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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 66, No. 408, January 1849
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 66, No. 408, January 1849" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early


                          EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

           NO. CCCCVIII.      OCTOBER, 1849.      VOL. LXVI.


  THE CAXTONS.--PART THE LAST,                              391

  LYNMOUTH REVISITED,                                       412


  THE GREEN HAND--A "SHORT" YARN. PART V.                   436

  PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY,                                       456



  DIARY OF SAMUEL PEPYS,                                    501


                   AND 37, PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

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



                          EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

           NO. CCCCVIII.      OCTOBER, 1849.      VOL. LXVI.



Adieu, thou beautiful land! Canaan of the exiles, and Ararat to many a
shattered ark! Fair cradle of a race for whom the unbounded heritage
of a future, that no sage can conjecture, no prophet divine, lies afar
in the golden promise-light of Time!--destined, perchance, from the
sins and sorrows of a civilisation struggling with its own elements of
decay, to renew the youth of the world, and transmit the great soul
of England through the cycles of Infinite Change. All climates that
can best ripen the products of earth, or form into various character
and temper the different families of man, "rain influences" from the
heaven, that smiles so benignly on those who had once shrunk, ragged,
from the wind, or scowled on the thankless sun. Here, the hardy air of
the chill Mother Isle, there the mild warmth of Italian autumns, or the
breathless glow of the tropics. And with the beams of every climate,
glides subtle HOPE. Of her there, it may be said as of Light itself, in
those exquisite lines of a neglected poet--

    "Through the soft ways of heaven, and air, and sea,
    Which open all their pores to thee
    Like a clear river thou dost glide--

       *       *       *       *       *

    All the world's bravery, that delights our eyes,
    Is but thy several liveries;
    Thou the rich dye on them bestowest;
    Thy nimble pencil paints the landscape as thou goest."[1]

Adieu, my kind nurse and sweet foster-mother!--a long and a last adieu!
Never had I left thee but for that louder voice of Nature which calls
the child to the parent, and woos us from the labours we love the best
by the chime in the Sabbath-bells of Home.

No one can tell how dear the memory of that wild Bush-life becomes to
him who has tried it with a _fitting spirit_. How often it haunts him
in the commonplace of more civilised scenes! Its dangers, its risks,
its sense of animal health, its bursts of adventure, its intervals of
careless repose--the fierce gallop through a very sea of wide rolling
plains--the still saunter, at night, through woods never changing
their leaves--with the moon, clear as sunshine, stealing slant through
their clusters of flowers. With what an effort we reconcile ourselves
to the trite cares and vexed pleasures, "the quotidian ague of frigid
impertinences," to which we return! How strong and black stands my
pencil-mark in this passage of the poet from which I have just quoted

"We are here among the vast and noble scenes of Nature--we are there
among the pitiful shifts of policy; we walk here, in the light and open
ways of the Divine Bounty--we grope there, in the dark and confused
labyrinth of human malice."[2]

But I weary you, reader. The New World vanishes--now a line--now a
speck: let us turn away, with the face to the Old.

Among my fellow-passengers, how many there are returning home
disgusted, disappointed, impoverished, ruined, throwing themselves
again on those unsuspecting poor friends, who thought they had done
with the luckless good-for-naughts for ever. For don't let me deceive
thee, reader, into supposing that every adventurer to Australia has the
luck of Pisistratus. Indeed, though the poor labourer, and especially
the poor operative from London and the great trading towns, (who
has generally more of the quick knack of learning--the _adaptable
faculty_--required in a new colony, than the simple agricultural
labourer,) are pretty sure to succeed, the class to which I belong is
one in which failures are numerous, and success the exception--I mean
young men with scholastic education and the habits of gentlemen--with
small capitals and sanguine hopes. But this, in ninety-nine times out
of a hundred, is not the fault of the colony, but of the emigrants. It
requires, not so much intellect as a peculiar turn of intellect, and
a fortunate combination of physical qualities, easy temper, and quick
mother-wit, to make a small capitalist a prosperous Bushman.[3] And if
you could see the sharks that swim round a man just dropped at Adelaide
or Sydney, with one or two thousand pounds in his pocket! Hurry out of
the towns as fast as you can, my young emigrant; turn a deaf ear, for
the present at least, to all jobbers and speculators; make friends with
some practised old Bushman; spend several months at his station before
you hazard your capital; take with you a temper to bear everything and
sigh for nothing; put your whole heart in what you are about; never
call upon Hercules when your cart sticks in the rut, and, whether you
feed sheep or breed cattle, your success is but a question of time.

But, whatever I owed to nature, I owed also something to fortune.
I bought my sheep at little more than 7s. each. When I left, none
were worth less than 15s., and the fat sheep were worth £1.[4] I had
an excellent shepherd, and my whole care, night and day, was the
improvement of the flock. I was fortunate, too, in entering Australia
before the system miscalled "The Wakefield"[5] had diminished the
supply of labour and raised the price of land. When the change came,
(like most of those with large allotments and surplus capital,) it
greatly increased the value of my own property, though at the cost
of a terrible blow on the general interests of the colony. I was
lucky, too, in the additional venture of a cattle station, and in the
breed of horses and herds, which, in the five years devoted to that
branch establishment, trebled the sum invested therein, exclusive
of the advantageous sale of the station.[6] I was lucky, also, as I
have stated, in the purchase and resale of lands, at Uncle Jack's
recommendation. And, lastly, I left in time, and escaped a very
disastrous crisis in colonial affairs, which I take the liberty of
attributing entirely to the mischievous crotchets of theorists at
home, who want to set all clocks by Greenwich time, forgetting that it
is morning in one part of the world at the time they are tolling the
curfew in the other.


London once more! How strange, lone, and savage I feel in the streets.
I am ashamed to have so much health and strength, when I look at those
slim forms, stooping backs, and pale faces. I pick my way through the
crowd with the merciful timidity of a good-natured giant. I am afraid
of jostling against a man for fear the collision should kill him. I get
out of the way of a thread-paper clerk, and 'tis a wonder I am not run
over by the omnibuses;--I feel as if I could run over them! I perceive,
too, that there is something outlandish, peregrinate, and lawless about
me. Beau Brummell would certainly have denied me all pretension to the
simple air of a gentleman, for every third passenger turns back to
look at me. I retreat to my hotel--send for bootmaker, hatter, tailor,
and haircutter. I humanise myself from head to foot. Even Ulysses
is obliged to have recourse to the arts of Minerva, and, to speak
unmetaphorically, "smarten himself up," before the faithful Penelope
condescends to acknowledge him. The artificers promise all despatch.
Meanwhile I hasten to re-make acquaintance with my mother country over
files of the _Times_, _Post_, _Chronicle_, and _Herald_. Nothing comes
amiss to me, but articles on Australia; from those I turn aside with
the true pshaw-supercilious of your practical man.

No more are leaders filled with praise and blame of Trevanion. "Percy's
spur is cold." Lord Ulverstone figures only in the _Court Circular_,
or "_Fashionable Movements_." Lord Ulverstone entertains a royal duke
at dinner, or dines in turn with a royal duke, or has come to town, or
gone out of it. At most, (faint Platonic reminiscence of the former
life,) Lord Ulverstone says in the House of Lords a few words on some
question, not a party one; and on which (though affecting perhaps the
interests of some few thousands, or millions, as the case may be)
men speak without "hears," and are inaudible in the gallery; or Lord
Ulverstone takes the chair at an agricultural meeting, or returns
thanks when his health is drank at a dinner at Guildhall. But the
daughter rises as the father sets, though over a very different kind of

"First ball of the season at Castleton House!" Long descriptions of
the rooms and the company; above all, of the hostess. Lines on the
Marchioness of Castleton's picture in the "Book of Beauty," by the Hon.
Fitzroy Fiddledum, beginning with, "Art thou an angel from," &c--a
paragraph that pleased me more on "Lady Castleton's Infant School,
at Raby Park;" then again--"Lady Castleton, the new patroness at
Almacks;" a criticism more rapturous than ever gladdened living poet,
on Lady Castleton's superb diamond stomacher, just re-set by Storr and
Mortimer; Westmacott's bust of Lady Castleton; Landseer's picture of
Lady Castleton and her children, in the costume of the olden time. Not
a month in that long file of the _Morning Post_ but what Lady Castleton
shone forth from the rest of womankind--

        "----Velut inter ignes
    Luna minores."

The blood mounted to my cheek. Was it to this splendid constellation
in the patrician heaven that my obscure, portionless youth had
dared to lift its presumptuous eyes? But what is this? "Indian
intelligence--Skilful Retreat of the Sepoys, under Captain de Caxton!"
A captain already--what is the date of the newspaper? Three months
ago. The leading article quotes the name with high praise. Is there
no leaven of envy amidst the joy at my heart? How obscure has been
my career--how laurel-less my poor battle with adverse fortune! Fie,
Pisistratus! I am ashamed of thee. Has this accursed Old World, with
its feverish rivalries, diseased thee already? Get thee home, quick,
to the arms of thy mother, the embrace of thy father--hear Roland's
low blessing, that thou hast helped to minister to the very fame of
that son. If thou wilt have ambition, take it, not soiled and foul with
the mire of London. Let it spring fresh and hardy in the calm air of
wisdom; and fed, as with dews, by the loving charities of Home.


It was at sunset that I stole through the ruined courtyard, having
left my chaise at the foot of the hill below. Though they whom I came
to seek knew that I had arrived in England, they did not, from my
letter, expect me till the next day. I had stolen a march upon them;
and now, in spite of all the impatience which had urged me thither, I
was afraid to enter--afraid to see the change more than ten years had
made in those forms, for which, in my memory, time had stood still.
And Roland had, even when we parted, grown old before his time. Then,
my father was in the meridian of life, now he had approached to the
decline. And my mother, whom I remembered so fair, as if the freshness
of her own heart had preserved the soft bloom to the cheek--I could
not bear to think that she was no longer young. Blanche, too, whom I
had left a child--Blanche, my constant correspondent during those long
years of exile, in letters crossed and re-crossed, with all the small
details that make the eloquence of letter writing, so that in those
epistles I had seen her mind gradually grow up in harmony with the very
characters--at first vague and infantine--then somewhat stiff with the
first graces of running hand, then dashing off, free and facile; and,
for the last year before I left, so formed, yet so airy--so regular,
yet so unconscious of effort--though, in truth, as the caligraphy had
become thus matured, I had been half vexed and half pleased to perceive
a certain reserve creeping over the style--wishes for my return less
expressed from herself than as messages from others; words of the old
childlike familiarity repressed; and "Dearest Sisty" abandoned for
the cold form of "Dear Cousin." Those letters, coming to me in a spot
where maiden and love had been as myths of the bygone, phantasms and
_eidola_, only vouchsafed to the visions of fancy, had, by little and
little, crept into secret corners of my heart; and out of the wrecks
of a former romance, solitude and reverie had gone far to build up the
fairy domes of a romance yet to come. My mother's letters had never
omitted to make mention of Blanche--of her forethought and tender
activity, of her warm heart and sweet temper--and, in many a little
home picture, presented her image where I would fain have placed it,
not "crystal-seeing," but joining my mother in charitable visits to the
village, instructing the young, and tending on the old, or teaching
herself to illuminate, from an old missal in my father's collection,
that she might surprise my uncle with a new genealogical table, with
all shields and quarterings, blazoned _or_, _sable_, and _argent_; or
flitting round my father where he sat, and watching when he looked
round for some book he was too lazy to rise for. Blanche had made a
new catalogue and got it by heart, and knew at once from what corner
of the Heraclea to summon the ghost. On all these little traits had my
mother been eulogistically minute; but somehow or other she had never
said, at least for the last two years, whether Blanche was pretty or
plain. That was a sad omission. I had longed just to ask that simple
question, or to imply it delicately and diplomatically; but, I know not
why, I never dared--for Blanche would have been sure to have read the
letter--and what business was it of mine? And, if she _was_ ugly, what
question more awkward both to put and to answer? Now, in childhood,
Blanche had just one of those faces that might become very lovely in
youth, and would yet quite justify the suspicion that it might become
gryphonesque, witch-like, and grim. Yes, Blanche, it is perfectly
true! If those large, serious black eyes took a fierce light, instead
of a tender--if that nose, which seemed then undecided whether to be
straight or to be aquiline, arched off in the latter direction, and
assumed the martial, Roman, and imperative character of Roland's manly
proboscis--if that face, in childhood too thin, left the blushes of
youth to take refuge on two salient peaks by the temples (Cumberland
air, too, is famous for the growth of the cheek-bone!)--if all that
should happen, and it very well might, then, O Blanche, I wish thou
hadst never written me those letters; and I might have done wiser
things than steel my heart so obdurately to pretty Ellen Bolding's
blue eyes and silk shoes. Now, combining together all these doubts and
apprehensions, wonder not, O reader, why I stole so stealthily through
the ruined courtyard, crept round to the other side of the tower, gazed
wistfully on the sun setting slant on the high casements of the hall,
(too high, alas, to look within,) and shrunk yet to enter;--doing
battle, as it were, with my heart.

Steps!--one's sense of hearing grows so quick in the Bushland!--steps,
though as light as ever brushed the dew from the harebell! I crept
under the shadow of the huge buttress mantled with ivy. A form comes
from the little door at an angle in the ruins--a woman's form. Is it
my mother?--it is too tall, and the step is more bounding. It winds
round the building, it turns to look back, and a sweet voice--a voice
strange, yet familiar--calls, tender, but chiding, to a truant that
lags behind. Poor Juba! he is trailing his long ears on the ground: he
is evidently much disturbed in his mind; now he stands still, his nose
in the air. Poor Juba! I left thee so slim and so nimble--

    "Thy form, that was fashioned as light as a fay's,
    Has assumed a proportion more round."

Years have sobered thee strangely, and made thee obese and
Primmins-like. They have taken too good care of thy creature comforts,
O sensual Mauritanian! still, in that mystic intelligence we call
instinct, thou art chasing something that years have not swept from thy
memory. Thou art deaf to thy lady's voice, however tender and chiding.
That's right,--come near--nearer--my cousin Blanche; let me have a
fair look at thee. Plague take the dog! he flies off from her: he has
found the scent--he is making up to the buttress! Now--pounce--he is
caught! whining ungallant discontent. Shall I not yet see the face? it
is buried in Juba's black curls. Kisses too! Wicked Blanche, to waste
on a dumb animal what, I heartily hope, many a good Christian would be
exceedingly glad of! Juba struggles in vain, and is borne off. I don't
think that those eyes can have taken the fierce turn, and Roland's
eagle nose can never go with that voice which has the coo of the dove.

I leave my hiding-place, and steal after the Voice, and its owner.
Where can she be going? Not far. She springs up the hill whereon the
lords of the castle once administered justice--that hill which commands
the land far and wide, and from which can be last caught the glimpse
of the westering sun. How gracefully still is that attitude of wistful
repose! Into what delicate curves do form and drapery harmoniously
flow! How softly distinct stands the lithe image against the purple
hues of the sky! Then again comes the sweet voice, gay and carolling as
a bird's--now in snatches of song, now in playful appeals to that dull
four-footed friend. She is telling him something that must make the
black ears stand on end, for I just catch the words, "He is coming,"
and "home!"

I cannot see the sun set where I lurk in my ambush, amidst the brake
and the ruins; but I _feel_ that the orb has passed from the landscape,
in the fresher air of the twilight, in the deeper silence of eve. Lo!
Hesper comes forth: at his signal, star after star, come the hosts--

    "Ch'eran con lui, quando l'amor divino,
    Mosse da primà quelle cose belle!"

and the sweet voice is hushed.

Then slowly the watcher descends the hill on the opposite side--the
form escapes from my view. What charm has gone from the twilight? See,
again, where the step steals through the ruins and along the desolate
court. Ah! deep and true heart, do I divine the remembrance that leads
thee? I pass through the wicket, down the dell, skirt the laurels, and
behold the face, looking up to the stars--the face which had nestled
to my breast in the sorrow of parting, years, long years ago: on the
grave where we had sat, I the boy, thou the infant--there, O Blanche!
is thy fair face--(fairer than the fondest dream that had gladdened my
exile)--vouchsafed to my gaze!

"Blanche, my cousin!--again, again--soul with soul, amidst the dead!
Look up, Blanche; it is I."


"Go in first, and prepare them, dear Blanche: I will wait by the door.
Leave it ajar, that I may see them."

Roland is leaning against the wall--old armour suspended over the gray
head of the soldier. It is but a glance that I gave to the dark cheek
and high brow: no change there for the worse--no new sign of decay.
Rather, if anything, Roland seems younger than when I left. Calm is the
brow--no shame on it now, Roland; and the lips, once so compressed,
smile with ease--no struggle now, Roland, "not to complain." A glance
shows me all this.

"Papæ!" says my father, and I hear the fall of a book, "I can't read
a line. He is coming to-morrow!--to-morrow! If we lived to the age of
Methusalem, Kitty, we could never reconcile philosophy and man; that
is, if the poor man's to be plagued with a good affectionate son!"

And my father gets up and walks to and fro. One minute more,
father--one minute more--and I am on thy breast! Time, too, has dealt
gently with thee, as he doth with those for whom the wild passions and
keen cares of the world never sharpen his scythe. The broad front looks
more broad, for the locks are more scanty and thin; but still not a

Whence comes that short sigh?

"What is really the time, Blanche? Did you look at the turret clock?
Well, just go and look again."

"Kitty," quoth my father, "you have not only asked what time it is
thrice within the last ten minutes, but you have got my watch, and
Roland's great chronometer, and the Dutch clock out of the kitchen,
all before you, and they all concur in the same tale--to-day is not

"They are all wrong, I know," said my mother, with mild firmness; "and
they've never gone right since he left."

Now out comes a letter--for I hear the rustle--and then a step glides
towards the lamp; and the dear, gentle, womanly face--fair still, fair
ever for me--fair as when it bent over my pillow, in childhood's first
sickness, or when we threw flowers at each other on the lawn at sunny
noon! And now Blanche is whispering; and now the flutter, the start,
the cry--"It is true! it is true! Your arms, mother. Close, close round
my neck, as in the old time. Father! Roland, too! Oh joy! joy! joy!
home again--home till death!"


From a dream of the Bushland, howling dingoes,[7] and the war-whoop
of the wild men, I wake and see the sun shining in through the
jasmine that Blanche herself has had trained round the window--old
school-books, neatly ranged round the wall--fishing rods, cricket-bats,
foils, and the old-fashioned gun,--and my mother seated by the
bedside--and Juba whining and scratching to get up. Had I taken thy
murmured blessing, my mother, for the whoop of the blacks, and Juba's
low whine for the howl of the dingoes?

Then what days of calm exquisite delight!--the interchange of heart
with heart; what walks with Roland, and tales of him once our shame,
now our pride; and the art with which the old man would lead those
walks round by the village, that some favourite gossips might stop and
ask, "What news of his brave young honour?"

I strive to engage my uncle in my projects for the repair of the
ruins--for the culture of those wide bogs and moorlands: why is it that
he turns away, and looks down embarrassed? Ah, I guess!--his true heir
now is restored to him. He cannot consent that I should invest this
dross, for which (the Great Book once published) I have no other use,
in the house and the lands that will pass to his son. Neither would
he suffer me so to invest even his son's fortune, the bulk of which
I still hold in trust for that son. True, in his career, my cousin
may require to have his money always forthcoming. But I, who have no
career,--pooh! these scruples will rob me of half the pleasure my
years of toil were to purchase. I must contrive it somehow or other:
what if he would let me house and moorland on a long improving lease?
Then, for the rest, there is a pretty little property to be sold close
by, on which I can retire when my cousin, as heir of the family,
comes, perhaps with a wife, to reside at the Tower. I must consider
of all this, and talk it over with Bolt when my mind is at leisure
from happiness to turn to such matters; meanwhile I fall back on my
favourite proverb,--"_Where there's a will there's a way_."

What smiles and tears, and laughter and careless prattle with my
mother, and roundabout questions from her, to know if I had never lost
my heart in the Bush; and evasive answers from me, to punish her for
not letting out that Blanche was so charming. "I fancied Blanche had
grown the image of her father, who has a fine martial head certainly,
but not seen to advantage in petticoats! How could you be so silent
with a theme so attractive?"

"Blanche made me promise."

Why? I wonder. Therewith I fell musing.

What quiet delicious hours are spent with my father in his study, or
by the pond, where he still feeds the carps, that have grown into
Ceprinidian leviathans. The duck, alas! has departed this life--the
only victim that the Grim King has carried off; so I mourn, but am
resigned to that lenient composition of the great tribute to Nature. I
am sorry to say the Great Book has advanced but slowly--by no means yet
fit for publication, for it is resolved that it shall not come out as
first proposed, a part at a time, but _totus, teres, atque rotundus_.
The matter has spread beyond its original compass; no less than five
volumes--and those of the amplest--will contain the History of Human
Error. However, we are far in the fourth, and one must not hurry

My father is enchanted with Uncle Jack's "noble conduct," as he
calls it; but he scolds me for taking the money, and doubts as to
the propriety of returning it. In these matters my father is quite
as Quixotical as Roland. I am forced to call in my mother as umpire
between us, and she settles the matter at once by an appeal to feeling.
"Ah, Austin! do you not humble me, if you are too proud to accept what
is due to you from my brother."

"_Velit, nolit, quod amica_," answered my father, taking off and
rubbing his spectacles--"which means, Kitty, that when a man's married
he has no will of his own. To think," added Mr Caxton, musingly,
"that in this world one cannot be sure of the simplest mathematical
definition! You see, Pisistratus, that the angles of a triangle so
decidedly scalene as your Uncle Jack's, may be equal to the angles of a
right-angled triangle after all!"[8]

The long privation of books has quite restored all my appetite for
them. How much I have to pick up!--what a compendious scheme of reading
I and my father chalk out. I see enough to fill up all the leisure
of life. But, somehow or other, Greek and Latin stand still: nothing
charms me like Italian. Blanche and I are reading Metastasio, to the
great indignation of my father, who calls it "rubbish," and wants to
substitute Dante. I have no associations at present with the souls

              "Che son contenti
    Nel fuoco;"

I am already one of the "_beate gente_." Yet, in spite of Metastasio,
Blanche and I are not so intimate as cousins ought to be. If we are by
accident alone, I become as silent as a Turk, as formal as Sir Charles
Grandison. I caught myself calling her _Miss_ Blanche the other day.

I must not forget thee, honest Squills!--nor thy delight at my health
and success; nor thy exclamation of pride, (one hand on my pulse and
the other griping hard the "ball" of my arm,) "It all comes of my
citrate of iron; nothing like it for children; it has an effect on the
cerebral developments of hope and combativeness." Nor can I wholly omit
mention of poor Mrs Primmins, who still calls me "Master Sisty," and
is breaking her heart that I will not wear the new flannel waistcoats
she had such pleasure in making--"Young gentlemen just growing up are
so apt to go off in a galloping 'sumption!" "She knew just such another
as Master Sisty, when she lived at Torquay, who wasted away, and went
out like a _snuff_, all because he would not wear flannel waistcoats."
Therewith my mother looks grave, and says, "One can't take too much

Suddenly the whole neighbourhood is thrown into commotion. Trevanion--I
beg his pardon, Lord Ulverstone--is coming to settle for good at
Compton. Fifty hands are employed, daily in putting the grounds into
hasty order. Fourgons, and waggons, and vans have disgorged all the
necessaries a great man requires, where he means to eat, drink, and
sleep--books, wines, pictures, furniture. I recognise my old patron
still. He is in earnest, whatever he does. I meet my friend, his
steward, who tells me that Lord Ulverstone finds his favourite seat,
near London, too exposed to interruption; and, moreover, that as he has
there completed all improvements that wealth and energy can effect, he
has less occupation for agricultural pursuits, to which he has grown
more and more partial, than on the wide and princely domain which
has hitherto wanted the master's eye. "He is a bra' farmer, I know,"
quoth the steward, "so far as the theory goes but I don't think we in
the north want great lords to teach us how to follow the pleugh." The
steward's sense of dignity is hurt; but he is an honest fellow, and
really glad to see the family come to settle in the old place.

They have arrived, and with them the Castletons, and a whole _posse
comitatus_ of guests. The County Paper is full of fine names.

"What on earth did Lord Ulverstone, mean by pretending to get out of
the way of troublesome visitors?"

"My dear Pisistratus," answered my father to that exclamation, "it is
not the visitors who come, but the visitors who stay away, that most
trouble the repose of a retired minister. In all the procession, he
sees but the images of Brutus and Cassius--that are _not_ there! And
depend on it, also, a retirement so near London did not make noise
enough. You see, a retiring statesman is like that fine carp--the
farther he leaps from the water, the greater splash he makes in falling
into the weeds! But," added Mr Caxton, in a repentant tone, "this
jesting does not become us; and, if I indulged it, it is only because
I am heartily glad that Trevanion is likely now to find out his true
vocation. And as soon as the fine people he brings with him have left
him alone in his library, I trust he will settle to that vocation, and
be happier than he has been yet."

"And that vocation, sir, is--"

"Metaphysics!" said my father. "He will be quite at home in puzzling
over Berkeley, and considering whether the Speaker's chair, and
the official red boxes, were really things whose ideas of figure,
extension, and hardness, were all in the mind. It will be a great
consolation to him to agree, with Berkeley, and to find that he has
only been baffled by immaterial phantasma!"

My father was quite right. The repining, subtle, truth-weighing
Trevanion, plagued by his conscience into seeing all sides of a
question, (for the least question has more than two sides, and is
hexagonal at least,) was much more fitted to discover the origin of
ideas than to convince Cabinets and Nations that two and two make
four--a proposition on which he himself would have agreed with Abraham
Tucker, where that most ingenious and suggestive of all English
metaphysicians observes, "Well persuaded as I am that two and two
make four, if I were to meet with a person of credit, candour, and
understanding, who should sincerely call it in question, I would
give him a hearing; for I am not more certain of that than of the
whole being greater than a part. And yet I could myself suggest _some
considerations that might seem to controvert this point_."[9] I can so
well imagine Trevanion listening to "some person of credit, candour,
and understanding," in disproof of that vulgar proposition that twice
two make four! But the news of this arrival, including that of Lady
Castleton, disturbed me greatly, and I took to long wanderings alone.
In one of these rambles, they all called at the Tower--Lord and Lady
Ulverstone, the Castletons, and their children. I escaped the visit;
and on my return home, there was a certain delicacy respecting old
associations, that restrained much talk before me on so momentous an
event. Roland, like me, had kept out of the way. Blanche, poor child,
ignorant of the antecedents, was the most communicative. And the
especial theme she selected--was the grace and beauty of Lady Castleton!

A pressing invitation to spend some days at the castle had been
cordially given to all. It was accepted only by myself: I wrote word
that I would come.

Yes; I longed to prove the strength of my own self-conquest, and
accurately test the nature of the feelings that had disturbed me. That
any sentiment which could be called love remained for Lady Castleton,
the wife of another, and that other a man with so many claims on my
affection as her lord, I held as a moral impossibility. But, with
all those lively impressions of early youth still engraved on my
heart--impressions of the image of Fanny Trevanion, as the fairest
and brightest of human beings--could I feel free to love again? Could
I seek to woo, and rivet to myself for ever, the entire and virgin
affections of another, while there was a possibility that I might
compare and regret? No; either I must feel that, if Fanny were again
single--could be mine without obstacle, human or divine--she had ceased
to be the one I would single out of the world; or, though regarding
love as the dead, I would be faithful to its memory and its ashes. My
mother sighed, and looked fluttered and uneasy all the morning of the
day on which I was to repair to Compton. She even seemed cross, for
about the third time in her life, and paid no compliment to Mr Stultz,
when my shooting-jacket was exchanged for a black frock, which that
artist had pronounced to be "splendid;" neither did she honour me with
any of those little attentions to the contents of my portmanteau, and
the perfect "getting up" of my white waistcoats and cravats, which
made her natural instincts on such memorable occasions. There was also
a sort of querulous pitying tenderness in her tone when she spoke to
Blanche, which was quite pathetic; though, fortunately, its cause
remained dark and impenetrable to the innocent comprehension of one
who could not see where the past filled the urns of the future, at the
fountain of life. My father understood me better--shook me by the hand,
as I got into the chaise, and muttered, out of Seneca--

    "Non tanquam transfuga, sed tanquam explorator!"

        'Not to desert, but examine.'

Quite right.


Agreeably to the usual custom in great houses, as soon as I arrived
at Compton I was conducted to my room, to adjust my toilet, or
compose my spirits by solitude:--it wanted an hour to dinner. I had
not, however, been thus left ten minutes, before the door opened,
and Trevanion himself, (as I would fain still call him) stood before
me. Most cordial were his greeting and welcome; and, seating himself
by my side, he continued to converse, in his peculiar way--bluntly
eloquent, and carelessly learned--till the half hour bell rang. He
talked on Australia, the Wakefield system--cattle--books, his trouble
in arranging his library--his schemes for improving his property,
and embellishing his grounds--his delight to find my father look so
well--his determination to see a great deal of him, whether his old
college friend would or no. He talked, in short, of everything except
politics, and his own past career--showing only his soreness in that
silence. But (independently of the mere work of time,) he looked yet
more worn and jaded in his leisure than he had done in the full tide
of business; and his former abrupt quickness of manner now seemed to
partake of feverish excitement. I hoped that my father _would_ see much
of him, for I felt that the weary mind wanted soothing.

Just as the second bell rang, I entered the drawing-room. There were
at least twenty guests present--each guest, no doubt, some planet of
fashion or fame, with satellites of its own. But I saw only two forms
distinctly--first, Lord Castleton, conspicuous with star and garter,
somewhat ampler and portlier in proportions, and with a frank dash of
gray in the silky waves of his hair, but still as pre-eminent as ever
for that beauty--the charm of which depends less than any other upon
youth--arising, as it does, from a felicitous combination of bearing
and manner, and that exquisite suavity of expression which steals
into the heart, and pleases so much that it becomes a satisfaction to
admire! Of Lord Castleton, indeed, it might be said, as of Alcibiades,
'that he was beautiful at every age.' I felt my breath come thick, and
a mist passed before my eyes, as Lord Castleton led me through the
crowd, and the radiant vision of Fanny Trevanion, how altered--and how
dazzling!--burst upon me.

I felt the light touch of that hand of snow; but no guilty thrill shot
through my veins. I heard the voice, musical as ever--lower than it was
once, and more subdued in its key, but steadfast and untremulous--it
was no longer the voice that made "my soul plant itself in the
ears."[10] The event was over, and I knew that the dream had fled from
the waking world for ever.

"Another old friend!" as Lady Ulverstone came forth from a little group
of children, leading one fine boy of nine years old, while one, two or
three years younger, clung to her gown. "Another old friend!--and,"
added Lady Ulverstone, after the first kind greetings, "two new ones,
when the old are gone." The slight melancholy left the voice, as, after
presenting to me the little viscount, she drew forward the more bashful
Lord Albert, who indeed had something of his grandsire's and namesake's
look of refined intelligence in his brow and eyes.

The watchful tact of Lord Castleton was quick in terminating whatever
embarrassment might belong to these introductions, as, leaning
lightly on my arm, he drew me forward, and presented me to the guests
more immediately in our neighbourhood, who seemed by their earnest
cordiality to have been already prepared for the introduction.

Dinner was now announced, and I welcomed that sense of relief and
segregation with which one settles into one's own "particular" chair at
your large miscellaneous entertainments.

I stayed three days at that house. How truly had Trevanion said that
Fanny would make "an excellent great lady." What perfect harmony
between her manners and her position; just retaining enough of the
girl's seductive gaiety and bewitching desire to please, to soften the
new dignity of bearing she had unconsciously assumed--less, after all,
as great lady than as wife and mother: with a fine breeding, perhaps
a little languid and artificial, as compared with her lord's--which
sprang, fresh and healthful, wholly from nature--but still so void of
all the chill of condescension, or the subtle impertinence that belongs
to that order of the inferior _noblesse_, which boasts the name of
"exclusives;" with what grace, void of prudery, she took the adulation
of the flutterers, turning from them to her children, or escaping
lightly to Lord Castleton, with an ease that drew round her at once the
protection of hearth and home.

And certainly Lady Castleton was more incontestably beautiful than
Fanny Trevanion had been.

All this I acknowledged, not with a sigh and a pang, but with a
pure feeling of pride and delight. I might have loved madly and
presumptuously, as boys will do; but I had loved worthily;--the
love left no blush on my manhood; and Fanny's very happiness was my
perfect and total cure of every wound in my heart not quite scarred
over before. Had she been discontented, sorrowful, without joy in the
ties she had formed, there might have been more danger that I should
brood over the past, and regret the loss of its idol. Here there
was none. And the very improvement in her beauty had so altered its
character--_so_ altered--that Fanny Trevanion and Lady Castleton seemed
two persons. And, thus observing and listening to her, I could now
dispassionately perceive such differences in our nature as seemed to
justify Trevanion's assertion, which once struck me as so monstrous,
"that we should not have been happy had fate permitted our union."
Pure-hearted and simple though she remained in the artificial world,
still that world was her element; its interests occupied her; its talk,
though just chastened from scandal, flowed from her lips. To borrow the
words of a man who was himself a courtier, and one so distinguished
that he could afford to sneer at Chesterfield,[11] "_She_ had the
routine of that style of conversation which is a sort of gold leaf,
that is a great embellishment where it is joined to anything else." I
will not add, "but makes a very poor figure by itself,"--for _that_
Lady Castleton's conversation certainly did not do--perhaps, indeed,
because it was not "by itself"--and the gold leaf was all the better
for being thin, since it could not cover even the surface of the sweet
and amiable nature over which it was spread. Still, this was not the
mind in which now, in maturer experience, I would seek to find sympathy
with manly action, or companionship in the charms of intellectual

There was about this beautiful favourite of nature, and fortune a
certain helplessness, which had even its grace in that high station,
and which perhaps tended to insure her domestic peace, for it served
to attach her to those who had won influence over her, and was happily
accompanied by a most affectionate disposition. But still, if less
favoured by circumstances, less sheltered from every wind that could
visit her too roughly--if, as the wife of a man of inferior rank, she
had failed of that high seat and silken canopy reserved for the spoiled
darlings of fortune--that helplessness might have become querulous. I
thought of poor Ellen Bolding and her silken shoes. Fanny Trevanion
seemed to have come into the world with silk shoes--not to walk where
there was a stone or a briar! I heard something, in the gossip of
those around, that confirmed this view of Lady Castleton's character,
while it deepened my admiration of her lord, and showed me how wise
had been her choice, and how resolutely he had prepared himself to
vindicate his own. One evening, as I was sitting a little apart from
the rest, with two men of the London world, to whose talk--for it ran
upon the _on-dits_ and anecdotes of a region long strange to me--I
was a silent but amused listener; one of the two said--"Well, I don't
know anywhere a more excellent creature than Lady Castleton; so fond
of her children--and her tone to Castleton so exactly what it ought
to be--so affectionate, and yet, as it were, respectful. And the more
credit to her, if, as they say, she was not in love with him when she
married, (to be sure, handsome as he is, he is twice her age!) And
no woman could have been more flattered and courted by Lotharios and
lady-killers than Lady Castleton has been. I confess, to my shame,
that Castleton's luck puzzles me, for it is rather an exception to my
general experience."

"My dear * * *," said the other, who was one of those wise men of
pleasure, who occasionally startle us into wondering, how they come
to be so clever, and yet rest contented with mere drawing-room
celebrity--men who seem always idle, yet appear to have read
everything; always indifferent to what passes before them, yet who know
the characters and divine the secrets of everybody--"my dear * * *,"
said the gentleman, "you would not be puzzled if you had studied Lord
Castleton, instead of her ladyship. Of all the conquests ever made by
Sedley Beaudesert, when the two fairest dames of the Faubourg are said
to have fought for his smiles in the _Bois de Boulogne_--no conquest
ever cost him such pains, or so tasked his knowledge of women, as that
of his wife after marriage! He was not satisfied with her hand, he was
resolved to have her whole heart, 'one entire and perfect chrysolite;'
and he has succeeded! Never was husband so watchful, and so little
jealous--never one who confided so generously in all that was best in
his wife, yet was so alert in protecting and guarding her wherever
she was weakest! When, in the second year of marriage, that dangerous
German Prince Von Leibenfels attached himself so perseveringly to Lady
Castleton, and the scandal-mongers pricked up their ears in hopes of
a victim, I watched Castleton with as much interest as if I had been
looking over Deschappelles playing at chess. You never saw anything
so masterly: he pitted himself against his highness with the cool
confidence, not of a blind spouse, but a fortunate rival. He surpassed
him in the delicacy of his attentions, he outshone him by his careless
magnificence. Leibenfels had the impertinence to send Lady Castleton
a bouquet of some rare flowers just in fashion. Castleton, an hour
before, had filled her whole balcony with the same costly exotics, as
if they were too common for nosegays, and only just worthy to bloom for
her a day. Young and really accomplished as Leibenfels is, Castleton
eclipsed him by his grace, and fooled him with his wit: he laid little
plots to turn his mustache and guitar into ridicule; he seduced him
into a hunt with the buckhounds, (though Castleton himself had not
hunted before, since he was thirty,) and drew him, spluttering German
oaths, out of the slough of a ditch; he made him the laughter of the
clubs; he put him fairly out of fashion--and all with such suavity and
politeness, and bland sense of superiority, that it was the finest
piece of high comedy you ever beheld. The poor prince, who had been
coxcomb enough to lay a bet with a Frenchman as to his success with
the English in general, and Lady Castleton in particular, went away
with a face as long as Don Quixote's. If you had but seen him at S----
House, the night before he took leave of the island, and his comical
grimace when Castleton offered him a pinch of the Beaudesert mixture!
No! the fact is, that Castleton made it the object of his existence,
the masterpiece of his art, to secure to himself a happy home, and the
entire possession of his wife's heart. The first two or three years, I
fear, cost him more trouble than any other man ever took, with his own
wife at least--but he may now rest in peace; Lady Castleton is won, and
for ever."

As my gentleman ceased, Lord Castleton's noble head rose above the
group standing round him; and I saw Lady Castleton turn with a look
of well-bred fatigue from a handsome young fop, who had affected to
lower his voice while he spoke to her, and, encountering the eyes of
her husband, the look changed at once into one of such sweet smiling
affection, such frank unmistakeable wife-like pride, that it seemed a
response to the assertion--"Lady Castleton is won, and for ever."

Yes, that story increased my admiration for Lord Castleton: it showed
me with what forethought and earnest sense of responsibility he had
undertaken the charge of a life, the guidance of a character yet
undeveloped; it lastingly acquitted him of the levity that had been
attributed to Sedley Beaudesert. But I felt more than ever contented
that the task had devolved on one whose temper and experience had so
fitted him to discharge it. That German prince made me tremble from
sympathy with the husband, and in a sort of relative shudder for
myself! Had that episode happened to me, I could never have drawn "high
comedy" from it!--I could never have so happily closed the fifth act
with a pinch of the Beaudesert mixture! No, no; to my homely sense of
man's life and employment, there was nothing alluring in the prospect
of watching over the golden tree in the garden, with a "woe to the
Argus, if Mercury once lull him to sleep!" Wife of mine shall need no
watching save in sickness and sorrow! Thank Heaven, that my way of life
does not lead through the roseate thoroughfares, beset with German
princes laying bets for my perdition, and fine gentlemen admiring the
skill with which I play at chess for so terrible a stake! To each rank
and each temper, its own laws. I acknowledge that Fanny is an excellent
marchioness, and Lord Castleton an incomparable marquis. But, Blanche!
if I can win thy true simple heart, I trust I shall begin at the fifth
act of high comedy, and say at the altar--

    "Once won, won for ever!"


I rode home on a horse my host lent me; and Lord Castleton rode
part of the way with me, accompanied by his two boys, who bestrode
manfully their Shetland ponies, and cantered on before us. I paid
some compliment to the spirit and intelligence of these children--a
compliment they well deserved.

"Why, yes," said the marquis, with a father's becoming pride, "I hope
neither of them will shame his grandsire, Trevanion. Albert (though not
quite the wonder poor Lady Ulverstone declares him to be) is rather
too precocious; and it is all I can do to prevent his being spoilt
by flattery to his cleverness, which, I think, is much worse than
even flattery to rank--a danger to which, despite Albert's destined
inheritance, the elder brother is more exposed. Eton soon takes out the
conceit of the latter and more vulgar kind. I remember Lord----(you
know what an unpretending good-natured fellow he is now) strutting into
the play-ground, a raw boy with his chin up in the air, and burly Dick
Johnson (rather a tuft-hunter now, I'm afraid) coming up, and saying,
'Well, sir, and who the deuce are you?' 'Lord----,' says the poor
devil unconsciously, 'eldest son of the Marquis of----.' 'Oh, indeed!'
cries Johnson; 'then, there's one kick for my lord, and two for the
marquis!' I am not fond of kicking, but I doubt if anything ever did
---- more good than those those kicks! But" continued Lord Castleton,
"when one flatters a boy for his cleverness, even Eton itself cannot
kick the conceit out of him. Let him be last in the form, and the
greatest dunce ever flogged, there are always people to say that your
public schools don't do for your great geniuses. And it is ten to one
but what the father is plagued into taking the boy home, and giving
him a private tutor, who fixes him into a prig for ever. A coxcomb in
dress," said the marquis smiling, "is a trifler it would ill become
me to condemn, and I own that I would rather see a youth a fop than
a sloven; but a coxcomb in ideas--why, the younger he is, the more
unnatural and disagreeable. Now, Albert, over that hedge, sir."

"That hedge, papa? The pony will never do it."

"Then," said Lord Castleton, taking off his hat with politeness, "I
fear you will deprive us of the pleasure of your company."

The boy laughed, and made gallantly for the hedge, though I saw by his
change of colour that it a little alarmed him. The pony could not clear
the hedge; but it was a pony of tact and resources, and it scrambled
through like a cat, inflicting sundry rents and tears on a jacket of
Raphael blue.

Lord Castleton said, smiling, "You see I teach them to get through
a difficulty one way or the other. Between you and me," he added
seriously, "I perceive a very different world rising round the next
generation from that in which I first went forth and took my pleasure.
I shall rear my boys accordingly. Rich noblemen must now-a-days be
useful men; and if they can't leap over briars, they must scramble
through them. Don't you agree with me?"

"Yes, heartily."

"Marriage makes a man much wiser," said the marquis, after a pause. "I
smile now, to think how often I sighed at the thought of growing old.
Now I reconcile myself to the gray hairs without dreams of a wig, and
enjoy youth still--for" (pointing to his sons) "it is _there_!"

"He has very nearly found out the secret of the saffron bag now," said
my father, pleased, and rubbing his hands, when I repeated this talk
with Lord Castleton. "But I fear poor Trevanion," he added, with a
compassionate change of countenance, "is still far away from the sense
of Lord Bacon's receipt. And his wife, you say, out of very love for
him, keeps always drawing discord from the one jarring wire."

"You must talk to her, sir."

"I will," said my father angrily; "and scold her too--foolish woman! I
shall tell her Luther's advice to the Prince of Anhalt."

"What was that, sir?"

"Only to throw a baby into the river Maldon, because it had sucked dry
five wet-nurses besides the mother, and must therefore be a changeling.
Why, that ambition of hers would suck dry all the mothers' milk in the
genus mammalian! And such a withered, rickety, malign little changeling
too! She shall fling it into the river, by all that is holy!" cried my
father; and, suiting the action to the word, away went the spectacles
he had been rubbing indignantly for the last three minutes, into the
pond. "Papæ!" faltered my father aghast, while the Ceprinidæ, mistaking
the dip of the spectacles for an invitation to dinner, came scudding
up to the bank. "It is all your fault," said Mr Caxton, recovering
himself. "Get me the new tortoise-shell spectacles and a large slice
of bread. You see that when fish are reduced to a pond they recognise
a benefactor, which they never do when rising at flies, or groping for
worms, in the waste world of a river. Hem!--a hint for the Ulverstones.
Besides the bread and the spectacles, just look out and bring me the
old black-letter copy of St Anthony's _Sermon to Fishes_."


Some weeks now have passed since my return to the Tower: the Castletons
are gone, and all Trevanion's gay guests. And since these departures,
visits between the two houses have been interchanged often, and the
bonds of intimacy are growing close. Twice has my father held long
conversations apart with Lady Ulverstone, (my mother is not foolish
enough to feel a pang now at such confidences,) and the result has
become apparent. Lady Ulverstone has ceased all talk against the
world and the public--ceased to fret the galled pride of her husband
with irritating sympathy. She has made herself the true partner of
his present occupations, as she was of those in the past; she takes
interest in farming, and gardens, and flowers, and those philosophical
peaches which come from trees academical that Sir William Temple reared
in his graceful retirement. She does more--she sits by her husband's
side in the library, reads the books he reads, or, if in Latin, coaxes
him, into construing them. Insensibly she leads him into studies
farther and farther remote from Blue Books and Hansard; and, taking my
father's hint,

    "Allures to brighter worlds, and leads the way."

They are inseparable. Darby-and-Joan-like, you see them together in
the library, the garden, or the homely little pony-phaeton, for which
Lord Ulverstone has resigned the fast-trotting cob, once identified
with the eager looks of the busy Trevanion. It is most touching, most
beautiful! And to think what a victory over herself the proud woman
must have obtained!--never a thought that seems to murmur, never a word
to recall the ambitious man back from the philosophy into which his
active mind flies for refuge. And with the effort her brow has become
so serene! That careworn expression, which her fine features once wore,
is fast vanishing. And what affects me most, is to think that this
change (which is already settling into happiness) has been wrought by
Austin's counsels and appeals to her sense and affection. "It is to
you," he said, "that Trevanion must look for more than comfort--for
cheerfulness and satisfaction. Your child is gone from you--the world
ebbs away--you two should be all in all to each other. Be so." Thus,
after paths so devious, meet those who had parted in youth, now on the
verge of age. There, in the same scenes where Austin and Ellinor had
first formed acquaintance, he aiding her to soothe the wounds inflicted
by the ambition that had separated their lots, and both taking counsel
to insure the happiness of the rival she had preferred.

After all this vexed public life of toil, and care, and ambition,--to
see Trevanion and Ellinor drawing closer and closer to each other,
knowing private life and its charms for the first time,--verily it
would have been a theme for an elegiast like Tibullus.

But all this while a younger love, with no blurred leaves to erase
from the chronicle, has been keeping sweet account of the summer time.
"Very near are two hearts that have no guile between them," saith
a proverb, traced back to Confucius. O ye days of still sunshine,
reflected back from ourselves--O ye haunts, endeared evermore by a
look, tone, or smile, or rapt silence, when more and more with each
hour, unfolded before me that nature, so tenderly coy, so cheerful
though serious, so attuned by simple cares to affection, yet so filled,
from soft musings and solitude, with a poetry that gave grace to duties
the homeliest;--setting life's trite things to music. Here nature and
fortune concurred alike: equal in birth and pretensions--similar in
tastes and in objects,--loving the healthful activity of purpose, but
content to find it around us--neither envying the wealthy, nor vying
with the great; each framed by temper to look on the bright side of
life, and find founts of delight, and green spots fresh with verdure,
where eyes but accustomed to cities could see but the sands and the
mirage. While afar (as man's duty) I had gone through the travail
that, in wrestling with fortune, gives pause to the heart to recover
its losses, and know the value of love, in its graver sense of life's
earnest realities; heaven had reared, at the thresholds of home, the
young tree that should cover the roof with its blossoms, and embalm
with its fragrance the daily air of my being.

It had been the joint prayer of those kind ones I left, that such might
be my reward; and each had contributed, in his or her several way,
to fit that fair life for the ornament and joy of the one that now
asked to guard and to cherish it. From Roland came that deep, earnest
honour--a man's in its strength, and a woman's in its delicate sense
of refinement. From Roland, that quick taste for all things noble in
poetry, and lovely in nature--the eye that sparkled to read how Bayard
stood alone at the bridge, and saved an army--or wept over the page
that told how the dying Sidney put the bowl from his burning lips. Is
that too masculine a spirit for some? Let each please himself. Give me
the woman who can echo all thoughts that are noblest in man! And that
eye, too--like Roland's,--could pause to note each finer mesh in the
wonderful webwork of beauty. No landscape to her was the same yesterday
and to-day,--a deeper shade from the skies could change the face of the
moors--the springing up of fresh wild flowers, the very song of some
bird unheard before, lent variety to the broad rugged heath. Is that
too simple a source of pleasure for some to prize? Be it so to those
who need the keen stimulants that cities afford. But if we were to pass
all our hours in those scenes, it was something to have the tastes
which own no monotony in Nature.

All this came from Roland; and to this, with thoughtful wisdom, my
father had added enough knowledge from books to make those tastes more
attractive, and to lend to impulsive perception of beauty and goodness
the culture that draws finer essence from beauty, and expands the Good
into the Better by heightening the site of the survey: hers, knowledge
enough to sympathise with intellectual pursuits, not enough to dispute
on man's province--Opinion. Still, whether in nature or in lore, still

      "The fairest garden in her looks,
    And in her mind the choicest books!"

And yet, thou wise Austin--and thou Roland, poet that never wrote a
verse,--yet your work had been incomplete, but then Woman stept in,
and the mother gave to her she designed for a daughter the last finish
of meek everyday charities--the mild household virtues,--"the soft
word that turneth away wrath,"--the angelic pity for man's rougher
faults--the patience that bideth its time--and, exacting no "rights of
woman," subjugates us, delighted, to the invisible thrall.

Dost thou remember, my Blanche, that soft summer evening when the vows
our eyes had long interchanged stole at last from the lip? Wife mine!
come to my side,--look over me while I write; there, thy tears--(happy
tears, are they not, Blanche?)--have blotted the page! Shall we tell
the world more? Right, my Blanche, no words should profane the place
where those tears have fallen!

       *       *       *       *       *

And here I would fain conclude; but alas, and alas! that I cannot
associate with our hopes, on this side the grave, him who, we fondly
hoped, (even on the bridal-day, that gave his sister to my arms,) would
come to the hearth where his place now stood vacant, contented with
glory, and fitted at last for the tranquil happiness, which long years
of repentance and trial had deserved.

Within the first year of my marriage, and shortly after a gallant
share in a desperate action, which had covered his name with new
honours, just when we were most elated, in the blinded vanity of human
pride--came the fatal news! The brief career was run. He died, as I
knew he would have prayed to die, at the close of a day ever memorable
in the annals of that marvellous empire, which valour without parallel
has annexed to the Throne of the Isles. He died in the arms of Victory,
and his last smile met the eyes of the noble chief who, even in that
hour, could pause from the tide of triumph by the victim it had cast
on its bloody shore. "One favour," faltered the dying man; "I have a
father at home--he too is a soldier. In my tent is my will: it gives
all I have to him--he can take it without shame. That is not enough!
Write to him--you--with your own hand, and tell him how his son fell!"
And the hero fulfilled the prayer, and that letter is dearer to Roland
than all the long roll of the ancestral dead! Nature has reclaimed her
rights, and the forefathers recede before the son.

In a side chapel of the old Gothic church, amidst the mouldering tombs
of those who fought at Acre and Agincourt, a fresh tablet records the
death of HERBERT DE CAXTON, with the simple inscription--




Years have rolled away since that tablet was placed there, and changes
have passed on that nook of earth which bounds our little world: fair
chambers have sprung up amidst the desolate ruins; far and near,
smiling corn-fields replace the bleak, dreary moors. The land supports
more retainers than ever thronged to the pennon of its barons of old;
and Roland can look from his tower over domains that are reclaimed,
year by year, from the waste, till the ploughshare shall win a lordship
more opulent than those feudal chiefs ever held by the tenure of the
sword. And the hospitable mirth that had fled from the ruin has been
renewed in the hall; and rich and poor, great and lowly, have welcomed
the rise of an ancient house from the dust of decay. All those dreams
of Roland's youth are fulfilled; but they do not gladden his heart as
does the thought that his son, at the last, was worthy of his line, and
the hope that no gulf shall yawn between the two when the Grand Circle
is rounded, and man's past and man's future meet where Time disappears.
Never was that lost one forgotten!--never was his name breathed but
tears rushed to the eyes; and, each morning, the peasant going to his
labour might see Roland steal down the dell to the deep-set door of
the chapel. None presume there to follow his steps, or intrude on his
solemn thoughts; for there, in sight of that tablet, are his orisons
made, and the remembrance of the dead forms a part of the commune
with heaven. But the old man's step is still firm, and his brow still
erect; and you may see in his face that it was no hollow boast which
proclaimed that the "father was resigned:" and ye, who doubt if too
Roman a hardness might not be found in that Christian resignation,
think what it is to have feared for a son the life of shame, and ask,
then, if the sharpest grief to a father is in a son's death of honour.

Years have passed, and two fair daughters play at the knees of Blanche
or creep round the footstool of Austin, waiting patiently for the
expected kiss when he looks up from the Great Book, now drawing fast
to its close; or, if Roland enter the room, forget all their sober
demureness, and, unawed by the terrible "Papæ!" run clamorous for the
promised swing in the orchard, or the fiftieth recital of "Chevy Chase."

For my part, I take the goods the gods provide me, and am contented
with girls that have the eyes of their mother; but Roland, ungrateful
man, begins to grumble that we are so neglectful of the rights of
heirs-male. He is in doubt whether to lay the fault on Mr Squills or
on us: I am not sure that he does not think it a conspiracy of all
three to settle the representation of the martial De Caxtons on "the
spindle side." Whosoever be the right person to blame, an omission so
fatal to the straight line in the pedigree is rectified at last; and
Mrs Primmins again rushes, or rather rolls--in the movement natural to
forms globular and spheral--into my father's room with--

"Sir, sir--it is a boy!"

Whether my father asked also this time that question so puzzling to
metaphysical inquirers, "What is a boy?" I know not; I rather suspect
he had not leisure for so abstract a question: for the whole household
burst on him, and my mother, in that storm peculiar to the elements
of the Mind Feminine--a sort of sunshiny storm between laughter and
crying--whirled him off to behold the _Neogilos_.

Now, some months after that date, on a winter's evening, we were all
assembled in the hall, which was still our usual apartment, since its
size permitted to each his own segregated and peculiar employment.
A large screen fenced off from interruption my father's erudite
settlement; and quite out of sight, behind that impermeable barrier, he
was now calmly winding up that eloquent peroration which will astonish
the world whenever, by Heaven's special mercy, the printer's devils
have done with "The History of Human Error." In another nook my uncle
had ensconced himself--stirring his coffee, (in the cup my mother had
presented to him so many years ago, and which had miraculously escaped
all the ills the race of crockery is heir to,) a volume of _Ivanhoe_
in the other hand: and, despite the charm of the Northern Wizard, his
eye _not_ on the page. On the wall behind him, hangs the picture of Sir
Herbert de Caxton, the soldier-comrade of Sidney and Drake; and, at the
foot of the picture, Roland has slung his son's sword beside the letter
that spoke of his death, which is framed and glazed: sword and letter
had become as the last, nor least honoured, Penates of the hall:--the
son was grown an ancestor.

Not far from my uncle sat Mr Squills, employed in mapping out
phrenological divisions on a cast he had made from the skull of one
of the Australian aborigines--a ghastly present which (in compliance
with a yearly letter to that effect) I had brought him over, together
with a stuffed "wombat" and a large bundle of sarsaparilla. (For the
satisfaction of his patients, I may observe, parenthetically, that the
skull and the "wombat"--that last is a creature between a miniature
pig and a very small badger--were not precisely packed up with the
sarsaparilla!) Farther on stood open, but idle, the new pianoforte, at
which, before my father had given his preparatory hem, and sat down to
the Great Book, Blanche and my mother had been trying hard to teach me
to bear the third in the glee of "The Chough and Crow to roost have
gone,"--vain task, in spite of all flattering assurances that I have a
very fine "bass," if I could but manage to humour it. Fortunately for
the ears of the audience, that attempt is now abandoned. My mother is
hard at work on her tapestry--the last pattern in fashion--to wit, a
rosy-cheeked young troubadour playing the lute under a salmon-coloured
balcony: the two little girls look gravely on, prematurely in love, I
suspect, with the troubadour; and Blanche and I have stolen away into
a corner, which, by some strange delusion, we consider out of sight,
and in that corner is the cradle of the _Neogilos_. Indeed it is not
our fault that it is there--Roland would have it so; and the baby is
so good, too, he never cries--at least so say Blanche and my mother:
at all events he does not cry to-night. And indeed, that child is a
wonder! He seems to know and respond to what was uppermost at our
hearts when he was born; and yet more, when Roland (contrary, I dare
say, to all custom) permitted neither mother, nor nurse, nor creature
of womankind, to hold him at the baptismal font, but bent over the new
Christian his own dark, high-featured face, reminding one of the eagle
that hid the infant in its nest, and watched over it with wings that
had battled with the storm: and from that moment the child, who took
the name of HERBERT, seemed to recognise Roland better than his nurse,
or even mother--seemed to know that, in giving him that name, we sought
to give Roland his son once more! Never did the old man come near the
infant but it smiled and crowed, and stretched out its little arms; and
then the mother and I would press each other's hands secretly, and were
not jealous. Well, then, Blanche and Pisistratus were seated near the
cradle, and talking in low whispers, when my father pushed aside the
screen and said--

"There--the work is done! and now it may go to press as soon as you

Congratulations poured in--my father bore them with his usual
equanimity; and standing on the hearth, his hand in his waistcoat, he
said musingly, "Among the last delusions of Human Error, I have had
to notice Rousseau's phantasy of Perpetual Peace, and all the like
pastoral dreams, which preceded the bloodiest wars that have convulsed
the earth for more than a thousand years!"

"And to judge by the newspapers," said I, "the same delusions are
renewed again. Benevolent theorists go about, prophesying peace as a
positive certainty, deduced from that sibyl-book the ledger; and we are
never again to buy cannons, provided only we can exchange cotton for

MR SQUILLS, (_who, having almost wholly retired from general
business, has, from want of something better to do, attended sundry
"Demonstrations in the North," since which he has talked much about
the march of improvement, the spirit of the age, and_ "US _of the
nineteenth century."_)--I heartily hope that these benevolent theorists
_are_ true prophets. I have found, in the course of my professional
practice, that men go out of the world quite fast enough, without
hacking them into pieces, or blowing them up into the air. War is a
great evil.

BLANCHE, (_passing by Squills, and glancing towards Roland_.)--Hush!

Roland remains silent.

MR CAXTON.--War is a great evil; but evil is admitted by Providence
into the agency of creation, physical and moral. The existence of evil
has puzzled wiser heads than ours, Squills. But, no doubt, there is One
above who has His reasons for it. The combative bump seems as common to
the human skull as the philoprogenitive; if it is in our organisation,
be sure it is not there without cause. Neither is it just to man, nor
wisely submissive to the Disposer of all events, to suppose that war
is wholly and wantonly produced by human crimes and follies--that
it conduces _only_ to ill, and does not as often arise from the
necessities interwoven in the framework of society, and speed the great
ends of the human race, conformably with the designs of the Omniscient.
Not one great war has ever desolated the earth, but has left behind it
seeds that have ripened into blessings incalculable.

MR SQUILLS, (_with the groan of a dissentient at a
"Demonstration."_)--Oh! oh! OH!

Luckless Squills! Little could he have foreseen the shower-bath, or
rather _douche_, of erudition that fell splash on his head, as he
pulled the spring with that impertinent _Oh! oh!_ Down first came
the Persian War, with Median myriads disgorging all the rivers they
had drunk up in their march through the East--all the arts, all the
letters, all the sciences, all the notions of liberty that we inherit
from Greece--my father rushed on with them all, sousing Squills with
his proofs that, without the Persian War, Greece would never have risen
to be the teacher of the world. Before the gasping victim could take
breath, down came Hun, Goth, and Vandal, on Italy and Squills.

"What, sir!" cried my father, "don't you see that, from those eruptions
on demoralised Rome, came the regeneration of manhood; the re-baptism
of earth from the last soils of paganism; and the remote origin of
whatever of Christianity yet exists, free from the idolatries with
which Rome contaminated the faith?"

Squills held up his hands, and made a splutter. Down came
Charlemagne--paladins and all! There my father was grand! What a
picture he made of the broken, jarring, savage elements of barbaric
society. And the iron hand of the great Frank--settling the nations,
and founding existent Europe. Squills was now fast sinking into coma,
or stupefaction; but, catching at a straw, as he heard the word
"Crusades" he stuttered forth, "Ah! _there_ I defy you!"

"Defy me, there!" cries my father; and one would think the ocean was in
the shower-bath, it came down with such a rattle. My father scarcely
touched on the smaller points in excuse for the Crusades, though he
recited very volubly all the humane arts introduced into Europe by
that invasion of the East; and showed how it had served civilisation,
by the vent it afforded for the rude energies of chivalry--by the
element of destruction to feudal tyranny that it introduced--by its use
in the emancipation of burghs, and the disrupture of serfdom. But he
showed, in colours vivid as if caught from the skies of the East, the
great spread of Mahometanism, and the danger it menaced to Christian
Europe--and drew up the Godfreys, and Tancreds, and Richards, as a
league of the Age and Necessity, against the terrible progress of the
sword and the Koran. "You call them madmen," cried my father, "but the
frenzy of nations is the statesmanship of fate! How know you that--but
for the terror inspired by the hosts who marched to Jerusalem--how know
you that the Crescent had not waved over other realms than those which
Roderic lost to the Moor? If Christianity had been less a passion, and
the passion had less stirred up all Europe--how know you that the creed
of the Arab (which was then, too, a passion) might not have planted its
mosques in the forum of Rome, and on the site of Notre Dame? For in the
war between creeds--when the creeds are embraced by vast races--think
you that the reason of sages can cope with the passion of millions?
Enthusiasm must oppose enthusiasm. The crusader fought for the tomb of
Christ, but he saved the life of Christendom."

My father paused. Squills was quite passive; he struggled no more--he
was drowned.

"So," resumed Mr Caxton, more quietly--"so, if later wars yet perplex
us as to the good that the All-wise One draws from their evils,
our posterity may read their uses as clearly as we now read the
finger of Providence resting on the barrows of Marathon, or guiding
Peter the Hermit to the battle-fields of Palestine. Nor, while we
admit the evil to the passing generation, can we deny that many of
the virtues that make the ornament and vitality of peace sprang up
first in the convulsions of war!" Here Squills began to evince faint
signs of resuscitation, when my father let fly at him one of those
numberless waterworks which his prodigious memory kept in constant
supply. "Hence," said he, "hence not unjustly has it been remarked by
a philosopher, shrewd at least in worldly experience--(Squills again
closed his eyes, and became exanimate)--'It is strange to imagine
that war, which of all things appears the most savage, should be the
passion of the most heroic spirits. But 'tis in war that the knot
of fellowship is closest drawn; It is in war that mutual succour is
most given--mutual danger run, and common affection most exerted
and employed; for heroism and philanthropy are almost one and the

My father ceased, and mused a little. Squills, if still living, thought
it prudent to feign continued extinction.

"Not," said Mr Caxton, resuming--"not but what I hold it our duty never
to foster into a passion what we must rather submit to as an awful
necessity. You say truly, Mr Squills--war is an evil; and woe to those
who, on slight pretences, open the gates of Janus,

        ----'The dire abode,
    And the fierce issues of the furious god.'"

Mr Squills, after a long pause, (employed in some of the more handy
means for the reanimation of submerged bodies, supporting himself
close to the fire in a semi-erect posture, with gentle friction,
self-applied, to each several limb, and copious recourse to certain
steaming stimulants which my compassionate hands prepared for him,)
stretches himself, and says feebly, "In short, then, not to provoke
further discussion, you would go to war in defence of your country.
Stop, sir--stop, for God's sake! I agree with you--I agree with you!
But, fortunately, there is little chance now that any new Boney will
build boats at Boulogne to invade us."

MR CAXTON.--I am not so sure of that, Mr Squills. (_Squills falls
back with a glassy stare of deprecating horror._) I don't read the
newspapers very often, but the past helps me to judge of the present.

Therewith my father earnestly recommended to Mr Squills the careful
perusal of certain passages in Thucydides, just previous to the
outbreak of the Peloponnesian War, (_Squills hastily nodded the most
servile acquiescence_,) and drew an ingenious parallel between the
signs and symptoms foreboding that outbreak, and the very apprehension
of coming war which was evinced by the recent _Io pæans_ to peace.
And, after sundry notable and shrewd remarks, tending to show where
elements for war were already ripening, amidst clashing opinions and
disorganised states, he wound up with saying,--"So that, all things
considered, I think we had better just keep up enough of the bellicose
spirit, not to think it a sin if we are called upon to fight for
our pestles and mortars, our three per cents, goods, chattels, and
liberties. Such a time must come, sooner or later, even though the
whole world were spinning cotton, and printing sprigged calicoes. _We_
may not see it, Squills, but that young gentleman in the cradle, whom
you have lately brought into light, may."

"And if so," said my uncle abruptly, speaking for the first time--"if
indeed it is for altar and hearth!"

My father suddenly drew in and pished a little, for he saw that he was
caught in the web of his own eloquence.

Then Roland took down from the wall his son's sword. Stealing to the
cradle, he laid it in its sheath by the infant's side, and glanced from
my father to us with a beseeching eye. Instinctively Blanche bent over
the cradle, as if to protect the _Neogilos_; but the child, waking,
turned from her, and, attracted by the glitter of the hilt, laid one
hand lustily thereon, and pointed with the other, laughingly, to Roland.

"Only on my father's proviso," said I hesitatingly. "For hearth and
altar--nothing less!"

"And even in that case," said my father, "add the shield to the sword!"
and on the other side of the infant he placed Roland's well-worn Bible,
blistered in many a page with secret tears.

There we all stood, grouping round the young centre of so many hopes
and fears--in peace or in war, born alike for the Battle of Life. And
he, unconscious of all that made our lips silent, and our eyes dim,
had already left that bright bauble of the sword, and thrown both arms
round Roland's bended neck.

"_Herbert_," murmured Roland; and Blanche gently drew away the
sword,--and left the Bible.


[1] Cowley's _Ode to Light_.

[2] Cowley on _Town and Country_. (Discourse on Agriculture.)

[3] How true are the following remarks:--

"Action is the first great requisite of a colonist, (that is, a
pastoral or agricultural settler.) With a young man, the tone of his
mind is more important than his previous pursuits. I have known men
of an active, energetic, contented disposition, with a good flow of
animal spirits, who had been bred in luxury and refinement, succeed
better than men bred as farmers, who were always hankering after bread
and beer, and market ordinaries of Old England.... To be dreaming when
you should be looking after your cattle, is a terrible drawback....
There are certain persons who, too lazy and too extravagant to succeed
in Europe, sail for Australia under the idea that fortunes are to be
made there by a sort of legerdemain, spend or lose their capital in a
very short space of time, and return to England to abuse the place,
the people, and everything connected with colonisation."--_Sidney's
Australian Handbook_--admirable for its wisdom and compactness.

[4] Lest this seem an exaggeration, I venture to annex an extract from
a MS. letter to the author from Mr George Blakeston Wilkinson, author
of _South Australia_.

"I will instance the case of one person who had been a farmer in
England, and emigrated with about £2000 about seven years since. On
his arrival, he found that the prices of sheep had fallen from about
30s. to 5s. or 6s. per head, and he bought some well-bred flocks at
these prices. He was fortunate in obtaining a good and extensive _run_,
and he devoted the whole of his time to improving his flocks, and
encouraged his shepherds by rewards; so that, in about four years, his
original number of sheep had increased from 2500 (which cost him £700)
to 7000; and the breed and wool were also so much improved that he
could obtain £1 per head for 2000 fat sheep, and 15s. per head for the
other 5000, and this at a time when the general price of sheep was from
10s. to 16s. This alone increased his original capital, invested in
sheep, from £700 to £5700. The profits from the wool paid the whole of
his expenses and wages for his men."

[5] I felt sure, from the first, that the system called "The Wakefield"
could never fairly represent the ideas of Mr Wakefield himself, whose
singular breadth of understanding, and various knowledge of mankind,
belied the notion that fathered on him the clumsy execution of a theory
wholly inapplicable to a social state like Australia. I am glad to see
that he has vindicated himself from the discreditable paternity. But
I grieve to find that he still clings to one cardinal error of the
system, in the discouragement of small holdings, and that he evades,
more ingeniously than ingenuously, the important question--"What should
be the minimum price of land?"

[6] "The profits of cattle-farming are smaller than those of the
sheep-owner, (if the latter have good luck, for much depends upon
that,) but cattle-farming is much more safe as a speculation, and less
care, knowledge, and management are required. £2000, laid out on 700
head of cattle, if good runs be procured, might increase the capital in
five years, from £2000 to £6000, besides enabling the owner to maintain
himself, pay wages, &c."--_MS. letter from G. B. Wilkinson._

[7] _Dingoes_--the name given by Australian natives to the wild dogs.

[8] Not having again to advert to Uncle Jack, I may be pardoned for
informing the reader, by way of annotation, that he continues to
prosper surprisingly in Australia, though the Tibbets' Wheal stands
still for want of workmen. Despite of a few ups and downs, I have had
no fear of his success until this year, (1849,) when I tremble to think
what effect the discovery of the gold mines in California may have on
his lively imagination. If thou escapist that snare, Uncle Jack, _res
age, tutus eris_,--thou art safe for life!

[9] _Light of Nature--chapter on Judgment._--See the very ingenious
illustration of doubt, "whether the part is always greater than the
whole"--taken from time, or rather eternity.

[10] Sir Philip Sidney.

[11] Lord Hervey's _Memoirs of George II._

[12] Shaftesbury.


                           BY THE SKETCHER.

Nearly sixteen years ago, there appeared in the pages of Maga,
descriptions of the scenery of Lynmouth, North Devon. As Sketcher, I
then proposed to myself to analyse the impressions which landscape
scenery makes upon the minds of artists and lovers of nature, and to
show that there must be in the artist a higher aim than imitation; and
that the pleasure of the unpractising admirer will be in proportion
to his power of extracting from the insensitive matter of nature,
the poetic life of thought; to rescue both art and nature from the
degradation they suffer when disconnected with the higher senses; to
show that nature, to be the worthy object of art, should be suggestive.
Its charm is to elicit, to draw out finely, and to embellish what
is already, in a ruder state, in the mind. If there be poverty
within, there is no room for the reception of the riches so profusely
surrounding us in the external world. Neither artists nor amateurs are
generally sufficiently aware, that a previous education is necessary
to make sketching effective and expressive. We find _ourselves_
everywhere. Whatever be the scenery, the sketcher brings little back
that he does not take with him. Hence the diversity in the character of
sketches--of different sketchers--and the one character that pervades
the portfolio of each. I have heard of an artist who visited our lakes,
and brought back with him only cottages! Morland would have added, or
rather made the principal, the stye and pigs; and even Gainsborough's
sketch-book may have shown little more than ragged pollards, and groups
of rustic children. To know what is in nature, you must know what is
in yourself. If you are ignorant of art, your sketches can only be
accidentally good. It is possible to be a very close observer, even of
minute beauties, and yet be a very bad sketcher. One of an original
genius will convert, and, by a bold dissimilitude in non-essentials,
incorporate into his own previous conceptions whatever is before him;
and thus, by preserving the great suggestive characteristics, represent
nature with a far greater truth, exhibiting her very life and feeling,
than they who aim at truth through exact and minute imitation.

Let this be exemplified in Salvator Rosa. Do his wild scenes of rock,
and rugged rock-engendered trees, exist to the general eye, exactly in
their form, and colour, and composition, as he has represented them?
The exact sketcher would have found a less correspondence in branches
and foliage--a less marked living feeling between the rocks and trees;
he would have found much in the colouring, especially in the green
leaves, where they are so few and scattered, of an inconsistent gaiety.
These would have been distracting; but his educated eye, toned by a one
bold feeling, rejected these, and seized the wilder characteristic,
to which he resolutely, under the impulse of his genius, made all the
rest subservient and suggestive. He embodied what he saw with what he
felt, and marred not the savage freedom by attractive littlenesses,
but gave it full play; and with an execution as bold and free, which
the minute critic would pronounce not natural, though most natural, as
most expressive of that spontaneous out-flung unconstrained-ness of
nature's growth, which really pervades all, he harmoniously brought all
the parts under the dominion of one poetic feeling. Take his foliage,
even in form--to say nothing of its actual unnaturalness of colour in
the exact sense--there is a raggedness, as torn and storm-beaten, in
the individual leafage, which the untutored sketcher will in vain look
for in his beat; but all this stamps one great truth, and that speaks
more of nature than many small ones. I do not mean here to give the
palm to Salvator Rosa, as if he were "Lord of Landscape;" I mention
him as a strong example, as the boldest deviator from that which the
unpoetic eye sees, and minds totally uncharmed by poetry can conceive.
I think it well here to lay some stress upon these preliminary remarks,
because much has been written, with a great fascination of language,
recommending, as I believe too strongly, a close observation in detail
of the phenomena of nature; overlooking the great phenomenon--the
accordance of external nature with the heart, feelings, and very life
and soul of man. One writer in particular, with great ability, and
audacious confidence, because in his blindness he, uneducated to it,
sees not in nature what such great men as Salvator Rosa and Gaspar
Poussin, have extracted from it, and yet made it nature's and their
own, flings upon their established fame the _brutum fulmen_ of his
contempt and abuse. _Damnat quod non intelligit._ He knows not the true
principles of art which exist to perfection in their works, nor knows
how strictly these principles belong to art and nature only through and
by their connexion with the mind of man. You may study meteorology in
the _Penny Magazine_, or geology and botany, most scientifically; but
it will further you a very little way, while your portfolio is under
your arm, and your eye in search of a picturesque which you have not
learned to find. Nay, it may happen, for it often does happen, that the
more you sketch the farther you are from art. It is possible, also, for
the most accomplished artist to sketch too much; and to stay the power
of his invention, by referring too constantly to the preciseness and
individuality of scenery. He dares not so much trust his palette as his
portfolio, as it were his register of nature, to which he has bound
himself beyond the usual apprenticeship.

It has been remarked by sketchers, amateurs, and artists by profession,
that, upon a sketching expedition, "their hands are not in" for some
days. I doubt if the fault be so much in the hand as in the eye; for
in most cases the hand had come from the immediate practice of the
studio: but the eye is distracted by the many beauties which now force
themselves into observation, and which in the home-practice, and in
following the mind's bent on the canvass, the memory did not vividly
present as not wanted. It is more difficult, therefore, at first to
generalise, to escape the fascinations of local form and colour, which
keep the eye from the instant acknowledgment of a whole. We are thus
at first apt to begin with the detail, instead of leaving it to the
last, by which means we have more than we want, or less accurately and
accommodatingly what is wanted. When we have learned again to reject,
and to see, we are surprised with a facility we at first despaired of.
We do, then, because we know what to do.

I would recommend therefore, before setting out on such expeditions,
where it be practicable, to visit daily, and all day, during a week or
fortnight, the best galleries of pictures, such as contain all schools,
that as much as possible there may be no bias, but such as every one
must find in himself before he reaches the gallery. I would do this to
confirm, and fasten upon the memory, the principles of art,--breadth,
greatness, truth, expression, colouring, sentiment, and how obtained.
Here will be a grammar without its drudgery; for every lesson will be
a delight, if we go to it with no conceited opinions of our own, and
no cavilling spirit bringing ourselves down to an admission that these
great men of former days had some foundation upon which they built
their fame, their acknowledged fame--so searching, we shall see the
reasons of their doings--why they, each for their own purpose, adopted
this or that style of colour, or of composition, or chiaroscuro. Going
then immediately to nature from art, we shall see how very true art
is--a secret that, without this immediate comparison, would be very apt
to be hidden from us. No man in his senses would begin a science from
his own observation alone. It was not the first shepherd who, studying
the stars, laid open the study of astronomy. We shall learn nothing by
despising all that has been learnt before we were born. So it is in
art; some principles have been established, which it is well to know
thoroughly; and, the more we know them, the more enthusiastic will be
our admiration, the love of art through nature, and of nature through

During my former visits to the beautiful scenery of Lynmouth, I had
seldom taken any whole view, but chiefly studied parts for use in the
detail of compositions; and this I think to be a good practice for
the landscape painter, which term I use here in contradistinction
to the painter of views, there is so great a pleasure in as it were
creating--in being the ®poiêtês®, the maker--that, to one accustomed
to and at all skilled in composing, it becomes an irksome task to
make a "view." The continued habit of view-painting must necessarily
check invention, and limit unworthily the painter's aim. In revisiting
Lynmouth, I changed my purpose and this, not under the idea of making
pictures of any of the sketches, but for the practice of noting how
a picture, framed in from nature, as if it were a work of art, would
be brought to its completion; for sketching, with such an object, I
cannot but think of as great importance as the other method. We must
learn from nature to make a whole, as well as the use of the parts
separately. With this purpose the sketcher will look out for subjects,
not detail; he will be curious to see how nature composes now, and
when it is that scenes are most agreeable--made so by what combination
of lines, by what agreement of colours, by what proportions of light,
and gradations of shadow: for he will often find, when nature looks
her best, that light and shade are employed as substitutes for lines
which, in the actual and true drawing of them, would be unfortunate.
How often is it that a scene strikes the eye at once for its great
beauty, that, when we come to it again, seems entirely to have lost
its charm! Now these spots should be visited again and again, till the
causes be ascertained of the charm and of the deterioration: for here
must lie the principles of art, nature assuming and putting off that
which is most agreeable to us, that in which our human sympathies are
engaged. Sketchers often pass hastily these spots that are no longer
beautiful; but they are wrong, for they can learn best, by accurate
observation of the changes presented to them. And they will thus learn
to remedy deficiencies, and acquire a better power of selecting scenes,
by knowing where the deficiencies lie; the mind's eye will not dwell
upon them, or will fill them up, and the composition show itself to
them in a manner quite otherwise than it would have appeared, had no
such previous observations been made. There are sometimes good lines
marred by bad effects, and bad lines remedied by skilful management
of effects--of light and shadow. It must be a practised eye that can
properly abstract and separate lines from effects, and effects from
lines. We play with colour, but our serious business is with light and
shade; the real picture is more frequently in black and white, than
those who addict themselves to colour will credit. I will here but
refer to some passages in the early numbers of _The Sketcher_, on the
composition of lines, wherein I showed, and I believe truly explained,
the principle of composition upon which many of the old masters worked.
And I particularly exemplified the principle in the pictures of Gaspar
Poussin, whom Thompson calls learned Poussin, (unless he meant Nicolo,
who, though in other respects he may with equal justice be called
learned, is, in this art of the composition of lines, in no way to be
compared with his brother-in-law.) I showed that there was one simple
rule which he invariably adopted. We may likewise go to nature, and
find the rule there, when nature, as a composition, looks her best.

I think it will be found that any scene is most pleasing when its
variety is in the smallest portion--that is, when the greatest part
of the picture is made up of the most simple and pervading lines, and
the intricacies, all variety, and alternations, and interchanges of
lines and parts, shall be confined to a very small portion; for thus
a greatness, a largeness, an importance, is preserved and heightened,
and at the same time, monotony is avoided--though there be much in it,
the piece is not crowded. There is a print from a picture by Smith
of Chichester, who, by the bye, obtained the prize, against Richard
Wilson, which attracted my attention the other day at a print-seller's
window. It was meant, I presume, as an imitation of Claude, Claude
reduced to the then English vulgarity. If multiplicity of parts would
make a picture, doubtless Richard Wilson, with his simple, sweeping,
free lines, could have no chance in competition with such a painter.
Every niche was crowded--and equally so--every niche might have made a
picture, such as it was, but all the niches made none, or a bad one.
Why, the variety was universal; it should have been confined to the
smaller space. The picture is objectionable in other points of view;
but this ignorance of the very nature of composition was fatal. Yet
this work was evidently an imitation of Claude, whose variety, however,
of distance, the modern imitator brought into his very foreground.
He could not see the simplicity of Claude. Not that Claude himself
was a learned composer; his lines are often incongruous, and there is
not unfrequently a poverty of design, scarcely concealed by the magic
of his colouring. Now, I find, in looking over my sketches, that I
had selected those scenes where the passages of variety lay in the
distance, and, it being a narrow valley, they occupied but a small
space; but, though small, it was mostly the place of interest--there
was the more vivid light or the deeper shade, the change, the life
of the picture, and the embellished way of escape out of a defile,
that from its closeness would have been otherwise painful. In saying
"painful," I seem to point to a defect in this Lynmouth valley. Indeed,
it will not suit those who do not love close scenery. That certainly
is its character. Yet is it not so close, but that there is room for
this kind of variety. I think what I have said upon this point, of
interest and variety lying in the smaller portion of the canvass--for
I here speak even of nature as a picture--may be applicable generally
to light. I imagine those scenes will be found most pleasing, where the
light is by far the smallest portion, the half-tone by far the larger,
and the dark but to show the power of both. Take, for instance, a
garden scene--a broad walk, trees on each side--all is in broad light,
but all is in painful glare, monotony, and sameness of endless detail.
Let a shadow pass over it, a broad shadow--or rather a half-tone of
light, that shall only show the local colour subdued--how, let a gleam
pass across it, and just touch here and there the leafage, and seem
to escape behind it--how small is the light, but it has given life to
the picture. I cannot but think it a fault of our day that half-tone
is neglected; light is made a glare, and therefore the very object of
light is lost. I believe it was the aim at a mere novelty that first
introduced this false principle. It was recommended to Guido, but
he failed in it: pictures so painted by him are far from being his
best. Rubens erred in it; but modern artists have carried the false
principle to the utmost limit; and, in doing so, are liable to a
palpable incongruity; an impossibility in nature, which they profess
to imitate. For it is the property of light to take away colour; yet
in this school, the whitest light, and the most vivid colours, are in
the same piece. The old painters, aware of this property of light, in
their out-of-door scenes, avoid, not to say a white, but even a light
sky--especially the Venetian--so that their great depth and power of
colour was rendered natural, by the depth of their skies. Their blues
were dark--intensely so--but they were sustained by the general colour.
If it be said the Italian skies are notoriously the bluest, Mr Ruskin
has, in contradiction, pronounced them to be white, but I believe the
fact is, that the great painters considered colour, as a beauty in
art, _sui generis_, and that there was no need of a slavish adherence,
in this respect, to nature herself. Indeed, they delighted, even when
aiming at the richest colouring, to subdue all glare, and to preserve
rather a deep half-tone.

I believe they studied nature through coloured glasses; and we learn
from Mrs Merrifield that Gaspar Poussin used a black mirror, which had
been bequeathed to him by Bamboccio. The works of some of the Flemish
painters evidently show that they used such a mirror.

Have I not, then, reached Lynmouth yet? I found it in full leafage,
and the little river as clear as amber, and like it in colour. It is
always beautiful, and variable too--after rain it assumes more variety
of colour, and of great richness. For most part of the time of my
visit, it was more shallow than I had ever seen it. I was pleased that
it was so, though I heard many complaints on that score. To those who
sketch close to the water, it is, in fact, an advantage; for where the
scenery is so confined, it is a great thing to be able to reach the
large stones in mid-stream, and thus many new views are obtained; and
when you are pretty close to water, whether it be a fall, or still,
there is really but very little difference whether the river be full or
not--the falls still retain sufficient body, and the still pools are
sufficiently wide.

There are but two parties who know anything of the painter-scenery of
Lynmouth--the sketchers and the anglers. The common road generally
taken by tourists shows not half the beauty of the place. Did Lynmouth
appear less beautiful?--certainly not. I easily recognised the chosen
spots, and was surprised to find what little change had taken place.
I knew individual trees perfectly, and, strange to say, they did not
seem to have acquired growth. There were apparently the same branches
stretching over the stream.

In one spot where large ledges of rock shoot out in mid-stream, down
whose grooves the river rushes precipitously, (I had, sixteen years
ago, sketched the scene,) there was growing out of the edge of the
rock a young ash-tree shoot--to my surprise, there it was still, or
the old had decayed, and a similar had sprang up. There is something
remarkable in this continued identity, year after year, as if the law
of mutability had been suspended. Yet there were changes. I remember
sketching by a little fall of the river, where further progress was
staid by a large mass of projecting rock. I felt sure there must be
fine subjects beyond, and in my attempt to reach it from the opposite
side by climbing, and holding by the boughs of a tree, one broke off,
and I fell into the cauldron. I found now that the whole mass of this
ledge of rock had given way, and opened a passage, and one of no great
difficulty. Here, as I suspected, were some very fine studies. The
place where I descended is about half a mile, or less, from Lynmouth,
where the road turns, near to a little bridge across a watercourse
intercepting the road. The view of this little fall from above is
singularly beautiful; and, being so much elevated, you see the bed of
the river continuous for a long distance, greatly varied. I know no
place where there are such fine studies of this kind, though they are
rarely taken, being only parts for composition--the whole not making a

Was Lynmouth, then, to me as it was?--not quite. The interval of years
had not, I trust, been lost. If there was little change in the place,
there was a change in the mind's eye and head of the sketcher. Though
I recognised nearly all the spots where I had sketched, I found many
new--some that might have escaped me, because I had not taken the
feeling with me, at least not in the degree, in which I now possessed
it. During all the years that had intervened, I had scarcely painted
a single view. I could not but observe that the new scenes were those
more especially suggestive, leading to the ideal.

A friend who was part of the time with me observed that he had thought
some of my pictures, which he had seen, compositions without the
warranty of nature; but he now saw that nature supplied me with what
I wanted, and acknowledged that the sketches were correct. It was
then I observed that the sketcher may find almost everywhere what he
has learnt to look for. The fact is, that it is not whole and large
scenery, nor the most beautiful, that best suits the painter, but those
parts which he can combine. The real painter looks to nature for form
and colour, the elements of his art: upon these he must work; and they
seldom reach any great magnitude, or are diffused over large space.

Why is it, that generally what we term beautiful scenery was seldom the
ground of the old painters? They were not, generally speaking, painters
of views; and why not? There the pictures were made for them. They,
and all the world had the thing before them to love and to admire--it
was already done; there was no room for their genius, which is a
creative, not an imitative faculty. The scene for every eye was not
theirs. They found that, by their art, they could take nature's best
feeling, even from her fragments. It requires not an Alp to portray
grandeur. Fifty feet of rock, precipitous or superimpending, will
better represent the greatness of danger; for it is a more immediate
and solid mass to crush the intruder, and the form may frown with a
demon malice. The whole awe of darkness may be felt in a cavern of a
few feet space. Indeed, it may be almost said that largeness is not
to be obtained on the canvass, by the largeness of whole extensive
scenes in nature, but by the continuous lines of near masses: whatever
is actually largest in nature--the forest and the mountain--in art
may with advantage occupy the smallest space. For the best magnitude
here is in perspective, and in that aerial tone which, as a veil, half
conceals, and thereby makes mysterious, and converts into one azure
whole the parts which would, otherwise seen, but break up the great
character. The Arabian genii were greatest when dimly seen through
smoke and vapour.

Art, indeed, differs from nature in this, as regards the pleasure
derived through the eye, that nature allows you many unperspective
views at many instant glances, and therefore surprises you, if I may so
express it, with a perspective impossibility, of which the judgment at
the time is not cognisant; whereas art is bounded by a rule, looks not
all around, and comprehends by mind beyond the eye, but is constrained
to frame in the conception. It must, therefore, make to itself another
power--and this power it finds in form, in light and shade, and colour,
all which are in greater intensity and force in the fragmentary parts
than in the whole and large scenes. It is a step for the young artist
to believe that art and nature are not and should not be the same--that
they are essentially different, and use their materials differently,
have other rules of space and largeness. If art be more limited, its
power is greater by being more condensed,--and its impressions more
certain, because more direct, and not under the vague and changeable
process of making an idea from many perspectives.

If there be truth in these remarks, we may see why the old masters left
untouched those scenes which are the delight of tourists. To copy the
scene before them was to put their creative faculty in abeyance. It
was only to work after a given pattern--and that pattern imperfect--of
a whole which defied the laws of optics. I here speak almost entirely
of the Italian masters, both the historical, and more strictly the
landscape painters. The Flemish and Dutch schools had mostly another
aim, and were more imitative; hence they are more easily understood,
but felt with a far less passion. But even these, far from undervaluing
the conventional aids of art, applied as much of them as the nature of
their subjects would admit.

But the sketcher must not consider himself in his studies when he is
out with his portfolio. However he may select, he must be faithful.
And this fidelity I have seen painters of great skill often unwisely
contemn, become too conventional, both in their drawing and colouring.
It requires much practice of the eye, as well as that knowledge which
constitutes taste, to frame in as it were pictures, from the large
space that fills the eye. Nothing is more useful than to carry in the
portfolio a light frame of stiff paper or wood, and to hold it up, so
as actually to frame in pictures, and thus to experimentalise upon the
design, and see what shiftings of the frame make the best choice. It is
an assistance even to the most practised in composition.

Lynmouth is greatly improved of late years in accommodation; many new
lodging-houses are built, and there are some residents who have shown
great taste in laying out their grounds, and in their buildings. The
little pier has been rendered picturesque, by the erection of a small
look-out house after a model from Rhodes. There is not much here at
any time that would deserve the name of shipping; but a few fishing
boats, and such small craft compose well with the little pier. The
evenings are very fine, the sun setting over the Channel; and the
Welsh coast in the distance assumes, occasionally, a very beautiful
ultramarine blue, like a glaze over warm colouring. When the tide
comes in, and the little vessels are afloat, these are good subjects,
the water being of a gray green, softening the reflections. I began a
sketch when the boats were aground; but the tide, coming in rapidly,
soon so altered the position of the vessels that I did not proceed.
When the tide receded, leaving the vessels aground, they were not in
the same direction in which I had sketched them; and an artist who
was present remarked, that the beauty of the scene as a composition
was gone, and referred to the sketch. This led to some discussion, as
to the cause--Why should it be less good now, said he, than when you
drew it? I believe I saw the reason, and pointed it out. There was a
sloop, larger by much than all the rest, which were indeed, though
having masts, but boats. The larger vessel was the principal object,
even more so than the buildings on the pier, towards which it leaned;
and this leaning was important, for a union and certain connexion of
parts was everything here, for it made one of many things. Accordingly,
the smaller boats on each side the larger vessel inclined their masts
towards it; so that this manifest uniting, and the belonging of one to
the other, was the pleasing idea, and invested the whole with a kind of
life and sensitiveness; but in the alteration, after the receding of
the tide, this communication of the one with the other was gone, and,
on the contrary, there was left an uncomfortable feeling of disunion.

This reasoning was admitted, and we further discussed the principle
involved in the remarks, as applicable to all scenes and subjects. It
is this correspondence of part with part which animates the works of
nature, invests them with an ideal sensitiveness; and through this fond
belief of their life, our own sensitiveness is awakened to a sympathy
with them. Whatever inanimate objects we in our fancy invest with
life, through our own sympathy, we clothe with a kind of humanity;
and thus we look on trees and rocks, and water, as to a degree our
fellow creatures, in this great wild world. We love accordingly. _Nihil
humanum a me alienum puto._ The very winds speak to us as human voices,
as do the trees in their whisperings or complainings; and the waters
are ever repeating their histories and their romances to our willing
ears. As we walked we tested the principle, and were believers in its
truth. "Mark," said our friend, "that bank of fern--how graceful, how
charming, is their bending, their interchange, their masses and their
hollow shades, their little home-depths, wherein they grow, and retire
as their home-chambers: there is throughout the pleasing idea of a
family enjoying their quiet existence, and all in one small green world
of their own." He enjoys nature most worthily, and most intensely, who
carries with him this sense of nature's life, and of a mutuality, a
co-partnership with the blessings of existence with himself. There are
some fine rocks at the base of the precipitous cliffs--of fine form and
colour; I never went sufficiently near to sketch them, having no fancy
to be caught by the tide. I have seen sketches made amongst them that
prove them to afford very good subjects. Many years ago, while sitting
under these cliffs, I heard a groan; I thought at the time it must have
been a delusion, but on that evening a man had fallen over the cliffs.
His body was, I think, found the next day. It fell from Countesbury
Hill, the road on which is certainly not sufficiently protected. And
this reminds me to speak of an alarming occurrence on the road, about
half a mile from Lynmouth. We were a small party, and had taken shelter
from rain against the receding part of the rocks cut for the widening
the road. I and another were reading a newspaper. Looking up, we
suddenly saw a woman on horseback very near us. The animal started, and
was frightened at the newspaper. Our endeavour to conceal it made the
matter worse; the horse retreated from us, and I think his hind legs
could not have been many inches from the precipice. It was a trying
moment; one step more back would have been certain death to both the
woman and the horse. We were truly happy when, by a little management,
we contrived to get them past us. The road, too, is in these dangerous
places very narrow; yet the people venture to drive at a good pace, and
without reins, their uncouth and apparently unmanageable teams--neither
quite dray nor cart--fearlessly. It is surprising that accidents do
not often occur, especially as there is some danger from the falling
of masses of stone from above; and even such as the sheep remove
with their feet may frighten horses, and precipitate all to sure
destruction. There are great rents in huge masses of rock, close to
the road, and some apparently are kept firm with but little earth, and
seem to threaten a move. I have had some blows on the back occasionally
from small stones, cast down by passing sheep, while I have been
sketching down by the water; and once so large a one took the corner
of my portfolio, that with my best speed I quitted the place. That
was some years ago; but I have recently seen not very small fragments
fall very near me. I would, therefore, caution the sketcher to choose
as safe a position as he can, which he may generally find under some
projection of rock. Some of the masses in the bed of the river are of
enormous size; and let me here remark upon the fine, bold character
these masses in the river possess--they are very fine in form, and the
beauty and variety in their colouring are quite wondrous. Some are very
dark, entirely covered with brown, and some with, bright golden moss.
But most of them when dry are gray--but one name will not describe that
gray, varying as it does from the blue to the green and pink hues. They
are commonly in bold relief against the dark water--yet themselves show
dark, edged by the white foam, where the water, sloping insinuatingly,
falls and rushes by them. Here and there, in some deep-shaded, wild,
lonely places, they are of gigantic size, and look like huge Titans
turned to stone, amid the fragments that had hurled them down. The
sketcher may easily imagine himself in the territory of magic. Shall I
confess that, in such places, I do not like to sketch alone? And why
not? Why should there be a something like a superstitious awe of the
spot, the "_severi religio loci_?"

Doubtless it is because we do feel contradicting knowledge, in this
consciousness of all nature in its own life and power. Nor can we
divest ourselves of a kind of natural poetry--a feeling that the rocks,
the wild trees, and the somewhere though unseen "_genius loci_" all
look at us, and we fancy ourselves but under sufferance, and know not
how long our presence may be endured. It is surprising how a sense of
such presences possesses us when alone. I could often have fancied
voices, and mocking ones too, in the waters, and threats that thundered
in the ear, and went off as if to fetch and bring whole cataracts down
upon me. In such places I do not like to be caught by the dusk of the
evening, being quite alone.

The fact is, nature, to a real lover and sketcher, is at all times
powerful. Scenes affect him as they affect no other. I have often
surprised people by the assertion that I could not live in the midst of
fine scenery; it is too powerful, it unnerves one with an unrelaxing
watchfulness. The presence of the mountain will not be shaken off.
It becomes a nightmare upon the spirits, holds communion with the
wild winds and storms, and has fearful dealings I would not dream of
in the dark, howling, dismal nights. Nor, when the sombre light of a
melancholy day just obscures the clouds that have been gathering round
it, would I in imagination draw the curtain to behold the unearthly

There is something terrific in the sound of unseen rushing water.
When all else is still in the dark night, and you are uncertain of
the path, and feel the danger that a false footing may plunge you
into an abyss of waters, that seem to cry out and roar for a victim,
have you not felt both fear and shame? Recently I experienced this
in Lynmouth, having in the darkness lost my way. To the poet and the
painter, here is a source of the sublime. Plunge your pencil boldly
into this eclipse, and work into it a few dim lights formless and
undefined--the obscure will be of a grand mystery. The night-darkness
that settles over fine mountainous scenery does not remove the sense of
its presence; as its lakes blacken, they become fabulous, of unknown
depths, below which may be infernal "bolge." But I am wandering into
strange regions now, and far from Lynmouth, whose scenes, after all,
are not of a very severe beauty, unless we will to make it so. It will
then answer the demand imagination makes upon it. Many are the scenes
of a purely quiescent kind, still and calm, and of gentle repose, where
the shallow river shows its amber bed, wherein the gleams rest upon the
well-defined ledges beneath, whose gray shadows melt into golden tints;
and beyond, in the deeper pools, the green of the trees is reflected
greener still, across which here and there is a gray streak, showing
the river's silent onward movement; and further on, some dark stones
send their brown and purple hues, mirrored and softened down into the
green, just dotted here and there with white. Then the trees shoot out
lovingly from the bank overhead, and reach and communicate pleasantly
with those on the opposite side; and here a bough sends down and just
forbears to touch the stream, Narcissus-like, loving its own image.
The gray stones in the foreground, half beneath the water, are of a
delicate hue, blue intermingling with pale greenish and lakey tints;
for there is nothing violent in all this scene of peaceful repose.
Very many spots of this kind are there that court the sketcher. Let
him wind his way over masses of stone, and roots of trees, beyond
these--the scene how changed! The masses of stone are huge, blocking
up, in various positions, the free passage of the river, which chafes
and foams between them, throwing off its whiteness into the brown and
green water depths. One broad shadow is over the dark stones; and
beyond that rise the tops of other masses, gray illuminated; and beyond
them, a gleam or two of falling water. Wilder are the trees that shoot
out, from rocky fragments near, and lock their branches with those on
the other side; while in the hollow space beneath their arching boles,
distant and fantastic stems cross the stream. Opposite are huge masses,
ledges with precipitous and brown-mossed sides; above which the high
rocky bank sends forth large trees, their roots twisting about the
rocks and coming out again through the fissures, and met by green weed
leafage. The trees are darker than the dun-red ground, but edged with
greenish light; and above them the yellow sunlight gleams through, and
the dotted blue of sky is just seen; and, as avoiding the light, a
huge branch, or limb rather, shoots down, edged with the light on its
upper surface, and dark underneath, and throws a scanty defined leafage
across over the depth of the river. But this precipitous bank again
terminates towards the ledges in fine masses, rocks that project and
recede, partially luminous with reflected light, and then falling back
into extreme brown and purple darkness, down into which the ivy falls
clustering and perpendicular, with innumerable briar-like shoots and
tendrils. Here are severer studies. They are to be found by crossing
the Lyn by the wooden bridge, not far from Lynmouth, and following
the path through the wood some way, and seeking the bed of the river
by a scarcely-discernible sheep-path, till it be lost at the edge of
a downward way, not very difficult of descent. Within a very small
space, there are fine and very different subjects. One of scarcely less
grandeur than the last described, if it had not more beauty blended
with it; but it must be seen in the sun's eye--the best time will be
about 3 o'clock. Reach a large stone that juts out from the river's
side, climb it, and look down the stream. You must sketch rapidly, for
the charm will not last--it is most lovely in colour, and the forms are
very beautiful. The opposite side of the river may be termed a mountain
side, broken into hollows, in which rock and vegetation deepen into
shade. The top is covered with trees, very graceful, the sun edges
their tops, and rays flow through them, touching with a white and
silver light the ivied rock, which is here perpendicular. Beyond this
mountain-side, which juts out, is another clothed cliff, terminating at
the base in bold and bare rock; beyond this, and high above, shooting
into the sky, are piled rocks of a wild and broken character, gray,
but dark against the distant mountain range, of an ultramarine haze,
over warm and slightly marked downward passages; above is the illumined
and illuminating sky. On the side of the river from which this lovely
view is seen, are large masses, backed by trees, which shoot across,
but high overhead, so that in the sketch the leafage would drop as it
were from the sky into the middle of the picture. The river itself is
quite accordant in colour, and in the forms and light and shade of the
stones, that, though so large, are dwarfed by the large precipitous
rocks perpendicular above them. The course of the stream is away from
the eye of the spectator--is in parts darkly transparent and deep--here
and there showing the white foam, and in other parts its amber and
reddish bed.

A little further back from this point of view is another of the same
scene; I am doubtful which would make the best picture. On the very
same stone from which I sketched the scene described, turning with my
back to the opposite side of the river, I was much struck with the
fine forms and solemn light and shade of a rock, that was cavernously
hollow at its base, and very near the stream. Above it, and declining
into the middle of the picture, the sunlit boles of coppice-trees,
rising among the light-green leafage, made the only positive sunlight
of the picture: whatever else of light there was, was shade luminous.
This rock was united with another across the picture, that thus made
a centre and opening for the coppice, dotted with the blue sky; but
all that side of the picture was in very dark shadow, being rock
perpendicular, through the depth of which light and boldly formed
trees rose to the top of the picture, and threw down leafage into the
deep shade. The colouring of the cavernous hollow was remarkable: it
was dark, yet blending gray, and pink, and green. The scene was of an
ideal character; and I doubt if the sketch, though taken with as much
truth as I could reach, would be thought to be from nature. The same
rocky mass, taken in another direction, supplies a very different but
perhaps equally good subject for the pencil. I say these sketches are
of an ideal kind. It may be asked--Are they not true?--are they not in
nature? They are; but still for a better use than the pleasure of the
imitation a mere sketch offers. These are the kinds of scenes for the
painter's invention, into which he is to throw his mind, and to dip his
pencil freely into the gloom of his palette, and concentrate depths,
and even change the forms, and even to omit much of the decorative
detail, and make severity severer. He would give the little trees a
wilder life, a more visible power, as if for lack of inhabitant they
only were sentient of the scene. If a figure be introduced, they would
be kept down, but shoot their branches towards him, for there would be
an agreement, a sentient sympathy. But what figure? It is not peaceful
enough for a hermit; too solemn for the bandit, such as Salvator would
love to introduce; an early saint, perhaps a St Jerome--no unapt place
for him and his lion: and somehow it must be contrived to have the
water perhaps entering even into the retreat, and reflecting the aged,
the hoary bearded saint. Is not then the subject ideal, and the sketch
only suggestive? And here let me remark, with regard to that favourite
word "finish,"--an elaborate finish of _all_ the detail, either
of objects or colouring, would ruin the sketch; it would lose its
suggestive character, which is its value. I have here described, I know
how inadequately, several very striking scenes; yet are they scarcely a
stone's throw apart. I mention them exclusively on that account, for,
where there is so much, it must be the more worth the while of the
sketcher to take some pains to find out the spot.

What do we mean by the "ideal" of landscape? The "naturalists" ask
the question in a tone of somewhat more than doubt. The sketcher is
apt to be caught in the snare of nature's many beauties, and, growing
enamoured of them in detail, to lose the higher sense in his practical
imitation. This is a danger he must avoid, by study, by reflection, by
poetry. If the "ideal" be in himself, he will find it in nature. If he
sees in mountains, woods, and fields but materials for the use of man,
and what the toil of man has made them, he may be a good workman in his
imitation, but he will be a poor designer. The "ideal" grows out of a
reverence, which he can scarcely feel. If the earth be nothing to him
but for the plough, and the rivers for the mill, and its only people
are the present people--doomed to toil, bearing about them parochial
cares, and tasteless necessity, ignorant and regardless of the history
of the earth they tread--he may boast of his love of nature; but his
love is, in fact, the love of his technical skill, of his imitation. He
thinks more of the how to represent, than what the scene may represent.
The ideal ranges beyond the present aspect, and he who has a belief in
it will reverence this ancient earth, the cradle wherein he and all
living things took form from their creation. He will see visions of
the past, and dream dreams of its future aspects and destiny; and will
learn, in his meditations, to recall the people of old, and imprint its
soil with imaginary footsteps. The painter is no true artist if he feel
not the greatness of nature's immortality--at least, that as it rose
from the creation so will it be, throwing forth its bounty, and beaming
with the same vigorous beauty, till it shall pass away as a scroll. The
painter-poet must be of a loving superstition, must acknowledge powers
above his own--beings greater between him and the heavens. They may be
invisible as angels, yet leave some understanding of their presence.
They will voice the woods and the winds, and tell everywhere that all
of nature is life. Are there not noble elements here for the landscape
painter, and can neither history nor fable supply him with better
figures than toil-worn labourers, drovers taking their cattle or sheep
to the butchers, and paupers walking the poorhouse? I like not the
"naturalist's" poverty of thought. If the art be not twin sister with
poetry, her charm is only for the eye. Nothing great ever came from
such hands.

    "And deeper faith--intenser fire--
      Fed sculptor's chisel--poet's pen;
    What nobler theme might art require
      Than gods on earth, and godlike men?
    Yea, gods then watched with loving care
      (Or such, at least, the fond belief)
    E'en lifeless things of earth and air--
      The cloud, the stream, the stem, the leaf:
    Iris, a goddess! tinged the flower
      With more than merely rainbow hues;
    Great Jove himself sent down the shower,
      Or freshen'd earth with healing dews!"

                                        KENYON'S _Poems_.

How do such thoughts enhance all nature's beauties! The sketcher's real
work is to see, to feel them all, and to fit them to the mind's poetic

I seem to be forgetting that the reader and myself are all this while
at the water's edge, and under deep-brow'd rocks; that sunshine
has left us, and it is time to climb to the path that leads toward
Lynmouth. For such an hour we are on the wrong side of the stream. Now
the woods are mapped, and edged only by the sun hastening downward. Yet
after awhile we shall not regret that we are in this path. Escaping
the closer and shaded wood, we shall reach a more open space, and see
the flood of evening's sunlight pouring in. Here it is; my sketch was
poor indeed, for there was neither time nor means to do anything like
justice to the scene. Here is a narrow, winding rocky path, a little
above the river, from whose superimpending bank, trees that now look
large shoot across the landscape, and a bold stem or two rises up
boldly to meet them; the river stretches to some distance, wooded on
this side to the edge, and wooded hills in front, and in perspective.
The distant hills are most lovely in colour, pearly and warm gray;
the river, the blazing sky reflected, yet showing how rich the tone,
by a few yellowish-gray lighter streaks that mark its movement. The
fragments of rock in the river are of a pinkish-gray, and, though not
dark, yet strongly marked against the golden stream,--the whole scene
great in its simplicity of effect and design. In broad day the scene
would be passed unnoticed; it would want that simplicity which is its
charm, and be a scene of detail; but now the lines are the simplest,
and, happily, where the river really turns, its view is lost in the
reflection of the shaded wood. And here, in this smallest portion of
the picture, the hills on each side seem to meet and fold, giving the
variety in the smallest space, upon which I have made remarks in this
paper. This beautiful picture of nature I visited several evenings, and
it little varied. But the charm lasts not long--the sun sets, or is
behind the wooded hill, before its actual setting, yet leaves its tinge
of lake blushing above the gold in the sky--the life of the scene
has faded, and it is still and solemn. I cannot better describe the
impression it left, than by a quotation from an old play, in which the
lover sees his mistress, who had swooned, or was in a deathlike sleep:--


    At the first sight I did believe her dead--
    Yet in that state so awful she appeared,
    That I approached her with as much respect
    As if the soul had animated still
    That body which, though dead, scarce mortal seemed.
    But as the sun from our horizon gone,
    His beams do leave a tincture on the skies,
    Which shows it was not long since he withdrew;
    So in her lovely face there still appeared
    Some scattered streaks of those vermilion beams
    Which used t'irradiate that bright firmament.
    Thus did I find that distressed miracle,
    Able to wound a heart, as if alive--
    Incapable to cure it, as if dead."

Thus is there sympathy between our hearts and nature--a sympathy, the
secret of taste, which, above all, the sketcher should cultivate as the
source of his pleasure, and (may it not be added?) of his improvement.

I will not proceed further with description of scenes; Lynmouth will
be long remembered. I scarcely know a better spot for the study of
close scenery. On reviewing my former impressions with the present, I
should not say that Lynmouth has lost, but I have certainly gained some
knowledge, and, I think, improved my sympathies with nature; and if
I have not enjoyed so enthusiastically as I did sixteen years ago, I
have enlarged my sight and extended my power. I am practically a better
sketcher. The hand and the eye, work together; the improvement of one
advances the other.

I know no better method of sketching than the mixture of transparent
and semi-opaque colouring. It best represents the variety and the power
of nature; and as it more nearly resembles in its working the practice
of oil-painting, so is it the more likely to improve the painter. I
have remarked that, even in depth of colour, the semi-opaque is very
much more powerful than the transparent, however rich; for the one has,
besides its more varied colour, the solidity of nature; whereas the
most transparent has ever an unsubstantial look--you see through to
the paper or the canvass. Semi-opaque, (or degrees of opacity, till it
borders on the transparent,) as it hides the material, and throws into
every part the charm of atmosphere, so it will ever bestow upon the
sketch the gift of truth.

I did not begin this paper on Lynmouth Revisited with any intention of
entering upon the technicalities of art; so I will refrain from any
further remarks tending that way, which leads to far too wide a field
for present discussion.


It is now rather more than a year since we asked, "What would
revolutionising Germany be at?" A full year has passed over the dreamy,
theorising, restless, and excited head of Germany, then confused and
staggering, like "a giant drunken with new wine," but loudly vaunting
that its strong dose of revolution had strengthened and not fuddled it,
and that it was about to work out of its troubled brains a wondrous
system of German Unity, which was to bring it infinite and permanent
happiness; and now we would once more ask, What is the result of the
attempted application of German revolutionising theory to practice? In
fact, what has revolutionising Germany attained? Our first question we
asked without being able to resolve an answer. The problem was stated:
an attempt was made to arrive at something like a solution out of the
distracting hurly-burly of supposed purposes and so-called intentions;
but, after every effort to make out our "sum" in any reasonable manner,
we were obliged to give it up, as a task impossible to any political
mathematician, not of German mould; to declare any definite solution
for the present hopeless,--and to end our amount of calculation by
arriving only in a _cercle vicieux_ at the statement of the problem
with which we started, and asking, as despairingly as a tired schoolboy
with a seemingly impracticable equation before him, "What, indeed,
_would_ revolutionising Germany be at?" Are we any further advanced
now? We will not attempt the difficult sum again, or we might find
ourselves obliged to avow ourselves as much deficient in the study
of German political mathematics as before. But we may at least try
to undertake a mere sum of addition, endeavour to cast up the amount
of figures the Germans themselves have laid before us, and make out,
as well as we can, what, after a year's hard--and how hard!--work,
revolutionising Germany has attained. The species of sum-total, as
far as the addition can yet go, to which we may arrive, may be still
a very confused and unsatisfactory one; but in asking, "What has
revolutionising Germany attained?" we will not take it entirely to our
own charge, if the answer attempted to be made is thus confused and
unsatisfactory. German political sums are all too puzzling for English

Last year Germany was, as yet, very young in its revolutionary career.
It galloped over the country like an unbroken colt, or rather like
a mad bull, "running a-muck" it scarcely knew, and seemingly little
cared, at what, provided that it trampled beneath its hoofs all that
stood, and, with proper culture, might have flourished and borne fruit.
It tried to imitate the frantic caperings of its fellow-revolutioniser
in the next paddock, just over the Rhine; but it imitated this model
in so clumsy a fashion, that it might have been very aptly compared to
the ass in the fable, had not the demonstrations it sought to make been
destructive kicks, and not mistaken caresses; and the model it sought
to copy resembled the bloodhound rather than the lap-dog. It kicked out
to the right and to the left, and, with its kicks, inflicted several
stunning blows, from which the other states, upon whose heads the kicks
fell, found some difficulty in recovering. Even the maddest of the
drivers who spurred it on, however, found it necessary to present some
goal, at which it was eventually to arrive in its mad career--that goal
was called "German Unity" in one great powerful united Germany. Where
this visionary goal existed, or how it was to be attained--by what
path, or in what direction, none seemed to know; but the cry was, "On,
on, on!" That it should miss this goal, thus visionary and indistinct,
and plunge on past it, through the darkness of anarchy, to another
winning-post, just as indistinct and visionary, called "a universal
republic," was a matter of little consideration, or was even one of
hope, to those of its principal drivers who whipped, and spurred, and
hooted it, with deafening and distracting cries, like the Roman drivers
of the unridden horses in the Corso races. A breaker-in was attempted,
however, to be placed, and not, at first, precisely by those who most
wished to check it, upon the back of the tearing beast, in order to
moderate its paces, and canter it as gently as might be, onwards
to the denied goal--which still, however, lay only in a most misty
distance, to which none seemed to know the road. In this rider, called
a central Frankfort parliament, men began to place their hopes, they
trusted confidently that it might ride the animal to its destination,
although they knew not where that lay. The revolution, then, was
decked out with colours of red, and black, and gold--the colours of an
old German empire, and of a new derived German unity--and the rider
mounted into the saddle. How the rider endeavoured to show the animal's
paces--how he strove to guide him forwards--how sometimes he seemed,
indeed, to be proceeding along a path, uncertain, it is true, but
apparently leading _somewhere_--how often he stumbled--how often, in
his inexperience, he slipped in his saddle--how, at last, he slipped
and fell from it altogether, in vain endeavouring, maimed, mutilated,
bruised, and half stunned, to spring into the saddle again, are matters
of newspaper history that need no detail here. It suffices to say,
that the rider was unhorsed--that the animal gave a last desperate
plunge, kicking and wounding the only one of the states around that
strove to the last to caress and soothe it with gentle treatment--that
it now stands perspiring, shaking, quivering in every limb--snorting
in vain struggle, and champing the bit of the bridle which Prussian
military force has thrown upon it. To what, then, has Germany attained
in its revolutionising career? It has, at all events, not reached that
imaginary goal to which men strove to ride it without direction-post.
The goal is as far off as ever, perhaps farther off than before, as may
be shown. It remains just as vague, and visionary, and misty. Not one
step seems to have been taken towards it. Has no farther step whatever
been taken, then, after all this mad rushing hither and thither? And
if any, how, and whither? We shall endeavour to see, as far as we
are able. Our readers must, then, judge whether it be forwards or
backwards, or whether, in fact, it be any step at all.

The Frankfort parliament has fallen from its seat. Last year, when
we gave a sketch of its sittings in that Lutheran church of St Paul
in Frankfort--now bearing a stamp which its sober-minded architect
probably never dreamt of, as a historical building--it was young,
still in hopes; and amidst its inexperience, its vapouring declamation
upon impracticable theories, its noise and confusion, its clamorous
radicalism, and its internal treachery, that sought every pretext for
exciting to anarchy and insurrection, it put forward men of note and
ability--who, however lacking in practical experience, gave evidence
of noble hearts, if not sound heads, and good intentions, if not
governmental power. It contained, amidst much bad, many elements of
good; and, if it has no other advantageous result, it has proved a
school of experience, tact, and reason--as far at least as Germans,
in the present condition of their political education, have been
able to profit by its lessons and its teaching. _De mortuis nil nisi
bonum_ as far as possible! It is defunct. What its own inability,
want of judgment, internal disorganisation, and "vaulting ambition,
that o'erleaps its sell," commenced, was completed by the refusal of
the principal northern German states to acknowledge its ill-digested
constitution. It sickened upon over-feeding of conceit, excess of
supposed authority, and a naturally weak constitution, combined with
organic defects, weakened still more by a perpetual and distracting
fever; it was killed outright by what the liberals, as well as the
democrats, of Germany choose to call the ill faith and treachery of
Prussia in declining to accept its offers, and ultimately refusing to
listen to its dictates. Its dying convulsions were frightful. It fled
to Stutgardt, in the hopes that change of air might save it in its
last extremity: and there it breathed its last. Its very home is a
wreck; its furniture has been sold to pay the expenses of its burial;
its lucubrations, and its mighty acts, in which it once fondly hoped
to have swayed all Germany, if not the world, have been dispersed,
in their recorded form, among cheesemongers and greengrocers as
waste-paper, at so much the pound. Its house--the silent, sad, and
denuded church of St Paul--looks now like its only mausoleum; and on
its walls remains alive the allegorical picture of that great German
empire, which it deemed it had but to will to found--the grim, dark,
shaded face of which grows grimmer and darker still, day by day;
whilst the sun that rises behind it, without illuminating its form,
daily receives its thicker and thicker cloud of dust to obscure its
painted rays. Of a sooth, the allegory is complete. It is dead, and
resolved to ashes. Its better and brighter elements have given up their
last breath, as, in their meeting at Gotha, they made a last effort
to discuss the acceptance of the constitution which Prussia offered
in lieu of their own, and strove, although only still wearing a most
ghostly semblance of life, to propose to themselves the best ultimate
means of securing that desideratum, which they still seem to consider
as the panacea for all evils--the great and powerful "United Germany"
of their theoretical dreams. This last breath was not without its noble
aspirations. Its less pure, more self-seeking, and darker elements
have striven, by wild and no longer (even in appearance) legal means,
to galvanise themselves into a false existence; their last struggles
were such hideous and distracted contortions as are usually produced
by such galvanic applications; and now the German papers daily record
the arrest of various members of the so-called "Rump Parliament," (so
nicknamed by the application or rather misapplication of an English
historical term,) which received its final extinguishing blow at
Stutgardt, mixed up, in these days of imprisonment, as the consequence
of mistaken liberty, along with insurgents and rebels engaged in the
late disastrous scenes acted in the duchy of Baden. Such was to be
_their_ fate. But, be it for good or for evil, the Frankfort parliament
has died, as was prophesied, and not without convulsions: its purposes
have proved null; its hopes have been dispersed to the winds; its very
traces have been swept away; its memory is all but a bitter mockery.
Thus far, then, we may indeed shake our heads despairingly as we
ask--"What has revolutionising Germany as yet attained?"

What has it attained? Let as go on. In the first place, what remains
of the gigantic cloud, which men attempted to catch, embody, and
model into a palpable form, although with hands inexperienced, and
with as little of the creative and vivifying health really within
its power, as Frankenstein, when he sought to remould the crumbling
elements he possessed into a human form, and produced a monster. What
remains of the great united German empire of men's dreams? Nothing
but a phantom of a central power, grasping the powerless sceptre of
a ghostly empire; surrounded by ministers whose dictates men despise
and disregard, in veritable exercise of their functions, as ghostly
as itself. The position of the Imperial administration has become a
byword and a scoff; and it is lamentable to see a prince, whose good
intentions never have been doubted, and whose popular sympathies have
been so often shown, standing thus, in a situation which borders upon
the ridiculous--an almost disregarded and now useless puppet--a _quasi_
emperor without even the shadow of an empire; and yet condemned to play
at empire-administrating--as children play at kings and queens--none
heeding their innocent and bootless game. How far the edicts of the
defunct Frankfort parliament, and the decrees of the government of
the Imperial Vicarage--paralysed in all real strength, if not utterly
defunct now--are held as a public mockery, is very pithily evidenced to
the least open eyes of any traveller to the baths of Germany, at most
of which the gambling tables--supposed to be suppressed, and declared
to be illegal by the shade of the "central power,"--openly pursue
their manoeuvres, and earn their gains as of yore; or, at most, fix
upon the doors of their hells a ticket, written "_salons reservés_,"
to give them the faint appearance of private establishments, and thus
adopt a very flimsy pretext, and effect a most barefaced evasion of a
hitherto useless law. _Croupiers_ and gamblers sit squatting, most
disrespectfully, at almost every bathing-place, upon the Imperial
edict--as the toads and frogs squatted upon King Log--treating him as a
jest, and covering him with their filthy slime. By what authority--of
the same Imperial Vicar also--the whole country around Frankfort is
overrun with Prussian soldiers, it would be difficult to show. That
the so-called free city itself should be occupied by a joint garrison
of Prussian and Austrian troops for its protection, may be looked upon
as a legal measure, adopted and authorised by a new parliament, and a
central power, such as it is, as by the old Diet. But when we see in
every village round about--in every house, in almost every hovel--those
hosts of Prussian spiked helmets gleaming in the sun--those Prussian
bayonets planted before every door--those Prussian uniforms, studding,
with variegated colour, every green rural scene; when we never cease to
hear upon the breeze--wherever we may wander in the country--the clang
of Prussian military bands, and the tramp of Prussian infantry; when
we find the faces of Prussian military at every window, and observe
Prussian soldiers mixing in every action of the common everyday life of
the country; and then turn to ask how it comes that Prussian soldiers
swarm throughout a part of the land in no way belonging to Prussia, we
are able to receive no more reasonable answer than that "they are there
because they are there"--an explanation which has a more significant
meaning in it than the apparently senseless words seem to express.
"They are there because they are there"--that is to say, without any
recognised authority from any central German power. "They are there
because they are there,"--because Prussia has sent them. Where, then,
is the central power?--what is its force? what its authority? what its
sense? If, then, all that still remains, in living form, of that great
united Germany of men's dreams, is but the "shadow of a shade," in
power--a power disregarded--even more, despised and ridiculed--what has
revolutionising Germany attained in its chase after the phantom of its

If in this respect it has _attained_ nothing which it can show, after
more than a year's revolution, for the avowed or pretended purpose of
obtaining some result to this very end, it cannot be said, however,
that nothing remains to Germany of its dream of unity. Spite of
sad experience--spite of the uselessness of every effort--spite of
sacrifices made and sorrows suffered--Germany still pursues its phantom
with as much ardour as before. Like the prince in the fairy-tale, who,
panting, breathless, half-dead with exhaustion and fatigue, still
hunted without rest for the imaginary original of the fair portrait
placed in his hands--untired and unyielding, after the repeated
disappointments of lifting veil after veil from forms which he thought
might be that of the beloved one--still driven on by an incurable
longing--still yearning despairingly, and with false hope,--so does
Germany, after lifting veil after veil only to find delusive spectres
beneath, still yearn and long for the object of its adoration. It is
impossible to travel, even partially, through the country, without
discovering, from every conversation with all classes, that the intense
craving for this object--this great blessing of a grand and powerful
United Germany--is as strong as ever--far stronger than ever! For
what was not very long ago only the watchword of the fancied liberal
student, in his play of would-be conspirator--what was but the pretext
of really conspiring and subversive democrats--what grew only by
degrees into the cry of the people, who clamoured, not knowing what
they clamoured for--has taken evidently the strongest root throughout
the whole mass of German nationality, and _grows_--grows in despite
of the rottenness of the branches it has as yet sent forth--grows
in despite of the lopping, breaking, and burning of its first
offshoots--grows in despite of the atmosphere of contention, rather
than of union, that becomes thicker and more deleterious to its growth,
around it, and of the blight it daily receives from the seemingly
undispersable mildew of hatred, suspicion, and total want of sympathy
between Southern and Northern Germany, which formerly arose only from
uncongeniality of temperament, mixed up more or less with difference
of religious creed, but now is generated by a thousand causes. This
intense craving for the possession of the phantom--increasing, it
would seem, in proportion as the phantom flies farther and farther
from the grasp--is no longer expressed by the student, the democrat,
and the man of the people: it pervades all classes from below to
above; it is in the mouth of the man of caution and of sense, as in
that of the wild and poetico-political enthusiast; it becomes more
and more universal, and it amounts to a mania. Ask of whom you will,
"Whither tends German hope?" and the answer will still and ever be the
same--"German unity." But ask no more; for if you inquire, as last
year, into the "how," the "when," the "where," the answer will in most
cases be given in the same strain of incomprehensible and still more
impracticable rhapsody--visionary, poetical, noble sometimes, but
purposeless as before; or men will shrug their shoulders, shake their
heads, and sigh, but still dream on the dream of German unity--still
clamour for it loudly. And well may they shake their heads and groan,
if such be the end and aim of all German aspirations! for where,
indeed, is the pith that leads to it? That which Germany is itself
following up, leads (for the present at least) visibly from it, and
not towards it. Prussia has promulgated its constitution,--and we may
ask, _par parenthèse_, whether _that_ is to be put forward as the
great end which revolutionising Germany has attained, after more than
a year's revolution? Prussia has called upon all Germany to join with
it, hand in hand, in this constitution, granted and given, but not
accepted, at the hands of a Frankfort parliament. In answer to its
call, it has found the cleft between Northern and Southern Germany--the
cleft, of envy and jealousy, suspicion and mistrust--growing wider
and wider to oppose it. It has attempted to form a partial union of
Northern Germany--between the more northern states of Prussia, Hanover,
and Saxony; but even in this union has been disunion--reticence,
and suspicion, and doubt, and indecision, among the proposed allies
themselves; while Austria, Bavaria, and even Wurtemberg, have held
aloof to sulk and scoff, and have seemed to bide that time when Austria
should be less shackled, and could better oppose the supremacy of
Northern German influence. Coalitions even now are talked of, to which,
if Prussia be not a stranger, it is to be admitted only as a humbled
ally. With these feelings, which exist not only between powers, but
in the people, the cry of United Germany is but a jest--the longing
a green-sickness. Certainly revolutionising Germany has not thus far
attained any step in its progress towards the great desideratum of its
nationality. The only semblance of progress has been, in the advances
of Prussia towards supremacy, in the cession of the principality of
Hohenzollern Sigmaringen to its territory, (an example which other
small German principalities may follow,) in its present occupation of
the free town of Hamburg, in its military occupation of the duchy of
Baden, of which more further on. But if these be steps towards a united
Germany, tell it to Southern Germany, and hear what it will say!

If so little, then, has been attained by revolutionising Germany, in
its progress towards its most loudly clamoured desire, let us see what
else it has attained. After a year's labour, which was not without
its throes, revolutionising Germany, as represented by its central
parliament, brought forth its constitution--a rickety child, but fully
expected by its fond, and in many respects infatuated parents, to grow
into a giant, and flourish under the edifice of a United German Empire.
The implicit adoption of this bantling by the several German states,
as their heir and future master, was declared by revolutionisers to be
the _sine quâ non_ of their sufferance still to exist at all, under
the will of the people. Unhappy bantling, decked out with all sorts of
promised gifts for the future weal of mankind by its would-be fairy
godmothers! it proved but a changeling--or rather an imp, provided
with every curse, instead of every blessing; as if the gifts it was
intended to bestow had been reversed by a wicked fairy among the
godmothers, who had more power than the rest. And, of a truth, there
was such a one among them: and her name was Anarchy or Subversion,
although the title she gave herself was Red Republic, and the beast
on which she rode was Self-interest. The consequence was, that the
very contrary occurred to that which revolutionisers had prophesied or
rather menaced. Prussia, and the other states, which refused to adopt
the bantling, thus menacingly thrown into their arms, have gone on,
we cannot say the "even," but uneven "tenor of their way"--no matter
now by what means, for we speak only of the strange destinies of the
much-laboured, long-expected, loudly-vaunted Frankfort constitution.
Almost the only one--at least of the larger states the only one--that
seemingly accepted the adoption forced upon it, with frankness,
willingness, and openness, has been convulsed by the most terrible of
civil wars. In Baden, the acceptance of the Frankfort constitution,
and _not its rejection_, by a well-meaning, mild, but perhaps weak
ruler, was eagerly seized upon as a pretext for disaffection, armed
insurrection, civil war; while Wurtemberg, where it was received by the
king, although with evident unwillingness, or, as he himself expressed
it, in a somewhat overstrained tone of pathos, "with bleeding and
broken heart," narrowly escaped being involved in the same fearful
issue. The process by which this result was attained in Baden was
curious enough, although fully in accordance with the usual manoeuvres
of the anarchical leaders of the day, who, while denouncing Jesuitism,
in many parts of the world, as the great evil and anti-popular
influence against which they have most to contend, evidently adopt the
supposed and most denounced principle of Jesuitism--that "the ends
justify the means"--as their own peculiar line of conduct; and use
every species of treachery, deceit, falsehood, and delusion, as holy
and righteous weapons in the sacred cause of liberty, or of that idol
of their worship which they choose to nickname liberty. In showing
what revolutionising Germany has, or rather perhaps has not, as yet,
attained, we must briefly, then, revert once more to that insurrection
and its suppression, that has so fearfully devastated the duchy of
Baden, and its neighbouring province of the Palatinate, which, although
belonging to Bavaria, is so distant and divided from that kingdom as to
be included, without further distinction, in the same designation.

It was with almost prophetic spirit that we, last year, spoke of the
unhappy duchy of Baden, which had then, as since, the least cause of
complaint of any of the several subdivisions of Germany. "Nothing,"
it was then said, "can be more uneasy and disquieting than its
appearance. In this part of Germany, the revolutionary fermentation
appears far more active, and is more visible in the manner, attitude,
and language of the lower classes, than even in those (at that time)
hotbeds of revolutionary movement, Austria and Prussia. To this
state of things the confinity with agitated France, and consequently
a more active affinity with its ideas, caught like a fever from a
next-door neighbour's house, the agency of the emissaries from the
ultra-republican Parisian clubs, who find an easier access across the
frontiers, and the fact also that the unhappy duchy has been, if not
the native country, at least the scene of action of the republican
insurgents, Hecker and Struve, have all combined to contribute."
"It is impossible to enter the duchy, and converse with the peasant
population, formerly and proverbially so peacefully disposed in
patriarchal Germany--formerly so smiling, so ready, so civil, perhaps
only too obsequious in their signs of respect, now so insolent and
rude--without finding the poison of those various influences gathering
and festering in all their ideas, words, and actions."

Such were the views written last year; and this state of things has
since continued to increase, as regards popular fermentation, and
disposition to insurrection. Demagogic agitators swarmed in the land,
instilling poison wherever they went, and rejoicing as they saw the
_virus_ do its work in the breaking out of festering sores. The tactics
of this party, in all lands, has been to try their experiments upon
the military; but it has only been in Baden, thus demoralised, and
disorganised by weakness of sufferance, and a vain spirit of concession
and looked-for conciliation, that these subjects were found fitting
for the efforts of the experimentalisers. The _virus_ had already done
its work among them, to the utmost hopes of the poisoning crew, when
the New Frankfort Constitution--the rejection of which was to be the
signal for a _quasi_ legal insurrection--was accepted by the Grand-duke
of Baden. But the agitators were not to be thus baffled. A pretence,
however shallow and false, was easily found in the well-prepared
fermentation of men's minds; and the military, summoned by demagogic
leaders to tumultuous meetings, were easily persuaded that a false,
or at least a defective draught of the new boasted constitution had
been read to them and proclaimed--that, in the _real_ constitution, an
enactment provided that the soldiers were to choose and elect their own
officers--that this paragraph had been carefully suppressed; and that
the military had been thus deprived and cheated of their rights. Easily
detected as might have been the falsehood, it nevertheless succeeded
in its purposes. The military insurrection, in which the tumultuous
and evil-disposed of the lower classes, and a great portion of the
disaffected peasantry joined, broke out on the very evening of one of
these great meetings; and, by means of a well-prepared and actively
organised concentration of measures, in various parts of the duchy
at the same time. Thus was the very acceptance of the revolutionary
constitution made in Baden a pretext to stir the land to insurrection.

After the full account already published in these pages, it is needless
to enter into detail, with regard to the events which marked the
progress and suppression of this great insurrection. It is only to show
the insensate state of mind to which revolutionary agents, left to
do their will, were able to work up the military; the confused ideas
and purposes, with which these would-be revolutionising German heads
were filled; the ignorance that was displayed among these men, said to
be _enlightened_ by "patriots," and their want of all comprehension
of the very rights for which they pretended to clamour--in fact, the
utter absence of any experience gained by the lower classes, and
especially the military portion of them, after more than a year's
revolutionising, that we briefly recapitulate some of the leading
events of the outbreak. It was with a perfect headlong frenzy that the
garrison of the fortress of Rastadt first revolted; it was with just
as much appearance of madness that the mutiny broke out simultaneously
in the other garrison towns. There was every evidence of rabid mania
in the deplorable scenes which followed, when superior officers in
vain attempted with zeal and courage to stem the torrent, and, in many
instances, lost their lives at the hands of the infuriated soldiery;
when others were cruelly and disgracefully mis-handled, and two or
three, unable to contend with the sense of dishonour and degradation
which overwhelmed them as military men, rushed, maddened also, into
suicide, to have their very corpses mutilated by the men whom they had
treated, as it happened, with kindness and concession; when others
again, who had escaped over the frontiers, were, by a violation of the
Wurtemberg territory, captured, led back prisoners, and immured, under
every circumstances of cruelty and ignominy, in the fortress they had
in vain attempted loyally to guard. There was madness in all this; and
then we learn, to complete the deplorable picture, from a very accurate
account of all the circumstances, lately published by a Baden officer,
as well as from another pamphlet, more circumscribed in detail, but
fully as conclusive as regards narration of feeling, in almost every
page, that when the insurgent soldiers were asked by their officers
what they wanted, they could only answer, "Our rights and those of the
people;" and, when questioned further, "What are those rights?" either
held their tongues and shook their heads in ignorance, or replied with
the strangest _naïveté_, "That you ought to know better than we."
Still more strikingly characteristic of the insensate nature of the
struggle are the examples where the infatuated soldiers parted from
their officers with tears in their eyes, then, driven on by their
agitators, hunted them to the death; and then, again, with eyes opened
at last to their delusion, sobbed forth the bitterest repentance for
their blindness.

It has been already seen how the Grand-duke fled the land, how Baden
was given up, in a state of utter anarchy, to a Provisional government,
that existed but long enough to be utterly rent and torn by the very
instruments which its members had contributed to set in movement;
and to a disorganised, tumultuous army, prepared to domineer and
tyrannise in its newly-acquired self-power; how the insurrection was
suppressed, after an unwilling appeal to Prussia by the Grand-duke--how
the insurgent troops were dispersed by means of a Prussian army--and
how Rastadt was finally surrendered by the revolutionary leaders. As
these events have already been detailed, and as it is our purpose to
ask in general, "What has revolutionising Germany attained?" we need
do no more on this head, than ask, "What, by its late movement, has
revolutionising Baden attained?" "What then is the present position,
and the present aspect of the country, after the armed suppression?"

What, indeed! Poor old Father Rhine, although still, in these
revolutionary days, somewhat depressed in spirits, does not now,
however, exhibit that aspect of utter melancholy and despair which we
last year pictured; he has even contrived to reassume something of
that conceited air which we have so often witnessed in his old face.
Foreign tourists, if not in the pleasure-seeking shoals of aforetime,
at least in very decent sprinklings, return again to pay him visits;
and the hotels upon his banks give evidence that his courts are not
wholly deserted. Ems, from various causes independent of its natural
beauties--the principal one of which has been the pilgrimage of French
Legitimists to the heir of the fallen Bourbons, during his short
residence in that sweet bathing-place--has overflowed with "guests."
Homburg has had scarcely a bed to offer to the wanderer on his arrival.
Rhenish Prussia, then, has profited, by its comparative state of quiet,
somewhat to redeem its losses of last year. But the poor duchy of
Baden still hangs its head mournfully; and Baden-Baden, the fairest
queen of German watering-places, finds itself utterly deprived of its
well-deserved crown of supremacy, and seems to have covered itself,
in shame, with a veil of sadness. Although all now wears again a
smiling face of peaceful quiet, and Prussian uniforms, which at least
have the merit of studding with colour the gay scene, give warrant
for peace by the force of the bayonet, yet tourists seem to avoid the
scene of the late fearful convulsions, as they would a house in which
the plague has raged, although now declared wholly disinfected. A few
wandering "guests" only come and go, and tell the world of foreign
wanderers with dismal faces, "Baden-Baden is empty!" Travellers seem
to hurry through the country, as swiftly as the railroad can whirl
them across it, towards Strasburg and Bâle--ay! rather to republican
France, or fermenting Switzerland: they appear unwilling to turn aside
and seek rest among the beautiful hills of a country where the reek
of blood, or the vapour of the cannon-smoke, may be still upon the
air. In Baden-Baden bankrupt hotels are closed; and the lower classes,
who have been accustomed to amass comparative wealth by the annual
influx of foreigners, either by their produce, or in the various
different occupations of attending upon visitors, wear the most evident
expression of disappointment, listlessness, and want. Baden pays the
bitter penalty of insurrection, by being utterly crippled in one of the
branches of its most material interests. It bears as quiet an aspect
outwardly, however, as if it were sitting, in humiliation and shame,
upon the stool of repentance. There is nothing (if they go not beyond
the surface) to prevent foreign pleasure or health seekers from finding
their pleasure or repose in this sweet country; and in what has been
simply, but correctly, termed "one of the loveliest spots upon God's
earth," as of yore; but they are evidently shy, and look askance upon
it. Baden pays its penalty.

Although nature smiles, however, upon mountain and valley, and romantic
village, as cheerily as before, and there is gaiety still in every
sunbeam, yet traces of the horrors lately enacted in the land are
still left, which cannot fail to strike the eye of the most listless,
mere outward observer, as he whisks along, the country--sometimes
in the trampled plain, on which nature has not been as yet able to
throw her all-covering veil again, and which shows where has been
the battle-field, which should have been the harvest-field, and was
not--sometimes in the shattered wall or ruined house--sometimes in the
wood cut down or burned. At every step the traveller may be shown, by
his guide, the spots on which battles or skirmishes have taken place,
where the cannon has lately roared, where blood has been shed, where
men have fallen in civil contest. Here he may be conveyed over the
noble railway-bridge of the Neckar, and see the broken parapet, and
hear how the insurgents had commenced their work of destruction upon
the edifice, but were arrested in its accomplishment by the rapid
advance of the Prussian troops. Here again he may mark the late repairs
of the railroad, where it has been cut up into trenches, to prevent the
speedy conveyance of the war-material of the enemy. If he lingers on
his way, he may seek in vain in the capital, or other "residence towns"
of Baden, where ducal palaces stand, for the treasures of antiquity
which were their boast. Pillage has done its work: insurgents have
appropriated these objects of value to themselves, in the name of the
people; and the costly and bejewelled trappings of the East, the rich
gold inlaid armour, and the valuable arms, brought in triumph home
by the Margrave Louis of Baden, after his Turkish campaigns, are now
dispersed, none knows where, after having fed the greed of some French
red-republican or Polish democrat. But it is more particularly in the
neighbourhood of the fortress town of Rastadt, where the insurgents
last held out, that the strongest traces of the late convulsions may
be found. Marks of devastation are everywhere perceptible in the
country around; the remains of the temporary defences of the besiegers
still lie scattered in newly dug trenches; and the blackened walls
of a railway station-house, by the road-side, tell him how it was
bombarded from the town by the besieged insurgents, and then burned to
the ground, lest it should afford shelter to the besiegers. These are,
however, after all, but slight evidences of what the duchy of Baden has
attained by its late revolution. If we go below the surface, the dark
spots are darker and far more frequent still.

It is impossible to enter into conversation with persons of any class,
without discovering, either directly or indirectly, how deeply rooted
still remains the demoralisation of the country. The bitterness of
feeling, and the revolutionary mania of revolutionising, to obtain
no one can tell what, may have been crushed down and overawed; but
they evidently still smoulder below the surface and ferment. The
volcano-mouth has been filled with a mass of Prussian bayonets; but it
still burns below: it is clogged, not extinct. The democratic spirit
has been too deeply infused to be drugged out of the mass of the people
by the dose of military force. Fearful experience seems to have taught
the sufferers little or nothing; and although, here and there, may be
found evidences of bitter repentance, consequent upon personal loss of
property, or family suffering, yet even below that may be constantly
found a profound bitterness, and an eager rancour, against unknown and
visionary enemies. Talk to that poor old woman, who sits with pale face
upon a stile on the mountain-side. She will weep for the son she has
lost among the insurgents, and deplore, with bitter tears, his error
and his delusion; and yet, if you gain her confidence, she will raise
her head, and, with some fire in her sunken eye, tell you that she has
still a son at home, a boy, her last-born, who bides but his time to
take up the musket against "those, accursed enemies of the people and
the people's rights!" Enter into conversation with that shopkeeper
behind his counter, or that hotel-keeper in his palace hotel--both
are "well to do" in the world, or have been so, until revolutions
shattered the commerce of the one, or deprived the other of wealthy
visitors--you may expect to find in them a feeling, taught them at
least by experience, against any further convulsion. No such thing;
they are as ripe for further revolution as the lower classes, and as
eager to avenge their losses--not upon those who have occasioned them,
but upon those who would have averted them. Even in the upper classes
you will find that craving for the idol, "United Germany," to which
we have before alluded, and which seems to invite revolutions, rather
than to fear them. Of course exceptions may be found, and many, to the
examples here given; but in putting these figures into the foreground
of the picture to be painted of the state of Baden, (if not of Germany
in general,) we firmly believe we have given characteristic types of
the prevailing feelings of the country. German heads, once let loose
into the regions of ideal fantasy, be it political or philosophical,
or the strange and unpractical mixture of both, seem as if they were
not to be recalled to the earth and the realms of palpable truth by the
lessons of experience, however strongly, and even terribly, inculcated.

The prevailing feeling, however, at the present time in Baden, among
the lower classes, seems the hatred of the occupation of the Prussian
army, which has saved the land from utter anarchy. The very men who
have been taught by their demagogues to clamour for "German Unity" as
a pretext for insurrection, look on the Prussian military as usurping
aliens and foreign oppressors. Military occupation is certainly the
prevailing feature of the country. Prussian troops are everywhere--in
every town, in every village, in every house, in every hovel. Whichever
way you turn your eyes, there are soldiers--soldiers--soldiers--horse
and foot. The military seem to form by far the greater half of the
population; and, much disposed as many may have been to greet the
return of the Grand-duke to his states, as the symbol of the cause of
order, yet, in spite of birthday _fêtes_, and banners, and garlands,
and loyal devices in flowers, which have bedecked the road of the
traveller in the land not long since, these same men will grumble to
you of those "accursed Prussian soldiers," who alone were able to
restore him to his country, when the Baden army, as troops to support
their sovereign, existed no longer--when those who composed it fought
at the head of the insurgents. The very shadow of a Baden army, even,
is not now to be found. And it is this fact, and the evidences that an
insurrectionary spirit is still widely spread abroad, which are given
as the excuse of a continued Prussian occupation. It is difficult,
certainly, for a traveller in a land so lately convulsed, and still
placed in circumstances so peculiar, to arrive at truth. Prussian
officers will tell him how, on the arrival of the Prussian army in the
country, and the dispersion of the insurgents, flowers were strewn
along its path by the populations, who thus seemingly hailed the
Prussian soldiers as their deliverers; and in the next breath they will
inform him that this was only done from _fear_, and that, were it not
for this salutary _fear_, the insurrection would break forth again. He
may suspect that this account is given as the pretext for a continued
occupation of the land. But Baden officials will tell him that such
is the case--that Prussian troops alone keep, down a further rising;
and if he still suspects his source, he will certainly find among the
people, at all events, both the hatred and the fear. Meanwhile the
Prussian officers seem to think that both these feelings are necessary
for the pacification of the land; and, upon their own showing, or
rather boasting, they inculcate them by flogging insolent peasants
across the cannon, by shooting down insurgent prisoners, who spit upon
them from prison windows, without any other form of trial, and by other
autocratic repressive measures of a similar stamp. Meanwhile, also,
they seem, by all their words as well as actions, to look upon Baden as
a conquered province, acquired to Prussia, and openly and loudly vaunt
their _conquest_. Let it not be supposed that this is exaggeration. It
is the general tone of Prussian officers--ay, and even of the common
Prussian soldiers occupying the duchy of Baden--with a super-addition
of true Prussian conceit in manner, indescribable by words. In spite
of what we may read in late newspaper reports, then, of conciliation
between the two great powers of Northern and Southern Germany, we may
well ask, What will rival Austria say to this? Where is the prospect
here of a great United Germany? And, after this _resumé_ of the
present position of Baden as a part, we may well ask, also, What has
revolutionising Germany attained as a whole?

We have seen that the main object, and at all events the chief pretext
of the revolution, the establishment of a great United Germany, is
still further from the grasp of the revolutionising country than
ever--although it remains still the clamour and the cry. Prussia may
point in irony to its advances, by the occupation of the duchy of
Baden and of Hamburg, and by its acquisition of the principality of
Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen, and smile while it says that it has effected
thus much towards a union of Germany under one head. Or, in more
serious mood, it may put forward its projected alliance of the three
northern German potentates. But, with regard to the former, what, in
spite of the reports we hear of conciliation, will be the conduct of
jealous Austria, now at last unshackled in its dealings? The latter
only shows still more the cleft that divides the northern portion of
the would-be united country from the southern. "United Germany" only
remains, then, a plaything in the hands of dreamers and democrats--a
pretty toy, about which they may build up airy castles to the one--an
instrument blunted and notched, for the present, to the other. What has
revolutionising Germany attained here?

What declared last year the manifesto of Prince Leiningen, then
Minister for Foreign Affairs, and leading member of the cabinet
of the newly established central power--put forward, as it was,
as the _programme_ of the new government for all Germany? It
denounced "jealousies between the individual states, and revilings
of the northern by the southern parts of the empire," as "criminal
absurdities;" and yet went on to say that "if the old spirit of discord
and separation were still too powerfully at work--if the jealousy
between race and race, between north and south, were still too strongly
felt--the nation must convince itself of the fact, and return to the
old feudal system." It declared, however, in the same breath as it
were, that "to retrograde to a confederation of states would only
be to create a mournful period of transition to fresh catastrophes,
and new revolutions." Failing of the realisation of the great union,
to which the revolution was supposed to tend, the manifesto then
placed revolutionising Germany between the alternative of returning
to a part, which it declared impossible, or further convulsions and
civil wars. It put Germany, in fact, into a cleft stick. Has a year's
revolution tended to extricate it from this position? The alternative,
remains the same--Germany sticks in the cleft stick as much as ever.
Revolutionising Germany, with all its throes and all its efforts, has
attained nothing to relieve it from this position. Without accepting
the manifesto of Prince Leiningen, either as necessarily prophetic,
or as a political dictum, from which there is no evasion or escape,
it is yet impossible to look back upon it, while trying to discover
what revolutionising Germany has attained, without sad presentiments,
without looking with much mournful apprehension upon the future fate of
the country. To return, however to the present state of Germany--for
the investigation of that is our purpose, and not speculation upon the
future, although none may look upon the present without asking with a
sigh, "What is to become of Germany?"

We find the revolutionary spirit crushed by the events of the last
year, but not subdued; writhing, but not avowing itself vanquished.
The fermentation is as great as heretofore: experience seems to have
taught the German children in politics no useful lesson. Now that the
great object, for which the revolution appeared to struggle, has
received so notable a check, the confusion of purposes, (if German
political rhapsodies may be called such;) of projects, (if, indeed,
in such visionary schemes there be any,) and pretexts, (of a nature
so evidently false,) is greater than ever--the confusion not only
exists, but ferments, and generates foul air, which must find vent
somewhere, be it even in imagination. Of the revolutionary spirits whom
we sketched last year in Germany, the students alone seem somewhat to
have learned a lesson of experience and tactics. Although many may
have been found in the ranks of insurgents, yet the general mass has
sadly sobered down, and, it may be hoped, acquired more reason and
method. The Jews--we cannot again now inquire into the strange whys and
wherefores--still remain the restless, gnawing, cankering, agitating
agents of revolutionary movement. The insolence and coarseness of the
lower classes increases into bitter rancour, and has been in no way
amended by concession and a show of good-will. Among the middle-lower
classes, the most restless and reckless spirits, it appears from
well-drawn statistical accounts, are the village schoolmasters, (as
in France)--to exemplify that "a little learning is a dangerous
thing"--the barbers, and the tailors. Had we time, it might form the
subject of curious speculation to attempt to discover why these two
latter occupations, (and especially the last one) induce, more than
all others, heated brains and revolutionary habits; but we cannot stop
on our way to play with such curious questions. Over all the relations
of social, as well as public life, hover politics like a deleterious
atmosphere, blighting all that is bright and fair, withering art in
all its branches, science, and social intercourse. And, good heavens,
what politics!--the politics of a bedlamite philosopher in his ravings.
In the late festivities, given in honour of Goethe at Frankfort, the
city of his birth, to commemorate the hundredth anniversary of that
event, when it might have been supposed that all men might have, for
once, united to do homage to the memory of one whom Germans considered
their greatest spirit, politics again interfered to thwart, and
oppose, and spoil. The democratic party endeavoured to prevent the
supplies offered to be given by the town for the festivities, because
they saw the names of those they called the "aristocrats," among
the list of the committee, even although men of all classes were
invited to join it; and, when a serenade was given before the house
in which the poet was born, the musicians were driven away, and their
torches extinguished, by a band of so-called "patriots," who insisted
upon singing, in the place of the appointed _cantato_ composed for
the occasion, the revolutionary chorus in honour of the republican
Hecker--the now famous song of the revolutionary battle-field, the
_Hecker-Lied_. And such an example of this fermentation of politics
in all the circumstances of life, however far from political intents,
is not singular: it is only characteristic of the everyday doings
of the times. Among the upper classes, those feelings which we last
year summed up in the characteristic words, "the dulness of doubt and
the stupor of apprehension," have only increased in intensity. None
see an issue out of the troubled passage of the revolution. Their
eyes are blinded by a mist, and they stumble on their way, dreading
a precipice at every step. This impression depicts more especially
the feelings of the so-called moderates and liberal conservatives who
had their representatives among the best elements of the Frankfort
parliament, and who, with the vision of a united Germany before their
eyes, laboured to reach that visionary goal, at the same time that
they endeavoured to stem the ever-invading torrent of ultra-revolution
and red-republicanism. "The dulness of doubt, and the stupor of
apprehension," seem indeed to have fallen upon them since the last vain
meeting of the heads of their party in Gotha. They let their hands
fall upon their laps, and sit shaking their heads. Gagern, the boldest
spirit, and one of the best hearts that represents their cause and
has struggled for its maintenance, is represented as wholly prostrate
in spirit, unstrung--_missgestimmt_, as the Germans have it. He has
retired entirely into private life, to await events with aching heart.
If any feeling is still expressed by the moderate liberals, it has
been, of late, sympathy in the fate of Hungary, which the Prussians put
forward visibly only out of opposition to Austria, at the same time
that, with but little consistency, they condemn all the agents of the
Hungarian struggle.

We have endeavoured to give a faint and fleeting sketch of what
revolutionising Germany has attained, after a year's revolution. The
picture is a dark one, of a truth, but we believe in no ways overdone.
In actual progress the sum-total appears to be a zero. The position
of Germany, although calmer on the surface, is as difficult, as
embarrassing, as much in the "cleft stick," as when we speculated upon
it last year. All the well-wishers of the country and of mankind may
give it their hopes; but when they look for realisation of their hopes,
they can only shake their heads, with the Germans themselves, as they
ask, "What will become of Germany?"



The next evening our friend the Captain found his fair audience by the
taffrail increased to a round dozen, while several of the gentlemen
passengers lounged near, and the chief officer divided his attention
between the gay group of ladies below and the "fanning" main-topsail
high up, with its corresponding studding-sail hung far out aloft to
the breeze; the narrative having by this time contracted a sort of
professional interest, even to his matter-of-fact taste, which enabled
him to enjoy greatly the occasional glances of sly humour directed
to him by his superior, for whom he evidently entertained a kind of
admiring respect, that seemed to be enhanced as he listened. As for
the commander himself, he related the adventures in question with a
spirit and vividness of manner that contributed to them no small charm;
amusingly contrasted with the cool, dry, indifferent sort of gravity
of countenance, amidst which the keen gray seawardly eye, under the
peak of the naval cap, kept changing and twinkling as it seemed to run
through the experience of youth again--sometimes almost approaching to
an undeniable wink. The expression of it at this time, however, was
more serious, while it appeared to run along the dotted reef-band of
the mizen-topsail above, as across the entry in a log-book, and as if
there were something interesting to come.

"_Well_, my dear captain," asked his matronly relative, "what comes
next? You and your friend had picked up a--a-what was it _now_!"

"Ah! I remember, ma'am," said the naval man, laughing; "the
bottle--that was where I was. Well, as you may conceive, this said
scrap of penmanship in the bottle _did_ take both of us rather on end;
and for two or three minutes Westwood and I sat staring at each other
and the uncouth-looking fist, in an inquiring sort of way, like two
cocks over a beetle. Westwood, for his part, was doubtful of its being
the Planter at all; but the whole thing, when I thought of it, made
itself as clear to me, so far, as two half-hitches, and the angrier
I was at myself for being _done_ by a frog-eating, bloody-politeful
set of Frenchmen like these. Could we only have clapped eyes on the
villanous thieving craft at the time, by Jove! if I wouldn't have
manned a boat from the Indiaman, leave or no leave, and boarded her in
another fashion! But where they were now, what they meant, and whether
we should ever see them again, heaven only knew. For all we could say,
indeed, something strange might have turned up at home in Europe--a new
war, old Boney got loose once more, or what not--and I could scarce
fall asleep for guessing and bothering over the matter, as restless as
the first night we cruised down Channel in the old Pandora."

Early in the morning-watch a sudden stir of the men on deck woke me,
and I bundled up in five minutes' time. But it was only the second
mate setting them to wash decks, and out they came from all quarters,
yawning, stretching themselves, and tucking up their trousers, as
they passed the full buckets lazily along; while a couple of boys
could be seen hard at work to keep the head-pump going, up against the
gray sky over the bow. However, I was so anxious to have the first
look-out ahead, that I made a bold push through the thick of it for
the bowsprit, where I went out till I could see nothing astern of me
but the Indiaman's big black bows and figurehead, swinging as it were
round the spar I sat upon, with the spread of her canvass coming dim
after me out of the fog, and a lazy snatch of foam lifting to her
cut-water, as the breeze died away. The sun was just beginning to rise;
ten minutes before, it had been almost quite dark; there was a mist on
the water, and the sails were heavy with dew; when a circle began to
open round us, where the surface looked as smooth and dirty as in a
dock, the haze seeming to shine through, as the sunlight came sifting
through it, like silver gauze. You saw the big red top of the sun glare
against the water-line, and a wet gleam of crimson came sliding from
one smooth blue swell to another; while the back of the haze astern
turned from blue to purple, and went lifting away into vapoury streaks
and patches. All of a sudden the ship came clear out aloft and on the
water, with her white streak as bright as snow, her fore-royal and
truck gilded, her broad foresail as red as blood, and every face on
deck shining as they looked ahead, where I felt like a fellow held up
on a toasting-fork, against the fiery wheel the sun made ere clearing
the horizon. Two or three strips of cloud melted in it like lumps of
sugar in hot wine; and, after overhauling the whole seaboard round and
round, I kept straining my eyes into the light, with the notion there
was something to be seen in that quarter, but to no purpose; there
wasn't the slightest sign of the brig or any other blessed thing. What
struck me a little, however, was the look of the water just as the fog
was clearing away: the swell was sinking down, the wind fallen for the
time to a dead calm; and when the smooth face of it caught the light
full from aloft, it seemed to come out all over long-winding wrinkles
and eddies, running in a broad path, as it were, twisted and woven
together, right into the wake of the sunrise. When I came inboard from
the bowsprit, big Harry and another grumpy old salt were standing by
the bitts, taking a forecastle observation, and gave me a squint, as
much as to ask if I had come out of the east, or had been trying to
pocket the flying-jib-boom. "D'you notice anything strange about the
_water_ at all?" I asked in an offhand sort of way, wishing to see if
the men had remarked aught of what I suspected. The old fellow gave me
a queer look out of the tail of his eye, and the ugly man seemed to be
measuring me from head to foot. "No, sir," said the first, carelessly;
"can't say as how I does,"--while Harry coolly commenced sharpening his
sheath-knife on his shoe. "Did you ever hear of currents hereabouts?"
said I to the other man. "Hereaway!" said he; "why, bless ye, sir, it's
unpossible as I _could_ ha' heer'd tell on sich a thing, 'cause, ye
see, sir, there an't none so far out at sea, sir--al'ays axin' _your_
parding, ye know, sir!" while he hitched up his trousers and looked
aloft, as if there were somewhat wrong about the jib-halliards.

The Indiaman by this time had quite lost steerage-way, and came
sheering slowly round, broadside to the sun, while the water began to
glitter like a single sheet of quicksilver, trembling and swelling to
the firm edge of it far off; the pale blue sky filling deep aloft with
light, and a long white haze growing out of the horizon to eastward.
I kept still looking over from the fore-chains with my arms folded,
and an eye to the water on the starboard side, next the sun, where,
just a fathom or two from the bright copper of her sheathing along the
water-line, you could see into it. Every now and then little bells
and bubbles, as I thought, would come up in it and break short of the
surface; and sometimes I fancied the line of a slight ripple, as fine
as a rope-yarn, went turning and glistening, round one of the ship's
quarters, across her shadow. Just then the old sailor behind me shoved
his face over the bulwark, too, all warts and wrinkles, like a ripe
walnut-shell, with a round knob of a nose in the middle of it, and
seemed to be watching to see it below, when he suddenly squirted his
tobacco-juice as far out as possible alongside, and gave his mouth
a wipe with the back of his tarry yellow hand; catching my eye in a
shame-faced sort of way, as I glanced first at him and then at his
floating property. I leant listlessly over the rail, watching the patch
of oily yellow froth, as it floated quietly on the smooth face of the
water; till all at once I started to observe that beyond all question
it had crept slowly away past our starboard bow, clear of the ship, and
at last melted into the glittering blue brine. The two men noticed my
attention, and stared along with me; while the owner of the precious
cargo himself kept looking after it wistfully into the wake of the
sunlight, as if he were a little hurt; then aloft and round about, in a
puzzled sort of way, to see if the ship hadn't perhaps taken a sudden
sheer to port. "Why, my man," I said, meeting his oyster-like old
sea-eye, "what's the reason of _that_?--perhaps there is some current
or other here, after all, eh?" Just as he meant to answer, however, I
noticed his watch-mate give him a hard shove in the ribs with his huge
elbow, and a quick screw of his weather top-light, while he kept the
lee one doggedly fixed on myself. I accordingly walked slowly aft as if
to the quarterdeck, and came round the long-boat again, right abreast
of them.

Harry was pacing fore and aft with his arms folded, when his companion
made some remark on the heat, peering all about him, and then right
up into the air aloft. "Well then, shipmate," said Harry, dabbing
his handkerchief back into his tarpaulin again, "I've seen worse,
myself,--ownly, 'twas in the Bight o' Benin, look ye,--an' afore the
end on it, d'ye see, we hove o'board nine of a crew, let alone six
dozen odds of a cargo!" "Cargo!" exclaimed his companion in surprise.
"Ay, black _passengers_ they was, ye know, old ship!" answered the ugly
rascal, coolly; "an' I tell ye what it is, Jack, I never sails yet
with passengers aboard, but some'at bad turned up in the end,--al'ays
one or another on 'em's got a foul turn in his conscience, ye see! I
say, 'mate," continued he, looking round, "didn't ye note that 'ere
'long-shore looking customer as walked aft just now, with them bloody
soft quest'ns o' his about--" "Why," said Jack, "it's him Jacobs and
the larboard watch calls the Green Hand, an' a blessed good joke they
has about him, to all appearance,--but they keeps it pretty close."
"Close, be d----d!" growled Harry, "I doesn't like the cut of his jib,
I tell ye, shipmate! Jist you take my word for it, that 'ere fellow's
done some'at bad at home, or he's bent on some'at bad afloat--it's
all one! Don't ye mark how he keeps boxhaulin' and skulking fore
an' aft, not to say looking out to wind'ard every now an' again, as
much as he expected a sail to heave in sight!" "Well, I'm blowed but
you're right, Harry!" said the other, taking off his hat to scratch
his head, thoughtfully. "Ay, and what's more," went on Harry, "it's
just comed ath'art me as how I've clapped eyes on the chap somewheres
or other afore this--d----n me if I don't think it was amongst a
gang o' Spanish pirates I saw tried for their lives and let off, in
the Havanney!" "Thank you, my man!" thought I, as I leant against
the booms on the other side, "the devil you did!--a wonder it wasn't
in the Old Bailey, which would have been more possible, though less
romantic,--seeing in the Havannah I never was!" The curious thing was
that I began to have a faint recollection, myself, of having seen
this same cross-grained beauty, or heard his voice, before; though
where and how it was, I couldn't for the life of me say at the moment.
"Lord bless us, Harry!" faltered out the old sailor, "ye don't mean
it!--sich a young, soft-looked shaver, too!" "Them smooth-skinned
sort o' coves is kimmonly the worst, 'mate," replied Harry; "for that
matter ye may be d----d sure he's got his chums aboard,--an' how does
_we_ know but the ship's _sold_, from stem to starn? There's that 'ere
black-avizzed parson, now, and one or two more aft--cuss me if that
'ere feller smells brine for the first time! An' as for this here Bob
Jacobs o' yours, blow me if there an't over many of his kind in the
whole larboard watch, Jack! A man-o'-war's-man's al'ays a blackguard
out on a man-o'-war, look ye!" "Why, bless me, shipmate," said Jack,
lowering his voice, "by that recknin', a man don't know his friends in
this here craft! The sooner we gives the mate a hint, the better, to
my thinking?" "No, blow me, no, Jack," said Harry, "keep all fast, or
ye'll kick up a worse nitty, old boy! Jist you hould on till ye see
what's to turn up,--ownly stand by and look out for squalls, that's
all! There's the skipper laid up below in his berth, I hears,--and to
my notions, that 'ere mate of ours is no more but a blessed soldier,
with his navigation an' his head-work, an' be blowed to him--where's he
runned the ship, I'd like to know, messmate!" "Well, strike me lucky
if I'm fit to guess!" answered Jack, gloomily. "No, s'help me Bob, if
he knows hisself!" said Harry. "But here's, what _I_ says, anyhow,--if
so be we heaves in sight of a pirate, or bumps ashore on a ileyand i'
the dark, shiver my tawsels if I doesn't have a clip with a handspike
at that 'ere soft-sawderin' young blade in the straw hat!" "Well, my
fine fellow," thought I, "many thanks to you again, but I certainly
shall look out for _you_!" All this time I couldn't exactly conceive
whether the sulky rascal really suspected anything of the kind, or
whether he wasn't in fact sounding his companion, and perhaps others
of the crew, as to how far they would go in case of an opportunity for
mischief; especially when I heard him begin to speculate if "that 'ere
proud ould beggar of a naboob, aft yonder, musn't have a sight o' gould
and jowels aboard with him!" "Why, for the matter o' that, 'mate,"
continued he, "I doesn't signify the twinklin' of a marlinspike, mind
ye, what lubberly trick they sarves this here craft,--so be ownly ye
can get anyhow ashore, when all's done! It's nouther ship-law nor
shore-law, look ye, 'mate, as houlds good on a bloody dazart!" "Ay, ay,
true enough, bo'," said the other, "but what o' that?--there an't much
signs of a dazart, I reckon, in this here blue water!" "Ho!" replied
Harry, rather scornfully, "that's 'cause you blue-water, long-v'yage
chaps isn't up to them, brother! There's you and that 'ere joker in
the striped slops, Jack, chaffing away over the side jist now about
a current,--confounded sharp he thinks hisself, too!--but d'ye think
Harry Foster an't got his weather-eye open? For my part I thinks more
of the streak o' haze yonder-away, right across the starboard bow, nor
all the currents in--" "Ay, ay," said Jack, stretching out again to
look, "the heat, you means?" "Heat!" exclaimed the ugly topman, "heat
be blowed! Hark ye, 'mate, it _may_ be a strip o' cloud, no doubt, or
the steam over a sand-bank,--but so be the calm lasts so long, and you
sees that 'ere streak again by sundown, with a touch o' yallow in't--"
"What--_what_, shipmate?" asked Jack, breathless with anxiety. "Then,
dammee, it's the black coast iv Africay, and _no_ mistake!" said Harry.
"And what's more," continued the fellow, coolly, after taking a couple
of short turns, "if there _be's_ a current, why, look ye, it'll set
dead in to where the land lays--an' I'm blessed if there's one aboard,
breeze or no breeze, as is man enough for to take her out o' the suck
of a Africane current!" "The Lord be with us!" exclaimed the other
sailor, in alarm, "what's to be done, Harry, bo',--when d'ye mean for
to let them know, aft?" "Why, maybe I'm wrong, ye know, old ship," said
Harry, "an' a man musn't go for to larn his betters, ye know,--by this
time half o' the watch has a notion on it, at any rate. There's Dick
White, Jack Jones, Jim Sidey, an' a few more Wapping men, means to
stick together in case o' accidents--so d--n it, Jack, man, ye needn't
be in sich an a taking! What the--" (here he came out with a regular
string of topgallant oaths,) "when you finds a good chance shoved into
your fist, none o' your doin', an't a feller to haul in the slack of it
'cause he's got a tarry paw, and ships before the mast? I tell ye what
it is, old ship, 'tan't the first time you an' me's been cast away,
an' I doesn't care the drawin' of a rope-yarn, in them here latitudes,
if I'm cast away again! Hark 'ye, ould boy,--grog to the masthead, a
grab at the passengers' wallibles, when they han't no more use for
'em, in course--an' the pick on the ladies, jist for the takin' o'
them ashore!" "Lord love ye, Harry, belay there!" said Jack, "what's
the good o' talkin' on what an't like to be?" "Less like things turns
up!" said Harry. "More by token, if I hasn't pitched upon my fancy lass
a'ready--an' who knows, old ship, but you marries a naboob's darter
yet, and gets yourself shoved all square, like a rig'lar hare, into
his heestate, as they calls it? For my part, I've more notion of the
_maid_! An' it'll go hard with me if we doesn't manage to haul that
'ere mishynar' parson safe ashore on the strength of it!" "God bless
ye, Harry," answered Jack, somewhat mournfully, "I'm twice spliced
already!" "Third time's lucky, though," replied Harry, with a chuckle,
as he walked towards the side again, and looked over; the rest of
the watch being gathered on the other bow, talking and laughing; the
passengers beginning to appear on the poop, and the Scotch second-mate
standing up aft on the taffrail, feeling for a breath of wind. The big
topman came slowly back to his companion, and leant himself on the
spars again. "Blowed if I don't think you're right, 'mate," said he,
"you and that 'ere lawyer. You'd a'most say there's a ripple round
her larboard bow just now, sure enough--like she were broadside on to
some drift or another. Hows'ever, that's nouther here nor there,--for
my part, I sets more count by the look o' the sky to east'ard, an' be
blowed, shipmate, if that same yonder don't make me think o' _woods_!"
"Well," said Jack, "_I_ goes by sunrise, messmate, an' I didn't like it
overmuch myself, d'ye see! That 'ere talk o' yours, Harry, consarnin'
dazarts and what not--why, bless me, it's all my eye,--this bout, at
any rate--seein' as how, if we doesn't have a stiff snuffler out o'
that very quarter afore twenty-four hours is over, you call me lubber!"
"Ho, ho! old salt," chuckled Harry, "none o' them saws holds good
hereaway, if its the coast of Africay--d----n it, 'mate, _two_ watches
'll settle our hash in them longitudes, without going the length o'
_six_! Han't I knocked about the bloody coast of it six weeks at a
time, myself, let alone livin' as many months in the woods?--so I knows
the breedin' of a turnady a cussed sight too well, not to speak on the
way the land-blink looms afore you sights it!" "_Lived_ in them there
woods, did ye?" inquired Jack. "Ay, bo', an' a rum rig it was too,
sure enough," said Harry; "the very same time I tould you on, i' the
Bight o' Benin." "My eye!" exclaimed the other, "a man never knows what
he may come to. Let's into the rights of it, Harry, carn't ye, afore
eight-bells strikes?" "Woods!" said Harry, "I b'lieve ye, ould ship.
I see'd enough o' woods, that time, arter all!--and 'twan't that long
agone, either--I'll not say _how_ long, but it wan't _last_ v'yage.
A sharp, clinker-built craft of a schooner she wor, I'm not goin' to
give ye her right name, but they called her the Lubber-hater,[13]--an'
if there wan't all sorts on as aboard, it's blaming ye--an' a big
double-jinted man-eatin' chap of a Yankee was our skipper, as sly as
slush--more by token, he had a wart alongside o' one eye as made him
look two ways at ye--Job Price by name--an' arter he'd made his fortin,
I heard he's took up a tea-total chapel afloat on the Missishippey.
She'd got a hell of a long nose, that 'ere schooner, so my boy we
leaves everything astarn, chase or race, I promise ye; an' as for a
blessed ould ten-gun brig what kept a-cruising thereaway, why, we jest
got used to her, like, and al'ays lowers our mainsail afore takin' the
wind of her, by way o' good bye, quite perlite. 'Blowed if it warn't
rum, though, for to see the brig's white figger'ed over the swell,
rollin' under a cloud o' canvass, sten-s'ls crowded out alow an' aloft,
as she jogged arter us! Then she'd haul her wind and fire a gun, an'
go beating away up in chase of some other craft, as caught the chance
for runnin' out whenever they sees the Lubber-hater well to sea--why,
s'elp me Bob, if the traders on the coast didn't pay Job Price half
a dozen blacks a piece every trip, jist for to play that 'ere dodge!
At last, one time, not long after I joined the craft, what does he do
but nigh-hand loses her an' her cargo, all owin' to reckonin' over
much on this here traverse. Out we comes one night in the tail of a
squall, an' as soon as it clears, there sure enough we made out the
brig, hard after us, as we thinks,--so never a rag more Job claps on,
'cause two of his friends, ye see, was jist outside the bar in the
Noon river. Well, bloody soon the cruiser begins to overhaul us, as
one gaff-taups'l wouldn't do, nor yet another, till the flying-jib and
bonnets made her walk away from them in right 'arnest,--when slap comes
a long-shot that took the fore-topmast out of us in a twinkling. So
when the moonlight comed out, lo an' behold, instead o' the brig's two
masts stiff and straight against the haze, there was _three_ spanking
sticks all ataunto, my boy, in a fine new sloop-o'-war as had fresh
came on the station--the Irish, they called her--and a fast ship she
wor. But all said and done, the schooner had the heels of her in aught
short of a reef-taups'l breeze,--though, as for the other two, the
sloop-o'-war picked off both on 'em in the end." At this point of the
fellow's account, I, Ned Collins, began to prick up my ears, pretty
sure it was the dear old Iris he was talking of; and thought I, "Oho,
my mate, we shall have you directly,--listening's fair with a chap of
this breed."

"Well," said he, "'twas the next trip after that, we finds the coast
clear, as commonly was--for, d'ye see, they couldn't touch us if so
be we hadn't a slave aboard,--in fact, we heerd as how the cruiser
was up by Serry Lony, and left some young lufftenant or other on the
watch with a sort o' lateen-rigged tender. A precious raw chap he was,
by all accounts,--and sure enough, there he kept plying off and on,
inshore, 'stead of out of sight to seaward till the craft would make a
bolt; an' as soon as ye dropped an anchor, he'd send a boat aboard with
a reefer, to ax if ye'd got slaves in the hold. In course, ye know,
Job Price sends back a message, "palm-ile an' iv'ry, an' gould if we
can,"--h'ists the Portingee colours, brings up his Portingee papers,
and makes the Portingee stoo'rd skipper for the spell,--but anyhow,
bein' no less nor three slavers in the mouth of the Bonny river at
the time, why, he meant to show fight if need be, and jest manhandle
the young navy sprig to his heart's content. Hows'ever, the second or
third night, all on a suddent we found he'd sheered off for decency's
sake, as it might be, an hour or two afore we'd began to raft off
the niggers. Well, 'mate, right in the midst of it there comes sich
a fury of a turnady off the land, as we'd to slip cable and run fair
out to sea after the other craft what had got sooner full,--one on
'em went ashore in sight, an' we not ninety blacks aboard yet, with
barely a day's water stowed in. The next morning, out o' sight of land,
we got the sea-breeze, and stood in again under everything, till we
made Fernandy Po ileyand three leagues off, or thereby, an' the two
ebony-brigs beating out in company,--so the skipper stands over across
their course for to give them a hail, heaves to and pulls aboard the
nearest, where he stays a good long spell and drinks a stiff glass,
as ye may fancy, afore partin'. Back comes Job Price in high glee,
and tould the mate as how that mornin' the brigs had fell foul o' the
man-o'-war tender, bottom up, an' a big Newfoundling dog a-howlin' on
the keel--no doubt she'd turned the turtle in that 'ere squall--more
by token he brought the dog alongst with him in a present. So away we
filled again to go in for the Bonny river, when the breeze fell, and
shortly arter there we was all three dead becalmed, a couple o'miles
betwixt us, sticking on the water like flies on glass, an' as hot, ye
know, as blazes--the very moral o' this here. By sundown we hadn't
a drop o' water, so the skipper sent to the nearest brig for some;
but strike me lucky if they'd part with a bucketful for love, bein'
out'ard bound. As the Spanish skipper said, 'twas either hard dollars
or a stout nigger, and t'other brig said the same. A slight puff o'
land-wind we had in the night, though next day 'twas as calm as ever,
and the brigs farther off--so by noon, my boy, for two blessed casks,
if Job Price hadn't to send six blacks in the boat. Shorter yarn,
Jack,--but the calm held that night too, and 'blowed if the brigs would
sell another breaker--what we had we couldn't spare to the poor devils
under hatches, and the next day, why, they died off like rotten sheep,
till we hove the last on 'em o'board; and frightful enough it was, mind
ye, for to see about fifty sharks at work all round the schooner at
once, as long as it lasted. Well, in the arternoon we'd just commenced
squabbling aboard amongst ourselves, round the dreg water, or whether
to board one o' the brigs and have a fair fight, when off come a bit
of a breeze, betwixt the two high peaks on Fernandy Po, both the brigs
set stensails, and begins slipping quietly off--our skipper gave
orders to brace after them, and clear away the long gun amidships; but
all on a suddent we made out a lump of a brig dropping down before
it round the ileyand, which we knowed her well enough for a Bristol
craft as had lost half her hands up the Callebar, in the gould an'
iv'ry trade. Down she comed, wonderfle fast, for the light breeze, if
there hadn't been one o' yer currents besides off the ileyand, till
about half-a-mile away she braces up, seemingly to sheer across it and
steer clear of us. Out went our boat, an' the skipper bids every man
of her crew to shove a short cutlash inside his trousers. Says he, "I
guess we'll first speak 'em fair, but if we don't ha' water enough,
it'll be 'tarnal queer, that's all," says he--an' Job was a man never
swore, but he _looked_ mighty _bad_, that time, I must say; so we out
oars and pulls right aboard the trader, without answerin' ever a hail,
when up the side we bundled on deck, one arter the other, mad for a
drink, and sees the master with five or six of a crew, all as white
as ghostesses, and two or three Kroomen, besides a long-legged young
feller a-sittin' and kicking his feet over the kimpanion-hatch, with
a tumblerful o' grog in his fist, as fresh to all seemin' as a fish,
like a supper-cargo or some'at o' the sort, as them craft commonly has.
"What schooner's that?" axes the master, all abroad like; an' says Job,
says he out o' breath, "Never you mind; I guess you'll let's have some
water, for we wants it almighty keen!" "Well, says the other, shaking
his head, "I'm afeared we're short ourselves--anyhow," says he, "we'll
give ye a dipper the piece,"--and accordingly they fists us along a
dozen gulps, hand over hand. "'Twon't do, I guess, mister," says our
skipper; "we wants a cask!" Here the master o' the brig shakes his
head again, and giv a look to the young 'long-shore-like chap aft,
which sings out as we couldn't have no more for love nor money,--an' I
see Cap'en Price commence for to look savitch again, and feel for the
handle on his cutlash. "Rather you'd ax iv'ry or gould-dust!" sings out
the supper-cargo--"hows'ever," says he: "as ye've tooken sich a fancy
to it, short o' water as we is, why a fair exchange an't no robbery,"
says he: "you wants water, an' we wants hands; haven't ye a couple
o' niggers for to spare us, sir, by way off a barter, now?" he says.
Well,'mate, I'll be blowed if I ever see a man turn so wicked fur'ous
as Job Price turns at this here,--an' says he, through his teeth, "If
ye'd said a nigger's nail-parin', I couldn't done it, so it's no use
talkin'." "Oh come, capting," says the young fellow, wonderfle angshis
like, "say _one_ jist--it's all on the quiet, ye know. Bless me,
captin," says he, "I'd do a deal for a man in a strait, 'tickerly for
yerself--an' I think we'd manage with a single hand more. I'll give
ye two casks and a bag o' gould-dust for _one_ black, and we'll send
aboard for him just now, ourselves!" "No!" roars Job Price, walkin'
close up to him; "ye've riz me, ye cussed Britisher ye, an' I tell
ye we'll _take_ what we wants!" "No jokes, though, captin!" says the
feller--"what's _one_ to a whole raft-ful I heerd of ye shipping?"
"Go an' ax the sharks, ye beggar!" says the skipper;--"here my lads!"
says he, an' makes grab at the other's throat, when slap comes a jug
o' rum in his eye-lights, and the young chap ups fist in quick-sticks,
and drops him like a cock, big as he was. By that time, though, in a
twinklin', the master was flat on deck, and the brig's crew showed no
fight--when lo an' behold, my boy, up bundles a score o' strapping
men-o'-war's-men out of the cabin. One or two on us got a cut about the
head, an' my gentleman supper-cargo claps a pistol to my ear from aft,
so we knocked under without more to do. In five minutes time everyman
jack of us had a seizing about his wrists and lower pins,--and says
Job Price, in a givin-up sort o' v'ice, 'You're too cust spry for
playin' jokes on, I calc'late, squire,' he says. 'Jokes!' says the
young feller, 'why, it's no joke--in course you knows me?' 'Niver
see'd ye atween the eyes afore,' says Job, 'but don't bear no malice,
mister, now.' 'That's it,' says the t'other, lookin' at the schooner
again,--'no more I does--so jist think a bit, han't you really a nigger
or so aboard o' ye--if it was _jist_ one?' 'Squash the one!' says
Job, shakin' his head nellicholly like--an' 'Sorry for it,' says the
chap, ''cause ye see I'm the lufftenant belongin' to the Irish, an'
I carn't titch yer schooner if so be ye han't a slave aboard.' 'Lawk
a'mighty!--no!' sings out Job Price, 'cause bein' half blinded he
couldn't ha' noted the lot o' man-o'-war's-men sooner.--'But I _can_,'
says the other, 'for piratecy, ye see; an' what's more,' he says,
'there's no help for it now, I'm afeared, mister what-they-call-ye!'
Well, 'mate, after that ye may fancy our skipper turns terrible down
in the mouth; so without a word more they parbuckles us all down below
into the cabin--an' what does this here lufftenant do but he strips
the whole lot, rigs out as many of his men in our duds, hoists out
a big cask o' water on the brig's far side, and pulls round for the
schooner,--hisself togged out like the skipper, and his odd hands laid
down in the boat's bottom." You won't wonder at my being highly amused
with the fellow's yarn, since the fact was that it happened to be
one of my own adventures in the days of the Iris, two or three years
before, when we saw a good many scenes together, far more, wild and
stirring, of course, in the thick of the slave-trade; but really the
ugly rascal described it wonderfully well.

"Well," said Harry, "I gets my chin shoved up in the starn-windy,
where I see'd the whole thing, and tould the skipper accordently. The
schooner's crew looked out for the water like so many oysters in a
tub; the lufftenant jumps up the side with his men after him, an' not
so much as the cross of two cutlashes did we hear afore the onion-jack
flew out a-peak over her mains'l. In five minutes more, the schooner
fills away before the breeze, and begins to slide off in fine style
after the pair o' brigs, as was nigh half hull-down to seaward by this
time. There we was, left neck an' heel below in the trader, and he
hauled up seemin'ly for the land,--an' arter a bit says the skipper
to me, 'Foster, my lad, I despise this way o' things,' says he, 'an't
there no way on gettin' clear?' 'Never say die, cap'en!' I says; an'
says he, 'I calc'late they left considerable few hands aboard?' 'None
but them sleepy-like scum o' iv'ry men,' I says,--but be blowed if I
see'd what better we was, till down comes a little nigger cabin-boy
for some'at or other, with a knife in his hand. Job fixes his eye on
him--I've heerd he'd a way in his eye with niggers as they couldn't
stand--an' says he, soft-sawderin' like, 'Come here, will ye, my lad,
an' give us a drink,'--so the black come for'ad with a pannikin, one
foot at a time, an' he houlds it out to the skipper's lips--for,
d'ye see, all on us had our flippers lashed behind our backs. 'Now,'
says he, 'thankee, boy,--look in atwixt my legs, and ye'll find a
dollar.' With that, jest as the boy stoops, Job Price ketches his neck
fast betwixt his two knees, an' blowed if he didn't jam them harder,
grinning all the time, till down drops the little black throttled on
the deck. 'That's for thankin' a bloody niggur!' says he, lookin' as
savitch as the devil, and got the knife in his teeth, when he turned
to and sawed through the seizing round my wrists--an' in course I sets
every man clear in quick-sticks. '_Now!_' says Job, lookin' round,
'the quicker the better--that cussed lubber-ratin' hound's got my
schooner, but maybe, my lads, this here iv'ry man'll pay expenses--by
th'almighty, if I'm made out a pirate, I'll arn the name!'

"Well, we squints up the hatchway, and see'd a young midshipman
a-standing with his back to us, watching the brig's crew at the braces,
an' a pistol in one hand--when all at once our skipper slips off his
shoes, run up the stair as quiet as a cat, an' caught the end of a
capstan-bar as lay on the scuttle. With that down he comes crash on
the poor fellow's scull from aft, and brained him in a moment. Every
man of us got bloody-minded with the sight, so we scarce knowed what
we did, ye know, 'mate, afore all hands o' them was gone,--how, I an't
goin' for to say, nor the share as one had in it more nor another. The
long an' the short on it was, we run the brig by sundown in amongst
the creeks up the Camaroons river, thinkin' to lie stowed away close
thereabouts till all wor cold. Hows'ever they kicked up the devil's
delight about a piratecy, and the sloop-o'war comes back shortly,
when night an' day there was that young shark of a lufftenant huntin'
arter us, as sharp as a marlinspike--we dursn't come down the river
nohow, till what with a bad conscience, fogs, and sleepin' every
night within stink o' them blasted muddy mangroves an' bulrushes
together, why, mate, the whole ten hands died off one arter the other
in the fever--leaving ownly me an' the skipper. Job Price was like a
madman over the cargo, worth, good knows how many thousand dollars,
as he couldn't take out--but for my part, I gets the brig's punt one
night and sculls myself ashore, and off like a hare into the bush by
moonlight. No use, ye know, for to say what rum chances I meets with
in the woods, livin' up trees and the like for fear o' illiphants,
sarpents, an' bloody high-annies,--but, blow me, if I didn't think
the farther ye went aloft, the more monkeys an' parrykeets you rowsed
out, jabberin' all night so as a feller couldn't close an eye--an' as
for the sky, be blowed if I ever once sighted it. So, d'ye see, it
puts all notions o' fruits an' flowers out o' my head, an' all them
jimmy-jessamy sort o' happy-go-lucky yarns about barbers' ileyands
and shipherdresses what they used for to spell out o' dicshinars at
school--all gammon, mate!" "Lord love ye, no, surely," said Jack; "it's
in the Bible!" "Ay, ay," said Harry, "that's arter ye've gone to Davy
Jones, no doubt; but I've been in the South-Sy ileyands since, myself,
an' be blowed if it's much better there! Hows'ever, still anon, I took
a new fancy, an' away I makes for the river, in sarch of a nigger
villache, as they calls 'em; and sure enough it warn't long ere right
I plumps in the midst on a lot o' cane huts amongst trees. But sich a
shine and a nitty as I kicks up, ye see, bein' half naked, for all the
world like a wild man o' the woods, an' for a full hour I has the town
to myself, so I hoists my shirt on a stick over the hut I took, by way
of a flag o' truce, an' at last they all begins for to swarm in again.
Well, ye see, I knowed the ways o' the natifs thereabouts pretty well,
an' what does I do but I'd laid myself flat afore a blasted ugly divvle
of a wooden himmache, as stood on the flour, an' I wriggles and twists
myself, and groans like a chap in a fit--what they calls _fittish_,
thereaway--an' in course, with that they logs me down at once for a
rig'lar holy-possel from Jerusalem. The long an' the short on it was,
the fittish-man takes me under charge, and sets me to tell fortins or
the like with an ould quadrant they'd got somewheres--gives me a hut
an' two black wives, begad! and there I lives for two or three weeks on
end, no doubt, as proud as Tommy--when, one fine morning, what does I
see off shore in the river but that confounded man-o'-war tender, all
ship-shape an' ataunto again. So, my boy, I gives 'em to understand as
how, bein' over vallible at home with the King of England, in course
he'd sent for to puckalow me away--an' no sooner said, but the whole
town gets in a fluster--the fittish-man, which a knowing chap _he_ was,
takes an' rubs me from heel to truck with ile out on a sartain nut, as
turned me coal-black in half an hour, an' as soon as I looks in the
creek, 'mate, be blowed if I'd a knewn myself from a nigger, somehow!"
To tell the truth, as _I_ thought to myself, it was no wonder, as
Master Harry's nose and lips were by no means in the classic style,
and his skin, as it was, didn't appear of the whitest. "So there, ye
know, I sits before a hut grindin' away at maize, with nothink else but
a waist-cloth round me, and my two legs stuck out, till such time as
the lufftenant an' two boats' crews had sarched the villache, havin'
heerd, no doubt, of a white man thereabouts--an' at last off they went.
Well, in course, at first this here affair gives the fittish-man a
lift in the niggerses eyes, by reason o' havin' turned a white man
black--'cause, ye see, them fittish-men has a riglar-bred knowledge on
plants and sichlike. But hows'ever, in a day or two I begins for to
get rayther oneasy, seein' it didn't wash off, an' accordently I made
beknown as much to the fittish-man, when, my boy, if he doesn't shake
his mop-head, and rubs noses, as much as to say, 'We an't agoin' to
part.' 'Twas no use, and thinks I, 'Ye man-eatin' scum, be blowed if I
don't put your neck out, then!' So I turns to with my knife on a log o'
wood, carves a himmage twice as big an' ugly as his'n, and builds a hut
over it, where I plays all the conjerin' tricks I could mind on--till,
be hanged if the niggers didn't begin to leave the fittish-man pretty
fast, an' make a blessed sight more o' me. I takes a couple more wives,
gets drunk every day on palm-wine and toddy-juice--as for the hogs an'
the yams they brought me, why I couldn't stow 'em away; an' in place
o' wantin' myself white again, I rubs myself over an' over with that
ere nut, let alone palm-ile, till the bloody ould fittish-man looks
brown alongside o' me. At last the king o' the niggers thereaway--King
Chimbey they called him, or some'at o' the sort--he sends for to see
me, an' away to his town they takes me, a mile or two up the country,
where I see'd him; but I'm blowed, Jack, if he'd got a crown on at
all, ounly a ould red marine's coat, an' a pair o' top-boots, what was
laid away when he warn't in state. Hows'ever he gives me two white
beans an' a red un, in sign o' high favour, and gives me to know as I
wor to stay there. But one thing I couldn't make out, why the black
king's hut an' the josst-house, as they calls it, was all stuck round
with bones an' dead men's skulls!--'twan't long, though, ere I finds
it out, 'mate! That ere fittish-man, d'ye see, wor a right-down imp to
look at, and devilish wicked he eyed me; but still anon I sends over
for my wives, turns out a black feller out on his hut, an' slings a
hammock in it, when the next day or so I meets the first fittish-man
in the woods, an' the poor divvle looks wonderfle friendly-like,
makin' me all kinds o' woeful signs, and seemin'ly as much as to say
for to keep a bright look-out on the other. All on a suddent what does
he do, but he runs a bit, as far as a tree, picks up a sort of a red
mushroom, an' he rubs with it across the back o' my hand, gives a wink,
and scuttles off. What it meaned I couldn't make out, till I gets back
to the town, when I chanced to look at my flipper, and there I see a
clean white streak alongst it! Well, I thinks, liberty's sweet, an'
I'm blessed if a man's able to cruize much to windward o' right-down
slavery, thinks I, if he's black! Howsomever, thinks I, I'll jest hold
on a _bit_ longer. Well, next day, the black king had the blue-devils
with drinkin' rum, an' he couldn't sleep nohow, 'cause, as I made out,
he'd killed his uncle, they said--I doesn't know but he'd eaten him,
too--anyhow, I see'd him eat as much of a fat hog, raw, as ud sarve
out half the watch--so the fittish-man tells him there's nought for
it but to please the fittish. What that wor, blowed if I knew; but no
sooner sundown nor they hauls me out o' my hut, claps me in a stinking
hole as dark as pitch, and leaves me to smell hell till mornin', as I
thought. Jist about the end o' the mid-watch, there kicks up a rumpus
like close-reef taups'ls in a hurricane--smash goes the sticks over me;
I seed the stars, and a whole lot o' strange blacks with long spears,
a-fightin', yellin', tramplin', an' twistin' in the midst o' the
huts,--and off I'm hoisted in the gang, on some feller's back or other,
at five knots the hour, through the woods,--till down we all comes in
a drove, plash amongst the very swamps close by the river, where, lo
an' behold, I makes out a schooner afloat at her anchor. The next thing
I feels a blasted red-hot iron come hiss across my shoulders, so I
jumped up and sang out like blazes, in course. But, my flippers bein'
all fast, 'twas no use: I got one shove as sent me head-foremost into
a long canoe, with thirty or forty niggers stowed away like cattle,
and out the men pulls for the schooner. A big bright fire there was
ashore, astarn of us, I mind, where they heated the irons, with a chap
in a straw hat sarvin' out rum to the wild blacks from a cask; and ye
saw the pitch-black woods behind, with the branches shoved out red in
the light on it, an' a bloody-like patch on the water under a clump
o' sooty mangrooves. An' be d--d, Jack, if I didn't feel the life
sick in me, that time--for, d'ye see, I hears nothin' spoke round me
but cussed French, Portingeese, an' nigger tongue--'specially when it
jist lightens on me what sort on a case I were in; an' thinks I, 'By
G--if I'm not took for a _slave_, arter all!--an' be hanged but I left
that 'ere, 'farnal mushroom a-lying under that there tree yonder!' I
begins for to think o' matters an' things, an' about Bristol quay, an'
my old mother, an' my sister as was at school--mind ye, 'mate, all
atwixt shovin' off the mangroves an' coming bump again the schooner's
side--an' blow me if I doesn't tarn to, an' nigh-hand commences for
to blubber--when jist then what does I catch sight on, by the lantern
over the side, but that 'ere villain of a fittish-man, an' what's more,
King Chimbey hisself, both hauled in the net. And with that I gives
a chuckle, as ye may suppose, an' no mistake; for, thinks I, so far
as consarns myself, this here can't last long, blow me, for sooner or
later I'll find some un to speak to, even an I niver gets rid o' this
here outer darkness--be blowed if I han't got a white mind, any ways,
an' free I'll be, my boy! But I laughs, in course, when I see'd the
fittish-man grin at me,--for thinks I, my cocks, you're logged down for
a pretty long spell of it!"

"Well, bo', somehow I knows no more about it till such time as I sort
o' wakes up in pitch-dark, all choke and sweat, an' a feller's dirty
big toe in my mouth, with mine in some un else's eye,--so out I spits
it, an' makes scramble for my life. By the roll an' the splash, I
knowed I wor down in the schooner's hold; an' be hanged if there wan't
twenty or thirty holding on like bees to a open weather-port, where the
fresh wind and the spray come a-blowing through--but there, my boy,
'twere no go for to get so much as the tip o' yer nose. Accordently, up
I prizes myself with my feet on another poor devil's wool,--for, d'ye
see, by that time I minds a man's face no more nor so much timber!--an'
I feels for the hatch over me, where by good luck, as I thought, there
I finds it not battened down yet, so I shoved my head through on deck
like a blacksmith's hammer. Well, 'mate, there was the schooner's deck
wet, a swell of a sea on round her, well off the land, no trifle of a
morning gale, and the craft heeling to it--a lot o' hands up on her
yards, a-reefing at the boom mains'l and fo'taups'l, an' begod if my
heart doesn't jump into my mouth with the sight, for I feels it for
all the world like a good glass o' grog, settin' all to rights. Two or
three there was walkin' aft the quarterdeck, so out I sings 'Hullo!
hullo there, shipmates, give us a hand out o' this!' Two on 'em comes
forud, one lifts a handspike, but both gives a grin, as much as to
say it's some nigger tongue or other, in place o' good English--for,
d'ye see, they'd half their faces black-beard, and rings i' their
ears--when up walks another chap like the skipper, an' more the looks
of a countryman. 'D--n it,' roars I again, 'I'm a free-born Briton!'
with that he lends me a squint, looks to the men, an' gives some sort
o' a sign--when they jams-to the hatch and nips me fast by the neck.
'Devil of a deep beggar, this here!' says he; 'jist, give him the gag,
my lads,' says he; 'the planters often thinks more of a dumby, 'cause
he works the more, and a stout piece o' goods this _is_!' says he.
Well, 'mate, what does they do but one pulls out a knife, an' be blowed
if they warn't agoin' for to cut out my tongue; but the men aloft sung
out to hoist away the yards; so they left me ready clinched till they'd
belay the ropes. Next, a hand forud, by good luck, hailed 'Sail-O,' and
they'd some'at else to think o' besides me; for there, my boy, little
more nor three miles to wind'ard, I see'd the Irish as she come driving
bodily out o' the mist, shakin' out her three to'gallant-sails, an' a
white spray flying with her off one surge to another. Bloody bad it
was, mind ye, for my wind-pipe, for every time the schooner pitched,
away swings my feet clear o' the nigger's heads,--'cause, d'ye see, we
chanced for to be stowed on the 'tween-decks, an' another tier there
was, stuffed in her lower hold--an' there I stuck, 'mate, so as I
couldn't help watchin' the whole chase, till at last the hatch slacks
nip a bit, and down I plumps into the dark again."

"Well, bo', the breeze got lighter, an' to all seemin' the cursed
schooner held her own; but hows'ever, the sloop-o'-war kept it up all
day, and once or twice she tips us a long shot; till by sunset, as I
reckoned, we hears no more on her. The whole night long, again, there
we stews as thick as peas--I keeps harknin' to the sighs an' groans,
an' the wash along the side, in a sort of a doze; an' s'help me Bob,
I fancies for a moment I'm swinging in my hammock in the fox'sle, an'
it's no more but the bulkheads and timbers creakin'. Then I thinks
its some un else I dreams on, as is d--d oneasy, like to choke for
heat and thirst; an' I'm a-chuckling at him--when up I wakes with the
cockroaches swarming over my face. Another groan runs from that end to
this, the whole lot on us tries hard, and kicks their neighbours to
turn, an' be blowed if I knowed but I was buried in a churchyard, with
the blasted worms all acrawl about me. All on a sudden, nigh-hand to
daybreak it was, I hears a gun to wind'ard, so with that I contrives
for to scramble up with my eye to the scuttle-port. 'Twas a stiffish
breeze, an' I see'd some'at lift on a sea, like a albatrosse's wing,
as one may say--though what wor this but the Irish's bit of a tender,
standing right across our bows--for the schooner, ye see, changed her
course i' the night-time, rig'lar slaver's dodge, thinkin' for to drop
the sloop-o'-war, sure enough. But as for the little f'lucca, why,
they hadn't bargained for her at all, lying-to as she did, with a rag
o' sail up, in the troughs of the sea, till the schooner was close on
her. Well, no sooner does they go about, my boy, but the muskeety of a
cruiser lets drive at her off the top of a sea, as we hung broadside to
them in stays. Blessed if I ever see sich a mark!--the shot jist takes
our fore-top fair slap--for the next minute I see'd the fore-topmast
come over the lee-side, an' astarn we begins to go directly. What's
more, mate, I never see a small craft yet handled better in a sea, as
that 'ere chap did--nor the same thing done, cleaner at any rate--for
they jist comes nigh-hand tip on our bowsprit-end, as the schooner
lifted--then up in the wind they went like clock-work, with a starnway
on as carried the f'lucca, right alongside on us, like a coachman
backing up a lane, and _grind_ we both heaved on the swell, with the
topmast hamper an' its canvass for a fender atwixt us. Aboard jumps
the man-o'-war's-men, in course, cutlash in hand, an' for five minutes
some tough work there was on deck, by the tramp, the shots, an' the
curses over our heads--when off they shoved the hatches, and I see'd
a tall young feller in a gold-banded cap look below. Be blowed if I
wasn't goin' to sing out again, for, d'ye see, I'm blessed if I took
mind on the chap at all, as much by reason o' the blood an' the smoke
he'd got on his face as aught else. Hows'ever, I holds a bit meantime,
on account o' Job Price an' that 'ere piratecy consarn--till what does
I think, a hour or two arter, when I finds as this here were the very
lufftenant as chased us weeks on end in the Camaroons. So a close
stopper, sure enough, I keeps on my jaw; an' as for scentin' me out
amongst a couple o' hundred blacks in the hold, why, 'twere fit to Paul
my own mother herself.

"Well, Jack, by this time bein' near Serry Lone, next day or so we
got in--where, what does they do but they _lubber-rates_ us all, as
they calls it, into a barracoon ashore, till sich time as the slaver
ud be condemned--an' off goes the tender down coast again. Arter
that, they treats us well enough, but still I dursn't say a word; for
one day, as we goed to work makin' our huts, there I twigs a printed
bill upon the church-wall, holdin' out a reward, d'ye see, consarnin'
the piratecy, with my oun name and my very build logged down--ownly,
be hanged if they doesn't tack on to it all, byway of a topgallant
ink-jury to a man, these here words--'He's a very ugly feller--looks
like a furriner.' Well, mate, I an't a young maiden, sure enough--but,
thinks I, afore I fell foul o' that blasted fittish-man an' his nut,
cuss me if I looks jist so bad as that 'ere! So ye know this goes more
to my heart nor aught else, till there I spells out another confounded
lie in the bill, as how Cap'en Price's men had mutinied again him,
and murdered the brig's crew--when, in course, I sees the villain's
whole traverse at once. So seein' I watched my chance one night, an'
went aboard of a Yankee brig as were to sail next day; an' I tells the
skipper part o' the story, offerin' for to work my passage across for
nothin'--which, says he, 'It's a hinteresstin' narritife'--them was
his words; an' says he, 'It's a land o' freedom is the States, an' no
mistake--an't there no more on ye in the like case?' he says. 'Not as
I knows on, sir,' I answers; an' says he, 'Plenty o' coloured gen'lmen
there is yonder, all in silks an' satins; an' I hear,' says he,
'there's one on 'em has a chance o' bein President next time--anyhow
I'm your friend,' says he, quite hearty. Well, the long an' short of
it was, I stays aboard the brig, works my spell in her, an' takes my
trick at the helm--but I'm blowed, Jack, if the men ud let me sleep
in the fok'sle, 'cause I was a black,--so I slung my hammock aft with
the nigger stoo'rd. D'ye see, I misgived myself a bit when we sank the
coast, for thinks I its in Africay as that 'ere blessed mushroom are to
be found, to take the colour off me--hows'ever, I thinks it carn't but
wear out in time, now I've got out o' that 'ere confounded mess, where,
sure enough, things was against me--so at last the v'yage were up, an'
the brig got in to New Orleens. There I walks aft to the skipper for to
take leave, when says he, wonderfle friendly-like,--'Now my lad,' says
he, 'I'm goin' up river a bit for to see a friend as takes a interesst
in your kind--an' if ye likes, why, I'll pay yer passage that far?' In
course I agrees, and up river we goes, till we lands at a fine house,
where I'm left in a far-handy, ye know, while the skipper an' his
friend has their dinner. All at once the gen'lman shoves his head out
of a doure, takes a look at me, an' in again,--arter that I hears the
chink o' dollars--then the skipper walks out, shuts the doure, an' says
he to me, 'Now,' he says, 'that's a 'cute sort o' tale you tould me, my
lad--but it's a lie, I guess!' 'Lie, sir!' says I, 'what d'ye mean?'
for ye see that 'ere matter o' the iv'ry brig made me sing small, at
first. 'No slack, Pumpey,' says he, liftin' his fore-finger like a
schoolmaster,--ain't yer name Pumpey?' says he. 'Pumpey be d----d!'
says I, 'my name's Jack Brown'--for that wor the name, I'd gived him,
afore. 'Oh!' says he, 'jest say it's Gin'ral Washinton, right off!
Come,' says he, 'I guess I'd jest tell ye what tripe you belongs
to--you're a Mandingy niggur,' says he. 'It's all very well,' he says,
'that 'ere yarn, but that's wot they'd all say when they comes, they've
been dyed black! Why,' says he, 'doesn't I see that 'ere brand one
night on yer back--there's yer arms all over pagan tattooin'--' 'Bless
ye, cap'en,' I says, a-holdin' up my arm, 'it's crowns an' anchers!'
'Crowns!' says he, turnin' up his nose, 'what does we know o' crowns
hereaway--_we_ ain't barbers yet, I guess.'--Of what he meaned by
_barbers_ here, mate, I'm hanged if I knowed--'sides,' says he, 'you
speaks broken Aimerricane!' 'Merricain?' I says, 'why, I speaks
good English! an' good reason, bein' a free-born Briton--as white's
yerself, if so be I could ownly clap hands for a minnet on some o'
them mushrooms I tould ye on!' 'Where does they grow, then?' axes he,
screwin' one eye up. 'In Africay yonder, sir,' I says, 'more's the pity
I hadn't the chance to lay hands on 'em again!' 'Phoo!' says he, 'glad
they ain't _here_! An does you think we're agoin' for to send all the
way over to Africay for them mushrooms you talks on? Tell ye what, yer
free papers 'ud do ye a sight more good _here_!' says he--'its no use,
with a black skin, for to claim white laws; an' what's more, ye're too
tarnation ugly-faced for it, let alone colour, Pumpey, my man!' he
says. 'I tell ye what it is, Cap'en Edwards,' says I, 'my frontispiece
an't neither here nor there, but if you calls me Pumpey again, 'blowed
an' I don't pitch inty ye!'--so with that I handles my bones in a way
as makes him hop inside the doure--an' says the skipper, houldin' it
half shut, 'Harkee, lad,' he says, 'it's no go your tryin' for to run,
or they'll make ye think angels o' bo'sun's-mates. But what's more,'
says he, 'niver you whisper a word o' what ye tells me, about nuts an'
mushrooms, or sichlike trash--no more will I; for d'ye see, my lad,
in that case they'd jest _hush ye up_ for good!' 'Who d'ye mean!' I
says, all abroad, an' of a shiver, like--mindin' on the slave-schooner
again. 'Why, the planter's people,' says he, 'as I've sold ye to;' an'
with that he p'ints into his mouth, and shuts the door. Well, 'mate, ye
may fancy how I feels! Here I stands, givin' a look round for a fair
offing; but there was bulwarks two-fadom high all round the house, a
big bloodhound chained, with his muzzle on his two paws, an' nobody
seems for to mind me. So I see'd it were all up wonst more; an' at the
thou't of a knife in my tongue, I sits right down in the far-handy,
rig'lar flabbergasted,--when out that 'ere blasted skipper shoots his
head again, an' says he 'Pumpey, my lad, good day,' says he; 'you knows
some'at o' the water, an' as they've boat-work at times hereaway, I
don't know but, if you behaves yerself, they'll trust you with an oar
now an' then; for I tould yer master jist now,' says he, 'as how you
carn't speak no English!' Well, I gives him a damn, 'cause by that time
I hadn't a word to throw at a dog; an' shortly arter, up comes the
overseer with his black mate, walks me off to a shed, strips me, and
gives me a pair o' cotton drawers an' a broad hat--so out I goes the
next mornin' for to hoe sugar-cane with a gang o' niggers.

"Well, 'mate, arter that I kept close enough--says no more but mumbles
a lot o' no-man's jargon, as makes 'em all log me down for a sort
o' double-guinea savitch--, cause why, I were hanged afeared for my
tongue, seein', if so be I lost it, I'd be a nigger for ever, sure
enough. So the blacks, for most part bein' country bred, they talks
nothin' but a blessed jumble, for all the world like babbies at home;
an' what does they do but they fancies me a rig'lar African nigger,
as proud as Tommy, an' a'most ready for to washup me they wor--why,
the poor divvles ud bring me yams an' fish, they kisses my flippers
an' toes as I'd been the Pope; an' as for the young girls, I'm blowed
if I wan't all the go amongst em--though I carn't say the same where
both 's white, ye know! What with the sun an' the cocoa-nut ile, to
my thinkin', I gets blacker an' blacker--'blessed if I didn't fancy a
feller's very mind tarned nigger. I larns their confounded lingo, an'
I answers to the name o' Pumpey, blast it, till I right-down forgets
that I'd ever another. As for runnin', look ye, I knowed 'twas no use
thereaway, as long as my skin tould against me, an' as long as Africay
wor where it wor. So, my boy, I see'd pretty clear, ye know, as this
here bloody world ud turn a man into a rig'lar built slave-nigger in
the long run, if he was a angel out o' heaven!

"Well, 'mate, one day I'm in the woods amongst a gang, chopping
firewood for the sugar-mill, when, by the Lord! what does I light on
betwixt some big ground-leaves and sichlike, but a lot o' them very
same red mushrooms as the fittish-man shows me in Africay!--blowed if
there warn't a whole sight o' them round about, too! So I pulls enough
for ten, ye may be sure, stuffs 'em in my hat, an' that same night,
as soon as all's dark, off I goes into the woods, right by the stars,
for the nearest town 'twixt there an' New Orleens. As soon as I got
nigh-hand it, there I sits down below a tree amongst the bushes, hauls
off my slops, an' I turns to for to rub myself all over, from heel to
truck, till daybreak. So, in course, I watches for the light angshis
enough, as ye may suppose, to know what colour I were. Well, strike me
lucky, Jack, if I didn't jump near a fadom i' the air, when at last I
sees I'm _white_ wonst more!--'blessed if I didn't feel myself a new
man from stem to starn! I makes right for a creek near by, looks at
my face in the water, then up I comes again, an' every bloody yarn o'
them cussed slave-togs I pulls to bits, when I shoves 'em under the
leaves. Arter that I took fair to the water for about a mile, jist to
smooth out my wake, like; then I shins aloft up a tree, where I stowed
myself away till noon--'cause, d'ye see, I knowed pretty well what to
look for next. An' by this time, mind ye, all them queer haps made a
feller wonderfle sharp, so I'd schemed out the whole chart aforehand
how to weather on them cussed Yankees. Accordently, about noon, what
does I hear but that 'ere blasted bloodhound comin' along up creek,
with a set o' slave-catchers astarn, for to smell out my track. With
that, down I went in the water again, rounds a point into the big
river, where I gets abreast of a landin'-place near the town, with
craft laying out-stream, boats plying, an' all alive. D'ye see, bo',
I'd got no clothes at all, an' how for to rig myself again, 'blowed if
I knows--seein' as how by this time I'd tarned as white as the day I
were born, an' a naked white man in a town arn't no better nor a black
nigger. So in I swims like a porpus afore a breeze, an' up an' down I
ducks in the shallow, for all the world like a chap a-takin' a bath;
an' out I hollers to all an' sundry, with a Yankee twang i' my nose,
for to know if they'd see'd my clothes, till a whole lot on 'em crowds
on the quay. Hows'ever, I bethinks me on that 'ere blasted brand atwixt
my shoulders, an' I makes myself out as modest as a lady, kicks out
my legs, and splashes like a whale aground, an' sticks out my starn
to 'em for to let 'em see it's white. 'Hullo!' I sings out, 'han't ye
seen my clothes?' 'No, stranger,' says they, 'some un's runned off with
'em, we calc'lates!' With that I tells 'em I'm a Boston skipper new
comed up from New Orleens; an' not bein' used to the heat, why, I'd
took a bath the first thing; an' I 'scribes the whole o' my togs as if
I'd made 'em,--'split new,' says I, 'an' a beaver hat, more by token
there's my name inside it; an'' says I, 'there's notes for a hundred
dollars in my trousers!' By this time down comes the slave-catchers,
an' says they, hearin' on it, 'That 'ere tarnation niggur's gone of
with 'em, we'll know un by them marks well enough,' says they, an'
off they goes across river. 'Hullo!' I sings out to the folks, 'I'm a
gettin' cold here, so I guess I'll come ashore again, slick off!' I
twangs out. 'Guess ye can't, straunger!' they hails; 'not till we gets
ye some kiverin's!--we're considerable proper here, we are!' 'An't
this a free country, then?' I says, givin' a divvle of a splash; an'
with that they begs an' axes me for to hould on, an' they'd fix me, as
they calls it, in no time. Well, mate, what does they do but one an'
another brings me somethin' as like what I 'scribed as could be, hands
'em along on a pole, an' I puts 'em on then an' there. Arter that, the
ladies o' the place bein' blessed modest, an' all of a fright leest
I'd a comed out an' gone through the town,--why, out o' grannytude,
as they says, they gets up a supper-scription on a hundred dollars to
make up my loss--has a public meetin' logged down for the evenin', when
I'm for to indress the citizens, as they says, all about freedom an'
top-gallantry, an' sichlike. Hows'ever, I jist sticks my tongue in my
cheek, eats a blessed good dinner in a hot-ell, watches my chance, an'
off by a track-boat at sundown to New Orleens, where I shipped aboard
a English barque, an' gets safe out to sea wonst more." "Lord love
ye, Harry!" exclaimed Jack hereupon, "the likes o' that now! But I've
heerd say, them fittish-men you talks on has wonderful knowledge--why,
mayhap it's them as keeps all the niggers black, now?" "Well, bo',"
said Harry, "I don't doubt but if them 'Merricane slaves jist knowed
o' that 'ere red mushroom, why, they'd show the Yankees more stripes
nor stars! D'ye see, if a Yankee knowed as his own father were a-hoein'
his sugar-canes, 'blowed if he wouldn't make him work up his liberty
in dollars! All the stripes, d'ye see, 'mate, is for the blacks, an'
all the stars is for the whites, in them Yankee colours as they brags
so much about! But what I says is, it's curst hard to get through this
here world, shipmate, if ye doesn't keep well to wind'ard of it!" I
was the more amused with this account of the ugly rascal's adventures,
that I remembered two or three of the occasions he mentioned, and he
told them pretty exactly so far as I had to do with them. As for the
fetish-man's curious nut, and that extraordinary mushroom of his,
why 'ten to one' thought I, 'but all the while the fellow never once
touched a piece of _soap_!' which, no doubt, had as much to do with it
as anything besides. Somehow or other, notwithstanding, I had taken
almost a fancy to the villain--such a rough sample of mankind he
was, with his uncouth, grumpy voice and his huge black beard; and he
gave the story in a cool, scornful sort of way that was laughable in
itself. 'So, my lad,' I thought, 'it seems you and I have met twice
before; but if you play any of your tricks this time, Master Harry,
I hope you've found your match;' and certainly, if I had fancied my
gentleman was in the slaver's hold that time off the African coast,
I'd have 'lubber-rated' him with a vengeance! "I say, 'mates," said
he again, with a sulky kind of importance, to those of the watch who
had gathered round during the last half of his yarn, "there's three
things I hates--an' good reason!" "What be's they, Harry?" asked the
rest. "One's a Yankee," said he, "an' be blowed to him! the second's
a slaver; and the third is--I carn't abide a nigger, nohow. But d'ye
see, there's one thing as I likes----" Here eight bells struck out,
and up tumbled the watch below, with Jacobs' hearty face amongst them;
so I made my way aft, and, of course, missed hearing what that said
delightful thing might be, which this tarry Æsop approved of so much.

While I was listening, I had scarcely noticed, that within the last
few minutes a light air had begun to play aloft among the higher
canvass, a faint cat's-paw came ruffling here and there a patch of the
water, till by this time the Indiaman was answering her wheel again,
and moving slowly ahead, as the breeze came down and crept out to the
leeches of her sail, with a sluggish lifting of her heavy fore-course.
The men were all below at breakfast, forward, and, of course, at that
hour the poop above me was quite a Babel of idlers' voices; while I
looked into the compass and watched the ship's head falling gradually
off from north-east-by-north, near which it had stuck pretty close
since daybreak. The sun was brought before her opposite beam, and such
a perfect gush of hazy white light shot from that quarter over the
larboard bulwarks, that thereaway, in fact, there might have been a
fleet of ships, or a knot of islands, and we none the wiser, as you
couldn't look into it at all. The chief mate came handing a wonderfully
timid young lady down the poop-ladder with great care, and as soon as
they were safe on the quarterdeck, she asked with a confiding sort of
lisp, "And where are we going _now_ then, Mr Finch?" "Well, Miss,"
simpered he, "wherever _you_ please, I'll be glad to conduct you!"
"Oh, but the ship I mean," replied she, giggling prettily. "Why," said
Finch, stooping down to the binnacle, "she heads due south-east at
present, Miss." "I _am so_ glad you are going on again!" said the young
lady; "but oh! when shall we see dear _land_ once more, Mr Finch?" "Not
for more than a week, I fear," answered the mate, "when we arrive at
the Cape of Good Hope. But there, Miss, your poetic feelings will be
gratified, I assure you! The hills there, I might say, Miss Brodie," he
went on, "not to speak of the woods, are quite dramatic! You mustn't
suppose the rough mariner, rude as he seems, Miss Brodie, is entirely
devoid of romance in his sentiments, I hope!" and he looked down for
the twentieth time that morning at his boots, as he handed her down the
cabin hatchway, longing to see the Cape, no doubt. 'Much romance, as
you call it, there is in ugly Harry yonder!' thought I; and comparing
this sort of stuff, aft, with the matter-of-fact notions before the
mast, made me the more anxious for what might turn up in a few hours,
with this gallant first officer left in full charge, and the captain,
as I understood, unable to leave his cot. A good enough seaman the
fellow was, so far as your regular deep-sea work went, which those
India voyagers had chiefly to do with then; but for aught out of the
way, or a sudden pinch, why, the peace had just newly set them free of
their leading-strings, and here this young mate brought his new-fangled
school navigation, forsooth, to run the Seringapatam into some mess
or other; whereas, in a case of the kind, I had no doubt he would
prove as helpless as a child. By this time, for my part, all my wishes
for some ticklish adventure were almost gone, when I thought of our
feelings at the loss of the boat, as well as the number of innocent
young creatures on board, with Lota Hyde herself amongst them: while
here had I got myself fairly set down for a raw griffin. Yet neither
Westwood nor I, unless it came to the very worst, could, venture to
make himself openly useful! I was puzzled both what to think of our
exact case, and what to do; whereas a pretty short time in these
latitudes, as the foremast-man had said, might finish our business
altogether; indeed, the whole look of things, somehow or other, at
that moment, had a strange unsettled touch about it, out of which
one accustomed to those parts might be sure some change would come.
The air, a little ago, was quite suffocating, the heat got greater;
and the breeze, though it seemed to strengthen aloft, at times sank
quietly out of her lower canvass like a breath drawn in, and caught
it again as quietly ere it fell to the masts. What with the slow huge
heave of the water, as it washed glittering past, and what with the
blue tropical sky overhead, getting paler and paler at the horizon
astern, from fair heat--while the sunlight and the white haze on our
larboard beam, made _it_ a complete puzzle to behold--why, I felt just
like some fellow in one of those stupid dreams after a heavy supper,
with nothing at all in them, when you don't know how long or how often
you've dreamt it before. Deuce the hand or foot you can stir, and yet
you've a notion of something horrid that's sure to come upon you. We
couldn't be much more than a hundred miles or so to south'ard of St
Helena; but we might be two thousand miles off the land, or we might be
fifty. I had only been once in my life near the coast thereaway, and
certainly my recollections of it weren't the most pleasant. As for the
charts, so little was known of it that we couldn't depend upon them;
yet there was no doubt the ship had been all night long in a strong
set of water toward north-east, right across her course. For my own
part, I was as anxious as any one else to reach the Cape, and get rid
of all this cursed nonsense; for since last night, I saw quite well
by her look that Violet Hyde would never favour me, if I kept in her
wake to the day of judgment. There was I, too, every time I came on
deck and saw those roundhouse doors, my heart leapt into my throat,
and I didn't know port from starboard! But what was the odds, that
I'd have kissed the very pitch she walked upon, when _she_ wasn't for
_me_!--being deep in love don't sharpen the faculties, neither, and the
more I thought of matters the stupider I seemed to get. "Green Hand!"
thought I, "as Jacobs and the larboard watch call me, it appears--why,
they're right enough! A green hand I came afloat nine years ago, and by
Jove! though I know the sea and what belongs to it, from sheer liking
to them, as 'twere--it seems a green hand I'm to stick--seeing I know
so blessed little of womankind, not to speak of that whole confounded
world ashore! With all one's schemes and one's weather-eye, something
new always keeps turning up to show one what an ass he is; and hang me,
if I don't begin to suppose I'm only fit for working small traverses
upon slavers and jack-nasty-faces, after all! There's Westwood,
without troubling himself, seems to weather upon me, with her, like a
Baltimore clipper on a Dutch schuyt!" In short, I wanted to leave the
Seringapatam as soon as I could, wish them all a good voyage together
away for Bombay, sit down under Table Mountain, damn my own eyes, and
then perhaps go and travel amongst the Hottentots by way of a change.

The chief officer came aft towards the binnacle again, with a strut
in his gait, and more full of importance than ever, of course. "This
breeze'll hold, I think, Macleod?" said he to the second mate, who was
shuffling about in a lounging, unseamanlike way he had, as if he felt
uncomfortable on the quarterdeck, and both hands in his jacket pockets.
"Well," said the Scotchman, "do ye not think it's too early begun,
sir?" and he looked about like an old owl, winking against the glare
of light past the mainsheet to larboard; "I'll not say but it will,
though," continued he, "but 'odsake, sir, it's terrible warm!" "Can't
be long ere we get into Cape Town, now," said the mate, "so you'll turn
the men on deck as soon as breakfast's over, Mr Macleod, and commence
giving her a coat of paint outside, sir." "Exactly, Mr Finch," said
the other, "all hands it'll be, sir? For any sake, Mr Finch, give thay
lazy scoundrels something ado!" "Yes, all hands," said Finch; and he
was going below, when the second mate sidled up to him again, as if
he had something particular to say. "The captain'll be quite better
by this time, no doubt, Mr Finch?" asked he. "_Well_--d'ye mean?"
inquired the mate, rather shortly; "why no, sir--when the surgeon saw
him in the morning-watch, he said it was a fever, and the sooner we
saw the Cape, the better for him." "No doubt, no doubt, sir," said
the second-mate, thoughtfully, putting his fore-finger up his twisted
nose, which I noticed he did in such cases, as if the twist had to do
with his memory,--"no doubt, sir, that's just it! The doctor's a sharp
Edinbro' lad--did he see aucht bye common about the captain, sir?"
"No," said Finch, "except that he wanted to go on deck this morning,
and the surgeon took away his clothes and left the door locked." "Did
he though?" asked Macleod, shaking his head, and looking a little
anxious; "didna he ask for aucht in particular, sir?" "Not that I
heard of, Mr Macleod," replied the mate; "what do you mean?" "Did he
no ask for a green leaf?" replied the second mate. "Pooh!" said Finch,
"what if he did?" "Well, sir," said Macleod, "neither you nor the
doctor's sailed five voy'ges with the captain, like me. He's a quiet
man, Captain Weelumson, an' well he knows his calling; but sometimes
warm weather doesn't do with him, more especial siccan warm weather
as this, when the moon's full, as it is the night, ye know, Mr Finch.
There's something else besides that, though, when he's taken that way."
"Well, what is it?" asked the mate carelessly. "Oo!" said Macleod,
"it can't be _that_ this time, of course, sir,--it's when he's near
the _land_! The captain knows the smell of it, these times, Mr Finch,
as well's a cockroach does--an' it's then he asks for a green leaf,
and wants to go straight ashore--I mind he did it the voy'ge before
last, sir. He's a quiet man, the captain, as I said, for ord'nar'--but
when he's roused, he's a--" "Why, what was the matter with him?" said
Finch, more attentive than before, "you don't mean to say--? go on, Mr
Macleod." The second mate, however, looked cautious, closed his lips
firmly, and twirled his red whiskers, as he glanced with one eye aloft
again. "Hoo!" said he, carelessly, "hoo, it's nothing, nothing,--they
just, I'm thinking, sir, what they call disgestion ashore--all frae the
stommach, Mr Finch! We used just for to lock the state-room door, an'
never let on we heard--but at any rate, sir, _this_ is no the thing
at all, ye know!" "Mester Semm," continued he to the fat midshipman,
who came slowly up from the steerage, picking his teeth with a
pocket-knife, "go forred and get the bo'sun to turn up all hands."

"Sir," said I, stepping up to the mate next moment, before the
roundhouse, "might I use the freedom of asking whereabouts we are at
present?" Finch gave me a look of cool indifference, without stirring
head or hand; which I saw, however, was put on, as, ever since our
boating affair, the man evidently detested me, with all his pretended
scorn. "Oh certainly, sir!" said he, "of course!--sorry I haven't the
ship's log here to show you--but it's two hundred miles or so below St
Helena, eight hundred miles odd off south-west African coast, with a
light westerly breeze bound for the Cape of Good Hope--so after that
you can look about you, sir!" Are you _sure_ of all that, sir?" asked
I, seriously. "Oh, no, of course not!" said he, still standing as
before, "not in the least, sir! It's nothing but quadrant, sextant,
and chronometer work, after all--which every young gentleman don't
believe in!" Then he muttered aloud, as if to himself, "Well, if the
captain _should_ chance to ask for a _green_ leaf, I know where to
find it for him!" I was just on the point of giving him some angry
answer or other, and perhaps spoiling all, when I felt a tap on my
shoulder, and on turning round saw the Indian judge, who had found me
in the way either of his passage or his prospect, on stepping out of
the starboard door. "Eh!" said he, jocularly, as I begged his pardon,
"eh, young sir--I've nothing to do with pardons--always leave that to
the governor-general and councillors! Been doing anything wrong, then?
Ah, what's this--still calm, or some of your wind again, Mr officer?"
"A fine breeze like to hold, Sir Charles," answered the mate, all bows
and politeness. "So!" said Sir Charles, "but I don't see Captain.
Williamson at all this morning--where is he?" "I am sorry to say he is
very unwell, Sir Charles," said Finch. "Indeed!" exclaimed the Judge,
with whom the captain stood for all the seamanship aboard, and looking
round again rather dissatisfied. "Don't like that, though! I hope he
won't be long unable to attend to things, sir--let me know as soon
as he is recovered, if you please!" "Certainly, Sir Charles," said
the chief officer, touching his cap with some appearance of pique,
"but I hope, sir, I understand my duties in command, Sir Charles."
"Daresay, sir," said the Judge, "_as_ officer, probably. Commander
absent!--horrible accidents already!" he muttered crossly, changing
his usual high sharp key to a harsh croak, like a saw going through
a heavy spar, "something sure to go wrong--wish we'd done with this
deuced tiresome voyage!" "Ha, young gentleman!" exclaimed he, turning
as he went in, "d'ye play chess--suppose not--eh?" "Why yes, sir," said
I, "I do." "Well," continued he, overhauling me more carefully than
he had done before, though latterly I had begun to be somewhat in his
good graces when we met by chance, "after all, you've a _chess_ eye,
if you know the game at all. Come in, then, for godsake, and let's
begin! Ever since the poor brigadier _went_, I've had only myself
or a girl to play against! 'Gad, sir, there is something, I can't
express how horrible to my mind, in being matched against _nobody_--or,
what's worse, damme, a _woman_! But recollect, young gentleman, I call
_not_ bear a tyro!" and he glanced at me as we walked into the large
poop-cabin, as sharply and as cold as a nor'-wester ere it breaks to
windward. Now I happened to know the game, and to be particularly fond
of it, so, restless as I felt otherwise, I gave the old nabob a quiet
nod, laid down my griffin-looking straw hat on the sofa, and in two
minutes there we were, sitting opposite over a splendid China-made
chess-board, with elephants, emperors, mandarins, and china-men, all
square and ataunto, as if they'd been set ready for days. The dark
Kitmagar commenced fanning over his master's head with a bright feather
punka, the other native servant handed him his twisted hookah and
lighted it, after which he folded his arms and stood looking down on
the board like a pundit at some campaign of the Great Mogul--while
the Judge himself waited for my first move, as if it had been some of
our plain English fellows in Hindostan commencing against your whole
big India hubbub and finery, to get hold of it all in the end. For my
part I sat at first all of a tingle and tremble, thinking how near his
lovely daughter might be; and there were the breakfast cups laid out
on a round table at the other side, behind me. However I made my move,
Sir Charles made his, and pitched in to the game in a half impatient,
half long-headed sort of way, anxious to get to the thick of it, as it
were, once more. Not a word was said, and you only heard the suck of
the smoke bubbling through the water-bottle of his pipe, after each
move the Judge made; till I set myself to the play in right earnest,
and, owing to the old gentleman's haste at the beginning, or his
over-sharpness, I hooked him into a mess with which I used to catch the
old hands at chess in the cock-pit, just by fancying what _they_ meant
to be at. The Judge lifted his head, looked at me, and went on again.
"Your queen is in check, Sir Charles!" said I, next time, by way of a
polite hint. "_Check_, though, young gentleman!" said he, chuckling,
as he dropped one of his outlandish knights, which I wasn't yet up to
the looks of, close to windward of my blessed old Turk of a king; so
the skirmish was just getting to be a fair set-to, when I chanced to
lift my eyes, and saw the door from the after-cabin open, with Miss
Hyde coming through. "Now, papa," exclaimed she on the moment, "you
must come to breakfast,"--when all of a sudden, at seeing another man
in the cabin, she stopped short. Being not so loud and griffin-like
in my toggery that morning, and my hat off, the young lady didn't
recognise me at first,--though the next minute, I saw by her colour
and her astonished look, she not only did that, but something else--no
doubt remembering at last where she had seen me ashore. "Well, child,"
said the Judge, "make haste with it, then!--Recollect where we are,
now, young gentleman,--and come to breakfast." She had a pink muslin
morning-dress on, with her brown hair done up like the Virgin Mary
in a picture, and the sea had taken almost all the paleness off her
cheek that it had in the ball-room at Epsom, a month or two ago,--and,
by Jove! when I saw her begin to pour out the tea out of the silver
tea-pot, I didn't know _where_ I was! "Oh, I forgot," said the Judge,
waving his hand from me to her, in a hurry, "Mr Robbins, Violet!--ho,
Kitmagar, curry l'ao!" "Oh," said she, stiffly, with a cold turn of her
pretty lip, "I have met Mr--Mr--" "Collins, ma'am," said I. "I have met
this gentleman by accident _before_." "So you have--so you have," said
her father; "but you play chess well, Mr--a--a--what's his name?--ah!
Colley. Gad you play _well_, sir,--we must have it out!" The young lady
glanced at me again with a sort of astonishment; at last she said, no
doubt for form's sake, though as indifferently as possible,--"You have
known your friend the missionary gentleman long, I believe, sir?--the
Reverend Mr Thomas--I think that is his name?" "Oh no, ma'am!" said I
hastily, for the Judge was the last man I wished should join Westwood
and me together, "only since we crossed the Line, or so." "Why, I
thought he said you were at school together!" said she, in surprise.
"Why--hem--certainly not, ma'am--a--a--I--a--a--I don't remember the
gentleman there," I blundered out. "Eh, what?--check to your queen,
young gentleman, surely?" asked Sir Charles. "What's this, though!
Always like to hear a mystery explained, so"--and he gave me one of his
sharp glances. "Why, why--surely, young man, now I think of it in that
way, I've seen you before in some peculiar circumstances or other--on
land, too. Why, where was it--let me see, now?" putting his finger to
his forehead to think, while, I sat pretty uneasy, like a small pawn
that had been trying to get to the head of the board, and turn into a
knight or a bishop, when it falls foul of a grand figured-out king and
queen. However, the queen is the only piece you need mind at distance,
and blessed hard it is to escape from _her_, of course. Accordingly, I
cared little enough for the old nabob finding out I had gone in chase
of them; but there sat his charming little daughter, with, her eyes on
her teacup; and whether the turn of her face meant coolness, or malice,
or amusement, I didn't know--though she seemed a little anxious too, I
thought, lest her father should recollect me.

"It wasn't _before_ me, young man?" asked he, looking, up of a sudden:
"no, that must have been in India--_must_ have been in England, when
I was last there--let me see." And I couldn't help fancying what a
man's feelings must be, tried for his life, as I caught a side-view
of his temples working, dead in my wake, as it were. The thing was
laughable enough, and for a moment I met Lota's eye as he mentioned
England--'twas too short a glimpse, though, to make out; and, thought
I, "he'll be down on Surrey directly, and then Croydon--last of all,
the back of his garden wall, I suppose!" "Check" it was, and what I
was going to say I couldn't exactly conceive, unless I patched up some
false place or other, with matters to match, and mentioned it to the
old fellow, though small chance of its answering with such a devil
of a lawyer--when all at once I thought I heard a hail from aloft,
then the second-mate's voice roared close outside, "Hullo!--aloft
there!" The next moment I started up, and looked at Miss Hyde, as I
heard plainly enough the cry, "On deck there--land O!" I turned round
at once, and walked out of the roundhouse to the quarterdeck, where,
two minutes after, the whole of the passengers were crowding from
below, the Judge and his daughter already on the poop. Far aloft, upon
the fore-to'gallant-yard, in the hot glare of the sun, a sailor was
standing, with his hand over his eyes, and looking to the horizon, as
the Indiaman stood quietly before the light breeze. "Where-away-ay?"
was the next hail from deck. "Broad on our larboard bow, sir," was the


[13] Quere--Liberator?


We have here combined the best of all books, and the best of all maps,
for the study of the most interesting description of geography. Mr
Johnston's _Physical Atlas_, now published in a form which renders
it accessible to greater numbers, is without a rival as a companion
and guide in this department of study; and by dwelling on its merits
and utility, we should be only echoing a verdict which has already
been pronounced by almost every journal of scientific or critical
celebrity. And, indeed, the same might be said of our commendation
of Mrs Somerville's book; our praise comes lagging in the rear, and
is well-nigh superfluous. But not only are we desirous to tender our
tribute of respect to one who has done more than any other living
writer to extend amongst us sound, as well as general knowledge of
physical science; we are anxious also to recommend to our youth
the enlarged method of studying geography, which her present work
demonstrates to be as captivating as it is instructive.

Mrs Somerville's _Physical Geography_ does not assume so profound an
aspect, nor has it so lofty an aim, as the _Cosmos_ of Alexander Von
Humboldt; neither can it claim, like that work, to be written by one
who has himself surveyed the greater part of the terraqueous globe he
undertakes to describe. This latter circumstance gives an extraordinary
interest to the _Cosmos_. From time to time the professor of science,
gleaning his knowledge from books, and laboratories, and museums, steps
aside, and we hear, and almost see, the adventurous traveller, the man
Humboldt himself, who seems to speak to us from the distant ocean he
has traversed, or the sublime mountain heights he has ascended. Our
countrywoman can claim no such peculiar prerogative. Who else can?
To few--to none other--has it ever been permitted to combine so wide
a range of knowledge with so wide a range of vision--to have carried
his mind through all science, and his eye over all regions. He is
familiar with all the grandeurs of our earth. He speaks with the air
of the mountain still around him. When he discourses of the Himalaya
or the Andes, it is with the vivid impression of one whose footsteps
are still lying uneffaced amongst their rarely-trodden and precipitous
passes. The phenomena he describes he has seen. He can reveal to us,
and make us feel with him, that strange impression which "the first
earthquake" makes even upon the most educated and reflective man, who
suddenly finds his old faith shaken in the stability of the earth. And
what lecturer upon electricity could ever arrest the attention of his
auditors by so charming a reference to his personal experience as is
contained in the following passage?--

    "It was not without surprise that I noticed, on the shores
    of the Orinoco, children belonging to tribes in the lowest
    stage of barbarism amusing themselves by rubbing the dry,
    flat, shining seeds of a leguminous climbing plant (probably a
    negretia) for the purpose of causing them to attract fibres of
    cotton or bamboo. It was a sight well fitted to leave on the
    mind of a thoughtful spectator a deep and serious impression.
    How wide is the interval which separates the simple knowledge
    of the excitement of electricity by friction, shown in the
    sports of these naked, copper-coloured children of the forest,
    from the invention of the metallic conductor, which draws the
    swift lightning from the storm-cloud--of the voltaic pile,
    capable of effecting chemical decomposition--of a magnetic
    apparatus, evolving light--and of the magnetic telegraph!"

The writer naturally reflects on the wide interval which separates
the knowledge of electricity shown by these naked children on the
banks of the Orinoco, and the inventions of modern science, which
have taught the lightnings of heaven to do our messages on the earth.
But, to our mind, this wide interval is far more strikingly displayed
by the picture which is here presented to the imagination, of the
profound and meditative European looking down, pleased and surprised,
at the first unconscious steps in experimental philosophy which these
copper-coloured children of the forest are making in their sport.

But if Mrs Somerville's book has none of this extraordinary interest
which the great traveller has thrown over his work, and if it does not
aspire to that philosophic _unity_ of view, (of which a word hereafter,
in passing,) it must take precedence of this, and of all other works,
as a useful compendium of the latest discoveries, and the soundest
knowledge we possess, in the various subjects it embraces. Nowhere,
except in her own previous work, _The Connexion of the Physical
Sciences_, is there to be found so large a store of well-selected
information, so lucidly set forth. In surveying and grouping together
whatever has been seen by the eyes of others, or detected by their
laborious investigations, she is not surpassed by any one; and the
absence of all higher aim, or more original effort, is favourable to
this distinctness of exposition. We have no obscurities other than what
the imperfect state of science itself involves her in; no dissertations
which are felt to interrupt or delay. She strings her beads distinct
and close together. With quiet perspicacity she seizes at once whatever
is most interesting and most captivating in her subject.

The _Cosmos_ of Humboldt has the ambitious aim of presenting to us
the universe, so far as we know it, in that _beauty_ of harmony
which results from _a whole_. Thus, at least, we understand his
intention. He would domineer, as with an eagle's glance, over the
known creation, and embrace it in its unity, displaying to us that
beauty which exists in the harmony of all its parts. The attempt no
one would depreciate or decry, but manifestly the imperfect state of
science forbids its execution. We have attained no point of view from
which we can survey the world as one harmonious whole. Our knowledge
is fragmentary, uncertain, imperfect; and the most philosophic mind
cannot reduce it into any shape in which it shall appear other than
uncertain and fragmentary. We cannot "stand in the sun," as Coleridge
says in his fine verse, and survey creation; we have no such luminous
standing-point. There never, indeed, was a time when the attempt to
harmonise our knowledge, and view the universe of things "in the beauty
of unity," was so hopeless, so desperate. For the old theories, the
old methods of representing to the imagination the more subtle and
invisible agencies of the physical world, are shaken, or exploded, and
nothing new has been able to take their place. What is new, and what is
old, are alike unsettled, unconfirmed. In reality, therefore, the work
of Mrs Somerville is as much a _Cosmos_ as that of Von Humboldt; and,
as a work of instruction, is far better for not aiming higher than it
does. Mrs Somerville presents to us each gospel of science--if we may
give that title to its imperfect revelations--and does not bewilder
or confuse by attempting that "harmony of the gospels" which the
scientific expositor is, as yet, unable to accomplish.

As yet, we have said--but, indeed, will science be ever able to
realise this aspiration of the intellect after unity and completeness
of view? To the reflective mind, human science presents this singular
aspect. Whilst the speculative reason of man continually seeks after
unity, strives to see the many in the one--as the Platonist would
express himself--or, as we should rather say, strives to resolve the
multiplicity of phenomena into a few ultimate causes, so as to create
for itself _a whole_, some rounded system which the intellectual vision
call embrace; the discoveries of science, by which it hopes and strives
to realise this end, do in fact, at every stage, increase the apparent
complexity of the phenomena. The new agencies, or causes, which are
brought to light, if they explain what before was anomalous and
obscure, become themselves the source of innumerable difficulties and
conjectures. Each discovery stirs more questions than it sets at rest.
What, on its first introduction, promised to explain so many things,
is found, on further acquaintance, to have added but one more to the
inexplicable facts around us. With each step, also, in our inquiry,
the physical agents that are revealed to us become more subtle, more
calculated to excite and to elude our curiosity. Already, half our
science is occupied with matter that is invisible. From time to time
some grand generalisation is proposed--electricity is now the evoked
spirit which is to help us through our besetting difficulties--but,
fast as the theory is formed, some new fact emerges that will not range
itself within it; the cautious thinker steps back, and acknowledges
that the effort is as yet premature. It always will be premature.

There is a perpetual antagonism between the intellectual tendency to
reduce all phenomena to a harmonious and complete system, and that
increase of knowledge which, while it seems to favour the attempt,
renders it more and more impracticable. With our limited powers, we
_cannot_ embrace the whole; and therefore it must follow, that it is
only when our knowledge is scanty, that we seem capable of the task.
Every addition to that knowledge, from the time that Thales would
have reduced all things to the one element of water, has rendered the
task more hopeless. And as science was never so far advanced as at
the present time, so this antagonism was never so clearly illustrated
between the effort of reason to generalise, and the influx of broken
knowledge, reducing the overtasked intellect to despair. How much has
lately been revealed to us of the more subtle powers and processes
of nature--of light, of heat, of electricity! How tempting the
generalisations offered to our view! We seem to be, at least, upon the
eve of some great discovery which will explain all: an illusion which
is destined to prompt the researches of the ardent spirits of every
age. They will always be on the eve of some great discovery which is
to place the clue of the labyrinth into their hand. The new discovery,
like its predecessor, will add only another chamber to the interminable

Let us, for instance, suppose that we have discovered, in electricity,
the cause of that attraction to which we had confided the revolution
of the planets; of that chemical affinity to which we had ascribed the
various combinations of those ultimate atoms of which the material
world is presumed to be composed; of that vital principle which
assimilates in the plant, and grows and feels in the animal. Let us
suppose that this is a sound generalisation; yet, as electricity
cannot be alone both attraction in the mass, and chemical affinity in
the atom, and irritability and susceptibility in the fibre and the
nerve, what has the speculative reason attained but to the knowledge
of a new and necessary agent, producing different effects according
to the different conditions in which, and the different co-agencies
with which it operates? These conditions, these co-agencies, are all
to be discovered. It is one flash of light, revealing a whole world of

To the explanation of the most obstinate of all problems--the nature
of the vital principle--we seem to have made a great step when we
introduce a current of electricity circulating through the nerves. If
this hypothesis be established, we shall probably have made a valuable
and very useful addition to our stock of knowledge; but we shall be as
far as ever from solving the problem of the vital principle. We have
now a current of electricity circulating along the nerves, as we had
before a current of blood, circulating through the veins and arteries;
the one may become as prominent and as important a fact in the science
of the physician as the other; but it will be equally powerless with
the old discovery of Harvey to explain the ultimate cause of vitality.
To the speculative reason it has but complicated the phenomena of
animal life.

Within the memory of a living man, there has been such progress and
revolution in science, that not one of the great generalisations taught
him in his youth can be now received as uncontested propositions. Not
many years ago, how commodiously a few words, such as attraction,
caloric, affinity, rays of light, and others, could be used, and how
much they seemed to explain! Caloric was a fluid, unseen indeed, but
very obedient to the imagination--expanding bodies, and radiating
from one to the other in a quite orderly manner. What is it now?
Perhaps the vibration of a subtle ether interfused through all bodies;
perhaps the vibration of the atomic parts themselves of those bodies.
Who will venture to say? Attraction and affinity are no longer the
clearly defined ultimate facts they seemed to be; we know so much, at
least, that they are intimately connected with electrical phenomena,
though not to what extent. That electricity is implicated with chemical
composition, and recomposition, is clearly recognised; and Sir J.
Herschel has lately expressed his opinion, that it is impossible
any longer to attempt the explanation of the movements of all the
heavenly bodies by simple attraction, as understood in the Newtonian
theory--these comets, with their trains perversely turned _from_ the
sun, deranging sadly our systematic views. The ray of light, which,
with its reflection and its refraction, seemed a quite manageable
substance, has deserted us, and we have an ethereal fluid--the same
as that which constitutes heat, or another--substituted in its stead.
Science has no language, and knows not how to speak. If she lectures
one day upon the "polarisation" of light, she professes the next not
to know what she means by the term; she is driven even to talk of
"invisible rays" of light, or chemical rays. Never was it so difficult
to form any scientific conception on these subjects, or to speak of
them with any consistency. Mrs Somerville is a correct writer; yet
she opens her brief section upon magnetism thus:--"Magnetism is one
of those unseen imponderable existences, which, _like electricity and
heat_, are known only by their effects. It is certainly _identical_
with electricity, for," &c. It is like, and it is identical, in almost
the same sentence.

Even in the fields of astronomy, where we have to deal with large
masses of matter, it is no longer possible for the imagination to form
any embraceable system. We are plunged into hopeless infinitude, and
the little regularities we had painfully delineated on the heavens
are all effaced. The earth had been torn from its moorings and sent
revolving through space, but it revolved round a central stationary
sun. Here, at least, was something stable. The sun was a fixed centre
for our minds, as well as for the planetary system. But the sun
himself has been uprooted, and revolves round some other centre--we
know not what--or else travels on through infinite space--we know
not whither. A little time ago, the stately seven rolled round their
central orb in clear and uninterrupted space; their number has been
constantly increasing; we reckon now seventeen planetary bodies that
can be reduced to no law of proportion or harmony, either as to their
size, their orbits, the inclination of their axes, or any other
planetary property;[15] and the space they circulate in is intruded
on by other smaller and miscellaneous bodies, asteroids, and the
like, some of which, it seems, occasionally fall to the earth. Comets
come sweeping in from illimitable space, requiring, it is thought,
some eight thousand years for their revolution round the sun. Some
of these cross each other's orbits: one has crossed the orbit of the
earth; and their decreasing circle round the sun, gives notice of some
unknown ether suffused through the interstellar spaces. The outlying
prospect, beyond our system, grows still more bewildering. The stars
are no longer "fixed," nor is their brilliancy secured to them; this
increases and diminishes with perplexing mystery. What seemed a single
point of light, resolves itself into two stars revolving round each,
perhaps reciprocally sun and planet. The faint and telescopic nebula,
just reached by the glass in one age, is found in the next to be a
congregation of innumerable stars. Our milky way is, at the same
distance, just such another nebula. "The elder Herschel calculates that
the light of the most distant nebula, discovered by his forty-feet
refractor, requires two millions of years to reach our eyes." Oh, shut
up the telescope! the reason reels.

Science, in short, presents before us a field of perpetual activity--of
endless excitement, and that of the highest order--of practical results
of the greatest utility and most beneficial description; but it gives
no prospect of any resting-place--any repose for the speculative
reason--any position with which the scientific mind shall be content,
and from which it shall embrace the scene before it in its unity and
harmony. Always will it be

    "Moving about in worlds half-realised."

Having touched upon these subtle agencies of light, and heat, and
electricity, and on the increasing difficulty we have of framing to
ourselves any distinct conception of them, we cannot refrain from
alluding to a little work or pamphlet, by Mr Grove, entitled, _The
Correlation of Physical Forces_, in which this subject is treated with
great originality. Mr Grove has made himself a name in experimental
science by his discoveries in electricity and chemistry; in this
pamphlet he shows, that he has the taste and power for enlarged
speculation on the truths which experiment brings to light. We would
recommend the perusal of his pamphlet to all who are interested
in these higher and more abstract speculations. How far the wide
generalisation he adopts is sustained by facts, we are not prepared to
say. But it is a powerful work, and it is a singular one; for it is
not often, in this country at least, that a man so well versed in the
minutiæ of science ventures upon so bold a style of generalisation.
After reviewing some of the more lately discovered properties of
electricity, heat, light, and magnetism, and showing how each of
them is capable of producing or resolving itself into the others, he
reasons that all the four are but the varied activity of one and the
same element. He adds, that this element is probably no other than the
primitive atom itself; and that, in fact, these may be all regarded as
affections of matter, which follow in their legal sequence, and not as
the results of separate fluids or ethers. We are not sure that we do
justice to his views, as we have not the work at hand, and it is some
time since we read it; but we are persuaded that its perusal will be of
interest to a philosophic reader, though its reasoning should fail to
satisfy him.

But we have not placed the title of Mrs Somerville's book at the head
of this paper, as an occasion to involve ourselves in these dark and
abstract discussions. We are for _out-of-door_ life; we would survey
this visible round world, whose various regions, with their products
and their inhabitants, she has brought before us.

    "Physical geography," thus commences our writer, "is a
    description of the earth, the sea, and the air, with their
    inhabitants animal and vegetable, of the distribution of
    these organised beings, and the causes of that distribution.
    Political and arbitrary divisions are disregarded: the sea
    and the land are considered only with respect to these great
    features, that have been stamped upon them by the hand of the
    Almighty; and man himself is viewed but as a fellow-inhabitant
    of the globe with other created things, yet influencing them to
    a certain extent by his actions, and influenced in return."

Physical geography stands thus in contrast with political and
historical geography. Russia is here no despotism, and America no
democracy; they are only portions of the globe inhabited by certain
races. To some persons it will doubtless seem a strange "geography"
that takes no notice of the city, and respects not at all the
boundaries of states. Those to whom the name recalls only the early
labours of the school-room, when counties and county-towns formed
a great branch of learning--where the blue and red lines upon the
map were so anxiously traced, and where, doubtless, some suspicion
arose that the earth itself was marked out by corresponding lines, or
something equivalent to them--will hardly admit that to be geography
which takes no note of these essential demarcations, or allow that to
be a map in which the very city they live in cannot be found. To them
the Physical Atlas will still seem nothing but a series of maps, in
which most of the names have still to be inserted. They unconsciously
regard cities and provinces as the primary objects and natural
divisions of the earth. They share something of the feeling of that
good man, more pious than reflective, who noted it as all especial
providence that all the great rivers ran by the great towns.

Others, however, will be glad to escape for a time from these landmarks
which man has put upon the earth, and to regard it in its great
natural lineaments of continent and sea, mountain and island. To do
this with advantage, it is necessary to disembarrass ourselves, both
in the book and the map, of much that in our usual nomenclature ranks
pre-eminently as geography. Nor is it easy to study this, more than
the older branch of geography, without an appropriate atlas. To turn
over the maps of Mr Johnston's, and con the varied information which
accompanies them, is itself a study, and no disagreeable one. Of the
extent of this information we can give no idea by extract or quotation;
it is manifestly in too condensed a form for quotation; it is a perfect
storehouse of knowledge, gathered from the best authorities.

The first thing which strikes an observant person, on looking over a
map, or turning round a globe, is the unequal division and distribution
of land and water. Over little more than one-fourth of the surface
of the earth does dry land appear; the remaining three-fourths are
overflowed by water. And this land is by no means equally disposed over
the globe. Far the greater part of it lies in the northern hemisphere.
"In the northern hemisphere it is three times greater than the south."

Of the form which this land assumes, the following peculiarities have
been noticed:--

    "The tendency of the land to assume a _peninsular form_ is
    very remarkable, and it is still more so that almost all the
    peninsulas tend to the south--circumstances that depend on
    some unknown cause which seems to have acted very extensively.
    The continents of South America, Africa, and Greenland, are
    peninsulas on a gigantic scale, all tending to the south;
    the Asiatic peninsula of India, the Indo-Chinese peninsula,
    those of Corea, Kamtchatka, of Florida, California, and
    Aliaska, in North America, as well as the European peninsulas
    of Norway and Sweden, Spain and Portugal, Italy and Greece,
    take the same direction. All the latter have a rounded form
    except Italy, whereas most of the others terminate sharply,
    especially the continents of South America and Africa, India,
    and Greenland, which have the pointed form of wedges; while
    some are long and narrow, as California, Aliaska, and Malacca.
    Many of the peninsulas have an island, or group of islands,
    at their extremity--as South America, which terminates with
    the group of Terra del Fuego; India has Ceylon; Malacca has
    Sumatra and Banca; the southern extremity of New Holland ends
    in Van Diemen's Land; a chain of islands run from the end of
    the peninsula of Aliaska; Greenland has a group of islands at
    its extremity; and Sicily lies close to the termination of
    Italy. It has been observed, as another peculiarity in the
    structure of peninsulas, that they generally terminate boldly,
    in bluffs, promontories, or mountains, which are often the last
    portions of the continental chains. South America terminates in
    Cape Horn, a high promontory which is the visible termination
    of the Andes; Africa with the Cape of Good Hope; India with
    Cape Comorin, the last of the Ghauts; New Holland ends with
    South-East Cape in Van Diemen's Land; and Greenland's farthest
    point is the elevated bluff of Cape Farewell."

These are peculiarities interesting to notice, and which may hereafter
explain, or be explained by, other phenomena. Resemblances and
analogies of this kind, whilst they are permitted only to direct and
stimulate inquiry, have their legitimate place in science. It was
a resemblance of this description, between the zig-zag course of
the metalliferous veins, and the path of the lightning, which first
suggested the theory, based, of course, on very different reasonings,
that electricity had essentially contributed to the formation of those
veins--a theory which Mrs Somerville has considered sufficiently sound
to introduce into her work.

What lies _within_ our globe is still matter of conjecture. The radius
of the earth is 4000 miles, and by one means or another, mining, and
the examination of the upheaved strata, and of what volcanoes have
thrown out, we are supposed to have penetrated, with speculative
vision, to about the depth of ten miles.

    "The increase of temperature," writes Mrs Somerville, "with
    the depth below the surface of the earth, and the tremendous
    desolation hurled over wide regions by numerous fire-breathing
    mountains, show that man is removed but a few miles from
    immense lakes or seas of liquid fire. The very shell on which
    he stands is unstable under his feet, not only from those
    temporary convulsions that seem to shake the globe to its
    centre, but from a slow, almost imperceptible, elevation in
    some places, and an equally gentle subsidence in others, as
    if the internal molten matter were subject to secular tides,
    now heaving and now ebbing; or that the subjacent rocks were
    in one place expanded and in another contracted by changes in

Perhaps these "immense lakes or seas of liquid fire" are a little too
hastily set down here in our geography. But of these obscure regions
beneath the earth, the student must understand he can share only in the
best conjectures of scientific men. Geology is compelled, at present,
in many cases, to content herself with intelligent conjecture.

To return again to the surface of the earth, the first grand spectacle
that strikes us is the mountains. Before it was understood how the
mountain was the parent of the river, the noble elevation was apt to
be regarded in the light of a ruin, as evidence of some disastrous
catastrophe, and Burnett, in his _Theory of the Earth_, conceived the
ideal or normal state of our planet to be that of a smooth ball, smooth
as an egg. The notion not only betrays the low state of scientific
knowledge in his age, but a miserable taste in world-architecture,
which, we may remark in excuse for poor Burnett, was, almost as much
as his scientific ignorance, to be shared with the age in which he
lived. For it is surprising, with the exception of a few poets, how
destitute men were, in his time, of all sympathy with, and admiration
of, the grander and more sublime objects of nature. "We have changed
all that!" The mountain range, pouring down its streams into the
valleys on both sides, is not only recognised as necessary to the
fertility of the plain; but, strange to say, we become more and more
awake to its surprising beauty and magnificence. The description of the
mountain ranges of the several continents of the world, forms one of
the principal attractions of the study of physical geography, and one
of the great charms of Mrs Somerville's book.

The mountains of Asia take precedence of all others in altitude and
length of range.

    "The mean height of the Himalaya is stupendous. Captain Gerard
    and his brother estimated that it could not be less than from
    16,000 to 20,000 feet; but, from the average elevation of the
    passes over these mountains, Baron Humboldt thinks it must
    be under 15,700 feet. Colonel Sabine estimates it to be only
    11,510 feet, though the peaks exceeding that elevation are
    not to be numbered, especially at the sources of the Sutlej.
    Indeed, from that river to the Kalee, the chain exhibits an
    endless succession of the loftiest mountains on earth: forty
    of them surpass the height of Chimborazo, one of the highest
    of the Andes, and several reach the height of 25,000 feet at
    least.... The valleys are crevices so deep and narrow, and the
    mountains that hang over them in menacing cliffs are so lofty,
    that these abysses are shrouded in perpetual gloom, except
    where the rays of a vertical sun penetrate their depths. From
    the steepness of the descent the rivers shoot down with the
    swiftness of an arrow, filling the caverns with foam and the
    air with mist.

    "Most of the passes over the Himalaya are but little lower
    than the top of Mont Blanc; many are higher, especially near
    the Sutlej, where they are from 18,000 to 19,000 feet high; and
    that north-east of Khoonawur is 20,000 feet above the level of
    the sea, the highest that has been attempted. All are terrific,
    and the fatigue and suffering from the rarity of the air in
    the last 500 feet is not to be described. Animals are as much
    distressed as human beings, and many of them die; thousands
    of birds perish from the violence of the winds; the drifting
    snow is often fatal to travellers, and violent thunder-storms
    add to the horror of the journey. The Niti Pass, by which Mr
    Moorcroft ascended to the sacred lake of Manasa, in Tibet, is
    tremendous: he and his guide had not only to walk bare-footed,
    from the risk of slipping, but they were obliged to creep along
    the most frightful chasms, holding by twigs and tufts of grass,
    and sometimes they crossed deep and awful crevices on a branch
    of a tree, or on loose stones thrown across. Yet these are the
    thoroughfares for commerce in the Himalaya, never repaired,
    nor susceptible of improvement, from frequent landslips and

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

The table-lands of Asia are on a scale corresponding with its
mountains. But the same elevation, it is remarked, is not accompanied
with the same sterility in these parts of the world, as in the
temperate zone. Corn has been found growing at heights exceeding the
summit of Mont Blanc. "According to Mr Moorcroft, the sacred lake
of Manasa, in Great Tibet, and the surrounding country, is 17,000
feet above the sea, which is 1240 feet higher than Mont Blanc. In
this elevated region wheat and barley grow, and many of the fruits
of Southern Europe ripen. The city of H'Lassa, in eastern Tibet, the
residence of the Grand Lama, is surrounded by vineyards, and is called
by the Chinese 'the Realm of Pleasure!'" Nevertheless the general
aspect of the table lands is that of a terrific sterility. Here is a
striking description of them. We should have been tempted to say, that
in this singularly dark appearance of the sky at mid-day, there was
something of exaggeration, if our own limited experience had not taught
us to be very cautious in attributing exaggeration where the scenic
effects of nature are concerned.

    "In summer the sun is powerful at mid-day; the air is of the
    purest transparency, and the azure of the sky so deep that
    it seems black as in the darkest night. The rising moon does
    not enlighten the atmosphere; no warning radiance announces
    her approach, till her limb touches the horizon, and the
    stars shine with the distinctness and brilliancy of suns. In
    southern Tibet the verdure is confined to favoured spots; the
    bleak mountains and high plains are sternly gloomy--a scene of
    barrenness not to be conceived. Solitude reigns in these dreary
    wastes, where there is not a tree, nor even a shrub to be seen
    of more than a few inches high. The scanty, short-lived verdure
    vanishes in October; the country then looks as if fire had
    passed over it; and cutting dry winds blow with irresistible
    fury, howling in the bare mountains, whirling the snow through
    the air, and freezing to death the unfortunate traveller
    benighted in their defiles."

The description of the territory of the East India Company will be read
with interest. We cannot afford space to extract it. Plains and valleys
the very richest in the globe are to be found here, as also much rank
marshy land, and also much jungle. "It has been estimated that a third
of the East India Company's territory is jungle."

As a set-off against this jungle we have it intimated that, if proper
search were made, gold would probably be found in this territory, as
abundantly as in California. We sincerely hope no such discovery will
be made. If there is a sure specific for demoralising a people, it
is to involve them in the chase for gold, instead of that profitable
industry which produces the veritable wealth for which gold has become
the symbol and representative. The discovery of gold in one of our
colonies would not only demoralise, it would impoverish. It would
demoralise, by substituting for steady industry, with steady returns, a
species of enterprise which has all the uncertainty and fluctuation of
gambling; and it would finally impoverish by diverting labour from the
creation of agricultural and manufacturing wealth, to the obtaining of
the dry barren symbol of wealth, which, apart from its representative
character, has but very little value whatever.

We will not look back towards Chimborazo and the Andes, as we should
involve ourselves in long and tempting descriptions. In Africa, it
is remarkable that we are little acquainted with the mountains. "No
European has yet seen the Mountains of the Moon!" What a challenge
to enterprising travellers! We know the level sands of Africa better
than these elevations which have assumed so magnificent a title. What
a terrific sterility does a large portion of this the most ill-fated
of the great continents present! "On the interminable sands and rocks
of these deserts no animal--no insect--breaks the dread silence; not a
tree nor a shrub is to be seen in this land without a shadow. In the
glare of noon the air quivers with the heat reflected from the red
sand, and in the night it is chilled under a clear sky sparkling with
its host of stars." The wind of heaven, which elsewhere breathes so
refreshingly, is here a burning blast fatal to life; or else it drives
the sand in clouds before it, obscuring the sun, and stifling and
burying the hapless caravan.

In the _new_ continent of America--if it still retains that title--the
desert is comparatively rare. But its enormous forests have, in some
regions, proved that excessive vegetation can assume almost as terrific
an appearance as this interminable sterility.

    "The forests of the Amazons not only cover the basin of that
    river, from the Cordillera of Chiquitos to the mountains of
    Parima, but also its limiting mountain-chains, the Sierra
    Dos Vertentes and Parima, so that the whole forms an area of
    woodland more than six times the size of France, lying between
    the 18th parallel of south latitude and the 7th of north,
    consequently inter-tropical and traversed by the equator.
    According to Baron Humboldt, the soil, enriched for ages by
    the spoils of the forest, consists of the richest mould. The
    heat is suffocating in the deep and dark recesses of these
    primeval woods, where not a breath of air penetrates, and
    where, after being drenched by the periodical rains, the damp
    is so excessive that a blue mist rises in the early morning
    among the huge stems of the trees, and envelops the entangled
    creepers stretching from bough to bough. A deathlike stillness
    prevails from sunrise to sunset, then the thousands of animals
    that inhabit these forests join in one loud discordant
    roar, not continuous, but in bursts. The beasts seem to be
    periodically and unanimously roused by some unknown impulse,
    till the forests ring in universal uproar. Profound silence
    prevails at midnight, which is broken at the dawn of morning by
    another general roar of the wild chorus. The whole forest often
    resounds when the animals, startled from their sleep, scream
    in terror at the noise made by bands of its inhabitants flying
    from some night-prowling foe. Their anxiety and terror before
    a thunder-storm is excessive, and all nature seems to partake
    in the dread. The tops of the lofty trees rustle ominously,
    though not a breath of air agitates them; a hollow whistling in
    the high regions of the atmosphere comes as a warning from the
    black floating vapour; midnight darkness envelops the ancient
    forests, which soon after groan and creak with the blast of
    the hurricane. The gloom is rendered still more hideous by the
    vivid lightning, and the stunning crash of thunder."

One of the most interesting subjects, of which mention is made in the
work before us, is the gradual elevation and subsidence observed in
some portions of these continents themselves. Just when the imagination
had become somewhat familiar with the sudden but very partial
upheaving of the earth by volcanic agencies, this new discovery came
to light of the slow rising and sinking of vast areas of the land, and
unaccompanied with any earthquakes or volcanic eruptions. In some parts
the crust of the earth has sunk and risen again; in others, sort of
see-saw movement on a most gigantic scale has been detected.

    "There is a line crossing Sweden from east to west, in the
    parallel of 56° 3´ N. lat., along which the ground is perfectly
    stable, and has been so for centuries. To the north of it for
    1000 miles, between Gottenburg and North Cape, the ground is
    rising; the maximum elevation, which takes place at North Cape,
    being at the rate of five feet in a century, from whence it
    gradually diminishes to three inches in a century at Stockholm.
    South of the line of stability, on the contrary, the land
    is sinking through part of Christianstad and Malmo; for the
    village of Stassten in Scania is now 380 feet nearer to the
    Baltic than it was in the time of Linnæus, by whom it was
    measured eighty-seven years ago."

It is evident that the elevation of the land, in relation to the level
of the sea, may be produced either by an uprising of the continent or
a depression of the bed of the ocean, permitting the waters to sink;
as also the apparent depression of the land may be occasioned by an
elevation in the bed of the ocean. This renders the problem somewhat
more difficult to solve, because the causes we are seeking to discover
may be sometimes operating at that part of the crust of the earth
which is concealed from our view. Mr Lyell, who, in his _Principles of
Geology_, has collected and investigated the facts bearing upon this
subject, mentions the following as probable causes of the phenomena:--

    1. "It is easy to conceive that the shattered rocks may assume
    an arched form during a convulsion, so that the country above
    may remain permanently upheaved. In other cases, gas may drive
    before it masses of liquid lava, which may thus be injected
    into newly opened fissures. The gas having then obtained more
    room, by the forcing up of the incumbent rocks, may remain at
    rest; while the lava, congealing in the rents, may afford a
    solid foundation for the newly raised district.

    2. "Experiments have recently been made in America, by Colonel
    Patten, to ascertain the ratio according to which some of
    the stones commonly used in architecture expand with given
    increments of heat.... Now, according to the law of expansion
    thus ascertained, a mass of sandstone, a mile in thickness,
    which should have its temperature raised 200° F., would lift
    a super-imposed layer of rock to the height of ten feet above
    its former level. But, suppose a part of the earth's crust one
    hundred miles in thickness, and equally expansible, to have
    its temperature raised 600° or 800°, this might produce an
    elevation of between two and three thousand feet. The cooling
    of the same mass might afterwards cause the overlying rocks to
    sink down again, and resume their original position. By such
    agency, we might explain the gradual rise of Scandinavia, or
    the subsidence of Greenland, if this last phenomenon should
    also be established as a fact on further inquiry.

    3. "It is also possible that, as the clay in Wedgwood's
    pyrometer contracts, by giving of its water, and then by
    incipient vitrification; so large masses of argillaceous
    strata, in the earth's interior, may shrink, when subjected
    to heat and chemical changes, and allow the incumbent rocks
    to subside gradually. It may frequently happen that fissures
    of great extent may be formed in rocks, simply by the unequal
    expansion of a continuous mass heated in one part, while
    in another it remains in a comparatively low temperature.
    The sudden subsidence of land may also be occasioned by
    subterranean caverns giving way, when gases are condensed,
    or when they escape through newly formed crevices. The
    subtraction, moreover, of matter from certain parts of the
    interior, by the flowing of lava and of mineral springs, must,
    in the course of ages, cause vacuities below, so that the
    undermined surface may at length fall in."[16]

Two agencies of the most opposite, character have apparently been, at
all times, acting on the crust of the earth to change its form, or add
to the surface of dry land--the volcano and the insect!--the one the
most sudden and violent imaginable, producing in a short time the most
astonishing effects; the other gradual, silent, and imperceptible, yet
leaving the most stupendous monuments of its activity. The volcano has
thrown up a mountain in a single night; there is an instance, too, on
record, where a mountain has quite as suddenly disappeared, destroying
itself in its own violent combustion, and breaking up with repeated and
terrific explosions. On the other hand, besides what has been long
known of the works of the coral insect, the microscope has revealed to
us that huge cliffs have been constructed of the minute fossil shells
of animalcule. These creatures, abstracting from the water, or the air,
or both, the minute particles of vegetable or other matter they hold
in solution, first frame of them their own siliceous shells, and then
deposit these shells by myriads, so as ultimately to construct enormous
solid mounds out of imperceptible and fluent particles.

Astonishing, indeed, is the new world of animals invisible to the naked
eye, which science has lately detected.

    "Professor Ehrenberg," says Mrs Somerville, "has discovered a
    new world of creatures in the infusoria, so minute that they
    are invisible to the naked eye. He found them in fog, rain,
    and snow, in the ocean and stagnant water, in animal and
    vegetable juices, in volcanic ashes and pumice, in opal, in the
    dusty air that sometimes falls on the ocean; and he detected
    eighteen species twenty feet below the surface of the ground
    in peat earth, which was full of microscopic live animals:
    they exist in ice, and are not killed by boiling water. This
    lowest order of animal life is much more abundant than any
    other, and new species are found every day. Magnified, some of
    them seem to consist of a transparent vesicle, and some have
    a tail; they move with great alacrity, and show intelligence
    by avoiding obstacles in their course: others have siliceous
    shells. Language, and even imagination, fails in the attempt
    to describe the inconceivable myriads of these invisible
    inhabitants of the ocean, the air, and the earth."

With every great change, however brought about, in the surface of
the earth, and the climate of its several regions, it appears that,
either by the direct agency of the Omnipotent Creator, or through the
intermediate operations of laws which are at present profound secrets
to us, a corresponding change takes place in the forms of animal life,
and in the whole vegetable kingdom. Modern science presents no subject
to us of more interest than this, and none apparently so inscrutable.
Nor does the examination of the globe, as it exists before us at this
moment, with its various floras and faunas, at all assist us in forming
any conception of the law by which the geological series (if we may
so term it) of animal life, has been regulated, for the distribution
of the several animals over the several countries and climates of the
world follows no rule that one can detect. Of course, no animal can
exist where provision has not been made for its subsistence, but the
provision has been made with the same abundance in two countries,
and in the one the animal is found, and the other not. We should ask
in vain why the horse was found a native of the deserts of Tartary,
and why it was originally unknown to the plains of America? Nor can
any cause be detected for the difference between the congeners, a
representative species of one continent or island, and those of
another. And not only have the larger animals an arbitrary territory
marked out to them by nature, but birds, and even insects, are
separated and grouped together in the same unaccountable manner. The
chapters which Mrs Somerville has devoted to this subject will be read,
especially by those to whom the topic is new, with extreme interest.
They are enlightened and judicious.

It is a natural supposition to make, that, in the series of animals
which at great geological periods have been introduced upon the earth,
there has been a _progression_, so that each new form of animal life
has been, in some marked manner, superior to that which is substituted.
The comparative anatomist has not sanctioned this opinion; he tells
us that he finds the same "high organisation" in the fossil saurians
of a bygone world, as in the lions and leopards of the present day.
But we would observe that the presence of this "high organisation"
is not sufficient to determine the question. We should be surprised,
indeed, if any creature were to be found whose structure was not
perfectly adapted to the mode of life it was destined to lead. But
it is permissible to compare one animal with another in its whole
nature, and the character of its existence. The pig has the same high
organisation as the dog, yet we should certainly prefer the one animal
to the other; we should say that it was calculated for a happier life.
We cannot suppose that a bird is not a more joyous creature than the
worm or the snail. The adaptation of the whole form and structure to
a pleasurable existence, and not what is termed high organisation, is
that which we must regard, in estimating the superiority of one animal
to another. Now, in this respect, there surely has been a progression
from the earliest epochs. The crocodile and the tortoise are, amongst
the animals which now exist, those which most resemble some of the
more remarkable of the extinct genera. They are as perfectly adapted,
no doubt, as any other creature, to their peculiar mode of being; but
that mode of being is not an enviable one. The long stiff unwieldy body
of the one, and the slow movement, with the oppressive carcase, of the
other, are not consistent with vivid animal enjoyment. The crocodile,
accordingly, lies motionless for hours together--_waits_ for its
prey--and slumbers gorged with food. And for the tortoise, it appears
to lead a life as near to perpetual torpor as may be. Pass through a
museum, and note those huger animals, the elephant and the rhinoceros,
the seal or walrus, all those which most remind us of the gigantic
creatures of the antediluvian world, and compare them with the horse,
the deer, the dog, the antelope. Surely the latter present to us a type
of animal life superior to the former--superior, inasmuch as the latter
are altogether calculated for a more vivacious, sprightly, and happy
existence. We must not venture to remark on their greater comparative
_beauty_, for we shall be told that this is a matter for our own
peculiar taste. We should not be contented to be so easily silenced on
this head, but we should require far more space than we have now at our
disposal to defend our æsthetic notions.

We have found ourselves imperceptibly conducted from the inanimate
to the animate creation; we shall proceed, therefore, with the same
topic, in the few farther extracts we shall be able to make from the
work before us. Indeed, with so vast a subject, and so brief a space,
it would be idle to affect any great precision in the arrangement of
our topics; enough if they follow without abruptness, and are linked
together by natural associations of thought.

"Three hundred thousand insects are known!" and every day, we were
almost going to add, increases the number. They abound, as may be
expected, in equatorial regions, and decrease towards the poles. "The
location of insects depends upon that of the plants which yield their
food; and as almost each plant is peopled with inhabitants peculiar to
itself, insects are distributed over the earth in the same manner as
vegetables; the groups, consequently, are often confined within narrow
limits, and it is extraordinary that, notwithstanding their powers of
locomotion, they often remain within a particular compass, though the
plant, and all other circumstances in their immediate vicinity, appear
equally favourable for their habitation."

Mountain-chains, Mrs Somerville observes, are a complete barrier to
insects; they differ even in the two sides of the Col de Tende in the
Alps, and they are limited in the choice of their food. If a plant is
taken to a country where it has no congeners, it will be safe from
the insects of that country; but if it has congeners, the insect
inhabitants will soon find the way to it. Our cabbages and carrots,
when transplanted to Cayenne, were not injured by the insects of that
country; and the tulip tree, and other magnolias brought here, are not
molested by our insects.

The insect is a race, or order, of creatures not friendly to man, or
any of the larger animals.

    "The mosquito and culex are spread over the world more
    generally than any other tribe; they are the torment of men
    and animals from the poles to the equator, by night and by
    day; the species are numerous, and their location partial....
    Of all places on earth, the Orinoco, and other great rivers
    of tropical America, are the most obnoxious to this plague.
    The account given by Baron Humboldt is really fearful; at no
    season of the year, at no hour of the day or night, can rest
    be found; whole districts in the Upper Orinoco are deserted on
    account of these insects. Different species follow one another
    with such precision, that the time of day or night may be known
    accurately from their humming noise, and from the different
    sensations of pain which the different poisons produce. The
    only respite is the interval of a few minutes between the
    departure of one gang and the arrival of their successors, for
    the species do not mix. On some parts of the Orinoco, the air
    is one dense cloud of poisonous insects to the height of twenty

The sea, as well as the air, is populous with insect life. The
discoloured portions of the ocean generally owe their tint to
myriads of insects. The vermilion sea off California is probably
to be accounted for from this cause, "as Mr Darwin found red and
chocolate-coloured water on the coast of Chili, over spaces of several
square miles, full of microscopic animalcules, darting about in every
direction, and sometimes exploding"--we hope for joy. "In the Arctic
seas, where the water is pure transparent ultramarine colour, parts of
twenty or thirty square miles, one thousand five hundred feet deep,
are green and turbid, from the quantity of minute animalcules. Captain
Scoresby calculated that it would require eighty thousand persons
working unceasingly, from the creation of man to the present day, to
count the number of insects contained in two miles of the green water."

Captain Scoresby must be very fond of calculations. We have noticed,
by the way, on several occasions, how very bold these men of figures
are! One pounds and pulverises the Pyrenees, and strews them over
France, and tells us how many feet this would raise the level of the
whole country. Another calculates how much soil the Mississippi brings
down, per hour, to the ocean; and another, still bolder, undertakes
to say what quantity of ice lies amongst the whole range of the Alps.
Some of these calculations are laborious inutilities, as it is evident
that no accurate data can be obtained to proceed upon. In the last
instance, how find the depth of the ice? The sand of the desert has
been sounded in one place, we are told, and the lead has sunk three
hundred and sixty feet without finding a bottom; but what plummet can
sound the glacier? Here and there a crevice may let us into the secret
of its depth, and we know that below a certain level ice cannot remain
unmelted; but who can tell the configuration of the mountain under
the ice, how shallow the glacier may be in some parts, and into what
profound caverns it may sink in others? There is something childish
in giving us an array of figures, when the figures present no useful
approximation to the truth.

We have alluded to the difficult problem of the distribution of the
different species of animals throughout the several regions of the
globe: the same problem meets us in the vegetable world. Here we might
expect to grapple with it with some better hopes of success, yet the
difficulties are by no means diminished; we only seem to see them more
plainly. In the first place, it is clear, as Mrs Somerville says, that
"no similarity of existing circumstances can account for whole families
of plants being confined to one particular country, or even to a very
limited district, which, as far as we can judge, might have grown
equally well in many others." But the _difference_ of the floras is not
the only difficulty. While there is difference in a great number of
the species, there is _identity_ in a certain other number. If now we
account for the difference by supposing that the several portions of
land emerged from the ocean at different epochs, and under different
conditions, and that, therefore, the generative powers of vegetable
life, (in whatever, under the will of Divine Providence, these may
be supposed to consist) manifested themselves differently, how shall
we next account for this identity? "In islands far from continents,
the number of plants is small; but of these a large proportion occur
nowhere else. In St Helena, of thirty flower-bearing plants one or
two only are native elsewhere." But these one or two become a new
perplexity. "In the Falkland Islands there are more than thirty
flowering plants identical with those in Great Britain." Very many
similar cases might be cited; we quote these only to show the nature of
the difficulty with which science has to cope.

And here comes in the following strange and startling fact, to render
this subject of vegetable production still more inexplicable:--

    "Nothing grows under these great forests, (of South America;)
    and when accidentally burnt down in the mountainous parts
    of Patagonia, they never rise again; _but the ground they
    grow on is soon covered with an impenetrable brushwood of
    other plants_. In Chili the violently stinging Loasa appears
    first in these burnt places, bushes grow afterwards, and then
    comes a tree-grass, eighteen feet high, of which the Indians
    make their huts. The new vegetation that follows the burning
    of primeval forests is quite unaccountable. The ancient and
    undisturbed forests of Pennsylvania have no undergrowth;
    and when burnt down they are succeeded by a thick growth of
    rhododendrons."--(Vol. ii. p. 190.)

But we must bring our rambling excursion through these pleasant volumes
to a close; the more especially as we wish once more to take this
opportunity, not as critics only, but as readers also, to express
our grateful sense of the benefit which Mrs Somerville has conferred
upon society by this and her preceding volume, _The Connexion of the
Physical Sciences_. It was once a prevailing habit to speak in a
sort of apologetic strain of works of popular science. Such habit,
or whatever residue of it remains, may be entirely laid aside. If
by popular science is meant the conveyance, in clear intelligible
language, as little technical as possible, of the results of scientific
inquiry, then are we all of us beholden more or less to popular
science. The most scientific of men cannot be equally profound in all
branches of inquiry. The field has now become so extensive that he
cannot hope to obtain his knowledge in all departments from the first
sources. He must trust for much to the authority of others. Every one
who is desirous of learning what anatomy and physiology can teach us,
cannot attend the dissecting table. How much that we esteem, as amongst
the most valuable of our acquisitions, depends on this secondary
evidence! How few can follow the calculations of the mathematician, by
which he establishes results which are nevertheless familiar to all as
household words! And the mathematician himself, great aristocrat as he
is in science, must take the chemist on his word for the nice analysis
the latter has performed. He cannot leave his papers to follow out
experiments, often as difficult and intricate as his own calculations.
Indeed the experiments of the man of science have become so refined
and elaborate, and deal often with such subtle matter, and this in
so minute quantities, that, as it has been said of the astronomer,
that it requires a separate education, and takes half a life to learn
to observe, so it may be truly said, that to devise and conduct new
experiments in philosophy has become an art in itself. We must be
content to see a great deal with the eyes of others; to be satisfied
with the report of this or that labourer in the wide field of science.
We cannot all of us go wandering over moor and mountain to gather and
classify herbs and flowers; interested as we all are in geological
speculations, we cannot all use the geological hammer, or use it to any
purpose; still less can we examine all manner of fishes, or pry with
the microscope into every cranny of nature for _infusoria_.

Mrs Somerville gives us the book!--the neat, compact, valuable volume,
which we hold so commodiously in the hand. The book--the book for
ever! There are who much applaud the lecture and the lecture-room,
with its table full of glittering apparatus, glass and brass, and all
the ingenious instruments by which nature, as we say, is put to the
torture. Let such as please spend their hot uneasy hour in a crowd.
We could never feed in a crowd; we detest benches and sitting in a
row. To our notion, more is got, in half the time, from a few pages of
the quiet letterpress, quietly perused: the better if accompanied by
skilful diagrams, or, as in this case, by admirable maps. As to those
experiments, on the witnessing of which so much stress is laid, it is
a great fallacy to suppose that they add anything to the certainty of
our knowledge. When we see an experiment performed at a distance, in a
theatre, we do, in fact, as entirely rely on the word of the lecturer
as if we only read of its performance. It is our faith in his character
that makes all the difference between his exhibition and that of the
dexterous conjurer. To obtain any additional evidence from beholding
the experiment, we ought to be at the elbow of the skilful manipulator,
and weigh, and test, and scrutinise.

But, indeed, as a matter of evidence, the experiment in a popular
lecture-room is never viewed for a moment. It is a mere show. It has
degenerated into a mere expedient to attract idlers and keep them
awake. The crowd is there, and expect to see something; and it has
become the confirmed habit of the whole class of popular lecturers to
introduce their experiments, not when they are wanted to elucidate or
prove their propositions, but whenever and wherever they can answer the
purpose of amusing the audience. If a learned professor is lecturing
upon the theory of combustion, he will burn a piece of stick or paper
before you, to show that when such things are burnt flame is produced.
He would on no account forego that flame. Yes; and the audience look
on as if they had never seen a stick or a piece of paper burn before.
And when he is so happy as to arrive at the point where a few grains
of gunpowder may be ignited, they give him a round of applause! In the
hands of many, the lecture itself becomes little more than an occasion
for the experiment. The glittering vials, the air-pump, the electrical
machine, undoubtedly keep the eyes at least of the audience open; but
the expedient, with all due deference be it said, reminds us of the
ingenious resource of the veteran exhibitor of _Punch_, who knows that
if his puppets receive knocks enough, and there is sufficient clatter
with the sticks, the dramatic dialogue may take its course as it
pleases: he is sure of his popularity.

Therefore it is we are for the book; and we hold such presents as
Mrs Somerville has bestowed upon the public to be of incalculable
value, disseminating more sound information than all the literary and
scientific institutions will accomplish in a whole cycle of their
existence. We will conclude with one or two practical suggestions,
which would add to the utility of the last of her two works--_The
Physical Geography_. Mrs Somerville has thought it well to insert a
few notes explanatory of some scientific terms. But these notes are
few. If it was well to explain such terms as "Marsupial animals,"
or "Testacea," a reader might be excused for wishing to know what a
"torsion balance" was, or what a "moraine,"--terms which fall upon him
just as suddenly, and unexplained by any previous matter. Would not a
glossary of such terms be advisable? But whatever may be thought of
this suggestion, our next remark is indisputable. To such a work as
this, an index is extremely useful--is all but essential. There is an
index, but it is so defective, so scanty, that it is worth nothing. We
cannot say whether this last remark applies equally to _The Connexion
of the Physical Sciences_, not having that work at present under our
eye. But we beg to intimate to all authors and authoresses, that
whenever a book is of such a nature that it becomes valuable as a
work of reference, it should be accompanied by a good index. It is a
plodding business, but it must be executed.


[14] _Physical Geography._ By MARY SOMERVILLE.


[15] "Nor are there," writes Humboldt, "any constant relations between
the distances of the planets from the central body round which they
revolve, and their absolute magnitudes, densities, times of rotation,
eccentricities and inclinations of orbit and of axis. We find Mars,
though more distant from the sun than either the earth or Venus,
inferior to them in magnitude; Saturn is less than Jupiter, and yet
much larger than Uranus. The zone of the telescopic planets, which are
so inconsiderable in point of volume, viewed in the series of distances
commencing from the sun, comes next before Jupiter, the greatest in
size of all the planetary bodies. Remarkable as is the small density of
all the colossal planets which are farthest from the sun, yet neither
in this respect can we recognise any regular succession. Uranus appears
to be denser than Saturn, and (though the inner group of planets
differ but little from each other in this particular) we find both
Venus and Mars less dense than the earth, which is situated between
them. The time of rotation increases, on the whole, with increasing
solar distance, but yet it is greater in Mars than in the earth, and
in Saturn than in Jupiter." After other remarks of the same character,
he adds, "The planetary system, in its relation of absolute magnitude,
relative position of the axis, density, time of rotation, and different
degrees of eccentricity of the orbits, has, to our apprehension,
nothing more of natural necessity than the relative distribution of
land and water on the surface of our globe, the configuration of
continents, or the elevation of mountain chains. No general law, in
these respects, is discoverable either in the regions of space or in
the irregularities of the crust of the earth."

[16] Lyell's _Principles of Geology_, p. 536.


To be British, or not to be, is now literally the question in all the
North American colonies. Like England, when Mr Cobden and the potato
blight produced, together, a panic which seemed to obliterate, for the
time, all past arguments, and all future consequences--changing minds
before deemed unchangeable, and raising to fame and greatness men and
reasoning that the world was never previously able to see the force or
the depth of--like England then, are the colonies now. They are in all
the depths and mazes of a panic. One of the storms which occasionally
break over the heads of all people is now raging over theirs. Nor is
it surprising--with England's history for ten years before us--if
there should be those among them who shrink from its drenchings or
its shocks, or are incapable, in the midst of its wild commotions, of
seeing sunshine in the distance. For our part, we are fond of that
sturdy greatness which can put its shoulder to the blast, and say,
"Blow on, great guns; we can stand your thunder."

Not that the panic in the colonies arises from the people's looking
forward to having nothing to eat. They have plenty, thank God, and to
spare. But they have nothing in their pockets; and, what is worse, they
are afraid, if they go on much longer as they are now doing, they will
soon be without pockets too. Factory cotton may be but fourpence a
yard; but if they haven't the fourpence to pay for it, it might as well
be as dear as diamonds, as far as they are concerned.

The policy of England, from the day that Lord Chatham said "that he
would not allow the colonies to make a hob-nail for themselves," has
been to convert them into marts for her manufactures--to make them
useful and profitable to her, by causing them to consume those things
which give her poor employment, her merchants and manufacturers profit,
and her commercial navy all the incidental carrying trade. As a return
for this, the colonies were directly and indirectly assured by England,
that their produce should be protected in her markets--that, for all
the profits England might make by manufacturing for the colonies, they
should have a full return in the profits they should have by their
produce being protected.

Meantime, the United States pursued an entirely different system.
They, notwithstanding the interests of the great body of the southern
states--whose interest, their principal product being cotton, was to
buy what they wanted of manufactured goods in the lowest market, and
to sell their cotton in the highest--rigidly adhered to the system of
forming manufacturing interests of their own, and of fostering and
encouraging them by every means in their power. While the colonies,
therefore, bought, with the produce of their country, broad cloths,
cottons, silks, blankets, scythes, hardware, and crockery, which
were manufactured in England, they saw all the profits of their
manufacture, their sale, and their carriage, go to another country, to
be spent among another people. The Americans, on the other hand, who
bought, with the produce of their lands, the manufactures of their own
country, saw the profits upon these manufactures applied to building
up factories, villages, and towns, which brought together a useful
population; built churches, made roads, established places of learning
and improvement; made better markets for some things which might have
been sold otherwise, and made sale for many that could not otherwise
have been sold at all, besides greatly enhancing the values of all
adjacent property, and increasing the general wealth of the whole
country. The advantages of the one system over the other, however, did
not stop here. The necessities and the advantages of manufactures,
which first dictated the making and improving of a common road, next
conceived the benefit of a railroad and a canal, and the profits of
manufacturing were straightway applied to their construction, and they
were done. The farmer, therefore, imperceptibly to himself, was placed
within a few hours of the best markets over the continent--found his
produce carried to them for a trifle, in comparison to what it used to
cost him--and found, withal, the process which made it so, bringing
thousands upon thousands of people into the country, to develop its
riches, to increase the price of its lands, and to contribute to its
civilisation and conveniencies, from the establishment of a college
down to the building of a blacksmith's shop. The colonial farmer,
too, who bought the goods of an English or a Scotch manufacturer,
contributed to send those manufacturers' children to school, to give
them a profession, or to leave them a fortune. The American farmer,
who bought his neighbours' manufactures, contributed to establish a
school in his own neighbourhood, where his children could be educated;
and to bring people together to support them, if they chose to study a
profession or to enter into business.

To trace, within the limits of a whole magazine even, much less in the
fragment of an article, the wealth and prosperity that have accrued
to the States over the Colonies, by this system, would be impossible.
We must content ourselves, for the present, with glancing at the
accumulation of capital, and the extraordinary improvements in one
State, as an example of what must have, and in truth what has, accrued
to the rest, in a greater or less degree, in proportion as they have
been engaged in manufacturing.

The state of Massachusetts, in point of soil, climate, and resources,
has fewer, or, at all events, as few advantages as any other state
in the American Union. With a few verdant valleys, and some highly
productive land, it has much that is rocky and barren, and more that is
marshy and useless. Yet this state, far below Upper Canada in natural
advantages, has, intersecting it in different ways, five canals, their
aggregate length being ninety-nine miles. It has, too, no fewer than
eleven railroads winding through it and round it, constructed at an
immense cost, and affording a profitable return to their proprietors.
Now what is the cause of this extraordinary growth of capital, in a
place where there was literally so little for it to grow upon?--and
how came such immense facilities for public business to be employed,
where nature has done so little to create business? The answer is
obvious. Massachusetts has not prospered by its land, or natural
resources--it has prospered by its manufactures; and its improvements,
great and extraordinary though they be, are but the natural offspring
of those manufactures. Its principal manufacturing town, Lowell,
the largest such town in the United States, has grown from a few
hundred inhabitants, that the land might have feebly supported, to
some forty thousand, that manufactures have profitably employed. The
necessities of these manufactures called for a canal and a railroad.
The profits of the capital invested in them, and the labour they
employed, soon constructed them. Salem, wholly by the profits of making
cotton fabrics, has become a town of fifteen thousand inhabitants.
Salem's manufacturing interests required a railroad to Boston, and
Salem's manufacturers' and artisans' profits were able to construct
it. Manchester and Lawrence owe their existence and prosperity, and
the adjacent country owes the advantages they are to it, wholly to
manufactories. They wanted, too, a railroad to connect them; and they
were able to make, and have made one. Springfield, also in this State,
and Worcester, Fallriver, Lynn, and Newburyport, and several other
places of minor consequence, owe equally their existence and prosperity
to the same cause. Nor is it to be wondered at that, in so short a
period, such vast improvements should be made, when we consider the
immense profits that have accrued upon the capital employed in these
manufactories, and upon the labour engaged in them. There is a cotton
factory in Salem which itself employs a capital of £200,000, giving
work to five hundred and seventy-five operatives,--three-fourths of
whom are girls,--whose average wages are three pounds twelve shillings
sterling a month. Yet, a great proportion of these being very young,
it necessarily follows that the wages of the grown up are reduced to
make up the average of those of the weaker, and that in reality an
industrious woman "can generally earn a dollar a day; and there are
those who have been known, from one year's end to another, even to
exceed this." Speaking of the character of this labour, and of its
effect upon the States, Mr Webster, the highest authority upon this
subject in America, thus truthfully and eloquently remarks--

    "I have spoken of labour as one of the great elements of our
    society, the great substantial interest on which we all stand.
    Not feudal service, not predial toil, not the irksome drudgery
    by one race of mankind, subjected, on account of colour, to the
    control of another race of mankind; but labour, intelligent,
    manly, independent, thinking and acting for itself, earning its
    own wages, accumulating those wages into capital, becoming a
    part of society and of our social system, educating childhood,
    maintaining worship, claiming the right of the elective
    franchise, and helping to uphold the great fabric of the State.
    THAT IS AMERICAN LABOUR, and I confess that all my sympathies
    are with it, and my voice, until I am dumb, will be for it."

Of the profits arising from the capital invested in these manufactures,
they have varied in different years, but have, on the average, vastly
exceeded those upon all similar investments in England, or in any part
of Europe. The _Newburyport Herald_, a couple of years since, gave a
statement of the profits arising from the Essex Steam Mill Company
in that town, by which it appeared _that forty-two and a half per
cent_ upon the capital invested was paid to the stockholders, as the
amount of profits for 1845. The Dedham Company, in the same state,
also divided ten per cent for six months of the same year; the Norfolk
Company, twelve per cent for the same period; and the Northern Company
ten. All these companies were engaged in the manufacture of cotton
goods--the most profitable, however, of all manufactures in the States.

But against this immense accumulation of capital in the States,
against the vast incidental improvements and wealth to the country
that have arisen from manufactures, what have the British colonies
to show? What have the Canadas to arrest the eye of the traveller,
and to prove to him that, though they have pursued the system which
Lord Chatham chalked out for them, of not manufacturing a hob-nail
for themselves--and which the policy of England has ever since
prevented their doing--they have still wherewithal to attest that they
have prospered; and that their labour has been equally rewarded by
agriculture as by manufactures?

From one end of the provinces to the other, in every colony Britain has
in America, there are no evidences of prosperity approaching, much less
equalling that of Massachusetts; there is nothing, in truth, wherewith
to institute a comparison between them. Beyond the towns which are
supported by the trade incident to selling England's goods, there
are none to be found in British America. Beyond the little villages
throughout the provinces, that owe their existence to the necessity for
agencies to collect the profits of the whole products of the country,
and to send them to other lands to be spent, there is no appearance of
labour employed in business, or capital reproducing capital. Probably
one of the best cultivated and most productive districts in Upper
Canada, is the Gore. It is situated at the head of Lake Ontario; has
the beautiful little city of Hamilton for its capital; is composed of
very fair land, and is settled by a population distinguished for their
industry, and for the great comfort and independence it has brought
them. Upon entering this district by the high road from Toronto,
or in passing in a steamer up the north shore of Lake Ontario, the
traveller is struck with the appearance of a little village called
Oakville. It is situated on the bank of the lake, has its neat white
churches, and its little picturesque cottages, looking out upon
the broad lake. A stranger at a distance, from its situation and
appearance, would imagine it one of those villages that spring up so
magically in America,--full of activity, energy, and prosperity. He
visits it, and to his surprise he finds, that though it bears all
the evidences of having been built in a hurry, it bears also all the
tokens of rapid decay--its shops being for the most part unoccupied,
its houses untenanted, and its streets without people. And what may be
the reason, in a district so prosperous as the Gore, and surrounded by
a country teeming with grain, and with still many unused resources,
that this village has so palpably disappointed the expectations if
its founder? It is this,--Oakville was projected and built with a
view to the largest prosperity of the country; and with facilities
and necessities for a trade equal to the cultivation of every lot of
land in the adjacent country that could support a family, and to the
manufacturing into staves and boards, and square timber, of every tree
in the surrounding woods. But the policy of England has rendered it
unprofitable to get out the timber; and free trade has taken away the
inducement to enter into Canadian farming. The consequence is that the
shops, which were built to do an anticipated trade in Oakville, are
now unrequired; and the people, who built houses for the accommodation
of those who were to be engaged in the expected business, have their
houses upon their hands. Nor can any one well acquainted with Upper
Canada fail to recognise in Oakville a faithful picture of many, if not
most, of the towns and villages in the province.

But let us now reverse the picture, and suppose that Oakville, instead
of looking forward to rising, and being supported by the trade incident
to selling England's goods, and the draining of the country's resources
to pay for them, had looked forward to prosperity by manufacturing and
selling goods of its own. Let us suppose that its founder--who, fifteen
years ago, spent some £20,000 in adapting its harbour for ships, that
never had occasion to come; and in building storehouses, for which
there has never been use--had spent the same money in establishing one
of these factories which first formed the nucleus of Lowell or Salem in
Massachusetts. Is it not reasonable to infer, that in the same country,
and among a people having the same necessities, the same results would
have accrued in the Canadas which have accrued in the States? That the
profits of fifteen years' manufacturing would have surrounded Oakville
with mansions, proving the success of enterprise; and filled its
streets with houses, showing that labour had prospered, and the country
had its benefits? Would not its capitalists, instead of empty houses
and ruined hopes, have now the proceeds of well-invested capital, or
see them reproducing wealth in railroads, or public improvements?

But let us suppose, further, that the whole province of Upper Canada
had invested in manufactures, from time to time, for fifty years, the
whole profits that England and other countries have made by the sale
of all the goods to it that it has consumed, and that this capital
had been augmenting and reproducing itself during this period--what
would be the probable result? It is impossible to calculate it. It can
only be measured by the towns that have sprung up, by the railroads
and canals that have been made, and by the vast capital that has
been accumulated in the same period by Massachusetts, and the other
manufacturing states of America.

It is not, therefore, to institutions or to laws, to peculiarities
of race or of situation, that we ascribe the present undeniable
prosperity of the States, or, at all events, of those states which
have manufactured, over the Canadas. It is to the system the one
adopted, of manufacturing what they required, and thus securing to
their country the benefit of the population it required to do so, the
profits of the labour employed in it, and the incidental improvements
it occasioned. It is the system the other followed, or which was
chalked out for them, of spending all they could make in the purchase
of goods manufactured in England, the profits of which all went there
to be spent. The States, by the one system, have made the most of their
country's resources and its labour; the Canadas, by the other, have
made the least. The States have cities, and railroads, and canals,
and elegant mansions, to show for their labour of fifty years; the
Canadas have built elegant mansions, too, by their labour, and have
bought fine countryseats, and have contributed to make railroads, but
they are unfortunately all in England and Scotland. What holds good
of a family, sometimes holds good of a people. There is as much often
accumulated by saving as by making. Probably the making little, and
saving it, will end better than making much and saving little. The
States might have made but little on their produce at first--probably
less, for many years, than the Canadas; but their system inevitably
tended to saving for the country all they did make; whereas the
Canadian system, whatever the provinces made, much or little, as
inevitably tended to the country's losing it: and the consequences are,
the vast difference in the growth of capital in the one country over
the other.

The arguments, however, in favour of England's manufacturing for
the colonies, were not without their speciousness, and, as applied
to other countries, were not without their truth. These were, that
England could manufacture cheaper for the colonies than they could
manufacture for themselves; and, moreover, that the labour the colonies
might apply to manufacturing, could be more profitably employed in
raising produce. But these arguments, as far as the Canadas and all
America are concerned, are fallacious. In a country where the largest
possible reward for labour bears frequently no sort of proportion to
the advantages gained by individuals and the whole commonwealth, by the
mere fact of that labour's being employed in it, the question changes
from what the people save upon a yard of calico, to what the country
loses by towns not being built, by railroads not being made, and by
improvements not taking place that always follow manufactures. It may
be true, that where the greatest possible reward for labour is the only
object sought for or attainable, that a people should find out, and
engage in what pays them best: but where the congregation of a hundred
people in one place raises the value of property there ten thousand
fold--and such has often been the case in the States--and every farmer
adjacent not only gains a market by them, but has his roads improved,
his lands increased in value, double, and triple, and ten times; and
has a thousand conveniences and benefits supplied him by them, that
he never otherwise could have had--then the question arises with him,
Which benefited him most?--the hundred people's manufacturing, and
spreading the profits of their labour around them, or the buying a
few yards of cloth a few shillings cheaper, and keeping the hundred
people away? For every penny that the whole people of the United
States have lost, by buying their own goods, they have made pounds
by making them. And the profits of a mechanic's own labour sink into
utter insignificance, in comparison to the wealth he often acquires
by a single lot of land, upon which he settles down with others, and
which makes him rich by also enriching all around him. To measure,
indeed, the advantages that manufactures have given to America, by the
mere profits of the actual labour employed in them, would be but like
valuing an oak at the price of one of its acorns. Men may compute the
probable profits of labour employed in manufacturing, by computing the
cost of raw material with the expense of manufacturing it, and what it
sold for. But the enormous wealth that has accrued to America,--by the
increase of population incident to manufacturing, by the development
of its resources, and the gigantic improvements that have followed
it--would be utterly out of the reach of all human industry to compute.

But in striking out the system England did for her colonies, she
should, at least have considered whether the benefits she intended
to confer would be really used as benefits; whether the system of
protection to colonial produce was not, in fact, something like that
of indulgent parents giving to their sons pocket-money in addition to
sufficient salaries--which same pocket-money does not generally add to
the morals or property of the recipients. And, in truth, this was in
effect the character of England's colonial protective system. But it
went a little farther than the wisdom displayed by anxious parents;
for, with the gifts, it took good care to furnish temptations to
spend them--a piece of amiable generosity that we would acquit even
all indulgent mothers of. However, this was--whatever England meant,
or expected, to the contrary--practically the effect of the system.
When money was sent out to buy produce or timber, it was always sure
to be accompanied by a proportionate stock of broad cloths and silks,
challis and shawls. Those who could have done very well with Canadian
gray, were induced to buy broad cloths, and often found but these
in the market; for England bought the country's crop, and England's
merchants knew full well what the farmers could afford to pay for.
Women wore silk dresses and satin bonnets, who might have looked
charming enough, before their friends at meeting, in Hoyle's prints,
or before all reasonable beaus at home, in good, honest, home-made
flannel. Brandy and water, too, was too often substituted for wholesome
cider, and fashionable tailors for industrious women. The sliding-scale
of expenditure always went up and down to suit the times. A good year
was marked by an increase of finery and extravagance; a bad one by
debts and law-suits, depressions and complaints--the country gaining
nothing, from year to year, for its labour or its resources. And what
is now the consequence? The system which occasioned the evil is now
done away, but the evil and its results remain. The farmer, unknowing
the cause at first of the declension in his income, went into debt,
thinking, as had often been the case before, that a good year would
follow a bad one; and that he would be able to retrieve by it. But the
next year came, and it was worse than the former. He could not pay his
debts, and he was obliged to mortgage his property, or sell his stock,
to do so. He could no longer get credit from the shopkeeper, and he was
unable to purchase with cash the quantity or the quality of goods he
bought before. The shopkeeper, in his turn depending upon the custom
of the farmer for the sale of his goods, and depending upon receiving
his accounts from him to meet his own, found both fail him together;
was obliged to curtail his business to a miserable remnant; or to shut
up his shop, or to wait for the sheriff to do it for him. Hence the
altered appearance of every part of Canada, both town and country.
Hence the whole streets in Montreal with hardly a single shop open.
Hence those sorry emblems of poverty and retrogression--empty houses
with broken windows, and streets without people, which may be seen in
almost every village in the provinces.

Now, for the system which has produced this state of things, who is
to blame? Clearly and unmistakeably, England. If the colonies, as is
now palpable to all America, have worked but with one arm towards
prosperity, while the States have worked with two, it was England's
manufacturing interests that tied the colonies' arm. The colonies
were, in this respect, wholly in the hands of England. She not only
established a system for them, by which the proceeds of every acre of
land they cleared, and every tree they hewed, went to give work to her
poor, and wealth to her rich, but she reserved the right of thinking
for them as well. Without her, they must have naturally adopted the
course taken by the rest of America. She legislated for them; they
believed her wise, and followed her dictates without thought or
apprehension. They are injured; and she is to blame.

But when Lord Chatham laid the foundation of the system by which the
colonies have been, in effect, prevented manufacturing for themselves,
he established mutuality of interests between them and the mother
country. If he would have England's poor employed, and England's
capitalists enriched by making goods for the colonies, he would have
the colonies profit equally by protection in the English markets.
The partnership, for such it really was, gave to each country its
own particular share of benefits; and the system was such, too, that
the more the profits of the one rose, though by its own individual
efforts, the more it was able to benefit the other. For the more
people engaged in Canadian farming, the more land that became cleared,
and the more timber that was got out, the more English manufactures
were consumed. But we have shown, by comparison, with the States, the
disastrous effect of this system upon the prosperity of the colonies.
We have shown, too, from its own character, that it never was, and
never could have been, of any substantial benefit to them; that it
made them extravagant, without leaving them capital; that it made them
to all intents and purposes poorer, whilst it was expected to make
them richer. And who was this system expressly and avowedly intended
to benefit? Who were, in all seasons, and at all times, whether
good or bad for the colonies, the only benefiters by it? It was the
manufacturers of England. For if the colonies could buy but prints
and cottons, they bought of these all they could pay for, and these
manufacturers had all the profit. If they could buy broad cloths and
silks, they purchased as much as their crops were worth, and often were
induced to draw upon the future, English manufacturers and merchants
getting all the benefit. But after these manufacturers had thus bled
the colonies of all their vitality, in the shape of capital, for
upwards of half a century--after the colonies' right arm had been tied
up so long, for their express benefit, that it became impotent from
want of exercise, these same manufacturers turned round and told their
colonial partners--"We have now made all we can out of you or, if we
have not, we think we can make a little more by free trade than we
can by keeping our honest engagements with you. We are sorry you have
acquired a lamer arm in our service. It is a pity. It can't be helped
now. Good-bye." Yes, it was these manufacturers, who so long bled the
colonies, that turned round to strike them in the end the blow that
should finish them. It was their selfish agitation for years; it was
their constant sounding into the ears of England one unvarying theme;
it was their disregard of all interests, of all duties, and of all
obligations to all men, in one deadly, unwavering struggle for the
attainment of one object, and for one class, that cost the colonies
their solemnly pledged protection--that cost them, we may add, their
respect for the honour and the justice of England.

But we have now, after a digression which has been somewhat of the
longest, come to the point of our argument, and that is this:--Upon
a question so vitally affecting the interests of the colonies, upon
a question that might cost them the institutions of England; upon
a question where all truth and justice demanded that they should
have been in a situation to protect themselves against manufacturing
selfishness, does it not occur to the reader, that the colonies
should have had a representation where it was decided? The measures
that exasperated the old colonies to rebellion, shrink into utter
insignificance, as far as injury or effect are concerned, in comparison
to this one. Here are three millions of people, the main profits of
whose labour for upwards of fifty years have gone to enrich a certain
class of people in England. And here they are now, sacrificed to the
selfishness of that very class, without having the opportunity of
saying a word for themselves. If the legislation of England, for ten
years past, has been pregnant with vaster consequences to her than the
legislation of a century, it has hardly affected her so deeply as it
has affected her North American colonies. If her landowners see ruin,
in it--if her agricultural labourers see in it the means of depriving
them of bread--still her other classes see, or think they see,
advantages in it to counteract the evils, and prosperity to balance the
injury. But in England all have been heard--all have contended, where
giant intellect sways as well as mighty interests; where mind has its
influences as well as matter. But in the colonies, where every interest
and every class saw, in imperial legislation, injustice and ruin,
neither their intellect nor their interests availed them anything. They
were literally placed in the legislative boat of England: they found
that they must either sink or float in it; that legislation happened to
sink them; and though they saw themselves going down, and might, with
their friends, have pulled themselves ashore, they were not allowed an
oar to do so--they were not in a situation to make an effort to save

In the face of these deeply important considerations, can it be fairly
said that the colonies have no interest in imperial legislation, and
that there are no interests for imperial legislation to guard in the
colonies? Palpably to all the world, the States have been making
gigantic strides in prosperity, while the colonies have been standing
still. Yet in the British House of Commons, whenever the question of
the colonies has been mooted, has it not been with the view to consider
how the colonies could be made to consume more English manufactures,
rather than how they should prosper by manufactures of their own? Who
has urged the question there, that instead of England's perpetually
sending out goods, and draining the colonies of all the fruits of their
labour, England should send out people to make goods, who in making
them would make the country? Yet this is the root of the depression and
the poverty of the Canadas. And who with this vast country's resources
before him--with its ways and means of making millions independent, and
with the vast facilities for the investment of capital it afforded and
affords--can say that no interests could spring up in it of consequence
to the legislation of England?

It is true that the colonies have had their own parliaments; and it
has been imagined that these parliaments encompassed the whole of
their interests. But when did the colonial legislatures decide that
the colonies should not make a hob-nail for themselves? Yet the want
of making the hob-nails has been the ruin of their prosperity. It is
estimated that the colonies lose upwards of two hundred thousand pounds
a year by the loss of protection: it is but too well known how deeply
this loss has affected them. Yet whose legislation and policy educated
them literally to feel this loss? whose interests were consulted in
giving the protection, and taking it away again, that has been the
cause of all the evil? It was England's. The colonies have been allowed
by their legislatures to shake the leaves of their interests; imperial
legislation has always assailed the trunk. But this is not all;
colonial interests have been, unheard and unheeded, sacrificed to other
interests in England. The destiny of the colonies, without question and
without redress, has been placed in the hands of men who have made a
convenience of their interests, and an argument of their misfortunes,
brought about by these men themselves. Nor could, nor ever can,
whatever may be imagined to the contrary, the connexion of the colonies
be preserved with England, without her policy and her legislation
vitally affecting them. For they must be either English or American;
they must be, as they ever have been, if the connexion is maintained,
made subservient to the interests of England, or their interests must
be identified with hers: and if their interests are identical, their
legislation should be identical also. It is impossible that the flag of
England can long wave over what is all American. If the colonies are to
be wholly independent in their interests of England, it is in the very
nature of things, that their measures and their policy may become, not
only what England might not like, but what might be an actual injury
to her; and what might owe its very success, like much of the policy
of America, to its being detrimental to her interests. And it is as
unnatural as it is absurd to suppose, that England would or could, for
any length of time, extend her protection over a people whose interests
and whose policy might be pulling against her own, whose success might
be marked by her injury, and whose prosperity might increase at the
expense of her adversity.

But, apart from the abstract right of the colonies being represented
where they are, and, we insist, must continue to be, so deeply
concerned, it is time the present humiliating system of understanding
their views or feelings in the English parliament should come to an
end. Upon a vitally important question to them--upon one of these
things that only come up once in a century, or in a people's whole
history--take the following, as an example of the way in which their
opinions and their interests were regarded:--

    "DISHONESTY OF PUBLIC MEN. (_From the London Post._)--Mr
    Labouchere wished to show that Canada chafed under the
    restrictions of the Navigation Laws, and that they would be
    satisfied with 'the new commercial principle,' provided the
    Navigation Laws were repealed. For this purpose the minister
    took a course which he would no more have thought of taking
    in the affairs of private life, than he would have thought of
    taking purses on the highway. The minister quoted the statement
    of three respectable gentlemen at Montreal, which coincided
    with his views; and he did not let fall one word from which
    the house could have inferred that the opinions thus alluded
    to, were not the general mercantile opinions of Montreal. Now,
    the minister could scarcely be ignorant that this question
    about free trade, and the alteration of the Navigation Laws,
    has been the subject of very earnest discussion in Montreal;
    and he cannot but have known that Mr Young and Mr Holmes,
    however respectable in their position, and influential in their
    business, are the leaders of a small minority of the body
    to which they belong. Mr Labouchere read a statement to the
    House of Commons, which he had the confidence to call 'a proof
    irrefragable' of the mercantile public opinion of Montreal
    and Upper Canada, when the truth is--as he could not but have
    known--that the opinions of that statement are the opinions
    of a few persons utterly opposed to the general opinion of
    the mercantile body. There was held in Montreal, on the 17th
    of last month, the largest public in-door meeting that ever
    assembled in that city, at which a string of resolutions was
    passed by acclamation, in favour of the policy of protection,
    and against the 'new commercial principle' of the government.
    That meeting was addressed both by Mr Young and Mr Holmes.
    They endeavoured to support the views held by Mr Labouchere,
    but against the overwhelming sense of the meeting, from which
    they retired in complete discomfiture. We are bound to suppose
    that the minister who is head of the British Board of Trade
    cannot but be aware of this; and yet he not only conceals it
    altogether from the House of Commons, but he reads to that
    house the statement of Mr Young and Mr Holmes, as 'proof
    irrefragable' of the opinion of the colony of Canada, in favour
    of the ministerial policy. The President of the Board of Trade
    would as soon cut off his right hand as do anything of the
    kind in the ordinary concerns of life; and yet so warped is he
    by party politics--so desirous of obtaining a triumph for the
    political bigotry which possessed him--that he represents the
    mercantile interest of Montreal and Upper Canada as if it were
    decidedly on his side, when, if he had told the whole story
    fairly and honestly, he would have been obliged to admit that
    exactly the contrary was the fact."

Now, if it be necessary for England to understand colonial feelings,
and opinions in order to legislate for them, is this a fair or
honourable way of treating them? Are the interests of these great
provinces to be thus made subservient to political trickery? Is
their destiny of so little importance to Great Britain, that it
should be even in the very nature of things for any man, or any
party, in England, to have it in his or their power thus to insult
their intellect as well as to violate their interests? And is this
circumstance not a counterpart of others that have from time to time
occurred, when Canadian subjects have been before parliament? If we
mistake not, upon another vitally important question to them--the corn
laws--the petitions and the remonstrances even of their governor and
their legislature were, to enable misrepresentation and untruth to
have its influence in a debate, kept back and concealed. A party's
interests in England were at stake; the colonies were sacrificed. Now,
can it be reasonably urged, that the allowing these colonies to speak
for themselves, and to be understood for themselves, in that place and
before that people who literally hold their destiny in their hands,
would be pregnant with more danger to England than this dishonourable
system is to both her and to them? Would it not be better to have
them constitutionally heard than surreptitiously represented? Is it
necessary to the understanding of the wants and wishes of the colonies,
and to the good government of them, that tricking and dishonesty should
triumph over truth and principle, and that the legislative boons which
reach them should be filtered through falsehood and deception? It will
be in the recollection of all who have read the debate in the House
of Lords upon the Navigation Laws, how Lord Stanley exposed these
same Messrs Holmes and Young, mentioned by Mr Labouchere, but who,
on this occasion, in the Lords, were joined with a Mr Knapp. It was
shown by his lordship that these eminent commercial men (who seem to
be the standing correspondents of the present ministry,) wrote what is
called in America a _bunkum_ letter to Earl Grey, to be used in the
House of Lords, making a grand flourish of their loyalty, and a great
case out in favour of the colonial secretary's side of the question.
But it was unfortunately, or rather fortunately, discovered, that
these eminent individuals had been, at the very same time, writing to
their commercial correspondents in London to shape their business for
an early annexation of the colonies to the United States! Yet it is
upon such eminent testimony as this that imperial legislation for the
colonies is founded. This is the way England comes to a sufficient
understanding of a people's interests, to shape a policy which may
change their whole political existence.

But, in addition to these reasons why the colonies themselves should be
represented in England, there may be reasons why England herself might
wish the same thing. May it not be possible, nay, is it not the fact,
that a vast amount of trouble, vexation, and expense might be avoided
by it? How many commissioners sent out to find out difficulties and
to redress grievances,--how many investigations before parliamentary
committees,--how many debates in parliament,--how many expenses of
military operations, might have been avoided, had these colonies been
in a situation from time to time to have explained their own affairs,
and to have allowed their petty squabbles of race and of faction to
have escaped in the safety-valves of imperial legislation? In 1827, it
cost England the time and expense incident to a parliamentary report,
upon the civil government of Lower Canada alone, which extends over
nearly five hundred pages octavo. And this was irrespective, of course,
of the questions and debates which led to it, besides all that grew
out of it. Next came the debates upon the causes of the failure of
the remedies proposed in the report--for the report itself turned out
to be like throwing a little water on a large fire--it only served
to increase the blaze. Then came Lord Gosford, with extensive powers
to settle all difficulties, and, it was hoped, with a large capacity
for understanding them. But he, whatever else he did, succeeded to
admiration in bringing matters to a head; or, being an Irishman,
perhaps he thought he would make things go by contraries--for he came
out to pacify all parties, and he managed to leave them all fighting.
Next came the debates upon, and the cost of, the rebellion, and then
rose the bright star of Canadian hope and prosperity; for the Earl of
Durham was deputed, with a large collection of wisdom, and a pretty
good sprinkling of other commodity as well, to settle the whole
business. But, in sooth, these Canadians must be a sad set, for he
procured them responsible government, and this seems to have set them
clean into the fire.

Now, although it may be true that the colonies might have had but few
interests at first to engage the attention of imperial legislation, yet
it would have been far better to have educated them to understand that
legislation, and to have appreciated England's true greatness through
her institutions--and at the same time, to have England taught, by
practical association and connexion with them, their real worth--than
to have had English legislation largely and perpetually wasted upon
colonial broils, and the colonies as perpetually dissatisfied with
English legislation. The truth is, their system of international
legislation only made the two countries known to each other by means
of their difficulties. The colonies were never taught to look to the
proceedings of the imperial parliament, unless when there was some
broil to settle, or some imperial question to be decided, that was
linked with colonial ruin, and in the decision of which the colonies
had the interesting part to play of looking on. Nor has England ever
thought of, or regarded the colonies, except to hand them over bodily
to some subordinate in the colonial office--unless when they were
forced upon her attention by her pride being likely to be wounded by
her losing them, or by some other equally disagreeable consideration.
The legislative intercourse between them has ever been of the worst
possible kind. Instead of intending to teach the people of England
to respect, to rely upon, and to appreciate the real worth of the
colonies, it has taught them to underrate, to distrust, and to avoid
them. Instead of imperial legislation's forming the character of the
people, as it has formed the character of the people of England, and
giving them principles to cling to, and to hope upon, it has directly
tended to concentrate their attention upon America, and to alienate
their feelings from England.

But it is not alone in the passing of laws, or in the arrangements
of commerce, or the harmonising and combining of interests, that the
colonies would be benefited by imperial representation. They would be
benefited a thousand times more by the intercourse it would occasion
between the two countries. The colonies would then be taught to regard
England as their home. They would read the debates of her parliament as
their own debates; they would feel an interest in her greatness, in her
struggles, and in her achievements, because they would participate in
their accomplishment. The speeches of English statesmen--the literature
of England--her institutions and her history, would then be studied,
understood, and appreciated by them; and instead of the colonies
belonging to the greatest empire in the world, and being the most
insignificant in legislation, they would rise to the glory and dignity
of that empire of which they formed a part--sharing in its intellectual
greatness, its rewards, and the respect that is due to it from the
world. Every person, too, who represented the colonies in England,
would not simply be the representatives of their public policy, or
national interests--he would also represent their vast resources, their
thousand openings for the profitable investment of capital, which the
people of England might benefit by as much as the colonies. The public
improvements now abandoned in the colonies for want of capital to carry
them on, and for want of sufficient confidence in their government on
the part of capitalists, to invest their money in them, would then
become, as similar improvements are in the States, a wide field for
English enterprise to enrich itself in, and for English poverty to
shake off its misery by. If the resources of the colonies--if their
means of making rich, and being enriched, were understood and taken
advantage of--if international legislation, common interests, and a
common destiny, could make the colonies stand upon the same footing to
England as England does to herself, God only call tell the vast amount
of human comfort, independence, and happiness, that might result from
the consummation.

But how can these advantages accrue to England, or to the colonies, as
long as it is understood that, the moment a man plants his foot upon
a colony, that moment he yields up the fee-simple of his forefathers'
institutions--that moment he takes, as it were, a lease of them,
conditioned to hold them by chance, and to regard them as a matter of
temporary convenience and necessity. And who that has observed the
tone of public feeling in England for years, or the spirit of the
debates in her parliament, can deny that this is the case?--who that
now lives in the colonies can deny it? And with such an understanding
as this, and with all education perpetually going on in colonial
legislatures, weaning the feelings and separating the interests of the
colonies from the mother country, how can it be expected that that
interest in England necessary to all true loyalty, and that knowledge
and appreciation of her institutions necessary to all enlightened or
patriotic attachment, can take root, or subsist for any length of time
in the colonies? If the colonies, in truth, are to be made, or to be
kept British, in anything else than in name--if even in name they can
long be kept so--it must be by the infusion of the essential elements
of British character and British principle into them, by means of
British legislation. If they are to be part and parcel of the great
oak, the grafts must be nourished by the same sap that supports the
tree itself. The little boat that is launched on the great sea to shift
for itself, must soon be separated from the great ship. The colonies,
denied all practical participation in the true greatness of England,
and having with them, by virtue of their very name as colonies, the
prestige of instability and insecurity, must, in the very nature of
things, be avoided by all who, though they would be glad to trust the
great ship, cannot rely upon one of its frail boats. The great wings
of England's legislation must be made to cover the North American
colonies, and to warm them into a British existence; or they will be
doomed to stray and to wander, and to be disrespected and uncared for,
until inevitable destiny at last forces them under the wings of another.

Franklin, the profoundest thinker of the many great men connected with
the American Revolution, thus wrote upon this subject:--

    "The time has been when the colonies might have been pleased
    with imperial representation; they are now indifferent about
    it; and if it is much longer delayed, they will refuse it. But
    the pride of the English people cannot bear the thought of it,
    and therefore it will be delayed. Every man in England seems to
    consider himself as a piece of a sovereign over America--seems
    to jostle himself into the throne with the King, and talks of
    _our subjects in the colonies_. The parliament cannot well and
    wisely make laws suited to the colonies, without being properly
    and truly informed of their circumstances, ability, temper, &c.
    This cannot be without representatives from the colonies; yet
    the parliament of England is fond of exercising this power, and
    averse to the only means of acquiring the necessary knowledge
    for exercising it; which is desiring to be _omnipotent_ without
    being _omniscient_.... There remains among the colonists so
    much respect, veneration, and affection for Britain, that, if
    cultivated prudently, with a kind usage, and tenderness for
    their privileges, they might be easily governed by England
    still for ages, without force, or any considerable expense. But
    I do not see there a sufficient quantity of the wisdom that is
    necessary to produce such a conduct, and I lament the want of
    it."--_Letter to Lord Kames._

But it is most strange, that while England's policy, and the spirit
of her legislation, have for some years past clearly indicated to
the world, that she expected and seemed disposed to pave the way
for a separation between herself and her colonies, her conduct in
other respects should be so opposed to her views in this. For while
she was foreshadowing in her legislature the independence of her
colonies, she was building, at a heavy expense, garrisons in them
to support her power for all time to come. Within the ten years
last past, garrison quarters, upon a large scale, have been built
at Toronto; and large sums have been laid out upon every fort and
place of defence in the colonies. Surely this must have been done
with some other view than making safe and convenient places for the
stars and stripes to wave on in a few years! Yet when we come to
look back upon England's legislation for the same period, and upon
the spirit evoked by the debates in her parliament, it would really
seem, if she had any rational design in these expenditures at all,
that she must have intended them for the express benefit of her once
rebellious son Jonathan. England, by these defences, would seem to
say to the colonists--"Look there, my lads, and see the emblems of
your protection, and of British rule in America for ever." By her
legislation and free trade policy, she has unequivocally told them,
"that she must buy her bread where she pleases; and they may find a
government where they please." With one hand she has taken her colonies
by the shoulder, and told them they must behave themselves: with the
other, she has shaken hands with them, and told them they may kick up
their heels as they please for all she cares.

But there is a question, upon the satisfactory answering of which rests
the whole matter of whether the colonies can, or cannot, continue
connected with Great Britain. And that question is, can they prosper in
proportion to their abilities to prosper, by that connexion?

We have already partially answered it by showing the benefit that would
inevitably accrue to the colonies from their being represented in the
imperial parliament--by their whole property and worth being, by this
means, placed in the market of the world side by side with the property
and worth of England herself; and by England's capital partially, if
not to all intents and purposes, flowing into the colonies upon the
same footing that it flows through England--_i.e._, upon the principle
of advantageous investment. But we shall prove that they can and should
prosper, to the fullest extent of their capabilities, in connexion with
Britain, in another way.

It is admitted, on all hands, that were their connexion with England
broken off, and were the colonies to become, as it is certain they
would, several States of the American Union, they would prosper, in
proportion to their capabilities, equally with any of the northern
states having no greater advantages in soil or resources. It is
thought, and we believe with truth, that the public improvements which
now lie dormant for want of capital to carry them on, or for want of
sufficient knowledge of, or confidence in, the colonies from without,
to induce the necessary capital to be advanced for them, would be
completed, if the colonies were joined to the States. It is thought,
too, and with equal propriety, that Lower Canada, whose population is
singularly well fitted to prosper and be benefited by manufactures,
would, were it a State, be directed in that course most conducive to
its prosperity. And it is thought--likewise correctly--that the great
resources of Upper Canada, were that province too a State, would
become greatly more available than they now are: its population would
increase; its cities and towns enlarge; and every man having an acre
of land, or a lot in a town in it, would become much better off than
he is at present. This, if the States remain united as they have been,
and prosper as they have done, might be all strictly true. But why is
it that the colonies believe this, and that the States are also of
the same opinion? It is because the colonies know what the Americans
are, and the Americans know what the colonies are capable of. They
understand each other, and they know how they could work together for

But what means would the Americans employ to develop the undeveloped
resources of the colonies, and to secure wealth to themselves, while
they brought prosperity to them? They would simply employ their capital
in them; and they know that it could, and they would see that it
should, be so employed as to secure these results.

But let us now inquire,--Is it impossible to employ the capital of
England in these colonies, so as to effect the same thing? If American
enterprise and skill could cause wealth to spring up in Lower Canada,
and could enrich itself by doing so, is it impossible for English
enterprise and skill to do likewise? If American capitalists could,
beyond any manner of question, accumulate wealth for themselves, and
vastly benefit the Canadas, by constructing railroads through them,
or rather by continuing their own, is it out of the power of English
capitalists to be enriched by the same process? If the Canadas, as we
have said, believe the States can infuse prosperity into them, because
they see the States understand them, and know what they are capable
of, is it impossible for England to understand them also, and to take
advantage of their worth? But then, it will be answered, there is the
difficulty of colonial government. Who will invest his capital for
a period of fifteen or twenty years, where he may be paid off by a
revolution--when, as Moore said of the old colonies--

    "England's debtors might be changed to England's foes?"

But suppose the stability of England's own government were imparted
to the colonies, suppose the permanency and the interests of England
became effectually and for ever identified with them--what then? That
there is no reason under heaven left why they should not prosper, to
the fullest extent of their ability to prosper, and that England might
not be benefited by them in proportion.

But even this is but a partial view of the case; for the Americans
would actually borrow the money in England that they would invest in
the colonies, and yet enrich themselves by doing so. The colonies, in
truth--joined to the States--would prosper by diluted benefits, the
Americans reaping all the advantages of the dilution. Connected with
Great Britain--did Britain confide in them as she might, and understand
them as she should, and were they in a situation to inspire that
confidence, and to occasion that understanding--they must inevitably
reap, in many respects, double the benefits they would enjoy with the

_But the States would benefit the colonies all they could. Will

The scheme of imperial representation for the North American
colonies may be, and doubtless is, open to many objections; and many
difficulties would have to be got over before it could be accomplished.
The first, if not the only great difficulty, is--Would the colonies
bear the burden of taxation, and the responsibility of being part and
parcel of the British empire, for better or for worse, for all time to
come? And could they, if they would?

In considering these questions, it is but fair to view them, not
only in regard to the responsibilities the system we propose would
entail, but also in regard to the responsibilities they would and must
incur by any other system they might adopt. For this may be taken for
granted--they must soon become all American, or all English. They must
enjoy English credit and English permanency, or they must have some
other. A great country, with an industrious, enterprising people,
cannot long remain without credit, without prosperity, and without
either the use or the hope of capital. The Canadas are now in this

If, then, the colonies should become independent, and it were possible
for them to continue so, they would have to pay for their own
protection. And if they became a republic, they would have to take
their stand with the other powers of the world, and bear the expense
of doing so. If, on the other hand, they were taken into the American
Union, they would have to contribute, in addition to the cost of
their own local or state governments, to the support of the general
government of the whole Union; they would have, too, to contribute
to the forming a navy for the States, such as England has now got;
and they would be obliged to contribute, too, for the construction of
military defences for America, which England is pretty well supplied
with. They would have, in short, to expend upon America a great deal
of what England, in three or four centuries, has been expending upon
herself as a nation.

It may also be fairly presumed, that, with interests every day
becoming more independent of England; with a system of government
which leaves England nothing in America but a name--or, as Lord Elgin
says, a "dignified neutrality," and which really means a dignified
nothingness--with a system of government such as this, every sensible
man must foresee that England will soon get tired of paying largely for
the support of her dignified nothingness in America; that she will--as
indeed she has already done--inquire what right or occasion she has for
protecting colonies from their enemies from without, or, what is much
more serious to her, from themselves within, when she has ceased to
have a single interest in commerce with them; and when she must see--if
the present system be kept up much longer--that every day must separate
her still more widely from them in feeling, and in all the essential
principles that bind a people to each other, or a colony to a mother

In view, therefore, of all these considerations, taken separately or
together, it is but reasonable to suppose that the colonies may soon
be called upon to pay for their own protection from their enemies from
without, or for their own squabbles within, if they must indulge in
such expensive amusements. And the question then arises--Would their
being practically identified with the British empire, participating
in all its greatness, and enjoying the prestige of its stability and
its credit, entail upon them greater cost or responsibility, than they
would have to incur to maintain a puny, helpless independence, or in
becoming states of the American Union?

It is out of our power to make the calculation, as it is impossible
for us to know upon what terms England would agree to the colonies
participating in her government as we propose. It is likewise
impossible for us to tell how much might be saved by removing the
tea-pots, so pregnant with tempests, in the shape of colonial
legislatures; in removing governors to preserve "_dignified
neutrality_;" and courts to keep up the shadow of England's government
in America, the substance having grown "beautifully less" of late
years. But after much thought and investigation, by both ourselves and
others better accustomed to such matters than we are, we have come to
the conclusion--that imperial representation might cost the colonies
nothing more, if as much, as any other change they would have to
make; that England would gain immensely by the change; and that the
proceeds of the vast tracts of country lying north and north-west of
the Canadas, their fisheries, their mineral resources, and their other
unused and unappropriated wealth in timber and other things, might be
converted into a sinking fund by the united governments of England and
her colonies, that, in its effects, might astonish both England and
the world. We can but throw out the suggestion; it is for others to
consider it.

But if the connexion of the colonies with Great Britain is to be made
a mere matter of time and convenience, as to when it shall end, or
how, then it is of little use in hoping much, or thinking deeply,
upon what may be pregnant with such vast consequences to England's
race in America, and even America's own race in it. A time, it would
seem, which has taught Britons to know what their institutions are
worth, must cost them in America these institutions. A time, which has
exhibited, during the principal settlement of the Canadas, the fall
alike of the fabric of the political enthusiast and the fortress of the
despot in Europe, must cost, it seems, the colonies that government
which bore freedom aloft through the wild storm. England has stood upon
a rock, and, after pointing out to her colonies the wreck of human
institutions, she is about to push them off to share the fate she has
taught them so much to dread. If England has the heart to do it, it
must be done. Three millions of people will cease to say "God save the
Queen!" The sun will set upon her empire. Full many an honest tear will
be shed at hearing that it must. Full many a heart will be torn from
what it would but too gladly die for. But the days of chivalry are
gone; the days of memory are fled. The selfish, mercenary nineteenth
century will be marked with the loss of the best jewel in Britain's

        _August 1849_.


Some twenty or more years before I matriculated at Oxford, Mr Palmer,
M.P. for Bath, had accomplished two things, very hard to do on our
little planet, the Earth, however cheap they may happen to be held by
the eccentric people in comets: he had invented mail-coaches, and he
had married the daughter[17] of a duke. He was, therefore, just twice
as great a man as Galileo, who certainly invented (or _discovered_) the
satellites of Jupiter, those very next things extant to mail-coaches
in the two capital points of speed and keeping time, but who did _not_
marry the daughter of a duke.

These mail-coaches, as organised by Mr Palmer, are entitled to a
circumstantial notice from myself--having had so large a share in
developing the anarchies of my subsequent dreams, an agency which they
accomplished, first, through velocity, at that time unprecedented;
they first revealed the glory of motion: suggesting, at the same time,
an under-sense, not unpleasurable, of possible though indefinite
danger; secondly, through grand effects for the eye between lamp-light
and the darkness upon solitary roads; thirdly, through animal beauty
and power so often displayed in the class of horses selected for
this mail service; fourthly, through the conscious presence of a
central intellect, that, in the midst of vast distances,[18] of
storms, of darkness, of night, overruled all obstacles into one
steady co-operation in a national result. To my own feeling, this
Post-office service recalled some mighty orchestra, where a thousand
instruments, all disregarding each other, and so far in danger of
discord, yet all obedient as slaves to the supreme _baton_ of some
great leader, terminate in a perfection of harmony like that of
heart, veins, and arteries, in a healthy animal organisation. But,
finally, that particular element in this whole combination which
most impressed myself, and through which it is that to this hour Mr
Palmer's mail-coach system tyrannises by terror and terrific beauty
over my dreams, lay in the awful political mission which at that time
it fulfilled. The mail-coaches it was that distributed over the face
of the land, like the opening of apocalyptic vials, the heart-shaking
news of Trafalgar, of Salamanca, of Vittoria, of Waterloo. These were
the harvests that, in the grandeur of their reaping, redeemed the
tears and blood in which they had been sown. Neither was the meanest
peasant so much below the grandeur and the sorrow of the times as to
confound these battles, which were gradually moulding the destinies of
Christendom, with the vulgar conflicts of ordinary warfare, which are
oftentimes but gladiatorial trials of national prowess. The victories
of England in this stupendous contest rose of themselves as natural
_Te Deums_ to heaven; and it was felt by the thoughtful that such
victories, at such a crisis of general prostration, were not more
beneficial to ourselves than finally to France, and to the nations of
western and central Europe, through whose pusillanimity it was that the
French domination had prospered.

The mail-coach, as the national organ for publishing these mighty
events, became itself a spiritualised and glorified object to an
impassioned heart; and naturally, in the Oxford of that day, all hearts
were awakened. There were, perhaps, of us gownsmen, two thousand
_resident_[19] in Oxford, and dispersed through five-and-twenty
colleges. In some of these the custom permitted the student to keep
what are called "short terms;" that is, the four terms of Michaelmas,
Lent, Easter, and Act, were kept severally by a residence, in
the aggregate, of ninety-one days, or thirteen weeks. Under this
interrupted residence, accordingly, it was possible that a student
might have a reason for going down to his home four times in the year.
This made eight journeys to and fro. And as these homes lay dispersed
through all the shires of the island, and most of us disdained all
coaches except his majesty's mail, no city out of London could pretend
to so extensive a connexion with Mr Palmer's establishment as Oxford.
Naturally, therefore, it became a point of some interest with us, whose
journeys revolved every six weeks on an average, to look a little into
the executive details of the system. With some of these Mr Palmer had
no concern; they rested upon bye-laws not unreasonable, enacted by
posting-houses for their own benefit, and upon others equally stern,
enacted by the inside passengers for the illustration of their own
exclusiveness. These last were of a nature to rouse our scorn, from
which the transition was not _very long_ to mutiny. Up to this time,
it had been the fixed assumption of the four inside people, (as an old
tradition of all public carriages from the reign of Charles II.,) that
they, the illustrious quaternion, constituted a porcelain variety of
the human race, whose dignity would have been compromised by exchanging
one word of civility with the three miserable delf ware outsides. Even
to have kicked an outsider might have been held to attaint the foot
concerned in that operation; so that, perhaps, it would have required
an act of parliament to restore its purity of blood. What words,
then, could express the horror, and the sense of treason, in that
case, which _had_ happened, where all three outsides, the trinity of
Pariahs, made a vain attempt to sit down at the same breakfast-table
or dinner-table with the consecrated four? I myself witnessed such an
attempt; and on that occasion a benevolent old gentleman endeavoured to
soothe his three holy associates, by suggesting that, if the outsides
were indicted for this criminal attempt at the next assizes, the court
would regard it as a case of lunacy (or _delirium tremens_) rather
than of treason. England owes much of her grandeur to the depth of the
aristocratic element in her social composition. I am not the man to
laugh at it. But sometimes it expressed itself in extravagant shapes.
The course taken with the infatuated outsiders, in the particular
attempt which I have noticed, was, that the waiter, beckoning them away
from the privileged _salle-à-manger_, sang out, "This way, my good
men;" and then enticed them away off to the kitchen. But that plan had
not always answered. Sometimes, though very rarely, cases occurred
where the intruders, being stronger than usual, or more vicious than
usual, resolutely refused to move, and so far carried their point, as
to have a separate table arranged for themselves in a corner of the
room. Yet, if an Indian screen could be found ample enough to plant
them out from the very eyes of the high table, or _dais_, it then
became possible to assume as a fiction of law--that the three delf
fellows, after all, were not present. They could be ignored by the
porcelain men, under the maxim, that objects not appearing, and not
existing, are governed by the same logical construction.

Such now being, at that time, the usages of mail-coaches, what was to
be done by us of young Oxford? We, the most aristocratic of people,
who were addicted to the practice of looking down superciliously even
upon the insides themselves as often very suspicious characters,
were we voluntarily to court indignities? If our dress and bearing
sheltered us, generally, from the suspicion of being "raff," (the name
at that period for "snobs,"[20]) we really _were_ such constructively,
by the place we assumed. If we did not submit to the deep shadow of
eclipse, we entered at least the skirts of its penumbra. And the
analogy of theatres was urged against us, where no man can complain
of the annoyances incident to the pit or gallery, having his instant
remedy in paying the higher price of the boxes. But the soundness of
this analogy we disputed. In the case of the theatre, it cannot be
pretended that the inferior situations have any separate attractions,
unless the pit suits the purpose of the dramatic reporter. But the
reporter or critic is a rarity. For most people, the sole benefit is
in the price. Whereas, on the contrary, the outside of the mail had
its own incommunicable advantages. These we could not forego. The
higher price we should willingly have paid, but _that_ was connected
with the condition of riding inside, which was insufferable. The air,
the freedom of prospect, the proximity to the horses, the elevation
of seat--these were what we desired; but, above all, the certain
anticipation of purchasing occasional opportunities of driving.

Under coercion of this great practical difficulty, we instituted a
searching inquiry into the true quality and valuation of the different
apartments about the mail. We conducted this inquiry on metaphysical
principles; and it was ascertained satisfactorily, that the roof of
the coach, which some had affected to call the attics, and some the
garrets, was really the drawing-room, and the box was the chief ottoman
or sofa in that drawing-room; whilst it appeared that the inside,
which had been traditionally regarded as the only room tenantable by
gentlemen, was, in fact, the coal-cellar in disguise.

Great wits jump. The very same idea had not long before struck the
celestial intellect of China. Amongst the presents carried out by
our first embassy to that country was a state-coach. It had been
specially selected as a personal gift by George III.; but the exact
mode of using it was a mystery to Pekin. The ambassador, indeed, (Lord
Macartney) had made some dim and imperfect explanations upon the point;
but as his excellency communicated these in a diplomatic whisper, at
the very moment of his departure, the celestial mind was very feebly
illuminated, and it became necessary to call a cabinet council on the
grand state question--"Where was the emperor to sit?" The hammer-cloth
happened to be unusually gorgeous; and partly on that consideration,
but partly also because the box offered the most elevated seat, and
undeniably went foremost, it was resolved by acclamation that the
box was the imperial place, and, _for the scoundrel who drove, he
might sit where he could find a perch_. The horses, therefore, being
harnessed, under a flourish of music and a salute of guns, solemnly
his imperial majesty ascended his new English throne, having the
first lord of the treasury on his right hand, and the chief jester on
his left. Pekin gloried in the spectacle; and in the whole flowery
people, constructively present by representation, there was but one
discontented person, which was the coachman. This mutinous individual,
looking as blackhearted as he really was, audaciously shouted--"Where
am _I_ to sit?" But the privy council, incensed by his disloyalty,
unanimously opened the door, and kicked him into the inside. He had all
the inside places to himself; but such is the rapacity of ambition,
that he was still dissatisfied. "I say," he cried out in an extempore
petition, addressed to the emperor through a window, "how am I to catch
hold of the reins?"--"Any how," was the answer; "don't trouble _me_,
man, in my glory; through the windows, through the key-holes--how
you please." Finally, this contumacious coachman lengthened the
checkstrings into a sort of jury-reins, communicating with the horses;
with these he drove as steadily as may be supposed. The emperor
returned after the briefest of circuits: he descended in great pomp
from his throne, with the severest resolution never to remount it. A
public thanksgiving was ordered for his majesty's prosperous escape
from the disease of a broken neck; and the state-coach was dedicated
for ever as a votive offering to the God Fo, Fo--whom the learned more
accurately call Fi, Fi.

A revolution of this same Chinese character did young Oxford of that
era effect in the constitution of mail-coach society. It was a perfect
French revolution; and we had good reason to say, _Ca ira_. In fact,
it soon became _too_ popular. The "public," a well known character,
particularly disagreeable, though slightly respectable, and notorious
for affecting the chief seats in synagogues, had at first loudly
opposed this revolution; but when all opposition showed itself to be
ineffectual, our disagreeable friend went into it with headlong zeal.
At first it was a sort of race between us; and, as the public is
usually above 30, (say generally from 30 to 50 years old,) naturally
we of young Oxford, that averaged about 20, had the advantage. Then
the public took to bribing, giving fees to horse-keepers, &c., who
hired out their persons as warming-pans on the box-seat. _That_, you
know, was shocking to our moral sensibilities. Come to bribery, we
observed, and there is an end to all morality, Aristotle's, Cicero's,
or anybody's. And, besides, of what use was it? For _we_ bribed also.
And as our bribes to those of the public being demonstrated out of
Euclid to be as five shillings to sixpence, here again young Oxford
had the advantage. But the contest was ruinous to the principles
of the stable-establishment about the mails. The whole corporation
was constantly bribed, rebribed, and often sur-rebribed; so that a
horse-keeper, ostler, or helper, was held by the philosophical at that
time to be the most corrupt character in the nation.

There was an impression upon the public mind, natural enough from the
continually augmenting velocity of the mail, but quite erroneous,
that an outside seat on this class of carriages was a post of danger.
On the contrary, I maintained that, if a man had become nervous from
some gipsy prediction in his childhood, allocating to a particular
moon now approaching some unknown danger, and he should inquire
earnestly,--"Whither can I go for shelter? Is a prison the safest
retreat? Or a lunatic, hospital? Or the British Museum?" I should
have replied--"Oh, no; I'll tell you what to do. Take lodgings for
the next forty days on the box of his majesty's mail. Nobody can
touch you there. If it is by bills at ninety days after date that you
are made unhappy--if noters and protesters are the sort of wretches
whose astrological shadows darken the house of life--then note you
what I vehemently protest, viz., that no matter though the sheriff
in every county should be running after you with his _posse_, touch
a hair of your head he cannot whilst you keep house, and have your
legal domicile, on the box of the mail. It's felony to stop the mail;
even the sheriff cannot do that. And an _extra_ (no great matter if
it grazes the sheriff) touch of the whip to the leaders at any time
guarantees your safety." In fact, a bed-room in a quiet house seems a
safe enough retreat; yet it is liable to its own notorious nuisances,
to robbers by night, to rats, to fire. But the mail laughs at these
terrors. To robbers, the answer is packed up and ready for delivery
in the barrel of the guard's blunderbuss. Rats again! there _are_
none about mail-coaches, any more than snakes in Von Troil's Iceland;
except, indeed, now and then a parliamentary rat, who always hides
his shame in the "coal-cellar." And, as to fire, I never knew but
one in a mail-coach, which was in the Exeter mail, and caused by an
obstinate sailor bound to Devonport. Jack, making light of the law and
the lawgiver that had set their faces against his offence, insisted on
taking up a forbidden seat in the rear of the roof, from which he could
exchange his own yarns with those of the guard. No greater offence was
then known to mail-coaches; it was treason, it was _læsa majestas_, it
was by tendency arson; and the ashes of Jack's pipe, falling amongst
the straw of the hinder boot, containing the mail-bags, raised a
flame which (aided by the wind of our motion) threatened a revolution
in the republic of letters. But even this left the sanctity of the
box unviolated. In dignified repose, the coachman and myself sat on,
resting with benign composure upon our knowledge--that the fire would
have to burn its way through four inside passengers before it could
reach ourselves. With a quotation rather too trite, I remarked to the

                ----"Jam proximus ardet

But, recollecting that the Virgilian part of his education might
have been neglected, I interpreted so far as to say, that perhaps at
that moment the flames were catching hold of our worthy brother and
next-door neighbour Ucalegon. The coachman said nothing, but by his
faint sceptical smile he seemed to be thinking that he knew better; for
that in fact, Ucalegon, as it happened, was not in the way-bill.

No dignity is perfect which does not at some point ally itself with
the indeterminate and mysterious. The connexion of the mail with the
state and the executive government--a connexion obvious, but yet not
strictly defined--gave to the whole mail establishment a grandeur and
an official authority which did us service on the roads, and invested
us with seasonable terrors. But perhaps these terrors were not the
less impressive, because their exact legal limits were imperfectly
ascertained. Look at those turnpike gates; with what deferential hurry,
with what an obedient start, they fly open at our approach! Look at
that long line of carts and carters ahead, audaciously usurping the
very crest of the road: ah! traitors, they do not hear us as yet,
but as soon as the dreadful blast of our horn reaches them with the
proclamation of our approach, see with what frenzy of trepidation
they fly to their horses' heads, and deprecate our wrath by the
precipitation of their crane-neck quarterings. Treason they feel to
be their crime; each individual carter feels himself under the ban
of confiscation and attainder: his blood is attainted through six
generations, and nothing is wanting but the heads-man and his axe, the
block and the sawdust, to close up the vista of his horrors. What!
shall it be within benefit of clergy, to delay the king's message on
the highroad?--to interrupt the great respirations, ebb or flood, of
the national intercourse--to endanger the safety of tidings running
day and night between all nations and languages? Or can it be fancied,
amongst the weakest of men, that the bodies of the criminals will be
given up to their widows for Christian burial? Now, the doubts which
were raised as to our powers did more to wrap them in terror, by
wrapping them in uncertainty; than could have been effected by the
sharpest definitions of the law from the Quarter Sessions. We, on our
parts, (we, the collective mail, I mean,) did our utmost to exalt the
idea of our privileges by the insolence with which we wielded them.
Whether this insolence rested upon law that gave it a sanction, or
upon conscious power, haughtily dispensing with that sanction, equally
it spoke from a potential station; and the agent in each particular
insolence of the moment, was viewed reverentially, as one having

Sometimes after breakfast his majesty's mail would become frisky; and
in its difficult wheelings amongst the intricacies of early markets,
it would upset an apple-cart, a cart loaded with eggs, &c. Huge was
the affliction and dismay, awful was the smash, though, after all, I
believe the damage might be levied upon the hundred. I, as far as was
possible, endeavoured in such a case to represent the conscience and
moral sensibilities of the mail; and, when wildernesses of eggs were
lying poached under our horses' hoofs, then would I stretch forth my
hands in sorrow, saying (in words too celebrated in those days from
the false[21] echoes of Marengo)--"Ah! wherefore have we not time to
weep over you?" which was quite impossible, for in fact we had not even
time to laugh over them. Tied to post-office time, with an allowance
in some cases of fifty minutes for eleven miles, could the royal mail
pretend to undertake the offices of sympathy and condolence? Could it
be expected to provide tears for the accidents of the road? If even it
seemed to trample on humanity, it did so, I contended, in discharge of
its own more peremptory duties.

Upholding the morality of the mail, _à fortiori_ I upheld its rights,
I stretched to the uttermost its privilege of imperial precedency, and
astonished weak minds by the feudal powers which I hinted to be lurking
constructively in the charters of this proud establishment. Once I
remember being on the box of the Holyhead mail, between Shrewsbury
and Oswestry, when a tawdry thing from Birmingham, some _Tallyho_ or
_Highflier_, all flaunting with green and gold, came up alongside of
us. What a contrast to our royal simplicity of form and colour is this
plebeian wretch! The single ornament on our dark ground of chocolate
colour was the mighty shield of the imperial arms, but emblazoned in
proportions as modest as a signet-ring bears to a seal of office.
Even this was displayed only on a single pannel, whispering, rather
than proclaiming, our relations to the state; whilst the beast from
Birmingham had as much writing and painting on its sprawling flanks as
would have puzzled a decipherer from the tombs of Luxor. For some time
this Birmingham machine ran along by our side,--a piece of familiarity
that seemed to us sufficiently jacobinical. But all at once a movement
of the horses announced a desperate intention of leaving us behind.
"Do you see _that_?" I said to the coachman. "I see," was his short
answer. He was awake, yet he waited longer than seemed prudent; for the
horses of our audacious opponent had a disagreeable air of freshness
and power. But his motive was loyal; his wish was that the Birmingham
conceit should be full-blown before he froze it. When _that_ seemed
ripe, he unloosed, or, to speak by a stronger image, he sprang his
known resources, he slipped our royal horses like cheetahs, or hunting
leopards after the affrighted game. How they could retain such a
reserve of fiery power after the work they had accomplished, seemed
hard to explain. But on our side, besides the physical superiority,
was a tower of strength, namely, the king's name, "which they upon the
adverse faction wanted." Passing them without an effort, as it seemed,
we threw them into the rear with so lengthening an interval between us,
as proved in itself the bitterest mockery of their presumption; whilst
our guard blew back a shattering blast of triumph, that was really too
painfully full of derision.

I mention this little incident for its connexion with what followed.
A Welshman, sitting behind me, asked if I had not felt my heart burn
within me during the continuance of the race? I said--No; because we
were not racing with a mail, so that no glory could be gained. In fact,
it was sufficiently mortifying that such a Birmingham thing should dare
to challenge us. The Welshman replied, that he didn't see _that_; for
that a cat might look at a king, and a Brummagem coach might lawfully
race the Holyhead mail. "_Race_ us perhaps," I replied, "though even
_that_ has an air of sedition, but not _beat_ us. This would have
been treason; and for its own sake I am glad that the Tallyho was
disappointed." So dissatisfied did the Welshman seem with this opinion,
that at last I was obliged to tell him a very fine story from one of
our elder dramatists, viz.--that once, in some Oriental region, when
the prince of all the land, with his splendid court, were flying their
falcons, a hawk suddenly flew at a majestic eagle; and in defiance of
the eagle's prodigious advantages, in sight also of all the astonished
field-sportsmen, spectators, and followers, killed him on the spot.
The prince was struck with amazement at the unequal contest, and with
burning admiration for its unparalleled result. He commanded that the
hawk should be brought before him; caressed the bird with enthusiasm,
and ordered that, for the commemoration of his matchless courage, a
crown of gold should be solemnly placed on the hawk's head; but then
that, immediately after this coronation, the bird should be led off to
execution, as the most valiant indeed of traitors, but not the less
a traitor that had dared to rise in rebellion against his liege lord
the eagle. "Now," said I to the Welshman, "how painful it would have
been to you and me as men of refined feelings, that this poor brute,
the Tallyho, in the impossible case of a victory over us, should have
been crowned with jewellery, gold, with Birmingham ware, or paste
diamonds, and then led off to instant execution." The Welshman doubted
if that could be warranted by law. And when I hinted at the 10th of
Edward III. chap. 15, for regulating the precedency of coaches, as
being probably the statute relied on for the capital punishment of such
offences, he replied drily--That if the attempt to pass a mail was
really treasonable, it was a pity that the Tallyho appeared to have so
imperfect an acquaintance with law.

These were among the gaieties of my earliest and boyish acquaintance
with mails. But alike the gayest and the most terrific of my
experiences rose again after years of slumber, armed with preternatural
power to shake my dreaming sensibilities; sometimes, as in the slight
case of Miss Fanny on the Bath road, (which I will immediately
mention,) through some casual or capricious association with images
originally gay, yet opening at some stage of evolution into sudden
capacities of horror; sometimes through the more natural and fixed
alliances with the sense of power so various lodged in the mail system.

The modern modes of travelling cannot compare with the mail-coach
system in grandeur and power. They boast of more velocity, but not
however as a consciousness, but as a fact of our lifeless knowledge,
resting upon _alien_ evidence, as, for instance, because somebody
_says_ that we have gone fifty miles in the hour, or upon the evidence
of a result, as that actually we find ourselves in York four hours
after leaving London. Apart from such an assertion, or such a result,
I am little aware of the pace. But, seated on the old mail-coach, we
needed no evidence out of ourselves to indicate the velocity. On this
system the word was--_Non magna loquimur_, as upon railways, but _magna
vivimus_. The vital experience of the glad animal sensibilities made
doubts impossible on the question of our speed; we heard our speed, we
saw it, we felt it as a thrilling; and this speed was not the product
of blind insensate agencies, that had no sympathy to give, but was
incarnated in the fiery eyeballs of an animal, in his dilated nostril,
spasmodic muscles, and echoing hoofs. This speed was incarnated in the
_visible_ contagion amongst brutes of some impulse, that, radiating
into _their_ natures, had yet its centre and beginning in man. The
sensibility of the horse uttering itself in the maniac light of his
eye, might be the last vibration in such a movement; the glory of
Salamanca might be the first--but the intervening link that connected
them, that spread the earthquake of the battle into the eyeball of
the horse, was the heart of man--kindling in the rapture of the fiery
strife, and then propagating its own tumults by motions and gestures to
the sympathies, more or less dim, in his servant the horse.

But now, on the new system of travelling, iron tubes and boilers
have disconnected man's heart from the ministers of his locomotion.
Nile nor Trafalgar has power any more to raise an extra bubble in a
steam-kettle. The galvanic cycle is broken up for ever; man's imperial
nature no longer sends itself forward through the electric sensibility
of the horse; the inter-agencies are gone in the mode of communication
between the horse and his master, out of which grew so many aspects
of sublimity under accidents of mists that hid, or sudden blazes that
revealed, of mobs that agitated, or midnight solitudes that awed.
Tidings, fitted to convulse all nations, must henceforwards travel by
culinary process; and the trumpet that once announced from afar the
laurelled mail, heart-shaking, when heard screaming on the wind, and
advancing through the darkness to every village or solitary house on
its route, has now given way for ever to the pot-wallopings of the

Thus have perished multiform openings for sublime effects, for
interesting personal communications, for revelations of impressive
faces that could not have offered themselves amongst the hurried and
fluctuating groups of a railway station. The gatherings of gazers
about a mail-coach had one centre, and acknowledged only one interest.
But the crowds attending at a railway station have as little unity as
running water, and own as many centres as there are separate carriages
in the train.

How else, for example, than as a constant watcher for the dawn, and for
the London mail that in summer months entered about dawn into the lawny
thickets of Marlborough Forest, couldst thou, sweet Fanny of the Bath
road, have become known to myself? Yet Fanny, as the loveliest young
woman for face and person that perhaps in my whole life I have beheld,
merited the station which even _her_ I could not willingly have spared;
yet (thirty-five years later) she holds in my dreams; and though, by
an accident of fanciful caprice, she brought along with her into those
dreams a troop of dreadful creatures, fabulous and not fabulous, that
were more abominable to a human heart than Fanny and the dawn were

Miss Fanny of the Bath road, strictly speaking, lived at a mile's
distance from that road, but came so continually to meet the mail,
that I on my frequent transits rarely missed her, and naturally
connected her name with the great thoroughfare where I saw her; I do
not exactly know, but I believe with some burthen of commissions to
be executed in Bath, her own residence being probably the centre to
which these commissions gathered. The mail-coachman, who wore the
royal livery, being one amongst the privileged few,[22] happened to
be Fanny's grandfather. A good man he was, that loved his beautiful
granddaughter; and, loving her wisely, was vigilant over her deportment
in any case where young Oxford might happen to be concerned. Was I
then vain enough to imagine that I myself individually could fall
within the line of his terrors? Certainly not, as regarded any physical
pretensions that I could plead; for Fanny (as a chance passenger from
her own neighbourhood once told me) counted in her train a hundred and
ninety-nine professed admirers, if not open aspirants to her favour;
and probably not one of the whole brigade but excelled myself in
personal advantages.

Ulysses even, with the unfair advantage of his accursed bow, could
hardly have undertaken that amount of suitors. So the danger might
have seemed slight--only that woman is universally aristocratic: it is
amongst her nobilities of heart that she _is_ so. Now, the aristocratic
distinctions in my favour might easily with Miss Fanny have compensated
my physical deficiencies. Did I then make love to Fanny? Why, yes;
_mais oui donc_; as much love as one _can_ make whilst the mail is
changing horses, a process which ten years later did not occupy above
eighty seconds; but _then_, viz. about Waterloo, it occupied five times
eighty. Now, four hundred seconds offer a field quite ample enough for
whispering into a young woman's ear a great deal of truth; and (by
way of parenthesis) some trifle of falsehood. Grandpapa did right,
therefore, to watch me. And yet, as happens too often to the grandpapas
of earth, in a contest with the admirers of granddaughters, how
vainly would he have watched me had I meditated any evil whispers to
Fanny! She, it is my belief, would have protected herself against any
man's evil suggestions. But he, as the result showed, could not have
intercepted the opportunities for such suggestions. Yet he was still
active; he was still blooming. Blooming he was as Fanny herself.

    "Say, all our praises why should lords--"

No, that's not the line:

    "Say, all our roses why should girls engross?"

The coachman showed rosy blossoms on his face deeper even than his
granddaughter's,--_his_ being drawn from the ale-cask, Fanny's from
youth and innocence, and from the fountains of the dawn. But, in spite
of his blooming face, some infirmities he had; and one particularly,
(I am very sure, no _more_ than one,) in which he too much resembled
a crocodile. This lay in a monstrous inaptitude for turning round.
The crocodile, I presume, owes that inaptitude to the absurd _length_
of his back; but in our Grandpapa it arose rather from the absurd
_breadth_ of his back, combined, probably, with some growing stiffness
in his legs. Now upon this crocodile infirmity of his I planted an
easy opportunity for tendering my homage to Miss Fanny. In defiance
of all his honourable vigilance, no sooner had he presented to us his
mighty Jovian back, (what a field for displaying to mankind his royal
scarlet!) whilst inspecting professionally the buckles, the straps, and
the silver turrets of his harness, than I raised Miss Fanny's hand to
my lips, and, by the mixed tenderness and respectfulness of my manner,
caused her easily to understand how happy it would have made me to
rank upon her list as No. 10 or 12, in which case a few casualties
amongst her lovers (and observe--they _hanged_ liberally in those days)
might have promoted me speedily to the top of the tree; as, on the
other hand, with how much loyalty of submission I acquiesced in her
allotment, supposing that she had seen reason to plant me in the very
rearward of her favour, as No. 199+1. It must not be supposed that
I allowed any trace of jest, or even of playfulness, to mingle with
these expressions of my admiration; that would have been insulting to
her, and would have been false as regarded my own feelings. In fact,
the utter shadowiness of our relations to each other, even after
our meetings through seven or eight years had been very numerous,
but of necessity had been very brief, being entirely on mail-coach
allowance--timed, in reality, by the General Post-Office--and
watched by a crocodile belonging to the antepenultimate generation,
left it easy for me to do a thing which few people ever _can_ have
done--viz., to make love for seven years, at the same time to be as
sincere as ever creature was, and yet never to compromise myself by
overtures that might have been foolish as regarded my own interests,
or misleading as regarded hers. Most truly I loved this beautiful and
ingenuous girl; and had it not been for the Bath and Bristol mail,
heaven only knows what might have come of it. People talk of being
over head and ears in love--now, the mail was the cause that I sank
only over ears in love, which, you know, still left a trifle of brain
to overlook the whole conduct of the affair. I have mentioned the case
at all for the sake of a dreadful result from it in after years of
dreaming. But it seems, _ex abundanti_, to yield this moral--viz. that
as, in England, the idiot and the half-wit are held to be under the
guardianship of Chancery, so the man making love, who is often but a
variety of the same imbecile class, ought to be made a ward of the
General Post-Office, whose severe course of _timing_ and periodical
interruption might intercept many a foolish declaration, such as lays a
solid foundation for fifty years' repentance.

Ah, reader! when I look back upon those days, it seems to me that
all things change or perish. Even thunder and lightning, it pains me
to say, are not the thunder and lightning which I seem to remember
about the time of Waterloo. Roses, I fear, are degenerating, and,
without a Red revolution, must come to the dust. The Fannies of our
island--though this I say with reluctance--are not improving; and the
Bath road is notoriously superannuated. Mr Waterton tells me that the
crocodile does _not_ change--that a cayman, in fact, or an alligator,
is just as good for riding upon as he was in the time of the Pharaohs.
_That_ may be; but the reason is, that the crocodile does not live
fast--he is a slow coach. I believe it is generally understood amongst
naturalists, that the crocodile is a blockhead. It is my own impression
that the Pharaohs were also blockheads. Now, as the Pharaohs and
the crocodile domineered over Egyptian society, this accounts for a
singular mistake that prevailed on the Nile. The crocodile made the
ridiculous blunder of supposing man to be meant chiefly for his own
eating. Man, taking a different view of the subject, naturally met
that mistake by another; he viewed the crocodile as a thing sometimes
to worship, but always to run away from. And this continued until
Mr Waterton changed the relations between the animals. The mode of
escaping from the reptile he showed to be, not by running away, but
by leaping on its back, booted and spurred. The two animals had
misunderstood each other. The use of the crocodile has now been cleared
up--it is to be ridden; and the use of man is, that he may improve the
health of the crocodile by riding him a fox-hunting before breakfast.
And it is pretty certain that any crocodile, who has been regularly
hunted through the season, and is master of the weight he carries, will
take a six-barred gate now as well as ever he would have done in the
infancy of the Pyramids.

Perhaps, therefore, the crocodile does _not_ change, but all things
else _do_: even the shadow of the Pyramids grows less. And often
the restoration in vision of Fanny and the Bath road, makes me too
pathetically sensible of that truth. Out of the darkness, if I happen
to call up the image of Fanny from thirty-five years back, arises
suddenly a rose in June; or, if I think for an instant of the rose
in June, up rises the heavenly face of Fanny. One after the other,
like the antiphonies in a choral service, rises Fanny and the rose
in June, then back again the rose in June and Fanny. Then come both
together, as in a chorus; roses and Fannies, Fannies and roses, without
end--thick as blossoms in paradise. Then comes a venerable crocodile,
in a royal livery of scarlet and gold, or in a coat with sixteen
capes; and the crocodile is driving four-in-hand from the box of the
Bath mail. And suddenly we upon the mail are pulled up by a mighty
dial, sculptured with the hours, and with the dreadful legend of TOO
LATE. Then all at once we are arrived in Marlborough forest, amongst
the lovely households[23] of the roe-deer: these retire into the dewy
thickets; the thickets are rich with roses; the roses call up (as
ever) the sweet countenance of Fanny, who, being the granddaughter
of a crocodile, awakens a dreadful host of wild semi-legendary
animals--griffins, dragons, basilisks, sphinxes--till at length the
whole vision of fighting images crowds into one towering, armorial
shield, a vast emblazonry of human charities and human loveliness
that have perished, but quartered heraldically with unutterable
horrors of monstrous and demoniac natures; whilst over all rises, as a
surmounting crest, one fair female hand, with the fore-finger pointing,
in sweet, sorrowful admonition, upwards to heaven, and having power
(which, without experience, I never could have believed) to awaken the
pathos that kills in the very bosom of the horrors that madden the
grief that gnaws at the heart, together with the monstrous creations
of darkness that shock the belief, and make dizzy the reason of man.
This is the peculiarity that I wish the reader to notice, as having
first been made known to me for a possibility by this early vision of
Fanny on the Bath road. The peculiarity consisted in the confluence
of two different keys, though apparently repelling each other, into
the music and governing principles of the same dream; horror, such
as possesses the maniac, and yet, by momentary transitions, grief,
such as may be supposed to possess the dying mother when leaving her
infant children to the mercies of the cruel. Usually, and perhaps
always, in an unshaken nervous system, these two modes of misery
exclude each other--here first they met in horrid reconciliation.
There was also a separate peculiarity in the quality of the horror.
This was afterwards developed into far more revolting complexities
of misery and incomprehensible darkness; and perhaps I am wrong in
ascribing any value as a _causative_ agency to this particular case
on the Bath road--possibly it furnished merely an _occasion_ that
accidentally introduced a mode of horrors certain, at any rate, to
have grown up, with or without the Bath road, from more advanced
stages of the nervous derangement. Yet, as the cubs of tigers or
leopards, when domesticated, have been observed to suffer a sudden
development of their latent ferocity under too eager an appeal to
their playfulness--the gaieties of sport in _them_ being too closely
connected with the fiery brightness of their murderous instincts--so
I have remarked that the caprices, the gay arabesques, and the lovely
floral luxuriations of dreams, betray a shocking tendency to pass into
finer maniacal splendours. That gaiety, for instance, (for such at
first it was,) in the dreaming faculty, by which one principal point
of resemblance to a crocodile in the mail-coachman was soon made to
clothe him with the form of a crocodile, and yet was blended with
accessory circumstances derived from his _human_ functions, passed
rapidly into a further development, no longer gay or playful, but
terrific, the most terrific that besieges dreams, viz.--the horrid
inoculation upon each other of incompatible natures. This horror has
always been secretly felt by man; it was felt even under pagan forms
of religion, which offered a very feeble, and also a very limited
gamut for giving expression to the human capacities of sublimity or
of horror. We read it in the fearful composition of the sphinx. The
dragon, again, is the snake inoculated upon the scorpion. The basilisk
unites the mysterious malice of the evil eye, unintentional on the
part of the unhappy agent, with the intentional venom of some other
malignant natures. But these horrid complexities of evil agency are
but _objectively_ horrid; they inflict the horror suitable to their
compound nature; but there is no insinuation that they _feel_ that
horror. Heraldry is so full of these fantastic creatures, that, in some
zoologies, we find a separate chapter or a supplement dedicated to
what is denominated heraldic zoology. And why not? For these hideous
creatures, however visionary,[24] have a real traditionary ground in
medieval belief--sincere and partly reasonable, though adulterating
with mendacity, blundering, credulity, and intense superstition. But
the dream-horror which I speak of is far more frightful. The dreamer
finds housed within himself--occupying, as it were, some separate
chamber in his brain--holding, perhaps, from that station a secret
and detestable commerce with his own heart--some horrid alien nature.
What if it were his own nature repeated,--still, if the duality were
distinctly perceptible, even _that_--even this mere numerical double
of his own consciousness--might be a curse too mighty to be sustained.
But how, if the alien nature contradicts his own, fights with it,
perplexes, and confounds it? How, again, if not one alien nature, but
two, but three, but four, but five, are introduced within what once
he thought the inviolable sanctuary of himself? These, however, are
horrors from the kingdoms of anarchy and darkness, which, by their
very intensity, challenge the sanctity of concealment, and gloomily
retire from exposition. Yet it was necessary to mention them, because
the first introduction to such appearances (whether causal, or merely
casual) lay in the heraldic monsters, which monsters were themselves
introduced (though playfully) by the transfigured coachman of the Bath


But the grandest chapter of our experience, within the whole mail-coach
service, was on those occasions when we went down from London with the
news of victory. A period of about ten years stretched from Trafalgar
to Waterloo: the second and third years of which period (1806 and
1807) were comparatively sterile; but the rest, from 1805 to 1815
inclusively, furnished a long succession of victories; the least of
which, in a contest of that portentous nature, had an inappreciable
value of position--partly for its absolute interference with the plans
of our enemy, but still more from its keeping alive in central Europe
the sense of a deep-seated vulnerability in France. Even to tease the
coasts of our enemy, to mortify them by continual blockades, to insult
them by capturing if it were but a baubling schooner under the eyes of
their arrogant armies, repeated from time to time a sullen proclamation
of power lodged in a quarter to which the hopes of Christendom turned
in secret. How much more loudly must this proclamation have spoken in
the audacity[25] of having bearded the _élite_ of their troops, and
having beaten them in pitched battles! Five years of life it was worth
paying down for the privilege of an outside place on a mail-coach,
when carrying down the first tidings of any such event. And it is to
be noted that, from our insular situation, and the multitude of our
frigates disposable for the rapid transmission of intelligence, rarely
did any unauthorised rumour steal away a prelibation from the aroma of
the regular despatches. The government official news was generally the
first news.

From eight P.M. to fifteen or twenty minutes later, imagine the mails
assembled on parade in Lombard Street, where, at that time, was seated
the General Post-Office. In what exact strength we mustered I do
not remember; but, from the length of each separate _attelage_, we
filled the street, though a long one, and though we were drawn up in
double file. On _any_ night the spectacle was beautiful. The absolute
perfection of all the appointments about the carriages and the harness,
and the magnificence of the horses, were what might first have fixed
the attention. Every carriage, on every morning in the year, was taken
down to an inspector for examination--wheels, axles, linchpins, pole,
glasses, &c., were all critically probed and tested. Every part of
every carriage had been cleaned, every horse had been groomed, with
as much rigour as if they belonged to a private gentleman; and that
part of the spectacle offered itself always. But the night before us
is a night of victory; and behold! to the ordinary display, what a
heart-shaking addition!--horses, men, carriages--all are dressed in
laurels and flowers, oak leaves and ribbons. The guards, who are his
Majesty's servants, and the coachmen, who are within the privilege
of the Post-Office, wear the royal liveries of course; and as it is
summer (for all the _land_ victories were won in summer,) they wear,
on this fine evening, these liveries exposed to view, without any
covering of upper coats. Such a costume, and the elaborate arrangement
of the laurels in their hats, dilated their hearts, by giving to them
openly an _official_ connection with the great news, in which already
they have the general interest of patriotism. That great national
sentiment surmounts and quells all sense of ordinary distinctions.
Those passengers who happen to be gentlemen are now hardly to be
distinguished as such except by dress. The usual reserve of their
manner in speaking to the attendants has on this night melted away. One
heart, one pride, one glory, connects every man by the transcendent
bond of his English blood. The spectators, who are numerous beyond
precedent, express their sympathy with these fervent feelings by
continual hurrahs. Every moment are shouted aloud by the Post-Office
servants the great ancestral names of cities known to history through,
a thousand years,--Lincoln, Winchester, Portsmouth, Gloucester,
Oxford, Bristol, Manchester, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Perth,
Glasgow--expressing the grandeur of the empire by the antiquity of its
towns, and the grandeur of the mail establishment by the diffusive
radiation of its separate missions. Every moment you hear the thunder
of lids locked down upon the mail-bags. That sound to each individual
mail is the signal for drawing off, which process is the finest part
of the entire spectacle. Then come the horses into play;--horses!
can these be horses that (unless powerfully reined in) would bound
off with the action and gestures of leopards? What stir!--what
sea-like ferment!--what a thundering of wheels, what a trampling of
horses!--what farewell cheers--what redoubling peals of brotherly
congratulation, connecting the name of the particular mail--"Liverpool
for ever!"--with the name of the particular victory--"Badajoz for
ever!" or "Salamanca for ever!" The half-slumbering consciousness
that, all night long and all the next day--perhaps for even a
longer period--many of these mails, like fire racing along a train
of gunpowder, will be kindling at every instant new successions of
burning joy, has an obscure effect of multiplying the victory itself,
by multiplying to the imagination into infinity the stages of its
progressive diffusion. A fiery arrow seems to be let loose, which
from that moment is destined to travel, almost without intermission,
westwards for three hundred[26] miles--northwards for six hundred;
and the sympathy of our Lombard Street friends at parting is exalted
a hundredfold by a sort of visionary sympathy with the approaching
sympathies, yet unborn, which we were going to evoke.

Liberated from the embarrassments of the city, and issuing into the
broad uncrowded avenues of the northern suburbs, we begin to enter
upon our natural pace of ten miles an hour. In the broad light of the
summer evening, the sun perhaps only just at the point of setting,
we are seen from every storey of every house. Heads of every age
crowd to the windows--young and old understand the language of our
victorious symbols--and rolling volleys of sympathising cheers run
along behind and before our course. The beggar, rearing himself against
the wall, forgets his lameness--real or assumed--thinks not of his
whining trade, but stands erect, with bold exulting smiles, as we pass
him. The victory has healed him, and says--Be thou whole! Women and
children, from garrets alike and cellars, look down or look up with
loving eyes upon our gay ribbons and our martial laurels--sometimes
kiss their hands, sometimes hang out, as signals of affection, pocket
handkerchiefs, aprons, dusters, anything that lies ready to their
hands. On the London side of Barnet, to which we draw near within a few
minutes after nine, observe that private carriage which is approaching
us. The weather being so warm, the glasses are all down; and one may
read, as on the stage of a theatre, everything that goes on within the
carriage. It contains three ladies, one likely to be "mama," and two
of seventeen or eighteen, who are probably her daughters. What lovely
animation, what beautiful unpremeditated pantomime, explaining to us
every syllable that passes, in these ingenuous girls! By the sudden
start and raising of the hands, on first discovering our laurelled
equipage--by the sudden movement and appeal to the elder lady from both
of them--and by the heightened colour on their animated countenances,
we can almost hear them saying--"See, see! Look at their laurels.
Oh, mama! there has been a great battle in Spain; and it has been a
great victory." In a moment we are on the point of passing them. We
passengers--I on the box, and the two on the roof behind me--raise
our hats, the coachman makes his professional salute with the whip;
the guard even, though punctilious on the matter of his dignity as an
officer under the crown, touches his hat. The ladies move to us, in
return, with a winning graciousness of gesture: all smile on each side
in a way that nobody could misunderstand, and that nothing short of a
grand national sympathy could so instantaneously prompt. Will these
ladies say that we are nothing to _them_? Oh, no; they will not say
_that_. They cannot deny--they do not deny--that for this night they
are our sisters: gentle or simple, scholar or illiterate servant, for
twelve hours to come--we on the outside have the honour to be their
brothers. Those poor women again, who stop to gaze upon us with delight
at the entrance of Barnet, and seem by their air of weariness to be
returning from labour--do you mean to say that they are washerwomen and
charwomen? Oh, my poor friend, you are quite mistaken; they are nothing
of the kind. I assure you, they stand in a higher rank: for this one
night they feel themselves by birthright to be daughters of England,
and answer to no humbler title.

Every joy, however, even rapturous joy--such is the sad law of
earth--may carry with it grief, or fear of grief, to some. Three miles
beyond Barnet, we see approaching us another private carriage, nearly
repeating the circumstances of the former case. Here also the glasses
are all down--here also is an elderly lady seated; but the two amiable
daughters are missing; for the single young person, sitting by the
lady's side, seems to be an attendant--so I judge from her dress,
and her air of respectful reserve. The lady is in mourning; and her
countenance expresses sorrow. At first she does not look up; so that I
believe she is not aware of our approach, until she bears the measured
beating of our horses' hoofs. Then she raises her eyes to settle
them painfully on our triumphal equipage. Our decorations explain
the case to her at once; but she beholds them with apparent anxiety,
or even with terror. Sometime before this, I, finding it difficult
to hit a flying mark, when embarrassed by the coachman's person
and reins intervening, had given to the guard a _Courier_ evening
paper, containing the gazette, for the next carriage that might pass.
Accordingly he tossed it in so folded that the huge capitals expressing
some such legend as--GLORIOUS VICTORY, might catch the eye at once. To
see the paper, however, at all, interpreted as it was by our ensigns of
triumph, explained everything; and, if the guard were right in thinking
the lady to have received it with a gesture of horror, it could not
be doubtful that she had suffered some deep personal affliction in
connexion with this Spanish war.

Here now was the case of one who, having formerly suffered, might,
erroneously perhaps, be distressing herself with anticipations of
another similar suffering. That same night, and hardly three hours
later, occurred the reverse case. A poor woman, who too probably
would find herself, in a day or two, to have suffered the heaviest
of afflictions by the battle, blindly allowed herself to express an
exultation so unmeasured in the news, and its details, as gave to her
the appearance which amongst Celtic Highlanders is called _fey_. This
was at some little town, I forget what, where we happened to change
horses near midnight. Some fair or wake had kept the people up out
of their beds. We saw many lights moving about as we drew near; and
perhaps the most impressive scene on our route was our reception at
this place. The flashing of torches and the beautiful radiance of blue
lights (technically Bengal lights) upon the heads of our horses; the
fine effect of such a showery and ghostly illumination falling upon
flowers and glittering laurels, whilst all around the massy darkness
seemed to invest us with walls of impenetrable blackness, together
with the prodigious enthusiasm of the people, composed a picture at
once scenical and affecting. As we staid for three or four minutes,
I alighted. And immediately from a dismantled stall in the street,
where perhaps she had been presiding at some part of the evening,
advanced eagerly a middle-aged woman. The sight of my newspaper it was
that had drawn her attention upon myself. The victory which we were
carrying down to the provinces on _this_ occasion was the imperfect
one of Talavera. I told her the main outline of the battle. But
her agitation, though not the agitation of fear, but of exultation
rather, and enthusiasm, had been so conspicuous when listening, and
when first applying for information, that I could not but ask her
if she had not some relation in the Peninsular army. Oh! yes: her
only son was there. In what regiment? He was a trooper in the 23d
Dragoons. My heart sank within me as she made that answer. This sublime
regiment, which an Englishman should never mention without raising
his hat to their memory, had made the most memorable and effective
charge recorded in military annals. They leaped their horses--_over_
a trench, where they could _into_ it, and with the result of death or
mutilation when they could _not_. What proportion cleared the trench
is nowhere stated. Those who _did_, closed up and went down upon the
enemy with such divinity of fervour--(I use the word _divinity_ by
design: the inspiration of God must have prompted this movement to
those whom even then he was calling to his presence)--that two results
followed. As regarded the enemy, this 23d Dragoons, not, I believe,
originally 350 strong, paralysed a French column, 6000 strong, then
ascending the hill, and fixed the gaze of the whole French army. As
regarded themselves, the 23d were supposed at first to have been all
but annihilated; but eventually, I believe, not so many as one in four
survived. And this, then, was the regiment--a regiment already for
some hours known to myself and all London as stretched, by a large
majority, upon one bloody aceldama--in which the young trooper served
whose mother was now talking with myself in a spirit of such hopeful
enthusiasm. Did I tell her the truth? Had I the heart to break up her
dream? No. I said to myself, to-morrow, or the next day, she will hear
the worst. For this night, wherefore should she not sleep in peace?
After to-morrow, the chances are too many that peace will forsake her
pillow. This brief respite, let her owe this to _my_ gift and _my_
forbearance. But, if I told her not of the bloody price that had been
paid, there was no reason for suppressing the contributions from her
son's regiment to the service and glory of the day. For the very few
words that I had time for speaking, I governed myself accordingly. I
showed her not the funeral banners under which the noble regiment was
sleeping. I lifted not the overshadowing laurels from the bloody trench
in which horse and rider lay mangled together. But I told her how these
dear children of England, privates and officers, had leaped their
horses over all obstacles as gaily as hunters to the morning's chase.
I told her how they rode their horses into the mists of death, (saying
to myself, but not saying to _her_,) and laid down their young lives
for thee, O mother England! as willingly--poured out their noble blood
as cheerfully--as ever, after a long day's sport, when infants, they
had rested their wearied heads upon their mothers' knees, or had sunk
to sleep in her arms. It is singular that she seemed to have no fears,
even after this knowledge that the 23d Dragoons had been conspicuously
engaged, for her son's safety: but so much was she enraptured by the
knowledge that _his_ regiment, and therefore _he_, had rendered eminent
service in the trying conflict--a service which had actually made
them the foremost topic of conversation in London--that in the mere
simplicity of her fervent nature, she threw her arms round my neck,
and, poor woman, kissed me.


[17] Lady Madeline Gordon.

[18] "_Vast distances._"--One case was familiar to mail-coach
travellers, where two mails in opposite directions, north and south,
starting at the same minute from points six hundred miles apart, met
almost constantly at a particular bridge which exactly bisected the
total distance.

[19] "_Resident._"--The number on the books was far greater, many of
whom kept up an intermitting communication with Oxford. But I speak of
those only who were steadily pursuing their academic studies, and of
those who resided constantly as _fellows_.

[20] "Snobs," an its antithesis, "nobs," arose among the internal
factions of shoe-makers perhaps ten years later. Possibly enough, the
terms may have existed much earlier; but they were then first made
known, picturesquely and effectively, by a trial at some assizes which
happened to fix the public attention.

[21] "False echoes"--yes, false! for the words ascribed to Napoleon,
as breathed to the memory of Desaix, never were uttered at all. They
stand in the same category of theatrical inventions as the cry of the
foundering _Vengeur_, as the vaunt of General Cambronne at Waterloo,
"_La Garde meurt, mais ne se rend pas_," as the repartees of Talleyrand.

[22] "Privileged few." The general impression was that this splendid
costume belonged of right to the mail coachmen as their professional
dress. But that was an error. To the guard it _did_ belong as a
matter of course, and was essential as an official warrant, and a
means of instant identification for his person, in the discharge of
his important public duties. But the coachman, and especially if his
place in the series did not connect him immediately with London and
the General Post-Office, obtained the scarlet coat only as an honorary
distinction after long or special service.

[23] "_Households._"--Roe-deer do not congregate in herds like
the fallow or the red deer, but by separate families, parents,
and children; which feature of approximation to the sanctity of
human hearths, added to their comparatively miniature and graceful
proportions, conciliate to them an interest of a peculiarly tender
character, if less dignified by the grandeurs of savage and forest life.

[24] "_However visionary._"--But _are_ they always visionary? The
unicorn, the kraken, the sea-serpent, are all, perhaps, zoological
facts. The unicorn, for instance, so far from being a lie, is rather
_too_ true; for, simply as a _monokeras_, he is found in the Himalaya,
in Africa, and elsewhere, rather too often for the peace of what in
Scotland would be called the _intending_ traveller. That which really
_is_ a lie in the account of the unicorn--viz., his legendary rivalship
with the lion--which lie may God preserve, in preserving the mighty
imperial shield that embalms it--cannot be more destructive to the
zoological pretensions of the unicorn, than are to the same pretensions
in the lion our many popular crazes about his goodness and magnanimity,
or the old fancy (adopted by Spenser, and noticed by so many among our
elder poets) of his graciousness to maiden innocence. The wretch is the
basest and most cowardly among the forest tribes; nor has the sublime
courage of the English bull-dog ever been so memorably exhibited as
in his hopeless fight at Warwick with the cowardly and cruel lion
called Wallace. Another of the traditional creatures, still doubtful,
is the mermaid, upon which Southey once remarked to me, that, if it
had been differently named, (as, suppose, a mer-ape) nobody would have
questioned its existence any more than that of sea-cows, sea-lions, &c.
The mermaid has been discredited by her human name and her legendary
human habits. If she would not coquette so much with melancholy
sailors, and brush her hair so assiduously upon solitary rocks, she
would be carried on our books for as honest a reality, as decent a
female, as many that are assessed to the poor-rates.

[25] "_Audacity!_" Such the French accounted it, and it has struck me
that Soult would not have been so popular in London, at the period
of her present Majesty's coronation, or in Manchester, on occasion
of his visit to that town, if they had been aware of the insolence
with which he spoke of us in notes written at intervals from the
field of Waterloo. As though it had been mere felony in our army to
look a French one in the face, he said more than once--"Here are the
English--we have them: they are caught _en flagrant delit_." Yet no man
should have known us better; no man had drunk deeper from the cup of
humiliation than Soult had in the north of Portugal, during his flight
from an English army, and subsequently at Albuera, in the bloodiest of
recorded battles.

[26] "_Three hundred._" Of necessity this scale of measurement, to an
American, if he happens to be a thoughtless man, must sound ludicrous.
Accordingly, I remember a case in which an American writer indulges
himself in the luxury of a little lying, by ascribing to an Englishman
a pompous account of the Thames, constructed entirely upon American
ideas of grandeur, and concluding in something like these terms:--"And,
sir, arriving at London, this mighty father of rivers attains a breadth
of at least two furlongs, having, in its winding course, traversed
the astonishing distance of 170 miles." And this the candid American
thinks it fair to contrast with the scale of the Mississippi. Now, it
is hardly worth while to answer a pure falsehood gravely, else one
might say that no Englishman out of Bedlam ever thought of looking
in an island for the rivers of a continent; nor, consequently, could
have thought of looking for the peculiar grandeur of the Thames in
the length of its course, or in the extent of soil which it drains:
yet, if he _had_ been so absurd, the American might have recollected
that a river, not to be compared with the Thames even as to volume of
water--viz. the Tiber--has contrived to make itself heard of in this
world for twenty-five centuries to an extent not reached, nor likely to
be reached very soon, by any river, however corpulent, of his own land.
The glory of the Thames is measured by the density of the population to
which it ministers, by the commerce which it supports, by the grandeur
of the empire in which, though far from the largest, it is the most
influential stream. Upon some such scale, and not by a transfer of
Columbian standards, is the course of our English mails to be valued.
The American may fancy the effect of his own valuations to our English
ears, by supposing the case of a Siberian glorifying his country in
these terms:--"Those rascals, sir, in France and England, cannot
march half a mile in any direction without finding a house where food
can be had and lodging: whereas, such is the noble desolation of our
magnificent country, that in many a direction for a thousand miles, I
will engage a dog shall not find shelter from a snow-storm, nor a wren
find an apology for breakfast."


Lord Braybrooke has established a strong claim to the gratitude of the
literary world for his present elegant, improved, and augmented edition
of the _Diary of Samuel Pepys_. The work may now, we presume, be
regarded as complete, for there is little chance that any future editor
will consider himself entitled to supply the _lacunæ_ or omissions
which still confessedly exist. Lord Braybrooke informs us that, after
carefully re-perusing the whole of the manuscript, he had arrived at
the conclusion, "that a literal transcript of the Diary was absolutely
inadmissible; and he more than hints that most of the excluded passages
have been withheld from print on account of their strong indelicacy." We
cannot blame the noble editor for having thus exercised his judgment,
though we could wish that he had been a little more explicit as to
the general tenor and application of the proscribed entries. The
Diary of Pepys is a very remarkable one, comprehending both a history
or sketch of the times in which he lived, and an accurate record of
his own private transactions and affairs. He chronicles not only the
faults of others, as these were reported to him or fell under his
personal observation, but he notes his own frailties and backslidings
with a candour, a minuteness, and even occasionally a satisfaction,
which is at once amusing and uncommon. The one division of his subject
is a political and social--the other a psychological curiosity. We
are naturally desirous to hear all about Charles and his courtiers,
and not averse to the general run of gossip regarding that train of
beautiful women whose portraits, from the luxuriant pencil of Lely,
still adorn the walls of Hampton Court. But not less remarkable are
the quaint confessions of the autobiographer, whether he be recording,
in conscious pride, the items of the dinner and the plate with which
he appeased the appetite and excited the envy of some less prosperous
guest, or junketing with Mrs Pierce and equivocal Mrs Knipp the
actress, whilst poor Mrs Pepys was absent on a fortnight's visit to the
country. Far are we from excusing or even palliating the propensities
of Pepys. We have enough before us to show that he was a sad flirt,
and a good deal of a domestic hypocrite: all this he admits, and even
exhibits at times a certain amount of penitence and compunction. But
we confess that we should be glad to know from which section of the
Diary the objectionable matter has been expunged. If from the public
part, or rather that disconnected with the personality of Pepys, we
acquiesce without further comment in the taste and judgment of the
editor. We do not want to have any minute details, even though Pepys
may have written them down, of the drunken and disgraceful exhibitions
of Sir Charles Sedley and his comrades, or even of the private actings
of the Maids (by courtesy) of Honour. We have enough, and more than
enough, of this in the _Memoirs of Grammont_, and no one would wish to
see augmented that repertory of antiquated scandal. History, and the
products of the stage as it then existed, speak quite unequivocally as
to the general demoralisation of those unhappy times, and it cannot
serve any manner of use to multiply or magnify instances. But whilst
we so far freely concede the right of omission to Lord Braybrooke, we
must own that we are not a little jealous lest, out of respect to the
individual memory of Pepys, he should have concealed some personal
confessions, which may have been really requisite in order to form
an accurate estimate of the man. We cannot read the Diary without
strong suspicions that something of the kind has taken place. Mere
flirtation on the part of her husband could hardly have driven Mrs
Pepys to the desperate extremity of heating the tongs in the fire, and
approaching the nuptial couch therewith, obviously for no good purpose,
to the infinite dismay of Samuel. Pepys might perhaps be excused for a
reciprocated oscillation of the eyelid, when Mrs Knipp winked at him
from the stage; but why, if his motives for frequenting her company
were strictly virtuous and artistical, did he go to kiss her in her
tireing-room? why should she have pulled his hair, when she sat behind
him in the pit? or why should he have been sorely troubled "that Knipp
sent by Moll (an orange-woman, whose basket was her character) to
desire to speak to me after the play, and I promised to come; but it
was so late, and I forced to step to Mrs Williams' lodgings with my
Lord Brouncker and her, where I did not stay, however, for fear of her
showing me her closet, and thereby forcing me to give her something;
and it was so late, that, for fear of my wife's coming home before me,
I was forced to go straight home, which troubled me"? If Pepys was
really innocent in deed, and but culpable in thought and inclination,
his escape was a mighty narrow one, and Mrs Pepys may well stand
excused for the strength and frequency of her suspicions. The truth
is, that Pepys, at least in the earlier part of his life, was a very
odious specimen of the Cockney, and would upon many occasions have been
justly punished by a sound kicking, or an ample dose of the cudgel. It
seems to us perfectly inexplicable how the coxcomb--who, by the way,
was a regular church-goer, and rather zealous religionist--could have
prevailed upon himself to make such entries as the following in his
journal: "_August 18, 1667._--I walked towards Whitehall, but, being
wearied, turned into St Dunstan's church, where I heard an able sermon
of the minister of the place; and stood by a pretty, modest maid, whom
I did labour to take by the hand; but she would not, but got further
and further from me; and at last I could perceive her to take pins out
of her pocket to prick me if I should touch her again, which seeing,
I did forbear, and was glad I did spy her design. And then I fell to
gaze upon another pretty maid in a pew close to me, and she on me; and
I did go about to take her by the hand, which she suffered a little,
and then withdrew. So the sermon ended, and the church broke up, and
my amours ended also." What a pity that the first maid in question had
not been more nimble with her fingers! The poisoned bodkin which the
goblin page shoved into the knee of Wat Tinlinn, would have been well
bestowed, if buried to the very head, on this occasion, in the hip of
Pepys; and charity does not forbid us from indulging ourselves in fancy
with the startling hideousness of his howl! No wonder that Mrs Pepys
not only made hot the tongs, but incoherently insisted, at times, on
the necessity of a separate maintenance.

The great charm of the book is its utter freedom from disguise. The
zeal of antiquaries, and the patriotic exertions of the literary
clubs, have, of late years, put the public in possession of various
diaries, which are most valuable, as throwing light upon the political
incidents and social manners of the times in which the authors
lived. Thus we have the journals of honest John Nicholl, writer to
the signet in Edinburgh, who saw the great Marquis of Montrose go
down from his prison to the scaffold; of the shrewd and cautious
Fountainhall; of the high-minded and accomplished Evelyn, and many
others--the manuscripts of which had lain for years undisturbed on the
shelf or in the charter-chest. But it cannot be said of any one of
those diaries, that it was kept solely for the use and reference of
the writer. Some of them may not have been intended for publication;
and it is very likely that the thoughts of posthumous renown never
crossed the mind of the chronicler, as he set down his daily jotting
and observation. Nevertheless those were family documents, such as
a father, if he had no wider aim, might have bequeathed for the
information of his children. Diaries of more modern date have, we
suspect, been kept principally with a view to publication; or, at
least, the writers of them seem never to have been altogether devoid of
a kind of consciousness that their lucubrations might one day see the
light. Owing to that feeling, the veil of domestic privacy is seldom
withdrawn, and seldomer still are we treated to a faithful record of
the deeds and thoughts of the diarist. But Pepys framed his journal
with no such intention. He durst not, for dear life, have submitted
a single page of it to the inspection of the wife of his bosom--had
he been as fruitful as Jacob, no son of his would have been intrusted
with the key which could unlock the mysterious cipher in which the most
private passages of his life were written. No clerk was allowed to
continue it in a clear, legible hand, when failing eyesight rendered
the task irksome or impossible to himself. There is something of pathos
in his last entry, when the doors of the daily confessional were just
closing for ever. "And thus ends all that I doubt I shall ever be able
to do with my own eyes in the keeping of my journal, I being not able
to do it any longer, having done now so long as to undo my eyes almost
every time that I take a pen in my hand; and, therefore, whatever comes
of it, I must forbear; and therefore resolve, from this time forward,
to have it kept by my people in long hand, and must be contented to set
down no more than is fit for them and all the world to know; or, if
there be anything, I must endeavour to keep a margin in my book open,
to add now and then a note in short-hand, with my own hand." Perhaps it
is as well that the marginal continuation so hinted at was withheld;
for, in the process of decanting, the wine would have lost its flavour,
and must have suffered terribly in contrast with the raciness of the
earlier cooper.

The position in life which Pepys occupied renders his Diary doubly
interesting. Had he been only a hanger-on of the court, we might have
heard more minute and personal scandal, conveyed through the medium
of Bab May, or Chiffinch, or other unscrupulous satellites of a very
profligate monarch. Had he been a mere private citizen or merchant, his
knowledge of or interest in public events would probably have been so
small, as to assist us but little in unravelling the intricate history
of the time. But, standing as he did between two classes of society,
then separated by a far stronger line of demarcation than now,--a
citizen of London by birth and connexion, by occupation a government
official, and through instinct an intense admirer of the great--he had
access to more sources of information, and could interpret general
opinion better, than the professional courtier or tradesman. Shrewd,
sharp, and not very scrupulous, he readily seized all opportunities of
making his way in the world; and though privately a censor of the more
open vices of the great, he never was so truly happy as when admitted
by accident to their society. Lord Braybrooke, we think, is too partial
in his estimate of Pepys' character. If we are to judge of him by his
own confessions, he was largely imbued with that spirit of meanness,
arrogance, and vanity, which dramatic writers have always seized on
as illustrative of the parvenu, but which is never apparent in the
conversation, or discernible in the dealings, of a true and perfect

Sam does not appear to have troubled himself much about his pedigree
until he became a person of considerable note and substance. Indeed,
the circumstances of his immediate extraction were not such as to have
found much favour in the eyes of the professors of Herald's College.
His father was a respectable tailor, and, in his own earlier years,
Pepys had carried doublets to customers, if not actually handled the
goose. The impressions that he received in his boyhood seem to have
been indelible through life; prosperity could not make him insensible
to the flavour of cucumber. The sight of a new garment invariably
kindled in his mind the aspirations of his primitive calling, and very
proud, indeed, was he when brother Tom brought him his "jackanapes
coat with silver buttons." In his way he was quite a Sir Piercie
Shafton, and never formed a complete opinion of any man without due
consideration of his clothes. At the outset of his diary we find him
married, and in rather indifferent circumstances. He was then a clerk
in some public office connected with the Exchequer, at a small salary.
But he was diligent in his vocation, and prudent in his habits; so
that he and his wife, and servant Jane, fared not much worse, or
perhaps rather better, than Andrew Marvell, for we find them living in
a garret, and dining on New Year's day on the remains of a turkey, in
the dressing whereof Mrs Pepys unfortunately burned her hand. A few
days afterwards, they mended their cheer at the house of "cosen Thomas
Pepys" the turner, where the dinner "was very good; only the venison
pasty was palpable mutton, which was not handsome." But the advent of
better banquets was near. In the preceding autumn, the old protector,
Oliver Cromwell, had been carried to the grave, and the reins of
government, sorely frayed and worn, were given to the weak hands of
Richard. In truth, there was hardly any government at all. The military
chiefs did not own the second Cromwell as their master; Lambert was
attempting to get up a party in his own favour; and Monk, in command of
the northern army, was suspected of a similar design. The bulk of the
nation, in terror of anarchy, and heartily sick of the consequences of
revolution, which, as usual, had terminated in arbitrary rule, longed
for the restoration of their legitimate sovereign, as the only means of
arresting further calamity; and several of the influential officers,
not compromised by regicide, were secretly of the same opinion. Amongst
these latter was Sir Edward Montagu, admiral of the fleet, afterwards
created Earl of Sandwich, whose mother was a Pepys, and with whom,
accordingly, Samuel was proud to reckon kin. Sir Edward had been
already very kind to his young relative, and now laid the foundation of
his fortunes by employing him as his secretary, during the expedition
which ended with the return of Charles II. to his hereditary dominions.
Pepys, in his boyish days, had been somewhat tainted with the Roundhead
doctrines, but he was now as roaring a royalist as ever danced round
a bonfire; and the slight accession of profit which accrued to him
for his share in the Restoration, gave him an unbounded appetite for
future accumulations. He made himself useful to Montagu, who presently
received his earldom, and through his interest Pepys was installed in
office as clerk of the Acts of the Navy.

Other snug jobs followed, and Pepys began to thrive apace. It is
possible that, if judged by the standard of morality recognised in
his time, our friend may have been deemed, on the whole, a tolerably
conscientious officer; but, according to our more strict ideas,
he hardly could have piqued himself, like a modern statesman, on
the superior purity of his palms. If not grossly avaricious, he
was decidedly fond of money; he cast up his accounts with great
punctuality, and seems to have thought that each additional hundred
pounds came into his possession through a special interposition of
Providence. Now, although we know well that there is a blessing upon
honest industry, it would appear that a good deal of Pepys' money
flowed in through crooked channels. Bribes and acknowledgments he
received without much compunction or hesitation, only taking care
that little evidence should be left of the transaction. The following
extract shows that his conscience was by no means of stiff or
inflexible material: "I met Captain Grove, who did give me a letter
directed to myself from himself. I discerned money to be in it, knowing
as I found it to be, the proceeds of the place I have got him to
be--the taking up of vessels for Tangier. But I did not open it till
I came home--not looking into it until all the money was out, that I
might say I saw no money in the paper, if ever I should be questioned
about it. There was a piece in gold, and £4 in silver." Pepys made
altogether a good thing out of the Tangier settlement, for which he was
afterwards secretary, as, besides such small pickings as the above,
we read of magnificent silver flagons--"the noblest that ever I saw
all the days of my life"--presented to him, in grateful acknowledgment
of services to come, by Gauden, victualler of the navy. Samuel had
twinges of conscience, but the sight of the plate was too much for
him: "Whether I shall keep them or no," saith he, striving to cast
dust in his own eyes, "I cannot tell; for it is to oblige me to him
in the business of the Tangier victualling, wherein I doubt I shall
not; but glad I am to see that I shall be sure to get something on one
side or other, have it which will; so with a merry heart I looked upon
them, and locked them up." The flagons, however, did the business.
Gauden was preferred; and, from an entry in the Diary, made about a
year afterwards, we must conclude that his profits were enormous: "All
the afternoon to my accounts; and then find myself, to my great joy, a
great deal worth--above £4000--for which the Lord be praised! and is
principally occasioned by my getting £500 of Cocke for my profit in
his bargains of prize goods, and from Mr Gauden's making me a present
of £500 more, when I paid him £800 for Tangier. Thus ends this year,
to my great joy, in this manner. I have raised my estate from £1300,
in this year, to £4400." A pretty accretion: but made, we fear, at
the expense of the nation, by means which hardly would have stood the
scrutiny of a court of justice. It may be quite true that every man
in office, from the highest to the lowest, from the chancellor to the
doorkeeper, was then doing the like; still we cannot give Pepys the
benefit of a perfect indemnity on the score of the general practice.
Even when he tells us elsewhere, with evident satisfaction--"This night
I received, by Will, £105, the first-fruits of my endeavours in the
late contract for victualling of Tangier, for which God be praised!
for I can, with a safe conscience, say that I have therein saved the
king £5000 per annum, and yet got myself a hope of £300 per annum,
without the least wrong to the king"--it is impossible to reconcile his
conduct with the strict rules of morality, or of duty: nor, perhaps,
need we do so, seeing that Pepys makes no pretence of being altogether
immaculate. He began by taking small fees in a surreptitious way, and
ended by pocketing the largest without a single twinge. It is the
progress from remuneration to guerdon, as philosophically explained
by Costard--"Guerdon!--O sweet guerdon! better than remuneration;
eleven-pence farthing better. Most sweet guerdon!--I will do it, sir,
in print;--guerdon--remuneration!"

The common proverb tells us that money easily got is lightly expended.
In one sense Pepys formed no exception to the common rule; for,
notwithstanding divers good resolutions, he led rather a dissipated
life for a year or two after the Restoration, and was in the
constant habit of drinking more wine than altogether agreed with his
constitution. This fault he strove to amend by registering sundry vows,
which, however, were often broken; and he was finally weaned from
the bottle by the pangs of disordered digestion. His expenses kept
pace with his income. The "jackanapes coat, with silver buttons," was
succeeded by a "fine one of flowered tabby vest, and coloured camelot
tunique, made stiff with gold lace at the bands," in which Pepys
probably expected to do great execution in the Park, or, at any rate,
to astonish Mrs Knipp; but it proved to be so extravagantly fine, that
his friends thought it necessary to interfere. "Povy told me of my
gold-laced sleeve in the Park yesterday, which vexed me also, so as to
resolve never to appear in court with them, but presently to have them
taken off, as it is fit I should, and so called at my tailor's for that
purpose." Povy's hint might have its origin in envy; but, on the whole,
it was wise and judicious. Also Mrs Pepys was indulged with a fair
allowance of lace, taffeta, and such trinkets as females affect; and
both of them sat for their portraits to Hales, having previously been
refused by Lely. Furniture and plate of the most expensive description
were ordered; and finally, to his intense delight, Samuel achieved
the great object of his own ambition, and set up a carriage of his
own. The account of his first public appearance in this vehicle is too
characteristic to be lost:--"At noon home to dinner, and there found my
wife extraordinary fine, with her flowered gown that she made two years
ago, now laced exceeding pretty, and indeed was fine all over; and
mighty earnest to go, though the day was very lowering; and she would
have me put on my fine suit, which I did. And so anon we went alone
through the town with our new liveries of serge, and the horses' manes
and tails tied with red ribbons, and the standards gilt with varnish,
and all clean, and green reins, that people did mightily look upon us;
and, the truth is, I did not see any coach more pretty, though more
gay, than ours all the day. But we set out, out of humour--I, because
Betty, whom I expected, was not come to go with us; and my wife, that
I would sit on the same seat with her, which she likes not, being so
fine; and she then expected to meet Sheres, which we did in the Pell
Mell, and, against my will, I was forced to take him into the coach,
but was sullen all day almost, and little complaisant; the day being
unpleasing, though the Park full of coaches, but dusty, and windy,
and cold, and now and then a little dribbling of rain; and, what made
it worse, there were so many hackney coaches as spoiled the sight of
the gentlemen's; and so we had little pleasure." The tale of Seged,
Emperor of Ethiopia, does not convey a clearer moral. No peacock was
prouder than Samuel Pepys, as he stepped that day, in all the luxury
of gorgeous apparel, into his coach, and drove through the streets of
London, under the distinct impression that, for the moment, he was
the most remarked and remarkable man in the whole of his Majesty's
dominions. Yet there were drops of bitterness in the cup. Betty Turner
was not there to enjoy the triumph, and Sheres, who must needs join
the party, was supposed by Samuel to stand rather high in the good
graces of Mrs Pepys, insomuch that he mourned not a whit when he heard
that the gallant captain was about to set off to Tangier. Add to this,
the ungenial weather, and the insolent display of hackney coaches,
obscuring somewhat the lustre of his new turn-out, and detracting from
the glory of red ribbons, gilt standards, and green reins, and we need
hardly wonder if, even in the hour of triumph, Pepys felt that he was
mortal. It is to be hoped that, when he returned home, he vented his
ill-humour neither upon his wife nor his monkey, both of whom, on other
occasions, were made to suffer when anything had gone wrong.

Three great national events, which have not yet lost their interest,
are recorded in this Diary. These are the plague, the great fire of
London, and the successful enterprise of De Ruyter and the Dutch fleet
at Chatham. The account of the plague will be read with much interest,
especially at the present time, when another terrible epidemic has been
raging through the streets and lanes of the metropolis. The progress of
the plague through Europe seems, in many respects, to have resembled
that of the cholera. It did not burst out suddenly in one locality, but
appears to have pervaded the Continent with a gradual and irresistible
march, sometimes lingering in its advance, and ever and anon breaking
out with redoubled virulence. Several years before it reached England,
the pestilence raged in Naples, and is said to have carried off in
six months nearly 400,000 victims. Its introduction was traced to
a transport ship, with soldiers on board, coming from Sardinia. It
reached Amsterdam and Hamburg more than a year before it broke out in
London, and its malignity may be judged of by the following entry in
Pepys' Diary: "We were told to-day of a sloop, of three or four hundred
tons, where all the men were dead of the plague, and the sloop cast
ashore at Gottenburg." In England there had been great apprehension
of its coming, long before the visitation; and two exceedingly
unhealthy seasons, occurring in succession, had probably enfeebled the
constitutions of many, and rendered them more liable to the contagion.
Pepys' note of 15th January 1662 is as follows: "This morning Mr
Berkenshaw came again, and after he had examined me, and taught me
something in my work, he and I went to breakfast in my chamber upon a
collar of brawn; and after we had eaten, asked me whether we had not
committed a fault in eating to-day; telling me that it is a fast-day,
ordered by the parliament, to pray for more seasonable weather; it
having hitherto been summer weather: that it is, both as to warmth
and every other thing, just as if it wore the middle of May or June,
which do threaten a plague, (as all men think,) to follow, for so it
was almost the last winter; and the whole year after hath been a very
sickly time to this day." The plague appeared in London in December
1664, and reached its deadliest point in August and September of the
ensuing year. The number of those who died from it has been differently
estimated from sixty-eight to one hundred thousand. London is now,
according to the best authorities, about four times as populous as
it was then, so that we may easily judge of the consternation into
which its inhabitants must have been thrown when the pestilence was
at its worst. During the month of September 1849, the greatest number
of deaths occurring from cholera in the metropolis, in one day, was
about four hundred and fifty--a proportion very small when compared
with the ravages of the plague at its most destructive season, and yet
large enough to justify great apprehension, and to demand humiliation
and prayer for national apathy and transgression. Yet, great as the
alarm was, when death was waving his wings over the affrighted city,
it does not seem to have been so excessive as we might well imagine.
The truth is, that, not withstanding intramural interment, bad
sewerage, and infected air, the sanatory condition of London, since it
was rebuilt after the great fire, has improved in a most remarkable
degree. Prior to that event, the metropolis had at various times
suffered most severely from epidemics. In 1204, when the population
must have been very small, it is recorded that two hundred persons were
buried daily in the Charterhouse-yard. The mortality in 1367 has been
described as terrific. In 1407, thirty thousand persons perished of a
dreadful pestilence. There was another in 1478, which not only visited
London with much severity, but is said to have destroyed, throughout
England, more people than fell in the wars which had raged with little
intermission for the fifteen preceding years. In 1485, that mysterious
complaint called the sweating sickness was very fatal in London.
Fifteen years later, in 1500, the plague there was so dreadful that
Henry VII. and his court were forced to remove to Calais. The sweating
sickness, described as mortal in three hours, again scourged England
in 1517, and its ravages were so great, that, according to Stowe, half
of the inhabitants of most of the larger towns died, and Oxford was
almost depopulated. In 1603-4, upwards of thirty thousand persons died
of the plague in London alone; and in 1625 there was another great
mortality. Since the great plague of London in 1664-5, down to our
time, no very fatal epidemic--at least none at all comparable to those
earlier pestilences--seems to have occurred in the metropolis, and it
is therefore natural that any extraordinary visitation should, from its
increased rarity, occasion a much higher degree of alarm. Of all the
accounts extant of the plague, that of Pepys appears to be the most
truthful and the least exaggerated. He remained in London at his post
until the month of August, when he removed to Greenwich; and although
a timorous man, and exceedingly shy of exposing himself to unnecessary
risks, he seems on this occasion to have behaved with considerable
fortitude. One anecdote we cannot omit, for it tells in a few words
a deep and tearful tragedy, and is moreover honourable to Pepys. It
occurred when the plague was at its height. "My Lord Brouncker, Sir
J. Minnes, and I, up to the vestry, at the desire of the justices of
the peace, in order to the doing something for the keeping of the
plague from growing; but, Lord! to consider the madness of people of
the town, who will, because they are forbid, come in crowds along with
the dead corpses to see them buried; but we agreed on some orders for
the prevention thereof. Among other stories, one was very passionate,
methought, of a complaint brought against a man in the town, for taking
a child from London from an infected house. Alderman Hooker told us it
was the child of a very able citizen in Gracious Street, a saddler, who
had buried all the rest of his children of the plague; and himself and
wife, now being shut up in despair of escaping, did desire only to save
the life of this little child, and so prevailed to have it removed,
stark-naked, into the arms of a friend, who brought it, having put it
into fresh clothes, to Greenwich; when, upon hearing the story, we did
agree it should be permitted to be received, and kept in the town."
It is now generally admitted that the Account of the Plague, written
by Defoe, cannot be accepted as a genuine narrative, but must be
classed with the other fictions of that remarkable man, whose singular
power of giving a strong impression of reality to every one of his
compositions must always challenge the admiration of the reader. He
has not, perhaps, aggravated the horrors of the pestilence, for that
were impossible; but he has concentrated them in one heap, so as to
produce a more awful picture than probably met the eye of any single
citizen of London even at that disastrous period. Pepys, in his account
of different visits which he was forced to make to the City when the
epidemic was at its height, has portrayed the outward desolation, and
the inward anxiety and apprehension, which prevailed, in more sober,
yet very striking colours: "_28th August 1665._--To Mr Colville the
goldsmith's, having not been for some days in the streets; but now how
few people I see, and those looking like people that had taken leave of
the world. To the Exchange, and there was not fifty people upon it, and
but few more like to be, as they told me. I think to take adieu to-day
of the London streets.... _30th._--Abroad, and met with Hadley, our
clerk, who, upon my asking how the plague goes, told me it increases
much, and much in our parish; for, says he, there died nine this week,
though I have returned but six; which is a very ill practice, and
makes me think it is so in other places, and therefore the plague much
greater than people take it to be. I went forth, and walked towards
Moorefields, to see--God forgive my presumption!--whether I could see
any dead corpse going to the grave, but, as God would have it, did
not. But, Lord! how everybody's looks and discourse in the street is
of death, and nothing else! and few people going up and down, that the
town is like a place deserted and forsaken.... _6th Sept._--To London,
to pack up more things; and there I saw fires burning in the street,
(as it is through the whole city,) by the lord mayor's order. Hence by
water to the Duke of Albemarle's: all the way fires on each side of the
Thames, and strange to see, in broad daylight, two or three burials
upon the Bankside, one at the very heels of another: doubtless, all of
the plague, and yet at least forty or fifty people going along with
every one of them.... _20th._--Lord! what a sad time it is to see no
boats upon the river; and grass grows all up and down Whitehall Court,
and nobody but poor wretches in the streets!" By this time the plague
had become so general, that all attempt to shut up the infected houses
was abandoned; so that, says Pepys, "to be sure, we do converse and
meet with people that have the plague upon them." A little later, when
the pestilence was abating, we find this entry: "I walked to the town;
but, Lord! how empty the streets are, and melancholy! so many poor,
sick people in the streets, full of sores, and so many sad stories
overheard as I walk, everybody talking of this dead, and that man sick,
and so many in this place, and so many in that; and they tell me that,
in Westminster, there is never a physician, and but one apothecary,
left--all being dead; but that there are great hopes of a great
decrease this week: God send it!" Still, without the circle of the
plague, (for it does not seem to have penetrated beyond the immediate
environs of London,) men ate, drank, and made merry, as though no vial
of divine wrath had been poured out amongst them. Even Pepys, after
returning from the melancholy spectacles of this day, seems to have
drowned his care in more than usual jollity; and his records go far
to confirm the truthfulness of Boccaccio, in the account which he has
given of the levity of the Florentines during the prevalence of a like

The fire of London, which occurred about the middle of the succeeding
year, not only dispelled the more poignant memories of the plague,
but is thought to have done good service in eradicating its remains,
which still lingered in some parts of the city, and may perhaps have
been the means of preventing a second outbreak of this pestilence. On
the second night the conflagration was awful: Pepys watched it from
the river,--"So near the fire as we could for the smoke; and all over
the Thames, with one's face in the wind, you were almost burned with
a shower of fire-drops. This is very true; so as houses were burned
by these drops and flakes of fire--three or four, nay, five or six
houses, one from another. When we could endure no more upon the water,
we to a little alehouse on the Bankside, over against the Three Cranes,
and there stayed till it was dark almost, and saw the fire grow, and,
as it grew darker, appeared more and more; and in corners, and upon
steeples, and between churches and houses, as far as we could see up
the hill of the City, in a most horrid, malicious, bloody flame, not
like the fine flame of an ordinary fire. Barbary and her husband away
before us. We stayed till, it being darkish, we saw the fire as only
one entire arch of fire, from this to the other side of the bridge, and
in a bow up the hill for an arch of above a mile long: it made me weep
to see it. The churches, houses, and all on fire and flaming at once;
and a horrid noise the flames made, and the cracking of houses at their
ruin." For five days the conflagration raged, nor was its force spent
until the greater part of London was laid in ashes. The terror of the
calamity was heightened by rumours industriously propagated, though
their origin never could be traced. The fire was said to be the result
of a deep-laid Popish plot; and that report, though in all probability
utterly without foundation, was at a future day the cause of shameful
persecution and bloodshed. A great alarm was raised that the Dutch,
with whom England was then at war, and whose fleet was actually in the
Channel, had landed; so that a kind of sullen despair and apathy seized
upon the minds of many. It was long before London could recover from
the blow; but at length a new city, far more substantial and splendid
than the first, arose from the scattered ruins.

England was at that time contesting the supremacy of the seas with
the States of opulent and enterprising Holland. Amsterdam was then
considered the most wealthy capital of Europe. The Dutch navy was
powerful, well equipped, and well manned, and the admirals, De Ruyter
and De Witt, were esteemed second to none living for seamanship and
ability. The struggle was not a new one. In 1652, after a desperate
engagement with Blake, Van Tromp, the renowned commander of Holland,
had sailed in triumph through the Channel, with a broom at his
masthead, to denote that he had swept the English from the seas.
That premature boast was afterwards terribly avenged. Three times,
in three successive months, did these foes, worthy of each other,
encounter on the open seas, and yet victory declared for neither. Four
other battles were fought, which England has added to her proud list
of naval triumphs; but most assuredly the decisive palm was not won
until, on the 31st July 1653, gallant Van Tromp fell in the heat of
action. A braver man never trod the quarterdeck, and Holland may well
be proud of such a hero. For a time the States succumbed to the stern
genius of Cromwell; nor did the struggle commence anew until after
the Restoration of Charles. The first engagement was glorious for
England. The Duke of York, afterwards James II., commanded in person:
he encountered the Dutch fleet off Harwich, and defeated it after a
stubborn engagement. Eighteen of their finest vessels were taken,
and the ship of the admiral (Opdam) blown into the air. Mr Macaulay,
in his late published _History of England_, has not deigned even to
notice this engagement--a remarkable omission, the reason of which it
is foreign to our purpose to inquire. This much we may be allowed to
say, that no historian who intends to form an accurate estimate of
the character of James II., or to compile a complete register of his
deeds, can justly accomplish his task without giving that unfortunate
monarch due credit for his conduct and intrepidity, in one of the
most important and successful naval actions which stands recorded in
our annals. The same year (1665) is memorable for another victory,
when the Earl of Sandwich captured fourteen of the enemy's ships.
Prince Rupert and the Duke of Albemarle were less successful in the
engagement which commenced on 1st June 1666. The fight lasted four
days, with no decisive result, but considerable loss on either side.
The next battle, fought at the mouth of the Thames, ended in favour
of England; the Dutch lost four-and-twenty men-of-war, and four of
their admirals, and four thousand officers and seamen, fell. When we
take into consideration the state of the navy during the earlier part
of the reign of Charles, it is absolutely astonishing that England was
able not only to cope with the Dutch on equal terms, but ultimately
to subdue them. We learn from Pepys the particulars of a fact long
generally known, that in no department of the state were there
greater corruptions, abuses, and frauds practised than in that of the
Admiralty. The pay both of officers and men was constantly in arrear,
insomuch that some of them were reduced to absolute starvation whilst
considerable sums were due to them. Stores were embezzled and plundered
almost without inquiry. The fleets were often wretchedly commanded,
for there was not then, as there is now, any restriction between the
services; and new-made captains from the circle of the court, who never
in their lives had been at sea, were frequently put over the heads of
veterans who from boyhood had dwelt upon the ocean. There was scarcely
any discipline in the navy; impressment was harshly and illegally
practised, and after each engagement the sailors deserted by hundreds.
So bad did matters at length become, that, towards the close of the
year 1666, the fleet was in actual mutiny, and the naval arm of England
paralysed. The subsequent reform of the navy is mainly attributable to
the firmness and determination of the Duke of York, who, being a far
better man of business than his indolent and selfish brother, applied
himself resolutely to the task. The most important suggestions and
rules for remedying grievances, and securing future efficiency, were
made and drawn out by Pepys, who showed himself, in this respect, a
most able officer of the crown, and who, in consequence, acquired an
ascendency in navy affairs, which lie never lost until the Revolution
deprived him of a master who thoroughly understood his value. But,
before any steps were taken towards this most necessary reform, her
daring adversaries aimed at the capital of England a blow which
narrowly failed of success.

The seamen, as we have said, being in a state of mutiny arising
from sheer wanton mismanagement, it became apparent that no active
naval operations could be undertaken in the course of the following
year. All this was well known to the Dutch, who determined to avail
themselves of the opportunity. During the spring of 1667, the whole
British coast, as far north as the firth of Forth, was molested by the
Dutch cruisers, insomuch that great inconvenience was felt in London
from the total stoppage of the coal trade. In the month of June, De
Ruyter, being by that time fully prepared and equipped, sailed boldly
into the Thames, without encountering a vestige of opposition. It
is not too much to say, that the plague and fire combined, had not
struck the citizens of London with so much alarm as did this hostile
demonstration. All the former naval triumphs of England seemed to have
gone for nothing, for here was invasion brought to the very doors of
the capital. The supremacy of the seas was not now in dispute: it was
the occupancy of the great British river, the highway of the national
commerce. Strange were the thoughts, that haunted the minds of men
whilst that mighty armament was hovering on our shores: it seemed a new
Armada, with no gallant Drake to oppose it. "We had good company at
our table," wrote Pepys, upon the 3d of June; "among others, my good
Mr Evelyn, with whom, after dinner, I stepped aside, and talked upon
the present posture of our affairs, which is, that the Dutch are known
to be abroad with eighty sail of ships of war, and twenty fireships;
and the French come into the Channel, with twenty sail of men-of-war,
and five fireships, while we have not a ship at sea to do them any
hurt with; but are calling in all we can, while our ambassadors are
treating at Breda; and the Dutch look upon them as come to beg peace,
and use them accordingly: and all this through the negligence of our
prince, who had power, if he would, to master all these with the money
and men that he hath had the command of, and may now have if he would
mind his business. But, for aught we see, the kingdom is likely to be
lost, as well as the reputation of it, for ever; notwithstanding so
much reputation got and preserved by a rebel that went before him."
All this was true. Had _he_ been alive--he whose senseless clay had
six years before been exhumed and dishonoured at Tyburn--England would
not then have been submitting to so unexampled a degradation. Traitor
and renegade as he was, Cromwell loved his country well. Self-ambition
might be his first motive, but he was keenly alive to the glory of
England, and had made her name a word of fear and terror among the
nations. He was no vulgar demagogue, like those of our dogmatic time.
Unlawfully as he had usurped the functions of a sovereign, Britain
suffered nothing in foreign estimation while her interests were
committed to his charge. What wonder if, at such a crisis, Pepys and
others could not help reverting to the memory of the strong man whose
bones were lying beneath the public gallows, whilst the restored king
was squandering among his harlots that treasure which, if rightfully
applied, might have swept the enemies of England from the seas?

On the 8th of June, the Dutch fleet appeared off Harwich. Two days
afterwards they ascended the river, took Sheerness, and, breaking an
enormous chain which had been drawn across the Medway for defence,
penetrated as far as Upnor Castle, where, in spite of all resistance,
they made prize of several vessels, and burned three men-of-war. By
some shameful mismanagement the English ships had been left too far
down the river, notwithstanding orders from the Admiralty to have them
removed: they were, besides, only half manned; and on this occasion the
English sailors did not exhibit their wonted readiness to fight. It
was even reported to Pepys, by a gentleman who was present, "that he
himself did hear many Englishmen, on board the Dutch ships, speaking
to one another in English; and that they did cry and say, We did
heretofore fight for tickets, now we fight for dollars! and did ask how
such and such a one did, and would commend themselves to them--which
is a sad consideration." Reinforcements arrived from Portsmouth; but
instead of working, they "do come to the office this morning to demand
the payment of their tickets; for otherwise they would, they said, do
no more work; and are, as I understand from everybody who has to do
with them, the most debauched, damning, swearing rogues that ever were
in the navy--just like their profane commander." It seemed, at one
time, more than probable that the Dutch would attack the city: had they
made the attempt, it is not likely, so great was the panic, that they
would have been encountered by effectual opposition; but De Ruyter was
apprehensive of pushing his advantage too far, and contented himself
with destroying such shipping as he found in the river.

Meanwhile, great was the explosion of public wrath, both against the
Court and the Admiralty officials. Crowds of people congregated in
Westminster, loudly clamouring for a parliament. The windows of the
Lord Chancellor's house were broken, and a gibbet erected before his
gate. "People do cry out in the streets of their being bought and sold;
and both they, and everybody that do come to me, do tell me that people
make nothing of talking treason in the streets openly; as, that they
are bought and sold, and governed by Papists, and that we are betrayed
by people about the king, and shall be delivered up to the French, and
I know not what." Poor Pepys expected nothing else than an immediate
attack upon his office, in which, by some miraculous circumstance,
there happened to be at the moment a considerable sum of public money.
His situation rendered him peculiarly obnoxious to abuse; and at one
time it was currently reported that he was summarily ordered to the
Tower. These things cost him no little anxiety; but what distracted him
most was, the agonising thought that the whole of his private savings
and fortune, which he had by him in specie, might, in a single moment,
be swept away and dissipated for ever. If the seamen who were mutinous
for pay should chance to hear of the funds in hand, and take it into
their heads to storm the office, there was little probability of them
drawing nice distinctions between public and private property: and, in
that case, money, flagons, and all would find their way to Wapping.
Also, there might be a chance of a reckoning in any event; "for," said
he, "the truth is, I do fear so much that the whole kingdom is undone,
that I do this night resolve to study with my father and wife what to
do with the little I have in money by me, for I give up all the rest
that I have in the king's hands, for Tangier, for lost. So God help us!
and God knows what disorders we may fall into, and whether any violence
on this office, or perhaps some severity on our persons, as being
reckoned by the silly people, or perhaps may, by policy of state, be
thought fit to be condemned by the king and Duke of York, and so put to
trouble; though, God knows! I have in my own person done my full duty,
I am sure." So, in the very midst of the confusion, Samuel, like a wise
man, set about regulating his own affairs. He was lucky enough to get
£400 paid him, to account of his salary, and he despatched his father
and wife to Cambridgeshire, with £1300 in gold in their night-bag.
Next day Mr Gibson, one of his clerks, followed them with another 1000
pieces, "under colour of an express to Sir Jeremy Smith." The two grand
silver flagons went to Kate Joyce's, where it is to be presumed they
would be tolerably safe. Pepys, moreover, provided himself a girdle,
"by which, with some trouble, I do carry about me £300 of gold about
my body, that I may not be without something in case I should be
surprised; for I think, in any nation but ours, people that appear--for
we are not indeed so--so faulty as we would have their throats cut."
Still he had £200 in silver by him, which was not convertible into
gold, there having been, as usual on such occasions, a sharp run upon
the more portable metal. His ideas as to secreting this sum would not
have displeased Vespasian, but he seems to have been deterred from
that experiment by the obvious difficulty of recovering the silver
at the moment of need. These dispositions made, Pepys obviously felt
himself more comfortable, and manfully resolved to abide the chances of
assault, imprisonment, or impeachment.

None of those calamities befell him. After the navy of Holland had
disappeared from the waters of the Thames, an inquiry, of rather a
strict and rigorous nature, as to the causes of the late disaster,
was instituted; but, where the blame was so widely spread, and retort
so easy, it was difficult to fix upon any particular victim as a
propitiation for the official sins; and Pepys, who really understood
his business, made a gallant and successful defence, not only for
himself, but for his associates. We need not, however, enter into that
matter, more especially as we hope that the reader feels sufficient
interest in Pepys and his fortunes, to be curious to know what became
of his money; nor is the history of its disposal and recovery the least
amusing portion of this narrative.

Mr Peter Pett, commissioner of the navy, who was principally blamable
for the loss of the ships at Chatham, had been actually sent to the
Tower; and our friend Pepys, being summoned to attend the council, had
an awful misgiving that the same fate was in store for him. He escaped,
however; "but my fear was such, at my going in, of the success of the
day, that I did think fit to give J. Hater, whom I took with me to wait
the event, my closet key, and directions where to find £500 and more in
silver and gold, and my tallies, to remove in case of any misfortune
to me. Home, and after being there a little, my wife came, and two
of her fellow-travellers with her, with whom we drank--a couple of
merchant-like men, I think, but have friends in our country. They being
gone, my wife did give me so bad an account of her and my father's
method, in burying of our gold, that made me mad; and she herself is
not pleased with it--she believing that my sister knows of it. My
father and she did it on Sunday, when they were gone to church, in open
daylight, in the midst of the garden, where, for aught they knew, many
eyes might see them, which put me into trouble, and I presently cast
about how to have it back again, to secure it here, the times being a
little better now."

The autumn was well advanced before Pepys could obtain leave to go
down into the country, whither at length he proceeded, not to shoot
partridges or pheasants, but to disinter his buried treasure. We doubt
whether ever resurrectionist felt himself in such a quandary.

    "My father and I with a dark-lantern, being now night, into
    the garden with my wife, and there went about our great work
    to dig up my gold. But, Lord! what a tosse I was for some
    time in, that they could not justly tell where it was; that
    I began hastily to sweat, and be angry that they could not
    agree better upon the place, and at last to fear that it was
    gone: but by-and-by, poking with a spit, we found it, and then
    began with a spudd to lift up the ground. But, good God! to
    see how sillily they did it, not half a foot under ground, and
    in the sight of the world from a hundred places, if anybody
    by accident were near hand, and within sight of a neighbour's
    window: only my father says that he saw them all gone to church
    before he began the work, when he laid the money. But I was out
    of my wits almost, and the more for that, upon my lifting up
    the earth with the spudd, I did discern that I had scattered
    the pieces of gold round about the ground among the grass and
    loose earth; and taking up the iron headpieces wherever they
    were put, I perceived the earth was got among the gold, and
    wet, so that the bags were all rotten, and all the notes, that
    I could not tell what in the world to say to it, not knowing
    how to judge what was wanting, or what had been lost by Gibson
    in his coming down; which, all put together, did make me mad;
    and at last I was fixed to take up the headpieces, dirt and
    all, and as many of the scattered pieces as I could with the
    dirt discern by candle-light, and carry them into my brother's
    chamber, and there lock them up till I had eat a little supper;
    and then, all people going to bed, W. Hewer and I did all
    alone, with several pails of water and besoms, at last wash the
    dirt off the pieces, and parted the pieces and the dirt, and
    then began to tell them by a note which I had of the value of
    the whole, in my pocket; and do find that there was short above
    a hundred pieces; which did make me mad; and considering that
    the neighbour's house was so near that we could not possibly
    speak one to another in the garden at that place where the gold
    lay--especially my father being deaf--but they must know what
    we had been doing, I feared that they might in the night come
    and gather some pieces and prevent us the next morning; so W.
    Hewer and I out again about midnight, for it was now grown
    so late, and there by candle-light did make shift to gather
    forty-five pieces more. And so in, and to cleanse them; and by
    this time it was past two in the morning; and so to bed, with
    my mind pretty quiet to think that I have recovered so many, I
    lay in the trundle-bed, the girl being gone to bed to my wife,
    and there lay in some disquiet all night, telling of the clock
    till it was daylight."

Then ensued a scene of washing for gold, the study of which may be
useful to any intending emigrant to California.

    "And then W. Hewer and I, with pails and a sieve, did lock
    ourselves into the garden, and there gather all the earth about
    the place into pails, and then sift those pails in one of the
    summer-houses, just as they do for diamonds in other parts
    of the world; and there, to our great content, did by nine
    o'clock make the last night's forty-five up seventy-nine: so
    that we are come to about twenty or thirty of what the true
    number should be; and perhaps within less; and of them I may
    reasonably think that Mr Gibson might lose some: so that I am
    pretty well satisfied that my loss is not great, and do bless
    God that all is so well. So do leave my father to make a second
    examination of the dirt; and my mind at rest on it, being but
    an accident: and so gives me some kind of content to remember
    how painful it is sometimes to keep money, as well as to get
    it, and how doubtful I was to keep it all night, and how to
    secure it in London: so got all my gold put up in bags."

And then did Samuel Pepys return to London rejoicing, not one whit
the worse for all his care and anxiety, yet still incubating on his
treasure, which he had prudently stowed away beneath him, and, says he,
"my work every quarter of an hour was to look to see whether all was
well; and I did ride in great fear all the day."

We have already hinted that Pepys was by no means a Hector in valour.
The sight of a suspicious bumpkin armed with a cudgel, on the road,
always gave him qualms of apprehension; and in the night-season his
dreams were commonly of robbery and murder. For many nights after
the great fire, he started from sleep under the conviction that his
premises were in a bright flame: the creaking of a door after midnight
threw him into a cold perspiration; and a reported noise on the leads
nearly drove him past his judgment. He thus reports his sensations on
the occurrence of the latter phenomenon:--

    "Knowing that I have a great sum of money in the house, this
    puts me into a most mighty affright, that for more than two
    hours, I could not almost tell what to do or say, but feared
    this night, and remembered that this morning I saw a woman and
    two men stand suspiciously in the entry, in the dark; I calling
    to them, they made me only this answer, the woman saying that
    the men only come to see her; but who she was, I cannot tell.
    The truth is, my house is mighty dangerous, having so many ways
    to be come to; and at my windows, over the stairs, to see who
    goes up and down; but if I escape to-night, I will remedy it.
    God preserve us this night safe! So, at almost two o'clock I
    home to my house, and, in great fear, to bed, thinking every
    running of a mouse really a thief; and so to sleep, very
    brokenly, all night long, and found all safe in the morning."

All of us have, doubtless, on occasion, been wakened from slumber by a
hollow bellowing, as if an ox had, somehow or other, fallen half way
down the chimney. Once, in a remote country district, we were roused
from our dreams by a hideous flapping of wings in the same locality,
and certainly did, for a moment, conjecture that the foul fiend was
flying away with our portmanteau. The first of these untimeous sounds
usually proceeds from a gentleman of Ethiopian complexion, who is
perched somewhere among the chimney-pots; the latter we discovered to
arise from the involuntary struggles of a goose, who had been cruelly
compelled to assist in the dislodgement of the soot. Some degree of
tremor on such occasions is admissible without reproach, but surely old
Trapbois himself could hardly have behaved worse than Pepys upon the
following alarm.

    "Waked about seven o'clock this morning, with a noise I
    supposed I heard near our chamber, of knocking, which by-and-by
    increased; and I, now awake, could distinguish it better. I
    then waked my wife, and both of us wondered at it, and lay
    so a great while, while that increased, and at last heard
    it plainer, knocking, as it were breaking down a window for
    people to get out; and then removing of stools and chairs;
    and plainly, by-and-by, going up and down our stairs. We lay,
    both of us, afraid; yet I would have rose, but my wife would
    not let me. Besides, I could not do it without making noise;
    and we did both conclude that thieves were in the house, but
    wondered what our people did, whom we thought either killed,
    or afraid as we were. Thus we lay till the clock struck eight,
    and high day. At last, I removed my gown and slippers safely to
    the other side of the bed, over my wife; and there safely rose,
    and put on my gown and breeches, and then, with a firebrand in
    my hand, safely opened the door, and saw nor heard anything.
    Then, with fear, I confess, went to the maid's chamber door,
    and all quiet and safe. Called Jane up, and went down safely,
    and opened my chamber door, where all well. Then more freely
    about, and to the kitchen, where the cookmaid up, and all safe.
    So up again, and when Jane came, and we demanded whether she
    heard no noise, she said "Yes, but was afraid," but rose with
    the other maid and found nothing; but heard a noise in the
    great stack of chimneys that goes from Sir J. Minnes's through
    our house; and so we sent, and their chimneys have been swept
    this morning, and the noise was that, and nothing else. _It is
    one of the most extraordinary accidents in my life_, and gives
    ground to think of Don Quixote's adventures, how people may be
    surprised; and the more from an accident last night, that our
    young gibb-cat did leap down our stairs, from top to bottom, at
    two leaps, and frighted us, that we could not tell whether it
    was the cat or a spirit, and do sometimes think this morning
    that the house might be haunted."

Had our space admitted of it, we should have been glad to copy a few of
the anecdotes narrated by Pepys regarding the court of King Charles.
These are not always to be depended upon as correct, for Pepys usually
received them at second hand, and put them down immediately without
further inquiry. We all know, from experience, what exaggeration
prevails in the promulgation of gossip, and how difficult it is at
any time to ascertain the real merits of a story. The raw material
of a scandalous anecdote passes first into the hands of a skilful
manufacturer, who knows how to give it due colour and fit proportion;
and when, after undergoing this process, it is presented to the
public, it would puzzle any of the parties concerned to reconcile
it with the actual facts. In a court like that of Charles, there is
always mixed up with the profligacy a considerable deal of wit. Such
men as Sedley, Rochester, Etherege, and Killigrew, were privileged
characters, and never scrupled to lay on the varnish, if by so doing
they could heighten the effect. Neither the station, nor the manners,
nor, indeed, the tastes of Pepys, qualified him to mix with such
society, and therefore he can only retail to us the articles which
came adulterated to his hand. It is rash in any historian to trust
implicitly to memoirs. They may, indeed, give an accurate general
picture, but they cannot be depended on for particulars: for example,
we entertain a strong suspicion that one-half at least of the personal
anecdotes related by Count Anthony Hamilton are, if not absolutely
false, at least most grossly exaggerated. We shall allude merely to
one notable instance of this kind of misrepresentation which occurs
in Pepys. Frances, more commonly known as La Belle Stewart, a lady of
the noble house of Blantyre, was beloved by Charles II., with probably
as much infusion of the purer passion as could be felt by so sated
a voluptuary. So strong was his admiration, that it was currently
believed that the fair Stewart, failing Katherine, had an excellent
chance of being elevated to the throne; and it is quite well known that
her virtue was as spotless as her beauty was unrivalled. In spite of
the opposition of the king, she married Charles, Duke of Lennox and
Richmond; and her resolute and spirited conduct on that occasion, under
very trying circumstances, was much and deservedly extolled. And yet
we find in the earlier pages of Pepys most scandalous anecdotes to her
discredit. In the second volume there is an account of a mock marriage
between her and Lady Castlemaine, in which the latter personated the
bridegroom, making way, when the company had retired, for the entry of
her royal paramour. On several other occasions Pepys alludes to her as
the notorious mistress of the king, and it was only after her marriage
that he appears to have been undeceived. His informant on this occasion
was the honourable Evelyn, and it may not displease our readers to hear
his vindication of the lady--

    "He told me," says Pepys, "the whole story of Mrs Stewart's
    going away from Court, he knowing her well, and believes her,
    up to her leaving the Court, to be as virtuous as any woman in
    the world: and told me, from a lord that she told it to but
    yesterday, with her own mouth, and a sober man, that when the
    Duke of Richmond did make love to her she did ask the King,
    and he did the like also, and that the King did not deny it:
    and told this lord that she was come to that pass as to have
    resolved to have married any gentleman of £1500 a year that
    would have had her in honour; for it was come to that pass,
    that she would not longer continue at Court without yielding
    herself to the King, whom she had so long kept off, though he
    had liberty more than any other had, or he ought to have, as to
    dalliance. She told this lord that she had reflected upon the
    occasion she had given the world to think her a bad woman, and
    that she had no way but to marry and leave the Court, rather in
    this way of discontent than otherwise, that the world might see
    that she sought not anything but her honour; and that she will
    never come to live at Court more than when she comes to town to
    kiss the Queen her mistress's hand: and hopes, though she hath
    little reason to hope, she can please her lord so as to reclaim
    him, that they may yet live comfortably in the country on his

"A worthy woman," added Evelyn, "and in that hath done as great an act
of honour as ever was done by woman." The fact is, that it was next
thing to impossible for any lady to preserve her reputation at the
court of King Charles. Those who handle pitch cannot hope to escape
defilement; and daily association with the Duchess of Cleveland, and
other acknowledged mistresses of the king, was not the best mode of
impressing the public with the idea of a woman's virtue. Frances
Stuart, a poor unprotected girl, did, we verily believe, pass through
as severe an ordeal as well can be imagined: the cruel accusations
which were raised up against her, were no more than the penalty of
her position; but no stain of disgrace remains on the memory of her,
whose fair and faultless form was selected as the fittest model for the
effigy of the Genius of Britain.

In a small way, Pepys had some intercourse with the ladies of the
court, though it must be confessed that his acquaintances were rather
of the lower sphere. He was a staunch admirer of that splendid
spitfire, Lady Castlemaine, whose portrait he greatly coveted. "It is,"
quoth he, "a most blessed picture, and one I must have a copy of." Mary
Davis seems to have been no favourite of his, principally because she
was an object of especial detestation to the monopolising Castlemaine.
He styled her an "impertinent slut," and, one night at the theatre, "it
vexed me to see Moll Davis, in the box over the king's, and my Lady
Castlemaine's, look down upon the king, and he up to her; and so did my
Lady Castlemaine once, to see who it was; but when she saw Moll Davis,
she looked like fire, which troubled me." Why it should have troubled
Pepys, we cannot perfectly comprehend. With Nell Gwynne, Samuel was
upon exceedingly easy terms; and no wonder, for she and Knipp belonged
to the same company.

    "To the King's house: and there, going in, met with Knipp,
    and she took us up into the tireing-rooms; and to the women's
    shift, where Nell was dressing herself, and was all unready,
    and as very pretty, prettier than I thought. And into the
    scene-room, and there sat down, and she gave us fruit; and here
    I read the questions to Knipp, while she answered me, through
    all her part of "Flora Figarys," which was acted to-day. But,
    Lord! to see how they were both painted would make a man mad,
    and did make me loathe them; and what base company of men
    comes among them, and how lewdly they talk! and how poor the
    men are in clothes, and yet what a show they make upon the
    stage by candle-light, is very observable. But to see how Nell
    cursed, for having so few people in the pit, was pretty; the
    other house carrying away all the people at the new play, and
    is said, now-a-days, to have generally most company, as being
    better players. By-and-by into the pit, and there saw the play,
    which is pretty good."

We dare wager a trifle that Mrs Pepys died in total ignorance of
her husband having been behind the scenes. Probably Nelly's style
of conversation would have found less favour in her eyes. True, she
had been introduced to Nelly on a previous occasion; but the little
lady seems then to have been on her good behaviour, and had not made
herself notorious with Lord Buckhurst, and Sir Charles Sedley, as
was the case when Sam assisted at her toilet. Here again we find
that arch-intriguer, Knipp, countermining the domestic peace of poor
innocent Mrs Pepys. "Thence to the King's house, and there saw _The
Humorous Lieutenant_, a silly play, I think; only the Spirit in it that
grows very tall, and then sinks again to nothing, having two heads
breeding upon one; and then Knipp's singing did please us. Here, in a
box above, we spied Mrs Pierce; and, going out, they called us, and
brought to us Nelly, a most pretty woman, who acted the great part
of Coelia to-day very fine, and did it pretty well. I kissed her,
and so did my wife; and a mighty pretty soul she is. We also saw Mrs
Bell, which is my little Roman-nose black girl, that is mighty pretty:
she is usually called Betty. Knipp made us stay in a box and see
the dancing--preparatory to to-morrow, for _The Goblins_, a play of
Suckling's, not acted these twenty-five years--which was pretty; and
so away thence, pleased with this sight also, and specially kissing of

We have searched these volumes with some curiosity for entries which
might throw any light on the history and character of the Duke of
Monmouth. Of late he has been exalted to the rank of a champion of the
Protestant cause, and figures in party chronicles rather as a martyr
than a rebel. Now, although there is no doubt that he was privy to the
designs of Sydney and Russell, the object of his joining that faction
still remains a mystery to be explained. We can understand the spirit
that animated the Whig Lords and Republican plotters, in attempting
to subvert the power of the crown, which they deemed exorbitant and
dangerous to the liberties of the subject. The personal character of
the men was quite reconcilable with the motives they professed, and the
principles they avowed. But that Monmouth--the gay, fickle, licentious,
and pampered Monmouth--had any thought beyond his own aggrandisement,
in committing such an act of monstrous ingratitude as rebellion against
his indulgent father, seems to us an hypothesis unsubstantiated by
even a shadow of proof. We do not here allude to his second treason,
which brought him to the scaffold--his motives on that occasion are
sufficiently clear: he never was a favourite with his uncle; he aimed
at the crown through a false assertion of his legitimacy; and the
knaves and fools who were his counsellors made use of the cry of
Protestantism merely as a cover to their designs. Monmouth's first
treason was undoubtedly his blackest crime: for, had he been the
rightful heir of Britain, he could not have experienced at the hands of
Charles more ample honour and affection. It is, therefore, valuable to
know what position he occupied during the earlier period of his life.

The following are some of Pepys' entries, which we think are
historically valuable:--

    "31st Dec. 1662.--The Duke of Monmouth is in so great splendour
    at court, and so dandled by the King, that some doubt that,
    if the King should have no child by the Queen, which there is
    yet no appearance of, whether he would not be acknowledged as
    a lawful son; and that there will be a difference between the
    Duke of York and him, which God prevent!... 8th Feb. 1663.--The
    little Duke of Monmouth, it seems, is ordered to take place
    of all Dukes, and so do follow Prince Rupert now, before the
    Duke of Buckingham, or any else.... 27th April.--The Queen,
    which I did not know, it seems was at Windsor, at the late St
    George's feast there; and the Duke of Monmouth dancing with
    her, with his hat in his hand, the King came in and kissed
    him, and made him put on his hat, which everybody took notice
    of.... 4th May.--I to the garden with my Lord Sandwich, after
    we had sat an hour at the Tangier committee, and after talking
    largely of his own businesses, we began to talk how matters are
    at court: and though he did not fully tell me any such thing,
    yet I do suspect that all is not kind between the King and the
    Duke, (York) and that the King's fondness to the little Duke do
    occasion it; and it may be that there is some fear of his being
    made heir to the crown.... 22d Feb. 1664.--He (Charles) loves
    not the Queen at all, but is rather sullen to her; and she,
    by all reports, incapable of children. He is so fond of the
    Duke of Monmouth that everybody admires it; and he says that
    the Duke hath said, that he would be the death of any man that
    says the King was not married to his mother.... 11th September
    1667.--Here came Mr Moore, and sat and conversed with me of
    public matters, the sum of which is, that he has no doubt there
    is more at the bottom than the removal of the Chancellor; that
    is, he do verily believe that the King do resolve to declare
    the Duke of Monmouth legitimate, and that we shall soon see it.
    This I do not think the Duke of York will endure without blows."

These are but a few of Pepys' notes relative to this subject, and we
think there is much significancy in them. The fondness of Charles for
Monmouth was, to say the least of it, extravagant and injudicious. He
promoted him to the highest grade of the nobility; he procured for him
a match with one of the wealthiest heiresses in Britain; and he allowed
and encouraged him to assume outward marks of distinction which had
always been considered the prerogative of Princes of the blood royal.
In the words of Dryden--

    "His favour leaves me nothing to require,
    Prevents my wishes and outruns desire;
    What more can I expect while David lives?
    All but his kingly diadem he gives."

Such unprecedented honours heaped upon the eldest of the bastards of
Charles must necessarily have been extremely annoying to the Duke of
York, and were ill-calculated to conciliate his favour, in the event
of his succeeding to the crown. They certainly were enough to give
much weight to the rumour long current in the nation, that Charles
contemplated the step of declaring Monmouth legitimate, and of course
they excited in the mind of the youth aspirations of the most dangerous
nature. At no period of his career did the son of Lucy Walters display
qualities which can fairly entitle him to our esteem. As a husband, he
was false and heartless; as a son, he was undutiful and treacherous.
Pepys always speaks of him disparagingly, as a dissipated, profligate
young man; and he is borne out in this testimony by the shameful
outrage committed on the person of Sir John Coventry, at his direct
instigation. Again he says, "16th December 1666--Lord Brouncker tells
me, that he do not believe the Duke of York will go to sea again,
though there are many about the king that would be glad of any occasion
to take him out of the world, he standing in their ways: and seemed
to mean the Duke of Monmouth, who spends his time the most viciously
and idle of any man, nor will be fit for anything; yet he speaks as
if it were not impossible but the king would own him for his son, and
that there was marriage between his mother and him." This was a strange
champion to put forward in the cause of liberty and religion.

We now take our leave of these volumes, the perusal of which has
afforded us some pleasant hours. Every one must regret that the
health of Pepys compelled him to abandon his daily task so early; for
by far the most interesting period of the reign of Charles remains
unillustrated by his pen. Had his Diary been continued down to the
Revolution, with the same spirit which characterises the extant
portion, it would have been one of the most useful historical records
in the English language. Pepys, beyond the immediate sphere of his own
office, was no partisan. He never throws an unnecessary mantle over the
faults even of his friends and patrons. No man was more alive to the
criminal conduct of Charles, and his shameful neglect of public duty.
He has his quips and girds at the Duke of York, though he entertained
a high, and, we think, a just opinion of the natural abilities of
that prince: and while he gives him due credit for a sincere desire
to reform abuses in that public department which was under his
superintendence, he shows himself by no means blind to his vices, and
besetting obstinacy. Even the Earl of Sandwich, to whom he was so much
indebted, does not escape. On one occasion, Pepys took upon himself
to perform the dangerous office of a Mentor to that high-spirited
nobleman, and it is to the credit of both parties that no breach of
friendship ensued. Good advice was an article which Samuel was ever
ready to volunteer, and his natural shrewdness rendered his councils
really valuable. But, like many other people, he was not always so
ready with his purse. Considering that he owed everything he possessed
in the world to the earl, we think he might have opened his coffers, at
such a pinch as the following, without any Israelitish contemplation of
security. "After dinner comes Mr Moore, and he and I alone awhile, he
telling me my Lord Sandwich's credit was like to be undone, if the bill
of £200 my Lord Hinchingbroke wrote to me about be not paid to-morrow,
and that, if I do not help them about it, they have no way but to let
it be protested. So, finding that Creed had supplied them with £150
in their straits, and that this was no bigger sum, I am very willing
to serve my lord, though not in this kind; but yet I will endeavour
to get this done for them, and the rather because of some plate that
was lodged the other day with me, by my lady's order, which may be in
part security for my money. This do trouble me; but yet it is good luck
that the sum is no bigger." We cannot agree with Lord Braybrooke that
Pepys was a liberal man, even to his own relations. We do not go the
length of saying that he was deficient in family duties, but it seems
to us that he might have selected a fitter gift for his father than
his old shoes; and surely, when his sister Paulina came to stay with
him, there was no necessity for insisting that she should eat with the
maids, and consider herself on the footing of a servant. Whatever Pepys
may have been in after life, he portrays himself in his Diary as a
singularly selfish man; nor is that character at all inconsistent with
the shrewd, but sensual, and somewhat coarse expression of his features
in the frontispiece. Yet it is impossible to read the Diary without
liking him, with all his faults. There was, to be sure, a great deal of
clay in his composition, but also many sparkles of valuable metal; and
perhaps these are seen the better from the roughness of the material
in which they are embedded. This at least must be conceded, that these
volumes are unique in literature, and so they will probably remain.


[27] _Diary and Correspondence of Samuel Pepys, F.R.S., Secretary
at the Admiralty in the Reigns of Charles II. and James II._ With a
Life and Notes by RICHARD LORD BRAYBROOKE. Third edition considerably
enlarged. London, 1849.

          _Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._

    Transcriber's Notes:

    Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors
    were corrected.

    Punctuation normalized.

    Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

    Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.

    Greek text is transliterated and enclosed in ®registration signs®.

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