exclaimed he,
surprised at seeing his daughter, "are you exposing yourself to this
disagreeable--I declare a perfect _storm_!" "But see, papa!" said she,
taking hold of his arm, "how changed the sea is!--and the ship!--just
look where the sun was!" "Get in--get in, do!" kept on her father;
"you can see all that again in some finer place; you should have had
a servant with you, at least, Violet." "I shall come out oftener
than I thought, papa, I can tell you!" said she, in an arch sort of
way, before she disappeared. The mate touched his cap to the judge,
who asked where the captain was. "'Gad sir," said the judge crossly,
"the floor resembles an earthquake--every piece of furniture swings,
sir; 'tis well enough for sleeping, but my family find it impossible
to dine. If this _oolta-poolta_ continues in my apartments, I must
speak to Captain Williamson about it! He must manage to get into some
other part of the sea, where it is less rough," saying which he swayed
himself in and shut the door. I still kept thinking and picturing _her_
face--Lota Hyde's--when she noticed the mate. After all, any one that
knew tack from bowline might reef topsails in a fair wind; but a girl
like _that_ would make more count of a man knowing how to manage wind
and sea, than of the Duke on his horse at Waterloo beating Bonaparte;
and as for talk, he would jaw away the whole voyage, no doubt, about
moonlight and the ocean, and your genteel fancy mariners! "By George,
though!" thought I, "if the mate's a better man than me, hang me--it's
all right; but burn my wig if I don't go and turn a Hindoo fakeer, with
my one arm stuck up in the air till I die! Go it, old lady!" said I, as
I glanced over the side before going below for the night, "roll away,
only shake something or other to _do_ out of the pace you're going at!"

The next morning, when Westwood and I went on deck, there was still
a long sea running after us. However, by noon the sun came sifting
through aloft, the breeze got warm, the decks were dry as a bone,
and one just saw the large dark-blue swells lift up alongside with a
shower of spray, between the seams of the bulwarks. By six o'clock,
again, it was got pretty dusk ahead, and I strolled forward right to
the heel of the bowsprit, with Westwood, looking down through her
head-boards into the heap of white foam that washed up among the
woodwork every time she plunged. One knot of the men were sitting with
their legs over the break of the top-gallant forecastle, swinging as
she rolled--laughing, roaring, and singing as loud as they could bawl,
since the wind carried it all forward out of the officers' hearing. I
was rather surprised to see and hear that Jacobs's friends, Bill Dykes
and Tom, were there: the rogues were taking back their savage to the
Andaman Isles again, I suppose. "Well, my lads," said Tom, a regular
sample of the man-o'-war's-man: "this is what I calls balling it off!
That mate knows how to make her go, any how!" "We'll soon be into
tropical regents, I consider!" remarked Bill, who made a point of never
using sea-phrases except ashore, when he came out double salt, to make
up for his gentility afloat. "Hum," grumbled a big ugly fellow, the
same so flattered at the wheel by little Tommy, "I doesn't like your
fair winds! I'll tell you what, mates, we'll be havin' it puff more
from east'ard ere third watch." "What's the odds, Harry, old ship?"
said Tom, "a fair wind still!" "I say, my lads," exclaimed Tom again,
looking along toward the poop, "yonder's the ould naboob squinting out
of the round-house doors!--what's he after now, I wonder?" On stooping
down, accordingly, I could see the judge's face with the binnacle-light
shining on it, as he swayed to and fro in the doorway, seemingly in
a passion at something or other. "Why," said Bill, "I consider he
can't altogether circumstand the shindy as this here roll kicks up
inside of his blessed paliss!" "Nabob, does ye call him!" said Harry,
sulkily; "I'll tell you what, 'mates, he ben't nothin' but a reg'lar
bloody ould tyrant! T'other mornin' there, I just chances to brush
against him as I kiles up a rope, says he '_Fellow!_' an' says he to
the skipper, 'I'd take it kind,' says he, 'if ye'd horder them commin
sailors for to pay more contention alongside o' _my_ legs, Captin
Willumsen!' Why, do the old beggar not think as a feller ben't a _man_
as well as hisself, with his _commin sailors_, an' be blowed to him!"
"Well though, Harry, old ship," said Tom, "an't that daurter of his'n
a jewel! I say, 'mates, she's all rounded into the head, and a clear
run from aft, like a corvette model! My eye, that hair of hers is worth
gold; I'd go down on the deck to please her, d'ye see!" "No doubt,"
says Bill, "she's what I call a exact sparkler!" "Well, I doesn't
know," said Harry. "Last vy'ge but one we'd got one aboard, a'most
beautifuller--half as high again, an' twice her beam--I'm not sure but
_she_--" "All my eye, messmates!" broke in Tom; "that one were built
for _stowing_, ye see, bo', like yer cargo lumpers. Now, this here
young gal minds me o' no other blessed thing but the Nymph corvette's
figure-head--and that warn't her match, neither! She don't look down
upon a sailor, I can tell ye; there I see her t'other morning-watch a
talkin' to Jacobs yonder, as pleasant and cheery as----Hullo, there's
the captain comed out o' the naboob's cabin, and speaking with the mate
by the compass,--blessed if they an't agoin' to alter her course!"

"Send aft here to the braces!" sung out the first officer to the
boatswain. "Blow me, shipmates, that's yeer naboob now, I'll bet a
week's grog," growled Harry; "ship's course as fair as a handspike
through a grummet; couldn't bring the wind more aft; b--t my eyes, the
sea's comin' to be bought and sold!" Whatever it might be _for_, in
came the starboard yard-arms till she lay over a little; down studding
and top-gallant sails, as neither of them could stand it except from
aft; and off went the old ship rising high athwart the seas, her head
sou'-south-east, and one streak of broken yellow light, low down to
westward on her lee quarter. It was beginning to blow harder, too, and
by eight bells it was "Reef topsails, single reef!" The waves played
slap on her weather side, the heavy sprays came showering over her
bulwarks forward, and the forecastle planks were far from being so
comfortable for a snooze as the night before. As soon as the wheel was
relieved, and the other watch below, the "ugly man" and his companions
returned. "Mates," said he, solemnly, planting his back against the
bitts, "I've sailed this five-and-twenty year before the mast, an' I
never yet seed the likes o' _that_! Take my say for it, we're _on_ a
wind now, but afore next mornin' we'll be close-hauled, beating up
against it." "Well," said another, "she leaks a deal in the eyes of her
below; in that case, Harry, _your_ watch as slings in the fore-peak'll
be all afloat by that time." "What day did this here craft sail on, I
asks?" said the sailmaker gravely. "Why, a Thursday night, old ship,"
replied several eagerly. "No," went on the sailmaker; "you counts
sea-fashion, shipmates; but till ye're clear o' the pilot, ye know, its
land fashion ye ought for to go by. 'Twas a _Friday_ by that 'ere said
reckoning, shipmates." "No! so it was though," said the rest--"it don't
_look_ well." "Howsomedever I'm not goin' to come for to go and be a
croaker," continued the sailmaker in a voice like a ghost's. "Well,
luck or no luck, 'mates," grumbled big Harry, "if so be them larboard
bowlines is hauled taut by the morning watch, blow me if I don't be
upsides with that 'ere bloody ould naboob--that's all."

Next morning, after all, it was easy to feel the ship had really been
hauled close on a wind. When we went up, the weather was clearing,
though with a strongish gale from eastward, a heavy sea running, on
which the Indiaman strained and creaked as she rose, rolling slowly
to windward with her three double-reefed topsails strained full, then
pitched head into it, as a cloud of foam and spray flew over her
weather bow. It was quite early, the decks lately washed down, and the
Indian judge walking the weather quarterdeck as grave and comfortable
as if it was all right. The captain was with him, and two mates to
leeward. "Sail O!" hailed a man on the foreyard. "Where away?" sung
out the mate of the watch. "Broad abeam!" The captain went up to the
poop, and I stood on the foremost carronade near the main rigging,
where I could just see her now and then white against the blue haze
between the hollows of the waves, as the Indiaman lifted. "There she
is!" said I, thinking it was Westwood that stopped behind me; it was
the judge, however, and as soon as I got down he stepped up, holding on
with one hand to a backstay. The ship was rising after a pitch, every
bulkhead and timber in her creaking, when all of a sudden I felt by
my feet what all sailors feel the same way--she was coming up in the
wind too fast to mount with the next wave, and a regular _comber_ it
was going to be. I looked to the wheel--there was big Harry himself
with a grin on his face, and his eye on Sir Charles, as he coolly gave
her half a weather-spoke more, and then whirled it back again to meet
her. "For heaven's sake, look out, sir!" exclaimed I. "Why so I do,"
said the judge, rather good-naturedly. "'Zounds! what's--" You felt
the whole ship stop creaking for a moment, as she hung with the last
wave--"Hold on!" shouted a mid--she gave a dull quiver from stem to
stern, and I fairly pulled the judge close into the bulwark, just as
smash, like thunder, came a tremendous green sea over us, three in
one, washing down into the lee scuppers. The old gentleman staggered
up, dripping like a poodle, and unable to see--one heard the water
trickling through the skylights, and stepping away down stairs like
a fellow with iron heels; while there was the sailor at the wheel
grinding down his spokes in right earnest, looking aloft at the shaking
fore-topsail, and the Indiaman seemingly doubtful whether to fall
off or broach-to. Up she rose again, however, and drove round with
her Turk-head in the air, then dip through the spray as gallantly as
ever. "Send that lubber from the wheel, Mr Macleod!" said the captain
angrily, when he came down, "he nearly broached the ship to just now!"
The "ugly man" put on a double-gloomy face, and grumbled something
about her "steering wild;" but the knowing squint he gave Jacobs, who
relieved him, was enough to show me he was one of the best helmsmen
aboard. As for the judge, he hadn't the least notion it was anything
more than a natural mischance, owing to exposing himself. He eyed the
bulwark as if he couldn't understand how any wave was able to rise over
it, while the captain was apologising, and hoping he wouldn't be the
worse. "Eh, young gentleman!" said Sir Charles of a sudden, turning
round to me, after a glance from the weather side to the lee one, "now
I observe the circumstances, the probability is I should have had
myself severely injured on the opposite side there, had it not been
for your presence of mind, sir--eh?" Here I made a bow, and looked as
modest as I could. "I perceive you are wet, young gentleman," said he
again; "you'd better change your dress--eh?" "Thank you, sir!" I said;
and as he walked off quite drenched to his cabin, with the captain, I
heard him remark it was "wonderfully intelligent in a mere griffin."

However, the wind soon got down to a fine top-gallant breeze; less
of a sea on, the clouds sunk in a long gray bank to leeward, and the
strange sail plain abeam of us--a large ship steering seemingly more
off the wind than the Seringapatam, with top-gallant-sails set--you
could just see the heads of her courses, and her black lower-yards,
when both of us rose together. Our first officer was all alive at the
sight; the reefs were out of our topsails already, and he soon had
us ploughing along under ordinary canvass, though still hugging the
wind. In a short time the stranger appeared to take the challenge, for
he slanted his yards, clapped on royals, and hauled down a stunsail,
heading our course, till he was one body of white cloth on the horizon.
For a while we seemed to gain on her; but after dinner, there was the
other ship's hull up on our lee-bow, rising her white streak out of the
water steadily, and just lifting at times on the long blue seas: she
was fore-reaching on us, as plain as could be. The mate gave a stamp
on the deck, and kept her away a little to set a stunsail. "Why," said
I to Westwood, "he'll fall to leeward of himself!" "She's too much _by
the head_, Collins," said Westwood; "that's it!" "Hasn't he the sense
to take the fore-course off her?" said I, "instead of packing more
_on_! Why, that craft weathers on us like a schooner--I wish you and
I had the Indiaman for an hour or two, Tom!" It wasn't an hour before
we could see the very waves splashing up under her black weather-side,
and over her high bows, as she slanted right through it and rose to
windward again, standing up to cross our course--a fine frigate-built
Indiaman, sharper stemmed than her kind in ordinary, and square in her
spread; one yardarm just looking over the other as they ranged aloft,
and all signs of a weatherly craft. "That's the Duke o' Bedford!" said
a sailor at the braces to his companions, "all oak planks, and not a
splinter of teak in _her_! No chance!" Out flew the British colours
from her mizen-peak, and next the Company's striped ensign at her
fore-royal-mast head, as a signal to speak. However, the Seringapatam
only answered by showing her colours, and held on. All of a sudden the
other Indiaman was seen slowly falling off before the wind, as if in
scorn at such rude manners, and sure of passing us if she chose. For a
moment the red sunset glanced through betwixt all three of her masts,
every rope as fine as wire; then the canvass swung broad against it,
blood-red from the sun, and she showed us her quarter-gallery, with a
glimpse of her stern-windows glittering,--you even made out the crowd
of passengers and soldiers on her poop, and a man or two going up her
rigging. The sea beyond her lay as blue as blue could be, what with
the crimson streak that came zig-zag on both sides of her shadow, and
gleamed along the smooth troughs, taking a crest or two to dance on by
the way; and what with the rough of it near at hand, where the tops of
the dark waves ran hither and thither in broad white flakes, we surging
heavily over them.

In a few minutes more the sun was not only down, but the clouds banked
up to westward, of a deep purple; and almost at once you saw nothing
of the other ship, except when a stray streak somehow or other caught
her rising, or her mast-heads came across a pale line in the clouds.
The breeze got pleasanter as the night went on, and the Seringapatam
rattled away in fine style, careening to it by herself.

Well, you know, nothing could be better for a good understanding and
high spirits amongst us than a fast course, fine weather, and entering
the tropics. As for the tropics, if you have only a roomy ship and a
good run of wind, as we had, in those latitudes everything outside of
you seems almost to have double the stuff in it that air and water
have in other places; while _inside_ of one, again, one felt twice the
life he had before, and everybody else came out _newer_ a good deal
than on the parlour rug at home. As the days got each hotter than the
last, and the sea bluer and bluer, we began to think better of the
heavy old Seringapatam's pace, teak though she was, and her sole good
point right before the wind. Every night she lighted her binnacle
sooner, till deuce the bit of twilight there was, and the dark sky came
down on us like the extinguisher over a candle. However, the looks of
things round and aloft made full amends for it, as long as we held the
"Trades;" old Neptune shifting his scenes there so quickly, that nobody
missed getting weather and air, more than he could help, were it only
a sight of how the Indiaman got on, without trouble to any living soul
save the man at the wheel, as one long, big, bright wave shoved her to
another, and the slower they rose the more business she seemed to do
of herself. By the time they had furbished her up at their leisure,
the Seringapatam had a queer Eastern style, too, throughout; with her
grass mattings and husky _coir_ chafing-gear, the yellow varnish about
her, and her three topsails of country-canvass, cut narrow towards the
head--bamboo stunsail booms, and spare bits of bamboo always ready for
everything; besides the bilious-like gold-coloured patches here and
there in the rest of her sails, and the outlandish figure-head, that
made you sometimes think there might be twenty thousand of them under
the bows, dancing away with her like Juggernaut's travelling pagoda.
The decks were lively enough to look at; the men working quietly by
twos and threes about the bulwarks all day long, and pairs of them
to be made out at different points aloft, yarning away comfortably
together, as the one passed the ball for the other's serving-mallet,
with now a glance at the horizon, and now a grin at the passengers
below, or a cautious squint at the top of the mate's cap. White
awnings triced over poop and quarterdeck, the cover of the waist
hammock-netting clean scrubbed, and the big shady main-course half
brailed-up, rustling and bulging above the boats and booms amidships;
every hatchway and door with a round funnel of a wind-sail swelling
into it, and their bellies moving like so many boa-constrictors come
down from aloft, and going in to catch cadets. You saw the bright white
sky dazzling along under the awning-cheeks, that glared on it like
snow; and the open quarterdeck ports let in so many squares of shifting
blue light, with a draught of air into the hot carronade muzzles,
that seemed to gasp for it with their red tompions stuck out like
tongues. The very look of the lifting blue water on the shady side was
refreshing, and the brighter the light got, _it_ grew the darker blue.
You listened for every cool splash of it on the bends, and every rustle
of the canvass aloft; and instead of thinking, as the landsmen did, of
green leaves and a lazy nook for shelter, why, to my fancy there's a
deuced sigh more satisfaction in good _dark blue_, with a spray over
the cat-head to show you're going, and with somewhat to go for! For
want of better, one would have given his ears to jump in head-foremost,
and have a first-rate bathe--the very sea itself kept rising up
alongside to make an easy dive for one, and sinking into little round
troughs again, where the surges would have sprinkled over your head.
Now and then a bigger wave than ordinary would go swelling up, and out
sprang a whole glittering shower of flying-fish, freckling the dark
side with drops, and went flittering over into the next, or skimming
the crests out of sight into a hollow. The writers and cadets were in
high feather at knowing they were in the same latitude as India, and
appeared in all sorts of straw hats, white trousers, and white jackets.
Ford had left off talking of going aloft for a while, to flourish about
his swimming--when he looked over with the surgeon into the smooth of
a hollow, and saw something big and green, like all immense cucumber,
floating along within a fathom or two of the ship, deep down in the
blue water. While the griffin asked what it was, a little ripple broke
above, a wet black horn came right out of it, and two devilish round
eyes glared up at us ahead of it, as we leant over the quarter, set
wide in a broad black snout, shaped like a gravedigger's shovel; then
it sank away into the next wave. Ford shivered, in spite of the heat.
"The devil?" inquired one of the writers, coolly, to the surgeon. "Not
just him," said the Scotchman; "it's only the first _shark_!"

The young ladies, in their white dresses, now made you think of angels
gliding about: as to the only one I had an eye for, by this time it
wasn't of not seeing her often enough I had to complain, as she seemed
to delight in nothing else but being somewhere or other upon deck;
first one part of the ship, then another, as if to see how different
the look-out could be made, or to watch something in the waves or
the horizon. Instead of sitting with a needle or a book, like the
rest, with the corner of one eye toward the gentlemen, or talking and
giggling away at no allowance, she would be noticing a man aloft as if
she were there herself, or trying to see past a sail, as if she fancied
there was something strange on the other side of it. The rest of the
girls appeared shy of her at first, no doubt on account of the Judge's
separate quarters and his grandee style; next, they made acquaintance,
she speaking and smiling just as if she had known them before; then,
again, most of them seemingly got jealous because the cadets squinted
after her; while old Rollock said Miss Hyde would be the beauty on
Chowringee Course, and the first officer was eternally pointing out
things to her, like a showman at a fair. However, she seemed not to
mind it at all, either way: those that did talk to her would scarce
hear her answer ere they lost her, and there she was, looking quietly
down by herself into the ripples alongside; a minute after, she would
be half-playing with little Tommy, and making companions of Tommy's
young sisters, to see the sheep, the pigs, and the cow, or feed the
poultry. As for the handsome "first officer," when he caught occasion
for his politeness, she took it graciously enough, and listened to
all he said; till, of a sudden, a smile would break over her face,
and she seemed to me to put him off as easy as a duchess--on the
score, it might be, of the Judge's looking for her off the poop, or
something else of the kind. 'Twas the more curious how much at home
she seemed amongst the men at work, when she chanced to go "forward"
with Tommy and his sisters, as they skipped hither and thither: the
rough, blue-shirted fellows took the quids out of their cheeks as soon
as they saw the party coming from aft, and began to smirk, shoving the
tar-buckets and ropes aside. One forenoon, an old lady under the poop
awning, where she and her daughter were sewing together at a bright
strip of needlework, asked me to hold her woollen yarns for her as
she balled them off--being the red coat for a sepoy killing a tiger,
which her daughter was making in yellow. I couldn't well refuse,
seeing that amongst the ladies I was reckoned a mild, quiet young man.
Even in these days, I must say I had a good deal of that look, and at
home they used always to call me "quiet Ned." My mother, good soul,
never would believe I broke windows, killed cats, or fought, and the
mystery to her always is _why_ the neighbours had a spite at me; for
if I had been a wild boy, she said, or as noisy as little Brown next
door, why she wouldn't have objected to my going to sea!--that noisy
little Brown, by the bye, is a fat banker. So in I had to stick my
thumbs at arms'-length, and stoop down to the old lady, the more with
a will since I guessed what they were talking of. "Well though, Kate,"
continued the old lady, winding away at the thread, "you cannot deny
her to be a charming creature, my love?" "Oh, if you mean _pretty_!"
said the girl, "I don't _want_ to deny it--not _I_, ma'am!--why should
I, indeed?" "Pity she's a little light-headed," said her mother in a
musing way. "_Affected_, you mean, mother!" said Miss Fortescue, "and
haughty." "Do you know, Kate," replied the old lady, sighing, "I fear
she'll soon _go_ in India!" "_Go?_" said the daughter sharply. "Yes;
she won't stand the hot season as I did--these flighty girls never do.
Poor thing! she certainly hasn't _your_ stamina now, my love!" Here
Miss Fortescue bit her lip, tossed her head, and was saying that wasn't
what she cared about, though in fact she looked ready to cry; when just
at the moment I saw Lota Hyde herself half above the little gallery
stair, gazing straight at me, for the first time, too; a curious kind
of half-smile on her face, as I stood with my paws out, the old lady
jerking the yarn off my wrists, and I staring right over her big bonnet
at the sky astern of the awning, pretending not to listen. All at
once my mouth fell, and before she could turn her face away from the
funny countenance I no doubt put on, I saw her cheek rosy and her eyes
sparkle with laughter, instead of seeming like one to die soon. For my
part I couldn't stand it at all, so I just bolted sheer round and made
three strides to the poop ladder, as dignified as was possible with
ever so many plies of red yarn foul of my wrists, and a big red ball
hopping after me when I'd vanished, like a fellow running from a hot
shot! I daresay they thought on the poop I'd had a stroke of the sun on
my brain; but till next day I kept clear of the passengers, and took to
swigging off stiff nor'-westers of grog, as long as Westwood would let

Next evening, when the cuddy dinner was scarce over, I went up to the
poop, where there was no one to be seen; the sun just setting on our
starboard-quarter in a golden blaze that stretched overhead, with
flakes of it melting, as 'twere, all over the sky to port, and dropping
in it like threads of oil in water; the ship with a light breeze aft,
and stunsails packed large upon her, running almost due for the Line.
The waves to westward were like liquid light, and the eddies round our
counter came glittering out, the whole spread of her mizen and main
canvass shining like gold cloth against the fore: then 'twas but the
royals and skysails brighter than ever, as the big round sun dipped
down with a red streak or two, and the red waterline, against his
hot old face. Every blue surge between had a clear green edge about
its crest, the hollows turning themselves inside out from deep purple
into bright blue, and outside in again,--and the whole rim of the
sea grew out cool and clear away from the ship's taffrail. A pair of
sharp-headed dolphins that had kept alongside for the last few minutes,
swimming near the surface, turned tail round, the moment I put my nose
over the bulwark, and shot off like two streaks of a rainbow after the
flying-fish. I was just wondering where Lota Hyde could be, this time,
when on a sudden I observed little Tommy poke his curly head out of the
booby-hatch, peeping cautiously round; seeing nobody, however, save
the man at the wheel, who was looking over his shoulder at the sun,
the small rogue made a bolt out of the companion, and scampered aft
under the awning to the Judge's starboard door, with nothing on but his
nightshirt. There he commenced kicking and shoving with his bare feet
and arms, till the door flew open, and over went Tommy on his nose,
singing out in fine style. The next thing I heard was a laugh like the
sound of a silver bell; and just as the boy's sister ran up in a fright
lest he had gone overboard, Violet Hyde came out leading the little
chap wrapped in a long shawl that trailed astern of him, herself with
a straw bonnet barely thrown upon her head. "Tommy says you put him
to bed too soon, Jane!" said she smiling. "Iss!" said Master Thomas,
stoutly, "go 'way, Dzane!" "You hadn't bid me good-night--wasn't that
it, Tom? But oh! _what_ a sea!" exclaimed she, catching sight of it
under the awning. The little fellow wanted to see it too, so the young
lady lifted him up in her arms, no small weight I daresay, and they
both looked over the bulwark: the whole sky far out of the awning to
westward being spotted with orange scales, turning almost scarlet,
faster than the dusk from both ends could close in; the clear greenish
tint of it above the openings of the canvass, going up into fathomless
blue overhead, the horizon purple, and one or two still, black clouds
tipped with vermilion against the far sky--while the Indiaman stole
along, scarce plashing under her bends. Every now and then you heard a
whizz and a flutter, as the flying-fish broke out of a bigger surge,
sometimes just missing the ship's side: at last two or three fell over
the mizen chains, and pop came one all of a sudden right into the white
breast of Miss Hyde's dress inside her scarf, where only the wings
kept it from disappearing. She started, Jane screamed, but the little
boy coolly pulled it out, commencing to overhaul it in great delight.
"Oh fat a funny ickoo bird!" shouted he, "it's fell down out of 'ese
t'ees!" looking aloft. "No, no," said Miss Hyde, laughing, as she drew
her shoulders together with a shiver, "birds' noses don't drop water!
'Twill die if you don't put it in again, Tommy--'tis a fish!" "A fish!"
said he, opening his eyes wider, and smacking his lips, "yes, Tommy
eat it for my beckfust!" However the young lady took it out of his
hand and dropped it overboard; on which the small ogre went off rather
discontented, and kissed her more as a favour than otherwise. It was
almost dark already, the water shining up in the ship's wake, and the
stars coming out aloft; so I was left wondering at the impudence of
flying-fish, and the blessings of being a fat little imp in a frock and
trousers, compared with this puzzle of a "traverse," betwixt _being_ a
third lieutenant and hailing for a "griffin."

The night following, after a sultry hot day, the wind had varied a
good deal, and the ship was running almost close-hauled on a warm
south-easterly breeze, with somewhat of a swell in the water. Early in
the first watch there was a heavy shower, after which I went on deck,
leaving Westwood at his book. The half-moon was just getting down to
leeward, clear of a ragged dark cloud, and a long space of faint white
light spread away on the horizon, behind the sheets of the sails hauled
aft; so that you just saw a sort of a glimmer under them, on the black
heave of the swell between. Every time she rolled to leeward on it, a
gleam of the moonshine slipped inside the shadow of her high bulwarks,
from one wet carronade to another, and went glistening over the moist
decks, and among the boats and booms, that looked like some big brute
or other lying stretched out on his paws, till you saw the men's faces
on the forecastle as if they were so many mutineers skulking in the
dark before they rushed aft: then up she righted again, and all was
dark inboard. The awnings were off, and the gruff third mate creaking
slowly to and fro in his soaked shoes; the Judge stood talking with the
captain before one of the round-house doors; directly after I noticed
a young lady's figure in a white dress close by the mizen-rigging,
apparently intent on the sea to leeward. "Well, now or never!" thought
I, stepping over in the shadow of the main-sheet. I heard her draw a
long breath: and then, without turning her head at the sound of my
foot, "I wonder if there is anything so strange in India," exclaimed
she; "_is_ there now?" "No, by----, no, madam!" said I, starting, and
watching as the huge cloud grew darker, with a rusty stain in it, while
three or four broad-backed swells, one beyond the other, rose up black
against the setting moon, as if they'd plunge right into her. Miss Hyde
turned round, with one hand on the bulwark to steady herself, and half
looked at me. "I thought--" said she; "where is papa?--I thought my
father--" I begged pardon for intruding, but next minute she appeared
to have forgotten it, and said, in a musing sort of way, partly to
herself, partly to me--"I seem to _remember_ it all--as if I just saw
that black wave--and--that monstrous cloud--over again! Oh! really that
is the _very_ same top it had _then_--see!" "Yes," said I, leaning
forward, with a notion I _had_ seen it before, though heaven knew
when. "Did you ever read about Columbus and Vasco da Gama?" asked she,
though directly afterwards her features broke into a laughing smile as
she caught sight of mine--at the thought, I suppose, of my ridiculous
figure the last time she saw me. "No, never," said I; "but look to
windward, ma'am; 'tis coming on a squall again. For heaven's sake, Miss
Hyde, go in! We're to have another shower, and that pretty thick. I
wonder the mate don't stow the royals." "What do you mean?" said she,
turning. "Why are you alarmed, sir? I see nothing particular." The
sea was coming over, in a smooth, round-backed swell, out of a dirty,
thick jumble of a sky, with a pitchblack line behind--what Ford would
have called "wild" by daylight; but the young lady's eye naturally saw
no more in it than a dark night. Here the Judge came over from the
binnacle, giving me a nod, as much as to say he recollected me. "I am
afraid, sir," said I, "if you don't make haste, you'll get wet." "How!"
said Sir Charles, "'tis an exceedingly pleasant night, I think, after
such a deuced hot day. They don't know how to cool rooms here--this
perpetual wood retains heat till midnight, sir! That detestable
pitch precludes walking--the sea absolutely glares like tin. _Why_
do you suppose so now--eh, young gentleman?" said he again, turning
back, all of a sudden, with his daughter on his arm. "Why--why--why,
Sir Charles," said I, hesitating betwixt sham innocence and scarce
knowing what reason to give; "why, I just think--that is to say,
it's my feeling, you see." "Ah, ah, I _do_ see," replied the Judge,
good-humouredly; "but you shouldn't ape the sailor, my good fellow,
as I fancy you do a little. I don't particularly admire the class,
but they always have grounds for what they say in their profession,
frequently even acute. At your aunt's, Lady Somers's, now, Violet, who
was naturally so surrounded by naval officers, what I had to object to
was, not their want of intelligence, but their forwardness. Eh! eh!
who--what is _that_?" exclaimed he suddenly, looking straight up into
the dark, as five or six large drops fell on his face out of it. All
at once you heard a long sigh, as it were, in the canvass aloft, a
clap like two or three carronades fired off, as all the sails together
went in to the masts--then a hum in the air far and near--and whish!
rush! came the rain in sheets and bucketfuls off the edge of a cloud
over our very heads, plashing and washing about the deck with coils
of rope; ship rolling without a breath of wind in her sails; sails
flapping out and in; the rain pouring down ten times faster than the
scupper-holes would let it out, and smoking gray in the dark hollow of
the swells, that sank under the force of it. The first officer came on
deck, roaring in the hubbub to clue up and furl the royals before the
wind came again. It got pitch-dark, you couldn't see your hand before
you, and we had all lost mark of each other, as the men came shoving in
between us. However I knew whereabouts Miss Hyde was, so I felt along
the larboard rigging till I found a backstay clasped in her hands,
and the soaked sleeve of her muslin dress, while she leant back on a
carronade, to keep from being jerked down in the water that washed up
over her feet with every roll, full of ropes and a capstan-bar or two.
Without saying a word, I took up Lota in my arms, and carried her aft
in spite of the roll and confusion, steering for the glimmer of the
binnacle, till I got her inside one of their own cabins, where there
was a lamp swinging about, and laid her on a sofa. I felt somehow or
other, as I went, that the sweet creature hadn't fainted, though all
the while as still as death; accordingly I made off again at once to
find the Judge, who, no doubt, was calling for his daughter, with a
poor chance of being heard. In a minute or two more the rain was over;
it was light enough to make out the horizon, as the belt of foam came
broadening out of it; the ship gave two or three wild bounds, the wheel
jolting and creaking: up swelled the black waves again over one side,
the topsails flapped full as the squall rushed roaring into them, and
away she rose; then tore into it like a scared horse, shaking her head
and throwing the snow-white foam into her forechains. 'Twas as much as
three men could do to grind down her wheel, leaning and grinning to it;
you saw just the Indiaman herself, scarce so far forward as the booms,
and the broad swell mounting with her out of the dark, as she slowly
squared yards before it, taking in to'gallant-sails while she did so,
with her topsail-yards lowered on the caps. However, the look of it was
worse than its force, else the swell wouldn't have risen so fast, as
every sailor knew; and by two bells of the mid-watch she was bowling
under all, as easy as before, the mate of the watch setting a stunsail.

When I went down, shaking myself like a Newfoundland, Westwood was
swinging in his cot with a book turned to the lamp, reading _Don
Quixote_ in Spanish. "Bless me, Ned!" said he, "you seem to like
it! paying fair and weathering it too!" "Only a little adventure,
Westwood!" said I, laughing. "Why, here have I been enjoying better
adventures than we seem likely to have," said he, "without stirring a
hand, except for the wild swings you gave me from deck. Here's _Don
Quixote_--" "Don Quixote be hanged!" said I: "I'd rather wear ship in
a gale, myself, than all the humbug that never happened--_out_ of an
infernal play-book. What's the use of _thinking_ you see service, when
you don't? After all, you couldn't _expect_ much till we've crossed the
Line--nothing like the tropics, or the Cape, for thickening a plot,
Tom. Then there's the Mozambique, you know!" "Well, we'll see," said
Westwood, lazily, and half asleep.

The whole next day would have been weary enough in itself, as not a
single glimpse of the fair Lota could I catch; and the weather, between
the little puffs of air and squalls we had, was fit to have melted poor
Ford to the bone, but for the rain. However, that day was sufficient,
by fits and starts, to bring us up to the Line; and, before crossing
it, which we did by six o'clock in one of the black squalls, half of
the passengers had been pretty well ducked by Neptune and his gang,
besides. Rare fun we had of it for three or four hours on end; the
cadets and writers showing fight in a body, the Yankee being regularly
keelhauled, tarred, and feathered, though I believe he had crossed the
Line twice by land; while the Scotch surgeon was found out, in spite
of his caution, never to have been lower than the West Indies--so he
got double ration. A word to Jacobs took Westwood Scot-free; but,
for my own part, wishing of course to blind the officers, I let the
men stick the tar-brush in my mouth the first word I spoke, and was
shaved like the mischief, not to speak of plumping afterwards behind
the studding-sail curtain into three feet of water, where I absolutely
saved Ford from drowning, he being as sick as a dog.

Late at night, the breeze held and freshened; and, being Saturday
night, the gentlemen in the cuddy kept it uproariously after their
troubles, drinking and singing songs, Tom Little's and your sentimental
affairs; till, being a bit flushed myself, I was on the point of giving
them one of Dibdin's, when I thought better of it, and went on deck
instead. The mate was there, however, and his red-whiskered Scotch
sub with the twisted snout, leaning on the capstan with their noses
together. The night was dark, and the ship made a good noise through
the water; so "hang it!" thought I, "somehow or other I'll have out a
stave of 'Black-eyed Susan' at the top of my pipe, though overboard
I go for it!" There was an old spare topsail-yard slung alongside to
larboard, as far as the quarter-boat, and I went up to the poop to
get over and sit on it; especially when I found Ford's friend, the
fat midshipman, was in the boat itself, "caulking"[9] his watch out,
as he did every night in a fresh place. I was no sooner there, again,
than I saw a light in the aftermost gallery window, and took it in
my head if I sung _there_, why, in place of being afraid there was
some one under her casement, that and the wind and water together
would put her to sleep, if she was the worse of last night--in fact I
may say I was a little "_slewed_"[10] at the time. How to get there,
though, was the matter, it being rather nice practice to sling over
an Indiaman's quarter-gallery, bulging out from her steep counter:
accordingly, first I took the end of a coil round the mizen-shrouds,
and made a bowline-knot to creep down the stern-mouldings with, and
then swing free by help of a guide-line to boot. Just before letting
go of the taffrail, another fancy struck me, to hitch the guide-line
to the trigger of the life-buoy that hung ready for use; not that I'd
the notion of saving myself if I went overboard, but just because of
the good joke of a fellow slipping his own life-buoy, and then cruising
away with a light at his masthead back to the Line. 'Twas curious--but
when I was "two or three cloths in the wind," far from growing stupid,
I used always to get a sort of cunning that would have made me try and
cheat a purser; so away I lowered myself till the rope was taut, when
I slipped easy enough round the counter, below the window. Every time
she rolled, out I swung, and in again, till I steadied with my feet,
slacking off the other line from one hand. Then I began to give voice
like old Boreas himself, with a sort of a notion, at each shove I got,
how I was rocking the Indiaman like a big cradle, as Jacobs did his
baby. All at once, I felt the rope was _giving_ off the belaying-pin,
till I came down with a jolt under the window below; only singing the
louder, as it was half open, and I could just look in. With every wash
of the waves, the water, a couple of fathoms under my feet, blazed
up like fire, and the wake ran boiling out from the black stern by
the rudder, like the iron out of a furnace: now and then there came a
sulky flare of dumb lightning to leeward, and showed the black swell
out of the dark for miles. I fancied I didn't care for the water, but
I began to think 'twas rather uncomfortable the notion of sousing into
such an infernally flame-looking stream: I was actually in a fright
at being boiled, and not able to swim. So I dropped chorus to haul
myself up; when of a sudden, by the lamp inside the state-room, I saw
Winterton and Ford come reeling in, one after the other, as drunk
as lords. Winterton swayed about quietly on his legs for a minute,
and then looked gravely at Ford, as if he'd got a dreadful secret to
make known. "Ford!" said he. "Ay," said Ford, feeling to haul off his
trousers,--"ay--avast you--blub-lub-lubber!" "I say, Ford!" said the
cadet again, in a melancholy way, fit to melt a marlinspike, and then
fell to cry--Ford all the time pulling off his trousers, with a cigar
in his mouth, till he got on a chest, and contrived to flounder into
his cot with his coat on. After that he stretched over to put the lamp
out, carefully enough; but he let fall his cigar, and one leg of his
nankeen trousers hung out of the cot, just scraping the deck every time
he swung. I watched, accordingly, holding on by the sill, till I saw
a spark catch in the stuff--and there it was, swinging slowly away in
the dark, with a fiery ring creeping round the leg of the trousers,
ready to blow into a flame as soon as it had a clear swing. No doubt
the fool would come down safe enough himself with his cot; but I knew
Winterton kept powder in the cabin sufficient to blow up the deck
above, where that sweet girl was sleeping at the moment. "Confound
it!" I thought, quite cooled by the sight, "the sooner I get on deck
the better!" However, you may fancy my thoughts when I heard men at
the taffrail, hauling on the spanker-boom guys, so I held on till
they'd go forward again: suddenly the mate's voice sung out to know
"what lubber had belayed the slack of a topsail-clueline _here_?" Down
I went with the word, as the rope was thrown off, with just time to
save myself by a clutch of the portsill at arm's-length--where, heaven
knew, I couldn't keep long. The mate looked over and caught sight
of my face, by a flicker of the summer lightning, as I was slipping
down: I gave him one curse as loud as I could hail, and let go the
moulding--"Man overboard!" shouted he, and the men after him: however
I wasn't altogether overboard yet, for I felt the other part of the
rope bring me up with a jerk and a swing right under the quarter-boat,
where I clung like a cat. How to get on deck again, without being seen,
was the question, and anxious enough I was at thought of the burning
train inside; when out jumped some one over my head: I heard a splash
in the water, and saw a fellow's face go sinking into the bright wake
astern, while the boat itself was coming down over me from the davits.
I still had the guide-line from the life-buoy round my wrist, and one
moment's thought was enough to make me give it a furious tug, when
away I sprang clear into the eddies. The first thing I saw at coming
up was the ships' lighted stern-windows driving to leeward, then the
life-buoy flaring and dipping on a swell, and a bare head, with two
hands, sinking a few feet off. I made for him at once, and held him up
by the hair as I struck out for the buoy. A couple of minutes after,
the men in the boat had hold of us and it; the ship came sheering round
to the wind, and we were very shortly aboard again. "Confound it,
Simm, what took you overboard, man?" asked the mid in the boat at his
dripping messmate, the fat reefer. "Oh, bother!" said he, "if you must
know--why, I mistook the quarter-boats; I thought 'twas the _other_
I was in, when you kicked up that shindy! Now I remember, though,
there was too much _rain_ in it for comfort!" "Well, youngster,"
said Tom, the man-o'-war'sman, "this here gentleman saved your life,
anyhow!" "Why, mate," whispered Bill, "'tis the wery same greenhorn we
puckalowed so to-day! Didn't he jump sharp over, too?" "Pull! for your
lives, my lads!" said I, looking up at Ford's window; and the moment we
got on deck, below I ran into the state-room, and cut Ford down by the
heels, with the tinder hanging from him, and one leg of his trousers
half gone. As for the poor reefer, a pretty blowing-up he got; the men
swore I had jumped overboard after him, and the mate would have it
that, instead of sleeping, he wanted to get into the Judge's cabins;
especially when next day Sir Charles was in a rage at his daughter
being disturbed by some sailor or other singing outside.

[9] Sleeping on deck.

[10] Anglicè--_not_ sober.


    At length our pens must find repose!
    With verse, or with poetic prose,
        Filled is each nook;
    And these poor little rhymes must close
        Our pleasant book!

    Its every page is filled at last!
    When on these leaves my eyes I cast,
        Dull thoughts to cheer,
    How many memories of the past
        Seem written here!

    Those who behold a river run
    Bright glittering in the noonday sun,
        See not its source;
    And few can know whence has begun
        Its giddy course!

    And thus the feelings that gave rise
    To many a verse that meets their eyes
        How few can tell!
    Yet for those feelings gone, I prize
        And love it well!

    Some stanzas were composed to grace
    An hour of pleasure,--some to chase
        Sad care away;
    And some to help on time's slow pace
        Which would delay!

    In some, we trace affection's tone
    To friends then kind,--now colder grown
        By force or art:
    In some, the shade of hopes, now gone,
        Then, next the heart!

    Such fancies with each line I weave,
    And thus our book I cannot leave
        Without a sigh!
    Fond recollections make me grieve
        To lay it by!

    How other hands, perchance, than mine,
    A fairer wreath for it might twine,
        'Twere vain to tell;
    I can but say, in one brief line,
        Dear Book, Farewell!



SIR,--I chanced to be at Heidelberg at the outbreak of the late
revolutionary movement, and remained there, or in the neighbourhood,
during its entire duration. It occurs to me that a brief narrative of
the leading events of that period of confusion and anarchy, from the
pen of one who was not only an eyewitness of all that passed, but who,
from long residence in this part of Germany, has a pretty intimate
acquaintance with the real condition and feelings of the people, may
prove suitable to the pages, and not uninteresting to the readers, of
_Blackwood's Magazine_.

At a public meeting held at Offenburg, in the duchy of Baden, on
the 13th of May 1849, and which was attended by many of the most
violent members of the German republican party, it was resolved that
the constitution voted by the national assembly at Frankfort should
be acknowledged; that Brentano and Peter should be charged with the
formation of a new ministry; that Struve, and all other political
offenders, should be forthwith set at liberty; that the selection of
officers for the army should be left to the choice of the privates; and
lastly, that the movement in the Palatinate (Rhenish Bavaria) should be
fully supported by the government of Baden.

For the information of those who have not closely followed the late
course of events in Germany, it may be necessary to mention, that early
in the month of May a revolutionary movement, the avowed object of
which was to force the King to acknowledge the constitution drawn up
by the parliament at Frankfort, had broken out in Rhenish Bavaria. A
provisional government had been formed, the public money seized, forced
contributions levied, and the entire Palatinate declared independent of
Bavaria. The leaders of the insurrection had been joined by a portion
of discontented military; and, in an incredibly short space of time,
the whole province, with the exception of the fortresses of Germersheim
and Landau, had fallen into their hands.

Although the declared motive of the Offenburg assembly was to support
this movement, and thus oblige the reigning princes to bow to the
decrees of the central parliament, there is little doubt that a
long-formed and widely-extended conspiracy existed, the object of which
was to proclaim a republic throughout Germany. The meeting in question
was attended by upwards of twenty thousand persons, many of whom were
soldiers, seduced by promises of increased pay, and of the future
right to elect their officers. Money was plentifully distributed; and
towards evening the mob, mad with drink and excitement, returned,
howling revolutionary songs, to their homes. At the very time this
was going on, a mutiny in the garrison of Rastadt had placed that
fortress in the power of about four thousand soldiers, many of them raw
recruits. This extraordinary event, apparently the result of a drunken
quarrel, was shrewdly suspected to be part of a deep-laid scheme for
supporting the movement, which was expected to follow the next day's
meeting at Offenburg. If such were the hopes of the leaders, they were
not disappointed; the train was laid, and wanted but a spark to fire
it. The result of the Offenburg meeting was known at Carlsruhe by six
o'clock in the evening of the day of its occurrence; and on the same
evening, some riotous soldiers having been placed in confinement, their
comrades insisted on their release. In vain did the officers, headed by
Prince Frederick, (the Grand-duke's second son,) endeavour to appease
them; they were grossly insulted, and the prince received a sabre cut
on the head. It is thought by many persons that if, at this time,
energetic measures had been taken, the whole movement might have been

But with citizens timid or lukewarm, and soldiers the greater number of
whom were in open mutiny, it is difficult to say where the repressive
power was to have been found. Be this as it may, the barracks were
demolished, the stores broken open and robbed; and by eleven o'clock
that night the ducal family, and as many of the ministers and
attendants as could find the means of evasion, were in full flight.
With arms supplied by the plunder of the barracks, the mob next
attacked the arsenal, which was under the protection of the national
guard. A squadron of dragoons who came to assist the latter were fired
on by both parties, and the captain, a promising young officer, was
killed on the spot. The dragoons, seeing their efforts to support the
citizens thus misinterpreted, retired, and left the arsenal to its fate.

Early next morning, a provisional government, headed by Brentano and
Fickler, was proclaimed, to which all people were summoned to swear
obedience; and, absurdly enough, the very men, soldiers and citizens,
who the day before had, with the acquiescence of the duke, taken an
oath of allegiance to the empire, now swore to be faithful to the new
order of things. The news of the outbreak spread like wildfire. It
was received with particular exultation in the towns of Mannheim and
Heidelberg; in the latter of which a very republican spirit prevailed,
and where, at the first call, the national guard assembled, eager to
display their valour--in words. It was not long before their mettle
was put to the proof. The Duke, who had taken refuge in the fortress
of Germersheim, had been escorted in his flight by about three hundred
dragoons, with sixteen pieces of artillery. These brave fellows, who
had remained faithful to their sovereign, attempted, after leaving
him in safety, to make their way to Frankfort. As every inch of the
country they had to traverse was in open revolt, the circumstance
was soon known at Heidelberg, where, late in the evening, the tocsin
rang, to summon the peasants from the neighbouring villages, and the
_générale_ beat through the streets to call the citizens to arms, in
order that parties might be sent out to intercept the soldiers. It
would be difficult to describe the panic that prevailed in Heidelberg
at the first sound of this terrible drum. The most ridiculous and
contradictory reports were circulated. That some great danger was
at hand, all agreed; and the story generally credited was, that the
peasants of the Odenwald were coming down, ten thousand strong,
to plunder the town. When the real cause of the disturbance was
discovered, it may be doubted whether, to many, the case appeared much
mended; for, besides the disinclination a set of peaceable tradesmen
might feel to attack a body of dragoons, backed by sixteen pieces
of artillery, many of those who were summoned from their beds were
secretly opposed to the cause they were called upon to serve. But there
was no remedy; and, amidst the tears and shrieks of women, the ringing
of bells, and beating of drums, the first detachment marched off. No
sooner did they arrive at the supposed scene of action, than, seized
with a sudden panic, caused by a row of trees which, in the dark, they
mistook for the enemy in battle array, they faced about, and fairly ran
for it till they found themselves once more in Heidelberg.

The consequences were more serious to some of the members of a second
party, despatched to Ladenburg. In the middle of the night, the sentry
posted on the bridge mistook the trotting of some stray donkey for a
charge of dragoons, and firing his rifle, without farther deliberation
he threw himself over the bridge, breaking a thigh and a couple of ribs
in the fall. The others stood their ground; but it is well known that
several of the party were laid up next day with _nerven feber_, (a sort
of low typhus,) brought on by the fear and agitation they had undergone.

These facts are merely mentioned to show that, had the government, at
the commencement of the outbreak, made the slightest show of firmness,
they would not have met with the resistance which they afterwards found.

The dragoons, after dodging about for two days and nights, worn out
with fatigue and hunger, at length allowed themselves to be captured
near the frontiers of Würtemberg. It seems that the soldiers positively
refused to make use of their arms after the Duke's flight, which,
indeed, is the only way of accounting for three hundred mounted
dragoons, with sixteen pieces of artillery fully supplied with
ammunition, falling into the hands of as many peasants, who would
undoubtedly have fled at the first shot fired.

Whilst these events passed, the reins of government at Carlsruhe
had been seized by Brentano, Peter, Fickler, and Goegg--the latter
a convicted felon. Struve and Blind, condemned to eight years'
imprisonment for their rebellion the year before, were released, and,
with their friends, took a prominent part in the formation of the new
ministry. The war department was given to a Lieutenant Eichfeld, who,
by the way, had some time previously quitted the service, on account
of a duel in which he displayed the white feather. His first measure
was to order the whole body of soldiers, now entirely deprived of their
officers, to select others from the ranks. The choice was just what
might have been expected; and instances occurred in which recruits of
three weeks' standing passed at once to the rank of captain and major.
All discipline was soon at an end. The army, consisting of 17,000
men, was placed under the command of Lieutenant Sigel, a young man of
twenty-two, whose sole claims to preferment seem to have been, that he
was compromised in Struve's abortive attempt at Friburg, and had since
contributed a number of articles, violently abusive of the government,
to some low revolutionary newspapers. Headquarters were established at
Heidelberg, where Sigel, accompanied by Eichfeld, arrived on the 19th
of May.

The pecuniary affairs of the insurgents were in the most flourishing
condition. Seven millions of florins (about £560,000) were found in the
war-chest, besides two and a half millions of paper-money, and large
sums belonging to other departments of the ministry. Their stock of
arms consisted of seventy thousand muskets, without reckoning those
of the national guard and military. Thus equipped and supplied, they
would have been able, with a little drill, and if properly commanded,
to make a long stand against the regular forces sent against them. By
this time, too, the country was fast filling with political refugees
of all shades of opinion. Italians, Swiss, Poles, and French were
daily pouring in; and the well-known Metternich, of Mayence celebrity,
who had not been heard of since his flight from the barricades at
Frankfort, again turned up as commander of a free corps. A sketch of
his costume will give a pretty fair idea of that adopted by all those
who wished to distinguish themselves as ultra-liberals. He wore a
white broad-brimmed felt hat, turned up on one side, with a large red
feather; a blue _kittel_ or smock-frock; a long cavalry sabre swung
from his belt, in which were stuck a pair of ponderous horse pistols;
troopers' boots, reaching to the middle of the thigh, were garnished
with enormous spurs, and across his breast flamed a crimson scarf, the
badge of the red republican.

In order to extend the revolt, and to place Baden in a state of
defence before the governments should recover from their panic, the
most energetic measures were taken. A decree was issued for arming the
whole male population, from eighteen to thirty years of age; and as in
many instances the peasantry proved refractory, a tax of fifty florins
per day was laid on all recusants, who, when discovered, were taken
by force to join the army. Raveaux, Trutschler, Erbe, and Fröbel, the
latter that friend of Robert Blum, who so narrowly escaped the cord
when his companion was shot,--made their appearance at Carlsruhe. They
issued a violent proclamation against the King of Prussia, and, the
better to disguise their real object, called on all Germany to arm in
defence of the parliament at Frankfort, and the provisional government
of Baden. Every artifice, no matter how disreputable, that could serve
the cause, was unscrupulously resorted to. It was officially announced
that Würtemberg and Hesse-Darmstadt were only waiting a favourable
opportunity to join the movement; and to further this object, a
public meeting (which it was hoped would bring forth the same fruits
at Darmstadt, as that of Offenburg had produced at Carlsruhe) was
called by the radicals of the Odenwald. It took place at Laudenbach,
a village situated about three miles within the Hessian frontier,
and was attended by upwards of six thousand armed peasants, and by
three or four thousand of the Baden free corps. The authorities were,
however, on the alert; and after a fruitless summons to the insurgents
to quit the territory, the military were called out. Before orders to
fire were given, the civil commissary, desirous to avoid effusion of
blood, advanced alone towards the crowd, endeavouring to persuade them
to retire peaceably. He was barbarously murdered; and the sight of his
dead body so incensed the Hessian soldiers, that they rushed forward
without waiting for the word of command, and with one volley put the
whole mob of insurgents to flight.

The spirit displayed on this occasion probably saved the country
from a bloody civil war; for had the revolutionary movement passed
the frontiers of Baden, at that moment the flame would doubtless
have spread to Würtemberg, and thence not improbably to the whole of
Germany, with the exception perhaps of Prussia.

To counteract the very unsatisfactory effect of the meeting at
Laudenbach, it was resolved, by a council held at Carlsruhe, that a
bold stroke should be struck. The Hessians, hitherto unsupported by
other troops, could not command anything like the numerical force of
Baden, and Sigel received orders to cross the frontier with all his
disposable troops. Four battalions of the line, with about six thousand
volunteers, were reviewed at Heidelberg before taking the field. They
were indeed a motley crew! The soldiers, who had helped themselves from
the stores at Carlsruhe to whatever best suited their fancy, appeared
on parade equipped accordingly. Shakos, helmets, caps, greatcoats,
frocks, full-dress and undress uniforms, all figured in the same ranks.
The so-called officers, in particular, cut a pitiful figure. If the
smart uniform and epaulette could have disguised the clownish recruit,
who had perhaps figured but a few weeks in the ranks, the license of
his conduct would soon have betrayed him; for officers and privates,
arm in arm, and excessively drunk, might constantly be seen reeling
through the streets. The free corps, unwilling to be outdone by the
regulars, indulged in all sorts of theatrical dresses, yellow and red
boots being in great favour; whilst one fellow, claiming no lower rank
than that of colonel, actually rode about in a blouse and white cotton
drawers, with Hessian boots and large gold tassels.

As it was strongly suspected that the soldiers placed little confidence
in their new leaders, and the free corps, many of whom were serving
against their own wishes, seemed equally unwilling to risk their lives
under such commanders as Metternich and Bönin, (a watchmaker from
Wiesbaden,) all sorts of artifices were resorted to, to encourage
both regulars and irregulars. Their whole force might amount to
thirty thousand men; but, by marches and countermarches, similar to
those by which, in a theatre, a few dozen of soldiers are made to
represent thousands, they so dazzled the eyes of the ignorant, that
it was believed their army numbered nearly a hundred thousand men.
The cavalry, in particular, which were quartered in Heidelberg, were
marched out and in again five times in as many days--at each appearance
being hailed as a fresh regiment. Soothsayers and prophets were also
consulted, and interpreted divers passages in holy writ as foretelling
the defeat of the Prussians, and the success of the "Army of Freedom."
But the trick which, no doubt, had the greatest influence on the minds
of the poor duped people was a forged declaration, purporting to be one
put forth by the Hessian troops, professing their intention of throwing
down their arms on the approach of their "German brothers."

On the 28th of May, the insurgents, ten thousand in number, crossed the
frontier of Hesse-Darmstadt. The Hessians, with three battalions of
infantry, a couple of six-pounders, and a squadron of light cavalry,
waited their approach; and having withdrawn their outposts, (a movement
interpreted into a flight by the opposite party,) they suddenly opened
a severe fire on the advancing columns--driving them back to Weinheim,
with a loss of upwards of fifty killed and wounded. The affair
commenced at four o'clock in the afternoon, and by ten at night the
whole insurgent force arrived pell-mell at Heidelberg. Officers and
dragoons led the van, followed by artillery, infantry, baggage-waggons,
and free corps, mingled together in the utmost disorder. They had run
from Weinheim, a distance of twelve miles, in three hours--driven by
their fears only; for the Hessians, too weak to take advantage of their
victory, and content with driving them from their own territory, waited
for reinforcements before attempting farther hostilities.

This check was a sad damper to the ardour of the insurgents. It was
necessary to find some one on whom to fix the blame; and as the
dragoons were known to be unfavourable to the new order of things, the
official account of the affair stated that the enemy would have been
thoroughly beaten, had the cavalry charged when ordered so to do.

This was the only action fought under Sigel's generalship--as a
specimen of which it may be mentioned that the _band_ of the Guards was
sent into action at the head of the regiment, and lost five men by the
first volley fired. Whatever the reason, Sigel was removed from his
functions next day, and Eichfeld, disgusted with such an opening to the
campaign, changed his place of minister of war for a colonelcy in the
Guards; and, pocketing a month's pay, took himself quietly off, and has
never been heard of since.

As it was now evident there could be no hopes of the Hessians joining
the movement, the tactics were changed, and the most violent abuse
was lavished on them by the organs of the provisional government. The
vilest calumnies were resorted to, to exasperate the Baden troops
against them, such as that they tortured and massacred their prisoners,

Sigel had succeeded Eichfeld as minister of war; and as it was
tolerably clear that they possessed no general fit to lead their army
to the field, Meiroslawski was invited to take the command. A large sum
of money was sent to him in Paris, and, while waiting his arrival, it
was determined to act strictly on the defensive. With this object the
whole line of the Neckar, from Mannheim to Eberbach and Mosbach, was
strongly fortified; and the regular troops were withdrawn from Rastadt,
and concentrated on the Hessian frontier.

At length the Polish adventurer, whose arrival had been so impatiently
expected, made his appearance at Heidelberg. Meiroslawski, a native of
the grand-duchy of Posen, began his career as a cadet in the Prussian
service. In the Polish revolution of 1832 he played an active part,
and was deeply implicated in the plot concocted at Cracow in 1846,
which brought such dreadful calamities on the unfortunate inhabitants
of Gallicia. For the second time he took refuge in France, and only
returned to his native country to join the outbreak at Posen in 1848.
There he contrived to get himself into a Prussian prison, from which,
however, he was after a time released. He next led the ranks of the
Sicilian insurgents; and on the submission of the island to the
Neapolitan troops, had scarcely time to gain his old asylum, France,
before he was called on to aid the revolutionists of Baden. He is a man
of about forty years of age, of middle height, slightly built, and, so
long as he is on foot, of military carriage and appearance; but seen on
horseback, riding like a postilion rather than a soldier, the effect
is not so good. His eyes are large and expressive, his nose aquiline,
and the lower part of his face covered with a large sandy beard, which
descends to the middle of his breast. Sixty of the Duke's horses,
left in the stables at Carlsruhe, were sent to mount him and his
aides-de-camp. Poles, Swiss, desperadoes of every description, received
commissions, and were attached to the staff, the members of which,
when assembled, were not unlike a group of masqueraders. Accidents,
such as stumbling over their own sabres or their comrades' spurs, were
of common occurrence. Sometimes a horse and his rider would be seen
rolling over together; for, excepting one gentleman, whose rank I could
not learn, but who had figured as rider at an equestrian circus that
had attended the fair, none of the party looked as if they had ever
mounted a horse before.

The first step taken by the government, after Meiroslawski's arrival,
was to make a formal treaty of alliance with the provisional government
of Rhenish Bavaria, in pursuance of one of whose provisions a plentiful
supply of artillery was sent from the fortress of Rastadt, to furnish
the army in that part of the country. That the two governments were
in constant communication with Ledru Rollin and his friends, is now
an authenticated fact, as well as that their chief hopes of success
were built on the assistance they expected to receive from Paris. So
confidently did they anticipate the overthrow, by the Montagne party,
of the present order of things in France, that on the very morning the
attempt took place in Paris, placards were posted up in Carlsruhe,
Mannheim, and Heidelberg, announcing that the citadel of Strasburg
was in the hands of the democrats, who were hastening with a hundred
thousand men to the assistance of their friends in Baden.

Until the arrival of Meiroslawski, Brentano had refused to put in
execution the rigorous measures urged on him by Struve and his party;
but things were now conducted differently. Numbers of persons were cast
into prison without any formal accusation. One clergyman in particular,
thrown into a miserable dungeon, and kept for weeks in solitary
confinement, entirely lost his senses, and, on the arrival of his
liberators, the Prussians, had to be taken to a lunatic asylum, where
he still remains. The whole country was declared to be under martial
law, and notice was given that anybody expressing dissatisfaction with
the government would be severely punished. No person whom the malice or
ignorance of the mob might choose to consider a spy was safe: many of
the principal shops in the towns were closed, the proprietors having
sent off or concealed their goods, and fled the country. Persons known
to be inimical to the government were punished for their opinions by
contributions being levied on their property, or soldiers billeted in
their houses. Count Obendorf, who has a chateau in the vicinity of
Heidelberg, had no less than seven hundred and twenty men quartered
on him at one time. Complaint was unavailing; tyranny and terrorism
reigned throughout the land.

In order to give the semblance of legality to their proceedings, the
elections for a new chamber commenced. It will readily be imagined
that none but the friends of those in power presented themselves
as candidates: the deputies were therefore, without exception, the
intimates or supporters of Brentano & Co. The first act of the new
assembly was to dissolve the _Landes-auschuss_, or provisional
government, as being too numerous a body to act with the required
vigour; and a dictatorial triumvirate, composed of Brentano, Peter, and
Goegg, was appointed in its stead.

By this time serious dissensions had broken out among the leading
members of the democratic party. Brentano had quarrelled with Struve,
who was resolved on nothing less than the proclamation of the red
republic. Finding his friends at Carlsruhe opposed to this attempt,
he called a public meeting at Mannheim. Here again his efforts were
unsuccessful, the soldiers especially being opposed to his doctrines.
As the Würtemberg deputies had always figured among the most violent
of the left, or republican party, at Frankfort, and late events had
given rise to the idea that the people of that country were disposed
to support the movement in Baden, Fickler was sent to Stuttgart, with
a considerable sum of money to corrupt the soldiers; and in full
expectation of the success of his mission, billets were made out for
three thousand men, who, it was stated, were to arrive in the evening
at Heidelberg. Disappointment ensued. The Würtembergers, satisfied with
having forced from their king a promise to accept the constitution
in support of which the Badeners professed to be fighting, were not
inclined to bring further trouble and confusion into their country,
and Fickler was thrown into prison. This untoward event, had the Baden
revolution lasted much longer, was to have produced a terrible war
between the two countries. The Würtemberg minister, however, laughed
at the insurgent government's absurd and impotent threats, and Fickler
still remains in confinement.

The first week after Meiroslawski's arrival was taken up with
preparations for opening the campaign on a grand scale. Upwards of
fifty thousand men were collected on the Hessian frontiers, from
which side it was expected that the enemy would make their attack.
At the same time, the Hessians having been reinforced by troops from
Mecklenburg, Nassau, Hesse-Cassel, and Prussia, prepared to take the
field in earnest. Whilst the first division of the army, under the
command of the Prince of Prussia and General Hirschfeld, entered the
Palatinate between Kreutznach and Saarbrucken, and advanced to the
relief of Germersheim and Landau; Meiroslawski was held in check by
continual feints, made along the whole line of the Neckar. On the 15th
of June, a battalion of Mecklenburgers, with a squadron of Hessian
light cavalry, and a couple of guns, advanced from Weinheim as far as
Ladenburg. The village was taken at the point of the bayonet; but,
ignorant of the immense force of the insurgents, or perhaps from
undervaluing their courage, the troops allowed themselves to be almost
surrounded by the enemy. With great difficulty they succeeded in
regaining their old position; while the major who commanded the party,
and ten privates, were left in the hands of the rebels. The loss on
both sides was considerable, but was in some degree compensated to the
Imperial troops, by two companies of the Baden Guards passing over to
them. This slight success was boasted of by Meiroslawski as a splendid
victory, in the following bulletin:--

  _16th June 1849_.

     "Our operations against the advancing enemy have been crowned with
     success. Yesterday, our brave army was simultaneously attacked on
     all sides.

     "In Rhenish Bavaria the Prussians were driven back with great
     loss. At Ladenburg, Colonel Sigel engaged the enemy, who had
     advanced in front; while a column, under the command of the
     valiant Oborski, attacked them in rear. The enemy was defeated on
     all points, and driven back in the greatest confusion.

     "It is only to be regretted that want of cavalry prevented our
     following and completely annihilating them.

     "Many prisoners were made, and their loss in arms, ammunition, and
     baggage, all of which fell into our hands, was considerable.

     "Inhabitants of Heidelberg, fear nothing for the future. Continue
     to provide the intrepid army under my command with necessaries for
     continuing the campaign so gloriously commenced, and I will answer
     for the result. Strict obedience to my orders is all I require
     from you, to prevent the enemy from overrunning the country.

     "In commemoration of the victory of yesterday, so gloriously
     obtained, the town of Heidelberg will be illuminated. The lights
     will be left burning till daybreak, and the beer-houses will
     remain open the whole night.

  General-in-Chief of the Army."

This bombastic effusion was followed by several others equally false
and ridiculous. The Prussians had advanced as far as Ludwigshafen,
opposite Mannheim, without encountering any serious resistance. The
insurgent army in the Pfalz, numbering about twelve thousand men,
under the command of the Polish General Sznayda, had abandoned their
intrenchments almost without striking a blow, and, with the provisional
government, fled to Knielingen, from whence they crossed the Rhine
into Baden. The only serious impediment encountered by the Prussians
was at Ludwigshafen, which suffered immense damage from the heavy and
constant bombardment kept up from batteries erected at the opposite
town of Mannheim. The railway station was burned to the ground, and
the value of property destroyed in the store-houses alone has been
calculated at two millions of florins, (£170,000.) On the 17th, Landau
and Germersheim were relieved; and the Prince of Prussia, with his
whole force concentrated before the latter fortress, prepared to cross
the Rhine under the protection of its guns.

Having thus fully accomplished the first part of his arduous
undertaking, by re-establishing order in the Pfalz, the Prince of
Prussia prepared to effect a junction with the second and third
divisions of the army, under the command of General Von Gröben, and
Peucker, the former of whom had again advanced to Ladenburg, on the
right bank of the Neckar. Meiroslawski, in the mean time, remained
totally inactive from the 15th to the 20th inst. Upwards of fifty
thousand men had been reviewed by him in Heidelberg and its vicinity;
besides this, the twelve thousand Bavarian insurgents, under the
command of Sznayda, were in the neighbourhood of Bruchsal; and with
such a force, anything like a determined resistance would have
compelled the Prussians to purchase victory by a heavy loss. Whatever
may be his reputation for talent, Meiroslawski showed but little skill
as a general during his short command in Baden. Instead of opposing the
crossing of the Rhine by the Prussians, which, with so large a force,
and fifty-four pieces of well-served artillery, he might easily have
done, the Prince of Prussia, with a division of fifteen thousand men,
was allowed to obtain a secure footing in his rear, almost unopposed.

From this moment the position of the insurgents became critical in
the extreme. The line of the Neckar was occupied on the right bank
by the second and third divisions of the army, comprising upwards of
thirty thousand men. Although hitherto held in check by the strong
intrenchments that had been thrown up, they might still advance in
front; whilst the high road to Rastadt was effectually cut off by the
Prince of Prussia, whose headquarters were now at Phillipsburg.

The Rhine had been crossed by the Prussians on the 20th, and on
the evening of that day Meiroslawski, for the first time, showed a
disposition to move from his comfortable quarters at the Prince Carl
hotel in Heidelberg. Collecting all his force, (with the exception of
three or four thousand men, who were left in the intrenchments before
Ladenburg and on the line of the Neckar,) he left Heidelberg "to
drive the Prussians," as he announced, "into the Rhine," and effect a
junction with Sznayda's corps in the neighbourhood of Carlsruhe. The
plan was a bold one; but Meiroslawski ought to have known better than
to attempt its execution with the undisciplined force he commanded. He,
however, appears to have entertained no doubt of the result; for the
commissariat, baggage, and even the military chest were sent forward,
he himself following in a carriage and four.

Early on the morning of the 21st the action commenced, and Meiroslawski
found to his cost that six thousand well-disciplined Prussians were
more than a match for his whole army. At ten o'clock on the same
morning a proclamation was issued at Heidelberg by Struve, stating
"that the Prussians were beaten on all points, that their retreat to
the Rhine was cut off, and that ten thousand prisoners would be sent
to Heidelberg in the evening. The loss on the side of the "Army of
Freedom" was eight slightly hurt, and two severely wounded--no killed!"

In spite of the obvious absurdity of this proclamation, most of the
townspeople believed it; and it was not till two o'clock in the
afternoon that their eyes were opened to the deception practised on
them, by the arrival of between thirty and forty cart-loads of wounded
insurgents. Before nightfall, upwards of three hundred suffering
wretches filled the hospitals. Crowds of fugitives flocked into the
town, and every appearance of discipline was at an end. It seems that,
on the approach of the enemy, the Prussian advanced guard, composed
of one battalion only, retired till they drew the insurgents into the
very centre of their line, which lay concealed in the neighbourhood of
Wagheusel. This movement was interpreted into a flight by Meiroslawski;
a halt was called; and whilst he was refreshing himself at a roadside
inn, and his troops were in imagination swallowing dozens of Prussians
with every fresh glass of beer, they suddenly found themselves almost
surrounded by the royal forces. At the very first volley fired by the
Prussians, many of the Baden heroes threw down their arms, and took
to their heels; the artillery and baggage waggons, which were most
unaccountably in advance, faced about, and drove through the ranks at
full speed, overthrowing and crushing whole companies of insurgents.
The panic soon became general: dragoons, infantry, baggage-waggons, and
artillery, got mingled together in the most inextricable confusion, and
those who could, fled to the woods for safety. The approach of night
prevented the Prince of Prussia from following up his victory, but he
established his headquarters at Langenbruken, within nine miles of the

Whilst the hopes of the insurgents received a deathblow in this
quarter, General Peucker had pushed with his division through the
Odenwald, and, after some insignificant skirmishing at Hirschhorn,
crossed the Neckar in the vicinity of Zwingenberg, with the intention
of advancing on Sinsheim, and cutting off the retreat of the rebels
in that direction. Von Gröben, who, on account of the bridges at
Ladenburg, Mannheim, and Heidelberg, being undermined, was unwilling to
cross the Neckar, sent a small reconnoitring party over the hills, and,
to the great consternation of the inhabitants, the Prussians suddenly
made their appearance on the heights above the village of Neuenheim,
thus commanding the town of Heidelberg. Four hundred of the foreign
legion immediately sallied over the bridge, and, posting themselves
in some houses on that side of the river, kept up a desperate firing,
though the enemy were too far above their heads for their bullets to
take effect. The Prussians for some time looked on with indifference,
but, before retiring, they gave the insurgents a taste of what their
newly-invented[11] _zund-nadel_ muskets could accomplish. Out of four
shots fired, at a distance of full fifteen hundred yards, two took
effect; the one killing an insurgent on the bridge, and the other
wounding one of the free corps in the town.

[11] The advantages of this new invention (of which the Prussians have
now 50,000 in use) are the increased rapidity of loading, extent of
range, and precision of aim. A thoroughly drilled soldier can fire
from eight to ten rounds in a minute, whilst with a common percussion
gun three times is considered good practice. Neither ramrod nor cap
is required; the cartridge, which is placed in the gun by opening the
breech, contains a fulminating powder, which is pierced by the simple
action of pulling the trigger; and the charge of powder being ignited
in front, instead of from behind, (as in the common musket,) the entire
force of powder is exploded at once. The barrels are rifled, and
_spitz_ or pointed bullets are used.

To return to Meiroslawski's army. After those who had been fortunate
enough to reach Heidelberg had taken a few hours' rest and refreshment,
the entire mass moved off in the direction of Sinsheim, their only
hope of escape being to pass that town before the arrival of General
Peucker's division. Thousands had thrown away their arms and fled;
and most of the soldiers, anxious to escape another collision with
the Prussians, threw off their uniforms and concealed themselves in
the woods. One-half of the rebels were disbanded, or had been taken
prisoners; and Meiroslawski, with the remnant, made all speed to quit
the town. Every horse in the neighbourhood was put into requisition
to aid them in their flight, and the whole gang of civil authorities,
headed by Struve and his wife in a carriage, (well filled with
plunder,) followed the great body of fugitives. The intrenchments at
Ladenburg, &c., were abandoned, and by 7 o'clock on the evening of
the 22d, the town of Heidelberg was once more left to the peaceable
possession of its terrified inhabitants. The foreign legion, composed
of Poles, Italians, Swiss, French--in short, the refuse of all
nations--were the last to leave; nor did they do so, till they had
helped themselves to whatever they could conveniently carry off:
indeed, the near vicinity of the Prussians alone prevented the complete
plunder of the town. During the night, the better disposed citizens
removed the powder that undermined the bridge, and a deputation was
sent to inform General von Gröben that he could advance without
impediment. At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 23d, to the great joy of
every respectable inhabitant of Heidelberg, he made his entry into the
town. Mannheim had also been taken possession of without firing a shot,
and the communication between the first and second divisions of the
royal army was now open.

After leaving Heidelberg, Meiroslawski succeeded in once more uniting
about fifteen thousand of the fugitives under his banner. General
Peucker's attempt to intercept him at Sinsheim had failed, the
insurgent general having reached it two hours before him. Taking to
the hills, he got out in rear of the Prince of Prussia's division,
and joined his force to that of Sznayda, which was before Carlsruhe.
Robbery and plunder marked the entire line of march. Wine and
provisions that could not be carried off, were wantonly destroyed, and
the inhabitants of the villages traversed by this undisciplined horde,
will long have reason to remember the passage of the self-styled "Army
of Freedom."

At Upsdal, Durlach, and Bruchsal, the rebels made a more energetic
resistance than they had yet done; and it was not without a hard
struggle, and great loss on both sides, that the Prince of Prussia,
at the head of the three divisions off his army, (now united, and
numbering upwards of forty thousand men,) entered Carlsruhe on the
25th of June. On the approach of the Prussians, the provisional
government, the members of the chamber, and the civil authorities of
every description, having emptied the treasury, and carried off all the
public money on which they could lay their hands, made their escape
to join the remains of the Rump parliament, who, since they had been
kicked out of Würtemberg, had established themselves at Freiburg.

After a rest of two days in the capital of Baden, the Prussian army was
again put in motion to attack the insurgents, now strongly intrenched
along the valley of the Murg, the narrowest part of the duchy. Owing
to the numerous and well-served artillery of the insurgents, it was
not without severe fighting, and great sacrifice of life, that they
were driven from their positions. Another disorderly flight succeeded;
and by the 30th of the month, the Prussians were in quiet possession
of Baden-Baden, Oos, Offenburg, and Kebl, besides having completely
surrounded Rastadt, and cut off every hope of retreat from that
fortress. The remainder of Meiroslawski's force was entirely dispersed,
the greater number being captured, or escaping in small parties into
France or Switzerland. A few hundreds only remained in Freiburg, under
the command of Sigel. Meiroslawski took refuge in Basle, having held
the command of the Baden forces exactly three weeks; and Brentano,
after having remained just long enough to be abused and threatened by
his own party, made his escape with most of the other revolutionary
leaders into Switzerland, from which he issued the following
justification of his conduct. As the document contains a tolerably
faithful sketch of the revolution, with the opinion of one who may
certainly be considered as an unprejudiced judge, we give it in full:--


     "Fellow-citizens! Before leaving the town of Freiburg and the
     duchy of Baden, on the night of the 28th June, I informed the
     president of the constitutional assembly that it was my intention
     to justify my conduct towards the people of Baden, but not towards
     an assembly that had treated me with outrage. If I did not do
     this at the time I left the country for which I have acted all
     through with a clear conscience, and from which I was driven by a
     tyrannical and selfish party, it was because I wished to see what
     this party would say against the absent. To-day I have seen their
     accusation, and no longer delay my defence, in order that you may
     judge whether I have merited the title of traitor; or whether the
     people's cause--the cause of freedom, for which your sons, your
     brothers, have bled--can prosper in the hands of men who only seek
     to hide personal cowardice by barbarity, mental incapacity by
     lies, and low selfishness by hypocrisy.

     "Fellow-citizens! Since the month of February I have strained
     every nerve in the cause of freedom. Since the month of February,
     I have sacrificed my own affairs to the defence of persecuted
     republicans. I have willingly stood up for all who claimed my
     assistance; and let any say if I have been reimbursed one kreutzer
     of the hundreds I have expended. Fellow-citizens! I am loath
     to call to mind the sacrifices I have made; but a handful of
     men are shameless enough to call me traitor; a handful of men,
     partly those in whose defence I disinterestedly strained every
     nerve, would have me brought to 'well-deserved punishment:' these
     men, whose sole merit consists in tending to bring discredit
     on freedom's cause, through their incapacity, barbarity, and
     terrorism; and whose unheard-of extravagance has brought us to the
     brink of ruin.

     "I did not return home after Fickler's trial. The exertion I
     had used in his defence had injured my health, and I went for
     medical advice to Baden-Baden. On the 14th of May, I was fetched
     from my bed; but, in spite of bodily weakness, I was unwilling
     to remain behind. I wished to see the cause of freedom free from
     all dirty machinations, I wished to prevent the holy cause from
     falling into disrepute through disgraceful traffic; I wished to
     keep order, and to protect life and property. For some time I was
     enabled to effect this: I endeavoured to prevent injustice of all
     kinds, and in every place, and whenever I was called on; I strove
     to protect the innocent against force, and to prove that even the
     complete overthrow of the government could be accomplished without
     allowing anarchy to reign in its stead.

     "Fellow-citizens! However my conduct as a revolutionist may be
     judged, I have a clear conscience. Not a deed of injustice can be
     laid to my door: not a kreutzer of your money have I allowed to
     be squandered, not a heller has gone into my pocket! But this I
     must say, you will be astonished, if ever you see the accounts, to
     find how your money has been wasted, and how few there were who
     sacrificed anything to the holy cause of the people, and how many
     took care to be well paid out of the national coffers for every
     service rendered.

     "No sooner had the revolution broken out than hundreds of
     adventurers swarmed into the land, with boasts of having suffered
     in freedom's cause: they claimed their reward in hard cash from
     your coffers. There was no crossing the streets of Carlsruhe
     for the crowds of uniformed, sabre-carrying clerks; and whilst
     this herd of idlers revelled on your money, your half-famished
     sons were exposing their breasts to the bullets of the enemy in
     freedom's cause. But whoever set himself to oppose this order of
     things was proclaimed to be a mean and narrow-minded citizen;
     whoever showed a disinclination to persecute his political
     adversary _à la Windischgratz_, was a _réactionnaire_ or a traitor.

     "At the head of this party was Struve, the man whose part I took
     before the tribunal at Freiburg--not as a legal adviser, but as
     a friend; the man whose absurd plan for giving the ministers
     salaries of six thousand florins; of sending ambassadors to Rome
     and Venice, and agents to St. Petersburg and Hungary, I overruled;
     the man whose endeavour to give every situation to which a good
     salary was attached to foreign adventurers, was effectually
     opposed by me. This man, despised for his personal cowardice,
     whose dismissal from the provisional government was demanded by
     the entire army--this man, instead of supporting and strengthening
     the government as he promised, tried, because his ambitious
     views found no encouragement, and with the assistance of foreign
     adventurers, to overthrow me; and when I showed him the force that
     was drawn up ready to oppose him, he took refuge in base lies, and
     had not even sufficient courage to go home, till I, whom he had
     just tried to overthrow, protected him with my own body to his

     "The people had chosen between us, for at the elections he had
     been first thrown out, and he only obtained three thousand votes
     as a substitute, whilst I had been elected by seven thousand

     "I had placed all my hopes in the Constitutional Assembly. I
     thought that men elected by the free choice of the people would
     duly support my honest endeavours. I was mistaken. An assembly,
     the majority of whose members were mere ranters, totally incapable
     of fulfilling the task imposed on them, and who sought to conceal
     their ignorance by proposing revolutionary measures--which were
     carried one day, to be revoked as impracticable the next--was the
     result of the election. That I should prove a thorn in the sides
     of such men was clear; and as it was not in their power to get
     rid of me, they sought to make me a powerless tool, by creating a
     three-headed dictatorship, with the evident intention of making
     use of my name, whilst holding me in check by the other two
     dictators. Although such a situation might be undignified, still,
     from love of the cause, I determined to accept it. I scarcely ever
     saw my colleagues in Carlsruhe, as they found it more agreeable to
     run after the army. No reports from the seat of war ever reached
     me; and yet the assembly demanded from me, as being the only
     one present, accounts of what I had received no report of. All
     responsibility was thrown on my shoulders. If the minister of war
     neglected to supply the army with arms or ammunition, the fault
     was mine; if the minister of finance wanted money, I was to blame;
     and if the army was beaten, my want of energy was the cause of it!

     "Thus was I abandoned at Carlsruhe in the last most dangerous
     days, and left with a set of deputies who, for the most part,
     had not even sufficient courage to sleep in the capital. My
     co-dictators found it more convenient to play the easier part
     of mock heroes with the army. Thousands can bear witness that I
     shrunk from no work, however trivial; but I can prove to most
     of these pot-valiant heroes, that they put off the most urgent
     motions as 'not pressing,' whilst they clung to others that were
     of no importance, merely because they carried them out of all
     danger at the national expense.

     "In Offenburg we were joined by the newly-elected member
     Gustavus Struve, who immediately demanded my dismissal from the
     government. On being told that this was impossible, he next wished
     me to be taken from the dictatorship, and to be given one of the
     minister's places. He talked of the want of energy displayed by
     the government, called it little better than treason, and tried
     to learn from my friends what plans I intended to adopt. He
     demanded that the fugitives from the Pfalz should be placed in
     office, though, God knows, we owed them nothing. Indignant at such
     conduct, I took no part in the secret council held at Freiburg,
     although I informed several of the deputies of my intention to
     resign, unless I received full satisfaction for the machinations
     of Struve.

     "The first public meeting of the assembly took place on the
     evening of the 28th June, when Struve brought forward the
     following motion:--

     "'That every effort at negotiation with the enemy be considered
     and punished as high treason.' Considering what had before taken
     place, I could not do less than oppose the motion, which I did on
     the grounds that, as such negotiations could only proceed from
     the government, the motion was tantamount to a vote of want of
     confidence. In spite of this declaration on my part, the motion
     was carried by twenty-eight against fifteen votes, and the contest
     between Struve and Brentano was decided in favour of the former.
     Although some few of the deputies declared their vote not to
     imply want of confidence, the assembly did not, in that capacity,
     express such an opinion. If they did, I call on them to produce
     the notes of such a resolution having been carried; and if they
     fail to do so, I brand them with the name of infamous liars. After
     this, I did what all honourable men would have done--I resigned.
     Who, I ask, was to prevent my doing so; and why am I to be branded
     with the name of traitor? I laugh those fools to scorn who imagine
     they could prevent freedom of action in a man who, having been
     shamefully ill-used, chose to withdraw from public life.

     "I do not fear inquiry, and demand from the national assembly that
     the result of their investigation be made public, as it can only
     terminate in victory for me and destruction to my adversaries. Why
     did this same assembly keep secret the fact that, on the 28th of
     June, they decided to send me a deputation the next morning, in
     order to beg I would remain in power--I the traitor, I who was to
     be brought to 'well-merited punishment!' It was easy to foresee
     the personal danger I was exposed to if I refused, and I therefore
     preferred seeking quiet and repose in Switzerland, to enjoying the
     rags of freedom emitted under Struve's dictatorship in Baden.

     "I am to be called to account! My acts are open to the world. No
     money ever came under my superintendence--this was taken care
     of by men who had been employed in the department for years.
     My salary as head of the government was three florins per day,
     and I have paid all travelling expenses out of my own pocket.
     But if those are to be called to account who had charge of the
     public money, and became my enemies because I would not have it
     squandered, then, people of Baden! you will open your eyes with
     astonishment; then, brave combatants, you will learn that, whilst
     you fasted, others feasted!

     "The people of Baden will not be thankful for a 'Struve
     government,' but they will have to support it; and over the grave
     of freedom, over the graves of their children, will they learn to
     know those who were their friends and those who only sought for
     self-aggrandisement and tyranny!

     "And when the time comes that the people are in want of me
     again, my ear will not be deaf to the call! But I will never
     serve a government of tyrants, who can only keep in power by
     adopting measures that we have learned to despise, as worthy of a
     Windischgratz or a Wrangel!

     "Fellow-citizens! I have not entered into details. I have only
     drawn a general sketch, which it will require time to fill up.
     Accused of treason by the princes, accused of treason by the
     deputies of Freiburg, I leave you to decide whether I have merited
     the title.

  "_Feuerthalen bei Schaffhausen,
  1 July, 1849._


At this time of writing, Rastadt still remains in possession of two
or three thousand insurgents; but, almost without provisions, and
deprived of all hopes of assistance, the fortress may be daily expected
to surrender. Such is the termination of an insurrection of seven
weeks' duration, which is calculated to have cost the country thirty
millions of florins and four thousand lives. There is no denying that,
at one time, it assumed a most formidable aspect; and had the people of
Würtemberg given it the support its leaders confidently expected from
them, it might, aided by the discontent that undoubtedly prevails in
many other parts of Germany, long have baffled the efforts of Prussia
to put it down. Yet there are few persons, even among those who
witnessed the outbreak from its commencement, who can tell what was the
object of its promoters, unless plunder and personal aggrandisement be
assigned as their incentives. Their professed motive was to support
the union of Germany in one empire; but, as the Grand-duke of Baden
had already taken the oath to obey and defend the constitution framed
at Frankfort, there was not the slightest pretext for upsetting his
government. It is certain that the republicans played a most active
part in the affair--their intention no doubt being, as soon as they
found themselves victorious under the banner of the empire, to hoist
a democratic flag of their own. Many who were not inclined to go so
far, joined them upon doubts of the fair intentions of the Germanic
princes towards their subjects. Some were perhaps glad of any sort
of change, other turbulent spirits were anxious for a row, but, from
first to last, none seem to have had any clearly defined object, or
anything to offer in extenuation of such waste of blood and treasure.
The next striking circumstance is the evident incapacity of the chiefs,
civil and military. Throughout the affair, we do not see one proof of
superior talent, or a single act of daring courage. The only useful
reflection it affords is one that is perhaps worthy the attention of
the rulers of Germany. Last year, Struve's attempt to revolutionise the
country was principally supported by ignorant peasants, mad students,
and a few ultra-liberals and republicans, and it was in great measure
put down by the soldiers of Baden. This year, a great proportion of the
citizens in the principal towns were openly in favour of the movement,
and nearly the whole Baden army joined the revolt.

  HEIDELBERG, _15th July 1849_.


So completely was the ordinary framework of European society broken up
in France by the Revolution of 1789, that the leaders of every great
political movement, since that time, have sprung from an entirely
different class of society from what they were before that event. The
old territorial noblesse no longer appear as the leaders in action,
or the rulers of thought. The time has gone by when an Admiral de
Coligny, or a Henry of Béarn, stood forth as the chiefs of the Reformed
movement; a Duc d'Orleans no longer heads the defection of the nobles
from the throne, or a Mirabeau rouse a resistance to the mandates of
the sovereign. Not only the powers of the sword, not only the political
lead of the people, but the direction of their thoughts, has passed
from the old nobility. The confiscation of their property has destroyed
their consequence, the dispersion of their families ruined their
influence. Neither collectively nor individually can they now lead
the people. The revolution of 1830, begun by Thiers and the writers
in the _National_ newspaper, was carried out by Lafitte the great
banker. That of 1848, springing from the columns of the _Réforme_ and
the _Démocratie Pacifique_, soon fell under the lead of M. Marrast the
journalist, and M. Lamartine the romancer and poet. And now the latter
of these authors has come forth, not only as the leader but as the
historian of the movement. Like Cæsar, he appears as the annalist of
his own exploits: like him, he no doubt flatters himself he can say, "I
came, I saw, I conquered."

The reason is, that mankind cannot exist even for a day but under
the lead of a few. Self-government is the dream of the enthusiast,
the vision of the inexperienced: oligarchy is the history of man. In
vain are institutions popularised, nobles destroyed, masses elevated,
education diffused, self-government established: all that will not
alter the character of man; it will not qualify the multitude for
self-direction; it will not obviate that first of necessities to
mankind--_the necessity of being governed_. What is the first act of
every assembly of men associated together for any purpose, social,
political, or charitable? To nominate a committee by whom their common
affairs are to be regulated. What is the first act of that committee?
To nominate a sub-committee of two or three, in whom the direction
of affairs is practically to be vested. Begin, if you please, with
universal suffrage: call six millions of electors to the poll, as
in France at this time, or four millions, as in America--the sway
of two or three, ultimately of one, is not the less inevitable. Not
only does the huge mass ultimately fall under the direction of one
or two leading characters, but from the very first it is swayed by
their impulsion. The millions repeat the thoughts of two or three
journals, they elaborate the ideas of two or three men. What is the
origin of the whole free-trade principles which have totally altered
the policy, and probably shortened the existence, of the British
empire? The ideas of Adam Smith, nurtured in the solitude of Kirkaldy.
Would you learn what are the opinions generally prevalent in the
urban circles in England, in whom political power is practically
vested, on Wednesday or Thursday? Read the leading articles of the
_Times_ on Monday or Tuesday. The more men are educated, the more that
instruction is diffused, the more widely that journals are read, the
more vehement the political excitement that prevails, the more is the
sway of this oligarchy established, for the greater is the aptitude
of the general mind to receive the impulse communicated to it by the
leaders of thought. The nation, in such circumstances, becomes a vast
electric-machine, which vibrates with the slightest movement of the
central battery.

Lamartine, as an author, can never be mentioned without the highest
respect. The impress of genius is to be seen in all his works: nature
has marked him for one of the leaders of thought. A mind naturally
ardent and enthusiastic, has been nurtured by travel, enriched by
reflection, chastened by suffering. His descriptive powers are of
the very highest order. We have already done justice, and not more
than justice, to the extreme beauty of his descriptions of Oriental
scenery.[12] They are the finest in the French, second to none in
the English language. His mind is essentially poetical. Many of his
effusions in verse are touching and beautiful, though they do not
possess the exquisite grace and delicate expression of Beranger. But
his prose is poetry itself: so deeply is his mind imbued with poetical
images--so sensitive is his taste to the grand and the beautiful--so
enthusiastic is his admiration of the elevated, whether in nature or
art, that he cannot treat even an ordinary subject without tinging it
with the colours of romance.

[12] See _Blackwood's Magazine_, vol. lvi., p. 657.

From this peculiar texture of Lamartine's mind arises both the
excellences and defects of his historical compositions. He has all the
romantic and poetical, but few of the intellectual qualities of an
historian. Eminently dramatic in his description of event, powerful
in the delineation of character, elevated in feeling, generous in
sentiment, lofty in speculation--he is yet destitute of the sober
judgment and rational views which are the only solid foundation for
either general utility or durable fame in historical composition. He
has the conceptions of genius and the fire of poetry in his narrative,
but little good sense, and still less of practical acquaintance with
mankind. That is his great defect, and it is a defect so serious that
it will probably, in the end, deprive his historical works of the place
in general estimation to which, from the beauty of their composition
and the rich veins of romance with which they abound, they are justly
entitled. These imaginative qualities are invaluable additions to the
sterling qualities of truth, judgment, and trust-worthiness; but they
can never supply their place. They are the colouring of history; they
give infinite grace to its composition; they deck it out with all the
charms of light and shade: but they can never make up for the want of
accurate drawing from nature, and a faithful delineation of objects as
they really exist in the world around us. Nay, an undue preponderance
of the imaginative qualities in an historian, if not accompanied by a
scrupulous regard to truth, tends rather to lessen the weight due to
his narrative, by inspiring a constant dread that he is either passing
off imaginary scenes for real events, or colouring reality so highly
that it is little better than fiction. This is more especially the case
with a writer such as Lamartine, whose thoughts are so vivid and style
so poetical, that, even when he is describing events in themselves
perfectly true, his narrative is so embellished that it assumes the
character of romance, and is distrusted from a suspicion that it is a
mere creation of the imagination.

In addition to this, there is a capital deficiency in Lamartine's
historical works, for which no qualities of style or power of
composition, how brilliant soever, can compensate; and which, if not
supplied in some future editions, will go far to deprive them of all
credit or authority with future times. This is the _entire want of
all authorities or references_, either at the bottom, of the page or
at the end of the work. In the eight volumes of the _History of the
Girondists_, and the four on the _Revolution of 1848_, now before us,
we do not recollect ever having met with a single reference or footnote
containing a quotation from any state paper, speech, or official
document. It is impossible to overestimate the magnitude of this
defect; and it is astonishing how so able and well-informed a writer
as Lamartine should have fallen into it. Does he suppose that the
world are to take everything he says off his hand, without reference
or examination; or imagine that the brilliant and attractive graces
of his style do not increase the necessity for such authorities, from
the constant suspicion they beget that they have been drawn from the
store of his imagination, not the archives of history? No brilliancy of
description, no richness of colouring, no amount of dramatic power, can
make up for a want of the one thing needful--trust in the TRUTH of the
narrative. Observe children: every one knows how passionately fond they
are of having stories told them, and how much they prefer them to any
of the ordinary pastimes suited to their years. How often, however, do
you hear them say, _But is it all true?_ It is by making them believe
that fiction is the narrative of real event that the principal interest
is communicated to the story. Where the annals of event are coloured as
Lamartine knows how to colour them, they become more attractive than
any romance. The great success of his _History of the Girondists_,
and of Macaulay's _History of England_, is a sufficient proof of
this. But still the question will recur to men and women, as well as
children--"But is it all true?" And truth in his hands wears so much
the air of romance, that he would do well, by all possible adjuncts, to
convey the impression that it is in every respect founded in reality.

There is no work which has been published in France, of late years,
which has met with anything like the success which his _History of the
Girondists_ has had. We have heard that fifty thousand copies of it
were sold in the first year. Beyond all doubt, it had a material effect
in producing the Revolution of 1848, and precipitating Louis Philippe
from the throne. It was thus popular, from the same cause which
attracts boys to narratives of shipwrecks, or crowds to representations
of woe on the theatre--deep interest in tragic events. He represented
the heroes of the first great convulsion in such attractive colours,
that men, and still more women, were not only fascinated by the
narrative and deeply interested in the characters, but inspired by a
desire to plunge into similar scenes of excitement themselves--just
as boys become sailors from reading terrific tales of shipwreck, or
soldiers, from stories of perils in the deadly breach. In his hands,
vice equally with virtue, weakness with resolution, became attractive.
He communicated the deepest interest to Robespierre himself, who is the
real hero of his story, as Satan is of the _Paradise Lost_. He drew
no veil over the weakness, the irresolution, the personal ambition
of the Girondists, so fatal in their consequences to the cause of
freedom in France, and through it to that of liberty over the whole
world; but he contrived to make them interesting notwithstanding their
faults--nay, in consequence of those very faults. He borrowed from
romance, where it has been long understood and successfully practised,
especially in France, the dangerous secret of making characters of
_imperfect goodness_ the real heroes of his tale. He knew that none of
the leading characters at Paris were Sir Charles Grandisons; and he
knew that, if they had been so, their adventures would have excited,
comparatively speaking, very little interest. But he knew that many
of them were political Lovelaces; and he knew well that it is by such
characters that in public, equally as private life, the weakness of the
world is fascinated, and their feelings enchained. And it is in the
deep interest which his genius has communicated to really worthless
characters, and the brilliant colours in which he has clothed the most
sinister and selfish enterprises, that the real danger of his work
consists, and the secret of the terrible consequences with which its
publication was followed is to be found.

In truth, however, the real cause of those terrible consequences lies
deeper, and a fault of a more fundamental kind than any glossing over
the frailties of historical characters has at once rendered his work
so popular and its consequences so tremendous. Rely upon it, truth
and reason, all-powerful and even victorious in the end, are never
a match for sophistry and passion in the outset. When you hear of a
philosophical historical work going through half-a-dozen editions in
six months, or selling fifty thousand copies in a year, you may be
sure that there is a large intermixture of error, misrepresentation,
and one-sidedness in its composition. The cause is, that truth and
reason are in general distasteful in the outset to the human mind; and
it is by slow degrees, and the force of experience alone, that their
ascendency is established. What attracts, in the first instance, in
thought, independent of the charms of eloquence and the graces of
composition--which of course are indispensable to great success--is
_coincidence with the tendency and aspirations of general thought_.
But so prone to error and delusion is the human mind, from its
inherent character and original texture, that it is a hundred to one
that general thought at any one time, especially if it is one of
considerable excitement or vehement feeling, is founded in error. And
thus it often happens, that the works which have the most unbounded
success at their first publication, and for a considerable time after,
are precisely those which contain the largest portion of error, and
are likely, when reduced into practice, to have the most fatal effects
upon the best interests of the species. Witness the works of Rousseau
and Voltaire in France, to whose influence the first revolution is
mainly to be ascribed; those of Lamartine, Victor Hugo, and Eugene Sue,
who have been chiefly instrumental in bringing about the still more
widespread convulsions of our times.

The fundamental principle of Lamartine's political philosophy, and
which we regard as his grand error, and the cause at once of his
success in the outset and his failure in the end, is the principle
of the general innocence and perfectibility of human nature. It is
this principle, so directly repugnant to the fundamental doctrines
of Christianity, that it may be regarded as literally speaking the
"banner-cry of hell," which is at the bottom of the whole revolutionary
maxims; and it is so flattering to the hopes, and agreeable to the
weakness of human nature, that it can scarcely ever fail, when brought
forward with earnestness and enforced by eloquence, to captivate the
great majority of mankind. Rousseau proclaimed it in the loudest
terms in all his works; it was the great secret of his success.
According to him, man was born innocent, and with dispositions only
to virtue: all his vices arose from the absurdity of the teachers
who tortured his youth, all his sufferings from the tyranny of the
rulers who oppressed his manhood. Lamartine, taught by the crimes,
persuaded by the sufferings of the first Revolution, has modified this
principle without abandoning its main doctrines, and thus succeeded
in rendering it more practically dangerous, because less repugnant to
the common sense and general experience of mankind. His principle is,
that _démagogie_ is always selfish and dangerous; _démocratie_ always
safe and elevating. The ascendency of a few ambitious or worthless
leaders precipitates the masses, when they first rise against their
oppressors, into acts of violence, which throw a stain upon the cause
of freedom, and often retard for a season its advance. But that advance
is inevitable: it is only suspended for a time by the reaction against
bloodshed; and in the progressive elevation of the millions of mankind
to general intelligence, and the direction of affairs, he sees the
practical development of the doctrines of the gospel, and the only
secure foundation for general felicity. He is no friend to the extreme
doctrines of the Socialists and Communists, and is a stanch supporter
of the rights of property--and the most important of all rights, those
of marriage and family. But he sees in the sway of the multitude the
only real basis of general happiness, and the only security against the
inroads of selfishness; and he regards the advances towards this grand
consummation as being certain and irresistible as the advance of the
tide upon the sand, or the progress from night to morning. In this way
he hopes to reconcile the grand doctrine of human perfectibility with
the universal failure of all attempts at its practical establishment;
and continues to dream of the irresistible and blessed march of
democracy, while recounting alike the weakness of the Girondists,
and the crimes of the Jacobins--the woful result of the Revolution
of 1789--and the still more rapid and signal failure of that which
convulsed the world sixty years afterwards.

The simple answer to all these absurdities and errors, productive of
such disastrous consequences when reduced into practice, is this--"The
heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked."--"There
is none that doeth good, no, not one." It is from this _universal_ and
inevitable tendency to wickedness, that the practical impossibility
of establishing democratic institutions, without utter ruin to the
best interests of society, arises. You seek in vain to escape from
the consequences of this universal corruption, by committing power to
a multitude of individuals, or extinguishing the government of a few
in the sway of numbers. The multitude are themselves as bad by nature
as the few, and, for the discharge of the political duties with which
they are intrusted, incomparably worse; for, in their case, numbers
annihilate responsibility without conferring wisdom, and the contagion
of common opinions inflames passion without strengthening reason. In
the government of a few, capacity is generally looked for, because it
is felt to be beneficial by the depositaries of power; but in that
of numbers it is as commonly rejected, because it excites general
jealousy, without the prospect of individual benefit. Democratic
communities are ruined, no one knows how, or by whom. It is impossible
to find any one who is responsible for whatever is done. The ostensible
leaders are driven forward by an unseen power, which they are incapable
alike of regulating or withstanding: the real leaders--the directors of
thought--are unseen and irresponsible. If disasters occur, they ascribe
them to the incapacity of the statesmen at the head of affairs: they
relieve themselves of responsibility, by alleging, with truth, the
irresistible influence of an unknown power. No one is trained to the
duties of statesmanship, because no one knows who is to be a statesman.
Ignorance, presumption, and ambition, generally mount to the head of
affairs: the wheel of fortune, or the favour of a multitude incapable
of judging of the subject, determines everything. The only effectual
security against spoliation by the rulers of men, the dread of being
spoliated themselves, is lost when these rulers are men who are not
worth spoliating. Durable interest in the fortunes of the community is
no longer felt, when durable tenure of power is known to be impossible.
The only motive which remains is, that of making the most of a tenure
of power which is universally known to be as short-lived as it is
precarious; and prolonging it as long as possible, by bending, in every
instance, to the passions or fantasies of the multitude, nominally
vested with supreme power, really entirely guided by a few insolvent
and ambitious demagogues--

    "Ces petits souverains qu'il fait pour un année,
    Voyant d'un temps si court leur puissance bornée,
    Des plus heureux desseins font avorter le fruit,
    De peur de le laiser à celui qui le suit;
    Comme ils ont peu de part aux biens dont ils ordonnent,
    Dans le champs du public largement ils moissonnent;
    Assurés que chacun leur pardonne aisément,
    Espérant à son tour un pareil traitement;
    Le pire des états, c'est l'état populaire."[13]

[13] CORNEILLE, _Cinna_, Act ii., scene 1.

Lamartine, regarding the march of democracy as universal and
inevitable, is noways disconcerted by the uniform failure of all
attempts in old communities to establish it, or the dreadful
catastrophes to which they have invariably led. These are merely the
breaking of the waves of the advancing tide; but the rise of the
flood is not the less progressive and inevitable. He would do well to
consider, however, whether there is not a limit to human suffering;
whether successive generations will consent to immolate themselves
and their children for no other motive than that of advancing an
abstract principle, or vindicating privileges for the people fatal to
their best interests; and whether resisted attempts, and failures at
the establishment of republican institutions, will not, in the end,
lead to _a lasting_ apathy and despair in the public mind. Certain
it is, that this was the fate of popular institutions in Greece, in
Rome, and modern Italy: all of which fell under the yoke of servitude,
from a settled conviction, founded on experience, that anything was
preferable to the tempests of anarchy. Symptoms, and those too of the
most unequivocal kind, may be observed of a similar disposition in the
great majority, at least of the rural population, both in France and
England. The election of Prince Louis Napoleon by four millions out of
six millions of electors, in the former country--the quiet despair
with which measures of the most ruinous kind to general industry are
submitted to in the latter, are so many proofs of this disposition.
The bayonets of Changarnier, the devastating measures of free trade
and a restricted currency, are submitted to in both countries, because
anything is better than shaking the foundations of government.

In treating of the causes which have led to the revolution of 1848,
Lamartine imputes a great deal too much, in our estimation, to
individual men or shades of opinion, and too little to general causes,
and the ruinous effects of the first great convulsion. He ascribes it
to the personal unpopularity of M. Guizot, the selfish and corrupt
system of government which the king had established, and the discontent
at the national risks incurred by France for the interests only of
the Orleans dynasty, in the Montpensier alliance. This tendency
arises partly from the constitution of Lamartine's mind, which is
poetical and dramatic rather than philosophical; and partly from the
disinclination felt by all intelligent liberal writers to ascribe the
failure of their measures to their natural and inevitable effects,
rather than the errors or crimes of individual men. In this respect,
doubtless, he is more consistent and intelligible than M. Thiers,
who, in his _History of the French Revolution_, ascribes the whole
calamities which occurred to the _inevitable march of events_ in such
convulsions--forgetting that he could not in any other way so severely
condemn his own principles, and that it is little for the interest of
men to embrace a cause which, in that view, necessarily and inevitably
leads to ruin. Lamartine, in running into the opposite extreme, and
ascribing everything to the misconduct and errors of individual men,
is more consistent, because he saves the principle. But he is not the
less in error. The general discontent to which he ascribes so much, the
universal selfishness and corruption which he justly considers as so
alarming, were themselves the result of previous events: they were the
effects, not the causes, of political change. And without disputing the
influence, to a certain extent, of the individual men to whose agency
he ascribes everything, it may safely be affirmed that there are four
causes of paramount importance which concurred in bringing about the
late French revolution; and which will for a very long period, perhaps
for ever, prevent the establishment of anything like real freedom in
that country.

The first of these is the universal disruption of all the old bonds
of society, which took place in the first Revolution, and the general
fretting against all restraint, human or divine, which arose from
the ruin of religion and confusion of morals which then took place.
These evils have only been partially remedied by the re-establishment
of the Christian faith over the whole realm, and the sway which it
has undoubtedly acquired in the rural districts. The active and
energetic inhabitants of the great towns still continue influenced by
the Revolutionary passions, the strongest of which is the thirst for
present enjoyment, and the impatience of any restraint, whether from
the influence of conscience or the authority of law. This distinctly
appears from the licentious style of the novels which have now for a
quarter of a century issued from the press of Paris, and which is in
general such that, though very frequently read in England, it is very
seldom, especially by women, that this reading is admitted. The drama,
that mirror of the public mind, is another indication of the general
prevalence of the same licentious feeling: it is for the most part
such, that few even of the least tight-laced English ladies can sit
out the representation. The irreligion, or rather _general oblivion
of religion_, which commonly prevails in the towns, is a part, though
doubtless a most important part, of this universal disposition:
Christianity is abjured or forgotten, not because it is disbelieved,
but because it is disagreeable. Men do not give themselves the trouble
to inquire whether it is true or false; they simply give it the go-by,
and pass quietly on the other side, because it imposes a restraint,
to them insupportable, on their passions. Dispositions of this sort
are the true feeders of revolution, because they generate at once its
convulsions in like manner, as passions which require gratification,
poverty which demands food, and activity which pines for employment.
Foreign war or domestic convulsion are the only alternatives which,
in such a state of society, remain to government. Napoleon tried the
first, and he brought the Cossacks to Paris; Louis Philippe strove
to become the Napoleon of peace, but he succeeded only in being the
pioneer of revolution.

The great and durable interests of society, which the indulgence of
such passions inevitably ruins, are the barrier which, in ordinary
circumstances, is opposed to these disorders; and it is this influence
which has so long prevented any serious outbreak of anarchy in Great
Britain. But the immense extent of the confiscation of landed property
during the first Revolution, and the total ruin of commercial and
movable wealth, from the events of the maritime war, and the effects
of the enormous issue of assignats, has prevented the construction of
this barrier in anything like sufficient strength to withstand the
forces which pressed against it. Nine-tenths of the realised wealth of
the country was destroyed during the convulsion; what remained was for
the most part concentrated in the hands of a few bankers and moneyed
men, who aimed at cheapening everything, and depressing industry, in
order to augment the value of their metallic riches. The influence
of the natural leaders of the producing class, the great proprietors
of land, was at an end, for they were almost all destroyed. The six
millions of separate landed proprietors, who had come in their place,
had scarcely any influence in the state; for the great majority of
them were too poor to pay 200 francs a-year (£8) direct taxes--the
necessary condition towards an admission into the electoral body--and
as individuals they were in too humble circumstances to have any
influence in the state. The returns of the "_Impôt foncière_," or
land-tax, showed that above four millions of this immense body had
properties varying from £2 to £10 a-year each--not more than is enjoyed
by an Irish bogtrotter. In these circumstances, not only was the
steadying influence of property in general unfelt in the state, but the
property which did make itself felt was of a disturbing rather than a
pacifying tendency; for it was that of bankers and money-lenders, whose
interests, being those of consumers, not producers, went to support
measures calculated to depress industry rather than elevate it, and
thereby augment rather than diminish the distress which, from these
causes, soon came to press so severely upon the urban population.

These causes were the necessary results of the dreadful waste of
property, and ruin of industry, which had taken place during the first
Revolution. The multitude of little proprietors with which France was
overspread, could furnish nothing to the metropolis but an endless
succession of robust hands to compete with its industry, and starving
mouths to share its resources. What could the six millions of French
landowners, the majority of them at the plough, afford to lay aside
for the luxuries of Paris? Nothing. You might as well expect the
West-End shopkeepers of London to be sustained by the starving western
Highlanders of Scotland, or the famished crowds of Irish cottars. The
natural flow of the wealth of the land to the capital of the kingdom,
which invariably sets in when agricultural property is unequally
distributed, and a considerable part of it is vested in the hands of
territorial magnates, was at once stopped when it became divided among
a multitude of persons, not one of whom could afford to travel ten
miles from home, or to buy anything but a rustic dress and a blouse to
cover it. At least sixty millions sterling, out of the eighty millions
which constitute the net territorial produce of France, was turned
aside from Paris, and spent entirely in the purchase of the coarsest
manufactures or rude subsistence in the provinces. The metropolis came
to depend mainly on the expenditure of foreigners, or of the civil
and military employés of government. This woful defalcation in its
resources occurred at a time, too, when the influx of needy adventurers
from the country was daily increasing, from the impossibility of
earning a livelihood, amidst the desperate competition of its squalid
landowners, and the decline of agriculture, which necessarily resulted
from their inability to adopt any of its improvements. Thus the
condition of the working classes in Paris went on getting constantly
worse, during the whole reign of Louis Philippe; and it was only in
consequence of the vast influx of foreigners, which the maintenance
of peace and the attractions of the court occasioned, that they were
not reduced many years before to the despair and misery which at once
occasioned and followed the last revolution.

Amidst a population excited to discontent by these causes, another
circumstance has operated with peculiar force, which we do not
recollect to have seen hitherto noticed in disquisitions on this
subject--this is the prodigious number of _natural children_ and
foundlings at Paris. It is well known that ever since the close of the
first Revolution the number of illegitimate births in Paris has borne a
very great proportion to the legitimate; they are generally as 10,000
to 18,000 or 19,000. For a long time past, every third child seen
in the streets of Paris has been a bastard. Hitherto this important
feature of society has been considered with reference to the state of
morality in regard to the relation of the sexes which it indicates;
but attend to its social and political effects. These bastards do
not always remain children; they grow up to be men and women. The
foundlings of Paris, already sufficiently numerous, are swelled by a
vast concourse of a similar class over all France, who flock, when
they have the means of transport, to the capital as the common sewer
of the commonwealth. There are at present about 1,050,000 souls in the
French metropolis. Suppose that a third of these are natural children,
there are then 350,000 persons, most of them foundlings of illegitimate
birth, in that capital. Taking a fourth of them as capable of bearing
arms, we have 85,000 _bastards constantly ready to fight in Paris_.

Consider only the inevitable results of such a state of things in an
old and luxurious metropolis, teeming with indigence, abounding with
temptation, overflowing with stimulants to the passions. The _enfant
trouvé_ of Paris, when grown up, becomes a _gamin de Paris_, just as
naturally and inevitably as a chrysalis becomes a butterfly. He has
obtained enough of instruction to enable him to imbibe temptation, and
not enough to enable him to combat it. He has in general received the
rudiments of education: he can read the novels of Victor Hugo, Eugene
Sue, and George Sand; he can study daily the _Réforme_ or _National_,
or _Démocratie Pacifique_. He looks upon political strife as a game
at hazard, in which the winning party obtain wealth and honour,
mistresses, fortunes, and enjoyments. As to religion, he has never
heard of it, except as a curious relic of the olden time, sometimes
very effective on the opera stage; as to industry, he knows not what
it is; as to self-control, he regards it as downright folly where
self-indulgence is practicable. The most powerful restraints on the
passions of men--parents, children, property--are to him unknown. He
knows not to whom he owes his birth; his offspring are as strange to
him as his parents, for they, like him, are consigned to the Foundling
Hospital: he has nothing in the world he can call his own, except
a pair of stout arms to aid in the formation of barricades, and a
dauntless heart ready at any moment to accept the hazard of death
or pleasure. Hanging midway, as it were, between the past and the
future, he has inherited nothing from the former but its vices, he will
transmit nothing to the latter but its passions. Whoever considers the
inevitable results of eighty or ninety thousand men in the prime of
life actuated by these dispositions, associating with an equal number
of women of the same class, affected by the same misfortune in their
birth, and influenced by the same passions, constantly existing in a
state of indigence and destitution in the heart of Paris, will have no
difficulty in accounting for the extraordinary difficulty which, for
the last half century, has been experienced in governing France, and
will probably despair of ever succeeding in it but by force of arms.

We hear nothing of these facts from Lamartine, whose mind is
essentially dramatic, and who represents revolutions, as he evidently
considers them, as the work of individual men, working upon the
inevitable march of society towards extreme republican institutions.
He gives us no statistics; he never refers to general causes,
except the universal progress towards democracy, which he regards
as irresistible. Least of all is he alive to the ruinous effects of
the first great disruption of the bonds of society which naturally
followed the Revolution of 1789, or disposed to regard the subsequent
convulsions, as what they really are--the inevitable result and just
punishment of the enormous sins of the Revolution. And--mark-worthy
circumstance!--these consequences are the obvious result of the great
crimes committed in its course; the confiscation of property which it
occasioned, the overthrow of religion and morals with which it was
attended. They have fallen with peculiar severity upon Paris, the
centre of the revolutionary faction, and the focus from which all its
iniquities emanated, and where the blood of its noblest victims was
shed. And if revolutions such as we have witnessed or read of in that
country are indeed inevitable, and part of the mysterious system of
Providence in the regulation of human affairs, we can regard them as
nothing but a realisation of that general tendency to evil which is so
clearly foretold in prophecy, and indications of the advent of those
disastrous times which are to be closed by the second coming of the

We have all heard of the mingled treachery and irresolution--treachery
in the national guard, irresolution in the royal family--which brought
about the revolution which Lamartine has so eloquently described. It
is evident, even from his account--which, it may be supposed, is not
unduly hostile to the popular side--that it was the bar-sinister in
its birth which proved fatal, in the decisive moment, to the Throne
of the Barricades; and that the revolution might with ease have been
suppressed, if any other power had been called to combat it but that
which owed its existence to a similar convulsion.

     "The King was lost in thought, while the tocsin was sounding, on
     the means by which it might yet be possible to calm the people,
     and restrain the revolution, in which he persisted in seeing
     nothing but a riot. The abdication of his external-political
     system, personified in M. Guizot, M. Duchatel, and the majority of
     the Chambers entirely devoted to his interests, appeared to him
     to amount to more than the renunciation of his crown; it was the
     abandonment of his thoughts, of his wisdom, of the prestige of his
     infallibility in the eyes of Europe, of his family, of his people.
     To yield a throne to adverse fortune, is little to a great mind.
     To yield his renown and authority to triumphant adverse opinion
     and implacable history, is the most painful effort which can be
     required of a man, for it at once destroys and humbles him. But
     the King was not one of those hardy characters who enjoy, with
     _sang-froid_, the destruction of a people for the gratification of
     their pride. He had read much of history, acted much in troubled
     times, reflected much. He could not conceal from himself, that a
     dynasty which should reconquer Paris by means of grape-shot and
     bombs would be for ever besieged by the horror of the people.
     His field of battle had always been opinion. It was on it that
     he wished to act; he hoped to regain it by timely concessions.
     Only, like a prudent economist, he higgled with opinion like a
     Jewish pawnbroker, in the hopes of purchasing it at the smallest
     possible sacrifice of his system and dignity. He flattered himself
     he had several steps of popularity to descend before quitting the
     throne."--(Vol. i., p. 102.)

The immediate cause of the overthrow of the throne, it is well known,
was the fatal order which the delusion of M. Thiers, when called to the
ministry, extorted from the weakness of the King, to stop firing--to
cease resistance--to succumb to the assailants. Marshal Bugeaud was
perfectly firm; the troops were steady; ample military force was
at their command; everything promised decisive success to vigorous
operations. Marshal Bugeaud's plan was of the simplest but most
efficacious kind.

     "Marshal Bugeaud, with his military instinct, matured by
     experience and the habit of handling troops, knew that
     _immobility_ is the ruin of the morale of soldiers. He changed in
     a moment the plan of operations submitted to him. He instantly
     called around him the officers commanding corps. The one was
     Tiburie Sebastiani, brother of the marshal of the same name, a
     calm and faithful officer; the other, General Bedeau, whose name,
     made illustrious by his exploits in Africa, carried respect with
     it, to his companions in arms in Paris. He ordered them to form
     two columns of 3500 men each, and to advance into the centre
     of Paris--the one by the streets which traverse it from the
     Boulevards to the Hôtel de Ville, the other by streets which cross
     it from the quays. Each of the columns had artillery, and their
     instructions were to carry, in their advance, all the barricades,
     to destroy these fortresses of the insurrection, to cannonade the
     masses, and concentrate their columns on the Hôtel de Ville, the
     decisive point of the day. General Lamoricière was to command a
     reserve of 9000 men, stationed around the palace."--(Vol. i., pp.
     136, 137.)

The despair of the troops when compelled to retire before a tumultuous
mob--to confess defeat in their own capital, and in the face of Europe,
is thus described:--

     "At daybreak the two columns of troops set out on their march;
     their progress was, every ten minutes, reported by staff-officers
     in disguise. _They experienced no serious resistance on their way
     to the Hôtel de Ville_; the crowd opened as they advanced, with
     cries of '_Vive la Réforme!_' they trampled under foot, without
     firing a shot, the beginnings of the barricades. Nevertheless,
     the uncertainty of what was passing in the Tuileries paralysed
     the arms in the hands of the soldiers. The Marshal, at length
     constrained by the reiterated orders of the King, sent orders to
     his lieutenants to make the troops fall back. Marshal Bedeau,
     upon this, made his battalions retire. Some soldiers threw their
     muskets on the ground, as a sign of despair or fraternisation.
     Their return across Paris had the appearance of a defection, or of
     the advanced guard of the revolution marching on the Tuileries.
     The troops, already vanquished by these orders, took up their
     position, _untouched but powerless_, on the Place de la Concorde,
     in the Champs Elysées, in the Rue de Rivoli. The French troops,
     when disgraced, are no longer an army. They felt in their hearts
     the bitterness of that retreat; they feel it still."--(Vol. i., p.

But it was soon found that these disgraceful concessions to mob
violence would avail nothing; that M. Thiers and M. Odillon Barrot
were alike unequal to stemming the torrent which they had put in
motion; and that the King, as a reward for his humane order to the
troops not to fire upon the people, was to be called on to abdicate!
In the disgraceful scene of pusillanimity and weakness which ensued,
we regret to say the princes of the royal family, and especially the
Duke de Montpensier, evinced as much cowardice as the princesses did
courage;--exemplifying thus again what Napoleon said of the Bourbons
in 1815, that there was only one man in the family, and that man was a
woman. The decisive moment is thus described with dramatic power, but,
we have no doubt, historic truth, by M. Lamartine:--

     "M. Girardin, in a few brief and sad words, which abridged minutes
     and cut short objections, said to the King with mournful respect,
     that changes of ministry were no longer in season; that the moment
     was sweeping away the throne with the councils, and that there was
     but one word suitable to the urgency of the occasion, and that
     word was '_abdication_.'

     "The King was in one of those moments when truths strike without
     offending. Nevertheless, he let fall, upon hearing these words,
     from his hands the pen with which he was arranging the names of
     the new ministry. He was desirous of discussing the question.
     M. Girardin, pitiless as evidence, pressing as time, would not
     even admit of discussion. 'Sire!' said he, 'the abdication
     of the king, or the abdication of the monarchy--there is the
     alternative. Circumstances will not admit even of a minute to find
     a third issue from the straits in which we are placed.' While he
     thus spoke, M. Girardin placed before the King the draft of a
     proclamation which he had prepared and he wished to have printed.
     That proclamation, concise as a fact, consisted only of four
     lines, calculated to attract the eyes of the people.

     The abdication of the King.

     The regency of the Duchess of Orleans.

     The dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies.

     A general amnesty.

     "The King hesitated. _The Duke de Montpensier his son_, carried
     away, doubtless, by the energetic expression in the physiognomy,
     gesticulations, and words of M. Girardin, pressed his father
     with more vehemence than rank, age, and misfortunes should have
     permitted to the respect of a son. _The pen was presented, and the
     crown torn from the monarch by an impatience which could not wait
     for his full and free conviction._ The rudeness of fortune towards
     the King was forgotten _in the precipitance of the council_.
     On the other hand, blood was beginning to flow, the throne was
     gliding away. The lives even of the King and his family might
     be endangered. Everything can be explained by the solicitude
     and the tenderness of the councillors. History should ever take
     the version which least humiliates and bruises least the human
     heart."--(Vol. i., p. 127.)

Observe the poetic justice of this consummation. The member of his
family, who at the decisive moment failed in his duty, and compelled
his infirm and gray-haired father to abdicate, was the DUC DE
MONTPENSIER--the very prince for whose elevation he had perilled the
English alliance, violated his plighted word, endangered the peace
of Europe! The heir-presumptive of the crown of Spain was the first
to shake the crown of France from his father's head! Vanquished by
his personal fears, unworthy of his high rank and higher prospects,
a disgrace to his country, he evinced, what is rare in France in any
station, not merely moral, but physical pusillanimity. To this end have
the intrigues of the Orleans family, from Egalité downwards, ultimately
tended. They have not only lost the crown, to win which they forgot
their allegiance and violated their oaths, but they have lost it with
dishonour and disgrace: they are not only exiles, but they are despised
exiles. Such have been the fruits of the Orleans intrigues to gain the
crown of France.

As a bright contrast to this woful exhibition, we gladly translate M.
Lamartine's account of the memorable scene in the chambers, where the
Duchess of Orleans nobly contended with an infuriated and bloodthirsty
rabble for the crown, now devolved to her son by his grandfather's
abdication. Had such spirited devotion been found in her husband's
family, they might have transmitted the honours they had won in the
Orleans dynasty.

     "The great door opposite the tribune, on a level with the most
     elevated benches in the hall, opened; a woman appeared dressed in
     mourning: it was the Duchess of Orleans. Her veil, half raised on
     her hat, allowed her countenance to be seen, bearing the marks
     of an emotion and sadness which heightened the interest of youth
     and beauty. Her pale cheeks bore the traces of the tears of the
     widow, the anxieties of the mother. No man could look on those
     features without emotion. At their aspect, all resentment against
     the monarchy fled from the mind. The blue eyes of the princess
     wandered over the scene, with which she had been a moment dazzled,
     as if to implore aid by her looks. Her slender but elegant form
     bowed at the applause which saluted her. A slight colour--the dawn
     of hope amidst ruin--of joy amidst sorrow--suffused her cheeks.
     A smile of gratitude beamed through her tears. She felt herself
     surrounded by friends. With one hand she held the young king, who
     stumbled on the steps, with the other the young Duke of Chartres:
     infants to whom the catastrophe which destroyed them was a subject
     of amusement. They were both clothed in short black dresses.
     A white shirt-collar was turned over their dresses, as in the
     portraits by Vandyke of the children of Charles I.

     "The Duke of Nemours walked beside the princess, faithful to the
     memory of his brother in his nephews; a protector who would ere
     long stand in need of protection himself. The figure of that
     prince, ennobled by misfortune, breathed the courageous but modest
     satisfaction of a duty discharged at the hazard of his life. Some
     generals in uniform, and officers of the national guard, followed
     her steps. She bowed with timid grace to the assembly, and sat
     down motionless at the foot of the tribune, an innocent accused
     person before a tribunal without appeal, which was about to judge
     the cause of royalty. At that moment, that cause was gained in the
     eyes and hearts of all."--(Vol i. p. 177.)

But it was all in vain. The mob on the outside broke into the assembly.
The national guard, as usual, failed at the decisive moment, and
royalty was lost.

     "An unwonted noise was heard at the door on the left of the
     tribune. Unknown persons, _national guards_ with arms in their
     hands, common people in their working-dresses, break open the
     doors, overthrow the officers who surround the tribune, invade
     the assembly, and, with loud cries, demand the Duke of Nemours.
     Some deputies rose from their seats to make a rampart with their
     bodies around the princess. M. Mauguin calmly urged them to
     retire. General Oudinot addressed them with martial indignation.
     Finding words unavailing, he hastily traversed the crowd to demand
     the support of the national guard. He represented to them the
     inviolability of the assembly, and the respect due to a princess
     and a woman insulted amidst French bayonets. The national guards
     heard him, feigned to be indignant, but _slowly took up their
     arms, and ended by doing nothing_."--(Vol. i. p. 180.)

In justice to Lamartine also, we must give an abstract of his animated
and eloquent account of the most honourable event in his life, and
one which should cover a multitude of sins--the moment when he singly
contended with the maddened rabble who had triumphed over the throne,
and, by the mere force of moral courage and eloquent expression,
defeated the Red Republicans, who were desirous to hoist the _drapeau
rouge_, the well-known signal of bloodshed and devastation:--

     "In this moment of popular frenzy, Lamartine succeeded in calming
     the people by a sort of patriotic hymn on their victory--so
     sudden, so complete, so unlooked-for even by the most ardent
     friends of liberty. He called God to witness the admirable
     humanity and religious moderation which the people had hitherto
     shown alike in the combat and their triumph. He placed prominently
     forward that sublime instinct which, the evening before, had
     thrown them, when still armed, but already disciplined and
     obedient, into the arms of a few men who had submitted themselves
     to calumny, exhaustion, and death, for the safety of all.
     'That,' said Lamartine, 'was what the sun beheld yesterday, and
     what would he shine upon to-day? He would behold a people the
     more furious that there was no longer any enemies to combat;
     distrusting the men whom but yesterday it had intrusted with the
     lead,--constraining them in their liberty, insulting them in their
     dignity, disavowing their authority, substituting a revolution
     of vengeance and punishment for one of unanimity and fraternity,
     and commanding the government to hoist, in token of concord, the
     standard of a combat to the death between the citizens of the
     same country! That red flag, which was sometimes raised as the
     standard against our enemies when blood was flowing, should be
     furled after the combat, in token of reconciliation and peace. I
     would rather see the black flag which they hoist sometimes in a
     besieged town as a symbol of death, to designate to the bombs the
     edifices consecrated to humanity, and which even the balls of the
     enemy respect. Do you wish, then, that the symbol of your republic
     should be more menacing and more sinister than the colours of
     a besieged city?' 'No no!' cried some of the crowd, 'Lamartine
     is right: let us not keep that standard, the symbol of terror,
     for our citizens.' 'Yes, yes!' cried others, 'it is ours--it is
     that of the people--it is that with which we have conquered. Why
     should we not keep, after the conflict, the colours which we have
     stained with our blood?'--'Citizens!' said Lamartine, after having
     exhausted every argument calculated to affect the imagination
     of the people, 'you may do violence to the government: you may
     command it to change the colours of the nation and the colours
     of France. If you are so ill advised and so obstinate in error
     as to impose on it a republic of party and flag of terror, the
     government is as decided as myself to die rather than dishonour
     itself by obeying you: for myself, my hand shall never sign that
     decree: I will resist even to the death that symbol of blood; and
     you should repudiate it as well as I; for the red flag which you
     bring us has never gone beyond the Champ de Mars, dragged red in
     the blood of the people in '91 and '93; but the tricolor flag has
     made the tour of the world, with the name, the glory, and the
     liberty of our country.' At these words, Lamartine, interrupted
     by the unanimous cries of enthusiasm, fell from the chair which
     served for his tribune, into the arms stretched out on all sides
     to receive him. The cause of the new republic was triumphant over
     the bloody recollections which they wished to substitute for it.
     The hideous crowd which filled the hall retired, amidst cries of
     '_Vive Lamartine!--Vive le Drapeau Tricolor!_'

     "The danger, however, was not over. The crowd which had been
     carried away by his words was met by another crowd which had not
     hitherto been able to penetrate into the hall, and which was
     more vehement in words and gesticulations. Menacing expressions,
     ardent vociferations, cries of suffocation, threatening gestures,
     discharges of firearms on the stair, tatters of a red flag waved
     by naked arms above the sea of heads, rendered this one of the
     most frightful scenes of the Revolution. 'Down with Lamartine!
     Death to Lamartine! no Temporising,--the Decree, the Decree,
     or the Government of Traitors to the lamp-post!' exclaimed the
     assailants. These cries neither caused Lamartine to hesitate, to
     retire, nor to turn pale. At the sight of him the fury of the
     assailants, instead of being appeased, increased tenfold. Muskets
     were directed at his head, the nearest brandished bayonets in his
     face, and a savage group of twenty, with brutal drunken visages,
     charged forward with their heads down, as if to break through
     with an enormous battering-ram the circle which surrounded him.
     The foremost appeared bereft of reason. Naked sabres reached
     the head of the orator, whose hand was slightly wounded. The
     critical moment had arrived; nothing was yet decided. Hazard
     determined which should prevail. Lamartine expected momentarily
     to be thrown down and trampled under foot. At that instant one
     of the populace sprang from the crowd, a ball discharged from
     below grazed his face and stained it with blood; while it still
     flowed, he stretched out his arms to Lamartine--'Let me see him,
     let me touch him,' cried he, 'let me kiss his hand! Listen to him,
     oh, my citizens! follow his councils: you shall strike me before
     touching him. I will die a thousand times to preserve that good
     citizen for my country.' With these words he precipitated himself
     into his arms, and held him convulsively embraced. The people were
     moved at this scene; and a hundred voices again exclaimed '_Vive
     le Gouvernement Provisoire!--Vive Lamartine!_'"--(Vol. i. pp. 393,

We purposely close our account of Lamartine's personal career with this
splendid passage in his life. His subsequent conduct, it is well known,
has ill accorded with this beginning. His popularity in Paris fell as
rapidly as it had risen; and on occasion of the terrible revolt of June
1848, he retired from the government, with all his colleagues, from
acknowledged inability to meet the crisis which had arisen. We have
heard different accounts of the real causes of his mysterious alliance
with his former opponent, and the head of the Red Republicans, M. Ledru
Rollin, to which this fall was owing. Some of these stories are little
to his credit. We forbear to mention them, lest we should unwittingly
disseminate falsehood in regard to a man of undoubted genius and
great acquirements. Perhaps, in some future "Confidences," he may be
able to explain much which undoubtedly at present stands in need of
explanation. We gladly leave this dubious subject, to give a place to
his dramatic account of the dreadful conflict in June, in the streets
of Paris, which is the more entitled to credit, as he was an eyewitness
of several of its most terrible scenes:--

     "Assemblages of eight or ten thousand persons were already formed
     on the Place of the Pantheon to attack the Luxembourg. M. Arago
     harangued them and persuaded them to disperse; but it was only to
     meet again in the quarters adjoining the Seine, in the Faubourg St
     Antoine, and on the Boulevards. At the sight of them the faubourgs
     turned out--the streets were filled--the _Ateliers Nationaux_
     turned out their hordes--the populace, excited by some chief,
     began to raise barricades. These chiefs were, for the most part,
     brigadiers of the national workshops, the pillars of sedition and
     of the clubs, irritated at the disbanding of their corps, the
     wages of which, passing through their hands, had been applied,
     it is said, to paying the Revolution. From the barriers of
     Charenton, Fontainebleau, and Menilmontant, to the heart of Paris,
     the entire capital was in the hands of a few thousand men. The
     _rappel_ called to their standards 200,000 National Guards, ten
     times sufficient to overthrow those assemblages of the seditious,
     and to destroy their fortifications. But it must be said, to
     the disgrace of that day, and for the instruction of posterity,
     that the National Guard at that decisive moment _did not answer
     in a body to the appeal of the government_. Their tardiness,
     their disinclination, their inertness, left the streets in some
     quarters open to sedition. They looked on with calm eyes on the
     erection of thousands of barricades, which they had afterwards to
     reconquer with torrents of blood. Soon the government quitted the
     Luxembourg and took refuge in the National Assembly, where, at the
     headquarters of General Cavaignac, was established the supreme
     council of the nation.

     "Government had reckoned on the support of the National Guard;
     but the incessant beating of the _rappel_ failed in bringing it
     forth to its standards. In several quarters they were imprisoned
     by the insurgents. In fine, be it tardiness, or be it fatality,
     the army was far from responding in a body to the imminence and
     universality of the peril. Its numerical weakness aggravated the
     danger. General Lamoricière, invincible, though soon besieged by
     200,000 men, occupied the whole extent from the Rue du Temple to
     the Madeleine, from the Rue de Clichy to the Louvre--constantly
     on horseback, ever foremost in fire, he had two horses shot under
     him--his countenance black with powder, his forehead running down
     with sweat, his voice hoarse with giving the word of command, but
     his eye serene and calm as a soldier in his native element, he
     restored spirit to his men, confidence to the National Guards.
     His reports to government breathed the intrepidity of his soul,
     but he made no concealment of the imminence of the danger, and
     the insufficiency of the troops at his disposal. He painted the
     immense multitude of the assailants and the vast network of
     barricades which stretched between the Bastile and the Chateau
     d'Eau, between the barriers and the Boulevard. Incessantly he
     implored reinforcements, which the government as continually
     summoned to its support by the telegraph, and officers specially
     despatched. At length the National Guards of the neighbourhood of
     Paris began to arrive, and, ranging themselves round the Assembly,
     furnished an example to those of the capital. Then, and not till
     then, confidence began to be felt in the midst of the chances of
     the combat."--(Vol. ii., pp. 480-481.)

It was a most fortunate event for the cause of order, and, with it,
of real freedom throughout the world, that this great revolt was so
completely suppressed, though at the cost of a greater number of lives,
particularly in general officers, than fell in many a bloody battle, by
the efforts of General Cavaignac and his brave companions in arms. It
is said that their measures, at first, were not skilfully taken--that
they lost time, and occasioned unnecessary bloodshed at the outset, by
neglecting to attack the barricades when they began to be formed; and
certainly the easy and bloodless suppression of the late revolt against
the government of Prince Louis Napoleon, by General Changarnier, seems
to favour this opinion. It must be recollected, however, that the
revolt of May 1849 occurred when the memory of the popular overthrow
of June 1848 was still fresh in the minds of the people; and it is not
easy to overestimate the effect of that decisive defeat in paralysing
revolt on the one side, and adding nerve to resistance on the other. It
is evident that Louis Napoleon is not a Duc de Montpensier--he will not
surrender his authority without a fight. But supposing that there was
some tardiness in adopting decisive measures on occasion of the June
revolt, that only makes the lesson more complete, by demonstrating the
inability of the bravest and most determined populace to contend with a
regular military force, when the troops are steady to their duty, and
bravely led by their chiefs. The subsequent suppression of the revolts
in Prague, Vienna, Madrid, and Rome, have confirmed the same important
truth. Henceforth, it is evident, the horrors of revolution may always
be averted, when government is firm, and the military are faithful.

And these horrors are in truth such, that it becomes evidently the
first of political and social duties for the rulers of men to justify
the eminence of their rank by their courage, and the troops to
vindicate the trust reposed in them by their fidelity. Passing by the
woful _exposé_ of the almost hopeless state of the French finances,
with a deficit of above TWELVE MILLIONS sterling, despite an addition
of forty-five per cent to the direct taxes, made by Prince Louis
Napoleon to the National Assembly, we rest on the following curious and
important details taken from the _Times_ of July 12, in regard to the
effect of the revolution of 1848 upon the comforts and condition of the
labouring classes in France:--

     "It appears it is the middle class of tradesmen that are now most
     suffering from the effects of revolution. The funds on which this
     class had been living, in the hope that better days would soon
     arrive, and which amongst some of the small tradesmen formed their
     capital, have become exhausted. Those who had no money had, at all
     events, some credit; but both money and credit are now gone. The
     result is, that even in this period of comparative tranquillity
     more shops are closed than in the days of turbulence.

     "The following statement of the fluctuations of the revenues of
     the city of Paris, occasioned also by revolution, and which goes
     back to 1826, is taken from the _Débats_:--

     "'The returns of the produce of indirect impost is the unfailing
     testimony to the progress or decrease of public tranquillity. We
     proved this truth yesterday in publishing, on the authority of a
     well-informed journal, the comparative state of the receipts of
     the Paris _octroi_ for the first six months of the years 1847,
     1848, and 1849. It is still further proved by valuable documents
     which we have at this moment before us. Thus, the produce of
     the _octroi_ was, in 1847, 34,511,389 francs; and in 1848, only
     26,519,627 francs, showing a difference of 7,991,762 francs. This
     decrease is enormous, in relation to the immense necessities
     created by the political and social crisis, the works undertaken
     by the city, and the previous expenses it had to provide for. We
     could analyse the different chapters of this municipal revenue,
     which affords life to so many branches of Parisian industry;
     but it is useless to inquire, for each of these chapters, the
     particular causes of diminution. With the great event of 1848
     before us, all details disappear. One sole cause has produced a
     decrease in the receipts, and that is the revolution of February;
     which, at first menacing society itself by the voice of democratic
     orators and the pens of demagogue writers, frightened away capital
     and annihilated industry of all kinds. In order to be able to
     judge of the influence of great political events on the receipts
     of the Paris _octroi_, it will be sufficient to recur to the years
     which preceded and followed the revolution of 1830:--

  In 1826 the produce was                       31,057,000

  In 1827 (the first shock in consequence
  of the progress of the
  opposition in the country, and
  the dissolution of the national
  guard)                                        29,215,000

  In 1828 (fall of the Villèle ministry--continuation
  of the political
  movement notwithstanding
  the Montignac ministry)                       28,927,000

  In 1829 (ministry of the 8th
  August--presentiments of a
  struggle between the crown and
  country)                                      27,695,000

  In 1830 (July Revolution)                     26,240,000

  In 1831 (incessant agitation--repeated
  outbreaks)                                    24,035,000

  In 1832 (continuation of revolutionary
  movement--events of
  the 5th and 6th June)                         22,798,000

  In 1833 (progressive establishment
  of tranquillity)                              26,667,000

  In 1834 (the situation becomes
  better, with the exception of the
  events of the 13th and 14th
  April, which, however, were
  brief)                                        27,458,000

  From 1835 to 1838 (calm--cabinet
  of 15th April--the produce
  in the latter year)                           31,518,000

  In 1839 (Parliamentary coalition,
  12th May)                                     30,654,000

  In 1840 (fears of war--rupture of
  the English Alliance, &c.)                    29,906,000

  From 1841 to 1845 (calm--progressive
  increase in the latter
  year)                                         34,165,000

  In 1846 (notwithstanding the
  dearness of food, the receipts
  were)                                         33,990,000

  In 1847 (commercial crisis, &c.)              33,033,000

  In 1848 (revolution of February)              26,519,000

     "The following from _La Patrie_ gives a good idea of the effects
     of an unquiet state of society:--

     "'Revolutions cost dear. They, in the first place, augment the
     public expenses and diminish the general resources. Occasionally
     they yield something, but before gathering in the profits the bill
     must be paid. M. Audiganne, _chef de bureau_ at the department
     of commerce and agriculture, has published a curious work on
     the industrial crisis brought on by the revolution of February.
     M. Audiganne has examined all branches of manufactures, and
     has shown that the crisis affected every one. In the Nord, at
     Lisle, cotton-spinning, which occupied thirty-four considerable
     establishments, employing a capital of 7,000,000f. or 8,000,000f.;
     and tulle making, employing 195 looms, were obliged to reduce
     their production one-half. At Turcoing and Roubaix, where cloth
     and carpet manufactories occupied 12,000 workmen, the produce went
     down two-thirds, and 8000 men were thrown out of work. In the
     Pas-de-Calais the fabrication of lace and cambrics was obliged
     to stop before a fall of twenty-five per cent. The linen factory
     of Capecure, founded in 1836, and which employed 1800 men, was
     in vain aided by the Municipal Council of Boulogne and the local
     banks; it at last succumbed to the crisis. In the department of
     the Somme, 142,000 workmen, who were employed in the woollen,
     cotton, stocking, and velvet manufactories, were reduced to
     idleness. In the arrondissement of Abbeville, where the business,
     known by the name of 'lockwork' of Picardy, yielded an annual
     produce of 4,000,000f., the orders stopped completely, and the
     unfortunate workmen were obliged to go and beg their bread in the
     environs. At Rouen, where the cotton trade gave an annual produce
     of more than 250,000,000f., there were the same disasters; yet
     the common goods continued to find purchasers, owing to their
     low price. At Caen, the lace manufacture, which in 1847 employed
     upwards of 50,000 persons, or one-eighth of the population of
     Calvados, was totally paralysed. At St Quentin, tulle embroidery,
     which gave a living to 1500 women, received just as severe a
     blow as in March and April, 1848; almost all the workshops were
     obliged to close. In the east the loss was not less considerable.
     Rheims was obliged to close its woollen-thread factories during
     the months of March, April, and May, 1848. The communal workshop
     absorbed in some weeks an extraordinary loan of 430,000f.
     Fortunately, an order for 1,500,000f. of merinos, from New York,
     allowed the interrupted factories to reopen, and spared the town
     fresh sacrifices. The revolutionary tempest penetrated into Alsace
     and there swept away two-thirds of the production. Muhlhausen
     stopped for several months the greater number of its looms, and
     diminished one-half the length of labour in the workshops, which
     remained open. Lyons also felt all the horrors of the crisis.
     In the same way as muslin and lace, silk found its consumption
     stopped. For several months the unfortunate Lyons' workmen had for
     sole subsistence the produce of the colours and scarfs ordered
     by the Provisional Government. At St Etienne and St Chamond,
     the principal points of our ribbon and velvet manufacture, and
     where 85,000 workmen were employed, the production went down
     two-thirds. At Paris M. Audiganne estimates the loss in what is
     called Paris goods at nine-tenths of the production. The loss on
     other articles, he considers, on the contrary, to have been only
     two-thirds on the sale, and a little more than one-half on the
     amount of the produce. We only touch in these remarks on the most
     striking points of the calculation; the total loss, according
     to M. Audiganne, amounts, for the workmen alone, to upwards of

Such have been the consequences to the people of listening to the voice
of their demagogues, who impelled them into the revolution of 1848--to
the national guards, of hanging back at the decisive moment, and
forgetting their oaths in the intoxication of popular enthusiasm.

And if any one supposes that these effects were only temporary, and
that lasting freedom is to be won for France by these sacrifices, we
recommend him to consider the present state of France, a year and a
half after the revolution of 1848, as painted by one of its ablest
supporters, M. Louis Blanc.


     "While Paris is in a state of siege, and when most of the journals
     which represent our opinions are by violence condemned to silence,
     we believe it to be a duty owing to our party to convey to it, if
     possible, the public expression of our sentiments.

     "It is with profound astonishment that we see the organs of the
     counter-revolution triumph over the events of the 13th of June.

     "Where there has been no contest, how can there have been a

     "What is then proved by the 13th of June?

     "That under the pressure of 100,000 soldiers, Paris is not free in
     her movements? We have known this more than enough.

     "Now, as it has always been, the question is, if by crowding Paris
     with soldiers and with cannon, by stifling with violent hands
     the liberty of the press, by suppressing individual freedom,
     by invading private domiciles, by substituting the reign of
     Terror for that of Reason, by unceasingly repressing furious
     despair--that which there is wanting a capacity to prevent, the
     end will be attained of reanimating confidence, or re-establishing
     credit, of diminishing taxes, of correcting the vices of the
     administration, of chasing away the spectre of the deficit, of
     developing industry, of cutting short the disasters attendant
     upon unlimited competition, of suppressing those revolts which
     have their source in the deep recesses of human feeling, of
     tranquillising resentments, of calming all hearts? The state of
     siege of 1848 has engendered that of 1849. The question is, if
     the amiable perspective of Paris in a state of siege every eight
     or ten months will restore to commerce its elastic movements, to
     the industrious their markets, and to the middle classes their
     repose."--_L. Blanc._

It is frequently asked what is to be the end of all these changes,
and under what form of government are the people of France ultimately
to settle? Difficult as it is to predict anything with certainty of
a people with whom nothing seems to be fixed but the disposition to
change, we have no hesitation in stating our opinion that the future
government of France will be what that of imperial Rome was, an
ELECTIVE MILITARY DESPOTISM. In fact, with the exception of the fifteen
years of the Restoration, when a free constitutional monarchy was
imposed on its inhabitants by the bayonets of the Allies, it has ever
since the Revolution of 1789 been nothing else. The Orleans dynasty
has, to all appearance, expired with a disgrace even greater than
that which attended its birth: the Bourbons can scarcely expect, in
a country so deeply imbued with the love of change, to re-establish
their hereditary throne. Popular passion and national vanity call
for that favourite object in democratic societies--a rotation of
governors: popular violence and general suffering will never fail to
re-establish, after a brief period of anarchy, the empire of the sword.
The successive election of military despots seems the only popular
compromise between revolutionary passion and the social necessities of
mankind; and as a similar compromise took place, after eighty years of
bloodshed and confusion, in the Roman commonwealth, so, after a similar
period of suffering, it will probably be repeated, from the influence
of the same cause, in the French nation.

Dies Boreales.

No. III.


SCENE--_Gutta Percha._

TIME--_Early Evening._


       *       *       *       *       *




Gentlemen, are you all seated?


Why into such strange vagaries fall as you would dance, Longfellow!
Seize his skirts, Seward. Buller, cling to his knees. Billy, the
boat-hook--he will be--he is--overboard.


Not at all. Gutta Percha is somewhat crank--and I am steadying her, sir.


What is that round your waist?


My Air-girdle.


I insist upon you dropping it, Longman. It makes you reckless. I did
not think you were such a selfish character.


Alas! in this world, how are our noblest intentions misunderstood! I
put it on, sir, that, in case of a capsize, I might more buoyantly bear
you ashore.


Forgive me, my friend. But--be seated. Our craft is but indifferently
well adapted for the gallopade. Be seated, I beseech you! Or, if you
will stand, do plant both feet--do not--do not alternate so--and above
all, do not, I implore you--show off on one, as if you were composing
and reciting verses.--There, down you are--and if there be not a hole
in her bottom, Gutta Percha is safe against all the hidden rocks in
Loch Awe.


Let me take the stroke oar.


For sake of the ancient houses of the Sewards and the Bullers, sit
where you are. We are already in four fathom water.


The Lines?


Nea, nea--Mister Talboys. Nane shall steer Perch when He's afloat but
t' auld commodore.


Shove off, lads.


Are we on earth or in heaven?


On t' watter.




The Heavens are high--and they are deep. Fear would rise up from that
Profound, if fear there could be in the perfectly Beautiful!


Perhaps there is--though it wants a name.


We know there is no danger--and therefore we should feel no fear. But
we cannot wholly disencumber ourselves of the emotions that ordinarily
great depth inspires--and verily I hold with Seward, while thus we hang
over the sky-abyss below with suspended oars.


The Ideal rests on the Real--Imagination on Memory--and the Visionary,
at its utmost, still retains relations with Truth.


Pray you to look at our Encampment. Nothing visionary there--


Which Encampment?


On the hill-side--up yonder--at Cladich.


You should have said so at first. I thought you meant that other down--


When I speak to you, I mean the _bona fide_ flesh and blood Talboys,
sitting by the side of the _bona fide_ flesh and blood Christopher
North, in Gutta Percha, and not that somewhat absurd, and, I trust,
ideal personage, standing on his head in the water, or it may be the
air, some fathoms below her keel--like a pearl-diver.


Put up your hands--so--my dear Mr North, and frame the picture.


And Maculloch not here! Why the hills behind Cladich, that people call
tame, make a background that no art might meliorate. Cultivation climbs
the green slopes, and overlays the green hill-ridges, while higher up
all is rough, brown, heathery, rocky--and behind that undulating line,
for the first time in my life, I see the peaks of mountains. From afar
they are looking at the Tents. And far off as they are, the power of
that Sycamore Grove connects them with our Encampment.


Are you sure, sir, they are not clouds?


If clouds, so much the better. If mountains, they deserve to be clouds;
and if clouds, they deserve to be mountains.


The long broad shadow of the Grove tames the white of the Tents--tones
it--reduces it into harmony with the surrounding colour--into keeping
with the brown huts of the villagers, clustering on bank and brae on
both sides of the hollow river.


The cozey Inn itself from its position is picturesque.


The Swiss Giantess looks imposing--


So does the Van. But Deeside is the Pandemonium--


Well translated by Paterson in his Notes on Milton, "All-Devil's-Hall."


Hush. And how lovely the foreground! Sloping upland--with single trees
standing one by one, at distances wide enough to allow to each its own
little grassy domain--with its circle of bracken or broom--or its own
golden gorse grove--divided by the sylvan course of the hidden river
itself, visible only when it glimpses into the Loch--Here, friends, we
seem to see the united occupations of pastoral, agricultural--and--


Pardon me, sir, I have a proposition to make.


You might have waited a moment till--


Not a moment. We all Four see the background--and the middle-ground and
the foreground--and all the ground round and about--and all the islands
and their shadows--and all the mountains and theirs--and, towering high
above all, that Cruachan of yours, who, I firmly believe, is behind
us--though 'twould twist my neck now to get a vizzy of him. No use
then in describing all that lies within the visible horizon--there it
is--let us enjoy it and be thankful--and let us talk this evening of
whatever may happen to come into our respective heads--and I beg leave
to add, sir, with all reverence, let's have fair play--let no single
man--young or old--take more than his own lawful share--




And let the subject of angling be tabooed--and all its endless
botheration about baskets and rods, and reels and tackle--salmon,
sea-trout, yellow-fin, perch, pike, and the Ferox--and no drivel about
Deer and Eagles--


Sir? What's the meaning of all this--Seward, say--tell, Talboys.


And let each man on opening his mouth be _timed_--and let it be
two-minute time--and let me be time-keeper--but, in consideration
of your years and habits, and presidency, let time to you, sir, be
extended to two minutes and thirty seconds--and let us all talk time
about--and let no man seek to nullify the law by talking at railway
rate--and let no man who waives his right of turn, however often, think
to make up for the loss by claiming quarter of an hour afterwards--and
that, too, perhaps at the smartest of the soiree--and let there be no
contradiction, either round, flat, or angular--and let no man speak
about what he understands--that is, has long studied and made himself
master of--for that would be giving him an unfair--I had almost
said--would be taking a mean advantage--and let no man--


Why, the mutiny at the Nore was nothing to this!


Lord High Admiral though you be, sir, you must obey the laws of the


I see how it is.


How is it?


But it will soon wear off--that's the saving virtue of Champagne.


Champagne indeed! Small Beer, smaller than the smallest size. You have
not the heart, sir, to give Champagne.


We had better put about, gentlemen, and go ashore.


My ever-honoured, long-revered sir! I have got intoxicated on our
Teetotal debauchery. The fumes of the water have gone to my head--and I
need but a few drops of brandy to set me all right. Billy--the flask.
There--I am as sober as a Judge.


Ay, 'tis thus, Buller, you wise wag, that you would let the "old man
garrulous" into the secret of his own tendencies--too often unconscious
he of the powers that have set so many asleep. I accept the law--but
let it--do let it be three-minute time.


Five--ten--twenty--"with thee conversing I forget all time."


Strike medium--Ten.


My dear sir, for a moment let me have that Spy-glass.


I must lay it down--for a Bevy of Fair Women are on the Mount--and are
brought so near that I hear them laughing--especially the Prima Donna,
whose Glass is in dangerous proximity with my nose.


Fling her a kiss, sir.


There--and how prettily she returns it!


Happy old man! Go where you will--


Ulysses and the Syrens. Had he my air-girdle, he would swim ashore.


"Oh, mihi præteritos referat si Jupiter annos!"


The words are regretful--but there is no regret in the voice that
syllables them--it is clear as a bell, and as gladsome.


Talking of kissing, I hear one of the most melodious songs that ever
flowed from lady's lip--

    "The current that with gentle motion glides,
    Thou knowest, being stopped, impatiently doth rage;
    But when his fair course is not hindered,
    He makes sweet music with th' enamelled stones,
    _Giving a gentle kiss to every sedge_
    _He overtaketh in his pilgrimage;_
    And so by many winding nooks he strays
    With willing sport to the wild ocean."

Is it not perfect?


It is. Music--Painting, and Poetry--


Sculpture and architecture.


Buller, you're a blockhead. Dear Mr Alison, in his charming _Essays
on Taste_, finds a little fault in what seems to me a great beauty in
this, one of the sweetest passages in Shakspeare.


Sweetest. That's a miss-mollyish word.


Ass. One of the sweetest passages in Shakspeare. He finds fault with
the Current kissing the Sedges. "The pleasing personification which
we attribute to a brook is founded upon the faint belief of voluntary
motion, and is immediately checked when the Poet _descends_ to any
minute or particular resemblance."




The word, to my ear, does sound strangely; and though his expression,
"faint belief," is a true and a fine one, yet here the doctrine does
not apply. Nay, here we have a true notion inconsiderately misapplied.
Without doubt Poets of more wit than sensibility do follow on a
similitude beyond the suggestion of the contemplated subject. But the
rippling of water against a sedge suggests a kiss--is, I believe, a
kiss--liquid, soft, loving, _lipped_.




Buller, you are a fellow of fine taste. Compare the whole catalogue of
metaphorical kisses--admitted and claimable--and you will find this one
of the most natural of them all. Pilgrimage, in Shakspeare's day, had
dropt, in the speech of our Poets, from its early religious propriety,
of seeking a holy place under a vow, into a roving of the region.
See his "Passionate Pilgrim." If Shakspeare found the word so far
generalised, then "wanderer through the woods," or plains, or through
anything else, is the suggestion of the beholding. The river is more,
indeed; being, like the pilgrim, on his way to a term, and an obliged
way--"the wild ocean."


The "faint belief of voluntary motion"--Mr Alison's fine
phrase--is one, and possibly the grounding incentive to
impersonating the "current" here; but other elements enter in;
liquidity--transparency--which suggest a spiritual nature, and Beauty
which moves Love.


Ay, and the Poets of that age, in the fresher alacrity of their fancy,
had a justification of comparisons, which do not occur as promptly to
us, nor, when presented to us, delight so much as they would, were our
fancy as alive as theirs. You might suspect _a priori_ Ovid, Cowley,
and Dryden, as likely to be led by indulgence of their ingenuity into
passionless similitudes--and you may misdoubt even that Shakspeare
was in danger of being so run away with. But let us have clear and
unequivocal instances. This one assuredly is not of the number. It is


Mr Alison, I presume to think, sir, should either have quoted the whole
speech, or kept the whole in view, when animadverting on those two
lines about the kissing Pilgrim. Julia, a Lady of Verona, beloved by
Proteus, is only half-done--and now she comes--to herself.

    "Then let me go, and hinder not my course;
    I'll be as patient as a gentle stream,
    And make a pastime of each weary step,
    Till the last step have brought me to my love;
    And there I'll rest, as, after much turmoil,
    A blessed soul doth in Elysium."

The language of Shakspeare's Ladies is not the language we hear in
real life. I wish it were. Real life would then be delightful indeed.
Julia is privileged to be poetical far beyond the usage of the very
best circles--far beyond that of any mortal creatures. For the God
Shakspeare has made her and all her kin poetical--and if you object to
any of the lines, you must object to them all. Eminently beautiful,
sir, they are; and their beauty lies in the passionate, imaginative
spirit that pervades the whole, and sustains the Similitude throughout,
without a moment's flagging of the fancy, without a moment's departure
from the truthfulness of the heart.


Talboys, I thank you--you are at the root.


A wonderful thing--altogether--is Impersonation.


It is indeed. If we would know the magnitude of the dominion which
the disposition constraining us to impersonate has exercised over the
human mind, we should have to go back unto those ages of the world when
it exerted itself, uncontrolled by philosophy, and in obedience to
religious impulses--when Impersonations of Natural Objects and Powers,
of Moral Powers and of Notions entertained by the Understanding, filled
the Temples of the Nations with visible Deities, and were worshipped
with altars and incense, hymns and sacrifices.


Was ever before such disquisition begotten by--an imaginary kiss among
the Sedges!


Hold your tongue, Buller. But if you would see how hard this dominion
is to eradicate, look to the most civilised and enlightened times,
when severe Truth has to the utmost cleansed the Understanding of
illusion--and observe how tenaciously these imaginary Beings, endowed
with imaginary life, hold their place in our Sculpture, Painting, and
Poetry, and Eloquence--nay, in our common and quiet speech.


It is all full of them. The most prosaic of prosers uses poetical
language without knowing it--and Poets without knowing to what extent
and degree.


Ay, Seward, and were we to expatiate in the walks of the profounder
emotions, we should sometimes be startled by the sudden apparitions
of boldly impersonated Thoughts, upon occasions that did not seem
to promise them--where you might have thought that interests of
overwhelming moment would have effectually banished the play of


Shakspeare is justified, then--and the Lady Julia spoke like a Lady in
Love with all nature--and with Proteus.


A most beautiful day is this indeed--but it is a Puzzler.

    "The Swan on still St Mary's Lake
    Floats double, Swan and Shadow;"

But here all the islands float double--and all the castles and
abbeys--and all the hills and mountains--and all the clouds and boats
and men,--double, did I say--triple--quadruple,--we are here, and
there, and everywhere, and nowhere, all at the same moment. Inishail,
I have you--no--Gutta Percha slides over you, and you have no material
existence. Very well.


Is there no house on Inishail?


Not one--but the house appointed for all living. A Burial-place. I
see it--but not one of you--for it is little noticeable, and seldom
used--on an average, one funeral in the year. Forty years ago I stepped
into a small snuff-shop in the Saltmarket, Glasgow, to replenish my
shell--and found my friend was from Lochawe-side. I asked him if
he often revisited his native shore, and he answered--seldom, and
had not for a long time--but that though his lot did not allow him
to live there, he hoped to be buried in Inishail. We struck up a
friendship--his snuff was good, and so was his whisky, for it was
unexcised. A few years ago, trolling for Feroces, I met a boat with a
coffin, and in it the body of the old tobacconist.


"The Churchyard among the Mountains," in Wordsworth's _Excursion_, is
alone sufficient for his immortality on earth.


It is. So for Gray's is his Elegy. But some hundred and forty lines
in all--no more--yet how comprehensive--how complete! "In a Country
Churchyard!" Every generation there buries the whole hamlet--which is
much the same as burying the whole world--or a whole world.


    "The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep!"

All Peasants--diers and mourners! Utmost simplicity of all belonging
to life--utmost simplicity of all belonging to death. Therefore,
universally affecting.


Then the--Grayishness.


The what, sir?


The Grayishness. The exquisite scholarship, and the high artifice of
the words and music--yet all in perfect adaptation to the scene and its
essential character. Is there not in that union and communion of the
solemn-profound, and the delicate-exquisite, something Cathedral-like?
Which has the awe and infinitude of Deity and Eternity, and the
prostrations and aspirations of adoration for its basis--expressed in
the general structure and forms; and all this meeting and blent into
the minute and fine elaboration of the ornaments? Like the odours
that steal and creep on the soft, moist, evening air, whilst the dim
hush of the Universal Temple dilates and elates. The least and the
greatest in one. Why not? Is not that spiritual--angelical--divine! The
least is not too exiguous for apprehension--the amplest exceeds not
comprehension--and their united power is felt when not understood. I
speak, Seward, of that which might be suggested for a primary fault in
the Elegy--the contrast of the most artful, scholarly style, and the
simple, rude, lowly, homely matter. But you shall see that every fancy
seizes, and every memory holds especially those verses and wordings
which bring out this contrast--that richest line--

    "The breezy call of incense-breathing morn!"

is felt to be soon followed well by that simplest--

    "No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed"----

where--I take "lowly" to imply low in earth--humbly turfed or
flowered--and of the lowly.


And so, sir, the pomp of a Cathedral is described, though a village
Church alone is in presence. So Milton, Cromwell, and other great
powers are set in array--that which these were not, against that which
those were.


Yet hear Dr Thomas Brown--an acute metaphysician--but an obtuse
critic--and no Poet at all. "The two images in this stanza ('Full many
a gem,' &c.,) certainly produce very different degrees of poetical
delight. That which is borrowed from the rose blooming in solitude
pleases in a very high degree, both as it contains a just and beautiful
similitude, and still more as the similitude is one of the most likely
to have arisen in such a situation. But the simile in the two first
lines of the stanza, though it may perhaps philosophically be as just,
has no other charm, and strikes us immediately as not the natural
suggestion of such a moment and such a scene. To a person moralising
amid a simple Churchyard, there is perhaps no object that would not
sooner have occurred than this piece of minute jewellery--'a gem of
purest ray serene, in the unfathomed caves of ocean.'"


A person moralising! He forgot that person was Thomas Gray. And he
never knew what you have told us now.


Why, my dear Seward, the Gem is the recognised most intense
expression, from the natural world, of worth--inestimable priceless
price--dependent on rarity and beauty. The Flower is a like intense
expression, from the same world, of the power to call forth love. The
first image is _felt_ by every reader to be high, and _exalting_ its
object; the second to be tender, and openly _pathetic_. Of course it
moves more, and of course it comes last. The Poet has just before
spoken of Milton and Cromwell--of bards and kings--and history with all
her wealth. Is the transition violent from these objects to Gems? He is
moved by, but he is not bound to, the scene and time. His own thoughts
emancipate. Brown seems utterly to have forgotten that the Poet himself
is the Dramatic person of the Monologue. Shall he be restricted from
using the richness and splendour of his own thoughts? That one stanza
sums up the two or three preceding--and is perfectly attuned to the
reigning mood, temper, or pathos.


Thank you, gentlemen. The Doctor is done brown.


    "The paths of glory lead but to the grave!"

Methinks I could read you a homily on that Text.


To-morrow, sir, if you please. To-morrow is Sunday--and you may read
it to us as we glide to Divine Service at Dalmally--two of us to the
Established, and two of us to the Free Kirk.


Be it so. But you will not be displeased with me for quoting now, from
heart-memory, a single sentence on the great line, from Beattie, and
from Adam Fergusson. "It presents to the imagination a wide plain,
where several roads appear, crowded with glittering multitudes, and
issuing from different quarters, but drawing nearer and nearer as they
advance, till they terminate in the dark and narrow house, where all
their glories enter in succession, and disappear for ever."


Thank you, sir. That is Beattie?


It is. Fergusson's memorable words are--"If from this we are disposed
to collect any inference adverse to the pursuits of glory, it may be
asked whither do the paths of ignominy lead? If to the grave also, then
our choice of a life remains to be made on the grounds of its intrinsic
value, without regard to an end which is common to every station of
life we can lead, whether illustrious or obscure."


Very fine. Who says it? Fergusson--who was he?


The best of you Englishers are intolerably ignorant about Scotland. Do
you know the Reverend John Mitford?


I do--and have for him the greatest respect.


So have I. He is one of our best Editors--as Pickering is one of
our best Publishers of the Poets. But I am somewhat doubtful of the
truthfulness of his remarks on the opening of the Elegy, in the
Appendix to his excellent Life of Gray. "The Curfew 'toll' is not the
appropriate word--it was not a slow bell tolling for the dead."


True enough, not for the dead--but Gray then felt as if it were for the
dying--and chose to say so--the parting day. Was it quick and "merry as
a marriage-bell?" I can't think it--nor did Milton, "swinging _slow_
with sullen roar." Gray was Il Penseroso. Prospero calls it the "solemn
curfew." Toll is right.


But, says my friend Mitford, "there is another error, a confusion of
time. The curfew tolls, and the ploughman returns from work. Now the
ploughman returns two or three hours before the curfew rings; and 'the
glimmering landscape' has 'long ceased to fade' before the curfew. The
'parting day' is also incorrect; the day had long finished. But if the
word Curfew is taken simply for 'the Evening Bell,' then also is the
time incorrect--and a _knell_ is not tolled for the parting, but for
the parted--'and leaves the world to darkness and to me.' 'Now fades
the glimmering landscape on the sight.' Here the incidents, instead
of being progressive, fall back, and make the picture confused and
inharmonious; especially as it appears soon after that it was _not_
dark. For 'the moping owl does to the moon complain.'"


Pardon me, sir, I cannot venture to answer all that--but if Mitford
be right, Gray must be very wrong indeed. Let me see--give us it over
again--sentence by sentence--


No--no--no. Once is enough--and enough is as good as a feast.




Since you have a great respect for Mr Mitford, sir, so have I. But
hitherto I have been a stranger to his merits.


The best of you Scottishers are intolerably ignorant about England.


In the first place, Mr North, when does the Curfew toll, or ring?--for
hang me if I remember--or rather ever knew. And in the second place,
when does the Evening Bell give tongue?--for hang me if I am much
better informed as to his motions. Yet I should know something of the
family of the Bells. Say--_eight_ o'clock. Well. It is summer-time,
I suppose; for you cannot believe that so dainty a person in health
and habits, as the Poet Gray, would write an Elegy in a Country
churchyard in winter, and well on towards night. True, that is a way of
speaking; he did not write it with his crow-quill, in his neat hand,
on his neat vellum, on the only horizontal tomb-stone. But in the
Churchyard he assumes to sit--probably under a Plane-tree, for sake of
the congenial Gloom. Season of the year ascertained--Summer--time of
Curfew--eight--then I can find no fault with the Ploughman. He comes
in well--either as an image or a man. He must have been an honest,
hard-working fellow, and worth the highest wages going between the
years 1745 and 1750. At what hour do ploughmen leave the stilts in
Cambridgeshire? We must not say at six. Different hours in different
counties, Buller.


Go on--all's right, Talboys.


It is not too much to believe that Hodge did not grudge, occasionally,
a half-hour over, to a good master. Then he had to stable his
horses--Star and Smiler--rub them down--bed them--fill rack and
manger--water them--make sure their noses were in the oats--lock the
stable before the nags were stolen--and then, and not till then,

    "The Ploughman homewards plods his weary way."

For he does not sleep on the Farm--he has a wife and small family--that
is, a large family of smallish children--in the Hamlet, at least two
miles off--and he does not walk for a wager of a flitch of bacon and
barrel of beer--but for his accustomed rasher and a jug--and such
endearments as will restore his weariness up to the proper pitch for a
sound night's sleep. God bless him!


Shorn of your beams, Mr North, eclipsed.


The ploughman, then, does not return "two or three hours before the
curfew rings." Nor has "the glimmering landscape long ceased to fade
before the curfew." Nor is "the parting day incorrect." Nor "has the
day long finished." Nor, when it may have finished, or may finish, can
any man in the hamlet, during all that gradual subsiding of light and
sound, take upon him to give any opinion at all.


My boy, Talboys.


"And leave the world to darkness and to me." Ay--into his hut goes
the ploughman, and leaves the world and me to darkness--which is
coming--but not yet come--the Poet knows it is coming--near at hand its
coming glooms; and Darkness shows her divinity as she is preparing to
mount her throne.


Nothing can be better.


"'Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight.' Here the incident,
instead of being progressive, falls back, and makes the picture
confused and inharmonious." Confused and inharmonious! By no manner
of means. Nothing of the sort. There is no retrogression--the day has
been unwilling to die--cannot believe she is dying--and cannot think
'tis for her the curfew is tolling; but the Poet feels it is even
so; the glimmering and the fading, beautiful as they are, are sure
symptoms--she is dying into Evening, and Evening will soon be the dying
into Night; but to the Poet's eye how beautiful the transmutations! Nor
knows he that the Moon has arisen, till, at the voice of the nightbird,
he looks up the ivied church-tower, and there she is, whether full,
waning, or crescent, there are not data for the Astronomer to declare.


My friend Mr Mitford says of the line, "No more shall rouse them from
their lowly bed"--That "here the epithet _lowly_, as applied to _bed_,
occasions an ambiguity, as to whether the Poet means the bed on which
they sleep, or the grave in which they are laid;" and he adds, "there
can be no greater fault in composition than a doubtful meaning."


There cannot be a more touching beauty. Lowly applies to both. From
their lowly bed in their lowly dwellings among the quick, those joyous
sounds used to awaken them; from their lowly bed in their lowly
dwellings among the dead, those joyous sounds will awaken them never
more: but a sound will awaken them when He comes to judge both the
quick and the dead; and for them there is Christian hope--from

    "Many a holy text around them strewed
      That teach the rustic moralist to die."


    "Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe hath broke;
      How jocund did they drive their team afield!
    How bowed the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!"

This stanza--says Mr Mitford--"is made up of various pieces inlaid.
'Stubborn glebe' is from Gay; 'drive afield' from Milton; 'sturdy
stroke' from Spenser. Such is too much the system of Gray's
composition, and therefore such the cause of his imperfections. Purity
of language, accuracy of thought, and even similarity of rhyme, all
give way to the introduction of certain poetical expressions; in fact,
the beautiful jewel, when brought, does not fit into the new setting,
or socket. Such is the difference between the flower stuck into the
ground and those that grow from it." Talboys?


Why not--Buller?


I give way to the gentleman.


Not for worlds would I take the word out of any man's mouth.


Gray took "stubborn glebe" from Gay. Why from Gay? It has been familiar
in men's mouths from the introduction of agriculture into this Island.
May not a Saxon gentleman say "drive their teams afield" without charge
of theft from Milton, who said "drove afield." Who first said "Gee-ho,
Dobbin?" Was Spenser the first--the only man before Milton--who used
"sturdy stroke?" and has nobody used it since Gray?


You could give a "sturdy stroke" yourself, Talboys. What's your weight?


Gray's style is sometimes too composite--you yourself, sir, would
not deny it is so--but Mr Mitford's instances here are absurd, and
the charge founded on them false. Gray seldom, if ever--say never,
"_sacrifices_ purity of language, and accuracy of thought," for the
sake of introducing certain poetical expressions. "All give way" is a
gross exaggeration. The beautiful words of the brethren, with which
his loving memory was stored, came up in the hour of imagination, and
took their place among the words as beautiful of his own congenial
inspirations; the flowers he transplanted from poetry "languished not,
grew dim, nor died;" for he had taken them up gently by the roots,
and with some of the old mould adhering to their tendrils, and, true
florist as he was, had prepared for them a richest soil in his own
garden, which he held from nature, and which the sun and the dew of
nature nourished, and will nourish for ever.


That face is not pleasant, sir. Nothing so disfigures a face as envy.
Old Poets at last grow ugly all--but you, sir, are a Philosopher--and
on your benign countenance 'twas but a passing cloud. There--you are as
beautiful as ever--how comely in critical old age! Any farther fault to
find with our friend Mitford?


    "On some fond breast the parting soul relies,
      Some pious drops the closing eye requires,
    Even from the tomb the voice of nature cries,
      Even in our ashes live their wonted fires."

"'Pious drops' is from Ovid--piæ lachrymæ; 'closing eye' is from
Pope--'voice of nature' from the Anthologia, and the last line from
Chaucer--'Yet on our ashes cold is fire yreken.' _From so many quarries
are the stones brought to form this elaborate Mosaic pavement._" I
say, for "piæ lachrymæ" all honour to Ovid--for "pious drops" all
honour to Gray. "Closing eye" is _not_ from Pope's Elegy; "voice
of nature" is _not_ from the Anthologia, but from Nature herself;
Chaucer's line may have suggested Gray's, but the reader of Chaucer
knows that Gray's has a tender and profound meaning which is not in
Chaucer's at all--and he knows, too, that Mr Mitford is not a reader of
Chaucer--for were he, he could not have written "ashes" for "ashen."
There were _no_ quarries--there is _no_ Mosaic. Mosaic pavement! Worse,
if possible--more ostentatiously pedantic--even than stuck in flowers,
jewels, settings, and sockets.


The Stanza is sacred to sorrow.


"From this Stanza," quoth Mitford, "the style of the composition drops
into _a lower key_; the language is plainer, and is not in harmony with
the splendid and elaborate diction of the former part." This objection
is disposed of by what I said some minutes ago----


Half an hour ago--on _Grayishness_.


And I have only this farther to say, gentlemen, that though the
language is plainer--yet it is solemn; nor is it unpoetical--for
the hoary-headed swain was moved as he spake; the style, if it drop
into a lower key, is accordant with that higher key on which the
music was pitched that has not yet left our hearing. An Elegy is not
an Ode--the close should be mournful as the opening--with loftier
strain between--and it is so; and whatever we might have to say of
the Epitaph--its final lines are "awful"--as every man must have felt
them to be--whether thought on in our own lonely night-room--in the
Churchyard of Grantchester, where it is said Gray mused the Elegy--or
by that Burial-ground in Inishail--or here afloat in the joyous
sunshine for an hour privileged to be happy in a world of grief.


Let's change the subject, sir. May I ask what author you have in your
other hand?


Alison on Taste.


You don't say so! I thought you quoted from memory.


So I did; but I have dog-eared a page or two.


I see no books lying about in the Pavilion--only Newspapers--and
Magazines--and Reviews--and trash of that kind----


Without which, you, my good fellow, could not live a week.


The Spirit of the Age! The Age should be ashamed of herself for living
from hand to mouth on Periodical Literature. The old Lady should
indeed, sir. If the Pensive Public conceits herself to be the Thinking


Let us help to make her so. I have a decent little Library of some
three hundred select volumes in the Van--my Plate-chest--and a few
dozens of choice wines for my friends--of Champagne, which you, Buller,
call small beer----


I retracted and apologised. Is that the key of the Van at your


It is. So many hundred people about the Encampment--sometimes among
them suspicious strangers in paletots in search of the picturesque, and
perhaps the pecuniary--that it is well to intrust the key to my own
body-guard. It does not weigh an ounce. And _that_ lock is not to be
picked by the ghost of Huffey White.


But of the volume in hand, sir?


"In that fine passage in the Second Book of the Georgics," says Mr
Alison, "in which Virgil celebrates the praises of his native country,
after these fine lines--

    'Hic ver assiduum, atque alienis mensibus æstas;
    Bis gravidæ pecudes, bis pomis utilis arbos.
    At rabidæ tigres absunt, et sæva leonum
    Semina: nec miseros fallunt aconita legentes:
    Nec rapit immensos orbes per humum, neque tanto
    Squameus in spiram tractu se colligit anguis.'

There is no reader whose enthusiasm is not checked by the cold and
prosaic line which follows,--

    'Adde tot egregias urbes, operumque laborem.'

The tameness and vulgarity of the transition dissipates at once the
emotion we had shared with the Poet, and reduces him, in our opinion,
to the level of a mere describer."


Cold and prosaic line! Tameness and vulgarity! I am struck mute.


I have no doubt that Mr Alison distressed himself with "_Adde_." It is
a word from a merchant's counting-house, reckoning up his gains. And so
much the better. Virgil is making out the balance-sheet of Italy--he
is inventorying her wealth. Mr Alison would have every word away from
reality. Not so _the_ Poet. Every now and then, they--the Poets--amuse
themselves with dipping their pencils into the real, the common, the
everyday, the homely. By so doing they arrest belief, which above
everything they desire to hold fast. I should not wonder if you might
catch Spenser at it, even. Shakspeare is full of it. There is nothing
else prosaic in the passage; and if Virgil had had the bad taste to say
"Ecce" instead of "Adde," I suppose no fault would have been found.


But what can Mr Alison mean by the charge of tameness and _vulgarity_?


I have told you, sir.


You have not, sir.


I have, sir.


Yes--yes--yes. "Adde" is vulgar! I cannot think so.


The Cities of Italy, and the "operum labor," always have been and
are an admiration. The words "Egregias urbes" suggest the general
stateliness and wealth--"operumque laborem," the particular
buildings--Temples, Basilicas, Theatres, and Great Works of the lower
Utility. A summary and most vivid expression of a land possessed
by intelligent, civilised, active, spirited, vigorous, tasteful
inhabitants--also an eminent adorning of the land.


Lucretius says, that in spring the Cities are in flower--or on
flower--or a flower--with children. And Lucan, at the beginning of the
_Pharsalia_, describes the Ancient or Greek Cities desolate. They were
fond and proud of their "tot egregiæ urbes" as the Modern Italians
are--and with good reason.


How judiciously the Critics stop short of the lines that would
overthrow their criterion always! The present case is an extraordinary
example. Had Mr Alison looked to the lines immediately following, he
would not have objected to that One. For

    "Tot congesta manu præruptis oppida saxis,
    Fluminaque antiquos subter labentia muros"

is very beautiful--brings the whole under the domain of Poetry, by
singular Picturesqueness, and by gathering the whole past history of
Italy up--fetching it in with a word--_antiquos_.


I can form no conjecture as to the meaning of Mr Alison's objections.
He quotes a few fine lines from the "Praise of Italy," and then
one line which he calls prosaic, and would have us to hold up our
hands in wonder at the lame and impotent conclusion--at the sudden
transformation of Virgil the poet into Virgil the most prosaic of
Prosers. You have said enough already, sir, to prove that he is in
error even on his own showing;--but how can this fragmentary--this
piecemeal mode of quotation--so common among critics of the lower
school, and so unworthy of those of the higher--have found favour with
Mr Alison, one of the most candid and most enlightened of men? Some
accidental prejudice from mere carelessness--but, once formed, retained
in spite of the fine and true Taste which, unfettered, would have felt
the fallacy, and vindicated his admired Virgil.


The "Laudes"--to which the Poet is brought by the preceding bold,
sweeping, winged, and poetical strain about the indigenous vines
of Italy--have two-fold root--TREES and the glory of LANDS. Virgil
kindles on the double suggestion--the trees of Italy compared to the
trees of other regions. They are the trees of primary human service
and gladness--Oil and Wine. For see at once the deep, sound natural
ground in human wants--the bounty of Nature--of Mother Earth--"whatever
Earth, all-bearing Mother, yields"--to her human children. That is the
gate of entrance; but not prosaically--but two gate-posts of a most
poetical mythus-fed husbandman. For we have Jason's fire-mouthed Bulls
_ploughing_, and Cadmus-sown teeth of the dragon springing up in armed
men. Then comes, instead, mild, benign, Man-loving Italy--"gravidæ
fruges"--the heavy-eared corn--or rather big-teeming--the juice
of Bacchus--the Olives, and the "broad herds of Cattle." Note--ye
Virgilians--the Corn of Book First--the Oil and Wine of Book
Second--and the Cattle of Book Third--for the sustaining Thought--the
organic life of his Work moves in his heart.


And the Fourth--Bees--honey--and honey-makers are like Milkers--in a
way small Milch-cows.


They are. Once a-foot--or a-wing--he hurries and rushes along, all
through the "Laudes." The majestic victim-Bull of the Clitumnus--the
incipient Spring--the double Summer--_the absence_ of all envenomed
and deadly broods--tigers--lions--aconite--serpents. This is NATURE'S
FAVOUR. Then _Man's Works_--cities and forts--(rock-fortresses)--the
great lakes of Northern Italy--showing Man again in their vast
edifications. Then Nature in veins of metals precious or useful--then
Nature in her production of Man--the Marsi--the Sabellian youth--the
Ligurian inured to labour--and the Volscian darters--then single mighty
shapes and powers of Man--ROMANS--the Decii, the Marii, the Camilli,

    "Scipiadas duros bello, et te, maxime Cæsar."

The King of Men--the Lord of the Earth--the pacificator of the
distracted Empire--which, to a Roman, is as much as to say the World.
Then--hail Saturnian Land! Mother of Corn! Saturnian, because golden
Saturn had reigned there--Mother, I suppose the rather because in
_his_ time corn sprung unsown--_sine semine_--She gave it from out
of her own loving and cherishing bosom. _To Thee_, Italy, sing I my
Ascræan or Hesiodic song. The Works and Days--the Greek Georgics are
his avowed prototype--rude prototype to magnificence--like the Arab of
the Desert transplanted to rear his empire of dazzling and picturesque
civilisation in the Pyrenean Peninsula.


Take breath, sir. Virgil said well--

    "Adde tot egregias urbes operumque laborem."


Allow me one other word. Virgil--in the vivid lines quoted with
admiration by Mr Alison--lauds his beloved Italy for _the absence_ of
wild beasts and serpents--and he magnifies the whole race of serpents
by his picture of One--the Serpent King--yet with subjects all equal in
size to himself in our imagination. The Serpent is _in_ the Poetry, but
he is _not in_ Italy. Is this a false artifice of composition--a vain
ornament? Oh, no! He describes the Saturnian Land--the mother of corn
and of men--bounteous, benign, golden, maternal Italy. The negation has
the plenitude of life, which the fabulous absence of noxious reptiles
has for the sacred Island of Ierne.




Suddenly he sees another vision--not of what is absent but present;
and then comes the line arraigned and condemned--followed by lines as

    "Adde tot egregias urbes, operumque laborem,
    Tot congesta manu præruptis oppida saxis,
    Fluminaque antiquos subter labentia muros."

The first line grasps in one handful all the mighty, fair, wealthy
CITIES of Italy--the second all the rock-cresting _Forts_ of
Italy--from the Alpine head to the sea-washed foot of the Peninsula.
The collective One Thought of the Human Might and Glory of Italy--as
it appears on the countenance of the Land--or visible in its utmost
concentration in the girdled Towns and Cities of Men.


"Adde" then is right, Seward. On that North and you are at one.


Yes, it is right, and any other word would be wrong. ADDE! Note the
sharpness, Buller, of the significance--the vivacity of the short
open sound. Fling it out--ring it out--sing it out. Look at the
very repetition of the powerful "TOT"--"_tot_ egregias"--"_tot_
congesta"--witnessing by one of the first and commonest rules in the
grammar of rhetoric--whether Virgil speaks in prose or in fire.


In fire.


Mr Alison then goes on to say, "that the effect of the following
nervous and beautiful lines, in the conclusion of the same Book, is
_nearly destroyed_ by a similar defect. After these lines,

    "Hanc olim veteres vitam coluêre Sabini,
    Hanc Remus et Frater; sic fortis Etruria crevit,
    Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma;"

We little expect the following _spiritless_ conclusion:--

    "_Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces._"


Oh! why does Mr Alison call that line _spiritless_?


He gives no reason--assured by his own dissatisfaction, that he has but
to quote it, and leave it in its own naked impotence.


I hope you do not think it spiritless, sir.


I think it contains the concentrated essence of spirit and of power.
Let any one think of Rome, piled up in greatness, and grandeur,
and glory--and a Wall round about--and in a moment his imagination
is filled. What sort of a Wall? A garden wall to keep out orchard
thieves--or a modern wall of a French or Italian town to keep out wine
and meat, that they may come in at the gate and pay toll? I trow not.
But a Wall against the World armed and assailing! Remember that Virgil
saw Rome--and that his hearers did--and that in his eyes and theirs
she was Empress of the inhabited Earth. She held and called herself
such--it was written in her face and on her forehead. The visible,
tangible splendour and magnificence meant this, or they meant nothing.
The stone and lime said this--and Virgil's line says it, sedately and
in plain, simple phrase, which yet is a Climax.


As the dreaded Semiramis was flesh and blood--corporeal--made of the
four elements--yet her soul and her empiry spake out of her--so spake
they from the Face of Rome.


Ay, Seward--put these two things together--the Aspect that speaks
Domination of the World, and the Wall that girds her with strength
impregnable--and what more could you possibly demand from her Great


Arx is a Citadel--we may say an Acropolis. Athens had one Arx--so had
Corinth. One Arx is enough to one Queenly City. But this Queen, within
her one Wall, has enclosed Seven Arces--as if she were Seven Queens.


Well said, Seward. The Seven Hills appeared--and to this day do--to
characterise the Supremacy of Rome. The Seven-Hilled City! You seem
to have said everything--the Seven Hills are as a seven-pillared
Throne--and all that is in one line--given by Virgil. Delete it--no not
for a thousand gold crowns.


Not for the Pigot Diamond--not for the Sea of Light.


Imagine Romulus tracing the circuit on which the walls were to rise of
his little Rome--the walls ominously lustrated with a brother's blood.
War after war humbles neighbouring town after town, till the seas that
bathe, and the mountains that guard Italy, enclose the confederated
Republic. It is a step--a beginning. East and West, North and South,
flies the Eagle, dipping its beak in the blood of battle-fields. Where
it swoops, there fanning away the pride, and fame, and freedom of
nations, with the wafture of its wings. Kingdoms and Empires that were,
are no more than Provinces; till the haughty Roman, stretching out the
fact to the limits of his ambitious desires, can with some plausibility
deceive himself, and call the edges of the Earth the boundaries of his
unmeasured Dominion.


"O Italy! Italy! would Thou wert stronger or less beautiful!"--was the
mournful apostrophe of an Italian Poet, who saw, in the latter ages,
his refined but enervated countrymen trampled under the foot of a more
martial people from far beyond the Alps.


Good Manners giving a vital energy and efficacy to good Laws--in these
few words, gentlemen, may be comprised the needful constituents of
National Happiness and Prosperity--the foremost conditions.


Ay--ay--sir. For good Laws without good Manners are an empty
breath--whilst good Manners ask the protecting and preserving succour
of good Laws. But the good Manners are of the first necessity, for they
naturally produce the good Laws.


What does history show, Talboys, but nations risen up to flourish in
wealth, power, and greatness, that with corrupted and luxurious manners
have again sunk from their pre-eminence; whilst another purer and
simpler people has in turn grown mighty, and taken their room in the
world's eye--some hardy, simple, frugal race, perhaps, whom the seeming
disfavour of nature constrains to assiduous labour, and who maintain in
the lap of their mountains their independence and their pure and happy


The Luxury--the invading Goth and Hun--the dismembering--and new States
uprisen upon the ruins of the World's fallen Empire. There is one line
in Collins' _Ode to Freedom_--Mr North--which I doubt if I understand.




    "No, Freedom, no--I will not tell
    How Rome before thy weeping face
    Pushed by a wild and artless race
    From off its wide, ambitious base,
    With heaviest sound a giant-statue fell--
    What time the northern Sons of Spoil awoke,
    And all the blended work of strength and grace,
    With many a rude repeated stroke,
    And many a barbarous yell, to thousand fragments broke."




"How Rome before thy _weeping face_."


Freedom wept at Rome's overthrow--though she had long been Freedom's
enemy--and though her destroyers were Freedom's children--and "Spoil's
Sons"--for how could Freedom look unmoved at the wreck "of all that
blended work of strength and grace"--though raised by slaves at the
beck of Tyrants? It was not always so.


Let me, Apollo-like, my dear sir, pinch your ear, and admonish you to
return to the point from which, in discursive gyrations, you and Seward
have been----


Like an Eagle giving an Eaglet lessons how to fly----


You promised solemnly, sir, not to mention Eagles this evening.


I did not, sir.


But, then, Seward is no Eaglet--he is, and long has been, a
full-fledged bird, and can fly as well's yourself, sir.


There you're right. But then, making a discursive gyration round a
point is not leaving it--and there you're wrong. Silly folk--not you,
Buller, for you are a strong-minded, strong-bodied man--say "keep to
the point"--knowing that if you quit it one inch, you will from their
range of vision disappear--and then they comfort themselves by charging
you with having melted among the clouds.


I was afraid, my dear sir, that having got your Eaglet on your back--or
your Eaglet having got old Aquila on his--you would sail away with
him--or he with you--"to prey in distant isles."


You promised solemnly, sir, not to mention Eagles this evening.


I did not, sir. But don't let us quarrel.


What does Virgil mean, sir, by "Rerum," in the line which Mr Alison
thinks should have concluded the strain--

    "Scilicet et rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma."


"Rerum"--what does he mean by "Rerum?" Let me perpend. Why, Seward, the
legitimate meaning of Res here is a State--a Commonwealth. "The fairest
of Powers--then--of Polities--of States."


Is that all the word means here?


Why, methinks we must explain. Observe, then, Seward, that Rome is the
Town, as England the Island. Thus "England has become the fairest among
the Kingdoms of the Earth." This is equivalent, good English; and the
only satisfactory and literal translation of the Latin verse. But here,
the Physical and the Political are identified,--that is, England.
England is the name at once of the Island--of so much earth limited
out on the surface of the terraqueous globe--and of what besides? Of
the Inhabitants? Yes; but of the Inhabitants (as the King never dies)
perpetuated from generation to generation. Moreover, of this immortal
inhabitation, further made one by blood and speech, laws, manners, and
everything that makes a people. In short, England, properly the name of
the land, is intended to be, at the same time, the name of the Nation.

    "England, with all thy faults, I love Thee still."

There Cowper speaks to both at once--the faults are of the men
only--moral--for he does not mean fogs, and March east winds, and
fever and agues. I love thee--is to the green fields and the white
cliffs, as well as to all that still survives of the English heart and
thought and character. And this absorption, sir, and compenetration of
the two ideas--land into people, people into land--the exposition of
which might, in good hands, be made beautiful--is a fruitful germ of
Patriotism--an infinite blending of the spiritual and the corporeal. To
Virgil, Rome the City was also Rome the Romans; and, therefore, sir,
those Houses and Palaces, and that Wall, were to him, as those green
fields, and hills, and streams, and towns, and those cliffs are to Us.
The girdled-in compendium of the Heaven's Favour and the Earth's Glory
and Power.

    "Scilicet et RERUM facta est pulcherrima ROMA,
    Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces."

Do you all comprehend and adopt my explanation, gentlemen?


I do.




I ask myself whether Virgil's "Rerum Pulcherrima" may not mean "Fairest
of Things"--of Creatures--of earthly existences? To a young English
reader, probably that is the first impression. It was, I think, mine.
But fairest of earthly States and Seats of State is so much more
idiomatic and to the purpose, that I conceive it--indubitable.


You all remember what Horatio sayeth to the soldiers in Hamlet, on the
coming and going of the Ghost.

    'In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
    A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
    The graves stood tenantless, and the sheeted dead
    Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets;
    Stars shone with trains of fire, dews of blood fell;
    Disasters veiled the sun, and the moist star
    Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands,
    Was sick almost to Doomsday with eclipse.'

What does Horatio mean by high and palmy state? That Rome was in a
flourishing condition?


That, I believe, sir, is the common impression. Hitherto it has been


Let it be erased henceforth and for ever.


It is erased--I erase it.


Read henceforth and for ever high and palmy State. Write henceforth
and for ever State with a towering Capital. RES! "Most high and palmy
State" is precisely and literally "_Rerum Pulcherrima_."


At your bidding--you cannot err.


I err not unfrequently--but not now, nor I believe this evening.
Horatio, the Scholar, speaks to the two Danish Soldiers. They have
brought him to be of their watch because he is a Scholar--and they are
none. This relation of distinction is indeed the ground and life of the

    "Therefore I have entreated him, along
    With us to watch the minutes of the night;
    That if again this apparition come,
    He may approve our eyes, and speak to it."


    "Thou art a Scholar--speak to it, Horatio."


You know, Talboys, that Scholars were actual Conjurors, in the mediæval
belief, which has tales enow about Scholars in that capacity. Horatio
comes, then, possessed with an especial Power; he knows how to deal
with Ghosts--he could lay one, if need were. He is not merely a man of
superior and cultivated intellect, whom intellectual inferiors engage
to assist them in an emergency above their grasp--but he is the _very_
man for the work.


Have not the Commentators said as much, sir?


Perhaps--probably--who? If they have in plenitude, I say it
again--because I once did not know it--or think of it--and I suppose
that a great many persons die believing that the Two resort in the way
of general dependence merely on Horatio.


I believed, but I shall not die believing so.


Therefore, the scholarship of Horatio, and the non-scholarship of
Bernardo and Marcellus, strikes into the life, soul, essence, ground,
foundation, fabric, and organisation of this First Ghost Scene--sustain
and build the whole Play.




Eh? Yes. But to the point in hand. The Ghost has come and gone; and
the Scholar addresses his Mates the two Non-Scholars. And show me the
living Scholar who could speak as Horatio spake. Touching the matter
that is in all their minds oppressively, _he_ will transport _their_
minds a flight suddenly off a thousand years, and a thousand miles or
leagues--their untutored minds into the Region of History. He will
take them to Rome--"_a little ere_"--and, therefore, before naming
Rome, he lifts and he directs their imagination--"In the most high
and palmy STATE." There had been Four Great Empires of the World--and
he will by these few words evoke in their minds the Image of the last
and greatest. And now observe with what decision, as well as with what
majesty, the nomination ensues--OF ROME.


I feel it, sir.


Try, Talboys, to render "State" by any other word, and you will
be put to it. You may analogise. It is for the Republic and City,
what Realm or Kingdom is to us--at once Place and indwelling Power.
"State"--properly Republic--here specifically and pointedly means
Reigning City. The Ghosts walked in the City--not in the Republic.


I think I have you, sir--am not sure.


You have me--you are sure. Now suppose that, instead of the solemn,
ceremonious, and stately robes in which Horatio attires the Glorious
Rome, he had said simply, "in Rome," or "at Rome," where then
his @psychagôgia@--his leading of their spirits? Where his own
scholar-enthusiasm, and love, and joy, and wonder? All gone! And
where, Talboys, are they who, by here understanding "state" for
"condition"--which every man alive does--


Every man alive?


Yes, you did--confess you did. Where are they, I ask, who thus oblige
Horatio to introduce his nomination of Rome--thus nakedly--and
prosaically? Every hackneyer of this phrase--_state_--as every man
alive hackneys it--is a nine-fold Murderer. He murders the Phrase--he
murders the Speech--he murders Horatio--he murders the Ghost--he
murders the Scene--he murders the Play--he murders Rome--he murders
Shakspeare--and he murders Me.


I am innocent.


Why, suppose Horatio to mean--"in the most glorious and victorious
_condition_ of Rome, on the Eve of Cæsar's death, the graves stood
tenantless"--You ask--WHERE? See where you have got. A story told with
two determinations of Time, and none of Place! Is that the way that
Shakspeare, the intelligent and intelligible, recites a fact? No. But
my explanation shows the Congruity or Parallelism. "In the _most high
and palmy_ State,"--that is, City of Rome--ceremonious determination
of Place--"a little ere the _mightiest_ Julius fell,"--ceremonious
determination of Time.


But is not the use of State, sir, for City, bold and singular?


It is. For Verse has her own Speech--though Wordsworth denies it in
his Preface--and proves it by his Poetry, like his brethren Shakspeare
and Milton. The language of Verse is rapid--abrept and abrupt. Horatio
wants the notion of Republic; because properly the Republic is high
and palmy, and not the wood, stone, and marble. So he manages an
expeditious word that shall include both, and strike you at once. The
word of a Poet strikes like a flash of lightning--it penetrates--it
does not stay to be scanned--"probed, vexed, and criticised,"--it
illuminates and is gone. But you must have eyes--and suffer nobody to
shut them. I ask, then--Can any lawful, well-behaved Citizen, having
weighed all this, and reviewed all these things, again violate the
Poesy of the Avonian Swan, and his own muse-enlightened intelligence,
by lending hand or tongue to the convicted and condemned VULGARISM?


Now, then, and not till now, we Three know the full power of the lines--

    "Scilicet et Rerum facta est pulcherrima Roma,
    Septemque una sibi muro circumdedit arces."


Another word anent Virgil. Mr Alison says--"There is a still more
surprising instance of this fault in one of the most pathetic passages
of the whole Poem, in the description of the disease among the cattle,
which concludes the Third Georgic. The passage is as follows:--

    "Ecce autem duro fumans sub vomere Taurus
    Concidit, et mixtum spumis vomit ore cruorem
    Extremosque ciet gemitus; it tristis arator,
    Moerentem abjungens fraternâ morte juvencum,
    Atque opere in medio defixa relinquit aratra."

_The unhappy image_ in the second line is less calculated to excite
compassion than disgust, and is singularly ill-suited to the tone
of tenderness and delicacy which the Poet has everywhere else so
successfully maintained, in describing the progress of the loathsome
disease." The line here objected to is the life of the description--and
instead of offence, it is the clenching of the pathos. First of
all, it is that which the Poet always will have and the Critics
wont--the _Necessitated_--the Thing itself--the Matter in hand. It
shapes--features--characterises that particular Murrain. Leave it
out--'the one Ox drops dead in the furrow, and the Ploughman detaches
the other.' It's a great pity, and very surprising--but that is NO
PLAGUE. Suddenly he falls, and blood and foam gush mixed with his
expiring breath. _That is a plague._ It has terror--affright--sensible
horror--life vitiated, poisoned in its fountains. _Vomit_--a settled
word, and one of the foremost, of the reversed, unnatural vital
function. Besides, it is the true and proper word. Besides, it is
vivid and picturesque, being the word of the Mouth. _Effundit_ (which
they would prefer)--(I do not mean it would stand in the verse) is
general--might be from the ears. _Vomit_ in itself says mouth. The
poor mouth! whose function is to breathe, and to eat grass, and
to caress--the visible organ of life--of vivification--and now of
mortification. Taken from the dominion of the holy powers, and given up
to the dark and nameless destroyer. "_Vomit ore cruorem!_" The verse
moans and groans for him--it may have in it a death-rattle. How much
more helpless and hopeless the real picture makes Arator's distress!
Now, "_it tristis_" comes with effect.


Yes, Virgil, as in duty bound to do, faced the Cattle Plague in all its
horrors. Had he not, he would have been false to Pales, the Goddess
of Shepherds--to Apollo, who fed the herds of Admetus. So did his
Master, Lucretius--whom he emulated--equalled, but not surpassed, in
execution of the dismal but inevitable work. The whole land groaned
under the visitation--nor was it confined to Cattle--it seemed as if
the brute creation were about to perish. But his tender heart, near
the close, singled out, from the thousands, one yoke of Steers--in two
lines and a half told the death of one--in two lines and a half told
the sadness of its owner--and in as many lines more told, too, of the
survivor sinking, because his brother "was not"--and in as many more a
lament for the cruel sufferings of the harmless creature--lines which,
Scaliger says, he would rather have written than have been honoured by
the Lydian or the Persian king.


Perhaps you have said enough, Seward. It might have been better,
perhaps, to have recited the whole passage.


Here is a sentence or two about Homer.


Then you are off. Oh! sir--why not for an hour imitate that Moon
and those Stars? How silently they shine! But what care you for the
heavenly luminaries? In the majestic beauty of the nocturnal heavens
vain man will not hold his peace.


Is that the murmur of the far-off sea?


It is--the tide, may be, is on its return--is at "Connal's raging
Ferry"--from Loch Etive--yet this is not its hour--'tis but the
mysterious voice of Night.




By moonlight and starlight, and to the voice of Night, I read these
words from Mr Alison--"In the speech of Agamemnon to Idomeneus, in
the Fourth Book of the Iliad, a circumstance is introduced altogether
inconsistent both with the _dignity of the speech, and the Majesty of
Epic Poetry_:--

    'Divine Idomeneus! what thanks we owe
    To worth like thine, what praise shall we bestow!
    To Thee the foremost honours are decreed,
    First in the fight, and every graceful deed.
    For this, in banquets, when the generous bowls
    Restore our blood, and raise the warriors' souls,
    Though all the rest with stated rules be bound,
    Unmixed, unmeasured, are thy goblets crowned.'"


That is Pope. Do you remember Homer himself, sir?


I do.

    @Idomenehy, pheri mhen se thiô Danahôn tachyphôlôn,
    hêmhen henhi ptolhemô hêd' hallohiô hephi hergô,
    êd' hen dahith', hote pher te gerohysion ahithopa ohinon
    'Argehiôn ohi haristoi henhi krêthêrsi kherôntai.
    ehiper ghar t' halloi ge karêkomhoôntes 'Achaiohi
    daitrhon phinôsin, shon dhe plehion dhepas ahiehi
    hestêch', hôsper hemohi, piheein, hote thymhos hanhôgoi.
    hall' horseu pholemhond', ohios pharos ehycheo ehinai.@

I believe you will find that in general men praise more truly, that is
justly, deservedly, than they condemn. They praise from an impulse of
love--that is, from a capacity. Nature protects love more than hate.
Their condemnation is often mere incapacity--want of insight. Mr Alison
had elegance of apprehension--truth of taste--a fine sense of the
beautiful--a sense of the sublime. His instances for praise are always
well--often newly chosen, from an attraction felt in his own genial
and noble breast. The true chord struck then. But he was somewhat too
dainty-schooled--school-nursed, and school-born. A judge and critic of
Poetry should have been caught wild, and tamed; he should carry about
him to the last some relish of the wood and the wilderness, as if he
were ever in some danger of breaking away, and relapsing to them. He
should know Poetry as a great power of the Universe--a sun--of which
the Song--whosesoever--only catches and fixes a few rays. How different
in thought was Epos to him and to Homer! Homer paints Manners--archaic,
simple manners. Everybody feels--everybody says this--Mr Alison must
have known it--and could have said it as well as the best--


But the best often forget it. They seem to hold to this knowledge
better now, Mr North; and they do not make Homer answerable as a Poet,
for the facts of which he is the Historian--Why not rather accept than


I am sorry, Seward, for the Achæan Chiefs who had to drink
@daitron@--that is all. I had hoped that they helped themselves.


Perhaps, sir, the Stint was a custom of only the @oinon gerousion@--a
ceremonious Bowl--and if so, undoubtedly with religious institution.
The Feast is not honorary--only the Bowl: for anything that appears,
Agamemnon, feasting his Princes, might say, "Now, for the Bowl of
Honour"--and Idomeneus alone drinks. Or let the whole Feast be
honorific, and the Bowl the sealing, and crowning, and characterising
solemnity. Now, the distinction of the Stint, and the Full Bowl,
selected for a signal of different honouring, has to me no longer
anything irksome. It is no longer a grudged and scanted cheer--but
lawful Assignment of Place.


The moment you take it for Ceremonial, sir, you don't know what
profound meaning may, or may not be in it. The phrase is very


When the "Best of the Argives" mix in the Bowl "the honorific
dark-glowing wine," or the dark-glowing wine of honour--when
@hote@--quite a specific and peculiar occasion, and confined to the
wine--you would almost think that the Chiefs themselves are the
wine-mixers, and not the usual ministrants--which would perhaps express
the descent of an antique use from a time and manners of still greater
simplicity than those which Homer describes. Or take it merely, that
in great solemnities, high persons do the functions proper to Servants.
This we do know, that usually a servant, the @Tamieus@, or the
@oinochoos@, does mix the Bowl. By the way, Talboys, I think you will
be not a little amused with old Chapman's translation of the passage.


A fiery old Chap was George.


It runs thus--

    "O Idomen, I ever loved thyself past all the Greeks,
    In war, or any work of peace, at table, everywhere;
    For when the best of Greeks, besides, mix ever at our cheer
    My good old ardent wine with small, and our inferior mates
    Drink ever that mixt wine measured too, thou drink'st without those
    Our old wine _neat_; and ever more thy bowl stands like to mine;
    To drink still when and what thou wilt; then rouse that heart of
    And whatsoever heretofore thou hast assumed to be,
    This day be greater."


Well done, Old Buck! This fervour and particularity are admirable.
But, methinks, if I caught the words rightly, that George mistakes the
meaning of @gerousôn@--honorary; he has @gerôn gerontos@, an _old man_,
singing in his ears; but old for wine would be quite a different word.


And he makes Agamemnon commend Idomeneus for drinking generously and
honestly, whilst the others are afraid of their cups--as Claudius,
King of Denmark, might praise one of his strong-headed courtiers,
and laugh at Polonius. Agamemnon does not say that Idomeneus' goblet
was _not_ mixed--was _neat_--rather we use to think that wine was
always mixed--but whether "with small," as old Chapman says, or with
water, I don't know--but I fancied water! But perhaps, Seward, the
investigation of a Grecian Feast in heroic time, and in Attic, becomes
an exigency. Chapman is at least determined--and wisely--to show that
he is not afraid of the matter--that he saw nothing in it "altogether
inconsistent with the dignity of the speech and the majesty of Epic


Dignity! Majesty! They stand, sir, in the whole together--in the
Manners taken collectively by themselves throughout the entire
Iliad--and then taken as a part of the total delineation. Apply our
modern notions of dignity and majesty to the Homeric Poetry, and we
shall get a shock in every other page.


The Homeric, heroic manners! Heyne has a Treatise or Excursus--as
you know--on the @hautarkeia@--I think he calls it--of the Homeric
Heroes--their waiting on themselves, or their self-sufficiency--where I
think that he collects the picture.


I am ashamed to say I do not know it.


No matter. You see how this connects with the scheme of the Poem--in
which, prevalent or conspicuous by the amplitude of the space which it
occupies, is the individual prowess of heroes in field--conspicuous,
too, by its moment in action. This is another and loftier mode of the
@hautarkeia@. The human bosom is a seat or fountain of power. Power
goes forth, emanates in all directions, high and low, right and left.
The Man is a terrestrial God. He takes counsel with his own heart,
and he acts. "He conversed with his own magnanimous spirit"--or as
Milton says of Abdiel meeting Satan--"And thus his own undaunted heart


Yes, Mr North, the Man is as a terrestrial God; but--with continual
recognition by the Poet and his heroes--as under the celestial Gods.
And I apprehend, sir, that this two-fold way of representing man, in
himself and towards them, is that which first separates the Homeric
from and above all other Poetry, is its proper element of grandeur, in
which we never bathe without coming out aggrandised.


Seward, you instruct me by----


Oh, no, sir! You instruct me----


We instruct each other. For this the heroes are all Demigods--that is,
the son of a God, or Goddess, or the Descendant at a few Generations.
Sarpedon is the Son of Jupiter, and his death by Patroclus is perhaps
the passage of the whole Iliad that most specially and energetically,
and most profoundly and pathetically, makes the Gods intimate to the
life and being of men--presents the conduct of divinity and humanity
with condescension there, and for elevation here. I do not mean that
there is not more pomp of glorification about Achilles, for whom
Jupiter comes from Olympus to Ida, and Vulcan forges arms--whose
Mother-Goddess is Messenger to and from Jupiter, and into whose lips,
when he is faint with toil and want of nourishment--abstaining in
his passion of sorrow and vengeance--Minerva, descending, instils
Nectar. But I doubt if there be anything so touching--_under this
relation_--and so intimately aggrandising as that other whole
place--the hesitation of Jupiter whether he shall VIOLATE FATE, in
order to save his own flesh and blood from its decreed stroke--the
consolatory device of Juno (in remonstrating and dissuading) that
he shall send Apollo to call Death and Sleep--a God-Messenger to
God-Ministers--to bear the dead body from the battle-field to his own
land and kin for due obsequies. And, lastly, those _drops of blood_
which fall from the sky to the earth, as if the heart-tears of the Sire
of all the worlds and their inhabitants.


You are always great, sir, on Homer. But, pray, have you any intention
of returning to the @hautarkeia@?


Ha! Buller--do you speak? I have not wandered from it. But since you
seem to think I have, think of Patroclus lighting a fire under a tripod
with his own hands, to boil meat for Achilles' guests--of Achilles
himself helping to lay the ransomed body of Hector on the car that was
to take it away. This last is honorific and pathetic. Ministrations of
all degrees for themselves, in their own affairs, characterise them
all. From the least of these to Achilles fighting the River-God--which
is an excess--all holds together--is of one meaning--and here, as
everywhere, the least, and the familiar, and most homely, attests,
vouches, makes evident, probable, and facile to credence, the highest,
most uncouth, remote, and difficult otherwise of acceptation. Pitching
the speculation lower, plenitude of the most robust, ardent, vigorous
life overflows the Iliad--up from the animal to the divine--from the
beautiful tall poplar by the river-side, which the wheelwright or
wainwright fells. Eating, drinking, sleeping, thrusting through with
spears, and hacking the live flesh off the bone--all go together and
help one another--and make the "Majesty and Dignity"--or what not--of
the Homeric Epos. But I see, Buller, that you are _timing me_--and I am
ashamed to confess that I have exceeded the assigned limit. Gentlemen,
I ask all your pardons.


Timing you--my dear sir! Look--'tis only my snuff-box--your own
gift--with your own haunted Head on the lid--inspired work of Laurence


Give it me--why there--there--by your own unhappy awkwardness--it has
gone--gone--to the bottom of the deepest part of the Loch!


I don't care. It _was_ my chronometer! The Box is safe.


And so is the Chronometer. Here it is--I was laughing at you--in my


Another Herman Boaz!--Bless my eyes, there is Kilchurn! It must
be--there is no other such huge Castle, surely, at the head of the
Loch--and no other such mountains--


You promised solemnly, sir, not to say a single word about Loch Awe
or its appurtenance, this Evening--so did every mother's son of us at
your order--and t'was well--for we have seen them and felt them all--at
times not the less profoundly--as the visionary pomp keeps all the
while gliding slowly by--perpetual accompaniment of our discourse, not
uninspired, perhaps, by the beauty or the grandeur, as our imagination
was among the ideal creations of genius--with the far-off in place and
in time--with generations and empires

    "When dark oblivion swallows cities up,
    And mighty States, characterless, are grated
    To dusty nothing!"


In the declining light I wonder your eyes can see to read print.


My eyes are at a loss with Small Pica--but veritable Pica I can master,
yet, after sunset. Indeed, I am sharpest-sighted by twilight, like a
cat or an owl.


Have you any more annotations on Alison?


Many. The flaws are few. I verily believe these are all. To elucidate
his Truths--in Taste and in Morals--would require from us Four a far
longer Dialogue. Alison's Essays should be reprinted in one Pocket
Volume--wisdom and Goodness are in that family hereditary--the editing
would be a Work of Love--and in Bohn's Standard Library they would
confer benefit on thousands who now know but their name.


My dear sir, last time we voyaged the Loch, you said
a few words--perhaps you may remember it--about those
philosophers--Alison--the "Man of Taste," as Thomas Campbell loved
to call him--assuredly is not of the number--who have insisted on
the natural Beauty of Virtue, and natural Deformity of Vice, and
have appeared to place our capacity of distinguishing Right from
Wrong chiefly, if not solely, on the sense of this Beauty and of this


I remember saying, my dear Seward, that they have drawn their views
too much from the consideration of the state of these feelings in men
who had been long exercised in the pure speculative contemplation of
moral Goodness and Truth, as well as in the calmness and purity of a
tranquil, virtuous life. Was it so?


It was.


In such minds, when all the calm faculties of the soul are wedded in
happy union to the image of Virtue, there is, I have no doubt, that
habitual feeling for which the term Beauty furnishes a natural and just
expression. But I apprehend that this is not the true expression of
that serious and solemn feeling which accompanies the understanding of
the qualities of Moral Action in the minds of the generality of men.
They who in the midst of their own unhappy perversions, are visited
with knowledge of those immutable distinctions, and they who in the
ordinary struggles and trials incident to our condition, maintain their
conduct in unison with their strongly grounded principles and better
aspirations, would seldom, I apprehend, employ this language for the
description of feelings which can hardly be separated, from the ideas
of an awful responsibility involving the happiness and misery of the
accountable subjects of a moral order of Government.


You think, sir, that to assign this perception of Beauty and Deformity,
as the groundwork of our Moral Nature, is to rest on too slight a
foundation that part of man's constitution which is first in importance
to his welfare?


Assuredly, my dear friend, I do. Nay, I do not fear to say that the
Emotion, which may properly be termed a Feeling of Beauty in Virtue,
takes place at those times when the deepest affection of our souls
towards Good and Evil acts less strongly, and when the Emotion we feel
is derived more from Imagination--and--


And may I venture to suggest, sir, that as Imagination, which is
so strong a principle in our minds, will take its temper from any
prevalent feelings, and even from any fixed and permanent habits of
mind, so our Feeling of Beauty and Deformity shall be different to
different men, either according to the predominant strength of natural
principles, or according to their course of life?


Even so. And therefore this general disposition of Imagination to
receive its character will apply, no doubt, where the prevailing
feelings and habits are of a Moral cast; and hence in minds engaged
in calm intellectual speculation, and maintaining their own moral
nature rather in innocence and simplicity of life than in the midst
of difficult and trying situations and in conflict with passions,
there can be no doubt that the Imagination will give itself up to this
general Moral Cast of Mind, and feel Beauty and Deformity vividly and
uniformly in the contemplation of the moral quality of actions and
moral states of character.


But your words imply--do they not, sir? that such is the temper of
their calmer minds, and not the emotion which is known when, from any
great act of Virtue or Crime, which comes suddenly upon them, their
Moral Spirit rises up in its native strength, to declare its own
Affection and its own Judgment?


Just so. Besides, my excellent friend, if you consider well the feeling
which takes possession of us, on contemplating some splendid act
of heroic and self-devoting Virtue, we shall find that the sort of
enthusiastic transport which may kindle towards him who has performed
it, is not properly a moral transport at all; but it is a burst of
love and admiration. Take out, then, from any such emotion, what
Imagination, and Love, and Sympathy have supplied, and leave only what
the Moral Spirit recognises of Moral Will in the act, and you will
find that much of that dazzling and splendid Beauty which produced the
transport of loving admiration is removed.


And if so, sir, then must it be very important that we should not
deceive ourselves, and rely upon the warmth of emotion we may feel
towards generous and heroic actions as evidence of the force of the
Moral Principle in our own breasts, which requires to be ascertained by
a very different test--


Ay, Seward; and it is important also, that we should learn to
acknowledge and to respect, in those who, without the capacity of such
vivid feelings, are yet conscientiously faithful to the known Moral
Law, the merit and dignity of their Moral Obedience. We must allow
to Virtue, my dearest Seward, all that is her due--her countenance
beautiful in its sweet serenity--her voice gentle and mild--her
demeanour graceful--and a simple majesty in the flowing folds of her
stainless raiment. So may we picture her to our imagination, and to
our hearts. But we must beware of making such abstractions fantastic
and visionary, lest we come at last to think of emotions of Virtue
and Taste as one and the same--a fatal error indeed--and that would
rob human life of much of its melancholy grandeur. The beauty of
Virtue is but the smile on her celestial countenance--and may be
admired--loved--by those who hold but little communion with her inner
heart--and it may be overlooked by those who pay to her the most devout


Methinks, sir, that the moral emotion with which we regard actions
greatly right or greatly wrong, is no transport; it is an earnest,
solemn feeling of a mind knowing there is no peace for living souls,
except in their Moral Obedience, and therefore receiving a deep and
grateful assurance of the peace of one soul more, in witnessing its
adherence to its virtue; and the pain which is suffered from crime
is much more allied to sorrow, in contemplating the wilful departure
of a spirit from its only possible Good, than to those feelings of
repugnance and hate which characterise the temper of our common human
emotion towards crimes offering violence and outrage to humanity.


I believe that, though darkness lies round and about us seeking to
solve such questions, a feeling of deep satisfaction in witnessing
the adherence to Moral Rectitude, and of deep pain in witnessing the
departure from it, are the necessary results of a moral sensibility;
but taken in their elementary simplicity, they have, I think,
a character distinct from those many other emotions which will
necessarily blend with them, in the heart of one human being looking
upon the actions of another--"because that we have all one human heart."


Who can doubt that Religion infuses power and exaltation into the Arts?
The bare History teaches this. In Greece Poetry sang of Gods, and of
Heroes, in whose transactions Gods moved. Sculpture moulded Forms
which were attempted expressions of Divine Attributes. Architecture
constructed Temples. _De facto_ the Grecian Arts rose out of Religion.
And were not the same Arts, of revived Italy, religious?


They all require for their foundation and support a great pervading
sympathy--some Feeling that holds a whole national breast. This
is needed to munificently defraying the Costlier Arts--no base
consideration at bottom. For it is _a_ life-bond of this life, that is
freely dropped, when men freely and generously contribute their means
to the honour of Religion. There is a sentiment in opening your purse.


Yes, Buller--without that sentiment, no man can love noble Art. The
true, deep, grand support of Genius is the confidence of universal
sympathy. Homer sings because Greece listens. Phidias pours out his
soul over marble, gold, and ivory, because he knows that at Olympia
united Greece will wonder and will worship. Think how Poet is dumb and
Sculptor lame, who foreknows that what he _would_ sing, what he _would_
carve, will neither be felt nor understood.


The Religion of a people furnishes the sympathy which both _pays and


And Religion affords to the Artist in Words or Forms the highest
Norms of Thought--sublime, beautiful, solemn--withal the sense of
Aspiration--possibly of Inspiration.


And it guards Philosophy--and preserves it, by spiritual influence,
from degradation worse than death. The mind is first excited
into activity through the impressions made by external objects
on the senses. The French metaphysicians--pretending to follow
Locke--proceeded to discover in the mind a mere compound of Sensations,
and of Ideas drawn from Sensations. Sensations, and Ideas that were the
Relics of Sensations--nothing more.


And thus, sir, by degrees, the Mind appeared to them to be nothing else
than a product of the Body--say rather a state of the Body.


A self-degradation, my friend, which to the utmost removes the mind
from God. And this Creed was welcome to those to whom the belief in Him
was irksome. That which we see and touch became to such Philosophers
the whole of Reality. Deity--the Relation of the Creation to the
Creator--the hope of a Futurity beyond the grave--vanished from the
Belief of Materialists living in, and by, and to--Sensation.


And with what a horrid sympathy was the creed welcomed!


Ay, Seward, I who lived nearer the time--perhaps better than you
can--know the evil. Not in the schools alone, or in the solitude
of philosophical thought, the doctrine of an arid speculation
circulated, like a thin and unwholesome blood, through the veins of
polite literature; not in the schools alone, but in the gorgeous and
gay saloons, where the highly-born, the courtly, and the wealthy,
winged the lazy hours with light or dissolute pleasures--there the
Philosophy which fettered the soul in the pleasing bands of the
Senses, which plucked it back from a feared immortality, which opened
a gulf of infinite separation between it and its Maker, was cordially
entertained--there it pointed the jest and the jibe. Scepticism a
study--the zeal of Unbelief! Principles of false thought appeared
suddenly and widely as principles of false passion and of false action.
Doubts, difficulties, guesses, fine spinnings of the perverse brain,
seized upon the temper of the times--became the springs of public and
popular movements--engines of political change. The Venerations of Time
were changed into Abominations. A Will strong to overthrow--hostile
to Order--anarchical--"intended siege and defiance to Heaven." The
irreligious Philosophy of the calmer time now bore its fruits. The
Century had prepared the explosion that signalised its close--Impiety
was the name of the Giant whom these throes of the convulsed earth had
borne into the day, and down together went Throne and Altar--But where
are we?


At the river mouth.


What! at home.


See the Tent-Lights--hear the Tent-Music.


Your arm, Talboys--till I disembark. Up to the Mount I shall then
climb, unassisted but by the Crutch.

_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._

     Transcriber's Notes:

     Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant
     preference was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.

     Simple typographical and spelling errors were corrected.

     Italics markup is denoted by _underscores_.

     Bold markup is denoted by =equals=.

     Greek text has been transliterated and is denoted by @at signs@.

     Provided anchor for unanchored footnote on pp. 133 and 172.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 66 No.406, August 1849" ***

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