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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Vol. 70, No. 431, September 1851
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. 70, No. 431, September 1851" ***

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       *       *       *       *       *



  BLACKWOOD'S

  EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCCXXXI.       SEPTEMBER, 1851.       VOL. LXX.



CONTENTS.


  A CAMPAIGN IN TAKA,                                      251

  MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE. PART XIII,      275

  DISFRANCHISEMENT OF THE BOROUGHS,                        296

  PARIS IN 1851.--(_Continued_,)                           310

  MR RUSKIN'S WORKS,                                       326

  PORTUGUESE POLITICS,                                     349

  THE CONGRESS AND THE AGAPEDOME.--A TALE OF PEACE
  AND LOVE,                                                359


  EDINBURGH:

  WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & 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. CCCCXXXI.      September, 1851.       VOL. LXX.



A CAMPAIGN IN TAKA.

     _Feldzug von Sennaar nach Taka, Basa, und Beni-Amer, mit
     besonderem Hinblick auf die Völker von Bellad-Sudan._--[Campaign
     from Sennaar to Taka, Basa, and Beni-Amer; with a particular
     Glance at the Nations of Bellad-Sudan.]--VON FERDINAND WERNE.
     Stuttgart: Königl. Hofbuchdruckerei. London: Williams and
     Norgate. 1851.


Africa, the least explored division of the globe's surface, and the
best field for travellers of bold and enterprising character, has
been the scene of three of the most remarkable books of their class
that have appeared within the last ten years. We refer to Major
Harris's narrative of his Ethiopian expedition--to the marvellous
adventures of that modern Nimrod, Mr Gordon Cumming--to Mr Ferdinand
Werne's strange and exciting account of his voyage up the White
Nile. In our review of the last-named interesting and valuable
work,[1] we mentioned that Mr Werne, previously to his expedition up
the Nile, had been for several months in the Taka country, a region
previously untrodden by Europeans, with an army commanded by Achmet
Bascha, governor-general of the Egyptian province of Bellad-Sudan,
who was operating against refractory tributaries. He has just
published an account of this campaign, which afforded him, however,
little opportunity of expatiating on well-contested battles,
signal victories, or feats of heroic valour. On the other hand,
his narrative abounds in striking incidents, in curious details of
tribes and localities that have never before been described, and
in perils and hardships not the less real and painful that they
proceeded from no efforts of a resolute and formidable foe, but from
the effects of a pernicious climate, and the caprice and negligence
of a wilful and indolent commander.

  [1] _Blackwood's Magazine_, No. CCCXCIX., for January 1849.

It was early in 1840, and Mr Werne and his youngest brother Joseph
had been resident for a whole year at Chartum, chief town of the
province of Sudan, in the country of Sennaar. Chartum, it will be
remembered by the readers of the "Expedition for the Discovery of
the Sources of the White Nile," is situated at the confluence of
the White and Blue streams, which, there uniting, flow northwards
through Nubia and Egypt Proper to Cairo and the Mediterranean; and
at Chartum it was that the two Wernes had beheld, in the previous
November, the departure of the first expedition up Nile, which they
were forbidden to join, and which met with little success. The
elder Werne, whose portrait--that of a very determined-looking
man, bearded, and in Oriental costume--is appended to the present
volume, appears to have been adventurous and a rambler from his
youth upwards. In 1822 he had served in Greece, and had now been
for many years in Eastern lands. Joseph Werne, his youngest and
favourite brother, had come to Egypt at his instigation, after
taking at Berlin his degree as Doctor of Medicine, to study, before
commencing practice, some of the extraordinary diseases indigenous
in that noxious climate. Unfortunately, as recorded in Mr Werne's
former work, this promising young man, who seems to have possessed
in no small degree the enterprise, perseverance, and fortitude so
remarkable in his brother, ultimately fell a victim to one of those
fatal maladies whose investigation was the principal motive of his
visit to Africa. The first meeting in Egypt of the two brothers was
at Cairo; and of it a characteristic account is given by the elder,
an impetuous, we might almost say a pugnacious man, tolerably prompt
to take offence, and upon whom, as he himself says at page 67, the
Egyptian climate had a violently irritating effect.

"Our meeting, at Guerra's tavern in Cairo, was so far remarkable,
that my brother knew me immediately, whilst I took him for some
impertinent Frenchman, disposed to make game of me, inasmuch as he,
in the petulance of his joy, fixed his eyes upon me, measuring me
from top to toe, and then laughed at the fury with which I rushed
upon him, to call him to an account, and, if necessary, to have him
out. We had not seen each other for eight years, during which he
had grown into a man, and, moreover, his countenance had undergone
a change, for, by a terrible cut, received in a duel, the muscle of
risibility had been divided on one side, and the poor fellow could
laugh only with half his face. In the first overpowering joy of our
meeting in this distant quarter of the globe, we could not get the
wine over our tongues, often as my Swiss friend De Salis (over whose
cheeks the tears were chasing each other) and other acquaintances
struck their glasses against ours, encouraging us to drink.... I now
abandoned the hamlet of Tura--situated in the desert, but near the
Nile, about three leagues above Cairo, and whither I had retreated
to do penance and to work at my travels--as well as my good friend
Dr Schledehaus of Osnabruck, (then holding an appointment at the
military school, now director of the marine hospital of Alexandria,)
with whom my brother had studied at Bonn, and I hired a little house
in the Esbekie Square in Cairo. After half an hour's examination,
Joseph was appointed surgeon-major, with the rank of a Sakulagassi
or captain, in the central hospital of Kasr-el-Ain, with a thousand
piastres a month, and rations for a horse and four servants. Our
views constantly directed to the interior of Africa, we suffered
a few months to glide by in the old city of the Khalifs, dwelling
together in delightful brotherly harmony. But our thirst for
travelling was unslaked; to it I had sacrificed my appointment as
chancellor of the Prussian Consulate at Alexandria; Joseph received
his nomination as regimental surgeon to the 1st regiment in Sennaar,
including that of physician to the central hospital at Chartum. Our
friends were concerned for us on account of the dangerous climate,
but, nevertheless, we sailed with good courage up the Nile, happy
to escape from the noise of the city, and to be on our way to new
scenes."

A stroke of the sun, received near the cataract of Ariman in
Upper Nubia, and followed by ten days' delirium, soon convinced
the younger Werne that his friends' anxiety on his behalf was
not groundless. During the whole of their twelvemonth's stay at
Chartum, they were mercilessly persecuted by intermittent fever,
there most malignant, and under whose torturing and lowering attacks
their sole consolation was that, as they never chanced both to be
ill together, they were able alternately to nurse each other. At
last, fearing that body or mind would succumb to these reiterated
fever-fits, and the first expedition up the White Nile having, to
their great disgust and disappointment, sailed without them, they
made up their minds to quit for ever the pestiferous Chartum and the
burning steppes of Bellad-Sudan. Whilst preparing for departure,
they received a visit from the chief Cadi, who told them, over a
glass of cardinal--administered by Dr Werne as medicine, to evade
his Mahomedan scruples--that Effendina (Excellency) Achmet Bascha
was well pleased with the brotherly love they manifested, taking
care of each other in sickness, and that they would do well to pay
their respects occasionally at the Divan. This communication was
almost immediately followed by the arrival at Chartum of Dr Gand,
physician to Abbas Bascha. This gentleman had been a comrade of
Ferdinand Werne's in Greece, and he recommended the two brothers to
Achmet, with whom he was intimate, in true Oriental style, as men
of universal genius and perfect integrity, to whom he might intrust
both his body and his soul. The consequence of this liberal encomium
was, that Achmet fixed his eyes upon them to accompany him, in
the capacity of confidential advisers, upon a projected campaign.
Informed of this plan and of the advantages it included, the Wernes
joyfully abandoned their proposed departure. Joseph was to be
made house-physician to Achmet and his harem, as well as medical
inspector of the whole province, in place of Soliman Effendi, (the
renegade Baron di Pasquali of Palermo,) a notorious poisoner, in
whose hands the Bascha did not consider himself safe. Ferdinand
Werne, who had held the rank of captain in Greece, was made
_bimbaschi_ or major, and was attached, as engineer, to Achmet's
person, with good pay and many privileges. "At a later period he
would have made me bey, if I--not on his account, for he was an
enlightened Circassian, but on that of the Turkish jackasses--would
have turned Mussulman. I laughed at this, and he said no more about
it." Delighted to have secured the services of the two Germans,
Achmet ordered it to be reported to his father-in-law, Mehemet Ali,
for his approval, and took counsel with his new officers concerning
the approaching campaign. Turk-like, he proposed commencing it in
the rainy season. Mr Werne opposed this as likely to cost him half
his army, the soldiers being exceedingly susceptible to rain, and
advised the erection of blockhouses at certain points along the
line of march where springs were to be found, to secure water for
the troops. The Bascha thought this rather a roundabout mode of
proceeding, held his men's lives very cheap, and boasted of his
seven hundred dromedaries, every one of which, in case of need,
could carry three soldiers. His counsellors were dismissed, with
injunctions to secresy, and on their return home they found at their
door, as a present from the Bascha, two beautiful dromedaries,
tall, powerful, ready saddled for a march, and particularly adapted
for a campaign, inasmuch as they started not when muskets were
fired between their ears. A few days later, Mr Werne was sent
for by Achmet, who, when the customary coffee had been taken,
dismissed his attendants by a sign, and informed him, with a gloomy
countenance, that the people of Taka refused to pay their _tulba_,
or tribute. His predecessor, Churdschid Bascha, having marched into
that country, had been totally defeated in a _chaaba_, or tract of
forest. Since that time, Achmet mournfully declared, the tribes had
not paid a single piastre, and he found himself grievously in want
of money. So, instead of marching south-westward to Darfour, as he
had intended, he would move north-eastward to Taka, chastise the
stubborn insolvents, and replenish the coffers of the state. "Come
with me," said he, to Mr Werne; "upon the march we shall all recover
our health," (he also suffered from frequent and violent attacks of
fever;) "yonder are water and forests, as in Germany and Circassia,
and very high mountains." It mattered little to so restless and
rambling a spirit as Mr Ferdinand Werne whether his route lay inland
towards the Mountains of the Moon, or coastwards to the Red Sea. His
brother was again sick, and spoke of leaving the country; but Mr
Werne cheered him up, pointed out to him upon the map an imaginary
duchy which he was to conquer in the approaching war, and revived
an old plan of going to settle at Bagdad, there to practise as
physician and apothecary. "We resolved, therefore, to take our
passports with us, so that, if we chose, we might embark on the Red
Sea. By this time I had seen through the Bascha, and I resolved to
communicate to him an idea which I often, in the interest of these
oppressed tribes, had revolved in my mind, namely, that he should
place himself at their head, and renounce obedience to the Egyptian
vampire. I did subsequently speak to him of the plan, and it might
have been well and permanently carried out, had he not, instead of
striving to win the confidence of the chiefs, tyrannised over them
in every possible manner. Gold and regiments! was his motto."

Meanwhile the influential Dr Gand had fallen seriously ill, and
was so afflicted with the irritability already referred to as a
consequence of the climate, that no one could go near him but the
two Wernes. He neglected Joseph's good advice to quit Chartum at
once, put it off till it was too late, and died on his journey
northwards. His body lay buried for a whole year in the sand of the
desert; then his family, who were going to France, dug it up to take
with them. Always a very thin man, little more than skin and bone,
the burning sand had preserved him like a mummy. There was no change
in his appearance; not a hair gone from his mustaches. Strange is
the confusion and alternation of life and death in that ardent
and unwholesome land of Nubia. To-day in full health, to-morrow
prostrate with fever, from which you recover only to be again
attacked. Dead, in twenty-four hours or less corruption is busy on
the corpse; bury it promptly in the sand, and in twelve months you
may disinter it, perfect as if embalmed. At Chartum, the very focus
of disease, death, it might be thought, is sufficiently supplied by
fever to need no other purveyors. Nevertheless poisoning seems a
pretty common practice there. Life in Chartum is altogether, by Mr
Werne's account, a most curious thing. During the preparations for
the campaign, a Wurtemberg prince, Duke Paul William of Mergentheim,
arrived in the place, and was received with much pomp. "For the
first time I saw the Bascha sit upon a chair; he was in full
uniform, a red jacket adorned with gold, a great diamond crescent,
and three brilliant stars upon his left breast, his sabre by his
side." The prince, a fat good-humoured German, was considerably
impressed by the state displayed, and left the presence with many
obeisances. The next day he dined with the Bascha, whom he and the
Wernes hoped to see squatted on the ground, and feeding with his
fingers. They were disappointed; the table was arranged in European
fashion; wine of various kinds was there, especially champagne,
(which the servants, notwithstanding Werne's remonstrances, insisted
on shaking before opening, and which consequently flew about the
room in foaming fountains;) bumper-toasts were drunk; and the
whole party, Franks and Turks, seem to have gradually risen into
a glorious state of intoxication, during which they vowed eternal
friendship to each other in all imaginable tongues; and the German
prince declared he would make the campaign to Taka with the Bascha,
draw out the plan, and overwhelm the enemy. This jovial meeting
was followed by a quieter entertainment given by the Wernes to the
prince, who declared he was travelling as a private gentleman, and
wished to be treated accordingly; and then Soliman Effendi, the
Sicilian renegade, made a respectful application for permission to
invite the "_Altezza Tedesca_," for whom he had conceived a great
liking. A passage from Mr Werne is here worth quoting, as showing
the state of society at Chartum. "I communicated the invitation,
with the remark that the Sicilian was notorious for his poisonings,
but that I had less fear on his highness' account than on that of
my brother, who was already designated to replace him in his post.
The prince did not heed the danger; moreover, I had put myself on a
peculiar footing with Soliman Effendi, and now told him plainly that
he had better keep his vindictive manœuvres for others than us,
for that my brother and I should go to dinner with loaded pistols
in our pockets, and would shoot him through the head (_brucciare
il cervello_) if one of us three felt as much as a belly-ache at
his table. The dinner was served in the German fashion; all the
guests came, except Vaissière (formerly a French captain, now a
slave-dealer, with the cross of the legion of honour.) He would
not trust Soliman, who was believed to have poisoned a favourite
female-slave of his after a dispute they had about money matters.
The dinner went off merrily and well. The duke changed his mind
about going to Taka, but promised to join in the campaign on his
return from Fàszogl, and bade me promise the Bascha in his name a
crocodile-rifle and a hundred bottles of champagne."

Long and costly were the preparations for the march; the more so
that Mr Werne and his brother, who saw gleaming in the distance the
golden cupolas of Bagdad, desired to take all their baggage with
them, and also sufficient stores for the campaign--not implicitly
trusting to the Bascha's promise that his kitchen and table should
be always at their service. Ten camels were needed to carry the
brothers' baggage. One of their greatest troubles was to know how
to dispose of their collection of beasts and birds. "The young
maneless lion, our greatest joy, was dead--Soliman Effendi, who
was afraid of him, having dared to poison him, as I learned, after
the renegade's death, from one of our own people." But of birds
there were a host; eagles, vultures, king-cranes, (_grus pavonina_,
Linn.;) a snake-killing secretary, with his beautiful eagle head,
long tail, and heron legs; strange varieties of water-fowl, many
of which had been shot, but had had the pellets extracted and the
wounds healed by the skill of Dr Werne; and last, but most beloved,
"a pet black horn-bird, (_buceros abyss._ L.,) who hopped up to us
when we called out 'Jack!'--who picked up with his long curved beak
the pieces of meat that were thrown to him, tossed them into the air
and caught them again, (whereat the Prince of Wurtemberg laughed
till he held his sides,) because nature has provided him with too
short a tongue; but who did not despise frogs and lizards, and who
called us at daybreak with his persevering '_Hum, hum_,' until we
roused ourselves and answered 'Jack.'" Their anxiety on account of
their aviary was relieved by the Bascha's wife, who condescendingly
offered to take charge of it during their absence. Mehemet Ali's
daughter suffered dreadfully from ennui in dull, unwholesome
Chartum, and reckoned on the birds and beasts as pastime and
diversion. Thus, little by little, difficulties were overcome, and
all was made ready for the march. A Bolognese doctor of medicine,
named Bellotti, and Dumont, a French apothecary, arrived at Chartum.
They belonged to an Egyptian regiment, and must accompany it on the
_chasua_.[2] Troops assembled in and around Chartum, the greater
part of whose garrison, destined also to share in the campaign, were
boated over to the right bank of the Blue Nile. Thence they were
to march northwards to Damer--once a town, now a village amidst
ruins--situated about three leagues above the place where the
Atbara, a river that rises in Abyssinia, and flows north-westward
through Sennaar, falls into the Nile. There the line of march
changed its direction to the right, and took a tolerably straight
route, but inclining a little to the south, in the direction of the
Red Sea. The Bascha went by water down the Nile the greater part of
the way to Damer, and was of course attended by his physician. Mr
Werne, finding himself unwell, followed his example, sending their
twelve camels by land, and accompanied by Bellotti, Dumont, and a
Savoyard merchant from Chartum, Bruno Rollet by name. There was
great difficulty in getting a vessel, all having been taken for the
transport of provisions and military stores; but at last one was
discovered, sunk by its owner to save it from the commissariat, and
after eleven days of sickness, suffering, and peril--during which Mr
Werne, when burning with fever, had been compelled to jump overboard
to push the heavy laden boat off the reef on which the stupid Rëis
had run it--the party rejoined headquarters. There Mr Werne was
kindly received by Achmet, and most joyfully by his brother. Long
and dolorous was the tale Dr Joseph had to tell of his sufferings
with the wild-riding Bascha. Three days before reaching Damer, that
impatient chieftain left his ship and ordered out the dromedaries.
The Berlin doctor of medicine felt his heart sink within him; he had
never yet ascended a dromedary's saddle, and the desperate riding
of the Bascha made his own Turkish retinue fear to follow him. His
forebodings were well-founded. Two hours' rough trot shook up his
interior to such an extent, and so stripped his exterior of skin,
that he was compelled to dismount and lie down upon some brushwood
near the Nile, exposed to the burning sun, and with a compassionate
Bedouin for sole attendant, until the servants and baggage came up.
Headache, vomiting, terrible heat and parching thirst--for he had
no drinking vessel, and the Bedouin would not leave him--were his
portion the whole day, followed by fever and delirium during the
night. At two o'clock the next day (the hottest time) the Bascha was
again in the saddle, as if desirous to try to the utmost his own
endurance and that of his suite. By this time the doctor had come
up with him, (having felt himself better in the morning,) after a
six hours' ride, and terrible loss of leather, the blood running
down into his stockings. Partly on his dromedary, partly on foot,
he managed to follow his leader through this second day's march,
at the cost of another night's fever, but in the morning he was
so weak that he was obliged to take boat and complete his journey
to Damer by water. Of more slender frame and delicate complexion
than his brother, the poor doctor was evidently ill-adapted for
roughing it in African deserts, although his pluck and fortitude
went far towards supplying his physical deficiencies. Most painful
are the accounts of his constantly recurring sufferings during
that arduous expedition; and one cannot but admire and wonder at
the zeal for science, or ardent thirst for novelty, that supported
him, and induced him to persevere in the teeth of such hardship and
ill-health. At Damer he purchased a small dromedary of easy paces,
and left the Bascha's rough-trotting gift for his brother's riding.

  [2] "The word _chasua_ signifies an expedition along the frontier,
  or rather _across_ the frontier, for the capture of men and beasts.
  These slave-hunts are said to have been first introduced here by the
  Turks, and the word chasua is not believed to be indigenous, since
  for war and battle are otherwise used _harba_ (properly a lance)
  and _schàmmata_. _Chasua_ and _razzia_ appear to be synonymous,
  corrupted from the Italian _cazzia_, in French _chasse_."--_Feldzug
  von Sennaar_, &c., p. 17.

At three in the afternoon of the 20th March, a cannon-shot gave the
signal for departure. The Wernes' water-skins were already filled
and their baggage packed; in an instant their tents were struck and
camels loaded; with baggage and servants they took their place at
the head of the column and rode up to the Bascha, who was halted
to the east of Damer, with his beautiful horses and dromedaries
standing saddled behind him. He complained of the great disorder
in the camp, but consoled himself with the reflection that things
would go better by-and-by. "It was truly a motley scene," says
Mr Werne. "The Turkish cavalry in their national costume of many
colours, with yellow and green banners and small kettle-drums; the
Schaïgië and Mograbin horsemen; Bedouins on horseback, on camels,
and on foot; the Schechs and Moluks (little king) with their
armour-bearers behind them on the dromedaries, carrying pikes and
lances, straight swords and leather shields; the countless donkeys
and camels--the former led by a great portion of the infantry, to
ride in turn--drums and an ear-splitting band of music, The Chabir
(caravan-leader) was seen in the distance mounted on his dromedary,
and armed with a lance and round shield; the Bascha bestrode his
horse, and we accompanied him in that direction, whilst gradually,
and in picturesque disorder, the detachments emerged from the
monstrous confusion and followed us. The artillery consisted of two
field-pieces, drawn by camels, which the Bascha had had broken to
the work, that in the desert they might relieve the customary team
of mules.

"Abd-el-Kader, the jovial Topschi Baschi, (chief of the artillery,)
commanded them, and rode a mule. The Turks, (that is to say, chiefly
Circassians, Kurds, and Arnauts or Albanians,) who shortly before
could hardly put one leg before the other, seemed transformed
into new men, as they once more found themselves at home in their
saddles. They galloped round the Bascha like madmen, riding their
horses as mercilessly as if they had been drunk with opium. This
was a sort of honorary demonstration, intended to indicate to their
chief their untameable valour. The road led through the desert, and
was tolerably well beaten. Towards evening the Bascha rode forwards
with the Chabir. We did not follow, for I felt myself unwell. It was
dark night when we reached the left bank of the Atbara, where we
threw ourselves down amongst the bushes, and went to sleep, without
taking supper."

The campaign might now be said to be beginning; at least the army
was close upon tribes whose disposition, if not avowedly hostile,
was very equivocal, and the Bascha placed a picket of forty men at
the only ford over the Atbara, a clear stream of tolerable depth,
and with lofty banks, covered with rich grass, with mimosas and
lofty fruit-laden palm-trees. The next day's march was a severe
one--ten hours without a halt--and was attended, after nightfall,
with some danger, arising partly from the route lying through
trees with barbed thorns, strong enough to tear the clothes off
men's bodies and the eyes out of their heads, and partly from the
crowding and pressure in the disorderly column during its progress
amongst holes and chasms occasioned by the overflowing of the river.
Upon halting, at midnight, a fire was lighted for the Bascha, and
one of his attendants brought coffee to Mr Werne; but he, sick
and weary, rejected it, and would have preferred, he says, so
thoroughly exhausted did he feel, a nap under a bush to a supper
upon a roasted angel. They were still ascending the bank of the
Atbara, a winding stream, with wildly beautiful tree-fringed banks,
containing few fish, but giving shelter, in its deep places, to
the crocodile and hippopotamus. From the clefts of its sandstone
bed, then partially exposed by the decline of the waters, sprang a
lovely species of willow, with beautiful green foliage and white
umbelliferous flowers, having a perfume surpassing that of jasmine.
The Wernes would gladly, have explored the neighbourhood; but the
tremendous heat, and a warm wind which played round their temples
with a sickening effect, drove them into camp. Gunfire was at noon
upon that day; but it was Mr Werne's turn to be on the sick-list.
Suddenly he felt himself so ill, that it was with a sort of
despairing horror he saw the tent struck from over him, loaded upon
a camel, and driven off. In vain he endeavoured to rise; the sun
seemed to dart coals of fire upon his head. His brother and servant
carried him into the shadow of a neighbouring palm-tree, and he sank
half-dead upon the glowing sand. It would suffice to abide there
during the heat of the day, as they thought, but instead of that,
they were compelled to remain till next morning, Werne suffering
terribly from dysentery. "Never in my life," he says, "did I more
ardently long for the setting of the sun than on that day; even
its last rays exercised the same painful power on my hair, which
seemed to be in a sort of electric connection with just as many
sunbeams, and to bristle up upon my head. And no sooner had the
luminary which inspired me with such horror sunk below the horizon,
than I felt myself better, and was able to get on my legs and crawl
slowly about. Some good-natured Arab shepherd-lads approached our
fire, pitied me, and brought me milk and durra-bread. It was a
lovely evening; the full moon was reflected in the Atbara, as were
also the dark crowns of the palm-trees, wild geese shrieked around
us; otherwise the stillness was unbroken, save at intervals by the
cooing of doves. There is something beautiful in sleeping in the
open air, when weather and climate are suitable. We awoke before
sunrise, comforted, and got upon our dromedaries; but after a couple
of hours' ride we mistrusted the sun, and halted with some wandering
Arabs belonging to the Kabyle of the Kammarabs. We were hospitably
received, and regaled with milk and bread."[3]

  [3] These Kammarabs possess a tract on the left or south bank of
  the Atbara. The distribution of the different tribes, as well as
  the line of march and other particulars, are very clearly displayed
  in the appropriate little map accompanying Mr Werne's volume.
  Opposite to the Kammarabs, "on the right bank of the Atbara, are the
  Anafidabs, of the race or family of the Bischari. They form a Kabyle
  (band or community) under a Schech of their own. How it is that the
  French in Algiers persist in using _Kabyle_ as the proper name of a
  nation and a country, I cannot understand."--_Feldzug von Sennaar_,
  p. 32.

When our two Germans rejoined headquarters, after four days'
absence, they found Achmet Bascha seated in the shade upon the
ground in front of his tent, much burned by the sun, and looking
fagged and suffering--as well he might be after the heat and
exposure he had voluntarily undergone. Nothing could cure him,
however, at least as yet, of his fancy for marching in the heat of
the day. Although obstinate and despotic, the Bascha was evidently
a dashing sort of fellow, well calculated to win the respect and
admiration of his wild and heterogeneous army. Weary as were the
two Wernes, (they reached the camp at noon,) at two o'clock they
had to be again in the saddle. "A number of gazelles were started;
the Bascha seized a gun and dashed after them upon his Arabian
stallion, almost the whole of the cavalry scouring after him like
a wild mob, and we ourselves riding a sharp trot to witness the
chase. We thought he had fallen from his horse, so suddenly did he
swing himself from saddle to ground, killing three gazelles with
three shots, of which animals we consumed a considerable portion
roasted for that night's supper." The river here widened, and
crocodiles showed themselves upon the opposite shore. The day was
terribly warm; the poor medico was ill again, suffering grievously
from his head, and complaining of _his hair being so hot_; and as
the Salamander Bascha persisted in marching under a sun which,
through the canvass of the tents, heated sabres and musket-barrels
till it was scarcely possible to grasp them, the brothers again
lingered behind and followed in the cool of the evening, Joseph
being mounted upon an easy-going mule lent him by Topschi Baschi,
the good-humoured but dissolute captain of the guns. They were now
divided but by the river's breadth from the hostile tribe of the
Haddenda, and might at any moment be assailed; so two hours after
sunset a halt was called and numerous camp-fires were lighted,
producing a most picturesque effect amongst the trees, and by their
illumination of the diversified costumes of the soldiery, and
attracting a whole regiment of scorpions, "some of them remarkably
fine specimens," says Mr Werne, who looks upon these unpleasant
fireside companions with a scientific eye, "a finger and a half
long, of a light colour, half of the tail of a brown black and
covered with hair." It is a thousand pities that the adventurous Mrs
Ida Pfeiffer did not accompany Mr Werne upon this expedition. She
would have had the finest possible opportunities of curing herself
of the prejudice which it will be remembered she was so weak as to
entertain against the scorpion tribe. These pleasant reptiles were
as plentiful all along Mr Werne's line of march as are cockchafers
on a summer evening in an English oak-copse. Their visitations were
pleasantly varied by those of snakes of all sizes, and of various
degrees of venom. "At last," says Mr Werne, "one gets somewhat
indifferent about scorpions and other wild animals." He had greater
difficulty in accustoming himself to the sociable habits of the
snakes, who used to glide about amongst tents and baggage, and by
whom, in the course of the expedition, a great number of persons
were bitten. On the 12th April "Mohammed Ladham sent us a remarkable
scorpion--pity that it is so much injured--almost two fingers long,
black-brown, tail and feet covered with prickly hair, claws as large
as those of a small crab.... We had laid us down under a green tree
beside a cotton plantation, whilst our servants unloaded the camels
and pitched the tents, when a snake, six feet long, darted from
under our carpet, passed over my leg, and close before my brother's
face. But we were so exhausted that we lay still, and some time
afterwards the snake was brought to us, one of Schech Defalla's
people having killed it." About noon next day a similar snake sprang
out of the said Defalla's own tent; it was killed also, and found to
measure six feet two inches. The soldiers perceiving that the German
physician and his brother were curious in the matter of reptiles,
brought them masses of serpents; but they had got a notion that the
flesh was the part coveted (not the skin) to make medicine, and most
of the specimens were so defaced as to be valueless. Early in May
"some soldiers assured us they had seen in the thicket a serpent
twenty feet long, and as thick as a man's leg; probably a species
of boa--a pity that they could not kill it. The great number of
serpents with dangerous bites makes our bivouac very unsafe, and we
cannot encamp with any feeling of security near bushes or amongst
brushwood; the prick of a blade of straw, the sting of the smallest
insect, causes a hasty movement, for one immediately fancies it
is a snake or scorpion; and when out shooting, one's _second_
glance is for the game, one's _first_ on the ground at his feet,
for fear of trampling and irritating some venomous reptile." As
we proceed through the volume we shall come to other accounts of
beasts and reptiles, so remarkable as really almost to reconcile
us to the possibility of some of the zoological marvels narrated
by the Yankee Doctor Mayo in his rhapsody of Kaloolah.[4] For the
present we must revert to the business of this curiously-conducted
campaign. As the army advanced, various chiefs presented themselves,
with retinues more or less numerous. The first of these was the
Grand-Shech Mohammed Defalla, already named, who came up, with a
great following, on the 28th March. He was a man of herculean frame;
and assuredly such was very necessary to enable him to endure in
that climate the weight of his defensive arms. He wore a double
shirt of mail over a quilted doublet, arm-plates and beautifully
wrought steel gauntlets; his casque fitted like a shell to the upper
part of his head, and had in front, in lieu of a visor, an iron
bar coming down over the nose--behind, for the protection of the
nape, a fringe composed of small rings. His straight-bladed sword
had a golden hilt. The whole equipment, which seems to correspond
very closely with that of some of the Sikhs or other warlike Indian
tribes, proceeded from India, and Defalla had forty or fifty such
suits of arms. About the same time with him, arrived two Schechs
from the refractory land of Taka, tall handsome men; whilst, from
the environs of the neighbouring town of Gos-Rajeb, a number of
people rode out on dromedaries to meet the Bascha, their hair quite
white with camel-fat, which melted in the sun and streamed over
their backs. Gos-Rajeb, situated at about a quarter of a mile from
the left bank of the Atbara, consists of some two hundred _tokul_
(huts) and clay-built houses, and in those parts is considered
an important commercial depot, Indian goods being transported
thither on camels from the port of Souakim, on the Red Sea. The
inhabitants are of various tribes, more of them red than black
or brown; but few were visible, many having fled at the approach
of Achmet's army, which passed the town in imposing array--the
infantry in double column in the centre, the Turkish cavalry on the
right, the Schaïgiës and Mograbins on the left, the artillery, with
kettledrums, cymbals, and other music, in the van--marched through
the Atbara, there very shallow, and encamped on the right bank, in
a stony and almost treeless plain, at the foot of two rocky hills.
The Bascha ordered the Shech of Gos-Rajeb to act as guide to the
Wernes in their examination of the vicinity, and to afford them all
the information in his power. The most remarkable spot to which
he conducted them was to the site of an ancient city, which once,
according to tradition, had been as large as Cairo, and inhabited
by Christians. The date of its existence must be very remote, for
the ground was smooth, and the sole trace of buildings consisted in
a few heaps of broken bricks. There were indications of a terrible
conflagration, the bricks in one place being melted together into a
black glazed mass. Mr Werne could trace nothing satisfactory with
respect to former Christian occupants, and seems disposed to think
that Burckhardt, who speaks of Christian monuments at that spot, (in
the neighbourhood of the hill of Herrerem,) may have been misled by
certain peculiarly formed rocks.

  [4] _Blackwood's Magazine_, No. CCCCIV., for June 1849.

The most renowned chief of the mutinous tribes of Taka, the
conqueror of the Turks under Churdschid Bascha, was Mohammed Din,
Grand-Schech of the Haddenda. This personage, awed by the approach
of Achmet's formidable force, sent his son to the advancing
Bascha, as a hostage for his loyalty and submission. Achmet sent
the young man back to his father as bearer of his commands. The
next day the army crossed the frontier of Taka, which is not
very exactly defined, left the Atbara in their rear, and, moving
still eastwards, beheld before them, in the far distance, the
blue mountains of Abyssinia. The Bascha's suite was now swelled
by the arrival of numerous Schechs, great and small, with their
esquires and attendants. The route lay through a thick forest,
interwoven with creeping plants and underwood, and with thorny
mimosas, which grew to a great height. The path was narrow, the
confusion of the march inconceivably great and perilous, and if
the enemy had made a vigorous attack with their javelins, which
they are skilled in throwing, the army must have endured great
loss, with scarcely a possibility of inflicting any. At last the
scattered column reached an open space, covered with grass, and
intersected with deep narrow rills of water. The Bascha, who had
outstripped his troops, was comfortably encamped, heedless of their
fate, whilst they continued for a long time to emerge in broken
parties from the wood. Mr Werne's good opinion of his generalship
had been already much impaired, and this example of true Turkish
indolence, and of the absence of any sort of military dispositions
under such critical circumstances, completely destroyed it. The
next day there was some appearance of establishing camp-guards,
and of taking due precautions against the fierce and numerous
foe, who on former occasions had thrice defeated Turkish armies,
and from whom an attack might at any moment be expected. In the
afternoon an alarm was given; the Bascha, a good soldier, although
a bad general, was in the saddle in an instant, and gallopping
to the spot, followed by all his cavalry, whilst the infantry
rushed confusedly in the same direction. The uproar had arisen,
however, not from Arab assailants, but from some soldiers who had
discovered extensive corn magazines--_silos_, as they are called
in Algeria--holes in the ground, filled with grain, and carefully
covered over. By the Bascha's permission, the soldiers helped
themselves from these abundant granaries, and thus the army found
itself provided with corn for the next two months. In the course of
the disorderly distribution, or rather scramble, occurred a little
fight between the Schaïgië, a quarrelsome set of irregulars, and
some of the Turks. Nothing could be worse than the discipline of
Achmet's host. The Schaïgiës were active and daring horsemen, and
were the first to draw blood in the campaign, in a skirmish upon
the following day with some ambushed Arabs. The neighbouring woods
swarmed with these javelin-bearing gentry, although they lay close,
and rarely showed themselves, save when they could inflict injury
at small risk. Mr Werne began to doubt the possibility of any
extensive or effectual operations against these wild and wandering
tribes, who, on the approach of the army, loaded their goods on
camels, and fled into the _Chaaba_, or forest district, whither
it was impossible to follow them. Where was the Bascha to find
money and food for the support of his numerous army?--where was
he to quarter it during the dangerous _Chariff_, or rainy season?
He was very reserved as to his plans; probably, according to Mr
Werne, because he had none. The Schechs who had joined and marched
with him could hardly be depended upon, when it was borne in mind
that they, formerly the independent rulers of a free people, had
been despoiled of their power and privileges, and were now the
ill-used vassals of the haughty and stupid Turks, who overwhelmed
them with imposts, treated them contemptuously, and even subjected
them to the bastinado. "Mohammed Din, seeing the hard lot of these
gentlemen, seems disposed to preserve his freedom as long as
possible, or to sell it as dearly as may be. Should it come to a
war, there is, upon our side, a total want of efficient leaders, at
any rate if we except the Bascha. Abdin Aga, chief of the Turkish
cavalry, a bloated Arnaut; Sorop Effendi, a model of stupidity and
covetousness; Hassan Effendi Bimbaschi, a quiet sot; Soliman Aga,
greedy, and without the slightest education of any kind; Hassan
Effendi of Sennaar, a Turk in the true sense of the word (these
four are infantry commanders); Mohammed Ladjam, a good-natured but
inexperienced fellow, chief of the Mograbin cavalry: amongst all
these officers, the only difference is, that each is more ignorant
than his neighbour. With such leaders, what can be expected from an
army that, for the most part, knows no discipline--the Schaïgiës,
for instance, doing just what they please, and being in a fair way
to corrupt all the rest--and that is encumbered with an endless
train of dangerous rabble, idlers, slaves, and women of pleasure,
serving as a burthen and hindrance? Let us console ourselves with
the _Allah kerim!_ (God is merciful.)" Mr Werne had not long to
wait for a specimen of Turkish military skill. On the night of the
7th April he was watching in his tent beside his grievously sick
brother, when there suddenly arose an uproar in the camp, followed
by firing. "I remained by our tent, for my brother was scarcely able
to stir, and the infantry also remained quiet, trusting to their
mounted comrades. But when I saw Bimbaschi Hassan Effendi lead a
company past us, and madly begin to fire over the powder-waggons,
as if these were meant to serve as barricades against the hostile
lances, I ran up to him with my sabre drawn, and threatened him
with the Bascha, as well as with the weapon, whereupon he came to
his senses, and begged me not to betray him. The whole proved to
be mere noise, but the harassed Bascha was again up and active.
He seemed to make no use of his aides-de-camp, and only his own
presence could inspire his troops with courage. Some of the enemy
were killed, and there were many tracks of blood leading into the
wood, although the firing had been at random in the darkness. As
a specimen of the tactics of our Napoleon-worshipping Bascha, he
allowed the wells, which were at two hundred yards from camp, to
remain unguarded at night, so that they might easily have been
filled up by the enemy. Truly fortunate was it that there were no
great stones in the neighbourhood to choke them up, for we were
totally without implements wherewith to have cleared them out
again." Luckily for this most careless general and helpless army,
the Arabs neglected to profit by their shortcomings, and on the 14th
April, after many negotiations, the renowned Mohammed Din himself,
awed, we must suppose, by the numerical strength of Achmet's troops,
and over-estimating their real value, committed the fatal blunder
of presenting himself in the Turkish camp. Great was the curiosity
to see this redoubted chief, who alighted at Schech Defalla's
tent, into which the soldiers impudently crowded, to get a view of
the man before whom many of them had formerly trembled and fled.
"Mohammed Din is of middle stature, and of a black-brown colour,
like all his people; his countenance at first says little, but,
on longer inspection, its expression is one of great cunning; his
bald head is bare; his dress Arabian, with drawers of a fiery red
colour. His retinue consists, without exception, of most ill-looking
fellows, on whose countenances Nature seems to have done her best
to express the faithless character attributed to the Haddenda.
They are all above the middle height, and armed with shields and
lances, or swords." Next morning Mr Werne saw the Bascha seated
on his _angarèb_, (a sort of bedstead, composed of plaited strips
of camel-hide, which, upon the march, served as a throne,) with a
number of Shechs squatted upon the ground on either side of him,
amongst them Mohammed Din, looking humbled, and as if half-repentant
of his rash step. The Bascha appeared disposed to let him feel that
he was now no better than a caged lion, whose claws the captor can
cut at will. He showed him, however, marks of favour, gave him a red
shawl for a turban, and a purple mantle with gold tassels, but no
sabre, which Mr Werne thought a bad omen. The Schech was suffered to
go to and fro between the camp and his own people, but under certain
control--now with an escort of Schaïgiës, then leaving his son as
hostage. He sent in some cattle and sheep as a present, and promised
to bring the tribute due; this he failed to do, and a time was
fixed to him and the other Shechs within which to pay up arrears.
Notwithstanding the subjection of their chief, the Arabs continued
their predatory practices, stealing camels from the camp, or taking
them by force from the grooms who drove them out to pasture.

Mr Werne's book is a journal, written daily during the campaign but,
owing to the long interval between its writing and publication, he
has found it necessary to make frequent parenthetical additions,
corrective or explanatory. Towards the end of April, during great
sickness in camp, he writes as follows:--"My brother's medical
observations and experiments begin to excite in me a strong
interest. He has promised me that he will keep a medical journal;
but he must first get into better health, for now it is always with
sickening disgust that he returns from visiting his patients; he
complains of the insupportable effluvia from these people, sinks
upon his _angarèb_ with depression depicted in his features, and
falls asleep with open eyes, so that I often feel quite uneasy."
Then comes the parenthesis of ten years' later date. "Subsequently,
when I had joined the expedition for the navigation of the White
Nile, he wrote to me from the camp of Kàssela-el-Lus to Chartum,
that, with great diligence and industry, he had written some
valuable papers on African diseases, and was inconsolable at having
lost them. He had been for ten days dangerously ill, had missed me
sadly, and, in a fit of delirium, when his servant asked him for
paper to light the fire, had handed him his manuscript, which the
stupid fellow had forthwith burned. At the same time, he lamented
that, during his illness, our little menagerie had been starved to
death. The Bascha had been to see him, and by his order Topschi
Baschi had taken charge of his money, that he might not be robbed,
giving the servants what was needful for their keep, and for the
purchase of flesh for the animals. The servants had drunk the money
intended for the beasts' food. When my brother recovered his health,
he had the _fagged_, (a sort of lynx,) which had held out longest,
and was only just dead, cut open, and so convinced himself that
it had died of hunger. The annoyance one has to endure from these
people is beyond conception, and the very mildest-tempered man--as,
for instance, my late brother--is compelled at times to make use of
the whip."

Whilst Mohammed Din and the other Shechs, accompanied by detachments
of Turkish troops, intended partly to support them in their demands,
and partly to reconnoitre the country, endeavoured to get together
the stipulated tribute, the army remained stationary. But repose
did not entail monotony; strange incidents were of daily occurrence
in this singular camp. The Wernes, always anxious for the increase
of their cabinet of stuffed birds and beasts, sent their huntsman
Abdallah with one of the detachments, remaining themselves, for the
present at least, at headquarters, to collect whatever might come
in their way. The commander of the Mograbins sent them an antelope
as big as a donkey, having legs like a cow, and black twisted
horns. From the natives little was to be obtained. They were very
shy and ill-disposed, and could not be prevailed upon, even by
tenfold payment, to supply the things most abundant with them, as
for instance milk and honey. In hopes of alluring and conciliating
them, the Bascha ordered those traders who had accompanied the army
to establish a bazaar outside the fence enclosing the camp. The
little mirrors that were there sold proved a great attraction. The
Arabs would sit for whole days looking in them, and pulling faces.
But no amount of reflection could render them amicable or honest:
they continued to steal camels and asses whenever they could, and
one of them caught a Schaigie's horse, led him up to the camp,
and stabbed him to death. So great was the hatred of these tribes
to their oppressors--a hatred which would have shown itself by
graver aggressions, but for Achmet's large force, and above all,
for their dread of firearms. Within the camp there was wild work
enough at times. The good-hearted, hot-headed Werne was horribly
scandalised by the ill-treatment of the slaves. Dumont, the French
apothecary, had a poor lad named Amber, a mere boy, willing and
industrious, whom he continually beat and kicked, until at last Mr
Werne challenged him to a duel with sabres, and threatened to take
away the slave, which he, as a Frenchman, had no legal right to
possess. But this was nothing compared to the cruelties practised
by other Europeans, and especially at Chartum by one Vigoureux, (a
French corporal who had served under Napoleon, and was now adjutant
of an Egyptian battalion,) and his wife, upon a poor black girl,
only ten years of age, whom they first barbarously flogged, and
then tied to a post, with her bleeding back exposed to the broiling
sun. Informed of this atrocity by his brother, who had witnessed
it, Mr Werne sprang from his sickbed, and flew to the rescue, armed
with his sabre, and with a well-known iron stick, ten pounds in
weight, which had earned him the nickname of Abu-Nabut, or Father
of the Stick. A distant view of his incensed countenance sufficed,
and the Frenchman, cowardly as cruel, hastened to release his
victim, and to humble himself before her humane champion. Concerning
this corporal and his dame, whom he had been to France to fetch,
and who was brought to bed on camel-back, under a burning sun,
in the midst of the desert, some curious reminiscences are set
down in the _Feldzug_, as are also some diverting details of the
improprieties of the dissipated gunner Topschi Baschi, who, on the
1st May, brought dancing-girls into the hut occupied by the two
Germans, and assembled a mob round it by the indecorous nature of
his proceedings. Regulations for the internal order and security of
the camp were unheard of. After a time, tents were pitched over the
ammunition; a ditch was dug around it, and strict orders were given
to light no fire in its vicinity. All fires, too, by command of the
Bascha, were to be extinguished when the evening gun was fired.
For a short time the orders were obeyed; then they were forgotten;
fires were seen blazing late at night, and within fifteen paces of
the powder. Nothing but the bastinado could give memory to these
reckless fatalists. "I have often met ships upon the Nile, so laden
with straw that there was scarcely room for the sailors to work
the vessel. No matter for that; in the midst of the straw a mighty
kitchen-fire was merrily blazing."

On the 6th of May, the two Wernes mounted their dromedaries and set
off, attended by one servant, and with a guide provided by Mohammed
Defalla, for the village of El Soffra, at a distance of two and a
half leagues, where they expected to find Mohammed Din and a large
assemblage of his tribe. It was rather a daring thing to advance
thus unescorted into the land of the treacherous Haddendas, and
the Bascha gave his consent unwillingly; but Mussa, (Moses,) the
Din's only son, was hostage in the camp, and they deemed themselves
safer alone than with the half company of soldiers Achmet wanted
to send with them. Their route lay due east, at first through
fields of _durra_, (a sort of grain,) afterwards through forests of
saplings. The natives they met greeted them courteously, and they
reached El Soffra without molestation, but there learned, to their
considerable annoyance, that Mohammed Din had gone two leagues and
a half farther, to the camp of his nephew Shech Mussa, at Mitkenàb.
So, after a short pause, they again mounted their camels, and rode
off, loaded with maledictions by the Arabs, because they would
not remain and supply them with medicine, although the same Arabs
refused to requite the drugs with so much as a cup of milk. They
rode for more than half an hour before emerging from the straggling
village, which was composed of wretched huts made of palm-mats,
having an earthen cooking-vessel, a leathern water-bottle, and two
stones for bruising corn, for sole furniture. The scanty dress of
the people--some of the men had nothing but a leathern apron round
their hips, and a sheep-skin, with the wool inwards, over their
shoulders--their long hair and wild countenances, gave them the
appearance of thorough savages. In the middle of every village
was an open place, where the children played stark naked in the
burning sun, their colour and their extraordinarily nimble movements
combining, says Mr Werne, to give them the appearance of a troop
of young imps. Infants, which in Europe would lie helpless in the
cradle, are there seen rolling in the sand, with none to mind them,
and playing with the young goats and other domestic animals. In that
torrid climate, the development of the human frame is wonderfully
rapid. Those women of whom the travellers caught a sight in this
large village, which consisted of upwards of two thousand huts and
tents, were nearly all old and ugly. The young ones, when they by
chance encountered the strangers, covered their faces, and ran away.
On the road to Mitkenàb, however, some young and rather handsome
girls showed themselves. "They all looked at us with great wonder,"
says Mr Werne, "and took us for Turks, for we are the first Franks
who have come into this country."

Mitkenàb, pleasantly situated amongst lofty trees, seemed to
invite the wanderers to cool shelter from the mid-day sun. They
were parched with thirst when they entered it, but not one of the
inquisitive Arabs who crowded around them would attend to their
request for a draught of milk or water. Here, however, was Mohammed
Din, and with him a party of Schaïgiës under Melek Mahmud, whom
they found encamped under a great old tree, with his fifty horsemen
around him. After they had taken some refreshment, the Din came to
pay them a visit. He refused to take the place offered him on an
_angarèb_, but sat down upon the ground, giving them to understand,
with a sneering smile, that _that_ was now the proper place for
him. "We had excellent opportunity to examine the physiognomy of
this Schech, who is venerated like a demigod by all the Arabs
between the Atbara and the Red Sea. 'He is a brave man,' they say,
'full of courage; there is no other like him!' His face is fat and
round, with small grey-brown, piercing, treacherous-looking eyes,
expressing both the cunning and the obstinacy of his character;
his nose is well-proportioned and slightly flattened; his small
mouth constantly wears a satirical scornful smile. But for this
expression and his thievish glance, his bald crown and well-fed
middle-sized person would become a monk's hood. He goes with his
head bare, wears a white cotton shirt and _ferda_, and sandals on
his feet.... We told him that he was well known to the Franks as
a great hero; he shook his head and said that on the salt lake,
at Souakim, he had seen great ships with cannon, but that he did
not wish the help of the Inglèb (English;) then he said something
else, which was not translated to us. I incautiously asked him, how
numerous his nation was. 'Count the trees,' he replied, glancing
ironically around him; (a poll-tax constituted a portion of the
tribute.) Conversation through an interpreter was so wearisome that
we soon took our leave." At Mitkenàb they were upon the borders
of the great forest (Chaaba) that extends from the banks of the
Atbara to the shores of the Red Sea. It contains comparatively few
lofty trees--most of these getting uprooted by hurricanes, when the
rainy season has softened the ground round their roots--but a vast
deal of thicket and dense brushwood, affording shelter to legions
of wild beasts; innumerable herds of elephants, rhinoceroses,
lions, tigers, giraffes, various inferior beasts, and multitudes
of serpents of the most venomous description. For fear of these
unpleasant neighbours, no Arab at Mitkenàb quits his dwelling after
nightfall. "When we returned to the wells, a little before sundown,
we found all the Schaïgiës on the move, to take up their quarters in
an enclosure outside the village, partly on account of the beasts
of prey, especially the lions, which come down to drink of a night,
partly for safety from the unfriendly Arabs. We went with them
and encamped with Mammud in the middle of the enclosure. We slept
soundly the night through, only once aroused by the hoarse cries of
the hyenas, which were sneaking about the village, setting all the
dogs barking. To insure our safety, Mohammed Din himself slept at
our door--so well-disposed were his people towards us." A rumour had
gained credit amongst the Arabs, that the two mysterious strangers
were, sent by Achmet to reconnoitre the country for the Bascha's own
advance; and so incensed were they at this, that, although their
beloved chief's son was a hostage in the Turkish camp, it was only
by taking bypaths, under guidance of a young relative of Schech
Mussa's, that the Wernes were able to regain their camp in safety.
A few days after their return they were both attacked by bad fever,
which for some time prevented them from writing. They lost their
reckoning, and thenceforward the journal is continued without dates.

The Bascha grew weary of life in camp, and pined after action. In
vain did the Schaïgiës toss the djereed, and go through irregular
tournaments and sham fights for his diversion; in vain did he
rattle the dice with Topschi Baschi; vain were the blandishments
of an Abyssinian beauty whom he had quartered in a hut surrounded
with a high fence, and for whose amusement he not unfrequently had
nocturnal serenades performed by the band of the 8th regiment; to
which brassy and inharmonious challenge the six thousand donkeys
assembled in camp never failed to respond by an ear-splitting bray,
whilst the numerous camels bellowed a bass: despite all these
amusements, the Bascha suffered from ennui. He was furious when
he saw how slowly and scantily came in the tribute for which he
had made this long halt. Some three hundred cows were all that had
yet been delivered; a ridiculously small number contrasted with
the vast herds possessed by those tribes. Achmet foamed with rage
at this ungrateful return for his patience and consideration. He
reproached the Schechs who were with him, and sent for Mohammed Din,
Shech Mussa, and the two Shechs of Mitkenàb. Although their people,
foreboding evil, endeavoured to dissuade them from obedience, they
all four came and were forthwith put in irons and chained together.
With all his cunning Mohammed Din had fallen into the snare. His
plan had been, so Mr Werne believes, to cajole and detain the Turks
by fair words and promises until the rainy season, when hunger
and sickness would have proved his best allies. The Bascha had
been beforehand with him, and the old marauder might now repent
at leisure that he had not trusted to his impenetrable forests
and to the javelins of his people, rather than to the word of a
Turk. On the day of his arrest the usual evening gun was loaded
with canister, and fired into the woods in the direction of the
Haddendas, the sound of cannon inspiring the Arab and negro tribes
with a panic fear. Firearms--to them incomprehensible weapons--have
served more than anything else to daunt their courage. "When the
Turks attacked a large and populous mountain near Faszogl, the
blacks sent out spies to see how strong was the foe, and how armed.
The spies came back laughing, and reported that there was no great
number of men; that their sole arms were shining sticks upon their
shoulders, and that they had neither swords, lances, nor shields.
The poor fellows soon found how terrible an effect had the sticks
they deemed so harmless. As they could not understand how it was
that small pieces of lead should wound and kill, a belief got abroad
amongst them, that the Afrite, Scheitàn, (the devil or evil spirit,)
dwelt in the musket-barrels. With this conviction, a negro, grasping
a soldier's musket, put his hand over the mouth of the barrel, that
the afrite might not get out. The soldier pulled the trigger, and
the leaden devil pierced the poor black's hand and breast. After
an action, a negro collected the muskets of six or seven slain
soldiers, and joyfully carried them home, there to forge them into
lances in the presence of a party of his friends. But it happened
that some of them were loaded, and soon getting heated in the fire,
they went off, scattering death and destruction around them." Most
of the people in Taka run from the mere report of a musket, but the
Arabs of Hedjàs, a mountainous district near the Red Sea, possess
firearms, and are slow but very good shots.

In the way of tribute, nothing was gained by the imprisonment of
Mahommed Din and his companions. No more contributions came in, and
not an Arab showed himself upon the market-place outside the camp.
Mohammed Din asked why his captors did not kill rather than confine
him; he preferred death to captivity, and keeping him prisoner would
lead, he said, to no result. The Arab chiefs in camp did not conceal
their disgust at the Bascha's treatment of their Grand-Shech, and
taxed Achmet with having broken his word, since he had given him the
Amàhn--promise of pardon. Any possibility of conciliating the Arabs
was destroyed by the step that had been taken. At night they swarmed
round the camp, shrieking their war-cry. The utmost vigilance was
necessary; a third of the infantry was under arms all night, the
consequent fatigue increasing the amount of sickness. The general
aspect of things was anything but cheering. The Wernes had their
private causes of annoyance. Six of their camels, including the two
excellent dromedaries given to them by the Bascha before quitting
Chartum, were stolen whilst their camel-driver slept, and could
not be recovered. They were compelled to buy others, and Mr Werne
complains bitterly of the heavy expenses of the campaign--expenses
greatly augmented by the sloth and dishonesty of their servants.
The camel-driver, fearing to face his justly-incensed employers,
disappeared and was no more heard of. Upon this and other occasions,
Mr Werne was struck by the extraordinary skill of the Turks in
tracing animals and men by their footsteps. In this manner his
servants tracked his camels to an Arab village, although the road
had been trampled by hundreds of beasts of the same sort. "If
these people have once seen the footprint of a man, camel, horse,
or ass, they are sure to recognise it amongst thousands of such
impressions, and will follow the trail any distance, so long as the
ground is tolerably favourable, and wind or rain has not obliterated
the marks. In cases of loss, people send for a man who makes this
kind of search his profession; they show him a footprint of the
lost animal, and immediately, without asking any other indication,
he follows the track through the streets of a town, daily trodden
by thousands, and seldom falls to hunt out the game. He does not
proceed slowly, or stoop to examine the ground, but his sharp eye
follows the trail at a run. We ourselves saw the footstep of a
runaway slave shown to one of these men, who caught the fugitive at
the distance of three days' journey from that spot. My brother once
went out of the Bascha's house at Chartum, to visit a patient who
lived far off in the town. He had been gone an hour when the Bascha
desired to see him, and the tschansch (orderly) traced him at once
by his footmarks on the unpaved streets in which crowds had left
similar signs. When, in consequence of my sickness, we lingered for
some days on the Atbara, and then marched to overtake the army, the
Schaïgiës who escorted us detected, amidst the hoof-marks of the
seven or eight thousand donkeys accompanying the troops, those of a
particular jackass belonging to one of their friends, and the event
proved that they were right." Mr Werne fills his journal, during
his long sojourn in camp, with a great deal of curious information
concerning the habits and peculiarities of both Turks and Arabs,
as well as with the interesting results of his observations on the
brute creation. The soldiers continued to bring to him and his
brother all manner of animals and reptiles--frogs, whole coils of
snakes, and chameleons, which there abound, but whose changes of
colour Mr Werne found to be much less numerous than is commonly
believed. For two months he watched the variations of hue of these
curious lizards, and found them limited to different shades of grey
and green, with yellow stripes and spots. He made a great pet of
a young wild cat, which was perfectly tame, and extraordinarily
handsome. Its colour was grey, beautifully spotted with black,
like a panther; its head was smaller and more pointed than that of
European cats; its ears, of unusual size, were black, with white
stripes. Many of the people in camp took it to be a young tiger, but
the natives called it a _fagged_, and said it was a sort of cat, in
which Mr Werne agreed with them. "Its companion and playfellow is a
rat, about the size of a squirrel, with a long silvery tail, which,
when angry, it swells out, and sets up over its back. This poor
little beast was brought to us with two broken legs, and we gave it
to the cat, thinking it was near death. But the cat, not recognising
her natural prey--and moreover feeling the want of a companion--and
the rat, tamed by pain and cured by splints, became inseparable
friends, ate together, and slept arm in arm. The rat, which was not
ugly like our house rats, but was rather to be considered handsome,
by reason of its long frizzled tail, never made use of its liberty
to escape." Notwithstanding the numerous devices put in practice
by the Wernes to pass their time, it at last began to hang heavy,
and their pipes were almost their sole resource and consolation.
Smoking is little customary in Egypt, except amongst the Turks and
Arabs. The Mograbins prefer chewing. The blacks of the Gesira make a
concentrated infusion of this weed, which they call _bucca_; take a
mouthful of it, and roll the savoury liquor round their teeth for a
quarter of an hour before ejecting it. They are so addicted to this
practice, that they invite their friends to "bucca" as Europeans do
to dinner. The vessel containing the tobacco juice makes the round
of the party, and a profound silence ensues, broken only by the
harmonious gurgle of the delectable fluid. Conversation is carried
on by signs.

"We shall march to-morrow," had long been the daily assurance of
those wiseacres, to be found in every army, who always know what
the general means to do better than the general himself. At last
the much-desired order was issued--of course when everybody least
expected it--and, after a night of bustle and confusion, the army
got into motion, in its usual disorderly array. Its destination was
a mountain called Kassela-el-Lus, in the heart of the Taka country,
whither the Bascha had sent stores of grain, and where he proposed
passing the rainy season and founding a new town. The distance was
about fourteen hours' march. The route led south-eastwards, at
first through a level country, covered with boundless fields of
tall _durra_. At the horizon, like a great blue cloud, rose the
mountain of Kassela, a blessed sight to eyes that had long been
weary of the monotonous level country. After a while the army got
out of the durra-fields, and proceeded over a large plain scantily
overgrown with grass, observing a certain degree of military
order and discipline, in anticipation of an attempt, on the part
of the angry Arabs, to rescue Mohammed Din and his companions in
captivity. Numerous hares and jackals were started and ridden
down. Even gazelles, swift as they are, were sometimes overtaken
by the excellent Turkish horses. Presently the grass grew thicker
and tall enough to conceal a small donkey, and they came to wooded
tracts and jungles, and upon marks of elephants and other wild
beasts. The foot-prints of the elephants, in places where the ground
had been slightly softened by the rain, were often a foot deep,
and from a foot and a half to two feet in length and breadth. Mr
Werne regrets not obtaining a view of one of these giant brutes.
The two-horned rhinoceros is also common in that region, and is
said to be of extraordinary ferocity in its attacks upon men and
beasts, and not unfrequently to come off conqueror in single combat
with the elephant. "Suddenly the little Schaïgiës cavalry set up
a great shouting, and every one handled his arms, anticipating an
attack from the Arabs. But soon the cry of 'Asset! Asset!' (lion)
was heard, and we gazed eagerly on every side, curious for the
lion's appearance. The Bascha had already warned his chase-loving
cavalry, under penalty of a thousand blows, not to quit their ranks
on the appearance of wild beasts, for in that broken ground he
feared disorder in the army and an attack from the enemy. I and
my brother were at that moment with Melek Mahmud at the outward
extremity of the left wing; suddenly a tolerably large lioness
trotted out of a thicket beside us, not a hundred paces off. She
seemed quite fearless, for she did not quicken her pace at sight
of the army. The next minute a monstrous lion showed himself at
the same spot, roaring frightfully, and apparently in great fury;
his motions were still slower than those of his female; now and
then he stood still to look at us, and after coming to within sixty
or seventy paces--we all standing with our guns cocked, ready to
receive him--he gave us a parting scowl, and darted away, with great
bounds, in the track of his wife. In a moment both had disappeared."
Soon after this encounter, which startled and delighted Dr Werne,
and made his brother's little dromedary dance with alarm, they
reached the banks of the great _gohr_, (the bed of a river, filled
only in the rainy season,) known as El Gasch, which intersects
the countries of Taka and Basa. With very little daring and still
less risk, the Haddendas, who are said to muster eighty thousand
fighting men, might have annihilated the Bascha's army, as it wound
its toilsome way for nearly a league along the dry water-course,
(whose high banks were crowned with trees and thick bushes,) the
camels stumbling and occasionally breaking their legs in the deep
holes left by the feet of the elephants, where the cavalry could
not have acted, and where every javelin must have told upon the
disorderly groups of weary infantry. The Arabs either feared the
firearms, or dreaded lest their attack should be the signal for
the instant slaughter of their Grand-Shech, who rode, in the midst
of the infantry, upon a donkey, which had been given him out of
consideration for his age, whilst the three other prisoners were
cruelly forced to perform the whole march on foot, with heavy chains
on their necks and feet, and exposed to the jibes of the pitiless
soldiery. On quitting the Gohr, the march was through trees and
brushwood, and then through a sort of labyrinthine swamp, where
horses and camels stumbled at every step, and where the Arabs again
had a glorious opportunity, which they again neglected, of giving
Achmet such a lesson as they had given to his predecessor in the
Baschalik. The army now entered the country of the Hallengas, and a
six days' halt succeeded to their long and painful march.

It would be of very little interest to trace the military operations
of Achmet Bascha, which were altogether of the most contemptible
description--consisting in the _chasuas_, or razzias already
noticed, sudden and secret expeditions of bodies of armed men
against defenceless tribes, whom they despoiled of their cattle
and women. From his camp at the foot of Kassela-el-Lus, the Bascha
directed many of these marauding parties, remaining himself safely
in a large hut, which Mr Werne had had constructed for him, and
usually cheating the men and officers, who had borne the fatigue and
run the risk, out of their promised share of the booty. Sometimes
the unfortunate natives, driven to the wall and rendered desperate
by the cruelties of their oppressors, found courage for a stout
resistance.

"An expedition took place to the mountains of Basa, and the troops
brought back a large number of prisoners of both sexes. The men
were almost all wounded, and showed great fortitude under the
painful operation of extracting the balls. Even the Turks confessed
that these mountaineers had made a gallant defence with lances and
stones. Of our soldiers several had musket-shot wounds, inflicted
by their comrades' disorderly fire. The Turks asserted that the
Mograbins and Schaïgiës sometimes fired intentionally at the
soldiers, to drive them from their booty. It was a piteous sight to
see the prisoners--especially the women and children--brought into
camp bound upon camels, and with despair in their countenances.
Before they were sold or allotted, they were taken near the tent of
Topschi Baschi, where a fire was kept burning, and were all, even
to the smallest children, branded on the shoulder with a red-hot
iron in the form of a star. When their moans and lamentations
reached our hut, we took our guns and hastened away out shooting
with three servants. These, notwithstanding our exhortations, would
ramble from us, and we had got exceedingly angry with them for so
doing, when suddenly we heard three shots, and proceeded in that
direction, thinking it was they who had fired. Instead of them, we
found three soldiers, lying upon the ground, bathed in their blood
and terribly torn. Two were already dead, and the third, whose whole
belly was ripped up, told us they had been attacked by a lion.
The three shots brought up our servants, whom we made carry the
survivor into camp, although my brother entertained slight hopes
of saving him. The Bascha no sooner heard of the incident than he
got on horseback with Soliman Kaschef and his people, to hunt the
lion, and I accompanied him with my huntsman Sale, a bold fellow,
who afterwards went with me up the White Nile. On reaching the spot
where the lion had been, the Turks galloped off to seek him, and I
and Sale alone remained behind. Suddenly I heard a heavy trampling,
and a crashing amongst the bushes, and I saw close beside me an
elephant with its calf. Sale, who was at some distance, and had just
shot a parrot, called out to know if he should fire at the elephant,
which I loudly forbade him to do. The beast broke its way through
the brushwood just at hand. I saw its high back, and took up a safe
position amongst several palm-trees, which all grew from one root,
and were so close together that the elephant could not get at me.
Sale was already up a tree, and told me the elephant had turned
round, and was going back into the chaaba. The brute seemed angry
or anxious about its young one, for we found the ground dug up for
a long distance by its tusk as by a plough. Some shots were fired,
and we thought the Bascha and his horsemen were on the track of the
lion, but they had seen the elephant, and formed a circle round
it. A messenger galloped into camp, and in a twinkling the Arnaut
Abdin Bey came up with part of his people. The elephant, assailed
on all sides by a rain of bullets, charged first one horseman, then
another; they delivered their fire and galloped off. The eyes were
the point chiefly aimed at, and it soon was evident that he was
blinded by the bullets, for when pursuing his foes he ran against
the trees, the shock of his unwieldy mass shaking the fruit from
the palms. The horsemen dismounted and formed a smaller circle
around him. He must already have received some hundred bullets, and
the ground over which he staggered was dyed red, when the Bascha
crept quite near him, knelt down and sent a shot into his left eye,
whereupon the colossus sank down upon his hinder end and died.
Nothing was to be seen of the calf or of the lion, but a few days
later a large male lion was killed by Soliman Kaschef's men, close
to camp, where we often in the night-time heard the roaring of those
brutes."

Just about this time bad news reached the Wernes. Their huntsman
Abdallah, to whom they were much attached by reason of his gallantry
and fidelity, had gone a long time before to the country of the
Beni-Amers, eastward from Taka, in company of a Schaïgië chief,
mounted on one of their best camels, armed with a double-barrelled
gun, and provided with a considerable sum of money for the
purchase of giraffes. On his way back to his employers, with a
valuable collection of stuffed birds and other curiosities, he was
barbarously murdered, when travelling, unescorted, through the
Hallenga country, and plundered of all his baggage. Sale, who went
to identify his friend's mutilated corpse, attributed the crime
to the Hallengas. Mr Werne was disposed to suspect Mohammed Ehle,
a great villain, whom the Bascha at times employed as a secret
stabber and assassin. This Ehle had been appointed Schech of the
Hallengas by the Divan, in lieu of the rightful Schech, who had
refused submission to the Turks. Three nephews of Mohammed Din (one
of them the same youth who had escorted the Wernes safely back
to camp when they were in peril of their lives in the Haddenda
country) came to visit their unfortunate relative, who was still a
prisoner, cruelly treated, lying upon the damp earth, chained to two
posts, and awaiting with fortitude the cruel death by impalement
with which the Bascha threatened him. Achmet received the young men
very coldly, and towards evening they set out, greatly depressed
by their uncle's sad condition, upon their return homewards. Early
next morning the Wernes, when out shooting, found the dead bodies
of their three friends. They had been set upon and slain after a
gallant defence, as was testified by their bloody lances, and by
other signs of a severe struggle. The birds of prey had already
picked out their eyes, and their corpses presented a frightful
spectacle. The Wernes, convinced that this assassination had taken
place by the Bascha's order, loaded the bodies on a camel, took
them to Achmet, and preferred an accusation against the Hallengas
for this shameful breach of hospitality. The Bascha's indifference
confirmed their suspicions. He testified no indignation, but there
was great excitement amongst his officers; and when they left the
Divan, Mr Werne violently reproached Mohammed Ehle, whom he was well
assured was the murderer, and who endured his anger in silence. "The
Albanian Abdin Bey was so enraged that he was only withheld by the
united persuasions of the other officers from mounting his horse
and charging Mohammed Ehle with his wild Albanians, the consequence
of which would inevitably have been a general mutiny against the
Bascha, for the soldiers had long been murmuring at their bad food
and ill treatment." The last hundred pages of Mr Werne's very
closely printed and compendious volume abound in instances of the
Bascha's treachery and cruelty, and of the retaliation exercised
by the Arabs. On one occasion a party of fifty Turkish cavalry
were murdered by the Haddendas, who had invited them to a feast.
The town of Gos-Rajeb was burned, twenty of the merchants there
resident were killed, and the corn, stored there for the use of
the army on its homeward march, was plundered. The Bascha had a
long-cherished plan of cutting off the supply of water from the
country of the Haddendas. This was to be done by damming up the
Gohr-el-Gasch, and diverting the abundant stream which, in the rainy
season, rushed along its deep gully, overflowing the tall banks
and fertilising fields and forests. As the Bascha's engineer and
confidential adviser, Mr Werne was compelled to direct this work.
By the labour of thousands of men, extensive embankments were made,
and the Haddendas began to feel the want of water, which had come
down from the Abyssinian mountains, and already stood eight feet
deep in the Gohr. Mr Werne repented his share in the cruel work,
and purposely abstained from pressing the formation of a canal
which was to carry off the superfluous water to the Atbara, there
about three leagues distant from the Gohr. And one morning he was
awakened by a great uproar in the camp, and by the shouts of the
Bascha, who was on horseback before his hut, and he found that a
party of Haddendas had thrashed a picket and made an opening in the
dykes, which was the deathblow to Achmet's magnificent project of
extracting an exorbitant tribute from Mohammed Din's tribe as the
price of the supply of water essential to their very existence.
The sole results of the cruel attempt were a fever to the Bascha,
who had got wet, and the sickness of half the army, who had been
compelled to work like galley-slaves under a burning sun and upon
bad rations. The vicinity of Kassela is rich in curious birds
and beasts. The mountain itself swarms with apes, and Mr Werne
frequently saw groups of two or three hundred of them seated upon
the cliffs. They are about the size of a large dog, with dark brown
hair and hideous countenances. Awful was the screaming and howling
they set up of a night, when they received the unwelcome visit of
some hungry leopard or prowling panther. Once the Wernes went out
with their guns for a day's sport amongst the monkeys, but were soon
glad to beat a retreat under a tremendous shower of stones. Hassan,
a Turk, who purveyed the brothers with hares, gazelles, and other
savoury morsels, and who was a very good shot, promised to bring
in--of course for good payment--not only a male and female monkey,
but a whole camel-load if desired. He started off with this object,
but did not again show himself for some days, and tried to sneak
out of the Wernes' way when they at last met him in the bazaar. He
had a hole in his head, and his shoulder badly hurt, and declared
he would have nothing more to say to those _transformed men_ upon
the mountain. Mr Werne was very desirous to catch a monkey alive,
but was unsuccessful, and Mohammed Ehle refused to sell a tame one
which he owned, and which usually sat upon his hut. Mr Werne thinks
them a variety of the Chimpanzee. They fight amongst themselves
with sticks, and defend themselves fiercely with stones against the
attacks of men. Upon the whole the Wernes were highly fortunate in
collecting zoological and ornithological specimens, of which they
subsequently sent a large number, stuffed, to the Berlin museum.
They also secured several birds and animals alive; amongst these
a young lion and a civet cat. Regarding reptiles they were very
curious, and nothing of that kind was too long or too large for
them. As Ferdinand Werne was sitting one day upon his dromedary,
in company with the Bascha, on the left bank of the Gasch, the
animals shied at a large serpent which suddenly darted by. The
Bascha ordered the men who were working at the dykes to capture it,
which they at once proceeded to do, as unconcernedly as an English
haymaker would assail a hedge snake. "Pursued by several men, the
serpent plunged into the water, out of which it then boldly reared
its head, and confronted an Arab who had jumped in after it, armed
with a _hassaie_. With extraordinary skill and daring the Arab
approached it, his club uplifted, and struck it over the head, so
that the serpent fell down stunned and writhing mightily; whereupon
another Arab came up with a cord; the club-bearer, without further
ceremony, griped the reptile by the throat, just below the head;
the noose was made fast, and the pair of them dragged their prize
on shore. There it lay for a moment motionless, and we contemplated
the terribly beautiful creature, which was more than eleven feet
long and half-a-foot in diameter. But when they began to drag it
away, by which the skin would of course be completely spoiled,
orders were given to _carry_ it to camp. A jacket was tied over its
head, and three men set to work to get it upon their shoulders;
but the serpent made such violent convulsive movements that all
three fell to the ground with it, and the same thing occurred again
when several others had gone to their assistance. I accompanied
them into camp, drove a big nail into the foremost great beam of
our _recuba_, (hut,) and had the monster suspended from it. He
hung down quite limp, as did also several other snakes, which were
still alive, and which our servants had suspended inside our hut,
intending to skin them the next morning, as it was now nearly
dark. In the night I felt a most uncomfortable sensation. One of
the snakes, which was hung up at the head of my bed, had smeared
his cold tail over my face. But I sprang to my feet in real alarm,
and thought I had been struck over the shin with a club, when the
big serpent, now in the death agony, gave me a wipe with its tail
through the open door, in front of which our servants were squatted,
telling each other ghost stories of snake-kings and the like....
They called this serpent _assala_, which, however, is a name they
give to all large serpents. Soon afterwards we caught another, as
thick, but only nine feet long, and with a short tail, like the
_Vipera cerastes_; and this was said to be of that breed of short,
thick snakes which can devour a man." In the mountains of Basa,
two days' journey from the Gohr-el-Gasch, and on the road thither,
snakes are said to exist, of no great length, but as thick as a
crocodile, and which can conveniently swallow a man; and instances
were related to Mr Werne of these monsters having swallowed persons
when they lay sleeping on their angarèbs. Sometimes the victims had
been rescued _when only half gorged_! Of course travellers hear
strange stories, and some of those related by Mr Werne are tolerably
astounding; but these are derived from his Turkish, Egyptian, or
Arabian acquaintances, and there is no appearance of exaggeration
or romancing in anything which he narrates as having occurred to
or been witnessed by himself. A wild tradition was told him of a
country called Bellad-el-Kelb, which signifies the Country of Dogs,
where the women were in all respects human, but where the men had
faces like dogs, claws on their feet, and tails like monkeys. They
could not speak, but carried on conversation by wagging their tails.
This ludicrous account appeared explicable by the fact, that the men
of Bellad-el-Kelb are great robbers, living by plunder, and, like
fierce and hungry dogs, never relinquishing their prey.

The Hallengas, amongst whom the expedition now found itself, were
far more frank and friendly, and much less wild, than the Haddendas
and some other tribes, and they might probably have been converted
into useful allies by a less cruel and capricious invader than the
Bascha. But conciliation was no part of his scheme; if he one day
caressed a tribe or a chief, it was only to betray them the next.
Mr Werne was on good terms with some of the Hallenga sheiks, and
went to visit the village of Hauathi, about three miles from camp,
to see the birds of paradise which abounded there. On his road he
saw from afar a great tree covered with those beautiful birds,
and which glistened in the sunshine with all the colours of the
rainbow. Some days later he and his brother went to drink _merissa_,
a slightly intoxicating liquor, with one of the Fakis or priests
of the country. The two Germans got very jovial, drinking to each
other, student-fashion; and the faki, attempting to keep pace with
them, got crying-drunk, and disclosed a well-matured plan for
blowing up their powder-magazine. The ammunition had been stored in
the village of Kadmin, which was a holy village, entirely inhabited
by fakis. The Bascha had made sure that none of the natives would
risk blowing up these holy men, even for the sake of destroying his
ammunition, and he was unwilling to keep so large a quantity of
powder amidst his numerous camp-fires and reckless soldiery. But
the fakis had made their arrangements. On a certain night they were
to depart, carrying away all their property into the great caverns
of Mount Kassela, and fire was to be applied to the house that
held the powder. Had the plot succeeded, the whole army was lost,
isolated as it was in the midst of unfriendly tribes, embittered by
its excesses, and by the aggressions and treachery of its chief,
and who, stimulated by their priests, would in all probability have
exterminated it to the last man, when it no longer had cartridges
for its defence. The drunken faki's indiscretion saved Achmet and
his troops; the village was forthwith surrounded, and the next day
the ammunition was transferred to camp. Not to rouse the whole
population against him, the Bascha abstained for the moment from
punishing the conspirators, but he was not the man to let them
escape altogether; and some time afterwards, Mr Werne, who had
returned to Chartum, received a letter from his brother, informing
him that nine fakis had been hung on palm-trees just outside the
camp, and that the magnanimous Achmet proposed treating forty more
in the same way.

A mighty liar was Effendina Achmet Bascha, as ever ensnared a
foe or broke faith with a friend. Greedy and cruel was he also,
as only a Turkish despot can be. One of his most active and
unscrupulous agents was a bloodsucker named Hassan Effendi, whom
he sent to the country of the Beni-Amers to collect three thousand
five hundred cows and thirteen hundred camels, the complement of
their tribute. Although this tribe had upon the whole behaved
very peaceably, Hassan's first act was to shoot down a couple of
hundred of them like wild beasts. Then he seized a large number of
camels belonging to the Haddendas, although the tribe was at that
very time in friendly negotiation with the Bascha. The Haddendas
revenged themselves by burning Gos-Rajeb. In proof of their valour,
Hassan's men cut off the ears of the murdered Beni-Amers, and took
them to Achmet, who gave them money for the trophies. "They had
forced a slave to cut off the ears; yonder now lies the man--raving
mad, and bound with cords. Camel-thieves, too--no matter to what
tribe they belong--if caught _in flagranti_, lose their ears,
for which the Bascha gives a reward. That many a man who never
dreamed of committing a theft loses his ears in this way, is easy
to understand, for the operation is performed on the spot." Dawson
Borrer, in his _Campaign in the Kabylie_, mentions a very similar
practice as prevailing in Marshal Bugeaud's camp, where ten francs
was the fixed price for the head of a horse-stealer, it being
left to the soldiers who severed the heads and received the money
to discriminate between horse-stealers and honest men. Whether
Bugeaud took a hint from the Bascha, or the Bascha was an admiring
imitator of Bugeaud, remains a matter of doubt. "Besides many
handsome women and children, Hassan Effendi brought in two thousand
nine hundred cows, and seven thousand sheep." He might have been a
French prince returning from a razzia. "For himself he kept eighty
camels, _which he said he had bought_." A droll dog, this Hassan
Effendi, but withal rather covetous--given to sell his soldier's
rations, and to starve his servants, a single piastre--about
twopence halfpenny--being his whole daily outlay for meat for his
entire household, who lived for the most part upon durra and water.
If his servants asked for wages, they received the bastinado. "The
Bascha had given the poor camel-drivers sixteen cows. The vampire
(Hassan) took upon himself to appropriate thirteen of them." Mr
Werne reported this robbery to the Bascha, but Achmet merely replied
"_malluch_"--signifying, "it matters not." When inferior officers
received horses as their share of booty, Hassan bought them of them,
but always forgot to pay, and the poor subalterns feared to complain
to the Bascha, who favoured the rogue, and recommended him to the
authorities at Cairo for promotion to the rank of Bey, because, as
he told Mr Werne with an ironical smile, Hassan was getting very
old and infirm, and when he died the Divan would bring charges
against him, and inherit his wealth. Thus are things managed in
Egypt. No wonder that, where such injustice and rascality prevail,
many are found to rejoice at the prospect of a change of rulers.
"News from Souakim (on the Red Sea) of the probable landing of the
English, excite great interest in camp; from all sides they come
to ask questions of us, thinking that we, as Franks, must know
the intentions of the invaders. Upon the whole, they would not be
displeased at such a change of government, particularly when we tell
them of the good pay and treatment customary amongst the English;
and that with them no officer has to endure indignities from his
superiors in rank."

"I have now," says Mr Werne, (page 256,) "been more than half a
year away from Chartum, continually in the field, and not once
have I enjoyed the great comfort of reposing, undressed, between
clean white sheets, but have invariably slept in my clothes, on
the ground, or on the short but practical angarèb. All clean linen
disappears, for the constant perspiration and chalky dust burns
everything; and the servants do not understand washing, inasmuch as,
contrasted with their black hides, everything appears white to them,
and for the last three months no soap has been obtainable. And in
the midst of this dirty existence, which drags itself along like a
slow fever, suddenly 'Julla!' is the word, and one hangs for four or
five days, eighty or a hundred leagues, upon the camel's back, every
bone bruised by the rough motion,--the broiling sun, thirst, hunger,
and cold, for constant companions. Man can endure much: I have gone
through far more than I ever thought I could,--vomiting and in a
raging fever on the back of a dromedary, under a midday sun, more
dead than alive, held upon my saddle by others, and yet I recovered.
To have remained behind would have been to encounter certain death
from the enemy, or from wild beasts. We have seen what a man can
bear, under the pressure of necessity; in my present uniform and
monotonous life I compare myself to the camels tied before my tent,
which sometimes stand up, sometimes slowly stretch themselves on
the ground, careless whether crows or ravens walk over their backs,
constantly moving their jaws, looking up at the sun, and then, by
way of a change, taking a mouthful of grass, but giving no signs of
joy or curiosity."

From this state of languid indifference Mr Werne was suddenly and
pleasurably roused by intelligence that a second expedition was
fitting out for the White Nile. He and his brother immediately
petitioned the Bascha for leave to accompany it. The desired
permission was granted to him, but refused to his brother. There
was too much sickness in the camp, the Bascha said; he could not
spare his doctor, and lacked confidence in the Italian, Bellotti.
The fondly-attached brothers were thus placed in a painful dilemma:
they had hoped to pursue their wanderings hand in hand, and to pass
their lives together, and loth indeed were they to sunder in those
sickly and perilous regions. At last they made up their minds to the
parting. It has been already recorded in Mr Werne's former work,
how, within ten days of their next meeting, his beloved brother's
eyes were closed in death.

In various respects, Mr Werne's _Feldzug_ is one of the most
curious books of travel and adventure that, for a very long time,
has appeared. It has three points of particular attraction and
originality. In the first place, the author wanders in a region
previously unexplored by Christian and educated travellers, and
amongst tribes whose bare names have reached the ears of but few
Europeans. Secondly, he campaigns as officer in such an army as we
can hardly realise in these days of high civilisation and strict
military discipline,--so wild, motley, and grotesque are its
customs, composition, and equipment,--an army whose savage warriors,
strange practices, and barbarous cruelties, make us fancy ourselves
in presence of some fierce Moslem horde of the middle ages, marching
to the assault of Italy or Hungary. Thirdly, during his long sojourn
in camp he had opportunities such as few ordinary travellers enjoy,
and of which he diligently profited, to study and note down the
characteristics and social habits of many of the races of men that
make up the heterogeneous population of the Ottoman empire. Some
of the physiological and medical details with which he favours us,
would certainly have been more in their place in his brother's
professional journal, than in a book intended for the public at
large; and passages are not wanting at which the squeamish will be
apt to lay down the volume in disgust. For such persons Mr Werne
does not write; and his occasional indelicacy and too crude details
are compensated, to our thinking, by his manly honest tone, and by
the extraordinary amount of useful and curious information he has
managed to pack into two hundred and seventy pages. As a whole,
the _Expedition to the White Nile_, which contains a vast deal
of dry meteorological and geographical detail, is decidedly far
less attractive than the present book, which is as amusing as any
romance. We have read it with absorbing interest, well pleased with
the hint its author throws out at its close, that the records of his
African wanderings are not yet all exhausted.



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.

BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.


BOOK VII.--INITIAL CHAPTER.

"What is courage?" said my uncle Roland, rousing himself from a
reverie into which he had fallen after the Sixth Book in this
history had been read to our family circle.

"What is courage?" he repeated more earnestly. "Is it insensibility
to fear? _That_ may be the mere accident of constitution; and, if
so, there is no more merit in being courageous than in being this
table."

"I am very glad to hear you speak thus," observed Mr Caxton, "for I
should not like to consider myself a coward; yet I am very sensible
to fear in all dangers, bodily and moral."

"La, Austin, how can you say so?" cried my mother, firing up; "was
it not only last week that you faced the great bull that was rushing
after Blanche and the children?"

Blanche at that recollection stole to my father's chair, and,
hanging over his shoulder, kissed his forehead.

MR CAXTON, (sublimely unmoved by these flatteries.)--"I don't deny
that I faced the bull, but I assert that I was horribly frightened."

ROLAND.--"The sense of honour which conquers fear is the true
courage of chivalry: you could not run away when others were looking
on--no gentleman could."

MR CAXTON.--"Fiddledee! It was not on my gentility that I stood,
Captain. I should have run fast enough, if it had done any good. I
stood upon my understanding. As the bull could run faster than I
could, the only chance of escape was to make the brute as frightened
as myself."

BLANCHE.--"Ah, you did not think of that; your only thought was to
save me and the children."

MR CAXTON.--"Possibly, my dear--very possibly I might have been
afraid for you too;--but I was very much afraid for myself. However,
luckily I had the umbrella, and I sprang it up and spread it forth
in the animal's stupid eyes, hurling at him simultaneously the
biggest lines I could think of in the First Chorus of the 'Seven
against Thebes.' I began with ELEDEMNAS PEDIOPLOKTUPOS; and when I
came to the grand howl of Ἰὼ, ἰὼ, ἰὼ, ἰὼ--the beast stood appalled
as at the roar of a lion. I shall never forget his amazed snort
at the Greek. Then he kicked up his hind legs, and went bolt
through the gap in the hedge. Thus, armed with Æschylus and the
umbrella, I remained master of the field; but (continued Mr Caxton,
ingenuously,) I should not like to go through that half minute
again."

"No man would," said the Captain kindly. "I should be very sorry to
face a bull myself, even with a bigger umbrella than yours, and even
though I had Æschylus, and Homer to boot, at my fingers' ends."

MR CAXTON.--"You would not have minded if it had been a Frenchman
with a sword in his hand?"

CAPTAIN.--"Of course not. Rather liked it than otherwise," he added
grimly.

MR CAXTON.--"Yet many a Spanish matador, who doesn't care a button
for a bull, would take to his heels at the first lunge _en carte_
from a Frenchman. Therefore, in fact, if courage be a matter of
constitution, it is also a matter of custom. We face calmly the
dangers we are habituated to, and recoil from those of which we have
no familiar experience. I doubt if Marshal Turenne himself would
have been quite at his ease on the tight-rope; and a rope-dancer,
who seems disposed to scale the heavens with Titanic temerity, might
possibly object to charge on a cannon."

CAPTAIN ROLAND.--"Still, either this is not the courage I mean,
or there is another kind of it. I mean by courage that which is
the especial force and dignity of the human character, without
which there is no reliance on principle, no constancy in virtue--a
something," continued my uncle gallantly, and with a half bow
towards my mother, "which your sex shares with our own. When the
lover, for instance, clasps the hand of his betrothed, and says,
'Wilt thou be true to me, in spite of absence and time, in spite of
hazard and fortune, though my foes malign me, though thy friends may
dissuade thee, and our lot in life may be rough and rude?' and when
the betrothed answers, 'I will be true,' does not the lover trust to
her courage as well as her love?"

"Admirably put, Roland," said my father. "But _apropos_ of what do
you puzzle us with these queries on courage?"

CAPTAIN ROLAND, (with a slight blush.)--"I was led to the inquiry
(though, perhaps, it may be frivolous to take so much thought of
what, no doubt, costs Pisistratus so little) by the last chapters
in my nephew's story. I see this poor boy, Leonard, alone with his
fallen hopes, (though very irrational they were,) and his sense of
shame. And I read his heart, I dare say, better than Pisistratus
does, for I could feel like that boy if I had been in the same
position; and, conjecturing what he and thousands like him must go
through, I asked myself, 'What can save him and them?' I answered,
as a soldier would answer, 'Courage!' Very well. But pray, Austin,
what is courage?"

MR CAXTON, (prudently backing out of a reply.)--"_Papæ!_ Brother,
since you have just complimented the ladies on that quality, you had
better address your question to them."

Blanche here leant both hands on my father's chair, and said,
looking down at first bashfully, but afterwards warming with the
subject, "Do you not think, sir, that little Helen has already
suggested, if not what is courage, what at least is the real essence
of all courage that endures and conquers, that ennobles, and
hallows, and redeems? Is it not PATIENCE, father?--and that is why
we women have a courage of our own. Patience does not affect to be
superior to fear, but at least it never admits despair."

PISISTRATUS.--"Kiss me, my Blanche, for you have come near to the
truth which perplexed the soldier and puzzled the sage."

MR CAXTON, (tartly.)--"If you mean me by the sage, I was not puzzled
at all. Heaven knows you do right to inculcate patience--it is a
virtue very much required in your readers. Nevertheless," added my
father, softening with the enjoyment of his joke--"nevertheless
Blanche and Helen are quite right. Patience is the courage
of the conqueror; it is the virtue, _par excellence_, of Man
against Destiny--of the One against the World, and of the Soul
against Matter. Therefore this is the courage of the Gospel; and
its importance, in a social view--its importance to races and
institutions--cannot be too earnestly inculcated. What is it that
distinguishes the Anglo-Saxon from all other branches of the human
family, peoples deserts with his children, and consigns to them
the heritage of rising worlds? What but his faculty to brave, to
suffer, to endure--the patience that resists firmly, and innovates
slowly. Compare him with the Frenchman. The Frenchman has plenty of
valour--that there is no denying; but as for fortitude, he has not
enough to cover the point of a pin. He is ready to rush out of the
world if he is bit by a flea."

CAPTAIN ROLAND.--"There was a case in the papers the other day,
Austin, of a Frenchman who actually did destroy himself because he
was so teased by the little creatures you speak of. He left a paper
on his table, saying that 'life was not worth having at the price of
such torments.'"[5]

[5] Fact. In a work by M. GIBERT, a celebrated French physician, on
diseases of the skin, he states that that minute troublesome kind
of rash, known by the name of _prurigo_, though not dangerous in
itself, has often driven the individual afflicted by it to--suicide.
I believe that our more varying climate, and our more heating drinks
and aliments, render this skin complaint more common in England than
in France, yet I doubt if any English physician could state that it
had ever driven one of his _English_ patients to suicide.

MR CAXTON, (solemnly.)--"Sir, their whole political history, since
the great meeting of the Tiers Etat, has been the history of men
who would rather go to the devil than be bit by a flea. It is
the record of human impatience, that seeks to force time, and
expects to grow forests from the spawn of a mushroom. Wherefore,
running through all extremes of constitutional experiment, when
they are nearest to democracy they are next door to a despot; and
all they have really done is to destroy whatever constitutes the
foundation of every tolerable government. A constitutional monarchy
cannot exist without aristocracy, nor a healthful republic endure
with corruption of manners. The cry of Equality is incompatible
with Civilisation, which, of necessity, contrasts poverty with
wealth--and, in short, whether it be an emperor or a mob that is to
rule, Force is the sole hope of order, and the government is but an
army.

"Impress, O Pisistratus! impress the value of patience as regards
man and men. You touch there on the kernel of the social system--the
secret that fortifies the individual and disciplines the million.
I care not, for my part, if you are tedious so long as you are
earnest. Be minute and detailed. Let the real human life, in its war
with Circumstance, stand out. Never mind if one can read you but
slowly--better chance of being less quickly forgotten. Patience,
patience! By the soul of Epictetus, your readers shall set you an
example!"


CHAPTER II.

Leonard had written twice to Mrs Fairfield, twice to Riccabocca, and
once to Mr Dale; and the poor proud boy could not bear to betray
his humiliation. He wrote as with cheerful spirits--as if perfectly
satisfied with his prospects. He said that he was well employed,
in the midst of books, and that he had found kind friends. Then he
turned from himself to write about those whom he addressed, and the
affairs and interests of the quiet world wherein they lived. He did
not give his own address, nor that of Mr Prickett. He dated his
letters from a small coffeehouse near the bookseller, to which he
occasionally went for his simple meals. He had a motive in this. He
did not desire to be found out. Mr Dale replied for himself and for
Mrs Fairfield, to the epistles addressed to these two. Riccabocca
wrote also. Nothing could be more kind than the replies of both.
They came to Leonard in a very dark period in his life, and they
strengthened him in the noiseless battle with despair.

If there be a good in the world that we do without knowing it,
without conjecturing the effect it may have upon a human soul, it is
when we show kindness to the young in the first barren footpath up
the mountain of life.

Leonard's face resumed its serenity in his intercourse with his
employer; but he did not recover his boyish ingenuous frankness.
The under-currents flowed again pure from the turbid soil and the
splintered fragments uptorn from the deep; but they were still too
strong and too rapid to allow transparency to the surface. And now
he stood in the sublime world of books, still and earnest as a seer
who invokes the dead. And thus, face to face with knowledge, hourly
he discovered how little he knew. Mr Prickett lent him such works as
he selected and asked to take home with him. He spent whole nights
in reading; and no longer desultorily. He read no more poetry, no
more Lives of Poets. He read what poets must read if they desire
to be great--_Sapere principium et fons_--strict reasonings on the
human mind; the relations between motive and conduct, thought and
action; the grave and solemn truths of the past world; antiquities,
history, philosophy. He was taken out of himself. He was carried
along the ocean of the universe. In that ocean, O seeker, study
the law of the tides; and seeing Chance nowhere--Thought presiding
over all--Fate, that dread phantom, shall vanish from creation, and
Providence alone be visible in heaven and on earth!


CHAPTER III.

There was to be a considerable book-sale at a country house one
day's journey from London. Mr Prickett meant to have attended it
on his own behalf, and that of several gentlemen who had given
him commissions for purchase; but, on the morning fixed for his
departure, he was seized with a severe return of his old foe the
rheumatism. He requested Leonard to attend instead of himself.
Leonard went, and was absent for the three days during which the
sale lasted. He returned late in the evening, and went at once to
Mr Prickett's house. The shop was closed; he knocked at the private
entrance; a strange person opened the door to him, and, in reply
to his question if Mr Prickett was at home, said with a long and
funereal face--"Young man, Mr Prickett senior is gone to his long
home, but Mr Richard Prickett will see you."

At this moment a very grave-looking man, with lank hair, looked
forth from the side-door communicating between the shop and the
passage, land then, stepped forward--"Come in, sir; you are my late
uncle's assistant, Mr Fairfield, I suppose?"

"Your late uncle! Heavens, sir, do I understand aright--can Mr
Prickett be dead since I left London?"

"Died, sir, suddenly last night. It was an affection of the heart;
the Doctor thinks the rheumatism attacked that organ. He had small
time to provide for his departure, and his account-books seem in sad
disorder: I am his nephew and executor."

Leonard had now followed the nephew into the shop. There, still
burned the gas-lamp. The place seemed more dingy and cavernous than
before. Death always makes its presence felt in the house it visits.

Leonard was greatly affected--and yet more, perhaps, by the utter
want of feeling which the nephew exhibited. In fact, the deceased
had not been on friendly terms with this person, his nearest
relative and heir-at-law, who was also a bookseller.

"You were engaged but by the week I find, young man, on reference
to my late uncle's papers. He gave you £1 a week--a monstrous
sum! I shall not require your services any further. I shall move
these books to my own house. You will be good enough to send
me a list of those you bought at the sale, and your account of
travelling-expenses, &c. What may be due to you shall be sent to
your address. Good evening."

Leonard went home, shocked and saddened at the sudden death of his
kind employer. He did not think much of himself that night; but,
when he rose the next day, he suddenly felt that the world of London
lay before him, without a friend, without a calling, without an
occupation for bread.

This time it was no fancied sorrow, no poetic dream disappointed.
Before him, gaunt and palpable, stood Famine.

Escape!--yes. Back to the village; his mother's cottage; the exile's
garden; the radishes and the fount. Why could he not escape? Ask why
civilisation cannot escape its ills, and fly back to the wild and
the wigwam?

Leonard could not have returned to the cottage, even if the Famine
that faced had already seized him with her skeleton hand. London
releases not so readily her fated stepsons.


CHAPTER IV.

One day three persons were standing before an old book-stall in a
passage leading from Oxford Street into Tottenham Court Road. Two
were gentlemen; the third, of the class and appearance of those who
more habitually halt at old book-stalls.

"Look," said one of the gentlemen to the other, "I have discovered
here what I have searched for in vain the last ten years--the Horace
of 1580, the Horace of the Forty Commentators--a perfect treasury of
learning, and marked only fourteen shillings!"

"Hush, Norreys," said the other, "and observe what is yet more worth
your study;" and he pointed to the third bystander, whose face,
sharp and attenuated, was bent with an absorbed, and, as it were,
with a hungering attention over an old worm-eaten volume.

"What is the book, my lord?" whispered Mr Norreys.

His companion smiled, and replied by another question, "What is the
man who reads the book?"

Mr Norreys moved a few paces, and looked over the student's
shoulder "Preston's translation of BOETHIUS, _The Consolations of
Philosophy_," he said, coming back to his friend.

"He looks as if he wanted all the consolations Philosophy can give
him, poor boy."

At this moment a fourth passenger paused at the book-stall, and,
recognising the pale student, placed his hand on his shoulder and
said, "Aha, young sir, we meet again. So poor Prickett is dead. But
you are still haunted by associations. Books--books--magnets to
which all iron minds move insensibly. What is this? BOETHIUS! Ah,
a book written in prison, but a little time before the advent of
the only philosopher who solves to the simplest understanding every
mystery of life--"

"And that philosopher?"

"Is Death!" said Mr Burley. "How can you be dull enough to ask? Poor
Boethius, rich, nobly born, a consul, his sons consuls--the world
one smile to the Last Philosopher of Rome. Then suddenly, against
this type of the old world's departing WISDOM, stands frowning the
new world's grim genius, FORCE--Theodoric the Ostrogoth condemning
Boethius the Schoolman; and Boethius, in his Pavian dungeon, holding
a dialogue with the shade of Athenian Philosophy. It is the finest
picture upon which lingers the glimmering of the Western golden day,
before night rushes over time."

"And," said Mr Norreys abruptly, "Boethius comes back to us with the
faint gleam of returning light, translated by Alfred the Great. And,
again, as the sun of knowledge bursts forth in all its splendour, by
Queen Elizabeth. Boethius influences us as we stand in this passage;
and that is the best of all the Consolations of Philosophy--eh, Mr
Burley?"

Mr Burley turned and bowed.

The two men looked at each other; you could not see a greater
contrast. Mr Burley, his gay green dress already shabby and soiled,
with a rent in the skirts, and his face speaking of habitual
night-cups. Mr Norreys, neat and somewhat precise in dress, with
firm lean figure, and quiet, collected, vigorous energy in his eye
and aspect.

"If," replied Mr Burley, "a poor devil like me may argue with a
gentleman who may command his own price with the booksellers, I
should say it is no consolation at all, Mr Norreys. And I should
like to see any man of sense accept the condition of Boethius in his
prison, with some strangler or headsman waiting behind the door,
upon the promised proviso that he should be translated, centuries
afterwards, by Kings and Queens, and help indirectly to influence
the minds of Northern barbarians, babbling about him in an alley,
jostled by passers-by who never heard the name of Boethius, and who
don't care a fig for philosophy. Your servant, sir--young man, come
and talk."

Burley hooked his arm within Leonard's, and led the boy passively
away.

"That is a clever man," said Harley L'Estrange. "But I am sorry to
see yon young student, with his bright earnest eyes, and his lip
that has the quiver of passion and enthusiasm, leaning on the arm of
a guide who seems disenchanted of all that gives purpose to learning
and links philosophy with use to the world. Who, and what is this
clever man whom you call Burley?"

"A man who might have been famous, if he had condescended to be
respectable! The boy listening to us both so attentively interested
_me_ too--I should like to have the making of him. But I must buy
this Horace."

The shopman, lurking within his hole like a spider for flies, was
now called out. And when Mr Norreys had bought the Horace, and given
an address where to send it, Harley asked the shopman if he knew the
young man who had been reading Boethius.

"Only by sight. He has come here every day the last week, and spends
hours at the stall. When once he fastens on a book, he reads it
through."

"And never buys?" said Mr Norreys.

"Sir," said the shopman with a good-natured smile, "they who buy
seldom read. The poor boy pays me twopence a-day to read as long as
he pleases. I would not take it, but he is proud."

"I have known men amass great learning in that way," said Mr
Norreys. "Yes, I should like to have that boy in my hands. And now,
my lord, I am at your service, and we will go to the studio of your
artist."

The two gentlemen walked on towards one of the streets out of
Fitzroy Square.

In a few minutes more Harley L'Estrange was in his element, seated
carelessly on a deal table, smoking his cigar, and discussing art
with the gusto of a man who honestly loved, and the taste of a man
who thoroughly understood it. The young artist, in his dressing
robe, adding slow touch upon touch, paused often to listen the
better. And Henry Norreys, enjoying the brief respite from a life of
great labour, was gladly reminded of idle hours under rosy skies;
for these three men had formed their friendship in Italy, where the
bands of friendship are woven by the hands of the Graces.


CHAPTER V.

Leonard and Mr Burley walked on into the suburbs round the north
road from London, and Mr Burley offered to find literary employment
for Leonard--an offer eagerly accepted.

Then they went into a public house by the wayside. Burley demanded
a private room, called for pen, ink, and paper; and, placing these
implements before Leonard, said, "Write what you please in prose,
five sheets of letter paper, twenty-two lines to a page--neither
more nor less."

"I cannot write so."

"Tut, 'tis for bread."

The boy's face crimsoned.

"I must forget that," said he.

"There is an arbour in the garden under a weeping ash," returned
Burley. "Go there, and fancy yourself in Arcadia."

Leonard was too pleased to obey. He found out the little arbour at
one end of a deserted bowling-green. All was still--the hedgerow
shut out the sight of the inn. The sun lay warm on the grass, and
glinted pleasantly through the leaves of the ash. And Leonard there
wrote the first essay from his hand as Author by profession. What
was it that he wrote? His dreamy impressions of London? an anathema
on its streets, and its hearts of stone? murmurs against poverty?
dark elegies on fate?

Oh, no! little knowest thou true genius, if thou askest such
questions, or thinkest that there, under the weeping ash, the
taskwork for bread was remembered; or that the sunbeam glinted but
over the practical world, which, vulgar and sordid, lay around.
Leonard wrote a fairy tale--one of the loveliest you can conceive,
with a delicate touch of playful humour--in a style all flowered
over with happy fancies. He smiled as he wrote the last word--he was
happy. In rather more than an hour Mr Burley came to him, and found
him with that smile on his lips.

Mr Burley had a glass of brandy and water in his hand; it was
his third. He too smiled--he too looked happy. He read the paper
aloud, and well. He was very complimentary. "You will do!" said he,
clapping Leonard on the back. "Perhaps some day you will catch my
one-eyed perch." Then he folded up the MS., scribbled off a note,
put the whole in one envelope--and they returned to London.

Mr Burley disappeared within a dingy office near Fleet Street,
on which was inscribed--"Office of the _Beehive_," and soon came
forth with a golden sovereign in his hand--Leonard's first-fruits.
Leonard thought Peru lay before him. He accompanied Mr Burley to
that gentleman's lodging in Maida Hill. The walk had been very long;
Leonard was not fatigued. He listened with a livelier attention
than before to Burley's talk. And when they reached the apartments
of the latter, and Mr Burley sent to the cookshop, and their joint
supper was taken out of the golden sovereign, Leonard felt proud,
and for the first time for weeks he laughed the heart's laugh. The
two writers grew more and more intimate and cordial. And there was a
vast deal in Burley by which any young man might be made the wiser.
There was no apparent evidence of poverty in the apartments--clean,
new, well furnished; but all things in the most horrible litter--all
speaking of the huge literary sloven.

For several days Leonard almost lived in those rooms. He wrote
continuously--save when Burley's conversation fascinated him into
idleness. Nay, it was not idleness--his knowledge grew larger as
he listened; but the cynicism of the talker began slowly to work
its way. That cynicism in which there was no faith, no hope, no
vivifying breath from Glory--from Religion. The cynicism of the
Epicurean, more degraded in his stye than ever was Diogenes in his
tub; and yet presented with such ease and such eloquence--with such
art and such mirth--so adorned with illustration and anecdote, so
unconscious of debasement.

Strange and dread philosophy--that made it a maxim to squander
the gifts of mind on the mere care for matter, and fit the soul
to live but as from day to day, with its scornful cry, "A fig
for immortality and laurels!" An author for bread! Oh, miserable
calling! was there something grand and holy, after all, even in
Chatterton's despair!


CHAPTER VI.

The villanous _Beehive_! Bread was worked out of it, certainly; but
fame, but hope for the future--certainly not. Milton's _Paradise
Lost_ would have perished without a sound, had it appeared in the
_Beehive_.

Fine things were there in a fragmentary crude state, composed
by Burley himself. At the end of a week they were dead and
forgotten--never read by one man of education and taste; taken
simultaneously and indifferently with shallow politics and wretched
essays, yet selling, perhaps, twenty or thirty thousand copies--an
immense sale;--and nothing got out of them but bread and brandy!

"What more would you have?" cried John Burley. "Did not stern old
Sam Johnson say he could never write but from want?"

"He might say it," answered Leonard; "but he never meant posterity
to believe him. And he would have died of want, I suspect, rather
than have written _Rasselas_ for the _Beehive_! Want is a grand
thing," continued the boy, thoughtfully. "A parent of grand things.
Necessity is strong, and should give us its own strength; but Want
should shatter asunder, with its very writhings, the walls of our
prison-house, and not sit contented with the allowance the jail
gives us in exchange for our work."

"There is no prison-house to a man who calls upon Bacchus--stay--I
will translate to you Schiller's Dithyramb. 'Then see I
Bacchus--then up come Cupid and Phœbus, and all the Celestials are
filling my dwelling.'"

Breaking into impromptu careless rhymes, Burley threw off a rude but
spirited translation of that divine lyric.

"O materialist!" cried the boy, with his bright eyes suffused.
"Schiller calls on the gods to take him to their heaven with him;
and you would debase the gods to a gin palace."

"Ho, ho!" cried Burley, with his giant laugh. "Drink, and you will
understand the Dithyramb."


CHAPTER VII.

Suddenly one morning, as Leonard sate with Barley, a fashionable
cabriolet, with a very handsome horse, stopped at the door--a loud
knock--a quick step on the stairs, and Randal Leslie entered.
Leonard recognised him, and started. Randal glanced at him in
surprise, and then, with a tact that showed he had already learned
to profit by London life, after shaking hands with Burley,
approached, and said with some successful attempt at ease, "Unless
I am not mistaken, sir, we have met before. If you remember me, I
hope all boyish quarrels are forgotten?"

Leonard bowed, and his heart was still good enough to be softened.

"Where could you two ever have met?" asked Burley.

"In a village green, and in single combat," answered Randal,
smiling; and he told the story of the Battle of the Stocks, with
a well-bred jest on himself. Burley laughed at the story. "But,"
said he, when this laugh was over, "my young friend had better have
remained guardian of the village stocks, than come to London in
search of such fortune as lies at the bottom of an inkhorn."

"Ah," said Randal, with the secret contempt which men elaborately
cultivated are apt to feel for those who seek to educate
themselves--"ah, you make literature your calling, sir? At what
school did you conceive a taste for letters?--not very common at our
great public schools."

"I am at school now for the first time," answered Leonard, drily.

"Experience is the best schoolmistress," said Burley; "and that
was the maxim of Goethe, who had book-learning enough, in all
conscience."

Randal slightly shrugged his shoulders, and, without wasting another
thought on Leonard, peasant-born and self-taught, took his seat, and
began to talk to Burley upon a political question, which made then
the war-cry between the two great Parliamentary parties. It was a
subject in which Burley showed much general knowledge; and Randal,
seeming to differ from him, drew forth alike his information and his
argumentative powers. The conversation lasted more than an hour.

"I can't quite agree with you," said Randal, taking his leave; "but
you must allow me to call again--will the same hour to-morrow suit
you?"

"Yes," said Burley.

Away went the young man in his cabriolet. Leonard watched him from
the window.

For five days, consecutively, did Randal call and discuss the
question in all its bearings; and Burley, after the second day, got
interested in the matter, looked up his authorities--refreshed his
memory--and even spent an hour or two in the Library of the British
Museum.

By the fifth day, Burley had really exhausted all that could well be
said on his side of the question.

Leonard, during these colloquies, had sate apart, seemingly
absorbed in reading, and secretly stung by Randal's disregard of
his presence. For indeed that young man, in his superb self-esteem,
and in the absorption of his ambitious projects, scarce felt even
curiosity as to Leonard's rise above his earlier station, and looked
on him as a mere journeyman of Burley's. But the self-taught are
keen and quick observers. And Leonard had remarked, that Randal
seemed more as one playing a part for some private purpose, than
arguing in earnest; and that, when he rose and said, "Mr Burley,
you have convinced me," it was not with the modesty of a sincere
reasoner, but the triumph of one who has gained his end. But so
struck, meanwhile, was our unheeded and silent listener, with
Burley's power of generalisation, and the wide surface over which
his information extended, that when Randal left the room the boy
looked at the slovenly purposeless man, and said aloud--"True;
knowledge is _not_ power."

"Certainly not," said Burley, drily--"the weakest thing, in the
world."

"Knowledge is power," muttered Randal Leslie, as, with a smile on
his lip, he drove from the door.

Not many days after this last interview there appeared a short
pamphlet; anonymous, but one which made a great impression on the
town. It was on the subject discussed between Randal and Burley. It
was quoted at great length in the newspapers. And Burley started
to his feet one morning, and exclaimed, "My own thoughts! my very
words! Who the devil is this pamphleteer?"

Leonard took the newspaper from Burley's hand. The most flattering
encomiums preceded the extracts, and the extracts were as
stereotypes of Burley's talk.

"Can you doubt the author?" cried Leonard, in deep disgust and
ingenuous scorn. "The young man who came to steal your brains, and
turn your knowledge--"

"Into power," interrupted Burley, with a laugh, but it was a laugh
of pain. "Well, this was very mean; I shall tell him so when he
comes."

"He will come no more," said Leonard. Nor did Randal come again. But
he sent Mr Burley a copy of the pamphlet with a polite note, saying,
with candid but careless acknowledgment, that "he had profited much
by Mr Burley's hints and remarks."

And now it was in all the papers, that the pamphlet which had made
so great a noise was by a very young man, Mr Audley Egerton's
relation. And high hopes were expressed of the future career of Mr
Randal Leslie.

Burley still attempted to laugh, and still his pain was visible.
Leonard most cordially despised and hated Randal Leslie, and his
heart moved to Burley with noble but perilous compassion. In his
desire to soothe and comfort the man whom he deemed cheated out of
fame, he forgot the caution he had hitherto imposed on himself,
and yielded more and more to the charm of that wasted intellect.
He accompanied Burley now where he went to spent his evenings,
and more and more--though gradually, and with many a recoil and
self-rebuke--there crept over him the cynic's contempt for glory,
and miserable philosophy of debased content.

Randal had risen into grave repute upon the strength of Burley's
knowledge. But, had Burley written the pamphlet, would the same
repute have attended _him_? Certainly not. Randal Leslie brought to
that knowledge qualities all his own--a style simple, strong, and
logical; a certain tone of good society, and allusions to men and
to parties that showed his connection with a cabinet minister, and
proved that he had profited no less by Egerton's talk than Burley's.

Had Burley written the pamphlet, it would have showed more genius,
it would have had humour and wit, but have been so full of whims and
quips, sins against taste, and defects in earnestness, that it would
have failed to create any serious sensation. Here, then, there was
something else besides knowledge, by which knowledge became power.
Knowledge must not smell of the brandy bottle.

Randal Leslie might be mean in his plagiarism, but he turned the
useless into use. And so far he was original.

But one's admiration, after all, rests where Leonard's rested--with
the poor, shabby, riotous, lawless, big fallen man.

Burley took himself off to the Brent, and fished again for the
one-eyed perch. Leonard accompanied him. His feelings were indeed
different from what they had been when he had reclined under the
old tree, and talked with Helen of the future. But it was almost
pathetic to see how Burley's nature seemed to alter, as he strayed
along the banks of the rivulet, and talked of his own boyhood.
The man then seemed restored to something of the innocence of the
child. He cared, in truth, little for the perch, which continued
intractable, but he enjoyed the air and the sky, the rustling grass
and the murmuring waters. These excursions to the haunts of youth
seemed to rebaptise him, and then his eloquence took a pastoral
character, and Isaac Walton himself would have loved to hear him.
But as he got back into the smoke of the metropolis, and the gas
lamps made him forget the ruddy sunset, and the soft evening star,
the gross habits reassumed their sway; and on he went with his
swaggering reckless step to the orgies in which his abused intellect
flamed forth, and then sank into the socket quenched and rayless.


CHAPTER VIII.

Helen was seized with profound and anxious sadness. Leonard had been
three or four times to see her, and each time she saw a change in
him that excited all her fears. He seemed, it is true, more shrewd,
more worldly-wise, more fitted, it might be, for coarse daily life;
but, on the other hand, the freshness and glory of his youth
were waning slowly. His aspirings drooped earthward. He had not
mastered the Practical, and moulded its uses with the strong hand
of the Spiritual Architect, of the Ideal Builder: the Practical was
overpowering himself. She grew pale when he talked of Burley, and
shuddered, poor little Helen! when she found he was daily and almost
nightly in a companionship which, with her native honest prudence,
she saw so unsuited to strengthen him in his struggles, and aid him
against temptation. She almost groaned when, pressing him as to his
pecuniary means, she found his old terror of debt seemed fading
away, and the solid healthful principles he had taken from his
village were loosening fast. Under all, it is true, there was what a
wiser and older person than Helen would have hailed as the redeeming
promise. But that something was _grief_--a sublime grief in his
own sense of falling--in his own impotence against the Fate he had
provoked and coveted. The sublimity of that grief Helen could not
detect: she saw only that it _was_ grief, and she grieved with it,
letting it excuse every fault--making her more anxious to comfort,
in order that she might save. Even from the first, when Leonard had
exclaimed, "Ah, Helen, why did you ever leave me?" she had revolved
the idea of return to him; and when in the boy's last visit he told
her that Burley, persecuted by duns, was about to fly from his
present lodgings, and take his abode with Leonard in the room she
had left vacant, all doubt was over. She resolved to sacrifice the
safety and shelter of the home assured her. She resolved to come
back and share Leonard's penury and struggles, and save the old
room, wherein she had prayed for him, from the tempter's dangerous
presence. Should she burden him? No; she had assisted her father by
many little female arts in needle and fancy work. She had improved
herself in these during her sojourn with Miss Starke. She could
bring her share to the common stock. Possessed with this idea, she
determined to realise it before the day on which Leonard had told
her Burley was to move his quarters. Accordingly she rose very
early one morning; she wrote a pretty and grateful note to Miss
Starke, who was fast asleep, left it on the table, and, before
any one was astir, stole from the house, her little bundle on her
arm. She lingered an instant at the garden-gate, with a remorseful
sentiment--a feeling that she had ill-repaid the cold and prim
protection that Miss Starke had shown her. But sisterly love carried
all before it. She closed the gate with a sigh, and went on.

She arrived at the lodging-house before Leonard was up, took
possession of her old chamber, and, presenting herself to Leonard as
he was about to go forth, said, (story-teller that she was,)--"I am
sent away, brother, and I have, come to you to take care of me. Do
not let us part again. But you must be very cheerful and very happy,
or I shall think that I am sadly in your way."

Leonard at first did look cheerful, and even happy; but then he
thought of Burley, and then of his own means of supporting her, and
was embarrassed, and began questioning Helen as to the possibility
of reconciliation with Miss Starke. And Helen said gravely,
"Impossible--do not ask it, and do not go near her."

Then Leonard thought she had been humbled and insulted, and
remembered that she was a gentleman's child, and felt for her
wounded pride--he was so proud himself. Yet still he was embarrassed.

"Shall I keep the purse again, Leonard?" said Helen coaxingly.

"Alas!" replied Leonard, "the purse is empty."

"That is very naughty in the purse," said Helen, "since you put so
much into it."

"I?"

"Did not you say that you made, at least, a guinea a-week?"

"Yes; but Burley takes the money; and then, poor fellow! as I owe
all to him, I have not the heart to prevent his spending it as he
likes."

"Please, I wish you could settle the month's rent," said the
landlady, suddenly showing herself. She said it civilly, but with
firmness.

Leonard coloured. "It shall be paid to-day."

Then he pressed his hat on his head, and, putting Helen gently
aside, went forth.

"Speak to _me_ in future, kind Mrs Smedley," said Helen with the air
of a housewife. "_He_ is always in study, and must not be disturbed."

The landlady--a good woman, though she liked her rent--smiled
benignly. She was fond of Helen, whom she had known of old.

"I am so glad you are come back; and perhaps now the young man will
not keep such late hours. I meant to give him warning, but--"

"But he will be a great man one of these days, and you must bear
with him now." And Helen kissed Mrs Smedley, and sent her away half
inclined to cry.

Then Helen busied herself in the rooms. She found her father's box,
which had been duly forwarded. She re-examined its contents, and
wept as she touched each humble and pious relic. But her father's
memory itself thus seemed to give this home a sanction which the
former had not; and she rose quietly and began mechanically to put
things in order, sighing as she, saw all so neglected, till she
came to the rose-tree, and that alone showed heed and care. "Dear
Leonard!" she murmured, and the smile resettled on her lips.


CHAPTER IX.

Nothing, perhaps, could have severed Leonard from Burley but Helen's
return to his care. It was impossible for him, even had there been
another room in the house vacant, (which there was not,) to install
this noisy riotous son of the Muse by Bacchus, talking at random,
and smelling of spirits, in the same dwelling with an innocent,
delicate, timid, female child. And Leonard could not leave her alone
all the twenty-four hours. She restored a home to him, and imposed
its duties. He therefore told Mr Burley that in future he should
write and study in his own room, and hinted with many a blush, and
as delicately as he could, that it seemed to him that whatever he
obtained from his pen ought to be halved with Burley, to whose
interest he owed the employment, and from whose books or whose
knowledge he took what helped to maintain it; but that the other
half, if his, he could no longer afford to spend upon feasts or
libations. He had another to provide for.

Burley pooh-poohed the notion of taking half his coadjutor's
earning, with much grandeur, but spoke very fretfully of Leonard's
sober appropriation of the other half; and, though a good-natured
warm-hearted man, felt extremely indignant against the sudden
interposition of poor Helen. However, Leonard was firm; and then
Burley grew sullen, and so they parted. But the rent was still to
be paid. How? Leonard for the first time thought of the pawnbroker.
He had clothes to spare, and Riccabocca's watch. No; that last he
shrank from applying to such base uses.

He went home at noon, and met Helen at the street door. She too had
been out, and her soft cheek was rosy red with unwonted exercise and
the sense of joy. She had still preserved the few gold pieces which
Leonard had taken back to her on his first visit to Miss Starke's.
She had now gone out and bought wools and implements for work; and
meanwhile she had paid the rent.

Leonard did not object to the work, but he blushed deeply when he
knew about the rent, and was very angry. He payed back to her that
night what she had advanced; and Helen wept silently at his pride,
and wept more when she saw the next day a woeful hiatus in his
wardrobe.

But Leonard now worked at home, and worked resolutely; and Helen
sate by his side, working too; so that next day, and the next,
slipped peacefully away, and in the evening of the second he
asked her to walk out in the fields. She sprang up joyously at
the invitation, when bang went the door, and in reeled John
Burley--drunk:--And so drunk!


CHAPTER X.

And with Burley there reeled in another man--a friend of his--a
man who had been a wealthy trader and once well to do, but who,
unluckily, had literary tastes, and was fond of hearing Burley talk.
So, since he had known the wit, his business had fallen from him,
and he had passed through the Bankrupt Court. A very shabby-looking
dog he was, indeed, and his nose was redder than Burley's.

John made a drunken dash at poor Helen. "So you are the Pentheus in
petticoats who defies Bacchus," cried he; and therewith he roared
out a verse from Euripides. Helen ran away, and Leonard interposed.

"For shame, Burley!"

"He's drunk," said Mr Douce the bankrupt trader--"very drunk--don't
mind--him. I say, sir, I hope we don't intrude. Sit still, Burley,
sit still, and talk, do--that's a good man. You should hear
him--ta--ta--talk, sir."

Leonard meanwhile had got Helen out of the room, into her own,
and begged her not to be alarmed, and keep the door locked. He
then returned to Burley, who had seated himself on the bed, trying
wondrous hard to keep himself upright; while Mr Douce was striving
to light a short pipe that he carried in his buttonhole--without
having filled it--and, naturally failing in that attempt, was now
beginning to weep.

Leonard was deeply shocked and revolted for Helen's sake; but it was
hopeless to make Burley listen to reason. And how could the boy turn
out of his room the man to whom he was under obligations?

Meanwhile there smote upon Helen's shrinking, ears loud jarring talk
and maudlin laughter, and cracked attempts at jovial songs. Then she
heard Mrs Smedley in Leonard's room, remonstrating, and Burley's
laugh was louder than before, and Mrs Smedley, who was a meek woman,
evidently got frightened, and was heard in precipitate retreat.
Long and loud talk recommenced, Burley's great voice predominant,
Mr Douce chiming in with hiccupy broken treble. Hour after hour
this lasted, for want of the drink that would have brought it to a
premature close. And Burley gradually began to talk himself somewhat
sober. Then Mr Douce was heard descending the stairs, and silence
followed. At dawn, Leonard knocked at Helen's door. She opened it at
once, for she had not gone to bed.

"Helen," said he very sadly, "you cannot continue here. I must find
out some proper home for you. This man has served me when all London
was friendless, and he tells me that he has nowhere else to go--that
the bailiffs are after him. He has now fallen asleep. I will go and
find you some lodging close at hand--for I cannot expel him who has
protected me; and yet you cannot be under the same roof with him. My
own good angel, I must lose you."

He did not wait for her answer, but hurried down the stairs.

The morning looked through the shutterless panes in Leonard's
garret, and the birds began to chirp from the elm-tree, when Burley
rose and shook himself, and stared round. He could not quite make
out where he was. He got hold of the water-jug which he emptied
at three draughts, and felt greatly refreshed. He then began to
reconnoitre the chamber--looked at Leonard's MSS.--peeped into the
drawers--wondered where the devil Leonard himself had gone to--and
finally amused himself by throwing down the fire-irons, ringing the
bell, and making all the noise he could, in the hopes of attracting
the attention of somebody or other, and procuring himself his
morning dram.

In the midst of this _charivari_ the door opened softly, but as if
with a resolute hand, and the small quiet form of Helen stood before
the threshold. BURLEY turned round, and the two looked at each other
for some moments with silent scrutiny.

BURLEY, (composing his features into their most friendly
expression.)--"Come hither, my dear. So you are the little girl whom
I saw with Leonard on the banks of the Brent, and you have come
back to live with him--and I have come to live with him too. You
shall be our little housekeeper, and I will tell you the story of
Prince Prettyman, and a great many others not to be found in _Mother
Goose_. Meanwhile, my dear little girl, here's sixpence--just run
out and change this for its worth in rum."

HELEN, (coming slowly up to Mr Burley, and still gazing earnestly
into his face.)--"Ah, sir, Leonard says you have a kind heart, and
that you have served him--he cannot ask you to leave the house; and
so I, who have never served him, am to go hence and live alone."

BURLEY, (moved.)--"You go, my little lady?--and why? Can we not all
live together?"

HELEN.--"No, sir. I left everything to come to Leonard, for we had
met first at my father's grave. But you rob me of him, and I have no
other friend on earth."

BURLEY, (discomposed.)--"Explain yourself. Why must you leave him
because I come?"

Helen looks at Mr Burley again, long and wistfully, but makes no
answer.

BURLEY, (with a gulp.)--"Is it because he thinks I am not fit
company for you?"

Helen bowed her head.

Burley winced, and after a moment's pause said,--"He is right."

HELEN, (obeying the impulse at her heart, springs forward and takes
Burley's hand.)--"Ah, sir," she cried, "before he knew you he was
so different--then he was cheerful--then, even when his first
disappointment came, I grieved and wept; but I felt he would conquer
still--for his heart was so good and pure. Oh, sir, don't think I
reproach you; but what is to become of him if--if--No, it is not for
myself I speak. I know that if I was here, that if he had me to care
for, he would come home early--and work patiently--and--and--that
I might save him. But now when I am gone, and you with him--you
to whom he is grateful, you whom he would follow against his own
conscience, (you must see that, sir)--what is to become of him?"

Helen's voice died in sobs.

Burley took three or four long strides through the room--he was
greatly agitated. "I am a demon," he murmured. "I never saw it
before--but it is true--I should be this boy's ruin." Tears stood in
his eyes, he paused abruptly, made a clutch at his hat, and turned
to the door.

Helen stopped the way, and, taking him gently by the arm,
said,--"Oh, sir, forgive me--I have pained you;" and looked up at
him with a compassionate expression, that indeed made the child's
sweet face as that of an angel.

Burley bent down as if to kiss her, and then drew back--perhaps with
a sentiment that his lips were not worthy to touch that innocent
brow.

"If I had had a sister--a child like you, little one," he muttered,
"perhaps I too might have been saved in time. Now--"

"Ah, now you may stay, sir; I don't fear you any more."

"No, no; you would fear me again ere night-time, and I might not be
always in the right mood to listen to a voice like yours, child.
Your Leonard has a noble heart and rare gifts. He should rise yet,
and he shall. I will not drag him into the mire. Good-bye--you will
see me no more." He broke from Helen, cleared the stairs with a
bound, and was out of the house.

When Leonard returned he was surprised to hear his unwelcome
guest was gone--but Helen did not venture to tell him of her
interposition. She knew instinctively how such officiousness would
mortify and offend the pride of man--but she never again spoke
harshly of poor Burley. Leonard supposed that he should either see
or hear of the humourist in the course of the day. Finding he did
not, he went in search of him at his old haunts; but no trace. He
inquired at the _Beehive_ if they knew there of his new address, but
no tidings of Burley could be obtained.

As he came home disappointed and anxious, for he felt uneasy as to
the disappearance of his wild friend, Mrs Smedley met him at the
door.

"Please, sir, suit yourself with another lodging," said she. "I can
have no such singings and shoutings going on at night in my house.
And that poor little girl, too!--you should be ashamed of yourself."

Leonard frowned, and passed by.


CHAPTER XI.

Meanwhile, on leaving Helen, Burley strode on; and, as if by some
better instinct, for he was unconscious of his own steps, he took
the way towards the still green haunts of his youth. When he paused
at length, he was already before the door of a rural cottage,
standing alone in the midst of fields, with a little farm-yard at
the back; and far through the trees in front was caught a glimpse of
the winding Brent.

With this cottage Burley was familiar; it was inhabited by a good
old couple who had known him from a boy. There he habitually
left his rods and fishing-tackle; there, for intervals in his
turbid riotous life, he had sojourned for two or three days
together--fancying the first day that the country was a heaven, and
convinced before the third that it was a purgatory.

An old woman, of neat and tidy exterior, came forth to greet him.

"Ah, Master John," said she clasping his nerveless hand--"well,
the fields be pleasant now--I hope you are come to stay a bit? Do;
it will freshen you: you lose all the fine colour you had once, in
Lunnon town."

"I will stay with you, my kind friend," said Burley with unusual
meekness--"I can have the old room, then?"

"Oh yes, come and look at it. I never let it now to any one but
you--never have let it since the dear beautiful lady with the
angel's face went away. Poor thing, what could have become of her?"

Thus speaking, while Burley listened not, the old woman drew him
within the cottage, and led him up the stairs into a room that might
have well become a better house, for it was furnished with taste,
and even elegance. A small cabinet pianoforte stood opposite the
fireplace, and the window looked upon pleasant meads and tangled
hedgerows, and the narrow windings of the blue rivulet. Burley sank
down exhausted, and gazed wistfully from the casement.

"You have not breakfasted?" said the hostess anxiously.

"No."

"Well, the eggs are fresh laid, and you would like a rasher of
bacon, Master John? And if you _will_ have brandy in your tea, I
have some that you left long ago in your own bottle."

Burley shook his head. "No brandy, Mrs Goodyer; only fresh milk. I
will see whether I can yet coax Nature."

Mrs Goodyer did not know what was meant by coaxing Nature, but she
said, "Pray do, Master John," and vanished.

That day Burley went out with his rod, and he fished hard for the
one-eyed perch: but in vain. Then he roved along the stream with
his hands in his pockets, whistling. He returned to the cottage at
sunset, partook of the fare provided for him, abstained from the
brandy, and felt dreadfully low. He called for pen, ink, and paper,
and sought to write, but could not achieve two lines. He summoned
Mrs Goodyer, "Tell your husband to come and sit and talk."

Up came old Jacob Goodyer, and the great wit bade him tell him all
the news of the village. Jacob obeyed willingly, and Burley at last
fell asleep. The next day it was much the same, only at dinner he
had up the brandy bottle, and finished it; and he did _not_ have up
Jacob, but he contrived to write.

The third day it rained incessantly. "Have you no books, Mrs
Goodyer?" asked poor John Burley.

"Oh, yes, some that the dear lady left behind her; and perhaps you
would like to look at some papers in her own writing?"

"No, not the papers--all women scribble, and all scribble the same
things. Get me the books."

The books were brought up--poetry and essays--John knew them by
heart. He looked out on the rain, and at evening the rain had
ceased. He rushed to his hat and fled.

"Nature, Nature!" he exclaimed when he was out in the air and
hurrying by the dripping hedgerows, "you are not to be coaxed by
me! I have jilted you shamefully, I own it; you are a female and
unforgiving. I don't complain. You may be very pretty, but you are
the stupidest and most tiresome companion that ever I met with.
Thank heaven, I am not married to you!"

Thus John Burley made his way into town, and paused at the first
public house. Out of that house he came with a jovial air, and
on he strode towards the heart of London. Now he is in Leicester
Square, and he gazes on the foreigners who stalk that region, and
hums a tune; and now from yonder alley two forms emerge, and dog
his careless footsteps; now through the maze of passages towards St
Martin's he threads his path, and, anticipating an orgy as he nears
his favourite haunts, jingles the silver in his pockets; and now the
two forms are at his heels.

"Hail to thee, O Freedom!" muttered John Burley, "thy dwelling is in
cities, and thy palace is the tavern."

"In the king's name," quoth a gruff voice; and John Burley feels the
horrid and familiar tap on the shoulder.

The two bailiffs who dogged have seized their prey.

"At whose suit?" asked John Burley falteringly.

"Mr Cox, the wine-merchant."

"Cox! A man to whom I gave a cheque on my bankers, not three months
ago!"

"But it warn't cashed."

"What does that signify?--the intention was the same. A good heart
takes the will for the deed. Cox is a monster of ingratitude; and I
withdraw my custom."

"Sarve him right. Would your honour like a jarvey?"

"I would rather spend the money on something else," said John
Burley. "Give me your arm, I am not proud. After all, thank heaven,
I shall not sleep in the country."

And John Burley made a night of it in the Fleet.


CHAPTER XII.

Miss Starke was one of those ladies who pass their lives in the
direst of all civil strife--war with their servants. She looked upon
the members of that class as the unrelenting and sleepless enemies
of the unfortunate householders condemned to employ them. She
thought they ate and drank to their villanous utmost, in order to
ruin their benefactors--that they lived in one constant conspiracy
with one another and the tradesmen, the object of which was to
cheat and pilfer. Miss Starke was a miserable woman. As she had no
relations or friends who cared enough for her to share her solitary
struggle against her domestic foes; and her income, though easy,
was an annuity that died with herself, thereby reducing various
nephews, nieces, or cousins, to the strict bounds of a natural
affection--that did not exist; and as she felt the want of some
friendly face amidst this world of distrust and hate, so she had
tried the resource of venal companions. But the venal companions
had never staid long--either they disliked Miss Starke, or Miss
Starke disliked them. Therefore the poor woman had resolved upon
bringing up some little girl whose heart, as she said to herself,
would be fresh and uncorrupted, and from whom she might expect
gratitude. She had been contented, on the whole, with Helen, and
had meant to keep that child in her house as long as she (Miss
Starke) remained upon the earth--perhaps some thirty years longer;
and then, having carefully secluded her from marriage, and other
friendship, to leave her nothing but the regret of having lost so
kind a benefactress. Agreeably with this notion, and in order to
secure the affections of the child, Miss Starke had relaxed the
frigid austerity natural to her manner and mode of thought, and been
kind to Helen in an iron way. She had neither slapped nor pinched
her, neither had she starved. She had allowed her to see Leonard,
according to the agreement made with Dr Morgan, and had laid out
tenpence on cakes, besides contributing fruit from her garden for
the first interview--a hospitality she did not think it fit to renew
on subsequent occasions. In return for this, she conceived she had
purchased the right to Helen bodily and spiritually, and nothing
could exceed her indignation when she rose one morning and found the
child had gone. As it never had occurred to her to ask Leonard's
address, though she suspected Helen had gone to him, she was at a
loss what to do, and remained for twenty-four hours in a state of
inane depression. But then she began to miss the child so much that
her energies woke, and she persuaded herself that she was actuated
by the purest benevolence in trying to reclaim this poor creature
from the world into which Helen had thus rashly plunged.

Accordingly, she put an advertisement into the _Times_, to the
following effect, liberally imitated from one by which, in former
years, she had recovered a favourite Blenheim.

     TWO GUINEAS REWARD.

     Strayed, from Ivy Cottage, Highgate, a Little Girl, answers to
     the name of Helen; with blue eyes and brown hair; white muslin
     frock, and straw hat with blue ribbons. Whoever will bring the
     same to Ivy Cottage, shall receive the above Reward.

     _N.B._--Nothing more will be offered.

Now, it so happened that Mrs Smedley had put an advertisement in
the _Times_ on her own account, relative to a niece of hers who
was coming from the country, and for whom she desired to find
a situation. So, contrary to her usual habit, she sent for the
newspaper, and, close by her own advertisement, she saw Miss
Starke's.

It was impossible that she could mistake the description of Helen;
and, as this advertisement caught her eye the very day after the
whole house had been disturbed and scandalised by Burley's noisy
visit, and on which she had resolved to get rid of a lodger who
received such visitors, the goodhearted woman was delighted to think
that she could restore Helen to some safe home. While thus thinking,
Helen herself entered the kitchen where Mrs Smedley sate, and the
landlady had the imprudence to point out the advertisement, and
talk, as she called it, "seriously" to the little girl.

Helen in vain and with tears entreated her to take no step in reply
to the advertisement. Mrs Smedley felt it was an affair of duty,
and was obdurate, and shortly afterwards put on her bonnet and
left the house. Helen conjectured that she was on her way to Miss
Starke's, and her whole soul was bent on flight. Leonard had gone
to the office of the _Beehive_ with his MSS.; but she packed up all
their joint effects, and, just as she had done so, he returned. She
communicated the news of the advertisement, and said she should be
so miserable if compelled to go back to Miss Starke's, and implored
him so pathetically to save her from such sorrow that he at once
assented to her proposal of flight. Luckily, little was owing to the
landlady--that little was left with the maid-servant; and, profiting
by Mrs Smedley's absence, they escaped without scene or conflict.
Their effects were taken by Leonard to a stand of hackney vehicles,
and then left at a coach-office, while they went in search of
lodgings. It was wise to choose an entirely new and remote district;
and before night they were settled in an attic in Lambeth.


CHAPTER XIII.

As the reader will expect, no trace of Burley could Leonard find:
the humourist had ceased to communicate with the _Beehive_. But
Leonard grieved for Burley's sake; and indeed, he missed the
intercourse of the large wrong mind. But he settled down by
degrees to the simple loving society of his child companion, and
in that presence grew more tranquil. The hours in the daytime
that he did not pass at work he spent as before, picking up
knowledge at bookstalls; and at dusk he and Helen would stroll
out--sometimes striving to escape from the long suburb into fresh
rural air; more often wandering to and fro the bridge that led
to glorious Westminster--London's classic land--and watching the
vague lamps reflected on the river. This haunt suited the musing
melancholy boy. He would stand long and with wistful silence by the
balustrade--seating Helen thereon, that she too might look along the
dark mournful waters which, dark though they be, still have their
charm of mysterious repose.

As the river flowed between the world of roofs, and the roar of
human passions on either side, so in those two hearts flowed
Thought--and all they knew of London was its shadow.


CHAPTER XIV.

There appeared in the _Beehive_ certain very truculent political
papers--papers very like the tracts in the Tinker's bag. Leonard
did not heed them much, but they made far more sensation in the
public that read the _Beehive_ than Leonard's papers, full of rare
promise though the last were. They greatly increased the sale of the
periodical in the manufacturing towns, and began to awake the drowsy
vigilance of the Home Office. Suddenly a descent was made upon the
_Beehive_, and all its papers and plant. The editor saw himself
threatened with a criminal prosecution, and the certainty of two
years' imprisonment: he did not like the prospect, and disappeared.
One evening, when Leonard, unconscious of these mischances, arrived
at the door of the office, he found it closed. An agitated mob was
before it, and a voice that was not new to his ear was haranguing
the bystanders, with many imprecations against "tyrans." He looked,
and, to his amaze, recognised in the orator Mr Sprott the Tinker.

The police came in numbers to disperse the crowd, and Mr Sprott
prudently vanished. Leonard learned then what had befallen, and
again saw himself without employment and the means of bread.

Slowly he walked back. "O, knowledge, knowledge!--powerless indeed!"
he murmured.

As he thus spoke, a handbill in large capitals met his eyes on a
dead wall--"Wanted, a few smart young men for India."

A crimp accosted him--"You would make a fine soldier, my man. You
have stout limbs of your own." Leonard moved on.

"It has come back, then, to this. Brute physical force after all! O
Mind, despair! O Peasant, be a machine again."

He entered his attic noiselessly, and gazed upon Helen as she sate
at work, straining her eyes by the open window--with tender and deep
compassion. She had not heard him enter, nor was she aware of his
presence. Patient and still she sate, and the small fingers plied
busily. He gazed, and saw that her cheek was pale and hollow, and
the hands looked so thin! His heart was deeply touched, and at that
moment he had not one memory of the baffled Poet, one thought that
proclaimed the Egotist.

He approached her gently, laid his hand on her shoulder--"Helen, put
on your shawl and bonnet, and walk out--I have much to say."

In a few moments she was ready, and they took their way to their
favourite haunt upon the bridge. Pausing in one of the recesses or
nooks, Leonard then began,--"Helen, we must part."

"Part?--Oh, brother!"

"Listen. All work that depends on mind is over for me; nothing
remains but the labour of thews and sinews. I cannot go back to
my village and say to all, 'My hopes were self-conceit, and my
intellect a delusion!' I cannot. Neither in this sordid city can
I turn menial or porter. I might be born to that drudgery, but my
mind has, it may be unhappily, raised me above my birth. What, then,
shall I do? I know not yet--serve as a soldier, or push my way to
some wilderness afar, as an emigrant, perhaps. But whatever my
choice, I must henceforth be alone; I have a home no more. But there
is a home for you, Helen, a very humble one, (for you, too, so well
born,) but very safe--the roof of--of--my peasant mother. She will
love you for my sake, and--and--"

Helen clung to him trembling, and sobbed out, "Anything, anything
you will. But I can work; I can make money, Leonard. I do, indeed,
make money--you do not know how much--but enough for us both till
better times come to you. Do not let us part."

"And I--a man, and born to labour, to be maintained by the work of
an infant! No, Helen, do not so degrade me."

She drew back as she looked on his flushed brow, bowed her head
submissively, and murmured, "Pardon."

"Ah," said Helen, after a pause, "if now we could but find my poor
father's friend! I never so much cared for it before."

"Yes, he would surely provide for you."

"For _me_!" repeated Helen, in a tone of soft deep reproach, and she
turned away her head to conceal her tears.

"You are sure you would remember him, if we met him by chance?"

"Oh yes. He was so different from all we see in this terrible city,
and his eyes were like yonder stars, so clear and so bright; yet the
light seemed to come from afar off, as the light does in yours, when
your thoughts are away from all things round you. And then, too, his
dog whom he called Nero--I could not forget that."

"But his dog may not be always with him."

"But the bright clear eyes are! Ah, now you look up to heaven, and
yours seem to dream like his."

Leonard did not answer, for his thoughts were indeed less on earth
than struggling to pierce into that remote and mysterious heaven.

Both were silent long; the crowd passed them by unheedingly. Night
deepened over the river, but the reflection of the lamplights on
its waves was more visible than that of the stars. The beams showed
the darkness of the strong current, and the craft that lay eastward
on the tide, with sail-less spectral masts and black dismal hulks,
looked deathlike in their stillness.

Leonard looked down, and the thought of Chatterton's grim suicide
came back to his soul, and a pale scornful face with luminous
haunting eyes seemed to look up from the stream, and murmur from
livid lips,--"Struggle no more against the tides on the surface--all
is calm and rest within the deep."

Starting in terror from the gloom of his reverie, the boy began to
talk fast to Helen, and tried to soothe her with descriptions of the
lowly home which he had offered.

He spoke of the light cares which she would participate with his
mother--for by that name he still called the widow--and dwelt,
with an eloquence that the contrast round him made sincere and
strong, on the happy rural life, the shadowy woodlands, the rippling
cornfields, the solemn lone church-spire soaring from the tranquil
landscape. Flatteringly he painted the flowery terraces of the
Italian exile, and the playful fountain that, even as he spoke, was
flinging up its spray to the stars, through serene air untroubled
by the smoke of cities, and untainted by the sinful sighs of men.
He promised her the love and protection of natures akin to the
happy scene: the simple affectionate mother--the gentle pastor--the
exile wise and kind--Violante, with dark eyes full of the mystic
thoughts that solitude calls from childhood,--Violante should be her
companion.

"And oh!" cried Helen, "if life be thus happy there, return with me,
return--return!"

"Alas!" murmured the boy, "if the hammer once strike the spark from
the anvil, the spark must fly upward; it cannot fall back to earth
until light has left it. Upward still, Helen--let me go upward
still!"


CHAPTER XV.

The next morning Helen was very ill--so ill that, shortly after
rising, she was forced to creep back to bed. Her frame shivered--her
eyes were heavy--her hand burned like fire. Fever had set in.
Perhaps she might have caught cold on the bridge--perhaps her
emotions had proved too much for her frame. Leonard, in great
alarm, called on the nearest apothecary. The apothecary looked
grave, and said there was danger. And danger soon declared
itself--Helen became delirious. For several days she lay in this
state, between life and death. Leonard then felt that all the
sorrows of earth are light, compared with the fear of losing what we
love. How valueless the envied laurel seemed beside the dying rose.

Thanks, perhaps, more to his heed and tending than to medical
skill, she recovered sense at last--immediate peril was over.
But she was very weak and reduced--her ultimate recovery
doubtful--convalescence, at best, likely to be very slow.

But when she learned how long she had been thus ill, she looked
anxiously at Leonard's face as he bent over her, and faltered
forth--"Give me my work; I am strong enough for that now--it would
amuse me."

Leonard burst into tears.

Alas! he had no work himself; all their joint money had melted away;
the apothecary was not like good Dr Morgan: the medicines were to
be paid for, and the rent. Two days before, Leonard had pawned
Riccabocca's watch; and when the last shilling thus raised was gone,
how should he support Helen? Nevertheless he conquered his tears,
and assured her that he had employment; and that so earnestly that
she believed him, and sank into soft sleep. He listened to her
breathing, kissed her forehead, and left the room. He turned into
his own neigbouring garret, and, leaning his face on his hands,
collected all his thoughts.

He must be a beggar at last. He must write to Mr Dale for money--Mr
Dale, too, who knew the secret of his birth. He would rather have
begged of a stranger--it seemed to add a new dishonour to his
mother's memory for the child to beg of one who was acquainted with
her shame. Had he himself been the only one to want and to starve,
he would have sunk inch by inch into the grave of famine, before he
would have so subdued his pride. But Helen, there on that bed--Helen
needing, for weeks perhaps, all support, and illness making luxuries
themselves like necessaries! Beg he must. And when he so resolved,
had you but seen the proud bitter soul he conquered, you would
have said--"This which he thinks is degradation--this is heroism.
Oh strange human heart!--no epic ever written achieves the Sublime
and the Beautiful which are graven, unread by human eye, in thy
secret leaves." Of whom else should he beg? His mother had nothing,
Riccabocca was poor, and the stately Violante, who had exclaimed,
"Would that I were a man!"--he could not endure the thought that she
should pity him, and despise. The Avenels! No--thrice No. He drew
towards him hastily ink and paper, and wrote rapid lines, that were
wrung from him as from the bleeding strings of life.

But the hour for the post had passed--the letter must wait till
the next day; and three days at least would elapse before he
could receive an answer. He left the letter on the table, and,
stifling as for air, went forth. He crossed the bridge--he passed
on mechanically--and was borne along by a crowd pressing towards
the doors of Parliament. A debate that excited popular interest
was fixed for that evening, and many bystanders collected in the
street to see the members pass to and fro, or hear what speakers had
yet risen to take part in the debate, or try to get orders for the
gallery.

He halted amidst these loiterers, with no interest, indeed, in
common with them, but looking over their heads abstractedly towards
the tall Funeral Abbey--Imperial Golgotha of Poets, and Chiefs, and
Kings.

Suddenly his attention was diverted to those around by the sound of
a name--displeasingly known to him. "How are you, Randal Leslie?
coming to hear the debate?" said a member who was passing through
the street.

"Yes; Mr Egerton promised to get me under the gallery. He is to
speak himself to-night, and I have never heard him. As you are going
into the House, will you remind him?"

"I can't now, for he is speaking already--and well too. I hurried
from the Athenæum, where I was dining, on purpose to be in time, as
I heard that his speech was making a great effect."

"This is very unlucky," said Randal. "I had no idea he would speak
so early."

"M---- brought him up by a direct personal attack. But follow me;
perhaps I can get you into the House; and a man like you, Leslie,
of whom we expect great things some day, I can tell you, should not
miss any such opportunity of knowing what this House of ours is on a
field night. Come on!"

The member hurried towards the door; and as Randal followed him,
a bystander cried--"That is the young man who wrote the famous
pamphlet--Egerton's relation."

"Oh, indeed!" said another. "Clever man, Egerton--I am waiting for
him."

"So am I."

"Why, you are not a constituent, as I am."

"No; but he has been very kind to my nephew, and I must thank him.
You are a constituent--he is an honour to your town."

"So he is: Enlightened man!"

"And so generous!"

"Brings forward really good measures," quoth the politician.

"And clever young men," said the uncle.

Therewith one or two others joined in the praise of Audley Egerton,
and many anecdotes of his liberality were told.

Leonard listened at first listlessly, at last with thoughtful
attention. He had heard Burley, too, speak highly of this generous
statesman, who, without pretending to genius himself, appreciated
it in others. He suddenly remembered, too, that Egerton was
half-brother to the Squire. Vague notions of some appeal to this
eminent person, not for charity, but employ to his mind, gleamed
across him--inexperienced boy that he yet was! And, while thus
meditating, the door of the House opened, and out came Audley
Egerton himself. A partial cheering, followed by a general murmur,
apprised Leonard of the presence of the popular statesman. Egerton
was caught hold of by some five or six persons in succession; a
shake of the hand, a nod, a brief whispered word or two, sufficed
the practised member for graceful escape; and soon, free from the
crowd, his tall erect figure passed on, and turned towards the
bridge. He paused at the angle and took out his watch, looking at it
by the lamp-light.

"Harley will be here soon," he muttered--"he is always punctual; and
now that I have spoken, I can give him an hour or so. That is well."

As he replaced his watch in his pocket, and re-buttoned his coat
over his firm broad chest, he lifted his eyes, and saw a young man
standing before him.

"Do you want me?" asked the statesman, with the direct brevity of
his practical character.

"Mr Egerton," said the young man, with a voice that slightly
trembled, and yet was manly amidst emotion, "you have a great name,
and great power--I stand here in these streets of London without
a friend, and without employ. I believe that I have it in me to
do some nobler work than that of bodily labour, had I but one
friend--one opening for my thoughts. And now I have said this, I
scarcely know how, or why, but from despair, and the sudden impulse
which that despair took from the praise that follows your success, I
have nothing more to add."

Audley Egerton was silent for a moment, struck by the tone and
address of the stranger; but the consummate and wary man of the
world, accustomed to all manner of strange applications, and all
varieties of imposture, quickly recovered from a passing and slight
effect.

"Are you a native of ----?" (naming the town he represented as
member.)

"No, sir."

"Well, young man, I am very sorry for you; but the good sense
you must possess (for I judge of that by the education you have
evidently received) must tell you that a public man, whatever be his
patronage, has it too fully absorbed by claimants who have a right
to demand it, to be able to listen to strangers."

He paused a moment, and, as Leonard stood silent, added, with more
kindness than most public men so accosted would have showed--

"You say you are friendless--poor fellow. In early life that happens
to many of us, who find friends enough before the close. Be honest,
and well-conducted; lean on yourself, not on strangers; work with
the body if you can't with the mind; and, believe me, that advice is
all I can give you, unless this trifle,"--and the minister held out
a crown piece.

Leonard bowed, shook his head sadly, and walked away. Egerton looked
after him with a slight pang.

"Pooh!" said he to himself, "there must be thousands in the same
state in these streets of London. I cannot redress the necessities
of civilisation. Well educated! It is not from ignorance henceforth
that society will suffer--it is from over-educating the hungry
thousands who, thus unfitted for manual toil, and with no career for
mental, will some day or other stand like that boy in our streets,
and puzzle wiser ministers than I am."

As Egerton thus mused, and passed on to the bridge, a bugle-horn
rang merrily from the box of a gay four-in-hand. A drag-coach with
superb blood-horses rattled over the causeway, and in the driver
Egerton recognised his nephew--Frank Hazeldean.

The young Guardsman was returning, with a lively party of men, from
dining at Greenwich; and the careless laughter of these children of
pleasure floated far over the still river.

It vexed the ear of the careworn statesman--sad, perhaps, with all
his greatness, lonely amidst all his crowd of friends. It reminded
him, perhaps, of his own youth, when such parties and companionships
were familiar to him, though through them all he bore an ambitious
aspiring soul--"_Le jeu, vaut-il la chandelle?_" said he, shrugging
his shoulders.

The coach rolled rapidly past Leonard, as he stood leaning against
the corner of the bridge, and the mire of the kennel splashed over
him from the hoofs of the fiery horses. The laughter smote on his
ear more discordantly than on the minister's, but it begot no envy.

"Life is a dark riddle," said he, smiting his breast.

And he walked slowly on, gained the recess where he had stood
several nights before with Helen; and dizzy with want of food, and
worn out for want of sleep, he sank down into the dark corner; while
the river that rolled under the arch of stone muttered dirge-like
in his ear;--as under the social key-stone wails and rolls on for
ever the mystery of Human Discontent. Take comfort, O Thinker by the
stream! 'Tis the river that founded and gave pomp to the city; and
without the discontent, where were progress--what were Man? Take
comfort, O THINKER! where ever the stream over which thou bendest,
or beside which thou sinkest, weary and desolate, frets the arch
that supports thee;--never dream that, by destroying the bridge,
thou canst silence the moan of the wave!



DISFRANCHISEMENT OF THE BOROUGHS.

TO WALTER BINKIE, ESQ., PROVOST OF DREEPDAILY.


MY DEAR PROVOST,--In the course of your communings with nature on
the uplands of Dreepdaily, you must doubtless have observed that
the advent of a storm is usually preceded by the appearance of a
flight of seamaws, who, by their discordant screams, give notice of
the approaching change of weather. For some time past it has been
the opinion of those who are in the habit of watching the political
horizon, that we should do well to prepare ourselves for a squall,
and already the premonitory symptoms are distinctly audible. The
Liberal press, headed by the _Times_, is clamorous for some sweeping
change in the method of Parliamentary representation; and Lord John
Russell, as you are well aware, proposes in the course of next
Session to take up the subject. This is no mere _brutum fulmen_,
or dodge to secure a little temporary popularity--it is a distinct
party move for a very intelligible purpose; and is fraught, I
think, with much danger and injustice to many of the constituencies
which are now intrusted with the right of franchise. As you, my
dear Provost, are a Liberal both by principle and profession,
and moreover chief magistrate of a very old Scottish burgh, your
opinion upon this matter must have great weight in determining the
judgment of others; and, therefore, you will not, I trust, consider
it too great a liberty, if, at this dull season of the year, I call
your attention to one or two points which appear well worthy of
consideration.

In the first place, I think you will admit that extensive organic
changes in the Constitution ought never to be attempted except in
cases of strong necessity. The real interests of the country are
never promoted by internal political agitation, which unsettles
men's minds, is injurious to regular industry, and too often leaves
behind it the seeds of jealousy and discord between different
classes of the community, ready on some future occasion to burst
into noxious existence. You would not, I think, wish to see annually
renewed that sort of strife which characterised the era of the
Reform Bill. I venture to pass no opinion whatever on the abstract
merits of that measure. I accept it as a fact, just as I accept
other changes in the Constitution of this country which took place
before I was born; and I hope I shall ever comport myself as a loyal
and independent elector. But I am sure you have far too lively
a recollection of the ferment which that event created, to wish
to see it renewed, without at least some urgent cause. You were
consistently anxious for the suppression of rotten boroughs, and for
the enlargement of the constituency upon a broad and popular basis;
and you considered that the advantages to be gained by the adoption
of the new system, justified the social risks which were incurred in
the endeavour to supersede the old one. I do not say that you were
wrong in this. The agitation for Parliamentary Reform had been going
on for a great number of years; the voice of the majority of the
country was undeniably in your favour, and you finally carried your
point. Still, in consequence of that struggle, years elapsed before
the heart-burnings and jealousies which were occasioned by it were
allayed. Even now it is not uncommon to hear the reminiscences of
the Reform Bill appealed to on the hustings by candidates who have
little else to say for themselves by way of personal recommendation.
A most ludicrous instance of this occurred very lately in the case
of a young gentleman, who, being desirous of Parliamentary honours,
actually requested the support of the electors on the ground that
his father or grandfather--I forget which--had voted for the Reform
Bill; a ceremony which he could not very well have performed in
his own person, as at that time he had not been released from
the bondage of swaddling-clothes! I need hardly add that he was
rejected; but the anecdote is curious and instructive.

In a country such as this, changes must be looked for in the course
of years. One system dies out, or becomes unpopular, and is replaced
by a new one. But I cannot charge my memory with any historical
instance where a great change was attempted without some powerful
or cogent reason. Still less can I recollect any great change being
proposed, unless a large and powerful section of the community had
unequivocally declared in its favour. The reason of this is quite
obvious. The middle classes of Great Britain, however liberal they
may be in their sentiments, have a just horror of revolutions. They
know very well that organic changes are never effected without
enormous loss and individual deprivation, and they will not move
unless they are assured that the value of the object to be gained is
commensurate with the extent of the sacrifice. In defence of their
liberties, when these are attacked, the British people are ever
ready to stand forward; but I mistake them much, if they will at any
time allow themselves to be made the tools of a faction. The attempt
to get up organic changes for the sole purpose of perpetuating the
existence of a particular Ministry, or of maintaining the supremacy
of a particular party, is a new feature in our history. It is an
experiment which the nation ought not to tolerate for a single
moment; and which I am satisfied it will not tolerate, when the
schemes of its authors are laid bare.

I believe, Provost, I am right in assuming that there has been no
decided movement in favour of a New Parliamentary Reform Bill,
either in Dreepdaily or in any of the other burghs with which you
are connected. The electors are well satisfied with the operation of
the ten-pound clause, which excludes from the franchise no man of
decent ability and industry, whilst it secures property from those
direct inroads which would be the inevitable result of a system of
universal suffrage. Also, I suppose, you are reasonably indifferent
on the subjects of Vote by Ballot and Triennial Parliaments, and
that you view the idea of annual ones with undisguised reprobation.
Difference of opinion undoubtedly may exist on some of these points:
an eight-pound qualification may have its advocates, and the right
of secret voting may be convenient for members of the clique; but,
on the whole, you are satisfied with matters as they are; and,
certainly, I do not see that you have any grievance to complain of.
If I were a member of the Liberal party, I should be very sorry to
see any change of the representation made in Scotland. Just observe
how the matter stands. At the commencement of the present year the
whole representation of the Scottish burghs was in the hands of the
Liberal party. Since then, it is true, Falkirk has changed sides;
but you are still remarkably well off; and I think that out of
thirty county members, eighteen may be set down as supporters of
the Free-trade policy. Remember, I do not guarantee the continuance
of these proportions: I wish you simply to observe how you stand at
present, under the working of your own Reform Bill; and really it
appears to me that nothing could be more satisfactory. The Liberal
who wishes to have more men of his own kidney from Scotland must
indeed be an unconscionable glutton; and if, in the face of these
facts, he asks for a reform in the representation, I cannot set him
down as other than a consummate ass. He must needs admit that the
system has worked well. Scotland sends to the support of the Whig
Ministry, and the maintenance of progressive opinions, a brilliant
phalanx of senators; amongst whom we point, with justifiable pride,
to the distinguished names of Anderson, Bouverie, Ewart, Hume,
Smith, M'Taggart, and M'Gregor. Are these gentlemen not liberal
enough for the wants of the present age? Why, unless I am most
egregiously mistaken--and not I only, but the whole of the Liberal
press in Scotland--they are generally regarded as decidedly ahead
even of my Lord John Russell. Why, then, should your representation
be reformed, while it bears such admirable fruit? With such a
growth of golden pippins on its boughs, would it not be madness
to cut down the tree, on the mere chance of another arising from
the stump, more especially when you cannot hope to gather from it
a more abundant harvest? I am quite sure, Provost, that you agree
with me in this. You have nothing to gain, but possibly a good deal
to lose, by any alteration which may be made; and therefore it is,
I presume, that in this part of the world not the slightest wish
has been manifested for a radical change of the system. That very
conceited and shallow individual, Sir Joshua Walmsley, made not
long ago a kind of agitating tour through Scotland, for the purpose
of getting up the steam; but except from a few unhappy Chartists,
whose sentiments on the subject of property are identically the same
with those professed by the gentlemen who plundered the Glasgow
tradesmen's shops in 1848, he met with no manner of encouragement.
The electors laughed in the face of this ridiculous caricature of
Peter the Hermit, and advised him, instead of exposing his ignorance
in the north, to go back to Bolton and occupy himself with his own
affairs.

This much I have said touching the necessity or call for a
new Reform Bill, which is likely enough to involve us, for a
considerable period at least, in unfortunate political strife. I
have put it to you as a Liberal, but at the same time as a man of
common sense and honesty, whether there are any circumstances,
under your knowledge, which can justify such an attempt; and in
the absence of these, you cannot but admit that such an experiment
is eminently dangerous at the present time, and ought to be
strongly discountenanced by all men, whatever may be their kind
of political opinions. I speak now without any reference whatever
to the details. It may certainly be possible to discover a better
system of representation than that which at present exists. I never
regarded Lord John Russell as the living incarnation of Minerva,
nor can I consider any measure originated by him as conveying an
assurance that the highest amount of human wisdom has been exhausted
in its preparation. But what I do say is this, that in the absence
of anything like general demand, and failing the allegation of
any marked grievance to be redressed, no Ministry is entitled to
propose an extensive or organic change in the representation of the
country; and the men who shall venture upon such a step must render
themselves liable to the imputation of being actuated by other
motives than regard to the public welfare.

You will, however, be slow to believe that Lord John Russell is
moving in this matter without some special reason. In this you
are perfectly right. He has a reason, and a very cogent one, but
not such a reason as you, if you are truly a Liberal, and not a
mere partisan, can accept. I presume it is the wish of the Liberal
party--at least it used to be their watchword--that public opinion
in this country is not to be slighted or suppressed. With the view
of giving full effect to that public opinion, not of securing the
supremacy of this or that political alliance, the Reform Act was
framed; it being the declared object and intention of its founders
that a full, fair, and free representation should be secured to the
people of this country. The property qualification was fixed at a
low rate; the balance of power as between counties and boroughs
was carefully adjusted; and every precaution was taken--at least
so we were told at the time--that no one great interest of the
State should be allowed unduly to predominate over another. Many,
however, were of opinion at the time, and have since seen no reason
to alter it, that the adjustment then made, as between counties and
boroughs, was by no means equitable, and that an undue share in the
representation was given to the latter, more especially in England.
That, you will observe, was a Conservative, not a Liberal objection;
and it was over-ruled. Well, then, did the Representation, as fixed
by the Reform Bill, fulfil its primary condition? You thought so;
and so did my Lord John Russell, until some twelve months ago, when
a new light dawned upon him. That light has since increased in
intensity, and he now sees his way, clearly enough, to a new organic
measure. Why is this? Simply, my dear Provost, because the English
boroughs will no longer support him in his bungling legislation, or
countenance his unnational policy!

Public opinion, as represented through the operation of the Reform
Act, is no longer favourable to Lord John Russell. The result of
recent elections, in places which were formerly considered as
the strongholds of Whiggery, have demonstrated to him that the
Free-trade policy, to which he is irretrievably pledged, has become
obnoxious to the bulk of the electors, and that they will no longer
accord their support to any Ministry which is bent upon depressing
British labour and sapping the foundations of national prosperity.
So Lord John Russell, finding himself in this position, that he must
either get rid of public opinion or resign his place, sets about
the concoction of a new Reform Bill, by means of which he hopes to
swamp the present electoral body! This is Whig liberty in its pure
and original form. It implies, of course, that the Reform Bill did
not give a full, fair, and free representation to the country, else
there can be no excuse for altering its provisions. If we really
have a fair representation; and if, notwithstanding, the majority of
the electors are convinced that Free Trade is not for their benefit,
it does appear to me a most monstrous thing that they are to be
coerced into receiving it by the infusion of a new element into
the Constitution, or a forcible change in the distribution of the
electoral power, to suit the commercial views which are in favour
with the Whig party. It is, in short, a most circuitous method of
exercising despotic power; and I, for one, having the interests of
the country at heart, would much prefer the institution at once of a
pure despotism, and submit to be ruled and taxed henceforward at the
sweet will of the scion of the house of Russell.

I do not know what your individual sentiments may be on the subject
of Free Trade; but whether you are for it or against it, my argument
remains the same. It is essentially a question for the solution of
the electoral body; and if the Whigs are right in their averment
that its operation hitherto has been attended with marked success,
and has even transcended the expectation of its promoters, you may
rely upon it that there is no power in the British Empire which
can overthrow it. No Protectionist ravings can damage a system
which has been productive of real advantage to the great bulk of
the people. But if, on the contrary, it is a bad system, is it to
be endured that any man or body of men shall attempt to perpetuate
it against the will of the majority of the electors, by a change
in the representation of the country? I ask you this as a Liberal.
Without having any undue diffidence in the soundness of your own
judgment, I presume you do not, like his Holiness the Pope, consider
yourself infallible, or entitled to coerce others who may differ
from you in opinion. Yet this is precisely what Lord John Russell is
now attempting to do; and I warn you and others who are similarly
situated, to be wise in time, and to take care lest, under the
operation of this new Reform Bill, you are not stripped of that
political power and those political privileges which at present you
enjoy.

Don't suppose that I am speaking rashly or without consideration.
All I know touching this new Reform Bill, is derived from the
arguments and proposals which have been advanced and made by the
Liberal press in consequence of the late indications of public
feeling, as manifested by the result of recent elections. It
is rather remarkable that we heard few or no proposals for an
alteration in the electoral system, until it became apparent
that the voice of the boroughs could no longer be depended on
for the maintenance of the present commercial policy. You may
recollect that the earliest of the victories which were achieved
by the Protectionists, with respect to vacant seats in the House
of Commons, were treated lightly by their opponents as mere
casualties; but when borough after borough deliberately renounced
its adherence to the cause of the League, and, not unfrequently
under circumstances of very marked significance, declared openly in
favour of Protection, the matter became serious. It was _then_, and
then only, that we heard the necessity for some new and sweeping
change in the representation of this country broadly asserted;
and, singularly enough, the advocates of that change do not
attempt to disguise their motives. They do not venture to say that
the intelligence of the country is not adequately represented at
present--what they complain of is, that the intelligence of the
country is becoming every day more hostile to their commercial
theories. In short, they want to get rid of that intelligence, and
must get rid of it speedily, unless their system is to crumble to
pieces. Such is their aim and declared object; and if you entertain
any doubts on the matter, I beg leave to refer you to the recorded
sentiments of the leading Ministerial and Free-trade organ--the
_Times_. It is always instructive to notice the hints of the
Thunderer. The writers in that journal are fully alive to the nature
of the coming crisis. They have been long aware of the reaction
which has taken place throughout the country on the subject of
Free Trade, and they recognise distinctly the peril in which their
favourite principle is placed, if some violent means are not used to
counteract the conviction of the electoral body. They see that, in
the event of a general election, the constituencies of the Empire
are not likely to return a verdict hostile to the domestic interests
of the country. They have watched with careful and anxious eyes the
turning tide of opinion; and they can devise no means of arresting
it, without having recourse to that peculiar mode of manipulation,
which is dignified by the name of Burking. Let us hear what they say
so late as the 21st of July last.

     "With such a prospect before us, with unknown struggles and
     unprecedented collisions within the bounds of possibility,
     there is only one resource, and we must say that Her Majesty's
     present advisers will be answerable for the consequences if they
     do not adopt it. They must lay the foundation of an appeal to
     the people with a large and liberal measure of Parliamentary
     reform. It is high time that this great country should cease to
     quake and to quail at the decisions of stupid and corrupt little
     constituencies, of whom, as in the case before us, it would take
     thirty to make one metropolitan borough. The great question
     always before the nation in one shape or another is--whether
     _the people_ are as happy as laws can make them? To what sort of
     constituencies shall we appeal for the answer to this question?
     To Harwich with its population of 3370; to St Albans with its
     population of 6246; to Scarborough with its population of 9953;
     to Knaresborough with its population of 5382; and to a score
     other places still more insignificant? Or shall we insist on the
     appeal being made to much larger bodies? The average population
     of boroughs and counties is more than 60,000. Is it not high
     time to require that no single borough shall fall below half or
     a third of that number?"

The meaning of this is clear enough. It points, if not to the
absolute annihilation, most certainly to the concretion of the
smaller boroughs throughout England--to an entire remarshalling of
the electoral ranks--and, above all, to an enormous increase in the
representation of the larger cities. In this way, you see, local
interests will be made almost entirely to disappear; and London
alone will secure almost as many representatives in Parliament
as are at the present time returned for the whole kingdom of
Scotland. Now, I confess to you, Provost, that I do not feel greatly
exhilarated at the prospect of any such change. I believe that the
prosperity of Great Britain depends upon the maintenance of many
interests, and I cannot see how that can be secured if we are to
deliver over the whole political power to the masses congregated
within the towns. Moreover, I would very humbly remark, that past
experience is little calculated to increase the measure of our
faith in the wisdom or judgment of large constituencies. I may be
wrong in my estimate of the talent and abilities of the several
honourable members who at present sit for London and the adjacent
districts; but, if so, I am only one out of many who labour under a
similar delusion. We are told by the _Times_ to look to Marylebone
as an example of a large and enlightened constituency. I obey
the mandate; and on referring to the Parliamentary Companion, I
find that Marylebone is represented by Lord Dudley Stuart and Sir
Benjamin Hall. That fact does not, in my humble opinion, furnish a
conclusive argument in favour of large constituencies. As I wish to
avoid the Jew question, I shall say nothing about Baron Rothschild;
but passing over to the Tower Hamlets, I find them in possession of
Thomson and Clay; Lambeth rejoicing in d'Eyncourt and Williams; and
Southwark in Humphrey and Molesworth. Capable senators though these
may be, I should not like to see a Parliament composed entirely
of men of their kidney; nor do I think that they afford undoubted
materials for the construction of a new Cabinet.

But perhaps I am undervaluing the abilities of these gentlemen;
perhaps I am doing injustice to the discretion and wisdom of the
metropolitan constituencies. Anxious to avoid any such imputation,
I shall again invoke the assistance of the _Times_, whom I now cite
as a witness, and a very powerful one, upon my side of the question.
Let us hear the Thunderer on the subject of these same metropolitan
constituencies, just twelve months ago, before Scarborough and
Knaresborough had disgraced themselves by returning Protectionists
to Parliament. I quote from a leader in the _Times_ of 8th August
1850, referring to the Lambeth election, when Mr Williams was
returned.

     "When it was proposed some twenty years ago to extend the
     franchise to the metropolitan boroughs, the presumption was,
     that the quality of the representatives would bear something
     like a proportion to the importance of the constituencies
     called into play. In other words, if the political axioms from
     which the principle of an extended representation is deduced
     have any foundation in reality, it should follow that the most
     numerous and most intelligent bodies of electors would return
     to Parliament members of the highest mark for character and
     capacity. Now, looking at the condition of the metropolitan
     representation as it stands at present, or as it has stood any
     time since the passing of the Reform Bill, has this expectation
     been fulfilled? Lord John Russell, the First Minister of the
     Crown, sits, indeed, as member for the city of London, and so
     far it is well. Whatever difference of opinion may exist as to
     the noble lord's capacity for government, or whatever may be the
     views of this or that political party, it is beyond all dispute
     that, in such a case as this, there is dignity and fitness in
     the relation between the member and the constituency. But,
     setting aside this one solitary instance, with what metropolitan
     borough is the name of any very eminent Englishman associated at
     the present time? It is of course as contrary to our inclination
     as it would be unnecessary for the purposes of the argument, to
     quote this or that man's name as an actual illustration of the
     failure of a system, or of the decadence of a constituency. We
     would, however, without any invidious or offensive personality,
     invite attention to the present list of metropolitan members,
     and ask what name is to be found among them, with the single
     exception we have named, which is borne by a man with a shadow
     of a pretension to be reckoned as among the leading Englishmen
     of the age?"

You see, Provost, I am by no means singular in my estimate of the
quality of the metropolitan representatives. The _Times_ is with
me, or was with me twelve months ago; and I suppose it will hardly
be averred that, since that time, any enormous increase of wisdom
or of ability has been manifested by the gentlemen referred to.
But there is rather more than this. In the article from which I am
quoting, the writer does not confine his strictures simply to the
metropolitan boroughs. He goes a great deal further, for he attacks
large constituencies in the mass, and points out very well and
forcibly the evils which must inevitably follow should these obtain
an accession to their power. Read, mark, and perpend the following
paragraphs, and then reconcile their tenor--if you can--with the
later proposals from the same quarter for the general suppression of
small constituencies, and the establishment of larger tribunals of
public opinion.

     "Lambeth, then, on the occasion of the present election, is
     likely to become another illustration of the downward tendencies
     of the metropolitan constituencies. We use the word 'tendency'
     advisedly, for matters are worse than they have been, and we
     can perceive no symptom of a turning tide. Let us leave the
     names of individuals aside, and simply consider the metropolitan
     members as a body, and what is their main employment in the
     House of Commons? _Is it not mainly to represent the selfish
     interests and blind prejudices of the less patriotic or less
     enlightened portion of their constituents whenever any change
     is proposed manifestly for the public benefit?_ Looking at
     their votes, one would suppose a metropolitan member to be
     rather a Parliamentary agent of the drovers, and sextons, and
     undertakers, than a representative of one of the most important
     constituencies in the kingdom. Is this downward progress of
     the metropolitan representation to remain unchanged? Will it
     be extended to other constituencies as soon as they shall be
     brought under conditions analogous to those under which the
     metropolitan electors exercise the franchise? The question is of
     no small interest. Whether the fault be with the electors, or
     with those who should have the nerve to come forward and demand
     their suffrages, matters not for the purposes of the argument.
     The fact remains unaltered. Supposing England throughout its
     area were represented as the various boroughs of the metropolis
     are represented at the present time, what would be the effect?
     That is the point for consideration. It may well be that men
     of higher character, and of more distinguished intellectual
     qualifications, would readily attract the sympathies and secure
     the votes of these constituencies; but what does their absence
     prove? _Simply that the same feeling of unwillingness to face
     large electoral bodies, which is said to prevail in the United
     States, is gradually rising up in this country._ On the other
     side of the Atlantic, we are told by all who know the country
     best, that the most distinguished citizens shrink from stepping
     forward on the arena of public life, lest they be made the mark
     for calumny and abuse. It would require more space than we can
     devote to the subject to point out the correlative shortcomings
     of the constituencies and the candidates; but, leaving these
     aside, _we cannot but arrive at the conclusion that there is
     something in the constitution of these great electoral masses
     which renders a peaceful majority little better than a passive
     instrument in the hands of a turbulent minority_, and affords an
     explanation of the fact that such a person as Mr Williams should
     aspire to represent the borough of Lambeth."

What do you think of that, Provost, by way of an argument in favour
of large constituencies? I agree with every word of it. I believe,
in common with the eloquent writer, that matters are growing worse
instead of better, and that there is something radically wrong in
the constitution of these great electoral masses. I believe that
they do not represent the real intelligence of the electors, and
that they are liable to all those objections which are here so well
and forcibly urged. It is not necessary to travel quite so far
as London for an illustration. Look at Glasgow. Have the twelve
thousand and odd electors of that great commercial and manufacturing
city covered themselves with undying glory by their choice of their
present representatives? Is the intelligence of the first commercial
city in Scotland really embodied in the person of Mr M'Gregor? I
should be very loth to think so. Far be it from me to impugn the
propriety of any particular choice, or to speculate upon coming
events; but I cannot help wondering whether, in the event of the
suppression of some of the smaller burghs, and the transference of
their power to the larger cities, it may come to pass that the city
of St Mungo shall be represented by the wisdom of six M'Gregors? I
repeat, that I wish to say nothing in disparagement of large urban
constituencies, or of their choice in any one particular case--I
simply desire to draw your attention to the fact, that we are not
indebted to such constituencies for returning the men who, by common
consent, are admitted to be the most valuable members, in point of
talent, ability, and business habits, in the House of Commons. How
far we should improve the character of our legislative assembly,
by disfranchising smaller constituencies, and transferring their
privileges to the larger ones,--open to such serious objections as
have been urged against them by the _Times_, a journal not likely
to err on the side of undervaluing popular opinion--appears to me a
question decidedly open to discussion; and I hope that it will be
discussed, pretty broadly and extensively, before any active steps
are taken for suppressing boroughs which are not open to the charge
of rank venality and corruption.

The _Times_, you observe, talks in its more recent article, in which
totally opposite views are advocated, of "stupid and corrupt little
constituencies." This is a clever way of mixing up two distinct and
separate matters. We all know what is meant by corruption, and I
hope none of us are in favour of it. It means the purchase, either
by money or promises, of the suffrages of those who are intrusted
with the electoral franchise; and I am quite ready to join with the
_Times_ in the most hearty denunciation of such villanous practices,
whether used by Jew or Gentile. It may be, and probably is,
impossible to prevent bribery altogether, for there are scoundrels
in all constituencies; and if a candidate with a long purse is
so lax in his morals as to hint at the purchase of votes, he is
tolerably certain to find a market in which these commodities are
sold. But if, in any case, general corruption can be proved against
a borough, it ought to be forthwith disfranchised, and declared
unworthy of exercising so important a public privilege. But of the
"stupidity" of constituencies, who are to be the judges? Not, I
hope, the Areopagites of the _Times_, else we may expect to see
every constituency which does not pronounce in favour of Free Trade,
placed under the general extinguisher! Scarborough, with some seven
or eight hundred electors--a good many more, by the way, than are
on the roll for the Dreepdaily burghs--has, in the opinion of the
_Times_, stultified itself for ever by returning Mr George F. Young
to Parliament, instead of a Whig lordling, who possessed great local
influence. Therefore Scarborough is put down in the black list,
not because it is "corrupt," but because it is "stupid," in having
elected a gentleman of the highest political celebrity, who is at
the same time one of the most extensive shipowners of Great Britain!
I put it to you, Provost, whether this is not as cool an instance
of audacity as you ever heard of. What would you think if it were
openly proposed, upon our side, to disfranchise Greenwich, because
the tea-and-shrimp population of that virtuous town has committed
the stupid act of returning a Jew to Parliament? If stupidity is to
go for anything in the way of cancelling privileges, I think I could
name to you some half-dozen places on this side of the border which
are in evident danger, at least if we are to accept the attainments
of the representatives as any test of the mental acquirements of the
electors; but perhaps it is better to avoid particulars in a matter
so personal and delicate.

I am not in the least degree surprised to find the Free-Traders
turning round against the boroughs. Four years ago, you would
certainly have laughed in the face of any one who might have
prophesied such a result; but since then, times have altered. The
grand experiment upon native industry has been made, and allowed
to go on without check or impediment. The Free-Traders have had it
all their own way; and if there had been one iota of truth in their
statements, or if their calculations had been based upon secure and
rational data, they must long ago have achieved a complete moral
triumph. Pray, remember what they told us. They said that Free Trade
in corn and in cattle would not permanently _lower_ the value of
agricultural produce in Britain--it would only steady prices, and
prevent extreme fluctuations. Then, again, we were assured that
large imports from any part of the world could not by possibility be
obtained; and those consummate blockheads, the statists, offered to
prove by figures, that a deluge of foreign grain was as impossible
as an overflow of the Mediterranean. I need not tell you that the
results have entirely falsified such predictions, and that the
agricultural interest has ever since been suffering under the
effects of unexampled depression. No man denies that. The stiffest
stickler for the cheap loaf does not venture now to assert that
agriculture is a profitable profession in Britain; all he can do is
to recommend economy, and to utter a hypocritical prayer, that the
prosperity which he assumes to exist in other quarters may, at no
distant date, and through some mysterious process which he cannot
specify, extend itself to the suffering millions who depend for
their subsistence on the produce of the soil of Britain, and who pay
by far the largest share of the taxes and burdens of the kingdom.

Now, it is perfectly obvious that agricultural distress, by which
I mean the continuance of a range of unremunerative prices, cannot
long prevail in any district, without affecting the traffic of the
towns. You, who are an extensive retail merchant in Dreepdaily,
know well that the business of your own trade depends in a great
degree upon the state of the produce markets. So long as the farmer
is thriving, he buys from you and your neighbours liberally, and you
find him, I have no doubt, your best and steadiest customer. But if
you reverse his circumstances, you must look for a corresponding
change in his dealings. He cannot afford to purchase silks for his
wife and daughters, as formerly; he grows penurious in his own
personal expenditure, and denies himself every unnecessary luxury;
he does nothing for the good of trade, and is impassable to all the
temptations which you endeavour to throw in his way. To post your
ledger is now no very difficult task. You find last year's stock
remaining steadily on your hands; and when the season for the annual
visit of the bagmen comes round, you dismiss them from your premises
without gratifying their avidity by an order. This is a faithful
picture of what has been going on for two years, at least, in the
smaller inland boroughs. No doubt you are getting your bread cheap;
but those whose importations have brought about that cheapness,
never were, and never can be, customers of yours. Even supposing
that they were to take goods in exchange for their imported grain,
no profit or custom could accrue to the retail shopkeeper, who must
necessarily look to the people around him for the consumption of
his wares. In this way trade has been made to stagnate, and profits
have of course declined, until the tradesmen, weary of awaiting
the advent of a prosperity which never arrives, have come to the
conclusion, that they will best consult their interest by giving
their support to a policy the reverse of that which has crippled the
great body of their customers.

Watering-places, and towns of fashionable resort, have suffered in
a like degree. The gentry, whose rents have been most seriously
affected by the unnatural diminution of prices, are compelled to
curtail their expenditure, and to deny themselves many things which
formerly would have been esteemed legitimate indulgences. Economy is
the order Of the day: equipages are given up, servants dismissed,
and old furniture made to last beyond its appointed time. These
things, I most freely admit, are no great hardships to the gentry;
nor do I intend to awaken your compassion in behalf of the squire,
who, by reason of his contracted rent-roll, has been compelled
to part with his carriage and a couple of footmen, and to refuse
his wife and daughters the pleasure of a trip to Cheltenham. The
hardship lies elsewhere. I pity the footmen, the coach-builder, the
upholsterer, the house proprietor in Cheltenham, and all the other
people to whom the surplus of the squire's revenue found its way,
much more than the old gentleman himself. I daresay he is quite
as happy at home--perhaps far happier--than if he were compelled
to racket elsewhere; and sure I am that he will not consume his
dinner with less appetite because he lacks the attendance of a
couple of knaves, with heads like full-blown cauliflowers. But is
it consistent with the workings of human nature to expect that the
people to whom he formerly gave employment and custom, let us say
to the extent of a couple of thousand pounds, can be gratified by
the cessation of that expenditure?--or is it possible to suppose
that they will remain enamoured of a system which has caused them
so heavy a loss? View the subject in this light, and you can have
no difficulty in understanding why this formidable reaction has
taken place in the English boroughs. It is simply a question of
the pocket; and the electors now see, that unless the boroughs are
to be left to rapid decay, something must be done to protect and
foster that industry upon which they all depend. Such facts, which
are open and patent to every man's experience, and tell upon his
income and expenditure, are worth whole cargoes of theory. What
reason has the trader, whose stock is remaining unsold upon his
hands, to plume himself, because he is assured by Mr Porter, or
some other similar authority, that some hundred thousand additional
yards of flimsy calico have been shipped from the British shores
in the course of the last twelve months? So far as the shopkeeper
is concerned, the author of the _Progress of the Nation_ might as
well have been reporting upon the traffic-tables of Tyre and Sidon.
He is not even assured that all this export has been accompanied
with a profit to the manufacturer. If he reads the _Economist_, he
will find that exhilarating print filled with complaints of general
distress and want of demand; he will be startled from time to time
by the announcement that in some places, such as Dundee, trade
has experienced a most decided check; or that in others, such as
Nottingham and Leicester, the operatives are applying by hundreds
for admission to the workhouse! Comfortable intelligence this,
alongside of increasing exports! But he has been taught, to borrow
a phrase from the writings of the late John Galt, to look upon your
political arithmetician as "a mystery shrouded by a halo;" and he
supposes that, somehow or other, somebody must be the gainer by all
these exports, though it seems clearly impossible to specify the
fortunate individual. However, this he knows, to his cost any time
these three years back, that _he_ has not been the gainer; and, as
he opines very justly that charity begins at home, and that the
man who neglects the interest of his own family is rather worse
than a heathen, he has made up his mind to support such candidates
only as will stand by British industry, and protect him by means
of protecting others. As for the men of the maritime boroughs--a
large and influential class--I need not touch upon their feelings
or sentiments with regard to Free Trade. I observe that the Liberal
press, with peculiar taste and felicity of expression, designates
them by the generic term of "crimps," just as it used to compliment
the whole agriculturists of Britain by the comprehensive appellation
of "chawbacons." I trust they feel the compliment so delicately
conveyed; but, after all, it matters little. Hard words break no
bones; and, in the mean time at least, the vote of a "crimp" is
quite as good as that of the concocter of a paragraph.

Perhaps now you understand why the Free-Traders are so wroth against
the boroughs. They expected to play off the latter against the
county constituencies; and, being disappointed in that, they want to
swamp them altogether. This, I must own, strikes me as particularly
unfair. Let it be granted that a large number of the smaller
boroughs did, at the last general election, manifest a decided
wish that the Free Trade experiment, then begun, should be allowed
a fair trial; are they to be held so pledged to that commercial
system, that, however disastrous may have been its results, they
are not entitled to alter their minds? Are all the representations,
promises, and prophecies of the leading advocates of Free Trade,
to be set aside as if these were never uttered or written? Who
were the cozeners in this case? Clearly the men who boasted of the
enormous advantages which were immediately to arise from their
policy--advantages whereof, up to the present moment, not a single
glimpse has been vouchsafed. Free Trade, we were distinctly told,
was to benefit the boroughs. Free Trade has done nothing of the
kind; on the contrary, it has reduced their business and lowered
their importance. And now, when this effect has become so plain and
undeniable that the very men who subscribed to the funds of the
League, and who were foremost in defending the conduct of the late
Sir Robert Peel, are sending Protectionists to Parliament, it is
calmly proposed to neutralise their conversion by depriving them of
political power!

Under the circumstances, I do not know that the Free-Traders could
have hit upon a happier scheme. The grand tendency of their system
is centralisation. They want to drive everything--paupers alone
excepted, if they could by possibility compass that fortunate
immunity--into the larger towns, which are the seats of export
manufacture, and to leave the rest of the population to take care
of themselves. You see how they have succeeded in Ireland, by
the reports of the last census. They are doing the same thing in
Scotland, as we shall ere long discover to our cost; and, indeed,
the process is going on slowly, but surely, throughout the whole of
the British islands. I chanced the other day to light upon a passage
in a very dreary article in the last number of the _Edinburgh
Review_, which seems to me to embody the chief economical doctrines
of the gentlemen to whom we are indebted for the present posture of
affairs. It is as follows:--

     "The common watchword, or cuckoo-note of the advocates of
     restriction in affairs of trade is, 'Protection to Native
     Industry.' In the principle fairly involved in this motto we
     cordially agree. We are as anxious as the most vehement advocate
     for high import duties on foreign products can be, that the
     industry of our fellow-countrymen should be protected(!) We only
     differ as to the means. Their theory of protection is to guard
     against competition those branches of industry which, without
     such extraneous help, could never be successfully pursued:
     ours, is that of enlarging, to the uttermost, those other
     branches for the prosecution of which our countrymen possess the
     greatest aptitude, and of thereby securing for their skill and
     capital the greatest return. This protection is best afforded
     by governments when they leave, without interference, the
     productive industry of the country to find its true level; for
     we may be certain that the interest of individuals will always
     lead them to prefer those pursuits which they find most gainful.
     There is, in fact, no mode of interference with entire freedom
     of action which must not be, in some degree, hurtful; but _the
     mischief which follows upon legislation in affairs of trade, in
     any given country, is then most noxious when it tends to foster
     branches of industry for which other countries have a greater
     aptitude_."

You will, I think, find some difficulty in discovering the
protective principle enunciated by this sagacious scribe, who,
like many others of his limited calibre, is fain to take refuge
in nonsense when he cannot extricate his meaning. You may also,
very reasonably, entertain doubts whether the protective theory,
which our friend of the Blue and Yellow puts into the mouth of his
opponents, was ever entertained or promulgated by any rational
being, at least in the broad sense which he wishes to imply. The
true protective theory has reference to the State burdens, which,
in so far as they are exacted from the produce of native industry,
or, in other words, from labour, we wish to see counterbalanced by
a fair import-duty, which shall reduce the foreign and the native
producer to an equality in the home market. When the reviewer talks
of the non-interference of Government with regard to the productive
industry of the country, he altogether omits mention of that most
stringent interference which is the direct result of taxation. If
the farmer were allowed to till the ground, to sow the seed, and to
reap the harvest, without any interference from Government, then I
admit at once that a demand for protection would be preposterous.
But when Government requires him to pay income-tax, assessed taxes,
church and poor-rates, besides other direct burdens, out of the
fruit of his industry--when it prevents him from growing on his own
land several kinds of crop, in order that the customs revenue may
be maintained--when it taxes indirectly his tea, coffee, wines,
spirits, tobacco, soap, and spiceries--then I say that Government
_does_ interfere, and that most unmercifully, with the productive
industry of the country. Just suppose that, by recurring to a
primitive method of taxation, the Government should lay claim
to one-third of the proceeds of every crop, and instruct its
emissaries to remove it from the ground before another acre should
be reaped--would _that_ not constitute interference in the eyes of
the sapient reviewer? Well, then, since all taxes must ultimately be
paid out of produce, what difference does the mere method of levying
the burden make with regard to the burden itself? I call your
attention to this point, because the Free-Traders invariably, but
I fear wilfully, omit all mention of artificial taxation when they
talk of artificial restrictions. They want you to believe that we,
who maintain the opposite view, seek to establish an entire monopoly
in Great Britain of all kinds of possible produce; and they are in
the habit of putting asinine queries as to the propriety of raising
the duties on foreign wine, so as to encourage the establishment of
vineyards in Kent and Sussex, and also as to the proper protective
duty which should be levied on pine-apples, in order that a due
stimulus may be given to the cultivation of that luscious fruit. But
these funny fellows take especial care never to hint to you that
protection is and was demanded simply on account of the enormous
nature of our imposts, which have the effect of raising the rates
of labour. It is in this way, and no other, that agriculture,
deprived of protection, but still subjected to taxation, has become
an unremunerative branch of industry; and you observe how calmly
the disciple of Ricardo condemns it to destruction. "The mischief,"
quoth he, "which follows upon legislation in affairs of trade, in
any given country, is then most noxious when it tends to foster
branches of industry for which other countries have a greater
aptitude." So, then, having taxed agriculture to that point when it
can no longer bear the burden, we are, for the future, to draw our
supplies from "other countries which have a greater aptitude" for
growing corn; that aptitude consisting in their comparative immunity
from taxation, and in the degraded moral and social condition of
the serfs who constitute the tillers of the soil! We are to give up
cultivation, and apply ourselves to the task "of enlarging to the
uttermost those other branches, for the prosecution of which our
countrymen possess the greatest aptitude"--by which, I presume, is
meant the manufacture of cotton-twist!

Now, then, consider for a moment what is the natural, nay, the
inevitable effect of this narrowing of the range of employment.
I shall not start the important point whether the concentration
of labour does not tend to lower wages--I shall merely assume,
what is indeed already abundantly established by facts, that the
depression of agriculture in any district leads almost immediately
to a large increase in the population of the greater towns. Places
like Dreepdaily may remain stationary, but they do not receive any
material increment to their population. You have, I believe, no
export trade, at least very little, beyond the manufacture of an
ingenious description of snuff-box, justly prized by those who are
in the habit of stimulating their nostrils. The displaced stream of
labour passes through you, but does not tarry with you--it rolls
on towards Paisley and Glasgow, where it is absorbed in the living
ocean. Year after year the same process is carried on. The older
people, probably because it is not worth while at their years to
attempt a change, tarry in their little villages and cots, and
gradually acquire that appearance of utter apathy, which is perhaps
the saddest aspect of humanity. The younger people, finding no
employment at home, repair to the towns, marry or do worse, and
propagate children for the service of the factories which are
dedicated to the export trade. Of education they receive little or
nothing; for they must be in attendance on their gaunt iron master
during the whole of their waking hours; and religion seeks after
them in vain. What wonder, then, if the condition of our operatives
should be such as to suggest to thinking minds very serious doubts
whether our boasted civilisation can be regarded in the light of a
blessing? Certain it is that the bulk of these classes are neither
better nor happier than their forefathers. Nay, if there be any
truth in evidence--any reality in the appalling accounts which reach
us from the heart of the towns, there exists an amount of crime,
misery, drunkenness, and profligacy, which is unknown even among
savages and heathen nations. Were we to recall from the four ends
of the earth all the missionaries who have been despatched from the
various churches, they would find more than sufficient work ready
for them at home. Well-meaning men project sanitary improvements, as
if these could avail to counteract the moral poison. New churches
are built; new schools are founded; public baths are subscribed for,
and public washing-houses are opened; the old rookeries are pulled
down, and light and air admitted to the heart of the cities--but the
heart of the people is not changed; and neither air nor water, nor
religious warning, has the effect of checking crime, eradicating
intemperance, or teaching man the duty which he owes to himself, his
brethren, and his God! This is an awful picture, but it is a true
one; and it well becomes us to consider why these things should be.
There is no lukewarmness on the subject exhibited in any quarter.
The evil is universally acknowledged, and every one would be ready
to contribute to alleviate it, could a proper remedy be suggested.
It is not my province to suggest remedies; but it does appear to
me that the original fault is to be found in the system which has
caused this unnatural pressure of our population into the towns. I
am aware that in saying this, I am impugning the leading doctrines
of modern political economy. I am aware that I am uttering what
will be considered by many as a rank political heresy; still, not
having the fear of fire and fagot before my eyes, I shall use the
liberty of speech. It appears to me that the system which has been
more or less adopted since the days of Mr Huskisson, of suppressing
small trades for the encouragement of foreign importation, and of
stimulating export manufactures to the uttermost, has proved very
pernicious to the morals and the social condition of the people. The
termination of the war found us with a large population, and with an
enormous debt. If, on the one hand, it was for the advantage of the
country that commerce should progress with rapid strides, and that
our foreign trade should be augmented, it was, on the other, no less
necessary that due regard should be had for the former occupations
of the people, and that no great and violent displacements of
labour should be occasioned, by fiscal relaxations which might have
the effect of supplanting home industry by foreign produce in the
British market. The mistake of the political economists lies in
their obstinate determination to enforce a principle, which in the
abstract is not only unobjectionable but unchallenged, without any
regard whatever to the peculiar and pecuniary circumstances of the
country. They will not look at what has gone before, in order to
determine their line of conduct in any particular case. They admit
of no exceptions. They start with their axiom that trade ought to
be free, and they will not listen to any argument founded upon
special circumstances in opposition to that doctrine. Now, this
is not the way in which men have been, or ever can be, governed.
They must be dealt with as rational beings, not regarded as mere
senseless machinery, which may be treated as lumber, and cast aside
to make way for some new improvement. Look at the case of our own
Highlanders. We know very well that, from the commencement of
the American war, it was considered by the British Government an
important object to maintain the population of the Highlands, as
the source from which they drew their hardiest and most serviceable
recruits. So long as the manufacture of kelp existed, and the
breeding of cattle was profitable, there was little difficulty in
doing this; now, under this new commercial system, we are told that
the population is infinitely too large for the natural resources of
the country; we are shocked by accounts of periodical famine, and of
deaths occurring from starvation; and our economists declare that
there is no remedy except a general emigration of the inhabitants.
This is the extreme case in Great Britain; but extreme cases often
furnish us with the best tests of the operation of a particular
system. Here you have a population fostered for an especial purpose,
and abandoned so soon as that special purpose has been served.
Without maintaining that the Gael is the most industrious of
mankind, it strikes me forcibly that it would be a better national
policy to give every reasonable encouragement to the development of
the natural resources of that portion of the British islands, than
to pursue the opposite system, and to reduce the Highlands to a
wilderness. Not so think the political economists. They can derive
their supplies cheaper from elsewhere, at the hands of strangers
who contribute no share whatever to the national revenue; and for
the sake of that cheapness they are content to reduce thousands of
their countrymen to beggary. But emigration cannot, and will not,
be carried out to an extent at all equal to the necessity which is
engendered by the cessation of employment. The towns become the
great centre-points and recipients of the displaced population; and
so centralisation goes on, and, as a matter of course, pauperism and
crime increase.

To render this system perpetual, without any regard to ultimate
consequences, is the leading object of the Free-Traders. Not
converted, but on the contrary rendered more inveterate by
the failure of their schemes, they are determined to allow no
consideration whatever to stand in the way of their purpose; and
of this you have a splendid instance in their late denunciation of
the boroughs. They think--whether rightfully or wrongfully, it is
not now necessary to inquire--that, by altering the proportions
of Parliamentary power as established by the Reform Act--by
taking away from the smaller boroughs, and by adding to the urban
constituencies, they will still be able to command a majority in the
House of Commons. In the present temper of the nation, and so long
as its voice is expressed as heretofore, they know, feel, and admit
that their policy is not secure. And why is it not secure? Simply
because it has undergone the test of experience--because it has had
a fair trial in the sight of the nation--and because it has not
succeeded in realising the expectations of its founders.

I have ventured to throw together these few crude remarks for your
consideration during the recess, being quite satisfied that you will
not feel indifferent upon any subject which touches the dignity,
status, or privileges of the boroughs. Whether Lord John Russell
agrees with the _Times_ as to the mode of effecting the threatened
Parliamentary change, or whether he has some separate scheme of his
own, is a question which I cannot solve. Possibly he has not yet
made up his mind as to the course which it may be most advisable to
pursue; for, in the absence of anything like general excitement or
agitation, it is not easy to predict in what manner the proposal for
any sweeping or organic change may be received by the constituencies
of the Empire. There is far too much truth in the observations which
I have already quoted from the great leading journal, relative to
the dangers which must attend an increase of constituencies already
too large, or a further extension of their power, to permit of our
considering this as a light and unimportant matter. I view it as a
very serious one indeed; and I cannot help thinking that Lord John
Russell has committed an act of gross and unjustifiable rashness, in
pledging himself, at the present time, to undertake a remodelment of
the constitution. But whatever he does, I hope, for his own sake,
and for the credit of the Liberal party, that he will be able to
assign some better and more constitutional reason for the change,
than the refusal of the English boroughs to bear arms in the crusade
which is directed against the interests of Native Industry.



PARIS IN 1851.--(_Continued._)


THE OPERA.--In the evening I went to the French Opera, which is
still one of the lions of Paris. It was once in the Rue Richelieu;
but the atrocious assassination of the Duc de Berri, who was stabbed
in its porch, threw a kind of horror over the spot: the theatre was
closed, and the performance moved to its present site in the Rue
Lepelletier, a street diverging from the Boulevard.

Fond as the French are of decoration, the architecture of this
building possesses no peculiar beauty, and would answer equally well
for a substantial public hospital, a workhouse, or a barrack, if
the latter were not the more readily suggested by the gendarmerie
loitering about the doors, and the mounted dragoons at either end of
the street.

The passages of the interior are of the same character--spacious and
substantial; but the door of the _salle_ opens, and the stranger,
at a single step, enters from those murky passages into all the
magic of a crowded theatre. The French have, within these few
years, borrowed from us the art of lighting theatres. I recollect
the French theatre lighted only by a few lamps scattered round the
house, or a chandelier in the middle, which might have figured in
the crypt of a cathedral. This they excused, as giving greater
effect to the stage; but it threw the audience into utter gloom.
They have now made the audience a part of the picture, and an
indispensable part. The opera-house now shows the audience; and if
not very dressy, or rather as dowdy, odd, and dishevelled a crowd as
I ever recollect to have seen within theatrical walls, yet they are
evidently human beings, which is much more picturesque than masses
of spectres, seen only by an occasional flash from the stage.

The French architects certainly have not made this national edifice
grand; but they have made it a much better thing,--lively, showy,
and rich. Neither majestic and monotonous, nor grand and Gothic,
they have made it _riant_ and racy, like a place where men and
women come to be happy, where beautiful dancers are to be seen,
and where sweet songs are to be heard, and where the mind is for
three or four hours to forget all its cares, and to carry away
pleasant recollections for the time being. From pit to ceiling
it is covered with paintings--all sorts of cupids, nymphs, and
flower-garlands, and Greek urns--none of them wonders of the pencil,
but all exhibiting that showy mediocrity of which every Frenchman is
capable, and with which every Frenchman is in raptures. All looks
rich, warm, and _operatic_.

One characteristic change has struck me everywhere in Paris--the men
dress better, and the women worse. When I was last here, the men
dressed half bandit and half Hottentot. The revolutionary mystery
was at work, and the hatred of the Bourbons was emblematised in a
conical hat, a loose neckcloth, tremendous trousers, and the scowl
of a stage conspirator. The Parisian men have since learned the
decencies of _dress_.

As I entered the house before the rising of the curtain, I had
leisure to look about me, and I found even in the audience a strong
contrast to those of London. By that kind of contradiction to
everything rational and English which governs the Parisian, the
women seem to choose _dishabille_ for the Opera.

As the house was crowded, and the boxes are let high, and the
performance of the night was popular, I might presume that some of
the _élite_ were present, yet I never saw so many _ill-dressed_
women under one roof. Bonnets, shawls, muffles of all kinds, were
the _costume_. How different from the finish, the splendour, and
the _fashion_ of the English opera-box. I saw hundreds of women who
appeared, by their dress, scarcely above the rank of shopkeepers,
yet, who probably were among the Parisian leaders of fashion, if in
republican Paris there are _any_ leaders of fashion.

But I came to be interested, to enjoy, to indulge in a feast of
music and acting; with no fastidiousness of criticism, and with
every inclination to be gratified. In the opera itself I was utterly
disappointed. The Opera was _Zerline_, or, _The Basket of Oranges_.
The composer was the first living musician of France, Auber; the
writer was the most popular dramatist of his day, Scribe; the Prima
Donna was Alboni, to whom the manager of the Opera in London had
not thought it too much to give £4000 for a single season. I never
paid my francs with more willing expectation: and I never saw a
performance of which I so soon got weary.

The plot is singularly trifling. Zerline, an orange-girl of Palermo,
has had a daughter by Boccanera, a man of rank, who afterwards
becomes Viceroy of Sicily. Zerline is captured by pirates, and
carried to Algiers. The opera opens with her return to Palermo,
after so many years that her daughter is grown up to womanhood; and
Boccanera is emerged into public life, and has gradually became an
officer of state.

The commencing scene has all the animation of the French
picturesque. The Port of Palermo is before the spectator; the
location is the Fruit Market. Masses of fruits, with smart peasantry
to take care of them, cover the front of the stage. The background
is filled up with Lazzaroni lying on the ground, sleeping, or eating
macaroni. The Prince Boccanera comes from the palace; the crowd
observe 'Son air sombre;' the Prince sings--

    "On a most unlucky day,
     Satan threw her in my way;
     I the princess took to wife,
     Now the torture of my life," &c.

After this matrimonial confession, which extends to details, the
prime minister tells us of his love still existing for Zerline,
whose daughter he has educated under the name of niece, and who is
now the Princess Gemma, and about to be married to a court noble.

A ship approaches the harbour; Boccanera disappears; the Lazzaroni
hasten to discharge the cargo. Zerline lands from the vessel, and
sings a cavatina in praise of Palermo:--

    "O Palerme! O Sicile!
     Beau ciel, plaine fertile!"

Zerline is a dealer in oranges, and she lands her cargo, placing
it in the market. The original tenants of the place dispute her
right to come among them, and are about to expel her by force, when
a marine officer, Rodolf, takes her part, and, drawing his sword,
puts the whole crowd to flight. Zerline, moved by this instance of
heroism, tells him her story, that she was coming "un beau matin"
to the city to sell oranges, when a pitiless corsair captured her,
and carried her to Africa, separating her from her child, whom she
had not seen for fifteen years; that she escaped to Malta, laid in
a stock of oranges there;--and thus the events of the day occurred.
Rodolf, this young hero, is costumed in a tie-wig with powder, stiff
skirts, and the dress of a century ago. What tempted the author
to put not merely his hero, but all his court characters, into
the costume of Queen Anne, is not easily conceivable, as there is
nothing in the story which limits it in point of time.

Zerline looks after him with sudden sympathy, says that she heard
him sigh, that he must be unhappy, and that, if her daughter
lives, he is just the _husband_ for her,--Zerline not having been
particular as to marriage herself. She then rambles about the
streets, singing,

    "Achetez mes belles oranges,
     Des fruits divins, des fruits exquis;
     Des oranges comme les anges
     N'en _goutent pas en Paradis_."

After this "hommage aux oranges!" to the discredit of Paradise, on
which turns the plot of the play, a succession of maids of honour
appear, clad in the same unfortunate livery of fardingales, enormous
flat hats, powdered wigs, and stomachers. The Princess follows them,
apparently armed by her costume against all the assaults of Cupid.
But she, too, has an "affaire du cœur" upon her hands. In fact,
from the Orangewoman up to the Throne, Cupid is the Lord of Palermo,
with its "beau ciel, plaine fertile." The object of the Princess's
love is the Marquis de Buttura, the suitor of her husband's
supposed niece. Here is a complication! The enamoured wife receives
a billet-doux from the suitor, proposing a meeting on his return
from hunting. She tears the billet for the purpose of concealment,
and in her emotion drops the fragments on the floor. That billet
performs all important part in the end. The enamoured lady buys an
orange, and gives a gold piece for it. Zerline, not accustomed to
be so well paid for her fruit, begins to suspect this outrageous
liberality; and having had experience in these matters, picks up the
fragments of the letter, and gets into the whole secret.

The plot proceeds: the daughter of the orangewoman now appears. She
is clad in the same preposterous habiliments. As the niece of the
minister, she is created a princess, (those things are cheap in
Italy,) and she, too, is in love with the officer in the tie-wig.
She recognises the song of Zerline, "Achetez mes belles oranges,"
and sings the half of it. On this, the mother and daughter now
recognise each other. It is impossible to go further in such a
_denouement_. If Italian operas are proverbially silly, we are to
recollect that this is not an Italian, but a French one; and that it
is by the most popular comic writer of France.

The marriage of Gemma and Rodolf is forbidden by the pride of the
King's sister, the wife of Boccanera, but Zerline interposes,
reminds her of the orange _affair_, threatens her with the discovery
of the billet-doux, and finally makes her give her consent: and thus
the curtain drops. I grew tired of all this insipidity, and left the
theatre before the catastrophe. The music seemed to me fitting for
the plot--neither better nor worse; and I made my escape with right
good-will from the clamour and crash of the orchestra, and from the
loves and _faux pas_ of the belles of Palermo.

_The Obelisk._--I strayed into the Place de la Concorde, beyond
comparison the finest _space_ in Paris. I cannot call it a square,
nor does it equal in animation the Boulevard; but in the _profusion_
of noble architecture it has no rival in Paris, nor in Europe. _Vive
la Despotisme!_ every inch of it is owing to Monarchy. Republics
build nothing, if we except prisons and workhouses. They are
proverbially squalid, bitter, and beggarly. What has America, with
all her boasting, ever built, but a warehouse or a conventicle?
The Roman Republic, after seven hundred years' existence, remained
a collection hovels till an Emperor faced them with marble. If
Athens exhibited her universal talents in the splendour of her
architecture, we must recollect that Pericles was her _master_
through life--as substantially _despotic_, by the aid of the
populace, as an Asiatic king by his guards; and recollect, also,
that an action of damages was brought against him for "wasting
the public money on the Parthenon," the glory of Athens in every
succeeding age. Louis Quatorze, Napoleon, and Louis Philippe--two
openly, and the third secretly, as despotic as the Sultan--were the
true builders of Paris.

As I stood in the centre of this vast enclosure, I was fully struck
with the effect of _scene_. The sun was sinking into a bed of gold
and crimson clouds, that threw their hue over the long line of
the Champs Elysées. Before me were the two great fountains, and
the Obelisk of Luxor. The fountains had ceased to play, from the
lateness of the hour, but still looked massive and gigantic; the
obelisk looked shapely and superb. The gardens of the Tuilleries
were on my left--deep dense masses of foliage, surmounted in the
distance by the tall roofs of the old Palace; on my right, the
verdure of the Champs Elysées, with the Arc de l'Etoile rising above
it, at the end of its long and noble avenue; in my front the Palace
of the Legislature, a chaste and elegant structure; and behind me,
glowing in the sunbeams, the Madeleine, the noblest church--I think
the noblest edifice, in Paris, and perhaps not surpassed in beauty
and grandeur, for its size, by any place of worship in Europe.
The air cool and sweet from the foliage, the vast _place_ almost
solitary, and undisturbed by the cries which are incessant in this
babel during the day, yet with that gentle confusion of sounds which
makes the murmur and the music of a great city. All was calm, noble,
and soothing.

The obelisk of Luxor which stands in the centre of the "Place," is
one of two Monoliths, or pillars of a single stone, which, with
Cleopatra's Needle, were given by Mehemet Ali to the French,
at the time when, by their alliance, he expected to have made
himself independent. All the dates of Egyptian antiquities are
uncertain--notwithstanding Young and his imitator Champollion--but
the date _assigned_ to this pillar is 1550 years before the
Christian era. The two obelisks stood in front of the great temple
of Thebes, now named Luxor, and the hieroglyphics which cover this
one, from top to bottom, are supposed to relate the exploits and
incidents of the reign of Sesostris.

It is of red Syenite; but, from time and weather, it is almost the
colour of limestone. It has an original flaw up a third of its
height, for which the Egyptian masons provided a remedy by wedges,
and the summit is slightly broken. The height of the monolith is
seventy-two feet three inches, which would look insignificant,
fixed as it is in the centre of lofty buildings, but for its being
raised on a plinth of granite, and that again raised on a pedestal
of immense blocks of granite--the height of the plinth and the
pedestal together being twenty-seven feet, making the entire height
nearly one hundred. The weight of the monolith is five hundred
thousand pounds; the weight of the pedestal is half that amount, and
the weight of the blocks probably makes the whole amount to nine
hundred thousand, which is the weight of the obelisk at Rome. It was
erected in 1836, by drawing it up an inclined plane of masonry, and
then raising it by cables and capstans to the perpendicular. The
operation was tedious, difficult, and expensive; but it was worth
the labour; and the monolith now forms a remarkable monument of the
zeal of the king, and of the liberality of his government.

There is, I understand, an obelisk remaining in Egypt, which
was given by the Turkish government to the British army, on the
expulsion of the French from Egypt, but which has been unclaimed,
from the difficulty of carrying it to England.

That difficulty, it must be acknowledged, is considerable. In
transporting and erecting the obelisk of Luxor six years were
employed. I have not heard the expense, but it must have been large.
A vessel was especially constructed at Toulon, for its conveyance
down the Nile. A long road was to be made from the Nile to the
Temple. Then the obelisk required to be protected from the accidents
of carriage, which was done by enclosing it in a wooden case. It was
then drawn by manual force to the river--and this employed three
months. Then came the trouble of embarking it, for which the vessel
had to be nearly sawn through; then came the crossing of the bar
at Rosetta--a most difficult operation at the season of the year;
then the voyage down the Mediterranean, the vessel being towed by a
steamer; then the landing at Cherbourg, in 1833; and, lastly, the
passage up the Seine, which occupied nearly four months, reaching
Paris in December; thenceforth its finishing and erection, which was
completed only in three years after.

This detail may have some interest, as we have a similar project
before us. But the whole question is, whether the transport of the
obelisk which remains in Egypt for us is worth the expense. We,
without hesitation, say that it _is_. The French have shown that it
is _practicable_, and it is a matter of _rational_ desire to show
that we are not behind the French either in power, in ability, or
in zeal, to adorn our cities. The obelisk transported to England
would be a proud monument, without being an offensive one, of a
great achievement of our armies; it would present to our eyes, and
those of our children, a relic of the most civilised kingdom of the
early ages; it would sustain the recollections of the scholar by its
record, and might kindle the energy of the people by the sight of
what had been accomplished by the prowess of Englishmen.

If it be replied that such views are Utopian, may we not ask,
what is the use of all antiquity, since we can eat and drink as
well without it? But we cannot _feel_ as loftily without it; many
a lesson of vigour, liberality, and virtue would be lost to us
without it; we should lose the noblest examples of the arts, some
of the finest displays of human genius in architecture, a large
portion of the teaching of the public mind in all things great,
and an equally large portion of the incentives to public virtue in
all things self-denying. The labour, it is true, of conveying the
obelisk would be serious, the expense considerable, and we might
not see it erected before the gate of Buckingham Palace these ten
years. But it would be erected at _last_. It would be a trophy--it
would be an abiding memorial of the extraordinary country from which
civilisation spread to the whole world.

But the two grand fountains ought especially to stimulate our
emulation. Those we can have without a voyage from Alexandria to
Portsmouth, or a six years' delay.

The fountains of the Place de la Concorde would deserve praise
if it were only for their beauty. At a distance sufficient for
the picturesque, and with the sun shining on them, they actually
look like domes and cataracts of molten silver; and a nearer view
does not diminish their right to admiration. They are both lofty,
perhaps, fifty feet high, both consisting of three basins, lessening
in size in proportion to their height, and all pouring out sheets
of water from the trumpets of Tritons, from the mouths of dolphins,
and from allegorical figures. One of those fountains is in honour of
Maritime Navigation, and the other of the Navigation of Rivers. In
the former the figures represent the Ocean and the Mediterranean,
with the Genii of the fisheries; and in the upper basin are
Commerce, Astronomy, Navigation, &c., all capital bronzes, and all
spouting out floods of water. The fountain of River Navigation is
not behind its rival in bronze or water. It exhibits the Rhine and
the Rhone, with the Genii of fruits and flowers, of the vintage and
the harvest, with the usual attendance of Tritons. Why the artist
had no room for the Seine and the Garonne, while he introduced the
Rhine, which is not a French river in any part of its course, must
be left for his explanation; but the whole constitutes a beautiful
and magnificent object, and, with the sister fountain, perhaps
forms the finest display of the kind in Europe. I did not venture,
while looking at those stately monuments of French art, to turn my
thoughts to our own unhappy performances in Trafalgar Square--the
rival of a soda-water bottle, yet the work of a people of boundless
wealth, and the first machinists in the world.

_The Jardin des Plantes._--I found this fine establishment crowded
with the lower orders--fathers and mothers, nurses, old women, and
soldiers. As it includes the popular attractions of a zoological
garden, as well as a botanical, every day sees its visitants, and
every holiday its crowds. The plants are for science, and for that
I had no time, even had I possessed other qualifications; but the
zoological collection were for curiosity, and of that the spectators
had abundance. Yet the animals of pasture appeared to be languid,
possibly tired of the perpetual bustle round them--for all animals
love quiet at certain times, and escape from the eye of man, when
escape is in their power. Possibly the heat of the weather, for
the day was remarkably sultry, might have contributed to their
exhaustion. But if they have memory--and why should they not?--they
must have strangely felt the contrast of their free pastures, shady
woods, and fresh streams, with the little patch of ground, the
parched soil, and the clamour of ten thousand tongues round them.
I could imagine the antelope's intelligent eye, as he lay panting
before us on his brown patch of soil, comparing it with the ravines
of the Cape, or the eternal forests clothing the hills of his native
Abyssinia.

But the object of all popular interest was the pit of the bears;
there the crowd was incessant and delighted. But the bears, three
or four huge brown beasts, by no means _reciprocated_ the popular
feeling. They sat quietly on their hind-quarters, gazing grimly at
the groups which lined their rails, and tossed cakes and apples to
them from above. They had probably been saturated with sweets, for
they scarcely noticed anything but by a growl. They were insensible
to apples--even oranges could not make them move, and cakes they
seemed to treat with scorn. It was difficult to conceive that
those heavy and unwieldy-looking animals could be ferocious; but
the Alpine hunter knows that they are as fierce as the tiger, and
nearly as quick and dangerous in their spring.

The carnivorous beasts were few, and, except in the instance of
one lion, of no remarkable size or beauty. As they naturally doze
during the day, their languor was no proof of their weariness; but
I have never seen an exhibition of this kind without some degree of
regret. The plea of the promotion of science is nothing. Even if
it were important to science to be acquainted with the habits of
the lion and tiger, which it is not, their native habits are not to
be learned from the animal shut up in a cage. The chief exertion
of their sagacity and their strength in the native state is in the
pursuit of prey; yet what of these can be learned from the condition
in which the animal dines as regularly as his keeper, and divides
his time between feeding and sleep? Half-a-dozen lions let loose in
the Bois de Boulogne would let the naturalist into more knowledge of
their nature than a menagerie for fifty years.

The present system is merely cruel; and the animals, without
exercise, without air, without the common excitement of free motion,
which all animals enjoy so highly--perhaps much more highly than the
human race--fall into disease and die, no doubt miserably, though
they cannot draw up a _rationale_ of their sufferings. I have been
told that the lions in confinement die chiefly of consumption--a
singularly sentimental disease for this proud ravager of the desert.
But the whole purpose of display would be answered as effectually
by exhibiting half-a-dozen lions' _skins_ stuffed, in the different
attitudes of seizing their prey, or ranging the forest, or feeding.
At present nothing is seen but a great beast asleep, or restlessly
moving in a space of half-a-dozen square feet, and pining away in
his confinement. An eagle on his perch and with a chain on his leg,
in a menagerie, always appears to me like a dethroned monarch; and
I have never seen him thus cast down from his "high estate" without
longing to break his chain, and let him spread his wing, and delight
his splendid eye with the full view of his kingdom of the Air.

The Jardin dates its origin as far back as Louis XIII., when the
king's physician recommended its foundation for science. The French
are fond of gardening, and are good gardeners; and the climate is
peculiarly favourable to flowers, as is evident from the market held
every morning in summer by the side of the Madeleine, where the
greatest abundance of the richest flowers I ever saw is laid out for
the luxury of the Parisians.

The Jardin, patronised by kings and nobles, flourished through
successive reigns; but the appointment of Buffon, about the middle
of the eighteenth century, suddenly raised it to the pinnacle of
European celebrity. The most eloquent writer of his time, (in
the style which the French call eloquence,) a man of family, and
a man of opulence, he made Natural History the _fashion_, and
in France that word is magic. It accomplishes everything--it
includes everything. All France was frantic with the study of
plants, animals, poultry-yards, and projects for driving tigers in
cabriolets, and harnessing lions _à la Cybele_.

But Buffon mixed good sense with his inevitable _charlatanrie_--he
selected the ablest men whom he could find for his professors;
and in France there is an extraordinary quantity of "ordinary"
cleverness--they gave amusing lectures, and they won the hearts of
the nation.

But the Revolution came, and crushed all institutions alike. Buffon,
fortunate in every way, had died in the year before, in 1788, and
was thus spared the sight of the general ruin. The Jardin escaped,
through some plea of its being national property; but the professors
had fled, and were starving, or starved.

The Consulate, and still more the Empire, restored the
establishment. Napoleon was ambitious of the character of a man
of science, he was a member of the Institute, he knew the French
character, and he flattered the national vanity, by indulging it
with the prospect of being at the head of human knowledge.

The institution had by this time been so long regarded as a
public show that it was beginning to be regarded as nothing else.
Gratuitous lectures, which are always good for nothing, and to
which all kinds of people crowd with corresponding profit, were
gradually reducing the character of the Jardin; when Cuvier, a
man of talent, was appointed to one of the departments of the
institution, and he instantly revived its popularity; and, what was
of more importance, its public use.

Cuvier devoted himself to comparative anatomy and geology. The
former was a study within human means, of which he had the materials
round him, and which, being intended for the instruction of man, is
evidently intended for his investigation. The latter, in attempting
to fix the age of the world, to decide on the process of creation,
and to contradict Scripture by the ignorance of man, is merely
an instance of the presumption of _Sciolism_. Cuvier exhibited
remarkable dexterity in discovering the species of the fossil
fishes, reptiles, and animals. The science was not new, but he threw
it into a new form--he made it interesting, and he made it probable.
If a large proportion of his supposed discoveries were merely
ingenious guesses, they were at least guesses which there was nobody
to refute, and they _were ingenious_--that was enough. Fame followed
him, and the lectures of the ingenious theorist were a popular
novelty. The "Cabinet of Comparative Anatomy" in the Jardin is the
monument of his diligence, and it does honour to the sagacity of his
investigation.

One remark, however, must be made. On a former visit to the Cabinet
of Comparative Anatomy, among the collection of skeletons, I was
surprised and disgusted with the sight of the skeleton of the Arab
who killed General Kleber in Egypt. The Arab was impaled, and the
iron spike was shown _still sticking in the_ spine! I do not know
whether this hideous object is still to be seen, for I have not
lately visited the apartment; but, if existing still, it ought to
remain no longer in a museum of science. Of course, the assassin
deserved death; but, in all probability, the murder which made him
guilty, was of the same order as that which made Charlotte Corday
famous. How many of his countrymen had died by the soldiery of
France! In the eye of Christianity, this is no palliation; though in
the eye of Mahometanism it might constitute a patriot and a hero. At
all events, so frightful a spectacle ought _not_ to meet the public
eye.

_Hôtel des Invalides._--The depository of all that remains of
Napoleon, the monument of almost two hundred years of war, and the
burial-place of a whole host of celebrated names, is well worth
the visit of strangers; and I entered the esplanade of the famous
_hôtel_ with due veneration, and some slight curiosity to see the
changes of time. I had visited this noble pile immediately after
the fall of Napoleon, and while it still retained the honours of
an imperial edifice. Its courts now appeared to me comparatively
desolate; this, however, may be accounted for by the cessation
of those wars which peopled them with military mutilation. The
establishment was calculated to provide for five thousand men; and,
at that period, probably, it was always full. At present, scarcely
more than half the number are under its roof; and, as even the
Algerine war is reduced to skirmishes with the mountaineers of the
Atlas, that number must be further diminishing from year to year.

The Cupola then shone with gilding. This was the work of Napoleon,
who had a stately eye for the ornament of his imperial city. The
cupola of the Invalides thus glittered above all the roofs of Paris,
and was seen glittering to an immense distance. It might be taken
for the dedication of the French capital to the genius of War. This
gilding is now worn off practically, as well as metaphorically, and
the _prestige_ is lost.

The celebrated Edmund Burke, all whose ideas were grand, is said
to have proposed gilding the cupola of St Paul's, which certainly
would have been a splendid sight, and would have thrown a look of
stateliness over that city to which the ends of the earth turn their
eyes. But the civic spirit was not equal to the idea, and it has
since gone on lavishing ten times the money on the embellishment of
_lanes_.

The Chapel of the Invalides looked gloomy, and even neglected; the
great Magician was gone. Some service was performing, as it is in
the Romish chapels at most hours of the day: some poor people were
kneeling in different parts of the area; and some strangers were,
like myself, wandering along the nave, looking at the monuments to
the fallen military names of France. On the pillars in the nave are
inscriptions to the memory of Jourdan, Lobau, and Oudinot. There is
a bronze tablet to the memory of Marshal Mortier, who was killed by
Fieschi's infernal machine, beside Louis Philippe; and to Damremont,
who fell in Algiers.

But the chapel is destined to exhibit a more superb instance of
national recollection--the tomb of Napoleon, which is to be finished
in 1852. A large circular crypt, dug in the centre of the second
chapel (which is to be united with the first,) is the site of the
sarcophagus in which the remains of Napoleon lie. Coryatides,
columns, and bas-reliefs, commemorative of his battles, are to
surround the sarcophagus. The coryatides are to represent War,
Legislation, Art, and Science; and in front is to be raised an altar
of black marble. The architect is Visconti, and the best statuaries
in Paris are to contribute the decorations. The expense will be
enormous. In the time of Louis Philippe it had already amounted to
nearly four millions of francs. About three millions more are now
demanded for the completion, including an equestrian statue. On the
whole, the expense will be not much less than seven millions of
francs!

The original folly of the nation, and of Napoleon, in plundering the
Continent of statues and pictures, inevitably led to retribution,
on the first reverse of fortune. The plunder of money, or of
arms, or of anything consumable, would have been exempt from this
mortification; but pictures and statues are permanent things, and
always capable of being re-demanded. Their plunder was an extension
of the law of spoil unknown in European hostilities, or in history,
except perhaps in the old Roman ravage of Greece. Napoleon, in
adopting the practice of heathenism for his model, and the French
nation--in their assumed love of the arts violating the sanctities
of art, by removing the noblest works from the edifices for which
they were created, and from the lights and positions for which the
great artists of Italy designed them--fully deserved the vexation of
seeing them thus carried back to their original cities. The moral
will, it is to be presumed, be learned from this signal example,
that the works of genius are _naturally_ exempt from the sweep of
plunder; that even the violences of war must not be extended beyond
the necessities of conquest; and that an act of injustice is _sure_
to bring down its punishment in the most painful form of retribution.

_The Artesian Well._--Near the Hôtel des Invalides is the celebrated
well which has given the name to all the modern experiments of
boring to great depths for water. The name of Artesian is said to
be taken from the province of Artois, in which the practice has
been long known. The want of water in Paris induced a M. Mulot to
commence the work in 1834.

The history of the process is instructive. For six years there was
no prospect of success; yet M. Mulot gallantly persevered. All
was inexorable chalk; the boring instrument had broken several
times, and the difficulty thus occasioned may be imagined from its
requiring a length of thirteen hundred feet! even in an early period
of the operation. However, early in 1841 the chalk gave signs of
change, and a greenish sand was drawn up. On the 26th of February
this was followed by a slight effusion of water, and before night
the stream burst up to the mouth of the excavation, which was now
eighteen hundred feet in depth. Yet the water rapidly rose to a
height of one hundred and twelve feet above the mouth of the well
by a pipe, which is now supported by scaffolding, giving about six
hundred gallons of water a minute.

Even the memorable experiment confutes, so far as it goes, the
geological notion of strata laid under each other in their
proportions of gravity. The section of the boring shows chalk, sand,
gravel, shells, &c., and this order sometimes reversed, in the most
casual manner, down to a depth five times the height of the cupola
of the Invalides.

The heat of the water was 83° of Fahrenheit. In the theories
with which the philosophers of the Continent have to feed their
imaginations is that of a _central fire_, which is felt through all
the strata, and which warms everything in proportion to its nearness
to the centre. Thus, it was proposed to dig an Artesian well of
three thousand feet, for the supply of hot water to the Jardin des
Plantes and the neighbouring hospitals. It was supposed that, at
this depth, the heat would range to upwards of 100° of Fahrenheit.
But nothing has been done. Even the Well of Grenelle has rather
disappointed the public expectation; of late the supply has been
less constant, and the boring is to be renewed to a depth of two
thousand feet.

_The Napoleon Column._--This is the grand feature of the Place
de Vendôme, once the site of the Hôtel Vendôme, built by the son
of Henry IV. and Gabrielle d'Estrées; afterwards pulled down by
Louis XIV., afterwards abandoned to the citizens, and afterwards
surrounded, as it is at this day, with the formal and heavy
architecture of Mansard. The "Place" has, like everything in
Paris, changed its name from time to time. It was once the "Place
des Conquêtes;" then it changed to "Louis le Grand;" and then it
returned to the name of its original proprietor. An old figure of
the "Great King," in all the glories of wig and feathers, stood in
the centre, till justice and the rabble of the Revolution broke
it down, in the first "energies" of Republicanism. But the German
campaign of 1805 put all the nation in good humour, and the Napoleon
Column was raised on the site of the dilapidated _monarch_.

The design of the column is not original, for it is taken from
the Trajan Column at Rome; but it is enlarged, and makes a very
handsome object. When I first saw it, its decorations were in peril;
for the Austrian soldiery were loud for its demolition, or at
least for stripping off its bronze bas-reliefs, they representing
their successive defeats in that ignominious campaign which, in
three months from Boulogne, finished by the capture of Vienna. The
Austrian troops, however, stoutly retrieved their disasters, and,
as the proof, were then masters of Paris. It was possibly this
effective feeling that prevailed at last to spare the column, which
the practice of the French armies would have entitled them to strip
without mercy.

In the first instance, a statue of Napoleon, as emperor, stood on
the summit of the pillar. This statue had its revolutions too, for
it was melted down at the restoration of the Bourbons, to make a
part of the equestrian statue of Henry IV. erected on the Pont Neuf.
A _fleur-de-lis_ and flagstaff then took its place. The Revolution
of 1830, which elevated Louis Philippe to a temporary throne, raised
the statue of Napoleon to an elevation perhaps as temporary.

It was the shortsighted policy of the new monarch to mingle royal
power with "republican institutions." He thus introduced the
tricolor once more, sent for Napoleon's remains to St Helena by
permission of England, and erected his statue in the old "chapeau et
redingote gris," the characteristics of his soldiership. The statue
was inaugurated on one of the "three glorious days," in July 1833,
in all the pomp of royalty,--princes, ministers, and troops. So much
for the consistency of a brother of the Bourbon. The pageant passed
away, and the sacrifice to popularity was made without obtaining the
fruits. Louis Philippe disappeared from the scene before the fall
of the curtain; and, as if to render his catastrophe more complete,
he not merely left a republic behind him, but he lived to see the
"prisoner of Ham" the president of that republic.

How does it happen that an Englishman in France cannot stir a
single step, hear a single word, or see a single face, without the
conviction that he has landed among a people as far from him in all
their feelings, habits, and nature, as if they were engendered in
the moon? The feelings with which the Briton looks on the statue
of Buonaparte may be mixed enough: he may acknowledge him for a
great soldier, as well as a great knave--a great monarch, as well
as a little intriguer--a mighty ruler of men, who would have made
an adroit waiter at a _table d'hôte_ in the Palais Royal. But he
never would have imagined him into a sentimentalist, a shepherd, a
Corydon, to be hung round with pastoral garlands; an opera hero, to
delight in the sixpenny tribute of bouquets from the galleries.

Yet I found the image of this man of terror and mystery--this
ravager of Europe--this stern, fierce, and subtle master of havoc,
decorated like a milliner's shop, or the tombs of the citizen
shopkeepers in the cemeteries, with garlands of all sizes!--the
large to express copious sorrow, the smaller to express diminished
anguish, and the smallest, like a visiting card, for simply leaving
their compliments; and all this in the face of the people who once
feared to look in his face, and followed his car as if it bore the
Thunder!

To this spot came the people to offer up their sixpenny homage--to
this spot came processions of all kinds, to declare their republican
love for the darkest despot of European memory, to sing a stave, to
walk heroically round the railing, hang up their garlands, and then,
having done their duty in the presence of their own grisettes, in
the face of Paris, and to the admiration of Europe, march home, and
ponder upon the glories of the day!

As a work of imperial magnificence, the column is worthy of its
founder, and of the only redeeming point of his character--his
zeal for the ornament of Paris. It is a monument to the military
successes of the Empire; a trophy one hundred and thirty-five feet
high, covered with the representations of French victory over the
Austrians and Russians in the campaign of 1805. The bas-reliefs
are in bronze, rising in a continued spiral round the column. Yet
this is an unfortunate sacrifice to the imitation of the Roman
column. The spiral, a few feet above the head of the spectator,
offers nothing to the eye but a roll of rough bronze; the figures
are wholly and necessarily undistinguishable. The only portion of
those castings which directly meets the eye is unfortunately given
up to the mere uniforms, caps, and arms of the combatants. This is
the pedestal, and it would make a showy decoration for a tailor's
window. It is a clever work of the furnace, but a miserable one of
invention.

The bronze is said to have been the captured cannon of the enemy.
On the massive bronze door is the inscription in Latin:--"Napoleon,
Emperor, Augustus, dedicated to the glory of the Grand Army this
memorial of the German War, finished in three months, in the year
1805, under his command."

On the summit stands the statue of Napoleon, to which, and its
changes, I have adverted already. But the question has arisen,
whether there is not an error in taste in placing the statue of an
individual at a height which precludes the view of his _features_.
This has been made an objection to the handsome Nelson Pillar in
Trafalgar Square. But the obvious answer in both instances is,
that the object is not merely the sight of the features, but the
perfection of the memorial; that the pillar is the true _monument_,
and the statue only an accessory, though the most _suitable_
accessory. But even then the statue is not altogether inexpressive.
We can see the figure and the costume of Napoleon nearly as well
as they could be seen from the balcony of the Tuilleries, where
all Paris assembled in the Carousel to worship him on Sundays, at
the parade of "La Garde." In the spirited statue of Nelson we can
recognise the figure as well as if we were gazing at him within a
hundred yards in any other direction. It is true that pillars are
not painters' easels, nor is Trafalgar Square a sculptor's yard; but
the real question turns on the effect of the whole. If the pillar
makes the monument, we will not quarrel with the sculptor for its
not making a _miniature_. It answers its purpose--it is a noble
one; it gives a national record of great events, and it realises,
invigorates, and consecrates them by the images of the men by whom
they were achieved.

_Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile._--It is no small adventure, in a
burning day of a French summer, to walk the length of the Champs
Elysées, even to see the arch of the Star, (Napoleon's _Star_,)
and climb to its summit. Yet this labour I accomplished with the
fervour and the fatigue of a pilgrimage.

Why should the name of Republic be ever heard in the mouth of a
Frenchman? All the objects of his glory in the Capital of which he
_glories_, everything that he can show to the stranger--everything
that he recounts, standing on tip-toe, and looking down on the whole
world besides--is the work of monarchy! The grand Republic left
nothing behind but the guillotine. The Bourbons and Buonapartes were
the creators of all to which he points, with an exaltation that
throws earth into the shade from the Alps to the Andes. The Louvre,
the Madeleine, the Tuilleries, the Hôtel de Ville, (now magnified
and renovated into the most stately of town-houses,) the Hôtel
des Invalides, Nôtre Dame, &c. &c. are all the work of Kings. If
Napoleon had lived half a century longer, he would have made Paris
a second Babylon. If the very clever President, who has hitherto
managed France so dexterously, and whose name so curiously combines
the monarchy and the despotism,--if Louis _Napoleon_ (a name which
an old Roman would have pronounced an omen) should manage it into
a Monarchy, we shall probably see Paris crowded with superb public
edifices.

The kings of France were peculiarly magnificent in the decoration
of the entrances to their city. As no power on earth can prevent
the French from crowding into hovels, from living ten families in
one house, and from appending to their cities the most miserable,
ragged, and forlorn-looking suburbs on the globe, the monarchs
wisely let the national habits alone; and resolved, if the suburbs
must be abandoned to the popular fondness for the wigwam, to
impress strangers with the stateliness of their gates. The _Arc
de St Denis_, once conducting from the most dismal of suburbs, is
one of the finest portals in Paris, or in any European city; it
is worthy of the Boulevard, and that is panegyric at once. Every
one knows _that it was_ erected in honour of the short-lived
inroad of Louis XIV. into Holland in 1672, and the taking of whole
muster-rolls of forts and villages, left at his mercy, ungarrisoned
and unprovisioned, by the Republican parsimony of the Dutch, till
a princely defender arose, and the young Stadtholder sent back the
coxcomb monarch faster than he came. But the Arc is a noble work,
and its architecture might well set a redeeming example to the
London _improvers_. Why not erect an arch in Southwark? Why not at
all the great avenues to the capital? Why not, instead of leaving
this task to the caprices, or even to the bad taste of the railway
companies, make it a branch of the operations of the Woods and
Forests, and ennoble all the entrances of the mightiest capital of
earthly empire?

The Arch of St Denis is now shining in all the novelty of
reparation, for it was restored so lately as last year. In this
quarter, which has been always of a stormy temperature, the
insurrection of 1848 raged with especial fury; and if the spirits of
the great ever hover about their monuments, Louis XIV. may have seen
from its summit a more desperate conflict than ever figured on its
bas-reliefs.

On the Arch of the Porte St Martin is a minor monument to minor
triumphs, but a handsome one. Louis XIV. is still the hero. The
"Grand Monarque" is exhibited as Hercules with his club; but as
even a monarch in those days was nothing without his wig, Hercules
exhibits a huge mass of curls of the most courtly dimensions--he
might pass for the presiding deity of _perruquiers_.

The _Arc de Triomphe du Carousel_, erected in honour of the German
campaign in 1805, is a costly performance, yet poor-looking, from
its position in the centre of lofty buildings. What effect can
an isolated arch, of but five-and-forty feet high, have in the
immediate vicinity of masses of building, perhaps a hundred feet
high? Its aspect is consequently meagre; and its being placed
in the centre of a court makes it look useless, and, of course,
ridiculous. On the summit is a figure of War, or Victory, in a
chariot, with four bronze horses--the horses modelled from the
four Constantinopolitan horses brought by the French from Venice,
as part of the plunder of that luckless city, but sent back to
Venice by the Allies in 1815. The design of the arch was from
that of Severus, in Rome: this secured, at least, elegance in its
construction; but the position is fatal to dignity.

The _Arc de l'Etoile_ is the finest work of the kind in Paris. It
has the advantage of being built on an elevation, from which it
overlooks the whole city, with no building of any magnitude in its
vicinity; and is seen from a considerable distance on all the roads
leading to the capital. Its cost was excessive for a work of mere
ornament, and is said to have amounted to nearly half a million
sterling!

As I stood glancing over the groups on the friezes and faces of
this great monument, which exhibit war in every form of conflict,
havoc, and victory, the homely thought of "_cui bono_?" struck me
irresistibly. Who was the better for all this havoc?--Napoleon,
whom it sent to a dungeon! or the miserable thousands and tens
of thousands whom it crushed in the field?--or the perhaps more
unfortunate hundreds of thousands whom it sent to the hospital, to
die the slow death of exhaustion and pain, or to live the protracted
life of mutilation? I have no affectation of sentiment at the
sight of the soldier's grave; he has but taken his share of the
common lot, with perhaps the advantage, which so few men possess,
of having "done the state some service." But, to see this vast
monument covered with the emblems of hostilities, continued through
almost a quarter of a century, (for the groups commence with 1792;)
to think of the devastation of the fairest countries of Europe,
of which these hostilities were the cause; and to know the utter
fruitlessness and failure of the result, the short-lived nature of
the triumph, and the frightful depth of the defeat---Napoleon in
ignominious bondage and hopeless banishment--Napoleon, after having
lorded it over Europe, sent to linger out life on a rock in the
centre of the ocean--the leader of military millions kept under the
eye of a British sentinel, and no more suffered to stray beyond
his bounds than a caged tiger--I felt as if the object before me
was less a trophy than a tomb, less a monument of glory than of
retribution, less the record of national triumph than of national
frenzy.

I had full liberty for reflection, for there was scarcely a human
being to interrupt me. The bustle of the capital did not reach so
far, the promenaders in the Champs Elysées did not venture here; the
showy equipages of the Parisian "_nouveaux riches_" remained where
the crowd was to be seen; and except a few peasants going on their
avocations, and a bench full of soldiers, sleeping or smoking away
the weariness of the hour, the _Arc de Triomphe_, which had cost so
much treasure, and was the record of so much blood, seemed to be
totally forgotten. I question, if there had been a decree of the
Legislature to sell the stones, whether it would have occasioned
more than a paragraph in the _Journal des Debats_.

The ascent to the summit is by a long succession of dark and winding
steps, for which a lamp is lighted by the porter; but the view from
the parapet repays the trouble of the ascent. The whole basin in
which Paris lies is spread out before the eye. The city is seen in
the centre of a valley, surrounded on every side by a circle of low
hills, sheeted with dark masses of wood. It was probably once the
bed of a lake, in which the site of the city was an island. All the
suburb villages came within the view, with the fortifications, which
to a more scientific eye might appear formidable, but which to mine
appeared mere dots in the vast landscape.

This parapet is unhappily sometimes used for other purposes than
the indulgence of the spectacle. A short time since, a determined
suicide sprang from it, after making a speech to the soldiery below,
assigning his reason for this tremendous act--if reason has anything
to do in such a desperate determination to defy common sense. He
acted with the quietest appearance of deliberation: let himself down
on the coping of the battlement, from this made his speech, as if
he had been in the tribune; and, having finished it, flung himself
down a height of ninety feet, and was in an instant a crushed and
lifeless heap on the pavement below.

It is remarkable that, even in these crimes, there exists the
distinction which seems to divide France from England in every
better thing. In England, a wretch undone by poverty, broken down by
incurable pain, afflicted by the stings of a conscience which she
neither knows how to heal nor cares how to cure, woman, helpless,
wretched, and desolate, takes her walk under cover of night by the
nearest river, and, without a witness, plunges in. But, in France,
the last dreadful scene is imperfect without its publicity; the
suicide must exhibit before the people. There must be the _valete et
plaudite_. The curtain must fall with dramatic effect, and the actor
must make his exit with the cries of the audience, in admiration or
terror, ringing in the ear.

In other cases, however varied, the passion for publicity is
still the same. No man can bear to perish in silence. If the
atheist resolves on self-destruction, he writes a treatise for his
publisher, or a letter to the journals. If he is a man of science,
he takes his laudanum after supper, and, pen in hand, notes the
gradual effects of the poison for the benefit of science; or he
prepares a fire of charcoal, quietly inhales the vapour, and from
his sofa continues to scribble the symptoms of dissolution, until
the pen grows unsteady, the brain wanders, and half-a-dozen blots
close the scene; the writing, however, being dedicated to posterity,
and circulated next day in every journal of Paris, till it finally
permeates through the provinces, and from thence through the
European world.

The number of suicides in Paris annually, of late years, has
been about three hundred,--out of a population of a million,
notwithstanding the suppression of the gaming-houses, which
unquestionably had a large share in the temptation to this horrible
and unatonable crime.

The sculptures on the Arc are in the best style. They form a history
of the Consulate and of the Empire. Napoleon, of course, is a
prominent figure; but in the fine bas-relief which is peculiarly
devoted to himself, in which he stands of colossal size, with Fame
flying over his head, History writing the record of his exploits,
and Victory crowning him, the artist has left his work liable to the
sly sarcasm of a spectator of a similar design for the statue of
Louis XIV. Victory was there holding the laurel at a slight distance
from his head. An Englishman asked "whether she was putting it on
_or taking it off_?" But another of the sculptures is still more
unfortunate, for it has the unintentional effect of commemorating
the Allied conquest of France in 1814. A young Frenchman is seen
defending his family; and a soldier behind him is seen falling from
his horse, and the Genius of the _future_ flutters over them all. We
know what that future was.

The building of this noble memorial occupied, at intervals, no
less than thirty years, beginning in 1806, when Napoleon issued
a decree for its erection. The invasion in 1814 put a stop to
everything in France, and the building was suspended. The fruitless
and foolish campaign of the Duc d'Angoulême, in Spain, was regarded
by the Bourbons as a title to national glories, and the building
was resumed as a trophy to the renown of the Duc. It was again
interrupted by the expulsion of the Bourbons in 1830; but was
resumed under Louis Philippe, and finished in 1836. It is altogether
a very stately and very handsome tribute to the French armies.

But, without affecting unnecessary severity of remark, may not the
wisdom of such a tribute be justly doubted? The Romans, though the
principle of their power was conquest, and though their security was
almost incompatible with peace, yet are said to have never repaired
a triumphal arch. It is true that they built those arches (in the
latter period of the Empire) so solidly as to want no repairs. But
we have no triumphal monuments of the Republic surviving. Why should
it be the constant policy of Continental governments to pamper
their people with the food of that most dangerous and diseased of
all vanities, the passion for war? And this is not said in the
declamatory spirit of the "Peace Congress," which seems to be
nothing more than a pretext for a Continental ramble, an expedient
for a little vulgar notoriety among foreigners, and an opportunity
of getting rid of the greatest quantity of common-place in the
shortest time. But, why should not France learn common sense from
the experience of England? It is calculated that, of the last five
hundred years of French history, two hundred and fifty have been
spent in hostilities. In consequence, France has been invaded,
trampled, and impoverished by war; while England, during the last
three hundred years, has never seen the foot of a foreign invader.

Let the people of France abolish the _Conscription_, and they
will have made one advance to liberty. Till cabinets are deprived
of that material of _aggressive_ war, they will leave war at the
caprice of a weak monarch, an ambitious minister, or a vainglorious
people. It is remarkable that, among all the attempts at reforming
the constitution of France, her reformers have never touched upon
the ulcer of the land, the Conscription, the legacy of a frantic
Republic, taking the children of the country from their industry, to
plunge them into the vices of idleness or the havoc of war, and at
all times to furnish the means, as well as afford the temptation,
to aggressive war. There is not at this hour a soldier of England
who has been _forced_ into the service! Let the French, let all the
Continental nations, abolish the Conscription, thus depriving their
governments of the means of making war upon each other; and what an
infinite security would not this illustrious abolition give to the
whole of Europe!--what an infinite saving in the taxes which are now
wrung from nations by the fear of each other!--and what an infinite
triumph to the spirit of peace, industry, and mutual good-will!

_The Theatres._--In the evening I wandered along the Boulevard,
the great centre of the theatres, and was surprised at the crowds
which, in a hot summer night, could venture to be stewed alive,
amid the smell of lamps, the effluvia of orange-peel, the glare of
lights, and the breathing of hundreds or thousands of human beings.
I preferred the fresh air, the lively movement of the Boulevard, the
glitter of the Cafés, and the glow, then tempered, of the declining
sun--one of the prettiest moving panoramas of Paris.

The French Government take a great interest in the popularity of
the theatres, and exert that species of superintendence which is
implied in a considerable supply of the theatrical expenditure. The
French Opera receives annually from the National Treasury no less
than 750,000 francs, besides 130,000 for retiring pensions. To the
Théâtre Français, the allowance from the Treasury is 240,000 francs
a-year. To the Italian Opera the sum granted was formerly 70,000,
but is now 50,000. Allowances are made to the Opera Comique, a most
amusing theatre, to the Odeon, and perhaps to some others--the whole
demanding of the budget a sum of more than a million of francs.

It is curious that the drama in France began with the clergy. In the
time of Charles VI., a company, named "Confrères de la Passion,"
performed plays founded on the events of Scripture, though grossly
disfigured by the traditions of Monachism. The originals were
probably the "_Mysteries_," or plays in the Convents, a species of
absurd and fantastic representation common in all Popish countries.
At length the life of Manners was added to the life of Superstition,
and singers and grimacers were added to the "Confrères."

In the sixteenth century an Italian company appeared in Paris, and
brought with them their opera, the invention of the Florentines
fifty years before. The cessation of the civil wars allowed France
for a while to cultivate the arts of peace; and Richelieu, a man
who, if it could be said of any statesman that he formed the mind
of the nation, impressed his image and superscription upon his
country, gave the highest encouragement to the drama by making it
the fashion. He even wrote, or assisted in writing, popular dramas.
Corneille now began to flourish, and French Tragedy was established.

Mazarin, when minister, and, like Richelieu, master of the nation,
invited or admitted the Italian Opera once more into France; and
Molière, at the head of a new company, obtained leave to perform
before Louis XIV., who thenceforth patronised the great comic
writer, and gave his company a theatre. The Tragedy, Comedy, and
Opera of France now led the way in Europe.

In France, the Great Revolution, while it multiplied the theatres
with the natural extravagance of the time, yet, by a consequence
equally inevitable, degraded the taste of the nation. For a
long period the legitimate drama was almost extinguished: it
was unexciting to a people trained day by day to revolutionary
convulsion; the pageants on the stage were tame to the processions
in the streets; and the struggles of kings and nobles were
ridiculous to the men who had been employed in destroying a dynasty.

Napoleon at once perceived the evil, and adopted the only remedy. He
found no less than _thirty_ theatres in Paris. He was not a man to
pause where he saw his way clearly before him; he closed twenty-two
of those theatres, leaving but eight, and those chiefly of the old
establishments, making a species of compensation to the closed
houses.

On the return of the Bourbons the civil list, as in the old
times, assisted in the support of the theatres. On the accession
of Louis Philippe, the popular triumph infused its extravagance
even into the system of the drama. The number of the theatres
increased, and a succession of writers of the "New School" filled
the theatres with abomination. Gallantry became the _spirit_ of
the drama--everything before the scene was intrigue; married life
was the perpetual burlesque. Wives were the habitual heroines of
the intrigue, and husbands the habitual dupes! To keep faith with
a husband was a standing jest on the stage, to keep it with a
seducer was the height of human character. The former was always
described as brutal, gross, dull, and born to be duped; the latter
was captivating, generous, and irresistible by any matron alive.
In fact, wives and widows were made for nothing else but to give
way to the fascinations of this class of professors of the arts
of "good society." The captivator was substantially described as
a scoundrel, a gambler, and a vagabond of the basest kind, but
withal so honourable, so tender, and so susceptible, that his
atrocities disappeared, or rather were transmuted into virtues, by
the brilliancy of his qualifications for seducing the wife of his
friend. Perjury, profligacy, and the betrayal of confidence in the
most essential tie of human nature, were supreme in popularity in
the Novel and on the Stage.

The direct consequence is, that the crime of adultery is lightly
considered in France; even the pure speak of it without the
abhorrence which, for every reason, it deserves. Its notoriety is
rather thought of as an anecdote of the day, or the gossiping of the
soirée; and the most acknowledged licentiousness does not exclude a
man of a certain rank from general reception in good society.

One thing may be observed on the most casual intercourse with
Frenchmen--that the vices which, in our country, create disgust
and offence in grave society, and laughter and levity in the more
careless, seldom produce either the one or the other in France.
The topic is alluded to with neither a frown nor a smile; it is
treated, in general, as a matter of course, either too natural to
deserve censure, or too common to excite ridicule. It is seldom
peculiarly alluded to, for the general conversation of "Good
Society" is decorous; but to denounce it would be unmannered. The
result is an extent of illegitimacy enough to corrupt the whole
rising population. By the registers of 1848, of 30,000 children born
in Paris in that year, there were 10,000 illegitimate, of which but
1700 were acknowledged by their parents!

The theatrical profession forms an important element in the
population. The actors and actresses amount to about 5000. In
England they are probably not as many hundreds. And though the
French population is 35,000,000, while Great Britain has little
more than twenty, yet the disproportion is enormous, and forms a
characteristic difference of the two countries. The persons occupied
in the "working" of the theatrical system amount perhaps to 10,000,
and the families dependent on the whole form a very large and very
influential class among the general orders of society.

But if the Treasury assists in their general support, it compels
them to pay eight per cent of their receipts as a contribution to
the hospitals. This sum averages annually a million of francs, or
£40,000 sterling.

In England we might learn something from the theatrical regulations
of France. The trampling of our crowds at the doors of theatres, the
occasional losses of life and limb, and the general inconvenience
and confusion of the entrance on crowded nights, might be avoided by
the were adoption of French _order_.

But why should not higher objects be held in view? The drama is a
public _necessity_; the people will have it, whether good or bad.
Why should not Government offer prizes to the best drama, tragic or
comic? Why should the most distinguished work of poetic genius find
no encouragement from the Government of a nation boasting of its
love of letters? Why shall that encouragement be left to the caprice
of managers, to the finances of struggling establishments, or to the
tastes of theatres, forced by their poverty to pander to the rabble.
Why should not the mischievous performances of those theatres be put
down, and dramas, founded on the higher principles of our nature,
be the instruments of putting them down? Why should not heroism,
honour, and patriotism, be taught on the national stage, as well as
the triumphs of the highroad, laxity among the higher ranks, and
vice among all? The drama has been charged with corruption. Is that
corruption essential? It has been charged with being a _nucleus_
of the loose principles, as its places of representation have been
haunted by the loose characters, of society. But what are these
but excrescences, generated by the carelessness of society, by
the indolence of magistracy, and by the general misconception of
the real purposes and possible power of the stage? That power is
magnificent. It takes human nature in her most _impressible_ form,
in the time of the glowing heart and the ready tear, of the senses
animated by scenery, melted by music, and spelled by the living
realities of representation. Why should not impressions be made
in that hour which the man would carry with him through all the
contingencies of life, and which would throw a light on every period
of his being?

The conditions of recompense to authors in France make _some_
advance to justice. The author of a Drama is entitled to a profit on
its performance in every theatre of France during his life, with a
continuance for ten years after to his heirs. For a piece of three
or five acts, the remuneration is _one twelfth part_ of the gross
receipts, and for a piece in one act, one twenty-fourth. A similar
compensation has been adopted in the English theatre, but seems to
have become completely nugatory, from the managers' purchasing the
author's rights--the transaction here being made a private one, and
the remuneration being at the mercy of the manager. But in France
it is a public matter, an affair of law, and looked to by an agent
in Paris, who registers the performance of the piece at all the
theatres in the city, and in the provinces.

Still, this is injustice. Why should the labour of the intellect
be less permanent than the labour of the hands? Why should not the
author be entitled to make his full demand instead of this pittance?
If his play is worth acting, why is it not worth paying for?--and
why should he be prohibited from having the fruit of his brain as an
inheritance to his family, as well as the fruit of any other toll?

If, instead of being a man of genius, delighting and elevating the
mind of a nation, he were a blacksmith, he might leave his tools and
his trade to his children without any limit; or if, with the produce
of his play, he purchased a cow, or a cabin, no man could lay a
claim upon either. But he must be taxed for being a man of talent;
and men of no talent must be entitled, by an absurd law and a
palpable injustice, to tear the fruit of his intellectual supremacy
from his children after ten short years of possession.

No man leaves Paris without regret, and without a wish for the
liberty and peace of its people.



MR RUSKIN'S WORKS.

     _Modern Painters_, vol. i. Second edition.----_Modern Painters_,
     vol. ii.----_The Seven Lamps of Architecture._----_The Stones of
     Venice._----_Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds._ By JOHN
     RUSKIN, M.A.


On the publication of the first volume of Mr Ruskin's work on Modern
Painters, a notice appeared of it in this Magazine. Since that
time a second volume has been published of the same work, with two
other works on architecture. It is the second volume of his _Modern
Painters_ which will at present chiefly engage our attention. His
architectural works can only receive a slight and casual notice; on
some future occasion they may tempt us into a fuller examination.

Although the second volume of the _Modern Painters_ will be the
immediate subject of our review, we must permit ourselves to glance
back upon the first, in order to connect together the topics treated
by the two, and to prevent our paper from wearing quite the aspect
of a metaphysical essay; for it is the nature of the sentiment of
the beautiful, and its sources in the human mind, which is the main
subject of this second volume. In the first, he had entered at once
into the arena of criticism, elevating the modern artists, and one
amongst them in particular, at the expense of the old masters, who,
with some few exceptions, find themselves very rudely handled.

As we have already intimated, we do not hold Mr Ruskin to be a
safe guide in matters of art, and the present volume demonstrates
that he is no safe guide in matters of philosophy. He is a man of
undoubted power and vigour of mind; he feels strongly, and he thinks
independently: but he is hasty and impetuous; can very rarely, on
any subject, deliver a calm and temperate judgment; and, when he
enters on the discussion of general principles, shows an utter
inability to seize on, or to appreciate, the wide generalisations
of philosophy. He is not, therefore, one of those men who can ever
become an authority to be appealed to by the less instructed in any
of the fine arts, or on any topic whatever; and this we say with the
utmost confidence, because, although we may be unable in many cases
to dispute his judgment--as where he speaks of paintings we have not
seen, or technicalities of art we do not affect to understand--yet
he so frequently stands forth on the broad arena where general and
familiar principles are discussed, that it is utterly impossible _to
be mistaken in the man_. On all these occasions he displays a very
marked and rather peculiar combination of power and weakness--of
power, the result of natural strength of mind; of weakness, the
inevitable consequence of a passionate haste, and an overweening
confidence. When we hear a person of this intellectual character
throwing all but unmitigated abuse upon works which men have long
consented to admire, and lavishing upon some other works encomiums
which no conceivable perfection of human art could justify, it is
utterly impossible to attach any weight to his opinion, on the
ground that he has made an especial study of any one branch of art.
Such a man we cannot trust out of our sight a moment; we cannot give
him one inch of ground more than his reasoning covers, or our own
experience would grant to him.

We shall not here revive the controversy on the comparative merits
of the ancient and modern landscape-painters, nor on the later
productions of Mr Turner, whether they are the eccentricities of
genius or its fullest development; we have said enough on these
subjects before. It is Mr Ruskin's book, and not the pictures of
Claude or Turner, that we have to criticise; it is his style, and
his manner of thinking, that we have to pass judgment on.

In all Mr Ruskin's works, and in almost every page of them, whether
on painting, or architecture, or philosophy, or ecclesiastical
controversy, two characteristics invariably prevail: an extreme
dogmatism, and a passion for singularity. Every man who thinks
earnestly would convert all the world to his own opinions; but while
Mr Ruskin would convert all the world to his own tastes as well as
opinions, he manifests the greatest repugnance to think for a moment
like any one else. He has a mortal aversion to mingle with a crowd.
It is quite enough for an opinion to be commonplace to insure it his
contempt: if it has passed out of fashion, he may revive it; but
to think with the existing multitude would be impossible. Yet that
multitude are to think with him. He is as bent on unity in matters
of taste as others are on unity in matters of religion; and he sets
the example by diverging, wherever he can, from the tastes of others.

Between these two characteristics there is no real contradiction;
or rather the contradiction is quite familiar. The man who most
affects singularity is generally the most dogmatic: he is the very
man who expresses most surprise that others should differ from him.
No one is so impatient of contradiction as he who is perpetually
contradicting others; and on the gravest matters of religion those
are often found to be most zealous for unity of belief who have
some pet heresy of their own, for which they are battling all their
lives. The same overweening confidence lies, in fact, at the basis
of both these characteristics. In Mr Ruskin they are both seen in
great force. No matter what the subject he discusses,--taste or
ecclesiastical government--we always find the same combination of
singularity, with a dogmatism approaching to intolerance. Thus, the
Ionic pillar is universally admired. Mr Ruskin finds that the fluted
shaft gives an appearance of weakness. No one ever felt this, so
long as the fluted column is manifestly of sufficient diameter to
sustain the weight imposed on it. But this objection of apparent
insecurity has been very commonly made to the spiral or twisted
column. Here, therefore, Mr Ruskin abruptly dismisses the objection.
He was at liberty to defend the spiral column: we should say here,
also, that if the weight imposed was evidently not too great for
even a spiral column to support, _this_ objection has no place;
but why cast the same objection, (which perhaps in all cases was
a mere after-thought) against the Ionic shaft, when it had never
been felt at all? It has been a general remark, that, amongst other
results of the railway, it has given a new field to the architect,
as well as to the engineer. Therefore Mr Ruskin resolves that our
railroad stations ought to have no architecture at all. Of course,
if he limited his objections to inappropriate ornament, he would
be agreeing with all the world: he decides there should be no
architecture whatever; merely buildings more or less spacious,
to protect men and goods from the weather. He has never been so
unfortunate, we suppose, as to come an hour too soon, or the unlucky
five minutes too late, to a railway station, or he would have been
glad enough to find himself in something better than the large shed
he proposes. On the grave subject of ecclesiastical government he
has stepped forward into controversy; and here he shows both his
usual propensities in _high relief_. He has some quite peculiar
projects of his own; the appointment of some hundreds of bishops--we
know not what--and a Church discipline to be carried out by trial
by jury. Desirable or not, they are manifestly as impracticable as
the revival of chivalry. But let that pass. Let every man think
and propose his best. But his dogmatism amounts to a disease,
when, turning from his own novelties, he can speak in the flippant
intolerant manner that he does of the national and now time-honoured
Church of Scotland.

It will be worth while to make, in passing, a single quotation
from this pamphlet, _Notes on the Construction of Sheepfolds_. He
tells us, in one place, that in the New Testament the ministers
of the Church "are called, and call themselves, with absolute
indifference, Deacons, Bishops, Elders, Evangelists, according to
what they are doing at the time of speaking." With such a writer
one might, at all events, have hoped to live in peace. But no. He
discovers, nevertheless, that Episcopacy is the Scriptural form of
Church government; and, having satisfied his own mind of this, no
opposition or diversity of opinion is for a moment to be tolerated.

     "But how," he says, "unite the two great sects of paralysed
     Protestants? By keeping simply to Scripture. _The members of
     the Scottish Church have not a shadow of excuse for refusing
     Episcopacy_: it has indeed been abused among them, grievously
     abused; but it is in the Bible, and that is all they have a
     right to ask.

     "_They have also no shadow of excuse for refusing to employ
     a written form of prayer._ It may not be to their taste--it
     may not be the way in which they like to pray; but it is no
     question, at present, of likes or dislikes, but of duties; and
     the acceptance of such a form on their part would go half way
     to reconcile them with their brethren. Let them allege such
     objections as they can reasonably advance against the English
     form, and let these be carefully and humbly weighed by the
     pastors of both Churches: some of them ought to be at once
     forestalled. For the English Church, on the other hand, _must_,"
     &c.

Into Mr Ruskin's own religious tenets, further than he has chosen to
reveal them in his works, we have no wish to pry. But he must cease
to be Mr Ruskin if they do not exhibit some salient peculiarity,
coupled with a confidence, unusual even amongst zealots, that his
peculiar views will speedily triumph. If he can be presumed to
belong to any sect, it must be the last and smallest one amongst
us--some sect as exclusive as German mysticism, with pretensions as
great as those of the Church of Rome.

One word on the style of Mr Ruskin: it will save the trouble of
alluding to it on particular occasions. It is very unequal. In
both his architectural works he writes generally with great ease,
spirit, and clearness. There is a racy vigour in the page. But when
he would be very eloquent, as he is disposed to be in the _Modern
Painters_, he becomes very verbose, tedious, obscure, extravagant.
There is no discipline in his style, no moderation, no repose. Those
qualities which he has known how to praise in art he has not aimed
at in his own writing. A rank luxuriance of a semi-poetical diction
lies about, perfectly unrestrained; metaphorical language comes
before us in every species of disorder; and hyperbolical expressions
are used till they become commonplace. Verbal criticism, he would
probably look upon a very puerile business: he need fear nothing
of the kind from us; we should as soon think of criticising or
pruning a jungle. To add to the confusion, he appears at times to
have proposed to himself the imitation of some of our older writers:
pages are written in the rhythm of Jeremy Taylor; sometimes it is
the venerable Hooker who seems to be his type; and he has even
succeeded in combining whatever is most tedious and prolix in both
these great writers. If the reader wishes a specimen of this sort of
_modern antique_, he may turn to the fifteenth chapter of the second
volume of the _Modern Painters_.

Coupled with this matter of style, and almost inseparable from it,
is the violence of his manner on subjects which cannot possibly
justify so vehement a zeal. We like a generous enthusiasm on any
art--we delight in it; but who can travel in sympathy with a writer
who exhausts on so much paint and canvass every term of rapture
that the Alps themselves could have called forth? One need not be
a utilitarian philosopher--or what Mr Ruskin describes as such--to
smile at the lofty position on which he puts the landscape-painter,
and the egregious and impossible demands he makes upon the art
itself. And the condemnation and opprobrium with which he overwhelms
the luckless artist who has offended him is quite as violent. The
bough of a tree, "in the left hand upper corner" of a landscape of
Poussin's, calls forth this terrible denunciation:--

     "This latter is a representation of an ornamental group of
     elephants' tusks, with feathers tied to the ends of them.
     Not the wildest imagination could ever conjure up in it the
     remotest resemblance to the bough of a tree. It might be the
     claws of a witch--the talons of an eagle--the horns of a fiend;
     but it is a full assemblage of every conceivable falsehood
     which can be told respecting foliage--a piece of work so
     barbarous in every way _that one glance at it ought to prove
     the complete charlatanism and trickery of the whole system of
     the old landscape-painters_.... I will say here at once, that
     such drawing as this is as ugly as it is childish, and as
     painful as it is false; and that the man who could tolerate,
     much more, who could deliberately set down such a thing on his
     canvass, _had neither eye nor feeling for one single attribute
     or excellence of God's works_. He might have drawn _the other
     stem_ in excusable ignorance, or under some false impression of
     being able to improve upon nature, but this is conclusive and
     unpardonable."--(P. 382.)

The great redeeming quality of Mr Ruskin--and we wish to give it
conspicuous and honourable mention--is his love of nature. Here
lies the charm of his works; to this may be traced whatever virtue
is in them, or whatever utility they may possess. They will send
the painter more than ever to the study of nature, and perhaps they
will have a still more beneficial effect on the art, by sending the
critic of painting to the same school. It would be almost an insult
to the landscape-painter to suppose that he needed this lesson; the
very love of his art must lead him perpetually, one would think,
to his great and delightful study amongst the fields, under the
open skies, before the rivers and the hills. But the critic of the
picture-gallery is often one who goes from picture to picture, and
very little from nature to the painting. Consequently, where an
artist succeeds in imitating some effect in nature which had not
been before represented on the canvass, such a critic is more likely
to be displeased than gratified; and the artist, having to paint
for a conventional taste, is in danger of sacrificing to it his own
higher aspirations. Now it is most true that no man should pretend
to be a critic upon pictures unless he understands the art itself
of painting; he ought, we suspect, to have handled the pencil or
the brush himself; at all events, he ought in some way to have been
initiated into the mysteries of the pallet and the easel. Otherwise,
not knowing the difficulties to be overcome, nor the means at hand
for encountering them, he cannot possibly estimate the degree of
merit due to the artist for the production of this or that effect.
He may be loud in applause where nothing has been displayed but
the old traditions of the art. But still this is only one-half the
knowledge he ought to possess. He ought to have studied nature,
and to have loved the study, or he can never estimate, and never
feel, that _truth_ of effect which is the great aim of the artist.
Mr Ruskin's works will help to shame out of the field all such
half-informed and conventional criticism, the mere connoisseurship
of the picture gallery. On the other hand, they will train men who
have always been delighted spectators of nature to be also attentive
observers. Our critics will learn how to admire, and mere admirers
will learn how to criticise. Thus a public will be educated; and
here, if anywhere, we may confidently assert that the art will
prosper in proportion as there is an intelligent public to reward it.

We like that bold enterprise of Mr Ruskin's which distinguishes the
first volume, that daring enumeration of the great palpable facts
of nature--the sky, the sea, the earth, the foliage--which the
painter has to represent. His descriptions are often made indistinct
by a multitude of words; but there is light in the haze--there is
a genuine love of nature felt through them. This is almost the
only point of sympathy we feel with Mr Ruskin; it is the only hold
his volumes have had over us whilst perusing them; we may be,
therefore, excused if we present here to our readers a specimen or
two of his happier descriptions of nature. We will give them _the
Cloud_ and _the Torrent_. They will confess that, after reading Mr
Ruskin's description of the clouds, their first feeling will be an
irresistible impulse to throw open the window, and look upon them
again as they roll through the sky. The torrent may not be so near
at hand, to make renewed acquaintance with. We must premise that he
has been enforcing his favourite precept, the minute, and faithful,
and perpetual study of nature. He very justly scouts the absurd
idea that trees and rocks and clouds are, under any circumstances,
to be _generalised_--so that a tree is not to stand for an oak or a
poplar, a birch or an elm, but for a _general tree_. If a tree is
at so great a distance that you cannot distinguish what it is, as
you cannot paint more than you see, you must paint it indistinctly.
But to make a purposed indistinctness where the kind of tree would
be very plainly seen is a manifest absurdity. So, too, the forms
of clouds should be studied, and as much as possible taken from
nature, and not certain _general clouds_ substituted at the artist's
pleasure.

     "But it is not the outline only which is thus systematically
     false. The drawing of the solid form is worse still; for it
     is to be remembered that, although clouds of course arrange
     themselves more or less into broad masses, with a light side
     and a dark side, both their light and shade are invariably
     composed of a series of divided masses, each of which has in
     its outline as much variety and character as the great outline
     of the cloud; presenting, therefore, a thousand times repeated,
     all that I have described as the general form. Nor are these
     multitudinous divisions a truth of slight importance in the
     character of sky, for they are dependent on, and illustrative
     of, a quality which is usually in a great degree overlooked--the
     enormous retiring spaces of solid clouds. Between the illumined
     edge of a heaped cloud and that part of its body which turns
     into shadow, there will generally be a clear distance of several
     miles--more or less, of course, according to the general size
     of the cloud; but in such large masses as Poussin and others of
     the old masters, which occupy the fourth or fifth of the visible
     sky, the clear illumined breadth of vapour, from the edge to
     the shadow, involves at least a distance of five or six miles.
     We are little apt, in watching the changes of a mountainous
     range of cloud, to reflect that the masses of vapour which
     compose it are linger and higher than any mountain-range of the
     earth; and the distances between mass and mass are not yards of
     air, traversed in an instant by the flying form, but valleys
     of changing atmosphere leagues over; that the slow motion of
     ascending curves, which we can scarcely trace, is a boiling
     energy of exulting vapour rushing into the heaven a thousand
     feet in a minute; and that the topling angle, whose sharp edge
     almost escapes notice in the multitudinous forms around it, is
     a nodding precipice of storms, three thousand feet from base to
     summit. It is not until we have actually compared the forms of
     the sky with the hill-ranges of the earth, and seen the soaring
     alp overtopped and buried in one surge of the sky, that we begin
     to conceive or appreciate the colossal scale of the phenomena of
     the latter. But of this there can be no doubt in the mind of any
     one accustomed to trace the forms of cloud among hill-ranges--as
     it is there a demonstrable and evident fact--that the space of
     vapour visibly extended over an ordinarily clouded sky is not
     less, from the point nearest to the observer to the horizon,
     than twenty leagues; that the size of every mass of separate
     form, if it be at all largely divided, is to be expressed in
     terms of _miles_; and that every boiling heap of illuminated
     mist in the nearer sky is an enormous mountain, fifteen or
     twenty thousand feet in height, six or seven miles over in
     illuminated surface, furrowed by a thousand colossal ravines,
     torn by local tempests into peaks and promontories, and changing
     its features with the majestic velocity of a volcano."--(Vol. i.
     p. 228.)

The forms of clouds, it seems, are worth studying: after reading
this, no landscape-painter will be disposed, with hasty slight
invention, to sketch in these "_mountains_" of the sky. Here is his
description, or part of it, first of falling, then of running water.
With the incidental criticism upon painters we are not at present
concerned:--

     "A little crumbling white or lightly-rubbed paper will soon give
     the effect of indiscriminate foam; but nature gives more than
     foam--she shows beneath it, and through it, a peculiar character
     of exquisitely studied form, bestowed on every wave and line of
     fall; and it is this variety of definite character which Turner
     always aims at, rejecting as much as possible everything that
     conceals or overwhelms it. Thus, in the Upper Fall of the Tees,
     though the whole basin of the fall is blue, and dim with the
     rising vapour, yet the attention of the spectator is chiefly
     directed to the concentric zones and delicate curves of the
     falling water itself; and it is impossible to express with what
     exquisite accuracy these are given. They are the characteristic
     of a powerful stream descending without impediment or break, but
     from a narrow channel, so as to expand as it falls. They are the
     constant form which such a stream assumes as it descends; and
     yet I think it would be difficult to point to another instance
     of their being rendered in art. You will find nothing in the
     waterfalls, even of our best painters, but springing lines of
     parabolic descent, and splashing and shapeless foam; and, in
     consequence, though they may make you understand the swiftness
     of the water, they never let you feel the weight of it: the
     stream, in their hands, looks _active_, not _supine_, as if
     it leaped, not as if it fell. Now, water will leap a little
     way--it will leap down a weir or over a stone--but it _tumbles_
     over a high fall like this; and it is when we have lost the
     parabolic line, and arrived at the catenary--when we have lost
     the spring of the fall, and arrived at the _plunge_ of it--that
     we begin really to feel its weight and wildness. Where water
     takes its first leap from the top, it is cool and collected,
     and uninteresting and mathematical; but it is when it finds
     that it has got into a scrape, and has farther to go than it
     thought for, that its character comes out; it is then that it
     begins to writhe and twist, and sweep out, zone after zone, in
     wilder stretching as it falls, and to send down the rocket-like,
     lance-pointed, whizzing shafts at its sides sounding for the
     bottom. And it is this prostration, the hopeless abandonment
     of its ponderous power to the air, which is always peculiarly
     expressed by Turner....

     "When water, not in very great body, runs in a rocky bed much
     interrupted by hollows, so that it can rest every now and then
     in a pool as it goes long, it does not acquire a continuous
     velocity of motion. It pauses after every leap, and curdles
     about, and rests a little, and then goes on again; and if, in
     this comparatively tranquil and rational state of mind, it meets
     with any obstacle, as a rock or stone, it parts on each side of
     it with a little bubbling foam, and goes round: if it comes to a
     step in its bed, it leaps it lightly, and then, after a little
     splashing at the bottom, stops again to take breath. But if its
     bed be on a continuous slope, not much interrupted by hollows,
     so that it cannot rest--or if its own mass be so increased by
     flood that its usual resting-places are not sufficient for it,
     but that it is perpetually pushed out of them by the following
     current before it has had time to tranquillise itself--it of
     course gains velocity with every yard that it runs; the impetus
     got at one leap is carried to the credit of the next, until the
     whole stream becomes one mass of unchecked accelerating motion.
     Now, when water in this state comes to an obstacle, it does not
     part at it, but clears it like a racehorse; and when it comes
     to a hollow, it does not fill it up, and run out leisurely at
     the other side, but it rushes down into it, and comes up again
     on the other side, as a ship into the hollow of the sea. Hence
     the whole appearance of the bed of the stream is changed, and
     all the lines of the water altered in their nature. The quiet
     stream is a succession of leaps and pools; the leaps are light
     and springy and parabolic, and make a great deal of splashing
     when they tumble into the pool; then we have a space of quiet
     curdling water, and another similar leap below. But the stream,
     when it has gained an impetus, takes the shape of its bed,
     never stops, is equally deep and equally swift everywhere, goes
     down into every hollow, not with a leap, but with a swing--not
     foaming nor splashing, but in the bending line of a strong
     sea-wave, and comes up again on the other side, over rock and
     ridge, with the ease of a bounding leopard. If it meet a rock
     three or four feet above the level of its bed, it will neither
     part nor foam, nor express any concern about the matter, but
     clear it in a smooth dome of water without apparent exertion,
     coming down again as smoothly on the other side, the whole
     surface of the surge being drawn into parallel lines by its
     extreme velocity, but foamless, except in places where the
     form of the bed opposes itself at some direct angle to such a
     line of fall, and causes a breaker; so that the whole river
     has the appearance of a deep and raging sea, with this only
     difference, that the torrent waves always break backwards, and
     sea-waves forwards. Thus, then, in the water which has gained
     an impetus, we have the most exquisite arrangement of curved
     lines, perpetually changing from convex to concave, following
     every swell and hollow of the bed with their modulating grace,
     and all in unison of motion, presenting perhaps the most
     beautiful series of inorganic forms which nature can possibly
     produce."--(Vol. i. p. 363.)

It is the object of Mr Ruskin, in his first volume of _Modern
Painters_, to show what the artist has to do in his imitation of
nature. We have no material controversy to raise with him on this
subject; but we cannot help expressing our surprise that he should
have thought it necessary to combat, with so much energy, so very
primitive a notion that the imitation of the artist partakes of
the nature of a _deception_, and that the highest excellence is
obtained when the representation of any object is taken for the
object itself. We thought this matter had been long ago settled. In
a page or two of Quatremère de Quincy's treatise on _Imitation in
the Fine Arts_, the reader, if he has still to seek on this subject,
will find it very briefly and lucidly treated. The aim of the artist
is not to produce such a representation as shall be taken, even
for a moment, for a real object. His aim is, by imitating certain
qualities or attributes of the object, to reproduce for us those
pleasing or elevating impressions which it is the nature of such
qualities or attributes to excite. We have stated very briefly
the accepted doctrine on this subject--so generally accepted and
understood that Mr Ruskin was under no necessity to avoid the
use of the word imitation, as he appears to have done, under the
apprehension that it was incurably infected with this notion of an
attempted deception. Hardly any reader of his book, even without a
word of explanation, would have attached any other meaning to it
than what he himself expresses by representation of certain "truths"
of nature.

With respect to the imitations of the landscape-painter, the
notion of a deception cannot occur. His trees and rivers cannot be
mistaken, for an instant, for real trees and rivers, and certainly
not while they stand there in the gilt frame, and the gilt frame
itself against the papered wall. His only chance of deception is to
get rid of the frame, convert his picture into a transparency, and
place it in the space which a window should occupy. In almost all
cases, deception is obtained, not by painting well, but by those
artifices which disguise that what we see _is_ a painting. At the
same time, we are not satisfied with an expression which several
writers, we remark, have lately used, and which Mr Ruskin very
explicitly adopts. The imitations of the landscape-painter are not
a "language" which he uses; they are not mere "signs," analogous
to those which the poet or the orator employs. There is no analogy
between them. Let us analyse our impressions as we stand before the
artist's landscape, not thinking of the artist, or his dexterity,
but simply absorbed in the pleasure which he procures us--we do not
find ourselves reverting, in imagination, to _other_ trees or other
rivers than those he has depicted. We certainly do not believe them
to be real trees, but neither are they mere signs, or a language to
recall such objects; but _what there is of tree there_ we enjoy.
There is the coolness and the quiet of the shaded avenue, and we
feel them; there is the sunlight on that bank, and we feel its
cheerfulness; we feel the serenity of his river. He has brought
the spirit of the trees around us; the imagination rests in the
picture. In other departments of art the effect is the same. If we
stand before a head of Rembrandt or Vandyke, we do not think that
it lives; but neither do we think of some other head, of which that
is the type. But there is majesty, there is thought, there is calm
repose, there is some phase of humanity expressed before us, and we
are occupied with so much of human life, or human character, as is
then and there given us.

Imitate as many qualities of the real object as you please, but
always the highest, never sacrificing a truth of the mind, or the
heart, for one only of the sense. Truth, as Mr Ruskin most justly
says--truth always. When it is said that truth should not be
always expressed, the maxim, if properly understood, resolves into
this--that the higher truth is not to be sacrificed to the lower. In
a landscape, the gradation of light and shade is a more important
truth than the exact brilliancy (supposing it to be attainable,)
of any individual object. The painter must calculate what means he
has at his disposal for representing this gradation of light, and
he must pitch his tone accordingly. Say he pitches it far below
reality, he is still in search of truth--of contrast and degree.

Sometimes it may happen that, by rendering one detail faithfully,
an artist may give a false impression, simply because he cannot
render other details or facts by which it is accompanied in nature.
Here, too, he would only sacrifice truth _in the cause of truth_.
The admirers of Constable will perhaps dispute the aptness of our
illustration. Nevertheless his works appear to us to afford a
curious example of a scrupulous accuracy or detail producing a false
impression. Constable, looking at foliage under the sunlight, and
noting that the leaf, especially after a shower, will reflect so
much light that the tree will seem more white than green, determined
to paint all the white he saw. Constable could paint white leaves.
So far so well. But then these leaves in nature are almost always in
motion: they are white at one moment and green the next. We never
have the impression of a white leaf; for it is seen playing with
the light--its mirror, for one instant, and glancing from it the
next. Constable could not paint motion. He could not imitate this
shower of light in the living tree. He must leave his white paint
where he has once put it. Other artists before him had seen the same
light, but, knowing that they could not bring the breeze into their
canvass, they wisely concluded that less white paint than Constable
uses would produce a more truthful impression.

But we must no longer be detained from the more immediate task
before us. We must now follow Mr Ruskin to his second volume of
_Modern Painters_, where he explains his theory of the beautiful;
and although this will not be to readers in general the most
attractive portion of his writings, and we ourselves have to
practise some sort of self-denial in fixing our attention upon
it, yet manifestly it is here that we must look for the basis or
fundamental principles of all his criticisms in art. The order in
which his works have been published was apparently deranged by a
generous zeal, which could brook no delay, to defend Mr Turner
from the censures of the undiscerning public. If the natural or
systematic order had been preserved, the materials of this second
volume would have formed the first preliminary treatise, determining
those broad principles of taste, or that philosophical theory of
the beautiful, on which the whole of the subsequent works were to
be modelled. Perhaps this broken and reversed order of publication
has not been unfortunate for the success of the author--perhaps it
was dimly foreseen to be not altogether impolitic; for the popular
ear was gained by the bold and enthusiastic defence of a great
painter; and the ear of the public, once caught, may be detained
by matter which, in the first instance, would have appealed to it
in vain. Whether the effect of chance or design, we may certainly
congratulate Mr Ruskin on the fortunate succession, and the
fortunate rapidity with which his publications have struck on the
public ear. The popular feeling, won by the zeal and intrepidity of
the first volume of _Modern Painters_, was no doubt a little tried
by the graver discussions of the second. It was soon, however, to be
again caught, and pleased by a bold and agreeable miscellany under
the magical name of "The Seven Lamps;" and these Seven Lamps could
hardly fail to throw some portion of their pleasant and bewildering
light over a certain rudimentary treatise upon building, which was
to appear under the title of "The Stones of Venice."

We cannot, however, congratulate Mr Ruskin on the manner in which
he has acquitted himself in this arena of philosophical inquiry,
nor on the sort of theory of the Beautiful which he has contrived
to construct. The least metaphysical of our readers is aware that
there is a controversy of long standing upon this subject, between
two different schools of philosophy. With the one the beautiful
is described as a great "idea" of the reason, or an intellectual
intuition, or a simple intuitive perception; different expressions
are made use of, but all imply that it is a great primary feeling,
or sentiment, or idea of the human mind, and as incapable of
further analysis as the idea of space, or the simplest of our
sensations. The rival school of theorists maintain, on the contrary,
that no sentiment yields more readily to analysis; and that the
beautiful, except in those rare cases where the whole charm lies
in one sensation, as in that of colour, is a complex sentiment.
They describe it as a pleasure resulting from the presence of the
visible object, but of which the visible object is only in part the
immediate cause. Of a great portion of the pleasure it is merely
the vehicle; and they say that blended reminiscences, gathered from
every sense, and every human affection, from the softness of touch
of an infant's finger to the highest contemplations of a devotional
spirit, have contributed, in their turn, to this delightful
sentiment.

Mr Ruskin was not bound to belong to either of these schools of
philosophy; he was at liberty to construct an eclectic system
of his own;--and he has done so. We shall take the precaution,
in so delicate a matter, of quoting Mr Ruskin's own words for
the exposition of his own theory. Meanwhile, as some clue to the
reader, we may venture to say that he agrees with the first of
these schools in adopting a primary intuitive sentiment of the
beautiful; but then this primary intuition is only of a sensational
or "animal" nature--a subordinate species of the beautiful, which
is chiefly valuable as the necessary condition of the higher and
truly beautiful; and this last he agrees with the opposite school
in regarding as a derived sentiment--derived by contemplating the
objects of external nature as types of the Divine attributes. This
is a brief summary of the theory; for a fuller exposition we shall
have recourse to his own words.

The term _Æsthetic_, which has been applied to this branch of
philosophy, Mr Ruskin discards; he offers as a substitute _Theoria_,
or _The Theoretic Faculty_, the meaning of which he thus explains:--

     "I proceed, therefore, first to examine the nature of what
     I have called the theoretic faculty, and to justify my
     substitution of the term 'Theoretic' for 'Æsthetic,' which is
     the one commonly employed with reference to it.

     "Now the term 'æsthesis' properly signifies mere sensual
     perception of the outward qualities and necessary effects of
     bodies; in which sense only, if we would arrive at any accurate
     conclusions on this difficult subject, it should always be used.
     But I wholly deny that the impressions of beauty _are in any
     way sensual_;--they are neither sensual nor intellectual, _but
     moral_; and for the faculty receiving them, whose difference
     from mere perception I shall immediately endeavour to explain,
     no terms can be more accurate or convenient than that employed
     by the Greeks, 'Theoretic,' which I pray permission, therefore,
     always to use, and to call the operation of the faculty itself,
     Theoria."--(P. 11.)

We are introduced to a new faculty of the human mind; let us see
what new or especial sphere of operation is assigned to it. After
some remarks on the superiority of the mere sensual pleasures of the
eye and the ear, but particularly of the eye, to those derived from
other organs of sense, he continues:--

     "Herein, then, we find very sufficient ground for the higher
     estimation of these delights: first, in their being eternal
     and inexhaustible; and, secondly, in their being evidently
     no meaner instrument of life, but an object of life. Now, in
     whatever is an object of life, in whatever may be infinitely
     and for itself desired, we may be sure there is something of
     divine: for God will not make anything an object of life to his
     creatures which does not point to, or partake of himself,"--[a
     bold assertion.] "And so, though we were to regard the pleasures
     of sight merely as the highest of sensual pleasures, and though
     they were of rare occurrence--and, when occurring, isolated and
     imperfect--there would still be supernatural character about
     them, owing to their self-sufficiency. But when, instead of
     being scattered, interrupted, or chance-distributed, they are
     gathered together and so arranged to enhance each other, as by
     chance they could not be, there is caused by them, not only a
     feeling of strong affection towards the object in which they
     exist, but a perception of purpose and adaptation of it to our
     desires; a perception, therefore, of the immediate operation of
     the Intelligence which so formed us and so feeds us.

     "Out of what perception arise Joy, Admiration, and Gratitude?

     "Now, the mere animal consciousness of the pleasantness I call
     Æsthesis; but the exulting, reverent, and grateful perception
     of it I call Theoria. For this, and this only, is the full
     comprehension and contemplation of the beautiful as a gift
     of God; a gift not necessary to our being, but adding to and
     elevating it, and twofold--first, of the desire; and, secondly,
     of the thing desired."

We find, then, that in the production of the full sentiment of the
beautiful _two_ faculties are employed, or two distinct operations
denoted. First, there is the "animal pleasantness which we call
Æsthesis,"--which sometimes appears confounded with the mere
pleasures of sense, but which the whole current of his speculations
obliges us to conclude is some separate intuition of a sensational
character; and, secondly, there is "the exulting, reverent, and
grateful perception of it, which we call Theoria," which alone is
the truly beautiful, and which it is the function of the Theoretic
Faculty to reveal to us. But this new Theoretic Faculty--what can
it be but the old faculty of Human Reason, exercised upon the great
subject of Divine beneficence?

Mr Ruskin, as we shall see, discovers that external objects are
beautiful because they are types of Divine attributes; but he
admits, and is solicitous to impress upon our minds, that the
"meaning" of these types is "learnt." When, in a subsequent part
of his work, he feels himself pressed by the objection that many
celebrated artists, who have shown a vivid appreciation and a great
passion for the beautiful, have manifested no peculiar piety, have
been rather deficient in spiritual-mindedness, he gives them over to
that instinctive sense he has called Æsthesis, and says--"It will
be remembered that I have, throughout the examination of typical
beauty, asserted our instinctive sense of it; the moral _meaning_
of it being only discoverable by reflection," (p. 127.) Now, there
is no other conceivable manner in which the meaning of the type can
be learnt than by the usual exercise of the human reason, detecting
traces of the Divine power, and wisdom, and benevolence, in the
external world, and then associating with the various objects of the
external world the ideas we have thus acquired of the Divine wisdom
and goodness. The rapid and habitual regard of certain facts or
appearances in the visible world, as types of the attributes of God,
_can_ be nothing else but one great instance (or class of instances)
of that law of association of ideas on which the second school of
philosophy we have alluded to so largely insist. And thus, whether
Mr Ruskin chooses to acquiesce in it or not, his "Theoria" resolves
itself into a portion, or fragment, of that theory of association
of ideas, to which he declares, and perhaps believes, himself to be
violently opposed.

In a very curious manner, therefore, has Mr Ruskin selected his
materials from the two rival schools of metaphysics. His _Æsthesis_
is an intuitive perception, but of a mere sensual or animal
nature--sometimes almost confounded with the mere pleasure of
sense, at other times advanced into considerable importance, as
where he has to explain the fact that men of very little piety have
a very acute perception of beauty. His _Theoria_ is, and can be,
nothing more than the results of human reason in its highest and
noblest exercise, rapidly brought before the mind by a habitual
association of ideas. For the lowest element of the beautiful he
runs to the school of intuitions;--they will not thank him for
the compliment;--for the higher to that analytic school, and that
theory of association of ideas, to which throughout he is ostensibly
opposed.

This _Theoria_ divides itself into two parts. We shall quote Mr
Ruskin's own words and take care to quote from them passages where
he seems most solicitous to be accurate and explanatory:--

     "The first thing, then, we have to do," he says, "is accurately
     to discriminate and define those appearances from which we are
     about to reason as belonging to beauty, properly so called, and
     to clear the ground of all the confused ideas and erroneous
     theories with which the misapprehension or metaphorical use of
     the term has encumbered it.

     "By the term Beauty, then, properly are signified two things:
     first, that external quality of bodies, already so often spoken
     of, and which, whether it occur in a stone, flower, beast,
     or in man, is absolutely identical--which, as I have already
     asserted, may be shown to be in some sort typical of the Divine
     attributes, and which, therefore, I shall, for distinction's
     sake, call Typical Beauty; and, secondarily, the appearance
     of felicitous fulfilment of functions in living things, more
     especially of the joyful and right exertion of perfect life in
     man--and this kind of beauty I shall call Vital Beauty."--(P.
     26.)

The Vital Beauty, as well as the Typical, partakes essentially, as
far as we can understand our author, of a religious character. On
turning to that part of the volume where it is treated of at length,
we find a universal sympathy and spirit of kindliness very properly
insisted on, as one great element of the sentiment of beauty; but
we are not permitted to dwell upon this element, or rest upon it
a moment, without some reference to our relation to God. Even the
animals themselves seem to be turned into types for us of our moral
feelings or duties. We are expressly told that we cannot have this
sympathy with life and enjoyment in other creatures, unless it takes
the form of, or comes accompanied with, a sentiment of piety. In
all cases where the beautiful is anything higher than a certain
"animal pleasantness," we are to understand that it has a religious
character. "In all cases," he says, summing up the functions of
the Theoretic Faculty, "_it is something Divine_; either the
approving voice of God, the glorious symbol of Him, the evidence
of His kind presence, or the obedience to His will by Him induced
and supported,"--(p. 126.) Now it is a delicate task, when a man
errs by the exaggeration of a great truth or a noble sentiment, to
combat his error; and yet as much mischief may ultimately arise from
an error of this description as from any other. The thoughts and
feelings which Mr Ruskin has described, form the noblest part of our
sentiment of the beautiful, as they form the noblest phase of the
human reason. But they are not the whole of it. The visible object,
to adopt his phraseology, does become a type to the contemplative
and pious mind of the attribute of God, and is thus exalted to our
apprehension. But it is not beautiful solely or originally on this
account. To assert this, is simply to falsify our human nature.

Before, however, we enter into these _types_, or this typical
beauty, it will be well to notice how Mr Ruskin deals with previous
and opposing theories. It will be well also to remind our readers
of the outline of that theory of association of ideas which is here
presented to us in so very confused a manner. We shall then be
better able to understand the very curious position our author has
taken up in this domain of speculative philosophy.

Mr Ruskin gives us the following summary of the "errors" which he
thinks it necessary in the first place to clear from his path:--

     "Those erring or inconsistent positions which I would at once
     dismiss are, the first, that the beautiful is the true; the
     second, that the beautiful is the useful; the third, that it is
     dependent on custom; and the fourth, that it is dependent on the
     association of ideas."

The first of these theories, that the beautiful is the true, we
leave entirely to the tender mercies of Mr Ruskin; we cannot gather
from his refutation to what class of theorists he is alluding. The
remaining three are, as we understand the matter, substantially one
and the same theory. We believe that no one, in these days, would
define beauty as solely resulting either from the apprehension
of Utility, (that is, the adjustment of parts to a whole, or the
application of the object to an ulterior purpose,) or to Familiarity
and the affection which custom engenders; but they would regard both
Utility and Familiarity as amongst the sources of those agreeable
ideas or impressions, which, by the great law of association, became
intimately connected with the visible object. We must listen,
however, to Mr Ruskin's refutation of them:--

     "That the beautiful is the _useful_ is an assertion evidently
     based on that limited and false sense of the latter term which
     I have already deprecated. As it is the most degrading and
     dangerous supposition which can be advanced on the subject, so,
     fortunately, it is the most palpably absurd. It is to confound
     admiration with hunger, love with lust, and life with sensation;
     it is to assert that the human creature has no ideas and no
     feelings, except those ultimately referable to its brutal
     appetites. It has not a single fact, nor appearance of fact, to
     support it, and needs no combating--at least until its advocates
     have obtained the consent of the majority of mankind that the
     most beautiful productions of nature are seeds and roots; and of
     art, spades and millstones.

     "Somewhat more rational grounds appear for the assertion that
     the sense of the beautiful arises from _familiarity_ with the
     object, though even this could not long be maintained by a
     thinking person. For all that can be alleged in defence of such
     a supposition is, that familiarity deprives some objects which
     at first appeared ugly of much of their repulsiveness; whence
     it is as rational to conclude that familiarity is the cause of
     beauty, as it would be to argue that, because it is possible to
     acquire a taste for olives, therefore custom is the cause of
     lusciousness in grapes....

     "I pass to the last and most weighty theory, that the
     agreeableness in objects which we call beauty is the result of
     the association with them of agreeable or interesting ideas.

     "Frequent has been the support and wide the acceptance of
     this supposition, and yet I suppose that no two consecutive
     sentences were ever written in defence of it, without involving
     either a contradiction or a confusion of terms. Thus Alison,
     'There are scenes undoubtedly more beautiful than Runnymede,
     yet, to those who recollect the great event that passed
     there, there is no scene perhaps which so strongly seizes on
     the imagination,'--where we are wonder-struck at the bold
     obtuseness which would prove the power of imagination by its
     overcoming that very other power (of inherent beauty) whose
     existence the arguer desires; for the only logical conclusion
     which can possibly be drawn from the above sentence is, that
     imagination is _not_ the source of beauty--for, although no
     scene seizes so strongly on the imagination, yet there are
     scenes 'more beautiful than Runnymede.' And though instances
     of self-contradiction as laconic and complete as this are
     rare, yet, if the arguments on the subject be fairly sifted
     from the mass of confused language with which they are always
     encumbered, they will be found invariably to fall into one of
     these two forms: either association gives pleasure, and beauty
     gives pleasure, therefore association is beauty; or the power of
     association is stronger than the power of beauty, therefore the
     power of association _is_ the power of beauty."

Now this last sentence is sheer nonsense, and only proves that the
author had never given himself the trouble to understand the theory
he so flippantly discards. No one ever said that "association gives
pleasure;" but very many, and Mr Ruskin amongst the rest, have said
that associated thought adds its pleasure to an object pleasing in
itself, and thus increases the complex sentiment of beauty. That it
is a complex sentiment in all its higher forms, Mr Ruskin himself
will tell us. As to the manner in which he deals with Alison, it
is in the worst possible spirit of controversy. Alison was an
elegant, but not a very precise writer; it was the easiest thing
in the world to select an unfortunate illustration, and to convict
_that_ of absurdity. Yet he might with equal ease have selected many
other illustrations from Alison, which would have done justice to
the theory he expounds. A hundred such will immediately occur to
the reader. If, instead of a historical recollection of this kind,
which could hardly make the stream itself of Runnymede look more
beautiful, Alison had confined himself to those impressions which
the generality of mankind receive from river scenery, he would have
had no difficulty in showing (as we believe he has elsewhere done)
how, in this case, ideas gathered from different sources flow into
one harmonious and apparently simple feeling. That sentiment of
beauty which arises as we look upon a river will be acknowledged by
most persons to be composed of many associated thoughts, combining
with the object before them. Its form and colour, its bright surface
and its green banks, are all that the eye immediately gives us;
but with these are combined the remembered coolness of the fluent
stream, and of the breeze above it, and of the pleasant shade of its
banks; and beside all this--as there are few persons who have not
escaped with delight from town or village, to wander by the quiet
banks of some neighbouring stream, so there are few persons who do
not associate with river scenery ideas of peace and serenity. Now
many of these thoughts or facts are such as the eye does not take
cognisance of, yet they present themselves as instantaneously as the
visible form, and so blended as to seem, for the moment, to belong
to it.

Why not have selected some such illustration as this, instead of
the unfortunate Runnymede, from a work where so many abound as apt
as they are elegantly expressed? As to Mr Ruskin's utilitarian
philosopher, it is a fabulous creature--no such being exists.
Nor need we detain ourselves with the quite departmental subject
of Familiarity. But let us endeavour--without desiring to pledge
ourselves or our readers to its final adoption--to relieve the
theory of association of ideas from the obscurity our author has
thrown around it. Our readers will not find that this is altogether
a wasted labour.

With Mr Ruskin we are of opinion that, in a discussion of this kind,
the term Beauty ought to be limited to the impression derived,
mediately or immediately, from the visible object. It would be
useless affectation to attempt to restrict the use of the word,
in general, to this application. We can have no objection to the
term Beautiful being applied to a piece of music, or to an eloquent
composition, prose or verse, or even to our moral feelings and
heroic actions; the word has received this general application,
and there is, at basis, a great deal in common between all these
and the sentiment of beauty attendant on the visible object. For
music, or sweet sounds, and poetry, and our moral feelings, have
much to do (through the law of association) with our sentiment of
the Beautiful. It is quite enough if, speaking of the subject of
our analysis, we limit it to those impressions, however originated,
which attend upon the visible object.

One preliminary word on this association of ideas. It is from
its very nature, and the nature of human life, of all degrees
of intimacy--from the casual suggestion, or the case where the
two ideas are at all times felt to be distinct, to those close
combinations where the two ideas have apparently coalesced into
one, or require an attentive analysis to separate them. You see a
mass of iron; you may be said _to see its weight_, the impression
of its weight is so intimately combined with its form. The _light_
of the sun, and the _heat_ of the sun are learnt from different
senses, yet we never see the one without thinking of the other, and
the reflection of the sunbeam seen upon a bank immediately suggests
the idea of _warmth_. But it is not necessary that the combination
should be always so perfect as in this instance, in order to
produce the effect we speak of under the name of Association of
Ideas. It is hardly possible for us to abstract the _glow_ of the
sunbeam from its light; but the fertility which follows upon the
presence of the sun, though a suggestion which habitually occurs
to reflective minds, is an association of a far less intimate
nature. It is sufficiently intimate, however, to blend with that
feeling of admiration we have when we speak of the beauty of the
sun. There is the golden harvest in its summer beams. Again, the
contemplative spirit in all ages has formed an association between
the sun and the Deity, whether as the fittest symbol of God, or as
being His greatest gift to man. Here we have an association still
more refined, and of a somewhat less frequent character, but one
which will be found to enter, in a very subtle manner, into that
impression we receive from the great luminary.

And thus it is that, in different minds, the same materials of
thought may be combined in a closer or laxer relationship. This
should be borne in mind by the candid inquirer. That in many
instances ideas from different sources do coalesce, in the manner
we have been describing, he cannot for an instant doubt. He seems
_to see_ the coolness of that river; he seems _to see_ the warmth on
that sunny bank. In many instances, however, he must make allowance
for the different habitudes of life. The same illustration will not
always have the same force to all men. Those who have cultivated
their minds by different pursuits, or lived amongst scenery of a
different character, cannot have formed exactly the same moral
association with external nature.

These preliminaries being adjusted, what, we ask, is that first
original charm of the _visible object_ which serves as the
foundation for this wonderful superstructure of the Beautiful, to
which almost every department of feeling and of thought will be
found to bring its contribution? What is it so pleasurable that the
eye at once receives from the external world, that round _it_ should
have gathered all these tributary pleasures? Light--colour--form;
but, in reference to our discussion, pre-eminently the exquisite
pleasure derived from the sense of light, pure or coloured. Colour,
from infancy to old age, is one original, universal, perpetual
source of delight, the first and constant element of the Beautiful.

We are far from thinking that the eye does not at once take
cognisance of form as well as colour. Some ingenious analysts have
supposed that the sensation of colour is, in its origin, a mere
mental affection, having no reference to space or external objects,
and that it obtains this reference through the contemporaneous
acquisition of the sense of touch. But there can be no more reason
for supposing that the sense of touch informs us immediately of an
external world than that the sense of colour does. If we do not
allow to all the senses an intuitive reference to the external
world, we shall get it from none of them. Dr Brown, who paid
particular attention to this subject, and who was desirous to limit
the first intimation of the sense of sight to an abstract sensation
of unlocalised colour, failed entirely in his attempt to obtain
from any other source the idea of space or _outness_; Kant would
have given him certain subjective _forms of the sensitive faculty_,
space and time. These he did not like: he saw that, if he denied
to the eye an immediate perception of the external world, he must
also deny it to the touch; he therefore prayed in aid certain
muscular sensations from which the idea of _resistance_ would be
obtained. But it seems to us evident that not till _after_ we have
acquired a knowledge of the external world can we connect _volition_
with muscular movement, and that, until that connection is made,
the muscular sensations stand in the same predicament as other
sensations, and could give him no aid in solving his problem. We
cannot go further into this matter at present.[6] The mere flash of
light which follows the touch upon the optic nerve represents itself
as something _without_; nor was colour, we imagine, ever felt, but
under some _form_ more or less distinct; although in the human being
the eye seems to depend on the touch far more than in other animals,
for its further instruction.

[6] It is seldom any action of a limb is performed without the
concurrence of several muscles; and, if the action is at all
energetic, a number of muscles are brought into play as an equipoise
or balance; the infant, therefore, would be sadly puzzled amongst
its muscular sensations, supposing that it had them. Besides, it
seems clear that those movements we see an infant make with its
arms and legs are, in the first instance, as little _voluntary_ as
the muscular movements it makes for the purpose of respiration.
There is an animal life within us, dependent on its own laws of
irritability. Over a portion of this the developed thought or reason
gains dominion; over a large portion the will never has any hold;
over another portion, as in the organs of respiration, it has an
intermittent and divided empire. We learn voluntary movement by
doing that instinctively and spontaneously which we afterwards do
from forethought. We have moved our arm; we wish to do the like
again, (and to our wonder, if we then had intelligence enough to
wonder,) we do it.

But although the eye is cognisant of form as well as colour, it is
in the sensation of colour that we must seek the primitive pleasure
derived from this organ. And probably the first reason why form
pleases is this, that the boundaries of form are also the lines
of contrast of colour. It is a general law of all sensation that,
if it be continued, our susceptibility to it declines. It was
necessary that the eye should be always open. Its susceptibility is
sustained by the perpetual contrast of colours. Whether the contrast
is sudden, or whether one hue shades gradually into another, we
see here an original and primary source of pleasure. A constant
variety, in some way produced, is essential to the maintenance of
the pleasure derived from colour.

It is not incumbent on us to inquire how far the beauty of form
may be traceable to the sensation of touch;--a very small portion
of it we suspect. In the human countenance, and in sculpture,
the beauty of form is almost resolvable into expression; though
possibly the soft and rounded outline may in some measure be
associated with the sense of smoothness to the touch. All that we
are concerned to show is, that there is here in colour, diffused
as it is over the whole world, and perpetually varied, a _beauty_
at once showered upon the visible object. We hear it said, if you
resolve all into association, where will you begin? You have but a
circle of feelings. If moral sentiment, for instance, be not itself
the beautiful, why should it become so by association. There must
be something else that is _the beautiful_, by association with
which it passes for such. We answer, that we do not resolve _all_
into association; that we have in this one gift of colour, shed so
bountifully over the whole world, an original beauty, a delight
which makes the external object pleasant and beloved; for how can we
fail, in some sort, to love what produces so much pleasure?

We are at a loss to understand how any one can speak with
disparagement of colour as a source of the beautiful. The sculptor
may, perhaps, by his peculiar education, grow comparatively
indifferent to it: we know not how this may be; but let any man,
of the most refined taste imaginable, think what he owes to this
source, when he walks out at evening, and sees the sun set amongst
the hills. The same concave sky, the same scene, so far as its form
is concerned, was there a few hours before, and saddened him with
its gloom; one leaden hue prevailed over all; and now in a clear sky
the sun is setting, and the hills are purple, and the clouds are
radiant with every colour that can be extracted from the sunbeam. He
can hardly believe that it is the same scene, or he the same man.
Here the grown-up man and the child stand always on the same level.
As to the infant, note how its eye feeds upon a brilliant colour, or
the living flame. If it had wings, it would assuredly do as the moth
does. And take the most untutored rustic, let him be old, and dull,
and stupid, yet, as long as the eye has vitality in it, will he look
up with long untiring gaze at this blue vault of the sky, traversed
by its glittering clouds, and pierced by the tall green trees around
him.

Is it any marvel now that round the _visible object_ should
associate tributary feelings of pleasure? How many pleasing and
tender sentiments gather round the rose! Yet the rose is beautiful
in itself. It was beautiful to the child by its colour, its texture,
its softly-shaded leaf, and the contrast between the flower and the
foliage. Love, and poetry, and the tender regrets of advanced life,
have contributed a second dower of beauty. The rose is more to the
youth and to the old man than it was to the child; but still to the
last they both feel the pleasure of the child.

The more commonplace the illustration, the more suited it is to our
purpose. If any one will reflect on the many ideas that cluster
round this beautiful flower, he will not fail to see how numerous
and subtle may be the association formed with the visible object.
Even an idea painful in itself may, by way of contrast, serve
to heighten the pleasure of others with which it is associated.
Here the thought of decay and fragility, like a discord amongst
harmonies, increases our sentiment of tenderness. We express, we
believe, the prevailing taste when we say that there is nothing,
in the shape of art, so disagreeable and repulsive as artificial
flowers. The waxen flower may be an admirable imitation, but it
is a detestable thing. This partly results from the nature of the
imitation; a vulgar deception is often practised upon us: what is
not a flower is intended to pass for one. But it is owing still
more, we think, to the contradiction that is immediately afterwards
felt between this preserved and imperishable waxen flower, and the
transitory and perishable rose. It is the nature of the rose to bud,
and blossom, and decay; it gives its beauty to the breeze and to the
shower; it is mortal; it is _ours_; it bears our hopes, our loves,
our regrets. This waxen substitute, that cannot change or decay, is
a contradiction and a disgust.

Amongst objects of man's contrivance, the sail seen upon the calm
waters of a lake or a river is universally felt to be beautiful. The
form is graceful, and the movement gentle, and its colour contrasts
well either with the shore or the water. But perhaps the chief
element of our pleasure is all association with human life, with
peaceful enjoyment--

    "This quiet sail is as a noiseless wing,
     To waft me from distraction."

Or take one of the noblest objects in nature--the mountain. There
is no object except the sea and the sky that reflects to the sight
colours so beautiful, and in such masses. But colour, and form, and
magnitude, constitute but a part of the beauty or the sublimity of
the mountain. Not only do the clouds encircle or rest upon it, but
men have laid on it their grandest thoughts: we have associated
with it our moral fortitude, and all we understand of greatness
or elevation of mind; our phraseology seems half reflected from
the mountain. Still more, we have made it holy ground. Has not God
himself descended on the mountain? Are not the hills, once and
for ever, "the unwalled temples of our earth?" And still there is
another circumstance attendant upon mountain scenery, which adds a
solemnity of its own, and is a condition of the enjoyment of other
sources of the sublime--solitude. It seems to us that the feeling of
solitude almost always associates itself with mountain scenery. Mrs
Somerville, in the description which she gives or quotes, in her
_Physical Geography_, of the Himalayas, says--

     "The loftiest peaks being bare of snow gives great variety of
     colour and beauty to the scenery, which in these passes is at
     all times magnificent. During the day, the stupendous size of
     the mountains, their interminable extent, the variety and the
     sharpness of their forms, and, above all, the tender clearness
     of their distant outline melting into the pale blue sky,
     contrasted with the deep azure above, is described as a scene of
     wild and wonderful beauty. At midnight, when myriads of stars
     sparkle in the black sky, and the pure blue of the mountains
     looks deeper still below the pale white gleam of the earth and
     snow-light, the effect is of unparalleled sublimity, and no
     language can describe the splendour of the sunbeams at daybreak,
     streaming between the high peaks, and throwing their gigantic
     shadows on the mountains below. There, far above the habitation
     of man, no living thing exists, no sound is heard; the very
     echo of the traveller's footsteps startles him in the awful
     _solitude and silence_ that reigns in those august dwellings of
     everlasting snow."

No one can fail to recognise the effect of the last circumstance
mentioned. Let those mountains be the scene of a gathering of any
human multitude, and they would be more desecrated than if their
peaks had been levelled to the ground. We have also quoted this
description to show how large a share _colour_ takes in beautifying
such a scene. Colour, either in large fields of it, or in sharp
contrasts, or in gradual shading--the play of light, in short, upon
this world--is the first element of beauty.

Here would be the place, were we writing a formal treatise upon
this subject, after showing that there is in the sense of sight
itself a sufficient elementary beauty, whereto other pleasurable
reminiscences may attach themselves, to point out some of these
tributaries. Each sense--the touch, the ear, the smell, the
taste--blend their several remembered pleasures with the object
of vision. Even taste, we say, although Mr Ruskin will scorn
the gross alliance. And we would allude to the fact to show the
extreme subtilty of these mental processes. The fruit which you
think of eating has lost its beauty from that moment--it assumes
to you a quite different relation; but the reminiscence that there
is sweetness in the peach or the grape, whilst it remains quite
subordinate to the pleasure derived from the sense of sight, mingles
with and increases that pleasure. Whilst the cluster of ripe grapes
is looked at only for its beauty, the idea that they are pleasant
to the taste as well steals in unobserved, and adds to the complex
sentiment. If this idea grow distinct and prominent, the beauty of
the grape is gone--you eat it. Here, too, would be the place to take
notice of such sources of pleasure as are derived from adaptation
of parts, or the adaptation of the whole to ulterior purposes;
but here especially should we insist on human affections, human
loves, human sympathies. Here, in the heart of man, his hopes,
his regrets, his affections, do we find the great source of the
beautiful--tributaries which take their name from the stream they
join, but which often form the main current. On that sympathy with
which nature has so wonderfully endowed us, which makes the pain and
pleasure of all other living things our own pain and pleasure, which
binds us not only to our fellow-men, but to every moving creature
on the face of the earth, we should have much to say. How much, for
instance, does its _life_ add to the beauty of the swan!--how much
more its calm and placid life! Here, and on what would follow on
the still more exalted mood of pious contemplation--when all nature
seems as a hymn or song of praise to the Creator--we should be
happy to borrow aid from Mr Ruskin; his essay supplying admirable
materials for certain _chapters_ in a treatise on the beautiful
which should embrace the whole subject.

No such treatise, however, is it our object to compose. We have said
enough to show the true nature of that theory of association, as a
branch of which alone is it possible to take any intelligible view
of Mr Ruskin's _Theoria_, or "Theoretic Faculty." His flagrant error
is, that he will represent a part for the whole, and will distort
and confuse everything for the sake of this representation. Viewed
in their proper limitation, his remarks are often such as every
wise and good man will approve of. Here and there too, there are
shrewd intimations which the psychological student may profit by. He
has pointed out several instances where the associations insisted
upon by writers of the school of Alison have nothing whatever to
do with the sentiment of beauty; and neither harmonise with, nor
exalt it. Not all that may, in any way, _interest_ us in an object,
adds to its beauty. "Thus," as Mr Ruskin we think very justly says,
"where we are told that the leaves of a plant are occupied in
decomposing carbonic acid, and preparing oxygen for us, we begin to
look upon it with some such indifference as upon a gasometer. It
has become a machine; some of our sense of its happiness is gone;
its emanation of inherent life is no longer pure." The knowledge of
the anatomical structure of the limb is very interesting, but it
adds nothing to the beauty of its outline. Scientific associations,
however, of this kind, will have a different æsthetic effect,
according to the degree or the enthusiasm with which the science has
been studied.

It is not our business to advocate this theory of association of
ideas, but briefly to expound it. But we may remark that those who
adopt (as Mr Ruskin has done in one branch of his subject--his
_Æsthesis_) the rival theory of an intuitive perception of the
beautiful, must find a difficulty where to _insert_ this intuitive
perception. The beauty of any one object is generally composed
of several qualities and accessories--to which of these are we
to connect this intuition? And if to the whole assemblage of
them, then, as each of these qualities has been shown by its own
virtue to administer to the general effect, we shall be explaining
again by this new perception what has been already explained.
Select any notorious instance of the beautiful--say the swan.
How many qualities and accessories immediately occur to us as
intimately blended in our minds with the form and white plumage
of the bird! What were its arched neck and mantling wings if it
were not _living_? And how the calm and inoffensive, and somewhat
majestic life it leads, carries away our sympathies! Added to
which, the snow-white form of the swan is imaged in clear waters,
and is relieved by green foliage; and if the bird makes the river
more beautiful, the river, in return, reflects its serenity and
peacefulness upon the bird. Now all this we seem to see as we look
upon the swan. To which of these facts separately will you attach
this new intuition? And if you wait till all are assembled, the bird
is already beautiful.

We are all in the habit of _reasoning_ on the beautiful, of
defending our own tastes, and this just in proportion as the beauty
in question is of a high order. And why do we do this? Because,
just in proportion as the beauty is of an elevated character, does
it depend on some moral association. Every argument of this kind
will be found to consist of an analysis of the sentiment. Nor is
there anything derogatory, as some have supposed, in this analysis
of the sentiment; for we learn from it, at every step, that in the
same degree as men become more refined, more humane, more kind,
equitable, and pious, will the visible world become more richly
clad with beauty. We see here an admirable arrangement, whereby the
external world grows in beauty, as men grow in goodness.

We must now follow Mr Ruskin a step farther into the development
of his _Theoria_. All beauty, he tell us, _is such_, in its high
and only true character, because it is a type of one or more of
God's attributes. This, as we have shown, is to represent one class
of associated thought as absorbing and displacing all the rest.
We protest against this egregious exaggeration of a great and
sacred source of our emotions. With Mr Ruskin's own piety we can
have no quarrel; but we enter a firm and calm protest against a
falsification of our human nature, in obedience to one sentiment,
however sublime. No good can come of it--no good, we mean, to
religion itself. It is substantially the same error, though assuming
a very different garb, which the Puritans committed. They disgusted
men with religion, by introducing it into every law and custom, and
detail of human life. Mr Ruskin would commit the same error in
the department of taste, over which he would rule so despotically:
he is not content that the highest beauty shall be religious; he
will permit nothing to be beautiful, except as it partakes of a
religious character. But there is a vast region lying between the
"animal pleasantness" of his Æsthesis and the pious contemplation of
his Theoria. There is much between the human animal and the saint;
there are the domestic affections and the love they spring from,
and hopes, and regrets, and aspirations, and the hour of peace and
the hour of repose--in short, there is human life. From all human
life, as we have seen, come contributions to the sentiment of the
beautiful, quite as distinctly traced as the peculiar class on which
Mr Ruskin insists.

If any one descanting upon music should affirm, that, in the first
place, there was a certain animal pleasantness in harmony or melody,
or both, but that the real essence of music, that by which it truly
becomes music, was the perception in harmony or melody of types of
the Divine attributes, he would reason exactly in the same manner
on music as Mr Ruskin does on beauty. Nevertheless, although sacred
music is the highest, it is very plain that there is other music
than the sacred, and that all songs are not hymns.

Chapter v. of the present volume bears this title--_Of
Typical Beauty. First, of Infinity, or the type of the Divine
Incomprehensibility._--A boundless space will occur directly to
the reader as a type of the infinite; perhaps it should be rather
described as itself the infinite under one form. But Mr Ruskin finds
the infinite in everything. That idea which he justly describes
as the incomprehensible, and which is so profound and baffling a
mystery to the finite being, is supposed to be thrust upon the mind
on every occasion. Every instance of variety is made the type of the
infinite, as well as every indication of space. We remember that,
in the first volume of the _Modern Painters_, we were not a little
startled at being told that the distinguishing character of every
good artist was, that "he painted the infinite." Good or bad, we now
see that he could scarcely fail to paint the infinite: it must be by
some curious chance that the feat is not accomplished.

     "Now, not only," writes Mr Ruskin, "is this expression of
     infinity in distance most precious wherever we find it, however
     solitary it may be, and however unassisted by other forms and
     kinds of beauty; but it is of such value that no such other
     forms will altogether recompense us for its loss; and much
     as I dread the enunciation of anything that may seem like a
     conventional rule, I have no hesitation in asserting that
     no work of any art, in which this expression of infinity is
     possible, can be perfect or supremely elevated without it; and
     that, in proportion to its presence, _it will exalt and render
     impressive even the most tame and trivial themes_. And I think
     if there be any one grand division, by which it is at all
     possible to set the productions of painting, so far as their
     mere plan or system is concerned, on our right and left hands,
     it is this of light and dark background, of heaven-light and
     of object-light.... There is a spectral etching of Rembrandt,
     a presentation of Christ in the Temple, where the figure of
     a robed priest stands glaring by its gems out of the gloom,
     holding a crosier. Behind it there is a subdued window-light
     seen in the opening, between two columns, without which
     the impressiveness of the whole subject would, I think, be
     incalculably diminished. I cannot tell whether I am at present
     allowing too much weight to my own fancies and predilections;
     but, without so much escape into the outer air and open heaven
     as this, I can take permanent pleasure in no picture.

     "And I think I am supported in this feeling by the unanimous
     practice, if not the confessed opinion, of all artists. The
     painter of portrait _is unhappy without his conventional white
     stroke under the sleeve_, or beside the arm-chair; the painter
     of interiors feels like a caged bird unless he can throw a
     window open, or set the door ajar; the landscapist dares not
     lose himself in forest without a gleam of light under its
     farthest branches, nor ventures out in rain unless he may
     somewhere pierce to a better promise in the distance, or cling
     to some closing gap of variable blue above."--(P. 39.)

But if an open window, or "that conventional white stroke under the
sleeve," is sufficient to indicate the Infinite, how few pictures
there must be in which it is not indicated! and how many "a tame
and trivial theme" must have been, by this indication, exalted and
rendered impressive! And yet it seems that some very celebrated
paintings want this open-window or conventional white stroke. The
Madonna della Sediola of Raphael is known over all Europe; some
print of it may be seen in every village; that virgin-mother, in her
antique chair, embracing her child with so sweet and maternal an
embrace, has found its way to the heart of every woman, Catholic or
Protestant. But unfortunately it has a dark background, and there
is no open window--nothing to typify infinity. To us it seemed that
there was "heaven's light" over the whole picture. Though there
is the chamber wall seen behind the chair, there is nothing to
intimate that the door or the window is closed. One might in charity
have imagined that the light came directly through an open door or
window. However, Mr Ruskin is inexorable. "Raphael," he says, "_in
his full_, betrayed the faith he had received from his father and
his master, and substituted for the radiant sky of the Madonna del
Cardellino the chamber wall of the Madonna della Sediola, and the
brown wainscot of the Baldacchino."

Of other modes in which the Infinite is represented, we have an
instance in "The Beauty of Curvature."

     "The first of these is the curvature of lines and surfaces,
     wherein it at first appears futile to insist upon any
     resemblance or suggestion of infinity, since there is certainly,
     in our ordinary contemplation of it, no sensation of the kind.
     But I have repeated again and again that the ideas of beauty
     are instinctive, and that it is only upon consideration, and
     even then in doubtful and disputable way, that they appear in
     their typical character; neither do I intend at all to insist
     upon the particular meaning which they appear to myself to bear,
     but merely on their actual and demonstrable agreeableness; so
     that in the present case, which I assert positively, and have
     no fear of being able to prove--that a curve of any kind is
     more beautiful than a right line--I leave it to the reader to
     accept or not, as he pleases, _that reason of its agreeableness
     which is the only one that I can at all trace: namely, that
     every curve divides itself infinitely by its changes of
     direction_."--(P. 63.)

Our old friend Jacob Boehmen would have been delighted with this
Theoria. But we must pass on to other types. Chapter vi. treats _of
Unity, or the Type of the Divine Comprehensiveness_.

     "Of the appearances of Unity, or of Unity itself, there are
     several kinds, which it will be found hereafter convenient to
     consider separately. Thus there is the unity of different and
     separate things, subjected to one and the same influence, which
     may be called Subjectional Unity; and this is the unity of the
     clouds, as they are driven by the parallel winds, or as they
     are ordered by the electric currents; this is the unity of the
     sea waves; this, of the bending and undulation of the forest
     masses; and in creatures capable of Will it is the Unity of
     Will, or of Impulse. And there is Unity of Origin, which we may
     call Original Unity, which is of things arising from one spring
     or source, and speaking always of this their brotherhood; and
     this in matter is the unity of the branches of the trees, and
     of the petals and starry rays of flowers, and of the beams of
     light; and in spiritual creatures it is their filial relation
     to Him from whom they have their being. And there is Unity of
     Sequence," &c.--

down another half page. Very little to be got here, we think. Let
us advance to the next chapter. This is entitled, _Of Repose, or the
Type of Divine Permanence_.

It will be admitted on all hands that nothing adds more frequently
to the charms of the visible object than the associated feeling of
repose. The hour of sunset is the hour of repose. Most beautiful
things are enhanced by some reflected feeling of this kind. But
surely one need not go farther than to human labour, and human
restlessness, anxiety, and passion, to understand the charm of
repose. Mr Ruskin carries us at once into the third heaven:--

     "As opposed to passion, changefulness, or laborious exertion,
     Repose is the especial and separating characteristic of the
     eternal mind and power; it is the 'I am' of the Creator, opposed
     to the 'I become' of all creatures; it is the sign alike of the
     supreme knowledge which is incapable of surprise, the supreme
     power which is incapable of labour, the supreme volition which
     is incapable of change; it is the stillness of the beams of the
     eternal chambers laid upon the variable waters of ministering
     creatures."

We must proceed. Chapter viii. treats _Of Symmetry, or the Type
of Divine Justice_. Perhaps the nature of this chapter will be
sufficiently indicated to the reader, now somewhat informed of Mr
Ruskin's mode of thinking, by the title itself. At all events, we
shall pass on to the next chapter, ix.--_Of Purity, or the Type
of Divine Energy_. Here, the reader will perhaps expect to find
himself somewhat more at home. One type, at all events, of Divine
Purity has often been presented to his mind. Light has generally
been considered as the fittest emblem or manifestation of the Divine
Presence,

    "That never but in unapproachëd light
     Dwelt from eternity."

But if the reader has formed any such agreeable expectation he
will be disappointed. Mr Ruskin travels on no beaten track. He finds
some reasons, partly theological, partly gathered from his own
theory of the Beautiful, for discarding this ancient association of
Light with Purity. As the _Divine_ attributes are those which the
visible object typifies, and by no means the _human_, and as Purity,
which is "sinlessness," cannot, he thinks, be predicted of the
Divine nature, it follows that he cannot admit Light to be a type of
Purity. We quote the passage, as it will display the working of his
theory:--

     "It may seem strange to many readers that I have not spoken
     of purity in that sense in which it is most frequently used,
     as a type of sinlessness. I do not deny that the frequent
     metaphorical use of it in Scripture may have, and ought to have,
     much influence on the sympathies with which we regard it; and
     that probably the immediate agreeableness of it to most minds
     arises far more from this source than from that to which I have
     chosen to attribute it. But, in the first place, _if it be
     indeed in the signs of Divine and not of human attributes that
     beauty consists_, I see not how the idea of sin can be formed
     with respect to the Deity; for it is the idea of a relation
     borne by us to Him, and not in any way to be attached to His
     abstract nature; while the Love, Mercifulness, and Justice of
     God I have supposed to be symbolised by other qualities of
     beauty: and I cannot trace any rational connection between them
     and the idea of Spotlessness in matter, nor between this idea
     nor any of the virtues which make up the righteousness of man,
     except perhaps those of truth and openness, which have been
     above spoken of as more expressed by the transparency than the
     mere purity of matter. So that I conceive the use of the terms
     purity, spotlessness, &c., on moral subjects, to be merely
     metaphorical; and that it is rather that we illustrate these
     virtues by the desirableness of material purity, than that we
     desire material purity because it is illustrative of those
     virtues. I repeat, then, that the only idea which I think can be
     legitimately connected with purity of matter is this of vital
     and energetic connection among its particles."

We have been compelled to quote some strange passages, of most
difficult and laborious perusal; but our task is drawing to an
end. The last of these types we have to mention is that _Of
Moderation, or the Type of Government by Law_. We suspect there are
many persons who have rapidly perused Mr Ruskin's works (probably
_skipping_ where the obscurity grew very thick) who would be very
much surprised, if they gave a closer attention to them, at the
strange conceits and absurdities which they had passed over without
examination. Indeed, his very loose and declamatory style, and the
habit of saying extravagant things, set all examination at defiance.
But let any one pause a moment on the last title we have quoted
from Mr Ruskin--let him read the chapter itself--let him reflect
that he has been told in it that "what we express by the terms
chasteness, refinement, and elegance," in any work of art, and more
particularly "that finish" so dear to the intelligent critic, owe
their attractiveness to being types of God's government by law!--we
think he will confess that never in any book, ancient or modern, did
he meet with an absurdity to outrival it.

We have seen why the curve in general is beautiful; we have here the
reason given us why one curve is more beautiful than another:--

     "And herein we at last find the reason of that which has been so
     often noted respecting the subtilty and almost invisibility of
     natural curves and colours, and why it is that we look on those
     lines as least beautiful which fall into wide and far license
     of curvature, and as most beautiful which approach nearest (so
     that the curvilinear character be distinctly asserted) to the
     government of the right line, as in the pure and severe curves
     of the draperies of the religious painters."

There is still the subject of "vital beauty" before us, but we shall
probably be excused from entering further into the development of
"Theoria." It must be quite clear by this time to our readers, that,
whatever there is in it really wise and intelligible, resolves
itself into one branch of that general theory of association of
ideas, of which Alison and others have treated. But we are now
in a condition to understand more clearly that peculiar style of
language which startled us so much in the first volume of the
_Modern Painters_. There we frequently heard of the Divine mission
of the artist, of the religious office of the painter, and how
Mr Turner was delivering God's message to man. What seemed an
oratorical climax, much too frequently repeated, proves to be a
logical sequence of his theoretical principles. All true beauty is
religious; therefore all true art, which is the reproduction of the
beautiful, must be religious also. Every picture gallery is a sort
of temple, every great painter a sort of prophet. If Mr Ruskin is
conscious that he never admires anything beautiful in nature or art,
without a reference to some attribute of God, or some sentiment
of piety, he may be a very exalted person, but he is no type of
humanity. If he asserts this, we must be sufficiently courteous
to believe him; we must not suspect that he is hardly candid with
us, or with himself; but we shall certainly not accept him as a
representative of the _genus homo_. He finds "sermons in stones,"
and sermons always; "books in the running brooks," and always books
of divinity. Other men not deficient in reflection or piety do not
find it thus. Let us hear the poet who, more than any other, has
made a religion of the beauty of nature. Wordsworth, in a passage
familiar to every one of his readers, runs his hand, as it were,
over all the chords of the lyre. He finds other sources of the
beautiful not unworthy his song, besides that high contemplative
piety which he introduces as a noble and fit climax. He recalls the
first ardours of his youth, when the beautiful object itself of
nature seemed to him all, in all:--

                "I cannot paint
    What then I was. The sounding cataract
    Haunted me like a passion; the tall rock,
    The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood.
    Their colours and their forms were thus to me
    An appetite; a feeling and a love
    That had no need of a remoter charm
    By thought supplied, nor any interest
    Unborrowed from the eye. That time is past,
    And all its aching joys are now no more,
    And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
    Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other gifts
    Have followed. I have learned
    To look on nature not as in the hour
    Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
    _The still sad music of humanity,
    Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
    To chasten and subdue_. And I have felt
    A presence that disturbs me with the joy
    Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
    Of something far more deeply interfused,
    Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
    And the round ocean and the living air,
    And the blue sky, and in the mind of man."

Our poet sounds all the chords. He does not muffle any; he honours
Nature in her own simple loveliness, and in the beauty she wins from
the human heart, as well as when she is informed with that sublime
spirit

                      "that impels
    All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
    And rolls through all things."

Sit down, by all means, amongst the fern and the wild-flowers, and
look out upon the blue hills, or near you at the flowing brook, and
thank God, the giver of all this beauty. But what manner of good
will you do by endeavouring to persuade yourself that these objects
_are_ only beautiful because you give thanks for them?--for to this
strange logical inversion will you find yourself reduced. And surely
you learned to esteem and love this benevolence itself, first as
a human attribute, before you became cognisant of it as a Divine
attribute. What other course can the mind take but to travel through
humanity up to God?

There is much more of metaphysics in the volume before us; there
is, in particular, an elaborate investigation of the faculty of
imagination; but we have no inducement to proceed further with
Mr Ruskin in these psychological inquiries. We have given some
attention to his theory of the Beautiful, because it lay at the
basis of a series of critical works which, partly from their
boldness, and partly from the talent of a certain kind which
is manifestly displayed in them, have attained to considerable
popularity. But we have not the same object for prolonging our
examination into his theory of the Imaginative Faculty. "We say
it advisedly," (as Mr Ruskin always adds when he is asserting
anything particularly rash,) we say it advisedly, and with no
rashness whatever, that though our author is a man of great natural
ability, and enunciates boldly many an independent isolated truth,
yet of the spirit of philosophy he is utterly destitute. The
calm, patient, prolonged thinking, which Dugald Stewart somewhere
describes as the one essential characteristic of the successful
student of philosophy, he knows nothing of. He wastes his ingenuity
in making knots where others had long since untied them. He rushes
at a definition, makes a parade of classification; but for any
great and wide generalisation he has no appreciation whatever. He
appears to have no taste, but rather an antipathy for it; when it
lies in his way he avoids it. On this subject of the Imaginative
Faculty he writes and he raves, defines and poetises by turns; makes
laborious distinctions where there is no essential difference; has
his "Imagination Associative," and his "Imagination Penetrative;"
and will not, or cannot, see those broad general principles which
with most educated men have become familiar truths, or truisms. But
what clear thinking can we expect of a writer who thus describes his
"Imagination Penetrative?"--

     "It may seem to the reader that I am incorrect in calling this
     penetrating possession-taking faculty Imagination. Be it so:
     the name is of little consequence; the Faculty itself, called
     by what name it will, I insist upon as the highest intellectual
     power of man. _There is no reasoning in it_; it works not by
     algebra, nor by integral calculus; it is a piercing Pholas-like
     mind's tongue, that works and tastes into the very rock-heart.
     No matter what be the subject submitted to it, substance or
     spirit--all is alike divided asunder, joint and marrow, whatever
     utmost truth, life, principle, it has laid bare; and that which
     has no truth, life, nor principle, dissipated into its original
     smoke at a touch. The whispers at men's ears it lifts into
     visible angels. Vials that have lain sealed in the deep sea a
     thousand years it unseals, and brings out of them Genii."--(P.
     156.)

With such a wonder-working faculty man ought to do much. Indeed,
unless it has been asleep all this time, it is difficult to
understand why there should remain anything for him to do.

Surveying Mr Ruskin's works on art, with the knowledge we have here
acquired of his intellectual character and philosophical theory, we
are at no loss to comprehend that mixture of shrewd and penetrating
remark, of bold and well-placed censure, and of utter nonsense in
the shape of general principles, with which they abound. In his
_Seven Lamps of Architecture_, which is a very entertaining book,
and in his _Stones of Venice_, the reader will find many single
observations which will delight him, as well by their justice, as by
the zeal and vigour with which they are expressed. But from neither
work will he derive any satisfaction if he wishes to carry away with
him broad general views on architecture.

There is no subject Mr Ruskin has treated more largely than that
of architectural ornament; there is none on which he has said more
good things, or delivered juster criticisms; and there is none on
which he has uttered more indisputable nonsense. Every reader of
taste will be grateful to Mr Ruskin if he can pull down from St
Paul's Cathedral, or wherever else they are to be found, those
wreaths or festoons of carved flowers--"that mass of all manner
of fruit and flowers tied heavily into a long bunch, thickest in
the middle, and pinned up by both ends against a dead wall." Urns
with pocket-handkerchiefs upon them, or a sturdy thick flame for
ever issuing from the top, he will receive our thanks for utterly
demolishing. But when Mr Ruskin expounds his principles--and he
always has principles to expound--when he lays down rules for the
government of our taste in this matter, he soon involves us in
hopeless bewilderment. Our ornaments, he tells us, are to be taken
from the works of nature, not of man; and, from some passages of his
writings, we should infer that Mr Ruskin would cover the walls of
our public buildings with representations botanical and geological.
But in this we must be mistaken. At all events, nothing is to be
admitted that is taken from the works of man.

     "I conclude, then, with the reader's leave, that all ornament is
     base which takes for its subject human work; that it is utterly
     base--painful to every rightly toned mind, without, perhaps,
     immediate sense of the reason, but for a reason palpable enough
     when we do think of it. For to carve our own work, and set it up
     for admiration, is a miserable self-complacency, a contentment
     in our wretched doings, when we might have been looking at God's
     doings."

After this, can we venture to admire the building itself, which is,
of necessity, man's own "wretched doing?"

Perplexed by his own rules, he will sometimes break loose from the
entanglement in some such strange manner as this:--"I believe the
right question to ask, with respect to all ornament, is simply this:
Was it done with enjoyment--_was the carver happy while he was about
it_?" Happy art! where the workman is sure to give happiness if
he is but happy at his work. Would that the same could be said of
literature!

How far _colour_ should be introduced into architecture is a
question with men of taste, and a question which of late has been
more than usually discussed. Mr Ruskin leans to the introduction
of colour. His taste may be correct; but the fanciful reasoning
which he brings to bear upon the subject will assist no one else in
forming his own taste. Because there is no connection "between the
spots of an animal's skin and its anatomical system," he lays it
down as the first great principle which is to guide us in the use of
colour in architecture--

     "That it be _visibly independent of form_. Never paint a column
     with vertical lines, but always cross it. Never give separate
     mouldings separate colours," &c. "In certain places," he
     continues, "you may run your two systems closer, and here and
     there let them be parallel for a note or two, but see that the
     colours and the forms coincide only as two orders of mouldings
     do; the same for an instant, but each holding its own course. So
     single members may sometimes have single colours; _as a bird's
     head is sometimes of one colour, and its shoulders another, you
     may make your capital one colour, and your shaft another_; but,
     in general, the best place for colour is on broad surfaces, not
     on the points of interest in form. _An animal is mottled on its
     breast and back, and rarely on its paws and about its eyes_; so
     put your variegation boldly on the flat wall and broad shaft,
     but be shy of it on the capital and moulding."--(_Lamps of
     Architecture_, p. 127.)

We do not quite see what we have to do at all with the "anatomical
system" of the animal, which is kept out of sight; but, in general,
we apprehend there is, both in the animal and vegetable kingdom,
considerable harmony betwixt colour and external form. Such
fantastic reasoning as this, it is evident, will do little towards
establishing that one standard of taste, or that "one school of
architecture," which Mr Ruskin so strenuously insists upon. All
architects are to resign their individual tastes and predilections,
and enrol themselves in one school, which shall adopt one style. We
need not say that the very first question--what that style should
be, Greek or Gothic--would never be decided. Mr Ruskin decides it
in favour of the "earliest English decorated Gothic;" but seems,
in this case, to suspect that his decision will not carry us far
towards unanimity. The scheme is utterly impossible; but he does his
duty, he tells us, by proposing the impossibility.

As a climax to his inconsistency and his abnormal ways of thinking,
he concludes his _Seven Lamps of Architecture_ with a most ominous
paragraph, implying that the time is at hand when no architecture of
any kind will be wanted: man and his works will be both swept away
from the face of the earth. How, with this impression on his mind,
could he have the heart to tell us to build for posterity? Will it
be a commentary on the Apocalypse that we shall next receive from
the pen of Mr Ruskin?



PORTUGUESE POLITICS.


The dramatic and singular revolution of which Portugal has recently
been the theatre, the strange fluctuations and ultimate success
of Marshal Saldanha's insurrection, the narrow escape of Donna
Maria from at least a temporary expulsion from her dominions, have
attracted in this country more attention than is usually bestowed
upon the oft-recurring convulsions of the Peninsula. Busy as the
present year has been, and abounding in events of exciting interest
nearer home, the English public has yet found time to deplore the
anarchy to which Portugal is a prey, and to marvel once more, as it
many times before has marvelled, at the tardy realisation of those
brilliant promises of order, prosperity, and good government, so
long held out to the two Peninsular nations by the promoters of the
Quadruple Alliance. The statesmen who, for nearly a score of years,
have assiduously guided Portugal and Spain in the seductive paths
of modern Liberalism, can hardly feel much gratification at the
results of their well-intended but most unprosperous endeavours.
It is difficult to imagine them contemplating with pride and
exultation, or even without a certain degree of self-reproach, the
fruits of their officious exertions. Repudiating partisan views of
Peninsular politics, putting persons entirely out of the question,
declaring our absolute indifference as to who occupies the thrones
of Spain and Portugal, so long as those countries are well-governed,
casting no imputations upon the motives of those foreign governments
and statesmen who were chiefly instrumental in bringing about the
present state of things south of the Pyrenees, we would look only to
facts, and crave an honest answer to a plain question. The question
is this: After the lapse of seventeen years, what is the condition
of the two nations upon which have been conferred, at grievous
expense of blood and treasure, the much vaunted blessings of rulers
nominally Liberal, and professedly patriotic? For the present we
will confine this inquiry to Portugal, for the reason that the War
of Succession terminated in that country when it was but beginning
in the neighbouring kingdom, since which time the vanquished party,
unlike the Carlists in Spain, have uniformly abstained--with the
single exception of the rising in 1846-7--from armed aggression, and
have observed a patient and peaceful policy. So that the Portuguese
Liberals have had seventeen years' fair trial of their governing
capacity, and cannot allege that their efforts for their country's
welfare have been impeded or retarded by the acts of that party whom
they denounced as incapable of achieving it,--however they may have
been neutralised by dissensions and anarchy in their own ranks.

At this particular juncture of Portuguese affairs, and as no
inappropriate preface to the only reply that can veraciously be
given to the question we have proposed, it will not be amiss to take
a brief retrospective glance at some of the events that preceded
and led to the reign of Donna Maria. It will be remembered that
from the year 1828 to 1834, the Liberals in both houses of the
British Parliament, supported by an overwhelming majority of the
British press, fiercely and pertinaciously assailed the government
and person of Don Miguel, then _de facto_ King of Portugal, king
_de jure_ in the eyes of the Portuguese Legitimists and by the
vote of the Legitimate Cortes of 1828, and recognised (in 1829) by
Spain, by the United States, and by various inferior powers. Twenty
years ago political passions ran high in this country: public men
were, perhaps, less guarded in their language; newspapers were
certainly far more intemperate in theirs; and we may safely say,
that upon no foreign prince, potentate, or politician, has virulent
abuse--proceeding from such respectable sources--ever since been
showered in England, in one half the quantity in which it then
descended upon the head of the unlucky Miguel. Unquestionably Don
Miguel had acted, in many respects, neither well nor wisely: his
early education had been ill-adapted to the high position he was
one day to fill--at a later period of his life he was destined to
take lessons of wisdom and moderation in the stern but wholesome
school of adversity. But it is also beyond a doubt, now that time
has cleared up much which then was purposely garbled and distorted,
that the object of all this invective was by no means so black as
he was painted, and that his character suffered in England from the
malicious calumnies of Pedroite refugees, and from the exaggerated
and easily-accepted statements of the Portuguese correspondents
of English newspapers. The Portuguese nation, removed from such
influence, formed its own opinions from what it saw and observed;
and the respect and affection testified, even at the present
day, to their dethroned sovereign, by a large number of its most
distinguished and respectable members, are the best refutation of
the more odious of the charges so abundantly brought against him,
and so lightly credited in those days of rampant revolution. It is
unnecessary, therefore, to argue that point, even were personal
vindication or attack the objects of this article, instead of being
entirely without its scope. Against the insupportable oppression
exercised by the monster in human form, as which Don Miguel was
then commonly depicted in England and France, innumerable engines
were directed by the governments and press of those two countries.
Insurrections were stirred up in Portugal, volunteers were recruited
abroad, irregular military expeditions were encouraged, loans were
fomented; money-lenders and stock-jobbers were all agog for Pedro,
patriotism, and profit. Orators and newspapers foretold, in glowing
speeches and enthusiastic paragraphs, unbounded prosperity to
Portugal as the sure consequence of the triumph of the revolutionary
party. Rapid progress of civilisation, impartial and economical
administration, increase of commerce, development of the country's
resources, a perfect avalanche of social and political blessings,
were to descend, like manna from heaven, upon the fortunate nation,
so soon as the Liberals obtained the sway of its destinies. It were
beside our purpose here to investigate how it was that, with such
alluring prospects held out to them, the people of Portugal were so
blind to their interests as to supply Don Miguel with men and money,
wherewith to defend himself for five years against the assaults
and intrigues of foreign and domestic enemies. Deprived of support
and encouragement from without, he still held his ground; and the
formation of a quadruple alliance, including the two most powerful
countries in Europe, the enlistment of foreign mercenaries of a
dozen different nations, the entrance of a numerous Spanish army,
were requisite finally to dispossess him of his crown. The anomaly
of the abhorred persecutor and tyrant receiving so much support from
his ill-used subjects, even then struck certain men in this country
whose names stand pretty high upon the list of clear-headed and
experienced politicians, and the Duke of Wellington, Lord Aberdeen,
Sir Robert Peel, Lord Lyndhurst, and others, defended Miguel; but
their arguments, however cogent, were of little avail against the
fierce tide of popular prejudice, unremittingly stimulated by the
declamations of the press. To be brief, in 1834 Don Miguel was
driven from Portugal; and his enemies, put in possession of the
kingdom and all its resources, were at full liberty to realise the
salutary reforms they had announced and promised, and for which they
had professed to fight. On taking the reins of government, they
had everything in their favour; their position was advantageous
and brilliant in the highest degree. They enjoyed the prestige of
a triumph, undisputed authority, powerful foreign protection and
influence. At their disposal was an immense mass of property taken
from the church, as well as the produce of large foreign loans.
Their credit, too, was _then_ unlimited. Lastly--and this was far
from the least of their advantages--they had in their favour the
great discouragement and discontent engendered amongst the partisans
of the Miguelite government, by the numerous and gross blunders
which that government had committed--blunders which contributed
even more to its downfall than did the attacks of its foes, or the
effects of foreign hostility. In short, the Liberals were complete
and undisputed masters of the situation. But, notwithstanding all
the facilities and advantages they enjoyed, what has been the
condition of Portugal since they assumed the reins? What _is_ its
condition at the present day? We need not go far to ascertain it.
The wretched plight of that once prosperous little kingdom is
deposed to by every traveller who visits it, and by every English
journal that has a correspondent there; it is to be traced in the
columns of every Portuguese newspaper, and is admitted and deplored
by thousands who once were strenuous and influential supporters
of the party who promised so much, and who have performed so
little that is good. The reign of that party whose battle-cry is,
or was, Donna Maria and the Constitution, has been an unbroken
series of revolutions, illegalities, peculations, corruptions, and
dilapidations. The immense amount of misnamed "national property"
(the _Infantado_ and church estates,) which was part of their
capital on their accession to power, has disappeared without benefit
either to the country or to its creditors. The treasury is empty;
the public revenues are eaten up by anticipation; civil and military
officers, the court itself, are all in constant and considerable
arrears of salaries and pay. The discipline of the troops is
destroyed, the soldiers being demoralised by the bad example of
their chiefs, including that of Marshal Saldanha himself; for it
is one of the great misfortunes of the Peninsula, that there most
officers of a certain rank consider their political predilections
before their military duty. The "Liberal" party, divided and
subdivided, and split into fractions, whose numbers fluctuate at the
dictates of interest or caprice, presents a lamentable spectacle
of anarchy and inconsistency; whilst the Queen herself, whose good
intentions we by no means impugn, has completely forfeited, as a
necessary consequence of the misconduct of her counsellors, and of
the sufferings the country has endured under her reign, whatever
amount of respect, affection, and influence the Portuguese nation
may once have been disposed to accord her. Such is the sad picture
now presented by Portugal; and none whose acquaintance with facts
renders them competent to judge, will say that it is overcharged or
highly coloured.

The party in Portugal who advocate a return to the ancient
constitution,[7] under which the country flourished--which fell into
abeyance towards the close of the seventeenth century, but which it
is now proposed to revive, as preferable to, and practically more
liberal than, the present system--and who adopt as a banner, and
couple with this scheme, the name of Don Miguel de Bragança, have
not unnaturally derived great accession of strength, both moral and
numerical, from the faults and dissensions of their adversaries. At
the present day there are few things which the European public, and
especially that of this country, sooner becomes indifferent to, and
loses sight of, than the person and pretensions of a dethroned king;
and owing to the lapse of years, to his unobtrusive manner of life,
and to the storm of accusations amidst which he made his exit from
power, Don Miguel would probably be considered, by those persons in
this country who remember his existence, as the least likely member
of the royal triumvirate, now assembled in Germany, to exchange his
exile for a crown. But if we would take a fair and impartial view of
the condition of Portugal, and calculate, as far as is possible in
the case of either of the two Peninsular nations, the probabilities
and chances of the future, we must not suffer ourselves to be
run away with by preconceived prejudices, or to be influenced by
the popular odium attached to a name. After beholding the most
insignificant and unpromising of modern pretenders suddenly elevated
to the virtual sovereignty--however transitory it may prove--of one
of the most powerful and civilised of European nations, it were
rash to denounce as impossible any restoration or enthronement.
And it were especially rash so to do when with the person of the
aspirant to the throne a nation is able to connect a reasonable hope
of improvement in its condition. Of the principle of legitimacy we
here say nothing, for it were vain to deny that in Europe it is
daily less regarded, whilst it sinks into insignificance when put in
competition with the rights and wellbeing of the people.

[7] It is desirable here to explain that the old constitution of
Portugal, whose restoration is the main feature of the scheme of
the National or Royalist party, (it assumes both names,) gave the
right of voting at the election of members of the popular assembly
to every man who had a hearth of his own--whether he occupied a
whole house or a single room--in fact, to all heads of families
and self-supporting persons. Such extent of suffrage ought surely
to content the most democratic, and certainly presents a strong
contrast to the farce of national representation which has been so
long enacting in the Peninsula.

As far back as the period of its emigration, the Pedroite or
Liberal party split into two fractions. One of these believed
in the possible realisation of those ultra-liberal theories so
abundantly promulgated in the proclamations, manifestoes, preambles
of laws, &c., which Don Pedro issued from the Brazils, from England
and France, and afterwards from Terceira and Oporto. The other
fraction of the party had sanctioned the promulgation of these
utopian theories as a means of delusion, and as leading to their
own triumph; but they deemed their realisation impossible, and were
quite decided, when the revolutionary tide should have borne them
into power, to oppose to the unruly flood the barrier of a gradual
but steady reaction. At a later period these divisions of the
Liberal party became more distinctly defined, and resulted, in 1836,
in their nominal classification as Septembrists and Chartists--the
latter of whom (numerically very weak, but comprising Costa Cabral,
and other men of talent and energy) may be compared to the Moderados
of Spain--the former to the Progresistas, but with tendencies more
decidedly republican. It is the ambitious pretensions, the struggles
for power and constant dissensions of these two sets of men, and
of the minor fractions into which they have subdivided themselves,
that have kept Portugal for seventeen years in a state of anarchy,
and have ended by reducing her to her present pitiable condition.
So numerous are the divisions, so violent the quarrels of the two
parties, that their utter dissolution appears inevitable; and it is
in view of this that the National party, as it styles itself, which
inscribes upon its flag the name of Don Miguel--not as an absolute
sovereign, but with powers limited by legitimate constitutional
forms, to whose strict observance they bind him as a condition of
their support, and of his continuance upon the throne upon which
they hope to place him--uplifts its head, reorganises its hosts,
and more clearly defines its political principles. Whilst Chartists
and Septembrists tear each other to pieces, the Miguelites not only
maintain their numerical importance, but, closing their ranks and
acting in strict unity, they give constant proofs of adhesion to Don
Miguel as personifying a national principle, and at the same time
give evidence of political vitality by the activity and progress of
their ideas, which are adapting themselves to the Liberal sentiments
and theories of the times.[8] And it were flying in the face of
facts to deny that this party comprehends a very important portion
of the intelligence and respectability of the nation. It ascribes
to itself an overwhelming majority in the country, and asserts that
five-sixths of the population of Portugal would joyfully hail its
advent to power. This of course must be viewed as an _ex-parte_
statement, difficult for foreigners to verify or refute. But of
late there have been no lack of proofs that a large proportion of
the higher orders of Portuguese are steadfast in their aversion
to the government of the "Liberals," and in their adherence to him
whom they still, after his seventeen years' dethronement, persist in
calling their king, and whom they have supported, during his long
exile, by their willing contributions. It is fresh in every one's
memory that, only the other day, twenty five peers, or successors
of peers, who had been excluded by Don Pedro from the peerage for
having sworn allegiance to his brother, having been reinstated and
invited to take their seats in the Chamber, signed and published
a document utterly rejecting the boon. Some hundreds of officers
of the old army of Don Miguel, who are living for the most part
in penury and privation, were invited to demand from Saldanha the
restitution of their grades, which would have entitled them to
the corresponding pay. To a man they refused, and protested their
devotion to their former sovereign. A new law of elections, with a
very extended franchise--nearly amounting, it is said, to universal
suffrage--having been the other day arbitrarily decreed by the
Saldanha cabinet (certainly a most unconstitutional proceeding,)
and the government having expressed a wish that all parties in the
kingdom should exercise the electoral right, and give their votes
for representatives in the new parliament, a numerous and highly
respectable meeting of the Miguelites was convened at Lisbon.
This meeting voted, with but two dissentient voices, a resolution
of abstaining from all share in the elections, declaring their
determination not to sanction, by coming forward either as voters
or candidates, a system and an order of things which they utterly
repudiated as illegal, oppressive, and forced upon the nation by
foreign interference. The same resolution was adopted by large
assemblages in every province of the kingdom. At various periods,
during the last seventeen years, the Portuguese government has
endeavoured to inveigle the Miguelites into the representative
assembly, doubtless hoping that upon its benches they would be
more accessible to seduction, or easier to intimidate. It is a
remarkable and significant circumstance, that only in one instance
(in the year 1842) have their efforts been successful, and that
the person who was then induced so to deviate from the policy of
his party, speedily gave unmistakable signs of shame and regret.
Bearing in mind the undoubted and easily proved fact that the
Miguelites, whether their numerical strength be or be not as great
as they assert, comprise a large majority of the clergy, of the old
nobility, and of the most highly educated classes of the nation,
their steady and consistent refusal to sanction the present order of
things, by their presence in its legislative assembly, shows a unity
of purpose and action, and a staunch and dogged conviction, which
cannot but be disquieting to their adversaries, and over which it is
impossible lightly to pass in an impartial review of the condition
and prospects of Portugal.

[8] The principal Miguelite papers, _A Nação_ (Lisbon,) and _O
Portugal_ (Oporto,) both of them highly respectable journals,
conducted with much ability and moderation, unceasingly reiterate,
whilst exposing the vices and corruption of the present system,
their aversion to despotism, and their desire for a truly liberal
and constitutional government.

We have already declared our determination here to attach importance
to the persons of none of the four princes and princesses who claim
or occupy the thrones of Spain and Portugal, except in so far as
they may respectively unite the greatest amount of the national
suffrage and adhesion. As regards Don Miguel, we are far from
exaggerating his personal claims--the question of legitimacy being
here waived. His prestige _out_ of Portugal is of the smallest, and
certainly he has never given proofs of great talents, although he is
not altogether without kingly qualities, nor wanting in resolution
and energy; whilst his friends assert, and it is fair to admit as
probable, that he has long since repented and abjured the follies
and errors of his youth. But we cannot be blind to the fact of the
strong sympathy and regard entertained for him by a very large
number of Portuguese. His presence in London during some weeks of
the present summer was the signal for a pilgrimage of Portuguese
noblemen and gentlemen of the best and most influential families in
the country, many of whom openly declared the sole object of their
journey to be to pay their respects to their exiled sovereign;
whilst others, the chief motive of whose visit was the attraction
of the Industrial Exhibition, gladly seized the opportunity to
reiterate the assurances of their fidelity and allegiance. Strangely
enough, the person who opened the procession was a nephew of Marshal
Saldanha, Don Antonio C. de Seabra, a staunch and intelligent
royalist, whose visit to London coincided, as nearly as might be,
with his uncle's flight into Galicia, and with his triumphant
return to Oporto after the victory gained for him as he was
decamping. Senhor Seabra was followed by two of the Freires, nephew
and grand-nephew of the Freire who was minister-plenipotentiary
in London some thirty years ago; by the Marquis and Marchioness
of Vianna, and the Countess of Lapa--all of the first nobility
of Portugal; by the Marquis of Abrantes, a relative of the royal
family of Portugal; by a host of gentlemen of the first families in
the provinces of Beira, Minho, Tras-os-Montes, &c.--Albuquerques,
Mellos, Taveiras, Pachecos, Albergarias, Cunhas, Correa-de-Sas,
Beduidos, San Martinhos, Pereiras, and scores of other names, which
persons acquainted with Portugal will recognise as comprehending
much of the best blood and highest intelligence in the country. Such
demonstrations are not to be overlooked, or regarded as trivial
and unimportant. Men like the Marquis of Abrantes, for instance,
not less distinguished for mental accomplishment and elevation of
character than for illustrious descent,[9] men of large possessions
and extensive influence, cannot be assumed to represent only their
individual opinions. The remarkable step lately taken by a number of
Portuguese of this class, must be regarded as an indication of the
state of feeling of a large portion of the nation; as an indication,
too, of something grievously faulty in the conduct or constitution
of a government which, after seventeen years' sway, has been unable
to rally, reconcile, or even to appease the animosity of any portion
of its original opponents.

[9] The Marquis of Abrantes is descended from the Dukes of
Lancaster, through Philippa of Lancaster, Queen of John I., one of
the greatest kings Portugal ever possessed.

Between the state of Portugal and that of Spain there are, at the
present moment, points of strong contrast, and others of striking
similarity. The similarity is in the actual condition of the two
countries--in their sufferings, misgovernment, and degradation; the
contrast is in the state and prospects of the political parties
they contain. What we have said of the wretched plight of Portugal
applies, with few and unimportant differences, to the condition
of Spain. If there has lately been somewhat less of open anarchy
in the latter country than in the dominions of Donna Maria, there
has not been one iota less of tyrannical government and scandalous
malversation. The public revenue is still squandered and robbed,
the heavy taxes extorted from the millions still flow into the
pockets of a few thousand corrupt officials, ministers are still
stock-jobbers, the liberty of the press is still a farce,[10]
and the national representation an obscene comedy. A change of
ministry in Spain is undoubtedly a most interesting event to those
who go out and those who come in--far more so in Spain than in
any other country, since in no other country does the possession
of office enable a beggar so speedily to transform himself into a
_millionaire_. In Portugal the will is not wanting, but the means
are less ample. More may be safely pilfered out of a sack of corn
than out of a sieveful, and poor little Portugal's revenue does not
afford such scope to the itching palms of Liberal statesmen as does
the more ample one of Spain, which of late years has materially
increased--without, however, the tax-payer and public creditor
experiencing one crumb of the benefit they might fairly expect in
the shape of reduced imposts and augmented dividends. But, however
interesting to the governing fraction, a change of administration in
Spain is contemplated by the governed masses with supreme apathy and
indifference. They used once to be excited by such changes; but they
have long ago got over that weakness, and suffer their pockets to be
picked and their bodies to be trampled with a placidity bordering
on the sublime. As long as things do not get _worse_, they remain
quiet; they have little hope of their getting _better_. Here, again,
in this fertile and beautiful and once rich and powerful country of
Spain, a most gratifying picture is presented to the instigators of
the Quadruple Alliance, to the upholders of the virtuous Christina
and the innocent Isabel! Pity that it is painted with so ensanguined
a brush, and that strife and discord should be the main features
of the composition! Upon the first panel is exhibited a civil war
of seven years' duration, vying, for cold-blooded barbarity and
gratuitous slaughter, with the fiercest and most fanatical contests
that modern _Times_ have witnessed. Terminated by a strange act of
treachery, even yet imperfectly understood, the war was succeeded by
a brief period of well-meaning but inefficient government. By the
daring and unscrupulous manœuvres of Louis Philippe and Christina
this was upset--by means so extraordinary and so disgraceful to all
concerned that scandalised Europe stood aghast, and almost refused
to credit the proofs (which history will record) of the social
degradation of Spaniards. For a moment Spain again stood divided and
in arms, and on the brink of civil war. This danger over, the blood
that had not been shed in the field flowed upon the scaffold: an
iron hand and a pampered army crushed and silenced the disaffection
and murmurs of the great body of the nation; and thus commenced a
system of despotic and unscrupulous misrule and corruption, which
still endures without symptom of improvement. As for the observance
of the constitution, it is a mockery to speak of it, and has been so
any time these eight years. In June 1850, Lord Palmerston, in the
course of his celebrated defence of his foreign policy, declared
himself happy to state that the government of Spain was at that time
carried on more in accordance with the constitution than it had
been two years previously. As ear-witnesses upon the occasion, we
can do his lordship the justice to say that the assurance was less
confidently and unhesitatingly spoken than were most other parts of
his eloquent oration. It was duly cheered, however, by the Commons
House--or at least by those Hispanophilists and philanthropists
upon its benches who accepted the Foreign Secretary's assurance
in lieu of any positive knowledge of their own. The grounds for
applause and gratulation were really of the slenderest. In 1848,
the _un_-constitutional period referred to by Lord Palmerston,
the Narvaez and Christina government were in the full vigour of
their repressive measures, shooting the disaffected by the dozen,
and exporting hundreds to the Philippines or immuring them in
dungeons. This, of course, could not go on for ever; the power was
theirs, the malcontents were compelled to succumb; the paternal and
constitutional government made a desert, and called it peace. Short
time was necessary, when such violent means were employed, to crush
Spain into obedience, and in 1850 she lay supine, still bleeding
from many an inward wound, at her tyrants' feet. This morbid
tranquillity might possibly be mistaken for an indication of an
improved mode of government. As for any other sign of constitutional
rule, we are utterly unable to discern it in either the past or
the present year. The admirable observance of the constitution was
certainly in process of proof, at the very time of Lord Palmerston's
speech, by the almost daily violation of the liberty of the press,
by the seizure of journals whose offending articles the authorities
rarely condescended to designate, and whose incriminated editors
were seldom allowed opportunity of exculpation before a fair
tribunal. It was further testified to, less than four months later,
by a general election, at which such effectual use was made of
those means of intimidation and corruption which are manifold in
Spain, that, when the popular Chamber assembled, the government was
actually alarmed at the smallness of the opposition--limited, as it
was, to about a dozen stray Progresistas, who, like the sleeping
beauty in the fairy tale, rubbed their eyes in wonderment at finding
themselves there. Nor were the ministerial forebodings groundless in
the case of the unscrupulous and tyrannical Narvaez, who, within
a few months, when seemingly more puissant than ever, and with
an overwhelming majority in the Chamber obedient to his nod, was
cast down by the wily hand that had set him up, and driven to seek
safety in France from the vengeance of his innumerable enemies. The
causes of this sudden and singular downfall are still a puzzle and a
mystery to the world; but persons there are, claiming to see further
than their neighbours into political millstones, who pretend that a
distinguished diplomatist, of no very long standing at Madrid, had
more to do than was patent to the world with the disgrace of the
Spanish dictator, whom the wags of the Puerta del Sol declare to
have exclaimed, as his carriage whirled him northwards through the
gates of Madrid, "_Comme Henri Bulwer!_"

[10] This remark, (regarding the press,) literally true in Spain,
does not apply to Portugal.

Passing from the misgovernment and sufferings of Spain to its
political state, we experience some difficulty in clearly defining
and exhibiting this, inasmuch as the various parties that have
hitherto acted under distinct names are gradually blending and
disappearing like the figures in dissolving views. In Portugal,
as we have already shown, whilst Chartists and Septembrists
distract the country, and damage themselves by constant quarrels
and collisions, a third party, unanimous and determined in its
opposition to those two, grows in strength, influence, and
prestige. In Spain, _no_ party shows signs of healthy condition.
In all three--Moderados, Progresistas, and Carlists--symptoms of
dissolution are manifest. In the two countries, Chartists and
Septembrists, Moderados and Progresistas, have alike split into two
or more factions hostile to each other; but whilst, in Portugal,
the Miguelites improve their position, in Spain the Carlist party
is reduced to a mere shadow of its former self. Without recognised
chiefs or able leaders, without political theory of government, it
bases its pretensions solely upon the hereditary right of its head.
For whilst Don Miguel, on several occasions,[11] has declared his
adhesion to the liberal programme advocated by his party for the
security of the national liberties, the Count de Montemolin, either
from indecision of character, or influenced by evil counsels, has
hitherto made no precise, public, and satisfactory declaration of
his views in this particular,[12] and by such injudicious reserve
has lost the suffrages of many whom a distinct pledge would have
gathered round his banner. Thus has he partially neutralised the
object of his father's abdication in his favour. Don Carlos was too
completely identified with the old absolutist party, composed of
intolerant bigots both in temporal and spiritual matters, ever to
have reconciled himself with the progressive spirit of the century,
or to have become acceptable to the present generation of Spaniards.
Discerning or advised of this, he transferred his claims to his son,
thus placing in his hands an excellent card, which the young prince
has not known how to play. If, instead of encouraging a sullen and
unprofitable emigration, fomenting useless insurrections, draining
his adherents' purses, and squandering their blood, he had husbanded
the resources of the party, clearly and publicly defined his plan of
government--if ever seated upon the throne he claims--and awaited
in dignified retirement the progress of events, he would not have
supplied the present rulers of Spain with pretexts, eagerly taken
advantage of, for shameful tyranny and persecution; and he would
have spared himself the mortification of seeing his party dwindle,
and his oldest and most trusted friends and adherents, with few
exceptions, accept pardon and place from the enemies against whom
they had long and bravely contended. But vacillation, incapacity,
and treachery presided at his counsels. He had none to point out
to him--or if any did, they were unheeded or overruled--the fact,
of which experience and repeated disappointments have probably at
last convinced him, that it is not by the armed hand alone--not by
the sword of Cabrera, or by Catalonian guerilla risings--that he
can reasonably hope ever to reach Madrid, but by aid of the moral
force of public opinion, as a result of the misgovernment of Spain's
present rulers, of an increasing confidence in his own merits and
good intentions, and perhaps of such possible contingencies as a
Bourbon restoration in France, or the triumph of the Miguelites in
Portugal. This last-named event will very likely be considered,
by that numerous class of persons who base their opinions of
foreign politics upon hearsay and general impressions rather than
upon accurate knowledge and investigation of facts, as one of the
most improbable of possibilities. A careful and dispassionate
examination of the present state of the Peninsula does not enable
us to regard it as a case of such utter improbability. But for the
intimate and intricate connection between the Spanish and Portuguese
questions, it would by no means surprise us--bearing in mind all
that Portugal has suffered and still suffers under her present
rulers--to see the Miguelite party openly assume the preponderance
in the country. England would not allow it, will be the reply. Let
us try the exact value of this assertion. England has two reasons
for hostility to Don Miguel--one founded on certain considerations
connected with his conduct when formerly on the throne of Portugal,
the other on the dynastic alliance between the two countries. The
government of Donna Maria may reckon upon the sympathy, advice, and
even upon the direct naval assistance of England--up to a certain
point. That is to say, that the English government will do what it
_conveniently_ and _suitably_ can, in favour of the Portuguese queen
and her husband; but there is room for a strong doubt that it would
_seriously_ compromise itself to maintain them upon the throne.
Setting aside Donna Maria's matrimonial connection, Don Miguel, as
a constitutional king, and with certain mercantile and financial
arrangements, would suit English interests every bit as well. But
the case is very different as regards Spain. The restoration of Don
Miguel would be a terrible if not a fatal shock to the throne of
Isabella II. and to the Moderado party, to whom the revival of the
legitimist principle in Portugal would be so much the more dangerous
if experience proved it to be compatible with the interests
created by the Revolution. For the Spanish government, therefore,
intervention against Don Miguel is an absolute necessity--we
might perhaps say a condition of its existence; and thus is Spain
the great stumbling-block in the way of his restoration, whereas
England's objections might be found less invincible. So, in the
civil war in Portugal, this country only co-operated indirectly
against Don Miguel, and it is by no means certain he would have
been overcome, but for the entrance of Rodil's Spaniards, which was
the decisive blow to his cause. And so, the other day, the English
government was seen patiently looking on at the progress of events,
when it is well known that the question of immediate intervention
was warmly debated in the Madrid cabinet, and might possibly have
been carried, but for the moderating influence of English counsels.

[11] Particularly by his "declaration" of the 24th June 1843, by
his autograph letter of instructions of the 15th August of the same
year, and by his "royal letter" of the 6th April 1847, which was
widely circulated in Portugal.

[12] We cannot attach value to the vague and most unsatisfactory
manifesto signed "Carlos Luis," and issued from Bourges in May
1845, or consider it as in the slightest degree disproving what
we have advanced. It contains no distinct pledge or guarantee of
constitutional government, but deals in frothy generalities and
magniloquent protestations, binding to nothing the prince who signed
it, and bearing more traces of the pen of a Jesuit priest than of
that of a competent and statesmanlike adviser of a youthful aspirant
to a throne.

If we consider the critical and hazardous position of
Marshal Saldanha, wavering as he is between Chartists and
Septembrists--threatened to-day with a Cabralist insurrection,
to-morrow with a Septembrist pronunciamiento--it is easy to foresee
that the Miguelite party may soon find tempting opportunities of
an active demonstration in the field. Such a movement, however,
would be decidedly premature. Their game manifestly is to await
with patience the development of the ultimate consequences of
Saldanha's insurrection. It requires no great amount of judgment
and experience in political matters judgment to foresee that he
will be the victim of his own ill-considered movement, and that no
long period will elapse before some new event--be it a Cabralist
reaction or a Septembrist revolt--will prove the instability of the
present order of things. With this certainty in view, the Miguelites
are playing upon velvet. They have only to hold themselves in
readiness to profit by the struggle between the two great divisions
of the Liberal party. From this struggle they are not unlikely to
derive an important accession of strength, if, as is by no means
improbable, the Chartists should be routed and the Septembrists
remain temporary masters of the field. To understand the possible
coalition of a portion of the Chartists with the adherents of Don
Miguel, it suffices to bear in mind that the former are supporters
of constitutional monarchy, which principle would be endangered by
the triumph of the Septembrists, whose republican tendencies are
notorious, as is also--notwithstanding the momentary truce they have
made with her--their hatred to Donna Maria.

The first consequences of a Septembrist pronunciamiento would
probably be the deposition of the Queen and the scattering of the
Chartists; and in this case it is easy to conceive the latter
beholding in an alliance with the Miguelite party their sole chance
of escape from democracy, and from a destruction of the numerous
interests they have acquired during their many years of power. It
is no unfair inference that Costa Cabral, when he caused himself,
shortly after his arrival in London, to be presented to Don Miguel
in a particularly public place, anticipated the probability of some
such events as we have just sketched, and thus indicated, to his
friends and enemies, the new service to which he might one day be
disposed to devote his political talents.

The intricate and suggestive complications of Peninsular politics
offer a wide field for speculation; but of this we are not at
present disposed further to avail ourselves, our object being to
elucidate facts rather than to theorise or indulge in predictions
with respect to two countries by whose political eccentricities
more competent prophets than ourselves have, upon so many occasions
during the last twenty years, been puzzled and led astray. We
sincerely wish that the governments of Spain and Portugal were now
in the hands of men capable of conciliating all parties, and of
averting future convulsions--of men sufficiently able and patriotic
to conceive and carry out measures adapted to the character, temper,
and wants of the two nations. If, by what we should be compelled
to look upon almost as a miracle, such a state of things came
about in the Peninsula, we should be far indeed from desiring to
see it disturbed, and discord again introduced into the land, for
the vindication of the principle of legitimacy, respectable though
we hold that to be. But if Spain and Portugal are to continue a
byword among the nations, the focus of administrative abuses and
oligarchical tyranny; if the lower classes of society in those
countries, by nature brave and generous, are to remain degraded
into the playthings of egotistical adventurers, whilst the more
respectable and intelligent portion of the higher orders stands
aloof in disgust from the orgies of misgovernment; if this state of
things is to endure, without prospect of amendment, until the masses
throw themselves into the arms of the apostles of democracy--who,
it were vain to deny, gain ground in the Peninsula--then, we ask,
before it comes to that, would it not be well to give a chance to
parties and to men whose character and principles at least unite
some elements of stability, and who, whatever reliance may be placed
on their promises for the future, candidly admit their past faults
and errors? Assuredly those nations incur a heavy responsibility,
and but poorly prove their attachment to the cause of constitutional
freedom, who avail themselves of superior force to detain feeble
allies beneath the yoke of intolerable abuses.



THE CONGRESS AND THE AGAPEDOME.

A TALE OF PEACE AND LOVE.


CHAPTER I.

If I were to commence my story by stating, in the manner of the
military biographers, that Jack Wilkinson was as brave a man as
ever pushed a bayonet into the brisket of a Frenchman, I should be
telling a confounded lie, seeing that, to the best of my knowledge,
Jack never had the opportunity of attempting practical phlebotomy.
I shall content myself with describing him as one of the finest and
best-hearted fellows that ever held her Majesty's commission; and no
one who is acquainted with the general character of the officers of
the British army, will require a higher eulogium.

Jack and I were early cronies at school; but we soon separated,
having been born under the influence of different planets. Mars, who
had the charge of Jack, of course devoted him to the army; Jupiter,
who was bound to look after my interests, could find nothing better
for me than a situation in the Woods and Forests, with a faint
chance of becoming in time a subordinate Commissioner--that is,
provided the wrongs of Ann Hicks do not precipitate the abolition of
the whole department. Ten years elapsed before we met; and I regret
to say that, during that interval, neither of us had ascended many
rounds of the ladder of promotion. As was most natural, I considered
my own case as peculiarly hard, and yet Jack's was perhaps harder.
He had visited with his regiment, in the course of duty, the Cape,
the Ionian Islands, Gibraltar, and the West Indies. He had caught
an ague in Canada, and had been transplanted to the north of
Ireland by way of a cure; and yet he had not gained a higher rank
in the service than that of Lieutenant. The fact is, that Jack was
poor, and his brother officers as tough as though they had been
made of caoutchouc. Despite the varieties of climate to which they
were exposed, not one of them would give up the ghost; even the
old colonel, who had been twice despaired of, recovered from the
yellow fever, and within a week after was lapping his claret at the
mess-table as jollily as if nothing had happened. The regiment had a
bad name in the service: they called it, I believe, "the Immortals."

Jack Wilkinson, as I have said, was poor, but he had an uncle
who was enormously rich. This uncle, Mr Peter Pettigrew by name,
was an old bachelor and retired merchant, not likely, according
to the ordinary calculation of chances, to marry; and as he had
no other near relative save Jack, to whom, moreover, he was
sincerely attached, my friend was generally regarded in the light
of a prospective proprietor, and might doubtless, had he been so
inclined, have negotiated a loan, at or under seventy per cent,
with one of those respectable gentlemen who are making such violent
efforts to abolish Christian legislation. But Pettigrew also was
tough as one of "the Immortals," and Jack was too prudent a fellow
to intrust himself to hands so eminently accomplished in the art
of wringing the last drop of moisture from a sponge. His uncle, he
said, had always behaved handsomely to him, and he would see the
whole tribe of Issachar drowned in the Dardanelles rather than abuse
his kindness by raising money on a post-obit. Pettigrew, indeed, had
paid for his commission, and, moreover, given him a fair allowance
whilst he was quartered abroad--circumstances which rendered it
extremely probable that he would come forward to assist his nephew
so soon as the latter had any prospect of purchasing his company.

Happening by accident to be in Hull, where the regiment was
quartered, I encountered Wilkinson, whom I found not a whit altered
for the worse, either in mind or body, since the days when we were
at school together; and at his instance I agreed to prolong my
stay, and partake of the hospitality of the Immortals. A merry set
they were! The major told a capital story, the senior captain sung
like Incledon, the _cuisine_ was beyond reproach, and the liquor
only too alluring. But all things must have an end. It is wise to
quit even the most delightful society before it palls upon you,
and before it is accurately ascertained that you, clever fellow
as you are, can be, on occasion, quite as prosy and ridiculous as
your neighbours; therefore on the third day I declined a renewal
of the ambrosial banquet, and succeeded in persuading Wilkinson to
take a quiet dinner with me at my own hotel. He assented--the more
readily, perhaps, that he appeared slightly depressed in spirits, a
phenomenon not altogether unknown under similar circumstances.

After the cloth was removed, we began to discourse upon our
respective fortunes, not omitting the usual complimentary remarks
which, in such moments of confidence, are applied to one's
superiors, who may be very thankful that they do not possess a
preternatural power of hearing. Jack informed me that at length
a vacancy had occurred in his regiment, and that he had now an
opportunity, could he deposit the money, of getting his captaincy.
But there was evidently a screw loose somewhere.

"I must own," said Jack, "that it _is_ hard, after having waited so
long, to lose a chance which may not occur again for years; but what
can I do? You see I haven't got the money; so I suppose I must just
bend to my luck, and wait in patience for my company until my head
is as bare as a billiard-ball!"

"But, Jack," said I, "excuse me for making the remark--but won't
your uncle, Mr Pettigrew, assist you?"

"Not the slightest chance of it."

"You surprise me," said I; "I am very sorry to hear you say so. I
always understood that you were a prime favourite of his."

"So I was; and so, perhaps, I am," replied Wilkinson; "but that
don't alter the matter."

"Why, surely," said I, "if he is inclined to help you at all, he
will not be backward at a time like this. I am afraid, Jack, you
allow your modesty to wrong you."

"I shall permit my modesty," said Jack, "to take no such impertinent
liberty. But I see you don't know my uncle Peter."

"I have not that pleasure, certainly; but he bears the character of
a good honest fellow, and everybody believes that you are to be his
heir."

"That may be, or may not, according to circumstances," said
Wilkinson. "You are quite right as to his character, which I
would advise no one to challenge in my presence; for, though I
should never get another stiver from him, or see a farthing of his
property, I am bound to acknowledge that he has acted towards me in
the most generous manner. But I repeat that you don't understand my
uncle."

"Nor ever shall," said I, "unless you condescend to enlighten me."

"Well, then, listen. Old Peter would be a regular trump, but for one
besetting foible. He cannot resist a crotchet. The more palpably
absurd and idiotical any scheme may be, the more eagerly he adopts
it; nay, unless it _is_ absurd and idiotical, such as no man of
common sense would listen to for a moment, he will have nothing
to say to it. He is quite shrewd enough with regard to commercial
matters. During the railway mania, he is supposed to have doubled
his capital. Never having had any faith in the stability of the
system, he sold out just at the right moment, alleging that it was
full time to do so, when Sir Robert Peel introduced a bill giving
the Government the right of purchasing any line when its dividends
amounted to ten per cent. The result proved that he was correct."

"It did, undoubtedly. But surely that is no evidence of his extreme
tendency to be led astray by crotchets?"

"Quite the reverse: the scheme was not sufficiently absurd for him.
Besides, I must tell you, that in pure commercial matters it would
be very difficult to overreach or deceive my uncle. He has a clear
eye for pounds, shillings, and pence--principal and interest--and
can look very well after himself when his purse is directly
assailed. His real weakness lies in sentiment."

"Not, I trust, towards the feminine gender? That might be awkward
for you in a gentleman of his years!"

"Not precisely--though I would not like to trust him in the hands
of a designing female. His besetting weakness turns on the point of
the regeneration of mankind. Forty or fifty years ago he would have
been a follower of Johanna Southcote. He subscribed liberally to
Owen's schemes, and was within an ace of turning out with Thom of
Canterbury. Incredible as it may appear, he actually was for a time
a regular and accepted Mormonite."

"You don't mean to say so?"

"Fact, I assure you, upon my honour! But for a swindle that Joe
Smith tried to perpetrate about the discounting of a bill, Peter
Pettigrew might at this moment have been a leading saint in the
temple of Nauvoo, or whatever else they call the capital of that
polygamous and promiscuous persuasion."

"You amaze me. How any man of common sense--"

"That's just the point. Where common sense ends, Uncle Pettigrew
begins. Give him a mere thread of practicability, and he will arrive
at a sound conclusion. Envelope him in the mist of theory, and he
will walk headlong over a precipice."

"Why, Jack," said I, "you seem to have improved in your figures
of speech since you joined the army. That last sentence was worth
preservation. But I don't clearly understand you yet. What is his
present phase, which seems to stand in the way of your prospects?"

"Can't you guess? What is the most absurd feature of the present
time?"

"That," said I, "is a very difficult question. There's Free Trade,
and the proposed Exhibition--both of them absurd enough, if you
look to their ultimate tendency. Then there are Sir Charles Wood's
Budget, and the new Reform Bill, and the Encumbered Estates Act, and
the whole rubbish of the Cabinet, which they have neither sense to
suppress nor courage to carry through. Upon my word, Jack, it would
be impossible for me to answer your question satisfactorily."

"What do you think of the Peace Congress?" asked Wilkinson.

"As Palmerston does," said I; "remarkably meanly. But why do you put
that point? Surely Mr Pettigrew has not become a disciple of the
blatant blacksmith?"

"Read that, and judge for yourself," said Wilkinson, handing me over
a letter.

I read as follows:--

     "MY DEAR NEPHEW,--I have your letter of the 15th, apprising me
     of your wish to obtain what you term a step in the service. I
     am aware that I am not entitled to blame you for a misguided
     and lamentably mistaken zeal, which, to my shame be it said, I
     was the means of originally kindling; still, you must excuse
     me if, with the new lights which have been vouchsafed to me, I
     decline to assist your progress towards wholesale homicide, or
     lend any farther countenance to a profession which is subversive
     of that universal brotherhood and entire fraternity which ought
     to prevail among the nations. The fact is, Jack, that, up to
     the present time, I have entertained ideas which were totally
     false regarding the greatness of my country. I used to think
     that England was quite as glorious from her renown in arms as
     from her skill in arts--that she had reason to plume herself
     upon her ancient and modern victories, and that patriotism
     was a virtue which it was incumbent upon freemen to view with
     respect and veneration. Led astray by these wretched prejudices,
     I gave my consent to your enrolling yourself in the ranks of
     the British army, little thinking that, by such a step, I was
     doing a material injury to the cause of general pacification,
     and, in fact, retarding the advent of that millennium which
     will commence so soon as the military profession is entirely
     suppressed throughout Europe. I am now also painfully aware
     that, towards you individually, I have failed in performing my
     duty. I have been the means of inoculating you with a thirst
     for human blood, and of depriving you of that opportunity of
     adding to the resources of your country, which you might have
     enjoyed had I placed you early in one of those establishments
     which, by sending exports to the uttermost parts of the earth,
     have contributed so magnificently to the diffusion of British
     patterns, and the growth of American cotton under a mild system
     of servitude, which none, save the minions of royalty, dare
     denominate as actual slavery.

     "In short, Jack, I have wronged you; but I should wrong you
     still more were I to furnish you with the means of advancing one
     other step in your bloody and inhuman profession. It is full
     time that we should discard all national recollections. We have
     already given a glorious example to Europe and the world, by
     throwing open our ports to their produce without requiring the
     assurance of reciprocity--let us take another step in the same
     direction, and, by a complete disarmament, convince them that
     for the future we rely upon moral reason, instead of physical
     force, as the means of deciding differences. I shall be glad,
     my dear boy, to repair the injury which I have unfortunately
     done you, by contributing a sum, equal to three times the
     amount required for the purchase of a company, towards your
     establishment as a partner in an exporting house, if you can
     hear of an eligible offer. Pray keep an eye on the advertising
     columns of the _Economist_. That journal is in every way
     trustworthy, except, perhaps, when it deals in quotation. I must
     now conclude, as I have to attend a meeting for the purpose of
     denouncing the policy of Russia, and of warning the misguided
     capitalists of London against the perils of an Austrian loan.
     You cannot, I am sure, doubt my affection, but you must not
     expect me to advance my money towards keeping up a herd of
     locusts, without which there would be a general conversion of
     swords and bayonets into machinery--ploughshares, spades, and
     pruning-hooks being, for the present, rather at a discount.--I
     remain always your affectionate uncle,

     "PETER PETTIGREW.

     "_P. S._--Address to me at Hesse Homberg, whither I am going as
     a delegate to the Peace Congress."

"Well, what do you think of that?" said Wilkinson, when I had
finished this comfortable epistle. "I presume you agree with me,
that I have no chance whatever of receiving assistance from that
quarter."

"Why, not much I should say, unless you can succeed in convincing Mr
Pettigrew of the error of his ways. It seems to me a regular case of
monomania."

"Would you not suppose, after reading that letter, that I was a
sort of sucking tiger, or at best an ogre, who never could sleep
comfortably unless he had finished off the evening with a cup of
gore?" said Wilkinson. "I like that coming from old Uncle Peter, who
used to sing Rule Britannia till he was hoarse, and always dedicated
his second glass of port to the health of the Duke of Wellington!"

"But what do you intend to do?" said I. "Will you accept his offer,
and become a fabricator of calicoes?"

"I'd as soon become a field preacher, and hold forth on an inverted
tub! But the matter is really very serious. In his present mood of
mind, Uncle Peter will disinherit me to a certainty if I remain in
the army."

"Does he usually adhere long to any particular crotchet?" said I.

"Why, no; and therein lies my hope. Judging from past experience,
I should say that this fit is not likely to last above a month or
two; still you see there may be danger in treating the matter too
lightly: besides, there is no saying when such another opportunity
of getting a step may occur. What would you advise under the
circumstances?"

"If I were in your place," said I, "I think I should go over to
Hesse Homberg at once. You need not identify yourself entirely with
the Peace gentry; you will be near your uncle, and ready to act as
circumstances may suggest."

"That is just my own notion; and I think I can obtain leave of
absence. I say--could you not manage to go along with me? It would
be a real act of friendship; for, to say the truth, I don't think I
could trust any of our fellows in the company of the Quakers."

"Well--I believe they can spare me for a little longer from my
official duties; and as the weather is fine, I don't mind if I go."

"That's a good fellow! I shall make my arrangements this evening;
for the sooner we are off the better."

Two days afterwards we were steaming up the Rhine, a river which, I
trust, may persevere in its attempt to redeem its ancient character.
In 1848, when I visited Germany last, you might just as well have
navigated the Phlegethon in so far as pleasure was concerned. Those
were the days of barricades and of Frankfort murders--of the obscene
German Parliament, as the junta of rogues, fanatics, and imbeciles,
who were assembled in St Paul's Church, denominated themselves; and
of every phase and form of political quackery and insurrection.
Now, however, matters were somewhat mended. The star of Gagern had
waned. The popularity of the Archduke John had exhaled like the
fume of a farthing candle. Hecker and Struve were hanged, shot, or
expatriated; and the peaceably disposed traveller could once more
retire to rest in his hotel, without being haunted by a horrid
suspicion that ere morning some truculent waiter might experiment
upon the toughness of his larynx. I was glad to observe that the
Frankforters appeared a good deal humbled. They were always a
pestilent set; but during the revolutionary year their insolence
rose to such a pitch that it was hardly safe for a man of warm
temperament to enter a shop, lest he should be provoked by the airs
and impertinence of the owner to commit an assault upon Freedom in
the person of her democratic votary. I suspect the Frankforters are
now tolerably aware that revolutions are the reverse of profitable.
They escaped sack and pillage by a sheer miracle, and probably they
will not again exert themselves, at least for a considerable number
of years, to hasten the approach of a similar crisis.

Everybody knows Homberg. On one pretext or another--whether the
mineral springs, the baths, the gaiety, or the gambling--the
integral portions of that tide of voyagers which annually fluctuates
through the Rheingau, find their way to that pleasant little
pandemonium, and contribute, I have no doubt, very largely to
the revenues of that high and puissant monarch who rules over a
population not quite so large as that comprehended within the
boundaries of Clackmannan. But various as its visitors always are,
and diverse in language, habits, and morals, I question whether
Homberg ever exhibited on any previous occasion so queer and
incongruous a mixture. Doubtful counts, apocryphal barons, and
chevaliers of the extremest industry, mingled with sleek Quakers,
Manchester reformers, and clerical agitators of every imaginable
species of dissent. Then there were women, for the most part of a
middle age, who, although their complexions would certainly have
been improved by a course of the medicinal waters, had evidently
come to Homberg on a higher and holier mission. There was also a
sprinkling of French deputies--Red Republicans by principle, who,
if not the most ardent friends of pacification, are at least the
loudest in their denunciation of standing armies--a fair proportion
of political exiles, who found their own countries too hot to hold
them in consequence of the caloric which they had been the means
of evoking--and one or two of those unhappy personages, whose itch
for notoriety is greater than their modicum of sense. We were not
long in finding Mr Peter Pettigrew. He was solacing himself in
the gardens, previous to the table-d'hôte, by listening to the
exhilarating strains of the brass band which was performing a
military march; and by his side was a lady attired, not in the usual
costume of her sex, but in a polka jacket and wide trousers, which
gave her all the appearance of a veteran duenna of a seraglio. Uncle
Peter, however, beamed upon her as tenderly as though she were a
Circassian captive. To this lady, by name Miss Lavinia Latchley, an
American authoress of much renown, and a decided champion of the
rights of woman, we were presented in due form. After the first
greetings were over, Mr Pettigrew opened the trenches.

"So Jack, my boy, you have come to Homberg to see how we carry on
the war, eh? No--Lord forgive me--that's not what I mean. We don't
intend to carry on any kind of war: we mean to put it down--clap
the extinguisher upon it, you know; and have done with all kinds
of cannons. Bad thing, gunpowder! I once sustained a heavy loss by
sending out a cargo of it to Sierra Leone."

"I should have thought that a paying speculation," observed Jack.

"Not a whit of it! The cruisers spoiled the trade; and the
missionaries--confound them for meddling with matters which they
did not understand!--had patched up a peace among the chiefs of the
cannibals; so that for two years there was not a slave to be had for
love or money, and powder went down a hundred and seventy per cent."

"Such are the effects," remarked Miss Latchley with a sarcastic
smile, which disclosed a row of teeth as yellow as the buds
of the crocus--"such are the effects of an ill regulated and
unphilosophical yearning after the visionary theories of an
unopportune emancipation! Oh that men, instead of squandering their
sympathies upon the lower grades of creation, would emancipate
themselves from that network of error and prejudice which
reticulates over the whole surface of society, and by acknowledging
the divine mission and hereditary claims of woman, construct a new,
a fairer Eden than any which was fabled to exist within the confines
of the primitive Chaldæa!"

"Very true, indeed, ma'am!" replied Mr Pettigrew; "there is a great
deal of sound sense and observation in what you say. But Jack--I
hope you intend to become a member of Congress at once. I shall be
glad to present you at our afternoon meeting in the character of a
converted officer."

"You are very good, uncle, I am sure," said Wilkinson, "but I would
rather wait a little. I am certain you would not wish me to take
so serious a step without mature deliberation; and I hope that my
attendance here, in answer to your summons, will convince you that I
am at least open to conviction. In fact, I wish to hear the argument
of your friends before I come to a definite decision."

"Very right, Jack; very right!" said Mr Pettigrew. "I don't like
converts at a minute's notice, as I remarked to a certain M.P. when
he followed in the wake of Peel. Take your time, and form your own
judgment; I cannot doubt of the result, if you only listen to the
arguments of the leading men of Europe."

"And do you reckon America as nothing, dear Mr Pettigrew?" said
Miss Latchley. "Columbia may not be able to contribute to the task
so practical and masculine an intellect as yours, yet still within
many a Transatlantic bosom burns a hate of tyranny not less intense,
though perhaps less corruscating, than your own."

"I know it, I know it, dear Miss Latchley!" replied the infatuated
Peter. "A word from you is at any time worth a lecture, at least
if I may judge from the effects which your magnificent eloquence
has produced on my own mind. Jack, I suppose you have never had the
privilege of listening to the lectures of Miss Latchley?"

Jack modestly acknowledged the gap which had been left in his
education; stating, at the same time, his intense desire to have it
filled up at the first convenient opportunity. Miss Latchley heaved
a sigh.

"I hope you do not flatter me," she said, "as is too much the
case with men whose thoughts have been led habitually to deviate
from sincerity. The worst symptom of the present age lies in its
acquiescence with axioms. Free us from that, and we are free indeed;
perpetuate its thraldom, and Truth, which is the daughter of
Innocence and Liberty, imps its wings in vain, and cannot emancipate
itself from the pressure of that raiment which was devised to impede
its glorious walk among the nations."

Jack made no reply beyond a glance at the terminations of the lady,
which showed that she at all events was resolved that no extra
raiment should trammel her onward progress.

As the customary hour of the table-d'hôte was approaching, we
separated, Jack and I pledging ourselves to attend the afternoon
meeting of the Peace Congress, for the purpose of receiving our
first lesson in the mysteries of pacification.

"Well, what do you think of that?" said Jack, as Mr Pettigrew and
the Latchley walked off together. "Hang me if I don't suspect that
old harpy in the breeches has a design on Uncle Peter!"

"Small doubt of that," said I; "and you will find it rather
a difficult job to get him out of her clutches. Your female
philosopher adheres to her victim with all the tenacity of a
polecat."

"Here is a pretty business!" groaned Jack. "I'll tell you what it
is--I have more than half a mind to put an end to it, by telling my
uncle what I think of his conduct, and then leaving him to marry
this harridan, and make a further fool of himself in any way he
pleases!"

"Don't be silly, Jack!" said I; "It will be time enough to do that
after everything else has failed; and, for my own part, I see no
reason to despair. In the mean time, if you please, let us secure
places at the dinner-table."


CHAPTER II.

"Dear friends and well-beloved brothers! I wish from the bottom
of my heart that there was but one universal language, so that
the general sentiments of love, equality, and fraternity, which
animate the bosoms of all the pacificators and detesters of tyranny
throughout the world, might find a simultaneous echo in your ears,
by the medium of a common speech. The diversity of dialects, which
now unfortunately prevails, was originally invented under cover of
the feudal system, by the minions of despotism, who thought, by such
despicable means, for ever to perpetuate their power. It is part of
the same system which decrees that in different countries alien to
each other in speech, those unhappy persons who have sold themselves
to do the bidding of tyrants shall be distinguished by different
uniforms. O my brothers! see what a hellish and deep-laid system is
here! English and French--scarlet against blue--different tongues
invented, and different garments prescribed, to inflame the passions
of mankind against each other, and to stifle their common fraternity!

"Take down, I say, from your halls and churches those wretched
tatters of silk which you designate as national colours! Bring
hither, from all parts of the earth, the butt of the gun and
the shaft of the spear, and all combustible implements of
destruction--your fascines, your scaling-ladders, and your terrible
pontoons, that have made so many mothers childless! Heap them into
one enormous pile--yea, heap them to the very stars--and on that
blazing altar let there be thrown the Union Jack of Britain, the
tricolor of France, the eagles of Russia, Austria, and Prussia, the
American stripes and stars, and every other banner and emblem of
that accursed nationality, through which alone mankind is defrauded
of his birthright. Then let all men join hands together, and as they
dance around the reeking pile, let them in one common speech chaunt
a simultaneous hymn in honour of their universal deliverance, and in
commemoration of their cosmopolitan triumph!

"O my brothers, O my brothers! what shall I say further? Ha! I will
not address myself to you whose hearts are already kindled within
you by the purest of spiritual flames. I will uplift my voice, and
in words of thunder exhort the debased minions of tyranny to arouse
themselves ere it be too late, and to shake off those fetters which
they wear for the purpose of enslaving others. Hear me, then, ye
soldiers!--hear me, ye degraded serfs!--hear me, ye monsters of
iniquity! Oh, if the earth could speak, what a voice would arise
out of its desolate battle-fields, to testify against you and
yours! Tell us not that you have fought for freedom. Was freedom
ever won by the sword? Tell us not that you have defended your
country's rights, for in the eye of the true philosopher there is
no country save one, and that is the universal earth, to which all
have an equal claim. Shelter not yourselves, night-prowling hyenas
as you are, under such miserable pretexts as these! Hie ye to the
charnel-houses, ye bats, ye vampires, ye ravens, ye birds of the
foulest omen! Strive, if you can, in their dark recesses, to hide
yourselves from the glare of that light which is now permeating
the world. O the dawn! O the glory! O the universal illumination!
See, my brothers, how they shrink, how they flee from its cheering
influence! Tremble, minions of despotism! Your race is run, your
very empires are tottering around you. See--with one grasp I crush
them all, as I crush this flimsy scroll!"

Here the eloquent gentleman, having made a paper ball of the last
number of the _Allgemeine Zeitung_, sate down amidst the vociferous
applause of the assembly. He was the first orator who had spoken,
and I believe had been selected to lead the van on account of his
platform experience, which was very great. I cannot say, however,
that his arguments produced entire conviction upon my mind, or that
of my companion, judging from certain muttered adjurations which
fell from Wilkinson, to the effect that on the first convenient
opportunity he would take means to make the crumpler-up of nations
atone for his scurrilous abuse of the army. We were next favoured
with addresses in Sclavonian, German, and French; and then another
British orator came forward to enlighten the public. This last was
a fellow of some fancy. Avoiding all stale topics about despotism,
aristocracies, and standing armies, he went to the root of the
matter, by asserting that in Vegetarianism alone lay the true escape
from the horrors and miseries of war. Mr Belcher--for such was the
name of this distinguished philanthropist--opined that without beef
and mutton there never could be a battle.

"Had Napoleon," said he, "been dieted from his youth upwards upon
turnips, the world would have been spared those scenes of butchery,
which must ever remain a blot upon the history of the present
century. One of our oldest English annalists assures us that Jack
Cade, than whom, perhaps, there never breathed a more uncompromising
enemy of tyranny, subsisted entirely upon spinach. This fact has
been beautifully treated by Shakspeare, whose passion for onions was
proverbial, in his play of Henry VI., wherein he represents Cade,
immediately before his death, as engaged in the preparation of a
salad. I myself," continued Mr Belcher in a slightly flatulent tone,
"can assure this honourable company, that for more than six months I
have cautiously abstained from using any other kind of food, except
broccoli, which I find at once refreshing and laxative, light, airy,
and digestible!"

Mr Belcher having ended, a bearded gentleman, who enjoyed the
reputation of being the most notorious duellist in Europe, rose
up for the purpose of addressing the audience; but by this time
the afternoon was considerably advanced, and a large number of the
Congress had silently seceded to the _roulette_ and _rouge-et-noir_
tables. Among these, to my great surprise, were Miss Latchley and
Mr Pettigrew: it being, as I afterwards understood, the invariable
practice of this gifted lady, whenever she could secure a victim,
to avail herself of his pecuniary resources; so that if fortune
declared against her, the gentleman stood the loss, whilst, in the
opposite event, she retained possession of the spoil. I daresay some
of my readers may have been witnesses to a similar arrangement.

As it was no use remaining after the departure of Mr Pettigrew,
Wilkinson and I sallied forth for a stroll, not, as you may well
conceive, in a high state of enthusiasm or rapture.

"I would not have believed," said Wilkinson, "unless I had seen it
with my own eyes, that it was possible to collect in one room so
many samples of absolute idiocy. What a pleasant companion that
Belcher fellow, who eats nothing but broccoli, must be!"

"A little variety in the way of peas would probably render him
perfect. But what do you say to the first orator?"

"I shall reserve the expression of my opinion," replied Jack, "until
I have the satisfaction of meeting that gentleman in private. But
how are we to proceed? With this woman in the way, it entirely
baffles my comprehension."

"Do you know, Jack, I was thinking of that during the whole time of
the meeting; and it does appear to me that there is a way open by
which we may precipitate the crisis. Mind--I don't answer for the
success of my scheme, but it has at least the merit of simplicity."

"Out with it, my dear fellow! I am all impatience," cried Jack.

"Well, then," said I, "did you remark the queer and heterogeneous
nature of the company? I don't think, if you except the Quakers, who
have the generic similarity of eels, that you could have picked out
any two individuals with a tolerable resemblance to each other."

"That's likely enough, for they are a most seedy set. But what of
it?"

"Why, simply this: I suspect the majority of them are political
refugees. No person, who is not an absurd fanatic or a designing
demagogue, can have any sympathy with the nonsense which is talked
against governments and standing armies. The Red Republicans, of
whom I can assure you there are plenty in every state in Europe,
are naturally most desirous to get rid of the latter, by whom they
are held in check; and if that were once accomplished, no kind of
government could stand for a single day. They are now appealing,
as they call it, to public opinion, by means of these congresses
and gatherings; and they have contrived, under cover of a zeal for
universal peace, to induce a considerable number of weak and foolish
people to join with them in a cry which is simply the forerunner of
revolution."

"All that I understand; but I don't quite see your drift."

"Every one of these bearded vagabonds hates the other like poison.
Talk of fraternity, indeed! They want to have revolution first; and
if they could get it, you would see them flying at each other's
throats like a pack of wild dogs that have pulled down a deer.
Now, my plan is this: Let us have a supper-party, and invite a
deputy from each nation. My life upon it, that before they have
been half-an-hour together, there will be such a row among the
fraternisers as will frighten your uncle Peter out of his senses,
or, still better, out of his present crotchet."

"A capital idea! But how shall we get hold of the fellows?"

"That's not very difficult. They are at this moment hard at work
at roulette, and they will come readily enough to the call if you
promise them lots of Niersteiner."

"By George! they shall have it in bucketfuls, if that can produce
the desired effect. I say--we must positively have that chap who
abused the army."

"I think it would be advisable to let him alone. I would rather
stick to the foreigners."

"O, by Jove, we must have him. I have a slight score to settle, for
the credit of the service!"

"Well, but be cautious. Recollect the great matter is to leave our
guests to themselves."

"Never fear me. I shall take care to keep within due bounds. Now let
us look after Uncle Peter."

We found that respected individual in a state of high glee. His
own run of luck had not been extraordinary; but the Latchley,
who appeared to possess a sort of second-sight in fixing on the
fortunate numbers, had contrived to accumulate a perfect mountain
of dollars, to the manifest disgust of a profane Quaker opposite,
who, judging from the violence of his language, had been thoroughly
cleaned out. Mr Pettigrew agreed at once to the proposal for a
supper-party, which Jack excused himself for making, on the ground
that he had a strong wish to cultivate the personal acquaintance of
the gentlemen, who, in the event of his joining the Peace Society,
would become his brethren. After some pressing, Mr Pettigrew agreed
to take the chair, his nephew officiating as croupier. Miss Lavinia
Latchley, so soon as she learned what was in contemplation, made a
strong effort to be allowed to join the party; but, notwithstanding
her assertion of the unalienable rights of woman to be present on
all occasions of social hilarity, Jack would not yield; and even
Pettigrew seemed to think that there were times and seasons when
the female countenance might be withheld with advantage. We found
no difficulty whatever in furnishing the complement of the guests.
There were seventeen of us in all--four Britons, two Frenchmen, a
Hungarian, a Lombard, a Piedmontese, a Sicilian, a Neapolitan, a
Roman, an Austrian, a Prussian, a Dane, a Dutchman, and a Yankee.
The majority exhibited beards of startling dimension, and few of
them appeared to regard soap in the light of a justifiable luxury.

Pettigrew made an admirable chairman. Although not conversant with
any language save his own, he contrived, by means of altering the
terminations of his words, to carry on a very animated conversation
with all his neighbours. His Italian was superb, his Danish above
par, and his Sclavonic, to say the least of it, passable. The viands
were good, and the wine abundant; so that, by the time pipes were
produced, we were all tolerably hilarious. The conversation, which
at first was general, now took a political turn; and very grievous
it was to listen to the tales of the outrages which some of the
company had sustained at the hands of tyrannical governments.

"I'll tell you what it is, gentlemen," said one of the Frenchmen,
"republics are not a whit better than monarchies, in so far as the
liberty of the people is concerned. Here am I obliged to leave
France, because I was a friend of that gallant fellow, Ledru
Rollin, whom I hope one day to see at the head of a real Socialist
government. Ah, won't we set the guillotine once more in motion
then!"

"Property is theft," remarked the Neapolitan, sententiously.

"I calculate, my fine chap, that you han't many dollars of your own,
if you're of that way of thinking!" said the Yankee, considerably
scandalised at this indifference to the rule of _meum_ and _tuum_.

"O Roma!" sighed the gentleman from the eternal city, who was rather
intoxicated.

"_Peste!_ What is the matter with it?" asked one of the Frenchmen.
"I presume it stands where it always did. _Garçon--un petit verre de
rhom!_"

"How can Rome be what it was, when it is profaned by the foot of the
stranger?" replied he of the Papal States.

"_Ah, bah!_ You never were better off than under the rule of
Oudinot."

"You are a German," said the Hungarian to the Austrian; "what think
you of our brave Kossuth?"

"I consider him a pragmatical ass," replied the Austrian curtly.

"Perhaps in that case," interposed the Lombard, with a sneer that
might have done credit to Mephistopheles, "the gentleman may
feel inclined to palliate the conduct of that satrap of tyranny,
Radetski?"

"What!--old father Radetski! the victor in a hundred fights!" cried
the Austrian. "That will I; and spit in the face of any cowardly
Italian who dares to breathe a word against his honour!"

The Italian clutched his knife.

"Hold there!" cried the Piedmontese, who seemed really a decent
sort of fellow. "None of your stiletto work here! Had you Lombards
trusted more to the bayonet and less to the knife, we might have
given another account of the Austrian in that campaign, which cost
Piedmont its king!"

"_Carlo Alberto!_" hissed the Lombard, "_sceleratissimo traditore!_"

The reply of the Piedmontese was a pie-dish, which prostrated the
Lombard on the floor.

"Gentlemen! gentlemen! for Heaven's sake be calm!" screamed
Pettigrew; "remember we are all brothers!"

"Brothers!" roared the Dane, "do ye think I would fraternise with a
Prussian? Remember Schleswig Holstein!"

"I am perfectly calm," said the Prussian, with the stiff formality
of his nation; "I never quarrel over the generous vintage of my
fatherland. Come--let me give you a song--

    'Sie sollen ihm nicht haben
    Den Deutschen freien Rhein.'"

"You never were more mistaken in your life, _mon cher_," said one of
the Frenchmen, brusquely. "Before twelve months are over we shall
see who has right to the Rhine!"

"Ay, that is true!" remarked the Dutchman; "confound these
Germans--they wanted to annex Luxembourg."

"What says the frog?" asked the Prussian contemptuously.

The frog said nothing, but he hit the Prussian on the teeth.

I despair of giving even a feeble impression of the scene which
took place. No single pair of ears was sufficient to catch one
fourth of the general discord. There was first an interchange of
angry words; then an interchange of blows; and immediately after,
the guests were rolling, in groups of twos and threes, as suited
their fancy, or the adjustment of national animosities, on the
ground. The Lombard rose not again; the pie-dish had quieted him
for the night. But the Sicilian and Neapolitan lay locked in deadly
combat, each attempting with intense animosity to bite off the
other's nose. The Austrian caught the Hungarian by the throat,
and held him till he was black in the face. The Dane pommelled
the Prussian. One of the Frenchmen broke a bottle over the head
of the subject of the Pope; whilst his friend, thirsting for the
combat, attempted in vain to insult the remaining non-belligerents.
The Dutchman having done all that honour required, smoked in mute
tranquillity. Meanwhile the cries of Uncle Peter were heard above
the din of battle, entreating a cessation of hostilities. He might
as well have preached to the storm--the row grew fiercer every
moment.

"This is a disgusting spectacle!" said the orator from Manchester.
"These men cannot be true pacificators--they must have served in the
army."

"That reminds me, old fellow!" said Jack, turning up the cuffs of
his coat with a very ominous expression of countenance, "that you
were pleased this morning to use some impertinent expressions with
regard to the British army. Do you adhere to what you said then?"

"I do."

"Then up with your mauleys; for, by the Lord Harry! I intend to have
satisfaction out of your carcase!"

And in less than a minute the Manchester apostle dropped with both
his eyes bunged up, and did not come to time.

"Stranger!" said the Yankee to the Piedmontese, "are you inclined
for a turn at gouging? This child feels wolfish to raise hair!" But,
to his credit be it said, the Piedmontese declined the proposal
with a polite bow. Meanwhile the uproar had attracted the attention
of the neighbourhood. Six or seven men in uniform, whom I strongly
suspect to have been members of the brass band, entered the
apartment armed with bayonets, and carried off the more obstreperous
of the party to the guard-house. The others immediately retired, and
at last Jack and I were left alone with Mr Pettigrew.

"And this," said he, after a considerable pause, "is fraternity
and peace! These are the men who intended to commence the reign
of the millennium in Europe! Giver me your hand, Jack, my dear
boy--you shan't leave the army--nay, if you do, rely upon it I
shall cut you off with a shilling, and mortify my fortune to the
Woolwich hospital. I begin to see that I am an old fool. Stop a
moment. Here is a bottle of wine that has fortunately escaped the
devastation--fill your glasses, and let us dedicate a full bumper to
the health of the Duke of Wellington."

I need hardly say that the toast was responded to with enthusiasm.
We finished not only that bottle, but another; and I had the
satisfaction of hearing Mr Pettigrew announce to my friend Wilkinson
that the purchase-money for his company would be forthcoming at
Coutts's before he was a fortnight older.

"I won't affect to deny," said Uncle Peter, "that this is a great
disappointment to me. I had hoped better things of human nature; but
I now perceive that I was wrong. Good night, my dear boys! I am a
good deal agitated, as you may see; and perhaps this sour wine has
not altogether agreed with me--I had better have taken brandy and
water. I shall seek refuge on my pillow, and I trust we may soon
meet again!"

"What did the venerable Peter mean by that impressive farewell?"
said I, after the excellent old man had departed, shaking his head
mournfully as he went.

"O, nothing at all," said Jack; "only the Niersteiner has been
rather too potent for him. Have you any sticking-plaster about you?
I have damaged my knuckles a little on the _os frontis_ of that
eloquent pacificator."

Next morning I was awoke about ten o'clock by Jack, who came rushing
into my room.

"He's off!" he cried.

"Who's off?" said I.

"Uncle Peter; and, what is far worse, he has taken Miss Latchley
with him!"

"Impossible!"

However, it was perfectly true. On inquiry we found that the
enamored pair had left at six in the morning.


CHAPTER III.

"Well, Jack," said I, "any tidings of Uncle Peter?" as Wilkinson
entered my official apartment in London, six weeks after the
dissolution of the Congress.

"Why, yes--and the case is rather worse than I supposed," replied
Jack despondingly.

"You don't mean to say that he has married that infernal woman in
pantaloons?"

"Not quite so bad as that, but very nearly. She has carried him
off to her den; and what she may make of him there, it is quite
impossible to predict."

"Her den? Has she actually inveigled him to America?"

"Not at all. These kind of women have stations established over the
whole face of the earth."

"Where, then, is he located?"

"I shall tell you. In the course of my inquiries, which, you are
aware, were rather extensive, I chanced to fall in with a Yarmouth
Bloater."

"A what?"

"I beg your pardon--I meant to say a Plymouth Brother. Now, these
fellows are a sort of regular kidnappers, who lie in wait to catch
up any person of means and substance: they don't meddle with
paupers, for, as you are aware, they share their property in common:
and it occurred to me rather forcibly, that by means of my friend,
who was a regular trapping missionary, I might learn something
about my uncle. It cost me an immensity of brandy to elicit the
information; but at last I succeeded in bringing out the fact,
that my uncle is at this moment the inmate of an Agapedome in the
neighbourhood of Southampton, and that the Latchley is his appointed
keeper."

"An Agapedome!--what the mischief is that?"

"You may well ask," said Jack; "but I won't give it a coarser
name. However, from all I can learn, it is as bad as a Mormonite
institution."

"And what the deuce may they intend to do with him, now they have
him in their power?"

"Fleece him out of every sixpence of property which he possesses in
the world," replied Jack.

"That won't do, Jack! We must get him out by some means or other."

"I suspect it would be an easier job to scale a nunnery. So far as I
can learn, they admit no one into their premises, unless they have
hopes of catching him as a convert; and I am afraid that neither you
nor I have the look of likely pupils. Besides, the Latchley could
not fail to recognise me in a moment."

"That's true enough," said I. "I think, however, that I might escape
detection by a slight alteration of attire. The lady did not honour
me with much notice during the half-hour we spent in her company. I
must own, however, that I should not like to go alone."

"My dear friend!" cried Jack, "if you will really be kind enough
to oblige me in this matter, I know the very man to accompany you.
Rogers of ours is in town just now. He is a famous follow--rather
fast, perhaps, and given to larking--but as true as steel. You shall
meet him to-day at dinner, and then we can arrange our plans."

I must own that I did not feel very sanguine of success this time.
Your genuine rogue is the most suspicious character on the face
of the earth, wide awake to a thousand little discrepancies which
would escape the observation of the honest; and I felt perfectly
convinced that the superintendent of the Agapedome was likely to
prove a rogue of the first water. Then I did not see my way clearly
to the characters which we ought to assume. Of course it was no use
for me to present myself as a scion of the Woods and Forests; I
should be treated as a Government spy, and have the door slapped in
my face. To appear as an emissary of the Jesuits would be dangerous;
that body being well known for their skill in annexing property.
In short, I came to the conclusion, that unless I could work upon
the cupidity of the head Agapedomian, there was no chance whatever
of effecting Mr Pettigrew's release. To this point, therefore, I
resolved to turn my attention.

At dinner, according to agreement, I met Rogers of ours. Rogers was
not gifted with any powerful inventive faculties; but he was a fine
specimen of the British breed, ready to take a hand at anything
which offered a prospect of fun. You would not probably have
selected him as a leading conspirator; but, though no Macchiavelli,
he appeared most valuable as an accomplice.

Our great difficulty was to pitch upon proper characters. After
much discussion, it was resolved that Rogers of ours should appear
as a young nobleman of immense wealth, but exceedingly eccentric
habits, and that I should act as bear-leader, with an eye to my
own interest. What we were to do when we should succeed in getting
admission to the establishment, was not very clear to the perception
of any of us. We resolved to be regulated entirely by circumstances,
the great point being the rescue of Mr Peter Pettigrew.

Accordingly, we all started for Southampton on the following
morning. On arriving there, we were informed that the Agapedome
was situated some three miles from the town, and that the most
extraordinary legends of the habits and pursuits of its inmates
were current in the neighbourhood. Nobody seemed to know exactly
what the Agapedomians were. They seemed to constitute a tolerably
large society of persons, both male and female; but whether they
were Christians, Turks, Jews, or Mahometans, was matter of exceeding
disputation. They were known, however to be rich, and occasionally
went out airing in carriages-and-four--the women all wearing
pantaloons, to the infinite scandal of the peasantry. So far as
we could learn, no gentleman answering to the description of Mr
Pettigrew had been seen among them.

After agreeing to open communications with Jack as speedily as
possible, and emptying a bottle of champagne towards the success
of our expedition, Rogers and I started in a postchaise for the
Agapedome. Rogers was curiously arrayed in garments of chequered
plaid, a mere glance at which would have gone far to impress any
spectator with a strong notion of his eccentricity; whilst, for my
part, I had donned a suit of black, and assumed a massive pair of
gold spectacles, and a beaver with a portentous rim.

This Agapedome was a large building surrounded by a high wall,
and looked, upon the whole, like a convent. Deeming it prudent to
ascertain how the land lay before introducing the eccentric Rogers,
I requested that gallant individual to remain in the postchaise,
whilst I solicited an interview with Mr Aaron B. Hyams, the reputed
chief of the establishment. The card I sent in was inscribed with
the name of Dr Hiram Smith, which appeared to me a sufficiently
innocuous appellation. After some delay, I was admitted through a
very strong gateway into the courtyard; and was then conducted by a
servant in a handsome livery to a library, where I was received by
Mr Hyams.

As the Agapedome has since been broken up, and its members
dispersed, it may not be uninteresting to put on record a slight
sketch of its founder. Judging from his countenance, the progenitors
of Mr Aaron B. Hyams must have been educated in the Jewish
persuasion. His nose and lip possessed that graceful curve which is
so characteristic of the Hebrew race; and his eye, if not altogether
of that kind which the poets designate as "eagle," might not unaptly
be compared to that of the turkey-buzzard. In certain circles of
society Mr Hyams would have been esteemed a handsome man. In the
doorway of a warehouse in Holywell Street he would have committed
large havoc on the hearts of the passing Leahs and Dalilahs--for
he was a square-built powerful man, with broad shoulders and
bandy legs, and displayed on his person as much ostentatious
jewellery as though he had been concerned in a new spoiling of the
Egyptians. Apparently he was in a cheerful mood; for before him
stood a half-emptied decanter of wine, and an odour as of recently
extinguished Cubas was agreeably disseminated through the apartment.

"Dr Hiram Smith, I presume?" said he. "Well, Dr Hiram Smith, to what
fortunate circumstance am I indebted for the honour of this visit?"

"Simply, sir, to this," said I, "that I want to know you, and know
about you. Nobody without can tell me precisely what your Agapedome
is, so I have come for information to headquarters. I have formed my
own conclusion. If I am wrong, there is no harm done; if I am right,
we may be able to make a bargain."

"Hallo!" cried Hyams, taken rather aback by this curt style of
exordium, "you are a rum customer, I reckon. So you want to deal,
do ye? Well then, tell us what sort of doctor you may be? No use
standing on ceremony with a chap like you. Is it M.D. or LL.D. or
D.D., or a mere walking-stick title?"

"The title," said I, "is conventional; so you may attribute it to
any origin you please. In brief, I want to know if I can board a
pupil here?"

"That depends entirely upon circumstances," replied Hyams. "Who and
what is the subject?"

"A young nobleman of the highest distinction, but of slightly
eccentric habits." Here Hyams pricked up his ears. "I am not
authorised to tell his name; but otherwise, you shall have the most
satisfactory references."

"There is only one kind of reference I care about," interrupted
Hyams, imitating at the same time the counting out of imaginary
sovereigns into his palm.

"So much the better--there will be trouble saved," said I. "I
perceive, Mr Hyams, you are a thorough man of business. In a word,
then, my pupil has been going it too fast."

"Flying kites and post-obits?"

"And all the rest of it," said I; "black-legs innumerable, and no
end of scrapes in the green-room. Things have come to such a pass
that his father, the Duke, insists on his being kept out of the way
at present; and, as taking him to Paris would only make matters
worse, it occurred to me that I might locate him for a time in some
quiet but cheerful establishment, where he could have his reasonable
swing, and no questions asked."

"Dr Hiram Smith!" cried Hyams with enthusiasm, "you're a regular
trump! I wish all the noblemen in England would look out for tutors
like you."

"You are exceedingly complimentary, Mr Hyams. And now that you know
my errand, may I ask what the Agapedome is?"

"The Home of Love," replied Hyams; "at least so I was told by the
Oxford gent, to whom I gave half-a-guinea for the title."

"And your object?"

"A pleasant retreat--comfortable home--no sort of bother of
ceremony--innocent attachments encouraged--and, in the general case,
community of goods."

"Of which latter, I presume, Mr Hyams is the sole administrator?"

"Right again, Doctor!" said Hyams with a leer of intelligence; "no
use beating about the bush with you, I perceive. A single cashier
for the whole concern saves a world of unnecessary trouble. Then,
you see, we have our little matrimonial arrangements. A young
lady in search of an eligible domicile comes here and deposits
her fortune. We provide her by-and-by with a husband of suitable
tastes, so that all matters are arranged comfortably. No luxury
or enjoyment is denied to the inmates of the establishment, which
may be compared, in short, to a perfect aviary, in which you hear
nothing from morning to evening save one continuous sound of billing
and cooing."

"You draw a fascinating picture, Mr Hyams," said I: "too
fascinating, in fact; for, after what you have said, I doubt whether
I should be fulfilling my duty to my noble patron the Duke, were I
to expose his heir to the influence of such powerful temptations."

"Don't be in the least degree alarmed about that," said Hyams. "I
shall take care that in this case there is no chance of marriage.
Harkye, Doctor, it is rather against our rules to admit parlour
boarders; but I don't mind doing it in this case, if you agree to my
terms, which are one hundred and twenty guineas per month."

"On the part of the Duke," said I, "I anticipate no objection; nor
shall I refuse your stamped receipts at that rate. But as I happen
to be paymaster, I shall certainly not give you in exchange for
each of them more than seventy guineas, which will leave you a very
pretty profit over and above your expenses."

"What a screw you are, Doctor!" cried Hyams. "Would you have the
conscience to pocket fifty for nothing? Come, come--make it eighty
and it's a bargain."

"Seventy is my last word. Beard of Mordecai, man! do you think I am
going to surrender this pigeon to your hands gratis? Have I not told
you already that he has a natural turn for _ecarté_!"

"Ah, Doctor, Doctor! you must be one of our people--you must
indeed!" said Hyams. "Well, is it a bargain?"

"Not yet," said I. "In common decency, and for the sake of
appearances, I must stay for a couple of days in the house, in order
that I may be able to give a satisfactory report to the Duke. By the
way, I hope everything is quite orthodox here--nothing contrary to
the tenets of the church?"

"O quite," replied Hyams; "it is a beautiful establishment in point
of order. The bell rings every day punctually at four o'clock."

"For prayers?"

"No, sir--for hockey. We find that a little lively exercise gives a
cheerful tone to the mind, and promotes those animal spirits which
are the peculiar boast of the Agapedome."

"I am quite satisfied," said I. "So now, if you please, I shall
introduce my pupil."

I need not dwell minutely upon the particulars of the interview
which took place between Rogers of ours and the superintendent of
the Agapedome. Indeed there is little to record. Rogers received the
intimation that this was to be his residence for a season with the
utmost nonchalance, simply remarking that he thought it would be
rather slow; and then, by way of keeping up his character, filled
himself a bumper of sherry. Mr Hyams regarded him as a spider might
do when some unknown but rather powerful insect comes within the
precincts of his net.

"Well," said Rogers, "since it seems I am to be quartered here, what
sort of fun is to be had? Any racket-court, eh?"

"I am sorry to say, my Lord, ours is not built as yet. But at four
o'clock we shall have hockey--"

"Hang hockey! I have no fancy for getting my shins bruised. Any body
in the house except myself?"

"If your Lordship would like to visit the ladies--"

"Say no more!" cried Rogers impetuously. "I shall manage to kill
time now! 'Hallo, you follow with the shoulder-knot! show me the way
to the drawing-room;" and Rogers straightway disappeared.

"Doctor Hiram Smith!" said Hyams, looking rather discomposed, "this
is most extraordinary conduct on the part of your pupil."

"Not at all extraordinary, I assure you," I replied; "I told you he
was rather eccentric, but at present he is in a peculiarly quiet
mood. Wait till you see his animal spirits up!"

"Why, he'll be the ruin of the Agapedome!" cried Hyams; "I cannot
possibly permit this."

"It will rather puzzle you to stop it," said I.

Here a faint squall, followed by a sound of suppressed giggling, was
heard in the passage without.

"Holy Moses!" cried the Agapedomian, starting up, "if Mrs Hyams
should happen to be there!"

"You may rely upon it she will very soon become accustomed to his
Lordship's eccentricities. Why, you told me you admitted of no sort
of bother or ceremony."

"Yes--but a joke maybe carried too far. As I live, he is pursuing
one of the ladies down stairs into the courtyard!"

"Is he?" said I; "then you may be tolerably certain he will
overtake her."

"Surely some of the servants will stop him!" cried Hyams, rushing
to the window. "Yes--here comes one of them. Father Abraham! is it
possible? He has knocked Adoniram down!"

"Nothing more likely," said I; "his Lordship had lessons from
Mendoza."

"I must look to this myself," cried Hyams.

"Then I'll follow and see fair play," said I.

We rushed into the court; but by this time it was empty. The pursued
and the pursuer--Daphne and Apollo--had taken flight into the
garden. Thither we followed them, Hyams red with ire; but no trace
was seen of the fugitives. At last in an acacia bower we heard
murmurs. Hyams dashed on; I followed; and there, to my unutterable
surprise, I beheld Rogers of ours kneeling at the feet of the
Latchley!

"Beautiful Lavinia!" he was saying, just as we turned the corner.

"Sister Latchley!" cried Hyams, "what is the meaning of all this?"

"Rather let me ask, brother Hyams," said the Latchley in unabashed
serenity, "what means this intrusion, so foreign to the time, and so
subversive of the laws of our society?"

"Shall I pound him, Lavinia?" said Rogers, evidently anxious to
discharge a slight modicum of the debt which he owed to the Jewish
fraternity.

"I command--I beseech you, no! Speak, brother Hyams! I again require
of you to state why and wherefore you have chosen to violate the
fundamental rules of the Agapedome?"

"Sister Latchley, you will drive me mad! This young man has not been
ten minutes in the house, and yet I find him scampering after you
like a tom-cat, and knocking down Adoniram because he came in his
way, and you are apparently quite pleased!"

"Is the influence of love measured by hours?" asked the Latchley in
a tone of deep sentiment. "Count we electricity by time--do we mete
out sympathy by the dial? Brother Hyams, were not your intellectual
vision obscured by a dull and earthly film, you would know that the
passage of the lightning is not more rapid than the flash of kindled
love."

"That sounds all very fine," said Hyams, "but I shall allow no such
doings here; and you, in particular, Sister Latchley, considering
how you are situated, ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

"Aaron, my man," said Rogers of ours, "will you be good enough to
explain what you mean by making such insinuations?"

"Stay, my Lord," said I; "I really must interpose. Mr Hyams is about
to explain."

"May I never discount bill again," cried the Jew, "if this is not
enough to make a man forswear the faith of his fathers! Look you
here, Miss Latchley; you are part of the establishment, and I expect
you to obey orders."

"I was not aware, sir, until this moment," said Miss Latchley,
loftily, "that I was subject to the orders of any one."

"Now, don't be a fool; there's a dear!" said Hyams. "You know well
enough what I mean. Haven't you enough on hand with Pettigrew,
without encumbering yourself--?" and he stopped short.

"It is a pity, sir," said Miss Latchley, still more magnificently,
"it is a vast pity, that since you have the meanness to invent
falsehoods, you cannot at the same time command the courage to utter
them. Why am I thus insulted? Who is this Pettigrew you speak of?"

"Pettigrew--Pettigrew?" remarked Rogers; "I say, Dr Smith, was
not that the name of the man who is gone amissing, and for whose
discovery his friends are offering a reward?"

Hyams started as if stung by an adder. "Sister Latchley," he said,
"I fear I was in the wrong."

"You have made the discovery rather too late, Mr Hyams," replied
the irate Lavinia. "After the insults you have heaped upon me, it
is full time we should part. Perhaps these gentlemen will be kind
enough to conduct an unprotected female to a temporary home."

"If you will go, you go alone, madam," said Hyams; "his Lordship
intends to remain here."

"His Lordship intends to do nothing of the sort, you rascal," said
Rogers. "Hockey don't agree with my constitution."

"Before I depart, Mr Hyams," said Miss Latchley, "let me remark that
you are indebted to me in the sum of two thousand pounds as my share
of the profits of the establishment. Will you pay it now, or would
you prefer to wait till you hear from my solicitor?"

"Anything more?" asked the Agapedomian.

"Merely this," said I: "I am now fully aware that Mr Peter Pettigrew
is detained within these walls. Surrender him instantly, or prepare
yourself for the worst penalties of the law."

I made a fearful blunder in betraying my secret before I was clear
of the premises, and the words had scarcely passed my lips before
I was aware of my mistake. With the look of a detected demon Hyams
confronted us.

"Ho, ho! this is a conspiracy, is it? But you have reckoned without
your host. Ho, there! Jonathan--Asahel! close the doors, ring the
great bell, and let no man pass on your lives! And now let's see
what stuff you are made of!"

So saying, the ruffian drew a life-preserver from his pocket, and
struck furiously at my head before I had time to guard myself. But
quick as he was, Rogers of ours was quicker. With his left hand he
caught the arm of Hyams as the blow descended, whilst with the right
he dealt him a fearful blow on the temple, which made the Hebrew
stagger. But Hyams, amongst his other accomplishments, had practised
in the ring. He recovered himself almost immediately, and rushed
upon Rogers. Several heavy hits were interchanged; and there is no
saying how the combat might have terminated, but for the presence
of mind of the Latchley. That gifted female, superior to the
weakness of her sex, caught up the life-preserver from the ground,
and applied it so effectually to the back of Hyams' skull, that he
dropped like an ox in the slaughter-house.

Meanwhile the alarum bell was ringing--women were screaming at
the windows, from which also several crazy-looking gentlemen were
gesticulating; and three or four truculent Israelites were rushing
through the courtyard. The whole Agapedome was in an uproar.

"Keep together and fear nothing!" cried Rogers. "I never stir on
these kind of expeditions without my pistols. Smith--give your arm
to Miss Latchley, who has behaved like the heroine of Saragossa; and
now let us see if any of these scoundrels will venture to dispute
our way!"

But for the firearms which Rogers carried, I suspect our egress
would have been disputed. Jonathan and Asahel, red-headed ruffians
both, stood ready with iron bars in their hands to oppose our exit;
but a glimpse of the bright glittering barrel caused them to change
their purpose. Rogers commanded them, on pain of instant death, to
open the door. They obeyed; and we emerged from the Agapedome as
joyfully as the Ithacans from the cave of Polyphemus. Fortunately
the chaise was still in waiting: we assisted Miss Latchley in, and
drove off, as fast as the horses could gallop, to Southampton.


CHAPTER IV.

"Is it possible they can have murdered him?" said Jack.

"That, I think," said I, "is highly improbable. I rather imagine
that he has refused to conform to some of the rules of the
association, and has been committed to the custody of Messrs
Jonathan and Asahel."

"Shall I ask Lavinia?" said Rogers. "I daresay she would tell me all
about it."

"Better not," said I, "in the mean time. Poor thing! her nerves must
be shaken."

"Not a whit of them," replied Rogers. "I saw no symptom of nerves
about her. She was as cool as a cucumber when she floored that
infernal Jew; and if she should be a little agitated or so, she is
calming herself at this moment with a glass of brandy and water. I
mixed it for her. Do you know she's a capital fellow, only 'tis a
pity she's so very plain."

"I wish the police would arrive!" said Jack. "We have really not a
minute to lose. Poor Uncle Peter! I devoutly trust this may be the
last of his freaks."

"I hope so too, Jack, for your sake: it is no joke rummaging him out
of such company. But for Rogers there, we should all of us have been
as dead as pickled herrings."

"I bear a charmed life," said Rogers. "Remember I belong to 'the
Immortals.' But there come the blue-coats in a couple of carriages.
'Gad, Wilkinson, I wish it were our luck to storm the Agapedome with
a score of our own fellows!"

During our drive, Rogers enlightened us as to his encounter with the
Latchley. It appeared that he had bestowed considerable attention
to our conversation in London; and that, when he hurried to the
drawing-room in the Agapedome, as already related, he thought he
recognised the Latchley at once, in the midst of half-a-dozen more
juvenile and blooming sisters.

"Of course, I never read a word of the woman's works," said Rogers,
"and I hope I never shall; but I know that female vanity will stand
any amount of butter. So I bolted into the room, without caring for
the rest--though, by the way, there was one little girl with fair
hair and blue eyes, who, I hope, has not left the Agapedome--threw
myself at the feet of Lavinia; declared that I was a young nobleman,
enamoured of her writings, who was resolved to force my way through
iron bars to gain a glimpse of the bright original: and, upon
the whole, I think you must allow that I managed matters rather
successfully."

There could be but one opinion as to that. In fact, without Rogers,
the whole scheme must have miscarried. It was Kellermann's charge,
unexpected and unauthorised--but altogether triumphant.

On arriving at the Agapedome we found the door open, and three or
four peasants loitering round the gateway.

"Are they here still?" cried Jack, springing from the chaise.

"Noa, measter," replied one of the bystanders; "they be gone an hour
past in four carrutches, wi' all their goods and chuckles."

"Did they carry any one with them by force?"

"Noa, not by force, as I seed; but there wore one chap among them
woundily raddled on the sconce."

"Hyams to wit, I suppose. Come, gentlemen; as we have a
search-warrant, let us in and examine the premises thoroughly."

Short as was the interval which had elapsed between our exit and
return, Messrs Jonathan, Asahel, and Co. had availed themselves
of it to the utmost. Every portable article of any value had been
removed. Drawers were open, and papers scattered over the floors,
along with a good many pairs of bloomers rather the worse for the
wear: in short, every thing seemed to indicate that the nest was
finally abandoned. What curious discoveries we made during the
course of our researches, as to the social habits and domestic
economy of this happy family, I shall not venture to recount; we
came there not to gratify either private or public curiosity, but to
perform a sacred duty by emancipating Mr Peter Pettigrew.

Neither in the cellars nor the closets, nor even in the garrets,
could we find any trace of the lost one. The contents of one
bedroom, indeed, showed that it had been formerly tenanted by Mr
Pettigrew, for there were his portmanteaus with his name engraved
upon them; his razors, and his wearing apparel, all seemingly
untouched: but there were no marks of any recent occupancy; the dust
was gathering on the table, and the ewer perfectly dry. It was the
opinion of the detective officer that at least ten days had elapsed
since any one had slept in the room. Jack became greatly alarmed.

"I suppose," said he, "there is nothing for it but to proceed
immediately in pursuit of Hyams: do you think you will be able to
apprehend him?"

"I doubt it very much, sir," replied the detective officer. "These
sort of fellows are wide awake, and are always prepared for
accidents. I expect that, by this time, he is on his way to France.
But hush!--what was that?"

A dull sound as of the clapper of a large bell boomed overhead.
There was silence for about a minute, and again it was repeated.

"Here is a clue, at all events!" cried the officer. "My life on it,
there is some one in the belfry."

We hastened up the narrow stairs which led to the tower. Half way
up, the passage was barred by a stout door, double locked, which the
officers had some difficulty in forcing with the aid of a crow-bar.
This obstacle removed, we reached the lofty room where the bell
was suspended; and there, right under the clapper, on a miserable
truckle bed, lay the emaciated form of Mr Pettigrew.

"My poor uncle!" said Jack, stooping tenderly to embrace his
relative, "what can have brought you here?"

"Speak louder, Jack!" said Mr Pettigrew; "I can't hear you. For
twelve long days that infernal bell has been tolling just above my
head for hockey and other villanous purposes. I am as deaf as a
doornail!"

"And so thin, dear uncle! You must have been most shamefully abused."

"Simply starved; that's all."

"What! starved? The monsters! Did they give you nothing to eat?"

"Yes--broccoli. I wish you would try it for a week: it is a rare
thing to bring out the bones."

"And why did they commit this outrage upon you?"

"For two especial reasons, I suppose--first, because I would not
surrender my whole property; and, secondly, because I would not
marry Miss Latchley."

"My dear uncle! when I saw you last, it appeared to me that you
would have had no objections to perform the latter ceremony."

"Not on compulsion, Jack--not on compulsion!" said Mr Pettigrew,
with a touch of his old humour. "I won't deny that I was humbugged
by her at first, but this was over long ago."

"Indeed! Pray, may I venture to ask what changed your opinion of the
lady?"

"Her works, Jack--her own works!" replied Uncle Peter. "She gave me
them to read as soon as I was fairly trapped into the Agapedome,
and such an awful collection of impiety and presumption I never saw
before. She is ten thousand times worse than the deceased Thomas
Paine."

"Was she, then, party to your incarceration?"

"I won't say that. I hardly think she would have consented to
let them harm me, or that she knew exactly how I was used; but
that fellow Hyams is wicked enough to have been an officer under
King Herod. Now, pray help me up, and lift me down stairs, for my
legs are so cramped that I can't walk, and my head is as dizzy
as a wheel. That confounded broccoli, too, has disagreed with my
constitution, and I shall feel particularly obliged to any one who
can assist me to a drop of brandy."

After having ministered to the immediate wants of Mr Pettigrew,
and secured his effects, we returned to Southampton, leaving the
deserted Agapedome in the charge of a couple of police. In spite of
every entreaty Mr Pettigrew would not hear of entering a prosecution
against Hyams.

"I feel," said he, "that I have made a thorough ass of myself;
and I should not be able to stand the ridicule that must follow a
disclosure of the consequences. In fact, I begin to think that I am
not fit to look after my own affairs. The man who has spent twelve
days, as I have, under the clapper of a bell, without any other
sustenance than broccoli--is there any more brandy in the flask?
I should like the merest drop--the man, I say, who has undergone
these trials, has ample time for meditation upon the past. I see
my weakness, and I acknowledge it. So Jack, my dear boy, as you
have always behaved to me more like a son than a nephew, I intend,
immediately on my return to London, to settle my whole property upon
you, merely reserving an annuity. Don't say a word on the subject.
My mind is made up, and nothing can alter my resolution."

On arriving at Southampton we considered it our duty to communicate
immediately with Miss Latchley, for the purpose of ascertaining if
we could render her any temporary assistance. Perhaps it was more
than she deserved; but we could not forget her sex, though she had
done everything in her power to disguise it; and, besides, the lucky
blow with the life-preserver, which she administered to Hyams, was
a service for which we could not be otherwise than grateful. Jack
Wilkinson was selected as the medium of communication. He found the
strong Lavinia alone, and perfectly composed.

"I wish never more," said she, "to hear the name of Pettigrew. It is
associated in my mind with weakness, fanaticism, and vacillation;
and I shall ever feel humbled at the reflection that I bowed my
woman's pride to gaze on the surface of so shallow and opaque a
pool! And yet, why regret? The image of the sun is reflected equally
from the Bœotian marsh and the mirror of the clear Ontario! Tell
your uncle," continued she, after a pause, "that as he is nothing
to me, so I wish to be nothing to him. Let us mutually extinguish
memory. Ha, ha, ha!--so they fed him, you say, upon broccoli?

"But I have one message to give, though not to him. The youth
who, in the nobility of his soul, declared his passion for my
intellect--where is he? I tarry beneath this roof but for him. Do
my message fairly, and say to him that if he seeks a communion of
soul--no! that is the common phrase of the slaves of antiquated
superstition--if he yearns for a grand amalgamation of essential
passion and power, let him hasten hither, and Lavinia Latchley is
ready to accompany him to the prairie or the forest, to the torrid
zone, or to the confines of the arctic seas!"

"I shall deliver your message, ma'am," said Jack, "as accurately as
my abilities will allow." And he did so.

Rogers of ours writhed uneasily in his seat.

"I'll tell you what it is, my fine fellows," said he, "I don't look
upon this quite as a laughing matter. I am really sorry to have
taken in the old woman, though I don't see how we could well have
helped it; and I would far rather, Jack, that she had fixed her
affections upon you than on me. I shall get infernally roasted at
the mess if this story should transpire. However, I suppose there's
only one answer to be given. Pray, present my most humble respects,
and say how exceedingly distressed I feel that my professional
engagements will not permit me to accompany her in her proposed
expedition."

Jack reported the answer in due form.

"Then," said Lavinia, drawing herself up to her full height, and
shrouding her visage in a black veil, "tell him that for his sake I
am resolved to die a virgin!"

I presume she will keep her word; at least I have not yet heard that
any one has been courageous enough to request her to change her
situation. She has since returned to America, and is now, I believe,
the president of a female college, the students of which may be
distinguished from the rest of their sex, by their uniform adoption
of bloomers.


_Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh._


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

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.

Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.
Irregularities and inconsistencies in the text have been retained as
printed, ecept for the following:

The transcriber has made accents consistent for "Schaïgië" and
"Schaïgië's".

Page 328: "But he must cease to be Mr Ruskin if they ..." The
transcriber has inserted "be".





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