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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 68, No. 417, July, 1850
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 68, No. 417, July, 1850" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *













  NO. CCCCXVII.       JULY, 1850.       VOL. LXVIII.


  THE HOUSE OF GUISE,                                          1


  CHATEAUBRIAND'S MEMOIRS,                                    33

  THE GREEN HAND--A "SHORT" YARN. PART XI.,                   48

  THE JEW BILL,                                               73

  THE PICTURES OF THE SEASON,                                 77

  THE YEAR OF SORROW.--IRELAND--1849,                         93

  LONDON AND EDINBURGH CHESS MATCH,                           97

  THE INDUSTRY OF THE PEOPLE,                                106



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





  NO. CCCCXVII.       JULY, 1850.       VOL. LXVIII.


  [1] _Histoire des Ducs de Guise._ Par RÉNÉ DE BOUILLÉ, ancien
  ministre plénipotentiaire. Volume the First. Paris: 1849.

Upon the page of history are inscribed the names of many great men,
uncrowned, but more illustrious than most kings, whose biography
essentially involves the records of their country and times. The
cases are very rare in which this occurs of an entire lineage;
when through several successive generations the same extraordinary
qualities are transmitted, and the hero or statesman who perished
yesterday, to-day and to-morrow seems to start again to life in the
persons of descendants who rival and even eclipse his fame. These
remarkable and most unfrequent instances are exemplified in the
house of Guise, those puissant nobles of Lorraine, immigrant into
and naturalised in France, who for eighty years led the armies and
directed the councils of their adopted country. Great warriors, bold
and profound politicians, unscrupulous and interested champions of
Rome, alternately defenders of and competitors for thrones, they
upheld their power and pretensions by the double lever of religious
enthusiasm, and of skilful appeals to the sympathy of the people.
Rich in glory, in wealth, in popularity, they were alternately
indispensable and formidable to their sovereigns, and were virtually
the last representatives of that energetic, able, and arrogant
aristocracy, whose services to the state were often limited by
the jealousy their power inspired, and whose patriotism was not
unfrequently tarnished by their factious temper and unbounded
ambition. From an early period of the sixteenth century, the
influence of Guise was felt in France, for the most part paramount
to that of royalty itself; until the might and glory of the house
sank and disappeared beneath the daggers of assassins, and before
the conquering sword of the Fourth Henry.

The history of France during the sixteenth century necessarily
comprises the public acts of the family of Guise, and the memoirs
of the time abound in personal details of the members of that
renowned house; but a work especially devoted to them was still
a desideratum, until the appearance of that which M. Réné de
Bouillé has just produced. One of the chief difficulties of his
task must have been to avoid including the history of the century
in that of the extraordinary men so intimately connected with its
chief events. Whilst confining himself as much as possible to his
immediate subject, he has yet, as he himself says, found his horizon
of necessity extensive. And in order to assemble in one frame the
various members of that celebrated family, he has been compelled
to admit with them a host of other personages, who in their turn
have brought a retinue, and have insisted on at least a corner of
the canvass being allotted to their deeds. The manner in which M. de
Bouillé has treated this great historical picture, whose magnitude
and difficulty must have deterred a less zealous and persevering
artist, is most judicious. "I have been as sparing as possible of
discussion," he says, "prodigal perhaps, on the other hand, of
cotemporary evidence, of faithful quotations, of such details as
bring facts into a stronger light, exhibit the actors on the stage
in a more animated manner, and display and make known, of and by
themselves, the personages, parties, manners and spirit of the
times, and the character of the situations." M. de Bouillé claims,
as a matter of justice, credit for conscientious application, and
declares his whole aim will have been attained if his work be
admitted to possess historical interest and utility. No impartial
critic will refuse it these qualities. It is at once substantial
and agreeable; valuable to the student, and attractive to those who
consider histories of the Middle Ages as fascinating collections of
strange adventures and romantic enterprises.

Réné the Second, reigning duke of Lorraine--the same who fought and
conquered with the Swiss at Morat, and defeated Charles the Bold at
Nancy--desired to see one of his sons settled in France. He selected
the fifth, Claude, to whom he left by will his various lordships in
Normandy, Picardy, and other French provinces, causing him to be
naturalised a Frenchman, and sending him at a very early age to the
court of France, where he was presented as Count de Guise, a title
derived from one of his domains. The young count found immediate
favour with Louis XII., to the hand of whose daughter Renée he was
considered a likely aspirant. But he fell in love with Antoinette
de Bourbon, daughter of Count de Vendôme, (the great-grandfather of
Henry IV.,) asked and obtained her in marriage, and celebrated his
wedding, when he was but sixteen years of age, in 1513, at Paris,
in presence of the whole French court. The following year another
wedding occurred, but this time youth was on one side only. In his
infirm and declining age, Louis XII. took to wife the blooming
sister of Harry VIII. of England, and honoured Guise by selecting
him to go, in company with the Duke of Angoulême and other princes
of the blood, to receive his bride at Boulogne. The wedding was
quickly followed by a funeral, and Francis I. sat upon the throne.
This chivalrous and warlike monarch at once took his young cousin of
Guise into high favour, to which he had a fair claim, not only by
reason of his birth, and of his alliance with the house of Bourbon,
but on account of his eminent capacity, and of the martial qualities
whose future utility Francis doubtless foresaw. To his triumphs in
the field, Guise preluded by others less sanguinary, but in their
kind as brilliant, in the lists and in the drawing room. His grace
and magnificence were celebrated even at a court of which those were
the distinguishing characteristics, thronged as it was with princes
and nobles, most of them, like the king himself, in the first flush
of youth, and with keen appetites for those enjoyments which their
wealth gave them ample means to command. He gained great credit by
his prowess at the jousts and tournament held at Paris on occasion
of the coronation, and his conduct in another circumstance secured
him the favour of the ladies of that gallant and voluptuous court.
"One night," says his historian, "he accompanied Francis I. to the
queen's circle, composed of those ladies most distinguished by their
charms and amiability. Struck by the brilliancy and fascination of
the scene, unusual at a time when custom, by assigning to women a
sort of inferior position, or at least of reserve, interdicted their
mingling in the conversation, and to a certain extent in the society
of men, Guise communicated his impression to the king, who received
it favourably, and at once decided that, throughout the whole
kingdom, women should be freed from this unjust and undesirable
constraint." It will easily be conceived that such an emancipation
insured Guise the suffrages of the fair and influential class who
benefited by it. From his first arrival at the French court he seems
to have made it his study to win universal favour; and he was so
promptly successful that, at the end of a very few months, he had
conquered the goodwill of both nobility and army. He took pains to
study and adapt his conduct to the character of all with whom he
came in contact, thus laying the foundation of the long popularity
which he and his successors enjoyed in France.

But courtly pleasures and diversions were quickly to be succeeded
by the sterner business of war. At his death, Louis XII. had left
all things prepared for an Italian campaign; and Francis, eager
to signalise his accession by the recovery of the Milanese, moved
southwards in the month of August 1515, at the head of the finest
troops that had yet crossed the boundary line between France and
Italy. His army consisted of fifteen thousand excellent cavalry,
twenty-two thousand lansquenets, fourteen thousand French and
Gascon infantry, besides pioneers and a numerous artillery. The
Constable of Bourbon led the van, the Duke of Alençon commanded the
rear; Francis himself headed the main body, accompanied by Duke
Anthony of Lorraine, (eldest brother of Guise,) with Bayard for his
lieutenant, and by the Duke of Gueldres, captain-general of the
lansquenets, whose lieutenant was the Count de Guise. If the army
was good, none, assuredly, ever reckoned greater warriors amongst
its leaders. Guise, during the passage of the Alps--accomplished by
extraordinary labour, and which completely surprised the enemy--made
himself remarkable by his constancy and activity, by the wisdom of
his counsels, and by his generosity to the soldiers, thus further
augmenting the affection they already bore him. Bayard and other
illustrious officers formed his habitual society; and in him they
found the most cordial and affable of comrades, as well as the most
zealous advocate of their interests with the king. Devoted to his
sovereign, Guise, when Francis somewhat over-hastily promised the
Swiss an exorbitant sum of money as the price of the Milanese, nobly
offered to contribute to it to the extent of all he possessed. The
treaty, however, was broken by the Swiss. Steel, not gold, was to
settle the dispute; and the plains of Marignano already trembled at
the approach of the hostile armies. At the age of eighteen, Guise
found himself general-in-chief of twenty thousand men. The Duke of
Gueldres, having been recalled to his dominions by an invasion of
the Brabanters, transferred his command to his young lieutenant, at
the unanimous entreaty of the lansquenets, and in preference to all
the French princes there present. In the quickly ensuing battle,
Guise showed himself worthy of his high post. In the course of the
combat, when the Swiss, with lowered pikes and in stern silence,
made one of those deadly charges which in the wars of the previous
century had more than once disordered the array of Burgundy's
chivalry, the lansquenets, who covered the French artillery, gave
way. Claude of Lorraine, immovable in the front rank, shamed them
by his example; they rallied; the guns, already nearly captured,
were saved; the battle continued with greater fierceness than
before, and ceased only with darkness. Daybreak was the signal
for its resumption, and at last the Swiss were defeated. After
breaking their battalions, Guise, over eager in pursuit, and already
twice wounded, had his horse killed under him, was surrounded,
overmatched, and left for dead, with twenty-two wounds. Nor would
these have been all, but for the devotedness of an esquire, whose
name Brantôme has handed down as a model of fidelity. Adam Fouvert
of Nuremberg threw himself on his master's body, and was slain,
serving as his shield. After the action, Guise was dragged out
from amongst the dead, and conveyed by a Scottish gentleman to the
tent of the Duke of Lorraine. He was scarcely recognisable, by
reason of his wounds; he gave no sign of life, and his recovery was
deemed hopeless. He did recover, however, thanks to great care,
and still more to the vigorous constitution and energetic vitality
which distinguished all of his house, and without which the career
of most of them would have been very short. Scarcely one of the
prominent members of that family but received, in the martial
ardour of his youth, wounds whose severity made their cure resemble
a miracle. A month after the battle of Marignano, Guise, although
still suffering, was able to accompany Francis I. on his triumphant
entry into Milan, "as captain-general of the lansquenets, with four
lieutenants, all dressed in cloth of gold and white velvet." One
of his arms was in a scarf, one of his thighs had to be supported
by an esquire, but still, by his manly beauty and martial fame, he
attracted the admiring gaze of both army and people. Francis, in his
report to his mother of the battle, named Guise amongst the bravest,
as well he might; and thenceforward his great esteem for the young
hero was testified in various ways--amongst others, by intrusting to
him several important and delicate diplomatic missions. At Bologna,
on occasion of the interview between Francis and Leo X., the Pope
addressed to Guise the most flattering eulogiums. "Your holiness,"
replied the ardent soldier, in a prophetic spirit, "shall see that
I am of Lorraine, if ever I have the happiness to draw sword in the
Church's quarrel."

Master of the Milanese, Francis I. returned to France and beheld
his alliance courted by all the powers of Europe, when suddenly the
death of the Emperor Maximilian (15th January 1519) proved a brand
of discord. Francis and Charles were the only serious candidates
for the vacant dignity. Guise, with a secret view, perhaps, to
the crown of Jerusalem for himself, strained every nerve, exerted
all his influence, on behalf of the French King. But Charles, the
more skilful intriguer, prevailed; and Francis, deeply wounded and
humiliated by his failure, revolved in his mind projects of war.
In these the king did not lose sight of the great assistance he
might expect from Guise, brave, skilful, and prudent as he was; and
the esteem in which the young chief was held at court increased so
greatly, that the French nobles came to consider him almost the
equal of the members of the royal family. Guise, on the other hand,
by reason of his enormous fortune and high birth, and in his quality
of a foreign prince, spared no effort to place himself on the
footing of an ally rather than of a subject of the King of France.

Pretexts for hostilities were not wanting; and soon we find Guise,
at the head of his lansquenets, fighting victoriously over the
very same ground upon which, in our day, French armies contended
with very different results. Maya, Fontarabia, and the banks of
the Bidassoa witnessed his prowess; he himself, a half-pike in his
hand, led his men through the river, with water to his armpits,
dislodging the enemy by the mere terror his audacity inspired. When
he returned to Compiègne, where the court then was, the King hurried
forth from his chamber to meet him, embraced him warmly, and gaily
said, "that it was but fair he should go out to meet his old friend,
who, on his part, always made such haste to meet and revenge him
on his enemies." His summer triumphs in the Pyrenees were followed
by a winter campaign in Picardy, where he succeeded in preventing
the junction of the English and Imperialists, besides obtaining
some advantages over the former, and harassing their retreat to the
coast. He thus added to his popularity with the army, and acquired
strong claims to the gratitude of the Parisians, deeply alarmed by
the proximity of the enemy to the capital, and who viewed him as
their saviour.

The year 1523 opened under menacing auspices. Germany, Italy,
England, were leagued against France, whose sole allies were
Scotland, the Swiss, (the adhesion of these depending entirely
on regular subsidies,) and the Duke of Savoy, whose chief merit
was that he could facilitate the passage of the Alps. Undeterred,
almost foolhardy, Francis, instead of prudently standing on the
defensive, beheld, in each new opponent, only a fresh source of
glory. Unhappily for him, at the very moment he had greatest need
of skilful captains, the Constable of Bourbon, irritated and
persecuted in France, courted and seduced by the astute Charles V.,
entered into a treasonable combination with the Imperialists. It was
discovered; he fled, and effected his escape. Out of France, he
was but one man the less, but that man was such a leader as could
hardly be replaced, and Charles gave him command of his troops in
the Milanese. The Constable's misconduct brought disfavour on the
princes of the house of Bourbon, (of that of Valois none remained,)
and this further increased the credit and importance of the Count
of Guise. He was already governor of Champagne and Burgundy,
provinces the Emperor was likely to attack. This command, however,
was not the object of his desires; he would rather have gone to
Italy, and applied to do so; but the King, rendered suspicious by
the Constable's defection, began to consider, with some slight
uneasiness, the position acquired by the Count of Guise; and it
was probably on this account only that he would not confer on the
Lorraine prince the direction of the Italian war. The glory of Guise
lost nothing by the refusal, although that of France grievously
suffered by the army of Italy being confided to the less capable
hands of Admiral Bonnivet. Fortune soon afforded the younger general
one of those opportunities of high distinction, of which no leader
ever was more covetous or better knew how to take advantage. A large
body of Imperialist infantry having made an irruption into Burgundy,
he assembled the nobility of the province and about nine hundred
men-at-arms, with which force he deemed himself able to keep the
field against the twelve thousand lansquenets that Count Furstemberg
led to meet him. By an odd accident, he had no infantry, his
adversary no cavalry. By dividing his horsemen into small parties,
and maintaining an incessant harassing warfare, Guise prevented
the Germans from foraging; and at last, compelled by famine, they
prepared to recross the Meuse, abandoning two forts they had
captured, and carrying off a large amount of spoil. Thus encumbered,
and vigorously pursued, their rearguard was cut to pieces, and
their retreat converted into a rout. "With a feeling of chivalrous
gallantry," says M. de Bouillé, "Guise desired to procure the
duchess his sister-in-law, Antoinette de Bourbon, and the ladies of
the court of Lorraine, then assembled at Neufchâteau, the enjoyment
of this spectacle, (the battle), to them so new. Warned by him, and
stationed at windows, out of reach of danger, whence they looked out
upon the plain, they had the pastime, and were able to recompense,
by their applause and cries of joy, the courage of the troops whom
their presence animated."

But such partial successes, however glorious to him by whom they
were achieved, were all insufficient to turn the tide of disaster
that had set in against the French arms. The defeat of Bonnivet,
the invasion of Provence by the Constable, were succeeded by that
terrible day before the walls of Pavia, when Francis I., vanquished,
wounded, made prisoner by a rebellious subject, beheld his army
destroyed, and the battle-field strewn with the bodies of his best
generals, whilst, bleeding at his feet, slain in his defence, lay
Francis of Lorraine, a younger brother of the Count of Guise, the
second of that brave brotherhood who had fallen in arms under the
_fleur-de-lis_.[2] When the brave but most imprudent monarch was
carried into captivity, his mother, regent in his absence, placed
her chief trust and dependence in Guise. Of these he proved himself
worthy. He checked the ambition of the Duke of Vendôme, who, as
first prince of the blood, showed a disposition to seize upon the
regency; he advised the ransoming of the French prisoners taken
at Pavia, and exercised altogether a most salutary influence upon
the circumstances of that critical time. His good sword, as well
as his precocious wisdom, was soon in request. A large body of
German fanatics, proclaiming the doctrine of absolute equality,
and the abolition of all human superiority, had swept over Suabia,
Wurtemberg, and Franconia, burning churches and slaying priests, and
threatened to carry the like excesses into Lorraine and Burgundy.
By aid of his brothers, at much expense and with great difficulty,
Guise got together ten thousand men, four thousand of whom were
cavalry. The double cross was the rallying sign of this little
army. The time was come for Guise to perform his promise to Pope
Leo, to fight stoutly in defence of the Church. And truly his hand
was heavy upon the unfortunate and half frantic Lutherans, although
to a certain extent he tempered its weight with mercy. Besieged
in Saverne, the fanatics put to death the herald who summoned
them to surrender. Learning that reinforcements from Germany were
at hand, Guise hurried to meet them with three thousand men, and
encountered them at the village of Lupstein, into which the Germans
retreated, after a terrible conflict outside the place, and threw
up a barricade as best they could, of carts, casks, and gabions.
From the cover of these, and of the adjacent hedges, they kept up
so obstinate a defence, that Guise, whose men fell fast, caused
fire to be applied to the houses. But hardly had the flames begun
their ravages, when the Count, seized with compassion, threw himself
from his horse to assist in extinguishing them, and succeeded, at
imminent risk to his own life, in saving upwards of four thousand
persons of all ages. Nearly double that number perished; as many
more at Saverne and in the mountains, to which the unfortunate
Germans fled; and about fifteen thousand in a final engagement
at Chenouville, which broke the strength of the fanatic host,
and finally closed the campaign. During one of these battles,
the soldiers of Guise beheld in the air the image of the Saviour
attached to the cross, a phenomenon in which they saw assurance of

  [2] Francis of Lorraine was eighteen years old when slain at Pavia.
  One of his brothers had fallen, at about the same age, at the battle
  of Marignano.

"Once more," says M. de Bouillé, "Guise had rendered a most
important service to the kingdom; he had also assumed a peculiar
and marked position, and had fixed a point of departure for himself
and his descendants, by striking, of his own accord, and without
instructions from the Government, the first blows that Protestantism
received in France: a circumstance often recalled, with more or less
exultation, by the panegyrists of that family, and which procured
Claude de Lorraine the nickname of the _Great Butcher_, given him
by the heretics, who were exasperated by the loss of nearly forty
thousand men, caused them by his arms in that fatal expedition."

Determined foes to the Reformed faith as both of them were, a
distinction must yet be made between the Count of Guise assailing
and slaughtering, with far inferior forces, a formidable body of
armed and aggressive foreigners, and the fierce _Balafré_, wielding
a murderous sword against his defenceless and inoffensive Huguenot
countrymen, on the terrible night of St Bartholomew. If the amount
of bloodshed at Saverne and Chenouville appears excessive, and
implies that little quarter was given, it must yet be remembered
that greater clemency to the vanquished might have had the most
disastrous consequences to the handful of conquerors. The Council
of Regency disapproved of Guise's conduct in the affair; taxing him
with rashness in risking the whole of the small number of regular
troops disposable for the defence of the kingdom. But there could
hardly have been more pressing occasion to expose them; and Francis
I., on returning from exile, recognised and rewarded that and other
good services by elevating the county of Guise into a duchy and
peerage--further enriching the newly-made duke with a portion of
the crown domains. Such honours and advantages had previously been
almost exclusively reserved for persons of the blood-royal. The
Parliament remonstrated in vain; but Francis himself, before very
long, repented what he had done. He took umbrage at the increasing
popularity of the Duke of Guise, and gave ear to the calumnies
and insinuations of the French nobles, who were irritated by the
haughty bearing, great prosperity, and ambitious views of the house
of Lorraine. The manner in which Francis testified his jealousy and
distrust was unworthy of a monarch who has left a great name in
history. He showed himself indulgent to those of his courtiers and
officers who organised resistance to the influence and pretensions
of the Guises. "One time, amongst others," says M. de Bouillé, "the
Duke of Guise, governor of Burgundy, wishing to visit the castle
of Auxonne, whose governorship was a charge distinct from that of
the province, the titulary, Rouvray, a French gentleman, refused
him admittance, which he would not have dared to do had Guise been
recognised as prince. When the Duke complained of this treatment,
the King, delighted, whilst taking advantage of his services, to see
his pride and ambition thwarted, lauded the conduct of Rouvray, and
laughed at him who had wished to play the prince of royal blood."
For annoyances of this kind Guise sought compensation in popularity,
thus tracing out for his descendants the line they should most
advantageously follow.

The partial disfavour into which the Guises had fallen, during
an interval of peace when their services were not indispensable,
was dissipated by the zeal and talents exhibited by the Duke's
brother, John Cardinal of Lorraine, in a most difficult and delicate
negotiation with Charles V., and by the prompt good-will with
which, when negotiation failed and war broke out, the Duke hurried
to the relief of Peronne, accompanied by his eldest son, the Count
of Aumale, then scarcely nineteen years old. Peronne la Pucelle
was hard beset by the Count of Nassau, who pounded its ramparts
with seventy-two pieces of cannon, and was defended with equal
valour by Fleuranges, Marshal de la Marck, who repulsed an assault
made simultaneously by two breaches, and destroyed a mine on which
the enemy reckoned for his discomfiture. Want of supplies, and
especially of powder, must soon, however, have compelled him to
yield, but for a stratagem practised by Guise. That able commander
selected four hundred resolute soldiers, loaded each of them with
a bag containing ten pounds of powder, and set out, at six in the
evening, from his headquarters at Ham, with the Count of Aumale,
whose first experience of war this was, and to whom Guise, as he
wrote to the King, "intended soon to give up his sword, as capable
of doing better service in his young hands than in his own." Two
hundred horsemen escorted them as far as the edge of the marshes of
Peronne, and at midnight Guise, who had brought with him a large
number of drummers and trumpeters, distributed these at different
points around the besiegers' camp. Whilst they sounded and beat
the charge, and the Imperialist generals, believing themselves
attacked on all sides, hastily formed their troops for the combat,
the powder-bearers, guided by a soldier of the garrison who had
borne news of its distress from Fleuranges to Guise, crossed the
marshes by means of a number of little roads and bridges, which the
enemy himself had made to maintain his communications, and reached
the moat, whence by means of ropes and ladders they entered the
fortress. The last of them were just getting in when day broke, and
the Count of Nassau discovered the trick that had been played him,
and detached a body of cavalry to pursue Guise, then retreating with
his drums and trumpets, and whose steady array discouraged attack.
A few days later the Imperialists raised the siege, and Paris,
which had been in consternation at the danger of Peronne, its last
bulwark against the advancing foe, knew no bounds in its gratitude
to the man to whom it thus, for the second time, was indebted for
its salvation. Guise's great services in this and the following
campaign rendered Francis I. indulgent to his still-recurring
pretensions; to the arrogance which led him frequently to refuse
obeying orders that did not emanate directly from the King, and
to assume a sort of independence and irresponsibility in the
exercise of his government. Looking back, through the clarifying
medium of history, upon the character and conduct of Claude of
Lorraine, we are disinclined to think that Francis had ever serious
cause for mistrusting the loyalty of his powerful subject; whose
encroachments, however, it cannot be denied, were sufficient grounds
for jealousy and uneasiness. And on more than one occasion we find
the royal anger--perhaps complete disgrace--averted from him only
by the interest of his brother the Cardinal, to whom Francis could
refuse nothing.

As a diplomatist and patron of the arts, Cardinal John of
Lorraine occupies almost as elevated a pedestal in the gallery
of distinguished Frenchmen of the sixteenth century, as does his
brother Claude in his more active capacity of general of armies
and administrator of provinces. His courtly qualities, and a
congeniality of tastes--some of which, although they might be
held excusable in a king, were scarcely to be palliated in a
prelate, even in that age of lax morality--endeared him to Francis,
who associated with him on a footing of great familiarity. His
generosity and charity were on such a scale as at times to resemble
prodigality and ostentation; his love of pleasure and addiction
to gallantry were in like manner excessive. "He was," says M. de
Bouillé, "a very lettered prince, a splendid patron of learned men,
whom he treated as friends, and in whose labours he associated
himself. A writer named Bertrand de Vaux, having presented and
read to him a critical work, containing low personality, awaited,
notwithstanding its base character, the recompense which the
Cardinal always granted to those authors with whose productions he
was satisfied. The prelate accordingly handed him a golden etui.
'Take this, friend Bertrand,' he said; 'it is to pay the fatigue and
salary of the reader. The writer must seek payment from some more
malignant man than myself.'" The celebrated Erasmus, Clement Marot
the poet, and Rabelais the satirist, all benefited by the patronage
or enjoyed the intimacy of the Cardinal, who, conjointly with his
nephew the Cardinal Charles of Lorraine, is believed by some to
have been indicated by the witty priest of Meudon in the character
of Panurge. Passionately fond of art, the prelate-prince gathered
around him the men of genius whom the largesses and magnificence
of Francis I. seduced from Italy to France. He showed particular
favour to Benvenuto Cellini, who presented him with some of his
works and received from him costly gifts. "When in full blaze of
fortune and favour, he caused to be built and decorated, with blind
prodigality, after the designs of Primaticcio and by the pupils
of that famous artist, the superb chateau of Meudon, in whose
park was constructed, amongst other costly ornaments, a grotto,
'excellently fine and pleasant to save oneself from being wetted
by the rain.' He had musicians in his service, and Arcadelt, a
distinguished composer, some of whose works are still preserved and
esteemed, was his _maître de chapelle_." His charity, although often
too indiscriminate, sprang from real kindness of heart. Numerous
children, belonging to poor families, were educated at his expense
in the Paris schools. And his good grace in conferring favours
doubled their value. The farmer of his abbey of Fécamp, having made
the same receipt serve for three separate payments, and endeavouring
to make it pass a fourth time, the Cardinal's receivers refused
to admit it, and the case was referred to the prelate himself,
who, having examined and recognised his signature, merely said,
"Since John is there, John shall be believed," and ordered it to
be definitively admitted. When he went abroad, "he usually," says
Brantôme, "carried a great pouch, which his _valet-de-chambre_, who
had charge of the money for his petty expenses, failed not to fill
each morning with three or four hundred crowns: and as many poor
as he met he put his hand into the pouch and gave, without stint
or consideration, whatever he drew forth." The story is well known
of the blind mendicant, who, having implored an alms of him in the
streets of Rome, exclaimed, on receiving a handful of gold: "_O tu
sei Christo, o veramente il cardinal di Loriena_." By the light
which these details throw upon his character, it is not difficult
to discern that the magnificent cardinal must have been a welcome
courtier to the sumptuous Francis, who, during the period of his
favour, made him his constant companion and delighted to do him
honour. He sat upon the King's left hand on occasion of the _lit
de justice_ held at Paris on New Year's day 1537, at which Francis
declared Charles of Austria attainted of rebellion and felony, and
deprived of Artois, Flanders, and all the domains that he held _en
mouvance_ of the crown of France--a sentence more easily pronounced
than enforced, and which of course entailed a war. Peace again
concluded, in great measure by the diplomacy of the Cardinal, he it
was, according to Du Bellay, who alone accompanied the King and
Queen at dinner, on the day of Charles V.'s entrance into Paris.
The friendship borne him by Francis, was the cause of his being
charged to break to that monarch the death of his son, the Dauphin
of France. Of the familiarity with which the King treated him, M.
de Bouillé gives a specimen in a curious anecdote: "One day, at
mass, the Cardinal did not perceive that a thief, who had managed to
enter the chapel, had picked his pocket. The rogue, observing that
the King had his eyes fixed upon him, with extraordinary coolness
and audacity put his finger on his lips, looking at the same time
significantly at Francis I., who took the hint and said nothing,
in order not to spoil what he imagined to be an adroit practical
joke. Service over, however, he made an observation which induced
the Cardinal to put his hand in his pocket, when he discovered his
loss. When the King had amused himself at his surprise, he ordered
that what had been stolen should be restored; but the thief, who
was perfectly serious in his intentions, had made his escape, which
greatly increased the mirth of the monarch, thus cleverly duped. 'On
the word of a gentleman,' he exclaimed, 'the rogue has made me his

Powerfully supported at court by his brother, Claude of Lorraine
was no less ably seconded in the field by his son Francis, Count
of Aumale, a young hero destined ultimately to surpass even him in
glory, and to raise the name of Guise to its apogee of splendour.
The constantly-recurring wars with the Emperor yielded him abundant
opportunities to display his prowess. In the campaign of 1543 he did
good service, until, at the siege of Luxemburg, he was dangerously
wounded above the ankle by an arquebuse ball. "Carried, almost
without hopes--on account of the fracture of the bones and the
injury to the nerves--first to his tent and then to Longwy, five
leagues in rear, he owed his recovery to the attention of the King,
who sent him his own physicians, and to the care bestowed upon him
by his father. And nevertheless, when he suffered signs of pain
to escape him during the dressing, the Duke of Guise addressed
to him reproaches by which it will be seen that he subsequently
profited, saying to him--a noble and stoical maxim--'That persons
of his rank ought not to feel their wounds, but, on the contrary,
to take pleasure in building up their reputation on the ruin of
their bodies.'" It was in no feather-bed school that the Guises were
educated. Nearly at the same time that the Count d'Aumale was hit
before Luxemburg, Gaspard de Coligny-Châtillon, then his rival in
valour, and at a subsequent day his deadly foe, was severely wounded
in the throat at the siege of Binche.

In the war in which these incidents occurred, England was allied
with the Emperor against France. Personal motives combined with
political irritation to dispose the violent and uxorious Henry VIII.
to a rupture with Francis I. Mary of Lorraine, daughter of the Duke
of Guise, and widow of Louis of Orleans, duke of Longueville, had
been given in marriage to James V. of Scotland, in preference to
Henry, who, inflamed by the report of her beauty, had solicited her
hand as a pledge of perpetual alliance with France. Dazzling as
was the offer of so powerful a sovereign, his anti-catholic acts,
and his evil reputation as a husband, deterred the Guises from
entertaining it; and Francis I., obeying the dictates of feeling
rather than those of prudence, extricated them from a dilemma by
alleging a previous promise to the Scottish king. It is said that
Henry would then gladly have espoused Louisa, second daughter of the
Duke, and that, means being found to elude his pursuit, this second
disappointment further augmented his rancorous feelings towards
Francis and the house of Guise. However this may have been, the
war with England continued subsequently to the conclusion of peace
between Francis and Charles--chiefly in Picardy, around Boulogne,
which Henry held, and in whose neighbourhood his army was encamped.
Some severe skirmishes and partial engagements occurred, and in one
of these the Count of Aumale received a wound, probably the severest
ever survived by mortal man, from the lance of an English officer.
The weapon, according to the description of Ambrose Paré, entered
"above the right eye, declining towards the nose, and piercing
through on the other side, between the nape and the ear." So violent
was the blow that the weapon broke in the head, into which it had
penetrated more than half a foot, the entire lance-iron and two
fingers' breadth of the staff remaining in the wound. Paré explains
the possibility of such a wound, in an age when helmets and visors
were in use, by mentioning that the Count always went into action
with his face bare.

"Terrible as was the shock," says M. de Bouillé, "it did not unhorse
d'Aumale. He still made head against his foes, succeeded in forcing
a passage through them, aided by his young and valiant brother
Claude, and by de Vieilleville--who, alone of all, had not abandoned
him--and rode gloriously into camp. His appearance was frightful;
his face, armour, and clothes were deluged with blood. The surgeons,
stupified by the depth and gravity of the wound, despaired of cure,
and refused to inflict useless sufferings upon the patient. But
Ambrose Paré, the King's surgeon, sent by Francis with orders to
try every means of saving the hero's life, was not discouraged.
Confiding in his skill, and in the firmness of the wounded man, he
resolved to attempt an operation, terrible indeed, but admirable for
those days, and worthy alone to insure celebrity to him who imagined
it. The lance-head was broken off so short, that it was impossible
to grasp it with the hand. Taking then a blacksmith's pincers, to
draw it out with great force, and assisted, amongst others, by
Master Nicolle Lavernan, a very experienced surgeon, he asked the
Lorraine prince, in presence of a crowd of officers shuddering
with horror, if he would submit to the employment of such means,
and would suffer him to place his foot upon his face. 'I consent
to everything; proceed,' replied d'Aumale. Nor did his fortitude
abandon him for an instant during this cruel operation, which was
not effected without fracture of bones, nerves, veins, and arteries,
and other parts, and which he endured as if they had only pulled out
a hair. The agony extorted from him but the single exclamation--'Ah!
my God!' Transported afterwards in a litter to Pecquigny, he
remained for three days in a hopeless state: early on the fifth day
more favourable symptoms declared themselves, and nature made such
powerful efforts, that the cure was completed without leaving the
Count d'Aumale any trace of this astonishing wound, except a scar,
equally glorious for him and for Ambrose Paré. That skilful surgeon
was wont modestly to say, when speaking of the marvellous cure of
Francis of Lorraine--'I dressed it, and God healed it.' As soon as
he began to get better, the Count d'Aumale hastened to write to the
King, with a hand still unsteady, the following note, characterised
by a calmness remarkable in such circumstances:--'Sire, I take the
liberty to inform you that I find myself well, hoping not to lose an
eye. Your very humble servant, LE GUIZARD.'" Admiring his energy,
and in recompense of his services, Francis I. made him governor
of Dauphiny; whilst the numerous partisans of the house of Guise
attributed his cure to a miracle wrought by the prayers of his pious
mother, Antoinette of Bourbon. This princess carefully preserved
till her death the lance-point which had penetrated her son's head.
The extent of the wound, as described by Paré, would be scarcely
credible, but for the testimony of that learned and excellent man,
and of other cotemporary writers quoted by M. de Bouillé. In a
short time the heroic Count had forgotten his hurt, and was again
in arms against the English, with whom, however, peace was shortly
afterwards concluded.

Notwithstanding the frequent uneasiness occasioned him by the power
and ambition of the family of Guise, Francis I. continued, almost to
the close of his reign, to enrich and aggrandise them. The magnitude
of their services, and their many great qualities, at intervals
elicited his gratitude and generosity, to the oblivion of mistrust
and apprehension. Thus, only three years prior to his death, he
erected into a marquisate certain lands and lordships of the Duke
of Guise, and immediately afterwards elevated the marquisate to a
duchy, in consideration, said the letters patent, of the great,
virtuous, and commendable services that the Duke of Guise had long
rendered to king and country, without sparing his own person, his
children, or goods; "and also that our said cousin Duke of Guise
is of the house of Lorraine, descended by wife and alliance from
the house of Anjou, and from our predecessors, kings of France."
Thus was the title of Duke of Mayenne provided for a younger son of
Claude of Lorraine. Such laudatory declarations as the one above
cited were concurrent, however, with the systematic restriction of
the Guises' direct influence on state affairs. And on his deathbed,
when dividing his last hours upon earth between religious duties and
sage counsels to his son, Francis enjoined this prince not to recall
the Constable of Montmorency, or to admit to a share of government
the princes of the house of Guise. Montmorency had incurred disgrace
and banishment by exciting the King's conjugal jealousy. Henry II.
showed slight regard to his father's dying injunctions. Scarcely
had the earth closed over the deceased monarch, when those he had
recommended to his son's favour were removed from their posts;
Montmorency was recalled, and the Guises were taken into favour;
the Count of Aumale, and Charles, Cardinal of Lorraine, dividing
between them Henry's whole confidence. It must be admitted, that the
means to which they resorted to secure and preserve this favour,
were not of the most delicate description, although, doubtless,
they would be very differently estimated then and now. They
sustained their credit with Henry II. by their attentions to Diana
of Poitiers, his all-powerful mistress, whose eldest daughter one
of the brothers, Claude, Marquis of Mayenne, had just married. From
this discreditable alliance Châtillon, afterwards the Admiral de
Coligny, had tried to dissuade them, by pointing out, says Brantôme,
in his Life of the Admiral, "that it was not very honourable for
them, and that an inch of authority and favour with honour was
better than an armful without." The Count of Aumale, up to that
time the inseparable companion of Coligny, was but ill-pleased by
the freedom of this advice, which, he said, was less that of a
friend than of one envious of the good fortune such an alliance
insured to his family. This difference, however, cast but a slight
cloud over the intimacy which thereafter was exchanged for so
bitter an enmity. Meanwhile the royal favour, lavished on the young
Guises, was not extended to their father, who was excluded from the
government which his sons freely exercised, and who, immediately
after the coronation of Henry, left the court, to live in retirement
in his castle of Joinville. The prudence and moderation of the
elder Guise were probably less welcome to the young king than the
bolder and more impetuous counsels of his sons. There were six of
these, all pretty well provided for when Claude of Lorraine retired
into private life: Francis, Count of Aumale; Claude, Marquis of
Mayenne; Charles, Archbishop of Rheims; Louis, Bishop of Troyes, and
Francis, Chevalier of Lorraine, afterwards grand-prior and general
of the galleys of France. "During his stay at Paris, after the
campaign of 1544, the Duke of Guise frequently went, accompanied
by his six young sons, to pay his devoirs to the King, who always
graciously received and congratulated him, saying 'that he was six
times fortunate in seeing himself live again, before his death, in
a posterity of such great promise.' One day Charles, the second
brother, who was intended for the church, presented to Francis
I. some moral and theological theses, accompanying them with an
eloquent and tasteful harangue. His promotion to the archbishopric
of Rheims, the richest benefice in France, was, it is said, the
munificent reward of this precocious ability." Henry II. received
his crown from the hands of this youthful archbishop, upon whom the
Pope, five days after the ceremony, conferred a cardinal's hat.
Charles of Lorraine can have been but thirty or thirty-one years
old, when he thus attained to the highest dignities of the church.

A few days before the coronation, Henry II. sanctioned by his
presence the celebrated judicial duel--which gave rise to a proverb
still current in France--between Guy Chabot de Jarnac, and François
de Vivonne. It took place in lists erected near the chateau of St
Germains. Vivonne's second (or godfather, as it was then called)
was the Count of Aumale, who attracted universal attention by the
grandeur of his air and the lustre of his renown. "Towards half-past
seven in the morning," says M. de Bouillé, "d'Aumale pronounced
it time to bring the arms, and the combatants appeared in the
lists, Vivonne conducted by d'Aumale; and, after the customary
salutations and injunctions, the king-at-arms, Normandy, having
thrice exclaimed--_Laissez aller les bons combattants!_ the combat
commenced with skill and fury. In a few moments, however, by a
blow, since proverbial, dealt and repeated on the left ham, Vivonne
was prostrated by his adversary. The Count d'Aumale sprang to the
assistance of the vanquished man, and to calm the rage which made
him tear open his own wounds. But Vivonne survived only three
days, and, after his death, d'Aumale had the following inscription
engraved upon his tomb: 'A great prince _Lorrain et François_, much
grieved and afflicted by so unexpected an event, has dedicated
this to the manes of a brave knight of Poitou.' In these few words
was revealed a pretension constantly entertained by the house of
Guise, and which then appeared surprising, but which received a sort
of consecration from its silent toleration by the King." It was
doubtless this toleration, combined with the sentiment of growing
power and influence, which raised the arrogance of the Guises to
such a pitch that, on occasion of Henry II.'s solemn entrance into
Chambery, during a visit of inspection to his frontier fortresses,
we find the Count of Aumale placing himself on the same line with
the Duke of Vendôme, first prince of the blood, and afterwards King
of Navarre. The angry dispute to which this gave rise was terminated
by the King, who maintained Guise in the place he had audaciously
assumed. Like his father, Henry was nurturing a pride which was
afterwards to give him umbrage. Already d'Aumale's influence and
popularity were so great as to make him courted by all classes, even
to the highest, not excluding persons of blood-royal; and only a
few months after the dispute at Chambery, we find the same King of
Navarre thanking him, conjointly with the Cardinal of Bourbon, for
services he had rendered to friends of theirs. The first nobles of
the land had recourse to his protection and support, and strove to
propitiate him by presents and flattering letters. From all quarters
he received offerings of "wine, fruit, confections, ortolans,
horses, dogs, hawks, and gerfalcons, the letters accompanying
these very often containing a second paragraph, petitioning for
pensions or grants from the King, or for places, even down to that
of apothecary, or of barber to the Dauphin, &c." The memoirs and
manuscripts of the time furnish many curious particulars of this
kind, especially the MSS. Gaignières, often referred to by M. de
Bouillé. And they further show that d'Aumale, amidst his countless
occupations, found leisure to listen to all petitioners, and means
to content many. There exist the most flattering letters written to
him by the hand of kings; the humblest supplications addressed to
him by great state corporations, such as the parliaments of Paris,
Bordeaux, and other cities; testimony of the profoundest deference
from the nobles of the court--names such as Brézé and Brissac being
affixed to fulsome protestations of service and thanks for favour
shown. Such was the immense position of the Duke d'Aumale, (that
county also had become a duchy,) who now openly affected the state
and quality of prince of the blood. Then, as afterwards, (when he
was duke of Guise,) he always received the title of _monseigneur_,
(except from the princes of the blood, who called him _monsieur_,)
and that of _vostre excellence or vostre seigneurie_. And in 1548
the nuns of Bonneuil addressed him a supplication as _vostre haulte
et puissante majesté et seigneurie_. So great was his reputation for
magnanimity, so popular his rule, that those provinces rejoiced over
which he was appointed governor. And the affection borne him by the
French people became at last so great "that it may be said it was
carried to an excess, even to the point of making them forget their
fidelity to the King." For a time the favour and confidence of the
King kept pace with the love of the nation; and it was augmented by
the ability with which d'Aumale pacified several revolted provinces,
where his presence alone sufficed, for the most part, to calm angry
passions and revive the loyalty of the population. Soon after this
expedition, occurred his marriage with Anne d'Est, daughter of the
Duke of Ferrara, a beautiful, virtuous, and well-dowered princess
who had been sought in marriage by Sigismund, King of Poland,
but whom an innate sympathy for France, combined with the able
management of Cardinal de Guise, induced to give the preference to
the Duke d'Aumale.

In his castle of Joinville, on the 12th April 1550, Claude, first
duke of Guise, piously and resignedly terminated his illustrious and
honourable career. His duchess, Antoinette de Bourbon, one of the
most virtuous and amiable princesses of her time, his eldest son
and the Marquis of Elbeuf, were beside his dying bed; and during
his illness the King sent frequent expresses to inquire his state.
His premature death, at the age of fifty-three, after a short but
violent illness,--combined with some solemn and generous expressions
he used a few minutes before breathing his last, to the effect
that he heartily forgave the person, whosoever it might be, who
had given him "_le morceau pour mourir_,"--gave rise to a belief,
further accredited by his funeral oration and by the inscription on
his tomb, that he had perished by poison. History has difficulty
in confirming this popular notion, in support of which no evidence
was ever produced, nor anything beyond a vague supposition that the
author of the Duke's death was a Genoese, an agent of the Emperor,
then in France to watch the measures taken by that republic to
obtain from Henry II. means of resistance to the party of Ferdinand,
in opposition to whom there was little doubt that Guise would
advise the King to give his support to Genoa. Considering, however,
that Claude of Lorraine lived away from court, where his son had
succeeded to his influence, this is rather a far-fetched story;
and the probability is that the Duke died of some unusual malady,
misunderstood by, perhaps wholly unknown to, the imperfect medical
science of those days. But natural deaths were rare in the house of
Guise; and in the sixteenth century poison had no unimportant share
in the bills of mortality. Some indeed have hinted its possible
agency in the death of John, Cardinal of Lorraine, which occurred
within forty days of that of his brother Claude. This prelate was on
his way back from Rome, where he had been an unsuccessful aspirant
to the papal tiara, when he was suddenly informed, on his passage
through Lyons, of the Duke's decease. It was possibly the shock of
this intelligence that brought on an attack of apoplexy under which
he sank and shortly expired. "Providence," says M. de Bouillé, "had
perhaps resolved to consecrate, by an almost simultaneous death, the
union which had so constantly and advantageously existed between him
and his brother, and which the cotemporary writers characterise, in
their mythological style, by comparing the two princes to Castor
and Pollux. Their place was not to remain vacant, but was about to
be even more than filled by two brothers, also 'the happiest pair
of brothers that ever were seen;' one an accomplished warrior and
magnanimous hero, the other a skilful and enterprising prelate,
who, by renewing the example of a constant agreement of views, by
putting in practice that useful and remarkable combination of the
churchman and the man of the sword, peculiar to their family, and
efficaciously applied by them to politics and ambition, realised an
immense amount of favour and authority. The first generation of this
dynasty--if not sovereign, at least so brilliantly episodical--had
passed away, already almost surpassed in grandeur by its successor,
destined to elevate itself in the inverse ratio of the wearer of
that crown which gradually became almost illusory."

Certain it is that the figure of Francis, second Duke of Guise,
surnamed the Great, occupies, upon the canvass of French history,
a far more remarkable and important place than that of any one of
the three kings whose reigns were cotemporary with his power. Early
distinguished in arms, his generosity, urbanity, and irresistible
valour made him the idol of the army, whilst the prudence and
precocious wisdom he inherited from his father, rendered him
invaluable at the council board, and secured him the favour of his
sovereign; to such a point that Henry II. had no secrets from him,
but caused all important despatches to be communicated to him as
punctually as they were to himself. Nor was his brother Charles
inferior to him in talent, although their difference of profession
rendered its display less striking in the cardinal. Both possessed
of admirable tact and judgement in the conduct of public affairs,
the one was not more terrible in the battle-field than the other
was skilful and seductive in diplomatic negotiations, and in the
graceful intercourse of private life. The cardinal's learning
and eloquence, his fine countenance, his dignified bearing, his
richly-stored memory, combined to exercise a powerful fascination
upon all he met. "Had I the elegance of Monsieur le Cardinal de
Lorraine," said Theodore de Beze one day, when mounting his horse to
leave Rheims, where he had had a conference with the accomplished
prelate, "I should expect to convert half the persons in France to
the religion I profess."

At the date of the death of Claude of Lorraine, Charles V. was
the sole survivor of the three remarkable sovereigns who had
simultaneously filled the three most important European thrones.
With him the Duke and Cardinal now impelled Henry II. into a
war, which had for its real object the realisation of a bold and
extensive scheme greatly to increase the authority of France in
Europe, and at the same time to establish the omnipotence of the
Guises in France. One of the most remarkable events of this war was
the siege of Metz, in which large ill-fortified place the Duke,
with a small number of men, was exposed to the assaults of an army
consisting of one hundred thousand infantry, twenty-three thousand
horse, and one hundred and twenty pieces of artillery. Guise
displayed extraordinary skill and energy, leading sorties himself,
and even issuing forth at the head of a mere handful of men to
skirmish with the enemy. Fortunately he had had time to lay in good
store of provisions; but his cannon were few in number and for the
most part unserviceable, and he was fain to defend with falconets
and other small guns, the breaches which the Imperialists soon made
in his walls. In an action that occurred during the siege, in the
neighbourhood of Nancy, Claude de Guise--that brother of the Duke
who, when a mere youth, had powerfully and valiantly contributed
to deliver him, in front of Boulogne, from an overwhelming number
of assailants--was taken prisoner. Thrice wounded, and with his
horse killed under him, he had no choice but to yield or die. This
disaster deprived Metz of a gallant defender, and plunged Guise and
the whole army into deep affliction; the Duke, however, consoling
himself by the resolution to make the Emperor dearly pay for his
brother's ransom, and by the reflection that d'Aumale had not
yielded until he was knocked down and had a cocked pistol at his
throat. The sorties continued with great vigour, but at the expense
of many wounded men, of whom so large a proportion died, for want
of efficient medical assistance, that a rumour gained credit that
the drugs were poisoned. Guise begged the King to send him Ambrose
Paré with a stock of fresh medicaments, and, by the connivance of
an Italian officer in the Imperialist camp, that skilful leech was
introduced at midnight into the town, with the apothecary Daigue
and a horse-load of medical stores. Paré was bearer of a letter
from the King, thanking Guise and the other princes and nobles for
all they had done and were doing to preserve his town of Metz, and
assuring them he would remember and reward their services. Thus
encouraged, and confident in his troops, Guise wrote to the King,
with whom he found means constantly to correspond in cypher, that
Metz could hold out six months without succour. On the other hand
the Imperialists redoubled their efforts for success. The Emperor,
who lay at Thionville, sick of the gout and expectant of triumph,
at last judged his presence indispensable for the fortunate
conclusion of the siege, and made his appearance in the camp,
mounted on an Arab horse, "his face very pale and wasted, his eyes
sunken, his head and beard white." His coming was the signal for
so great a salvo of artillery and small arms, that the besieged
flew to arms, expecting a general attack. Until the neighbouring
castle of La Horgne could be prepared for his reception, he took
up his quarters in a small wooden house, hastily constructed with
the ruins of an abbey. "A fine palace," he said, "when I shall
receive in it the keys of Metz." But the keys were long in coming,
although the fierceness of the attack was redoubled--fourteen
thousand cannon-shots being fired against the ramparts in one day,
the noise of which was said to have been heard beyond the Rhine, at
forty leagues from Metz. The constancy of the besieged was a match
for the fury of the assailants. Breaches were diligently repaired,
and sorties continued--the French actually seeking the Imperialists
under their tents. Suddenly the latter changed the point of attack,
and directed their cannonade against one of the very strongest parts
of the rampart, behind which the besieged hastened to construct a
second wall, also of great strength. The sudden change of plan is
attributed by Ambrose Paré in his _Voyage à Metz_, to a stratagem
employed by Guise. The Duke, according to the learned physician and
chronicler, wrote a letter to Henry II. with the intention of its
being intercepted by the enemy, in which he said, that if Charles V.
persisted in his plan of attack, he would be compelled to raise the
siege, but that a very different result was to be apprehended, if
unfortunately the enemy directed his attention to a certain point,
cunningly indicated in the despatch. Sewn, with an affectation of
mystery, under the doublet of a clumsy peasant, this letter was
destined for the perusal of the Duke of Alva, one of whose patrols
did not fail to seize and search the unfortunate messenger, who
was forthwith hanged. Misled by the information thus obtained, the
besiegers changed the position of their batteries. In two days a
breach was effected, the old wall crumbling into the ditch, amidst
the acclamations of the assailants. But their joy was exchanged
for rage and disgust when, upon the subsidence of the dust, they
beheld a second wall in rear of the breach. The French began to
scoff and abuse them, but Guise commanded silence, under pain of
death, lest some traitor should take advantage of the tumult to
convey information to the enemy; whereupon his soldiers fastened
live cats to the end of their pikes, whose discordant cries mocked
the enemy. The enthusiasm of the besieged now knew no bounds. Men,
women, and young girls toiled day and night to strengthen the inner
wall. Guise's gay and encouraging words gave confidence to all.
Collecting his soldiers upon the breach, which was ninety feet
wide: "I rejoice," he said, "that the enemy have at last overthrown
this barrier, more useful to them than to you. You have so often
visited them in their camp, that it is only just they should have
an opportunity of reconnoitring the town upon whose capture they
so boastfully reckoned." Charles ordered the assault; but when his
troops saw the French crowning the breach, with Guise at their
head, they recoiled as if already attacked, and neither entreaties
nor threats could move them forward. "How is it," the Emperor had
exclaimed with a great oath, when he saw the gaping breach, "that
they do not enter? It is so large and level with the ditch; _vertu
de Dieu!_ what means this?" He had himself conveyed in a litter to
the foremost ranks, to animate the soldiers by his presence. When he
beheld their retreat, he mournfully desired to be carried back to
his quarters. "Formerly," he said, "I was followed to the fight, but
I see that I have now no men around me; I must bid adieu to empire
and immure myself in a monastery; before three years are over, I
will turn Franciscan." Finally, on the 26th December, provisions
running short, and his army weakened one-third by sickness and
the sword, Charles, with a sad heart, raised the siege, uttering,
in the bitterness of his shame and disappointment, the well-known
words, "I plainly see that Fortune, like a true woman, prefers a
young king to an old emperor." The imperial camp and artillery
crossed the Moselle, and in the night the Duke of Alva evacuated his
position, leaving behind a quantity of stores and tents. Guise, who
had expressed, that very evening, in a letter to his brother the
Cardinal, his conviction that the Emperor would never endure the
shame of abandoning the siege, was greatly astonished in the morning
to find that the enemy had decamped. His skill and constancy had
triumphed, and France was saved from invasion. When he reappeared
at court, the King embraced him with transport, and called him his
brother. "You have vanquished me as well as the Emperor," said
Henry, "by the obligations you have laid me under."

The Duke of Guise's humanity after the siege did him as much honour
as his bravery during it. A large number of sick men remained in
the Imperialist camp; the rearguard of the retreating army were in
a pitiable state, and, unable to proceed, yielded themselves ready
prisoners. The commander of a troop of Spanish cavalry, pursued
by the Prince of _la Roche-sur-Yon_, who would fain have brought
him to battle, suddenly faced about, exclaiming, "How should we
have strength to defend ourselves, when you see we have not enough
left to fly?" In the hospitals of Metz and Thionville, the sick
and wounded Imperialists were carefully tended by order of Guise;
non-combatant prisoners were sent back to the Duke of Alva, with
the offer of covered boats to transport his exhausted soldiers;
the bodies of the dead received suitable burial. The magnanimous
general's courtesy and humanity bore their fruits. In the following
campaign, when the town of Therouenne, in Picardy, was surprised by
the Imperialists, the Germans and Flemings were putting inhabitants
and garrison to the sword, without distinction of age or sex,
when the Spanish officers, with a lively and grateful remembrance
of the good treatment received from Guise and the French, united
their voices and efforts to check the carnage. "_Bonne guerre,
compagnons,_" they cried; "_souvenez-vous de la courtoisie de Metz!_"

It was during the following campaign (1554) that there occurred the
first marked manifestations of discord between the Duke of Guise
and the Admiral de Coligny. In the combat of Renty, near St Omer,
Coligny commanded the infantry, in his quality of colonel-general
of that arm. Victory declared itself for the French; already
many trophies had been taken, and heavy loss inflicted on the
Imperialists, who were on the brink of a general rout, when Guise
"feeling" says M. de Bouillé, "that he was not supported by
the Constable de Montmorency--the retreat also, according to a
report current at the time, having been sounded _by the breath of
envy_--was unable to follow up his advantage, and could but maintain
himself on the field, whilst the Imperialists, although defeated,
succeeded in entering the besieged fort." The chief merit of this
imperfect victory was attributed by the Constable to his nephew
Coligny, who, on his part, was said to have asserted that, during
the heat of the fight, Guise had not been in his right place. This
led, upon the evening of the action, to a violent altercation, which
would have ended with drawn swords but for the intervention of the
King, in whose tent it occurred. He compelled them to embrace; but
the reconciliation was only skin-deep, and from that day forwards a
rancorous dislike was substituted for the close intimacy which had
existed in their youth between these two great soldiers, and which
had been carried to such a point that they "could not live without
each other, wearing the same colours, and dressing in the same
manner." Henceforward they were constant antagonists, the chiefs
of two parties under whose banners nobles, soldiers, and courtiers
ranged themselves, according to the dictates of their sympathies
or interests. And soon their rivalry for fame and influence was
inflamed and envenomed by the ardour of religious passions, and of
combats for their respective creeds.

It is here impossible to trace, even in outline, the events that
crowded the reign of Henry II., and in which the Duke, the Cardinal,
and their brother d'Aumale played a most conspicuous part. It was
a constant succession of battles and intrigues, for the most part
terminating, in spite of formidable foes both in the field and at
court, to the advantage of the Guises. And when, a few weeks after
the battle of St Quintin, so disastrous to the French arms--where
the Constable de Montmorency, who had boasted beforehand of victory,
beheld his entire army slain or taken, and himself a prisoner--the
Duke of Guise returned from Italy, "to save the state," as the
King himself expressed it, he found himself at the utmost pinnacle
of power a subject could possibly attain. On the very day of his
arrival, Henry declared him lieutenant-general of the French armies,
in and out of the kingdom; a temporary dignity, it is true, but
one superior to that of Constable, and which usually was bestowed
only in times of regency and minority. That nothing should be
wanting to the exorbitant authority thus conferred upon the man
to whom sovereign and nation alike were wont to turn in the day
of danger and disaster, the King addressed to all the provincial
authorities particular injunctions to obey the orders of the Duke
of Guise as though they emanated from himself; and truly it was
remarked, says Dauvigny in his _Vies des Hommes Illustres_, that
never had monarch in France been obeyed more punctually and with
greater zeal. The whole business of the country now rested upon
the shoulders of Guise. But even whilst thus exalting him, Henry,
conscious of his own weakness, and haunted, perhaps, by his father's
dying injunction, was actually plotting how to lessen the power
of his great subject, so soon as the period of peril should have
passed, during which his services were indispensable. With strange
infatuation, the feeble monarch expected to be able to clip at
will the wings of that soaring influence, when victory over the
foreigner and the liberation of the country should have confirmed
its domination.

Invested with his new dignities, whose importance his sagacity fully
appreciated, Guise, with the least possible delay, set out for
Compiègne, which, since the recent disasters of the French arms,
was a frontier town. Those disasters, he felt, could be effectually
repaired only by a brilliant feat of arms, at once useful to the
state, and flattering to the national pride. Upon such a one he
resolved. Calais, now upwards of two centuries in possession of
the English, to the great humiliation of France, was the object
of destined attack. Skilled in the stratagems of war, the Duke
contrived, by a series of able manoeuvres, to avert suspicion of his
real design, until, on the 1st January 1558, he suddenly appeared
before the ramparts of Calais. The siege that ensued has been often
narrated. It terminated, after an obstinate resistance, in the
capitulation of the garrison, which had scarcely been executed, when
an English fleet appeared off the port, bearing succours that came
too late. The triumph excited indescribable astonishment and joy
throughout France. It was a splendid revenge for the defeat of St
Quintin, and produced a marked change in the sentiments of several
foreign potentates, who believed that reverse to have prostrated the
French power for some time to come. The Grand Signior offered the
co-operation of his fleet, and the German princes hastened, with
redoubled good-will, the levies that had been demanded of them. Pope
Paul IV., when congratulating the French ambassador, pronounced the
highest eulogiums on Guise, and declared the conquest of Calais
preferable to that of half England. At court, the partisans of the
Constable were in dismay, and tried to lessen the merit of the
victor by attributing its success to the adoption of a plan sketched
by Coligny. But even if this were true, the merit of the execution
was all the Duke's own. Upon the heels of this triumph, quickly
followed the capture of Guines and the evacuation by the English of
the castle of Hames, their last possession in the county of Oye. "In
less than a month," says M. de Bouillé, "Francis of Lorraine had
accomplished the patriotic but difficult enterprise so often and
fruitlessly attempted during two centuries, and had cancelled the
old proverb applied in France, in those days, to generals of slight
merit, of whom it was derisively said, 'He will never drive the
English out of France.'"

Henry II., accompanied by the Dauphin, the Cardinals of Lorraine and
Guise, and several nobles of the court, made a journey to Calais,
which he entered with great pomp. The object of this expedition was
to sustain the courage and zeal of the troops, who endured much
fatigue and hardship, in that inclement season and in the midst
of the marshes. The King also wished to testify his gratitude to
his lieutenant-general, showing him great confidence, referring to
him all who requested audience on business, and presenting him,
in the most flattering terms, with a house in Calais. The Duke
returned with Henry to Paris, where great feasts and rejoicings
were held in his honour, and, on occasion of the Dauphin's marriage
with Mary Queen of Scots, which shortly followed, Guise filled, in
the absence of Montmorency, the office of grand-master, which he
long had coveted. Concurrently, however, with this great apparent
favour, Henry was secretly uneasy at the power and pretensions of
the family of Guise, and maintained a constant and confidential
correspondence with their inveterate enemy the Constable de
Montmorency. On the other hand the Guises were on their guard,
labouring to countermine and defeat the intrigues levelled against
them. Urged on by his brother, and feeling that, in their position,
if they did not advance they must recede, the Duke directed all
his efforts to an effectual concentration in his own hands of the
entire military power of the kingdom. Should he fail in this, he at
least was resolved to leave none in those of his rivals. By this
time the progress of the Reformed religion in France had attracted
great attention. It was an abomination in the eyes of Henry; and of
this the Duke and Cardinal took advantage to work the downfall of
d'Andelot, brother of Coligny, and colonel-general of the French
infantry, the only military commander who at that moment caused
them any uneasiness. Accused of heresy, and summoned before the
King, who received him kindly, and, expecting he would so reply as
to disconcert his enemies, "commanded him to declare, in presence
of all the court, his belief with respect to the holy sacrifice of
mass; d'Andelot proudly replied that his gratitude for the King's
favours doubtless rendered entire devotedness incumbent upon him,
but that his soul belonged to God alone; that, enlightened by
the torch of Scripture, he approved the doctrines of Calvin, and
considered mass a horrible profanation and an abominable invention
of man." Furious at what he deemed a blasphemy, the King, who
was at supper, snatched a basin from the table and hurled it at
d'Andelot; but it struck the Dauphin. He was then tempted, says
one of his historians, to pierce the offender with his sword, but
finally contented himself with sending him to prison, and the post
of colonel-general was bestowed upon Montluc, an ex-page of Guise's
grandfather, and a devoted partisan of the house of Lorraine. This
brave Gascon officer at first scrupled to accept it, for he feared
to incur the hatred of the Colignys and the Constable. Wily and
wary, like most of his countrymen, he declared himself willing to
serve as a private soldier under the Duke, but modestly declined the
command offered him. The King insisting, he alleged a dysentery,
as rendering him incapable of the needful activity. This and other
objections being overruled, he took possession of his important
command, and speedily proved himself worthy to hold it--notably at
the siege of Thionville on the Moselle. This fortress, one of the
strongest the Imperialists owned, was defended by Jean de Caderebbe,
a brave gentleman of Brabant, at the head of three thousand picked
men. The Dukes of Guise and Nevers, and Marshal Strozzi, were the
leaders of the besieging army; Montluc joined them on the eve of
the opening of the batteries, and did excellent service. On the
fifteenth day of the siege, Guise was in the trenches, talking
to Strozzi, on whose shoulder his hand rested, when the Marshal
was struck by an arquebuse ball, a little above the heart. On
feeling himself hit, "_Ah! tête Dieu, Monsieur_," exclaimed this
brave and able general, "the King loses to-day a good servant,
and your Excellency also." He did himself no more than justice.
Guise was deeply affected, but, repressing his emotion, he tried
to fix Strozzi's thoughts on religion. The veteran's death was
less exemplary than his life; he died in profession of unbelief;
and Guise, much scandalised, but perhaps doubly furious at the
thought that the soul as well as the body of his old comrade had
perished by the sudden manner of his death, prosecuted the siege
with fresh ardour, eager for revenge, and suppressing for the
moment, as far as he was able, the disastrous news, which could not
but produce a most unfavourable impression. Valiantly seconded by
Montluc and Vieilleville, on the 22d June, two days after Strozzi's
death, he received the capitulation of the garrison. His triumph
was well earned. Besides the exhibition, throughout the siege, of
the genius and inventive resource that constitute a general of
the highest order, he had toiled and exposed himself like a mere
subaltern, constantly under fire, personally superintending the
pioneers and artillerymen, and rarely sleeping; so that it was no
wonder (considering he had not had a single night's rest during the
operations against Thionville) that on the 1st July, when preparing
for the siege of the rich little town of Arlon, he complained of
being very drowsy, and left Montluc to invest the place--himself
retiring to bed in a cottage, and giving orders to let him sleep
till he awoke of himself. "It is very quick work," he observed,
crossing himself, when he was the next day informed, in reply to
his inquiry whether the batteries had opened fire, that Montluc had
surprised and taken the place in the night.

Whilst Guise was thus not only rendering great services himself, but
bringing forward leaders whose exploits honoured the French arms,
in other quarters affairs went less favourably for France. Near
Dunkirk, Marshal Thermes was beaten and taken prisoner, and Guise,
whose frequent lot it was to repair the blunders or misfortunes
of less capable generals, marched to Picardy; on the frontier of
which province, at a grand review passed by Henry II., the Duke's
son and successor, Henry, Prince of Joinville, then but eight years
old, appeared for the first time in public, with his cousin, the
Count of St Vallier, son of the Duke d'Aumale. Accompanied by their
preceptors and some other gentlemen, and mounted on ponies, they
rode through the ranks, until they reached the troops commanded
by Montluc. "_Cà, çà_, my little princes," exclaimed that brave
captain, "dismount; for I was brought up in the house of which you
are issue, which is the house of Lorraine, where I was page, and
I will be the first to put arms in your hands." The two cousins
dismounted, and Montluc, taking off the little silken _robons_
that covered their shoulders, placed a pike in the hand of each of
them. "I hope," he said, "that God will give you grace to resemble
your fathers, and that I shall have brought you good fortune by
being the first to invest you with arms. To me they have hitherto
been favourable. May God render you as brave as you are handsome,
and sons of very good and generous fathers." After this species of
martial baptism, the two children, conducted by Montluc, passed
along the front of the troops, objects of the admiration and good
wishes of men and officers. A few months later, one of them was
dead; the other, heir to most of the great qualities, whether good
or bad, that distinguished his race, lived to prosecute, and at one
time almost to realise, the most ambitious designs his father and
grandfather had conceived. The fair-haired boy of the review at
Pierrepont, was the stern _Balafré_ of the wars of the League.

The spring of the year 1559 found the Guises in marked disfavour
with the King. The great services of the Duke, the capture of
Calais and Thionville, and the many other feats of arms by which he
had reduced the power of the enemy, at moments when it was about
to be fatal to France, were insufficient to counterbalance the
alarm felt by Henry II. at his and the Cardinal's influence and
ambition. The star of the Constable was in the ascendant. Chiefly
by his intervention, a disadvantageous peace was concluded, and,
at his request, d'Andelot was recalled to court. Montmorency and
Coligny triumphed. The efforts of the Protestants combined with
court intrigues to ruin the credit of the house of Lorraine. The
two brothers were attacked on all sides, and in every manner:
epigram and satire furiously assailed them, and they were denounced
as aspiring, one to the tiara, the other to the crown of France.
However doubtful--or at least remote from maturity--these projects
were, they were yet sufficiently probable for their denunciation to
produce the desired effect on the mind of Henry, already writhing
impatiently under the domination of the Guises, against whom he was
further prejudiced by his mistress, the Duchess de Valentinois,
(Diane de Poitiers,) still influential, in spite of her threescore
winters. Never had circumstances been so menacing to the fortunes of
the Guises; and perhaps it was only the subtle and temporising line
of conduct they adopted in this critical conjuncture, that saved
them from utter disgrace and downfall. Things had been but a short
time in this state, and already, from the skilful manoeuvres of the
Cardinal, their side of the balance acquired an upward inclination,
when the whole aspect of affairs was changed by the death of Henry
II. With the reign of his feeble successor, there commenced for the
restless princes of Lorraine a new epoch of power and renown.




Now for the fight. On the morning of the battle of Toulouse we left
Grenade. It was known amongst us that the battle was coming off; and
we started in the expectation of passing the night either in the
city itself, or in its immediate vicinity. We ascended towards the
city by the left bank of the Garonne, but reached a pontoon bridge,
which enabled us to cross to the right bank, where the main body of
our troops was posted. The fight had commenced. We heard the firing
as we advanced; and while we approached the scene of action, it
became gradually louder and more distinct. Immediately in the rear
of the British lines we halted, not knowing the ground, and withdrew
from the road into a field which was close at hand, in order that
our numerous party might not prove an obstacle to passing troops,
ammunition, or artillery. Our forces held the low ground, and
closed, in a sort of semicircle, around the heights occupied by the
French. As it so happened that I was not only at this battle, but
in it, I here beg leave to relate the circumstances which led to my
finding myself in a position where, as a civilian, I was so little
wanted, and so much out of my ordinary sphere of duty.

Sancho did it all. We were sitting upon our nags, speculating upon
the fight, and seeing all that could be seen, till we began to
think we knew something of what was going on. At this moment rode
up from the rear, coming across the fields, an old officer of rank,
a major-general, well known at headquarters, without aide-de-camp,
orderly, or any kind of attendant. He inquired eagerly, "Where are
the troops?--Where are the troops?" We pointed forward; little
was visible but trees. He looked rather at a loss, but turned his
horse's head in the direction we had indicated. That villain Sancho,
seeing another horse go on, snorted, and pulled at the bridle. He
was tired of standing still. I, ever indulgent to Sancho, followed
the old general, and soon overtook him. "I believe I know the
position of the troops, sir. Will you give me leave to show you?"

"Thank you, sir, thank you," said he; "I shall really be much

We rode on till we reached a British regiment, drawn up in line.
With renewed acknowledgments he then took his leave. The air was
musical above our heads with whistling and humming missiles. I was
now fairly upon the ground, and didn't like to go back.

There was a lull in the fight. The spectacle was singular. Some
firing was kept up on both sides, but not sufficient to obscure
the view of the French position, which rose immediately in front,
a bare range of hills, crowned by their redoubts. The atmosphere
was bright; and though the skirmishers on the declivity were
discoverable only by small white jets of smoke, as they fired from
time to time, every movement of the enemy on the summit, with the
sky for its background, was perfectly visible. I noticed a single
horseman, probably an aide-de-camp bearing orders, as distinct
and diminutive as if seen through the wrong end of a telescope.
You might perceive the very action of his horse, that laborious
up-and-down gallop of the French manége, which throws away so much
of the animal's strength, and sacrifices speed without securing

The combat, at this moment, was renewed, and our troops went to
work in earnest. The Spanish army ascended the hill to assault the
enemy's redoubts. This movement, at first, had all the regularity
of a review. But the redoubts opened their fire; as the Spaniards
moved up, the smoke rolled down; and, when the wind swept it away,
their broken bands were seen in precipitate retreat, followed by a
large body of the French, who swarmed out from their intrenchments.
Instantly, and just in front of me, our artillery opened upon the
pursuing foe. The round-shot plumped into their columns, knocking
up clods as high as a house; and the enemy, not relishing this
salutation, hastily fell back to their former position. Sancho
now became a dreadful plague. He had for some time been getting
unquiet, and, with the continual firing, he grew worse and worse. I
believe this was his first battle, as it was mine. Not content with
a little extra restiveness at every fresh discharge of artillery,
he had worked himself into a state of chronic excitement, and, at
intervals, attempted to bolt. It was clear I must get rid of Sancho,
or see no more of the fight; so I deposited him in a stable, under
care of a cottager, in the adjoining village.

Still moving towards the left, along the base of the hill, I reached
a part of the British position, where a number of our troops were
waiting to storm the heights, when the flank movement against the
enemy's right, which was his weakest point, should be sufficiently
advanced. All at once I plumped upon "Cousin Tom," whom I had not
met since he embarked, three years before, a raw subaltern, at
Portsmouth. There he now stood, as large as life, rough and ugly,
at the head of his regiment, a regular "Old Peninsular;" and on him
had devolved the duty, as he gave me to understand, of "taking those
fellows up the hill." This service, I thought, would have fallen
to some officer of higher rank; but Tom explained. The regiment
having been reduced, either by losses or detachment, its numbers in
the field were small, and he, being the senior officer present, of
course had to "carry them up." "Come," said he, "we are going to
take a look at those monsieurs above there; you may as well go with

The proposal was coolly made, so I took it coolly. "With all my
heart," said I. "You know what is the feeling towards an amateur.
If he makes an ass of himself, he's laughed at; and if he gets hit,
they only say, it serves him right. If it's of any use, I'll go with

"Use?" said Tom; "the greatest use. Why, I want to ask you twenty
questions about friends in England. Besides, you know, if I am
knocked over, you can pick me up."

"Very well, then; and you can do the same for me."

"No, no," said cousin Tom; "I don't promise that. Got my men to
attend to. If I am hit, you must take care of me. If you are hit,
you must take care of yoursel----Oh, that's the signal. Come along."
Away we went, up the hill.

Rank and file--double-quick time--a capital pace for opening the
chest. Tom took it easy, trotting on at a steady pace, and assailing
me with a running fire of questions; while the row that had already
commenced above prevented my returning categorical replies. "Is
your father at sea now?"--Bang! from one of the big guns in the
French batteries right over our heads. "Got any brandy?"--A shout
from a thousand throats, in the rush and shock of a charge with
bayonets. "Had breakfast this morning?"--Pop! pop! pop! a running
fire of musketry. Pop! pop! pop! "Got any cigars?"--Bang! bang! the
big guns at it again. "When did you hear from your mother?" A new
sound, less loud and sudden, but, from its peculiarity, distinct
amidst the din; a spiteful, whirling, whizzing noise, ten thousand
skyrockets combined in one; not, though, like the skyrocket, first
loud, then less audible--quite the contrary. Commencing with a
faint and distant hiss, it grew louder and louder, came singing on,
nearer and nearer, till a shell dropped a few yards in front of our
column! The hiss was now an angry roar, like the blowing off of
steam. There lay the bottled demon, full in our path, threatening
instant destruction, and daring us to advance. Our column halted.
"Hurra! my lads," cried Cousin Tom, waving his sword. "Come along,
old Five-and-threepennies. Push by it at once, before it _spreads_."
The game old Five-and-threepennies gave a shout--rushed forward--got
by in time; each yelping and capering as he passed the fizzing foe.
Bang went the shell. For a few seconds I was stone deaf. Never felt
such an odd sensation. Not the deafness, but the return of hearing.
First, perfect silence in the midst of the turmoil--then the crack!
crack! bang! bang! as if you had suddenly flung open a door. Not a
man of us was hurt. "Got an English paper?" said Tom.

"I've got some intelligence for you, old chap, not in this morning's
_Times_. Just look up there, in front."

The view in front was striking and picturesque. Right above us,
dimly visible through the smoke, on the verge of the platform or
table-land which we were mounting to assault, appeared a regiment
of French infantry, enough of them to eat us up, advancing upon
us with an irregular fire, and led on by their colonel. He rode a
showy horse; and, hat in hand, waved them on, while his white hairs
streamed in the wind, and his whole bearing announced the brave old
soldier. "We must form line," said Tom. It was done forthwith, with
steadiness, order, and rapidity. "Make ready--present--fire." Crack!
went all the muskets together. I saw the gallant old colonel, with
outspread arms, tumbling from his horse.--"Charge!" We rushed upon
the foe; but, when the smoke had cleared away, found no foe to fight
withal. Nothing was visible, save their knapsacks in the distance,
poppling up and down in the smoke, as they scampered off. We still
continued advancing in pursuit, and now were fairly in for it, half
choked with dust and sulphur. If it be asked, how far I personally
contributed to the triumphs of that glorious day, I beg leave to
answer:--Unquestionably my arm performed prodigies of valour; of
that there neither is, nor can be, the shadow of a doubt. But as I
should have felt it extremely difficult to give a distinct account
of my exploits if questioned on the day, why, of course you won't
expect it now, after the lapse of six-and-thirty years. Suffice it
to say, we made good our footing on the platform, drove the enemy
from their position, occupied it ourselves, took possession of
their redoubts, and formed, with the rest of the British forces,
on the summit of the heights. The day was our own. But there was
one unfortunate circumstance to damp our exultation; Cousin Tom was
missing. A sergeant now informed me he was wounded, and had gone to
the rear.


As victory had crowned our efforts, and my valuable services were
now no longer required, I determined to look for Cousin Tom, and
walked down the hill for that purpose. At its base, I entered a long
thicket or shrubbery. There, amongst the trees, I found several
wounded men, whom their comrades were removing off the ground.
No one could give me the information that I sought; no one knew
anything of Cousin Tom. Saw a sergeant sitting on a bank, who, I
soon discovered, was also wounded. He knew no such officer; had seen
no one answering the description. "What's your injury, sergeant?"

"A musket-ball in my ankle, sir."

"Well, but hadn't I better help you to a place of shelter?"

"Much obliged to you, sir; but I couldn't walk, even with your
support. I'd rather wait till my turn comes to be carried, if you've
no objections, sir. Much obliged to you, equally all the same, sir."

"As you please. Can I render you any assistance? What can I do for

"If you'd have the kindness, sir, perhaps you'd be so good and take
off my gaiter. I can't take it off myself, sir, though I've tried;
it does hurt me so when I stoop forward. I'm afraid the bleeding
will spoil it, sir; and then I shall be forced to take out a new

Having performed this office, and administered a little brandy both
topically and constitutionally, I once more ascended the hill,
thinking it possible Cousin Tom might be somewhere nearer the scene
of action. I inquired and looked in every direction, but without
success. Where are you, Cousin Tom? This time my steps brought me
into one of the redoubts, which had been carried by our troops.
When I entered, there were not a dozen men in it. Sunset was near,
and everything over for the day. Yet just at that moment, for what
reason I know not, perhaps for a freak, the enemy thought fit to
open upon this all but unoccupied post, from their own lines nearer
the city, with a heavy fire of shot and shell. Bang went a shell,
knocking up bushels of earth and mire. Plump came a round-shot,
into the mud parapet of the redoubt. It was no use moving; one
place was as hot as another. So we had nothing to do for it but to
stand still and exchange grins till the pelting was over. I then
took my leave for the evening. The day indeed was drawing to a
close as I descended the hill; and happily I succeeded in reaching
the village, and finding the cottage where Sancho had been left in
charge, just after it became pitch-dark. A cheering light streamed
through the cottage window; and, on entering, I found comfortably
seated by the blazing hearth a veterinary surgeon, who was there in
charge of wounded horses. He very civilly informed me there were
two good beds, so all was right with respect to accommodation;
and, more civilly still, invited me to partake of his supper,
which was boiling on the fire. Not having eaten a morsel since my
early breakfast at Grenade, and having just discovered that I was
enormously hungry, I accepted the invitation with glee, took my
seat, and cast many a glance at the boiling, bubbling, and steaming
kettle. Presently the contents were turned out into a large,
old-fashioned tureen, and displayed to my eager gaze a compound of
various materials, the chief of which were a fowl, and--what d'ye
think?--a pig's heart. Supper excellent. Bed ditto.

Next day early I resumed my search for Cousin Tom, but still,
alas! without success. Went from village to village, inquired
from house to house, searched the whole neighbourhood. Lots of
wounded officers, but not the man I sought. Throughout the day my
search was unsuccessful. Towards night I was passing through a
street of scattered houses, a sort of hamlet, and was beginning to
think of securing a lodging and a dinner. Wolves rouse at sunset;
and I distinctly felt one gnawing at my stomach. At this painful
juncture, much to my satisfaction, at the door of a cottage I
discovered a jolly acquaintance, whom I beg to introduce as my "Fat
Friend." He was one of the smartest clerks amongst our civilians,
and probably the youngest; under, rather than over fifteen; in
short, a chubby boy, who somehow or other had broken away from his
mother's apron-strings, and obtained a post, which he filled in a
way that did him credit. In one respect he was precocious; namely,
that he soon proved himself up to all the waggery and villainy
of headquarters. Moreover, he had a vast idea of maintaining his
importance, and could take his own part; was touchy in anything
that affected his manhood; and, if you offended him, punched your
head; brushed up to fine women, with a marked preference for a
bouncer. Yet, after all, he was but an overgrown boy, and often
afforded us sport by his mannish airs. "Ah, Fatty, is that you? Glad
to see you. Got any room?"

"Plenty, plenty," said Fatty; "good entertainment for man and horse.
Glad to see you; and glad to see the pony. Here, Francisco, take
Sancho, and give him some corn. Come in, old fellow. Sit down, and
make yourself comfortable. Dreadful dull here--horrid! Left in
charge of the departmental boxes."

"I say, Fatty; have you dined?"

"Dined? We dined an hour ago." Fatty saw his advantage, and was
resolved to make the most of it.

"Well, what did you have for dinner? Got any cold beef?"

"Why, where have you been?" said Fatty; "haven't seen you these two
days. Oh, I suppose you got into Toulouse. Lots of fine gals?"

"Answer my question, and I'll answer yours."

"Come out, old fellow. Let's take a turn through village before it
gets dark. Dinner? Why, a turkey. Sorry you were not with us to
partake. Not a morsel left. Picked the old gobbler clean, drumsticks
and all."

"I wish you'd let me send your fellow for some beef."

"Oh yes," said Fatty, "send him by all means. Sorry to inform you
it's no use, though. Not a morsel of rations to be had; not a
biscuit. What, haven't you _dined_?" I saw he meant to have his
joke, so made no reply.

There was a dodge, though; my remedy was in my pocket. Brought out a
cigar, one of my choice grenadiers; struck a light, blew a fragrant
cloud, took it easy. The rich odour diffused itself through the

Fatty, knowing in cigars, soon discovered that mine was no common
weed. He first drew a sniff; then gave utterance to his emotions in
a coaxing and admiring "Oh!" I took no notice.

"Come, old fellow," said Fatty; "hand out one of those."

"Lost your cigar-case?"

"No, no; nonsense. Come, give us one; that's a good chap."

Failing in his request, Fatty sat silent and fidgetty. The first
finished, I lit a second.

Fatty watched his opportunity; made a vicious grab at the case. I
was too quick for him--knew his ways. Down he sat again; tried all
the varieties of entreating, threatening, bullying, wheedling, till
cigar the second was burnt out. When I extracted the third, Fatty
could stand it no longer; made a rush, and commenced a ferocious
assault, pitching it in, right and left. The punches came so fierce
and fast, I was at length compelled, in self-defence, to administer
a slight persuader, and Fatty found it convenient to resume his
seat. He sat awhile, sulky and all but blubbering; then hastily
rose, and stalked out of the room in high dudgeon. I presently found
him stationed at the front door with his hands in his pocket, very
pensive and dignified. Shortly after, he slipped into the house;
Francisco appeared with the tablecloth and a bottle of wine; then
came half a turkey and the cold beef. After dinner we clubbed our
resources, and closed the evening with whisky punch and prime cigars.

Next morning early, started afresh in search of Cousin Tom. Near
Toulouse, fell in with Gingham--told him my difficulties. "Come up
the hill," said Gingham; "I'll go with you. There, no doubt, we
shall find your cousin's regiment." On reaching the summit of the
heights, we found our way in the first instance into the Colombette
redoubt; the same in which, on the day of the fight, the brave
Forty-second had been suddenly overwhelmed by a superior force,
and had lost four-fifths of its numbers. Within the redoubt were
standing two or three privates; they belonged to the Forty-second.
The uniform at once reminded me of Corporal Fraser, the trusty
companion of my march to headquarters. I asked one of the privates,
did he know the Corporal. "He joined about three weeks ago, sir."

"Hope he's well. Where is he now?"

"He's there, sir," said the man, pointing to the parapet of the
redoubt. I looked, but saw no one.

"The earth," said Gingham, "seems to have been recently stirred
there. That mound, I think, is not many days old." Then, addressing
the soldier, "your regiment suffered a heavy loss. Is that where you
buried after the action?"

"That's the place, sir." The man then walked away, as if little
disposed for conversation.

We did not pause to calculate how many bodies would fill a space
commensurate with the length, breadth, and altitude of the soil
displaced. There lay the slain of a gallant regiment, in the redoubt
they had so nobly won. There lay Corporal Fraser, who, in all the
difficulties of our march, had shown himself trustworthy, fearless,
intelligent, and energetic. He had longed to join ere the day of
combat, and had found a soldier's grave.

We discovered at length the sergeant who had informed me of my
cousin's wound. He now pointed to a large house, near the thicket at
the bottom of the hill. While searching for Cousin Tom on the day of
the fight, I was close to that same house, but without seeing it.
From our present elevated position it was distinctly visible, though
not from the low ground, amongst trees and underwood.

Our approach to the house led us through the thicket. While making
our way among the trees, we both, Gingham and I, came to a halt at
the same instant. The sight which arrested our steps was new to
Gingham, not to me. I saw, on that spot, an object that I had seen
two days before. The sergeant whom I had then found wounded was
still sitting there, on the same bank, in the same attitude! There
he had sat the whole time, overlooked by the bearers, and unable to
move. Viewed at the distance of a few paces, his aspect scarcely
appeared changed. It was the identical figure--I remembered him
at once. But on a nearer inspection, the alteration was but too
manifest. His eye was glazed, and half shut. His face was that of a
corpse. He sat up, like a dead man galvanised. "What, still here,
sergeant? Has nobody come to remove you yet."

He attempted to speak--paused--at length found utterance. "Sorry I
didn't accept your offer, sir." His voice was low and husky, but

"Come," said Gingham, "you mustn't refuse this time. We'll soon
carry you into the house just by."

"Thank you, sir; thank you, gentlemen. Would you have the kindness
though--I should be sorry to lose my gaiter."

The gaiter secured, we prepared to lift the sufferer from his seat,
and he on his part made a feeble effort to rise. The attempt brought
on a gush of pain. For a moment, his features were distorted with
intolerable anguish; the next, he fainted in our arms.

"Now then," said Gingham, thrusting back into his sidepocket a small
flask which he had just drawn out. "Now then; away with him at once,
before he recovers. Come, Mr Y----; you take his shoulders, I'll
take his legs. It may save him further pain."

We bore the sufferer, still senseless, to the house. Gingham, not
having a hand to spare, banged at the door with his foot. It was
opened by Mr Staff-surgeon Pledget, who bowed on recognising us, but
looked rather perplexed at the unexpected addition to his duties.

Pledget gave instant directions for the accommodation of the wounded
man, and informed me, in reply to my inquiries for Cousin Tom, that
he had an officer under his care, answering to my description.
Pledget appeared bewildered, and stood with us in the passage a few
moments, without speaking. At length he opened the door of a small
chamber close by, and begged us to enter. He placed chairs for us,
and seated himself on the bed. "I'm rather exhausted," said he.

"I fear after such a fight," said Gingham, "your duties must be
heavy indeed."

"Oh yes," said Pledget, looking distressed and rather wild. "I have
had much work, and little assistance; a long spell, too."

"Why, you began, I suppose," replied Gingham, "early on the day of
the fight."

"Yes," said Pledget; "and I've been at it ever since. Let me see:
two days and two nights, isn't it? Yes, and now going on for the
third. Here have I been operating, bandaging, taking up arteries,
taking off arms and legs, night and day, without time to lie down,
almost without a moment to eat. In fact," said he, looking about the
room like a man lost, "this is the first time I've sat down these
eight-and-forty hours."

Pledget's look bore full testimony to his toils. Three weeks'
illness could hardly have wrought a greater change. Nor was his
appearance mended by his garb. He wore a sort of operating gown
similar to that employed in dissecting; a long pinafore with
sleeves, protecting the whole person from the chin to the feet, tied
round the middle, and closing with a fold behind. The front was
spotted in every part with jets of blood from wounded arteries. Some
of the stains had dried on, and blackened where they dried; others,
more recent, were still moist and crimson. Blood was on his unshaven
and haggard face; and on his hands, too, wore marks of blood.

Gingham eyed him with a look of deep concern. "I really fear," said
Gingham, "you've been quite overdone."

"I did hope, before this," replied Pledget, "to be relieved by other
gentlemen of my own department. I have but one medical assistant,
and he, at this moment, can afford me no help, for I have been
forced to leave him sitting with his finger on a wounded artery; and
if he takes it off but for a few seconds, the major's a dead man."

Pledget now looked like a man that can't remember what's next. "Oh,"
said he, in all absent tone, "so peace is really concluded. Come, Mr
Y----, suppose we go and look for your cousin. His case, I'm happy
to say, is not serious. The ball will be extracted this evening, and
then, I hope, he will do well."

Pledget spoke, but did not stir. "By the bye," he added, "you know
Captain Gabion? I think you do. Oh yes, I recollect; we were all
three fellow-passengers from Lisbon to Falmouth. No, no, what am
I saying? From Falmouth to Lisbon. His case is past hope. He can
hardly live through the night."

Gingham and I rose at once from our seats. For the moment, the
imminent danger of a man we so highly esteemed, expelled from my
thoughts even Cousin Tom. Pledget also rose, as if to lead the way,
but again lapsed into forgetfulness. His mind was evidently worn
out, as well as his body. "Well," said he, "I'm glad we've got
Toulouse.--Gentlemen, I beg your pardon. This way, if you please; up

He led the way. Every open door, as we passed through the spacious
mansion, discovered a room crowded with wounded and dying men, in
beds, or on the ground. Or, if we saw not into the apartment, sounds
were heard, which told of anguish and laceration within. We were
conducted by Pledget into a large room on the first floor, filled,
like the others, with every form of suffering. Some, slightly
wounded, sat round the fire, on which cookery was proceeding in
kettles of every size and shape. One officer, bandaged round the
head, had become delirious. He alternately laughed and whimpered,
muttered and sang. Another sat near him, moaning, with his arm in
a sling. A spent cannon ball had smashed the bones from the elbow
to the wrist, without inflicting an external wound. Every bed had
an occupant; and many lay upon the floor, with only a blanket under
them. My eye glanced round the apartment, and lighted on the pinched
features and pallid visage of Captain Gabion.

He lay on his back in bed. Death was legible in his aspect. His eyes
were all but shut; but, from time to time, a convulsive twitching
of the muscles suddenly expanded them to their full width. To all
appearance, he was perfectly insensible. His breathing was irregular
and laborious; but the expression of his countenance, except when
disfigured by the spasms which occasionally shot through his frame,
and jerked him from head to foot, was, as in health, calm and
dignified. Strange indeed were the vicissitudes, strange was the
contrast, between the rigid tranquillity of one moment, and the
awful distortion of the next. Now, it was the quivering play of
features pulled by muscular contraction; now, the monumental repose
of marble.

"I fear," whispered Gingham to Pledget, "you view the case
unfavourably." Pledget hopelessly raised his eyes.

"The Captain has been insensible," said Pledget, "ever since he was
brought in; and probably will continue so till he expires."

We turned from this sad spectacle, without exchanging a syllable.
A handkerchief was whisked in my face. I looked round; there
was the man I wanted. In the next bed, tucked in, with smiling
face, little changed since we parted, a splendid specimen of the
ugly-handsome--those fellows that make the biggest holes in ladies'
hearts--lay Cousin Tom. Gingham, my object attained, forthwith
took a temporary leave--had urgent business in Toulouse--an
appointment--would return as soon as possible.

"Fine fellow, that" said Cousin Tom, craning round, and nodding at
Captain Gabion.

"Well, Tom," said I; "what's the matter with YOU? What brought YOU

"Oh, not much; nothing," replied Tom, curling out his lips
contemptuously, like a disappointed man; "only a musket-shot. It
won't get me a step, I'm afraid; no, nor a pension neither."

"Well, but how was it? When was it? We lost you in a moment."

"I'll tell you just how it happened," said Tom. "You saw the old
colonel knocked over. Ah! Don't touch the bed; that's a good fellow.
Well. Directly after, you know, we charged. I was running on; felt
a smart crack in the small of my leg. Thought it was a stone; took
no notice. A few paces further, though, found I couldn't walk. The
sergeant looked at my leg; said 'You're wounded, sir.' Wounded I
was, sure enough; and disabled, too. Got carried to the rear; placed
myself in the doctor's--"

Here Tom suddenly knit his brows. His colour changed in an instant
from florid to livid; his whole face was distorted with pain.
Clapping his handkerchief to his mouth, he chewed away at it with
all his might, while big drops of sweat started out on his forehead,
and he drew in breath till the bedclothes heaved. Next moment he was
himself again.

Once more Tom nodded at the next bed. "Known him long? The doctor
knows him."

"We came over from England, all three of us in a ship."

"Doctor was out, though, in one thing," said Cousin Tom. "Told you
he was insensible ever since he came in. No such thing; this morning
he revived; for about an hour seemed quite himself. Told me how he
got hit."

"Then tell me. I must communicate with his friends in England."

"Well," replied Tom, "the Captain wasn't on duty here at
headquarters; was doing some field-works on the left bank of the
river, to be ready for Soult in case of his bolting again for the
south. He heard, though, that the fight was coming off; so rode
in on the morning. Found out there was to be a flank movement to
the left; thought he might as well explore the line of march; went
forward alone. Passed through the thicket on foot; made his way
from one end to the other. When he reached the further extremity,
just where our men got such a pounding afterwards from the guns
on the heights, he looked out for the enemy's skirmishers; saw no
one; thought he might as well go a little further. Just then our
batteries at the right opened on the French position; some of our
shots flew too high, and came clean over the hill into the lane,
just exactly where he was standing."--Indeed! I thought of Captain
Gabion's dream.--"Well; he saw one coming; didn't trouble himself;
it seemed spent. Just when he thought it was going to stop, it
fetched a pitch; took him in the side. He was found when our troops
advanced, and brought in here." At this moment the pain returned.
Tom again made wry faces, took another chew at his handkerchief, and
soon recovered as before.

"Well, Tom; I'm a leisure man. What can I do for you? Is there
anything you want?--anything I can get you?"

Cousin Tom looked very much as if there was something he did want,
yet was backward to speak. "Why," said he, "I suppose by this time
you can get into Toulouse. I wish you would make inquiries; try
and find me some--But never mind; it's of no use. The ball will be
extracted this evening, and to-morrow I shall go in myself."

"Nonsense, nonsense; I'll go this instant."

"Don't be too sure of that, though," said Tom. "Yesterday morning
I tried it. Told the servant to have my mule ready; got my things
on while the doctor was sawing away on the other floor; slipped
down stairs; gave him the go-by. Mounted--rode to the top of the
hill--was riding down into the city--almost rode into a French

"No fear of that now, Tom; the city is ours. I saw the French troops
marching out. Come, tell us, old fellow. What is it you fancy?
Anything the doctor sanctions, you know. A quarter of mutton?--a
dozen of pigeons?--some prime French sausages?--a bushel or so of
oysters? What do you say to a brace of biddies?"

"Oh, no!--oh, no!" said Tom, as if the very mention of biddies made
him sick. "We were always in advance; got fowls and turkeys till we
hated the sight of them."

"Any dish from a French cuisine, then?"

"Oh, no--oh, no! Nothing French, nothing Frenchified. What I
want, if it's to be got at all, is not to be got good, except in
England--or the West Indies."

"Well, but, you know, Bordeaux is open; West India produce has come
into the country by ship-loads. What is it? Come, just tell us, old
chap, and I'll go and get it for you at once, if it's to be had in

Tom was not so well as he looked; and there was evidently something
for which, like other sick persons, he was inwardly pining. Now that
I had held out a prospect of its attainment, his cheek flushed, and
his eye gleamed with feverish eagerness.

"Well, then," said Tom, "I wish you would try and get me--but it's
no use; it's a shame to bother you.--I say, though, can you spare
the time? Have you really nothing to do? Upon your honour?--I've
been longing for them, day and night, ever since I got here. Oh, if
you could only get me--some tamarinds!"

His eye, while he spoke, fixed full on mine. He watched my
countenance with the anxiety of a dying man when he makes his last
request. "I'll be off and try this instant," said I, though really
fearing there was little chance of success.

"Oh, thank you--thank you!" cried Cousin Tom. I was going.
"Here--here! Come back! I want to speak to you!" I returned. "Old
fellow," said Tom, with a coaxing, eager grin, "make haste now, will
you? Bring 'em directly--that's a good chap."

"Well, but, you know--if tamarinds can't be had for love or money,
is there nothing else?"

"No, stupid--no! Tamarinds, I say; get me some tamarinds. What did
I tell you? Didn't I tell you tamarinds? Now then; what are you
waiting for? Cut away, and be hanged to you! Be off!--be off!"

I entered the ancient and very interesting city of Toulouse, and
rushed through streets choked with cars of wounded men, in search
of tamarinds. The search was tedious, and far from satisfactory.
I inquired at all the likeliest shops; found only two where
they professed to sell tamarinds. The samples were similar: a
made-up, sticky mess; a black, nauseous electuary, with a beastly
pharmaceutical odour, and barely the flavour of tamarinds.

It was no pleasant thought returning to poor Tom with a big gallipot
of this filthy compound stowed in each of my coat pockets. Yet,
though bad thus to baulk him, it was worse to keep him in suspense;
so I started on my return with all speed, and, in my speed, came
full butt against a passenger, who hugged me like a wrestler, to
prevent a mutual capsize.

"Well, Mr Y----! Glad to see you so active. Something of importance,
no doubt: official duty, I suppose."

It was Gingham! I told him my troubles, my pursuit in behalf of
Cousin Tom, and my disappointment. Had searched all Toulouse, and
could find no good tamarinds.

"Shall be happy to supply you," said Gingham, "in any quantity your
cousin can require. Got a whole kegful--capital. Always take some
with me when I visit the Continent. Got them on Fish-street Hill."
We walked off forthwith to Gingham's quarters.

I was speedily on my return to Cousin Tom, with Gingham for
my companion, and a good jar of prime, sweet, wholesome,
unsophisticated tamarinds. On approaching Tom's bed, I held up the
jar in triumph. Tom raised himself without saying a word, tucked his
handkerchief under his chin, and sat up, poor fellow, like a child,
with eyes half-closed and mouth half-open, eager to be fed. In went
a spoonful. The next instant--bolt!--it was gone! What a swallow! He
sat as before, ready for another. A second allowance vanished with
equal speed. Down it goes! Why, it's like feeding a young rook!--Tom
now laid himself down again, exhausted. "Here," said he; and made me
a present of a handful of tamarind stones. "Now put a good lot in
that jug, and fill it up with water."

While the drink was mixing, an unusual sound called our attention to
the adjoining bed. Captain Gabion was fast sinking. His respiration,
laborious from the first, had now become painfully audible; in
fact, he did not breathe, he gasped. The convulsive movements had
ceased. His face retained its natural expression; but there was that
in his look which told us he was a dying man. I felt at the moment
an impression,--He is not insensible! His lips moved. Surely he is
trying to speak! He strove to fix his eyes on us, but could not.
I stooped down, observing his lips again in motion. Yes, he was
speaking. I caught only the words--"On the platform."

"The Calvinet platform?" I whispered in reply. "Is that the spot
where you wish--?"

Feebly, tremulously he pressed my hand, which had just before taken
his. I had caught his last request, then; a grave on the summit of
Mount Rave, the key of the French position, where the table-land,
crowned with redoubts, had been carried by our troops. His breathing
became gradually feebler and less perceptible. The moment when it
ceased entirely, no one present could determine. This only was
evident:--a minute before, he had given signs of life; and now, he
had passed into another world!

Cousin Tom's bullet was extracted the same afternoon, with immediate
relief to the patient. During the operation I was present, by Tom's
request; and friendship, let me tell you, has more pleasing duties
than that of attending on such emergencies. Tom, however, made it as
agreeable as he could. Throughout the process he viciously stared
me full in the face, grinning most horribly from time to time, half
in agony, half in fun. When the forceps was produced, he caught a
glimpse of that terrific implement, and twisted his ugly mug into
such a comical grimace, that mine, spite of the solemnity of the
occasion, was screwed into a smile. Tom thereupon clenched his fist,
with a look that said ferociously, "Laugh again, and I'll punch your

The bullet, doctor, had lodged between the bones of the leg, a
little above the ankle, and, I need not inform you, came out
rather flattened. Tom kept it as a bijou, in a red morocco case
made express by an artist in Toulouse. Tom called it his pill-box.
Neither bone was broken; but the strain of this disagreeable
visitant wedged in between them, and rending them apart, had
occasioned from time to time those awful twinges, which Tom assuaged
by taking a chew at his handkerchief. The enemy removed, he not only
found himself in a state of comparative ease, but was relieved from
the constitutional irritation which had begun to manifest itself
by hardness of pulse, dryness of the mouth, parched lips, a dull,
hectic, brickdust-coloured patch on each cheek, a feverish lustre of
the eye, and an enormous appetite for tamarinds.

The operation, though, I ought to have said, was not performed
by Pledget, but by another army surgeon, who had arrived in the
course of the day, not before he was wanted. Poor Pledget was quite
done up. His powers, both mental and physical, had evidently been
over-taxed. He looked haggard and wild. Yet still, though relieved,
anxious about his cases, he wandered from room to room, and fidgeted
from one patient to another; standing a while in silence, with his
hands behind him, first by an amputation, then by a wounded artery,
then by a contusion, then by a broken head; while his care-worn
countenance expressed pleasure or pain, according to the symptoms.
As Cousin Tom was now in a dreadful fuss to be off for Toulouse,
Gingham and I applied to the newly-arrived surgeon, and consulted
him as to the removal.

"I think, gentlemen," said he, "if no bad symptoms supervene in the
night, it may safely be effected to-morrow; that is, of course, with
proper care and precautions."

"You are not afraid, sir," said Gingham, "that to-morrow may be too
early a day, then?"

"Why, sir, to say the truth," replied the doctor, "if we had more
room here, better accommodations, and a less vitiated atmosphere,
I should say a later day would be better. But, under existing
circumstances, less evil, I think, is likely to arise from the
patient's removal, than from his remaining. In his case, what we
now have most to look to, is the general health. Keep that right,
and the wound, I hope, will do well. Therefore the sooner he is
withdrawn from the bad air, and the associations which surround him
here, the better for him." The doctor paused.--"Pray, sir," said he,
looking Gingham full in the face, as though intuitively knowing he
spoke to a real good fellow, "pray, sir, if you will permit me to
ask the question, is Mr Pledget a friend of yours?"

"There are few men, sir," replied Gingham, "for whom I have a higher
regard, than for Mr Pledget."

"Well, sir," said the doctor, "I feel rather uneasy about him. It's
a delicate thing to speak about. But you yourself must have noticed
how changed he is, by the labours of the last three days. In short,
to speak plainly, he requires to be looked after; and just at this
time, with so many wounded upon our hands, I hardly know whether we
could possibly give him the attention here which his case requires.
If it is neglected now, it may become serious. Would it be asking
too much, if I requested you to take charge of him into Toulouse?"

"Take him with us this instant, sir," said Gingham; "or when you
please. If you approve, I'll have him with me in my own quarters."

"I really, sir, feel obliged to you," said the doctor. And the
doctor looked as if he spoke from his heart. "Hope you understand,
though, what it is you are taking on your shoulders. For a few
days--not longer, I hope--he will require vigilant superintendence,
and, possibly, slight control. His case demands firmness, and
indulgence at the same time."

"Yes, sir, I understand," said Gingham. "Shall he go with us now?"

"I would rather have him under my eye," said the doctor, "till
to-morrow morning. Perhaps a night's rest may effect a favourable
change. In the interval, too, I shall have time to prepare his mind
for the removal." So it was settled.

The next morning we returned to the chateau, for the purpose of
bringing in Pledget and Cousin Tom. Tom's patience, though, had not
lasted out till our arrival. At sunrise, again giving the doctor
the go-by, he had got on his things, crept down stairs, mounted his
mule, and taken himself off. In fact, he had got into Toulouse,
obtained a billet, and, snugly located in a respectable French
family, was prattling the vernacular, which he had at his fingers'
ends, before we arrived at the chateau to fetch him.

It only remained, therefore, to remove Pledget. He, poor man, though
all the better for a night's rest and a clean shirt, still looked
very unlike himself. He had rested, indeed, but he had not slept;
and his medical colleague hinted to Gingham, ere we departed, that
the case still required vigilance and care. The state of Pledget's
mind, at this time, was singular; he had all at once become
excessively ceremonious. When we reached the garden gate he drew up;
insisted that we should both precede him in going out. Had Gingham
and I been equally punctilious, we should not have reached Toulouse
by dinner-time.

Gingham had a matter upon his mind. Captain Gabion having expressed
a last wish respecting his funeral, Gingham had undertaken the whole
details, and some arrangements had been necessary at the chateau,
or our departed friend would speedily have been consigned, on the
spot, to a ready-made grave. Gingham mentioned the subject as we
rode along, and began stating what steps he had taken. Pledget, who
was ambling side by side with us on his mule, suddenly fell behind.
Coosey, previously admonished by Gingham, kept still further in the
rear. We waited till Pledget came up.

"Why, Mr Pledget," said Gingham, "I thought we had lost you, sir."

"Excuse me, sir," said Pledget, with gravity; "you are making a
confidential communication. Part of it I unintentionally overheard.
For this, an apology is due to both of you. Gentlemen, I most humbly
beg your pardon."

We rode on. Presently, Pledget edged up alongside of me, as though
he had something important to communicate.

"Mr Y----," said he, "I consider it the first duty which one
gentleman owes another, to avoid giving him needless offence." Not
exactly perceiving to what this observation tended, I could only bow
my acquiescence.

"But if," continued Pledget, "an offence is actually given, then I
conceive the next duty is to make reparation by a humble apology."
Apology, it was evident, was now the uppermost idea in poor
Pledget's mind.

"Well, sir," said I, seeking to divert his thoughts, "I think, in
such a case, regard should be had to the feelings of both parties.
And, judging by my own, I should say that, next to making an
apology, there are few things one would more wish to avoid than
receiving one."

"And accordingly," said Gingham, "in the intercourse of gentlemen,
it rarely, very rarely occurs, that an actual apology is deemed
requisite. To signify an intention, to express a willingness to
apologise, is in most cases thought amply satisfactory. Manly
feeling forbids the rest; and honour itself exacts no more." Pledget
rode on awhile, absorbed in thought.

"Mr Y----," he said at last, "I appreciate your sentiments, as well
as Mr Gingham's; and I perceive their drift. Allow me to say it,
your conduct is most generous. I really feel that you have just
cause to complain of mine; and, if it would pain you to receive
the apology, which is your due, allow me at least to express my
_willingness_, and, believe me, it was my _intention_, to apologise."

"Mr Pledget, my dear sir, what possible need of apology between
you and me? What offence has been given or received? I know of
none--never dreamt of any."

"Very handsome of you to say so, Mr Y----," replied Pledget. "But
what could be more inconsiderate than my conduct yesterday morning?
You _must_ have felt it; I know you did. You came to me with an
anxious inquiry respecting your wounded cousin; I spoke to you of
Captain Gabion. It was wrong, I own. Nay, not merely wrong, it was
unfeeling. I trust you will bear in mind my peculiar circumstances
at the time. I was overwhelmed, perplexed, bewildered, I----"

Gingham now saw it was high time to interpose, and with much
adroitness gave a new turn to the conversation. But ere we were
housed in Toulouse, Pledget, addressing us alternately, and
continually discovering fresh grounds of self-accusation, had made
two or three more apologies.

For a few days, sedulously and most kindly tended by Gingham, who
managed him admirably, and evinced equal tact and delicacy, Pledget
continued in a state of alternate depression and excitement, with
occasional hallucinations. He made apologies to all who came near
him; and, ere he quitted Gingham's quarters, had begged pardon,
again and again, of every servant in the household. From my first
conversation with Gingham on the steps of the hotel at Falmouth, I
always valued his acquaintance. But when I had seen him in this his
new character as Pledget's nurse, wise, thoughtful, vigilant, and
indulgent, I really grew proud of such a friend.

Within a week Pledget was almost himself again; and long before he
quitted Toulouse, to embark for England at Bordeaux, he was fully
and permanently restored.

Cousin Tom's, though, was a business of more time. He begged or
borrowed a formidable sapling, with a knob as big as his fist,
and was soon able to hobble about Toulouse, very much to his own
satisfaction. But the bones of his leg had been injured, though not
broken; and it was long before the wound got well, if it ever did.
I was with him many months after in London, when the Medical Board
sat to award gratuities and pensions to the wounded and disabled
officers of the Peninsular Army. Lucky, then, did the wight esteem
himself who had lost a limb or an eye. Tom was waiting for his
turn to go before the Board; I saw him two days previously. His, I
feared, was only a case for a gratuity; but Tom was determined to go
for a pension, and made sure of getting it. I ventured to express
my doubts; Tom whipped off his half-boot, turned down his sock, and
exclaimed triumphantly, "Look at that!" The wound was clean, but
looked fresh; much, indeed, as it appeared two days after the fight
when the bullet was extracted, and still big enough to re-admit
it. "If the Board don't give me a pension," cried Tom, "for such a
punch as that, why, all I can say is, they deserve to be punched
themselves." Saw him again after the inspection. "It's no go," said
Tom; "I tried hard for it, too. Got up early in the morning--slapped
twice round the Park at a swinging pace. When I went before them it
was red all about, a couple of inches. The flinty-hearted villains
gave me only a gratuity, though it bled while they were looking at

At an early day after Pledget's and Tom's removal, we assembled
at the chateau, on an occasion in which we all felt a melancholy
interest--the funeral of Captain Gabion. The military arrangements,
of course, did not rest with us; Gingham had made every provision
which was left to his care with equal liberality and propriety.
Gingham also, no chaplain being present, officiated at the grave. He
read the service with great devoutness and solemnity. The procession
was joined, as we ascended the hill, by a mounted officer, a major
of the artillery, who, during the whole of the service, seemed lost
in thought, and stood with his eyes fixed upon the coffin till it
was lowered into the grave. The whole concluded, he approached and
shook hands with Gingham and myself, spoke a few hurried words, took
a hasty leave, mounted, and rode away. Gingham and I waited by the
grave till all was filled in and made right; we then walked down
together towards the city, both for some time silent. I spoke first.

"Wouldn't it be right to communicate with the friends? I think
they ought to know the exact position of the grave, and also the
particulars which I got from my cousin."

"Why, yes," said Gingham; "it would, I think, be as well to give
them all the information you can. I have already written to the


_Mémoires d'outre Tombe._ Par M. LE VICOMTE DE CHATEAUBRIAND. Tom.
v. vi. vii. viii. et ix. Paris: 1849.

The great and honourable feature of Chateaubriand's mind, amidst
some personal weaknesses, is its noble and disinterested character.
It differs from what we see around us, but it differs chiefly in
superior elevation. It united, to a degree which perhaps will
never again be witnessed, the lofty feelings of chivalry, with the
philanthropic visions of philosophy. In the tribune he was often a
Liberal of the modern school; but in action he was always a paladin
of the olden time. His fidelity was not to prosperity, but to
adversity; his bond was not to the powerful, but to the unfortunate;
reversing the revolutionary maxim, he brought the actions of public
men to the test, not of success, but of disaster. He often irritated
his friends when in power by the independence of his language,
but he never failed to command the respect of his enemies when in
adversity, by his constancy to misfortune. "Vive le roi quand-même,"
ever became his principle when the gales of adversity blew, and the
hollow-hearted support of the world began to fail. Prosperity often
saw him intrepid, perhaps imprudent in expression, but misfortune
never failed to exhibit him generous and faithful in action; and
his fidelity to the cause of royalty was never so strikingly
evinced as when that cause in France was most desperate. He was
the very antipodes of the hideous revolutionary tergiversation of
Fontainebleau. A pilgrim in this scene of trial, he was ever ready,
after having attained the summit of worldly grandeur, to descend
at the call of honour; and, resuming his staff and scrip, to set
out afresh on the path of duty. He was fitted to be the object of
jealousy and spite to kings and ministers in power, whose follies
he disdained to flatter or to overlook their vices, and of eternal
admiration to the great and the good in every future age, whose
hearts his deeds not less than his words will cause to throb. Such a
character might pass for fabulous or imaginary, were it not clearly
evinced, not only by words, but actions; not only in the thoughts of
genius, but in the deeds of honour. His life, and the feelings by
which it was regulated, are well worth examining, although we fear
he will find but few imitators in these days, and is more likely, in
a utilitarian and money-seeking age, to be classed with the mammoth
and mastodon, as a species of existence never again to be seen in
this world.

A character of this description naturally became enamoured of awful
or heartstirring events, and was ever ready to find a friend in
those capable of noble or heroic deeds in the ranks even of his
enemies. Both qualities are evinced in the following graphic account
of the appearance of the Grand Army when it arrived at Smolensko
during the Moscow retreat:--

     "On the 9th November, the troops at length reached Smolensko.
     An order of Buonaparte forbade any one to enter before the
     posts had been intrusted to the Imperial Guard. The soldiers
     on the outside were grouped in great numbers round the foot of
     the walls: those within were under cover. The air resounded
     with the imprecations of those who were shut out. Clothed in
     dirty Cossack cloaks, horse-cloths, and worn-out blankets, with
     their heads covered with old carpets, broken helmets, ragged
     shakos, for the most part torn by shot, stained with blood, or
     hacked in pieces by sabre-cuts--with haggard and yet ferocious
     countenances, they looked up to the top of the ramparts gnashing
     their teeth, with the expression of those prisoners who, under
     Louis the Fat, bore in their right hand their left cut off: you
     would have taken them for infuriated _masques_, or famished
     madmen escaped from Bedlam. At length the Old and Young Guard
     arrived, they were quickly admitted into the place which had
     been wasted by conflagration on occasion of our first passage.
     Loud cries of indignation were immediately raised against the
     privileged corps. 'Is the army to be left nothing but what it
     leaves?' was heard on all sides. Meanwhile the household troops,
     who had been admitted, rushed in tumultuous crowds to the
     magazines like an insurrection of spectres: the guards at the
     doors repulsed them; they fought in the streets: the dead, the
     wounded encumbered the pavements, the women, the children, the
     dying filled the waggons. The air was poisoned by the multitude
     of dead bodies; even old soldiers were seized with idiocy or
     madness; some whose hair stood on end with horror, blasphemed,
     or laughed with a ghastly air and fell dead. Napoleon let his
     wrath exhale in imprecations against a miserable commissary,
     none of the orders given to which had been executed.

     "The army, a hundred thousand strong when it left Moscow, now
     reduced to thirty thousand, was followed by a band of fifty
     thousand stragglers; there were not eighteen hundred horsemen
     mounted. Napoleon gave the command of them to M. de Latour
     Maubourg. That officer, who had led the cuirassiers to the
     assault of the great redoubt of Borodino, had had his head
     almost cleft asunder by the stroke of a sabre; he afterwards
     lost a leg at Dresden. Perceiving his servant in tears when
     the operation was over, he said to him, 'Why do you weep? you
     will have only one boot to clean.' That general, who remained
     faithful to misfortune, became the preceptor of Henry V. in the
     first years of the exile of that prince. I lift my hat in his
     presence, as in that of the Incarnation of Honour."--_Memoirs_,
     vi. p. 116, 118.

As Chateaubriand had declined office, and narrowly escaped death in
consequence, when Napoleon murdered the Duke d'Enghien, his life,
from that period to the Restoration of the Bourbons, was one of
retirement and observation. The important part which he took in
the Restoration, by the publication of his celebrated pamphlet _De
Buonaparte et des Bourbons_, restored him to political life. The
effect produced by that work was immense, and the placing of the
ancient race of monarchs on the throne was in a great degree owing
to it; for, at a crisis when the intentions of the Allies were yet
undecided, and Austria openly supported the strong party in France
which inclined for a regency with Marie Louise at its head, it
swelled immensely the numbers of the decided Royalists, and gave a
definite and tangible object to their hitherto vague and divided
aspirations. It was written with prodigious rapidity, and bears
marks of the haste of its composition in the vehemence of its ideas
and the occasional exaggeration of its assertions; but it was the
very thing required for a national crisis of unexampled importance,
when every hour was fraught with lasting consequences, and every
effort of genius was required for laying the foundation of a new
order in European society. Of the first conception and subsequent
completion of this remarkable work he gives the following account:--

     "I had been permitted to return to my solitary valley. The earth
     trembled under the footsteps of stranger armies: I wrote like
     the last Roman, amidst the din of barbarian invasion. During
     the day, I traced lines as agitated as the events which were
     passing: at night, when the roar of cannon was no longer heard
     in my solitary woods, I returned to the silence of the years
     which sleep in the tomb, and to the peace of my earlier life.
     The agitated pages which I wrote during the day, became, when
     put together, my pamphlet _On Buonaparte and the Bourbons_. I
     had so high an idea of the genius of Napoleon, and the valour of
     our soldiers, that the idea of a foreign invasion, successful
     in its ultimate results, never entered into my imagination; but
     I thought that such an invasion, by making the French see the
     dangers to which the ambition of Napoleon had exposed them,
     would lead to an interior movement, and that the deliverance of
     the French would be the work of their own hands. It was under
     that impression that I wrote my notes, in order that, if our
     political assemblies should arrest the march of the Allies,
     and separate themselves from a great man who had become their
     scourge, they should know to what haven to turn. The harbour
     of refuge appeared to me to be in the ancient authority, under
     which our ancestors had lived during eight centuries, but
     modified according to the changes of time. During a tempest,
     when one finds himself at the gate of an old edifice, albeit in
     ruins, he is glad to seek its shelter."--Vol. vi. p. 196, 197.

Madame de Chateaubriand, in a note, has described the circumstances
under which this memorable pamphlet was written, and the morbid
anxiety with which she was devoured during its composition:--

     "Had the pages of that pamphlet been seized by the police, the
     result could not have been a moment doubtful: the sentence
     was the scaffold. Nevertheless the author was inconceivably
     negligent about concealing it. Often, when he went out, he left
     the sheets on the table: at night he only placed them under his
     pillow, which he did in presence of his valet--an honest youth,
     it is true, but who might have betrayed him. For my part, I
     was in mortal agonies: whenever M. de Chateaubriand went out,
     I seized the manuscript, and concealed it on my person. One
     day, in crossing the Tuileries, I perceived I had it not upon
     me, and being sure I had it when I went out, I did not doubt
     that I had let it fall on the road. Already I beheld that fatal
     writing in the hands of the police, and M. de Chateaubriand
     arrested. I fell down in swoon in the garden, and some
     kind-hearted person carried me to my house, from which I had
     only got a short distance. What agony I endured when, ascending
     the stair, I floated between terror, which now amounted almost
     to a certainty, and a slight hope that I might have forgot the
     pamphlet. On reaching my husband's apartment, I felt again ready
     to faint: I approached the bed--I felt under the pillow; there
     was nothing there: I lifted the mattress, and there was the
     roll of paper! My heart still beats every time I think of it.
     Never in my life did I experience such a moment of joy. With
     truth can I say, my joy would not have been so great if I had
     been delivered at the foot of the scaffold, for it was one who
     was more dear to me than life itself whom I saw rescued from
     destruction."--Vol. vi. p. 206, 207.

On the entrance of Louis XVIII. into Paris, on the 3d May 1814, the
Allied sovereigns, from a feeling of delicacy to that monarch, gave
orders that none but French troops should appear in the procession.
The Old Guard lined the streets next the palace, and Chateaubriand
gives the following account of the way in which they received him:--

     "A regiment of infantry of the Old Guard kept the ground, from
     the Pont Neuf to Notre Dame, along the Quai des Orfures. I
     do not believe that human figures ever expressed anything so
     menacing and so terrible. These grenadiers, covered with wounds,
     so long the terror of Europe, who had seen so many thousand
     bullets fly over their heads, who seemed to smell of fire and
     powder--these very men, deprived of their leader, were forced
     to salute an old king, enfeebled by time and not combats,
     guarded by an army of Russians, Austrians, and Prussians, in the
     conquered capital of Napoleon! Some, shaking their heads, made
     their huge bearskins fall down over their eyes, so as not to
     see what was passing: others lowered the extremities of their
     mouths, to express their contempt and rage: others, through
     their mustaches, let their teeth be seen, which they gnashed
     like tigers. When they presented arms, it was with a gesture
     of fury, as if they brought them down to the charge. The sound
     they made with the recover was like thunder. Never, it must be
     admitted, had men been subjected to such a trial, or suffered
     such a punishment. If, in that moment, they had been called
     to vengeance, they would have exterminated the last man, or
     perished in the attempt.

     "At the extremity of the line was a young hussar on horseback,
     with his drawn sabre in his hand; his whole body literally
     quivered with a convulsive movement of wrath. He was deadly
     pale; his eyes rolled round in the most frightful manner; he
     opened his mouth alternately and shut it, grinding his teeth,
     and uttering inarticulate cries of rage. He cast his eyes on a
     Russian officer: no words can express the look which he gave
     him. When the carriage of the King passed before him, he made
     his horse leap forward, it was easy to see that he withstood
     with difficulty the temptation to precipitate himself on his

     "The Restoration, at its very outset, committed an irreparable
     fault. It should have disbanded the army, preserving only the
     marshals, generals, military governors, and officers, in their
     rank, pay, and appointments. The soldiers, in this manner, would
     have gradually re-entered their ranks, as they have since done
     into the Royal Guard; but they would have done so isolated from
     each other. The legitimate monarch would no longer have had
     arrayed against him the soldiers of the empire in regiments and
     brigades, as they had been during the days of their glory, for
     ever talking to each other of times past, and comparing the
     conquests of Napoleon with their inglorious inactivity under
     their new master.

     "The miserable attempt to reconstruct the _Maison Rouge_, that
     mixture of the military men of the old monarchy and the soldiers
     of the new empire, only augmented the evil. To suppose that
     veterans famous on a hundred fields of battle should not be
     shocked at seeing young men--brave without doubt, but for the
     most part unaccustomed to the use of arms--to see them wear,
     without having earned or deserved, the marks of high military
     rank, was to be ignorant of the first principles of human
     nature."--Vol. vi. p. 311-313.

  [3] Having ourselves seen the Old Guard on this trying occasion,
  we can vouch for the general fidelity of Chateaubriand's

These observations of Chateaubriand's are well founded, and the
last, in particular, is very important; but it may well be doubted
whether, by any measures that could have been adopted, the support
of the army could have been secured, or the dynasty of the Bourbons
established on a secure foundation. It was the fact of their
having been replaced by the bayonets of the stranger which was the
insurmountable difficulty; it was national subjugation, the capture
of Paris, which had for ever stained the white flag. This original
sin in its birth attended the Restoration through every subsequent
year of its existence: it was the main cause of the revolution of
1830, and operated with equal force in bringing about the still more
fatal one of 1848. Impatience of repose--a desire to precipitate
themselves on foreign nations--an aversion to the employments and
interests of peace, were the secret but principal causes of these
convulsions. If either Louis XVIII. or Louis Philippe had been young
and warlike princes, and the recollection of Leipsic and Waterloo,
of the invasions of France, and the double capture of its capital,
had not prevented them from engaging in the career of foreign
warfare; if they had been enterprising and _victorious_, they would
have secured the unanimous suffrages of the nation, and continued
the honoured possessors of the throne of France. But this dazzling
though perilous career was denied to Louis XVIII. To him there was
left only the difficult, perhaps the impossible task, of reconciling
irrevocable enmities, of closing irremediable wounds, of appeasing
inextinguishable mortifications. They have been thus set forth in
the eloquent words of genius:--

     "The house of Bourbon was placed in Paris at the Restoration
     as a trophy of the European confederation. The return of the
     ancient princes was inseparably associated, in the public mind,
     with the cession of extensive provinces, with the payment of an
     immense tribute, with the occupation of the kingdom by hostile
     armies, with the emptiness of those niches in which the gods of
     Athens and Rome had been the objects of a new idolatry, with
     the nakedness of those walls on which the Transfiguration had
     shone with a light as glorious as that which overhung Mount
     Thabor. They came back to a land in which they could recognise
     nothing. The Seven Sleepers of the legend, who closed their
     eyes when the Pagans were persecuting the Christians, and woke
     when the Christians were persecuting the Pagans, did not find
     themselves in a world more completely new to them. Twenty years
     had done the work of twenty generations. Events had come thick;
     men had lived fast. The old institutions and the old feelings
     had been torn up by the roots. There was a new church founded
     and endowed by the usurper; a new nobility, whose titles were
     taken from the fields of battle, disastrous to the ancient line;
     a new chivalry, whose crosses had been won by exploits which
     seemed likely to make the banishment of the Emigrants perpetual;
     a new code, administered by a new magistracy; a new body of
     proprietors, holding the soil by a new tenure; the most ancient
     local distinctions effaced, the most familiar names obsolete.
     There was no longer a Normandy, a Brittany, or a Guienne. The
     France of Louis XVI. had passed away as completely as one of the
     Preadamite worlds. Its fossil remains might now and then excite
     curiosity; but it was as impossible to put life into the old
     institutions as to animate the skeletons which are imbedded in
     the depths of primeval strata. The revolution in the laws and
     the form of government was but an outward sign of that mightier
     revolution which had taken place in the minds and hearts of men,
     and which affected every transaction and feeling of life. It was
     as absurd to think that France could again be placed under the
     feudal system, as that our globe could be overrun by mammoths.
     Louis might efface the initials of the Emperor, but he could not
     turn his eyes without seeing some object which reminded him he
     was a stranger in the palace of his fathers."[4]

  [4] MACAULAY'S _Essays_, ii. 230.

As a parallel to this splendid passage, though in an entirely
different style, we gladly give place to a noble burst of
Chateaubriand, on that most marvellous of marvellous events, the
return of Napoleon from Elba. It was natural that so memorable
a revolution should strongly impress his imaginative mind; but
he seems to have exceeded himself in the reflections to which
it gives rise. We know not whether to award the prize to the
Englishman or the Frenchman, in these parallel passages. They are
both masterpieces in their way. Perhaps the correct view is, that
Macaulay is superior in graphic force and the accumulation of
sarcastic images; Chateaubriand in lofty thought and imaginative

     "On the 1st March, at three o'clock in the morning, Napoleon
     approached the coast of France in the Gulf of Juan; he
     disembarked, walked along the shore, gathered a few violets, and
     bivouacked in an olive wood. The inhabitants withdrew in a state
     of stupefaction. He left Antibes to his left, and threw himself
     into the Mountains of Grasse in Dauphiny. At Sisterone the road
     passes a defile where twenty men might have stopped him; he did
     not meet a living soul. He advanced without opposition among the
     inhabitants who the year before had wished to murder him. Into
     the void which was formed around his gigantic shade, if a few
     soldiers entered, they straightway yielded to the attraction of
     his eagles. His fascinated enemies seek him and find him not; he
     shrowds himself in his glory, as the lion in the Sahara desert
     conceals himself in the rays of the sun to dazzle the eyes of
     his pursuers. Enveloped in a burning halo, the bloody phantoms
     of Arcola, Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, Friedland, Eylau, the
     Moskwa, Lützen, and Bautzen, form his cortege amidst a million
     of the dead. From the midst of that column of smoke and flame,
     issue at the gates of towns some trumpet-notes mingled with
     tricolor standards, and the gates fly open. When Napoleon passed
     the Niemen, at the head of four hundred thousand foot, and a
     hundred thousand horse, to blow into the air the palace of the
     Czars at Moscow, he was less wonderful than when, breaking his
     ban, casting his fetters as a gauntlet in the face of kings,
     he came alone from Cannes to Paris, to sleep peaceably in the
     palace of the Tuileries."--Vol. vi. p. 359, 360.

To a mind like that of Chateaubriand, reposing in solitude when
Napoleon was acting with such marvellous effect in the world, the
character and qualities of that wonderful man could not fail to
be a constant object of solicitude and observation. It has been
already noticed that he braved the Emperor in the plenitude of his
power, and essentially contributed, in the crisis of his fate, to
his dethronement, and the re-establishment of the ancient line of
princes. But, as is not unusual with persons of his highly wrought
and generous temper of mind, his hostility to the Emperor declined
with the termination of his authority, and his admiration for his
genius rose with the base desertion of the revolutionary crowd who
had fawned upon him when on the throne. The following observations
on the style of his writings, indicate the growth of this counter
feeling, and are in themselves equally just and felicitous:--

     "His partisans have sought to make of Buonaparte a perfect
     being; a model of sentiment, of delicacy, of morality, and of
     justice--a writer like Cæsar and Thucydides, an orator like
     Demosthenes, a historian like Tacitus. The public discourses of
     Napoleon, his sonorous phrases in the tent and at the council
     board, are the less inspired by the spirit of prophecy, that
     many of the catastrophes which he announced have not been
     accomplished, while the warlike Isaiah himself has disappeared.
     Prophecies of doom which follow without reaching states become
     ridiculous. It is their accomplishment which renders them
     sublime. During sixteen years, Napoleon was the incarnation
     of destiny. Destiny now is mute, and he, too, should be
     so. Buonaparte was not a Cæsar; his education had neither
     been learnedly nor carefully conducted: half a stranger, he
     was ignorant of the first rules of our language, and could
     hardly spell it; but what did it signify, after all, that his
     expression was defective?--he gave the law to the universe. His
     bulletins have the most thrilling of all eloquence--that of
     victory. Sometimes, during the intoxications of success, they
     affected to be written on a drum-head: in the midst of the most
     lugubrious accents, something emerged which excites a smile. I
     have read all that Napoleon has written--the first manuscripts
     of his infancy, his love-letters to Josephine, the five volumes
     of his discourses, bulletins, and orders; but I have found
     nothing which so truly portrays the character of that great
     man, when in adversity, as the following autograph note left at

     "'My heart refuses to share in ordinary joys as ordinary sorrows.

     "'Not having given myself life, I am not entitled to take it

     "'My bad genius appeared to me and announced my end; which I
     found at Leipsic.

     "'I have conjured up the terrible spirit of innovation, which
     will overrun the world.'

     "Certes, there is Napoleon to the very life. His bulletins and
     discourses have often great energy; but it was not his own;
     it belonged to the age; he only adopted it. It sprang from
     the revolutionary energy, which he only weakened by moving in
     opposition to it. Danton said, 'The metal is fused; if you do
     not watch over the furnace, you will be consumed.' St Just
     replied, '_Do it if you dare_.' These words contain the whole
     secret of our Revolution. Those who make revolutions by halves,
     do nothing but dig their own graves."--Vol. vii. p. 101.

Certes, there is Chateaubriand to the very life.

Chateaubriand, as all the world knows, was Minister for Foreign
Affairs to Louis XVIII. at Ghent; adhering thus to his ruling
maxim throughout life, "Fidelity to misfortune." So great were the
services rendered by him to the cause of European freedom, by the
energetic series of papers which he poured forth with unwearied
vigour every week, that there were serious thoughts, after the
battle of Waterloo, of promoting him to the dignity of Prime
Minister. Louis XVIII. openly inclined to it; and if his advice had
prevailed, the catastrophe which fifteen years afterwards befel his
family, would probably have been prevented. But the insuperable
difficulty lay here: the pure and honourable mind of Chateaubriand
revolted from the idea of forming a Ministry in conjunction with
Talleyrand and Fouché; and yet their influence was such that the
monarch, in the first instance at least, was compelled to court
their assistance. Expedience, at least immediate expedience, seemed
to counsel it; but Chateaubriand, animated by higher principles, and
gifted with a more prophetic mind, anticipated no lasting advantage,
but rather the reverse, from an alliance with the arch-regicide
of Nantes, and the arch-traitor who had sworn allegiance to and
betrayed _twelve_ Governments in succession. But the chorus of
"_base unanimities_," as he expresses it, with which the monarch
was surrounded, proved too strong for any single individual, how
gifted soever. Fouché and Talleyrand were taken into power, and
Chateaubriand retired. Of the conversation with Louis XVIII.,
when this vital change was resolved on, he gives the following
interesting account, which proves that that sagacious monarch at
least was well aware of the consequences of the step to which he was
thus involuntarily impelled:--

"Before quitting St Denis, on our way back to Paris, I had an
audience of the King, and the following conversation ensued:

     "'Well?' said Louis XVIII., opening the dialogue by that

     "'Well, sire, you have taken the Duke of Otranto,' (Fouché.)

     "'I could not avoid it; from my brother to the bailie of
     Crussol, (and he at least is not suspected,) all said that we
     could not do otherwise--what think you?'

     "'Sire! the thing is done; I crave permission to remain silent.'

     "'No, no--speak out; you know how I resisted at Ghent.'

     "'In that case, sire, I must obey my orders. Pardon my fidelity:
     I think it is all over with the monarchy.'

     "The King remained some time silent. I began to tremble at my
     boldness, when his Majesty rejoined:--

     "'In truth, M. de Chateaubriand, I am of your opinion.'

     "I bowed and withdrew; and thus ended my connection with the
     Hundred Days."--Vol. vii. 70.

Manzoni has written an ode, known over all Europe, on the double
fall of Napoleon: "The last poet," says Chateaubriand, "of the
country of Virgil, sang the last warrior of the country of Cæsar.

    Tutte ei provo, la gloria
    Maggior dopo il periglio,
    La fuga e la Vittoria,
    La reggia e il triste esiglio:
    Due volte nella polvere,
    Due volte sugli altar.

    Ei se nomo: due secoli,
    L'un contro l'altro armato,
    Sommessi a lui se volsero,
    Come aspettando il fato:
    Ei fe silenzio ed arbitro
    S'assise in mezzo a loro.

     "He proved everything; glory greater after danger, flight, and
     victory: Royalty and sad exile, twice in the dust, twice on the

     "He announced himself: two ages, armed against each other,
     turned towards him, as if awaiting their fate; he proclaimed
     silence, and seated himself as arbiter between them."

Notwithstanding the vehemence of Chateaubriand's dissension with
Napoleon, it cannot be expected that a man of his romantic and
generous temperament would continue his hostility after death.
No one, accordingly, has awarded a more heartfelt or magnanimous
tribute to his memory.

     "The solitude of the exile and of the tomb of Napoleon has shed
     an extraordinary interest, a sort of prestige, over his memory.
     Alexander did not die under the eyes of Greece, he disappeared
     amidst the distant wonders of Babylon. Buonaparte has not died
     under the eyes of France: he has been lost in the gloomy edge
     of the southern horizon. The grandeur of the silence which
     now surrounds him equals the immensity of the noise which his
     exploits formerly made. The nations are absent: the crowd of men
     has retired: the bird of the tropics, 'harnessed,' in Buffon's
     words, 'to the chariot of the sun,' has precipitated itself from
     the star of light--where does it now repose? It rests on the
     ashes of which the weight has all but subverted the globe."

"Imposuerunt omnes sibi diademata post mortem ejus; et multiplicata
sunt mala in terrâ."[5] "They all assumed diadems after his death,
and evils were multiplied on the earth." Twenty years have hardly
elapsed since the death of Napoleon, and already the French and
Spanish monarchies are no more. The map of the world has undergone a
change: a new geography is required: severed from their legitimate
rulers, nations have been thrown against nations: renowned actors on
the scene have given place to ignoble successors: eagles from the
summits of the loftiest pines have plunged into the ocean, while
frail shellfish have attached themselves to the sides of the trunk,
which still stands erect.


     "As in the last result everything advances to its end, '_the
     terrible spirit of innovation which overruns the world_', as
     the Emperor said, and to which he had opposed the barrier of
     his genius, has resumed its course. The institutions of the
     conqueror fail: he will be the last of great existences on the
     earth. Nothing hereafter will overshadow society, parcelled
     out and levelled: the shadow of Napoleon alone will be seen
     on the verge of the old world which has been destroyed, like
     the phantom of the deluge on the edge of its abyss. Distant
     posterity will discern that spectre through the gloom of passing
     events still erect above the gulf into which unknown ages
     have fallen, until the day marked out by Providence for the
     resurrection of social man."--Vol. vii. 169-171.

Assuredly no one can say that Chateaubriand's genius has declined
with his advanced years.

To a man viewing Napoleon with the feelings expressed in these
eloquent words, the translation of his remains from their solitary
resting-place under the willow at St Helena could not but be an
object of regret. He thus expresses himself on that memorable event,
and future ages will probably confirm his opinion:--

     "The removal of the remains of Napoleon from St Helena was a
     fault against his renown. A place of sepulchre in Paris can
     never equal the Valley of Slanes. Who would wish to see the
     Pillar of Pompey elsewhere than above the grave dug for his
     remains by his poor freedman, aided by the old legionary? What
     shall we do with those magnificent remains in the midst of
     our miseries? Can the hardest granite typify the everlasting
     duration of Napoleon's renown? Even if we possessed a Michael
     Angelo to design the statue on the grave, how should we fashion
     the mausoleum? Monuments are for little men, for the great
     a stone and a name. At least they should have suspended the
     coffin from the summit of the triumphal arch which records his
     exploits: nations from afar should have beheld their master
     borne aloft on the shoulders of his victories. Was not the urn
     which contained the ashes of Trajan placed at Rome, beneath
     his column? Napoleon at Paris will be lost amidst the crowd
     of unknown names. God forbid he should be exposed to the
     vicissitudes of our political changes, surrounded though he is
     by Louis XIV., Vauban, and Turenne. Let a certain section of our
     revolutionists triumph, and the ashes of the conqueror will be
     sent to join the ashes which our passions have dispersed. The
     conqueror will be forgotten in the oppressor of our liberties.
     The bones of Napoleon will not reproduce his genius; they will
     only teach his despotism to ignoble soldiers."--Vol. vii. 184,

The Restoration did not immediately employ Chateaubriand. His
anticipations were realised. The chorus of baseness and selfishness
with which the court was surrounded, kept him at a distance. They
were afraid of his genius: they were jealous of his reputation.
Above all, they dreaded his independence. He was not sufficiently
manageable. They were actuated, perhaps not altogether without
reason, by the same feeling which made Lord North say, when urged
to bring Dr Johnson into Parliament, whose great powers in the
political warfare of pamphlets had been so signally evinced on the
side of Government, "No, sir, he is an elephant, but a wild one,
as likely to trample under foot his friends as his enemies." The
veteran statesman, so well versed in the ways of men, was right.
Genius is the fountain of thought: it ultimately rules the councils
and destinies of men; but it generally requires to be tempered by
time before it can be safely introduced into practice.

Chateaubriand enlivens this period of his memoirs, which is neither
signalised by political event nor remarkable literary effort, by
a sort of biography of Madame Recamier, with whom he was on terms
of intimate friendship. This remarkable person, who was beyond all
question the most beautiful and attractive woman of her age in
France, or perhaps in Europe, is now no more; and he appears to
have obtained from her relatives, or perhaps from herself prior to
her decease, not only many curious and highly interesting details
concerning her early years and subsequent history, but a great
variety of original letters from the most eminent men of the age,
who were successively led captive by her charms, but none of whom
appear to have impaired her reputation. In this country, where the
lines of severance between the sexes are much more rigidly drawn,
it would be impossible for a young and beautiful married woman to
be in the habit of receiving the most ardent love-letters from a
great variety of distinguished and fascinating admirers, without
the jealousy of rivals being excited, and the breath of scandal
fastening upon her as its natural prey. But it is otherwise on
the Continent, where, although there is doubtless abundance of
dissoluteness of manners in certain circles, yet in others such
intimacies may exist, which are yet kept within due bounds, and cast
no reflection on the fortunate fair one who sees all the world at
her feet.

Such, at least, appears to have been the case with Madame
Recamier, the intimate friend of Madame de Stael, who said "She
would willingly give all her talents for one half of her beauty;"
and whose powers of fascination were such, that she not only
inspired a vehement passion nearly at the same time, in La Harpe,
Lucien Buonaparte, Murat, Moreau, Bernadotte, Marshal Massena,
Benjamin Constant, Prince Augustus of Prussia, Prince Metternich,
Chateaubriand, and a vast many others, but attracted the particular
notice of Napoleon, and did not escape the vigilant and practised
eye of the Duke of Wellington. The Prince of Prussia would have
married her, if he could have effected her divorce from M. Recamier.
It is one of the worst traits of the Emperor Napoleon's character,
that he was not only so envious of the celebrity of her beauty that
he banished her from Paris to extinguish its fame, but was inspired
with such malignant feelings towards her, from her having rejected
his advances, that he got a law passed which rendered the wives of
persons engaged in commerce responsible in their separate estates
for their husbands' debts; the effect of which was to involve Madame
Recamier, whose husband, a great banker in Paris, failed, in almost
total ruin, in the latter years of her life.

Madame Recamier, whose birth, though respectable, gave her none of
the advantages of rank or opulence, was bred up at the abbey of the
_Desert_, near the confluence of the Rhone and the Saone at Lyons.
Her parents, however, resided at Paris; and they having brought
her home at the age of twelve years, she was at that tender age
married to M. Recamier, a rich banker, almost four times her own
age, whose immense transactions, which entirely absorbed his time
and attention, left him no leisure to attend either to the education
or occupations of his infantine and beautiful wife. But though thus
left to herself, surrounded by admirers, and with every luxury which
wealth could purchase at her command, she was never led astray.
Benjamin Constant, who knew her well from her earliest years, has
left the following interesting portrait of what may be called her
infantine married life:--

     "She whom I paint emerged pure and brilliant from that corrupted
     atmosphere, which elsewhere withered where it did not actually
     corrupt. Infancy was at first her safeguard. Libertinism shrunk
     from approaching the asylum of so much innocence. Removed from
     the world in a solitude embellished by the arts, she spent her
     time in the sweet occupation of those charming and poetical
     studies which usually constitute the delight of a more advanced

     "Often, also, surrounded by her young companions, she abandoned
     herself to the amusements suited to her tender years. 'Swift as
     Atalanta in the race,' she outran all her companions: often,
     in playing Hide-and-seek, she bandaged those eyes which were
     destined one day to fascinate every beholder. Her look, now
     so expressive and penetrating, and which seems to indicate
     mysteries of which she herself is unconscious, then shone only
     with the animated and playful gaiety of childhood. Her beautiful
     hair, which could not be undone without causing emotion, fell
     in natural curls on her shoulders. A hearty and prolonged laugh
     often burst from these infantine circles, but already you
     could perceive in her that fine and rapid observation which
     seizes the salient points of ridicule--that sportive raillery
     which diverted itself without injuring any one: above all,
     that exquisite sense of elegance and propriety, of purity and
     taste, that true nobility of mind, which are given only to a few
     privileged beings.

     "Nevertheless Madame Recamier emerged occasionally from her
     retreat, to go to the theatre or to the public promenades; and
     in those places of general resort her rare appearance was quite
     an event. Every other object in those immense assemblages was
     forgotten: every one precipitated himself upon her steps. The
     fortunate cavalier who attended her could scarcely make his way
     through the crowds which she collected: her steps were at every
     instant impeded by the spectators who crowded around her. She
     enjoyed that success with the gaiety of an infant combined with
     the timidity of a young woman; but the gracious dignity which
     at home restrained the overflowing gaiety of her companions,
     inspired respect in public in the admiring crowd with which she
     was constantly environed. You would say that her air imposed
     restraint equally on her companions and on the public. Thus
     passed the first years of the married life of Madame Recamier,
     between poetical occupation, infantine amusements, and the
     triumph of beauty in the world.

     "But her expanding mind and capacious genius soon required other
     aliment. The instinctive love of the beautiful with which she
     was inspired from her earliest years, made her long for the
     society of men distinguished for the reputation of their talents
     or genius. M. de La Harpe was one of the first who appreciated
     the young woman, around whom were one day to be grouped all
     the celebrated characters of her age. The conversation of that
     young woman of fifteen had a thousand attractions for a man of
     his great acquirements, and whose excessive vanity, with the
     habit of conversing with the ablest men in France, had rendered
     exceedingly difficult to please. He delighted in being her
     guide: he was astonished at the rapidity with which her talent
     supplied the want of experience, and comprehended everything
     which he revealed to her of the world and of men. This was at
     the moment of his celebrated conversion to Christianity. The
     Revolution having rendered infidelity all-powerful, scepticism
     had lost the merit of being opposed to authority, and those whom
     vanity alone had rendered such could in good faith, and without
     compromising their reputation, avow their secret belief."--Vol.
     ix. 118, 121.

Of the unbounded devotion which Madame Recamier in a few years came
to inspire in the breasts of the most distinguished men of her day,
abundant proof is furnished in Chateaubriand's Memoirs. To give only
a few examples, among a host of others which might be cited, Marshal
Massena--a roturier by birth, and certainly not inheriting by
descent any of the feelings of chivalry--yet even he asked a ribbon
from Madame Recamier before he set out for the army of Italy, to
take the command in Genoa, in the siege since so celebrated; and,
having obtained it, he wrote to her the following note some weeks

     "The charming ribbon given by Madame Recamier has been borne by
     General Massena in the battles and the blockades of Genoa: it
     has never left him, and been, in every instance, the harbinger
     of victory."--Vol. viii. 167.

     "There," as Chateaubriand justly observes "the ancient manners
     reappeared athwart the modern manners of which they formed the
     base. The gallantry of the noble chevalier shone forth in the
     plebeian soldier; the memory of the tournaments and of the
     crusades was concealed amidst the blaze of glory with which
     modern France has crowned its old victories."

Lucien Buonaparte, one of her first adorers, addressed her early in
life in these terms:--

     "Till within these few days, I knew you only by renown. I had
     seen you sometimes at church and in the theatres. I knew you
     were the most beautiful: a thousand voices repeated it; and
     your charms had struck without dazzling me. Why has the peace
     rendered me captive? it reigns in our families, but sorrow is in
     my heart.

     "I have seen you since: Jove seemed to smile on your steps.
     Seated on the edge of a fountain, motionless and dreamy, you
     gathered a rose. I addressed you alone: I thought I heard
     a sigh. Vain illusion! I soon saw the tranquil front of
     indifference seated between us. The passion which devoured me
     expressed itself in my words; while yours bore the cruel yet
     amiable stamp of infancy and sport.

     "Be severe, I implore you, for pity's sake. Banish me from your
     presence. Desire me to withdraw from your enchanting society:
     and if I can obey the order, remember only that my heart is for
     ever your own; that no one ever reigned over it as Juliette;
     and that he will ever live with her, at least in memory."--Vol.
     viii. 130.

"For a man of _sangfroid_," says Chateaubriand, "all that is a
little ridiculous." He is right: it is gallantry without passion
which always appears _fade_ and contemptible. It is vehemence
and sincerity which makes sentiment interesting. The Buonapartes
had nothing chivalrous in their breasts: Lucien's letter is very
different from Massena wearing Madame Recamier's ribbon next his
heart amidst the fire of the Austrian cannon. But Chateaubriand
himself had the true spirit of chivalry in his bosom. He thus
recounts one of the last moments which he spent in 1832, late in
life, with Madame Recamier on the banks of the Lake of Constance:--

     "We wandered as chance guided our steps, and sat down beside
     the lake. From a pavilion in the woods arose a concert of the
     harp and the German horns, which ceased as we began to listen
     to them. It was a scene in a fairy tale. As the music did not
     recommence, I read to Madame Recamier my description of the St
     Gothard. She asked me to write something in her pocket-book.
     Immediately below the last words of Rousseau, which were there
     inscribed, 'Open the windows, that I may again see the light
     of the sun,' I wrote, 'What I felt the want of on the Lake of
     Lucerne I have found on the Lake of Constance--the charm and the
     intelligence of beauty. I no longer wish to die like Rousseau; I
     wish, on the contrary, to live long, and behold the sun, if it
     is near you that I am to finish my life. May my days expire at
     your feet, as the waves of which you hear the murmur.' The azure
     light of the setting sun coloured the lake; on the horizon, to
     the south, the snowy alps of the Grisons reflected the ruddy
     glow; the breeze which swept the waves harmonised with their
     ceaseless murmur. We knew not where we were."--Vol. x. 246, 247.

With the accession of a more Liberal Administration under M. de
Martignac, Chateaubriand was taken into power. In 1822 he was sent
as ambassador to London; in 1823 he was made minister of foreign
affairs, and directed the expedition into Spain in that year, which
had so successful a result; and in 1824 he represented France at the
Congress of Verona. He was again, however, chased from the helm by
the jealousy of the Royalists, whose imbecility was rebuked by his
genius; and it was not till 1828 that he was again taken into power,
and appointed to the embassy at Rome. He was there when the Polignac
Administration was appointed.

We must hasten to the most brilliant and honourable period of
Chateaubriand's life, that in which he stood almost alone amidst a
nation's defection, and singly opposed the revolutionary torrent
by which nearly all others had been swept away. The spectacle is
at once animating and mournful: animating as evincing of what high
resolves, of what heroic constancy, noble minds are capable even
in the extremity of disaster: mournful, as exhibiting so bright a
contrast to the tergiversation of later times, and suggesting the
mournful reflection that, in these days of economists and material
enjoyment, the days of chivalry are gone for ever.

It is well known that Chateaubriand was esteemed not only a Liberal,
but an ultra-Liberal, by the extreme Royalist party whom Charles
X. summoned to his councils on his accession to the throne; and
that, in consequence of his disagreement with Polignac and the
leaders of that party, he retired from the ministry, and resigned
his appointment as ambassador at Rome. His consternation was great
on perceiving the extreme measures which the Polignac party were
preparing to carry into execution, and the feeble preparations made
for supporting them by military force, in the midst of a warlike and
excited people. Of his first intelligence of the appointment of the
Polignac Administration by the sovereign whom they were destined so
soon to overthrow, he gives the following account:--

     "Rumours of a change of Administration had already reached us
     at Rome. Well-informed persons had even gone so far as to speak
     of Prince Polignac, but I could not credit the reports. At
     length the journals arrive; I open them, and my eyes rest on
     the official ordinance calling him to the head of the ministry.
     I had experienced many vicissitudes of fortune in my journey
     through life, but never had I fallen from such an elevation.
     My evil destiny had again blown over my chimeras: that breath
     of fate had not only destroyed my illusions, but it had swept
     away the monarchy. The blow was fearful: for a moment I was in
     despair, but my part was soon taken. I felt that I must retire
     from power. The post brought me a multitude of letters; all
     recommended me to send in my resignation. Even persons to whom I
     was almost a stranger thought themselves obliged to counsel me
     to retire. I was in secret mortified at the officious interest
     thus evinced in my reputation. Thank God, I have never needed
     nor waited for counsels when the paths of honour and of interest
     lay before me. Falls from station have ever been to me ruin,
     for I possessed through life nothing but debts; so that when I
     resigned my appointments, I was reduced to live by my wits. In a
     word, I resigned a situation of 200,000 francs (£8000) a-year,
     and was reduced to nothing; but my choice was not doubtful. Cast
     to the winds, said I to myself, 200,000 francs (£8000) a-year
     of income, an appointment entirely suited to your taste, a high
     and magnificent office, the empire of the fine arts at Rome, the
     felicity, in fine, of having at length received the recompense
     for your long and laborious struggles. Honour is to be won,
     esteem preserved, at no other price."--Vol. ix. 141, 142.

On arriving at Paris after he had resigned his appointment as
ambassador at Rome, Chateaubriand found that many of the kind
and officious friends who had so strongly urged _him_ to resign,
had themselves quietly accepted appointments under the Polignac
Administration! He withdrew, however, in pursuance of his
resolution, into private life; and in order to avoid the expenses
of Paris, which exceeded what his reduced income could bear, he
retired to Dieppe in June 1830. When there he received the stunning
intelligence of the Ordinances of July. His part was immediately
taken. He returned with the utmost expedition to Paris, resolved
to share the fate of his country whatever it might be, and to
exert himself to the utmost to mitigate the calamities which he
foresaw awaited it. His first step on arriving in the capital was
to write a letter to the King, making a tender of his services to
negotiate with the popular leaders who had got the command in the
capital. The only answer he received was a verbal one, that M. de
Montemart had been appointed to the head of the Ministry, and a
reference to him. But M. de Montemart could not be found; and even
if he had been, affairs had gone too far to admit of any remedy
by individual efforts, how powerful soever. The nation would have
a Revolution with its consequences, and it was doomed to have a
Revolution with its consequences. But although Louis Philippe was
successful, Chateaubriand foresaw that his throne was established
on a rotten foundation: that the _juste milieu_, resting neither on
the attachment of a loyal, nor the passions of a conquering people,
could not be of lasting endurance; and that, in default of all
principles of honour whereon to rest a Government, those of interest
alone remained. He has left the following memorable prophecy of
the fate awaiting a monarchy cradled in treason and fostered by

     "Louis Philippe, his Government, the whole of that impossible
     and contradictory combination, _will perish in a time more
     or less retarded by fortuitous events_, by complications of
     interests interior and exterior, by the apathy or corruption of
     individuals, by the levity of disposition, the indifference and
     want of nerve in characters. But be its duration long or short,
     the present dynasty will not exist long enough for the House of
     Orleans to strike its roots in the soil of France."--Vol. ix.

  [6] M. de Chateaubriand died in 1847, before the Revolution of 1848.

It is not in public documents and actions that the real opinions of
the actors on the stage of public events are to be discerned. It is
their private conversation or correspondence that reveals their real
sentiments; it is there that the mental struggles which preceded
the most decisive steps, and the secret views by which they were
actuated in adopting or rejecting them, are in truth disclosed. In
this view, the following conversation between Chateaubriand and the
Duchess of Orleans, immediately after the triumph of the Barricades,
is peculiarly interesting--

     "M. Arago spoke to me in the warmest terms of the intellectual
     superiority of Madame Adelaide; and the Count Analde de
     Montesquieu, having met me one morning at Madame Recamier's,
     informed me that the Duke and Duchess of Orleans would be
     charmed to see me. I went, accordingly, to the Palais Royal with
     the Chevalier d'Honneur of the future queen. I found the Duchess
     of Orleans and Madame Adelaide in their private boudoirs. I had
     previously had the honour of being presented to the duchess. She
     made me sit down near her, and immediately said--

     "'Ah! M. de Chateaubriand, we are very unfortunate. If all
     parties would unite we might perhaps be saved, what think you of

     "'Madame,' I replied, 'nothing is so easy. Charles X. and the
     Dauphin have both abdicated; Henry V. is now king; the Duke
     of Orleans is now Lieutenant-general of the kingdom; let him
     be Regent during the whole minority of Henry V., and all is

     "'But, M. de Chateaubriand, the people are extremely agitated;
     we should fall into anarchy.'

     "'Madame, may I venture to ask you what is the intention of the
     Duke of Orleans? will he accept the throne if it is offered to

     "The two princesses hesitated to answer. After a short pause the
     Duchess of Orleans replied,--

     "'Consider, M. de Chateaubriand, the disasters which may
     ensue--you and all other men of honour require to unite to save
     us from a republic. At Rome, M. de Chateaubriand, you might
     render us essential service--or even here, if you did not wish
     to quit France.'

     "'Madame is not ignorant of my devotion to the young king and to
     his mother.'

     "'Ah! M. de Chateaubriand, how well they have rewarded your

     "'Your Royal Highness would not wish me to give the lie to my
     whole life.'

     "'M. de Chateaubriand, you do not know my niece; she is so
     inconsiderate, poor Caroline. I will send for the Duke of
     Orleans; I hope he may succeed in persuading you better than me.'

     "The princess gave her orders, and in a quarter of an hour
     Louis Philippe arrived. He was dressed in disorder, and
     looked extremely fatigued. I rose as he entered, and the
     Lieutenant-general of the kingdom said,--

     "'The duchess has doubtless informed you how unfortunate we
     are.' And upon that he began a speech on the felicity which
     he enjoyed in the country, and the life, in the midst of his
     children, which was entirely according to his taste. I seized
     the opportunity of a momentary pause to repeat what I had said
     to the princess.

     "'Ah!' he exclaimed, 'that is just what I desire. How happy
     should I be to become the tutor and support of that infant! I
     think exactly as you do, M. de Chateaubriand: to take the Duke
     of Bordeaux would unquestionably be the wisest course that could
     be adopted. I only fear events are too strong for us.'

     "'Stronger than us, my Lord Duke! Are you not invested with all
     powers? Let us hasten to join Henry V. Summon the Chambers and
     the army to meet you out of Paris. At the first intelligence of
     your departure all that effervescence will subside, and all the
     world will seek shelter under your enlightened and protecting

     "While I yet spoke, I kept my eyes fixed on Louis Philippe. I
     saw that my counsels gave him annoyance: I saw written on his
     forehead the desire to be king. 'M. de Chateaubriand,' said he,
     _without looking me in the face_, 'the thing is not so easy as
     you imagine: things do not go as you imagine. A furious mob may
     assail the Chambers, and we have, as yet, no military force on
     which we can rely for its defence.'

     "The last expression gave me pleasure, because it enabled me
     to bring forward a decisive reply. 'I feel the difficulty you
     mention, my Lord Duke; but there is a sure mode of obviating
     it. If you cannot rejoin Henry V., as I have just proposed,
     you may embrace another course. The session is about to open:
     on the first proposition made by the deputies, declare that
     the Chamber of Deputies has not the power to determine the
     form of government for France; that the _whole nation must be
     consulted_. Your Royal Highness will thus place yourself at the
     head of the popular party: the Republicans, who now constitute
     your danger, will laud you to the skies. In the two months which
     must elapse before the new legislature can assemble, you can
     organise a national guard; all your friends, and the friends
     of the young king, will exert themselves in the provinces. Let
     the deputies assemble, and let the cause I espouse be publicly
     pleaded before them. That cause, favoured in heart by you,
     supported by the great majority of the country electors, will
     be certain of success. The moment of anarchy being past, you
     will have nothing to fear from the violence of the Republicans.
     I even think you might win over, by such a course, General
     Lafayette and M. Lafitte to your side. What a part for you to
     play, my Lord Duke! You will reign fifteen years in the name of
     your young pupil; at the expiration of that time, repose will
     be a blessing to us all. You will earn the glory, unique in
     history, of having had the power to ascend the throne, and of
     having left it to the lawful heir. At the same time, you will
     have enjoyed the means of educating that heir abreast of the
     ideas of his age: you will have rendered him capable of reigning
     over France. One of your daughters may aid him to bear the
     weight of the crown.'

     "Louis Philippe looked around with a wandering eye and an absent
     air. 'I beg your pardon, M. de Chateaubriand,' said he; 'I left
     a deputation to converse with you, and I must return to it.'
     With these words, he bowed and withdrew.

The advice thus given at the decisive moment by Chateaubriand
was that of honour and loyalty; it dictated by the spirit of the
chevalier _sans peur et sans reproche_. But it was not that of
immediate or apparent interest; and therefore it was not adopted.
The event has now proved, however, that in this, as in so many
other instances in this world, the path of honour and duty would
have been that of expedience. What Chateaubriand recommended to
Louis Philippe was substantially what Louis Napoleon _did_; and
the result proved that the great majority of the nation, differing
widely from the revolutionary rabble of Paris, was not only
Conservative, but Royalist in its dispositions. Had Louis Philippe
followed this course, and taken only the regency till the majority
of the Duke of Bordeaux, the two branches of the house of Bourbon
would have been cordially united: no discord or jealousies would
have weakened the Royalist party; the national will would have
been decidedly pronounced for the monarchy before it had been
rendered an object of contempt; the Revolution of 1848, with all
its disastrous consequences, would probably have been prevented;
and as the Duke de Bordeaux has no family, the Orleans dynasty, as
the next heirs, would have ascended the throne in the natural order
of succession--and not only without the bar sinister of treason on
their escutcheon, but with a deed of unexampled magnanimity and
honour to illustrate their accession!

Louis Philippe, bent on the immediate possession of the throne, made
another attempt to gain M. de Chateaubriand; and for this purpose
the Duchess of Orleans and Madame Adelaide again sent for him.

     "Madame Adelaide was present as on the former occasion; and
     the duchess now described more specifically the favours with
     which the Duke of Orleans proposed to honour me. She dwelt on
     what she called my sway over public opinion; the sacrifices I
     had made, and the aversion which Charles X. and his family had
     always shown to me in spite of my services. She said to me, that
     if I would accept the portfolio of foreign affairs, his Royal
     Highness would be too happy to replace me in that situation; but
     that possibly I would prefer returning to Rome, and that she
     would greatly rejoice at that appointment, for the interests of
     our holy religion.

     "'Madam,' I answered with some degree of vivacity, 'I see that
     his Royal Highness has taken his line; that he has weighed the
     consequences; that he is prepared to meet the years of misery
     and perils he will have to traverse. I have therefore nothing
     to say on that head--I come not here to fail in respect to the
     blood of the Bourbons; I owe besides nothing but gratitude
     and respect to _Madame_. Leaving apart, then, those great
     objections, founded on reason and principle, I pray her Royal
     Highness to allow me to explain what personally concerns myself.

     "'She has had the condescension to speak of what she calls
     my power over general opinion. Well, if that power is well
     founded, on what is it founded? Is it on anything else but the
     public esteem: and should I not lose it the moment I changed my
     colours? The Duke of Orleans supposes he would in me acquire a
     support: instead of that he would gain only a miserable maker
     of phrases, whose voice would no longer be listened to--a
     renegade, on whom every one would have a right to throw dust
     and to spit in his face. To the hesitating words which he could
     pronounce in favour of Louis Philippe, they would oppose the
     entire volumes he had written in favour of the fallen family. Is
     it not I, Madam, who have written the pamphlet of _Buonaparte
     and the Bourbons_; the articles on the arrival of Louis XVIII.
     at Compiègne; the relation of the Royal Council at Ghent, and
     the _History of the Life and Death of the Duke de Berri_? I
     know not that I have written a single page where the name of
     our ancient kings is not either mentioned or alluded to, and
     where they are not environed by the protestations of my love and
     fidelity--a thing which marks strength of principle the more
     strongly, as _Madame_ knows that, as an individual, I put no
     faith in princes. At the thought even of desertion, the colour
     mounts to my cheeks. The day after my treachery, I should go to
     throw myself into the Seine. I implore _Madame_ to forgive the
     vehemence of my language: I am penetrated with her goodness: I
     shall ever preserve a profound and grateful remembrance of it;
     but she would not wish me to be dishonoured. Pity me, madam,
     pity me.'"

     "I was still standing; and bowing, I retired. Mademoiselle de
     Orleans, (the Princess Adelaide,) had not yet said anything.
     She rose up, and retiring said, '_I do not pity you, M. de
     Chateaubriand; I do not pity you_.' I was forcibly struck
     with the mournful accent with which she pronounced these
     words."--Vol. ix. 361, 362.

"Pity not me," said the dying Chevalier Bayard to the traitor
Constable de Bourbon; "pity those who fight against their king,
their country, and their oath." The feelings of honour are the same
in all ages.

We shall close this long line of honourable acts with an extract
from Chateaubriand's noble speech in favour of Henry V., in the
Chamber of Peers, on July 7, 1830.

     "'Charles X. and his sons are dethroned or have abdicated; it
     signifies not which. The throne is _not vacant_--after them
     comes an infant; will you condemn the innocent?

     "'What blood now cries out against him? Can you say it is
     that of his father? That orphan educated in the school of his
     country, in attachment to a constitutional throne, and in
     the ideas of his age, will become a king in harmony with the
     cravings of the future. It is to the guardian of his infancy
     that you would first tender the oath to be faithful to it.
     Arrived at mature years, he would himself renew it. The king
     at this moment, the real king for a time, would be the Duke of
     Orleans, the regent of the kingdom; a prince who has lived near
     the people, and who knows that the monarchy now can only be a
     monarchy of concession and reason. That combination, so natural,
     so obvious, appears a main element in reconciliation, and would
     save France from the convulsions which are the consequence of
     violent changes in a state.

     "'To say that this infant, separated from his masters, would not
     have leisure to forget their precepts before becoming a man: to
     say that he would remain infatuated by certain dogmas of his
     birth, after a long popular education, after the terrible lesson
     which has discrowned two kings in two nights: is that reasonable?

     "'It is neither from a sentimental devotion, nor the affection
     of a nurse for the cradle of Henry IV., that I plead a cause
     where all would turn against me if it triumphed. I am neither
     influenced by the ideas of romance nor of chivalry: I do not
     desire the crown of martyrdom. I do not believe in the divine
     right of kings: I am alive to the power of revolutions, and the
     evidence of facts. I do not even invoke the charter: I ascend
     to a higher source. I draw my principles from the philosophic
     ideas of the age in which my life expires: I propose the Duke of
     Bordeaux simply as a necessity preferable to the Duke of Orleans.

     "'You proclaim the sovereignty of force. It is well. _Look
     carefully after it: guard it well; for, if it escapes you,
     who will pity your lot?_ Such is human nature. The most
     enlightened minds are not always raised above the temptations
     of success. The _esprits forts_ were the first to invoke the
     right of violence; they supported it by all the force of their
     talents; and at the moment when the truth of what they said is
     demonstrated by the abuse of that force, and its overthrow,
     the conquerors seize the weapon they have broken! Dangerous
     trophies, which may wound the hand which seized them.

     "'A useless Cassandra, I have fatigued the throne and the
     country sufficiently with my disdained predictions: it remains
     for me only to seat myself on the remains of the wreck which I
     have so often predicted. I recognise in misfortune every power
     except that of absolving us from our oaths. I must render my
     life uniform: after all I have written, said, and done for the
     Bourbons, I should be the basest of the base if I deserted them
     when for the third time they bend their steps into exile.

     "'Far from me be the thought of casting the seeds of division
     into France: thence it is that I have avoided in my discourse
     the language of the passions. If I had the firm conviction that
     an infant should be left in the obscure and tranquil ranks of
     life, to secure the repose of thirty-three millions of men, I
     should have regarded any opinion expressed against the declared
     wishes of the age as a crime. I have no such conviction. If I
     was entitled to dispose of the crown, I should willingly lay it
     at the feet of the Duke of Orleans. But I have no such right. I
     see no place vacant but a tomb at St Denis, and not a throne.

     "'Whatever destinies may attend the lieutenant-general of the
     kingdom, I shall never be his enemy, if he acts for the good of
     his country. I only ask to be allowed to preserve the freedom of
     my conscience, and to go and leave my bones where I shall find
     independence and repose. I vote against the motion.'"--Vol. ix.

Chateaubriand was as good as his word. He resigned all his
appointments, even his pension of £600 a-year as Peer of France: he
sold off all his effects, which scarcely paid his debts: he refused
the offer of Charles X. to restore that pension out of the wreck
of that Prince's own fortune: he set out again penniless on the
pilgrimage of life: and till his death, in 1848, supported himself
entirely by his literary talents.

Such was honour in the olden time. We do not say that it would not
find imitators, on a similar crisis, on this side of the Channel: we
believe it would find many. But this we do say, that it would find
them only among those who are imbued with the ancient ideas, among
whom, whether patrician or plebeian, the spirit of chivalry is not
extinct. It will not be found among the worshippers of mammon, or
the slaves of interest. Woe to the nation by whom such feelings are
classed with the age of the mammoth and the mastodon! It has entered
the gulf of destruction, for it deserves to be destroyed.




"Well, ma'am," continued our narrator, addressing himself, as usual,
to his matronly relative in the chair, and with the accustomed
catch-word, which was like the knotting together of his interrupted
yarn: "well--it was between a fortnight and three weeks after losing
sight of St Helena, that, being at last fairly in the latitude of
the Cape, the frigate and schooner tacked in company, and stood
close-hauled on a wind to the eastward. By the middle watch that
night, when the moon set, we could make out the long flat top of
Table Mountain heaving in sight off the horizon over against her.
Next day, in fact, we were both of us quietly at anchor outside of
the shipping in Table Bay; Cape Town glittering along on the green
flat amongst the trees to southward, with the hills on each side
of it like some big African lion lying on guard close by; while
Table Mountain hove up, square-shouldered, blue to the left, four
thousand feet high, as bare and steep as a wall, with the rocks and
trees creeping up from the foot, and the wreaths of light cloud
resting halfway, like nothing else but the very breakwater of the
world's end. The sea stretched broad off to north and west, and
a whole fleet of craft lay betwixt us and the land--half of them
Indiamen--amongst which, you may be sure, I kept a pretty sharp
look-out with the glass, to see if the Seringapatam were there still.

I was soon saved further pains on this head, however, when shortly
afterwards the frigate was beset by a whole squadron of bumboats,
shoving against each other, and squabbling, in all sorts of Nigger
tongues, who should be first: the chief of them being in evident
command of a fat old Dutch Frouw, with an immense blue umbrella
over her, two greasy-looking Hottentot rowers in blankets, and a
round-faced Dutch boy, the picture of herself, steering the boat; as
the old lady made a clear berth for herself, by laying about with
her blue umbrella, till she was close under our quarter, sitting all
the while with the broad round stern of her bright-coloured gown
spread over a couple of beer-barrels, like a peacock's train. In
two minutes more the little fellow was up the side, flourishing a
bundle of papers under the first lieutenant's very nose, and asking
the ship's custom, even whilst the sentries were ordering them all
off. A midshipman took this youth by the cuff of the neck, and
was handing him rather roughly along to the care of the purser's
steward, when I stepped betwixt them; and a bumboat being the best
directory on the point, of course, I soon found the old lady had
had dealings with the Seringapatam, which her bluff-built little
progeny described as a very good ship indeed, all having paid their
bills, except one young officer, who had left a balance standing,
for which he had given a letter to his brother in a ship that was
to come after. As for the Indiaman herself, the Dutch boy said she
had sailed about a week before our arrival, along with two others;
and he was anxious to know if we were the vessel in question. I
accordingly unfolded the open letter, which was addressed,--"Thomas
Spoonbill Simm, Esquire, of His Britannic Majesty's ship Nincompoop,
(or otherwise;") and it ran somehow thus:--"_Hon. East India
Company's ship Seringapatam, Table Bay, September 1, 1816._--My
dear Brother, This is to certify, that I have eaten four dozen and
a half of eggs, supplied by the worthy Vrouw Dulcken, the bearer
of this, whom I can recommend as an old screw, and am due her for
the same the sum of nine shillings and sixpence sterling, which you
will kindly pay her, taking her receipt or mark, unless you are
willing to forfeit our family watch, herewith deposited by me in
the hands of said Mother Dulcken. I may add that, in justice to the
worthy Vrouw, three of the above-mentioned eggs ought to be charged
as _fowls_, which, by the way, I did not consume; and, with love
to all at home, remain your affectionate brother, JOHN SIMM, H.
E. I. C. S.--_P. S._ The watch I have discovered to be pinchbeck,
and it does not go; so that a sad trick must have been originally
played upon our venerated Uncle, from whom it descended. J. S." This
precious epistle was, without doubt, a joke of the fat mid. Simm,
who used to come such rigs over Ford the cadet, and that jumped
overboard one night by mistake out of the Indiaman's quarter-boat,
during the voyage. As for the existence of his brother Thomas,
or the chance of his touching at that port, I set them down with
the coming home of Vanderdecken; though the thought of this young
scamp of a sea-lawyer breakfasting for a fortnight so comfortably,
only a few feet distant from my charmer's state-room, sent me all
abroad again, and right into the Indiaman's decks, by this time far
out of sight of land. Piece of impudent roguery though it was, I
was actually loath to part with the scrawl, which the reefer had
fisted, no doubt, on the lid of his chest--probably with a pipe
in his mouth at the time, it smelt so of tobacco--only seven days
before. I could even see the grin on his fat face as he wrote it
below in the steerage, with his chin up, and his eyes looking down
past his pipe; while the little Dutch boy's round flat frontispiece
glistened as he peered up at me, in the evident notion of my being
the brother expected. In fact, ma'am, I was so soft as to intend
paying the nine-and-sixpence myself, and keeping the letter, when
I was startled to see the old lady herself had contrived to be
hoisted on board amongst her cabbages; and having got wind of the
thing, seemingly, she came waddling towards me to hand over Simm's
watch to boot. In another half minute the letter was being read
aloud in the midst of the whole gun-room officers, amongst roars
of laughter; the honest old Dutchwoman holding aloft the precious
article, and floundering through to find out the rightful owner, as
every one claimed it and offered the nine-and-sixpence; while for my
part I tried first to get down one hatchway, then another, and Lord
Frederick himself came up on the starboard side of the quarterdeck
in the height of the scene. Indeed, I believe it was a joke for
months after in the Hebe, of a night, to say it was "the second
lieutenant's watch;" the sole revenge I had being to leave Mother
Dulcken and her boy to expect the "ship that was coming after."

A Government boat came aboard in the afternoon, and as soon as it
left us, Lord Frederick took his gig, and steered for a frigate
lying some distance off, which had the harbour flag hoisted at her
main, being the only man-o'-war besides ourselves, and commanded
by a senior captain. Till it got dark I could see the crews of the
nearest merchantmen looking over their bulwarks at us and our prize,
apparently comparing the schooner with the frigate, and speculating
on her character, as she lay a few fathoms off the Hebe's quarter,
both of us rising and falling in turn on the long heave of the
Cape swell from seaward. 'Twas hard to say, in fact, so far as
their hulls went, which was the most beautiful sample of its kind;
though the schooner's French-fashioned sticks and off-hand sort
of rigging, showed rather like jury-gear beside the tall regular
sticks aloft of the Hebe's decks, with all her hamper perfect to
a tee. The Hebe's men very naturally considered their own ship a
model for everything that floated, a sort of a Solomon's temple, in
short; and to hear the merciless way they ran down the Indiamen all
round, would have raised the whole homeward-bound fleet against us;
whereas the schooner was our own, at any rate, and she was spoken of
much in the manner one mentions an unfortunate orphan, as good as
already christened by the name of "the Young Hebe." This our learned
chaplain said was quite improper, and he gave another name in place
of it--the "Aniceta"--which meant, as he observed, the Hebe's
youngest daughter; so the Aniceta she was called, happening to be a
title that went, according to the boatswain, full as sweetly through
the sheave-hole.

Next day the schooner had landed not only her passengers from St
Helena, but the prisoners also, as we still understood the French
and their Kroomen to be. Not long after that Lord Frederick came
back from Cape Town, looking grave, and went straight down to his
cabin, or "cabins," as his lordship preferred to have it said. The
first lieutenant dined that day with the captain; but they could
scarcely have finished when the "young gentlemen" who had been
as usual from the reefer's mess, came up with a message from the
captain, that his lordship would be glad if I would join the first
lieutenant and himself in a glass of wine. I found them sitting at
the side of the table nearest the open port, with the decanters
between them, and the broad bright bay in full sight to the shore
and the foot of Table Mountain, which rose up blocking the port with
the top of it beyond view; the sounds of the merchantmen clicking at
their heavy windlasses, and hoisting in water-casks, floated slowly
in from every side, while the schooner had hauled on her cable more
abreast of the frigate, leaving the sight clear over the eddy round
her low counter.

"A lovely piece of workmanship, certainly!" observed Lord Frederick
thoughtfully, as he leant back swinging his eyeglass round his
finger, with the other hand in the breast of his waistcoat, and
looking out at what was seen of the schooner. "And how one might
have improved her spars, too!" said Mr Hall, wistfully. "I should
have recommended longer lower-masts altogether, Lord Frederick, and
a thorough overhaul, I may say, from the combings upwards!" "I would
not have her hull touched for the world, Mr Hall!" said the captain;
"'tis too--excessively provoking, at least! But pass the bottles to
Mr Collins, if you please." I had taken a chair and quietly filled
my glass, wondering what could be the matter, when his lordship
turned to me and said, "Do you know, Mr Collins, this schooner of
ours is likely to be laid up in Chancery, heaven knows how long. The
Admiralty court ashore are doubtful of condemning her, apparently,
and she must either be sent home or to Monte Video or somewhere,
where the master of her claims to belong!" "Indeed, my lord," said
I, setting down my glass, "that is curious." "Curious indeed, sir!"
replied he, biting his lips, "though, after all, we really can
scarce say what she is to be condemned for--only in the meantime I
sail to-morrow for India." "She's French to the backbone, that I'll
swear, Lord Frederick!" I said; "and what's more, she was"----"Ah,"
broke in the captain, "I know, I know; but the less we say of
that, in present circumstances, the better! Once get her entangled
with politics, and we may give her up altogether." Lord Frederick
twisted his eyeglass round his forefinger faster than before, still
watching the schooner; the first lieutenant held up his claret
betwixt himself and the light, and I sipped mine. "I tell you what,
gentlemen," exclaimed his lordship suddenly, "I _must_ have that
schooner at any cost!--What is to be done, Mr Hall?" "She'd be of
great service in the China seas, my lord, certainly," said the first
lieutenant, looking thoughtfully into his empty glass; "a perfect
treasure for light service, especially if new sparred and--" I
noticed Lord Frederick glancing sideways at me, as I thought, with a
slight gleam in his eye; and accordingly I suggested that he might
buy her from the Frenchman himself; a very poor idea, no doubt, as
both the captain and first luff seemed to think, and we all three
kept eyeing her doubtfully through the port, without a word.

At this time the schooner's counter had been slowly sheering toward
the frigate's beam, owing to the ebb-tide, and her holding only by a
single cable, till her stern began to show right opposite the cabin,
I should say not twenty feet off. Lord Frederick put his glass to
his eye, and was peering through it, when he remarked that they had
brought up rather too near, leaving scarce room for the schooner to
swing as she did, earlier than we, so that she would be in danger
of getting foul of the frigate's cables. "The worst of it is, Lord
Frederick," said I, "that in case of a gale from seaward here, she
might have to slip and run upon very short warning, whereas the Hebe
has plenty of ground-tackle to let her ride it out. Considering it
was Table Bay, at this season, he ought to have kept her a clearer
berth for herself, or else have gone well outside!"--"Ah!" said
Lord Frederick quickly, meeting my eye for half a minute, till the
gleam came into his again; and somehow or other mine must have
caught it, though I must say the notion that struck me then all at
once wasn't in my head before. "Do you know, that's well thought
of, Collins!" said his lordship. "You've weathered the Cape before,
by the bye?"--"A dozen times, Lord Frederick," said I; when a
regularly jovial roar of laughter broke fair through the port into
the cabin, from over the schooner's taffrail, as she sheered end-on
to the frigate's quarter, and Lord Frederick leant forward with the
glass screwed into his right eye to see along their decks, which
were covered aft with an awning like the open gable of a tent at a
fair. "Singular!" said he; "by the lord Harry, who or what can that
be Mr Hammond has got there?" Dangling over the French schooner's
taffrail were to be seen the soles of two immense boots, with calves
and knees to match, and a pair of tightish striped trousers worked
up more than half way, 'till you saw the tops of the stockings;
just beyond the knees was the face leaning back in the shade of
the awning and a straw hat together, out of which a huge green
cabbage-leaf hung like a flap over one eye, while the other kept
gazing in a half-closed sleepy sort of way at the sky, and the red
end of a cigar winked and glowed in the midst of the puffs of smoke
lower down. The first lieutenant started up shocked at the sight,
the noble captain of the Hebe sat with his eyeglass fixed, between
amusement and wonder; for my own part, when the voice of this same
prodigy broke all of a sudden on us out of the awning, in a mixture
of stuttering, hiccuping, Yankee drawling, and puffs at the cigar,
'twas all I could do to hold on, with the knowledge of where I was.
"W_a_ll now, general," said the American, as if he were talking
to some one aloft or in the sky, "ye-you're qui-quite wrong--I
ki-kick-calc'late I've fit a deal more be-be-battles than you
have--I re-respect you, Ge-Ge-General Washington; but I ho-ho-hope
you know who--hic--whom I am!" Here Mr Daniel Snout, who was in a
state of beastly intoxication, swayed himself up bodily into the
schooner's taffrail, and sat with his arms folded, his long legs
swinging over the stern, and his head trying to keep steady, as he
scowled solemnly aloft over the frigate's mizen-royal-masthead;
while the third lieutenant, Mr Hammond, and the master's mate he had
aboard with him, could be heard laughing at his back, as if they had
gone mad--Hammond being a wild sprig of an Irishman, who would go
any length for a piece of fun.

Just then the American's one eye lighted on the side of the frigate,
till it settled lazily on the port of the captain's cabin: first he
seemed to notice Lord Frederick Bury, and then myself, the first
lieutenant having just recovered himself enough to rush toward
the door to get on deck. Daniel himself surveyed me scornfully
for a moment, then with a sort of doubtful frown, and a gravity
that passes me to describe, unless by the look of an old cock
a-drinking--evidently trying to recollect me. "Hallo, mister!"
shouted he suddenly, "you haven't touched those _notions_ of mine,
I hope." With that he made a spring off where he sat, as if to come
towards us--no doubt thinking of the Seringapatam, and the valuables
he had left aboard, without seeing the water between; and a pretty
deep dive Mr Snout would have made of it, into an ebb-tide that
would have swept him under the frigate's bottom, if Mr Hammond and
the midshipman hadn't both sprung forward in time to catch him by
the neck of the coat. There, accordingly, was the Yankee hanging
like a spread eagle over the schooner's taffrail, yelling and
turning round at the same time like a fowl on a spit--the third
lieutenant's and the mate's faces, two pictures of dismay, as they
held on, at finding for the first time where the schooner had shied
them round to, with their two pairs of eyes fair in front of the
captain's eyeglass,--while Mr Hall was singing out like thunder from
the deck above us, "The schooner ahoy--d'ye see where you've got
to, sir; haul ahead on that cable, d'ye hear, you lubbers, and keep
clear of the ship!"

"Mr Collins," said his lordship quietly to me, as soon as he could
keep his countenance, and looking the sterner for the trouble he
was put to in doing it, "you will get your things and go aboard the
schooner directly--take her in charge, sir, and send Mr Hammond
back here."--"Very well, my lord," said I, waiting in the doorway
for something more, which, from something in Lord Frederick's
look, I had reason to expect, knowing it of old. "I can only spare
you a dozen of the men she has," added he; "but if you choose you
can send ashore at once to pick up a few makeshifts, or anything
you find!"--"Ay, ay, my lord," said I; "the best hand for that
would be Mr Snelling, if I may take him, Lord Frederick?" "Oh,
certainly," was the answer; "and harkye, Collins, you had better
shift your berth a few cable-lengths farther off, or more, if you
please."--"One thing, my lord," said I, stooping down to see through
the port, "I don't much like the heavy ground-swell that begins
to meet the ebb, Lord Frederick; and I fancy it won't be long ere
Table Mountain spread its supper-cloth--in which case I'd consider
it necessary to slip cable and run out at once, though I mightn't
get in again so easily. Am I to find the frigate here again, Lord
Frederick?"--"Deuce take it, man--no!" said his lordship. He turned
his back to hide the evident twinkle of his eye. "Should we part
company, of course you make for the Bay of Bengal! You can't be
sure of the Hebe, short of the Sandheads--and if not there, then
opposite Fort William, at Calcutta."--"Very good, my lord," said I,
and had made my bow to go on deck, when Lord Frederick called me
back. "By the bye," said he hastily, "about that Indiaman of yours,
Collins--she is here, no doubt?" "No, Lord Frederick," answered I,
"I believe she sailed a week ago." "Dear me, the deuce!" exclaimed
he, "why I meant to have sent to-morrow to have your friend Westwood
arrested and brought aboard!" I started at this, on which his
lordship explained that if Westwood got to Bombay, whither the
Seringapatam was bound, the authorities there would have news of the
thing by this time, and could send him overland at once to England,
which would be far worse for him than being carried to Calcutta,
where his uncle the Councillor's interest might do something for
him. "The best thing you can do, Collins," added Lord Frederick,
"if you _are_ obliged to run out to sea, is to look after that
Indiaman! With such a neat thing of a sea-boat under you, you might
do anything you please; so cruise to windward or leeward in chase,
find her out, and take out Westwood bodily--lose him afterwards in
the Hoogley, if you like--carry away those old spars of hers, and
send up new ones--only don't lose the schooner, I beg; so good bye
to you, my dear fellow, lest we should not meet on this side the
Line again!"--"Good bye, my lord!" said I cheerfully, and hurried on
deck, understanding all he wanted as well as if I'd been ordered to
set her jib that moment and heave up anchor. In ten minutes I was
over the frigate's side, and in ten more Hammond was back in her,
with the men who were to leave; while I sent my baggage below, set
the hands to work shifting the schooner's berth, and by sun-down we
were lying beyond hail of the ship, opposite the custom-house, and
a long line of a main street in Cape Town, where we could see the
people, the carriages, and the Dutch bullock-carts passing up and
down; while Table Mountain hove away up off the steep Devil's Hill
and the Lion's Rump, to the long level line a-top, as blue and bare
as an iron monument, and throwing a shadow to the right over the
peaks near at hand.

Our friend from the United States being by this time in quite an
oblivious condition, the first thing I did was to have him put
quietly into the boat with which Mr Snelling was to go ashore for
fresh hands, and I instructed the reefer to get clear of him anyhow
he liked, if it was only above tide-mark. When they were gone I
walked the schooner's little quarterdeck in the dusk by myself,
till the half moon rose with a ghostly copper-like glare over the
hollow in the Lion's Rump, streaking across the high face of Table
Mountain, and bringing out all its rifts and wrinkles again. The
land-breeze began to blow steadily with a long sighing sweep from
the north-east, meeting the heavy swell that set into the broad
bay; and the schooner, being a light crank little craft, got rather
uneasy; whereas you could see the lights of the frigate heaving and
settling leisurely, less than half a mile off. I had only six or
seven good hands aboard altogether at the time, which, with those
the midshipman had, were barely sufficient to work her in such seas;
so with all I had to do, with the difficulty of getting men in the
circumstances, a long voyage before us, and things that might turn
up, as I hoped, to require a touch of the regular service, why the
very pleasure of having a command made me a good deal anxious. Even
of that I didn't feel sure; and I kept watching Table Mountain,
eager for the least bit of haze to come across the top of it, as
well as sorry I had sent Snelling ashore. "I'd give a hundred pounds
at this moment," thought I, "to have had Bob Jacobs here!"

As the moon got higher, I could see the swell washing up between the
different merchantmen in sight, into their shadows, and heavy enough
some of them seemed to roll round their cables, betwixt a breeze
and a swell running the contrary ways; first one let go a second
anchor, and then another, to help their heads shoreward; but still
there was no danger, as things went. It wasn't long before I made
out two boats coming from toward the town, round the stern of one of
the ships, the frigate lying betwixt her and us, so that they took
her by the way, and a good deal of hailing seemed to pass between
them. I could even see epaulets glisten over the Hebe's quarter, as
if there was a stir made aboard; after which the boats were plainly
pulling for the schooner. What all this might mean, I couldn't very
well conceive, unless it were either Snelling come back already, or
else some hands Lord Frederick himself had provided before this, as
I saw both boats were full of people. "Forward there!" I sung out,
"hail those boats!"--"Ay, ay, the schooner ahoy!" was the answer,
in a sharp voice from the headmost of them, "from the shore--all
right! Stand by to heave us a line, will ye?" Next came a hail from
Snelling, in our own gig; so I at once gave orders to heave them
a rope and have both boats brought under the gangway, naturally
supposing the sharp little fellow had come some marvellous good
speed in shipping hands. As soon as he jumped on deck, I accordingly
inquired how many men he had brought, when to my great surprise he
informed me there was only one, "a scuffy sort of a swab," as he
expressed it, "who would do for cook!"--"The devil he will, you
young rascal," I broke out. "Hush, sir, for heaven's sake," said he,
making some extraordinary sign which I didn't understand; "it'll all
be right in the end, Mr Collins. Now then, sir," to some one in the
boat alongside, as he carefully handed him the accommodation-ropes,
"here you are--hold on, sir--so-o!" This was a rather youngish
fellow in a huge pilot coat and a glazed cap, with some kind of
uniform inside, and a large breastpin in his shirt, who handed
me a paper the moment he stood firm on deck, without speaking a
word; though, by the light of the deck-lantern, I didn't much like
the look of his foxy sort of face, with the whiskers on it coming
forward from both cheeks to his mouth, nor the glance he gave round
the schooner with his pair of quick sharp little eyes. "Much more
like a custom-house officer than a cook!" thought I, "unless we mean
to have a French one;" but what was my astonishment, on opening
the paper, to find him called "Gilbert Webb, harbour-master's
assistant, hereby authorised by the Admiralty Court, sitting in
Cape Town, to take charge of the doubtful vessel described in her
papers as the 'Ludovico,' belonging to Monte Video--from the officer
commanding the prize crew of his Britannic Majesty's ship Hebe."
My first thought was to have Mr Gilbert Webb pitched over into his
boat again, when Lord Frederick's own signature met my eye at the
bottom of the paper, addressed below to "Lieutenant Collins, of his
Majesty's schooner Aniceta, _at sea_." A wonderfully mysterious
squint from Snelling, behind the officer, was sufficient to clinch
the matter in my own mind, showing that the reefer was as sharp as
a needle: and I handed back the document to the harbour gentleman,
with a "Very well, sir, that will do." "I suppose I'd better have
my men up, Lieutenant Collins?" said he, with a quick pert kind of
accent, which made me set him down at once for a Londoner, while
at the same time he seemed impatient, as I thought, to get the
management. "Why, sir," said I, "I suppose you had."

Hereupon up mounted four or five decent enough looking
_stevedores_[7]--one or two of whom had rather the air of sailors,
the rest being broad-beamed, short-legged Dutchmen, with trousers
like pillow-slips--followed by a whole string of fourteen or fifteen
Indian Lascars, their bundles in their hands, and an ugly old
_serdug_ at their head; while the lame, broken-down, debauched-like
fellow of a man-o'-warsman, that Snelling had found sitting on
a timberhead ashore, got aboard with our own boat's crew. Our
gangway was chokeful, to my fresh dismay, for to get rid of such a
tagrag-and-bobtail, in case of running to sea, was impossible; even
if they weren't odds against us, here was it likely to get a thick
night, the swell growing under the schooner till she began to yerk
at her anchor, head to wind, like a young filly at a manger; so that
dropping them back into their boat when needful, as I intended at
first, was out of the question for the present. I found from the
harbour officer that the number of hands would all be required with
the morning tide, when his orders were to have the schooner towed
in opposite the Battery Dock, especially as there was much chance
of the wind blowing strong from seaward next day. The swell on the
water, he said, was such that, after putting off, he thought of
going back again till the tide began to turn; if he had not been
encouraged to stick to it and keep on by the midshipman, whom he
fell in with near the quay. This piece of news was the finish to the
rage I felt brewing in me, vexed as I naturally was to give up the
notion of a free cruise, in command of a craft like the schooner;
and, as soon as Mr Webb was comfortable in the cabin, over a tumbler
of stiff grog and some cold beef, I sent for Snelling to my own
cupboard of a state-room.

  [7] Men employed in the stowing of ships' cargoes.

"You cursed unlucky little imp you!" I burst out, the moment he made
his appearance, "What's the meaning of this, sirrah? eh?"--"What
is it, if you please, sir?" said Snelling, pretending to hold down
his shock-head like a frightened schoolboy, and looking up all
the time both at me and the lamp at once, while he swayed with
the uneasy heave of the deck in such a way as made me grip him by
the arm in a perfect fury, fancying he had got drunk ashore. "You
young blackguard you!" said I, shaking him, "didn't I tell you to
get hands--didn't you know I meant to--to--" "Oh yes, Mr Collins,"
gasped the reefer, "I did indeed--you meant to cut and run--I saw
it by your eye, sir, and--don't shake me any more, sir, or you'll
spoil my hair--and I don't deserve it--it's--all right!" And on my
letting him go, the ugly little scamp sunk down on a chair with
his eyes starting from his head, and a leer like a perfect demon
incarnate; but so perfectly laughable it was, not to mention the
air of complete confidence between us that he threw into it, that
I sat down myself, ready to grin at my bad luck. "Well, Mister
Snelling," said I, quietly, "you _are_ a touch beyond me! Let's
have the joke, at least--out with it, man, else another shake may
be--" The reefer pointed with his thumb over his shoulder to the
cabin, shoved his chin forward, and whispered, "Why, sir, I'm only
doubtful whether you could make him third officer--but at any rate,
he'll always be useful at a rope, Mr Collins--won't he, sir?" I gave
Snelling one look, meant to be as grave as an Old Bailey chaplain's,
but it wouldn't do--my conscience wouldn't stand it--in fact the
very self-same notion seemed to me to have been creeping into my
mind. "You--young--rascal!" was all I could manage to say, before
making bolt to go on deck. "By the by, Mister Snelling," said I,
turning and looking down from the hatchway, "you must want a glass
of grog--tell the boy to let you have some--and go and keep the
officer company, sir."

By this time it was raining hard, the half-moon coming out at
moments and shining through it with a sudden sharp gleam, in some
gust of the wind off the land--showing the swell in as far as the
wet white custom-house and the bare quays, the ships with their
hazy lights all hither and thither, while Table Mountain was to be
seen now and then peering half over the mist, first one corner and
then another, of a colour like dead ashes. One time I looked down
toward the dusky little cabin, where the midshipman, quite in his
element, was sitting with the harbour officer, the lamp jerking and
making wild swings betwixt them, while Snelling evidently egged on
his companion to drink; then I gave a glance seaward, where there
was nothing but a glimmer of rain and spray along the dark hollows
of the water. I couldn't make up my mind, all I could do--it was
too barefaced a thing to slip from the roadstead with a breeze
blowing off-shore; but the worst of it was that I didn't feel easy
at the idea of parting with an anchor in the circumstances, not
to say carrying off the Government people, unless forced to it. I
accordingly went below to mix myself a stiffener, and found the
officer a cool head, for, in spite of all Snelling could do, the
reefer himself had got provoked, whereas the sharp Mr Webb was
only a little brisker than before. "A rough sort of night," said
I, nodding to him, as I knocked the water out of my cap. "Well,
it seems," said he, free and easy. "S'pose I go on deck then,
gentlemen--I've refreshed, I assure you, so you needn't trouble
about this 'ere schooner no farther--glad to get quit of it and turn
in, I desay, lieutenant?"--"No trouble in the world, Mr Webb," said
I, going on with my mixture, "far from it; but sit down a minute,
pray sir,--Mr Snelling here will take charge of the deck for us in
the meantime;" and Snelling vanished at once, Mr Webb apparently
flattered at my wishing his company. "Will that cable of yours
hold, think ye, Lieutenant Collins?" asked he, filling up another
glass. "Why," said I, almost laughing, "to tell you the truth,
I begin to feel devilish doubtful of it." "What!" broke out the
harbour officer, starting up, "then I must 'ave another put down
immediately: why, what's the effect, sir--we'll be carried out to
sea!" "You said it exactly, Mr Webb," I said "'twould have been much
worse, I suppose, if we were driven ashore, though! Now look you,
if I were to let go a second anchor at present, I couldn't light
upon a better plan either to break her back, or lose both anchors in
the end--from the difference of strain on the two cables, with this
ground-swell. The fact is, my good fellow, you're evidently not fit
to take charge at present." "D--n me, lieutenant!" said he, looking
fierce and foolish at the same time, "here's strange lang'age to a
Gov'ment officer, sir--I hask the meanin' off it _at_ once, mister!"
"But I depend a good deal on your knowledge of Table Bay weather,"
I continued, leaning back with my weather eye screwed to bear upon
him. "D'ye think this wind likely to moderate soon, sir? come
now."--"No," replied he sulkily: "I'm sure it won't--and to-morrow
it's certain to blow back ten times worse." "Then, Mr Webb," said
I, rising, "you oughtn't to have come aboard to-night; as the short
and the long of it is, I shall get the schooner an offing the first
possible moment!" The officer stared at me in a bewildered manner;
and as for the schooner, she seemed to be bolting and pitching in
a way worse than before, with now and then a plunge of the swell
on her broadside as if she had been under weigh. Suddenly Snelling
lifted the skylight frame and screamed down into the cabin, "Mr
Collins, Mr Collins! she's been dragging her anchor for the last ten
minutes, sir!"

I sprang on deck at two bounds--the schooner had somehow or other
got her anchor out of hold at the time, the cable as taut as a
fiddle-string. It was quite dark aloft, and not a vestige of Table
Mountain to be seen, though the moonshine, low down to westward,
brought out two or three tracks of light along the stretch of water,
and you saw the lights in the ships slowly sweeping past. Where we
happened to be, it blew two ways at once, as is often the case in
Table Bay, round the bluffs of the mountain, and as soon as she
brought up again with a surge at the windlass, the heave of a long
swell took her right on the quarter, lifting her in to her anchor
again with a slack of the hawser, at which every second man sung out
to "hold on!" Over she went to port, a sea washing up the starboard
side, and throwing a few dozen bucketfuls at once fair into the
companion, where our friend the harbour officer was sticking at the
time; so down plumped Mr Webb along with it, and the booby hatch
was shoved close after him, while the poor devils of Lascars were
huddled together as wet as swabs in the lee of the caboose forward.
"A hand to the wheel!" shouted I, as soon as I recovered myself;
when to my great surprise I saw Snelling's new hand, poor creature
as I'd thought him, standing with a spoke in each fist, as cool and
steady as possible, and his eye fixed on me in the true knowing way
which I felt could be trusted to. "Jib there!" I sung out, "see all
clear to run up a few hanks of the jib--stand by to cut the cable at
the bitts!"--"Ay, ay, sir," answered Snelling, who was working away
with the harbour men, his bare head soaked, and altogether more like
an imp than a young gentleman of the navy--"All's clear, sir."

Five minutes I dare say we stood, every one in the same position,
while I waited for a good moment in the run of the swell, looking
into the binnacle: till she hung slack, as it were, in a wide
seething trough of the sea, when I signed to the man behind me to
put the helm gradually to starboard. I glanced at the fellow again,
caught his sharp weatherly eye once more--then putting both hands to
my mouth I sung out to bowse on the jib halliards. "Now--cut--the
cable!" shouted I, springing forward in my anxiety. The schooner
rose away from her anchor on the heavy roll of the sea; I saw two
quick strokes of the axe on the instant, and she was spinning head
off from the wind, heeling over betwixt the force of it and the
ground-swell together, while the mass of black water was washing
bodily away with us; the new helmsman showing down below me as he
leant to the wheel, like somebody at the foot of a slide. If he
hadn't helped her at the moment with a back turn of the spokes to
port, t'would have been all up with us. As it was, the schooner fell
off gallantly in his hands, with a sliding surge into the lee of
the next swell, that buried her sharp bows in the green sea, till
it foamed about our very shoulders as we hung on like grim death
to the weather bulwark. She was just shaking herself free, and
rising like a buoy over the broad tops of the waves, when Snelling,
myself, and two or three of the men, staggered down to her mainmast
to swig up the throat halliards, letting her feel a little of the
boom mainsail; and we had scarce belayed, as the last glimpse of the
frigate's lights was caught astern of us, heaving and setting, as
she rode with her two bower anchors down; we had driven past close
enough to have heard the creak of her hamper aloft. After that, I
had the fore-stay-sail set on her, then the reefed mainsail, and the
lively schooner yielded to the long rolling seas so well, as very
soon to make her own weather of it--especially since, clear of the
high land about Table Bay, it was blowing only a strong breeze, and
the more I began to feel master of her, the more inclined I was to
let her show her good qualities. Such a craft I never had had the
full management of before in my life; and you may easily fancy how
I felt at dividing the hands into the two watches, giving little
Snelling command of one, as first mate, and picking out our men in
turn. I looked round amongst mine, rather at a loss for one to make
second mate for the cruise, though there were three prime enough
man-o'-warsmen, and I had chosen one of the Government officer's
gang for his activity. As for the Lascars, we slumped in half of
the number to each of us, for make-weights--when Snelling's fresh
hand, who had fallen to my share, caught my eye again as he stood
at the wheel. Every half spoke he gave the schooner told; she was
topping the heavy seas as they rose, and taking them just where they
melted one to the other, with a long floating cleave, that carried
her counter fairly free of the after-run, though nearly right before
the wind: the main-boom had been guyed over to the lee-quarter, till
a third of the sail hung clear of her hull, and the breeze swept
into the hollow of it, thick with spray. The light from the little
binnacle shone up distinctly on the man's face, and with all the
desperate, used-up, marbled sort of look of it, like one getting
the better of a long spree ashore, I thought there was something
uncommonly promising about him, not to say greatly above the run of
foremast men. The wet, the wind, and the work he was at, took off
the seediness of his clothes; even the old rag of a handkerchief
round his hairy neck had got a gloss to it, and he stood handling
the wheel with a strange mixture of recklessness and care, as he
glanced from the compass to the gaff of the mainsail against the
scud, and down again. The very contrast between the man's manner
and his outward rig was sufficient to strike one, though plenty of
seamen are to be found in the like state ashore: but what fixed me
to him above all, was the expression in those two keen, searching,
_living_ eyes of his, when they once or twice met mine on their
way from aloft to the compass-boxes. 'Twas as if they'd woke up
since he came aboard out of a sleepy, maudlin condition, with the
"blue-devils" or scarce fully out of 'em; like a sick man's in the
lull of a fever, suddenly seen watching you out of the dusk of the
bed, when one happens to glance up from the nurse's seat.

"What's your name, my man?" asked I, stepping aft to the binnacle.
"My name is Jones, sir," said he readily. "And your first name?"
I said. "Jack," was the answer, in an off-hand way, with a hitch
of one shoulder, and a weather-spoke to the wheel; spoken in an
accent you'd have expected more in a West End drawing-room than
from a common sailor. "Ah," said I, sharply, "Jack Jones? I wonder
how many Jack Joneses there are afloat! An able seaman, I think,
Jones?"--"Why sir," replied the man, "I never rate myself, sir--'tis
all one to me, able, ordinary, landsman, or boy--I carry no papers,
and leave my betters to rate me." "Where were you last, my man?"
I asked; whereupon I met such a cool, steady, deep look out of
the fellow's strange light-coloured eyes, bloodshot as they were
with drinking, that I felt almost our very two souls jostle in it:
as much as to say, To all eternity fathom me if ye can! "Well, I
forget where, sir," said he, lowering his look to the compass-box
again: "always the way with me, after a trip, a cruise, a voyage, or
whatever it may be. I've got--ha!" and he yielded his body coolly
to a jerk of the schooner's wheel. "A sweet craft this, sir, but
a little ticklish!" "You've got what?" said I, not unwilling to
wear out the time. "I've got--no memory!" Still there was somewhat
so gloomy and mournful in the next glance aloft, I don't know how
it was, but I felt inclined to offer him a mate's place on trial,
and so I hinted, if he knew half as well how to handle a craft as
he did of steering her. To my own surprise, Jones's wonder didn't
seem to be roused at the notion, except that he gave me another
quick glance from head to foot, with a queer smile that struck me
as if I were being questioned, instead of _him_; then he looked
down over his own outfit, judging by which you'd have said he'd
been shipwrecked. "Well," said I, "I daresay you've been hard put
to it, somehow, Jones,--so as soon as you leave the wheel, you can
go below to the steward, and get a seagoing suit of my own, till we
see Calcutta, when your mate's wages will set you all right again."
The man touched his battered old straw hat; but I noticed his eyes
gleam for a moment by the binnacle light, and a strange twitch run
round his mouth at the mention of the mate's wages: the only way I
could account for it at the time being his late hard-up condition;
and nothing to my mind was more deucedly pitiable, than to see the
thought of a few paltry additional rupees light up a head like that,
with the glistening sort of expression of a miser, as I fancied.
The man had a head on him, in fact, when you eyed him, fit for a
gentleman's shoulders, or more--his hair and his whiskers curly and
dark, draggled though they were with the rain, not to say Cape Town
mud--while the wearing away of the hair about the temples, and the
red grog-streaks in the veins of his face, made him no doubt a dozen
years older to appearance than he was. For my part I was quite
convinced already, this same Jack Jones hadn't been sent out a cabin
boy; there was not only a touch of high blood in him at bottom, but
I'd have sworn he had been some time or other in the place of a
gentleman, afloat or ashore, though plainly now "going to the devil."

Meanwhile the breaking look of the clouds away on our larboard bow
showed it wasn't far off dawn; so, sending another hand to the
wheel, and finding a snug spot under a stern-grating for a snooze
on deck, I told Jones to begin with taking charge of the deck for
me. "One thing, sir," said he, touching his hat again, as I lay
down, "I've only shipped for the outward voyage, and leave at the
first port."--"Why, what the deuce!" said I, lifting my head; "what
do you mean to do there, eh?" "I--I want to go ashore," answered
he, eagerly; "ay, if we're years on the cruise, so much the better,
sir,--but so soon as she drops anchor off Calcutta, I'm my own
master?"--"Have your own way, then," said I; "at any rate I'll try
you in the meantime,--so Mister Jones, let's see how you mind the
schooner till eight bells!" Whereupon I turned myself over to sleep,
and it was as broad daylight as we had any likelihood of about the
Cape, when I woke.

It still blew a stiff breeze, but the waves rose with a length and
a breadth in them you find in no other sea; deep-blue sparkling
hills of water, with green gleams about the crests, of which every
single wave had a hundred or so; and a long seething, simmering,
glassy hollow of a still valley between, where the flecks of foam
slid away glittering out of the shadow. But, Lord! it was glorious
to feel the schooner rising quietly in the trough, with the mount
of a wave, to the very ridge of it; then with a creak of all her
timbers and bulk-heads below, a slight shake to windward, and a
yerk at her bows, lean over to leeward again and go hissing through
the breast of a huge sea, till you thought she'd go down into it;
while there she was, however, lifting head up, with a swift flash
of her cutwater, on the cross half wave that joined every first and
third one--"billow" and "sea," as you may say. The breeze having
drawn more easterly toward morning, Jones had braced her more upon
a wind, with reefed main and foresails, and fore-staysail set,
which brought out the Aniceta's weatherly qualities to a marvel;
as notwithstanding almost a head-wind and a swelling sea, she went
nearly as fast as the frigate would have done before the breeze, and
not a sign of the land was to be seen from her crosstrees.

It was not till the afternoon, when the midshipman and I had both
been busy together seeing various things done about the rigging,
as well as having preventer-braces and guys clapped on the booms
and gaffs, that we had time to look about us; the schooner still
driving along with the breeze strong abeam, and a floating plunge
from one wide dark-blue sea to another, as if they handed her
onward. Jones had got himself made decent below, as I told him,
till what with different clothes and a shave together, besides
refreshment from sea weather, he was quite a different man to look
at. Even Snelling owned to his sailor-like appearance, though
rather surprised at my notion of making him a mate; while as for
the men, they didn't know but he had come aboard as such, and to
tell the truth, he was having the mainstaysail got up and ready to
bend at the time, like one accustomed to give orders. By this time
I remembered the harbour officer, Webb, whom we'd carried off so
unceremoniously, and found he was still in his "bunk" below, half
sulky and half sick, consoling himself with brandy and water till
we should get into Table Bay again, as he said. "Only put him into
my watch, Mr Collins," said Snelling gravely, "and I'll work him
up, sir." The reefer himself, in fact, had all of a sudden turned
out in a laughably dignified style, to meet his new post--in full
midshipman's rig, dirk and all, with his cocked hat, which I sent
him down immediately to change; but he had brushed up his mop of
hair, and begun to cultivate the down on his upper lip; while
being a deep-shouldered, square-built, short-armed little fellow,
as muscular as a monkey, you'd have thought from the back of his
coat he was a man cut shorter, and for his face, he had contrived
to put such a sour effect into it--meant for great experience, no
doubt--that it was only by his eyes one saw he was a boy of sixteen
or so; and _they_ were brimful of wild glee, as he jumped about
wherever he was needed, doing the work of a couple of ordinary men,
and actually delighted when a spray came over the weather bulwarks
on top of him, seeing that, instead of the frigate, she was "our
schooner" that did it.

"I think she walks, Mr Collins!" observed Snelling, holding up
his head stiffly, and looking aloft as we went aft, after shaking
ourselves from one of these same sprays. "No denying that, Mr
Snelling," said I as gravely; "I only wish your fond parents
could see you just now, first mate of such a smart craft, Mister
Snelling!" His father was a country baronet, who had sent him off to
sea with an allowance--I daresay because his looks were no ornament,
and there were plenty more coming; though Snelling always pretended
his worthy progenitor was an old man. "Fond be blowed!" said he,
starting; "I just see him at this moment at the foot of that blessed
old mahogany, proposing my health before the ladies go, and--" Here
the schooner rose on a sharp, short wave, making a plunge through it
that sent the helmsman swinging to the lee-side of the wheel, while
a sea washed up over her forecastle, and away aft with the tubs,
buckets, and spars, knocking everybody right and left. Snelling
and I held on by the weather main-rigging with our feet in a bath,
till she lifted bodily through it, careering to her lee-gunnel. "By
George, though!" broke out the reefer, smacking his lips as we drew
breath, "I wish he _did_ see me--wouldn't it cheer his declining
years, when I'd got to hand the governor carefully below! And
such a rough night as we're going to have of it, too, sir!" "You
unfilial young dog!" said I; "but so I'm afraid we shall--and no
joke either!" Jones was standing near us, watching the looks of the
weather with evident uneasiness, and I asked him what he thought of
it. "In my opinion, sir," said he, "you'll have some pretty sudden
shift of wind ere long, of a kind I have seen more than once off the
Cape before--and that as furious as a south-easter ordinarily is
hereabouts. Look away yonder, sir!"

It had got to a clear, dry, north-easterly gale, that shook our
canvass every time she lifted, singing through the ropes, and bitter
cold. Long and heavy as the roll of the sea was, the sky was as
keen and clear as glass all round about and aloft, save the mist
kicked up by the spray off a wave here and there. If a rag of white
cloud appeared, it was blown away, and you saw the black wrinkled
side of one wave at a time, a mile wide, you'd have said, freckled
all over with spots of foam, and its ridge heaving against the eye
of the blast. The waves had begun to break shorter. The schooner,
buoyant as she was, and sharp as a dolphin, pitched and rolled at
times like mad, and the men forward were standing by to let go the
fore-halliards, throat and peak, to ease her a little: when Jones
pointed out the bank of gray cloud ahead of us, scarce to be seen
through the troughs of the water, except when she lifted well upon
a swell of sea. The sun going down in a wild red glare to leeward
of us, threw a terrible glitter across the huge slant of one single
wave that rose stretching away far and wide from her very bow, then
brought out the sulky wrinkled blue in it; the hissing green crests
curled over to the very sunset, as it were, while we sunk slowly
into the long dark lulling trough, and saw the broken shaft of a
rainbow stand glimmering for a moment or two into a black hollow
right ahead, when the gale drove it back upon us like an arrow, as
the schooner urged through the breast of the next wave. I looked
from Snelling to the new mate, who still held on by a belaying-pin
and watched the clouds, giving me back a glance that showed he
thought the matter more serious than ordinary. "The sooner we strip
her to the storm-staysails," said I quickly, as we fell into the
trough again, "the better, I think. If it blows harder, we must
lie-to with her at once." My eye was anxiously fixed on Jones, for
large as the schooner was, between two and three hundred tons, yet
no craft in the world is so nice to bring to the wind in a gale,
with a heavy sea running. Scudding before it might have done for
the frigate, with her full bows, and spars high enough to keep her
main-topsail full in spite of the troughs; but even that would have
taken us out of our course after the Indiaman. Besides that, to tell
the truth, I didn't sufficiently understand fore-and-aft rigged
craft in all weathers yet, to be quite sure of what I did at a pinch
like the present. "Yes, yes, sir," answered he; "but if you'll take
an older man's advice, before that you'll wear her round on the
other tack to it. We've the worst to come, or else I'm mistaken,
sir."--"You're accustomed to schooners?" asked I firmly, and gazing
him in the face. I saw his lips open in the sweep of the wind
through our after-rigging, and he made a sign with his hand, while a
gnawing sort of spasm, as it were, shot through the muscles of his
jaw, and for a moment he gave me a devilishly fierce, keen glance,
almost a glare, from under his strong straight eyebrows--then turned
away. "Take the trumpet then, Mr Jones," said I, singing out into
his ear; "I'll leave her to you, sir. Mr Snelling, let's see the
hatches all fast!" And we scrambled along by the belaying-pins.

"Are you all ready fore and aft?" came Jones's voice like thunder
in the next dip she made, and he leapt up bareheaded on the breech
of one of the small carronades aft, holding on with one hand by the
weather main-shrouds, and watching the run of the waves as they
glimmered off our lee-beam into the dusk, for full five minutes.
I had hold of a rope near him, and his eye was as steady as if he
were picking out hills in a view. I had full confidence in the
man; but I must say it was a nervous moment to me, when I saw him
lift the trumpet to his mouth--and furiously as the wind shook
the schooner, you heard his hoarse cry, "Put your helm up--slack
off the mainsheet--brail up the mainsail--ease down the weather
boom-guy--main-staysail sheet--" And the rest was lost in the
wild shriek of the north-east gale. We were hard at it, however,
staggering as we hauled and held on, even to the poor half-drowned,
terrified Lascars, whom the midshipman had roused out of the caboose
and long-boat, shoving the ropes into their leathery hands. But I
knew little else till I saw the schooner had payed off before the
wind, shearing with a hiss like red-hot iron right through the
ridge, betwixt two tremendous combing waves. It swelled green over
her larboard bulwark as she heeled over, and she gave a heavy dead
lurch with it, as if she would let the next sea break aboard. "Now!
now!" shouted Jones, at a pitch of voice like no earthly sound; "aft
the mainsheet, for your lives!" He jumped to the wheel himself, at
a single bound. We were in two floundering heaps, as we dragged at
the mainboom aft, and the head-sheets on the forecastle, while she
came trembling up in the long bight of the sea, and took the gale
steadily before her other beam. It was blowing harder than ever; and
the awful "scud" of the sea rolled her bodily away, as she met it
with her weather-bow, washing white over the headrail, with spray
from cathead to bowsprit; the gale heaving her down on the lee-beam,
till she plunged to the brim on that side, at every forward pitch,
so that all hands on deck had to keep crowded together aft. Still
it was keen starlight overhead, the gale dry, though it was bitter
cold, and the seas long and pretty regular. The schooner behaved
wonderfully, being as tight as a bottle; and at the same time we
were not only lying our course either for the Mozambique or Indian
Ocean, but instead of running farther into the gale, as before,
and getting more into the wild Cape latitudes, why, at present she
tended to clear out of them. I accordingly agreed with Jones to hold
on with everything as long as possible, in spite of the way she was
sometimes flung off with the crest of a wave, as it were, making a
clear dive with her nose under water through a white seething sea
that seemed to swell round the whole horizon: the black bank of
cloud off our weather-beam towered like icebergs against the cold
green sky to south-east, the stars glittering and twinkling over it,
with little hazy rings round them, after a fashion that one of us
liked no more than the other.

About midnight, we had got everything off her to the two small
storm-staysails, main and fore, the wind blowing great guns, and
the half moon shining right over the long bank, as if the back of
it were dead-white; while betwixt it and the washing glimmer of
moonlight half-way, you'd have thought the black heave of the ridges
vanished into a bulk of shadow ten times blacker, save for the heads
of spray tossing dimly over in it here and there. All at once, in
the very height of the gale, as the black floating clouds from the
bank began to cross over the gray scud flying fast aloft, a blue
flash of lightning shot zig-zag into the very comb of a wave ahead
of us, then came the clap of thunder, loud enough to be heard above
the wind, and in half a minute there was a sudden lull. You saw
the fleecy rags of scud actually settling together under the dark
vapour moving above them, and heard nothing but the vast washing
welter of the billows rising and seething for miles round, as if
the world were water, while the schooner rolled helplessly away,
with her storm-staysails flapping, into the trough. The midshipman
almost gasped as he looked to me--not from fear, but as much as to
say, "What next?" Our strange mate stood against the fife-rail of
the mainmast, apparently too intent on the sky and sea for speaking.
For my own part, I let go of my belaying pin, and half tumbled to
the wheel, almost knocking the sailor down in my haste to put the
helm hard up--for I saw how the blast was to come, fairly before the
beam, upon us. "Hard a-starboard with it!" shouted I; "haul down
the main-staysail there--let her fall off as she rises!" The last
words were never heard, for next moment there was another flash of
lightning, this time a blaze all round into the troughs of the sea;
I saw a body of mist coming down upon us from south-east, through
which the gale struck her on the starboard beam, having suddenly
shifted eight points or so. The heavy rolling swell from north-east
was close aboard, and as soon as I knew what I was about, here she
was leaning over to the full tremendous force of the storm, without
power to surge ahead, though struggling to rise like a cart-horse
down on his knees with a load uphill of him. 'Twas by instinct,
as they say, I found myself scrambling along to her weather
main-channels, where I managed to get out on the side, slippery as
it was, and drenched with the blinding showers of spray. I had got
my knife at work, cutting the lanyards of the shrouds to let the
mainmast go, when I saw Snelling creep after me, like a fearless
little fellow as he was, dirk in hand; although what was come of
Jones I couldn't see, unless he had lost heart and skulked. All at
once, to my great joy, the main-staysail blew inway to leeward out
of the bolt-ropes, like a scrap of paper, the main-topmast crashed
at the cap and went alongside, when the schooner righted to her
keel, with a wild bolt forward through the whole width of an immense
wave--one of the "third waves" it was, commonly the last and the
hugest in a single roll of the sea of the Cape, before you sink into
a long gliding valley, with a sort of a lull in it. The scene was
so terrible at the moment, though we bore up for full half a minute
to the fair steady stroke of the awful gale, nothing but a yeast
of mist, scud, and darkness ahead, the spray torn off the ridge of
the wave and flying with us, while the triple run of the heavy seas
astern was in danger of sweeping her decks from over the poop--that
I felt we must try lying-to with her at once. Indeed, Snelling and
I hardly knew whether we were holding on or not, as we were half
washed inboard and half crawled round the rigging; but Jones had
already seized the exact point, when she sank in the hollow, to have
the helm eased down to leeward. Meanwhile he had got the reefed
foresail balanced and set, with the sheet hauled aft beforehand--a
tackle hooked on to the clue, and bowsed amidships--everything else
was off her; and with this sail she came slowly up close to the
wind on the slant of the next wave, lying-to nearly head toward the
force of the sea, as her helm was kept fast, two or three points
to leeward. I never had seen a craft of the kind hove-to in a gale
before, and a very nice matter it is, too. We drew breath, scarce
able to credit our eyes, while the schooner rode apparently safe on
a sea rolling mountain-high; rising and falling off from the breasts
to the sides of the waves, so far as leeway went, and forging ahead
a little at the same time through the fierce spray that showered out
of the dark over her weather-bow.

Cape weather as bad I had seen before, but always in good-sized
ships; and I owned to Snelling I would rather have handled any one
of them, even with a lee-shore near, ten times over, than this
schooner of ours in the present case. However, none of us were in
any mood for speaking at the time, let alone the waste of breath it
was. The best thing we had to do, after getting somewhat satisfied
of her weathering it this way, was to have the grog served out
to the men, swig off a stiff pannikin one's self, and make one's
self as comfortable as possible with his pea-coat in the lee of
something. The sight of the sea ridging up with a dim glimmer
against the dark, kept your eye fixed to it: first you thought
it would burst right aboard, crash down upon the decks; then she
lifted with it, swelling broad under her, while the long steady
sweep of the gale drove just over the bulwarks with a deep moan:
for half a minute, perhaps, a shivering lull, when you heard the
bulkheads and timbers creak and strain below from stem to stern,
and the bilge-water yearning, as it were, to the water outside.
Then, again, it was a howl and a shriek, a wide plunge of sea bore
up her weather-bow, and the moment ere she came fairly to, one
felt as if the schooner were going to pitch God knows where. Her
whole bulwarks shook and shivered, the wind found out every chink
in them, whistling round every different rope it split upon, while
all the time, the loose wet dreary spars behind the long-boat kept
slatting and clattering against each other in the lashings, like
planks in a woodyard of a November night. This was the way we stuck
till the morning watch showed it all in a drizzling, struggling
sort of half light, blowing as hard as ever, the Cape seas rolling
and heaving mountain-high, of a pale yesty hue, far and wide to the
scud; the spray drifting from the crests, and washing over her bare
forecastle, with now and then the white wings of a huge albatross to
be seen aslant to windward, riding on the breast of a long wave down
into the trough.

Well, the whole blessed day did this sort of thing continue,
only varied by now and then a huger sea than ordinary lifting
close aboard of us, and we being hove up to get a glimpse of the
long glaring streak of horizon through the troughs of the waves:
sometimes an unluckier splash than usual over the bow and through
the forechains, that made us look sharp lest the canvass of the
foresail should go, or the schooner broach end-on to the sea.
Otherwise, all we had to do was to watch the binnacle, hold on with
one hand to a rope, and with the other to our caps; or turn out and
in with each other down the booby-hatch for a snatch of sleep, and
a bit of biscuit and cold beef, with a glass of grog. Mr Webb, the
harbour officer, was to be seen below in his berth all this time,
lying as peaceable as a child--whether he was dead sick, or only
confoundedly afraid, I didn't know; but I must say I felt for the
poor fellow when I heard him ask Snelling, in a weak voice, if he
would get somebody to stand off the bull's-eye in the deck over
his berth, as it always made him think there was a new hurricane
coming on. "D--n it, you low skulking hound!" said the reefer, who
had wonderfully little pity in his make, "it can't be worse--what
d'ye want light for, eh?" "Only to see the opposite wall," said
Webb, meekly; "do, sir--oh now!" "Oh, you lubber ye!" said Snelling,
"don't you know a bulkhead from a wall yet? If you'd come on deck to
bear a hand like others, you wouldn't need light; and _I_ thought
you might do for a mate aboard, too--pah, you scum!" "Mr Snelling,"
said I sharply, as he came through the cabin, "a worm will turn when
it's trod upon, and so you may find yet, sir!" "Well, Mr Collins,"
said he, as confidentially as if I hadn't meant to give him a set
down, "I don't like the fellow's eye. I'll look after him, sir!"
Not to mention the young rogue's power of face, which was beyond
brass, he had a way of seeing you in two places at once with that
upward squint of his, as if his eyes were the points of a pair of
compasses, that made the officers of the Hebe always send him to the
masthead directly, for fear it should take the frown out of them. In
fact, when Snelling's twinkling weather-eye lighted on one's neck,
without the other, you almost felt it tickle you, and as usual I
turned away with a "pshaw!"

On the second morning, the gale at last began to break, shifting
southward; on which, as soon as the sea ran a little easier, I
had the helm cautiously put up at a favourable moment, the reefed
mainsail, fore-topmast-staysail, and square fore-topsail set as
she got before the wind, and away the schooner went; rising on the
wide deep-blue swells with a long roll in them, then shearing ahead
through their breasts, wrinkled and seething pale-green, till she
sank with the fall of the wave--the stump of her aftermast standing,
and the fore one shortened by the to'gallant-mast. You may easily
believe there was no one aboard more eager to get clear of this
weather than myself; as in ordinary circumstances, with a craft like
this, in two or three days more we might have been in a high enough
latitude to begin looking out for the Indiaman. For my part, I can't
deny that the wish for having Tom Westwood safe out of harm's way,
and with me in the schooner, strong as it was, played second to
the notion of seeing sweet Violet Hyde in any way again, if it was
only the last time before she went out of reach altogether; for her
getting amongst East India ways of doing, high-flying civilians and
soldiers, shows, and sights, either in Calcutta or up-country, was
equal to anything else, in my mind. Still, we had six or seven days
longer of the heavy seas and hard gales, before north-easting enough
could be made to take us beyond the Cape winter, just then coming
on, and which the Seringapatam had very likely escaped by two or
three days, so that she would have a considerable start of us.

By this time we were standing well up for the Mozambique Channel,
which I had heard the Indiamen intended to take in company; a
piece of information that made me the more anxious to overtake
the Seringapatam, at latest, by the time they reached open water
again, where, being the only ship from Bombay, she would no doubt
part from her consorts. We had a cruiser that year, as I knew, in
the Mozambique, where there were some rumours of pirates after the
war, so that in case of her happening to speak the Seringapatam
close, and having got any word of Westwood's affair, he ran a chance
of being picked off. However, that wasn't by any means the thing
that troubled me most: somehow or other, whenever the picture of
Violet's face brought the Indiaman's decks clear into my mind, with
all about her, I couldn't get rid of the notion that some ill-luck
would come across that ship before she got into port. If any pirate
craft were to dodge the whole bevy of Indiamen up the head of the
channel, as was pretty sure to be the case, he would probably wait
for some signs of separating, and be down upon a single one not long
after she cleared the Leychelles islands, where a lonely enough
stretch of the Indian Ocean spreads in. The more I entered upon the
thought of it, the more unsufferable it got; especially one day in
the mouth of the Mozambique, when it fell a dead calm with a heavy
up-and-down swell, fit to roll the sticks out of her; the high blue
land of Madagascar being in sight, sometimes to starboard, sometimes
to port, then astern, and the clear horizon lying away north-west,
dark with a breeze from round the coast. As the hot sun blazed out
above us, and the blue water came plunge up over the rail, blazing
and flashing, first one side dipped, then the other, I could fancy
the passengers on the Indiaman's poop in a light breeze with a
suspicious lateen-rigged sail creeping up on her quarter. I thought
I saw Violet Hyde's eyes sparkle against the glare of light, and
her lips parting to speak--till I actually stamped on the deck, my
fists clenched, and I made three strides to the very taffrail of the
schooner. All at once I met my second mate's eye coolly fixed on
me, which brought me to my senses in a moment, the more so as there
was something about this man Jones I couldn't make out, and I had
made up my mind to keep a sharp eye on him; though the fact was, it
annoyed me most to feel him seeing into _me_, as it were, without
troubling himself. "We shall have the breeze before long, sir, round
Cape Mary yonder," said he, stepping forward. "So I expect, myself,
Mr Jones," said I, "though you evidently know the coast better
than I do." With that I gave him a careless side-look, but to all
appearance there was nothing particular in his, as he told me he had
seen it two or three times before.

With the evening we were once more running sharp on a wind up
channel; and when she did get her own way in a good breeze, the
schooner's qualities came out. 'Twas a perfect luxury to look over
the side and see the bubbles pass, her sharp bows sliding through it
like a knife, she eating into the wind all the time in a way none
but a fore-and-aft clipper could hope to do, with a glassy blue
ripple sent back from her weather-bow as far as the forechains: then
to wake of a morning and feel her bounding under you with a roll
up to windward, while the water gushed through and through below
the keel, and ran yearning and toppling away back along the outer
timbers into her boiling wake, working with the moving rudder. And
our man-o'-warsmen were quite delighted with the Young Hebe, as
they still called her. Snelling was in his element while we were
having the new spars sent up aloft--a set of longer sticks than
before--till she had twice the air, as well as a knowing rake aft.
Next thing was to get the long-brass nine-pounder amidships from
under the boat, where the Frenchmen had kept it, besides which we
found another in her hold; so that, added to six small carronades
already on deck, we made a pretty show. Meanwhile, for my own
part, I kept cracking on with every stitch of canvass that could
be clapped upon the spars, including studding-sails. Jones himself
didn't know better than I did by this time how to handle the craft,
schooner though she was, in the way of making her use what weather
we had to the best purpose. Variable as it proved, too, I was aware
the Indiamen would have pretty much the same now as we had; so that,
on going aloft with the glass, as I did every watch in the day, I
soon began each time expecting one or other of them to heave in

As for the five hands from Cape Town, they seemed to have fallen
in cheerfully enough with our own; and as soon as the fine weather
came, the gang of Lascars were set to duty like the rest. Snelling
would have them even trained to work the guns; although, if it blew
at all hard, not one could be got to go aloft except their old
_serang_, and the _tindal_, his mate. What surprised me most was
the harbour officer himself at last asking, as Mr Snelling told
me, to be put in a watch; but as the midshipman said there was no
doubt Webb had made a voyage or two before, somewhere or other, I
agreed to it at once. "I'm not sure, sir," added the midshipman,
with one of his doubtful double looks, "but the gentleman may have
seen blue-water the first time at Government expense, and not in
the service either--he don't look fore and aft enough, Mr Collins,
harbour officer though he be; but never mind, sir, I'll see after
him!"--"Pooh," said I, laughing; "if he does turn to, Mr Snelling,
it shan't be in the watch _you_ have to do with! Hand him over to Mr
Jones." By this time I had changed the mid into my own watch, and
given Jones charge of the other--so to him the harbour officer went.

The main character aboard of us, to me at any rate, was this Jones
himself. The fact was, at first I had my doubts of him altogether,
partly owing to the queer way we got hold of him, partly on account
of his getting the upper hand so much through chance, in the
tremendous weather we had at the outset, till I wasn't sure but it
might come into the fellow's head of itself, to be upon some drift
or other that might cost me trouble, as things stood. However, I no
sooner felt where I was, and got the craft under my own spoke, than
I came to set him down for nothing but one of those strange hands
you fall in with at sea sometimes, always sailing with a "purser's
name," a regular wonder of a shipmate, and serving to quote every
voyage after, by way of a clincher on all hard points, not to say
an oracle one can't get beyond, and can't flow sky-high enough. To
tell the truth, though, Jones was as thorough a seaman as ever I met
with--never at a loss, never wanting on any hand; whether it was
the little niceties we stood in need of for setting the schooner's
rigging all right again, which none but a blue-water long-voyage
sailor can touch, or, what comes to be still better in tropical
latitudes, a cool head and a quick hold, with full experience for
all sorts of weather, 'twas much the same to him. He was all over
like iron, too, never seeming to stand in need of sleep, and seeing
like a hawk. At any hour I came on deck in his watch, there was
Jones, all awake and ready, till hearing him walk the planks over my
head of a fine night made me at times keep my eyes open, listening
to it and the wash of the water together. I fancied there was
something restless in it, like the sea, with now and then an uneven
sort of a start; and at last it would come to full stop, that gave
me the notion of how he was standing quiet in the same spot; whether
he was looking aloft, or thinking, or leaning over the side, or what
he was going to do, troubled me wonderfully. The only want in his
seamanship I noticed, he evidently wasn't used to handle a large
ship; but craft of some kind I was pretty sure he had commanded in
the course of his life. As for taking observations, he could do it
better than I could then; while the knowledge he had on different
heads, that came out by chance, made you think more of a Cambridge
graduate than a common sailor, such as he had shipped for with us.
The strangest part of all about him, though, was what I couldn't
well name, not to this day: 'twas more grained in his manner, and
the ring of his voice at particular moments, as well as his walk,
though these were the smart seaman's no less; but one couldn't help
thinking of a man that had known the world ashore some time or
other, in a different enough station from now--ay, and in a way to
bring out softer lines in his face than reefing topsails or seeing
the main-tack ridden down would do. The nearest I could come to
calling it, far apart as the two men stood, was to fancy he reminded
me of Lord Frederick Bury himself; especially when he looked all
of a sudden to the horizon in that wide, vacant kind of fashion,
as if he expected it farther off than it was: only Jones's face
was twice the age, like a man's that had had double the passions
in it at the outset, and given them full swing since then; with a
sleeping devil in his eye yet, besides, as I thought, which only
wanted somewhat to rouse it. Only for that, I had a sort of leaning
to Jones myself; but, as it was, I caught myself wishing, over and
over, for something to make us fall regularly foul of each other,
and get rid of this confounded doubtful state. One hitch of a word
to take hold of, and, by Jove! I felt all the blood in my body would
boil out in me to find how we stood, and show it; but nothing of the
kind did Jones let pass--and as close as the sea itself he was in
regard to his past life. As for the men from the frigate, at least,
they seemingly looked on him with no great fondness, and a good deal
of respect, in spite of themselves, for his seamanship; whereas,
if he had been left in the forepeak in place of the cabin, I've no
doubt in a short time it would have been no man but Jones. You light
now and then upon a man afloat, indeed, that his shipmates hold off
from, as healthy dogs do from a mad one; and you saw they had some
sort of an inkling of the gloomy close nature Jones had in him, by
the way they obeyed his orders. Webb's three Cape Dutchmen seemed
to have a notion he was some being with mysterious powers, while
the Lascars ran crouching at his very word--some of them being, as
I found, Malays, and the rest Mussulmen from Chittagong; but Jones
could send them about in their own language, Dutchmen and all--a
part of the matter which did not tend to keep me less careful over
him. Still I observed, since his coming aboard, that Jones never
once touched liquor, which had plainly enough been his ruin ashore;
whether on account of meaning to pull up once for all and mend, or
only to have a wilder bout at next port, or else to keep himself
steady for aught that might turn up, I couldn't settle in my own
mind. Though deucedly doubtful of its being the first, the very idea
of it made one feel for the man; and, in case of his doing well, I
had no small hopes of something in the upshot to save a real sailor
like him from going to the devil altogether, as he seemed doing.

Now, after our getting clear of the rough Cape weather, and the
dead-lights being taken out of the stern-windows, I had given a
look, for the first time, into the schooner's after-cabins, which
were pretty much as the people she belonged to before had left
them, except for the rough work the gale had played. There were
two of them, one opening into the other; and I must say it was a
melancholy sight to meet the bright sunlight streaming into them
from off the water astern, with all the little matters either just
as if the owners were still inside, or else tumbled about at sixes
and sevens. One drawer, in particular, had come out of a table,
scattering what was in it on the deck: there was a half open letter
in a woman's hand, all French, and showing a lock of hair, with
a broken diamond cross of the French Legion of Honour, besides a
sort of paper-book full of writing, and two printed ones bound in
morocco. I picked up the letter and the cross, put them in again,
and shoved the drawer back to its place, though I brought the books
away with me to have a glance over. What struck me most, though, was
a plaster figure of the French emperor himself, standing fastened on
a shelf, with one hand in the breast of his great coat, and looking
calmly out of the white sightless eyes; while right opposite hung
a sort of curtain which you'd have thought they were fixed upon.
When I hauled it aside, I started--there, on a shelf to match the
other, was a beautiful smiling child's head to the shoulders, of
pure white marble, as if it leant off the bulkhead like a cherub
out of the clouds. Spite of all, however, the touch of likeness it
had to the head I got such a glimpse of at Longwood, even when the
hot sunlight showed it in my spy-glass so pale and terrible, was
sufficient to tell me what _this_ was,--Napoleon's own little son,
in fact, who was made king of Rome, as I remembered hearing at the
time. The thought of the schooner's strange French captain, and his
desperate scheme, came back on me so strong, joined to what I saw he
had an eye to in fitting out his cabins, that, for my own part, I
hadn't the heart to use them myself, and at first sight ordered the
dead-lights to be shipped again, and the door locked.

'Twas a good many days after this, of course, and we had made a
pretty fast run up the Mozambique, in spite of the sharp navigation
required, sighting nothing larger than the native and Arab craft to
be seen thereabouts; we were beginning to clear out from amongst
the clusters of islands and shoals at the channel head, when two
large sail were made in open water to nor'-eastward. Next morning
by daybreak we were to windward of the weathermost,--a fine large
Indiaman she was, crowding a perfect tower of canvass. Shortly
after, however, the schooner was within hail, slipping easily down
upon her quarter, which seemed to give them a little uneasiness,
plenty of troops as she seemed to have on board, and looming like a
frigate. After some showing of keeping on, and apparently putting
faith in the man-o'-war pennant I hoisted, she hove into the wind,
when we found she was the Company's ship Warringford, and the other
the something Castle, I forget which, both for Calcutta. The next
thing, as soon as they found we were tender to his Majesty's frigate
Hebe, was to ask after the Seringapatam; on which I was told she was
three or four days sail ahead with the Mandarin, bound to China,
neither of them having put in at Johanna Island to refresh. I was
just ready to put our helm up again and bid good-bye, when the
tiffin gong could be heard sounding on the Indiaman's quarterdeck,
and the old white-haired captain politely asked me if I wouldn't
come aboard with one or two of my officers to lunch. Mr Snelling
gave me a wistful glance--there were a dozen pretty faces admiring
our schooner out of the long white awnings: but even if the notion
of bringing up Snelling himself as my first officer hadn't been
too much for me, not to speak of either Jones or Webb, why the
very thoughts that everything I saw recalled to me, made me the
more eager to get in sight of the Seringapatam. "Thank you, sir,"
answered I. "No--I must be off after the Bombay ship."--"Ah," hailed
the old captain, "some of your Admiral's post-bags, I suppose. Well,
keep as much northing as you can, sir, and I daresay you'll find her
parted company. She's got a jury fore topmast up, for one she lost
a week ago; so you can't mistake her for the Mandarin, with a good
glass."--"Have you noticed any suspicious craft lately, sir?" asked
I. "Why, to tell you the truth, lieutenant," sang out he, looking
down off the high bulwarks at our long nine-pounders and the knot of
Lascars, "none more so than we thought _you_, at first, sir!" The
cadets on the poop roared with laughter, and an old lady with two
daughters seemed to eye Snelling doubtfully through an opera-glass,
as the reefer ogled both of them at once. "By the bye," sang out the
captain of the Indiaman to me again, "I fancy the passengers in that
ship must have got somehow uncomfortable--one of our Bengal grandees
aboard of her wanted a berth to Calcutta with us, 'tother day in the
Mozambique; but we're too full already!"--"Indeed, sir?" said I; but
the schooner's mainboom was jibbing over, and with two or three more
hails, wishing them a good voyage, and so on, away we slipped past
their weather-bow. The Warringford got under weigh at her leisure,
and in an hour or two her topsails were down to leeward of us. On
I cracked with square and studding-sails to the quartering breeze,
till the schooner's light hull jumped to it, and aloft she was all
hung out of a side, like a dairyman's daughter carrying milk; with
the pace she went at I could almost say to an hour when we should
overhaul the chase.

Still, after two or three days of the trade-wind, well out in the
Indian Ocean, and not a spot to be seen, we had got so far up the
Line as to make me sure we had overrun her. Accordingly the schooner
was hauled sharp on a wind to cruise slowly down across what must
be the Indiaman's track, judging as we could to a nicety, with a
knowledge of the weather we had had. For my part I was so certain
of sighting her soon, that I ordered the after-cabins to be set to
rights, seeing a notion had taken hold of me of actually offering
them to Sir Charles Hyde for the voyage to Calcutta--Fancy the
thought! 'Twas too good to be likely; but Violet herself actually
being in that little after-cabin and sleeping in it--the lively
schooner heading away alone for India, and they and Westwood the
sole passengers aboard--why, the idea of it was fit to drive me
crazy with impatience.

Well, one fine night, after being on deck all day, and the whole
night before, almost, I had turned in to my cot to sleep. From
where I lay I could see the moonshine off the water through the
stern-light in that after-cabin, by the half-open door. I felt
the schooner going easily through the water, with a rise and
fall from the heave of the long Line-swell; so close my eyes I
couldn't, especially as the midshipman could be heard snoring on
the other side like the very deuce. Accordingly I turned out into
the after-cabin, and got hold of one of the Frenchman's volumes to
read, when, lo and behold, I found it was neither more nor less
than Greek, all I knew being the sight of it. Next I commenced
overhauling the bundle of handwriting, which I took at first for
a French log of the schooner's voyage, and sat down on the locker
to have a spell at it. So much as I could make out, in spite of
the queer outlandish turn the letters had, and the quirks of the
unnatural sort of language, it was curious enough--a regular story,
in fact, about his own life, the war, and Buonaparte himself. At
another time I'd have given a good deal to go through with it at odd
hours--and a strange affair I found it was some time afterwards;
but meanwhile I had only seen at the beginning that his name was
_Le Compte Victor l'Allemand, Capitaine de la Marine Française_,
and made out at the end how there was some scheme of his beyond
what I knew before, to be carried out in India,--when it struck me
there was no one on the quarterdeck above. I listened for a minute
through the stern-window, and thought I heard some one speaking over
the schooner's lee-quarter, as she surged along; so slipping on a
jacket and cap, I went on deck at once.

It was middle watch at the time; but as soon as I came up I saw all
was quiet--Webb near the gangway talking to the old Lascar serang,
and breaking the English wonderfully betwixt them; while the Lascars
of the watch were sitting like tailors in a ring on the forecastle
planks, each waiting for his turn of one cocoa-nut hookah, that kept
hubble-bubbling away gravely under the smoker's nose, as he took a
long suck at it, while the red cinder in the bowl lighted up his
leathery Hindoo face and mustache like a firefly in the root of a
banian, till he handed it, without even a wipe, to his neighbour.
These fellows had begun to get much livelier as we made the tropics;
and this same serang of theirs had put out his horns once or twice
to Snelling lately, though he drew them in again the moment he saw
me--a sulky old knotty-faced, yellow-eyed devil I thought him at any
rate, while his dish-cloth of a turban, his long blue gown and red
trousers, reminded you at sea in a gale of a dancing dervish. The
day we spoke the Indiaman, in fact, I noticed there was something in
the wind for a minute or two with him and his gang, which put it in
my head at first to offer them to the captain for a couple of good
English hands; and as I passed him and Webb this time, the serang
stopped his talk, and sidled off.

However, a beautiful night it was, as ever eye looked upon even in
the blue Indian Ocean: the heavens cloudless, the full round moon
shining high off our weather-beam again, the stars drawn up into her
bright light, as it were, trembling through the films of it like
dew-drops in gossamer of a summer morning: you saw the sea meet the
sky on every hand, without a speck on the clear line of horizon,
through the squares of our ratlins and betwixt the schooner's two
long fore-and-aft booms. A pretty strongish breeze we had, too,
blowing from east to west with a sweep through the emptiness aloft,
and a wrinkling ripple over the long gentle swells, as deep in the
hue as if fresh dye came from the bottom, and crisping into a small
sparkle of foam wherever they caught it full. Something pleasant,
one couldn't say what, was in the air; and every sheet being hauled
taut to hold wind, the slant gush of it before her beam drove her
slipping ahead toward the quarter it came from, with a dip down
and a saucy lift of her jibs again, as if she were half balanced
amidships, but little noise about it. I took a squint aloft and an
overhaul all round, and nothing was to be seen. The size of the sky
through the moonlight looked awful, as it were, and the strength
of the breeze seemed to send a heavenly blue deep into the western
quarter, till you saw a star in it. The night was so lovely, in
fact, it somehow made one think of one's mother, and old times,
when you used to say your prayers. Still I couldn't see the mate of
the watch on the weather quarterdeck, which surprised the more in
Jones's case, since he was always ready for me when I came up; and,
to tell the truth, I shouldn't have been sorry to catch him napping
for once, only to show he was like men in common. I walked aft by
the weather side of the large mainsail, accordingly, till I saw him
leaning with his head over the lee-bulwark, and heard him again, as
I thought, apparently speaking to some one down the schooner's side;
upon which I stepped across. Jones's back was to me as I looked over
too; but owing to what he was busy with, I suppose, and the wash
of the water, which was louder there than inboard, while you heard
the plash from her bows every time she forged, he evidently didn't
hear me. You may fancy my wonder to find he was reading loud out
to himself from the other of the Frenchman's volumes, which I had
no doubt left in the dining-cabin--the book open in both hands--he
giving it forth in long staves, with a break between--and regular
Greek it was, too: you'd have thought he timed them to the plash
alongside; and I must say, as every string of long-tailed words
flowed together like one, in Jones's deep voice, and the swell rose
once or twice with its foam-bells near his very hands, I almost
fancied I made a meaning of them--each like a wave, as it were,
sweeping to a crest, and breaking. The gusto the man showed in it
you can't conceive; and, what was more, I had no doubt he understood
the sense of it, for all of a sudden, after twenty staves or so of
the kind, he stopped.[8] "There!" said he, "there, old Homer--women,
wine, and adventure--what could the devil ask more, blind old
prater, with a sound in you like the sea? Ay, wash, wash, wash
away, lying old blue-water, you cant wash _it_ out--and wine--no,
not the strongest rum in Cape Town--can wash _you_ out!" With that
Jones laid his head on his arms, with the book still in one hand,
muttering to himself, and I listened in spite of me. "Still it
rouses the old times in me!" said he. "Here comes this book across
me, too. Ay, ay, and the Rector fancied, sitting teaching me Greek
out of old wild Homer all week day--and--and his girl slipping out
and in--'twould do to don the cassock of a Sunday and preach out of
the pulpit against the world, the devil, and the flesh--then warn me
against the sea--ha!" The laugh that came from him at that moment
was more like a dog than a human being; but on he went muttering
"Women, wine, and adventure, said ye, old Greek, and a goddess
too; still he _was_ a good old man the Rector--no guile nor evil
in him, with his books in the cases yonder, and the church-spire
seen through the window over the garden, and his wife with--ah,
the less of that. 'Twas in me, though, and all the blood--and in
_her_ dark eyes, too, Mary, though she was! Damnation!" he broke
out again, after a bit, as if he'd been arguing it with something
under the side, "I didn't take her the first time I came home--nor
the second--but--but--ay, I came _back_! Oh that parting-stile, in
sight of the sea--and that packet-ship--but oh God! that night, that
night with the schooner forging ahead through the blue--blue--" And
he stopped with a groan that shook him as he leant over. "Hellish,
hellish by God!" he said, suddenly standing upright and looking
straight aloft, with his bare head and face to the wide empty sky,
and the moonlight tipping the hair on his forehead, from over the
high shadow on the lee-side of the mainsail, where it glistened
along the gaff. "She was pure to the last!" I heard him say, though
I had walked to the other side of the boom; "ay, though I rot to
perdition for it!--Down, old fiend!" as he lifted his one hand with
the book, and drove it alongside, seemingly watching it settle away

  [8] Looking into Homer's _Iliad_ here for a passage to correspond
  with the account given by the naval man, one is somewhat at a loss;
  but at the end of the second book of the _Odyssey_ there occur lines
  which might not improbably have been those recited. They are such
  as might well, in the original, excite longings after sea-life, and
  revive feelings of the kind most natural to the seafaring character,
  apparently known to Captain Collins only as "Jones." Will the
  readers of Maga accept, illustratively, of a rough translation?--

     Then to Telemachus glided on board divinest Athenè,
     Where on the poop she sat, and near her Telemachus rested.
     Then were the moorings loosed by the mariners coming aboard her,
     Joyous coming on board, and seated apart on the benches.
     A fair westerly breeze by the blue-eyed goddess was wafted,
     Cheerfully rippling along, and over the deep-coloured ocean.
     Now to his shipmates shouted Telemachus, while to the oar-blades
     Leapt the impatient surge, till each at his order obeying,
     Stepped they the pine-mast then in the mast-hole ready amidships,
     Firmly staying it both ways down; and next by the well-twisted
     hide-thongs, Snowily spreading abroad, the sails drew fluttering
     downward. And in the sail-breast blew the bellying wind with a
     murmur, The purple wave hissed from the prow of the bark in its
     motion; Into the riotous wave she plunged, pursuing her voyage.
     But when their oars they drew back to the galley securely,-- The
     swift, dark-sided bark, as she full on her journey exulted--
     Then to her foaming beak they brought the o'er-bubbling goblet
     Of red-hued wine, and poured out on her head a libation To the
     immortal gods, that dwell in the sky and in ocean, But to the
     blue-eyed daughter of Jupiter mostly, Athené. All night then
     they sailed, till the morning rose on their voyage.

Now I had heard nothing from Jones that I couldn't have fancied
before, and there was even a humour to my mind in the notion of
clapping it all on old Homer, if Homer it was, and heaving him
overboard with such a confoundedly complimentary burial-service. But
some of the words that dropped from him shot through one's veins
like icicles: and now there was something fearful in the sight of
him standing straight again, with a look right into the heavens,
as if he'd have searched them up and up--in that lovely night too,
spread far and wide--the very rays of the moonlight sparkled down
the weather side of the sail I was on, trembling on the leech-ropes
and brails as they swayed, and into the hollows they made in the
belly of the taut canvass: the long shining spot of it wavered
and settled on the same two planks of the quarterdeck, beyond the
shadow of the bulwark from the moon's eye, fast as the schooner
moved through the water, and it was like a hand laid upon her,
with the air and wind stretching between. Of a sudden I saw Jones
wheel slowly round where he stood, like a man turned about by main
strength, with his eyes fixed aloft, and his one arm raising from
the shoulder till his forefinger pointed to something, as I thought,
about the fore-to'gallant sail. His face was like ashes, his eye
glaring, and I sprang across to him under the main-boom. "See!" said
he, never turning his head, and the words hissed betwixt his teeth,
"look at that!"

"For heaven's sake, _what_, Mr Jones?" said I. "_Her--her_," was
his answer, "coming against the wind--dead fore-and-aft in the
shade of the sails!" On the lee-sides of them the high boom-sails
made a sort of a thin shadow against the moonshine off the other
beam, which came glimpsing through between them out of a world of
air to the south-east, with a double of it flickering alongside
on the water as it heaved past to leeward; and whether it was
fancy, or whether it was but the reflection aloft from below, I
thought, as I followed Jones's finger, I saw something like the
shape of a woman's dress floating close in with the bonnet of the
foretopmast-staysail, from the dusk it made to the breast of the
fore-topsail, and even across the gush of white light under the
yard--long and straight, as it were, like a thing lifted dripping
out of water, and going, as he said, right against the schooner's
course. "Now in the foresail!" whispered Jones, his eye moving as
on a pivot, and a thrill ran through me at the notion, for I made
out one single moment what I thought a face against the sky at the
gaff-end, white as death, shooting aft toward the mainsail,--though
next instant I saw it was but a block silvered by the moon as the
schooner lifted. "Now the mainsail!" said he huskily, "and now--now,
by the heavens--rising--rising to the gaff-topsail--away! Oh Christ!

He was leaning aft toward the width of the sky, with both hands
clutched together before him, shuddering all over. For the first
minute my own blood crept, I must say; but directly after I touched
him on the shoulder. "This is strange, Mr Jones," said I, "what's
the matter?" "Once in the Bermudas!" said he, still wildly, "once
in the Pacific--and now! Does the sea give up its dead, though,
think ye?"--"You've a strong fancy, Mr Jones, that's all," I said,
sternly. "Fancy!" said he, though beginning to get the better of
himself; "did ye ever fancy a face looking down--down at you in the
utterest scorn--down sideways off the shoulder of the garment, as
it sticks wet into every outline like life? All the time gliding on
the other way, too, and the eyes like two stars a thousand miles
away beyond, as kind as angels'--neither wind nor sea can stop it,
till suddenly it rises to the very cope of heaven--still looking
scornfully down at you!--No, sir, fancy it _you_ couldn't!" The
glance he gave me was somehow or other such as I couldn't altogether
stomach from the fellow, and he was turning to the side when I said
quietly, "No, nor Homer either, I daresay!" Jones started and made a
step towards me. "You heard me a little ago!" rapped out he, eyeing
me. "Yes," I said; "by Jove! who could help being curious to hear a
sailor spout Greek as you were doing, Mr Jones?"

"The fact is, Mr Collins," answered he, changing his tone, "I
was well brought up--the more shame to me for bringing myself to
what you saw me. I had a sister drowned, too, on her passage to
America one voyage, when I was mate of the ship myself. No wonder
it keeps my nerves shaking sometimes, when I've had too long
about shore."--"Well, well, Jones," said I, rather softening,
"you've proved yourself a first-rate seaman, and I've got nothing
to complain of--but I tell You fairly I had my doubts of you! So
you'll remember you're under the Articles of War aboard here, sir,"
added I, "which as long as I have this schooner under hand, I'll
be hanged if I don't carry out!" All at once the thought struck me
a little inconveniently, of my carrying off Webb and his people,
and I fancied Jones's quick eye wandered to the Lascars forward.
"I know it, sir," said he, looking me steadily in the face; "and
what's more, Mr Collins, at any rate I couldn't forget you picked me
out, confounded low as I looked, to come aft here! 'Tis not every
captain afloat that has such a good eye for a seaman, as _I_ know!"
"Oh well, no more about it," I said, walking forward on the weather
side, and leaving him on the lee one as distinctly as Lord Frederick
Bury could have done to myself in the frigate. Jones no doubt
thought I didn't notice the slight wrinkle that gathered round his
lee-eye when he gave me this touch of butter at the end; but I put
it down for nothing more, gammon though it was.

It was near the end of the watch, the moon beginning to set, while
it still wanted three hours of daybreak in those latitudes, when
the look-out on the top-gallant-yard, who was stationed there in
man-o'-war cruising fashion, reported a sail to windward. Just then
the midshipman came on deck to his watch, wonderfully early for him
indeed: and on my remarking it was probably the Indiaman at last,
Jones himself went aloft with the night-glass to make her out. "Mr
Snelling," said I, "see the hands on deck ready for going about."
Next minute I saw him rousing up the rest of the Lascars, who slept
watch and watch on the forecastle. Only five or six of the Hebe's
men were up; and all of them, save the man at the wheel, ran aloft
to rig out stunsail-booms to windward, as soon as the schooner was
fairly on the starboard tack, standing to nor'-eastward. Suddenly
I saw a scuffle between the midshipman, and the tindal,[9] a stout
dark-faced young Bengalee, with a jaunty scull-cap and frock, whom
Snelling had probably helped along with a touch of a rope's end;
and in a moment two or three more of them were upon him; while the
reefer drew his dirk, and sung out to me, scarce before I was with
him, the Lascars rolling into the lee-scuppers at two kicks of my
foot. Webb and three of the men from Cape Town were hoisting a
stunsail at the time, the smart man-o'-war'smen aloft singing out to
them to bear a hand. What with the noise of the sail flapping, and
its being betwixt my own men and the deck, they could know nothing
of the matter; and the Lascars let go the halliards in a body,
making a rush at Snelling and myself with everything they could pick
up in the shape of a spar.

  [9] Lascar boatswain's mate.

This would have been nothing, as in two or three minutes more the
men would have been down, and the cocoa-faced rascals dodged every
way from the handspike I got hold of; but I just caught a glimpse
on one side of the sly old serang shoving on the fire-scuttle to
keep down the watch below; and on the other, of Webb looking round
him, evidently to see how matters stood. Two Dutchmen seized the
first sailor that came down the rigging, by the legs, and I saw
the affair must be finished at once, it had so much the look of a
regular plot on Webb's part, if Jones wasn't concerned in it too.
I made one spring upon my Cape Town gentleman, and took him by the
throat with one hand, while I hit the biggest Dutchman full behind
the ear, felling him to the deck; on which the man-o'-war's man
grappled his watchmate, and Webb was struggling with me sufficiently
to keep both my hands full, when I had a pleasant inkling of a Malay
Lascar slipping toward my back with a bare kreese in his fist. I
just looked over my shoulder at his black eyes twinkling devilishly
before he sprang, when some one came sliding fair down from the
fore-top-mast-head by a backstay, and pitched in a twinkling on
top of his head--a thing enough to break the neck of a monument.
Directly after, I saw Jones himself hitting right and left with
his night-glass, from the moonlight to the shadow of the foresail,
while Snelling tumbled over a Lascar at every slap, standing up
in boxer style. By the time the rest of the men came down all was
settled--the Dutchmen sulking against the bulwarks, and Webb gasping
after I let him go. "Boatswain," said I to one of the sailors, "clap
that man in irons below. Mr Snelling, see the watch called, sir." "I
'ad the law with me," said Webb gloomily. "You plotted it then, Mr
Webb?" I said. "Didn't you carry us off illegally?" said he. "I only
meant to recover the vessel--upon my honour, nothing more, sir; and
if you're 'ard with me, you'll have to answer for it, I assure you!"
Here he looked round to Jones in a strange way, as I fancied for a
moment; but Jones turned on his heel with a sneer. "Why, Mr Webb,"
answered I, "you lost that tack by offering yourself in a watch,
which makes the thing neither more nor less than mutiny--so take him
below, do ye hear, bo'sun!" And down he went.

"Now, Mr Jones," said I, as soon as all hands were on deck, "you'll
be so good as have half of these Lascars seized to the rigging here,
one after the other, and see a good dozen given to each of their
backs; then these two Dutchmen, each three dozen--then pipe down
the watch, sir." Jones glanced at me, then at the fellows, then
at me again. I thought he hung aback for an instant; but do it I
was determined he should, for a reason I had; and I gave him back
the look steady as stone. "Ay, ay, sir," said he at last, touching
his hat. I walked aft to the capstan, and stood there till every
mother's son of them had got his share, the Lascars wriggling and
howling on the deck after it, and the Dutchmen twisting their backs
as they walked off. 'Twas the first time I did that part of duty in
command; and I felt, in the circumstances, I was in for carrying it
out with a taut hand.

By this time the moon was setting, and in the dusk we lost sight
of the sail to windward; but as we were heading well up to weather
upon her, and going at least ten knots, I turned in below for a
little, leaving the midshipman. Accordingly, it wasn't very long
before Snelling called me in broad daylight. "She's a large ship,
Mr Collins," said he, "standing under all sail on a wind. I hope to
goodness, sir, it's that confounded Indiaman at last!" I hurried on
deck, took the glass aloft, and soon made out the jury-foretop-mast
shorter than the main, as the old captain mentioned. Accordingly it
was with somewhat of a flutter in me I came down again, watching the
schooner's trim below and aloft, to see if I couldn't take an hour
or so off the time betwixt that and once more setting eyes on the
Judge's daughter.


The period at which this obnoxious measure has been brought forward,
limits our present remarks to a few paragraphs. But we have so long
fought for the Constitution, that We cannot suffer the month to
pass without reprobating an intrigue, which we cannot but regard
as most dangerous to the Empire. We are no bigots,--we demand
no surrender of the rights of opinion,--we force no man to our
altars,--we forbid no man's access to his own; but to avert public
evil is a duty of every subject,--to strip hypocrisy is clearly an
act of justice,--and to protect religion is only an act of supreme
necessity. We solemnly believe, that to bring the Jew into the
Parliament of England, would be at once injury to the Constitution,
a peril to public principle, and an insult to Christianity.

The attempt was made last year, and was defeated. It is now to
be renewed, without the slightest additional ground, and the
battle will have to be fought over again. Must we not ask, is this
experiment to be again made on public patience? Is it meant to
tell the people of England, that what common sense rejects, is to
be forced on general weariness; that what manly principle repels,
is to be gained by vulgar perseverance; and that which public
judgement denounces, is to be made law by the united effect of
disgust and disdain producing indifference? We trust that the common
sense of England will speak such a language to the Legislature,
as to extinguish the _prestige_ that obstinacy in the wrong is
more effective than honesty in the right; that to be sickened of a
struggle, is a legitimate reason for abandoning the contest; and
that a great nation can be yawned out of the greatest interests in
the world.

The first question of all is, Can this admission of the Jew into
a Christian legislature be compatible with the character of a
Christian constitution? If we live in bad times, with the evidence
of bad practices in important positions, and with a powerful
propensity among influential classes to sacrifice everything to
the moment, this consciousness should only be a stronger claim on
the vigilance of honest men. However strangely it may sound in
some ears, England is still a Christian country: however some may
doubt, the country still demands a Christian legislature; and,
notwithstanding all opinions on the subject, we believe that to
worship God and Mammon is still as impossible as it was pronounced
to be eighteen hundred years ago. We believe that it is only by
national virtue that nations can retain the divine protection; that
zeal for the divine honour is the supreme source of virtue; and
that to sacrifice the honour of God to any earthly purpose, is only
to bring divine desertion on a people. Must we not ask, is there
any national demand, national necessity, or religious principle,
connected with giving legislative power, at this time, to the Jew?

Where is the national demand? If the Jew, in some instances, is
rich, is mere money to be the qualification for giving legislative
power? In the simplest point of view, must we not demand ability,
personal honour, a personal interest in the country, and a personal
evidence that the trustee will never betray or abandon his trust?
But what is the Jew? He has _no_ country. By being equally a
member of all countries, he is equally an alien in all; beyond the
casual connexion of trade, he has no connexion with any kingdom
of earth: his only country is his counting-house,--his only city
is the Exchange. His world consists in his traffic; and if any
calamity should fall on one of those kingdoms where he keeps his
counting-house, he transfers himself, like a Bill of Exchange, to
the next; and in whatever land is equally at home. The Jew gives
no pledge to any country; he is no possessor of land, no leader of
science, no professor of the liberal pursuits, no manufacturer, no
merchant, no sailor, no soldier; as if some irresistible destination
prohibited him from ever finally settling in any land, his property
is always ready to take wing. Must we not ask, Is this fugitive the
man who has a right to share the privileges of the Englishman,
bound, as we are, to the soil by nature, and bound to its defence
and prosperity by the indissoluble obligation of nature?

In a political point of view, what security could we have for
confiding in the Jew,--for intrusting our finances, our liberties,
our councils, the guardianship of our country, to the Jew? The
especial and perpetual object of his existence is money. Now,
while every man knows that money is the great corrupter of the
human mind, that, except in minds fully fortified by principle, it
overwhelms all other objects, and that, in all the convulsions of
the greatest war of Europe--the war of the French Revolution--the
secrets of every Continental cabinet were at the mercy of the purse;
do we desire to see this supremacy extended? Do we desire to see
the principles of fraud and falsehood made a regular material in
the market of public transactions, and lucre exalted into the sole
object of existence?

As to the practical effect of bringing the tribe of the money-dealer
into Parliament, would any man, in the exercise of his experience,
wish to see the finances of England in the hands of any Jew in
existence? And let no man pretend that this conception is imaginary.
Place a Jew in Parliament, giving him the power of making a party;
give him the opportunity of working on the impulses, habits, or
necessities of men; and in twelve months you may see him anything
he desires,--even Chancellor of the Exchequer. But he is a man of
honour; he will not sell the secrets of Council; he will not copy a
despatch for the benefit of his partners; he will not raise or sink
the stocks, though every movement may add a million to the coffers
of his partnership. We hope not; but can we run the risk? But the
fact is, that he is a man not to be judged of by the feelings of
any other in the world; he differs from all other men. What is
patriotism to the Jew? He knows nothing of it. Who ever heard of the
Jew taking any part in those noble struggles which have saved the
honour or secured the rights of any nation on earth? His business
is gain, and it is the only business that he ever follows; from the
man with ten firms and five hundred clerks, with a counting-house in
every village from the Rhine to the Neva, down to the seller of old
clothes, and the pedlar in dilapidated slippers, who ever heard of a
Jew thinking of anything but to make money?

But the view which must supersede all others, is the aspect of the
measure as it relates to religion. Great Britain is certainly,
on the whole, a religious country: it perhaps contains more true
religion than all the earth besides; but its fault is, that, though
reverent in the church, it does not sufficiently carry its reverence
into the course of common life. If this were done, there would be
no difficulties in public opinion. It is in no superstition that
we say, the only question to be asked on any doubtful course of
action is, "Will it please God? Is it for the honour of God?" This
is what the Scripture calls "walking with God," and describes as
the essential character of virtue. But the majority of mankind add
to those questions, Will it benefit myself? The statesman asks,
Shall I lose power by it?--the merchant, Shall I lose profit?--the
tradesman, Shall I lose custom? And this question is the master-key
to the diversities of opinion on points which, to the unbiassed
mind, are as clear as the sun.

Let us put the matter in a more every-day point of view. Let us
suppose the question asked, Would you take for your friend a man
who denied your God, who scoffed at your religion, and who declared
yourself a dupe or a deceiver? Yet all this the Jew does openly
by the profession of his own creed. Can you conceive it for the
honour of your Redeemer, to give this man your confidence in the
highest form in which it can be given by a subject? Or can you
bring yourself to believe that you are doing your duty to Christ
in declaring by your conduct, that to be hostile to Him makes no
imaginable difference in your estimate of the character of any man?

On those points it is wholly impossible that there can be any doubt
whatever. The enemy of Christ cannot, without a crime, be favoured,
still less patronised and promoted, by the friend of Christ. Now,
this feeling is neither prejudice nor persecution: it merely takes
the words of the Jew himself; and it would not force him, by the
slightest personal injury, to change the slightest of his opinions.
It is merely the conduct which all who were unbiassed by gain, or
unperverted by personal objects, would follow in any common act of
life. To give power to the Jew, from the motives of pelf, or party,
or through indifference, is criminal; and it is against this crime
that we protest, and that we desire to guard our fellow Christian.

We must now rapidly pass through the leading points of the question.
The Jew is a "condemned man." More than three thousand years ago,
Moses, in pronouncing the future history of the people, declared
that a teacher should finally be sent to their nation, like himself,
a man; and mingling as such among men, to give them a law, not in
clouds and thunders as at Sinai, nor written in tables of stone, nor
fixed in stern ordinances, but written in the heart, and acting by
the understanding: and that, if they rejected him, they should be
made nationally to answer the national crime to the Almighty. Him
they rejected, and the rejection has been answered by national ruin.
The prophecy is before the eye of the world; the fulfilment is also
before the eye of the world.

The Jew is an undone being, if there be truth in the words of
inspiration. "He that believeth in the Son hath everlasting life;
and he that believeth not the Son, _shall not see life_; but the
_wrath of God_ abideth on him." (John iii. 35, 36.) What right have
we to dispense with such words? The declaration is unequivocal;
and if there be a compassionate allowance for the barbarian, who
has no Bible and whom the gospel has never reached, what allowance
can there be for the Jew, possessing the Bible and living in the
sound of the gospel? But this language is not alone. We have the
declaration of ruin constantly expressed or implied, "Who is a liar,
but he that _denieth that Jesus is the Christ_? Whosoever _denieth
the Son_, the same _hath not the Father_." (1 John ii. 22)

Are those deniers the men whom the Christian is to take into
the very centre of his political favouritism? Are the brands of
Scripture on the national forehead to be scorned by a people
professing obedience to the Divine will? Can human conception supply
a stronger proof of the reality of those brands than the condition
of the Jews ever since their first fulfilment, in the fall of
Jerusalem--the terrible reply to their own anathema, "His blood be
on us, and on our children."

What is the state of the Jew himself with respect to sacred things?
Nothing but ignorance can speak of the _religion_ of the Jew. So far
as belongs to worship, he has _none_. Sacrifice, the solemnisation
of the three great festivals, the whole ceremonial of the temple,
were _essential_ to Judaism. The Jew cannot perform a single public
ceremonial of his religion. Sacrifice was supremely essential for
nearly the atonement of every fault of man; but it could be offered
only in the Temple. The Temple is gone. What now becomes of his

A weak attempt is made to answer this tremendous question, by
referring to the condition of the Jews in Babylon. But what
comparison can exist between a captivity prophetically limited to
years not exceeding a single life, passed under the protection of
kings, and under the guardianship of the most illustrious man of
Asia, the prophet Daniel, cheered by prophecy and miracle, and
certain of return, and the eighteen hundred years' banishment of
the Jew? What comparison between the temporary suspension of the
national worship, and the undefined and hopeless duration which
seems to lie before the Jewish exile; and which, when it shall close
at last, will extinguish his Judiasm, will show him his folly only
by stripping the superstition of the Rabbi and the Talmud from his
eyes, and will awake him at once to the extent of his error, to the
exercise of his understanding, and to the worship of Christianity?

After considerations of this order, all others must be almost
trivial. But the common declamation on the _natural right_ of the
Jew to be represented in Parliament is verbiage. But the Jew is
actually represented, as much as a multitude of other interests of
superior importance are represented. Are the fifteen thousand clergy
of the Church of England (a body worth all the Jews on the globe)
personally represented? Are the millions of England under twenty-one
represented? One might thus go through the great industrious classes
of England, and find that, out of twenty millions, there are not
one million electors. And what claim have a class--who come to this
country only to make money, and who make nothing but money, and who,
if they could make more money anywhere else on the earth, would go
there to-morrow--to an equality of right with the manly, honest, and
attached son of England, every day of whose life adds something to
the comfort or the credit of the community?

The whole and sole claim of the Jew is, that some of his party are
rich. How they have made their riches, or how they spend them,
is beneath us to inquire. But what are their national evidences,
even of wealth, it might be difficult to discover. They exhibit no
fruits here, nor anywhere. It has been often asked, with genuine
astonishment, what signs of national liberality have ever been
given by Jewish wealth in the world? What contribution does it
make, or has it ever made, to the arts that decorate life, to the
literature that enlightens it, or to those bold and commanding
services by which nations are raised or restored? Where are the
picture galleries, or the great libraries, the great institutions,
erected by the wealth of the Jew? As to the genius which endows
mankind, for generations to come, with noble inventions, or leaves
its name behind in a track of glory to posterity, who ever heard of
it among the Jews? Shopkeepers of London have planted its vicinity
with great establishments, castles of charity, magnificent monuments
of practical religion, to which all the works of Jewish bounty are
molehills. The Jews have an hospital and a few schools,--and there
the efflux of liberality stops, the stream stagnates, the river
becomes a pond, and the pond dries away.

It is remarkable, and may be a punitive consequence, that there
is nothing so fugitive as the wealth of the Jew. There is perhaps
no hereditary example of Jewish wealth in the world. In England
we have seen opulent firms, but they have never had the principle
of permanency. Supposed to be boundlessly wealthy, a blight came,
and every leaf dropt off. One powerful firm now lords it over the
loan-market of Europe. We have no desire to anticipate the future;
but what has become of all its predecessors in this country? or what
memorial have they all left, to make us regret their vanishing, or
remember their existence?

Of the sudden passion with which Ministers have snatched the
Israelite to their bosom, we shall leave the explanation until
their day of penitence. As poverty makes man submit to strange
companionship, political necessity may make a Whig Cabinet stoop to
the embrace of the Jew. The resource is desperate, but the exigency
must be equally so. We hail the omen,--the grasp at straws shows
nothing but the exhaustion of the swimmer.

On one point more alone we shall touch. It is of a graver kind.
It has been the source of a kind of ignorant consideration for
the Jews, that prophecy speaks of their future restoration. But,
as _Jews_ they will _never_ be restored. In the last days some
powerful influence of the Holy Spirit will impel the surviving Jews
to solicit an admission into Christianity. How many or how few will
survive the predicted universal convulsion of these days, is not for
man to tell; the terrible, or the splendid, catastrophes of those
times are still hidden; but no Jew well ever dwell in the presence
of the patriarchs, but as a "new creature"--a being cleared from the
prejudices of his exiled fathers, and by supernatural interposition
purified from the unbelief, to be rescued from the ruin, of his
stiff-necked people.

The measure must be thrown out by the awakened power of public
opinion. We must not indulge our indolence in relying on the House
of Lords. They _may_ do their duty, but _we must do ours_. The Jew
_must not_ enter the Christian Legislature.


The taste for pictorial art, if its progress may be measured by
the opportunity afforded for its gratification, is decidedly upon
the increase in this country. In London, especially, pictures of
one class or other form, each successive year, a larger and more
important item in the sum of public amusements. During the present
season of 1850 there have been open, at one time, four exhibitions
consisting chiefly of oil paintings, two numerous collections of
water-colour drawings, and panoramas and dioramas in unprecedented
number and of unusual excellence. These last, although pertaining
to a lower walk of art, have strong claims on consideration for
their scenic truthfulness and artistic skill, and are fairly to
be included in an estimate of the state of public feeling for the
pictorial. The four first exhibitions alone comprise upwards of
three thousand works of art, now for the first time submitted to
public inspection. As usual, the exhibition of the Royal Academy
is the most important and deserving of attention. Numerically, the
Society of British Artists claims the next place; but in point of
interest it must yield precedence to the British Institution, now
for some weeks closed, and also to the exhibition of an association
of artists which has installed itself, upon a novel principle,
and under the title of the National Institution, in a building
constructed for its accommodation, and known as the Portland
Gallery. It were for some reasons desirable--it certainly would
be favourable to the comparative appreciation of merit--that, as
at Paris, the whole of the annual harvest of pictures should be
collected in one edifice, subject, of course, to such previous
examination by a competent and impartial council, as should exclude
those works unworthy of exhibition. But such a system, however
pleasant it might be found by the public, could hardly be made
agreeable to the artists. The most indulgent censorship, excluding
none but the veriest daubs--nay, even the plan of open doors to
all comers, which has lately clothed a portion of the walls of the
Republican Louvre with canvass spoiled by ignorance and presumption,
would fail to satisfy artists and their friends. In London, as in
Paris under the old system, it is less the question of admission
than the placing of the pictures that is the source of discontent.
The excluded conceal their discomfiture; the misplaced grumble
loudly, and not always without reason, especially as regards the
Academy exhibition. The fault may be more in the rooms that contain,
than in the men who place the pictures. Of course everybody whose
work gets into the Octagon Room feels aggrieved, although it is
evident that, as long as that ridiculous nook is used to contain
pictures, some unlucky artists must fill it. The good places in
the other rooms--limited as is the extent of these compared to
the large number of pictures annually exhibited in them--cannot
be very numerous, although they may be multiplied by the exercise
of judgment, and by impartial attention to the requirements of
each picture as regards light and elevation. The best possible
arrangement, however, will fail to please everybody, and the
persons to whom falls the difficult task of distributing a thousand
or fifteen hundred pictures over the walls of a suite of rooms
inadequate to their proper accommodation, must be prepared to endure
some obloquy, and esteem themselves fortunate if the public acquit
them of flagrant partiality or negligence. It is not our purpose
to dilate on this oft-mooted and still vexed question. We have no
polemical intention in the present paper, in which we shall not have
too much space to note down a few of the thoughts that suggested
themselves to us during our morning wanderings amongst the throng of
pictures in four exhibitions.

The great event of the artist's year, the opening of the Exhibition
of the Royal Academy, is of course the signal for a Babel of
opinions. The question which on all sides is heard: What sort of
Exhibition is this? obtains the most conflicting replies. People
are too apt to trust to their first impressions, and to indulge in
sweeping censure or excessive encomium. We have heard this year's
exhibition set down by some as first-rate, by others as exceedingly
poor. Our own opinion, after careful examination and consideration,
is, that it has rather less than the average amount of merit.
This we believe to be also the opinion of the majority of those
most competent to judge. There is certainly an unusually small
number of pictures of striking excellence; nor is this atoned for
by any marked improvement in those artists whose works can claim
but a second rank. One circumstance unfavourable to the interest
of the exhibition is the uncommonly large number of portraits,
the majority of which are not very admirable either in subject or
execution. The impression, as one walks through the rooms, is,
that an extraordinary number of ugly or uninteresting persons have
got themselves painted by careless or indifferent artists. Of
landscapes there seem to be fewer than usual--certainly fewer good
ones. Some of the best of this class of painters have contributed
to other exhibitions. On the other hand, historical, scriptural,
and dramatic subjects are numerous, but not in many cases have they
been treated with very great success. One of the foremost pictures
in the Exhibition--certainly the one about which most curiosity
has been excited--is Edwin Landseer's _Dialogue at Waterloo_. We
are unfeigned admirers of Mr Landseer's genius, but we do not
think this one of his happiest efforts. There is much fashion in
these matters; people are very apt to be led away by a name, and
to fall into ecstasies before a picture simply because it is by a
great painter. We believe it impossible for Edwin Landseer to paint
anything that shall not have great merit, but he is certainly most
felicitous when confining himself to what is strictly speaking his
own style. We do not think him successful as a portrait painter.
His Marchioness of Douro does less than justice to the beautiful
original. As to the Duke of Wellington, it is a failure; especially
if, as we are assured, it is intended to be his portrait as he
now is. We certainly cannot admire the burly figure and swarthy
complexion of Mr Landseer's Duke, which gives us the idea of a
younger and more robust man than him it is intended to represent.
We should be disposed to object to the strained appearance of the
downward-pointing hand; but the gesture is said to be one habitual
to the original, and of course the painter was right to preserve
character, even at the cost of grace. The less prominent portion of
the picture is the most to our taste--the peasants and child, the
dogs and game, and the plough horses with their old driver. We are
not quite clear as to what it all means; some of the objects seeming
rather to have been dragged in than naturally to have come thither;
the tablecloth spread in the ploughed field appearing rather out
of character, and the left-hand corner of the picture having
altogether somewhat of a crowded aspect: but these are trifles not
worth dwelling upon. The painting is evidently unfinished. The
subject of Mr Landseer's second picture, a shepherd digging the
stragglers from his flock out of a snow-drift, is of less interest
than that of his larger work; but, in an artistic point of view, it
claims higher praise. His snow is admirable, the tender gray tints
are full of light, and distributed with surpassing skill; and the
earnest laborious face of the delving peasant is very vigorous and
characteristic. Mr Landseer is so accurate an observer of brute
nature that it is with extreme caution we venture to criticise his
animals, but we must say that the wool of his sheep in this painting
has a hard and cork-like look. Upon the whole it is a question with
us, when we revert to some of this artist's former productions,
whether he is painting as carefully as he used to do. Looking at
his Waterloo Dialogue, we say no; but an affirmative starts to our
lips when we examine his last and smallest picture in this year's
Exhibition, Lady Murchison's dog. With this the most fastidious
would be troubled to find fault. It is a gem of admirable finish.
If Mr Landseer's power of drawing, in the grander contours of his
designs, were equal to the skill he displays in the details, he
would leave nothing to desire.

Mr Maclise has two pictures in this exhibition. There is scarcely
an English artist living concerning whom we are more embarrassed
to make up our minds, than concerning the painter of _The Spirit
of Justice_ and _The Gross of Green Spectacles_. His merits and
defects are alike very great, and unfortunately he delays to amend
the latter--if indeed it be in his power so to do. His first-named
and larger picture, whilst it contains much to admire, leaves a
great deal to be desired. To us it is a vexatious performance.
We cannot look at it without admitting it to be the work of no
ordinary artist, and we feel the more annoyed at the mannerism that
detracts from its merit. Mr Maclise has fertility of invention
and power of design, but there is a deficiency of true artistical
feeling in his execution. We cannot coincide, besides, with the
notion which he, in common with many others, seems to entertain,
that fresco painting precludes chiaroscuro. In _The Spirit of
Justice_ there are some good faces; but there are more that are
unnecessarily ugly, and several of faulty expression. Justice has
a fine countenance and altogether pleases us well. The widow's
face is hard and unflesh-like; the accuser, who drags the murderer
before the tribunal, and displays a bloody dagger as evidence of
guilt, and the free citizen who unrolls the charter of liberty, are
anything but admirable. The accuser looks more like an informer
than an avenger. Nothing can be more unfavourable to the face than
the sort of scrubby, colourless, thinly-sown stubble with which his
chin is provided, as a contrast, we presume, with the dark hirsute
countenance of the criminal, who, deducting the beard, might pass
for a portrait of Mr Macready, of one of whose favourite attitudes
the position of the head and shoulders particularly reminds us. With
all its defects, however, this is by far the best of Mr Maclise's
two pieces. _The Gross of Spectacles_ we consider a failure. It is
a gross of spectacles, and little besides. The first thing that
catches the eye is Moses' unlucky bargain. There they are, the
twelve dozen, in green cases and with plated rims. We submit that
the first thing which _should_ attract the eye is the countenances
of the actors in the scene. Owing to their tameness of expression,
these, which should be prominent, are almost subordinate to the
inanimate details of the apartment. Unimportant as it is, we are
inclined to prefer the recess, and the peep through the window, to
any other part of the picture. There is an airiness and transparency
in that corner of the canvass, which we in vain seek elsewhere. The
general effect is very hard. The hair of Moses and the little boy is
as unlike hair as it well can be: we remember to have seen something
very like it upon a tea-tray. These are technical objections. But Mr
Maclise may rely upon it that he lacks the keen perception of humour
indispensable to the artist who would illustrate Goldsmith.

Amongst the scriptural and mythological paintings, those of Mr
Patten and Mr F. R. Pickersgill attract at least as much notice as
they deserve. Besides portraits, Mr Patten has contributed three
pictures. His _Susannah and the Elders_ is remarkable as being the
most decidedly indecent picture exhibited this year. The subject
is not a very pleasing one, and, to our thinking, has been painted
quite often enough. But this is not the question. Mr Patten has
put his version of it out of the pale of propriety by his mode of
handling it. There is nothing classical in his treatment, nothing
to redeem or elevate the nudity and associations of the subject.
His Susannah is simply a naked English girl, with a pretty face, an
immaculate cuticle, and something exceedingly voluptuous in the form
and arrangement of her limbs. There is no novelty of conception in
the picture, nor any particular merit except the colouring, which
is good, but not equal to that in No. 446, _Bacchus discovering the
Use of the Grape_. This is a pleasanter subject, cleverly treated,
displaying more originality and much better taste. The flesh-tints
are capital, and the picture altogether does credit to the painter.
_Venus and Cupid_, by the same artist, is chiefly remarkable for
a plaster-of-Paris dove of an extraordinarily brilliant and very
unnatural effect. As to Mr F. R. Pickersgill, we should like his
pictures better if he would not imitate poor Etty, whose memory,
be it parenthetically observed, has been little regarded by those
who have exhibited that most coarse and unpleasant picture, _The
Toilet_, No. 276, a specimen of the deceased artist's worst manner.
Mr Pickersgill's _Samson Betrayed_ is, there is no denying it, a
very unsatisfactory composition. His red-haired Dalilah is graceless
and characterless. Samson, recumbent in an attitude in which no man
ever slept soundly, seems prevented only by a miracle from slipping
off her knees. Two girls, instead of getting to a safe distance, are
hugging each other in terror within reach of the giant's arm. There
is scarcely an attitude in the picture that is not strained. In the
conception there is an utter want of novelty of circumstance. The
whole picture is deficient in originality. The eye wanders over it,
seeking some feature of special interest or striking beauty whereon
to dwell, and finds none. Mr Pickersgill has good qualities, but
the spark of fancy and genius which alone can complete the great
painter, is, we fear, wanting in his composition.

We turn with pleasure to Leslie's pictures. Were we disposed to find
fault with this very agreeable artist, our objections could only
be technical. With want of imagination, and feeling for beauty,
none can tax him. Two of his three pictures contain the sweetest
female faces in this exhibition. How admirably has he interpreted
Shakspeare's description of Beatrice stealing to the woodbine bower,
to play the eavesdropper on Hero and Ursula.

    "Look where Beatrice, like a lapwing, runs
     Close by the ground."

The painter has exactly rendered the poet's graceful idea. As she
glides along, we seem to detect the slight flutter and palpitation
attendant on the clandestine movement. Expression and attitude are
alike charming. Sophia Western deserves even higher praise. She
is indeed a lovely creature. Tom Jones bids her behold herself in
the mirror, and say whether such a face and form do not guarantee
his fidelity. It is altogether a most agreeable composition; and
if we have any fault to find, it is with the face of the enamoured
foundling, which wants refinement, and has a sort of overgrown
schoolboy's ruddy fulness. Katherine of Arragon beseeching Capucius
to convey to Henry VIII. her last recommendation of her daughter
and servants to his goodness, is the most important of Mr Leslie's
pictures; and although by many it will not be deemed the most
attractive, none can deny it great merit and interest. The suffering
countenance of Katherine, and the tearful faces of her attendants,
are full of expression. The ambassador is rather tame, and one
scarcely recognises in his face or bearing the energy with which he
vows to do the bidding of the unhappy queen.

Mr Eastlake has one scriptural and one historical picture in this
year's exhibition. A passage from Sismondi, telling the escape of
an Italian noble and his wife from the persecution of the Duke of
Milan, has suggested the latter, which is painted for the Vernon
Gallery. There is some good expression in the faces in this picture,
which has more interest and novelty than its companion _The Good
Samaritan_, and also greater vigour. Both show the hand of the
experienced and skilful artist, although perhaps neither can be
classed amongst the best things he has produced. We should gladly
see a little more nerve in Mr Eastlake's style, and this we think
might be advantageously combined with his beautiful transparency of
colouring, and other excellent qualities as a painter. There is no
diminution in the purity of style and thought which has always been
one of his finest characteristics.

Mr Frith is an improving artist. There is humour and progress in
No. 543, a scene from Goldsmith's _Good-natured Man_. _Mr Honeywood
introduces the bailiffs to Miss Richland as his friends._ He must
beware, however, of running into caricature in subjects of this
kind. The bailiffs are perhaps a little overdone. Miss Richland
has a very pretty face, but she looks more like a _soubrette_ or
smart actress than a woman of fashion. Mr Frith's other picture,
Sancho proving to the duchess that Don Quixote is at the bottom
of the table, is well painted, and, in a technical point of
view, it must be spoken of with respect. He has not been quite so
successful as we should have expected in the expression of the
faces,--that of the duke excepted, which is a good and thoroughly
Spanish countenance, with its habitual gravity disturbed by Sancho's
quaint humour and his master's manifest distress. But painting
ladies is not Mr Frith's forte. His duchess is pretty, but there
is a want of aristocratic distinction in her face and bearing; and
as to the ladies grouped behind her chair, they are cookmaids in
masquerade. Very few living artists, besides Leslie, should venture
upon Sancho. We will not say that Mr Frith is not one of those few,
but his delineation of the shrewd esquire, although very humorous,
is rather coarse, and he has made him ragged and filthy to an
unnecessary degree. The vexation and embarrassment of Don Quixote
are ludicrously portrayed.

Four very small, very unpretending pictures by Thomas Webster, R.A.,
must be sought for, but, when found, cannot fail to be admired. They
are a feature, and a very charming one, of this year's Exhibition.
High finish and truth to nature are their chief characteristics.
Mr Webster is getting quite into the Ostade manner. His colouring,
too, is admirable. No. 54 is a boy in a chimney corner, supping
pottage, with an old woman knitting opposite to him. Both faces are
excellent, and full of character. _A Cherry Seller_ is a perfect
_bijou_--the woman weighing out the fruit; the boys, looking on with
eager eyes and watering mouths; the fruit itself, with its Dutch
nicety of finish:--altogether it is a most desirable picture, such
as one can hardly pass, even for the twentieth time, without pausing
for another view. _A Peasant's Home_ is upon the whole too gray,
and perhaps the least attractive of the four; but in the _Farmhouse
Kitchen_ are a couple of figures, a farmer and his dame, than which
nothing can be better, either in colour or expression. Mr Webster
shows great taste and judgment in adhering to a pleasing simplicity,
without ever falling into quaintness or affectation. And it is a
study for a young artist to observe the skill with which he throws
his lights, and the transparency and absence of _paintyness_ (to
borrow a term from the studio) which characterise his pictures.

Mr Solomon Hart's _Kitchen Interior at Mayfield_ will not do after
Webster. This, however, is one of the least important of his six
pictures, which comprise two other interiors, two heads, and a
Jewish festival. This last is perhaps the best picture he has
painted. The MSS. of the Pentateuch are being carried round the
synagogue at Leghorn, amidst chanting of hymns. There is a strong
devotional character in many of the faces; and, as a work of art,
the picture is more than respectable. The interest of the subject is
a question of taste. For us, we confess, it possesses very little
attraction; and the Jewish physiognomy, so strongly marked as it
is in all the occupants of the synagogue, is, to our thinking,
incompatible with beauty. We do not much admire either _A Virtuoso
or Arnolfo di Lapo_. The latter is the best of the two: the former,
carefully painted, is merely an ordinary-looking Jew.

What can we say of Mr Turner? Perhaps we had better content
ourselves with mentioning that he has four pictures in the
Exhibition, all in his latest manner, all illustrative of that
far-famed, but, unfortunately, unpublished poem, _The Fallacies of
Hope_, and all proving the fallacy of the hope we annually cherish
that he will abjure his eccentricities, and revert to the style
which justly gained him his high reputation. It were absurd of us
to attempt to criticise his present productions, for to us they are
unintelligible; and, judging from the extremely puzzled looks we see
fixed upon them, we suspect that not many of those who pause for
their examination are more successful than ourselves in deciphering
their meaning, and in appreciating the beauties which a few stanch
adherents pretend to discover in those strange compounds of red,
white, and yellow. What if Mr Turner were to seek his inspirations
elsewhere than in the aforesaid MS.? Can it be that the poet's
halting verse influences the painter's vagaries? From the specimens
afforded us, we are not inclined to think highly of _The Fallacies_
_of Hope_. Take the following, _exempli gratiâ_:--

    "Beneath the morning mist
     Mercury waited to tell him of his neglected fleet."

And this--

    "Fallacious Hope beneath the moon's pale crescent shone,
     Dido listened to Troy being lost and won."

Enough of such poetry, and enough, as far as we are concerned, of a
great painter's unfortunate aberrations.

Apropos of aberrations, we have a word to say, which may as well be
said here as elsewhere. Affectation, however, is a more suitable
word for the mountebank proceedings of a small number of artists,
who, stimulated by their own conceit, and by the applause of a few
foolish persons, are endeavouring to set up a school of their own.
We allude, to the pre-Raphaelites. Let not Messrs Millais, Hunt,
Rosetti, & Co. suppose, because we give them an early place in this
imperfect review of the exhibitions, that we concede to them an
undue importance. As to admiration, we shall presently make them
aware how far we entertain that feeling towards them. Meanwhile,
let them not plume themselves on a place amongst men of genius.
Just as well might they experience an exaltation of their horns,
because their absurd and pretentious productions get casually
hung next to pictures by Landseer or Webster. It appears they
have got into their wise heads certain notions that the ideal of
expression is to be found in the works of the artists who flourished
previously to Raphael. And they have accordingly set to work to
imitate those early masters, not only in the earnestness of purpose
visible in their productions, but in their errors, crudities, and
imperfections--renouncing, in fact, the progress that since then
has been made; rejecting the experience of centuries, to revert for
models, not to art in its prime, but to art in its uncultivated
infancy. And a nice business they make of it. Regardless of anatomy
and drawing, they delight in ugliness and revel in diseased aspects.
Mr Dante Rosetti, one of the high-priests of this retrograde school,
exhibits at the Portland Gallery. Messrs Millais and Hunt favour the
saloons of the Academy. Ricketty children, emaciation and deformity
constitute their chief stock in trade. They apparently select bad
models, and then exaggerate their badness till it is out of all
nature. We can hardly imagine anything more ugly, graceless, and
unpleasant than Mr Millais' picture of Christ in the carpenter's
shop. Such a collection of splay feet, puffed joints, and misshapen
limbs was assuredly never before made within so small a compass. We
have great difficulty in believing a report that this unpleasing and
atrociously affected picture has found a purchaser at a high price.
Another specimen, from the same brush, inspires rather laughter than
disgust. A Ferdinand of most ignoble physiognomy is being lured by a
pea-green monster intended for Ariel; whilst a row of sprites, such
as it takes a Millais to devise, watch the operation with turquoise
eyes. It would occupy more room than the thing is worth to expose
all the absurdity and impertinence of this work. Mr Hunt's picture
of a Christian Missionary sheltered from Druid pursuit is in as
ridiculous taste as any of the group.

From such monstrosities it is a relief to turn to Mr Frank
Stone's graceful creations. He also has taken a subject from the
second scene in the _Tempest_, No. 342, Miranda's first sight of
Ferdinand. Compared with Mr Millais' Ferdinand, that of Mr Stone
is a demigod. Estimated by its intrinsic merits, it strikes us
as a little theatrical--rather too much of the stage-player in
the air and attitude. Miranda has a sweet and youthful face;
Prospero is too young, and does not look his part. This is not
one of Mr Stone's happiest efforts, but it is a nice picture, and
we prefer it to his other in the same exhibition, _The Gardener's
Daughter_, a young lady attitudinising under a rose-tree, with a
pair of admiring swains in the distance. This artist is too apt
to give his male lovers a sickly look, as if their love disagreed
with them. The best picture he has shown this year is one in the
British Institution--_Sympathy_--two very pretty maidens, with an
expression of pleasing sentiment in their faces. Barring a little
occasional mannerism, Mr Stone is a very delightful painter; and in
our opinion, if he had had his deserts, he would some time since
have been a member of the Academy. Were it not invidious, we could
cite a few, who write _Associate_ after their names, who have less
claim than he has to that honorary distinction. Mr Stone has a great
deal of fancy, a fine feeling for the beautiful, and we are indebted
to him for many charming compositions and lovely female faces. And
certainly if popularity be a test of merit, which we admit is not
always the case, he ought years ago to have figured in the list of

That very conscientious and careful artist, Mr Charles Landseer,
has a pretty and well-painted _Girl in a Hop-garden_, and a larger
and still better picture--perhaps the best he has for some years
produced--of _Æsop_, surrounded by several of the animals celebrated
in his fables. There is a great deal of quiet humour and nice
finish in this picture: the figure and face of the hump-backed
fabulist, and those of a girl, who seems admiringly to listen to
his allegorical wisdom, are exceedingly good. Mr Dyce has only one
picture, and really that had been as well away. An ugly Jacob is
protruding his lips to kiss a vulgar Rachel. The colouring is hard
and bad, and there is a pervading gray tint which is not natural.
We hope Mr Dyce, R.A., can do better things than this. We prefer
Mr Cope's _King Lear_, which has considerable merit. There is fine
expression in the old monarch's head. Cordelia pleases us less;
and perhaps, upon the whole, the best figures in the picture are
those of the musicians and singers. There is a something in this
painting that reminds us of Maclise. Of Mr Cope's other pictures,
_Milton's Dream_ has a nice tone of colour; and the two sketches
for fresco of Prince Henry's submission to Judge Gascoigne, and
the Black Prince receiving the order of the Garter, are spirited
and good. Mr Redgrave's principal picture is No. 233. _The Marquis
having chosen patient Griselda for his wife, causes the court ladies
to dress her in her father's cottage._ Griselda has a pretty face,
and sits in an easy, graceful attitude: the ladies are coarse,
and the expression of scorn upon their countenances is theatrical
and affected. The heads of some of them are too big, and out of
proportion with their bodies. _The Child's Prayer_, by the same
artist, is a pleasing picture; well painted, particularly the
woman's head and hand, which latter has a look of Rubens. Mr E. M.
Ward has two pictures of very different subjects. _Isaac Walton
Angling_ hardly claims any particular notice; _James II. receiving
the News of the Landing of the Prince of Orange in 1688_, has more
pretension and greater merit. It certainly contains good painting:
the grouping of the figures and the expression of some of the faces
are also praiseworthy; but yet it hardly satisfies us. The queen's
face and attitude, as she advances, already sympathising with the
agitation visible on his countenance, to her husband's side, are
very charming. James's physiognomy is almost too much discomposed
to accord with the passage from Dalrymple quoted by Mr Ward. And
it strikes us, although this may seem hypercritical, that there
is something ludicrous in the eternal suspension in the air of
the letter that he has just allowed to escape from his fingers.
Upon the whole, however, this is a clever picture, and, as far as
we had opportunity of observing, it attracts a very full share of
public attention; although that is no criterion of merit, so large
a proportion of the loungers through an exhibition being more
readily attracted by a piquant subject than by artistical skill. And
probably no subjects are more generally popular than those that may
be styled the homely-historical; scenes in the private apartments of
royalty; the personal adventures and perils of princes, whether in
the palace or the prison--on the steps of the throne or the verge
of the scaffold. There is a fair sprinkling of such pictures in the
four exhibitions now under notice; and as we have no pretension
to be otherwise than exceedingly desultory in this article, whose
limits, and the heterogeneous subject, preclude our being otherwise,
we will at once dispose of such of them as deserve notice, and have
not already received it, commencing, in order of catalogue, with
Delaroche's picture of _Cromwell looking at the dead body of
Charles I._ This is a picture concerning which the most conflicting
opinions have been uttered. It has received fulsome praise and
unwarranted abuse. Some have lauded it as perfection merely because
it is by Paul Delaroche; others have decried it with a virulence
and injustice warranting the suspicion that some envious brother
of the brush had temporarily abandoned the palette for the pen,
and applied himself to slander merit he himself was hopeless of
equalling. We are aware but of two valid objections that can fairly
be made to the picture. The subject is certainly ghastly and horrid;
but, on the other hand, it has been rendered as little so as
possible by the consummate skill and good taste of its treatment.
And none, we think, but the very fastidious, will dwell upon this
point. The other objection (technical only) is to the coppery tone
of colouring of certain parts of the picture, particularly of the
flesh. This premised, we are aware of little else that can fairly be
alleged against this very fine picture. The countenance of Cromwell
certainly does not agree with the most authentic portraits that
have been handed down to us, or with the written and traditional
accounts of his features. The artist has idealised his hero--has
abridged his nose, increased his under jaw, and thrown nearly the
whole expression of the face into and around the mouth. M. Delaroche
having taken such liberties, we ought to be particularly grateful to
him that he has not gone farther, and, in aiming at a great effect,
fallen into exaggeration. Out of twenty French artists, nineteen,
we suspect, would have given us, with the strong and dangerous
temptation of so striking a subject, an unpleasant caricature.
It has been objected that the face is deficient in character
and expression, and would perfectly suit any one of Cromwell's
Ironsides, who through curiosity should have lifted the lid of the
deceased monarch's coffin. It is, to our thinking, an evidence of
skill on the part of the painter thus to have left the expression
doubtful--a matter of speculation to the beholder. We interpret it
as merely meditative. Any emotion it includes is one of exultation
at the great and important step the Usurper has made in his upward
progress. Of pity or remorse there is no trace.

The next picture in the Exhibition of the Academy, of the class
at present under notice, that particularly caught our eye, is No.
491, _The Burial of the two sons of Edward IV. in the Tower_, by
Mr Cross, whose painting of Richard Coeur-de-Lion, exhibited at
Westminster Hall, will be remembered by many of our readers. The
present picture does not redeem the promise of its predecessor.
It has a washy, fresco-like look, and a great want of light and
shade, which is the more striking because the subject is one
particularly favourable to the display of a Rembrandt-like vigour
in that respect. The arrangement of the dead bodies is very bad,
and they have an emaciated look which was quite uncalled for. On
the other hand, the faces of two of the murderers, (one sustains
the stone beneath which the grave is dug, and the other grasps the
arm of one of the children,) and that of the turnkey, are very
expressive. The chief of the gang and the grave-digger are rather
strained and theatrical. Upon the whole, the picture disappoints us
much. A report, however, has reached us, that it was painted under
the disadvantage of ill health, so we will hope that Mr Cross may
yet do better things. No. 569, _The Abdication of Mary Queen of
Scots at Lochleven Castle_, by J. Severn, is a very tame affair.
And we do not greatly admire Mr Lucy's _Parting of Charles I. with
his Children_. The subject has been better treated before. But
we delight in Mr Joy's conception of Cromwell coveting, and yet
daring not to grasp, the crown of England. A bilious misanthrope,
with flabby cheeks and lacklustre eye, is seated beside a table on
which stands the crown, whose covering he has partly withdrawn.
The notion is amusingly matter-of-fact. Does Mr Joy really suppose
that such a man as Cromwell could find enjoyment in the deliberate
physical contemplation of the jewelled bauble--the substantial
crown--the mere emblem of the dignity and sway for which he
thirsted? We cannot compliment this artist on either the conceit or
the execution. We prefer his picture in the British Institution,
although that is not very remarkable. The subject is the interview
between James IV. of Scotland and the outlaw Murray on the banks
of Yarrow. In this Exhibition we find another Cromwell, of a very
different cast from the one just referred to. The Lord Protector
of England dictates to John Milton his celebrated despatch in
favour of the persecuted Piedmontese Protestants. Here there
is a fire and energy mingled with the coarseness of Cromwell's
physiognomy, which gives the character of the man as we read of
him and believe him to have been. Milton's face wears a look of
gentle enthusiasm and approval, as he admiringly weighs the words
that fall from the lips of his great patron. In his eyes there is
a sort of haziness that seems to foreshadow the darkness which
later is to come over him. The picture does great credit to a very
rising artist, Mr F. Newenham, who also exhibits a painting at the
Portland Gallery, which we like quite as well as his Cromwell.
The subject, _The Princes in the Tower_, is not a very new one,
but there is imagination and novelty in its treatment. It is just
the same point of time that Delaroche has chosen in his painting
of this subject, but there is nothing like an imitation of the
great Frenchman. Here the younger child still sleeps, whilst the
elder, a princely-looking lad, roused by the noise at the door,
gazes anxiously, rather than fearfully, at the shadow cast upon the
wall by a hand bearing a lantern. The picture is suggestive and
interesting, and in an artistic point of view, also, it merits high
praise. In this Portland Gallery (which we may observe, by the way,
is most excellently constructed and lighted for the advantageous
exhibition of works of art) is a painting by Mr Claxton, _Marie
Antoinette with her Children, escaping by the Secret Door from her
apartment in Versailles, when the palace was attached by the mob_,
which we mention rather on account of the interest of the subject
than of its merits as a work of art, these being but of a negative
description. Marie Antoinette, dressed rather like a fashionable of
the year 1850, is accompanied by a terrified lady, who looks back
at the door, half-masked by smoke, through whose broken pannel the
bayonets of the rebels cross with those of the loyal grenadiers.
Another picture from French history, but selected from a much
remoter period, is that of _The Excommunication of Robert, King of
France, and his Queen Bertha_, (No. 159 in the Portland Gallery.)
which Mr Desanges has executed with some skill. The king, having
married his cousin in defiance of the Pope, but with the sanction of
three prelates of his kingdom, incurs the pontifical anathema, in
common with the prelates and royal family. In the picture, the fiat
has just been pronounced, and the extinction of their torches by the
officiating priests symbolically completes their mission.

This is not one of Mr Clarkson Stanfield's best years. We prefer
this careful and able artist on a grander scale than that of the
comparatively small pictures he this year exhibits. Nor do we
think he has been particularly happy in his choice of subjects.
His scene from Macbeth, viewed as a landscape--for we do not take
into account the figures, which are insignificant, and might as
well have been left out--is a good picture, but not in his happiest
taste. We prefer his _Scene on the Maas_, and his _Bay of Baiæ_,
which are both excellent. No. 288, _Near Foria_, is not a very good
subject. But Mr Stanfield is a pleasant, natural painter, quite
free from affectation, and a most excellent representative of the
English school. Mr Roberts is another favourite of ours. Belgium and
the East, Egyptian temples and Catholic shrines, furnish subjects
for his seven pictures. What we particularly like in him is the
strong impression of correctness and fidelity conveyed by his
representations of distant scenes. Without having seen the places,
one feels convinced of the accuracy of his delineations, and that he
gives the real effect of the objects depicted--just as, in certain
portraits, one feels certain of the resemblance without knowing the
original. The subjects of his pictures this year do not demand
any detailed criticism, and his good qualities are so universally
appreciated as to render general commendation superfluous.

Before passing on to landscapes and portraits we will glance at a
few pictures of various classes, which happen to have attracted
our attention, and which deserve better or worse than to be left
unnoticed. Diving into the gloom of the Octagon, we are struck by
the very remarkable merit of two pictures, which ought never to
have been placed there. Only by kneeling or sitting upon the ground
is it possible to examine Mr Van Schendel's poacher detected,
No. 633, _Un Braconnier au moment qu'on vient le prendre_. Of
ordinary visitors to the Exhibition, not one in five will notice
the existence of the picture--not one in twenty, probably, will go
through the painful contortions requisite to get even a bad view of
it. Very few, if any, critics will have sought it out or written a
comment on it. Yet this is a picture on which greater talent and
labour have been expended than on dozens that hang in conspicuous
places and good lights. A dark picture, too--a night scene--it
required a strong light; and it was most unjust to put it thus in
the very darkest nook, and in the lowest range of the whole Academy.
For hospitality's sake to a foreigner, this excellent painting
should have been differently placed. The only other picture which
we noticed in the Octagon--there may be others of great merit, but
we never have patience to linger long in the gloomy closet--is No.
586, _Flowers and Fruit_, by T. Groenland--an artist far superior to
Lance, who seems to us to fall off instead of improving. Fruit and
flower pieces are things that few people care much to look at--and,
for our part, we confess that we seldom afford them more than a
very cursory glance; but our attention was seriously and pleasingly
arrested by both of those exhibited this year by Mr Groenland,
remarkable, as they are, not only for the accuracy with which he
imitates the texture of the different fruits--whether pulpiness,
bloom, or transparency be their chief characteristic--and for the
admirable delicacy of his flower-painting, but also for his skill
in elevating and giving interest to the walk of art he has chosen.
This is strikingly the case in No. 1254, apropos of which we have
another piece of injustice or carelessness--let them call it which
they like--to notice on the part of the Hanging Committee. Of all
the seven rooms of the Academy, not one is so little visited as that
which, in the catalogue, is headed Architecture. Accordingly, the
hangmen have placed at one end of it five as pleasing pictures--each
in its own style--as any in the Exhibition. Here we have the _Vierge
Route du Simplon_, a charming airy landscape by Harding; _Esther_,
by O'Neil, one of the best, perhaps, he ever did; _The Port of
Marseilles_, by E. W. Cooke, very like and very well painted, with
excellent water; _A Winter Evening_, by H. Horsley, a most clever
piece of snow scenery, with a cold look that makes one shiver, and
a capital effect of setting sun through an archway; and, last in
our enumeration, but not in merit, Mr Groenland's second fruit and
flower piece, with a landscape background, a gorgeous and life-like
peacock, a flush of rhododendrons, and painstaking and talent in
every leaf and flower. Another picture in the same vicinity, by W.
Fisher, _The Coulin_, a subject taken from Moore's melodies, is
rather affected, but by no means destitute of merit.

Mr Martin's picture, _The Last Man_, is far from one of his
best. The subject is unpleasing, and there is a decided fault of
perspective; the human corpses and carcasses of strange beasts, in
the foreground, being much too small in proportion with the figure
of the man, who stands on an elevation which is doubtless intended
to be much in advance of, but which in reality is almost on a line
with, the spot where they are spread pellmell in grisly confusion.
Mr Hannah's _Lady Northumberland and Lady Percy dissuading the Earl
from joining the wars against Henry IV._ is oddly coloured, and
acquires a cold, insipid look from the profusion of blue and gray;
but it is a good and clever picture. A similar class of subject has
been selected by Mr T. J. Barker, from Professor Aytoun's ballad
of _Edinburgh after Flodden_. Randolph Murray, bearing news of the
defeat, is the centre of a throng anxious even to agony.

    "Why art thou alone, unfollowed?
       Is it weal, or is it woe?"

Perched up as this picture is above the door in the West Room, it
is difficult to arrive at a correct appreciation of it. As far as
we could distinguish, it is not without merit, and the expression
of exhaustion in the figure of Murray is pretty well rendered; but
altogether it is hardly worthy of the nervous and admirable verse
it is intended to illustrate. Mr Armitage's _Aholibah_ has a good
deal of pretension, but we cannot compliment him on it in any one
respect. In the first place the subject is disgusting, and shows
wretched taste in the artist who would select it. Then the face of
Aholibah is ugly and repulsive, and the expression coarse in the
extreme: the drawing of the limbs under the drapery is faulty, and
the gazelles are out of place and out of perspective. Mr Armitage
can do better than this. We prefer his picture in the Portland
Gallery, of Samson tying firebrands to the foxes' tails for the
destruction of the Philistine crops; although the face is a great
deal too black, and we cannot understand why Samson should allow a
fox to bite into the muscle of his thigh, as one of those in his
grasp appears to do. Why does Mr Armitage persist in his French
style of painting? It is quite a mistake. Let him be natural, and
rely upon his own taste and judgment, and we think he may do better

Mr Hook's _Dream of Venice_, a clever imitation of Paul Veronese,
is a very pleasant picture. Mr F. Williams' _Holy Maiden_ is a
pretty head, full of sentiment. We are glad to see such good promise
given by Mr Leslie, junior, in a very humorous picture entitled _A
Sailor's Yarn_. A thoroughbred and unmistakeable Cockney greedily
listens to some astounding narrative, whilst, behind the credulous
landsman, a second sailor grins admiration of his messmate, and
contempt for the "green hand." _The Young Student_, by W. Gush, is
a very nice picture of a youthful painter, with an artist's eye and
a pleasing Vandykish contour of face, and with carefully painted
hands. One of the most comical pictures in the Exhibition is a wild
boar by Wolf. The bristly forest-ranger is making its way through
the deep snow, leaving a long furrow behind it, along which it has
apparently been nuzzling for provender, for its snout is garnished
with the snow, which, combined with the sudden fore-shortening of
the body, produces a ludicrous effect. No. 121, _Autumn--Wounded
Woodcock_, from the same hand, has mellow and natural tints.

We have kept back, almost to the last, one of our chief favourites
in the Exhibition of the Royal Academy. Mr Sidney Cooper is in
great force this year. He has six pictures; four of them all his
own, two painted in conjunction with Mr F. R. Lee, R.A. With all
respect for this artist, to whose landscapes we shall refer in
their place, we prefer Cooper alone to Cooper in partnership. The
two styles do not blend well, nor does Lee put his best landscapes
into Cooper's cattle-pieces. Take the first of their pictures--No.
23--_Cattle crossing a Ford_. As a whole it is agreeable--and
the cattle, we need hardly say, are worthy of the best English
cattle-painter of the day; but the landscape is feeble. In No. 298,
_The Watering-place_, the rather heavy paint of the foliage gives a
thin washy look to the foreground. We advise Messrs Lee and Cooper
to hang their pictures side by side, if they will, as excellent
specimens of their respective walks of art, but not to associate
themselves on the same canvass. People find fault with the landscape
part of Cooper's pictures; but it is in good keeping with the rest,
and moreover he improves in that respect, as in others. We will
instance No. 278, _A Mountain Group--Evening_, some charming goats,
where the background, bathed in soft light, harmonises admirably
with the more prominent parts of the picture. No. 454, _A Group on
the Welsh Mountains_, is most delicately finished, quite a gem;
and _Fordwick Meadows--Sunset_, in a somewhat broader style, is
equally excellent. Mr Cooper's is a class of art which strongly
appeals to the domestic and rural tastes of Englishmen. He excels
in it, and need fear no competitors, although several artists this
year exhibit cattle-landscapes of some merit. And here we should
perhaps say a word about Mr Ansdell, who has put some Brobdignagian
sheep into a landscape by Mr Creswick, (British Institution, No.
123, _Southdowns_,) and who has rather a pretty thing in the same
exhibition--No. 40, _The Regretted Companion_--an old hawker
perplexed and mournful beside the body of his dead ass. We would
gladly see this artist cease to imitate Landseer. He sacrifices his
originality without succeeding in catching the best points of his

Nos. 80, 405, 407 in the catalogue of the Academy, are Mr Lee's
landscapes--uncombined with Cooper's cattle. The second, _A Calm
Morning_, is the one we prefer; and a very charming picture of
repose it is. Mr Creswick is the next upon our list. His cold
unnatural grayness of colouring greatly detracts from the merit of
his pictures. We are quite aware that the same reproach has been
repeatedly addressed to him, and we should hardly have referred
to a fault which hitherto he has either obstinately clung to, or
been unable to correct, did not one of his pictures in the Academy
this year give us hopes that he is on the verge of a change. No.
542, _A Forest Farm_, is the best picture of Creswick's, in point
of colouring, that we remember to have seen. The _slaty_ look is
replaced by an agreeable transparency. No. 289, _In the Forest_,
is also warmer than usual. The others are in the old style. Mr
Linnell is more to our taste, although we cannot approve his _Christ
and the Woman of Samaria at Jacob's Well_. In the first place the
colour seems unnatural, altogether too brown; at the same time it
is just possible nature may assume that extraordinarily russet
tint in Samaria--a country to which our travels have not extended.
But we can more confidently object to the figure of the Saviour as
altogether unpleasant, with a harsh darkly-bearded face, devoid
alike of resemblance to the received type, and of any divine
expression whatever. Mr Linnell is a landscape-painter, and should
not attempt sacred subjects or portraits, things which are quite
out of his line. No. 395, _Crossing the Brook_, is of a better tone
of colour; and the same artist has two other pictures, of about
his usual average of merit, in the British Institution. The chief
fault with which we tax Mr Linnell, (whilst freely admitting his
great talent,) and one which may also be imputed to Mr Creswick,
and to other clever landscape-painters of the present day, is
the undeviating smallness of their touch, which gives, to use a
colloquialism, a niggled look to their pictures. Hobbima, and
Ruysdael, and others of that class--in whose footsteps we presume
no living landscape-painter is too proud to tread--avoided this
fault, and proportioned the fulness of their touch to the size of
their picture. We may select an example of what we mean from the
works of an able and industrious artist, who figures advantageously
this year in all four exhibitions, and who, in most instances, is
very free from the defect we refer to. Mr Sidney Percy's _Woodland
River_, No. 207, in the Portland Gallery, is a good picture, but to
our thinking the touch is too small for the size. Mr Percy, however,
is a man of talent and a rising painter. In the same gallery we call
attention, as to one of the best landscapes exhibited this year,
to his No. 277, _Welsh Mountains_. There is an effect of aërial
perspective in this picture, especially in the grass valley, on
the spectator's left hand, which deserves the very highest praise.
Several others of his eighteen pictures for 1850 deserve much
commendation; but we can only point out No. 576, in the Academy, _A
Limpid Pool_, and 394, _A Quiet Vale_, in the British Artists'. The
water in the last is very good,--otherwise it is hardly one of his
best. We would have Mr Percy to beware of hardness of treatment,
the fault to which he is most prone. His lines are apt to be too
sharply defined, especially his distant outlines. He should guard
himself against this defect, and with care he may expect to attain
great eminence as a landscape-painter. If we mistake not, he is
one of a talented family, which also comprises Messrs Boddington
and Gilbert, and several artists of the name of Williams, all of
whom, we believe, devote themselves chiefly, if not exclusively,
to landscape-painting, and either by identity of name or affinity
of style, form a most puzzling group for conscientious critics,
desirous, like ourselves, to sort their works and fairly distribute
praise. We can mention but a few of their pictures, taken, nearly
at random, from amongst a number we have marked as of merit or
promise. In the Academy, 344, _A Valley Lane_, by A. W. Williams, is
a charming subject, excellently treated. In the Portland Gallery,
where many good landscapes are to be found, most of them by this
family, we were particularly attracted by No. 41, _Noon_, also by
A. W. Williams, and by No. 65, _Medmenham Abbey--Evening_, by G. A.
Williams. No. 161, _A Showery Afternoon in Sussex_, by A. Gilbert,
is remarkable as an example of the admirable effect he knows how
to produce by the judicious and little-understood application of
the various gradations between opacity and perfect transparency of
colour. Mr Boddington has two nice pictures in the Academy.

We cannot compliment Mr F. Danby on either of the two specimens
of his art that he this year displays. We find it impossible to
comprehend his colouring. That of _A Golden Moment_ (British
Institution) is surely unnatural. Certainly it is a very rare effect
of sunset; and the background is too bright to be consistent with
the sombre foreground. If we turn to his picture in the Academy,
_Spring_, we are no better pleased. That sort of dusky glow is quite
an exaggeration of nature. Of Mr Witherington's four pictures, we
prefer _Coniston Lake_ and _The Mountain Road_. Mr Hering's _Porto
Fesano_ (British Institution) is a pleasing picture, and improves
on examination; and there is a great deal of light and some pretty
colour in the same artist's _Ruins of Rome_ in the Academy. Mr J.
Peel has rather a pretty _Canal view_ in the Portland Gallery, in
which, oddly enough, he has thrown the shadow of a tree the wrong
way; and in the same exhibition Mrs Oliver has a bit of Welsh
scenery which is pretty in spite of its finical touch. Of Mr Linton,
who has pictures both in the Academy and British Institution, we
cannot but speak with respect, recognising the ability of his works,
the study they evince, and his close observation of the aspect of
places. But they are quite for distant effect; on near approach they
look rough and granitic, and are not a very pleasing or popular
class of pictures.

We beg Mr Boxall not to think we have forgotten him. We were
desirous to commence the brief paragraph we can afford to portraits,
by praising his _Geraldine_, an undraped fancy portrait, which shows
a capital feeling for colour, and is perhaps the best specimen of
flesh-painting in the Exhibition. It wants finish; but even without
that it is nearly the first thing that attracts the eye when we
glance at that side of the Middle Room. There is good colour also in
the same artist's portrait of Mr Cubitt.

Proceeding, with this exception, in numerical rotation, we notice
No. 6, _The Hon. Caroline Dawson_, by Dubufe. The arms are rather
flat, but it is a nice portrait, well painted, and infinitely
superior to the same artist's picture in the British Institution--a
French grisette with a Jewish face and an ugly mouth, holding a
rose; the motto "Wither one rose and let the other flourish,"--a
poor conceit and very indifferently executed. No. 52 is Mr Francis
Grant's, the first, but not the best, of seven which he exhibits. Mr
Grant is getting very careless. Such hands and clothes as he gives
his sitters are really not allowable. The only carefully finished
portrait he exhibits this year is that of Lady Elizabeth Wells,
after which that of Miss Grant is perhaps the best. The Countess
Bruce has an odd sort of resemblance, in the attitude or something,
to the same painter's picture of Mr Sidney Herbert. The Duke of
Devonshire looks vulgar. Viscount Hardinge is feeble, for Grant,
who can do so much better. We urge this artist to take a little
more pains, or his high reputation will dwindle. His portrait of
Sir George Grey, now on view at Colnaghi's, is another example of
carelessness. The face is the only finished part. Mr Watson Gordon
understands the portrait-painter's vocation after a different
fashion, and is most conscientious in his practice. Apart from their
striking resemblance, his portraits are admirable as carefully
finished works of art. His sitters this year have been, upon the
whole, less suited to make interesting or pleasing pictures than
several of the persons who have sat to Mr Grant; but Watson Gordon
has done his work far more carefully. Perhaps the best of his three
portraits is that of a lady, No. 137. The child in the same picture
pleases us rather less. No. 175, Daniel Vere, Esq. of Stonebyres, is
a striking likeness of that gentleman; and nothing can be better,
in all respects, than the portrait of the Lord Justice-General of
Scotland. Mr Buckner is, we are sorry to say, retrograding sadly.
He rose very suddenly into public favour, and if he does not take
care, he will rapidly decline. His portrait of Miss Lane Fox is
perhaps his best this year. Rachel is flattered. Lady Alfred Paget
is badly coloured, and looks in an incipient stage of blue cholera.
We do not like Mr Pickersgill's portraits this year. For those who
do, there are seven in the Exhibition, besides an ugly thing called
Nourmahal. Mr G. F. Watts has painted Miss Virginia Pattle. It is
one of the most affected pictures in the whole Exhibition. The young
lady is perched on a platform, her figure standing out against the
blue sky, and her feet completely hidden under her dress, which
latter circumstance gives her an unsteady appearance, and inspires
dread lest she should be blown from her elevation. The flesh is very
pasty, and the general effect of the picture jejune in the extreme.
No. 282, _The Duke of Aumale_, is by V. Mottez, and presents a
singular combination or monotony of colour, the artist having
seemingly carefully avoided all tints that would give warmth to his
picture. With the exception of the insipidly fair countenance of
the Duke, the painting is nearly all blue. It is not a disagreeable
picture, and it perhaps gains on repeated examination; but one
cannot get rid of an unpleasant impression of coldness. Placed next
to Boxall's Geraldine, the flesh looks like chalk. That coarse
but clever painter Knight has eight portraits, including several
celebrities of one kind or other--Buckstone the comedian, Keate
the surgeon, Sir J. Duke the mayor, Cooper the cattle-painter, and
Mrs Fitzwilliam the actress. The picture of Sir J. Duke (who is
represented in all the glory of civic office) is well put together;
Cooper is laughably like; Mrs Fitzwilliam is perhaps as delicate a
female portrait as Knight ever painted--which is not saying much
for the others. Mr Say's portrait of Guizot is softened down and
idealised till the character of the man is lost. In the Portland
Gallery, No. 1 and No. 70 are by an artist whose historical pictures
we have already commended, Mr Newenham. The first is a full length,
size of life, of Mr Ross, the engineer; the other, Mrs Gall, is
a sweet female countenance. Both are very good; but Mr Newenham
is always particularly successful--indeed we can call to mind no
living painter who is more so--in his portraits of ladies. Whilst
avoiding flattery, he still invariably paints pleasing as well as
correct likenesses. Such at least is the case with all those of
his lady-portraits we have had opportunities of comparing with the
models. Middleton has some nice portraits in this exhibition, and Mr
J. Lucas shows a pleasing one of a young lad. And one of the most
lifelike and speaking portraits exhibited this year is No. 286,
by R. S. Lauder, the likeness of our old friend and much-esteemed
contributor, the Rev. James White. A more exact resemblance we never

We have not counted them, but we are informed, and have no
difficulty in believing, that there are 450 portraits (or
thereabouts) in this the eighty-second exhibition of the Royal
Academy. A very large number, out of 1456 works of art. Adding
the portraits in the three other exhibitions, we attain a total
of which, even after deducting drawings and miniatures, it
is impossible for us to notice one fourth-part. And we must
particularly remark, with respect to portraits and landscapes, what
also applies in a less degree to the less numerous classes of
pictures, that we have unavoidably--on account of our limited space
to deal with so compendious a subject, and also because we would
not reduce this article to a mere catalogue--omitted notice of many
artists and pictures whose claims are undoubted to mention more or
less honourable; as we have also forborne, for the same reason, and
much more willingly, certain censures which we should have been
justified in inflicting. Concerning portraits, however, we would
gladly have been rather more diffuse, had we not still to take some
notice, within the compass of a very few pages, of those exhibitions
to which as yet we have done little more than incidentally refer.

The restoration to the galleries of purchasers and studios of
painters, of the five hundred pictures exhibited this year by the
British Institution, diminishes the interest now attaching to that
exhibition, and induces us to be tolerably brief in our notice of
some of its leading features. No. 52, _The Post Office_, by F.
Goodall, is a pretty picture enough, but displays no genius, and the
subject suggests a comparison with Wilkie, which is not favourable.
Mr Bullock's _Venus and Cupid_, No. 124, is about as sickly a piece
of blue and pink as we remember to have seen. Mr Sant's _Rivals_
gives the impression of a copy from the lid of a French plum-box. We
have surely seen the Frenchified group in some engraving of Louis
XV's times. Mr Woolmer's _Syrens_ displays some imagination, but the
colouring is very bad. The sky is exaggerated, and the water seems
to have flowed from a cesspool, suggesting unsavoury ideas of the
extent of its contamination by the dead bodies that float upon it.
It is a picture, nevertheless, that one is apt to look at twice. T.
Clark's _The Horses of Rhesus captured by Ulysses and Diomed_, has
plenty of faults, certainly, but it has also boldness and spirit,
and makes us think the painter may hereafter do better things. No.
205, _Lance reproving his Dog_--left unfinished by the late Sir
A. W. Callcott, and completed by J. Callcott Horsley--includes a
pretty bit of landscape, and the dog is not bad; but, as a whole,
the picture does not strike us as remarkable. No. 231, _A French
Fishing Girl_, by T. K. Fairless, is a nice bit of colouring, very
fresh and judicious; and R. M'Innes's _Detaining a Customer_, tells
its story well, and is of careful finish, but insipid colouring.
Lady Macbeth, by T. F. Dicksee, is repulsive and unnatural; not the
murderess Shakspeare conceived and Siddons acted, but a saucer-eyed
maniac standing under a gas-lamp. No. 290, _Our Saviour after the
Temptation_, is by Sir George Hayter, who has bestowed great pains
without producing, as a whole, a very satisfactory result. The
picture has certainly good points, but it speaks against its general
excellence that we are driven to praise details. All the hands
are particularly well done--Sir George's experience as a portrait
painter having here availed him. The colouring of Christ's dress is
good, but generally there is an abuse of yellow in the picture. The
angels have no backs to their heads, but this phrenological defect
is perhaps intentional, to convey the artist's notion of an angel by
indicating the absence of gross passions. G. Cole's _Don Quixote and
Sancho Panza in Pedro's hut_ is humorous, but quite a caricature.
The painter seems to have studied to establish a resemblance
between the men and their respective beasts. Another laughable
picture is Mrs C. Smith's _Irish Piper_, whose companion _The
Irish Card-cutter_ is No. 206 in the British Artists'. As works of
art, they have little merit, but one cannot help acknowledging and
laughing at the vulgar humour and truth to nature they both contain.
Mr Selous' _The First Impression_, Gutemberg showing to his wife
his first experiment in printing from movable types, is perhaps the
best picture in the South Room. There is an air of nature about Mr
W. Wyld's _Smugglers' halt in the Sierra Morena_; but the figures,
although well grouped, are on too small a scale for much interest,
and the landscape lacks attraction. Our old friend George Cruikshank
gives full scope to his rich humour in No. 100, _Sancho's surprise
on seeing the Squire of the Wood's Nose_; and 455, _Disturbing the
Congregation_. This last is inimitable--brimful of fun. A charity
boy has let his peg-top fall during service, and the awful clatter
upon the church pavement draws all eyes in the direction of the
delinquent. This is a picture that must be seen, not described;
but our readers will imagine all the fun Cruikshank would make of
such a subject--the terrified face of the culprit, in vain affecting
unconsciousness, and the awful countenance of the beadle. We must
say a word of Mr J. F. Herring's _A Farmyard_, which contains some
good horses; but he has huddled his objects too much together, his
colouring is very opaque, and there is a want of air and perspective
in the picture. There is the same defect of thick colour in Mr H.
Jutsum's pretty composition, _Evening--coming home to the Farm_.

We have already mentioned several pictures in the Portland Gallery,
including a portrait by Mr R. S. Lauder, (the president of this
new society,) which is perhaps the best, although one of the most
unpretending, of the seven pictures he exhibits. We do not discern
any very great merit in two carefully painted illustrations of
Quentin Durward. We should like to know on what authority Mr Lauder
makes a tall, large-limbed man of Louis XI., and how he intends to
get him and the raw-boned Scot through the door in No. 166, without
a most unkingly deviation from the perpendicular. There is here a
fault of perspective. And Mr Lauder should beware of repetition.
We remember the lady behind the tapestry in No. 45, in at least
a dozen of his pictures. This, however, is the best of the pair,
and there is good painting in it. His most important picture this
year is that of _Christ appearing to two of his Disciples on the
way to Emmaus_. This is certainly a fine work, although there is
much opposition of opinion respecting it. There is undoubtedly a
fine sentiment in the colouring, which is peculiarly applicable to
the subject. Mr M'Ian is in great force here, with no less than
ten pictures. We like this artist for the character and energy he
infuses into his productions. His most attractive picture this
year is No. 55, _Here's his health in Water!_ thus explained--"A
Highland gentleman of 1715, in Carlisle prison, the day previous to
his execution, receiving the last visit of his mother, wife, and
children, and instilling into his son--the future Highland gentleman
of 1745--the principles of loyalty." The face of the condemned
Highlander is full of vigour and determination, as is also that of
his mother, a resolute old lady, who seems to confirm his precepts
to her grandchild. The countenances of the sorrowing wife and of
the little girl, whose attention is distracted by the opening of
the prison door, are natural and pleasing. The boy, a sturdy scion
of the old stock, drinks King James's health out of the prison-mug
of water. We will not omit to praise Mrs M'Ian's very well-painted
picture of _Captivity and Liberty_--gipsies in prison, with swallows
twittering in the loophole that affords them light. There is a
nice feeling about this picture, which includes a handsome gipsy
face; it is careful in its details, and very effective in point of
chiaroscuro. No. 251, _A Jealous Man, disguised as a Priest, hears
the confession of his Wife_, is a subject (from the _Decameron_)
of which more might have been made than there has been by Mr D. W.
Deane. The countenances lack decided expression. Several artists
have this year painted scenes from the _Tempest_, and Mr A. Fussell
is one of the number. It were to be wished he had abstained. His
picture of _Caliban, Ariel, and his fellows_, is very bad indeed.
He should be less ambitious in his subjects, or at least less
fantastical in their treatment. It is unintelligible to us how
this picture illustrates the passage quoted. Nos. 264-5 are Mr H.
Barraud's pictures:--_Lord have mercy upon us_, and _We praise
thee, O God!_ the engravings of which have for some time past been
in every shop-window. We are really at a loss to comprehend the
_engouement_ for these pictures, which seem to us as deficient in
real sentiment as they are feeble in execution. They are pretty
enough, certainly, but that is all the praise we are disposed to
accord them. There is no great beauty in the faces; and one of the
boys (on the spectator's right hand) is a mere lout, without any
expression whatever. The Messrs Barraud have a great many pictures
in this exhibition--amongst others, No. 199, _The Curfew_, their
joint production, which is pretty, but in respect to which it
strikes us that they have read Gray's poem wrong, for the light
in their picture is not that of parting day, but of approaching
sunset. Mr Rayner's _Beauchamp Chapel, Warwick_, is a good picture;
Mr Niemann's _Kenilworth from the Tilt-yard_, and _Landscape_, No.
72, also deserve praise; Mr Dighton is very effective in some of
his landscapes and studies. Upon the whole, this young exhibition
promises well.

Driven to our utmost limits, we must conclude, without further
mention than we have already here and there made of the Society of
British Artists in Suffolk Street; and we do so with the less regret
because that gallery contains but a small proportion of pictures
of merit. Mr Anthony contributes a very large number of his odd
paintings, some of which are rather effective at a distance; but it
is not a style we admire. Finally, we have with pleasure noticed,
during our many rambles through the different galleries, that the
public not only visit but buy; and we trust that the year 1850 will
prove profitable and satisfactory to British artists, in the same
proportion that it undoubtedly is creditable to their industry,
and, upon the whole, highly honourable to their talents. One word
more we will say at parting. In this article we have written down
opinions, formed neither hastily nor partially, of whose soundness,
although critics will always differ, we venture to feel pretty
confident. We have applied ourselves to point out merits rather
than defects, and to distribute praise in preference to blame; but
we should have failed in our duty to ourselves and the public, had
we altogether abstained from the latter. We well know, however, the
many difficulties and discouragements that beset the path of the
painter. And it would be matter for sincere regret to us, if, in the
freedom of our remarks, we had unwittingly hurt the feelings of any
man who is honestly and earnestly striving in the pursuit of a very
difficult art--although his success may as yet be incommensurate
with his industry and zeal.



    Once more, through God's high will and grace,
      Of Hours that each its task fulfils,
    Heart-healing Spring resumes its place;--
      The valley throngs and scales the hills,

    In vain. From earth's deep heart o'ercharged,
      The exulting life runs o'er in flowers;--
    The slave unfed is unenlarged:
      In darkness sleep a nation's powers.

    Who knows not Spring? Who doubts, when blows
      Her breath, that Spring is come indeed?
    The swallow doubts not; nor the rose
      That stirs, but wakes not, nor the weed.

    I feel her near, but see her not,
      For those with pain-uplifted eyes
    Fall back repulsed; and vapours blot
      The vision of the earth and skies.

    I see her not; I feel her near,
      As, charioted in mildest airs,
    She sails through yon empyreal sphere,
      And in her arms and bosom bears

    That urn of flowers and lustral dews,
      Whose sacred balm, o'er all things shed,
    Revives the weak, the old renews,
      And crowns with votive wreaths the dead.

    Once more the cuckoo's call I hear;
      I know, in many a glen profound,
    The earliest violets of the year
      Rise up like water from the ground.

    The thorn I know once more is white;
      And, far down many a forest dale,
    The anemones in dubious light
      Are trembling like a bridal veil.

    By streams released that singing flow
      From craggy shelf through sylvan glades,
    The pale narcissus, well I know,
      Smiles hour by hour on greener shades.

    The honeyed cowslip tufts once more
      The golden slopes;--with gradual ray
    The primrose stars the rock, and o'er
      The wood-path strews its milky way.

    --From ruined huts and holes come forth
      Old men, and look upon the sky!
    The Power Divine is on the earth:--
      Give thanks to God before ye die!

    And ye, O children worn and weak,
      Who care no more with flowers to play,
    Lean on the grass your cold, thin cheek,
      And those slight hands, and whispering, say,

    "Stern Mother of a race unblest--
      In promise kindly, cold in deed;
    Take back, O Earth, into thy breast,
      The children whom thou wilt not feed."



    Then die, thou Year--thy work is done:
      The work ill done is done at last.
    Far off, beyond that sinking sun,
      Which sets in blood, I hear the blast

    That sings thy dirge, and says--"Ascend,
      And answer make amid thy peers,
    (Since all things here must have an end,)
      Thou latest of the famine years!"

    I join that voice. No joy have I
      In all thy purple and thy gold,
    Nor in the nine-fold harmony
      From forest on to forest rolled:

    Nor in that stormy western fire,
      Which burns on ocean's gloomy bed,
    And hurls, as from a funeral pyre,
      A glare that strikes the mountain's head;

    And writes on low-hung clouds its lines
      Of cyphered flame, with hurrying hand;
    And flings amid the topmost pines
      That crown the steep, a burning brand.

    Make answer, Year, for all they dead,
      Who found not rest in hallowed earth,
    The widowed wife, the father fled,
      The babe age-stricken from his birth.

    Make answer, Year, for virtue lost;
      For Faith, that vanquished fraud and force,
    Now waning like a noontide ghost;
      Affections poisoned at their source:

    The labourer spurned his lying spade;
      The yeoman spurned his useless plough;
    The pauper spurned the unwholesome aid,
      Obtruded once, exhausted now.

    The weaver wove till all was dark,
      And, long ere morning, bent and bowed
    Above his work with fingers stark;
      And made, nor knew he made, a shroud.

    The roof-trees fall of hut and hall,
      I hear them fall, and falling cry--
    "One fate for each, one fate for all;
      So wills the Law that willed a lie."

    Dread power of Man! what spread the waste
      In circles, hour by hour more wide,
    And would not let the past be past?--
      The Law that promised much, and lied.

    Dread power of God! whom mortal years
      Nor touch, nor tempt; who sitt'st sublime
    In night of night,--O bid thy spheres
      Resound at last a funeral chime.

    Call up, at last, the afflicted Race
      Whom Man not God abolished. Sore,
    For centuries, their strife: the place
      That knew them once shall know no more.



    Fall, Snow, and cease not! Flake by flake
      The decent winding-sheet compose:
    Thy task is just and pious; make
      An end of blasphemies and woes.

    Fall flake by flake: by thee alone,
      Last friend, the sleeping draught is given:
    Kind nurse, by thee the couch is strewn,
      The couch whose covering is from heaven.

    Descend and clasp the mountain's crest;
      Possess wide plain and valley deep:--
    This night, in thy maternal breast
      Forsaken myriads die in sleep.

    Lo! from the starry Temple gates
      Death rides, and bears the flag of peace:
    The combatants he separates;
      He bids the wrath of ages cease.

    Descend, benignant Power! But O,
      Ye torrents, shake no more the vale;
    Dark streams, in silence seaward flow;
      Thou rising storm, remit thy wail.

    Shake not, to-night, the cliffs of Moher,
      Or Brandon's base, rough sea! Thou Isle,
    The Rite proceeds:--from shore to shore
      Hold in thy gathered breath the while.

    Fall, snow! in stillness fall, like dew
      On temple roof, and cedar's fan;
    And mould thyself on pine and yew,
      And on the awful face of man.

    Without a sound, without a stir,
      In streets and wolds, on rock and mound,
    O omnipresent comforter,
      By thee, this night, the lost are found.

    On quaking moor, and mountain moss,
      With eyes upstaring at the sky,
    And arms extended like a cross,
      The long-expectant sufferers lie.

    Bend o'er them, white-robed Acolyte!
      Put forth thine hand from cloud and mist,
    And minister the last sad rite,
      Where altar there is none, nor priest.

    Touch thou the gates of soul and sense:
      Touch darkening eyes and dying ears;
    Touch stiffening hand and feet, and thence
      Remove the trace of sin and tears.

    And ere thou seal those filmed eyes,
      Into God's urn thy fingers dip,
    And lay, 'mid eucharistic sighs,
      The sacred wafer on the lip.

    This night the Absolver issues forth:
      This night the Eternal Victim bleeds--
    O winds and woods--O heaven and earth!
      Be still this night. The Rite proceeds.


If we pique ourselves on anything, it is on our invincible
good-nature. We are as slow to be roused as a brown bear in the
midst of its winter sleep; and, if we were let alone, we very much
doubt whether, by any conceivable exertion, we could work ourselves
into a downright passion. But, somehow or other, it constantly
happens that people of a less tranquil mood step in to deprive
us of the enjoyment of our untroubled repose. At one time some
worthy fellow entreats us to take up the public cudgel and belabour
a blatant Economist. At another, we are pathetically besought
to administer due castigation to some literary sinner who has
transgressed the first principles of decency, morality, and taste.
One friend implores us, with tears in his eyes, to take up the case
of the oppressed and injured washerwomen: a second puts a tomahawk
into our hand, and benevolently suggests the severment of the skull
of a charlatan: a third writes to us regarding a rowing match, in
which he opines gross injustice has been done by the umpire to
the Buffs, and he fervently prays for our powerful assistance in
vindicating the honour of the Blues.

In all national questions, it seems to be expected that we are to
act with the devotion of a knight-errant. Whenever Scotland is
assailed, the general impression is that we are bound to stand
forth, and incontinently give battle to the enemy: and we believe
it will be admitted that we have done so before now with no
inconsiderable effect. It so happens that, at the present juncture,
several of our most esteemed compatriots, feeling themselves deeply
aggrieved by the _outrecuidance_ of the Southron, have laid the
story of their wrongs before us; and, after a deliberate review of
the whole circumstances of the case, we feel ourselves compelled to
come forward in behalf of our countrymen. Let no man venture to say
that Chess is an ignoble subject. It is, if properly considered, as
recondite a science as mathematics. Kings, conquerors, and sages
have not thought it beneath them to ponder over the chequered board;
and it may be that the noble game has contributed in no light degree
to the success of their most triumphant efforts. We know of no
absorption more complete than that which possesses the mind of a
true votary of chess. Watch him as he is contemplating his moves,
and his countenance is a perfect study for the physiognomist. He
may not perhaps be the most agreeable of companions, but we cannot
expect loquacity from men of high intellect whilst engaged in
deepest rumination.

Let us, however, dispense as much as possible with preface, and
come to the actual offence which has induced us to take up our
pen in vindication of the national honour. Our attention has been
called to what is undoubtedly a departure from the fair and liberal
spirit which ought to actuate antagonists--in short, by an attempt
to deprive the Edinburgh Chess Club of laurels which were fairly
and honourably won. It is all very well for men who have been
beaten to apply salves to their wounded vanity, and to persuade
themselves that they have failed rather through misfortune than
from any deficiency of skill. Napoleon used to amuse himself at
St Helena by demonstrating that he _ought_ to have won the battle
of Waterloo--a position in which, we doubt not, Count Montholon
and General Bertrand entirely concurred, though, after a certain
time, they must have been tolerably sick of the subject. But these
affirmations of the Emperor did not serve the purpose of reinstating
him on the throne of France; and, in like manner, opine that the
writers who, at this time of day, are, applying themselves to the
task of persuading the public that the great match at chess between
Edinburgh and London, which was won by Edinburgh in 1828, ought to
have terminated otherwise, are losing their labour, and, moreover,
placing themselves in a very ridiculous position.

We like to see a man take a beating in good part. The Southron
may come here and vanquish us at cricket, and we shall submit to
be bowled or caught out with the utmost equanimity--no member of
the Grange Club will retire to the cloister in consequence. He may
extinguish our renown at rackets, or even soar considerably above
our mark in the altitude of the flying-leap. We shall not cavil at
the result, should some Southron Robin Hood defeat the Queen's Body
Guard in the toxophilite competition which is about to take place in
this city. We shall not be jealous if the stranger beats us; and if,
in return, we should extinguish him utterly at golf or throwing the
hammer, we promise to crow as mildly as the plenitude of our lungs
will permit. But we have no idea of pushing complaisance to such an
extraordinary point, as to permit our real victories to be perverted
and annulled at the hands of a defeated adversary. Hector _might_
have beaten Achilles, but he did not; and the mere fact of a remote
possibility having once existed, will not justify us in giving the
lie to Homer. We make every allowance for testiness; still we cannot
help thinking it extraordinary that those feelings of mortification,
which might perhaps have been excusable in the defeated party at
the moment of the antagonist's triumph, should manifest themselves
as strongly as ever nearly a quarter of a century after the
contest--and that, too, in persons who took no actual share in it,
and are comparatively strangers to the views and opinions of those
really concerned.

English chess-players have the command of all the chess-periodicals,
which emanate chiefly, if not exclusively, from the London press;
and which have, for many years back, been made the vehicles of
repeated observations intended to depreciate the triumph of
Scotland. Of late these have been even more than usually frequent.
And within the last year, the _Quarterly Review_, which, like the
trunk of an elephant, is as ready to pick up a pin as to uproot a
tree, has opened its pages for remarks on the chess match, conceived
in no very handsome spirit towards the Scotch champions. This we
do not consider to be justifiable conduct on the part of our bulky
contemporary. In the accomplished editor--himself a Scot--it is
in direct antagonism to the principles of Richie, the servitor of
Nigel, who made so vigorous a stand for the credit of the Water of
Leith; and we regret to observe so palpable a falling off from the
fervid patriotism of the Moniplies. The uniform burden of the song
is, that the event of the match was determined by an accident,--or
by what they reckon as nearly equivalent to an accident--an
oversight upon the part of the London Club, to which the best of
players are liable, and which in this instance is said to have been
rather ungenerously taken advantage of by Edinburgh. The Scottish
players have hitherto said very little upon the subject, contenting
themselves with a short but perfectly satisfactory answer, made
immediately after the termination of the match, to some observations
of Mr Lewis, in which, while they conclusively disposed of his views
and inferences, they at the same time stated, that they were "far
from begrudging to the London Club the usual consolation of a beaten
adversary--of going back upon a game, and showing that, if they had
played otherwise at a particular point, they could have won the
game." The constant reiteration of the English statement, however,
is calculated to produce an erroneous impression in the minds of
those not acquainted with the merits of the question.

The London and Edinburgh chess match, which was played by
correspondence, was begun in the year 1824. It was the result of a
challenge given by the Edinburgh Club, which was then only in its
infancy. The terms agreed on were, that the match should consist
of three won games; and that, in case of any game being drawn, a
new one, begun by the same opener, should take its place. The match
commenced on 23d April 1824. Two games were opened simultaneously.
The first game was opened by the Edinburgh Club; and in sending
their first answering move, the London Club also sent the first move
of the second game. The first game, which consisted of 35 moves,
was, on 14th December 1824, declared to be drawn. The second, which
consisted of 52 moves, was resigned by the London Club on 23d
February 1825. The third game--opened by the Edinburgh Club in place
of the first game, which had been drawn--was begun on 20th December
1824; it consisted of 99 moves, and was drawn on 18th March 1828.
The fourth game, begun by the Edinburgh Club, on 26th February 1825,
was resigned by them on 15th September 1826, at the 55th move. The
fifth game, begun by the Edinburgh Club, on 6th October 1826, was
resigned by the London Club on 31st July 1828, at the 60th move--and
this determined the match in favour of Edinburgh.

The simple statement of these details is sufficient altogether to
exclude the idea that the result of the match was a mere accident,
where manifestly inferior players profited by the unfortunate
blunder of their superior antagonists. Though the Edinburgh Club
had lost, instead of gaining, two out of the three games, it would
still have been in vain to maintain that the play in the match
showed them to be unquestionably inferior. The contest was a long
and severe one. When the fifth and deciding game was proceeding,
each party had gained one game, and there had been two drawn games,
both of which were keenly disputed, without the least advantage in
favour of London at any point of either; while, on the other hand,
in the third game, Edinburgh had obtained an advantage, though
not sufficient to enable them to checkmate their adversaries. It
has never been pretended, by the most unscrupulous partisan of
England, that the winning of the fifth game was ascribable to an
oversight. On the contrary, their chess writers have, with most
becoming fairness and candour, always referred to it as an instance
of admirable play on the part of Edinburgh; and members of the
London committee, who shortly after happened to visit Edinburgh,
acknowledged that their committee were quite unable to discover the
object of particular moves, the effect of which had been previously
calculated, and reduced to demonstration by the Edinburgh players.
Is there, in all this, such evidence of overwhelming superiority on
the part of the English players, that their losing the match _must_
have been an accident?

But it is time to inquire a little more minutely into the so-called
blunder, which the Englishmen say was the cause of their defeat. And
here it is but fair to give their statement in their own words. The
_Quarterly_ reviewer says--

     "Perhaps the most remarkable instance on record of a strict
     enforcement of the tenor of chess law occurred in the celebrated
     match, by correspondence, between the London and Edinburgh
     Clubs. At the 27th move of the second game, the London Club
     threw a rook away. How they did so, Mr Lewis explains in the
     following words:--'The 26th, 27th, and 28th moves were sent on
     the same day to the Edinburgh Club. This was done to save time.
     It so happened that the secretary, whose duty it was to write
     the letters, had an engagement which compelled him to leave the
     Club two hours earlier than usual--the letter was therefore
     posted at three instead of five o'clock. In the mean time, one
     of the members discovered that the 2d move (the 27th) had not
     been sufficiently examined.[10] An application was immediately
     made at the Post-office for the letter, which was refused. In
     consequence, a second letter was transmitted by the same post to
     the Edinburgh Club, retracting the 2d and 3d moves, and abiding
     only by the first. The Edinburgh Club, in answer, gave it as
     their decided opinion that the London Club were bound by their
     letter, and that no move could be retracted: they therefore
     insisted on the moves being played. The London Club conceded the
     point, though they differed in opinion.'

     "We cannot but think, under all the circumstances, the Edinburgh
     Club were to blame. What rendered the mishap more vexatious to
     the Londoners was, that whereas they had a won game before, they
     now barely lost it, and thereby the match, which the winning
     of this game would have decided in their favour. There can be
     little doubt that the London Club (then comprising Messrs Lewis,
     Fraser, and Cochrane) was the strongest of the two. On the part
     of Edinburgh, we believe the lion's share of the work fell to
     the late Mr Donaldson."

  [10] It is of importance to keep in view that it never was asserted
  that the _first_ move, the 26th, had not been sufficiently examined;
  and it will be immediately seen that that move was adhered to, no
  attempt being made to recall it. The truth is, that the London Club
  could not have played a better move than their 27th. Their mistake,
  as was first discovered by the Edinburgh Club, was in the 26th move,
  the one adhered to _after examination_.

In the remarks on the London and Amsterdam match, in Mr Staunton's
periodical, (the _Chess-Player's Chronicle_,) for February 1850,
there is the following passage:--

     "If the relative skill of the competitors engaged on each side
     were to be the gauge by which to estimate the probable result of
     a contest like this, it would have been easy to predict to which
     party victory would incline; and we should have wondered at the
     daring gallantry that prompted the little band of Hollanders to
     challenge the leviathans of London. Experience, however, has
     shown that, in a match of chess by correspondence, the battle
     is not always to the strong, and that foresight and profound
     calculation are of infinitely less account, when the men may be
     moved experimentally, than they are in ordinary chess, where
     conclusions must be tried by the head, and not by the hand. Of
     this, indeed, the archives of the London Club afford a memorable
     instance. In March 1824, a proposal was made to this Club by the
     Club at Edinburgh, to play a match at chess by correspondence
     for a silver cup; the match to consist of three games,
     (irrespective of drawn games;) two games to be played together,
     and the winner of the first game to have the move in the third.
     The London Club at this period was in the pride and plenitude
     of its strength, and the committee appointed to conduct the
     match comprised every name of note among the chess-players of
     the metropolis. The Edinburgh Chess-Club, on the other hand, was
     composed of amateurs comparatively unknown and inexperienced,
     and possessed one player only--the late Mr Donaldson--capable of
     making anything like a stand 'over the board' with any of the
     London chiefs. In an ordinary contest, indeed, over the board,
     it was the old odds of Lombard Street to a China orange! Maugre
     all the advantages of superior skill and practice, however,
     the Londoners lost the battle, and lost it by a blunder as
     ridiculous as it was vexatious, at the very moment, too, when
     the game was in their hands."

The general remarks on playing by correspondence in this last
passage are evidently made to furnish a pretence for introducing the
notice of the London and Edinburgh match; and they share the fate of
all such forced work. They are absolute nonsense. The probability
that a decidedly superior will overcome an inferior player, is not
at all diminished by the circumstance that the match is played by
correspondence. On the contrary, we should rather be inclined to
say that the chance of an inferior player's escape in a single
game or so is almost extinguished where the match is played by
correspondence; because the time given for deliberation increases
the improbability of his antagonist's erring from carelessness, or
not taking in the whole position of the game, which sometimes occurs
in playing over the board. But there is an inconsequence in the
whole argument which surprises us to find in anything sanctioned
by a person of Mr Staunton's unquestionable powers of mind. The
loss of the match by London is not to be wondered at, it is said,
because it was a match by correspondence; and the immediate cause
of their losing it was the commission of a ridiculous and vexatious
blunder! To make this anything like logic, it would be necessary to
hold that ridiculous and vexatious blunders are more likely to be
committed when the player has time and opportunity to consider his
moves, and to make experiments upon their effect, than where he is
under the necessity of moving at once in presence of an adversary,
and possibly of spectators, apt to get impatient at long delay. It
is plain that the game's being played by correspondence was the
very circumstance calculated to render the London Club's particular
excuse for losing all the more untenable.

It is quite true, however, that at a particular stage of the game
opened by the London Club, (being one of the two games with which
the match commenced,) the London Club might have won the game, by
playing other moves than they did. This may be said of every game;
but it is as unusual as it is unhandsome for the unsuccessful party,
merely because he has missed such an opportunity of winning, to
refuse all credit to his adversary for afterwards defeating him. In
the third game, which was drawn, the Edinburgh Club would have won
if they had played a different 51st move from that which they did.
But this did not lead them to make depreciatory remarks about their
antagonists: all that their report bears on this point is, that the
London Club "conducted a difficult defence with great skill and
dexterity, and finally succeeded in drawing the game."

Further, the remarks above quoted are calculated to produce an
erroneous idea respecting the situation and conduct of the two
clubs in the second game. The sophistry consists in mixing up two
entirely separate and unconnected things. In this same game in which
the London Club failed to observe that they had a winning position,
they applied to have two of their moves recalled after they were
despatched, and the Edinburgh committee refused their request. Now
the obvious tendency of all that the English writers say upon the
subject is to create the impression that if the London Club had been
allowed to recall these two moves, they would have retained their
winning position. This is plainly the only construction that the
passage in the _Quarterly Review_ is capable of bearing. It is the
only construction which would justify his remarks, or make them at
all intelligible. But it is quite incorrect. The only moves which
the London committee wished to recall were the 27th and 28th; but
they have never attempted to show that if they had been allowed to
do so, they could have won the game. It has been demonstrated, over
and over again, that they could not. In fact, the moves they wished
to recall were as good as any others then in their power. They might
have drawn the game if these moves had been played; and they could
have done no more had they been allowed to recall them. This matter
was set at rest while the match was still pending, by a proposal
which emanated from the Edinburgh Club. When the Londoners lost the
game, Mr Lewis insinuated, though he did not expressly state, that
if they had not been held to the 27th and 28th moves, they would
have won the game. A member of the Edinburgh Club then offered to
play a back-game with any one or more of the London Club, in which
the London players were to be allowed a new 27th move instead of
the one they had made, and wished to recall; and also another
back-game in which the Edinburgh player was to take the London side
_at an earlier stage of the game_, with the view of showing that,
by playing differently, the London Club might have won it. This
proposal was under consideration of the London Club _for several
weeks_, during which they satisfied themselves that the recall of
the 27th and 28th moves would be of no use, and, accordingly, it was
declined. It is surely not very uncharitable to surmise that it was
during this period, and on the suggestion of their opponents, that
they discovered that the error was not in the 27th move which they
had proposed to recall, but in the 26th, which they had examined and
adhered to. In his first publication of the games, Mr Lewis gives
no back-game on this 26th move; and it is believed that no member
of the London Club was aware, till the game was finished, that by
playing differently at the 26th move they might have won it. But Mr
Lewis admits that the game could not be won by a mere alteration
of the 27th or 28th move; and any one who says that it could, is
either speaking in ignorance of the subject, or is making a wilful
misrepresentation. The likelihood of the remarks of the English
writers producing an erroneous impression arises from their mixing
up these two separate and distinct things: 1st, that at a previous
stage of the game, the London Club had a winning position which they
did not discover, and failed to avail themselves of; and, 2d, that
the Edinburgh Club would not allow them to retract the 27th and
28th moves. These two facts have no longer any possible connection
with each other when it is known that, at the 27th move, the London
Club had ceased to have a winning position, and that the recall
of that move would have been of no use to them. The failure, at a
previous stage of the game, to maintain the winning position which
they had, is simply one among several illustrations which occurred
in the match, of the truth that the London Club, "in the pride and
plenitude of its strength," did not always play as well as it was
possible to have done. How such things show that superiority on
the part of London, which they are brought forward to establish, we
confess ourselves unable to understand, unless we were to adopt the
principle of the _Chess-Players' Chronicle_, that it is the best
players who are most likely to commit errors in conducting a match
by correspondence!!

It seems to be a source of melancholy consolation to the English
players, that their Club committed a "ridiculous and vexatious
blunder." We are sorry that, in our strict regard for truth, we must
deprive them even of that comfort. The losing of the disputed game
was not a ridiculous blunder, however vexatious. On the contrary,
the series of moves by which they lost the chance of winning, was
at first a very promising attack, and had the additional temptation
of appearing brilliant and enterprising. If any chess-player will
set up the men at the 27th move of the London Club, or glance at
the diagram given in Mr Staunton's periodical for May 1850, he will
see that nothing but the utmost skill and caution on the part of
Edinburgh could have successfully warded off the attack. The London
Club had not contemplated the defence which they met with; and if,
in these circumstances, they were seduced into an ingenious but
unsound attack, it may be conceded that they manifested want of
circumspection, an important qualification in a chess-player; but
they cannot be accused of committing a ridiculous blunder. They
talk of having "thrown away" a rook. They did no such thing. The
rook was played not by mistake, but for the very purpose of being
taken in the course of their dashing but unsuccessful attack. And in
Mr Lewis's analyses, it will be found that many of his methods of
winning, at previous stages of the game, involve this very sacrifice
of the rook.

The refusal of the Edinburgh Club to allow the recall of the 27th
and 28th moves loses all its importance when it is known that it did
not affect the fate of the game. But we should in any circumstances
be sorry to believe that, in so refusing, they had done what
deserved the censure bestowed on them by the _Quarterly_ reviewer.
In considering the propriety of their conduct, there are only two
lights in which the request may be viewed. They were either asked
to do what the London Club had a right to demand, or they were
asked to grant a favour to the London Club. We do not know that the
former view is supported by any of the English writers. Even the
_Quarterly_ reviewer does not say that the London Club had a _right_
to recall the moves; and on this question of right it appears to
us that there cannot be the least shadow of a doubt. The letter
containing the moves was despatched to the Post-office. It was held
by the Post-office for the party to whom it was addressed, and was
entirely beyond the control of the party sending it. The piece,
in every sense, was therefore "let go" by the player; and the 8th
Article of Sarratt's laws of chess, by which it was agreed that the
games should be played, provides that "as long as a player holds
a piece, he is at liberty to play it where he chooses; but when
he has _let it go_, he cannot recall his move." Accordingly, the
London Club never attempted to contest the question of right. They
stated that they had "no hesitation in acceding to the Edinburgh
Committee's construction," and adhering to the moves. In fact, the
construction put on the point by the Edinburgh Club was not only
assented to by the London players at the time, but several members
of the committee admitted afterwards, that it was unquestionably the
right way of dealing with the case, and no member of the London Club
ever hinted a complaint on the subject, except what was insinuated
by Mr Lewis in the publication referred to.

Were the Edinburgh Club "_to blame_" for not granting the favour
which was asked of them? On this question we think there is quite
as little doubt as the other. We have a strong and decided opinion
as to the necessity of strict play in _all_ games. It is the only
fair and rational system; for once allow indulgence, and it is
impossible to fix the limit at which it should stop. But we think
that the remark applies with peculiar force to the game of chess,
in which rigour is absolutely essential to the acquisition of the
habits fitted for the proper playing of the game. Above all, in an
important match at chess, anything but the strict game is entirely
out of the question. A high-spirited antagonist will scorn to ask
a favour, or even to grumble about the commission of a blunder.
He submits in silence, and plays on in the hope of retrieving his
fault by redoubled care and attention. If, on the other hand, he
were to be expected to grant favours to his blundering antagonist,
it is plain that his very good qualities would be turned to his
disadvantage in the match. The Edinburgh Club played in the belief
that the rules of the game were to apply with equal strictness to
both parties; and though there was more than one instance in which
they would have been glad to recall a move, they never proposed
this, or even spoke of the occasions for it, except in answer to Mr
Lewis's observations on the proposed recall of the 27th move. In
the very game in which this move was made, the Edinburgh committee
had at a _previous_ point in the game made a move which they
discovered to be unsound, or at least doubtful. Their report bears
that "application was made to the Post-office to have the letter
containing it restored, but without effect. Finding this to be the
case, the letter was looked upon as delivered, the Post-office being
regarded as holding it, not on behalf of the Club from which it had
been sent, but on behalf of the Club to which it was addressed;
and therefore no attempt was made to countermand the move, by
transmitting another letter by the same post. The 8th article of
the laws was considered to be too clear and explicit to warrant a
recall." This conduct of the Edinburgh Club appears to us the manly
and proper way of dealing with such a circumstance, and infinitely
better than trying to make it the foundation of a complaint of
rigorous procedure on the part of their opponents.

The same thing happened again to the Edinburgh Club in the fourth
game. In consequence of having put up the game erroneously, they
sent an impossible move--that is to say, they directed a Knight to
be moved to a square already occupied by their King. They discovered
the mistake before the letter had left Edinburgh, but considered
themselves as having incurred the penalty of playing an impossible
move, which was, in the option of their adversary, either to move
the Knight to some other square, or to move their King. Of these
two, the move of the _King_ was infinitely the better play, and
therefore, in order to save time, a note was written on the outside
of the letter explaining the mistake, and stating that the Edinburgh
committee held themselves bound to move the _Knight_, which it was
presumed the London Club would enforce, as the more severe penalty.
The London Club did so; and yet Mr Lewis, in his notes to this
game, rather disingenuously, as it appears to us, represented the
London Club as having yielded an advantage to their antagonists, in
accepting the move of the Knight. This merely accidental blunder, on
the part of the Edinburgh Club, was one cause of their loss of the
fourth game.

Seeing that the Edinburgh Club thus on all occasions subjected
themselves to the most rigorous interpretation of the rules of the
game, we cannot hold the _Quarterly Review_ as justified in saying
that they were "to blame" in not allowing the London Club to retract
a move. But we appeal from the _Quarterly_ reviewer as a partisan of
England, to the _Quarterly_ reviewer, as an impartial enunciator of
general propositions respecting the game of chess. Hear what he says
about the absurdity of giving back moves:--

     "Another advantage has arisen from the multiplication of clubs,
     and consequent publication of accurate rules--viz., that the
     strict game is now played, instead of those courteous surrenders
     of advantages offered by a heedless adversary, which used often
     to make winners of those who had received back two or three
     leading pieces in the course of the game. These were a source
     of endless unpleasant discussions, besides being in themselves
     an absurdity. We confess we have no notion of rewarding an
     opponent for his oversights. We would show him as little mercy
     as Mr Smith O'Brien would to Lord Clarendon. Nay, we should be
     moved hereto by a consideration of his benefit as well as our
     own--for why should we teach him vacillation and heedlessness?"

Again, among a portentous list of narrow-minded delusions, he gives
as "Delusion the Fifth--

     "'That it is illiberal to play the strict game.' To this we can
     only reply, that other methods are but a miserable imitation.
     People talk of the hardship of 'losing a game by an oversight,'
     and so on. It is much harder to arrive at nothing but
     'conclusions inconclusive,' and to have the game terminate in
     an Irish discussion which of the two parties made the greatest

We agree in every word of this; and we only wonder that so sound a
reasoner should himself fall under the delusion which he exposes--so
severe a censor should commit the very offence which he condemns.

On the whole, as regards the proposed recall of the 27th and 28th
moves of the second game, we think these three propositions are
conclusively established, 1. That neither according to the rules
of the game, nor upon any other principle which does or ought to
regulate the playing of matches, were the London Club entitled to
have their proposal acceded to. 2. That though it had been acceded
to, and these moves had been allowed to be recalled, the London
Club could not have bettered their situation, as the opportunity of
winning was already irretrievably lost in consequence of the 26th
move, which was not asked to be recalled, but, on the contrary,
was expressly adhered to. 3. That the impression which English
chess-players have so industriously attempted to create, that the
refusal on the part of Edinburgh to allow the 27th and 28th moves
to be recalled was what prevented the London Club from winning the
game, can only exist through a confusion between these moves and the
previous one, which the London Club had adhered to after a renewed
examination, not having even then discovered that it was unsound.

Before leaving the second game, we have this last additional remark
to make about it, that it is one of the erroneous assumptions and
inferences of the English writers, that the winning of that game
would have decided the match in their favour. It was the first won
game; and though it is true that the London Club _subsequently_
won the fourth game, which was the successor of the second, it
is also the fact that the fourth game, which was opened by the
Edinburgh Club, would not have been played if the second had
been won by London, who in that case would have had the opening
of the fourth. We do not mean to say that having to open was a
disadvantage. All we assert is, that, in point of fact, the game,
which the Edinburgh Club lost partly through a mistake in setting
up the men, and through another blunder, not very different in its
character, would not have been played at all if London had won the
second game. Besides, the fourth game would, in other respects, have
been played under very different circumstances. The opening of the
second game by the London Club was one which none of the Edinburgh
players had ever seen before, though, from this match, it now goes
by the name of the Scotch opening. They believed, however, from
their consideration of the second game, that the London Club had
not availed themselves of all the capabilities of the opening, and
they thought it would be a spirited thing to return it upon their
antagonists. This they did in the _third_ game. The event rewarded
their enterprising conduct. They gained a decided advantage; and
during the greater part of the _fourth_ game they believed that it
would never require to be finished, as they thought that by winning
the _third_ game they would gain the match. This accounts for the
carelessness with which they played the fourth game, though we
think nothing can excuse carelessness in playing chess. They were
ultimately disappointed in their expectation of gaining the third
game, as the London Club succeeded in drawing it; and this rendered
a fifth game necessary.

Down to the fifth game it appears plain enough, from the above
examination, that the Edinburgh Club had maintained, at the very
least, an equal position to their antagonists. The first game had
been drawn, with no advantage at any stage of it, in favour of
either party. The second had been won by Edinburgh, but was subject
to the observation that, at one point, London might have won had
they played as well as they _afterwards_ discovered they might
have done. The third game was drawn: but the advantage throughout
had been in favour of Edinburgh, though not sufficiently so for
winning; and, as was the case with London in the previous game,
Edinburgh failed to perceive that by moving differently at a certain
point, they would have been victorious. The fourth game was lost by
Edinburgh, partly through an accidental and what may be called a
mechanical blunder, and partly through another piece of carelessness
of a similar character. After a contest thus maintained down to the
commencement of the fifth game, it is beyond all question that the
palm of superiority, in point of play, must rest with the victor
in that game. And it was a game worthy to determine that question
as well as the match. The Edinburgh Club had again returned upon
their antagonists their own opening. In order to secure scope for
the action of their pieces, they showed considerable intrepidity
in disregarding the ordinary rules against doubled and isolated
pawns; and so admirably had they analysed the game, that for a
great many moves they knew that victory was certain, though all the
while the London Club, according to the confession of some of their
own members, were blind to the fate that was awaiting them; and
believed, on the contrary, that the game was in their own hands.
This fifth game will long be remembered by chess players as one
of the most remarkable in the annals of chess; and appears to us
conclusive, so far as regards the internal evidence derived from the
games themselves, that the superiority, in point of play, lay with
the Edinburgh Club, and that their winning the match was not a mere

It may be that there are other data for determining the relative
superiority of the two Clubs; but we cannot admit the correctness
of any of those mentioned by the _Quarterly_ reviewer or Mr
Staunton. It is true, as these gentlemen say, that the Edinburgh
Club was comparatively inexperienced. It had only been instituted
in 1822, and the match was begun in 1824. It comprehended, almost
exclusively, professional gentlemen actively engaged in business,
who had not, generally speaking, much leisure or opportunity for
seeking antagonists out of their own little circle of chess-players
at home. On the other hand, it cannot be disputed that there is
to be found in the metropolis of England, in greater abundance
than anywhere else, that combination of leisure with intellectual
power, which gives the promise of good chess-playing. But these
circumstances do not lead our minds to the conclusion to which Mr
Staunton and the _Quarterly_ reviewer have come, that the winning of
the match by the Edinburgh Club was an accident. We should rather
be inclined to hold, considering the character of the contest as
explained by us above, that they are a proof of the greater natural
chess-playing capacity of the members of the Club which won the
match under such disadvantages. Again, Mr Staunton asks where are
the previous exploits to which the Edinburgh players could point,
such as those that the members of the London Club had performed? The
answer is, None. They never had, and never sought the opportunity
of performing any great chess exploit, except beating the London
Club. But in so doing they made their own all the previous victories
of the London Club. The event showed that they might, without
presumption, have expressed the sentiment of Prince Henry--

    "Percy is but my factor, good, my lord,
    To engross up glorious deeds on my behalf;
    And I will call him to so strict account,
    That he shall render every glory up.

           *       *       *       *       *

    And all the budding honours on his crest
    I'd crop to make a garland for my head."

With which valorous quotation we draw our remarks to a close,
submitting that the members of the Edinburgh Club are bound to
invite us to a special sitting at a board, which shall be garnished
with some other material more soft and digestible than chessmen.


The dismal efforts of the Free-trading party to maintain the credit
of their unnatural and mischievous scheme, afford the surest
indication of their own consciousness that they have committed a
grievous error. In their attempts to make head against the symptoms
of reaction which are everywhere apparent in the public mind, they
exhibit no unity of purpose; they are not agreed even as to the
facts from which their arguments should be drawn. A few months ago,
we were told that the whole country was in a state of the greatest
prosperity. The existence of agricultural distress was denied; the
shipping interest was said to be in the most healthy and flourishing
condition; the manufacturers had so many orders that their ability
to execute was impeded; wages were rising--pauperism decreasing--in
short, no one could recall to memory times of more general
happiness and content. Such was the picture drawn by Ministerial
limners, no further back than the opening of the present session
of Parliament, and it is very much to be regretted that it should
so soon have vanished like a dissolving view. Down to the present
moment, we have been unable to discover the motive for so monstrous
a fiction. Nobody believed it: nobody could believe it, for it
ran counter to every man's knowledge of his own affairs, and his
opinion as to those of his neighbour. The agriculturists declared
it to be a falsehood in so far as they were concerned--so did the
ship-owners--so did the shopkeepers--so did the manufacturers, whose
circulars acknowledged depression for the present, and held out
little hope for the future. The Ministerial averment answered no
purpose, save to excite a general burst of disapprobation. Conceived
in fraud, it was abandoned with cowardice. A lower tone was assumed.
Distress was admitted--but only to a certain extent; and we may
remark that such admissions are peculiarly convenient and innocuous
to those who make them, inasmuch as the actual degree or prevalence
of the suffering must still remain matter of debate. Indeed, no
statistics, however ingenious or elaborated, can furnish data for
determining so delicate a point. But to account for the existence
of distress, even in a mitigated form, was no easy task for those
who were resolved, at all hazards, to exclude the operation of free
trade. Their prosperity balance-sheet stood awkwardly in the way.
Pluming themselves upon increased exports, and a larger foreign
trade than had been driven for some years, they were compelled to
assign some reason for the remarkable depression at home. The old
shift of railway calls would no longer suit their purpose. Sir
Robert Peel, regardless of a certain personal passage of his life
connected with the opening of the Trent Valley, was exceedingly fond
of turning out that scape-goat into the wilderness; but the time
had gone by; the calls were paid up or suspended; and it was no
longer possible for effrontery to maintain that the great mass of
the consumers of these kingdoms had been materially injured by their
imprudent dalliance with scrip. There was no tightness in the money
market; no external cause to interfere with the successful operation
of industry, capital, or enterprise. Yet still there was distress;
and, what was more remarkable, the complaint was universal. The
value of produce had fallen, effecting thereby a corresponding
decline in rents, and every kind of uncertain profit. Employment
grew scarcer every day, whilst the number of applicants increased.
The burden of taxation, however, still remained undiminished. The
creditor could still exact the stipulated amount of money from his
debtor, without deduction, although the labour of the debtor was
reduced in point of value by at least a third. Such were, and are,
the leading phenomena, to account for which the ingenuity of the
Free-traders has been exercised.

They have, we are bound to say, cut an exceedingly sorry figure
in explanation. They have got in their mouths a few cant phrases,
which, when assailed, they repeat over and over again, without the
slightest reference to their meaning. One of these, and perhaps the
most favourite, refers to the "transition state"--a peculiar phase
of suffering, which they maintain to be the necessary consequence of
every considerable change in the fiscal regulations of the empire.
This "transition state," in politics, would appear to correspond to
that which, in medicine, was favoured by Mr St John Long. In order
to become better, it is necessary to make the patient, in the first
instance, materially worse--to inflict artificial wounds and promote
suppuration, in the hope that these may afterwards be healed. It is
rather remarkable that none of our political doctors have as yet
ventured to specify the nature of the curatory process. They leave
us woefully in the dark as to the means which are to be adopted for
remedying the evil; and they obstinately refuse to predict what
kind of state is to follow upon this of transition. In truth, they
are utterly at sea. They cannot shut their eyes to the extent of
the mischief which they have wrought; they cannot find or invent an
extraneous excuse, which will avail them, in the opinion even of the
loosest thinker, to maintain the delusion that the present distress
and stagnation are attributable to any other cause than that of low
prices, occasioned by foreign competition; and they are attempting
to conceal their chagrin and disappointment at the disastrous issue
of their experiment under the cover of general terms and vague
ambiguous phrases--a rhetorical expedient which is not likely to
have much weight with those who have been made the victims of their
rashness or vacillation.

Latterly, indeed, some portions of the public press have shown
symptoms of being more specific, and very glad should we be if
Ministers would follow that example. We are told that present
prices are merely exceptional, and that they must shortly improve.
The mere adoption of this argument shows that such writers dissent
from the doctrine that cheapness is an unqualified blessing--that
they still believe in their hearts that it is impossible altogether
to separate the interests of the producer and the consumer--and
that they are still alive to the fundamental political axiom,
that the wealth of a country depends mainly upon the value of its
produce. Were it otherwise, they would be supporters of the most
astounding paradox that was ever advanced. The price of the loaf
must rise correspondingly with that of the quarter of wheat: beef
and mutton are sold by the stone or by the pound, in proportion to
the market value of the living animal. If wheat were to rise to
56s., which is said to be the average cost of its production in
this country, bread would become so much dearer, and, in that case,
the working-man could be no better off than he was before the corn
laws were repealed. We have heard it said, and we firmly believe
it to be the case, that many of the public men, of both parties,
who voted with Sir Robert Peel, did so under the full conviction
that there could be no material decline--that they were misled by
the onesided, imperfect, and fallacious reports as to the state,
quality, and extent of the Continental harvests, which were laid
before Parliament--and that they never would have consented to such
a measure, had they foreseen the results which are now unhappily
before us. We gather this, not merely from rumour, but from the
tenor of the speeches delivered in the House of Commons in 1846. Sir
James Graham and Lord John Russell both treated as visionary the
notion of any material decline--Lord Palmerston went further; and
we think it useful to lay before our readers the following excerpt
from his speech, delivered on the occasion of the second reading
of the Corn Importation Bill. Referring to the surplus quantity of
Continental grain, he said--

     "The surplus quantity now, or from time to time in existence,
     is merely the superfluity of abundant seasons held for a
     time in store to meet the alternate deficiency of bad years.
     Till the bad years come, that corn is cheap, because it is a
     supply exceeding the demand; but the moment we go into the
     foreign market as buyers, to purchase up this surplus, _prices
     abroad will rise_. Not only will the British demand, as a
     new competition with foreign demand, naturally cause a rise
     of prices, but our own merchants will compete against each
     other, until, by a rise of prices abroad, the profit of their
     importations shall have been brought down to the usual rate of
     mercantile profit upon capital employed in other ways. There
     is, therefore, very little probability that the importation of
     the existing surplus quantity of corn in foreign markets will
     materially lower prices in this country."

We have nothing to say to the arguments of the noble
Viscount--however singular these may appear to persons of ordinary
understanding--we merely refer to his conclusion, which we think
is plain enough, to the effect that free importations could not
materially lower prices. Nay, we could extract from the speeches of
Sir Robert Peel himself, passages which would go far to show that he
entertained the same opinion, notwithstanding the extreme wariness
which he exhibited when challenged by Lord George Bentinck to state
his views as to the probable effects of the change on the value of
agricultural produce. Well, then, if this be the case--if there was
actually a strong conviction in the minds of the leading men who
supported the repeal of the corn laws that the expressed fears of
the agricultural party were unfounded--are we not entitled now to
require that the question should be brought to a very narrow issue
indeed? So far as experience has gone, our calculations have proved
right--theirs entirely wrong. We maintained that, in consequence of
the removal of protective duties, the price of grain in this country
would decline to a point far below the cost of production; they
averred that nothing of the kind would happen. Nearly a year and
a half has elapsed since the new system came into full operation,
and the general averages of wheat throughout the country have
fallen, and have remained for many months below 40s. per quarter. In
spite of the accurate and veracious information of writers in the
_Economist_ and other Ministerial prints, who have been assuring
us, for a long period of time, that the whole available supplies of
grain have been pumped out of the Continent, importations continue
undiminished. In May 1850 we receive from abroad the equivalent
of a million quarters of grain; France pours in her flour, to the
panic even of our millers; and, instead of diminution, there are
unmistakeable symptoms of a greater deluge than before. Now, if the
Free-traders, in or out of Parliament, are honest in their views--as
many of them, we believe, undoubtedly are--they are bound to tell us
how far and how long they intend this experiment to last? Of course,
if it is no experiment at all, but an absolute rigorous finality,
there is no need of entering into discussion. If everything is to be
sacrificed for cheapness, let cheapness be the rule; only do not let
us behold the anomaly of the advocates of that system prophesying
a rise of prices as a general boon to the country. If otherwise,
surely some tangible period should be assigned for the endurance
of this _experimentum crucis_. We entirely coincide with Lord John
Russell in his dislike to vacillating legislation, and we have no
wish whatever to precipitate matters. We think it preferable, in
every way, that the eyes of the country should be opened to a sense
of its true condition by a process which, to be effectual, cannot
be otherwise than painful. But we are greatly apprehensive of the
consequences which may arise ere long, from the obstinate refusal
of Ministers to give the slightest indication of their intentions,
supposing that the present prices shall continue; or to indicate
what relief, if any, can be given to the industry of the nation.

As to the permanent nature of the fall under the operation of
the present law, we entertain not the slightest doubt. There is
no one symptom visible of its abatement; on the contrary, the
experience of each succeeding month tends to fortify our previous
impressions. The decline in the value of cattle is as great as in
that of cereal produce. We have already, in a former paper, had
occasion to state the extent of that fall down to the commencement
of the present year: the accounts received of the state of the
Dumbarton market, held in the beginning of June, are still more
disastrous than before. Throughout a large portion of the Scottish
Highlands--we do not know, indeed, whether we are entitled to make
any exception--black cattle, the staple of the country, will not
pay the expense of rearing. The enormous importation of provisions
from America is annihilating this branch of produce, with what
compensating benefit to the nation at large, it would be difficult
for an economist to explain.

This is a state of matters which cannot continue long without
manifest danger even to the tranquillity of the country. It is quite
plain that, at present rates, agriculture cannot be carried on as
heretofore in Great Britain. The farmer has been the first sufferer;
the turn of the landowner is approaching. Let us illustrate this
shortly. There must be, on an average of ordinary years, a certain
price at which wheat can be grown remuneratively in this country.
Sir Robert Peel, no mean authority on the subject, has indicated his
opinion that such price may be stated at or about 56s. per quarter.
Mr James Wilson, rating it somewhat lower, fixes it at 52s. 2d. Let
us suppose, that wheat for the future shall average over England
39s. per quarter, and that the produce of the acre is twenty-four
bushels, the loss on each acre of wheat hereafter raised will be,
according to Sir Robert Peel, £2, 11s.--according to Mr Wilson, £1,
19s. 6d. What deduction of rent can meet such a depreciation as
this? Excluding Middlesex, which is clearly exceptional, the highest
rented county of England, Leicester, is estimated at £1, 14s. 10d.
per acre; Warwickshire, at £1, 11s. 6d.; and Lincolnshire at £1, 8s.
Haddington and Fife, the highest rented counties of Scotland, are
estimated at £1, 5s. 6d. per acre. This of course includes much land
of an inferior description; but we believe that, for the best arable
land, an average rent of 40s. per acre may be assumed. In that case,
supposing the whole rent to be given up, the farmer would still be a
loser by cultivation, if Sir Robert Peel is correct in his figures.

Without presuming to offer an opinion as to the accuracy of
either of the calculations submitted by these two Free-trading
authorities, we think it is plain that the more favourable of them,
taken in connection with present prices, is appalling enough to
the agriculturist, whether he be landlord or tenant. We shall see,
probably in a month or two, whether it is likely that even these
prices can be maintained. We are clearly of opinion that the price
of corn in this country must fall to the level of the cheapest
market from which we can derive any considerable supplies; and in
that case it is quite as likely that we may see wheat quoted at 32s.
or 33s., as at 39s. or 40s. But the matter for our consideration is,
that, ever since the repeal of the corn laws, the market price of
grain has been greatly below the cost of its production; and that
there are no symptoms of any amendment, but obviously the reverse.

The inevitable result of the continuance of such a state of
matters is too clear to admit of argument. The land must go out
of cultivation. The process may be slow, but it will be sure. It
may, doubtless, be retarded by remissions of rent not sufficient
to cover the farmer's losses, but great enough to induce him to
renew his efforts for another year with the like miserable result;
until at length the tiller of the soil is made bankrupt, and the
landowner occupies his place. We can hardly trust ourselves to
depict the effect of such a social revolution. All the misery which
has been already felt--and that is far greater than our rulers will
permit themselves to believe--would be as nothing compared with the
calamitous consummation of Free Trade.

Yet it is towards that point that we are rapidly tending. Some
of the fierce and more plain-spoken Radical journals are so far
from contradicting our views, that they openly rejoice in the
havoc which has been already made, and in the wider ruin which is
impending. They say plainly, looking to the funds, that they see
no method of escaping from the domination of the moneyed interest,
except through the prostration of the landlords. Their meaning
is quite distinct and undisguised. They want to get rid of the
national debt, by reducing the value of produce so low, that the
usual amount of taxation cannot possibly be levied; and their
scheme, however nefarious, is by no means devoid of plausibility.
There can be no doubt that the Currency Act of 1819 has operated
most injuriously upon the industry of the nation, by enhancing the
value of the claims of the creditor; and that these claims, along
with the necessary expenses of government, must be paid, _ante
omnia_, from the industrial produce of the year. The cheapening
process, therefore, is one directly antagonistic to the maintenance
of taxation. The anomaly in legislation of forcibly reducing the
value of produce, and yet maintaining stringently an artificial
standard of taxation, has been reserved for our times; yet, strange
to say, though its effects are visible and confessed, few persons
have courage or patience enough to grapple with the difficulty.
Free Trade and a Fettered Currency are things that cannot possibly
co-exist for any length of time; and our sole surprise is, that any
statesman could be shortsighted enough to attempt to reconcile them.
Taken singly, either of them is a great evil to a country situated
like ours--taken together, they become absolutely intolerable. But
we have no wish, at the present time, to depart from the point
before us. We are merely taking the evidence of adversaries, to
show that our views as to the position and prospects of the great
productive classes of Britain are so far from exaggerated that they
are acknowledged by the most strenuous advocates of Free Trade. The
fundholder, nevertheless, may derive a useful lesson from these
financial hints, which indicate an ulterior purpose.

Such is the state of the agricultural interest throughout the
three Kingdoms at this moment, and such are the prospects before
us. The evidence, albeit not taken before a committee of either
House of Parliament, is too unanimous to admit of a doubt; county
after county, district after district, parish after parish
throughout England, have testified to their melancholy condition.
The _Times_ may talk of mendicity, and the _Economist_ may trump
up figures to show that the farmers ought to be making a profit
even at present prices; but neither irony nor fiction can avail to
discredit or pervert facts so well authenticated as these. Of these
facts parliament is fully cognisant--not only from the individual
knowledge of members as to what is passing abroad--not only from the
sentiments expressed at many hundred meetings, independent of the
great demonstrations lately made at London and Liverpool--but from
the petitions which have been presented to both Houses, praying for
a reversal of that policy which has proved so detrimental to the
interests of a large section of her Majesty's subjects. Yet still
Parliament is silent, and the first Minister of the Crown refuses to
sanction that appeal to the country, which the exigency of the case
would seem to require, and which has been resorted to on occasions
far less peremptory and pressing than this.

Let us not be misunderstood. Our wish simply is to record the fact
of such silence and refusal,--not to be rash in censure. We cannot,
and do not forget the peculiar circumstances connected with the
last general election--the political tergiversation which preceded
it, the hopes and expectations which were then entertained by
many, as to the working of the new system,--or the disorganisation
of parties. Even the most strenuous opponents of the Free-Trade
measures, since these had passed into a law, however iniquitously
carried, were desirous that the experiment should have a fair trial,
and that it should not be impeded in its progress, so long as, by
the most liberal construction, it could be held to justify the
anticipations of its authors. Many names of great weight, influence,
and authority were found among the roll of those who consented to
the new measures; and it was most natural that, throughout the
country, a number of persons should be found willing to surrender
their own judgment upon a matter yet untried, which had received
so creditable a sanction. Therefore it was that the majority of
members returned to the present House of Commons were Free-traders,
bound to the system by the double ties of previous conviction and of
pledge; and though recent elections, as well as the alarming posture
of affairs, have contributed materially to alter the position of
the two great parties in the House, it would be unreasonable as yet
to look for a change, in a body so constituted, at least to that
extent which a reversal of the adopted policy must imply.

Neither can we rationally expect, that Lord John Russell will be
forward to recognise a failure, where he confidently anticipated a
triumph. We believe him to have been, far more than Sir Robert Peel,
the dupe of those random assertions and presumptuous calculations
which were thrust forward by men utterly unfit, from their previous
habits and education, to pronounce an opinion upon subjects of such
magnitude and intricacy. We should not be surprised if, even now,
his Lordship had some lingering kind of faith in the prophecies of
the member for Westbury. Men are slow to believe that the ground
is crumbling from below their feet; that the political scaffolding
which they assisted to rear has been pitched in a marshy quagmire.
Self love, and that kind of pride which is so nearly allied to
conceit that it often assumes the form of obstinacy, stand woefully
in the way of recantation; and moreover in the present instance
to recant is equivalent to resign. We remember well the profound
and sagacious remark of Sir Walter Scott, that "the miscarriage
of his experiment no more converts the political speculator, than
the explosion of a retort undeceives an alchymist." Lord John
Russell in all probability is not yet prepared, from conviction,
to revise his opinions on a question in which he is so deeply
committed. He has a majority in the House of Commons, and, according
to the forms of the constitution, so long as he can command that
majority, he is entitled to persevere. It is well that our friends,
whatever pressing cause they may have for their impatience, should
remember these things; and not be too forward in pressing wholesale
accusations, either against a Parliament chosen under such peculiar
circumstances, or a Minister who is simply adhering to the course
long since avowed by himself, and acted on by his immediate
predecessor. We may regret, and many of us do unquestionably most
bitterly feel, the anomalous position in which we are placed. A
more cruel, a more galling thought can hardly be imagined than the
conviction which is very general abroad, and which is also ours,
that the present Parliament does not represent the feelings or the
desires of the people; that it is not consulting their welfare or
protecting their interests; and that the duration of that Parliament
alone prevents a vigorous and successful effort in the cause of
British industry. Yet still, while we feel all this, let us not
be unjust to others. We cannot coerce opinion. We cannot force
honourable members at once to retrace their steps, or to give the
lie to their acknowledged pledges. We cannot complain of open wrong
if Ministers decline to accept our voices, in lieu of the voices
of those whom we formerly sent as representatives. Their answer
and vindication lies in the fact of their Parliamentary majority.
Why Parliament should thus be placed in direct antagonism to the
country, is a very different question. We need not go far in search
of the reason. It is the direct consequence of that policy which Sir
Robert Peel thought fit to adopt, not with regard to the abstract
measures of Free Trade, but for the carrying of these measures
into effect, without an appeal to the country, and by means which
proved how closely deceit is allied to tyranny. Upon his head,
if not the whole, at least the primary responsibility rests. He
has accepted it, and let it abide with him. And let no man affirm
that, in saying this, we are prolonging any rancorous feeling, or
seeking to rub a sore which by this time should be wellnigh healed.
The time for indignation and anger, if injury coupled with perfidy
can ever provoke such sentiments, is not yet past; it is now in
its fullest force. Had Sir Robert Peel acted as he ought to have
done--had he played the part of a British statesman, sincerely
desirous that in a matter of such magnitude the will of the country
should be respected--the present Parliament, whatever might have
been its decision as to Free Trade or Protection, would at least
have represented the wishes of the electoral body; and if subsequent
events had shown that these wishes were more sanguine than wise, the
error would have been a national one, and no weight of individual
responsibility would have been incurred. As it is, we are not only
justified, but we are performing our duty, in indicating the real
and sole originator of our present difficulties; and without wishing
in any degree to trench upon his secret sources of consolation,
we can hardly imagine that he will derive much comfort from the
knowledge, that his tortuous policy has deprived the people in the
hour of need of their best constitutional privilege and shield--the
sympathy and co-operation of that House which is emphatically their
own, and which, to the great detriment of the state, must lose its
moral power the moment that it ceases to represent the will, and to
protect the interests of the Commons.

We are well aware that such reflections as these can bring but sorry
comfort to the farmers. Their situation is one of unparalleled
hardship, unrelieved by any consideration which can make the case of
other sufferers more tolerable. We fully admit the vast extent of
the powers which, since the Great Revolution, are held to be vested
in Parliaments. We cannot gainsay the doctrine that these powers
may, on occasion, be exerted to the uttermost; but we say, after
the most careful and thoughtful deliberation, that the proceedings
of the legislature with regard to the farmers of Great Britain are
irreconcilable with the principles of justice, with the sacred
laws of morality, which no legislative resolutions can abrogate
or annul. The farmers are entitled to maintain that, in so far as
regards them, the public faith has been broken. Such of them as
hold leases had a distinct and unqualified guarantee given to them
by the protective laws; and the allegation that the substitution
of the sliding-scale for a fixed duty acted as a release for all
former Parliamentary engagements, is a quibble so mean and wretched
that the basest attorney would be ashamed to use it as a plea. The
whole of the farmers' fixed and floating capital, estimated at
the enormous sum of five hundred millions sterling, has been laid
out on the faith of Protection; and yet when that Protection was
furtively and treacherously withdrawn, no measure was introduced for
the purpose of relieving them from engagements contracted under the
older system, which were obviously incompatible with the lowered
prices established by the formidable change. The public, we are
afraid, are not aware of the extent of that depreciation which is
still going on, _and which already exceeds the whole annual value
of the manufacturing productions of Great Britain_. We borrow the
following table from a late pamphlet by Mr Macqueen entitled,
"Statistics of Agriculture, Manufactures, and Commerce, drawn up
from Official and Authentic Documents;" and having tested it by
every means in our power, we have no hesitation in adopting it. It
is, in truth, a fearful commentary on the rashness and folly of our


                              Protective     Depreciation.    Value 1850.
  Grains, potatoes, &c.,     £237,543,750     £80,764,875    £156,778,875
  Straw,                      100,700,000      30,210,000      70,490,000
  Green crops, pasture, &c.,  222,404,786      66,721,435     155,683,351
  Sundries,                     8,500,000       2,125,000       6,375,000
  Wool, British,               15,400,000       1,540,000      13,860,000
                             ------------    ------------    ------------
                             £584,518,536    £181,361,310    £403,187,226

But this is not all. We have still to deal with the depreciation or
diminished value of the farmers' fixed capital, invested in live
stock, &c., which at the rate of 25 per cent, (a most moderate
calculation, and below the mark in so far as Scotland is concerned,)
shows a loss on £504,833,730 of £126,208,432 _additional_!

We put forward the case of the farmers thus prominently, because,
in addition to the great public wrong which has been done to them,
they have serious reason to complain of the general apathy of the
landlords. We do not allude to the part which the landowners took in
1846. We believe that the majority of them were sincerely disgusted
by the conduct of the men who had climbed into office on their
shoulders; and that they loathed and despised in their hearts the
treachery of which they were made the tools. We know, moreover, that
a great many of them abstained from taking part in the election of
1847, not being able to see their way through the political chaos
in which we were then involved, and having, naturally enough, lost
confidence in the probity of public men, and despairing of the
remodelment of a strong constitutional party. Such things were,
perhaps, inevitable; and it may be argued with much show of reason,
that no better line of conduct was open to the landlords, and that
they did wisely in reserving themselves for a more favourable
opportunity, when experience, that stern and unfailing monitor,
should have exposed to the Free-traders the falsity of their wild
expectations. But it is impossible for them now to plead that the
opportunity has not arrived. The experiment has been made, and has
failed--failed utterly and entirely, if the practical refutation of
the views advanced by all its leading advocates is to be considered
as equivalent to failure. The current of reaction has set in
strong and steady, not only in the counties, but in the towns; not
only among those who, from their position, must be the earliest
sufferers, but among those who are connected with the trade and
general commerce of Britain. The disorganised party has rallied
and is reformed under leaders of great talent, tried skill, and
most assured loyalty and honour. How is it that, in this posture
of affairs, any considerable section of the landlords is still
hanging back? Why is it that they do not place themselves, as is
their duty, at the head of their tenantry, and enforce and encourage
those appeals to public justice, and to public policy, which are
now making themselves heard in every quarter of the kingdom? We
confess that we are at a loss to know why any apathy should be
shown. The conduct of the tenantry towards the landlords has been
generous and considerate in the extreme. They were invited, in no
equivocal terms, to join their cause with that of the Free-traders
and financial reformers; and they were promised, in that event,
the cordial assistance of the latter towards the adjustment of
their rents, and the equalisation of their public burdens. We
venture not an opinion whether such promise was ever intended to
be kept. Still it was made; and no effort was left untried to
convince the farmers that their cause was separate and apart from
that of the owners of the land. Their refusal to enter into that
unholy alliance was most honourable to the body of the tenantry,
and entitles them, at the hands of the proprietors, to look not
only for consideration and sympathy, but for the most active and
energetic support. Very ill indeed shall we augur of the spirit and
patriotism of the gentlemen of England, if they longer abstain from
identifying themselves universally with a movement which is not
only a national one, in the strictest sense of the word, but upon
which depends the maintenance of their own interests and order.
Surely they cannot have been so dull or so deaf to what is passing
around them, as not to be aware that they were especially marked out
as the victims of the Manchester confederacy! These are not times
in which any man can afford to be apathetic, nor will any trivial
excuse for languor or indifference be accepted. Exalted position,
high character, the reputation for princely generosity, and the
best of private reputations, will be no apology for inactivity in a
crisis so momentous as this. Organisation, union, and energy are at
all times the chief means for insuring success; and we trust that,
henceforward, there may be less timidity shown by those who ought
to take the foremost rank in a contest of such importance, and who
cannot abstain longer from doing so without forfeiting their claim
to that regard which has hitherto been readily accorded them.

It will be observed that, as yet, we have put the case for
Protection upon very narrow grounds. We have shown that, so far
as the agricultural body is concerned, Free Trade has proved most
injurious, and that it cannot be persisted in without bringing
downright ruin to that section of the community. If we had nothing
more to advance than this, still we should be entitled to maintain
that enough has been adduced to show the necessity of retracing
our steps. The annihilation of such an important body as the
agriculturists of Britain, implies of itself a revolution as great
as ever was effected in the world; and to that, assuredly, if the
agriculturists stood alone, they would not tamely submit. When Mr
Cobden or his satellites addressed the people of Manchester, through
their League circulars, to the following effect, "If the Americans
will only put down their monopolising manufacturers, and we put down
our monopolising landowners here, when our election time comes, we
will lay the Mississippi valley alongside of Manchester, and we
will have a glorious trade then!"--and again, "Our doctrine is, let
the working man ply his hammer, or his spindle, or his shuttle, and
let the Kentucky or the Illinois farmer, by driving his plough in
the richest land on the surface of the earth, feed this mechanic
or this weaver, and let him send home his produce in exchange for
the products of our operatives and artisans"--they seem to have
forgotten the temper and mould of the men with whom they proposed
to deal so summarily. It is not quite so easy to expatriate three
millions of able-bodied men; nor do we opine that a power morally
or physically adequate to the task of such removal exists in the
manufacturing districts. But, in reality, of all idle talk that ever
issued from the lips or the pen of an inflated demagogue, this is
the silliest and the worst. It presupposes an amount of ignorance
on the part of his audience anything but flattering to the calibre
of the Manchester intellect: indeed we hardly know which is most
to be admired--its intense and transparent folly or its astounding
audacity. The home trade is a thing altogether kept out of account
in the foregoing splendid vision of a calico millennium. Mr Cobden,
it will be seen, contemplates no home consumption, except in so far
as the operative may provide himself with his own shirtings. The
whole production of Britain is to be limited to manufactures; the
whole supplies are to be derived from the hands of the reciprocating

There does not exist in this great and populous country any one
class the labour of which can be restricted, or the profits
curtailed, without an injurious result to the interests of the whole
community. This is not simply a maxim of political economy; it is
a distinct physical fact, which no ingenuity can controvert. Yet,
strange to say, our rulers have acted, and are acting, with regard
to by far the most important class of the country, as if no such
fact were known; and they now profess to be amazed at its speedy
and inevitable consequence. That agricultural distress must react
upon the manufacturer, the trader, shopkeeper, and artisan, is as
necessary a consequence as is a failure in the supply of water
after a long-continued drought. If our taxation is artificial, and
our national establishments costly, it must not be forgotten that
our private expenditure is generally on the same scale. We consume
within the country a far greater amount of manufactures than we can
ever hope to export, and the only limit to that consumption is the
power of purchase. The profits of the landowner, which depend upon
the value of produce, do not constitute a fund which is removed
from public circulation. On the contrary, these profits furnish
the means of labour and employment to the greater portion of the
industrious classes, who otherwise would have no resource; and if
they are violently curtailed, it must needs follow that a large
amount of employment is withdrawn. That is precisely our case at the
present moment. By the admission of foreign produce, which is in
fact foreign labour, the value of agricultural production in this
country has fallen very nearly thirty per cent, and the consequence
is a greatly diminished expenditure, and a slackening of employment
grievously felt by those who are supported by manual labour. How,
indeed, is it possible that it can be otherwise? A very little
thought must convince every one that all incomes in Britain must
depend upon the amount and value of the national production, and
that, by reducing and lowering that, a direct attack is made upon
the profits of every kind of labour. It is singular that consequence
so plain should ever have been overlooked; still more singular that
statesmen should have been found to maintain an opposite theory. The
only explanation we can suggest as to this singular departure from
the leading principles of economical science is, that of late years
Ministers have habitually consulted the interests of the capitalists
rather than those of the people. Sir Robert Peel has invariably
shown himself a capitalist legislator. At the outset of his career,
and while under the Israelitish guidance of Ricardo, he succeeded
in carrying those Currency measures which increased by nearly
one-third the weight of the national obligations. Later in life we
find him engaged in measures of arbitrary bank restriction, thereby
occasioning commercial panics, and securing another rich harvest
for the moneyed class. His tariffs and Free-trade measures exhibit
precisely the same tendency. They are all constructed with a view
to cheapness, or, what is the same thing, to the diminution of the
value of labour, so that the fortune of the capitalist or fundholder
is now virtually doubled: while the industrious classes, with a
lowered rate of wage, are compelled to undergo the additional evil
of unrestricted foreign competition.

Let us now, for a brief space, proceed to consider the internal
adjustment of the strength and industry of Britain. It is a
subject well worthy of study, especially at the present moment,
when a general feeling of perplexity prevails, and when those who
unfortunately gave ear to the specious representations of the
Free-traders are convinced of their error, but are yet in doubt
whether it be possible to retrace our steps. It is a subject,
moreover, upon which we are bound to enter, seeing that official
cunning has been used to conceal the real posture of affairs in this
country, and, by undervaluing the magnitude of some interests, to
give a factitious and altogether imaginary importance to others.
We trust that we shall be able to show, to the satisfaction of
our readers, the gross extent to which this kind of delusion and
imposture has been carried.

Upon no subject whatever are more erroneous impressions entertained,
than upon the relative importance and strength of the two great
classes of the country. Of late it has been quietly assumed that
the manufacturers are infinitely superior to the agriculturists,
not only in point of numbers, but in respect of capital employed or
available; and many people have been puzzled to understand why, if
this should be the case, such vehement opposition should be made to
any proposal for readjusting the direct and local taxation, which
confessedly weighs most heavily upon the proprietors and occupiers
of the land. We have been told, in as many words, that henceforward
the voice of the towns is to dictate the policy of Britain--that the
agriculturists are a worn-out class, scarce worth preserving--and
the most influential of the Free-trade journals has not hesitated to
recommend a wholesale emigration to the Antipodes, or any portion of
the surface of the globe where corn can be cultivated cheaper than
in England. We have been not only taunted, but threatened, whenever
we presumed to expostulate. Reference was made to certain "masses,"
who were ready to rise in defence of perennial cheapness; and Mr
Cobden has warned us not to provoke the exercise of that power
which is vested in himself, as dictator of the democracy. In short,
we have been given to understand that, if protection to native
industry, in any shape, should be re-introduced--which only can be
done by the will and legitimate sanction of Parliament--physical
force shall not be wanting on the other side.

The use of such language argues great ignorance of the national
temper. We have heard a good deal lately of what is termed the
dogged Anglo-Saxon spirit, the main characteristic of which we
take to be its decided antagonism to bullying, and its inveterate
hatred of coercion. It is too much to expect that a controversy
such as this should be conducted without some asperity of
language, and therefore we make no clamorous complaint when Mr
Cobden, or his friends, think proper to designate the British
agriculturists as "ignorant clodpoles" and "horse-shoe idiots," or
the landed proprietors as "a selfish and degraded faction," or the
Protectionist press as the "hireling tools of oppression." These
are very old and very harmless terms of rhetoric, and we are not
sure that we can claim entire vindication from the charge of having
retorted with tolerable energy. The real danger begins when men
step beyond constitutional limits, and advocate resistance to the
legislature by appealing to the passions, as they have pandered to
the prejudices, of the mob.

Having premised so much, we think no one can misinterpret our
motives, if we set ourselves seriously to the task of refuting
a great fallacy which has been hatched and propagated by the
Free-traders. It is one so monstrous in itself that we hardly could
have supposed that any man, who had reflected for a moment on the
subject, could have yielded to the delusion: nevertheless, we
believe it to be most common, and it has been over and over again
repeated at public meetings, until it has lost its quality as an
assertion, and been treated as a recognised fact. It is within the
recollection of all of us, that, both within the walls of Parliament
and at the great outward gatherings of the League, the superiority
of the manufacturing over the agricultural interest of Great Britain
was broadly asserted, and assumed as the basis of the leading
argument of the Free-traders. Sir Robert Peel expressly adopted
this view in 1846, while advocating the repeal of the policy, which
he had hitherto professed to support; we say, _professed_, because
no man now doubts--indeed, it is fairly admitted by himself, with
something like a sneer of triumph--that for many years he had
been practising a deliberate imposture on the public. This view
necessarily must have had some foundation on authority, if not on
fact; and we can trace that authority to a statistical writer, Mr
Porter, on whose accuracy, and method of dealing with figures, far
too much reliance has been placed by statesmen high in office.

In dealing with the census of 1841, and compiling his tables with
a view to show the relative occupations of the people, Mr Porter
has adopted the ingenious plan of massing commerce, trade, and
manufactures together, and exhibiting the aggregate of these in
contradistinction to the purely agricultural interest! At page 55
of the last edition of his _Progress of the Nation_ we find this
statement--"The following more elaborate table of the occupations of
the population of Great Britain, as ascertained in 1841, his been
compiled from the Reports of the Census Commissioners. _It affords
the best abstract_ that has hitherto been attainable upon this
important branch of political arithmetic."

We turn to the table indicated in this modest passage, and we find
the following results for Great Britain alone:--

  Persons engaged in commerce,}
    trade, and manufacture,   }      3,092,787

  Agriculture,                       1,490,785

  Labour not agricultural,             758,495

This, of course, is exclusive of the army, navy, learned
professions, domestic servants, and various other employments,
besides women and children. In another table, Mr Porter, estimating
the male population of Great Britain, (excluding Ireland,) who were
then upwards of twenty years of age, at 4,761,091, divides them

  Agriculture,                   1,198,156
  Trade, manufactures, &c.,      2,125,496
  Other classes,                 1,437,439

If, as Mr Spackman most properly observes in his excellent work,
the _Analysis of the Occupations of the People_, one of the
principal objects of taking the census is to trace the relative
degree of dependence of one class upon another, how can this be
done if all the trade and commerce of the country is to be mixed up
with manufactures? "Mr Porter would have us to consider trade and
commerce, _and manufactures_ as synonymous terms, and that together
they only form one class; and he seems to be so thoroughly haunted
with the numerical weakness of the manufacturing interest, that
his fear of its being discovered peeps out in every paragraph; and,
by mixing them up in every table in which they are mentioned in his
book, with those engaged in trade and commerce, he has effectually
succeeded in his object."

As we propose to lay before our readers the results of Mr Spackman,
it may be proper shortly to state the principles which have guided
him in his classification of the official returns. He recognises
but two great classes of the community engaged in the production
of wealth, and upon these he justly considers the whole of the
remainder to be dependent. The following extract from his preface
will sufficiently explain his view:--

     "Of the number of persons actually employed by the
     agriculturists and manufacturers, no difference of opinion can
     exist, as we have adopted the Government classification in
     every instance, and copied the figures given in the returns. We
     believe this classification to be correct in principle, and but
     slightly erroneous in details.

     "Political economists may exercise their ingenuity by calling in
     question this classification, but we believe it is the only one
     that accurately traces the dependence of an individual on the
     one or the other interest; and, as this is the primary object
     of all such matters, if it attains this end, it is sufficient
     for all purposes. By the landed interest we mean not only
     the proprietors of the soil, but all that are engaged in its
     cultivation, and all the interests that are dependent on and
     supported by both landlord and tenant. An agriculturist is one
     who grows the raw material. The manufacturer changes the fabric
     from cotton into calico, flax into linen, wool into cloth, raw
     into manufactured silk, mineral ores into various combinations
     of metals, and the skin of an animal into leather.

     "All besides the agriculturists and the manufacturers are
     auxiliaries, not principals. Thus the handicraftsman alters the
     form, but not the substance, and adapts the article to the use
     of the consumer,--so the miller, baker, and butcher; the tailor,
     milliner, and shoemaker.

     "There is also a very numerous class, who neither produce,
     manufacture, nor alter the shape or substance of an article,
     and these are called merchants, if they buy and sell in a
     wholesale manner, or shopkeepers and retail dealers if they sell
     by retail. The business of these is to distribute all articles
     imported from abroad or produced at home, through every city,
     town, and village, in the United Kingdom; and the Government
     definition of all these auxiliaries is 'engaged in trade and

     "The dependence of any particular class engaged in trade and
     commerce, or in handicraft, is not upon the party who produces,
     alters, or supplies the article, but on the individual who
     consumes it; and if there is any tax whatever on the raw
     material, or on anything used in its manufacture, adaptation, or
     distribution, it is on him that all and every item of such tax,
     together with all profits and charges, must ultimately fall.

     "Inasmuch, however, as there is no wealth in this country of any
     amount, but what has been derived either from agriculture or
     manufactures, nor any of which the value is not determined by
     the success of these, so again this consumer, whatever his rank
     or position in society may be, is mainly dependent on them. The
     rental of land, the income from houses, or investments in the
     public funds, are merely the representatives of so much labour;
     and the means necessary to pay them are principally drawn from
     either agriculture or manufactures.

     "Our annual creation of wealth may be thus stated:--

  Agriculture,                       £250,000,000

  Manufactures, deducting the  }
    value of the raw material, }      127,000,000

  Money interest,                      37,000,000

  Colonial interest,                   18,000,000

  Foreign commerce, (including }
    shipping interest,) 10 per }       15,000,000
    cent on amount of exports  }
    and imports,}

  Fisheries,                            3,000,000

_And from one or other of these does every individual in the land
derive his income or means of support._ The Peer of the realm,
the landed proprietor, the Government annuitant, the clergyman,
the medical and the legal adviser, with the banker, merchant,
dealer, and handicraftsman of every class and kind,--derive what
is necessary to support their state and condition, and their daily
sustenance, from these spring-heads of national wealth. This is the
substance of the nation, and what we call money consists merely
of the counters we use to denote and measure the value of this
substance as it passes from one to another.

     "To do equal justice to all classes, the legislation of a
     country ought, therefore, to keep steadily in view their
     relative importance, not only as regards numbers, but also their
     powers of production, and the proportion which they severally
     bear of the national burdens. Unless this is the governing
     principle, it strikes at the root of their prosperity, and the
     injury inflicted on a class is evinced in the gradual decay of
     the whole community."

Acting upon these distinct, and, we submit, perfectly sound
principles, Mr Spackman has compiled his tables in the following
manner. The Government returns are quite explicit as to the number
of those engaged directly in agriculture and in manufactures. Mr
Spackman takes each county separately; and having set down the
relative numbers of each class, he divides the remainder of the
population between these according to their proportion. For example,
let us instance his table of the county of Lanark, which is the
great seat of Scottish manufactures. We find, from the official
returns, that the following numbers are directly engaged:--

  In Agriculture,                       13,169
  In Manufactures of all kinds,         61,378

The residue of the population being 352,425, he divides in the same
proportion, and thus gives us as a result:--

  Engaged in Agriculture,     13,169
  Dependent on,               62,257
                              ------    75,426
  Engaged in Manufactures,    61,378
  Dependent on,              290,168
                             -------   351,546
                    Total of county,   426,972

In the same way, by estimating the population of Perthshire directly
employed in agriculture and manufactures, Mr Spackman forms his
table thus,--

  Engaged in Agriculture,     16,302
  Dependent on,               64,233
                              ------    80,535
  Engaged in Manufactures,    11,509
  Dependent on,               45,346
                              ------    56,855
                    Total of County,   137,390

The grand result for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
is as follows:--

  Engaged in, and dependent on
    agriculture,                    18,734,468
  Engaged in, and dependent on
    manufactures,                    8,091,621
  Population, exclusive of those
    travelling on night of census,  26,826,089

Lest it should be said that Mr Spackman has acted upon any wrong
principle in framing these tables--for we know by experience that
a certain class of political economists can see no virtue in any
figures which are not of their own construction--let us turn to
the Government reports, and extract from them the number of males
_directly_ employed in the two great branches of production.


  Farmers and Graziers,                737,206
  Agricultural Labourers,            2,312,388
  Gardeners, Nurserymen, &c.            60,767
  All others,                            9,196
                    Total Males,     3,118,557


  Above 20,                            717,780
  Under 20,                            168,964
                    Total Males,       886,744

"It will thus be seen," says Mr Spackman, "that the farmers and
graziers alone, as a body, are more in number than all the males
above twenty years of age employed in manufactures, and only 150,000
short of the whole number of males of all ages so employed. If we
add the two and a quarter millions of labourers which these farmers
and graziers give employment to, the _male_ population employed in
agriculture are nearly as four to one compared with those employed
in manufactures. The same remark will also apply as to age: those
above twenty are four to one; those under twenty are nearly two to

We put forward these statements with no other view than to exhibit
to our readers the national importance of that agricultural interest
which has been so bitterly assailed, and which is threatened still
by a heavier accession of calamity. If the bastard system of Free
Trade is to be considered according to its influence on the welfare
of the majority of the people of Britain, there can be no doubt to
which side the vast preponderance belongs. The "horse-shoe idiots,"
though dull in intellect, are numerous in the flesh to an extent of
which, perhaps, even Mr Cobden was little aware. It is quite true
that the extended area over which they are disposed does not afford
them the same means of combination which are within the reach of the
inhabitants of the factories. The agriculturalists have no wish to
interfere with their neighbours' livelihood, and little inclination
to move at the bidding of mercenary demagogues. They seldom speak
until suffering or a sense of injustice compels them to appeal
to the legislature: and their unwillingness to join in agitation
has, ere now, been made subject of taunt against them. Were it
otherwise, we should not attach one half the importance which we do
to the movement which is visible all over the face of agricultural
England--a movement which the advocates of Free Trade may affect to
despise, but which, in reality, has struck them with consternation.
And no wonder that the movement should have been made. Let us pass
from the mere numerical consideration, and look to the extent of
property which is embarked on the one side and on the other.

We have already stated the annual value of the agricultural
production of these kingdoms to be £250,000,000, whilst that of
manufactures is little more than £127,000,000. To this latter sum
we must add about £50,000,000, being the estimated cost of the raw
material, if we wish to calculate from the exports the importance
of the home market compared with that which is to be found abroad.
For example, if the declared value of the exports shall amount to
69 millions, we are entitled to assume that about 117 millions are
consumed at home in a year of ordinary prosperity. This, of course,
is no more than an approximation to the truth, but it is the nearest
which can be made from such documents, reports, and returns, as are
accessible to the statist. Let us take Mr Spackman's estimate of
the capital employed, referring our readers for the details to his
exceedingly interesting work.


  Value of the Land, at 25 years' purchase of the annual rental of
    Great Britain and Ireland, amounting, to £58,753,615  £1,500,000,000

  Farmers' capital, employed in the cultivation of the soil, independent
    of the stock on hand, at all times, of cattle, grain, &c., £5 to
    £6 per acre on 46,522,970 acres, about                   250,000,000

  Stock in hand--
    About  7,500,000 head of cattle,                   }
      "   31,000,000 sheep and lambs,                  }
      "    1,500,000 horses,                           }     250,000,000
      "  £50,000,000 value of timber,                  }
  On an average, three months stock of grain, seeds,
    hay, and other produce always on hand,             }
                    Estimated agricultural capital        £2,000,000,000


  In Cotton,                              £24,500,000
  " Woollen,                               16,500,000
  " Linen,                                  7,000,000
  " Silk,                                   4,000,000
  " Lace,                                   2,000,000
  " Hose,                                   1,000,000
  All others,                              23,000,000
    Estimated manufacturing capital,      £78,000,000

The first reflection which must come home to the mind of every one
who considers these tables, is the astounding audacity of those who
have characterised the landlords as a grasping and rapacious class.
Singular, nay, almost incredible as it may appear, the annual value
of the production of manufactures is nearly double the amount of the
whole capital invested. This fact sufficiently explains the manner
in which so many colossal fortunes have been realised, while it
also suggests very painful reflections as to the condition of the
operatives who are the creators of all this wealth. But what are
we to think of the conduct of the men who, not content with such
enormous returns, have leagued together to swell them to a greater
amount, by demanding the free importation of foreign produce, under
the pretext that the people were oppressed by the continuance of a
system which gave remunerative prices, continuous employment, and
the means of livelihood to two-thirds of their aggregate number?
We acquit many of the leading and most respectable manufacturers
from being participators in any such scheme. Those connected with
the home trade have very generally been opposed to the application
of the Free-trade doctrines, the leading advocates of which were
comprised of men who manufactured solely for exportation, and whose
goods were neither intended nor adapted for British consumption.
It was for the exclusive benefit, as at the instigation of the
latter, that the Corn Laws were repealed. Few can be sorry--we
confess we are not--that even they have been disappointed in their
expectations. No tariffs have been relaxed in consequence of the
ill-omened surrender; on the contrary, the Continental states,
as well as the Americans, are protecting their own manufactures
with increased vigilance; whilst, on the other hand, they are
availing themselves of our folly, by deluging our market with their
agricultural produce, securing by these means the double advantage
of promoting both branches of industry. Never was there a vainer
notion than the chimera that other states would abandon their rising
manufactures to reciprocate with Great Britain, when that haughty
power had deliberately deprived herself of the means of enforcing
reciprocity. _The countries from which we import the largest amount
of grain are not the countries which take the largest amount of our
manufactures._ Even if the case were otherwise, we maintain that we
should be heavy losers, and in no way gainers, by the transaction.
Nationally, this is so clear that we need not waste words by arguing
the point; but we go further and say that, even had other states
reciprocated, the manufacturers, as a body, could not have been
gainers by Free Trade, unless the relative proportions between the
amount of home and foreign consumption had been entirely changed.
For, so long as two-thirds of our whole manufactures are annually
consumed in Britain, the condition of the consumers there, and their
power of purchase, must be a matter of greater importance to the
manufacturer than that of consumers abroad. The interest of the
shopkeepers and of the artisans is almost entirely bound up with the
home trade; and nothing can be more suicidal to the traders than
to give any countenance to a system which strikes at the amount of
their profits, by crippling the means of their customers.

Were our object merely to show the glaring injustice which has
been done to the landed interest, we could proceed much further in
disentangling details from the confusion into which they have been
purposely thrown, by such statistical writers as Mr Porter. But we
apprehend that, in the present temper of the nation, there is little
occasion for this. Men of all classes have had that opportunity
which experience can alone give, of testing in their own individual
case the advantages which were so confidently predicted by those
who advocated the commercial change. Those who have benefited by it
will, of course, remain Free traders. We are not unreasonable enough
to expect that they will abandon that policy which is profitable to
themselves, even though they should be convinced that it has proved
the reverse of profitable to others. But we can conscientiously say,
that we are acquainted with very few such persons. In the country
they do not exist: in the towns, we hear of nothing except continued
and weary depression. Almost every day fresh complaints of want of
employment are thrust upon us. Establishments are reduced, because
those who were considered wealthy, and those whose wealth depended
upon produce, have no longer the means to support them as before:
even professional incomes are declining: and no one ventures now
to indulge in that expenditure which, four or five years ago, gave
an impulse to the industry of the people. All this we believe to
be acknowledged, and we have heard it from the lips of many whose
political creed is quite at variance with our own.

Most important testimony to the same effect was borne, at the
recent meeting in Liverpool, by gentlemen who, from profession and
connection, belong to the mercantile and trading classes of the
community. It is no vague apprehension of coming evil, no slight
or ephemeral touch of distress, which has elicited declarations of
opinion so strong as were there expressed. The urgency of the case
is felt and acknowledged; and ere long we have not the slightest
doubt that demonstrations of similar magnitude and importance will
take place in other of the English towns.

From what we have already said, it will be gathered that we
recommend no hasty or precipitate movement. Our strength lies
in the justice of our cause, and in the palpable failure of the
measures against which we have emphatically protested. This is not
a question of mere sentiment, regarding which men can long continue
to maintain divided opinions. It is a practical question, affecting
not only the general welfare of the kingdom, but the property and
means of every man who lives and thrives through his industry. It is
essentially a labour question, and, as such, it cannot long remain
without receiving a distinct solution. In the mean time, however,
it is our duty to make preparation for the change which may arrive
at no distant period. The various Protection societies which are
everywhere organised, offer to those who condemn the present line of
policy the best opportunity of concentrating their efforts, and of
contributing to the ultimate triumph of the cause. These societies
must be supported, for, under existing circumstances, they are
of the utmost value. They present a ready channel through which
the wishes and situation of the people can be communicated to the
legislature or the throne; they establish and preserve communication
between neighbouring districts; and they supply useful information,
and disseminate sound principles, in quarters where good political
knowledge is most especially required. We trust that no one who
entertains opinions similar to our own, and who is deeply impressed
with the necessity of a return to the just system of Protection,
will be backward in lending his aid to these institutions. From the
peculiar position of the agricultural party, such combinations are
absolutely necessary, in order to arrive at a just estimate of our
strength, and the true sentiments of the nation. Private efforts,
however energetically made, are ineffectual in compassion with this
system of union and of order; and although we know that agitation
is in itself a thing distasteful to many, the emergency of the case
is such that we are imperatively bound to adopt all legitimate
means for the furtherance of our object. It may be that under no
circumstances whatever can redress be obtained from the present
Parliament. We have already adverted to the peculiar causes which
would seem to render such an expectation at best a forlorn hope;
yet still that furnishes no reason for relaxing in our efforts. The
Whig Ministry--by the confession of men of all parties--has a most
precarious tenure of office. Already the House of Peers has passed
its gravest censure upon the course of foreign policy which has been
pursued--a course of which it is difficult to say whether its most
prominent feature is culpable recklessness or glaring dishonesty. We
do not know what may be the decision of the House of Commons upon
a point of such importance, or whether unscrupulous influence, and
the dread of a dissolution, may not overcome the dictates of honour
and the force of private judgement in the more popular assembly.
But, whatever may be the fiat of the Commons, this at least is
clear, that a severe blow has been given to the stability of the
Whig Government. Beyond the walls of Parliament they have hardly
any support upon a question which threatens to involve us in direct
hostility with France; and nothing could have more effectually
damaged them, even in this wretched business, than the acerbity of
the tone assumed by Lord John Russell with regard to the European
powers, who are most justly incensed at the paltering and bad faith
of the political incendiary who, to the misfortune of this country,
has been intrusted with the management of foreign affairs. Neither
the honour nor the interests of Britain are safe in such hands.
Therefore we say to the men of the Country Party--Be prepared to
act, for no one can tell how soon the moment for action may arrive.
Ours is a great cause, and it must not be imperilled by slothfulness
or inactivity at a crisis which requires the exertion of all our
energies, and the combination of all our powers. Let us but be true
to ourselves, and ultimate success is certain. Delusions may for a
time have taken hold of the public mind; but the endurance of all
delusions is short, and the mist is rapidly dissipating. Let any man
compare the state of public feeling as it exists now, with what it
was but twelve months ago, and he cannot fail to be impressed with
the amazing rapidity of the change. And yet, why should he wonder at
it? The industry of the nation is at stake, and what marvel that the
people should demand their own?

That cheapness of itself is no blessing, even our opponents admit
in the arguments which they try to direct against us. Read their
accounts of the squalidness and poverty which prevail in the
larger towns--the testimony which has been laboriously collected
as to the lamentable fall of wages, and the diminished profits of
thousands employed in the lower kinds of handicraft. Undoubtedly
competition among themselves has contributed to this state of
matters; but in no degree at all commensurate to the great decline
which has taken place since we commenced the ruinous system of
reducing customs duties. Mr Joseph Hume once ventured to maintain,
in the House of Commons, "that England might exist and prosper as
a purely manufacturing and commercial country, if it did not grow
a single bushel of corn,--if, in exchange for its manufactures and
minerals, it imported from the cheap corn-producing countries every
quarter of wheat required in this country!" How far that statement
is compatible with the ascertained sources of the national wealth,
we leave our readers to decide. This much, however, we shall say,
that England, so situated, would be a very different country from
that which we have known; and that the wildernesses of the West
would offer a place of abode infinitely preferable to that which we
could enjoy here under the gentle sway of the Millocrats, and the
enlightened legislation of the Economists.

_Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as

Mismatched quotes are not fixed if it's not sufficiently clear where
the missing quote should be placed.

The cover for the eBook version of this book was created by the
transcriber and is placed in the public domain.

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