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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 69, No. 424, February 1851
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 69, No. 424, February 1851" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early
Journals.)



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

NO. CCCCXXIV. FEBRUARY, 1851. VOL. LXIX.



CONTENTS.


  LATIMER AND RIDLEY,                                                131

  MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE. PART VI.,                 137

  ADDITIONAL CHAPTERS FROM THE HISTORY OF JOHN BULL,                 164

  HARRY BOLTON'S CURACY,                                             180

  THE DANGERS OF THE COUNTRY,                                        196

  CURRAN AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES,                                     222

  LORD HOLLAND'S FOREIGN REMINISCENCES,                              234

  POPERY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY,                                  246

EDINBURGH:

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD & SONS, 45 GEORGE STREET;
AND 37 PATERNOSTER ROW, LONDON.

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

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.

PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.

BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

NO. CCCCXXIV.      FEBRUARY, 1851.      VOL. LXIX.



LATIMER AND RIDLEY

BURNED AT THE STAKE IN OXFORD, A.D. 1555.


[The fires of Smithfield and the massacre of Bartholomew are truly
events of little consequence in history, if they fail to convince us of
the aggressive and unscrupulous policy of the Roman Catholic Church.
The claim of the Pope, which never has undergone or can undergo any
modification whatever, is nothing less than one of universal supremacy.
That claim is asserted now as broadly and boldly as it was three
hundred years ago; when, at the accession of Mary, Cardinal Pole was
sent over as legate to England, for the reduction of that realm to the
obedience of the See of Rome, and for the extirpation of heresy.

It matters not what may have been the private character of the
Cardinal. He has been represented as a man of mild nature, humane
disposition, and averse to the infamous cruelties which were then
perpetrated, the odium of which has been commonly thrown upon Bishops
Gardiner and Bonner. This much at least is plain, that, whatever may
have been his opinion as to the methods which were employed for the
suppression of Protestantism, he did not deem it expedient to exercise
his great power in mitigating the fury or tempering the cruelty of the
persecution. He was a passive witness of the enormities, and allowed
the mandates of the Church to supersede the dictates of humanity and
the merciful teaching of the Saviour.

The records of the reign of Mary ought, especially at the present time,
to be studied by those who, in their zeal for toleration, forget that
they have to contend with most bitter and uncompromising enemies. Not
only the sufferings and fortitude of the martyrs, (among whom were
numbered five bishops, and twenty-one clergymen of the Reformed faith
of England,) but the charges on which they were condemned, and the
noble testimony which they bore, will be found detailed in John Foxe's
_Acts and Monuments_. Next to that of Archbishop Cranmer, the names
of Latimer and Ridley can never be forgotten in this land, so long as
the voice of Protestantism is heard against Papal superstition and
supremacy. Political and ecclesiastical dominion are things inseparable
from each other in the eye of Rome; and wherever she has succeeded in
planting her foot, she has attempted to enforce spiritual submission,
and to extinguish liberty of conscience, by the power of the secular
arm. The following extract, from the work already referred to, narrates
the close of the terrible tragedy which consigned two English prelates
to the flames at Oxford:--

  "Then they brought a faggot, kindled with fire, and laid the same
  down at Dr Ridley's feet. To whom master Latimer spake in this
  manner: 'Be of good comfort, master Ridley, and play the man. We
  shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as
  I trust shall never be put out.'

  "And so the fire being given unto them, when Dr Ridley saw the
  fire flaming up towards him, he cried with a wonderful loud voice,
  'In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum: Domine, recipe
  spiritum meum.' And after, repeated this latter part often in
  English, 'Lord, Lord, receive my spirit;" master Latimer crying
  as vehemently on the other side, 'O Father of heaven, receive my
  soul!' who received the flame as it were embracing of it. After
  that he had stroked his face with his hands, and as it were bathed
  them a little in the fire, he soon died (as it appeareth) with very
  little pain or none. And thus much concerning the end of this old
  and blessed servant of God, master Latimer, for whose laborious
  travails, fruitful life, and constant death, the whole realm hath
  cause to give great thanks to Almighty God.

  "But master Ridley, by reason of the evil making of the fire unto
  him, because the wooden faggots were laid about the gorse, and
  over-high built, the fire burned first beneath, being kept down by
  the wood; which when he felt, he desired them for Christ's sake to
  let the fire come unto him. Which when his brother-in-law heard,
  but not well understood, intending to rid him out of his pain
  (for the which cause he gave attendance,) as one in such sorrow
  not well advised what he did, heaped faggots upon him, so that
  he clean covered him, which made the fire more vehement beneath,
  that it burned clean all his nether parts, before it once touched
  the upper; and that made him leap up and down under the faggots,
  and often desire them to let the fire come unto him, saying, 'I
  cannot burn.' Which indeed appeared well; for, after his legs were
  consumed by reason of his struggling through the pain (whereof he
  had no release, but only his contentation in God,) he showed that
  side toward us clean, shirt and all untouched with flame. Yet in
  all this torment he forgot not to call unto God still, having in
  his mouth, 'Lord, have mercy upon me!' intermingling his cry, 'Let
  the fire come unto me: I cannot burn.' In which pangs he laboured
  till one of the standers-by with his bill pulled off the faggots
  above, and where he saw the fire flame up, he wrested himself unto
  that side. And when the flame touched the gunpowder, he was seen to
  stir no more, but burned on the other side, falling down at master
  Latimer's feet; which, some said, happened by reason that the chain
  loosed; others said, that he fell over the chain by reason of the
  poise of his body, and the weakness of the nether limbs.

  "Some said, that before he was like to fall from the stake, he
  desired them to hold him to it with their bills. However it was,
  surely it moved hundreds to tears, in beholding the horrible sight;
  for I think there was none that had not clean exiled all humanity
  and mercy, which would not have lamented to behold the fury of the
  fire so to rage upon their bodies."]


I.

    'Tis good to sing of champions old
      The honour and renown;
    To tell how truth and loyalty
      Have saved an earthly crown.
    But shame to us, if on the day
      When higher themes are given--
    When man's device and man's decree
      Usurp the word of Heaven--
    We dare forget the nobler names
      Of those who vanquished death,
    To keep unstained, from sire to son,
      Our freedom and our faith!


II.

    We bend the knee and bow the head
      Upon the Christmas morn,
    In token that, for sinful men,
      The Saviour, Christ, was born.
    Nor less, unto the faithful heart,
      That time must hallowed be,
    On which our Lord and Master died
      In anguish on the tree;
    And Easter brings its holy hymn,
      Its triumph o'er the grave,
    When He, the dead, arose in might,
      Omnipotent to save.


III.

    We worship as our fathers did,
      In this our English home,
    Not asking grace from mortal man
      Nor craving leave from Rome.
    Once more the warning note is heard,
      The hour of strife is near--
    What seeks he, with his mitred pomp,
      That rank Italian, here?
    What sought they in the former days,
      When last that mission came?
    The will, the craft, the creed of Rome
      Remain for aye the same!


IV.

    Woe, woe to those who dared to dream
      That England might be free;
    That Papal power and Papal rule
      Were banished o'er the sea;
    That he who sate in Peter's chair,
      Had lost the will to harm,
    Was powerless as a withered crone
      Who works by spell and charm!
    Woe, woe to those who dared deny
      The Roman Pontiff's sway!
    His red right arm is bared in wrath,
      To smite, and burn, and slay!


V.

    Light up, light up the ready fires!
      Sound trumpet, fife, and drum;
    Give welcome meet to him who brings
      The sovereign hests of Rome.
    No humble barefoot messenger--
      No sandalled monk is he;
    A stately priest--a Cardinal--
      Proclaims the Pope's decree.
    And see! upon her royal knees
      The Queen of England falls,
    In homage to a mightier Prince,
      Within her fathers' halls!


VI.

    'Tis done. Fair England! bow thy head,
      And mourn thy grievous sin!
    What though the Universal Church
      Will gladly let thee in?
    The stain is still upon thy brow,
      The guilt is on thy hand;
    For thou hast dared to worship God,
      Against the Pope's command.
    And thou hast scoffed at saint and shrine,
      Denied the Queen of heaven,
    And opened up with impious hands
      The Holy Book unshriven.


VII.

    For this, and for thy stubborn will
      In daring to be free,
    A fearful penance must be done
      Ere guilt shall pass from thee.
    The prophets of the new-born faith,
      The leaders of the blind--
    Arise, and take them in the midst--
      Leave not a man behind!
    In London's streets and Oxford's courts
      A solemn fast proclaim,
    And let the sins of England's Church
      Be purged away by flame!


VIII.

    In order long, the monkish throng
      Wind through the Oxford street,
    With up-drawn cowls, and folded hands,
      And slow and noiseless feet.
    Before their train the Crucifix
      Is borne in state on high,
    And banners with the Agnus wave,
      And crosiers glitter by:
    With spangled image, star-becrowned,
      And gilded pyx they come,
    To lay once more on English necks
      The hateful yoke of Rome.


IX.

    The mail-clad vassels of the Church
      With men-at-arms are there,
    And England's banner overhead
      Floats proudly in the air.
    And England's bishops walk beneath--
      Ah me! that sight of woe!
    An old, old man, with tottering limbs
      And hair as white as snow.
    Another, yet in manhood's prime,
      The blameless and the brave--
    And must they pass, O cruel Rome,
      To yonder hideous grave?


X.

    "Ay--for the Church reclaims her own;
      To her all power is given--
    The faggot and the sword on earth--
      The keys of hell and heaven.
    To sweep the heretics away,
      'Tis thus the Church commands--
    What means that wailing in the crowd?
      Why wring they so their hands?
    Why do the idle women shriek--
      The men, why frown they so?
    Lift up the Host, and let them kneel,
      As onwards still we go."


XI.

    The Host was raised--they knelt not yet--
      Nor English knee was bowed,
    Till Latimer and Ridley came,
      Each in his penance shroud.
    Then bent the throng on either side,
      Then knelt both sire and dame,
    And thousand voices, choked with sobs,
      Invoked the martyr's name.
    No chaunted hymn could drown the cry,
      No tramp, nor clash of steel--
    O England! in that piteous hour,
      Was this thy sole appeal?


XII.

    What more? That cry arose on high;
      'Twas heard, where all is calm,
    By Him who, for the martyr's pang,
      Vouchsafes the martyr's palm;
    By Him who needs no human arm
      To work his righteous will:--
    "The LORD is in his holy place,
      Let all the earth be still."
    They said it--they who gave the doom,
      In that most awful name--
    And if they spoke in blasphemy,
      So shall they die in shame!


XIII.

    To death--to death! The stake is near,
      The faggots piled around;
    The men-at-arms have made their ring,
      The spearmen take their ground;
    The torches, reeking in the sun,
     Send up their heavy fume;
    And by the pile the torturer
      Is waiting for the doom.
    With earnest eye and steadfast step,
      Approach the martyr twain--
    "Our cross!" they said--then kissed the stake,
      And bowed them to the chain.


XIV.

    Short be the pang!--Not yet, not yet!
      The Tempter lingers near--
    Rome parts not with her victims so;
     A Priest is at their ear.
    "Life--life, and pardon! say the word,
      Why still so stubborn be?
    Do homage to our Lord the Pope--
      One word, and you are free!
    O brothers! yield ye even now--
      Speak but a single name--
    Salvation lies not but with Rome;
      Why die in raging flame?"


XV.

    Then out spoke aged Latimer:--
      "I tarry by the stake,
    Not trusting to my own weak heart,
      But for the Saviour's sake.
    Why speak of life or death to me,
      Whose days are but a span?
    Our crown is yonder--Ridley--see!
      Be strong, and play the man.
    God helping, such a torch this day
      We'll light on English land,
    That Rome and all her Cardinals
      Shall never quench the brand!"


XVI.

    They died. O ask not how they died!
      May never witness tell,
    That once again on English ground
      Was wrought that deed of hell!
    The Consul, mad for Christian blood,
      Even in his deadliest rage,
    Was human when he opened up
      The famished lion's cage--
    More human far than they of Rome,
      Who claimed the Christian name,
    When those, the ministers of Christ,
      Were writhing in the flame!


XVII.

    Harlot of Rome! and dost thou come
      With bland demeanour now?
    The bridal-smile upon thy lips,
      The flush upon thy brow--
    The cup of sorcery in thy hand,
      Still in the same array,
    As when our fathers in their wrath
      Dashed it and thee away?
    No! by the ashes of the saints,
      Who died beneath thy hand,
    Thou shalt not dare to claim as thine
      One foot of English land!


XVIII.

    The echo of thy tread shall make
      The light still higher burn--
    A blaze shall rise from Cranmer's grave
      And martyred Ridley's urn!
    A blaze which they who own thy power
      Shall stand aghast to see,
    A blaze that in your infamy
      Shall show both them and thee!
    Yes! send thy Cardinals again--
      Once more array thy powers--
    Their watchword is, The Pope of Rome--
      The Word of God, be ours!

                                                                  W. I.



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.--PART VI.

BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.


CHAPTER XIII.

Whatever may be the ultimate success of Miss Jemima Hazeldean's designs
upon Dr Riccabocca, the Machiavellian sagacity with which the Italian
had counted upon securing the services of Lenny Fairfield was speedily
and triumphantly established by the result. No voice of the Parson's,
charmed he ever so wisely, could persuade the peasant-boy to go and ask
pardon of the young gentleman, to whom, because he had done as he was
bid, he owed an agonising defeat and a shameful incarceration. And,
to Mrs Dale's vexation, the widow took the boy's part. She was deeply
offended at the unjust disgrace Lenny had undergone in being put in the
stocks; she shared his pride, and openly approved his spirit. Nor was
it without great difficulty that Lenny could be induced to resume his
lessons at school--nay, even to set foot beyond the precincts of his
mother's holding. The point of the school at last he yielded, though
sullenly; and the Parson thought it better to temporise as to the more
unpalatable demand. Unluckily Lenny's apprehensions of the mockery that
awaited him in the merciless world of his village were realised. Though
Stirn at first kept his own counsel, the Tinker blabbed the whole
affair. And after the search instituted for Lenny on the fatal night,
all attempt to hush up what had passed would have been impossible.
So then Stirn told his story, as the Tinker had told his own; both
tales were very unfavourable to Leonard Fairfield. The pattern boy had
broken the Sabbath, fought with his betters, and been well mauled into
the bargain; the village lad had sided with Stirn and the authorities
in spying out the misdemeanours of his equals: therefore Leonard
Fairfield, in both capacities of degraded pattern boy and baffled spy,
could expect no mercy;--he was ridiculed in the one, and hated in the
other.

It is true that, in the presence of the schoolmaster, and under the
eye of Mr Dale, no one openly gave vent to malignant feelings; but the
moment those checks were removed, popular persecution began.

Some pointed and mowed at him; some cursed him for a sneak, and all
shunned his society; voices were heard in the hedgerows, as he passed
through the village at dusk, "Who was put in the stocks?--baa!" "Who
got a bloody nob for playing spy to Nick Stirn?--baa!" To resist this
species of aggression would have been a vain attempt for a wiser head
and a colder temper than our poor pattern boy's. He took his resolution
at once, and his mother approved it; and the second or third day after
Dr Riccabocca's return to the Casino, Lenny Fairfield presented himself
on the terrace with a little bundle in his hand. "Please, sir," said
he to the Doctor, who was sitting cross-legged on the balustrade, with
his red silk umbrella over his head; "Please, sir, if you'll be good
enough to take me now, and give me any hole to sleep in, I'll work for
your honour night and day; and as for the wages, mother says 'just suit
yourself, sir.'"

"My child," said the Doctor, taking Lenny by the hand, and looking at
him with the sagacious eye of a wizard, "I knew you would come! and
Giacomo is already prepared for you! As to wages, we'll talk of them
by-and-by."

Lenny being thus settled, his mother looked for some evenings on the
vacant chair, where he had so long sate in the place of her beloved
Mark; and the chair seemed so comfortless and desolate, thus left all
to itself, that she could bear it no longer.

Indeed the village had grown as distasteful to her as to Lenny--perhaps
more so; and one morning she hailed the Steward as he was trotting his
hog-maned cob beside the door, and bade him tell the Squire that "she
would take it very kind if he would let her off the six months' notice
for the land and premises she held--there were plenty to step into the
place at a much better rent."

"You're a fool," said the good-natured Steward; "and I'm very glad you
did not speak to that fellow Stirn instead of to me. You've been doing
extremely well here, and have the place, I may say, for nothing."

"Nothin' as to rent, sir, but a great deal as to feeling," said the
widow. "And now Lenny has gone to work with the foreign gentleman, I
should like to go and live near him."

"Ah yes--I heard Lenny had taken himself off to the Casino--more fool
he; but, bless your heart, 'tis no distance--two miles or so. Can't he
come home every night after work?"

"No, sir," exclaimed the widow almost fiercely; "he shan't come home
here, to be called bad names and jeered at!--he whom my dead goodman
was so fond and proud of. No, sir; we poor folks have our feelings, as
I said to Mrs Dale, and as I will say to the Squire hisself. Not that I
don't thank him for all favours--he be a good gentleman if let alone;
but he says he won't come near us till Lenny goes and axes pardin.
Pardin for what, I should like to know? Poor lamb! I wish you could
ha' seen his nose, sir--as big as your two fists. Ax pardin! If the
Squire had had such a nose as that, I don't think it's pardin he'd been
ha' axing. But I let's the passion get the better of me--I humbly beg
you'll excuse it, sir. I'm no scollard, as poor Mark was, and Lenny
would have been, if the Lord had not visited us otherways. Therefore
just get the Squire to let me go as soon as may be; and as for the bit
o' hay and what's on the grounds and orchard, the new comer will no
doubt settle that."

The Steward, finding no eloquence of his could induce the widow
to relinquish her resolution, took her message to the Squire. Mr
Hazeldean, who was indeed really offended at the boy's obstinate
refusal to make the _amende honorable_ to Randal Leslie at first only
bestowed a hearty curse or two on the pride and ingratitude both of
mother and son. It may be supposed, however, that his second thoughts
were more gentle, since that evening, though he did not go himself to
the widow, he sent his "Harry." Now, though Harry was sometimes austere
and _brusque_ enough on her own account, and in such business as might
especially be transacted between herself and the cottagers, yet she
never appeared as the delegate of her lord except in the capacity of a
herald of peace and mediating angel. It was with good heart, too, that
she undertook this mission, since, as we have seen, both mother and
son were great favourites of hers. She entered the cottage with the
friendliest beam in her bright blue eye, and it was with the softest
tone of her frank cordial voice that she accosted the widow. But she
was no more successful than the Steward had been. The truth is, that
I don't believe the haughtiest duke in the three kingdoms is really
so proud as your plain English rural peasant, nor half so hard to
propitiate and deal with when his sense of dignity is ruffled. Nor are
there many of my own literary brethren (thin-skinned creatures though
we are) so sensitively alive to the Public Opinion, wisely despised
by Dr Riccabocca, as that same peasant. He can endure a good deal of
contumely sometimes, it is true, from his superiors, (though, thank
Heaven! _that_ he rarely meets, with unjustly;) but to be looked down
upon, and mocked, and pointed at by his own equals--his own little
world--cuts him to the soul. And if you can succeed in breaking this
pride, and destroying this sensitiveness, then he is a lost being. He
can never recover his self-esteem, and you have chucked him half way--a
stolid, inert, sullen victim--to the perdition of the prison or the
convict-ship.

Of this stuff was the nature both of the widow and her son. Had the
honey of Plato flowed from the tongue of Mrs Hazeldean, it could not
have turned into sweetness the bitter spirit upon which it descended.
But Mrs Hazeldean, though an excellent woman, was rather a bluff
plain-spoken one--and, after all, she had some little feeling for
the son of a gentleman, and a decayed fallen gentleman, who, even
by Lenny's account, had been assailed without any intelligible
provocation; nor could she, with her strong common sense, attach all
the importance which Mrs Fairfield did to the unmannerly impertinence
of a few young cubs, which, she said truly, "would soon die away if
no notice was taken of it." The widow's mind was made up, and Mrs
Hazeldean departed--with much chagrin and some displeasure.

Mrs Fairfield, however, tacitly understood that the request she had
made was granted, and early one morning her door was found locked--the
key left at a neighbour's to be given to the Steward; and, on farther
inquiry, it was ascertained that her furniture and effects had been
removed by the errand-cart in the dead of the night. Lenny had
succeeded in finding a cottage, on the road-side, not far from the
Casino; and there, with a joyous face, he waited to welcome his mother
to breakfast, and show how he had spent the night in arranging her
furniture.

"Parson!" cried the Squire, when all this news came upon him, as he was
walking arm in arm with Mr Dale to inspect some proposed improvement in
the Alms-house, "this is all your fault. Why did not you go and talk to
that brute of a boy, and that dolt of a woman? You've got 'soft sawder
enough,' as Frank calls it in his new-fashioned slang."

"As if I had not talked myself hoarse to both!" said the Parson in a
tone of reproachful surprise at the accusation. "But it was in vain!
O Squire, if you had taken my advice about the Stocks--_quieta non
movere!_"

"Bother!" said the Squire. "I suppose I am to be held up as a tyrant,
a Nero, a Richard the Third, or a Grand Inquisitor, merely for having
things smart and tidy! Stocks indeed!--your friend Rickeybockey said he
was never more comfortable in his life--quite enjoyed sitting there.
And what did not hurt Rickeybockey's dignity (a very gentlemanlike
man he is, when he pleases) ought to be no such great matter to
Master Leonard Fairfield. But 'tis no use talking! What's to be done
now? The woman must not starve; and I'm sure she can't live out of
Rickeybockey's wages to Lenny--(by the way, I hope he don't board him
upon his and Jackeymo's leavings: I hear they dine upon newts and
sticklebacks--faugh!) I'll tell you what, Parson, now I think of it--at
the back of the cottage which she has taken there are some fields of
capital land just vacant. Rickeybockey wants to have 'em, and sounded
me as to the rent when he was at the Hall. I only half promised him
the refusal. And he must give up four or five acres of the best land
round the cottage to the widow--just enough for her to manage--and
she can keep a dairy. If she want capital, I'll lend her some in your
name--only don't tell Stirn; and as for the rent--we'll talk of that
when we see how she gets on, thankless obstinate jade that she is!
You see," added the Squire, as if he felt there was some apology due
for this generosity to an object whom he professed to consider so
ungrateful, "her husband was a faithful servant, and so--I wish you
would not stand there staring me out of countenance, but go down to the
woman at once, or Stirn will have let the land to Rickeybockey, as sure
as a gun. And hark-ye, Dale, perhaps you can contrive, if the woman is
so cursedly stiff-backed, not to say the land is mine, or that it is
any favour I want to do her--or, in short, manage it as you can for the
best." Still even this charitable message failed. The widow knew that
the land was the Squire's, and worth a good £3 an acre. 'She thanked
him humbly for that and all favours; but she could not afford to buy
cows, and she did not wish to be beholden to any one for her living.
And Lenny was well off at Mr Rickeybockey's, and coming on wonderfully
in the garden way--and she did not doubt she could get some washing; at
all events, her haystack would bring in a good bit of money, and she
should do nicely, thank their honours.'

Nothing farther could be done in the direct way, but the remark about
the washing suggested some mode of indirectly benefiting the widow.
And a little time afterwards, the sole laundress in that immediate
neighbourhood happening to die, a hint from the Squire obtained from
the landlady of the inn opposite the Casino such custom as she had to
bestow, which at times was not inconsiderable. And what with Lenny's
wages, (whatever that mysterious item might be,) the mother and son
contrived to live without exhibiting any of those physical signs
of fast and abstinence which Riccabocca and his valet gratuitously
afforded to the student in animal anatomy.


CHAPTER XIV.

Of all the wares and commodities in exchange and barter, wherein so
mainly consists the civilisation of our modern world, there is not
one which is so carefully weighed--so accurately measured--so plumbed
and gauged--so doled and scraped--so poured out in _minima_ and
balanced with scruples--as that necessary of social commerce called
"an apology!" If the chemists were half so careful in vending their
poisons, there would be a notable diminution in the yearly average
of victims to arsenic and oxalic acid. But, alas, in the matter
of apology, it is not from the excess of the dose, but the timid,
niggardly, miserly manner in which it is dispensed, that poor Humanity
is hurried off to the Styx! How many times does a life depend on the
exact proportions of an apology! Is it a hairbreadth too short to
cover the scratch for which you want it? Make your will--you are a
dead man! A life do I say?--a hecatomb of lives! How many wars would
have been prevented, how many thrones would be standing, dynasties
flourishing--commonwealths brawling round a _bema_, or fitting out
galleys for corn and cotton--if an inch or two more of apology had
been added to the proffered ell! But then that plaguy, jealous,
suspicious, old vinegar-faced Honour, and her partner Pride--as
penny-wise and pound-foolish a she-skinflint as herself--have the
monopoly of the article. And what with the time they lose in adjusting
their spectacles, hunting in the precise shelf for the precise quality
demanded, then (quality found) the haggling as to quantum--considering
whether it should be Apothecary's weight or Avoirdupois, or English
measure or Flemish--and, finally, the hullabaloo they make if the
customer is not perfectly satisfied with the monstrous little he gets
for his money,--I don't wonder, for my part, how one loses temper and
patience, and sends Pride, Honour, and Apology, all to the devil.
Aristophanes, in his "Comedy of _Peace_," insinuates a beautiful
allegory by only suffering that goddess, though in fact she is his
heroine, to appear as a mute. She takes care never to open her lips.
The shrewd Greek knew very well that she would cease to be Peace, if
she once began to chatter. Wherefore, O reader, if ever you find your
pump under the iron heel of another man's boot, heaven grant that
you may hold your tongue, and not make things past all endurance and
forgiveness by bawling out for an apology!


CHAPTER XV.

But the Squire and his son, Frank, were large-hearted generous
creatures in the article of apology, as in all things less skimpingly
dealt out. And seeing that Leonard Fairfield would offer no plaister
to Randal Leslie, they made amends for his stinginess by their own
prodigality. The Squire accompanied his son to Rood Hall, and none of
the family choosing to be at home, the Squire in his own hand, and
from his own head, indited and composed an epistle which might have
satisfied all the wounds which the dignity of the Leslies had ever
received.

This letter of apology ended with a hearty request that Randal would
come and spend a few days with his son. Frank's epistle was to the same
purport, only more Etonian and less legible.

It was some days before Randal's replies to these epistles were
received. The replies bore the address of a village near London, and
stated that the writer was now reading with a tutor preparatory to
entrance at Oxford, and could not, therefore, accept the invitation
extended to him.

For the rest, Randal expressed himself with good sense, though not
with much generosity. He excused his participation in the vulgarity
of such a conflict by a bitter but short allusion to the obstinacy
and ignorance of the village boor; and did not do what you, my kind
reader, certainly would have done under similar circumstances--viz.
intercede in behalf of a brave and unfortunate antagonist. Most of us
like a foe better after we have fought him--that is, if we are the
conquering party; this was not the case with Randal Leslie. There, so
far as the Etonian was concerned, the matter rested. And the Squire,
irritated that he could not repair whatever wrong that young gentleman
had sustained, no longer felt a pang of regret as he passed by Mrs
Fairfield's deserted cottage.


CHAPTER XVI.

Lenny Fairfield continued to give great satisfaction to his new
employers, and to profit in many respects by the familiar kindness with
which he was treated. Riccabocca, who valued himself on penetrating
into character, had from the first seen that much stuff of no common
quality and texture was to be found in the disposition and mind of the
English village boy. On farther acquaintance, he perceived that, under
a child's innocent simplicity, there were the workings of an acuteness
that required but development and direction. He ascertained that the
pattern boy's progress at the village school proceeded from something
more than mechanical docility and readiness of comprehension. Lenny had
a keen thirst for knowledge, and through all the disadvantages of birth
and circumstance, there were the indications of that natural genius
which converts disadvantages themselves into stimulants. Still, with
the germs of good qualities lay the embryos of those which, difficult
to separate, and hard to destroy, often mar the produce of the soil.
With a remarkable and generous pride in self-repute, there was some
stubbornness; with great sensibility to kindness, there was also strong
reluctance to forgive affront.

This mixed nature in an uncultivated peasant's breast interested
Riccabocca, who, though long secluded from the commerce of mankind,
still looked upon man as the most various and entertaining volume which
philosophical research can explore. He soon accustomed the boy to the
tone of a conversation generally subtle and suggestive; and Lenny's
language and ideas became insensibly less rustic and more refined.
Then Riccabocca selected from his library, small as it was, books that
though elementary, were of a higher cast than Lenny could have found
within his reach at Hazeldean. Riccabocca knew the English language
well, better in grammar, construction, and genius than many a not
ill-educated Englishman; for he had studied it with the minuteness with
which a scholar studies a dead language, and amidst his collection he
had many of the books which had formerly served him for that purpose.
These were the first works he had lent to Lenny. Meanwhile Jackeymo
imparted to the boy many secrets in practical gardening and minute
husbandry, for at that day farming in England (some favoured counties
and estates excepted) was far below the nicety to which the art has
been immemorially carried in the north of Italy--where, indeed, you may
travel for miles and miles as through a series of market-gardens--so
that, all these things considered, Leonard Fairfield might be said to
have made a change for the better. Yet in truth, and looking below the
surface, that might be fair matter of doubt. For the same reason which
had induced the boy to fly his native village, he no longer repaired to
the church of Hazeldean. The old intimate intercourse between him and
the Parson became necessarily suspended, or bounded to an occasional
kindly visit from the latter--visits which grew more rare, and less
familiar, as he found his former pupil in no want of his services, and
wholly deaf to his mild entreaties to forget and forgive the past,
and come at least to his old seat in the parish church. Lenny still
went to church--a church a long way off in another parish--but the
sermons did not do him the same good as Parson Dale's had done; and
the clergyman, who had his own flock to attend to, did not condescend,
as Parson Dale would have done, to explain what seemed obscure, and
enforce what was profitable, in private talk, with that stray lamb from
another's fold.

Now I question much if all Dr Riccabocca's sage maxims, though they
were often very moral, and generally very wise, served to expand the
peasant boy's native good qualities, and correct his bad, half so
well as the few simple words, not at all indebted to Machiavelli,
which Leonard had once reverently listened to when he stood by his
father's chair, yielded up for the moment to the good Parson, worthy
to sit in it; for Mr Dale had a heart in which all the fatherless of
the parish found their place. Nor was this loss of tender, intimate,
spiritual lore so counterbalanced by the greater facilities for purely
intellectual instruction, as modern enlightenment might presume.
For, without disputing the advantage of knowledge in a general way,
knowledge, in itself, is not friendly to content. Its tendency, of
course, is to increase the desires, to dissatisfy us with what is, in
order to urge progress to what may be; and, in that progress, what
unnoticed martyrs among the many must fall, baffled and crushed by
the way! To how large a number will be given desires they will never
realise, dissatisfaction of the lot from which they will never rise!
_Allons!_ one is viewing the dark side of the question. It is all the
fault of that confounded Riccabocca, who has already caused Lenny
Fairfield to lean gloomily on his spade, and, after looking round and
seeing no one near him, groan out querulously--

"And am I born to dig a potato ground?"

_Pardieu_, my friend Lenny, if you live to be seventy, and ride in your
carriage;--and by the help of a dinner-pill digest a spoonful of curry,
you may sigh to think what a relish there was in potatoes, roasted in
ashes after you had digged them out of that ground with your own stout
young hands. Dig on, Lenny Fairfield, dig on! Dr Riccabocca will tell
you that there was once an illustrious personage[1] who made experience
of two very different occupations--one was ruling men, the other was
planting cabbages; he thought planting cabbages much the pleasanter of
the two!


CHAPTER XVII.

Dr Riccabocca had secured Lenny Fairfield, and might therefore be
considered to have ridden his hobby in the great whirligig with
adroitness and success. But Miss Jemima was still driving round in her
car, handling the reins, and flourishing the whip, without apparently
having got an inch nearer to the flying form of Dr Riccabocca.

Indeed, that excellent and only too susceptible spinster, with all her
experience of the villany of man, had never conceived the wretch to be
so thoroughly beyond the reach of redemption as when Dr Riccabocca took
his leave, and once more interred himself amidst the solitudes of the
Casino, without having made any formal renunciation of his criminal
celibacy. For some days she shut herself up in her own chamber, and
brooded with more than her usual gloomy satisfaction on the certainty
of the approaching crash. Indeed, many signs of that universal calamity
which, while the visit of Riccabocca lasted, she had permitted herself
to consider ambiguous, now became luminously apparent. Even the
newspaper, which during that credulous and happy period had given half
a column to Births and Marriages, now bore an ominously long catalogue
of Deaths; so that it seemed as if the whole population had lost heart,
and had no chance of repairing its daily losses. The leading articles
spoke, with the obscurity of a Pythian, of an impending CRISIS.
Monstrous turnips sprouted out from the paragraphs devoted to General
News. Cows bore calves with two heads, whales were stranded in the
Humber, showers of frogs descended in the High Street of Cheltenham.

All these symptoms of the world's decrepitude and consummation, which
by the side of the fascinating Riccabocca might admit of some doubt
as to their origin and cause, now, conjoined with the worst of all,
viz.--the frightfully progressive wickedness of man--left to Miss
Jemima, no ray of hope save that afforded by the reflection that she
could contemplate the wreck of matter without a single sentiment of
regret.

Mrs Dale, however, by no means shared the despondency of her fair
friend, and, having gained access to Miss Jemima's chamber, succeeded,
though not without difficulty, in her kindly attempts to cheer the
drooping spirits of that female misanthropist. Nor, in her benevolent
desire to speed the car of Miss Jemima to its hymeneal goal, was Mrs
Dale so cruel towards her male friend, Dr Riccabocca, as she seemed to
her husband. For Mrs Dale was a woman of shrewdness and penetration,
as most quick-tempered women are; and she knew that Miss Jemima was
one of those excellent young ladies who are likely to value a husband
in proportion to the difficulty of obtaining him. In fact, my readers
of both sexes must often have met, in the course of their experience,
with that peculiar sort of feminine disposition, which requires the
warmth of the conjugal hearth to develop all its native good qualities;
nor is it to be blamed overmuch if, innocently aware of this tendency
in its nature, it turns towards what is best fitted for its growth
and improvement, by laws akin to those which make the sunflower turn
to the sun, or the willow to the stream. Ladies of this disposition,
permanently thwarted in their affectionate bias, gradually languish
away into intellectual inanition, or sprout out into those abnormal
eccentricities which are classed under the general name of "oddity" or
"character." But, once admitted to their proper soil, it is astonishing
what healthful improvement takes place--how the poor heart, before
starved and stinted of nourishment, throws out its suckers, and bursts
into bloom and fruit. And thus many a belle from whom the beaux have
stood aloof, only because the puppies think she could be had for the
asking, they see afterwards settled down into true wife and fond
mother, with amaze at their former disparagement, and a sigh at their
blind hardness of heart.

In all probability, Mrs Dale took this view of the subject; and
certainly, in addition to all the hitherto dormant virtues which would
be awakened in Miss Jemima when fairly Mrs Riccabocca, she counted
somewhat upon the mere worldly advantage which such a match would
bestow upon the exile. So respectable a connection with one of the
oldest, wealthiest, and most popular families in the shire, would in
itself give him a position not to be despised by a poor stranger in the
land; and though the interest of Miss Jemima's dowry might not be much,
regarded in the light of English pounds, (not Milanese _lire_,) still
it would suffice to prevent that gradual process of dematerialisation
which the lengthened diet upon minnows and sticklebacks had already
made apparent in the fine and slow-evanishing form of the philosopher.

Like all persons convinced of the expediency of a thing, Mrs Dale saw
nothing wanting but opportunities to insure its success. And that these
might be forthcoming, she not only renewed with greater frequency, and
more urgent instance than ever, her friendly invitations to Riccabocca
to drink tea and spend the evening, but she artfully so chafed the
Squire on his sore point of hospitality, that the Doctor received
weekly a pressing solicitation to dine and sleep at the Hall.

At first the Italian pished and grunted, and said _Cospetto_, and _Per
Bacco_, and _Diavolo_, and tried to creep out of so much proffered
courtesy. But, like all single gentlemen, he was a little under the
tyrannical influence of his faithful servant; and Jackeymo, though he
could bear starving as well as his master when necessary, still, when
he had the option, preferred roast beef and plum-pudding. Moreover,
that vain and incautious confidence of Riccabocca, touching the vast
sum at his command, and with no heavier drawback than that of so
amiable a lady as Miss Jemima--who had already shown him (Jackeymo)
many little delicate attentions--had greatly whetted the cupidity which
was in the servant's Italian nature: a cupidity the more keen because,
long debarred its legitimate exercise on his own mercenary interests,
he carried it all to the account of his master's!

Thus tempted by his enemy, and betrayed by his servant, the unfortunate
Riccabocca fell, though with eyes not unblinded, into the hospitable
snares extended for the destruction of his--celibacy! He went often
to the parsonage, often to the Hall, and by degrees the sweets of
the social domestic life, long denied him, began to exercise their
enervating charm upon the stoicism of our poor exile. Frank had now
returned to Eton. An unexpected invitation had carried off Captain
Higginbotham to pass a few weeks at Bath with a distant relation, who
had lately returned from India, and who, as rich as Croesus, felt
so estranged and solitary in his native isle that, when the Captain
"claimed kindred there," to his own amaze "he had his claims allowed;"
while a very protracted sitting of Parliament still delayed in London
the Squire's habitual visitors in the later summer; so that--a chasm
thus made in his society--Mr Hazeldean welcomed with no hollow
cordiality the diversion or distraction he found in the foreigner's
companionship. Thus, with pleasure to all parties, and strong hopes to
the two female conspirators, the intimacy between the Casino and Hall
rapidly thickened; but still not a word resembling a distinct proposal
did Dr Riccabocca breathe. And still, if such an idea obtruded itself
on his mind, it was chased therefrom with so determined a _Diavolo_
that perhaps, if not the end of the world, at least the end of Miss
Jemima's tenure in it, might have approached, and seen her still Miss
Jemima, but for a certain letter with a foreign post-mark that reached
the Doctor one Tuesday morning.


CHAPTER XVIII.

The servant saw that something had gone wrong, and, under pretence of
syringing the orange-trees, he lingered near his master, and peered
through the sunny leaves upon Riccabocca's melancholy brows.

The Doctor sighed heavily. Nor did he, as was his wont, after some such
sigh, mechanically take up that dear comforter, the pipe. But though
the tobacco-pouch lay by his side on the balustrade, and the pipe stood
against the wall between his knees, childlike lifting up its lips to
the customary caress--he heeded neither the one nor the other, but laid
the letter silently on his lap, and fixed his eyes upon the ground.

"It must be bad news indeed!" thought Jackeymo, and desisted from
his work. Approaching his master, he took up the pipe and the
tobacco-pouch, and filled the bowl slowly, glancing all the while to
that dark musing face on which, when abandoned by the expression of
intellectual vivacity or the exquisite smile of Italian courtesy, the
deep downward lines revealed the characters of sorrow. Jackeymo did not
venture to speak; but the continued silence of his master disturbed
him much. He laid that peculiar tinder which your smokers use upon
the steel, and struck the spark--still not a word, nor did Riccabocca
stretch forth his hand.

"I never knew him in this taking before," thought Jackeymo; and
delicately he insinuated the neck of the pipe into the nerveless
fingers of the hand that lay supine on those quiet knees--the pipe fell
to the ground.

Jackeymo crossed himself, and began praying to his sainted namesake
with great fervour.

The Doctor rose slowly, and, as if with effort, he walked once or twice
to and fro the terrace; and then he halted abruptly, and said--

"Friend!"

"Blessed Monsignore San Giacomo, I knew thou wouldst hear me!" cried
the servant; and he raised his master's hand to his lips, then abruptly
turned away and wiped his eyes. "Friend," repeated Riccabocca, and this
time with a tremulous emphasis, and in the softest tone of a voice
never wholly without the music of the sweet South, "I would talk to
thee of my child."--


CHAPTER XIX.

"The letter, then, relates to the Signorina. She is well?"

"Yes, she is well now. She is in our native Italy."

Jackeymo raised his eyes involuntarily towards the orange-trees, and
the morning breeze swept by and bore to him the odour of their blossoms.

"Those are sweet even here, with care," said he, pointing to the trees.
"I think I have said that before to the Padrone."

But Riccabocca was now looking again at the letter, and did not notice
either the gesture or the remark of his servant.

"My aunt is no more!" said he, after a pause.

"We will pray for her soul!" answered Jackeymo solemnly. "But she
was very old, and had been a long time ailing. Let it not grieve the
Padrone too keenly: at that age, and with those infirmities, death
comes as a friend."

"Peace be to her dust!" returned the Italian. "If she had her faults,
be they now forgotten for ever; and in the hour of my danger and
distress, she sheltered my infant! That shelter is destroyed. This
letter is from the priest, her confessor. You know that she had nothing
at her own disposal to bequeath my child, and her property passes to
the male heir--mine enemy."

"Traitor!" muttered Jackeymo; and his right hand seemed to feel for
the weapon which the Italians of lower rank often openly wear in their
girdles.

"The priest," resumed Riccabocca calmly, "has rightly judged in
removing my child as a guest from the house in which my enemy enters as
lord."

"And where is the Signorina?"

"With that poor priest. See, Giacomo--here, here--this is her
handwriting at the end of the letter--the first lines she ever yet
traced to me."

Jackeymo took off his hat, and looked reverently on the large
characters of a child's writing. But large as they were, they seemed
indistinct, for the paper was blistered with the child's tears; and
on the place where they had _not_ fallen, there was a round fresh
moist stain of the tear that had dropped from the lids of the father.
Riccabocca renewed,--"The priest recommends a convent."

"To the devil with the priest!" cried the servant; then crossing
himself rapidly, he added, "I did not mean that, Monsignore San
Giacomo--forgive me! But your Excellency[2] does not think of making a
nun of his only child!"

"And yet why not?" said Riccabocca mournfully; "what can I give her in
the world? Is the land of the stranger a better refuge than the home of
peace in her native clime?"

"In the land of the stranger beats her father's heart!"

"And if that beat were stilled, what then? Ill fares the life that
a single death can bereave of all. In a convent at least (and the
priest's influence can obtain her that asylum amongst her equals and
amidst her sex) she is safe from trial and from penury--to her grave."

"Penury! Just see how rich we shall be when we take those fields at
Michaelmas."

"_Pazzie!_" (follies) said Riccabocca listlessly. "Are these suns more
serene than ours, or the soil more fertile? Yet in our own Italy,
saith the proverb, 'he who sows land reaps more care than corn.' It
were different," continued the father after a pause, and in a more
irresolute tone, "if I had some independence, however small, to count
on--nay, if among all my tribe of dainty relatives there were but one
female who would accompany Violante to the exile's hearth--Ishmael had
his Hagar. But how can we two rough-bearded men provide for all the
nameless wants and cares of a frail female child? And she has been so
delicately reared--the woman-child needs the fostering hand and tender
eye of a woman."

"And with a word," said Jackeymo resolutely, "the Padrone might secure
to his child all that he needs, to save her from the sepulchre of a
convent; and ere the autumn leaves fall, she might be sitting on his
knee. Padrone, do not think that you can conceal from me the truth,
that you love your child better than all things in the world--now
the Patria is as dead to you as the dust of your fathers--and your
heart-strings would crack with the effort to tear her from them, and
consign her to a convent. Padrone, never again to hear her voice--never
again to see her face! Those little arms that twined round your neck
that dark night, when we fled fast for life and freedom, and you said,
as you felt their clasp, 'Friend, all is not yet lost!'"

"Giacomo!" exclaimed the father reproachfully, and his voice seemed
to choke him. Riccabocca turned away, and walked restlessly to and
fro the terrace; then, lifting his arms with a wild gesture as he
still continued his long irregular strides, he muttered, "Yes, heaven
is my witness that I could have borne reverse and banishment without
a murmur, had I permitted myself that young partner in exile and
privation. Heaven is my witness that, if I hesitate now, it is because
I would not listen to my own selfish heart. Yet never, never to see
her again--my child! And it was but as the infant that I beheld her! O
Friend, friend--" (and, stopping short with a burst of uncontrollable
emotion, he bowed his head upon his servant's shoulder;) "thou knowest
what I have endured and suffered at my hearth, as in my country; the
wrong, the perfidy, the--the--" His voice again failed him; he clung to
his servant's breast, and his whole frame shook.

"But your child, the innocent one--think now only of her!" faltered
Giacomo, struggling with his own sobs.

"True, only of her," replied the exile, raising his face--"only of her.
Put aside thy thoughts for myself, friend--counsel me. If I were to
send for Violante, and if, transplanted to these keen airs, she drooped
and died--look, look--the priest says that she needs such tender care;
or if I myself were summoned from the world, to leave her in it alone,
friendless, homeless, breadless perhaps, at the age of woman's sharpest
trial against temptation, would she not live to mourn the cruel egotism
that closed on her infant innocence the gates of the House of God?"

Giacomo was appalled by this appeal; and indeed Riccabocca had
never before thus reverently spoken of the cloister. In his hours
of philosophy, he was wont to sneer at monks and nuns, priesthood
and superstition. But now, in that hour of emotion, the Old Religion
reclaimed her empire; and the sceptical world-wise man, thinking only
of his child, spoke and felt with a child's simple faith.


CHAPTER XX.

"But again I say," murmured Jackeymo scarce audibly, and after a long
silence, "if the Padrone would make up his mind--to marry!"

He expected that his master would start up in his customary indignation
at such a suggestion--nay, he might not have been sorry so to have
changed the current of feeling; but the poor Italian only winced
slightly, and mildly withdrawing himself from his servant's supporting
arm, again paced the terrace, but this time quietly and in silence. A
quarter of an hour thus passed. "Give me the pipe," said Dr Riccabocca,
passing into the Belvidere.

Jackeymo again struck the spark, and, wonderfully relieved at the
Padrone's return to his usual adviser, mentally besought his sainted
namesake to bestow a double portion of soothing wisdom on the benignant
influences of the weed.


CHAPTER XXI.

Dr Riccabocca had been some little time in the solitude of the
Belvidere, when Lenny Fairfield, not knowing that his employer was
therein, entered to lay down a book which the Doctor had lent him, with
injunctions to leave on a certain table when done with. Riccabocca
looked up at the sound of the young peasant's step.

"I beg your honour's pardon--I did not know--"

"Never mind; lay the book there. I wish to speak with you. You look
well, my child; this air agrees with you as well as that of Hazeldean?"

"Oh yes, sir."

"Yet it is higher ground, more exposed?"

"That can hardly be, sir," said Lenny; "there are many plants grow here
which don't flourish at the Squire's. The hill yonder keeps off the
east wind, and the place lays to the south."

"Lies, not _lays_, Lenny. What are the principal complaints in these
parts?"

"Eh, sir?"

"I mean what maladies, what diseases?"

"I never beard tell of any, sir, except the rheumatism."

"No low fevers?--no consumption?"

"Never heard of them, sir."

Riccabocca drew a long breath, as if relieved.

"That seems a very kind family at the Hall."

"I have nothing to say against it," answered Lenny bluntly. "I have not
been treated justly. But as that book says, sir, 'It is not every one
who comes into the world with a silver spoon in his mouth.'"

Little thought the Doctor that those wise maxims may leave sore
thoughts behind them. He was too occupied with the subject most at his
own heart to think then of what was in Lenny Fairfield's.

"Yes; a kind, English, domestic family. Did you see much of Miss
Hazeldean?"

"Not so much as of the Lady."

"Is she liked in the village, think you?"

"Miss Jemima? Yes. She never did harm. Her little dog bit me once--she
did not ask me to beg its pardon, she asked mine! She's a very nice
young lady; the girls say she's very affable; and," added Lenny with a
smile, "there are always more weddings going on when she's down at the
Hall."

"Oh!" said Riccabocca. Then, after a long whiff, "Did you ever see her
play with the little children? Is she fond of children, do you think?"

"Lord, sir, you guess everything! She's never so pleased as when she's
playing with the babies."

"Humph!" grunted Riccabocca. "Babies--well, that's womanlike. I don't
mean exactly babies, but when they're older--little girls."

"Indeed, sir, I daresay; but," said Lenny primly, "I never as yet kept
company with the little girls."

"Quite right, Lenny; be equally discreet all your life. Mrs Dale is
very intimate with Miss Hazeldean--more than with the Squire's lady.
Why is that, think you?"

"Well, sir," said Leonard shrewdly, "Mrs Dale has her little tempers,
though she's a very good lady; and Madam Hazeldean is rather high, and
has a spirit. But Miss Jemima is so soft: any one could live with Miss
Jemima, as Joe and the servants say at the Hall."

"Indeed! Get my hat out of the parlour, and--just bring a clothesbrush,
Lenny. A fine sunny day for a walk."

After this most mean and dishonourable inquisition into the character
and popular repute of Miss Hazeldean, Signore Riccabocca seemed as much
cheered up and elated as if he had committed some very noble action;
and he walked forth in the direction of the Hall with a far lighter
and livelier step than that with which he had paced the terrace.

"Monsignore San Giacomo, by thy help and the pipe's, the Padrone shall
have his child!" muttered the servant, looking up from the garden.


CHAPTER XXII.

Yet Dr Riccabocca was not rash. The man who wants his wedding-garment
to fit him must allow plenty of time for the measure. But, from that
day, the Italian notably changed his manner towards Miss Hazeldean. He
ceased that profusion of compliment in which he had hitherto carried
off in safety all serious meaning. For indeed the Doctor considered
that compliments, to a single gentleman, were what the inky liquid it
dispenses is to the cuttle-fish, that by obscuring the water sails
away from its enemy. Neither did he, as before, avoid prolonged
conversations with that young lady, and contrive to escape from all
solitary rambles by her side. On the contrary, he now sought every
occasion to be in her society; and, entirely dropping the language of
gallantry, he assumed something of the earnest tone of friendship. He
bent down his intellect to examine and plumb her own. To use a very
homely simile, he blew away that froth which there is on the surface of
mere acquaintanceships, especially with the opposite sex; and which,
while it lasts, scarce allows you to distinguish between small beer and
double X. Apparently Dr Riccabocca was satisfied with his scrutiny--at
all events, under that froth there was no taste of bitter. The Italian
might not find any great strength of intellect in Miss Jemima, but he
found that, disentangled from many little whims and foibles--which he
had himself the sense to perceive were harmless enough if they lasted,
and not so absolutely constitutional but what they might be removed by
a tender hand--Miss Hazeldean had quite enough sense to comprehend the
plain duties of married life; and if the sense could fail, it found a
substitute in good old homely English principles and the instincts of
amiable kindly feelings.

I know not how it is, but your very clever man never seems to care
so much as your less gifted mortals for cleverness in his helpmate.
Your scholars, and poets, and ministers of state, are more often
than not found assorted with exceedingly humdrum good sort of women,
and apparently like them all the better for their deficiencies. Just
see how happily Racine lived with his wife, and what an angel he
thought her, and yet she had never read his plays. Certainly Goethe
never troubled the lady who called him "Mr Privy Councillor" with
whims about 'monads,' and speculations on 'colour,' nor those stiff
metaphysical problems on which one breaks one's shins in the Second
Part of the Faust. Probably it may be that such great geniuses--knowing
that, as compared with themselves, there is little difference between
your clever woman and your humdrum woman--merge at once all minor
distinctions, relinquish all attempts that could not but prove
unsatisfactory, at sympathy in hard intellectual pursuits, and are
quite satisfied to establish that tie which, after all, best resists
wear and tear--viz. the tough household bond between one human heart
and another.

At all events, this, I suspect, was the reasoning of Dr Riccabocca,
when one morning, after a long walk with Miss Hazeldean, he muttered to
himself--

              "Duro con duro
    Non fece mai buon muro."

Which may bear the paraphrase, "Bricks without mortar would make a very
bad wall." There was quite enough in Miss Jemima's disposition to make
excellent mortar: the Doctor took the bricks to himself.

When his examination was concluded, our philosopher symbolically
evinced the result he had arrived at by a very simple proceeding on his
part--which would have puzzled you greatly if you had not paused, and
meditated thereon, till you saw all that it implied. _Dr Riccabocca
took off his spectacles!_ He wiped them carefully, put them into their
shagreen case, and locked them in his bureau:--that is to say, he left
off wearing his spectacles.

You will observe that there was a wonderful depth of meaning in that
critical symptom, whether it be regarded as a sign outward, positive
and explicit; or a sign metaphysical, mystical, and esoteric. For,
as to the last--it denoted that the task of the spectacles was over;
that, when a philosopher has made up his mind to marry, it is better
henceforth to be shortsighted--nay, even somewhat purblind--than to
be always scrutinising the domestic felicity, to which he is about to
resign himself, through a pair of cold unillusory barnacles. And for
the things beyond the hearth, if he cannot see without spectacles, is
he not about to ally to his own defective vision a good sharp pair
of eyes, never at fault where his interests are concerned? On the
other hand, regarded positively, categorically, and explicitly, Dr
Riccabocca, by laying aside those spectacles, signified that he was
about to commence that happy initiation of courtship when every man, be
he ever so much a philosopher, wishes to look as young and as handsome
as time and nature will allow. Vain task to speed the soft language of
the eyes, through the medium of those glassy interpreters! I remember,
for my own part, that once, on a visit to Adelaide, I was in great
danger of falling in love--with a young lady, too, who would have
brought me a very good fortune--when she suddenly produced from her
reticule a very neat pair of No. 4, set in tortoise-shell, and, fixing
upon me their Gorgon gaze, froze the astonished Cupid into stone! And
I hold it a great proof of the wisdom of Riccabocca, and of his vast
experience, in mankind, that he was not above the consideration of
what your pseudo sages would have regarded as foppish and ridiculous
trifles. It argued all the better for that happiness which is our
being's end and aim, that, in condescending to play the lover, he put
those unbecoming petrifiers under lock and key.

And certainly, now the spectacles were abandoned, it was impossible
to deny that the Italian had remarkably handsome eyes. Even through
the spectacles, or lifted a little above them, they were always bright
and expressive; but without those adjuncts, the blaze was softer and
more tempered: they had that look which the French call _velouté_, or
velvety; and he appeared altogether ten years younger. If our Ulysses,
thus rejuvenated by his Minerva, has not fully made up his mind to make
a Penelope of Miss Jemima, all I can say is, that he is worse than
Polyphemus who was only an Anthropophagos;--

He preys upon the weaker sex, and is a--Gynopophagite!


CHAPTER XXIII.

"And you commission me, then, to speak to our dear Jemima?" said Mrs
Dale joyfully, and without any bitterness whatever in that "dear."

DR RICCABOCCA.--"Nay, before speaking to Miss Hazeldean, it would
surely be proper to know how far my addresses would be acceptable to
the family."

MRS DALE.--"Ah!"

DR RICCABOCCA.--"The Squire is of course the head of the family."

MRS DALE (absent and _distrait_.)--"The Squire--yes, very true--quite
proper." (Then looking up and with _naiveté_)--"Can you believe me, I
never thought of the Squire. And he is such an odd man, and has so many
English prejudices, that really--dear me, how vexatious that it should
never once have occurred to me that Mr Hazeldean had a voice in the
matter! Indeed, the relationship is so distant--it is not like being
her father; and Jemima is of age, and can do as she pleases; and--but,
as you say, it is quite proper that he should be consulted as the head
of the family."

DR RICCABOCCA.--"And you think that the Squire of Hazeldean might
reject my alliance! Pshaw! that's a grand word indeed;--I mean,
that he might object very reasonably to his cousin's marriage with
a foreigner, of whom he can know nothing, except that which in all
countries is disreputable, and is said in this to be criminal--poverty."

MRS DALE, (kindly.)--"You misjudge us poor English people, and you
wrong the Squire, heaven bless him! for we were poor enough when he
singled out my husband from a hundred for the minister of his parish,
for his neighbour and his friend. I will speak to him fearlessly--"

DR RICCABOCCA.--"And frankly. And now I have used that word, let me go
on with the confession which your kindly readiness, my fair friend,
somewhat interrupted. I said that if I might presume to think my
addresses would be acceptable to Miss Hazeldean and her family, I was
too sensible of her amiable qualities not to--not to--"

MRS DALE (with demure archness.)--"Not to be the happiest of
men--that's the customary English phrase, Doctor."

RICCABOCCA (gallantly.)--"There cannot be a better. But," continued he
seriously, "I wish it first to be understood that I have--been married
before."

MRS DALE (astonished.)--"Married before!"

RICCABOCCA.--"And that I have an only child, dear to me--inexpressibly
dear. That child, a daughter, has hitherto lived abroad; circumstances
now render it desirable that she should make her home with me. And I
own fairly that nothing has so attached me to Miss Hazeldean, nor so
induced my desire for our matrimonial connection, as my belief that she
has the heart and the temper to become a kind mother to my little one."

MRS DALE (with feeling and warmth.)--"You judge her, rightly there."

RICCABOCCA.--"Now, in pecuniary matters, as you may conjecture from my
mode of life, I have nothing to offer to Miss Hazeldean correspondent
with her own fortune, whatever that may be!"

MRS DALE.--"That difficulty is obviated by settling Miss Hazeldean's
fortune on herself, which is customary in such cases."

Dr Riccabocca's face lengthened. "And my child, then?" said he
feelingly. There was something in that appeal so alien from all sordid
and merely personal mercenary motives, that Mrs Dale could not have had
the heart to make the very rational suggestion--"But that child is not
Jemima's, and you may have children by her."

She was touched, and replied hesitatingly--"But, from what you and
Jemima may jointly possess, you can save something annually--you can
insure your life for your child. We did so when our poor child whom we
lost was born," (the tears rushed into Mrs Dale's eyes;) "and I fear
that Charles still insures his life for my sake, though heaven knows
that--that--"

The tears burst out. That little heart, quick and petulant though
it was, had not a fibre of the elastic muscular tissues which are
mercifully bestowed on the hearts of predestined widows. Dr Riccabocca
could not pursue the subject of life insurances further. But the
idea--which had never occurred to the foreigner before, though
so familiar to us English people when only possessed of a life
income--pleased him greatly. I will do him the justice to say, that he
preferred it to the thought of actually appropriating to himself and to
his child a portion of Miss Hazeldean's dower.

Shortly afterwards he took his leave, and Mrs Dale hastened to seek
her husband in his study, inform him of the success of her matrimonial
scheme, and consult him as to the chance of the Squire's acquiescence
therein. "You see," said she hesitatingly, "though the Squire might be
glad to see Jemima married to some Englishman, yet, if he asks who and
what is this Dr Riccabocca, how am I to answer him?"

"You should have thought of that before," said Mr Dale, with unwonted
asperity; "and, indeed, if I had ever believed anything serious could
come out of what seemed to me so absurd, I should long since have
requested you not to interfere in such matters." "Good heavens!"
continued the Parson, changing colour, "if we should have assisted,
underhand as it were, to introduce into the family of a man to whom
we owe so much, a connexion that he would dislike! how base we should
be!--how ungrateful!"

Poor Mrs Dale was frightened by this speech, and still more by her
husband's consternation and displeasure. To do Mrs Dale justice,
whenever her mild partner was really either grieved or offended, her
little temper vanished--she became as meek as a lamb. As soon as she
recovered the first shock she experienced, she hastened to dissipate
the Parson's apprehensions. She assured him that she was convinced
that, if the Squire disapproved of Riccabocca's pretensions, the
Italian would withdraw them at once, and Miss Hazeldean would never
know of his proposals. Therefore, in that case, no harm would be done.

This assurance coinciding with Mr Dale's convictions as to Riccabocca's
scruples on the point of honour, tended much to compose the good man;
and if he did not, as my reader of the gentler sex would from him, feel
alarm lest Miss Jemima's affections should have been irretrievably
engaged, and her happiness thus put in jeopardy by the Squire's
refusal, it was not that the Parson wanted tenderness of heart, but
experience in womankind; and he believed, very erroneously, that Miss
Jemima Hazeldean was not one upon whom a disappointment of that kind
would produce a lasting impression. Therefore Mr Dale, after a pause of
consideration, said kindly--

"Well, don't vex yourself--and I was to blame quite as much as you.
But, indeed, I should have thought it easier for the Squire to have
transplanted one of his tall cedars into his kitchen-garden, than for
you to inveigle Dr Riccabocca into matrimonial intentions. But a man
who could voluntarily put himself into the Parish Stocks for the sake
of experiment, must be capable of anything! However, I think it better
that I, rather than yourself, should speak to the Squire, and I will go
at once."


CHAPTER XXIV.

The Parson put on the shovel hat, which--conjoined with other details
in his dress peculiarly clerical, and already, even then, beginning
to be out of fashion with churchmen--had served to fix upon him,
emphatically, the dignified but antiquated style and cognomen of
"Parson"; and took his way towards the Home Farm, at which he expected
to find the Squire. But he had scarcely entered upon the village green
when he beheld Mr Hazeldean leaning both hands on his stick, and
gazing intently upon the Parish Stocks. Now, sorry am I to say that,
ever since the Hegira of Lenny and his mother, the Anti-Stockian and
Revolutionary spirit in Hazeldean, which the memorable homily of our
Parson had awhile averted or suspended, had broken forth afresh. For
though, while Lenny was present to be mowed and jeered at, there had
been no pity for him, yet no sooner was he removed from the scene of
trial, than a universal compassion for the barbarous usage he had
received produced what is called "the reaction of public opinion." Not
that those who had mowed and jeered repented them of their mockery,
or considered themselves in the slightest degree the cause of his
expatriation. No; they, with the rest of the villagers, laid all the
blame upon the Stocks. It was not to be expected that a lad of such
exemplary character could be thrust into that place of ignominy,
and not be sensible of the affront. And who, in the whole village,
was safe, if such goings-on and puttings-in were to be tolerated in
silence, and at the expense of the very best and quietest lad the
village had ever known? Thus, a few days after the widow's departure,
the Stocks was again the object of midnight desecration: it was
bedaubed and be-scratched--it was hacked and hewed--it was scrawled
all over with pithy lamentations for Lenny, and laconic execrations on
tyrants. Night after night new inscriptions appeared, testifying the
sarcastic wit and the vindictive sentiment of the parish. And perhaps
the Stocks themselves were only spared from axe and bonfire by the
convenience they afforded to the malice of the disaffected: they became
the Pasquin of Hazeldean.

As disaffection naturally produces a correspondent vigour in authority,
so affairs had been lately administered with greater severity than had
been hitherto wont in the easy rule of the Squire and his predecessors.
Suspected persons were naturally marked out by Mr Stirn, and reported
to his employer, who, too proud or too pained to charge them openly
with ingratitude, at first only passed them by in his walks with a
silent and stiff inclination of his head; and afterwards gradually
yielding to the baleful influence of Stirn, the Squire grumbled forth
that "he did not see why he should be always putting himself out of
his way to show kindness to those who made such a return. There ought
to be a difference between the good and the bad." Encouraged by this
admission, Stirn had conducted himself towards the suspected parties,
and their whole kith and kin, with the iron-banded justice that
belonged to his character. For some, habitual donations of milk from
the dairy, and vegetables from the gardens, were surlily suspended;
others were informed that their pigs were always trespassing on the
woods in search of acorns; or that they were violating the Game Laws
in keeping lurchers. A beer-house, popular in the neighbourhood,
but of late resorted to overmuch by the grievance-mongers, (and no
wonder, since they had become the popular party,) was threatened with
an application to the magistrates for the withdrawal of its license.
Sundry old women, whose grandsons were notoriously ill-disposed towards
the Stocks, were interdicted from gathering dead sticks under the
avenues, on pretence that they broke down the live boughs; and, what
was more obnoxious to the younger members of the parish than most other
retaliatory measures, three chestnut trees, one walnut, and two cherry
trees, standing at the bottom of the park, and which had, from time
immemorial, been given up to the youth of Hazeldean, were now solemnly
placed under the general defence of "private property." And the crier
had announced that, henceforth, all depredators on the fruit-trees
in Copse Hollow would be punished with the utmost rigour of the law.
Stirn, indeed, recommended much more stringent proceedings than all
these indications of a change of policy, which, he averred, would soon
bring the parish to its senses--such as discontinuing many little jobs
of unprofitable work that employed the surplus labour of the village.
But there the Squire, falling into the department, and under the
benigner influence of his Harry, was as yet not properly hardened. When
it came to a question that affected the absolute quantity of loaves
to be consumed by the graceless mouths that fed upon him, the milk of
human kindness--with which Providence has so bountifully supplied that
class of the mammalia called the "Bucolic," and of which our Squire had
an extra "yield"--burst forth, and washed away all the indignation of
the harsher Adam.

Still your policy of half-measures, which irritates without crushing
its victims, which flaps an exasperated wasp-nest with a silk
pocket-handkerchief, instead of blowing it up with a match and train,
is rarely successful; and, after three or four other and much guiltier
victims than Lenny had been incarcerated in the Stocks, the parish of
Hazeldean was ripe for any enormity. Pestilent jacobinical tracts,
conceived and composed in the sinks of manufacturing towns--found their
way into the popular beer-house--heaven knows how, though the Tinker
was suspected of being the disseminator by all but Stirn, who still, in
a whisper, accused the Papishers. And, finally, there appeared amongst
the other graphic embellishments which the poor Stocks had received,
the rude _gravure_ of a gentleman in a broad-brimmed hat and top-boots,
suspended from a gibbet, with the inscription beneath--"A warnin to
hall tirans--mind your hi!--sighnde Captin sTraw."

It was upon this significant and emblematic portraiture that the Squire
was gazing when the Parson joined him.

"Well, Parson," said Mr Hazeldean with a smile which he meant to be
pleasant and easy, but which was exceedingly bitter and grim, "I wish
you joy of your flock--you see they have just hanged me in effigy!"

The Parson stared, and, though greatly shocked, smothered his emotions;
and attempted, with the wisdom of the serpent and the mildness of the
dove, to find another original for the effigy.

"It is very bad," quoth he, "but not so bad as all that, Squire; that's
not the shape of your hat. It is evidently meant for Mr Stirn."

"Do you think so!" said the Squire softened. "Yet the top-boots--Stirn
never wears top-boots."

"No more do you--except in hunting. If you look again, those are not
tops--they are leggings--Stirn wears leggings. Besides, that flourish,
which is meant for a nose, is a kind of a hook like Stirn's; whereas
your nose--though by no means a snub--rather turns up than not, as the
Apollo's does, according to the plaster cast in Riccabocca's parlour."

"Poor Stirn!" said the Squire, in a tone that evinced complacency,
not unmingled with compassion, "that's what a man gets in this world
by being a faithful servant, and doing his duty with zeal for his
employer. But you see that things have come to a strange pass, and the
question now is, what course to pursue. The miscreants hitherto have
defied all vigilance, and Stirn recommends the employment of a regular
night-watch with a lanthorn and bludgeon."

"That may protect the Stocks certainly; but will it keep those
detestable tracts out of the beer-house?"

"We shall shut the beer-house up at the next sessions."

"The tracts will break out elsewhere--the humour's in the blood!"

"I've half a mind to run off to Brighton or Leamington--good hunting at
Leamington--for a year, just to let the rogues see how they can get on
without me!"

The Squire's lip trembled.

"My dear Mr Hazeldean," said the Parson, taking his friend's hand,
"I don't want to parade my superior wisdom; but if you had taken my
advice, _quieta non movere_. Was there ever a parish so peaceable
as this, or a country-gentleman so beloved as you were, before you
undertook the task which has dethroned kings and ruined states--that
of wantonly meddling with antiquity, whether for the purpose of
uncalled-for repairs or the revival of obsolete uses."

At this rebuke, the Squire did not manifest his constitutional
tendencies to choler; but he replied almost meekly, "If it were to
do again, faith, I would leave the parish to the enjoyment of the
shabbiest pair of stocks that ever disgraced a village. Certainly I
meant it for the best--an ornament to the green; however, now they are
rebuilt, the Stocks must be supported. Will Hazeldean is not the man to
give way to a set of thankless rapscallions."

"I think," said the Parson, "that you will allow that the House
of Tudor, whatever its faults, was a determined resolute dynasty
enough--high-hearted and strong-headed. A Tudor would never have fallen
into the same calamities as the poor Stuart did!"

"What the plague has the House of Tudor got to do with my Stocks?"

"A great deal. Henry the VIII. found a subsidy so unpopular that he
gave it up; and the people, in return, allowed him to cut off as many
heads as he pleased, besides those in his own family. Good Queen Bess,
who, I know, is your idol in history--"

"To be sure!--she knighted my ancestor at Tilbury Fort."

"Good Queen Bess struggled hard to maintain a certain monopoly; she
saw it would not do, and she surrendered it with that frank heartiness
which becomes a sovereign, and makes surrender a grace."

"Ha! and you would have me give up the Stocks?"

"I would much rather they had stayed as they were, before you touched
them; but, as it is, if you could find a good plausible pretext--and
there is an excellent one at hand;--the sternest kings open prisons,
and grant favours, upon joyful occasions. Now a marriage in the royal
family is of course a joyful occasion!--and so it should be in that
of the King of Hazeldean." Admire that artful turn in the Parson's
eloquence!--it was worthy of Riccabocca himself. Indeed, Mr Dale had
profited much by his companionship with that Machiavellian intellect.

"A marriage--yes; but Frank has only just got into long tails!"

"I did not allude to Frank, but to your cousin Jemima!"


CHAPTER XXV.

The Squire staggered as if the breath had been knocked out of him, and,
for want of a better seat, sate down on the Stocks.

All the female heads in the neighbouring cottages peered, themselves
unseen, through the casements. What could the Squire be about?--what
new mischief did he meditate? Did he mean to fortify the stocks?
Old Gaffer Solomons, who had an indefinite idea of the lawful power
of squires, and who had been for the last ten minutes at watch on
his threshold, shook his head and said--"Them as a cut out the mon,
a-hanging, as a put it in the Squire's head!"

"Put what?" asked his granddaughter.

"The gallus!" answered Solomons--"he be a-goin to have it hung from the
great elm-tree. And the Parson, good mon, is a-quoting Scripter agin
it--you see he's a taking off his gloves, and a putting his two han's
togither, as he do when he pray for the sick, Jeany."

That description of the Parson's mien and manner, which, with his usual
niceness of observation, Gaffer Solomons thus sketched off, will convey
to you some idea of the earnestness with which the Parson pleaded the
cause he had undertaken to advocate. He dwelt much upon the sense of
propriety which the foreigner had evinced in requesting that the Squire
might be consulted before any formal communication to his cousin; and
he repeated Mrs Dale's assurance, that such were Riccabocca's high
standard of honour and belief in the sacred rights of hospitality,
that, if the Squire withheld his consent to his proposals, the Parson
was convinced that the Italian would instantly retract them. Now,
considering that Miss Hazeldean was, to say the least, come to years of
discretion, and the Squire had long since placed her property entirely
at her own disposal, Mr Hazeldean was forced to acquiesce in the
Parson's corollary remark, "That this was a delicacy which could not be
expected from every English pretender to the lady's hand." Seeing that
he had so far cleared ground, the Parson went on to intimate, though
with great tact, that, since Miss Jemima would probably marry sooner or
later, (and, indeed, that the Squire could not wish to prevent her,)
it might be better for all parties concerned that it should be with
some one who, though a foreigner, was settled in the neighbourhood, and
of whose character what was known was certainly favourable, than run
the hazard of her being married for her money by some adventurer or
Irish fortune-hunter at the watering-places she yearly visited. Then he
touched lightly on Riccabocca's agreeable and companionable qualities;
and concluded with a skilful peroration upon the excellent occasion
the wedding would afford to reconcile Hall and parish, by making a
voluntary holocaust of the Stocks.

As he concluded, the Squire's brow, before thoughtful, though not
sullen, cleared up benignly. To say truth, the Squire was dying to get
rid of the Stocks, if he could but do so handsomely and with dignity;
and if all the stars in the astrological horoscope had conjoined
together to give Miss Jemima "assurance of a husband," they could not
so have served her with the Squire, as that conjunction between the
altar and the Stocks which the Parson had effected!

Accordingly, when Mr Dale had come to an end, the Squire replied with
great placidity and good sense, "That Mr Rickeybockey had behaved very
much like a gentleman, and that he was very much obliged to him; that
he (the Squire) had no right to interfere in the matter, farther than
with his advice; that Jemima was old enough to choose for herself,
and that, as the Parson had implied, after all she might go farther
and fare worse--indeed, the farther she went, (that is, the longer
she waited,) the worse she was likely to fare. I own for my part,"
continued the Squire, "that, though I like Rickeybockey very much, I
never suspected that Jemima was caught with his long face; but there's
no accounting for tastes. My Harry, indeed, was more shrewd, and gave
me many a hint, for which I only laughed at her. Still I ought to have
thought it looked queer when Mounseer took to disguising himself by
leaving off his glasses, ha--ha! I wonder what Harry will say; let's go
and talk to her."

The Parson, rejoiced at this easy way of taking the matter, hooked his
arm into the Squire's, and they walked amicably towards the Hall. But
on coming first into the gardens they found Mrs Hazeldean herself,
clipping dead leaves or fading flowers from her rose-trees. The Squire
stole slily behind her, and startled her in her turn by putting his
arm round her waist, and saluting her smooth cheek with one of his
hearty kisses; which, by the way, from some association of ideas, was a
conjugal freedom that he usually indulged whenever a wedding was going
on in the village.

"Fie, William!" said Mrs Hazeldean coyly, and blushing as she saw the
Parson. "Well, who's going to to be married now?"

"Lord, was there ever such a woman?--she's guessed it!" cried the
Squire in great admiration. "Tell her all about it, Parson."

The Parson obeyed.

Mrs Hazeldean, as the reader may suppose, showed much less surprise
than her husband had done; but she took the news graciously, and made
much the same answer as that which had occurred to the Squire, only
with somewhat more qualification and reserve. "Signor Riccabocca had
behaved very handsomely; and though a daughter of the Hazeldeans of
Hazeldean might expect a much better marriage in a worldly point of
view, yet as the lady in question had deferred finding one so long,
it would be equally idle and impertinent now to quarrel with her
choice--if indeed she should decide on accepting Signor Riccabocca. As
for fortune, that was a consideration for the two contracting parties.
Still, it ought to be pointed out to Miss Jemima that the interest of
her fortune would afford but a very small income. That Dr Riccabocca
was a widower was another matter for deliberation; and it seemed rather
suspicious that he should have been hitherto so close upon all matters
connected with his former life. Certainly his manners were in his
favour, and as long as he was merely an acquaintance, and at most a
tenant, no one had a right to institute inquiries of a strictly private
nature; but that, when he was about to marry a Hazeldean of Hazeldean,
it became the Squire at least to know a little more about him--who and
what he was. Why did he leave his own country? English people went
abroad to save; no foreigner would choose England as a country in which
to save money! She supposed that a foreign doctor was no very great
things; probably he had been a professor in some Italian university. At
all events, if the Squire interfered at all, it was on such points that
he should request information."

"My dear madam," said the Parson, "what you say is extremely just. As
to the causes which have induced our friend to expatriate himself,
I think we need not look far for them. He is evidently one of the
many Italian refugees whom political disturbances have driven to our
shore, whose boast it is to receive all exiles of whatever party.
For his respectability of birth and family he certainly ought to
obtain some vouchers. And if that be the only objection, I trust we
may soon congratulate Miss Hazeldean on a marriage with a man who,
though certainly very poor, has borne privations without a murmur; has
preferred all hardship to debt; has scorned to attempt betraying her
into any clandestine connection; who, in short, has shown himself so
upright and honest, that I hope my dear Mr Hazeldean will forgive him
if he is only a doctor--probably of Laws--and not, as most foreigners
pretend to be, a marquis, or a baron at least."

"As to that," cried the Squire, "'tis the best thing I know about
Rickeybockey, that he don't attempt to humbug us by any such foreign
trumpery. Thank heaven, the Hazeldeans of Hazeldean were never
tuft-hunters and title-mongers; and if I never ran after an English
lord, I should certainly be devilishly ashamed of a brother-in-law
whom I was forced to call markee or count! I should feel sure he was
a courier, or runaway valley-de-sham. Turn up your nose at a doctor,
indeed, Harry!--pshaw, good English style that! Doctor! my aunt married
a Doctor of Divinity--excellent man--wore a wig, and was made a dean!
So long as Rickeybockey is not a doctor of physic, I don't care a
button. If he's _that_, indeed, it would be suspicious; because, you
see, those foreign doctors of physic are quacks, and tell fortunes, and
go about on a stage with a Merry-Andrew."

"Lord, Hazeldean! where on earth did you pick up that idea?" said Harry
laughing.

"Pick it up!--why I saw a fellow myself at the cattle fair last
year--when I was buying short-horns--with a red waistcoat and a cocked
hat, a little like the Parson's shovel. He called himself Doctor
Phoscophornio--wore a white wig, and sold pills! The Merry-Andrew was
the funniest creature--in salmon-coloured tights--turned head over
heels, and said he came from Timbuctoo. No, no; if Rickeybockey's a
physic Doctor, we shall have Jemima in a pink tinsel dress, tramping
about the country in a caravan!"

At this notion, both the Squire and his wife laughed so heartily that
the Parson felt the thing was settled, and slipped away, with the
intention of making his report to Riccabocca.


CHAPTER XXVI

It was with a slight disturbance of his ordinary suave and well-bred
equanimity that the Italian received the information, that he need
apprehend no obstacle to his suit from the insular prejudices or the
worldly views of the lady's family. Not that he was mean and cowardly
enough to recoil from the near and unclouded prospect of that felicity
which he had left off his glasses to behold with unblinking naked
eyes:--no, there his mind was made up; but he had met with very little
kindness in life, and he was touched not only by the interest in his
welfare testified by a heretical priest, but by the generosity with
which he was admitted into a well-born and wealthy family, despite his
notorious poverty and his foreign descent. He conceded the propriety
of the only stipulation, which was conveyed to him by the Parson with
all the delicacy that became a man professionally habituated to deal
with the subtler susceptibilities of mankind--viz., that, amongst
Riccabocca's friends or kindred, some one should be found whose
report would confirm the persuasion of his respectability entertained
by his neighbours;--he assented, I say, to the propriety of this
condition; but it was not with alacrity and eagerness. His brow became
clouded. The Parson hastened to assure him that the Squire was not
a man _qui stupet in titulis_, (who was besotted with titles,) that
he neither expected nor desired to find an origin and rank for his
brother-in-law above that decent mediocrity of condition to which
it was evident, from Riccabocca's breeding and accomplishments, he
could easily establish his claim. "And though," said he smiling, "the
Squire is a warm politician in his own country, and would never see
his sister again, I fear, if she married some convicted enemy of our
happy constitution, yet for foreign politics he does not care a straw;
so that if, as I suspect, your exile arises from some quarrel with
your Government--which, being foreign, he takes for granted must be
insupportable--he would but consider you as he would a Saxon who fled
from the iron hand of William the Conqueror, or a Lancastrian expelled
by the Yorkists in our Wars of the Roses."

The Italian smiled. "Mr Hazeldean shall be satisfied," said he simply.
"I see, by the Squire's newspaper, that an English gentleman who
knew me in my own country has just arrived in London. I will write
to him for a testimonial, at least to my probity and character.
Probably he may be known to you by name--nay, he must be, for he was a
distinguished officer in the late war. I allude to Lord L'Estrange."

The Parson started.

"You know Lord L'Estrange?--a profligate bad man, I fear."

"Profligate!--bad!" exclaimed Riccabocca. "Well, calumnious as the
world is, I should never have thought that such expressions would be
applied to one who, though I knew him but little--knew him chiefly by
the service he once rendered to me--first taught me to love and revere
the English name!"

"He may be changed since--" The parson paused.

"Since when?" asked Riccabocca, with evident curiosity.

Mr Dale seemed embarrassed. "Excuse me," said he, "it is many years
ago; and, in short, the opinion I then formed of the gentleman in
question was based upon circumstances which I cannot communicate."

The punctilious Italian bowed in silence, but he still looked as if he
should have liked to prosecute inquiry.

After a pause, he said, "Whatever your impressions respecting Lord
L'Estrange, there is nothing, I suppose, which would lead you to doubt
his honour, or reject his testimonial in my favour?"

"According to fashionable morality," said Mr Dale, rather precisely, "I
know of nothing that could induce me to suppose that Lord L'Estrange
would not, in this instance, speak the truth. And he has unquestionably
a high reputation as a soldier, and a considerable position in the
world." Therewith the Parson took his leave. A few days afterwards,
Dr Riccabocca enclosed to the Squire, in a blank envelope, a letter
he had received from Harley L'Estrange. It was evidently intended
for the Squire's eye, and to serve as a voucher for the Italian's
respectability; but this object was fulfilled, not in the coarse form
of a direct testimonial, but with a tact and delicacy which seemed
to show more than the fine breeding to be expected from one in Lord
L'Estrange's station. It argued that most exquisite of all politeness
which comes from the heart: a certain tone of affectionate respect
(which even the homely sense of the Squire felt, intuitively, proved
far more in favour of Riccabocca than the most elaborate certificate
of his qualities and antecedents) pervaded the whole, and would have
sufficed in itself to remove all scruples from a mind much more
suspicious and exacting than that of the Squire of Hazeldean. But,
lo and behold! an obstacle now occurred to the Parson, of which he
ought to have thought long before--viz., the Papistical religion of
the Italian. Dr Riccabocca was professedly a Roman Catholic. He so
little obtruded that fact--and, indeed, had assented so readily to any
animadversions upon the superstition and priestcraft which, according
to Protestants, are the essential characteristics of Papistical
communities--that it was not till the hymeneal torch, which brings
all faults to light, was fairly illumined for the altar, that the
remembrance of a faith so cast into the shade burst upon the conscience
of the Parson. The first idea that then occurred to him was the
proper and professional one--viz., the conversion of Dr Riccabocca.
He hastened to his study, took down from his shelves long neglected
volumes of controversial divinity, armed himself with an arsenal of
authorities, arguments, and texts; then, seizing the shovel-hat, posted
off to the Casino.


CHAPTER XXVII.

The Parson burst upon the philosopher like an avalanche! He was so full
of his subject that he could not let it out in prudent driblets. No, he
went souse upon the astounded Riccabocca--

                        "Tremendo,
    Jupiter ipse ruens tumultu."

The sage--shrinking deeper into his arm-chair, and drawing his
dressing-robe more closely round him--suffered the Parson to talk for
three quarters of an hour, till indeed he had thoroughly proved his
case; and, like Brutus, "paused for a reply."

Then said Riccabocca mildly, "In much of what you have urged so
ably, and so suddenly, I am inclined to agree. But base is the man
who formally forswears the creed he has inherited from his fathers,
and professed since the cradle up to years of maturity, when the
change presents itself in the guise of a bribe;--when, for such is
human nature, he can hardly distinguish or disentangle the appeal to
his reason from the lure to his interests--here a text, and there
a dowry!--here Protestantism, there Jemima! Own, my friend, that
the soberest casuist would see double under the inebriating effects
produced by so mixing his polemical liquors. Appeal, my good Mr Dale,
from Philip drunken to Philip sober!--from Riccabocca intoxicated
with the assurance of your excellent lady, that he is about to be
"the happiest of men," to Riccabocca accustomed to his happiness, and
carrying it off with the seasoned equability of one grown familiar with
stimulants--in a word, appeal from Riccabocca the wooer to Riccabocca
the spouse. I may be convertible, but conversion is a slow process;
courtship should be a quick one--ask Miss Jemima. _Finalmente_, marry
me first, and convert me afterwards!"

"You take this too jestingly," began the Parson; "and I don't see why,
with your excellent understanding, truths so plain and obvious should
not strike you at once."

"Truths," interrupted Riccabocca profoundly, "are the slowest growing
things in the world! It took 1500 years from the date of the Christian
era to produce your own Luther, and then he flung his Bible at Satan,
(I have seen the mark made by the book on the wall of his prison in
Germany,) besides running off with a nun, which no Protestant clergyman
would think it proper and right to do now-a-days." Then he added, with
seriousness, "Look you, my dear sir,--I should lose my own esteem if I
were even to listen to you now with becoming attention,--now, I say,
when you hint that the creed I have professed may be in the way of my
advantage. If so, I must keep the creed and resign the advantage. But
if, as I trust--not only as a Christian, but a man of honour--you will
defer this discussion, I will promise to listen to you hereafter; and
though, to say truth, I believe that you will not convert me, I will
promise you faithfully never to interfere with my wife's religion."

"And any children you may have?"

"Children!" said Dr Riccabocca, recoiling--"you are not contented with
firing your pocket-pistol right in my face; you must also pepper me
all over with small-shot. Children! well, if they are girls, let them
follow the faith of their mother; and if boys, while in childhood, let
them be contented with learning to be Christians; and when they grow
into men, let them choose for themselves which is the best form for the
practice of the great principles which all sects have in common."

"But," began Mr Dale again, pulling a large book from his pocket.

Dr Riccabocca flung open the window, and jumped out of it.

It was the rapidest and most dastardly flight you could possibly
conceive; but it was a great compliment to the argumentative powers
of the Parson, and he felt it as such. Nevertheless, Mr Dale thought
it right to have a long conversation, both with the Squire and Miss
Jemima herself, upon the subject which his intended convert had so
ignominiously escaped.

The Squire, though a great foe to Popery, politically considered, had
also quite as great a hatred to turn-coats and apostates. And in his
heart he would have despised Riccabocca if he could have thrown off his
religion as easily as he had done his spectacles. Therefore he said
simply--"Well, it is certainly a great pity that Rickeybockey is not of
the Church of England, though, I take it, that would be unreasonable to
expect in a man born and bred under the nose of the Inquisition," (the
Squire firmly believed that the Inquisition was in full force in all
the Italian states, with whips, racks, and thumbscrews; and, indeed,
his chief information of Italy was gathered from a perusal he had given
in early youth to _The One-Handed Monk_;) "but I think he speaks very
fairly, on the whole, as to his wife and children. And the thing's gone
too far now to retract. It is all your fault for not thinking of it
before; and I've now just made up my mind as to the course to pursue
respecting those--d--d Stocks!"

As for Miss Jemima, the Parson left her with a pious thanksgiving that
Riccabocca at least was a Christian, and not a Pagan, Mahometan, or Jew.


CHAPTER XXVIII.

There is that in a wedding which appeals to a universal sympathy. No
other event in the lives of their superiors in rank creates an equal
sensation amongst the humbler classes.

From the moment the news had spread throughout the village that Miss
Jemima was to be married, all the old affection for the Squire and
his House burst forth the stronger for its temporary suspension. Who
could think of the Stocks in such a season? They were swept out of
fashion--hunted from remembrance as completely as the question of
Repeal or the thought of Rebellion from the warm Irish heart, when the
fair young face of the Royal Wife beamed on the sister isle.

Again cordial curtseys were dropped at the thresholds by which the
Squire passed to his home farm; again the sun-burnt brows uncovered--no
more with sullen ceremony--were smoothed into cheerful gladness
at his nod. Nay, the little ones began again to assemble at their
ancient rendezvous by the Stocks, as if either familiarised with the
Phenomenon, or convinced that, in the general sentiment of good-will,
its powers of evil were annulled.

The Squire tasted once more the sweets of the only popularity which is
much worth having, and the loss of which a wise man would reasonably
deplore; viz., the popularity which arises from a persuasion of our
goodness, and a reluctance to recall our faults. Like all blessings,
the more sensibly felt from previous interruption, the Squire enjoyed
this restored popularity with an exhilarated sense of existence;
his stout heart beat more vigorously; his stalwart step trod more
lightly; his comely English face looked comelier and more English than
ever;--you would have been a merrier man for a week to have come within
hearing of his jovial laugh.

He felt grateful to Jemima and to Riccabocca as the special agents of
Providence in this general _integratio amoris_. To have looked at him,
you would suppose that it was the Squire who was going to be married a
second time to his Harry!

One may well conceive that such would have been an inauspicious
moment for Parson Dale's theological scruples. To have stopped that
marriage--chilled all the sunshine it diffused over the village--seen
himself surrounded again by long sulky visages,--I verily believe,
though a better friend of Church and State never stood on a hustings,
that, rather than court such a revulsion, the Squire would have found
jesuitical excuses for the marriage if Riccabocca had been discovered
to be the Pope in disguise! As for the Stocks, their fate was now
irrevocably sealed. In short, the marriage was concluded--first
privately, according to the bridegroom's creed, by a Roman Catholic
clergyman, who lived in a town some miles off, and next publicly in the
village church of Hazeldean.

It was the heartiest rural wedding! Village girls strewed flowers on
the way;--a booth was placed amidst the prettiest scenery of the Park,
on the margin of the lake--for there was to be a dance later in the
day;--an ox was roasted whole. Even Mr Stirn--no, Mr Stirn was _not_
present, so much happiness would have been the death of him! And the
Papisher too, who had conjured Lenny out of the Stocks; nay, who had
himself sate in the Stocks for the very purpose of bringing them into
contempt--the Papisher! he had as lief Miss Jemima had married the
devil! Indeed he was persuaded that, in point of fact, it was all one
and the same. Therefore Mr Stirn had asked leave to go and attend his
uncle the pawnbroker, about to undergo a torturing operation for the
stone! Frank was there, summoned from Eton for the occasion--having
grown two inches taller since he left--for the one inch of which
nature was to be thanked, for the other a new pair of resplendent
Wellingtons. But the boy's joy was less apparent than that of others.
For Jemima was a special favourite with him, as she would have, been
with all boys--for she was always kind and gentle, and made many pretty
presents whenever she came from the watering-places. And Frank knew
that he should miss her sadly, and thought she had made a very queer
choice.

Captain Higginbotham had been invited; but, to the astonishment of
Jemima, he had replied to the invitation by a letter to herself,
marked "_private and confidential_." 'She must have long known,' said
the letter, 'of his devoted attachment to her; motives of delicacy,
arising from the narrowness of his income, and the magnanimity of his
sentiments, had alone prevented his formal proposals; but now that
she was informed (he could scarcely believe his senses, or command
his passions) that her relations wished to force her into a BARBAROUS
marriage with a foreigner Of MOST FORBIDDING APPEARANCE, and most
_abject circumstances_, he lost not a moment in laying at her feet his
own hand and fortune. And he did this the more confidently, inasmuch
as he could not but be aware of Miss Jemima's SECRET feelings towards
him, while he was _proud_ and _happy_ to say, that his dear and
distinguished cousin, Mr Sharpe Currie, had honoured him with a warmth
of regard, which justified the most _brilliant_ EXPECTATIONS--likely
to be _soon_ realised--as his eminent relative had contracted a _very
bad liver complaint_ in the service of his country, and could not last
long!'.

In all the years they had known each other, Miss Jemima, strange as it
may appear, had never once suspected the Captain of any other feelings
to her than those of a brother. To say that she was not gratified by
learning her mistake, would be to say that she was more than woman.
Indeed, it must have been a source of no ignoble triumph to think that
she could prove her disinterested affection to her dear Riccabocca,
by a prompt rejection of this more brilliant offer. She couched the
rejection, it is true, in the most soothing terms. But the Captain
evidently considered himself ill used; he did not reply to the letter,
and did not come to the wedding.

To let the reader into a secret, never known to Miss Jemima, Captain
Higginbotham was much less influenced by Cupid than by Plutus in the
offer he had made. The Captain was one of that class of gentlemen who
read their accounts by those corpse-lights, or will-o'-the-wisps,
called _expectations_. Ever since the Squire's grandfather had left
him--then in short clothes--a legacy of £500, the Captain had peopled
the future with expectations! He talked of his expectations as a man
talks of shares in a Tontine; they might fluctuate a little--be now
up and now down--but it was morally impossible, if he lived on, but
that he should be a _millionnaire_ one of these days. Now, though Miss
Jemima was a good fifteen years younger than himself, yet she always
stood for a good round sum in the ghostly books of the Captain. She was
an _expectation_ to the full amount of her £4000, seeing that Frank was
an only child, and it would be carrying coals to Newmarket to leave
_him_ anything.

Rather than see so considerable a cipher suddenly spunged out of his
visionary ledger--rather than so much money should vanish clean out
of the family, Captain Higginbotham had taken what he conceived, if
a desperate, at least a certain, step for the preservation of his
property. If the golden horn could not be had without the heifer,
why, he must take the heifer into the bargain. He had never formed to
himself an idea that a heifer so gentle would toss and fling him over.
The blow was stunning. But no one compassionates the misfortunes of the
covetous, though few perhaps are in greater need of compassion. And
leaving poor Captain Higginbotham to retrieve his illusory fortunes as
he best may among 'the expectations' which gathered round the form of
Mr Sharpe Currie, who was the crossest old tyrant imaginable, and never
allowed at his table any dishes not compounded with rice, which played
Old Nick with the Captain's constitutional functions,--I return to the
wedding at Hazeldean, just in time to see the bridegroom--who looked
singularly well on the occasion--hand the bride (who, between sunshiny
tears and affectionate smiles, was really a very interesting and even
a pretty bride, as brides go) into a carriage which the Squire had
presented to them, and depart on the orthodox nuptial excursion amidst
the blessings of the assembled crowd.

It may be thought strange by the unreflective that these rural
spectators should so have approved and blessed the marriage of a
Hazeldean of Hazeldean with a poor, outlandish, long-haired foreigner;
but, besides that Riccabocca, after all, had become one of the
neighbourhood, and was proverbially "a civil-spoken gentleman," it is
generally noticeable that on wedding occasions the bride so monopolises
interest, curiosity, and admiration, that the bridegroom himself
goes for little or nothing. He is merely the passive agent in the
affair--the unregarded cause of the general satisfaction. It was not
Riccabocca himself that they approved and blessed--it was the gentleman
in the white waistcoat who had made Miss Jemima--Madam Rickeybockey!

Leaning on his wife's arm, (for it was a habit of the Squire to lean on
his wife's arm rather than she on his, when he was specially pleased;
and there was something touching in the sight of that strong sturdy
frame thus insensibly, in hours of happiness, seeking dependence on the
frail arm of woman,)--leaning, I say, on his wife's arm, the Squire,
about the hour of sunset, walked down to the booth by the lake.

All the parish--young and old, man, woman, and child--were assembled
there, and their faces seemed to bear one family likeness, in the
common emotion which animated all, as they turned to his frank fatherly
smile. Squire Hazeldean stood at the head of the long table: he
filled a horn with ale from the brimming tankard beside him. Then he
looked round, and lifted his hand to request silence; and, ascending
the chair, rose in full view of all. Every one felt that the Squire
was about to make a speech, and the earnestness of the attention
was proportioned to the rarity of the event; for (though he was not
unpractised in the oratory of the hustings) only thrice before had the
Squire made what could fairly be called "a speech" to the villagers of
Hazeldean--once on a kindred festive occasion, when he had presented to
them his bride--once in a contested election for the shire, in which
he took more than ordinary interest, and was not quite so sober as he
ought to have been--once in a time of great agricultural distress,
when, in spite of reduction of rents, the farmers had been compelled
to discard a large number of their customary labourers; and when the
Squire had said,--"I have given up keeping the hounds, because I want
to make a fine piece of water, (that was the origin of the lake,) and
to drain all the low lands round the park. Let every man who wants work
come to me!" And that sad year the parish rates of Hazeldean were not a
penny the more.

Now, for the fourth time, the Squire rose, and thus he spoke. At his
right hand, Harry; at his left, Frank. At the bottom of the table, as
vice-president, Parson Dale, his little wife behind him, only obscurely
seen. She cried readily, and her handkerchief was already before her
eyes.


CHAPTER XXIX.

THE SQUIRE'S SPEECH.

"Friends and neighbours,--I thank you kindly for coming round me this
day, and for showing so much interest in me and mine. My cousin was not
born amongst you as I was, but you have known her from a child. It is a
familiar face, and one that never frowned, which you will miss at your
cottage doors, as I and mine will miss it long in the old hall--"

Here there was a sob from some of the women, and nothing was seen of
Mrs Dale but the white handkerchief. The Squire himself paused, and
brushed away a tear with the back of his hand. Then he resumed, with a
sudden change of voice that was electrical--

"For we none of us prize a blessing till we have lost it! Now, friends
and neighbours,--a little time ago, it seemed as if some ill-will had
crept into the village--ill-will between you and me, neighbours!--why,
that is not like Hazeldean!"

The audience hung their heads! You never saw people look so thoroughly
ashamed of themselves. The Squire proceeded--

"I don't say it was all your fault; perhaps it was mine."

"Noa--noa--noa," burst forth in a general chorus.

"Nay, friends," continued the Squire humbly, and in one of those
illustrative aphorisms which, if less subtle than Riccabocca's, were
more within reach of the popular comprehension; "nay--we are all human;
and every man has his hobby: sometimes he breaks in the hobby, and
sometimes the hobby, if it is very hard in the mouth, breaks in him.
One man's hobby has an ill habit of always stopping at the public
house! (Laughter.) Another man's hobby refuses to stir a peg beyond
the door where some buxom lass patted its neck the week before--a
hobby I rode pretty often when I went courting my good wife here!
(Much laughter and applause.) Others have a lazy hobby, that there's
no getting on;--others, a runaway hobby that there's no stopping: but
to cut the matter short, my favourite hobby, as you well know, is
always trotted out to any place on my property which seems to want
the eye and hand of the master. I hate (cried the Squire warming) to
see things neglected and decayed, and going to the dogs! This land we
live in is a good mother to us, and we can't do too much for her. It
is very true, neighbours, that I owe her a good many acres, and ought
to speak well of her; but what then? I live amongst you, and what I
take from the rent with one hand, I divide amongst you with the other,
(low, but assenting murmurs.) Now the more I improve my property,
the more mouths it feeds. My great-grandfather kept a Field-Book, in
which were entered, not only the names of all the farmers and the
quantity of land they held, but the average number of the labourers
each employed. My grandfather and father followed his example: I
have done the same. I find, neighbours, that our rents have doubled
since my great-grandfather began to make the book. Ay--but there are
more than four times the number of labourers employed on the estate,
and at much better wages too! Well, my men, that says a great deal
in favour of improving property, and not letting it go to the dogs.
(Applause.) And therefore, neighbours, you will kindly excuse my hobby:
it carries grist to your mill. (Reiterated applause.) Well--but you
will say, 'What's the Squire driving at?' Why this, my friends: There
was only one worn-out, dilapidated, tumble-down thing in the Parish of
Hazeldean, and it became an eyesore to me; so I saddled my hobby, and
rode at it. O ho! you know what I mean now! Yes, but neighbours, you
need not have taken it so to heart. That was a scurvy trick of some of
you to hang me in effigy, as they call it."

"It warn't you," cried a voice in the crowd, "it war Nick Stirn."

The Squire recognised the voice of the tinker; but though he now
guessed at the ringleader,--on that day of general amnesty, he had the
prudence and magnanimity not to say, "Stand forth, Sprott: thou art the
man." Yet his gallant English spirit would not suffer him to come off
at the expense of his servant.

"If it was Nick Stirn you meant," said he gravely, "more shame for
you. It showed some pluck to hang the master; but to hang the poor
servant, who only thought to do his duty, careless of what ill-will
it brought upon him, was a shabby trick--so little like the lads of
Hazeldean, that I suspect the man who taught it to them was never
born in the parish. But let bygones be bygones. One thing is clear,
you don't take kindly to my new Pair of Stocks! They have been a
stumbling-block and a grievance, and there's no denying that we went
on very pleasantly without them. I may also say that in spite of them
we have been coming together again lately. And I can't tell you what
good it did me to see your children playing again on the green, and
your honest faces, in spite of the Stocks, and those diabolical tracts
you've been reading lately, lighted up at the thought that something
pleasant was going on at the Hall. Do you know, neighbours, you put me
in mind of an old story which, besides applying to the Parish, all who
are married, and all who intend to marry, will do well to recollect. A
worthy couple, named John and Joan, had lived happily together many a
long year, till one unlucky day they bought a new bolster. Joan said
the bolster was too hard, and John that it was too soft. So, of course,
they quarrelled. After sulking all day, they agreed to put the bolster
between them at night." (Roars of laughter amongst the men; the women
did not know which way to look, except, indeed, Mrs Hazeldean, who,
though she was more than usually rosy, maintained her innocent genial
smile, as much as to say, "There is no harm in the Squire's jests.")
The orator resumed--"After they had thus lain apart for a little time,
very silent and sullen, John sneezed. 'God bless you!' says Joan over
the bolster. 'Did you say God bless me?' cries John;--'then here goes
the bolster!'"

Prolonged laughter and tumultuous applause.

"Friends and neighbours," said the Squire when silence was restored,
and lifting the horn of ale, "I have the pleasure to inform you that
I have ordered the Stocks to be taken down, and made into a bench for
the chimney nook of our old friend Gaffer Solomons yonder. But mind
me, lads, if ever you make the Parish regret the loss of the Stocks,
and the overseers come to me with long faces and say, 'the Stocks
must be rebuilded,' why--" Here from all the youth of the village
rose so deprecating a clamour, that the Squire would have been the
most bungling orator in the world if he had said a word further on
the subject. He elevated the horn over his head--"Why, that's my old
Hazeldean again! Health and long life to you all!"

The Tinker had sneaked out of the assembly, and did not show his face
in the village for the next six months. And as to those poisonous
tracts, in spite of their salubrious labels, "the Poor Man's Friend,"
or "the Rights of Labour," you could no more have found one of them
lurking in the drawers of the kitchen-dressers in Hazeldean, than you
would have found the deadly nightshade on the flower-stands in the
drawing-room of the Hall. As for the revolutionary beer-house, there
was no need to apply to the magistrates to shut it up; it shut itself
up before the week was out.

O young head of the great House of Hapsburg, what a Hazeldean you
might have made of Hungary!--What a "_Moriamur pro rege nostro_" would
have rang in your infant reign,--if you had made such a speech as the
Squire's!

FOOTNOTES:

[1] The Emperor Diocletian.

[2] The title of Excellency does not, in Italian, necessarily express
any exalted rank; but is often given by servants to their masters.



ADDITIONAL CHAPTERS FROM THE HISTORY OF JOHN BULL.--PART II.


CHAPTER V.

HOW MARTIN'S SON, AUGUSTINE, BEGAN TO IMITATE HIS UNCLE PETER.

It is now my duty, in a few words, to make you acquainted with the
state of Martin's family. Martin, as you know, had acted as chaplain
to Squire Bull ever since Peter was sent about his business, with the
exception of the short period during which red-nosed Noll the brewer
held forcible possession of the Squire's house. Noll had a mortal
hatred to Martin, (who, it must be allowed, reciprocated the sentiment
with extreme cordiality,) and wanted to dispossess him for ever of his
benefice and vicarage, in favour of any drunken serjeant who had a
taste for theology and ale. However, when the Squire came back to his
own estate, Martin returned with him, and has remained chaplain up to
the present day without any hindrance or molestation. At times some of
the household have grumbled because Martin has a place at the upper
servants' table; but the complaint was never made by any except such
pestilent rogues as wished in their hearts to see the Squire deprived
of his lawful authority, and the whole of Bullockshatch thrown into a
state of anarchy and confusion.

Martin was as excellent a man as ever stepped upon neat's leather.
He did his duty to the poor honourably and conscientiously, kept his
church in good repair, looked after the parish schools, and was, in
short, a comfort and a credit to all who knew him. He was also a
married man, a circumstance whereof Peter tried to make the most;
abusing him, forsooth, because he did not follow his own example
of getting the girls into a corner to tell him about their little
indiscretions and secret thoughts--a pastime to which that hoary old
sinner was especially addicted;--or of worming himself into some
private gentleman's family, and then frightening the lady of the house
into fits by threatening to put her into a brick-kiln or red-hot oven,
of which Peter pretended to keep the key, if she did not divulge to
him the whole of her husband's secrets, and hand over the children in
private to be stamped with Peter's mark. Many a once happy household
had the old villain brought to misery by those scandalous intrigues;
for the truth is, that he stuck at nothing which might tend to his
own advancement, however infamous were the means. Had Martin been a
reprobate like himself, he might possibly have endured him: as it was,
his good character and decent habits were so many arguments for Peter
to abuse him wherever he went.

Martin had a son, who in due time was appointed his curate, and had a
chapel to himself. This young, man, whose name was Augustine, was by
no means so discreet a person as his father. He was of a moping and
melancholy habit, very much addicted to the study of architecture,
which he carried to such an excess that you could not be five minutes
in his company without hearing him discourse about mullions, brackets,
architraves, and flying buttresses, in a way that would have bewildered
a stone mason. He got his chapel fitted up in such a style that it
exactly resembled one of Peter's; and this he did, as he openly avowed,
from a regard to the customs of antiquity. When Martin was told of
this, he shook his head, caught up his walking cane, and stepped over
to the chapel, where he found Augustine superintending the erection of
a new oriel window, the design of which was gorgeous enough to eclipse
the glories of the most brilliant butterfly of Brazil.

"What's here to do?" quoth Martin, walking up the chancel. "Mighty
handsome this, son Augustine, to be sure; but--don't it strike you that
the effect is a little too Peterish? Mind, I do not object in the least
to your making the chapel neat and tidy. I never thought, as brother
Jack used to do, (though he is now becoming more sensible on those
points,) that a church ought as nearly as possible to resemble a barn.
On the contrary, I like to see everything in its proper place. But
what's this?" continued he, tapping with his cane a kind of ornamented
basin with a slab. "I don't remember ever having seen any thing of this
kind before."

"Indeed, sir!" replied Augustine; "you surprise me very much. I thought
everyone must be acquainted with the Piscina and Finistella. Those, I
can assure you, are accurate copies from ancient drawings of the church
of Saint Ethelred, which was burned by the Danes about the beginning of
the tenth century."

"That may be," quoth Martin, "but I can't for the life of me see the
use of them now. And what may you call this?"

"That, sir? Why, that's the credence table. There is a splendid
specimen of that style of architecture in the cathedral remains of St
Ninian."

"And that carved wood-work up there near the gallery?"

"That, sir, is the rood-loft, constructed on mediæval principles, after
the designs of Hubert the Confessor."

"I'll tell you what it is, son Augustine," said Martin, "all this is
very pretty; and if you and your people wish to have it, there may be
no positive reason why I should interfere. Thank heaven, sound doctrine
does not depend upon stone and lime; and so long as your principles are
firm, it may not matter much that you are a little absurd or so about
this architectural hobby of yours. But, mark me well, my dear boy,"
continued the good gentleman, with tears in his eyes; "no trafficking
or colleaguing with Peter! That old miscreant has ever been a bitter
enemy of me and mine, and of the Squire to boot; and if it should come
to pass that my own flesh and blood were to desert me for that impious
rascal, I would be fain to carry my grey hairs in sorrow to the grave!
Think well of this, I beseech you, and on no account whatever have
anything to say to that arch-deceiver!"

You might reasonably suppose that Augustine was much moved by this
remonstrance. Not a whit of it. He was much too conceited to take
counsel from any one; and in his secret heart began to look upon his
father as no better than an uncharitable bigot.

"Holy Saint Pancras!" he would say, for he had a queer habit of
invoking the names of dead people, "what can it matter to any one
whether I bow to my uncle Peter or not? People tell me I am rather
like him in complexion; and I daresay, after all, there is a strong
family resemblance. What have I to do with old family feuds, which had
far better be forgotten? As to the nine-and-thirty points of doctrine
to which I have set my name, some of them may be good, and others
heterodox; but I presume I am not compelled to accept them in the
literal sense. Why should they be made a stumbling-block in the way of
a proper reconciliation between myself and my uncle, who no doubt has
fallen into questionable practices, though in the main he is quite as
like to be right as my father Martin?"

Augustine, however, did not venture to hold this kind of talk openly
for some time, knowing that, if it came to the ears of Martin, he would
inevitably be disinherited on the spot, and turned out of his cure.
In the discourses which he delivered from the pulpit, he was wont to
express great sorrow and anxiety for the backslidings of his "venerable
relative," as he now termed Peter, "towards whom his bowels yearned
with an almost unspeakable affection. It would ill become him to forget
what Peter had done for the family long ago, and indeed for the whole
of Bullockshatch; and although he was now, no doubt, cast out for his
sins, he, Augustine, could not prevail upon himself to speak harshly
of a gentleman who had such excellent grounds for styling himself the
head of the whole house." Then he would go on to insinuate that there
were two sides to every question--that his own father Martin might
possibly have behaved more roughly to Peter than there was any occasion
for--and that Peter had many good points about him for which he did not
receive sufficient credit. Having thus talked over his congregation,
who were willing enough to go along with him a certain length, he began
in public to wear a dress as nearly approaching to that of Peter's
retainers as he durst. He turned his back upon people, just as the
others did, and dressed up the charity-boys in white gowns, to look,
as he said, like acolytes. One, winter's morning, when the parishioners
arrived at church, they were petrified at seeing two huge candlesticks
placed upon the table, such articles of furniture having been for a
long time disused in the churches throughout Bullockshatch. Augustine,
however, had discovered from some old musty pamphlet that they were
not strictly forbidden; so he got a pair of new ones made, (after
the mediæval fashion, of course,) and preached a long sermon for the
purpose of demonstrating their advantages and mystical meaning. Three
Sundays afterwards, the weather being rather dark and hazy, they were
fitted with lighted wax-candles; and Augustine, having once got so far,
took care that this pious practice should not be discontinued even in
the height of summer. Another Sunday he would put himself at the head
of the charity-boys, and walk through the church in procession, bowing
and making genuflexions in evident imitation of Peter; and at last
the poor young man was so far left to himself, that he would not read
the service properly, but twanged it through his nose in a kind of
sing-song fashion, which he called intoning, but which had simply this
effect, that nobody was able to follow the meaning of the words.

These things were, as you may suppose, very annoying to Martin, who,
over and over again, entreated him to take care what he was doing. But,
in answer to every remonstrance, Augustine would whip out the musty
pamphlet aforesaid, lay it open before his father, and request him
to point out any special clause condemnatory of the practices which
he followed. "If such a clause exists," quoth he, "I knock under,
as in duty bound. If not, I apprehend that I am merely pursuing a
course which has been sanctioned from all antiquity." Martin tried to
convince him that a great many things might be wrong, or at all events
injudicious, which were not actually expressly set down as forbidden;
but no argument would avail with Augustine, who said he was determined
to stand by the rubric, and, moreover, to interpret that rubric
according to his own lights and inspiration.

This was bad enough. However, had it been all, no great mischief might
have ensued. But curious stories became current presently regarding
Augustine's walk and conversation. It was said that he was in the habit
of holding secret colloquies for hours with the Bishop of Timbuctoo and
others, notorious emissaries of Peter; that he wore hair cloth under
his shirt, kept vigils and fasts, and had an oratory fitted up in his
bedroom--with crucifixes and I wot not what, clean contrary to the
commands of Martin. This much is certain, that he framed a callendar of
his own out of some of the books from Peter's discarded library, and
never wrote to his broker to buy him some shares in a railway, or to
his grocer for a fresh supply of split-peas, without dating his note
"Festival of Saint Balderdash," or "Eve of Saint Rowena, V. and M.,"
instead of specifying the day of the month, like an ordinary orthodox
Christian. Then there were rumours current about private confessions,
to which the young ladies, among whom Augustine (being unmarried) was
always a favourite, were invited; of pilgrimages to holy wells; and of
other similar junketings--which made many people look upon Augustine as
no better than an innocent Peter. And they were perfectly right. He was
innocent of any bad design, and I really believe as virtuous a creature
as ever breathed. He was kind to the poor, and would any day have given
half his stipend for their assistance and relief. But he was weak in
intellect, puffed up with vanity, obstinate as a team of mules, and
credulous to the last degree.

Novelties, as we all know, have a prodigious attraction for many
people. In point of plain sense and doctrine, there was no manner of
comparison between Martin and his son. If you wished for nothing more
than devotional exercise, and an excellent sermon, you might search
the world over without finding the equal of Martin. But if your tastes
led you to indulge in qualified Peterisms, or to listen to revivals
of antiquated notions, Augustine was your man. A great many people,
and among others the Juggler, were vastly tickled by Augustine's
newfangled methods. They could not enough admire his ingenuity in
volunteering to fight Peter with his own weapons; and they were
ready, whenever he wished it, to contribute their money towards the
expenses of festivals, or anything else which Augustine might choose to
recommend. Even the Juggler, though fond of his cash, gave something
towards the continuance of these ceremonies--a fact which you will do
well to bear in mind when you come to read some of the later passages
of this history.

I am sorry, however, to say, that many of Augustine's original
congregation pursued a different course. The innuendos against Martin,
and the hints which they had received as to the possible comparative
innocence of Peter, had taken deep root in their minds. They became,
moreover, so used to a ceremonial, which differed little from that
patronised by Peter, except in being less gorgeous, that they acquired
a secret hankering for the entire undiluted ritual; and their nostrils
thirsted for a whiff of frankincense, which even Augustine, refused
to allow them. The consequence was that they began, in imitation of
their pastor, to hold interviews with Peter's emissaries, who, you may
suppose, were ready to meet them half-way; and from little to more,
matters grew to such a head, that many of Augustine's most sincere
disciples turned their back upon him, and went over bodily to Peter!
This was an awful blow and discomfiture to Augustine, who certainly
had meditated nothing of the sort; but it had not the effect of curing
him. He still went on maundering about his Uncle Peter, as if that
venerable individual had been as much sinned against as sinning; and,
in spite of all that Martin could say, he would not abate one jot of
his observances. Peter's emissaries, in the mean time, were as active
as ferrets in a rabbit warren. They never emerged from their holes
without fetching out a new victim, whom they paraded to the whole world
as a pattern of docility and virtue. They wrote long letters to Peter,
glorifying themselves on their success; and stating that the time had
now arrived when all Bullockshatch was prepared to throw itself at
his feet. But in this they reckoned entirely without their host. They
took it for granted that the proceedings in Augustine's chapel were
approved of by the whole tenantry on the estate; whereas the fact was,
that nine out of ten of them looked to Martin as their spiritual guide
and counsellor, and entertained an intense contempt for Augustine,
which they only refrained from expressing in broad set terms, by reason
of his relationship to their pastor. Peter, however, was very glad
to receive news of this kind; and swallowed it, without making too
minute an inquiry. Long experience had taught him that it was always
best to assume a victory, without being particular as to the details;
and, as those who were intrusted with the superintendence of Squire
Bull's estate, had latterly shown themselves exceedingly amenable to
his jurisdiction, and quite hostile to the pretensions of Martin, and
of poor Patrick, whom he longed in the first instance to subjugate,
he had some grounds for supposing that the present was by no means a
bad opportunity for reviving his old claim of dominion over the whole
territory of Bullockshatch. These letters from his emissaries had
reached him before his interview with Mat-o'-the-Mint--a circumstance
which perhaps may afford a clue to the nature of his conversation with
that singularly acute individual.


CHAPTER VI.

HOW PROTOCOL FELL FOUL OF SQUIRE OTHO; AND HOW HE WAS CALLED TO A
RECKONING IN CONSEQUENCE.

After Mat-o'-the-Mint's return to Bullockshatch, Protocol found himself
very much like a fish out of water. That honest gentleman laboured
under a constitutional infirmity, being subject to fits of hypochondria
whenever Squire Bull happened to be at peace and amity with his
neighbours. At such times it was not very safe to approach him. He was
sulky, petulant, and irritable; and in default of any more legitimate
occupation, usually took an opportunity of picking a quarrel with some
of his fellow-servants. You may therefore easily believe, that he was
no great favourite in the household. Gray and others would willingly
have got rid of him if they durst, but Protocol had been long in the
service, and knew so many of their secret ways and doings, that he had
them completely in his power. Therefore, whenever he began to exhibit
any of his pestilent humours, the household would gather round him,
protesting that he was the cleverest and most adroit fellow in the
universe, and indeed the only man alive who could properly manage a
lawsuit.

"I have said it a thousand times on my knees," quoth the Juggler on
such occasions, "that our revered master, Squire Bull, never had so
acute a servant as the excellent Mr Protocol. Show me the man like
him for finding out points in which the honour of Bullockshatch is
concerned! I declare I am as proud of him as if he were my own father."

And then they would all join in a general chorus of flattery and
adulation, and request their esteemed friend and colleague, Protocol,
just to step into his closet and look over the county map, lest there
should be any case of a doubtful boundary which might be disputed,
or at all events to write a few letters to the neighbouring squires,
telling them what he, Protocol, thought of their general management. At
this, Protocol would begin to look less grim, and finally retire with
a wink, as much as to say--"Aha! my masters--wait here for a little,
and you shall see somewhat." And in half-an-hour he would return,
carrying a map all ruled over with red and blue lines, and a bundle of
old surveys, from which he would pledge his credit to establish the
fact in any court of Christendom, that Squire Bull had been swindled
out of at least three perches of unproductive land, in a division of
common lands which was made a hundred years before. The other members
of the household were but too happy to see him occupied again, without
caring whether he was right or wrong; and to work went Protocol, as
merry as a cricket, writing letters without end, docketing notes, and
making-believe as though he had the weight of the whole world on his
shoulders.

You may easily conceive that this kind of conduct, though it suited
the convenience of the Juggler and his friends, was exceedingly odious
to the neighbouring squires, who were not allowed to eat their meals
in comfort without being disturbed by Protocol. One day he sent a
messenger to Esquire Strutt, as if from Squire Bull, calling his
attention to certain arrangements in his household, which, he said,
ought to be modified; whereupon Strutt, who was proverbially as proud
as a peacock, flew into a violent passion, warned the messenger off
his estate, and sent back such an answer to Protocol as made his ears
tingle for a fortnight. Then, whenever any of the squires happened to
have a dispute among themselves, originating from a drinking-bout or
a cock-fight, Protocol would instantly write to them, tendering his
good offices and mediation, which offer they, warned by experience,
were usually wise enough to decline. In fact, these absurd doings of
Protocol brought Squire Bull at length into such discredit with his
neighbours, that there was nothing on earth which they dreaded so much
as his interference.

Protocol was in one of his worst humours when Mat-o'-the-Mint returned.
Everything had gone wrong with him in the south. Don Vesuvius had
settled his affairs, clean contrary to the wish of Protocol. Don
Ferdinando had got all he wanted, simply by acting in a manner
directly opposite to his advice. Signor Tureen, whom he favoured, had
been worsted in a lawsuit which he recommended, and was saddled with
enormous costs. Peter, with whom he was bent on currying favour, had
been kicked out of his patrimony, and Protocol had not even the dubious
credit of fetching him back, that having been accomplished by young
Nap. Altogether he had made a precious mess of it; and many people,
both in the upper and under-servants' hall at Bullockshatch, began
to insinuate that, after all, Master Protocol was no better than a
bungler. All this tended to exasperate him to the utmost.

"It is a devilish hard thing," he remarked to himself one day, as he
sat in the midst of his maps and correspondence--"It is a devilish
hard thing that I can't find any men of talent to carry my designs
into execution! There is scarcely a messenger in my whole department
who can bamboozle a toll-keeper, much less throw dust in the eyes of a
ground-steward. The Squire will no doubt make an hideous outcry about
this unconscionable bill of expenses which Mat-o'-the-Mint has run up;
and heaven only knows how far he may have compromised my credit. Catch
me allowing him to go out again on any errand of the kind! Never, since
I first nibbed a pen, were matters in such a mess! I really must do
something for the sake of my own character. But then the puzzle is with
whom to begin. I won't have anything more to do with Jonathan, that's
flat. I dare not meddle further in anything which concerns Esquire
North, for he is beginning to growl already, like a bear as he is,
and Copenhagen is under his protection. It would be a dangerous game
to have anything to say at present either to Colonel Martinet or Don
Ferdinando; and, as for the South, why, I have been already checkmated
there. Ha! an idea strikes me! Didn't I get several letters lately from
a relation of Moses, complaining that he had suffered some damage in a
street-row after dining with young Squire Otho? And, now I think of it,
Squire Otho owes us some five or six pounds of interest on a bond which
he granted to Bull, and he is behindhand with the arrears. And, as I
live, here's another letter, which I threw aside at the time, telling
me that Cheeks the marine, who is in John's pay, was taken up one night
to the watch-house by a constable of Otho's, on a charge of being drunk
and disorderly! Altogether, it is a capital case; and as those barges
which I sent along the canal to frighten Don Vesuvius are still lying
thereabouts, I'll even desire them to stop in front of Otho's house,
and demand immediate satisfaction."

This Otho was a young lad, who had been put in possession of his
property with the full consent and assistance of Squire Bull. It was
a little, rocky, dilapidated place, with more ruins upon it than
cottages, and for many years had been entirely overrun by gipsies.
Long ago, before the other estates in the country were brought into
proper cultivation, it was reckoned of some importance; and its
proprietors were said to have held their heads as high as O'Donoghue
of the Lakes, or Malachi of the golden collar. But all that was matter
of tradition. It was difficult to understand why Squire Bull should
have troubled himself about it, except it was for this reason, that he
had taken possession of one or two small islands in a lake adjoining
the property, which were well adapted for the culture of currants; and
which, when he broke them up, were understood to belong to nobody.
However, wishing to see the gipsies, who were a troublesome race,
expelled, he agreed to settle Otho in this unprofitable estate, and
lent the poor lad a trifle, just by way of keeping his head above water
at starting.

The villagers--for tenantry Otho had almost none--were, on the whole,
an inoffensive race. They were said to be infernal cheats and liars;
but as they only lied and cheated amongst themselves, that did not
much signify. They had a great respect for Bull, were very civil and
obsequious to any of his people who passed that way, and would as soon
have encountered a goblin in the churchyard, as have picked a quarrel
with any of them. Otho was, I suppose, by much the poorest squire in
all the country round. His rental, nominally small, was in reality next
to nothing; and it was supposed that he had a hard struggle to make
ends meet. Such was the victim whom Protocol selected, in order to
enhance his individual glory and renown.

Down came the barges across the lake in front of Otho's house, each of
them crammed full of watchmen, marines, and bargees, wearing Squire
Bull's livery. Upon this, Otho, supposing that the visit was made in
compliment to himself, and little dreaming that he had provoked the
enmity of so powerful a personage as Protocol, put on his best coat and
hat, and was just stepping down to the quay, when, to his amazement, a
writ was served upon him at the instance of Squire Bull.

"What's this?" he said, unfolding the document,--"'Account of
loss sustained by Mr Shylock, naturalised servant of Squire
Bull.--Magnificent furniture, L.90, 6s. 8d. Do. China, L.49, 3s.
8-1/4d. Inestimable jewellery, L.505. Disturbance of mind, L.70,
10s. Medical attendance for subsequent dysentery, L.13, 13s.' Good
heavens! is Esquire Bull mad? Shylock? Why, that's the fellow who has
been bothering me for a year past about some broken crockery, and a
fractured camp-stool! And what may this other paper be? 'Compensation
to Mr William Cheeks, marine, for unlawful detention of his person,
and injury to his character, he having been apprehended as drunk and
disorderly, L.300! Why, the man was discharged next morning with a
simple reprimand from the magistrate! But here's a third--'Amercement
for injury done to Dimitri Palikaros, and Odysseus Cosmokapeleion,
inhabitants of the currant islands, under the protection of John Bull,
Esquire, they having been disturbed in their indefeasible right of
sleeping in the open air, and forcibly conducted to the watch-house,
L.50.' Oh, it must be a joke! Squire Bull cannot be in earnest!"

But poor Otho was very soon made to understand that it was no joke at
all, but a devilish serious matter. He received a peremptory intimation
from Protocol's messenger, who was on board one of the barges, that
he must pay the whole of the demands made without demurring, within
four-and-twenty hours, otherwise he should be under the disagreeable
necessity of laying an execution on his house; and moreover, that,
until this was done, all the boats at the quay would be laid under
embargo. In vain did Otho remonstrate against this flagrant injustice,
and offer to submit the case to any squire in Christendom. Protocol's
man had special orders, and would not abate a jot. Not a soul was
allowed to go out and fish on the lake, though the livelihood of many
depended on it. Nay, he had the inhumanity to seize some cargoes of
fresh beef, vegetables, and other perishable articles which were
intended for the supply of the villagers, and to keep them rotting in
the sun, until Otho should pay the whole amount of the demand.

A more flagrant case was probably never known. In all human
probability, twenty shillings would have covered the whole extent of
the losses sustained by Shylock; and as for Bill Cheeks, and the two
other fellows with unpronounceable names, it was clear that the police
magistrate had only let them off too cheap. But there was more than
this. Otho was also told that the time had come for the settlement
of his arrears, and that he must, moreover, cede to Squire Bull two
islets, or rather rocks, in the lake, on which his fishermen were used
to dry their nets, these not being expressly marked as his in a map in
the possession of Protocol! You may easily conceive that the poor lad
was driven to his wit's end by these tyrannical proceedings.

"I never would have believed this of Squire Bull!" cried he. "I always
thought him to be a generous, frank, open-minded gentleman, with a
soul above pettifogging; and one who would not be hard upon a debtor.
Esquire North would not have behaved to me in this way--no, nor would
any other of my neighbours. And I won't believe, even yet, that it is
the wish of the Squire to deal so hardly with a poor lad, who has not
had time to set himself right with the world. It must be Protocol's,
doing; though why he should use me so, since I never gave him any
offence that I know of, passes my understanding. However, I'll write to
the Baboonery, and learn what young Nap thinks of the matter."

He could not have done a wiser thing. Nap thought, as every one
else did, that the proceedings of Protocol were not only shabby and
un-neighbour-like, but clearly Jewish and unprincipled. Accordingly, he
took up the cudgels for Otho, declaring that he could not see a poor
young fellow, who was rather out at the elbows, though from no fault
of his, treated in this abominable fashion; and the clerk to whom he
gave the charge of the correspondence, being a plain, straightforward,
knock-me-down sort of character, who had no patience for diplomatic
palaver, very soon convinced Protocol that he was like to have the
worst of it. After a good deal of correspondence, conducted in a way
which was the reverse of creditable to Squire Bull's establishment, a
compromise was effected; and Protocol seemed to think that he had at
last achieved a triumph. But the contrary was the case: for the people
of Bullockshatch, and the Squire himself, were mightily ashamed of the
use which had been made of his name in this disreputable transaction.
The upper servants, at a general meeting, voted it a dirty and
undignified transaction, and declared that they washed their hands,
henceforward, of all participation in the tricks and pantalooneries
of Protocol. This necessitated a call of the under-servants; when
the Juggler arose, and with real tears in his eyes, (for his wages
depended upon the issue of the vote,) declared that he believed from
the bottom of his heart, that a nobler or more disinterested individual
than his honourable friend Protocol never broke bread, &c. &c., and
that he, the Juggler, was ready to lay down the last drop of his blood
for the honour of Esquire Bull, &c.;--a sacrifice which was the more
creditable, as nobody thought of demanding it. By dint of promise of
advancement in the household, he persuaded divers of the servants,
especially one Caustic, to speak strongly in favour of Protocol; but
the odds are, that he never would have carried the vote but for the
dexterity of Protocol himself. That veteran sinner was worth, in point
of ability, the whole of his colleagues put together. He had a tongue
that could wile a bird off a tree; and the most extraordinary thing
about him, next to his fondness for getting into scrapes, was the
facility with which he got out of them. He favoured his audience with
a sketch of the services which he had rendered to Squire Bull, showing
that in everything he had done, he had the honour of Bullockshatch
at heart; and by cantering over some portions of his story where the
ground was rather dubious, sliding over others, and making a prodigious
prancing where his footing was tolerably firm, he managed to persuade
the majority of the servants that he really was a well-meaning
individual, and that they were bound at all events to overlook this
last escapade about Otho, which no one who had an atom of conscience
could pretend absolutely to justify.

Protocol was in high feather in consequence of this whitewashing; the
more so, that at one time it appeared very doubtful if even the under
servants could be induced to support him. He and some of his chums
had a dinner and drink afterwards at a servants' club to which they
belonged, where Proto. made another speech, boasting that so long as he
lived, no man born on Squire Bull's estate should be insulted by any
neighbouring proprietor, or be laid in the stocks, or be hustled in a
village, without receiving ample damages. All this sounded very well,
though it certainly looked like holding out a premium to poaching; but
it so happened, that a short time afterwards an old gentleman of the
name of Marshall, who was in Don Ferdinando's service, and who had
been mainly instrumental in reinstating him in his house, after it
was broken into by the rabble as I have already told you, came over
to Bullockshatch on a holiday jaunt. Marshall's policy through life
had always been to return a buffet for a blow; and, as the fellows
who created the uproar on Ferdinando's estate were no more to be
reasoned with than so many wild Indians, whom indeed they resembled
in their devilish practices of stabbing, tomahawking, ravishing, and
roasting alive, he was by no means scrupulous in his method of putting
them down. Some of the insurgents, who had fled to Bullockshatch,
had succeeded, by dint of unmitigated lying, in getting up a strong
feeling among the villagers against Marshall, whom they represented
as a man-eating tiger, with so debauched a digestion, that he could
not sleep at night unless he had previously supped upon a child. The
people of Bullockshatch were exceedingly credulous upon such points,
for it is on record that about a hundred years before, when poor
Donald, as kindly a creature as ever fasted on oatmeal, came down from
the hills, the children were sent into the coal-cellar, lest haply
the sight of a plump one might whet his uncivilised appetite. Be that
as it may, a general impression had gone abroad that Marshall was no
better than a cannibal; and during the short while he remained in
Bullockshatch, not a nursery-maid was allowed to take the usual airing
in the streets.

But he did not remain long. Spies were set upon him; and one day when
he took a fancy to look into a brewery, just by way of seeing how the
beer was made, he was assailed by a whole gang of ragamuffins, who
cursed, kicked, cuffed, and spat upon him, tore off his moustaches,
damned him for a persecuting foreigneering scoundrel, and would
probably have murdered him, had he not, by great good luck, escaped
into a pot-house hard by. Even then he was hardly safe, for the mob
tried to gut the premises. You may be sure that, after experiencing
this treatment, Marshall did not remain long in Bullockshatch; in fact,
he took himself off next morning, protesting that he would rather
sojourn among the Hottentots, than be exposed to such treatment at
the hands of a civilised community. So far as he was concerned, he
wished to take no farther notice of the matter; but the household of
Don Ferdinando, considering this a direct insult to themselves and
their master, desired the head-steward to write to Protocol, demanding
immediate satisfaction. This was an awkward thrust; for, if Protocol
was entitled to insist on compensation from Otho, for the injuries
done by his people to Bill Cheeks, Shylock, and Cosmokapeleion, it was
evident that, on the same principle, Ferdinando's steward had a right
to sue Squire Bull for the injury and damages inflicted upon Marshall.
Proto., however, refused pointblank to give any satisfaction, or to do
anything at all in the matter; whereupon Ferdinando's steward gave him
due notice, that in all time coming he should consider himself and his
master relieved from all responsibility, if any of Squire Bull's people
should happen to be tarred and feathered when straying beyond bounds.
What was even more unpleasant, Esquire North sent him notice to the
same effect; and North was not a man likely to be worse than his word.

I have thought it right to tell ye these things just now, in order that
you may understand Protocol's usual method of doing business. I must
now relate to you a circumstance which threw the whole of Bullockshatch
into a most awful quandary.


CHAPTER VII.

HOW PETER CLAIMED SUPREMACY IN BULLOCKSHATCH--AND HOW THE JUGGLER THREW
THE BLAME UPON AUGUSTINE.

One morning after breakfast, Squire Bull, who was then mightily taken
up with a glass warehouse, which some people had persuaded him to erect
in his park, for the purpose of showing off his neighbours' wares in
opposition to his own, called as usual for his newspaper.

"I half begin to think," quoth he, settling himself in his easy chair,
and airing the broadsheet at the fire, "that I have been bubbled in
this matter. What good this puffing and vaunting of other folk's
commodities is to do to my villagers, I do not exactly see; and, as for
the tenantry, they appear to be against it to a man. Besides, I have a
strong suspicion that in the long run I shall have to pay the piper.
However, let us see if anything is stirring abroad.--Eh! what's this? A
letter from that miscreant Peter! Am I in my right senses?"

And, sure enough, in the most conspicuous part of the newspaper there
appeared the following document:--

  "WE, PETER, Lord Paramount of the whole world, and Supreme Suzerain
  of the Squirearchy thereof, to all to whom these presents may come,
  Greeting. KNOW YE, that We, out of Our infinite condescension and
  mercy, and moved thereto by the love which We bear to Our subjects
  of Bullockshatch, have determined from henceforth, and in all time
  coming, to grant unto them such spiritual rights and privileges as
  We have accorded to others of Our subjects elsewhere. Also, for
  the end that Our loving subjects of Bullockshatch may the better
  accommodate themselves to Our Will in this matter, and render to
  us, through Our delegates, the homage which is justly Our due,
  We have resolved to divide and erect, as We do hereby divide and
  erect, the whole of Our territory of Bullockshatch into thirteen
  separate parishes, appointing thereunto for each a Superintendent,
  who shall henceforth, and in all time coming, derive his style
  and title from the parish to which he is appointed by Us; and We
  command, require, and enjoin Our said loving subjects to render
  to Our said Superintendents all obedience and fealty, as they
  shall answer to Us thereupon. And in order that all things may
  be properly administered, We have appointed Our dearly beloved
  Nicholas, formerly Superintendent of Hippopotamus, to be our
  Arch-Superintendent on Our estate of Bullockshatch, with the
  title and designation of Lord Arch-Superintendent of Smithfield,
  granting to him all the rights of coal, fuel, faggot, turf,
  twig, and combustibles which were formerly enjoyed by any of his
  predecessors in office. And as a token of their gratitude for this
  Our unparalleled condescension and mercy, We ordain and require
  that Our loving subjects of Bullockshatch shall each and all of
  them attend and assist at three solemn masses, to be performed for
  the soul of the late Guido Fawkes, Esquire, of happy memory. And We
  declare this to be a public and irrevocable decree.

                                       (_Signed_) PETER."

Language is inadequate to express the paroxysm of wrath into which
Squire Bull was thrown by the perusal of this insolent document! He
foamed at the mouth, kicked over the breakfast table, dashed the
newspaper on the carpet, and tore down the bell-rope.

"He the Lord Paramount of Bullockshatch, the lying old villain that
he is! He pretend to jurisdiction within my estate! But I'll trounce
him! Ho, there! Who's without? Fetch me here the Juggler instantly!
Body of me, that it should ever have come to this! These are the thanks
I get from the ungrateful old he-goat for having taken some of his
people into my service, and persuaded my tenantry, sorely against their
will, to make an annual allowance for that school of his, which is no
better than a nest of Jesuits! If I don't make the viper feel--So, so!
Master Juggler, you are there, are you? Things have come to a pretty
pass, when I can't take up a newspaper, without finding myself openly
insulted, and my rights of property denied!"

Now, be it known to you that the Juggler was anything but comfortable
in his mind. He was fully conscious that he had been imposed on by
Peter; and, further, that he and his associates had done everything
in their power to back up Peter's pretensions. This they did less out
of hatred to Martin (though they bore him no great love) than from a
desire to ingratiate themselves with some of the under servants who
came from the farm over the pond, and were known adherents of Peter.
But from one thing to another, they had gone so far, as we have already
seen, relaxing and abolishing all the old regulations of the estate
against the interference of Peter, that it really seemed as though
he had only to step in and take possession. Further, the Juggler was
somewhat at a loss to know how he could satisfactorily explain the
nature of the mission upon which his relative, Mat-o'-the-Mint, had
been despatched; besides some other little circumstances which looked
confoundedly suspicious. For example, about a year before, one Dicky
Squeal, a notorious Peterite, had been detected tampering with the dies
from which Squire Bull's tokens were struck, and cutting out certain
letters which were understood to signify that Mr Bull held possession
of his estate altogether independent of Peter. Instead of punishing him
for this, the Juggler had just announced his intention of sending Dicky
Squeal on a second mission to Signor Macaroni's estate, where he might
be within earshot of Peter. Altogether, it is no wonder if the Juggler
felt the reverse of happy when summoned to appear before his master.
However, he was resolved to brazen it out as he best could.

"Insulted, did you say, sir; and your rights of property denied? The
thing is clean impossible! Nobody dares insult my noble master--the
most excellent, kind, hospitable, beneficent landlord that ever kept
open house! O sir, if you but knew the depth of my affection--the
almost overwhelming load, as I may say, of love and regard--"

"Come, come, Master Juggler! quoth the Squire sharply, "I've heard
all that palaver before, and mayhap once too often. You ask who has
insulted me--I'll tell you in four words--that unmitigated rascal,
Peter!

"Peter! alackaday!" replied the Juggler, with an affected whine of
consternation. "Is it possible that he can have been left so far to his
own devices! Surely, surely, my dear master, there must be some mistake
in this."

"No mistake at all!" roared the Squire; "and, what is more, there shall
be no mistake about it. Look here--" continued he, pointing out the
paragraph. "Have you read that?"

The Juggler had done so, every word of it, that blessed morning; but
as he wished to gain time, he adjusted his glasses, and began to con
it over with an appearance of intense interest. Meanwhile the Squire
occupied himself in tying knots on a new lash for his hunting-whip.

"Well, what do you say to that now?" quoth he, when the Juggler had
concluded the perusal.

"I think--that is--I am strongly of opinion," faltered the other, "that
the whole thing is a mere misconception."

"A what?" roared the Squire.

"A misconception," quavered the Juggler. "As I read this document,
which I confess is not so well worded as it might have been, I conclude
that Peter merely wishes to provide for the spiritual wants of his own
people, not that he in the least degree intends to question your lawful
authority. And further--"

"Hark-ye!" interrupted the Squire, his eye kindling like a coal, "I am
not going to stand any of your nonsense. I, John Bull, stand here as
the sole proprietor of Bullockshatch, and no man alive shall presume to
question my title with impunity. Look to it, Master Juggler, for I know
you better than you think. I may be at times too easy and careless, but
I have an eye in my head notwithstanding, and I know what your friends
Gray and Claretson have been doing. Mind this--you as head-steward are
responsible to me, and if I find you playing false in this matter, by
the Lord Harry you shall answer for it!"

"Me!" cried the Juggler, in the shrill tones of injured innocence. "How
could such an idea enter into your blessed brain? I protest that never
man served master with more entire devotion. May my next tragedy be
worse than my first, if it does not bring tears into my eyes, to hear
you talking in this way of your affectionate Juggling Johnny!" Here he
went through a little bit of pantomime similar to that performed by Mr
T. P. Cooke when bidding farewell to Shewsan, immediately before his
execution. "As for Gray and Claretson, or any other of them, if they
have been doing anything contrary to the rules of the household, it is
wholly unbeknownst to me. O! if your honour only knew the trouble they
give me sometimes, and the watch I am obliged to keep over them to see
that they do their duty! I really think that the labour is telling upon
my precious health. If it be your pleasure that they should be packed
about their business, I'll do it--only don't break my heart by doubting
my devotion in your service."

"Well, well!" quoth the Squire, who was always easily mollified, "let's
say no more about that at present. The main thing is to put down that
insolent varlet, Peter. And, as you say you are determined to uphold
my authority, it will be just as well that you should tell that to the
household. So just step into my closet--you will find paper and ink on
the table--and write me a handsome letter to Martin, expressive of your
indignation at Peter, and your determination to give him a ribroasting
at the earliest opportunity."

At this the Juggler hemmed and coughed, said something about a whitlow
in his finger, and would fain have postponed writing for the present.
But the Squire was peremptory, and would listen to no excuse; so
_nolens volens_, Johnny was obliged to walk into the closet and do his
master's bidding.

Having secured the door, he first of all took out of his waistcoat
pocket a thimble and peas, and began trying to cheat himself, as was
his wont whenever he found himself in a scrape. After his ideas were
clarified by that ingenious process, he broke out into the following
soliloquy:--

"Am I done for, or am I not? Gadzooks! I must say that it looks
extremely like it. That old blockhead Bull is in a thorough passion,
and I need never expect to talk him round. What an ass that fellow
Peter is! If he had only waited a little, we could have managed the
whole matter quite easily, but now he has put his foot in it, and
must even take the consequences. But how am I to manage with Gray and
Claretson? They are both committed as deeply as can be to Peter, and I
suspect that he can prove it by their own letters. I wonder if I could
persuade them to quit the Squire's service without making any noise
about it! No--that they won't do; and the mischief is that they know a
thing or two more than is convenient. Then what am I to write to that
old pantaloon Martin, whom I have not spoken to for many a day? If I
commit myself against Peter, Gray and Claretson will be down upon me
to a dead certainty, and I shall have to account for all Mat-o'-the
Mint's blunders, which would puzzle any conjurer living. If I don't,
the whole household will suppose that I have been in regular league
with Peter, and then I lose my place. They suspect me already; for no
later than yesterday that stupid errand-boy of mine, Hips, came down
with a tester towards buying a new hat for Hippopotamus; and, to say
the truth, I have a letter from that same individual at this moment in
my pocket. Couldn't I manage to temporise about Peter, and throw the
blame on somebody else? Not a bad idea! There's that noodle Augustine
with a back providentially fitted for the burden! If I can make him
the scapegoat, I may still contrive to throw dust in the eyes of the
Squire!"

So saying, Johnny pocketed his thimble and peas, and straightway
indited this doughty epistle to Martin.

  "REVEREND AND DEAR SIR,--I have this moment learned with great
  astonishment and surprise, the insidious attempt which has been
  made by Peter to extend his authority in Bullockshatch. This gives
  me the greater surprise, because I consider myself ill used by
  Peter, having on previous occasions behaved with marked civility to
  his people, and having moreover shown myself anything but hostile
  to his exercising his functions here, moderately and discreetly,
  and within due limits. However, you may rely upon it, that the
  matter shall be thoroughly sifted, and such steps adopted as may
  vindicate the proper position of my honoured master, not forgetting
  your own. What these steps may be, I cannot yet say, because it
  will be necessary in a matter of this importance to consult an
  attorney. However, you may keep your mind at ease. What Peter shall
  or shall not have, will be determined in proper time; till when, it
  would be premature to enter into further explanations.

  "Having thus explicitly stated my sentiments with regard to this
  unusual matter, it would be wrong in me to conceal from you
  that I regard your son Augustine as a dangerous enemy to the
  tranquillity of Bullockshatch. I write this with unfeigned sorrow,
  but my natural candour renders it impossible for me to maintain
  any disguise. The Peterizing tendency of the practices adopted
  by Mr Augustine have long been the subject of serious remark in
  the household, and have doubtless contributed very much to the
  difficulties which have now arisen. To be plain with you, I regard
  your son as being actually more culpable than Peter.

  "You will farther pardon me, Reverend Sir, for remarking that your
  own conduct is not altogether without reproach, seeing that you
  might have used your authority more decidedly in cautioning your
  son against imitating the mummeries of Peter.--I am, Reverend and
  Dear Sir, your best adviser and friend,

                                 (_Signed_) "J. JUGGLER."

  "For Dr Martin, These."

"If that letter does not succeed," quoth the Juggler after he had
read it over for the second time, "I surrender all faith in human
gullibility. It shall appear to-morrow morning in the newspapers; and
as to what may follow after, why--we shall just leave that to the
chapter of accidents."


CHAPTER VIII.

HOW AUGUSTINE RETORTED ON THE JUGGLER; AND HOW HIPPOPOTAMUS CAME OVER
TO BULLOCKSHATCH.

Next morning, the letter appeared in print, and was circulated all
over Bullockshatch. You have no idea what a commotion it created.
Some people who knew the Juggler well from old experience, pronounced
it at once to be a mere tub thrown out to catch a whale, and argued
that in reality it meant nothing. But others, who detested Peter from
the bottom of their hearts, and yet felt a sort of sneaking kindness
for the Juggler, were loud in their commendation and praise of his
spirited, straightforward conduct; and declared their firm conviction
that he would go on, and give Peter such a trouncing for his insolence,
as he had not received for many a day. Those who were of the Gray
and Claretson faction, looked exceedingly glum; swore that they had
always considered the Juggler as little better than a time-serving
fellow; and that, notwithstanding his braggadocio, he durst not take
a single step against Peter. "If we are in for it," said they, "so is
he. Let him clear up those doings of Mat-o'-the-Mint as he best can."
Peter's friends, of course, were furious; at least the majority of
them, who did not comprehend the truth of the axiom, that the main
use of language is to conceal ideas. Others, who were more learned in
Jesuitry, winked and hinted at a dispensation.

But the man, of all others, who was the most astounded--and no
wonder--was poor Augustine. You must know that, for several years, the
Juggler had been on extremely cool terms with Dr Martin, and seldom, if
ever, set foot within his church. But, as it had always been considered
a point of etiquette that the Squire's head-steward should attend
some place of worship, the Juggler, who could do nothing like other
people, compromised the matter by joining two congregations at once.
Of a Sunday forenoon he was a regular attendant on the ministrations
of Augustine; in the afternoon, he went to a meeting-house where the
minister was a relative of Jack's. He had helped Augustine to set up
his nick-nackeries; assisted at the most suspicious of his ceremonies;
and never made the slightest objection to the practices, which he now
thought fit to denounce to Martin! Augustine, at the first sight of the
letter, doubted the evidence of his eyesight.

"Bones of Saint Thomas-à-Beckett!" said he, "is it possible that he can
have written this? Supposing that I was to blame--which I am not--is
it for him to turn against me at the last hour, after all that he has
said and done, and throw the whole blame of Peter's delinquencies at
my door? But I won't stand it--that's flat. I'll write him a tickler
that shall touch him to the quick, if he has any spark of conscience
remaining; and, now that I think on't, I'll just step over to the
vestry, where I shall be less disturbed."

I don't know what kind of disturbance Augustine contemplated at home,
but it must have been slight indeed compared with that which he was
doomed to meet at the chapel. All the ragamuffins in the neighbourhood,
who took their cue from the Juggler, were congregated around the door;
and no sooner did Augustine appear, than he was saluted with yells of
"No candles! no sham Peters! down with the humbug!" and so forth; so
that the poor gentleman had much difficulty in elbowing his way to the
vestry, where he locked himself in, not altogether, as you may easily
believe, in a comfortable frame of mind. When he attempted to perform
service, matters grew worse and worse. There was shouting, braying,
and hissing, both inside and outside the door, so that a large posse
of constables was required to keep the mob in order; and, at last, the
chapel was shut up.

Augustine, however, wrote his letter, which was a stinger, though
rather too long, and published it. It is just possible that he may have
received an answer; but if so, I have not seen it, nor can I therefore
undertake to clear up the mystery which envelopes this remarkable
episode. This much is certain, that if Augustine's statement was true,
the Juggler gave ample proof, if proof was necessary, that he was still
eminently qualified to exhibit feats of dexterity at any booth in
Bartholomew Fair, and could turn his back upon himself with any man in
the kingdom.

It is my opinion that the Juggler, after having written his famous
letter to Martin, would very willingly have held his tongue, until he
was compelled to address the household. But it is not easy, when a fire
is once kindled, to put it out. Not that the kindling was the work of
Johnny, for Peter's insolent proclamation was of itself enough to raise
a conflagration in Bullockshatch; but now that the head-steward had
declared himself--or was supposed to have done so--it was necessary
that he should go through with it. It so happened, that a day or two
afterwards he was engaged, along with others of the Squire's servants,
to eat custard with one of the village magistrates; and the good man,
in proposing his health, could not help alluding to the very noble,
magnificent, and satisfactory letter which had been written by the
honourable head-steward on the subject of Peter's unwarrantable attack
on the liberties of the Squire. At this the whole company rose and
cheered, so that the Juggler could not very well forbear touching on
the topic, though he handled it with as much caution as he would have
used towards a heated poker. He talked about his determination to
uphold the just rights of Esquire Bull, and so forth; but what those
rights were, he did not specify, neither did he drop any hint as to the
nature of the steps which he proposed to adopt. But you may conceive
his disgust, when he heard two of the servants whom he had brought
along with him, fall foul of Peter in the most unqualified terms! The
first of these, one Kewpaw, so named after his habitual pronunciation
of his birthplace in the North farm, had the exquisite taste to say
that he, being a Justice of the Peace, would be but too happy and
proud to preside at the trial either of Peter, or of his delegate
Hippopotamus, for the insult offered to Squire Bull, and would give
them a practical insight into the nature of a _mittimus_; while the
other, who had been wild in his youth, but now sat at the head of the
upper servants' table, declared his intention of dancing a fandango
on the hat of Hippopotamus on the first convenient opportunity. These
dignified speeches were of course enthusiastically cheered, though
they were as bitter as wormwood to the Juggler, who felt himself every
hour more and more compromised before he had made up his mind to any
definite course of action.

Meanwhile Martin, who knew from old experience how little dependence
could be placed in the Juggler at any time, bestirred himself to
take the sense of the people of Bullockshatch as to Peter's arrogant
pretensions. He was fully conscious that a general demonstration on
their part would not only be highly gratifying to the Squire, but
extremely useful in influencing the views of the servants. Meetings
were accordingly held in every corner of the estate, at which both
tenantry and villagers signified their readiness to stand by Squire
Bull to the last, and voted him addresses to that effect. It was true
that Obadiah, though he durst not declare openly for Peter, took
every occasion of carping at the proceedings of Martin--insinuating,
in his sneaking way, that this access of zeal might be traced to a
wholesome regard to the maintenance of his tithes, "wherein," quoth
Obadiah, "I, though a humble labourer in the vineyard, have neither
part nor portion." But Martin, who knew the man, and valued his remarks
accordingly, proceeded in the performance of his duty; being well aware
that even an angel of light would have been subjected to the malignant
criticisms of Obadiah.

A day was presently fixed when Squire Bull was to receive the addresses
of the tenantry at the manor-house. Nobody doubted that the answers
would have been bluff, hearty, and decided, as was the Squire's usual
manner; and that Peter would receive more than a hint of the probable
reward of his impertinence. And, most assuredly, had the matter
depended alone upon the disposition of the Squire, they would have been
abundantly gratified. But there was an old rule of the estate, that,
on such occasions, the answer to the addresses should be written by
the head-steward, not by the Squire, who was seldom allowed to look at
the paper before he was required to read it. When the day came, there
was an immense concourse of deputations, from all parts of the estate,
gathered in the lobbies, and each was successively ushered into the
drawing-room, where the Squire was seated, with the Juggler standing at
his elbow. When the first address was finished, the Juggler slipped a
sheet of paper into the hand of the Squire, who forthwith began to read
it as follows:--

"Gentlemen, I feel very much obliged to you for the trouble you have
taken in this matter, which, let me observe, is personal to myself.
You may rely upon it, I can maintain my own position, and will try to
do so, provided that position is tenable. I am resolved to maintain
Martin in his rights whenever these rights are ascertained; and to
do to Peter exactly what shall seem most proper under the present
perplexing circumstances. In the mean time, you had better return to
your families, and look after their education; and I have the honour to
wish you a good morning."

This, with a little variation, was the answer given to all the
addresses; and I wish you had seen the faces of the deputations when
they found themselves thus soused over, as it were, with a bucket of
cold water! The most extraordinary circumstance of all was, that the
Juggler seemed to think that he had done a very clever thing, and
produced a masterpiece; for he stood the whole while the answer was
being read with his finger at his mouth, and a leer upon his face,
prying into the countenances of the honest people, like a magpie
scrutinising a marrow-bone. This was all the satisfaction which
the men of Bullockshatch received at that time in return for their
trouble; and had they not known perfectly well who was at the bottom
of the answers, it is highly probable that few more addresses would
have found their way to the mansion-house. Indeed, many folks are of
opinion that the Juggler would have liked nothing better than a total
stoppage of these addresses, and that the answers were purposely framed
to put an end to them. In the midst of all this commotion, who should
appear in Bullockshatch but our old friend Hippopotamus, whom Peter
had appointed arch-superintendent of Smithfield. Little he cared for
the Squire, or for any one else in the world, except his master Peter;
and as to the Juggler, he considered that he had him entirely under
his thumb, on account of certain transactions which had previously
taken place between them. So he too set himself down to write and
publish a letter, which was exceedingly humble and vain-glorious, (the
two qualities being more nearly allied than many people suppose,)
but withal sarcastical; and you may be sure that he did not spare
either the Juggler or Mat-o'-the-Mint, whom he flatly accused of
being privy to the designs of Peter. By this time a perfect mania for
writing letters had seized the whole population of Bullockshatch. The
newspapers contained nothing else but long columns of epistles; and
even Mat-o'-the-Mint could not resist trying his hand at composition.
It seems that some gentleman had thought it worth his while to inquire
whether there was really any truth in the reports which were currently
circulated, and Matthew replied as follows:--

  "SIR,--If I were at liberty to tell you what I could tell you, you
  would know more than you do at present. But it is unnecessary to
  remark that confidential communications are to be considered as
  things strictly private until they are divulged; and in a matter
  connected with the interests of Esquire Bull, I must be permitted
  to maintain that reserve which is not incongruous with an explicit
  declaration of the truth. Further, I would suggest that the
  fallibility of Peter having been impugned, renders the point at
  issue still more dubious. Hoping that this explanation will prove
  satisfactory, I remain, &c.

                            (_Signed_) "MAT-O'-THE-MINT."

And this was absolutely published in the papers as an entire
vindication of Matthew!

Hippopotamus, however, did not care a rush either for addresses or
epistles. He was perfectly convinced in his mind that so long as the
Squire's household remained without change, he had nothing earthly
to fear; and, accordingly, he snapped his fingers and laughed at the
whole opposition. He had brought over with him from foreign parts
such a collection of tapestry, brocades, images, pyxes, censers, and
gilded sheep-hooks, as utterly eclipsed the glory of poor Augustine's
paraphernalia, and these he took occasion to display with all the
pride and satisfaction possible. Then he issued addresses to the
people of Bullockshatch, congratulating them on their emancipation
from the thraldom of Martin, and comparing them to a brood of goslings
shadowed by the infallible pinions of Peter. He kept altogether out of
sight hair-shirts, flagellations, incremations, holocausts, and such
other spiritual stimulants; but promised them any amount of pardons,
indulgences, and whitewashing. Some of his friends and followers went
even further. Among these was a certain Father Ignition, who had taken
a fancy to dress himself in serge with a rope round his waist, and to
walk barefooted about the streets. This cleanly creature devised and
promulgated a plan, by means of which he engaged, under the penalty of
washing himself in the case of failure, to bring round every mother's
son in Bullockshatch to Peter's fold and obedience. He proposed that a
stout strapping country wench, of approved principles, from the farm on
the other side of the pond, should be smuggled into each family on the
Squire's estate, as laundry maid, scullion, or to take charge of the
nursery. These hussies were to act as general spies, reporting all that
passed in the household to him, Father Ignition; and were, moreover, to
pervert the children, conveying them secretly to Peter's schools, and
stuffing them with Roman toffy; and to get as intimate as possible with
the young gentlemen, especially such as might have been inclined to
Augustine's persuasion. In this way, the morality of which he held to
be unquestionable, Father Ignition volunteered to raise a large crop of
converts, to be ready, like asparagus, in the spring.

In this position stood matters in Bullockshatch towards the expiry
of the holidays, during which no business was ever transacted in the
household. You shall learn anon what took place after the servants were
re-assembled; and I promise you, that you will hear something fit to
make your hair stand on end. But these things are too important to be
narrated at the end of a chapter.



HARRY BOLTON'S CURACY.


One of the greatest enjoyments which are likely to fall to the lot
of a man in middle life, is to spend a week or so with the old
school-and-college companion whom he has not seen since the graver page
of life has turned over for both parties. It is as unlike any ordinary
visit-making as possible. It is one of the very few instances in which
the complimentary dialogue between the guest and his entertainer comes
to have a real force and meaning. One has to unlearn, for this special
occasion, the art so necessary in ordinary society, of interpreting
terms by their contraries. And in fact it is difficult, at first, for
one who has been used for some years to a social atmosphere, whose
warmth is mainly artificial, to breathe freely in the natural sunshine
of an old friend's company; just as a native Londoner is said sometimes
to pine away, when removed into the fresh air of the country. We are so
used to consider the shake of the hand, and the "Very glad to see you,"
of the hundred and one people who ask us to dinner, as merely a polite
and poetical form of expressing, "You certainly are a bore; but as you
are here, I must make the best of you"--that it costs us an effort to
comprehend that "How are you, old fellow?" does, in the present case,
imply a _bonâ fide_ hope that we are as sound in health and heart, if
not as young, as formerly. And especially when a man's pursuits have
led him a good deal into the world, and many of his warmer feelings
have been, insensibly perhaps, chilled by the contact, the heartiness
of his reception by some old college friend who has led a simple
life, the squire of his paternal acres, or the occupant of a country
parsonage, and has gained and lost less by the polishing process of
society, will come upon him with a strangeness almost reproachful.
But once fairly fixed within the hospitable walls, the natural tone
is recognised, and proves contagious; the formal incrustations of
years melt in the first hour of after-dinner chat, and the heart is
opened to feelings and language which it had persuaded itself were
long forgotten. And when the end of your three weeks' holiday arrives
at last, which you cannot persuade yourself has been more than three
days, (though you seem to have lived over again the best half of your
life in the time,) you have so far forgotten the conventional rules of
good-breeding, that when your friend says to you on the last evening,
"Must you really go? Can't you stay till Monday?" you actually take him
at his word, and begin to cast about in your mind for some possible
excuse for stealing another couple of days or so, though you have heard
the same expression from the master of every house where you have
happened to visit, and never dreamt of understanding it in any other
than its civilised (_i. e._, _non-natural_) sense--as a hint to fix a
day for going, and stick to it, that your entertainer may "know the
worst."

I was heartily glad, therefore, when at last I found that there was
nothing to prevent me from paying a visit (long promised, and long
looked forward to, but against which, I began to think, gods and men
had conspired) to my old and true friend Lumley. I dare say he has
a Christian name; indeed, I have no reason to doubt it, and, on the
strength of an initial not very decipherable, prefixed to the L in his
signature, I have never hesitated to address him, "J. Lumley, Esq.;"
but I know him as Long Lumley, and so does every man who, like myself,
remembers him at Oxford; and as Long Lumley do all his cotemporaries
know him best, and esteem him accordingly; and he must excuse me if I
immortalise him to the public, in spite of godfathers and godmothers,
by that more familiar appellation. A cousin was with him at college, a
miserable, sneaking fellow, who was known as "Little Lumley;" and if,
as I suspect, they were both Johns or Jameses, it is quite desirable
to distinguish them unmistakably; for though the other _has_ the best
shooting in the country, I would not be suspected of spending even the
first week of September inside such a fellow's gates.

But Long Lumley was and is of a very different stamp; six feet three,
and every inch a gentleman. I wish he was not, of late years, quite so
fond of farming: a man who can shoot, ride, and translate an ode of
Horace as he can, ought to have a soul above turnips. It is almost the
only point on which we are diametrically opposed in tastes and habits.
We nearly fell out about it the very first morning after my arrival.

Breakfast was over--a somewhat late one in honour of the supposed
fatigues of yesterday's journey, and it became necessary to arrange
proceedings for the day. What a false politeness it is, which makes
a host responsible for his guests' amusement! and how often, in
consequence, are they compelled to do, with grimaces of forced
satisfaction, the very thing they would not! However, Lumley and myself
were too old friends to have any scruples of delicacy on that point.
I had been eyeing him for some minutes while he was fastening on a
pair of formidable high-lows, and was not taken by surprise when the
proposal came out, "Now, old fellow, will you come and have a look at
my farm?"

"Can't I see it from the window?"

"Stuff! come, I must show you my sheep: I assure you they are
considered about the best in this neighbourhood."

"Well, then, I'll taste the mutton any day you like, and give you my
honest opinion."

"Don't be an ass now, but get your hat and come along; it's going to be
a lovely day; and we'll just take a turn over the farm--there's a new
thrashing machine I want to show you, too, and then back here to lunch."

"Seriously then, Lumley, I won't do anything of the kind. I do you the
justice to believe, that you asked me here to enjoy myself; and that
I am quite ready to do in any fairly rational manner; and I flatter
myself I am in nowise particular; but as to going bogging myself among
turnips, or staring into the faces and poking the ribs of short-horns
and south-downs--why, as an old friend, you'll excuse me."

"Hem! there's no accounting for tastes," said Lumley, in a
half-disappointed tone.

"No," said I, "there certainly is not."

"Well, then," said he--he never lost his good humour--"what shall we
do? I'll tell you--you remember Harry Bolton? rather your junior, but
you must have known him well, because he was quite in our set from the
first--to be sure, didn't you spill him out of a tandem at Abingdon
corner? Well, he is living now about nine miles from here, and we'll
drive over and see him. I meant to write to ask him to dine here, and
this will save the trouble."

"With all my heart," said I; "I never saw him since I left Oxford. I
fancied I heard of his getting into some mess--involved in some way,
was he not?"

"Not involved exactly; but he certainly did make himself scarce from a
very nice house and curacy which he had when he first left Oxford, and
buried himself alive for I don't know how long, and all for the very
queerest reason, or rather without any reason at all. Did you never
hear of it?"

"No; only some vague rumour, as I said just now."

"You never heard, then, how he came into this neighbourhood? Have the
dog-cart round in ten minutes, Sam, and we dine at seven. Now, get
yourself in marching order, and I'll tell you the whole story as we go
along."

He did so, but it was so interrupted by continual expostulations with
his horse, and remarks upon the country through which we were driving,
that it will be at least as intelligible if I tell it in my own words;
especially as I had many of the most graphic passages from Bolton's own
lips afterwards.

It was before he left Oxford, I think, that Bolton lost his father,
and was thrown pretty much upon his own resources. A physician with a
large family, however good his practice, seldom leaves much behind him;
and poor Harry found himself, after spending a handsome allowance and
something more, left to begin life on his own account, with a degree,
a good many bills, and a few hundreds, quite insufficient to pay
them. However, he was not the sort of man to look upon the dark side
of things; and no heir, long expectant, and just stepping into his
thousands per annum, carried away from the university a lighter heart
and a merrier face than Harry Bolton. He got ordained in due course;
and though not exactly the material out of which one would prefer to
cut a country curate, still he threw off, with his sporting coats
and many-coloured waistcoats, most of the habits thereto belonging,
and less suited to his profession. To live upon a curate's stipend
he found more difficult; and being a fair scholar, and having plenty
of friends and connections, he announced his intention of "driving,"
as he called it, a pair of pupils, whom he might train up in so much
Latin and Greek, and other elements of general knowledge, (including,
perhaps, a little shooting and gig-driving,) as they might require for
their matriculations. The desired youths were soon found; and Harry
entered upon this new employment with considerable ardour, and a very
honest intention of doing his best. How the Latin and Greek prospered
is a point in some degree obscure to present historians; but all the
pupils were unanimous in declaring the wine to be unexceptionable, and
their preceptor's dogs and shooting first-rate; in fact, he sustained,
with them, as with the public generally, the reputation of being one
of the heartiest and best fellows in the world. From the poorest among
his parishioners, to whom he was charitable above his means, but who
felt almost more than his gifts the manner of his giving, to the squire
ten miles off, who met his pleasant face and smile once a-year at a
dinner party, all spoke well of Harry Bolton. No wonder that his pupils
looked upon him as the very paragon of tutors, and found their path of
learning strewed with unexpected flowers. How many scholars he made
is still unknown; but he made many friends: with the uncalculating
gratitude of youth, all remembered the pleasant companion when they
might have forgotten the hard-working instructor: and frequent were the
tokens of such remembrance, varying with the tastes of the senders,
which reached the little parsonage by the Oxford coach, from those
who successively assumed the _toga virilis_, and became (university)
_men_. Collars of brawn and cases of claret were indeed but perishable
memorials; but there came also whips extravagantly mounted, and tomes
of orthodox divinity in the soberest bindings, all bearing inscriptions
more or less classical, from his "_quondam alumni_." The first named
delicacies were duly passed on, with Harry's compliments, to grace
more fittingly the tables of some of his hospitable entertainers; and,
in an equally unselfish spirit, he seldom sat down alone to any of
his literary dainties, but kept them in honourable state on his most
conspicuous bookshelf, for the use and behoof of any friend who might
wish to enjoy them.

But here I am anticipating. For some time the pupilising went on pretty
smoothly. Two or three couple of youths were fairly launched upon the
university, and nothing particularly untoward had occurred to ruffle
the curate's good-humour or injure his reputation. There had been no
attempt at elopement with the cook or housemaid--(Bolton's precaution
had secured ugly ones;) no poaching on Sir Thomas's favourite preserve,
though close at hand, and sportsmen of eighteen are not overnice in
their distinctions: a tall Irishman had been with him, summer vacations
and all, for nearly two years, and had _not_ made love to either of the
squire's undeniably pretty daughters. In short, the pupils were less of
a bore than Harry had supposed it possible, and, in some cases, very
agreeable companions to enliven the occasional dulness of a country
parish.

But somehow or other, in one chief point which he had aimed at, he
found himself disappointed. In counting so many additional hundreds
to his scanty income, Harry Bolton had fancied he was going to make
himself a rich man. He was not avaricious, or even selfish--far from
it; but he wanted to be independent; there were visions, perhaps,
flitting indistinctly before him, of a time when he might tire of a
solitary home, and resign into some fair and gentle hand the reins
of the liberty he was so fond of boasting as a bachelor. He did not
grudge his time or labour; he had cast off much of his old habit
of idleness, and took a real interest in his pupils; still he had
expected some of the results to himself would take the tangible
shape of pounds shillings and pence. But though the cheques came
duly in at midsummer and Christmas, the balance at his banker's
increased but very slowly; in short, he found that the additional
expenses, necessary and unnecessary, entailed upon him by the change
in his establishment, nearly counterbalanced the additional income.
Not to speak of such ordinary matters as butchers' and bakers' and
wine-merchants' bills--for his table was always most liberal, now
that he had to entertain others, as it had been simple and economical
while alone--indeed the hospitality of the neighbourhood had then made
his housekeeping almost a sinecure; but independently of this, Harry
had been led to extend his expenses--he said unavoidably--in other
directions. A rough pony had hitherto contented him to gallop into
the neighbouring town for letters, and to carry him and his valise to
the dinner-parties even of his most aristocratic entertainers. But
now, inasmuch as sometimes an hospitable invitation extended itself to
"the young men," he had felt in duty bound, for his and their joint
accommodation, to replace the pony by a showy-looking mare, and to
invest the legal sum of nineteen pounds nineteen shillings and sixpence
in the purchase of a dog-cart. As an almost necessary consequence,
the boy "Jim" gave way to a grown-up groom, who did, rather less work
for considerably more wages, hissing and whistling over the said mare
and dog-cart in the most knowing manner, and condescending, though
with some scruples of conscience, to clean boots and knives. Harry's
reminiscences of his more sporting days were yet fresh enough for him
to make a point of seeing his turn-out "look as it ought to do." Jim
and the pony, and all their accoutrements, were rough, and useful,
and cheap, and made no pretensions to be otherwise. Now, things were
changed, and saddlery and harness of the best (there was no economy,
as Harry observed, in buying a poor article) found their place among
the bills at Christmas. In short, he was led into a maze of new wants,
individually trifling, but collectively sufficient to tell upon his
yearly expenditure; and he was beginning gravely to attempt to solve
that universal problem--the asses' bridge, which the wisest domestic
economists stick fast at year after year--"where the deuce all the
money goes to?"--when circumstances occurred which put all such useless
inquiries out of his head, and indeed put his debtor and creditor
transactions on a much more primitive footing.

In the final settlement of the accounts of one of his pupils, who was
leaving him for the university, some misunderstanding arose between
himself and the father. The sum in question was but a few pounds; but
the objection was put forward in a manner which Bolton considered as
reflecting upon his own straightforward and liberal dealing; and it
so happened that the young man had, from circumstances, been indebted
in an unusual degree to his kindness. He therefore, I have no doubt,
took the matter up warmly; for those who remember him as I do, can well
imagine how his blood would boil at anything he considered mean or
unhandsome. It ended in his insisting on the whole amount--a hundred or
so--respecting which the difference had arisen, being paid in to the
treasurer of the county hospital instead of to himself; and he vowed
silently, but determinedly, to renounce pupilising thenceforth for
ever. In vain did some of his best friends persuade him to change his
resolution; he kept two who were with him at the time for a few months,
when they also were to enter college; but he steadily refused any other
offers: he sold off at once all his superfluous luxuries, and, as soon
as practicable, gave up his curacy, and quitted the neighbourhood, to
the general regret of all who knew him, and to the astonishment of all
but the very few who were in the secret.

When Bolton's friends next heard of him, he was living in a remote
district of H---- shire, on an income necessarily very small; for
it could have been scarcely more than the proceeds of his curacy;
and curacies in that part of the country were then but a wretched
provision for any man--especially for one accustomed as he had been
to good living and good society. However, he was not much troubled
with the latter in his present position; not to speak of the fact that
his nearest conversible neighbour lived seven miles off. Wherever
parsons are mostly poor, and many of them ill-educated, they are not
thought much of, either by farmers or gentlemen. And as it did not
suit Harry's tastes to enjoy his pipe and pot in the society of the
first, as his predecessor had done with much contentment, nor yet to
wait for the arrival of the one landed proprietor in the parish before
he commenced the morning service, he was voted by the overseers and
churchwardens to be "mighty set up," and by the squire to be "a d----
d unmannerly fellow." Both indeed soon found out that they were wrong;
and the farmers had the grace to confess it, and came, in course of
time, to believe it possible for a curate to be a gentleman without
being proud, and that it was at least as well for him to be visiting
the sick and poor, and overlooking the parish school, and able to give
a little good advice to themselves in matters of difficulty, as to be
boozing in their company at the Crown and Thistle. And, in course of
time, those rough but honest people came to respect him almost as much
perhaps, in their way, as his more enlightened neighbours had done in
his former position. It must have been a great change, however, to a
man like Bolton, used to good society, fond of it, and readily welcomed
in it, as he had always been. No doubt he felt it; yet he declared
that, after the first few weeks, he never was happier in his life.
His gun was given up, as an indulgence too expensive, but there was
excellent trout fishing for miles on both sides of his cottage; and,
though a sport to which he had no great liking in his earlier days, he
now took to it vigorously as the only amusement at hand, and became no
unworthy disciple of honest Isaac. The worst effect of this new life
of isolation was, that he became somewhat negligent in his habits;
took to smoking a great deal, and made his tobacconist's account a
good deal longer than his tailor's. He had still many old friends and
connections at a distance, with whom he might have spent half the year
if he had pleased; but, in his first pique with the world in general,
he had fixed himself purposely as far out of their reach as possible;
travelling was expensive (railways as yet were not); assistance in his
clerical duties was not easily obtained; and so, partly from choice,
and partly from necessity, his new life became one of almost utter
isolation.

Of course there were occasions when he found it necessary to visit
the neighbouring market-town--if it could be called neighbouring when
it was twelve miles off. The main road lay about a mile from Harry's
little cottage, and a coach, passing daily, would usually deposit him
safely in the High Street in the course of the forenoon--allowing an
hour for waiting for it at the crossing, (it was always after its
time,) and about two more, if the roads were not unusually heavy,
for getting over the distance. It was not a very luxurious style
of travelling; and Harry often preferred to walk in one day, and
return the next. It was on one of these rare visits that a soaking
rain discouraged him from setting out for home on foot, and gave
the Regulator the unusually full complement of one inside and one
outside passenger. On the box was our friend Harry, inside a rather
precise-looking personage, whose costume, as far as a large cloak
allowed it to be seen, looked somewhat more clerical than the Curate's,
the latter being clad in a smart upper benjamin of the landlord's
of the Swan, finished round the throat with a very gay shawl of his
daughter's, both forced upon him in consideration of the weather; for
Harry, though by no means a frequent, was a highly favoured guest, and
they would sooner have kept him in No. 1 for a week gratis, than have
allowed him to turn out in the rain without due protection.

Slower than usual that day was the Regulator's progress through the mud
and against the wind, and briefer than usual its driver's replies to
Harry's good-humoured attempts at conversation.

"Who have we inside, do you know, Haines?"

"Well, I reckon it's what you'd call a hopposition coach like," grunted
out Joe Haines.

"Eh? I don't exactly understand."

"Why, I mean a Methodist bishop, or summat o' that sort. You see there
was a great opening of the Independent College here o' Tuesday, and
there was a lot o' them gentry about the town, looking too good to
live. I druv' five on 'em down yesterday, and they gev' me a shilling
and a fourpenny amongst the whole lot. Oh! I loves them sort, don't
I just?" and Joe gave his near wheeler a cut, illustrative of his
affection. It was a longer speech than he had made all the way, and he
relapsed into a gloomy silence.

The wind was driving right into their teeth, and the evening closing
fast, and they were passing the last mile-stone to the turning without
any farther attempt at conversation, when there came first an ominous
crack from under their feet, then a jolt, an unsteady wavering motion
for a few seconds, when, with scarcely time for an exclamation, the
coach toppled over on one side, and Bolton found himself reclining on
the portly person of Mr Joseph Haines, who, in his turn, was saved
from contusions by a friendly heap of mud by the road-side. Beyond
a broken axle, however, no damage was done. The horses were glad of
any opportunity to stand still. Bolton got up, shook himself, and
laughed. Joe Haines was proceeding to philosophise rather strongly on
the accident, not exactly after the manner of Job or Seneca, when the
inside passenger, putting his head out of the only practicable window,
begged him to spare his oaths, and help him out of his prison.

The stranger was soon extricated, and the horses taken out; and the
driver, requesting his passengers to await his return, set off to seek
assistance at the nearest cottage. As to the coach itself proceeding
farther until partially repaired, that was evidently out of the
question; and so Harry observed to his companion, who did not appear
very knowing in such matters.

"And how far may we be from S----, sir?" inquired he, upon receiving
this not very agreeable intelligence.

"Fifteen miles at least," replied Bolton.

"Indeed, so far! and is there no place near where I could procure a
conveyance of any kind? I have an engagement there I particularly
wished to keep to-morrow."

"Really, I fear not; this is quite an out-of-the-way place: the driver
can tell you better than I can, but I know the neighbourhood pretty
well, and think you would have to send back to the Swan at B---- for
horses."

"It is very unfortunate, and it is past nine already; what is the
nearest place, sir, where I could get decent accommodation for the
night?"

"Why, the nearest place," said Harry, hesitatingly, "is the 'Crown
and Thistle,' about three miles off, but I can't say much for the
accommodation. Wo-ho,"--one of the horses, tired at last of standing
in the drizzling rain, was showing symptoms of an immediate return to
his stable. The stranger merely gave vent to a dissatisfied "Humph!"
and they stood silently awaiting the approach of a light along the
road, which betokened Joe's return with assistance. The coach was soon
righted, and set up against the side of a bank; and Mr Haines, having
given charge to one of his aids-extraordinary to keep watch by it till
dawn with a light, both to prevent accidents and abstraction of the
luggage, announced his intention of returning with the horses to B----,
offering to his inside passenger the choice of a ride back, or taking
a nap in the coach till morning. "_You_ won't be long getting home, Mr
Bolton, anyhow,"--and the pronoun was emphasised, to show that even
this sympathy was little extended to his fellow-traveller.

"No, Joe, I must say you have been pretty considerate: as you _were_ to
break down, you could hardly have arranged it more handily for me. Just
look me out my little carpet-bag, and I suppose you'll expect an extra
shilling for your performance to-night, eh?"

Joe gave a hoarse laugh, and proceeded to rummage the boot; and Harry
took advantage of the opportunity to whisper a few inquiries about his
fellow-passenger.

"Well, I be pretty sure, sir, it's a Dr Bates, as preached at the
opening on Tuesday. There was two or three black coats came with him to
the yard afore we started; he's quite a top-sawyer among 'em, and can
hold on for two hours good, best pace, they tell me. He's giv' out to
preach over at S---- to-morrow morning. I see'd the printed bills stuck
all over town to-day."

To-morrow was Sunday; and Bolton thought of a certain manuscript, not
quite finished, lying on his desk at home. He glanced again at the
stranger, and possibly, in the orthodoxy of his heart, did not feel
particularly grieved at the disappointment probably in store for the
itching ears of the S---- non-conformists.

"Well, good night, Haines," said he. But seeing his late companion
still standing in the road, looking rather helpless, and hesitating
to leave him altogether to the tender mercies of the coachmen, "I am
walking in the direction of the village inn," he continued, "and if I
can show you the way, I shall be very glad to do so. I dare say I can
also find some one to fetch your luggage."

"Thank you, sir," said the other, "I cannot do better than follow your
example;" and he at once selected and shouldered, with some activity
for a man obviously on the wrong side of forty, a carpet-bag of more
cumbersome dimensions than Bolton's; and they strode down the road
together, nearly in darkness, and with the rain still falling.

They had nearly reached the curate's humble cottage, without much
further conversation, when the stranger repeated his inquiries as to
the distance to the inn, and the probability of his obtaining there any
tolerable accommodation. "A _clean_ bed," he said, "would content him;
was he likely to find one?"

A struggle had been going on, from the time they left the coach,
between Harry Bolton's good-nature, and what he thought his due
dignity. Every word his fellow-passenger had uttered had convinced
him, more and more, that he was a man of education and good sense, to
say the least; a totally different being from the class of whom Jabez
Green, who expounded at Mount Pisgah in his own parish on Sundays,
and did a little shoemaking and poaching on week-days, formed a
specimen ever before his eyes; and if it had not seemed a ludicrous
misapplication of hospitality to have entertained the great gun of
schism within the lares of the "_persona ecclesia_," he would long ago
have offered the very respectable and mild-mannered gentleman, dropped
by an unlucky accident almost at his door, at least a good fire, and
a pair of clean sheets for the night. Sleep at the Crown and Thistle!
why, on consideration, it was scarcely creditable to himself to send
him there. The landlord was one of the most disreputable fellows in
the parish, and, by ten o'clock on a Saturday night, was usually so
drunk as to be more likely to refuse a guest any accommodation at all,
than to take any extra pains for him. And the dirt, and the noise, and
the etceteras! No, Dr Bates had better have stuck to the inside of the
coach than have tried the Crown and Thistle. But where else was he to
go? There was a good spare bedroom, no doubt, at Barby farm, within
half-a-mile; but it had not been occupied since Harry had slept in it
himself on his first arrival in the parish, and then it took a week's
notice to move the piles of wool and cheese, and have it duly aired.
The stranger coughed. Harry grew desperate, and spoke out.

"We are close to my little place now, sir. I think I can offer you what
you will hardly find at the inn--a clean room and a well-aired bed; and
it seems a mere act of common civility to beg you to accept it."

With many thanks, but with the natural politeness and ease with which
a gentleman receives from another the courtesy which he is always
ready to offer himself, the hospitable invitation was at once freely
accepted; and in five minutes they had passed the little gate, and were
awaiting the opening of the door.

This service was performed by the whole available force of Harry's
establishment. One active little elderly woman, who was there on
resident and permanent duty, in all capacities, assisted on this
occasion by Samuel Shears, parish clerk, sexton, barber, bird-fancier,
fishing-tackle maker, &c. &c. &c.; and acting gardener, valet, butler,
and footman, when required, to the reverend the curate. Loud was the
welcome he received from both. "Had he walked through all the rain,
sure_ly_! The coach was very late then; they'd 'most given him up: no,
Sam hadn't, 'cause of service to-morrow;" when their volubility was
somewhat checked by the sight of his companion; and the old lady's face
underwent no very favourable change when informed she must prepare a
second bed.

"Walk in, pray, and warm yourself--that room--Sam, take these bags;"
and Harry stepped aside into the kitchen, to negotiate with his
housekeeper for the stranger's accommodation; a matter not to be
effected but by some little tact: for Molly, like servants of higher
pretensions, did not like being put out of her way, by people "coming
tramping in," as she said, at all hours of the night; and if Bolton
had replied to her close inquiries, as to who and whence the new guest
was, with the statement that he was a stray Methodist preacher, it
is probable that Molly, who had lived with clergymen since she was a
child, and would sooner have missed her dinner than "her church," would
have resigned her keys of office at once in high disgust.

"The gentleman will sleep in my room, of course, Molly, and I shall
have my things put into the other;--anything will do for supper--bread
and cheese, Molly, quite well--toast a little, will you? Poor man, he
seems to have a cough."

"Toasted cheese a'n't good for a cough."

"No; to be sure not. Well, you can fry a little bacon, and a few eggs,
you know."

"There a'n't no eggs. I don't know what's come to the 'ens: they
behaves 'orrid, they does."

"Well, anything, anything, Molly. I'm very tired, and I don't care what
it is: we shall both be very glad to get to bed."

"Lor, I dare say you be tired, sir," said Molly, somewhat pacified.
"You've had a very wet ride, to be sure; lawk-a-me, why this coat might
be a-wringed out." And she hastened to relieve her master of some of
his outer wrappings, and supply him with a warm dressing-gown and
slippers, in which he soon joined his guest in the little parlour; and
having introduced him to the room he was to occupy for the night, left
him also to make himself comfortable.

If Harry Bolton did not repent of his hospitality, which would have
been very unlike him, yet, upon consideration, he certainly felt he
was acting the good Samaritan somewhat more literally than he had ever
expected to do.

"What on earth shall I do with him to-morrow, I should like to know?"
was the first question that suggested itself--much more readily than
did the answer. He could not be expected to go to church, perhaps; but
would he stay quietly at home? or walk off to assist the very reverend
Jabez at Mount Pisgah? As to his keeping his appointment at S----, that
at least was out of the question; and, after all, there seemed so much
good sense and feeling of propriety about the traveller, that it was
most probable--at least Harry thought so--that he would not in any way
offend against the rules of the household which he had entered under
such circumstances.

So the curate brushed the clinging rain from his hair, and the cloud
from his brow, with one and the same motion, and relapsed into his
usual state of good-humour. Supper came in, and he and his guest sat
down opposite to each other, and prepared to discuss old Molly's simple
cookery. Really, now that one could look at him well, the man was very
presentable in person as well as in manner. Harry said grace in a very
few words, and the other's "Amen" was audible and unexceptionable;
reverent, and not nasal. He had a capital appetite: it was said to be
characteristic of his calling, but in that point Harry fully kept pace
with him; and the conversation was not, for the present, a very lively
one. Sam came in at last to take away.

"Sam," said the curate in a half-aside, "_is_ there a bottle of
port?--here's the key."

"La! sir, you bid me take it down to old Nan, you know; and it wor the
last bottle, I tell'd you then."

"Ha! so I did, so I did. Did she like it, Sam?"

"Like it?" said Sam, opening his eyes, "I warrant her!"

"Well, Sam, I hope it did her good;--never mind. You must fare as I do,
I am afraid," said he to the other. "Bring out the whisky-jar, Sam."

Bolton mixed himself a glass without further preface or apology; and
his neighbour, with the remark that it could not be much amiss after a
wetting, very moderately followed his example.

"And now," said Bolton, rummaging in a little cupboard behind him, "I
hope you don't dislike the smell of tobacco. I'm rather too fond of it
myself. My weakness is a pipe: I could find you a cigar, perhaps, if
you are ever--"

"Thank you, I never do smoke; but pray do not mind me: I was at a
German university for a year and a half, and that is a pretty fair
apprenticeship to cloud-raising."

Took a doctor's degree there, no doubt, thought Harry; but it served
excellently as an opening for general conversation; and two pipes had
been consumed, and Molly had twice informed the gentlemen that the
beds were all ready, and that Sam was waiting to know if there were
any orders for to-morrow, before Harry remembered that he had a sermon
still to finish, and that it was verging upon Sunday morning--so
intelligent and agreeable had been the discourse of the stranger.

"If you please, sir," said the clerk, putting his head in at the door,
"the rain is a-coming down like nothing, and that great hole over the
pulpit ben't mended yet. Master Brooks promised me it should be done
afore to-night; but he's never seen to it."

"That Brooks is the very--but, there, it can't be helped to-night, Sam,
at all events," said Bolton, rather ashamed that the defects of his
parochial administration should be exposed, as it were, to the enemy.
"I must speak to him about it myself."

"I clapped a couple of sods over it as well as I could, sir," said
the persevering Sam; "and I don't think much wet can come in to hurt,
like. Will this gentleman 'ficiate to-morrow?--(this was in a loud
confidential whisper)--'cause the t'other surplice a'n't"--

"Don't bother now--there's a good fellow," said Harry, considerably
annoyed, as he shut the door in the face of his astonished subordinate,
who was generally privileged to gossip as much as he pleased. He
covered his embarrassment by showing his visitor at once to his room,
and then sat down to complete his own preparations for the next day's
duties.

The rain was as busily falling in the morning as if it had only just
begun, instead of having been at it all night. Harry had been more than
usually scrupulous in his dress; but when they met at the breakfast
table, his guest's clerical _tout-ensemble_ beat him hollow. After a
rather silent meal, in which both, as if by tacit consent, avoided all
allusion to subjects connected with the day and its duties, Bolton
mustered his courage, as they rose from table, to say--"My service is
at eleven, and I shall have rather a wet walk; you, perhaps, are not
disposed to accompany me?"

"By all means," said the stranger, bowing; "I am quite ready;--is it
time to set out?" And in a few minutes they were picking their way,
side by side, down the little miry lane.

The church, it must be confessed, was not a comely edifice. Its
architectural pretensions must originally have been of the humblest
order; and now, damp and dilapidated, it was one of the many which,
in those days, were a disgrace to any Christian community. There was
the hole in the roof, immediately over the curate's head, imperfectly
stopped by Sam's extempore repairs; and very wretched and comfortless
did the few who composed the congregation look, as they came dripping
in, and dispersed themselves among the crumbling pews. The service
proceeded, and none showed such reverent attention as the stranger; and
being placed in the rectorial pew, immediately opposite the clerk, the
distinct though subdued tone of his responses was so audible, and so
disturbed that functionary, (who had that part of the service usually
pretty much to himself, and had come to consider it as in some sort his
exclusive privilege,) that he made some terrible blunders in the hard
verses in the Psalms, and occasionally looked round upon his rival, on
these latter occasions especially, with unmistakeable indignation.

The service concluded, Bolton found his guest awaiting him in the
porch; and some ten minutes' sharp walking, with few remarks, except
in admiration of the pertinacity of the rain, brought them home again
to the cottage. A plain early dinner was discussed: there was no
afternoon service; and the curate had just stepped into his kitchen
to listen to some petition from a parishioner, when the stranger took
the opportunity of retiring to his own apartment, and did not reappear
until summoned to tea.

Bolton's visit to the kitchen had interrupted a most animated debate.
In that lower house of his little commonwealth, the new arrival had
been a fruitful topic of discussion. The speakers were three; Molly,
Sam, and Binns the wheelwright, who had looked in, as he said, on a
little business with the parson. Molly, as has been said, was a rigid
churchwoman. Her notions of her duty in that capacity might not have
been unexceptionable, but they were, so far as the Sunday went, as
follows:--Church in the morning and afternoon, if practicable, as much
reading as her eyes--not quite what they used to be--could comfortably
manage; pudding for dinner, and tea and gossip in the evening. If fine,
a walk would have come among the day's arrangements; but with the
rain coming down as it did, and after having rather puzzled herself
with a sermon upon the origin of evil, the sudden, and in a degree
mysterious, visit of a strange gentleman--where visitors of any kind
were so rare--became invaluable as a topic of interesting--for aught
we know, of profitable--discourse. Sam Shears dined with her always on
this day; and was allowed, not without scruples, to have his pipe in
the chimney-corner; in consideration of which indulgence, he felt it
his duty to make himself as agreeable as possible; and inasmuch as his
stock-stories respecting enormous perch caught, or gifted starlings
educated by him, Samuel Shears, had long ceased to interest--indeed
had never much interested--his fair listener here, though they still
went down, with variations, at the Crown and Thistle, he was reduced
very often, in the absence of anything of modern interest stirring
in the neighbouring town of S----, to keep up his credit as a "rare
good companion," by entering into politics--for which study, next
to divinity, Molly had a decided taste--talking about reforms and
revolutions in a manner that Molly declared made her "creep," and
varying this pleasurable excitement by gloomy forebodings with regard
to "Rooshia and Prooshia."

On this particular evening, however, the subject of debate was of a
domestic nature, and Molly and the clerk had taken opposite sides:
Binns arriving opportunely to be appealed to by both, and being a man
of few words, who shook his head with great gravity, and usually gave
a nod of encouragement to the last speaker. Molly, after her first
indignation at the intrusion of a wet stranger, without notice, at ten
o'clock of a Saturday night, had been so softened by the courteous
address and bearing of the enemy, that she had gradually admitted him
at least to a neutrality; and when Sam Shears had in confidence hinted
that he "hadn't quite made up his mind about 'un"--her woman's kindness
of heart, or her spirit of contradiction, rushed forth as to the rescue
of a friend.

"I wonder at you, Sam," said she; "you've had heddication enough to
know a gentleman when you see's him; and you'd ought to have more
respect for cloth."

"Cloth! There now," replied Sam, "that's just it; I an't so sure about
his cloth, as you call it."

"Why, what ever do you mean, Sam Shears?"

"I mean," rejoined Sam boldly, though he felt that Molly's fiercest
glance was upon him, and almost choked himself in the endeavour to hide
himself in a cloud of his own creating--"I mean, I don't think as he's
a regular parson. If he had been, you see, he'd have took some of the
duty. Besides," continued the official, reassured by Binns' respectful
attention, "we had a little talk while we was a-waiting for master
after church--I offered him a humbereller, you see--and I just asked
whereabouts his church was, and he looked queerish at me, and said he
hadn't no church, not exactly; and then I begged his pardon, and said
I thought he was a clergyman; and he said, so he was, but somehow he
seemed to put me off, as it might be." Binns nodded.

"To be sure," said Molly, "and 'twas like your manners, Sam, to go
questioning of him in that way."

"Bless you, I was as civil as could be; however, I say again, I 'as
my doubts: he'd a quakerish-looking coat too, such as I never see'd
on a regular college parson. He's the very moral of a new Irvingite
preacher."

"And what's their doctrines, Sam?" asked Molly, whose theological
curiosity was irresistibly excited.

"Why," said the clerk after a puff or two to collect his thoughts,
"they believes in transmigration."

Binns made a gesture of awe and abjuration.

"Stuff!" said Molly, "that's popery: nor you don't suppose, Sam, that
master would have anybody of that sort in his house--eh, Mr Binns?"

The benefit of that gentleman's opinion was lost to both parties, for
it was at that juncture "master" himself entered, and having discussed
his communication, which related to a sick wife, bid him call again in
the morning, and the wheelwright took his leave.

"And now Shears," said the curate, "(don't put your pipe behind you,
man; do you suppose I have not smelt it this half hour--I wish you
would buy better tobacco)--you must be off to S---- to-morrow at
daylight, and order a chaise to be here, for this gentleman, by nine
o'clock at the latest. Do you understand, now?"

"Yes, sir, yes. I'll be sure to go. And what name shall I say, sir?"

"Name, eh! oh, it doesn't matter. Say for me, of course. And look here:
there will be five shillings for you if the chaise is here in time. Ay,
you may well make a bow; I told the gentleman it was too much for you."

"I'm very much obliged to you both," said Sam slyly, "I'm sure, sir;
I'll be off at cock-crow."

"There, Sam Shears," said Molly, as soon as they had the kitchen
to themselves again, "did you ever hear of one of your new
what-d'ye-call-ums ordering a chaise to go ranting about in, I should
like to know? What have you got to say now?"

"I say," said Sam, "as he's a gentleman, and no mistake."

The evening passed away very quietly in the little parlour. The
favourable impression made upon Bolton by his guest's manners and
conversation was certainly deepened by their further intercourse: but
the position seemed felt by both parties to be an awkward one; and when
his departure early on the following morning was proposed, Bolton of
course made no effort to detain him. Both employed most of the evening
in reading; and one or two remarks made by the stranger, as he made his
selection from the curate's library, proved at least his acquaintance
with the works which it contained, though nothing escaped him, as he
wiped the dust from some of Harry's presentation volumes, which could
indicate either his agreement or disagreement with the sound divines
he was handling, and his clever criticisms were rather those of the
bibliographer than the theologian. At last he seemed to bury himself in
a volume of old South, and carried it off with him early to his chamber.

The morning came, and eight o'clock brought breakfast, and half-past
eight the chaise, with Sam Shears fast asleep inside of it. The curate
and his guest parted with mutual good-will, and with a short but warm
acknowledgment, on the part of the latter, of the hospitality he had
received. Sam was not forgotten; he received the promised gratuity with
many bows, and did not put his hat on again until the chaise had fairly
turned the corner.

"Uncommon nice gentleman that, sir, to be sure," said he to his master,
with whom be seldom missed the chance of a little conversation, if he
could help it--and Bolton was generally good-natured enough to indulge
him--"uncommon nice gentleman; what a thousand pities it is he should
be a Methody!"

"A _what_?" inquired the curate, turning round upon him in ludicrous
dismay.

"A Methody preacher, sir," said Sam boldly; for Harry's countenance
quite confirmed his suspicions. "Oh! I know all about it, sir; but it
ain't of no account with me, sir, you know, not none whatever,"--and he
redoubled his negatives with a confidential mysteriousness which made
Harry inclined to kick him. "I met Joe Haines, as drives the Regulator,
this morning, and he asked me very particular about you, you see, sir,
and how you got home o' Saturday night; and then I told him as how this
gentleman came with you; and when he heard as he'd been staying here
all day yesterday, how he did laugh, to be sure; and then he told me"--

"I'll tell you something, Sam, too. You had much better mind your own
business, and not trouble yourself to talk to Joe Haines, or anybody
else, about what goes on in my house."

There was no mistaking the fact that his master was angry: and as such
a thing had very seldom happened within Sam's experience, it was a
result of which he stood considerably in awe; and he hastened, with
some confusion, to apologise, and to resume his praises of the "very
nice gentleman, whatever he was,"--"And as you say, sir, that's no
business of mine: I'm sure I should be most happy to wait upon him at
any time, sir"--

But Bolton had retired, and shut the door of his little sitting-room in
an unmistakeable manner. So Sam was obliged to soliloquise the rest of
his apologies, which began to be very sincere, as he consoled himself
by gazing at the two half-crowns which had come into his possession
so easily. "Of course; if so be as he's a gentleman, what matters?
That's what I say: that's what I said to master: that's what I said to
Molly:--hallo! hey?--If this here half-crown ain't a smasher!"

'Twas too true: it rung upon the flag-stone like an unadulterated piece
of lead.

"What's the matter now, Sam?" said Mrs Molly, who heard the sound, and
met his blank face in the passage.

"I told you what he was," said Sam--"look here!" Molly examined the
unfortunate coin with, every wish to give it the benefit of a doubt,
but was obliged finally to pronounce against it. She had to listen,
also, to the story which Sam had heard from Joe Haines; and though
she clung pertinaciously to her previously-formed conclusions in the
stranger's favour, Sam had now decidedly the best of the argument,
which he clinched at last with what he considered an unanswerable
proposition--"If you says as he's a parson and a gentleman, will you
give me two-and-sixpence for this here half-crown?"

Weeks passed on, and other events wore out the interest of the
stranger's visit, even in those dull localities. Binns' wife had
a baby; and another piece of the church roof fell in, and nearly
carried Brooks the churchwarden with it, as he was mounted on a ladder
estimating its repairs--for there was an archdeacon's visitation coming
on, and not even the vulcanised conscience of a parish functionary
could be brought to pronounce, on oath, its present state of repair to
be good and sufficient. And Harry received an invitation to dine with
the said archdeacon, who was a good kind of man on the whole--that is,
his good qualities would not very well bear taking to pieces--but he
rather patronised the younger clergy in his neighbourhood, provided
that they were young men of tolerable family, and good address,
and not, as he expressed it, _ultra_ in any way. It so happened,
that he was almost the only acquaintance that Harry had made in the
neighbourhood. He had written to request his interference in enforcing
the repair of the church; and as that was a compliment seldom paid
to his official dignity, the archdeacon had actually driven over
thirteen miles to inspect the place personally: and, arriving quite
unexpectedly, had caught the curate just sallying forth equipped for
fishing--an art to which he himself occasionally condescended--for
even archdeacons do unbend. And very soon ascertaining that there
was no tendency to an objectionable _ultra_, of any kind, in our
hero, and that he was in fact rather an eligible rear-rank man for
a dinner-table, had made a mental memorandum of the fact, and, in
consequence, had twice favoured him with an invitation, which Harry,
according to his present humour, had declined. On this occasion,
however--as a third refusal would have seemed ungracious--he had
determined to go; and, with some compunction at the expense (he had
thought nothing at Oxford of a hunter, and a "team" to cover, at
about five guineas for the day,) he, found himself in a hired gig at
the archdeacon's door, a little before the dinner hour on the day
appointed. None of the guests were as yet assembled. His host, however,
met him in the drawing-room, and presented him, with considerable
cordiality, to his lady and her daughters.

"It was very good indeed of Mr Bolton to come so far to see us," said
the archdeacon. "Indeed, I am particularly glad you came to-day,"
continued he with a sort of pompous kindness, "for I have the bishop
staying here, and I wished you to meet him."

Harry was interrupted in his acknowledgments by the entrance of two
men of the expected party: the Honourable and Reverend Mr Luttridge,
a young man, who eyed his brother curate, on his introduction, with
what he intended for a critical and interrogative glance, but which
had by no means the effect upon that party which he intended; and
another archdeacon, or dean, or some such dignitary, who made Bolton
a very low bow indeed; and, turning his back upon him forthwith,
began to discourse with the other two upon the business of the last
Petit Sessions. A discussion upon some point of magisterial law was
interrupted by a burst of shrill and hearty laughter from the younger
of Misses Archdeacons--a fat merry girl, with whom Harry had struck up
an acquaintance instantly--_that_ was a point he never failed in; and
although the other two gentlemen looked rather astonished, and turned
round again to resume their argument, the father--she was his favourite
daughter, and ludicrously like him--was delighted to see her amused,
and insisted upon knowing what the fun was between them. Some absurd
remark of Harry's was repeated, as well as her continued merriment
would allow her; and the archdeacon, after a preparatory shaking of his
sides, had just burst into a stentorian "ha-ha," when the drawing-room
door again opened, and the Bishop of F---- was most audibly announced.

Every one tried to look deferential, of course; and the two gentlemen
in front of Harry separated, and took open order to receive his
lordship. Everybody recovered their propriety, in fact, in an instant,
except Miss Harriet, to whom a bishop was no treat at all--not to
be compared with an amusing young curate. She kept her eyes fixed
upon Harry Bolton--she thought he was going to faint. Could it be
possible?--oh! there was no doubt about it. Schismatic Doctor Bates, or
Bishop of F----, there he was!--there was the man he had walked home in
the rain with!

Harry's quondam guest walked forward with an easy grace, which
contrasted strikingly with the stiff dignity of his subordinates. He
shook hands politely with Mr Luttridge, and returned the greeting of
his companion somewhat more warmly. The archdeacon was preparing to
introduce Bolton, without noticing his embarrassment, when the bishop
anticipated the introductory speech by saying, as he held out his hand,
"Mr Bolton and I are old friends--may I not say so?"

A man of less self-possession than our friend the curate might have
been put quite at his ease by the kind tone and manner, and warm grasp
of the hand. "Certainly," was his reply, "your lordship and myself
_have_ met, under rather different circumstances."

The archdeacon's respectable face expressed considerable astonishment,
as well it might; and the other two gentlemen began to eye his
lordship's "old friend" with interested and inquisitive glances.

"My dear archdeacon," said the bishop, laughing, "pardon my
mystification; this is the friend with whom I spent a day or two on my
last visit to this neighbourhood, when you really thought you had lost
me altogether; though, if you had told me I was to have the pleasure of
meeting him at your table to-day, I might, perhaps, have let you into
the secret."

"But, my dear Bolton," said the host--he had dropped the Mr at
once, and for ever--" why did you not tell me that you knew his
lordship?--eh?"

Harry laughed, and got a little confused again; but the bishop answered
the question for him, before he had time to frame an intelligible reply.

"Oh, that's a long story; but it was no mystery of Mr Bolton's, be
assured. I am afraid, indeed, it will tell rather better for him than,
for me; but I promise you the explanation, someday," continued the
bishop, good-humouredly, "when we have nothing better to talk about."
The archdeacon took the hint, and turned the conversation. Another
guest or two joined the party; dinner succeeded, and passed off much
as such affairs usually do. The bishop, although he did not address
much of his conversation directly to Bolton, took care to make him feel
at his ease; and Mr Luttridge, who sat next to him, became remarkably
friendly--was quite surprised that he had not heard of him before,
being, in fact, quite a near neighbour--only nine miles--nothing at all
in that part of the country--should ride over to call on him one of the
first days he could spare--and, in fact, said what became him to say to
the bishop's friend and _protégé_.

Whatever curiosity might have been felt on the subject by the rest
of the company, it was not until they had taken their departure that
the bishop thought proper to explain to Bolton and the archdeacon the
circumstances which had led to his paying an incognito visit to the
former. He had only lately been appointed to the diocese, and was
therefore personally known to but few of his clergy. The archdeacon and
himself, however, were old college acquaintances, and he had accepted
an invitation to spend a few days with him, at the time of his casual
meeting with Harry Bolton. Being averse at all times to any kind of
ceremony or etiquette, which he could reasonably dispense with, it had
been arranged that the archdeacon's carriage should meet him at B----,
to which place his own had conveyed him. Upon his arrival in the town
somewhat before the hour appointed, he had, according to his custom,
walked out quietly to make himself acquainted with the localities, and
had unconsciously passed some hours in exploring some ruins at a little
distance. Meanwhile, the archdeacon, not so punctual as his diocesan,
drove up to the hotel door in hot haste, considerably too late for
his appointment, and was saluted with the unpleasant information that
his lordship had been there, and was gone on these two hours,--for
his previous orders had been duly obeyed, and the episcopal equipage,
with a portly gentleman inside, who sustained the dignity of his
position as chaplain very carefully, had really rolled away on its
road homeward. The archdeacon doubted, but mine host was positive; and
strengthened his position by the assertion that his lordship had said
he was going to Bircham rectory, a piece of intelligence picked up
from the servants, with exactly enough truth in it to do mischief. Off
went the archdeacon again, annoyed at his own dilatoriness; and great
was his consternation on reaching home to find no bishop; and great
was the bishop's surprise, on returning at last to the hotel, to find
no archdeacon; and great the confusion throughout the Kings Arms; the
landlord throwing the blame upon the waiters, and the waiters upon each
other. Post-horses to S----, which was within a short three miles of
the archdeacon's rectory, were ordered at once. But, alas! after many
delays and apologies, none were to be had; almost every quadruped in
the town was engaged in taking parties home from the opening of the
Independent College. The bishop was not a man to make difficulties; so,
leaving his only remaining servant to await any remedial measures which
the archdeacon might take when he discovered his error, and to give an
intelligible account of his movements, he himself, without mentioning
his intention to any other person, walked down to the coach-office
at the Swan, paid his fare, and became an inside passenger by the
Regulator.

Of course, when the archdeacon discovered his mistake, no time was lost
in procuring fresh horses, and sending back the carriage to B----,
in the hope that his lordship might still be forthcoming; but it
brought back to the anxious expectants at the rectory only a servant
and, a portmanteau; and as they did not pass the spot where the
accident occurred, and all inquiries made at S---- only resulted in
the intelligence that "there had been an upset, that no one was hurt,
and that the passengers had walked home," they made up their minds to
await some accurate information as to his lordship's whereabouts from
himself, when he relieved his friends from their uncomfortable suspense
by making his appearance personally at breakfast on the Monday morning;
though, to punish, as he jokingly said, the archdeacon, for leaving him
in such a predicament, he would tell them nothing more than that he had
spent the Sunday very pleasantly with a friend.

Much amusement ensued at the bishop's details of his visit, though
he good-naturedly avoided any allusions that could possibly be
embarrassing to his late host. Bolton had accepted the offer of a bed,
and it was late before they separated for the night. Before he took his
leave on the following morning, the bishop, to his surprise, announced
his intention of paying him a second visit. "I think, Mr Bolton," said
he, "that, having intruded upon you once in disguise, as I may say,
I am bound to come and preach for you some Sunday, if it be only to
clear my own character in the eyes of your parishioners," (for Harry
had confessed, to the exceeding amusement of all parties, his own and
his clerk's suspicions.) "So, if you please, and if my good friend here
will accompany me, we will drive over to you next Sunday morning; and
I'll try," continued the bishop slyly, "if I cannot get Mr Churchwarden
Brooks to put your church a little to rights for you."

The morning arrived, and the archdeacon and the bishop. A proud woman
had Molly been from the moment the announcement was made to her of
the intended honour; and the luncheon which she had prepared was,
considering her limited resources, something extraordinary. But when
his lordship alighted, and, catching a sight of her eager face in
the passage, called to her by name, and addressed her kindly--and
she recognised the features of the unknown guest, whom Sam had
so irreverently slandered--the good old woman, between shame and
gratification, was quite overcome, and was wholly unable to recover her
self-possession throughout the day. During the whole of the service,
she looked at the bishop instead of the prayer-book, made responses
at random, and was only saved by the good-natured interference of his
lordship's own man from totally ruining the luncheon. Of course, the
church was crowded; the sermon was plain and impressive: and when,
after service, the whole of the rustic congregation, collected in the
churchyard to see as much as they could of a personage few of them had
ever seen before, formed a lane respectfully, with their hats off, for
him to pass to the gate, the bishop, taking off his hat and claiming
their attention for a few moments, spoke a few words, homely and
audible, approving their behaviour during the service, and representing
to them the advantages they might derive from the residence among them
of an exemplary minister, such as he believed they had at present, and
such as he would endeavour to provide them with in the possible event
of his removal. And when afterwards he begged to be introduced to the
churchwarden, and, taking him familiarly by the arm, walked with him
round the building, pointed out indispensable repairs, and, without
any word of reproof, explained to him the harm done by injudicious
patching, and put into his hands a liberal contribution towards the
expenses--it might have seemed quite wonderful to those who either
overrate or underrate poor human nature, how much more popular a
notion, and how much better understood a bishop was in that remote
village from that time forth. The landlord of the Crown and Thistle
was quite surprised at the change that had come over Mr Brooks. He
used to be rather a popular orator on club nights and other convivial
occasions, taking that economical view of church dignitaries and
their salaries which, by an amusing euphemism, is called "liberal" in
politics; but subsequently to this occasion he seldom joined in these
discussions, was seen less frequently by degrees in the taproom of the
Crown and Thistle, and more regularly at church; and once, when hard
pressed for an opinion by some of his former supporters, was asserted
to have told them that the Crown and Thistle took more money out of
people's pockets than ever the bishops did.

Harry had anticipated much amusement from Sam Shears' confusion, when
he should encounter, in his full canonicals, the, bishop of the diocese
in the person of the apocryphal Dr Bates; but whatever that worthy's
secret discomfiture might have been, he carried it off wonderfully
well, and met his lordship in the vestry with a lurking smile in his
humble obeisance, as if he had all along penetrated the mystery of his
incognito. With Molly in the kitchen, indeed, he had for some evenings
a hard time of it; but a threat of absenting himself altogether, which
he ventured in some fear of being taken at his word, had the effect of
moderating her tone of triumph. Before the bishop left, he called Sam
aside, and presented him with a substantial token of remembrance; when
Sam took the opportunity of producing, with many prefaces of apology,
the condemned half-crown, which had fretted in his pocket ever since.

"Please your lordship's worship and reverence," said Sam, "this here
ain't a _very_ good half-crown; at least, I can't pass it noways down
here. I dare say as your lordship's worship might pass it away easy
enough among your friends, but--"

"Here, here," said the bishop, laughing heartily, "here's another for
you, by all means, my man; but pray excuse my having anything more to
do with the bad one."

Again the bishop parted from his entertainer with many expressions of
regard, and an invitation to spend some time with him at his palace,
which Bolton did much to his satisfaction; and received from him so
much valuable advice and paternal kindness, that he always considered
the snug living with which, some months afterwards, he was presented,
one of the least of his obligations.

       *       *       *       *       *

"And that's how Harry Bolton came to be a neighbour of mine," concluded
Long Lumley; "and a nice place he has here, and a capital neighbour he
is."

We discussed the whole story over Lumley's wine after dinner the next
day, when the Hon. and Rev. Mr Luttridge, who had since married the
bishop's niece, and was said to have been a disappointed expectant of
the living given to Bolton, made one of our party.

"A very odd man, certainly, the bishop is," was that gentleman's
remark; "very strange, you know, to go poking about the country in that
kind of way. Scarcely the thing, in fact, I must say."

"Upon my honour," said Lumley, "you parsons ought to be better judges
of what is or is not 'the thing' for a bishop, than I can be; but if
the Bishop of F---- is an odd man, I know, if I had the making of
bishops, I'd look out for a match for him."



THE DANGERS OF THE COUNTRY.

NO. I.--OUR EXTERNAL DANGERS.


Among the many remarkable circumstances which a comparison of former
with present times never fails to present to an attentive observer,
it is perhaps the most remarkable with how much accuracy the effects
of great changes in public policy are predicted by one portion of
the community, and with what entire insensibility they are regarded
by another. The results of all the chief alterations in the system
of government which has taken place in our times--the Contraction of
the Currency, Roman Catholic Emancipation, the Reform Bill, Negro
Emancipation, Free Trade, the Repeal of the Navigation Laws--were all
foretold by their opponents at the time they were under discussion,
with such accuracy that their predictions might pass, after the events
had taken place, for a concise history of their effects. And yet the
whole body of their supporters, embracing at each period the numerical
majority at least of the most influential part of the nation, were
absolutely deaf to these warnings; they ridiculed the authors of them,
disputed their reasonings, impugned their motives, and were only the
more confirmed in the headlong course they were pursuing, by the
demonstration which daily experience was affording of the enormity
of their own error on previous occasions. It is evident, from these
examples, that Plato's observation is well founded, and that general
ignorance is neither the greatest social evil, nor the one most to be
dreaded. Prejudice, passion, a thirst for selfish aggrandisement, are
the real evils which affect society; and their sway, unhappily, is
only rendered the more powerful with the extension of knowledge and
the progress of civilisation. They do worse than conceal the truth:
they render men insensible to it. So obstinately do the majority
of men, when their interests are supposed to be at stake, or their
passions are inflamed, resist the light of truth; so resolutely do they
disregard the clearest procession of demonstration; so prone are they
to be led away by the arts of ambitious men or the efforts of class
interest,--that it may be safely concluded that the greatest national
disasters cannot long be averted when affairs are under the immediate
direction of a numerical majority; and that their own folly or
infatuation become the instruments of the Divine judgments upon mankind.

A memorable example of the truth of these observations, and of their
vast importance to a society constructed as it now is in this country,
is to be found in the recent instance of the Papal Aggression. For
above half a century past, the whole efforts of the Liberal party in
England were directed to the abolition of religious distinctions, and,
in particular, to the introduction of the Roman Catholics into an
entire and equal participation in the power, privileges, and influence
of Protestants. In vain was it urged by a small but determined band,
headed by Lord Eldon in one house of Parliament, and Mr Perceval in
another, that however well-founded the principles of toleration were
in the general case, and however desirable it might be, if consistent
with security, to abolish all distinctions founded on differences of
religious belief, yet the opinion of the great apostle of toleration,
Mr Locke, was well founded, that these principles could not be safely
applied to the Roman Catholics, because they formed part of a great
foreign religious power, which formerly boasted of Great Britain as
the brightest jewel in its crown, which openly aspired to universal
dominion, and would never cease striving to reunite that splendid
appanage to the Papal dominions.

These observations were generally disregarded: the names of bigots,
tyrants, illiberals, were constantly applied to the resolute patriots
who still continued to utter them; concession after concession to
the Roman Catholics went on; they were admitted without reserve into
the British Parliament; the titles of their Bishops were recognised
by Ministers in Ireland and the colonies; the entire government and
patronage of Ireland were surrendered into their hands; until at
length, in return for so many acts of condescension, the Pope deemed
it safe to throw off the mask, and send, for the first time during
three hundred years, a Cardinal to London, in order to superintend
the partition of England into ecclesiastical divisions, and the
re-establishment of the Romish worship in every parish of the realm!
_Then_, and not till then, the eyes of the nation were opened: the
bubble, which the Liberals had kept up for half a century, suddenly
burst, and the dormant strength of the Protestant principle was
awakened to an extent which outstripped all calculation, and almost
alarmed the most decided opponents throughout of Papal ambition! Then,
and not till then, the warning voice of the bigots and illiberals
of former days was recollected: their oft-derided predictions
were searched out: the streets were placarded with Lord Eldon's
vaticinations; and the journals which most openly shaped their course
according to popular feeling, were the first to insert in capital
letters the now fulfilled prophecies of former Illiberalism.[3]

Another, and not less memorable, instance of the way in which public
delusions, all but universal, which have withstood the utmost force
of reason, argument, and experience for a long course of years, have
been suddenly dispelled by some great fact which struck the senses of
all, and could no longer be denied, has occurred in the recent vast
and important change which the discovery of the gold in California has
made on the currency of this country, and of the world. For thirty
years past it has been the uniform policy of the British Government,
directed by the pressure of the money power, and the influence of
realised capital, to augment the value of realised wealth, by enhancing
its price and cheapening everything else. To effect this, gold was
first selected as the standard, because it was the most valuable of the
precious metals; and as its price had for a long course of years been
slowly but steadily advancing, it was thought, with reason, that the
assumption of it as the standard could not fail to enhance the value of
realised capital of every kind, by cheapening the money-price of all
the articles in which every one else dealt. Next, small notes were
extinguished, because they formed a currency commensurate to the wants
of the nation; and consequently their abundance tended to raise prices.
Then the issue of notes beyond £32,000,000 in the whole empire was made
to depend on an amount of gold coin corresponding to the notes issued
being in the coffers of the banks issuing: in other words, the currency
beyond that limited amount, not half of what the nation required,
was made entirely metallic. Free Trade was next introduced, in order
still further to augment the value of realised wealth, by taking a
fourth from the price of every commodity which it might purchase,
and consequently depressing to a similar extent the remuneration of
productive industry. All this was rested on the plausible plea of
maintaining a fixed and unchangeable standard of value, and preventing
monetary crises, by having no circulation except what was based on the
most precious of the precious metals.

This system was adhered to through a series of disasters directly owing
to its adoption, which would have destroyed any other nation, and
levelled with the dust any other people. In vain was it represented
that gold itself was a commodity, liable to change in price like any
other article of commerce, according as the supply was or was not equal
to the demand; that to fix a standard price for it was to cast anchor
in the clouds, and that to make the circulation of the country depend
entirely on the retention of an article of commerce, which could not
always be retained, was necessarily to expose it to the recurrence of
the most disastrous shock to credit. These warnings were systematically
disregarded; the bullion system was adhered to amidst the most
frightful calamities; and the nation, as the price of its adoption,
underwent a series of monetary convulsions beyond anything recorded
in history, and which entailed losses greatly exceeding in amount the
confiscation and destruction of property which resulted from the French
Revolution.

Where are these dogmas about the immutability and indestructible
value of the gold standard _now_? "Efflavit Deus, et dissipantur."
The beneficence of Providence has come to the aid of a benighted
and suffering world. As reason had proved inadequate to withstand
the pressure of interest, the reserves of nature were let in: the
floodgates were opened: the beneficent stream overspread the world.
A few grains of gold are discovered in digging a mill-course in
California, and the whole bullion system is blown into the air. The
labour of a lifetime is undone in a moment: the citadel of the money
power is blown up by a spark falling in its own magazine: the island
on which the Bullionists had cast anchor itself begins to drift along.
Farewell to all their dreams of cheapening everything: farewell to
the boast of their able and principal organ, that they had made the
sovereign worth two sovereigns! The sovereign is in process of becoming
only worth half a sovereign. The ominous intelligence has been received
from Paris that the English sovereign had declined fourteen sous in
value; Holland has openly abandoned the gold standard; France is
preparing measures to meet the altered value of the precious metals.
The Bullionists are struck in the very heart of their power. True to
their motives, though not to their principles, they are already in
their journals decrying gold as a standard, and proposing silver in
its stead. Everything has for a year past been rising in price in
England except agricultural produce and sugar, still kept down by the
unrestrained importation of foreign states. For long it was tried to
write down California; but the gold-dust at length became too strong
for them. The fatal truth could no longer be concealed, that the value
of money had declined, was declining, and, as they thought, ought to
be enhanced. But how to do that was the difficulty, amidst ceaseless
arrivals of gold from California, and an overflowing treasure in the
Bank of England. They discovered that some other idea could be formed
of a pound sterling, "than a certain determinate weight of gold metal."
They would fain have it something of less fleeting value. The truth is
at length apparent to the nation--which had been so long denied and
so studiously concealed by those who were profiting by the opposite
delusion--that gold, like every other metal, is a commodity liable to
change in value according to its plenty or scarcity, and that it is
hopeless to make a fixed standard of an article which is itself liable
to greater vicissitudes of price than perhaps any other.

It is hard to say whether examples of this sort are most fitted
to inspire confidence in the final triumph of the cause of truth,
or despondency as to the fate of a nation in which error has been
widespread and long continued, and powerful classes of society are
interested in its being perpetuated. It is evident that the enormity
of error, the clearness of the demonstration of its falsehood, the
perilous and even fatal consequences which may be anticipated from
its continuance, afford no sort of security against its sway being
continued, if an influential class is interested in its duration. It
is equally clear that the extension of education, the boasted march of
intellect, the spread of journals, the number of persons interested in
the termination of a pernicious policy, the awful consequences which
may be anticipated from its continuance, are often wholly impotent to
rescue a nation from disaster, it may be ruin, if the effects of the
disastrous system are not so plain and palpable as to be obvious _to
the senses_ of the whole of mankind. But while all this is perfectly
clear on the one hand--and there is obviously no limit to this long
continuance of the most ruinous error in the opinions and policy of a
particular nation--it is equally evident, on the other, that there is
a bar imposed by Providence to the _eternity_ of error in the world
in general. The laws of nature _at length come to the aid of truth_:
some great and decisive event occurs which renders its effects palpable
to all the people; the whole fabric of error so studiously upheld, so
anxiously defended, is overturned in an instant; and mankind, awakening
from the slumbers of half a century, are astonished only how a thing
so very evident had never before struck them. They then find, to
their infinite surprise, that all which has occurred had been clearly
foreseen and distinctly predicted by the few among them who judged of
the future by the past, and cast their eyes beyond the interests or
passions of the moment; and that it was not because truth had not been
told to them, but because _they would not listen to it_, that all the
calamities they deplore had been brought upon them.

The circumstances which mainly contribute to produce this extraordinary
tenacity of error and insensibility to truth, in the majority of
mankind at all times and under all circumstances, are their general
indifference to _distant_ effects, and their acute sense of _present_
burdens. If the danger is obvious and visible to the senses of all,
and, above all, if it threatens immediate evil to all, the mass of men
will often make incredible, almost superhuman efforts to avert it. But
if it is distant and contingent only, and the remedies proposed to
guard against it are attended with present burdens, however slight, it
will in general be found that it is wholly impossible to make them do
anything to guard against the impending evils. In the words of one who
knew them well,[4] "they prefer any load of infamy, however great, to
any burden of taxation, however light." They never will incur present
expense to guard against future danger. It is for this reason that
states in which the popular voice is all-powerful so often rush into
foreign wars with scarcely any preparations, and are so often defeated
by nations possessing far less vigour and fewer resources, but in whom
the wisdom of a monarchical or aristocratic government has made an
adequate provision in peace for the contingency of future hostilities.
All the eloquence of Demosthenes, we know, failed to make the Athenian
people take any steps to augment the national armaments, and they got
the battle of Chæronea and subjugation by Philip in consequence. The
English, in 1778, commenced the contest with their revolted American
colonies with a regular army of 20,000 men, and they lost the colonies
in consequence: they began the war with France in 1793 with 40,000
regular soldiers in the British empire, when their enemy had 1,200,000
men under arms; and it cost them a struggle of twenty years, and six
hundred millions of debt incurred, to get the better of the necessary
consequences of their infatuation. They starved down the establishment
in India, and forbade all hostile preparations, even though it was a
dominion won, and which could only be upheld, by the sword, till it was
brought to the verge of destruction on the banks of the Sutlej; and the
empire which disposed of the resources of 80,000,000 of subjects, owed
its extrication from what seemed unavoidable ruin, only to a strange
and unaccountable retreat of the enemy, resting on a population of
6,000,000 only, when victory was within their grasp. The Americans
rushed into a contest with England in 1812 with a fleet of six frigates
and an army of 8000 men; and the consequence was, that in two years
their commerce was totally destroyed, their capital taken by a British
division of 3500 men, and the general suffering would in six months
have made the Northern States break of from the Union, had not England,
weary of fighting and satiated with glory, sheathed her sword when the
dissolution of the Union was within her power.

But in addition to this general cause of delusion and error, which
pervades all states really regulated by the popular voice, there is
another and a still more powerful one which occasions and perpetuates
the most ruinous public delusions in an advanced and complicated
state of society. This arises from the strength and influence of the
classes who become interested in the perpetuating of error because
they profit by it, and the impossibility of getting the great bulk
of men to see, among the numerous causes which are then acting upon
their fortunes, the _real ones_ to which their sufferings are owing.
They know perfectly when they are prosperous, and when unfortunate;
but they do not know, and cannot be brought to see, to what either the
prosperity or adversity is to be ascribed. If the consequences of a
particular line of policy could be brought before them by a _clear and
short_ process of demonstration--if they could see from whence their
suffering in truth comes, and the arrow, known to have been discharged
from the quivers of Free Trade and a metallic currency, could be seen
festering in the breast of every industrious man in the country, one
universal burst of indignation would arise from one end of the kingdom
to the other. This system, so profitable to the moneyed rich, so
ruinous to the industrious poor, would be abolished, amidst shouts of
congratulation from one end of the country to the other, in a month.
But they cannot be brought to see this; and the vast riches which the
continuance of this system is daily bringing to the moneyed classes,
enables them to perpetuate the darkness.

The press in such circumstances becomes--what it was in Napoleon's time
in France, from the overwhelming weight of military power--what Madame
de Stael feared it would one day become in all aged communities--the
most powerful engine for the diffusion and continuance of error. The
most ruinous systems of public policy are then pursued with the cordial
support of the _millionnaires_ who profit by them, with the loud
applause and able assistance of the public press, who are guided by the
requirements of their subscribers, or directed by the dictates of their
shareholders, and amidst the supine indifference or sullen despair of
the industrious classes, who are steeped in misery by their effects.
They see they are ruined, but they know not how or by whom; and a large
part of the public press are careful to direct their attention to any
but the right quarter for redress. In despair at such an accumulation
of distresses, the great bulk of mankind follow the usual instinct of
the multitude in such cases--they fasten upon the seen in preference
to searching for the unseen, and lend a willing ear to any demagogue
of the day who lays before them plans for a great reduction of public
burdens, by abandoning nearly the whole means of the public defence.
Thus a perpetual reduction of our military and naval armaments, and
means of maintaining our independence or even existence as a nation,
is forced upon successive Governments, without the slightest regard to
the obvious peril with which such reductions, with increasing armaments
on the part of our neighbours, and increasing points of attack upon
the part of ourselves, _must_ be attended; and the policy which has
impoverished the greater part of the nation terminates in its natural
result, the destruction of the nation itself. Such is the most common
process of national ruin.

There can be no doubt that the day will one day come when all these
illusions will be dispelled. If a Russian fleet of twenty-five
ships of the line anchors off the Nore, and demands the surrender
of the arsenal of Woolwich, and of our ships of war at Portsmouth
and Plymouth, as the condition of their raising the blockade of the
capital or saving it from pillage--or if a French squadron of fifteen
ships of the line takes a _second_ look into Torbay, and we have only
three or four half-manned seventy-fours to oppose to them--or if an
invading army of 80,000 men lands on the coast of Sussex, and we can
only muster 30,000 regular troops to stop their progress--if Woolwich
is taken, and Hyde Park is the scene of an enemy's camp, and London,
like Paris, capitulates to the conqueror--or if Russia and America
unite together and demand the surrender of the half of our fleet and
the whole of our arsenals as the price at which they will allow their
grain-laden vessels to come to Great Britain and restore bread to
the 7,000,000 of our population whom we have in four years rendered
dependent on supplies from those countries for their daily food, or
if wheat rises to 150s the quarter, and the quartern loaf to 2s. in
consequence of our refusal--if the Thames, the Mersey, and the Clyde
are blockaded by hostile fleets, and 700,000 or 800,000 manufacturers
with their families, for the sake of the riches produced by whom we
have sacrificed everything, are suddenly thrown out of employment--or
if the seamen of the Baltic and other maritime powers of Europe have
come to outnumber our own in the carrying on of our trade, and threaten
to disable our commerce, and bring us to death's door, by simply
recalling their crews--or if the Bank stops payment in the midst of
these calamities, and public and private credit are at once destroyed
at the very time when their assistance is most needed--_then, and not
till then_, will England speak out in a voice of thunder.

How rapidly will the scales then fall from the eyes which have so
long been blinded; how bitter will be the regret at the inexplicable
insensibility now to solemn warnings; how intense the indignation at
the delusions which, for the sake of present profit to the deluders,
has so long been practised upon them! The burst of indignation with
which the appointment of the Lord Cardinal was received throughout
England, the more suppressed apprehensions with which the opening of
the Californian treasures was viewed by our moneyed oligarchy, can
afford but a faint image of the feelings of agony which will then wring
the British heart--the frightful cry of distress which will then rise
up from famishing millions, the universal horror at past neglect which
will send the iron into the soul of our whole people. Their efforts to
redeem the past will probably be great, their struggles will be those
of a giant. But it may be too late. They will be in the condition of
the Athenian people when Lysander cast anchor off the Piræus, after
the burning of their fleet at Aigos Potamos; or of the Carthaginians,
when the legions of Scipio, in the last Punic war, drew round their
walls; or of the Parisians, when "Europe in arms before their gates"
demanded the surrender of all their conquests. They will be profoundly
mortified--they will be cut to the heart; they would give half they
possess for a deliverance, but they will be _forced to submit_; and
to the annalist of these mournful times will only remain the task of
drawing the appropriate moral from the melancholy tale, and recording
the fall and ruin of England for the instruction of, and as a beacon to
be avoided by, future times.

The Free Trade and Bullionist orators will exclaim that this statement
is overcharged--that these apprehensions are entirely chimerical--that
neither France nor Russia have the slightest intention of going to
war with us--that the days of hostility between nations are at an
end--that, even if we were attacked, our resources are greater than
ever--and that the insular situation of Great Britain gives her a
security which renders the maintenance of costly armaments for the
national defence wholly unnecessary. This is what they _will say_; and
we tell them what _they will not say_.--They will never allude to the
arguments which follow, which will demonstrate the reality of all this
peril as clearly as any proposition in Euclid; if they do allude to
them, it will only be to ridicule and misrepresent--the usual resource
of detected error in presence of irresistible arguments. They will
never allude to the facts or arguments adduced on the other side; but,
treating the whole persons who adduce them--and ourselves among the
rest--as utter fanatics and monomaniacs, continue to inculcate on their
numerous readers--who never look at any papers on the other side--the
entire security of the nation, the evident advent of a time when all
wars are to cease, our secure and unassailable position, and the utter
folly of incurring the certain evil of present expense for the purpose
of warding off such contingent, remote, and chimerical dangers. We are
well aware of the ability with which this method of upholding delusions
is carried on, and of the readiness with which it is listened to both
by the opulent and powerful class whose means of amassing fortunes
would be diminished, and the numerous class whose burdens would in a
slight degree be increased by a change of system.

The argument, that the era of wars has ceased, that Peace Congresses
are henceforth to supersede the logic of cannon, and that the sooner we
disband our troops, and sell our ships of the line, as a costly relic
of a preadamite age, the better--would be an extremely strong one, and
deserving of the most serious consideration, if it had any foundation
in fact. But if this is not the case--if, on the contrary, the facts
are all of an opposite character--then the argument, based on such a
fallacious foundation, becomes the strongest which can be urged on the
other side. Now, without going back to former times and the annals of
history, let us attend only to our own days, and what we see around us,
to ascertain whether there is any likelihood of war becoming unknown
among men, and a real millennium causing all swords to be turned into
pruning-hooks.

Everybody knows that the tendency of the present times is to become
democratic; and it is chiefly in the increased weight of the
people--the greatest sufferers from the ravages of war--in the
direction of public affairs, that the advocates of universal peace rest
their predictions of the immediate advent of a pacific millennium. What
countenance do the facts of recent times--even if all previous history
were set aside--afford to the assertion that democratic influence is
essentially of a pacific character, and that with the increase in
all civilised states of popular power, the disuse and, at length,
extinction of war may be anticipated?

So far from affording any countenance to such an idea, all recent, as
well as former experience, leads to conclusions directly the reverse,
and induces the melancholy prognostication that, with the general
increase of democratic influence, not only will the sphere of future
hostility be augmented, but its fierceness and devastations will be
fearfully enhanced. Who commenced the dreadful wars of the French
Revolution, which for twenty long years deluged Europe with blood,
and brought the tricolor standards--the emblem of Republicanism--into
every capital of continental Europe?--Democratic ascendency in Paris;
the crimes and ambition of the Girondists; the bloodthirsty passions
of the Jacobins, which, not content with ravaging and drenching with
gore their own country, could not find vent but in the sacking and
plundering of all Europe. What afterwards gave rise to the terrible
struggle in Poland in 1831, and induced the multiplied sufferings of
that gallant but inconsiderate and infatuated democracy?--The French
Revolution of 1830, which, but for the firmness of Louis Philippe, and
his determination to risk all rather than gratify the passion for war
in the Republicans who had elevated him to power, would have involved
Europe in universal conflagration. What brought on the horrid civil war
in Spain, which for five years overwhelmed the Peninsula with horrors
and cold-blooded atrocities, which throw even those consequent on the
invasion of Napoleon into the shade?--A democratic triumph in Madrid;
the placing of a revolutionary queen on the throne of Spain; the
determination and armed intervention of England and France to uphold
the cause of popular aggression in both kingdoms of the Peninsula.

What overturned the throne and pacific policy of Louis Philippe?--His
determination to keep at peace; his resolution to coerce, at any
hazard, the ambitious designs of the Parisian democrats. He tried
to be a "Napoleon of Peace," and he lost his throne and died in
exile in consequence. What immediately followed the triumph of the
Republicans in Paris in February 1848? Was it the reign of universal
tranquillity--the advent of peace and good-will among men? Was it not,
on the contrary, an outbreak of general hostility--the universal arming
of nation against nation, of people against people, of race against
race? Did not Republican Piedmont invade Lombardy; and Republican
Prussia, Holstein; and Republican France besiege Rome? Did not the
Magyar rise up, against the Sclave, and the Bohemian against the
Austrian, and the Lombard against both; and was not the frightful scene
of almost universal hostility appeased--and that for the time only--by
the appalling appearance of a hundred thousand Muscovites on the
Hungarian plains? Have not Austria and Prussia for the last six months
been on the verge of a dreadful contest? Have not the burghers and
ploughmen of all Germany been called from their peaceful avocations,
to man the ranks of the landwehr? Have not eight hundred thousand men
been arrayed on the opposite sides, and the banks of the Saale crowded
with armies paralleled only by those which in 1813 stood on those of
the Elbe? And what stopped this dreadful war, and sent back those
multitudes of armed citizens unscathed to their peaceful homes? Was it
republican France, or popular England? No; it was despotic Russia. It
was the presence of a hundred and fifty thousand armed and disciplined
Muscovites on the banks of the Vistula, which like a thundercloud
overcast the east of Europe, and at last cooled down the ardent
ambition of democratic Prussia into something like a just estimate of
the chances of the conflict, and a temporary respect for the rights of
other nations.

Turn to distant parts of the world, and is the prospect more indicative
of the advent of a pacific millennium? Is it to be found among the
English colonists in India, or the energetic republicans of America?
Have not the English, for the last twenty years, been engaged in almost
ceaseless hostilities in Hindostan or China, during which ultimately
our victorious standards have been advanced to Cabul and Nankin; and
we have seen our empire shaken to its very foundation by the disasters
of the Coord Cabul Pass, and the frightful contest on the banks of the
Sutlej? Is America more peaceful, and is the advent of the reign of
peace foreshadowed by the entire abstinence from ambitious and angry
passions in the republicans of its southern or northern hemisphere?
Has not the former, since the disastrous era when its revolution
began, been the theatre of convulsions so frequent, and bloodshed so
incessant, that history, in despair, has ceased to record the names
of these conflicts, and points with horror only to their woeful
consequences? And has not Northern America, during the last twenty
years, exhibited the most unequivocal evidence of the lust of conquest
having gained possession of the most influential portions of her
inhabitants? Were they not actually at war with us in 1837 to support
the Canadian revolutionists; did they not cheat us out of three-fourths
of Maine, and bully us out of half of Oregon; and have they not
squatted down, without the vestige of a title, on Texas; and when the
Mexicans resented the aggression, invaded their territory and wrested
from them the half of it, including the whole auriferous region of
California? In short, war surrounds us on all sides; its passions are
raging throughout the world; an era of such hostile prognostications is
scarcely to be found in the annals of mankind. And yet Mr Cobden and Mr
Bright declare, to admiring and assenting audiences in Manchester, that
the era of war is past, and that we should disband our troops and sell
our ships of the line! They are like an insane patient in a distant
wing of a building which is wrapped in flames, who positively refuses
to do anything to save himself, saying, "They will never reach me."

Has the conduct of the English Government for twenty years past evinced
the reality of the alleged disinclination to hostilities which is
said to be creeping over all established governments, and to which
popular ones in particular are in so remarkable a manner averse? Has
not our conduct, on the contrary, even in Europe, been aggressive and
provocatory to war in the very highest degree? Did we not unite with
France to force a revolutionary government on Spain and Portugal, and
to prevent a legitimate one in Belgium from recovering its lawful
possessions? Did we not, along with Russia, Prussia, and Austria,
throw down the gauntlet, at the time of the bombardment of Beyrout
and the siege of Acre, to France; and did not the firmness of Louis
Philippe and the accession of Guizot, whom he called to his councils
at the critical moment, alone prevent a general and frightful war in
Europe? It is well known, to all persons acquainted with the subject,
that we were still nearer a war with France some years afterwards,
when the affair of Otaheite and Queen Pomare revived the ancient and
undying jealousy of the two countries. We know it for a fact, that at
that period the French were prepared for, and _fully expected_ instant
hostilities; and that for several nights six thousand choice light
troops slept armed and accoutred on board the huge war-steamers at
Cherbourg, ready to start at daybreak for a descent on the southern
shores of Britain, and on some of its undefended dockyards, where not a
vestige of preparation had been made to repel them.

But why recur to periods comparatively remote for proofs of a state
of things which recur under our present foreign administration as
periodically as commercial catastrophes do under our monetary system?
In November 1849 we sent Admiral Parker, with the whole Mediterranean
fleet, to the mouth of the Dardanelles, and took the Czar by the beard
to rescue from his grasp some thousand Hungarian insurgents; and not
content with this demonstration--which was as hostile as the anchoring
of a Russian fleet off the Nore would have been to this country--he
was directed to cast anchor, on his return, off the Piræus, and bid
defiance to France and Russia, the guarantees with ourselves of the
independence of Greece. On this occasion we were so near a rupture
that the _French ambassador actually left London_, and the Russian
one was preparing to follow his example, when an immediate war with
the two largest powers of Europe--thus, by unparalleled rashness on
our part, brought, for the first time for half a century, to act
cordially together--was only prevented by our succumbing and referring
the matter to arbitration, as they had all along proposed, instead
of exacting it at the cannon's mouth, as we had at first endeavoured
to do. And for what mighty national interest was this enormous peril
incurred, when, as usual, we were wholly unprepared to meet it? Was
it to save Hindostan from invasion, or raise the blockade of the
Nore, or extricate our fleet from the grasp of the Czar? No! It was
to enforce _private_ claims of M. Pacifico and Mr Finlay on the Greek
Government, to the amount of a few thousand pounds--a proceeding which
afforded the Continental powers, if they had been as hostilely disposed
as our Government, a fair precedent for sending a Russian fleet of
thirty ships of the line to the Nore, to demand satisfaction from our
Government for the brutal attack on Marshal Haynau! And yet, such
is the infatuation produced by party spirit, that not only was this
aggressive act approved by a majority of the House of Commons, even
after we had been obliged to recede from it, but it was approved by
the very men who are constantly preaching up the immediate advent of
a pacific millennium, and the necessity of disbanding our troops and
selling our ships of the line.

Surrounded then, as we undeniably are, with the flames and the passions
of war on every side; slumbering on the edge of a volcano, the fires of
which are smouldering under our feet and gathering strength for a fresh
and still more terrific explosion; actuated as we are by unbounded
national haughtiness, and a most aggressive system of foreign policy,
have we done anything to support our pretensions, or avert those
ravages from our own shores which we have so liberally scattered on
all the adjacent coasts? Have we 100,000 regular troops and 200,000
landwehr, in the British Islands, ready to repel insult; and a fleet of
30 ships of the line and 20 armed steamers, ready afloat and _manned_,
on the German Ocean and in the Channel, to secure our harbours from
attack, and raise a blockade of our coasts? Have we--since we are so
set upon a foreign war, and have done so much to spread the passions
which necessarily lead to it, and made so many hostile demonstrations
_calculated instantly to induce it_--made preparations in our Exchequer
and our granaries for its expenses and its privations? Have we, like
Frederick the Great when he invaded Silesia, a fund of £7,000,000 in
the Treasury, to meet his war expenses; or Napoleon, when he plunged
into Russia, a reserve of £14,000,000 in the vaults of the Tuileries?
Have we fortified Woolwich, the general arsenal of the empire, and
Chatham, and our other naval depots, hitherto undefended? Have we
cleared out the glacis of Portsmouth and Plymouth, so as to give
free range to the guns of the works, and established a great central
fortification at Weedon, or some other central point in England,
whither our troops might retire, if obliged to evacuate London, and
where the new levies, raised in haste, might receive the elements
of discipline, without the risk of being assailed, while yet in the
awkward squad state, by the enemies' cuirassiers?

Alas! we have done none of these things. Woolwich is still an open
depot, liable to be taken by a single regiment; there is not a bastion
at Weedon; there is not a defensible post in the environs of London;
Chatham, Sheerness, and Deptford are entirely open on the land side;
and although Portsmouth and Plymouth are fortified, and may be
pronounced impregnable against a naval assault, they are far from being
so against a land force. The enemy would not require to run a sap up to
the counter-scarp: we have saved him the trouble, by allowing houses
to be built almost everywhere so near the ditch, that the besiegers
would effect a lodgment there the first day, and be able to batter
in the breach in two days more. Landwehr we have none, unless 30,000
pensioners--most valuable veterans, of great use against mobs, or for
garrison service, but little qualified for the field--deserve the name:
our yeomanry, though admirably mounted and full of spirit, are wholly
unacquainted with the duties, and unaccustomed to the fatigues, of
actual warfare. We have not more than seven or eight ships of the line,
and these but _imperfectly manned_, ready for sea in our harbours; and
the regular troops in Great Britain, though second to none in the world
in discipline and courage, can only muster 37,000 sabres and bayonets,
and in the two islands amount only to 61,000!! In proportion to the
eagerness with which we have spread abroad the passions and lighted the
flames of war in all the adjoining states, is the assiduity with which
we have neglected or abandoned our own defences; and the promptitude
we have evinced, on every possible occasion, to provoke the hostility
or rouse the jealousy of the most powerful states in our neighbourhood
can be paralleled only by the simultaneous reductions we have effected
in our own armaments, and the utterly defenceless state in which we
have exposed ourselves to their attacks. Judging from our internal
reductions, one would suppose we were never again to go to war: judging
from our foreign policy, one would suppose we were never again to be at
peace.

To illustrate these remarks, and demonstrate the utter insanity of our
simultaneous adoption of the most aggressive foreign policy and the
most pacific internal preparation, we subjoin from Sir Francis Head's
late most admirable and interesting work a _vidimus_ of the military
force of the principal European powers, as compared with that of Great
Britain, and subjoin to it a statement of our naval force, accompanied
with that of France, Russia, and the United States--the principal
maritime powers of the Continent and America:--

                          I. FRANCE.

                        _Regular troops_--

  Infantry,                 301,224
  Cavalry,                   58,932
  Artillery,                 30,166
  Engineers, &c.,            18,298
                            -------
                            408,630
  National Guards,        2,630,800
                          ---------

                         II. RUSSIA.

                        _Regular troops_--

  Infantry,                 468,000
  Cavalry,                   85,000
  Cossacks,                  20,000
                            -------
          Regulars,         573,000
  Guns,                       1,020
                            -------
  Garrisons and reserves,   150,000
  Cossacks,                  10,000
                            -------
                            160,000
                            -------

                    III. AUSTRIA (IN WAR.)

  Infantry,                 484,240
  Cavalry,                   54,560
  Artillery,                 26,104
  Engineers, &c.,            56,549
                            -------
                            626,453
  In peace reduced to,      378,552
  Landwehr,                 200,000
                            -------

                         IV. PRUSSIA.

                    _Regulars and Landwehr_--

  Infantry,                 265,530
  Cavalry,                   49,662
  Artillery,                 23,400
  Engineers, &c.,            40,800
                            -------
                            379,392
  Guns,                       1,163
  Landsturm,                222,416
                            -------

                      V. GREAT BRITAIN.

                  _Regulars, infantry, cavalry, and
                            artillery_--

  In Great Britain,          37,845
   " Ireland,                24,005
   " European colonies,       7,915
   " Asia, (English,)        30,467
   " America, &c.            19,835
   " Africa,                  3,703
                            -------
                            123,768

  Pensioners,        30,000
  Dockyards-men,      8,000
  Yeomanry,          13,441
  Militia in Channel}
      Islands,      } 4,700
                     ------  56,141
                            -------
                            179,909
                            -------

--SIR F. HEAD, p. 5-36.

This is the _entire force_, so far as European troops are concerned,
which is on foot to protect the immense British dominions in the
four quarters of the globe! And as the entire regular force in Great
Britain and Ireland is only 61,848 men, with 40 guns equipped for
the field--and at least a fifth of every military force must always
be deducted for sick, absent, and deserters--it follows that 50,000
men, with 40 guns, is the very utmost of regular troops that could be
relied on in both islands to meet an enemy. Of this at least 20,000
would require to be left in Ireland; so that 30,000 men alone could be
assembled in the last extremity for the defence of Great Britain! As to
the pensioners and yeomanry, they would be entirely absorbed in forming
garrisons, keeping up the communications, and preserving tranquillity
in the manufacturing towns in the interior.

Formidable as this state of matters is, it becomes doubly serious when
the state of our naval force is considered.

In 1792, before the war broke out, and when our population was not a
half, nor our commerce and colonial dominions a fourth of what they now
are, the naval force of Great Britain was--

  Ships of the line, of which 115}  156
  were effective,                }
  Frigates,                          97[5]

At this moment our naval force stands as follows:--

  Ships of the line, and building,}  93
  of which 65 are serviceable,    }
  50 to 70 gun ships,                39
  Frigates,                         110
  War-steamers,                      56

The forces of the principal maritime powers of the globe, Spain being
effete, stand thus:--

                                FRANCE.

  Line,                         46
  Frigates,                     50
  Steamers of war,             102

                                RUSSIA.

  Line,                         45
  Frigates,                     30

                               AMERICA.

  Line,                         11
  Frigates,                     14
  War-steamers,                 14[6]

Thus Russia and France could produce 85 ships of the line, 80 frigates,
and 102 war-steamers, against our 65 or 70 of the line, 147 frigates,
and 56 war-steamers. A disproportion sufficiently great for a country
which boasts of being mistress of the waves: the more especially when
it is recollected that both these hostile nations are actuated by
the greatest jealousy of our naval power, and envy of our commercial
greatness, and that we have so managed our foreign policy that, not
six months ago, we were within a hairsbreadth of a war with _both
united_. We are aware of the resources which, if the contest were
prolonged for any considerable period, would arise to this country
from the steam-packets to America and the West Indies, which their
owners are taken bound, on an emergency, to place at the disposal of
the Admiralty. But this provision, though a most wise and judicious
one, and of very great moment in a lengthened conflict, would obviously
be of little or no avail if war surprised us, as to all appearance
it will do, in our usual state of fancied security and entire want
of preparation, and a Russian fleet of twenty-five ships of the line
from the Baltic anchors off the Nore, simultaneously with a French
one of ten off Portsmouth, with as little warning or intimation as
Admiral Parker gave to the Russians when he appeared at the mouth of
the Dardanelles, or to the Greek Government when he cast anchor off the
harbour of the Piræus.

But the danger becomes incomparably greater, and assumes the most
portentous aspect, when two other circumstances connected with our
naval situation are taken into consideration, of vital importance in
this question, but which the advocates for reduction studiously keep
out of view in its discussion.

The first is, the _immense extent of the colonial empire_ we have to
defend, and the consequent unavoidable _dispersion_ of our naval force,
such as it is, over the whole globe. This appears in the most decisive
manner from the table quoted below, taken from the _United Service
Gazette_ for December 1850, showing the distribution of our ships of
the line in commission up to 25th November last.

  |      GREAT BRITAIN:      |  MEDITERRANEAN.  |      COLONIES,      |
  |   ON COMMISSION, AND     |                  |  AND EXPERIMENTAL   |
  |       GUARDSHIPS.        |                  |     SQUADRON.       |
  |                          |                  |                     |
  |                     Guns.|             Guns.|                Guns.|
  | Bellerophon,          78 | Albion,       90 | Asia,            84 |
  | Britannia,           120 | Caledonia,   120 | Hastings,        72 |
  | Cumberland,           72 | Ganges,       84 | Imaum,           72 |
  | Hogue,                60 | Powerful,     84 | Indefatigable,   50 |
  | Impregnable,         104 | Superb,       80 | Leander,         50 |
  | Monarch,              84 | Queen,       110 | Phæton,          50 |
  | Ocean,                80 |                  | Portland,        50 |
  | Saturn,               72 |                  | Prince Regent,   92 |
  | St George,           120 |                  | Southampton,     50 |
  | Trafalgar,           120 |                  | Wellesley,       72 |
  | Vengeance,            84 |                  |                     |
  | Victory,             101 |                  |                     |
  | Blenheim,             56 |                  |                     |
  |                          |                  |                     |
  | Line and Guardships,  13 |                6 |                  10 |

This shows that out of twenty-eight line-of-battle ships and fifties
in commission at that period, only thirteen were in the British
harbours, and even including the Experimental Squadron, only fifteen.
Of these, at least a half are mere guardships--such as the Victory at
Portsmouth--of little real use but to furnish a mast for the Admiral on
the station to hoist his flag. Of the six or seven that really are fit
for sea, not more than one half are fully manned. Accordingly, it is
universally known among naval men, that there are not more than three
or four ships of the line that could on a sudden emergency be got ready
for sea in the British harbours: being not _half_ the force which the
Danes had when they were suddenly attacked by Nelson in 1801, and by
Lord Cathcart in 1807. On the first occasion, they had nine ships of
the line and floating batteries moored off Copenhagen: on the last,
_eighteen_ ships of the line were taken by the victors, and brought to
the British shores.

We are often told of the immense force which England now has in her
steam-vessels--more numerous, it is said, and unquestionably better
manned and navigated than any in Europe; and the "Excellent," at
Portsmouth, is referred to as able at a moment's warning to furnish
the requisite amount of experienced gunners. Fully admitting the high
discipline and training of the gunners on board the Excellent, of whose
merits we are well aware, they cannot do impossibilities. They amount
only to five hundred _men_; and what are they to the forces requisite
to defend the British shores against a combined French and Russian
fleet, such as we _all but brought upon us_ last April, when the French
ambassador left London? What could four or five hundred trained gunners
do when scattered over fifteen or twenty sail of the line, and as many
steamers, the crews of which were suddenly huddled together--supposing
them got at all--from the merchant service, where they had received no
sort of training in naval warfare? What could the peace steam-boats,
not pierced for a single gun, do against the broadsides of the Russian
line-of-battle ships, or the huge war-steamers which excited such
astonishment among our naval men, when exhibited at the late review
at Cherbourg? The thing is quite ridiculous. They would furnish, in
Napoleon's words, ample _chair au cannon_, and nothing more.

Contrast this now with the state of preparation in which the French
and Russian navies are kept, in consequence of their having both a
regular force raised by conscription, and constantly paid and under
arms like their land forces, wherewith to commence the conflict. The
Czar has always _twenty ships_ of the line and ten frigates in the
Baltic, completely equipped and ready for sea, with 30,000 soldiers
ready to step on board of them; and it would be surprising if, in
passing the Sound, they were not reinforced by the six ships of the
line and steam-frigates at the disposal of Denmark,[7] who would
desire nothing better than to return, in a manner equally unexpected,
the sudden visits we paid her in 1801 and 1807. France, in addition
to sixteen ships of the line in commission, and double that number
of war-steamers, has no less than 55,000 seamen ready to be called
on, like the national guard, at a moment's warning, perfectly trained
to gunnery and warlike duties, who could man double that number of
line-of-battle ships and war-steamers.

  "The French nation, however, deeming it unsafe to rest on any such
  frail contingency as voluntary enlistment, has wisely, as well as
  justly, decreed that her maritime districts and commercial marine
  shall be subject to the _same obligation_ to serve their country
  as the other classes of the community; and, accordingly, by the
  laws of France, every boy who goes to sea is required to register
  his name on the 'Inscription Marine.' After one year's probation,
  he enters into the class of 'Mousses' until he is sixteen, when he
  becomes a 'novice' or apprentice till eighteen, when he is classed
  as a marine or seaman, and _he is thenceforward at the service
  of the state till he is fifty years of age_. Besides this, about
  1/20 of the general conscription throughout the inland provinces
  are by law liable to serve in the navy. By the above arrangements,
  it appears that between the year 1835 and 1844, both inclusive,
  55,517 seamen answered the calls of the annual _Levée permanente_,
  and, moreover, that very nearly _the whole_ of the French merchant
  seamen, amounting altogether to upwards of 100,000 men, must have
  passed successively through the royal navy.

  "Under this admirable system--which, while it flatters the
  passions, cultivates the mind, and comfortably provides for the
  sailor,--the French nation are prepared, by beat of drum, to march
  from their various quarters to their respective ships, _compagnies
  permanentes_ of well-trained gunner seamen; and thus, at a moment's
  warning, even in time of peace, to complete the manning of _sixteen
  sail of the line_."--SIR FRANCIS HEAD, 184, 185.

It is no exaggeration, therefore, but the simple truth, to say,
that France and Russia could, in ten days from the time that their
respective ambassadors left London, appear with a fleet of _thirty
ships of the line and forty frigates or war-steamers in the Channel_,
with which they could with ease blockade the Thames, Portsmouth,
and Plymouth, where not more, at the very utmost, than eight or ten
line-of-battle ships, and ten or twelve war-steamers, most of them only
half manned, could be collected to oppose them. We have no doubt the
crews of this diminutive fleet would do their duty as nobly as they
did at the Nile and Trafalgar; but we shudder at the thought of the
national blindness and infatuation which would expose them, and with
them the existence of England as an independent nation, to such fearful
odds.

In any such conflict, it is by the forces which can _suddenly be
rendered available_ that everything will be determined. It may be
quite true that England possesses resources in the vast extent of her
mercantile navy and steam-vessels, and the undaunted character of her
seamen, which, in any _prolonged_ contest, would give her the same
superiority which she maintained throughout the last war; but it is not
the less true, that this contingent ultimate superiority would be of no
avail to avert disaster--it may be conquest--if the enemy, by having
their forces better in hand, and available _in the outset_, were in a
situation to gain an advantage which could never be recovered from in
the commencement. It is impossible to overestimate the shock to credit,
and ruin to the best interests of the empire, which would arise from a
blockade of our harbours even for a single fortnight. Of what would it
avail us that we had six noble sail of the line, and double that number
of war-steamers in the Mediterranean, and as many scattered through the
world, from China to California, if the Thames, the Mersey, and the
Clyde, were blockaded by hostile fleets, and Portsmouth and Plymouth
could only furnish five or six half-manned line-of-battle ships to
raise the blockade? Russia has _no colonies_; France, next to none:
thus the whole naval forces of both these Powers could be brought to
bear, without deduction or defalcation of any sort, on Great Britain,
more than half of whose navy is necessarily scattered over the globe.
Our distant fleets would, in such a crisis, avail us as little as an
army of pawns, with bishops and knights, would a chess-player who had
received checkmate.

In the next place, these considerations become doubly powerful when it
is recollected how very peculiar and tardy is the mode of _collecting
men_, which alone is now thought of in the British navy. It is not
generally known by landsmen--though hereafter they may come to know
it to their cost--that in England at present there is _neither any
standing royal naval force, nor any compulsory means of levying it_.
By our great naval establishment and right of impressing seamen, we
had, practically speaking, both during the war: but these days are
past. The navy sailors are changed as ships come into harbour, and the
right of impressment has virtually become obsolete. When a ship, after
two or three years' service, comes into port, she is immediately _paid
off_, and a new set of sailors, wholly ignorant of war, are slowly got
together by the next captain who gets that or a corresponding ship; who
in their turn, when they begin to become expert at their new duties,
are displaced to make way for a third body of untrained men! What
should we say to a manufacturer, a merchant, or a general, who should
conduct things in this manner? Yet, such as it is, it is the system of
the British navy. This subject, of vital importance, has been so well
illustrated by two gallant naval officers, that we cannot do better
than quote their admirable observations on it.

  "A ship," says Admiral Bowles, "is required to relieve another for
  foreign service. She is selected, reported ready for commission,
  the captain and officers are appointed, and then volunteers are
  advertised for. They come in slowly and uncertainly. If the ship
  is a large one, the men will not enter until the heaviest part of
  the work of fitting is completed: the equipment proceeds slowly and
  carelessly, because energy and rapidity are impracticable; but even
  then, those who enter first feel they are unfairly worked, and the
  seeds of discontent and desertion are sown at the very commencement
  of their service.

  "Three, or sometimes four, months thus pass away, before the ship's
  complement is complete; and, in the meanwhile, little progress
  is made in discipline or instruction. She at last sails for her
  destination, and relieves a ship which, having been three or four
  years on active service is, or ought to be, in a high state of
  efficiency; but on its arrival in England it is dismantled, the
  officers and crew are paid off and discharged, and we thus proceed,
  on the plan of perpetually creating and as perpetually destroying,
  what we have with so much labour and expense endeavoured to
  obtain--an effective ship of war."[8]

Captain Plunkett adds his valuable testimony to the same effect:--

  "Voluntary enlistment may be considered entirely inapplicable to
  cases of emergency. There are no means of calculating how long
  ships would be manning, if, as would necessarily happen in cases of
  emergency, their crews were not increased by men recently paid off
  from other ships. In peace, there are usually _as many ships_ paid
  off as commissioned in a year; and thus the men who leave one ship
  join another. But, even with this aid, the average time occupied
  by general line-of-battle ships in completing their crews, we find
  to have been above five months. In 1835-6, when we commissioned
  several ships of line at once, they were _six months waiting for
  seamen, and were then very ill manned_. We may safely suppose
  that, were ten sail of the line commissioned at this moment, and
  did circumstances not admit of paying others off, we should not
  see them manned in less than _eight_ months. We may therefore say
  that, for any case of emergency, simple volunteering will fail,
  _as it always has failed_. We may expedite the material fitting
  of a fleet; we may move ships about our harbours, put their masts
  in, and call them 'demonstration' or 'advance ships!' we may even
  fit them for sea--for the dockyard men can do all that--but, when
  fitted, _there they must remain_ for months waiting for seamen.
  Foreign powers are quite aware of this, for it is the duty of
  their consuls at our ports to inform their governments, and they
  must laugh at the demonstration by which John Bull plays a trick
  upon--HIMSELF!

  "It is a matter of official avowal, and, we may add, of personal
  and painful recollection, that, in 1840, we were unable to collect
  a few hundred seamen to make a show of preparation.... When England
  was vainly trying to scrape together a few hundred seamen, France
  had (in _compagnies permanentes_) upwards of 3000 ready in the
  Atlantic ports, and probably not less at Toulon.

  "It is a fact as surprising as it is discreditable to England, that
  _Russia could send thirty sail of the line to sea before England
  could send three_.

  "It is scarcely an exaggeration to say, we might _build_ a ship in
  the time required to _man_ one."

We add not a word of comment on these admirable passages. Further
illustration were worse than useless, after such words coming from such
quarters.

It is often said that all fears of invasion are ridiculous, after the
failure of Napoleon, who had 130,000 of the finest troops in the world
to effect it. The _Times_, with its usual ability, makes the most
of this argument. We accept the challenge: and, if we are not much
mistaken, that able journal will have no reason to congratulate itself
on having referred to that period for support of its argument:--

1. The regular land forces of France at that period were 450,000 men:
about the same as they are now. But now that Power has, in addition,
2,000,000 well-trained National Guards in arms, which, by rendering
her territory wellnigh unassailable, leaves her whole regular force
available for foreign expedition.

2. England had then 160,000 regular troops on foot, including 30,000
of the army of reserve, raised in the preceding years, of whom about
100,000 were in the British Islands. In 1808, the Duke of York reported
to Government that, without detriment to any necessary home service,
60,000 regulars could be spared for the Peninsula; and in 1809 she had
80,000 in active warfare--viz., 40,000 at Walcheren, 30,000 in Spain,
and 10,000 in Sicily.

3. In addition to this, she had 80,000 militia, quite equal to troops
of the line, in Great Britain and Ireland, besides 300,000 volunteers
in arms, tolerably drilled and full of spirit.

4. She had 83 ships of the line in commission, and 230 in all the royal
dockyards, and 508 vessels of war bore the royal flag.

5. She had a system of impressment in active operation, which in
effect gave the Admiralty the command, on an emergency, of the whole
sailors in the mercantile navy of Great Britain, as they successively
came into harbour: and the magnitude of the royal navy was such, and
its attractions--especially the hopes of prize-money and glory--so
powerful, that the sailors of the fleet were as much a _standing force_
as Napoleon's grenadiers.

6. Austria and Russia were then in close alliance, offensive and
defensive, with Great Britain, and 80,000 Muscovites, under Kutusoff,
were hastening through Poland and Moravia to join 90,000 Austrians, who
were on the Inn, threatening to invade Bavaria.

7. So instant was the danger, and so pressing the approach of a contest
with the two greatest military powers on the Continent, that Napoleon
was obliged to count not only by weeks but _by days_; and he had only
just time enough to close the war, as he himself said, by "a clap of
thunder on the Thames, before he would be called on to combat for his
existence on the Danube."

Such were the circumstances under which Napoleon then undertook his
long meditated and deeply laid project for the invasion and conquest
of Great Britain. His plan was to decoy Lord Nelson away to the West
Indies by a feigned expedition of the combined Toulon and Cadiz
fleets, and for them suddenly to return, join the Ferrol squadron,
pick up those of Rochefort and l'Orient, unite with that of Brest,
and with the united force, which would be sixty sail of the line,
proceed into the Channel, where it was calculated there would only
be twenty or twenty-five to oppose them; and, with this overwhelming
force, cover the embarkation of the 130,000 men whom he had collected
on the coast of the Channel. The plan was not original on the part of
Napoleon, though he had the whole merit of the organisation of the
stupendous armament which was to carry it into execution. The design
was originally submitted, in 1782, by M. de Bouillé to Louis XVI., and
Rodney's victory alone prevented it from being attempted at that time.
France's designs in this respect are fixed and unalterable: they were
the same under the mild and pacific Louis as the implacable Napoleon,
and suggested as ably by the chivalrous and loyal-hearted de Bouillé,
the author of the flight of the Royal family to Varennes, as by the
regicide Talleyrand, or the republican Décrès.[9]

Such was Napoleon's plan, formed on that of M. de Bouillé; and, vast
and complicated as it was, it all but succeeded. Indeed, its failure
was owing to a combination of circumstances so extraordinary that they
can never be expected to recur again; and even these are to be ascribed
rather to the good providence of God, than to anything done by man to
counteract it.

Nelson's fleet of ten line-of-battle ships pursued the combined fleet
of twenty from Cadiz to the West Indies; but they had four weeks
the start of him: and upon arriving there in the beginning of June,
he received intelligence that they had set sail ten days before
for Europe. Instantly divining their plan, he--without losing an
hour--despatched several fast-sailing brigs to warn the Admiralty of
their approach. One of these, the _Curieux_, which bore the fortunes
of England on its sails, outstripped all its competitors, and even
outsailed the combined fleet, so as to arrive at Portsmouth on the 9th
July. Without losing an hour, the Admiralty sent orders by telegraph to
Admiral Calder to join the Rochefort blockading squadron, and stand out
to sea, in order to intercept the enemy on his return to the European
seas. He did so; and with fifteen sail of the line met the combined
fleet of twenty, on the 15th July: engaged them, took two ships of the
line, and drove the fleet back into Ferrol; where, however, he was too
weak to blockade them, as their junction with the squadron there raised
their force to thirty ships of the line.

Though this was a severe check, it did not altogether disconcert
Napoleon. He sent orders to Villeneuve to set sail from Ferrol, and
join the Rochefort and Brest squadrons which were ready to receive
him, and which would have raised the combined fleet to fifty-five
line-of-battle ships, then to make straight for the Channel, where
Napoleon, with one hundred and thirty thousand men, and fifteen hundred
gun-boats and lesser craft, lay ready to embark. On the 21st August,
the Brest squadron, consisting of twenty-one sail of the line, under
Gantheaume, stood out to sea. Every eye was strained looking to the
south, where Villeneuve with thirty-five line-of-battle ships, was
expected to appear. What prevented the junction, and defeated this
admirably laid plan, which had thus obtained complete success so far
as it had gone--for Nelson was still a long way off, his fleet having
been wholly worn-out by their long voyage, and obliged to go into
Gibraltar to refit? It was this: Villeneuve set sail from Ferrol with
29 sail of the line, on the 11th August, but instead of proceeding to
the north--in conformity with his orders--to join Gantheaume off Brest,
HE STEERED FOR CADIZ, which he reached in safety on the 21st of August,
the very day on which he had been expected at Brest, without meeting
with Sir Robert Calder, who had fallen back into the Bay of Biscay. For
this disobedience of orders, Napoleon afterwards brought Villeneuve to
a court-martial, by which he was condemned.

This unaccountable disobedience of orders entirely defeated Napoleon's
scheme, for Austria was now on, the verge of invading Bavaria. He
accordingly at once changed his plan; and, as he could no longer hope
for a naval superiority in the Channel, before the Austrian invasion
took place, directed all his forces to repel the combined Austrian and
Russian forces in Bavaria and Italy. On September 1, his whole army
received orders to march from the heights of Boulogne to the banks of
the Danube. On the 20th October, Mack defiled, with thirty thousand
men as prisoners before him, on the heights of Ulm; and on the day
after--October 21--Nelson defeated Villeneuve at Trafalgar, took
nineteen ships of the line, and ruined seven more. Between that battle
and the subsequent one of Sir R. Strachan, thirty ships of the line
were taken or destroyed; all hope of invasion for the remainder of the
war was at an end; and "ships, colonies, and commerce" had irrevocably
passed to Napoleon's enemies.

Such was the extraordinary and apparently providential combination
of circumstances which defeated this great plan of Napoleon for the
invasion of this country--a plan which, he repeatedly said, was the
best combined and most deeply laid of any he had ever formed in his
life. Its failure was owing to accident, or some overruling cause which
cannot be again relied on. Had the _Curieux_ not made the shortest
passage ever then known, from Antigua--twenty-four days; had Villeneuve
reached the Channel unexpectedly on the 20th or 21st July, as he would
have done but for its arrival--had he even sailed for Brest on the
11th August, as ordered, _instead of to Cadiz_, the invasion would in
all human probability have taken place. What its result would have
been is a very different question. With a hundred and eighty thousand
regular troops and militia in arms in the British Islands, besides
three hundred thousand volunteers, the conflict must at least have
been a very desperate one. But what would it be now, when the French
and Russians have greater land forces to invade us; when their naval
superiority, at least in the outset of the contest, would be much more
decisive; and, with a much more divided and discontented population
at home, we could only--at the very utmost--oppose them with fifty
thousand effective men in both islands, in the field.

It is often said by persons who know nothing of war, either by study or
experience, that "if the French invaded us, we would all rise up and
crush them." Setting aside what need not be said to any man who knows
anything of the subject--the utter inadequacy of an unarmed, untrained,
and undisciplined body of men, however individually brave, to repel the
attack of a powerful regular army--we shall by one word settle this
matter of the nation rising up. It would rise up, and we know what it
would do. The _most influential part of it, at least in the towns, who
now rule the state, would run away_. We do not mean run away from the
field; for, truly, very few of those who now raise the cry for economy
and disarming would be found there. We mean they would counsel, and,
in fact, insist on submission. Many brave men would doubtless be found
in the towns, and multitudes in the country, who would be eager at the
posts of danger; but the great bulk of the wealthy and influential
classes, at least in the great cities, would loudly call out for an
accommodation on any terms. They would surrender the fleets, dismantle
Portsmouth and Plymouth, cede Gibraltar and Malta--_anything to stop
the crisis_. They would do so for the same reason that they now so
earnestly counsel disbanding the troops and selling the ships of the
line, and under the influence of a much more cogent necessity--in
order to be able to continue without interruption the making of money.
Peace, peace! would be the universal cry, at least among the rich
in the towns, as it was in Paris in 1814. There would be no thought
of imitating the burning of Moscow, or renewing the sacrifice of
Numantia. The feeling among the vast majority of the manufacturing
and mercantile classes would be--"What is the use of fighting and
prolonging so terrible a crisis? Our workmen are starving, our harbours
are blockaded, our trade is gone, we are evidently overmatched; let
us on any terms get out of the contest, and sit quietly on our cotton
bags, to make money by weaving cloth for our conquerors."

We have said enough, we think, to make every thoughtful and impartial
mind contemplate with the most serious disquietude the prospect which
is before us, under our present system of cheapening everything,
and, as a necessary consequence, reducing the national armaments to
a pitiable degree of weakness in the midst of general hostility, and
the greatest possible increase of available forces on the part of all
our neighbours, rivals, and enemies. But let us suppose that we are
_entirely wrong_ in all we have hitherto advanced--that there is not
the slightest danger of an invasion or blockade from foreign powers, or
that our home forces are so considerable as to render any such attempt
on their part utterly hopeless. There are three other circumstances,
the direct effects of our present Free Trade policy, any one of which
is fully adequate in no distant period to destroy our independence, and
from the combined operation of which nothing but national subjugation
and ultimate ruin can be anticipated.

The first is the extraordinary and appalling increase which, since Free
Trade was introduced, has taken place in the proportion of the daily
food of our population which is furnished by _foreign states_. Before
the great change in our policy began, the nation had been rendered,
practically speaking, self-supporting. The importation of wheat, for
the five years from 1830 to 1835, was only 398,000 quarters; and
even during the five bad years in succession, from 1836 to 1841, the
average importation was only 1,700,000 quarters. From 1830 to 1840, the
average importation of wheat and flour was only 907,000 quarters.[10]
But since the great change of 1846, the state of matters has been so
completely changed that it is now notorious that, in ordinary years,
the importations cannot be expected to be ever less than 9,000,000
or 10,000,000 quarters of grain, about 5,000,000 quarters of which
consists of wheat.[11] The importation in the single month of July
last, in the face of prices about 42s. the quarter, was no less than
1,700,000 quarters of all sorts of grain;[12] and in the month ending
November 5, with prices about 39s. 9d. the quarter of wheat, the
importation was:--

                      Quarters.
  Wheat,               309,162
  Other grain,         181,753
  Indian corn,          36,412
  Flour and meal,      194,700
                       -------
                       721,657

--Price, 39s. 9d. quarter of wheat.

The average of prices for the last twelve weeks has been 39s. 9d. the
quarter; but the importation goes on without the least diminution, and
accordingly the _Mark Lane Express_ of December 28, 1850, observes,--

  "In the commencement of the year now about to terminate, an opinion
  was very prevalent that prices of grain (more especially those of
  wheat) had been somewhat unduly depressed; and it was then thought
  that, even with Free Trade, the value of the article would not for
  any lengthened period be kept down below the cost of production
  in this country. The experience of the last twelve months has,
  however, proved that this idea was erroneous; for, with a crop
  very much inferior to that of 1849, quotations have, on the whole,
  ruled lower, the average price for the kingdom for the year 1850
  being only about 40s., whilst that for the preceding twelve months
  was 44s. 4d. per quarter. This fact is, we think, sufficient _to
  convince all parties that, so long as the laws of import remain
  as they now stand, a higher range of prices than that we have had
  since our ports have been thrown open cannot be safely reckoned
  on_. The experiment has now had two years' trial; the first was
  one in which a considerable failure of the potato crop took place
  in England and Ireland; and this season we have had a deficient
  harvest of almost all descriptions of grain over the whole of Great
  Britain. If, under these circumstances, foreign growers have found
  no difficulty in furnishing supplies so extensive as to keep down
  prices here at a point at which farmers have been unable to obtain
  a fair return for their industry and interest for the capital
  employed, we can hardly calculate on more remunerating rates during
  fair average seasons. Under certain combinations of circumstances
  prices may, perhaps, at times be somewhat higher; but viewing the
  matter on the broad principle, we feel satisfied that, with Free
  Trade, the producers of wheat will rarely receive equal to 5s. per
  bushel for their crop."

Accordingly, so notorious has this fact become, and so familiar have
the public become with it, that it has become a common-place remark,
which is making the round of all the newspapers without exciting any
attention, that the food of 7,000,000 of our people has come to depend
on supplies from foreign countries. In fact a much larger proportion
than this, of the wheaten food of the country, comes from abroad;
for the total wheat consumed in Great Britain and Ireland is under
15,000,000 quarters, and the importation of wheat is from 4,000,000 to
5,000,000 quarters, which is about a third. And of the corresponding
_decrease_ in our own production of grain, a decisive proof has been
afforded by the decline since 1846 in wheat grown in Ireland, the only
part of the empire where such returns are made, which has stood thus:--

               Acres.
  1848,      1,084,000
  1849,        511,000
  1850,        674,000[13]
             ---------

Now, assuming--as experience warrants us in doing--this state of
matters to be permanent, and the growth of wheat in the British Islands
to be progressively superseded by importations from abroad, how is
the _national independence_ to be maintained, when a _fourth of our
people_ have come to depend on foreign supplies for their daily food?
Nearly all this grain, be it recollected, comes from two countries
only--Russia, or Poland which it governs, and America. If these two
powers are desirous of beating down the naval superiority, or ruining
the commerce and manufactures of Great Britain, they need not fit out a
ship of the line, or embark a battalion to effect their purpose; they
have only to pass a _Non-Intercourse Act_, as they both did in 1811,
and wheat will at once rise to 120s. the quarter in this country; and
in three months we must haul down our colours, and submit to any terms
they may choose to dictate.

In another respect our state of dependence is still greater, for we
rest almost entirely on the supplies obtained from a _single_ state. No
one need be told that five-sixths, often nine-tenths, of the supply of
cotton consumed in our manufactures come from America, and that seven
or eight hundred thousand persons are directly or indirectly employed
in the operations which take place upon it. Suppose America wishes to
bully us, to make us abandon Canada or Jamaica for example, she has
no need to go to war. She has only to stop the export of cotton for
six months, and the whole of our manufacturing counties are starving
or in rebellion; while a _temporary_ cessation of profit is the only
inconvenience they experience on the other side of the Atlantic. Can
we call ourselves independent in such circumstances? We might have
been independent: Jamaica, Demerara, and India, _might_ have furnished
cotton enough for all our wants. Why, then, do they not do so? The
mania of cheapening everything has done it all. We have ruined the West
Indies by emancipating the negroes, and then admitting foreign sugar
all but on the same terms as our own, and therefore cotton cannot be
raised to a profit in those rich islands--for _continuous_ labour, of
which the emancipated negroes are incapable, is indispensable to its
production. In the East Indies, the cultivation of cotton has not been
able to make any material progress, because the mania of Free Trade
lets in American cotton, grown at half the expense, without protection.
We have sold our independence, not like Esau, for a mess of pottage,
but for a bale of cotton.

In the next place, the progressive and rapid decrease in our shipping,
and increase of the foreign employed in carrying on our trade, since
the Navigation Laws were repealed, is so great that from that quarter
also the utmost danger to our independence may be anticipated. We need
not remind our readers how often and earnestly we have predicted that
this effect must take place; and we shall now proceed to show how
completely, to the very letter, these prognostics have been verified:--

The shipping returns of the Board of Trade, for the month ending the
5th of November, present the following results:--

TONNAGE FOR THE MONTH ENDING NOV. 5.

  Entered inwards--
                                 1849.       1850.
    British vessels,            370,393     326,058
    United States vessels,       30,677      54,164
    Other countries,             67,733     140,397
                                -------     -------
                                468,803     520,619

--_Times_, Dec. 7, 1850.

The general results for the ten months, from January 1, 1850, when
the repeal of the Navigation Laws took effect, to October 31, are as
follows, and have been thus admirably stated by Mr Young:--

  "In the year 1840, the total amount of tonnage entered inwards,
  in the foreign trade of the United Kingdom, was 4,105,207 tons,
  of which 2,307,367 were British, and 1,297,840 foreign. In 1845,
  the British tonnage had advanced to 3,669,853, and the foreign to
  1,353,735, making an aggregate of 5,023,588 tons. In 1849, the
  British entries were 4,390,375, the foreign 1,680,894--together
  6,071,269 tons. Thus, in ten years, with a growing commerce, but
  under protection, British tonnage had progressively increased
  1,583,008 tons, or 56-1/3 per cent.; and foreign 383,054 tons, or
  29-1/2 per cent. At this point, protection was withdrawn. Free
  navigation has now been ten months in operation, and the following
  is the result:--

  "The aggregate inward entries during the ten months ended the 5th
  of November 1849, were 5,081,592 tons, of which 3,651,589 were
  British, and 1,430,003 foreign. During the corresponding ten months
  ending the 5th of November of the present year, the aggregate
  entries are 5,114,064 tons, the British being 3,365,033, and the
  foreign 1,749,031. Thus, comparing the first ten months after the
  repeal of the Navigation Laws with the corresponding ten months
  of the preceding year, when those laws were in operation, we find
  that British tonnage _has decreased within this brief period no
  less than 286,556, or 8-1/10 per cent, while foreign tonnage has
  increased to the enormous extent of 319,028 tons_, or 22-3/10 per
  cent, the whole entries having advanced only 32,472 tons--thus
  showing that our maritime commerce has not been augmented in any
  appreciable degree by the alteration, but that it has simply
  changed hands. The foreigner has taken what we have madly
  surrendered. I may add, that never was the state, and never were
  the prospects, of shipowners so gloomy. Freights in all parts of
  the world are unprecedentedly low, and, for the first time within
  my recollection, ships are actually returning from the British West
  Indies in ballast.

  "Could I regard the whole subject with less of humiliating
  apprehension for my country, I might derive satisfaction from the
  confirmation of many predictions on which I have formerly ventured,
  afforded by an analysis of the return from which the melancholy
  result I have exhibited is taken. Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Prussia,
  and Germany--countries whose rivalry you have repeatedly derided
  as undeserving of attention--have increased in the ten months
  from 502,454 tons to 796,200 tons, or 58-4/10 per cent. But I
  forbear. While all Europe bristles with bayonets, the loom and the
  spindle seem to be regarded as the chosen defences of this now
  the most unwarlike nation on the face of the earth. Wellington,
  and Ellesmere, and Napier have in vain essayed to arouse England
  to solicitude for her national defences; and till some imminently
  impending alarm shall awaken my countrymen to a sense of the
  insecurity in which they are unconsciously reposing, I almost dread
  they will accept the unworthy advice recently tendered to them by
  the unadorned oracle of Free Trade, to run every risk rather than
  incur any expense. It is thus that, under the illusory expectation
  of the most infinitesimally minute reduction in the freight of
  imported commodities, the hazard of leaving our navy unmanned is
  overlooked or disregarded."

In the single harbour of Liverpool, the decrease of British shipping,
in the year 1850, has been _no less than_ 100,000 _tons_; while the
foreign has swelled from 56,400 to 126,700.[14] If such has been the
result in less than one year, what may be anticipated if the system
continues three or four years longer? It is quite evident that the
foreign tonnage employed in conducting our trade will come to exceed
the British, and then, of course, our independence and maritime
superiority are alike at an end.

The Free-Traders, in answer to this appalling statement, say that the
entries outward exhibit a different and less unfavourable result.
Without referring to the authority of Mr Huskisson, who stated what is
well-known to all men practically engaged with the subject, that the
outward entries afford no correct data for judging of trade returns,
it may be sufficient to remark that the difference is mainly owing, in
the present instance, to the prodigious multitude of our _emigrants_
to America, the shipping employed in conveying whom is estimated
at 240,000 tons. The Free-Traders first, by their final measures,
drive some 300,000 of our industrious inhabitants out of the country
annually, in quest of the employment which they have lost at home, and
then they rest on the tonnage required to convey them away, in order to
conceal the effect of Free Trade in shipping on our mercantile marine!
They are welcome to the whole benefit which they can derive from the
double effect of Free Trade, first on our people, and then on our
shipping.

These considerations become the more forcible when it is considered, in
the third place, what immediate and imminent risk there is that either
our principal colonies will ere long declare themselves independent,
or that they will be abandoned without a struggle by our Free-Trade
rulers. Now, the tonnage between Great Britain and Canada is about
1,200,000 tons, and to the West Indies somewhat above 170,000. Fourteen
hundred thousand British tons are taken up with our trade to these _two
colonies alone_; and if they become independent states, that tonnage
will, to the extent of more than a half, slip from our grasp--as
they have the materials of shipbuilding at their door, which we have
not. Eight or nine hundred thousand tons will by that change at once
be severed from the British Empire and added to the foreign tonnage
employed in carrying on our trade, which is now about 2,200,000 tons.
That will raise it to above 3,000,000 tons, or fully a half of our
whole tonnage, foreign and British--which is, in round numbers, about
6,000,000 tons. The intention of Government to abandon our colonies
to themselves has been now openly announced. Earl Grey's declaration
of his resolution to withdraw all our troops, except a mere handful,
from Australia, is obviously the first step in the general abandonment
of the colonies to their own resources, and, of course, their speedy
disjunction from the British Empire. As the separation of Canada and
the West Indies is an event which may ere long be looked for--not less
from the universal discontents of the colonies, who have lost by Free
Trade their only interest in upholding the connection with the British
Empire, than from the growing disinclination of our Free Trade rulers
to continue much longer the burdens and expense consequent on their
government--it is evident that, the moment it happens, the foreign
ships employed in carrying on our trade will outnumber the British.
From that moment the nursery for our seamen, and with it the means of
maintaining our maritime superiority and national independence, are
at an end. And as this separation will, to all human appearance, take
place the moment that we are involved in a European war--which, with
the aggressive policy of our Foreign Minister, may any day be looked
for--this is perhaps the most immediate and threatening danger which
menaces the British Empire.

When the magnitude and variety of the perils which Free Trade and the
cheapening system have brought upon the British empire are taken into
consideration, it may appear extraordinary that the foreign powers,
_who are perfectly aware of it all_, do not at once step forward and
secure for themselves the rich prize which we so invitingly tender to
their grasp. But the reason is not difficult to be discerned. They know
what England once was, and they see whither, under the new system, she
is tending. They anticipate our subjugation, or at least our abrogation
of the rank and pretensions of an independent power, at no distant
period, from our own acts, without their interfering in the matter at
all. They are fearful, if they move too soon, of committing the same
fault which the Pope has recently done, on the suggestion of Cardinal
Wiseman. They are afraid of opening the eyes of the nation, by any
overt act, to the dangers accumulating around them, before it is so
thoroughly debilitated by the new system that any resistance would be
hopeless, and therefore will never be attempted. They hope, and with
reason, to see us ruined and cast down by our own acts, without their
firing a shot. Their feeling is analogous to Napoleon's on the morning
of the battle of Austerlitz, when the Allies were making their fatal
cross-march in front of the heads of his columns, and exposing their
flank to his attack. When urged by his generals to give the signal for
an immediate advance, he replied--"Wait! when the enemy is making a
false movement, which will prove fatal if continued, it is not our part
to interrupt him in it."

What, then, is the advantage which the Free-Traders have to set off
against these obvious and appalling dangers, past, present, and to
come, with which their policy is attended? It is this, and this
only--that the manufacturing towns are prosperous, and that our exports
are increasing. They point with exultation to the following statement:--

  "The aggregate value of our exports, during the first ten months of
  the present year, has been L.55,038,206, against L.49,398,648 in
  the like period of 1849, showing an increase of L.5,639,558, which
  has occurred in the following order:

                  Increase.    Decrease.
                      £            £
  Month ending
  February 5,      858,285         --
  March    5,      556,746         --
  April    5,      418,089         --
  May      5,    1,398,232         --
  June     5,    1,604,623         --
  July     5,      427,090         --
  August   5,         --       334,858
  Sept.    5,         --       279,961
  Oct.    10,      807,742         --
  Nov.     5,      183,570         --

  --_Times_, Nov. 10."

Now, let it be supposed that this increase, which will amount to less
than L.7,000,000 in our exports in the whole year, is all to be set
down to the credit of Free Trade. Let us suppose that Californian gold,
which has given so unparalleled a stimulus to America, and the lowering
the discounts of the Bank of England to 2-1/2 per cent--which has
done so much, as it always does, to vivify industry and raise prices
at home--and the pacification of Germany by Muscovite influences or
bayonets, which have again, after the lapse of two years, opened the
Continental markets to our produce, have had nothing at all to do with
this increase in our exports,--what, after all, does it amount to, and
what, on striking the balance of profit and loss of Free Trade, has the
nation lost or gained by its adoption?

It has increased our exports by L.7,000,000 at the very utmost; and as
the total produce of our manufactures is about L.180,000,000, this is
an addition of _a twenty-fifth part_. It has made four or five hundred
thousand persons employed in the export manufactures prosperous for
the time, and increased, by five or six hundred thousand pounds in
the last year, the incomes of some eighty or a hundred mill-owners or
millionnaires.

_Per contra._ 1. It has lowered the value of agricultural produce
of every kind fully twenty-five per cent, and that in the face of a
harvest very deficient in the south of England. As the value of that
produce, prior to the Free-Trade changes, was about L.300,000,000
a-year, it has _cut L.75,000,000 off the remuneration for agricultural
industry over the two islands_.

2. It has cut as much off the funds available to the purchase of
articles of our manufacture in the home market; for if the land, which
pays above half the income tax, is impoverished, how are the purchasers
at home to find funds to buy goods?

3. It has totally destroyed the West Indies--colonies which, before
the new system began, raised produce to the value of L.22,000,000, and
remitted at least L.5,000,000 annually, in the shape of rent, profits,
and taxes, to this country.

4. It has induced such ruin in Ireland, that the annual emigration,
which chiefly comes from that agricultural country, last year (1849)
reached 300,000 souls, and this year, it is understood, will be still
greater.[15] This is as great a chasm in our population as the Moscow
retreat, or the Leipsic campaign, made in that of France; but it
excites no sort of attention, or rather the pressure of unemployed
labour is felt to be so excessive, that it is looked on rather as a
blessing. The _Times_ observes, on January 1, 1851:--

  "We see the population of Ireland flowing off to the United
  States in one continuous and unfailing stream, at a rate that in
  twenty years, if uninterrupted, _will reduce them to a third of
  their present numbers_. We see at the same time an increasing
  emigration from this island. England has so long been accustomed
  to regard excess of population as the only danger, that she will
  be slow to weigh as seriously as perhaps she ought _this rapid
  subtraction of her sinew and bone, and consequent diminution of
  physical strength_. It is impossible, however, that so considerable
  a change should be attended with unmixed advantage, or that
  human forethought should be able to compass all the results. The
  census of next spring may invite attention to a subject, the very
  magnitude of which may soon command our anxiety."

5. It has totally ruined the West Highlands of Scotland, which depend
on two staples--kelp and black cattle--the first of which has been
destroyed by free trade in barilla, and the second ruined by free trade
in cattle, for the benefit of our manufacturing towns, and sent their
cottars in starving bands to Glasgow, already overwhelmed by above
L.100,000 a-year of poor-rates.

6. It has so seriously affected the internal resources of the country,
that, with a foreign trade prosperous beyond what has been seen since
1845, the revenue is only L.165,000 more than it was in the preceding
year, which was one of great depression; and the last quarter has
produced L.110,000 less than the corresponding quarter of 1849.

7. It has so lowered the _incomes_ of people in the country, that
although the number of travellers by railways has greatly increased,
and the total receipts of the lines have been swelled by L.1,700,000
since last year, the mileage _has decreased_-proving, that the
_general_ traffic of the country bears no adequate proportion to its
railway lines. It stands thus,--

                               1849.     1850.

  Mileage on 6257 miles,      L.2302    L.2247

  --_Times._

which is a _fall_ of L.55 a mile in the midst of our boasted prosperous
export trade.

Such are the _advantages_, in consideration of which the nation has
embarked on a course of policy which so evidently, and in so many ways,
threatens our independence. It is class government which has done it
all--the determination to make the sovereign worth two sovereigns, and
a day's labour to the poor man worth one shilling to him instead of
two, which has induced dangers in every quarter, which threaten the
existence of Great Britain. Why is it that we are constrained--though
Government are perfectly aware of the danger, and the Duke of
Wellington has repeatedly pointed it out--to have a military and naval
force evidently incommensurate to the wants of our vast empire, and
unable to defend it from the hostility which our foreign policy does
so much to provoke? Simply because we have surrendered the government
of the country to a moneyed oligarchy, who are resolved, _coute qui
coute_, to cheapen everything, because it enhances the value of their
realised wealth, and because the measures of that oligarchy have cut
down Queen Victoria's income from £100,000,000--as it might have been,
and _is now, in real weight upon the country_[16]--to £50,000,000;
just as they have reduced the income of the poor needlewomen from
9d. a-day to 4-1/2d. Why is it that we are constrained, openly and
avowedly, to abandon our colonies to their own resources? Only because
the cheapening system and Free Trade have so paralysed and weakened our
resources, that, like the Romans, if we would protect at all the heart
of the empire, we must forthwith abandon its extremities.

Why are we evidently and undeniably losing the empire of the seas, by
the rapid and portentous increase of the foreign and decline of the
English shipping, in carrying on our own trade? Only because freights
must, it is thought, be cheapened as well as everything else; and the
independence of the country is a trifling consideration to a fall of
a farthing in the pound, in the transport of some articles, for the
benefit of the Manchester trader. Why are the West Indies utterly
ruined, and the annual importation of slaves into Cuba and Brazil
doubled,[17] and discontent so universally spread through our colonies,
that beyond all doubt, in the first reverse, they will break off from
the mother country, if not previously thrown off by it? Merely to carry
out the dogma of Free Trade, and lower sugar, watered by the blood of
the slaves, a penny or twopence a pound to the British consumer. Why
have we brought 7,000,000 of our people, in three years, to depend for
their daily food on foreign supplies, and put ourselves entirely at
the mercy of the _two states_ from which nearly all that food comes?
Only to enrich the Manchester manufacturers, and appease the cry for
cheap bread, by enabling them to beat down the wages of labour from
1s. 6d. to 1s. a-day. Why are poor-rates--measured in the true way,
by quarters of grain--heavier in this year of boasted prosperity than
they were in any former year of admitted adversity? Because, in every
department of industry, we have beat down native by letting in a flood
of foreign industry. Why are 300,000 industrious citizens annually
driven into exile, and Ireland threatened with a depopulation the most
rapid and extraordinary which has been witnessed in the world since
the declining days of the Roman empire? Because we would lower wheat
from 56s. to 39s. a quarter; and thereby we have extinguished the
profits of cultivation in a portion of our empire containing 8,000,000
of inhabitants, but so exclusively agricultural that its exports
of manufactures are only £230,000 a-year. It is one principle--the
cheapening system--devised by the moneyed and manufacturing oligarchy,
and calculated for their exclusive benefit, which has done the whole.

Is there, then, no remedy for these various, accumulating, and most
threatening evils? Must we sit down with our hands across, supinely
witnessing the progressive dangers and certain ultimate destruction of
the empire, merely because the measures inducing all these perils are
supported by the moneyed and manufacturing oligarchy who have got the
command of the House of Commons? We are far from thinking that this
is the case; but if we would avert, or even mitigate our dangers, we
must set ourselves first to remedy the most pressing. Of these, the
most serious, beyond all question, are to be found in our unprotected
state,--for they may destroy us as a nation in a month, after some
fresh freak of Lord Palmerston's has embroiled us with some of the
great European powers. In regard to other matters, and the general
commercial policy, the danger, though not the less real, is not so
immediate, and experience may perhaps enlighten the country before
it is too late. But it is otherwise with our external dangers: they
are instant and terrible. The means of resisting them are perfectly
simple--they will be felt as a burden by none; on the contrary, they
are calculated, at the same time that they provide for our national
defence, to mitigate the greater part of the domestic evils under which
the people labour.

Government tell us that they have a surplus of L.3,000,000 this year in
their hands. We hope it is so, and that it will not prove, like other
surpluses, greater on paper than in reality. But let it be assumed that
it is as large as is represented. _That surplus, judiciously applied,
would save the country!_ It would raise our armaments to such a point
as, with the advantages of our insular situation, and long-established
warlike fame, would prevent all thoughts of invasion on the part of
our enemies. It would give us 100,000 regular troops, with those we
already have--100,000 militia, occasionally called out--and 25 ships
of the line, with those already in commission, to defend the British
shores. It is true, the continuance of the Income Tax cannot be relied
on--nor should the country submit to it any longer; for a tax which is
paid exclusively by 147,000 persons out of 28,000,000, is so obviously
unjust, that its further retention is probably impossible. Additional
direct taxation upon the affluent classes is obviously out of the
question, for the chasms made in the incomes of those depending on
land, who pay three-fourths of it, are such that it would prove totally
unproductive. What, then, is to be done to uphold the public revenue
at its present amount, or even prevent its sinking so as to increase
instead of diminishing our helpless and unprotected state? An obvious
expedient remains. Imitate the conduct of America and Prussia, France
and Russia, and all countries who have any regard either to their
national independence, or the social welfare of their inhabitants. Lay
a moderate duty upon all importations, whether of rude or manufactured
articles. In America it is 30 per cent, and constitutes nearly their
sole source of revenue: in Prussia it is practically 40 or 50 per
cent. By this means nearly _half the tax is paid by foreigners_--for
competition forces them to sell the articles taxed cheaper than their
ordinary price, with the addition of the tax. It is spread over so vast
a surface among consumers, that its weight is not felt; being mixed up
with the price of the article sold, its weight is not perceived. We pay
in this way half the taxes of America, Germany, and all the countries
to whom we chiefly export our manufactures. Let us return them the
compliment, and adopt a system which will make them pay the half of
ours. The whole, or nearly the whole, of the Income Tax, which now
produces L.5,400,000 a-year, would by this change be spent in increased
purchases in the home market, and sensibly relieve its sinking state.
This change would at once obviate our external dangers--for it would
enable Government, without sensibly burdening the country, to maintain
the national armaments on such a scale as to bid defiance to foreign
attack. We shall see in our succeeding paper whether it would not, at
the same time, be an effectual remedy, and the only one that would be
practicable, to the most serious part of our domestic evils.

FOOTNOTES:

[3] "We have now lying before us both the printed and manuscript
copy of the petition of a valued friend (the late Rev. W. Howells,
of Long Acre) against the bill for granting to Roman Catholics the
privilege of paralysing the hands and obstructing the labour of
Protestant statesmen. At page 92, in the Memoirs of that eminent man,
published by his friend and executor, Mr Bowdler, our readers will
find that petition speaking with little less than prophetic voice
of the confusion and misery certain to follow a measure which every
Protestant, in proportion to the clearness of his views of Divine
truth, must consider a downright infraction of his allegiance to his
God.

"We quote three of the clauses in the petition alluded to, and we ask
whether the fears therein expressed have not been fulfilled to the very
letter:--

"'That the concession of the elective franchise has not only multiplied
the crimes and aggravated the miseries of Ireland, but shaken likewise
the very foundation of the glorious British constitution, the majority
of Irish votes being virtually at the disposal of a demoralising,
disloyal, turbulent, and traitorous priesthood.

"'That the concession of the representative franchise would be
productive of further and progressive evils, and enable Romanists
either to prosecute a successful crusade for supremacy, or involve the
country in all the horrors of a civil war.

"'That the grant of the representative franchise would soon introduce
into the British Senate such an influx of members from each side the
Channel, as would, by voting together on all occasions of emergency,
control your honourable house and the other estates of the realm,
DICTATE TO THE MINISTERS OF THE CROWN, AND FORCE THEM INTO ANY MEASURES
they pleased.'"

       *       *       *       *       *

  "LORD ELDON'S PREDICTIONS IN 1829, ON THE THIRD READING OF THE
      ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIEF BILL.

"The following predictions of this venerable nobleman were at the
time sneered at as the senile and effete expressions of a bigoted
octogenarian. What a lesson has he left to those who now hold the
rudder of the state in their hands!--

"'I know that, sooner or later, this bill will overturn the aristocracy
and the monarchy. What I have stated is my notion of the danger to
the Establishment. Have they not Roman Catholic archbishops for every
Protestant archbishop--Roman Catholic deans for every Protestant dean?
Did not the Roman Catholic ecclesiastics dispute against Henry VIII.
in defence of the power of the Pope? and in Mary's time were not the
laws affecting the Roman Catholics repealed, not by the authority of
Parliament, but through the influence of the Pope's legate? And even
though you suppress these Roman Catholics who utter these seditious,
treasonable, abominable, and detestable speeches, others will arise
who will utter speeches more treasonable, more abominable, and more
detestable. No sincere Roman Catholic could or did look for less than
a Roman Catholic king and a Roman Catholic parliament. Their lordships
might flatter themselves that the dangers he had anticipated were
visionary, and God forbid that he should say, that those who voted for
the third reading of the bill will not have done so conscientiously,
believing that no danger exists or can be apprehended from it. But in
so voting, they had not that knowledge of the danger in which they
were placing the great, the paramount interests of this Protestant
state,--they had not that knowledge of its true interests and
situation, which they ought to have. Those with whom we are dealing
are too wary to apprise you by any indiscreet conduct of the danger to
which you are exposed. When those dangers shall have arrived, I shall
have been consigned to the urn, the sepulchre, and mortality; but that
they will arrive, I have no more doubt than that I yet continue to
exist.'"--_Bell's Life in London_, Dec. 21, 1850.

[4] Sidney Smith.

[5] JAMES'S _Naval History_, vol. i., Appendix.

[6] See _Saxe Gotha Almanac_, 1851, p. 415, 461.

[7] _Almanach de Gotha_, 1851, 466.

[8] ADMIRAL BOWLES' Pamphlet, 1840--_Suggestions for the more speedy
Equipment and better Manning of her Majesty's Navy_.

[9] The Author is in possession of M. de Bouillé's memoir to Louis
XVI., on this subject, in 1782, which is identically the same as
Napoleon afterwards put in execution. He owes this valuable historical
document to the kindness of his esteemed friend, Admiral Sir George
Seymour, who got it in the West Indies, whither a copy of it had been
sent.

[10] PORTER'S _Progress of the Nation_, p. 138, 2d. edition.

[11] "The official returns of the importations of grain, &c., into the
United Kingdom have not yet been completed; but for the eleven months
ending 5th of December 1850, the quantities were--

  Wheat,             3,453,876 qrs.
  Barley,              994,754 ...
  Oats,              1,145,705 ...
  Rye,                  94,078 ...
  Beans,               418,258 ...
  Pease,               167,633 ...
  Maize,             1,240,075 ...
  Flour,             3,286,749 cwts.
                     ---------
    In 11 months     8,610,295

Which is at the rate, with prices at 39s. 9d., of 9,500,000 quarters
a-year."--_Morning Post_, Jan. 7, 1851.

[12] LONDON, WEEK ENDING JULY 12, 1850.

                     ARRIVALS.

                Wheat.    Barley.    Oats.    Malt.
  English,       1,990        50       580     ...
  Irish,          ...       ...       ...      ...
  Foreign,      14,810    10,040    18,110     ...
            Flour, English, 3,140 sacks.

--_Times_, July 17.

[13] Captain Larcom's Report. We quote from memory; but the above
figures are near the truth.

[14] _Quarterly Review_, Jan. 1851, p. 399, note.

[15]

                                   1849.        1850.
  Emigrants from Liverpool,       152,860      174,427



[16] £100,000,000 in quarters of wheat at 80s., 25,000,000 quarters;
£50,000,000 in quarters of wheat at 40s., 25,000,000. So that, after
all our boasted reductions, our taxes are now _thirty per cent_ heavier
than they were in the heaviest year of the war, when they were only
£72,000,000.

[17] See a most admirable pamphlet by Mr Stanley, the worthy inheritor
of his father's genius and patriotic spirit. The slaves imported into
Cuba have increased since 1847 from 23,000 to 50,000.



CURRAN AND HIS CONTEMPORARIES.[18]


A noble land lies in desolation. Years pass over it, leaving its aspect
only more desolate; the barbarian takes possession of the soil, or
the outcast makes it his place of refuge. Its palaces are in ruins,
its chieftains are in the dust; its past triumphs are regarded as the
exaggerations of romance, or the fond fantasies of fable. At length
a man of intelligence and vigour comes, delves into the heart of the
soil, breaks up the mound, throws aside the wrecks of neglect and time,
opens to us the foundations of palaces, the treasure-chambers of kings,
the trophies of warriors, and gives the world the memorials of a great
people in the grave.

All analogy _must_ be imperfect in detail; and we have no desire to
insist on the perfection of our analogy between the Golden Head of the
East, and the little kingdom whose fallen honours are recorded in the
volume before us. But, if Ireland is even now neither the _nominis
umbra_ which the Assyrian empire has been for so many ages, nor the
Irish legislature the heir of the fierce and falcon-eyed council which
sleeps in the sepulchres of Nineveh, there is something of a curious
relationship in the adventurous industry which has so lately exhumed
the monuments of Eastern grandeur, and the patriotic reminiscence which
has retrieved the true glories of the sister country, the examples of
her genius, from an oblivion alike resulting from the misfortunes of
the Land and the lapse of Time.

Nor are we altogether inclined to admit the inferiority of the moral
catastrophe of the Island to the physical fall of the Empire. If there
be an inferiority, we should place it on the side of the Oriental
throne. To us, all that belongs to mind assumes the higher rank; the
soil trodden by the philosopher and the patriot, the birthplace of the
poet and the orator, bears a prouder aspect, is entitled to a more
reverent homage, and creates richer recollections in the coming periods
of mankind, than all the pomp of unintellectual power. There would
be to us a stronger claim in the fragments of an Athenian tomb, or in
the thicket-covered wall of a temple in the Ægean, than in all the
grandeurs of Babylon.

It is now fifty years since the parliament of Ireland fell; and,
in that period, there has not been a more disturbed, helpless, and
hopeless country than Ireland, on the face of the earth. Nor has this
calamity been confined to the lower orders; every order has been
similarly convulsed. The higher professions have languished and lost
their lustre; the Church has been exposed to a struggle for life;
the nobility have given up the useless resistance to difficulties
increasing round them from hour to hour; the landed interest is
supplicating the Court of Encumbered Estates to relieve it from its
burthens; the farmers are hurrying, in huge streams of fugitives, from
a land in which they can no longer live; and the tillers of the ground,
the serfs of the spade, are left to the dangerous teaching of an angry
priesthood, or to the death of mingled famine and pestilence. A cloud,
which seems to stoop lower day by day, and through which no ray can
pierce, at once chills and darkens Ireland.

The author of this important and interesting volume, in a brief
preface, states his object as being that of giving personal sketches
of the leading Irish characters of his time, exactly as they appeared
on the scenes of professional and public life--most of them being his
acquaintance, some his intimates. He concludes by gracefully expressing
his "hope, that the reader will rejoice in a more intimate acquaintance
with them; and that, in endeavouring to _elevate the land of his
birth_, he may make some return for the kindness bestowed on him by
that of his adoption."

Here two objects are announced; and, whether the _first_ was the
elevation of his country by the characters of its eminent men; or,
whether the country was the background for the figures of the national
history-piece, he has given us a work which brings the patriots and
orators of Ireland with singular force before the eye.

His introduction to Curran was sufficiently characteristic. When at
the Temple, he had written a poem on the honours of his country, in
which the great orator of her Bar was named with due admiration. The
popularity of the verses excited the attention of their object, and
the young barrister received an invitation to dine with Curran, then
Master of the Rolls, at the Priory, his villa, a few miles from Dublin.
The appointed hour was five, and it was a matter of importance to be
punctual; for beyond that hour dinner was to wait for no man. His first
view of his host is graphically described. He found him in his avenue.

  "There he was; as a thousand times afterwards I saw him, in a dress
  which you would imagine he had borrowed from his tipstaff; his
  hands in his sides, his face almost parallel with the horizon--his
  under lip protruded, and the impatient step and the eternal
  attitude, only varied by the pause in which his eye glanced from
  his guest to his watch, and from his watch reproachfully to his
  dining-room."

However, it appears that the ominous hour had not struck, and they
dined.

  "I had often seen Curran, often heard of him, often read him,
  but no man ever _knew_ anything about him who did not see him
  at his own table, with the few whom he selected.... It was said
  of Swift, that his rule was, to allow a minute's pause after he
  had concluded, and then if no person took up the conversation
  to recommence. Curran had no conversational _rule_ whatever:
  he spoke from impulse, and he had the art so to draw you into
  a conversation, that, though you felt an inferiority, it was a
  contented one. Indeed, nothing could exceed the urbanity of his
  demeanour."

If this description _could_ be doubted, on the authority of the volume,
it would be amply confirmed by the authority of his time. Curran was
confessedly _the_ wit of the day, and his witticisms were the more
popular from their being, in general, harmless. No man could sting more
keenly where he had a public culprit of his own class to sting, or a
political adversary to combat; but no man was seldomer personal.

Curran's nature was playful. His taste was also _dramatic_, and he was
fond of playing harmless tricks upon his friends. Of this taste Mr
Phillips had a specimen, even on the day of his introduction:--

  "When the last dish had departed, Curran totally confounded me with
  a proposal for which I was anything but prepared. 'Mr Phillips,'
  said he, 'as this is the first of, I hope, your very many visits
  to the Priory, I may as well at once initiate you into the
  peculiarities of the place. You may observe that, though the board
  is cleared, there are no preparations for a _symposium_; it all
  depends on _you_. My friends here generally prefer a _walk_ after
  dinner. It is a sweet evening, but if _you_ wish for wine, say so
  without ceremony.'

  "Even now I can see Curran's star-like eyes twinkling at the
  disappointment no doubt visible in mine. I had heard, and heard
  truly, that he never was more delightful than with half-a-dozen
  friends after dinner over his bottle. The hope in which I had so
  long revelled was realised at last, and here came this infernal
  _walk_, and the 'sweet evening.' Oh, how I would have hailed a
  thunderstorm! But, to say the truth, the sun was shining, and the
  birds were singing, and the flowers were blooming and breathing so
  sweetly on that autumn eve, that, wondering not at the wish of my
  companions, I also voted for 'the walk.'

  "We took the walk, no doubt, but it was only to the _drawing-room_;
  where, over a dessert freshly culled from his gardens, and over
  wines for which his board was celebrated, we passed those hours
  which seemed an era in my life."

All this is very well told, and very amusing in description, and was
very innocent--when all was over. But it was exposed to the chance of
being differently taken, and had but one advantage--that it could not
be repeated on the _individual_.

Curran was born in 1760 at Newmarket, a village in the county of Cork.
His parentage was humble, his father being only the seneschal of the
manor. His mother seems to have been a woman of superior faculties, and
her celebrated son always spoke of her with remarkable deference.

As it was a custom, among the oddities of Ireland, to teach Greek and
Latin to boys who probably were to spend the rest of their lives at the
spade, Curran had what in Ireland was called a classical education,
but which his natural talent turned to better account than one in a
million of those half-naked classicists. It enriched his metaphors
in after life, and enabled him to talk of the raptures of antiquity.
In the Irish University, he shared the fate of other celebrated men.
Swift, Burke, and Goldsmith made no figure in their academic course.
We certainly do not mention this failure to their praise, nor would
they themselves have ever so mentioned it. We can easily conceive,
that in their palmiest days they regretted their waste of time, or
want of industry. Still, they may have found their palliative in the
ungenial nature of the collegiate studies in their day. We should
observe, that those studies have since been more advantageously adapted
to the national necessity, and are of a much more general and popular
description.

But in the last century, the whole _bent_ of the collegiate education
was mathematical: the only road to distinction was Euclid. The value of
mathematics is unquestionable. As a science, it holds its head among
the highest; but as a national education, it is among the most useless.
The mind made for mathematical distinction is as rare as the mind made
for poetic pre-eminence. One might as well make poetry a requisite, in
a national education, as the mastery of mathematics. The plea that they
invigorate the reason is contradicted by perpetual experience. Some of
the feeblest, and even the most fanciful, and of course the silliest,
managers of great principles, have been mathematicians of celebrity.
Napoleon said of Laplace, the first mathematician of his day, to whom
he gave a title and a seat in his Council of State, on the strength of
his scientific renown, that "he could do nothing with him,--that as
a public man he was useless--that his mind was full of his _infinite
littles_." And this is the history of nearly all mathematical minds:
beyond their diagrams, they are among the dullest, most circumscribed,
and most incapable of mankind. The mind of a Newton is not to be
ranged in this class of elaborate mediocrity: he was not the mole,
whose merit consists in seeing his way in the dark by an organ which
is blind in the broad light of nature; he was an eagle, and could
dare the full effulgence of the sun. But this meagre and inapplicable
acquirement was the chosen prize for the whole young mind of educated
Ireland; her mathematical crutch was the only instrument of progress
for all the salient spirits of a nation abounding in the most aspiring
faculties of man, and the quiet drudge who burrowed his way through
Cubics and Surds, or could keep himself awake over the reveries of the
_Meditationes Analyticæ_, was the Coryphæus of the College; while men
passed along unnoted, who were in future years to embody the national
renown.

As Curran's determination was the Irish Bar, he of course made the
customary visit to the English Inns of Court. Here, though his finances
compelled him to live in solitude, he contrived to amuse himself by
that study of which in life he was so great a master--the study of
character. Some of his letters from London are curious indications of
this early tendency of his mind. Curran was by nature a Tory. _All_
men of genius are Tories, until they get angry with the world, or get
corrupt, and sell themselves to Whiggism; or get disgusted, and think
that both parties are equally worthless.

  "Here," says Curran, "every coal-porter is a politician, and vends
  his maxims in public with all the importance of a man who thinks he
  is exerting himself for the public service. He claims the privilege
  of looking as wise as possible, and of talking as loud; of damning
  the Ministry, and abusing the King, with less reserve than he
  would his equal. Yet, little as those poor people _understand the
  liberty_ they so warmly contend for, or of the _measures_ they rail
  against, it reconciles me to their _absurdity_, by considering that
  they are happy, at so small an expense as being _ridiculous_."

This feeling was too true ever to have been changed. The _language_ was
changed, and no tongue could pour out more showy declamation on the
multitude; but, when loosed from the handcuffs of party, no man laughed
more loudly, or sneered more contemptuously, at the squalid idol to
which he had so long bowed the knee.

Another fragment has its value in the illustration of his kindness of
heart:--

  "A portion of my time I have set apart every day for _thinking
  of my absent friends_. Though this is a duty that does not give
  much trouble to many, I have been obliged to confine it, or
  endeavour to confine it, within proper bounds. I have therefore
  made a resolution to avoid any reflections of this sort except in
  their allotted season, immediately after dinner. I am then in a
  tranquil, happy humour, and I increase that happiness by presenting
  to my fancy those I love, in the most advantageous point of view.
  So that, however severely I treat them when they intrude in the
  morning, I make them ample amends in the evening. I then assure
  myself that they are twice as agreeable, and as wise and as good,
  as they really are."

Whether the author of _Tristram Shandy_ would have been a great orator,
if he had begun his career at the Bar, may be a question; but that
Curran could have written admirable _Shandian_ chapters can scarcely be
doubted by those who have observed the exquisite turns of his speeches
from grave to gay; or perhaps even those who now read the few words
which conclude the story of Dr du Gavreau. This man was one of his
casual acquaintances, a French fugitive, who ran away with a Parisian
woman of a different faith. Whether they married or not is dexterously
veiled. The woman died, leaving a daughter; but, whether married or
not, their child would have been illegitimate by the existing laws of
France. The widower had often been pressed by his friends to return to
France, but he determined never to return, where his child would be
stigmatised.

  "I did not know the particulars," says Curran, "till a few days
  since, when I breakfasted with him. He had taken his little child
  on his knee, and, after trifling with her for a few moments,
  burst into tears. Such an emotion could not but excite, as well
  as justify, some share of curiosity. The poor Doctor looked as
  if he were conscious I felt for him, and his heart was too full
  to conceal his affliction. He kissed his little '_orphan_,' as
  he called her, and then endeavoured to acquaint me with the
  lamentable detail. It was the hardest story in the world to be
  told by a man of delicacy. He felt all the difficulties of it: he
  had many things to palliate, some that wanted to be justified; he
  seemed fully sensible of this, yet checked himself when he slided
  into anything like defence. I could perceive the conflict shifting
  the colours of his cheek, and I could not but pity him, and admire
  him for such an embarrassment. Yet, notwithstanding all this, he
  sometimes assumed all the gaiety of a Frenchman, and is a very
  entertaining fellow."

In all these breaks of the story, and touches of feeling, who but must
recognise the spirit of Sterne?

The volume is a grave volume, and treats of high things with equal
grace and gravity; but Curran was an eccentric being, and his true
history must always be mingled with the comic.

  "I have got acquainted," he says, "with a Miss Hume, who is also
  an original in her way. She is a relation of the celebrated David
  Hume, and, I suppose on the strength of her kindred, sets up for
  a politician as well as a _sceptic_. She has heard his Essays
  recommended, and shows her own discernment, by pronouncing them
  _unanswerable_, and talks of the famous Burke by the familiar
  appellation of _Ned_. Then she is _so_ romantic, _so_ sentimental!
  Nothing for _her_ but goats and purling streams, and piping
  shepherds. And, to crown all, it sings like a nightingale. As
  I have not the best command of my muscles, I always propose
  putting out the candles _before_ the song begins, for the greater
  romanticality of the thing."

Then, as to his relaxations--

  "You will perhaps be at a loss to guess what kind of amusement I
  allow myself: why, I'll tell you. I spend a couple of hours every
  night at a coffee-house, where I am not a little entertained with
  a group of old politicians, who meet in order to debate on the
  reports of the day, or to invent some for the next, _with the
  other business_ of the nation! Though I don't know that society
  is the characteristic of this people, yet politics are a certain
  introduction to the closest intimacy of coffee-house acquaintance.
  I also visit a variety of ordinaries and eating houses, and they
  are equally fertile in game for a character-hunter. I think I have
  found out the cellar where Roderick Random ate shin of beef for
  threepence, and have actually drunk out of the identical quart
  which the drummer squeezed together when poor Strap spilt the broth
  on his legs."

He visited Hampton Court, and though he seems to have passed through
its solemn halls and stately galleries without peculiar remark, he
seized on his _game_ of living character.

  "The servant who showed us the splendid apartments seemed to be a
  good deal pleased with his manner of explaining a suite of tapestry
  representing the Persian war of Alexander. Though a simple fellow,
  he had his lesson well by rote, and ran over the battles of Issus,
  Arbela, &c., with surprising fluency. 'But, where is Alexander?'
  cries Apjohn, (a young fellow-student, who had accompanied him.)
  'There, sir, at the door of Darius's tent, with the ladies at his
  feet.' 'Surely,' said I, '_that_ must be Hephæstion, for he was
  mistaken by the Queen for Alexander.' 'Pardon me, sir, _I hope I
  know Alexander better than that_.' 'But, which of the two do you
  think the greater man?' 'Greater!--bless your soul, sir, they are
  both dead these _hundred years_.'"

Curran's observation on this official, or, as he would probably have
called it, _ministerial_ blunder, exhibits, even in these early days of
his mind, something of the reflective spirit which afterwards gave such
an interest to his eloquence.

  "Oh, what a comment on human vanity! There was the marrow of a
  thousand folios in the answer. I could not help thinking at the
  instant, what a puzzle that mighty man would be in, should he
  appear before a committee from the Temple of Fame, to claim those
  laurels which he thought so much of, and to be opposed in his
  demands, though his competitor were Thersites, or the fellow who
  rubbed Bucephalus's heels!"

All this is showy if not new; yet, in defiance even of Curran's
authority, its argument is practically denied by all human nature. What
man ever acts _for_ the praise of posterity alone? Present impulses,
excited by present rewards, are the law of the living; and Alexander
charging through the Granicus, and sweeping the royal Persian cavalry
before him, had probably a heart as full of the most powerful impulses,
as if he could have assured himself of the inheritance for ten thousand
years of the plaudits of the globe. We are also to remember, that he
_has_ inherited the great legacy of fame, to this hour--that, to the
minds of all the intelligent, he is still the hero of heroes; that
clowns are not the clients of memory, or the distributors of renown;
and that the man whose history has already survived his throne two
thousand years, has exhibited in himself all the distinction between
the perishableness of power and the immortality of fame.

In 1775 Curran returned to Ireland, and after anxiously pondering on
the chances of abandoning Europe, and seeking fortune in America, as
other eminent men--Edmund Burke among the number--had done before him,
he fixed his fates at home.

This portion of the subject begins with a high panegyric on the
difficult but attractive profession into which Curran now threw
himself, without income, connection, or friend:--

  "It is not to be questioned, that to the Bar of that day the people
  of Ireland looked up in every emergency, with the most perfect
  reliance on their talent and their integrity. It was then the
  nursery of the parliament and the peerage; there was scarcely a
  noble family in the land that did not enrol its elect in that body,
  by the study of law and the exercise of eloquence to prepare them
  for the field of legislative exertion. And there not unfrequently
  arose a genius from the very lowest of the people, who won his way
  to the distinctions of the Senate, and wrested from pedigree the
  highest honours and offices of the Constitution."

That the Bar was the first body in the country was incontestible, and
that it often exhibited remarkable instances of ability is equally
known. But those facts must not be understood as giving the author's
opinion, that perfection lies in the populace. All the _remarkable_
persons of their time in Ireland were men of _education_, many of
birth, and many of hereditary fortune. Grattan was the son of a judge;
Flood a man of old family and estate; Clare, the Chancellor, was the
son of the leader of the Bar, and began the world with £4000 a-year--a
sum probably now equal to twice the amount. The Ponsonbys, the leading
family of Whiggism in Ireland, were among the first blood and fortune
of the land. Hussey Burgh was a man of old family and fortune. The
Beresfords were closely allied to nobility. Plunket and Curran were,
perhaps, those among the leaders the least indebted to the Heralds'
College; but Plunket was the son of a Presbyterian minister, and both
had received the best education which Ireland could give--both were
graduates of the University.

Of course, nature is impartial in the distribution of talents, but the
_true distinction_ is in their _training_. The Radicalism which fills
public life with vulgarity and faction is wholly the work of that
absence of all early training, which must be the fate of men suddenly
gathered from the _manual_ labours of life. We know the necessity of
those labours, but intellectual superiority must be the work of another
school. The men of eminence in Ireland were also men of accomplished
general knowledge, and of classical acquirement, to an amount seldom
found even in the English Legislature. There was not an assembly in
the world where a happy classical quotation, or dexterous reference to
antiquity, would be received with a quicker sense, or a louder plaudit
than in the Irish Parliament.

When the well-known antagonist of the Romish claims, Dr Duigenan, a
stern-looking and singularly _dark-featured_ old man, had one night
made a long and learned speech on the subject, Sir John Doyle wholly
extinguished its effect, by the Horatian line,--

    "Hic _niger_ est, hunc tu _Romane_ caveto."

The House shook with applause, and the universal laugh drove the doctor
from the field.

On another evening, when the prince of jesters, Toler, then a chief
supporter of Government, contemptuously observed, on seeing a smile on
some of the Opposition faces--

    "Dulce est desipere in loco;"

an Opposition member started up and retorted the quotation, by saying,
"That it was much more applicable to the conduct and position of the
honourable member and his friends, and that the true translation was,
'It is mighty pleasant _to play the fool_ in a _place_.'"

The novelty and happiness of the translation disturbed the gravity of
debate for a considerable time.

But those were the gay days of Ireland. Times of keen anxiety,
of daring change, and of social convulsion, were already shaping
themselves to the eye of the patriot, and the true debates on which
the fate of the nation hung were transferred from parliament to the
peasantry, from the council-room to the cabin, from the accomplished
intelligence and polished brilliancy of the legislature to the rude
resentment, fierce recollections, and sullen prejudices of the
multitude. It was on the heath, that Revolution, like Macbeth, met the
disturbing spirits of the land, and heard the "All hail, hereafter."

Curran's rapid professional distinctions were the more remarkable, that
the Irish Bar was aristocratic, to a degree wholly unknown in England.
If it is true, that this great profession often leads to the Peerage,
in Ireland the course was reversed, and the Peerage often derived its
chief honours from its connection with the Bar. The sons of the first
families wore the gown, and the _cedant arma togæ_ was more fully
realised in Ireland than it ever was in Rome.

But few men of condition ever entered the Army; and in a nation of
habitual passion for publicity, and proverbial love of enterprise,
perhaps fewer officers were added to the British service than from the
Channel Islands. This has since been largely changed, and Ireland,
which in the last century but filled up the rank and file, has since
nobly contributed her share to the names which register themselves in
the memory of nations. To Ireland, glorious England and rescued Europe
owe a WELLINGTON!

The Church, the usual province of high families in England, was poor,
feeble, and unpopular in Ireland. With a few positions of great
wealth, all below was barren: livings of vast extent, with a meagre
population, and still more meagre income; Romanism was hourly spreading
with a population, itself spreading until it had nothing to eat, and
embittered against Protestantism until conversion became more than
a hopeless toil--an actual terror. Law was the only instrument of
collecting the clerical income, and the collector and the clergyman
were involved in one common obloquy, and often in one common danger--a
condition of things which must have largely repelled all those who had
the power of choice.

The mitres were chiefly bestowed on the Fellows of English colleges,
and tutors of English noblemen. Every new Viceroy imported a succession
of chaplains, and quartered them all upon the Irish Church. The
majority of those men looked upon their position with the nervous alarm
of settlers in the wilderness, thought only of the common-room of the
colleges from which they had been torn, or of the noble houses in
which they had been installed; and reproached the ill luck which had
given them dignities which only excited popular disgust; and wealth,
from which they could derive no pleasure, but in its accumulation. We
can scarcely wonder that, through almost the whole of the eighteenth
century, the Irish Church lay in a state of humiliation, repulsive
to the public feelings. This, too, has changed; and the Church now
possesses many able men.

Commerce, which plays so vigorous a part in the world, was then a
swathed infant in Ireland, and swathed so tightly by provincial
regulations, that there was scarcely a prospect of its ever stepping
beyond the cradle. Manufactures--that gold-mine worth all the treasures
of the Western World--were limited to the looms of the north; and the
only manufacture of three-fourths of this fine country consisted in the
fatal fabrication of forty-shilling voters.

The Squiredom of Ireland was the favourite profession of busy idleness,
worthless activity, and festive folly. But this profession must have an
estate to dilapidate, or a country to ride over, and English mortgagees
to pamper its prodigality and accelerate its ruin. Gout, the pistol,
broken necks, and hereditary disease, rapidly thinned this class.
Perpetual litigation stood before their rent-rolls, in the shape of
a devouring dragon; and, with a peasantry starving but cheerful, and
with a proprietary pauperised, but laughing to the last, they were
determined, though hourly sinking into bankruptcy, to be ruined like a
_gentleman_.

All those circumstances coming together, made the Bar almost the sole
assemblage of the ability of Ireland. But they also made it the most
daring, dashing, and belligerent body of gentlemen that Europe has
seen. It was Lord Norbury's remark, in his old age, when he reposed on
the cushions of the peerage, had realised immense wealth, and obtained
_two_ peerages for his two sons--that all this came out of fifty
pounds, and a case of pistols, his father's sole present as he launched
him in life. The list of duels fought by the leading members of the
Bar might figure in the returns of a Continental campaign; and no man
was regarded as above answering for a sarcasm dropped in court, by his
appearance in the field.

But we must not, from this unfortunate and guilty habit, conceive
that the spirit of the higher orders of Ireland was deficient in the
courtesies of life. There was a melancholy cause in the convulsions of
the country. The war of William III., which had broken down the throne
of James II., had left many a bitter feeling among the Popish families
of Ireland. Many of the soldiers of James had retired into village
obscurity, or were suffered to retain the fragments of their estates,
and live in that most embittering of all conditions--a sense of birth,
with all the struggles of diminished means. These men indulged their
irritable feelings, or avenged their ruin, by the continual appeal to
the pistol. Always nurturing the idea that the victory had been lost
to them solely by the cowardice of James, they were ready to quarrel
with any man who doubted their opinion; and as their Protestant
conquerors were brave bold men, equally disposed to maintain their
right, and unhesitating in their claim to possess what they had won by
their swords, their quarrels became feuds. Law, which reprobated the
principle, by its laxity established the practice; and when lawyers
led the way, the community followed. Still, there can be no doubt that
duelling is a custom alike contrary to the order of society, and the
_command of heaven_; and, the first judge who hangs a duellist as a
murderer, and sends all the parties engaged in the transaction to the
penal colonies _for life_, will have rendered a signal service to his
country.

While every part of this volume is valuable, for the display of
vigorous writing and manly conception, the more interesting fragments,
to us, are the characters of the parliamentary leaders; because such
men are the creators of national character, the standards of national
intellect, and the memorials to which their nation justly points as the
trophies of national honour.

The Parliament of Ireland is in the grave; but, while the statues
of her public orators stand round the tomb, it must be felt to be
more than a sepulchre. Whatever homage for genius may be left in
the distractions of an unhappy country, must come to kneel beside
that tomb; and if the time shall ever arrive for the national
enfranchisement from faction, the first accents of national wisdom must
be dictated from that sacred depository of departed virtue.

Grattan, the first man in the brightest day of the Irish Parliament,
was descended of an honourable lineage. His father was a barrister,
member of parliament for Dublin, and also its Recorder. He himself
was a graduate of the Irish University, where he was distinguished.
Entering the Middle Temple, he was called to the Irish Bar in 1772.

But his mind was parliamentary; his study in England had been
parliament; and his spirit was kindled by the great orators of the
time. He who had beard Burke and Chatham, had heard the full power
of imaginative oratory--of all oratory the noblest. Grattan had the
materials of a great speaker in him by nature--keen sensibility, strong
passion, daring sincerity, and an imagination furnished with all the
essential knowledge for debate--not overwhelmed by it, but refreshing
the original force of his mind, like the eagle's wing refreshed by
dipping into the fountain, but dipping only to soar. Yet, though almost
rapturously admiring those distinguished men, he was no _imitator_.
He struck out for himself a line between both, and, in some of its
happier moments, superior to either; combining the rich exuberance
of Burke's imagination with Chatham's condensed dignity of thought.
Possessed of an extraordinary power of reasoning, Grattan had the
not less extraordinary power of working it into an intensity which
made it glow; and some of the most elaborate arguments ever uttered
in Parliament have all the brilliancy of eloquence. He continually
_reasoned_, though the most metaphorical of speakers; and this
combination of logic and lustre, though so unusual in others, in _him_
was characteristic. He poured out arguments like a shower of arrows,
but they were all arrows tipped with fire.

Mr Phillips' sketch of him brings Grattan before us to the life:--

  "He was short in stature, and unprepossessing in appearance.
  His arms were disproportionately long. His walk was a stride.
  With a person swaying like a pendulum, and an abstracted air, he
  seemed always in thought, and each thought provoked an attendant
  gesticulation. Such was the outward and visible form of one
  whom the passenger would stop to stare at as a droll, and the
  philosopher to contemplate as a study. How strange it is that a
  mind so replete with grace and symmetry, and power and splendour,
  should have been allotted such a dwelling for its residence! Yet
  so it was, and so also was it one of his highest attributes, that
  his genius, by its 'excessive light,' blinded his hearers to his
  physical imperfections. It was the victory of mind over matter."

It is then stated that, even while at the Temple, he exercised himself
in parliamentary studies, and made speeches in his walks in Windsor
Forest, near which he had taken lodgings, and in his chamber. Of
course, he was supposed to be a little mad:--

  "His landlady observed, 'What a sad thing it was to see the poor
  young gentleman all day talking to somebody he calls Mr Speaker,
  when there was no speaker in the house but himself.' Nor was the
  old lady singular in her opinion. In some few years afterwards, no
  less a man than Edmund Burke wrote over to Ireland, 'Will no one
  stop that madman, Grattan?' Assuredly when Burke himself enacted
  the dagger-scene on the floor of the House of Commons, the epithet
  was more applicable."

We refer to this remark, chiefly to correct a misconception generally
adopted. It has been supposed that Burke, to heighten the effect of
his speech on the discontents then engendering against the State,
actually purchased a dagger, to throw on the floor of Parliament.
This, of course, would have been ridiculous; and it is to do the
common duty of rescuing the fame of a great man from the slightest
touch of ridicule that this explanation is given. One of his friends
(we believe, a member of Parliament) had received, in the course of
the day, from Birmingham, a newly-invented dagger, of a desperate
kind, of which some _thousands_ had been ordered, evidently for the
purpose of _assassination_. Burke, naturally shocked at this proof
of the sanguinary designs spreading among the lower population, took
the weapon with him, to convince those who constantly scoffed at him
as an _alarmist_ that his alarms were true. The whole was a matter
of accident; nothing could be less premeditated; and every hearer of
the true statement will agree that, so far from being a theatrical
exhibition, it was the very act which any rational and manly man would
have done. The time was terrible: revolution threatened every hour.
Jacobinism was hourly boasting that it had the Church and Throne in
its grasp; and, at such a period, the positive statement of a man like
Burke, that thousands (we believe five thousand) of weapons, evidently
made for private _murder_, were actually ordered in one of our
manufacturing towns, and the sight of one of those horrid instruments
itself, was an important call on the vigilance of Government, and a
salutary caution to the country. It is not at all improbable that this
act crushed the conspiracy.

Mr Phillips observes, that when Burke wrote "that madman Grattan,
the _madman_ was contemplating the glorious future; his ardent mind
beheld the vision of the country he so loved rising erect from the
servitude of centuries, 'redeemed, regenerated, and disenthralled' by
his exertions. Nor was that vision baseless--he made of it a proud
and grand reality: her chains fell off, as at the bidding, of an
enchanter."

Grattan's influence in Parliament was felt from his first entrance. But
he earned it in the only way in which even genius can be _permanently_
successful.

  "His industry was indomitable. The affairs of Parliament were
  to be thenceforth the business of his life, and he studied them
  minutely. The chief difficulty in this great speaker's way was the
  first five minutes. During his exordium, laughter was imminent. He
  bent his body almost to the ground, swung his arms over his head,
  up and down and around him, and added to the grotesqueness of his
  manner a hesitating tone and drawling emphasis. Still there was an
  earnestness about him, that at first besought, and, as he warmed,
  enforced--nay, commanded attention."

His first entrance into the British House of Commons is described with
the same graphic effect:--

  "He had said of Flood 'that he forgot that he was an oak of the
  forest, too old and too great to be transplanted at fifty.' And yet
  here he was himself. Whether he would take root was the question,
  and for some moments very questionable it was. When he rose,
  every voice in that crowded House was hushed; the great rivals,
  Pitt and Fox, riveted their eyes upon him; he strode forth and
  gesticulated--the hush became unanimous; not a cheer was heard; men
  looked in one another's faces, and then at the phenomenon before
  them, as if doubting his identity. At last, and on a sudden, the
  indication of the master-spirit came. Pitt was the first generously
  to recognise it. He smote his thigh hastily with his hand--it was
  an impulse when he was pleased--his followers saw it, and knew it,
  and with a universal burst they hailed the advent and the triumph
  of the stranger."

Grattan was sincere, and this sincerity gave at once substance to
his popularity, and power to his eloquence. But, as a politician,
he was rash; and as a prophet, he had to see the failure of all his
predictions. He wielded a torch of exceeding brightness, it is true;
but the torch at once blinded himself and inflamed the nation. His
patriotism was pure, but it wanted practicability. He left no great
measure of public utility behind him. His liberation, as he called
it, of Ireland in 1782, was a showy fiction, to end in the disgrace
of a painful discovery. It was the _liberation_ of a fever to end in
exhaustion; of a dream of opulence and independence, to finish in an
awaking of poverty and despair. Its closest resemblance was to the
late festival at the Hanwell Asylum--an assemblage of lunatics dressed
for the night in feathers and flowers, dancing and feasting, until the
morning light sent them back to their cells, and the drudgery of their
melancholy discipline.

The whole policy of the Whig party in Ireland was the counterpart
of their policy in England, only on a smaller scale. It was, to the
performances of Fox and Opposition here, what the little stage-play in
_Hamlet_ is to the tragedy itself--the same characters and the same
crime performed in imitation of the larger guilt that gazes on it. The
wretched shortsightedness of supporting any demand of the populace
whom they at once deluded and despised; the perpetual agitation to
give the franchise to classes who _must_ use it without the power of
discrimination, and who must be careless of it but for the purposes of
corruption; the reckless clientship of the Popish claims, ending in the
sale of Irish independence by the Papists; the universal conspiracy,
and the sanguinary civil war, followed by the political suicide of the
Parliament--_all_ the direct and rapid results of the Whig policy in
Ireland--show either the headlong ignorance or the scandalous hypocrisy
of Irish faction.

Yet, in all this blaze of fraud and falsehood, the name of Grattan
was never degraded by public suspicion. He was an enthusiast; and his
robe of enthusiasm, like one of the fire-resisting robes of antiquity,
came out only brighter for its passing through the flame. But the
Legislature (all impurities) was left in ashes.

Mr Phillips seems to regret Grattan's transfer to England, as an injury
to his oratorical distinctions. He tells us "that it is in the Irish
Parliament, and in his younger day, that his finest efforts are to be
found!" Reluctant as we are to differ from such an authority, yet,
judging from his _published_ speeches, it appears to us that his powers
never found their right position until they were within the walls of
the British Parliament. These walls shut out the roar of the populace,
which disturbed him, but to which he once must listen. These walls
sheltered him from that perpetual clinging of Popery, which dragged
down his fine tastes to its own level. Within these walls, he was
relieved from the petty interests of partisanship, and raised from the
feuds of an island to the policy of an empire. In Ireland, popularity
required perpetual submission to the caprices of the multitude, and
no man had more fully felt than Grattan the impossibility of taking
a stand on his own principles--he must be either on the shoulders of
the mob, or under their heels. In England, no longer wearied with the
responsibility of leading parties who refused to be guided, or the
disgust of following his inferiors through the dust of their hurried
"road to ruin," he had before him, and embraced with the gallantry of
his nature, the great Cause for which England was fighting--the cause
of human kind. In Ireland, Grattan, with all his intrepidity, would not
have dared to make his magnificent speech on the war with Napoleon,
or, if he had, would have been denounced by the roar of the million.
In England, he was in the midst of the noblest associations; he was
surrounded by all the living ability of the empire; and if genius
itself is to be inspired by the memories of the mighty, every stone of
the walls round him teemed with inspiration.

Thus, if his language was more chastened, it was loftier; if his
metaphors were more disciplined, they were more majestic;--the orb
which, rising through the mists of faction, had shone with broadened
disc and fiery hue, now, in its meridian, assumed its perfect form, and
beamed with its stainless glory.

In recording the remarkable names of this period in Ireland, Mr
Phillips alludes to the celebrated preacher, Dean Kirwan:--

  "He had been a Roman Catholic clergyman, but conformed to the
  Church of England. He was a wonderful orator--one of the greatest
  that ever filled a pulpit; and yet, when injudicious friends,
  after his death, published a volume of his sermons, they were
  scarcely readable. This sounds paradoxical: but it is true. The
  volume is not remembered--those who heard the preacher never can
  forget him. It was my happiness to have the opportunity thrice,
  while a student in the University of Dublin. The church, on
  those occasions, presented a singular, and, in truth, not a very
  decorous spectacle--a bear-garden was orderly compared to it.
  The clothes were torn off men's backs--ladies were carried out
  fainting--disorder the most unseemly disgraced the entire service,
  and so continued till Kirwan ascended the pulpit. What a change
  was there then! Every eye was turned to him--every tongue was
  hushed--all was solemn silence. His enunciation of the Lord's
  Prayer was one of the finest things ever heard. Never before or
  since did mortal man produce such wonderful effect. And yet he had
  his disadvantages to overcome: his person was not imposing; he was
  somewhat wall-eyed; and his voice at times was inharmonious."

We see in this striking portrait the writer _con amore_, and we must
give him due credit for his vivid tribute to Irish ability. But there
are few miracles in this world, and the fact that Kirwan's printed
sermons are wholly inferior to his reputation reduces our wonder within
more restricted bounds. If it is true, that much emotion is lost by
the loss of the actual speaking; that the full power of the oratory is
somewhat diminished by its being calmly read, instead of being ardently
heard; still we have but few instances, perhaps none, where true
oratory altogether loses its power in publication.

For example, Curran's published speeches give the general reader a very
sufficient specimen of the richness of his language, the fertility of
imagination, and even the subtlety of his humour. Grattan's speeches,
most of them mere fragments, and probably few published with his
revision, give the full impression of his boldness of thought, depth
of argument, and exquisite pungency of expression. Burke's printed
speeches are even said to give a higher sense of his wonderful ability
than when they were delivered in the House of Commons. There is an
anecdote that, when Pitt had read one of those earlier speeches in the
form of a pamphlet, he expressed his astonishment. "Is it possible,"
he exclaimed, "that this fine oration _can be_ what we heard the other
night?"

That Kirwan's preaching was attended by immense congregations is
unquestionable; and that his collections were very large is equally
true. But there were circumstances remarkably in favour of both. He
preached but three or four times in the year, and he never preached but
for charities patronised by the highest personages of the land. The
Lord-lieutenant and the principal nobility were generally the patrons
of those especial charities. There was this additional advantage, that
then poor-laws in Ireland were unknown, and public liberality was thus
the more urgently required, and the more willingly exercised. The day
of his preaching was in general an _anniversary_; for which the whole
preceding year was a preparation; and the collection was thus, in a
certain degree, the payment of a rent.

The magnitude of his collections has been the subject of some erroneous
conjectures. On the occasion of his preaching for the families of the
yeomanry who fell in the rebellion of 1798--a memorable and melancholy
occasion, which naturally called forth the national liberality--the
collection was said to have amounted to a thousand pounds. A very large
sum, but it was a national contribution.

Kirwan's style of delivery, too, had some share in his popular
effect--he _recited_ his sermons in the manner of the French preachers;
and the novelty formed a striking contrast to the dreary reading of the
ordinary preachers. He was also fond of lashing public transgressions,
and the vices of high life were constantly the subject of sharp
remarks, which even stooped to the dresses of the women. The nobility,
accordingly, came to hear themselves attacked; and, as all personality
was avoided, they came to be amused.

Still, Kirwan was a remarkable man, and worthy of mention in any volume
which treats of the memorable personages of Ireland.

We wish that we could avoid speaking of his treatment by the Church
dignitaries of his time. While they ought to have received such a
convert with honour, they seem to have made a point of neglecting him.
He was not merely a man of talent in the pulpit, but alike accomplished
in science and elegant literature; for he had been successively
_Professor_ of Rhetoric, and of Natural Philosophy, in (if we recollect
rightly) the College of Louvain, at a time when French Mathematics were
the pride of the Continent.

Yet he never obtained preferment or countenance, and scarcely even
civility, except the extorted civility of fear, from any of the
ecclesiastical heads of Ireland. The dull and common-place men,
with whom it was then customary to fill the Irish Sees, shrank from
one who might have been a most willing, as he must have been a most
able, instrument in reconciling his Papist countrymen to the Church
of England. And, without any other cause than their own somnolent
stupidity, they rendered wholly useless--as far as was in their
power--a man who, in a position corresponding to his ability, might
have headed a New Reformation in Ireland.

Kirwan's only dignity was given to him by the Lord-lieutenant,
Cornwallis, after nearly fifteen years of thankless labour; and it
consisted only of the poor Deanery of Killala, a nook on the savage
shore of Western Ireland. He died soon after, of a _coup-de-soleil_--as
it was observed the natural death of a man of his genius!

But we must break off from this captivating volume. We recollect no
political work in which politics are treated with more manly propriety,
or personal character delineated with more vigorous truth; in which
happier anecdotes abound, or in which the writer gives his own opinion
with more firmness, yet with less offence to public feelings. From
its evident knowledge of Ireland, it could be written by none but an
Irishman; but its sentiments are cosmopolite. If the author sails
under his national flag, still, his bark must be recognised as a noble
vessel, and welcome in any Port of the World.

FOOTNOTES:

[18] _Curran and his Contemporaries._ By CHARLES PHILLIPS, Esq., A.B.,
one of her Majesty's Commissioners in the Court for the Relief of
Insolvent Debtors. 1 vol. 8vo. 1850.



LORD HOLLAND'S FOREIGN REMINISCENCES.[19]


There is no pleasanter kind of reading than a good personal memoir.
Works of this description serve a double purpose; for they not only
convey to us most lively impressions of society, illustrated with
portraits of the most eminent and remarkable men of the time, but,
taken in the aggregate, they furnish the best and most authentic store
of materials available to the future historian. Ponderous or brilliant,
gossiping or grave, according to the peculiar style and idiosyncrasy of
their writers, they have all claims to our notice; and more than one
posthumous reputation has been achieved through compositions such as
these, by men whose other labours have failed to attract the slightest
share of the public notice or approbation.

But even in this light walk of literature, there are certain conditions
which must be observed, in order to excite interest and to insure
success. We expect from the compiler of memoirs a narrative, however
desultory, of what passed before his own observation. He must not
be altogether a reporter at second-hand--a mere relater of stories
or scandals which he has chanced to pick up from others--a dilator,
through simple hearsay, of closet or antechamber gossip. The substance
at least of his tale must be derived from his personal knowledge, else
we have no voucher at all for the authenticity of what he is pleased
to relate. The memoirs, in short, must be his own, not fragments from
those of other people.

The announcement of the publication of a volume of Memoirs or
Reminiscences from the pen of the late Lord Holland could hardly have
failed to stimulate the public curiosity. His known intimacy with many
of the leading characters of the last generation, his near relationship
to the most conspicuous of modern Whig statesmen, his inclination
towards letters--which made him appear the centre of a certain
literary coterie--were all so many distinct pledges for the value of
his literary legacy. True, Byron in his early satire had irreverently
scoffed at the reunions of Holland House, and thrown no slight degree
of ridicule on the fame of that rising academy; but the satire served
at the same time to commemorate the hospitality of the noble Mæcenas.
We observe that a critic in the last number of the _Edinburgh Review_
is still magniloquent on this theme. With the savour of past banquets
still lingering in his nostrils, he manfully declares his intention of
being impartial, nay stern, in the execution of his censorial duty;
and attempts to persuade us, as he is persuaded himself, "that the
very prepossessions which we feel, and have endeavoured to describe,
have been disadvantageous rather than favourable to the author." If
so, the inevitable conclusion must be, that the critic is a monster
of ingratitude. Had he contented himself with simply stating that
no amount of dinners, no extent of hospitalities received, should
influence his judgment one whit in favour of the book, the declaration,
with some due allowance of course for the frailties of human nature,
might have been accepted. But when he tells us that, _because_ he was
a guest at the table of the late Lord Holland, and admitted, as he
insinuates, to his intimacy, his prepossessions are disadvantageous to
the author, he is either writing egregious nonsense, or conveying the
reverse of a compliment.

  "Had the work," says he, "been anonymous, or had it proceeded--like
  many of those innumerable books miscalled histories--from the
  Palais Royal or the quays of Paris, we are inclined to think that
  a more favourable judgment might have been formed of it, than when
  every sentence, nay, almost every line, is weighed against the high
  reputation of the author, and the anticipations of readers _like
  ourselves_."

The majority of the reading public, however, are by no means in
the exalted position of the critic, who, by the way, was under no
obligation whatever to review the book, if, on perusal, he found
its contents fall greatly short of his expectations. What he means
by talking about publications issuing "from the Palais Royal or the
quays of Paris" we cannot exactly divine, unless he wishes us to
understand that the _Foreign Reminiscences_ intrinsically belong to
the same class of writings--an opinion in which we thoroughly agree.
Such twaddle as this is altogether superfluous. The public generally
has no prepossession either the one way or the other. The name of Lord
Holland is known to them as that of a man who moved in a distinguished
sphere of society, and who must, in his own day, have seen much which
was worth narrating. They have no means of weighing his conversation
against his writings; they accept the latter when laid before them, and
will judge of them strictly according to their actual value.

It appears that the present volume constitutes but a small part of
Lord Holland's written Memoirs. The reason why it is given to us at
the present time is set forth in the Preface, which, being short, we
transcribe entire.

  "The recent events on the Continent have induced the editor to
  publish the following pages on foreign politics. The time of which
  this volume treats has already acquired the interest of a long
  past age; and the public will read with pleasure, and perhaps with
  profit, the observations on passing events of a contemporary who,
  if not wholly impartial, is acknowledged by all who knew him to
  have been as candid as he was benevolent.

  "The editor has scrupulously abstained from making the slightest
  verbal alteration in the text or notes. The omission of four
  insignificant sentences is all that he has deemed necessary for
  the immediate publication of what was probably written with the
  intention of not seeing the light so soon."

We must fairly confess that this preface stimulated our curiosity
still further. From it we understood that the _Reminiscences_ were to
have some practical bearing upon the events which have taken place on
the Continent during the last three years--that they would throw some
additional light upon the causes which have led to so many dynastic
convulsions. Our disappointment therefore was proportionably great,
when, on perusing the work, we discovered that not a single page
of it was calculated to assist us in any such researches, and that
even the observations on passing events were of the most meagre and
unsatisfactory description. What especial purpose the publication of
this volume, apart from the remainder of the Memoirs, could serve at
the present, or indeed at any other time, we are wholly at a loss to
conceive. It treats of no topic which has not been long ago exhausted,
contains hardly any personal narrative, and affords us not one single
atom of novel information. As a repertory of anecdotes it is singularly
worthless. We allude to such anecdotes as may be considered authentic,
or at least tolerably so--anecdotes, for example, communicated to the
author by Talleyrand, and one or two other foreign statesmen with
whom, in later years, he was acquainted. But there is another class of
anecdotes, or pseudo-anecdotes, which we cannot pass over even with so
slight a censure. We allude to the revelations of private intrigue,
on which the author dwells with a zest which to us seems peculiarly
offensive. Until we saw this volume, we could not have believed that
one British peer would have penned, and another have published, such a
tissue of scandals, emanating from discarded serving-women and court
menials, and reflecting directly on the honour of some of the first
houses of Europe. We are at no loss to discover where the omissions
mentioned in the preface are made, or what was the nature of the
passages expunged. It would perhaps have been better, where the inuendo
is retained, to have preserved the details, in order that they might
have been strictly tested. It is, we think, no proper concession to
delicacy to find lines of asterisks following a direct charge against
the virtue of Marie Antoinette, or the legitimacy of the Duchess of
York; or to have a page of such mysterious symbols inserted immediately
after the notice of the marriage of Ferdinand VII. of Spain. Lord
Holland should have been allowed to tell his own story, if not in
justice to the memory of the ladies whose chastity is called in
question, at least that we know the true bent of the imagination of
the noble author, and appreciate "that humorous pleasantry, guided by
good sense and wisdom, and raised above vulgar irony or personality,"
which his eulogist in the _Edinburgh Review_ is pleased to claim as
his attributes. It is difficult to understand why, in one case, there
should be an evident suppression, whilst, in another, anecdotes of an
offensive nature, reflecting upon the conduct of a queen, are printed
without the slightest reserve, introduced in the following highly
satisfactory manner:--"A story was current at Madrid, which, _if true_,
would at once prove that the Prince of the Peace was aware of her
infidelities," &c., and followed by this commentary--"the anecdote is,
perhaps, too dramatic to deserve implicit credit." If so, why was it
written down, and why is it now published? The appetite for prurient
details which is a main feature of this book, is perhaps intelligible
when it relates to intrigues notorious to all the world. No man of a
really refined or fastidious mind would have committed these details
to paper, more especially when they bore reference to the family of an
individual with whom he was on something like intimate terms. But the
case is far worse, and can admit of no palliation, when we find the
most infamous charges, which have never been supported by even a shadow
of proof, deliberately revived and repeated against that heroic and
unfortunate lady, Queen Marie Antoinette of France. If the lament of
Burke for the wane of chivalry was felt, not as a brilliant diatribe,
but as a cutting sarcasm at the time when it was first enunciated, how
much more appropriate is it now, when we find that a member of the
British peerage--a man thought to be distinguished for high sentiment
and generous sympathy--did not hesitate to adopt in the solitude of his
closet the shameless inventions of the French revolutionary rabble; and
that these are now given as facts which will not admit of questioning
or denial to the world!

We are extremely glad to observe that the writer in the _Edinburgh
Review_ has had the proper spirit to refute--and he does it most
satisfactorily--this wretched and scandalous attack upon the memory of
a royal lady. It was not perhaps to be expected that he should do more;
but what sort of imputation does his vindication of the Queen leave
upon the character of her assailant? This is not a matter which should
be passed over lightly; and for our part we feel bound to say that we
can conceive no spectacle more pitiable or humiliating, than that of an
old man committing with a palsied hand to paper the prurient rumours
of the past. Had the evidence against Marie Antoinette been ten times
stronger than it was, honour and the feelings of a gentleman should
have deterred any one even from repeating the accusation. But the late
Lord Holland entertained no such scruples. His witness, at second-hand,
is the very woman who wrote _Mémoires sur la Vie Privée de Marie
Antoinette, Reine de France_; and in these memoirs of hers there is not
even an inuendo against the honour of the unfortunate Queen. But Madame
Campan cannot so escape. Lord Holland was determined that she should,
in some way or other, assist in blackening the reputation of her royal
mistress; and accordingly we are treated to the following ingenuous
note:--

  "Madame Campan's delicacy and discretion are not only pardonable,
  but praiseworthy; but they are disingenuous, and her Memoirs
  conceal truths well known to her, though such as would have been
  unbecoming a lady to reveal. She was, in fact, the _confidante_
  of Marie Antoinette's amours. These amours were not numerous,
  scandalous, or degrading, but they _were amours_. Madame Campan,
  who lived beyond the Restoration, was not so mysterious in
  conversation on these subjects as she is in her writings. She
  acknowledged to persons, who have acknowledged it to me, that she
  was privy to the intercourse between the Queen and the Duc de
  Coigny."

And this is evidence upon which we are to condemn Marie Antoinette!
I had it--says this distinct and confident accuser--from other
people, who had it from the waiting-woman, although the waiting-woman
knew better than to write it down! And who were the people "who
acknowledged it to me"--what was their character and station--what
was their repute for credibility? Lord Holland durst not in his
lifetime have said as much of the father or mother of any man of his
acquaintance upon such a pretext for authority. It is altogether the
very worst instance of a wanton attack which we ever remember to have
met with: it has but one parallel in history--the famous warming-pan
legend, by means of which Lord Holland's political predecessors sought
to bastardise the son of James II. But the motive which dictated the
earlier fiction is wanting in the case of the later one.

Let us not be misunderstood. The case stands thus: Lord Holland has
made a grievous charge against the honour of the murdered Queen of
France. He says that he believes that charge to be true, and he states
the grounds of his belief. They are these: A lady, who wrote the
memoirs of her mistress's private life, in which no hint of criminal
conduct appears, told other persons (who are nameless) who told him,
Lord Holland, that the Queen had been guilty of adultery. Far be it
from us to doubt the honour of a British peer. But, rather than doubt
the honour of Marie Antoinette, we should doubt the fact of Lord
Holland having received any such statement from any human being. Who
were the indiscreet friends of Madame Campan that conveyed to his ear
the hitherto undivulged secret? Were they old menials of the French
court--retired waiting-women--confidential lacqueys--or persons who had
the _entrée_ to Holland House? Surely, when the honour of a Queen is
impeached, we are entitled to know the authority. No authority of any
kind is given. On the _ipse dixit_ of Lord Holland rests the entire
substantiation of the charge, and on his memory must lie the stigma of
having revived the gross and unmanly calumny.

We have felt ourselves bound to say this much, because, if stories
of this sort are to be accepted as authentic contributions to
history, there is no imaginable kind of falsehood which may not
be promulgated as truth. Apply the rule to private life, and the
malignity of a discarded butler would be sufficient to taint the best
blood in England. What would we think of memoirs, compiled by some
man of considerable standing and celebrity, and published under the
editorship of his son, which should tell us that the present inheritor
of any noble title was a bastard and an intruder, on such authority
as this--that somebody had told the writer, that somebody else had
told him or her, that she was cognisant of a certain intrigue? Yet
the two cases are much the same. If they differ at all, it is in this
particular, that the original testimony of the "somebody," who in
the instance of the Queen of France was Madame Campan, happens to be
written and published, and to contain no insinuation whatever; whereas,
in the case we have supposed, that negative vindication would almost
certainly be wanting. Who, we ask, would dare, on such authority,
to set down such accusations against any private family? and, if we
are right in thinking that public indignation would most certainly
overwhelm the retailer of such miserable calumny, why should any other
rule be applied when royalty is the subject of the attack?

We suspect that Lord Holland's political friends will hardly thank his
successor for the publication of this volume. It exhibits the late peer
in what we must suppose to be his true colours, not as a constitutional
Whig, nor as in any way attached to the recognised forms of the British
Constitution, but as an admirer of principles which would necessarily
tend to its overthrow. We have searched the work in vain for a single
expression of anything which we can venture to designate as patriotic
feeling. Kings and courts are condemned by him--what sympathy he has
is bestowed on the agents of revolution--and he appears a eulogist,
or at least apologist, of the very man whom Whig and Tory alike have
agreed in branding with reprobation. The conduct of "Egalité," in
voting for the death of his cousin, Louis XVI., appears to him not
unnatural. He takes great pains to convince us that the infamous duke
was an exceedingly maligned person; and, with characteristic judgment
as to the nature of his evidence, cites "a short narrative written by
Mrs Elliott, who had, I believe, lived with him," as an apology for an
act which, even in the French Revolutionary Convention, called forth an
exclamation of horror.

Lord Holland's personal experiences--we should rather call them
reminiscences--connected with the French Revolution, were very meagre.
He was then, (in 1791,) as he tells us, a mere boy, and not likely to
have much cognisance of the state of political affairs. In consequence,
we gain absolutely nothing from his observation. Neither was his
sojourn in Prussia, during the ensuing year, more fruitful save in the
article of scandal, of which we have said enough. The same remark will
apply to his Spanish tour; from the records of which, if we abstract
the personal and indecent details, not one word of interest remains.
This strikes us as very singular. A young and well-educated man,
traversing those countries at a time when they widely differed in their
aspect and forms of society from those which they afterwards assumed,
ought surely to have preserved some "Reminiscences" of their condition,
which would have been more acceptable to posterity than stories of
court adultery, which he hardly could have derived from any creditable
source; and we fairly confess that the total omission of anything
like practical details, goes far to convince us that Byron's early
judgment was right, and that the fame of Holland House rested far more
upon the Amphytrionic, than the natural or acquired accomplishments
of the distinguished host. In fact, were it not remarkable for such
disgraceful scandal as would lower the character of a theatrical
green-room, the first half of this volume is entirely beneath contempt.
It has nothing whatever to do with the present crisis of affairs--it
refers in no way to national or dynastical interests--it is simply
a collection of such trash as, thirty years ago, might have been
published under the auspices of a noble name, and then have descended
to the hands of the trunk-maker, without the slightest chance of a
second resurrection.

But the other half of the volume remains yet to be noticed. It is
devoted exclusively to the Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte, whom Lord
Holland appears to have regarded with the most profound admiration.
We approached this part of the book with sharpened curiosity, hoping
to find recorded some additional traits of that remarkable character;
but again we were doomed to disappointment. Lord Holland's personal
recollections of the Emperor are contained in the following passage:--

  "Both Lady Holland and myself were presented to him in 1802, when
  he was First Consul. He saw her only once, and addressed some usual
  questions and compliments to her, but had no conversation; though
  I have reason to believe that he was aware of the admiration she
  entertained and avowed for his military and political genius. I
  stood next to him in the circle when he received and answered, in a
  short written speech, (hastily, and somewhat awkwardly delivered,)
  the deputation headed by Barthelemi, which came to confer upon him
  the consulship for life. He spoke very civilly, but very little
  to me on that occasion; and scarcely more when I dined and passed
  the evening at his court, in company with Mr Fox, with whom he
  conversed at considerable length on various matters, and more
  particularly on the Concordat. These were the only opportunities
  I ever had of observing his countenance or hearing his voice. The
  former, though composed of regular features, and both penetrating
  and good-humoured, was neither so dignified nor so animated as I
  had expected; but the latter was sweet, spirited, and persuasive
  in the highest degree, and gave a favourable impression of his
  disposition as well as of his understanding. His manner was
  neither affected nor assuming, but certainly wanted that ease and
  attraction which the early habits of good company are supposed
  exclusively to confer."

Interchanges of civilities, however, continued to take place. Lady
Holland transmitted to the Emperor, when at Elba, "one or two packets
of English newspapers," and these little acts of attention were
acknowledged by "some small but curious specimens of the iron ore of
that island." Her Ladyship's subsequent solicitude for the comforts
of Napoleon, when exiled at St Helena, and her generous attention to
his wants, are well known, and exhibit, in a most pleasing manner,
the kindliness of the female heart. The mention of these things leads
to an account of the Longwood squabbles, the interest of which has
now entirely passed away. Sir Hudson Lowe may not have been the most
courteous or _debonnaire_ of wardens, but, on the other hand, it is
clear that Napoleon would have made a point of quarreling with an angel
of light if appointed as his _custos_; and that the last passages of
his life by no means exhibit him in a dignified or magnanimous point of
view. As, however, the narrative to which we refer is one of the few in
this volume which are based upon Lord Holland's own experience, we may
as well insert it here as a specimen of the author's style.

  "When the ungenerous decision by which this great prisoner was
  to be conveyed to St Helena was known, Lady Holland hastened to
  apply to Government for permission to send such articles as in her
  judgment were likely to contribute to his comfort or amusement
  in that distant exile. She improved her slight acquaintance with
  Sir Hudson Lowe, and, by every civility in her power, endeavoured
  to obtain from him all the facilities consistent with his duty,
  and instructions for carrying her intentions into execution. She
  failed in both these attempts. Lord Bathurst informed her that no
  present could be sent to General Buonaparte, but that Government
  would willingly purchase and convey to him any article that could
  be suggested as conducive to his comfort. Lady Holland happened
  to know that the Emperor liked, even in less sultry climates, to
  drink both water and wine extremely cold. She had been on the point
  of buying, at a considerable price, a newly-invented machine for
  making ice; and, in answer to Lord Bathurst's message, she gave
  him the direction of the maker, and suggested the purchase. The
  machine, however, was neither purchased nor sent. Lady Holland
  nevertheless persisted, and contrived to send, together with new
  publications and trifling presents to Sir Hudson, similar marks of
  remembrance to Napoleon. They were often delayed, from excessive
  scruple or from less pardonable motives, at the Government House;
  yet the innocent nature of the memorials themselves secured their
  ultimately reaching their destination. Various obstacles, however,
  presented themselves to this insignificant intercourse. A natural
  and pardonable pride deterred Napoleon from applying for anything;
  a more mistaken, and in my judgment contemptible, punctilio led him
  to reject any communication in which his title of Emperor was not
  preserved. Advantage was taken of such circumstances--"

No; in mercy to the compositors, we shall not go on with this! The pen
drops from the fingers, and a drowsy sense of numbness steals upon the
brain in the mere act of transcribing these ponderous and most prosy
sentences. Skip we a couple of pages still occupied by the recital
of such unutterable woes, and let us arrive at the period of better
treatment--"the effect, I flatter myself, of my motion in the House of
Lords."

  "Letters from the Emperor's family, intrusted to the Secretary of
  State, were henceforward more regularly transmitted. Provisions,
  clothing, and books, purchased by them, and sent to the same
  office, were also forwarded; and Lord Bathurst, some time
  afterwards, not only consented to convey articles from Lady Holland
  to Napoleon and Sir Hudson Lowe, but apprised her regularly of
  ships that sailed for St Helena, and, after due experience of her
  scrupulous adherence to the rules which he imposed, allowed all
  parcels, books, and cases indorsed with her handwriting and name,
  to proceed, without further inspection, to their destination.
  Lady Holland had the satisfaction of knowing that many of those
  articles were received and approved of. Napoleon never wrote,
  but he mentioned her name and her attentions more than once to
  persons who repeated his acknowledgments to her. The legacy was,
  however, a gratifying, and, by her, an unexpected proof that such
  endeavours to express her admiration of his great qualities,
  and even to soothe his afflictions, had not been altogether
  unsuccessful. The testimony of his own handwriting, the words
  so judiciously chosen--even the pains taken to fit the card to
  the box--enhanced the value of the bequest; for they proved that
  Napoleon understood her motives, and that they had occupied, for
  some little space of time, the thoughts, as well as excited the
  good-will, of that extraordinary man. The whole was in good taste.
  Had the gift been greater, she could not have accepted it; had the
  expressions been stronger, they would not have appeared sincere.
  Surely to have afforded satisfaction to a man so calumniated, so
  persecuted, and so ill treated, and to have excited the esteem of
  a mind so capacious and so penetrating, is no slight distinction.
  Lady Holland found, in the knowledge of it, an ample reward for
  her constant, unremitting, and unostentatious compassion and
  generosity."

Our readers will probably agree with us in thinking that there is
"something too much of this." It is rather a novelty to us to be
informed that Napoleon was a persecuted man. Most people throughout
Europe have maintained the opinion that the persecution lay the other
way. But perhaps Lord Holland meant to insinuate that the persecution
lay in his banishment of St Helena. He calls it an "ungenerous
decision;" and elsewhere says:--

  "It is remarkable that, in one of those papers so sent (to Elba)
  by Lady Holland, was a paragraph hinting a project among the
  confederates of transporting him to St Helena. True it is that
  such an idea, however inconsistent with honour or good faith, was
  started and discussed, though probably never committed to paper,
  at the Congress of Vienna, before Napoleon left Elba. It is just
  to add that it was discountenanced and rejected by Austria. In
  confirmation of so base a design having been entertained, it
  is observable that a negotiation with the East India Company
  to place St Helena under the control of the Government, with
  no other probable or ostensible object for such a measure, was
  actually commenced in March 1815, and discontinued on the landing
  of Napoleon in that month. Any well-grounded suspicion of such a
  proceeding was sufficient to release the exiled Emperor from the
  obligations of his treaty and abdication of Fontainebleau, and to
  justify his attempt to recover the empire he had so recently lost."

We observe that the writer in the _Edinburgh Review_ denies the
statement of Lord Holland, that the removal of Napoleon from Elba was
mooted at the Congress of Vienna. We, on the contrary, have always
understood that the proposition was seriously considered, though
not, as Lord Holland would insinuate, without sufficient cause and
provocation. The intrigues, of which Elba was the centre, to pave the
way for another attempt at the dethronement of the Bourbons, had for
some time been in active progress, and were well known to Fouché and
others, and by them communicated to the Congress. Also, the attitude
of Murat in Italy was such as to excite very serious apprehensions. Mr
Alison, in his _History of Europe_,[20] thus notices the intrigues of
Elba:--

  "Its close proximity to the Italian shore led naturally to a secret
  correspondence between the Island of Elba and the Court of Naples.
  Murat, ever governed by ambition, and yet destitute of the firmness
  of purpose requisite to render it successful, now found that his
  vacillation of conduct had ruined him with the aristocratic, as
  it had formerly done with the revolutionary party, and that the
  Allies were little disposed to reward his deviation from his
  engagements by the lasting possession of the throne of Naples. He
  threw himself, therefore, once more into the arms of France; and it
  was arranged that the descent of Napoleon on the coast of Provence
  should be contemporaneous with the advance of his troops to the Po,
  and the proclamation of the great principle of Italian liberty and
  independence."

Accordingly, we find that Murat, only ten days before Napoleon quitted
Elba, made a formal demand for the passage of eighty thousand men
through the Austrian territories in Italy--an act, doubtless, of
insane folly, but one which can be attributed to no other motive than
his perfect knowledge that the designs of Napoleon were nearly ripe
for execution. This demand, of course, could not fail to alarm the
Congress, to whom, almost immediately afterwards, information as to the
character of the projected enterprise was conveyed. Mr Alison says:--

  "This military position and demand excited the jealousy of the
  Allied Powers; the more especially as, towards the end of February,
  rumours reached Vienna of constant correspondence between the Isle
  of Elba and the adjoining shores of Italy, and of an intended
  descent by Napoleon on the shores of France. These rumours soon
  acquired such consistency, that the propriety of removing him
  from the neighbourhood of Italy had already been more than once
  agitated in the Congress; and various places of residence for him,
  in exchange for Elba, had been proposed;--among others, one of the
  Canary Islands, which was suggested by the Portuguese Minister, and
  St Helena or St Lucia, which were proposed by Lord Castlereagh.
  Alexander, however, still firmly held out for adhering to the
  treaty of Fontainebleau, and maintaining the fallen Emperor in
  possession of the Island of Elba: alleging, as a reason, that his
  personal honour had been pledged to his great antagonist for that
  asylum, and that he would not be the first to break it."[21]

On the 7th of March, intelligence reached Vienna that Napoleon had
secretly left Elba. Such we believe to be the true statement of the
case. That the Allies should have wished, without any adequate cause,
to disturb the recent settlement of Napoleon in the Island of Elba,
appears to us a proposition too preposterous to be maintained. But that
such a measure should have been discussed, _after_ they became aware
of the nature of his designs and preparations, and had thus received
warning that the peace of Europe was again in imminent danger from
his uncontrollable ambition, need not excite any wonder, and cannot
surely be wrested into a charge of persecution against Napoleon. Lord
Holland entirely fails to make out--nay, he does not even assert--that
any such proposal was made in Congress _before_ the intrigues of Elba
were divulged, or the negotiation with Murat completed. It does not
even appear that Napoleon, previous to his landing in France, was aware
that the Allies had received any intimation of his design; and when we
consider the shortness of time which elapsed between the receipt of
Murat's formal demand and the departure from Porto Ferrajo, it is next
to impossible that any tidings of a discussion following thereon could
have reached him while in Elba. In short, this attempt to justify the
evasion of Napoleon, and his deliberate breach of treaty, is a signal
failure, and will certainly add nothing to Lord Holland's posthumous
renown for historical accuracy or acumen.

But Lord Holland also considers Napoleon as entitled to deep sympathy
on the ground of his being ill-treated. That is a matter entirely
of private opinion. That Lord Bathurst should not have purchased
Lady Holland's machine for making ice may appear, in the eyes of the
frequenters of Holland House, a most barbarous act of cruelty. That a
special vessel should not have been despatched for St Helena, so often
as a letter was addressed to the illustrious captive, may shock the
sensitive mind. The liberal soul may be thrilled with anguish and pity
at the perusal of the following miseries inflicted on the devastator of
Europe towards the close of his career:--

  "It was indispensable to the peace of the world to prevent his
  escape; and the expedition from Elba had shown that no reliance
  could be placed either on his professions or his treaties.
  Detention and sure custody, therefore, were unavoidable; and every
  comfort consistent with these objects was afforded him by the
  British Government. He was allowed the society of the friends who
  had accompanied him in his exile; he had books in abundance to
  amuse his leisure hours; saddle-horses in profusion were at his
  command; he was permitted to ride several miles in one direction;
  Champagne and Burgundy were his daily beverage; and the bill of
  fare of his table, which is shown by Las Cases as a proof of the
  severity of the British Government, would be thought the height
  of luxury by most persons in a state of liberty. If the English
  Government had acted towards Napoleon as he did to others who
  opposed him, they would have shot him in the first ditch, as he did
  the Duc d'Enghien or Hofer; or shut him up in an Alpine fortress,
  as he did the Cardinal Pacca."[22]

But we have really dwelt too long upon this tedious exhibition of
spurious sympathy, which, after all, is but a flimsy veil intended
to cover the self-glorification of the peer. The remaining passages
regarding Napoleon contain nothing of the slightest interest, and are,
moreover, especially heavy. A few commentaries upon various remarkable
incidents in the life of the Emperor are interspersed, from which we
learn that Lord Holland condemned the murder of the Duc d'Enghien, but
did not consider the abandonment of Josephine as any heinous act of
moral dereliction. We doubt whether the majority of mankind will concur
in the latter opinion. To us it appears that Napoleon's treatment
of his first wife shows him to have been as destitute of heart as
insensible to the obligations of honour.

It is not a little amusing to observe the estimate formed by Lord
Holland of some of his remarkable contemporaries. Occasionally he
assumes a tranquil air of superiority, which, when we remember the
even obscurity of his own life, in respect to the discharge of public
duties, is comical in the extreme. Mark how he disposes of Prince
Metternich:--

  "That minister, originally a partisan of the French faction, and
  then a tool of Napoleon, has, no doubt, since the fall of that
  great prince, supported the system which succeeded him. He seems
  hardly qualified by any superior genius to assume the ascendency,
  in the councils of his own and neighbouring nations, which common
  rumour has for some years attributed to him. He appeared to me,
  in the very short intercourse I had with him, little superior
  to the common run of Continental politicians and courtiers, and
  clearly inferior to the Emperor of Russia in those qualities
  which secure an influence in great affairs. Some who admit the
  degrading but too prevalent opinion, that a disregard of truth
  is useful and necessary in the government of mankind, have, on
  that score, maintained the contrary proposition. His manners
  are reckoned insinuating. In my slight acquaintance with him in
  London, I was not struck with them; they seemed such as might have
  been expected from a German who had studied French vivacity in
  the fashionable novel of the day. I saw little of a sagacious and
  observant statesman, or of a courtier accustomed to very refined
  and enlightened society."

What will the _crême de la crême_ of Vienna say to this? Here is
a decided thrust at the midriff of the enemy! Not only is Prince
Metternich set down as an exceedingly overrated person in point of
ability, but his very manners and demeanour have been criticised in
the polite circles of Holland House, and found wanting. We cannot
sufficiently applaud the sagacity with which the true source of the
Metternichian polish is detected. Truth will out at last! During the
later years of his life, the Prince has been studying French vivacity
in the classical academies of Pigault le Brun and Paul de Kock! And
yet, perhaps, we may be wrong. Louvet was the earlier master, and may
have had a hand in forming the vivacity of this distinguished pupil.
But the Prince has this consolation, at least, that he suffers in good
company. Tried by the unerring standard of Lord Holland, "the address
of Alexander himself, the Emperor of Russia, was, perhaps, liable to
similar criticism." The inference is, that the Czar also had been
studying vivacity in French novels, and was obviously not a person
accustomed to very refined and enlightened society! As for the Emperor
Francis II., he is dismissed in a still more summary manner:--

  "I have heard it observed, and I believe justly, that the Emperor
  passed, during his long reign, for a weak, foolish, but good sort
  of man; but that he deserved none of those epithets. He was a man
  of some understanding, little feeling, and no justice."

Perhaps the reader would take a glimpse at the royal family of
Portugal, as seen through the critical glasses of Lord Holland:--

  "The king and queen, very opposite in principle, character, and
  conduct, have a natural abhorrence to one another. They, in truth,
  have nothing in common but a revolting ugliness of person, and
  a great awkwardness of manner. He is well-meaning, but weak and
  cowardly, and so apprehensive of being governed by his ostensible
  ministers, that he becomes the victim of low and obscure cabals,
  and renders his councils at all times unsteady, irresolute, and
  uncertain. The queen's outrageous zeal in the cause of despotism,
  miscalled legitimacy, is supposed to have softened his aversion to
  a representative assembly and a constitutional form of government.
  The queen is vindictive, ambitious, and selfish, and has strong
  propensities to every kind of intrigue, political or amorous."

What a sensation of awe steals across the mind as we peruse these
wholesale sentences of condemnation! What a sublime idea we imbibe of
the dignity and intellect of the judge! We need not add further to this
portrait gallery, although ample materials are afforded us. The above
specimens, we think, will be sufficient to satiate the curiosity of the
reader.

Lord Holland, however, had his favourites. Napoleon, as we have seen,
was one; and Talleyrand was another. It is rather odd that Lord Holland
should have discerned in the latter one pre-eminent and distinguishing
quality, for which no one else ever gave him the slightest credit--we
mean a high regard for truth.

  "Talleyrand," says he, "was initiated into public affairs under
  M. de Calonne, and learned from that lively minister the happy
  facility of transacting business without effort and without
  ceremony in the corner of a drawing-room, or in the recess of a
  window. In the exercise of that talent, he equalled the readiness
  and surpassed the wit of his model; but he brought to his work
  some commodities which the latter could never supply--viz. _great
  veracity_, discretion, and foresight."

And again, in a note:--

  "My general and long observation of Talleyrand's VERACITY, in great
  and small matters, makes me confident his relation is correct. He
  may as much, _or more_ than other diplomatists, suppress what is
  true; _I am quite satisfied he never actually says what is false,
  though he may occasionally imply it_."

It is a pity that an ordinary acquaintance with the significance of
terms was not among the accomplishments of Lord Holland. Here we have
the two leading elements of falsehood--the _suppressio veri_, and the
_suggestio falsi_--plainly admitted; and yet we are told in the same
breath, that the man who recoiled from neither practice was a person
of great veracity! One or two hackneyed and rather poor _bon-mots_
of Talleyrand are quoted in the text, as instances of his remarkable
wit;--had he never enunciated anything better, he certainly would not
have achieved his great renown as a conversationalist. He appears,
however, to have enchanted Lord Holland, who cites his authority on all
occasions with an implicit trustfulness which we cannot sufficiently
admire.

We must be allowed to remark that, in this instance also, Lord Holland
has chosen an odd method of testifying his respect for the memory of
a friend. In whatever liberties of speech a famous wit may choose to
indulge with reference to his own domestic relations, we are yet sure
that he by no means intends these to form part of the common currency
of conversation, and that he will not feel peculiarly obliged to any
one who gratuitously undertakes to circulate them. The sarcasm of
Talleyrand with regard to the intellectual deficiencies of the lady
who afterwards became his wife, was not, we presume, intended for
repetition, though Lord Holland carefully preserves it. Good taste,
we think, would have suggested its omission; but if our scruples upon
that point should be thought to savour too much of Puritanism, of this
at least we are certain, that no living relative of M. de Talleyrand
will feel indebted to Lord Holland for the manner in which the secret
history of his marriage is related:--

  "It is generally thought that he (Talleyrand) negotiated his
  return to France through Madame de Stael. He was on intimate terms
  with her, but had abandoned her society for that of Madame Grand
  before the peace of 1802, when I saw him again at Paris. It became
  necessary, on the conclusion of the _Concordat_, that he should
  either revert to the habits and character of a prelate, or receive
  a dispensation from all the duties and obligations of the order.
  He chose the latter. But Buonaparte, who affected at that time to
  restore great decorum in his Consular court, somewhat maliciously
  insisted either on the dismissal of Madame Grand, or his public
  nuptials with that lady. The questionable nature of her divorce
  from Mr Grand created some obstacle to such a union. It was curious
  to see Sir Elijah Impey, the judge who had granted her husband
  damages in India for her infidelity, caressed at her little court
  at Neuilly. His testimony was deemed essential, and he was not
  disposed to withhold it, because, notwithstanding his denial of
  riches in the House of Commons, he was at that very time urging
  a claim on the French Government to indemnify him for his losses
  in their funds. Mr (Sir Philip) Francis, her paramour, then at
  Paris also, did not fail to draw the attention of Englishmen to
  the circumstance, though he was not himself admitted at Neuilly
  to complete the curious group with his judicial enemy and quondam
  mistress."

Pleasant reading this! It may be said that the facts were long ago
notorious, and that they are to be found in more than one scandalous
chronicle. That may possibly be the case; but surely it can afford
no apology for this elaborate repetition on the part of a friend. Is
history served by such contributions? Does society benefit by their
preservation?

The passion of the past generation for collecting and retailing
_bon-mots_ was carried to an extravagant length. Such a man as
Talleyrand was a perfect treasure to any coterie, for his established
reputation gave to every sentence which he uttered more than its
intrinsic value. But we often find that sayings which appear most
brilliant in conversation, lose their lustre when committed to writing,
after the occasion which called them forth has passed away. Therefore
we do not attach any very exorbitant value to their collection,
especially when they are flavoured, as it is too often the case, with
coarseness and personality. The writer in the _Edinburgh Review_
expresses a wish "that Lord Holland, who possessed more opportunities
than any other man for collecting and stringing these conversational
pearls, had been more diligent in so agreeable a vocation." Judging
from the specimens which are given, we do not think that the world has
sustained any great loss from the negligence of the noble peer; for
some of those which have escaped oblivion, bear unmistakable symptoms
of the decomposition of the heap from which they were originally culled.

In short, we feel ourselves compelled to say that we cannot consider
this volume as an important or even creditable contribution to the
historical literature of the country. Those portions of it which do
not directly offend, are so uninteresting and destitute of the charms
of style, that they act as a positive soporific; and, but for the
indignation excited by the more objectionable passages, we doubt very
much whether we could have had patience enough to peruse it from the
title-page to the close. We are not sure whether we even understand the
meaning of several sentences, or whether they really were intended to
convey any meaning at all. Possibly the fault lies with us. We may be
either too dull, or too unversed in the occult innuendos of diplomatic
society, to perceive what is clear and perspicuous to those who have
enjoyed superior advantages. Nevertheless, we would give a trifle
to any one who should enlighten us upon the point of relationship
suggested by the following paragraph. Lord Holland is recounting a
conversation held in 1838 with his friend Godoy, the Prince of the
Peace, in the course of which they appear to have discussed family
matters with that charming ease which excludes considerations of
propriety.

  "I asked him if he saw Don Francisco; and his manner of saying 'no'
  convinced me that that Prince, who is notoriously his son, had
  made no advances to him; for he somewhat earnestly explained that
  it did not become him to seek his protection, and enlarged on the
  opportunities he had of knowing the Infanta before her marriage at
  Rome, and talking of the beauty of her mother, Isabella, Queen of
  Naples, _who was in all senses, I believe, the own brother of her
  son-in-law Francisco_."

We have certainly no overstrained impression of the moral purity
of the European courts as they existed fifty years ago. We have no
doubt of the existence of intrigues of a very shameful nature, and
even less of a widespread system of venality and corruption; but
we totally demur to the opinion which Lord Holland seems to have
entertained, that such topics constitute the most interesting and most
important points of history. A man who is collecting notes relative
to the leading features of the age in which he has lived, with the
deliberate intention that these shall, at some future period, be given
to the public, might surely be better occupied--more creditably to
himself, and more usefully to his species--in directing his attention
to the great subjects of social progress, intellectual development,
and high unselfish patriotism, than in gleaning at second-hand the
malicious reports of the antechamber, or in chronicling the whispers
of the waiting-room. Lord Holland either would not, or could not,
avail himself of the opportunities which were evidently within his
reach. He has preferred giving us some sketches, not conceived in the
best or most delicate taste, to the composition of a manly picture;
and therefore we cannot be expected to feel any exuberant degree of
gratitude on the receipt of the legacy, or to entertain any very
exalted notion of the artistical acquirements of the painter.

Perhaps it may be thought that we have attached more importance to
this work than it deserves; and certainly, seeing that we have been
compelled to pronounce so unfavourable a judgment on its merits,
there may appear room for the allegation. But it must be remembered
that a book always acquires a certain degree of factitious importance
from the position of its writer. Humble and nameless men may scribble
their Reminiscences by the ream, rush boldly into print, and yet
find scarce a single reader. If their works are indeed destitute of
merit, they can hardly be said to fall into oblivion, for they never
take hold of the memory. They have neither the advantage of a name
to introduce, nor the greater advantage of genius to recommend them.
But the case is different when men of station and title come forward
in the character of authors. They are sure to find an audience, even
though that audience should be deeply disappointed; and if, besides
these other advantages, they are fortunate enough to have any sort of
literary connection, they never want heralds who are ready and able
to proclaim their advent to the world. We regret exceedingly that
we have been compelled to use the language of condemnation rather
than of praise--for the literature of the present century has been
greatly enriched in almost every department by the contributions of
the nobility of England, and we never feel greater pleasure than when
able to bear testimony to such instances of talent and industry. It
becomes, therefore, of more importance that the critical function
should be duly and justly performed; and that no work, which does not
possess a certain degree of intrinsic merit, should be allowed to pass
under shelter of the author's name. Had the merit been there, we should
most gladly have followed the example of our critical brother in the
_Edinburgh Review_; and, adopting his magnificent, sonorous, but not
very intelligible phraseology, have taken care that "the last chords
of our opera should be accompanied by double drums, and the burst of
a brass band, and that our curtain should drop before the gold and
tissue, the waving wings, and the flowing garlands of a modern opera!"

FOOTNOTES:

[19] _Foreign Reminiscences._ By HENRY RICHARD LORD HOLLAND. Edited by
his Son, Henry Edward Lord Holland. Longmans: 1850.

[20] Chapter XCII. Sect. 72.

[21] ALISON, Chapter XCII. Sect. 66.

[22] ALISON, Chapter XCV. Sect. 101.



POPERY IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.


The constant custom of the advocates of Popery is to represent their
religion as a work of the primitive age. With them it is a Patriarchal
figure, beginning its pilgrimage by a Divine summons, and protected
by Divine influence; perhaps occasionally touched by the stains, or
sinking under the struggles belonging to all human history, but still
suddenly purifying its robes into more than their original brightness,
and turning its difficulties into the weapons of that warfare which is
to end in the sovereignty of the world.

The learned investigation of Protestantism, however, wholly strips this
Patriarchal figure of its antique habiliments, declares that every
fragment of its ceremonial has been the work of ages when Christianity
had fallen into oblivion; that its belief is credulity, its system an
accumulation of error, and its spirit an antagonism to the gospel.

On the other hand, the Popish stigma on Protestantism is, that it is a
_new_ name, unknown before the sixteenth century. But to this charge
the natural answer has been, that a name is nothing; that Christianity
was once a new name, and that Heathenism was older than Popery.

The true question is of principle, and then the decision is
clear. Popery appeals for its authority to councils and fathers;
Protestantism, to apostles and prophets. The doctrines of Rome are
to be looked for only in the annals of the Popedom; the doctrines of
Protestantism appeal only to the New Testament. "The Bible, and the
Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants," was the maxim of the
celebrated Chillingworth. Nothing commanded by the New Testament can be
rejected by Protestantism, nothing contradictory of the New Testament
can be received by Protestantism. The appeal of Rome is to tradition;
the appeal of Protestantism is to inspiration.

We shall now give the dates, at which the peculiar errors of Popery
were engrafted on the worship of the Roman world.

The claim of the Headship of Christianity was the first of the Romish
errors, and the fount from which they all flowed. But this claim
was first formally made in the sixth century, (A.D., 533,) and was
established by the Emperor Justinian. But no mortal power had the right
to give, or to assume, this title. The headship of the universal church
belongs to Christ alone, who has been made "Head over all things to
His church." No human being could be competent to the high duty of
governing a church spreading, and to be ultimately spread, through all
nations. The government is also _spiritual_, of which no human being
of this earth can have a _comprehension_. Its seizure by the Bishop of
Rome was an enormous usurpation. In about sixty years after, the title
was disclaimed by the Bishop of Rome, in indignation at its seizure by
the Bishop of Constantinople; but it was solicited again, in the reign
of the Emperor Phocas, (A.D., 606,) and has been ever since retained.

It is not to be presumed, that this usurpation was universally allowed.
God has not left Himself without witnesses in any age. Successive
opponents of Rome, preachers of the gospel, the true Protestants,
arose during the dark ages; and a continued resistance to superstition
was sustained for the thousand years of the Popish assumption;
until, in the sixteenth century, the recovery of learning, the
renewed intelligence of the human mind, the translation of the Bible,
and, above all, and acting through all, the mercy of God, restored
Christianity to the world in the glorious German Reformation, (A.D.
1517.)

The most visible practice of Popery is Mass-worship. This practice
commenced early; but we have no direct record of its reception until
the _Second_ Council of NICE, (A.D. 787.)

Infallibility was too monstrous a conception to be adopted, but in the
utter prostration of the general mind. It was, accordingly, first made
an article of faith in the very centre of the Dark Ages, (A.D. 1076.)

But this claim is so repugnant to reason, so contradictory to the
common sense of man, and so palpably overthrown by the vicious conduct
of Popes, and the contemptible quarrels of Councils, that, even among
the Papists, it has been the most dubious of all doctrines--some of
the Popish parties placing infallibility in a General Council, some in
a General Council united with the Pope, some in the Universal Church.
But those disputes, which no human understanding could ever decide,
show only the repugnancy of the doctrine itself to the human intellect.
Infallibility was, at length, by the mere ignorance of knowing where
to place it, quietly delivered into the possession of the Pope. He now
presumed to be the _acting_ infallibility of the Romish world.

Yet, immeasurably absurd as this doctrine is, it is the especial
and favourite one on which the Tractarians insist, and by which the
apostates attempt to justify their guilty desertion to Rome. Infatuated
as they are, they have fixed on the very point where infatuation is
most infatuated, where perversion most degrades the character of the
understanding.

The Celibacy of the Clergy.--After several attempts by ambitious
Popes, this doctrine, or ordinance, was established by the tyrannical
Hildebrand, Gregory the Seventh, in the eleventh century. The parochial
clergy had generally married, and they protested long and strongly
against abandoning their wives. But the advantage of having the
ecclesiastics, in all countries, wholly separated from all connexion
with their native soil and native interests, and the fixture of large
bodies of men in every kingdom, wholly devoted to the objects of the
Popedom, overpowered the voice alike of nature, justice, and scripture.
"Those whom God had joined together" _were_ put asunder by man.

No act, even of the Papacy, ever produced more suffering or more crime.
No act could be politically more injurious, for it withdrew from the
increase of the population--in times when population was the great
want of Europe, and when half the land was desert--300,000 parochial
priests, 300,000 monks and friars, and probably upwards of 300,000
nuns; thus giving to a life of idleness, and almost total uselessness
in a national view, an enormous multitude of human beings annually,
down to this hour, through nearly nine centuries!

But, to give the true character of this presumptuous contempt of the
Divine will, and of the primal blessing of "Increase and multiply,
and replenish the earth," and of the universal custom of the Jewish
covenant, in which the priesthood descended by families; we should
know the solitary miseries entailed by monastic and conventual life,
the thousands of hearts broken by remorse for those rash bonds, the
thousands sunk into idiotism and frenzy by the monotony, the toilsome
trifling, the useless severities, and the habitual tyrannies of the
cloister. Even to those we must add the still darker page of that
grossness of vice which, in the ages previous to the Reformation,
produced frequent remonstrances even from the Popes, and perpetual
disgust among the people.

The Invocation of Saints.--This doctrine first assumed an acknowledged
form in the seventh century. It had been gradually making its way,
since the dangerous homage paid to the tombs of the martyrs in
the third and fourth centuries. But this invocation made them, in
the estimate of their worshippers, gods. For the supposition that
they heard and answered prayer in every part of the world at once,
necessarily implied Omnipresence--an attribute exclusively belonging to
Deity.

Transubstantiation.--This doctrine declares that, when the words of
consecration have been pronounced over the Eucharist, the bread and
wine are _actually_ transformed into the _body and blood_, the _soul
and divinity_ of Christ. This monstrous notion was wholly unknown to
the Christians of the first four centuries. In the eleventh century, it
was held that the body of Christ was actually present, without directly
affirming in what manner. It was not until the thirteenth century (A.D.
1215) that the change of the bread and wine became an acknowledged
doctrine, by the Fourth Lateran Council.

This doctrine contradicts the conception of a miracle, which consists
in a _visible_ supernatural change. It contradicts the physical
conception of body, which is, that body is local, and of course cannot
be in two places at once; but the body of Christ is in Heaven. It also
contradicts Scripture, which pronounces that the taking of the bread
and wine would be wholly profitless, but by the accompanying operation
of the Holy Spirit acting on the faithful partaker of the Sacrament;
the language of Christ being--"The _flesh_ profiteth nothing. The words
that I speak to you, they are spirit." The whole efficacy is spiritual.

The Mass.--Popery declares that in the Mass is offered continually
the _actual sacrifice_ of Christ. This conception arises from
Transubstantiation, by which the Host is Christ; and the priest thus
continually offering the Host is presumed to sacrifice our Lord, in
every instance of the offering!

This doctrine is threefold--that the priest can make God, that flour
and water can be God, and that the wafer, which is still but flour and
water to the senses, is the Christ of whom it is declared in Scripture
that, "having suffered _once for all_ for the sins of men, he sat down
for ever at the right hand of God." This monstrous doctrine was long
disputed, and, though practically adopted, was not confirmed before the
Council of Trent, (A.D. 1563.)

The Half-communion.--This doctrine originated also in
Transubstantiation. From pronouncing the Eucharist to be actually
Christ, scruples arose as to its chances of pollution; and as the wine
might be spilt, it became the custom to give only the bread to the
laity, in whose mouths it is placed by the priest. But a mutilated
sacrament is none. The consequence of this doctrine is, that no Popish
_layman_ ever receives the Eucharist, or has received it during the
last four hundred years!--most awful and terrible result of human
presumption!

Auricular Confession.--By this doctrine, the forgiveness of sin must
be preceded by confession to a priest. In contradiction to the whole
tenor of Scripture, which declares the forgiveness of sin to depend on
sincere prayer for forgiveness, through the atonement of Christ, and on
the determination to sin no more: "Come to _me_ all ye that are heavy
laden, and I will refresh you."--"Repent ye, and be converted, that
your sins may be blotted out."

But Auricular Confession, with its subsequent Absolution, actually
increases crime, by disburthening the mind of remorse, and by
substituting absolution for repentance. This practice was established,
as a portion of the acknowledged system of Rome, scarcely before the
thirteenth century.

Purgatory.--This doctrine was unheard of in the first four centuries.
It crept in about the seventh century, the period of the chief
corruptions of worship. It was not sanctioned by any council until the
fifteenth century, (A.D. 1438.) Its first establishment was by the
Council of Trent.

This doctrine, which is wholly contradictory to the redemption declared
in the Gospel, as resulting from the sufferings of Christ alone;
declares that every sinner must be qualified for redemption in part, by
undergoing sufferings of his own; that he must be personally punished
in Purgatory for his temporal sins, to be purified for Heaven. The
doctrine is evidently borrowed from the Heathen ideas of Tartarus. It
has not the slightest ground in Scripture, and is totally opposed to
the whole spirit and bearing of Christianity.

Indulgences.--This doctrine originated in the combination of Purgatory
and Saintship. It held, that the merits of the dead might be applied
to the wants of the living; and that these merits, not being required
for the redemption of the saints, were preserved in the hands of the
Church, to be distributed as remissions from Penance, in the first
instance, and in the next, from the terms of suffering in Purgatory.
These remissions were sold by Rome under the name of Indulgences, and
were given for any and every period. These Indulgences extended from
a year to ten thousand years. Instances are recorded of their being
extended to thirty thousand years! This was the most lucrative portion
of the traffic of Rome. It brought in prodigious sums to the Roman
Treasury.

Masses for the Dead.--This doctrine was connected with those of
Purgatory and Indulgences. By it a succession of solitary masses might
be continually carried on, either to relieve the Purgatorial torments,
or shorten their duration. But these masses must be paid for either
in money or land. They formed the vast funds which endowed the great
Romish establishments--the monasteries, &c. Operating on the fears
of the dying, the Popish priesthood rapidly possessed themselves of
enormous wealth, and, in England, they were calculated to be masters
of one-third of the land! The statute of mortmain alone preserved
the rest. This prodigious grasp was loosened at the Reformation, and
the monkish institutions were deprived of the wealth gained only by
superstition.

It is obvious how fatally a doctrine of this order must operate on
society. If man could clear himself from the punishment of a life of
profligacy by a bequest on his deathbed, his whole responsibility
would be removed at once. The fear of judgment would be extinguished
throughout his life; he could have no restraint but the arm of society.
Masses would be his substitute for morals; and his conscience would
be cleared by the acts of others, for years after he was laid in the
grave. If Masses could avail, there would be no use in living virtue,
to any man who was able to _pay for them_.

This doctrine, intolerable in the view of common sense, unjust in
placing an insurmountable distinction between the rich and the poor,
and wholly contradictory to the spirit of the gospel--which commands
that "every man shall work out his _own salvation_ with fear and
trembling, for it is God that worketh in him, _both to will and to
do_"--was created and continued for its vast profits to the priesthood
of Rome.

The celebrated Council of Trent, which, under various forms, sat from
1542 till 1563, collected all these doctrines into a _system_, and the
subsequent act of Pius IV. gave them in the shape of a creed to the
Popish world.

We are glad to find that the "Papal Aggression" has awakened the
intelligent and important authority of the English bar. On all great
questions of the liberties and rights of the empire, that authority is
of the most decisive order; and in this spirit we welcome with peculiar
gratification a pamphlet from the well-known and eloquent pen of Mr
Warren.[23] He commences by this bold and manly denunciation of the
Papal interference with the rights of the Church and the privileges of
the crown:--

  "The ascendency of the Protestant faith in this country is in
  danger, notwithstanding the noble movement which has been made
  in its defence. The position so suddenly taken by the mortal
  enemy of that faith, is meant to be permanent; and he is silently
  intrenching himself in it: regarding all that has been said by
  this great nation as "sound and fury, signifying--NOTHING." He
  is infinitely more to be feared than he wishes at present to be
  believed; and though the precipitancy of priestly ambition may have
  deranged, for a moment, the working of his policy, it is really
  profound and comprehensive, as its results will in due time show;
  and has been accommodated to the political and ecclesiastical
  circumstances of the country with malignant exactitude and
  skilfulness.

  "The political power of the Papacy lies hid under its spiritual
  pretensions, like a venomous serpent lurking under lovely foliage
  and flowers. A leading object of this Letter, is to explain and
  illustrate that truth, in its practical application to the great
  question now before the country, challenging its best energies of
  thought and will. It would be fatally fallacious to regard the
  late act of the Pope as exhibiting only the spasms of weakness.
  The more it is considered, the greater cause will be developed
  for anxious but resolute action. As a pretender to the exercise
  of direct temporal power, the Pope seems quite impotent; but he
  is the visible exponent of a spiritual despotism, founded (so we
  Protestants believe, or have no right to be such) as clearly on
  falsehood and impiety, as its pretensions and purpose are at once
  sublime and execrable; that purpose being to extinguish, and in
  the name of Heaven, the liberties of mankind.

  "The question then--'_The Queen or the Pope?_'--is a momentous
  one, which we have been very insolently challenged to answer. The
  whole matter, social, political, and religious, is gathered up into
  those few words; and posterity will sit in judgment on our mode of
  answering that question."

Mr Warren, in taking a lawyer's general view of the subject, strikingly
adverts to the _impudence_ of the Papist assertions. It is true that
these assertions have now shrunk into a very small compass; that
the bravado of "my Lord Cardinal" has dwindled down into a sort of
supplication to be suffered to remain here on any terms; and that the
"prince" has stooped into the pilgrim, gliding through the filth, vice,
and poverty of the Irish colony in Westminster, or, as he terms it, the
_slums_--an expression of extreme vulgarity, which, Mr Warren justly
observes, does not belong to the English language, and which, we may as
justly observe, belongs only to the meanest of the rabble.

But the organs of Popery abroad have not submitted to circumstances
so demurely, and they let out the Popish objects with all the easy
insolence of the foreigner. Thus Count le Maistre, in a work translated
and published in London, says, "What shall we say of Protestantism, and
of those who defend it, _when it will no longer exist_? Let them rather
aid us in making it disappear. In order to re-establish a religion and
a morality in Europe, in order to give to truth the strength which
it requires for the _conquest it meditates_, it is an indispensable
preliminary to _efface_ from the European dictionary that fatal word,
_Protestantism_." _L'Univers_, the journal of Popery in France, has no
hesitation in pronouncing the Protestant faith in England to be totally
undone, and that Popery is only taking its time to make the operation
complete.

The Popish organ here has been equally plain-spoken, and pronounced,
in the most dashing style, the triumph of Rome, and the return of _all
Protestants_ under its yoke, _on pain of damnation_! Who but must be
indignant at this language! But who can henceforth be deceived?

Mr Warren, in reverting to the character and pretensions of the Papacy,
lays it down as a fundamental proposition, that "the Pope's avowed
spiritual power is pregnant with disavowed political power." He, tells
us further, "that we have to tolerate a rival, who condescends to
equality only as an advance to ascendency." He then gives the memorable
Florentine canon of 1439, which the Romish lawyers regard as containing
"the true doctrine of their church," and for the consequences deducible
from which all Papists are answerable. These are its words:--

"Moreover, we define that the Holy Apostolic See, and the Roman
Pontiff, have a primacy _over the whole world_!--and that the Roman
Pontiff is the successor of St Peter, the chief of the apostles, and
true Vicar of Christ!--and that he is 'head of the whole church,' and
the father and teacher of all Christians!--and to him, in St Peter,
was delegated by our Lord Jesus Christ full power to _feed, rule, and
govern_ the universal church, as also is contained in the Acts of
General Councils, and in the holy canons!" In this daring proclamation
of power, we have the assumption of an authority obviously incompatible
with the peace of any nation under heaven, and equally incompatible
with the common liberties of mankind--for there can be no liberty where
the arbitrary will of a stranger is the fountain of the law, and most
especially contradictory to that Scripture which declares that Christ's
kingdom is _not_ a kingdom after the fashion of this world. When the
question was contemptuously put by Pilate to our Lord himself, "Art
_thou_ a king?" the answer was, that he was not a king in the sense of
the Roman; that, if he were such, "his servants would fight"--in other
words, that he would have the troops and attendance of an earthly king,
that he would have resisted and made war. "But now is my kingdom _not_
of this world."

But what is the Papacy, with its princes and pageantries, its armies
and intrigues, its cabinets and alliances? In what does all this
complicated and systematic mixture in the affairs of the world differ
from the kingdoms of this world? except perhaps in its deeper intrigue,
in its more perpetual artifice, in its more insatiable craving for
power, and in its more habitual gratification of every daring and
dangerous passion of man.

And it has felt the consequences. Of all the kingdoms of this world,
since the fall of Rome, the Popedom has been the _most_ marked by
calamity. There has been no nation whose sovereign has been so _often_
flung from his throne; whose throne has been so often contested with
bloody dissension, whose sovereign has been so often a prisoner in
foreign lands, whose capital has been so often sacked, whose provinces
have been so often in foreign possession, whose population is so
miserable, and whose _vassalage_ has been so palpable, so humiliating,
and so wretched.

But need we look to the past, when we see the Papacy at this hour? Need
we dig up ancient fields of battle, to see how often its armies have
been buried; or dive into its dungeons, to see how many centuries of
fetters are recorded there against its presumption? Need we break up
its tombs to see its shattered crosiers and tarnished tiaras, when we
see the living figure that sits in mock majesty in the Vatican, with a
_French_ garrison in the Castle of St Angelo?

But the Papist demands religious liberty. The words, in Papist lips,
are jargon. He has never had it in any country on earth. Has he it in
Rome? Can the man have the absurdity to call himself a freeman, when
the priest may tear the Bible out of his hand; when, without a license,
he cannot look into the Book of Life?--when, with or without a license,
he cannot exercise his own understanding upon its sacred truths, but
must refuse even to think, except as the priest commands?--when, for
daring to have an opinion on the most essential of all things--his own
salvation--he is branded as a heretic; and when, for uttering that
opinion, he is cast into the dungeon?--when the priest, with the _Index
Expurgatorius_ in his hand, may walk into his house, and strip it of
every book displeasing to the caprices, insolence, and ignorance of a
_coterie_ of monks in the Vatican?

If the legitimate and noble boast of the Englishman is, that his
house is his castle, what is the house of the Italian Papist, but
his dungeon? If the Irish or the English Papist demands "Religious
Liberty," let him demand it of his master the Pope. If the Papist
_desires_ it, let him break the Popish fetter, and emancipate himself.
Till then, we must look upon his claim as lawlessness instead of
liberty, and hypocrisy instead of religion.

But, before the Papist requires more than toleration, must he not
show that at least he _tolerates_? If, in the Popish kingdoms of the
Continent, fear or policy has produced some degree of Protestant
toleration, what is the condition of Protestantism in the capital of
Popery; and, in its most important point, freedom of worship? To this
day, no English Protestant is suffered to worship within the walls of
Rome.

The Americans, with a sense of national right, of which it is a scandal
to England not to have adopted the example, have insisted on having a
chapel--a solitary chapel!--in Rome; while the English have been forced
to run from one _lodging_ to another, to hide in holes and corners, and
to exhibit to the Roman rabble the sight of Protestants sneaking to a
worship indebted only to connivance for its being suffered to exist at
all! From 1815, the year in which _we_ gave liberty to the Pope, their
worship was held only in _private rooms_ for the ten following years,
even to which the English were prohibited from going in carriages. They
must go on foot! From 1826, the condition of their worship is thus
stated on the authority of the chaplain:--

"In that year, the English congregation migrated to a _granary_ outside
the Flaminian Gate. In the upper part of this huge building, a space,
large enough for a congregation, was hired. It was reduced into shape
by lath and plaster; it had a ceiling of canvass to hide the rafters
and cobwebs, and carpets laid over straw, for covering the mud floor.
The rats and mice ran races over the canvass above the heads of the
worshippers; the pigs, in great numbers, squealed in concert in the
story below; and sometimes the donkeys, laden with sacks of corn,
disputed the common staircase with the congregation. On one occasion,
the competition was more serious. The first story of the building was
hired for a _menagerie_, and on a Sunday morning we found the wild
beasts in previous possession."

Can any vulgar display of intolerance exceed this humiliation? There
is not a beggar in Rome who does not stand on tiptoe, at the sight of
the English going to their _barn_. There is not a saucy priest, who
does not turn up his nostrils at the sight. And yet the population
live on the English expenditure. If the English were to leave Rome for
a twelvemonth, half their population--a population of lodging-letters
and valets--would starve. We certainly can feel no compassion for
any degree of contempt which can be heaped on the English residents,
who desert their own noble country for the coffee-house life of the
Continent. The men who can abandon their duties to England (and what
man is not without his duty?) for cheap wine, gossip, and grimace--the
race of sullen selfishness and perpetual vacuity--are justly punished
by foreign ill-usage. But still, the insult is to the religion of
England, and it teaches us the real feeling of Popery in power. Let
the Protestant ever suffer the predominance of Rome in England, and
he will then only know what Popish power is in its nature, its fierce
recollections, and its grasping ambition. In the mean time, let him
look at the Protestants creeping through the "Flaminian Gate" to their
_Barn_, outside the walls of Rome!

What right can those have, who so loudly proclaim themselves the
spiritual subjects of the Papacy, to demand here what they refuse
there? Are they to insist on privileges, where their condescension
only amounts to pigsties? What would become of their levees and
lectures here, if we laid them under the Roman rule, which sends
"controversialists to jail?" Is it not the fact, that no Protestant
can be buried within the walls of Rome; and that no inscription can
be placed on a Protestant grave, without being subjected to the Roman
Censor; who scratches his pen over every syllable referring to the hope
of a _Resurrection_?

Those statements have been repeated in every public journal of the
empire. Who has contradicted them? Have we not, then, a right to demand
the liberty which we give? or, if refused by the dwarfed and beggarly
sovereignty of Rome, ought we not to act with the insulted dignity of
the first kingdom and truest religion of the world?

The great error of Protestants, in their legislation on Popish
questions, is, to believe that the same rules of morality exist in
the Church of England and in Popery. The pamphlet applies itself with
full effect to the facts of the case, by giving the Papist _oath_, and
contrasting it with the Papist performance.

"The essential items of the Papist oath of 1829 were--'I do not
believe that the Pope of Rome hath, or ought to have, any temporal or
civil jurisdiction, power, superiority, or pre-eminence, directly or
indirectly, within this realm. I disclaim, disavow, and solemnly abjure
_any intention to subvert the present Church Establishment_, as settled
by law within this realm; and I solemnly swear, that _I never will
exercise any privilege_, to which I am or may be entitled, to _disturb_
or _weaken_ the Protestant religion or Protestant government in the
United Kingdom.'"

What must be the contempt felt for all Popish promises, when we see
this _oath_, and see the conduct of the Popish body _ever since_ it
was taken! "With what feelings," says Mr Warren, "any one who has
taken this oath, can peruse and approve of the Bull of Pius IX. and
the Pastoral of his pseudo-cardinal archbishop, and contemplate with
satisfaction what has been recently done by him and others in professed
conformity with that Bull, I am perfectly at a loss to conceive."

And in this honest difficulty of conception every true Protestant
will coincide with him. But let us look to the natural result of this
palpable callousness of conscience.

The sacredness of oaths is essential to the _existence_ of society:
the man who is not to be believed on his oath is self-banished,
self-disfranchised, self-excluded from all the rights of society;
for the obvious reason, that, if all men were equally false, society
_must_ dissolve. Such a man is no longer entitled to the protection
of law. And the same rule is inevitably applicable to any institution
which thus sets itself at war with society. Popery is _anti-social_.
This sentiment is the substance of a letter by the late Bishop Watson;
a man of a rough and almost republican spirit--a bold advocate for
liberality, almost to the verge of Liberalism--and, though a vigorous
arguer against Paine and his infidelity, yet as sturdy a disclaimer of
all submission to prejudice as any radical orator of our day. We quote
the pamphlet.

In a letter to the Duke of Rutland, in 1784, the Bishop says--"I
particularly agree with you in relation to the (Roman) Catholics. No
man on earth, I trust, can have more enlarged sentiments of toleration
than I have. But the Church of Rome is a _persecuting_ Church; and it
is our interest and _our duty_, on every principle of _religion and
common sense_, to guard ourselves against her machinations." He then
gives the expression of the great Lord Clarendon--"It is the _duty_
of Catholic subjects in a Protestant country, of priests as well as
the laity, to abjure the Pope's supremacy, _ecclesiastical_ as well as
temporal."

The Popish advocates lay great weight on the patronage afforded to
their parliamentary demands by the Cabinet of Pitt; who evidently
made the grand mistake of supposing that spiritual dominion could be
disunited from temporal--a mistake as great as supposing that the
command of the limbs could be disunited from the power of the mind. But
the views of the Minister were founded merely on political objects,
while the true question was one of religion. The argument is thus
summarily answered:--

"Let me remind you that an illustrious statesman, William Pitt, in the
very last speech which he delivered in Parliament, expressed himself on
the subject of Roman Catholic emancipation in the following remarkable
language:--'I never thought that it would have been wise to throw down
rudely the guards and fences of the Constitution. But I did think,
that if the system I alluded to had been adopted, it _ought_ to have
been accompanied by those checks and guards, and with every regulation
which could have given respect and influence to the Established Church,
to the support and protection of the Protestant interest, and to the
encouragement of every measure which could tend to propagate the
example of the _Protestant religion_.'

"His splendid pupil, Canning, the most ardent friend of Roman Catholic
emancipation, also thus expressed himself: 'Go as far as you can, _with
safety_ to the Establishment. Do not exact from them terms that are
unnecessary, but be rigorous in imposing such conditions as shall free
you from all real, I had almost said all imaginary, danger.'"

These are important opinions, which should teach us _how_ to act. We
have seen those guards and fences broken down; we have seen every
protective condition _accepted_, and finally scoffed at, and we are at
this moment at once insulted and injured by the cool and contemptuous
violation of every promise which was required for the safety of the
Church--of Protestantism.

But the whole system of concession was founded on ignorance, carried
on by faction, and suffered by infatuation. That unhappy concession is
the only blot on the tomb of Pitt, who made it in ignorance: it is the
chief among the many blots on the tomb of Canning, who made faction his
auxiliary, by first sacrificing his Toryism; and it covers with the
indelible contempt, due to the traffic of principle, the whole paltry
and perfidious generation who, subsequently, under different garbs, but
with the same physiognomy of worldliness, have droned and drivelled and
died off in the shadow of the Treasury. What the majority of those men
thought, is a subject too low for memory; what they did, is to be seen
in the scars of the Constitution.

But when the mighty orb of Pitt undergoes an eclipse, it must be by a
body of no slight magnitude. His wisdom was actually thwarted by his
magnanimity. Himself the soul of honour, he evidently imagined that
Popery was capable of honour.

"What would William Pitt, what would George Canning, say?" exclaims
Mr Warren, "were they still alive to read the Bull of Pius IX. and Dr
Wiseman's Pastoral? and _what would they do_?"

We think that we can answer the question. If Pitt denounced the
grasping ambition of French republicanism, if Canning lashed the low
absurdities of Radicalism, with what indignant justice would they
not have stript and scourged an aggression which unites more than
the ambition of the one, with more than the absurdity of the other!
With what lofty vengeance would Pitt have trampled down the haughty
usurpation which dared to degrade England into a _province_! and with
what sarcastic ridicule would Canning have stung the bloated arrogance
with which, from a palace almost a _prison_, an impudent monk dared to
control the liberties of England!

But what would the Papal assumptions be, if uttered by any other
sovereign? Let us suppose that Austria ventured to send a dozen of
her monks here to carve the land into dioceses. What would be the
universal exclamation, but that Austria was _mad_; and that the first
monk who made the attempt should find his only diocese within the
walls of Newgate. What if France declared England a _province_? Can we
doubt that our answer would be a declaration of war? And is a beggarly
Italian--a fugitive from his own territory, a priest flying for his
life in the livery of a footman--to offer this insult with impunity?
But if we are told that Pius IX. is a different personage from his
predecessors, a _Liberal_, a man of the new school--tempted, by
misrepresentations from his emissary monks here, to make a usurpation
against his nature--let us hear the pamphlet:--

"Let us go to the fountain-head. Pope Pius IX., who, on his elevation
to the supreme Episcopate, addressed an elaborate Encyclical Letter
to 'all patriarchs, primates, archbishops, and bishops,' dated 9th of
November 1846, and which, to the eyes of any person in whom exists a
single spark of true protestant Christianity, appears surcharged with
blasphemous presumption, falsehood, and bigotry."

In this document, the Pope solemnly and formally asserts his _claim_
to be the Vicar of Christ on earth! declares that God has constituted
the Pope a _living authority_ to teach the true sense of his Heavenly
revelations, and to judge _infallibly_ (infallibili judicia) in all
controversies on faith and morals, and that "_out of the Catholic
Church there is no salvation_;" and he bitterly denounces our "most
crafty Bible societies," (a denunciation simply against the Bible
itself, for there are no _notes_ of any kind in the Bibles thus
published.)

In this letter, "the Pope will be found, in the year 1846, to use the
essential terms of the Florentine Canon, which has been in force for
four hundred and eleven years, and under whose sanction, consequently,
have been perpetrated, by the Papal authority, all the enormous crimes
and offences which history records against it during that long period."

Mr Warren then quotes, as illustrative of the Pope's assumed supremacy
in _temporals_ over the Papist everywhere, a conversation detailed
in evidence before a Committee of the House of Commons.--'I said
to him, (a respectable Roman Catholic,) suppose the Pope and his
Council announced that the King of England was a person who should
be deposed--would you feel in conscience bound, as a Roman Catholic,
to obey?' He answered, 'Certainly not, because it would be contrary
to Scripture.' I asked whether _he_ or his church was to judge of
Scripture? He replied, 'His church.' I then asked, 'If the decree was
so worded, that the Pope and Council affirmed it to be _not_ contrary,
but according to Scripture, that a heretical monarch should be deposed,
how would you act?' He admitted, 'that he should feel himself _bound by
the decree_, because it was _for the Pope to judge of Scripture_, and
that, as a Roman Catholic, he should _obey him_.'

In this conversation we have a perfect specimen of Popish casuistry.
The man is suffered to believe that he has a _conscience_, and that he
is ever obedient to _Scripture_. But Popery still holds him fast, and
if regicide should suit its purposes, he can _give the blow_ with a
safe conscience. What must be the religion when such is the morality?

And this view leads us to the true question on which the whole
subject turns. In the eyes of the Tractarians, the controversy is
simply between an _old_ church and a _new_. In the apologies of the
apostates, it is simply between Papal infallibility and private
judgment. Thus, the whole is diluted into a mere metaphysical inquiry,
while both suppress the entire practical _reality_ of this tremendous
superstition. In those tranquil subtleties and meek submissions they
both labour to conceal the _fact_, that if they are to be Papists, they
_must_ be _worshippers_ of the Virgin Mary; they must be worshippers
of imaginary saints; they must be worshippers of stocks and stones,
as the images of those imaginary saints; and they must be prepared to
do the bidding of the Papacy, even though that should amount to the
dissolution of society; for to this they _must_ come. This is _their_
yoke. To this every man who apostatises is bound for life: he must drag
the whole length of the chain.

Strong curiosity is now excited by the approach of Parliament; and
the inquiry into the measures contemplated by the Cabinet is intense.
In the midst of the numberless conjectures hazarded at the moment, a
letter from the Bishop of Durham to a body of his clergy has appeared;
which, when we remember that the memorable letter of the Premier was
addressed to the Bishop, and that a correspondence on the subject
may have been continued, seems to throw a light on the Ministerial
intentions, and probably has been written for the _express purpose_.

The Bishop, after observing that the question of religious liberty
to the Roman Catholics could not possibly require "that a foreign
potentate should be permitted to insult a great nation, trample on the
rights of a sovereign secured by law, and disturb the peace and good
order of the Established Church," proceeds to state his conception of
the _necessary_ measures of protection.

"In order to prevent such evils, it may be necessary to provide--

"Some restrictions upon the _introduction_ and _circulation_ of _Papal
Bulls_ in this island.

"To prohibit the _assumption of Episcopal titles_ conferred by Rome,
and deriving the name from _any place in_ this country.

"It may also be desirable to forbid the _existence of monastic
institutions_, strictly so called.

"Nor can the residence of any _Jesuits_ appear otherwise than injurious
among Scotch and English Protestants. This Order is well known to have
shown itself so dangerous, that it was suppressed by Clement XIV.,
1773, with the approbation of all wise and good men. What species or
amount of merit may have brought them again into favour with Rome, I
profess myself unable to determine. But I am sure you will agree with
me that a body of men, whose principles and conduct have been so justly
reprobated in (Roman) Catholic countries, cannot be looked upon as
desirable neighbours among Protestants like ourselves.

"To some such measures as I have thus pointed out, it may in all
probability _be found necessary to resort_; and they may not improperly
be _referred to in petitions_ presented to Parliament in the ensuing
Session."

Of course it would be essential that, in the exclusion of Bulls, all
documents asserting any similar authority over the Popish subjects
of the realm, as "Apostolical Letters," "Rescript Ordinances," and,
in short, every paper claiming a public right by the Pope to govern
the Papists in England or Ireland, and in any portion of the British
empire, should be distinctly comprehended. We must not suffer ourselves
to be cheated by names. Similarly, it will not be enough to put down
convents and monasteries, so called, but _every_ institution in which
Popish vows are taken, binding the rash and unfortunate people who take
them, for life. Here, too, we must not be cheated by names. Similarly,
we must put down not merely Jesuits, so called, but every Order of
foreign monk-ism, let it hide itself under what name it will. Rome is
all _artifice_, and we may be well assured that, whether under the
name of Oratorians, or Preachers, or Brethren of the Spirit, the craft
of Jesuitry will be exercised to make its way into England, and keep
its footing here.

The Bishop's letter makes no direct reference to Ireland. But in
Ireland there are _two millions_ of Protestants; and if Protestantism
is to be triumphant in England, it _must_ be protected in Ireland.
As to the right, the justice, and the necessity of those measures,
and many more of the same kind, there can be no doubt on the mind
of any rational being. Lords Beaumont, Norfolk, and Camoys, Roman
Catholics, have openly stated that the operation of the Papal Bull,
is _incompatible_ with temporal allegiance to the Queen. The pamphlet
from which we have quoted so largely, from a sense of its merits,
disposes of the question in reference to the British Constitution; and
the united feeling of the nation, which has already, in the purest
spirit of _Christian_ men, exclaimed "NO POPERY," must now, in the most
determined spirit of _Freemen_, exclaim, "NO SURRENDER!"

_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._

FOOTNOTES:

[23] _The Queen or the Pope? The Question considered in its Political,
Legal, and Religious Aspects._ By SAMUEL WARREN, Esq., Barrister-at-law.



  Transcriber's Notes:


  Pp. 222 & 234 supplied anchors for unanchored footnotes.

  Simple spelling, grammar, and typographical errors were corrected.

  Punctuation normalized.

  Anachronistic and non-standard spellings retained as printed.

  Italics markup is enclosed in _underscores_.





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