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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 64, No. 393, July 1848
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.

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       *       *       *       *       *



  BLACKWOOD'S

  Edinburgh

  MAGAZINE.

  VOL. LXIV.

  JULY-DECEMBER, 1848.

  [Illustration: Buchanan]

  WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, EDINBURGH;

  AND

  37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

  1848.

  BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.



  BLACKWOOD'S

  EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  No. CCCXCIII.      JULY, 1848.       VOL. LXIV.



CONTENTS.


  THE LAWS OF LAND.                                1

  LIFE IN THE "FAR WEST." PART II.                17

  AMERICAN THOUGHTS ON EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONS.      31

  THE CAXTONS. Part IV.                           40

  REPUBLICAN FRANCE.--JUNE 1848.                  51

  COLONISATION.                                   66

  SIBERIA.                                        76

  THE SCOTTISH DEER FORESTS.                      92

  THE BURIED FLOWER.                             108

  HUZZA FOR THE RULE OF THE WHIGS.               112

  THE NAVIGATION LAWS.                           114

  EDINBURGH:
  WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, 45, GEORGE STREET;
  AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.
  _To whom all Communications (post paid) must be addressed._
  SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.


  PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.



  BLACKWOOD'S

  EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  No. CCCXCIII.      JULY, 1848.      VOL. LXIV.



THE LAWS OF LAND.

_A Treatise on the Succession to Property vacant by Death._ By J. R.
M'CULLOCH, Esq. London: Longmans, 1848.


Mr M'Culloch's book introduces us to a question much debated in this
age of class jealousy. As soon as we open it, we are straightway
environed with "a barbarous noise of owls and cuckoos, asses,
apes, and dogs," amid whose jargon of phrases rises loudest and
most frequent the cry of "commercial principles." It is a great
grievance, it seems, that land should not be disposed of according
to "commercial principles;" that hill and holt, and moor and dale,
should not pass from seller to buyer with the same readiness as
candles and calicoes. Truly we have enough, and more than enough, of
these same commercial principles in all walks of thought. Even the
pulpit is not free from them. Politics are positively smothered with
them. Ethical science, with the shallowisms of Paley and Bentham
round her neck, struggles feebly with them. The book-keeper is
abroad every where, with an indestructible faith in double entry.
The Spirit of the Age wears a pen behind his ear, and sits on a high
stool with three legs. That the prevailing commercial principles
should have been so long excluded from the absolute possession of
our laws of land, and that those laws should have preserved to a
time like this so much of their feudal character, is a notable proof
of the adaptation of the laws to the general requirements of the
community, and of the steadiness of that social system which is so
essentially linked to the maintenance of these laws.

The cry of complaint to which we have above alluded, is inspired by
many diverse motives. As Mr Cochrane's ragged followers flocked to
Trafalgar Square to denounce the income-tax, so many a man takes up
the shout against the law of primogeniture and entail, as tying up
lands and restricting their sale, who never had the wherewithal to
purchase a single acre if all broad England was in the market. On
the other hand, the purse-proud citizen, sore that ready money is
not yet quite at the top of the tree, and that he does not receive
the same consideration at St James's as in Change Alley, delights to
have some grievance whereon he can vent his spleen; and really, in
some stolid instances, persuades himself that he is kept out of the
land which his gold could buy, through the agency of aristocratical
laws, as if George Robins had been a mythical personage, or the
advertisements of Farebrother, Clark, and Lye were a mockery and
delusion.

But the largest class of assailants are those who come to the
debate fortified with certain specious economical arguments,
generally derived from a one-sided view of some particular effect
of these restrictive laws. To the demolition of these objectors
Mr M'Culloch's work is more immediately addressed; and very
effectually, in our opinion, does it accomplish its end. He has
not, perhaps, treated the subject so widely as it might have been
treated: he has not entered into the indirect social influences that
might be traced to our system of the laws relating to land; but the
economical part of the question he has grasped most completely, and
supported by most able and practical reasoning.

We must, we suppose, look for the text of the work, not where the
text is usually found, but at the end. The following sentence,
which is almost the concluding one, may be taken as the leading
proposition of the work:--

     "A powerful and widely-ramified aristocracy like that of
     England, not resting for support on any oppressive laws, and
     enjoying no privileges but which are for the public advantage,
     is necessary to give stability and security to the government,
     and freedom to the people. And our laws in regard to succession
     being well fitted to maintain such an aristocracy, and, at the
     same time, to inspire every other class with the full spirit of
     industry and enterprise, to change them would not be foolish
     merely, but criminal,--a _lèse majesté_ against the public
     interests."--P. 172.

It must not, however, be supposed from this remark, that any portion
of the work is appropriated to a set defence of government by
means of an aristocracy. By an aristocracy we mean the deposition
of political power in the hands of men of leisure and education,
as opposed to the tendency of the Reform Bill, to transfer
the governing functions to the "practical" men of the trading
and moneyed interests, and the analogous claims of Chartism,
founded on Jack Cade's complaint, that the "king's council are
no good workmen." In England, we are pretty sure to have an
aristocracy--that is, the influences which affect government and
legislation will emanate principally from that class which is
socially at the head of the nation; and the question is, whether
we are to have a mere moneyed aristocracy, or one qualified by
those mixed and undefinable conditions which, more than any thing
else, act to keep down the growing and eager ascendency of wealth
_per se_. Among the safeguards of such an aristocracy as we have
described, not the least powerful is to be found in the laws
discussed in the work before us. Mr M'Culloch, as we have said,
assumes the importance to the country of preserving the present
characteristics of British aristocracy; and he therefore proceeds
at once to show how the laws on which he treats operate for this
preservation, and to rebut the objections advanced against them on
the score of their relations to other classes of the community.

One of the most frequent of these objections is, that the laws
in question tend to diminish the productiveness of the land, and
thereby inflict a serious injury on the community at large; that
they prevent, in many instances, the landlord from granting leases
to his tenant beyond the term of his own life; that the tenant, in
consequence, is not willing to incur the outlay of drainage and
other expensive improvements, because he is not secured by a lease;
while the landlord, on the other hand, will not enter into these
expenses, because he does not feel the same interest in his limited
estate which he would in the unconditional fee-simple.

Note first of all the logic of this argument. The tenant, it seems,
will not spend his money in draining without a lease. As, however,
a lease would suffice to induce him so to do, we might naturally
suppose that the landlord's estate for life, or in tail, would be at
least an equal inducement. These reasoners, however, aver, that the
landlord is only to be tempted by the unrestricted fee. According to
this progressive scale, it might be fairly, argued, that the tenant,
on becoming lessee for years, would still require the landlord's
life-interest; and the latter, when seised of the fee, would decline
the requisite expense, except on a guarantee of immortality, and
justify himself by Horace's authority,--

                        "Tanquam
    Sit proprium quidquam puncto quod mobilis horæ
    Permutet dominos, et cedat in altera jura."

But the general scope of an argument may be just, though clumsily
stated and fallaciously supported. We are, however, at no loss for
experiments on the largest scale whereby to test the theory here
noticed. We have English agriculture, subjected to a limited law of
entail, contrasted on the one hand with Scottish agriculture, under
a law of perpetual entail, and on the other with that of France and
its compulsory gavelkind. Mr M'Culloch has taken an elaborate view
of the question in its relation to the tillage of the soil in these
three countries respectively, more especially in France. We find,
from the result of his investigation, that,--

     "The average produce per acre of the crops of wheat in England
     and Wales in good years, has been carefully estimated at
     thirty-two bushels an acre, and it is certainly not under thirty
     bushels. But in France the produce of wheat, even in the richest
     and best cultivated departments, is little more, according to
     the official returns and the best private authorities, than
     twenty bushels an acre; and at an average of the entire kingdom,
     it hardly amounts in a good year to fourteen bushels. This
     result is completely decisive. It shows that one acre of land
     in England yields, from its being better farmed, considerably
     more wheat than two acres in France: and if we took barley or
     oats, turnips, beef, or wool for a standard, the difference in
     our favour would be seen to be still greater.... If labour were
     taken for a standard instead of land, the result would be still
     more in our favour. One man and one horse in England produce
     more corn and other agricultural produce than three men and
     three horses in France. Labour in the latter is misapplied and
     wasted."--P. 117.

Again:--

     "While two husbandmen in France furnish a surplus of food above
     their own consumption adequate for _one_ individual, the same
     number of English husbandmen furnish a surplus for no fewer than
     _four_ individuals; showing, that, as measured by its capacity
     of providing for the other classes of the population, English is
     to French agriculture as four to one."--P. 121.

So much for the comparison of French and English agriculture. Let us
now turn to Scotland:--

     "In an Appendix to the 'Sketches of the History of Man,'
     published in 1774, Lord Kames says, 'The quantity of land that
     is locked up in Scotland by entails has damped the growing
     spirit of agriculture. There is not produced sufficiency of
     corn at home for our consumption; and our condition will become
     worse and worse by new entails, till agriculture and industry be
     annihilated.' Now the extent of land under entail in Scotland
     has been certainly more than doubled, perhaps more than trebled,
     since this paragraph was written, and yet agriculture and
     manufactures have made a more rapid progress in Scotland in the
     interval, and especially during the last thirty years, when
     entails were most prevalent, than in England or in any other
     country whatever."--P. 71.

Lord Kames, in this respect, seems to have had the same subtle
ingenuity in prophesying counter to the event, as distinguishes Mr
Cobden.

The first part of Mr M'Culloch's volume contains a cursory
historical view of the earliest regulations of succession and
inheritance. Thus, at p. 16, he traces the right of primogeniture,
or preference of the eldest son, to the Mosaic law. We are far from
maintaining that the specific details of the code promulgated on
Sinai are a model of law for all nations; on the contrary, they
were no doubt intended to be such as a wise human law-giver would
frame, and consequently more or less applicable according to the
changes and differences of social organisation. But we do hold that
these laws indicate to mankind principles which are to be observed
in all times and by all nations. Thus, the septennial release of
debts, the return of every man to his possession in the year of
jubilee, the prohibition of interest upon loans except to an alien,
even the poor man's portion in the field and vineyard, may or
may not be regulations adapted to a particular existing state of
society. But they enunciate a principle of mercy and forbearance
towards the poor and unfortunate, of which, we fear, our political
economists and commercial legislators are too apt to lose sight. In
conformity with this view, when we hear the right of primogeniture
assailed as contrary to the law of nature, (by the way, where is
this much-talked-of law of nature to be found?) we may safely appeal
to the express recognition by the Jewish law of "the right of the
first-born as the beginning of his father's strength," to show
that the custom of primogeniture is at all events not repugnant to
instinctive justice or the common-sense of mankind. The old Saxon
law of gavelkind might be better adapted to a superabundance of
land and a thin population; the preference of the youngest son, by
the custom of Borough-English, might well prevail among the far
progenitors of the Saxon race on the steppes of Scythia,[1] when
the elder brothers would be sent forth to roam over the boundless
plain with their flocks and herds, the youngest remaining at home to
be the prop of his father's old age. But in a settled and cultivated
country, and among an advanced people, we maintain succession by
primogeniture to be the most consonant, as a matter of theory, to
the social feelings and requirements of man; and we think our author
has fully established his position as to the beneficial character of
its practical results.

  [1] We suspect this custom may be traced in the Scythian legends of
  Herodotus. See his 4th book, chapters v., vi., and x.

In the course of his historical survey, Mr M'Culloch has of course
touched on the principle of succession under the Roman law, but
more lightly than we should have expected in reference to a system
which has entered so largely into our Scottish law, and which is
still accepted as a model framework of legal principles in most of
the universities of Christendom. And the slight notice taken traces
an analogy between the feudal and civil principles of succession,
which we think is altogether incorrect. Our author, in speaking of
the Roman law of succession, appears to confound in some measure
the Roman term _hæres_ with the English word _heir_. The civilian
definition of _hæres_ is _qui ex testamento succedit in universum
jus testatoris_. In Scotland the word _heir_ has much the same
import:--"The law deems it reasonable," says Erskine, (_Inst._ book
iii. tit. 8, §. 2) "that every fiar shall have the power by deed,
during his life, to declare who shall have the lands after his
death: and the person so favoured is called the _heir_." Whereas the
feudal notion of the word _heir_ preserved in the English law, is of
one upon whom the estate is cast, after the death of his ancestor,
by act of law and right of blood. In other words, _hæres_ is he who
is appointed by the will of the deceased to succeed to his civil
rights, and, in default of such appointment, the person indicated
by a certain general law. But the _heir_ (in English law) is the
next and worthiest of blood, appointed by the common-law to succeed
to his ancestor; although this rule of succession may be set aside
by the appointment or will of the ancestor, if possessed of the
fee-simple. Bearing in mind this distinction, we shall perceive the
cause of Mr M'Culloch's error when he says--

     "The Furian, the Voconian, and the Falcidian laws were passed,
     the first two under the republic, and the latter under Augustus,
     to secure the interests of children by limiting the power of
     fathers to make settlements to their prejudice." P. 6.

Now, the Voconian law, so far from protecting the interests of
children, frequently operated in the case of daughters to prejudice
them;--of this we have a remarkable instance in the case of Annius
Asellus, dwelt upon by Cicero, in the second action against
Verres, _Orat._ i., c. 41--44. The law prevented all registered or
assessed (_censi_) citizens of Rome from appointing a female as
their _hæres_. Again, the Furian and Falcidian laws were passed to
secure the person nominated as _hæres_ from being prejudiced by
the excessive amount of legacies under the will. Hence, if a man
died leaving only daughters, he was prohibited by the Voconian law
from appointing any of them as his _hæres_; and the other two laws
restrained him from appointing a nominal _hæres_, and leaving his
property to his daughters by way of legacies (_legata_.)

In truth, the English notion of heirship, as succession by right
of blood, seems to be entirely due to the northern nations and the
feudal system. Under both systems, however, it is observable how
the progress of legislation and society has been to increase the
privileges and diminish the duties of the constituted successor. For
as, in tenure by chivalry, the heir was rather the person to whom,
in consequence of proximity of blood, the lord might look for the
performance of the military services, than the fortunate acquirer of
the property, so the Roman _hæres_ was regarded more in the light
of one on whom devolved the religious, civil, and private duties
of the deceased; frequently so burdensome that the inheritance was
altogether refused, until the heir was guarded by such laws as the
Furian and Falcidian.

While we are in the humour of finding fault, we may notice a
passage in which we think Mr M'Culloch has not dealt fairly with the
English law. It is as follows:--

     "In one respect the law of intestacy appears to stand much in
     need of revision. It is interpreted so as to give, in many
     cases, more to the eldest son than the real estate and his
     share of the personalty. Suppose, for example, that a person
     dies intestate, leaving an estate worth (say) L.100,000, with
     a mortgage made by him upon it for half its value, or £50,000,
     and leaving also £50,000 of personal property, in this case the
     real estate is obviously worth only £50,000; and consistently
     with the principles previously laid down, the eldest son
     should succeed to the estate burdened with its debt, and the
     personal property be divided among the children generally. But
     a different rule has been permitted to grow up. The personal
     property of persons dying intestate is the first fund for their
     debts, though secured upon their estates; and it is the surplus
     only, if there be any, after these debts are paid, that is
     divisible among the children, who, in the above case, would be
     entitled to nothing. This appears to be in all respects a most
     objectionable arrangement."--P. 41.

We cannot see any anomaly here. "It is a rule in equity," says
Cruise, (_Digest_, tit. xv. c. 4,) "that where a person dies,
leaving a variety of funds, one of which must be charged with a
debt, that the fund which received the benefit by the contracting
the debt shall make satisfaction." This seems to us perfectly just
and reasonable, according to the principles of the English law. In
the case put by Mr M'Culloch, the personalty of £50,000 obviously
owes its existence to the mortgage debt; and it is, therefore,
fairly applied to the discharge of that debt. But, _cessante
ratione, cessat etiam lex_; this only applies where the deceased was
himself the mortgager. Where the lands came to him mortgaged, his
personal estate will not be liable, even though he may have made a
covenant to pay it. We may refer the legal reader to the judgment
of Lord King, delivered, with the assistance of Lord Chief-Justice
Raymond and the Master of the Rolls, in Evelyn _v._ Evelyn, 2 P.
Wms. 659. Compare Cope _v._ Cope, 1 Salk. 449. Shafto _v._ Shafto, 2
P. Wms. 664.

Although the custom of primogeniture and the law of entail exercise
a similar influence on our social state, yet, as they may be said
in some measure to go by a different path towards the same end, Mr
M'Culloch has treated them separately. With respect to the first, he
begins by rebutting Adam Smith's sweeping denunciation:--"Nothing
can be more contrary to the real interest of a numerous family, than
a right which, in order to enrich one, beggars all the rest of the
children." _Wealth of Nations_, p. 171.

     "On the contrary," says Mr M'Culloch, "we are well convinced
     that much of the industry and of the superior wealth and
     civilisation of modern Europe, may be ascribed to the influence
     of the custom of primogeniture in determining the succession
     to estates; and that, were it abolished, or superseded by the
     opposite custom of equally dividing landed property among all
     the children, or even among all the sons, they would suffer
     universally by the change, the youngest as well as the oldest;
     while it would most seriously compromise the interests of every
     other class."--P. 28.

The truth is, that the right of primogeniture is rather to be
regarded as having for its object the benefit of the community,
than the interest of the particular family. If a man has £50,000
a-year and five sons, it may appear, at first sight, decidedly
more conducive to "the greatest possible happiness of the greatest
possible number," that each of these five sons should have £10,000
a-year, than that one should possess the whole, or bulk, of the
paternal property, and the other four be left to buffet their way
through the world. But it is for the interest of the nation that
its aristocracy should be founded in old families, fortified and
graced by historical associations; and these are only to be kept up
by a devolution of their lands according to the feudal rule. But,
as regards the interest of the particular family, it will appear
on consideration that, in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, this
also is most effectually promoted by the law of primogeniture. By
means of this law, the main stock of the family is left in its full
strength as a nucleus round which the younger branches are united,
and from which their members derive alike a great portion of their
status in society, and inducement to advance themselves in their
respective pursuits; and, on the other hand, the professions of
the country are exalted and dignified by the infusion into their
ranks of men of birth and education, who are, at the same time,
dependent on those professions for their advancement. Sir Matthew
Hale, as quoted by Mr M'Culloch, forcibly describes the results
of the opposite system. "This equal division of inheritance," he
says, speaking of the old times of Saxon gavelkind, "did by degrees
bring the inhabitants to a low kind of country living; and families
were broken; and the younger sons which, had they not had these
little parcels of land to apply themselves to, would have betaken
themselves to trades, or to military, or civil, or ecclesiastical
employments, neglecting those opportunities, wholly applied
themselves to those small divisions of land; whereby they neglected
the opportunities of greater advantage of enriching themselves
and the kingdom." And if it should be urged that Sir Matthew Hale
could do little more than form an _à priori_ judgment of the social
condition of England in the days of the Confessor, it should be
remembered that the picture here drawn is precisely applicable to
the state of France at the present day, and may easily be traced to
its similar system of partition. An important public result of the
same system, as regards the landholders in the exercise of their
functions as citizens, may also be observed in that country. The
large body of landed proprietors, amounting to between four and five
millions, so far from being the leaders of the people, are, perhaps,
the most inert and uninfluential class of the whole community. They
pay the bulk of the taxes, and grumble accordingly; but beyond a
vague dread of aristocracy--not unnaturally founded, perhaps, on the
traditions of the vexatious privileges swept away in 1791--they seem
disposed calmly to acquiesce in all the proclamations, charters,
and chimeras that maybe thrust upon them by busier handlers of the
tools of government, and behold revolutions concocted in Paris,
and bursting over their heads, apparently without the remotest
conception that it any wise rests with them to control or guide the
convulsion.

     "It has sometimes been contended that the custom of
     primogeniture is injurious, from its interesting the leading
     families of the country in the support of expensive public
     establishments, in which their younger branches are most
     commonly placed."--P. 38.

This objection also Mr M'Culloch brings to the test of experiment,
and shows that this bias, if it really exist, is little perceptible,
and that the aristocracy have shown much more zeal to discharge
the functions of the ill-paid offices of the army and navy, than
to get into their hands the lucrative situations connected with
the administration of justice. It was certainly not the immediate
interest of the aristocracy, for instance, to maintain the offices
of the six clerks in Chancery, the profits on which were estimated
for compensation at sums varying, we believe, from £2500 to £1000
per annum.

The law of entail is traceable to the same human instincts as the
law of primogeniture. The clannish feelings of the northern nations,
their notion of representation by blood, and the territorial
character of their citizenship, all combined to produce an anxiety
to perpetuate the old stocks in the homes of their fathers. Nor is
this desire of posthumous control over the transmission of lands
the product, as is sometimes alleged, of an artificial state of
society. Man's possessory instinct essentially connects itself with
the future--_Serit arbores quæ alteri prosint sæculo._ The justice
of gratifying this wish by general laws of the community is not
more impeachable than that of guarding the indefeasible possession
of the owner during his lifetime. It remains to be seen how far the
sanction of entails is consistent with the good of the nation in
general.

Every lawyer knows that the progress of legal decisions in England
has been adverse to entails, and that although the statute De Donis
continues on the statute-book, yet it was long ago rendered almost
nugatory by the introduction of fines and recoveries. Hence the term
entail is now popularly applied to denote the strict settlement of
lands, under provisions which prevent them from passing from the
heirs to whom they are limited; this having been, of old, the result
of an entail properly so called, though it now requires a more
complicated mode of settling, and can only endure (so as to render
the lands inalienable) for a life or any number of lives in being,
and twenty-one years afterwards. This more popular meaning of the
word entail is that which Mr M'Culloch follows--his object being to
treat of the influence of tying up lands from alienation.

Measuring the practice of entails by the rule of utility, Mr
M'Culloch selects two points as the principal topics of discussion.

     "In the first place, it is alleged in favour of entails that
     they stimulate exertion and economy; that they hold out to
     industry and ambition the strongest and safest excitement in the
     prospect of founding an imperishable name and a powerful family,
     and of being remembered and venerated by endless generations
     as their chief and benefactor. And, in the second place, it is
     said that entails form the only solid bulwark of a respectable
     aristocracy, and prevent generations from being ruined by the
     folly or misfortunes of an individual."--P. 78.

The first of these propositions is, no doubt, partially true; but
the motive put forward has not, we think, as a matter of experience,
the force that might, at first sight, be attributed to it. Perhaps
the keenest accumulators of wealth have not been those who have
fixed their capital in a landed estate. The man of business habits
and judicious speculation is drawn to make his fortune in obedience
to a passion which is partly developed, and at all events fostered,
by the pursuit of his life. It cannot be said to arise altogether
from a notion of benefiting posterity, of being the founder of a
house--the man of whom future Fitztomkynses shall be ashamed--that
John Tomkins, merchant, sets at nought all the expostulations of
self-indulgence:

    "Tun' mare transilias? tibi tortâ cannabe fulto
     Cœna sit in transtro? Veientanumque rubellum
     Exhalet vapidâ læsum pice fissilis obba?"

Enormous fortunes were accumulated during the declining days
of the Roman republic. But entails being then unknown, and the
Roman nobility having no territorial position, these fortunes,
usually acquired by oppression and extortion in the provinces, were
squandered in largesses and corruption at home. There was no other
way in which a Roman citizen of great wealth could establish the
influence of his family. He could not, like, all English gentleman,
connect his name with a landed estate, and extend his influence by
those good offices and local duties which lie so immediately open
to a man in that capacity. As an almost necessary consequence, he
sought for power through the demoralisation and corruption of the
holders of the suffrage--causes which contributed more than any
other to the downfall of the republic. By lavishing his gold in this
manner, he obtained, not only political eminence for himself, but
also that power which led to proconsulates and proprætorships among
his heirs, and thus gave them the opportunity of repairing, by fresh
exactions, his diminished revenues.

Hence we should rather view the law of entail as an inducement to a
man to perpetuate his thousands in broad acres than to acquire his
fortune in the first instance. And, in conformity with this view,
it may be observed, that it is more generally the son or other
successor than the architect of the fortune himself who converts the
accumulated wealth into this permanent form.

Mr M'Culloch's second point--the preservation of families by means
of entails--is one of wider interest and more general importance. In
a bustling mercantile community like ours, we cannot too jealously
guard any institution which, directly or indirectly, tends to
preserve distinctions due to something more than mere wealth. And
there can be no doubt that the system of entails has saved many
an ancient line from being thrust from its home of centuries to
a strange spot, and this not only among the titled and wealthy,
but among the yeomanry and "statesmen." In England, of course, a
family may frequently perish through the possession of an estate in
fee-simple passing into the hands of an unthrifty representative
of the line, as the settlements require constant renewal. But in
Scotland the system of perpetual entail exercises a much more potent
influence in their behalf. Mr M'Culloch, though he rebuts many of
the objections urged against the Scottish law, is nevertheless
anxious to see it assimilated in a great measure to that of
England. There is, however, an exception which he would make to
the rule against perpetuity of entails. It is with regard to the
peerage, in which matter we cordially agree with him. There were,
in ancient times, instances of barons who were degraded from their
dignity on account of their lack of sufficient revenue to support
their hereditary title. The independence and the dignity of the
House of Lords would be alike maintained by an enactment enabling,
or even obliging, all peers to tie up by perpetual entail a certain
portion of their estates to accompany the title. Such anomalies
as that of an Earl of Buchan (Lord Erskine's father, see Lord
Campbell's _Lives of the Chancellors_) living in the uppermost flat
of a sixteen-story house, would thereby be avoided with considerable
advantage to the national interests.

Mr M'Culloch, therefore, who quotes Sir William Temple and Dr
Johnson on the same side, would preserve the law of perpetual entail
for the Scottish peerage, and extend it also to that of England.
In other respects he is, as we have above stated, in favour of a
considerable modification of the Scottish law of entail. He admits,
however, the difficulty of dealing with existing entails.

     "These have established a right of property not only in the
     actual possessors and their families, but, speaking generally,
     in a wide circle of collateral heirs; nor could the rights of
     the unborn heirs be affected without annulling the clauses in a
     great number of settlements, and also in marriage-contracts and
     other deeds _inter vivos_. It is, therefore, hardly possible
     materially to relax the fetters of entails with strict justice
     to all parties, though it might perhaps be slowly and gradually
     effected without inflicting any very serious hardship on
     any individual. We incline to think that this might be most
     easily brought about by saving the rights of living heirs
     of entail, and of such heirs as may be born under existing
     marriage-contracts. The interests of the possible heirs that
     might be prejudiced by the adoption of some such rule as this,
     are of so very unsubstantial a description that they might
     safely be neglected." P. 78.

At the time we write, a measure is pending before Parliament,
entitled "A Bill for the amendment of the Law of Entail in
Scotland," and endorsed with the names of the Lord-Advocate, Sir
George Grey, and Mr Solicitor-General for Scotland. Whatever
difficulties Mr M'Culloch feels with regard to relaxing the fetters
of entail, it is obvious that the contrivers of this bill are in
nowise hampered by them. They go to work in the most off-hand manner
possible. A short and unobtrusive-looking bill is to drive clean
through all the existing settlements and deeds of tailzie, with
their complicated train of clauses irritant and resolutive, as if no
mortal was concerned in the matter, and estates were the proper toys
of law-makers.

The fact of the quantity of alienable land diminishing in a
commercial country, while trade and population are increasing, is no
doubt a state of things which calls for a remedy, since there must
at some period or another, be a failure of land adequate to meet the
requirements of realised fortunes. If, in the judgment of reasonable
and practical observers, the difficulty could be met by making all
future entails subject to be barred by a process analogous to that
existing in England, we should think there could be no hesitation
in affirming it to be the most just and most expedient course to
introduce such a change, and leave the existing settlements in their
contemplated perpetuity. If, however, it can be clearly established
that already too much land is locked up in the northern kingdom,
and that the soil now free from entail is insufficient to satisfy
the requirements of future buyers, then we should say that the
utmost care and skill were required in framing enactments which
should adapt themselves to the justice of particular cases, and
should, as far as might be, save existing and vested interests in
their delicate multiplicity and connexion. If ever such care and
skill were required, it would be in a measure which interferes
more extensively with vested rights--usually with good reason a
sacred thing in the eye of the law--than any which appears in the
statute-books of the three kingdoms. A statute to convert the Irish
tenants into owners of the fee-simple of their several holdings,
(a project which has been talked of,) would scarcely be a more
startling invasion of the rights of property as they are usually
recognised. We do not, however, intend to impeach the general
provisions of the bill. If, as we before observed, so important a
change was found to be necessary, it is right to make it; and it is
no more than was effected in England by a more gradual process--the
subtle fictions of the law-courts, which virtually got rid of the
statute De Donis. But we can anticipate nothing but uncertainty
and multiplied litigation, from the apparently crude and careless
project now before us.

An instance of the loose wording of this bill strikes the reader
in the very first section. It proposes to enact "that where any
estate in Scotland shall be entailed by a deed of tailzie, dated
on or after the first day of March one thousand eight hundred and
forty-eight, it shall be lawful for any heir of entail, born after
the date of such tailzie, being of full age, and in possession of
such entailed estate in virtue of such tailzie, _to acquire such
estate in fee-simple_, by applying to the Court of Session, &c."
Now, what is this estate which the heir of entail is to acquire in
fee-simple? The estate-tail, for so it is by hypothesis. But to
talk of acquiring an estate-tail in fee-simple is nothing better
than downright nonsense. An estate-tail is, by the origin of the
word, cut or carved (taillé) out of the fee-simple. You may talk of
converting or enlarging the part into the whole, but you cannot talk
of acquiring the part in the entirety of the whole. This is not all;
the bill plunges at once _in medias res_, without favouring us with
any sort of definition of the important phrase, "heir of entail," in
this and other clauses. The same expression in the statute 1 Jac.
VII. c. 32, has already (see _Sandford's Entails_, p. 231) given
rise to no small questioning and litigation, which promise to be
renewed in abundance should this measure pass into a law. Again,
perpetual inalienability is not an incident to all estates-tail.
Lands merely bound by what are called the prohibitive clauses, may
be alienated for a valuable consideration, though not by a voluntary
or (as the Scotch say) gratuitous conveyance. Tailzies, however, to
which no clauses are annexed, do not prevent the heir from conveying
the lands in any manner he pleases. Now, as, the object of this bill
is to relax the bonds of perpetual inalienability, we presume that
only those tailzies which are guarded by the irritant and resolutive
clauses are within its purview. If so, the general expression "deed
of tailzie" should have been distinctly limited. If that expression
should be held to comprehend all deeds of tailzie, which it must of
course do when taken by itself, then the proposed act will exercise
a very extensive disabling power, by restricting the unlimited right
of alienation under tailzies of simple destination,[2] and the right
of alienation for value under tailzies with prohibitive clauses
only introduced, to the peculiar form and instrument pointed out by
this bill, and which we suppose was devised in analogy to the forms
substituted for fines and recoveries by the statute 3 & 4 Will. IV.
c. 74.

  [2] See Erskine's _Institutes_, B. iii. tit. 8, §§ 21-25.

We have already seen how Mr M'Culloch would deal with the difficulty
of disturbing the devolution of lands already limited in perpetual
entail--namely, by "saving the rights of living heirs of entail,
and of heirs born under existing marriage-contracts." We think our
author has not, in this passage, expressed himself with due legal
perspicuity and precision. The phrase "living heirs of entail" is
somewhat vague and uncertain; we presume Mr M'Culloch intended the
living issue of the heir of entail in possession, and all living
heirs-substitute and their living issue. Again, what are existing
marriage-contracts? Probably those marriage-contracts are intended,
which are annexed to marriages solemnised before the introduction of
a new system. Both these suggestions, as we have interpreted them,
might with justice, and advantage have formed part of the new law.
It is true that this would, at all events for a considerable period
of time, stop short of that assimilation of the Scottish law to the
English which seems to have been a great object with the framers of
this bill. But the two systems would gradually correspond; and we
hold that there is a principle of justice involved in the upholding
of contracts the objects of which are as yet unfulfilled. Where
an English settler has limited lands to a man for life, remainder
to his first and other sons successively in tail, he knew, at the
time of making the settlement, that it was liable to be barred with
consent of the eldest son on his coming of age. But it was not so
with a Scotch settler who executed a deed of tailzie to several
brothers as successive heirs-substitute; and the legislature has no
right, without the gravest public cause, to step in and defeat his
intention.

But the bill, though intending to give far greater liberty to the
owner of an entailed estate than Mr M'Culloch does, or, as we think,
is consistent with justice, sets about affording him aid in the
most ambiguous and misty manner conceivable. The 2d clause enacts
that the heir of entail in possession, born after the date of the
act, may disentail in the manner provided by the act; and an heir
of entail born before the date of the act may similarly disentail,
"with the consent (and not otherwise) of the heir-substitute next
in succession, and heir-apparent under the entail of the heir in
possession," he being born after the date of the act, and capable of
contracting.

We should recommend the tenant in tail to be very cautious how he
attempts to "acquire his estate in fee-simple" under the provisions
of this clause. He is to obtain the consent of the heir-substitute
next in succession. So far his course is clear. But the same person
is also designated by the term "heir-apparent under the entail of
the heir in possession." Now, is this a qualification of the general
term "heir-substitute next in succession," and must such person,
under the act, be also heir-apparent? If so, what is the particular
qualification required of him under the expression "heir-apparent?"
Adhering to the use of the phrase in popular language, we must take,
as the only circumstances under which the next heir-substitute and
the heir-apparent are one and the same person, the case in which
the first estate under the entail is limited to a man and the heirs
of his body, and the second to his second son and the heirs of his
body; then, supposing the eldest son to die in the lifetime of his
father, the second son would be both the next heir-substitute and
also the heir-apparent. Is this, therefore, the only case within
the act? Scarcely, we should think, was it so intended. Are we,
then, to interpret the word heir-apparent in the sense in which the
phrase heir-presumptive is generally used; and must we suppose that
the cases indicated are those in which there is no issue under the
first entail, and therefore the next heir-substitute is what we
should call heir-presumptive to the person in possession? If so,
what is to become of the numerous cases where there is issue to
take under the existing estate-tail? Or can it be that the issue
in tail is altogether forgotten by this act, and that the person
whose consent is required is merely the next heir-substitute in any
case? We are inclined to think this the most probable explanation of
this unfortunate clause, but can scarcely imagine that it will be
suffered to pass into a law. A further ambiguity, however, arises
with respect to this term heir-apparent, from its having a peculiar
technical meaning in the Scottish law. "He who is entitled," says
Erskine, "to enter heir to a deceased ancestor is, before his actual
entry, styled, both in our statutes and by our writers, _apparent
heir_." If the bill intends any reference to this legal acceptation
of the phrase, we can only understand the person whose consent is
required, to be such person as, being next heir-substitute, would,
on the immediate decease of the possessor, be his apparent heir,
or entitled to enter on the lands. This, again, shuts out all
those estates where the possessor has issue in tail, and would,
consequently, limit the operation of the bill to exceptional
cases. We think we have said enough to convince our readers that
this clause is not likely to set free many entailed estates in
Scotland--at all events, not without a chaos of litigation, in which
the elements of profit will have a tendency to range themselves on
the side of the lawyers.

The person whose consent is to be obtained (whoever that mysterious
person may be) is, as we have seen, to be born after the date of
the act. In conformity with this principle, one would have supposed
that where the next heir-substitute shall have been born before
that date, then it should be necessary to obtain the consent of the
first person entitled to take _per formam doni_, who shall be born
after this date, together with the consent of all those who are to
take before him. The third clause, however, introduces a new form of
protection to the settlement, and merely enacts that, in such cases,
the consent of a certain number of the heirs-substitute is to be
obtained, (the blank left for the number was filled up with the word
"three" in committee of the House of Commons. Nothing said about the
issue in tail, as before.

Where the main enactments of the bill are so incomprehensible, it
is useless to dwell on its details. We can only say, that whatever
evils may be shown to exist under the present law, they will not
only fail to be cured, but must be aggravated tenfold, by such a
product of off-hand legislation--

                        "Sent before its time
    Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
    And that so lamely and unfashionable,"

that it must necessarily die of its own deformity, unless the
law-courts will lick it into shape by their decisions,--a shape (as
it must be) in which its own parents would not know it again.

The law of real property in France exhibits a system so distinctly
antagonistic to our English and Scottish law of entail, that we
cannot be surprised at the attention with which Mr M'Culloch has
investigated its influences.

     "According to the law of France, a person with one child may
     dispose at pleasure of a moiety of his property, the child
     inheriting the other moiety as legitim, or matter of right; a
     person having two children can only dispose of a third part
     of his property; and those having more than two must divide
     three-fourths of their property equally amongst them, one-fourth
     part being all that is then left at their disposal. When a
     father dies intestate, his property is equally divided among his
     children, without respect to sex or seniority. Nothing can be
     more distinctly opposed to the principles we have endeavoured
     to establish, and to the system followed in this country, than
     this law. It is therefore lucky that it is now no novelty. It
     has been established for more than half a century, so that we
     may trace and exhibit its practical influence over the condition
     of the extensive population subject to its operation. Such an
     experiment is of rare occurrence, but when made is invaluable.
     And if its results should confirm the conclusions already
     come to, it will go far to establish them on an unassailable
     basis."--P. 80-81.

We have already seen how these results may be traced in the state
of French agriculture. They may also, we think, be discerned in the
relative position which the landholders of France bear to other
classes in the social scale. These, numbering between four and
five millions, ought, as a class, to constitute the leaders of the
nation. So far from this being the case, they are perhaps the most
inert and uninfluential portion of the community, having apparently
had little or no voice in the two revolutions which have swept over
their heads within the last eighteen years, and as little in the
erection, maintenance, or downfall of the Throne of the Barricades.
It yet remains to be seen whether they will continue to accept every
thing which the clubs of Paris are willing to force upon them. As
tax-payers and cultivators of the soil, it can hardly suit them to
be propagandists; as men who have something to lose, they will not
readily give in to the dictatorial vagaries of Ledru Rollin. If,
however, they would hold their own, it is time for them to be up and
doing. France has been governed by a minority before now.

We have always regarded it as one of the main advantages of a
landed aristocracy, that it raises up a principle of social rank
antagonistic to that of mere wealth. In France, the constant
subdivision and transfer of land breaks down this influence,
and causes land to be regarded as a mere marketable article and
equivalent for money.

     "In countries where the custom of primogeniture exercises a
     powerful influence, families become identified with estates--the
     family representing the estate, and the estate the family. The
     wealth and consideration enjoyed by the latter depend upon, and
     are intimately connected with, the possession of the lands
     which have descended to them from their ancestors. They estimate
     their value by another than a mere pecuniary standard. They are
     attached to them by the oldest and most endearing associations;
     and they are seldom parted with except under the most painful
     circumstances. Hence the perpetuity of property in England in
     the same families, notwithstanding the limited duration of
     entails; great numbers of estates being at this moment enjoyed
     by those whose ancestors acquired them at or soon after the
     Conquest. But in France such feelings are proscribed. Estates
     and families have there no abiding connexion; and at the demise
     of an individual who has a number of children, his estate can
     hardly escape being subdivided. And this effect of the law tends
     to imbue the proprietors with corresponding sentiments and
     feelings. 'Non seulement,' says M. De Tocqueville, 'la loi des
     successions rend difficile aux familles de conserver intacts les
     mêmes domaines, mais elle leur òte le désir de le tenter, et
     elle les entraîne, en quelque sorte, à coopérer avec elle à leur
     propre ruine.'"--P. 85-86.

But Mr M'Culloch dwells more particularly on the injurious effects
to agriculture from the parcelling out of the land into small
properties. He shows that a small proprietor is not so efficient a
cultivator of the soil as a tenant, in which doctrine Arthur Young
had preceded him. He shows, also, that the subdivision of properties
leads to the subdivision of farms, and urges that it is impossible
to have good farming on small patches of land. Of the miseries of an
agricultural system carried on by small farmers on petty holdings,
we have already a sufficient example in Ireland. We cannot but
think, however, that the progress of things in England has too much
swallowed up those little farms of from thirty to fifty acres, which
at one time were common over the country. Not but what capital is
employed at a great disadvantage on these little holdings--but where
there is a general system of good-sized farms, an intermixture, of
smaller farms is not attended with injurious effects proportional
to those which arise where the whole of the land is split up into
minute parcels. And then small farmers furnish a link between the
yeomanry and peasantry, which it is useful to maintain, cheering
the poor man's lot by pointing out to him a path by which lie may
advance from the position of a day-labourer to that of an occupier
of land. On the same principle, we are rejoiced to observe the
gradual extension of the allotment system; although it would have
a still more beneficial effect, we think, if the land was granted
in the shape of a croft about the cottage, thus giving the tenant a
greater interest, and more individual sense of proprietorship, than
when his piece of land is packed, along with a number of others,
into a mass of unsightly patches.

In connexion with the small holdings in Ireland, it should not be
forgotten that this subdivision of the land results mainly from the
practice of sub-letting; and this again has arisen in a great degree
from the practice of granting long leases, the want of which in
England has served, among many other things, for an outcry against
the landlords. Mr M'Culloch has pointed out the evils of too long
leases on the farming tenant, that they superinduce a sense of
security which easily degenerates into indolence. But the influence
on Ireland is even worse, by breaking up the land into small
patches, on which the occupier can but just maintain himself, paying
an exorbitant rent to the middleman. For it is not the eager demand
for land amongst the Irish peasantry, as we sometimes hear, that has
produced this subdivision of the land, but the subdivision that has
produced the demand, by putting the cultivation of the land into the
hands of a class who are unable, through want of skill and capital,
to carry it on; who cannot, therefore, furnish employment for the
labourers, and thus drive them to grasp at little parcels of land
as their only means of securing a wretched subsistence; and this
security, as we know, has more than once proved but a fancied one,
as in the disastrous failure of the potato crop.

While we are on this subject, we may draw the reader's attention
to a very able pamphlet by an Irish gentleman, on Irish matters,
which, though we believe it has never been published, has had
an extensive private circulation. We allude to "An Address to
the Members of the House, of Commons on the Landlord and Tenant
Question, by Warren H. R. Jackson, Esq." The work, though somewhat
tinged with the hard politico-economical school, is written with
great shrewdness of thought and freedom from prejudice, and is well
worthy the careful attention of the honourable House. The writer, in
discussing the vexed question he has taken in hand, fully coincides
with the general principles laid down by Mr M'Culloch. "This," he
says, (speaking of the subdivision of land) "is one of the monster
grievances of Ireland, and you will do little good unless you abate
it." This abatement he would bring about mainly by prospective
laws, as by placing all contracts for subletting _hors la loi_, and
so taking away from the first lessee all power of recovering his
rent from the actual tenant. We cannot but think that this would be
found a most salutary enactment. It should be remembered, that the
occupier is responsible to the owner of the freehold by the power
of distress vested in the latter, and it is but just that he should
be relieved from the liability to pay two rents--a liability which
it is manifest no good farmer would incur, but which the squalid
ravager of the soil in Ireland is always eager for.

It has been said that no further legislative enactment is required
in Ireland, and that administrative wisdom must do what yet
remains to be done. Mr Jackson, however, shows that there are such
deep-seated evils in Ireland as cannot be cured except by the direct
interference of the legislature. But we think he expects too much
from the Sale of Encumbered Estates Bill. An extensive change of
proprietorship would, we are persuaded, be a great evil in Ireland.
There is an attachment in general to the "ould stock" among their
poorer neighbours, which would naturally be followed by a jealousy
and prejudice against the new comers who displaced them. And this
prejudice would of itself neutralise any efforts for improvement
which the landlord might otherwise be disposed to make--although,
in most cases, we should not expect much effort in this direction
from a stranger mortgagee, often an unwilling purchaser, who would
naturally be anxious to contract with those parties from whom he
could obtain his rents with least trouble, leaving them to deal with
the land as they liked, and thereby continuing and increasing the
odious middleman system.

Mr M'Culloch does not confine his examination of the compulsory
partition in France to its influence on agriculture. He has
discerned certain political effects of that and the concomitant
system of which it is a part, with a precision which subsequent
events have elevated into a sort of prophecy. The preface to his
work is dated December 1847, and the work was published, we believe,
early in January. There can, therefore, be no grounds for classing
the following passage with those anticipations which are made after
the event:--

     "The aristocratical element is no longer to be found in French
     society; and the compulsory division of the soil, while it
     prevents the growth of an aristocracy, impresses the same
     character of mobility upon landed possessions that is impressed
     on the families of their occupiers. Hence the prevalent want of
     confidence in the continuance of the present order of things in
     France. What is there in that country to oppose an effectual
     resistance to a revolutionary movement? Monarchy in France has
     been stripped of those old associations and powerful bulwarks
     whence it derives almost all its lustre and support in this
     and other countries. The throne stands in solitary, though not
     unenvied dignity, without the shelter of a single eminence,
     exposed to the full force of the furious blasts that sweep
     from every point of the surrounding level. There is nothing
     intermediate, nothing to hinder a hostile majority in the
     Chamber of Deputies from at once subverting the regal branch of
     the constitution, or changing the reigning dynasty."--P. 132-133.

Scarcely was the printer's ink dry on this passage when the Throne
of the Barricades was gone. We have given our author full credit
for his sagacity in penetrating into the future, but we think it
would puzzle him to foretell what is to come next. We are disposed
to doubt, however, whether an aristocracy could have preserved the
throne of Louis Philippe. It is true that in our own country William
of Nassau and George of Brunswick maintained their crowns by the
aid of powerful sections of the nobility. But the revolutions which
gave them those crowns were not the volcanic outbursts of popular
force. Under such outbursts, no successful usurper, no "Hero-king,"
no sovereign by the will of the people, has been able to devise a
principle which shall establish his throne in security, and serve
in the stead of that prestige of old hereditary succession, that
grand feudal idea of kingly right, which is the essential fountain
of the reverence that guards royalty. Louis Philippe would have
confirmed his sovereignty by means of the influence exerted upon
interested officials. No sooner was his power shaken in its unstable
equilibrium than the men whom his gold had bought rushed to worship
the rising sun of the young Republic. Napoleon, before him, would
have built up a similar power on military glory: his doom was
sealed when his eagles turned from the field of Leipsic. Cromwell
employed religious fanaticism to the same end: the fanaticism
lasted his time; but we will venture to say that, had he lived, his
protectorate would not have reached the seventeen years allotted to
the democratic King of the French.

Our author is of opinion that, after all, the system of compulsory
partition will fail to guard what has since become the French
Republic:--

     "But, though it were possible, which it is not, to obviate
     the mischievous influence of the French and other plans for
     preventing the increase and continuance of property in the same
     families, it may be confidently predicted that they will, in
     time to come as hitherto, wholly fail in their grand object of
     perpetuating the ascendancy of the democracy. In old settled and
     fully peopled countries, where the bulk of the population is
     necessarily poor and dependent, an aristocracy is indispensable
     for the support of a free system of government--'Il importe à
     tous les peuples qui ont la prétention de devenir ou de rester
     puissants, d'avoir une aristocratie, c'est-à-dire un corps
     héréditaire ou non, qui conserve et perpetue les traditions,
     donne de l'esprit de suite à la politique, et se voue à l'art le
     plus difficile de tous, qu' aujourd'hui cependant tout le monde
     croit savoir sans l'avoir appris, celui de gouverner. Un peuple
     sans aristocratic pourra briller dans les lettres et les arts,
     mais sa gloire politique me semble devoir être passagère comme
     un méteore.' CHEVALIER, _Lettres sur l'Amerique_, ii. 379," pp.
     171, 172.

We have already said that we think England certain to have an
aristocracy of some description. The ambition of the people to
advance themselves individually in the social scale will necessarily
lead to a high value being set upon those advanced positions,
and will tend to make them the fulcrum from which the country is
governed. And we can conceive nothing more fatal to our national
organisation than the result which would follow indirectly from the
repeal of these laws. It may be supposed at first sight that no very
vital question is involved here. Let those who suppose so, take a
view of the probable condition of society which would ensue. These,
and other so-called feudalities, being swept away, land becomes
a commercial article, according to the desire of the plutocratic
reformers. Estates are trucked about in the market like bills of
exchange; constantly changing hands, their owners have little
connexion with them or the people that live on them, regarding them
merely in the light of so much realised capital. The old families
gradually become dispossessed; mere wealth is recognised as the
sole qualification for rank and influence; and the leading class
in the state is composed of men who are an aristocracy by virtue
of ready money. Far be it from us to undervalue the enterprise,
integrity, and industry of our merchant manufacturers and tradesmen.
But we will say that when we meet with a man, as we often do among
those classes, endowed with a broad range of thought and high and
noble aims, we regard him as possessing these qualities not as a
consequence, but in spite of a commercial training. The immediate
effects of such training are to narrow the mind and cramp the
soul, not in respect of domestic and social life--for in these,
perhaps, the middle classes are unsurpassed by any other--but in the
provinces of the statesman and the politician.

In these times, it seems to be commonly supposed that a
legislator--like a poet--_nascitur, non fit_. There is a certain
kind of training, the acquisition of a certain cast of thought,
which are requisites for statesmen as a class, as much as his legal
reading for a lawyer, or his apprenticeship for a handicraftsman.
Statesmen, however, have to deal with practical matters; and
therefore we think, as we have before said, that while the
predominance of these requisites in the legislature is essential
to good government, there may with advantage at the same time be
a certain admixture of the men practically versed in commerce
and manufactures. But this should be always a subordinate, not a
leading, element in the principles which regulate the administration
of government.--We repeat, that the counting-house, the loom, and
the anvil, are not the best schools for legislators. For that
office, a man requires leisure and education. We shall be told that
a "Squire" is not necessarily an educated man. We do not maintain
that he is. But, in the first place, as we cannot well have an
education-test, we must go to the class in which, as a class, we
find the highest and most enlarged form of education; and we believe
that this qualification can, without question, be claimed for the
leisure-class, or gentlemen of England. In the second place, it
should be remembered, that if the squire is not always individually
what we should call an educated man, he yet imbibes his thoughts
and notions from those who are such, who give tone to the society
in which he moves. In investigating the characteristics of classes,
it can scarcely be but that a number of exceptions to our general
rules will force themselves upon our attention. Yet, in good truth,
we believe that almost all the individual examples which can be
cited will bear out our estimate. The highest contributions to the
legislature, on the part of the middle or commercial classes, have
been the shrewd practical men of business, men of the stamp of Mr
Hawes. As for the Cobdens and Brights, _et hoc genus omne_, their
only motive principle appears to be the interests of _My Shop_.
Their notion of loyalty, patriotism, and British prosperity, is
nothing but low wages, high profits, and a brisk trade in calicoes.

Many of our readers will recollect a passage in Cicero, (_Off._
i. 42,) in which he reprobates, more or less, all commercial
pursuits, in respect of their operations on the moral insight of
man, and finishes with the praise of the culture of the soil, in
these words: "Omnium rerum ex quibus aliquid acquiritur, nihil est
agriculturâ meliùs, nihil uberiùs, nihil dulciùs, nihil homine
libero digniùs." In this country we should find it difficult to go
along with the feelings of the old Roman republican on these points.
But though we have already expressed our high sense of the social
and domestic virtues of the middle or trading classes, yet we are
most confident in the truth of our position, that the shop is the
worst possible preparation for the senate. We know that there is
a talk abroad about earnest workers, drones of the hive, and so
forth. By all means, let every man work who is fit to work. But it
is not necessary, nor is it desirable, that every man should work
for gain. On the contrary, we hold that a class endowed with leisure
is indispensable, not only for the grace and civilisation, but even
for the moral well-being of a community. That money should become
the one grand loadstar of thought and action is the bane of those
societies where the pursuit of money is the general employment; but
where there is such a leisure-class as we have spoken of, forming
the topmost rank of a nation otherwise chiefly mercantile, there are
numberless influences derived from it which percolate through the
underlying masses, and check or modify the exclusive reverence for
wealth to which they would otherwise be prone. Even a mere blind
respect for rank or title exalts the mind immeasurably as compared
with mammon-worship.

While on the subject of our leisure-class, which is pretty nearly
synonymous with the landed gentry, we must not pass over in silence
a subject in connexion with which the outcry against "the drones
of the hive" is frequently introduced. We refer to the Game-Laws.
The whole question of these laws has been so fully discussed in a
recent Number of this magazine, that we will not attempt in any
way to open that controversy. But they are so commonly coupled
with the Laws of Entail as "feudalities," and as interfering with
the transmission of land according to "commercial principles,"
that we could not altogether omit the mention of them. We will at
this time only observe, that the denunciation of the Game-Laws is
a part of the crusade which Hard-Cash, that arrogant monopolist
who bears no brother near his throne, is waging against all other
objects of interest or devotion. Let it not be supposed that laws
are of minor importance because they relate to the amusements of any
portion of the community. They may derive their importance from that
circumstance as tending to raise up something which shall cope with
the lust of gold. The game-preserving interest is worth maintenance
if only as clashing with mammonism.

While the brawlers about "improvement" and "progress," are heaping
their meaningless abuse upon feudalities, we should be glad to
know what they purpose to do with that greatest feudality of all,
the Crown? Already there are symptoms of an intention to take that
matter in hand. Mr Cobden and some of his Calibans have talked in
the House of Commons about curtailing the "barbarous splendour" of
the throne. They know nothing and care nothing about the historical
association and constitutional truths embodied in the ancient
appendages of royalty. How should they? They want somebody to look
after the police, and take care that no one robs their till; that
is their idea of government. They want a man (some of them being
willing to allow him a small salary, though others think that it
does not pay) to preach to the masses, and tell them not to steal,
and to be content with their wages; that is their idea of the
church. We do not think, however, that the tone of thought prevalent
among the Manchester school is destined yet to lead the mind of
England. And we are the less inclined to look forward to such a
national debasement when we find so enlightened an advocate of
free-trade policy as Mr M'Culloch--the advocate of a theory which we
hold to be erroneous, but not the selfish and greedy clamourer for
the gain of himself and his class--thus coming forward to vindicate
the laws which preserve the hereditary character of our aristocracy,
which lend so efficient an aid in shielding us from the crushing
tread of mammonism, and in preventing "commercial principles" from
introducing the ledger and day-book into our manor houses, and the
counter into our farmers' parlours. In this view we most heartily
thank our author for his noble and energetic contribution to our
National Defences at the present time; and as there is a wide field
open in connexion with the subject he has so powerfully handled,
we cannot take leave of him without expressing a hope that we may
before long listen to him again "on the same side."



LIFE IN THE "FAR WEST."

PART II.

     The reader is informed that "Life in the Far West" is _no
     fiction_. The scenes and incidents described are strictly true.
     The characters are real, (the names being changed in two or
     three instances only,) and all have been, and are, well known in
     the Western country.


"And Mary Brand herself,--what is she like?"

"She's 'some' now; that _is_ a fact, and the biggest kind of punkin
at that," would have been the answer from any man, woman, or child,
in Memphis County, and truly spoken too; always understanding that
the pumpkin is _the_ fruit to which the _ne-plus-ultra_ of female
perfection is compared by the figuratively speaking westerns.

Being an American woman, of course she was tall, and straight and
slim as a hickory sapling, well formed withal, with rounded bust,
and neck white and slender as the swan's. Her features were small,
but finely chiselled; and in this, it may be remarked, the lower
orders of the American women differ from, and far surpass the same
class in England, or elsewhere, where the features, although far
prettier, are more vulgar and commonplace. She had the bright blue
eye, thin nose, and small but sweetly-formed mouth, the too fair
complexion and dark brown hair, which characterise the beauty of the
Anglo-American, the heavy masses (hardly curls) which fell over her
face and neck contrasting with their polished whiteness. Such was
Mary Brand: and to her good looks being added a sweet disposition,
and all the good qualities of a thrifty housewife, it must be
allowed that she fully justified the eulogiums of the good people of
Memphis.

Well, to cut a love-story short, in the which not a little moral
courage is shown, young La Bonté fell desperately in love with
the pretty Mary, and she with him; and small blame to her, for he
was a proper lad of twenty--six feet in his moccassins--the best
hunter and rifle-shot in the country, with many other advantages too
numerous to mention. But when did the course, &c. e'er run smooth?
When the affair had become a recognised "courting," (and Americans
alone know the horrors of such prolonged purgatory,) they became,
to use La Bonté's words, "awful fond," and consequently about once
a-week had their tiffs and makes-up.

However, on one occasion, at a "husking," and during one of these
tiffs, Mary, every inch a woman, to gratify some indescribable
feeling, brought to her aid jealousy--that old serpent who has
caused such mischief in this world; and by a flirtation over the
corn-cobs with Big Pete, La Bonté's former and only rival, struck
so hard a blow at the latter's heart, that on the moment his brain
caught fire, blood danced before his eyes, and he became like one
possessed. Pete observed and enjoyed his struggling emotion--better
for him had he minded his corn-shelling alone; and the more to annoy
his rival, paid the most sedulous attention to the pretty Mary.

Young La Bonté stood it as long as human nature, at boiling heat,
could endure; but when Pete, in the exultation of his apparent
triumph, crowned his success by encircling the slender waist of the
girl with his arm, and snatched a sudden kiss, he jumped upright
from his seat, and seizing a small whisky-keg which stood in the
centre of the corn-shellers, he hurled it at his rival, and crying
to him, hoarse with passion, "to follow if he was a man," he left
the house.

At that time, and even now, in the remoter states of the western
country, rifles settled even the most trivial differences between
the hot-blooded youths; and of such frequent occurrence and
invariably bloody termination did they become, that they scarcely
produced sufficient excitement to draw together half a dozen
spectators of the duel.

In the present case, however, so public was the quarrel, and so
well known the parties concerned, that not only the people who had
witnessed the affair, but all the neighbourhood thronged to the
scene of action, where, in a large field in front of the house,
the preliminaries of a duel between Pete and La Bonté were being
arranged by their respective friends.

Mary, when she discovered the mischief her thoughtlessness was
likely to occasion, was almost beside herself with grief, but she
knew how vain it would be to attempt to interfere. The poor girl,
who was most ardently attached to La Bonté, was carried, swooning,
into the house, where all the women congregated, and were locked in
by old Brand, who, himself an old pioneer, thought but little of
bloodshed, but refused to let the "women folk" witness the affray.

Preliminaries arranged, the combatants took up their respective
positions at either end of a space marked for the purpose, at forty
paces from each other. They were both armed with heavy rifles, and
had the usual hunting-pouches, containing ammunition, hanging over
the shoulder. Standing with the butts of their rifles on the ground,
they confronted each other, and the crowd drawing away a few paces
only on each side, left one man to give the word. This was the
single word "fire;" and after this signal was given, the combatants
were at liberty to fire away until one or the other dropped.

At the word both the men quickly raised their rifles to the
shoulder, and as the sharp cracks rung instantaneously, they were
seen to flinch, as either felt the pinging sensation of a bullet
entering his flesh. Regarding each other steadily for a few moments,
the blood running down La Bonté's neck from a wound under the
left jaw, whilst his opponent was seen to place his hand once to
his right breast, as if to feel the position of his wound, they
commenced reloading their rifles. As, however, Pete was in the
act of forcing down the ball with his long hickory wiping-stick,
he suddenly dropped his right arm,--the rifle slipped from his
grasp,--and, reeling for a moment like a drunken man,--he fell dead
to the ground.

Even here, however, there was law of some kind or another, and the
consequences of the duel were, that the constables were soon on the
trail of La Bonté to arrest him. He, however, easily avoided them,
and taking to the woods, lived for several days in as wild a state
as the beasts he hunted and killed for his support.

Tired of this, however, he resolved to quit the country, and betake
himself to the mountains, for which life he had ever felt an
inclination.

When, therefore, he thought the officers of justice had tired of
seeking him, and the coast was comparatively clear, he determined to
start on his distant expedition to the Far West.

Once more, before he carried his project into execution, he sought
and had a last interview with Mary Brand.

"Mary," said he, "I'm about to break. They're hunting me like a fall
buck, and I'm bound to quit. Don't think any more about me, for I
shall never come back." Poor Mary burst into tears, and bent her
head on the table near which she was sitting. When again she raised
it, she saw La Bonté, with his long rifle on his shoulder, striding
with rapid steps from the house; and year after year rolled on, and
he never returned.

A few days after this he found himself at St Louis, the emporium
of the fur trade, and the fast rising metropolis of the precocious
settlements of the west. Here, a prey to the agony of mind which
jealousy, remorse, and blighted love mix into a very puchero of
misery, La Bonté got into the company of certain "rowdies," a class
which every western city particularly abounds in; and anxious to
drown his sorrows in any way, and quite unscrupulous as to the
means, he plunged into all the vicious excitements of drinking,
gambling, and fighting, which form the every-day amusements of the
rising generation of St Louis.

Perhaps in no other part of the United States, where indeed humanity
is frequently to be seen in many curious and unusual phases, is
there a population so marked in its general character, and at the
same time divided into such distinct classes, as in the above-named
city. Dating, as it does, its foundation from yesterday,--for what
are thirty years in the growth of a metropolis?--its founders
are now scarcely passed middle life, regarding with astonishment
the growing works of their hands; and whilst gazing upon its busy
quays, piled with grain and other produce of the west, its fleets
of huge steamboats lying tier upon tier alongside the wharves, its
well-stored warehouses and all the bustling concomitants of a great
commercial depot, they can scarcely realise the memory of a few
short years, when on the same spot nothing was to be seen but the
few miserable hovels of a French village--the only sign of commerce
the unwieldy bateaux of the Indian traders, laden with peltries
from the distant regions of the Platte and Upper Missouri. Where
now intelligent and wealthy merchants walk erect, in conscious
substantiality of purse and credit, and direct the commerce of a
vast and numerously-populated region, but the other day stalked,
in dress of buckskin, the Indian trader of the west; and all the
evidences of life, mayhap, consisted of the eccentric vagaries
of the different bands of trappers and hardy mountaineers, who
accompanied, some for pleasure and some as escort, the periodically
arriving bateaux, laden with the beaver skins and buffalo robes
collected during the season at the different trading posts in the
Far West.

These, nevertheless, were the men whose hardy enterprise opened to
commerce and the plough the vast and fertile regions of the West.
Rough and savage though they were, they alone were the pioneers
of that extraordinary tide of civilisation which has poured its
resistless current through tracts large enough for kings to govern;
over a country now teeming with cultivation, where, a few short
years ago, countless herds of buffalo roamed unmolested, the bear
and deer abounded, and where the savage Indian skulked through the
woods and prairies, lord of the unappreciated soil which now yields
its prolific treasures to the spade and plough of civilised man. To
the wild and half-savage trapper, who may be said to exhibit the
energy, enterprise, and hardihood characteristic of the American
people, divested of all the false and vicious glare with which a
high state of civilisation, too rapidly attained, has obscured
their real and genuine character, in which the above traits are
eminently prominent--to these men alone is due the empire of the
West--destined in a few short years to become the most important of
those confederate states which compose the mighty union of North
America.

Sprung, then, out of the wild and adventurous fur trade, St Louis,
still the emporium of that species of commerce, preserves even now,
in the character of its population, many of the marked peculiarities
which distinguished its early founders, who were identified with
the primitive Indian in hardiness and instinctive wisdom. Whilst
the French portion of the population retain the thoughtless levity
and frivolous disposition of their original source, the Americans
of St Louis, who may lay claim to be native, as it were, are as
particularly distinguished for determination and energy of character
as they are for physical strength and animal courage; and are
remarkable, at the same time, for a singular aptitude in carrying
out commercial enterprises to successful terminations, which would
appear to be incompatible with the love of adventure and excitement
which forms so prominent a feature in their character. In St Louis,
nevertheless, and from her merchants, have emanated many commercial
enterprises of gigantic speculation, not confined to its own
locality or the distant Indian fur trade, but embracing all parts of
the continent, and even a portion of the Old World. And here it must
be remembered that St Louis is situated inland, at a distance of
upwards of one thousand miles from the sea, and three thousand from
the capital of the United States.

Besides her merchants and upper class, who form a little
aristocracy even here, she has a large portion of her population
still connected with the Indian and fur trade, who preserve all
their characteristics unacted upon by the influence of advancing
civilisation, and between whom and other classes there is a marked
distinction. There is, moreover, a large floating population of
foreigners of all nations, who must possess no little amount of
enterprise to be tempted to this spot, from whence they spread
over the remote western tracts, still invested by the savage;
and, therefore, if any of their blood is infused into the native
population, the characteristic energy and enterprise is increased,
and not tempered down, by the foreign cross.

But perhaps the most singular of her casual population are the
mountaineers, who, after several seasons spent in trapping, and with
good store of dollars, arrive from the scene of their adventures,
wild as savages, determined to enjoy themselves, for a time, in all
the gaiety and dissipation of the western city. In one of the back
streets of the town is a tavern well known as the "Rocky Mountain
House," and here the trappers resort, drinking and fighting as long
as their money lasts, which, as they are generous and lavish as
Jack Tars, is for a few days only. Such scenes as are enacted in
the Rocky Mountain House, both tragical and comical, are beyond the
powers of pen to describe; and when a fandango is in progress, to
which congregate the coquettish belles from "Vide Poche," as the
French portion of a suburb is nicknamed,--the grotesque endeavours
of the bear-like mountaineers to sport a figure on the light
fantastic toe, and their insertions into the dance of the mystic
jumps of Terpsichorean Indians when engaged in the "medicine"
dances in honour of bear, of buffalo, or ravished scalp,--are such
startling innovations on the choreographic art as would cause the
shade of Gallini to quake and gibber in his pumps.

Passing the open doors and windows of the Mountain House, the
stranger stops short as the sounds of violin and banjo twang upon
his ears, accompanied by extraordinary noises--which sound unearthly
to the greenhorn listener, but which the initiated recognise as an
Indian song roared out of the stentorian lungs, of a mountaineer,
who, patting his stomach with open hands, to improve the necessary
shake, choruses the well-known Indian chant:--

    Hi--Hi--Hi--Hi,
      Hi-i--Hi-i--Hi-i--Hi-i
    Hi-ya--hi-ya--hi-ya--hi-ya
      Hi-ya--hi-ya--hi-ya--hi-ya
    Hi-ya--hi-ya--hi--hi,
         &c. &c. &c.

and polishing off the high notes with a whoop which makes the old
wooden houses shake again, as it rattles and echoes down the street.

Here, over fiery "monaghahela," Jean Batiste, the sallow half-breed
voyageur from the north--and who, deserting the service of the
"North-West," (the Hudson's Bay Company,) has come down the
Mississippi, from the "Falls," to try the sweets and liberty of
"free" trapping--hobnobs with a stalwart leather-clad "boy," just
returned from trapping on the waters of Grand River, on the western
side the mountains, who interlards his mountain jargon with Spanish
words picked up in Taos and California. In one corner a trapper,
lean and gaunt from the starving regions of the Yellow Stone, has
just recognised an old companyero, with whom he hunted years before
in the perilous country of the Blackfeet.

"Why, John, old hos, how do you come on?"

"What! Meek, old 'coon! I thought you were under?"

One from Arkansa stalks into the centre of the room, with a pack of
cards in his hand, and a handful of dollars in his hat. Squatting
cross-legged on a buffalo robe, he smacks down the money, and cries
out--"Ho, boys, hyar's a deck, and hyar's the beaver, (rattling the
coin,) who dar set his hos? Wagh!"

Tough are the yarns of wondrous hunts and Indian perils, of
hairbreadth 'scapes and curious "fixes." Transcendant are the
qualities of sundry rifles, which call these hunters masters; "plum"
is the "centre" each vaunted barrel shoots; sufficing for a hundred
wigs is the "hair" each hunter has "lifted" from Indians' scalps;
multitudinous the "coups" he has "struck." As they drink so do they
brag, first of their guns, their horses, and their squaws, and
lastly of themselves:--and when it comes to that, "ware steel."

La Bonté, on his arrival at St. Louis, found himself one day in no
less a place than this; and here he made acquaintance with an old
trapper about to start for the mountains in a few days, to hunt
on the head waters of Platte and Green River. With this man he
resolved to start, and, having still some hundred dollars in cash,
he immediately set about equipping himself for the expedition. To
effect this, he first of all visited the gun-store of Hawken, whose
rifles are renowned in the mountains, and exchanged his own piece,
which was of very small bore, for a regular mountain rifle. This was
of very heavy metal, carrying about thirty-two balls to the pound,
stocked to the muzzle and mounted with brass, its only ornament
being a buffalo bull, looking exceedingly ferocious, which was not
very artistically engraved upon the trap in the stock. Here, too, he
laid in a few pounds of powder and lead, and all the necessaries for
a long hunt.

His next visit was to a smith's store, which smith was black by
trade and black by nature, for he was a nigger, and, moreover,
celebrated as being the best maker of beaver-traps in St Louis,
and of whom he purchased six new traps, paying for the same twenty
dollars--procuring, at the same time, an old trap-sack, made of
stout buffalo skin, in which to carry them.

We next find La Bonté and his companion--one Luke, better known
as Grey-Eye, one of his eyes having been "gouged" in a mountain
fray--at Independence, a little town situated on the Missouri,
several hundred miles above St Louis, and within a short distance of
the Indian frontier.

Independence may be termed the "prairie port" of the western
country. Here the caravans destined for Santa Fé and the interior
of Mexico, assemble to complete their necessary equipment. Mules
and oxen are purchased, teamsters hired, and all stores and outfit
laid in here for the long journey over the wide expanse of prairie
ocean. Here, too, the Indian traders and the Rocky Mountain trappers
rendezvous, collecting in sufficient force to ensure their safe
passage through the Indian country. At the seasons of departure and
arrival of these bands, the little town presents a lively scene
of bustle and confusion. The wild and dissipated mountaineers get
rid of their last dollars in furious orgies, treating all comers
to galore of drink, and pledging each other, in horns of potent
whisky, to successful hunts and "heaps of beaver." When every cent
has disappeared from their pouches, the free trapper often makes
away with rifle, traps, and animals, to gratify his "dry," (for your
mountaineer is never "thirsty;") and then, "hos and beaver" gone, is
necessitated to hire himself to one of the leaders of big bands, and
hypothecate his services for an equipment of traps and animals. Thus
La Bonté picked up three excellent mules for a mere song, with their
accompanying pack saddles, _apishamores_,[3] and lariats, and the
next day, with Luke, "put out" for Platte.

  [3] Saddle-blanket made of buffalo-calf skin.

As they passed through the rendezvous, which was encamped on a
little stream beyond the town, even our young Mississippian was
struck with the novelty of the scene. Upwards of forty huge waggons,
of Connestoga and Pittsburg build, and covered with snow-white
tilts, were ranged in a semicircle, or rather a horse-shoe form,
on the flat open prairie, their long "tongues" (poles) pointing
outwards; with the necessary harness for four pairs of mules, or
eight yoke of oxen, lying on the ground beside them, spread in ready
order for "hitching up." Round the waggons groups of teamsters, tall
stalwart young Missourians, were engaged in busy preparation for the
start, greasing the wheels, fitting or repairing harness, smoothing
ox-bows, or overhauling their own moderate kits or "possibles."
They were all dressed in the same fashion: a pair of "homespun"
pantaloons, tucked into thick boots reaching nearly to the knee, and
confined round the waist by a broad leathern belt, which supported a
strong butcher knife in a sheath. A coarse checked shirt was their
only other covering, with a fur cap on the head.

Numerous camp-fires surrounded the waggons, and by them lounged
wild-looking mountaineers, easily distinguished from the "greenhorn"
teamsters by their dresses of buckskin, and their weather-beaten
faces. Without an exception, these were under the influence of the
rosy god; and one, who sat, the picture of misery, at a fire by
himself--staring into the blaze with vacant countenance, his long
matted hair hanging in unkempt masses over his face, begrimed with
the dirt of a week, and pallid with the effects of ardent drink--was
suffering from the usual consequences of having "kept it up"
beyond the usual point, and now was paying the penalty in a fit of
"horrors"--as _delirium tremens_ is most aptly termed by sailors and
the unprofessional.

In another part, the merchants of the caravan and Indian traders
were superintending the lading of the waggons, or mule packs. These
were dressed in civilised attire, and some bedizened in St Louis
or Eastern City dandyism, to the infinite disgust of the mountain
men, who look upon a bourge-way (bourgeois) with most undisguised
contempt, despising the very simplest forms of civilisation. The
picturesque appearance of the encampment was not a little heightened
by the addition of several Indians from the neighbouring Shawnee
settlement, who, mounted on their small active horses, on which they
reclined, rather than sat, in negligent attitudes, quietly looked on
at the novel scene, indifferent to the "chaff" which the thoughtless
teamsters indulged in at their expense. Numbers of mules and horses
were picketed at hand, while a large herd of noble oxen were being
driven towards the camp--the wo-ha of the teamsters sounding far and
near, as they collected the scattered beasts in order to yoke up.

As most of the mountain men were utterly unable to move from camp,
Luke and La Bonté, with three or four of the most sober, started
in company, intending to wait on "Blue," a stream which runs into
the Caw or Kanzas River, until the "balance" of the band came up.
Mounting their mules, and leading the loose animals, they struck
at once into the park-like prairie, and were out of sight of
civilisation in an instant.

It was the latter end of May, towards the close of the season of
heavy rains, which in early spring render the climate of this
country almost intolerable, at the same time that they serve to
fertilise and thaw the soil, so long bound up by the winter's
frosts. The grass was every where luxuriously green, and gaudy
flowers dotted the surface of the prairie. This term, however,
should hardly be applied to the beautiful undulating scenery of this
park-like country. Unlike the flat monotony of the Grand Plains,
here well wooded uplands clothed with forest trees of every species,
and picturesque dells through which run clear and bubbling streams
belted with gay-blossomed shrubs, every where present themselves;
whilst on the level meadowland, topes of trees with spreading
foliage afforded a shelter to the game and cattle, and well-timbered
knolls rise at intervals from the plain.

Many clear streams dashing over their pebbly beds intersect the
country, from which, in the noonday's heat, the red-deer jump,
shaking their wet sides, as the noise of approaching man disturbs
them; and booming grouse rise from the tall luxuriant herbage at
every step. Where the deep escarpments of the river banks exhibit
the section of the earth, a rich alluvial soil of surprising depth
appears to court the cultivation of civilised man; and in every
feature it is evident that here nature has worked with kindliest and
most bountiful hand.

For hundreds of miles along the western or right bank of the
Missouri does such a country as this extend, to which, for fertility
and natural resources, no part of Europe can offer even feeble
comparison. Sufficiently large to contain an enormous population,
it has, besides, every advantage of position, and all the natural
capabilities which should make it the happy abode of civilised man.
Through this unpeopled country the United States pours her greedy
thousands, to seize upon the barren territories of her feeble
neighbour.

Camping the first night on "Black Jack," our mountaineers here
cut each man a spare hickory wiping-stick for his rifle, and La
Bonté, who was the only greenhorn of the party, witnessed a savage
ebullition of rage on the part of one of his companions, exhibiting
the perfect unrestraint which these men impose upon their passions,
and the barbarous anger which the slightest opposition to the will
excites. One of the trappers, on arriving at the camping-place,
dismounted from his horse, and, after divesting it of the saddle,
endeavoured to lead his mule by the rope up to the spot where
he wished to deposit his pack. Mule-like, however, the more he
pulled the more stubbornly she remained in her tracks, planting
her fore-legs firmly, and stretching out her neck with provoking
obstinacy. If truth be told, it does require the temper of a
thousand Jobs to manage a mule; and in no case does the wilful
mulishness of the animal stir up one's choler more than in the very
trick which this one was playing, and which is a daily occurrence.
After tugging ineffectually for several minutes, winding the rope
round his body, and throwing himself forward and suddenly with all
his strength, the trapper actually foamed with passion; and although
he might have subdued the animal at once by fastening the rope with
a half-hitch round its nose, with an obstinacy equal to that of
the mule itself he refused to attempt it, preferring to vanquish
her by main strength. However, this failed, and with a volley of
blasphemous imprecations the mountaineer suddenly seized his rifle,
and, levelling it at the mule's head, shot her dead.

Passing the Wa-ka-rasha, a well-timbered stream, they met a band
of Osages going "to buffalo." These Indians, in common with some
tribes of the Pawnees, shave the head, with the exception of a ridge
from the forehead to the centre of the scalp, which is "roached" or
hogged like the mane of a mule, and stands erect, plastered with
unguents, and ornamented by feathers of the hawk and turkey. The
naked scalp is often painted in mosaic with black and red, the face
with shining vermilion. They were all naked to the breech-clout,
the warmth of the sun having caused them to throw their dirty
blankets from their shoulders. These Indians not unfrequently levy
contributions on strangers whom they may accidentally meet; but they
easily distinguish the determined mountaineer from the incautious
greenhorn, and think it better to let the former alone.

Crossing Vermilion, they arrived on the fifth day at "Blue," where
they encamped in the broad timber which belts the creek, and there
awaited the arrival of the remainder of the party.

It was two days before they came up; but the day after, fourteen
in number, they started for the mountains, striking a trail which
follows the "Big Blue" in its course through the prairies, which, as
they advance to the westward, are gradually smoothing away into a
vast unbroken expanse of rolling plain. Herds of antelope began to
show themselves, and some of the hunters, leaving the trail, soon
returned with plenty of their tender meat. The luxuriant but coarse
grass they had hitherto seen now changed into the nutritious and
curly buffalo grass, and their animals soon improved in appearance
on the excellent pasture. In a few days, without any adventure, they
struck the Platte River, its shallow waters (from which it derives
its name) spreading over a wide and sandy bed, numerous sand bars
obstructing the sluggish current, and with nowhere sufficient water
to wet the forder's knee.

By this time, but few antelope having been seen, the party became
entirely out of meat; and, one whole day and part of another having
passed without so much as a sage rabbit having presented itself,
not a few objurgations on the buffalo grumbled from the lips of the
hunters, who expected ere this to have reached the land of plenty.
La Bonté killed a fine deer, however, in the river bottom, after
they had encamped, not one particle of which remained after supper
that night, but which hardly took the rough edge off their keen
appetites. Although already in the buffalo range, no traces of these
animals had yet been seen; and as the country afforded but little
game, and the party did not care to halt and lose time in hunting
for it, they moved along hungry and sulky, the theme of conversation
being the well remembered merits of good buffalo meat,--of "fat
fleece," "hump rib," and "tender loin;" of delicious "boudins,"
and marrow bones too good to think of. La Bonté had never seen the
lordly animal, and consequently but half believed the accounts of
the mountaineers, who described their countless bands as covering
the prairie far as the eye could reach, and requiring days of travel
to pass through; but the visions of such dainty and abundant feeding
as they descanted on set his mouth watering, and danced before his
eyes as he slept supperless, night after night, on the banks of the
hungry Platte.

One morning he had packed his animals before the rest, and was
riding a mile in advance of the party, when he saw on one side the
trail, looming in the refracted glare which mirages the plains,
three large dark objects without shape or form, which rose and
fell in the exaggerated light like ships at sea. Doubting what it
could be, he approached the strange objects; and as the refraction
disappeared before him, the dark masses assumed a more distinct
form, and clearly moved with life. A little nearer, and he made
them out--they were buffalo. Thinking to distinguish himself,
the greenhorn dismounted from his mule, and quickly hobbled her,
throwing his lasso on the ground to trail behind when he wished to
catch her. Then, rifle in hand, he approached the huge animals, and,
being a good hunter, knew well to take advantage of the inequalities
of the ground and face the wind; by which means he crawled at length
to within forty yards of the buffalo, who were quietly cropping the
grass, unconscious of danger. Now, for the first time, he gazed upon
the noble beast of which he had so often heard, and longed to see.
With coal-black beard sweeping the ground as he fed, an enormous
bull was in advance of the others, his wild brilliant eyes peering
from an immense mass of shaggy hair, which covered his neck and
shoulder. From this point his skin was bare as one's hand, a sleek
and shining dun, and his ribs well covered with shaking flesh. As
he leisurely cropped the short curly grass he occasionally lifted
his tail into the air, and stamped his foot as a fly or musquito
annoyed him--flapping the intruder with his tail, or snatching at
the itching part with his ponderous head.

When La Bonté had sufficiently admired the animal, he lifted his
rifle, and, taking steady aim, and certain of his mark, pulled the
trigger, expecting to see the huge beast fall over at the report.
What was his surprise and consternation, however, to see the
animal flinch as the ball struck him, but gallop off, followed by
the others, and apparently unhurt. As is generally the case with
greenhorns, he had fired too high, not understanding that the only
certain spot to strike a buffalo is but a few inches above the
brisket, and that above this a shot is rarely fatal. When he rose
from the ground, he saw all the party halting in full view of his
discomfiture; and when he joined them, loud were the laughs, and
deep the regrets of the hungry at his first attempt.

However, they now knew that they were in the country of meat; and a
few miles farther, another band of stragglers presenting themselves,
three of the hunters went in pursuit, La Bonté taking a mule to pack
in the meat. He soon saw them crawling towards the band, and shortly
two puffs of smoke, and the sharp cracks of their rifles showed
that they had got within shot; and when he had ridden up, two fine
buffaloes were stretched upon the ground. Now, for the first time,
he was initiated into the mysteries of "butchering," and watched
the hunters as they turned the carcass on the belly, stretching
out the legs to support it on each side. A transverse cut was then
made at the nape of the neck, and, gathering the long hair of the
boss in one hand, the skin was separated from the shoulder. It was
then laid open from this point to the tail, along the spine, and
the skin was freed from the sides and pulled down to the brisket,
but, still attached to it, was stretched upon the ground to receive
the dissected portions. Then the shoulder was severed, the fleece
removed from along the backbone, and the hump-ribs cut off with a
tomahawk. All this was placed upon the skin; and after the "boudins"
had been withdrawn from the stomach, and the tongue--a great
dainty--taken from the head, the meat was packed upon the mule, and
the whole party hurried to camp rejoicing.

There was merry-making in the camp that night, and the way they
indulged their appetites--or, in their own language, "throw'd" the
meat "cold"--would have made the heart of a dyspeptic leap for joy
or burst with envy. Far into the "still watches of the tranquil
night" the fat-clad "depouille" saw its fleshy mass grow small
by degrees and beautifully less, before the trenchant blades of
the hungry mountaineers; appetising yards of well-browned "boudin"
slipped glibly down their throats; rib after rib of tender hump
was picked and flung to the wolves; and when human nature, with
helpless gratitude, and confident that nothing of superexcellent
comestibility remained, was lazily wiping the greasy knife that had
done such good service,--a skilful hunter was seen to chuckle to
himself as he raked the deep ashes of the fire, and drew therefrom
a pair of tongues so admirably baked, so soft, so sweet, and of
such exquisite flavour, that a veil is considerately drawn over
the effects their discussion produced in the mind of our greenhorn
La Bonté, and the raptures they excited in the bosom of that, as
yet, most ignorant mountaineer. Still, as he ate he wondered,
and wondering admired, that nature, in giving him such profound
gastronomic powers, and such transcendent capabilities of digestion,
had yet bountifully provided an edible so peculiarly adapted to his
ostrich-like appetite, that after consuming nearly his own weight in
rich and fat buffalo meat, he felt as easy and as incommoded as if
he had been lightly supping on strawberries and cream.

Sweet was the digestive pipe after such a feast, and soft the
sleep and deep, which sealed the eyes of the contented trappers
that night. It felt like the old thing, they said, to be once more
amongst the "meat;" and, as they were drawing near the dangerous
portion of the trail, they felt at home; although not a night now
passed but, when they lay down on their buffalo robes to sleep, they
could not be confident that that sleep was not their last--knowing
full well that savage men were hovering near, thirsting for their
lives.

However, no enemies showed themselves as yet, and they proceeded
quietly up the river, vast herds of buffaloes darkening the plains
around them, affording them more than abundance of the choicest
meat; but, to their credit be it spoken, no more was killed than
absolutely required,--unlike the cruel slaughter made by most of the
white travellers across the plains, who wantonly destroy these noble
animals, not even for the excitement of sport, but in cold-blooded
and insane butchery. La Bonté had practice enough to perfect him in
the art, and, before the buffalo range was passed, he was ranked as
a first-rate hunter. One evening he had left the camp for meat, and
was approaching a band of cows for that purpose, crawling towards
them along the bed of a dry hollow in the prairie, when he observed
them suddenly jump away towards him, and immediately after a score
of mounted Indians appeared in sight, whom, by their dress, he
at once knew to be Pawnees and enemies. Thinking they might not
discover him, he crouched down in the ravine; but a noise behind
causing him to turn his head, he saw some five or six advancing up
the bed of the dry creek, whilst several more were riding on the
bluffs. The cunning savages had cut off his retreat to his mule,
which he saw in the possession of one of the Indians. His presence
of mind, however, did not desert him; and seeing at once that to
remain where he was would be like being caught in a trap, (as the
Indians could advance to the edge of the bluff and shoot him from
above,) he made for the open prairie, determined at least to sell
his scalp dearly, and make "a good fight." With a yell the Indians
charged, but halted when they saw the sturdy trapper deliberately
kneel, and, resting his rifle on the wiping-stick, take a steady
aim as they advanced. Full well the Pawnees know, to their cost,
that a mountaineer seldom pulls his trigger without sending a
bullet to the mark; and, certain that one at least must fall, they
hesitated to make the onslaught. Steadily the white retreated with
his face to the foe, bringing the rifle to his shoulder the instant
that one advanced within shot, the Indians galloping round, firing
the few guns they had amongst them at long distances, but without
effect. One young "brave," more daring than the rest, rode out
of the crowd, and dashed at the hunter, throwing himself, as he
passed within a few yards, from the saddle, and hanging over the
opposite side of his horse,--presenting no other mark than his left
foot,--discharged his bow from under the animal's neck, and with
such good aim, that the arrow, whizzing through the air, struck the
stock of La Bonté's rifle, which was at his shoulder, and, glancing
off, pierced his arm, inflicting, luckily, but a slight wound.
Again the Indian turned in his course, the others encouraging him
with loud war-whoops, and once more passing at still less distance,
drew his arrow to the head. This time, however, the eagle eye of
the white caught sight of the action, and suddenly rising from his
knee as the Indian was approaching, hanging by his foot alone over
the opposite side of the horse, he jumped towards the animal with
outstretched arms and a loud yell, causing it to start so suddenly,
and swerve from its course, that the Indian lost his foot-hold, and,
after in vain struggling to regain his position, fell to the ground,
but instantly rose upon his feet and gallantly confronted the
mountaineer, striking his hand upon his brawny chest and shouting
a loud whoop of defiance. In another instant the rifle of La Bonté
had poured forth its contents; and the brave Indian, springing into
the air, fell dead to the ground, just as the other trappers, who
had heard the firing, galloped up to the spot, at sight of whom the
Pawnees, with yells of disappointed vengeance, hastily retreated.

That night La Bonté first lifted hair!

A few days after they reached the point where the Platte divides
into two great forks:--the northern one, stretching to the
north-west, skirts the eastern base of the Black Hills, and sweeping
round to the south rises in the vicinity of the mountain valley
called the New Park, receiving the Laramie, Medicine Bow, and
Sweet-Water creeks. The other, or "South Fork," strikes towards
the mountains in a south-westerly direction, hugging the base of
the main chain of the Rocky Mountains, and, fed by several small
creeks, rises in the uplands of the Bayou Salado, near which is
also the source of the Arkansa. To the forks of the Platte the
valley of that river extends from three to five miles on each side,
being enclosed by steep sandy bluffs, from the summits of which
the prairies stretch away in broad undulating expanse to the north
and south. The "bottom," as it is termed, is but thinly covered
with timber, the cotton-woods being scattered only here and there;
but some of the islands in the broad bed of the stream are well
wooded, which leads to the inference that the trees on the banks
have been felled by Indians who formerly frequented this river as
a chosen hunting-ground. As during the long winters the pasture in
the vicinity is scarce and withered, the Indians feed their horses
on the bark of the sweet cotton-wood, upon which they subsist, and
even fatten. Thus, wherever a village has been encamped, the trunks
of these trees strew the ground, with their upper limbs and smaller
branches peeled of their bark, and looking as white and smooth as if
scraped with a knife.

On the forks, however, the timber is heavier and of greater variety,
some of the creeks being well wooded with ash and cherry, which
break the monotony of the everlasting cotton-wood.

Dense masses of buffalo still continued to darken the plains, and
numerous bands of wolves hovered round the outskirts of the vast
herds, singling out the sick and wounded animals, and preying upon
the calves whom the rifles and arrows of the hunters had bereaved of
their mothers. The white wolf is the invariable attendant upon the
buffalo; and when one of these persevering animals is seen, it is
certain sign that buffalo are not far distant. Besides the buffalo
wolf, there are four distinct varieties common to the plains, and
all more or less attendant upon the buffalo. These are the black,
the gray, the brown, and last and least the _coyote_, or _cayeute_
of the mountaineers, the "wach-unkamănet," or "medicine wolf" of
the Indians, who hold the latter animal in reverential awe. This
little wolf, whose fur is of great thickness and beauty, although of
diminutive size, is wonderfully sagacious, and makes up by cunning
what it wants in physical strength. In bands of from three to thirty
they will not unfrequently station themselves along the "runs" of
the deer and the antelope, extending their line for many miles,--and
the quarry being started, each wolf will follow in pursuit until
tired, when it relinquishes the chase to another relay, following
slowly after until the animal is fairly run down, when all hurry to
the spot and speedily consume the carcass. The cayeute, however, is
often made a tool of by his larger brethren, unless, indeed, he acts
from motives of spontaneous charity. When a hunter has slaughtered
game, and is in the act of butchering it, these little wolves sit
patiently at a short distance from the scene of operations, while
at a more respectful one the larger wolves (the white or gray) lope
hungrily around, licking their chops in hungry expectation. Not
unfrequently the hunter throws a piece of meat towards the smaller
one, who seizes it immediately, and runs off with the morsel in his
mouth. Before he gets many yards with his prize, the large wolf
pounces with a growl upon him, and the cayeute, dropping the meat,
returns to his former position, and will continue his act as long as
the hunter pleases to supply him.

Wolves are so common on the plains and in the mountains, that the
hunter never cares to throw away a charge of ammunition upon them,
although the ravenous animals are a constant source of annoyance to
him, creeping to the camp-fire at night, and gnawing his saddles
and _apishamores_, eating the skin ropes which secure the horses
and mules to their pickets, and even their very hobbles, and not
unfrequently killing or entirely disabling the animals themselves.

Round the camp, during the night, the cayeute keeps unremitting
watch, and the traveller not unfrequently starts from his bed with
affright, as the mournful and unearthly chiding of the wolf breaks
suddenly upon his ear: the long-drawn howl being taken up by others
of the band, until it dies away in the distance, as some straggler
passing within hearing answers to the note, and howls as he lopes
away.

Our party crossed the south fork about ten miles from its juncture
with the main stream, and then, passing the prairie, struck the
north fork a day's travel from the other. At the mouth of an
ash-timbered creek they came upon Indian "sign," and, as now they
were in the vicinity of the treacherous Sioux, they moved along
with additional caution, Frapp and Gonneville, two experienced
mountaineers, always heading the advance.

About noon they had crossed over to the left bank of the fork,
intending to camp on a large creek where some fresh beaver "sign"
had attracted the attention of some of the trappers; and as, on
further examination, it appeared that two or three lodges of that
animal were not far distant, it was determined to remain here a day
or two, and set their traps.

Gonneville, old Luke, and La Bonté, had started up the creek, and
were carefully examining the banks for "sign," when the former, who
was in front, suddenly paused, and looking intently up the stream,
held up his hand to his companions to signal them to stop.

Luke and La Bonté both followed the direction of the trapper's
intent and fixed gaze. The former uttered in a suppressed tone
the expressive exclamation, Wagh!--the latter saw nothing but a
wood-duck swimming swiftly down the stream, followed by her downy
progeny.

Gonneville turned his head, and extending his arm twice with a
forward motion up the creek, whispered--"Les sauvages."

"Injuns, sure, and Sioux at that," answered Luke.

Still La Bonté looked, but nothing met his view but the duck with
her brood, now rapidly approaching; and as he gazed, the bird
suddenly took wing, and, flapping on the water, flew a short
distance down the stream and once more settled on it.

"Injuns?" he asked; "where are they?"

"Whar?" repeated old Luke, striking the flint of his rifle, and
opening the pan to examine the priming. "What brings a duck
a-streakin it down stream, if humans aint behint her? and who's thar
in these diggins but Injuns, and the worst kind; and we'd better
push to camp, I'm thinking, if we mean to save our hair."

"Sign" sufficient, indeed, it was to all the trappers, who, on being
apprised of it, instantly drove in their animals, and picketed
them; and hardly had they done so when a band of Indians made their
appearance on the banks of the creek, from whence they galloped to
the bluff which overlooked the camp at the distance of about six
hundred yards; and crowning this, in number some forty or more,
commenced brandishing their spears and guns, and whooping loud
yells of defiance. The trappers had formed a little breast-work of
their packs, forming a semicircle, the chord of which was made by
the animals standing in a line, side by side, closely picketed and
hobbled. Behind this defence stood the mountaineers, rifle in hand,
and silent and determined. The Indians presently descended the bluff
on foot, leaving their animals in charge of a few of the party, and,
scattering, advanced under cover of the sage bushes which dotted
the bottom, to about two hundred yards of the whites. Then a chief
advanced before the rest, and made the sign for a talk with the
Long-knives, which led to a consultation amongst the latter, as to
the policy of acceding to it. They were in doubts as to the nation
these Indians belonged to, some bands of the Sioux being friendly,
and others bitterly hostile to the whites.

Gonneville, who spoke the Sioux language, and was well acquainted
with the nation, affirmed they belonged to a band called the
Yanka-taus, well known to be the most evil-disposed of that
treacherous nation; another of the party maintaining that they were
Brulés, and that the chief advancing towards them was the well-known
Tah-sha-tunga or Bull Tail, a most friendly chief of that tribe.
The majority, however, trusted to Gonneville, and he volunteered to
go out to meet the Indian, and hear what he had to say. Divesting
himself of all arms save his butcher-knife, he advanced towards
the savage, who awaited his approach, enveloped in the folds of
his blanket. At a glance he knew him to be a Yanka-tau, from the
peculiar make of his moccassins, and the way in which his face was
daubed with paint.

"Howgh!" exclaimed both as they met; and, after a silence of a few
moments, the Indian spoke, asking--"Why the Long-knives hid behind
their packs, when his band approached? Were they afraid, or were
they preparing a dog-feast to entertain their friends? That the
whites were passing through his country, burning his wood, drinking
his water, and killing his game; but he knew that they had now come
to pay for the mischief they had done, and that the mules and horses
they had brought with them were intended as a present to their red
friends.

"He was Mah-to-ga-shane," he said, "the Brave Bear: his tongue was
short, but his arm long; and he loved rather to speak with his bow
and his lance, than with the weapon of a squaw. He had said it: the
Long-knives had horses with them and mules; and these were for him,
he knew, and for his 'braves.' Let the White-face go back to his
people and return with the animals, or he, the 'Brave Bear,' would
have to come and take them; and his young men would get mad and
would feel blood in their eyes; and then he would have no power over
them; and the whites would have to 'go under.'"

The trapper answered shortly.--"The Long-knives," he said, "had
brought the horses for themselves--their hearts were big, but not
towards the Yanka-taus: and if they had to give up their animals, it
would be to _men_ and not _squaws_. They were not 'wah-keitcha,'[4]
(French engagés) but Long-knives; and, however short were the
tongues of the Yanka-taus, theirs were still shorter, and their
rifles longer. The Yanka-taus were dogs and squaws, and the
Long-knives spat upon them."

  [4] The French Canadians are called _wah-keitcha_--"bad
  medicine"--by the Indians, who account them treacherous and
  vindictive, and at the same time less daring than the American
  hunters.

Saying this, the trapper turned his back and rejoined his
companions; whilst the Indian slowly proceeded to his people,
who, on learning the contemptuous way in which their threats had
been treated, testified their anger with loud yells; and, seeking
whatever cover was afforded, commenced a scattering volley upon the
camp of the mountaineers. The latter reserved their fire, treating
with cool indifference the balls which began to rattle about them;
but as the Indians, emboldened by this apparent inaction, rushed for
a closer position, and exposed their bodies within a long range,
half-a-dozen rifles rang from the assailed, and two Indians fell
dead, one or two more being wounded. As yet, not one of the whites
had been touched, but several of the animals had received wounds
from the enemy's fire of balls and arrows. Indeed, the Indians
remained at too great a distance to render the volleys from their
crazy fusees any thing like effectual, and had to raise their pieces
considerably to make their bullets reach as far as the camp. After
having lost three of their band killed outright, and many more being
wounded, their fire began to slacken, and they drew off to a greater
distance, evidently resolved to beat a retreat; and retiring to
the bluff, discharged their pieces in a last volley, mounted their
horses and galloped off, carrying their wounded with them. This last
volley, however, although intended as a mere bravado, unfortunately
proved fatal to one of the whites. Gonneville, at the moment, was
standing on one of the packs, in order to get an uninterrupted
sight for a last shot, when one of the random bullets struck him
in the breast. La Bonté caught him in his arms as he was about to
fall, and, laying the wounded trapper gently on the ground,--they
proceeded to strip him of his buckskin hunting-frock, to examine
the wound. A glance was sufficient to convince his companions that
the blow was mortal. The ball had passed through the lungs; and in
a few moments the throat of the wounded man began to swell, as the
choking blood ascended, and turned a livid blue colour. But a few
drops of purple blood trickled from the wound,--a fatal sign,--and
the eyes of the mountaineer were already glazing with death's icy
touch. His hand still grasped the barrel of his rifle, which had
done good service in the fray. Anon he essayed to speak, but, choked
with blood, only a few inarticulate words reached the ears of his
companions, who were bending over him.

"Rubbed--out--at--last," they heard him say, the words gurgling in
his blood-filled throat; and opening his eyes once more, and looking
upwards to take a last look at the bright sun, the trapper turned
gently on his side and breathed his last sigh.

With no other tools than their scalp-knives, the hunters dug a
grave on the banks of the creek; and whilst some were engaged in
this work, others sought the bodies of the Indians they had slain
in the attack, and presently returned with three reeking scalps,
the trophies of the fight. The body of the mountaineer was then
wrapped in a buffalo robe, the scalps being placed on the dead man's
breast, laid in the shallow grave, and quickly covered--without a
word of prayer, or sigh of grief; for, however much his companions
may have felt, not a word escaped them; although the bitten lip and
frowning brow told tale of anger more than sorrow, and vowed--what
they thought would better please the spirit of the dead man than
sorrow--lasting revenge.

Trampling down the earth which filled the grave, they placed upon
it a pile of heavy stones; and packing their mules once more, and
taking a last look of their comrade's lonely resting-place, they
turned their backs upon the stream, which has ever since been known
as "Gonneville's Creek."

If the reader casts his eye over any of the recent maps of the
western country, which detail the features of the regions embracing
the Rocky Mountains, and the vast prairies at their bases, he will
not fail to observe that many of the creeks or smaller streams which
feed the larger rivers,--as the Missouri, Platte, and Arkansa--are
called by familiar proper names, both English and French. These
are invariably christened after some unfortunate trapper, killed
there in Indian fight; or treacherously slaughtered by the lurking
savages, while engaged in trapping beaver on the stream. Thus
alone is the memory of these hardy men perpetuated, at least of
those whose fate is ascertained: for many, in every season, never
return from their hunting expeditions, having met a sudden death
from Indians, or a more lingering fate from accident or disease
in some of the lonely gorges of the mountains, where no footfall
save their own, or the heavy tread of grizzly bear, disturbs the
unbroken silence of these awful solitudes. Then, as many winters
pass without some old familiar faces making their appearance at the
merry rendezvous, their long protracted absence may perhaps occasion
such remarks, as to where such and such a mountain worthy can have
betaken himself, to which the casual rejoinder of "Gone under,
maybe," too often gives a short but certain answer.

In all the philosophy of hardened hearts, our hunters turned from
the spot where the unmourned trapper met his death. La Bonté,
however, not yet entirely steeled by mountain life to a perfect
indifference to human feeling, drew his hard hand across his eye,
as the unbidden tear rose from his rough but kindly heart. He could
not forget so soon the comrade they had lost, the companionship in
the hunt or over the cheerful camp-fire, the narrator of many a
tale of dangers past, of sufferings from hunger, cold, and thirst,
and from untended wounds, of Indian perils, and of a life spent in
such vicissitudes. One tear dropped from the young hunter's eye, and
rolled down his cheek--the last for many a long year.

In the forks of the northern branch of the Platte, formed by the
junction of the Laramie, they found a big village of the Sioux
encamped near the station of one of the fur companies. Here the
party broke up; many, finding the alcohol of the traders an
impediment to their further progress, remained some time in the
vicinity, while La Bonté, Luke, and a trapper named Marcelline,
started in a few days to the mountains, to trap on Sweet Water
and Medicine Bow. They had leisure, however, to observe all the
rascalities connected with the Indian trade, although at this season
(August) hardly commenced. However, a band of Indians having come in
with several packs of last year's robes, and being anxious to start
speedily on their return, a trader from one of the forts had erected
his lodge in the village.

Here, he set to work immediately to induce the Indians to trade.
First, a chief appointed three "soldiers" to guard the trader's
lodge from intrusion; and who, amongst the thieving fraternity,
can be invariably trusted. Then the Indians were invited to have a
drink--a taste of the fire-water being given to all to incite them
to trade. As the crowd presses upon the entrance to the lodge, and
those in rear become impatient, some large-mouthed possessor of many
friends, who has received a portion of the spirit, makes his way,
with his mouth full of the liquor and cheeks distended, through
the throng, and is instantly surrounded by his particular friends.
Drawing the face of each, by turns, near his own, he squirts a small
quantity into his open mouth, until the supply is exhausted, when he
returns for more, and repeats the generous distribution.

When paying for the robes, the traders, in measuring out the liquor
in a tin half-pint cup, thrust their thumbs or the four fingers
of the hand into the measure, in order that it may contain the
less, or not unfrequently fill the bottom with melted buffalo fat,
with the same object. So greedy are the Indians, that they never
discover the cheat, and once under the influence of the liquor,
cannot distinguish between the first cup of comparatively strong
spirit, and the following ones diluted five hundred per cent, and
poisonously drugged to boot.

Scenes of drunkenness, riot, and bloodshed last until the trade
is over, which in the winter occupies several weeks, during which
period the Indians present the appearance, under the demoralising
influence of the liquor, of demons rather than men.



AMERICAN THOUGHTS ON EUROPEAN REVOLUTIONS.


  _Boston, May 1848._

A thousand leagues of ocean, my Basil, are indeed between us, but it
is no longer right to reckon distances by leagues. Time is your only
measure. I know of a gentleman who had a home in Paris, while Paris
was capable of homes, and he came every year across the Atlantic,
only to fish for trout. Why do you stare? You know very well that
you have often waited a fortnight for a good day to go a-fishing.
Come, then, pack up your slender reed, and spend such a fortnight
in a steamer. By God's favour you shall be the better for sea air;
and in two weeks from Liverpool, you shall find yourself on the
shores of a lake in the interior of the State of New York, where,
since the fifth day of the creation, the trout have apparently been
multiplying in a manner that would astonish a Malthus. Such is now
that dissociable ocean, which was once thought too great a waste of
waters to be passed by colonial members of parliament representing
the provinces of America. "_Opposuit Natura_;" said Burke, "I cannot
remove the eternal barriers of the creation." But Burke forgot his
Greek:--

"Πολλὰ τὰ δεινὰ, κοὐδεν ανθρώπου δεινότερον πελει·τοῦτο καὶ πολιοῦ
πέραν πόντου χειμερίῳ νοτῳ χωρεί, περιβρυχίοισι περῶν ἐρ' oἴδμασι·"

I know it is an old saw, but it is so freshened by the modern
instance of steamers every week, that it has become quotable once
more; and I have almost a mind to go on with the chorus, and show
that Sophocles may be fairly rendered in favour of railways and
iron-steeds. But the telegraph, Basil! I must even quote a bit of
English for that. As gentle Cowper saith:--

    "The tempest itself lags behind,
     And the swift-wing'd arrows of light!"

The wires are already stretched from Massachusetts, and almost
from Halifax to the Gulf of Mexico. A spark here, and the lettered
bulletin is reeling off in Louisiana! The fresh news will,
hereafter, be hawked in the streets of Boston and along the wharves
of New Orleans in the same hour. It will soon be sent farther
still; and a British fleet in the Pacific may be served with orders
from the Admiralty Board, not two weeks old. We are fairly in
hand-shaking neighbourhood. I remember when European intelligence
came to us rather as history than as news. It is not so now. While
emotion is yet warm with you, it sets our own hearts throbbing. We,
too, are, in the present tense, with Europe; for the revolutions
of peace have been more wonderful than those of warfare. They have
reunited what strife had sundered, and rendered England and America
again one family.

Talking of revolutions,--how hot the noon of the century is growing!
You will allow, dear Basil, that we in America, are well situated
to be lookers on. With all the security of distance, we have the
advantages of nearness. You are on the stage--we are in the boxes.
You go behind the scenes, and see the wire-working and machinery,
but we get the effect of the spectacle. The great revolutionary
drama is before us, and we can behold it calmly; interested, but not
involved. For a devout or philosophical spectator, America is the
true observatory. Here we can watch "the great Babel, and not feel
the crowd." It is our own fault if, with such advantages, we do not
anticipate the judgment of future ages, and arrive instinctively at
conclusions which those who share the tumult itself must ordinarily
learn in the soberness of after-thoughts, or, perhaps, by a dear
experience.

Did you ask how the doings in France appear in republican eyes?
And pray what do you expect me to answer? You appear to think
republicanism a specific instead of a generic term, and to expect
us to hail the French as our kindred. As well might I suppose that
your monarchical sympathies deeply interest you in the autocracy of
Dahomey and Dârfur. A boy may play with a monkey, without admiring
him; and although the monkey is a biped without feathers, the boy
would not like to have him taken for a younger brother. Believe
me, we are not yet ready to claim fraternity with the Provisional
Government. _How we apples swim_, seems to be their salutation to
America; but, for one, I reject the odorous impeachment. No one is
very cordial, as yet, in returning it. There is a general gaping and
staring; but the prevailing disposition towards France is to wait
and see if she will be decent. You will agree with me, that this
caution is creditable to the _Model Republic_.

In the spectacle before us, believe me, then, we know how to
distinguish the harlequin from the hero, and are not in danger
of clapping hands at the buffoonery of Paris, when we have just
been charmed by the solemn buskin in which London came upon the
stage--reluctant to play her part, but prepared to go through it
nobly. A French melodrama, of men in smocks chanting _Mourir pour la
Patrie_, or priests, in defiled surplices, asperging and incensing
May-poles, must of course suit the tastes of the groundlings; but
such inexplicable dumb-shows are generally understood to be only
the prelude to something tragic that is coming. For one, I look
for solemn monologues from Pio Nono and Lamartine; and, by-and-by,
expect a scene between the Soldan and the Czar. I do not look
without feelings of awe, for I am sure it is the shadow of GOD'S own
hand that is now passing over the nations. It is He that says, as of
old, "remove the diadem and take off the crown; exalt him that is
low, and abase him that is high." I am glad that others recognise
his footsteps in the earth, and therefore was pleased with that
motto lately quoted in Maga, from St Augustine--"GOD is patient,
because He is eternal."

For seventeen years we have been watching the great political
Humpty-Dumpty, in his efforts to come to an equilibrium, and to
stand firm in his place; and the end is, that Humpty-Dumpty is
fallen, according to the oracular rhyme of Mother Goose. What
shall we say of him, except that he was barricaded in, and has
been barricaded out? Laugh as we may at the undefinableness
of legitimacy, one feels that the lack of it makes a great
difference in our disposition towards a discrowned king. Still,
Louis-Philippe is treated with much forbearance, and men think of
his hoar hairs and his eventful life. In one of our newspapers,
a generous word has been spoken for his government, as about the
best that France deserved, and his best measures have been reviewed
with praise. Still, he is much disliked in America. One of his
earliest Claremonts was with us; and when Lafayette made him a
king, Americans felt as if they had a right to be pleased with his
accession. But his quarrel with his benefactor turned the feeling
strongly against him, for Lafayette was revered among us to the
hour of his death. I think there is a general satisfaction with
the fall of the Orleans dynasty; but it certainly has not been
malicious or spiteful. An eminent American, who has lived long in
Paris, has written two letters in the leading democratic newspaper
of New York, in which the fallen monarch is more severely handled
than he has been elsewhere. He is there said to be a much overrated
man--possessed of no great talents, except those which enable him
to dissimulate with the utmost cunning, and to manage with the
basest perfidy. The writer, nevertheless, has no confidence in
the revolution as having destroyed the monarchy; and quotes with
approbation a sentiment which he says was advanced in conversation
with himself, so long ago as 1830, by Odillon Barrot,--"_Enfin,
monsieur, la France a besoin de se sentir gouvernée_." He thinks two
things will work against the Duc de Bordeaux--that he has married an
Austrian, and grown fat; yet he confidently predicts that Henry V.
will one day ascend the throne of his ancestors. "As for a republic
that is to go on harmoniously, and with any thing like tolerable
quiet, law, and order," he concludes, "I hold it to be just as
impracticable as it would be to set up a Doge of Venice and a
Council of Ten in the State of New York. _We hear only the voices of
the revolutionists_, the rest of the nation being temporarily mute.
The day will come, however, when the last will speak."

These sentiments are not singular among us. I am agreeably surprised
by the great moderation of our people and of our press. When the
tidings of the outbreak reached us, it produced excitement, of
course; but there was no echo of the French howl, and remarkably
little enthusiasm, all things considered. You have seen reprinted in
England some of the most foolish things that were said in our most
worthless prints. The press in general behaved with great reserve
and caution. Successive steamers brought continual abatements to
the degree of confidence, or hope, that had been inspired in the
minds of the more ardent; and so general was the candour of the
newspapers, that when those of the Clay party were pettishly accused
of a sympathy with tyranny, the charge was easily met by quotations
from democratic newspapers, equally liable to the imputation, if a
manly reprobation of revolutionary misrule and excess be sufficient
to prove it. The truth is, our country was caught in the trap in
1792. Then, the pulpit and the press strove together in glorifying
France; and the remorse and burning shame that were the consequence,
have left a very salutary impression.

In fact, the violent democracy of Paris is exerting a beneficial
effect upon our people. We see the degrading spectacle, and learn to
value ourselves for a love of law and order. There is a reluctance
to reduce ourselves to the level of such a republic as has sprung up
like a mushroom in a night, and is likely to perish in the same way.
Our own revolution was not one of drunken riot, and street-singing
blouse-men: our constitution is not a mere poetical theory of
liberty and equality, nor a socialist's dream of brotherhood. We
now learn the secret of our strength, and of that comparative
durability which has almost surprised ourselves. We are, after
all, a transplanted slip of old England; nor are we so essentially
changed, my Basil, as even you imagine. The spirit of our people
is indeed democratic; but the spirit of our constitution is imbued
with a stronger element. The facts concerning it will enable you
to see one secret of our comparative success, and to judge whether
France can possibly come to any thing as good. The founders of this
republic were not Frenchmen, but Englishmen; I mean they were of
English stock, and had learned all their notions of liberty from the
history of England. Each province of America had taken shape under
the British constitution; and when the provinces became independent,
the general government was organised in such wise as to supply the
place of that constitution. Its founders did not frame a new and
untried constitution, a _priori_, according to their own schemes;
they simply modified the great principles of British constitutional
law to suit a new state of things, and a peculiar people. A
monarchy was out of the question; but they did not intend to make a
democracy. They only made a republic. The democratic spirit came in
with Jefferson and French politics at the beginning of the present
century. It has become dominant, but by no means triumphant; and
its great obstacle has been the constitution. In the several states
it has changed the constitutions one after the other, introducing
universal suffrage, and other democratic features. But the national
constitution has not been so easily reached; and it is the strength
of the great party with which Clay and Webster are identified, and
which is a constant check on the popular party. It is republican,
but not simply democratic. The executive magistracy is elective;
but the electors are not the people, directly, but electoral
colleges, appointed by the several states; and the office itself is
endowed with prerogatives, some of which are more unlimited than
the corresponding rights of the British crown. Our senate is a mere
modification of the House of Lords: it is a body more select than
the lower house, and not so immediately responsible to constituents;
and its practical working shows the great importance of such a
balance-wheel in any government. There is no working without it, in
spite of what your Roebucks may say. The House of Commons reappears
in our House of Representatives, which, like its great original, is
the safety-valve of popular feeling, and gives sonorous vent to a
mighty pressure of steam and vapour, which would otherwise blow us
to atoms, with a much less endurable noise. The whole fabric of our
law is a precious patrimony derived, with our blood, from England.
Our new states are filling up with emigrants from the continent
of Europe, but they all adopt the law of their older sisters; and
thus the institutions of the immortal Alfred may be found among the
Swedes and Danes of Wisconsin. These, then, are the elements of
our strength; and you observe they partake of the strength of the
British empire, which has been legitimately and naturally imparted
to us, like the mother's life-blood to the daughter of her womb. We
have indeed characteristic peculiarities. We have tried some new
experiments; but let not France suppose she can imitate them. We are
a new country, a sparse population, and our people have their heads
full of subduing the soil, and setting water-wheels in streams, and
making roads and canals. We have no natural taste for insurrection
and confusion, for we have nobody that is idle enough to want such
work. Our new wine, then, has been put into new bottles; and the
fool that attempts to decant it into the old vessels of Europe, will
ruin it and them together.

Our newspapers have pointed out another secret of our strength,
which France cannot possibly enjoy. In spite of that wild prophecy
of Lady Hester Stanhope to Lamartine--so much of which has come
true--Paris is France, and will be France while France holds
together. The city of Washington is not America; and its great acres
of unoccupied building lots are the best thing about it. The State
governments, which could not have been planned beforehand, but are a
natural product of old events--which dispose of all local matters,
and prevent sectional jealousies, which divide and balance power,
and _satisfy small ambition_,--these are the helps, without which
our national existence could not have been prolonged beyond the
lifetime of Washington himself. The threatened disturbance of the
admirable equilibrium which has heretofore been maintained between
North and South, and East and West, by the introduction of Mexican
and Texan states, and the power which it will throw into the hands
of a few persons at the seat of government, is even now our most
alarming danger. We know, from what we see among ourselves, that
governments must take form, not from human devices, but from GOD'S
providences. We ourselves are the results of circumstances: no
scheming patriot could have made us what we are; and no imitative
Frenchman can give to his country a government like ours; nor, if
he could, would it survive beyond the lifetime of some individual,
whose popularity would supply a temporary strength to its essential
weakness. An imported constitution must be a sickly one, in any
country on earth.

For us, then, there is a legitimacy in our institutions which makes
them durable, and dear to all classes of our people. But to be loyal
to our own republic is by no means to be committed to universal
republicanism, far less to be delighted with universal anarchy.
You must pardon our tastes. We are young, and we think a jacket
and shako becoming. We wear our appropriate costume as gracefully
as we can. We are yet the growing, perhaps the awkward, but still
the active boy. But when Europe befools itself, in its dotage, with
republican attire, we lads have a right to laugh. It will do for us
to play leap-frog, or cut any other caper that we choose; but who
can restrain derision when corpulent imbecility assumes an unskirted
coat, and submits its uncovered proportions to hootings and to
kicks, or throws a ponderous summersault that less demonstrates
agility than exposes nakedness!

I speak for myself, and for many, very many of my countrymen. Our
mere populace are of course possessed with the idea that a universal
Yankee-doodle is the panacea for all the miseries of the world. It
has been told them so often by demagogues, that they are pardonable.
But even they would probably allow that the _Chinese_, for instance,
are not yet quite ready for liberty-poles and ballet-boxes, and by
degrees might be brought to confess as much for any country less
remarkable and astonishing than our own. But there is a solid mass
of good sense among us that is not so deceived. It consists of those
who would rejoice to see a rational republic in France, or in any
other country; but who know that, with the exception perhaps of
Holland, such a thing is impossible, and that, in France, reason
is more likely to reappear as the divinified harlot of Notre Dame
than in any more respectable form. As to Great Britain, even our
schoolboys have learned that, with all the stability of empire,
it unites the freedom of a republic; and in spite of some feeling
against John Bull, I scarcely know the man who would not be sorry
to see it suddenly or violently revolutionised. On Irish affairs
opinion is not so sane among us. Few of us know any thing about
them; and for the sake of the starving peasantry of Ireland, there
is some sympathy with its turbulent Gracchi. Believe it, the general
tone of sentiment on this side the Atlantic, among reflecting men,
is far more conservative than you imagine. Indeed, all classes
stand amazed at the democracy of Europe. Our wildest enthusiasts
are outdone, even by some who sit in the House of Commons; and the
rampant socialism of Paris is as unlike the worst excesses of our
elections, as the ferocity of a tiger is unlike the playfulness of
a kitten. Young as we are, we are better mannered; and I must say,
dear Basil, that when the older nations of the world are allowing
themselves such license, we have a right to regard ourselves as
taking new rank, and deserving more credit than has heretofore been
given us, as, after all, a law-loving and law-maintaining people.

You will say, as was said to the trumpeter in Æsop--"No, no,--you
make all the mischief; others cut throats, but you have set them
on." But is the democratic spirit really of American origin?
Our Plymouth orators--the men who annually glorify our earliest
colonists--usually trace it to the Puritans, and through them to
Geneva. At all events, it now infects the world, and those are
the happy and the permanent governments which are prepared for
its violence, by constitutional vents and floodgates. It is not
to be stifled, or dammed up. We believe, therefore, that our own
government is the best for ourselves, and few of us have any fear
for that of England. On British matters we do not feel bound to
judge by our own experiences. We are free to theorise on broader
principles; and many of us form our own opinions, not as cool
and critical foreigners, but as having a deep interest in the
preservation of the institutions of our ancestors. Why should we
not? The study of history carries us, at once, beyond the narrow
limits of threescore years and ten, which is the age of our
national existence, and as soon as we pass that boundary we too
are Britons. The blood of our forefathers ran in English veins, or
flowed for British freedom and sovereignty. This fact is enough to
make our educated and reflecting men speculatively conservative
as to British politics. We know the past, and do not feel the
party-heats of the present in England. Hence I am far from being
alone among my countrymen, in looking at English matters with an
English heart. Even our commercial class have a reason for wishing
internal peace and prosperity to England; and I believe there
is generally something better than selfishness in the prevalent
good-will toward her. I wish you could have watched, as I did, the
feelings of our whole people, while lately, between the arrivals
of two steamers, there was a solemn feeling of surprise as to what
would be the results of the Chartist demonstration! Till the news
came, the stoutest of us held our breath. I assure you, Basil, the
peril of England was observed with a deep anxiety. During all that
time I met not a respectable man who wished to see a revolutionary
result. It was the talk of all circles. Our merchants trembled for
England; our scholars hoped for her; a clerical gentleman assured
me that he daily prayed for her. The press very generally predicted
a triumph of order, but there were some specimens of newspaper
literature that ventured an opposite augury. I wish you could have
seen this city when the result was known. The news was received with
a thrill. There was some laughing at the parturient mountain and
the still-born mouse, but a graver cheerfulness was the reigning
emotion. We deeply felt that, by the mercy of God, the world had
been spared from a conflagration which the match of a madman could
light, but which only another deluge could extinguish. For one, I
was as a watcher by the sea-side, who, after a night of tempest,
waits for the fog to rise, and then thanks God to see the good old
ship coming home, in season, her masts all standing, and her flag
untorn.

I had felt fears, my Basil. What was not imaginable, when Europe
presented the appearance of a table on which empires had fallen
in a day, like card-houses blown down by the breath of children!
I knew that neither France, nor Prussia, nor Austria, nor Italy,
were any thing like England, which is founded on a rock, and knit
together by joints and bands: but I felt that England is no longer
what she was. With a Whig government she is never herself.[5] The
Whigs are more than half Frenchmen. I tell you you seem to me not
half enough afraid of your Whigs; they are worse than your Radicals.
You show some uneasiness under the Jewish Disabilities Bill, but
I wish you could see it as it strikes a looker-on. If time has on
you the effect which distance has on me, you will yet look back on
that measure as you now look back on the great mistake of 1829.
It will haunt you like a nightmare, and you will regard it with
less of anger than of shame and remorse; with the deep conviction
that, if the friends of the constitution had done their duty, it
never would have disgraced a Christian state. True, the Whigs are
responsible for inflicting the blow; but what has been done to avert
it? So far as I know, nothing commensurate with the greatness of
the evil. You seem to give way to it as only one of many inroads
upon old proprieties, which are inevitable, and cannot be withstood.
But is the unchristianising of the state to be spoken of side by
side with even the destruction of colonies, and the discouragement
of agriculture? As it strikes me, it is not a thing of a class, it
stands out a portent, a harbinger, a phenomenon of its own kind. Not
that it surprises me. From Lord John Russell nothing that argues
fatuity and lack of political principle should surprise any one.
To carry out the plans to which he has committed himself, he must
consistently pander to infidels, foster heretics, and subsidise
Jews. To the reforms of the last score of years, there could be no
more fitting sequel than this coalition with a people loaded with
the hereditary burthen of the saving blood of the Crucified. I only
marvel that the bill goes on so slowly. The Baron should have been
long since in his place, and the Easter holidays should have been
disregarded, out of respect to his feelings. It is astonishing
that he is not already an ecclesiastical commissioner. The times
are not now as during a former French revolution, when a British
statesman could say[6]--"the Jews in Change Alley have not yet
dared to hint their hopes of a mortgage on the revenues belonging
to the see of Canterbury." You are always praising your church,
Basil, but allow me to ask, Why you may not live to see a Jewish
rabbi nominated to a bishopric. As I understand it, the obsequious
chapter would be obliged to perform the election, and close all by
anthems to Almighty GOD, ascribing to Him the glory of a gift so
felicitous and so auspicious to the church! It would not be the
first time, I believe, that Lord John has set the _Te Deum_ of
cathedrals going, like the whistles of a juggler's barrel-organ.
Forgive me, Basil; I am not mocking the agonies of your church, but
I am scorning a British minister that can use for her destruction
the powers confided to him for her nourishment and defence. I
have learned my notions of your politics from Edmund Burke, and I
remember what he said in his _Reflections on the French Revolution
of 1792_--for, by the way, revolutions in France must be always
referred to by dates, and will soon be known, like policemen, by
letters and numbers. "The men of England," said that great and
honest man, "the men I mean of light and leading in England, would
be ashamed, as of a silly deceitful trick, to profess any religion
in name which, by their proceedings, they appear to contemn." Does
not Lord John profess to be a Christian? I must caution you, too,
against supposing that I dislike the Israelites. Far from it. In my
own country I am glad that they labour under no disabilities, and I
can testify to their good order, decency, and propriety of behaviour
as citizens. But we have "no past at our back," and nothing in our
system which demands a prior consideration. No, Basil--I honour a
Jew, however much I may pity him. Crying old clothes, or lolling in
a banker's chariot, the Jew is to me a man of sacred associations.
And then--a Jewish gentleman--he makes me think at once of the sons
of Maccabæus and all the Asmoneans; those Hebrews of the Hebrews,
those Tories of Israel! What natural sympathy has a Jewish gentleman
with a Whig? Were I merely covetous of votes I would say--let the
Jews in! I could trust _their_ conscience; I could appeal to their
own feelings; I would put it to them whether their liberalism
would consent to eat pork with the Gentiles, or to call in the
uncircumcised to make laws for the synagogue. We pity the blindness
of the Jews that offered their thirty pieces of silver--but we do
not despise them. Our contempt settles on the head of the Christian
who consented to take them at the bargain.

  [5] We fully agree with our correspondent as to the danger of
  Whiggery in our councils, but are so far reconciled to the Whigs
  being in office at the present crisis, by the knowledge that, had
  they been in opposition, they would, to a certain extent, have
  fraternised with French Republicans and English Chartists. Who could
  doubt that such would have been the conduct of the men who headed
  physical force processions, and hounded on window-breaking vagabonds
  in the Reform riots of 1830? What amount of profligate partisanship
  might not be expected from the men who, when thirsting for office,
  solemnly denounced as unconstitutional and unjust the course pursued
  by a conservative government towards O'Connell, which identical
  course they now, when in power, adopt towards Mitchell, a much less
  dangerous criminal?

  [6] Burke's _Reflections on the French Revolution_.

You speak of this Jew bill as the first step! Why, yes, the first
step in tragedy; there was a former one in farce. There is Sir Moses
Montefiore! Who made him a knight? "A Jewish knight," said I, at
the time--"hear it, ye dry bones,--ye cross-legged effigies--ye
Paladins--ye Templars! Hear it, Du-Bois-Gilbert,--hear it, Richard
Cœur-de-Lion! Yes, and thou, too, old Roger de Coverley! Hear it,
thou true old English knight; for they that bought thine old clothes
now come for thine old spurs!" So said I--wondering that no one
seemed to wonder. The nineteenth century had not time to stare.
There was not even a London _Punch_ to laugh at such a _Judy_, and
so Moses was belted and spurred, no man gainsaying; and knighthood,
that was Sidney's once, is just the thing for Sir Peter Laurie now.

And if a Jewish knight, why not a Jewish senator! True, there is
something grand in the idea of a nation that never, since the
Wittenagemote, has seen a lawgiver unbaptised; and then there is
still a red cross in the flag of England; and there has been a
pleasing notion that the Christian faith was part and parcel with
the British constitution; and even we in America, averse to church
and state, have long allowed ourselves to admire one exception
to the rule, and to confess the majestic figure made among the
nations by a Christian empire, shining forth in splendid contrast
to surrounding kingdoms, some of them infidel and some of them
superstitious, but she alone the witness to reasonable faith, and
faithful reason. But who regards it in this light? Who among you
stands up to warn his country of the glory that is departing?
Who has said any thing in parliament at all adequate to the
turning-point of a nation's religion? I have looked for some one to
speak as Burke would have spoken, of "uncovering your nakedness,
by throwing off that Christian religion which has hitherto been
your boast and comfort." I have longed to see his promise made
good,--"_we shall never be such fools_ as to call in an enemy to
the substance of any system, to remove its corruptions, to supply
its defects, or to perfect its construction." I read _The Times_,
but as yet I have looked in vain. A few honest remonstrances have
indeed been ventured amid cries of _oh, oh!_ and vociferations of
buck-toothed laughter from the benches that support the honourable
members from Cottonburgh and Calicopolis. But who has stood up as
for altars and fires? I hope, ere this reaches you, the question
will be creditably answered. I hope the Christianity of England will
not die without a struggle. I suspect it will be of no use, but I
look yet for some John of Gaunt in the House of Lords. Imagine him,
my Basil:--

                      "This sceptred isle,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
    Renownèd for her deeds as far from home
    (For _Christian service_ and _true chivalry_)
    As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry
    Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son;
    This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
    _Dear for her reputation through the world,
    Is now--paun'd out to Jews!_"

This is what ought to be said; and I look for it, if not from lords
spiritual, then even from lords temporal. But surely it would well
become the primate's mouth! Of course, it would do little good; but
then the religion of England would fall at least dramatically. It
would make a picture quite as good as the death of Chatham. Do you
remember the lawn-sleeves in that picture? The bishops are "in at
the death,"--but nothing more.

But another steamer has come in with news; and France is all the
talk. The elections are over; the _Modérés_ have triumphed; the
National Assembly has convened, and the Provisional Government is
at an end. _Vive Lamartine!_ Of course the stock of the republic
takes a rise, but holders are not firm. The bloodshed at Rouen,
the _émeutes_ at Elbœuf and Limoges, and the threats of the
_Communistes_, do not precisely inspire confidence. Still, we are
so far surprised, and those who have predicted favourably for
France grow a little more sanguine in their hopes. I am glad to
say that Louis Blanc has no sympathisers here. All are convinced
that Lamartine will make the best of it, and that, if he fails,
the republic will be suffocated and expire in a stench. For one,
it seems to me that Lamartine is not bad enough to encounter
successfully the frantic malice of his opponents, and that their
eventual success is certain. Already, things have very likely taken
a decisive turn, and by the time this letter reaches you, the doings
of the Assembly will have enabled you to conjecture whether the
nation is going by the long way, or the short cut, to Henry Fifth.
As all will be stale before you can read what I now write, I will
not presume to predict the immediate results; but I am sure that the
assembling of such a set as have been returned to the legislature,
would be enough to blow up the strongest government on earth.
Jew, Dominican, pastor and bishop, poet and butcher, all in their
tricoloured sashes--was there ever such a full-blown tulip-bed of
liberty, equality, and fraternity!

The announcement of several clergymen as members of the Assembly
reminds me that there has been some sickly sentiment among us,
about the _piety_ that has been displayed in this revolution.
In Boston we are favoured with some strange types of religions
enthusiasm; in fact, the type of Christianity that prevails among
us is peculiarly our own; and like our improvements in machinery,
deserves the proverbial name of a "Boston notion." Emerson, who is
now illuminating England, may give you some idea of what I mean;
and a queer story that is told of one of his disciples, may furnish
you with an explanation of the fact, that some men see religion
in the sacking of the Tuileries. The youth was at the Opera to
see a celebrated _danseuse_, and excited general attention by his
somewhat extraordinary applause. His enthusiasm so transported
him, that the emotions of his heart became unconsciously audible.
As the dancer began to whirl, he cried, "_Ah, that is poetry!_" As
she stretched her toe to the horizontal, he exclaimed, "_That's
divinity!_" but when she proceeded to an evolution that forced
the ladies to pay attention to their fans, he burst into the
climax--"_That's religion!_" If this be caricature, the Emersonians
richly deserve it. They are laughed at even in Boston. But they
are not alone in thinking well of the piety of Paris, and arguing
from it that there will be no reign of terror; as if there was not
vastly more show of religion in the first revolution! If there is
an archbishop of Paris now, there was formerly a Talleyrand for
high-priest and master of ceremonies. Oh, but they rejoin with a
story! When the blouses were gutting the palace of its pictures
and marbles, they found, among other works of art, an image of the
Crucified. As a blouseman was about to dash it to atoms, there was a
cry, "Save it--save the great teacher of fraternity!" The crucifix
was accordingly saved, and borne about the streets amid songs and
curses, and, very appropriately, "with lanterns and torches."
"_Ah, that's religion!_" says your Emersonian. So, when recreant
priests baptise a liberty-pole, or join a procession of blouses,
with crosses and censers, _that's divinity_, at least. Was ever
hypocrisy so revolting! The nauseous mockery has its only parallel
in the writings of George Sand, who makes a favourite hero and
heroine betake themselves to an adulterous bed, after duly reciting
their prayers, in which the absent husband is very affectionately
remembered. If a revolution thus begun is not destined to go
speedily through all the ripening and rotting of a godless anarchy,
it is to be accounted for only on the principle that "He who is
Eternal can wait." The old scene at Notre Dame may not be actually
revived, and the Bible may not be literally dragged through Paris
again tied to an ass's tail; but the undisguised atrocities of the
first revolution may, after all, be exceeded by the smooth-faced
blasphemies of that which has already degraded the world's Redeemer
into the patron saint of insurrection, and the father of infidel
fraternity.

Poor Lamartine! Is this the man, my Basil, whom you once likened to
Chateaubriand? _Quantum mutatus!_ I knew him, till lately, only as a
poet and a traveller. He certainly went to Palestine with the spirit
of a palmer. He bathed in Siloa with enthusiasm, and almost expired
of feeling under the venerable olive-trees of Gethsemane.

How Frenchy--how intensely French! mass in the morning, and weeping
and sighing,--a revel before nightfall, and desperate gaming. And
this man to be the Cromwell of the commonwealth? He could hardly
have been the Milton, though it would have been more becoming. And
what will be his career? It is a pity Lady Hester Stanhope was not
permitted to consult his stars in full when he met her on Mount
Lebanon, when she praised his handsome foot and arched instep,
and told him he should be very important in the history of the
world. Ah, how certainly he will yet lament, if he does not lament
already, the fulfilment of the oracle! Such weird sisters as Lady
Hester generally tell _only half_, leaving the rest to imagination
and to time. But whether this Phaeton, who has grasped the reins,
is to set the world on fire; whether he, in turn, is only to try
the game of Humpty-Dumpty and to fall; or whether, even as I write
this, he be not already under the foot of Louis Blanc and his
_Communistes_,--what probabilities or improbabilities shall aid my
conjecture? This thing only will I venture as my surmise, though not
my hope, that kings shall reign again in France, as if Lamartine
never lived: that tricoloured cockades shall be made no more, and
lilies be cultivated again: that there will soon be longings for a
sight of the _drapeau blanc_, and a prince of the sons of St Louis:
and that, fat as he is, and Bourbon as he is, and half Austrian as
he has made himself, Henry Duke of Bordeaux will soon be known as
HENRI LE DÉSIRÉ.

  Yours ever, my dear Basil,

  ERNEST.



THE CAXTONS--PART IV.

CHAPTER IX.


I was always an early riser. Happy the man who is! Every morning,
day comes to him with a virgin's love, full of bloom, and purity,
and freshness. The youth of nature is contagious, like the gladness
of a happy child. I doubt if any man can be called 'old' so long as
he is an early riser, and an early _walker_. And oh, youth!--take
my word of it,--youth in dressing-gown and slippers, dawdling over
breakfast at noon, is a very decrepid ghastly image of that youth
which sees the sun blush over the mountains, and the dews sparkle
upon blossoming hedgerows.

Passing by my father's study, I was surprised to see the windows
unclosed--surprised more, on looking in, to see him bending over
his books--for I had never before known him study till after the
morning meal. Students are not usually early risers, for students,
alas! whatever their age, are rarely young. Yes; the great work must
be getting on in serious earnest. It was no longer dalliance with
learning: this was work.

I passed through the gates into the road. A few of the cottages were
giving signs of returning life; but it was not yet the hour for
labour, and no "Good morning, sir," greeted me on the road. Suddenly
at a turn, which an overhanging beech-tree had before concealed, I
came full upon my Uncle Roland.

"What! you, sir? So early? Hark, the clock is striking five!"

"Not later! I have walked well for a lame man. It must be more than
four miles to ---- and back."

"You have been to ----: not on business? No soul would be up."

"Yes, at inns there is always some one up. Ostlers never sleep! I
have been to order my humble chaise and pair. I leave you to day,
nephew."

"Ah, uncle, we have offended you. It was my folly--that cursed
print--"

"Pooh!" said my uncle, quickly. "Offended me, boy! I defy you!" and
he pressed my hand roughly.

"Yet this sudden determination! It was but yesterday, at the Roman
Camp, that you planned an excursion with my father to C---- Castle."

"Never depend upon a whimsical man. I must be in London to-night."

"And return to morrow?"

"I know not when," said my uncle, gloomily; and he was silent
for some moments. At length, leaning less lightly on my arm, he
continued--"Young man, you have pleased me. I love that open saucy
brow of yours, on which nature has written 'Trust me.' I love those
clear eyes that look man manfully in the face. I must know more of
you--much of you. You must come and see me some day or other in your
ancestor's ruined keep."

"Come! that I will. And you shall show me the old tower--"

"And the traces of the out-works;" cried my uncle, flourishing his
stick.

"And the pedigree--"

"Ay, and your great-great-grandfather's armour, which he wore at
Marston Moor--"

"Yes, and the brass plate in the church, uncle."

"The deuce is in the boy! Come here--come here; I've three minds to
break your head, sir!"

"It is a pity somebody had not broken the rascally printer's, before
he had the impudence to disgrace us by having a family, uncle."

Captain Roland tried hard to frown, but he could not. "Pshaw!" said
he, stopping, and taking snuff. "The world of the dead is wide; why
should the ghosts jostle us?"

"We can never escape the ghosts, uncle. They haunt us always. We
cannot think or act, but the soul of some man, who has lived before,
points the way. The dead never die, especially since--"

"Since what, boy? you speak well."

"Since our great ancestor introduced printing," said I, majestically.

My uncle whistled "_Malbrook s'en va-t-en guerre_."

I had not the heart to plague him further.

"Peace!" said I, creeping cautiously within the circle of the stick.

"No! I forewarn you--"

"Peace! and describe to me my little cousin, your pretty
daughter--for pretty I am sure she is."

"Peace," said my uncle, smiling. "But you must come and judge for
yourself."


CHAPTER X.

Uncle Roland was gone. Before he went, he was closeted for an hour
with my father, who then accompanied him to the gate; and we all
crowded round him as he stepped into his chaise. When the Captain
was gone, I tried to sound my father as to the cause of so sudden a
departure. But my father was impenetrable in all that related to his
brother's secrets. Whether or not the Captain had ever confided to
him the cause of his displeasure with his son,--a mystery which much
haunted me,--my father was mute on that score, both to my mother
and myself. For two or three days, however, Mr Caxton was evidently
unsettled. He did not even take to his great work; but walked much
alone, or accompanied only by the duck, and without even a book in
his hand. But by degrees the scholarly habits returned to him; my
mother mended his pens, and the work went on.

For my part, left much to myself, especially in the mornings, I
began to muse restlessly over the future. Ungrateful that I was, the
happiness of home ceased to content me. I heard afar the roar of the
great world, and roved impatient by the shore.

At length, one evening, my father, with some modest hums and ha's,
and an-unaffected blush on his fair forehead, gratified a prayer
frequently urged on him, and read me some portions of "the great
Work." I cannot express the feelings this lecture created--they
were something akin to awe. For the design of this book was so
immense--and towards its execution, a learning so vast and various
had administered--that it seemed to me as if a spirit had opened to
me a new world, which had always been before my feet, but which my
own human blindness had hitherto concealed from me. The unspeakable
patience with which all these materials had been collected year
after year--the ease with which now, by the calm power of genius,
they seemed of themselves to fall into harmony and system--the
unconscious humility with which the scholar exposed the stores of
a laborious life;--all combined to rebuke my own restlessness and
ambition, while they filled me with a pride in my father, which
saved my wounded egotism from a pang. Here, indeed, was one of those
books which embrace an existence; like the Dictionary of Bayle, or
the History of Gibbon, or the _Fasti Hellenici_ of Clinton,--it
was a book to which thousands of books had contributed, only to
make the originality of the single mind more bold and clear. Into
the furnace all vessels of gold, of all ages, had been cast, but
from the mould came the new coin, with its single stamp. And
happily, the subject of the work did not forbid to the writer the
indulgence of his _naïve_, peculiar irony of humour--so quiet, yet
so profound. My father's book was the "History of Human Error."
It was, therefore, the moral history of mankind, told with truth
and earnestness, yet with an arch unmalignant smile. Sometimes,
indeed, the smile drew tears. But in all true humour lies its germ,
pathos. Oh! by the goddess Moria or Folly, but he was at home in
his theme! He viewed man first in the savage state, preferring in
this the positive accounts of voyagers and travellers, to the vague
myths of antiquity, and the dreams of speculators on our pristine
state. From Australia and Abyssinia, he drew pictures of mortality
unadorned, as lively as if he had lived amongst Bushmen and savages
all his life. Then he crossed over the Atlantic, and brought before
you the American Indian, with his noble nature, struggling into
the dawn of civilisation, when friend Penn cheated him out of his
birthright, and the Anglo-Saxon drove him back into darkness. He
showed both analogy and contrast between this specimen of our kind,
and others equally apart from the extremes of the savage state and
the cultured. The Arab in his tent, the Teuton in his forests, the
Greenlander in his boat, the Fin in his rein-deer car. Up sprang
the rude gods of the north, and the resuscitated Druidism, passing
from its earliest templeless belief into the later corruptions of
crommell and idol. Up sprang, by their side, the Saturn of the
Phœnicians, the mystic Budh of India, the elementary deities of the
Pelasgian, the Naith and Serapis of Egypt, the Ormuzd of Persia, the
Bel of Babylon, the winged genii of the graceful Etruria. How nature
and life shaped the religion; how the religion shaped the manners;
how, and by what influences, some tribes were formed for progress;
how others were destined to remain stationary, or be swallowed up
in war and slavery by their brethren, was told with a precision
clear and strong as the voice of Fate. Not only an antiquarian and
philologist, but an anatomist and philosopher--my father brought to
bear on all these grave points, the various speculations involved
in the distinctions of race. He showed how race in perfection
is produced, up to a certain point, by admixture: how all mixed
races have been the most intelligent--how, in proportion as local
circumstance and religious faith permitted the early fusion of
differing tribes, races improved and quickened into the refinements
of civilisation. He tracked the progress and dispersion of the
Hellenes, from their mythical cradle in Thessaly; and showed
how those who settled near the sea-shores, and were compelled
into commerce and intercourse with strangers, gave to Greece her
marvellous accomplishments in arts and letters--the flowers of the
ancient world. How others, like the Spartans, dwelling evermore in
a camp, on guard against their neighbours, and rigidly preserving
their Dorian purity of extraction, contributed neither artists, nor
poets, nor philosophers to the golden treasure-house of mind. He
took the old race of the Celts, Cimry, or Cimmerians. He compared
the Celt who, as in Wales, the Scotch Highlands, in Bretagne, and
in uncomprehended Ireland, retains his old characteristics and
purity of breed, with the Celt whose blood, mixed by a thousand
channels, dictates from Paris the manners and revolutions of the
world. He compared the Norman in his ancient Scandinavian home,
with that wonder of intelligence and chivalry which he became,
fused imperceptibly with the Frank, the Goth, and the Anglo-Saxon.
He compared the Saxon, stationary in the land of Horsa, with the
colonist and civiliser of the globe, as he becomes, when he knows
not through what channels--French, Flemish, Danish, Welch, Scotch,
and Irish--he draws his sanguine blood. And out from all these
speculations, to which I do such hurried and scanty justice, he drew
the blessed truth, that carries hope to the land of the Caffre, the
hut of the Bushman--that there is nothing in the flattened skull
and the ebon aspect that rejects God's law, improvement; that by
the same principle which raises the dog, the lowest of the animals
in its savage state, to the highest after man,--viz. admixture of
race--you can elevate into nations of majesty and power the outcasts
of humanity, now your compassion or your scorn. But when my father
got into the marrow of his theme--when, quitting these preliminary
discussions, he fell pounce amongst the would-be wisdom of the wise;
when he dealt with civilisation itself, its schools, and porticos,
and academies; when he bared the absurdities couched beneath the
colleges of the Egyptians, and the Symposia of the Greeks;--when he
showed that, even in their own favourite pursuit of metaphysics,
the Greeks were children; and in their own more practical region
of politics, the Romans were visionaries and bunglers;--when,
following the stream of error through the middle ages, he quoted the
puerilities of Agrippa, the crudities of Cardan; and passed, with
his calm smile, into the _salons_ of the chattering wits of Paris
in the eighteenth century, oh, then his irony was that of Lucian,
sweetened by the gentle spirit of Erasmus. For not even here was
my father's satire of the cheerless and Mephistophelian school.
From this record of error he drew forth the grand eras of truth. He
showed how earnest men never think in vain, though their thoughts
may be errors. He proved how, in vast cycles, age after age, the
human mind marches on--like the ocean, receding here, but there
advancing. How from the speculations of the Greek sprang all true
philosophy; how from the institutions of the Roman rose all durable
systems of government; how from the robust follies of the North
came the glory of chivalry, and the modern delicacies of honour,
and the sweet harmonising influences of woman. He tracked the
ancestry of our Sidneys and Bayards from the Hengists, Genserics,
and Attilas. Full of all curious and quaint anecdote--of original
illustration--of those niceties of learning which spring from a
taste cultivated to the last exquisite polish--the book amused, and
allured, and charmed; and erudition lost its pedantry now in the
simplicity of Montaigne, now in the penetration of La Bruyère. He
lived in each time of which he wrote, and the time lived again in
him. Ah, what a writer of romances he would have been, if--if what?
If he had had as sad an experience of men's passions, as he had the
happy intuition into their humours. But he who would see the mirror
of the shore, must look where it is cast on the river, not the
ocean. The narrow stream reflects the gnarled tree, and the pausing
herd, and the village spire, and the romance of the landscape. But
the sea reflects only the vast outline of the headland, and the
lights of the eternal heaven.


CHAPTER XI.

"It is Lombard Street to a China orange," quoth Uncle Jack.

"Are the odds in favour of fame against failure so great? You do not
speak, I fear, from experience, brother Jack," answered my father,
as he stooped down to tickle the duck under the left ear.

"But Jack Tibbets is not Augustine Caxton. Jack Tibbets is not a
scholar, a genius, a wond--"

"Stop," cried my father.

"After all," said Mr Squills, "though I am no flatterer, Mr Tibbets
is not so far out.... That part of your book which compares the
crania or skulls of the different races is superb. Lawrence or Dr
Pritchard could not have done the thing more neatly. Such a book
must not be lost to the world; and I agree with Mr Tibbets that you
should publish as soon as possible."

"It is one thing to write and another to publish," said my father
irresolutely. "When one considers all the great men who have
published; when one thinks one is going to intrude one's-self
audaciously into the company of Aristotle and Bacon, of Locke, of
Herder--of all the grave philosophers who bend over nature with
brows weighty with thought--one may well pause, and--"

"Pooh!" interrupted Uncle Jack; "science is not a club, it is an
ocean. It is open to the cockboat as the frigate. One man carries
across it a freightage of ingots, another may fish there for
herrings. Who can exhaust the sea? who say to intellect, the deeps
of philosophy are preoccupied?"

"Admirable!" cried Squills.

"So it is really your advice, my friends," said my father, who
seemed struck by Uncle Jack's eloquent illustration, "that I should
desert my household gods; remove to London, since my own library
ceases to supply my wants; take lodgings near the British Museum,
and finish off one volume, at least, incontinently."

"It is a duty you owe to your country," said Uncle Jack, solemnly.

"And to yourself," urged Squills. "One must attend to the natural
evacuations of the brain. Ah! you may smile, sir; but I have
observed that if a man has much in his head, he must give it vent
or it oppresses him; the whole system goes wrong. From being
abstracted, he grows stupefied. The weight of the pressure affects
the nerves. I would not even guarantee you from a stroke of
paralysis."

"Oh, Austin!" cried my mother tenderly, and throwing her arms round
my father's neck.

"Come, sir, you are conquered," said I.

"And what is to become of you, Sisty?" asked my father. "Do you go
with us, and unsettle your mind for the university?"

"My uncle has invited me to his castle; and in the meanwhile I will
stay here, fag hard, and take care of the duck."

"All alone?" said my mother.

"No. All alone! Why Uncle Jack will come here as often as ever, I
hope."

Uncle Jack shook his head.

"No, my boy--I must go to town with your father. You don't
understand these things. I shall see the booksellers for him. I
know how these gentlemen are to be dealt with. I shall prepare the
literary circles for the appearance of the book. In short, it is a
sacrifice of interest I know. My Journal will suffer. But friendship
and my country's good before all things!"

"Dear Jack!" said my mother affectionately.

"I cannot suffer it," cried my father. "You are making a good
income. You are doing well where you are; and as to seeing the
booksellers--why, when the work is ready, you can come to town for a
week, and settle that affair."

"Poor dear Austin," said Uncle Jack, with an air of superiority and
compassion. "A week! Sir, the advent of a book that is to succeed
requires the preparation of months. Pshaw! I am no genius, bu I am a
practical man. I know what's what. Leave me alone."

But my father continued obstinate and Uncle Jack at last ceased to
urge the matter. The journey to fame and London was now settled; but
my father would not hear of my staying behind.

No; Pisistratus must needs go also to town and see the world; the
duck would take care of itself.


CHAPTER XII.

We had taken the precaution to send, the day before, to secure
our due complement of places--four in all (including one for Mrs
Primmins)--in, or upon, the fast family coach called the Sun,
which had lately been set up for the special convenience of the
neighbourhood.

This luminary, rising in a town about seven miles distant
from us, described at first a very erratic orbit amidst the
contiguous villages before it finally struck into the high-road of
enlightenment, and thence performed its journey, in the full eyes
of man, at the majestic pace of six miles and a half an hour. My
father, with his pockets full of books, and a quarto of "Gebelin on
the Primitive World" for light reading under his arm; my mother,
with a little basket, containing sandwiches and biscuits of her
own baking; Mrs Primmins, with a new umbrella, purchased for the
occasion, and a bird-cage containing a canary, endeared to her
not more by song than age, and a severe pip through which she had
successfully nursed it--and I myself, waited at the gates to welcome
the celestial visitor. The gardener, with a wheel-barrow full of
boxes and portmanteaus, stood a little in the van; and the footman,
who was to follow when lodgings had been found, had gone to a rising
eminence to watch the dawning of the expected planet, and apprise us
of its approach by the concerted signal of a handkerchief fixed to a
stick.

The quaint old house looked at us mournfully from all its deserted
windows. The litter before its threshold, and in its open hall;
wisps of straw or hay that had been used for packing; baskets and
boxes that had been examined and rejected; others, corded and
piled, reserved to follow with the footman: and the two heated
and hurried serving-women left behind standing half-way between
house and garden-gate, whispering to each other, and looking as
if they had not slept for weeks--gave to a scene, usually so trim
and orderly, an aspect of pathetic abandonment and desolation. The
genius of the place seemed to reproach us. I felt the omens were
against us, and turned my earnest gaze from the haunts behind with
a sigh, as the coach now drew up in all its grandeur. An important
personage, who, despite the heat of the day, was enveloped in a vast
superfluity of belcher, in the midst of which galloped a gilt fox,
and who rejoiced in the name of "guard," descended to inform us
politely that only three places, two inside and one out, were at our
disposal, the rest having been pre-engaged a fortnight before our
orders were received.

Now, as I knew that Mrs Primmins was indispensable to the comforts
of my honoured parents, (the more so, as she had once lived in
London, and knew all its ways,) I suggested that she should take
the outside seat, and that I should perform the journey on foot--a
primitive mode of transport which has its charms to a young man with
stout limbs and gay spirits. The guard's outstretched arm left my
mother little time to oppose this proposition, to which my father
assented with a silent squeeze of the hand. And, having promised to
join them at a family hotel near the Strand, to which Mr Squills lad
recommended them as peculiarly genteel and quiet, and waved my last
farewell to my poor mother, who continued to stretch her meek face
out of the window till the coach was whirled off in a cloud like one
of the Homeric heroes, I turned within, to put up a few necessary
articles in a small knapsack, which I remembered to have seen in the
lumber-room, and which had appertained to my maternal grandfather;
and with that on my shoulder, and a strong staff in my hand, I set
off towards the great city at as brisk a pace as if I were only
bound to the next village. Accordingly, about noon, I was both tired
and hungry; and seeing by the wayside one of those pretty inns yet
peculiar to England, but which, thanks to the railways, will soon be
amongst the things before the Flood, I sate down at a table under
some clipped limes, unbuckled my knapsack, and ordered my simple
fare, with the dignity of one who, for the first time in his life,
bespeaks his own dinner, and pays for it out of his own pocket.

While engaged on a rasher of bacon and a tankard of what the
landlord called "No mistake," two pedestrians, passing the same
road which I had traversed, paused, cast a simultaneous look at
my occupation, and, induced no doubt by its allurements, seated
themselves under the same lime-trees, though at the farther end of
the table. I surveyed the new-comers with the curiosity natural to
my years.

The elder of the two might have attained the age of thirty, though
sundry deep lines, and hues formerly florid and now faded, speaking
of fatigue, care, or dissipation, might have made him look somewhat
older than he was. There was nothing very prepossessing in his
appearance. He was dressed with a pretension ill suited to the
costume appropriate to a foot-traveller. His coat was pinched and
padded; two enormous pins, connected by a chain, decorated a very
stiff stock of blue satin, dotted with yellow stars; his hands were
cased in very dingy gloves which had once been straw-coloured,
and the said hands played with a whalebone cane surmounted by a
formidable knob, which gave it the appearance of a "life-preserver."
As he took off a white napless hat, which he wiped with great care
and affection with the sleeve of his right arm, a profusion of
stiff curls instantly betrayed the art of man. Like my landlord's
ale, in that wig there was "no mistake:" it was brought--(in the
fashion of the wigs we see in the popular effigies of George IV. in
his youth)--low over his forehead and raised at the top. The wig
had been oiled, and the oil had imbibed no small quantity of dust;
oil and dust had alike left their impression on the forehead and
cheeks of the wig's proprietor. For the rest, the expression of his
face was somewhat impudent and reckless, but not without a certain
drollery in the corners of his eyes.

The younger man was apparently about my own age, a year or two
older perhaps--judging rather from his set and sinewy frame than
his boyish countenance. And this last, boyish as it was, could not
fail to demand the attention even of the most careless observer. It
had not only the darkness but the character of the gipsy face, with
large brilliant eyes, raven hair, long and wavy, but not curling;
the features were aquiline but delicate, and when he spoke he showed
teeth dazzling as pearls. It was impossible not to admire the
singular beauty of the countenance; and yet, it had that expression
at once stealthy and fierce, which war with society has stamped
upon the lineaments of the race of which it reminded me. But,
withal, there was somewhat of the air of a gentleman in this young
wayfarer. His dress consisted of a black velveteen shooting-jacket,
or rather short frock, with a broad leathern strap at the waist,
loose white trousers, and a foraging cap, which he threw carelessly
on the table as he wiped his brow. Turning round impatiently and
with some haughtiness from his companion, he surveyed me with a
quick observant flash of his piercing eyes, and then stretched
himself at length on the bench, and appeared either to doze or muse,
till, in obedience to his companion's orders, the board was spread
with all the cold meats the larder could supply.

"Beef!" said his companion, screwing a pinchbeck glass
into his right eye. "Beef;--mottled, cowey--humph.
Lamb;--oldish--rawish--muttony, humph. Pie;--stalish, veal?--no,
pork. Ah! what will you have?"

"Help yourself," replied the young man peevishly, as he sat up,
looked disdainfully at the viands, and after a long pause, tasted
first one, then the other, with many shrugs of the shoulders and
muttered exclamations of discontent. Suddenly he looked up and
called for brandy; and to my surprise, and I fear admiration, he
drank nearly half a tumblerful of that poison undiluted, with a
composure that spoke of habitual use.

"Wrong!" said his companion, drawing the bottle to himself, and
mixing the alcohol in careful proportions with water. "Wrong! coats
of stomach soon wear out, with that kind of clothes' brush. Better
stick to 'the yeasty foam' as sweet Will says. That young gentleman
sets you a good example," and therewith the speaker nodded at me
familiarly. Inexperienced as I was, I surmised at once that it was
his intention to make acquaintance with the neighbour thus saluted.
I was not deceived. "Any thing to tempt _you_, sir?" asked this
social personage after a short pause, and describing a semicircle
with the point of his knife.

"I thank you, sir, but I have dined."

"What then? 'Break out into a second course of mischief,' as the
swan recommends--swan of Avon, sir! No? 'Well then, I charge you
with this cup of sack.' Are you going far, if I may take the liberty
to ask?"

"To London, when I can get there!"

"Oh!" said the traveller--while his young companion lifted his
eyes; and I was again struck with their remarkable penetration and
brilliancy.

"London is the best place in the world for a lad of spirit. See life
there; 'glass of fashion and mould of form.' Fond of the play, sir?"

"I never saw one!"

"Possible!" cried the gentleman, dropping the handle of his knife,
and bringing up the point horizontally: "then, young man," he added
solemnly, "you have, but I won't say what you have to see. I won't
say--no, not if you could cover this table with golden guineas, and
exclaim with the generous ardour so engaging in youth 'Mr Peacock,
these are yours, if you will only say what I have to see!'"

I laughed outright--may I be forgiven for the boast, but I had the
reputation at school of a pleasant laugh. The young man's face grew
dark at the sound: he pushed back his plate and sighed.

"Why," continued his friend, "my companion here, who I suppose is
about your own age, _he_ could tell you what a play is! he could
tell you what life is. He has viewed the manners of the town:
'perused the traders,' as the swan poetically remarks. Have you not,
my lad, eh?"

Thus directly appealed to, the boy looked up with a smile of scorn
on his lips. "Yes, I know what life is, and I say that life, like
poverty, has strange bedfellows. Ask me what life is now, and I say
a melodrama; ask me what it is twenty years hence, and I shall say--"

"A farce?" put in his comrade.

"No, a tragedy--or comedy as Congreve wrote it."

"And how is that?" I asked, interested and somewhat surprised at the
tone of my contemporary.

"Where the play ends in the triumph of the wittiest rogue. My friend
hee has no chance!"

"'Praise from Sir Hubert Stanley,' hem--yes--Hal Peacock maybe
witty, but he is no rogue."

"That was not exactly my meaning," said the boy dryly.

"'A fico for your meaning,'" as the swan says. "Hallo,
you, sir! Bully Host, clear the table, fresh tumblers--hot
water--sugar--lemon, and the bottle's out! Smoke, sir?" and Mr
Peacock offered me a cigar.

Upon my refusal, he carefully twirled round a very uninviting
specimen of some fabulous havannah--moistened it all over, as a
boa-constrictor may do the ox he prepares for deglutition; bit
off one end, and lighting the other from a little machine for
that purpose which he drew from his pocket, he was soon absorbed
in a vigorous effort (which the damp inherent in the weed long
resisted) to poison the surrounding atmosphere. Therewith, the young
gentleman, either from emulation or in self-defence, extracted from
his own pouch a cigar-case of notable elegance, being of velvet,
embroidered apparently by some fair hand, for "From Juliet" was very
legibly worked thereon--selected a cigar of better appearance than
that in favour with his comrade, and seemed quite as familiar with
the tobacco as he had been with the brandy.

"Fast, sir--fast lad that!" quoth Mr Peacock, in the short gasps
which his resolute struggle with his uninviting victim alone
permitted--"nothing but--(puff, puff)--your true--(suck--suck,)
syl--syl--sylva--does for him. Out, by the Lord! 'the jaws of
darkness have devoured it up;'" and again Mr Peacock applied to his
phosphoric machine. This time patience and perseverance succeeded,
and the heart of the cigar responded by a dull red spark (leaving
the sides wholly untouched) to the indefatigable ardour of its wooer.

This feat accomplished, Mr Peacock exclaimed triumphantly, "And now
what say you, my lads, to a game at cards?--three of us--whist and
a dummy?--nothing better--eh?" As he spoke, he produced from his
coat-pocket a red silk handkerchief, a bunch of keys, a nightcap,
a toothbrush, a piece of shaving-soap, four lumps of sugar, the
remains of a bun, a razor, and a pack of cards. Selecting the last,
and returning its motley accompaniments to the abyss whence they
had emerged, he turned up, with a jerk of his thumb and finger, the
knave of clubs, and, placing it on the top of the rest, slapped the
cards emphatically on the table.

"You are very good, but I don't know whist," said I.

"Not know whist--not been to a play! not smoke! Then pray tell me,
young man," (said he majestically, and with a frown,) "what on earth
you _do_ know!"

Much consternated by this direct appeal, and greatly ashamed of
my ignorance of the cardinal points of erudition in Mr Peacock's
estimation, I hung my head, and looked down.

"That is right," renewed Mr Peacock, more benignly; "you have the
ingenuous shame of youth. It is promising, sir--'lowliness is young
ambition's ladder,' as the swan says. Mount the first step, and
learn whist--sixpenny points to begin with."

Notwithstanding my newness in actual life, I had had the good
fortune to learn a little of the way before me, by those
much-slandered guides called novels--works which are often to the
inner world what maps are to the outer; and sundry recollections of
"Gil Blas" and the "Vicar of Wakefield" came athwart me. I had no
wish to emulate the worthy Moses, and felt that I might not have
even the shagreen spectacles to boast of, in my negotiations with
this new Mr Jenkinson. Accordingly, shaking my head, I called for my
bill. As I took out my purse--knit by my mother--with one gold piece
in one corner, and sundry silver ones in the other, I saw that the
eyes of Mr Peacock twinkled.

"Poor spirit, sir! poor spirit, young man! 'This avarice sticks
deep,' as the swan beautifully observes. 'Nothing venture, nothing
have.'"

"Nothing have, nothing venture," I returned, plucking up spirit.

"Nothing have!--Young sir, do you doubt my solidity--my capital--my
'golden joys?'"

"Sir, I spoke of myself. I am not rich enough to gamble."

"Gamble!" exclaimed Mr Peacock, in virtuous indignation--"Gamble!
what do you mean, sir? You insult me!" and he rose threateningly,
and slapped his white hat on his wig.

"Pshaw! let him alone, Hal," said the boy contemptuously. "Sir, if
he is impertinent, thrash him." (This was to me.)

"Impertinent!--thrash!" exclaimed Mr Peacock, waxing very red; but
catching the sneer on his companion's lip, he sat down, and subsided
into sullen silence.

Meanwhile I paid my bill. This duty, rarely a cheerful one,
performed, I looked round for my knapsack, and perceived that it was
in the boy's hands. He was very coolly reading the address which, in
case of accidents, I had prudently placed on it--Pisistratus Caxton,
Esq., ---- Hotel, ---- Street, --, Strand.

I took my knapsack from him, more surprised at such a breach of
good manners in a young gentleman who knew life so well, than I
should have been at a similar error on the part of Mr Peacock. He
made no apology, but nodded farewell, and stretched himself at full
length on the bench. Mr Peacock, now absorbed in a game of patience,
vouchsafed no return to my parting salutation, and in another moment
I was alone on the high-road. My thoughts turned long upon the young
man I had left: mixed with a sort of instinctive compassionate
foreboding of an ill future for one with such habits, and in such
companionship, I felt an involuntary admiration, less even for his
good looks than his ease, audacity, and the careless superiority he
assumed over a comrade so much older than himself.

The day was far gone when I saw the spires of a town at which I
intended to rest for the night. The horn of a coach behind made me
turn my head, and, as the vehicle passed me, I saw on the outside
Mr Peacock, still struggling with a cigar--it could scarcely be
the same--and his young friend stretched on the roof amongst the
luggage, leaning his handsome head on his hand, and apparently
unobservant both of me and every one else.


CHAPTER XIII.

I am apt--judging egotistically, perhaps, from my own experience--to
measure a young man's chances of what is termed practical success in
life, by what may seem at first two very vulgar qualities; viz., his
inquisitiveness and his animal vivacity. A curiosity which springs
forward to examine every thing new to his information--a nervous
activity, approaching to restlessness, which rarely allows bodily
fatigue to interfere with some object in view--constitute, in my
mind, very profitable stock in hand to begin the world with.

Tired as I was, after I had performed my ablutions, and refreshed
myself in the little coffee-room of the inn at which I put up, with
the pedestrian's best beverage, familiar and oft-calumniated tea,
I could not resist the temptation of the broad bustling street,
which, lighted with gas, shone on me through the dim windows of the
coffee-room. I had never before seen a large town, and the contrast
of lamp-lit, busy night in the streets, with sober, deserted night
in the lanes and fields, struck me forcibly.

I sauntered out, therefore, jostling and jostled, now gazing at
the windows, now hurried along the tide of life, till I found
myself before a cook' shop, round which clustered a small knot
of housewives, citizens, and hungry-looking children. While
contemplating this group, and marvelling how it comes to pass that
the staple business of earth's majority is how, when, and where to
eat, my ear was struck with "'In Troy there lies the scene,' as the
illustrious Will remarks."

Looking round, I perceived Mr Peacock pointing his stick towards
an open doorway next to the cook's shop, the hall beyond which was
lighted with gas, while, painted in black letters on a pane of glass
over the door, was the word "Billiards."

Suiting the action to the word, the speaker plunged at once into the
aperture and vanished. The boy-copanion was following more slowly,
when his eye caught mine. A slight blush came over his dark cheek;
he stopped, and leaning against the door-jambs, gazed on me hard and
long before he said--"Well met again, sir! You find it hard to amuse
yourself in this dull place; the nights are long out of London."

"Oh," said I, ingenuously, "every thing here amuses me; the lights,
the shops, the crowd; but, then, to me every thing is new."

The youth came from his lounging-place and moved on, as if inviting
me to walk; while he answered, rather with bitter sullenness, than
the melancholy his words expressed--

"One thing, at least, cannot be new to you; it is an old truth with
us before we leave the nursery--'Whatever is worth having must be
bought; _ergo_, he who cannot buy, has nothing worth having.'"

"I don't think," said I, wisely, "that the things best worth having
can be bought at all. You see that poor dropsical jeweller standing
before his shop-door,--his shop is the finest in the street,--and I
dare say he would be very glad to give it to you or me in return for
our good health and strong legs. Oh no! I think with my father--'All
that are worth having are given to all;--that is, nature and
labour.'"

"Your father says that; and you go by what your father says!
Of course, all fathers have preached that, and many other good
doctrines, since Adam preached to Cain; but I don't see that the
fathers have found their sons very credulous listeners."

"So much the worse for the sons," said I bluntly.

"Nature," continued my new acquaintance, without attending to my
ejaculation--"nature indeed does give us much, and nature also
orders each of us how to use her gifts. If nature gave you the
propensity to drudge, you will drudge; if she gives me the ambition
to rise, and the contempt for work, I may rise--but I certainly
shall not work."

"Oh," said I, "you agree with Squills, I suppose, and fancy we are
all guided by the bumps on our foreheads?"

"And the blood in our veins, and our mother's milk. We inherit other
things besides gout and consumption. So you always do as your father
tells you! Good boy!"

I was piqued. Why we should be ashamed of being taunted for
goodness, I never could understand; but certainly I felt humbled.
However I answered sturdily--"If you had as good a father as I have,
you would not think it so very extraordinary to do as he tells you."

"Ah! so he is a very good father, is he! He must have a great trust
in your sobriety and steadiness to let you wander about the world as
he does."

"I am going to join him in London."

"In London! Oh, does he live there?"

"He is going to live there for some time."

"Then, perhaps, we may meet. I, too, am going to town."

"Oh, we shall be sure to meet there!" said I, with frank gladness;
for my interest in the young man was not diminished by his
conversation, however much I disliked the sentiments it expressed.

The lad laughed, and his laugh was peculiar. It was low, musical,
but hollow and artificial.

"Sure to meet! London is a large place: where shall you be found?"

I gave him, without scruple, the address of the hotel at which I
expected to find my father; although his deliberate inspection
of my knapsack must already have apprised him of that address.
He listened attentively, and repeated it twice over, as if to
impress it on his memory; and we both walked on in silence, till,
turning up a small passage, we suddenly found ourselves in a large
churchyard,--a flagged path stretched diagonally across it towards
the market-place, on which it bordered. In this churchyard, upon a
grave-stone, sat a young Savoyard; his hurdy-gurdy, or whatever else
his instrument might be called, was on his lap; and he was gnawing
his crust, and feeding some poor little white mice (standing on
their hind-legs on the hurdy-gurdy) as merrily as if he had chosen
the gayest resting-place in the world.

We both stopped. The Savoyard, seeing us, put his arch head on one
side, showed all his white teeth in that happy smile so peculiar to
his race, and in which poverty seems to beg so blithely, and gave
the handle of his instrument a turn.

"Poor child!" said I.

"Aha, you pity him! but why? According to your rule, Mr Caxton, he
is not so much to be pitied; the dropsical jeweller would give him
as much for his limbs and health as for ours! How is it--answer me,
son of so wise a father--that no one pities the dropsical jeweller,
and all pity the healthy Savoyard? It is, sir, because there is a
stern truth which is stronger than all Spartan lessons--Poverty _is_
the master-ill of the world. Look round. Does poverty leave its
signs over the graves? Look at that large tomb fenced round; read
that long inscription:--'virtues'--'best of husbands'--'affectionate
father'--'inconsolable grief'--'sleeps in the joyful hope,' &c., &c.
Do you suppose these stoneless mounds hide no dust of what were men
just as good? But no epitaph tells their virtues; bespeaks their
wives' grief; or promises joyful hope to them!"

"Does it matter? Does God care for the epitaph and tombstone?"

"_Date qualche cosa!_" said the Savoyard, in his touching patois,
still smiling, and holding out his little hand.

Therein I dropped a small coin. The boy evinced his gratitude by a
new turn of the hurdy-gurdy.

"That is not labour," said my companion; "and had you found him at
work, you had given him nothing. I too have my instrument to play
upon and my mice to see after. Adieu!"

He waved his hand, and strode irreverently over the graves back in
the direction we had come.

I stood before the fine tomb with its fine epitaph; the Savoyard
looked at me wistfully.


CHAPTER XIV.

The Savoyard looked at me wistfully. I wished to enter into
conversation with him. That was not easy. However, I began:--

PISISTRATUS.--"You must be often hungry enough, my poor boy. Do the
mice feed you?"

SAVOYARD puts his head on one side, shakes it, and stroked his mice.

PISISTRATUS.--"You are very fond of the mice; they are your only
friends, I fear."

SAVOYARD, evidently understanding Pisistratus, rubs his face gently
against the mice, then puts them softly down on a grave, and gives a
turn to the hurdy-gurdy. The mice play unconcernedly over the grave.

PISISTRATUS, pointing first to the beasts, then to the
instrument.--"Which do you like best, the mice or the hurdy-gurdy?"

SAVOYARD shows his teeth--considers--stretches himself on the
grass--plays with the mice--and answers volubly.

PISISTRATUS, by the help of Latin comprehending that the Savoyard
says, that the mice are alive and the hurdy-gurdy is not--"Yes, a
live friend is better than a dead one. Mortua est hurda-gurda!"

SAVOYARD shakes his head vehemently.--"Nô--nô! Eccellenza, non ê
mortu!" and strikes up a lively air on the slandered instrument. The
Savoyard's face brightens--he looks happy: the mice run from the
grave into his bosom.

PISISTRATUS, affected.--"Have you a father--An vivat pater?"

SAVOYARD, with his face overcast.--"Nô--eccellenza!" then pausing
a little, he says briskly, "Si-Si!" and plays a solemn air on the
hurdy-gurdy--stops--rests one hand on the instrument, and raises the
other to heaven.

PISISTRATUS understands.--"The father is like the hurdy-gurdy, at
once dead and living. The mere form is a dead thing, but the music
lives." Pisistratus drops another small piece of silver on the
ground, and turns away.

"God help and God bless thee, Savoyard. Thou hast done Pisistratus
all the good in the world. Thou hast corrected the hard wisdom of
the young gentleman in the velveteen jacket; Pisistratus is a better
lad for having stopped to listen to thee."

I regained the entrance to the churchyard--I looked back--there sate
the Savoyard, still amidst men's graves, but under God's sky. He was
still looking at me wistfully, and when he caught my eye, he pressed
his hand to his heart, and smiled. "God help and God bless thee,
young Savoyard."



REPUBLICAN FRANCE.

JUNE 1848.


How far is the application to France, of the epithet employed in the
title that heads these pages, a misnomer? This is a question that
would be answered very differently by those who study its state of
feeling, and those who judge its position by mere established fact.
That the fact and the feeling are completely at issue throughout
the country, is undoubted, indisputable. A republican government
has been established by the _coup de main_ of a small minority in
France--has been accepted by the hesitation of surprise--has been
maintained by the desire of peace and order:--so far goes fact.
Republican principles were hateful to the immense majority of
the country at large in the past, uncongenial to its habits and
sentiments, impossible according to its views; they are productive,
as yet, of nothing but confusion, distress, ruin, riot, and
mistrust, in the present; they are looked upon with alarm as regards
their results in the future:--so much for feeling. Fact and feeling,
then, are at variance and in collision. The result of the conflict
lies hidden in the mysteries of that future, the issue of which, at
no epoch of history, perhaps, clearseeing eyes and wise foreseeing
heads could less pretend to predict, than in the present chaotic
hurly-burly of European society. The politicians who declared that
the general spirit of the country in France was, in their vague and
fantastic language of the Chamber, _centre-gauche_, or the advocate
of liberal progress, may have been very right,--but republican it
never was, republican it is not. Republican--without pretension
to the audacity of a prediction but just stated as impossible--it
certainly does not as yet appear ever likely to become.

In its present state of feeling, then, France--that is to say,
the country, the provinces, the departments, or whatever France,
out of Paris, may be called--is about as much genuine republican,
as a white man who suddenly finds his face smeared over with the
contents of a blacking-bottle is a genuine negro. But, for the sake
of avoiding that confusion of terms and ideas in which the French
themselves are so fond of indulging, to an extent that proves the
deification of "the vague" to take far higher flights among them,
especially in their republican tenets, than any flown by confused
German head,--let it be taken as a rule, that fact is to have the
precedence of feeling, as in most matters in the world,--and let it
be supposed that the misnomer is no misnomer, that there has been no
mistake, in truth, in the title of "Republican France."

Between France out of Paris and France in Paris, a great
distinction, in speaking of the country, must always be drawn;
although, in the matter of republicanism in the feelings of the
mass, the same blacking-bottle remark might be applied to the
majority of the citizens of the capital, as to the country at large.
No family of grown-up daughters, who have been tyrannically kept
in the nursery like children when they no longer felt themselves
such, and made to wear mamma's worn-out dresses scantily cut down
to their shapes, could be more sundered in feeling from their
lady-mother, and jealous of her overgrown charms, her gaiety, her
splendour, and her power, than the departments,--kept in the nursery
upon centralisation system, and fed upon the bread-and-milk of
insignificance,--are of the tyrannical supremacy, the overweening
superiority, and the disdainful airs, affected to her despised
progeny by Mother Paris. The pursuance of the concentrating system
has thus produced an estrangement in the family,--a jealousy and
spite on the one hand, a greater and increasing assumption of airs
of supremacy on the other. The family ties between Paris and France
are as wholly disunited as family ties can be, in the necessities
of a more or less intimate connexion: the mother has isolated, in
her despotism, herself from her children, the children have imbibed
distrust and envy of the mother. The consequence is, that there
are two distinct families in feeling,--there are two Frances; there
is the France of Paris, of Paris that asserts its right to be all
France, and the France of the departments, that, in spite of the
assertions of Paris, desire to put in their little claim for a
small share in the name, and would like to have their own little
fingers in the pies of revolutions, and changes of government in
the family, that mamma cooks up. True, they are supposed to eat at
the same table, but mamma has all the tit-bits. They have a voice
in the family council, but it is when mamma has already issued
her _dictum_, and declared that such and such things shall be as
she has decided it. They help to support the family establishment
with the moneys which mamma declares they must contribute out of
their heritage; but then mamma, they declare, spends a most undue
proportion upon herself, in dressing herself out with finery,
keeping up an unnecessary state, and throwing away the sums confided
to her to overpay a throng of unruly onhangers, with all the
prodigality of fear; while they, the poor daughters, are made to put
up with cast-off finery, and to be thwarted and twitted by harsh
governesses, and to fight, as best they may, with an obstreperous
herd of unpaid pensioners, which mamma's mismanagement has excited
to uproar; and then, after all, to kiss hands and thank mamma for
whatever they can get,--scanty sugar-plums and many cuffs. Is this
to be endured? The children grumble much, and particularly since
mamma has chosen to make changes in the direction of the household
establishment of which they by no means approve, and has only
produced confusion and disorder in it. But at present they can do no
more than grumble; mamma has the rod, and they know that she will
use it; mamma has the supreme influence, and habit makes them think
they must abide by it. There is no doubt, at the same time, that the
children and parent would unite in a common bond of union were the
family honour to be asserted against an attack from any adversary
to the family out of the house. Their intestine jealousies would be
forgotten for the time, for the maintenance of the common good--a
fancied good; for, after all, mother and daughters have the same
blood, the same temperr and character, the same vain-glory, conceit,
and irritability, the same strong prejudices of ignorance; and
they would join hands and clamour together in the same opposition
to the stranger. But this common-cause making, upon occasions of
extraordinary pressure from without, detracts nothing, at other
times, from the mistrust, jealousy, and angry susceptibility of the
children in internal affairs. In moments of family crisis, will
matters always go on as heretofore?

Nurseries will be obstreperous sometimes, and children will revolt,
and mammas may pass very uncomfortable moments in the face of angry
daughters in rebellion. Will the children take upon themselves,
at last, to protest against mamma's disdainful commands, and
assert a will of their own, and a right to think for themselves?
This question is one upon the solution of which depends the fate
of France, as well as upon the many thousand chances which the
capricious and ever-shifting gales of a revolutionary atmosphere
may, at any moment, suddenly blow, like a spark into a powder
barrel, shattering the face of the past, and changing the direction
of the future. Twice already, since the revolution of February,
has the question been nearly answered in the affirmative. The last
instance, of which more anon, may be taken as a striking proof that
the children may possibly not always submit to the dictates of the
mother,--that family mistrust may break out into family quarrel,
and family quarrel in nations is civil war. Who again, however,
may venture to predict what shall be the destinies of Republican
France,--what web of darkness or of light, of blood-streaked stuff
or of gold-threaded tissue, it may be weaving with its agitated and
troubled hands, or what force it may interpose to tear the work to
shreds before it be even yet completed? Most may fear, none may say.
But prediction, upon whatever cunning foresight it may be based,
must always call a sort of feeling of inspiration, nearly allied to
superstition, to its aid: and thus the fanciful mind may, without
taking upon itself the airs of a Pythoness, give way to a little
superstition, and yet, perhaps, be not too strongly condemned of
folly. There exists an old prophecy in France, emanating from a monk
of the middle ages, the authenticity of which cannot be doubted, or,
at all events, cannot be disputed, in as far as it was in well-known
existence at the commencement of this century. It predicts, in
mystic language,--dark, it is true, but wonderfully clear after
its verification,--all the many revolutionary changes that have
taken place in France, and now once more proclaims the reign of the
"sons of Brutus." "Armed men," it distinctly says, "will march upon
the doomed city," "sword and fire will prevail against it," "the
wolves will devour each other." May the seeming superstition of a
fantastical question be pardoned! May not these words refer to the
future outbreak of the provinces of France against the capital? If
they do, in what sense, with what tendencies, to forward the views
of what party, may it be? Be that as it may, however, it is not the
obscure future that is dealt with here, but the present confused and
uncertain state of Republican France.

As it may be inferred from what has been said, Paris, then, has put
on its crown, as capital, to some purpose. Never did despot assert
his right to dictate his autocratic will to serfs and slaves more
authoritatively than does revolutionary and republican Paris to
the provinces of France. No three-tailed Bashaw of old melodrams
could be more imperative in his ordinances, more arrogant in the
conviction of the indisputability of his will. The bare supposition
that the provinces could have a will of their own would strike
Paris dumb with astonishment. Paris has been accustomed to consider
itself not only as the heart, but the head, and the arms and legs
to boot, of the whole country. The inert body has no more, in its
consideration, to do, than allow itself to be fed with what scanty
morsels of bounty and importance Paris may choose to afford, and
then not to dare to grumble afterwards if the food prove unsavoury
to its tastes, or indigestible to its susceptibilities. Paris is
"Sir Oracle," and, when it speaks, no provincial "dog dare bark."
Paris, thus, is the great type of the mainspring of the national
character,--which works sometimes, we allow, for good as well
as for evil:--namely, of that mixture of vanity and overweening
conceit, which may be found at the bottom of almost every action
of the French. It calls itself "the great capital of the civilised
world;" and thus considers that, although the departments may be
admitted to the reflected rays of lustre that emanate from its
superior glory, they must look upon themselves as mere satellites,
created to revolve at its liking and its high will, and perform
their revolutions in whatever direction it deems fit to make its
own revolution. Let it not be supposed that this representation
is exaggerated, or that it proceeds from the distorted views of a
foreigner. Hear the Parisian himself speak; list to his expressions
of contempt for those unknown and barbarous regions called
departments; mark how he asserts the unutterable superiority of
his Parisian essence; see how he tosses his head and curls his lip
with an infinitely aristocratic air, when he condescends to notice
them with a word; and never was Paris more eager in the maintenance
of its tyrannical supremacy; never was it more despotically and
autocratically disposed; never more aristocratic, to use the pet
phrase of the day, than under the rule of _soi-disant_ liberty, and
of liberty of opinion, above all other liberties proclaimed by the
French republic.

What were the expressions of the first republican minister of the
interior, that type of republican exclusiveness and despotism, in
his famous and rather too famous _bulletins de la republique_,
issued to all France as the language and opinions of the government
of the day? Paris, they informed the world, was the heart of France,
from which all life and living principle emanated, through which
every drop of the country's blood must flow, in order that it might
beat in unison, and be refreshed with true republican vitality.
Paris, they said again, was the hand that had created and fashioned
the republic, and that was to direct its steps, lead it vigorously
forward in its way--as it was the head that conceived, it was the
hand that executed: it was more than all this, it was the _soul_
of France--the pure and true essence emanating from the new deity,
the republic. Paris, they asserted in as many direct words, was
the mistress whose will was to be obeyed. It is unnecessary to
point out how little such declarations were in accordance with
republican principles, what little affinity they had with the three
great watchwords of the day, "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity."
Republicanism in France, according to those old traditions, to which
those who call themselves the only true and pure republicans seem
always to be looking back as the only true and pure models for their
admiration and imitation, was always based upon despotism, supported
by constraint, compulsion, violence, and even terrorism; and the
first efforts of modern republicanism were evidently exerted to
place their old, newfangled, statue of bastard liberty upon the same
heterogeneous pedestal. The instructions of the same Bashaw-minister
to the emissaries whom he despatched as Bashaws of lesser and fewer
tails into the provinces, to see that they were duly disposed to
fall down and worship the Goddess Republic, that had been set up,
were modelled after the same and still rougher fashion.

The missionaries were invested with autocratic powers to make
and unmake according to their own autocratic will; to send away
functionaries who might appear lukewarm in the cause; to put
in their places such acolytes as might better serve the altars
of the goddess, and to offer up sacrifices to her, civil and
military, judicial and political, as they might think pleasing
to the divinity, or convenient and agreeable to their own hates
and prejudices. They were particularly requested to _travailler_
the country, to torture it, as the French phrase goes; and were
taught, if they could not hammer the hard and unbending metal of
departmental feeling to the shape they fancied, just gently to
make the iron red-hot with the fire of terrorism, and then twist
it to the suitable form. How well the workmen, in many instances,
performed the task--how well they employed the fiery passions of the
mob to produce the desired red-hot effect, and then strike--is a
matter of historical fact.

In the elections for the National Assembly, the same dogmas of
republican religion were strenuously enforced. No emissaries of
the Inquisition ever used more moral violence to propagate a faith
among suspected schismatics, than did these ministers of republican
despotism to enforce the full, entire, and uttermost doctrines
of their creed, even to the minutest articles. Where the moral
influence appeared unlikely to penetrate as deeply into men's
hearts as was desired, other and more direct methods were adopted
to make entire converts; and, when these methods were found too
mild to work the intended effect, and purge the land of moderatism
and anti-whole-hog-ism, another stronger and more racking dose
was administered: the mob was excited to overawe with threat and
terrorism, and, where it could not prevent, to destroy. How should
the departments dare to have a will of their own? The rebellious
children were to be whipped like schoolboys into learning their
lessons of pure and undefiled republicanism, and reciting them
as Master Commissioner taught them; there was no better rod in
pickle for such naughty urchins than the scourge of the fury of a
mob, carefully taught another lesson, and one it was not slow of
learning--namely, that it was master, and must constrain obedience
to its will; while, in fact, itself obeyed the influence, and
was the instrument of the master-spirit that ruled up above, and
made the best, or rather the worst use of its rule. That all
these measures failed in a great measure--those of violence as
well as those of moral constraint--is attributable to a variety
of complicated reasons, connected with the present state of the
departments; and the how and why they failed, will be the subject of
a few considerations presently.

What, again, were the expressions of the more violent and so-called
only true republican party in the capital, proceeding from its
organs, the clubs, upon the same occasion of the elections? To all
the candidates who presented themselves before them, the same
question was propounded. If, when the votes of all France were
taken, it should be found that the departments declared themselves
averse to the establishment of a republic, what would be the duty
they would have to perform,--what steps would they take? Those who
did not declare that they would turn against that National Assembly,
of which they themselves might then be members, and take up arms
to march upon it, were denounced as traitors to their country,
unworthy of the votes of true men, and hooted from the tribune, in
which they had dared to stand forward as future representatives of
the people. It would have been in vain to insinuate to these good
gentlemen, that, in the application of the principle of universal
suffrage, in which every man was not only an elector, but eligible
as representative, the voice of the majority would be the voice of
all France; and that it was for all France, by the voice of its
majority, to decide upon the form of government best suited to all
France. In vain, indeed. The ready answer would invariably have
been--that Paris was the mistress of France, and had a right to
dictate its will; that Paris had made the revolution, and that,
consequently, Paris was privileged to support the principles of
that revolution, and to arrogate to itself all its advantages: that
the country at large, in fact, had nothing to do but to give in its
approval, and be happy that its concurrence was so far demanded, and
that, should it dare to have an opinion of its own, woe betide it!
All this insolent bombast of the ultra party in Paris might have
been spared, however; the cause of "Paris _v._ the Departments" was
never called into the court of the country. The departments had
accepted the establishment of the republic as a _fait accompli_:
they never desired to subvert the new order of things by another
convulsion, that would have plunged the country, already so
miserable, into an increase of misery; but they protested in favour
of a republic of peace and order, upon moderate principles; and,
lo and behold, Paris itself combined with them in this desire. The
disappointed party of the directing master-spirits of Paris have
been none the less furious in their expressions of contempt for
the openly declared will of all France. They had long kicked down
their idol of universal suffrage with disdain, as soon as they had
found that, in spite of all the hidden machinery they had set to
work in it, the idol had not obeyed their will, or declared their
oracles. Universal suffrage they pronounced a hoax: constraint,
tyranny, anarchy, conspiracy, civil war, were proclaimed by them
the only true elements of the only true republic. Frantic with
disappointment at the result of their own manœuvres, by which they
had been caught in their own toils, they seized upon the pretext
of sympathy in the sorrows of another country; and, aided by the
treachery of certain of their own party in authority, invaded the
obnoxious Assembly, overthrew the government for an hour, and
proclaimed a terrorist government of their own. Foiled again in
this audacious attempt, _foiled at least for the time being_, they
now endeavoured to patch up the shaking soil that has given way
beneath their feet, and plunged their leaders into a quagmire, and
to build new foundations for fresh aggressions upon the discontent
of a part of the working-classes. For this purpose they have taken
two newfangled tools into their hands, the one of impulsion, the
other of repulsion--the one of enthusiasm, the other of alarm; and
both are so vaguely fashioned, and of so unintelligible a nature,
that the real fact of their existence can never be proved, although
their use, their purpose, and their design, in the hands of these
men, are very clear. The one of these tools is a bugbear, a phantom,
a bogie, to which they endeavour to give as terrific an aspect
as possible, in order to fright ignorant men over into their own
ranks. This evil spirit, they declare, has an existence, although
no one ever saw it, no one ever felt it, no one ever knew where it
dwells. No superstitious people was ever endeavoured to be worked
up into a more irrefragable belief of some mysterious demon that
haunts them in dark woods and obscure places to devour them--nor,
generally, with more complete success over the credulous; for fear
is the most powerful agent over the minds of the masses, and more
especially when the fear is of the unknown and mysterious: and
certainly no demon was ever described with a more hideous or blacker
face. This bogie, phantom, bugbear, is a supposed influence called
"Reaction." No precise form is given to it, for that would be to
deprive it of more than half its terrors. No! _onme ignotum pro
terribili_ is the policy. Nothing can be more vague or indefinite
than this same monster, Reaction; it remains an Ossianic cloudlike
spectre, floating no one knows whence, but bringing death and
pestilence in its train. If the working-classes suffer, it is the
Reaction, they are told, that is the cause of all their sufferings.
If all their exactions, however exorbitant and impossible, _are not
conceded at once_, it is because that horrible Reaction labours
that their just demands should be withheld. If the most violent of
their own body are not elected as the true representatives of the
people, it is because that pestilential Reaction has cast a spell
over the minds of all the electors. The Reaction has also, potent
demon although it be, all the freaks and caprices of a lesser imp;
it performs the strangest and most incomprehensible feats,--for
if a discontented mass of workmen revolt unsuccessfully, and gain
not their ends, it was the Reaction again that was the cause of
all. The Reaction, for its own vile reactionary purposes, it was,
that treacherously induced them to revolt, when they themselves
were naturally inclined to be the most peaceable, contented, and
the least exorbitant people on the earth. See how perfidious,
Machiavelic, and Jesuitical, is this horrible monster Reaction! Pity
it is that, in order to establish the fact of its real existence,
it should not as yet have made itself visible to mortal eyes in any
incarnate form! The Reaction is, however, no less, men are told,
the enemy of the republic, the adversary of all true republican
principles, labouring ever to overthrow it; above all, the enemy
of the people and the people's interests, their undermining
serpent, their secret assassin. It is already sapping, unseen,
the foundations of the republic, and it intends to pull down the
ruins of that august structure upon the heads of the people, and
crush it for ever beneath them. In spite of the infinite harm
worked upon the spirit of the lower classes by the establishment
of the belief in this phantom, there would, perhaps, be no real
danger in the effect produced by the clamours of insensate ultra
journals, the preachings of agitating demagogues, and the insidious
insinuations of anarchist _meneurs_ among the crowd, did not certain
members of the government itself, and some of those in authority,
render themselves parties concerned to the propagation of the
belief, either genuinely, from having been themselves carefully
inoculated with the _virus_ of false fear, until they have really
taken the disease, or designedly, for the advancement of their
own purposes--did they not, in fact, throw a sop continually to
mob-lecturers, by insinuating their own conviction in the existence
of "bogie" by their decrees, edicts, and proclamations, and, when
they are called to put down anarchy, never obey without crying
"Reaction" at the same time, and vainly giving the phantom a
slap on the face. As it is--and herein lies the evil--the people
are taught that the National Assembly, as it is now constituted,
is the concentrated essence of the spirit of Reaction--that the
representatives of the people, with but few exceptions, are the
ministering imps in a visible form of the invisible demon. If a
word of reason is spoken in the Assembly against the clamours of
unreasonable demand--"Look ye there! reaction!" is the cry; if it
prepares safe measures of repression against the open efforts of
anarchy--"reaction;" if it defends its own existence against the
subversive attempts of conspirators--"reaction;" if it attempts
to establish the republic upon a firm and solid, but moderate
basis--"reaction;" if it does any thing--"reaction;" if it does
nothing--"reaction;" if it cannot perform impossible wonders for the
amelioration and prosperity of the lower working-classes,--at which,
however, it labours most hard,--"reaction--reaction--reaction; the
reaction of aristocratic feeling--the reaction of ill will--the
reaction of indifference and indolence;" thereby always meaning
reaction against the true republic, and its true representatives,
the lower classes. The phantom Reaction is thus used as a tool
by a wild and violent party against the present order of things;
against the moderate majority of the Assembly more particularly;
against all things and all men not suiting its views, its schemes,
its dreams, and its ambitions; and the bugbear is not ill got up to
scare the credulous of the lower classes more completely into the
toils of the malcontents, with the fear that reaction really may
destroy that idol from which they have been taught to expect all
the good gifts of "roasted larks," for which they have only to open
their mouths, and "showers of gold," for which they have only to
stretch forth their hands--that idol that has been lacquered over
with the false gilding of delusive promises by imprudent rulers, and
which the many still fancy to be all of solid gold--in a word, the
Republic. The reaction, in truth, exists not, or exists not in the
manner that people would be led to believe. If it exists, it is in
the disgust of the more laborious and less tumultuous of the lower
classes themselves, who, in their increasing misery, would be happy
to accept the Lama of Thibet, or any other abstraction, with an
absolute government, in the place of the false idol of their hopes,
that has as yet only deluded them into greater misery-- it is in the
reactionary cry of the wretched, who call for "King Log," or any
other senseless ruler that would bring with it peace, and order, and
a hope of well-being.

The other tool employed by the designing malcontents--that of
impulsion--is the banner upon which is inscribed "_Republique
Democratique_." We have a republic, it is true, they say, but not
the republic of our wishes. This is only a mere republic like any
other: we want a democratic republic, and the democratic republic is
taken from us; but the democratic republic we must and will have.
Ask them what they mean by their "_republique democratique_," they
will not be able to inform you. They launch into phrases which are
but phrases: they lose themselves in a cloudy confusion of terms and
ideas: they pretend to give you vague and chaotic explanations, that
are no explanations at all: they know not themselves what they mean.
Universal suffrage upon its broadest basis, with all the rights
and privileges thereto attached, in their most democratic sense,
is no democratic republic according to their view. What is? Who
can tell?--certainly not they. "They have clamoured for the moon,"
says a wit of the day, "and the moon has been given them; and now
they cry, 'we are betrayed; we wanted the sun, and the sun we will
have.' But have a care! the sun will blind your eyes, my friends,
and you will stagger in still greater darkness; the sun will burn
your fingers, and you will smart beneath the blisters. But they heed
not; they still clamour for the sun." At all events, the banner on
which flaunts aloft the words--"_Republique démocratique_" is a good
rallying banner for all malcontents, a good banner under which to
enlist the unwary among their ranks. It is a cry, a clamour, and all
the more enticing because it is vague, unexplained, mysterious in
its fresh promises of some fancied good that has not yet arrived,
full of the great and alluring unknown. Thus it serves a purpose.

But to return from this long digression upon the efforts of
subversive parties, to the state of feeling that subsists in
Republican France between its now well-sorted and divided
elements--Paris and the provinces.

What are, again, the expressions used by the lower classes with
regard to the departments? what the feelings they express? Ever
the same. Paris, they declare, makes, has made, and will make all
the revolutions of the country. Paris, consequently, is all in
all in France: Paris is the mistress, and the queen, the supreme
arbitress of the destinies of France: Paris must be obeyed in all
its wishes and its high will. What were the words of the workmen of
the national workshops, in a late revolt, to the Minister of Public
Works? They were told that there was no longer any work for them in
the capital, that their pretended labour was an irony of labour,
that the country paid them for doing nothing, and that they were
eating the bread of idleness under the name of work: they were told
that they were to be dispersed in the provinces, to be employed
upon great works of public utility--upon railroads and canals, that
stood still for want of hands: while money was lavishly promised
them for this work, which the treasury could no longer afford upon
unproductive labour. What was their answer? That they, the people,
had made the revolution in Paris, that they were the masters of
Paris, that Paris was theirs, to work in it their work; that, as
masters of Paris, they were not to be bid leave it; that leave it
they would not; that if labour failed, money must be found them at
all events, or they would find means of taking it; in short, that
they would not be _degraded_ by being sent into the provinces. The
workmen of Paris claim, then, to be the masters of the capital, and
still more, in their esteem, the masters of all France. The people
of Paris, then, is _the_ people; it owns no other. Now the people,
in modern republican phrase, and alas! in government decrees also,
is by no means the nation; it means the lower classes alone. The
people, it has been previously declared, is the sovereign people,
whose voice is the voice of God; then, they reply, by the simplest
reasoning, the sovereign people, whose voice is the voice of
God--it is alone we: it is the lower classes. But there is still
another deduction to be drawn. Among the lower classes it is only
the active, the stirring, the discontented, the disorderly and
tumultuous, who come forward in evidence as the representatives of
this people. And thus it is very clear that the sovereign people,
whose voice is the voice of God, the sovereign of France, is a small
body of uneducated, misled, and wrong-headed men in the capital.
So stands the account in theory. And who can deny that, in theory,
they are in truth the masters? Who shall say when the chances of
revolutionary struggles may not make them so in fact?

So stands the state of feeling on the side of Paris--how stands it
on the other side?

When the revolution of February broke out, the departments scarcely
knew themselves, their wishes, or their feelings. They had no
mutual understanding. They were taken by surprise. They had not
the time to consult their sentiments. Notoriously anti-republican
as has been shown to have been the spirit of all France in the
departments, they accepted, however, from old habit, the _dictum_
of Paris: they accepted, as has been before remarked, from that
species of resignation shown in France to a _fait accompli_: they
accepted from a wish to avoid all further convulsion, from a love
of established order in whatever shape it might come--from a hope
that, whatever the form of government proclaimed and imposed upon
the country, all would "go well." And besides, the republic, they
were told, was only a provisional form of government at a moment
of crisis, when no other could be adopted: upon its future form of
government, the country, it was said, was to be freely consulted:
the provinces were not prepared for the ulterior _dictum_ of Paris,
that, without consulting the nation at all, the republic was to be
considered as definitive; and that those who desired a change would
be regarded as traitors to their country. But France is not what it
was; it is enlightened by the experience of successive revolutions.
The jealousy of the departments, towards despotic Paris had long
been boiling in men's hearts: it did not at first boil over; but
when, instead of order and peace, the provinces found that the
new government produced only results of disorder, animosity, and
ruin, the departments began to grumble and murmur openly--for the
first time they seemed determined to show that they ought to have,
and would have, a will of their own. In the commencement all was
tranquil. In some parts of France the republic was accepted, if
not with that enthusiasm which lying Parisian papers would have
induced the world to believe, at all events with a species of
contentment, arising from the trust that a more equitable popular
government would relieve the mass from some of those charges
which weighed so heavily upon them under the former government,
and remove constraints that were painful to them. In other parts,
there prevailed a sort of sullen resignation to the establishment
of a _régime_ which was dreaded from an experience of a hateful
past, and was repulsive to its tastes--but it was a resignation to
the _fait accompli_. Some thus hoped, and others feared; but all
combined in assuming an attitude of quiet expectation.

In this state was France, when an imprudent Minister of the
Interior, pushed on by ambitious, designing, misguided, and reckless
men, sent down as a scourge upon the country those commissaries
of obnoxious memory, who were publicly charged to work their will
upon the departments as they pleased, by the means they pleased, by
whatever oppressive or repressive measures they pleased, provided
they worked the suspected and mistrusted departments into a proper
feeling of true republican principle, according to the most ultra
traditional doctrines of old republicanism. Down upon the country
came the autocratic commissaries with these instructions; and,
in too many instances, with the best intentions of torturing and
tormenting the country, after their own fashion and according
to their own views, to their heart's content. Down they came,
with their history of the first republic in their heads, and the
desire in their hearts of emulating the zeal of those fearful
representatives of the people of the last century, who ruled in the
departments, each a petty, but a bloody tyrant. To all alike the
same violence of disposition must not be attributed: there were a
few more prudent and better-thinking men among the number--although
they, in certain instances, were afterwards accused in high quarters
of mild laxity, and recalled as suspected of moderatism; but the
many were evidently disposed to play the tyrant to the life, in
their desperate measures to twist the country to their will. The
times, however, were changed; the spirit of the age no longer
permitted of the same violence. _Messieurs les Commissaires_ could
not well proceed by the old-established and expeditious method of
cementing the foundations of republics, one and indivisible, by
blood, or erecting the scaffolding of the edifice on scaffolds.
Shootings, drownings, and guillotinings were instruments rather
too rough to be accepted by the manners of the time. But they
had other means in their power, and according to the tenor of
their instructions, which they thought to use, and attempted to
use, with just as much effect. They dismissed functionaries in
wholesale numbers--put their creatures, or those who cringed and
worshipped, in their places, with orders to brow-beat and bully
the recalcitrant, and with the exhibition of high example before
their eyes. They threatened and accused; and when these means
failed, according to their fancy, or when they were too mild for
the taste of Master Commissary, the other underhand instruments
of terrorism, already mentioned, were employed to make men crouch
and tremble. The manner in which mobs have been excited against
the better classes, or those who were suspected of moderatism, by
manœuvres unequivocally traced to the agency of the commissaries
themselves, and the frightful excesses committed, are matters
of common notoriety and of newspaper history. The scenes of the
old Revolution were resorted to, although in another form; and
not only supposed anti-republican sentiment, but moderatism,
was endeavoured to be kept down by agents of terror, and the
ever-ready riotous populations of the great towns. It would be an
endless and a useless task to re-transcribe all the scenes of the
violence of an insensate mob, secretly got up by the republican
agents in authority, more than secretly connived at, and openly
and avowedly excused and applauded. The rod that the commissary
himself could not prudently employ, he placed in the hands of a
designedly inflamed and infuriated people, to scourge the country
to his will. One of the strongest instances, however, may be found
in that state of continual terror on the one hand, and violence
on the other, which for many long weeks hung over the head of the
doomed city of Lyons. See there the mob constituting itself into
illegally armed bodies, sundered from and inimical to the national
guards, assuming names, such as _les voraces_ and _les dévorants_,
by which they themselves marked their character, ruling the whole
city of Lyons by fear; exacting, spoliating, arresting _suspects_
at will; searching the houses of quiet inhabitants under the
pretext of conspiracies against the republic that did not exist,
and of concealed arms, such as they themselves illegally bore,
that never could be found; dragging trembling priests from the
altar to be confined in cellars, because they were suspected of
anti-republicanism; laying their hands upon church plate as the
property of traitors; liberating prisoners arrested for revolt
and disorder--arresting the magistrates who had condemned them;
dictating their orders to military officers for the release of
soldiers put under restraint; pulling a general from his horse,
and nearly immolating him to the wrath of their high justice in
the streets; commanding the fortresses, making barricades at the
least opposition to their will, domineering over the whole city as
masters--a herd of power-intoxicated savages--and the commissary
looking on, applauding, sanctioning their deeds, rubbing his hands
with satisfaction, and approving them with the words "_Allez, mes
enfans! vous faites bien!_" Such scenes as these, carried to the
utmost limits of anarchy and excess in Lyons, have been exhibited
also in almost all the great towns of France, with all the effect of
well-applied terrorism. There is scarcely one that has not similar
outrages, from the violence of an excited mob, to lay to the charge
of him who was set in authority over them--to work his will, so
said the letter of his instructions--but to preserve peace and
order, in a country where convulsions, collisions, and commotions
were so infinitely to be dreaded and avoided--so should his duty
have told him. It ought to be said, at the same time, that the
acknowledged authorities of the government were aided in their high
revolutionary mission, and in the extraordinary means they employed
in its execution, by less acknowledged agents, in the persons of
emissaries from the violent ultra clubs of Paris; who, arrogating to
themselves the right to the true expression of the only true feeling
of Paris--and consequently, _à fortiori_, of all France--racked the
country with their manœuvres, their excitements to violence, their
bullying threats and intimidations. Unacknowledged by government
authority as they were, however, their missions were bestowed
on them by the quondam friends and fellow-conspirators, under
the former reign of the Minister of the Interior; their expenses
were supported by funds, supplied no one could say by what hand,
although most might divine; their measures were evidently taken
in accordance, and in perfectly good understanding, with the
departmental commissary.

What, however, was the result? The very reverse from that intended
by _Messieurs les Commissaires_ and their supporter, the Minister
of the Interior. They over-reached themselves, and worked the very
effect they attempted to exterminate. Instead of subjugating the
departments to their will of ultra-republicanism by the violence
of terrorism, they almost roused the whole better feeling of the
country, at first quietly disposed and resigned, against the very
principles of republicanism in general. The sentiment at first
accepted was soured and embittered; the discontent and aversion
daily increased; and it was more than once openly affirmed that
the departments were ready to revolt, and formed the design of
marching upon Paris. That this subject was actually discussed in
large, and not even secret meetings in the provinces--and even in
such as had been always considered ultra-liberal and democratic
in their opinions, as parts of Normandy, for instance--admits of
but little doubt; and this feeling, although it was never actually
embodied in any living and active fact of resistance, may be taken
as one example in support of the opinion, that the children may
not always prove so submissive to the dictates of the mother,
and may one day raise their voices and hold forth their hands to
dispute her will. The open and general outbreak of the provinces,
which was at one time expected, and was the common topic of
conversation in Paris, was suppressed, however, by the influence
of the better-thinking and more prudential men in the country. But
the feeling of opposition and resistance did not fail to manifest
itself in minor demonstrations. Expostulations were at first
made against the tyranny and the inflammatory manœuvres of the
government commissaries; then broke out angry remonstrances on the
part of the _bourgeoisie_, backed by the better and quieter of the
working-classes; and at last, when all these more legitimate means
failed, the populations of several of the larger towns rose against
the provisional despot, who played the autocrat and the tyrant in
the name of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity."

The national guards took up arms to demand the revocation and
the departure of the obnoxious commissary. The commissary, in
opposition, acted the self-same part of which a despotic king
has since been so violently accused by the republican journals.
As Ferdinand of Naples is said to have excited the dregs of the
populace, the lazzaroni, to aid him in a reactionary movement in his
favour, so did even the republican commissary after the self-same
system. He caused the mob to be roused to his assistance, as to that
of the only true democratic friend of the people; he called upon
them to take up arms and combat in his defence: the lazzaroni mob of
the departments was the weapon he wielded to overcome the resistance
of the majority to his will. In most instances the recalcitrant part
of the provincial populations prevailed. In several of the larger
towns, as in Bordeaux, Bourges, and many others, the commissary was
obliged to take to flight: in some the palace of the little tyrant
was stormed, he himself was made prisoner, and was taken to the
railroad, and "packed off" back to that Paris which had sent him.
In a very few instances only the influence of the commissary gained
the day: in still less was he again returned, to be enforced upon
the department from which he had been driven; and in one case he was
sent back by the powers that were, only to be again ignominiously
expelled.

In the department of the Ariège, at the town of Foix, a journal,
founded under the auspices of the commissaries of the government,
and professing the most violent ultra-republican doctrines, was
publicly burnt by the magistrates and most influential persons of
the place, to show their contempt and abhorrence of the principles
and actions of the authority set over them. Other instances of
the general opposition, either to the commissaries themselves or
to the agents they had appointed and supported, on account of
their violence, their tyrannical measures, and their anarchical
principles, are too numerous to quote; and, generally speaking, the
feeling was so strong, that the _Messieurs les Commissaires_, or
rather, _les Citoyens Commissaires_, were obliged to give way before
the expression of popular indignation.

The departments then, for the first time, have begun to show that
they are determined not to be treated as the mere humble serfs
of the capital,--that they are resolved to have a will and an
action of their own. The results have been such that, even among
the staunch republicans in the provinces, and among those who
look to the republic as the only form of government at present
suitable to France, symptoms of a tendency to a federal system have
indubitably sprung up,--of a tendency, in fact, to that system
in opposition to which, under the first revolution, the title of
"one and indivisible,"--so little understood at the present day,
so constantly repeated by the herd without any real meaning being
attached to it,--was bestowed upon the republic. The fear of a
powerfully organised resistance to the sacred principles of French
republicanism,--unity and indivisibility,--is, at this very time,
one of the bugbears by which those in power are terrified and
haunted. But, whether this fear be well founded or not, it suffices
for the present purpose, to show that a disunited feeling exists to
a great extent between the departments and the capital; and that,
while on the one hand the former begin to show a disposition to
resist the overweening influence and tyrannical importance of the
former, on the other, a dread is beginning to be expressed of their
growing discontent, and a suspicion is constantly expressed of their
increasing tendency to reactionary principles, likely to prove
eventually subversive to the republic. Among those "lookers-on,"
who proverbially "see the most of the game," there are some who, in
their exceptional and impartial position as foreigners, are able
to see expressed in letters from the provinces "curses, not loud,
but deep," against "that detestable, unruly, and insolent Paris,
that has made alone a hateful revolution, which it imposes on all
France." It cannot, however, be said, at the same time, that any
reactionary feeling against the republic itself, and a republican
form of government, prevails in the country at large. That which
is thought to be stigmatised by the ultra party with the term of
"reaction," appears, as yet, to be nothing but the acceptation of
a republic based upon the principles of peace and order; but, at
the same time, an opposition to all views and doctrines likely to
produce disorder and anarchy. And yet still, in another sense,
the feeling of the country at large cannot be said to be strictly
republican: the "true men" might be in vain sought except in the
disorderly, tumultuous, excitable, and easily stirred populations of
the great manufacturing towns.

Shortly after the appointment of the obnoxious commissaries, several
causes arose to increase the discontent of the departments, not only
among the _ci-devant_ upper and middling classes, but among the
lower classes,--particularly in the agricultural districts, and more
especially among that peasant population that has so universally
in France acquired a little property in land. One of these causes
was the imposition of the new taxes. Under the former _régime_,
France had been crushed down by the weight of its impositions. One
of the first advantages of the republic was announced, in official
proclamations, to consist in the removal of taxes, and in the
enormous diminution of state expenses necessarily attendant upon a
republican form of government. Already the country people looked to
a release from the greater part of their obligations: the system of
"no taxes at all," they thought, in their _naïveté_, was to follow;
instead of which came very shortly the decree, begging the country
for the loan of a certain proportion of the taxes for the ensuing
year beforehand, in order to meet the deficiencies in the finances,
followed up almost immediately by the more imperative ordinance,
imposing the additional 45 per cent in support of the increased,
not diminished, expenses of the republican government. In many
parts of the country the peasant population refused to pay this
additional tax, or responded only to the demand with that equivocal
answer, so characteristic of the French peasant, "We'll see about
it." It nevertheless, however, refused to pay at the same time the
rents of its landlords, upon the pretext that it was ruined by the
revolution, and the exactions of the republic. It was in vain that
the government protested that these measures were necessitated by
the financial dilapidations of the dethroned dynasty. Clear-sighted
enough where their own interests are concerned, the French peasants
in the provinces replied by denunciations of that odious Paris.
Paris, they declared, had chosen to make for the nonce a revolution
in which they had not aided, and which they had not desired; and
then Paris turned to its own advantage alone the results of that
revolution. It had imposed upon all France, by calling for resources
from a country already drained, to be lavishly squandered in
rewarding the idleness of its own tumultuous and unruly inhabitants
among the working-classes, which it dreaded, by the establishment of
its expensive so-called _ateliers nationaux_, and by paying fresh
troops under the name _gardes mobiles_,--when the standing army was
already such a burden the country,--for the sake of draining off and
regularising the worst dregs of its own population, and satisfying
the caprices of a riotous Parisian mob, that chose to object to the
presence of the old military force among it, while it accepted a new
defensive and repressive force, in addition to the former, under a
new title. Upon such questions, of vital importance to their own
interests, the country people of the provinces were not disposed
to listen to argument or reason; and in the discontent at the
exorbitant exactions of the capital the jealousy of the departments
towards Paris waxed stronger and stronger.

Another cause, which added greatly to the increasing apprehension
and aversion was the preaching of the communist doctrines in Paris,
upon the first establishment of republican principles, and the
support apparently given to these wild and spoliating principles by
certain members of the Provisional Government itself. If there be
any feeling more alive than any other in the breast of the French
peasant, it is that attached to the acquirement and the possession
of landed property in however humble a form, be it but a small field
or a tiny vineyard. If he has any hope, any ambition, any sentiment,
which he thinks worth living for, it is the extension, by any and
every means, of his small domain. On the fact of this possession
are concentrated all the mainspring motives and agencies of his
whole existence--in this, his industry, his talent, his cunning,
his thoughts, his affections, his very love for his children, to
whom he hopes to transmit it. The great _mobile_ of the character of
the French peasant is self-interest in this respect. The doctrines,
then, which preached that the possession of all landed property by
individuals is an infamous spoliation of the _res publica_, filled
the country people in the provinces with the liveliest alarm, and
contributed to establish a still greater hatred to a state of things
that tended to produce results so fatally detrimental to all that
they held dear. The Parisian, almost as blindly ignorant of the
state of his own country--which, in his theory that Paris is all
France, he looks upon with indifference, if not contempt--as he is
proverbially utterly ignorant of every other country beyond the
frontiers of France, even the most neighbouring--and, in fact, of
every thing that touches upon geography or the state of nations, of
which he has only the vaguest and most incorrect notions--thought
that all his wild fraternity schemes, developed and accepted by
those who possessed nothing, in the capital, would be received
with enthusiasm also by the "miserable, oppressed, and tyrannised
inhabitant of the fields and plains;"--such was the language used,
and eagerly caught up. The Parisian soon found, by experience, that
he had made a gross mistake. The emissaries sent down into the
provinces by the professors and high-priests of communism, or by the
ultra clubs, and supported, there is every reason to believe, by
the members of the government before alluded to, met only with the
most active repulsion. Their Utopian ideas of universal fraternity
and spoliation of property were scorned, scouted, and opposed:
themselves were hooted, pelted, almost lapidated as incendiary
enemies of the peasant. "The innocent and humble inhabitant of
the fields" was indignant, insulted, aggrieved, that he should
be so contemptuously considered "miserable and oppressed:" he
showed himself in the light of the landed proprietor, the most
avariciously interested in the possession of property, and by no
means the _naif_ individual the Parisian had been accustomed to
believe him, according to his text-books of _vaudevilles_ and
melodramas. The agents of communistic doctrines were forced to
retreat in dudgeon, to declare the French peasant the most ignorant
and pig-headed animal upon earth, still under the yoke of the
tyrants, and _endoctriné_ by the aristocrats; and to avow that
the departments were not ripe for the enlightenment of communism,
perhaps even to denounce them as infamously reactionary. Certain it
is that communistic doctrines found no enthusiastic disciples in the
country; or, if the propagandism made any steps, it was after the
fashion so characteristically depicted in a caricature published
by the _Charivari_, in which a peasant appears before the mayor of
his _commune_ to say, that, since a general _partage des biens_ is
to take place, he puts down his name for the _château_, but makes
a most wofully wry face upon hearing that his own field has been
already divided among the paupers of the village. The propagation of
communism, then, only excited fears instead of hopes, consternation
instead of joy, and tended still more to indispose the country
people, and excite their aversion and discontent towards a state of
things likely to become so prejudicial to their interests: more than
ever, they were disposed to revolt.

In this state was the feeling of the country at large when the
general elections came on, accompanied by all the violence of
party manœuvre to support the principles of ultra-republicanism,
advocated by the unscrupulous minister of the nation; but all
these efforts tended only to indispose it still more, and to call
forth, in spite of the desperate opposition made, its sense in
favour of respect of property, order, and moderatism of views in
the republic, if republic there was to be. As is well known, an
immense majority of those men of moderate principles, whom all
the ill-judged and hateful efforts of the violent and reckless
republicans at the head of affairs had so greatly contributed to
form into a decided, self-conscious, and compact party of opponents,
was returned to the Assembly. Most of the leading men of the liberal
party under the former dynasty, who had stood forward as friends
of progressive reform, but not as opponents to the constitutional
monarchy principle, were likewise elected, with great majorities,
by the suffrages of the people. The country declared its will to
be against the views of the principal and stirring influence which
emanated from the reckless man who governed the interior affairs
of the country in the capital. But it did not forget, at the same
time, and it still bears an inveterate grudge to the violent agents
of that ultra-republicanism, chiefly concentrated in Paris, who
had filled the country with disorder, tumult, terror, and, in some
cases, bloodshed, by the atrocious and outrageous means it placed in
the hands of a riotous mob to overawe them, and sway the direction
of the elections, and by the base manœuvres employed to attain their
ends. It does not forget the despotism of certain commissaries, who,
after having their own lists of ultra-democratic candidates, whom
they intended to force down the throats of the electors, printed,
threatened the printer, who should dare to print any other, with
their high displeasure, and caused them to shut up their press. It
does not forget the seizure of those papers that proposed moderate
candidates, with every attempt to strangle in practice that liberty
of the press which was so clamorously claimed in theory. It does
not forget the voters' lists torn from the hands of voters by a
purposely excited mob. It does not forget the odious manœuvre by
which agents were largely paid and sent about to cry "_Vive Henri
V._" in the streets of towns, in order to induce the belief in
a Bourbonist reactionary party, and thus rouse the passions and
feelings of the flattered and declamation-intoxicated mob against
the moderates, regardless of the consequences--of the animosity
and the bloodshed. It does not forget the intimidation, the threat
of fire and sword, the opposition by force to the voting of whole
villages suspected of moderatism--the collision, the constraint,
the conflict, the violence. It does not forget all this, nor also
that it owes the outrage, the alarm, and the suffering, the ruin
to peace and order, to commerce, to well-being, to fortune, to
that central power which turned a legion of demons upon it, in the
shape of revolutionary emissaries and agents. It forgets still
less the scenes of Limoges, where a mob were turned loose into
the polling-house to destroy the votes, drive out the national
guards, disarm these defenders of order and right, and form a mob
government, to rule and terrorise the town, while Master Commissary
looked on, and told the people that it did well, and laughed in his
sleeve. It forgets still less the fury of the disappointed upon
the result of the elections, their incitements to insurrections,
their preachings of armed resistance for the sake of annulling the
elections, obtained, it must never be forgotten, by _universal
suffrage_, in face of their culpable manœuvres: the emissaries
again sent down from the clubs, and with an apparent connivance
of certain ultra-members of the government, from the charge of
which, now more than ever since the conspiracy of the 15th May,
they will scarcely be able to acquit themselves: the efforts of
these emissaries to make the easily excited and tumultuous lower
classes take up arms, and the bloody conflicts in the streets of
Rouen: the complicity of the very magistrates appointed by these
members of the government--the terror and the bloodshed, and then
the cry of the furious ultras that the people had been treacherously
assassinated--the conspiracies and incendiary projects of the
vanquished at Marseilles, the troubles of Lisle, of Amiens, of
Lyons, of Aubusson, of Rhodez, of Toulouse, of Carcassonne--why
swell the list of names?--of almost every town in France, all with
the same intent of destroying those elections of representatives
which the country had proclaimed in the sense of order and of
moderatism. It forgets still less the dangers of that same 15th
May, when the government was for a few hours overthrown, by the
disorderly, the disappointed, the discontented, the violent ultra
republicans, the conspirators of Paris,--when some of those, who
had been formerly their rulers, were arrested as accomplices, and
others still in power can scarcely yet again avoid the accusation
and conviction of complicity.

All the other troubles of this distracted country, since the
revolution of February, may be passed over--the ruin to commerce,
the poverty, misery, and want, the military revolts excited by
the same emissaries to cause divisions in the army, as likewise
the unhappy troubles of Nismes, where the disturbances took
a religions tendency--as a conflict of creeds between Roman
Catholics and Protestants, rather than a political or even a social
character,--although they still bore evidence of the disorder of
the times and the disturbance of the country. The elections, then,
contributed more powerfully than ever to the fermentation, the
discontent, the mistrust, and the ill-will of the country.

In this state of France, with the feeling of impatient jealousy
and irritation against tyranny and despotism expressed by the
departments towards the capital, with the evident disunion between
the provinces and Paris, what are likely to be the destinies of
the Republic hereafter? Again it must be said--who can tell,
who foresee, who predict? The Republic has been accepted, and
is maintained, from a love of order and the _status quo_: but
there is no enthusiasm, no admiration for the republican form of
government throughout the country at large; there is, at most,
indifference to any government, whatever it may be, provided it but
insure the stability and prosperity of the country. If an opinion
may be hazarded, however, it is, that the danger to the present
established form of things will not arise so much from the conflict
of contending parties in the capital, as from the discontent,
disaffection, jealousy, and, perhaps, final outbreak and resistance
of the departments. Terrorism has had its day; and it would be
difficult, if not impossible, to apply the system once again to the
country in its present state. What other means will the violent
possess--what coercive measures, if, when parties come to an issue,
the wearied and disgusted country should rise to protest against the
disorders of Republican Paris? There seem at present to be none. The
result of such an outbreak would be inevitable civil war. The strong
instance before alluded to, of the determination of the departments
to assert a will of their own, was given in a very striking
manner in the affair of the 15th May. One of the conspirators got
possession of the electric telegraph at the Home Office, and sent
down despatches into all the provinces, to inform the country
that the Assembly was dissolved, and the new government of the
ultra-anarchist party had taken the reins of power. Instead of being
awed into submission as heretofore, instead of calmly and resignedly
accepting the _fait accompli_ as was their wont, the departments
immediately rose to protest against the new revolution of Paris.
Before a counter-despatch could be sent down into the provinces,
to let them know that the former order of things was restored, the
national guards of all the great towns were up and out, with the cry
"to arms!" and it was resolved to march upon Paris. It was not only
in the towns within a day's journey of the capital that the movement
was spontaneously made. In the furthest parts of the country, from
the cities of Avignon, Marseilles, Nismes, and all the south of
France, the national guards were already on their way towards the
capital, before the information that declared the more satisfactory
result of the day could be made public. It is more than probable,
then, that, should a desperate faction ever seize upon the power, or
even should a close conflict of parties further endanger the safety
of the country and its tottering welfare, that the provinces would
again take up arms against Paris, and that a civil war would be the
result.

This is rather a suggestion hazarded, than a prediction made, as to
the future fate of the French republic. Whatever that future may be,
an uneasy submission on the part of a great anti-republican majority
to the active agency of a small republican minority--but, at the
same time, a desire of maintaining a government, whatever it may be,
if supportable, for tranquillity's sake; a feeling of humiliation
and degradation in this utter submission to the will of Paris
throughout the country--but, at the same time, an apparent growing
determination eventually to resist that will, should it at last
prove intolerable--such is the present state of Republican France.



COLONISATION.

_Journal of an Expedition into the Interior of Tropical Australia_,
&c. By Lieut.-Colonel Sir T. MITCHELL, Surveyor-General, &c. 1 vol.
London: Longmans.


Australia is the greatest accession to substantial power ever made
by England. It is the _gift_ of a _Continent_, unstained by war,
usurpation, or the sufferings of a people. But even this is but a
narrow view of its value. It is the addition of a territory, almost
boundless, to the possessions of mankind; a location for a new
family of man, capable of supporting a population equal to that of
Europe; or probably, from its command of the ocean, and from the
improved systems, not merely of commercial communication, but of
agriculture itself, capable of supplying the wants of double the
population of Europe. It is, in fact, the virtual future addition
of three hundred millions of human beings, who otherwise would not
have existed. And besides all this, and perhaps of a higher order
than all, is the transfer of English civilisation, laws, habits,
industrial activity, and national freedom, to the richest, but the
most abject countries of the globe; an imperial England at the
Antipodes, securing, invigorating, and crowning all its benefits by
its religion.

Within the last fifty years, the population of the British islands
has nearly tripled; it is increasing in England alone at the rate of
a thousand a day. In every kingdom of the Continent it is increasing
in an immense ratio. The population is becoming too great for the
means of existence. Every trade is overworked, every profession
is overstocked, every expedient for a livelihood threatens to be
exhausted under this vast and perpetual influx of life; and the
question of questions is, How is this burthen to be lightened?

There can be but one answer,--Emigration. For the last century,
common sense, urged by common necessity, directed the stream of
this emigration to the great outlying regions of the western world.
North America was the chief recipient. Since the conquest of Canada,
annual thousands had directed their emigration to the British
possessions: the conquest of the Cape has drawn a large body of
settlers to its fine climate; but Australia remained, and remains
for the grand future field of British emigration.

The subject has again come before the British public with additional
interest. The Irish famine, the British financial difficulties,
and the palpable hazard of leaving a vast pauperism to grow up
in ignorance, have absolutely compelled an effort to relieve the
country. A motion has just been made in Parliament by Lord Ashley,
giving the most startling details of the infant population; and
demanding the means of sending at least its orphan portion to some
of those colonial possessions, where they may be trained to habits
of industry, and have at least a chance of an honest existence. We
shall give a few of these details, and they are of the very first
importance to humanity. On the 6th of June Lord Ashley brought in a
resolution, "That it is expedient that means be annually provided
for the voluntary emigration, to some one of her Majesty's colonies,
of a certain number of young persons of both sexes, who have been
educated in the schools, ordinarily called 'ragged schools,' in and
about the metropolis."

In the speech preparatory to this resolution, a variety of
statements were made, obtained from the clergy and laity of London.
It was ascertained that the number of children, either deserted
by their parents, or sent out by their parents to beg and steal,
could not be less than 30,000 in the metropolis alone. Their habits
were filthy, wretched, and depraved. Their places of living by day
were the streets, and by night every conceivable haunt of misery
and sin. They had no alternative but to starve, or to grow up into
professional thieves, perhaps murderers. Of the general population,
the police reports stated, that in 1847 there had been taken into
custody 62,181 individuals of both sexes and all ages. Of these,
20,702 were females, and 47,479 males. Of the whole, 15,693 were
under twenty years of age, 3,682 between fifteen and ten, and 362
under ten. Of the whole, 22,075 could neither read nor write, and
35,227 could read only, or read and write imperfectly.

The average attendance last year in the "ragged schools" was
4000. Of these 400 had been in prison, 600 lived by begging, 178
were the children of convicts, and 800 had lost one or both their
parents, and of course were living by their own contrivances. Out
of the 62,000, there were not less than 28,113 who had no trade, or
occupation, or honest livelihood whatever!

The statement then proceeded to consider the expense to which the
nation was put to keep down crime. It will perhaps surprise those
readers who object to the expenses of emigration.

  In 1847. The expense of Parkhurst Prison was £14,349
    "      Of Pentonville Prison,               18,307
  In 1846. Of County Gaols,                    147,145
    "      Of County Houses of Correction,     160,841
    "      Of Rural Police,                    180,000
    "      Of Prosecutions for Coining,          9,000
  In 1847. Of Metropolitan Police,             363,164

The whole but a few items, yet amounting to a million sterling
annually. In this we observe the Millbank Penitentiary, an immense
establishment, Newgate, the Compter, and the various places of
detention in the city, are not included; and there is no notice of
the expenses of building, which in the instance of the Penitentiary
alone amounted to a million.

Yet, to dry up the source of this tremendous evil, Lord Ashley
asks only an expenditure of £100,000 annually, to transform 30,000
growing thieves into honest men, idlers into cultivators of the
soil, beggars into possessors of property, which the generality of
settlers become, on an average of seven years.

There can be no rational denial of the benefit, and even of the
necessity, of rescuing those unfortunate creatures from a career
which, beginning in vice and misery, must go on in public mischief,
and end in individual ruin. Lord Ashley's suggestion is that the
plan shall be first tried on the moderate scale of sending 500 boys,
and 500 girls, chosen from the ragged schools of London, under
proper superintendents, to the most fitting of the colonies; by
which we understand Australia. The plan may then be extended to the
other parts of the kingdom, to Scotland and Ireland. He concluded by
placing his motion in the hands of government, who, through the Home
Secretary, promised to give it all consideration.

It is certainly lamentable that such statements are to be made;
and we have little doubt that the foreign journalist will exult in
this evidence of what they call "the depravity of England." But,
it is to be remembered that London has a population of nearly two
millions--that all the idleness, vice, and beggary of an island
of twenty millions are constantly pouring into it--that _foreign_
vice, idleness, and beggary contribute their share, and that
what is abhorred and _corrected_ in England, is overlooked, and
even cherished abroad. It is also to be remembered, that there
is a continual temptation to plunder in the exposed wealth of
the metropolis, and a continual temptation to mendicancy in the
proverbial humanity of the people.

Still, crime must be punished wherever it exists, and vice must be
reformed wherever man has the means; and, therefore, we shall exult
in the success of any judicious plan of emigration.

It happens, at this moment, that there is an extraordinary demand
for emigration; that every letter from Australia calls for a supply
of human life, and especially for an emigration of females,--the
proportion of males to females in some of the settlements being 9 to
1, while the number of females predominates, by the last census in
England.

There is a daily demand for additional labourers, artificers, and
household servants, and with offers of wages which in England
neither labourer nor artisan could hope to obtain. Thousands are now
offered employment, comfort, and prospective wealth in Australia,
who must burthen the workhouse at home. The advantages are so
evident, the necessity is so strong, and the opportunity is so
prompt and perfect, that they _must_ result in a national plan of
constant emigration, until Australia can contain no more--an event
which may not happen for a thousand years.

It happens, also, by a striking coincidence, that Australian
discovery has just assumed new vigour; and that instead of the
barrenness and deformity which were generally supposed to form
the principal characteristics of this vast territory, immense
tracts have been brought to European knowledge for the first time,
exhibiting remarkable fertility, and even the most unexpected and
singular beauty. We now give a sketch of the journey in which those
discoveries were made.

To explore the interior of this great country has been the object
of successive expeditions for the last five-and-twenty years. But
such was the want of system or the want of means, that nothing was
done, except to increase the tales of wonder regarding the middle
regions of Australia. The theorists were completely divided; one
party insisting on the existence of a mediterranean or mighty lake
in the central region, _because_ there was a tendency in some of the
small rivers of the coast to flow inward. Others, with quite as much
plausibility, laughed at the idea; and, from having felt a hot wind
occasionally blowing from the west, had no doubt that the central
region was a total waste, a desert of fiery sand, an Australian
Sahara! while both parties seem to have been equally erroneous, so
far as any actual discovery has been made.

But it seems equally extraordinary, that even the only two
expeditions which within our time have added largely to our
knowledge, alike should have neglected the most obvious and
almost the only useful means of discovery. The especial object of
exploration must be, to ascertain the existence of considerable
rivers pouring into the sea, because it is only thus that the
government can effectively form settlements. The especial difficulty
of the explorers is, to find provisions, or carry the means of
subsistence along with them. Both difficulties would be obviated by
the steam-boat, and by nothing else. The natural process, therefore,
would be, to embark the expedition in a well appointed and well
provisioned steamer; to anchor it at the necessary distance from the
coast, which in general has deep and sheltered water, within the
great rocky ridge; and then send out the explorers for fifty or a
hundred miles north and south, making the steamer the headquarters.
Thus they might ascertain every feature of the coast, inch by inch,
be secure of subsistence, and be free from native hostility.

Yet all the expeditions have been overland, generally with the most
imminent hazard of being starved, and occasionally losing some of
their number by attacks from the natives. Thus also the present
expedition of the surveyor succeeded but in part, though it had
the merit of discovering that the reports of Australian barrenness
belonged but to narrow tracts, while the general character of the
country towards the north was of striking fertility. The purpose of
Sir T. Mitchell's late expedition was, to ascertain the probability
of a route from Sydney to the Gulf of Carpentaria. But as this
route was to be made dependent on a presumed river flowing into the
gulf, the actual object was to reach the head of that river--an
object which could have been more effectually attained by tracing it
upward from the gulf; and, in consequence of not so tracing it, the
expedition ultimately failed.

To establish an easy connexion between the colony of New South
Wales and the traffic of the Indian Ocean had long been a matter of
great interest. Torres Strait, the only channel to the north, is
a remarkably dangerous navigation; while, by forming an overland
communication directly with the Gulf of Carpentaria to the west of
the strait, the commerce would find an open sea. A trade in horses
had also commenced with India, which was impeded by the hazards of
the strait. There had also been a steam communication with England
by Singapore, and there was a hope that this line might be connected
with a line from the gulf.

The idea of tracing a river towards the north was a conjecture
of several years' standing, in some degree founded on the natural
probability that an immense indentation of the land could not but
exhibit some outlet for the course of a considerable fall of waters,
and also that there had been a report by a Bushman, of having
followed its course to the sea.

After some difficulties with the governor, which were obviated by a
vote of the Colonial Legislature of £2000 for the expenses of the
expedition, it set out from Paramatta on the 17th of November 1845.
The expedition consisted of Sir Thomas Mitchell; E. B. Kennedy,
Esq., assistant-surveyor; William Stephenson, Esq., surgeon and
naturalist; twenty-three convicts, who volunteered for the sake
of a free pardon, which was to be their only payment; and three
freemen. They had a numerous list of baggage conveyances, &c. &c.;
eight drays, drawn by eighty bullocks; two boats, thirteen horses,
four private horses, three light carts, and provisions for a year,
including two hundred and fifty sheep, which travelled along with
them, constituting a chief part of their animal food. They had also
gelatine and pork. The surveyor-general preferred light carts, and
horses in place of bullocks; but it was suggested that the strong
drays were necessary, and that bullocks were more enduring than
horses--the latter an opinion soon found to be erroneous. It is
rather singular, that either opinion should not have been settled
fifty years ago.

Some natural and well-expressed reflections arise, in the course of
this volume, on the lonely life of the settler. Its despondency,
and its inutility to advance his moral nature, are in some measure
attributed to the absence of the "gentler sex."

"At this sheep station," says Sir Thomas, "I met with an individual
who had seen better days, and had lost his property amid the wreck
of colonial bankruptcies; a 'tee-totaller,' with Pope's 'Essay
on Man' for his consolation, in a _bark hut_. This man spoke of
the depravity of shepherd life as excessive.... The pastoral
life, so favourable to the enjoyment of nature, has always been a
favourite with the poets. But here it appears to be the antipodes
of all poetry and propriety, simply because man's better half
is wanting. Under this unfavourable aspect the white man comes
before the aboriginal. Were they intruders, accompanied with wives
and children, they would not be half so unwelcome. In this, too,
consists one of the most striking differences between settling and
squatting. Indeed, if it were an object to _uncivilise_ the human
race, I know of no method more likely to effect it, than to isolate
a man from the gentler sex and children. Remove afar off all courts
of justice and means of redress of grievances, all churches and
schools, all shops where he can make use of money, and then place
him in close contact with savages. 'What better off am I than a
black native!' was the exclamation of a shepherd to me."

A general description of the aspect of New South Wales would be
difficult, from its extreme diversity in parts; but the general
face of the country is marked by lines of granite hills; short
water-courses, which in summer are dry, or retain the water only
in pools; clumps of trees, generally dotted over the soil, and
occasional _prairies_. But the soil is generally fertile, and, in
the spring, exhibits a great variety of flowers. Thus the land is
every where fit for European life, though in the same latitude
with the hottest portions of Africa. It has occasional gushes of
intense heat, but they seem not to have affected the health of the
expedition; and with that progress of comforts which follows all
civilisation, the heat and cold alike may be successfully mitigated.
We have not heard of any endemic in Australia; the epidemic has
never visited its shores. The chief want in the pasture-grounds
is water, but even that is merely the result of the rudeness of
early settling; for vast quantities of water run to waste, or are
lost in swamps, which future colonists will receive in tanks, and
check with dams. The capricious abundance and deficiency of this
prime necessary of life, for it is more essential than food, is
shown in a striking, passage of this picturesque Journal. They were
still within the sheep-feeding country. Water was much wanted.
Mr Stephenson, the naturalist, was sent out on the inquiry. He
returned soon, having met two of the mounted police, who told him
that "a flood was coming down from the Turon Mountains."

"But the little encampment was held in suspense. Still, the bed
of the Macquarie continued so dry, that the report could scarcely
be believed. Towards evening, a man was stationed with a gun, to
give a signal on the appearance of the flood. The shades of evening
came, but no flood; and the man returned. This was a period of
considerable anxiety, for the need of water was urgent.

"Some hours later, and after the moon had risen, a murmuring sound,
like that of a distant waterfall, mingled with occasional cracks,
as of breaking timber, drew our attention." They then returned to
the river bank. Still no flood appeared, though they continued to
hear the sounds of the crashing timber. At length an increase of the
sounds told them that the water was in the next bend. All this, in
a serene moonlight night, was new. At length it came, and came in
power and beauty.

"It rushed into our sight, glittering in the moonbeams, a moving
_cataract_; tossing before it ancient trees, and snapping them
against its banks. It was preceded by a _point_ of meandering water,
picking its way, like a thing of life, through the deepest parts of
the dark, dry, and shady bed of what thus again became a flowing
river." The phenomenon might make a fine subject for the pencil, if
our artists were not divided between the palace and the pigstye. The
noble river rolling along under a _tropical_ moon; the wild country
around, with its forests and hills touched by the light; the bronzed
faces and bold figures of the men of the expedition, gazing with
natural surprise and gladness at this relief, and at the majestic
object before them; and even the cattle hurrying up from the
encampment, to cool the thirst which had pressed so severely on them
during the day, all were made for the finest efforts of the pencil.

"By my party," says Sir T. Mitchell, "situated as we were at the
time--beating about the country, and impeded in our journey solely
by the almost total absence of water--suffering excessively from
thirst and extreme heat,--I am convinced the scene can _never_ be
forgotten! _There_ came abundance at once, the product of storms in
the far-off mountains, that _overlooked our homes_! My first impulse
was to have welcomed this flood on our knees; for the scene was
sublime in itself, while the subject, an abundance of water sent to
us in a desert, greatly heightened the effect to our eyes. I had
witnessed nothing of the kind in all my Australian travels."

But the writer is an accomplished man of science, and he leads the
contemplation to still more glorious things, "Even the heavens
presented something new, at least uncommon, and therefore in harmony
with this scene. The variable Star of Argol had increased to the
first magnitude, just above the beautiful constellation of the
Southern Cross, which slightly inclined over the river, in the only
portion of sky seen through the trees. That very red star, thus
increasing in magnitude, might, as characteristic of her rivers,
be recognised as the 'Star of Australia,' when Europeans cross the
line. The flood gradually filled up the channel nearly bank high,
while the living cataract travelled onward much slower than I had
expected to see it; so slowly, indeed, that more than an hour after
its first arrival, the _sweet music_ of the head of the flood was
distinctly audible from my tent, as the murmur of waters and crash
of logs travelled slowly through the tortuous windings of the river
bed. I was finally lulled to sleep by that melody of waters."

It has been often remarked, that Europeans once accustomed to a life
of wandering, can never return to the life of cities; and even the
clever journalist before us appears to have been a little captivated
with this life of the wilderness. It may be easily admitted, that
vigorous health, and active exercise, variety of objects, even if
those objects are no more than new ridges of mountains or new rills
of water; with keen appetite and sound sleep, are all excellent
things in their style. But, is life given to man only to eat, gaze,
and sleep? What is the life of the wilderness above that of the
brute? The true improvement of man, and, therefore, the especial
employment intended for man, is, that increase of knowledge, of
command over the powers of nature, and of the various means of
adding to the conveniences, comforts and value of human existence,
which, delivered down to us by our forefathers, it is our part to
deliver with increase to our posterity. But the savage improves in
nothing; he is as much a brute this year as he was a thousand years
ago. Savagery is, in practice, a total defeat and denial of all the
original purposes for which our nature was made. And it is with some
regret and more surprise, that we quote, from such a source, such
language as the following:--

"We set out, guided by our native friend," (a savage whom they had
hired to lead them to some water-courses.) "He was a very perfect
specimen of the _genus_ homo, and such as is _never_ to be seen,
except in the precincts of savage life, _undegraded_ by any scale
of _graduated classes_; and the countless _bars_ these present
to the free enjoyment of existence." Whether this is actually a
recommendation that we should throw off our clothes and walk in
nudity, for the purpose of recovering the original elegance of our
shapes, or whether it is the borrowed rapture of some savage in
person which the gallant officer has transplanted into his pages,
to vary his more rational conceptions, we know not; but he has
_not_ made us converts to the pleasures of cold, hunger, filth, and
bloodshed, which furnish the realities of savage life, even in the
paradisaic solitudes of Australia.

The savage, in his original state, is simply an animal, superior to
his own dog only in sharpness of intellect; but wholly inferior to
his dog in fidelity and affection. All savages are tyrannical--cruel
to their wives, if wives they can be called--and in general
cheating and plundering wherever they can. As to their bodily
organs, of course, they cannot be perverted where they cannot
reach temptation; but no savage comprehends moral restraint, and
he gets drunk whenever he has the opportunity, and robs wherever
he finds any thing to steal. On the other hand, civilisation
necessarily enfeebles no man, and what the gallant Colonel regards
as its "degradation of man by classes," produces quite the contrary
effect; for the humbler the class, generally the more vigorous--as
the peasant is a stronger man than the artisan, and the artisan
than the nobleman. Even the idea that savage limbs can do more
than civilised, is equally erroneous. A well clothed and well fed
Englishman, if well formed, and with some training, will outwork,
outrun, and outwrestle any savage from pole to pole. A ropedancer,
a tumbler, or a horserider, at any of our theatres, though bred
in the very heart of civilisation, or even in the hotbed of its
temptations, will perform feats of activity which would defy all the
muscles of a generation of savages. The truth is, that civilisation
improves the features, the form, and the powers of the human frame.
Men in society may be indolent, and throw away their advantages; but
society is the place for man. Rousseau, once made a noise by talking
nonsense on this subject; but Rousseau _knew_ that he was talking
nonsense. Whether his imitators are equally cognisant of their own
performances, is another question; but we come to better things.

This journey settled the disputed point of "horses or bullocks,
light carts, or heavy drays." The bullocks and the drays were a
perpetual annoyance; to feed and water the one, and to drag the
other, soon became the grand difficulty of the expedition. We find
the Colonel perpetually leaving them to follow, when any peculiar
object of exploration was in view. At length the whole "park" was
left to take its rest, under the second in command; and the Colonel,
with eight men, two native boys, fourteen horses, and two light
carts, with provisions for ten weeks, moved to the northward, to
trace where the division of the waters was to be found, and then
follow some of them down to the Gulf.

We were not prepared for the beauty sometimes exhibited by the
Australian landscape. The Journal compares it to a succession
of Ruysdaels. "The masses of rock, lofty trees, shining sands,
and patches of water in wild confusion; the mimosæ, the
Anthistiria-grass, of a red brown, contrasting most harmoniously
with the light green bushes; all those again so opposed to the dark
hues of the casuarinæ, mimosæ, and rifted rocks, that a Ruysdael or
a Gainsborough might have found an inexhaustible stock of subjects
for the pencil."

This wild travelling has its discomforts, and now and then its
dangers; but it is a perpetual source of exciting sensations.
Every step is new, and every day's journey may place the traveller
within some region of unexpected value or beauty. One of the hopes
of the Journalist, on commencing this portion of his travels, was
to discover a chain of hills to the northwest, from which he might
trace the course of a river to the Gulf. At last this chain rose
before his eyes.

"The most interesting sight to me was that of blue pics at a great
distance to the northwest, the object of all my dreams of discovery
for years. _No white man had before seen them._ There we might hope
to find the division of the waters still undiscovered--the pass to
Carpentaria still unexplored. I called this hill Mount First-View,
and descended, delighted with what I had seen from its rocky crest."
The latitude was 27°, yet the thermometer at sunrise was but at 45°,
at noon 68°, and at 9 P.M. 45°.

The captivations of the scenery were equal to the delights of the
temperature, though so near the tropics.--"An Australian morning
is always charming. Amid those scenes of primæval nature it seemed
exquisitely so. The barita or gymnoskina, the organ-magpie, was
here represented by a much smaller bird, whose notes, resembling
the softest breathings of a flute, were the only sounds that met
the ear. What the stillness of evening adds to such sounds in other
climes, is felt more intensely in the stillness of morn in this."

The forms of the vegetation, both tree and shrub, are picturesque,
and the colours are finer still:--"Instead of autumnal tints,
there is a perpetual blending of the richest hues of autumn with
the most brilliant verdure of spring; while the sun's welcome
rays in a winter's morning, and the cool breath of the woods in a
summer morning, are equally grateful. This was in the depth of the
Australian winter, and, which sounds oddly to the European ear, in
the 'merry month of June.'"

Advancing still to the north, a country of an extraordinary kind was
reached in July; and they had now found, that most important of all
objects in a wilderness, a fine "flowing stream, full of sparkling
water to the margin." The Journalist seems quite enamoured with
the surrounding scene, a miniature Australian Switzerland:--"The
hills overhanging it surpassed any I had ever seen, in picturesque
outline. Some resembled Gothic cathedrals in ruins; some forts;
other masses were perforated; and being mixed and contrasted with
the flowing outlines of evergreen woods, and having a fine stream in
the foreground, gave a charming appearance to the whole country. It
was a vision worthy of the toils of a pilgrimage. Those beautiful
recesses of unpeopled earth could no longer remain unknown. The
better to mark them out on any map, I gave to the valley the name
of Salvator Rosa. The rocks stood out sharply and sublimely from
the thick woods, just as John Martin's fertile imagination would
dash them out in his beautiful landscapes. I never saw any thing
in nature come so near those creations of genius and imagination."
But this river, which they followed for some time, ran so far to
the east, that they justly began to doubt its being the one of
which they were in search and they turned again to the north. They
now passed into a fine level country, incomparably formed for
settlement. "An almost boundless extent of the richest surface in
a solitude corresponding to that of (southern) China, yet still
unoccupied by man. A great reserve provided by Nature for the
extension of his race."

They left the Salvator between the 21st and 22d degrees of latitude,
and moved to the north-west. There at length their aspirations,
though only partially, were probably realised. In the middle of
September they reached some heights, from which lay before them
a vast extent of open downs traversed by a river, traceable to
the utmost verge of the horizon, and falling to the _north-west_!
"Ulloa's delight at the first view of the Pacific could not have
surpassed mine," is the natural exclamation of the Journalist. "Nor
could the fervour with which he was impressed have exceeded my sense
of gratitude for being allowed to make such a discovery. From that
rock the scene was so extensive as to leave _no room for doubt_ as
to the course of the river, which, then and there revealed to me
alone, seemed like a reward direct from Heaven for perseverance,
and as a compensation for the many sacrifices which I had made, in
order to solve the question as to the interior rivers of tropical
Australia."

From the 16th to the 24th of September the course of the river was
followed, which still was north-west, but at this period the party
returned. The reason stated is the failure of provisions. This must
have been a most vexatious disappointment--so vexatious, that we
cannot comprehend how it could have been submitted to without some
more remarkable effort than any thing that we find recorded in these
pages. That an expedition equipped for a four months' journey should
have turned back at the very moment when a few days', perhaps a
few hours', march, might have completed its object, is altogether
incomprehensible, while it had any conceivable means of subsistence.
In such a condition of things, the traveller ought to have eaten
his horse, if he could get nothing else. But there was actually, at
no great distance behind, a depôt of their own bullocks and sheep,
all feeding comfortably, and, as the party found on marching back
to them, "Sheep and cattle fat, the whole a sort of farm." A good
stackyard had been set up, a storehouse had been built, a garden
had been fenced in, and contained lettuce, radishes, melons, and
cucumbers. Indeed, the whole establishment exhibited the effects of
good order and discipline.

Why, then, did not the Journalist return on his track, and establish
the discovery which was the express object of his mission? This
exceeds our knowledge. The only direct intimation of his necessities
in these pages is, "our provisions were nearly out, the sun having
reduced the _mess sugar and melted the bacon_, which had been
boiled before we set out." Whether the _lean_ of Australian bacon
may liquefy in the sun is more than our European experience can
tell, but we presume it must be ranked among the wonders of a new
country; at all events, the Journalist returned without having
done the very thing for which his expedition had been fitted out,
and left the object to be completed by his subordinate, who was
subsequently despatched in the direction of the north-west. Thus,
though probabilities are in favour of the river, which the Colonel
named the Victoria, the point is by no means settled, and Australian
curiosity may be disappointed after all.

As the party approached the river, they saw considerable numbers of
the natives. On reaching one of the lagoons, the shrieks of many
women and children, and the angry voices of men, apprised them that
they had at length overtaken the tribe, and unfortunately had come
on them by surprise. "Aya, minya!" was vociferated repeatedly, and
was understood to mean, "What do you want?" I steadily adhered to
my own tactics towards the aborigines, and took not the slightest
notice of them, but rode on according to my compass-bearing. On
looking back for my men, I saw one beckoning me to return. He had
observed two natives with spears and clubs hide themselves behind
a bush in the direction in which I was advancing. On my halting,
they stole away. The whole seemed to have been amusing themselves
in the water during the noonday heat, which was excessive, and the
cool shades round the lagoon looked most luxuriant. Our position, on
the contrary, was any thing but enviable. Even there, in the heart
of the interior, on a river utterly unheard of by white men, an
iron tomahawk glittered in the hand of a chief. The anxious care of
the females to carry off their children seemed the most agreeable
feature of the scene. Some had been digging in the mud for worms,
others searching for fresh-water mussels, and if the whole could
have been witnessed unperceived, such a scene of domestic life
among the aborigines had been worth a little more risk. The strong
men assumed a strange attitude, which seemed very expressive of
surprise, having the right knee bent, the left leg forward--the
right arm dropping, but grasping clubs--the left arm raised, and
the fingers spread out. "Aya, aya, minya," they continually shouted.
However, the party rode on, and the shouts died away.

The Journalist occasionally recovers from his enthusiasm for
savagery. We have no more bursts in his earlier style, "Such
truth and exemption from disease, such _intensity_ of existence,
in short, must be far beyond the _enjoyments of civilised men_,
with all that art can do for them. And the proof of this is to
be found, in the failure of all attempts to persuade these free
denizens of uncultivated earth to forsake it for the tilled ground.
They prefer the land, unbroken and free from the earliest curse
pronounced against the first banished and first created man." All
this unfortunately shows nothing, but that the gallant Colonel would
be the wiser for going back to his Bible, where he would find the
words, "I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake."
But at last (page 328) we have a sketch of the reality. "It would
appear that, the finer the climate and the fewer man's wants, the
more he sinks towards the condition of the lower animals. Where the
natives had passed the night, no huts, even of bushes, had been set
up. A few tufts of dry grass only marked the spot, where, beside a
small fire, each person had sat, folded up like the capital letter
N. Their occupation during the day was only wallowing in a muddy
hole, in no respect cleaner than swine. They have no idea of any
necessity for washing themselves between their birth and the grave,
while groping in mud for worms." After admitting the filth, the
indolence, and the uselessness of the savage; contrasting, however,
his teeth and tongue favourably with those of the civilised man or
child, of which he pronounces it to be "ten to one but he should
find _only impurity and decay_," (a point in which we are wholly
at issue with him,) he asks, "what then is civilisation in the
economy of the human animal?" He answers, "Cultivated man despises
the perishable substance, and pursues the immortal shadow." We are
but little satisfied with the language of this solution, nor is
its meaning much more intelligible. In the first place, man, in a
civilised state, does not necessarily injure his bodily organs. The
fool who cannot stir, or even sit, without a cigar in his mouth, or
the drunkard who continually sacrifices health and understanding
to intoxication, has only to condemn himself. But, give the savage
tobacco and rum, and he will as speedily destroy his organs, and
bring himself to the grave, as the most civilised profligate in
existence. And as to the grand supposed use of civilisation--the
fixing our minds on "immortal shadows"--if by this he meant giving
us ideas of religion, there are many highly civilised nations
which think but very little of religion, and many highly civilised
persons who think of it nothing at all. Yet, it is only justice to
the gallant Colonel to quote this sentence. "Animal gratification
is transient and dull compared to the acquisition of knowledge, the
gratification of mind,--the raptures of the poet, or the delight
of the enthusiast, however imaginary. Such were my reflections on
this day of rest, in the heart of a desert, while protected from the
sun's rays by a blanket."

But even his metaphysics are entirely a misconception. The original
purpose of civilisation is, to enable man to live in society; that
is, in peace, with the advantages of mutual assistance. That those
objects are powerfully aided by religion is true, and that science
may be best cultivated in settled life, is equally true; but those
are merely collateral. Civilisation means the work of law, of safe
intercourse, of secure property, and of all the safeguards of
society which ultimately enable man to polish the general manners,
and to improve the general mind. Religion is not the consequence,
but the origin of Civilisation.

We now take leave of the journey, with the sketch of the rivers.
After moving for some distance between two streams, they approached
the junction, which formed--"the broad, deep, and placid waters of a
river as deep as the Murray. Pelicans and ducks floated upon it, and
mussel shells of extraordinary size lay in such quantities, where
the natives had been in the habit of eating them, as to resemble
snow covering the ground. But even that reach seemed diminutive,
when compared with the vast body of water of which traces had been
left there; affording evidence, that though wide, they must have
been impetuous in their course. Verdure alone shone now, over the
wide extent to which the waters sometimes rose. Beyond that channel
lay the almost boundless plains; the whole together forming the
finest region I had ever seen in Australia."

Still the luckless character of the Australian rivers appears; and
after expecting that this fine channel, which there seemed navigable
for steamers, would continue, in a few miles more it exhibited only
ponds. Whether the great central stream may not exhibit the same
caprice, is still the question.

The party returned to Sydney in January 1847; and in March, Mr
Kennedy, the second in command, was sent, as has been already
stated, to explore the course of the Victoria.

There are some valuable observations on the aborigines. It is
said that they have good natural faculties, all one of them
named Uranigh, an attendant on the expedition, obtains especial
praise for sagacity, fidelity, and courage. But, from inevitable
circumstances, it appears to be the fate of the natives to waste
away before the European blood, and, even without any violence
or oppression, gradually to vanish. To teach them to earn their
bread, to adopt European habits of any kind, or even to live with
any sense of comfort in the vicinity of European settlers, seems
impossible, and thus they gradually retire into the interior. This
process has so uniformly occurred in all colonised countries, where
a new civilisation has been introduced, that it may be regarded as
almost a law of nature. "Fire, grass, and kangaroos," are essential
to native life; and when the pastures are no longer suffered to be
burned, and when the kangaroos disappear, the savage _must_ retire.
Sir T. Mitchell's favourite project would be, to send away a young
married pair to the south of Europe, where they might learn the
cultivation of the grape and olive, fig, &c.; then to bring them
back with their children. But we are afraid they would make but few
converts; that the benevolent experiment would be totally thrown
away; and that the poor, idle, and useless being, whom Sir Thomas
will persist in calling the noble savage, must be left to eat rats
and mice, to live in misery and wretchedness, and to be inevitably
pushed into the wilderness, to make way for a superior class of
human capability.

But, regarding the condition of the natives as utterly beyond
European influence, except so far as it may and ought to be exerted
to protect them from all injury,--there are other questions of high
importance, relative to the condition of the convicts. The preamble
of the Transport Act made the reformation of the culprit a primary
object. There never was any use of forced labour so effective. The
galley-slaves of France and Italy were in general made more wicked,
if possible, by their imprisonment and work. We think it also
next to an impossibility that any culprit, punished by temporary
imprisonment, and then thrown out again among his associates, _can_
change his habits. Who will employ a known felon? A single act of
robbery may give him more means of gross gratification, than he
could obtain by the severest toil in a twelvemonth. The temptation
is too strong. The only hope of his recovery, is in his being sent
where his bad character will not utterly prevent his getting a good
one; where he will have profitable work, (let the profit be more or
less;) where he will have few temptations, and none of his old ones;
and where he may have a prospect of bettering his condition among
his fellows. All these he had, and has, in New South Wales.

But it is remarkable and unfortunate, that we seldom have a new
head of the colonial department who does not bring with him some
new theory; and the fashionable theory now is, to try the effect of
prison discipline. We have no hesitation in denouncing this theory,
as ineffectual, intolerably costly, highly dangerous, and even
actually cruel. We take the points in succession: we doubt whether
it has really reformed one prisoner out of a thousand. Its expense
is enormous: the single prison at Millbank cost a million sterling,
and probably £100,000 a-year for its support. The model prison at
Pentonville is an architectural _bijou_, but terribly expensive.
Men cannot be reformed by turnkeys in the most moral costume, or by
locks of the most exquisite invention.--It is dangerous: because
those felons, once let loose, almost invariably become felons
again; and a general jail-delivery once a year, from handcuffs and
shackles, may people the streets with ruffianism.--It is even cruel.
The prisoners are not merely deprived, for a long succession of
years, of all healthful exercise--for who ever could take healthful
exercise within prison walls?--but shut out from all the view and
enjoyment of nature, and especially from matrimony; they cannot
be husbands or fathers. It is true, that the felon forfeits all
rights, if they are found incompatible with the public safety; but
we have no _right_ to inflict on him any suffering beyond that
which is absolutely necessary. If by sending him to Australia we
can accomplish, without cruelty, those objects which we _cannot_
accomplish without cruelty at home, it is our duty to send him to
Australia.

We know that a middle system of imprisonment, to be followed by
transportation, has been attempted, but we have no faith in its
operations. The true place is Australia.

Sir Thomas Mitchell, the very best authority on such subjects, tells
us, "There is no country in which labour appears to be more required
to render it available to, and habitable by civilised man, than New
South Wales. _Without_ labour, the inhabitants must be savages, or
such helpless people as we find the Aborigines. With equal truth, it
may be asserted that there is _no region_ of earth susceptible of so
much improvement solely by the labour and ingenuity of man." There
are no unwholesome savannahs; the rocky ranges afford the means of
forming reservoirs, &c., of water, which, under the tropics, is
life, abundance, and health; there is an immensity if it be properly
used, and Australia might be made the finest scene of vegetation and
luxuriance in the world.

We take our leave of this volume with regret. It is strikingly
written; it excites and rewards curiosity, and (a few rambling
ideas excepted) it powerfully increases our interest in Australian
discovery, and in that whole mighty region of the Pacific, which
God's providence has given into the hands of England, for the
happiness of mankind.



SIBERIA.

_Travels in Siberia: including Excursions Northwards, down the Obi
to the Polar Circle, and Southwards to the Chinese Frontier._ By
ADOLPH ERMAN. Translated from the German by W. R. COOLEY. Two vols.
London, 1848.


Of no important portion of the dominions of the five great European
powers are such vague and imperfect notions entertained, as of the
vast tract comprised between Russia in Europe and the Kamschatkan
sea, between the Chinese empire and the Arctic Ocean. Courageous
explorers have not been wanting, of the inclement steppes and
rugged mountains forming Europe's bulwark against the Mongul and
the Tartar. Men of enterprise and distinction have undertaken the
task, and executed it well. But their journeys, usually performed
with special objects and scientific views, have been recorded
for the most part in a similar spirit. Either an ardent love of
science and zeal for its advancement, or the strong encouragement
and liberal subsidies of an enlightened government, are requisite
inducements to brave the perils and hardships of Siberian travel.
The mere inquisitive and speculative traveller has difficulty
in persuading himself, that the country can reward him for the
discomfort and inconvenience he must endure in traversing it. Not
that Siberia is entirely devoid of wild attractions and romantic
associations. To the adventurous hunter, its vast forests and
thinly-peopled plains give assurance of sport. The motley character
of its native and immigrant population affords to the philosopher
curious matter of consideration. A place of deportation for traitors
and criminals--and not unfrequently for the innocent--its name is
inseparably connected with the memory of innumerable unfortunates
who have there pined out their existence in expiation of crime,
or in obedience to mandates often as unjust as arbitrary. Fallen
favourites of the Czars, rebels against their tyranny, traitors to
their person, murderers, and other malefactors, and even prisoners
of war, have here found a living grave till released by death,
clemency, or flight. Did the tears of exiles fertilise, Siberia
should be a teeming land. Since its first subjugation by Ivan the
Terrible, how many a Russian magnate, lord of thousands of serfs,
owner of millions of rubles, proud of his position, and confident
of imperial favour, has suddenly found himself travelling eastward
under escort, banished and a beggar. How many mournful trains of
minor offenders have plodded their weary way across the Uralian
chain, guarded by barbarian Bashkirs, to labour in the mines of
Nerchinsk, or to lead a peasant's toilsome life on the margin of the
Frozen Sea. From those vast and ice-bound regions, escape can rarely
be accomplished. But at intervals, during the last five-and-thirty
years, bearded and toil-worn men of martial aspect have crossed the
German frontier, and astonished those they accosted by wild tales
of suffering, and ignorance of the most notorious events. Some have
inquired for Napoleon, and wept when they learned he was a captive,
or dead. Circumstances of current history, known to each child
and peasant, were to them a mystery and a marvel. These strange
wanderers, escaped from long bondage in Siberia, were amongst the
last survivors of that countless host led northwards by a Corsican's
ambition, and whose funeral pile was lighted in Moscow's city.

Amongst the delineators of Siberia and its inhabitants, of the
produce, customs, and peculiarities of the country and its people,
one of the most successful is the German gentleman and scholar whose
admirable work has just now appeared in a clever English dress.
The son of a man of great learning and high attainments, Mr Adolph
Erman treads nobly in his father's footsteps. Still young, he has
done much to increase the lustre of the honourable name transmitted
to him. Born in the year 1806, he was but two-and-twenty years of
age when he undertook, at his own cost, a journey round the world,
having for its chief object a series of magnetical observations. The
expedition was completely successful. Starting from Berlin to St
Petersburg, he crossed northern Asia, with occasional digressions
of a few hundred leagues, took ship at Okhotsk for Kamschatka,
thence proceeded to California, visited Otaheite, and came round by
Cape Horn and Rio Janeiro to Europe and Berlin. Then he sat down to
write of what he had seen, entitling his work--"Journey round the
Earth, across North Asia and both Oceans." But the tale of travel
so extensive takes time to tell; and, up to the present date,
he has not protracted his narrative beyond Okhotsk. What he has
done, however, is complete in itself, very interesting, and withal
somewhat voluminous, since its abridged translation forms two heavy
octavos, heavy in amount of paper and print, but not, we must in
justice admit, in the nature of their contents. Whilst recording
scientific investigations, the author does not neglect subjects more
generally interesting. Upon all he brings to bear an extraordinary
amount of reading and research. The result is a book of travels of
no ephemeral nature, but that will long be esteemed as a standard
work, and respected as a valuable authority.

Mr Erman commences his narrative of travel on the day of his
departure from Berlin; but its earlier portion has been compressed
by the translator, in order to escape as soon as possible from
Europe, and get upon the less trodden ground east of Tobolsk. Much
has been written of late years concerning European Russia and its
inhabitants, and it was hardly to be expected that even so acute
an observer as Mr Erman should find any thing particularly novel
to say about them. He takes a sensible and practical view of the
condition, character, and disposition of the population; and is
happy in his detection and indication of national peculiarities.
He does not, like the majority of travellers in Russia, enter the
country with a settled determination to behold nothing, from the
White Sea to the Black, but oppression and cruelty on the one
hand, slavery and suffering upon the other. He does not come to a
premature decision, that because Russia is ruled by an absolute
monarch, all happiness, prosperity, and justice are essentially
banished from the land. It is really pleasant to find a deviation
from the established routine of books about Russia. These are now
nearly all concocted upon one and the same plan. The recipe is as
exact as any in Mrs Rundell: and is as conscientiously adhered to
by literary cooks, as that great artist's invaluable precepts are
by knights and ladies of the ladle. Tyranny, misery, and the knout
are the chief ingredients of the savoury dish. We are shown a nation
of cretins, crushed under the boot-heel of an imperial ogre; whilst
a selfish, servile aristocracy salaam their admiration, and catch
greedily at the titles and gewgaws thrown to them as a sop by their
terrible master. This is the substance of the mess, which, being
handsomely garnished with lying anecdotes of horrible cruelties
practised upon the unfortunate population, is deemed sufficiently
dainty to set before the public, and is forthwith devoured as
genuine and nutritive food by the large body of simpletons who take
type for a guarantee of veracity. Mr Erman despises the common trick
and claptrap resorted to by vulgar writers. Avoiding anecdotage, and
abuse of the powers that be, he gives, in brief shrewd paragraphs,
glimpses of Muscovite character and feelings, which clearly prove
the people of that vast empire to be far happier, more prosperous,
and more practically free, than the inhabitants of many countries
who boast of liberty because anarchy has replaced good government.
Judging less from any distinct assertions or arguments advanced in
these volumes, than from their general tenor, and by the inferences
to be gleaned from them, we must consider the Russians a contented
and flourishing nation, likely to make the larger strides in
civilisation that they are unimpeded by revolutionary agitation.
Propagandists meet little encouragement amongst the loyal and
light-hearted subjects of the autocrat. "We have often observed at
Moscow," says Mr Erman, "birch-trees hewn for fencing, yet still
alive in the horizontal position, and throwing out shoots. The
great distinction of the vegetable nature in this region is its
tenacity of life; and, singularly enough, the same capability of
existing under oppression, and of withstanding stubbornly every
revolutionising influence, is here the characteristic of man also.
The ear of the stranger is sure, at every turn of conversation, to
catch the sounds--'Kak ni bud,' (no matter how,) with which the
Russians are used to give expression to their habitual indifference,
and renunciation of all care.... Notwithstanding the great variety
of condition which the population exhibit, every thing has the stamp
of nationality, and an obstinate adherence to established usage
may be plainly recognised as a fundamental principle. Some foreign
customs, indeed, are adopted from strangers residing in Moscow; but
they are, at the same time, so changed as to be assimilated to the
national manners. Russian nationality may be compared to a river,
which receives other streams without changing its name; or, still
better, to a living organism, which, while devouring every variety
of food, continues still the same."

It was on the 29th of July that Mr Erman, who travelled in
company with the Norwegian professor Hansteen, left Moscow, and
moved eastwards, passing through a productive country, strewn
with populous and comfortable villages. At Pokròf, his first
halting-place, his chamber walls were adorned with rude carvings and
paintings, whose subjects were taken from the events of 1812, and
represented the valiant deeds of the peasantry. Buikova, a village
forty miles east of Moscow, was the farthest point to which the
French penetrated. Their invasion has left but a faint impression
upon the popular mind in Russia--even in Moscow, which suffered so
much at their hands. Conflagrations have been common occurrences
in that city, and the inhabitants are accustomed to be burned out.
We read of seven such events, from the thirteenth to the beginning
of the nineteenth century, in all of which the destruction was
complete, or very nearly so. The fire of 1812 spared many of the
stone churches, on whose towers "the Mahomedan crescent rises above
the cross, a monument of earlier revolutions. The yoke of the Tatars
was so lasting and oppressive, that later events of a similar kind
seem comparatively unimportant; and even the French invasion is
here thought little of, being usually compared with the irruptions
of the Pechenegues and that of the Poles in later times, but never
set on a level with the Tatar domination." The French have little
prestige in Russia. Whatever respect they previously enjoyed there,
was completely annihilated by the pitiful figure they cut in the
Moscow campaign; retreating, as they did, a ragged, disorderly,
frost-bitten remnant, before a swarm of armed peasants and irregular
horse. And Muscovite sign-painters and saint-carvers decorate
village walls with episodes of the disastrous overthrow of an army,
probably the most powerful and really efficient ever got together.
Any notion entertained by the Russians of French invincibility was
as completely dissipated in that country by the events of 1812,
as it was in Germany by the ensuing, and scarcely less important,
campaign of 1813.

Passing Murom, where a sort of Yankee tradition exists of a
"robber-nightingale," which entices travellers into the woods by
its song, and then kills them by the power of its notes, Mr Erman
reached Nijni Novgorod at the moment of the great annual fair. The
mixture of European and Asiatic produce and manufactures gives the
Russian fairs an appearance singularly striking to the foreigner's
eye. Things the most opposite are there brought together. _Obrasá_,
or Greek holy images, amulets, and other objects used in the
solemnities of the Græco-Russian church, are seen in juxtaposition
with the elegant luxuries and superfluities of extreme European
civilisation. The clumsy carvings of Uralian peasants are found in
the next warerooms to the fragile and fashionable masterpieces of
a Parisian milliner. The chief part of the goods come from great
distances. Amongst the important articles of traffic are tea from
China, horse-hides from Tatary, iron bars from Siberia, shawls
of camel's-down from Bokhara. The Bokharians also import large
quantities of cotton, partly raw and partly spun. This is one of the
principal objects of trade at Nijni. Concerning the origin of this
useful substance, curious fables were current in Russia not quite a
century ago. "It appears to me certain," says Mr Erman, "that the
story of the zoophytic plant called Baránez, or lamb-plant (formed
as a diminutive from Barán, a sheep,) originated in some embellished
account of the cotton plant. Herberstein relates it at full length
and unchanged, just as he had heard it. 'There has been seen, near
to the Caspian Sea, a seed, rather larger and rounder than that of
a melon, from which, when set in the ground, is produced something
similar to a lamb, of the altitude of five palms, having a very fine
fleece, &c., &c. The German edition of Herberstein (Basel, 1563)
adds that the Baránez has a head, eyes, ears, and all the limbs,
like a sheep. But it mentions correctly '_the very fine fleece
which the people of that country commonly made use of to pad their
caps withal_.' This is the ordinary use which the Tatar tribes
in general make of cotton at the present day." The fair at Nijni
lasts two months, and brings together six hundred thousand persons
of different nations and tribes, or about thirty-three times the
number of the stationary population. It produces a large revenue
to the imperial treasury,--the letting of the wooden booths, and
of two thousand five hundred and twenty-two stone storerooms, (to
each of which latter is attached a chamber for the owner of the
goods to live in) alone yielding, so far back as 1825, nearly four
hundred thousand rubles; whilst the population of the government, or
district, amounting to nearly a million of souls, paid taxes to the
amount of fourteen millions of rubles.

Nijni Novgorod is the point of rendezvous for criminals from the
western provinces of the empire, condemned to Siberian exile. They
arrive there in small detachments, to pursue their journey in
large bodies. In the vicinity of every post-house along the road
is another building known as the Ostrog or fort, which is merely a
large barrack divided into numerous small chambers, and surrounded
by a fence of palisades, where the convicts are lodged upon the
journey. From various passages scattered through Mr Erman's book, it
appears that these Siberian exiles are by no means so badly treated
as has frequently been stated and believed. In most instances the
punishment derives its severity less from any painful toil or cruel
discipline imposed upon them, than from the rigidity of the climate,
the separation from friends, and the mortal ennui those accustomed
to civilisation and society cannot but experience, whilst leading
the monotonous life of a peasant or Cossack in regions as dreary
as any the globe's surface affords. The first caravan of prisoners
encountered by Mr Erman, at about a hundred versts beyond Nijni,
were well clothed and cared for, and seemed neither dissatisfied
with their past journey, nor overwhelmed with care about the
future. "With every train of them are several waggons, drawn by
post-horses, to carry the women and the old and infirm men; the
rest follow in pairs, in a long train, after the waggons, escorted
by a militia established in the villages. It is but rarely that
one sees special offenders with fetters upon their legs during the
march." The majority of tales circulated by romancing travellers,
with reference to Siberian exile, have little foundation save in
the imagination of the narrators. Amongst these fictions is to
be reckoned the statement that certain classes of the banished
are compelled to pass their lives in hunting the sable, and other
animals. The great majority of the delinquents are condemned only to
settle in Siberia; and when hard labour in the Uralian mines, and
in certain manufactories, is superadded, it is generally for a year
or other limited period. Those of the peasant class have to support
themselves, whilst offenders of a higher rank, and unused to manual
labour, have an allowance made them by the government. In various
places Mr Erman met with exiles, from some of whom he obtained
curious information. They are usually known by the mild name of
"_the unfortunates_," and are held in no particular disfavour by
the natives, with whose families they intermarry. By a remarkable
enactment of the Russian law, serfs, when transported to Siberia,
become in all respects as free as the peasants in western Europe. Mr
Erman refers to this with strong approval, and attributes to it the
happiest results. "I have often," he says, "heard intelligent and
reflecting Russians mention, as an almost inexplicable paradox, that
the peasants condemned to become settlers, all, without exception,
and in a very short time, change their habits and lead an exemplary
life; yet it is certain that the sense of the benefit conferred
on them by the gift of personal freedom is the sole cause of this
conversion. Banishment subservient to colonisation, instead of
close imprisonment, is, indeed, an excellent feature in the Russian
code; and though the substitution of forced labour in mines for the
punishment of death may be traced back to Grecian example, yet the
improving of the offender's condition by bestowing on him personal
freedom, is an original as well as an admirable addition of a
Russian legislator." It is of course by the higher class of exiles
that the banishment is most severely felt; but these live in the
towns, that the succour received from government may reach them the
more easily, and submit, for the most part, with great equanimity
to the startling change from the luxury of Moscow or St Petersburg,
to the dulness and simplicity of Tobolsk, and even of worse places.
Some of them have to do penance in church for a certain time after
their arrival, and a portion of these continue the practice when
it is no longer compulsory. At Beresov, a town in western Siberia,
which Mr Erman passed through on an excursion northwards from
Tobolsk, the oral chronicles of the inhabitants furnish curious
details of the numerous illustrious exiles who have there ended
their days. Menchikoff, the well-known favourite of Peter I., was
one of these. "After his political extinction, he prepared himself,
by devout penitence, for his natural decease. He worked with his
own hands in erecting the little wooden church, now fallen to
decay, which stands thirty or forty feet above the bank of the
Sosva, at the southern extremity of the town: he then served in it
as bell-ringer, and was finally buried by the grateful inhabitants
of Beresov, immediately before the door of the building." It was
here, at Beresov, that Mr Erman fell in with a number of unlucky
conspirators, who had lost fortune, rank, and home, by their
association in a recent abortive revolutionary attempt. Amongst them
were a M. Gorski, at one time a count and general of cavalry, and
the ex-chieftains Focht and Chernilov. They usually wore the costume
of the country, but upon holidays they donned European coats, _in
order to display the vestiges of the orders which had once been
sewed upon them_. A curious instance of vanity, traceable, perhaps,
to a desire to distinguish themselves from persons condemned to the
same punishment for crimes of a more disgraceful nature.

In the streets of Yekaterinburg, the first town of importance after
crossing the Asian boundary, parties of exiles are a frequent
spectacle; the number passing through in a year being estimated at
five thousand, or about two-fifths of the annual export of convicts
to Siberia, as stated by Mr Stepanov, whose statement, however,
Mr Erman seems disposed to consider exaggerated. The detachments
are usually guarded by Kosaks of the Ural, and by a company of
Bashkir militia. These Uralian Kosaks are well uniformed, armed,
and mounted, and enjoy the same privileges as the Kosaks of the
Don. They are allowed an immunity from every impost, but are bound
to devote themselves to the public service. Touching the Bashkirs,
another irregular and half-savage militia, serving to swell the
ranks of Russia's enormous army, Mr Erman, who made some stay at
Yekaterinburg, the northern limit of their residence, gives curious
particulars. They are the only aboriginal Siberian tribe whose mode
of life regularly alternates from the nomadic to the fixed. Their
winters are passed in permanent villages of wooden huts, erected
usually upon the skirt of a forest. But when spring approaches,
they collect their flocks and herds, strap hair tent-cloths upon
their saddles, and are off to the plains. They appear to live
upon horseback, and are indolent, indocile, and useless out of
the saddle. The only thing the men do, is to drive home the mares
at milking-time; all other domestic toil is left to the women.
And although grass abounds in the summer pastures, hay is unknown
amongst them. The cattle sustain life in winter as best they may, on
stunted or decayed herbage, sought under the snow and gathered on
the dunghills. Fermented mare's milk is the favorite drink of the
Bashkirs, who live chiefly upon mutton and fish, and upon the fruit
of the bird-cherry (_Prunus padus_) kneaded into a sort of cake.
In the chase they make use of hawks, which they are particularly
skilful in training. The smaller species of these birds are used to
take hares, whilst the greater will strike foxes, and even wolves.
The roving careless life of the Bashkirs possesses a peculiar charm,
admitted even by the civilised Russians; and it is with no good will
that, on the return of winter, the tribes re-enter their settled
habitations. "They approach them with reluctance, and believe that
Shaitan, or the evil spirit, has taken up his abode in the huts that
oppress them with such a sense of restraint. The men accordingly
remain at some distance from the settlement, and send the women
forward, armed with staves, with which they strike the door of every
hut, uttering loud imprecations; and it is not till they have made
the rounds with their noisy exorcisms, that the men ride forward at
full speed and with terrific shouts, to banish the dreaded demon
from his lurking-place." The chief weapon of these Bedouins of the
north is the same which so forcibly excited Captain Dalgetty's
risibility upon his visit to the Children of the Mist. But although
in these days of Paixhans and percussion, bows and arrows certainly
appear rather anomalous, they are by no means contemptible weapons
in the hands of some of the Siberian tribes. Of this Mr Erman had
abundant opportunity to convince himself, especially when his ramble
northwards from Tobolsk brought him amongst the Ostyaks of the river
Obi. The ordinary hunting weapons of these people are bows six feet
long, of very slight curve, and from which four-feet arrows are
discharged with murderous effect. Much practice and strength are
required to draw these bows; and our scientific traveller, who, not
having taken the necessary precaution of shielding the left arm with
a piece of horn, from the recoil of the string, had been unable to
draw his bow to more than one third of the arrow's length, was not a
little astounded to see an Ostyak pigmy, with sore eyes and a sickly
aspect, send a blunt arrow one hundred and sixty feet, and strike
the object aimed at, the stem of a larch, near its summit, fully
sixty feet from the ground. Blunt arrows, headed with flattened iron
balls, are used to kill sables and squirrels, that the skin may
not be injured; the sharp ones are a settler for any quadruped the
country produces.

After many days' journey through Tatar villages of wooden huts,
and towns that are little better, the first view of Tobolsk,
obtained some miles before reaching the place, is quite imposing;
and the traveller, who might think he had got a few stages
beyond civilisation, is cheered and encouraged by the sight of
church-towers, lofty monasteries, and well-built houses. In vain
does he seek an inn. Such things are unknown in Siberia; and, if he
has no acquaintance in the town, he must apply to the police-master,
who recommends him to the hospitality of an inhabitant, by whom he
is made welcome during his stay, without demand for remuneration,
although, if proffered, it will sometimes be accepted. In this
manner Mr Erman and his companions were accommodated in the upper
storey of a well-built wooden house; and here their progress
eastward was arrested by the character of the weather. It was the
commencement of October, the period of transition from summer to
winter, and the traveller's entrance into the town was rendered
memorable by a heavy fall of snow--"white flies," as the postilions
called the flakes, which they beheld with much pleasure. Their
satisfaction was probably owing to the fact that in Siberia the
coldest part of the year is the most favourable for travelling, a
matter of interest to people of their profession. But the moment of
transition, whilst the struggle lasts between summer and winter,
when snow encumbers the ground, and frost has not yet hardened it,
is known, as well as the similar period at the close of winter,
as "the time of the unroading," (spoiling of the roads;) and the
Russians have even manufactured a verb "to be unroaded." The snow
obstructs wheeled carriages, and forbids the use of the sledge;
and, unless peremptorily compelled to move forward, the Russian
merchants--the most experienced of Siberian travellers--await, in
some convenient resting-place, the hardening of the winter road.
From Mr Erman's account, a better place than Tobolsk could scarcely
be found, in those wild regions, wherein to pass a few weeks of
compulsory inaction. Nevertheless, and although cordially received
by the governor-general, Velyaminov, from whom, and from other
Russian officers, he got much useful information, our traveller was
impatient to be off. He had a pet scheme in view. From the very
commencement of the journey he had planned an excursion to the mouth
of the Obi, within the Arctic circle. To this he was partly induced
by the desire of tracing certain magnetic lines, and partly by "the
alluring prospect of enjoying, on the northern part of the Obi,
the first undisturbed intercourse with the aboriginal possessors
of the land, where they are little changed by foreign influence."
Accordingly, towards the middle of November, the drifting ice upon
the Irtuish having united into a solid sheet, Mr Erman joyfully
made final preparations for his journey to Obdorsk. They were few,
and soon completed. A Kosak guide and interpreter, a fur dress,
a copper kettle, bread and ham, salted salmon and caviar, were
stowed in a couple of sledges, one of which was light enough to
be drawn by dogs or reindeer. It was held advisable also to take
out a fresh passport, signed by the governor of Tobolsk, in lieu of
the one delivered at St Petersburg, for, in places far removed from
the great road across Siberia, people have confused and indistinct
notions of the power which issues from the capital of the empire.
The larger sledge was provided with otvódi or guides--two strong
bars placed lengthways on either side the carriage to prevent
an upset. "Towards the end of winter, the snow-ways, which are
constantly travelled upon, have an undulating surface, like that
of a stormy sea, and give the sledge a motion so like that of a
ship tossed on the waves, that travellers unused to it often grow
sea-sick on the road, and the use of otvódi is a very necessary
precaution." Russian travelling, delightfully rapid, has many
drawbacks. Upon the log-roads, (formed of tree-trunks,) the violent
and incessant jolting is said to have even worse effects than the
excessive undulations of the sledge. After a few years, it not
only brings on a complete paralysis of the mental faculties of the
Russian postilions, but also occasions spinal disease, to such an
extent as to have obtained for those roads the significant name of
spine-crushers.

On the 22d November, when Mr Erman began his slide northwards,
traffic had not yet given the road that wavy configuration so
uncomfortable to the bilious traveller. The post from Tobolsk to
Beresov had made but one journey on the winter-track, and the
sledges glided rapidly and smoothly on the almost virgin snow-way.
Beyond Tugalova, a village 140 miles from Tobolsk, they travelled on
the frozen Irtuish, and frequently passed the self-acting machinery
used for the winter fishing. This consists of a strong pole in an
inclined position, with its lower extremity frozen fast in the
ice. "At the upper end of this pole was a continuation made of
switches, which, bending down, reached to the surface of the ice;
at that point was a hole through which was let down the hook and
line. The upper part of the apparatus is seen bent down more or less
according as the bait is still untouched, or as a fish pulling at
it has freed a check put to the elasticity of the rod, and is thus,
in consequence of its own efforts, drawn nearer to the surface of
the water." The ingenuity of this contrivance would avail little,
however, were not means found of rousing the sleepy sturgeon from
their winter slumbers. They lie in muddy hollows in the bed of the
river, quite motionless, and clustered together for the sake of
warmth. To awaken them, hard balls of clay, heated in the fire, are
thrown from time to time into the water, below the line. Driven from
their resting-place, they swim up stream, according to their custom,
and come upon the bait. This mode of fishing is very productive.
Fishing, of one kind or other, is the principal occupation of the
Ostyaks, in the heart of whose country, after three or four days'
journey, Mr Erman found himself. The rivers abound with excellent
fish--eels, especially, being very abundant, but not much eaten,
although their skins are in great request as window-panes. These are
rubbed with fat, to make them more transparent, but there are small
roundish swellings in the skin which refract and confound the rays
of light. A better substitute for glass is a flake of ice, used by
the Sosnovian Ostyaks, a tribe further north. The flakes are about a
foot thick, and are propped from without by a pole, whose lower end
bears obliquely against the ground. The fire, kept burning in the
hut, thaws the inner surface of the ice, rendering it smooth as a
mirror. A whiter and brighter light penetrates through these windows
than through the fish-skins, which the Sosnovians use for boots, and
even for clothes. Strong and air-tight, and well rubbed with fat,
they are almost as warm as fur, and better against the wet.

The commencement of a fishing season or expedition is celebrated
by the Ostyaks with all manner of queer saturnalia. Although
nominally Christians, and accustomed to attend church once a-year,
they are very heathenish in some of their rites and ceremonies,
and make a strange jumble of their old superstitions and their new
faith. The priests do not invariably set them a good example.
"Our Russian informant complained bitterly of the priest in his
neighbourhood, who came into the village on holidays so drunk, that
the congregation assembled to no purpose." With such pastors, no
wonder if the sheep cleave to some of their ancient usages. Those
who are departing on an expedition, slaughter a tame animal, and
smear their faces with its blood, accompanying the sacrifice with
a carousal. In one village Mr Erman found the huts remarkably
empty, and was told that the men had just gone a-fishing, and that
their wives were drinking brandy in the kabak or public-house. The
sale of spirits in Siberia, as in all the Russian dominions, is a
government monopoly, and brandy is only to be had in certain houses,
to whose keepers the privilege is farmed. In a small dark room,
scarcely ten paces wide, Mr Erman found ten or twelve Ostyak dames
clustered round the bottle, and benevolently drunk. His account of
their maudlin state is amusingly grave and sentimental. "A number
of short corpulent figures, with black sparkling eyes, could be
just seen, moving and mingling together, in the narrow space. They
all talked with animation, and with remarkably delicate voices,
which now gave expression only to soft and joyous emotions. They
embraced, one after the other, the Yamschik, who entered with us;
and their soft voices, now almost whining, seemed attuned, not so
much to words of old acquaintance, as to the endearments of young
and growing love." The ladies having emptied their purses without
quenching their thirst, the good-natured German, who observed
that "the pleasure of drinking had but just risen to its highest
pitch," opened them a credit with the kabak-keeper. "They now took
especial pains to show themselves deserving of the European treat,
by good Christian observance. Devout Russians are in the habit of
neutralising the Satanic operation of spirituous liquors by a rapid
movement of the right hand, intended to describe the cross, or by a
softly-ejaculated prayer, or merely by blowing the breath upon the
glass. But the good-humoured Ostyaks, novices in Christian prayer as
in drinking, made the sign of the cross to such an extent, so slowly
and with such deep bowing of the body, as would be required by the
church only on the most solemn occasions."

Although much engrossed by fishing, the Ostyaks do not neglect the
chase. Their thick woods abound in the better kinds of fur animals,
and the annual tribute of two sable skins, payable by each family
to the Russian government, is not very difficult to obtain. It is
seldom found necessary to pay an equivalent in other skins. Although
quite the beginning of winter, Mr Erman's host, in an Ostyak
village, showed him a fine sable skin, which he kept in a strong
box, like a treasure, concealed in a corner of his dwelling. Its
value was diminished by a yellowish tinge, ascribed to the animal's
having lived in a wood where there was too much light. Besides
sable and squirrel, the reindeer, the fox, the glutton, and the
elk, are objects of chase. Mr Erman tried to get at the fact of the
enmity said to exist between the two latter animals. The reply to
his inquiries was the old story current in Europe--how the glutton
leaps from a branch on the elk's neck, and keeps his seat till the
death of his steed. No one, however, had seen any thing of the kind:
it was matter of tradition, handed down from their dead fathers.
The ermine is taken in traps. The fox is in great variety, the
most esteemed being the crossed stone fox, whose colour is partly
a grayish yellow, partly white, so distributed that the grayish
parts unite prettily to form a cross, one bar of which extends
along the back, whilst the other stretches obliquely down the
middle ribs to the belly. The fur of this animal is greatly prized
by the Russian clergy, for whom pelisses, covered with natural
crosses, are made from it. The latitude of the town of Beresov is
the headquarters of the Siberian beaver, hunted not for the fur but
for the precious castoreum or beaver-stone, to which such great
medical virtues are ascribed. Attempts have been made in Germany
to obtain from the beavers of that country a product which might
replace that of Siberia; but all in vain. The fine quality is only
to be had in the far north, where, as Mr Erman fancifully observes,
nature scatters animal perfumes in place of fragrant flowers.
"The Kosaks and Russian traders have exalted the beaver-stone
into a panacea.... To the sentence, 'God arose, and our enemies
were scattered,' the Siberians add, very characteristically, the
apocryphal interpolation, 'and we are free from headache.' To ensure
this most desirable condition, every one has recourse, at home or on
his travels, and with the firmest faith, to two medicines, and only
two, viz., beaver-stone, or beaver-efflux, as it is here called, and
sal-ammoniac." From the strength of the castoreum, the Siberians
infer that other parts of the animal must possess peculiar virtues.
Gouty swellings are said to subside rapidly when rubbed with the
fat, and the beaver's teeth are popularly believed to cure toothach.

The beaver is the only fur animal in these latitudes that does not
change its colour in the course of the year. This is probably owing
to the circumstance, that in winter it dwells wholly in the water,
thus enjoying a comparatively equable temperature. In the river
Obi, at Beresov, the water does not usually freeze below the depth
of four feet eight inches, and the beaver always has two entrances
to his dwelling, one high on the bank above the stream, the other
below the freezing limit. The architectural and wood-cutting habits
of the animal are the same here as in America; but two assertions,
new to Mr Erman, were made respecting it by the Beresov hunters. He
was assured that "among beavers, as with bees and men, there are
distinctions of ranks; each chief keeping a number of labourers,
the toils of which he oversees and directs without taking part in
them; and, again, it was stated that the contents of the castoreum
bags depend on the moon." It was impossible to verify the veracity
of these two statements. As regards the moon's influence, however,
there is ground for a suspicion that its advantages are rather felt
by the hunter, than essential to the virtues of the drug. Full moon
is maintained, both by Ostyaks and Russians, to be the propitious
time.

The most northern tribe of Ostyaks, who dwell between the rivers
Obi and Yenisei, surpass their southern neighbours in venatorial
skill, as they, in their turn, are surpassed by the Samoyedes,
who live in the northernmost regions of Siberia. The men of the
Yenisei kill wolves, which, on account of their long soft hair,
are reckoned greatly superior to the forest and steppe wolves of
middle Siberia. They are also famed for their dexterity in killing
and capturing reindeer. "Tying leathern cords between the tops of
the antlers of their tame deer, they turn the animals loose, one
by one, in the neighbourhood of a wild herd: these do not fail
to attack the strangers, and their antlers becoming entangled
in the cords during the contest, they are held fast by the tame
deer till the men arrive. These Ostyaks know also how to plant
spring-bows, which send the arrow against the animal's breast." But
the Samoyedes, besides these ordinary artifices, have other and
ingenious ways, peculiar to themselves, of ensnaring and slaying
the brute creation, by putting themselves as much as possible on an
equality with the animals pursued, going on all-fours, and imitating
them in voice and clothing. The Polar bear is a common victim to
their cunning devices, and even to their open attacks; for their
intimate acquaintance with the formidable beast makes them regard
him as an easy prey. "The Samoyedes assert that the white bear far
exceeds the black bear in ferocity and strength, whilst fully equal
to it in cunning; yet, owing to his unwieldiness, they encounter it
without fear, and always reckon on victory as certain. A man will
often go singly against a Polar bear, eight feet long, without any
other weapon than his knife, which he fastens to the end of a pole.
In spring and autumn these animals are found upon the ice, near the
hole, whence the seals come forth to breathe. There the bear covers
himself up with snow, facing the hole, and with one paw stretched
into the water." The Samoyede seal-hunters imitate the bears, and
when the seal walks out upon the ice, they shove a board over
the hole and capture the phoca. Concerning the bear the Ostyaks
entertain peculiar notions, viewing it with a sort of superstitious
respect. "A member of the court of justice told me that, in suits
between Russians and Ostyaks, it is still the custom here (at
Beresov) to bring, into court the head of a bear, and that this
animal, which is supposed to be omniscient, is there appealed to
as a witness by the Ostyaks. In swearing, they make the gesture of
eating, and call upon the bear to devour them in like manner if they
do not tell the truth." Some similar reverence for Bruin exists, we
believe, amongst certain North American tribes.

The draught-dogs, so faithful and useful to the northern Siberians,
often receive but scurvy treatment at their masters' hands. The
Ostyaks, who are honesty personified, and who laugh at the common
European precautions of locking up valuables and bolting doors,
cannot endure the predatory propensities of their canine allies,
and fly into a passion whenever an unlucky dog sneaks into their
dwelling in search of warmth or food. The poor brute is immediately
a mark for the blows and kicks of every body present, the storm
of abuse being justified by the cunning and greediness of its
object, who, if allowed to abide in the house, would soon reduce
its inmates to short commons. There is some excuse for the dogs'
voracity, however; for, according to Mr Erman's account, they are
considerably more than half-starved, and are rarely admitted to the
fire to be fed, save when they return weary and distressed from a
long journey. Severe as is the cold in those regions, protection
from it is not essential to the existence, or even to the health
of these hardy dogs. They sleep outside the houses, in holes which
they thaw in the snow by their own warmth. At Obdorsk, where there
are no pastures, and consequently no horses, four hundred dogs are
kept by sixty inhabitants, and each of them is estimated to draw
five poods' (two hundred pounds) weight in the loaded sledge. About
eight o'clock in the evening these four hundred brutes set up a
hideous howling, by way of claiming their daily meal, consisting
invariably of fish, which, for them as well as for their owners'
consumption, is first dried in the sun and then pounded, bones and
all. Except this evening concert, a bark or a cry is rarely uttered
by these dogs, unless at first starting when yoked to the sledge,
or on coming across a reindeer team upon the road. Hydrophobia
would be a terrible scourge in this dog-district, but the disease
is fortunately unknown there. Steller has stated the same thing
of the dogs of Kamschatka, and Mr Erman concludes that the malady
is a result of the European system of living in towns. And as the
Siberian dogs are so very moderately fed, he infers that excess,
not want, generates the morbid habit. We are inclined to attribute
more importance to the quality than to the quantity of the food. A
fish diet may be more conducive to a wholesome state of the animals'
blood than the masses of horse-flesh, paunch, and other rank and
unclean offal commonly given to dogs in Europe, and especially in
England, where the carnivorous addictions of the bipeds induce a
belief in the propriety of unlimited flesh-feeding for quadrupeds.

The large annual importation of exiles, the system of conscription,
and the advantages offered to public officers volunteering for
Siberian service, are the most important and efficacious measures by
which Russia proceeds gradually but steadily with the colonisation
and civilisation of her Asiatic dominions. The conscripts are
sometimes drawn, not only from Tobolsk, but from the remotest parts
of Siberia, and the term of military service being twenty-eight
years, it is probable that only a small proportion return to their
native villages. Those who do are looked up to as oracles by
their countrymen. They are objects of pride to their families and
of respect to every body else; the place of honour is theirs by
right, and they are addressed by the title of Master Soldier.[7]
The ferry of the Irtuish, by Tobolsk, whose passage is considered
the symbol of political death to the numerous exiles who each year
cross it--bestows a step of rank on all public servants offering
themselves for duty in Siberia Proper. The passion for rank,
stronger in Russia than in any other country, drives hosts of
officers across this important boundary; but as they are not obliged
to remain more than three years, most of them return home at the end
of that time. Far nearer to St Petersburg than the Asiatic frontier,
civilisation is still at a very low ebb amongst the aboriginal
tribes. Close to Nijni Novgorod, and within a very short distance
of Moscow, the prevailing population consists of Cheremisses and
Chuvashes, two tribes many of whose customs are nearly as barbarous
as their names. These people are shy and timid, very slow in
acquiring industrious habits, and addicted to sundry practices
stamping them as semi-savages. In some places they cling to
paganism, and offer up horned beasts, fruit, and vegetables to their
various deities. The Chuvash ladies wear a sort of bustle of sheet
copper, hanging from the girdle backwards over the hips, and having
appended to it all manner of metal ornaments, making a perpetual
clatter in walking. But these tribes are the pink of refinement
by comparison with those in the northern portion of the Muscovite
empire,--with the Ostyaks, who eat out of the same trough with
their dogs, or with the Samoyedes who tear with their teeth, and
swallow with infinite relish, huge lumps of raw and reeking flesh.
The women of the latter people wear, as their favourite decoration,
(certainly no inappropriate one) a glutton's tail, hanging down the
back of their pelisse. Their hair is plaited in tails, to which all
manner of lumber, brass and iron rings, and rusty musket-locks, are
attached. Mr Erman's account of "Life in the _Chum_" (the skin tent
of the Samoyedes) is quaint and graphic.

  [7] _Gospodin Slujivui._ Gospodin is equivalent to the French
  Monsieur or Seigneur, and Slujivui means literally one who has
  served in the army.

"The reindeer calf, which we had got on the way, was killed and cut
up in front of the tent a few minutes, after our arrival. The men
now brought the bleeding flesh into the tent, and began devouring
it immediately, quite raw, with the heartiest appetite. The old man
was satisfied with sucking the brain from the head, whilst each
of our younger comrades gnawed away at a limb of the animal, even
to the bone. They laughed at the amazement which my good-humoured
Esthonian attendant expressed at their blood-stained faces; and
when he gave them to understand, through the interpreter, that they
were no better than wolves, they seemed quite unprepared for such
reproof; replying gravely, that they were at the same time no worse
than the wolves, since they shared honestly with them, and left
the bones and some scraps of flesh merely for their sake." In this
same tent there was a little monster of a boy named Peina, whom one
reads of with a sort of shudder, and with a strong suspicion that
the creature was not _canny_. Mr Erman himself seems to write of
him with peculiar reserve, stating facts, but evidently unwilling
to give an opinion as to the exact nature of the beast. Peina, who
had first-rate masticators, got his share of the raw meat, which
did not prevent his drawing on his mother's lacteal resources, and
thumping her brutally till she honoured the draft, or handed him
the pot-ladle, with which he supped scalding porridge to his great
internal contentment. The travellers' bread, although frozen hard
and not easy eating for adult jaws, disappeared by wholesale within
those of Peina. At night the anomalous urchin was laid naked in a
canoe-shaped basket, and covered up so thickly with furs that his
cries seemed to come from the depths of the earth. In the morning
his mother took him from his bed and set him up, still naked, before
the fire to warm himself. Sugar, when first presented to him,
he called snow, and threw away, but when once he had tasted the
dainty, his demands for it were unceasing and peremptory. Taking
into consideration the uncomfortable and uncleanly peculiarities
of the Samoyedes, both young and old, we cannot feel surprised
that Mr Erman's interpreter conceived an intense dislike to their
society, and so managed matters that one morning, whilst the man of
science was busy measuring a base-line to ascertain the heights of
some mountains, his Samoyede companions suddenly disappeared with
their tent and their reindeer, leaving him with three ill-equipped
sledges and a few Ostyak attendants, and with no choice but to make
the best of his way back to Obdorsk, whence he soon afterwards
returned to Tobolsk. There he passed his Christmas, and then resumed
his journey; but this time in a southerly direction. After having
penetrated to sixty-seven degrees north, the region of eternal
frost, he struck southwards to the latitude of the Land's End,
making a dip into China, which furnishes some of the best chapters
in his book.

Irkutsk, the last town of importance north of the Chinese frontier,
consists of nineteen hundred houses, fifty being of brick, and
the remainder of wood, and is probably the cheapest place in the
civilised world as regards articles of food. We say "civilised,"
because, although situate in a barbarous region, and possessing
a population of a very motley character, the town has much that
is European in its aspect and usages. It possesses an exchange,
government factories, where newly-arrived convicts are employed,
a school of medicine, a gymnasium, and a handsome parade-ground.
In the market, formed of wooden booths, the stores of food were
enormous. Beef cost about a halfpenny a pound; of flour one penny
would purchase nearly eight and a half pounds; partridges and
heathfowl were sold at five farthings a-piece. But we are in haste
to get amongst the Celestials. First comes a gallop across More
Baikal, a large lake just beyond Irkutsk, on which the Russian
government maintains an armed flotilla. This gallop is a fine bit of
helter-skelter, over ice brilliant as glass. "There was no snow upon
the ice, so that its surface shone like a polished mirror in the
moonlight. The horses that were put under our sledges in Kadilnaya
had to be held on each side till the very moment of starting, when
they broke at once into full gallop, which they kept up till we
landed on the further shore. We completed seven German miles in two
hours and a quarter, undoubtedly the most extraordinary as well as
the most speedy stage upon any route in Russia." Thence, onwards
to the frontier line. "We followed the crowd that pressed forward
towards a narrow door in the front of a long wooden building. This
admitted us into the inner quadrangle of a Russian warehouse. A
corresponding door, at the opposite side of this court, opens just
upon a wooden barricade, which constitutes the barrier of China. In
this there is a wide portal, ornamented with pillars, and displaying
the Russian eagle above it, along with the cipher of the reigning
emperor, Nicholas the First, by whom it was erected." On passing
through this gate, the change is immediate and striking,--from
Russian sobriety of aspect and hue to the gaudy finery of China.
Maimachen, the name of the Chinese town visited by Mr Erman, has a
very masquerading air to a European eye. The walls on either side
of the streets do not look like house walls, the roofs being flat
and invisible from the street. "Indeed, they are nearly altogether
concealed by the gay-coloured paper lanterns and flags, with
inscriptions on them, hung out on both sides of the way. Cords,
with similar scrolls and lanterns, are likewise stretched from roof
to roof across the street. These dazzling decorations stand out
in glaring contrast with the dull yellow of the ground and walls.
In the open crossings of the streets, which intersect each other
at right angles, stood enormous chafing-dishes of cast-iron, like
basins, upon a slender pedestal four feet in height. The benches
by which they were surrounded were occupied by tea-drinkers, who
sat smoking from the little pipes they carry at their girdles,
whilst their kettles boiled at the common fire." Mr Erman had the
good fortune to be on the frontier at the period of the Chinese
festival of the White Moon, which is in fact the celebration of
the new-year, and he had the still greater luck to be invited to
share in it at Maimachen. He found the town in its gayest costume.
The expenditure of flags and lanterns was prodigious. The scrolls
usually contained the names of the families before whose houses
they were hung out, coupled with words of auspicious import, as
gladness, riches, wisdom, &c. There was a great firing of crackers
and rockets, partly to celebrate the day, but chiefly in honour of
the guests. Before dinner the latter were diverted by a theatrical
representation. Maimachen boasts a regular company of actors, and
upon this great occasion they did their best. Their orchestra was of
a rather violent description, consisting of "wooden drums, shaped
like casks, brass cymbals, and plates of the same metal, or gongs,
held by a string and beaten with knockers, and wooden truncheons,
of different sizes, which they used as castanets." There were no
actresses; but the deficiency was not to be detected, the younger
and more delicate men personating women to the life by the aid
of wigs and long tresses of black hair, but especially by curls
pressed flat upon the forehead. Masks were not used, but paint was
in abundance; in some cases with a view to represent spectacles,
mustachios, &c.; in others to conceal the human features, or give
them a monstrous aspect. "One face was covered with coloured rays,
issuing from the mouth. The same actor had also a feather on
his head--in Chinese comedy the conventional mark of a ghost or
apparition. Another wore a golden helmet, which constituted him a
warrior. Several kept beating themselves incessantly on the hip with
a cane, and by so doing intimated that they were on horseback." The
play itself was more like a game of romps than any regular dramatic
representation. Little was said; but, on the other hand, there was
a deal of dancing, drumming, and running about. Mr Erman could make
neither head nor tail of the proceedings. By way of experiment,
however, he made some tender gestures to one of the pseudo-ladies,
who acknowledged them in the most amiable manner, and after that the
horsemen without horses paid him much attention, pointing with their
sticks to his spectacles, and trying to touch them as they passed.
All this greatly diverted the Mongol audience, evidently delighted
to see a real counterpart to the painted spectacles of some of the
actors.

The play over, Mr Erman and the other guests, preceded by the
uproarious orchestra, marched off to dinner at the house of the
sarguchei or chief officer of Maimachen. This gentleman, a tall,
thin person of stern countenance, dressed in gray velvet, had a
white button on the crown of his black felt hat, indicating his
rank, and a chalcedony ring, an inch wide, upon his right-hand
thumb, this being a mark of official dignity. "His nails," says our
traveller, "did not extend above half an inch beyond the tips of
his fingers, his personal vanity being in this respect subdued, as
might be expected in a man of sober mind and mature years." The man
of short nails and sober mind was exceeding hospitable, welcomed
his guests in a soft and sonorous voice, and sat down with them
to dinner at tables covered with scarlet cloth. The regale that
followed might have caused a European _chef_ to pale his ineffectual
fires from sheer envy. It began, oddly enough, with fruits,
sweetmeats, and tea. These discussed, a piece of fine paper, for a
napkin, and a pair of ivory chopsticks, were laid before each guest,
and the tables, which were six feet wide, were covered over thickly
with small porcelain plates full of all manner of complicated
edibles. Fat abounded in the dressing, to neutralise which weak
vinegar was used. The first series of saucers duly honoured, a
second was brought in and put on the top of its predecessor. Others
followed, and as the previous stratum was never removed, there soon
arose upon the table a lofty pile of gastronomical curiosities.
Pipes and _chowsen_, a Chinese spirit distilled from rice, concluded
the feast, as the strangers thought;--but they were vastly mistaken.
The soup course had still to come, and that was followed by an
infusion of cabbage-leaves, drawn out of an urn by a cock, and drunk
steaming hot. How a dinner commencing with preserved apricots,
and concluding with cabbage water, agreed with German stomachs,
Mr Erman does not inform us. After managing to taste upwards of
a hundred dishes, he went to visit the temple of Fo, whose court
was guarded by two clay lions painted green, whilst at his shrine
were deposited, on account of the festive season, a prodigious heap
of delicacies. Whole sheep without the skin, plucked chickens,
pheasants, and guinea-fowls, in their natural positions, and
glistening with fat, lay in hillocks at the feet of half-a-dozen
grotesque and indecent idols. On a long table, a wall of offerings
was built up, consisting of dressed meat and cakes of every kind,
the whole surrounded with an elaborate lattice-work of white dough,
five or six feet high, the openings of which were filled with dried
fruits and confectionary of the finest kind. Perfumed candles burned
before the disgusting idols, and brass discs hung from the ceiling,
and were struck with clappers when any bearing offerings approached.

The contents of the shops at Maimachen gave Mr Erman a very
high opinion of Chinese skill and ingenuity. He saw scientific
instruments of great merit, very clever clockwork, paintings drawn
and finished with the greatest care, (although highly objectionable
by the indelicacy of their subjects,) porcelain, sculpture, bowls,
vases, and figures of various kinds of stone. "There were large
spherical bowls, and oval vases, of chalcedony and agate, and
reliefs cut in cornelians, nephrit, and other coloured stones. Of
the latter kind, the most common are flowers, the several parts of
which are formed of various and tastefully selected stones, and then
cemented with mastic on a foundation of stone. For many of these
articles, highly elaborate, and at the same time quite useless, the
merchants of Maimachen asked four thousand tea-bricks, (a standard
of currency,) or about two thousand five hundred Russian dollars.
In this we saw a proof of luxury and profuse expenditure amongst
the Chinese. Many other branches of industry indicated enervation
and effeminacy of manners:" musk, for instance, and other perfumes,
enclosed in little bags, and considered indispensable appendages
to a young man's dress. A curious plaything, considered equally
essential, is composed of two polished balls, about an inch in
diameter, which the men always carry with them. "These are taken
in the right hand, at idle times, and rolled and rubbed one over
the other with the fingers; the noise they make amuses, and perhaps
there is something agreeable also in the feel of them. Here, in
Maimachen, I saw some of these balls made of glass, striped green
and white, and, hollow, containing within them a little lump of
clay, which rattled with every motion." The musk and perfumes,
however abundantly used, are all insufficient to counteract a very
peculiar and unpleasant smell attributed by Mr Erman to the Chinese.
He first perceived it at the theatre, and took it to arise from an
inordinate addiction to leeks on the part of actors and audience,
whose breath and clothes were infected with the disagreeable
odour of that bulb. But he was subsequently induced to regard it
as a national taint, a Chinese exhalation, not to be overcome by
any amount of artificial perfume, and whose cause is matter of
inquiry for the chemist. Doubtless the Chinese would get rid of it,
were it possible so to do, for the care they bestow on personal
beauty and elegance is very great. Another striking defect in the
inhabitants of Maimachen is to be found in their black and decayed
teeth. The cause of this Mr Erman suspects to be the solution of
copper, produced by the empyreumatic oil of tobacco in the bronze
mouth-pieces of their pipes.

At a post-house upon his road back to Irkutsk, Mr Erman and his
party were met by a deputation from no less a personage than the
Khamba Lama, the high-priest of the Buraets, a Mongolian tribe
closely allied in language and customs to the natives of the
northern provinces of China. The embassy consisted of four lamas
or priests attired in scarlet robes and bright yellow hats. They
brought an invitation to a grand festival, which was readily
accepted,--and a very remarkable business it proved to be. The
discordant theatrical music at Maimachen was a mere trifle compared
to the monstrous noise made by the Buraet kettle-drums, so large
that they were dragged upon four wheels, and by copper trumpets ten
feet long, borne by one man and blown by another. "The grave prelude
of the wind instruments was like a roaring hurricane, and the
chorus of brass gongs, drums, &c., resembled the crash of a falling
mountain." In this place we find some curious and interesting
details respecting the Buddhist religion and priesthood, after which
Mr Erman returns to Irkutsk, and resumes his journey eastward,
through the valley of the Lena, to the land of the Tunguzes and
Yakuts. The chief town of the latter people, Yakutsk, is two degrees
to the south of Beresov, which Mr Erman had visited on his way to
Obdorsk; but, nevertheless, the cold is far more severe at the
former place, where frozen earth is found near the surface all the
year round, and the same condition of the ground continues to the
depth of six hundred feet. "The inhabitants of the Swiss Alps would
not unjustly think themselves lost if they were compelled to live at
the height of ten thousand feet, or two thousand three hundred feet
above the hospital of the great St Bernard, and there to support
and clothe themselves by keeping cattle, and with the productions
of the surrounding mountains; yet they would then, and not until
they arrived at that height, be settled on ground having the same
temperature which I found here amongst the Yakuts, who are rich in
cattle. It would seem, therefore, as if that succeeded in Siberia
which was impossible in Europe, if we did not take into account
that the same constant temperature of the ground may be made up
at different places of very different elements." Notwithstanding
the severity of their climate and resistance of their frozen soil,
the Yakuts are a prosperous people, having attained a considerable
degree of civilisation, and amongst whom crime is rare, although
the influence of Russian example and contact daily renders it less
so. There is much interest in Mr Erman's account of them, and of
the wandering Tunguzses, the last tribe with whom he consorted
before his arrival at Okhotsk. Here his reception was not very
flattering. "We were looked at with much curiosity from all the
house-doors on the way, for the devout elders of the place had been
filled with anxious forebodings by the accounts of the arrival of
a foreigner. They signed themselves with the cross whenever he
was mentioned. And I learned to-day that they had fears of war,
conscription, and other calamities." Nor was their alarm abated by
learning that "the heathen foreigner wore snow-shades (spectacles)
even in thick weather, and that he carried a dog in the sledge
with him. Thus the return to civilised man was marked in the first
instance by the encounter of intolerant superstition, and it was
necessary to forget the nobler traits of the wilderness before
we could become reconciled to the Russians of Okhotsk." At which
place Mr Erman's narrative ceases. We await with interest its
promised continuation--an account of his adventures in Kamschatka,
California, and the Pacific.



THE SCOTTISH DEER FORESTS.

_Lays of the Deer Forest, with Sketches of Olden and Modern Deer
Hunting, &c. &c._ By JOHN SOBIESKI and CHARLES EDWARD STUART. 2
vols., post 8vo. William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh and London.


We would that, like stout Lord Percy of yore, it were in our power
at this present moment to chronicle a vow that we should forthwith
take our pastime for three summer days on the pleasant hills of
Scotland. Alas for us, that we are doomed, from divers causes, to
absent ourselves from felicity awhile, and, amidst the heat and
noise of London, listen with intense disgust to the brutal bayings
of the Chartists! This very night, we hear, the ignoble hunt is to
be up in Bishop Bonner's fields. Crowds of dirty, unshaven, squalid
ruffians, who have not the strength to use the pike, but the will
to employ the knife of the assassin--fellows whom even Cobden would
be chary to recognise as his _quondam_ supporters, defenders, and
dupes--not unmingled with foreign propagandists, whom even France,
in the fury of her revolutionary tornado, repudiates--are thronging
to the place of rendezvous, where, doubtless, their souls will
be worthily regaled by the ravings of some rascally vendors of
sedition, blasphemy, and treason. Then will ensue the usual scene
which for nights has disgraced the metropolis. Some unfortunate
tradesman, whose curiosity has been stronger than his prudence, will
be fixed upon as a "special" or a spy--the cowards, presuming upon
their numbers, and the apparent absence of all executive power,
will attempt a deliberate murder--the police will sally from their
hiding-place to the rescue--there will be a storm of brickbats, a
determined charge with the baton, a shop or two will be gutted,
some score of craniums cracked, and to-morrow morning the greasy
patriots, at the bar of Bow Street, will read their recantation,
and, in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, protest
their loyalty to the Queen. Such are the pastimes of merry England
in the month of June, and such the results of that enlightened
policy which yields every thing to popular clamour, adopts the
most fatal delusions as distinct principles of right, and then
shrinks, trembling and aghast, from the inevitable result of their
development!

We do not want--in this article, at least--to be political, and
we vow that we took up our pen three minutes ago in a spirit of
perfect good-will and harmony towards all manner of men. But
the hoarse bawling of these cannibals has somewhat ruffled our
temper, dispelled for the moment our dreams of the mountains, and
forced us back to the sterner realities of popular tumult and
the truncheon. If this sort of thing lasts, we shall indubitably
emigrate. Assassination, as recommended by the modern Hamilcar, is
by no manner of means to our taste. Our opinion coincides with that
of the gracious Captain of Knockdunder, and, were we promoted to
a judicial function, "the chiel they ca' the Fustler" should ere
long fustle in a tow. Neither are we at all disposed to fraternise
with the milder Cuffey--a fellow, by the way, who is not without
some redeeming scintillations of humour. We have no wish to be
introduced to him even at a mesmeric soiree; and, acting upon
the principle of Jacquey, we shall pray heaven to decrease our
acquaintance, and put the Tweed as speedily as possible between
ourselves and the partisans of O'Connor. We hope the Lord Provost,
though discomfited in his Police Bill, has been looking after the
tranquillity of the Calton. If not, we must move further north, and
finally locate ourselves somewhere in the vicinity of Dalnacardoch.
The deuce is in it, if the revolutionary mania has penetrated
to that sequestred region! No son of the mountains has ever yet
given in his adhesion to the Charter--treason hath not stained the
tartan, and no republican pins have ever been exposed beneath the
checkered margin of the kilt. There is loyalty at least in the
land which was traversed by Montrose and Dundee; and without the
slightest fear that any of the numerous points of that interesting
but incomprehensible public document, which Mr Joseph Hume proposes
to condense, shall be unduly obtruded on our notice, we shall at
once exchange our London dwelling for the more pleasant bothy of the
hills.

As for a companion, we shall seek none better--for we could not
find one--than this last publication of the Stuarts. And here,
once for all, let us draw a line of distinction betwixt the poetry
and the prose of these very remarkable brothers. We have not the
remotest intention of sitting in judgment on the "Lays," or of
testing the poetical merits of John Sobieski and Charles Edward,
either by the canons of Longinus, or by that superior code of
literary laws which Maga has promulgated to the world. The poems,
which occupy exclusively the first of these volumes, are, with one
exception, fugitive in their nature, and appear to have been penned
rather from occasional impulse, than from any deliberate intention
of publication. Accordingly, we find that most of them relate to
topics personal to the authors themselves--and with these we do not
meddle. In others, there are flashes of the deep national spirit
which still survives--though our rulers do not seem to mark it--in
Scotland: indignation at the neglect with which too many of our
national institutions have been treated, and mournful lamentings
over the misfortunes of a former age. But the impulse which leads to
the composition of poetry does not always imply its accomplishment.
Poetry, as an art in which excellence can only be obtained by a
combination of the simple and the sublime, requires a study far
more intense and serious than the mere critic is apt to allow. In
a former Number we devoted an article to an exposition of those
principles, which are absolutely invariable in their application,
and which must be thoroughly understood, if they are not intuitive
to the poet; and, being in no mood for repetition, we shall simply
say that we adhere to our recorded doctrines. The Stuarts, it must
be confessed, are more successful with the rifle than the lyre. We
would far rather meet them in the garb of the forester, than in the
more fantastic fashion of the minstrel: be theirs the lot of Ryno
the hunter, not the darkened destiny of the bard.

Do, therefore, what you please with the first volume--pack it up
in your portmanteau, or place it on the shelf beside Chambers'
History and the collections of good old Bishop Forbes. But if you
profess to be a deer-stalker--though we fear your profession to be
false--or if you are but an aspiring neophyte, and hankerer after
that proud position--or if you merely bound your aspirations towards
the compassing of the death of a roebuck--or if simply you have a
keen and a kindly eye for nature, and are a lover of the sylvan
solitudes--in one or other, or all of these characters, we pray you
to deal more leisurely with the other tone, which is the Hunter's
Vade-Mecum, the best guide ever yet published to the haunts of the
antlered monarch.

We are fond of Mr Scrope, and we have an excessive partiality for St
John. Two finer fellows never shouldered a rifle; and our conscience
does not accuse us of having used too superlative, in epithet in
their praise. This was the more creditable on our part, because
we knew them both to be Southrons; and while freely admitting the
sportsman-like qualities of the one, and the strong picturesque
style and spirit of the other, we felt a slight, passing, but
pardonable pang of jealousy, that they should have stepped in, and
pre-occupied the native field. Where, thought we, are our Scottish
deer-stalkers? Can the lads not handle a pen as well as touch a
trigger? Will none of them, who have been trained to the hills since
they were striplings, stand forth for the honour of Albyn, and try
a match with these fustian-coated circumventers of the stag? By the
shade of Domhnull Mac-Fhionnlaidlhnan Dan, we blush for the literary
reputation of our country, and almost wish that we were young enough
ourselves to take the hill against the invading Sassenach! At
length--and we are delighted to see it--the reproach has been swept
away. Two stalwart champions of the forest have risen in the persons
of the Stuarts--they have encountered the Englishmen with their own
weapons, and, in our opinion, beaten them hollow.

Mr Scrope had the merit of producing the earliest work in which
deer-stalking was treated as a distinct and peculiar branch of
the art venatory. We speak of it now from recollection; for
our copy, somewhat frayed and worn by the fingers of ambitious
sportsmen, is in the snug corner of a library some hundred miles
to the northward. But we remember well the Waltonian character of
the book--the professional style in which the elder practitioner
enforced his precepts upon the dawning intellect of his companion;
and the adventures, neither few nor feeble, which were depicted
in the heart of the Atholl forest. Taken as the production of
an English sportsman, Mr Scrope's book is highly creditable:
considered as the manual of a deer-stalker, it is at the best
indifferent. Nor, indeed, could it well be otherwise. Not until
middle age, if we are informed rightly, did Mr Scrope first send
a ball into the ample shoulder of a hart: his young blood never
beat tumultuously in his veins at the sight of the mighty creature
rolling over upon the heather, and its antlers buried in the
moss. His boyish enthusiasm, we fear, was expended upon game of
less mark and likelihood--partridges, perchance, as they whirred
from the turnips, or possibly he was "entered" with the hare.
Wordsworth's maxim, that the boy is the father of the man, is
peculiarly applicable in sporting matters. Upon the character of
the country in which the latent spirit of the hunter is earliest
developed, depends, in a great degree, his future success, and
certainly his accomplishment as an Orion. The young squire, who
has been brought up in the faith of Sykes, who never stirs abroad
without a keeper, and who is accustomed to see his delicate pointers
execute their manœuvres with almost mathematical precision on the
flat stubbles of Norfolk, labours under a huge disadvantage in the
higher branches of his science, compared with the Highland boy who
has received his education on the hill. What though the single
barrel of the latter be a clumsy implement indeed in competition
with the Purdie which decorates the shoulder of the former--though
the hound that sometimes attends him, though oftener he is alone,
never slept a single night in a kennel, and is the ruggedest
specimen of his kind--still he is in the enjoyment of advantages
incomparably superior for the development of all his faculties,
and the sharpening of every sense. The triumph of the sportsman
does not lie so much in the killing as in the finding of his game.
Were it otherwise, the pigeon-slayer of Battersea or the Red-house
would have just claims to the honours of Sir Tristram, and the
annihilator of poultry to rank with the Nimrods of the world. Our
young friend the Squire shoots well--that is to say, he can kill
with reasonable precision: but, after all, what is he save an
instrument? Take Ponto away from him, tie up Juno, send a bullet
through the brain of Basta, and a pretty beggarly account you will
have of it in the evening when we come to the emptying of the bags!
Or lead him down to the sea-shore, and show him a whaup, which in
the English tongue is denominated a curlew; request him to use all
his possible skill to compass possession of the bird; but do not set
your heart on having it, else, as sure as fate, you are doomed to
disappointment. Whaup is quite alive to his own interests, and by
no means unsuspicious of the Saxon, who advances straight towards
him with a hypocritical air of unconcern. Had the Highland lad been
there, what a difference! He would have dropped like a stone behind
that rock, wriggled like a serpent over the sand, kept the bird
between himself and the sea, taken advantage of every inequality in
the ground, discerned from the attitude of his quarry whether its
suspicions were aroused or not, and in ten minutes a pluff of white
smoke and a report would have announced its extermination. As it
is, the curlew remains apparently unconcerned until the Lord of the
Manor has reduced the intermediate distance to a hundred and twenty
yards, and then, with a shrill whistle, takes flight along the
margin of the tide. Or set him to stalk a blackcock, perched high
of an Autumn morning on a dyke. How clumsily he sets about it! how
miserable is his stoop! how wretchedly he calculates his distance!
That wide-awake hat, which, for the sake of symmetry, he has been
pleased to surmount with a feather, is as conspicuous to the country
for miles round, and of course to the blackcock, as was the white
plume of Murat in the field of battle, and as potent to effect a
clearance, of which we presently have ocular demonstration.

We contend, therefore, that it is extremely difficult for the man,
be he ever so addicted to field-sports, who has been educated in
a cultivated country, to disembarrass himself of the artificial
habits which he is tolerably sure to acquire. His trolling may
be excellent--indeed, English gentlemen are, generally speaking,
first-rate shots--but he will be deficient in the science of the
naturalist, and in that singular acuteness of perception which can
hardly be gained save by an early intimacy with nature, on the
mountain, the moor, or in the glen. No subsequent education or
experience can make up for the normal deficiency, least of all in
the pursuit of an animal so wary, so instinctive, and so peculiar in
its habits as the deer. Of course we do not mean to deny that there
is much which may be learned. What a pointer is to partridges, some
wary and experienced forester may often be made to the deer; and
if you put yourself under his tuition, and scrupulously obey his
orders, you may very possibly succeed in attaining the object of
your desires. Nor indeed can you do better, up to a certain point,
notwithstanding the strictures of the Stuarts, who are, we think,
unnecessarily wroth at the system which would call in the aid of
any supplementary assistance. We hope no gentleman who has rented a
forest for the ensuing season will be deterred from following the
feet of a Highland Gamaliel on account of any ridicule which may
be attached to the fact of his having been "taken up" to a deer.
If he should rashly attempt stalking at his own hand, without any
preliminary instruction, we should be sorry to found our hopes of
dinner on the chance of his acquisition of a haunch.

     "When advancing upon deer [say our authors]--except in strange
     ground--the forester, or any other attendant, should be left
     behind a stone, or in some covert, before the stalker commences
     his approach; not from any recognition of the false reproach
     made against the guides by Mr Scrope, but because there is
     no occasion for an assistant, and the action of one has more
     celerity, independence, and security from discovery, than when
     a greater number are in motion. The charge made by the author
     of 'The Art of Deer-stalking,' that the forester is often in
     the way, and sometimes obstructs the shot, is not true, unless
     in instances of inexperienced and awkward individuals, who are
     not to be found among that class of foresters of whom the guest
     of the _Atholl Forest_ proposes his remarks. With a MacKenzie,
     or a MacDonald, a Catanach, and a MacHardie, the asserted
     inconvenience must proceed from the ignorance or maladroitness
     of the gray worm which crawls at his back, and who often does
     not know what he is doing, or where he is going, with his
     ideas _égaré_ on his sensitive knees and varnished Purdie,
     unconscious of what he ought to do and nervous for what he ought
     not, flurried with eagerness and disgusted with his posture,
     and who, never seeing a deer except once in the year, is led
     up to him like a 'blind burraid,' by one whose language he
     scarcely understands. In general, therefore, the embarrassments
     of the 'creep' are those of the superior, who is frequently so
     ignorant, unpractised, and dependent upon the guidance of the
     forester, that to be '_taken up to the deer_' has become the
     modern forest phrase for the approach of the sportsman. This
     contemptible term, and its contemptible practice, has only
     been introduced within the last quarter century, since the
     prevalence of stalking gentlemen utterly unacquainted with the
     ground and pursuit of deer. Of old, the '_Seàlgair uasal nam
     bèann_' was initiated to the hill when yet but a '_biorach_'
     of a stalker; and when he became a matured hill-man, he should
     no more have suffered himself to be--'_taken up_ to his deer'
     by an attendant, than a Melton fox-hunter to be trained after
     the hounds by a whipper-in with a leading rein.--What should
     have been the sentiments of the old chiefs and Uaislean of the
     last century--the Dukes of Atholl and Gordon--Glengarrie--John
     Aberardar--Iain dubh Bhail-a-Chroäin--to hear a deer-hunter
     speak of being '_taken up to his deer_!'--Certainly that he was
     a noble 'amadan' or 'gille-crùbach,' who had not the faculties
     or the limbs to act for himself.--But this is only one of the
     many instances for which the hills of Gael may mourn with the
     mountains of Gilboa--'_Quomodo ceciderunt robusti!_'"

Far are we from insinuating that Mr Scrope is at all liable to the
remarks contained in the foregoing extract. On the contrary, we
hold him to be a man of vigorous mind and acute eye, and any thing
but a contemptible foe to the stags, after the measure of his own
experience. If he is deficient at all, it is in the poetry and
higher mysteries of the art, which hardly would be expected from a
stranger, whose initiation was necessarily late. Waverley, though a
respectable shot, and a man of literary taste, would, we apprehend,
have described the driving and disposition of the tainchel less
effectively, and certainly far less truly, than Fergus M'Ivor; so
great a difference is there betwixt the craft of the master and
his pupil. Let Mr Scrope, therefore, rest content with the laurels
he has won, and the trophies he has taken from the forest. Not
unforgotten is his name in Atholl, nor unloved. Let him be a guide
to the Southren, but he must not dream of rivalling the Stuarts in
woodcraft, or Stoddart in the science of piscation.

Of Mr St John's "Wild Sports of the Highlands," we have already
spoken in terms of unqualified praise. A more delightful volume was
never adapted for the pocket of the sportsman: a more truthful or
observant work has seldom issued from the pen of the naturalist. His
sketches and pictures of deer-stalking we allow to be as perfect in
their way as the compositions of Landseer; and having said so much,
we shall not make any further call upon that gentleman's blushes.
Still, even his experience is limited, and his knowledge imperfect.
He has given us a brilliant account of his own exploits upon the
hill, but he has not lived long enough in the wilder haunts of the
deer accurately to understand their habits. Not so our authors, who
for years have been denizens of the mountains, speaking the tongue
of the Gael, wearing the native garb, and following the chase with
an ardour and enthusiasm unparalleled in these degenerate days.

Gentlemen who complain of the inferior accommodation afforded by
some of the more distant hostelries of Scotland--who are shocked
at the absence of warming-pans, and tremulously nervous about
your sanatory condition, when subjected to the enormity of damp
sheets--how would you like to spend a few nights on the misty
hill-side, or even in the hut of the hunters? We shall take you if
you please to the latter spot, merely premising that, in order to
reach it, we must cross the Findhorn, now roaring down in spate. A
terrible stream is that Findhorn, as Mr St John well knows; but we
question whether he ever ventured to ford it on the rise, as was
done by one of the Stuarts. For the information of distant friends,
we beg to put our imprimatur to the following description of this
furious Highland flood, which rolled between the residence of the
hunters and their favourite ground.

     "That stream, however, which was so calm, and bright, and sunny,
     when the otters floated down its current in a still summer's
     morning, was a fierce and terrible enemy in its anger; and,
     for a great part of the year, the dread of its uncertainty
     and danger was a formidable cause for the preservation of
     that profound solitude of the forest which so long made it
     the sanctuary of deer, roe, and every kind of wild game. The
     rapidity with which the river comes down, the impassable height
     to which it rises in an incredibly short time, its incertitude
     and fury, would render it an object of care to bold forders and
     boatmen; but with the peasants of the 'laich,' unaccustomed,
     like the Highlanders, to wrestle with a mountain torrent, and,
     excepting in rare instances, unable to swim or manage a coble,
     it inspires a dread, almost amounting to awe, and none except
     ourselves ventured to keep a boat above the fishing-station of
     Slui. Pent within a channel of rocks from fifty to a hundred
     and eighty feet in height, the rise of the water is rapidly
     exaggerated by the incapability of diffusion; and the length of
     its course sometimes concealing beyond the horizon the storms by
     which it is swelled at its source, its floods then descend with
     unexpected violence. Frequently when, excepting a low wreath
     upon Beann-Drineachain, the sun is shining in a cloudless sky,
     and the water scarce ripples over the glittering ford, a deep
     hollow sound--a dull approaching roar may be heard in the gorges
     of the river; and almost before the wading fisherman can gain
     the shore, a bank of water, loaded with trees, and rocks, and
     wreck, will come down three--four--five feet abreast--sweeping
     all before it in a thunder of foam and ruin. In ordinary cases,
     after two days of rain, the stream will rise twenty or thirty
     feet--it _has_ risen nearly ten fathoms in its rocky gulf; and
     once upon this occasion it mounted fifteen feet in a quarter
     of an hour. When the dawn broke, it appeared sweeping through
     the trees, which the evening before hung fifty feet above its
     brink--a black roaring tempest loaded with ruins and debris,
     from which were seen to rise at times the white skeletons of
     trees peeled of their bark, beams and couples of houses--a
     cart--a door--a cradle, hurrying and tilting through the foam
     and spray, like the scattered 'floatsome' of a wreck.

     "It may be judged how far it was convenient in winter to hunt
     a forest separated by such a boundary, of which the nearest
     certain passage was by a bridge two miles to the west, with
     frequently the view of hunting three miles to the east. Often we
     have gone out in a clear sapphire morning, when there was scarce
     a ripple on the pools, and the water on the ford was not over
     our 'glunachan,' and when we returned at evening, and approached
     through the dark veil of pines which descended to the river,
     have heard a roar as if the world was rolling together down the
     black trough before us, and as we came out on the bank, found a
     furious tempest of water, tumbling, and plunging, and leaping,
     over stock and rock twenty feet upon the clatach, where we had
     left it whimpering among the pebbles in the morning; while, in
     the far, deep, birch-embowered channel, where the stream was
     then so still and placid that you could only guess its course by
     the bright glistening eye which here and there blinked between
     the trees and stones,--now it came yelling, and skirling, and
     clamouring down the rocks and falls, as if all the air was full
     of gibbering, babbling, laughing demons, who were muttering, and
     yammering, and prophesying, and hooting, at what you were going
     to do, if you attempted to cross."

We pray you at your leisure to read on, and you will presently
see what peril our authors underwent at the fearful fords of
the Findhorn. Once or twice in our life we have been in similar
jeopardy, and we can testify with unction to the singular sensations
which beset a man in the midst of a roaring river, when the rapids
are shooting away below, and the boulder-stones rolling beneath his
feet. We pass over some perilous instances of adventure, which at
length became so frequent as to lead to the construction of the hut.

     "Such continually and unexpectedly were the ferries of the
     Findhorn, and many such escapes we had, in daylight and in
     darkness.--Twice I have been swamped, often nearly upset, and
     more than once carried off my legs in the fords; and--I say it
     with humility, and always under the mercy of heaven--that I owed
     rescue either to actual swimming, or to the confidence inspired
     by that power when struggling with the strong and terrible enemy.

     "This continual exposure to battle and disappointment, however,
     became at length too vexatious an abridgment of sport and
     certainty; and as I would--and often--have made my bed under
     a fir tree rather than go round by the bridge of Daltullich,
     I resolved upon another alternative--to build in the forest a
     '_bothan an t-sealgair_,' or 'hunter's hut,' where we might
     lodge for the night when it was impossible to cross the water.

     "There is a high and beautiful craig at the crook of the river
     near the 'Little Eas,'--a precipice eighty feet in height, and
     then like a vast stone helmet crowned with a feathery plume of
     wood, which nodded over its brow. From its top you might drop
     a bullet into the pool below, but on the south side there is
     an accessible woody bank, down which, by planting your heels
     firmly in the soil and among the roots of the trees, there is a
     descent to a deep but smooth and sandy ford. Upon the summit of
     the rock there is, or there was--my blessing upon it!--a thick
     and beautiful bird-cherry, which hung over the craig, and whose
     pendant branches, taking root on the edge of the steep, shot up
     again like the banana, and formed a natural arbour and close
     trellis along the margin of the precipice. Behind its little
     gallery, there is a mighty holly, under which the snow rarely
     lays in winter, or the rain drops in summer. Beneath the shelter
     of this tree, and within the bank at its foot, I dug a little
     cell large enough to hold two beds, a bench, a hearth, a table,
     and a 'kistie.' The sides were lined with deals well caulked
     with moss, and the roof was constructed in the same manner, but
     covered with a tarpauling, which, lying in the slope of the
     surrounding bank, carried off any water which might descend from
     thaw or rain, and, when the autumn trees shook off their leaves,
     could not be distinguished from the adjoining bank. Its door was
     on the brink of the craig, veiled by the thick bird-cherries
     on the edge of the precipice; and the entrance to the little
     path, which ascended from either side upon the brow of the
     rock, was concealed by a screen of birch and hazel, beneath
     which the banks were covered with primroses, wood-anemones,
     and forget-me-not. Bowers of honeysuckle and wild-roses twined
     among the lower trees; and even in the tall pines above, the
     rose sometimes climbed to the very top, where all its blossoms,
     clustering to the sun, hung in white tassels out of the
     dark-blue foliage. There the thrush and the blackbird sang at
     morning and evening, and the owl cried at night, and the buck
     belled upon the Torr.--Blessed, wild, free, joyous dwelling,
     which we shall never see again!"

A lovely place indeed must that have been in the pleasant days of
summer! We do not wonder at the fondness with which the Stuarts
speak of that lodge in the wilderness, reared as it was in the
midst of the most beautiful and romantic scenery which exists
within the compass of the seas of Britain, or, for aught we know,
elsewhere. Years have rolled by since we last set foot upon the
banks of Findhorn; but never shall we forget the glories of that
deep ravine, or the noble woods of Altyre, still possessed by the
descendants of the princely Comyns. Did we not expect to be summoned
out within half an hour to contribute to the safety of the realm by
breaking the head of a Chartist, we should ourselves launch out into
description, and try conclusions with Horatio M'Culloch. But, after
all, it would be a work of supererogation. Mr St John has already
illustrated most charmingly that abode of the faithful; and he will
not be displeased to see that, even in painting, he has met with
formidable rivals. Rarely, indeed, have we met with any thing so
perfect as the following sketch:--

     "Near Slui on the Findhorn there is a range of precipices
     and wooded steeps crowned with pine, and washed by a clear
     and rippling stream of the river, through which there is an
     excellent ford, very well known to the roe, for escaping to
     the woods of Slui when pressed by the hounds. This reach is
     called the Ledanreich, from a remarkable craig, a sheer naked
     even wall of sandstone, lying in horizontal strata eighty or
     ninety feet high: At the eastern extremity of this rock there
     is a great division, partly separated from the main curtain by
     a deep woody slope, which dips into the precipice with little
     more inclination from the perpendicular than to admit of careful
     footing. In the face of the divided craig, the decomposition of
     the softer stone between the courses of the strata has wasted
     it away into narrow galleries, which, passing behind the tall
     pillars of the pines growing from the rifts and ledges, extend
     along the face of the precipice, veiled by a deep tapestry of
     ivy, which spreads over the mighty wall of rock, and hangs
     from shelf to shelf over the covered ways. Beyond the craigs,
     the bank of the forest, an abrupt steep, covered with oak and
     copsewood, slopes down to the river, its brow darkened with a
     deep-blue cloud of pines, and its descent carpeted with moss,
     primroses, and pyrolas, here and there hollowed into quaint
     'cuachs,' filled with hazels, thorns, and giant pines. Along
     this woody scarp, and through its thick copse, the roe had made
     narrow galleries, which communicated with the ivy corridors
     on the face of the craig, to which there were corresponding
     ways upon the opposite side. In that fortress of the rock, for
     shelter from the sun and flies, and seclusion from the stir of
     the world during the day in the heat of summer, the red-deer
     and roe made their secret haunt, concealed behind the deep dim
     veil of leaves, unseen and unsuspected in the cool hollows of
     the cliff. The prying eye might search the craig from below,
     and the beaters or the woodmen might whistle, and whoop, and
     shout above, but nothing appeared or moved except the gray
     falcon, which rose channering out of the rifts. Above the craig
     the wooded bank was so abrupt, that to the front view there
     was no indication of a slope, and any who passed quickly over
     the brow was immediately out of sight. At each descent beyond
     the extremities of the whole range of rocks there was a common
     roe's run and pass, which was supposed to be 'deadly sure' if
     the deer took the path, since the precipice below was believed
     to be an infallible barrier against any intermediate escape.
     Often, however, when pressed upon the terrace above, the deer
     neither went through the passes nor turned against the beaters,
     but vanished as if by magic--nobody could tell where; and it
     was the common opinion of the drivers and fishermen, that, when
     forced near the river, they threw themselves over the craigs
     'for spite,'--a belief often confirmed by old Davie Simpson, who
     declared that he had often found their bodies beneath the rocks,
     and in the Cluach, the Clerk's Pool, and the 'Furling Hole.' He
     did not, however, relate what _wounds_ they had, and the truth
     was, that those which disappeared at the brow of the Ledanreich
     dashed down the sudden dip of the bank between the precipices,
     and, turning through the ivy corridors, went out through the
     copse galleries upon the other side, and either descended to the
     water or skirted below the pass, and went back into the forest.
     Those which were found dead were such as had been mortally
     wounded at some in-wood pass, and, unable to take, or cross
     the water, had died on the beach, or been carried down by the
     river. In the same mysterious passages which gave concealment
     and escape to the stags and bucks, the does were used to lay
     with their kids, and from thence at morning and evening they
     brought them out to pluck the tender grass upon the green banks
     beyond. Often from the brow above, or from behind the ivy
     screen, we have watched their 'red garment' stealing through the
     boughs, followed by their little pair drawing their slender legs
     daintily through the wet dew, and turning their large velvet
     ears to catch every passing sound upon the breeze as it brought
     the hum of the water, or the crow of the distant cock--now
     trotting before, now lingering behind their dam, now nestling
     together, now starting off as the gale suddenly rustled the
     leaves behind them--then listening and re-uniting in a timorous
     plump, pricking their ears, and bobbing their little black noses
     in the wind,--then, as the doe dropped on her knees in the moss,
     and laid her side on the warm spot where the morning sun glanced
     in through the branches, they gambolled about her, leaping over
     her back, and running round in little circles, uttering that
     soft, wild, plaintive cry like the treble note of an accordion,
     till, weary of their sport, they lay down at her side, and
     slept while she watched as only a mother can. No marvel it was
     that they loved that safe and fair retreat, with all its songs
     and flowers, its plenty and repose. All around was sweet, and
     beautiful, and abundant, such as the poetical imagination of the
     painter can rarely compose, and _never_, unless like Salvator
     he has lived in the wilderness with its free denizens. Upon the
     summit above the craig there was a broad and verdant terrace
     surrounded by ivied pines and feathering birches, and upon a
     little green glade in the midst grow two of the most beautiful
     objects ever produced by art or nature. These were a pair of
     twin thorns exactly similar in size, age, and form, and standing
     about three yards from each other: their stems as straight as
     shafts, and their round and even heads like vast bushes of wild
     thyme, but each so overgrown with ivy and woodbine, that their
     slender trunks appeared like fretted columns, over which the
     thorny foliage served as a trellis to suspend the heavy plumes
     of the ivy and the golden tassels of the woodbine. Many a
     'ladye's bower' we have seen, and many a rich and costly plant
     reared by the care of man, but none so beautiful as those lonely
     sisters of the forest, planted by His hand in His great garden,
     where none beheld but those for whom He made it lovely--the
     ravens of the rock, the deer who couched under its shade by
     night, and the birds who sang their matins and their even-song
     out of its sweet boughs."

If we go on quoting at this rate, we shall never reach the hill, and
as yet we have not started from the hut. To say the truth, we are
in no hurry, and neither, we suspect, upon many occasions were the
Stuarts, indomitable huntsmen as they are. What though at night the
river swept with the sound of thunder below, making the solid rock
vibrate to its deep foundation,--what though the wind swept mightily
down the ravine, swaying the trees like saplings, and threatening to
tear them away,--what though the windows of heaven were open, and
the deluge came down, and the bark of the hill-fox sounded sharp
above the roaring of the water and the wood,--yet within that little
bothy that rests upon the face of the craig, the wearied huntsmen
slept peacefully; and in the morning, says one of them,--"I was
awakened as usual by the whistle of the robin in the bird-cherry,
and the sharp note of the blue bonnet sharpening his little saw on
the top of the holly. I went out to the narrow terre-plain over the
craig. The wind was gone, and the sun smiling on the still leaves
and dewy grass--the flood torrent of the river dancing and laughing
in its light, and the calm bright air breathing with the sweet
perfume of the damp plants, and all the freshness and fragrance of
the forest wilderness." We back it against the forest of Ardennes!

Every true hunter is humane. What! you say--do you call it humane
to persecute the unfortunate stag, the monarch of the wilds, to the
death?--to drive rifle-bullets into the target of the harmless roe?
to murder otters by the dozen, and to slaughter seals by the score?
Indubitably we do. Let us reason a little upon this. Yesterday,
you recollect that you dined upon very juvenile veal, smothered in
a mess of dingy vegetable matter which we apprehend to have been
sorrel, after the beastly fashion of the Gauls. Posterior to that,
you devoured the larger moiety of a duckling. This morning we saw
you, with our own eyes, regaling yourself at the club, between the
intervals of muffin, with what assuredly were cutlets of lamb. After
all this, can you have the face to stand up and defend your own
humanity? For how many days had the sun dawned upon that luckless
calf, the mangled fragments of which upon your platter rather
resembled the rags of a kid-glove, than food meet for the stomach
of a Christian? How long had the feeble quackle of Draco been heard
round the row of peas near which he unsuspiciously perambulated,
little dreaming how much the pods thereof were mixed up with his
future destiny? How many races were run upon the meadow by that
perished daughter of the sheep? Three infantine lives cut off simply
for your sole gormandising! This is but a slight case. Set you down
to a rook-pie, and you will engulf a dozen unfortunates before you
bury your visage in the pewter. Pay for you at Blackwall, and the
whitebait will disappear by the thousand. It is in vain that you
attempt to shift the atrocity of your inordinate appetite from your
own shoulders to those of the grazier, the butcher, the poulterer,
or the fisherman. Cobden, or Joe Hume, or any other of the political
economists belonging to the tribe who would starve the workman in
order that they may guzzle themselves, will tell you that invariably
the demand regulates the supply. You, therefore, are the responsible
party: the young have fallen into your Scylla--the immature of
days have been swept into the vortex of your Charybdis! Moreover,
if you were a sportsman--which you are not--our minds would be
grievously troubled for the future safety of the singing-birds.
Welford, the friend of Bright, as we all remember, proposed a grand
crusade throughout Britain against the feathered tribe; and you
are not at all unlikely to join in a general St Bartholomew of the
sparrows. Do you venture to retort upon us? Do you think we take
life unnecessarily, or that we are base enough to use our weapons
until the quarry has reached its prime? No calf or fawn ever fell
by the hand of the genuine hunter--no cheeper or pout ever sullied
the interior of the sportsman's bag. Not until the better part of
his life has been run,--till his muscles are hard as iron, his slot
deep, and his branches towering on the beam,--not until he has lived
and loved, do we strike down, as if with lightning and painless
death, the great hart in the middle of the wilderness. But to all
innocent things--to the harmless indwellers of the forest and moor,
the true hunter is a guardian and a friend. The strong man is ever
brave, and none but the strong can pass to where the herds of the
mountain dwell.

One more scene at the Hut, and we shall illustrate this subject
further.

     "But though our bothie was far from resembling the Peri
     Paribanon's cell, or the rock-palace where the old kaiser keeps
     his court in the bowels of the Unterberg--we loved it, not
     only for its bucks and stags, and all its greenwood cheer, but
     for the love of nature by which it was surrounded. Beyond its
     'vert and venison,' there was a world of life and interest for
     those who had the eye to mark and the heart to read its book.
     On every side we had companions; from the passenger which came
     from Norway, to the little native guest--the robin which roosted
     in the holly-bush above us. '_The_ robin?'--you smile and say.
     Yes, there was but one. He lived in the bush, as we lived in
     the bothie, and we were his neighbours too long not to be very
     well acquainted. His species, as well as all the small tribes,
     conformable to the minuteness of their range and habits, are
     very local, and may be found all the year in, or near, the same
     place; and those who feed them will rarely wait many minutes
     for their appearance. There were many robins which lived about
     the bothie, and all were continually in its vicinity, and very
     tame; but none so gentle and grateful as our little neighbour
     in the holly. They would, however, enter the hut, sit on the
     bed or the table, and hop about the floor, and, when I went
     out, follow me to the brae. They liked very much to see me turn
     up the soil, which always provided them with a little feast;
     accordingly, they were never absent at the planting of a shrub
     or a flower; and when I brought home, in my shooting-bag, a
     tuft of primroses, pyrolas, or lilies of the valley, they were
     always in attendance to see them put into the bank. For watching
     my occupation, they preferred something more elevated than the
     ground, but not so high as the branches of the trees, which
     were too far from the earth to give them a clear sight of what
     I turned up; for their accommodation, therefore, I made little
     crosses and crotchets, and, when I was planting, set them up
     beside me, moving them as I proceeded from place to place.
     Each was immediately occupied by an attentive observer; and,
     whenever an insect or a worm was discovered, one of the nearest
     darted down and caught it, even from between my fingers, and
     disappeared for a few moments under the rock or behind the great
     holly, to enjoy his success undisturbed. At his disappearance
     his place was immediately occupied by another, but at the return
     of the first it was amiably resigned by his successor. The
     blue-bonnets were almost as numerous as the robins, but they
     never arrived at the same intimacy and confidence. They never
     entered the bothie in my presence, and even when I fed them
     they would not approach as long as I remained outside the door;
     but as soon as I went in they descended four or five together,
     chattering and fluttering about the entrance, peeping in at
     the little window, and stretching their necks as far as they
     could, to see where I was, and if all was right. Then they would
     begin their breakfast on what I had left for them, talking a
     great deal about it, but occasionally ogling the door, in a
     manner from which I concluded that there was but small esteem
     or gratitude in their conversation.----Far different was the
     friendship of our little neighbour in the holly. In the morning
     he used to come down and perch on the arm of the bird-cherry,
     which stretched over the precipice before the door, waiting
     for its opening and the preparation of the breakfast, which he
     always shared; and when we were seated he would venture over the
     sill, and gather the crumbs about the table at our feet. Often
     when the first blood-red streaks of the autumn morning shone
     like lurid fire through the little window, we were awakened by
     his sad and solitary whistle, as he sat on his usual branch,
     his jet-black eye cast towards the door, impatient for our
     appearance. Many of his little cousins there were in the wood,
     with whom we were also well acquainted, and between us happened
     many an incident, which increased our interest and familiarity.

     "I remember a day, one of those deep still blue days so solemn
     in the forest; the ground was covered with a foot of snow, and
     all the trees were hanging like gigantic ostrich feathers; but
     all the world was blue,--the sky was a sleeping mass of those
     heavy indigo clouds which forebode a 'feeding storm,'--not a
     tempest, but a fall of snow; for, in Scotland, snow is called
     '_storm_,' however light and still it falls: thus, in tracking
     the deer, we say he 'has brushed the _storm_ from the heather;'
     and a '_feeding storm_' is when the clouds are continually
     feeding the earth with its velvet pall.--The reflection of
     those deep-blue clouds cast a delicate tint of the same colour
     over the whitened world. I was standing with my back against a
     huge pine--one of the old remnant of the great forest of Moray,
     which had, no doubt, heard the bell toll for the first Stuart
     earl.--I counted the rings in a smaller tree which once stood in
     the same hollow;--I shunned its wreck as I would have avoided a
     corpse which I could not bury, and always, when I passed near
     it, averted my face; but one day running to cut off a buck, and
     just heading him, I dropped on my knee to receive him as he
     came out from a mass of junipers, and when reloading, I found
     that I had knelt by the stump of my old friend.--I counted two
     hundred and sixty-four rings in his wood!--how many earls had
     he seen?--Well, I was leaning against his elder brother, as I
     suppose by the size. I had been there for a long time, waiting
     to hear the dogs bring back a buck from--I don't know now from
     where.----As I had been through all the swamps, and stripes, and
     wet hollows on that side of the forest, and waded through two
     and three feet of snow-wreaths, my kilt and hose, and, as it
     seemed, my flesh was saturated to the bones with 'snaw-bree,'
     and I began to beat, first one foot, and then the other, to
     quicken the blood, which was warm enough in my trunk.--I had
     scarce commenced this exercise, when I heard a little 'tic!'
     close to my ear, and the soft low voice of a bird--a sound,
     neither a whistle nor a chirp, but which I knew very well before
     I turned and saw the robin, who sat on a dry branch within a
     yard of my cheek. I guessed what had brought him: he was very
     cold, his ruffled back humped as round as a ball, and his tail
     drooping almost perpendicular with his legs, as if it was a
     little brown peg to lean on, like that on which the travelling
     Tyrolean merchant rests his pack. He looked at me with his large
     black eye, then, with a flirt of his tail and a bow with his
     head, indicated that, if I had no objection, he should like to
     descend to the place which I occupied; the object of which
     he expressed, by turning his head sidelong, and directing one
     eye into the black earth which my foot had beaten bare in the
     snow. I immediately drew back a couple of feet, and he instantly
     dropped into the spot of mould, peeped and picked under every
     leaf and clod of earth, and, when there was nothing more, hopped
     up on the guard of my rifle, on which I was leaning, and,
     turning his head, looked at me with his upper eye.--I again
     stepped forward, and recommenced my foot-exercise, during which
     he returned to his branch, examining my progress with some
     impatience. As soon as my foot was removed, he again dropped
     into the hollow, and busily collected all the little grubs and
     chrysales which, though too small for me to see as I stood, I
     knew abounded beneath the sere leaves and thatch of moss and
     sticks. In this manner I repeated his supply several times,
     on one of which, when I was too long, or he too impatient, he
     dropped from his perch, and hovered over the space in which my
     foot was at work, and, as I continued, lighted on the point of
     the other shoe, and remained there, peeping into the hollow,
     until I withdrew my foot, and then descended to finish his
     repast. When he was satisfied, he ruffed his feathers, looked
     up sidelong to me, and, after a shake of satisfaction, resumed
     his perch close to my head, and, after pruning and oiling his
     feathers, mounted another branch higher, and opened his little
     throat with that most sad, sweet, and intermitting warble which
     gives such a melancholy charm to a still winter's day."

Take a picture of the roe, and you will hardly doubt the humanity
of our sportsmen. But why talk of it thus? No one, we hope,
save a member of the Manchester manufacturing school could feel
otherwise--certainly not a genuine hills-man; and we quote the
passage simply for its extreme beauty and perfect fidelity to
nature. No creature is more beautiful than the kid of the roe-deer,
especially when seen in their rest, or moving through the ferns, on
a summer evening, beside their gentle mother the doe.

     "In the bedding season the does retire into the most secret
     thickets, or other lonely places, to produce their young, and
     cover them so carefully that they are very rarely found; we
     have, however, deceived their vigilance. There was a solitary
     doe which lived in the hollow below the Bràigh-cloiche-léithe
     in Tarnaway. I suppose that we had killed her 'marrow;' but I
     was careful not to disturb her haunt, for she was very fat and
     round, stepped with much caution, and never went far to feed.
     Accordingly, when at evening and morning she came out to pick
     the sweet herbs at the foot of the brae, or by the little green
     well in its face, I trode softly out of her sight, and if I
     passed at noon, made a circuit from the black willows, or thick
     junipers, where she reposed during the heat. At last, one fine
     sunny morning I saw her come tripping out from her bower of
     young birches as light as a fairy, and very gay and 'canty'--but
     so thin, nobody but an old acquaintance could have known her.
     For various mornings afterwards I saw her on the bank, but she
     was always restless and anxious--listening and searching the
     wind--trotting up and down--picking a leaf here and a leaf
     there, and after her short and unsettled meal, she would take a
     frisk round leap into the air--dart down into her secret bower,
     and appear no more until the twilight. In a few days, however,
     her excursions became a little more extended, generally to the
     terrace above the bank, but never out of sight of the thicket
     below. At length she ventured to a greater distance, and one day
     I stole down the brae among the birches. In the middle of the
     thicket there was a group of young trees growing out of a carpet
     of deep moss, which yielded like a down pillow. The prints of
     the doe's slender-forked feet were thickly tracked about the
     hollow, and in the centre there was a bed of the velvet 'fog,'
     which seemed a little higher than the rest, but so natural,
     that it would not have been noticed by any unaccustomed eye. I
     carefully lifted the green cushion, and under its veil, rolled
     close together, the head of each resting on the flank of the
     other, nestled two beautiful little kids, their large velvet
     ears laid smooth on their dappled necks, their spotted sides
     sleek and shining as satin, and their little delicate legs as
     slender as hazel wands, shod with tiny glossy shoes as smooth
     and black as ebony, while their large dark eyes looked at me out
     of the corners with a full, mild, quiet gaze, which had not yet
     learned to fear the hand of man: still they had a nameless doubt
     which followed every motion of mine--their little limbs shrunk
     from my touch, and their velvet fur rose and fell quickly; but
     as I was about to replace the moss, one turned its head, lifted
     its sleek ears towards me, and licked my hand as I laid their
     soft mantle over them. I often saw them afterwards when they
     grew strong, and came abroad upon the brae, and frequently
     I called off old Dreadnought when he crossed their warm
     track. Upon these occasions he would stand and look at me with
     wonder--turn his head from side to side--snuff the ground again,
     to see if it was possible that he could be mistaken--and when he
     found that there was no disputing the scent, cock one ear at me
     with a keener inquiry, and seeing that I was in earnest, trot
     heavily onward with a sigh.

     "The affection of the roe for their young is very strong; and
     timid and feeble as they are by nature, inspired by the danger
     of their offspring, they become brave and daring, and, in their
     defence, will attack not only animals but men. We were one day
     passing along the west walk of Eilean-Agais, and, beyond a turn
     in the path, heard the sound of feet running towards us, and
     immediately out shot a cat round the corner, and, close at her
     heels, a doe pursuing her with great eagerness. Knowing that her
     pursuer could not overtake her, and having no instinctive dread
     of her kind, the cat did not give herself the trouble to run
     faster than just sufficient to keep beyond her reach, while the
     doe pursued her with an angry scrambling pace, and, whenever she
     was near overtaking her, endeavoured to kneel on her back. This
     is a mode of attack common to deer as well as cattle, which,
     when they have overthrown their object, not only gore them with
     their horns, but bruise and crush them with their knees. At our
     appearance there was a pause; the cat cantered up the brae to
     the top of a little rock, where she lay down in the sun to see
     what would happen between us and her pursuer. The doe, after
     a few bounds, turned round and looked indignantly at us, and
     stamped and belled in great displeasure; this she continued for
     some moments, glancing occasionally at the cat with a strong
     desire to resume her chase; but being restrained by a sense of
     prudence, she slowly ascended the hill, stopping at intervals to
     stamp and bell at us, who knew very well that she had two kids
     in the junipers upon the craig."

Now let us up to the hill, where the mighty herds are feeding.
Scotland will, in all probability, never see a tainchel more;
indeed, save at a royal hunting, it were scarcely desirable now. The
feudal system has melted away, the clans are broken and scattered,
and we care not again to see a pageant which is indissolubly
connected in our memories with national gallantry and misfortune.
But the deer are still on the mountain and in the wood, and we shall
seek them in their former haunt. Wood-stalking, though the Stuarts
speak of it with considerable enthusiasm, was never much to our
taste. It is true that the largest stags are generally to be met
with in the wood, and we have followed the sport ere now in the
Spessart, among the pines of Darmstadt, and the thickets of Strath
Garve; but it must always partake more or less of the character
of driving, and we never have felt, while engaged in it, that
enthusiasm and keenness which sends the blood to the heart of the
hunter when he first discovers a herd in the gorge of some solitary
glen. Then he feels that he must put forth the whole resources of
his art--that he must baffle the acutest of all instincts by the aid
of human cunning--that he has a thousand difficulties to overcome
before he can arrive within reach of his quarry, and that a single
false step or miscalculation is sufficient to destroy the labour,
the patience, and the vigilance of a day.

Great, fat fallow-deer, waxing into obesity in a park, do not seem
to mind the approach of a human being, even were he an alderman
redolent of black-currant jelly. But the red-deer, as many incipient
stalkers know to their cost, has a very different amount of
perception. Unless you take the wind of him, he is off like a shot,
though your distance may be upwards of a mile. In the words of the
old stalker, "Above all things, let not the devil tempt you to
trifle with a deer's nose: you may cross his sight, walk up to him
in a gray coat, or, if standing against a tree or rock near your
own colour, wait till he walks up to you; but you cannot cross his
nose, even at an incredible distance, but he will feel the tainted
air. Colours or forms may be deceptive or alike; there are gray,
brown, and green rocks and stocks as well as men, and all these
may be equivocal; but there is _but one scent of man_, and that he
never doubts or mistakes; that is filled with danger and terror,
and one whiff of its poison at a mile off, and, whether feeding or
lying, his head is instantly up, his nose to the wind, and, in the
next moment, his broad antlers turn, and he is away to the hill or
the wood; and if there are no green peas, corn, or potatoes in the
neighbourhood, he may not be seen on the same side of the forest
for a month." A word to the wise, from the lips of a Celtic Solon!

So much for your chance, if, in the plenitude of your full
flavour, you take the hill, regardless of the currents of the air,
which, moreover, are perpetually shifting. But there are other
difficulties. Though not impossible, it is very ticklish work to get
within shot of a deer by any other means save diligent creeping, and
sometimes, when the ground is unusually flat and open, that method
of approach is impracticable. Then there are divers enemies--that
is, of yours, for in reality they are scouts to the deer--whom you
must try particularly to avoid. This is not easy. Sometimes when
you are sinuating like a serpent towards the especial stag of your
heart, a blundering covey of grouse will start from the heather, and
give an effectual alarm; sometimes the shrill whistle of the plover
will change your anticipated triumph into mourning; and sometimes
a charge of that disagreeable cavalry the mountain sheep, little
less sagacious and wary than the deer themselves, will put the
whole of the glen into disorder. But the worst enemies you have to
guard against are the hinds, who are usually so disposed as to be
out upon the feeding-grounds, and thus to mask the stag. In such a
position, it becomes a point of honour to circumvent the lady, which
is any thing but an easy task. The Stuarts give us an admirable
recollection of such a scene in the forest of Glen-Fidich, which
is so exciting that, though rather long, we make no apology for
transferring it to the columns of Maga.

     "After about an hour's stalking, we came upon the shoulder
     of a long slope, which looks into the gorges of two or three
     short glens, opening to a narrow plain, on which we saw a noble
     sight--a herd of four or five hundred deer, among which were
     many very fine stags. After having feasted my eyes with this
     splendid sight--the illustrious cavalry of the hill, the crowned
     and regal array of the wilderness--I began to calculate how to
     make the approach, how to slip between the chain of vidette
     hinds, and numerous picquets of small stags, which commanded
     almost every knoll and hollow. In the centre of the main body,
     with a large plump of hinds--which he herded within a wide
     vacant circle--there was a mighty black hart, with a head like
     a blasted pine, and a cluster of points in each crown. Though
     each stag of the surrounding circle had not less than ten
     points, there were none which approached his size, and they all
     kept at a respectful distance, while he marched round and round
     the central group of hinds. 'He will have them all in the ring
     before long,' said MacLellan; 'yon's one of the old heroes of
     the Monadh-liath; he has not been four-and-twenty hours in the
     forest.' I looked with an eager and longing eye at his gigantic
     stature, but there was no apparent possibility of approaching
     even the outward circle of stags. The herd was scattered over
     all the ground between the hills, and every little knoll and
     eminence had its restless picquets, and plumps of discomfited
     stags, which had been beaten by the great hart, and were chafing
     about, driving off and broding the buttocks of all the inferior
     stags which came in their way, then returning and staring
     with jealous disgust at the mighty stranger, who gave them no
     notice, except when one or two more audacious, or less severely
     beaten, made a few steps before his companions; upon which he
     immediately charged, drove them before him, and scattered the
     nearest in every direction. Upon these occasions, some hind of
     greater levity than the rest took the opportunity of extending
     her pasture, or paying her compliments to her companions, for
     which she immediately received a good prod in the haunch, and
     was turned back again into the centre.

     "'There is no doing any thing there,' said I.

     "''Deed no', replied MacLellan, shutting up his glass, 'we be to
     go down to the foot of the burn.'

     "This was a stream which runs through the middle of the narrow
     plain, and empties itself into the Fidich, about four miles
     below, at the east end of the forest. Before resolving upon
     this, however, we made an attempt to cross the little glen
     to the north-west; but, after passing round one hill, and
     nearly to the top of another, we fell in with a small herd
     of insignificant stags, but none among them being worth the
     disturbance of the great herd; and being unable to pass them
     unobserved, we were obliged to adopt the last alternative, and
     descend to the Fidich. In about an hour and a half we performed
     this retrogration, and, having crossed at the forester's house,
     ascended the burn till we again approached the deer, and
     stealing from knoll to knoll, again came in sight of the herd.
     The outskirts of its wide circle had been much broken and
     deranged by the jousts and expulsions during our absence; and we
     saw that it was impossible to get near the better stags without
     taking the channel of the stream. We immediately descended
     into the water, and crept up the middle, sometimes compelled
     to crouch so low, that the pools reached our hips, and, as the
     stones were round and slippery, it was very uneasy to proceed
     without floundering and splashing. At length, however, we were
     within the circle of the deer: there was not a breath of wind,
     and the least sound was audible in the profound stillness.
     We slipped through the water like eels, till we came to a
     little rock, which, crossing the burn, made a shelving fall,
     which there was no means of passing, but by drawing ourselves
     up the shoot of the stream. With some difficulty I pushed my
     rifle before me along the edge of the bank, and then, while
     the water ran down our breasts, we glided up through the gush
     of the stream, and reached the ledge above. The return of
     the water, which I had obstructed, made, however, a rush and
     plash different from its accustomed monotonous hum, and I had
     scarce time to lay flat in the burn, when a _hind_ sprung up
     within a few yards, and trotted briskly away, then another, and
     another. I thought that all was over, and that, in the next
     moment, we should hear all the clattering hoofs going over the
     turf like a squadron of cavalry. All remained still, however,
     and, in a few seconds, I saw the first hind wheel about, and
     look back steadily towards the fall. I was rejoiced to observe
     that she had not seen us, and had only been disturbed by the
     unusual sound of the water. She continued, however, anxious and
     suspicious--watched and listened--picked off the tops of the
     heather--then walked on, with her ears laid back, and her neck
     and step stilting away as stiff as if she had been hung up in
     the larder for a week. This, however, was not the worst; all the
     surrounding _hinds_ which noticed her gait gathered here and
     there, and stood on the tops of the little knolls, like statues,
     as straight as pucks, with nothing visible but their narrow
     necks and two peg-legs, and their broad ears perked immovably
     towards us, like long-eared bats. MacLellan gave me a rueful
     look. 'Cha n'eil comas air.' 'Never mind,' said I, 'we shall
     see who will be tired first.' The forester gave a glance of
     satisfaction, slid up his glass on the dry bank, and we lay as
     still as the stones around us, till the little trouts, which had
     been disturbed by our convulsion, became so accustomed to our
     shapes, that they again emerged from under the flat pebbles, and
     returned to their station in the middle of the stream, skulling
     their little tails between my legs with no more concern than if
     I had been a forked tree. At length the immobility of the hinds
     began to give way: first one ear turned back, then another,
     then they became sensible of the flies, and began to flirt and
     jerk as usual, and, finally, one applied her slender toe to
     her ear, and another rubbed her velvet nose upon her knee;--it
     was more than half an hour, however, before, one by one, they
     began to steal away, perking and snuffing, and turning to gaze
     at the least air that whiffed about them. At length they all
     disappeared, except one gray, lean, haggard old grandmother
     of hinds, who had no teeth, and limped with one leg, probably
     from a wound which she received fifty or perhaps a hundred
     years before I was born. Her vigilance, however, was only
     sharpened by age; time, and the experience of many generations,
     had made her acquainted with all the wiles and crafts of the
     hill,--her eyes and ears were as active as a kid's, and I have
     no doubt she could smell like Tobit's devil.--MacLellan looked
     at her through his glass, and spit into the burn, and grinned
     against the sun--as if he was lying in the bilboes instead of
     cold water.--The old sorceress continued to watch us without
     relaxation, and at last lay down on the brow of the knoll, and
     employed her rumination in obstinate contemplation of the bank
     under which we were ambushed. There was now no alternative but
     to recommence our progress up the burn; and as I was determined
     to circumvent the hind, I prepared for every inconvenience
     which could be inflicted by the opposite vexations of a sharp,
     rough, slippery, and gravelly stream. Fortunately, at the place
     where we then were, it was so narrow, that we could hold by the
     heather on both sides, and thus drag ourselves forward through
     the water, between each of which advances I pushed my rifle on
     before me. In this manner we reached the turn of the brook,
     where I concluded that we should be round the shoulder of the
     knoll, and out of sight of the hind, who lay upon its east brow.
     This was effected so successfully, that, when we looked behind,
     we only saw her back, and her head and ears still pointing at
     the spot which we had left. One hundred yards more would bring
     us within sight of the great hart; the general position of the
     herd had not changed, and I hoped to find him near the central
     knoll of the flat, at the base of which the burn circled. We
     were almost surrounded by deer; but the greater number were
     small vigilant hinds, the abomination and curse of a stalker.
     At length, however, we reached the knoll, and rested, to take
     breath, at its foot; I examined my rifle, to see that the lock
     was clean and dry. We took a view of all around us, and, drawing
     ourselves cautiously out of the burn, slid up through the
     heather on the south side of the eminence.--Scarce, however, had
     our legs cleared the stream, when we discovered a pair of ears
     not above fifteen yards from the other side.--'_Mo mhallachd
     ort!_' [My curse upon you]--whispered MacLellan. She had not
     discovered us, however, and we glided round the base of the
     knoll--but on the other side lay three hinds and a calf, and I
     could see no trace of the great hart.--On the edge of the burn,
     however, further up, there were five very good stags, and a
     herd of about thirty deer, on the slope of the north brae. All
     round us the ground was covered with hinds; for the prevalence
     of the westerly wind, during the last few days, had drawn the
     deer to that end of the forest. Upon the spot where I lay,
     though I could only see a portion of the field, I counted four
     hundred and seventy; and it was evident that no movement could
     be made upon that side. We tried again the opposite slope of the
     knoll;--the hind which we had first seen was still in the same
     place, but she had laid down her head, and showed only the gray
     line of her back over the heather. We drew ourselves cautiously
     up the slope and looked over the summit. On the other side
     there was a small flat moss, about seventy yards in breadth;
     then another hillock; and to the left two more, with little
     levels, and wet grassy hollows between them. Upon the side of
     the first knoll there were two young stags and some hinds; but
     the points of some good horns showed above the crest.--The
     intervening ground was spotted with straggling hinds, and we
     might lay where we were till to-morrow morning, without a chance
     of getting near any of the good deer. While we deliberated,
     MacLellan thought that, by crawling with extreme caution up a
     wet hollow to the left, we might have a chance to approach the
     stags whose horns we had seen behind the other knoll, and, as
     nothing better could be done, we decided upon this attempt. The
     sun was going down from the old towers of Auchandùn, and we had
     no more time than would give light for this venture.--We slid
     away towards the hollow, and, drawing ourselves, inch by inch,
     though the heather and tall thin grass, had reached the middle
     of the level between the hillocks, when we heard a stamp and
     a short grunt close beside us--I had scarce time to turn my
     head, and catch a glimpse of a base little gray hind who, in
     crossing the hollow, had stumbled upon us.--It was but a moment:
     a rapid wheel and rush through the long grass, and I heard the
     career of a hundred feet going through the hollow. I sprung on
     my knee, and skaled a dozen small stags and hinds which came
     upon us full speed; for those behind, not knowing from whence
     came the alarm, made straight for the hill. The herd were now
     gathering in all directions; charging--flying--re-uniting,
     dispersing, and reassembling in utter disorder, like a rout of
     cavalry.--I made a run for the middle knoll,--two stags, with
     pretty good heads, met me right in the face.--I did not stop
     to look at them, but rushed up the brae.--What a sight was
     seen from its top!--upwards of six hundred deer were charging
     past--before, behind, around, in all directions.--The stately
     figure which I sought--the mighty black hart, was slowly
     ascending an eminence about three hundred yards off, from whence
     he reconnoitred the ground below; while the disarray of stags
     and hinds gathered round him, like rallying masses of hussars
     in the rear of a supporting column. I was so intent upon the
     king of the forest, that I saw nothing else.--No other heads,
     forms, numbers, took any place in my senses; all my faculties
     were on the summit of that height.--At this moment I felt my
     kilt drawn gently; I took no notice--but a more decided pull
     made me look round:--MacLellan motioned up the slope, and I
     saw the points of a good head passing behind a little ridge,
     about eighty yards away. I looked back at the hart--he was just
     moving to the hill. What would I have given to have diminished
     a hundred and fifty yards of the distance which divided us! He
     passed slowly down the back of the eminence and disappeared, and
     the gathering herd streamed after him. '_O Chìal! A Chìal!_'
     exclaimed the forester--'_bithidh è air fàlbh!_' The stag whose
     horns I had seen had come out from behind the ridge, and stood
     with his broad side towards me, gazing at the herd; but as they
     moved away, he now began to follow. The disappearance of the
     great hart, and the disappointment of MacLellan, recalled me to
     the last chance. I followed the retreating stag with my rifle,
     passed it before his shoulder, whiz went the two-ounce ball, and
     he rolled over headlong in the heath, on the other side of the
     knoll, which the next stretch would have placed between us. I
     looked to the hill above: the whole herd was streaming up the
     long green hollow in its west shoulder headed 'by the mighty
     of the desert.' They rounded and passed the brow, and sloped
     upward on the other side, till the forest of heads appeared
     bristling along the sky-line of the summit. In a few moments
     afterwards, as the sun was going down upon Scùr-na-Lapaich, and
     the far western hills of Loch Duaich, the terrible wide-forked
     tree came out in the clear eastern sky on the top of the hill,
     and, crowding after, at least two hundred heads--crossing, and
     charging, and mingling--their polished points flashing in the
     parting sunbeams, and from many a horn, the long steamers of the
     moss fluttering and flying like the pennons and bannerolles of
     lances. The herd continued to file along the ridge of the hill,
     and wheeling below the crest, countermarched along the sky-line,
     till their heads and horns slowly decreased against the light."

With such a book as this before us, we could go on alternately
commenting and extracting until we had broken the back of the
Number. Even now we are dying to pilfer the account of the late
Glengarry's course with "Black Dulochan," and the no less exciting
history of the three day's ruse with a roebuck. But abstinence is a
virtue which is forced upon us in the present instance, rather from
the lack of space than from any exercise of voluntary discretion;
and we shall now leave the deer without further molestation for
a season, hoping soon to encounter them in person with our rifle
somewhere about the skirts of Cairn-Gorm.

This is, we have no hesitation in saying, the best work on
deer-stalking which has yet been written; and the amount of
information which it contains regarding the habits of the stag and
roe, combined with the vivid pictures of which we have made such
ample use, cannot fail to render it popular. In an antiquarian point
of view, it is also highly interesting; for it embodies a large
amount of traditionary lore, sketches of the clans, and fragments of
Highland song, of much superior merit to those which have hitherto
come into our hands. The disquisitions, too, upon the disappearance
of some animals once indigenous to Scotland--such as the wolf,
the elk, the wild bull, and the beaver--exhibit a great amount of
research, and supply a gap which has long been wanted in the page of
natural history.

One word to the authors--though we fear our words must travel a long
way before they can reach them in a foreign land. Why should they
not recast and add to their second volume, so as to make it a single
and unrivalled work upon the noblest sports of the Highlands? If
it has proved so fascinating, as in truth we have felt it, in the
more cumbrous shape of notes, how much better would it be if issued,
not as an appendage to the poems, but in a distinct and articulate
form? Perpend upon this, John Sobieski and Charles Edward, at
your leisure; and let us add, that we trust some of your more
gloomy anticipations may fall short of reality; that the walks of
Eilean-Agais, that little Eden of the north, may again be gladdened
by your presence; and that the sound of your hunting-horns may once
more be heard in the woods of Tarnaway, and on the hills near the
sources of the Findhorn.



THE BURIED FLOWER.


    In the silence of my chamber,
      When the night is still and deep,
    And the drowsy heave of ocean
      Mutters in its charmèd sleep,

    Oft I hear the angel voices
      That have thrill'd me long ago,--
    Voices of my lost companions,
      Lying deep beneath the snow.

    O, the garden I remember,
      In the gay and sunny spring,
    When our laughter made the thickets
      And the arching alleys ring!

    O the merry burst of gladness!
      O the soft and tender tone!
    O the whisper never utter'd
      Save to one fond ear alone!

    O the light of life that sparkled
      In those bright and bounteous eyes!
    O the blush of happy beauty,
      Tell-tale of the heart's surprise!

    O the radiant light that girdled
      Field and forest, land and sea,
    When we all were young together,
      And the earth was new to me!

    Where are now the flowers we tended?
      Wither'd, broken, branch and stem;
    Where are now the hopes we cherish'd?
      Scatter'd to the winds with them.

    For ye, too, were flowers, ye dear ones!
      Nursed in hope and rear'd in love,
    Looking fondly ever upward
      To the clear blue heaven above:

    Smiling on the sun that cheer'd us,
      Rising lightly from the rain,
    Never folding up your freshness
      Save to give it forth again:

    Never shaken, save by accents
      From a tongue that was not free,
    As the modest blossom trembles
      At the wooing of the bee.

    O! 'tis sad to lie and reckon
      All the days of faded youth,
    All the vows that we believed in,
      All the words we spoke in truth.

    Sever'd--were it sever'd only
      By an idle thought of strife,
    Such as time might knit together;
      Not the broken chord of life!

    O my heart! that once so truly
      Kept another's time and tune,
    Heart, that kindled in the spring-tide,
      Look around thee in the noon.

    Where are they who gave the impulse
      To thy earliest thought and flow?
    Look around the ruin'd garden--
      All are wither'd, dropp'd, or low!

    Seek the birth-place of the lily,
      Dearer to the boyish dream
    Than the golden cups of Eden,
      Floating on its slumbrous stream;

    Never more shalt thou behold her--
      She, the noblest, fairest, best:
    She that rose in fullest beauty,
      Like a queen, above the rest.

    Only still I keep her image
      As a thought that cannot die,
    He who raised the shade of Helen
      Had no greater power than I.

    O! I fling my spirit backward,
      And I pass o'er years of pain;
    All I loved is rising round me,
      All the lost returns again.

    Blow, for ever blow, ye breezes,
      Warmly as ye did before!
    Bloom again, ye happy gardens,
      With the radiant tints of yore!

    Warble out in spray and thicket,
      All ye choristers unseen,
    Let the leafy woodland echo
      With an anthem to its queen!

    Lo! she cometh in her beauty,
      Stately with a Juno grace,
    Raven locks, Madonna-braided
      O'er her sweet and blushing face:

    Eyes of deepest violet, beaming
      With the love that knows not shame,--
    Lips, that thrill my inmost being
      With the utterance of a name.

    And I bend the knee before her,
      As a captive ought to bow,--
    Pray thee, listen to my pleading,
      Sovereign of my soul art thou!

    O my dear and gentle lady,
      Let me show thee all my pain,
    Ere the words that late were prison'd
      Sink into my heart again.

    Love, they say, is very fearful
      Ere its curtain be withdrawn,
    Trembling at the thought of error
      As the shadows scare the fawn.

    Love hath bound me to thee, lady,
      Since the well-remember'd day
    When I first beheld thee coming
      In the light of lustrous May.

    Not a word I dared to utter--
      More than he who, long ago,
    Saw the heavenly shapes descending
      Over Ida's slopes of snow:

    When a low and solemn music
      Floated through the listening grove,
    And the throstle's song was silenced,
      And the doling of the dove:

    When immortal beauty open'd
      All its grace to mortal sight,
    And the awe of worship blended
      With the throbbing of delight.

    As the shepherd stood before them
      Trembling in the Phrygian dell,
    Even so my soul and being
      Own'd the magic of the spell;

    And I watch'd thee, ever fondly,
      Watch'd thee, dearest, from afar,
    With the mute and humble homage
      Of the Indian to a star.

    Thou wert still the Lady Flora
      In her morning garb of bloom;
    Where thou wert was light and glory,
      Where thou wert not, dearth and gloom.

    So for many a day I follow'd
      For a long and weary while,
    Ere my heart rose up to bless thee
      For the yielding of a smile,--

    Ere thy words were few and broken
      As they answer'd back to mine,
    Ere my lips had power to thank thee
      For the gift vouchsafed by thine.

    Then a mighty gush of passion
      Through my inmost being ran;
    Then my older life was ended,
      And a dearer course began.

    Dearer!--O, I cannot tell thee
      What a load was swept away,
    What a world of doubt and darkness
      Faded in the dawning day!

    All my error, all my weakness,
      All my vain delusions fled:
    Hope again revived, and gladness
      Waved its wings above my head.

    Like the wanderer of the desert,
      When, across the dreary sand,
    Breathes the perfume from the thickets
      Bordering on the promised land;

    When afar he sees the palm-trees
      Cresting o'er the lonely well,
    When he hears the pleasant tinkle
      Of the distant camel's bell:

    So a fresh and glad emotion
      Rose within my swelling breast,
    And I hurried swiftly onwards
      To the haven of my rest.

    Thou wert there with word and welcome,
      With thy smile so purely sweet;
    And I laid my heart before thee,
      Laid it, darling, at thy feet!--

    O ye words that sound so hollow
      As I now recall your tone!
    What are ye but empty echoes
      Of a passion crush'd and gone?

    Wherefore should I seek to kindle
      Light, when all around is gloom?
    Wherefore should I raise a phantom
      O'er the dark and silent tomb?

    Early wert thou taken, Mary!
      In thy fair and glorious prime,
    Ere the bees had ceased to murmur
      Through the umbrage of the lime.

    Buds were blowing, waters flowing,
      Birds were singing on the tree,
    Every thing was bright and glowing,
      When the angels came for thee.

    Death had laid aside his terror,
      And he found thee calm and mild,
    Lying in thy robes of whiteness,
      Like a pure and stainless child.

    Hardly had the mountain violet
      Spread its blossoms on the sod,
    Ere they laid the turf above thee,
      And thy spirit rose to God.

    Early wert thou taken, Mary!
      And I know 'tis vain to weep--
    Tears of mine can never wake thee
      From thy sad and silent sleep.

    O away! my thoughts are earthward!
      Not asleep, my love! art thou,
    Dwelling in the land of glory
      With the saints and angels now.

    Brighter, fairer far than living,
      With no trace of woe or pain,
    Robed in everlasting beauty,
      Shall I see thee once again,

    By the light that never fadeth,
      Underneath eternal skies,
    When the dawn of resurrection
      Breaks o'er deathless Paradise.

    W. E. A.



HUZZA FOR THE RULE OF THE WHIGS!

AIR--"_Old Rosin the Beau._"


    All ye who are true to the altar and throne,
      Come join in this ditty with me;
    And you who don't like it may let it alone,
      Or listen a little and see.
    How quietly now we may sleep in our beds,
      And waken as merry as grigs;
    Though fears of rebellion hang over our heads,
      We're safe while we're ruled by the Whigs.

    In the 'nineties we saw (I remember the day)
      Revolution disguised as Reform;
    But the country was saved in a different way,
      By the Pilot that weather'd the storm.
    Our vessel was steer'd by the bravest and best,
      And, except a few quality sprigs,
    The whole English nation had thought it a jest
      To propose being ruled by the Whigs.

    But as matters now stand in this ill-fated realm,
      When old comrades will give us the slip,
    We are strangely compell'd to put men at the helm.
      To prevent them from scuttling the ship.
    Only think, for a moment, if Russell were out,
      How wild he'd be running his rigs!
    About popular rights he would make such a rout--
      'Tis lucky we're ruled by the Whigs.

    The Church--can you doubt what her danger would be
      Were Tories at present in power?
    Lord John, or his friends, we should certainly see
      Attacking her posts every hour.
    But as long as the Bishops may help out his lease,
      He won't injure a hair of their wigs;
    Nay, he even proposes the list to increase--
      So huzza for the rule of the Whigs!

    If Grey were at large, how he'd lay down the law
      On the cures he for Ireland had found;
    And swear that he never would rest till he saw
      Her Establishment razed to the ground.
    But Grey, while in office, sits muffled and mum,
      Like a small bird asleep in the twigs;
    And Ward, in the Commons, is equally dumb--
      So huzza for the rule of the Whigs!

    If any of us had made war on Repeal
      With the weapons that Clarendon tries,
    What shrieks of indignant invective from Shiel
      At the wrongs of Old Erin would rise.
    By millions of noisy Milesians back'd,
      From the peer to the peasant that digs--
    How would Monaghan murmur that juries were pack'd!--
      So huzza for the rule of the Whigs!

    On Aliens or Chartists to hear them declaim,
      You'd think Castlereagh come from the dead.
    Though the mixture of metaphors isn't the same,
      And the courage and coolness are fled.
    But the Whigs are becoming respectable men
      As any that ever kept gigs,
    They are practising _now_ all they preach'd against _then_--
      So huzza for the rule of the Whigs!

    Go on, my good lads--never think of retreat,
      Though annoy'd by a squib or a squirt;
    You're fulfilling the fate such impostors should meet,
      And eating your bushel of dirt
    Then swallow it fast, for your hour may not last--
      We shall soon, if it pleases the pigs,
    Give your places to men of a different cast,
      And get rid of the rule of the Whigs!



THE NAVIGATION LAWS.


"When the Act of Navigation," says Adam Smith, "was made, though
England and Holland were not actually at war, the most violent
animosity subsisted between the two nations. It is not impossible,
therefore, that some of the regulations of this famous act may have
proceeded from national animosity. They _are as wise, however, as if
they had all been dictated by the most deliberate wisdom_. National
animosity, at that particular time, aimed at the very object which
the most deliberate wisdom would have recommended,--the diminution
of the naval power of Holland, the only naval power which could
endanger the security of England. The Act of Navigation is not
favourable to foreign commerce, or to the growth of that opulence
which can arise from it. As defence, however, is of much more value
than opulence, the Act of Navigation is perhaps the wisest of all
the commercial regulations of England."[8] Before these pages issue
from the press, this, undoubtedly the wisest of all the commercial
regulations of Great Britain, and under which the maritime strength
and colonial empire of England have risen to a pitch of grandeur
unknown in any other age or country, will be numbered among the
things which have been. The House of Commons, by a majority, have
voted for the repeal of the Navigation Laws.

  [8] _Wealth of Nations_, iv. c. 2.

Free trade will soon have done its work, so far, at least, as the
House of Commons is concerned. It is gradually but unceasingly
advancing, and swallowing up successively all the great interests of
the empire, save that of the capitalists, as it moves forward. The
agricultural interests will find themselves deprived, in February
next, of all protection; and the British cultivator exposed to
the competition, without any shield save a nominal duty of 1s. a
quarter, of states where wheat can be raised, with a fair profit
in average years, at 18s. a quarter, and brought to this country
for 10s. at the very utmost of freight. As soon as we have two fine
harvests in succession, it will be seen to what state this system
will reduce British rural production. The West India interests have
been next assailed; and our colonies, upon whom free labour has
been forced, upon a compensation being given to the proprietors on
an average of a fourth of the value of their slaves, are speedily
to be exposed, with no protection but a differential duty of 5s.
6d. a hundredweight, diminishing 1s. 6d. a-year, till, in 1854, it
disappears, to the competition of slave colonies, where sugar can be
raised for £4 a ton, while in the British colonies the measures of
government have precluded its being raised for less than £10 a ton.
As a natural consequence, cultivation is about to cease in those
noble settlements; the forest and the jungle will speedily supplant
the smiling plantations, and £100,000,000 worth of British property
will be lost beyond redemption.

Domestic manufactures were at the same time assailed, though with a
more gentle hand than rude produce. Protective duties on them were
lowered, though not entirely removed; and the consequence is, that
at this time there are 8000 hands wholly unemployed at Manchester,
and above 10,000 at Glasgow, and distress to an unparalleled extent
pervades the whole commercial and manufacturing classes. Nothing
daunted by these calamitous results, so exactly what the opponents
of free trade predicted would ensue, so diametrically the reverse
of the unbounded prosperity which they promised the nation as the
consequence of their changes, the Free-traders, in pursuance of
their usual system of preferring their own opinions to the evidence
of facts, are preparing to apply the same system to the commercial
navy of the country, and, by the repeal of the Navigation Laws,
against the opinion of Adam Smith, to depress our shipping interest
as much as they encourage that of foreign states, and endanger our
national existence, by crippling our own means of defence as much
as they augment the means of attack in the hands of our enemies. Not
content with rendering us dependent for a large part of our bread
on foreign nations, they are determined on measures calculated to
deprive us of the means of maintaining our naval superiority, or
upholding the national independence. They are set upon saying the
nation a few millions a-year in freight, though the consequence is,
that we shall be alike unable to withstand a pacific blockade or
hostile aggression.

Many estimable and thoughtful persons in the country, struck with
astonishment at the adoption and determined adherence to such a
suicidal policy--alike by our rulers and a powerful party in the
country--in the face of the decisive evidence afforded by facts, and
the universal distress of the nation, as to its ruinous tendency,
have come to the opinion, that we have been struck with a judicial
blindness, and that Providence, as a just punishment for our sins,
and for the furtherance of its mysterious designs in the general
government of mankind, has rendered our own infatuation the means
of working out our destruction. They think it affords a marvellous
proof of the weakness of the human mind, and the impotence of man
against the arm of his Creator, that this vast empire, which has
done such mighty things in the annals of history, and which has
stood proof against the hostility of the combined world, directed
by consummate ability, when its rule was that of justice, should
thus crumble away and perish, not from external violence or foreign
aggression, but solely from domestic infatuation, when that rule has
passed away. And observing that this country has already suffered
greater losses, and been more severely crippled in its resources
by the effects of three years of free trade and fettered currency
policy, than by the whole efforts of France during a war of twenty
years--and still the same course is blindly persevered in--they draw
the conclusion that the evil is irremediable by human means, and
that the nation, if not absolutely shipwrecked, will approach as
near the verge of ruin as the providence of God will permit human
infatuation to effect.

Without denying that there is much truth in these observations, and
humbly acknowledging a Divine superintendence alike in the rise and
the decline, the prosperity and decay, of nations, it yet appears
more reasonable to trace the extraordinary obstinacy of the ruling
party in the nation to the causes which, humanly speaking, seem to
have been mainly instrumental in producing it. The fanaticism of the
political economists, who, like all other fanatics, are inaccessible
to reason or experience, is, without doubt, a main cause of the
disastrous policy to which the nation seems now irrevocably pledged.
But a still more powerful agent in producing the determined
adherence to this system, in the face of the most conclusive
evidence of its pernicious tendency, is to be found in the _class_
government which it is now apparent the Reform Bill has imposed upon
the nation. It is now unhappily proved that the _trading_ interest,
in whom a decisive majority both in the constituency and the number
of seats in parliament has been vested by the Reform Bill, are
alive, like all other classes, mainly to the suggestions of their
own advantage; and that advantage they think is, to buy cheap and
sell dear. Whatever we were in the days when Napoleon said it, we
are now, if not a nation of shopkeepers, at least a nation _ruled
by shopkeepers_. The colonies are entirely unrepresented. Schedules
A and B, sixteen years ago, cut off all their representatives. The
landed interest is in a minority, from two-thirds of the seats in
the Commons being for boroughs; and those boroughs, owing to the
depression of the producing classes by the currency laws, and the
vast increase of the trading interests from the same cause, being
for the most part under the direction of the commercial part of
the community. It is in these circumstances that we are to look
for the real causes of the adoption of free-trade principles of
late years by our statesmen, and the determined adherence to it,
in spite of all experience, by a majority of the House of Commons.
Such conduct is the inevitable result of every _uniform_ system
of representation, because that lands the government in the class
government of the majority, composed of a particular interest. The
evil was not felt under the old constitution, because it was _not_
a class government, being based on a multifarious, not a uniform
representation. Its _defects_, as they are now called, _i. e._ its
nomination boroughs, combined with the extension of our colonial
and shipping interests, had let in a most efficient representation
of _all_ the interests in the empire, as well as that of the
inhabitants of those islands, into the House of Commons. It is to
this cause that the protection of _all_ interests by the old House
of Commons is to be ascribed. Doubtless, under the old system the
Corn Laws would have been upheld; but the West Indies would have
been saved from ruin, domestic industry rescued from bankruptcy and
the Navigation Laws, the palladium of our national independence,
preserved from destruction.

That the Navigation Laws have been a great advantage to our
shipowners and seafaring interests is self-evident. They afforded
superior advantages in conducting the trade of the empire to
British over foreign shipowners; and they nursed up, accordingly,
the immense and hardy body of British seamen, who have founded and
protected our colonial empire, and rendered Great Britain the terror
and admiration of the world. What, then, is the great benefit which
is anticipated from the repeal of laws, the practical operation of
which has been attended with such uniform and unparalleled benefits?
The benefit is, that it will save our merchants some millions a-year
in the payment of freights. It is calculated by the Free-traders
that £30,000,000 yearly is paid by Great Britain for freights; and
of this sum, it is thought a fourth, or £7,500,000 yearly, may be
saved by the employment of foreign instead of British sailors in the
conducting of our commerce, or the reduction of freight and seamen's
wages in these islands, which will result from their unrestrained
competition. This is the benefit to attain which our Navigation
Laws, the nursery of our seamen, are to be sacrificed. And the
question to be considered is,--Is the gain real, or apparent only;
and, supposing it is real, is it worth the risk with which it is
attended?

Is the advantage real, or apparent only? Concede to the Free-traders
all they contend for: call the saving to the nation annually in
freights, to be effected by free trade in shipping, not £7,500,000
but £10,000,000 annually. The strength of the argument will admit
of almost any concession. Admit this, and consider what it is
worth, and on whom it is made. It is not worth a _fiftieth part_
of the revenue of the nation, which, in the produce of land and
manufactures alone, is above £500,000,000 annually. A week of
sunshine in autumn, a favourable set of Fall orders from America,
the stoppage of a revolution in Europe, are each worth more to the
nation. But, such as it is, from whom is it gained? Why, it is all
_gained from our own people_: it is a saving effected to _one class
of our inhabitants by impoverishing another class_. If our merchants
and the purchasers from them pay £20,000,000 a-year for freight of
goods sea-borne, instead of £30,000,000 as formerly, undoubtedly
there is a saying of £10,000,000 _to them_, or the consumers who buy
from them. But of whom is this saving made? From whom is it derived?
Is it not from our shipbuilders, shipowners, and seamen, who get
so much the less: either by being driven out of the market by
foreign mercantile navies, or by getting their own profits or wages
reduced by external competition to that amount? Ten millions now
earned by shipowners and sailors in Great Britain, is, on the most
favourable supposition for the Free-traders, _taken from them_, and
given to the dealers in or consumers of the commodities which they
transport. Is the nation, as a whole, any gainer by that transfer?
If ten pounds are taken from John and given to James, are John and
James, taken together, any gainers by the transfer? And is not the
great family of the nation composed of all its members, not of John
only, but of John and James taken together? Is not the repeal of the
Navigation Laws, in this view robbing Peter to pay Paul? This is
the mighty advantage, for the attainment of which we are going to
crush by external competition our mercantile shipping; and endanger
the national independence, by withering the nursery of the navy, by
which it can alone be maintained! Can there be a stronger proof of
how completely, by the operation of the Reform Bill, we have fallen
under the influence of class government; and how entirely such
class government blinds the vision even of the most clear-sighted,
to any thing but the perception of its own immediate interests?

The evidence taken before the Commons' committee, on the comparative
cost of building and navigating ships in the north of Europe
and in this country, comes to this, that both are about _twice_
as expensive in this country as on the shores of the Baltic. A
copper-sheathed vessel, which there costs £4500, cannot here be
constructed for less than £9000: a master's wages there, which are
£2, 11s. a month, are here £5 for the same period: seamen's, there
7d. a day, besides provisions, &c., are here 1s. 2d. Every thing
else is in the same proportion. Shipbuilding and ship-navigating are
twice as costly in Great Britain as they are in Norway and Denmark.
How could it be otherwise, when they have the materials of ships
and rigging at their doors, while we have to transport them to the
British shores from Canada or the Baltic; and they are the poor
nations, whose money being scarce goes far, and we are the rich one,
whose money being comparatively plentiful goes but a little way.
Compare the cost of living in London during the season, with what
it is in Aberdeen or Inverness, and you will at once see the main
cause of the extraordinary difference in the value of money, and
consequently in the money-price of articles, in the two situations.
The difference in the cost of shipbuilding and seamanship, viz. one
half, is nearly the same as the difference in the cost of raising
sugar in our free-labour colonies and the foreign slave ones,
which is £10 a ton in the former situation, and £4 in the latter.
And it is in the perfect knowledge of the entire ruin which the
approach even to a free trade in sugar has brought, under these
circumstances, upon the British West India islands, that government
are prepared to force a similar disastrous competition upon the
British shipowners, and through them on the palladium of British
independence, the royal navy.

Mr Labouchere said, in the debate on this subject in the House
of Commons, that the Protection Party seemed to consider every
importation as in itself an evil, inasmuch as it displaced a
corresponding amount of native industry; but that till he found that
goods were brought by merchants into the country for nothing, he
never could see how importation did not encourage domestic industry
as much as home orders. This is manfully spoken: it comes home to
the kernel of the question. It is pleasing to have to contend with
such an antagonist. We will answer him equally briefly, and, as it
seems to us, decisively. The difference between home orders and
foreign orders is this, that the one encourages industry at _both
ends_, viz., in the consumers and the producers; the other, at _one
end only_, viz., in the consumer. This difference, however, may
become vital to the national fortunes. If a London merchant pays
£20,000 a-year to British shipowners and seamen, he keeps in motion
at once the industry of the consumers, by whose produce the freights
are ultimately paid, and the industry of the seafaring classes by
whom they are earned. But if he pays the £20,000 a-year not to
British but foreign shipowners, the only industry put in motion, so
far as we are concerned, is that which raises the produce which is
to pay the freight. The other end of the chain is placed in Norway
or America, and any encouragement to industry there afforded is
wholly lost to England. It is just the difference between rents
spent in Great Britain, and rents spent in Paris or Naples.

Doubtless they are the same thing, so far as the whole world is
concerned; but are they the same thing so far as that portion of
the world in which we are interested, viz., the British Islands,
is concerned? Unquestionably they are not. What the Protectionists
say is, not that no British industry is encouraged when importation
takes place: they know perfectly it is encouraged at _their end_ of
the line; what they say is, that it is not encouraged at the _other
end_, because that other end rests in foreign states; and that it is
unwise to encourage industry at _one end_ only, when it is possible
to do so at _both_. Adam Smith saw this perfectly when he so well
explained the difference between the home trade and foreign trade,
and said the former was "worth all foreign trade put together." But
his observations on this head are as much forgotten by the majority
of our legislators as those he made on the great wisdom of our
Navigation Laws, as the only security for our national independence.

Mr M'Gregor said in debate on the same subject, that "he admitted
our naval strength had co-existed with the Navigation Laws, but he
denied that they were cause and effect. They had about as much to do
with each other as the height of the Pyramids had with the floods
of the Nile."[9] We agree with the honourable member for Glasgow in
one part of this observation. The Navigation Laws have had as much
to do with our maritime prosperity as the Pyramids had with the
floods of the Nile; and we will tell the ex-secretary of the board
of trade what the relation was--it was that of cause and effect.
Mr M'Gregor is too well informed not to know that there exists in
Cairo a _Nilometer_, and that, during the period of the inundation,
the spirits of the people and the animation of commerce rise and
fall with the rise or fall of the prolific stream. It is no wonder
they do so, for it is the source of life and prosperity to the whole
community. Raised by the power of the Pharaohs from the riches
produced by the inundations of former times, the Pyramids are the
Nilometer of antiquity, as much as the tower of Babel and the ruins
of Babylon were the monument of the opulence of the plain of Shinar;
or as Waterloo Bridge is of the wealth produced by the favourable
maritime situation of London, or York Cathedral of the agricultural
riches of the plains of Yorkshire. In all these causes there is a
relation between the natural advantages which produce the riches
and the durable monument to the construction of which they lead,
and that relation is that of cause and effect. We entirely concur
with the member for Glasgow in thinking that the same connexion,
and no other, subsists between the Navigation Laws and the maritime
greatness of England as existed formerly between the Pyramids of
Egypt and the fertilising floods which encircle their base.

  [9] _Times_, June 9, 1848.

To prove that these remarks are not made at random, but that the
Navigation Laws really are the foundation of the maritime greatness
of England, and that, when they are repealed, it must of necessity
languish and ultimately expire, we subjoin three tables: one showing
the progress of British as compared with foreign shipping, from
1801 to 1823, when the protection of the Navigation Laws was first
infringed upon by the adoption of the reciprocity system with the
Baltic powers; and another showing the comparative progress of our
foreign and home shipping with Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Prussia,
the countries with whom reciprocity treaties were first concluded,
from 1823 to the end of 1847, when the reciprocity system had been a
quarter of a century in operation.

TABLE showing the comparative progress of British and Foreign
Tonnage inwards, from 1821 to 1847, both inclusive, with Sweden,
Norway, Denmark, and Prussia.

[Transcriber's note: Column headings:  Y=Year. Bt=Brit. tons. Ft=For. tons.]

  |      |     SWEDEN.    |     NORWAY.    |     DENMARK.   |     PRUSSIA.    |
  |      |                |                |                |                 |
  |  Y   |   Bt  |   Ft   |   Bt  |   Ft   |   Bt  |   Ft   |   Bt   |   Ft   |
  +------+-------+--------+-------+--------+-------+--------+--------+--------+
  | 1821 | 23,005|   8,508| 13,855|  61,342|  5,312|   3,969|  79,590|  37,720|
  | 1822 | 20,799|  13,692| 13,377|  87,974|  7,096|   3,910| 102,847|  58,270|
  | 1823 | 20,986|  22,529| 13,122| 117,015|  4,413|   4,795|  81,202|  86,013|
  | 1824 | 17,074|  40,092| 11,419| 135,272|  6,738|  23,689|  94,664| 151,621|
  | 1825 | 15,906|  53,141| 14,825| 157,916| 15,158|  50,943| 189,214| 182,752|
  | 1826 | 11,829|  16,939| 13,603|  90,726| 22,000|  56,544| 119,060| 120,589|
  | 1827 | 11,719|  21,822| 13,945|  96,420| 10,825|  52,456| 150,718| 109,184|
  | 1828 | 14,877|  24,700| 10,826|  85,771| 17,464|  49,293| 133,753|  99,195|
  | 1829 | 16,536|  25,046|  9,985|  86,205| 24,576|  53,390| 125,918| 127,861|
  | 1830 | 12,116|  23,158|  6,459|  84,585| 12,210|  51,420| 102,758| 139,646|
  | 1831 | 11,450|  38,689|  4,518| 114,865|  6,552|  62,190|  83,908| 140,532|
  | 1832 |  8,335|  25,755|  3,789|  82,155|  7,268|  35,772|  62,079|  89,187|
  | 1833 | 10,009|  29,454|  5,901|  98,931|  6,840|  38,620|  41,735| 108,753|
  | 1834 | 15,353|  35,911|  6,403|  98,303|  5,691|  53,282|  32,021| 118,711|
  | 1835 | 12,036|  35,061|  2,592|  95,049|  6,007|  49,008|  25,514| 124,144|
  | 1836 | 10,865|  42,439|  1,573| 125,875|  2,152|  51,907|  42,567| 174,439|
  | 1837 |  7,608|  42,602|  1,035|  88,004|  5,357|  55,961|  67,566| 145,742|
  | 1838 | 10,425|  38,991|  1,364| 110,817|  3,466|  57,554|  86,734| 175,643|
  | 1839 |  8,359|  49,270|  2,582| 109,228|  5,535| 106,960| 111,470| 229,208|
  | 1840 | 11,953|  53,337|  3,161| 114,241|  6,327| 103,067| 112,709| 237,984|
  | 1841 | 13,170|  46,795|    977| 113,045|  3,368|  83,009|  88,198| 210,254|
  | 1842 | 15,296|  37,218|  1,385|  98,979|  5,499|  59,837|  87,202| 145,499|
  | 1843 |  6,435|  44,184|  1,814|  97,248|  4,148|  82,940|  70,164| 163,745|
  | 1844 | 12,806|  59,835|  1,315| 125,011|  7,423| 123,674| 108,626| 220,202|
  | 1845 | 15,157|  89,923|  1,215| 129,897|  4,528|  84,566|  49,334| 256,711|
  | 1846 | 12,625|  80,649|  3,313| 113,738|  9,531| 105,973|  63,425| 270,801|
  | 1847 |  7,037| 117,918|  2,318| 128,075| 20,462| 116,382|  88,390| 303,225|

--PORTER'S _Parliamentary Tables_; and _Parliamentary Report, 3d
April 1848_.

Thus, while our shipping with the whole world _quadrupled_, as
compared with the foreign employed in the same trade, under the
protective system, from 1801 to 1823; it declined under the
reciprocity system of equal duties, in the countries to which that
system was applied in the next twenty years, till it had dwindled
to a perfect fraction;--our tonnage with Sweden being, in 1847,
not more than a _sixteenth_ part of the foreign; with Norway, a
_fiftieth_ part; with Denmark somewhat above a _sixth_; with Prussia
somewhat under a _fourth_.

But then it is said these are _selected_ states which do not give
a fair average of the reciprocity system, or afford a correct
criterion of its probable effects when applied, as it is about to
be by a general repeal of the Navigation Laws, to the whole world.
If they are "selected states," we can only say they were selected
by Mr Huskisson and the Free-traders themselves as likely to afford
the best specimen of the effect of their principles, and therefore
as the first on which the experiment was to be made. But we are
quite willing to take the general tonnage of the empire as the test;
and we shall commence with a quotation from the tables of the great
statistical apostle of free trade, Mr Porter, to show the effect
of free trade in shipping on the comparative growth of our whole
tonnage, as compared with that of foreign states, from 1801 to 1823,
when the reciprocity system began; and again from thence lo 1847,
when free trade in shipping was in full operation by the temporary
suspension of the Navigation Laws, from the effect of the Orders
in Council in March 1847 suspending the Navigation Laws under the
pressure of the Irish famine:--

  |       | Tons inward, | Tons inward |            |
  | Year. |   British.   |   Foreign.  |   TOTAL.   |
  +-------+--------------+-------------+------------+
  | 1801  |     922,594  |    780,155  | 1,702,749  |
  | 1802  |   1,333,005  |    480,251  | 1,813,256  |
  | 1803  |   1,115,702  |    638,104  | 1,753,806  |
  | 1804  |     904,932  |    607,299  | 1,512,231  |
  | 1805  |     953,250  |    691,883  | 1,645,138  |
  | 1806  |     904,367  |    612,904  | 1,517,271  |
  | 1807  | Records lost |             |            |
  | 1808  | Records lost |             |            |
  | 1809  |     938,675  |    759,287  | 1,697,692  |
  | 1810  |     896,001  |  1,176,243  | 2,072,244  |
  | 1811  |              |             |            |
  | 1812  |       Records destroyed by fire.        |
  | 1813  |              |             |            |
  | 1814  |   1,290,248  |    599,287  | 1,889,535  |
  | 1815  |   1,372,108  |    746,985  | 2,119,093  |
  | 1816  |   1,415,723  |    379,465  | 1,795,188  |
  | 1817  |   1,625,121  |    445,011  | 2,070,132  |
  | 1818  |   1,886,394  |    762,457  | 2,648,851  |
  | 1819  |   1,809,128  |    542,684  | 2,351,812  |
  | 1820  |   1,668,060  |    447,611  | 2,115,671  |
  | 1821  |   1,599,274  |    396,256  | 1,995,530  |
  | 1822  |   1,664,186  |    469,151  | 2,133,337  |

--PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, 407.

It appears from this most instructive table that, under the
protection system, from 1801 to 1823, the British shipping employed
in conducting our commerce had gained so decisively on the foreign
employed in the same commerce, that it had increased, from having
been on an average of five years, at the commencement of the second,
about two British tons to one foreign, to be, on the last five
years, about _four_ British tons to one foreign: in other words,
during these twenty-two years, the proportion of British to foreign
shipping had _doubled_.

Turn now to the contrast afforded by the comparative progress of
British and foreign shipping from 1823, when the reciprocity system
was introduced with certain states, to 1847, when it was made
universal by the suspension of the Navigation Laws in March of that
year:--

  | Year. | Tons inward, | Tons inward, |   TOTAL.   |
  |       |   British.   |   Foreign.   |            |
  +-------+--------------+--------------+------------+
  | 1823  |  1,740,859   |    582,996   |  2,323,855 |
  | 1824  |  1,797,320   |    759,441   |  2,556,761 |
  | 1825  |  2,144,598   |    958,132   |  3,102,730 |
  | 1826  |  1,950,630   |    694,116   |  2,644,746 |
  | 1827  |  2,086,898   |    751,864   |  2,839,762 |
  | 1828  |  2,094,357   |    634,620   |  2,728,977 |
  | 1829  |  2,184,525   |    710,303   |  2,894,828 |
  | 1830  |  2,180,042   |    758,828   |  2,938,870 |
  | 1831  |  2,367,322   |    874,605   |  3,241,927 |
  | 1832  |  2,185,980   |    639,979   |  2,825,959 |
  | 1833  |  2,183,814   |    762,085   |  2,945,899 |
  | 1834  |  2,298,263   |    833,905   |  3,132,168 |
  | 1835  |  2,442,734   |    866,990   |  3,309,724 |
  | 1836  |  2,505,473   |    988,899   |  3,494,372 |
  | 1837  |  2,617,166   |  1,005,940   |  3,623,106 |
  | 1838  |  2,785,387   |  1,211,666   |  3,997,053 |
  | 1839  |  3,101,650   |  1,331,365   |  4,433,015 |
  | 1840  |  3,197,501   |  1,460,294   |  4,657,795 |
  | 1841  |  3,361,211   |  1,291,165   |  4,652,376 |
  | 1842  |  3,294,725   |  1,205,303   |  4,500,028 |
  | 1843  |  3,545,346   |  1,301,950   |  4,847,296 |
  | 1844  |  3,647,463   |  1,402,138   |  5,049,601 |
  | 1845  |  4,310,639   |  1,735,079   |  6,045,718 |
  | 1846  |  4,294,733   |  1,806,282   |  6,101,015 |
  | 1847  |  4,942,094   |  2,253,939   |  7,196,033 |

  --PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, 407, 2d edition;
  and _Parliamentary Paper, 3d April 1848_.

Thus it appears that under the reciprocity system with some
countries since 1823, and free trade in shipping with all in 1847,
the foreign shipping employed in carrying on the British trade had
so rapidly grown upon the British, that, while at the commencement
of the period the British stood to the foreign as 174 to 58, or _3
to 1_ exactly, at the close they stood as 49 to 22, or _somewhat
above 2 to 1 only_. And observe the vast start of foreign shipping
as compared with British, since free trade was introduced by Sir R.
Peel in 1846. For while the British tonnage was to the foreign in
1845 as 43 to 17, or as 2-1/2 to 1; in the year 1847 it was as 49
to 229, or 2-1/3 to 1 only. So rapid has been the growth of foreign
shipping over British in eighteen months of general free trade.
In ten years of such a system, it is easy to see that the foreign
tonnage employed in carrying on our trade will be equal to the
British; and then our national independence is gone for ever, for we
have nursed up in our harbours a body of foreign seamen equal to our
own.

But we have not yet done with the parliamentary returns. From the
return 3d April 1848, it appears that the total tonnage, British and
foreign, employed in carrying on our trade was--

  British Islands.   Foreign.      Total.
  4,942,094         2,253,939    7,196,033 tons.

Deduct British and foreign tons employed in the colonial trade,
viz.--

                          Tons Brit.   Tons For.
                            inward.    inward.

  Brit. N. Amer. colonies   953,466     3,274
  West Indies               243,388
  Channel islands           131,899     3,049
  Gibraltar                  11,623
  Malta                      33,554     3,789
  Ionian islands             13,101
  Africa                    203,812     6,983
  Asia and Australia        379,529     2,774

  Total to colonies       1,970,372    19,847

Thus the British trade to our colonial settlements is about _a
hundred times_ the foreign, and constitutes nearly a _third_
of the whole tonnage employed in carrying on our commerce, and
about two-fifths of the total British tonnage,--(1,970,372 out of
4,942,094.)

But it is important to discover what proportion the British tonnage
employed in conducting our trade with all the world, _except our
colonies_, bears to the foreign tonnage employed in the same work.
That is easily found:--

                                Tons Brit.                  Tons For.
  1847. Total British Tonnage,  4,942,094  Total For. ton.  2,253,939
        Deduct British
          colonial tonnage,     1,970,372    Foreign do.       19,847
  Remains in trade with all     ---------                   ---------
   the world except colonies,   2,971,722                   2,233,092

So that, setting aside our colonial trade, the British tonnage is to
the tonnage with all the rest of the world as 29 to 22, or as 4 to
3 only! Considering the rapid strides which, under the reciprocity
system established only with a limited number of countries in 1823,
the foreign shipping is making in encroachment upon the British,
this fact affords room for the most serious reflections. It is
clear, from the great advance of foreign over British shipping in
the single year of temporary suspension of the Navigation Laws,
under the pressure of famine in 1847--viz. from 1,735,679, to
2,253,979; while the British in the same period advanced only from
4,310,639, to 4,942,094,--that two or three years of free trade in
shipping will bring the foreign vessels employed in conducting our
trade, exclusive of those engaged in the colonial, to an _equality
with the British_. The moment that period arrives, our maritime
superiority, and with it our national independence, hang entirely on
our colonial trade, which, and which alone, strikes the balance at
present in our favour. And yet, the colonial trade is the precise
thing which it is the object of the repeal of the Navigation Laws
to throw open to foreign nations! In their anxiety to cheapen every
thing, the Free-traders would gladly expose our shipping interest
engaged in the colonial trade to the same competition, which has
already proved so disastrous to that part of it which is engaged in
the traffic with foreign nations.

Observe how one false step in policy by nations, like one deviation
from virtue in private life, leads by natural consequences to a
repetition of errors and crimes, till irreparable ruin ensues.
The agricultural interest at home was first attacked; and by the
cry of cheap bread, and the weight of class legislation, its
protection was taken away. The West India islands were the next
victims; because, if the farmer in England raises his wheat with
nothing but a nominal protection, it was plausible to say the West
India planter must raise his sugar on the same terms. The ruinous
competition to which this exposed the West India planters naturally
produced in them a desire to be liberated from any burdens to which
they were subjected for the benefit of the mother country; and in
this demand the Canadians, exposed to the competition of American
grain, for a similar reason concurred. Thus the cry for cheap
freights, originating in free-trade principles in England, came to
be responded to from the British colonies on the other side of the
Atlantic; and the Navigation Laws began to be repudiated by the
colonies--the very thing which formerly it was their most anxious
desire to uphold. The firm though unseen bond of mutual interest,
founded on protective principles, which has hitherto held together
the vast and widely separated dominions of the British empire, is
dissolved. Being deprived of the benefit of protection, they very
naturally wished to be relieved of its burdens. Such is the maze
of error and danger into which we have been led by the sophistry
of free trade; and such the way in which the greatest and best
consolidated empires are first loosened, and then destroyed, by the
delusions of those entrusted with their guidance.

The manner in which foreign shipping has encroached upon British,
since the reciprocity system began in 1823, is clearly proved by the
centesimal proportions of each, published by Mr Porter, from 1820 to
1844, both inclusive.

It will be seen from the following table, that, since 1820, the
centesimal proportion of British shipping employed in conducting our
trade has _declined_ from 78 to 72, while that of foreign nations
has _increased_ from 21 to 27. But this proportion, such as it is,
is solely upheld by our colonial trade, which, as already shown,
employs nearly 2,000,000 tons of our shipping. But for it, the
encroachment of foreign on British shipping would appear in such
alarming colours as to strike the most inconsiderate. It is the
rapid growth of our colonial trade under the protective system which
has alone concealed the ravages effected on it by free trade under
the reciprocity.

Centesimal Proportions of the British and Foreign Tonnage employed
in the Import Trade of the United Kingdom from 1820 to 1844.

  | Year.  |Brit. inward.|For. inward.|Year.|Brit. inward.|For. inward.|
  +--------+-------------+------------+-----+-------------+------------+
  | 1820   |   78·84     |    21·16   | 1834|    73·37    |    26·63   |
  | 1821   |   80·14     |    19·86   | 1835|    73·85    |    26·15   |
  | 1822   |   78·00     |    22·00   | 1836|    71·41    |    28·59   |
  | 1823[10]   74·91     |    25·09   | 1837|    72·23    |    27·77   |
  | 1824   |   70·29     |    29·71   | 1838|    69·68    |    30·32   |
  | 1825   |   69·12     |    30·88   | 1839|    69·96    |    30·04   |
  | 1826   |   73·75     |    26·25   | 1840|    68·64    |    31·36   |
  | 1827   |   73·51     |    26·49   | 1841|    72·24    |    27·76   |
  | 1828   |   76·74     |    23·26   | 1842|    73·21    |    26·79   |
  | 1829   |   75·46     |    25·54   | 1843|    73·14    |    26·86   |
  | 1830   |   74·18     |    25·82   | 1844|    72·23    |    27·77   |
  | 1831   |   73·02     |    26·98   | 1845|     ...     |     ...    |
  | 1832   |   77·35     |    22·65   | 1846|     ...     |     ...    |
  | 1833   |   74·13     |    25·87   | 1847|     ...     |     ...    |

  --PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, 416, 2d edition.

    [10] Reciprocity System introduced.

Mr Porter himself tells us that the centesimal proportion of our
trade with the European powers has _declined_ (p. 410) from 65 to
52·38, while that of our colonies has increased thus,--

  |          |     1802.   |     1814.   |     1835.     |     1844.     |
  |          | Tons. |Cent.| Tons. |Cent.|  Tons.  |Cent.|  Tons.  |Cent.|
  |          |       |prop.|       |prop.|         |prop.|         |prop.|
  |          +-------+-----+-------+-----+---------+-----+---------+-----+
  |America   |336,344|18·54|343,658|19·32|  886,524|26·21|  984,850|19·50|
  |Africa    |  7,270| 0·40| 13,514| 0·76|   40,131| 1·21|  157,364| 3·12|
  |India, &c.| 67,627| 3·72| 74,117| 4·16|  161,473| 4·88|  264,978| 5·25|
  |Australia |  ...  | ... |    488|  ·02|   16,019| 0·48|   36,454| 0·74|
  |          +-------+-----+-------+-----+---------+-----+---------+-----+
  |          |411,241|19·66|431,727|24·26|1,104,147|32·78|1,443,646|28·61|

Such has been the working of the reciprocity system, as compared
with the protective and colonial--in other words, free trade in
shipping with some particular nations--in twenty years. And it is
from this experience of the effects of the partial adoption of these
principles that the Free-traders now propose to make it universal!

America is the country to which, in comparison with Great Britain,
the Free-traders constantly refer for a demonstration of the
justice and beneficial operation of their principles. We accept the
instance, and proceed to inquire into the comparative value of the
American protected trade with our own colonies, and the American
free trade with the United States, both at this time and in the
respective progress of each for the last twenty-five years.

The foreign and British tonnage with the United States, Canada, and
the West Indies, in the year 1847, stood thus, viz.:--

  |                                |British tons.|Foreign tons.|  Total. |
  |                                +-------------+-------------+---------+
  |British North American Colonies |   953,466   |     3,724   |  954,190|
  |British West Indies             |   243,388   |      ...    |  243,388|
  |                                +-------------+-------------+---------+
  |    Total protected             | 1,196,854   |      ...    |1,197,578|
  |United States of America        |             |             |         |
  |  (unprotected)                 |   437,095   |   651,189   |1,088,284|

  --_Parliamentary Paper, 3d April 1848._

So that, while our West India and North American colonies, under
this Protective system, support 1,196,854 tons of British shipping
against 3,724 of foreign, or 300 to 1 nearly; the American trade
with the United States only maintains 437,095 of British against
651,189 of foreign; in other words, about 2 to 3 nearly! But the
Free-traders think it better to adopt the system which makes the
foreign shipping to the British as 3 to 2, than uphold the one which
has brought the foreign shipping to the British, in the colonial
trade, as 1 to 300!

Observe, too, the decisive proof which the same return affords of
the vast superiority, in every point of view, of our colonial trade
to our foreign, even in the hands of our best free-trade customers,
the Americans. For while less than 3,000,000 of souls between the
West India and North American colonies furnished employment to
1,197,000 tons of British and foreign shipping, of which 1,193,000
was British; twenty millions of Americans in the United States only
furnished employment to 1,088,284 tons of shipping, in all of which
no more than 437,095 were British! And this is the pet instance
of the Free-traders--their favourite _cheval de bataille_--to
demonstrate the great superiority of free and foreign over protected
and colonial trade!

Again, if we take the comparative progress of British and American
tonnage in conducting the trade of the United States, since the
reciprocity system was begun in 1823, the same conclusion is forced
upon the mind. Not only is the American shipping, throughout the
whole period, superior to the British in the proportion generally of
3 to 1, but this superiority in their favour remains undiminished in
any material degree. We take the following returns from Mr Porter:--

  Year.    British        American
        tons inwards.   tons inwards.
  1823      63,606         165,699
  1826      47,711         151,765
  1829      64,343         162,367
  1832      95,203         167,359
  1835      86,383         226,483
  1838      83,203         357,467
  1841     121,777         294,170
  1844     206,183         338,737
  1845     224,089         444,609
  1846     205,123         435,399

It is easy to see how it has happened that, in competition with the
shipowners of every country, the British shipowners have suffered
so much under the partial operation of the free-trade principles
which the reciprocity system has afforded. It is the inevitable fate
of the old and the rich state, in shipbuilding and agriculture, to
be undersold by the young and the poor one. The reason is, that
the old state, by the very magnitude of its wealth, the amount of
its transactions, the number of its inhabitants, the multitude
of its fabrics, is obliged to pay much higher for labour and
materials of all sorts than the young and the poor one. Machinery
and the steam-engine compensate, and more than compensate, this
superiority in regard to manufactured articles. England undersells
Hindostan, where wages are a penny or twopence a day, by the work
of steam-power looms working on cotton raised on the banks of the
Ganges. But there is no steam-power loom in shipbuilding any more
than in agriculture. Great things in nautical affairs, as in rural
economy, can be effected only by the labour of man's hands and the
sweat of his brow, in the last ages of civilisation, as in the
first. It would appear to be a permanent law of nature, to which
there is no exception in any age of the world, or any stage of
human progress, that the chief branches of industry on which the
subsistence and defence of nations rest--agriculture, and the naval
and military arts--are pursued more cheaply, and with more success
by young and rising than old and opulent states. History is full of
examples in which the manufactures of rich and ancient nations have
obtained an undisputed supremacy over the fabrics of poor and rising
ones; but it presents still more examples of the encroachments
made on the industry and power of old nations by the agricultural
produce, or naval and military efforts, of young ones. It is this
law of nature which provides for the decay and ruin of nations when
they are approaching the limit of their allotted space of existence,
and should give place to others entering on the career which they
have terminated. No efforts of human energy or virtue can prolong,
for any considerable period, this allotted space. But it is the
peculiar reproach of free trade, whether applied to agriculture or
nautical affairs, that it tends to shorten, instead of prolonging,
the life of the nation to which it is applied, by oppressing instead
of relieving those vital branches of industry on which its existence
depends, and thus both aggravates the natural evils incident to old
age, and accelerates the approach of the political society to the
tomb.

When Mr Huskisson, in 1823, introduced the Reciprocity System, he
did not dispute that it would injure our maritime interests; but he
contended that it would open a new field for our manufactures,--that
the time had now arrived when the Protective System could no longer
be maintained, and it had become indispensable to sacrifice to a
certain extent our maritime interests, in order to preserve the
chief vents on Continental Europe for the industry of our artisans.
The sacrifice was made, and the tables already given show with what
fatal effect to our shipping interest. Has it extended the market
for our manufactures, or diminished the jealousy with which they are
regarded by the states of Continental Europe? Let the Zollverein
league, at the head of which Prussia has placed herself, and which
has imposed duties to an amount, in practical operation, of fifty
per cent on our manufactures, give the answer. The exports which
we send to the states of Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Prussia, are
still, after a quarter of a century's experience of the immense
impulse it has given to their maritime interests, and corresponding
depression to ours, a perfect trifle.[11] Our exports to America
are less than they were fifteen years ago, despite the boasted
conciliatory effect of twenty years' reciprocity.[12] What can be
more injudicious, therefore, than to persist in, and even extend,
a system which, without diminishing in the slightest degree the
jealousy of Continental nations at our manufacturing superiority,
has inflicted a serious and gratuitous wound on the naval resources
by which alone that superiority can be maintained?

  [11]

    Exports from Great Britain--to
        1844          Sweden           £108,475
                      Norway            152,824
                      Denmark           286,679
                      Prussia           505,384

    PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, p. 366, 2d edition.


  [12]

    Exports to United States of America:--

    1836                      £12,425,605
    1844                        7,938,079

    PORTER, _ibid._


We have recently made a very great stride in free-trade principles,
by the sacrifice of our agricultural protection, and the throwing
open the English markets to cultivators of all nations. In the
three last months of 1846 and even of 1847, in consequence of the
import duties being removed, above £30,000,000 sterling was sent
out of the country to purchase foreign grain; and the moderate
duty of eight shillings a quarter has since been reimposed on
wheat,--yet it terminates in February next, and corn from all
quarters will then be admitted for the nominal duty of one shilling
a quarter. We have abandoned the protection of our colonies to
conciliate the slave-growing states, and augment the market for
Manchester goods in Cuba and Brazil. With what disastrous effects
these changes have been attended, upon the best interests of the
empire, need be told to none who are familiar with the total ruin
which has in consequence overtaken our West India colonies, and the
unprecedented distress which prevails in all the great seats of
our manufacturing industry. The loss of half the realised wealth
of Liverpool, Manchester, and Glasgow, and the creation of nearly
a hundred thousand persons, including dependants, in a state of
pauperism, in each of those once rich and prosperous cities, is the
price which, in a year and a half, we have paid for the adoption by
Sir R. Peel of Mr Cobden's principles of free trade, and Mr Jones
Loyd's principles of a fettered currency. Have we, in consequence,
reaped any countervailing advantage, or does the increase of our
export and import trade show any benefit derived to the nation,
to compensate such dreadful wounds inflicted on its internal
prosperity, in the attempt to disarm the jealousy of foreign
manufacturers? So far from it, our exports and imports have steadily
_declined_ since free-trade principles were introduced. All the main
sources of our strength have diminished since Sir R. Peel abandoned
protection in July 1846.[13] In adopting these principles, we have
gratuitously inflicted a grievous wound on our own people, without
having obtained for them the shadow even of a benefit to compensate
the evil.

  [13]

    |      |    EXPORTS.       |                |             |
    |      |British Produce and|    IMPORTS.    |  REVENUE.   |
    |      |  Manufactures.    |                |             |
    |      | Declared Value.   |                |             |
    +------+                   |                |             |
    | 1845 |    £53,227,451    |  £85,281,958   | £52,009,324 |
    | 1846 |     51,227,060    |   75,953,579   |  54,473,762 |
    | 1847 |     50,897,790    |Not yet made up,|  52,082,757 |

    --_Porter's Parl. Tables_; and _Parl. Paper, 3d April 1848_.


Such have been the effects of free-trade principles on the
comparative prosperity of British and foreign shipping, on the
showing of the Free-traders themselves, and according to the
figures which their great statistician, Mr Porter, has prepared
and published at the Board of Trade. We were unwilling to mix up a
great national question, such as the repeal of the Navigation Laws,
with any subordinate examination as to the accuracy or inaccuracy
of the view of our maritime affairs which these figures exhibit.
Such is the strength of the case, that it will admit of almost any
concession; and the opponents of their repeal have no occasion to
go farther than to the statistics of their adversaries for the
most decisive refutation of their principles. But there are two
observations on the tables published by the Board of Trade, so
important that they cannot be passed over in silence. The first is,
that in 1834, when Mr Poulett Thomson was president of the Board of
Trade, a regulation was made by the Board as to the measurement of
vessels, which had the effect of adding _a fifth_ to the apparent
tonnage of all British vessels, subsequent to that date. This
change was clearly proved by the witnesses examined before the
Commons' committee; but though Mr Porter, in his last edition of
the _Progress of the Nation_, mentions the change, (p. 368,) he
makes no allusion to it in comparing the amount of British and
foreign tonnage since 1834. Of course a fifth must be deducted from
British tonnage, as compared with foreign, since that time; and what
overwhelming force does this give to the facts, already strong,
in regard to the effect of the reciprocity system on our maritime
interests!

The second is, that the tonnage with countries near Great Britain,
such as France, Belgium, and Holland, _includes steam vessels_
carrying passengers, and their repeated voyages. In this way a boat,
measuring 148 tons, and carrying passengers chiefly, comes to figure
in the returns for 24,000 tons! It is evident that this important
circumstance deprives the returns of such near states of all value
in the estimate of the comparative amount of tonnage engaged in
the trade with different countries. That with France will appear
greatest in spring 1848, in consequence of the number of large
vessels then employed in bringing back English residents expelled
by, or terrified at, the Revolution--though that circumstance was
putting a stop to nearly all the commercial intercourse between
the two countries. As steam navigation has so immensely increased
since 1834, when the changes in the measurement was introduced--and
Great Britain, from its store of coal and iron, enjoys more of that
traffic than all Europe put together--this is another circumstance
which militates against the returns as exhibiting a fair view of our
trade, compared with that of foreign nations, especially with near
countries, and fully justifies Mr Porter's admission, when examined
before the Lords' committee, that "considerable fallacy is to be
found in the returns." Unfortunately for the Free-traders, however,
who had the preparation of them in their hands, these fallacies all
point one way--viz. to augment the apparent advantages of free trade
in shipping.

Such as free-trade principles are, they are evidently not likely to
remain, if these islands are excepted, long in the ascendant either
in the Old or the New World. The American tariff shows us how little
we have to expect from Transatlantic favour to our manufactures:
the savage expulsion of English labourers from France, how far the
principles of "Liberty, Equality, and _Fraternity_," are likely
to be acted upon by our enthusiastic and democratic neighbours
on the Continent of Europe. It is clear from the communist and
socialist principles now in the ascendant, both at Paris, Berlin,
and Vienna, that the interests of _labour_ will above all things
be considered by their governments in future times, and that the
most rigorous measures, in the form of fiscal regulations, if not
_absolute prohibition_, may shortly be expected in France, Italy,
and Germany, against manufactures of any sort which interfere, or
seem to interfere, with the interests of the dominant multitude of
operatives. Why does our government adhere so strongly, in the face
of the clearest evidence of their ruinous tendency, to the present
system of free trade and a fettered currency? Because it works well
for the great capitalists, who desire to have money dear, and the
great manufacturers, who wish to have labour cheap, and because
a majority of the House of Commons has been placed by the Reform
Bill under their influence. Give the operatives the majority,
and the opposite interest will instantly prevail. A successful
Chartist revolt would at once send the whole free trade and fettered
currency measures by the board in three months. In truth, it is
the disasters they have produced which has revived Chartism, and
rendered it so menacing in the land. We should like to see how
long a legislature, elected by universal suffrage, would allow
Spitalfields and Macclesfield to be pauperised by Lyons silks, and
Manchester invaded by Rouen cottons, and the shipwrights of Hull and
Sunderland to be ruined by Baltic shipbuilders. As the operative
classes have obtained the ascendency in the principal Continental
states, a similar jealousy of foreign interference with industry may
with certainty be looked for in Continental Europe. Can any thing
be more insane, therefore, than to persist in a policy fraught, as
every thing around us demonstrates, with such ruinous social injury
to ourselves, and which the progress of political change on the
Continent renders incapable of producing the ultimate benefits,
in exchange for those evils which their authors hold out as the
inducing causes of the measures which have produced them?

While the political changes which have recently occurred on the
Continent of Europe have rendered any reciprocity of advantages
utterly hopeless from the most violent adoption of free-trade
principles, they have augmented in a proportional degree the
dangers to this country of foreign aggression, and the risk to
be apprehended from any diminution of our naval resources. The
days have gone by when the dream of a free-trade millenium, in
which a reciprocity of advantages is to extinguish all feelings
of hostility, and war is to be looked back to as a relic of the
pre-Adamite world, can with safety be indulged. It is rather too
late to think of the termination of the angry passions of men, when
Europe, in its length and breadth, is devastated alike by civil
dissension and foreign warfare; when barricades have so recently
been erected in all its chief capitals; when bloodshed is hourly
expected in Paris and Berlin; when the Emperor of Austria has fled
to Innspruck; when every station in London was, only a few days
ago, occupied by armed battalions; and when a furious war, rousing
the passions of whole races of men, is raging on the Mincio and the
Elbe. Threatened by a raging fire in all the countries by which
we are surrounded, uncertain whether we are not slumbering on the
embers of a conflagration in our own, is this the time to relax
in our warlike preparations, and, by crippling the nursery of our
seamen, expose ourselves, without the means of resistance, to the
assaults of hostile nations, envious of our fame, jealous of our
manufactures, covetous of our wealth, desirous of our ruin?

While Western Europe is torn by revolutionary passions, and the
seeds of a dreadful, because a popular and general war, are rapidly
springing to maturity from the Seine to the Vistula, Russia is
silently but unceasingly gathering up its giant strength, and
the Czar has already 300,000 men, and 800 pieces of cannon,
ready to take the field against the revolutionary enthusiasts of
France and Germany. Sooner or later the conflict must arrive. It
is not unlikely that either a second Napoleon will lead another
crusade of the western nations across the Niemen, or a second
Alexander will conduct the forces of the desert to the banks of the
Seine. Whichever proves victorious, England has equal cause for
apprehension. If the balance of power is subverted on Continental
Europe, how is the independence of this country to be maintained?
How are our manufactures or revenue to be supported, if one
prevailing power has subjugated all the other states of Europe
to its sway? It is hard to say whether, in such circumstances,
we should have most to dread from French fraternity or Russian
hostility. But how is the balance of power to be preserved in
Europe amidst the wreck of its principal states? when Prussia is
revolutionised, and has passed over to the other side; when Austria
is shattered and broken in pieces, and Italy has fallen under the
dominion of a faction, distinguished beyond any thing else by its
relentless hatred of the aristocracy, and jealousy of the fabrics
of England? What has Great Britain to rely on in such a crisis but
the energy of its seamen and the might of its navy, which might at
least enable it to preserve its connexion with its own colonies,
and maintain, as during the Continental blockade, its commerce
with Transatlantic nations? And yet this is the moment which our
rulers have selected for destroying the Navigation Laws, so long
the bulwark of our mercantile marine, and permitting all the world
to make those inroads on our shipping, which have already been
partially effected by the nations with whom we have concluded
reciprocity treaties!

The defence of Great Britain must always mainly rest on our navy,
and our navy is almost entirely dependent on the maintenance of
our colonies. It is in the trade with the colonies that we can
alone look for the means of resisting the general coalition of the
European powers, which is certain, sooner or later, to arise against
our maritime superiority, and the advent of which the spread of
democratic principles, and the sway of operative jealousy on the
Continent, is so evidently calculated to accelerate. But how are our
colonies to be preserved, even for a few years, if free-trade severs
the strong bond of interest which has hitherto attached them to the
mother country, and the repeal of the Navigation Laws accustoms them
to look to foreigners for the means of conducting their mercantile
transactions? Charged with the defence of a colonial empire which
encircles the earth, and has brought such countless treasures and
boundless strength to the parent state, Great Britain at land is
only a fourth-rate power, at least for Continental strife. At
Waterloo, even, she could only array forty-five thousand men to
contend with the conqueror of Europe for her existence. It is in
our ships we must look for the means of maintaining our commerce,
and asserting our independence against manufacturing jealousy,
national rivalry, and foreign aggression. Is our navy, then, to
be surrendered to the ceaseless encroachments of foreigners, in
order to effect a saving of a few millions a-year on freights, reft
from our own people, and sapping the foundations of our national
independence?

How can human wisdom or foresight, the energy of the Anglo-Saxons,
or the courage of the Normans, maintain, for any length of time,
our independence in the perilous position into which free-trade
policy has, during the short period it has been in operation,
brought us? The repeal of the Corn Laws has already brought an
importation of eight or ten millions of foreign quarters annually
upon our people--a full sixth of the national subsistence, and
which will soon become indispensable to their existence. A simple
non-intercourse act will alone enable Russia or America, without
firing a shot, to compel us to lower the flag of Blake and Nelson.
Stern famine will "guard the solitary coast," and famished
multitudes demand national submission as the price of life. The
repeal of the Navigation Laws will ere long bring the foreign seamen
engaged in carrying on our trade to a superiority over our own,
as has already taken place in so woful a manner with the Baltic
powers. Hostile fleets will moor their ships of the line across our
harbours, and throw back our starving multitudes on their own island
for food, and their own market for employment. What will then avail
our manufacturers and our fabrics,--the forges of Birmingham, the
power-looms of Manchester, the iron-works of Lanarkshire,--if the
enemies' squadrons blockade the Thames, the Mersey, and the Clyde,
and famished millions are deprived alike of food and employment,
by the suicidal policy of preceding rulers? Our present strength
will then be the measure of our weakness; our vast population, as
in a beleaguered town, the useless multitude which must be fed, and
cannot fight,--our wealth, the glittering prize which will attract
the rapacity of the spoiler. With indignant feelings, but caustic
truth, our people will then curse the infatuated policy which
abandoned the national defences, and handed them over, bound hand
and foot, to the enemy, only the more the object of rapacity because
such boundless wealth had accumulated in a few hands amongst them.
Then will be seen, that with our own hands, as into the ancient
city, we have admitted the enemies' bands; we have drawn the horse
pregnant with armed men through our ramparts, and our weeping and
dispersed descendants will exclaim with the Trojans of old--

        "Fuimus Troës, fuit Ilium, et ingens
    Gloria Teucrorum."


_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._


       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

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

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

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

Page 11: There is a closing parenthesis missing in the following--(the
blank left for the number was filled up with the word "three" in
committee of the House of Commons. Nothing said about the issue in
tail, as before ...

Page 22: The transcriber has inserted "the" ... rope up to the spot
where he ...





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