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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 65, No. 400, February, 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 65, No. 400, February, 1849" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCC.      FEBRUARY, 1849.      VOL. LXV.



CONTENTS.


  CAUCASUS AND THE COSSACKS,                          129

  THE CAXTONS. PART X.,                               147

  STATISTICAL ACCOUNTS OF SCOTLAND,                   162

  THE POETRY OF SACRED AND LEGENDARY ART,             175

  AMERICAN THOUGHTS ON EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONS,          190

  DALMATIA AND MONTENEGRO,                            202

  MODERN BIOGRAPHY.--BEATTIE'S LIFE OF CAMPBELL,      219

  THE ENGLISH UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR REFORMS,         235

  THE COVENANTERS' NIGHT-HYMN. BY DELTA,              244

  THE CARLISTS IN CATALONIA,                          248


  EDINBURGH:
  WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET:
  AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

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

  SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

  PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCC.       FEBRUARY, 1849.       VOL. LXV.



CAUCASUS AND THE COSSACKS.

     _Der Kaukasus und das Land der Kosaken in den Jahren 1843 bis
     1846._ Von MORITZ WAGNER. 2 vols. Dresden und Leipzig, 1848.


A handful of men, frugal, hardy, and valiant, successfully defending
their barren mountains and dearly-won independence against the
reiterated assaults of a mighty neighbour, offer, apart from
political considerations, a deeply interesting spectacle. When, upon
a map of the world's eastern hemisphere, we behold, not far from its
centre, on the confines of barbarism and civilisation, a spot, black
with mountains, and marked "Circassia;" when we contrast this petty
nook with the vast territory stretching from the Black Sea to the
Northern Ocean, from the Baltic to Behring's Straits, we admire and
wonder at the inflexible resolution and determined gallantry that
have so long borne up against the aggressive ambition, iron will,
and immense resources of a czar. Sixty millions against six hundred
thousand--a hundred to one, a whole squadron against a single
cavalier, a colossus opposed to a pigmy--these are the odds at
issue. It seems impossible that such a contest can long endure. Yet
it has lasted twenty years, and still the dwarf resists subjugation,
and contrives, at intervals, to inflict severe punishment upon his
gigantic adversary. There is something strangely exciting in the
contemplation of so brave a struggle. Its interest is far superior
to that of any of the "little wars" in which Europe, since 1815,
has evaporated her superabundant pugnacity. African raids and
Spanish skirmishes are pale affairs contrasted with the dashing
onslaughts of the intrepid Circassians. And, in other respects than
its heroism, this contest merits attention. As an important section
of the huge mountain-dyke, opposed by nature to the south-eastern
extension of the Russian empire, Circassia is not to be overlooked.
On the rugged peaks and in the deep valleys of the Caucasus, her
fearless warriors stand, the vedettes of southern Asia, a living
barrier to the forward flight of the double eagle.

Matters of pressing interest, nearer home, have diverted public
attention from the warlike Circassians, whose independent spirit and
unflinching bravery deserves better than even temporary oblivion.
Not in our day only have they distinguished themselves in freedom's
fight. Surrounded by powerful and encroaching potentates, their
history, for the last five hundred years, records constant struggles
against oppression. Often conquered, they never were fully subdued.
Their obscure chronicles are illumined by flashes of patriotism
and heroic courage. Early in the fifteenth century, they conquered
their freedom from the Georgian yoke. Then came long wars with the
Tartars, who could hardly, perhaps, be considered the aggressors,
the Circassians having overstepped their mountain limits, and spread
over the plains adjacent to the Sea of Azov. In 1555, the Russian
grand-duke, Ivan Vasilivitch, pressed forward to Tarki upon the
Caspian, where he placed a garrison. A Circassian tribe submitted
to him; he married the daughter of one of their princes, and
assisted them against the Tartars. But after a while the Russians
withdrew their succour; and the Circassians, driven back to the
river Kuban, their natural boundary to the north-west, paid tribute
to the Tartars, till the commencement of the eighteenth century,
when a decisive victory liberated them. Meanwhile Russia strode
steadily southwards, reached the Kuban in the west, whilst, in the
east, Tarki and Derbent fell, in 1722, into the hands of Peter
the Great. The fort of Swiatoi-Krest, built by the conqueror, was
soon afterwards retaken by a swarm of fanatical mountaineers from
the eastern Caucasus. It is now about seventy years since Russian
and Circassian first crossed swords in serious warfare. A fanatic
dervise, who called himself Sheikh Mansour, preached a religious war
against the Muscovites; but, although followed with enthusiasm, his
success was not great, and at last he was captured and sent prisoner
into the interior of Russia. With his fall the furious zeal of the
Caucasians subsided for a while. But the Turks, who viewed Circassia
as their main bulwark against the rapidly increasing power of their
dangerous northern neighbour, made friends of the mountaineers, and
stirred them up against Russia. The fortified town of Anapa, on the
north-west coast of Circassia, became the focus of the intercourse
between the Porte and its new allies. The creed of Mahomet was
actively propagated amongst the Circassians, whose relations with
Turkey grew more and more intimate, and in the year 1824 several
tribes took oath of allegiance to the sultan. In 1829, during the
war between Russia and Turkey, Anapa, which had more than once
changed hands in the course of previous contests, was taken by the
former power, to whom, by the treaty of Adrianople, its possession,
and that of the other Turkish posts on the same coast, was finally
conceded. Hence the chief claim of Russia upon Circassia--although
Circassia had never belonged to the Turks, nor been occupied by
them; and from that period dates the war that has elicited from
Russia so great a display of force against an apparently feeble, but
in reality formidable antagonist--an antagonist who has hitherto
baffled her best generals, and picked troops, and most skilful
strategists.

The tribes of the Caucasus may be comprehended, for the sake of
simplicity, under two denominations: the Tcherkesses or Circassians,
in the west, and the Tshetshens in the east. In loose newspaper
statements, and in the garbled reports of the war which remote
position, Russian jealousy, and the peculiarly inaccessible
character of the Caucasians, suffer to reach us, even this broad
distinction is frequently disregarded.[1] It is nevertheless
important, at least in a physiological point of view; and, even
as regards the resistance offered to Russia, there are differences
between the Eastern and the Western Caucasians. The military tactics
of both are much alike, but the character of the war varies. On
the banks of the Kuban, and on the Euxine shores, the strife has
never been so desperate, and so dangerous for the Russians, as
in Daghestan, Lesghistan, and the land of the Tshetshens. The
Abchasians, Mingrelians, and other Circassian tribes, dwelling on
the southern slopes of Caucasus, and on the margin of the Black Sea,
are of more peaceable and passive character than their brethren
to the North and East. The Tshetshens, by far the most warlike
and enterprising of the Caucasians, have had the ablest leaders,
and have at all times been stimulated by fierce religious zeal.
As far back as 1745, Russian missionaries were sent to the tribe
of the Osseti, who had relapsed from Christianity to the heathen
creed of their forefathers. Every Osset who presented himself at
the baptismal font received a silver cross and a new shirt. The
bait brought thousands of the mountaineers to the Russian priests,
who contented themselves with the outward and visible sign of
conversion. These propagandist attempts enraged the Mahomedan
tribes, and then it was that they thronged around Sheikh Mansour,
as they have done in our day (in 1830) around that strange fanatic
Chasi-Mollah, when in his turn he preached a holy war against the
Russian. In the latter year, General Paskewitch had just been
called away to Poland, and his successor, Baron Rosen, found all
Daghestan in an uproar. He immediately opened the campaign, but met
a strenuous resistance, and suffered heavy loss. The defence of the
village of Hermentschuk, held against him, in the year 1832, by
3000 Tshetshens, was an extraordinary example of heroism. When the
Russian infantry forced their way into the place with the bayonet, a
portion of the garrison shut themselves up in a fortified house, and
made it good against overwhelming numbers, singing passages from the
Koran amidst a storm of bombs and grapeshot. At last the building
took fire, and its undaunted defenders, the sacred verses still
upon their lips, found death in the flames. In an equally desperate
defence of the fortified village of Himri, Chasi-Mollah met his
death, falling in the very breach, bleeding from many wounds. The
chief who succeeded him was less venerated and less energetic,
and for a few years the Tshetshens remained tolerably quiet, but
without a thought of submission. Nevertheless the Russians flattered
themselves that the worst was past; that the death of the mad
dervish was an irreparable loss to the mountaineers. They were
mistaken. Out of his most ardent adherents Chasi-Mollah had formed a
sort of sacred band, whom he called Murides, gloomy fanatics, half
warriors, half priests. They composed his body-guard, were unwearied
in preaching up the fight for the Prophet's faith, and in battle
devoted themselves to death with a heroism that has never been
surpassed. From these, within a short time of their first leader's
death, Chamyl, the present renowned chief of the Tshetshens, soon
stood forth pre-eminent, and the Murides followed him to the field
with the same enthusiasm and valour they had shown under his
predecessor. He did not prove less worthy of guiding them; and the
Russians were compelled to confess, that it was easier for the
Tshetshens to find an able leader than for them to find a general
able to beat him. And victories over the restless and enterprising
Caucasians were of little profit, even when obtained. For the most
part, they only served to fill the Russian hospitals, and to procure
the officers those ribbons and distinctions they so greedily covet,
and which, in that service, are so liberally bestowed.[2] Thus,
in 1845, Count Woronzoff made a most daring expedition into the
heart of Daghestan. He found the villages empty and in flames,
lost three thousand men, amongst them many brave and valuable
officers, and marched back again, strewing the path with wounded,
for whom the means of transport (the horses of the Cossack cavalry)
were quite insufficient. With great difficulty, and protected by
a column that went out to meet them, the Russians regained their
lines, harassed to the last by the fierce Caucasians. This affair
was called a victory, and Count Woronzoff was made a prince. Two
more such victories would have reduced his expeditionary column to
a single battalion. Chamyl, who had cannonaded the Russians with
their own artillery, captured in former actions, possibly considered
himself equally entitled to triumph, as he slowly retreated, after
following up the foe nearly to the gates of their fortresses, into
the recesses of his native valleys.

  [1] "Amongst the Caucasian tribes, the interest of Europe has
  attached itself especially to the Circassians, because they are
  regarded (in Urquhart's words) 'as the only people, from the
  Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, ever ready to revenge an injury
  and retort a menace proceeding from the Czar of the Muscovites.'
  Urquhart's opinion, which is shared by the great majority of the
  European public, is not quite correct, the Circassians not being
  the only combatants against Russia. Indeed it so happens that,
  for the last four years, they have kept tolerably quiet in their
  mountains, contenting themselves with small forays into the Cossack
  country on the Kuban; whilst the warlike Tshetshens in the eastern
  Caucasus, their chief, Chamyl, at their head, have given the Russian
  army much more to do. But, in the absence of official intelligence,
  and of regular newspaper information concerning the events of the
  war, people in Europe have got accustomed to admire and praise the
  Circassians as the only defenders of Caucasian freedom against
  Russian aggression; and even in St Petersburg the intelligent public
  hold the famous Chamyl to be chief of the Circassians, with whom he
  has nothing whatever to do."--_Der Kaukasus_, &c., vol. ii. p. 22-3.

  [2] "It must be admitted that Russian officers are second to those
  of no other nation, in thirst for distinction, and in honourable
  ambition, to awaken and stimulate which, innumerable means are
  employed. In no other army are the rewards for those officers
  who distinguish themselves in the field of so many kinds, and so
  lavishly dealt out. There are all manner of medals and marks for
  good service--crosses and stars of Saints George, Stanislaus,
  Vladimir, Andrew, Anna, and other holy personages; some with crowns,
  some with diamonds, peculiar distinctions on the epaulets and
  uniforms, &c. &c. I was once in a distinguished society, composed
  almost entirely of officers of the army of the Caucasus. Not finding
  very much amusement, I had the patience to count all the orders and
  decorations in the room, and found that upon the breasts of the
  thirty-five military guests, there glittered more than two hundred
  stars, crosses, and medals; on some of the generals' coats were
  more orders than buttons. As it usually happens, the desire for
  these distinctions increases with their possession. The Russian who
  has obtained a medal leaves no stone unturned to get a knight's
  cross, and when the cross is at his button-hole, he is ravenous
  for the glittering star, and ready to make any sacrifice to obtain
  it."--_Der Kaukasus_, &c., vol. ii. p. 98.

The interior of Circassia is still an unknown land. The
investigations of Messrs Bell, Longworth, Stewart, and others,
who of late years have visited and written about the country,
were confined to small districts, and cramped by the jealousy of
the natives. Mr Bell, who made the longest residence, was treated
more like a prisoner than a guest. Other foreigners find a worse
reception still. Even the Poles, who desert from the Russian army,
are made slaves of by the Circassians, and so severely treated
that they are often glad to return to their colours, and endure
the flogging that there awaits them. The only European who, having
penetrated into the interior, has again seen his own country, is
the Russian Baron Turnau, an aide-de-camp of General Gurko; but
the circumstances of his abode in Circassia were too painful and
peculiar to allow opportunity for observation. They are well told by
Dr Wagner.

     "By the Emperor's command, Russian officers acquainted with
     the language are sent, from time to time, as spies into
     Circassia,[3]--partly to make topographical surveys of
     districts previously unknown; partly to ascertain the numbers,
     mode of life, and disposition of those tribes with whom no
     intercourse is kept up. These missions are extremely dangerous,
     and seldom succeed. Shortly before my arrival at Terek, four
     Russian staff-officers were sent as spies to various parts of
     Lesghistan. They assumed the Caucasian garb, and were attended
     by natives in Russian pay. Only one of them ever returned;
     the three others were recognised and murdered. Baron Turnau
     prepared himself long beforehand for his dangerous mission.
     He gave his complexion a brownish tint, and to his beard the
     form affected by the aborigines. He also tried to learn the
     language of the Ubiches, but, finding the harsh pronunciation
     of certain words quite unattainable, he agreed with his guide
     to pass for deaf and dumb during his stay in the country.
     In this guise he set out upon his perilous journey, and for
     several days wandered undetected from tribe to tribe. But one
     of the _works_ (nobles) under whose roof he passed a night,
     conceived suspicions, and threatened the guide, who betrayed his
     employer's secret. The baron was kept prisoner, and the Ubiches
     demanded a cap-full of silver for his ransom from the Russian
     commandant of Fort Ardler. When this officer declared himself
     ready to pay, they increased their demand to a bushel of silver
     rubles. The commandant referred the matter to Baron Rosen, then
     commander-in-chief of the army of the Caucasus; the baron
     reported it to St Petersburg, and the Emperor consented to pay
     the heavy ransom. But Rosen represented it to him as more for
     the Russian interest to leave Turnau for a while in the hands of
     the Ubiches; for, in the first place, the payment of so large a
     sum was a bad precedent, likely to encourage the mountaineers to
     renew the extortion, instead of contenting themselves, as they
     previously had done, with a few hundred rubles; and, secondly,
     as a prisoner, Baron Turnau would perhaps have opportunities of
     gathering valuable information concerning a country and people
     of whom little or nothing was known. The unfortunate young
     officer was cruelly sacrificed to these considerations, and
     passed a long winter in terrible captivity, tortured by frost
     and hunger, compelled, as a slave, to the severest labour, and
     often greatly ill-treated. Several attempts at flight failed;
     and at last the chief, in whose hands he was, confined him in a
     cage half-buried in the ground, and withal so narrow that its
     inmate could neither stand upright nor lie at length."

  [3] The reference in this instance is more particularly to the
  land of the Ubiches and Tchigetes, two tribes that abide south of
  Circassia Proper, and whose language differs from those of the
  Circassians and Abchasians, their neighbours to the north and south.
  The general medium of conversation amongst the various Caucasian
  tribes is the Turkish-Tartar dialect, current amongst most of the
  dwellers on the shores of the Black and Caspian Seas.

Thus immured, a prey to painful maladies, his clothes rotting on
his emaciated limbs, the unhappy man moaned through his long and
sleepless nights, and gave up hope of rescue. No tender-hearted
Circassian maiden brought to him, as to the hero of Pushkin's
well-known Caucasian poem, deliverance and love. Such luck had been
that of more than one Russian captive; but poor Turnau, in his
state of filth and squalor, was no very seductive object. He might
have pined away his life in his cage, before Baron Rosen, or his
paternal majesty the Czar, had recalled his fate to mind, but for
an injury done by his merciless master to one of his domestics, who
vowed revenge. Watching his opportunity, this servant, one day that
the rest of the household were absent, murdered his lord, released
the prisoner, tied him with thongs upon his saddle, upon which the
baron, covered with sores and exhausted by illness, was unable to
support himself, and galloped with him towards the frontier. In one
day they rode eighty _versts_, (about fifty-four English miles,)
outstripped pursuers, and reached Fort Ardler. The accounts given
by Baron Turnau of the land of his captivity could be but slight:
he had seen little beyond his place of confinement. What he did
relate was not very encouraging to Russian invasion. He depicted
the country as one mass of rock and precipice, partially clothed
with vast tracts of aboriginal forest, broken by deep ravines and
mountain torrents, and surmounted by the huge ice-clad pinnacles of
the loftiest Caucasian ridge. The villages, some of which nestle in
the deep recesses of the woods, whilst others are perched upon steep
crags and on the brink of giddy precipices, are universally of most
difficult access.

Dr Wagner, whose extremely amusing book forms the text of this
article, has never been in Circassia, although he gives us more
information about it, of the sort we want, than any traveller in
that singular land whose writings have come under our notice.
His wanderings were under Russian guidance and escort. During
them, he skirted the hostile territory on more than one side;
occasionally setting a foot across the border, to the alarm of
his Cossacks, whose dread by day and dreams by night were of
Circassian ambuscades; he has lingered at the base of Caucasus, and
has traversed its ranges--without, however, deeming it necessary
to penetrate into those remote valleys, where foreigners find
dubious welcome, and whence they are not always sure of exit. He
has mixed much with Circassians, if he has not actually dwelt in
their villages. It were tedious and unnecessary to detail his
exact itinerary. He has not printed his entire journal--according
to the lazy and egotistical practice of many travellers--but has
taken the trouble to condense it. The essence is full of variety,
anecdote and adventure, and gives a clear insight into the nature
of the war. Professedly a man of science, an antiquary and a
naturalist, Dr Wagner has evidently a secret hankering after matters
military. He loves the sound of the drum, and willingly directs
his scientific researches to countries where he is likely to smell
powder. We had heard of him in the Atlas mountains, and at the
siege of Constantina, before we met him risking his neck along the
banks of the Kuban, and across the wild steppes of the Caucasus.
He has travelled much in the East, and prepared himself for his
Caucasian trip by a long stay in Turkey and in Southern Russia.
Well introduced, he derived from distinguished Russian generals,
intelligent civilians, and Circassian chiefs, particulars of the war
more authentic than are to be obtained either from St Petersburg
bulletins, or from the ordinary trans-Caucasian correspondents of
German and other newspapers, many of whom are in the pay of Russia.
His African reminiscences proved of great value. The officers of the
army of Caucasus take the strongest interest in the contest between
French and Arabs, finding in it, doubtless, points of similitude
with the war in which they themselves are engaged. Amongst these
officers he met, besides Russians and Germans, several naturalised
Poles and Frenchmen, Flemings and Spaniards, who gave in exchange
for his tales of razzias and Bedouins, details of Circassian warfare
which he highly prized, as likely to be more impartial than the
accounts afforded by the native Russians. His own journey to the
Caucasus took place in 1843; but a subsequent correspondence with
well-informed friends, on both sides the Caucasian range, enabled
him to bring down his sketch of the struggle to the year 1846.

Many English writers on Circassia have been accused of an undue
preference for the mountaineers, of exaggerating their good
qualities, and of elevating them by invidious contrasts with the
Russians. There is no ground for suspecting a German of such
partiality; and Dr Wagner, whilst lauding the heroic valour and
independent spirit of the Circassians--qualities which Russian
authors have themselves admitted and extolled--does not forget
to do justice to his Muscovite and Cossack friends, to whom he
devotes a considerable portion of his book, many of his details
concerning them being extremely novel and curious. He carefully
studied both Cossacks and Circassians, living amongst the former
and meeting thousands of the latter, who go and come freely upon
Russian territory. At Ekaterinodar, the capital of the Tchernamortsy
Cossacks, the Friday's market swarmed with Circassians. In Turkey,
and elsewhere, Dr Wagner had met many individuals of that nation,
but this was the first time he beheld them in crowds. He describes
them as very handsome men, with black beards, aquiline noses, and
flashing black eyes. He was struck with their lofty mien, and
attributes it to their mental energy, and to a consciousness of
physical strength and beauty.

     "This superiority of the pure Circassian blood does not belie
     itself under Russian discipline, any more than it does in
     Mahometan lands, where, as Mamelukes in Cairo, and as pashas in
     Stamboul, the sons of Caucasus have ever played a prominent and
     distinguished part. The Turk, who by certain imposing qualities
     awes all other Orientals, tacitly recognises the superiority of
     the Circassian _ousden_, or noble. The Emperor Nicholas, who
     preserves so rigid a discipline in the various corps of his
     vast army, shows himself extraordinarily considerate towards
     the Circassian squadrons of his guard. Persons well versed
     in the military chronicles of St Petersburg relate many a
     characteristic trait, proving the bold stubborn spirit of these
     Caucasian men to be still unbroken, and showing how it more
     than once has so imposed upon the emperor, and even upon the
     grand-duke Michael, reputed the strictest disciplinarian in
     Russia, that they have shut their eyes even to open mutiny. At a
     review, where the Caucasian cavalry formally refused obedience,
     the emperor contented himself with sending a courteous reproof
     by General Benkendorf. Beside the coarse common Russians, the
     Circassian looks like an eagle amidst a flock of bustards. Even
     capital crimes are not visited upon Circassians with the same
     severity as upon the other subjects of the emperor. A Circassian
     who had struck his dagger into the heart of a hackney-coachman
     at St Petersburg, in requital of an insolent overcharge, was
     merely sent back to the Caucasus. For a like offence a Russian
     might reckon upon the knout, and upon banishment for life to the
     Siberian mines.

     "Amongst the Circassians at Ekaterinodar, a _work_, or noble,
     of the Shapsookian tribe, was particularly remarkable for his
     beauty and dignity. None of the picturesque figures of Arabs
     and Moors furnished me by my African recollections, could bear
     comparison with this Caucasian eagle. I afterwards saw, in
     Mingrelia, a more ideal mould of feature, resembling the antique
     Apollo type: but there the expression was too effeminate; the
     heroic head of the dweller on the Kuban pleased me better. I
     stood a good while before the Shapsookian, as if fettered to the
     ground, so extraordinary was the effect of his striking beauty.
     What a study, I thought, for a German painter, who would in vain
     seek such models in Rome; or for a Vernet, whose Arabian groups
     prove the great power of his pencil! The Arabs, rather priestly
     than knightly in their aspect, produce far less effect upon
     the large Algerine pictures at Versailles than the Circassian
     warrior would do in a battle-piece by such masters as Vernet or
     Peter Hess. The Shapsook chief at Ekaterinodar seemed conscious
     of his magnificent appearance. With proud mien, and that light
     half-gliding gait observable in most Caucasians, he sauntered
     amongst the groups of Cossacks upon the market-place, casting
     glances of profoundest scorn upon their clumsy sheepskin-wrapped
     figures. His slender form and small foot, the grace and elegance
     of his person and carriage, the richness of his costume and
     beauty of his weapons, contrasted most advantageously with
     the muscular but somewhat thickset figures, and with the ugly
     woolly winter dress of the Tchernamortsies. By help of a Cossack
     I made his acquaintance, and got into conversation. His name
     was Chora-Beg, and he dwelt at a hamlet thirty versts south of
     Ekaterinodar."

Chora-Beg wondered greatly that his new acquaintance was neither
Russian nor English. He had heard vaguely that there was a third
Christian nation, which, under Sultan Bunapart, had made war upon
the Padisha of the Russians, but he had no notion of such a people
as the Germans. He greatly admired Dr Wagner's rifle, but rather
doubted its carrying farther than a smooth bore, and allowed free
inspection of his own arms, consisting of pistols and dagger, and of
the famous _shaska_--a long heavy cavalry sabre, slightly curved,
with hilt of silver and ivory. At the doctor's request he drew this
weapon from the scabbard, and cut twice or thrice at the empty air,
his dark eyes flashing as he did so. "How many Russians has that
sabre sent to their account?" asked the inquisitive Doctor. The
Circassian's intelligent countenance assumed an expression hard to
interpret, but in which his interlocutor thought he distinguished a
gleam of scorn, and a shade of suspicion. "It was long," he replied,
"since his tribe had taken the field against the Russians. Since
the deaf general (Sass) had left the land of the Cossacks, peace
had reigned between Muscovite and Shapsookian. Individuals of his
tribe had certainly been known to join bands from the mountains, and
to cross the Kuban with arms in hand." And as Chora-Beg spoke, the
expression of his proud eye belied his pacific pretensions.

The general Sass above-named commanded for several years on
the line of the Kuban, and is the only Russian general who has
understood the mountain warfare, and proved himself a match for
the Circassians at their own game of ambuscades and surprises. His
tactics were those of the Spanish guerilla leaders. Lavish in his
payment of spies, he was always accurately informed of the musters
and projects of the Circassians; whilst he kept his own plans so
secret, that his personal staff often knew nothing of an intended
expedition until the call to "boot and saddle" sounded. His raids
were accomplished, under guidance of his well-paid scouts, with
such rapidity and local knowledge that the mountaineers rarely had
time to assemble in force, pursue the retiring column, and revenge
their burnt vilages and ravished cattle. But one day the report
spread on the lines of the Kuban that the general was dangerously
ill; shortly afterwards it became known that the physicians had
given him up; and finally his death was announced, and bewailed by
the whole army of the Caucasus. The consternation of the Cossacks,
accustomed, under his command, to victory and rich booty, was as
great as the exultation of the mountaineers. Hundreds of these
visited the Russian territory, to witness the interment of their
dreaded foe. A magnificent coffin, with the general's cocked hat
and decorations laid upon it, was deposited in the earth amidst
the mournful sounds of minute guns and muffled drums. With joyful
hearts the Circassians returned to their mountains, to tell what
they had seen, and to congratulate each other at the prospect of
tranquillity for themselves, and safety to their flocks and herds.
But upon the second night after Sass's funeral, a strong Russian
column crossed the Kuban, and the dead general suddenly appeared
at the head of his trusty lancers, who greeted with wild hurrahs
their leader's resurrection. Several large _auls_ (villages) whose
inhabitants were sound asleep, unsuspicious of surprise, were
destroyed, vast droves of cattle were carried off, and a host of
prisoners made. This ingenious and successful stratagem is still
cited with admiration on the banks of the Kuban. Notwithstanding
his able generalship, Sass was removed from his command when in
full career of success. All his military services could not shield
him from the consequences of St Petersburg intrigues and trumped-up
accusations. None of his successors have equalled him. General
Willaminoff was a man of big words rather than of great deeds. In
his bombastic and blasphemous proclamation of the 28th May 1837, he
informed the Circassians that "If the heavens should fall, Russia
could prop them with her bayonets;" following up this startling
assertion with the declaration that "there are but two powers in
existence--God in heaven, and the emperor upon earth!"[4] The
Circassians laughed at this rhodomontade, and returned a firm and
becoming answer. There were but few of them, they said--but, with
God's blessing, they would hold their own, and fight to the very
last man: and to prove themselves as good as their word, they soon
afterwards made fierce assaults upon the line of forts built by the
Russians upon the shores of the Black Sea. In 1840 four of these
were taken, but the triumph cost the victors so much blood as to
disgust them for some time with attacking stone walls, behind which
the Russians, perhaps the best defensive combatants in the world,
fight like lions. Indeed, the Circassians would hardly have proved
victorious, had not the garrisons been enfeebled by disease. During
the five winter months, the rations of the troops employed upon
this service are usually salt, and the consequences are scurvy and
fever. Informed by Polish deserters of the bad condition of the
garrisons, the Circassians held a great council in the mountains,
and it was decided to take the forts with the sabre, without
firing a shot. It is an old Caucasian custom, that, upon suchlike
perilous undertakings, a chosen band of enthusiastic warrors devote
themselves to death, binding themselves by a solemn oath not to
turn their backs upon the enemy. Ever in the van, their example
gives courage to the timid; and their friends are bound in honour
to revenge their death. With these fanatics have the Circassian and
Tshetshen chiefs achieved their greatest victories over the Russians.

  [4] Longworth's _Circassia_, vol. i. p. 1589.

When it was decided to attack the forts, several hundred
Shapsookians, including gray-haired old men and youths of tender
age, swore to conquer or to die. They kept their word. At the fort
of Michailoff, which made the most obstinate defence, the ditch was
filled with their corpses. The conduct of the garrison was truly
heroic. Of five hundred men, only one third were fit for duty;
the others were in hospital, or on the sick-list. But no sooner
did the Circassian war-cry rend the air than the sufferers forgot
their pains; the fever-stricken left their beds, and crawled to
the walls. Their commandant called upon them to shed their last
drop of blood for their emperor; their old _papa_ exhorted them, as
Christians, to fight to the death against the unbelieving horde. But
numbers prevailed: after a valiant defence, the Russians retreated,
fighting, to the innermost enclosures of the fortress. Their chief
demanded a volunteer to blow up the fort when farther resistance
should become impossible. A soldier stepped forward, took a lighted
match, and entered the powder magazine. The last defences were
stormed, the Circassians shouted victory. Then came the explosion.
Most of the buildings were overthrown, and hundreds of maimed
carcases scattered in all directions. Eleven Russians escaped with
life, were dragged off to the mountains, and subsequently ransomed,
and from them the details of this bloody fight were obtained.

The capture of these forts spread discouragement and consternation
in the ranks of the Russian army. The emperor was furious, and
General Rajewski, then commander-in-chief on the Circassian
frontier, was superseded. This officer, who at the tender age of
twelve was present with his father at the battle of Borodino, and
who has since distinguished himself in the Turkish and Persian
wars, was reputed an able general, but was reproached with sleeping
too much, and with being too fond of botany. His enemies went
so far as to accuse him of making military expeditions into the
mountains, with the sole view of adding rare Caucasian plants to his
_herbarium_, and of procuring seeds for his garden. General Aurep,
who succeeded him, undertook little beyond reconnoissances, always
attended with very heavy loss; and the Circassians remained upon the
defensive until the year 1843, when the example of the Tshetshens,
who about that time obtained signal advantages over the Russians,
roused the martial ardour of the chivalrous Circassians, and spurred
them to fresh hostilities. But the war at the western extremity of
Caucasus never assumed the importance of that in Daghestan and the
country of the Tshetshens.

From the straits of Zabache to the frontier of Guria, the Russians
possess seventeen _Kreposts_, or fortified posts, only a few of
which deserve the name of regular fortresses, or could resist a
regular army provided with artillery. To mountaineers, however,
whose sole weapons are shaska and musket, even earthen parapets
and shallow ditches are serious obstacles when well manned and
resolutely defended. The object of erecting this line of forts was
to cut off the communication by sea between Turkey and the Caucasian
tribes. It was thought that, when the import of arms and munitions
of war from Turkey was thus checked, the independent mountain
tribes would soon be subjugated. The hope was not realised, and the
expensive maintenance of 15,000 to 20,000 men in the fortresses of
the Black Sea has but little improved the position of the Russians
in the Caucasus. The Caucasians have never lacked arms, and with
money they can always get powder, even from the Cossacks of the
Kuban. In another respect, however, these forts have done them
much harm, and thence it arises that, since their erection, and
the cession of Anapa to Russia, the war has assumed so bitter a
character. So long as Anapa was Turkish, the export of slaves, and
the import of powder, found no hindrance. The needy Circassian
noble, whose rude mountains supply him but sparingly with daily
bread, obtained, by the sale of slaves, means of satisfying his
warlike and ostentatious tastes--of procuring rich clothes, costly
weapons, and ammunition for war and for the chase. In a moral point
of view, all slave traffic is of course odious and reprehensible,
but that of Circassia differed from other commerce of the kind,
in so far that all parties were benefited by, and consenting to,
the contract. The Turks obtained from Caucasus handsomer and
healthier wives than those born in the harem; and the Circassian
beauties were delighted to exchange the poverty and toil of their
father's mountain huts for the luxurious _farniente_ of the
seraglio, of whose wonders and delights their ears were regaled,
from childhood upwards, with the most glowing descriptions. The
trade, although greatly impeded and very hazardous, still goes on.
Small Turkish craft creep up to the coast, cautiously evading the
Russian cruisers, enter creeks and inlets, and are dragged by the
Circassians high and dry upon the beach, there to remain till the
negotiation for their live cargo is completed, an operation that
generally takes a few weeks. The women sold are the daughters of
serfs and freedmen: rarely does a _work_ consent to dispose of
his sister or daughter, although the case does sometimes occur.
But, whilst the sale goes on, the slave-ships are anything but
secure. It is a small matter to have escaped the Russian frigates
and steamers. Each of the Kreposts possesses a little squadron of
row-boats, manned with Cossacks, who pull along the coast in search
of Turkish vessels. If they detect one, they land in the night, and
endeavour to set fire to it, before the mountaineers can come to
the assistance of the crew. The Turks, who live in profound terror
of these Cossack coast-guards, resort to every possible expedient
to escape their observation; often covering their vessels with dry
leaves and boughs, and tying fir branches to the masts, that the
scouts may take them for trees. If they are captured at sea by the
cruisers, the crew are sent to hard labour in Siberia, and the
Circassian girls are married to Cossacks, or divided as handmaidens
amongst the Russian staff officers. From thirty to forty slaves
compose the usual cargo of each of these vessels, which are so
small that the poor creatures are packed almost like herrings in
a barrel. But they patiently endure the misery of the voyage, in
anticipation of the honeyed existence of the harem. It is calculated
that one vessel out of six is taken or lost. In the winter of
1843-4, eight-and-twenty ships left the coast of Asia Minor for that
of Caucasia. Twenty-three safely returned, three were burned by the
Russians, and two swallowed by the waves.

A Turkish captain at Sinope told Dr Wagner the following interesting
anecdote, illustrating Circassian hatred of the Russians:--"A
few years ago a slave-ship sprang a leak out at sea, just as a
Russian steamer passed in the distance. The Turkish slave-dealer,
who preferred even the chill blasts of Siberia to a grave in deep
water, made signals of distress, and the steamer came up in time
to rescue the ship and its living cargo from destruction. But so
deeply is hatred of Russia implanted in every Circassian heart, that
the spirit of the girls revolted at the thought of becoming the
helpmates of gray-coated soldiers, instead of sharing the sumptuous
couch of a Turkish pasha. They had bid adieu to their native
mountains with little emotion, but as the Russian ship approached
they set up terrible and despairing screams. Some sprang headlong
into the sea; others drove their knives into their hearts:--to
these heroines death was preferable to the bridal-bed of a detested
Muscovite. The survivors were taken to Anapa, and married to
Cossacks, or given to officers as servants." Nearly every Austrian
or Turkish steamboat that makes, in the winter months, the voyage
from Trebizond to Constantinople, has a number of Circassian girls
on board. Dr Wagner made the passage in an Austrian steamer with
several dozens of these willing slaves, chiefly mere children,
twelve or thirteen years old, with interesting countenances and
dark wild eyes, but very pale and thin--with the exception of
two, who were some years older, far better dressed, and carefully
veiled. To this favoured pair the slave-dealer paid particular
attention, and frequently brought them coffee. Dr Wagner got into
conversation with this man, who was richly dressed in furs and
silks, and who, despite his vile profession, had the manners of
a gentleman. The two coffee-drinkers were daughters of noblemen,
he said, with fine rosy cheeks, and in better condition than the
others, consequently worth more money at Constantinople. For the
handsomest he hoped to obtain 30,000 piastres, and for the other
20,000--about £250 and £170. The herd of young creatures he spoke of
with contempt, and should think himself lucky to get 2000 piastres
for them all round. He further informed the doctor that, although
the slave-trade was more dangerous and difficult since the Russian
occupation of the Caucasian coast, it was also far more profitable.
Formerly, when Greek and Armenian women were brought in crowds to
the Constantinople market, the most beautiful Circassians were
not worth more than 10,000 piastres; but now a rosy, well-fed,
fifteen-year-old slave is hardly to be had under 40,000 piastres.

The Tshetshen successes, already referred to as having at the close
of 1842 stirred into flame and action, by the force of example,
the smouldering but still ardent embers of Circassian hatred to
Russia, are described with remarkable spirit by Dr Wagner, in the
chapter entitled "Caucasian War-Scenes,"--episodes taken down by him
from the lips of eye-witnesses, and of sharers in the sanguinary
conflicts described. This graphic chapter at once familiarises the
reader with the Caucasian war, with which he thenceforward feels
as well acquainted as with our wars in India, the French contest
in Africa, or with any other series of combats, of whose nature
and progress minute information has been regularly received. The
first event described is the storming of Aculcho, in the summer
of 1839. It is always a great point with guerilla generals, and
with leaders of mountain warfare, to have a centre of operations--a
strong post, whither they can retreat after a reverse, with the
confidence that the enemy will hesitate before attacking them there.
In Spain, Cabrera had Morella, the Count d'Espagne had Berga, the
Navarrese viewed Estella as their citadel. In the eastern Caucasus,
Chasi-Mollah had Himri, and preferred falling in its defence to
abandoning his stronghold; his successor, Chamyl, who surpasses him
in talent for war and organisation, established his headquarters
at Aculcho, a sort of eagle's nest on the river Koisu, whither his
escorts brought him intelligence of each movement of Russian troops,
and whence he swooped, like the bird whose eyrie he occupied, upon
the convoys traversing the steppe of the Terek. Here he planned
expeditions and surprises, and kept a store of arms and ammunition;
and this fort General Grabbe, who commanded in 1839 the Russian
forces in eastern Caucasus, and who was always a strong advocate
of the offensive system, obtained permission from St Petersburg to
attack. General Golowin, commander-in-chief of the whole army of
the Caucasus, and then resident at Teflis, approved the enterprise,
whose ultimate results cost both generals their command. The taking
of Aculcho itself was of little moment; there was no intention of
placing a Russian garrison there; but the double end to be obtained
was to capture Chamyl, and to intimidate the Tshetshens, by proving
to them that no part of their mountains, however difficult of access
and bravely defended, was beyond the reach of Russian valour and
resources. Their submission, at least nominal and temporary, was the
result hoped for.

Nature has done much for the fortification of Aculcho. Imagine
a hill of sand-stone, nearly surrounded by a loop of the river
Koisu--a miniature peninsula, in short, connected with the continent
by a narrow neck of land--provided with three natural terraces,
accessible only by a small rocky path, whose entrance is fortified
and defended by 500 resolute Tshetshen warriors. A few artificial
parapets and intrenchments, some stone huts, and several excavations
in the sand rock, where the besieged found shelter from shot and
shell, complete the picture of the place before which Grabbe and his
column sat down. At first they hoped to reduce it by artillery, and
bombs and congreve rockets were poured upon the fortress, destroying
huts and parapets, but doing little harm to the Tshetshens, who lay
close as conies in their burrows, and watched their opportunity to
send well-aimed bullets into the Russian camp. From time to time,
one of the fanatical Murides, of whom the garrison was chiefly
composed, impatient that the foe delayed an assault, rushed headlong
down from the rock, his shaska in his right hand, his pistol in his
left, his dagger between his teeth; causing a momentary panic among
the Cossacks, who were prepared for the whistling of bullets, but
not for the sudden appearance of a foaming demon armed _cap-à-pie_,
who generally, before they could use their bayonets, avenged in
advance his own certain death by the slaughter of several of his
foes, whilst his comrades on the rock applauded and rejoiced at
the heroic self-sacrifice. The first attempt to storm was costly
to the besiegers. Of fifteen hundred men who ascended the narrow
path, only a hundred and fifty survived. The Tshetshens maintained
such a well-directed platoon fire, that not a Russian set foot on
the second terrace. The foremost men, mown down by the bullets
of the besieged, fell back upon their comrades, and precipitated
them from the rock. General Grabbe, undismayed by his heavy loss,
ordered a second and a third assault; the three cost two thousand
men, but the lower and middle terraces were taken. The defence
of the upper one was desperate, and the Russians might have been
compelled to turn the siege into a blockade, but for the imprudence
of some of the garrison, who, anxious to ascertain the proceedings
of the enemy's engineers--then hard at work at a mine under the
hill--ventured too far from their defences, and were attacked by a
Russian battalion. The Tshetshens fled; but, swift of foot though
they were, the most active of the Russians attained the topmost
terrace with them. A hand-to-hand fight ensued, more battalions
came up, and Aculcho was taken. The victors, furious at their
losses, and at the long resistance opposed to them, (this was the
22d August,) raged like tigers amongst the unfortunate little band
of mountaineers; some Tshetshen women, who took up arms at this
last extremity, were slaughtered with their husbands. At last the
bloody work was apparently at an end, and search ensued amongst the
dead for the body of Chamyl. It was nowhere to be found. At last
the discovery was made that a few of the garrison had taken refuge
in holes in the side of the rock, looking over the river. No path
led to these cavities; the only way to get at them was to lower
men by ropes from the crag above. In this manner the surviving
Tshetshens were attacked; quarter was neither asked nor given.
The hole in which Chamyl himself was hidden held out the longest.
Escape seemed, however, impossible; the rock was surrounded; the
banks of the river were lined with soldiers; Grabbe's main object
was the capture of Chamyl. At this critical moment the handful of
Tshetshens still alive gave an example of heroic devotion. They knew
that their leader's death would be a heavy loss to their country,
and they resolved to sacrifice themselves to save him. With a few
beams and planks, that chanced to be in the cave, they constructed
a sort of raft. This they launched upon the Koisu, and floated with
it down the stream, amidst a storm of Russian lead. The Russian
general doubted not that Chamyl was on the raft, and ordered every
exertion to kill or take him. Whilst the Cossacks spurred their
horses into the river, and the infantry hurried along the bank,
following the raft, a man sprang out of the hole into the Koisu,
swam vigorously across the stream, landed at an unguarded spot, and
gained the mountains unhurt. This man was Chamyl, who alone escaped
with life from the bloody rock of Aculcho. His deliverance passed
for miraculous amongst the enthusiastic mountaineers, with whom
his influence, from that day forward, increased tenfold. Grabbe
was furious; Chamyl's head was worth more than the heads of all
the garrison: three thousand Russians had been sacrificed for the
possession of a crag not worth the keeping.

After the fall of Aculcho, Chamyl's head-quarters were at the
village of Dargo, in the mountain region south of the Russian fort
of Girselaul, and thence he carried on the war with great vigour,
surprising fortified posts, cutting off convoys, and sweeping the
plain with his horsemen. Generals Grabbe and Golowin could not
agree about the mode of operations. The former was for taking
the offensive; the latter advocated the defensive and blockade
system. Grabbe went to St Petersburg to plead in person for his
plan, obtained a favourable hearing, and the emperor sent Prince
Tchernicheff, the minister at war, to visit both flanks of the
Caucasus. Before the prince reached the left wing of the line
of operations, Grabbe resolved to surprise him with a brilliant
achievement; and on the 29th May 1842, he marched from Girselaul
with thirteen battalions, a small escort of mounted Cossacks, and a
train of mountain artillery, to attack Dargo. The route was through
forests, and along paths tangled with wild flowers and creeping
plants, through which the heavy Russian infantry, encumbered with
eight days' rations and sixty rounds of ball-cartridge, made but
slow and painful progress. The first day's march was accomplished
without fighting; only here and there the slender active form of
a mountaineer was descried, as he peered between the trees at the
long column of bayonets, and vanished as soon as he was observed.
After midnight the dance began. The troops had eaten their rations,
and were comfortably bivouacked, when they were assailed by a sharp
fire from an invisible foe, to which they replied in the direction
of the flashes. This skirmishing lasted all night; few were killed
on either side, but the whole Russian division were deprived of
sleep, and wearied for the next day's march. At daybreak the enemy
retired; but at noon, when passing through a forest defile, the
column was again assailed, and soon the horses, and a few light
carts accompanying it, were insufficient to convey the wounded.
The staff urged the general to retrace his steps, but Grabbe was
bent on welcoming Tchernicheff with a triumphant bulletin. Another
sleepless bivouac--another fagging day, more skirmishing. At last,
when within sight of the fortified village of Dargo, the loss of
the column was so heavy, and its situation so critical, that a
retreat was ordered. The daring and fury of the Tshetshens now knew
no bounds; they assailed the troops sabre in hand, captured baggage
and wounded, and at night prowled round the camp, like wolves round
a dying soldier. On the 1st June, the fight recommenced. The valour
displayed by the mountaineers was admitted by the Russians to be
extraordinary, as was also their skill in wielding the terrible
shaska. They made a fierce attack on the centre of the column--cut
down the artillery-men and captured six guns. The Russians, who
throughout the whole of this trying expedition did their duty
as good and brave soldiers, were furious at the loss of their
artillery, and by a desperate charge retook five pieces, the sixth
being relinquished only because its carriage was broken. Upon the
last day of the retreat, Chamyl came up with his horsemen. Had he
been able to get these together two days sooner, it is doubtful
whether any portion of the column would have escaped. As it was,
the Russians lost nearly two thousand men; the weary and dispirited
survivors re-entering Girselaul with downcast mien. Preparations
had been made to celebrate their triumph, and, to add to their
general's mortification, Tchernicheff was awaiting their arrival. On
the prince's return to St Petersburg, both Grabbe and Golowin were
removed from their commands.

Against this same Tshetshen fortress of Dargo, Count Woronzoff's
expedition (already referred to) was made, in July 1845. A capital
account of the affair is given in a letter from a Russian officer
engaged, printed in Dr Wagner's book. Dargo had become an important
place. Chamyl had established large stores there, and had built
a mosque, to which came pilgrims from the remotest villages of
Daghestan and Lesghistan, partly to pray, partly to see the dreaded
chief--equally renowned as warrior and priest--and to give him
information concerning the state of the country, and the movements
of the Russians. Less vigorously opposed than Grabbe, and his
measures better taken, Woronzoff reached Dargo with moderate loss.
"The village," says the Russian officer: "was situated on the slope
of a mountain, at the brink of a ravine, and consisted of sixty
to seventy small stone-houses, and of a few larger buildings,
where the stones were joined with mortar, instead of being merely
superimposed, as is usually the case in Caucasian dwellings. One
of these buildings had several irregular towers, of some apparent
antiquity. When we approached, a thick smoke burst from them. Chamyl
had ordered everything to be set on fire that could not be carried
away. One must confess that, in this fierce determination of the
enemy to refuse submission--to defend, foot by foot, the territory
of his forefathers, and to leave to the Russians no other trophies
than ashes and smoking ruins--there is a certain wild grandeur which
extorts admiration, even though the hostile chief be no better
than a fanatical barbarian." This reminds us of the words of the
Circassian chief Mansour:--"When Turkey and England abandon us," he
said, to Bell of the 'Vixen,'--"when all our powers of resistance
are exhausted, we will burn our houses,and our goods, strangle our
wives and our children, and retreat to our highest rocks, there to
die, fighting to the very last man." "The greatest difficulty,"
said General Neidhardt to Dr Wagner, who was a frequent visitor
at the house of that distinguished officer, "with which we have
to contend, is the unappeasable, deep-rooted, ineradicable hatred
cherished by all the mountaineers against the Russians. For this
we know no cure; every form of severity and of kindness has been
tried in turn, with equal ill-success." Valour and patriotism are
nearly the only good qualities the Caucasians can boast. They are
cruel, and for the most part faithless, especially the Tshetshens,
and Dr Wagner warns us against crediting the exaggerated accounts
frequently given of their many virtues. The Circassians are said
to respect their plighted word, but there are many exceptions.
General Neidhardt told Dr Wagner an anecdote of a Circassian, who
presented himself before the commandant of one of the Black Sea
fortresses, and offered to communicate most important intelligence,
on condition of a certain reward. The reward was promised. Then
said the Circassian,--"To-morrow after sunset, your fort will be
assailed by thousands of my countrymen." The informer was retained,
whilst Cossacks and riflemen were sent out, and it proved that he
had spoken the truth. The enemy, finding the garrison on their
guard, retired after a short skirmish. The Circassian received his
recompense, which he took without a word of thanks, and left the
fortress. Without the walls, he met an unarmed soldier; hatred of
the Russians, and thirst of blood, again got the ascendency: he shot
the soldier dead, and scampered off to the mountains.

Chamyl did not long remain indebted to the Russians for their visit
to Dargo. His reputation of sanctity and valour enabled him to unite
under his orders many tribes habitually hostile to each other, and
which previously had fought each "on its own hook." Of these tribes
he formed a powerful league; and in May 1846 he burst into Cabardia
at the head of twenty thousand mountaineers, four thousand of whom
were horsemen. Formidable though this force was, the venture was one
of extreme temerity. He left behind him a double line of Russian
camps and forts, and two rivers, then at the flood, and difficult
to pass. With an undisciplined and heterogeneous army, without
artillery or regular commissariat, this daring chief threw himself
into a flat country, unfavourable to guerilla warfare; slipping
through the Russian posts, marching more than four hundred miles,
and utterly disregarding the danger he was in from a well-equipped
army of upwards of seventy thousand men, to say nothing of the
numerous military population of the Cossack settlements on the
Terek and Sundscha, and of the fact that the Cabardians, long
submissive to Russia, were more likely to arm in defence of their
rulers than to favour the mountaineers. Shepherds and dwellers in
the plain, and far less warlike than the other Circassian tribes,
they never were able to make head against the Russians; and had
remained indifferent to all the incentives of Tshetshen fanatics
and propagandists. For years past, Chamyl had threatened them with
a visit; but nevertheless, his sudden appearance greatly surprised
and confounded both them and the Russian general, who had just
concentrated all his movable columns, with a view to an expedition,
relying overmuch upon his lines of forts and blockhouses. The
Tshetshen raid was more daring, and at least as successful, as
Abd-el-Kader's celebrated foray in the Metidja, in the year 1839.
Chamyl addressed to the Cabardians a thundering proclamation, full
of quotations from the Koran, and denouncing vengeance on them if
they did not flock to the banner of the Prophet. The unlucky keepers
of sheep found themselves between the devil and the deep sea. From
terror rather than sympathy, a large number of villages declared
for Chamyl, whose wild hordes burned and plundered the property of
all who adhered to the Russians; leaving, like a swarm of locusts,
desolation in their track. When the Cossacks began to gather, and
the Russian generals to manœuvre, Chamyl, who knew he could not
contend in the plain with disciplined and superior forces, and whose
retreat by the road he came was already cut off, traversed Great and
Little Cabardia, burning and destroying as he went; dashed through
the Cossack colonies to the south of Ekaterinograd, and regained
his mountains in safety--dragging with him booty, prisoners, and
Cabardian recruits. These latter, who had joined through fear of
Chamyl, remained with him through fear of the Russians. By this
foray, whose apparent great rashness was justified by its complete
success, Chamyl enriched his people, strengthened his army, and
greatly weakened the confidence of the tribes of the plain in the
efficacy of Russian protection. As usual, in cases of disaster, the
Russians kept the affair as quiet as they could; but the truth could
not be concealed from those most concerned, and murmurs of dismay
ran along the exposed line fringing the Muscovite and Circassian
territories.

The Russian army of the Caucasus reckoned, in 1843, about eighty
thousand men, exclusive of thirty-five thousand who had little to
do with the war, but were more especially employed in watching the
extensive line of Turkish and Persian frontier, and in endeavouring
to exclude contraband goods and Asiatic epidemics. But the severe
fighting that occurred in 1842 and 1843, showed the necessity
of an increase of force. Subsequent events have not admitted of
a reduction in the Caucasian establishment; and we are probably
very near the mark, in estimating the troops occupying the various
forts and camps on the Black Sea, and the lines of the rivers,
(Terek, Kuban, Koisu, &c.,) at about one hundred thousand men--not
at all too many to guard so extensive a line, against so active
and enterprising a foe. The Russian ranks are constantly thinned
by destructive fevers, which, in bad years, have been known to
carry off as much as a sixth of the Caucasian army. At a review
at Vladikawkas, Dr Wagner was struck by the powerful build of the
Russian foot-soldiers--broad-shouldered, broad-faced Slavonians,
with enormous mustaches, drilled to automatical perfection. In point
of bone and limb, every man of them was a grenadier. In a bayonet
charge, such infantry are formidable opponents. Ségur mentions that,
on the battle-field of Borodino, the nation of the stripped bodies
was easily known--the muscle and size of the Russians contrasting
with the slighter frames of French and Germans. "You may kill the
Russians, but you will hardly make them run," was a saying of
Frederick the Great; and certainly Seidlitz, who scattered the
French so briskly at Rossbach, had to sweat blood before he overcame
the Russians at Zorndorf. Those survivors of Napoleon's famous Guard
who fought in the drawn battle of Eylau, will bear witness to the
stubborn resistance and bull-dog qualities of the Muscovite. But
the grenadier stature, and the immobility under fire--admirable
qualities on a plain, and against regular troops--avail little in
the Caucasus. The burly Russian pants and perspires up the hills,
which the light-footed chamois-like Circassians and Tshetshens
ascend at a run. The mountaineers understand their advantages,
and decline standing still in the plain to be charged by a line
of bayonets. They dance round the heavy Russian, who, with his
well-stuffed knapsack and long greatcoat, can barely turn on his
heel fast enough to face them. They catch him out skirmishing, and
slaughter him in detail. "One might suppose," said a foreigner in
the Russian service to Dr Wagner, "that the musket and bayonet of
the Russian soldier would be too much, in single combat, for the
sabre and dagger of the Tshetshen. The contrary is the case. Amongst
the dead, slain in hand-to-hand encounter, there are usually a third
more Russians than Caucasians. Strange to say, too, the Russian
soldier, who in the serried ranks of his battalion meets death with
wonderful firmness, and who has shown the utmost valour in contests
with European, Turkish, and Persian armies, often betrays timidity
in the Caucasian war, and retreats from the outposts to the column,
in spite of the heavy punishment he thereby incurs. I myself was
exposed, during the murderous fight near Ischkeri (Dargo,) in 1842,
to considerable danger, because, having gone to the assistance of a
skirmisher, who was sharply engaged with a Tshetshen, the skirmisher
ran, leaving me to fight it out alone." This shyness of Russian
soldiers in single fight and irregular warfare, is not inexplicable.
They have no chance of promotion, no honourable stimulus: food and
brandy, discipline and dread of the lash, convert them from serfs
into soldiers. As bits of a machine, they are admirable when united,
but asunder they are mere screws and bolts. Fanatic zeal, bitter
hatred, and thirst of blood, animate the Caucasian, who, trained to
arms from his boyhood, and ignorant of drill, relies only upon his
keen shaska, and upon the Prophet's protection.

Presuming Dr Wagner's statement of Russian rations to be correct,
it is a puzzle how the soldier preserves the condition of his thews
and sinews. The daily allowance consists of three pounds of bread,
black as a coal; a water-soup, in which three pounds of bacon are
cut up for every two hundred and fifty men; a ration of _wodka_,
or bad brandy, and once a-week a small piece of meat. The pay is
nine rubles a-year, (about one-third of a penny _per diem_,) out of
which the unfortunate private has to purchase his stock, cap, soap,
blacking, salt, &c., &c. Any surplus he is allowed to expend upon
his amusement. "Our soldiers are obliged to steal a little," said a
German officer in the Russian service to Dr Wagner; "their pay will
not purchase soap and blacking; and if their shirts are not clean,
and their shoes polished, the stick is their portion." "Stealing a
little," in one way or other, is no uncommon practice in Russia,
even amongst more highly placed personages than the soldiers.
Officials of all kinds, both civil and military, particularly those
of the middle and lower ranks, are prone to peculation. Dr Wagner
was deafened with the complaints that from all sides met his ear.
"Ah! if the emperor knew it!" was the usual cry. The subjects of
Nicholas have strong faith in his justice. It is well remembered
in the Caucasus, especially by the army, how one day, at Teflis,
the emperor, upon parade, in full view of mob and soldiers, tore,
with his own hand, the golden insignia of a general's rank from the
coat of Prince Dadian, denounced to him as enriching himself at his
men's expense. For several years afterwards, the prince carried the
musket, and wore the coarse gray coat of a private sentinel. The
officers pitied him, although his condemnation was just. "_Il faut
profiter d'une bonne place_," is their current maxim. The soldiers
rejoiced; but in secret; for such rejoicings are not always safe.
A sentence often recoils unpleasantly upon the accuser. Dr Wagner
gives sundry examples. A major in Sewastopol fell in love with a
sergeant's wife; and as she disregarded his addresses, he persecuted
her and her husband at every opportunity. In despair, the sergeant
at last complained to the general commanding. He was listened to;
an investigation ensued; the major was superseded; and from his
successor the sergeant received five hundred lashes, under pretence
of his having left his regiment without permission when he went to
lodge his charge. Corporal punishment, of frequent application, at
the mere caprice of their superiors, to Russian serfs and soldiers,
is inflicted with sticks or rods, the knout being reserved for
very grave offences, such as murder, rebellion, &c., and preceding
banishment to Siberia, should the sufferer survive. Dr Wagner's
description of this dreadful punishment is horribly vivid. Few
criminals are sentenced to more than twenty-five lashes, and less
than twenty often kill. Running the gauntlet through three thousand
men is the usual punishment of deserters; and this would usually be
a sentence of death but for the compassion of the officers, who hint
to their companies to strike lightly. If the sufferer faints, and
is declared by the surgeon unable to receive all his punishment, he
gets the remainder at some future time. "Take him down" is a phrase
unknown in the Russian service, until the offender has received the
last lash of his sentence.

Severity is doubtless necessary in an army composed like that of
Russia. Two-thirds of the soldiers are serfs, whose masters, being
allowed to send what men they please--so long as they make up their
quota--naturally contribute the greatest scamps and idlers upon
their estates. The army in Russia is what the galleys are in France,
and the hulks in England--a punishment for an infinity of offences.
An official embezzles funds--to the army with him; a Jew is caught
smuggling--off with him to the ranks; a Tartar cattle-stealer, a
vagrant gipsy, an Armenian trader convicted of fraud, a Petersburg
coachman who has run over a pedestrian--all food for powder--gray
coats and bayonets for them all. Jews abound in the Russian army,
being subjected to a severe conscription in Poland and southern
Russia. They submit with exemplary patience to the hardships of the
service, and to the taunts of their Russian comrades. Poles are of
course numerous in the ranks, but they are less enduring than the
Israelite, and often desert to the Circassians, who make them work
as servants, or sell them as slaves to the Turks. No race are too
unmilitary in their nature to be ground into soldiers by the mill
of Russian discipline. Besides Jews, gipsies and Armenians figure
on the muster-roll. It must have been a queer day for the ragged
Zingaro, when the Russian sergeant first stepped into his smoky
tent, bade him clip his elf locks, wash his grimy countenance, and
follow to the field. For him the pomp of war had no seductions; he
would far rather have stuck to his den and vermin, and to his meal
of roast rats and hedgehogs. But military discipline works miracles.
The slouching filthy vagabond of yesterday now stands erect as if
he had swallowed his ramrod, his shoes a brilliant jet, his buttons
sparkling in the sun--a soldier from toe to top-knot.

The right bank of the Kuban, from the Sea of Azov to the mouth
of the Laba, (a tributary of the former stream,) is peopled with
Tchernamortsy Cossacks, who furnish ten regiments, each of a
thousand horsemen, for the defence of their lands and families.
These cavalry carry a musket, slung on the back, and a long
red lance: their dress is a sheepskin jacket, except on state
occasions, when they sport uniform. They are much less feared by
the Circassians than are the Cossacks of the Line, who wear the
Circassian dress, carry sabres instead of lances, and are more
valiant, active and skilful, than their Tchernamortsy neighbours.
The Cossacks of the Caucasian Line dwell on the banks of the Kuban
and Terek, form a military colony of about fifty thousand souls,
and keep six thousand horsemen ready for the field. There is a
mixture of Circassian blood in their veins, and they are first-rate
fighting men. Their villages are exposed to frequent attacks from
the mountaineers; but when these are not exceedingly rapid in
collecting their booty, and effecting their retreat, the Cossacks
assemble, and a desperate fight ensues. When the combatants are
numerically matched, the equality of arms, horses, and skill renders
the issue very doubtful. The Tchernamortsies and Don Cossacks are
less able to cope with the Circassians. In a _mêlée_ their lances
are inferior to the shaska. The rival claims of lance and sabre
have often been discussed; many trials of their respective merits
have been made in English, French, and German riding-schools; and
much ink has been shed on the subject. Unquestionably the lance has
done good service, and in certain circumstances is a terrible arm.
"At the battle of Dresden," Marshal Marmont tells us, "the Austrian
infantry were repeatedly assailed by the French cuirassiers,
whom they as often beat back, although the rain prevented their
firing, and the bayonet was their sole defence. But fifty lancers
of Latour-Maubourg's escort at once broke their ranks." Had the
cuirassiers had lances, their first charge, Marmont plausibly enough
asserts, would have sufficed. This leads to another question, often
mooted--whether the lance be properly a light or a heavy cavalry
weapon. When used to break infantry, weight of man and horse might
be an advantage; but in pursuit, where--especially in rugged and
mountainous countries--the lance is found particularly useful, the
preference is obviously for the swift steed and light cavalier.
In the irregular cavalry combats on the Caucasian line, the sabre
carries the day. Unless the Don Cossack's first lance-thrust settles
his adversary, (which is rarely the case,) the next instant the
adroit Circassian is within his guard, and then the betting is ten
to one on Caucasus. Moreover, the Don Cossacks, brought from afar to
wage a perilous and profitless war, are unwilling combatants. They
find blows more plentiful than booty, and approve themselves arrant
thieves and shy fighters. Relieved every two or three years, they
have scarcely time to get broken in to the peculiar mode of warfare.
The Cossacks of the Line are the flower of the hundred thousand wild
warriors scattered over the steppes of Southern Russia, and ready,
at one man's word, to vault into the saddle. Their gallant feats
are numerous. In 1843, during Dr Wagner's visit, three thousand
Circassians dashed across the Kuban, near the fortified village of
Ustlaba. A dense fog hid them from the Russian vedettes. Suddenly
fifty Cossacks of the Line, the escort of a gun, found themselves
face to face with the mountaineers. The mist was so thick that the
horses' heads almost touched before either party perceived the
other. Flight was impossible, but the Cossacks fought like fiends.
Forty-seven met a soldier's death; only three were captured,
and accompanied the cannon across the river, by which road the
Circassians at once retreated, having taken the brave detachment for
the advanced guard of a strong force.

The word Kasak, Kosak, or Kossack, variously interpreted by Klaproth
and other etymologists as robber, volunteer, daredevil, &c., conveys
to civilised ears rude and inelegant associations. Paris has not
yet forgotten the uncouth hordes, wrapped in sheepskins and overrun
with vermin, who, in the hour of her humiliation, startled her
streets, and made her dandies shriek for their smelling-bottles.
Not that Paris saw the worst of them. Some of the Uralian bears,
centaurs of the steppes, Calibans on horseback, were never allowed
to pass the Russian frontier. Their emperor appreciated their good
qualities, but left them at home. Since then, a change has occured.
Civilisation has made huge strides north-eastward. Near Fanagoria,
Dr Wagner passed a pleasant evening with a Cossack officer, a prime
fellow, with all unquenchable thirst for toddy, and an inexhaustible
store of information. He had made the campaigns against the French;
had evidently been bred a savage, or little better; but had
acquired, during his long military career, knowledge of the world
and a certain degree of polish. Amongst other interesting matters,
he gave a sketch of his grandfather, a bloodthirsty old warrior
and image-worshipper, the scourge of his Nogay neighbours, and a
great slayer of the Turk; who in 1812, at the mature age of ninety,
had responded to Czar Alexander's summons to fight for "faith and
fatherland," and had taken the field under Platoff, at the head of
thirteen sons and threescore grandsons. Whilst the Cossack major
told the history of the "Demon of the Steppes," as his ferocious
ancestor was called, his son, a gay lieutenant in the Cossacks of
the Guard, entered the apartment. This young gentleman, slender,
handsome, with well-cut uniform, graceful manners, and well-waxed
mustaches, declined the punch, "having got used at St Petersburg
to tea and champagne." He brought intelligence of promotions
and decorations, of high play at Tcherkask, (the capital of the
Don-Cossacks' country,) and of the establishment at Toganrog of
a French _restaurateur_, who retailed _Veuve Clicquot's_ genuine
champagne at four silver rubles a bottle. He was fascinated by
the French actresses at St Petersburg, and enthusiastic in praise
of Taglioni, then displaying her legs and graces in the Russian
metropolis. Dr Wagner left the symposium with a vivid impression of
the contrast between the bearded barbarian of 1812 and the dapper
guardsman of thirty years later; and with the full conviction that
the next Russian emperor who makes an inroad into civilised Europe,
will have no occasion to be ashamed of his Cossacks, even though his
route should lead him to the polite capital of the French republic.



THE CAXTONS.--PART X.


CHAPTER XLVI.

My uncle's conjecture as to the parentage of Francis Vivian seemed
to me a positive discovery. Nothing more likely than that this
wilful boy had formed some headstrong attachment which no father
would sanction, and so, thwarted and irritated, thrown himself on
the world. Such an explanation was the more agreeable to me, as it
cleared up all that had appeared more discreditable in the mystery
that surrounded Vivian. I could never bear to think that he had done
anything mean and criminal, however I might believe he had been rash
and faulty. It was natural that the unfriended wanderer should have
been thrown into a society, the equivocal character of which had
failed to revolt the audacity of an inquisitive mind and adventurous
temper; but it was natural, also, that the habits of gentle birth,
and that silent education which English gentlemen commonly receive
from their very cradle, should have preserved his honour, at least,
intact through all. Certainly the pride, the notions, the very
faults of the wellborn had remained in full force--why not the
better qualities, however smothered for the time? I felt thankful
for the thought that Vivian was returning to an element in which he
might repurify his mind,--refit himself for that sphere to which he
belonged;--thankful that we might yet meet, and our present half
intimacy mature, perhaps, into healthful friendship.

It was with such thoughts that I took up my hat the next morning
to seek Vivian, and judge if we had gained the right clue, when we
were startled by what was a rare sound at our door--the postman's
knock. My father was at the Museum; my mother in high conference, or
close preparation for our approaching departure, with Mrs Primmins;
Roland, I, and Blanche had the room to ourselves.

"The letter is not for me," said Pisistratus.

"Nor for me, I am sure," said the Captain, when the servant entered
and confuted him--for the letter was for him. He took it up
wonderingly and suspiciously, as Glumdalclitch took up Gulliver, or
as (if naturalists) we take up an unknown creature, that we are not
quite sure will not bite and sting us. Ah! it has stung or bit you,
Captain Roland! for you start and change colour--you suppress a cry
as you break the seal--you breathe hard as you read--and the letter
seems short--but it takes time in the reading, for you go over it
again and again. Then you fold it up--crumple it--thrust it into
your breast pocket--and look round like a man waking from a dream.
Is it a dream of pain, or of pleasure? Verily, I cannot guess, for
nothing is on that eagle face either of pain or pleasure, but rather
of fear, agitation, bewilderment. Yet the eyes are bright, too, and
there is a smile on that iron lip.

My uncle looked round, I say, and called hastily for his cane and
his hat, and then began buttoning his coat across his broad breast,
though the day was hot enough to have unbuttoned every breast in the
tropics.

"You are not going out, uncle?"

"Yes, yes."

"But are you strong enough yet? Let me go with you?"

"No, sir; no. Blanche, come here." He took the child in his arms,
surveyed her wistfully, and kissed her. "You have never given me
pain, Blanche: say, 'God bless and prosper you, father!'"

"God bless and prosper my dear, dear papa!" said Blanche, putting
her little hands together, as if in prayer.

"There--that should bring me luck, Blanche," said the Captain,
gaily, and setting her down. Then seizing his cane from the servant,
and putting on his hat with a determined air, he walked stoutly
forth; and I saw him, from the window, march along the streets as
cheerfully as if he had been besieging Badajoz.

"God prosper thee, too!" said I, involuntarily.

And Blanche took hold of my hand, and said in her prettiest way,
(and her pretty ways were many), "I wish you would come with us,
cousin Sisty, and help me to love papa. Poor papa! he wants us
both--he wants all the love we can give him!"

"That he does, my dear Blanche; and I think it a great mistake that
we don't all live together. Your papa ought not to go to that tower
of his, at the world's end, but come to our snug, pretty house, with
a garden full of flowers, for you to be Queen of the May--from May
to November;--to say nothing of a duck that is more sagacious than
any creature in the Fables I gave you the other day."

Blanche laughed and clapped her hands--"Oh, that would be so nice!
but,"--and she stopped gravely, and added, "but then, you see, there
would not be the tower to love papa; and I am sure that the tower
must love him very much, for he loves it dearly."

It was my turn to laugh now. "I see how it is, you little witch,"
said I; "you would coax us to come and live with you and the owls!
With all my heart, so far as I am concerned."

"Sisty," said Blanche, with an appalling solemnity on her face, "do
you know what I've been thinking?"

"Not I, miss--what?--something very deep, I can see--very horrible,
indeed, I fear, you look so serious."

"Why, I've been thinking," continued Blanche, not relaxing a muscle,
and without the least bit of a blush--"I've been thinking that
I'll be your little wife; and then, of course, we shall all live
together."

Blanche did not blush, but I did. "Ask me that ten years hence,
if you dare, you impudent little thing; and now, run away to Mrs
Primmins, and tell her to keep you out of mischief, for I must say
good-morning."

But Blanche did not run away, and her dignity seemed exceedingly
hurt at my mode of taking her alarming proposition, for she retired
into a corner pouting, and sate down with great majesty. So there
I left her, and went my way to Vivian. He was out; but, seeing
books on his table, and having nothing to do, I resolved to wait
for his return. I had enough of my father in me to turn at once to
the books for company; and, by the side of some graver works which
I had recommended, I found certain novels in French, that Vivian
had got from a circulating library. I had a curiosity to read
these--for, except the old classic novels of France, this mighty
branch of its popular literature was then new to me. I soon got
interested, but what an interest!--the interest that a nightmare
might excite, if one caught it out of one's sleep, and set to work
to examine it. By the side of what dazzling shrewdness, what deep
knowledge of those holes and corners in the human system, of which
Goethe must have spoken when he said somewhere--(if I recollect
right, and don't misquote him, which I'll not answer for)--"There
is something in every man's heart which, if we could know, would
make us hate him,"--by the side of all this, and of much more that
showed prodigious boldness and energy of intellect, what strange
exaggeration--what mock nobility of sentiment--what inconceivable
perversion of reasoning--what damnable demoralisation! I hate the
cant of charging works of fiction with the accusation--often unjust
and shallow--that they interest us in vice, or palliate crime,
because the author truly shows what virtues may entangle themselves
with vices; or commands our compassion, and awes our pride, by
teaching us how men deceive and bewitch themselves into guilt. Such
painting belongs to the dark truth of all tragedy, from Sophocles to
Shakspeare. No; this is not what shocked me in those books--it was
not the interesting me in vice, for I felt no interest in it at all;
it was the insisting that vice is something uncommonly noble--it
was the portrait of some coldblooded adultress, whom the author or
authoress chooses to call _pauvre Ange!_ (poor angel!);--it was some
scoundrel who dupes, cheats, and murders under cover of a duel, in
which he is a second St George; who does not instruct us by showing
through what metaphysical process he became a scoundrel, but who
is continually forced upon us as a very favourable specimen of
mankind;--it was the view of society altogether, painted in colours
so hideous that, if true, instead of a revolution, it would draw
down a deluge;--it was the hatred, carefully instilled, of the
poor against the rich--it was the war breathed between class and
class--it was that envy of all superiorities, which loves to show
itself by allowing virtue only to a blouse, and asserting that a
man must be a rogue if he belong to that rank of society in which,
from the very gifts of education, from the necessary associations
of circumstances, roguery is the last thing probable or natural.
It was all this, and things a thousand times worse, that set my
head in a whirl, as hour after hour slipped on, and I still gazed,
spell-bound, on these Chimeras and Typhons--these symbols of the
Destroying Principle. "Poor Vivian!" said I, as I rose at last,
"if thou readest these books with pleasure, or from habit, no
wonder that thou seemest to me so obtuse about right and wrong,
and to have a great cavity where thy brain should have the bump of
'conscientiousness' in full salience!"

Nevertheless, to do those demoniacs justice, I had got through
time imperceptibly by their pestilent help; and I was startled to
see, by my watch, how late it was. I had just resolved to leave
a line, fixing an appointment for the morrow, and so depart,
when I heard Vivian's knock--a knock that had great character
in it--haughty, impatient, irregular; not a neat, symmetrical,
harmonious, unpretending knock, but a knock that seemed to set the
whole house and street at defiance: it was a knock bullying--a
knock ostentatious--a knock irritating and offensive--"impiger" and
"iracundus."

But the step that came up the stairs did not suit the knock: it was
a step light, yet firm--slow, yet elastic.

The maid-servant who had opened the door had, no doubt, informed
Vivian of my visit, for he did not seem surprised to see me; but he
cast that hurried, suspicious look round the room which a man is apt
to cast when he has left his papers about, and finds some idler,
on whose trustworthiness he by no means depends, seated in the
midst of the unguarded secrets. The look was not flattering; but my
conscience was so unreproachful that I laid all the blame upon the
general suspiciousness of Vivian's character.

"Three hours, at least, have I been here!" said I, maliciously.

"Three hours!"--again the look.

"And this is the worst secret I have discovered,"--and I pointed to
those literary Manicheans.

"Oh!" said he carelessly, "French novels!--I don't wonder you stayed
so long. I can't read your English novels--flat and insipid: there
are truth and life here."

"Truth and life!" cried I, every hair on my head erect with
astonishment--"then hurrah for falsehood and death!"

"They don't please you; no accounting for tastes."

"I beg your pardon--I account for yours, if you really take for
truth and life monsters so nefast and flagitious. For heaven's
sake, my dear fellow, don't suppose that any man could get on in
England--get anywhere but to the Old Bailey or Norfolk Island, if he
squared his conduct to such topsy-turvy notions of the world as I
find here."

"How many years are you my senior," asked Vivian sneeringly, "that
you should play the mentor, and correct my ignorance of the world?"

"Vivian, it is not age and experience that speak here, it is
something far wiser than they--the instinct of a man's heart, and a
gentleman's honour."

"Well, well," said Vivian, rather discomposed, "let the poor books
alone; you know my creed--that books influence us little one way or
the other."

"By the great Egyptian library, and the soul of Diodorus, I wish you
could hear my father upon that point! Come," added I, with sublime
compassion--"come, it is not too late--do let me introduce you to
my father. I will consent to read French novels all my life, if a
single chat with Austin Caxton does not send you home with a happier
face and a lighter heart. Come, let me take you back to dine with us
to-day."

"I cannot," said Vivian with some confusion--"I cannot, for this day
I leave London. Some other time perhaps--for," he added, but not
heartily, "we may meet again."

"I hope so," said I, wringing his hand, "and that is likely,--since,
in spite of yourself, I have guessed your secret--your birth and
parentage."

"How!" cried Vivian, turning pale, and gnawing his lip--"what do
you mean?--speak."

"Well, then, are you not the lost, runaway son of Colonel Vivian?
Come, say the truth; let us be confidants."

Vivian threw off a succession of his abrupt sighs; and then, seating
himself, leant his face on the table, confused, no doubt, to find
himself discovered.

"You are near the mark," said he at last, "but do not ask me farther
yet. Some day," he cried impetuously, and springing suddenly to his
feet--"some day you shall know all: yes; some day, if I live, when
that name shall be high in the world; yes, when the world is at my
feet!" He stretched his right hand as if to grasp the space, and his
whole face was lighted with a fierce enthusiasm. The glow died away,
and with a slight return of his scornful smile, he said--"Dreams
yet; dreams! And now, look at this paper." And he drew out a
memorandum, scrawled over with figures.

"This, I think, is my pecuniary debt to you; in a few days, I shall
discharge it. Give me your address."

"Oh!" said I, pained, "can you speak to me of money, Vivian?"

"It is one of those instincts of honour you cite so often," answered
he, colouring. "Pardon me."

"That is my address," said I, stooping to write, to conceal my
wounded feelings. "You will avail yourself of it, I hope, often, and
tell me that you are well and happy."

"When I am happy, you shall know."

"You do not require any introduction to Trevanion?"

Vivian hesitated: "No, I think not. If ever I do, I will write for
it."

I took up my hat, and was about to go--for I was still chilled and
mortified--when, as if by an irresistible impulse, Vivian came to me
hastily, flung his arms round my neck, and kissed me as a boy kisses
his brother.

"Bear with me!" he cried in a faltering voice: "I did not think to
love any one as you have made me love you, though sadly against the
grain. If you are not my good angel, it is that nature and habit are
too strong for you. Certainly, some day we shall meet again. I shall
have time, in the meanwhile, to see if the world can be indeed 'mine
oyster, which I with sword can open.' I would be _aut Cæsar aut
nullus_! Very little other Latin know I to quote from! If Cæsar, men
will forgive me all the means to the end; if _nullus_, London has a
river, and in every street one may buy a cord!"

"Vivian! Vivian!"

"Now go, my dear friend, while my heart is softened--go, before I
shock you with some return of the native Adam. Go--go!"

And taking me gently by the arm, Francis Vivian drew me from the
room, and, re-entering, locked his door.

Ah! if I could have left him Robert Hall, instead of those execrable
Typhons! But would that medicine have suited his case, or must grim
Experience write sterner recipes with her iron hand?


CHAPTER XLVII.

When I got back, just in time for dinner, Roland had not returned,
nor did he return till late in the evening. All our eyes were
directed towards him, as we rose with one accord to give him
welcome; but his face was like a mask--it was locked, and rigid, and
unreadable.

Shutting the door carefully after him, he came to the hearth, stood
on it, upright and calm, for a few moments, and then asked--

"Has Blanche gone to bed?"

"Yes," said my mother, "but not to sleep, I am sure; she made me
promise to tell her when you came back."

Roland's brow relaxed.

"To-morrow, sister," said he slowly, "will you see that she has the
proper mourning made for her? My son is dead."

"Dead!" we cried with one voice, and surrounding him with one
impulse.

"Dead! impossible--you could not say it so calmly. Dead!--how do you
know? You may be deceived. Who told you?--why do you think so?"

"I have seen his remains," said my uncle, with the same gloomy calm.
"We will all mourn for him. Pisistratus, you are heir to my name
now, as to your father's. Good-night; excuse me, all--all you dear
and kind ones; I am worn out."

Roland lighted his candle and went away, leaving us thunderstruck;
but he came back again--looked round--took up his book, open in
the favourite passage--nodded again, and again vanished. We looked
at each other, as if we had seen a ghost. Then my father rose and
went out of the room, and remained in Roland's till the night was
wellnigh gone. We sat up--my mother and I--till he returned. His
benign face looked profoundly sad.

"How is it, sir Can you tell us more?"

My father shook his head.

"Roland prays that you may preserve the same forbearance you have
shown hitherto, and never mention his son's name to him. Peace be to
the living, as to the dead. Kitty, this changes our plans; we must
all go to Cumberland--we cannot leave Roland thus!"

"Poor, poor Roland!" said my mother, through her tears. "And to
think that father and son were not reconciled. But Roland forgives
him now--oh, yes! _now!_"

"It is not Roland we can censure," said my father, almost fiercely;
"it is--but enough. We must hurry out of town as soon as we can:
Roland will recover in the native air of his old ruins."

We went up to bed mournfully.

"And so," thought I, "ends one grand object of my life!--I had hoped
to have brought those two together. But, alas! what peacemaker like
the grave!"


CHAPTER XLVIII.

My uncle did not leave his room for three days, but he was much
closeted with a lawyer; and my father dropped some words which
seemed to imply that the deceased had incurred debts, and that the
poor Captain was making some charge on his small property. As Roland
had said that he had seen the remains of his son, I took it at first
for granted that we should attend a funeral, but no word of this was
said. On the fourth day, Roland, in deep mourning, entered a hackney
coach with the lawyer, and was absent about two hours. I did not
doubt that he had thus quietly fulfilled the last mournful offices.
On his return, he shut himself up again for the rest of the day,
and would not see even my father. But the next morning he made his
appearance as usual, and I even thought that he seemed more cheerful
than I had yet known him--whether he played a part, or whether the
worst was now over, and the grave was less cruel than uncertainty.
On the following day, we all set out for Cumberland.

In the interval, Uncle Jack had been almost constantly at the house,
and, to do him justice, he had seemed unaffectedly shocked at the
calamity that had befallen Roland. There was, indeed, no want of
heart in Uncle Jack, whenever you went straight at it; but it was
hard to find if you took a circuitous route towards it through the
pockets. The worthy speculator had indeed much business to transact
with my father before we left town. The _Anti-Publisher Society_
had been set up, and it was through the obstetric aid of that
fraternity that the Great Book was to be ushered into the world. The
new journal, the _Literary Times_, was also far advanced--not yet
out, but my father was fairly in for it. There were preparations for
its debut on a vast scale, and two or three gentlemen in black--one
of whom looked like a lawyer, and another like a printer, and a
third uncommonly like a Jew--called twice, with papers of a very
formidable aspect. All these preliminaries settled, the last thing
I heard Uncle Jack say, with a slap on my father's back, was, "Fame
and fortune both made now!--you may go to sleep in safety, for you
leave me wide awake. Jack Tibbets never sleeps!"

I had thought it strange that, since my abrupt exodus from
Trevanion's house, no notice had been taken of any of us by himself
or Lady Ellinor. But on the very eve of our departure, came a kind
note from Trevanion to me, dated from his favourite country seat,
(accompanied by a present of some rare books to my father,) in which
he said briefly that there had been illness in his family, which had
obliged him to leave town for a change of air, but that Lady Ellinor
expected to call on my mother the next week. He had found amongst
his books some curious works of the Middle Ages, amongst others a
complete set of Cardan, which he knew my father would like to have,
and so sent them. There was no allusion to what had passed between
us.

In reply to this note, after due thanks on my father's part, who
seized upon the Cardan (Lyons edition, 1663, ten volumes folio) as
a silkworm does upon a mulberry leaf, I expressed our joint regrets
that there was no hope of our seeing Lady Ellinor, as we were just
leaving town. I should have added something on the loss my uncle had
sustained, but my father thought that, since Roland shrank from any
mention of his son, even by his nearest kindred, it would be his
obvious wish not to parade his affliction beyond that circle.

And there had been illness in Trevanion's family! On whom had it
fallen? I could not rest satisfied with that general expression, and
I took my answer myself to Trevanion's house, instead of sending it
by the post. In reply to my inquiries, the porter said that all the
family were expected at the end of the week; that he had heard both
Lady Ellinor and Miss Trevanion had been rather poorly, but that
they were now better. I left my note, with orders to forward it; and
my wounds bled afresh as I came away.

We had the whole coach to ourselves in our journey, and a silent
journey it was, till we arrived at a little town about eight miles
from my uncle's residence, to which we could only get through a
cross-road. My uncle insisted on preceding us that night, and,
though he had written, before we started, to announce our coming, he
was fidgety lest the poor tower should not make the best figure it
could;--so he went alone, and we took our ease at our inn.

Betimes the next day we hired a fly-coach--for a chaise could never
have held us and my father's books--and jogged through a labyrinth
of villanous lanes, which no Marshal Wade had ever reformed from
their primal chaos. But poor Mrs Primmins and the canary-bird
alone seemed sensible of the jolts; the former, who sate opposite
to us, wedged amidst a medley of packages, all marked "care, to
be kept top uppermost," (why I know not, for they were but books,
and whether they lay top or bottom it could not materially affect
their value,)--the former, I say, contrived to extend her arms over
those _disjecta membra_, and, griping a window-sill with the right
hand, and a window-sill with the left, kept her seat rampant, like
the split eagle of the Austrian Empire--in fact it would be well,
now-a-days, if the split eagle were as firm as Mrs Primmins! As for
the canary, it never failed to respond, by an astonished chirp, to
every "Gracious me!" and "Lord save us!" which the delve into a rut,
or the bump out of it, sent forth from Mrs Primmins's lips, with all
the emphatic dolor of thἂe "Ἂῖ, ἂῖ" in a Greek chorus.

But my father, with his broad hat over his brows, was in deep
thought. The scenes of his youth were rising before him, and his
memory went, smooth as a spirit's wing, over delve and bump. And
my mother, who sat next him, had her arm on his shoulder, and was
watching his face jealously. Did she think that, in that thoughtful
face, there was regret for the old love? Blanche, who had been
very sad, and had wept much and quietly since they put on her the
mourning, and told her that she had no brother, (though she had no
remembrance of the lost), began now to evince infantine curiosity
and eagerness to catch the first peep of her father's beloved tower.
And Blanche sat on my knee, and I shared her impatience. At last
there came in view a church spire--a church--a plain square building
near it, the parsonage, (my father's old home)--a long straggling
street of cottages and rude shops, with a better kind of house here
and there--and in the hinder ground, a gray deformed mass of wall
and ruin, placed on one of those eminences on which the Danes loved
to pitch camp or build fort, with one high, rude, Anglo-Norman tower
rising from the midst. Few trees were round it, and those either
poplars or firs, save, as we approached, one mighty oak--integral
and unscathed. The road now wound behind the parsonage, and up a
steep ascent. Such a road!--the whole parish ought to have been
flogged for it! If I had sent up a road like that, even on a map, to
Dr Herman, I should not have sat down in comfort for a week to come!

The fly-coach came to a full stop.

"Let us get out," cried I, opening the door and springing to the
ground to set the example.

Blanche followed, and my respected parents came next. But when Mrs
Primmins was about to heave herself into movement,

"_Papæ!_" said my father. "I think, Mrs Primmins, you must remain
in, to keep the books steady."

"Lord love you!" cried Mrs Primmins, aghast.

"The subtraction of such a mass, or _moles_--supple and elastic
as all flesh is, and fitting into the hard corners of the inert
matter--such a subtraction, Mrs Primmins, would leave a vacuum which
no natural system, certainly no artificial organisation, could
sustain. There would be a regular dance of atoms, Mrs Primmins; my
books would fly here, there, on the floor, out of the window!

  "_Corporis officium est quoniam omnia deorsum._"

The business of a body like yours, Mrs Primmins, is to press all
things down--to keep them tight, as you will know one of these
days--that is, if you will do me the favour to read Lucretius,
and master that material philosophy, of which I may say, without
flattery, my dear Mrs Primmins, that you are a living illustration."

These, the first words my father had spoken since we set out
from the inn, seemed to assure my mother that she need have no
apprehension as to the character of his thoughts, for her brow
cleared, and she said, laughing,

"Only look at poor Primmins, and then at that hill!"

"You may subtract Primmins, if you will be answerable for the
remnant, Kitty. Only, I warn you that it is against all the laws of
physics."

So saying, he sprang lightly forward, and, taking hold of my arm,
paused and looked round, and drew the loud free breath with which we
draw native air.

"And yet," said my father, after that grateful and affectionate
inspiration--"and yet, it must be owned, that a more ugly country
one cannot see out of Cambridgeshire."[5]

  [5] This certainly cannot be said of Cumberland generally, one of
  the most beautiful counties in Great Britain. But the immediate
  district to which Mr Caxton's exclamation refers; if not ugly, is at
  least savage, bare, and rude.

"Nay," said I, "it is bold and large, it has a beauty of its own.
Those immense, undulating, uncultivated, treeless tracks have
surely their charm of wildness and solitude! And how they suit the
character of the ruin! All is feudal there: I understand Roland
better now."

"I hope in heaven Cardan will come to no harm!" cried my father; "he
is very handsomely bound; and he fitted beautifully just into the
fleshiest part of that fidgety Primmins."

Blanche, meanwhile, had run far before us, and I followed fast.
There were still the remains of that deep trench (surrounding the
ruins on three sides, leaving a ragged hill-top at the fourth) which
made the favourite fortification of all the Teutonic tribes. A
causeway, raised on brick arches, now, however, supplied the place
of the drawbridge, and the outer gate was but a mass of picturesque
ruin. Entering into the courtyard or bailey, the old castle mound,
from which justice had been dispensed, was in full view, rising
higher than the broken walls around it, and partially overgrown with
brambles. And there stood, comparatively whole, the tower or keep,
and from its portals emerged the veteran owner.

His ancestors might have received us in more state, but certainly
they could not have given us a warmer greeting. In fact, in his
own domain, Roland appeared another man. His stiffness, which
was a little repulsive to those who did not understand it, was
all gone. He seemed less proud, precisely because he and his
pride, on that ground, were on good terms with each other. How
gallantly he extended--not his arm, in our modern Jack-and-Jill
sort of fashion--but his right hand, to my mother; how carefully
he led her over "brake, bush, and scaur," through the low vaulted
door, where a tall servant, who, it was easy to see, had been a
soldier--in the precise livery, no doubt, warranted by the heraldic
colours, (his stockings were red!)--stood upright as a sentry.
And, coming into the hall, it looked absolutely cheerful--it took
us by surprise. There was a great fire-place, and, though it was
still summer, a great fire! It did not seem a bit too much, for
the walls were stone, the lofty roof open to the rafters, while
the windows were small and narrow, and so high and so deep sunk
that one seemed in a vault. Nevertheless, I say the room looked
sociable and cheerful--thanks principally to the fire, and partly
to a very ingenious medley of old tapestry at one end, and matting
at the other, fastened to the lower part of the walls, seconded
by an arrangement of furniture which did credit to my uncle's
taste for the Picturesque. After we had looked about and admired
to our hearts' content, Roland took us--not up one of those noble
staircases you see in the later manorial residences--but a little
winding stone stair, into the rooms he had appropriated to his
guests. There was first a small chamber, which he called my father's
study--in truth, it would have done for any philosopher or saint who
wished to shut out the world--and might have passed for the interior
of such a column as Stylites inhabited; for you must have climbed a
ladder to have looked out of the window, and then the vision of no
short-sighted man could have got over the interval in the wall made
by the narrow casement, which, after all, gave no other prospect
than a Cumberland sky, with an occasional rook in it. But my father,
I think I have said before, did not much care for scenery, and he
looked round with great satisfaction upon the retreat assigned him.

"We can knock up shelves for your books in no time," said my uncle,
rubbing his hands.

"It would be a charity," quoth my father, "for they have been very
long in a recumbent position, and would like to stretch themselves,
poor things. My dear Roland, this room is made for books--so round
and so deep. I shall sit here like Truth in a well."

"And there is a room for you, sister, just out of it," said my
uncle, opening a little low prison-like door into a charming room,
for its window was low, and it had an iron balcony; "and out of that
is the bed-room. For you, Pisistratus, my boy, I am afraid that it
is soldier's quarters, indeed, with which you will have to put up.
But never mind; in a day or two we shall make all worthy a general
of your illustrious name--for he was a great general, Pisistratus
the First--was he not, brother?"

"All tyrants are," said my father: "the knack of soldiering is
indispensable to them."

"Oh, you may say what you please here!" said Roland, in high
good humour, as he drew me down stairs, still apologising for my
quarters, and so earnestly that I made up my mind that I was to be
put into an _oubliette_. Nor were my suspicions much dispelled on
seeing that we had to leave the keep, and pick our way into what
seemed to me a mere heap of rubbish, on the dexter side of the
court. But I was agreeably surprised to find, amidst these wrecks,
a room with a noble casement commanding the whole country, and
placed immediately over a plot of ground cultivated as a garden.
The furniture was ample, though homely; the floors and walls well
matted; and, altogether, despite the inconvenience of having to
cross the courtyard to get to the rest of the house, and being
wholly without the modern luxury of a bell, I thought that I could
not be better lodged.

"But this is a perfect bower, my dear uncle! Depend on it, it was
the bower-chamber of the Dames de Caxton--heaven rest them!"

"No," said my uncle, gravely; "I suspect it must have been the
chaplain's room, for the chapel was to the right of you. An earlier
chapel, indeed, formerly existed in the keep tower--for, indeed, it
is scarcely a true keep without chapel, well, and hall. I can show
you part of the roof of the first, and the two last are entire; the
well is very curious, formed in the substance of the wall at one
angle of the hall. In Charles the First's time, our ancestor lowered
his only son down in a bucket, and kept him there six hours, while
a Malignant mob was storming the tower. I need not say that our
ancestor himself scorned to hide from such a rabble, for _he_ was a
grown man. The boy lived to be a sad spendthrift, and used the well
for cooling his wine. He drank up a great many good acres."

"I should scratch him out of the pedigree, if I were you. But,
pray, have you not discovered the proper chamber of that great Sir
William, about whom my father is so shamefully sceptical?"

"To tell you a secret," answered the Captain, giving me a sly poke
in the ribs, "I have put your father into it! There are the initial
letters W. C. let into the cusp of the York rose, and the date,
three years before the battle of Bosworth, over the chimneypiece."

I could not help joining my uncle's grim low laugh at this
characteristic pleasantry; and after I had complimented him on so
judicious a mode of proving his point, I asked him how he could
possibly have contrived to fit up the ruin so well, especially as he
had scarcely visited it since his purchase.

"Why," said he, "about twelve years ago, that poor fellow you
now see as my servant, and who is gardener, bailiff, seneschal,
butler, and anything else you can put him to, was sent out of the
army on the invalid list. So I placed him here; and as he is a
capital carpenter, and has had a very fair education, I told him
what I wanted, and put by a small sum every year for repairs and
furnishing. It is astonishing how little it cost me, for Bolt,
poor fellow, (that is his name,) caught the right spirit of the
thing, and most of the furniture, (which you see is ancient and
suitable,) he picked up at different cottages and farmhouses in the
neighbourhood. As it is, however, we have plenty more rooms here and
there--only, of late," continued my uncle, slightly changing colour,
"I had no money to spare. But come," he resumed, with an evident
effort--"come and see my barrack: it is on the other side of the
hall, and made out of what no doubt were the butteries."

We reached the yard, and found the fly-coach had just crawled to
the door. My father's head was buried deep in the vehicle,--he was
gathering up his packages, and sending out, oracle-like, various
muttered objurgations and anathemas upon Mrs Primmins and her
vacuum; which Mrs Primmins, standing by, and making a lap with her
apron to receive the packages and anathemas simultaneously, bore
with the mildness of an angel, lifting up her eyes to heaven and
murmuring something about "poor old bones." Though, as for Mrs
Primmins's bones, they had been myths these twenty years, and you
might as soon have found a Plesiosaurus in the fat lands of Romney
Marsh as a bone amidst those layers of flesh in which my poor father
thought he had so carefully cottoned up his Cardan.

Leaving these parties to adjust matters between them, we stepped
under the low doorway, and entered Rowland's room. Oh, certainly
Bolt _had_ caught the spirit of the thing!--certainly he had
penetrated down even to the very pathos that lay within the deeps
of Roland's character. Buffon says "the style is the man;" there,
the room was the man. That nameless, inexpressible, soldier-like,
methodical neatness which belonged to Roland--that was the first
thing that struck one--that was the general character of the whole.
Then, in details, there, in stout oak shelves, were the books on
which my father loved to jest his more imaginative brother,--there
they were, Froissart, Barante, Joinville, the _Mort d'Arthur_,
_Amadis of Gaul_, Spenser's _Fairy Queen_, a noble copy of Strutt's
_Horda_, Mallet's _Northern Antiquities_, Percy's _Reliques_, Pope's
_Homer_, books on gunnery, archery, hawking, fortification--old
chivalry and modern war together cheek by jowl.

Old chivalry and modern war!--look to that tilting helmet with
the tall Caxton crest, and look to that trophy near it, a French
cuirass--and that old banner (a knight's pennon) surmounting those
crossed bayonets. And over the chimneypiece there--bright, clean,
and, I warrant you, dusted daily--are Roland's own sword, his
holsters, and pistols, yea, the saddle, pierced and lacerated, from
which he had reeled when that leg----I gasped--I felt it all at a
glance, and I stole softly to the spot, and, had Roland not been
there, I could have kissed that sword as reverently as if it had
been a Bayard's or a Sidney's.

My uncle was too modest to guess my emotion; he rather thought I
had turned my face to conceal a smile at his vanity, and said, in
a deprecating tone of apology--"It was all Bolt's doing, foolish
fellow."


CHAPTER XLIX.

Our host regaled us with a hospitality that notably contrasted his
economical thrifty habits in London. To be sure, Bolt had caught the
great pike which headed the feast; and Bolt, no doubt, had helped
to rear those fine chickens _ab ovo_; Bolt, I have no doubt, made
that excellent Spanish omelette; and for the rest, the products of
the sheepwalk and the garden came in as volunteer auxiliaries--very
different from the mercenary recruits by which those metropolitan
_Condottieri_, the butcher and green-grocer, hasten the ruin of that
melancholy commonwealth called "genteel poverty."

Our evening passed cheerfully; and Roland, contrary to his custom,
was talker in chief. It was eleven o'clock before Bolt appeared with
a lantern to conduct me through the court-yard to my dormitory,
among the ruins--a ceremony which, every night, shine or dark, he
insisted upon punctiliously performing.

It was long before I could sleep--before I could believe that but
so few days had elapsed since Roland heard of his son's death--that
son whose fate had so long tortured him; and yet, never had Roland
appeared so free from sorrow! Was it natural--was it effort? Several
days passed before I could answer that question, and then not wholly
to my satisfaction. Effort there was, or rather resolute systematic
determination. At moments Roland's head drooped, his brows met, and
the whole man seemed to sink. Yet these were only moments; he would
rouse himself up like a dozing charger at the sound of a trumpet,
and shake off the creeping weight. But, whether from the vigour of
his determination, or from some aid in other trains of reflection, I
could not but perceive that Roland's sadness really was less grave
and bitter than it had been, or than it was natural to suppose. He
seemed to transfer, daily more and more, his affections from the
dead to those around him, especially to Blanche and myself. He let
it be seen that he looked on me now as his lawful successor--as the
future supporter of his name--he was fond of confiding to me all
his little plans, and consulting me on them. He would walk with me
around his domains, (of which I shall say more hereafter,)--point
out, from every eminence we climbed, where the broad lands which
his forefathers owned stretched away to the horizon; unfold with
tender hand the mouldering pedigree, and rest lingeringly on those
of his ancestors who had held martial post, or had died on the
field. There was a crusader who had followed Richard to Ascalon;
there was a knight who had fought at Agincourt; there was a cavalier
(whose picture was still extant, with fair lovelocks) who had fallen
at Worcester--no doubt the same who had cooled his son in that
well which the son devoted to more agreeable associations. But of
all these worthies there was none whom my uncle, perhaps from the
spirit of contradiction, valued like that apocryphal Sir William:
and why?--because, when the apostate Stanley turned the fortunes
of the field at Bosworth, and when that cry of despair--"Treason,
treason!" burst from the lips of the last Plantagenet, "amongst
the faithless," this true soldier "faithful found!" had fallen in
that lion-rush which Richard made at his foe. "Your father tells
me that Richard was a murderer and usurper," quoth my uncle. "Sir,
that might be true or not; but it was not on the field of battle
that his followers were to reason on the character of the master
who trusted them, especially when a legion of foreign hirelings
stood opposed to them. I would not have descended from that turncoat
Stanley to be lord of all the lands the Earls of Derby can boast
of. Sir, in loyalty, men fight and die for a grand principle, and
a lofty passion; and this brave Sir William was paying back to the
last Plantagenet the benefits he had received from the first!"

"And yet it may be doubted," said I maliciously, "whether William
Caxton the printer did not--"

"Plague, pestilence, and fire seize William Caxton the printer, and
his invention too!" cried my uncle barbarously. "When there were
only a few books, at least they were good ones; and now they are
so plentiful, all they do is to confound the judgment, unsettle
the reason, drive the good books out of cultivation, and draw a
ploughshare of innovation over every ancient landmark; seduce the
women, womanize the men, upset states, thrones, and churches; rear
a race of chattering, conceited, coxcombs, who can always find
books in plenty to excuse them from doing their duty; make the poor
discontented, the rich crotchety and whimsical, refine away the
stout old virtues into quibbles and sentiments! All imagination
formerly was expended in noble action, adventure, enterprise, high
deeds and aspirations; now a man can but be imaginative by feeding
on the false excitement of passions he never felt, dangers he never
shared; and he fritters away all there is of life to spare in him
upon the fictitious love-sorrows of Bond Street and St James's.
Sir, chivalry ceased when the press rose! And to fasten upon me, as
a forefather, out of all men who have ever lived and sinned, the
very man who has most destroyed what I most valued--who, by the
Lord! with his cursed invention has wellnigh got rid of respect for
forefathers altogether--is a cruelty of which my brother had never
been capable, if that printer's devil had not got hold of him!"

That a man in this blessed nineteenth century should be such a
Vandal! and that my uncle Roland should talk in a strain that
Totila would have been ashamed of, within so short a time after my
father's scientific and erudite oration on the Hygeiana of Books,
was enough to make one despair of the progress of intellect and the
perfectibility of our species. And I have no manner of doubt that,
all the while, my uncle had a brace of books in his pockets, Robert
Hall one of them! In truth, he had talked himself into a passion,
and did not know what nonsense he was saying, poor man. But this
explosion of Captain Roland's has shattered the thread of my matter.
Pouff! I must take breath and begin again!

Yes, in spite of my sauciness, the old soldier evidently took to me
more and more. And, besides our critical examination of the property
and the pedigree, he carried me with him on long excursions to
distant villages, where some memorial of a defunct Caxton, a coat of
arms, or an epitaph on a tombstone, might be still seen. And he made
me pore over topographical works and county histories, (forgetful,
Goth that he was, that for those very authorities he was indebted
to the repudiated printer!) to find some anecdote of his beloved
dead! In truth, the county for miles round bore the _vestigia_ of
those old Caxtons; their handwriting was on many a broken wall.
And, obscure as they all were, compared to that great operative
of the Sanctuary at Westminster, whom my father clung to--still,
that the yesterdays that had lighted them the way to dusty death
had cast no glare on dishonoured scutcheons seemed clear, from the
popular respect and traditional affection in which I found that
the name was still held in hamlet and homestead. It was pleasant
to see the veneration with which this small hidalgo of some three
hundred a-year was held, and the patriarchal affection with which
he returned it. Roland was a man who would walk into a cottage,
rest his cork leg on the hearth, and talk for the hour together
upon all that lay nearest to the hearts of the owners. There is
a peculiar spirit of aristocracy amongst agricultural peasants:
they like old names and families; they identify themselves with the
honours of a house, as if of its clan. They do not care so much for
wealth as townsfolk and the middle class do; they have a pity, but a
respectful one, for wellborn poverty. And then this Roland, too--who
would go and dine in a cook shop, and receive change for a shilling,
and shun the ruinous luxury of a hack cabriolet--could be positively
extravagant in his liberalities to those around him. He was
altogether another being in his paternal acres. The shabby-genteel,
half-pay captain, lost in the whirl of London, here luxuriated into
a dignified case of manner that Chesterfield might have admired.
And, if to please is the true sign of politeness, I wish you could
have seen the faces that smiled upon Captain Roland, as he walked
down the village, nodding from side to side.

One day a frank, hearty, old woman, who had known Roland as a boy,
seeing him lean on my arm, stopped us, as she said bluffly, to take
a "geud luik" at me.

Fortunately I was stalwart enough to pass muster, even in the eyes
of a Cumberland matron; and, after a compliment at which Roland
seemed much pleased, she said to me, but pointing to the Captain--

"Hegh, sir, now you ha the bra time before you; you maun een try and
be as geud as _he_. And if life last, ye wull too--for there never
waur a bad ane of that stock. Wi' heads kindly stup'd to the least,
and lifted manfu' oop to the heighest--that ye all war' sin ye came
from the Ark. Blessins on the ould name--though little pelf goes
with it--it sounds on the peur man's ear like a bit o' gould!"

"Do you not see now," said Roland, as we turned away, "what we owe
to a name, and what to our forefathers?--do you not see why the
remotest ancestor has a right to our respect and consideration--for
he was a parent? 'Honour your parents'--the law does not say,
'Honour your children!' If a child disgrace us, and the dead,
and the sanctity of this great heritage of their virtues--_the
name_;--if he does--" Roland stopped short, and added fervently,
"But you are my heir now--I have no fear! What matters one foolish
old man's sorrow?--the name, that property of generations, is saved,
thank Heaven--the name!"

Now the riddle was solved, and I understood why, amidst all his
natural grief for a son's loss, that proud father was consoled.
For he was less himself a father than a son--son to the long dead.
From every grave, where a progenitor slept, he had heard a parent's
voice. He could bear to be bereaved, if the forefathers were not
dishonoured. Roland was more than half a Roman--the son might still
cling to his household affections, but the _lares_ were a part of
his religion.


CHAPTER L.

But I ought to be hard at work, preparing myself for Cambridge. The
deuce!--how can I? The point in academical education on which I
require most preparation is Greek composition. I come to my father,
who, one might think, was at home enough in this. But rare indeed is
it to find a great scholar who is a good teacher.

My dear father! if one is content to take you in your own way,
there never was a more admirable instructor for the heart, the
head, the principles, or the tastes--in your own way, when you have
discovered that there is some one sore to be healed--one defect
to be repaired; and you have rubbed your spectacles, and got your
hand fairly into that recess between your frill and your waistcoat.
But to go to you, cut and dry, monotonously, regularly--book and
exercise in hand--to see the mournful patience with which you tear
yourself from that great volume of Cardan in the very honeymoon of
possession--and then to note those mild eyebrows gradually distend
themselves into perplexed diagonals, over some false quantity or
some barbarous collocation--till there steal forth that horrible
"Papæ!" which means more on your lips than I am sure it ever did
when Latin was a live language, and "Papæ!" a natural and unpedantic
ejaculation!--no, I would sooner blunder through the dark by myself
a thousand times, than light my rush-light at the lamp of that
Phlegethonian "Papæ!"

And then my father would wisely and kindly, but wondrous slowly,
erase three-fourths of one's pet verses, and intercalate others that
one saw were exquisite, but could not exactly see why. And then one
asked why; and my father shook his head in despair, and said--"But
you ought to _feel_ why!"

In short, scholarship to him was like poetry: he could no more teach
it you than Pindar could have taught you how to make an ode. You
breathed the aroma, but you could no more seize and analyse it,
than, with the opening of your naked hand, you could carry off the
scent of a rose. I soon left my father in peace to Cardan, and to
the Great Book, which last, by the way, advanced but slowly. For
Uncle Jack had now insisted on its being published in quarto, with
illustrative plates; and those plates took an immense time, and
were to cost an immense sum--but that cost was the affair of the
Anti-Publisher Society. But how can I settle to work by myself?
No sooner have I got into my room--_penitus ab orbe divisus_, as
I rashly think--than there is a tap at the door. Now, it is my
mother, who is benevolently engaged upon making curtains to all
the windows, (a trifling superfluity that Bolt had forgotten or
disdained,) and who wants to know how the draperies are fashioned
at Mr Trevanion's: a pretence to have me near her, and see with her
own eyes that I am not fretting;--the moment she hears I have shut
myself up in my room, she is sure that it is for sorrow. Now it
is Bolt, who is making book-shelves for my father, and desires to
consult me at every turn, especially as I have given him a Gothic
design, which pleases him hugely. Now it is Blanche, whom, in an
evil hour, I undertook to teach to draw, and who comes in on tiptoe,
vowing she'll not disturb me, and sits so quiet that she fidgets me
out of all patience. Now, and much more often, it is the Captain,
who wants me to walk, to ride, to fish. And, by St Hubert! (saint
of the chase,) bright August comes--and there is moor-game on those
barren wolds--and my uncle has given me the gun he shot with at my
age--single-barrelled, flint lock--but you would not have laughed at
it if you had seen the strange feats it did in Roland's hands--while
in mine, I could always lay the blame on the flint lock! Time, in
short, passed rapidly; and if Roland and I had our dark hours, we
chased them away before they could settle--shot them on the wing as
they got up.

Then, too, though the immediate scenery around my uncle's was so
bleak and desolate, the country within a few miles was so full of
objects of interest--of landscapes so poetically grand or lovely;
and occasionally we coaxed my father from the Cardan, and spent
whole days by the margin of some glorious lake.

Amongst these excursions, I made one by myself to that house in
which my father had known the bliss and the pangs of that stern
first love that still left its scars fresh on my own memory. The
house, large and imposing, was shut up--the Trevanions had not been
there for years--the pleasure-grounds had been contracted into the
smallest possible space. There was no positive decay or ruin--that
Trevanion would never have allowed; but there was the dreary look of
absenteeship everywhere. I penetrated into the house with the help
of my card and half-a-crown. I saw that memorable boudoir--I could
fancy the very spot in which my father had heard the sentence that
had changed the current of his life. And when I returned home, I
looked with new tenderness on my father's placid brow--and blessed
anew that tender helpmate, who, in her patient love, had chased from
it every shadow.

I had received one letter from Vivian a few days after our arrival.
It had been redirected from my father's house, at which I had given
him my address. It was short, but seemed cheerful. He said, that
he believed he had at last hit on the right way, and should keep
to it--that he and the world were better friends than they had
been--and that the only way to keep friends with the world was to
treat it as a tamed tiger, and have one hand on a crow-bar while one
fondled the beast with the other. He enclosed me a bank-note which
somewhat more than covered his debt to me, and bade me pay him the
surplus when he should claim it as a millionnaire. He gave me no
address in his letter, but it bore the post-mark of Godalming. I had
the impertinent curiosity to look into an old topographical work
upon Surrey, and in a supplemental itinerary I found this passage,
"To the left of the beech-wood, three miles from Godalming, you
catch a glimpse of the elegant seat of Francis Vivian, Esq." To
judge by the date of the work, the said Francis Vivian might be the
grandfather of my friend, his namesake. There could no longer be any
doubt as to the parentage of this prodigal son.

The long vacation was now nearly over, and all his guests were to
leave the poor Captain. In fact, we had made a long trespass on
his hospitality. It was settled that I was to accompany my father
and mother to their long-neglected _penates_, and start thence for
Cambridge.

Our parting was sorrowful--even Mrs Primmins wept as she shook hands
with Bolt. But Bolt, an old soldier, was of course a lady's man. The
brothers did not shake hands only--they fondly embraced, as brothers
of that time of life rarely do now-a-days, except on the stage.
And Blanche, with one arm round my mother's neck, and one round
mine, sobbed in my ear,--"But I will be your little wife, I will."
Finally, the fly-coach once more received us all--all but poor
Blanche, and we looked round and missed her.


CHAPTER LI.

Alma Mater! Alma Mater! New-fashioned folks, with their large
theories of education, may find fault with thee. But a true Spartan
mother thou art--hard and stern as the old matron who bricked up
her son Pausanias, bringing the first stone to immure him; hard and
stern, I say, to the worthless, but full of majestic tenderness to
the worthy.

For a young man to go up to Cambridge (I say nothing of Oxford,
knowing nothing thereof) merely as routine work, to lounge through
three years to a degree among the ὁι πολλοι--for such an one,
Oxford Street herself, whom the immortal Opium-eater hath so direly
apostrophised, is not a more careless and stony-hearted mother.
But for him who will read, who will work, who will seize the rare
advantages proffered, who will select his friends judiciously--yea,
out of that vast ferment of young idea in its lusty vigour, choose
the good and reject the bad--there is plenty to make those three
years rich with fruit imperishable--three years nobly spent, even
though one must pass over the Ass's Bridge to get into the Temple of
Honour.

Important changes in the Academical system have been recently
announced, and honours are henceforth to be accorded to the
successful disciples in moral and natural sciences. By the side
of the old throne of Mathesis, they have placed two very useful
_fauteuils à la Voltaire_. I have no objection; but, in those three
years of life, it is not so much the thing learned, as the steady
perseverance in learning something that is excellent.

It was fortunate, in one respect, for me that I had seen a little
of the real world--the metropolitan, before I came to that mimic
one--the cloistral. For what were called pleasures in the last, and
which might have allured me, had I come fresh from school, had no
charm for me now. Hard drinking and high play, a certain mixture of
coarseness and extravagance, made the fashion among the idle when
I was at the university _sub consule Planco_--when Wordsworth was
master of Trinity: it may be altered now.

But I had already outlived such temptations, and so, naturally, I
was thrown out of the society of the idle, and somewhat into that of
the laborious.

Still, to speak frankly, I had no longer the old pleasure in
books. If my acquaintance with the great world had destroyed
the temptation to puerile excesses, it had also increased my
constitutional tendency to practical action. And, alas! in spite
of all the benefit I had derived from Robert Hall, there were
times when memory was so poignant that I had no choice but to rush
from the lonely room, haunted by tempting phantoms too dangerously
fair, and sober down the fever of the heart by some violent bodily
fatigue. The ardour which belongs to early youth, and which it best
dedicates to knowledge, had been charmed prematurely to shrines less
severely sacred. Therefore, though I laboured, it was with that
full _sense of labour_ which (as I found at a much later period
of life) the truly triumphant student never knows. Learning--that
marble image--warms into life, not at the toil of the chisel, but
the worship of the sculptor. The mechanical workman finds but the
voiceless stone.

At my uncle's, such a thing as a newspaper rarely made its
appearance. At Cambridge, even among reading men, the newspapers
had their due importance. Politics ran high; and I had not been
three days at Cambridge before I heard Trevanion's name. Newspapers,
therefore, had their charms for me. Trevanion's prophecy about
himself seemed about to be fulfilled. There were rumours of changes
in the cabinet. Trevanion's name was bandied to and fro, struck
from praise to blame, high and low, as a shuttlecock. Still the
changes were not made, and the cabinet held firm. Not a word in the
_Morning Post_, under the head of _fashionable intelligence_, as to
rumours that would have agitated me more than the rise and fall of
governments--no hint of "the speedy nuptials of the daughter and
sole heiress of a distinguished and wealthy commoner:" only now and
then, in enumerating the circle of brilliant guests at the house of
some party chief, I gulped back the heart that rushed to my lips,
when I saw the names of Lady Ellinor and Miss Trevanion.

But amongst all that prolific progeny of the periodical
press--remote offspring of my great namesake and ancestor, (for I
hold the faith of my father,)--where was the _Literary Times_?--what
had so long retarded its promised blossoms? Not a leaf in the shape
of advertisements had yet emerged from its mother earth. I hoped
from my heart that the whole thing was abandoned, and would not
mention it in my letters home, lest I should revive the mere idea of
it. But, in default of the _Literary Times_, there did appear a new
journal, a daily journal too; a tall, slender, and meagre stripling,
with a vast head, by way of prospectus, which protruded itself for
three weeks successively at the top of the leading article;--with
a fine and subtle body of paragraphs;--and the smallest legs, in
the way of advertisements, that any poor newspaper ever stood upon!
And yet this attenuated journal had a plump and plethoric title, a
title that smacked of turtle and venison; an aldermanic, portly,
grandiose, Falstaffian title--it was called THE CAPITALIST. And all
those fine subtle paragraphs were larded out with receipts how to
make money. There was an El Dorado in every sentence. To believe
that paper, you would think no man had ever yet found a proper
return for his pounds, shillings, and pence. You would have turned
up your nose at twenty per cent. There was a great deal about
Ireland--not her wrongs, thank Heaven! but her fisheries: a long
inquiry what had become of the pearls for which Britain was once
so famous: a learned disquisition upon certain lost gold mines now
happily rediscovered: a very ingenious proposition to turn London
smoke into manure, by a new chemical process: recommendations to
the poor to hatch chickens in ovens like the ancient Egyptians:
agricultural schemes for sowing the waste lands in England with
onions, upon the system adopted near Bedford, net produce one
hundred pounds an acre. In short, according to that paper, every
rood of ground might well maintain its man, and every shilling be
like Hobson's money-bag, "the fruitful parent of a hundred more."
For three days, at the newspaper room of the Union Club, men talked
of this journal: some pished, some sneered, some wondered; till
an ill-natured mathematician, who had just taken his degree, and
had spare time on his hands, sent a long letter to the _Morning
Chronicle_, showing up more blunders, in some article to which the
editor of _The Capitalist_ had specially invited attention, (unlucky
dog!) than would have paved the whole island of Laputa. After that
time, not a soul read _The Capitalist_. How long it dragged on its
existence I know not; but it certainly did not die of a _maladie de
langueur_.

Little thought I, when I joined in the laugh against _The
Capitalist_, that I ought rather to have followed it to its grave,
in black crape and weepers,--unfeeling wretch that I was! But, like
a poet, O _Capitalist_! thou wert not discovered, and appreciated,
and prized, and mourned, till thou wert dead and buried, and the
bill came in for thy monument!

The first term of my college life was just expiring, when I received
a letter from my mother, so agitated, so alarming, at first reading
so unintelligible, that I could only see that some great misfortune
had befallen us; and I stopped short and dropped on my knees, to
pray for the life and health of those whom that misfortune more
specially seemed to menace; and then--and then, towards the end of
the last blurred sentence--read twice, thrice, over--I could cry,
"Thank Heaven, thank Heaven! it is only, then, money after all!"



STATISTICAL ACCOUNTS OF SCOTLAND.


It is a term of very wide application, this of statistics--extending
to everything in the state of a country subject to variation either
from the energies and fancies of men, or from the operations of
nature, in so far as these, or the knowledge of them, has any
tendency to occasion change in the condition of the country. Its
elements must be either changeable in themselves, or the cause of
change; because the use of the whole matter is to direct men what
to do for their advantage, moral or physical--by legislation, when
the case is of sufficient magnitude--or otherwise by the wisdom and
enterprise of individuals.

Governments, it is plain, must have the greatest interest in
possessing knowledge of this sort; but they have not been the first
to engage very earnestly in obtaining it. It would seem that, in all
countries, the first very noticeable efforts in this way have been
made by individuals.

In this country we have now from government more and better
statistics than from any other source; for besides the decennial
census, there is the yearly produce in this way of Crown Commissions
and of Parliamentary Committees; and, moreover, there is the late
institution of a statistical department in connexion with the Board
of Trade, for arranging, digesting, and rendering more accessible
all matter of this kind collected, from time to time, by the
different branches of the administration. But before statistical
knowledge became the object of much care to the government of
this country, it had been well cultivated by individuals. So in
Germany statistics first took a scientific form in the works of an
individual about the middle of the last century: and in France,
the unfinished _Mémoires des Intendants_, prepared on the order
of the king, were scarcely an exception, since meant for the
private instruction of the young prince. But without attaching
undue importance to the fact of mere precedence, it may be said
that, considering the chief uses of this kind of knowledge, it has
received more contributions from individuals than could have been
expected.

This admits of being easily explained. It has been well said
that, while history is a sort of current statistics, statistics
are a sort of stationary history. The one has therefore much the
same invitations to mere literary taste as the other; and if the
subject be not so generally engaging, the fancy way be as strong,
and produce as pure a devotion to statistics as there ever is to
history. More than this, the statist may care far less for his
subject than its uses,--that is, he may choose to undergo the toil
of researches only recommended by the chance of their ministering
to the better guidance of some part of public policy, and therefore
to the public good. The impulse is then not literary; nor is it
legislative, for the power is wanting; it is simply patriotic, for
so it must be considered, even when, in the words of Mr M'Culloch,
the object is only "to bring under the public view the deficiencies
in statistical information, and so to contribute to the advancement
of the science."

This public nature of the aim of statistical works, and the
unlikelihood of their authors choosing that medium to set forth
anything supposed worthy of notice in the figure of their own
genius, seem to have been recognised, except in rare instances, as
giving to works of this kind a title to be well received, and to
have their faults very gently remarked.

Again, it might be expected that the statistics of individuals
should have a more limited range than those of governments; that
they should refer to districts of less extent; and to the state
of the country in fewer of its aspects. But the case is somewhat
different. The statistics of individuals are often more national
than local, and generally consist of many branches presented in some
connexion; while those of governments are commonly confined to the
single department on which some question of policy may chance for
the time to have fixed attention.

On the occasion mentioned, the inquiries instituted in France were
not so confined, but embraced all the points of chief interest in
the state of the country. In England, nothing similar has been
attempted; although, some years ago, it is known that a proposal to
institute a general survey of Ireland--on the plan, we believe, of
the Ordnance Survey of the parish of Templemore--was for some time
under consideration of the government.

On the other hand, the instances of individual enterprise in this
way to a national extent are numerous, both at home and abroad.
Among the latter, Aucherwall gives the first example, and Peuchet
probably the best; both treating of the country not in parts but
as a whole,--not in one respect but in many. Of the same sort are
the excellent statistical works of Colquhoun, M'Culloch, Porter,
and others, relating to the British empire, and directed to many
aspects of its condition. To these we add the _Statistical Account
of Scotland_,--occupied with as many or more matters of inquiry,
but not so properly national, since viewing not the country
collectively, but its parochial divisions in succession.

One advantage belongs to the collection of statistics upon many
points, which is not found in those that are limited to one. It is
remarked by Schlozer in his _Theorie der Statistik_, that "there
are many facts seemingly of no value, but which become important
as soon as you combine them with other facts, it may be of quite
another class. The affinities subsisting among these facts are
discovered by the talent and genius of the statist; and the more
various the knowledge he possesses, with so much the more success
he will perform this last and crowning part of his task." The
observation need not be confined to facts apparently unimportant:
for even those, whose importance is at once perceived, may acquire
a new value from a skilful collation. In either case, there seems
a necessity for remitting the detached statistics collected by
government to some such department as that in connexion with the
Board of Trade; otherwise, the works of individual statists must
continue to afford the only opportunity of tracing the latent
relations of one branch of statistics to another.

The individual, however, who attempts so much, is in hazard
of attempting more than any individual can well perform. For,
besides this, he has to make another effort quite distinct--in the
investigation of facts. All the needed scientific knowledge he
may possess; but the same sufficiency of local or topographical
knowledge is not supposable. The work so produced, therefore,
cannot easily avoid the defects, either of error in the details
of some branch, of unequal development of the parts, or of a
superficial treatment of the whole. Against these dangers some
writers have had recourse to assistance, inviting contributions from
others favoured with better means of information than themselves;
and to them attributing, in so far as they assisted, the entire
merit and responsibility of the work.

This transference of responsibility is warranted by the necessity
of the case--but it is unusual; and as it scarcely occurs except in
works of the kind in question, it may happen that even a professing
judge of such works, if the habit of attention be not good, may
entirely overlook the circumstance.

In the _Statistical Account of Scotland_, the obligation to
individual contributions has been carried to the greatest extent;
indeed, it is simply a collection of such contributions, and nothing
more. This part of the plan was necessitated by another, in which
the work is equally peculiar--namely, the distinct treatment of
smaller divisions of the country, than have been taken up in any
other work of the kind, having an entire country for its object.
To obtain a body of parochial statistics, it was necessary to
have recourse to persons well acquainted with the bounds, and
intelligent, at the same time, upon the various subjects of inquiry.
But to find such in nine hundred parishes would, of itself, have
required much of that local knowledge, the want of which was the
occasion of the search--had there not been a class or order of men
among whom the desired qualification, in many points, might be
supposed to be pretty generally diffused; and from whose favour to a
project of public usefulness much aid might be expected. It was in
this manner that the co-operation of the parochial clergy came to be
suggested.

The _Statistical Account of Scotland_ was originated, promoted,
and superintended by the late Sir John Sinclair. The authors of
such works, as one of the best of them remarks, should be careful
to explain their motives in undertaking it--we presume, because
undertakings of the kind are felt to be scarcely an affair of
individuals. In this instance, a desire to promote the public good
was at once professed and accredited by many other acts apparently
inspired by the same sentiment. The devotion of Sir John Sinclair's
life in that direction was complete, and the example uncommon.
In this a late reviewer perceives nothing more than a restless
pursuit of plans of no further interest to himself than as they
bore the inscription of his own name. But whenever public spirit is
professed, and by anything like useful acts attested, our faith, we
think, should be more generous. On such occasions, if on any, it is
right to waive all speculation upon private motives, and to presume
the best--for reasons so well understood in general that they do
not need to be explained. But if genius, with a bent to that sort
of penetration, must have its freedom, we do demand that some token
should appear of a belief in the possibility of the virtue which is
denied.

It does not improve the grace of any such judgments that they are
passed fifty years after the occasion; for, in the meantime, the
work may have acquired merits which could not belong to it at
first:--and so it has happened with the _Statistical Account_ of Sir
John Sinclair. Results may be fairly ascribed to that performance
which were not intended nor foreseen, and which seem to have come
from its very defects, as well as from the defects which it revealed
in the condition of the country, and in the means of ascertaining
what the condition of the country was. Its population-statistics
were extremely imperfect; the census followed in a very few years.
Its scanty and unequal notices of agriculture suggested the project
of the County Reports; and to these succeeded the _General Report of
Scotland_--a work still useful, and of the first authority in much
that relates to the agriculture and other industry of the country.
To take advantage of those capabilities which the statistical
accounts had shown his country to possess, Sir John Sinclair
originated the Agricultural Society. All of those things, and more,
appear to have resulted from the _Statistical Account_. They
are honours that have arisen to it in the course of time, and may
be fairly permitted to mitigate the notice and recollection of its
faults.

After the lapse of fifty years, Scotland had ceased to be the
country represented in the old _Statistical Account_; for the
greater part of what is proper to such a work is, as we have said,
changeable and changing. It contained not a little, however, which
remained as true and as interesting as at first: the topography,
the physical characters, the civil divisions of the country were
the same; all that had been said of its history, whether local or
general, might be said again as seasonably as before. It occurred,
then, to those to whom the author had presented the right of this
work, to attempt to restore it in those parts which time had
rendered useless, preserving those which were under no disadvantage
from that cause. This, as we learn, was the plain, unambitious
intention of the _New Statistical Account of Scotland_. It was
projected and carried on during ten years by a Society, whose object
it is to afford aid, where aid is needed, in the education of the
children of the clergy of the Church of Scotland. Nothing could be
more foreign to that object than to engage in a work of national
statistics; nothing more natural than that, in their relation to
the clergy, and with their interest in the first work, they should
propose to renew it in the manner mentioned. A society expressly
formed for statistical purposes, and not restrained like the Society
for the Sons and Daughters of the Clergy, would probably have
proposed something different--something more new; it might have
been expected to produce something more excellent--though, even
in that case, the demand of excellence would have been limited by
the consideration, that the means of completely investigating the
statistics of a country are not at the command of any statistical
society that exists. A modernisation, so to speak, of the first work
appears to have been the idea of the second.

It has been executed, however, in the freest style, and scarcely
admitted, indeed, of being accomplished at all in any other manner.
In such cases, it is seldom that the adaptation is effected by
mere numerical changes; the whole statement, in form, manner, and
substance, behoves to be remodelled. Then, certain parts of the
original may have been deficient, and become more evidently so by
the changes that have since ensued in the state of the object: here
the task is less one of correction than of supplement. For example,
the very interesting and full accounts of mining and manufacturing
industry which abound in the new work are nearly peculiar to it,
and have scarcely an example in the old. One entire section of the
latter, that of natural history, has been developed to an extent
not attempted in the former, nor indeed in any other statistical
work. These are rather noticeable licenses, on the supposition of
the aim being as moderate as professed, and they go far to form a
new and independent work--having nothing in common with the first,
except the parochial divisions and the obligation to the clergy, as
respects the plan; and as respects the matter, only the small part
of it which is historical, and therefore not obsolete.

We observe, accordingly, that the society who promoted the new work
have put it forward as taking some things from the old, for which
they are not responsible, but as containing far more which must form
a new and separate character for itself. In both respects, we think
they have viewed the work with a proper reference to the conditions
under which it was produced.

In other points, the new Account has improved upon the old, and
might be expected to do so. It has more matter, by a third part,
neither less suited to the place, nor more diffuse in the statement;
and, as befits a work of reference, the arrangement is more orderly
and more uniform. It is, on the whole, more carefully and better
written, and shows, on the part of the reverend contributors, a
remarkable advance in the many sorts of knowledge requisite to the
task. If the comparison were pursued further, it might be said that
some contributions to the first are not surpassed in the value of
what they contain; while, from the greater novelty of the task at
that time, as well as from the greater freedom of the method, they
are somewhat fresher and more genial in manner. The later work, if
fuller, more exact, more statistical throughout, possesses that
advantage at the cost of appearing sometimes more like a collection
of returns in answer to submitted points of inquiry,--a character,
however, by no means unsuitable to a compilation of the kind. In all
other points a decided superiority must be attributed to the new
Account.

Our remarks at this time shall be confined to the plan of the new
Account, and to the general description of its contents.[6]

  [6] _The New statistical Account of Scotland._ In 15 vols.
  Edinburgh, 1845.

The chief feature of the plan is the distinct treatment of each
parish--producing a body neither of county nor of national, but
merely of parochial statistics. This was the design, and there
is much to recommend it. It is the last thing that can take the
aspect of a fault in statistics, to view the matter in very minute
portions; for thus, and thus only, it is possible to arrive at
an accurate knowledge of the whole. There can be no good county
statistics which do not suppose inquiries limited, at first, to
lesser divisions of the country, and which do not express the sum
of particulars taken from subdivisions that can hardly proceed too
far. If such minor surveys do not come before the public, they are
presumptively carried on in private. But, in the latter case, they
are the more apt to be superficial, as they can be so with the
less chance of being noticed; they are apt to take aid from mere
computation of averages; they are apt, also, to result in that vague
description which is the master-vice of statistics. "In this town,
there are manufactures which employ _many_ hands; in this district,
_vast_ quantities of silk are produced. These," says Schlozer, "are
pet phrases of tourists, who would say something, when they know
nothing; but they are not the language of statistics." The parochial
method stands, then, on two good grounds: it is inevitable either
in an open or a latent form; and it favours the collection of
sufficient data for those specific enumerations which are the true
worth and the characteristic grace of this branch of knowledge.

This plan, however, has some disadvantages; in referring to which we
shall find occasion to bring to view some of the proper merits of
the work.

In the first place, a work on this plan is inevitably voluminous.
The territorial divisions submitted to distinct treatment are about
nine hundred in number, and the matter is still further augmented by
the occasional assignment to different hands of different parts of
the survey of a single parish. In proportion to the descent of the
details, is the bulk of the production; which we suppose to be an
evil in the same measure in which it exceeds the necessity of the
case. Now the _New Statistical Account_ is at once seen to contain
not a little matter of merely local interest, and of the smallest
value considered as pertaining to a body of national statistics;
and here, if anywhere, it is apt to be regarded as at fault. It
is right, however, to recollect the privilege of every work to
be judged according to the conditions of the species to which it
belongs. The present is not set forth as a statistical account of
Scotland, but as a collection of the statistical accounts of all the
parishes in Scotland; for this, we perceive, is not merely implied
in the plan of the work, but is declared in the prospectus, where
the hope is expressed that, by exhibiting the actual state of the
parishes, with whatever is therein amiss, it may lead to parochial
improvements. It does not appear, therefore, to have been from any
miscalculation of their worth, that matters of merely local interest
have been so liberally admitted; and, all things considered, more of
that nature might have been expected. Let us quote again from the
best theory of statistics that has ever been produced. "An object
may be deserving of remark in the description of some particular
portion of a country, and at the same time have no claim to notice
in any general account of that country at large. In the former
case, the rivulet is not to be omitted; in the latter, any allusion
to it would be a defect, for it would be matter of unnecessary
and trifling detail."[7] It is recorded, in the _New Statistical
Account_, that "Will-o'-wisp had never appeared in the parish of
South Uist previous to the year 1812." Nothing, in a national point
of view, can be conceived more insignificant than this fact; but,
taken in connexion with a notable superstition in that district, its
local importance appears.[8] To the credit of this method, it may be
noticed, that the accounts which are most parochial are, at the same
time, among those which have been drawn up with the most general
intelligence; and, this being the case, it is not a strange wish
that the accounts, in general, had been somewhat more parochial than
they are.

  [7] Schlozer.

  [8] "It is said that a woman in Benbecula went at night to the
  Sandbanks, to dig for some roe used for dyeing a red colour,
  against her husband's will; that, when she left her house, she
  said with an oath she would bring some of it home, though she knew
  there was a regulation by the factor and magistrates, prohibiting
  people to use it or dig for it, by reason that the sandbanks, upon
  being excavated, would be blown away with the wind. The woman
  never returned home, nor was her body ever found. It was shortly
  thereafter that the meteor was first seen; and it is said that it is
  the ghost of the unfortunate and profane woman that appears in this
  shape."--_New Statistical Account_, "Inverness," p. 184.

On this plan, it is certain there is a risk of much repetition, many
parishes having some common characterists which, in place of being
recounted for each, might be stated once for all. How far does the
_Statistical Account_ offend in this manner? It is true that, where
the same facts occur in many parishes, a single statement might
suffice; though this might be at the cost of violating the plan
which for the whole it might be fittest to adopt, upon consideration
that the like resemblance is not found among the greater number of
the parishes. But it is remarkable, how seldom different parishes
have all the similarity requisite for such a common description;
for, in statistics, a difference in mere number or quantity is
a vital difference, and expresses essentially different facts.
Many parishes have the same articles of produce; while no two
produce exactly the same quantities. A very short distance often
brings to view considerable varieties in climate, soil, and other
physical qualities of a country. Now, considering that the object
of this work is to present the parishes in their distinguishing,
as well as in their common features, we do not see much sameness
in the substance of the details which could have been avoided. A
sameness there is; but more in form than in substance--each account
delivering its matter under the same general heads, recurring in
all cases in exactly the same order. This is convenient when the
book is used for reference; it may be wearisome to one who reads
only for amusement: it is monotonous; but who looks for any "soul of
harmony" in such a quarter? We repeat, it is not attended, on the
whole, with much importunate reappearance of the same facts, and
cannot seem to be so, except to a very careless or distempered eye.
But if, perchance, there may be some facts much alike in several
parishes, this itself is an unusual fact, and we should not object
to its coming out in the usual way of each parish speaking for
itself; in which case, there is always a chance of some variety in
the description, from the same thing presenting itself to different
persons under different aspects. But, on the whole, we think there
is less repetition in these accounts, and indeed less occasion for
it, than might at first sight be supposed.

There is another obvious tendency to imperfection in the plan of
parochial accounts. Their first, but not their sole object, is
to describe the parishes; it is certainly meant that they should
furnish, at the same time, the grounds of statistical computation
for the whole country. This is the natural complement and the
proper conclusion to a work of parish statistics. It is, however,
a part of the plan which, not being quite necessary, and requiring
a fresh effort at the last, is apt to be omitted. It was not till
twenty-five years after the publication of the old Account that Sir
John Sinclair at length produced his _Analysis of the Statistical
Account of Scotland considered as one District_. It came too late. A
similar analysis or summary appears to have been at first intended
for the new Account: and we regret that this part of the design was,
by force of circumstances, not carried into effect. One use of it
would have been to evince that parochial statistics do not assume
the character of national; while yet, for even national statistics,
they furnish the most proper foundation. To pass at once, however,
from parochial to national statistics would have been too great a
step; there is an intermediate stage, at which the new Account would
certainly have paused, though it had designed to proceed farther;
and at which, without that design, it has here rested; presenting
the statistics of each county in a summary of the more important
particulars concerning the included parishes; but making no nearer
approach to any general computations for the country at large.

The method of proceeding from parishes to counties suggests that
other plan for the entire work, which would have followed the
opposite course--the plan that would have begun with counties, and
given County, not Parochial reports. Somewhat in this fashion has
been formed the _Géographie Départementale_ of France, now in course
of publication, in which the whole matter is rigorously subjected
to as skilful an arrangement as has ever been devised for matters
of the kind. It is plain, however, that greater difficulty and more
expense would have attended the construction of the Scotch work on
that scheme, than private parties could have undertaken; and even
the example of the French work does not show that, for the compacter
method thus obtained, there might not have been a sacrifice of much
that is valuable in detail.

It may be added, that when parishes are well described, and a county
or more general summary succeeds, we ask no more; a work like this
has then accomplished its object, and what remains must be sought
for elsewhere. What remains is this--to interpret the statistics
thus laid down, for they are often very far from interpreting
themselves; to ascertain, by analysis or combination of their
different parts, what they signify in regard to the condition of
the country. Thus, betwixt the rate of wages and the habits of a
people--the prevailing occupations and the rate of mortality--the
description of industry and the amount of pauperism--there are
relations which it is exceedingly important to remark. But if a
statistical account simply notes the kind, number, or quantity of
each of these particulars, it performs its part,--no matter how
blindly, how unconsciously of the relation that subsists betwixt
them, this may be done. The rest is so different a work, that it
must be left to other hands. It is not to be forgotten, that, for
bringing out the more latent truths of statistics in the manner
mentioned, a work like this is merely _pour servir_; and, keeping
that in view, our prepossessions are all in favour of abundance and
minuteness of detail.

Lastly, a work made up of contributions from nine hundred
individuals must be of unequal merit, according to the different
measures of intelligence or care, and according to the feeling with
which a task of that nature may happen to have been undertaken. A
slight inspection, accordingly, discovers that it is the character
of the writer, more than of the parish, that determines the length
and interest of any one of these reports. This is an imperfection,
and something more--for it makes one part of the book, by
implication, reveal the defects of another. A few years ago, when
a Crown commission considered a project for a general survey and
statistical report of Ireland, their attention was much attracted
to the _New Statistical Account of Scotland_; and, in their report,
they notice, in the course of a very fair estimate, this inequality
as the main disadvantage of the plan. It is, however, inevitable,
except upon a scheme which, from the expense attending it, would
have hindered the existence of the Scottish work, and which appears
to have prevented or postponed the Irish. From a single author,
something like proportion might be expected in the parts of such a
compilation; but to that perfection a work like the _Statistical
Account of Scotland_, with its hundreds of avowed responsible, and
therefore uncontrolled authors, could not pretend. For this reason,
it is the more proper to follow a rule of judgment which, in any
case, is a good one:--to estimate the general character of the work
with a lively recollection of its merits; and to be much upon our
guard against the mean instinct of looking only to the weaker and
more peccant parts of it.

Passing from the plan to the matter of the work, we now ask, whether
all that it contains is properly statistical, and whether it
contains all of any consequence that falls under that description.

Nothing, we suppose, is alien to this branch of knowledge that
tends, in however little, to show the state of a country--social,
political, moral--or even physical.

But this last, comprising somewhat of geography and natural history,
some writers would remove entirely from the sphere of statistics.
Among these is Peuchet, in his work before mentioned--who gives as
the reason of the exclusion, that, in any analysis of the wealth or
power of a state, neither its geography nor natural history ever
come into view: a fact rather hastily assumed. The parallel work for
this country, by Mr. M'Culloch, while it follows Peuchet's method
in much, leaves it in this instance, admitting various branches of
natural history to ample consideration. It is true that trespass
on the proper ground of statistics has been so common an offence,
that writers have been careful to mark those cases in which no title
exists. Thus Schlozer, looking to the intrusions that come from
the quarter we refer to, is averse to all imaginative descriptions
of the physical aspect of a country, but does not prohibit
natural history. Hogel, who also writes well upon the theory of
statistics,[9] is more explicit--admitting that natural history may
encroach too far, but asserting that its several branches may be
received to a certain extent. "Whatever, in the physical nature of a
country, has any influence upon the life, occupations, or manners of
the people, pertains to statistics; by all means, therefore, in any
body of statistics, let us have as much of mineralogy, hydrology,
botany, geology, meteorology, as has any bearing upon the condition
of the people." All of these subjects have been allowed to enter
largely into the _New Statistical Account_.

  [9] HOGEL, _Entwurf zur Theorie der Statistik_.

They form a feature of that work which scarcely belonged to the
old Account, and which is new, indeed, to parochial statistics.
Investigations of natural history have usually been carried on with
reference to other bounds than those of parishes; but, when confined
to parishes, it is remarkable how much this has been at once for the
advantage of the science, and for the enhancement of any interest in
these territorial divisions by the picturesque mixture of natural
objects with the works and pursuits of men. More of this parochial
treatment of natural history we may possibly have hereafter, upon
the suggestion of the _Statistical Account_.

For the abundant favour which the work has shown to the whole
subject of natural history, reasons are not wanting. One portion
of that matter has obviously the quality that designates for
statistical treatment,--comprising, for example, mines, whether
wrought or unwrought; animals, profitable or destructive; plants, in
all their variety of uses: the connexion of which with the wealth
and industry of the country is at once apparent. The same connexion
exists for another class of objects; but not so obviously. For
example, there is a detailed account of the flowering periods of
a variety of plants in one parish; the pertinence of which is not
perceived, until it is mentioned that, in the same neighbourhood,
there are two populous and well-frequented watering-places, which
owe their prosperity to the qualities of the climate: there the
trade of the locality connects itself with the early honours of the
hepaticas. A third class of facts, and not the least in amount,
is not qualified by any relation they are known to possess to the
social condition of the country; but then they belong to a body
of facts, some of which have that relation; and the same may be
established for them hereafter. Still, it may be said that the
matter, if appropriate, behoves to be presented in a statistical,
not in a scientific form. But this, perhaps, is to interpret too
strictly the laws of statistical writing, which do not seem to
forbid the predominance of a scientific interest in the description,
when the matter fairly belongs to the province of statistics. And if
any license at all may be allowed in works of so severe a character,
it is precisely here where that is least unbefitting. It is not
among the faults of the _New Statistical Account_, but rather among
its most interesting features, that the mineral resources of the
country are so often described with all the skill and passion of the
mineralogist, forgetting for the moment everything but the phenomena
of nature.

Under the head of Natural History, we have many instances of the
landscape painting proscribed by Schlozer. But it is remarked,
that the same authority, when adverting to another matter, lays
down a principle of admission which is equally applicable here.
"Antiquities," he observes, "become a proper subject of statistics
in such a case as that of Rome, where a large amount of money was at
one time annually expended by the strangers who came to form their
taste, or to indulge their curiosity, upon the remains of ancient
art." In like manner, if there are places in Scotland that profit
economically by the attractions of their natural beauty, we do
not see that there is any obligation to be silent upon the cause,
by reason merely of the seeming dissonance betwixt an imaginative
description and the austere account of statistics. Other and better
apologies might be offered; and, on the whole, we are not satisfied
that, in this respect, any less indulgence of the gentler vein would
have been attended with advantage to the work.

On these grounds it appears to have been, that so much scope is
allowed to the whole subject of natural history. But if too much,
the fault has been redeemed by the frequent excellence of what is
put forth on that head. Here the _New Statistical Account_ passes
expectation; and to it we may attribute much of the increased
interest that has lately attached to that branch of knowledge in
Scotland.

Another thing of questionable connexion with statistics is
history, which imports a reference to the past; whereas, as the
name declares, statistics contemplates but the present, and can
look neither backward nor forward, without trenching upon other
provinces. Many excellent statistical works, accordingly, have
allowed no place to history at all; and the writers before cited,
on the theory of the subject, concur in excluding it. Hogel is most
explicit. "Statistics never go beyond the circle of the present
in their representations of the condition of a country: they are
like painting--they fix upon a single point of time; and the facts
which they select are those which come last in the series, though
the series they belong to may extend backwards for ages. All that
went before rests on testimony, and is therefore beyond the sphere
of statistics, whose grounds are in actual observation. There is
no limit to the number of facts with which statistics have to do,
provided they are co-existing facts, and do not present themselves
in succession: facts, and not their causes, are the proper matter
of statistics; and they must be facts of the present time." This
doctrine, in which there seems nothing in the main amiss, if
strictly applied to the work under consideration, cancels a large
part of it. But against that consequence we can suppose it to
be pleaded--First, that for relief from a continuity of details
somewhat arid to many readers, the work borrows something from a
neighbouring branch of knowledge, and so far, of purpose, drops its
statistical character--the more allowably, as in this way no harm
ensues to the statistical character of the rest. And next--that
all the history of a place has not equally little to do with its
present state; for past events are often, casually or otherwise,
related to the present, and so become a fair subject of retrospect,
unless restraints are to be imposed on this branch of knowledge
which are unknown to any other. The fault, in this instance, is at
least not so great, as where no discoverable relation exists. It
may be worth while, then, to observe how far the historical matter
of the _Statistical Account_ does show any connexion of the sort in
question.

It includes, under the head of history, various classes of
particulars. 1. The parish has been the scene of some event
remarkable in the history of the country. Of this, perhaps, distinct
traces remain, not in memory alone, but in some local custom or
institution. But the most common case is, that, as the range extends
to the remotest periods, all influence or effect of the event has
ceased, and the interest of its recital is purely historical. Here
the _Statistical Account_ transgresses one rule of such a work by
the admission of such matter, and asks, as we perceive it does ask
in the prospectus, liberty to do so on one of the grounds above
suggested.

2. The same apology is required for the antiquities, that form a
large section under this head. These have sometimes perceptibly the
connexion that gives the title we desire; a connexion, perhaps, no
more than perceptible. Thus, in reference to the round hill in the
parish of Tarbolton, on which the god Thor was anciently worshipped,
we are told that, "on the evening before the June fair, a piece of
fuel is still demanded at each house, and invariably given, even by
the poorest inhabitant," in order to celebrate the form of the same
superstitious rite which has been annually performed on that hill
for many centuries. The famous Pictish tower at Abernethy is said
to be used "for civil purposes connected with the burgh." In these
cases it is seen how very slight is the qualifying circumstance; but
it is still more so for much the greater number of particulars of
this kind which the book contains--such as ancient coins, ancient
armour, barrows, standing-stones, camps, or moat hills: all of which
particularly belong to archæology, and obtain a place here simply
by favour. Indeed, no part of the work adheres to it so loosely as
this of antiquities. Their objects live as curiosities; but, to all
intents that can recommend them to the notice of statistics, they
are dead, "and to be so extant is but a fallacy in duration."

If this portion of the matter be the least appropriate, it is, at
the same time, not the least difficult to handle; for uncertainty
besets a very great part of it, and nothing more tries the reach of
knowledge than conjecture. Besides, the knowledge here requisite
implies both taste and opportunities for its cultivation,--which may
belong to individuals, but which cannot be attributed to an entire
profession, spread over all parts of the country, and designated
to very different studies. If antiquities could be considered as
a main part of statistics, it is, assuredly, not to the clergy we
should look for a statistical account; nor indeed to any other
body, however learned, if it be not the Society of Antiquaries. The
clergyman who honours his profession with the greatest amount of
appropriate learning, may in this particular know but little; and if
we do not, on that account, the less value him, it is assuredly not
from undervaluing in the slightest degree a very interesting branch
of knowledge.

In these circumstances, the reasons for allowing to antiquities
so much of this compilation appear to have been,--the compelling
example of the old Account, the occasional aptness of the matter,
and the effect of such a _mélange_ upon the mass of details that
form the body of the work. But a better apology remains; and
it may be extended to what is said of the remarkable events of
history. We are warranted in saying, that the _New Statistical
Account_ has contributed much to the history and antiquities of
Scotland,--evincing on these subjects a frequent novelty and fulness
of knowledge far surpassing what either the design or the apparatus
of the undertaking gave any title to expect.

Of one fault, in particular, there is no appearance in the
archæology of this work. Nowhere is there any sign of an
idiosyncracy which is not without example--that of professing to
speak of statistics, and yet speaking of nothing but antiquities;
as if these, which are saved with so much difficulty from the
charge of being wholly out of place, were the pith and marrow, the
most vital part of any body of statistics. This is a small merit,
but it is allied to a greater. Throughout these volumes, there is
no tendency to discuss such futile questions as have sometimes
lowered the credit of antiquarian pursuits. We have seen it solemnly
inquired, whether Æneas, upon landing in Italy, touched the soil
with the right or with the left foot foremost; whether Karl Haco
was in person present at the sacrifice of his son; whether a faded
inscription upon the walls of an old church be of this import or
that--in either case the interest having so little to support it
in the significance of the record that it can scarce be imagined
to exist at all, except as it may centre in the mere truth of
the deciphering. Nothing of this doting, degenerate character,
repudiated by all antiquaries, occurs in the _Statistical Account_:
if it did, the sum of all the errors in names, dates, and other
things, inevitably incident to so vast a variety of details, would
not have been an equal blemish.

It is probable that neither history nor antiquities will find a
place in any future statistics of Scotland. Not that they have
been enough examined either in that connexion, or elsewhere; but
it is now common to make them the subject of separate, independent
essays--the most proper form for the delivery of anything that
pertains to such matters. The good service done in this department,
by both of these Accounts, now falls to be performed by such works
as the "Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland,"[10]
which have this for their single object; and the presumption is only
fair, that some further light on such matters may be contributed by
the "Parochiale Scoticanum," lately announced as in the course of
preparation[11]--though our expectations would not have been at all
lessened by a somewhat less magnificent promise than that "every
man in Scotland may be enabled to ascertain, with some precision,
the first footing and _gradual progress of Christianity_ in his own
district and neighbourhood."

  [10] _The Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Scotland._
  Illustrated by R. W. BILLINGS, and WILLIAM BURN.

  [11] Prospectus _Parochiale Scoticanum_, now editing by COSMO INNES,
  Esq., Advocate.

It is not to be supposed, however, that some other topics which
regularly appear in this New Account, under the head of history,
will ever drop from any work of parochial statistics. We refer to
what may be termed Parish History, as distinct from what belongs to
the history of the country,--notices of distinguished individuals
and of ancient families, changes of property, territorial
improvements, variations in the social state of the people. No
part of a book is more novel, or, to a proper curiosity, more
interesting; and no indication is needed of the fair incidence of
such matters to a work of this description.

If the _New Statistical Account_ contains, then, some particulars
not quite proper to the professed object, the excess appears to
be on the whole venial. But it may still be asked, whether any
important and proper matters appear to have been omitted.

Now, considering how many things of nature, art, institutions, and
industry pertain to statistics, we do not expect any compilation to
embrace all, or to treat completely of all such things as it does
embrace,--we expect imperfection in the details.

Accordingly, it is seen that some subjects well described in some
accounts, are either not at all, or not so fully, taken up in
others; while yet the occasion may be much the same. The climate
of some districts, for instance, is well illustrated by careful
observations from the rain-gage and thermometer; in some parishes we
are informed of the size of the agricultural possessions, the number
of ploughs, the rent of land; in some, manufactories, mines, and
other kinds of industry, are viewed in all their aspects. But, for
other districts or parishes, reports on these subjects are wanting;
and the disadvantage is, not merely that such desirable information
is not given for such places, but that the means are not furnished
of making any general computations for the whole country. It is
plain there have been special reasons for the less satisfactory
representation of particular parishes in these respects: but for all
such faults, both of omission and imperfection, we understand the
_New Statistical Account_ to have one general apology; which is this.

Two distinct efforts are requisite to the preparation of a
comprehensive work of statistics. There is first, the investigation
of facts; and next, the task of arranging and presenting them in
the report. One of the theorists before-mentioned, views it as
a necessary division of labour, that both things should not be
attempted by one and the same party,--especially as the first, when
the subjects are numerous, is not to be accomplished but by the
assistance of many hands--all of which, as he observes, must be at
once skilful and suitably rewarded. Now, here, the task of inquiring
and reporting was not divided; the whole of it was placed, by the
necessities of the case, in the hands of the reverend contributors.
But, as no private society had the means or authority to investigate
the facts completely, it is urged that the defects to which we have
alluded, were for the most part inevitable.

We believe it; and, recognising how much the clergy had thus to
do, which could only be done completely by the government, we only
advert to the sources of information to which they could have
recourse.

_Public documents_ seem to have been consulted, when information
of a later date could not be had,--and chiefly the parliamentary
reports on population, crime, education, and municipal affairs, from
which the parish accounts appear to have been supplemented with
whatever was necessary to the completion of the county summaries.
Much has also been derived from the reports of Societies, Boards,
and mercantile companies; of this there is evidence in the account
of every considerable town.

_Public records_ appear also to have been examined, and chiefly the
parish registers. Every parish has a record of the transactions of
its kirk-session,--sometimes extending to distant periods. Extracts
from these occasionally show, in a clear light, the state and
manners of the country in former times; more of which authentic
illustration we could have wished, and more the same sources
might possibly have supplied. Most parishes have also records of
births or baptisms, marriages and deaths. From these, and these
only, this work could derive the elements of its important section
of vital statistics; but how far were they fitted to serve that
purpose? It is certain that they nowhere form a complete register
of these occurrences, and that for the most part they are very
defective. Baptisms appear to have been entered, in the parish
register, regularly till the year 1783, when the imposition of
a small tax first broke the custom of registration; and, when
that tax was removed, dissenting bodies were unwilling to resume
the practice. The proportion of registered baptisms to births,
for instance, is at the present time not more than one fourth in
Edinburgh, and one third in Glasgow. The marriage register is also
unavailable to statistical purposes, by reason of the practice of
double enrolment--in the parish of each party. In many parishes no
record of burials exists: in others, those of paupers are omitted.
In short, there is scarcely a country in Europe that does not, by
proper arrangements, furnish better information on these important
points; and no industry of individuals can remedy that defect. It is
therefore among the postulates of a work like this, for Scotland,
that its vital statistics should be imperfect.

_Books_ relating to the history, civil or natural, the institutions
or manners of the country, have in many instances been well
consulted; in some, not at all; but probably as much from want of
opportunity as from any other cause.

Still much occasion for inquiry remained after all the use that
could be made of reports, registers, and books. Much of what related
to the institutions of Religion, education, and the poor, might
be supposed to come readily to hand, the clergy themselves being
most conversant with such matters. But they appear to have charged
themselves with the toil of very different investigations. Some
have been at the pains to ascertain the amount and occupations of
the population, betwixt the decennial terms of the parliamentary
census. Few have omitted to state, in connexion with the agriculture
of the parish, the quantities of land under tillage or under wood,
in pasture or in moor, and the amount respectively of the different
kinds of produce--facts that imply not a little correspondence with
land-owners and land-occupiers, and much industry in the collation
of returns. They have had recourse, frequently, to mineralogists,
botanists, overseers of mining and manufacturing works, whose
contributions are of as much value as the fullest and ripest
knowledge can give. Picture-galleries are sometimes described by
their owners; family papers occasionally disclose facts of some
interest in the history of the country. Throughout the work there
are signs not to be mistaken, of much private and unwonted inquiry
on the part of the reverend authors, to do, in a creditable way, a
work that, from the nature of it, ought to have been apportioned to
at least two different parties.

The defects which remain only suggest to us the hope which was thus
expressed in similar circumstances, that "the circulation of this
work, by bringing the deficiencies in the means of statistical
information under the public view, and drawing attention to them,
may, in this respect, also contribute to the advancement of the
science." It is implied, of course, that the work, to be useful
in this indirect way, must have merits of another kind. On these
the _New Statistical Account_ may stand. No other book affords the
same insight into the various natural resources of the country;
none describes so well, and so skilfully, the most considerable
branches of industry, and the methods of conducting them; none has
brought together the same variety of statistics, with the same
ample means of speculating upon their mutual relations. It is still
more remarkable, that such a work, embracing, as it does, so much
beyond the usual sphere of their observation, should proceed from
the clergy; but the explanation is, that the position and character
of that body open to them the best means of information on many
subjects with which they are themselves not at all conversant. They
have produced here a work, which, as a collection of parochial
statistics, stands alone, without either rival or resemblance in any
other country, representing the state of Scotland, at the period to
which it refers, in all its aspects, and so affording the means of
a definite comparison between the past and the present, such as, in
all cases, it is at once natural and profitable to make. A peculiar
interest arises from the unusual diversity of the matter, and the
familiarity of the writers with the bounds which they describe.
It is a useful work, and will continue long to be so, in as many
ways as it throws light upon the condition of the country--and,
not least, in the local improvements to which its suggestions may
give rise. But, if its uses were less than they are, it would still
leave an impression of respect for the general intelligence and the
readiness to employ their opportunities for the public good, which
its authors have known to unite with exemplary devotion to the
duties of their calling.



THE POETRY OF SACRED AND LEGENDARY ART.

     _The Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art._ By Mrs JAMESON.


We are of the belief that art without poetry is worthless--dead,
and deadening; or, if it have vitality, there is no music in its
speech--no command in its beauty. We treat it with a kind of
contempt, and make apology for the pleasure it has afforded. _Sacred
and Legendary Art!_ How different--how precious--how life-bestowing!
The material and immaterial world linked, as it were, together by
a new sympathy, working out a tissue of beautiful ideas from the
golden threads of a Divine revelation! By _Sacred and Legendary Art_
is meant the treatment of religions subjects, commencing with the
Old Testament, and terminating in traditionary tales and legends. It
is from the latter that the old painters have, for the most part,
taken that rich poetry, which, glowing on the canvass, shows, even
amidst the wild errors of fable, a truth of sentiment belonging to a
purer faith.

By the Protestant mind, nursed, perhaps, in an undue contempt of
histories of saints and martyrs of the Romish Church, the treasures
of art of the best period are rarely understood, and still more
rarely felt, in the spirit in which they were conceived. Those for
whom they were painted needed no cold inquiry into the subjects.
They accepted them as things universally known and religiously to
be received, with a veneration which we but little comprehend. With
them pictures and statues were among their sacred things, and,
together with architecture, spoke and taught with an authority
that books, which then were rare in the people's hands, have since
scarcely ever obtained. Men of genius felt this respect paid to
their works, if denied too often to themselves; and thus to their
own devotion was added a kind of ministerial importance. Their work
became a duty, and was very frequently prosecuted as such by the
inmates of monasteries. Besides their works on a large scale, upon
the walls and in their cloisters, the ornamenting and illustrating
missals embodied a religious feeling, if in some degree peculiar to
the condition of the workers, of a vital form and beauty. Treasures
of this kind there are beyond number; but they have been hidden
treasures for ages. A Protestant contempt for their legends has
persecuted, with long hatred, and subsequent long indifference,
the art which glorified them. And now that we awake from this dull
state, and begin to estimate the poetry of religious art, we stand
before the noblest productions amazed and ignorant, and looking
for interpreters, and lose the opportunity of enjoyment in the
inquiry. Art is too valuable for all it gives, to allow this entire
ignorance of the subjects of its favourite treatment. If, for the
better understanding of heathen art, an acquaintance with classical
literature is thought to be a worthy attainment, the excellence of
what we may term Christian art surely renders it of importance that
we should know something about the subjects of which it treats. The
inquiry will repay us also in other respects, as well as with regard
to taste. If we would know ourselves, it is well to see the workings
of the human mind, under its every phase, its every condition. And
in such a study we shall be gratified, perhaps unexpectedly, to find
the good and the beautiful still shining through the obscurity of
many errors, predominant and influential upon our own hearts, and
scarcely wish the fabulous altogether removed from the minds of
those who receive it in devotion, lest great truth in feeling be
removed also. Indeed, the legends themselves are mostly harmless,
and, even as they become discredited, may be interpreted as not
unprofitable allegories. Had we not, in a Puritanic zeal, discarded
art with an iconoclast persecution, _The Pilgrim's Progress_ had
long ere this been a "golden legend" for the people, and spoken to
them in worthy illustration; nor would they have been religiously
or morally the worse had they been imbued with a thorough taste for
the graceful, the beautiful, and the sublime, which it is in the
power of well cultivated art to convey to every willing recipient.
It is a great mistake of a portion of the religious world to look
upon ornament as a sin or a superstition. Religion is not a bare and
unadorned thing, nor can it be so received without debasing, without
making too low and mean the worshipper for the worship. The "wedding
garment" was not the every-day wear. The poorest must not, of a
choice, appear in rags before the throne of Him who is clothed in
glory, nor with less respect of their own person than they would use
in the presence of their betters. It was originally of God's doing,
command, and dictation, to sanctify the beautiful in art, by making
his worship a subject for all embellishment. For such a purport
were the minute directions for the building of His temple. And yet
how many "religious" of our day contradict this feeling, which
seems to come to us, not only by a natural instinct, but with the
authority of a command! It is a deteriorated worship that prefers
four bare, unadorned, whitened walls of a mean conventicle to the
lofty and arched majesty and profuse enrichment of a Gothic minster.
We want every aid to lift every sense above our daily grovelling
cares, and ought to feel that we are acceptable and invited guests
in a house far too great, spacious, and magnificent for ourselves
alone. Even our humility should be sublime, as all true worship
is, for we would fain lift it up as an offering to the Heaven of
heavens. It has its aspect towards Him who deigns to receive,
together with consciousness of the lowliness of him that offers. It
is good that the eye and the ear should see and hear other sounds
and sights than concern things, not only of time, but of that poor
portion of it which hems in our daily wants and businesses. Beauty
and music are of and for eternity, and will never die; and in our
perception of them we make ourselves a part of all that is undying.
These are senses that the spiritualised body will not lose. Their
cultivation is a thing for ever; we are now even here the greater
for their possession in their human perfection. The wondrous pile
so elaborately finished; the choral service, the pealing organ, and
the low voice of prayer, and, it may be, angel forms and beatified
saints in richly-painted windows:--we do not believe all this to be
solely of man's invention, but of inspiration; how given we ask not,
seeing what is, and acknowledging a greatness around us far greater
than ourselves, and lifting up the full mind to a magnitude emulous
of angelic stature. Yes--poetic genius is a high gift, by which the
gifted make discoveries, and show high and great truths, and present
them, palpable and visible, before the world--by architecture,
by painting, by sculpture, by music--rendering religion itself
more holy by the inspiration of its service. Take a man out of
his common, so to speak, irreverent habit, and place him here to
live for a few moments in this religious atmosphere--how unlike is
he to himself, and how conscious of this self-unlikeness! Would
that our cathedrals were open at all times! Even when there is no
service, though that might be more frequent, there would be much
good communing with a man's own heart, when, turning away for a
while from worldly troubles and speculations, in midst of that great
solemn monument, erected to his Maker's praise, and with the dead
under his feet--the dead who as busily walked the streets and ways
he has just left--he would weigh the character of his doings, and in
a sanctified place breathe a prayer for direction. Nor would it be
amiss that he should be led to contemplate the "storied pane" and
religious emblems which abound; he will not fail, in the end, to
sympathise with the sentiment even where he bows not to the legend.
He may know the fact that there have been saints and martyrs--that
faith, hope, and charity are realities--that patience and love may
be here best learnt to be practised in the world without.

It is curious that the saints, those _Dii minores_, to whom so many
of our churches are dedicated, still retain their holding. Beyond
the evangelists and the apostles, little do the people know of the
other many saints while they enter the churches that bear their
names. Few of a congregation, we suspect, could give much account of
St Pancras, St Margaret, St Werburgh, St Dunstan, St Clement, nor
even of St George, but that he is pictured slaying a dragon, and is
the patron saint of England. Yet were they once "household gods" in
the land. It is a curious speculation this of patron saints, and
how every family and person had his own. There is a great fondness
in this old personal attachment of his own angel to every man. That
notion preceded Christianity, and was easily engrafted upon it: and
the angel that attended from the birth was but supplanted by some
holy dead whom the Church canonised. And a corrupt church humoured
the superstition, and attached miracles to relics; and thus, as
of old, these came, in latter times, to be "gods many." And what
were these but over again the thirty thousand deities who, Hesiod
said, inhabited the earth, and were guardians of men? Yet, it must
be confessed, there has been a popular purification of them. They
are not the panders to vice that infested the morals of the heathen
world.

But how came the heathen world by them? Did they invent, or where
find them? And how came their characteristics to be so universal, in
all countries differing rather in name than personality? The most
intellectually-gifted people under the sun, the ancient Greeks,
give nowhere any rational account how they came by the gods they
worshipped. They take them as personifications from their poets.
There is the theogony of Hesiod, and the gods as Homer paints
them. They have called forth the glory of art; and wonderful were
the periods that stamped on earth their statues, as if all men's
intellect had been tasked to the work, that they should leave a
mark and memorial of beauty than which no age hereafter should show
a greater. We acknowledge the perfection in the remains that are
left to us. Greek art stills sways the mind of every country--all
the world mistrusts every attempt in a contrary direction. The
excellence of Greek sculpture is reflected back again upon Greek
fable, the heathen mythology from which it was taken; and perhaps
a greater partiality is bestowed upon that than it deserves,--at
least, we may say so in comparison with any other. We must be
cautious how we take the excellence of art for the excellence of its
subject. The Greeks were formed for art beyond every other people;
had their creed been hideous--and indeed it was obscene--they would
have adorned it with every beauty of ideal form. And this is worthy
of note here, that their poetry in art was infinitely more beautiful
than their written poetry. Their sculptors, and perhaps their
painters, of whom we are not entitled to speak but by conjecture,
and from the opinions formed by no bad judges of their day, did aim
at the portraying a kind of divine humanity. If their sculptured
deities have not a holy repose, they are singularly freed from
display of human passions; whereas, in their poetry, it is rarely
that even decent repose is allowed them; they are generally too
active, without dignity, and without respect to the moral code of a
not very scrupulous age. Yet have these very heathen gods, even as
their historians the poets paint them--for it would disgrace them
to speak of their biographers--a trace of a better origin than we
can gather out of the whimsical theogony. There are some particulars
in the heathen mythology that point to a visible track in the
strange road of history. Much we know was had from Egypt; more,
probably, came with the Cadmean letters from Phœnicia--a name
including Palestine itself. Inventions went only to corruptions--the
original of all creeds of divinity is from revelation. We may not
be required to point out the direct road nor the resting-places of
this "_santa casa_," holding all the gods of Greece, so beautiful in
their personal portraiture, that we love to gaze with the feeling
of Schiller, though their histories will not bear the scrutiny: but
it will suffice to note some similitudes that cannot be accidental.
Somehow or other, both the historic and prophetic writings of the
Bible, or narratives from them, had reached Greece as well as other
distant lands. The Greeks had, at a very early period, embodied
in their myths even the personal characters as shown in those
writings. Let us, for example, without referring to their Zeus in
a particular manner, find in the Hermes or Mercury of the Greeks
the identity with Moses. What are the characteristics of both? If
Moses descended from the Mount with the commands of God, and was
emphatically God's messenger, so was Hermes the messenger from
Olympus: his chief office was that of messenger. If Moses is known
as the slayer of the Egyptian, so is Hermes, (and so is he more
frequently called in Homer,) Αργειφοντης, the slayer of Argus, the
overseer of a hundred eyes. Moses conducted through the wilderness
to the Jordan those who died and reached not the promised land; nor
did he pass the Jordan. So was Hermes the conductor of the dead,
delivering them over to Charon, (and here note the resemblance of
name with Aaron, the associate of Moses); nor was he to pass to the
Elysian fields.

Then the rod, the serpents,--the Caduceus of Hermes, with the
serpents twining round the rod. The appearance of Moses, and
the shining from his head, as it is commonly figured, is again
represented in the winged cap of Hermes. There are other minute
circumstances, especially some noted in the hymn of Hermes, ascribed
to Homer, which we forbear to enumerate, thinking the coincidences
already mentioned are sufficiently striking.

Then, again, the idea of the serpent of the Greek mythology, whence
did it come, and the slaying of it by the son of Zeus--and its very
name, the Python, the serpent of corruption? And in that sense it
has been carried down to this day as an emblem in Christian art.
But, to go back a moment, this departure of the Israelites from
Egypt, is there no notice of it in Homer? We think there is a hint
which indicates a knowledge of at least a part of that history--the
previous slavery, the being put to work, and the after-readiness of
the Egyptians to be "spoiled." Ulysses, giving a false account of
himself, if we remember rightly, to Eumæus, says he came from Egypt,
where he had been a merchant, that the king of that country seized
him and all his men, whom _he put to work_, but that at length he
found favour, and was allowed to depart with his people; adding that
he collected much property from the people of Egypt, "for all of
them gave."

    "Πολλὰ αγειρα,
     Χρηματ' Αἰγυπτίους ἄνδρας, διδοσαν γαρ ἄπαντες."

We do not mean to lay any great stress upon this quotation, and but
think at least that it shows a characteristic of the Egyptians as
narrated by Moses; and never having met with any allusion to it, nor
indeed to our parallel between Moses and Hermes, which it may seem
to support, we have thought it worthy this brief notice.

We fancy we trace the history of the cause of the fall of man, in
the eating of the pomegranate seed which doomed Proserpine to half
an existence in the infernal regions. Can there be anything more
striking than the Prometheus Bound of Æschylus? Whence could such
a notion come, that a man-god would, for his love to mankind, (for
bringing down fire from heaven,) suffer agonies, nailed not upon a
cross indeed, but on a rock, and, in the description, crucified?
"It is, after a manner," says Mr Swayne, who has with great power
translated this strange play of Æschylus, "a Christian poem by a
pagan author, foreshadowing the opposition and reconciliation of
Divine justice and Divine love. Whence the sublime conception of
the subject of this drama could have been obtained, it is useless
to speculate. Some even suppose that its author must have been
acquainted with the old Hebrew prophets."

Even the introduction of Io in the tale is suggestive--the
virgin-mother who was so strangely to conceive (and this too given
in a prophecy) miraculously.

    "Jove at length shall give thee back thy mind,
    With one light touch of his unquailing hand,
    And, from that fertilising touch, a son
    Shall call thee mother."

Her whom Prometheus thus addresses,--

      "In that the son shall overmatch the sire."
    --"Of thine own stem the strong one shall be born."

Then again Sampson passes into the Egyptian or Tyrian Hercules, to
lose his life by another Delilah in Dejaneira. Whence the prophetic
Sybils, whence and what the Eleusinian mysteries? and that strange
glimpse of them in the significant passage of the Alcestis, where
the restored from the dead must abstain from speech till the third
day--the duration of her consecration to Hades!

    Ὁύπω δέμις σοι τησδε προσφωνηματων,
    Κλύειν, πρίν ἄν θεωισι τοῖσι νερτέροις
    Αφαγνῖσηται, καὶτρίτον μολῃ φαος.

We might enter largely into the mysteries of heathen mythology, and
discover strange coincidences and resemblances, but it would take us
too wide from our present subject. Our present purpose is to show
that we are apt to attribute too much to the Grecian fable, when
we ascribe to it all the beauty which Grecian art has elaborated
from it. For, in fact, the origin of that fabulous poetry is beyond
them in far-off time; and by them how corrupted, shorn of its real
grandeur, and at once magnificent and lovely beauty! How much more,
then, is it ours than theirs, as it is deducible from that high
revelation which is part of the Christian religion. We overlook,
in the excellence of Grecian art, the far better materials for all
art, which we in our religion possess, and have ever possessed.
With the Greeks it was an instinct to love the beautiful, sensual
and intellectual: it was a part of their nature to discover it or
to create it. They would have fabricated it out of any materials;
and deteriorated, indeed, were those which came to their hands.
And even this excess of their love, at least in their poets, made
the sensuous to overcome the intellectual; but the far higher than
intellectual--the celestial, the spiritual--they had not: their
highest reach in the moral sense was a sublime pride: they had no
conception of a sublime humility. Their highest divinity was how
much lower than the lowest order of angels that wait around the
heavenly throne and adore,--low as is their Olympus, where they
placed their Zeus and all his band, to the Christian "heaven of
heavens," which yet cannot contain the universal Maker. It is bad
taste, indeed, in us, as some do, to give them the palm of the
possession of a better field--poetic field for the exercise of art.
"Christian and Legendary art" has a principle which no other art
could have, and which theirs certainly had not; they were sensuous
from a necessity of their nature, lacking this principle. We ought
to ascribe all which they have left us to their skill, their genius:
wonderful it was, and wonderful things did it perform; but, after
all, we admire more than we love. Their divine was but a grand
and stern repose; their loveliness, but the perfection of the
human form. And so great were they in this their genius, that the
monuments of heathen art are beyond the heathen creed; for in those
the unsensuous prevailed.

Let us suppose the gift of their genius to have been delayed to
the Christian era--as poetical subjects, their whole mythology
would have been set aside for a far better adoption; and we should
be now universally acknowledging how lovely and how great, how
full and bountiful, for poetry and for art, are the ever-flowing
fountains, gushing in life, giving exuberance from that high mount,
to the sight of which Pindus cannot lift its head, nor show its
poor Castalian rills. The "gods of Greece," the far-famed "gods
of Greece," what are they to the hierarchy of heaven--angels and
archangels, and all the host--powers, dominions, hailing the
admission to the blissful regions of saints spiritualised, and after
death to die no more--glorified? What loveliness is like that of
throned chastity? Graces and Muses in their perfectness of marbled
beauty--what are they to faith, hope, and charity, and the veiled
virtues that like our angels shroud themselves? When these became
subjects for our Christian art, then was true expression first
invented in drapery. "Christian and legendary art" is not denied
the nude; but no other has so made drapery a living, speaking
poetry. There is a dignity, a grace, a sweetness, in the drapery of
mediæval sculpture, that equally commands our admiration, and more
our reverence and our love, than ancient statues, draped or nude.
And this is the expression of Scripture poetry--the represented
language, the "clothing with power," the "garment of righteousness."
We often loiter about our old cathedrals, and look up with wonder
at the mutilated remains as a new type of beauty, beaming through
the obscurity of the so-called dark ages. Lovers of art, as we
profess to be, in all its forms, we profess without hesitation
that we would not exchange these--that is, lose them as never to
have existed--for all that Grecian art has left us. Even now, what
power have we to restore these specimens of expressive workmanship,
broken and mutilated as they have been by a low and misbegotten
zeal? We maintain further, generally, that the works of "Christian
and legendary art," in painting, sculpture, and architecture, are
as infinitely superior to the works of all Grecian antiquity, as
is the source of their inspiration higher and purer: we are, too,
astonished at the perfect agreement of the one with the other,
showing one mind, one spirit--devotion. We strongly insist upon
this, that there has been a far higher character and equal power in
Christian art compared with heathen. It ought to be so, and it is
so. It has been too long set aside in the world's opinion (often
temporary and ill-formed) to establish the inferior. This country,
in particular, has yielded a cold neglect of these beautiful things,
in shameful and indolent compliance with the mean, tasteless,
degrading Puritanism, that mutilated and would have destroyed them
utterly if it could, as it would have treated every and all the
beautiful.

Even at the first rise of this Christian art, the superiority of
the principle which moved the artists was visible through their
defect of knowledge of art, as art. The devotional spirit is
evident; a sense of purity, that spiritualised humanity with its
heavenly brightness, dims the imperfections of style, casting out
of observation minor and uncouth parts. Often, in the incongruous
presence of things vulgar in detail of habit and manners, an angelic
sentiment stands embodied, pure and untouched, as if the artist,
when he came to that, felt holy ground, and took his shoes from off
his feet. It was not long before the art was equal to the whole
work. There are productions of even an early time that are yet
unequalled, and, for power over the heart and the judgment, are much
above comparison with any preceding works of boasted antiquity.

Take only the full embodying of all angelic nature: what is
there like to it out of Christian art? How unlike the cold
personifications of "Victories" winged,--though even these were
borrowed,--are the ministering and adoring angels of our art--now
bringing celestial paradise down to saints on earth, and now
accompanying them, and worshipping with them, in their upward
way, amid the receding and glorious clouds of heaven! Look at the
sepulchral monuments of Grecian art--the frigid mysteries, the
abhorrent ghost, yet too corporeal, shrinking from Lethé; and
the dismal boat--the unpromising, unpitying aspect of Charon:
then turn to some of the sublime Christian monuments of art, that
speak so differently of that death--the Coronation of the Virgin,
the Ascension of Saints. The dismal and the doleful earth has
vanished--choirs of angels rush to welcome and to support the
beatified, the released: death is no more, but life breathing no
atmosphere of earth, but all freshness, and all joy, and all music;
the now changed body glowing, like an increasing light, into its
spirituality of form and beauty, and thrilling with

    "That undisturbed song of pure consent,
     Aye sung before the sapphire-colour'd throne
     To Him that sits thereon;
     With saintly shout and solemn jubilee,
     Where the bright seraphim, in burning row,
     Their loud uplifted angel-trumpets blow;
     And the cherubic host, in thousand choirs,
     Touch their immortal harps of golden wires,
     With those just spirits that wear victorious palms,
     Hymns devout and holy psalms
     Singing everlastingly."

Then shall we doubt, and not dare to pronounce the superior
capabilities of Christian art, arising out of its subject--poetry?
We prefer, as a great poetic conception, Raffaelle's Archangel,
Michael, with his victorious foot upon his prostrate adversary,
to the far-famed Apollo Belvidere, who has slain his Python; and
his St Margaret, in her sweet, her innocent, and clothed grace,
to that perfect model of woman's form, the Venus de Medici. Not
that we venture a careless or misgiving thought of the perfectness
of those great antique works: their perfectness was according to
their purpose. Higher purposes make a higher perfectness. Nor
would we have them viewed irreverently; for even in them, and the
genius that produced them, the Creator, as in "times past, left
not Himself without witness." In showing forth the glory of the
human form, they show forth the glory of Him who made it--who is
thus glorified in the witnesses; and so we accept and love them.
But to a certain degree they must stand dethroned--their influence
faded. Lowly unassuming virtues--virtues of the soul, far greater
in their humility, in the sacred poetry of our Christian faith,
shine like stars, even in their smallness, on the dark night of our
humanity; and they are to take their places in the celestial of art;
and we feel that it is His will, who, as the hymn of the blessed
Virgin--that type of all these united virtues--declares, "hath put
down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and
meek."

We trust yet to see sacred art resumed; for the more we consider its
poetry, the more inexhaustible appears the mine. Nor do we require
to search and gather in the field of fabulous legends; though in
a poetic view, and for their intention, and resumed merely as a
fabulous allegory, they are not to be set aside. But sure we are
that, whatever can move the heart, can excite to the greatest degree
our pity, our love, or convey the greatest delight through scenes
for which the term beautiful is but a poor describer, and personages
for whose magnificence languages have no name--all is within the
volume and the history of our suffering and triumphant religion.

Would that we could stir but one of our painters to this, which
should be his great business! Genius is bestowed for no selfish
gratification, but for service, and for a "witness," to bear which
let the gifted offer only a willing heart, and his lamp will not
be suffered to go out for lack of oil. Why is the tenderness of Mr
Eastlake's pencil in abeyance? That portion of the sacred history
which commences with his "Christ weeping over Jerusalem," might well
be continued in a series. Even still more power has he shown in the
creative and symbolic, as exemplified in his poetic conception of
Virtue from Milton--

    "She can teach you how to climb
     Higher than the sphery chime;
     Or if Virtue feeble were,
     Heaven itself would stoop to her."

If we believe genius to be an inspiring spirit, we may contemplate
it hereafter as an accusing angel. With such a paradise of subjects
before them, why do so many of our painters run to the kennel
and the stable, or plunge their pencils into the gaudy hues of
meretricious enticement? We do verily believe that the world is
waiting for better things. It is taking a greater interest in higher
subjects, and those of a pure sentiment. It is that our artists are
behind the feeling, and not, as they should be, in the advance. It
is a great fact that there is such a growing feeling. The resumption
of sacred art in Germany is not without its effect, and is making
its way here in prints. Most of these are from the Aller Heiligen
Kapelle at Munich, the result of the taste of at least one crowned
head in Europe, who, with more limited means and power, has set an
example of a better patronage, which would have well become Courts
of greater splendour, and more imperial influence. Must it be asked
what our own artists--the Academy, with all its staff--are doing?

We must stay our hand; for we took up the pen to notice the two
volumes just published of Mrs Jameson's _Sacred and Legendary Art_.
They have excited, in the reading, an enthusiastic pleasure, and led
the fancy wandering in the delightful fields sanctified by heavenly
sunshine, and trod by sainted feet; and, like a traveller in a
desert, having found an oasis, we feel loath to leave it, and would
fain linger and drink again of its refreshing springs. These volumes
have reached us most seasonably, at a period of the year when the
mind is more especially directed to contemplate the main subjects
of which they treat, and to anticipate only by days the vision of
joy and glory which will be scripturally put before us--to see the
Virgin Mother and the Holy Babe--

    "And all about the courtly stable,
     Bright harness'd angels sit in order serviceable."

Mrs Jameson disclaims in this work any other object than the poetry
of Sacred and Legendary Art; and to enable those who are, or wish to
be, conversant with the innumerable productions of Italian and other
schools, in an artistic view, likewise at once to know the subjects
upon which they treat. Even as a handbook, therefore, these volumes
are valuable. Much of the early painting was symbolical. Ignorance
of the symbols rejects the sentiment, or at least the intention, and
at the same time makes what is only quaint appear absurd.

"The first volume contains the legends of the Scripture personages,
and the primitive fathers. The second volume contains those sainted
personages who lived, or are supposed to have lived, in the first
ages of Christianity, and whose real history, founded on fact or
tradition, has been so disguised by poetical embroidery, that they
have in some sort the air of ideal beings." Possibly this poetical
disguise is favourable upon the whole to art, but it renders a
key necessary, and that Mrs Jameson has supplied--not pretending,
however, to more than a selection of the most interesting; and, what
is extremely valuable, there are marginal references to pictures,
and in what places they are to be met with, and by whom painted, of
the subjects given in the text, and of the view the artists had in
so painting them. The emblems are amply noted with their meanings;
and even the significance of colours, which has been so commonly
overlooked, and is yet so important for the comprehension of the
full subject of a picture, is clearly laid down. It is well said:

     "All the productions of art, from the time it has been directed
     and developed by the Christian influences, may be regarded
     under three different aspects:--1st, The purely religious
     aspect, which belongs to one mode of faith; 2d, The poetical
     aspect, which belongs to all; 3d, The artistic, which is the
     individual point of view, and has reference only to the action
     of the intellect on the means and material employed. There is
     a pleasure, an intense pleasure, merely in the consideration
     of art, as art; in the faculties of comparison and nice
     discrimination brought to bear on objects of beauty; in the
     exercise of a cultivated and refined taste on the productions
     of mind in any form whatever. But a threefold, or rather a
     thousandfold, pleasure is theirs, who to a sense of the poetical
     unite a sympathy with the spiritual in art, and who combine with
     a delicacy of perception and technical knowledge, more elevated
     sources of pleasure, more variety of association, habits of more
     excursive thought. Let none imagine, however, that in placing
     before the uninitiated these unpretending volumes, I assume
     any such superiority as is here implied. Like a child that
     has sprang on a little way before its playmates, and caught a
     glimpse through an opening portal of some varied Eden within,
     all gay with flowers, and musical with birds, and haunted by
     divine shapes which beckon forward, and, after one rapturous
     survey, runs back and catches its companions by the hand, and
     hurries them forwards to share the new-found pleasure, the yet
     unexplored region of delight: even so it is with me: I am on the
     outside, not the inside, of the door I open."

This is a happy introduction to that which immediately follows of
angels and archangels.

Mrs Jameson has so managed to open the door as to frame in her
subject to the best advantage; and the reader is willing to stand
for a moment with her to gaze upon the inward brightness of the
garden, ere he ventures in to see what is around and what is
above. It is on the first downward step that we stand breathless
with Aladdin, and feel the influence of the first--the partial and
framed-in picture--glowing in the unearthly illumination of its
magical creation.

There is nothing more interesting than these few pages upon angels.
The information we receive is very curious. It is beautiful poetry
to see orders, and degrees, and ministrations various, types of
an embodied, a ministering church here, and ordained, together
with the saints of earth, to make one glorified triumphant church
hereafter. Without entering upon the theological question, as to
the extension and mystification of the ideas of angels after the
Captivity, (yet we think it might be shown that there was originally
no Chaldaic belief on the subject not taken, first or last, from the
Jews themselves,) it may not be unworthy of remark, that the word
"angel," signifying messenger, could scarcely with propriety have
been at the first applied to Satan, the deceiving serpent, until,
in the after-development of the history of the human race, the
ministering offices gave the general title, which, when established,
included all who had not "kept their first estate." Nor do we
think, with Mrs Jameson, that Chaldea had anything to do with the
introduction of the worship of angels into the Christian church.
The "gods many" of the heathen countries in which Christianity
established itself, will sufficiently account for the readiness of
the people to transfer the multifarious worship to which they had
been accustomed to names more suitable to the new religion. It is
with the poetical development we have here to do; and what ground
is there for that full development in the New Testament, wherein
they are represented as "countless--as superior to all human wants
and weaknesses--as deputed messengers of God? They rejoice over
the repentant sinner; they take deep interest in the mission of
Christ; they are present with those who pray; they bear the souls
of the just to heaven; they minister to Christ on earth, and will
be present at his second coming." From such authority, from such
a sacred theatre of scenes and celestial personages, arose the
beautiful, the magnificent visions of the workers of sacred art.
Heresy, however, reached it, as might have been expected; and the
agency of angels, in the creation of the world and of man, has been
represented, to the deterioration of its great poetry. From the
beginning of the fourteenth century, a great change seems to have
taken place in the representation of the angel with reference to the
Virgin: the feeling is changed; "the veneration paid to the Virgin
demanded another treatment. She becomes not merely the principal
person, but the superior being; she is the 'regina angelorum,' and
the angel bows to her, or kneels before her, as to a queen. Thus,
in the famous altar-piece at Cologne, the angel kneels; he bears
the sceptre, and also a sealed roll, as if he were a celestial
ambassador delivering his credentials. About the same period we
sometimes see the angel merely with his hands folded over his
breast, and his head inclined, delivering his message as if to a
superior being."

It is a great merit in this work of Mrs Jameson's, that we are not
only referred to the most curious and to the best specimens of art,
but have likewise beautiful woodcuts, and some etchings admirably
executed by Mrs Jameson's own hand in illustration. There is a
greatness in the simplicity of Blake's angels: "The morning stars
sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Poor Blake!
Yet why say poor? he was happy in his visions--a little before his
time, and one of whom the world (of art) in his day were not worthy:
though, with a wild extravagance of fancy, his creations were his
faith, often great, and always gentle. Exquisitely beautiful are the
"angels of the planets" from Raffaelle, and copied by Mrs Jameson
from Gruner's engravings of the frescoes of the Capella Chigiana.
That great painter of mystery, Rembrandt, whom the mere lovers of
form would have mistakenly thought it a profanation to commission
with an angelic subject, is justly appreciated. A perfect master
of light, and of darkness, and of colour, it mattered not what
were the forms, so that they were unearthly, that plunged into or
broke through his luminous or opaque. Of the picture in the Louvre
it is thus remarked: "Miraculous for true and spirited expression,
and for the action of the soaring angel, who parts the clouds and
strikes through the air like a strong swimmer through the waves of
the sea." Strange--but so it is--we cannot conceive an alteration of
his pictures, all parts so agree. Attention to the more beautiful
in form would have appeared to him a mistrust in his great gift
of colour and chiaroscuro; and, stranger still, that without, and
seemingly in a marked defiance of mere beauty, he is, we would
almost say never, vulgar, never misses the intended sentiment,
nor fails where it is of tenderness, even of feminine tenderness,
for which, if he does not give beauty, he gives its equivalent in
the fulness of the feeling. We instance his Salutation--Elizabeth
and the Virgin Mary. There is something terrifically grand in the
crouching angel in the Campo Santo,--not in the form, nor in the
face, which is mostly hid, but in the conception of the attitude
of horror with which he beholds the awful scene. It is from the
Last Judgment of Orcagua in the Campo Santo. We must not speak of
Rubens as a painter of angels; and, for real angelic expression,
perhaps the earlier painters are the best. It is surprising that
Mrs Jameson, from whose refined taste, and from whose sense of the
beautiful and the graceful in their highest qualities, we should
have expected another judgment, could have ventured to name together
Raffaelle and Murillo as angel painters. It is true, in speaking of
the Visit to Abraham, she admits that the painter has set aside the
angelic and mystic character, and merely represented three young men
travellers; but she generally, throughout these volumes, speaks of
that favourite Spaniard in terms of the highest admiration,--terms,
as we think, little merited. The angels in the Sutherland Collection
are as vulgar figures as can well be, and quite antagonistic in
feeling to a heavenly mission. We confess that we dislike almost
all the pictures by this so much esteemed master: their artistic
manner is to us uncertain and unpleasing,--disagreeable in colour,
deficient in grace. We often wonder at the excess of present
admiration. We look upon his vulgarity in scriptural subjects as
quite profane. His highest power was in a peasant gentleness; he
could not embody a sacred feeling: yet thus is he praised for a
performance beyond his power:--"St Andrew is suspended on the
high cross, formed not of planks, but of the trunks of trees laid
transversely. He is bound with cords, undraped, except by a linen
cloth, his silver hair and beard loosely streaming on the air, his
aged countenance illuminated by a heavenly transport, as he looks up
to the opening skies, whence two angels, of really celestial beauty,
like almost all Murillo's angels, descend with the crown and palm."
The angels of Correggio are certainly peculiar: they are not quite
celestial, but perhaps are sympathetically more lovely from their
touch of humanity; they are ever pure. Those in the Ascension of
the the Virgin, in the Cupola at Parma, seem to be rather adopted
angels than of the "first estate;" for they are of several ages,
and, if we mistake not, many of them are feminine, and, we suspect,
are meant really to represent the loveliest of earth beatified,
adopted into the heavenly choir. Those who have seen Signor Toschi's
fine drawings of the Parma frescoes, (now in progress of engraving),
will readily give assent to this impression. We remember this
feeling crossing our mind, and as it were lightly touching the
heart with angelic wings--if we have lost a daughter of that sweet
age, let us fondly see her there. We cannot forbear quoting the
passage upon the angels of Titian:--"And Titian's angels impress
me in a similar manner: I mean those in the glorious Assumption at
Venice, with their childish forms and features, but an expression
caught from beholding the face of 'our Father which is in heaven:'
it is glorified infancy. I remember standing before this picture,
contemplating those lovely spirits one after another, until a thrill
came over me, like that which I felt when Mendelssohn played the
organ: I became music while I listened. The face of one of those
angels is to the face of a child, just what that of the Virgin, in
the same picture, is, compared with the fairest daughter of earth.
It is not here superiority of beauty, but mind, and music, and love,
kneaded together, as it were, into form and colour." This is very
eloquent, but it was not _the thought_ which supplied that ill word
"kneaded."

It is remarked by Mrs Jameson, as a singular fact, that neither
Leonardo da Vinci, nor Michael Angelo, nor Raffaelle, have given
representations of the Four Evangelists. In very early art they are
mostly symbolised, and sometimes oddly and uncouthly; and even so
by Angelico da Fiesole. In Greek art, the Tetramorph, or union of
the four attributes in one figure, is seen winged. "The Tetramorph,
in Western art, in some instances became monstrous, instead of
mystic and poetical." The animal symbols of the Evangelists, however
familiarised in the eyes of the people, and therefore sanctioned to
their feeling, required the greatest judgment to bring within the
poetic of art. We must look also to the most mysterious subjects for
the elucidation, such as Raffaelle's Vision of Ezekiel. There we
view in the symbols a great prophetic, subservient to the creating
and redeeming power, set forth and coming out of that blaze of the
clouds of heaven that surround the sublime Majesty.

The earlier painters were fond of representing everything
symbolically: hence the twelve apostles are so treated. In the
descending scale, to the naturalists, the mystic poetry was reduced
to its lowest element. The set of the apostles by Agostino Caracci,
though, as Mrs Jameson observes, famous as works of art, are
condemned as absolutely vulgar. "St John is drinking out of a cup,
an idea which might strike some people as picturesque, but it is
in vile taste. It is about the eighth century that the keys first
appear in the hand of St Peter. In the old churches at Ravenna, it
is remarked, St Peter and St Paul do not often appear." Ravenna, in
the fifth century, did not look to Rome for her saints.

After his martyrdom, St Paul was, it is said, buried in the spot
where was erected the magnificent church known as St Paolo fuorè-le
mura. "I saw the church a few months before it was consumed by
fire in 1823. I saw it again in 1847, when the restoration was far
advanced. Its cold magnificence, compared with the impressions left
by the former structure, rich with inestimable remains of ancient
art, and venerable from a thousand associations, saddened and
chilled me." We well remember visiting this noble church in 1816. A
singular coincidence of fact and prophecy has imprinted this visit
on our memory. Those who have seen it before it was burnt down, must
remember the series of portraits of popes, and that there was room
but for one more. We looked to the vacant place, as directed by our
cicerone, whilst he told us that there was a prophecy concerning it
to this effect, that when that space was filled up there would be
no more popes. The prophecy was fulfilled, at least with regard to
that church, for it was burnt down after that vacant space had been
occupied by the papal portrait.

The subject of the Last Supper is treated of in a separate chapter.
There has been a fresco lately discovered at Florence, in the
refectory of Saint Onofrio, said to have been painted by Raffaelle
in his twenty-third year. Some have thought it to be the work of
Neri de Bicci. Mrs Jameson, without hesitation, pronounces it to
be by Raffaelle, "full of sentiment and grace, but deficient,
it appears to me, in that depth and discrimination of character
displayed in his later works. It is evident that he had studied
Giotto's fresco in the neighbouring Santa Croce. The arrangement
is nearly the same." All the apostles have glories, but that round
the head of Judas is smaller than the others. Does the prejudice
against thirteen at table arise from this betrayal by Judas, or
from the legend of St Gregory, who, when a monk in the monastery
of St Andrew, was so charitable, that at length, having nothing
else to bestow, he gave to an old beggar a silver porringer which
had belonged to his mother? When pope, it was his custom to
entertain twelve poor men. On one occasion he observed thirteen,
and remonstrated with his steward, who, counting the guests, could
see no more than twelve. After removal from the table, St Gregory
called the unbidden guest, thus visible, like the ghost of Banquo,
to the master of the feast only. The old man, on being questioned,
declared himself to be the old beggar to whom the silver porringer
had been given, adding, "But my name is Wonderful, and through me
thou shalt obtain whatever thou shalt ask of God." There is a famous
fresco on this subject by Paul Veronese, in which the stranger is
represented to be our Saviour. To entertain even angels unknowingly,
and at convivial entertainments, and visible perhaps but to one, as
a messenger of good or of evil, would be little congenial with the
purport of such meetings.

Mrs Jameson objects to the introduction of dogs in such a subject
as the Last Supper, but remarks that it is supposed to show that
the supper is over, and the paschal lamb eaten. It is so common
that we should rather refer it to a more evident and more important
signification, to show that this institution was not for the Jews
only, and alluding to the passage showing that "dogs eat of the
crumbs which fell from their masters' table." The large dogs,
however, of Paul Veronese, gnawing bones, do not with propriety
represent the passage; for there is reason to believe that the word
"crumbs" describes the small pet dogs, which its was the fashion for
the rich to carry about with them. The early painters introduced
Satan in person tempting Judas. When Baroccio, with little taste,
adopted the same treatment, the pope, Clement VIII., ordered the
figure to be obliterated--"Che non gli piaceva il demonio si
dimésticasse tanto con Gesu Christo." We know not where Mrs Jameson
has found the anecdote which relates that Andrea del Castagno,
called the Infamous, after he had assassinated Dominico his friend,
who had intrusted him with Van Eyck's secret, painted his own
portrait in the character of Judas, from remorse of conscience. We
are not sure of the story at all respecting Andrea del Castagno:
there may be other grounds for doubting it, but this anecdote, if
true to the fact, would rather indicate insanity than guilt. The
farther we advance in the history and practice of art, the more we
find it suffering in sentiment from the infusion of the classical.
In the Pitti Palace is a picture by Vasari of St Jerome as a
penitent, in which he has introduced Venus and cupids, one of whom
is taking aim at the saint. It is true that, as we proceed, legends
crowd in upon us, and the painters find rather scope for fancy than
subjects for faith and resting-places for devotion. Art, ever fond
of female forms, readily seized upon the legends of Mary Magdalene.
Her penitence has ever been a favourite subject, and has given
opportunity for the introduction of grand landscape backgrounds
in the lonely solitudes and wildernesses of a rocky desert. The
individuality of the characters of Mary and Martha in Scripture
history was too striking not to be taken advantage of by painters.
There is a legend of an Egyptian penitent Mary, anterior to that
of Mary Magdalene, which is curious. Whether this was another
Mary or not, she is represented as a female anchoret; and we are
reminded thereby of the double story of Helen of Troy, whom a real
or fabulous history has deposited in Egypt, while the great poet of
the Iliad has introduced her as so visible and palpable an agent
in the Trojan war, and not without a touch of penitence, not quite
characteristic of that age. Accounts say that it was her double, or
eidolon, which figured at Troy.

Mrs Jameson makes a good conjecture with regard to the famous
picture by Leonardo da Vinci, known as Modesty and Vanity, and that
it is Mary Magdalene rebuked by her sister Martha for vanity and
luxury, which exactly corresponds with the legend respecting her. We
cannot forbear quoting the following eloquent passage:--

     "On reviewing generally the infinite variety which has been
     given to these favourite subjects, the life and penance of the
     Magdalene, I must end where I began. In how few instances has
     the result been satisfactory to mind, or heart, or soul, or
     sense! Many have well represented the particular situation,
     the appropriate sentiment, the sorrow, the hope, the devotion;
     but who has given us the _character_? A noble creature, with
     strong sympathies and a strong will, with powerful faculties
     of every kind, working for good or evil. Such a woman Mary
     Magdalene must have been, even in her humiliation; and the
     feeble, girlish, commonplace, and even vulgar women, who appear
     to have been usually selected as models by the artists, turned
     into Magdalenes by throwing up their eyes and letting down their
     hair, ill represent the enthusiastic convert, or the majestic
     patroness!"

The second volume commences with the patron saints of Christendom.
These were delightful fables in the credulous age of first youth,
when feeling was a greater truth than fact; and we confess that we
read these legends now with some regret at our abated faith, which
we would not even "now have shaken in the chivalric characters of
the seven champions of Christendom."

The Romish Church (we say not the Catholic, as Mrs Jameson so
frequently improperly terms _her_) readily acted that part, to
the people at large, which nurses assume for the amusement of
their children; and in both cases, the more improbable the story
the greater the fascination; and the people, like children, are
more credulous than critical. Had we not known in our own times,
and nearly at the present day, stories as absurd as any in these
legends, gravely asserted, circulated, and credited, and maintained
by men of responsible station and education--to instance only the
garment of Treves--we should have pronounced the _aurea legenda_
to have been a creation of the fancy, arising, not without their
illumination, from the fogs and fens of the Middle Ages, adapted
solely for minds of that period. But the sanction of them by the
Church of Rome leads us to view them as _ignes fatui_ of another
character, meant to amuse and to bewilder. We must even think it
possible now for people to be brought to believe such a story as
this:--"It is related that a certain man, who was afflicted with a
cancer in his leg, went to perform his devotions in the church of
St Cosmo and St Damian at Rome, and he prayed most earnestly that
these beneficent saints would be pleased to aid him. When he had
prayed, a deep sleep fell upon him. Then he beheld St Cosmo and St
Damian, who stood beside him; and one carried a box of ointment,
the other a sharp knife. And one said, 'What shall we do to replace
this diseased leg, when we have cut it off?' And the other replied,
'There is a Moor who has been buried just now in San Pietro in
Vincolo; let us take his leg for the purpose!' Then they brought
the leg of the dead man, and with it they replaced the leg of the
sick man--anointing it with celestial ointment, so that he remained
whole. When he awoke, he almost doubted whether it could be himself;
but his neighbours, seeing that he was healed, looked into the tomb
of the Moor, and found that there had been an exchange of legs; and
thus the truth of this great miracle was proved to all beholders."
It is, however, rather a hazardous demand upon credulity to serve
up again the feast of Thyestes, cooked in a caldron of even more
miraculous efficacy than Medea's. Such is the stupendous power of
St Nicholas:--"As he was travelling through his diocese, to visit
and comfort his people, he lodged in the house of a certain host,
who was a son of Satan. This man, in the scarcity of provisions, was
accustomed to steal little children, whom he murdered, and served up
their limbs as meat to his guests. On the arrival of the Bishop and
his retinue, he had the audacity to serve up the dismembered limbs
of these unhappy children before the man of God, who had no sooner
cast his eyes on them than he was aware of the fraud. He reproached
the host with his abominable crime; and, going to the tub where
their remains were salted down, he made over them the sign of the
cross, and they rose up whole and well. The people who witnessed
this great wonder were struck with astonishment; and the three
children, who were the sons of a poor widow, were restored to their
weeping mother."

But what shall we say to an entire new saint of a modern day, who
has already found his way to Venice, Bologna, and Lombardy,--even
to Tuscany and Paris, not only in pictures and statues, but even
in chapels dedicated to her? The reader may be curious to know
something of a saint of this century. In the year 1802 the skeleton
of a young female was discovered in some excavations in the catacomb
of Priscilla at Rome; the remains of an inscription were, "Lumena
Pax Te Cum Tri." A priest in the train of a Neapolitan prelate, who
was sent to congratulate Pius VII. on his return from France, begged
some relics. The newly-discovered treasure was given to him, and the
inscription thus translated--"Filomena, rest in peace." "Another
priest, whose name is suppressed _because of his great humility_,
was favoured by a vision in the broad noonday, in which he beheld
the glorious virgin Filomena, who was pleased to reveal to him that
she had suffered death for preferring the Christian faith, and her
vow of chastity, to the addresses of the emperor, who wished to make
her his wife. This vision leaving much of her history obscure, a
certain young artist, whose name is also suppressed--perhaps because
of his great humility--was informed in a vision that the emperor
alluded to was Diocletian; and at the same time the torments and
persecutions suffered by the Christian virgin Filomena, as well as
her wonderful constancy, were also revealed to him. There were some
difficulties in the way of the Emperor Diocletian, which inclines
the writer of the _historical_ account to adopt the opinion that
the young artist in his vision _may_ have made a mistake, and that
the emperor may have been his colleague, Maximian. The facts,
however, now admitted of no doubt; and the relics were carried by
the priest Francesco da Lucia to Naples; they were inclosed in a
case of wood, resembling in form the human body. This figure was
habited in a petticoat of white satin, and over it a crimson tunic,
after the Greek fashion; the face was painted to represent nature;
a garland of flowers was placed on the head, and in the hands a
lily and a javelin--with the point reversed, to express her purity
and her martyrdom; then she was laid in a half sitting posture in a
sarcophagus, of which the sides were glass; and after lying for some
time in state, in the chapel of the Torres family in the Church of
Saint Angiolo, she was carried in procession to Magnano, a little
town about twenty miles from Naples, amid the acclamations of the
people, working many and surprising miracles by the way. Such is
the legend of St Filomena, and such the authority on which she has
become, within the last twenty years, one of the most fashionable
saints in Italy. Jewels to the value of many thousand crowns have
been offered at her shrine, and solemnly placed round the neck of
her image, or suspended to her girdle."

We dare not in candour charge the Romanists with being the only
fabricators or receivers of such goods, remembering our own Saint
Joanna, and Huntingdon's Autobiography. There are _aurea legenda_ in
a certain class of our sectarian literature, presenting a large list
of claimants of very high pretensions to saintship, only waiting for
power and an established authority to be canonised.

It is not surprising, as the world is--working often in the dark
places of ignorance--if a few glossy threads of a coarser material,
and deteriorating quality, be taken up by no wilful mistake, and
be interwoven into the true golden tissue. Nevertheless the mantle
may be still beautiful, and fit a Christian to wear and walk in not
unbecomingly. There are worse things than religious superstition,
whose badness is of degrees. In the minds of all nations and people
there is a vacuum for the craving appetite of credulity to fill.
The great interests of life lie in politics and religion. There
are bigots in both: but we look upon a little superstition on the
one point as far safer than upon the other, especially in modern
times; whereas political bigotry, however often duped, is credulous
still, and becomes hating and ferocious. We fear even the legends
are losing their authority in the Roman States, whose history may
yet have to be filled with far worse tales. A generous, though we
deem it a mistaken feeling, has induced Mrs Jameson to make what
we would almost venture to call the only mistake in her volumes:
the following passage is certainly not in good taste, quite out of
the intention of her book, and very unfortunately timed--"But Peter
is certainly the democratical apostle _par excellence_, and his
representative in our time seems to have awakened to a consciousness
of this truth, and to have thrown himself--as St Peter would most
certainly have done, were he living--on the side of the people and
of freedom." A democratical successor to St Peter! He is, then, the
first of that character. With him the "side of freedom" seems to
have been the inside of his prison, and his "side of the people"
a precipitate flight from contact with them in their liberty--and
for his tiara the disguise of a valet. We more than pardon Mrs
Jameson--we love the virtue that gives rise to her error; for it is
peculiarly the nature of woman to be credulous, and to be deceived.
We admire, and more than admire, women equally well, whether they
are right or wrong in politics: these are the business of men,
for they have to do with the sword, and are out of the tenderer
impulses of woman. But we are amused when we find grave strong men
in the same predicament of ill conjectures. We smile as we remember
a certain dedication "To Pio Nono," which by its simple grandeur
and magnificent beauty will live _splendide mendax_ to excuse its
prophetic inaccuracy. It is not wise to foretell events to happen
whilst we live. Take a "long range," or a studied ambiguity that
will fit either way. The example of Dr Primrose may be followed
with advantage, who in every case of domestic doubt and difficulty
concluded the matter thus--"I wish it may turn out well this day six
months;" by which, in his simple family, he attained the character
of a true prophet.

We fear we are losing sight of the "Poetry of Sacred and Legendary
Art," and gladly turn from the thought of what is to be, to
those beautiful personified ideas of the past, whether fabulous
or historical, in which we are ready to take Mrs Jameson as our
willing and sure guide. The four virgin patronesses and the female
martyrs are favourite subjects, which she enters into with more
than her usual spirit and feeling. These two have chiefly engaged
and fascinated the genius of the painters of the best period, and
will ever interest the world of taste by their sentiment, as well
as by their grace of form and beauty, and why not say improved them
too? The really beautiful is always true. It is not amiss that we
should be continually reminded, or, as Mrs Jameson better expresses
it--"It is not a thing to be set aside or forgotten, that generous
men and meek women, strong in the strength, and elevated by the
sacrifice of a Redeemer, did suffer, did endure, did triumph for
the truth's sake; did leave us an example which ought to make our
hearts glow within us." The memory of Christian heroism should
never be lost sight of in a Christian country, and we earnestly
recommend this part of Mrs Jameson's volumes to the attention of our
painters: they will find not unfrequent instances of fine subjects
yet untouched, which may sanctify art, and dignify the profession by
making it the teacher of a purer taste--not that true genius will
ever lack materials, for materials are but suggestive to an innate
inventive power. It is curious that the authoress should not yet
have satisfied our expectation with regard to the legends of the
Virgin. Whatever the motive of her forbearance, we hope this subject
will take the lead in the promised third volume, which is to treat
of the legends of the monastic orders, considered, as she cautiously
observes, "merely in their connexion with the development of the
fine arts in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries."

The numerous pictures in Italy which represent parts of the legends
of the Virgin render this work incomplete without a full development
of the subject. If her forbearance arises from a fear that at this
particular time, when mariolatry is dreaded by a large portion of
the religious world, we would remind her that the Virgin Mother is
still "the blessed" of our own church.

It is a question if the list of sainted martyrs in repute has not
been left to the arbitrament of the painters; for we find many
deposed, and the adopted favourites of art not found in the early
list, as represented in their processions. We find a Saint Reparata,
after having been the patroness saint of Florence for six hundred
years, deposed, and the city placed under the tutelage of the Virgin
and St John the Baptist.

Yet these were early times for the influence of art; but, at a
period when pictures were thought to have a kind of miraculous
power, it is not improbable that some potent work of art
representing the Virgin and St John may have caused the new
devotional dedication--as was the case in modern times, when the
imaged Madonna de los Dolores was appointed general-in-chief of the
Carlist army. Painters were what the poets had been--_Vates sacri_.
Events and the memory of saints may have perished, _Carent quia vate
sacro_. We wish our own painters were more fully sensible of the
power of art to perpetuate, and that it is its province to teach.
With us it has been too long disconnected with our religion. It will
be a glorious day for art, and for the people that shall witness the
reunion.

In taking leave of these two fascinating volumes, we do so with
the less regret, knowing that they will be often in our hands, as
most valuable for instant reference. No one who wishes to know the
subjects and feel the sentiment of the finest works in the world,
will think of going abroad without Mrs Jameson's book. We must again
thank her for the beautiful woodcuts and etchings; the latter, in
particular, are lightly and gracefully executed, we presume mostly
(to speak technically) in dry point. Mrs Jameson writes as an
enthusiast, her feeling flows from her pen. Her style is fascinating
to a degree, forcible and graceful; but there is no mistaking its
character--feminine. We know no other hand that could so happily
have set forth the _Poetry of Sacred and Legendary Art_.



AMERICAN THOUGHTS ON EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONS.


  BOSTON, _December 1848_.

THE YEAR OF CONSTITUTIONS is drawing to its end, to be succeeded,
I doubt not, by the Year of Substitutions. I am sorry, my Basil,
that you do not quite agree with me as to the issue of all this
in France; but I am sure you will not dispute my opinion that
this year's work is good for nothing, so far as it has attempted
construction, instead of fulfilling its mission by overthrow. Its
great folly has been the constitution-fever, which has amounted
to a pestilence. When mushrooms grow to be oaks, then shall such
constitutions as this year has bred, stand a chance of outliving
their authors. Will men learn nothing from the past? How can they
act over such rotten farces,--make themselves such fools!

You admit the difference, which I endeavoured to show you, between
the American constitution and that of any conceivable constitution
which may be cooked up for an old European state. I am glad if I
have directed your attention, accordingly, to the great mistake of
France. She supposes that a feeble, and debauched old gentleman
can boil himself in the revolutionary kettle, and emerge in all
the tender and enviable freshness of the babe just severed from
the maternal mould. Politicians have committed a blunder in not
allowing the natural, and hence legitimate, origin of the American
constitution in that of its British parent. They have thus favoured
the theory that a tolerably permanent constitution can be drafted _a
priori_, and imposed upon a state. This is the absurdity that makes
revolutions. If the silly French, instead of reading De Tocqueville,
would study each for himself the history of our constitution, and
see how gradually it grew to be our constitution, before pen was
put to paper to draft it, they might perhaps stop their abortive
nonsense in time, to save what they can of their national character
from the eternal contempt of mankind.

But you cannot think the French will find so fair a destiny as a
Restoration! Tell me, in what French party, at present existing,
there is any inherent strength, save in that of the legitimists?
Other parties are mere factions; but the legitimists have got a
seminal principle among them, which dies very hard, and of which
the nature is to sprout and make roots, and then show itself. I am
no admirer of the Bourbons: their intrigues with Jesuitism have
been their curse, and are the worst obstacle to their regaining
a hold on the sympathies of freemen. The reactionary party have
in vain endeavoured to overcome it for fifty years. Yet there is
such tenacity of life in legitimacy, that it seems to me destined
to outlive all opposition, and to succeed by necessity. The rapid
developments of this memorable year strengthen the probability of
my prediction. Revolutionism is spasmodic, but not so long in dying
as it used to be. I cannot but think this year has done more for a
permanent restoration of the Bourbons than any year since Louis XVI.
ascended the scaffold. In this respect the Barricades of 1848 may
tell more impressively on history than the Allies of 1814, or even
the carnage of Waterloo.

Why should I be ashamed of my theory, when everything, so far, has
gone as I supposed it would, only a hundred times more rapidly than
any body could have thought possible? What must be the residue of
a series which thus far has tended but one way?--what say you of
the Bartholomew-butchery in June?--what of Lamartine's fall?--what
of the dictatorship of Cavaignac? If things have gone as seems
probable, Louis Napoleon is president of the republic. If so, what
is the instinct which has thus called him into power? The hereditary
principle is abolished on paper, and instantly recognised by the
first popular act done under the new constitution! But, for all
we can tell in America, things may have taken another turn. Is
Cavaignac elected? Then a military master is put over the republic,
who can _Cromwellise_ the Assembly, and _Monk_ the state, as
soon as he chooses. The republic has given itself the form of a
dictatorship, and demonstrated that it does not exist, except on
paper. Has there been an insurrection? Then the republic is dead
already. But I shall assume that Louis has succeeded: then it is
virtually an hereditary empire. To be sure, instinct has for once
failed to know "the true prince,"--has accorded, to the mere shadow
of a usurper, what, in a more substantial form, is due to the heir
of France; but long-suspended animation must make a mistake or
two in coming to life again. The events of the year have been all
favourable to a restoration, because they have crushed a thousand
other plans and plottings for the sovereignty, and because they must
have forced upon at least as many theorists the grand practical
conclusion, that there is to be no rational liberty in France until
she returns to first principles, and finds the repose which old
nations can only know under their legitimate kings.

I am ashamed of you for more than hinting that legitimacy must be
given up, as far as kings are concerned. Alas! Diogenes must light
his lantern, and hunt through England for a Tory! You are bewhigged,
indeed, if you give it up that George III. was a legitimate king,
and that his grand-daughter is to you what no other person alive
can possibly be,--your true and hereditary sovereign lady! Must I,
a republican, say this to an English monarchist, who votes himself
a conservative, and who is the son of a sturdy old English Tory?
Is there no virtue extant, that even you allow yourself to be
flippant about "the divinity that hedges kings," and to trifle with
suggestions which your immortal ancestor, who fell at Prestonpans,
would have drummed out of doors with poker and tongs? Why, even
I, who have a right to be whatever I choose, by way of amateur
allegiance, and who have always found myself a Jacobite whenever
the talk has been against the White Rose--even I, in sober earnest,
yield the point, that George I. was a legitimate sovereign, and that
Charlie was a bit of a rebel. Those stupid Dutchmen! it makes me
mad to say as much for them; but I love Old England too well to own
that she bore with such sovereigns on any lower grounds than that of
their right to reign.

I am sorry you give in to the silly cant of revolutionists, and
confess yourself posed with their challenge. What if they do insist
upon a definition? Are you bound to keep your heart from beating
till you can tell why it throbs over a page of Shakspeare's Richard
II., and bounces, in precisely an opposite manner, over Carlyle's
Cromwell? Am I going to let a Whig choke me with a dictionary,
because it contains no explanation of my good old-fashioned word?
Let him, with his "Useful Knowledge Society" information, give me
an explanation of the magnetic needle, or tell me why it turns to
the pole, and not to the antipodes? The fellow will recollect some
twopenny picture of the compass, and retail me half a column of the
Penny Magazine about the mysteries of nature. And what if I talk
as sensibly from nature in my own heart, and tell the stereotype
philosopher that I am conscious of an ennobling affection, which
honest men never lack, and which God Almighty has made a faculty of
the human soul to dignify subordination; and that loyalty has no
lode-star but legitimacy? At least, my dear Whigo-Tory, you must
allow, I should succeed in answering a fool according to his folly.
But I claim more: I have defined legitimacy when I say it is the
home of loyalty.

I have amused myself during the summer with some study of the
history of reaction in France, and flatter myself that I have
discovered the secret of its failure, and the great distinction
between its spirit and that of English Conservatism. But this by
the way; for I was going to say that I have found, in the writings
of one of the chief of the reactionary party, some very sensible
hints upon the subject I am discussing with you. Though in many
respects a dangerous teacher, and, I fear, a little jesuitical in
practice as well as in theory, I have been surprised to find the
Count de Maistre willing "to be as _his master_" on this point, and
to rest legitimacy very nearly on the sober principles of Burke.
He is far from the extravagances of Sir Robert Filmer, though
he often expresses, in a startling form, the temperate views of
English Anti-Jacobins. Thus he says, with evident relish of its
smart severity, _the people will always accept their masters, and
will never choose them_. Strongly and unpalatably put, but most
coincident with history, and not to be disputed by any admirer
of the glorious Revolution of 1688! I suspect the Frenchman made
his aphorism without stopping to ask whether it suited any other
case. But Burke has virtually said the same thing in his reply
to the Old Jewry doctrine of 1789, in which he so forcibly urges
the fact, that the settlement of the crown upon William and the
Georges "was not properly _a choice_, ... but an act of necessity,
in the strictest moral sense in which necessity can be taken."
Mary and the Hanoverians, then, were acknowledged by the nation,
in spite of itself, as legitimate sovereigns; and even William was
smuggled into the acknowledgment as _quasi_-legitimate. It is the
clear, reasonable, and truly English doctrine of Burke, that _the
constitution of a country makes its legitimate kings_; and that the
princes of the House of Brunswick, coming to the crown according to
constitutional law, at the date of their respective accessions, were
as legitimate as King James before he broke his coronation oaths,
and abdicated, _ipso facto_, his crown and hereditary rights. But
De Maistre talks more like the schoolmen, though he comes to the
same practical results. Constitutions, the native growth of their
respective countries, he would argue, are the ordinance of GOD; and
kings, though not the subjects of their people, are bound to do
homage to them, as, in a sense, divine. Legitimacy, therefore, is
the resultant of hereditary majesty and constitutional designation;
it being always understood that constitutional laws are never
written till after they become such by national necessities, which
are divine providences. Apply this to 1688. The Bill of Rights was
an unwritten part of the constitution even when James was crowned;
and so was the principle, that the king must not be a Papist, at
least in the government of his realms. Such, if I may so speak,
was the Salic law of England, by which his public and political
Popery stripped him of his right to the throne. It was the same
principle that invested the House of Brunswick with a legitimacy
which the heart of the nation did not hesitate to recognise, in
spite of unfeigned disgust with the prince in whom the succession
was established. To throw the proposition into the abstract--there
can be no legitimacy without hereditary majesty, but that member
of a royal line is the legitimate king in whom concur all the
elements of _constitutional designation_. If the phrase be new,
the idea is as old as empire. I mean that constitutional power
which, without reference to national choice or personal popularity,
selects the true heir of the throne, among the descendants of its
ancient possessors, on fixed principles of national law. Thus,
in Portugal, the constitution sets aside an idiot heir-apparent
for a cadet of the same family, or, if need be, for a collateral
relative; while, in France, it proclaims the line of a king extinct
in his female heir, and ascends, perhaps, to a remote ancestor for
a trace of his rightful successor. It is a principle essentially
the same which, in England, pronounces a Popish prince as devoid
of hereditary right to the crown, as a bastard, or the child of a
private marriage; and by which the hereditary blood, shut off from
its natural course, immediately opens some auxiliary channel, and
widens it into the main artery of succession, with all the precision
of similar resources in physical nature. With such an argument, if
I understand him, the Count de Maistre would put you to the blush
for sneering _sub rosâ_ at the legitimacy of your Sovereign. I wish
his principles were always as capable of being put to the proof,
without any absurdity in the reduction. Hereditary majesty is the
only material of which constitutions make sovereigns; and that, too,
deserves a word in the light which this sage Piedmontese Mentor of
France has endeavoured to throw on the subject. It is interesting
in the present dilemma of France, which stands like the ass between
two haystacks--rejecting one dynasty, but not yet choosing another.
I am a republican, you know, holding that my loyalty is due to the
constitution of my own country; and yet I subscribe to the doctrine
that this idea of _majesty_ is a reality, and that, confess it
or not, even republicans feel its reality. _The king's name is a
tower of strength_; and inspiration has said to sovereign princes,
with a pregnant and monitory meaning--_ye are gods_. This is not
the fawning of courts, but the admonition of Him who invests them
with His sword of avenging justice, and gives them, age after age,
the natural homage of their fellow-men. Not that I would flatter
monarchs: I see that they _die like men_, and, what is worse, live,
very often, like fools, if not like beasts. Yet I am sure that they
have something about them which is personally theirs, and cannot
be given to others, and which is as real a thing as any other
possession. GOD has endowed them with history, and they are the
living links which connect nations with their origin, and the men of
the passing age with bygone generations. Reason about it as we may,
it is impossible not to look with natural reverence on the breathing
monuments of venerable antiquity. For a Guelph, indeed, I cannot
get up any false or romantic enthusiasm; and yet I find it quite
as impossible not to feel that the house of Guelph entitles its
royal members to a degree of consideration which is the ordinance
of Heaven. For how many ages has that house been a great reality,
casting its shadow over Europe, and stretching it over the world,
and as absolutely affecting the destinies of men as the geographical
barriers and highways of nations! The Alps and the Oceans are
morally, as well as naturally, majestic; and a moral majesty like
theirs attaches to a line of princes which has stood the storms of
centuries like them, and like them has been always a bulwark or a
bond between races and generations. Like the solemnity of mountains
is the hereditary majesty of a family, of which the origin is
veiled in the twilight of history, but which is always seen above
the surface of cotemporary events, a crowned and sceptred thing
that never dies, but perpetuates, from generation to generation, a
still increasing emotion of sublimity and awe, which all men feel,
and none can fully understand. There are many women in England who,
for personal qualities and graces, would as well become the throne
as she whom you so loyally entitle "Our Sovereign Lady." Why is
it that no election, nor any imaginable possession of her place,
could commend the proudest or the best of them to the homage of the
nation's heart? Such a one might wear the robes, and glitter like
a star, outshining the regalia, and might walk like Juno; but not
a voice would cry _God save her!_--while there is a glory, not to
be mistaken, which invests the daughter of ancient sovereigns, even
when she is recognised, against her will, in the costume of travel,
or when she shows herself among her people, and treads the heather
in a trim little bonnet and a Highland plaid. Why is it that ten
thousand feel a thrill when her figure is seen descending from the
wooden walls of her empire, and alighting upon some long unvisited
portion of its soil? It is not the same emotion which would be
inspired by the landing of Wellington. Then the roaring of cannon
and the waving of ensigns would appear to be a tribute rendered to
the hero by a grateful country; but when her Majesty touches the
shore, she seems herself to wake the thunders and to bow the banners
which announce her coming. The pomp is all her own, and differs from
the tributary pageant, as the nod of Jove is different from the
acclamation of Stentor. Even I, who "owe her no subscription," can
well conceive what a true Briton cannot help but feel, when, with
an ennobling loyalty, he beholds in her the concentrated blood of
famous kings, and the propagated soul of mighty monarchs; and when
he calls to mind, at the same moment, the thousand strange events
and glorious histories which have their august and venerable issue
in Victoria, his queen.

But you will bring me back to my main business, by asking--who,
then, was the legitimate king of France at the beginning of this
year? The King of the Barricades was not lacking in hereditary
majesty, and you will make out a case of _constitutional
designation_, by a parallel between England in 1688, and France
in 1830. If you do so, you will greatly wrong your country. The
loyalty of England settled in the house of Brunswick, and would have
been even less tried if there had been a continuance of the house
of Orange; but no French loyalist could ever be reconciled to the
dynasty of Orleans. And why? It was not the natural constitution of
France, but the mere blunder of a mob, that selected Louis Philippe
as the king of the French. It was an election, as the accession of
William and Mary was not: it was a choice, and not a necessity--the
mere caprice of the hour, and in no sense the rational designation
of law. Did ever his Barricade Majesty himself, in all his dreams of
a dynasty, pretend that any unalterable principle, or fundamental
law of France, had turned the tide of succession from the
heir-presumptive of Charles X., and forced heralds upon the backward
trail of genealogy, till they could again descend, and so find the
hereditary king of the French in the son of Egalité? Louis Philippe
was not legitimate, in any reasonable sense of the word; and,
could he have made such men as Chateaubriand regard him as other
than a usurper, he would not be at Claremont now. That splendid
Frenchman uttered the voice of a smothered, but not extinguished,
constitution, when he closed his political life in 1830, by saying
to the Duchess de Berry--"_Madame, votre fils est mon roi._" He
lived to see the secret heart of thousands of his countrymen
repeating his memorable words, and died not till Providence itself
had overturned the rival throne, and directed every eye in hope, or
in alarm, to the only prince in Europe who could claim to be their
king.

I care very little what may be the personal qualifications of Henry
of Bordeaux; it seems to me that he is destined to reign upon the
throne of his ancestors--and God grant he may do it in such wise as
shall make amends for all that France has suffered, by reason of
his ancestors, since France had a Henry for her king before! The
prestige of sovereignty is his; and while he lives, no republic can
be lasting; no government, save his, can insure the peace which
the state of Europe so imperatively demands. If "experience has
taught England that in no other course or method than that of an
hereditary crown her liberties can be regularly perpetuated and
preserved sacred,"[12]--why should not an experience, a thousandfold
severer, teach France the same lesson? It has already been taught
them by a genius which France cannot despise, and to whose oracular
voice she is now forced to listen, because it issues from his fresh
grave! "Legitimacy is the very life of France. Invent, calculate,
combine all sorts of illegitimate governments, you will find nothing
else possible as the result, nothing which gives any promise of
duration, of tolerable existence during a course of years, or even
through several months. Legitimacy is, in Europe, the sanctuary in
which alone reposes that sovereignty by which states subsist." So
I endeavour to render the eloquent sentence of Chateaubriand;[13]
and though, since he wrote it, a score of years have passed, it is
stronger now than ever--for what was then his prophecy is already
the deplorable history of his country. Had ever a country such a
history, without learning more in a year than France has gained from
a miserable half-century?

  [12] BURKE.

  [13] _Memoires sur le Duc de Berry._

Just so long as France has been busy with experiments, in the insane
effort to separate her future from her past, just so long have
all her labours to lay a new foundation been miserable failures,
covering her, in the eyes of the world, with shame and infamy. What
has been wanting all the time? I grant that the first want has
been a national conscience--a sense of religion and of duty. But I
mean, what has been wanting to the successive administrations and
governments? Certainly not splendour and personal dignity, for the
Imperial government had both; and the King of the Barricades made
himself to be acknowledged and feared as one who bore not the sword
in vain. But the prestige of legitimacy was wanting; and that want
has been the downfall of everything that has been tried. You will
ask, what was the downfall of Charles X? The answer is, that it was
not a downfall further than concerned himself; for everybody feels
that the Bourbon claim survives, while every other has been forced
to yield to destiny and retribution. How is it that legitimacy
makes itself felt after years of exile and obscurity? Is it not
that instinct of loyalty which cannot be duped or diverted, and
which detects and detests all shams? Is it not the instinct which
constitution-makers have endeavoured to appease by pageants and by
names, but which has continually revolted against the emptiness of
both? The existence of that instinct has been perpetually exposed
by miserable attempts to satisfy its demands with outside show and
splendid impositions. The French cannot even go to work, under their
present republic, as we do in America. The common-sense of our
people teaches them that a republican government is a mere matter
of business, which must make no pretences to splendour; and hence,
the constitution once settled, the president is elected and sworn-in
with no nonsense or parade; and Mr Cincinnatus Polk sits down in the
White House, and sends every man about his business. A young country
has as yet but the instincts of infancy; there is as yet nothing to
satisfy but the craving for nourishment, and the demand for large
room. But it is not so where nations are full-grown. _Can a maid
forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire?_ Can France forget
that she had once a court and a throne that dazzled the world? No!
says every craftsman of the revolution; and therefore our republic,
too, must be splendid and imperial! So, instead of going to work as
if their new constitution were a reality, there must be a fète of
inauguration. In the same conviction, Napoleon is nominated for the
presidency, because he has a name; and he immediately withdraws from
vulgar eyes, to keep his "presence like a robe pontifical," against
the investiture. Oh, for some Yankee farmer to look on and laugh! It
would not take him long to _calculate_ the end of such a republic.
Jonathan can understand a queen, and would stare at a coronation
in sober earnest, convinced that it had a meaning--at least, in
England! But a republic of kettle-drums and trumpets will never do
with him; and if he were favoured with an interview with the pompous
aspirant to the French presidency, it would probably end in his
telling Louis Napoleon the homely truth--that he has nothing to be
proud of, and had better eat and drink like other folk, and "define
his position" as a candidate, if he don't want to find himself
_used-up_, and sent on a long voyage up Salt River; which, you may
not know, my Basil, is a Stygian stream, and the ancients called
it Lethe. So much, then, for the _ultima ratio_ of illegitimate
governments--the attempt to satisfy the demand for national dignity
by pageants and by names, and to drown the outcries of natural
discontent by the sounding of brass and the tinkling of cymbals.

In vain did the sage Piedmontese foretell it all, like a Cassandra.
"Man is prohibited," said that admirable Mentor, "from giving
great names to things of which he is the author, and which he
thinks great; but if he has proceeded legitimately, the vulgar
names of things will be rendered illustrious, and become grand."
How specially does England answer to the latter half of this
maxim! and who can read the former without seeing France, in her
fool's-cap, before his mental eye? De Maistre himself has instanced
the revolutionary follies of Paris, and lashed them with unsparing
severity. Whatever is national in England seems to have grown up,
like her oaks, from deep and strong roots, and to stand, like them,
immovable, They make their own associations, and dignify their own
names. Everything is home-born, natural, and real. The Garter, the
Wool-sack, Hyde Park, Epsom and Ascot--these things in France would
be the _Legion of Honour_, the _Curule-chair_, the _Elysian fields_,
the _Olympic games_! The veritable attempt was made to reinstitute,
in the Champ-de-Mars, the sports of antiquity; and they received
the pompous name of _Les jeux Olympiques_. De Maistre ridicules
their nothingness, and adds that, when he saw a building erected
and called the _Odéon_, he was sure that music was in its decline,
and that the place would shortly be to let. In like manner, he says
of the motto of Rousseau, with intense _naïvete_, "Does any man
dare to write under his own portrait, _vitam impendere vero_? You
may wager, without further information, fearlessly, that it is the
likeness of a liar." How quick the human heart perceives what is
thus put into words by a philosopher! It is in vain for France to
think of covering her nakedness with a showy veil. The Empire was a
glittering gauze, but how transparent! They saw one called Emperor
and a second Charlemagne; and the Pope himself was there to give
him a crown. But it was a meagre cheat. Poor Josephine never looked
ridiculous before, but then she acted nonsense. The imperial robes
were gorgeous, but they meant nothing on the Citizen Buonaparte.
Everybody saw behind the scenes. They detected Talma in the strut of
Napoleon; they pointed at the wires that moved the hands and eyes of
the Pope. All stage-effect, machinery, and pasteboard. The imperial
court was all what children call _make-believe_: it vanished like
the sport of children.

The great feast of fraternity, last spring, was, on de Maistre's
principles, the natural harbinger of that fraternal massacre in
June; and the ineffectual attempt to be festive over the late
inauguration of the constitution, has but one redeeming feature
to prevent a corresponding augury of disaster. Its miserable
failure makes it possible that the constitution will survive its
anniversary. Then there will be a demonstration, at any rate, and
then the thing will be superannuated. Since 1790, there has been
no end to such glorifications; each chased and huzza'd, in turn,
by a nation of full-grown children, and all hollow and transient
as bubbles. Perpetual beginnings, every one warranted to be _no
failure this time_, and each going out in a stench. What continual
_Champs-de-Mars_ and _Champs-de-Mai_! what wavings of new flags, and
scattering of fresh flowers! and all ending in confessed failure,
and beginning the same thing over again! "Nothing great has great
beginnings"--says Mentor again. "History shows no exception to this
rule. _Crescit occulto velut arbor ævo_,--this is the immortal
device of every great institution."

Legitimacy never makes such mistakes, except when permitted by GOD,
to accomplish its own temporary abasement. It needs not to support
itself by tricks and shams. It has a creative power which dignifies
everything it touches; which often turns its own occasions into
festivals, but makes no festivals on purpose to dignify itself. When
Henry V. is crowned at Rheims, or at Notre-Dame, he will not send
over the Alps for _Pio Nono_, nor consult _Savans_ to learn how
Cæsar should be attired that day. That youth may safely dispense
with all superfluous pageantry, for he is not _new Charlemagne_,
but _old Charlemagne_. The blood of the Carlovingians has come down
to him from Isabella of Hainault, through St Louis and Henry IV.
Chateaubriand should not have forgotten this, when (speaking of this
prince's unfortunate father, the Duke de Berry) he enthusiastically
sketched a thousand years of Capetian glory, and cried--"_He bien!
la revolution a livré tout cela au couteau de Louvel_." Another
revolution has thus far relegated the same substantial dignity to
exile and obscurity, as if France could afford to lose its past, and
begin again, as an infant of days. But besides the evident tendency
of things to reaction, there is something about the legitimate
king of France which looks like destiny. He was announced to the
kingdom by the dying lips of his murdered sire, while yet unborn, as
if the fate of empire depended on his birth. "_Ménagez-vous, pour
l'enfant que vous portez dans votre sein_," said the unhappy man to
his duchess, and the group of bystanders was startled! It was the
first that France heard of Henry the Fifth, and it seemed to inspire
Chateaubriand with the spirit of prophecy, and he eloquently remarks
upon it as a _dernière espérance_. "The dying prince," he says,
"seemed to bear with him a whole monarchy, and at the same moment to
announce another. Oh GOD! and is our salvation to spring out of our
ruin? Has the cruel death of a son of France been ordained in anger,
or in mercy? is it _a final restoration of the legitimate throne,
or the downfall of the empire of Clovis_?" This grand question now
hangs in suspense: but, as I said, Chateaubriand must have taken
courage before he died, and inwardly answered it favourably. That
great writer seems to have felt beforehand, for his countrymen,
the loyalty to which they will probably return. To the prince he
stood as a sort of sponsor for the future. When the royal babe was
baptised, he presented water from the Jordan, in which the last hope
of legitimacy received the name of _Dieu-donné_: when Charles the
Tenth was dethroned, he stood up for the young king, and consented
to fall with his exclusion; and the last years of France's greatest
genius were a consistent confessorship for that legitimacy with
which he believed the prosperity of his country indissolubly bound.
Now, I should like to ask a French republican--if I could find
a sane one,--what would you wish to do with Henry of Bordeaux?
Would you wish this heir of your old histories to renounce his
birth-right, declare legitimacy an imposition, and undertake to
settle down in Paris as one of the people? Why not, if you are all
republicans, and see no more in a prince than in a _gamin_? Why
should not this Henry Capet throw up his cap for the constitution,
and stick up a tradesman's sign in the Place de la Revolution, as
"Henry Capet, _parfumeur_?" Why not let him hire a shop in the lower
stories of the Palais Royal and teach the Parisians better manners
than to cut off his head, by devoting himself to shaving their
beards? Everybody knows the reason why not; and that reason shows
the reality of legitimacy. Night and day such a shop would be mobbed
by friends and foes alike. Go where he might, the _parfumeur_ would
be pointed at by fingers, and aimed at by _lorgnettes_, and bored to
death by a rabble of starers, who would insist upon it that he was
the hereditary lord of France. Mankind cannot free themselves from
such impressions, and, what is more conclusive, princes cannot free
themselves from the impressions of mankind, or undertake to live
like other men, as if history and genealogy were not facts. For weal
or for woe, they are as unchangeable as the leopard with his spots.
Let Henry Capet come to America, and try to be a republican with us.
Our very wild-cats would assert their inalienable right to "look at
a king," and he would certainly be torn to pieces by good-natured
curiosity.

It is curious to see the natural instinct amusing itself, for
the present, with such a mere _nominis umbra_ as Louis Napoleon.
In some way or other the hereditary _prestige_ must be created;
nothing less is satisfactory, and the "imperial fetishism" will
answer very well till something more substantial is found necessary.
Richard Cromwell was necessary to Charles II., and so is Louis
Napoleon to Henry V. Napoleon still seems capable of giving France
a dynasty; this possibility will be soon extinguished by the
incapability of his representative. Louis will reign long enough
to exhibit that recompense to Josephine, in the person of her
grandson, which heaven delights to allot to a repudiated wife; and
then, for his own sake, he will be called _coquin_ and _poltron_.
Napoleon will take his historical position as an individual, having
no remaining hold on France; and the imperial fetishism will be
ignominiously extinguished. Richard Cromwell made a very decent old
English gentleman, and Louis Napoleon may perhaps end his days as
respectably, in some out-of-the-way corner of Corsica. Let me again
quote the French Mentor. He says, "There never has existed a royal
family to whom a plebeian origin could be assigned. Men may say, if
Richard Cromwell had possessed the genius of his father, he would
have fixed the protectorate in his family; which is precisely the
same thing as to say--if this family had not ceased to reign, it
would reign still." Here is the formula that will suit the case of
Louis Napoleon; but future historians will moralise upon the manner
in which Napoleon himself worked out his own destruction. For the
sake of a dynasty, he puts away poor Josephine. The King of Rome is
born to him, but his throne is taken. The royal youth perishes in
early manhood, and men find Napoleon's only representative in the
issue of the repudiated wife. Her grandson comes to power, and holds
it long enough to make men say--how much better it might have been
with Napoleon had he kept his faith to Josephine, and contentedly
taken as his heir the child in whom Providence has revealed at last
his only chance of continuing his family on a throne! It makes one
thing of Scripture, "Yet ye say wherefore? because the Lord hath
been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom
thou hast dealt treacherously; ... therefore take heed to your
spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his
youth, for the Lord, the GOD of Israel, saith that he hateth putting
away."

A traveller from the south of France says that he saw everywhere
the portrait of Henry V. Besides the mysterious hold which
legitimacy keeps upon the vulgar and the polite alike, there are
associations with it which operate on all classes of men. Tradesmen
and manufacturers are for legitimacy, because they love peace, and
want to make money. The _roturiers_ sooner or later learn the misery
of mobs, and the love of change makes them willing to welcome home
the king, especially as they mistake their own hearts, and flatter
themselves that their sudden loyalty is proof of remaining virtue.
Then the profligate and abandoned, they want a monarchy, in hopes of
another riot in the palace. It may be doubted whether the _blouses_
can be permanently contented without a king to curse. The national
anthem cannot be sung with any spirit, unless there be a monarch
who can be imagined to hear all its imprecations against tyrants:
in fact, the king must come back, if only to make sense of the
Marseilles Hymn.

    Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,
      De traîtres, de rois conjurés?
    Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
      Ces fers, dès long-tems préparés?

What imaginable sense is there in singing these red-hot verses
at a feast of fraternity, and in honour of the full possession
of absolute liberty? Then, where is the sport of clubs, and the
excitement of conspiracies, if there's no king to execrate within
locked doors? Is Paris to have no more of those nice little
_émeutes_? What's to be done with the genius that delights in
infernal machines? Who's to be fired at in a glass coach? Everybody
knows that Cavaignacs and Lamartines are small game for such sport.
Your true assassin must have, at least, a duke of the blood. These
are considerations which must have their weight in deciding upon
probabilities; though, for one, I am not sure but France is doomed,
by retributive justice, to be thus the Tantalus of nations, steeped
to the neck in liberty, but forbidden to drink, with kings hanging
over them to provoke the eye, and yet escaping the hand.

In 1796 de Maistre published his _Considérations sur la France_.
They deserve to be reproduced for the present age. Nothing can
surpass the cool contempt of the philosophical _réactionnaire_,
or the confidence with which, from his knowledge of the past, he
pronounces oracles for the future. Do you ask how Henry V. is to
recover his rights? In ten thousand imaginable ways. See what
Cavaignac might have done last July, had the time been ripe for
another Monk! There's but one way to keep legitimacy out; it comes
in as water enters a leaky ship, oozing through seams, and gushing
through cracks, where nobody dreamed of such a thing. As long as
even a tolerable pretender survives, a popular government must be
kept in perpetual alarm. But you shall hear the Count, my Basil! Let
me give you a free translation.

"In speculating about counter-revolutions, we often fall into the
mistake of taking it for granted that such reactions can only be the
result of popular deliberation. _The people won't allow it_, it is
said; _they will never consent; it is against the popular feeling_.
Ah! is it possible? The people just go for nothing in such affairs;
at most they are a passive instrument. Four or five persons may give
France a king. It shall be announced to the provinces that the king
is restored: up go their hats, and _vive le roi_! Even in Paris,
the inhabitants, save a score or so, shall know nothing of it till
they wake up some morning and learn that they have a king. '_Est-il
possible?_' will be the cry: '_how very singular! What street will
he pass through? Let's engage a window in good time, there'll be
such a horrid crowd!_' I tell you the people will have nothing more
to do with re-establishing the monarchy, than they have had in
establishing the revolutionary government!... At the first blush
one would say, undoubtedly, that the previous consent of the French
is necessary to the restoration; but nothing is more absurd. Come,
we'll crop theory, and imagine certain facts.

"A courier passes through Bordeaux, Nantes, Lyons, and so _en
route_, telling everybody that the king is proclaimed at Paris; that
a certain party has seized the reins, and has declared that it holds
the government only in the king's name, having despatched an express
for his majesty, who is expected every minute, and that every one
mounts the white cockade. Rumour catches up the story, and adds
a thousand imposing details. What next? To give the republic the
fairest chance, let us suppose it to have the favour of a majority,
and to be defended by republican troops. At first these troops shall
bluster very loudly; but dinner-time will come; the fellows must
eat, and away goes their fidelity to a cause that no longer promises
rations, to say nothing of pay. Then your discontented captains
and lieutenants, knowing that they have nothing to lose, begin to
consider how easily they can make something of themselves, by being
the first to set up _Vive-le-roi_! Each one begins to draw his own
portrait, most bewitchingly coloured; looking down in scorn on the
republican officers who so lately knocked him about with contempt;
his breast blazing with decorations, and his name displayed as that
of an officer of His Most Christian Majesty! Ideas so single and
natural will work in the brains of such a class of persons: they
all think them over; every one knows what his neighbour thinks, and
they all eye one another suspiciously. Fear and distrust follow
first, and then jealousy and coolness. The common soldier, no
longer inspired by his commander, is still more discouraged; and,
as if by witchcraft, the bonds of discipline all at once receive
an incomprehensible blow, and are instantly dissolved. One begins
to hope for the speedy arrival of his majesty's paymaster; another
takes the favourable opportunity to desert and see his wife. There's
no head, no tail, and no more any such thing as trying to hold
together.

"The affair takes another turn with the populace. They push about
hither and thither, knocking one another out of breath, and asking
all sorts of questions; no one knows what he wants; hours are
wasted in hesitation, and every minute does the business. Daring
is everywhere confronted by caution; the old man lacks decision,
the lad spoils all by indiscretion; and the case stands thus,--one
may get into trouble by resisting, but he that keeps quiet may be
rewarded, and will certainly get off without damage. As for making
a demonstration--where is the means? Who are the leaders? Whom can
ye trust? There's no danger in keeping still; the least motion may
get one into trouble. Next day comes news--_such a town has opened
its gates_. Another inducement to hold back! Soon this news turns
out to be a lie; but it has been believed long enough to determine
two other towns, who, supposing that they only follow such example,
present themselves at the gates of the first town to offer their
submission. This town had never dreamed of such a thing; but, seeing
such an example, resolves to fall in with it. Soon it flies about
that Monsieur the mayor has presented to his majesty the keys of
his good city of _Quelquechose_, and was the first officer who had
the honour to receive him within a garrison of his kingdom. His
Majesty--of course--made him a marshal of France on the spot. Oh!
enviable brevet! an immortal name, and a scutcheon everlastingly
blooming with _fleurs-de-lis_! The royalist tide fills up every
moment, and soon carries all before it. _Vive-le-roi!_ shouts out
long-smothered loyalty, overwhelmed with transports: _Vive-le-roi!_
chokes out hypocritical democracy, frantic with terror. No matter!
there's but one cry; and his Majesty is crowned, and _has all the
royal makings of a king_. This is the way counter-revolutions
come about. God having reserved to himself the formation of
sovereignties, lets us learn the fact, from observing that He never
commits to the multitude the choice of its masters. He only employs
them, in those grand movements which decide the fate of empires,
as passive instruments. Never do they get what they want: they
always take; they never choose. There is, if one may so speak, an
_artifice_ of Providence, by which the means which a people take to
gain a certain object, are precisely those which Providence employs
to put it from them. Thus, thinking to abase the aristocracy by
hurrahing for Cæsar, the Romans got themselves masters. It is just
so with all popular insurrections. In the French revolution the
people have been perpetually handcuffed, outraged, betrayed, and
torn to pieces by factions; and factions themselves, at the mercy of
each other, have only risen to take their turn in being dashed to
atoms. To know in what the revolution will probably end, find first
in what points all the revolutionary factions are agreed. Do they
unite in hating Christianity and monarchy? Very well! The end will
be, that both will be the more firmly established in the earth."

Cool, certainly; is it not, my Basil? The legitimists are the only
Frenchmen who can keep cool, and bide their time. Chateaubriand
has observed, in the same spirit, that there is a hidden power
which often makes war with powers that are visible, and that a
secret government was always following close upon the heels of the
public governments that succeeded each other between the murder of
Louis XVI. and the restoration of the Bourbons. This hidden power
he calls the eternal reason of things; the justice of GOD, which
interferes in human affairs just in proportion as men endeavour to
banish and drive it from them. It is evident that the whole force
of de Maistre's prophecy was owing to his religious confidence
in this divine interference. He wrote in 1796. That year the
career of Napoleon began at Montenotte; and, for eighteen years
succeeding, every day seemed to make it less and less probable
that his predictions could be verified. The Bourbon star was lost
in the sun of Austerlitz. The Republic itself was forgotten; the
Pope inaugurated the Empire; Austria gave him a princess, to be the
mould of a dynasty, and the source of a new legitimacy. France was
peopled with a generation that never knew the Bourbons, and which
was dazzled with the genius of Napoleon, and the splendour of his
imperial government. But the time came for this _puissance occulte,
cette justice du ciel_! When the Allies entered Paris in 1814, it
was suggested to Napoleon that the Bourbons would be restored; and,
with all his sagacity, he made the very mistake which de Maistre had
foreshown, and said, in almost his very words--"Never! nine-tenths
of the people are irreconcilably against it!" One can almost hear
what might have been the Count's reply--"_Quelle pitié! le peuple
n'est pour rien dans les revolutions. Quatre ou cinq personnes,
peut-être, donneront un roi à la France._" What could Talleyrand
tell about that? The facts were, that in four days the Bourbons
were all the rage! The Place Vendôme could hardly hold the mob that
raved about Napoleon's statue; and, with ropes and pulleys, they
were straining every sinew to drag it to the ground, when it was
taken under the protection of Alexander![14] What next? In terror
for his very life, this Napoleon flies to Frejus, now sneaking out
of a back-window, and now riding post, as a common courier, actually
saving himself by wearing the white cockade over his raging breast,
and all the time cursing his dear French to Tartarus! A British
vessel gives him his only asylum, and the salute he receives from
a generous enemy is all that reminds him what he once had been
in France. Meantime these detested Bourbons are welcomed home
again, with De Maistre's own varieties of _Vive-le-roi_! The Duke
d'Angouleme, advancing to the capital, sees the silver lilies
dancing above the spires of Bordeaux: the Count d'Artois hails the
same tokens at Nancy: not captains and lieutenants, but generals
and marshals, rush to receive His Most Christian Majesty; and the
successor of the butchered Louis XVI. comes to his palace, after an
exile of twenty years, with the title of Louis the Desired! Nor are
subsequent events anything more than the swinging of a pendulum,
which must eventually subside into a plummet. If the first disaster
of Napoleon, in the fulness of his strength, could make France
welcome her legitimacy in 1814, why should not the imbecility of
the mere shadow of his name produce a stronger revulsion before
this century gains its meridian? There is a residuary fulfilment
of de Maistre's augury, which remains to the Bourbons, when all of
Napoleon that survives has found its ignominious extinction. Then
will the ripe fruit fall into the lap of one who, if he is wise,
will make the French forget his kindred with the fourteenth and
fifteenth Louises, and remember only that Henry of Bordeaux has
before him the example of Henry of Navarre.

  [14] ALISON.

There is, indeed, another conceivable end. _C'est l'arrêt que le
ciel prononce enfin contre les peuples sans jugement, et rebelles
à l'expérience._[15] If France does not soon come back to reason,
we shall be forced to think her given up of GOD, to become such
a country as Germany, or perhaps as miserable as Spain. But we
must not be too hasty in coming to conclusions so deplorable. Let
the republic have its day. It will work its own cure; for the
chastisement of France must be the curse of ancient Judah. "The
people shall be oppressed, every one by another, and everyone by
his neighbour; the child shall behave himself proudly against the
ancient, and the base against the honourable." For the mob of Paris,
who got drunk with riot, and must grow sober with headache; for the
blousemen and the boys who have pulled a house upon their head,
and now maul each other in painful efforts to get from under the
ruins; and for the miserable _philosophes_ who see, in the charming
state of their country, the fruit of their own atheistic theories;
for all these it is but retribution. They needed government; they
resolved on license: GOD has sent them despotism in its worst form.
One pities Paris, but feels that it is just. My emotions are very
different when I think of what were once "the pleasant villages
of France." Miserable _campagnards_! There are thousands of them,
besides the poor souls starving in provincial towns, who curse
the republic in their hearts; and, from Normandy to Provence and
Languedoc, there are millions of such Frenchmen, who care nothing
for dynasties, or fraternities, or democracy, but only pray the
good Lord to give peace in their time, that they may sit under
their own vine, and earn and eat their daily bread. For them--may
GOD pity them!--what a life Dame Paris leads them! If, with the
simplicity of rustics, they were for a moment disposed to be merry
last February--when they heard that thereafter loaves and fishes
were to fling themselves upon every table, for the mere pleasure of
being devoured--how bitterly the simpletons are undeceived! Their
present notions of fraternity and equality they get from hunger
and from rags. It is not now in France as in the days of Henry
IV., when every peasant had a pullet in the pot for his Sunday
dinner. That was despotism. It is liberty now--liberty to starve.
There is no more oppression, for the very looms refuse to work, and
water-wheels stand still; and the vines go gadding and unpruned,
and the grape disdains to be trampled in the wine-vat. Yes--and the
old _paysan_ and his sprightly dame, who used to drive dull care
away in the sunshine--she, with her shaking foot and head, and he
with his fiddle and his bow, they have liberty to the full; for
their seven sons, who were earning food for them in the sweat of
their brow, have come home to the old cabin, ragged and unpaid; and
they lounge about in hungry idleness, longing for war, but only
because war would provide them with a biscuit or a bullet. What
care they for glory, or for constitutions? They ask for bread, and
their teeth are ground with gravel-stones. Let England look and
learn. If she has troubles, let her see how easily troubles may be
invested at compound interest, with the certainty of dividends for
years to come. Is hard thrift in a kingdom so bad as starvation
in a democracy? And whether is it better to wear out honestly, in
this work-day world, as good and quiet subjects; or to be thrust
out of it, kicking and cursing, behind a barricade of cabs and
paving-stones, in the name of equality? These are the common-sense
questions, that every English labourer should be made to feel and
answer.

  [15] CHATEAUBRIAND.

It provokes me, Basil, that my letter may be superannuated while
it is travelling in the steamer! The changes of democracy are more
frequent than the revolutions of a paddle-wheel. Adieu. Yours,

  ERNEST.



DALMATIA AND MONTENEGRO.

     _Dalmatia and Montenegro._ By Sir J. GARDNER WILKINSON. London:
     Murray.


It is really astonishing that our want of information respecting
Dalmatia, and its neighbourhood, has not long ago been supplied. It
is by no means easy, now-a-days, to hit upon a line of country that
may afford subject-matter for acceptable illustration. Travellers
are so numerous, and authorship is so generally affected, that the
best part of Europe has been described over and over again. You may
get from Mr Murray a handbook for almost any place you will. Manners
and customs, roads, inns, things to be suffered, and notabilities
to be visited--in short, all the probable contingencies of travel
between this and the Vistula, are already noted and set down. We
take it upon ourselves to say, that it is one of the most difficult
things in life to realise the sense of desolation and unwontedness
that are poetic characteristics of the traveller. How can a man feel
himself strange to any place where he is so thoroughly up to usages
that no _locandière_ can cheat him to the amount of a _zwanziger_?
And, thanks to the books written, it is a man's own fault if he
wend almost anywhither except thus μύστης γενόμενος.

In truth, European travelling is pretty nearly reduced to the work
of verification. Events are according to prescription; and there
remains very little room for the play of an exploring spirit. The
grand thing to be explored is a matter pysychological rather than
material; it is to prove experimentally what are the emotions that
a generous mind experiences, when vividly acted upon by association
with the world of past existences. Beyond doubt, this is the highest
range of intellectual enjoyment; and to its province may be referred
much that at first sight would appear to be heterogeneous, as, for
instance, delights purely scientific. But at any rate, we must all
agree that the main privilege of a traveller is, that he is enabled
to test the force of this power of association. It is an enjoyment
to be known only by experiment. No power of description can give a
man to understand what is the sensation of gazing on the Acropolis,
or of standing within Ἁγία Σοφία. It is as another sense, called into
existence by the occasion of exercise.

To any but the uncommonly well read, there has hitherto been meagre
entertainment in travelling among the Slavonian borderers on the
Adriatic. It has been impossible to realise on their subject these
high pleasures of association, because so little has been known of
the facts of their history; rather should we perhaps say, that,
of what has been known, so little has been generally accessible.
But we are happy to find that the right sort o' "chiel has been
amang them, takin' notes." The way is now open; and henceforth it
will be easy to follow with profit. The book which Sir Gardner
Wilkinson has given us seems to be exactly the thing which was
wanted; and certainly the use of it will enable a man to travel
in Dalmatia as a rational creature should. No mere dotter down of
events could have passed through the course of this country without
producing a document of considerable value. The widespread family
of which its inhabitants are a branch have been intimately mixed up
with the history of the Empire and of Christendom; and now again
we behold them playing a conspicuous part in European politics.
Modern Panslavism deepens the interest to be felt in this family,
and quickens the anxiety to know what they are doing and thinking
now, as well as what they have done in days of old. In the present
volumes we have, besides the memoranda of things existing, a
compendium of Slavonian history and antiquities, and an exhibition
of the degree in which the race have been mixed up with European
history. Besides this, an account is given of their more domestic
traditions, of which monuments survive; and it must be a man's own
fault if, having this book with him, he miss extracting the utmost
of profit from a visit to the country.

In one way, we can surely prophesy that this book will prove the
means of bringing to us increase of lore from out of that land of
which it treats. It will naturally be taken on board every yacht
that, when next summer shall open skies and seas, may find its
way into the Mediterranean. Among these birds of passage, it can
scarcely be but that some one will shape its course for this land of
adventure, thus, as it were, newly laid open. It is a little, a very
little out of the direct track, in which these summer craft are apt
to be found, plentiful as butterflies. They may rest assured that in
no place, from the Pillars of Hercules to the Pharos of Alexandria,
can they hope to find such provision of entertainment. The stories
they may thence bring will really be worth something--a value much
higher than we can vote ascribable to much that we hear of the
well-frequented shores of the French lake.

We prophesy, also, that an inspiriting effect will be produced
on men better qualified even than the yachtsmen for the work of
travel--we mean on the gallant officers who garrison the island of
Corfu. They occupy a station so exactly calculated to facilitate
excursions in the desirable direction, that it will be too bad if
some of them do not start this very next spring. We do not recommend
the Adriatic in winter time, and so give them a few months' grace,
just to keep clear of the Bora. Let them, as soon as possible after
the equinox, avail themselves of one of those gaps which will be
occurring in the best-regulated garrison life. Times will come round
when duty makes no exaction, and when the indigenous resources of
the island afford no amusement. Should such occasion have place out
of the shooting months--or when, haply, some row with the Albanians
has placed Butrinto under interdict--woful are the straits to which
our ardent young fellow-countrymen are reduced. A ride to the
Garoona pass, or a lounge into Carabots; or, to come to the worst,
an hour or two's _flané_ round old Schulenberg's statue, are well in
their way, but cannot please for ever. All these things considered,
it is, we say, but likely that we shall reap some substantial
benefit from the leisure of our military friends, so soon as their
literary researches shall have carried them into the enjoyment of
this book. Dalmatia is almost before their very eyes. If hitherto
they have not drifted thither, under the combined influences of a
long leave and an uncertain purpose, it is because they have not
been in a condition to prosecute researches. We must not blame them
for their past neglect, any more than we blame the idleness of him
who lacks the implements of work. Give a man tools, and then, if he
work not, _monstrare digito_. Henceforth they must be regarded as
thoroughly equipped, and without excuse. Let us hope that some two
or three may be roused to action on the very next opportunity--that
is to say, on the very next occasion of leave. Let us hope that,
instead of sloping away to Paxo, or Santa Maura, they may shape
their course through the North Channel, and begin, if they please,
by exploring the Bocca di Cattaro.

Sir Gardner speaks of difficulties and vexatious delays interposed
between the traveller and his purpose by the Austrian authorities.
These scrutineers of passports seem to grow worse; and with them
bad has long been the best. We used to think that the palm of
pettifogging was fairly due to the officials of his Hellenic
majesty. It was bad enough, we always thought, to be kept waiting
and watching for a license to move from the Piræus to Lutraki, by
steam; but we confess that Sir Gardner makes out a case, or rather
several cases, that beat our experience hollow. We should like
to commit the passport system to the verdict to be pronounced by
common-sense after perusal of the two or three pages he has written
on this subject. But common-sense must be far from us, or the mob
would not be raving for liberty while still tolerant of passports.

There is another point in respect of which a change for the worse
appears to have taken place, and that is in the important point
of _bienveillance_ towards English travellers. We learn that, at
present, Austrian officers are shy of English companionship; and
that it is even enjoined on them authoritatively that they avoid
intimacy with stragglers from Corfu. The reason assignable is found
in the late sad and absurd conspiracy hatched in that island--a
conspiracy which would have been utterly ridiculous, had it not in
the event proved so melancholy. It will freely be admitted that
the English would deserve to be sent, as they are, to Coventry,
were it fact that the insane project of the young Bandieras had
found English partisans, and that such partisanship had been winked
at by the authorities. But the real state of the case is exactly
contrary to this supposition. Humanity must needs have mourned over
the cutting off of the young men, and the sorrow of their father,
the gallant old admiral. But common-sense must have condemned the
undertaking as utterly absurd and mischievous. It is a pity that any
misunderstanding should be permitted to qualify the good feeling
towards us, for which the Austrians have been remarkable. This good
feeling has been observable eminently among their naval officers,
who have got up a strong fellowship with us, ever since they were
associated with our fleet in the operations on the coast of Syria.
That particular service has done much towards the exalting of them
in their own estimation; and, of course, the increase of friendship
for us has been in the direct proportion of the lift given to
them. The Austrian _militaires_, also, used to be a very good set
of fellows, and only too happy to be civil to an Englishman. At
their dull stations an arrival is an event, and any considerable
accession of visitors occasions quite a jubilee. These gentlemen,
however, cannot have among them much of the spirit of enterprise,
or they would take more trouble than they do to learn something of
the condition of their neighbours. They will complain freely of
the dulness of the place of their location, but at the same time
will evince little interest in the condition of the world beyond
their immediate ken. Many of them who live almost within hail of
the Montenegrini, have never been at the trouble of ascending the
mountains. Nothing seems to astonish them more than the erratic
disposition which leads men in quest of adventure; they cannot
conceive such an idea as that of volunteering for a cruise. Yachts
puzzle them: the owners must be sailors. Of any military officers
who may chance to visit them in yachts, they cannot conceive
otherwise than that they belong to the marine. Nevertheless they
are, or used to be, kind and hospitable; and would treat you well,
although they could not quite make you out.

That this country is a neglected portion of the Austrian empire
is very evident. The officials sigh under the very endearments of
office. The _sanità_ man, who comes off to greet your arrival, will
tell you how insufferably dull it is living in the Bocca,--and how
he longs to be removed anywhither. Place, people, climate, all
will be condemned. Yet, to a stranger, many of the localities seem
exquisitely beautiful. The same cause seems to mar enjoyment here
that spoils the beauty of our own Norfolk Island. The Austrian
residents regard themselves as being in a state of banishment,
and take up their abode only by constraint: the constraint, that
is to say, of mammon. By the government, its possessions in this
quarter have been neglected in a manner most impolitic. The value
of this strip of coast to an empire almost entirely inland, yet
wishing to foster trade, and to possess a navy, is obvious. Yet
even the plainest use of it they seem, till lately, to have missed.
Promiscuous conscriptions were the order of the day, and men born
sailors were enrolled in the levies for the army. Of course they
were miserable and discontented, and the public service suffered by
the use of these unfit instruments. Recently it seems that a change
has been made in this respect, and we doubt not that the navy has
consequently been greatly improved. But many glaring instances of
neglect in the administration of the affairs of the country continue
to astonish beholders, and to prove that the paternal government is
not awake to its own interests.

But of all objections to be made to the wisdom of the government,
the strongest may be grounded on the condition of the agricultural
population in various parts of Dalmatia. Nothing is done to improve
their knowledge of the primary art of civilisation. Their implements
of husbandry are described as being on a par with those used by
the unenlightened inhabitants of Asia Minor. The waggons to be
encountered in the neighbourhood of Knin are referable to the same
date in the progress of invention, as are the conveniences in vogue
in the plains about Mount Ida. The mode of tillage is like that
followed in the remote provinces of Turkey; the ploughs of the
rustic population are often inferior to those to be seen in the
neighbouring Turkish provinces. Lastly--most incredible of all!--we
learn that there is not to be found in the whole district of the
Narenta such a thing as a mill, wherein to grind their corn. Will
it be believed that the rustics have to send all the corn they grow
into the neighbouring province of Herzegovina to be ground? The
inconvenience of such an arrangement may easily be conceived. Their
best of the bargain--_i. e._ the being obliged to seek from across
the frontier all the flour they want--is bad enough, and must be
sufficiently expensive; but their predicament is apt to be much
worse than this. In that part of the world, people are subject to
stoppages of intercommunication. The plague may break out in the
Turkish province, and thus a strict quarantine be established, to
the interdiction even of provisions that generally pass unsuspected;
or the country may be flooded, and the ways impassable. What are
the poor people to do then for flour? Why, the only thing they can
do is, to send their corn to their nearest neighbours possessed of
mills--that is to say, to Salona, or to Imoschi. As these places
are distant, the one about thirty-five miles, and the other about
seventy miles, we may fancy how serious must be the pressure of this
necessity. The ordinary expense of grinding their corn is stated
to be about 13 per cent. What it must be when the seventy miles'
carriage of their produce is an item in the calculation, we are left
to conjecture. Now these poor folks are not to be blamed--they have
no funds to enable them to build mills; but that they are left to
themselves in this inability is a reproach to the government under
which they live. This inconvenience so intimately affects their
social wellbeing, that we cannot put faith in the benevolence of the
rulers who allow them to remain so destitute.

Despite, however, of the disadvantages under which the people of
Dalmatia labour, it will be seen that pictures chiefly pleasurable
are to be met by him who shall travel amongst them. Their honest
nature seems to comprise within itself some compensating principle,
which makes amends for the damage of circumstances. The Morlacci,
especially, seem to be a simple, hardy set, of whom one cannot
read without pleasure. These are the rustic inhabitants of the
agricultural districts, who eschew the great towns. They made their
entry into the roll of the peasantry of Dalmatia at a comparatively
late date. The first notice of them, we are told, is about the
middle of the fourteenth century. After that time they began to
retire with their families from Bosnia, as the Turks made advances
into the country. They are of the same Slavonic family as the
Croatians; though their hardy manner of life, and the purity of the
air in which they have dwelt, on the mountains, have co-operated to
confer on them superiority of personal appearance, and of physical
condition. On a general estimate of the people of the land, and of
their mode of receiving strangers, we are disposed to rank highly
their claims to the title of hospitable and honest.

Sir Gardner Wilkinson certainly travelled amongst them most
effectually. North, south, east, and west, he intersected the
country. One part of his travels possesses especial interest,
because, so far as we know, no denizen of civilised Christendom has
ever before been so completely over the ground. We refer to his
expedition into, and through the territory of the Montenegrini.
Others--some few only, but still some others--have been far enough
to get a peep at these wild children of the mountains; and more than
once of late years, Maga has given notices concerning them:[16]
but only scanty knowledge of their domestic condition has been
attainable. Sir Gardner went right through their country to the
Turkish border, and tarried amongst them long enough to form pretty
accurate notions of their state.

  [16] See _Blackwood's Magazine_, for January 1845, and for October
  1846.

In the account of our author's first journey, no serious stop is
made till we come alongside of the island of Veglia: apropos to
the passage by which, we have given to us, at some length, an
interesting extract from the report of a Venetian commissioner sent
to the island, in 1481, to inquire into its state. Of this document
we will say no more than that it is exceedingly curious, and will
well reward the pains of reading. A passing notice is given to
Segna, situated on the mainland, near Veglia, for the memory's sake
of those desperate villains the Uscocs, to whom it belonged of old.
A good deal of their history is given in the last chapter of the
second volume, which serves as a documentary appendix to the work.
Everything necessary to beget interest in the islands scattered
hereaway is told; but we pass them by, and are brought to Zara. What
of antiquities is here discoverable is rooted out for our benefit,
but not much remains. The most interesting relic in the place, to
our mind, is the inscription recording the victory of Lepanto. As
Zara is the capital of Dalmatia, occasion is taken, while speaking
of the city, to give some account of the government of the province,
and of the general condition of the people.

An incident mentioned by Sir Gardner displays, in a painful
light, the kind of feeling entertained by the Austrian government
towards these its subjects, and permitted by its officials to
find expression before the natives. We cannot take it as a case
of isolated insolence: because men in responsible situations,
especially where the social system comprises an indefinite supply
of spies, do not ostentatiously commit themselves, unless they
have a foregone conviction, that what they say is according to
the authorised tone. Men under inspection of the higher powers
do not put themselves out of their way to make a display of
bitterness, unless they think thereby to conciliate the good-will
of their superiors. This is the incident in question: On a certain
occasion, the conversation happened to turn on the subject of a
then recent disturbance in a Dalmatian town. The soldiery and the
people had quarrelled, and in the _émeute_ two of the soldiers
had been killed. On these data forth spake a Jack in office. He
knew not, nor did he care to know, how many of the peasants had
fallen, nor does he appear to have entered at all curiously into
the question of the _casus belli_. He simply recommended, as the
disturbance had taken place, and as the actual perpetrators of
the violence were not forthcoming, that the whole population of
the town should be "decimated and shot." "The butchery of any
number of Dalmatians," says our author, "was thought a fit way of
remedying the incapacity of the police." One would hardly imagine
that this counsel could have been met by the applauses of persons
holding official situations; but so, we are assured, it was in fact
received. This manifestation of feeling is a sort of thing which,
when emanating from a group of merely private individuals, may be
disregarded. Idle people will talk, and their hard words will break
no bones. But the hard words of the ministers of government do
break bones; and such words must be accepted as serious indications
of subsistent evil. Such receipts for keeping people in peace and
quietness are consistent enough with the genius of their neighbours
the Turks. Retrenchment of heads, and of causes of complaint, are to
their apprehension one and the same thing--πολλων ὀνομάτων, μορφὴ
μία. We know this, and expect it. It is not so very long ago since
the Capitan Pasha gave the word to heave the officer of the watch
overboard, because his ship missed stays in going about in the
Black Sea. But the Austrians are civilised and Christian; we expect
better things of them, and can but mourn over their misapprehension
of the true principles of polity. The Englishman who stood by
rebuked the promoters of these atrocious sentiments, and for this
act of championship he was subsequently thanked by the Dalmatians
who were present. They could not have ventured to undertake their
own defence, but must have listened in silence to this outrageous
language. Our author doubts not that this exhibition of simple
humanity on his part, had the effect of causing him to be forthwith
placed under the surveillance of the police; and that such a
consequence should be so very likely to follow the honest expression
of a common-sense opinion in society is a fact that shows clearly
enough how _unsound_ that state of things must be. Assuredly one
of the best effects of intercourse with civilised nations is,
that we thereby become enabled to institute a comparison between
their social condition and our own. Even those unhappy Chartists,
who lately have acquired the habit of addressing one another as
"brother slaves," would learn to value British freedom, if they knew
something of the social condition of their European brethren: they
would see some difference between the security of their own hours of
relaxation, and the degree in which a man's freedom in Austria is
invaded by the espionage of the police.

From Zara the course of the narrative takes us to Sebenico, a town
situated on the inner side of the lake or bay into which the waters
of the Kerka debouch. It is one of the coaling stations of the
steamer; and, when the time of arrival will allow such concession,
the passengers are permitted to take a trip in a four-oared boat,
to visit the falls of the Kerka. Here the costume of the women
is noticed as being singularly graceful. In coasting along from
Sebenico to Spalato, the headland of la Planca is remarkable. Near
it is a little church which is famous in local chronicle for having
once upon a time served as a trap, wherein an ass caught a wolf. How
this marvellous feat was accomplished, we will not just now stop
to tell, but must refer the curious to the book itself. This point
is also remarkable, because here begins abruptly a change in the
climate. Some plants unknown to the northward begin to appear; and
henceforward, to one proceeding southward, the dreaded Scirocco will
be a more frequent infliction. To the southward of la Planca, this
objectionable wind is constantly blowing; and at Spalato, we are
told, it assumes for its allowance 100 days out of the 365. Apropos
to the Scirocco, we have an episode on _anemology_, and are taught
how the old Greeks and Romans used to box the compass--at least
how they would have done so, had they had compasses to box. In the
distance, to the south of the promontory of la Planca, is the island
of Lissa, famous in modern history for Sir William Hoste's action
in 1811. "Such an action," says James, "stands unrivalled in the
annals of the naval history of Great Britain, or that of any other
country, from the great disproportion in numerical force, as well
as the beauty and address of its manœuvres; it stands surpassed
by none in the spirit and enterprise with which it was encountered,
and carried through to a successful issue." There is not much risk
in making this assertion, when we consider that on that occasion
the French squadron consisted of four forty-gun frigates, two of
a smaller class, a sixteen-gun corvette, a ten-gun schooner, one
six-gun xebec, and two gunboats; and that the English squadron was
of three frigates, and one twenty-two gunship. Lissa was also famous
in the time of the Romans, being then called Issa. We have a notice
of its history, and then pass on to Bua, and so to Spalato.

Concerning Spalato details are given, as might be expected, at
some length. Much is told us of its past and present condition;
in fact, there is presented to us a very sufficient assemblage of
_indicia_ concerning it. We recommend any one who wishes to enjoy
a visit to Spalato to take with him this book, and chapter 13th of
Gibbon. The extract from Porphyrogenitus, given by Gibbon, tells us
what the palace of Diocletian was; and Sir Gardner Wilkinson tells
us what it is now, and what has been its history. Besides verbal
description, his pencil affords some apt illustrations of the actual
condition of the buildings. We see by these, and by his account,
that the treasures of Spalatine architecture have been obscured by
the building up of modern edifices on their sites. "The stranger,"
he says, "is shocked to see windows of houses through the arches of
the court, intercolumniations filled up with petty shops, and the
peristyle of the great temple masked by modern houses." Doubtless,
many a precious relic has been appropriated by modern barbarians to
common uses, and so perished out of sight. But with joy we learn
that the government has taken measures to prevent the continuance of
such destruction, and that the remaining monuments are safe, however
they may be mixed up with the houses and shops of the present
generation. We are told that, under the care of the present director
of antiquarian researches, there is good reason to hope that the
collection at Spalato may become truly valuable. The high character
of Professor Carrara is a sure warrant that all will be done which
is within scope of the means afforded. But as the government
allowance for excavations at Salona is only £80 yearly, we cannot
think that the work is likely to proceed rapidly. While we condemn
as barbarous this carelessness on the part of the Austrians, we must
bear in mind that we are open to a retort of the censure. We neglect
altogether the remains of Samos in Cephalonia, and nothing at all
is allowed for the expense of operations there; yet these remains
are very extensive, and there is every reason to believe that their
actual condition would amply repay a diligent search.

We must stop here a moment to congratulate Sir Gardner, on his
rencontre with the sphinx.

    "A captive when he gazes on the light,
     A sailor when the prize has struck in fight,"

and so forth, are the only people who may venture to talk of Sir
Gardner's delight at the sight of a sphinx, or a mummy. With great
gusto he gives the description of the black granite sphinx, in the
court of the palace, near the vestibule; and in the drawing which he
has made of the same court, the sphinx is conspicuous.

From Spalato to Salona, is a distance of some three miles and a
half, by a good carriage-road. This road crosses the Jader, or Il
Giadro--a stream so famous for its trout, that it has been thought
necessary seriously to prove that it was _not_ for the sake of
these--not in order that of them he might eat his _soûl_ in peace
and quietness--that Diocletian retired from the command of the world.

Salona is rich in antiquarian remains, though nothing is extant
to redeem from improbability the testimony of Porphyrogenitus,
that Salona was half the size of Constantinople. Of its origin no
record exists, nor is much known of its history till the time of
Julius Cæsar. Subsequently to that era it was subject to various
fortunes, and bore various titles. At last, in Christian times it
became a Bishop's see, and was occupied by 61 bishops in succession.
Diocletian was its great embellisher and almost rebuilder. Later
in the day, we find that it was from Salona that Belisarius set
out in 544, when recalled to the command of the army of Justinian,
and intrusted with the conduct of the war against Totila. The town
remained populous and fortified, till destroyed by the Avars in 639.
These ferocious barbarians having established themselves in Clissa,
the terror of their propinquity scared away the Salonitans. The
terrified inhabitants, after a short and ineffectual resistance,
fled to the islands. The town was pillaged and burnt, and from that
time Salona has been deserted and in ruins.

     "With these historical facts before us, it is interesting to
     observe the present state of the place, which affords many
     illustrations of past events. The positions of its defences,
     repaired at various times, may be traced: an inscription lately
     discovered by Professor Carrara, shows that its walls and towers
     were repaired by Valentinian II., and Theodosius; and the ditch
     of Constantianus is distinctly seen on the north side. Here and
     there, it has been filled up with earth and cultivated; but its
     position cannot be mistaken, and in places its original breadth
     may be ascertained. A very small portion of the wall remains
     on the east side, and nearly all traces of it are lost towards
     the river: but the northern portion is well preserved, and the
     triangular front, or salient angle of many of its towers, may be
     traced.

     "In the western part of the town are the theatre, and what is
     called the amphitheatre. Of the former, some portion of the
     proscenium remains, as well as the solid tiers of arches, built
     of square stone, with bevelled edges, about 6-1/4 feet diameter,
     and 10 feet apart."

We have a good description of the annual fair of Salona. The
description will be suggestive of picturesque recollections to
those who have seen the open air festivities celebrated by the
orthodox--_i. e._ by the children of the Greek Church, about Easter
time. We can take it upon ourselves to recommend highly the lambs,
wont to be roasted whole on these occasions. The culinary apparatus
is rude--consisting merely of a few sticks for a fire, and another
stick to be used as a spit--but the result of their operations is
most satisfactory.

     "All Spalato is of course at the fair; and the road to Salona
     is thronged with carriages of every description, horsemen,
     and pedestrians. The mixture of the men's hats, red caps, and
     turbans, and the bonnets and Frank dresses of the Spalatine
     ladies, contrasted with the costume of the country women,
     presents one of the most singular sights to be soon in Europe,
     and to a stranger the language adds in no small degree to the
     novelty. Some business is done as well as pleasure; and a great
     number of cattle, sheep, and pigs are bought and sold--as well
     as various stuffs, trinkets, and the usual goods exhibited at
     fairs. Long before mid-day, the groups of peasants have thronged
     the road, not to say street, of Salona; some attend the small
     church, picturesquely placed upon a green, surrounded by the
     small streams of the Giadro, and shaded with trees; while others
     rove about, seeking their friends, looking at, and looked at by
     strangers, as they pass; and all are intent on the amusements of
     the day, and the prospect of a feast.

     "Eating and drinking soon begin. On all sides sheep are seen
     roasting whole on wooden spits, in the open air; and an entire
     flock is speedily converted into mutton. Small knots of hungry
     friends are formed in every direction: some seated on a bank
     beneath the trees, others in as many houses as will hold them;
     some on grass by the road-side, regardless of sun and dust--and
     a few quiet families have boats prepared for their reception.

     "In the mean time, the hat-wearing townspeople from Spalato
     and other places, as they pace up and down, bowing to an
     occasional acquaintance, view with complacent pity the
     primitive recreations of the simple peasantry; and arm-in-arm,
     civilisation, with its propriety and affectation, is here
     strangely contrasted with the hearty laugh of the unrefined
     Morlacchi."

We do not know the country where men will meet together and eat
without drinking also: at the al-fresco entertainments of this
kind which we have seen, the kegs of wine have ever been in goodly
proportion to the spitted lambs. And wherever a mob of men set to
drinking together, they will most assuredly take to fighting. The
rows at this fair used to be considerable; and, considering that
more wine is said to be consumed here on this one day than during
the whole of the rest of the year, we cannot be surprised that
fights should come off worthy of Donnybrook. At present, better
order is preserved than of old, because these rows have been so
excessive that they have enforced the attendance of the police.

At this fair is to be seen the picturesque _collo_ dance of the
Morlacchi, of which our author affords a capital pencil-sketch, as
well as the following description:--

     "It sometimes begins before dinner, but is kept up with greater
     spirit afterwards. They call it _collo_, from being, like most
     of their national dances, in a circle. A man generally has
     one partner, sometimes two, but always at his right side. In
     dancing, he takes her right hand with his, while she supports
     herself by holding his girdle with her left; and when he has two
     partners, the one nearest him holds in her right hand that of
     her companion, who, with her left, takes the right hand of the
     man; and each set dances forward in a line round the circle. The
     step is rude, as in most of the Slavonic dances, including the
     polka and the _radovatschka_; and the music, which is primitive,
     is confined to a three-stringed violin."

Dancing for dancing's sake, is what enters into no Englishman's
category of the enjoyable, nor into many an Englishwoman's either,
we should think, after the passage out of her teens; but that it is,
in sober earnest, an enjoyment to many people under the sun, there
is no doubt. Surely there is something wonderful in the faculty of
finding pleasure in the elephantine manœuvres of the _romaika_,
or in the still more clumsy gyrations of a _palicari's_ performance.
The _collo_ we readily believe to be a picturesque dance: but such
qualification is not the general condition on which the people
of a nation accept dances as national. Most of these exhibitions
in Greece and Eastern Europe must be condemned as graceless and
unmeaning: as an exhibition of earnest tomfoolery, they may be
accepted as wonderful; and, at all events, may safely be pronounced
co-excellent with the music that inspires them.

In passing from Salona to Traü, a distance of about thirteen miles
and a half to the westward, the traveller passes by several of the
villages called Castelli. The name has been given them from the
circumstance of their having been built near to, and under the
protection of, the castles which, in the fifteenth and sixteenth
centuries, were constructed here by some of the nobles.

     "The land was granted to them by the Venetians, on condition
     of their erecting places of refuge for the peasants during the
     wars with the Turks. A body of armed men lived within them, and,
     on the approach of danger, the flocks and herds were protected
     beneath the walls; and, at harvest time, the peasantry had a
     place of security for their crops within range of the castle
     guns."

The rights of lordship over the villages, which used to be exercised
by the nobles in virtue of the protection afforded, have nearly
all fallen into disuse. The only relic of feudalism that seems to
survive is found at Castel Cambio, over which two nobles still
possess certain rights. One of these was the hospitable host of Sir
Gardner, and his friend Professor Carrara, on their passage to and
from Traü.

A fact connected with the peculiarity of the position of this town
is, we think, well worthy of notice, and deservedly recorded by our
author. The town stands partly on a peninsula, and partly on the
island of Bua. A fosse, cut across the narrow neck of the peninsula,
has completed its isolation. This ditch has proved, on occasion, the
most effectual of fortifications to the Traürines. They were, in
1241, besieged by the Tartars in pursuit of King Bela IV., who had
fled hither before them. These impetuous assailants were unable to
pass the ditch; and, having waited on the other side till food and
forage were exhausted, they were obliged to retire. One cannot read
this story without thinking of the account that Sir Francis Head
gives of the La Plata Indians, whose habits of warfare are in many
respects so exactly akin to those of the Tartars. These terrific
horsemen would be scarcely resistible by their less robust enemies,
save for their inability to cross anything in the shape of a ditch.
Out of the saddle they can do nothing, and their horses will not
leap; so that, if you wish to be safe from their inroads, you have
but to surround your dwellings with a moderate trench. And very
striking is the story that Sir Francis Head tells of the handful
of men who, under such protection, held out successfully against a
host of Indians. Traü, however, has been elaborately fortified in
European fashion, though now the works are neglected, as being a
useless precaution against dangers no longer existent. It has also a
fine old cathedral, and some pictures of pretension.

After a brief notice of the islands of Brazza and Solta--a notice,
however, sufficient for all useful purposes--we pass on to the
picturesque neighbourhood of the falls of the Kerka. Sir Gardner
speaks of the delay to which the passage by boat from Sebenico to
Scardona is subject, but does not exactly complain of it. In fact,
we can easily understand that, for the sake of the passenger, it
is expedient that some authoritative note should be taken of his
departure under charge of the particular boatmen who undertake his
convoy. We never did ascend to Kerka, but from what we have seen
of the class of men under whose guidance the expedition has to be
performed, we are disposed to vote the caution of the police to be
anything but superfluous. Every now and then one hears dreadful
stories of the atrocities of boatmen in convenient parts of the
Mediterranean; and there is good reason to be thankful that the
Austrians think it worth while to be so careful of strangers.

The people about Sebenico, through whose lands the course of
the lake leads, are spoken of as not paying much attention to
agriculture or to their fisheries; but it seems that they are
sedulously bent on raising grapes, and neglect no patch of ground at
all likely to be available for this purpose. The lake of Scardona
is considerably larger than that of Sebenico. On the shore here
the Romans had a settlement, of which scarcely any remains are
perceptible. They are, however, remarkable as affording a manifest
proof of the rise of the level of the lake, for some of them are
under water.

Scardona, we are told, does not occupy the site of the old Scardon,
which was a place of considerable importance under the empire. Some
have even imagined that the old city stood on the opposite bank of
the river. The town at present is small, but well furnished for the
convenience of strangers. It boasts an inn, at which Sir Gardner put
up for one night. He then proceeded to the falls, which are distant
from the inn a three-quarters-of-an-hour journey. As he intended
to ascend the river above the falls, he had to send to the monks
of Vissovaz to ask for a boat, and they readily complied with his
request. The falls do not seem to have been full on the occasion
of this visit--but, when full, the effect must be striking. They
are divided into two parts, and their picturesque effect is greatly
enhanced by the surrounding scenery.

At a distance of a few minutes' walk up the river, above the falls,
the boat was waiting to transport Sir Gardner to the convent of
Vissovaz. It is to this fraternity that we have before alluded, as
being the sole mill-owners on the Kerka. Their convent must indeed
be beautifully situated, and we can quite enter into the eulogium
bestowed on it. The fathers are of the Franciscan order. The name
of Vissovaz is of curious allusion; and as probably few of our
courteous readers will be the worse for a little help in the matter
of Slavonian etymology, we may as well tell them that its import
is "the place of hanging." Not a very complimentary or well-omened
name, certainly, we would think at first sight; but we see that it
is so when we learn that the allusion is to the martyrdom of two
priests, who were hanged here by the Turkish governor of Scardona.
By the record left of the event, we cannot see that the death of
these unfortunate victims was in any sense martyrdom: they were
cruelly and unjustly put to death, but for a cause entirely worldly.
However, they were Christians, and their murderers were Turks; and
this has been enough to constitute a claim to canonisation in more
places than at Vissovaz.

Sir Gardner arrived at the picturesque, red-tiled convent in time
for dinner; but as the day happened to be a fast, the fare provided
was not sufficiently tempting to induce a wish to stay. He therefore
was preparing, with many thanks, to take his leave of the good
fathers, and proceed on his journey, when he found himself brought
up by an unexpected difficulty. He was informed that he could not
proceed except by favour of the monks of the Greek convent of St
Archangelo, another religious house still farther up the stream.
His hospitable entertainers readily volunteered to send in quest of
the requisite assistance. These are the conditions of travelling,
because there are no carriages for hire hereaway, nor any boats
to let. The Franciscans had volunteered to do what, when it came
to the point, was found to be rather an awkward thing. No great
cordiality subsists generally between the Latins and the orthodox.
Each charges the other with destructive heresy; and doubtless both
of these great branches of the church esteem a Protestant safe,
by comparison with the arch-heretics that they each see the other
to be. Thus, though dwelling on the confines of Christendom, and
in a solitude that might have rendered them neighbourly, we find
that very little intercourse takes place between the two religious
establishments. Accordingly, the writing of the letter was found to
be no easy affair; and their guest saw them lay their heads together
in consultation, after a fashion that boded ill for the prospects
of his journey. They confessed themselves to be in a fix; and were
afraid of exposing themselves to some affront if, contrary to their
wont, they should open a communication with the Greeks, asking of
them a favour.

     "'Did you ever go as far as the convent?' said an old father
     to a more restless and locomotive Franciscan, and a negative
     answer seemed to put an end to the incipient letter; when one of
     the party suggested that those Greeks had shown themselves very
     civil on some occasion, and the writer of the epistle once more
     resumed his spectacles and his pen. 'They are,' he observed,
     'after all, like ourselves, and must be glad to see a stranger
     who comes from afar; and besides, our letter may have the effect
     of commencing a friendly intercourse with them, which we may
     have no reason to regret.'"

This very sensible hint of the Franciscan philosopher was happily
acted out. The letter was sent, and in due course of time--_i.
e._ in time for a start next morning--an answer arrived from the
Archimandrite. It was to welcome the stranger to their hospitality,
and to inform him that a boat awaited him at the falls. As the
issue on the first intention was so favourable, let us hope that
the other good results anticipated from the sending of the letter
will have been by this time realised. At all events, Sir Gardner may
congratulate himself on having afforded occasion for the opening of
personal as well as epistolary communication between the convents,
as one of the Franciscans accompanied him in the expedition to St
Archangelo.

Much praise is bestowed on the beauty of the Kerka, and the view
of the Falls of Roncislap is especially distinguished. Sir Gardner
praises it in artistic language; and we may be allowed to regret
that he has not added a sketch of this scene to the views with
which his book is embellished. The waters of the Kerka possess a
petrifying quality that is common in Dalmatia. Much of the rock has
been formed under the water, and must present a singular appearance.

Near the Falls of Roncislap a depôt for coal has been established,
that, by all accounts, would seem to be anything but a good
speculation. We mention it merely for the sake of a good story that
hangs by it. It seems that the Austrian Lloyds' Company patronise
this coal because it is cheap. It is one reason, certainly, for
buying it; but, as the coal will not burn, we may doubt their
wisdom. We do not wish to spoil the market of the Company of Dernis,
but we agree with Sir Gardner, that there are reasonable objections
to the using of food for the furnaces that will get up no steam,
and must be taken on board in such quantities, as to lumber up the
decks. Besides this, hear how it goes on when it does burn:--

     "It has also the effect of causing much smoke, and the large
     flakes of soot that fall from the chimney upon the awning
     actually burn holes in it, till it looks like a sail riddled
     with grape-shot; and I remember one day seeing the awning on
     fire from one of these showers of soot; when the captain calmly
     ordered it to be put out, as if it had been a common occurrence."

"A Russian consul,"--this is the story:--

     "A Russian consul, who happened to be on board, and who was not
     much accustomed to the smoky doings of steamers, seemed to be
     deeply impressed with the inconvenience of the falling flakes
     of soot. His voice had rarely been heard during the voyage, and
     he appeared to shun communication with his fellow-passengers;
     when one afternoon, the awning not being up, he burst forth
     with these startling remarks, uttered with a broad Slavonian
     accent,--'_Que ces baateaux à vapeur sont sales! Par suite de
     maaladie, il y a dix ans que je ne me zuis paas lavré, mais
     maintenant j'ai zenti le bezoin de me lavver, et je me zuis
     lavvé!!_'"

This must have been a Russian of the old school.

Arrived at the convent of St Archangelo, they had every reason to
be content with their hospitable reception. The Archimandrite is
praised as being gentlemanlike, and of mien as though educated in
a European capital. This is a very unusual characteristic of any
Greek ecclesiastic, and what we could predicate of but one or two
out of the numbers that we have seen. Greek priests of any kind
are bad enough, but those living in convents seem generally to go
on the principle of the Russian consul just mentioned, and might
fitly be invited to associate with him. All honour, then, to Stefano
Knezovich, and may his example be abundantly followed among his
brethren!

There was not much in the Greek convent to induce a long visit; so
the next morning Sir Gardner pushed on to Kistagne, in his progress
through the country. Here he was again the victim of letter-writing,
but in a different way. The sirdar of Kistagne took offence at the
tone of the letter sent to him by the Archimandrite, ordering horses
for the next morning; and the luckless traveller was consequently
left in the lurch. However, the monk did his best to make up for
the deficiency. He lent him his own horse, and had his baggage
conveyed by some peasants--an excellent arrangement, saving that
the porters were _female_ peasants. This is a sort of thing that
sadly shocks our sense of decorum, but which many folks besides
the Dalmatians take as a matter of course. Sir Gardner says that
the custom of assigning the heavy burden to the women is prevalent
among the Montenegrini; it is so also among the Albanians; and to a
most atrocious extent in the Peloponnesus. In this particular case,
they were well off to get the job; it was to exchange their task of
carrying heavy loads of water up the hill for that of shouldering
his light _impedimenta_.

Arrived at Kistagne, he found the sirdar, who had been so
disobliging at a distance, much improved on acquaintance, and from
him he received all requisite assistance for the prosecution of his
journey to Knin; and by him was guided in his visit to the Roman
arches, which point out the site of the ancient city of Burnum.

Knin is still a place of considerable strength, and has been once
upon a time still stronger. It is identified with the ancient
Arduba. The marshy character of the ground in its immediate
neighbourhood renders it an unhealthy place of abode; but this evil
is easily removable by a moderate attention to drainage. Not very
far from Knin, but over the Turkish border, on the other side of
Mount Gniath, is supposed to be situated the gold mine that of old
conferred on Dalmatia the title of auriferous. The mine is said to
exist here; but so much mystery is observed on its subject by the
Turks that nothing certain can be affirmed of it. From Verlicca,
to Sign we pass as quickly as may be, merely noticing that there
is another convent to be visited _en route_, and that we have the
opportunity of putting up at the Han, as Sir Gardner did. These
people certainly have admitted a great many Turkish words into their
vocabulary: we have _Sirdar_, and _Han_, and _Arambasha_--to say
nothing of others. At last we come to _Sign_; and, touching this
place, we must give an extract from the book. An annual tilting
festival has been established here, in commemoration of the brave
defence maintained in 1715, against the Pasha of Bosnia with forty
thousand men.

     "The privilege of tilting is confined to natives of Sign, and
     its territory. Every one is required to appear dressed in the
     ancient costume, with the Tartar cap, called kalpak, surmounted
     by a white heron's plume, or with flowers interlaced in it. He
     is to wear a sword, to carry a lance, and to be mounted on a
     good horse richly caparisoned."

     "The opening of the _giostra_ is in this manner: The _footmen_,
     richly dressed and armed, advance two by two before the
     cavaliers. In the usual annual exhibitions each cavalier has
     one _footman_; and on extraordinary occasions, besides the
     footman, he has a _padrino_ well mounted and equipped. After the
     _footmen_ come three persons in line--one carrying a shield,
     and the other two by his side bearing a sort of ancient club;
     then a fair _manège_ horse, led by the hand, with large housings
     and complete trappings, richly ornamented, followed by two
     cavaliers--one the adjutant, the other the ensign-bearer. Next
     comes the _Maestro-di-Campo_, accompanied by the two _jousters_,
     and followed by all the others, marching two and two. The
     rear of the procession is brought up by the _Chiauss_, who
     rides alone, and whose duty it is to maintain order during the
     ceremony."

We have a description of a fair at Sign that is almost as suggestive
of the picturesque as was the account of similar doings at Salona.
Sir Gardner shall give his own account of his departure from the
town.

     "In the midst of the bustle and business going on at Sign,
     I found some difficulty in getting horses to take me on to
     Spalato; but a letter to the Sirdar removed every impediment,
     and, after a few hours' delay, the animals being brought out,
     I prepared to start from the not very splendid inn.' 'Can you
     ride in that?' asked the ostler, pointing to a huge Turkish
     saddle that nearly concealed the whole animal, with stirrups
     that might pass for a pair of coal scuttles; and finding that I
     was accustomed to the use as well as sight of that un-European
     horse-furniture, he seemed well satisfied--observing, at the
     same time, that it was fortunate, as there was no other to
     be had.... I was glad to take what I could get, and my only
     question in return was, whether the horse could trot; which
     being settled, I posted off, leaving my guide and baggage to
     come after me--for, thanks to the Austrian police, there is
     no fear of robbers appropriating a portmanteau in Dalmatia:
     the interesting days of adventure and the Haiduk banditti have
     passed, and the Morlacchi have ceased to covet, or at least to
     take other men's goods."

And now we make a resolute halt, and determine to pass _sub
silentio_ all that intervenes between this part of the book and the
coming into the country of the Montenegrini. Unless we act thus
discreetly, we shall never contrive to compress all we have to say
into due limits; and even now we hardly know how this desirable
result is to be effected. What we thus leave as fallow-ground
for the reader will yield to his research a history of the coast
and islands between Spalato and Cattaro. The notice of Ragusa
is especially and deservedly full, and presents an admirable
condensation of Ragusan history.

But it is high time for us to get amongst the children of the Black
Mountain. Among things excellent it is permitted to institute
comparison without disparagement to any of them: and, in virtue of
this license, we are free to say that this part of Sir Gardner's
book shines forth as _inter minora sidera_. The subject itself is
of deep intrinsic interest; and he has treated it as we well knew
that he would. A picture is given of the actual condition of a scion
of the Christian stock that must astonish those who, by this book,
first learn to think of the Montenegrini; and must delight those
who, having heard somewhat of them, or haply even paid them a flying
visit, have looked in vain for some accurate statement of detail to
help out their personal observations.

The Montenegrini are descended from the old Servian stock, and still
look to modern Servia with affection, as to their mother country.
Thither also we find them, by Sir Gardner's account, retiring,
when forced by poverty to emigrate from their own territory. Among
them the Slavonian language is preserved in unusual purity. The
present population is about 100,000; and the number of fighting men
amounts to 20,000--a number which, on occasion of need, would be
greatly augmented by the calling out of the veterans. In fact every
individual man of the nation, whose arm has power to wield a weapon,
is a warrior; and the very women are ready to assist in defence. On
the Turkish border, as is well known, a constant system of bloody
reprisals is going on; and the endeavours of the Vladika to reduce
their hostilities to civilised fashion have hitherto failed of
success. They are sustained at the highest pitch of confident daring
by the successful war which they have so long been able to carry on
against their powerful neighbours. One is glad of the opportunity
of giving, on the authority of Sir Gardner, some of the stories
of their prowess; for to retail, without the authority of some
such _padrino_, the tales current in Cattaro, would be to win the
reputation of talking like Mendez Pinto.

In judging the Montenegrini, we should give charitable consideration
to their circumstances. War is a system of violence; and with them,
unhappily, war is a permanent condition of existence. The treachery
and cruelty of the Turks--are these such recent developments that we
need make any doubt of them?--have worked out cruel consequences in
the character of the Montenegrini. They believe a Turk to be utterly
without honesty and good faith--one with whom it is impossible to
hold terms--and such, probably, is about the right estimate of some
of their Turkish neighbours. Who, for instance, that knows anything
about them, has any other opinion of the Albanians? Are Kaffirs much
more hopeless subjects? The Montenegrini are far from the commission
of the horrid cruelties that are of everyday occurrence among the
Albanians. Their imperfect appreciation of Christianity allows them
to behold in revenge a virtue; and hence the acts of violence which
are quoted to their dispraise. Their marauding expeditions are but
according to the usages of war; and if they sometimes break through
the restrictions of a truce, it would seem to be because they really
do not understand what a truce is. We think that a very apt apology
for the Montenegrini is found in the speech of a German traveller
quoted by Sir Gardner. He had been mentioning several occurrences of
English and Scotch history, and spoke in allusion to them.

     "'What think you,' he observed, 'of the state of society in
     those times? Were the border forays of the English and Scotch
     more excusable than those of the Montenegrins? And how much more
     natural is the unforgiving hatred of the Montenegrins against
     the Turks, the enemies of their country, and their faith, than
     the relentless strife of Highland clans, with those of their own
     race and religion! Has not many an old castle in other parts of
     Europe, witnessed scenes as bad as any enacted by this people? I
     do not wish to exculpate the Montenegrins; but theirs is still a
     dark age, and some allowance must be made for their uncivilised
     condition.'"

The character of the present Vladika affords good hope that an
improvement will take place among the people; for he evidently has
devoted all his energies to their amelioration. Sir Gardner entered
their territory, by what we believe to be the only route--that is to
say from Cattaro--whence he took letters of introduction from the
Austrian governor to the Vladika.

We shall best illustrate the condition of the Montenegrini by
quoting some of Sir Gardner's accounts.

     "Four Montenegrins, and their sister, aged twenty-one, going
     on a pilgrimage to the shrine of St Basilio, were waylaid by
     seven Turks, in a rocky defile, so narrow that they could only
     thread it one by one; and hardly had they entered between the
     precipices that bordered it on either side, when an unexpected
     discharge of fire-arms killed one brother, and desperately
     wounded another. To retrace their steps was impossible without
     meeting certain and shameful death, since to turn their backs
     would give their enemy the opportunity of destroying them at
     pleasure.

     "The two who were unhurt, therefore, advanced and returned the
     fire, killing two Turks--while the wounded one, supporting
     himself against a rock, fired also, and mortally injured two
     others, but was killed himself in the act. His sister, taking
     his gun, loaded and fired simultaneously with her two brothers,
     but, at the same instant, one of them dropped down dead. The
     two surviving Turks then rushed furiously at the only remaining
     Montenegrin--who, however, laid open the skull of one of them
     with his yatagan, before receiving his own death-blow. The
     hapless sister, who had all this time kept up a constant fire,
     stood for an instant irresolute; when suddenly assuming an air
     of terror and supplication, she entreated for mercy; but the
     Turk, enraged at the death of his companions, was brutal enough
     to take advantage of the unhappy girl's agony, and only promised
     her life at the price of her honour. Hesitating at first, she
     pretended to listen to the villain's proposal; but no sooner did
     she see him thrown off his guard, than she buried in his body
     the knife she carried at her girdle. Although mortally wounded,
     the Turk endeavoured to make the most of his failing strength,
     and plucking the dagger from his side, staggered towards the
     courageous girl,--who, driven to despair, threw herself on the
     relentless foe, and with superhuman energy hurled him down the
     neighbouring precipice, at the very moment when some shepherds,
     attracted by the continued firing, arrived just too late for the
     rescue."

Fancy the tone that must be given to their lives by the constant
necessity of being ready for encounters such as this. They never lay
aside their arms; but in the field, or by the wayside, are armed and
alert. One hand may be allowed to the implement of tillage, but the
other must be reserved for the weapon of defence.

On many occasions, Montenegrin courage has prevailed against odds
far greater than in the above case--indeed such odds as, but for
authentication of facts, would be incredible. In the year 1840,
"seventy Montenegrins, in the open field, withstood the attack of
several thousand Turks; and having made breastworks with the bodies
of their fallen foes, maintained the unequal conflict till night;
when forty who survived forced their way through the hostile army,
and escaped with their lives." Another astonishing achievement
was the successful defence of a house held by seven-and-twenty
Montenegrins, against a body of about six thousand Albanians. Of
this last action, trophies are preserved by the Vladika in his
palace at Tzetinié, and there Sir Gardner saw them.

We cannot wonder that the effect on their minds of these astonishing
successes, should be an unbounded confidence in their superiority
over the Turks. Sir Gardner Wilkinson found them impressed with the
idea, that bread and arms were the only needful requisites to enable
them to drive the Turks out of Albania and Herzegovina. It seems
certain that, in their rencontres With these enemies, they dismiss
all ordinary considerations of prudence. The spirit of their feeling
with regard to the Turks is thus portrayed:--

     "It is not the courage, but the cruelty of the Turks which
     inspires him (the Montenegrin) with hatred; and the sufferings
     inflicted upon his country by their inroads makes him look upon
     them with feelings of ferocious vengeance.

     "These savage sentiments are kept alive by the barbarous custom,
     adopted by both parties, of cutting off the heads of the wounded
     and the dead; the consequences of which are destructive of all
     the conditions of fair warfare, and preclude the possibility
     of peace. The bitter remembrance of the past is constantly
     revived by the horrors of the present; and the love of revenge,
     which strongly marks the character of the Montenegrin, makes
     him insensible to reason or justice, and places the Turks, in
     his opinion, out of the pale of human beings. He dreams only of
     vengeance; he cares little for the means employed, and the man
     who should make any excuse for not persecuting those enemies of
     his country and his faith, would be treated with ignominy and
     contempt. Even the sanctity of a truce is not always sufficient
     to restrain him; and the hatred of the Turk is paramount to all
     ordinary considerations of honour or humanity."

This cutting off of heads is not peculiar to the Montenegrins.
The Turks are, in this respect, just as bad, and Sir Gardner
found, on the occasion of his visit to Mostar, that, in point of
this barbarism, there is not a pin to choose between them. The
Turks, however, exceed in cruelty. It appears, on the evidence
of the letter of the Vladika, given in the second volume, that
they (the Turks) impale men alive; whereas the Montenegrins are
chargeable with no wanton cruelty. Indeed, they do not restrict the
performance of this operation to the case of enemies; but, as an
act of friendship, decapitate any comrade who may so be wounded in
action as to have no other means of avoiding capture by the enemy.
"You are very brave," said a well-meaning Montenegrin to a portly
Russian officer, who was unable to keep up with his detachment in
its retreat,--"you are very brave, _and must wish that I should cut
off your head_: say a prayer, and make the sign of the cross."

Life, passed amidst every hardship, and threatened by constant
and deadly peril, ought, we suppose, according to all rule, to be
short in duration. But we find that these people are remarkable for
longevity. A family is mentioned, in one of the villages, which
reckoned six generations, there and then extant. The head of the
family was a great-great-great-grandfather.

The Vladika received his visitor most courteously, as he always
does those who have the privilege of being presented to him. He
afforded to Sir Gardner every facility for seeing the country, and
engaged his secretary to draw up for him a _précis_ of Montenegrin
history. We will condense some of its more important facts. The
supremacy in things spiritual and temporal has not been very long
vested, as it at present is, in the person of the Vladika. The two
chieftain-ships were of old distinct, and the figment of a separate
temporal authority was continued till comparatively lately: the
year 1832 is mentioned as the epoch at which the office of civil
chief was definitely suppressed. The present family (Petrovich)
have possessed the dignity of the Vladikate since the close of the
seventeenth century. The reigning Vladika--this man of magnificent
presentment--this brave, intellectual, and athletic ruler of an
indomitable race--is nephew of the late Vladika, who has been
canonised, although but few years have passed since his death.
The prince-bishop is not theoretically absolute in power, as the
form of a republic is kept up: the general assembly has the right
of deliberation, under the presidency of the Vladika. But this
restriction of power is pretty nearly nominal only: we give Sir
Gardner's account of the native Diet.

     "In a semicircular recess, formed by the rocks on one side of
     the plain of Tzetinié, and about half a mile to the southward
     of the town, is a level piece of grass land, with a thicket of
     low poplar trees. Here the diet is held, from which the spot
     has received the name of _mali sbor_ (the small assembly.)
     When any matter is to be discussed, the people meet in this
     their Runimede, or 'meadow of council,' and partly on the level
     space, partly on the rocks, receive from the Vladika notice of
     the question proposed. The duration of the discussion is limited
     to a certain time, at the expiration of which the assembly is
     expected to come to a decision; and when the monastery bell
     orders silence, notwithstanding the most animated discussion, it
     is instantly restored. The Metropolitan asks again what is their
     decision, and whether they agree to his proposal or not. The
     answer is always the same: '_Budi po to oyema, Vladika_,'--'Let
     it be as thou wishest, Vladika.'"

Montenegro first secured its independence about a generation or
two before the time of the famous Scanderbeg, on the breaking up
of the kingdom of Servia. Since that time they have constantly
been subject to the inroads of the Turks, who, claiming them as
tributaries, have continued to invade their country every now and
then with savage cruelty. More than once they have carried fire and
sword to Tzetinié, but have never been able to hold their ground.
The Montenegrins sought the protection of Russia in the time of
Peter the Great, and still continue to be subsidised by Russia. At
the desire of Peter, they invaded the Turkish territory, and were
subjected to reprisals on a grand scale. At one time 60,000 Turks,
at another 120,000, broke into Montenegro. The first invasion was
gloriously repulsed; but the second, combining treachery with
violence, was successful. Great damage was done to the country; but
the invaders were at last obliged to quit, on the breaking out of
war between Turkey and Venice. The Montenegrins then returned to
their desolate homes, and have since been unintermitting in their
diligence to pay off old scores. They co-operated with the Austrians
and Russians, when they had the opportunity of such assistance; and
when they stood alone, they did so nobly and bravely. The last great
expedition of the Turks was in the time of the late Vladika. The
Pasha of Scutari, with an enormous force, invaded the country; and
the result of the expedition was that 30,000 Turks were killed, and
among them the Pasha of Albania, whose head now serves as a trophy
of victory to decorate Tzetinié.

The capital of the Vladika, has been described before--for instance,
in the pages of this Magazine; so, with one brief extract concerning
it, we will follow Sir Gardner in his progress through the country.

     "On a rock immediately above the convent is a round tower
     pierced with embrasures, but without cannon, on which I
     counted the heads of twenty Turks fixed upon stakes round
     the parapet--the trophies of Montenegrin victory; and below,
     scattered upon the rock, were the fragments of other skulls,
     which had fallen to pieces by time,--a strange spectacle in a
     Christian country, in Europe, and in the immediate vicinity of a
     convent and a bishop's palace!"

And, as we said before, when he got to Mostar, in Herzegovina, he
found a spectacle of the same shocking kind. He did allow his horror
at this sight to evaporate ineffectually; but in earnest tried to
interpose his good offices to prevent a continuance of these doings.
He talked to the two people mainly concerned--_i. e._ to the Vizir
of Herzegovina, and to the Vladika. He also, at Constantinople,
endeavoured to effect the making of an appeal to the highest Turkish
authority. His correspondence with the Vladika on the subject is
evidence of his zeal; but no positive good seems to have been the
result of his intercession.

The road leading from the capital to Ostrok is described as being
very bad at first, and bad beyond description as it recedes from
the capital. The Vladika kindly sent with Sir Gardner one of his
guards and an interpreter. The party passed by several villages, and
arrived at Mishke, the principal village of the Cevo district, where
they put up for the night at the house of the principal senator of
the province. Here some amusement was afforded by Sir Gardner's
proceeding to sketch the domestic party.

In the course of the evening a scene occurred, which sets forth
their social condition as graphically as the artist's pencil has
their personal appearance. A party of friends came in to have a
quiet pipe, and to plan a foray over the border.

     "On inquiry, I found the expedition was to take place
     immediately. "Is there not," I asked, "a truce at this moment
     between you and the Turks of Herzegovina?" They laughed, and
     seemed much amused at my scruples. "We don't mind that," said a
     stern swarthy man, taking his pipe from his mouth, and shaking
     his head to and fro; "they are Turks"--and all agreed that the
     Turks were fair game. "Besides," they said, "it is only to be a
     plundering excursion;" and they evidently considered that any
     one refusing to join in a marauding expedition into Turkey, at
     any time, or in an open attack during a war, would be unworthy
     the name of a brave man. They seemed to treat the matter like
     boys in "the good old times," who robbed orchards; the courage
     it showed being in proportion to the risk, and scruples of
     conscience were laughed at as a want of spirit."

In a freshly-decapitated head, affixed to a stake at Mostar, he
shortly afterwards recognised the features of one of these very men.

On the next day he proceeded to Ostrok, and found occasion to
admire the scenery by the way, especially the vale of Oranido,
distant from Mishke about four hours. From the vale of Oranido to
Ostrok is a journey of about the same time. At Ostrok he underwent
a grand reception, and fully won the hearts of his new friends by
proposing a ride to the Turkish frontier, and affording them by the
way an exhibition of Memlook riding. On the frontier is constantly
maintained a guard of Montenegrins, to give timely warning of any
suspicious movement among the Turks; and so well do they execute
this office that no Turk can approach the border without being shot
at. Near this border it was that, some little time ago, in 1843, an
affair took place which does not tell well for the Montenegrini; and
which seems for the present to preclude hope of amicable arrangement
with the Turks. A deputation of twenty-two Turks, returning from
Ostrok, were attacked by the people, and nine of them killed.
This breach of faith is, to their minds, excused by the suspicion
of meditated treachery on the part of the Turks. But it is a sad
affair; and the only circumstance which goes in mitigation of its
guilt is, that the Vladika took precautions against its occurrence.
He sent an armed guard to protect the deputation, but their defence
proved insufficient.

The Archimandrite of Ostrok is the person who holds the place of
second dignity in the government. He ranks next to the Vladika; and
we are glad to find, by Sir Gardner's account, that he cordially
co-operates with the Vladika in his plans of amelioration. Here also
was met the celebrated priest and warrior, Ivan Knezovich, or Popé
Yovan--a man who, in this nation of brave men, is renowned as the
bravest. There are two convents at Ostrok, of which one fulfils also
the function of powder magazine and store depot. Its position is
very remarkable; and certainly it does bear a strong family likeness
to Megaspelion. The same quality of not being within reach of any
missile from above belongs to both of them, and has proved the
saving of both.

The return to Tzetinié was by a different route, which took Sir
Gardner within near view of the northern end of the lake of Scutari.
The island of Vranina, situated at this extremity of the lake, is
likely to afford the next ostensible ground for an outbreak. It
belonged to Montenegro, but, a few years ago, was treacherously
seized by the Albanians, who effected a surprise in time of peace.
Remonstrances and hard blows have equally failed to promote a
restoration, _et adhuc sub judice lis est_. Throughout the course
of his journey, Sir Gardner experienced much and genuine kindness
from the rude people of the country; they brought him presents of
such things as they had to offer, and would accept no compensation.
When at last he bade them farewell, and returned to the haunts of
civilisation, it was evidently with kindly recollections of them,
and with the best of good-will towards them. He was able to give a
satisfactory account of his impressions to the Vladika, who inquired
thus,--"What do you think of the people? Do they appear to you the
assassins and barbarians some people pretend to consider them? I
hope you found them all well-behaved and civil--they are poor, but
that does not prevent their being hospitable and generous."



MODERN BIOGRAPHY.

BEATTIE'S LIFE OF CAMPBELL.

     _Life and Letters of Thomas Campbell._ Edited by WILLIAM
     BEATTIE, M.D., one of his Executors. 3 vols. London: Moxon, 1849.


The ancients, who lived beyond the reach of the fangs and feelers of
the printing press, had, in one respect, a decided advantage over us
unlucky moderns. They were not beset by the terrors of biography.
No hideous suspicion that, after he was dead and gone--after the
wine had been poured upon the hissing embers of the pyre, and the
ashes consigned, by the hands of weeping friends, to the oblivion
of the funereal urn--some industrious gossip of his acquaintance
would incontinently sit down to the task of laborious compilation
and collection of his literary scraps, ever crossed, like a sullen
shadow, the imagination of the Greek or the Latin poet. Homer,
though Arctinus was his near relative, could unbosom himself without
the fear of having his frailties posthumously exposed, or his amours
blazoned to the world. Lucius Varius and Plotius Tucca, the literary
executors of Virgil, never dreamed of applying to Pollio for the I O
Us which he doubtless held in the handwriting of the Mantuan bard,
or to Horace for the confidential notes suggestive of Falernian
inspiration. Socrates, indeed, has found a liberal reporter in
Plato; but this is a pardonable exception. The son of Sophroniscus
did not write; and therefore it was incumbent on his pupil to
preserve for posterity the fragments of his oral wisdom. The ancient
authors rested their reputation upon their published works alone.
They knew, what we seem to forget, that the poet, apart from his
genius, is but an ordinary man, and, in many cases, has received,
along with that gift, a larger share of propensities and weaknesses
than his fellow-mortals. Therefore it was that they insisted upon
that right of domestic privacy which is common to us all. The poet,
in his public capacity as an author, held himself responsible for
what he wrote; but he had no idea of allowing the whole world to
walk into his house, open his desk, read his love-letters, and
criticise the state of his finances. Had Varius and Tucca acted on
the modern system, the ghost of Virgil would have haunted them on
their death-beds. Only think what a legacy might have been ours if
these respectable gentlemen had written to Cremona for anecdotes of
the poet while at school! No doubt, in some private nook of the old
farm-house at Andes, there were treasured up, through the infinite
love of the mother, tablets scratched over with verses, composed
by young Master Maro at the precocious age of ten. We may, to a
certainty, calculate--for maternal fondness always has been the
same, and Virgil was an only child--that, in that emporium, themes
upon such topics as "Virtus est sola nobilitas" were religiously
treasured, along with other memorials of the dear, dear boy who
had gone to college at Naples. Modern Varius would remorselessly
have printed these: ancient Tucca was more discreet. Then what say
you to the college career? Would it not be a nice thing to have
all the squibs and feuds, the rows and rackettings of the jovial
student preserved to us precisely as they were penned, projected,
and perpetrated? Have we not lost a great deal in being defrauded of
an account of the manner in which he singed the wig of his drunken
old tutor, Parthenius Nicenus, or the scandalously late hours which
he kept in company with his especial chums? Then comes the period,
darkly hinted at by Donatus, during which he was, somehow or other,
connected with the imperial stable; that is, we presume, upon the
turf. What would we not give for a sight of Virgil's betting-book!
Did he back the field, or did he take the odds on the Emperor's bay
mare, Alma Venus Genetrix? How stood he with the legs? What sort of
reputation did he maintain in the ring of the Roman Tattersall? Was
he ever posted as a defaulter? Tucca! you should have told us this.
Then, when sobered down, and in high favour with the court, where is
the private correspondence between him and Mæcenas, the President
of the Roman Agricultural Society, touching the compilation of
the Georgics? The excellent Equestrian, we know, wanted Virgil to
construct a poem, such as Thomas Tusser afterwards wrote, under the
title of a "_Hondreth Good Points of Husbandrie_," and, doubtless,
waxed warm in his letters about draining, manure, and mangel-wurzel.
What sacrifice would we not make to place that correspondence in the
hands of Henry Stephens! How the author of the _Book of the Farm_
would revel in his exposure of the crude theories of the Minister
of the Interior! What a formidable phalanx of facts would he oppose
to Mæcenas' misconceptions of guano! Through the sensitive delicacy
of his executors, we have lost the record of Virgil's repeated
larks with Horace: the pleasant little supper-parties celebrated at
the villa of that dissipated rogue Tibullus, have passed from the
memory of mankind. We know nothing of the state of his finances, for
they have not thought fit to publish his banking-account with the
firm of Lollius, Spuræna, and Company. Their duty, as they fondly
believed, was fulfilled, when they gave to the world the glorious
but unfinished Æneid.

Under the modern system, we constantly ask ourselves whether it
is wise to wish for greatness, and whether total oblivion is not
preferable to fame, with the penalty of exposure annexed. We shudder
at the thoughts of putting out a book, not from fear of anything
that the critics can do, but lest it should take with the public,
and expose us to the danger of a posthumous biography. Were we
to awake some fine morning, and find ourselves famous, our peace
of mind would be gone for ever. Mercy on us! what a quantity of
foolish letters have we not written during the days of our youth,
under the confident impression that, when read, they would be
immediately committed to the flames. Madrigals innumerable recur to
our memory; and, if these were published, there would be no rest
for us in the grave! If any misguided critic should say of us, "The
works of this author are destined to descend to posterity," our
response would be a hollow groan. If convinced that our biography
would be attempted, from that hour the friend of our bosom would
appear in the light of a base and ignominious spy. How durst we
ever unbosom ourselves to him, when, for aught we know, the wretch
may be treasuring up our casual remarks over the fifth tumbler,
for immediate registration at home? Constitutionally we are not
hard-hearted; but, were we so situated, we own that the intimation
of the decease of each early acquaintance would be rather a relief
than otherwise. Tom, our intimate fellow-student at college, dies.
We may be sorry for the family of Thomas, but we soon wipe away the
natural drops, discovering that there is balm in Gilead. We used to
write him letters, detailing minutely our inward emotions at the
time we were distractedly in love with Jemima Higginbotham; and Tom,
who was always a methodical dog, has no doubt docqueted them as
received. Tom's heirs will doubtless be too keen upon the scent of
valuables, to care one farthing for rhapsodising: therefore, unless
they are sent to the snuff-merchant, or disseminated as autographs,
our epistles run a fair chance of perishing by the flames, and one
evidence of our weakness is removed. A member of the club meets
us in George Street, and, with a rueful longitude of countenance,
asks us if we have heard of the death of poor Harry? To the eternal
disgrace of human nature, be it recorded, that our heart leaps up
within us like a foot-ball, as we hypocritically have recourse to
our cambric. Harry knew a great deal too much about our private
history just before we joined the Yeomanry, and could have told some
stories, little flattering to our posthumous renown.

Are we not right, then, in holding that, under the present system,
celebrity is a thing to be eschewed? Why is it that we are so chary
of receiving certain Down-Easters, so different from the real
American gentlemen whom it is our good fortune to know? Simply
because Silas Fixings will take down your whole conversation
in black and white, deliberately alter it to suit his private
purposes, and Transatlantically retail it as a specimen of your
life and opinions. And is it not a still more horrible idea that a
Silas may be perpetually watching you in the shape of a pretended
friend? If the man would at once declare his intention, you might
be comparatively at ease. Even in that case you never could love
him more, for the confession implies a disgusting determination of
outliving you, or rather a hint that your health is not remarkably
robust, which would irritate the meekest of mankind. But you
might be enabled, through a strong effort, to repress the outward
exhibition of your wrath; and, if high religious principle should
deter you from mixing strychnia or prussic acid with the wine of
your volunteering executor, you may at least contrive to blind
him by cautiously maintaining your guard. Were we placed in such
a trying position, we should utter, before our intending Boswell,
nothing save sentiments which might have flowed from the lips of the
Venerable Bede. What letters, full of morality and high feeling,
would we not indite! Not an invitation to dinner--not an acceptance
of a tea and turn-out, but should be flavoured with some wholesome
apothegm. Thus we should strive, through our later correspondence,
to efface the memory of the earlier, which it is impossible to
recall,--not without a hope that we might throw upon it, if
posthumously produced, a tolerable imputation of forgery.

In these times, we repeat, no man of the least mark or likelihood
is safe. The waiter with the bandy-legs, who hands round the
negus-tray at a blue-stocking coterie, is in all probability a
leading contributor to a fifth-rate periodical; and, in a few days
after you have been rash enough to accept the insidious beverage,
M'Tavish will be correcting the proof of an article in which your
appearance and conversation are described. Distrust the gentleman
in the plush terminations; he, too, is a penny-a-liner, and keeps
a commonplace-book in the pantry. Better give up writing at once
than live in such a perpetual state of bondage. What amount of
present fame can recompense you for being shown up as a noodle, or
worse, to your children's children? Nay, recollect this, that you
are implicating your personal, and, perhaps, most innocent friends.
Bob accompanies you home from an insurance society dinner, where
the champagne has been rather superabundant, and, next morning,
you, as a bit of fun, write to the President that the watchman had
picked up Bob in a state of helpless inebriety from the kennel.
The President, after the manner of the Fogies, duly docquets your
note with name and date, and puts it up with a parcel of others,
secured by red tape. You die. Your literary executor writes to the
President, stating his biographical intentions, and requesting all
documents that may tend to throw light upon your personal history.
Preses, in deep ecstasy at the idea of seeing his name in print as
the recipient of your epistolary favours, immediately transmits the
packet; and the consequence is, that Robert is most unjustly handed
down to posterity in the character of a habitual drunkard, although
it is a fact that a more abstinent creature never went home to his
wife at ten. If you are an author, and your spouse is ailing, don't
give the details to your intimate friend, if you would not wish
to publish them to the world. Drop all correspondence, if you are
wise, and have any ambition to stand well in the eyes of the coming
generation. Let your conversation be as curt as a Quaker's, and
select no one for a friend, unless you have the meanest possible
opinion of his capacity. Even in that case you are hardly secure.
Perhaps the best mode of combining philanthropy, society, and
safety, is to have nobody in the house, save an old woman who is so
utterly deaf that you must order your dinner by pantomime.

One mode of escape suggests itself, and we do not hesitate to
recommend it. Let every man who underlies the terror of the _peine
forte et dure_, compile his own autobiography at the ripe age of
forty-five. Few people, in this country, begin to establish a
permanent reputation before thirty; and we allow them fifteen years
to complete it. Now, supposing your existence should be protracted
to seventy, here are clear five-and-twenty years remaining, which
may be profitably employed in autobiography, by which means you
secure three vast advantages. In the first place, you can deal
with your own earlier history as you please, and provide against
the subsequent production of inconvenient documents. In the second
place, you defeat the intentions of your excellent friend and
gossip, who will hardly venture to start his volumes in competition
with your own. In the third place, you leave an additional copyright
as a legacy to your children, and are not haunted in your last
moments by the agonising thought that a stranger in name and blood
is preparing to make money by your decease. It is, of course,
unnecessary to say one word regarding the general tone of your
memoirs. If you cannot contrive to block out such a fancy portrait
of your intellectual self as shall throw all others into the shade,
you may walk on fearlessly through life, for your biography never
will be attempted. Goethe, the most accomplished literary fox of our
age, perfectly understood the value of these maxims, and forestalled
his friends, by telling his own story in time. The consequence
is, that his memory has escaped unharmed. Little Eckermann, his
amanuensis in extreme old age, did indeed contrive to deliver
himself of a small Boswellian volume; but this publication, bearing
reference merely to the dicta of Goethe at a safe period of life,
could not injure the departed poet. The repetition of the early
history, and the publication of the early documents, are the points
to be especially guarded.

We beg that these remarks may be considered, not as strictures upon
any individual example, but as bearing upon the general style of
modern biography. This is a gossiping world, in which great men are
the exceptions; and when one of these ceases to exist, the public
becomes clamorous to learn the whole minutiæ of his private life.
That is a depraved taste, and one which ought not to be gratified.
The author is to be judged by the works which he voluntarily
surrenders to the public, not by the tenor of his private history,
which ought not to be irreverently exposed. Thus, in compiling the
life of a poet, we maintain that a literary executor has purely a
literary function to perform. Out of the mass of materials which
he may fortuitously collect, his duty is to select such portions
as may illustrate the public doings of the man: he may, without
transgressing the boundaries of propriety, inform us of the
circumstances which suggested the idea of any particular work,
the difficulties which were overcome by the author in the course
of its composition, and even exhibit the correspondence relative
thereto. These are matters of literary history which we may ask
for, and obtain, without any breach of the conventional rules of
society. Whatever refers to public life is public, and may be
printed: whatever refers solely to domestic existence is private,
and ought to be held sacred. A very little reflection, we think,
will demonstrate the propriety of this distinction. If we have
a dear and valued friend, to whom, in the hours of adversity or
of joy, we are wont to communicate the thoughts which lie at the
bottom of our soul, we write to him in the full conviction that he
will regard these letters as addressed to himself alone. We do not
insult him, nor wrong the holy attributes of friendship so much, as
to warn him against communicating our thoughts to any one else in
the world. We never dream that he will do so, else assuredly those
letters never would have been written. If we were to discover that
we had so grievously erred as to repose confidence in a person who,
the moment he received a letter penned in a paroxysm of emotion
and revealing a secret of our existence, was capable of exhibiting
it to the circle of his acquaintance, of a surety he should never
more be troubled with any of our correspondence. Would any man dare
to print such documents during the life of the writer? We need not
pause for a reply: there can be but one. And _why_ is this? Because
these communications bear on their face the stamp of the strictest
privacy--because they were addressed to, and meant for the eye
of but one human being in the universe--because they betray the
emotions of a soul which asks sympathy from a friend, with only
less reverence than it implores comfort from its God! Does death,
then, free the friend and the confidant from all restraint? If the
knowledge that his secret had been divulged, his agonies exposed,
his weaknesses surrendered to the vulgar gaze, could have pained
the living man--is nothing due to his memory, now that he is laid
beneath the turf, now that his voice can never more be raised to
upbraid a violated confidence? Many modern biographers, we regret
to say, do not appear to be influenced by any such consideration.
They never seem to have asked themselves the question--Would my
friend, if he had been compiling his own memoirs, have inserted such
a letter for publication--does it not refer to a matter eminently
private and personal, and never to be communicated to the world?
Instead of applying this test, they print everything, and rather
plume themselves on their impartiality in suppressing nothing.
They thus exhibit the life not only of the author but of the man.
Literary and personal history are blended together. The senator is
not only exhibited in the House of Commons, but we are courteously
invited to attend at the _accouchement_ of his wife.

What title has any of us, in the abstract, to write the private
history of his next-door neighbour? Be he poet, lawyer, physician,
or divine, his private sayings and doings are his property, not that
of a gaping and curious public. No man dares to say to another,
"Come, my good fellow! it is full time that the world should know a
little about your domestic concerns. I have been keeping a sort of
note-book of your proceedings ever since we were at school together,
and I intend to make a few pounds by exhibiting you in your true
colours. You recollect when you were in love with old Tomnoddy's
daughter? I have written a capital account of your interview with
her that fine forenoon in the Botanical Gardens! True, she jilted
you, and went off with young Heavystern of the Dragoons, but the
public won't relish the scene a bit the less on that account. Then I
have got some letters of yours from our mutual friend Fitzjaw. How
very hard-up you must have been at the time when you supplicated him
for twenty pounds to keep you out of jail! You were rather severe,
the other day when I met you at dinner, upon your professional
brother Jenkinson; but I daresay that what you said was all very
true, so I shall publish that likewise. By the way--how is your
wife? She had a lot of money, had she not? At all events people say
so, and it is shrewdly surmised that you did not marry her for her
beauty. I don't mean to say that _I_ think so, but such is the _on
dit_, and I have set it down accordingly in my journal. Do, pray,
tell me about that quarrel between you and your mother-in-law! Is
it true that she threw a joint-stool at your head? How our friends
will roar when they see the details in print!" Is the case less
flagrant if the manuscript is not sent to press, until our neighbour
is deposited in his coffin? We cannot perceive the difference. If
the feelings of living people are to be taken as the criterion, only
one of the domestic actors is removed from the stage of existence.
Old Tomnoddy still lives, and may not be abundantly gratified at the
fact of his daughter's infidelity and elopement being proclaimed.
The intimation of the garden scene, hitherto unknown to Heavystern,
may fill his warlike bosom with jealousy, and ultimately occasion
a separation. Fitzjaw can hardly complain, but he will be very
furious at finding his refusal to accommodate a friend appended to
the supplicating letter. Jenkinson is only sorry that the libeller
is dead, otherwise he would have treated him to an action in the
Jury Court. The widow believes that she was made a bride solely for
the sake of her Californian attractions, and reviles the memory
of her spouse. As for the mother-in-law, now gradually dwindling
into dotage, her feelings are perhaps of no great consequence to
any human being. Nevertheless, when the obnoxious paragraph in the
Memoirs is read to her by a shrill female companion, nature makes a
temporary rally, her withered frame shakes with agitation, and she
finally falls backward in a fit of hopeless paralysis.

Such is a feeble picture of the results that might ensue from
private biography, were we all permitted, without reservation, to
parade the lives and domestic circumstances of our neighbours to
a greedy and gloating world. Not but that, if our neighbour has
been a man of sufficient distinction to deserve commemoration,
we may gracefully and skilfully narrate all of him that is worth
the knowing. We may point to his public actions, expatiate on
his achievements, and recount the manner in which he gained his
intellectual renown; but further we ought not to go. The confidences
of the dead should be as sacred as those of the living. And here we
may observe, that there are other parties quite as much to blame
as the biographers in question. We allude to the friends of the
deceased, who have unscrupulously furnished them with materials. Is
it not the fact that in very many cases they have divulged letters
which, during the writer's lifetime, they would have withheld from
the nearest and dearest of their kindred? In many such letters
there occur observations and reflections upon living characters,
not written in malice, but still such as were never intended to
meet the eyes of the parties criticised; and these are forthwith
published, as racy passages, likely to gratify the appetite of a
coarse, vulgar, and inordinate curiosity. Even this is not the
worst. Survivors may grieve to learn that the friend whom they
loved was capable of ridiculing or misrepresenting them in secret,
and his memory may suffer in their estimation; but, put the case
of detailed private conversations, which are constantly foisted
into modern biographies, and we shall immediately discover that the
inevitable tendency is to engender dislikes among living parties.
Let us suppose that three men, all of them professional authors,
meet at a dinner party. The conversation is very lively, takes a
literary turn, and the three gentlemen, with that sportive freedom
which is very common in a society where no treachery is apprehended,
pass some rather poignant strictures upon the writings or habits of
their contemporaries. One of them either keeps a journal, or is in
the habit of writing, for the amusement of a confidential friend
at a distance, any literary gossip which may be current, and he
commits to paper the heads of the recent dialogue. He dies, and his
literary executor immediately pounces upon the document, and, to
the confusion of the two living critics, prints it. Every literary
brother whom they have noticed is of course their enemy for life.

If, in private society, a snob is discovered retailing
conversations, he is forthwith cut without compunction. He reads his
detection in the calm, cold scorn of your eye; and, referring to the
mirror of his own dim and dirty conscience, beholds the reflection
of a hound. The biographer seems to consider himself exempt from
such social secresy. He shelters himself under the plea that the
public are so deeply interested, that they must not be deprived of
any memorandum, anecdote, or jotting, told, written, or detailed by
the gifted subject of their memoirs. Therefore it is not a prudent
thing to be familiar with a man of genius. He may not betray your
confidence, but you can hardly trust to the tender mercies of his
chronicler.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such are our deliberate views upon the subject of biography, and we
state them altogether independent of the three bulky volumes which
are now lying before us for review.

We cordially admit that it was right and proper that a life of Campbell
should be written. Although he did not occupy the same commanding
position as others of his renowned contemporaries--although his
writings have not, like those of Scott, Byron, and Southey,
contributed powerfully to give a tone and idiosyncrasy to the
general literature of the age--Campbell was nevertheless a man of
rich genius, and a poet of remarkable accomplishment. It would not
be easy to select, from the works of any other writer of our time,
so many brilliant and polished gems, without flaw or imperfection,
as are to be found amongst his minor poems. Criticism, in dealing
with these exquisite lyrics, is at fault. If sometimes the suspicion
of a certain effeminacy haunts us, we have but to turn the page,
and we arrive at some magnificent, bold, and trumpet-toned ditty,
appealing directly from the heart of the poet to the imagination of
his audience, and proving, beyond all contest, that power was his
glorious attribute. True, he was unequal; and towards the latter
part of his career, exhibited a marked failing in the qualities
which originally secured his renown. It is almost impossible to
believe that the _Pilgrim of Glencoe_, or even _Theodric_, was
composed by the author of the _Pleasures of Hope_ or _Gertrude_; and
if you place the _Ritter Bann_ beside _Hohenlinden_ or the _Battle
of the Baltic_, you cannot fail to be struck with the singular
diminution of power. Campbell started from a high point--walked for
some time along level or undulating ground--and then began rapidly
to descend. This is not, as some idle critics have maintained, the
common course of genius. Chaucer, Spenser, Shakspeare, Milton,
Dryden, Scott, Byron, and Wordsworth, are remarkable instances to
the contrary. Whatever may have been the promise of their youth,
their matured performances, eclipsing their earlier efforts, show us
that genius is capable of almost boundless cultivation, and that the
fire of the poet does not cease to burn less brightly within him,
because the sable of his hair is streaked with gray, or the furrows
deepening on his brow. Sir Walter Scott was upwards of thirty
before he began to compose in earnest: after thirty, Campbell wrote
scarcely anything which has added permanently to his reputation.
Extreme sensitiveness, an over-strained and fastidious desire of
polishing, and sometimes the pressure of outward circumstances, may
have combined to damp his early ardour. He evidently was deficient
in that resolute pertinacity of labour, through which alone great
results can be achieved. He allowed the best years of his life to
be frittered away, in pursuits which could not secure to him either
additional fame, or the more substantial rewards of fortune: and,
though far from being actually idle, he was only indolently active.
Campbell wanted an object in life. Thus, though gifted with powers
which, directed towards one point, were capable of the highest
concentration, we find him scattering these in the most desultory
and careless manner; and surrendering scheme after scheme, without
making the vigorous effort which was necessary to secure their
completion. This is a fault by no means uncommon in literature,
but one which is highly dangerous. No work requiring great mental
exertion should be undertaken rashly, for the enthusiasm which
has prompted it rapidly subsides, the labour becomes distasteful
to the writer, and unless he can bend himself to his task with
the most dogged perseverance, and a determination to vanquish all
obstacles, the result will be a fragment or a failure. Of this we
find two notable instances recorded in the book before us. Twice
in his life had Campbell meditated the construction of a great
poem, and twice did he relinquish the task. Of the _Queen of the
North_ but a few lines remain: of his favourite projected epic on
the subject of Wallace, nothing. Elegant trifles, sportive verses,
and playful epigrams were, for many years, the last fruits of that
genius which had dictated the _Pleasures of Hope_, and rejoiced the
mariners of England with a ballad worthy of the theme. And yet, so
powerful is early association--so universal was the recognition of
the transcendant genius of the boy, that when Campbell sank into
the grave, there was lamentation as though a great poet had been
stricken down in his prime, and all men felt that a brilliant light
had gone out among the luminaries of the age. Therefore it was
seemly that his memory should receive that homage which has been
rendered to others less deserving of it, and that his public career,
at least, should be traced and given to the world.

It was Campbell's own wish that Dr Beattie should undertake his
biography. Few perhaps knew the motives which led to this selection;
for the assiduity, care, and filial attachment, bestowed for years
by the warm-hearted physician upon the poet, was as unostentatious
as it was honourable and devoted. Not from the pages of this
biography can the reader form an adequate idea of the extent and
value of such disinterested friendship: indeed it is not too much
to say, that the rare and exemplary kindness of Dr Beattie was
the chief consolation of Campbell during the later period of his
existence. It was therefore natural that the dying poet should have
confided this trust to one of whose affection he was assured by so
many rare and signal proofs; and it is with a kindly feeling to the
author that we now approach the consideration of the literary merits
of the book.

The admiration of Dr Beattie for the genius of Campbell has in some
respects led him astray. It is easy to see at a glance that his
measure of admiration is not of an ordinary kind, but so excessive
as to lead him beyond all limit. He seems to have regarded Campbell
not merely as a great poet, but as the great poet of the age; and
he is unwilling, æsthetically, to admit any material diminution of
his powers. He still clings with a certain faith to _Theodric_; and
declines to perceive any palpable failure even in the _Pilgrim of
Glencoe_. Verses and fragments which, to the casual reader, convey
anything but the impression of excellence, are liberally distributed
throughout the pages of the third volume, and commented on with
evident rapture. He seems to think that, in the case of his author,
it may be said, "_Nihil tetigit quod non ornavit_;" and accordingly
he is slow to suppress, even where suppression would have been of
positive advantage. In short, he is too full of his subject to do
it justice. In the hands of a skilful and less biassed artisan, the
materials which occupy these three volumes, extending to nearly
fourteen hundred pages of print, might have been condensed into
one highly interesting and popular volume. We should not then, it
is true, have been favoured with specimens of Campbell's college
exercises, with the voluminous chronicles of his family, with
verses written at the age of eleven, or with correspondence purely
domestic; but we firmly believe that the reading public would have
been grateful to Dr Beattie, had he omitted a great deal of matter
connected with the poet's earlier career, which is of no interest
whatever. The Campbells of Kirnan were, we doubt not, a highly
respectable sept, and performed their duty as kirk-elders for many
generations blamelessly in the parish of Glassary. But it was not
necessary on that account to trace their descent from the Black
Knight Of Lochawe, or to give the particular history of the family
for more than a century and a half. Gillespic-le-Camile may have
been a fine fellow in his day; but we utterly deny, in the teeth
of all the Campbells and Kembles in the world, that he had a drop
of Norman blood in his veins. It is curious to find the poet, at a
subsequent period, engaged in a correspondence, as to the common
ancestor of these names, with one of the Kembles, who, as Mrs Butler
somewhere triumphantly avers, were descended from the lords of
Campo-bello. Where that favoured region may be, we know not; but
this we know, that in Gaelic _Cambeul_ signifies _wry-mouth_, and
hence, as is the custom with primitive nations, the origin of the
name. And let not the sons of Diarmid be offended at this, or esteem
their glories less, since the gallant Camerons owe their name to a
similar conformation of the nose, and the Douglases to their dark
complexion. Having put this little matter of family etymology right,
let us return to Dr Beattie.

The first volume, we maintain, is terribly overloaded by trivial
details, and specimens of the kind to which we have alluded. We
need not enter into these, except in so far as to state that Thomas
Campbell was the youngest child of most respectable parents: that
his father, having been unfortunate in business, was so reduced
in circumstances, that, whilst attending Glasgow College, the
young student was compelled to have recourse to teaching; that he
acquitted himself admirably, and to the satisfaction of all his
professors in the literary classes; and that, for one vacation at
least, he resided as private tutor to a family in the island of
Mull. He was then about eighteen, and had already exhibited symptoms
of a rare poetical talent, particularly in translations from the
Greek. Dr Beattie's zeal as a biographer may be gathered from the
following statement:--

"I applied last year to the Rev. Dr M'Arthur, of Kilninian in Mull,
requesting him to favour me with such traditional particulars
regarding the poet as might still be current among the old
inhabitants; but I regret to say that nothing of interest has
resulted. 'In the course of my inquiries,' he says, 'I have met with
only two individuals who had seen Mr Campbell while he was in Mull,
and the amount of their information is merely that he was _a very
pretty young man_. Those who must have been personally acquainted
with him in this country, have, like himself, descended into the
tomb; so that no authentic anecdotes of him can now be procured in
this quarter.'"

There is a simplicity in this which has amused us greatly. Campbell,
in those days, was conspicuous for nothing--at least, for no
accomplishment which could be appreciated in that distant island.
In all probability two-thirds of the inhabitants of the parish were
Campbells, who expired in utter ignorance of the art of writing
their names; so that to ask for literary anecdotes, at the distance
of half a century, was rather a work of supererogation.

For two years more, Campbell led a life of great uncertainty. He was
naturally averse to the drudgery of teaching--an employment which
never can be congenial to a poetical and creative nature. He had no
decided predilection for any of the learned professions; for though
he alternately betook himself to the study of law, physic, and
divinity, it was hardly with a serious purpose. He visited Edinburgh
in search of literary employment, was for some time a clerk in a
writer's office, and, through the kindness of the late Dr Anderson,
editor of a collection of the British poets,--a man who was ever
eager to acknowledge and encourage genius,--he received his first
introduction to a bookselling firm. From them he received some
little employment, but not of a nature suited to his taste; and we
soon afterwards find him in Glasgow, meditating the establishment of
a magazine--a scheme which proved utterly abortive.

In the mean time, however, he had not been idle. At the age of
twenty the poetical instinct is active, and, even though no audience
can be found, the muse will force its way. Campbell had already
translated two plays of Æschylus and Euripides--an exercise which
no doubt developed largely his powers of versification--and,
further, had begun to compose original lyric verses. In the foreign
edition of his works, there is inserted a poem called the Dirge
of Wallace, written about this period, which, with a very little
concentration, might have been rendered as perfect as any of his
later compositions. In spirit and energy it is assuredly inferior to
none of them. "But," says Dr Beattie, "the fastidious author, who
thought it too rhapsodical, never bestowed a careful revision upon
it, and persisted in excluding it from all the London editions." We
hope to see it restored to its proper place in the next: in the mean
time we select the following noble stanzas:--

    "They lighted the tapers at dead of night,
       And chaunted their holiest hymn:
     But her brow and her bosom were damp with affright,
       Her eye was all sleepless and dim!
     And the Lady of Ellerslie wept for her lord,
       When a death-watch beat in her lonely room,
     When her curtain had shook of its own accord,
     And the raven had flapped at her window board,
       To tell of her warrior's doom.

    "'Now sing ye the death-song, and loudly pray
       For the soul of my knight so dear!
     And call me a widow this wretched day,
       Since the warning of GOD is here.
     For a nightmare rests on my strangled sleep;
       The lord of my bosom is doomed to die!
     His valorous heart they have wounded deep,
     And the blood-red tears shall his country weep
       For Wallace of Ellerslie!'

    "Yet knew not his country, that ominous hour--
       Ere the loud matin-bell was rung--
     That the trumpet of death, from an English tower,
       Had the dirge of her champion sung.
     When his dungeon-light looked dim and red
       On the highborn blood of a martyr slain,
     No anthem was sung at his lowly death-bed--
     No weeping was there when _his_ bosom bled,
       And is heart was rent in twain.

    "Oh! it was not thus when his ashen spear
       Was true to that knight forlorn,
     And hosts of a thousand wore scattered like deer
       At the blast of a hunter's horn;
     _When he strode o'er the wreck of each well-fought field,
       With the yellow-haired chiefs of his native land;_
     _For his lance was not shivered on helmet or shield,
     And the sword that was fit for archangel to wield
       Was light in his terrible hand!_

    "Yet, bleeding and bound, though the Wallace wight
       For his long-loved country die,
     The bugle ne'er sung to a braver knight
       Than William of Ellerslie!
     But the day of his triumphs shall never depart;
       His head, unentombed, shall with glory be palmed--
     From its blood-streaming altar his spirit shall start;
     Though the raven has fed on his mouldering heart,
       A nobler was never embalmed!"

Nothing can be finer than the lines we have quoted in Italics, nor
perhaps did Campbell himself ever match them. Local reputations are
dearly cherished in the west of Scotland, and even at this early
period our poet was denominated "the Pope of Glasgow."

Again Campbell migrated to Edinburgh, but still with no fixed
determination as to the choice of a profession: his intention was
to attend the public lectures at the University, and also to push
his connexion with the booksellers, so as to obtain the means of
livelihood. Failing this last resource, he contemplated removing
to America, in which country his eldest brother was permanently
settled. Fortunately for himself, he now made the acquaintance
of several young men who were destined afterwards to attract the
public observation, and to win great names in different branches
of literature. Among these were Scott, Brougham, Leyden, Jeffrey,
Dr Thomas Brown, and Grahame, the author of _The Sabbath_. Mr
John Richardson, who had the good fortune to remain through life
the intimate friend both of Scott and Campbell, was also, at this
early period, the chosen companion of the latter, and contributed
much, by his judicious counsels and criticisms, to nerve the poet
for that successful effort which, shortly afterwards, took the
world of letters by storm. Dr Anderson also continued his literary
superintendence, and anxiously watched over the progress of the new
poem upon which Campbell was now engaged. At length, in 1799, the
_Pleasures of Hope_ appeared.

Rarely has any volume of poetry met with such rapid success.
Campbell had few living rivals of established reputation to contend
with; and the freshness of his thought, the extreme sweetness of his
numbers, and the fine taste which pervaded the whole composition,
fell like magic on the ear of the public, and won their immediate
approbation. It is true that, as a speculation, this volume did
not prove remarkably lucrative to the author: he had disposed of
the copyright before publication for a sum of sixty pounds, but,
through the liberality of the publishers, he received for some
years a further sum on the issue of each edition. The book was
certainly worth a great deal more; but many an author would be glad
to surrender all claim for profit on his first adventure, could he
be assured of such valuable popularity as Campbell now acquired.
He presently became a lion in Edinburgh society; and, what was far
better, he secured the countenance and friendship of such men as
Dugald Stewart, Henry Mackenzie, Dr Gregory, the Rev. Archibald
Alison, and Telford, the celebrated engineer. It is pleasant to know
that the friendships so formed were interrupted only by death.

Campbell had now, to use a common but familiar phrase, the
ball at his foot, but never did there live a man less capable
of appreciating opportunity. At an age when most young men are
students, he had won fame--fame, too, in such measure and of such a
kind as secured him against reaction, or the possibility of a speedy
neglect following upon so rapid a success. Had he deliberately
followed up his advantage with anything like ordinary diligence,
fortune as well as fame would have been his immediate reward. Like
Aladdin, he was in possession of a talisman which could open to him
the cavern in which a still greater treasure was contained; but he
shrunk from the labour which was indispensable for the effort. He
either could not or would not summon up sufficient resolution to
betake himself to a new task; but, under the pretext of improving
his mind by travel, gave way to his erratic propensities, and
departed for the Continent with a slender purse, and, as usual, no
fixity of purpose.

We confess that the portion of his correspondence which relates
to this expedition does not appear to us remarkably interesting.
He resided chiefly at Ratisbon, where his time appears to have
been tolerably equally divided between writing lyrics for the
_Morning Chronicle_, then under the superintendence of Mr
Perry, and squabbling with the monks of the Scottish Convent of
Saint James. Some of his best minor poems were composed at this
period; but it will be easily comprehended that, from the style
of their publication in a fugitive form, they could add but
little at the time to his reputation, and certainly they did not
materially improve his finances. With a contemplated poem of some
magnitude--the _Queen of the North_--he made little progress; and,
upon the whole, this year was spent uncomfortably. After his return
to Britain, he resided for some time in Edinburgh and London, mixing
in the best and most cultivated society, but sorely straitened in
circumstances, which, nevertheless, he had not the courage or the
patience to improve.

A quarto edition of the _Pleasures_, printed by subscription for
his own benefit, at length put him in funds, and probably tempted
him to marry. Then came the real cares of life,--an increased
establishment, an increasing family: new mouths to provide for,
and no settled mode of livelihood. Of all literary men, Campbell
was least calculated, both by habit and inclination, to pursue a
profession which, with many temptations, was then, and is still,
precarious. He was not, like Scott, a man of business habits and
unflagging industry. His impulses to write were short, and his
fastidiousness interfered with his impulse. Booksellers were slow
in offering him employment, for they could not depend on his
punctuality. Those who have frequent dealings with the trade know
how much depends upon the observance of this excellent virtue;
but Campbell never could be brought to appreciate its full value.
The printing-press had difficulty in keeping pace with the pen of
Scott: to wait for that of Campbell was equivalent to a cessation of
labour. Therefore it is not surprising that, about this period, most
of his negotiations failed. Proposals for an edition of the British
Poets, a large and expensive work, to be executed jointly by Scott
and Campbell, fell to the ground: and the bard of Hope gave vent to
his feelings by execrating the phalanx of the Row.

At the very moment when his prospects appeared to be shrouded in
the deepest gloom, Campbell received intimation that he had been
placed on the pension-list as an annuitant of £200. Never was the
royal bounty more seasonably extended; and this high recognition of
his genius seems for a time to have inspired him with new energy.
He commenced the compilation of the _Specimens of British Poets_;
but his indolent habits overcame him, and the work was not given to
the public until _thirteen years_ after it was undertaken. No wonder
that the booksellers were chary of staking their capital on the
faith of his promised performances!

Ten years after the publication of the _Pleasures of Hope_,
_Gertrude of Wyoming_ appeared. That exquisite little poem
demonstrated, in the most conclusive manner, that the author's
poetical powers were not exhausted by his earlier effort, and the
same volume contained the noblest of his immortal lyrics. Campbell
was now at the highest point of his renown. Critics may compare
together the longer poems, and, according as their taste leans
towards the didactic or the descriptive form of composition, may
differ in awarding the palm of excellence, but there can be but one
opinion as to the lyrical poetry. In this respect Campbell stands
alone among his contemporaries, and since then he has never been
surpassed. _Lochiel's Warning_ and the _Battle of the Baltic_ were
among the pieces then published; and it would be difficult, out of
the whole mass of British poetry, to select two specimens, by the
same author, which may fairly rank with these.

A new literary field was shortly after this opened to Campbell.
He was engaged to deliver a course of lectures on poetry at the
Royal Institution of London, and the scheme proved not only
successful but lucrative. In after years he lectured repeatedly on
the belles lettres at Liverpool, Birmingham, and other places, and
the celebrity of his name always commanded a crowd of listeners.
We learn from Dr Beattie, that at two periods of his life it was
proposed to bring him forward as a candidate, either for the chair
of Rhetoric or that of History in the University of Edinburgh; but
he seems to have recoiled from the idea of the labour necessary for
the preparation of a thorough academical course, a task which his
extreme natural fastidiousness would doubtless have rendered doubly
irksome. Several more years, a portion of which time was spent on
the Continent, passed over without any remarkable result, until,
at the age of forty-three, Campbell entered upon the duties of the
editorship of the _New Monthly Magazine_.

He held this situation for ten years, and resigned it, according
to his own account, "because it was utterly impossible to continue
the editor without interminable scrapes, together with a law-suit
now and then." In the interim, however, certain important events
had taken place. In the first place, he had published _Theodric_--a
poem which, in spite of a most laudatory critique in the _Edinburgh
Review_, left a painful impression on the public mind, and was
generally considered as a symptom either that the rich mine of poesy
was worked out, or that the genius of the author had been employed
in a wrong direction. In the second place, he took an active share
in the foundation of the London University. He appears, indeed,
to have been the originator of the scheme, and to have managed
the preliminary details with more than common skill and prudence.
It was mainly through his exertions that it did not assume the
aspect of a mere sectarian institution, bigoted in its principles
and circumscribed in its sphere of utility. Shortly after this
academical experiment, he was elected Lord Rector of the Glasgow
University. Whatever abstract value may be attached to such an
honour--and we are aware that very conflicting opinions have been
expressed upon the point--this distinction was one of the most
gratifying of all the tributes which were ever rendered to Campbell.
He found himself preferred, by the students of that university
where his first aspirations after fame had been roused, to one of
the first orators and statesmen of the age; and his warm heart
overflowed with delight at the kindly compliment. He resolved not
to accept the office as a mere sinecure, but strictly to perform
those duties which were prescribed by ancient statute, but which
had fallen into abeyance by the carelessness of nominal Rectors.
He entered as warmly into the feelings, and as cordially supported
the interests of the students, as if the academical red gown of
Glasgow had been still fresh upon his shoulders; and such being the
case, it is not surprising that he was almost adored by his youthful
constituents. This portion of the memoirs is very interesting: it
displays the character of Campbell in a most amiable light; and the
coldest reader cannot fail to peruse with pleasure the records of
an ovation so truly gratifying to the sensibilities of the kind and
affectionate poet. For three years, during which unusual period he
held the office, his correspondence with the students never flagged;
and it may be doubted whether the university ever possessed a better
Rector.

In 1831 he took up the Polish cause, and founded an association
in London, which for many years was the main support of the
unfortunate exiles who sought refuge in Britain. The public sympathy
was at that time largely excited in their favour, not only by the
gallant struggle which they had made for regaining their ancient
independence, but from the subsequent severities perpetrated by the
Russian government. Campbell, from his earliest years, had denounced
the unprincipled partition of Poland; he watched the progress of
the revolution with an anxiety almost amounting to fanaticism; and
when the outbreak was at last put down by the strong hand of power,
his passion exceeded all bounds. Day and night his thoughts were
of Poland only: in his correspondence he hardly touched upon any
other theme; and, carried away by his zeal to serve the exiles, he
neglected his usual avocations. The mind of Campbell was naturally
of an impulsive cast: but the fits were rather violent than
enduring. This psychological tendency was, perhaps, his most serious
misfortune, since it invariably prevented him from maturing the
most important projects he conceived. Unless the scheme was such as
could be executed with rapidity, he was apt to halt in the progress.

He next became engaged in a new magazine speculation--_The
Metropolitan_--which, instead of turning out, as he anticipated,
a mine of wealth, very nearly involved him in serious pecuniary
responsibility. After this, his public career gradually became
less marked. The last poem which he published, _The Pilgrim of
Glencoe_, exhibited few symptoms of the fire and energy conspicuous
in his early efforts. "This work," says Dr Beattie, "in one or
two instances was very favourably reviewed--in others, the tone
of criticism was cold and austere; but neither praise nor censure
could induce the public to judge for themselves; and silence, more
fatal in such cases than censure, took the poem for a time under her
wing. The poet himself expressed little surprise at the apathy with
which his new volume had been received; but whatever indifference
he felt for the influence it might have upon his reputation, he
could not feel indifferent to the more immediate effect which a
tardy or greatly diminished sale must have upon his prospects as a
householder. 'A new poem from the pen of Campbell,' he was told,
'was as good as a bill at sight;' but, from some error in the
drawing, as it turned out, it was not negotiable; and the expenses
into which he had been led, by trusting too much to popular favour,
were now to be defrayed from other sources." It ought, however,
to be remarked, that he had now arrived at his great climacteric.
He was sixty-four years of age, and his constitution, never very
robust, began to exhibit symptoms of decay. Dr Beattie, who had long
watched him with affectionate solicitude, in the double character
of physician and friend, thus notes his observation of the change.
"At the breakfast or dinner table--particularly when surrounded
by old friends--he was generally animated, full of anecdote, and
always projecting new schemes of benevolence. But still there was a
visible change in his conversation: it seemed to flow less freely;
it required an effort to support it; and on topics in which he once
felt a keen interest, he now said but little, or remained silent
and thoughtful. The change in his outward appearance was still more
observable; he walked with a feeble step, complained of constant
chilliness; while his countenance, unless when he entered into
conversation, was strongly marked with an expression of languor
and anxiety. The sparkling intelligence that once animated his
features was greatly obscured; he quoted his favourite authors with
hesitation--because, he told me, he often could not recollect their
names."

The remainder of his life was spent in comparative seclusion. Long
before this period he was left a solitary man. His wife, whom he
loved with deep and enduring affection, was taken away--one of his
sons died in childhood, and the other was stricken with a malady
which proved incurable. But the kind offices of a nephew and niece,
and the attentions of many friends, amongst whom Dr Beattie will
always be remembered as the chief, soothed the last days of the
poet, and supplied those duties which could not be rendered by
dearer hands. He expired at Boulogne, on 15th June 1844, his age
being sixty-seven, and his body was worthily interred in Westminster
Abbey, with the honours of a public funeral.

     "Never," says Beattie, "since the death of Addison, it was
     remarked, had the obsequies of any literary man been attended by
     circumstances more honourable to the national feeling, and more
     expressive of cordial respect and homage, than those of Thomas
     Campbell.

     "Soon after noon, the procession began to move from the
     Jerusalem Chamber to Poet's Corner, and in a few minutes passed
     slowly down the long lofty aisle--

    'Through breathing statues, then unheeded things;
    Through rows of warriors, and through walks of kings.'

     On each side the pillared avenues were lined with spectators,
     all watching the solemn pageant in reverential silence, and
     mostly in deep mourning. The Rev. Henry Milman, himself an
     eminent poet, headed the procession; while the service for the
     dead, answered by the deep-toned organ, in sounds like distant
     thunder, produced an effect of indescribable solemnity. One only
     feeling seemed to pervade the assembled spectators, and was
     visible on every face--a desire to express their sympathy in a
     manner suitable to the occasion. He who had celebrated the glory
     and enjoyed the favour of his country for more than forty years,
     had come at last to take his appointed chamber in the Hall of
     Death--to mingle ashes with those illustrious predecessors, who,
     by steep and difficult paths, had attained a lofty eminence in
     her literature, and made a lasting impression on the national
     heart."

We observe that Dr Beattie has, very properly, passed over with
little notice certain statements, emanating from persons who
styled themselves the friends of Campbell, regarding his habits of
life during the latter portion of his years. It is a misfortune
incidental to almost all men of genius, that they are surrounded
by a fry of small literary adulators, who, in order to magnify
themselves, make a practice of reporting every circumstance, however
trivial, which falls under their observation, and who are not always
very scrupulous in adhering to the truth. Campbell, who had the
full poetical share of vanity in his composition, was peculiarly
liable to the attacks of such insidious worshippers, and was not
sufficiently careful in the selection of his associates. Hence
imputations, not involving any question of honour or morality, but
implying frailty to a considerable degree, have been openly hazarded
by some who, in their own persons, are no patterns of the cardinal
virtues. Such statements do no honour either to the heart or the
judgment of those who devised them: nor would we have even touched
upon the subject, save to reprobate, in the strongest manner, these
breaches of domestic privacy, and of ill-judged and unmerited
confidence.

A good deal of the correspondence printed in these volumes is of a
trifling nature, and interferes materially with the conciseness of
the biography. We do not mean to say that anything objectionable
has been included, but there are too many notes and epistles upon
familiar topics, which neither illustrate the peculiar tone of
Campbell's mind, nor throw any light whatever upon his poetical
history. But the correspondence with his own family is highly
interesting. Nowhere does Campbell appear in a higher and more
estimable point of view, than in the character of son and brother.
Even in the hours of his darkest adversity, we find him sharing his
small and precarious gains with his mother and sisters; and they
were in an equal degree the participators of his better fortunes.
His fondness and consideration for his wife and children are most
conspicuous; and many of his letters regarding his boy, when "the
dark shadow" had passed across his mind, are extremely affecting.
Those who have a taste for the modern style of maundering about
children, and the perverted pictures of infancy so common in our
social literature, may not, perhaps, see much to admire in the
following extract from a letter by Campbell, announcing the birth of
his eldest child: to us it appears a pure and exquisite picture:--

     "This little gentleman all this while looked to be so proud of
     his new station in society, that he held up his blue eyes and
     placid little face with perfect indifference to what people
     about him felt or thought. Our first interview was when he lay
     in his little crib, in the midst of white muslin and dainty
     lace, prepared by Matilda's hands, long before the stranger's
     arrival. I verily believe, in spite of my partiality, that
     lovelier babe was never smiled upon by the light of heaven. He
     was breathing sweetly in his first sleep. I durst not waken him,
     but ventured to give him one kiss. He gave a faint murmur, and
     opened his little azure lights. Since that time he has continued
     to grow in grace and stature. I can take him in my arms; but
     still his good nature and his beauty are but provocatives to
     the affection which one must not indulge: he cannot bear to
     be hugged, he cannot yet stand a worrying. Oh! that I were
     sure he would live to the days when I could take him on my
     knee, and feel the strong plumpness of childhood waxing into
     vigorous youth. My poor boy! shall I have the ecstasy to teach
     him thoughts and knowledge, and reciprocity of love to me? It
     is bold to venture into futurity so far! at present his lovely
     little face is a comfort to me; his lips breathe that fragrance
     which it is one of the loveliest kindnesses of Nature that she
     has given to infants--a sweetness of smell more delightful than
     all the treasures of Arabia. What adorable beauties of God and
     Nature's bounty we live in without knowing! How few have ever
     seemed to think an infant beautiful! But to me there seems to be
     a beauty in the earliest dawn of infancy which is not inferior
     to the attractions of childhood, especially when they sleep.
     Their looks excite a more tender train of emotions. It is like
     the tremulous anxiety which we feel for a candle new lighted,
     which we dread going out."

The sensibility, too, which he uniformly exhibited towards those
who had shown him kindness, especially his older and earlier
friends, is exceedingly pleasing. In writing to or speaking of
the Rev. Archibald Alison and Dugald Stewart, his tone is one of
heartfelt, and almost filial, affection and reverence; and amongst
all the benevolent actions performed by those great and good men,
there were few to which they could revert with more pleasure than
to their seasonable patronage of the young and sanguine poet. With
his literary contemporaries, also, he lived upon good terms,--a
circumstance rather remarkable, for Campbell, notwithstanding his
good-nature, was sufficiently touchy, and keenly alive to satire or
hostile criticism. Excepting an early quarrel with John Leyden, on
the score of some reported misrepresentation, a temporary feud with
Moore, which was speedily reconciled, and a short and unacrimonious
disruption from Bowles, we are not aware that he ever differed with
any of his gifted brethren. He was upon the best terms with Scott;
and Dr Beattie has given us several valuable specimens of their
mutual correspondence. With Rogers he was intimate to the last: and
even the sarcastic and dangerous Byron always mentioned him with
expressions of regard. Let us add, moreover, that, whenever he had
the power, he was ready, even in instances where his own interest
might have counselled otherwise, to lend a helping hand to others
who were struggling for literary reputation. This generous impulse
was sometimes carried so far as to injure him in his editorial
capacity; for, although fastidious to a degree as to the quality of
his own writings, it was always with a sore heart that he shut the
door in the face of a needy contributor.

The querulousness with which Campbell complains throughout, of the
cruel treatment which he met with at the hands of the publishers,
would be amusing if it were not at the same time most unjust. He
acknowledges, in a letter written to Mr Richardson, so late as
1812, that the sale of his poems, for a series of years before, had
yielded him, on an average, £500 per annum: not a bad annuity, we
think, as the proceeds of a couple of volumes! We happen to know,
moreover, that by the first publication of _Gertrude_ Campbell
made upwards of a thousand pounds; and, unless we are grievously
misinformed, he received from Mr Murray, for the copyright of the
_Specimens_, a similar sum, being double the amount contracted for.
We have already mentioned the publication of a subscription edition
of the _Pleasures of Hope_, "which," says Dr Beattie, "with great
liberality on the part of the publishers, was to be brought out for
his own exclusive benefit." We should not have alluded to these
matters, which, however, we believe, are no secrets, but for the
publication by Dr Beattie of some very absurd expressions used and
reiterated by Campbell. Such phrases as the following constantly
occur: "They are the greatest ravens on earth with whom we have to
deal--liberal enough as booksellers go--but still, you know, ravens,
croakers, suckers of innocent blood, and living men's brains." Nor,
in the opinion of Campbell, were these outrages confined merely to
the living subjects, for he says, in reference to the older tenants
of Parnassus, "Poor Bards! you are all ill used, even after death,
by those who have lived upon your brains. And now, having scooped
out those brains, they drink out of them, like Vandals out of the
skulls of the severed and slain, served up by a Gothic Ganymede!"
Further, in speaking of Napoleon, he says, " Perhaps in my feelings
towards the Gallic usurper there may be some personal bias; for I
must confess that, ever since he shot the bookseller in Germany,
I have had a warm side to him. It was sacrificing an offering, by
the hand of genius, to the manes of the victims immolated by the
trade; and I only wish we had Nap here for a short time, to cut out
a few of our own cormorants." The fact is, that so far from Campbell
being ill-used by the trade, they behaved towards him with uncommon
liberality. It is true that, in several instances, they hesitated
in making high terms for work not yet commenced, with a man who was
notoriously deficient in punctuality and perseverance; nor are they
to be blamed, when we consider the number of his schemes, and the
very few instances in which these were brought to maturity.

On the whole, then, though we cannot bestow unqualified praise upon
Dr Beattie, for the manner in which he has compiled these volumes,
we shall state that we have passed no unprofitable hours in their
perusal. We rise from them with full appreciation of the many
excellent points in the poet's character, with an augmented regard
for his memory on account of the virtues so eminently displayed,
and with no lessened reverence for the man in consequence of the
admitted foibles from which none of the human family are exempt.
The book may be practically useful to those who aspire to literary
eminence, and who are apt to rely too confidently and implicitly on
the powers with which they are naturally gifted. So long as Campbell
was under restraint--so long as he was subjected to the wholesome
discipline of the University, and forced into the race of emulation,
we find that his genius was largely and rapidly developed. He was
not a mere philological scholar, though his attainments in Greek
might have put many a pedant to the blush; but he improved his sense
of beauty and his taste by the contemplation of the Attic flowers;
and, without injuring his style by any affectation of antiquity
unsuited to the tone of his age, he adorned it by many of the graces
which are presented by the ancient models. At Glasgow he worked hard
and won merited honours. But afterwards, by abandoning himself to a
desultory course of study and of composition, by never acting upon
the wise and sure plan of keeping one object only steadily in view,
and persevering in spite of all difficulties until that point was
attained,--he failed in realising the high expectations which were
justified by his early promise. As it is, Campbell's name is ranked
high in the roll of the British poets; but assuredly he would have
occupied a still more exalted place, and also have avoided much
of that anxiety which at times clouded his existence, if he had
used his fine natural gifts with but a portion of the energy and
determination of his great compatriot, Scott.

In conclusion let us remark, that however Dr Beattie may have
erred on the side of prolixity, by including in the compass of the
memoirs some trifling and irrelevant matter, he is more than concise
whenever it is necessary to allude to his own relationship with
Campbell. He has made no parade whatever of his intimacy with the
poet; and no stranger, in perusing these volumes, could discover
that to Beattie Campbell was substantially indebted for many
disinterested acts of friendship, which contributed largely to the
comfort of his declining years. This modesty is a rare feature in
modern biography; and, when it does occur so remarkably as here, we
are bound to mention it with special honour.



THE ENGLISH UNIVERSITIES AND THEIR REFORMS.


All over Europe, of late, we have been hearing a great deal of
universities and students. The trencher-cap has claimed a right to
take its part in the movements which make or mar the destinies of
nations, by the side of plumed casque and priestly tiara. Whether it
was the beer of the German burschen that "decocted their cold blood
to such valiant heat," or whether their practice in make-believe
duels had imparted a savage appetite for foeman's blood in some
more genuine combat, or whether Fichte's metaphysics had fairly
muddled their brains into delirium, certain it is that they have,
wheresoever they could find an opportunity, been foremost in the
cause of demolition and disorder, vied with and encouraged the
lowest of the rabble in lawless aggressions, exulted in the glow of
blazing houses, and cried havoc to rapine and murder.

It is curious that, while all this has been going on in Europe, the
attention of the public should have been so much occupied by the
condition of our English universities. Still more curious is it,
perhaps, that so large a portion of the attention thus directed
should have assumed an objurgatory tone, as if Oxford and Cambridge
were not duly performing their functions, as if they were of a
character suited only to bygone ages, as if, in short, they were
doing nothing. True enough, in one sense, they were "doing nothing."
There was no academical legion formed--none, at least, that we
heard of--in Christchurch Meadows or Trinity Walks; no body of
sympathising students marched to London, with the view of taking
part in the democratic exhibitions of the 10th of April. If Cuffey
is to be President of the British Republic, he must search for the
body-guard of democracy elsewhere than on the banks of the Cam and
the Isis. No doubt this excellent result is attributable, in a great
measure, to the loyalty of the professional and middle classes, from
which our university students principally spring. Their feelings
will naturally be akin to those of their relations and friends. But
when, in so many other instances, we see the academic population
taking the lead in the work of revolution, beyond any spirit which
exists among their kindred, and urged on by a democratic madness of
purely academic growth, we cannot help holding that some credit on
behalf of the loyalty of English students is due to the institutions
by the influence of which they are surrounded.

We are inclined to think that the public have not been sufficiently
alive to this not unimportant difference between Oxford and
Heidelberg--Cambridge and Vienna. Certes, but little account was
taken of the peaceful bearing of our academic population. On the
contrary, much supercilious wordiness has been lavished, more or
less to the discredit of cap and gown, by portions of the London
press in the lead, and, as a necessary consequence, by provincial
journalists _ad libitum_. This talk, current now for some years,
was all concentrated and endued with new vigour by a movement of
the University of Cambridge itself. The people who stop your way
by talking of "progress," and deal out dark rhodomontade on the
subject of "enlightenment," were all set agog by what they thought
a symptom of capitulation in the strongholds of the Ancient. All
our old imbecile friends, the cant phrases of twenty and thirty
years ago, started up as fresh as paint, ready to go through all
the handling they had before endured. We heard of, "keeping alive
ancient prejudices," "cleaving pertinaciously to obsolete forms,"
"following a monastic rule," "forgetting the world outside their
college walls," and multifarious twaddle of this sort, till the
Pope fled from Rome, or some other little revolution occurred to
withdraw the attention of the public from this set of phrases to
another, no doubt not less forcible and original. Others, again,
took a friendly tone and spoke apologetically: it was a great thing
to get any move at all from the university: those who took the lead
in her management were not men who mixed with the world at large,
and allowance must be made if they did not altogether march with
the times. "The world at large" is an expression of very doubtful
import: "all think their little set mankind:" but when the resident
fellows of colleges are charged with not duly mixing with the world
at large, we cannot help thinking that those who use the phrase are
ignoring the existence of the Didcot Junction and Eastern Counties
Railway, and borrowing their ideas of academic life from the time
when Hobson travelled "betwixt Cambridge and the Bull." As far
as our observation goes, we should say that there is no class of
persons who have better opportunities of taking an extended view
of different phases of social being, or who are more disposed to
take advantage of those opportunities. A fellow of a college is not
engaged much more than half the year in university business; for
four months, at the very least, he generally has it in his power
to expatiate where he will, from May Fair to Mesopotamia; he has
no household ties to detain him, and if he does not rub off the
lexicographic rust, and the mathematical mouldiness, which he may
have contracted during his labours of the term, he must be possessed
of a local attachment almost vegetable: some few instances of
which secluded existence still linger in quiet nooks of our halls
and colleges, but which are no more the types of their class than
Parson Trulliber is a representative of the country clergy, or the
stage Diggory of the English yeoman. But the self-complacency of
Cockneyism is the most unshaken thing in this revolutionary age.
It is perfectly ready to lecture the parson on the teaching of
Greek, or the Yorkshire farmer on the fattening of bullocks. All
the distributive machinery in the world does not diminish, it would
seem, the absorption of intelligence by the Ward of Cheap.

We are not, however, surprised that the conclusions, on which we
have remarked, should be those arrived at by the large class of
small observers whose phraseology we have quoted. The bustling man
of business, who takes his day-ticket to Oxford or Cambridge, is
of course struck by seeing a number of usages, for the original
of which, if he inquire, he is referred back to hoar mediæval
times--times which his Cockney guides dispose of by some such phrase
as crass ignorance, or feudal barbarism. He is naturally surprised
at such things; he never saw anything like it before; they don't
do so in Mincing Lane, or even in Gower Street. He can hardly be
expected to view these matters in their relation to the system of
which they form a part; he can hardly be expected to realise in
them the symbols through which the _genius loci_ finds an utterance
and exerts an agency; and so he goes smiling home in his railway
carriage, and perhaps buys a number of _Punch_ by the way, and
thinks that there is more practical wisdom in that periodical than
is embodied in the great monuments of William of Wykeham or Lady
Margaret.

Nevertheless, while we rebut these vague general charges of a blind
impassibility to the influences of the time, we are far from denying
that a tendency to cling to ancient ideas and observances is a
characteristic of the universities. This tendency is a property of
all corporate institutions, and is commonly the reason of their
foundation. They are to perpetuate to a future time a feeling or
design of the present; to form a nucleus, round which the thoughts
and principles of one age congregate, and are thus handed down to
another in a preserved and crystallised form. Changes of ideas pass
upon them of necessity, through the individual liability of their
constituent members to be affected by the current of the passing
time; but these changes take place rather by a gradual fusion of
the old into the new, than by those sudden transitions to which the
popular and prevailing opinions are so often subjected. And it may
fairly be supposed that, by means of this property, corporations are
more likely to adopt and amalgamate into their framework that which
is most permanent and genuine, out of all that the ever-changing
tide of time casts upon the shore.

Perhaps, too, this tenacity of the bygone will more naturally be
found to be a characteristic of the universities, than of other
corporations. The spots which they occupy are holy ground, fraught
with historic memories of the great and wise of former days. The
_genius loci_ is a mighty advocate in behalf of antiquity:--

    "As the ghost of Homer clings
     Round Scamander's wasting springs;
     As divinest Shakspeare's might
     Fills Avon and the world with light;"

--so we may not well pass unaffected by the congregation of priest,
and poet, and sage, whose recollections consecrate the banks of
our academic rivers. As we go beneath "Bacon's mansion," or about
Milton's mulberry tree; as we kneel where Newton knelt, or dine in
halls where the portraits of Erasmus, and Fisher, and Taylor, look
down upon us,--these are not times and places for the dogmatism and
arrogance of "the nineteenth century"--for bragging of our advance
and illumination, or sneering at "the good old times." This is in
accordance with the law of our nature; but these recollections, and
the lessons which they teach, are not, if rightly laid hold of,
such as to induce a mere blind attachment to the skeletons of dead
notions and practices. And although it may, perhaps must, happen
that, at any given time, there may be found relics adhering to the
system, whose vitality and meaning have been withdrawn by time,
and left them dry and sapless, yet we will venture to assert that,
if a dogged adherence to antiquated forms could fairly be charged
on the universities, they could never have maintained their ground
amidst the mighty historical transmutations that have passed over
their heads. Civil wars and popular tumults have raged around them;
the throne has yielded to violence and to intrigue; the Church has
admitted modifications, both of her doctrine and her discipline;
and, more than all, the still more important, though silent and
gradual changes--changes to which the striking and salient events of
history are but the indexes and visible signs--changes of thought
and rule of action--have risen and sunk, and ebbed and flowed, and
still these stable monuments of the piety and munificence of men
whose names are almost unknown, remain unshorn of their ancient
vigour, and intimately entwined with our social system.

But it is time that we should come to particulars, and make known
to our readers, as briefly as we can, the nature of the alterations
recently introduced at Cambridge, which have called forth so
much objurgatory commendation from quarters, which were commonly
considered to entertain tolerably destructive views in regard to the
universities. We say objurgatory commendation, because the faint
praise of a "move in the right direction" was generally more or
less coupled with vigorous denunciation of the antiquated obstinacy
which had so long kept in the wrong. And here we must premise the
statement of certain qualities of the age in which we live, which
will have fallen under the notice of all observers. Perhaps the most
distinguishing feature of our time is the principle which forms the
life and soul of retail trade--the principle which sets men to busy
themselves about small and immediate returns for outlay; which looks
more to the gains across the counter, than to the advantage which
is general, or distant, or future. In a word, _practicality_ is the
ruling passion of our day. As might have been expected, education,
among other things, has been subjected to this huckstering test.
People have asked, what is the market value of this or that branch
of learning? Will it get a boy on in the world? Will it enable him
to provide for himself soon? Will the returns for the expenditure
I am going to make be quick and certain? Cowper represents the
father of a son intended for the church as speculating on his young
hopeful's prospects after the following fashion:--

    "Let reverend churls his ignorance rebuke,
     Who starve upon a dog's-eared Pentateuch,
     The parson knows enough who knows a duke."

In these days the acquaintance of a duke is not of the same relative
value as it was when Cowper wrote; but this sort of worldly-wise
calculation is more prevalent than ever, and the cry of the largest
class of the public is--give us such knowledge as will _pay_.
Those who took this commercial view of education derived no small
encouragement from the circumstance that Prince Albert, the learned
field-marshal, and warlike chancellor of Cambridge University,
had interfered to promote the culture of modern languages in
these venerable precincts of Eton, where for many a year Henry's
holy shade had watched the growth of an education of less obvious
utility. How was young Thomas or William "the better off" for being
able to con "the tale of Troy divine?" But teach him to mince a
little French, simper a little Italian, snarl a little German, and
there he is at once accomplished for an _attaché_, a correspondent,
or a bagman--profitable walks of life all of them. And the same
notions mounted still higher in the ascendant, when the senate of
the University of Cambridge apparently evinced a desire to examine
the requirements of that body by the same standard.

The first step of this kind was taken about three years ago. Most
of our readers are aware that, at Cambridge, those candidates
for a degree who do not aspire to honours are said to go out in
the _poll_; this being the abbreviated term to denote those who
were classically designated ὁι πολλοι. Now the qualifications
required for attaining this poll degree consisted of an acquaintance
with a part of Homer, a part of Virgil, a part of the Greek
Testament, and Paley's _Evidences of Christianity_, over and
above the mathematics, of which we shall speak presently. By
what curious infelicity the recondite, and, in many particulars,
inexplicable language of Homer has been so commonly selected for
beginners in Greek at school, and, as in this case, for those who
were not expected to appear as accomplished scholars--we need not
here stop to inquire. Suffice it to say that the university, in
this initial reform, ousted Homer and Virgil from the course, and
supplied their places with a Latin and Greek author, to be varied
in each successive year. This was decidedly an improvement, at
least as regards Homer, for the reason we have alluded to above.
Perhaps a better innovation would have been to have followed the
Oxford system, and allowed to the student a choice of his author.
But it is a great misfortune that the university, in recasting
this course, did not substitute a work of some one of the logical
or philosophical authors current in the English language, for the
shallow and plausible book of Paley's above mentioned--with regard
to which it would be difficult to say whether it is worse chosen as
a model of reasoning, or as a proof of Christian facts.

The mathematical portion of this course consisted of Euclid,
algebra, and trigonometry, the student being thus trained in the
model processes of pure mathematical reasoning left us by the
first, and also brought acquainted with the elementary operations
of analysis. As a matter of mental training, the most valuable
portion of this curriculum was the knowledge acquired of the
geometrical processes employed by Euclid, as familiarising the mind
of the student with the severest forms of reasoning, and the steps
whereby indubitable verity is attained. This portion, however, was
most especially selected for curtailment by the reforms to which
we are alluding. In the stead of the requirements thus displaced,
a motley amount of elementary propositions in statics, dynamics,
and hydrostatics, were substituted--useful information enough as
instances of the simpler applications of the analytical machinery
of mathematics, but comparatively worthless as an exercise of
the mind. Country clergymen, whose forgotten mathematics loomed
grandly on their minds through the mist of years, were confounded
with disappointment at beholding their sons, in whom they expected
to find philosophers, return to them with an examination paper,
apparently rather calculated to unfold the mysteries of engineering,
well-sinking, and carpentering.

This object--the practicability and immediate utility of the studies
pursued, in preference to the superiority of mental training
derivable from them--seems to be simply that which has dictated
the recent innovations of 1848. The principle which entered into
both measures may easily be traced in the prevalent phases of
literature and science throughout the public at large. A few years
ago, every one fancied himself a philosopher. Little volumes,
cabinet cyclopædias and the like, swarmed on the booksellers'
shelves, containing a string of disjointed and bald scientific
facts, involving no truth and expressive of no law, but more or less
adroitly arranged under several heads, with a _savant_ air. The
man of business--the apprentice--the boarding-school miss--took it
into their heads that a royal road was thus opened to all branches
of useful and entertaining knowledge,--that the acquirements of
Bacon were "in this wonderful age" brought within the reach of
every one who had an occasional hour or two in the day to spare
from more mechanical employments; and that the progress from
ignorance to philosophy was as much facilitated by these little-book
contrivances, as the journey from London to Birmingham, by the
rushing railway-train, was an advance upon the week's toil of our
forefathers in accomplishing the same space. Much of this mania for
desultory knowledge has evaporated, but its influences are still
distinctly to be traced among us. It is not surprising that those
influences should in some measure have affected the universities.
In accordance with the popular notions afloat, the Cambridge
legislators followed up the alteration which we have been describing
by the adoption of their recent measures, by which they effected an
extension of their field of "honours" similar to that which they
had already accomplished in the qualifications for the ordinary
degree. To the old "triposes," or classes of honours in mathematics
and classics, they have now added two more--namely, one in moral
sciences and one in natural sciences.

Before, however, we offer any conjectures as to the probable
effect of these yet untried changes, we must remind our readers
of a certain characteristic of the Cambridge system, which is
important in estimating the internal relations of the late reforms.
The academic life of Cambridge circulates through two concurrent
systems, which we may term the university and the collegiate system.
The university is one corporation, and each individual college is
altogether another. The union between the two systems might be
dissolved without difficulty. If the university were to abandon
her ancient seat, and take up some new abode, as she did for a
time at Northampton some centuries ago, the colleges might still
remain as places of education, with but little modification of their
present character. The older system--the university--has had its
functions gradually absorbed in a great measure by the collegiate.
The earliest form in which Cambridge appears, dimly seen in hoar
antiquity, is that of a congregation of students, commonly living
together for mutual convenience in hostels, governed by a code
of statutes, and endowed with the privilege of granting degrees.
Then came the founders of colleges, with their noble endowments,
and reared edifices, in which societies of these students should
live together under a common rule, and form distinct corporations
by themselves, for purposes connected with, and auxiliary to,
those of the university. The latter body has from time immemorial
matriculated only those who were already members of some one or
other of the colleges; but there probably was a time at which a
student in the university was not necessarily a member of any
college, until by degrees these foundations absorbed into their
composition the whole of the academic population. By-and-by, the
principal part of the functions of teaching also lapsed into the
hands of the colleges. In the old times, the university discharged
this duty by means of the public readings or lectures by the newly
admitted masters of arts, (termed _regents_,) and by the keeping of
acts and opponencies--being certain _vivâ voce_ disputations--by
the students. To this system, comprehending the main studies of the
place, was superadded, by individual endowment or royal beneficence,
the collateral information on special subjects given by the
professors. The colleges were altogether subsidiary to this mode
of instruction--the practice being that every student who enrolled
himself in the ranks of a particular college, must do so under the
charge of some one of the fellows of the college, who became a kind
of private tutor to him. Hence arose college tutors; and as their
lectures, given in each separate college, were found to be the most
efficient aids in prosecuting the university studies, the readings
of the masters of arts gradually fell altogether into disuse, and
the _vivâ voce_ exercises of the students have nearly done so.

Possibly, along with the transfer of the functions of lecturing
from the university regents to the college tutors, the professorial
chairs may also have declined in importance as an element of
the academic education. But, as we have before seen, these were
never the main vehicle for the dispensation of knowledge on the
part of the university. Nevertheless, we suspect that one object
of the recently erected triposes is to revive the importance of
the professors' lectures in the university course. For it is now
required that every one who presents himself as a candidate for the
ordinary or _poll_ degree, shall have attended the lectures of some
one of the professors at his individual choice; and these lectures
will, moreover, be necessary guides in the studies required of
those who aim at the honours of the new triposes. It seems clear,
therefore, that the devisers of the scheme had it in contemplation,
through the medium of their changes, to fill the class-rooms of
the professors, and so far to assimilate the modern system to the
ancient, by bringing the university instruction into more active
play. We are disposed to question the wisdom of these proceedings.
Until now, the university and the colleges had apportioned their
several functions, by assigning to the latter the duty of imparting
proficiency in the studies cultivated; to the former, that of
testing proficiency attained. The two systems had thus harmonised,
as we believe, in conformity with the requirements of the age by
lapse of time; and if it was deemed desirable to disturb this
arrangement, and restore the faculty of teaching to the university,
this should rather have been done, we think, by reviving the system
of _vivâ voce_ disputations, now altogether disused except in the
progress to a degree in law, physic, or divinity; but which would
form, under proper regulations, an important adjunct to the ordinary
course, by cultivating a decision, a readiness, and an ingenuity
in reasoning, which are comparatively left dormant by a written
examination. Again, it is, as we consider, altogether a mistake
to suppose that the primary end of a professorial existence is to
deliver lectures. The endowment of a professorship is rather, as
we take it, to enable the holder of it to give up his time to the
particular science to which he is devoted; and it is by no means
necessary, especially in these days, when words are so easily winged
by the printer's devil, that the results of his labours should be
given forth by oral lectures. At the same time, when his subject,
and his manner of treating it, were such as to command interest,
he was at no loss for an audience. The professorships, however,
being mostly established for the purpose of aiding the pursuit of
the inductive sciences, side by side with the severer studies of
the university, fell under the patronage of the spirit of the age.
Whether the sciences, for the promotion of which they were founded,
will be materially advanced by this sort of "protection," remains to
be seen.

It is likely enough, we think, that some confusion may arise from
this revival of the lecturing powers of the university. This,
however, will be easily obviated in practice, as the two systems
have never, so far as we are aware, manifested anything like a
mutual antagonism or jealousy of each other. A greater practical
difficulty is one which appears to be left untouched by the new
regime. We allude to the growing plan of instruction by private
tutors--a calling which has sprang up, in the strictest principles
of demand and supply, to meet the eagerness for external aid which
has been induced by the great competition for university honours.
The existence and increasing importance of the class of private
tutors has been decried as an evil; and it, no doubt, enhances
considerably the expenses attendant on a college education. But,
after all, this is only part and parcel of the lot which has fallen
to us in these latter days of merry England. There are so many of
us, and we keep so constantly adding to our numbers, that we must
not be surprised at more pushing and contrivance being required to
realise a livelihood than heretofore; and as the end to be attained
increases in its relative importance, the outlay attendant on its
attainment will, in the ordinary course of things, be augmented
also. It is not our intention, however, to discuss at this time
the merits or demerits of the private-tutor system; it suffices
for our purpose to notice it as the reappearance, in another form,
of the old functions of instruction, as lodged in the hands of the
university regents. As the collegiate system gradually supplanted
that pristine form, so the office of the private tutors is, to a
certain extent, supplanting the collegiate system. These instructors
are likely, as we before said, to occupy, under the new rules, much
the same place as they held under the old; and indeed it appears
that, whether desirable or not, it would be extremely difficult to
get rid of them; at all events the colleges, being now trenched upon
by the university professors on the one hand, and by the private
tutors on the other, must exert themselves to ascertain their proper
functions, and to fulfil them with zeal and energy.

As for the new triposes themselves, it may be doubted whether the
name given to them is not the most unfortunate part of them. The
common name of Tripos looks like a confusion of ideas on the part
of the university itself, and a want of discrimination between its
old studies and its new. At first, probably, the recent triposes
will be comparatively neglected, and on that ground alone it is both
misjudging and unfair to include in the same category of "honours"
and "tripos," classes which are respectively the subject of ardent
competition and of none at all. But supposing that the new classes
attracted their fair share of competitors, it would still be a
grievous fault in the university to hold out to the world so false
an estimate of the vehicle of mental training, as it would appear
to do by placing on a par the new studies and the old--by assuming,
or seeming to assume, that ratiocinative thought may be as well
employed about the fallacies of Mr Ricardo, as the exact reasoning
and indubitable verities of Euclid and Newton; or that the faculties
of discrimination and speculation may be unfolded by the "getting
up" of botanical or chemical nomenclature, not less than by the new
world of thought opened through the authors of Greece and Rome. We
must, however, confess that we are now taking the most unfavourable
view of the matter. With respect, indeed, to the natural sciences'
tripos, we cannot help being fully of opinion, that it should have
been distinctly recognised as subsidiary to the main vehicles of
education adopted at Cambridge. But the moral sciences' tripos
furnishes, if properly constructed, an excellent means for training
thought. It is a great misfortune that the study of Aristotle has
been suffered at Cambridge to fall almost into desuetude: we speak
of the philosophical study of his works in contradistinction to
the philological. The former is maintained at Oxford with great
success; thus combining, with Oxford scholarship, a training of the
reasoning powers which is almost an equivalent for the mathematical
studies of her sister university. Moreover, the literature of Great
Britain boasts of a band of moral philosophers far greater than any
other modern nation can produce. The works of Butler, Cudworth,
Berkeley, Hume, Reid, and Stewart, with many others, form a group
of authorities worthy of the groves of Academus. The metaphysics
of Locke--we should rather say, the wall which Locke has built
up between the English mind and the science of metaphysics--has
too long prevented the moral reasoners of this country from duly
availing themselves of the treasures at their command. Under the
guidance of such lights as those we have enumerated, we may hope
to see a school of metaphysical thinkers arise in England, whose
exertions may dissipate the mist of half-thought in which Teutonic
speculation has involved the science of its choice. If, however, the
tap-root of our metaphysical thought is to be cut through by the
study of the plausibilities of Locke and Paley, (no very unlikely
issue, we should fear, at least under present circumstances,) then
this moral sciences' tripos also is one of those things which had
better never have been.

We repeat that Cambridge has incurred great blame, if she has
allowed herself to mislead, or to seem to mislead, the popular
mind on these matters. The more talkative portion of the public,
and the newspapers which commonly represent that more talkative
portion, have evidently been inclined to interpret this movement of
Cambridge as an indication of a most utilitarian system of education
coming to supplant the old rules. They anticipate all sorts of
civil engineering, butterfly-dissecting, light geology, and a whole
Babel of modern languages, to be victoriously let loose on the home
where for many a century Wisdom has sat with the scroll of Plato
on her knee, and Science has unravelled the wizard lore of fluxion
and equation. The senate of Cambridge is egregiously mistaken if it
supposes that it will win over to its body the students of these
popular branches of knowledge, by following the dictation of the
popular taste. Those who want to be civil engineers will not come
to a university to learn their art. They will follow Brunel and
Stephenson, and see how the work is actually done in practice; and
those who do so will soon prove themselves far superior, _quoad_
civil engineering, to the Cambridge-bred theorist. In like manner,
a month's flirtation in Paris, or a few games at _écarté_ with a
German baron, will teach the student of modern languages more French
or German than all the philologists of Oxford, Cambridge, or Eton
can impart in a year.

  "Quam quisque nôrit artem, in hâc se exerceat."

If the public have mistaken the functions of the university, it
is the more incumbent on her to assert them correctly. Nor is
the outcry less groundless, that the universities have failed to
furnish the best men in law and medicine. With regard to the law,
certain gentlemen were even cited by name, in leading articles of
newspapers, as types of the class of men who were now taking the
lead at the bar, and representing an altogether different school
from that trained at the universities. The fact of the university
men being supplanted, or being likely to be supplanted, at the bar,
may admit of considerable question. But it is not, after all, the
question by which the universities are to be judged. They do not
undertake to make men great lawyers or skilful physicians; this,
where it does belong to their functions, is a collateral duty, and
not the main object of their training. That object is distinctly
avowed in their own formularies. That noble clause in the "bidding
prayer" will attach itself to the memories of most of those who have
heard it:

"_And that there never may be wanting a supply of persons duly
qualified to serve God, both in Church and State_, let us pray
for a blessing on all seminaries of sound learning and religious
education, particularly the universities of this realm."

A higher end to be attained, perhaps, than that of merely qualifying
the student to "get on in the world." His university education is
not so much to enable him to attain those eminent stations which
are the prizes of ability and industry, as to fit him to adorn and
fill worthily those stations when he has attained them. In truth,
we think it is not desirable, any more than necessary, that a
degree should be an essential opening to the bar, the profession of
medicine, or even the Church. The university is injured by being too
much regarded as a step to be got over with the view of reaching
some ulterior end.

We dwell on this point with the more interest, because we are
satisfied that a still greater responsibility rests with the
universities, to guard the fountains of knowledge pure and
unsullied, in those days of professed knowledge, than in the
so-called dark ages. Our day is rich in the knowledge of _facts_;
there were many _truths_ influencing those men of the times we
please to call dark, which we have ignored or forgotten. The general
demand for information--for this knowledge of facts--has made
it a marketable commodity, a subject of commercial speculation;
consequently, a vast deal that is shallow and desultory, a vast
deal, too, that is counterfeit and fraudulent, is abroad, made up
for the market, and circulates among multitudes who are incapable
of separating the grain from the chaff. It is therefore, we repeat,
even more important that the sources of learning should be guarded
from contamination, now that the antagonistic principles are the
knowledge of truth and the subserviency to falsehood, than when, at
the revival of literature, the struggle was between knowledge and
ignorance.

We would have the universities remember that it is their best policy
as corporations, as well as a duty they owe to those great medieval
spirits who planted them where they stand, to own a better principle
than that which would lead them to succumb to what is called popular
opinion--in other words, the floating fallacy of the day--and aim
at producing the shallow party leaders and favourite writers of
the passing moment. They cannot control the frothy surface and the
deep under-current at the same time. It would be a sacrifice to
expediency which, after all, would not serve their turn. There are
institutions which will do that work, and which will beat them in
the race. Let all such take their own course.

"Let Gryll be Gryll, and have his hoggish kinde:" let Stinkomalee
train the statesmen for the League and the jokers for _Punch_,--but
Oxford and Cambridge have other rôles.

It is true, we are told there is a new aristocracy rising in
England, and that the English universities are gaining no hold
upon the coming generation of "chiefs of industry." It would be
far better for our social condition that these same chiefs of
industry should be educated men, and should pass through a training
which might tend to neutralise the power of the mercantile iron in
entering into their soul. But at present the race to be rich is
so strong and hardly contested, that this class is hardly likely,
in general, to devote their scions to academical studies of any
description; and the merchant or manufacturer who came from the
banks of Isis or Cam, at the age of twenty-one, to the Exchange
or the Cloth-hall, would find himself starting under a most heavy
disadvantage as compared with his neighbour of the same age, who had
spent the last three or four years in a counting-house. The reason
that this class is not commonly trained in the national seminaries,
is to be sought in the habit and requirements of the class, and not
in the nature of the education afforded them.

We have spoken chiefly of Cambridge, because Cambridge has put
herself forward as the representative of a system of so-called
university reform--of a certain movement in the direction of that
principle which would accommodate the education of our higher
classes to the caprice of a popular cry or cant phrase. We care
not so much whether that movement in itself be advantageous or the
reverse: it is against the principles supposed to be involved in it
that we protest. The report goes, that changes of some kind or other
are contemplated at Oxford also. If these changes be made, we trust
that they will not be devised in deference to the noisier portion of
the public, or to that fondness for short-cuts to knowledge, which
fritters away the energies of the rising man in the collection of
desultory facts, and the dependence upon shallow plausibilities.
The Scottish universities, too, are likely to be put to the test in
the same manner as their sisters of the Southern kingdom; and the
questions raised cannot be uninteresting to them.

Nor, indeed, can the whole nation be otherwise than deeply concerned
in this matter; and we are not surprised, at the interest which
has been excited by the recent alterations at Cambridge, though
not measures in themselves of any great importance. While we have
contended for a higher ground on the part of the universities
than that of merely finding such knowledge as is required by the
popular taste, and happens to be most current in the market, and
have called upon them to lead the public mind in these matters,
we need hardly say that we must not be understood as failing to
see the necessity of those institutions closely observing the
shifting relations of our social equilibrium, and adapting their
policy by judicious change, if need be, to the circumstances in
which they find themselves. We might perhaps adduce the altered
position of the Church with respect to the nation at large, as
an instance of these changes. We have before hinted that the
universities have, as we think, in some degree aimed at being
too exclusively the training-schools of the clergy; and this
circumstance, in our judgment, so far as England is concerned, has
both narrowed the operations of the Church and the influence of the
universities. The Church and European civilisation--the latter
having grown up under the tutelage of the former--stand no longer
in the relation of nurse and bantling, though Heaven forbid that
they should ever be other than firm friends and allies! But the
Church is no longer the exclusive teacher of the world: mankind
are in a great measure taught by books. Viewing the clergy not in
respect of their sacerdotal functions, but as the instructors of
mankind, we find their office shared by a motley crowd of authors,
pamphleteers, newspaper editors, magazine contributors, _quales
nos vel Cluvienus_. It is incumbent, then, on the universities to
consider how they may bring within the sphere of that control which
they exercised in old times over the clergy, this mixed multitude
of public instructors; how they may become not merely the schools
of the clerical order, but also the nurseries of a future caste of
literary men, who are to bear their part with that order in the
coming development of human thought.



THE COVENANTERS' NIGHT-HYMN.

BY DELTA.


[Making all allowances for the many over-coloured pictures, nay,
often onesided statements of such apologetic chroniclers as Knox,
Melville, Calderwood, and Row, it is yet difficult to divest the
mind of a strong leaning towards the old Presbyterians and champions
of the Covenant--probably because we believe them to have been
sincere, and know them to have been persecuted and oppressed.
Nevertheless, the liking is as often allied to sympathy as to
approbation; for a sifting of motives exhibits, in but too many
instances, a sad commixture of the chaff of selfishness with the
grain of principle--an exhibition of the over and over again played
game, by which the gullible many are made the tools of the crafty
and designing few. Be it allowed that, both in their preachings
from the pulpit and their teachings by example, the Covenanters
frequently proceeded more in the spirit of fanaticism than of sober
religious feeling; and that, in their antagonistic ardour, they did
not hesitate to carry the persecutions of which they themselves
so justly complained into the camp of the adversary--sacrificing
in their mistaken zeal even the ennobling arts of architecture,
sculpture, and painting, as adjuncts of idol-worship--still it is to
be remembered, that the aggression emanated not from them; and that
the rights they contended for were the most sacred and invaluable
that man can possess--the freedom of worshipping God according
to the dictates of conscience. They sincerely believed that the
principles which they maintained were right: and their adherence to
these with unalterable constancy, through good report and through
bad report; in the hour of privation and suffering, of danger and
death; in the silence of the prison-cell, not less than in the
excitement of the battle-field; by the blood-stained hearth, on the
scaffold, and at the stake,--forms a noble chapter in the history of
the human mind--of man as an accountable creature.

Be it remembered, also, that these religious persecutions were not
mere things of a day, but were continued through at least three
entire generations. They extended from the accession of James VI. to
the English throne, (_testibus_ the rhymes of Sir David Lyndsay,
and the classic prose of Buchanan,) down to the Revolution of
1688--almost a century, during which many thousands tyrannically
perished, without in the least degree loosening that tenacity of
purpose, or subduing that _perfervidum ingenium_, which, according
to Thuanus, have been national characteristics.

As in almost all similar cases, the cause of the Covenanters, so
strenuously and unflinchingly maintained, ultimately resulted in
the victory of Protestantism--that victory, the fruits of which we
have seemed of late years so readily inclined to throw away; and, in
its rural districts more especially, of nothing are the people more
justly proud than

                        ----"the tales
    Of persecution and the Covenant,
    Whose echo rings through Scotland to this hour."

So says Wordsworth. These traditions have been emblazoned by the
pens of Scott, M'Crie, Galt, Hogg, Wilson, Grahame, and Pollok, and
by the pencils of Wilkie, Harvey, and Duncan,--each regarding them
with the eye of his peculiar genius.

In reference to the following stanzas, it should be remembered that,
during the holding of their conventicles,--which frequently, in the
more troublous times, took place amid mountain solitudes, and during
the night,--a sentinel was stationed on some commanding height in
the neighbourhood, to give warning of the approach of danger.]


I.

    Ho! plaided watcher of the hill,
      What of the night?--what of the night?
    The winds are lown, the woods are still,
      The countless stars are sparkling bright;
    From out this heathery moorland glen,
      By the shy wild-fowl only trod,
    We raise our hymn, unheard of men,
      To Thee--an omnipresent God!


II.

    Jehovah! though no sign appear,
      Through earth our aimless path to lead,
    We know, we feel Thee ever near,
      A present help in time of need--
    Near, as when, pointing out the way,
      For ever in thy people's sight,
    A pillared wreath of smoke by day,
      Which turned to fiery flame at night!


III.

    Whence came the summons forth to go?--
      From Thee awoke the warning sound!
    "Out to your tents, O Israel! Lo!
      The heathen's warfare girds thee round.
    Sons of the faithful! up--away!
      The lamb must of the wolf beware;
    The falcon seeks the dove for prey;
      The fowler spreads his cunning snare!"


IV.

    Day set in gold; 'twas peace around--
      'Twas seeming peace by field and flood:
    We woke, and on our lintels found
      The cross of wrath--the mark of blood.
    Lord! in thy cause we mocked at fears,
      We scorned the ungodly's threatening words--
    Beat out our pruning-hooks to spears,
      And turned our ploughshares into swords!


V.

    Degenerate Scotland! days have been
      Thy soil when only freemen trod--
    When mountain-crag and valley green
      Poured forth the loud acclaim to God!--
    The fire which liberty imparts,
      Refulgent in each patriot eye,
    And, graven on a nation's hearts,
      _The Word_--for which we stand or die!


VI.

    Unholy change! The scorner's chair
      Is now the seat of those who rule;
    Tortures, and bonds, and death, the share
      Of all except the tyrant's tool.
    That faith in which our fathers breathed,
      And had their life, for which they died--
    That priceless heirloom they bequeathed
      Their sons--our impious foes deride!


VII.

    So We have left our homes behind,
      And We have belted on the sword,
    And We in solemn league have joined,
      Yea! covenanted with the Lord,
    Never to seek those homes again,
      Never to give the sword its sheath,
    Until our rights of faith remain
      Unfettered as the air we breathe!


VIII.

    O Thou, who rulest above the sky,
      Begirt about with starry thrones,
    Cast from the Heaven of Heavens thine eye
      Down on our wives and little ones--
    From Hallelujahs surging round,
      Oh! for a moment turn thine ear,
    The widow prostrate on the ground,
      The famished orphan's cries to hear!


IX.

    And Thou wilt hear! it cannot be,
      That Thou wilt list the raven's brood,
    When from their nest they scream to Thee,
      And in due season send them food;
    It cannot be that Thou wilt weave
      The lily such superb array,
    And yet unfed, unsheltered, leave
      Thy children--as if less than they!


X.

    We have no hearths--the ashes lie
      In blackness where they brightly shone;
    We have no homes--the desert sky
      Our covering, earth our couch alone:
    We have no heritage--depriven
      Of these, we ask not such on earth;
    Our hearts are sealed; we seek in heaven,
      For heritage, and home, and hearth!


XI.

    O Salem, city of the saint,
      And holy men made perfect! We
    Pant for thy gates, our spirits faint
      Thy glorious golden streets to see;--
    To mark the rapture that inspires
      The ransomed, and redeemed by grace;
    To listen to the seraphs' lyres,
      And meet the angels face to face!


XII.

    Father in Heaven! we turn not back,
      Though briers and thorns choke up the path;
    Rather the tortures of the rack,
      Than tread the winepress of Thy wrath.
    Let thunders crash, let torrents shower,
      Let whirlwinds churn the howling sea,
    What is the turmoil of an hour,
      To an eternal calm with Thee?



THE CARLISTS IN CATALONIA.


The debates in the Cortes, and the increasing development of the
civil war in Catalonia, have again called attention to the affairs
of Spain. Three months ago we glanced at the state of that country,
briefly and broadly sketching its political history since the royal
marriages. The quarter of a year that has since elapsed has been a
busy one in Spain. Two things have been clearly proved: first, that
the Carlist insurrection is a very different affair from the paltry
gathering of banditti, as which the Moderados and their newspapers
so long persisted in depicting it; and, secondly, that the Madrid
government are heartily repentant of their unceremonious dismissal
of a British ambassador. Christina and her Camarilla scarcely know
which most deeply to deplore--the intrusion of Cabrera or the
expulsion of Bulwer.

In Catalonia, we have a striking example of what may be
accomplished, under most unfavourable circumstances, by one man's
energy and talent. Nine months ago there was not a single company of
Carlist soldiers in the field. A few irregular bands, insignificant
in numbers, without uniform and imperfectly armed, roamed in the
mountains, fearing to enter the plain, hunted down like wolves,
and punished as malefactors when captured. To persons ignorant
how great was the difference made by the fall of Louis Philippe
in the chances of the Spanish Carlists, the cause of these never
appeared more hopeless than in the spring of 1848. Suddenly a man,
who for seven years had basked in the orange groves of Hyères, and
listlessly lingered in the mountain solitudes of Auvergne,--reposing
his body, scarred and weary from many a desperate combat, and
recruiting his health, impaired by exertion and hardship--crossed
the Pyrenees, and appeared upon the scene of his former exploits.
The news of his arrival spread fast, but for a time found few
believers. Cabrera, said the incredulous, who evacuated Spain at
the head of ten thousand hardy and well-armed soldiers, because
he would not condescend to a guerilla warfare, after having held
towns and fortresses, and won pitched battles in the field--Cabrera
would never re-enter the country to take command of a few hundred
scattered adventurers. Others denied his presence, because he had
not immediately signalised it by some dashing feat, worthy the
conqueror of Morella and Maella. Various reports were circulated by
those interested to discredit the arrival of the redoubted chief.
He was ill, they said; he had never entered Spain or dreamed of
so doing; he had come to Catalonia, others admitted, but was so
disgusted at the scanty resources of his party, at the few men in
the field, at the lack of arms, money, organisation,--of everything,
in short, necessary for the prosecution of a war,--that he cursed
the lying representations which had lured him from retirement, and
was again upon the wing for France. The truth was in none of these
statements. If Cabrera sounded a retreat in 1840, when ten thousand
warlike and devoted followers were still at his orders, it was
because the Carlist _prestige_ was gone for a time, the country was
exhausted by war, anarchy reigned in the camp, and he himself was
prostrated by sickness. In seven years, circumstances had entirely
changed; the country, galled by misgovernment and oppression, was
ripe for insurrection; the intermeddling of foreign powers was no
longer to be apprehended; and Cabrera emerged from his retirement,
not expecting to find an army, or money, or organisation, but
prepared to create all three. In various ingenious and impenetrable
disguises he moved rapidly about eastern Spain; fearlessly
entering the towns, visiting his old partisans, and reviving their
dormant zeal by ardent and confident speech; giving fresh spirit
to the timid, shaming the apathetic, and enlisting recruits. His
unremitting efforts were crowned with success. Numbers of his
former followers rallied round him; secret adherents of the cause
contributed funds; arms and equipments, purchased in France and
England, safely arrived; officers of rank and talent, distinguished
in former wars, raised their banners and mustered companies and even
battalions; and soon Cabrera was strong enough to traverse Catalonia
in all directions, and to collect from the inhabitants regular
contributions, in almost every instance willingly paid, and gathered
often within cannon-shot of the enemy's forts. He seemed ubiquitous.
He was heard of everywhere, but more rarely seen, at least in
his own character. In various assumed ones, not unfrequently in
the garb of a priest, he accompanied small detachments sent to
collect imposts; doing subaltern's rather than general's duty,
ascertaining by personal observation the temper and disposition
of the peasantry, and making himself known when a point was to be
gained by the influence of his name and presence. His prodigious
activity and perseverance wrought miracles in a country where those
qualities by no means abound. Doubtless he has been well seconded,
but his has been the master-spirit. The result of his exertions
is best shown by a statement of the present Carlist strength in
Catalonia. We have already mentioned what it was eight or nine
months ago--a few hundred men, half-armed and ill disciplined,
wandering amongst ravines and precipices. At the close of 1848, the
Moderado papers, without means of obtaining correct information,
estimated the Carlist army in Catalonia at 8000 men. The Carlists
themselves, whose present policy is rather to under-state their
strength, admitted 10,000. Their real numbers--and the accuracy of
these statistics may be relied upon--are 12,000 bayonets and sabres,
exclusive of small guerilla parties, known as _volantes_, and other
irregulars. A large proportion of the 12,000 are old soldiers,
who served in the last war; and all are well armed, equipped, and
disciplined, and superior to their opponents in power of endurance,
and of effecting those tremendous marches for which Spanish troops
are celebrated. Regularly rationed and supplied with tobacco, they
wait cheerfully till the military chest is in condition to disburse
arrears. The curious in costume may like to hear something of their
appearance. The brigade under the immediate orders of Cabrera
wears a green uniform with black facings: Ramonet's men have dark
blue jackets; there is a corps clothed _à l'Anglaise_, in scarlet
coats and blue continuations, which is known as Count Montemolin's
own regiment. The old _boina_ or flat cap, and a sort of light,
low-crowned shako, such as is worn by the French in Africa, compose
the convenient and appropriate head-dress. With the important arms
of artillery and cavalry, in which armies raised as this one has
been are apt to be deficient, Cabrera is well provided. A number
of guns were buried and otherwise concealed in Spain ever since
the last war, and others have been procured from France. As to
cavalry, the want of which was so frequently and severely felt by
the Carlists during the former struggle, the Christinos will be
surprised, one of these days, to find how formidable a body of
dragoons their opponents can bring into the field, although at
the present moment they have but few squadrons under arms. Nearly
four thousand horses are distributed in various country districts,
comfortably housed in farm and convent stables, and divided amongst
the inhabitants by twos and threes. They are well cared for, and
kept in good condition, ready to muster and march whenever required.

What the Catalonian Carlists are now most in want of, is a centre
of operations, a strong fortress--a Morella or a Berga--whither to
retreat and recruit when necessary. That Cabrera feels this want is
evident from the various attempts he has made to surprise fortified
towns, with a view to hold them against the Christinos. Hitherto
these attempts have been unsuccessful, but we may be prepared to
hear any day of his having made one with a different result.

When the general tranquillity of Europe brought Spanish dissensions
into relief, a vast deal of romance was written in France, Spain,
and England, in the guise of memoirs of Cabrera, and of other
distinguished leaders of the civil war, and not a little was
swallowed by the simple as historical fact. We remember to have
seen the Convention of Bergara accounted for in print by a game at
cards between Espartero and Maroto, who, both being represented as
desperate gamblers, met at night at a lone farm-house between their
respective lines, and played for the crown of Spain. Espartero won;
and Maroto, more loyal as a gamester than to his king, brought
over his army to the queen. This marvellous tale, although not
exactly vouched for in the original English, was gravely translated
in French periodicals; and the chances are that a portion of the
French nation believe to the present hour that Isabella owes her
crown to a lucky hit at _monté_. Fables equally preposterous
have been circulated about Cabrera. Of his personal appearance,
especially, the most absurd accounts have been published; and
type and graver have furnished so many fantastical and imaginary
portraits of him, that one from the life may have its interest.
Ramon Cabrera is about five feet eight inches in height, square
built, muscular, and active. He is rather round-shouldered; his
hair is abundant and very black; his grayish-brown eyes must be
admitted, even by his admirers, to have a cruel expression. His
complexion is tawny, his nose aquiline; he has nothing remarkable
or striking in his appearance, and is neither ugly nor handsome,
but of the two may be accounted rather good-looking than otherwise.
He has neither an assassin-scowl nor an expression like a bilious
hyena, nor any other of the little physiognomical _agrémens_ with
which imaginative painters have so frequently embellished his
countenance. His character, as well as his face, has suffered
from misrepresentation. He has been depicted as a Nero on a small
scale, dividing his time between fiddling and massacre. There is
some exaggeration in the statement. Unquestionably he is neither
mild nor merciful; he has shed much blood, and has been guilty of
divers acts of cruelty, but more of these have been attributed
to him than he ever committed. His mother's death by Christino
bullets inspired him with a burning desire of revenge. The system of
reprisals, so largely adopted by both sides, during the late civil
war in Spain, will account for many of his atrocities, although it
may hardly be held to justify them. But in the present contest he
has hitherto gone upon a totally different plan. Mercy and humanity
seem to be his device, as they are undoubtedly his best policy.
His aim is to win followers, by clemency and conciliation, instead
of compelling them by intimidation and cruelty. There is as yet no
authenticated account of an execution occurring by his order. One
man was shot at Vich by the troops blockading the place; but he
was known as a spy, and was twice warned not to enter the town. He
pretended to retire, made a circuit, tried another entrance, and
met his death. As to Cabrera's having shot four or five officers
for a plot against his life, as was recently reported in Spanish
papers, and repeated by English ones, the tale is unconfirmed, and
has every appearance of a fabrication. There is no doubt he finds
it necessary to keep a tight hand over his subordinates, especially
in presence of the recent defection of some of their number, whose
treachery, however, is not likely to be very advantageous to the
Christinos. The troops whom Pozas, Pons, Monserrat, and the other
renegade chiefs induced to accompany them, have for the most part
returned to their banners, and the queen has gained nothing but a
few very untrustworthy officers. These, by one of the conditions
of their desertion, her generals are compelled to employ, thus
creating much discontent among those officers of the Christino army
over whose heads the traitors are placed. The principal traitor,
General Miguel Pons, better known as Bep-al-Oli, has been known
as a Carlist ever since the rising in Catalonia in 1827, when he
was captured by the famous Count d'Espagne, and was condemned to
the galleys, as was his brother Antonio Pons, one of those whom
Cabrera was lately falsely reported to have shot. After the death
of Ferdinand, both brothers served under their former persecutor,
who thought to extinguish their resentment by good treatment and
promotion, in spite of which precaution a share in his assassination
is pretty generally attributed to Antonio Pons. Bep-al-Oli is
Catalan for Joseph-in-oil, or Oily Joe, a slippery cognomen, which
his recent change of sides seems to justify. Still he is a model
of consistency compared to many Spanish officers, who have changed
sides half-a-dozen times in the last fifteen years. And, indeed,
after one-and-twenty years' stanch and active Carlism, the sincerity
of Bep's conversion may perhaps be considered dubious. It would be
no way surprising if he were to return to his first love, carrying
with him, of course, the large sum for which he was bought. Another
chief, Monserrat, passed over to the Christinos with two or three
companions, and the very next week he had the misfortune to fall
asleep, whereupon the better half of his band took advantage of
his slumbers to go back to their colours, much comforted by the
gratuities they had received for changing sides. When Monserrat
awoke, he was furious at this defection, and instantly pursued his
stray sheep. Not having been heard of since, it is not unlikely he
may ultimately have followed their example. Of course, money is
the means employed to seduce these fickle partisans. They are all
bought at their own price, which rate is generally so high as to
preclude profit. The cash-keepers at Madrid will soon get tired
of such purchases. The regular expenses of the war are enormous,
without squandering thousands for a few days' use of men who cannot
be depended upon. It is notorious that immense offers were made to
Cabrera to induce him to abandon the cause of Charles VI., of which
he is the life and soul. Gold, titles, rank, governorships, have
been in turn and together paraded before him, but in vain. _He_
would indeed be worth buying, at almost any price; for he could
not be replaced, and his loss would be a death-blow to the Carlist
cause. Knowing this, and finding him incorruptible, it were not
surprising if certain unscrupulous persons at Madrid sought other
means of removing him from the scene. Cabrera, aware of the great
importance of his life, very prudently takes his precautions. He
has done so, to some extent, at various periods of his career.
During the early portion of his exile in France, when that country,
especially its southern provinces, swarmed with Spanish emigrants,
many of whom had deep motives for hating him--whilst others, needy
and starving, and inured to crime and bloodshed, might have been
tempted to knife him for the contents of his pockets--the refugee
chief wore a shirt of mail beneath his sheepskin jacket. He had
also a celebrated pair of leathern trousers, which were generally
believed to have a metallic lining. And, at the present time, report
says that his head is the only vulnerable part of his person.

In presence of their Catalonian anxieties, of Cabrera's rapidly
increasing strength, and of the impotence of Christino generals, who
start for the insurgent districts with premature vaunts of their
triumphs, and return to Madrid, baffled and crestfallen, to wrangle
in the senate and divulge state secrets--the Narvaez government
is secretly most anxious to make up its differences with England.
This anxiety has been made sufficiently manifest by the recent
discussions in the Cortes. Notwithstanding his assumed indifference
and vain-glorious self-gratulation, the Duke of Valencia would
gladly give a year's salary, perquisites, and plunder, to recall
the impolitic act by which a British envoy was expelled the Spanish
capital. Señor Cortina, the Progresista deputy, after denying that
there were sufficient grounds for Sir Henry Bulwer's dismissal,
and lamenting the rupture that has been its consequence, politely
advised Narvaez to resign office, as almost the only means of
repairing the dangerous breach. The recommendation, of course,
was purely ironical. General Narvaez is the last man to play the
Curtius, and plunge, for his country's sake, into the gulf of
political extinction. In his scale of patriotism, the good of Spain
is secondary to the advantage of Ramon Narvaez. We can imagine the
broad grins of the Opposition, and the suppressed titter of his own
friends, upon his having the face to declare, that, when the French
Revolution broke out, he was actually planning a transfer of the
reins of government into the hands of the Progresistas. The bad
example of democratic France frustrated his disinterested designs,
changed his benevolent intentions, and compelled him to transport
and imprison, by wholesale, the very men towards whom, a few weeks
previously, he was so magnanimously disposed. Returns of more than
fifteen hundred persons, thus arbitrarily torn from their homes and
families, were moved for early in the session; but only the names
were granted, the charges against them being kept secret, in order
not to give the lie to the ministerial assertion that but a small
minority were condemned for political offences. As to the dispute
with England, although Narvaez' pride will not suffer him to admit
his blunder and his regrets, many of his party make no secret of
their desire for a reconciliation at any price; fondly believing,
perhaps, that it would be followed, upon the _amantium iræ_
principle, by warmer love and closer union than before. The slumbers
of these _ojalatero_ politicians are haunted by sweet visions of a
British steam-flotilla cruising off the Catalonian coast, of Carlist
supplies intercepted, of British batteries mounted on the shores of
Spain, and manned by British marines--the sight of whose red jackets
might serve, at a pinch, to bolster up the wavering courage of a
Christino division--and of English commodores and artillery-colonels
supplying such deficient gentlemen as Messrs Cordova and Concha with
the military skill which, in Spain, is by no means an indispensable
qualification for a lieutenant-general's commission. Doubtless,
if the alliance between Lord Palmerston and Queen Christina had
continued, we should have had something of this sort, some more
petty intermeddling and minute military operations, consumptive of
English stores, and discreditable to English reputation. As it is,
there seems a chance of the quarrel being fairly fought out; of the
Spaniards being permitted to settle amongst themselves a question
which concerns themselves alone. If the Carlists get the better of
the struggle, (and it were unsafe to give long odds against them,)
it is undeniable that they began with small resources, and that
their triumph will have been achieved by their own unaided pluck and
perseverance.

Puzzled how to make his peace with England, without too great
mortification to his vanity and too great sacrifice of what he
calls his dignity, Narvaez falls back upon France, and does his
best to curry favour there by a fulsome acknowledgment of the evils
averted from Spain by the friendly offices of Messrs Lamartine
and Bastide, and of "the illustrious General Cavaignac." The fact
is, that during the first six months of the republic, nobody in
France had leisure to give a thought to Spain, and Carlists and
Progresistas were allowed to concert plans and make purchases
in France without the slightest molestation. At last, General
Cavaignac, worried by Sotomayor--and partly, perhaps, through
sympathy with his brother-dictator, Narvaez--sent to the frontier
one Lebrière, a sort of thieftaker or political Vidocq, who already
had been similarly employed by Louis Philippe. This man was to
stir up the authorities and thwart the Carlists, and at first he
did hamper the latter a little; but whether it was that he was
worse paid than on his former mission--Cavaignac's interest in the
affair being less personal than that of the King of the French--or
that some other reason relaxed his activity, he did not long prove
efficient. Then came the elections, and the success of Louis
Napoleon was unwelcome intelligence to the Madrid government--it
being feared that old friendship might dispose him to favour Count
Montemolin as far as lay in his power: whereupon--the influence of
woman being a lever not unnaturally resorted to by a party which
owes its rise mainly to bedchamber intrigue and to the patronage of
Madame Muñoz--the notable discovery was made that the Duchess of
Valencia (a Frenchwoman by birth) is a connexion of the Buonaparte
family, and her Grace was forthwith despatched to Paris to exercise
her coquetries and fascinations upon her far-off cousin, and to
intrigue, in concert with the Duke of Sotomayor, for the benefit
of her husband's government. The result of her mission is not yet
apparent. Putting all direct intervention completely out of the
question, France has still a vast deal in her power in all cases
of insurrection in the northern and eastern provinces of Spain. A
sharp look-out on the frontier, seizure of arms destined for the
insurgents, and the removal of Spanish refugees to remote parts of
France, are measures that would greatly harass and impede Carlist
operations; much less so now, however, than three or four months
ago. Most of the emigrants have now entered Spain; and horses and
arms--the latter in large numbers--have crossed the frontier.

Up to the middle of January, the Montemolinist insurrection was
confined to Catalonia, where alone the insurgents were numerous
and organised. This apparent inactivity in other districts, where
a rising might be expected, was to be attributed to the season.
The quantity of snow that had fallen in the northern provinces was
a clog upon military operations. About the middle of the month, a
thousand men, including three hundred cavalry, made their appearance
in Navarre, headed by Colonel Montero, an old and experienced
officer of the peninsular war, who served on the staff so far back
as the battle of Baylen. This force is to serve as a nucleus. The
conscription for 1849 has been anticipated; that is to say, the
young soldiers who should have joined their colours at the end of
the year, are called for at its commencement; and it is expected
that many of these conscripts, discontented at the premature
summons, will prefer joining the Carlists. When the weather clears,
it is confidently anticipated that two or three thousand hardy
recruits will make the valleys of Biscay and Navarre ring once
more with their Basque war-cries, headed by men whose names will
astonish those who still discredit the virtual union of Carlists and
Progresistas.

The masses of troops sent into Catalonia have as yet effected
literally nothing, not having been able to prevent the enemy even
from recruiting and organising. General Cordova made a military
promenade, lost a few hundred men--slain or taken prisoners with
their brigadier at their head--and resigned the command. He has been
succeeded by Concha, a somewhat better soldier than Cordova, who
was never anything but a parade butterfly of the very shallowest
capacity. Concha has as yet done little more than his predecessor,
(his reported victory over Cabrera between Vich and St Hippolito was
a barefaced invention, without a shadow of foundation,) although
his force is larger than Cordova's was, and his promises of what
he _would_ do have been all along most magnificent. Already there
has been talk of his resignation, which doubtless will soon occur,
and Villalonga is spoken of to succeed him. This general, lately
created Marquis of the Maestrazgo for his cruelty and oppression
of the peasantry in that district, will hardly win his dukedom in
Catalonia, although dukedoms in Spain are now to be had almost for
the asking. Indeed, they have become so common that, the other day,
General Narvaez, Duke of Valencia, anxious for distinction from
the vulgar herd, was about to create himself prince; but having
unfortunately selected Concord for his intended title, and the
accounts from Catalonia being just then anything but peaceable,
he was fain to postpone his promotion till it should be more _de
circonstance_. The Prince of Concord would be a worthy successor to
the Prince of the Peace. Spain was once proud of her nobility and
choice of her titles. Alas! how changed are the times! What a pretty
list of grandees and _titulos de Castilla_ the Spanish peerage now
exhibits! Mr Sotomayor, the other day a bookseller's clerk, then
sub-secretary in a ministry, then understrapper to Gonzales Bravo,
now duke and ambassador at Paris! What a successor to the princely
and magnificent envoys of a Philip and a Charles! And Mr Sartorius,
lately a petty jobber on the Madrid Bolsa, is now Count of St Louis,
secretary of state, &c.! When the Legion of Honour was prostituted
in France by lavish and indiscriminate distribution, and by
conversion into an electioneering bribe and a means of corruption,
many old soldiers, who had won their cross upon the battle-fields of
the Empire, had the date of its bestowal affixed in silver figures
to their red ribbon. The old nobility of Spain must soon resort to
a similar plan, and sign their date of creation after their names,
if they would be distinguished from the horde of disreputable
adventurers on whom titles have of late years been infamously
squandered.

When the Madrid government has performed its promise, so often
repeated during the last six months, of extinguishing the Carlists
and restoring peace to Spain, we hope those ill-treated gentlemen
in the city of London, who, from time to time, draw up a respectful
representation to General Narvaez on the subject of Spanish
debts--a representation which that officer blandly receives, and
takes an early opportunity of forgetting--will pluck up courage
and sternly urge the Duke of Valencia and the finance minister
of the day to apply to the liquidation of Spanish bondholders'
claims a part, at least, of the resources now expended on military
operations. Forty-five millions of reals, about half-a-million of
pounds sterling, are now, we are credibly informed, the monthly
expenditure of the war department of Spain. That this is squeezed
out of the country, by some means or other, is manifest, since
nobody now lends money to Spain. A very large part of this very
considerable sum being expended in Catalonia, goes into the pockets
of the inhabitants of that province, who pay it over to the Carlists
in the shape of contributions, and still make a profit by the
transaction--so that they are in no hurry to finish the war; and
Catalonia presents at this moment the singular spectacle of two
contending armies paid out of the same military chest. But Spain is
the country of anomalies; and nothing in the conduct of Spaniards
will ever surprise us, until we find them, by some extraordinary
chance, conducting their affairs according to the rules of common
sense and the dictates of ordinary prudence.


_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

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

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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