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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 69, No. 425, March, 1851
Author: Various
Language: English
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*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 69, No. 425, March, 1851" ***

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



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCCXXV.       MARCH, 1851.       VOL. LXIX.



CONTENTS.


  THE DANGERS OF THE COUNTRY,                              257

  MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE. PART VII.,      282

  LEGENDS OF THE MONASTIC ORDERS, AS REPRESENTED IN THE
    FINE ARTS,                                             305

  LAVENGRO,                                                322

  THE ARTS IN PORTUGAL,                                    338

  SOUTHEY,                                                 349

  THE MINISTRY AND THE AGRICULTURAL INTEREST,              368



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. CCCCXXV.        MARCH, 1851.        VOL. LXIX.



THE DANGERS OF THE COUNTRY.

NO. II.--OUR INTERNAL DANGERS.


"The apparent contradiction," says the _Edinburgh Review_, "between the
vast amount of unrelieved misery in the country, and the vast amount of
energetic benevolence now existing in this country, which strikes so
many with despair, inspires us, on the contrary, with the most sanguine
hopes; because, in that benevolence, we see ample means of remedying
nearly all our social evils,--means heretofore impotent solely because
misapplied. We agree with the Socialists in holding that the world
can never have been intended to be, and will not long remain, what it
is. It cannot be that the same intellect which has wrung from nature
her most hidden secrets, which has triumphed over the most gigantic
material obstructions, which has 'exhausted worlds and then imagined
new;' which has discovered and described laws operating in regions of
space separate from us by a distance so vast that human imagination
cannot figure it and arithmetical language can hardly express it,
should not, when fairly applied to social and administrative science,
be competent to rectify our errors and to smoothe our path--unless,
indeed, society take refuge in the dreary creed, which shall never be
ours, that the problem before us is insoluble, and the wretchedness
around us inherent and incurable."[1]

[1] _Edinburgh Review_, January 1851, p. 23.

We entirely concur in these eloquent and just observations, though the
honest and candid admissions they contain sound rather strange when
coming from a journal which has, for nearly half-a-century, been the
most strenuous, and not the least able, supporter of the system which
has terminated in these woful results. We concur with this author in
thinking, that it never was intended by Providence that things in this
country should be as they now are; and that it is impossible they can
long continue so. Sooner or later, if the premonitory symptoms of
our diseased state continue to be disregarded by our rulers, and the
influential part of the nation who now determine our policy, as they
have been for a great number of years back, some terrible catastrophe
will arise, like that in Ireland by the failure of the potato crop
in 1846, which, amidst an appalling and perhaps unprecedented amount
of human suffering, is in course of rectifying many of the social
evils under which that ill-starred country has so long laboured. We
narrowly escaped such a catastrophe on occasion of the great monetary
crisis of October 1847, by far the most serious and widespread which
Great Britain has ever known; and so much was the nation in its vital
resources weakened by that calamity, and so wearing-out and grievous
are the causes of evil still operating amongst us, that it is much
to be feared that the catastrophe we anticipate will not be deferred
beyond the next of the periodical monetary crises with which the
country is now so regularly afflicted.

What renders our present social condition so alarming and depressing
to the contemplative mind is, that the evils which are so widespread
through society have only increased with the advance of the nation
in general industry, accumulated capital, and mechanical power; and
at a time when universal and unprecedented exertions have been made
both for the religious and moral education of the working-classes, the
improvement of their habits, and the extension of their information.
The most superficial observer must be aware what astonishing progress
we have made since 1815. Our exports and imports have tripled--our
shipping doubled[2]--our population advanced fully 50 per cent. Our
agriculture has kept pace with this astonishing increase, insomuch
that, down to the commencement of five bad years in succession, in
1836, followed by Free Trade in 1842 and 1846, our imports of wheat
and flour had sunk to a _hundredth-part_ of the food of our people.
At no former period, in England's or the world's history, were such
efforts made by energetic and philanthropic individuals to stem the
progress of public and private disaster, or such noble and even heroic
sacrifices made by the State to assuage, where it was most aggravated,
the intensity of private suffering. At one period Government gave
£20,000,000 to compensate the planters in the West Indies for Negro
Emancipation; at another £10,000,000, to relieve the effects of famine
and Irish improvidence. The efforts made in the cause of education,
religious instruction, church accommodation, the relief of pauperism,
the elevation of the standard of comfort, and the improvement of the
habits of the poor, have been innumerable, systematic, and unwearied.

[2]
  |      |    EXPORTS.     |    IMPORTS.    |   SHIPPING.  |
  |Years.| Official Value. | Official Value.| Tons inwards.|
  |------|                 |                |              |
  | 1822 |   42,236,533    |   29,432,376   |   2,519,044  |
  | 1823 |   43,803,472    |   34,591,260   |   2,506,760  |
  | 1824 |   48,785,551    |   36,056,551   |   2,559,587  |
  |      |                 |                |              |
  | 1836 |   65,926,702    |   44,586,741   |   3,002,875  |
  | 1837 |   69,939,389    |   45,952,551   |   3,149,152  |
  | 1838 |   73,831,550    |   49,362,811   |   3,149,168  |
  |      |                 |                |              |
  | 1846 |  132,286,345    |   75,953,875   |   6,091,052  |
  | 1847 |  126,157,919    |   90,921,866   |   7,196,033  |
  | 1848 |  132,904,407    |   93,547,134   |   5,579,461  |
  | 1849 |  164,539,504    |   105,874,607  |   6,071,269  |

  --_Parliamentary Tables._

In Scotland, a new great sect of Presbyterians has grown up more suited
than the Establishment to the inclinations of a large part of the
people, and they have, in three years, built and provided for _eight
hundred_ new places of worship, at a cost of above £1,500,000. In
Glasgow alone, _thirty-two_ have been erected, at a cost of £107,000!
besides _fifteen_, erected a few years before, by subscription of
persons connected with the Establishment. The prodigious efforts
made by the dignitaries and pastors of the Church of England, to
extend the sphere and increase the utility of their Establishment,
are known to all the world, and have extorted the reluctant applause
even of the most inveterate of their opponents. All other religious
persuasions have done the same: Roman Catholics, Methodists, Wesleyans,
Dissenters of all sorts, have vied with each other in zeal and efforts
to extend their respective adherents, and augment the number and
respectability of their places of worship. Education has shared in the
general movement; and although Government has yet done little, the
number of voluntary schools established in most parts of the country
almost exceeds belief. At the same time, the average poor-rates of
England have for the last ten years been about £6,000,000. Scotland
has got a more efficient one than the cautious administration of the
old law had permitted, which already expends about £500,000 yearly
on the relief of indigence: and Ireland has got a new one, which at
its greatest distress expended above £2,000,000 in a year, and still
dispenses upwards of £1,500,000 annually. Yet, in the midst of all
this prodigious increase of national industry, religious zeal, and
philanthropic activity, the condition of the greater part of our
working classes has been daily getting worse, and was never perhaps, as
a whole, so bad as in this year, when, in consequence of Continental
pacification, Bank discounts at 2½ per cent, and a great influx
of Californian gold, prices of manufactured articles have risen 20
per cent, and the great manufacturing towns are in a state of general
prosperity. Ample evidence of all this will be brought forward in the
sequel of this essay.

Notwithstanding all this, we do not despair either of the human race
or of the fortunes and social condition of this country. We are firm
believers in the doctrine, derived equally from natural and revealed
religion, that the greater part of the evils, individual and social,
of this life are derived from the effects of human selfishness,
folly, or wickedness, and that it is sin which has brought death to
nations not less than individuals. Barring some calamities which are
obviously beyond the reach of human remedy--such as sickness, the
death of relations or friends, and external disasters, as famine or
pestilence--there is scarcely an ill which now afflicts mankind which
may not be distinctly traced to human selfishness or folly in the
present or some preceding generation. That God will visit the sins of
the fathers upon the children is indeed as loudly proclaimed in the
history of man as ever it was among the thunders of Mount Sinai. But,
assuming this to be the principle of the Divine government of mankind,
we are confident we are within bounds when we say that four-fifths,
perhaps nine-tenths, of the social and private evils which now afflict
humanity, are the direct consequences of selfishness or folly in this
or some recently preceding generation. Every attentive observer of the
fate of individuals or families around him must see that this is the
case in private life; and a very little attention alone is required
to convince one that to the same cause is to be ascribed four-fifths
of the social evils, great as they are, which all feel to be now so
overwhelming.

We propose, first, to establish the fact that, amidst all the boasted
and really astonishing increase of our national industry, the suffering
and misery of the working-classes has constantly, on an average of
years, gone on increasing; and then to consider to what causes this
most alarming and disheartening state of things is to be ascribed. To
prove the first, it is sufficient to refer to three authentic sources
of information--the records of emigration, of crime, and of pauperism,
for the last twenty-eight years.

From the table given below, it appears that while, in the year 1826,
immediately following the dreadful monetary crisis of December
1825,--by far the severest which had _then_ been felt--the total
emigration from the British Islands was under twenty-one thousand; in
the year 1849, being the fourth year of Free Trade, and in its last six
months one of great commercial activity, it had reached _the enormous
and unprecedented amount of_ THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND! In twenty-five
years of almost ceaseless Liberal government, and carrying out the
principles, social and political, of the Political Economists, the
number of persons driven into exile had increased _fifteen-fold_. So
extraordinary and decisive a proof of the progressive increase of
suffering in a people is perhaps not to be found in the whole annals of
mankind. The emigration-returns for 1850 have not yet been made up, but
that they will exhibit a result not less striking and woful than the
preceding years may be judged of by the facts, that the emigration from
Liverpool, which in 1849 was 154,400, had risen in 1850 to 174,260;
and that the emigrants who landed at New York alone, in 1850, were
212,796--of whom 116,552 were Irish, and 28,125 English subjects, the
remainder being chiefly Scotch and Germans.[3]

[3] _Times_, Jan. 21, 1851.

We say, and say advisedly, that this prodigious flood of emigrants
were, for the most part, _driven into exile_ by suffering, not tempted
into it by hope, and that its progressive increase is the most decisive
proof of the enhanced misery and suffering of the working classes. The
slightest consideration of the last column of the table below[4] must
demonstrate this. Every known and deplored year of suffering has been
immediately followed by a great increase in the number of emigrants
in the next, or some subsequent years. Thus, in the year 1825, the
total emigration was only 14,891; but the monetary crisis of December
in that year raised it to 20,900 in the next year. In the year 1830,
the last of the Duke of Wellington's administration, the emigration
was 56,907; but in the two next years, being those of Reform agitation
and consequent penury, these numbers were almost doubled: they rose
to 83,160 in 1831, and to 103,140 in 1832. With the fine harvests and
consequent prosperity of 1833 and 1834, they sank to 44,478; but the
bad seasons of 1838, 1839, and 1840 made them rapidly rise again, until
they became,

  1840,       90,743
  1841,      118,592
  1842,      128,342

[4] EMIGRATION FROM THE UNITED KINGDOM DURING THE TWENTY-FIVE YEARS
FROM 1825 TO 1849.

  |      |   North    |           |  Australian |  All   |          |
  |      |  American  |  United   |Colonies and | other  |          |
  |Years |  Colonies  |  States   | New Zealand | places |  TOTAL   |
  |------+------------|           |-------------+--------+----------|
  | 1825 |   8,741    |     5,551 |      485    |    114 |   14,891 |
  | 1826 |  12,818    |     7,063 |      903    |    116 |   20,900 |
  | 1827 |  12,648    |    14,526 |      715    |    114 |   28,003 |
  | 1828 |  12,084    |    12,817 |    1,056    |    135 |   26,092 |
  | 1829 |  13,307    |    15,678 |    2,016    |    197 |   31,198 |
  | 1830 |  30,574    |    24,887 |    1,242    |    204 |   56,907 |
  | 1831 |  58,067    |    23,418 |    1,561    |    114 |   83,160 |
  | 1832 |  66,339    |    32,872 |    3,733    |    196 |  103,140 |
  | 1833 |  28,808    |    29,109 |    4,093    |    517 |   62,527 |
  | 1834 |  40,060    |    33,074 |    2,800    |    288 |   76,222 |
  | 1835 |  15,573    |    26,720 |    1,860    |    325 |   44,478 |
  | 1836 |  34,226    |    37,774 |    3,124    |    293 |   75,417 |
  | 1837 |  29,884    |    36,770 |    5,054    |    326 |   72,034 |
  | 1838 |   4,577    |    14,332 |   14,021    |    292 |   33,222 |
  | 1839 |  12,658    |    33,536 |   15,786    |    227 |   62,207 |
  | 1840 |  32,293    |    40,642 |   15,850    |  1,958 |   90,743 |
  | 1841 |  38,164    |    45,017 |   32,626    |  2,786 |  118,592 |
  | 1842 |  54,123    |    63,852 |    8,534    |  1,835 |  128,344 |
  | 1843 |  23,518    |    28,335 |    3,478    |  1,881 |   57,212 |
  | 1844 |  22,924    |    43,660 |    2,229    |  1,873 |   70,686 |
  | 1845 |  31,803    |    58,538 |      830    |  2,330 |   93,501 |
  | 1846 |  43,439    |    82,239 |    2,347    |  1,826 |  129,851 |
  | 1847 | 109,680    |   142,154 |    4,949    |  1,487 |  258,270 |
  | 1848 |  31,065    |   188,233 |   23,904    |  4,887 |  248,089 |
  | 1849 |  41,367    |   219,450 |   32,091    |  6,590 |  299,498 |
  |------+------------|           |-------------+--------+----------|
  |      | 808,740    | 1,260,247 |  185,286    | 30,911 |2,285,184 |

Average annual emigration from the United Kingdom for the last
twenty-five years, 91,407.

The Railway Mania and artificial excitement of 1843 and 1844 brought
down these numbers to _one half_--they were 57,212 and 70,686 in these
two years successively. But the Currency Laws of 1844 and 1845, and
Free Trade of 1846, soon more than _quadrupled_ these numbers; and they
have _never since receded_, but, on the contrary, rapidly increased
ever since. The numbers were:--

  Currency Acts, 1845,      93,501
  Free Trade, 1846,        129,851
  Irish Famine, 1847,      258,270
  Free Trade, 1848,        248,089
  Free Trade, 1849,        299,498

More convincing proof that emigration is, for the most part, the result
of general distress, and that the intensity and wide spread of that
distress is to be measured by its increase, cannot possibly be imagined.

In the next place, the criminal records for the same period, since
1822, demonstrate, in a manner equally decisive, that amidst all our
advances in civilisation, wealth, and productive industry, the causes
producing an increase of crime have been equally active; and that,
abreast of the distress which drove such prodigious and increasing
multitudes into exile, have advanced the social evils which have, in an
equal ratio, multiplied the criminals among those who remain at home.

From the table quoted below, it appears that, since the year 1822,
serious crime, over the whole empire, has advanced fully 300 per cent;
while the numbers of the people, during the same period, have not
increased more than 30 per cent, which of itself is a very great and
most surprising increase for an old state. It has advanced from 27,000
to 75,000. In other words, serious crime, during the last twenty-five
years, has advanced TEN TIMES as fast as the numbers of the people.[5]

[5] TABLE showing the commitments for Serious Crime in England,
Scotland, and Ireland, from 1822 to 1849, both inclusive:--

  +------+---------+---------+---------+--------+
  |Years | England |Scotland | Ireland | TOTAL  |
  |------+---------+---------+---------+--------|
  | 1822 |  12,241 |   1,691 |  13,251 | 27,183 |
  | 1823 |  12,263 |   1,733 |  14,632 | 28,628 |
  | 1824 |  13,698 |   1,802 |  15,258 | 30,748 |
  | 1825 |  14,437 |   1,876 |  15,515 | 31,828 |
  | 1826 |  16,164 |   1,999 |  16,318 | 34,481 |
  | 1827 |  17,924 |   2,116 |  18,031 | 30,071 |
  | 1828 |  16,564 |   2,024 |  14,683 | 33,273 |
  | 1829 |  18,675 |   2,063 |  15,271 | 36,009 |
  | 1830 |  18,107 |   2,329 |  15,794 | 36,230 |
  | 1831 |  19,647 |   2,451 |  16,192 | 38,290 |
  | 1832 |  20,829 |   2,431 |  16,056 | 39,316 |
  | 1833 |  20,072 |   2,564 |  17,819 | 40,453 |
  | 1834 |  22,451 |   2,691 |  24,381 | 49,523 |
  | 1835 |  20,731 |   2,867 |  21,205 | 44,803 |
  | 1836 |  20,984 |   2,922 |  23,891 | 47,797 |
  | 1837 |  23,612 |   3,126 |  14,804 | 41,452 |
  | 1838 |  23,094 |   3,418 |  15,723 | 42,635 |
  | 1839 |  24,443 |   3,409 |  26,392 | 54,244 |
  | 1840 |  27,187 |   3,872 |  23,883 | 54,892 |
  | 1841 |  27,760 |   3,562 |  20,796 | 52,118 |
  | 1842 |  31,389 |   4,189 |  21,186 | 56,684 |
  | 1843 |  29,591 |   3,615 |  20,126 | 53,332 |
  | 1844 |  26,542 |   3,575 |  19,448 | 49,565 |
  | 1845 |  24,303 |   3,537 |  16,696 | 44,536 |
  | 1846 |  25,107 |   4,069 |  18,492 | 47,668 |
  | 1847 |  28,883 |   4,635 |  31,209 | 64,677 |
  | 1848 |  30,349 |   4,909 |  38,522 | 73,780 |
  | 1849 |  27,806 |   4,357 |  41,982 | 74,162 |

The same table is equally valuable in another point of view, as
demonstrating, that it is to a general and progressive increase of
_distress_ that this deplorable result is to be ascribed. Every year of
great and general suffering has been immediately followed in the next
and the succeeding ones by a sudden start in crime, which has again
as regularly receded, when a returning gleam of prosperity has for a
time illuminated the prospects of the working-classes in the community.
Thus, the dreadful monetary crisis of December 1825 was followed next
year by a considerable increase of commitments: they rose from 31,828
to 38,071. The numbers again fell to 33,273 and 36,009 in 1829 and
1830, which were years of comparative comfort. The Reform agitation,
and consequent distress of 1831 and 1832, raised them again to 49,523
in 1834; while the Joint-stock mania and fine harvests of 1835 lowered
it to 44,803. The bad harvests, great importation, and consequent
monetary crisis of 1839 and 1840 raised them most materially; they
amounted to 54,244 and 54,892 in those years respectively. The fine
harvests and Railway mania of 1844 and 1845 lowered them to 49,565 and
44,536; but the Irish famine and Free-trade measures of 1846, followed,
as they necessarily were, by the dreadful monetary crisis of October
1847, raised them again to an unprecedented amount, from which they
have never since receded. In 1848, they were 73,780; in 1849, 74,162;
of which, last year, no less than 41,980 were in Ireland, being nearly
4000 more than 1848--albeit the harvest of 1849 was very fine, and the
preceding year had been the year of the Irish rebellion, and when that
country might be presumed to be still labouring under the effects of
the famine of autumn 1846.

The poor's rate from 1822 to 1849[6] affords an equally conclusive
proof of the steady increase of pauperism--varying, of course, like the
crime and emigration, with the prosperity and suffering of particular
years, but exhibiting on the whole a great and most portentous
increase. This appears even when it is measured in money; but still
more strikingly and convincingly when measured in grain--the true test
both of its amount and its weight, as by far the greatest part of it
is laid out in the purchase of food for the paupers, and the price of
that food is an index to the ability of the land to bear it. It is to
be recollected that the new Poor Law, which was introduced to check the
rapid and alarming increase in the poor's rates of England and Wales,
was passed in 1834, and came into full operation in 1835, and has since
continued unaltered. It certainly effected a great reduction at first;
but that it was not lasting, and was speedily altered by the Free-Trade
measures, is decisively proved by the following table, furnished by Mr
Porter. The in-door and out-door paupers of England since 1840 have
stood thus to 1848:--

  1840,       1,199,529
  1841,       1,299,048
  1842,       1,427,187
  1843,       1,539,490
  1844,       1,477,561
  1845,       1,470,970
  1846,       1,332,089
  1847,       1,720,350
  1848,       1,626,201

  --_Progress of the Nation_, 3d Ed. p. 94.

[6] TABLE showing the Poor's Rates of England and Wales, with their
Population, and the amount in Quarters of Grain in every year, from
1822 to 1849, both inclusive:--

  |       |              |            |           |  Amount in  |
  |       |              | Population | Prices of | Quarters of |
  | Years | Poor's Rates |            |   Wheat   |    Wheat    |
  |-------+--------------|            |-----------+-------------|
  |       |              |            | _s._ _d._ |             |
  |1822   |  £6,358,702  | 12,318,310 |  43   3   |  2,940,440  |
  |1823   |   5,772,958  | 12,508,956 |  51   9   |  2,231,091  |
  |1824   |   5,736,898  | 12,699,098 |  62   0   |  1,850,612  |
  |1825   |   5,786,989  | 12,881,906 |  66   6   |  1,740,447  |
  |1826   |   5,928,501  | 13,056,931 |  55  11   |  2,983,221  |
  |1827   |   6,441,088  | 13,242,019 |  56   9   |  2,269,987  |
  |1828   |   6,298,000  | 13,441,913 |  60   5   |  2,084,855  |
  |1829   |   6,332,410  | 13,620,701 |  66   3   |  1,911,671  |
  |1830   |   6,829,042  | 13,811,467 |  64   3   |  2,125,772  |
  |1831   |   6,798,888  | 13,897,187 |  66   4   |  2,049,916  |
  |1832   |   7,036,968  | 14,105,645 |  58   8   |  2,398,966  |
  |1833   |   6,790,799  | 14,317,229 |  52  11   |  2,566,601  |
  |1834   |   6,317,255  | 14,531,957 |  46   2   |  2,736,717  |
  |1835[7]|  5,526,418   | 14,703,002 |  44   2   |  2,502,528  |
  |1836   |   4,717,630  | 14,904,456 |  39   5   |  2,393,723  |
  |1837   |   4,044,741  | 15,105,909 |  52   6   |  1,540,853  |
  |1838   |   4,123,604  | 15,307,363 |  55   3   |  1,492,684  |
  |1839   |   4,421,712  | 15,508,816 |  69   4   |  1,275,494  |
  |1840   |   4,576,965  | 15,710,270 |  68   5   |  1,336,340  |
  |1841   |   4,760,929  | 15,911,725 |  65   3   |  1,459,288  |
  |1842   |   4,911,498  | 16,141,808 |  64   0   |  1,534,843  |
  |1843   |   5,208,027  | 16,371,892 |  54   4   |  1,917,665  |
  |1844   |   4,976,093  | 16,601,975 |  51   5   |  1,935,595  |
  |1845   |   5,039,708  | 16,824,341 |  50  10   |  1,976,354  |
  |1846   |   4,954,204  | 17,032,471 |  54   8   |  1,801,528  |
  |1847   |   5,298,787  | 17,426,321 |  69   9   |  1,513,939  |
  |1848   |   6,180,764  | 17,649,622 |  50   6   |  2,423,436  |
  |1849   |   5,792,963  | 17,862,431 |  44   3   |  2,633,166  |
  |1850   |              |            |  40   2   |             |

_Poor's-Rate Report_, 1849; and PORTER, 90, 3d ed.--The five last
years' prices are not from Mr Porter's work, where they are obviously
wrong, but from _Parl. Pap._ 1850, No. 460.

[7] New Poor-Law came into operation.

These are the results exhibited in England and Wales. The poor's
rates since 1837 have doubled in real weight, and we need not say
that they are calculated to awaken the most alarming reflections; the
more especially when it is recollected that the year 1849 was one
of reviving, and, during its last six months, of boasted commercial
prosperity. But the matter becomes much more serious, and the picture
of the social condition of the island much more correct and striking,
when the simultaneous measures, adopted during the last five years in
Scotland and Ireland, are taken into consideration.

We need not tell our readers that, prior to 1844, Ireland had no
poor law at all; and that although Scotland had a most humane and
admirable poor law on its statute-book, yet its operation had been
so much frittered away and nullified, by the unhappy decision of the
Court of Session, which gave no control to the _local_ courts over
the decisions of the heritors and kirk-sessions (church-wardens of
parishes), thereby in effect rendering them judges without control in
their own cause, that it, practically speaking, amounted to almost
nothing. But as the evils of that state of things had become apparent,
and had been demonstrated _luce meridianâ clarius_, by Dr Alison and
other distinguished philanthropists, an efficient statute was passed in
1845, which corrected this evil, and has since produced the following
results, which may well attract the notice of the most inconsiderate,
from the rapid increase which pauperism exhibits, and the extraordinary
magnitude it has already attained in Scotland--

  |      |             |   Number of Poor,    |                    |
  |Years | Sums raised |  fixed and casual    | Registered Paupers |
  |------+-------------+----------------------+--------------------|
  |1840  | £202,812    |                      |                    |
  |1841  |  218,481    |                      |                    |
  |1844  |  258,814    |                      |                    |
  |1845  |  306,044    |  63,070 or 1 in 42   | 62,070 or 1 in 42  |
  |1846  |  435,367    |  69,432 -- 1 -- 38   | 69,432 -- 1 -- 38  |
  |1847  |  533,073    | 146,370 -- 1 -- 17.8 | 74,161 -- 1 -- 35.3|
  |1848  |  583,613    | 227,647 -- 1 -- 11.5 | 77,732 -- 1 -- 33.7|
  |1849  |             | 202,120 -- 1 -- 12.96| 82,357 -- 1 -- 31.8|

--_Poor-Law Report, Scotland_, Aug. 1849.

In the year 1850, a year of unusual commercial prosperity, the sums
assessed for the relief of the poor in Glasgow alone, irrespective of
buildings and other expenses connected with them, was £87,637, and with
these expenses £121,000.[8]

[8] DR YOUNG'S _Report_, Jan. 1851

In Ireland, the growth of the Poor Law, from its first introduction,
has been still more rapid and alarming, as might have been anticipated
from the greater mass of indigence and destitution with which it there
had to contend. The sums raised for relief of the poor in that country,
the _nominal_ rental of which is £13,000,000, has stood thus for the
last three years--

  |  Year  |           |           |               |         |
  | ending |           |           |Indoor Paupers,| Outdoor |
  |Sept. 29| Collected | Expended  |     August    | Paupers |
  |--------+-----------+-----------+---------------+---------|
  |  1846  |  £359,870 |  £350,667 |               |         |
  |  1847  |   585,507 |   717,713 |     75,376    |         |
  |  1848  | 1,559,248 | 1,732,597 |    150,000    | 833,889 |
  |  1849  | 1,648,337 | 2,177,651 |    203,199    | 666,224 |
  |  1850  | 1,561,846 | 1,274,125 |    264,048[9] | 141,077 |

  --_Third Annual Report, Ireland_, p. 7.

[9] On 22d June, 1850.

On 3d July 1847, no less than _3,020,712 persons were fed by
the public in Ireland_, being about 40 per cent on the whole
population--certainly, at that date, under 8,000,000. Well may the
_Edinburgh Review_ say, in reference to this astonishing subject--

    "The collection in the year 1847-8 is remarkable: three times
    the amount of the collections of 1846-7, five times the amount
    of the collections of 1845-6. A tax unknown in Ireland ten
    years before was levied in the Year 1848 to the extent of
    _one-ninth_ of the rateable property of the country, and that
    in a period of unprecedented depression and embarrassment. In
    the same year the expenditure had risen _150 per cent_ above
    that of 1847, _and 500 per cent above the expenditure of 1846_.
    The expenditure in 1848-9 exceeds that of 1847 by the large sum
    of £445,054."[10]

[10] _Edinburgh Review_, Jan. 1851.

The diminished expenditure of 1850 is mainly owing to the reduction
in the price of provisions in that year, which has caused the cost
of an in-door pauper to decline from 2s. 2d., which it was in April
1847, to 1s. 2d., _or nearly a half_, to which it fell in autumn 1849,
which it has never since exceeded. Measured by quarters of grain, the
poor's-rate of Ireland, in 1850, was fully twice as heavy as it was in
1848, when the effects of the disastrous famine of 1846 were still felt.

After these broad and decisive facts, drawn from so many official
sources, and all conspiring to one result, it may seem unnecessary
to go further, or load these pages, for which matter abundant to
overflowing still remains, with any farther proof or illustration of
a thing unhappily too apparent. But as our present system is mainly
calculated for the interests of our great manufacturing cities, and, at
all events, has been brought about by their influence, and is strictly
in conformity with their demands, we cannot resist the insertion of an
extract from an eloquent speech of a most able, humane, and zealous
minister of the Free Church in Glasgow on the moral and religious state
of the working-classes in that vast and rapidly-increasing city, which
now has little short of 400,000 inhabitants within its bounds.

    "I know," said Dr Paterson, "that many congregations, not
    of the Free Church, both feel and manifest an anxious and
    enlightened concern in this cause. I do not attempt to describe
    their efforts, simply because I am not in a position to do them
    justice. I hail them, however, as fellow-labourers. I rejoice
    to know that they are in the field to some extent already, and
    I shall rejoice still more to see their exertions multiplying
    side by side with our own. Certain I am that nothing short _of
    a levy en masse of whatever there is of living Christianity in
    the city_, in all the branches of the Church of Christ which
    it contains, will suffice to make head against the _augmenting
    ignorance and ungodliness, and Popery and infidelity, with
    which we have to deal_. My other observation is for the members
    of our own church. Some of them will, perhaps, be startled
    by this movement, simply because it in adding another to our
    already numerous schemes--and because it may aggravate the
    difficulty we already feel of carrying them on. Here, they
    may say, is the beginning of new demands upon both our money
    and our time. To such a complaint I have no other answer to
    make but one--but it is one that seems to me to be decisive.
    My answer is, that this movement, whatever it may cost, is a
    matter of life and death. If we _do not destroy this evil, it
    will destroy us_."

These are certainly strong expressions, but they come from one well
acquainted, from personal visitation in his parish, which is one of the
most densely peopled in Glasgow, and second to none in zeal and ability
to combat the enormous mass of destitution, crime, sensuality, and
civilised heathenism with which he has to deal. And that he does not
exaggerate the evil, and speaks from accurate information, not vague
imagination, is evident from the details which he gives.

    "I begin with the Old Wynd, which is the western boundary of
    the parish, and of which only the one side, therefore, is
    in the Tron parish. That one side contains 102 families and
    504 individuals. Among that population there are possessed
    in all only 11 church sittings, or little more than 2 to the
    100. Of the 102 families, only 14 profess to be in the habit
    of going to any place of worship. In the New Wynd, there
    are 350 families and 1976 individuals, possessing in all 66
    church sittings, or little more than 3 to the 100. Of the 350
    families, only 67 profess to be in the habit of attending any
    place of worship. Lastly, the Back Wynd contains 137 families
    and 752 individuals, who possess in all only 6 church sittings,
    or less than 1 to the 100! Of these 137 families, only 13
    profess to attend any place of worship. Here, then, in these
    three Wynds, constituting but a section of the parish, we
    have a population of 3232 individuals, with only 83 church
    sittings, or little more than an average of 2½ to the 100.
    Of the 589 families of which that population consists, the
    enormous number of _495 families, by their own confession, are
    living in habitual and total estrangement from the house of
    God_. In these appalling circumstances, it will not surprise
    the presbytery to learn, that in the whole of the three Wynds
    there were found no more than 117 Bibles--in other words, that
    scarcely _one_ family in _five_ were possessed of a copy of the
    Word of God."

Again he says--

    "During the first ten of the last thirty years--that is, from
    1821 to 1831--the population increased at the rate of about
    5000 a-year. During the second ten of these years--that is,
    from 1831 to 1841--it increased at the rate of 8000 a-year.
    During the third ten of these years--that is, from 1841 to
    1851--it is believed, on good grounds, that the increase will
    average 12,000 a-year. Let any man consider these facts, and
    then, if he has courage to look forward at all, let him try _to
    picture to himself the state of Glasgow when another thirty
    years shall have run their course_. If the same ratio of
    increase holds on--and I know of no good reason for doubting
    that it will--we shall have in thirty years a population nearly
    equal in numbers to that of Paris; and most assuredly, if the
    Christian churches do not speedily arouse themselves, it will
    be by that time like Paris in more respects than one. We may
    have the numbers of the French capital, but we shall have
    _their infidelity, their Popery, their licentiousness, and
    their lawlessness too_. If our efforts did not keep pace with
    a population growing at the rate of 5000 a-year, how are such
    efforts to do alongside of a population growing at the rate of
    from 12,000 to 15,000 a-year? If in the race of the last thirty
    years we fell at least twenty years behind, how tremendously
    and how ruinously shall we be distanced in the next thirty
    years to come! 'If thou hast run with the footmen, and they
    have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses! And
    if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied
    thee, then how wilt thou do in the swellings of Jordan!'"

We select this as a picture of our great manufacturing towns, in which
the greatest and most unbounded prosperity, so far as mere production
goes, has prevailed, generally speaking, for the last thirty years; in
which the custom-house duties have increased, since 1812, from £3000
a-year to £660,000, and the river dues from £4500 to £66,000 in the
same period; but in which the sums expended in poor-rates and pauper
burials were, in round numbers,--

           Poor Rates.   Pauper Burials.
  1848      £180,000        4042
  1849       132,000        3577
  1850       120,000[11]    2381

Indicating the deplorable destitution of multitudes in the midst of
this growing wealth and unparalleled increase of manufacturing and
commercial greatness. In the last year, out of 10,461 burials, no less
than 2381, or nearly _a fourth_, were at the public expense.[12]

[11] Including buildings £87,000; for poor alone.

[12] Dr STRANG'S _Report_, 1851.

Of the wretched condition of a large class of the operatives of
Glasgow--that employed in making clothes for the rest of the
community--the following striking account has been given in a recent
interesting publication on the "Sweating System," by a merchant tailor
of the city:--

    "The _out-door_ or sweating system, by which the great
    proportion of their work is produced, has had a fearful
    debasing effect on journeymen tailors. Work is given out to a
    person denominated a "middle-man." He alone comes into contact
    with the employer. He employs others to work under him, in his
    own house. The workmen have no respect for him, as they have
    for an ordinary employer; nor has he the slightest influence
    over them, in enforcing proper conduct or prudent habits. On
    the contrary, his influence tends only to their hurt. _He
    engages them to work at the lowest possible prices_--making
    all the profit he can out of them. He ordinarily sets them
    down to work in a small, dirty room, in some unhealthy part of
    the city. They are allowed to work at irregular hours. Sunday,
    in innumerable instances brings no rest to the tailor under
    the sweating system; he must serve his slave-driver on that
    day too, even if he should go idle on the other days of the
    week. _No use of churches or ministers to him; his calling is
    to produce so-called cheap clothes for the million_--Sunday
    or Monday being alike necessary for such a laudable pursuit,
    though his soul should perish. Small matter that: only let
    _the cheap system flourish, and thereby increase the riches of
    the people_, and then full compensation has been made, though
    moral degradation, loss of all self-respect, and tattered rags,
    be the lot of the unhappy victim, sunk by it to the lowest
    possible degree."[13]

[13] _Modern System of Low-priced Goods_, p. 2, 3.

Such is the effect of the cheapening and competition system, in one
of our greatest manufacturing towns, in a year of great and unusual
commercial prosperity. That the condition of the vast multitude engaged
in the making of clothes in the metropolis is not better, may be judged
of by the fact that there are in London 20,000 journeymen tailors, of
whom 14,000 can barely earn a miserable subsistence by working fourteen
hours a-day, Sunday included; and that Mr Sidney Herbert himself, a
great Free-Trader, has been lately endeavouring to get subscriptions
for the needlewomen of London, on the statement that there are there
33,000 females of that class, who only earn on an average 4½d.
a day, by working fourteen hours. And the writer of this Essay has
ascertained, by going over the returns of the census of 1841 for
Glasgow, (Occupations of the People,) that there were in Glasgow in
that year above 50,000 women engaged in factories or needle-work, and
whose average earnings certainly do not, even in this year of boasted
commercial prosperity, exceed 7s. or 8s. a week. _Their number is
now, beyond all question, above 60,000_, and their wages not higher.
Such is the cheapening and competition system in the greatest marts
of manufacturing industry, and in a year when provisions were cheap,
exports great, and the system devised for its special encouragement in
full and unrestrained activity.

Facts of this kind give too much reason to believe that the picture
drawn in a late work of romance, but evidently taken by a well-informed
observer in London, is too well founded in fact:--

    "Every working tailor must come to this at last, on the present
    system; and we are lucky in having been spared so long. You
    all know where this will end--in the same misery as 15,000 out
    of 20,000 of our class are enduring now. We shall become the
    slaves, often the bodily prisoners, of Jews, middle-men, and
    sweaters, who draw their livelihood out of our starvation. We
    shall have to fare as the rest have--ever decreasing prices of
    labour, ever increasing profits, made out of that labour by
    the contractors who will employ us--arbitrary fines, inflicted
    at the caprice of hirelings--the competition of women, and
    children, and starving Irish--our hours of work will increase
    one-third, our actual pay decrease to less than one-half. And
    in all this we shall have no hope, no chance of improvement
    in wages, but even more penury, slavery, misery, as we are
    pressed on by those who are sucked by fifties--almost by
    hundreds--yearly out of the honourable trade in which we were
    brought up, into the infernal system of contract work, which is
    devouring our trade, and many others, body and soul. Our wives
    will be forced to sit up night and day to help us--our children
    must labour from the cradle, without chance of going to school,
    hardly of breathing the fresh air of heaven--our boys, as
    they grow up, must turn beggars or paupers--our daughters,
    as thousands do, must eke out their miserable earnings by
    prostitution. And after all, a whole family will not gain what
    one of us had been doing, as yet, single-handed. You know there
    will be no hope for us. There is no use appealing to Government
    or Parliament."[14]

[14] _Alton Locke_, vol. i. p. 149-50.

We shall only add to these copious extracts and documents one
illustrative of the state to which the West Highlands of Scotland have
been brought by Free Trade in black cattle and barilla, the staple of
their industry:--

Price of the Estate, £163,779.

        |             | Expenditure on
  Years.|  Receipts.  |    Estate.
  1847  |£4,134  0  0 |£7,305  0  0
  1848  | 1,781  0  0 | 4,253  0  0
  1849  | 1,109  0  0 | 1,294  0  0
  1850  | 1,345  0  0 | 1,126  0  0

  --_Inverness Courier._

Couple this with the facts that, in 1850, in the face of average prices
of wheat at about 40s. a quarter, the importation of all sorts of
grain into Great Britain and Ireland was about 9,500,000 quarters--of
course displacing domestic industry employed previous to 1846 in this
production; so that the acres under wheat cultivation in Ireland have
sunk from 1,048,000 in 1847, to 664,000 in 1849; and there will be no
difficulty in explaining the immense influx of the destitute from the
country into the great towns--augmenting thus the enormous mass of
destitution, pauperism, and wretchedness, with which they are already
overwhelmed.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is a picture, however brief and imperfect, of the social
condition of our population, after twenty years of Liberal government,
self-direction, and increasing popularisation, enhanced, during the
last five years, by the blessings of Free Trade and a restricted and
fluctuating currency. The question remains the most momentous on
which public attention can now be engaged. Is this state of things
_unavoidable_, or are there any means by which, under Providence, it
may be removed or alleviated? Part of it is unavoidable, and by no
human wisdom could be averted. But by far the greater part is directly
owing to the selfish and shortsighted legislation of man, and might at
once be removed by a wise, just, and equal system of government.

There is an unavoidable tendency, in all old and wealthy states,
for riches to concentrate in the highest ranks, and numbers to
become excessive in the lowest. This arises from the different set
of principles which, at the opposite ends of the chain of society,
regulate human conduct in the direction of life. Prudence, and
the desire of elevation, are predominant at the one extremity;
recklessness, and the thirst for gratification, at the other. Life is
spent in the one in striving to gain, and endeavouring to rise; in the
other, in seeking indulgence, and struggling with its consequences.
Marriage is contracted in the former, generally speaking, from
prudential or ambitious motives; in the latter, from the influence of
passion, or the necessity of a home. In the former, fortune marries
fortune, or rank is allied to rank; in the latter, poverty is linked
to poverty, and destitution engenders destitution. These opposite set
of principles come, in the progress of time, to exercise a great
and decisive influence on the comparative numbers and circumstances
of the affluent and the destitute classes. The former can rarely, if
ever, maintain their own numbers; the latter are constantly increasing
in numbers, with scarcely any other limit on their multiplication
but the experienced impossibility of rearing a family. Fortunes run
into fortunes by intermarriage, the effects of continued saving,
and the dying out of the direct line of descendants among the rich.
Poverty is allied to poverty by the recklessness invariably produced
by destitution among the poor. Hence the rich, in an old and wealthy
community, have a tendency to get richer, and the poor poorer; and
the increase of wealth only increases this tendency, and renders it
more decided with every addition made to the national fortunes. This
tendency is altogether irrespective of primogeniture, entails, or any
other device to retain property in a particular class of society. It
exists as strongly in the mercantile class, whose fortunes are for the
most part equally divided, as in the landed, where the estate descends
in general to the eldest son; and was as conspicuous in former days in
Imperial Rome, when primogeniture was unknown, and is now complained
of as as great a grievance in Republican France, where the portions of
children are fixed by law, as it is in Great Britain, where the feudal
institutions still prevail among those connected with real estates.

In the next place, this tendency in old and opulent communities has
been much enhanced, in the case of Great Britain, by the extraordinary
combination of circumstances--some natural, some political--which
have, in a very great degree, augmented its manufacturing and
commercial industry. It would appear to be a general law of nature,
in the application of which the progress of society makes no or very
little change--that machinery and the division of labour can add
scarcely anything to the powers of human industry in the cultivation
of the soil--but that they can work prodigies in the manufactories
or trades which minister to human luxury or enjoyment. The proof of
this is decisive. England, grey in years, and overloaded with debt,
can undersell the inhabitants of Hindostan in cotton manufactures,
formed in Manchester out of cotton grown on the banks of the Ganges
or the Mississippi; but she is undersold in grain, and to a ruinous
extent, by the Polish or American cultivators, with grain raised on
the banks of the Vistula or the Ohio. It is the steam-engine and the
division of labour which have worked this prodigy. They enable a girl
or a child, with the aid of machinery, to do the work of a hundred
men. They substitute the inanimate spindle for human hands. But there
is no steam-engine in agriculture. The spade and the hoe are its
spindles, and they must be worked by human hands. Garden cultivation,
exclusively done by man, is the perfection of husbandry. By a lasting
law of nature, the first and best employment of man is reserved, and
for ever reserved, for the human race. Thus it could not be avoided
that in Great Britain, so advantageously situated for foreign commerce,
possessing the elements of great naval strength in its forests, and
the materials in the bowels of the earth from which manufacturing
greatness was to arise, should come, in process of time, to find its
manufacturing bear an extraordinary and scarce paralleled proportion to
its agricultural population.

Consequent on this was another circumstance, scarcely less important in
its effects than the former, which materially enhanced the tendency to
excess of numbers in the manufacturing portions of the community. This
was the encouragement given to the employment of _women and children
in preference to men_ in most manufacturing establishments--partly
from the greater cheapness of their labour, partly from their being
better adapted than the latter for many of the operations connected
with machines, and partly from their being more manageable, and less
addicted to strikes and other violent insurrections, for the purpose
of forcing up wages. Great is the effect of this tendency, which
daily becomes more marked as prices decline, competition increases,
and political associations among workmen become more frequent
and formidable by the general popularising of institutions. The
steam-engine thus is generally found to be the sole moving power in
factories; spindles and spinning-jennies the hands by which their
work is performed; women and children the attendants on their labour.
There is no doubt that this precocious forcing of youth, and general
employment of young women in factories, is often a great resource to
families in indigent circumstances, and enables the children and young
women of the poor to bring in, early in life, as much as enables their
parents, without privation, often to live in idleness. But what effect
_must_ it have upon the principle of population, and the vital point
for the welfare of the working-classes--the proportion between the
demand for and the supply of labour? When young children of either
sex are sure, in ordinary circumstances, of finding employment in
factories, what an extraordinary impulse is given to population around
them, under circumstances when the lasting demand for labour in society
cannot find them employment! The boys and girls find employment in the
factories for six or eight years; so far all is well: but what comes
of these boys and girls when they become men and women, fathers and
mothers of children, legitimate and illegitimate, and their place in
the factories is filled by a new race of infants and girls, destined
in a few years more to be supplanted, in their turn, by a similar
inroad of juvenile and precocious labour? It is evident that this is an
important and alarming feature in manufacturing communities; and, where
they have existed long, and are widely extended, it has a tendency to
induce, after a time, an alarming disproportion between the demand
for, and the supply of _full-grown labour_ over the entire community.
And to this we are in a great degree to ascribe the singular fact, so
well and painfully known to all persons practically acquainted with
such localities, that while manufacturing towns are the places where
the greatest market exists for juvenile or infant labour--to obtain
which the poor flock from all quarters with ceaseless alacrity--they
are at the same time the places where destitution in general prevails
to the greatest and most distressing extent, and it is most difficult
for full-grown men and women to obtain permanent situations or wages,
on which they can maintain themselves in comfort. Their only resource,
often, is to trust, in their turn, to the employment of their children
for the wages necessary to support the family. Juvenile labour
becomes profitable--a family is not felt as a burden, but rather as
an advantage _at first_; and a forced and unnatural impulse is given
to population by the very circumstances, in the community, which are
abridging the means of desirable subsistence to the persons brought
into existence.

Lastly the close proximity of Ireland, and the improvident habits
and rapid increase of its inhabitants, has for above half a century
had a most important effect in augmenting, in a degree altogether
disproportioned to the extension in the demand for labour, the
numbers of the working classes in the community in Great Britain.
Without stopping to inquire into the causes of the calamity, it may
be sufficient to refer to the fact, unhappily too well and generally
known to require any illustration, that the numbers of labourers of the
very humblest class in Ireland has been long excessive; and that any
accidental failure in the usual means of subsistence never fails to
impel multitudes in quest of work or charity, upon the more industrious
and consequently opulent realm of Britain. Great as has been the
emigration, varying from 200,000 to 250,000 a-year from Ireland, during
the last two years to Transatlantic regions, it has certainly been
equalled, if not exceeded, by the simultaneous influx of Irish hordes
into the western provinces of Britain. It is well known[15] that,
during the whole of 1848, the inundation into Glasgow was at the rate
of above 1000 a-week on an average; and into Liverpool generally above
double the number. The census now in course of preparation will furnish
many most valuable returns on this subject, and prove to what extent
English has suffered by the competition of Irish labour. In the mean
time, it seems sufficient to refer to this well-known social evil, as
one of the causes which has powerfully contributed to increase the
competition among the working-classes, and enhance the disproportion
between the demand for, and the supply of, labour, which with few and
brief exceptions has been felt as so distressing in Great Britain for
the last thirty years.

[15] It was ascertained, from an accurate return obtained by the
Magistrates of Glasgow, that the number of persons who arrived at that
city by the Clyde, or the Ayrshire railway, in four months preceding
10th April 1848, was 42,860.

Powerful as these causes of evil undoubtedly were, they were not beyond
the reach of remedy by human means--nay, circumstances simultaneously
existed which, if duly taken advantage of, might have converted them
into a source of blessings. They had enormously augmented the powers of
productive industry in the British Empire; and in the wealth, dominion,
and influence thereby acquired, the means had been opened up of giving
full employment to the multitudes displaced by its boundless machinery
and extended manufacturing skill. Great Britain and Ireland enjoyed one
immense advantage--their territory was not merely capable of yielding
food for the whole present inhabitants, numerous and rapidly increasing
as they were, but for double or triple the number. The proof of this
is decisive. Although the two islands had added above a half to their
numbers between 1790 and 1835, the importation of foreign grain had
been continually diminishing; and in the five years ending with 1835,
they had come to be on an average only 398,000 quarters of grain and
flour in a year--being not _a hundredth_ part of the whole subsistence
of the people. Further, agriculture in Great Britain, from the great
attention paid to it, and the extended capital and skill employed in
its prosecution, had come to be more and more worked by manual labour,
and was rapidly approaching--at least, in the richer districts of the
country--_the horticultural system_, in which at once the greatest
produce is obtained from the soil, and the greatest amount of human
labour is employed in its cultivation; and in which the greatest
manufacturing states of former days, Florence and Flanders, had, on the
decay of their manufacturing industry, found a never-failing resource
for a denser population than now exists in Great Britain.

But, more than all, England possessed, in her immense and
rapidly-increasing colonies in every quarter of the globe, at once
an inexhaustible vent and place of deposit for its surplus home
population, the safest and most rapidly-increasing market for its
manufacturing industry, and the most certain means, in the keeping up
the communication between the different parts of so vast a dominion,
of maintaining and extending its maritime superiority. This was a
resource unknown to any former state, and apparently reserved for the
Anglo-Saxon race, whom such mighty destinies awaited in the progress
of mankind. The forests of Canada, the steppes of Australia, the hills
of New Zealand, the savannahs of the Cape, seemed spread out by nature
to receive the numerous and sturdy children of the Anglo-Saxon race,
whom the natural progress of opulence, the division of labour, the
extension of machinery, and the substitution of female and juvenile for
male labour, were depriving of employment in their native seats. In
the colonies, manual labour was as much in demand as it was redundant
in the parent state. No machinery or manufactures existed there to
displace the arm of the labourer's industry; the felling of the forest,
the draining of the morass, the cultivation of the wild, chained the
great majority of the human race to agricultural employments, for
generations and centuries to come. Even the redundant number and rapid
increase of the Celtic population in Ireland could not keep pace with
the demand for agricultural labour in our Transatlantic dominions. The
undue preponderance of the female sex, felt as so great and consuming
an evil in all old and wealthy cities, might be rendered the greatest
possible blessing to the infant colonies, in which the greatest social
evil always experienced is the excessive numbers of the male sex. All
that was required was the removal of them from the overburdened heart
to the famishing extremities of the empire; and this, while it relieved
the labour, promised to afford ample employment to the national navy.
The magnitude of this traffic may be judged of by the fact that the
212,000 emigrants who arrived at New York in the year 1850 were brought
in 2000 vessels. At the same time the rapid growth of the colonies,
under such a system, would have furnished a steady market for the most
extensive manufacturing industry at home, and that in a class of men
descended from ourselves, imbued with our habits, actuated by feeling
our wants, and chained by circumstances, for centuries to come, to the
exclusive consumption of our manufactures. What the magnitude of this
market might have been may be judged of by the fact that, in the year
1850, Australia and New Zealand, with a population which had not yet
reached 250,000 souls, took off in the year 1850 £2,080,364 of our
manufactures, being at the rate of £8 a-head; while Russia, with a
population of 66,000,000, only took off £1,572,593 worth, being not 6d.
a-head.[16]

[16] Parliamentary Return, 1851.

The social evils which at first sight appear so alarming, therefore,
in consequence of the extension of our manufacturing population, and
the vast increase of our wealth, were in reality not only easily
susceptible of remedy, but they might, by a wise and paternal policy,
alive equally to the interests _represented and unrepresented_ of
all parts of the empire, have been converted into so many sources
of increasing prosperity and durable social happiness. All that was
required was to adopt a policy conducive alike to the interests of
_all_ parts of our varied dominions, but giving no one an undue
advantage over the other; legislating for India as if the seat of
empire were Calcutta, for Canada as if it were Quebec, for the West
Indies as if it were Kingston. "Non alia Romæ alia Athenæ," should have
been our maxim. Equal justice to all would have secured equal social
happiness to all. The distress and want of employment consequent on
the extension of machinery, and the growth of opulence in the heart
of the empire, would have become the great moving power which would
have overcome the attachments of home and country, and impelled the
multitudes whom our transmarine dominions required into those distant
but still British settlements, where ample room was to be found for
their comfort and increase, and where their rapidly increasing numbers
would have operated with powerful effect, and in a geometrical ratio,
on the industry and happiness of the parent state. Protection to
native industry at home and abroad was all that was required to bless
and hold together the mighty fabric. So various and extensive were
the British dominions, that they would soon have arrived at the point
of being independent of all the rest of the world. The materials for
our fabrics, the food for our people, were to be had in abundance in
the different parts of our own dominions. We had no reason to fear
the hostility or the stopping of supplies from any foreign power. The
trade of almost the whole globe was to Great Britain a home trade, and
brought with it its blessings and its double return, at each end of the
chain.

These great and magnificent objects, which are as clearly pointed out
by Providence as the mission of the British nation--and which the
peculiar character of the Anglo-Saxon race so evidently qualified
it to discharge--as if it had been declared in thunders from Mount
Sinai, were in a great degree attained, though in an indirect way,
under the old constitution of England; and accordingly, while it
lasted, and was undisturbed in its action by local influences in the
heart of the empire, distress was comparatively unknown at home, and
disaffection was unheard of in our distant settlements. The proof of
this is decisive. The tables already given in the former part of this
paper demonstrate when distress at home and sedition abroad seriously
set in, when emigration advanced with the steps of a giant, and crime
began to increase ten times as fast as the numbers of the people--and
the poor-rates, despite all attempts to check them by fresh laws,
threatened to swallow all but the fortunes of the _millionnaires_ in
the kingdom. _It was after 1819 that all this took place._ Previous to
this, or at least previous to 1816, when the approaching great monetary
change of that year was intimated to the Bank, and the contraction of
the currency really began, distress at home was comparatively unknown,
and the most unbounded loyalty existed in our colonial settlements in
every part of the world. But from that date our policy at home and
abroad underwent a total change. Everything was changed with the change
in the ruling influences in the state. The words of the Christian
bishop who converted Clovis were acted upon to the letter--"Brulez ce
que vous avez adoré; adorez ce que vous avez brulé." The moneyed came
to supplant the territorial aristocracy, the interests of realised
capital to prevail over those of industry and wealth in the course
of formation. The Reform Bill confirmed and perpetuated this change,
by giving the moneyed class a decided majority of votes in the House
of Commons, and the House of Commons the practical government of the
country. From that moment suffering marked us for her own. Misery
spread in the heart of the empire; many of its most flourishing
settlements abroad went to ruin; and such disaffection prevailed in
all, that Government, foreseeing the dissolution of the empire, has
already taken steps to conceal the fall of the fabric by voluntarily
taking it to pieces.

Without going into details, unhappily too well known to all to require
any lengthened illustration, it may be sufficient to refer to three
circumstances which have not only immensely aggravated the internal
distress and external disaffection of the empire, but interrupted and
neutralised the influence of all those causes of relief provided for
us by nature, and which, under a just and equal policy, would have
entirely averted them.

The first of these, and perhaps the most disastrous in its effects
upon the internal prosperity of the empire, was the great contraction
of the currency which took place by the bill of 1819. By that bill the
bank and bankers' notes, which at the close of the war had amounted,
in Great Britain and Ireland, to about £60,000,000 in round numbers,
were suddenly reduced to £32,000,000, which was the limit formally
imposed, by the acts of 1844 and 1845, on the circulation issuable
on securities in the country. We know the effect of these changes:
the _Times_ has told us what it has been. It rendered the sovereign
worth two sovereigns; the fortune of £500,000 worth £1,000,000; the
debt of £800,000,000 worth £1,600,000,000; the taxes of £50,000,000
worth £100,000,000 annually. As a necessary consequence, it reduced
the average price of wheat from 90s. to 40s.; and the entire wages
of labour and remuneration of industry, throughout the country,
_to one-half_ of their former amount. The prodigious effect of
this change upon the real amount of the national burdens, and the
remuneration of the industry which was to sustain it, may be judged
of by the invaluable table quoted on the next page, which is stated
to be taken from Mr Porter's valuable work on the _Progress of the
Nation_, published in 1847, and furnished by that gentleman with his
wonted courtesy to the _Midland Counties Herald_, to the end of 1850.
Its import will be found to be correctly condensed in the following
statement, by that able writer Gemini, contained in the same paper of
January 30:--

                                          S.   D.
  "The average price of wheat
    from 1800 to the close of the
    war, was,                             90   7

  The average price of wheat from
    the passing of the Corn Law
    of 1815 to 1827, each inclusive,      67   2

  The average price of wheat from
    the passing of the Corn Law
    of 1828 to 1841, each inclusive,      58  10

  The average price of wheat from
    the passing of the Corn Law
    of 1842 to 1849, each inclusive,      53   6

  The average price of 1850               40   2

    During the war the average quantity of wheat required to
    be sold to pay one million of taxation amounted to 220,791
    quarters. The quantity required to be sold to pay one million
    of taxation, according to the prices of 1850, amounts to
    497,925 quarters, or 56,343 quarters more than _double_ the
    quantity required to be sold during the war. The enormous
    increase in the burdensomeness of taxation may be thus clearly
    estimated."

Comment is unnecessary, illustration superfluous, on such a result.

  ------+-------------+--------+-------------+--------------+---------+
        |  Amount of  | Yearly |   Revenue   | Rent of 200  |Price of |
        |revenue paid |average |estimated in |  acres of    |wheat at |
  Years.|  into the   | price  |   qrs. of   |land, at 30s. |a seven  |
        | Exchequer,  |of wheat|wheat, at the|  per acre,   | years'  |
        | the produce |per qr. |average price| estimated in |average, |
        |of taxation. |        |of the year. |qrs. of wheat.| per qr. |
  ------+-------------+--------+-------------+--------------+---------+
        |     £       | S.  D. |     qrs.    | qrs.   bus.  | S.   D. |
        |             |        |             |              |         |
   1800 | 34,145,584  |113  10 |  5,999,224  |  52      5   |   ...   |
   1801 | 34,113,146  |119   6 |  5,709,313  |  50      1   |   ...   |
   1802 | 36,368,149  | 69  10 | 10,415,698  |  85      7   |   ...   |
   1803 | 38,609,392  | 58  10 | 13,125,005  | 101      7   |   ...   |
   1804 | 46,176,492  | 62   3 | 14,835,820  |  96      5   |   ...   |
   1805 | 50,897,706  | 89   9 | 11,342,107  |  66      6   |   ...   |
   1806 | 55,796,086  | 79   1 | 14,110,706  |  75      6   | 84    8 |
   1807 | 59,339,321  | 75   4 | 15,753,802  |  79      5   | 79    2 |
   1808 | 62,998,191  | 81   4 | 15,491,358  |  73      5   | 73    7 |
   1809 | 63,719,400  | 97   4 | 13,093,027  |  61      5   | 77    8 |
   1810 | 67,144,542  |106   5 | 12,619,177  |  56      3   | 84    5 |
   1811 | 65,173,545  | 95   3 | 13,684,383  |  62      7   | 89    2 |
   1812 | 65,037,850  |126   6 | 10,282,604  |  47      4   | 94    5 |
   1813 | 68,748,363  |109   9 | 12,528,175  |  54      3   | 98   10 |
   1814 | 71,134,503  | 74   4 | 19,139,328  |  80      6   | 98    8 |
   1815 | 72,210,512  | 65   7 | 22,020,994  |  91      4   | 96    5 |
   1816 | 62,264,546  | 78   6 | 15,863,578  |  76      3   | 93    7 |
   1817 | 52,055,913  | 96  11 | 10,742,406  |  61      7   | 92    4 |
   1818 | 53,747,795  | 86   3 | 12,463,256  |  69      4   | 91    6 |
   1819 | 52,648,847  | 74   6 | 14,133,918  |  80      4   | 83    4 |
   1820 | 54,282,958  | 67  10 | 16,004,803  |  88      5   | 77    8 |
   1821 | 55,834,192  | 56   1 | 19,911,153  | 106      7   | 75    1 |
   1822 | 55,663,650  | 44   7 | 24,970,609  | 134      7   | 72    1 |
   1823 | 57,672,999  | 53   4 | 21,627,374  | 112      4   | 68    6 |
   1824 | 59,362,403  | 63  11 | 18,574,937  |  93      7   | 63    9 |
   1825 | 57,273,869  | 68   6 | 16,722,297  |  87      4   | 61    2 |
   1826 | 54,894,989  | 58   8 | 18,714,200  | 102      2   | 58   11 |
   1827 | 54,932,518  | 58   6 | 18,780,348  | 102      4   | 57    7 |
   1828 | 55,187,142  | 60   5 | 18,268,847  |  99      2   | 58    3 |
   1829 | 50,786,682  | 66   3 | 15,331,828  |  90      4   | 61    4 |
   1830 | 50,056,616  | 64   3 | 15,581,825  |  93      4   | 62   11 |
   1831 | 46,424,440  | 66   4 | 13,997,318  |  90      4   | 63    3 |
   1832 | 46,988,755  | 58   8 | 16,018,893  | 102      2   | 61   10 |
   1833 | 46,271,326  | 52  11 | 17,488,375  | 113      3   | 61    0 |
   1834 | 46,425,263  | 46   2 | 20,112,027  | 130      0   | 59    3 |
   1835 | 45,893,369  | 39   4 | 23,335,611  | 152      4   | 56    3 |
   1836 | 48,591,180  | 48   6 | 20,037,600  | 123      6   | 53    8 |
   1837 | 46,475,194  | 55  10 | 16,647,830  | 107      3   | 52    6 |
   1838 | 47,333,460  | 64   7 | 14,658,103  |  92      7   | 52    3 |
   1839 | 47,844,899  | 70   8 | 13,541,009  |  84      7   | 54    0 |
   1840 | 47,567,565  | 66   4 | 14,341,979  |  90      3   | 55   11 |
   1841 | 48,084,360  | 64   4 | 14,948,505  |  93      2   | 58    6 |
   1842 | 46,965,631  | 57   3 | 16,407,207  | 104      6   | 61    0 |
   1843 | 52,582,817  | 50   1 | 20,998,129  | 119      6   | 61    3 |
   1844 | 54,003,754  | 51   3 | 21,074,635  | 117      0   | 60    7 |
   1845 | 53,060,354  | 50  10 | 20,876,204  | 118      0   | 58    8 |
   1846 | 53,790,138  | 54   8 | 19,679,318  | 109      6   | 56    4 |
   1847 | 51,546,265  | 69   9 | 14,780,291  |  86      0   | 56   10 |
   1848 | 53,388,717  | 50   6 | 21,144,046  | 118      7   | 54   10 |
   1849 | 52,951,749  | 44   3 | 23,932,993  | 135      4   | 53    0 |
   1850 |   ......    | 40   2 |   ......    | 149      3   | 51    6 |
  ------+-------------+--------+-------------+--------------+---------+

--_Midland Counties Herald_, January 31, 1851. The prices of wheat here
given are the _average_ prices of the year.

In the next place, prodigious as was the addition which this great
change made to the burdens, public and private, of the nation, the
change was attended with an alteration at times still more hurtful,
and, in the end, not less pernicious. This was the compelling the bank
to pay _all_ their notes in gold, the restraining them from issuing
paper beyond £14,000,000 bond on securities, and compelling them to
take all gold brought to them, whatever its market value was, at the
fixed price of £3, 17s. 10½d. the ounce. This at once aggravated
speculation to a most fearful degree in periods of prosperity, for
it left the bank no way of indemnifying itself for the purchase and
retention of £15,000,000 or £16,000,000 worth of treasure but by
pushing its business in all directions, and lowering its discounts
so as to accomplish that object; and it led to a rapid and ruinous
contraction of the currency the moment that exchanges became adverse,
and a drain set in upon the bank, either from the necessities of
foreign war in the neighbouring states, the mutation of commerce, or
the occurrence of a large importation of grain to supply the wants of
our own country. Incalculable as the distress which those alternations
of impulse and depression have brought upon this great manufacturing
community, and immeasurable the multitudes whom they have sunk, never
more to rise, into the lowest and most destitute classes of society,
their effect has by no means been confined to the periods during
which they actually lasted. Their baneful influence has extended to
subsequent times, and produced a continuous and almost unbroken stream
of distress; for, long ere the victims of one monetary crisis have
sunk into the grave, or been driven into exile, another storm arises
which precipitates fresh multitudes, especially in the manufacturing
towns, into the abyss of ruin. The whole, or nearly the whole, of this
terrific and continued suffering is to be ascribed to the monstrous
principles adopted in our monetary system--that of compelling the
banks to foster and encourage speculation in periods of prosperity,
and suddenly contract their issues and starve the body politic, when a
demand for the precious metals carries them in considerable quantities
out of the country. A memorable instance of the working of that
system is to be found in the Railway mania of 1845 and 1846, flowing
directly from the Acts of 1844 and 1845, which landed the nation in
an extra expenditure of nearly £300,000,000 on domestic undertakings,
at a time when commerce of every kind was in a state of the highest
activity, followed by the dreadful crash of October 1847, which, by
suddenly contracting the currency and ruining credit, threw millions
out of employment, and strained the real capital of the nation to the
very uttermost, to complete a part only of the undertakings which the
Currency Laws had given birth to. And the example of the years 1809
and 1810--when the whole metallic currency was drained out of the
country by the demands for the war in the Peninsula and Germany, but no
distress was experienced, and the national strength was put forth with
unparalleled vigour, and, as it proved, decisive effect--proves how
easily such a crisis might be averted by the extended issue of a paper
currency not liable to be withdrawn, when most required, by a public
run for gold.

In the third place, to crown the whole, and as if to put the keystone
in the arch of public distress, Free-Trade in every department was
forced upon the country by Sir Robert Peel and his successors in
1846, 1847, and 1849, under the dictation of the Manchester school,
and to promote the interest of master-manufacturers by lowering the
wages of labour and of realised capital, by cheapening the price of
everything else, and raising the value of money. We see the effects
of this already evinced in every department to which the system has
applied; and we see the commencement only of the general ruin with
which it is fraught. In agriculture, Great Britain and Ireland, which
were, practically speaking, in ordinary seasons self-supporting, have
come already to import from _nine to ten millions_ of foreign grain
for the support of the inhabitants, besides sheep and cattle in an
equal proportion. At least fifteen millions yearly is sent out of the
country, for the most part in hard cash, to buy food, which formerly
was nearly all spent in it, and enriched all classes of its people.
The exchangeable value of what remains has been lowered by at least
£75,000,000 annually, and of course so much taken away from the means
of supporting domestic labour, and paying the national defences and
the interest of public and private debt. The West Indies, formerly the
right arm of the naval strength of England, and no small source of its
riches, have been _totally ruined_; and, as a necessary consequence,
the exports of our manufactures to those once splendid settlements,
which, prior to the commencement of the new measures in 1834, had
reached £3,500,000 a-year, had sunk in 1850 to £1,821,146! Canada has
been so much impoverished by the withdrawing of all protection to
colonial industry, which has annihilated its intercolonial trade with
the West Indies, and seriously injured its export trade in grain and
wood to this country, that the British exports to that country, which
in 1839 amounted to £3,047,000, had sunk in 1850, notwithstanding
the subsequent addition of above 50 per cent to its population, to
£2,280,386.

              EXPORTS TO

             Canada.      West Indies.
  1839     L.3,047,671    L.3,986,598
  1840       2,847,970      3,574,970
  1841       2,947,061      3,504,004

  1850       2,280,386      1,821,146

In Ireland from four to five hundred thousand acres have gone out of
the cultivation of wheat alone; although the calamitous failure of the
potato crop in 1846, and the subsequent doubts as to the success of
that prolific esculent, should have tended to an _increase_ of cereal
crops as the only thing that could be relied on, and undoubtedly would
have done so, but for the blasting influence of Free Trade, which
deprived the farmer of all hope of a profitable return for agricultural
expenditure. As a necessary consequence, above 200,000 cultivators
have disappeared from the soil of the Emerald Isle in the four last
years; about 250,000 of them or their families are immured, idle and
miserable, in the Irish workhouses, and above 40,000 in its prisons;
while above 200,000 persons from that island alone, and 300,000 from
the two islands, are annually driven into exile! Lastly, as if Free
Trade had not worked sufficient mischief on the land, it has invaded
the sea also; no longer can the Englishman say--

  "His march is on the mountain wave
  His home is on the deep."

The ocean is fast becoming the home for other people, to the exclusion
of its ancient lords. One single year of Free Trade in shipping,
following the repeal of the Navigation Laws, has occasioned, under the
most favourable circumstances for testing the tendency of the change,
so great a diminution in British and increase in foreign shipping in
all our harbours, that it is evident the time is rapidly approaching,
if the present system is continued, when we must renounce all thought
of maintaining naval superiority, and trust to the tender mercies of
our enemies and rivals for a respite from the evils of blockade and
famine.[17]

[17] The following Returns from three seaports alone--London,
Liverpool, and Dublin--in 1849 and 1850, will show how rapidly this
ruinous process is going on:--

  |                  |                    |                    |
  |                  |       1849.        |       1850.        |
  |  I. LONDON--     | Ships. |   Tons.   | Ships. |   Tons.   |
  |       British,   |  6,917 | 1,444,311 |  6,497 | 1,376,233 |
  |       Foreign,   |  3,040 |   443,923 |  3,413 |   527,174 |
  |                  |--------+-----------+--------+-----------|
  | II. LIVERPOOL--  |        |           |        |           |
  |       British,   |        |           |        |           |
  |       Foreign,   |        |    56,500 |        |   124,800 |
  |                  |--------+-----------+--------+-----------|
  |III. DUBLIN--     |        |           |        |           |
  |       British,   |    351 |    63,263 |    279 |    44,146 |
  |       Foreign,   |    125 |    27,774 |    183 |    39,250 |
  +------------------+--------------------+--------------------+
  |                  |Decrease of British.|Increase of Foreign.|
  |                  |                    |                    |
  |                  | Ships. |   Tons.   | Ships. |   Tons.   |
  |  I. LONDON,      |   420  |   78,078  |   373  |   83,251  |
  |                  |--------+-----------+--------+-----------|
  | II. LIVERPOOL,   |        |           |        |   78,300  |
  |                  |--------+-----------+--------+-----------|
  |III. DUBLIN,      |    72  |   19,117  |    58  |   11,476  |
  |                  |--------+-----------+--------+-----------|
  |      Total,      |        |           |        |  173,027  |


The vast emigration of 300,000 annually which is now going on from the
United Kingdom, might reasonably be expected to have alleviated, in a
great degree, this most calamitous decrease in the staple branches of
industry in our people; and so it would have, certainly, had a wise
and paternal Government taken it under its own direction, and sent
the parties abroad who really were likely to want employment, and
whose removal would at once prove a relief to the country from which
they were sent, and a blessing to that for which they were destined.
But this is so far from being the case, that there is perhaps no one
circumstance in our social condition which has done more of late years
to aggravate the want of employment, and enhance the distress among
the working-classes, than _the very magnitude of this emigration_.
The dogma of Free Trade has involved even the humble cabins of the
emigrant's ship: there, as elsewhere, it has spread nothing but misery
and desolation. The reason is, that it has been left to the unaided,
undirected efforts of the emigrants themselves.

Government was too glad of an excuse not to interfere: the constantly
destitute condition of the Treasury, and the ceaseless clamour
against taxation, in consequence of the wasting away of the national
resources under the action of Free Trade and a contracted currency,
made them too happy of any excuse for avoiding any payments from the
public Treasury, even on behalf of the most suffering and destitute
of the community. This excuse was found in the plausible plea, that
any advances on their part would interfere with the free exercise of
individual enterprise--a plea somewhat similar to what it would be if
all laws for the protection of paupers, minors, and lunatics, were
swept away, lest the free action of the creditors on their estates
should be disturbed. The consequence has been that the whole, or nearly
the whole, of the immense stream of emigration which general distress
has now caused to flow from the British Islands, has been sustained
by the efforts of private individuals, and left to the tender mercies
of the owners or freighters of emigrant ships. The result is well
known. Frightful disasters, from imperfect manning and equipment, have
occurred to several of these misery-laden vessels. A helpless multitude
is thrown ashore at New York and Montreal, destitute alike of food,
clothing, or the means of getting on to the frontier, where its labour
could be of value; and the competition for employment at home has been
increased to a frightful degree by the removal of so large a proportion
of such of the tenantry or middle class as were possessed of little
capitals; and had the means either of maintaining themselves or giving
employment to others. At least L.3,000,000 yearly goes abroad with the
emigrant ships, and that is drawn almost entirely from the lower class
of farmers, the very men who employ the poor. The class who have gone
away was for the most part that which should have remained, for it had
the means of doing, something in the world, and employing others;
that which was left at home, was that which should have been removed,
because they were the destitute who could neither find employment
in these islands, nor do anything on their own account from want of
funds. Hence above a million and a-half of persons in Great Britain,
and above seven hundred thousand in Ireland, on an average of years,
are constantly maintained by the poor-rates, for the most part in
utter idleness, although the half of them are able-bodied, and their
labour--if they could only be forwarded to the frontier of civilisation
in America--would be of incalculable service to our own colonies or the
United States.

The very magnitude of the trade employed in the exportation of the
emigrants, and the importation of food for those who remain, has gone
far to conceal the ruinous effects of Free Trade. Between the carrying
out of emigrants, and the bringing in of grain--the exportation of
our strength, and the importation of our weakness--our chief seaports
may continue for some time to drive a gainful traffic. The _Liverpool
Times_ observes:--

    "The number of emigrant vessels which sailed from Liverpool
    during the last year, was 568. Of these vessels, many are
    from 1500 to 2000 tons burden, and a few of them even reach
    3000 tons. They are amongst the finest vessels that ever were
    built, are well commanded, well-manned, fitted out in excellent
    style, and present a wonderful improvement in all respects,
    when compared with the same class of vessels even half a dozen
    years ago. Taking the average passage-money of each passenger
    in these vessels at £6, the conveying of emigrants yields a
    revenue of upwards of £1,000,000 sterling to the shipping which
    belongs to or frequents this port, independent of the great
    amount of money which the passage of such an immense multitude
    of persons through the town must cause to be spent in it. In
    fact, the passage and conveyance of emigrants has become one of
    the greatest trades of Liverpool."--_Liverpool Times_, Jan. 10,
    1851.

The number of emigrants from the Mersey and the Clyde, since the days
of Free Trade began, have been prodigious, and rapidly increasing. They
have stood thus:--

  Year.   Liverpool.   Clyde.
  1847     134,524     7,728
  1848     131,121    10,035
  1849     153,902    14,968
  1850     174,187    14,203

It was precisely the same in the declining days of the Roman
empire--the great seaport towns continued to flourish when all other
interests in the state were rapidly sinking; and when the plains in
the interior were desolate, or tenanted only by the ox or the buffalo,
the great cities were still the abodes of vast realised wealth and
unbounded private luxury. We are rapidly following in the same path.
The realised capital of Great Britain was estimated in 1814 at
L.1,200,000,000; in 1841, Mr Porter estimated it at L.2,000,000,000;
the capital subject to legacy duty in Great Britain, on an average of
forty-one years, from 1797 to 1841, was L.26,000,000; in the single
year 1840 it was L.40,500,000. The increase of realised capital among
the rich has been nearly as great as that of pauperism, misery, and
consequent emigration among the poor--the well-known and oft-observed
premonitory symptoms of the decline of nations.

       *       *       *       *       *

It is in the midst of these numerous and overwhelming evils, the
result mainly of theoretical innovation and class government in the
country--when above two millions of paupers in the two islands are
painfully supported by public assessment; when three hundred thousand
are annually driven into exile, and a hundred and fifty thousand more
are constantly supported in jails, one-half of whom are committed
for serious crimes;[18] when all classes, excepting those engaged in
the export trade of human beings and the import of human food, are
languishing from the decline of domestic employment, and the constantly
increasing influx of foreign goods, both rude and manufactured--that
we are assured by one benevolent set of philanthropists that all will
be right, if we only give the starving working-classes model houses,
rented at L.8 each, to live in; by another, that ragged schools for
their destitute children will set all in order; by a third, that a
schoolmaster in every wynd is alone required to remove all the evils
under which we labour; by a fourth, that cold baths and wash-houses
to lave their emaciated limbs, are the great thing; by a fifth, that
church extension is the only effectual remedy, and that, till there is
a minister for every seven hundred inhabitants, it is in vain to hope
for any social amelioration. We respect the motives which actuate each
and all of these benevolent labourers in the great vineyard of human
suffering; we acknowledge that each within a limited sphere does some
good, and extricates a certain number of individuals or families out
of the abyss of degradation or suffering in which they are immersed.
As to anything like national relief, or alleviation of distress in any
sensible degree, from their united efforts, when the great causes of
evil which have been mentioned continue in undiminished activity, it is
as chimerical as to expect by the schoolmaster or the washing-woman to
arrest the ravages of the plague or the cholera.

[18] Including the police committals, much more numerous than those for
trial.

Two circumstances of general operation, and overwhelming importance,
render all these various and partial remedies, while the great
causes which depress the demand for labour and deprive the people of
employment continue in operation, entirely nugatory and ineffectual, in
a general view, to arrest our social evils.

The first of these is, that these remedies, one and all of them, are
calculated for the elevation and intellectual or moral improvement of
the people, but have no tendency to improve their circumstances, or
diminish the load of pauperism, destitution, and misery with which
they are overwhelmed. Until the latter is done, however, all the
efforts made for the attainment of the former, how benevolent and
praiseworthy soever, will have no general effect, and, in a national
point of view, may be regarded as almost equal to nothing. The reason
is that, generally speaking, the human race are governed, in the first
instance, almost entirely by their physical sufferings or comforts, and
that intellectual or moral improvement cannot be either thought of or
attended to till a certain degree of ease as to the imperious demands
of physical nature has been attained. In every age, doubtless, there
are some persons of both sexes who will heroically struggle against the
utmost physical privation, and pursue the path of virtue, or sedulously
improve their minds, under circumstances the most adverse, and with
facilities the most inconsiderable. But these are the exceptions, not
the rule. The number of such persons is so inconsiderable, compared
to the immense mass who are governed by their physical sensations,
that remedies addressed to the intellect of man, without reference
to the improvement of his circumstances, can never operate generally
upon society. Even the most intellectual and powerful minds must give
way under a certain amount of physical want or necessity. Take Newton
and Milton, Bacon and Descartes, Cervantes and Cicero, and make them
walk thirty miles in a wintry day, and come in to a wretched hovel at
night, and see what they will desire. Rely upon it, it will be neither
philosophy nor poetry, but warmth and food. A good fire and a good
supper would attract them from all the works which have rendered their
names immortal. Can we expect the great body of mankind to be less
under the influence of the imperious demands of our common physical
nature than the most gifted of the human race? What do the people
constantly ask for? It is neither cold baths nor warm baths, ragged
schools nor normal schools, churches nor chapels, model houses nor
mechanics' institutes--"It is a fair day's wage for a fair day's work."
We would all do the same in their circumstances. Give them _that_, the
one thing needful alike for social happiness and moral improvement, and
you make a mighty step in social amelioration and elevation; because
you lay _the foundation_ on which it all rests, and on which it must,
in a general point of view, all depend--without it, all the rest will
be found to be as much thrown away as the seed cast on the arid desert.

In the next place, the intellectual cultivation and elevation which
is regarded by so large a political party, and so numerous a body
of benevolent individuals, as the panacea for all our social evils,
never has affected, and never can affect, more than a limited class
in society. We may indeed teach all, or nearly all, to read; but can
we make them all read books, or still more, read books that will do
them any good, when they leave school, and become their own masters,
and are involved in the cares, oppressed with the labours, and exposed
to the temptations of the world? Did any man ever find a fifth of
his acquaintance of any rank, from the House of Peers and the Bar
downwards, who were really and practically directed in manhood and
womanhood by intellectual pleasures or pursuits? Habit, early training,
easy circumstances, absence of temptation, a fortunate marriage, or
the like, are the real circumstances which retain the great body of
the human race of every rank in the right path. They are neither
positively bad, nor positively good: they are characters of imperfect
goodness, and mainly swayed by their physical circumstances. If you
come to a crisis with them, when the selfish or generous feelings must
be acted upon, nine-tenths of them will be swayed by the former. The
disciples of Rousseau will contest these propositions: we would only
recommend them to look around them, and see whether or not they are
demonstrated by every day's experience in every rank of life. We wish
it were otherwise; but we must take mankind as they are, and legislate
for them on their _average_ capacity, without supposing that they are
generally to be influenced by the intellectual appliances adapted only
to a small fraction of their number. And, accordingly, upon looking at
the statistical tables given in the commencement of this Essay, it will
be found that, while emigration, crime, and pauperism, have advanced
rapidly, despite all the efforts of philanthropy and religion, which
are _permanent_, but affect only a part of society, they exhibit the
most remarkable fluctuations, according to the prosperity or distress
of _particular_ years, because the causes _then_ in operation affected
the _whole_ of mankind.

The only way, therefore, in which the physical circumstances of the
great body of mankind can be ameliorated, or room can be afforded for
the moral and intellectual elevation of such of them as have received
from nature minds susceptible of such training, is by restoring
_the equilibrium between the demand for labour and the numbers of
the people_, which our late measures have done so much to subvert.
By that means, and that means _alone_, can the innumerable social
evils under which we labour be alleviated. Without it, all the other
remedies devised by philanthropy, pursued with zeal, cherished by
hope, will prove ineffectual. How that is to be done must be evident
to every person of common understanding. The demand for labour must
be increased, the supply of labour must be diminished. The first can
only be done, by a moderate degree of Protection to Native Industry, at
present beat down to the dust in every department by the competition
of foreign states, where money is more scarce and taxation lighter,
and consequently production is less expensive. The second can only be
attained by a systematic emigration, conducted at the public expense,
and drawing of annually an hundred or an hundred and fifty thousand
of the _most destitute_ of the community, who have not the means of
transport for themselves, and, if not so removed, will permanently
encumber our streets, our jails, our workhouses.

But money is required for these things; and where, it will be asked, is
money to be found in this already overtaxed and suffering community?
The answer is, the money-question is the easiest of all; for it
will be attained in abundance by the very means requisite to attain
the other objects. Protection, even on the most moderate scale, to
Native Industry, is not to be attained without the imposition of
import-duties; and that will at once produce the funds requisite
for the attainment of all these objects. Laid on the importation of
all goods, rude or manufactured, they would yield such a revenue as
would enable us to take off the Income Tax, and thereby let loose
L.5,500,000 a-year, now absorbed by it, for the encouragement of
domestic industry. Agriculture, manufactures of all sorts, would take
a renewed start from the exclusion, to a certain degree, of foreign
competition. Domestic industry would cease to languish, because the
ruinous competition of foreigners working at a third of our wages would
be checked. By these means an ample fund would be raised to enable us
to transport, at the public expense, and comfortably settle in their
new habitations, some hundred thousand annually of the most destitute
class of our people--that class who cannot get away themselves, and,
as they are thrown out of employment by Free Trade, now encumber our
hospitals, jails, and workhouses. We would convert them from paupers
into healthful and sturdy emigrants, doubling in numbers, with constant
additions from the parent state, every ten years; and consuming L.8
a-head worth of our manufactures. Property in the colonies would double
in value every five years, from the joint effect of domestic labour,
and the prolific stream of external immigration; and every acre cleared
in these fertile wilds would cause a wheel to revolve, or a spindle to
move, or a family to be blessed, in the parent state.

We can affix no limits in imagination to what the British Empire
might become, or the amount of social and general happiness it might
contain, with the physical advantages which nature has given it, and
the character which race, and consequent institutions, have impressed
upon its inhabitants. In the centre of the Empire stands the parent
state, teeming with energy, overflowing with inhabitants, with coal
and ironstone in its bosom capable of putting in motion manufactories
for the supply of half the globe. In the extremities are colonies
in every quarter of the earth, possessing waste lands of boundless
extent and inexhaustible fertility, producing every luxury which the
heart of man can desire, and one only of which could furnish the whole
staple required for its greatest fabrics.[19] With such providential
wisdom were the various parts of this immense empire fitted for each
other; so marvellously was the surplus, whether in animated beings
or rude produce, of one part adapted to the deficiencies and wants
of another, that nothing but a just and equal system of government,
alive to the wants, and solicitous for the interests, of every part
of its vast dominion, was requisite to render it the most united,
prosperous, growing, and powerful state that ever existed on the
face of the earth. The Roman Empire, while spread around the shores
of the Mediterranean Sea, affords but a faint image of what it might
have been. _The ocean was its inland lake_; the British navy its
internal means of communication; the foreign trade of the whole
earth its home trade. We obtained the empire of the seas precisely
to enable us to carry out this magnificent destiny; the victory of
Trafalgar presented it to our grasp. But a just and equal system of
government was essential to the existence and duration of so immense a
dominion; a sense of fair administration, a consciousness of protected
interests, would alone hold it together for any length of time. The
simple precept of the gospel, "to do to others as we would they should
do unto us," would, if duly carried into practice, have for ever
kept united the mighty fabric, and caused it to embrace in peace and
happiness half the globe. This object was practically attained by the
virtual representation of all classes, interests, and colonies, under
the old constitution; and thence the steady growth, vast extent, and
unvarying loyalty during many a severe contest, of this multifarious
dominion. The new constitution, by vesting the government in the
representatives of our manufacturing towns, and thence introducing the
rule of class interests, is visibly and rapidly destroying it. The only
remedy practicable--and even that is so only for a short season--is
the _extension to the colonies of a direct share in the Imperial
Parliament_; but that is far too just and wise a measure to permit the
hope that it will ever be embraced by the class interest who now rule
the state.

[19] "At present the native consumption of cotton in India is estimated
at from 1,000,000,000 lb. to 3,000,000,000 lb. annually; while the
export to Great Britain is only 60,000,000 lb., and to all the world
only 150,000,000 lb. In this state of things, the rough production that
suits the home market will, of course, only be carried on; while, if
sufficient means of conveyance existed to render the cotton that is now
grown in the interior, at 1¼d. per lb., remunerative for export,
increased care in its preparation would be manifested, as was the
case in the United States, just in proportion to the increased reward
that would result. In developing these views, Mr Chapman undertakes
to demonstrate, by well-arranged facts and tables, that the export of
cotton from India to England has risen exactly as the difficulties or
expense of its transmission have been diminished; and also that costs
and impediments still remain which are sufficient to account for the
smallness of the quantity we continue to receive."--_Times_, Jan. 1851.

Notwithstanding all the obvious advantages of the course of policy
which we have recommended--though it would at once furnish the
means, as we have shown in a former paper, of obviating our external
dangers and maintaining our national independence, and at the same
time relieve our internal distresses and extend and consolidate our
colonial dependencies--we have scarcely any hope that it will be
adopted. The Free-traders have got such a hold of the burghs--to which
the Reform Bill gave a decided majority in the House of Commons--and
their leaders so perseveringly pursue their own _immediate_ interest,
without the slightest regard to the ruin they are bringing upon all
other interests of the state, that the hope of any change of policy--at
least till some terrible external disaster has opened the eyes of
the nation to a sense of the impending calamities brought on them by
their rulers--may be regarded as hopeless, without a general national
effort. The imposition of a moderate import duty upon the produce,
whether rude or manufactured, of all other nations, but with an entire
exemption to our own colonies, is obviously the first step in the right
direction, and would go far to alleviate our distresses, and at the
same time replenish the public Treasury and avert our external dangers.
In taking it, we should only be following the example of America,
Prussia, and nearly all other nations, who levy a duty of 30 per cent
on our manufactures, and thereby make us pay half of their taxes. But
it is to be feared the mania of Free Trade will prevail over a wise and
expedient policy, calculated equally to advance the interests of all
classes in the state. We do not say, therefore, that any such system
will be adopted; but this we do say, and with these words we nail our
colours to the mast,--PROTECTION MUST BE RESTORED, OR THE BRITISH
EMPIRE WILL BE DESTROYED.



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.

BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.


BOOK IV.--INITIAL CHAPTER:--COMPRISING MR CAXTON'S OPINIONS ON THE
MATRIMONIAL STATE, SUPPORTED BY LEARNED AUTHORITIES.

"It was no bad idea of yours, Pisistratus," said my father graciously,
"to depict the heightened affections and the serious intention's of
Signior Riccabocca by a single stroke--_He left off his spectacles!_
Good."

"Yet," quoth my uncle, "I think Shakspeare represents a lover as
falling into slovenly habits, neglecting his person, and suffering his
hose to be ungartered, rather than paying that attention to his outer
man which induces Signior Riccabocca to leave off his spectacles, and
look as handsome as nature will permit him."

"There are different degrees and many phases of the passion," replied
my father. "Shakspeare is speaking of an ill-treated, pining, wobegone
lover, much aggrieved by the cruelty of his mistress--a lover who has
found it of no avail to smarten himself up, and has fallen despondently
into the opposite extreme. Whereas Signior Riccabocca has nothing to
complain of in the barbarity of Miss Jemima."

"Indeed he has not!" cried Blanche,
tossing her head--"forward creature!"

"Yes, my dear," said my mother, trying her best to look stately, "I am
decidedly of opinion that, in that respect, Pisistratus has lowered the
dignity of the sex. Not intentionally," added my mother mildly, and
afraid she had said something too bitter; "but it is very hard for a
man to describe us women."

The Captain nodded approvingly; Mr Squills smiled; my father quietly
resumed the thread of his discourse.

"To continue," quoth he. "Riccabocca has no reason to despair of
success in his suit, nor any object in moving his mistress to
compassion. He may, therefore, very properly tie up his garters and
leave off his spectacles. What do you say, Mr Squills?--for, after all,
since love-making cannot fail to be a great constitutional derangement,
the experience of a medical man must be the best to consult."

"Mr Caxton," replied Squills, obviously flattered, "you are quite
right: when a man makes love, the organs of self-esteem and desire of
applause are greatly stimulated, and therefore, of course, he sets
himself off to the best advantage. It is only, as you observe, when,
like Shakspeare's lover, he has given up making love as a bad job,
and has received that severe hit on the ganglions which the cruelty
of a mistress inflicts, that he neglects his personal appearance: he
neglects it, not because he is in love, but because his nervous system
is depressed. That was the cause, if you remember, with poor Major
Prim. He wore his wig all awry when Susan Smart jilted him; but I set
it all right for him."

"By shaming Miss Smart into repentance, or getting him a new
sweetheart?" asked my uncle.

"Pooh!" answered Squills, "by quinine and cold bathing."

"We may therefore grant," renewed my father, "that, as a general rule,
the process of courtship tends to the spruceness, and even foppery,
of the individual engaged in the experiment, as Voltaire has very
prettily proved somewhere. Nay, the Mexicans, indeed, were of opinion
that the lady at least ought to continue those cares of her person
even after marriage. There is extant, in Sahagun's _History of New
Spain_, the advice of an Aztec or Mexican mother to her daughter,
in which she says--'That your husband may not take you in dislike,
adorn yourself, wash yourself, and let your garments be clean.' It
is true that the good lady adds,--'Do it in moderation; since, if
every day you are washing yourself and your clothes, the world will
say that you are over-delicate; and particular people will call
you--TAPETZON TINEMÁXOCH!' What those words precisely mean," added my
father modestly, "I cannot say, since I never had the opportunity to
acquire the ancient Aztec language--but something very opprobrious and
horrible, no doubt."

"I daresay a philosopher like Signior Riccabocca," said my uncle,
"was not himself very _Tapetzon tine_--what d'ye call it?--and a good
healthy English wife, like that poor affectionate Jemima, was thrown
away upon him."

"Roland," said my father, "you don't like foreigners: a respectable
prejudice, and quite natural in a man who has been trying his best to
hew them in pieces, and blow them up into splinters. But you don't like
philosophers either--and for that dislike you have no equally good
reason."

"I only implied that they were not much addicted to soap and water,"
said my uncle.

"A notable mistake. Many great philosophers have been very great
beaux. Aristotle was a notorious fop. Buffon put on his best laced
ruffles when he sat down to write, which implies that he washed his
hands first. Pythagoras insists greatly on the holiness of frequent
ablutions; and Horace--who, in his own way, was as good a philosopher
as any the Romans produced--takes care to let us know what a neat,
well-dressed, dapper little gentleman he was. But I don't think you
ever read the 'Apology of Apuleius?'"

"Not I--what is it about?" asked the Captain.

"About a great many things. It is that Sage's vindication from several
malignant charges--amongst others, and principally indeed, that of
being much too refined and effeminate for a philosopher. Nothing
can exceed the rhetorical skill with which he excuses himself for
using--tooth-powder. 'Ought a philosopher,' he exclaims, 'to allow
anything unclean about him, especially in the mouth--the mouth, which
is the vestibule of the soul, the gate of discourse, the portico of
thought! Ah, but Æmilianus [the accuser of Apuleius] never opens
_his_ mouth but for slander and calumny--tooth-powder would indeed be
unbecoming to _him_! Or, if he use any, it will not be my good Arabian
tooth-powder but charcoal and cinders. Ay, his teeth should be as foul
as his language! And yet even the crocodile likes to have his teeth
cleaned; insects get into them, and, horrible reptile though he be,
he opens his jaws inoffensively to a faithful dentistical bird, who
volunteers his beak for a toothpick.'"

My father was now warm in the subject he had started, and soared
miles away from Riccabocca and "My Novel." "And observe," he
exclaimed--"observe with what gravity this eminent Platonist pleads
guilty to the charge of having a mirror. 'Why, what,' he exclaims,
'more worthy of the regards of a human creature than his own image,'
(_nihil respectabilius homini quam formam suam!_) Is not that one of
our children the most dear to us who is called 'the picture of his
father?' But take what pains you will with a picture, it can never be
so like you as the face in your mirror! Think it discreditable to look
with proper attention on one's-self in the glass! Did not Socrates
recommend such attention to his disciples--did he not make a great
moral agent of the speculum? The handsome, in admiring their beauty
therein, were admonished that handsome is who handsome does; and the
more the ugly stared at themselves, the more they became naturally
anxious to hide the disgrace of their features in the loveliness of
their merits. Was not Demosthenes always at his speculum? Did he not
rehearse his causes before it as before a master in the art? He learned
his eloquence from Plato, his dialectics from Eubulides; but as for his
delivery--there, he came to the mirror!'

"Therefore," concluded Mr Caxton, returning unexpectedly to the
subject--"therefore it is no reason to suppose that Dr Riccabocca is
averse to cleanliness and decent care of the person, because he is a
philosopher; and, all things considered, he never showed himself more a
philosopher than when he left off his spectacles and looked his best."

"Well," said my mother kindly, "I only hope it may turn out happily.
But I should have been better pleased if Pisistratus had not made Dr
Riccabocca so reluctant a wooer."

"Very true," said the Captain; "the Italian does not shine as a lover.
Throw a little more fire into him, Pisistratus--something gallant and
chivalrous."

"Fire--gallantry--chivalry!" cried my father, who had taken Riccabocca
under his special protection--"why, don't you see that the man
is described as a philosopher?--and I should like to know when a
philosopher ever plunged into matrimony without considerable misgivings
and cold shivers. Indeed, it seems that--perhaps before he was a
philosopher--Riccabocca _had_ tried the experiment, and knew what it
was. Why, even that plain-speaking, sensible, practical man, Metellus
Numidicus, who was not even a philosopher, but only a Roman Censor,
thus expressed himself in an exhortation to the People to perpetrate
matrimony--'If, O Quirites, we could do without wives, we should
all dispense with that subject of care, (_eâ molestiâ careremus_;)
but since nature has so managed it, that we cannot live with women
comfortably, nor without them at all, let us rather provide for the
human race than our own temporary felicity.'"

Here the ladies set up a cry of such indignation, that both Roland and
myself endeavoured to appease their wrath by hasty assurances that we
utterly repudiated that damnable doctrine of Metellus Numidicus.

My father, wholly unmoved, as soon as a sullen silence was established,
recommenced--"Do not think, ladies," said he, "that you were without
advocates at that day: there were many Romans gallant enough to blame
the Censor for a mode of expressing himself which they held to be
equally impolite and injudicious. 'Surely,' said they, with some
plausibility, 'if Numidicus wished men to marry, he need not have
referred so peremptorily to the disquietudes of the connection, and
thus have made them more inclined to turn away from matrimony than
given them a relish for it.' But against these critics one honest man
(whose name of Titus Castricius should not be forgotten by Posterity)
maintained that Metellus Numidicus could not have spoken more properly;
'For remark,' said he, 'that Metellus was a censor, not a rhetorician.
It becomes rhetoricians to adorn, and disguise, and make the best of
things; but Metellus, _sanctus vir_--a holy and blameless man, grave
and sincere to whit, and addressing the Roman people in the solemn
capacity of Censor--was bound to speak the plain truth, especially as
he was treating of a subject on which the observation of every day, and
the experience of every life, could not leave the least doubt upon the
mind of his audience.' Still Riccabocca, having decided to marry, has
no doubt prepared himself to bear all the concomitant evils--as becomes
a professed sage; and I own I admire the art with which Pisistratus has
drawn the precise woman likely to suit a philosopher."

Pisistratus bows, and looks round complacently; but recoils from two
very peevish and discontented faces feminine.

MR CAXTON (completing his sentence,)--"Not only as regards mildness
of temper and other household qualifications, but as regards the very
_person_ of the object of his choice. For you evidently remembered,
Pisistratus, the reply of Bias, when asked his opinion on marriage:
[Greek: Êtoi kalên hexeis, ê aischran; kai ei kalên, hexeis koinên; ei
dê aischran, hexeis poinên.]"

Pisistratus tries to look as if he had the opinion of Bias by heart,
and nods acquiescingly.

MR CAXTON.--"That is, my dears, 'the woman you would marry is either
handsome or ugly: if handsome, she is koiné, viz. you don't have her
to yourself; if ugly, she is poiné--that is, a fury.' But, as it is
observed in Aulus Gellius, (whence I borrow this citation,) there is
a wide interval between handsome and ugly. And thus Ennius, in his
tragedy of _Menalippus_, uses an admirable expression to designate
women of the proper degree of matrimonial comeliness, such as a
philosopher would select. He calls this degree _stata forma_--a
rational, mediocre sort of beauty, which is not liable to be either
koiné or poiné. And Favorinus, who was a remarkably sensible man, and
came from Provence--the male inhabitants of which district have always
valued themselves on their knowledge of love and ladies--calls this
said _stata forma_ the beauty of wives--the uxorial beauty. Ennius
says, that women of a _stata forma_ are almost always safe and modest.
Now Jemima, you observe, is described as possessing this _stata forma_;
and it is the nicety of your observation in this respect, which I
like the most in the whole of your description of a philosopher's
matrimonial courtship, Pisistratus, (excepting only the stroke of the
spectacles,) for it shows that you had properly considered the opinion
of Bias, and mastered all the counter logic suggested in Book v.
chapter xi., of Aulus Gellius."

"For all that," said Blanche, half-archly, half-demurely, with a smile
in the eye, and a pout of the lip, "I don't remember that Pisistratus,
in the days when he wished to be most complimentary, ever assured me
that I had a _stata forma_--a rational, mediocre sort of beauty."

"And I think," observed my uncle, "that when he comes to his real
heroine, whoever that may be, he will not trouble his head much about
either Bias or Aulus Gellius."


CHAPTER II.

Matrimony is certainly a great change in life. One is astonished not
to find a notable alteration in one's friend, even if he or she have
been only wedded a week. In the instance of Dr and Mrs Riccabocca
the change was peculiarly visible. To speak first of the lady, as in
chivalry bound, Mrs Riccabocca had entirely renounced that melancholy
which had characterised Miss Jemima: she became even sprightly and
gay, and looked all the better and prettier for the alteration. She
did not scruple to confess honestly to Mrs Dale, that she was now of
opinion that the world was very far from approaching its end. But,
in the meanwhile, she did not neglect the duty which the belief she
had abandoned serves to inculcate--"She set her house in order."
The cold and penurious elegance that had characterised the Casino
disappeared like enchantment--that is, the elegance remained, but the
cold and penury fled before the smile of woman. Like Puss-in-Boots
after the nuptials of his master, Jackeymo only now caught minnows and
sticklebacks for his own amusement. Jackeymo looked much plumper, and
so did Riccabocca. In a word, the fair Jemima became an excellent wife.
Riccabocca secretly thought her extravagant, but, like a wise man,
declined to look at the house bills, and ate his joint in unreproachful
silence.

Indeed, there was so much unaffected kindness in the nature of Mrs
Riccabocca--beneath the quiet of her manner there beat so genially
the heart of the Hazeldeans--that she fairly justified the favourable
anticipations of Mrs Dale. And though the Doctor did not noisily
boast of his felicity, nor, as some new married folks do, thrust it
insultingly under the _nimis unctis naribus_--the turned-up noses of
your surly old married folks, nor force it gaudily and glaringly on
the envious eyes of the single, you might still see that he was a
more cheerful and light-hearted man than before. His smile was less
ironical, his politeness less distant. He did not study Machiavelli so
intensely,--and he did not return to the spectacles; which last was an
excellent sign. Moreover, the humanising influence of the tidy English
wife might be seen in the improvement of his outward or artificial
man. His clothes seemed to fit him better; indeed, the clothes were
new. Mrs Dale no longer remarked that the buttons were off the
wrist-bands, which was a great satisfaction to her. But the sage still
remained faithful to the pipe, the cloak, and the red silk umbrella.
Mrs Riccabocca had (to her credit be it spoken) used all becoming and
wifelike arts against these three remnants of the old bachelor Adam,
but in vain. "_Anima mia_--soul of mine," said the Doctor tenderly, "I
hold the cloak, the umbrella, and the pipe, as the sole relics that
remain to me of my native country. Respect and spare them."

Mrs Riccabocca was touched, and had the good sense to perceive that
man, let him be ever so much married, retains certain signs of his
ancient independence--certain tokens of his old identity, which a
wife, the most despotic, will do well to concede. She conceded the
cloak, she submitted to the umbrella, she concealed her abhorrence of
the pipe. After all, considering the natural villany of our sex, she
confessed to herself that she might have been worse off. But, through
all the calm and cheerfulness of Riccabocca, a nervous perturbation
was sufficiently perceptible;--it commenced after the second week of
marriage--it went on increasing, till one bright sunny afternoon, as
he was standing on his terrace gazing down upon the road, at which
Jackeymo was placed,--lo, a stage-coach stopped! The Doctor made a
bound, and put both hands to his heart as if he had been shot; he then
leapt over the balustrade, and his wife from her window beheld him
flying down the hill, with his long hair streaming in the wind, till
the trees hid him from her sight.

"Ah," thought she with a natural pang of conjugal jealousy, "henceforth
I am only second in his home. He has gone to welcome his child!" And at
that reflection Mrs Riccabocca shed tears.

But so naturally amiable was she, that she hastened to curb her
emotion, and efface as well as she could the trace of a stepmother's
grief. When this was done, and a silent self-rebuking prayer murmured
over, the good woman descended the stairs with alacrity, and, summoning
up her best smiles, emerged on the terrace.

She was repaid; for scarcely had she come into the open air, when two
little arms were thrown round her, and the sweetest voice that ever
came from a child's lips, sighed out in broken English, "Good mamma,
love me a little."

"Love you? with my whole heart!" cried the stepmother, with all a
mother's honest passion. And she clasped the child to her breast.

"God bless you, my wife!" said Riccabocca, in a husky tone.

"Please take this too," added Jackeymo in Italian, as well as his sobs
would let him--and he broke off a great bough full of blossoms from his
favourite orange-tree, and thrust it into his mistress's hand. She had
not the slightest notion what he meant by it!


CHAPTER III.

Violante was indeed a bewitching child--a child to whom I defy Mrs
Caudle herself (immortal Mrs Caudle!) to have been a harsh stepmother.

Look at her now, as, released from those kindly arms, she stands, still
clinging with one hand to her new mamma, and holding out the other to
Riccabocca--with those large dark eyes swimming in happy tears. What a
lovely smile!--what an ingenuous candid brow! She looks delicate--she
evidently requires care--she wants the mother. And rare is the woman
who would not love her the better for that! Still, what an innocent
infantine bloom in those clear smooth cheeks!--and in that slight
frame, what exquisite natural grace!

"And this, I suppose, is your nurse, darling?" said Mrs Riccabocca,
observing a dark foreign-looking woman, dressed very strangely--without
cap or bonnet, but a great silver arrow stuck in her hair, and a
filagree chain or necklace resting upon her kerchief.

"Ah, good Annetta," said Violante in Italian. "Papa, she says she is to
go back; but she is not to go back--is she?"

Riccabocca, who had scarcely before noticed the woman, started at
that question--exchanged a rapid glance with Jackeymo--and then,
muttering some inaudible excuse, approached the Nurse, and, beckoning
her to follow him, went away into the grounds. He did not return for
more than an hour, nor did the woman then accompany him home. He said
briefly to his wife that the Nurse was obliged to return at once to
Italy, and that she would stay in the village to catch the mail; that
indeed she would be of no use in their establishment, as she could not
speak a word of English; but that he was sadly afraid Violante would
pine for her. And Violante did pine at first. But still, to a child
it is so great a thing to find a parent--to be at home--that, tender
and grateful as Violante was, she could not be inconsolable while her
father was there to comfort.

For the first few days, Riccabocca scarcely permitted any one to be
with his daughter but himself. He would not even leave her alone with
his Jemima. They walked out together--sat together for hours in the
Belvidere. Then by degrees he began to resign her more and more to
Jemima's care and tuition, especially in English, of which language at
present she spoke only a few sentences, (previously, perhaps, learned
by heart,) so as to be clearly intelligible.


CHAPTER IV.

There was one person in the establishment of Dr Riccabocca, who was
satisfied neither with the marriage of his master nor the arrival of
Violante--and that was our friend Lenny Fairfield. Previous to the
all-absorbing duties of courtship, the young peasant had secured a
very large share of Riccabocca's attention. The sage had felt interest
in the growth of this rude intelligence struggling up to light. But
what with the wooing, and what with the wedding, Lenny Fairfield had
sunk very much out of his artificial position as pupil, into his
natural station of under-gardener. And on the arrival of Violante,
he saw, with natural bitterness, that he was clean forgotten, not
only by Riccabocca, but almost by Jackeymo. It was true that the
master still lent him books, and the servant still gave him lectures
on horticulture. But Riccabocca had no time nor inclination now to
amuse himself with enlightening that tumult of conjecture which the
books created. And if Jackeymo bad been covetous of those mines of
gold buried beneath the acres now fairly taken from the Squire, (and
good-naturedly added rent-free, as an aid to Jemima's dower,) before
the advent of the young lady whose future dowry the produce was to
swell--now that she was actually under the eyes of the faithful
servant, such a stimulus was given to his industry, that he could think
of nothing else but the land, and the revolution he designed to effect
in its natural English crops. The garden, save only the orange-trees,
was abandoned entirely to Lenny, and additional labourers were called
in for the field-work. Jackeymo had discovered that one part of the
soil was suited to lavender, that another would grow camomile. He had
in his heart apportioned a beautiful field of rich loam to flax; but
against the growth of flax the Squire set his face obstinately. That
most lucrative, perhaps, of all crops, when soil and skill suit, had,
it would appear, been formerly attempted in England much more commonly
than it is now; since you will find few old leases which do not contain
a clause prohibitory of flax, as an impoverishment of the land. And
though Jackeymo learnedly endeavoured to prove to the Squire that
the flax itself contained particles which, if returned to the soil,
repaid all that the crop took away, Mr Hazeldean had his old-fashioned
prejudices on the matter, which were insuperable. "My forefathers,"
quoth he, "did not put that clause in their leases without good cause;
and as the Casino lands are entailed on Frank, I have no right to
gratify your foreign whims at his expense."

To make up for the loss of the flax, Jackeymo resolved to convert a
very nice bit of pasture into orchard ground, which he calculated would
bring in £10 net per acre by the time Miss Violante was marriageable.
At this, Squire pished a little; but as it was quite clear that the
land would be all the more valuable hereafter for the fruit trees, he
consented to permit the 'grass land' to be thus partially broken up.

All these changes left poor Lenny Fairfield very much to himself--at a
time when the new and strange devices which the initiation into book
knowledge creates, made it most desirable that he should have the
constant guidance of a superior mind.

One evening after his work, as Lenny was returning to his mother's
cottage very sullen and very moody, he suddenly came in contact with
Sprott the tinker.


CHAPTER V.

The tinker was seated under a hedge, hammering away at an old
kettle--with a little fire burning in front of him--and the donkey
hard by, indulging in a placid doze. Mr Sprott looked up as Lenny
passed--nodded kindly, and said--

"Good evenin', Lenny: to hear you be so 'spectably sitivated with
Mounseer."

"Ay," answered Lenny, with a leaven of rancour in his recollections,
"You're not ashamed to speak to me now, that I am not in disgrace. But
it was in disgrace, when it wasn't my fault, that the real gentleman
was most kind to me."

"Ar--r, Lenny," said the Tinker, with a prolonged rattle in that said
Ar--r, which was not without great significance. "But you sees the real
gentleman who han't got his bread to get, can hafford to 'spise his
cracter in the world. A poor tinker must be timbersome and nice in his
'sociations. But sit down here a bit, Lenny; I've summat to say to ye!"

"To me--"

"To ye. Give the neddy a shove out i' the vay, and sit down, I say."

Lenny rather reluctantly, and somewhat superciliously, accepted this
invitation.

"I hears," said the Tinker in a voice made rather indistinct by a
couple of nails which he had inserted between his teeth; "I hears as
how you be unkimmon fond of reading. I ha' sum nice cheap books in my
bag yonder--sum as low as a penny."

"I should like to see them," said Lenny, his eyes sparkling.

The Tinker rose, opened one of the paniers on the ass's back, took
out a bag which he placed before Lenny, and told him to suit himself.
The young peasant desired no better. He spread all the contents of
the bag on the sward, and a motley collection of food for the mind
was there--food and poison--_serpentes avibus_--good and evil. Here,
Milton's Paradise Lost, there The Age of Reason--here Methodist Tracts,
there True Principles of Socialism--Treatises on Useful Knowledge by
sound learning actuated by pure benevolence--Appeals to Operatives by
the shallowest reasoners, instigated by the same ambition that had
moved Eratosthenes to the conflagration of a temple; works of fiction
admirable as Robinson Crusoe, or innocent as the Old English Baron,
beside coarse translations of such garbage as had rotted away the youth
of France under Louis Quinze. This miscellany was an epitome, in short,
of the mixed World of Books, of that vast City of the Press, with its
palaces and hovels, its aqueducts and sewers--which opens all alike
to the naked eye and the curious mind of him to whom you say, in the
Tinker's careless phrase, "suit yourself."

But it is not the first impulse of a nature, healthful and still pure,
to settle in the hovel and lose itself amidst the sewers; and Lenny
Fairfield turned innocently over the bad books, and selecting two or
three of the best, brought them to the Tinker and asked the price.

"Why," said Mr Sprott, putting on his spectacles, "you has taken the
werry dearest: them 'ere be much cheaper, and more hinterestin'."

"But I don't fancy them," answered Lenny; "I don't understand what they
are about, and this seems to tell one how the steam-engine is made, and
has nice plates; and this is Robinson Crusoe, which Parson Dale once
said he would give me--I'd rather buy it out of my own money."

"Well, please yourself," quoth the Tinker; "you shall have the books
for four bob, and you can pay me next month."

"Four bobs--four shillings? it is a great sum," said Lenny, "but I will
lay by, as you are kind enough to trust me; good evening, Mr Sprott."

"Stay a bit," said the Tinker; "I'll just throw you these two little
tracks into the barging; they be only a shilling a dozen, so 'tis
but tuppence--and ven you has read _those_, vy, you'll be a reglar
customer."

The tinker tossed to Lenny Nos. 1 and 2 of Appeals to Operatives, and
the peasant took them up gratefully.

The young knowledge-seeker went his way across, the green fields, and
under the still autumn foliage of the hedgerows. He looked first at one
book, then at another; he did not know on which to settle.

The Tinker rose and made a fire with leaves and furze and sticks, some
dry and some green.

Lenny has now opened No. 1 of the tracts: they are the shortest to
read, and don't require so much effort of the mind as the explanation
of the steam-engine.

The Tinker has now set on his grimy glue-pot, and the glue simmers.


CHAPTER VI.

As Violante became more familiar with her new home, and those around
her became more familiar with Violante, she was remarked for a certain
stateliness of manner and bearing, which, had it been less evidently
natural and inborn, would have seemed misplaced in the daughter of
a forlorn exile, and would have been rare at so early an age among
children of the loftiest pretensions. It was with the air of a little
princess that she presented her tiny hand to a friendly pressure, or
submitted her calm clear cheek to a presuming kiss. Yet withal she was
so graceful, and her very stateliness was so pretty and captivating,
that she was not the less loved for all her grand airs. And, indeed,
she deserved to be loved; for though she was certainly prouder than
Mr Dale could approve of, her pride was devoid of egotism; and that
is a pride by no means common. She had an intuitive forethought for
others; you could see that she was capable of that grand woman-heroism,
abnegation of self; and though she was an original child, and often
grave and musing, with a tinge of melancholy, sweet, but deep in her
character, still she was not above the happy genial merriment of
childhood,--only her silver laugh was more attuned, and her gestures
more composed, than those of children habituated to many play-fellows
usually are. Mrs Hazeldean liked her best when she was grave, and said
"she would become a very sensible woman." Mrs Dale liked her best
when she was gay, and said "she was born to make many a heart ache;"
for which Mrs Dale was properly reproved by the Parson. Mrs Hazeldean
gave her a little set of garden tools; Mrs Dale a picture-book and
a beautiful doll. For a long time the book and the doll had the
preference. But Mrs Hazeldean having observed to Riccabocca that the
poor child looked pale, and ought to be a good deal in the open air,
the wise father ingeniously pretended to Violante that Mrs Riccabocca
had taken a great fancy to the picture-book, and that he should be
very glad to have the doll, upon which Violante hastened to give them
both away, and was never so happy as when mamma (as she called Mrs
Riccabocca) was admiring the picture-book, and Riccabocca, with austere
gravity dandled the doll. Then Riccabocca assured her that she could
be of great use to him in the garden; and Violante instantly put into
movement her spade, hoe, and wheel-barrow.

This last occupation brought her into immediate contact with Mr Leonard
Fairfield; and that personage one morning, to his great horror, found
Miss Violante had nearly exterminated a whole celery-bed, which she had
ignorantly conceived to be a crop of weeds.

Lenny was extremely angry. He snatched away the hoe, and said angrily,
"You must not do that, Miss. I'll tell your papa if you--"

Violante drew herself up, and never having been so spoken to before, at
least since her arrival in England, there was something comic in the
surprise of her large eyes, as well as something tragic in the dignity
of her offended mien. "It is very naughty of you, Miss," continued
Leonard in a milder tone, for he was both softened by the eyes and awed
by the mien, "and I trust you will not do it again."

"_Non capisco_," (I don't understand,) murmured Violante, and the dark
eyes filled with tears. At that moment up came Jackeymo; and Violante,
pointing to Leonard, said, with an effort not to betray her emotion,
"_Il fanciullo e molto grossolano_," (he is a very rude boy.)

Jackeymo turned to Leonard with the look of an enraged tiger. "How
you dare, scum of de earth that you are," cried he,[20] "how you
dare make cry the signorina?" And his English not supplying familiar
vituperatives sufficiently, he poured out upon Lenny such a profusion
of Italian abuse, that the boy turned red and white in a breath with
rage and perplexity.

[20] It need scarcely be observed, that Jackeymo, in his conversations
with his master or Violante, or his conferences with himself, employs
his native language, which is therefore translated without the blunders
that he is driven to commit when compelled to trust himself to the
tongue of the country in which he is a sojourner.

Violante took instant compassion upon the victim she had made, and,
with true feminine caprice, now began to scold Jackeymo for his anger,
and, finally approaching Leonard, laid her hand on his arm, and said
with a kindness at once childlike and queenly, and in the prettiest
imaginable mixture of imperfect English and soft Italian, to which I
cannot pretend to do justice, and shall therefore translate: "Don't
mind him. I dare say it was all my fault, only I did not understand
you: are not these things weeds?"

"No, my darling signorina," said Jackeymo in Italian, looking ruefully
at the celery-bed, "they are not weeds, and they sell very well at
this time of the year. But still, if it amuses you to pluck them up, I
should like to see who's to prevent it."

Lenny walked away. He had been called "the scum of the earth," by
a foreigner too! He had again been ill-treated for doing what he
conceived his duty. He was again feeling the distinction between rich
and poor, and he now fancied that that distinction involved deadly
warfare, for he had read from beginning to end those two damnable
tracts which the Tinker had presented to him. But in the midst of
all the angry disturbance of his mind, he felt the soft touch of the
infant's hand, the soothing influence of her conciliating words, and he
was half ashamed that he had spoken so roughly to a child.

Still, not trusting himself to speak, he walked away and sat down at
a distance. "I don't see," thought he, "why there should be rich and
poor, master and servant." Lenny, be it remembered, had not heard the
Parson's Political Sermon.

An hour after, having composed himself, Lenny returned to his work.
Jackeymo was no longer in the garden; he had gone to the fields; but
Riccabocca was standing by the celery-bed, and holding the red silk
umbrella over Violante as she sat on the ground looking up at her
father with those eyes already so full of intelligence, and love, and
soul.

"Lenny," said Riccabocca, "my young lady has been telling me that she
has been very naughty, and Giacomo very unjust to you. Forgive them
both."

Lenny's sullenness melted in an instant: the reminiscence of tracts
Nos. 1 and 2,--

  "Like the baseless fabric of a vision,
  Left not a wreck behind."

He raised eyes, swimming with all his native goodness, towards the wise
man, and dropped them gratefully on the face of the infant peace-maker.
Then he turned away his head and fairly wept. The Parson was right: "O
ye poor, have charity for the rich; O ye rich, respect the poor."


CHAPTER VII.

Now from that day the humble Lenny and the regal Violante became great
friends. With what pride he taught her to distinguish between celery
and weeds--and how proud too was she when she learned that she was
_useful_! There is not a greater pleasure you can give to children,
especially female children, than to make them feel they are already of
value in the world, and serviceable as well as protected. Weeks and
months rolled away, and Lenny still read, not only the books lent him
by the Doctor, but those he bought of Mr Sprott. As for the bombs and
shells against religion which the Tinker carried in his bag, Lenny
was not induced to blow himself up with them. He had been reared from
his cradle in simple love and reverence for the Divine Father, and
the tender Saviour, whose life beyond all records of human goodness,
whose death beyond all epics of mortal heroism, no being whose infancy
has been taught to supplicate the Merciful and adore the Holy, yea,
even though his later life may be entangled amidst the thorns of some
desolate pyrrhonism, can ever hear reviled and scoffed without a shock
to the conscience and a revolt of the heart. As the deer recoils by
instinct from the tiger, as the very look of the scorpion deters you
from handling it, though you never saw a scorpion before, so the very
first line in some ribald profanity on which the Tinker put his black
finger, made Lenny's blood run cold. Safe, too, was the peasant boy
from any temptation in works of a gross and licentious nature, not only
because of the happy ignorance of his rural life, but because of a more
enduring safe-guard--genius! Genius, that, manly, robust, healthful
as it be, is long before it lose its instinctive Dorian modesty;
shame-faced, because so susceptible to glory--genius, that loves indeed
to dream, but on the violet bank, not the dung-hill. Wherefore, even
in the error of the senses, it seeks to escape from the sensual into
worlds of fancy, subtle and refined. But apart from the passions, true
genius is the most practical of all human gifts. Like the Apollo,
whom the Greek worshipped as its type, even Arcady is its exile, not
its home. Soon weary of the dalliance of Tempé, it ascends to its
mission--the Archer of the silver bow, the guide of the car of light.
Speaking more plainly, genius is the enthusiasm for self-improvement;
it ceases or sleeps the moment it desists from seeking some object
which it believes of value, and by that object it insensibly connects
its self-improvement with the positive advance of the world. At
present Lenny's genius had no bias that was not to the Positive and
Useful. It took the direction natural to his sphere, and the wants
therein--viz., to the arts which we call mechanical. He wanted to know
about steam-engines and Artesian wells; and to know about them it was
necessary to know something of mechanics and hydrostatics; so he bought
popular elementary works on those mystic sciences, and set all the
powers of his mind at work on experiments.

Noble and generous spirits are ye, who, with small care for fame, and
little reward from pelf, have opened to the intellects of the poor
the portals of wisdom! I honour and revere ye; only do not think ye
have done all that is needful. Consider, I pray ye, whether so good
a choice from the Tinker's bag would have been made by a boy whom
religion had not scared from the Pestilent, and genius had not led to
the Self-improving. And Lenny did not wholly escape from the mephitic
portions of the motley elements from which his awakening mind drew
its nurture. Think not it was all pure oxygen that the panting lip
drew in. No; there, were still those inflammatory tracts. Political
I do not like to call them, for politics mean the art of government,
and the tracts I speak of assailed all government which mankind has
hitherto recognised. Sad rubbish, perhaps, were such tracts to you, O
sound thinker, in your easy-chair! Or to you, practised statesman, at
your post on the Treasury Bench--to you, calm dignitary of a learned
Church--or to you, my lord judge, who may often have sent from your
bar to the dire Orcus of Norfolk's Isle the ghosts of men whom that
rubbish, falling simultaneously on the bumps of acquisitiveness and
combativeness, hath untimely slain. Sad rubbish to you! But seems
it such rubbish to the poor man, to whom it promises a paradise on
the easy terms of upsetting a world? For ye see, these "Appeals to
Operatives" represent that same world-upsetting as the simplest thing
imaginable--a sort of two-and-two-make-four proposition. The poor have
only got to set their strong hands to the axle, and heave-a-hoy! and
hurrah for the topsey-turvey! Then, just to put a little wholesome
rage into the heave-a-hoy! it is so facile to accompany the eloquence
of "Appeals" with a kind of stir-the-bile-up statistics--"Abuses of
the Aristocracy"--"Jobs of the Priesthood"--"Expenses of Army kept up
for Peers' younger sons"--"Wars contracted for the villanous purpose
of raising the rents of the landowners"--all arithmetically dished up,
and seasoned with tales of every gentleman who has committed a misdeed,
every clergyman who has dishonoured his cloth; as if such instances
were fair specimens of average gentlemen and ministers of religion! All
this, passionately advanced, (and observe, never answered, for that
literature admits no controversialists, and the writer has it all his
own way,) maybe rubbish; but it is out of such rubbish that operatives
build barricades for attack, and legislators prisons for defence.

Our poor friend Lenny drew plenty of this stuff from the Tinker's
bag. He thought it very clever and very eloquent; and he supposed the
statistics were as true as mathematical demonstrations.

A famous knowledge-diffuser is looking over my shoulder, and tells
me, "Increase education, and cheapen good books, and all this rubbish
will disappear!" Sir, I don't believe a word of it. If you printed
Ricardo and Adam Smith at a farthing a volume, I still believe that
they would be as little read by the operatives as they are now-a-days
by a very large proportion of highly cultivated men. I still believe
that, while, the press works, attacks on the rich, and propositions for
heave-a-hoys, will always form a popular portion of the Literature of
Labour. There's Lenny Fairfield reading a treatise on hydraulics, and
constructing a model for a fountain into the bargain; but that does
not prevent his acquiescence in any proposition for getting rid of a
National Debt, which he certainly never agreed to pay, and which he
is told makes sugar and tea so shamefully dear. No. I tell you what
does a little counteract those eloquent incentives to break his own
head against the strong walls of the Social System--it is, that he has
two eyes in that head, which are not always employed in reading. And,
having been told in print that masters are tyrants, parsons hypocrites
or drones in the hive, and landowners vampires and bloodsuckers, he
looks out into the little world around him, and, first, he is compelled
to acknowledge that his master is not a tyrant, (perhaps because he
is a foreigner and a philosopher, and, for what I and Lenny know, a
republican.) But then Parson Dale, though High Church to the marrow,
is neither hypocrite nor drone. He has a very good living, it is
true--much better than he ought to have, according to the "political"
opinions of those tracts; but Lenny is obliged to confess that, if
Parson Dale were a penny the poorer, he would do a pennyworth's less
good; and, comparing one parish with another, such as Roodhall and
Hazeldean, he is dimly aware that there is no greater CIVILISER than
a parson tolerably well off. Then, too, Squire Hazeldean, though as
arrant a Tory as ever stood upon shoe-leather, is certainly not a
vampire nor bloodsucker. He does not feed on the public; a great many
of the public feed upon him: and, therefore, his practical experience
a little staggers and perplexes Lenny Fairfield as to the gospel
accuracy of his theoretical dogmas. Masters, parsons, and landowners!
having, at the risk of all popularity, just given a _coup de patte_
to certain sages extremely the fashion at present, I am not going to
let you off without an admonitory flea in the ear. Don't suppose that
any mere scribbling and typework will suffice to answer the scribbling
and typework set at work to demolish you--_write_ down that rubbish
you can't--_live_ it down you may. If you are rich, like Squire
Hazeldean, do good with your money; if you are poor, like Signor
Riccabocca, do good with your kindness.

See! there is Lenny now receiving his week's wages; and though Lenny
knows that he can get higher wages in the very next parish, his blue
eyes are sparkling with gratitude, not at the chink of the money, but
at the poor exile's friendly talk on things apart from all service;
while Violante is descending the steps from the terrace, charged by her
mother-in-law with a little basket of sago, and suchlike delicacies,
for Mrs Fairfield, who has been ailing the last few days.

Lenny will see the Tinker as he goes home, and he will buy a most
Demosthenean "Appeal"--a tract of tracts, upon the "Propriety of
Strikes," and the Avarice of Masters. But, somehow or other, I think
a few words from Signor Riccabocca, that did not cost the Signor a
farthing, and the sight of his mother's smile at the contents of the
basket, which cost very little, will serve to neutralise the effects of
that "Appeal," much more efficaciously than the best article a Brougham
or a Mill could write on the subject.


CHAPTER VIII.

Spring had come again; and one beautiful May-day, Leonard Fairfield
sate beside the little fountain which he had now actually constructed
in the garden. The butterflies were hovering over the belt of flowers
which he had placed around his fountain, and the birds were singing
overhead. Leonard Fairfield was resting from his day's work, to enjoy
his abstemious dinner, beside the cool play of the sparkling waters,
and, with the yet keener appetite of knowledge, he devoured his book as
he munched his crusts.

A penny tract is the shoeing-horn of literature: it draws on a great
many books, and some too tight to be very useful in walking. The penny
tract quotes a celebrated writer, you long to read him; it props a
startling assertion by a grave authority, you long to refer to it.
During the nights of the past winter, Leonard's intelligence had
made vast progress: he had taught himself more than the elements of
mechanics, and put to practice the principles he had acquired, not
only in the hydraulical achievement of the fountain, nor in the still
more notable application of science, commenced on the stream in which
Jackeymo had fished for minnows, and which Lenny had diverted to the
purpose of irrigating two fields, but in various ingenious contrivances
for the facilitation or abridgment of labour, which had excited great
wonder and praise in the neighbourhood. On the other hand, those
rabid little tracts, which dealt so summarily with the destinies of
the human race, even when his growing reason, and the perusal of
works more classical or more logical, had led him to perceive that
they were illiterate, and to suspect that they jumped from premises
to conclusions with a celerity very different from the careful
ratiocination of mechanical science, had still, in the citations and
references wherewith they abounded, lured him on to philosophers more
specious and more perilous. Out of the Tinker's bag he had drawn a
translation of Condorcet's _Progress of Man_, and another of Rousseau's
_Social Contract_. These had induced him to select from the tracts in
the Tinker's miscellany those which abounded most in professions of
philanthropy, and predictions of some coming Golden Age, to which old
Saturn's was a joke--tracts so mild and mother-like in their language,
that it required a much more practical experience than Lenny's to
perceive that you would have to pass a river of blood before you had
the slightest chance of setting foot on the flowery banks on which
they invited you to repose--tracts which rouged poor Christianity on
the cheeks, clapped a crown of innocent daffodillies on her head,
and set her to dancing a _pas de zephyr_ in the pastoral ballet in
which St Simon pipes to the flock he shears; or having first laid
it down as a preliminary axiom, that

    "The cloud-capt towers, the gorgeous palaces,
    The solemn temples, the great globe itself--
    Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve,"

substituted in place thereof Monsieur Fourier's symmetrical
phalanstere, or Mr Owen's architectural parallelogram. It was with some
such tract that Lenny was seasoning his crusts and his radishes, when
Riccabocca, bending his long dark face over the student's shoulder,
said abruptly--

"_Diavolo_, my friend! What on earth have you got there? Just let me
look at it, will you?"

Leonard rose respectfully, and coloured deeply as he surrendered the
tract to Riccabocca.

The wise man read the first page attentively, the second more
cursorily, and only ran his eye over the rest. He had gone through
too vast a range of problems political, not to have passed over that
venerable _Pons Asinorum_ of Socialism, on which Fouriers and St
Simons sit straddling and cry aloud that they have arrived at the last
boundary of knowledge!

"All this is as old as the hills," quoth Riccabocca irreverently;
"but the hills stand still, and this--there it goes!" and the sage
pointed to a cloud emitted from his pipe. "Did you ever read Sir
David Brewster on Optical Delusions? No! Well, I'll lend it to you.
You will find therein a story, of a lady who always saw a black cat
on her hearth-rug. The black cat existed only in her fancy, but the
hallucination was natural and reasonable--eh--what do you think?"

"Why, sir," said Leonard, not catching the Italian's meaning, "I don't
exactly see that it was natural and reasonable."

"Foolish boy, yes! because black cats are things possible and known.
But who ever saw upon earth a community of men such as sit on the
hearth-rugs of Messrs Owen and Fourier? If the lady's hallucination was
not reasonable, what is his, who believes in such visions as these?"

Leonard bit his lip.

"My dear boy," cried Riccabocca kindly, "the only thing sure and
tangible to which these writers would lead you, lies at the first step,
and that is what is commonly called a Revolution. Now, I know what that
is. I have gone, not indeed through a revolution, but an attempt at
one."

Leonard raised his eyes towards his master with a look of profound
respect, and great curiosity.

"Yes," added Riccabocca, and the face on which the boy gazed exchanged
its usual grotesque and sardonic expression for one animated, noble,
and heroic. "Yes, not a revolution for chimeras, but for that cause
which the coldest allow to be good, and which, when successful, all
time approves as divine--the redemption of our native soil from
the rule of the foreigner! I have shared in such an attempt. And,"
continued the Italian mournfully, "recalling now all the evil passions
it arouses, all the ties it dissolves, all the blood that it commands
to flow, all the healthful industry it arrests, all the madmen that it
arms, all the victims that it dupes, I question whether one man really
honest, pure, and humane, who has once gone through such an ordeal,
would ever hazard it again, unless he was assured that the victory
was certain--ay, and the object for which he fights not to be wrested
from his hands amidst the uproar of the elements that the battle has
released."

The Italian paused, shaded his brow with his hand, and remained long
silent. Then, gradually resuming his ordinary tone, he continued--

"Revolutions that have no definite objects made clear by the positive
experience of history; revolutions, in a word, that aim less at
substituting one law or one dynasty for another, than at changing the
whole scheme of society, have been little attempted by real statesmen.
Even Lycurgus is proved to be a myth who never existed. They are the
suggestions of philosophers who lived apart from the actual world,
and whose opinions (though generally they were very benevolent, good
sort of men, and wrote in an elegant poetical style) one would no more
take on a plain matter of life, than one would look upon Virgil's
_Eclogues_ as a faithful picture of the ordinary pains and pleasures
of the peasants who tend our sheep. Read them as you would read poets,
and they are delightful. But attempt to shape the world according to
the poetry--and fit yourself for a madhouse. The farther off the age is
from the realisation of such projects, the more these poor philosophers
have indulged them. Thus, it was amidst the saddest corruption of court
manners that it became the fashion in Paris to sit for one's picture,
with a crook in one's hand, as Alexis or Daphne. Just as liberty was
fast dying out of Greece, and the successors of Alexander were founding
their monarchies, and Rome was growing up to crush in its iron grasp
all states save its own, Plato withdraws his eyes from the world,
to open them in his dreamy Atlantis. Just in the grimmest period of
English history, with the axe hanging over his head, Sir Thomas More
gives you his _Utopia_. Just when the world is to be the theatre of
a new Sesostris, the dreamers of France tell you that the age is too
enlightened for war, that man is henceforth to be governed by pure
reason, and live in a paradise. Very pretty reading all this to a man
like me, Lenny, who can admire and smile at it. But to you, to the man
who has to work for his living, to the man who thinks it would be so
much more pleasant to live at his ease in a phalanstere than to work
eight or ten hours a day; to the man of talent and action and industry,
whose future is invested in that tranquillity and order of a state,
in which talent and action and industry are a certain capital;--why,
Messrs Coutts the great bankers had better encourage a theory to upset
the system of banking! Whatever disturbs society, yea, even by a
causeless panic, much more by an actual struggle, falls first upon the
market of labour, and thence affects prejudicially every department
of intelligence. In such times the arts are arrested; literature is
neglected; people are too busy to read anything save appeals to their
passions. And capital, shaken in its sense of security, no longer
ventures boldly through the land, calling forth all the energies of
toil and enterprise, and extending to every workman his reward. Now,
Lenny, take this piece of advice. You are young, clever, and aspiring:
men rarely succeed in changing the world; but a man seldom fails of
success if he lets the world alone, and resolves to make the best of
it. You are in the midst of the great crisis of your life; it is the
struggle between the new desires knowledge excites, and that sense of
poverty, which those desires convert either into hope and emulation,
or into envy and despair. I grant that it is an up-hill work that lies
before you; but don't you think it is always easier to climb a mountain
than it is to level it? These books call on you to level the mountain;
and that mountain is the property of other people, subdivided amongst
a great many proprietors, and protected by law. At the first stroke
of the pick-axe, it is ten to one but what you are taken up for a
trespass. But the path up the mountain is a right of way uncontested.
You may be safe at the summit, before (even if the owners are fools
enough to let you) you could have levelled a yard. _Cospetto!_" quoth
the Doctor, "it is more than two thousand years ago since poor Plato
began to level it, and the mountain is as high as ever!"

Thus saying, Riccabocca came to the end of his pipe, and, stalking
thoughtfully away, he left Leonard Fairfield trying to extract light
from the smoke.


CHAPTER IX.

Shortly after this discourse of Riccabocca's, an incident occurred
to Leonard that served to carry his mind into new directions. One
evening, when his mother was out, he was at work on a new mechanical
contrivance, and had the misfortune to break one of the instruments
which he employed. Now it will be remembered that his father had been
the Squire's head-carpenter; the widow had carefully hoarded the tools
of his craft, which had belonged to her poor Mark; and though she
occasionally lent them to Leonard, she would not give them up to his
service. Amongst these, Leonard knew that he should find the one that
he wanted; and being much interested in his contrivance, he could not
wait till his mother's return. The tools, with other little relics of
the lost, were kept in a large trunk in Mrs Fairfield's sleeping room;
the trunk was not locked, and Leonard went to it without ceremony or
scruple. In rummaging for the instrument, his eye fell upon a bundle
of MSS.; and he suddenly recollected that when he was a mere child,
and before he much knew the difference between verse and prose, his
mother had pointed to these MSS. and said, "One day or other, when you
can read nicely, I'll let you look at these, Lenny. My poor Mark wrote
such verses--ah, he _was_ a scollard!" Leonard, reasonably enough,
thought that the time had now arrived when he was worthy the privilege
of reading the paternal effusions, and he took forth the MSS. with a
keen but melancholy interest. He recognised his father's handwriting,
which he had often seen before in account-books and memoranda, and read
eagerly some trifling poems, which did not show much genius, nor much
mastery of language and rythm--such poems, in short, as a self-educated
man, with poetic taste and feeling, rather than poetic inspiration or
artistic culture, might compose with credit, but not for fame. But
suddenly, as he turned over these 'Occasional Pieces,' Leonard came to
others in a different handwriting--a woman's handwriting--small, and
fine, and exquisitely formed. He had scarcely read six lines of these
last, before his attention was irresistibly chained. They were of a
different order of merit from poor Mark's; they bore the unmistakeable
stamp of genius. Like the poetry of women in general, they were
devoted to personal feeling--they were not the mirror of a world,
but reflections of a solitary heart. Yet this is the kind of poetry
most pleasing to the young. And the verses in question had another
attraction for Leonard: they seemed to express some struggle akin to
his own--some complaint against the actual condition of the writer's
life, some sweet melodious murmurs at fortune. For the rest, they were
characterised by a vein of sentiment so elevated that, if written in
by a man, it would have run into exaggeration; written by a woman, the
romance was carried off by so many genuine revelations of sincere,
deep, pathetic feeling, that it was always natural, though true to a
nature from which you would not augur happiness.

Leonard was still absorbed in the perusal of these poems, when Mrs
Fairfield entered the room.

"What have you been about, Lenny?--searching in my box?"

"I came to look for my father's bag of tools, mother, and I found these
papers, which you said I might read some day."

"I doesn't wonder you did not hear me when I came in," said the widow
sighing. "I used to sit still for the hour together, when my poor Mark
read his poems to me. There was such a pretty one about the 'Peasant's
Fireside,' Lenny--have you got hold of that?"

"Yes, dear mother; and I remarked the allusion to you: it brought tears
to my eyes. But these verses are not my father's--whose are they? They
seem a woman's hand."

Mrs Fairfield looked--changed colour--grew faint--and seated herself.

"Poor, poor Nora!" said she falteringly. "I did not know as they were
there; Mark kep 'em; they got among his--"

LEONARD.--"Who was Nora?"

MRS FAIRFIELD.--"Who?--child,--who? Nora was--was my own--own sister."

LEONARD (in great amaze, contrasting his ideal of the writer of these
musical lines, in that graceful hand, with his homely uneducated
mother, who can neither read nor write.)--"Your sister--is it possible?
My aunt, then. How comes it you never spoke of her before? Oh! you
should be so proud of her, mother."

MRS FAIRFIELD (clasping her hands.)--"We were proud of her, all of
us--father, mother--all! She was so beautiful and so good, and not
proud she! though she looked like the first lady in the land. Oh! Nora,
Nora!"

LEONARD (after a pause.)--"But she must have been highly educated?"

MRS FAIRFIELD.--"'Deed she was!"

LEONARD.--"How was that?"

MRS FAIRFIELD (rocking herself to and fro in her chair.)--"Oh! my Lady
washer godmother--Lady Lansmere I mean--and took a fancy to her when
she was that high! and had her to stay at the Park, and wait on her
ladyship; and then she put her to school, and Nora was so clever that
nothing would do but she must go to London as a governess. But don't
talk of it, boy!--don't talk of it!"

LEONARD.--"Why not, mother?--what has become of her?--where is she?"

MRS FAIRFIELD (bursting into a paroxysm of tears.)--"In her grave--in
her cold grave! Dead, dead!"

Leonard was inexpressibly grieved and shocked. It is the attribute of
the poet to seem always living, always a friend. Leonard felt as if
some one very dear had been suddenly torn from his heart. He tried to
console his mother; but her emotion was contagious, and he wept with
her.

"And how long has she been dead?" he asked at last, in mournful accents.

"Many's the long year, many; but," added Mrs Fairfield, rising, and
putting her tremulous hand on Leonard's shoulder, "you'll just never
talk to me about her--I can't bear it--it breaks my heart. I can bear
better to talk of Mark--come down stairs--come."

"May I not keep these verses, mother? Do let me."

"Well, well, those bits o' paper be all she left behind her--yes, keep
them, but put back Mark's. Are _they_ all here?--sure?" And the widow,
though she could not read her husband's verses, looked jealously at
the MSS. written in his irregular large scrawl, and, smoothing them
carefully, replaced them in the trunk, and resettled over them some
sprigs of lavender, which Leonard had unwittingly disturbed.

"But," said Leonard, as his eye again rested on the beautiful
handwriting of his lost aunt--"but you call her Nora--I see she signs
herself L."

"Leonora was her name. I said she was my Lady's godchild. We called her
Nora for short"--

"Leonora--and I am Leonard--is that how I came by the name?"

"Yes, yes--do hold your tongue, boy," sobbed poor Mrs Fairfield; and
she could not be soothed nor coaxed into continuing or renewing a
subject which was evidently associated with insupportable pain.


CHAPTER X.

It is difficult to exaggerate the effect that this discovery produced
on Leonard's train of thought. Some one belonging to his own humble
race had, then, preceded him in his struggling flight towards the
loftier regions of Intelligence and Desire. It was like the mariner
amidst unknown seas, who finds carved upon some desert isle a familiar
household name. And this creature of genius and of sorrow--whose
existence he had only learned by her song, and whose death created, in
the simple heart of her sister, so passionate a grief, after the lapse
of so many years--supplied to the romance awaking in his young heart
the ideal which it unconsciously sought. He was pleased to hear that
she had been beautiful and good. He paused from his books to muse on
her, and picture her image to his fancy. That there was some mystery
in her fate was evident to him; and while that conviction deepened his
interest, the mystery itself, by degrees, took a charm which he was not
anxious to dispel. He resigned himself to Mrs Fairfield's obstinate
silence. He was contented to rank the dead amongst those holy and
ineffable images which we do not seek to unveil. Youth and Fancy have
many secret hoards of idea which they do not desire to impart, even to
those most in their confidence. I doubt the depth of feeling in any man
who has not certain recesses in his soul into which none may enter.

Hitherto, as I have said, the talents of Leonard Fairfield had been
more turned to things positive than to the ideal; to science and
investigation of fact than to poetry, and that airier truth in which
poetry has its element. He had read our greater poets, indeed, but
without thought of imitating; and rather from the general curiosity
to inspect all celebrated monuments of the human mind, than from that
especial predilection for verse which is too common in childhood and
youth to be any sure sign of a poet. But now these melodies, unknown to
all the world beside, rang in his ear, mingled with his thoughts--set,
as it were, his whole life to music. He read poetry with a different
sentiment--it seemed to him that he had discovered its secret. And so
reading, the passion seized him, and "the numbers came."

To many minds, at the commencement of our grave and earnest pilgrimage,
I am Vandal enough to think that the indulgence of poetic taste and
reverie does great and lasting harm; that it serves to enervate the
character, give false ideas of life, impart the semblance of drudgery
to the noble toils and duties of the active man. All poetry would not
do this--not, for instance, the Classical, in its diviner masters--not
the poetry of Homer, of Virgil, of Sophocles--not, perhaps, even that
of the indolent Horace. But the poetry which youth usually loves and
appreciates the best--the poetry of mere sentiment--does so in minds
already over predisposed to the sentimental, and which require bracing
to grow into healthful manhood.

On the other hand, even this latter kind of poetry, which is peculiarly
modern, does suit many minds of another mould--minds which our modern
life, with its hard positive forms, tends to produce. And as in
certain climates plants and herbs, peculiarly adapted as antidotes to
those diseases most prevalent in the atmosphere, are profusely sown,
as it were, by the benignant providence of nature--so it may be that
the softer and more romantic species of poetry, which comes forth in
harsh, moneymaking, unromantic times, is intended as curatives and
counter-poisons. The world is so much with us, now-a-days, that we need
have something that prates to us, albeit even in too fine an euphuism,
of the moon and stars.

Certes, to Leonard Fairfield, at that period of his intellectual life,
the softness of our Helicon descended as healing dews. In his turbulent
and unsettled ambition, in his vague grapple with the giant forms of
political truths, in his bias towards the application of science to
immediate practical purposes, this lovely vision of the Muse came in
the white robe of the Peacemaker; and with upraised hand, pointing to
serene skies, she opened to him fair glimpses of the Beautiful, which
is given to Peasant as to Prince--showed to him that on the surface
of earth there is something nobler than fortune--that he who can view
the world as a poet is always at soul a king; while to practical
purpose itself, that larger and more profound invention, which poetry
stimulates, supplied the grand design and the subtle view--leading
him beyond the mere ingenuity of the mechanic, and habituating him to
regard the inert force of the matter at his command with the ambition
of the Discoverer. But, above all, the discontent that was within
him finding a vent, not in deliberate war upon this actual world,
but through the purifying channels of song--in the vent itself it
evaporated, it was lost. By accustoming ourselves to survey all things
with the spirit that retains and reproduces them only in their lovelier
or grander aspects, a vast philosophy of toleration for what we before
gazed on with scorn or hate insensibly grows upon us. Leonard looked
into his heart after the enchantress had breathed upon it; and through
the mists of the fleeting and tender melancholy which betrayed where
she had been, he beheld a new sun of delight and joy dawning over the
landscape of human life.

Thus, though she was dead and gone from his actual knowledge, this
mysterious kinswoman--"a voice, and nothing more"--had spoken to him,
soothed, elevated, cheered, attuned each discord into harmony; and, if
now permitted from some serener sphere to behold the life that her soul
thus strangely influenced, verily, with yet holier joy, the saving and
lovely spirit might have glided onward in the Eternal Progress.

We call the large majority of human lives _obscure_. Presumptuous that
we are! How know we what lives a single thought retained from the dust
of nameless graves may have lighted to renown?


CHAPTER XI.

It was about a year after Leonard's discovery of the family MSS. that
Parson Dale borrowed the quietest pad mare in the Squire's stables,
and set out on an equestrian excursion. He said that he was bound on
business connected with his old parishioners of Lansmere; for, as
it has been incidentally implied in a previous chapter, he had been
connected with that borough town (and, I may here add, in the capacity
of curate) before he had been inducted into the living of Hazeldean.

It was so rarely that the Parson stirred from home, that this journey
to a town more than twenty miles off was regarded as a most daring
adventure, both at the Hall and at the Parsonage. Mrs Dale could not
sleep the whole previous night with thinking of it; and though she had
naturally one of her worst nervous headaches on the eventful morn,
she yet suffered no hands less thoughtful than her own to pack up the
saddlebags which the Parson had borrowed along with the pad. Nay, so
distrustful was she of the possibility of the good man's exerting
the slightest common sense in her absence, that she kept him close
at her side while she was engaged in that same operation of packing
up--showing him the exact spot in which the clean shirt was put, and
how nicely the old slippers were packed up in one of his own sermons.
She implored him not to mistake the sandwiches for his shaving-soap,
and made him observe how carefully she had provided against such
confusion, by placing them as far apart from each other as the nature
of saddlebags will admit. The poor Parson--who was really by no means
an absent man, but as little likely to shave himself with sandwiches
and lunch upon soap as the most commonplace mortal may be--listened
with conjugal patience, and thought that man never had such a wife
before; nor was it without tears in his own eyes that he tore himself
from the farewell embrace of his weeping Carry.

I confess, however, that it was with some apprehension that he set
his foot in the stirrup, and trusted his person to the mercies
of an unfamiliar animal. For whatever might be Mr Dale's minor
accomplishments as man and parson, horsemanship was not his forte.
Indeed, I doubt if he had taken the reins in his hand more than twice
since he had been married.

The Squire's surly old groom, Mat, was in attendance with the pad; and,
to the Parson's gentle inquiry whether Mat was quite sure that the pad
was quite safe, replied laconically, "Oi, oi, give her her head."

"Give her her head!" repeated Mr Dale, rather amazed, for he had not
the slightest intention of taking away that part of the beast's frame,
so essential to its vital economy--"Give her her head!"

"Oi, oi; and don't jerk her up like that, or she'll fall a doincing on
her hind-legs."

The Parson instantly slackened the reins; and Mrs Dale--who had tarried
behind to control her tears--now running to the door for "more last
words," he waived his hand with courageous amenity, and ambled forth
into the lane.

Our equestrian was absorbed at first in studying the idiosyncrasies of
the pad, and trying thereby to arrive at some notion of her general
character: guessing, for instance, why she raised one ear and laid down
the other; why she kept bearing so close to the left that she brushed
his leg against the hedge; and why, when she arrived at a little
side-gate in the fields, which led towards the home-farm, she came to a
full stop, and fell to rubbing her nose against the rail--an occupation
from which the Parson, finding all civil remonstrances in vain, at
length diverted her by a timorous application of the whip.

This crisis on the road fairly passed, the pad seemed to comprehend
that she had a journey before her, and giving a petulant whisk of her
tail, quickened her amble into a short trot, which soon brought the
Parson into the high road, and nearly opposite the Casino.

Here, sitting on the gate which led to his abode, and shaded by his
umbrella, he beheld Dr Riccabocca.

The Italian lifted his eyes from the book he was reading, and stared
hard at the Parson; and he--not venturing to withdraw his whole
attention from the pad, (who, indeed, set up both her ears at the
apparition of Riccabocca, and evinced symptoms of that surprise and
superstitious repugnance at unknown objects which goes by the name of
"shying,")--looked askance at Riccabocca.

"Don't stir, please," said the Parson, "or I fear you'll alarm this
creature; it seems a nervous, timid thing;--soho--gently--gently."

And he fell to patting the mare with great unction.

The pad, thus encouraged, overcame her first natural astonishment at
the sight of Riccabocca and the red umbrella; and having before been
at the Casino on sundry occasions, and sagaciously preferring places
within the range of her experience to bournes neither cognate nor
conjecturable, she moved gravely up towards the gate on which the
Italian sate; and, after eyeing him a moment--as much as to say, "I
wish you would get off"--came to a dead lock.

"Well," said Riccabocca, "since your horse seems more disposed to be
polite to me than yourself, Mr Dale, I take the opportunity of your
present involuntary pause to congratulate you on your elevation in
life, and to breathe a friendly prayer that pride may not have a fall!"

"Tut," said the Parson, affecting an easy air, though still
contemplating the pad, who appeared to have fallen into a quiet doze,
"it is true that I have not ridden much of late years, and the Squire's
horses are very high fed and spirited; but there is no more harm in
them than their master when one once knows their ways."

    "Chi và piano, và sano,
    E chi và sano và lontano,"

said Riccabocca, pointing to the saddlebags. "You go slowly, therefore
safely; and he who goes safely may go far. You seem prepared for a
journey?"

"I am," said the Parson; "and on a matter that concerns you a little."

"Me!" exclaimed Riccabocca--"concerns me!"

"Yes, so far as the chance of depriving you of a servant whom you like
and esteem affects you."

"Oh," said Riccabocca, "I understand: you have hinted to me very often
that I or Knowledge, or both together, have unfitted Leonard Fairfield
for service."

"I did not say that exactly; I said that you have fitted him for
something higher than service. But do not repeat this to him. And I
cannot yet say more to you, for I am very doubtful as to the success of
my mission; and it will not do to unsettle poor Leonard until we are
sure that we can improve his condition."

"Of that you can never be sure," quoth the wise man, shaking his head;
"and I can't say that I am unselfish enough not to bear you a grudge
for seeking to decoy away from me an invaluable servant--faithful,
steady, intelligent, and (added Riccabocca, warming as he approached
the climacteric adjective)--exceedingly cheap! Nevertheless go, and
Heaven speed you. I am not an Alexander, to stand between man and the
sun."

"You are a noble great-hearted creature, Signor Riccabocca, in spite of
your cold-blooded proverbs and villanous books." The Parson, as he said
this, brought down the whip-hand with so indiscreet an enthusiasm on
the pad's shoulder, that the poor beast, startled out of her innocent
doze, made a bolt forward, which nearly precipitated Riccabocca from
his seat on the stile, and then turning round--as the Parson tugged
desperately at the rein--caught the bit between her teeth, and set off
at a canter. The Parson lost both his stirrups; and when he regained
them, (as the pad slackened her pace,) and had time to breathe and look
about him, Riccabocca and the Casino were both out of sight.

"Certainly," quoth Parson Dale, as he resettled himself with great
complacency, and a conscious triumph that he was still on the pad's
back--"certainly it is true 'that the noblest conquest ever made
by man was that of the horse:' a fine creature it is--a very fine
creature--and uncommonly difficult to sit on,--especially without
stirrups." Firmly in _his_ stirrups the Parson planted his feet; and
the heart within him was very proud.


CHAPTER XII.

Lansmere was situated in the county adjoining, that which contained
the village of Hazeldean. Late at noon the Parson crossed the little
stream which divided the two shires, and came to an inn, which was
placed at an angle, where the great main road branched off into two
directions--the one leading towards Lansmere, the other going more
direct to London. At this inn the pad stopped, and put down both ears
with the air of a pad who has made up her mind to bait. And the Parson
himself, feeling very warm and somewhat sore, said to the pad benignly,
"It is just--thou shalt have corn and water!"

Dismounting therefore, and finding himself very stiff, as soon as he
had reached _terra firma_, the Parson consigned the pad to the ostler,
and walked into the sanded parlour of the inn, to repose himself on a
very hard Windsor chair.

He had been alone rather more than half-an-hour, reading a county
newspaper which smelt much of tobacco, and trying to keep off the
flies that gathered round him in swarms, as if they had never before
seen a Parson, and were anxious to ascertain how the flesh of him
tasted,--when a stage-coach stopped at the inn. A traveller got out
with his carpet-bag in his hand, and was shown into the sanded parlour.

The Parson rose politely, and made a bow.

The traveller touched his hat, without taking it off--looked at Mr
Dale from top to toe--then walked to the window, and whistled a lively
impatient tune, then strode towards the fire-place and rang the bell;
then stared again at the Parson; and that gentleman having courteously
laid down the newspaper, the traveller seized it, threw himself on a
chair, flung one of his legs over the table, tossed the other up on the
mantelpiece, and began reading the paper, while he tilted the chair on
its hind legs with so daring a disregard to the ordinary position of
chairs and their occupants, that the shuddering Parson expected every
moment to see him come down on the back of his skull.

Moved, therefore, to compassion, Mr Dale said mildly--

"Those chairs are very treacherous, sir. I'm afraid you'll be down."

"Eh," said the traveller, looking, up much astonished. "Eh, down?--oh,
you're satirical, sir."

"Satirical, sir? upon my word, no!" exclaimed the parson earnestly.

"I think every free-born man has a right to sit as he pleases in his
own house," resumed the traveller with warmth; "and an inn is his own
house, I guess, so long as he pays his score. Betty, my dear."

For the chambermaid had now replied to the bell.

"I han't Betty, sir; do you want she?"

"No, Sally--cold brandy and water--and a biscuit."

"I han't Sally either," muttered the chambermaid; but the traveller
turning round, showed so smart a neckcloth and so comely a face, that
she smiled, coloured, and went her way.

The traveller now rose, and flung down the paper. He took out a
penknife, and began paring his nails. Suddenly desisting from this
elegant occupation, his eye caught sight of the Parson's shovel-hat,
which lay on a chair in the corner.

"You're a clergyman, I reckon, sir," said the traveller, with a slight
sneer.

Again Mr Dale bowed--bowed in part deprecatingly--in part with dignity.
It was a bow that said, "No offence, sir, but I _am_ a clergyman, and
I'm not ashamed of it."

"Going far?" asked the traveller.

PARSON.--"Not very."

TRAVELLER.--"In a chaise or fly? If so, and we are going the same
way--halves."

PARSON.--"Halves?"

TRAVELLER.--"Yes, I'll pay half the damage--pikes inclusive."

PARSON.--"You are very good, sir. But," (_spoken with pride_) "I am, on
horseback."

TRAVELLER.--"On horseback! Well, I should not have guessed that! You
don't look like it. Where did you say you were going?"

"I did _not_ say where I was going, sir," said the Parson drily, for he
was much offended at that vague and ungrammatical remark applicable to
his horsemanship, that "he did not look like it."

"Close!" said the traveller laughing; "an old traveller, I reckon."

The Parson made no reply, but he took up his shovel-hat, and, with a
bow more majestic than the previous one, walked out to see if his pad
had finished her corn.

The animal had indeed finished all the corn afforded to her, which was
not much, and in a few minutes more Mr Dale resumed his journey. He had
performed about three miles, when the sound of wheels behind made him
turn his head, and he perceived a chaise driven very fast, while out
of the windows thereof dangled strangely a pair of human legs. The pad
began to curvet as the post horses rattled behind, and the Parson had
only an indistinct vision of a human face supplanting these human legs.
The traveller peered out at him as he whirled by--saw Mr Dale tossed up
and down on the saddle, and cried out, "How's the leather?"

"Leather!" soliloquised the Parson, as the pad recomposed herself.
"What does he mean by that? Leather! a very vulgar man. But I got rid
of him cleverly."

Mr Dale arrived without farther adventure at Lansmere. He put up at the
principal inn--refreshed himself by a general ablution-and sate down
with good appetite to his beef-steak and pint of port.

The Parson was a better judge of the physiognomy of man than that of
the horse; and after a satisfactory glance at the civil smirking
landlord, who removed the cover and set on the wine, he ventured on an
attempt at conversation. "Is my lord at the park?"

Landlord, still more civilly than before: "No, sir, his lordship and my
lady have gone to town to meet Lord L'Estrange."

"Lord L'Estrange! He is in England, then?"

"Why, so I heard," replied the landlord, "but we never see him here
now. I remember him a very pretty young man. Every one was fond of
him, and proud of him. But what pranks he did play when he was a lad!
We hoped he would come in for our boro' some of these days, but he has
taken to foren parts--more's the pity. I am a reg'lar Blue, sir, as
I ought to be. The Blue candidate always does me the honour to come
to the Lansmere Arms. 'Tis only the low party puts up with The Boar,"
added the landlord with a look of ineffable disgust. "I hope you like
the wine, sir?"

"Very good, and seems old."

"Bottled these eighteen years, sir. I had in the cask for the great
election of Dashmore and Egerton. I have little left of it, and I never
give it but to old friends like--for, I think, sir, though you be grown
stout, and look more grand, I may say that I've had the pleasure of
seeing you before.

"That's true, I daresay, though I fear was never a very good customer."

LANDLORD.--"Ah, it _is_ Mr Dale, then! I thought so when you came into
the hall. I hope your lady is quite well, and the Squire too; fine
pleasant-spoken gentleman; no fault of his if Mr Egerton went wrong.
Well, we have never seen him--I mean Mr Egerton--since that time. I
don't wonder he stays away; but my lord's son, who was brought up
here,--it an't nat'ral like that he should turn his back on us!"

Mr Dale made no reply, and the landlord was about to retire, when the
Parson, pouring out another glass of the port, said,--"There must be
great changes in the parish. Is Mr Morgan, the medical man, still here?"

"No, indeed; he took out his ploma after you left, and became a real
doctor; and a pretty practice he had too, when he took, all of a
sudden, to some new-fangled way of physicking--I think they calls it
homy-something--"

"Homeopathy!"

"That's it--something against all reason: and so he lost his practice
here and went up to Lunnun. I've not heard of him since."

"Do the Avenels keep their old house?"

"Oh yes!--and are pretty well off, I hear say. John is always poorly;
though he still goes now and then to the Odd Fellows, and takes his
glass; but his wife comes and fetches him away before he can do himself
any harm."

"Mrs Avenel is the same as ever?"

"She holds her head higher, I think," said the landlord, smiling. "She
was always--not exactly proud like, but what I calls gumptious."

"I never heard that word before," said the Parson, laying down his
knife and fork. "Bumptious, indeed, though I believe it is not in the
dictionary, has crept into familiar parlance, especially amongst young
folks at school and college."

"Bumptious is bumptious, and gumptious is gumptious," said the
landlord, delighted to puzzle a Parson. "Now the town beadle is
bumptious, and Mrs Avenel is gumptious."

"She is a very respectable woman," said Mr Dale, somewhat rebukingly.

"In course, sir, all gumptious folks are; they value themselves on
their respectability, and looks down on their neighbours."

PARSON, still philologically occupied.--"Gumptious--gumptious. I think
I remember the substantive at school--not that my master taught it to
me. 'Gumption,' it means cleverness."

LANDLORD, (doggedly.)--"There's gumption and gumptious! Gumption is
knowing; but when I say that sum un is gumptious, I mean--though that's
more vulgar like--sum un who does not think small beer of hisself. You
take me, sir?"

"I think I do," said the Parson, half-smiling. "I believe the Avenels
have only two of their children alive still--their daughter, who
married Mark Fairfield, and a son who went off to America?"

"Ah, but he made his fortune there, and has come back."

"Indeed! I'm very glad to hear it. He has settled at Lansmere?"

"No, sir. I hear as he's bought a property a long way off. But he comes
to see his parents pretty often--so John tells me--but I can't say
that I ever see him. I fancy Dick doesn't like to be seen by folks who
remember him playing in the kennel."

"Not unnatural," said the Parson indulgently; "but he visits his
parents: he is a good son, at all events, then?"

"I've nothing to say against him. Dick was a wild chap before he took
himself off. I never thought he would make his fortune; but the Avenels
are a clever set. Do you remember poor Nora--the Rose of Lansmere, as
they called her? Ah, no, I think she went up to Lunnun afore your time,
sir."

"Humph!" said the Parson drily. "Well, I think you may take away now.
It will be dark soon, and I'll just stroll out and look about me."

"There's a nice tart coming, sir."

"Thank you, I've dined."

The Parson put on his hat and sallied forth into the streets. He eyed
the houses on either hand with that melancholy and wistful interest
with which, in middle life, we revisit scenes familiar to us in
youth--surprised to find either so little change or so much, and
recalling, by fits and snatches, old associations and past emotions.
The long High Street which he threaded now began to change its bustling
character, and slide, as it were gradually, into the high road of a
suburb. On the left, the houses gave way to the moss-grown pales of
Lansmere Park: to the right, though houses still remained, they were
separated from each other by gardens, and took the pleasing appearance
of villas--such villas as retired tradesmen or their widows, old maids,
and half-pay officers, select for the evening of their days.

Mr Dale looked at these villas with the deliberate attention of a man
awakening his power of memory, and at last stopped before one, almost
the last on the road, and which faced the broad patch of sward that
lay before the lodge of Lansmere Park. An old pollard oak stood near
it, and from the oak there came a low discordant sound; it was the
hungry cry of young ravens, awaiting the belated return of the parent
bird. Mr Dale put his hand to his brow, paused a moment, and then,
with a hurried step, passed through the little garden and knocked at
the door. A light was burning in the parlour, and Mr Dale's eye caught
through the window a vague outline of three forms. There was an evident
bustle within at the sound of the knocks. One of the forms rose and
disappeared. A very prim, neat, middle-aged maid-servant now appeared
at the threshold, and austerely inquired the visitor's business.

"I want to see Mr or Mrs Avenel. Say that I have come many miles to see
them; and take in this card."

The maid-servant took the card, and half-closed the door. At least
three minutes elapsed before she reappeared.

"Missis says it's late, sir; but walk in."

The Parson accepted the not very gracious invitation, stepped across
the little hall, and entered the parlour.

Old John Avenel, a mild-looking man, who seemed slightly paralytic,
rose slowly from his arm-chair. Mrs Avenel, in an awfully stiff, clean,
and Calvinistical cap, and a gray dress, every fold of which bespoke
respectability and staid repute--stood erect on the floor, and, fixing
on the Parson a cold and cautious eye, said--

"You do the like of us great honour, Mr Dale--take a chair! You call
upon business?"

"Of which I have apprised you by letter, Mr Avenel."

"My husband is very poorly."

"A poor creature!" said John feebly, and as if in compassion of
himself. "I can't get about as I used to do. But it ben't near election
time, be it, sir?"

"No, John," said Mrs Avenel, placing her husband's arm within her own.
"You must lie down a bit, while I talk to the gentleman."

"I'm a real good blue," said poor John; "but I an't quite the man I
was;" and, leaning heavily on his wife, he left the room, turning round
at the threshold, and saying, with great urbanity--"Anything to oblige,
sir?"

Mr Dale was much touched. He had remembered John Avenel the comeliest,
the most active, and the most cheerful man in Lansmere; great at glee
club and cricket, (though then stricken in years) greater in vestries;
reputed greatest in elections.

"Last scene of all," murmured the Parson; "and oh well, turning from
the poet, may we cry with the disbelieving philosopher, 'Poor, poor
humanity!'"[21]

[21] Mr Dale probably here alludes to Lord Bolingbroke's ejaculation as
he stood by the dying Pope; but his memory does not serve him with the
exact words.

In a few minutes Mrs Avenel returned. She took a chair at some distance
from the Parson's, and, resting one hand on the elbow of the chair,
while with the other she stiffly smoothed the stiff gown, she said--

"Now, sir."

That "Now, sir," had in its sound something sinister and warlike. This
the shrewd Parson recognised with his usual tact. He edged his chair
nearer to Mrs Avenel, and placing his hand on hers--

"Yes, now then, and as friend to friend."



LEGENDS OF THE MONASTIC ORDERS, AS REPRESENTED IN THE FINE ARTS.[22]


Lovers of the Fine Arts--and they ought to be the whole civilised
world--owe an especial regard and reverence to the Monastic Orders,
without whom there would have been, and would be now, no Art at all.
Taking the Fine Arts at their lowest value, as a mere source of
pleasure, from the love of imitation or representation of agreeable
objects--the remembrancer of scenes of interest, the elegant
accomplishment by which homes are embellished and made more beautifully
homely--surely some little gratitude is due, where it has been the
fashion to be sparing of any praise, to those good and pious men who
in their convents prepared, improved, and invented colours as well as
implements of Art; were themselves the early painters, and by their
extensive patronage may be called the Fathers of the Arts. Had the
world derived from the monastic orders no other good, that one should
have insured them a perpetual respect.

[22] _Legends of the Monastic Orders, as Represented in the Fine Arts._
By Mrs JAMESON. 1 vol. Longman & Co., London. 1850

But the Arts do not stand alone--are themselves a sisterhood, if we
may so speak--many orders, but one religion; one bond binding them
together--the culture of humanity.

History has unfortunately too often been the work of infidel hands
and hearts. Whatever is of religion has been viewed with a prejudice;
the vices of mankind at large have been tenderly treated; while such
as could with truth or untruth be charged upon religious orders,
have met with little mercy, and have been exempted from the common
apology of the age. In this, little candour has been shown. It would
be fairer, speaking of any class of men, to inquire whether they were
worse or better than others--a benefit or a plague-spot on society;
and it would be fairer to see what efforts they made for their own and
for the general improvement, and rather to estimate their success,
where few but themselves struggled for amelioration, than to single
out every fault, every corruption, and of every age, and to bring the
accumulation to bear upon the head, as it were, of one generation. The
monastic orders have been the theme of general abuse by many a flippant
writer, as if they lived but at one particular period, and were but
examples of ignorance and vice--the encouragers of superstition for
their own selfish ends. The "dark ages" have been indeed dark to those
who have shut their eyes to the light which, small and glimmering
though it appeared from our broad and open way of life, might, if
followed with a gentle curiosity, have led into undreamt-of recesses,
found to contain great treasures; and as the bodily, so the mental
eye would have accommodated its vision to the degree of light given,
and would have seen distinctly both form and beauty, which would have
burst with a kind of glory upon them through the gloom, and met them as
goodness would meet willing seekers.

    "Virtue makes herself light, through darkness for to wade."

"I know nothing," says one writer, "of those ages that knew nothing."
As it has been justly retorted--how did he, knowing nothing of them,
know that they knew nothing? It might be more easy to show that, if
he knew anything about anything, he was mainly indebted to those
very ages which kept within them the light of knowledge, preserved
and cherished from utterly going out with the sanctity of a vestal
fire. Turn where we will, we see the monuments of the labour of
the monastic orders--wonderful monuments. And surely if any age
may be said with truth to be dark, dark were those of the two last
centuries which, with the wondrous edifices before their eyes, saw
not their beauty mutilated, and with most unwarrantable conceit
thought they had improved upon them. Whose was the ignorance? Look
at our architecture. Great advancement has been made, and is making
daily; and what is the consequence of this revived taste? A proper
appreciation of the architecture of the "dark ages." Our best hope
is, to imitate successfully. Who were they who designed these miracles
of art? Devout men--the monastic orders! Who furnished every species
of decoration--the sculpture, the painted glass, the pictures, that
were a language? Men who themselves lived humbly and sparingly, that
they might devote themselves, their talents, and their possessions
to make an exalted and visible religion upon earth, as the one thing
needful for future generations of men. Such, undoubtedly, was the one
mind of the great religious orders--we speak of their purpose and of
their doings. It was their mission over every land: we say not that
corruption did not find them out, that there was no canker in their
fruit. The enemy knew where to sow his tares; but perverse people tore,
uprooted and cast from them the wheat, and loved to lay waste; and, as
is ever the case, hating whom they injure, they vilified _per fas et
nefas_; and, upon the plea of others' corruption, became themselves
robbers, plunderers, and, too often, assassins.

It has been charged against these orders, that from the extreme of
poverty they became rich. _Hinc illæ lachrymæ._ But how did they so
increase? Because toil and labour were their law: they brought wealth
out of lands chosen for their sterility, that their rule of toil
might be the more continually exercised. Industry had its natural
fruits, and spread its influence: they taught as well as practised;
and their object, how they disposed of that which they gained, is
now well known. The monuments, long unheeded, are before us. That we
may not be unjustly thought, in what we have said, to favour Romish
institutions, we would make a distinction, too little observed,--we
would not confound the retired, the benevolent, the religious lives of
those benefactors in the monastic orders, with the political tyrannical
Papacy in Rome itself. _There_ was ambition and avarice--a worldliness,
at the instigation of the "Prince of this world," working out a system
whose necessities begot the vilest superstitions and idolatries for
unholy gain, and disseminated corruption instead of life. The history
of the Popes is not the history of the devout and laborious of the
monastic orders at all times. They were indeed within the pale of the
Church of Rome, for there was then no other; but they who cultivated
wastes, taught the people, and preserved and invented arts and
literature, were far other men. The evil of Papacy had not reached them
at once in their wildernesses. When the corrupt system did reach them,
it bore its fruit. But even then, and among such, be it remembered,
arose those who were still pure, and above the corruptions--and from
them originated the Reformation. In reasoning upon past institutions,
consideration must be had of the peculiar phase of the world when
they arose. The whole altered condition of society would make that a
positive evil which was once a positive good. Monastic institutions
have done their work;--they cannot be restored, in a healthy state,
in a Protestant country, whose constitution, and the laws that both
make and support it, and the habits, manners, and feelings of the
people, are entirely repugnant to them. Romanism is antagonistic with
everything that is not of it. It demands at all times and everywhere
to be the dominant power. To give it more than toleration, is to put
into its hands that fulcrum which will be incessantly employed to
subvert every institution that cannot be resolved into itself. Neither
governments nor homes can escape its snares and its tyranny.

    "Inspectum domos venturaque desuper urbi."

And here we would offer a quotation from Mrs Jameson's introduction to
this her third volume of the Series on Religious Art; and we cannot but
think that the scrutiny her subject has led her to make, into the real
character of the religions orders of the middle ages, has given a more
serious, we would say solemn, respect for them than was perceptible in
the two former volumes. Not that we would charge any levity upon her
in them: the reverse; but we do think that the reverence and respect
for the subjects generally have fallen advantageously upon the "orders"
themselves.

    "In the first place, then, monachism in art, taken in a large
    sense, is historically interesting, as the expression of a
    most important era of human culture. We are outliving the gross
    prejudices which once represented the life of the cloister as
    being from first to last a life of laziness and imposture.
    We know that, but for the monks, the light of liberty and
    literature and science had been for ever extinguished, and that
    for six centuries there existed for the thoughtful, the gentle,
    the inquiring, the devout spirit no peace, no security, no
    home but the cloister. There learning trimmed her lamp, there
    contemplation 'pruned her wings;' there the traditions of art,
    preserved from age to age by lonely studious men, kept alive in
    form and colour the idea of a beauty beyond that of earth--of
    a might beyond that of the spear and the shield--of a Divine
    sympathy with suffering humanity. To this we may add another
    and a stronger claim on our respect and moral sympathies.
    The protection and the better education given to women in
    these early communities--the venerable and distinguished rank
    assigned to them when, as governesses of their order, they
    became in a manner dignitaries of the church--the introduction
    of their beautiful and saintly effigies, clothed with all the
    insignia of sanctity and authority, into the decoration of
    places of worship and books of devotion--did more, perhaps,
    for the general cause of womanhood than all the boasted
    institutions of chivalry."

Now, be it remembered that all this was effected in the midst of a
hostile and turbulent world, whom they thus subdued by their sanctity
to an awe and respect, without which there would have been no peace
to them, no shelter to the pure and the weak from injury and wrong.
Do we not see here the strongest proof of their earnestness, their
piety, their charity, and that they were, under Heaven, the ministers
of blessings to mankind? There was a period, however, when the entire
seclusion of the cloister ceased to be beneficial--the contemplative
life must be succeeded by the active. From that period must we date the
promise of all that is great and good in art, science, and every effort
of human genius, which burst winged out of darkness into day, with the
rise of the Mendicant orders.

    "If the three great divisions of the regular ecclesiastics
    seem to have had each a distinct vocation, there was at least
    one vocation common to all. The Benedictine monks instituted
    schools of learning; the Augustines built noble cathedrals;
    the Mendicant orders founded hospitals: _all_ became patrons
    of the fine arts, on such a scale of munificence that the
    protection of the most renowned princes has been mean and
    insignificant in comparison. Yet, in their relation to art,
    this splendid patronage was the least of their merits. The
    earliest artists of the middle ages were the monks of the
    Benedictine orders. In their convents were preserved, from
    age to age, the traditional treatment of sacred subjects, and
    that pure unworldly sentiment which in later times was ill
    exchanged for the learning of schools and the competition of
    academies; and as they were the only depositories of chemical
    and medical knowledge, and the only compounders of drugs, we
    owe to them also the discovery and preparation of some of the
    finest colours, and the invention or the improvement of the
    implements used in painting: for the monks not only prepared
    their own colours, but when they employed secular painters in
    decorating their convents, the materials furnished from their
    own laboratories were consequently of the best and most durable
    kind. As architects, as glass-painters, as mosaic workers, as
    carvers in wood and metal, they were the precursors of all that
    has since been achieved in Christian art; and if so few of
    these admirable and gifted men are known to us individually and
    by name, it is because they worked for the honour of God and
    their community--not for profit, nor for reputation."

Mutability is written upon the face of all earthly things, whether they
be good or evil in themselves. We progress and we retrograde according
as influences act upon us. If we would judge in candour, we cannot take
any class of facts of things or persons by themselves--all are parts of
one whole; but how made one, is a speculation of a deep philosophy. It
is hard to place upon the map of understanding the hidden causes, and
their relation to each other, which make up the general social aspect
at any one period. However we may advance, in knowledge, however that
knowledge may operate as a check, mankind are in heart intrinsically
the same they ever were--they have within them the same passions, the
same instincts; and though we are daily pronouncing, as we look back
upon past ages, that such and such things never can be again, that we
cannot have the same superstitions, nor exercise the same cruelties,
whatever we may hope, we do in fact say but this, that the identical
facts and identical personages will not come again upon the stage of
life. Of this we may be sure, that under certain influences, always
within the sphere of our liabilities, the passions of men will lead
them to the same excesses, the same fanaticism, the same crimes. The
plot of the drama may be somewhat varied, or even new, but tragedy and
comedy will still designate the play of human actions. We may have
crusades without a Holy Land to recover--as we have had a Bartholomew
massacre; we have had, and may have again, in civilised Europe, the
political massacres which, in reading history in our closets in our own
peaceful homes, we had fondly deemed passed away for ever. Fanaticism
in religion and politics is still a human instinct--the sleeping
volcano in every man's breast, though he knows it not, believes it not.
"Is thy servant a dog that he should do this thing?" Who can answer for
himself? It is wiser, far better to bow the head in humility--"Lead
us not into temptation." As the times are, as people are, in peace
or in suffering, will be their religious hopes or their religious
fears--a gloom or a comfort, a wholesome practical virtue or a feverish
excitement, a personal selfishness, a frenzy of despair--intolerance
and persecution the result. The civil troubles of England made our
religion, or that which passes for religion among the masses, gloomy
and morose on the one hand, and, on the other, an awful conceit of
self-righteousness. There was the asceticism of the early ages, but
in a new form: there were no deserts, no dens into which fanatics
could fly from worldly pleasure: compelled to live in its sight, they
persecuted it to the death, and took their own insane pleasure in
denying pleasure to others. General distress will naturally engender
unwholesome excitement, and it will infect invariably the religious
mind. These remarks are not superfluous--they arise out of the subject.
Mrs Jameson herself sees analogies of times, which it may be worth our
while to pause and consider.

    "It seems to me that in the movement of the thirteenth century
    there was something analogous to the times through which
    we of this present generation have lived. There had been
    nearly a hundred years of desolating wars. The Crusades had
    upheaved society from its depths, as a storm upheaves the
    ocean, and changed the condition of men and nations.... A
    generation sprang up physically predisposed to a sort of morbid
    exaltation, and powerfully acted on by the revelation of a
    hitherto unseen, unfelt world of woe. In the words of Scripture
    'men could not stop their ears from hearing of blood, nor shut
    their eyes from seeing of evil.' There was a deep, almost
    universal, feeling of the pressure and burden of sorrow--an
    awakening of the conscience to wrong, a blind anxious groping
    for the right, a sense that what had hitherto sufficed to
    humanity, would suffice no longer. But in the uneasy ferment of
    men's minds, religious fear took the place of religious hope,
    and the religious sympathies and aspirations assumed, in their
    excess, a disordered and exaggerated form.... But what was
    dark misery and bewilderment in the weak and ignorant, assumed
    in the more highly endowed a higher form; and to St Francis
    and his order we owe what has been happily called the mystic
    school in poetry and painting--that school which so strangely
    combined the spiritual with the sensual, the beautiful with the
    terrible, and the tender with the inexorable--which first found
    utterance in the works of Dante and of the ancient painters
    of Tuscany and Umbria. It has been disputed often whether the
    suggestions of Dante influenced Giotto, or the creations of
    Giotto inspired Dante; but the true influence and inspiration
    were around both, and dominant over both, when the two greatest
    men of their age united to celebrate a religion of retribution
    and suffering--to solemnise the espousals of sanctity with the
    self-abnegation which despises all things, rather than with the
    love that pardons and the hope that rejoices--and which, in
    closing the gates of pleasure, 'would have shut the gates of
    mercy on mankind.'"

Dante himself, the great man of his age, the deep in soul and
intellect, but individualises the character of an age; and, as far
as individual character can portray a general, tends to confirm the
observations into which the nature of our subject led us. Dante lived
a whole life of injury and wrong, of sorrow, of persecution, which
doubtless darkened and embrowned every faculty of his consummate
genius. The persecutions of the early Christians drove men into
solitudes, where the tumult and fear of the world was exchanged
for tumult and fear within; for they were where nature, ordaining
every man to work for a common good, never intended them to be, and
therefore would not give them peace. No wonder, if, in their bewildered
fancies, they were haunted by demons, and took their fevered visions
for realities. No wonder if they enacted the extravagant vagaries
of insanity, and their faith (still faith) became mixed with a
fabulous superstition. The anchorite was sought as a holy man; people
believed in his miraculous powers as people have believed since--and
people believe now, though no longer in anchorites. There are even
Protestant miracle-workers, and thousands who have a kind of belief
in their hearts which they will not acknowledge in words; and, while
they ridicule the Romish calendar, have their own Protestant saints,
and worship them, too, with an idolatry perhaps not less in reality
than that which they so vehemently condemn in others. It is well to
discountenance seriously and gravely the lying legends of Rome, and to
sift from the fables the evil purpose with which they are fabricated
or propagated, to expose the hidden design--a dominant power over
minds and persons. But, to be candid, there was a time when legends
of miracles were household words, and yet had nothing to do with
priestcraft and Popery. Such things were before Popery; and that
corrupt Church but took advantage of a human propensity, which they
could not hope to eradicate. It would indeed be wonderful if there was
not at all times a ready belief in them, as long as people believed
anything, and that there might be powers above the human. And be it
remembered, that many legends of miracles are of that early date which
may be said to have begun ere miracles had ceased--ere the belief, not
in the possibility, but in the present existence, could be well worn
out. The necessity of keeping up the show of them has indeed been the
crime, and is the crying disgrace, of the Romish Church. All we mean to
assert is, that, considering the contiguity of the true and the false,
in point of time, there is at least a great diminution of disparagement
of intellect in those who, in the earliest times, took visions and
dreams for facts, and events, that happened to be simultaneous, for
miracles. Then, again, we know that many of these legends were but
repetitions, and in their origin not intended to pass for truth.
The lives of saints were the school-themes in convents--the only,
schools. The names and a few leading lines of life of saints given,
scholars were to fill up, as their imaginations could supply detail;
consequently we see many of them to be of a puerile and even infantine
fancy, and taken from nursery tales enlarged--a kind of 'raw-head and
bloody-bones'--children boiled in a pot, the Thyestean supper, and
the children leaping whole out of the dish. And here we would ask the
Romish clergy, who certainly in their accredited books propagate fables
scarcely less ridiculous, if the being ridiculous is not a test of
their falsity? We cannot, while we are reasonable, suppose otherwise
than that the Author of miracles would at least guard them from
contempt of this kind; that, as they are intended for the conversion
of mankind, they should not present themselves in a ridiculous
posture, or under ridiculous coincidences. Such was not the pattern of
the Scripture miracles. We would, however, make a great distinction
between the fraudulent (that is, having a fraudulent purpose) legends,
and those which are merely exaggerations or repetitions, readily and
naturally applied under congenial circumstances, and for the most part
allegorical of the Christian charities, and inculcating Christian
virtues. Shall we shock the reader if we add, too, that there may be
a very innocent superstition? Since bloody persecution has ceased,
superstition in the eyes of this wise-growing age is like the dog that
the member of a Peace Society rebuked thus, "Friend, I won't beat thee,
but I'll cry mad dog." Should a child, now-a-days, on lying down in
bed, say, as children did say in our younger days--

    "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John,
    Bless the bed that I lie on,"

there may be grounds for fear that, should ever the Government
inspectors of schools hear of it, the poor innocents would be put to an
inconvenient questioning; and it is possible that these inspectors,
or multitudes of men equally learned, discreet, and wise, may, after
lecturing the school teachers and scholars on superstition, go
directly, with as great credulity, to a lecture of another kind, and
to witness mesmeric experiments, which assume powers far beyond those
of any miracles whatever. Those who would smile at the tale of a holy
man healing the sick by a word, will credit a somnambulist who, upon
a physician's fee, professes to look blindfolded into the inside of
his credulous patient, and, without knowing anything whatever about
medicine, say what drug will effect a cure; who advertises to be at
home for consultation upon people's most private affairs--to tell
them of unknown, unsuspected, important papers and documents--to tell
the past, the present, and, more wonderful, _the future_. And, with
a wonderful inconsistency, there are men who, having entire faith in
these assumptions, and on the infallibility of their science, have no
belief whatever in a soul, scoff at spirituality, and boldly pronounce
the phenomena of seeing without eyes, travelling without feet, bidding
doors, whether of mansion or of cabinets, open to them, and, being
obeyed, of knowing all secrets which were never told; of knowing
what is passing thousands of miles off with persons never before
seen, by holding any person's hand; of entering into that person; of
prophesying; of knowing thoughts and their consequences, as to be shown
in events;--audaciously, we say, pronouncing these phenomena to arise
from materialism.

While such things are, and things as strange, who can hope to expel
superstition from the stronghold of man's belief? and who would wish to
do it altogether, if the vacant citadel is to be taken possession of
by such philosophy as this--the fanaticism of science? And whilst we
condemn, as it must be confessed we ought, but duly and discreetly, the
greater part of the Romish saintology, their legends and the works of
art relating to them, as all belonging to "ages dark" and obsolete, it
may not be altogether amiss to turn over some of the old and new pages
of the evangelical magazines, where modern saints figure in portraiture
and biography--that is, in our enlightened art and literature; and
it is more than probable we shall be humbled and disgusted, and
be charitably disposed to make some apologies even for the _aurea
legenda_. And should any, in their folly or in their wickedness,
desire to set up a new idol, to rival or obliterate the memory of St
Johanna Southcote the immaculate, or St Huntingdon, for whom the fishes
leaped voluntarily from the ponds into his sanctified hands, and for
whose sake sudden death came upon the man who would not receive him
as a tenant, let such person or persons not despair of collecting
a household of "Latter-day Saints" after the authorised manner of
Joe Smith the Mormonist. It may be read in modern biographies, that
children almost infants have been miraculously converted whilst in
idle play, and have gone back to their homes and converted their
great-grandfathers. Poor good John Wesley believed many of these absurd
things. He assented to the assertion of the profligate who courted
his sister, that it was by "the Lord's directions;" and again, that
suddenly "the Lord" had told him to transfer his affections to John's
other sister. The published _Sancta sanctorum_ of religious sects are
nigh forgotten now-a-days; but they still exist, as did other legends,
to be collected in form, should a seeming necessity or a cunning
purpose require it: for there are multitudes who credit them now, and
many more who might, without much difficulty, be made strenuous to
establish them for "their Church."

We must not, however, forget, that the subject of Mrs Jameson's book
before us is the legends of the monastic orders in their connection
with art. And here modern superstition or fanaticism is at a desperate
disadvantage. Modern art itself is far too worldly, too material a
thing for spirituality, real or assumed. In those evangelical portraits
to which we have already alluded, gross, and, as it would almost seem,
studiedly ugly similitudes, lest the flesh should boast, shining with
an unction too human, and with the conceit of self-applause escaping
from every pore, and redolent of congregational adoration, vulgar
personifications of peculiar and hostile sectarianism, the material
man has been alone the aim of the artist. There is no tale told--no
act of devotion represented--no religious procession, no temple
spirituality,--but the man alone; not as he might be seen--humble,
devout towards God, but, as it were, with his back to sacred things,
and his face towards _his_ people, as if he were the sole or chief
recipient of worship. How different in character were the works of
Angelico, Il Beato, of Giotto, and those great and pious men, who with
their wondrous genius adorned the cloisters of the monastic orders--not
with the portraiture of the monks of the day, but with devout and holy
processions, acts of their founders, and incidents of sacred history!
They taught by the eye; and it possessed, in some respects, a charm
above that of the being taught by books. Picture, at once, is able
to imbue the spectator with a kind of spirituality ere it touches
the understanding; whereas, in reading, it is the uninformed and
grosser imagination supplies the portraiture from scenes of a narrow
experience, and personages of a homely familiarity.

Yet even in very many of the monastic pictures Mrs Jameson finds a
defect, in the too human purpose of the painters and their patrons: she
ascribes somewhat of a vain-glorious and exclusive, where the chief
object was to exalt a St Benedict, a St Francis, or St Dominick, not as
men, but as saints of their respective orders, and for those orders.
Still, we think this objection is carried too far. The purpose was, at
least, no present portraiture; and surely the subjects did often convey
precept, and were calculated to touch the heart, and kindle devotion,
and encourage human charities. Undoubtedly, far higher in the poetical
scale were those themes of an actual Divinity, of which she treated so
enthusiastically in the first part of her former volumes--ascending
from angels and archangels, from the heavenly host, to the precincts
around the throne of the Divine glory. Yet be it duly weighed, in
favour of the patronage of the monastic orders, that this exaltation of
art in its theme was not altogether ever abandoned; and upon the whole,
we doubt if advantages were not in some degree gained by the admixture
of things more comprehensible, and more directly appealing to natural
sensibilities. Besides, there was a class of paintings which arose out
of our human affections, and which, therefore, led to a pious trust,
through our common sympathies: we allude to votive pictures, which were
of the earliest and latest date--pervading, indeed, the whole religion;
for it was, in truth, a practice continued from the heathen worship.

    "The pictures, too," says our authoress, "which are suspended
    in churches as votive memorials of benefits received, are often
    very touching. I recollect such a picture in the gallery of
    Vienna. A youth about fifteen, in the character of Tobias,
    is led by the hand of his guardian angel Raphael; and on the
    other side is St Leonard, the patron of captives, holding his
    broken fetters; Christ the Redeemer appears above; and below
    in a corner kneels an elderly man, his eyes fixed on the
    youth. The arrangement of this group leaves us no doubt of
    its purpose. It was the votive offering of a father whose son
    had escaped, or had been redeemed from captivity. The picture
    is very beautiful, and either by Andrea del Sarto, or one of
    his school. If we could discover where it had been originally
    placed, we might discover the facts and personages to which
    it alludes; but, even on the walls of a gallery, we recognise
    its pathetic significance: we read it as a poem--as a hymn of
    thanksgiving."

Mrs Jameson makes a very good remark upon a deficiency in catalogues
of galleries and collections--the omission of the name of the church
or chapel, or the confraternity, whence the pictures were purchased,
and such history as might be known respecting them. Our collectors,
indeed, are not without their picture-pedigrees; but they are of a
curious kind--rather too expressive of a fear of dupery of dealers,
and implying but little good foundation of taste in purchasers.
Picture-pedigrees refer not to an inherent virtue, visible as the pure
blood of the Arabian courser, but to the supposed taste or better
known wealth of the last possessor. Few pictures stand on their own
merits--they acquire a virtue from the hands or houses they have
passed through, more than from the hands that worked them. Indeed,
the known collector is generally the only authenticity of the painter,
and stamps the value. But to say somewhat of pictures of sacred
subjects--and they are by far the finest in known collections--from
this deficiency in the catalogues much of their interest is lost; not
only so, but we see them in the midst of strange incongruities, as
well as injured in their effect by locality, and by light unsuited to
them. We cannot judge fairly of their real excellence, nor understand
the actual religious power they once possessed. Many of them were
painted for private chapels or oratories, and purposely, perhaps, for
dim religious light; for an intimate communion of the devout with the
one sentiment and with it alone. We have often earnestly wished that,
in building national galleries, the large and ostentatious display, at
one view, were not the object, and that the particular character of
our greatest works were well considered, and fit positions given, and
proper lights adjusted. It would be a great thing, for instance, to
see the "Raising of Lazarus" of Sebastian del Piombo, in our National
Gallery, in a room by itself, and under a studied and arranged light.
It is now where it is not all, and at all times, visible; and it is far
too important in itself, of too impressive a character, for the look of
one passing moment, and the distraction of many things. In the Vatican
the Apollo has a room to himself. Picture galleries should not emulate
the show-rooms of trade. If the pictures are irrecoverably removed
from their own birthplace, from their own home, separated from their
local history and interest, much may still be done, in some degree, to
preserve for them their general character, and to allow them to make
the intended general impression. And it is in fact for this purpose
that we highly estimate this work of Mrs Jameson, that, in referring
to these legends, we may read the productions to which they have given
rise.

    "What a lively, living, really religious interest is given
    to one of these sacred groups when we know the locality, or
    the community for which it was executed; and how it becomes
    enriched as a production of mind when it speaks to the mind
    through a thousand associations, will be felt, I think, after
    reading the legends which follow."

The Benedictine order stands first in point of time and in interest,
not as regards art only, but as the great civilising order of the
world. The Benedictines were the early missionaries of the north of
Europe; they, banished the impure and inhuman rites of heathenism,
by conveying, regardless of peril, the light of the gospel into the
wilds of Britain, Gaul, Saxony, and Belgium. They gave security to the
oppressed, rescued from the spoiler, and were a refuge to the poor in
times of tyranny and barbarism. They were the sole depositaries of
learning and of the arts; collected and transcribed books--particularly
the Scriptures--which were charitably bestowed or deposited as precious
gifts. We owe to them not only the diffusion of the Scriptures, but the
preservation of classical literature. To them we owe the recovery of
the works of Pliny, Sallust, and Cicero.

    "They were the fathers of Gothic architecture; they were
    the earliest illuminators and limners; and, to crown their
    deservings under this head, the inventor of the gamut, and the
    first who instituted a school of music, was a Benedictine monk,
    Guido d'Arezzo."

They were the great civilisers, by bringing science to bear upon
agriculture; the authors of experimental farming and gardening; the
cultivators of new fruits and herbs. They cleared and cultivated;
science and the plough went with them wherever they planted the cross.
We cannot forbear quoting the words of Sir James Stephen:--

    "The greatness of the Benedictines did not, however, consist
    either in their agricultural skill, their prodigies of
    architecture, or their priceless libraries, but in their
    parentage of countless men and women illustrious for active
    piety, for wisdom in the government of mankind, for profound
    learning, and for that contemplative spirit which discovers,
    within the soul itself, things beyond the limits of the
    perceptible creation."

The Benedictines were introduced into England about fifty years after
the death of their founder, in A.D. 543. Augustine the monk, however,
was not the first Christian missionary to this country, as it has
commonly been represented. The Benedictine order was established here
by him. The whole Christian world was then divided upon the question,
whether the Eastern or Western Patriarch should be acknowledged head
of the universal church. Under him England was subjected to Rome.
St Benedict was of a noble family, and born at Norcia, in the duchy
of Spoleto, about A.D. 480. Sent to Rome to study literature, and
disgusted by the profligacy of his companions, at a period when
opinions as to the efficacy of solitude and penance were prevalent,
he separated himself from vicious contagion in a hermitage, at
fifteen years of age. He would probably have died under suffering
and privation had not his nurse, doubting, perhaps, between the idea
of his inspiration or his insanity, followed him, begged for him,
and administered to his wants. Benedict thought to deny himself this
comfort--escaped, and hid himself among the rocks of Subiaco, about
forty miles from Rome. He here met with a hermit, and lived three years
in a cavern, unknown to his family, and shared with the hermit the
scanty fare of bread and water. In this solitude he was not without
temptations; visions too earthly, and such as well might assault his
age, were rendered vain by increased penance. He is said to have rushed
from his cave, and to have thrown himself into a thicket of briars
and nettles, until the blood flowed. They still show at Subiaco the
rose-bushes propagated from those which wounded the saint.

The scenery about Subiaco has even now a monastic charm; it has its
lonely recesses, its silent dells. We have ourselves threaded its deep
valley, and laying aside the pencil, been the hermit of an hour by the
side of its clear mountain river--and then ascended the rocky heights
to visit the convents of St Benedict and Santa Scholastica. We well
remember to have taken shelter from a land-storm, such as Poussin has
painted, and probably from this spot, in a cave which had heretofore
doubtless been the home of more than one follower of St Benedict.

He became so holy, in the estimation of the villagers and shepherds,
that they brought their sick to his cavern to be healed by him. A
neighbouring society of hermits prayed him to put himself at their
head. He knew the morals of the monastery, and, with the intention
of reforming them, he yielded to their solicitation. The strictness
of life required by him alarmed and excited the envy of these men,
and poison was given him in a cup of wine. It is told that upon his
blessing the cup, it fell from the traitor's hands. Upon this he left
them, and again retired to his cave at Subiaco. But the fame of his
sanctity brought many to Subiaco, which became crowded with huts and
cells. Among those who came to him were two Roman senators, Anicius and
Tertullus, who brought their sons, Maurus and Placidus, to be educated
by him in the way of salvation. He had now induced his followers to
build twelve monasteries, in each of which he placed twelve disciples
and a superior. One Florentius, through envy at seeing so many of his
own followers drawn away from him, maligned Benedict, and endeavoured
to destroy him by means of a poisoned loaf. Not succeeding in this,
the same Florentius introduced into one of the monasteries seven young
women, in order to corrupt the monks. Benedict now, as was his wont,
fled from evil, and left Subiaco; but soon Florentius was crushed by
the fall of a gallery of his house. His disciple, Maurus, who sent
to acquaint Benedict of the fate of his adversary, was enjoined a
severe penance for his too triumphant expression, that a judgment had
overtaken his enemy. Here was Christian forgiveness and Christian
charity, worthy of imitation in these enlightened days.

Paganism was not yet extinct. Benedict hearing that, while the bishops
were extending Christianity in distant regions, idolatry was practised
near to the capital of Christendom--the worship of Apollo on Monte
Cassino--repaired thither, and by his preaching prevailed upon the
people to break their statue and the altar, and burn the consecrated
grove; and here he built two chapels in honour of St John the Baptist
and St Martin of Tours.

On the same mountain he built the celebrated monastery, the parent
institution of his order.

    "Hence," (we quote from Mrs Jameson,) "was promulgated the
    famous rule, which became, from that time forth, the general
    law of the monks of western Europe, and which gave to monachism
    its definite form. The rule given to the Cenobites of the East,
    and which, according to an old tradition, had been revealed
    to St Pachomius by an angel, comprised the three vows--of
    poverty, of chastity, and obedience. To these Benedict added
    two other obligations: the first was manual labour with
    their hands seven hours in the day: secondly, the vows were
    perpetual; but he ordained that these perpetual vows should
    be preceded by a noviciate of a year, during which the entire
    code was read repeatedly from the beginning to the end, and,
    at the conclusion, the reader said, in an emphatic voice,
    'This is the law under which thou art to live, and strive for
    salvation; if thou canst observe it, enter; if thou canst not,
    go in peace--thou art free.' But the vows once taken were
    irrevocable, and the punishment for breaking them most severe.
    On the whole, however, and setting apart that which belonged to
    the superstition of the time, the rule given by St Benedict to
    his order was humane, moderate, wise, and eminently Christian
    in spirit."

Towards the close of his long life, Benedict was joined at Subiaco by
his sister Scholastica, who had also devoted herself to a religious
life. She retired to a cell near his convent, and is generally
considered the first Benedictine nun. It is said that Totila, king of
the Goths, visited him in the year 540, and, casting himself at his
feet, entreated his blessing, but was reproved by Benedict for his
cruelties; and it is said that he became from that time more humane.
Shortly after, Benedict died of a fever, caught by visiting the poor.
In his last illness he ordered his grave to be dug. Supported by his
disciples, he stood upon the brink to contemplate his last earthly
home--was carried by his desire to the foot of the altar in the church,
where he received the last sacrament, and expired on the 20th March
543. It is natural to expect that legends of so remarkable a man
should abound; and it is to the credit of the ecclesiastics of his
order that they reproach the legendary writers for their improbable
stories. Benedict saw his order spread during his life; but so widely
did this rule supersede all others, that when Charlemagne made inquiry
throughout his empire, if other monks existed, none were found but of
the Benedictine order. St Maurus his early disciple, introduced the
order into France; the other, St Placidus, was sent into Sicily, where
he was joined by his sister Flavia. They were, it is said, massacred at
Messina, in front of their convent, with thirty others, by an irruption
of pirates. We the more notice the latter statement, because it is the
subject of a celebrated picture by Correggio in the gallery at Parma,
and of which copies are frequently met with. We dwell at some length
on the order of St Benedict, because of its chief importance. All
the monasteries already in existence, from the time of St Augustine,
accepted the rule; and, during the next six hundred years, the grand
ecclesiastical edifices which rose in England were "chiefly founded
by or for the members of this magnificent order." The information
concerning the works of the Benedictines in our country will be found
extremely interesting in this new volume by Mrs Jameson. Space will not
allow us to do more than refer the reader to its pages. Mrs Jameson
eloquently deplores the mutilation and destruction of so many great
memorials of the Benedictines, under the rapacity of Henry VIII. and
his minion plunderers; and of the ferocious and degradingly-fanatic
Puritans she thus speaks:--

    "When I recall the history of the ecclesiastical potentates of
    Italy in the sixteenth century, I could almost turn Puritan
    myself; but when I think of the wondrous and beautiful
    productions of human skill, all the memorials of the great
    and gifted men of old, the humanisers and civilisers of
    our country, which once existed, and of which our great
    cathedrals--noble and glorious as they are even now--are but
    the remains, it is with a very cordial hatred of the profane
    savage ignorance which destroyed and desecrated them."

We are not sure that what yet remains is safe. We are surrounded with
political fanatics, who hate everything ecclesiastical; and the people
are not taught sufficiently to be lovers of art to wish to preserve
what belongs to it. We cannot but remember that at the Bristol riots,
for the furtherance of the Reform mania, attempts were made to burn
down the cathedral, and that the bishop's palace was actually burnt to
the ground, and the good bishop was in great hazard of his life. The
Bible and all his library were ostentatiously destroyed.

Heterogeneous parliaments grant no money for the building and
decorating churches; it were well if they did so, as a public act, that
the people might feel that these places of worship are their own, and
with that feeling understand and venerate every art which, in the chain
of decoration, might receive a sanctity thereby.

To return. One or two noted characters of the English saintology
we cannot omit to mention. St Neot and St Swithin had the glory of
educating our Alfred. St Neot gave his name to two towns in England.

    "He was a monk of Glastonbury; and it is recorded of him, that
    he visited Rome seven times, was very learned, mild, religious,
    fond of singing, humble to all, affable in conversation,
    wise in transacting business, venerable in aspect, severe in
    countenance, moderate even in his walk, sincere, upright,
    calm, temperate, and charitable. This good man is said to have
    reproved Alfred for his faults, and to have consoled him in his
    misfortunes."

St Swithin still lives in popular superstition; and is perhaps the
object of prayer or deprecation among the ignorant, according as they
may lack rain for their fields, or dread the pains of rheumatism. He
was Bishop of Winchester. He accompanied Alfred to Rome. His character
resembled that given of St Neot; he was a devout champion of the
church. Perhaps the reader is not acquainted with the origin of the
popular superstition with regard to this saint. We give it in Mrs
Jameson's words:--

    "He had ordered that his body should be buried among the
    poor, outside the church, 'under the feet of the passengers,
    and exposed to the droppings of the eaves from above.' When
    his clergy attempted to remove the body to a more honourable
    tomb inside the church, there came on such a storm or rain
    as effectually stopped the procession; and this continued
    for forty days without intermission, till the project was
    abandoned, and his remains were suffered to rest in the humble
    grave he had chosen for himself."

Such is the story of this Jupiter Pluvius of our Saxon ancestors, and
of our Protestant calendar.

We cannot be allowed altogether to pass by St Dunstan. Mr Turner,
in his Anglo-Saxon history, represents him as having introduced the
Benedictine order into England: the fact being that there had been no
other order from the time of St Augustine of Canterbury. St Dunstan
is chiefly known in popular belief for his treatment of Elgiva. The
story of Edwin and Elgiva, is of too romantic a cast to be willingly
abandoned. He is quoted also as an object of ridicule, whenever
ridicule of ecclesiastical matters or personages is thought desirable.
He was, however, as Mrs Jameson justly considers him, "one of the most
striking and interesting characters of the times." He was himself an
artist, as well as the subject of art. He was born in 925. He gained
instruction at the great seminary, Glastonbury, of which he afterwards
became a professed monk. A painter, a musician, and a skilful artificer
in metal, he followed strictly the industrial rule of his order.
Learned in books, he was also an accomplished scribe. He constructed an
organ "with brass pipes, filled with air from the bellows, and which
uttered," says Bede, "a grand and most sweet melody." He was made
successively Bishop of Worcester, of London, and at length Archbishop
of Canterbury. If he did not introduce, he at least reformed the
Benedictine order in England: he founded monasteries and schools,
promoted learning, and a taste for science and the arts. Like other
saints, he has his fabulous history of miracles.

    "He relates himself a vision in which he beheld the espousals
    of his mother--for whom he entertained the profoundest love and
    veneration--with the Saviour of the world, accompanied with all
    the circumstances of heavenly pomp amid a choir of angels. One
    of the angels asked Dunstan why he did not join in the song of
    rejoicing, when he excused himself on account of his ignorance.
    The angel then taught him the song. The next morning St Dustan
    assembled his monks around him, and, relating his vision,
    taught them the very hymn which he had learned in his dream,
    and commanded them to sing it. Mr Turner calls this an impious
    story; whereas, it is merely one form of those old allegorical
    legends which are figurative of the mystic espousals of the
    soul, or the church (as in the Marriage of St Catherine) and
    which appear to have been suggested by the language of the
    Canticles."

In our view, Mrs Jameson might have made quite a more simple solution;
for it is altogether offensive if his earthly mother is meant, (as
the words "for whom he entertained," &c. would imply); but if he
thereby expressed, that he had by his vow but one mother, the Church,
and the Canticle was an Evangelical one--and therefore that he was
angel-taught--we see nothing in the story but a quaintness belonging to
the age, and by no means derogatory to the character for piety of St
Dunstan.

Concerning St Thomas-à-Becket, we cannot but quote the eloquent words
of our authoress:--

    "Lord Campbell, in his recent and admirably written life of
    Becket, as chancellor and minister of Henry II., tells us that
    his vituperators are to be found among bigoted Protestants, and
    his unqualified eulogists among intolerant Catholics. After
    stating, with the perspicuity of a judge in Equity, their
    respective arguments and opinions, he sums up in favour of
    the eulogists, and decides that, setting aside exaggeration,
    miracle, and religious prejudice, the most merciful view of
    the character of Becket is also the most just. And is it not
    pleasant, where the imagination has been so excited by strange
    vicissitudes and picturesque scenes of his various life--the
    judgment so dazzled by his brilliant and generous qualities,
    the sympathies so touched by the tragic circumstances of his
    death--to have our scruples set at rest, and to be allowed to
    admire and to venerate with a good conscience; and this, too,
    on the authority of one accustomed to balance evidence, and not
    swerved by any bias to extreme religious opinions? But it is
    not as statesman, chancellor, or prelate that Becket takes his
    place in sacred art. It is in his character of canonised saint
    and martyr that I have to speak of him here. He was murdered
    or martyred because he pertinaciously defended the spiritual
    against the royal authority; and we must remember, in the
    eleventh century, the cause of the Church was, in fact, the
    cause of the weak against the strong, the cause of civilisation
    and of the people against barbarism and tyranny; and that by
    his contemporaries he was regarded as the champion of the
    oppressed Saxon race against the Norman nobility."

Why is the eulogy of the Church confined in this passage to the
eleventh century? It was, and is, and ever will be, the cause of the
people. We mean the Church as the Church should ever be, cleansed from
every superstition, every impurity, the Reformed Church of England,
or even that ancient Church which existed in this our land before
Popery was--emphatically the Church of England in this _our_, not a
Pope's England, free from superstitious, in principle unpersecuting.
With regard to Becket, he was a sincere man, nor did he disparage the
Benedictines in his own character. The strong man--the man of vigorous
intellect and of direct purpose--will ever find in all minds but the
mean a ready reception and excuse for actions which, in their nature
distasteful, would not be tolerated in the weak, the vacillating,
though even the more virtuous. Becket's history is well adapted
to historical art. His mother, daughter to the Emir of Palestine,
delivering his father from captivity, seeking him in England, knowing
no English words but London and Gilbert, is of the richest tissue of
old romance.

From the seventh to the twelfth century almost all the men
distinguished as statesmen, or as scholars, or as churchmen, were of
the Benedictine order. And when their influence declined, owing to the
disorders and neglect of the primitive rule which crept into religions
houses, there were not wanting men who conscientiously opposed the
corruption. Many retired again to the hermit's cell, the wild and the
forest, till numerous communities at length arose to re-establish the
strictness of the rule, and constituted the reformed Benedictines.

The origin of the Augustine order lies in much obscurity. We are told
that Augustine assembled together persons disposed to a religious and
charitable life; but it does not appear that he himself instituted a
religious order. About the middle of the ninth century, Pope Leo III.
and the Emperor Lothaire incorporated all the various denominations of
Christian clergy who had not entered the ranks of monachism, and gave
them the rule of discipline promulgated by St Augustine. Under Innocent
IV., after much difficulty, and not without the assumption of no less
a miracle than the re-appearance of St Augustine himself, all those
recluses, and hermits, and fraternities, bound to no discipline, were
brought under that rule, and enjoined to wear the habit in which the
saint had appeared--the sign of poverty and humility. Such were the
"Austin Friars" in England. St Patrick and St Bridget of Ireland were
of this order; who, though every vestige of them has been destroyed or
mutilated, still live in story and legend in the faith of the people of
Ireland.

    "To the Augustines belong the two great military orders,
    the Knights Templars (1118) and the knights of St John of
    Jerusalem, afterwards styled of Malta (1092.) The first wear
    the red cross on the white mantle, the second the white cross
    on the black mantle or cassock. They may thus be recognised in
    portraits; but in connection with sacred art I have nothing to
    record of them here."

With us their architecture is still the monument of their greatness and
their piety.

Of the Mendicant orders--the Franciscans, the Dominicans, and the
Carmelites--it will be in place to speak only of the two first: the
Carmelites, though claiming Elijah himself as their founder, never
having been an influential order. The strong religious movement of the
thirteenth century exhibited no results more important than the rise of
the two great mendicant communities of St Francis and St Dominick.

    "In the year 1216, Dominick the Spaniard and Francis of Assise
    met at Rome. They met and embraced, each recognising in the
    other the companion predestined to aid the Church in her
    conflict with the awakening mental energies so long repressed,
    and in her attempt to guide or crush the aspiring, inquiring,
    ardent, fervid spirits of the time. Some attempts were made
    to induce them to unite into one great body their separate
    institutions. Dominick would have complied: it may be that he
    thought to find in Francis an instrument as well as an ally.
    Francis, perhaps from an intuitive perception of the unyielding
    dogmatic character of his friend, stood aloof. They received
    from Innocent III. the confirmation of their respective
    communities, 'and parted,' as it has been well expressed, 'to
    divide the world between them;' for before the end of the
    century, nay, in the time of one generation, their followers
    had spread themselves in thousands and tens of thousands
    over the whole of Christian Europe, and sent forth their
    missionaries through every region of the then known world."

The rule of St Augustine was the adoption of both. The stricter
Benedictine rule, though as we have seen how departed from, enjoined
a seclusion from the world. They had, as Mrs Jameson expresses
it, "whereever their influence had worked for good, achieved that
good by gathering the people to them, not by lowering themselves
to the people." The Franciscans and Dominicans, on the contrary,
were to mingle with the people, even in all their domestic concerns
and affections: they were, in this more intimate connection with
the people, to comfort, to exhort, to rebuke. The ministering the
offices of religion was not at first conceded to them. They took the
more humble title of brothers and sisters of mankind--_frati_ and
_suori_--instead of that of fathers, _padri_. The Dominicans called
themselves "preaching friars;" the Franciscans, with greater humility,
called themselves _Frati Minori_, "lesser brothers." In England they
were known as the black and grey friars; but they never reached the
popularity or power of the Benedictines in this country. The remarkable
feature in the institution of these communities was their admittance
of a third class of members, called "the Tertiary Order, or the Third
Order of Penitence." These were of both sexes, and of all ranks: they
were not bound by vows, nor required to relinquish their secular
employments. They were, however, to be strictly moral, and, as far as
they might be, charitable. They were never to take up weapon except
against the enemies of Christ. "Could such a brotherhood," says
Mrs Jameson, "have been rendered universal, and have agreed on the
question, 'Who, among men, Christ himself would have considered as His
enemies?' we should have had a heaven upon earth." The Franciscans and
Dominicans may be considered as one body, the difference being not in
essentials, but in points of discipline and dress.

The characters of these two founders of their communities have the
distinguishing stamp of Dante's genius,--

    "Hath two ordained, who should on either hand
    In chief escort her; one seraphic all
    In fervency; for wisdom upon earth
    The other, splendour of cherubic light!
    I but of one will tell: he tells of both
    Who one commandeth, which of them soe'er
    Be taken; for their deeds were to one end."

Of Dante's description of St Dominick, that he was--

    "Benigno ai suoi ed ai nemici erudo,"

we think Mrs Jameson's paraphrastic translation a little
unwarrantable--"unscrupulous, inaccessible to pity, and wise as a
serpent in carrying out his religious views and purposes."

Shakspeare was more true,--

    "Lofty and sour to those that loved him not,
    But, to those men that sought him, sweet as summer."

Greater learning and energy characterised the Dominicans; sanctity and
humility and self-denial the Franciscans. The good of both communities
is eloquently set forth by Sir James Stephen, and quoted in this
volume:--

    "So reiterated and so just have been the assaults on the
    Mendicant friars, that we usually forget that, till the days of
    Martin Luther, the Church had never seen so great and effectual
    reform as theirs.... Nothing in the histories of Wesley or of
    Whitfield can be compared with the enthusiasm which everywhere
    welcomed them, or with the immediate and visible result of
    their labours. In an age of oligarchal tyranny, they were the
    protectors of the weak; in an age of ignorance, the instructors
    of mankind; and in an age of profligacy, the stern vindicators
    of the holiness of the sacerdotal character and the virtues of
    domestic life."

Two remarkable things are spoken of both. One, that after fasting,
and being rapt in a vision, St Francis was seen with the "Stigmata,"
(the miracle of the present day,) the wounds of the Saviour in his
hands, his feet, and his side. St Dominick invented the Rosary;
which, like most inventions of the Romish Church, and from the nature
of its claim, is perpetuated to this day. Of the artistic treatment
of the mysteries of the rosary, Mrs Jameson professes to have much
to say, when she comes to the legends of the Madonna. The cruelties
towards the Albigenses--ascribed apparently with too much reason to St
Dominick--shows that when religion descends to fanaticism, persecution
becomes a tenet; and in this, politics and religion, when both lose
their reliance on Providence to guide all things to an end, are of one
character, and make the interference of man's oppressive and bloody
hand the only instrument.

One of the order of St Dominick has been immortalised by Titian, in
perhaps the finest work of his hands--St Peter Martyr. Fra Bartolomeo,
in painting this martyr, took the portrait of that extraordinary
fanatic, his friend, Jerome Savonarola, who, too successful in the
destruction of works of art that did not come up to his religious mark,
met with a terrible fate--being strangled, and then burned in the great
square at Florence, in 1498. The face is striking, and indicative of
the impetuosity of a fanatic and religious demagogue. We should be
glad to treat of many of the characters, members of these communities;
but space, and the difficulty of selection, where there is so much of
interest, will not allow us. We therefore pass on to the Jesuits.

This most remarkable order have had little influence on art. They
neglected it as a means of teaching. Their great wealth was lavished
in gorgeous ornament: but few pictures, and they not of the best,
are to be found in their churches. Nor, though they can justly boast
of men of science, classical learning, mathematicians, astronomers,
antiquarians, have they produced one painter. The Jesuits' perspective
is still a standing work; but Father Pozzi can scarcely merit the name
of artist,--"who used his skill less as an artist than a conjuror, to
produce such illusions as make the vulgar stare." The fact is, art
had long declined before the canonisation of their saint. Mrs Jameson
thinks them unfortunate in this; yet it may be doubted if the genius
of their order is not in a degree adverse to art, and would not at all
times have disregarded it. The secret working of their system--the
depositing their influence in every house, in every bosom--their
ubiquity, their universal aim, required neither the particular
circumstances and incidents, nor the localities of art. It was the
insidious "teaching through the ear, and by their books, upon which
they relied for success." Nor can it be said of them that they have
been doomed to a long night of forgetfulness: in this their lack of
sacred art they have not perished--_Carent quia vate sacro_--for they
are indestructible, intangible. They have been nominally suppressed,
but spring up in full vigour at the first call, and everywhere; for
they exist everywhere, known and unknown. And one clause in their
regulations greatly favours them in this, that they are permitted
to assume the dress of the country in which they may be, whenever
they shall deem it expedient. And it has been asserted that they are
at liberty to assume much more than the dress, and that Jesuits are
to be found among the functionaries in Protestant countries, and at
Protestant courts. We have only to see the nature of their vows; and if
we give them credit for zeal and honesty in fulfilling them, certainly
we must be alive to the danger of such a society, whose movements
are secret, and whose conscience is in implicit obedience organised
throughout the body.

    "They were to take, besides, a vow of special obedience to the
    head of the Church for the time being, devoting themselves,
    without condition or remuneration, to do his pleasure, and
    to go to any part of the world to which he should see fit to
    send them.... The essential duties of the new order were to be
    three: preaching in the first place; secondly, the guidance of
    souls through confession; and thirdly, the education of the
    young."

Surely this is a wise scheme, to prepare the kingdoms of the earth and
subdue them, not to their Divine master, but to their temporal, and,
through their temporal, to themselves. Their founder, Ignatius Loyola,
was one of the most remarkable men of the world. His life is too well
known to admit of our dwelling upon any of its incidents. He died first
General of his order, 1556, and was canonised by Gregory XV. in 1622.
Although the Jesuits were not conspicuous as patrons of art--nor has
sacred art done much for them--yet the gorgeous pencil of Rubens, of a
more material than spiritual splendour, has to a considerable degree
brought them within pictorial notice and celebrity. Mrs Jameson thinks
that no portrait was taken of their founder during his life. We are
surprised she does not notice that wondrously fine portrait at Hampton
Court, by Titian.

In the histories of religious orders, it is a striking fact that the
founders never failed to unite themselves with one or more congenial
spirit, ready to co-operate with them, and doubtless, as they thought,
by a Divine appointment. As St Francis and St Dominick, different as
they were in individual character, had the one great sympathy under
which they met, embraced, and then parted--as for one end to divide
the world between them--so did Ignatius Loyola find in Francis Xavier
a friend and associate, and subsequently in Francis Borgia, a no less
willing disciple. One is perfectly astonished at reading accounts of
the entire devotion of the whole man to the law of obedience, and the
more than satisfaction, the joy, at being selected to suffering and
death. It had been the dream of Francis Xavier to die a martyr in the
Indies for the conversion of mankind; and when chosen to that end by
Ignatius,--

    "When the clearer sense and approaching accomplishment of
    those dark intimations were disclosed to him, passionate sobs
    attested the rapture which his tongue was unable to speak.
    He fell on his knees before Ignatius, kissed the feet of the
    holy father, repaired his tattered cassock, and, with no other
    provision than his breviary, left Rome on the 15th March 1540,
    for Lisbon, his destined port of embarkation for the East."

Nor is the story of St Francis Borgia less strange, showing the sudden
impulse, yet continued purpose, executed after many years--never for a
moment lost sight of. A grandee of Spain, high in honour and office, in
his twenty-ninth year, as her master of horse he attends the funeral of
the Empress Isabella, first wife of Charles V. The ceremonial required
that he should raise the lid of the coffin, remove the covering, and
see the face, to swear to the identity of the royal remains committed
to his charge. He beheld in the solemn paleness of death the face of
his beautiful and benign empress, and from that hour made a vow to
dedicate himself to the service of God. Nevertheless, he repaired
to his active duties--conscientiously performed them--and after the
death of his wife, and six years spent in settling his affairs and
providing for his children, and "bidding a farewell to every worldly
care and domestic affection, departed for Rome, to place himself, and
every faculty of his being, at the feet of St Ignatius." It was in the
character of the humble Father Francis he visited his cousin Charles
V., soon after his abdication.

How unlike are times and personages at various periods! Yet, doubtless,
what man does at any time is in the man to do at all times. The
influences set in in various directions: now we sail in another current
and _under trade-winds_--and must go that course; but while we look
back upon the history of our own and other countries, and read the
doings of men, we marvel, and for a moment ask if they were of our
flesh and blood.

A personal security has given us the experience of ease. It is not the
temple but the home is in every man's thought. Let security be removed,
our god Mammon be dethroned, and poverty be upon us--not as a vow, but
an enforcement of the times--distress bring violence and persecution,
and persecution the fever of excitement--the now sleeping capabilities
of our nature would be roused to an energy which would make another
generation as unlike the present as ours is to that which has been
under contemplation.

The whole subject of this volume belongs to ecclesiastical history, and
it is a strange one--how difficult to read to our actual knowledge, and
to receive with candour. How much is there to condemn, to abhor--how
much to admire, to love, to venerate. Sincerity, zeal, piety, and
charity ought always to claim our sympathies, when our understandings
reject a creed. If rising from contemplative communion with the saints
and martyrs of the Romish calendar, with such mixed feelings, yet in
which, we confess, a loving admiration preponderates, let us not come
under a suspicion, so common in these days, of "tendencies to Rome."
We have not the shadow of a thought that way--we utterly abominate and
abhor Popery as a system, its frauds, its idolatry, or idolatries--for
they are many--and the bondage which it would impose upon the necks of
all people. But forbid it, charity--Christian charity above all--that
we should join in a bestial persecution, and sit, as we were gods,
and as some do, in severe judgment on, and denounce as children of
perdition, and as doomed, all simple and innocent, virtuous and pious,
members of that Church. To do this would, we conceive, be the part of a
bad Protestant, for it is not the part of a Christian. But to return.
It is remarkable of the Jesuits that they have no female saint. Yet,
if there be truth in history, they have dealt cunningly and widely in
female agencies.

We have too hastily passed by the Carmelites, and without noticing
that extraordinary woman St Theresa--at a very early age a candidate
for martyrdom--who with her brother, when they were children of eight
and nine years of age, went begging into the country of the Moors, in
hopes of being martyred for their faith at the hands of the infidels.
At her death she had founded fifteen convents for men, and seventeen
for women. We refer to the volume of Mrs Jameson for a larger notice
of this saintly and sainted woman. We merely mention her slightly
ourselves, that we may pass to her eulogy from the pens of two eloquent
writers of her own sex--Mrs Jameson and Miss Martineau.

    "It is impossible," says the former, "to consider, in a just
    and philosophic spirit, either her character or her history,
    without feeling that what was strong, and beautiful, and true,
    and earnest, and holy, was in herself, and what was morbid,
    miserable, and mistaken, was the result of the influences
    around her."

Oh, how does this eloquent apology cover with the mantle of charity,
and embrace with the arms of love, many more personages than poor St
Theresa, whose effigies may be seen in this volume.

We must not forget, before we lay down the pen, that not only the
religious orders, but art also is a main object of this work.

We have said much to the credit of many pious, zealous, charitable,
and good personages of the several orders, and will conclude with an
anecdote creditable to Art; and the more willingly, as it brings us
gently down to our own times--for we believe anecdotes of similar
generosity may be told of many living men of the profession.

Annibal Caracci, suffering from illness and disappointment, and tempted
by the promise of two thousand crowns, accepted an order from a certain
Don Diego Herrera, to paint a picture in honour of a saint, in a
church. He was, however, so ill that he could not perform the task. His
pupil Albano nursed him, comforted him, cheered him; and between his
attendances on his sick master, ran backward and forward to the church,
and painted the frescoes with the greatest care--as they were to pass
for the work of the master. Annibal every now and then rose from his
bed and retouched and in part finished the painting. Don Diego refused
the payment, as the work was not all by Annibal's hand. But the work
being greatly admired, he consented to pay the two thousand crowns. And
here a generous contest arose between the master and pupil; and this we
give in the words of Mrs Jameson:--

    "Annibal insisted on giving twelve hundred crowns to Albano,
    and keeping only four hundred for himself, which he said
    overpaid him for the little he had executed, and a few sorry
    drawings, (_miseri disegni_) not worth the money. Albano,
    not to be outdone in generosity, absolutely refused to take
    anything; saying, that he was only his master's creature
    and disciple, working under his orders, and profiting
    by his instructions. At length they agreed to submit to
    the arbitration of Herrera, who decided that the sixteen
    hundred crowns (four hundred had been paid,) should be
    divided between them. Even then it was with the greatest
    difficulty that Annibal could be persuaded to receive his
    share; and when he did, it was with a certain air of timidity
    and bashfulness--_mostrando in certo modo temersene e
    vergognarsene_."

In taking leave of Mrs Jameson's volume, the third of her series, we do
so with the hope that she will speedily fulfil her promise and bring
out the fourth part, relating to the Madonna, as connected with art.

The whole series we strongly recommend to the connoisseur at home as
to the traveller abroad; for as the best pictures in the world are of
subjects treated of by her, it is most desirable to have such a key to
them as she has given, and promises further to give. The woodcuts and
etchings are excellent, and maintain her reputation for judgment shown
in the selection, and her skill as an artist.



LAVENGRO.[23]


We are glad to observe, from sundry symptoms which have of late been
manifested, that the taste for the supernatural is again reviving
amongst us. It is not safe now to deny miracles, to sneer at stories of
winking images, or to speak lightly of the liquefaction of the blood of
St Januarius. Cardinal Wiseman, in his future attempts to familiarise
us with the doctrines of saintly interference, will find a good deal
of work already cut and dry for his hand. Pious young noblemen, whose
perversion is only of a few weeks' standing, have already laid in such
a stock of exuberant faith, that all Europe rings with the fame of
their pilgrimages; and the chain in the church of St Peter ad Vincula
has already been suspended around more than one English neck, in token
of the entire submission of the proselytes to the spiritual yoke of
Rome.

[23] _Lavengro; the Scholar--the Gipsy--the Priest._ By GEORGE BORROW,
Author of the _Bible in Spain_, &c. 3 vols. London: 1851.

Nor is the hankering after the supernatural confined only to the sphere
of religious belief. Were it so, we should not have ventured even to
allude to the subject; for it matters nothing to us what amount of
pilgrims may choose to press forward to Loretto, with or without the
salutary but inconvenient impediment of pease. But we are going a great
deal faster and farther. We have renewed some of the popular beliefs
of bygone centuries; and in a short time we may hope to discover a
few of the lost secrets of the Chaldeans and the Magi. Astrology,
never wholly extinguished as a science, is again beginning to look
up. Raphael and Zadkiel--we ask pardon of the latter gentleman if we
have mistaken his name, for we quote merely from memory, and have none
of his invaluable treatises lying on our table--will calculate your
nativity for a trifle, and give you in January a shrewd hint as to the
aspect of public matters at the ensuing Christmas. Reichenbach will
tell you all about ghosts, luminous children, and suchlike apparitions
as seem perpetually to have disturbed the repose of the gifted Lady
Fanshawe. By a little fasting and maceration, and possibly a course of
purgatives, you may even succeed in reducing yourself to a state of
clairvoyance, in which case your curiosity will be amply gratified by
a visit to the nearest churchyard. You will then thoroughly understand
the occult theory of corpse-candles, and various other things undreamed
of in your philosophy, so long as you adhere to your present gross
diet of beef-steaks and porter, and pride yourself on your Particular
Madeira. Almost any lubberly boy can now discover you a spring by
means of the divining-rod. Travelling is no longer a luxury confined
to the rich. If you wish to be transported to any known part of the
earth with a rapidity greater than that of Malagigi's flying demon,
who conveyed Charlemagne on his back from Pampeluna to Paris in the
course of a summer's night, you have only to go to a biologist, and
your desires are at once accomplished. He will request you to sit down
and favour him for a few minutes with the inspection of a button which
he places in your fist--a strange sensation of drowsiness steals over
your brain--and you are instantly in the power of the sorcerer. He
will set you down wherever you please. You may either gather grapes
in the vineyards of sunny Tuscany, or take an airing, on the top of
the Pyramids, or wander in a buffalo prairie, or study the habits of
the walrus and white bear on the frozen shores of Nova Zembla. We have
ourselves seen an enthusiastic sportsman, whilst under the influence of
this magical delusion, stalk an imaginary red-deer with considerable
effect through the midst of a crowded lecture-room; and, had he been
armed with a proper _couteau-de-chasse_, we entertain little doubt that
he would have gralloched a gaping urchin who happened to be standing
in real flesh and blood close to the spot where the spectral stag
rolled over at the discharge of his walking-stick. After this, who
shall deny magic? James VI. was right after all, and we ought to be
put in possession of a cheap reprint of his treatise on Demonology.
Everybody recollects Lord Prudhoe's account of the wonder-working
magician of Cairo, who required nothing more than a few drops of ink,
and the aid of a child, to conjure up the phantoms of living persons
from any quarter of the globe. The necessity of resorting to Cairo
for a repetition of that phenomenon is now superseded. One of the
magic crystals, known to Albertus Magnus and Cornelius Agrippa, has
lately been recovered, and is now preserved in London. It has its
legendary history, known to Horace Walpole, who kept it among his other
curiosities at Strawberry Hill; but its miraculous powers seem to have
been dormant, or, at all events, to have been unobserved, until a very
recent date. In short, we are gradually working our way to a region
which lies beyond the ken of science--a circumstance which cannot fail
to give intense gratification to poets and novelists, who have been
grievously trammelled for a long time in their legitimate functions, by
the priggish scrupulousness and materialism of the votaries of exact
science and analysis. Laud we the gods therefor! We may hope once more
to see poetry disentangled from the thraldom of the Philosophical
Institutions.

We have made this preface less in application to the work which we
are about to notice, than from a certain feeling of disappointment
which came over us during its perusal. It is not at all the kind of
book which we expected from Mr Borrow. His previous writings had
prepared us for a work of extraordinary interest, and the preliminary
advertisement stimulated our curiosity to the highest pitch. Lavengro;
the Scholar--the Gipsy--the Priest! Not for years have our eyes lighted
on a more fascinating or mysterious title. Who, in the name of Mumbo
Jumbo, we thought, can this Lavengro be? Cagliostro we know, and
Katterfelto we have heard of, but Lavengro is altogether a new name
for a conjuror. From what country does he come--in what favoured land
is laid the scene of his exploits? Is he a Moldavian, a Wallachian,
a Hungarian, a Bohemian, a Copt, an Armenian, or a Spaniard? The
mystery grew deeper as we pondered: we could hardly sleep of nights
for thinking of this Lavengro. Then what a field for cogitation was
presented by the remainder of the suggestive title! The Scholar--the
Gipsy--the Priest! Dr Faustus--Johnnie Faa--and Friar Bacon! Why, the
whole title was as redolent of magic as a meadow in summer-time of
myrrh! Then we thought over the hints which Mr Borrow had thrown out
in his earliest volume. We recollected his mysterious intercourse with
the gipsies, and his reception by that fraternity in Spain. We were
aware that he had not yet explicitly accounted for his trafficking with
the outcasts of Egypt, and we looked for some new revelations on the
subjects of fortune-telling, hocus-pocus, and glamour. Lavengro, with
his three attributes like those of Vishnu, might possibly be the Grand
Cazique, the supreme prince of the nation of tinkers!

We have read the book, and we are disappointed. The performance
bears no adequate relation to the promise. The story--if that can be
designated as a story which the author describes as "a dream, partly
of study, partly of adventure," is in the form of an autobiography,
in which we recognise Mr Borrow in the characters of Lavengro and the
Scholar. The Gipsy is a horse-couper, with a tolerable taste for the
ring; and the Priest a Romish Jesuit, with a decided taste for gin and
water. The scene is laid in the British islands; and the adventures,
though interesting in their way, neither bear the impress of the stamp
of truth, nor are they so arranged as to make the work valuable, if we
consider it in the light of fiction.

Of Mr Borrow personally we know nothing. In common with many others, we
admired the lively style and freshness of his earlier book, _The Bible
in Spain_; and, without altogether swallowing as genuine the whole of
its details, we were willing to believe, that the author was a person
of uncommon attainments, energy, and perseverance; a good philologer,
and an intimate acquaintance of the gipsies. This much we were ready
to concede. But ever and anon there occurred oblique hints and obscure
inuendoes, which seemed to point at some secret or mystery pertinent
to the author, just as, in a melodrama, it is common for an individual
in a slouched hat and russet mantle to insinuate that he is somebody
in disguise, without condescending to favour us with a glimpse of his
visage. These we set down at their proper value--that is, we considered
them, sheer humbug. It was Mr Borrow's own fault if we did him wrong.
He may be, for aught we know, as notable a personage as Paracelsus; but
if so, he ought to claim his honours boldly, not copy a trick which is
now somewhat stale through repetition.

In _Lavengro_ the same thing occurs, and even more conspicuously. We
cannot, by possibility, separate the ingredients of fact from those
of fiction. Mr Borrow will not permit us to know whether it is an
autobiography or a pure romance. In all probability it partakes of the
nature of both. Enough of reality is retained to identify it with the
actual author; enough of fiction introduced to make that author appear
a most singularly gifted being. If Apollonius of Tyana had undertaken
the task of compiling his own memoirs, instead of trusting to the pen
of Damis, he could not have hit upon a better plan. Benvenuto Cellini
and Vidocq, by adopting this method, have each of them earned a very
fair portion of celebrity; and we do not in the least degree doubt
that Mr Borrow will be equally successful. His situations are often
striking; the characters which he introduces must have the charm of
novelty to the great majority of readers; his descriptive powers are
above the common mark; and his ideas are frequently original. If, in
the more ambitious passages, his style is occasionally turgid, we
are inclined to overlook that blemish in consideration of his other
accomplishments; if the humour of his characters is sometimes forced
and tiresome, we are ever and anon repaid by sketches which would do
credit to the skill of a more refined artist. Yet, with all this, the
original fault remains. We cannot yield to Mr Borrow that implicit
credence which is the right of a veracious autobiographer; we cannot
accord him that conventional credence which we give to the avowed
romancer. The fact destroys the fiction; and the fiction neutralises
the fact.

Is it fact or fiction that Mr Borrow is a snake-tamer, a horse-charmer,
and something more? These qualities certainly are claimed by the hero
of this autobiography, who, before he was three years of age, could
handle a viper without injury, and even, as the following extract will
show, caused a Jew to stand aghast at the superhuman extent of his
acquirements.

    "One day a Jew--I have quite forgotten the circumstance, but
    I was long subsequently informed of it--one day a travelling
    Jew knocked at the door of a farm-house in which we had taken
    apartments; I was near at hand sitting in the bright sunshine,
    _drawing strange lines on the dust with my fingers, an ape and
    dog were my companions_; the Jew looked at me and asked me
    some questions, to which, though I was quite able to speak, I
    returned no answer. On the door being opened, the Jew, after
    a few words, probably relating to pedlery, demanded who the
    child was, sitting in the sun; the maid replied that I was
    her mistress's younger son, a child weak _here_, pointing to
    her forehead. The Jew looked at me again, and then said: 'Pon
    my conscience, my dear, I believe that you must be troubled
    there yourself to tell me any such thing. It is not my habit to
    speak to children, inasmuch as I hate them, because they often
    follow me and fling stones after me; but I no sooner looked at
    that child than I was forced to speak to it--his not answering
    shows his sense, for it has never been the custom of the wise
    to fling away their words in indifferent talk and conversation;
    the child is a sweet child, and has all the look of one of our
    people's children. Fool, indeed! did I not see his eyes sparkle
    just now when the monkey seized the dog by the ear?--they shone
    like my own diamonds--does your good lady want any--real and
    fine? Were it not for what you tell me, _I should say it was a
    prophet's child_. Fool, indeed! he can write already, or I'll
    forfeit the box which I carry on my back, and for which I would
    be loth to take two hundred pounds!" He then leaned forward
    to inspect the lines which I had traced. All of a sudden he
    started back and grew white as a sheet; then, taking off his
    hat, he made some strange gestures to me, cringing, chattering,
    and showing his teeth, and shortly departed, muttering
    something about 'holy letters,' and talking to himself in a
    strange tongue. The words of the Jew were in due course of
    time reported to my mother, who treasured them in her heart,
    and from that moment began to entertain brighter hopes of her
    youngest born than she had ever before ventured to foster."

This beats Benvenuto hollow! Nay, we are not quite certain that it
does not distance the celebrated experiment of Psammetichus, king of
Egypt, who, in order to ascertain which was the original language of
the world, separated two infants from their mothers, intrusting them to
the care of a dumb person, who daily fed them with milk. The first word
which they uttered, and perseveringly reiterated, was "Beccos," which
in the Phoenician language signified bread; and as nothing could be
more natural than that children should clamour for their porridge, the
speech of the Phoenicians was acknowledged as the native dialect of
mankind. Wee Georgy Borrow, however, in company with Jocko and Snap,
seems to have outstripped in precocity the Psammetichian foundlings.
What "holy letters" from the Talmud the "prophet's child" inscribed,
which had such a marvellous effect upon the mind and conscience of Ikey
Solomons we know not, and perhaps ought not even to guess. Perhaps it
was some sentence from Rabbi Jehuda Hakkadosh, bearing upon the real
value of the diamonds which the impostor was proffering for sale.

A few years afterwards he becomes acquainted with an old man, whose
principal occupation consisted in catching snakes, and who, upon one
occasion, had enjoyed the inestimable privilege of an interview with
"the king of the vipers." Practised as he was at pouching the vermin,
old Adderley could teach nothing to his pupil, who, from the hour of
his birth, was privileged to take a cockatrice by the tail, and seize
on a cobra with impunity. He gifts him, however, with a pet viper, a
fellow of infinite fancy, who nestles in Georgy's bosom, and whose
timely apparition from beneath the folds of the vest not only saves
him from a threatened drubbing at the hands of a Herculean gipsy, but
introduces him to the acquaintance of a young gentleman of that nomad
persuasion, one Jasper Petulengro, who is also the representative of
the Pharaohs! More unmingled rubbish than is contained in this part of
the book, it never was our fortune to turn over; and Mr Borrow must
have a low estimate indeed of the public taste, when he ventures to put
forward such twaddle. Fancy the intrepid snake-charming urchin of some
nine or ten years' standing, thus defying Gipsy Cooper.

    "_Myself._ I tell you what, my chap, you had better put down
    that thing of yours; my father lies concealed within my tepid
    breast, and if to me you offer any harm or wrong, I'll call him
    forth to, help me with his forked tongue!"

Ancient Pistol could not have spoken more magnanimously; indeed,
both in rythm and rhyme, this challenge is conceived in the style of
Pistol's strophe. But we shall skip this absurd passage, with all its
accompaniments of candied nutmegs, and the dispersion of the Egyptian
encampment.

Mr Borrow was the younger son of an officer in a marching regiment; and
in the course of the peregrinations of the corps, found himself located
in Edinburgh Castle. His father, though somewhat appalled at the notion
of his children acquiring the fatal taint of a Scottish dialect,
determined, very wisely, to send both his boys to the High School;
which circumstance calls forth the following magnificent apostrophe:--

    "Let me call thee up before my mind's eye, High School, to
    which every morning the two English brothers took their way
    from the proud old Castle, through the lofty streets of the
    Old Town. High School!--called so, I scarcely know why;
    neither lofty in thyself nor by position, being situated in
    a flat bottom; oblong structure of tawny-stone, with many
    windows fenced with iron-netting--with thy long hall below,
    and thy five chambers above, for the reception of the five
    classes, into which the eight hundred urchins, who styled
    thee instructress, were divided. Thy learned rector and his
    four subordinate dominies; thy strange old porter of the tall
    form and grizzled hair, hight Boee, and doubtless of Norse
    ancestry, as his name declares; perhaps of the blood of Bui
    hin Digri, the hero of northern song--the Jomsborg Viking, who
    clove Thorsteinn Midlangr asunder in the dread sea-battle of
    Horunga Vog, and who, when the fight was lost, and his own two
    hands smitten off, seized two chests of gold with his bloody
    stumps, and, springing with them into the sea, cried to the
    scanty relics of his crew, 'Overboard, now, all Bui's lads!'
    Yes, I remember all about thee, and how at eight of every morn
    we were all gathered together with one accord in the long hall,
    from which, after the litanies had been read, (for so I will
    call them, being an Episcopalian,) the five classes from the
    five sets of benches trotted off in long files, one boy after
    the other, up the five spiral staircases of stone, each class
    to its destination; and well do I remember how we of the third
    sat hushed and still, watched by the eye of the dux, until the
    door opened, and in walked that model of a good Scotchman, the
    shrewd, intelligent, but warm-hearted and kind dominie, the
    respectable Carson."

Generally we abominate apostrophes; but this is not so bad. We are
glad to observe a tribute, even lightly paid, from an old pupil to
the merits of that excellent and thoroughly learned man, Dr Carson,
whose memory is still green amongst us, and on that subject we shall
say nothing farther. But old Bowie! ye gods! how he would have stared
at the magnificent pedigree chalked out for him by the enthusiastic
Borrow! Little did the worthy janitor think, when exchanging squares of
"lick" or "gib,"--condiments for the manufacture of which the excellent
man was renowned--for the coppers of the urchins in high-lows, that in
future years, after he was borne to his honoured rest in the Canongate
churchyard, the "gyte," or rather "cowley," whose jaws he had seen so
often aggluminated together by the adhesive force of his saccharine
preparations, should proclaim his descent from one of the starkest
of the Norse Berserkars! Great is the power of gib--irresistible the
reminiscence of lick! We remember no instance of gratitude like to
this, except, indeed, Sir Epicure Mammon's gratuitous offer to his
cook, of knighthood in return for the preparation of a dish of sow's
teats,

    "Dressed with a delicate and poignant sauce!"

But enough of old Bowie, the representative of the Jomsborg Vikings!

During his residence in Edinburgh, Master Borrow became acquainted
with a young man, who afterwards attained considerable though unenvied
notoriety. He appears to have been tolerably hand-in-glove with David
Haggart, and to have fought side by side with him in sundry "bickers,"
which at that time were prevalent on the salubrious margin of the Nor'
Loch. We never enjoyed the advantage of an interview with David, and
consequently cannot speak to the accuracy of Mr Borrow's portrait of
him; but we are not in the least surprised at the almost affectionate
terms which our author uses in regard to the grand evader of the
Tolbooths; having been assured by several of our legal friends, who
knew him well, that he was a person of considerable accomplishment
and rather fascinating manners, a little eccentric perhaps in his
habits, but decidedly a favourite with the bar. Some of our readers
may possibly think that Mr Borrow's comparative estimate of the merits
of Tamerlane and Haggart is slightly overwrought; and that his early
prepossessions in favour of David may have led him to exalt that
personage unduly. The bias, however is pardonable; and, sooth to
say, were it not for the Dumfries murder, which was a bad business,
we also should be inclined to rank Haggart rather high in the scale
of criminals. He is still regarded as the Achilles of the Caledonian
cracksmen, and legends of his daring, prowess, and ingenuity, are even
yet current in the northern jails. During the literary epidemic which
raged in this country some ten years back, occasioning such a demand
for tales of robbery and assault, we remember to have received a MS.
drama, in which Haggart was honourably mentioned. In that play, a
prejudiced and narrow-minded burglar expressed his conviction that

    "There never yet was cracksman worth a curse,
    But he was English bred from top to toe!"

To which injurious assertion Ephraim the resetter, a more diligent
student of history than his customer, thus replied--

    "All honour to the brave, whate'er their birth!
    I question not the greatness of the soil
    That bred Dick Turpin, and the wondrous boy
    Sheppard, whom iron bars could ne'er contain;
    Yet other lands can boast their heroes too:
    Keen David Haggart was of Scottish blood,
    Left-handed Morgan was a Welshman born,
    And kindred France claims honour for her own,
    That young Iulus of the road, Duval!"

We hardly know which most to applaud--the total freedom from prejudice,
or the poetry of this exquisite passage.

We have not space to insert a dialogue touching the merits of Sir
William Wallace held between the two promising youths, Borrow and
Haggart, in the airy vicinity of the "kittle nine-steps." Suffice it
to say, that the former uttered such heterodox opinions regarding the
great deliverer of Scotland, that Haggart threatened to pitch him
over; and if he should ever chance to revisit Edinburgh, and drop
into the studio of our friend Patric Park, who has just completed his
magnificent and classic model of Wallace--a work which would confer
honour upon any age or country--we would earnestly caution him,
for his own sake, to avoid a repetition of the offence. The scene
is then transferred to Ireland, and we have some rough-riding and
horse-taming, with a glimpse of a rapparee; all which is exceedingly
commonplace. Back again to England goes young Borrow, and at a
horse-fair he encounters his old acquaintance Jasper Petulengro, now
fairly installed and acknowledged as the reigning Pharaoh, his father
and mother having been "bitchadey pawdel." This, in the Rommany or
gipsy tongue, corresponds to, the emphatic term of "herring-ponded," by
which facetious malefactors are wont to indicate the compulsory voyages
of their friends. Mr Borrow is always great upon the subject of the
gipsies, who, in fact, constitute nine-tenths of his stock in trade;
and, if we are to believe him, such lapses as popular song attributes
to a former Countess of Cassilis are by no means unusual at the present
day. Here is a sketch of a fascinating horse-stealer.

    "'And that tall handsome man on the hill, whom you whispered? I
    suppose he's one of ye. What is his name?'

    'Tawno Chikno,' said Jasper, 'which means the Small One; we
    call him such because he is the biggest man of all our nation.
    You say he is handsome; that is not the word, brother; he's the
    beauty of the world. Women run wild at the sight of Tawno. An
    earl's daughter, near London--a fine young lady with diamonds
    round her neck--fell in love with Tawno. I have seen that lass
    on a heath, as this may be, kneel down to Tawno, clasp his
    feet, begging to be his wife--or anything else--if she might go
    with him. But Tawno would have nothing to do with her.'"

A shrewd, sensible, and well-behaved fellow, this Tawno, in so far at
least as the ladies are concerned. When a horse was to be picked up on
the sly, he does not seem to have been so particular. The gipsies being
encamped near the town where the author was then residing, an intimacy
is struck up between them; Mr Borrow takes lessons in Rommany from the
respectable Jasper, very much to the disgust of his mother-in-law, a
certain Mrs Herne, who "comes of the hairy ones," and who ultimately
secedes from the kraal, rather than receive the stranger into the
tribe. The others entertain no such scruples.

    "I went on studying the language, and, at the same time, the
    manners of these strange people. My rapid progress in the
    former astonished while it delighted Jasper. 'We'll no longer
    call you Sap-engro, brother,' said he, 'but rather Lavengro,
    which in the language of the gorgios meaneth Word-master.'
    'Nay, brother,' said Tawno Chikno, with whom I had become very
    intimate, 'you had better call him Cooro-mengro; I have put on
    _the gloves_ with him, and find him a pure fist-master; I like
    him for that, for I am a Cooro-mengro myself, and was born at
    Brummagem.'"

There is a deal more of the same talk, tending to the laudation of
the author. Our taste may be perverted and unusual, but we really
cannot discover any merit whatever in the gipsy dialogues which occur
throughout these volumes. Mr Borrow ought to reflect that he has
already treated the public to a sufficiency of this jargon. What on
earth are we to make of "dukkeripens," "chabos," "poknees," "chiving
wafado dloova," "drabbing bawlor," "kekaubies," "drows," and "dinelos?"
Possibly these terms may be used in the most refined Rommany circles,
and enliven the conversation around the kettle in which the wired
hare or pilfered capon is simmering but such exotics can hardly be
considered as worth the pains of transplantation. When Mr Borrow, in
a moral reflection of his own, observes, "softly, friend; when thou
wouldst speak harshly of the dead, remember that thou hast not yet
fulfilled thy own dukkeripen!"--he is penning absolute nonsense, and
rendering himself supremely ridiculous. Then, as to the scraps of song
which are here and there interspersed, we cannot aver that they either
stir our bosoms like the call of a trumpet, or excite the tears of
pity. However, as we said already, our taste may be in fault; and it is
just possible that we may hear the following ditty warbled in many a
drawing-room:--

    "The Rommany chi
    And the Rommany chal,
    Shall jaw basaulor
    To drab the bawlor,
    And dook the gry
    Of the farming rye.

    "The Rommany chi
    And the Rommany chal,
    Love Luripen,
    And dukkeripen,
    And hokkeripen,
    And every pen
    But Lachipen,
    And Tatchipen."

Certainly we never had, on any previous occasion, the dukkeripen to
copy such jargon.

However pleasant it may be--and proverbs tell us that it is so--to
go a-gipsying, it is manifest that this mode of life, unless
professionally adopted, cannot keep the pot boiling. It is one thing
to be an amateur, and another to be a thorough-paced practitioner. Mr
Borrow, though tempted by his associates to adopt the latter course,
and ally himself in marriage with a young fortune-teller of the name
of Ursula, had the firmness and good sense to decline the proposal;
and, accordingly, we presently find him ostensibly engaged in the
study of law under the tutelage of an attorney. Young gentlemen so
situated, are, we fear, but too apt to overlook the advantages within
their reach, and to cultivate the Belles Lettres secretly when they
should be immersed in Blackstone. If they do nothing worse, we may
indulge the charitable hope that there is mercy for them in this world
and the next. Mr Borrow did like his neighbours; with this difference
that, instead of concealing the last new novel in his desk, he began
manfully to master the difficulties of the Welsh language, and became
an enthusiastic admirer of the poetry of Ab Gwilym. This, at all
events, was a step in the right direction. Next, by one of those
extraordinary accidents which, somehow or other, never occur except in
novels, he became possessed of a copy of the Danish ballad-book--we
presume the Kjoempeviser--and mastered the language by means of a
Danish bible. To this he added afterwards a knowledge of German, and
German literature; so that, when compelled to go forth and struggle,
single-handed with the world, his accomplishments were of a varied, if
not a very marketable kind.

We are here treated to a description of a prize-fight, which, if we
recollect has been already sketched by Mr Borrow in his "Gipsies in
Spain." It is rather too bombastic for our taste, though it is worked
up with considerable effect, both as regards action and accessories.
It is introduced, we presume, principally on account of an individual
who was present, and who took a prominent part in the proceedings
of the day--we mean the notorious Thurtell. That Mr Borrow should
have added Thurtell to the list of his acquaintances,--for it seems
the grim murderer of Weare was wont to bestow upon him a nod of
recognition,--after having known Haggart, is certainly remarkable, and
testifies, at all events, his superiority to vulgar prejudice. There is
a clever scene at the house of a magistrate, where Thurtell introduces
a prize-fighter to the notice of the _Custos Rotulorum_, a portion of
which we are tempted to quote:--

    "'In what can I oblige you, sir?' said the magistrate.

    'Well, sir, the soul of wit is brevity; we want a place for
    an approaching combat between my friend here and a brave from
    town. Passing by your broad acres this fine morning, we saw a
    pightle, which we deemed would suit. Lend us that pightle, and
    receive our thanks; 'twould be a favour, though not much to
    grant: we neither ask for Stonehenge nor for Tempe.'

    My friend looked somewhat perplexed; after a moment, however,
    he said, with a firm but gentlemanly air, 'Sir, I am sorry that
    I cannot comply with your request.'

    'Not comply!' said the man, his brow becoming dark as midnight;
    and with a hoarse and savage tone, 'Not comply! why not?'

    'It is impossible, sir; utterly impossible.'

    'Why so?'

    'I am not compelled to give my reasons to you, sir, nor to any
    man.'

    'Let me beg of you to alter your decision,' said the man in a
    tone of profound respect.

    'Utterly impossible, sir; I am a magistrate.'

    'Magistrate! then fare-ye-well, for a green-coated buffer and a
    Harmanbeck!'"

Lavengro--our fine fellow--it is not a thing to boast of, that you
have, occasionally put on the gloves with Jack Thurtell!

Rejecting the profession of the law, our author, after the death of his
father, started for London, in the hopes of a literary engagement; his
sole credentials being a letter to a publisher from an eccentric German
teacher, and two bundles of manuscript--being translations respectively
from the Welsh and the Danish. Of course nobody would publish them;
and the bookseller to whom he had been recommended would do nothing
better for him than give him an order to compile a new series of the
Newgate Calendar, at worse than hodman's wages. This portion of the
story is very dull, and abounds in silly caricature. The struggles
of the aspirant to literary distinction fail to excite in us the
slightest degree of commiseration, because they are manifestly unreal;
and the episodes of London life, though intended to be startling, are
simply stupid. Thus, we have an Armenian merchant, whose acquaintance
Mr Borrow makes by apprehending a thief while making free with his
pocket-book--a merchant, only less sordid and fond of money than a Jew,
whom, nevertheless, the author persuades to employ the whole of his
realised fortune in making war upon the Persians! It is to be regretted
that Mr Borrow does not favour us with his dukkeripen. Then there is
the aforesaid thief, whom Mr Borrow again encounters at Greenwich fair,
in the possession of a thimble-rig table, and who makes confidential
proposals to him to act the subsidiary part of "bonnet." It was perhaps
as well that Tawno Chikno's idea of investing the author with the
honorary and fistic title of Cooro-mengro was not adopted, seeing that
Mr Borrow abstained from doubling-up the scoundrel at the first hint
of the kind. Then there is an applewoman who kept a stall on London
Bridge, at which stall the aforesaid Armenian was wont to eat apples,
and to which Mr Borrow occasionally repaired--for what purpose, does
the reader think? Why--simply to read the history of Moll Flanders, a
copy of which enticing work the old woman had in her possession!! This
excellent creature, when Mr Borrow first knew her, was a receiver of
stolen goods, and, in fact, hinted that, if Lavengro could pick up in
the course of his peregrinations any stray handkerchiefs, she would be
happy to give the highest available price for the same. There is some
awful trash about her conversion having taken place in consequence of
this copy of Moll being filched from her stall; but we have neither
stomach nor patience to dwell upon this maudlin episode. The extract
or essence of the whole, in so far as we can understand it, appears to
be this--that by the perusal of Moll Flanders, Mr Borrow acquires a
knowledge of the artistical skill of Defoe, and avails himself of that
knowledge by writing an entire work of fiction within a week! We have
never happened to fall in with this book, which is funnily entitled
"The Life and Adventures of Joseph Sell," and therefore we cannot
say whether or not it was limited to a single volume. In charity, we
shall assume the smallest bulk; and if it be indeed true that Mr Borrow
accomplished this task within the above time, feeding, moreover, all
the while on nothing stronger than bread and water, we are ready,
for the honour of our country, to back him for a heavy sum, not only
against Fenimore Cooper, but even against the redoubted and hitherto
unvanquished Dumas. We shall merely stipulate that the respective
authors shall be securely and properly locked up, so that all
communication from without may be effectually prevented. Cooper shall
have as many sherry-cobblers, and Dumas as many bottles of Pomard or
Chambertin, as they please. Lavengro shall be supplied with ale by the
pitcherful; and we have no fears of the result. Only--let him establish
his antecedents; and the challenge may be given, and the contest fixed,
in time for the approaching "Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations."

These women are the very devil at driving bargains! The bookseller, to
whom Lavengro sent the manuscript, might easily have been persuaded to
come down with a cool five-and-twenty for the adventure; but his wife
asked the author to tea, and between the relays of butter and toast,
buttered the original Sap-engro so effectually, that he accepted the
twenty, minus the five. And with this plentiful supply--from which the
payment of accounts past due had to be deducted--Lavengro valorously
determined to cut the trade of authorship, on the eve of his first
success, and follow out his dukkeripen among scenes and sounds which
were more congenial to his taste than the crowded streets and busy din
of London.

Somehow or other an author always falls upon his feet. If you,
dear reader, without any other recommendation than the figure and
countenance which nature has bestowed upon you--even though you have
never been solicited to join a gipsy encampment, or to participate in
the mysteries of thimble-rig--should start upon a pedestrian expedition
through these islands, rather shabbily attired, and carrying your
bundle on the end of your stick, the odds are that you do not meet
at every turn with a beneficent squire of considerable fortune, but
eccentric literary habits, to invite you to make his house your home so
long as you may please to honour it. This may be a reflection on modern
hospitality; however, try the experiment for yourself, and you will
find that we are right in our assumption. But, if you are an author,
the case is very different--at least it will be different when you
print. The _mens divinior_ will have come out in some way which passes
human understanding. You may have been standing flattening your nose
against an alehouse window, thinking perhaps intently on the means of
liquidating your reckoning, when a chariot shall arrest itself at the
door; a metaphysical gentleman steps out, for the apparent purpose of
regaling himself with a glass of bitters; and in the course of five
minutes' conversation, you so gain his heart, that you are whirled off
to the mansion-house or the lodge, and forced to submit, for the next
fortnight, to a regimen of turtle, venison, and claret. Such are the
horrid but unavoidable nuisances of superior mental cultivation. It is
no use struggling against the stream--you must perforce submit to it.
And accordingly, when you publish, you enter a proper protest against
the violence which has been done to your feelings, by removing you from
a damp truckle-bed to a couch of eider down; and by forcing down your
throat abhorred foreign luxuries, in place of that bread-and-cheese
which you patriotically preferred as your nutriment.

No long time elapses before our friend Lavengro encounters his
predestined squire. In the interim, however, he visits Stonehenge,
and encounters a returned convict, who of course is the son of the
applewoman. Shortly afterwards Amphytrion appears, just as Lavengro is
sitting down to a buttock of beef and accompaniments in a cheerful inn.
The character has been so often drawn, that it is rather difficult to
chalk out a new branch of eccentricity for the gentleman who is about
to convey the author to his house, in order that he may confide to
him the details of his personal history: we are bound, however, to
confess that Mr Borrow has managed this very cleverly. The new comer
is afflicted with the mania of "touching"--not for any pleasurable
sensation conveyed to the sensorium through the medium of the tips of
the fingers, but for luck, or as a charm against the influence of the
evil eye! For example, his mother being extremely ill, he finds himself
irresistibly impelled to climb a large elm-tree and touch the topmost
branch, as the means of averting the crisis. He does so, and sustains
a severe fall, to the detriment of his nether-man, but is rewarded
by finding that his filial piety has saved his mother, for the fever
departed the moment that he clutched the gifted twig! Genius has no
limits. After this it is not impossible that a gooseberry bush may be
found available machinery for adding to the interest of a tale.

The story is told at the Squire's house during a thunder-storm; and
another character, a certain Rev. Mr Platitude, is introduced solely,
we presume, to lay a foundation for the subsequent appearance of
a Roman Jesuit, to whom the said Platitude is in bondage. Having
delivered himself of his touching history, the Squire, like Coleridge's
Ancient Mariner, feels himself considerably easier in his mind, and
Lavengro takes his leave. Led by his dukkeripen, he next falls in
with a disconsolate tinker, Jack Slingsby by name, whom he finds with
his wife and children sitting over an empty mug, "which, when filled,
might contain half-a-pint." Lavengro is perfectly orthodox on the
subject of malt liquor. He understands, appreciates, and even venerates
its virtues; so, like a kind Christian, he orders a double jorum,
and requests the woe-begone Jack to insinuate his whiskers therein.
Slingsby complies, nothing loath; for grief is notoriously dry: and
we are presently informed that he is sore at heart, in consequence
of having been beaten off his bent by a rival, ycleped the Flaming
Tinman, who travels the country, accompanied by his wife, Grey Moll,
and a young woman of more than amazonian proportions. This Ajax having
conceived an intense hatred of the pacific Slingsby, has first given
him an unmerciful hiding; and, secondly, compelled him to take his
Bible-oath that he will immediately vacate the country. Cause enough
of sorrow, to be sure, the district being rife in frying-pans, and the
kettles, generally speaking, of reasonable antiquity. Having delivered
himself of this tale, the soft-hearted Slingsby weeps once more, and
refuses to be comforted.

    "'_Myself._--Take another draught--stout liquor.'

    '_Tinker._--I can't, young man, my heart's too full, _and,
    what's more, the pitcher is empty_.'"

Nature! thou art always the same. Under whatever garb--but we crave
pardon. We have already condemned apostrophes.

An idea occurs to Lavengro. What if he were to become the proprietor,
by purchasing Slingsby's stock in trade, and the goodwill of the
district, and start on his own account as a regenerator of fractured
pans? Of course he must be prepared to encounter the opposition of
the Flying Tinman; but that was only a contingent hazard; and should
it occur, why--our friend flattered himself that he had not looked
upon the "terrible Randall" for nothing. In days of old, his sire had
encountered Big Ben Brain the Bruiser "in single combat for one hour,
at the end of which time the champions shook hands and retired, each
having experienced quite enough of the other's prowess;" and the memory
of that glorious deed was glowing in the bosom of the son. Free of the
forge also was he, as one of Tubal Cain's apprentices; and if not quite
an adept in the mysteries of solder, likely enough to become so with
the help of a little practice. So Slingsby sold his cart, pony, and
apparatus, for the sum of five pounds ten shillings, and our author was
metamorphosed into a tinker. The account of his first night encampment
is rather picturesque, and we shall insert it here, as a good specimen
of Mr Borrow's powers of description.

    "How long I continued in that state I am unable to say, but I
    believe for a considerable time. I was suddenly awakened by the
    ceasing of the jolting to which I had become accustomed, and
    of which I was perfectly sensible in my sleep. I started up
    and looked around me; the moon was still shining, and the face
    of the heaven was studded with stars. I found myself amidst
    a maze of bushes of various kinds, but principally hazel and
    holly, through which was a path or driftway, with grass growing
    on either side, upon which the pony was already diligently
    browsing. I conjectured that this place had been one of the
    haunts of his former master; and, on dismounting and looking
    about, was strengthened in that opinion by finding a spot under
    an ash-tree, which, from its burnt and blackened appearance,
    seemed to have been frequently used as a fire-place. I will
    take up my quarters here, thought I; it is an excellent spot
    for me to commence my new profession in; I was quite right to
    trust myself to the guidance of the pony. Unharnessing the
    animal without delay, I permitted him to browse at free will
    on the grass, convinced that he would not wander far from a
    place to which he was so much attached; I then pitched the
    little tent close beside the ash-tree to which I have alluded,
    and conveyed two or three articles into it, and instantly felt
    that I had commenced housekeeping for the first time in my
    life. Housekeeping, however, without a fire is a very sorry
    affair, something like the housekeeping of children in their
    toy-houses. Of this I was the more sensible from feeling very
    cold and shivering, owing to my late exposure to the rain,
    and sleeping in the night air. Collecting, therefore, all the
    dry sticks and furze I could find, I placed them upon the
    fire-place, adding certain chips and a billet which I found
    in the cart, it having apparently been the habit of Slingsby
    to carry with him a small stock of fuel. Having then struck a
    spark in a tinder-box, and lighted a match, I set fire to the
    combustible heap, and was not slow in raising a cheerful blaze.
    I then drew my cart near the fire, and, seating myself on one
    of the shafts, hung over the warmth with feelings of intense
    pleasure and satisfaction. Having continued in this posture
    for a considerable time, I turned my eyes to the heaven in the
    direction of a particular star; I, however, could not find the
    star, nor indeed many of the starry train, the greater number
    having fled, from which circumstance, and from the appearance
    of the sky, I concluded that morning was nigh. About this time
    I again began to feel drowsy; I therefore arose, and having
    prepared for myself a kind of couch in the tent, I flung myself
    upon it and went to sleep.

    I will not say that I was awakened in the morning by the
    carolling of birds, as I perhaps might if I were writing a
    novel. I awoke because, to use vulgar language, I had slept my
    sleep out--not because the birds were carolling around me in
    numbers, as they probably had been for hours without my hearing
    them. I got up and left my tent; the morning was yet more
    bright than that of the preceding day. Impelled by curiosity, I
    walked about, endeavouring to ascertain to what place chance,
    or rather the pony, had brought me. Following the drift-way for
    some time, amidst bushes and stunted trees, I came to a grove
    of dark pines, through which it appeared to lead. I tracked it
    a few hundred yards; but, seeing nothing but trees, and the way
    being wet and sloughy, owing to the recent rain, I returned on
    my steps, and, pursuing the path in another direction, came
    to a sandy road leading over a common, doubtless the one I
    had traversed the preceding night. My curiosity satisfied, I
    returned to my little encampment, and on the way beheld a small
    footpath on the left, winding through the bushes, which had
    before escaped my observation. Having reached my tent and cart,
    I breakfasted on some of the provisions which I had purchased
    the day before, and then proceeded to take a regular account of
    the stock formerly possessed by Slingsby the tinker, but now
    become my own by right of lawful purchase.

    Besides the pony, the cart, and the tent, I found I was
    possessed of a mattress stuffed with straw, on which to lie,
    and a blanket to cover me--the last quite clean, and nearly
    new. Then there was a frying-pan and a kettle--the first for
    cooking any food which required cooking, and the second for
    heating any water which I might wish to heat. I likewise
    found an earthen tea-pot and two or three cups. Of the first,
    I should rather say I found the remains, it being broken in
    three parts, no doubt since it came into my possession, which
    would have precluded the possibility of my asking anybody to
    tea for the present, should anybody visit me--even supposing I
    had tea and sugar, which was not the case. I then overhauled
    what might more strictly be called the stock in trade. This
    consisted of various tools, an iron ladle, a chafing-pan and
    small bellows, sundry pans and kettles--the latter being of
    tin, with the exception of one which was of copper--all in a
    state of considerable dilapidation, if I may use the term. Of
    these first Slingsby had spoken in particular, advising me to
    mend them as soon as possible, and to endeavour to sell them,
    in order that I might have the satisfaction of receiving some
    return upon the outlay which I had made. There was likewise
    a small quantity of block-tin, sheet-tin, and solder. 'This
    Slingsby,' said I, 'is certainly a very honest man; he has sold
    me more than my money's worth; I believe, however, there is
    something more in the cart.' Thereupon I rummaged the further
    end of the cart, and, amidst a quantity of straw, I found a
    small anvil, and bellows of that kind which are used in forges,
    and two hammers, such as smiths use--one great and the other
    small."

Here the author remains for a few days tinkering at his kettles, and
wholly uninterrupted, until he is surprised by the visit of a young
gipsy girl. The scene which follows is sufficiently absurd. The girl
wants to get a kettle from him, and patters Rommany, which choice
dialect Mr Borrow pretends not to understand. At last, however, he
presents her with the culinary implement, and astonishes her by
singing a part of that dainty ditty about dukkeripen, hokkeripen, and
lachipen, which we have inserted above. He had much better have kept
his accomplishments to himself; but we suppose the temptation was
irresistible. Indeed, judging from the various instances which are
chronicled in this book, it would appear that Lavengro made a regular
practice, in his intercourse with every one, to maintain the semblance
of considerable ignorance and simplicity, until some opportunity
occurred, when he could let off his bottled knowledge with astounding
effect. We question the wisdom of this method in any point of view,
and under any circumstance. In the present case he paid dear for the
untimely exhibition of his lore.

    "The girl, who had given a slight start when I began, remained
    for some time after I had concluded the song, standing
    motionless as a statue, with the kettle in her hand. At
    length she came towards me, and stared me full in the face.
    'Grey, tall, and talks Rommany,' said she to herself. In her
    countenance there was an expression which I had not seen
    before--an expression which struck me as being composed of
    fear, curiosity, and the deepest hate. It was momentary,
    however, and was succeeded by one smiling, frank, and open.
    'Ha, ha, brother,' said she, 'well, I like you all the
    better for talking Rommany; it is a sweet language, isn't
    it?--especially as you sing it. How did you pick it up? But you
    picked it up on the roads, no doubt? Ha, it was funny in you
    to pretend not to know it, and you so flush with it all the
    time; it was not kind in you, however, to frighten the poor
    person's child so by screaming out; but it was kind in you to
    give the rikkeni kekaubi to the child of the poor person. She
    will be grateful to you--she will bring you her little dog to
    show you--her pretty juggal; the poor person's child will come
    and see you again; you are not going away to-day, I hope, or
    to-morrow, pretty brother, grey-haired brother--you are not
    going away to-morrow, I hope?'

    'Nor the next day,' said I; 'only to take a stroll to see if
    I can sell a kettle. Good-bye, little sister, Rommany sister,
    dingy sister.'

    'Good-bye, tall brother,' said the girl as she departed,
    singing--

    "The Rommany chi," &c.

    'There's something about that girl that I don't understand,'
    said I to myself--'something mysterious. However, it is nothing
    to me; she knows not who I am; and if she did, what then?'"

Lavengro, however, was doomed to become the victim of misplaced
confidence. The young lady in question was the grand-daughter of
Mrs Herne "of the hairy ones," who, as the reader will recollect,
abandoned the society of her kin rather than associate with the gorgio,
as, we presume, we ought to call Mr Borrow. This old woman, who was
resolved to have her revenge should any opportunity occur, was encamped
somewhere in the neighbourhood; and in the dusk of the evening Lavengro
beheld "a face wild and strange, half-covered with grey hair," glaring
at him through a gap in the bushes. It disappeared, and Lavengro went
to bed. A day or two afterwards he received a second visit from the
gipsy girl, who presented him with a species of bun, prepared, as she
said, by her "grandbebee," for the express consumption of the "harko
mescro" who had been so liberal of the "kekaubi." His evil dukkeripen
induced the author to eat, and, as the reader must have already
anticipated, the cake proves to have been poisoned.

Lavengro, in great agony, crawls into his tent, and has just sunk into
a kind of heavy swoon, when he is aroused by a violent thump upon the
canvass; and, opening his eyes, beholds Mrs Herne and the girl standing
without. They have come to gloat over his dying pangs.

It has been our fortune to peruse several of the romances of M. Eugene
Sue, and of his followers, as also divers of those interesting and
improving fictions which issue, in a serial form, from Holywell Street;
but we are not sure that we can recall to our memory any passage culled
from these various sources, which is more unnatural, distorted, and
purely disgusting, than the conversation between the two females.
We give a very small portion of it--for it extends to ten or twelve
pages--and what we do quote is, perhaps, the most natural of the
whole:--

    "'Halloo, sir! are you sleeping? you have taken drows. The
    gentleman makes no answer. God give me patience!'

    'And what if he doesn't, bebee; isn't he poisoned like a hog?
    Gentleman! indeed; why call him gentleman? if he ever was one
    he's broke, and is now a tinker--a worker of blue metal!'

    'That's his way, child; to-day a tinker, to-morrow something
    else: and as for being drabbed, I don't know what to say about
    it.'

    'Not drabbed! what do you mean, bebee? But look there,
    bebee--ha, ha--look at the gentleman's motions.'

    'He is sick, child, sure enough. Ho, ho! sir, you have taken
    drows; what, another throe! writhe, sir, writhe, the hog died
    by the drow of gipsies; I saw him stretched at evening. That's
    yourself, sir. There is no hope, sir, no help; you have taken
    drow. Shall I tell your fortune, sir--your dukkerin? God bless
    you, young gentleman, much trouble will you have to suffer,
    and much water to cross; but never mind, pretty gentleman, you
    shall be fortunate at the end, and those who hate shall take
    off their hats to you.'

    'Hey, bebee!' cried the girl, 'what is this? what do you mean?
    you have blessed the gorgio!'

    'Blessed him! no, sure; what did I say? Oh, I remember; I'm
    mad. Well, I can't help it; I said what the dukkerin dook told
    me. Woe's me! he'll get up yet.'

    'Nonsense, bebee! look at his motions; he's drabbed, spite of
    dukkerin.'

    'Don't say so, child; he's sick, 'tis true: but don't laugh at
    dukkerin; only folks do that that know no better; I, for one,
    will never laugh at the dukkerin dook. Sick again; I wish he
    was gone.'

    'He'll soon be gone, bebee; let's leave him. He's as good as
    gone; look there--he's dead!'

    'No, he's not; he'll get up--I feel it. Can't we hasten him?'

    'Hasten him? yes, to be sure; set the dog upon him. Here,
    Juggal, look in there, my dog.'

    The dog made its appearance at the door of the tent, and began
    to bark and tear up the ground.

    'At him, Juggal, at him; he wished to poison, to drab you.
    Halloo!'

    The dog barked violently, and seemed about to spring at my
    face, but retreated.

    'The dog won't fly at him, child; he flashed at the dog with
    his eye, and scared him. He'll get up.'

    'Nonsense, bebee! you make me angry. How should he get up?'

    'The dook tells me so; and what's more, I had a dream.'"

But the gentle Leonora--which was the name of the girl--has a strong
tendency towards the practical. She would have been an invaluable
assistant at the inn of Terracina--which hostelry the dramatic writers
of the Surrey side used to select as the scene of their most appalling
tragedies; representing the landlord as an unhappy misanthrope, who
could never sleep unless he had poniarded his man; and the head-waiter
as a merry creature, who wore two brace of stilettoes in his girdle,
and lurked at the bottom of the pit, to receive the visitors when
the bed tumbled through the trap-door. Miss Leonora, we say, becomes
impatient at the exceeding dilatoriness of Lavengro in giving up the
ghost, and entreats her bebee, notwithstanding the dukkerin, to finish
him at once by poking her stick into his eye! The venerable descendant
of the hairy ones attempts to carry this humane advice into effect,
but, at the second lounge, the pole of the tent gives way, and she is
sent sprawling under the canvass.

At this juncture, the sound of wheels is heard, and the girl has work
enough to extricate her bebee, and hurry her off, before a car arrives.
It is pulled up by the fallen tent. Lavengro hears a sound of voices;
but the language is neither Rommany nor English: it is Welsh.

The Samaritan--who immediately doctors Lavengro with oil, and relieves
him from the effect of the poison--is a Methodist preacher, who, in
company with his wife, pays an annual visit to certain stations, where
his ministry is greatly prized. The portrayment of this family--Peter,
and his helpmate Winifred--would have been nearly perfect, had Mr
Borrow not chosen to represent the man as haunted by the most horrible
and overwhelming remorse for an imaginary sin of childhood. The idea
is evidently taken from a melancholy passage in the life of Cowper,
who, as every one knows, was, owing to constitutional hypochondria,
the victim of hideous delusions. To select such themes wantonly and
unnecessarily, argues the worst possible taste. They ought not, on any
account, to have been introduced in a work of this kind; and Mr Borrow
must not be surprised if very grave objections should be urged against
his book, arising from the manner in which he has chosen to treat of so
awful and inscrutable a dispensation. It will be no apology to say that
the thing actually occurred, and that the writer is merely relating
what passed under his own observation. No man is bound to set down and
publish everything which he hears or sees. On the contrary, he is bound
to use a just discretion, in order that he may not profanely enter
on forbidden ground, or cruelly parade confessions and doubts which,
surely, were never intended for the public ear.

But, as we have already indicated, we have no belief in the reality of
the preacher's story. Even had the main incidents of the episode been
true, it is not only improbable, but incredible, that a person, such
as the preacher is represented to be, would have confided his history
to Lavengro, who had certainly few recommendations as a spiritual
adviser. We are thoroughly convinced that our hypothesis is correct,
and that Mr Borrow--whose birth-place was Dereham, the town in which
Cowper was buried--has been led, through a diseased and vicious taste,
to reproduce a picture which no one can contemplate without a shudder.
But enough on this painful subject. There is, however, a point of minor
morals which we must notice. Is Mr Borrow aware that the conduct of his
hero in concealing his knowledge of the Welsh language from the people
who had just rescued him from death, so as to induce them to utter
their most private thoughts and feelings within his hearing, was, to
say the least of it, a very ungrateful return for all their kindness?
It would appear not. However, we are tolerably certain that no one who
peruses the book will differ from us in this opinion.

The preacher and his wife persuade Lavengro to travel with them as far
as the boundary of Wales, where he stops, refusing to set foot on the
land of Cadwallader. According to his usual custom, he petrifies them
at parting by exhibiting his intimate knowledge of the Welsh language
and literature. Just as they are taking leave, Petulengro makes his
appearance, emerging from Wales, and Lavengro turns with him. Now, what
does the reader think the respectable Jasper had been doing? Neither
more nor less than assisting at the interment of Mrs Herne, who had
herself anticipated the last tender offices of the executioner! The
fraternal pair jog on for a while amicably, Petulengro beguiling the
way by a sprightly narrative of blackguardism, until they reach a
convenient piece of turf, when he expresses a strong desire to have
a turn-up with the rather reluctant Lavengro. As the Rommany code of
honour is but little understood, we may as well give Petulengro's
reasons for defying his brother to the combat:--

    "There is a point at present between us. There can be no doubt
    that you are the cause of Mrs Herne's death--innocently, you
    will say; but still the cause. Now, I shouldn't like it to be
    known that I went up and down the country with a pal who was
    the cause of my mother-in-law's death--that's to say, unless he
    gave me satisfaction. Now, if I and my pal have a tussle, he
    gives me satisfaction; and if he knocks my eyes out--which I
    know you can't do--it makes no difference at all; he gives me
    satisfaction: and he who says to the contrary knows nothing of
    gipsy law, and is a dinelo into the bargain."

So, there being no other mode of adjustment, a stand-up fight took
place, in which it would appear that Lavengro received the largest
share of pepper. Petulengro at last declared himself satisfied, and the
affiliated couple set forward as if nothing had happened to disturb the
harmony of the afternoon. When they separate, Lavengro takes his way
in a secluded dingle, five miles distant from the nearest village, and
there encamps, makes horse-shoes, and has a fit of the horrors. Just
as he is recovering from this attack, who should appear in the dingle
but the Flying Tinman, with Grey Moll, and the amazon whom Slingsby had
mentioned--"an exceedingly tall woman, or rather girl, for she could
scarcely have been above eighteen." The Tinman himself was no beauty.

    "I do not remember ever to have seen a more ruffianly-looking
    fellow. He was about six feet high, with an immensely athletic
    frame; his face was black and bluff, and sported an immense
    pair of whiskers, but with here and there a grey hair; for
    his age could not be much under fifty. He wore a faded blue
    frock-coat, corduroys, and high-lows; on his black head was
    a kind of red nightcap, round his bull-neck a Barcelona
    handkerchief. I did not like the look of the man at all."

Two bulls are as likely to be amicable on one pasture as two tinkers
on the same beat. There is some surly chaffing. Lavengro tries to
conciliate the big girl by telling her that she is like Ingeborg,
Queen of Norway--which must have been an exceedingly intelligible
compliment--and then by pouring into her ear the following Orphean
strain:--

    "As I was jawing to the gav yeck divvers,
    I met on the drom miro Rommany chi."

The minstrel's reward was a thundering douse on the chops. Then stood
forth the Tinman in his ire, and a battle-royal commenced. Belle--for
such was the name of the big girl--was, however, an admirer of fair
play, and though she had been the first to strike him, volunteered her
services as Lavengro's second--Grey Moll doing the needful for her
spouse. After several sharp rounds, the Tinman misses a blow, smashes
himself against a tree, and goes down like a ninepin, insensible to the
call of time. There is honour among the tinkers, as there was law among
the cutters. The defeated warrior retires with his mort, leaving Belle,
whom he now abandons, to the protection of the victorious Lavengro.

And what follows? No sniggering, young gentleman, if you please.
You never were more entirely mistaken in your life. It is true that
Belle--or to give her her proper title--Miss Isopel Berners, was a
young lady of doubtful origin, who had been educated in the workhouse.
Why not? The only three noble names in the county were to be found
there. "Mine was one, the other two were Devereux and Bohun." And she
was independent as she was strong. Being apprenticed out at fourteen
years of age to a small farmer and his wife, she knocked down her
mistress for ill-using her, and, at sixteen, knocked down her master
for taking improper liberties. Shortly afterwards, having taken service
with a lady who travelled the country selling silks and linen, Belle
thrashed two sailors who wanted to rob the cart; so that, upon the
whole, she was by no means the Neæra with the tangles of whose hair
it was safe to play, unless with her entire consent. Therefore the
twain tarried in all amity and honour together in the dingle, making
themselves, upon the whole, remarkably comfortable. An occasional visit
to an alehouse, where politics and polemics were discussed, relieved
Lavengro from the vapours; and of an evening in the dingle, he occupied
himself by adding to the stock of accomplishments possessed by Miss
Isopel Berners. The reader will naturally be anxious to know the nature
of the lessons. Did he teach her ciphering, or French, or cross-stitch,
or cooking according to the method of Mrs Glass, or philosophy,
divinity, or calisthenics? Nothing of the kind. Lavengro gave her
"LESSONS IN ARMENIAN!"

Nor were they altogether without visitors. The priest appears upon the
stage, or rather comes to the dingle--a red-haired, squinting Jesuit,
who, very unnecessarily, expounds his method for converting England
to the faith of Rome, over several tumblers of Hollands-and-water,
sweetened with a lump of sugar. It is a curious fact, that he
preferred the water cold. Then, during a thunder-storm, a postilion
makes his appearance in consequence of a capsize of his postchaise,
and relates the history of his travels to Rome, where it appears that
he also had known the red-haired Jesuit. The said postilion, by the
way, is an accomplished rhetorician, for he divides his discourse into
the three parts of exordium, argument, and peroration. And so the book
ends; Lavengro and Miss Berners still remaining in the dingle, the
latter having evidently conceived a tender interest for her teacher in
Armenian lore.

Such are the contents of the book, which, most assuredly, will add
but little to Mr Borrow's reputation. That he has seen a great deal
of strange vagabond life, is certain; and it is equally plain that he
is gifted with adequate powers for depicting it. But he is no artist
as respects arrangement, and his anxiety to represent himself, or
Lavengro, as a character altogether without a parallel, has led him
into the most gross exaggerations and the most absurd positions. We
were willing to accept his former works as valuable contributions to
philology, and as containing sketches, vivid, if not true, of gipsy
life and manners. But this must have a limit somewhere. We are sick
of the Petulengros and their jargon, and Mr Borrow ought now to be
aware that he has thoroughly exhausted that quarry. He is mistaken if
he supposes that he has caught the secret of Defoe, who, like him,
introduced the reader to scenes and characters which were not usually
selected for portraiture and illustration. Defoe's excellence lies in
his extreme truthfulness, his homely manner, and his total freedom from
exaggeration; and until Mr Borrow is master of these qualities, he can
never hope to succeed in this line of composition. We strongly suspect
that, in the course of the composition of this book, which, unless our
memory strangely deceives us, was announced more than two years ago,
considerable changes have taken place in its plan and disposition. We
cannot read the preface in connection with the latter part of the third
volume, without thinking that much has been added and interpolated
to suit the occasion of the recent Papal aggression; and that we are
indebted to that circumstance for the introduction of the Jesuit, and
the rhetorical postilion's story, so strangely dragged in as an episode
to conclude the narrative. If we are right in this conjecture, a great
deal of the incongruity which is apparent throughout the work is
explained. But the faults still remain; and, while it is impossible to
deny that Lavengro contains some spirited passages and many indications
of talent, we cannot pronounce such a general verdict in its favour as
would be at all satisfactory either to the author or his admirers.



THE ARTS IN PORTUGAL.[24]


This portly volume, by the accomplished author of _Modern Art in
Germany_, is not so wise as it looks. Its bulk, like that of Minerva's
bird, of much feather and little weight, proves delusive when it comes
to be handled. This is not a history of the arts in Portugal, but an
accumulation of materials, whereof nine-tenths are either extraneous to
the subject or indirectly connected with it. A glance at the contents
may give an idea of the incongruity and unmethodical arrangement
of the book, in reference to its professed object. It consists of
twenty-nine letters. The second and third, occupying seventy-five
pages, are extracts from a MS., dated 1549, and chiefly relating to
Italian art, by Francisco de Hollanda, an architect and illuminator,
a Dutchman by race, but by birth a Portuguese, who resided for some
time at Rome. Highly interesting these extracts are; for the writer
was intimate with Michael Angelo, and gives a lively though somewhat
showy report of conversations with him on painting and sculpture, in
the presence of Victoria Colonna. But of the state of art in Portugal,
Francisco de Hollanda affords the scantiest information; he complains
much, indeed, that art was there disregarded. From his laboured and
tedious remonstrance on this neglect, addressed to the young King
Sebastian in 1571, Count Raczynski has been over-liberal in citation.
Among the reasons urged by the memorialist for royal encouragement of
the science of design and colouring, one is that the king might be
thereby instructed "how to choose hares, partridges, sporting-dogs,
camels, lions, tigers, and _other domestic_ animals." Both MSS. are in
the library of the Academy of Sciences at Lisbon. In the fifth letter,
an extract from _The Lisbon Nosegay_, O Ramalhete, introduces us to
an old history of the order of Dominic, and to its editor, Frei Luiz
de Sousa, a Portuguese classic, who is thus singularly recommended to
notice,--"You will perceive that the extracts which I have taken from
him do not mention a single fact that can throw light upon the history
of the arts in Portugal: not a name, and few interesting particulars."

[24] _Les Arts en Portugal._ By COUNT A. RACZYNSKI, Envoy from the
Court of Berlin to the Court Of Portugal.--Paris, 1846.

In default of the information wanted, we find, however, an anecdote
of Sousa, which might be no mean subject for the pencil. Manuel de
Sousa-Coutinho, a nobleman, proud of his talents and jealous of his
dignity, having set fire to his residence at Almada, to get rid of
importunate visitors from Lisbon during the plague, withdrew into
Spain. On his return he rebuilt his house, and married Magdalen, the
widow of Don John de Portugal, who had been reported among the slain
with Sebastian in Africa. Don Manuel had a daughter by this union, and
his domestic content was untroubled for some years, till a stranger
presented himself at Almada, and obtained an interview with the Lady
Magdalen. "I am a Portuguese," he said, "just returned from captivity
in Palestine. At the moment of my departure, one of my countrymen
charged me to seek you out, and to inform you that a person who had
not forgotten you was still in existence." The alarmed matron demanded
a minute description of that person, and the answer strengthened a
terrible suspicion. To remove all doubt, she led the stranger to a
room where the likeness of her first husband was suspended among many
other family portraits. The messenger at once recognised the portrait
of Don John of Portugal as that of the individual on whose errand he
had come. Manuel de Sousa was no sooner apprised of the fact, than he
resolved to take the cowl. He assumed the name of Luiz, and became a
friar in the Dominican convent at Bemfica. The lady also retired into
a religious house, and never saw him more.[25] The story would have
been as satisfactory if the captive husband had been ransomed by those
who had so unwittingly wronged him.

[25] Sr. J. B. Almeida Garrett, one of the most distinguished living
writers of Portugal, has produced an effective and popular drama on
this subject.--See vol. iii. of his collected works, in 7 vols. Lisbon,
1844.

In the next letter we find Monsieur Raczynski, catalogue in hand,
giving an account of his visit to a triennal exhibition of modern
paintings. On those or any other productions of art, even out of their
turn, we willingly listen to him; though his opinion only leads us to
the conclusion that revolutionary turmoils do not make painters. But we
protest against his budget of extravagancies from the _Lisbon Diary_,
and flowery tropes from _The Universal Review_, which is or was edited
by an ingenious poet, A. F. Castilho, who has the misfortune to be
blind, and has been so from his youth, and is nevertheless a critic
on art, who resents "the presumption of frivolous and impertinent
foreigners!" We might have been spared, too, the dull discourse
pronounced before their Majesties, by the late venerable Director of
the Academy. As a specimen of Senhor Loureiro's oration, in which
the glories of the _German_ easel are the main topic of panegyric,
take the following compliment to King Ferdinand Saxe Kohary:--"After
Louis XIV., who bowed to all the ladies he met on his ride, and after
Frederick II., no king nor prince in Europe returns the salute of
by-passers, except our much esteemed king, Don Ferdinand, as you all
must have often witnessed." This delicate flattery is insinuated _à
propos_ of a portrait by Frank, in the Berlin Cabinet, of "Frederick
the Great passing on horseback, and lifting his hand to his classical
hat, garnished with feathers, to salute the inhabitants of Potsdam,
who offer him their tribute of homage." Then follow ten letters,
full of capital blunders, for which M. Raczynski is no otherwise
responsible than that he has printed them; for these letters are
principally made up of communications from respectable but most
inaccurate correspondents, and of gatherings from more obscure and not
less questionable sources. That such a mass of absurdities, especially
those on Gran Vasco--the great name among Portuguese artists--should
have been retained is the more remarkable, because the Count, by his
laudable diligence, timely discovered that he had been misled on
many particulars, and finally tells us so himself. As to Gran Vasco,
in search of whose disputed identity his blind guides had led him
floundering through a weary morass--now after one will-o'-the wisp,
now after another--he at last finds himself on _terra firma_ at Vizeu,
whither he had repaired on the sensible advice of Viscount Juromenha,
and thus announces his success (Letter 16,)--"_Fica revogada toda a
legislação em contrario!_--that is to say, I retract all that I
have said or cited about Gran Vasco, and whatever is contrary to what
I am now going to tell you!" From Vizeu we are conducted, by shocking
bad roads, to Lamego and Regoa, and hence down the Douro to Oporto.
The 20th Letter is a postscript to the 11th, and we are again among
objects of art at Lisbon. Here the modesty of the king-consort is put
to the blush by one of those awkward compliments which personages of
the highest rank are born to suffer, and to which they become callous
in time. But the Prince is young, and courtiers should be merciful. We
have just heard the president of the Academy proclaiming him as the
only mannerly prince in Europe since the days of the Great Frederick
of Prussia. M. Raczynski throws the strong light of his admiration
on another and a greater excellence in the German husband of Donna
Maria da Gloria, though, inferentially, it is no compliment either to
Her Faithful Majesty or her subjects,--"The King is, to my knowledge,
endowed with more taste than any other person in this country; beyond
every other individual, he possesses true feeling for the arts. He is
the owner of a pleasing collection of paintings, besides a rich album
of drawings and water-colours, pretty pictures in German, French, and
English!" The 21st Letter is "the continuation of my letter the 14th,"
that is, a resumption of the subject of Portuguese architecture. The
22d Letter is a corollary to the 10th, "to serve as a sequel to my
10th letter;" and so, throughout the work the reader is fiddled to and
fro, down the middle and up again--now at Coimbra, now at Marseilles,
back again to Barcelona and Seville, and other places where he has
no business--and at last sits down to cool in a printing-office at
Paris. In short, if only what fairly relates to the arts in Portugal
had been admitted into this publication, with a due regard to method,
five score pages would have served the purpose of above five times that
number, and Monsieur Renouard's types would have been more profitably
employed--for the reader at least, if not for the printer. Even as it
is, however, the book is an improvement on Taborda and Cyrillo, the
latter of whom the Portuguese have hitherto been contented to take
for their Vasari. There is no reasonable doubt that attempts at the
revived art of painting were practised in Portugal as early as in
Spain, though so vastly in favour of the latter nation is the balance
of pictorial wealth. Rudiments of the art seem faintly discernible in
the very infancy of the Portuguese monarchy. There is a tradition of a
portrait of Count Henry, who died in 1112. In the Lisbon duplicate of
the _Livro-preto_--the Black-Book of Coimbra cathedral, a collection
of ancient documents--there is one dated 1168, setting forth sundry
payments to artificers in the church; and in that memorandum, mention
is made of an altar-picture, The Annunciation to the Virgin. Among
the royal archives at Lisbon is a book of charters, one page of which
is wholly occupied by a drawing of our Saviour, coloured in red and
blue. This MS. bears date 1277. That Portugal was early rich in
illuminated manuscripts, is proved by the existence of many very old
bibles, missals, breviaries, books of armorial blazonry, and other
gorgeous quaintnesses, on much and long enduring vellum. Garcia de
Resende, in his Chronicle of John II., at whose court he was brought
up, says that he employed much of his leisure in painting, to the great
satisfaction of his royal master, who often suggested subjects for his
pencil, and would frequently sit by him watching the progress of his
pleasant labours. The Castle of Belem, as it stands at this day, was
constructed, in the following reign, from a plan designed by Garcia for
John II., in whose time also, as we learn from that chronicler, and
from Ruy de Pina--both eye-witnesses--scene-painting was executed on a
large scale, for the court pantomimes and spectacles, before a stage
for the written drama was known in the kingdom. It was by John II.
that the Florentine Andrea Contucci, called Il Sansovino, was invited
to Portugal, where he remained nine years--chiefly employed, however,
in architecture and wood-sculpture--although his example as a painter
is supposed to have had some corrective influence on the rudeness of
pictorial notions in this country.

In the reigns of Emanuel and John III., 1495 to 1557, artists both
native and foreign were numerous in the land; and hagiologies were
ransacked for appropriate subjects of decoration for the churches and
monasteries, and other important edifices. Most of those painters are
forgotten. Few of their names have been preserved in connection with
their works; so that these, of which many are still extant, and might
bear honourable testimony to their skill, have incurred the singular
fate of being, almost universally attributed to one artist, who was
five years old at the decease of John III., and who ought to have lived
to more than twice the age of man, and have been a Proteus in varieties
of style, to make it possible that he should have completed one-half
the number of the works imputed to him. Every Gothic picture of any
pretension found in Portugal is called a Gran Vasco. Even that fine
painting, The Fountain of Mercy, in the sacristy of the Misericordia
at Oporto, has been pronounced a Gran Vasco. It was indeed painted
thirty years only before he was born; it has some historical features
that pretty nearly fix the date. King Emanuel gave that picture to
the brotherhood of the Misericordia at Oporto. It contains portraits
of himself, his third wife, several of his children by his second
wife, and other personages of his family and court. He died in 1521.
Vasco Fernandez, the true Gran Vasco, was baptised at Vizeu in 1552.
Senhor J. Berardo has the honour of this discovery. After many a weary
research among piles of records in the Vizeu Cathedral, he there
detected a document which destroys delusions that had become national,
leaves scores of old pictures fatherless, and yet detracts but little,
if at all, from the reputation of the great master. In the very church
where he was christened, several of the best compositions of Fernandez
remain as vouchers for the integrity of his genius. The antiquary of
Vizeu, Ribeiro Pereira, whose MS. is dated 1630, and who might have
personally known him, and must have well known the principal works
executed by him for their native town, specifies the large picture
of Calvary, in the Jesus Chapel of the cathedral, as by Gran Vasco.
The pictures in the sacristy are by the same hand; and, though the
cathedral is of very ancient foundation, this sacristy, in its present
form, was not finished till 1574, as we learn from the inscription
"Georgius Ataide Episcopus vicensus faciendum curavit MDLXXIIII;"
and by the position of the pictures, in regard to the light from the
windows, it is evident that they were prepared for the places they
occupy. M. Raczynski has not only seen and scrutinised those paintings,
but he has examined the baptismal entry above spoken of, and he has
likewise inspected a copy of the MS. of the Vizeu antiquary. Of the
register of baptism he says,--"M. Berardo has shown me the voucher,
which is almost in tatters. Nothing can be more authentic, more
incontestable. You have no idea of the vividness of tradition, among
all the inhabitants at Vizeu, respecting Gran Vasco. One would say
that all the world here has been personally acquainted with him, that
every man in the place has had some heritable share in him. For me,
the question is decided." On the extract, first communicated to him
by the Visconde de Juromenha, from the MS. of the Vizeu antiquary,
Vasco's contemporary and fellow-townsman, he observes, after comparing
it with the original in the Oporto Library,--"The extract is perfectly
accurate. M. Gandra, Librarian of Oporto, has given me a sight of the
MS., which is as genuine as the register of Vizeu. In the MS., the
painter is once styled 'The Great Vasco Fernandez;' and the second
time, 'Vasco Fernandez.'" It is curious that the celebrity of a quiet
artist should have been of such speedy growth as to obtain for his name
the popular prefix of "Great" during his lifetime. The Count's judgment
on the Vizeu paintings is as follows:--"The picture of 'Calvary' is
of high merit, but in bad condition. I should have supposed it older;
but, in fine, documents are a stronger authority than my impressions.
Moreover, the draperies and the architecture in the paintings of
Gran Vasco are of a style that well accords with the epoch to which
we are now certain they belong. Not only is the large, picture of
'Calvary' of great merit, but as much must be said of those that form
the _predella_," (that is, those on each side of the steps to the
altar,) "representing the sufferings of our Lord. The pictures in the
sacristy are--The Baptism of Christ, The Descent of the Holy Ghost upon
the Apostles, St Peter, The Martyrdom of St Sebastian, and thirteen
smaller pieces, half-length portraits of various saints. Nothing can
be more magnificent than the St Peter. Attitude, drapery, composition,
drawing, touch, colouring, architecture, accessories, landscape, the
small figures in the distance--all are fine, all faultless. I cannot
express to you what joy I felt when, on entering the sacristy, I at
once beheld, fronting the door, this superb painting of St Peter. The
effect on me was decisive; all doubt was over. Every work by Gran Vasco
has a solemn and elevated character, which I do not recognise to the
same extent in any of the Gothic pictures that I have seen in Portugal.
The style of Gran Vasco is not ascribable, as I had imagined it to
be, to Italian influence, but, very peremptorily, to that of Albert
Durer; and it is plain that this influence had continued to inspire
Portuguese artists, though working side by side with the imitators of
Gaspar Diaz and Campello," (two of the several Portuguese painters who
were sent by King Emanuel to study at Rome,) "who had imported into
their country the Italian style and tendencies of the classic era. I
will even affirm, that the influence of Flanders and Germany produced
better results than that of the classic painting of Italy." This notion
of the superior efficacy of Flemish and German over Italian influence
on Portuguese art, in the first half of the sixteenth century, is a
favourite one with our author; and not unreasonably so, for the palmy
days of Emanuel and his successor were also the days of Charles V., the
kinsman of those princes. Many Flemish and German subjects of the great
emperor found ready access to the court of Portugal, and a favourable
reception there; and their manner must have been pretty generally
adopted, and very closely imitated too, for in multiplied instances
it perplexed connoisseurs to distinguish the native from the northern
workmanship of that period.

Between Vasco Fernandez of Vizeu and any legitimate successor to his
supremacy as a Portuguese artist, the interregnum is far longer than
the _duration_ of the Spanish tyranny. After the death of Sebastian,
no Portuguese painter of any recognised eminence appears for nearly a
century and a half. During all that time, producers of pictures were
numerous; there was plenty of artists, but little or no art. At last,
about 1715, John V., the mighty builder, willing to hope that his
projected temples and palaces were destined to be worthily adorned by
native talent, if stimulated by the best models, sent several youths
to the schools of art in Italy; herein repeating the experiment of the
old kings of the race of Avis, but without much success. The only very
distinguished painter of this reign and the next, "O Insigne Pintor,"
Vieira Lusitano, owed his opportunities Of professional instruction at
Rome to the patronage of a nobleman rather than to that of the King
himself, though he was afterwards much employed both by John V. and his
successor Joseph.

The story of Francisco Vieira, popularly called the Lusitanian, and
self-styled "The Admirable," is one of the most curious on record.
It is an autobiography in verse, a lyrical poem in quatrains without
rhyme. His self-esteem is immense, as may be inferred from his
title-page, _Viera the Lusitanian, the famous Painter and faithful
Husband_. In the preface he loads himself with honour; through the
fourteen cantos, six hundred pages, of his poem (which is but a portion
of what he intended to give to the world, though it was published
three years before his death, and he died at the age of eighty-four,)
he puffs his own praises with all the simple untiring energy of a boy
blowing bubbles; yet it is as clear that he was no fool as that he
was a prodigious coxcomb. Measureless vanity does sometimes co-exist
with vigorous ability. There is no doubt whatever of the genuineness
of the production, for it was published in his lifetime, and he signed
his name to the dedication. Being the hero of his own story, he speaks
of himself all through in the third person; and it was perhaps his
intention, when he composed the work, to publish it anonymously, and
let the public suppose that it was written by some friend. But he no
doubt thought himself the _præclarus vates_ as well as the _pictor
insignis_, and could not finally make up his mind to lose the honours,
poetical and chivalrous, of his work, though it is in truth as wretched
a poem as it is a rare and most captivating biography. Robert Southey,
a name not to be mentioned without respect, yet a critic by no means
to be implicitly followed on questions of Portuguese literature, says
that this is the best book of Portugal. If he simply meant that it is
the most attractive biographical production, he was probably right,
(if we set aside old Mendez Pinto, the marvellous and the delightful,)
for we doubt whether a more striking personal narrative of genuine
love-adventure is extant in any language. But if Southey intended to
say that it was the best Portuguese poem, the eulogy is utterly absurd.
There is but little unborrowed poetry in it, and his countrymen, who
should be the best judges--justly proud as they are of him as an
artist--do not admit him to any rank even among their numerous minor
poets. There is, it is true, in one of the volumes of Southey's Life,
recently published, a favourable specimen of this poem--a translation
by Southey of a few lines, which are pleasing enough; but the version
is an improvement on the original. Vieira gave indications of his
talent for drawing by chalking figures on the floor before he could
walk alone; and he proved his genius for intrigue by winning the heart
of a damsel, not less juvenile than himself, but of far higher rank,
and by completely hood-winking her parents and his own, before he was
eight years old. But the constancy of this infant passion on both sides
is the marvel of his life. At ten years of age he gained a patron in
the Marquis of Abrantes, who, being appointed ambassador from John V.
to Pope Clement XI., took him to Rome, where he resided seven years,
always devoted to his art and to the Fidalgo's daughter. He was at
first a pupil of Lutti, and afterwards of Trevisani. He mentions the
latter with respect and affection. He obtained considerable distinction
as a student of painting, and was befriended by Cardinal Barberini. On
his return to Lisbon, whither his reputation had preceded him, he was
welcomed by none of his friends more cordially than by the parents of
Dona Agnes Helen De Lima e Mello, who was now a blooming and beautiful
young woman, for whom several offers of suitable marriage had been
already made, all of which she had evaded by the plea that it was her
intention to take the veil. On his first visit he was followed by a
porter with a box full of relics that he had brought from Rome--beads
blest by the Pope, bones of saints, a chip of the true cross, and many
other inestimable things of the kind, _all warranted--tudo com seus
diplomas authenticos!_ These he presented to the father and mother, who
were more than delighted with such gifts, and could not but attribute
a hopeful measure of sanctity to the young virtuoso who had collected
them. He was thenceforward a frequent guest at the Quinta da Luz, the
residence of the De Limas, and continued to be encouraged by the elders
of the family, till they found out--not by their own wit--that the
humble youth whom they had so graciously countenanced fully intended to
do them the favour of becoming their son-in-law. The presumption was
inconceivable, the humiliation of having been outwitted by two children
was intolerable. Vieira had secretly consulted the Judge of Marriages
(O Juiz dos Casamentos,) an official as formidable to hard-hearted
parents in Portugal as a Gretna Green parson to guardians of heiresses
in England. By his advice, the young gentleman had secured his
lady-love's signature to a formal declaration of her engagement to him;
and, on the strength of this document, the same obliging functionary
had easily obtained the Patriarch of Lisbon's certificate of approval,
which was necessary to perfect the legality of the contract. A page,
in attendance on the Patriarch when the matter was discussed, happened
to be acquainted with the family of De Lima, and hastened to reveal to
the astonished parents the transaction that he had witnessed. In strict
law, they had now no remedy--the parties were betrothed. But the lady's
father possessed a power greater than the law in the friendship of the
Minister, the formidable Pombal; and before any further communication
could pass between her and her lover, she was shut up in a nunnery,
the convent of St Anne. As she had avoided marriage by asserting her
intention to become a nun, it was now resolved that she should keep her
word. She resisted to the uttermost; and even after she was immured
in the convent, it was only by main force that the novice's dress was
put on her, though her aunt and two other grim duennas assisted in the
operation. Vieira appealed to the King; but it was too delicate an
affair to be interfered with, even by an absolute monarch. He retired
from the royal presence in anything but a loyal mood, and tasked
his wits from day to day, but all in vain, to devise some means of
communication with the prisoner. That convent, he says, baffled all his
approaches, as if it were an enchanted castle. He determined, however,
that if she could not see him she should hear him; so he seized his
guitar, repaired to the convent walls at midnight, and serenaded her
with passionate songs--walking round and round the gloomy den like
Blondel round the Fortress Tenebreuse, the cage of Lion Richard; or,
as the painter himself expressed it in one of his pictures, like
Orpheus at the gates of hell demanding his Eurydice. He was for the
third or fourth time turning a corner of the convent chapel when he was
pounced upon by the police, and forthwith lodged in prison, and would
inevitably have been transported, in a ship ready to depart for one
of the Indian settlements, had not one of his patrons, the Conde del
Assumar, afterwards Marquis de Alorna, interfered, and procured his
release. The noviciate of Agnes expired, and she was compelled to take
the veil. Her relations now thought that they had her safely settled
for life, and the lady abbess thought so too. Agnes, making a virtue of
necessity, pretended to be reconciled to her fate; and thenceforward
the restraints on the seemingly submissive nun were far less stringent
than those that had been imposed on the rebellious novice. A
correspondence between the married nun and her husband was now effected
through a third party, who had access to the convent. It was written in
a cipher invented by Vieira, as a sure precaution against mischance or
impertinent curiosity.

    "Heaven first taught letters for some wretch's aid,
    Some banished lover, or some captive maid."

But this sort of communication only inflamed their impatience for freer
intercourse. By the death of one of the sisterhood, a cell became
vacant which might be very convenient for a vestal whose heart was
unconsecrated. It was in a retired part of the building, and the window
was in an outer wall, separated from some of the city gardens by an
unfrequented thoroughfare. It was the custom to set a price upon the
new tenancy of any void cell, so that the nun who wished to possess
it must pay for the privilege. The price set upon this apartment was
three hundred milreas, about £70. Vieira procured the money, and passed
it to Agnes, who was thus enabled to become mistress of the room; and
the superior seems to have had no suspicion that the gold was not
supplied by some one of the young lady's wealthy relatives. The window
was high, but the spaces between the iron grates were not so narrow as
to forbid the passage of a faithful Mercury, in the shape of a basket
secured by a string. When it could be prudently let down, a palm branch
put out between the bars was a signal. Vieira, taught by his former
misadventure, no more approached the walls as an unarmed minstrel,
but silently, and furnished with munitions of war--_mas munido com
seus marciaes petrechos_--a good sword at his side, a pair of loaded
pistols in his belt, and a cloak of black taffeta over all. After a
hundred plans for her rescue had been mutually discussed and abandoned,
she thus addressed him,--"My beloved, I am withering here. You must
deliver me from this horrid prison, from these dismal rules which I
am forced to obey--though I protest that I am no nun, never was, and
never will be. _Freira nao sou, nem fui, nem ser quero._ I am assured
that nothing short of a decree by the Pope will avail us. I know that
certain immunities may be bought and obtained by deputy from the Holy
See; but I would trust no agent in such an affair as ours. I confide in
the proverb--'He who wants a thing goes for it; he who would miss it
sends for it.'--(_Quem quer vai, quem nao quer manda._)" He received
the young lady's orders without winking, _sem pestenejar_; and, leaving
two large pictures, commissions from the king, unfinished, he set off
on the forlorn hope to the Vatican, with a good chance of ending his
career in the Castle of St Angelo. He got to Rome, he says, as if by
magic. Cardinal Barberini was dead: this news was a shock to him, for
on his protection he had mainly relied. The resolute lover, however,
by dint of importunity, obtained from the Pope an order addressed
to the Patriarch of Lisbon, requiring him to cause the lady to be
interrogated, and to report the result. Months passed away, but no
answer came.

He obtained another order, an exact duplicate, also signed by the Pope,
and forwarded it with an explanatory letter to the Conde de Assumar.
The Count willingly carried the paper to the Patriarch, who was much
offended, and refused to receive it, saying, that such matters were not
to be disposed of in a hurry. He had received the Supreme Pontiff's
first letter, and had, in consequence, personally visited the convent,
and questioned Donna Agnes. Further investigations were on foot, and
the case could not yet be decided.

A friendly Portuguese Jesuit gave Vieira warning that he was in
danger, and that, if he persisted in his appeals to the Pope, he
would be quickly and summarily silenced. Baffled at all points, and
ashamed to go home, he continued in Italy for six years, during all
which time he maintained a correspondence with Agnes, by the aid of
a friend at Lisbon, a well-known brother artist, André Gonsalves. He
also laboured assiduously in his profession, and became famous as a
painter in the land of painters. His works were purchased as fast as
he could produce them, and many of them were engraved. Finally, he,
was elected member of the Academy of St Luke, and was honoured with
a diploma or certificate of especial merit. He now thought he might
return to Lisbon, and look after his impounded treasure--his _tesouro
imprisonado_. On the arrival of the ship in the Tagus, he remained on
board till he could be smuggled ashore at night. His enemies imagined
him to be still at Rome when he was once more plotting under the
convent walls, and thus announcing himself to the faithful object of
so much constant love--"Here I am again! All the doors of justice are
closed against us, and we have nothing but our own wits to help us;
yet I am more resolved on your deliverance than ever." He proposed
to supply her with files and aqua fortis to cut through the bars of
her cell, and a rope-ladder to let her down. But she rejected that
expedient. "Through the gate by which I entered, and through that
only, will I go out," she said. _Pois só pela portaria, por onde
entrei, sahir quero._ Repairs were going on in the house; many masons
were employed there daily. "Get me," said she, "a hodman's dress
and a half-mask, and I will walk out of the convent. Do not look so
mistrustful; I am not without courage; I know myself well. I rely, too,
on higher strength than my own for aid. God does not require violent
sacrifices: I am here against my will; my stay in these cloisters is
not self-devotion, but sacrilege." Seeing that she had made up her mind
to the adventure at all hazards, Vieira lost no time in furnishing her
with the required disguise. He prides himself particularly on his skill
in the fabrication of the half-mask, which he describes as a miracle of
art. It fitted her exactly, and the false nose was provided with hooks
to be inserted in the nostrils of the true nose, to prevent it from
betraying itself by any eccentric movement,

    "Porém no nariz fingido
    Lhe armou de arame hum remedio
    Para poder segurar-se
    Nas ventas do verdadeiro."

The hour was come for the perilous attempt. It was a summer evening,
light as noon, when the chapel bell rang for the Ave Maria. Donna Agnes
left her cell and gained a covered courtyard, where she passed some
of the sisters, who bade the supposed workman good evening. She was a
little too soon, for the labourers were not yet assembled to retire.
But, being so far committed, she could not retreat; she must proceed
alone to the porter's gate. It chanced that several ladies of the city
were standing by the lodge, in conversation with the superior. It was
therefore requisite, according to custom, that the person going out
should ask leave to pass with all respect, _licença para passar, com
respeito_. She did so, and the lady abbess herself answered, "Pass,"
making way for her. Donna Agnes, in her agitation, stumbled against
an angle of the wall, and heard one of the party she had just left
behind her, perhaps the abbess, exclaim--"Ah, can't you see, you
clumsy fellow?" She moved on into the street, where Vieira, also in
disguise, was anxiously waiting. He would not have known her had he not
recognised his own handiwork, the mask. He seemed not to notice, her
till she had turned down a lane at some distance: he then followed her,
and in a few minutes they were out of immediate danger. The commotion
in the nunnery, when her flight was known, may be imagined. The king,
when informed of an escape which was speedily the talk of the town,
applauded the act for its spirit and cleverness, though he had declined
to enforce the law on behalf of the aggrieved pair. They proceeded
with all despatch to verify the contract made between them before her
incarceration. After this formal attestation of the illegality of
her enforced vows, they were formally married, and their triumph was
complete. Here, according to rule, where connubial bliss begins, the
story should end, for it is very like a novel; but it is nevertheless
a true tale, _huma historia verdadeira_, and something darker remains
behind. They took a house in the Hortas da Cera, and were happy for
some months. But the rage of her family was unappeasable. While the
painter was pursuing his professional avocations with honour and
profit, they were secretly busy with machinations against his life. On
the morning of Whitsunday he had set out from home, to hear mass in
the nearest church. His wife, attended by a servant, followed him some
minutes later. At the top of an obscure alley, communicating with the
street just where it made a bend, stood a man whose face was muffled
up in his cloak. Vieira had passed but a little way beyond him, when
he was fired at and severely wounded by this person. The pistol had
been loaded with slugs, one of which pierced the artist's right cheek,
and another was lodged in his shoulder. Turning round, he caught a
glimpse of the face of the assassin, in whom he recognised his own
brother-in-law, the brother of Donna Agnes. Vieira, supposing himself
mortally hurt, called out for a confessor, staggered back to meet his
wife, and fell bleeding at her feet. Both were carried half dead into
their house. His wounds, though so serious that the last sacraments
were administered to him, were skilfully and prosperously treated by
Felucci, an Italian leech, and by the king's German surgeon, who was
ordered to attend to him. His wife was nearer death from terror and
anxiety, than he from his wounds; but no sooner was he declared out of
danger than she recovered, and was his best nurse. As soon as he could
be safely moved, he proceeded in a chair to the palace, and craved
audience of the king, before whom, after he had knelt and kissed hands,
he was permitted to produce the clothes in which he had been shot.
They were stained with blood that told its own story. The king and
the gentlemen present seemed much affected; and an order was given,
somewhat late it would seem, for the apprehension and punishment of the
assassin. Family interest, nevertheless, smothered up the inquiry, and
the criminal was not even imprisoned; but the mark of Cain was on him,
and the general odium that he had incurred soon compelled him to leave
the kingdom. It is a sort of satisfaction to know that he fell into
poverty, and was even at last reduced to the ignominious condition of
a pensioner on the bounty of the man whose life he had attempted. The
fact is not recorded in the poem, as it ought in poetical justice to
have been; but Cyrillo asserts that he had it from Vieira's own mouth,
in these words,--"He came at last to beg his bread from me, whom he had
outraged so cruelly."

Vieira, soon after his complaint to the king, being apprehensive of
further molestation from the family of his wife, placed her with some
of his own relations, and took sanctuary, for a while, in the convent
of the Paulistas; and there, in 1730 and 1731, he painted his famous
Hermits, as appropriate ornaments for the church of their patron, St
Paul the Eremite. In 1733, willing to live tranquil, says Cyrillo, he
resolved on a third visit to Rome, with the view of ending his days
there. Guarienti, the curator of the Dresden Gallery, who came to
Lisbon in 1733, and remained there till 1736, was personally acquainted
with Vieira, and asserts that his motive for expatriating himself was
disgust at an insult that had been put on him through the malice of his
rivals, by the removal of one of his works from the recently completed
pile of Mafra, and the substitution of a picture by an inferior artist.
He got no farther, however, than Madrid or Seville, (Cyrillo names the
latter city,) when he was recalled by his sovereign, who well knew
his value, and appeased him with honours and a fixed salary as Royal
Painter, exclusive of payment for works supplied by command.

Vieira Lusitano lived admired and honoured, to a venerable age,
eighty-four; and his constant heroine, the Lady Agnes, also reached a
good old age, and shared prosperity which could hardly have been real,
or of any value, without her. She died at Mafra in 1775, and from the
day of her death he never again touched a pencil. To the last, says
Cyrillo, he idolised her memory; and, no doubt, the strength of his
affection for her was the governing motive of his publication of their
strange history, five years after her decease, and but three before
his own. Both his own portrait and hers were often introduced into
his paintings. Many of his works perished in the earthquake, with
the temples and mansions they adorned. He particularises, as thus
destroyed, "his grand picture of the Martyrs--the inestimable portrait
of the first Patriarch of Lisbon, Don Thomas Almeida," (who figures as
an important influence, for and against him, in the narration of his
love adventure;) "the portraits of the Royal Children, and that sublime
idea," (the words are his own,) "the Meeting of the Blessed Mother with
her Son, after her assumption--the Death of Moses--Pluto and the Court
of Hell listening to the suit of Orpheus." He says he designed the
last-named performance as an allegorical plea for the restoration of
his wife, to whom the convent was a hell. In another composition, which
he calls "a stupendous work," and which was also demolished--Perseus
exhibiting the Gorgon's head to Phineus--he represented his own effigy
as that of the Greek hero, and the image of his cloistered wife, as a
winged Victory, hovering over him, and about to drop a laurel wreath on
his helm, &c.

But in spite of the earthquake in his own day, and the later _razzias_
of the French in their Pyrennean Algiers,--in spite, too, of civil
convulsions, spoliation of convents and convent churches, and all
the various causes of dispersion or wanton destruction of works of
art in this fair but unhappy land--there is a sufficient number left
of those by Vieira Lusitano to show, on better authority than his
poetical self-celebration, that he was in truth a fine artist, though
not quite a Gran Vasco. The dignity of his St Augustine, and the
elegance of his Madonna of the Rosary, both in the Academy of Art at
Lisbon, might be evidence enough to prove that the Italians made no
great mistake when they conferred a first-class medal on him in his
boyhood, nor when they elected him member of the Academy of St Luke
after his return, an unprotected emigrant, to Rome. St Augustine is
trampling on heresy, while an angel in the foreground burns a pile of
heretical writings. This is generally admired as the most powerful of
those works by F. Vieira that are in possession of his countrymen.
Count Raczynski prefers the other--a Virgin and Child,--in which the
infant Jesus stands on a pedestal, surrounded with figures excellently
grouped. It must be a fastidious taste that can look coldly upon
either. A St Antony in the Church of St Francisco de Paula bears
Vieira's signature, and the date 1763. It shows that his hand had
lost nothing of its cunning at the age of sixty-four. The Church of
St Roque and that of the Paulistas, and some other Lisbon churches,
contain important specimens of his skill. They are all more or less
remarkable, not only for correctness of drawing, and for breadth of
well-harmonised colouring, but for a peculiar grace of touch--a feeling
of the versifier and the lover--that seems never to have forsaken him
to the last. Even in the countenances of his hermits, the sanctity
of expression is heightened, not enfeebled, by a sentiment of human
tenderness and regret, as if the day-dreams of their youth in the world
were not utterly forgotten. M. Raczynski, though usually chary of
commendation in these latitudes--for his predilections are manifestly,
and perhaps naturally enough, far north,--has always a good word for
this artist, and now and then even grants him a down-feather from the
nest of the Black Eagle itself. "As to Vieira Lusitano," says the
Count, "he is truly a distinguished artist; and at the time in which he
lived we were very poor in Prussia: we were very far from possessing
a painter of his value. Wherever I meet with his works, I feel myself
attracted by the nature that he infuses into art."

The alphabetical table (which, by-the-by, sadly wants the revision of
an index-maker,) gives references to Vieira Lusitano, and Francisco
Vieira, as if the two designations did not belong to one and the same
person.

There _is_ a second Francisco Vieira, also a historical painter;
but, to distinguish him from his predecessor, he is called Vieira
Portuense--Vieira of Oporto, the place where he was born, 1765. In
1789 he went to Rome. After about two years' study there, he repaired
to Parma, where he was elected one of the directors of the Academy,
and gave lessons in drawing to a daughter of the Duke. In 1794 he
returned to Rome, where he staid three years more, and then proceeded
to Dresden. Few of his works are found in his native city. Mr Allen
possesses two or three. There is one at the house of the British
Association--Eleanor of Castille extracting the poison from the arm of
our Edward the First. The outline of the two figures is not ungraceful,
but the effect is tame. The queen looks more asleep than the king;
her lips do not touch the wound, yet are so close to it as to seem to
express that action. In this, as in most of this artist's productions,
the colouring is fluent but weak. Yet some of his church-pictures at
Lisbon, and one also of the few at Oporto--St Margaret on her deathbed
confessing to a Monk--are stamped with a holy fervour of intention, a
deep and unaffected sentiment of piety, that is strength in itself,
and not always to be found in religious paintings of higher name.
Of his lighter performances, a Cupid and Venus in a landscape, very
elegant, and not unworthy of Albani, was engraved at Lisbon by his
friend Bartolozzi. His life, it is said, was embittered by the malice
of Sequeira his rival. They went to Rome about the same time. Taborda,
Fusquini, and Cyrillo, their contemporaries, also studied at Rome. We
agree with M. Raczynski in his estimate of Sequeira, whose St Bruno
and other ambitious displays are so highly extolled by his countrymen.
He is a clever and disagreeable performer on canvass, except in some
few of his minor pictures, such as the Translation of St Francis. In
his large and finished works he strains at intenseness of effect, and
vulgarises his art. But his numerous sketches have quite a contrary
character. They appear to have cost him no trouble; and the best of
them, if always true to proportion, would be almost as valuable as
those of the elder Vieira, the Lusitanian, of which many, in red
crayon, are preserved in the library at Evora. As to Taborda, Fusquini,
and Cyrillo, and some other recent artists, we would say, to the
inquirer, "Go to the palace of Ajuda, and by their works you shall know
them! They are as precious there as flies in amber."

M. Raczynski's desultory notices touch on architecture, sculpture,
terra-cotta figures, glazed tiles, and many other things besides
painting--that portion of his inquiries to which we have of necessity
confined our remarks. Of the actual condition of this art in the city
of Ulysses, the Academy, instituted in 1780, presents, we fear, no very
hopeful indications, though it has many young students as well as many
old members. "Numerous are the persons," Count Raczynski observes,
"who are enthusiastic in their praise of the Arts in Portugal. But
with the honourable exceptions of the Duke of Palmella and the Count
de Farrobo, not one will expend a sous, not one will take any trouble
for their advancement. It is true, however, that in the actual position
of affairs, it would be no easy matter to know how to set about such
a service to the nation. _The country is in a state of revolution._
These few words explain all; and we have only to accuse modern
constitution-mongers, and the confusion of ideas and the disorderly
spirit that are the consequence of their machinations, here and in
Spain, for more than twenty years."

The worthy diplomatist from Prussia, when he wrote the last quoted
sentence, seems to have had no notion of the force of pestilent
doctrines that were at work on the other side of the Pyrenees, nor how
soon the revolutionary mania was to shake the Transmontane thrones, and
all but annihilate even his own master's.



SOUTHEY.[26]


So good, so estimable, so eminent a man as Southey--one whose moral
character was perhaps as near to perfection as it is given to humanity
to attain, and whose literary works, if not of the very highest order
of genius, fall short only when compared with those few which are of
the very highest--such a man as Southey, it was not likely we should
allow to pass from amongst the living without some tribute bestowed
upon his memory, or some attempt made, to appreciate the value of his
long and illustrious labours. We have been somewhat tardy, it maybe
thought, in fulfilling this duty. But we do not regret the delay. Our
topic is not one of an ephemeral nature, and the delay may perhaps have
instructed us in those points of view in which it is most needful that
our subject should be placed.

[26] _The Life and Correspondence of the late Robert Southey._ Edited
by his Son, the Reverend CHARLES CUTHBERT SOUTHEY.

There is nothing, for instance, so well known of Southey--if we may be
allowed to anticipate a little, and to plunge, like the epic poets, _in
medias res_--nothing so notorious as the change which his political
and social opinions underwent; the sentiments of his youth upon
government, and the organisation of society, being almost diametrically
opposed to those of his maturer years. The contrast is great between
the young republican, the ardent communist, the bold experimenter
in _Pantisocracy_, the author of the _Book of the Church_, and the
celebrated champion of Conservative principles in the _Quarterly
Review_. But often as the contrast has been held up to notice, the time
has only just arrived when it can be surveyed in the right spirit.
_The whole life_ of the man is now before us; and, contradictory as
the parts may have appeared as the long picture was slowly unrolled to
the eyes of contemporaries, it now becomes possible for us to see the
real coherence that existed between the several parts, and to trace
throughout their very inconsistencies a unity, and an honourable unity,
of character. The enthusiasm of the youth enables us to understand
whatever was peculiar in the maturer man. The earlier mind of Southey
throws light, we think, upon the later. It was the same mind, it was
the same man, young and old.

We learn from the biography before us, that the imagination of Southey
had been early and too exclusively developed; and whether from this
circumstance, or from natural temperament, a close, systematic,
scientific mode of reasoning was the mental quality or mental exercise
in which, throughout life, he least distinguished himself. His
affections were ardent and generous, his moral sentiments invariably
pure and noble, his piety unalterable; his judgment, wherever abstract
and general principles were to be dealt with, was, to the last, often
hasty, incomplete, vague, uncertain. But if his reasoning was never
that "dry light" of which Bacon speaks, it never, in his case, was
mingled with other passions or feelings than those which did honour
to his nature. Above all, there was throughout his career the utmost
sincerity in the expression of his opinion; no taint of hypocrisy, no
reserve, no timidity--a want sometimes of caution, never that prudence
which is the disguise of cowardice,--you had at all times the genuine
unaffected utterance of the man. He was not even the least apprehensive
of ridicule. He would have borne martyrdom before a host of jesters,
which some have thought to be not the lightest species of martyrdom. If
astrology had found favour in his sight, he would have expressed his
belief in it before the whole conclave of the Royal Society. Whatever
seemed truth to him, had its clear, manly, unhesitating avowal. Of an
ardent disposition, impatient of slow thinking or of long and intricate
reasoning, eager, confident, somewhat too self-relying, his was not
the mind peculiarly fitted for expounding abstract principles;--we
note no extraordinary deficiency in this respect, but we can easily
conceive of minds better trained and disciplined for the discovery of
great elementary truths;--but few men in our age and generation have
manifested a warmer or more generous attachment to whatever assumed
to them the shape of truth. For this he was ready to do battle to the
utmost. No crusader could be more valiant, or go forth with fuller
faith, or be more resolved at all hazards to drive out the infidel,
and take possession of the Holy City. His geography was once at fault,
or the territory and scene curiously shifted, and his Jerusalem was at
one time due west, and at another due east; but it was the same devoted
uncompromising knight that was seen marching towards it.

Those only who have never thought at all, or who have quite forgotten
their past efforts at thinking, will throw blame upon another because
the opinions of his his youth were different from those of his manhood.
Such difference is almost the necessary attendant upon progress and
mental development. The ardour and the candour of Southey's nature
made the difference in his case singularly conspicuous. He lived,
too, at that epoch when the French Revolution made and unmade so many
enthusiasts. This may be thought a sufficient vindication of his
memory. But there remains to add one very honourable distinction. Many
of those whom the French Revolution had made enthusiasts in the cause
of human progress, became cold and dead and utterly indifferent to
that cause--selfishly callous, or quite sceptical as to the _possible_
improvements which might be effected in society. Now, Southey changed
his opinion on many subjects, but he never deserted the cause of
human improvement. He would have promoted very different measures at
different periods, but he had the same cause always at heart. He never
sank into a cold and selfish indifference; nor was it a mere passive
conservatism that he ever advocated. His son has here very justly
pointed out that, as a writer in the _Quarterly Review_, in which
character he was thought to have consummated his apostasy, it was
_the renegade Southey_ who drew attention to the state of the poor,
who called on the Government for a scheme of national education, who
pointed out the folly of neglecting our great colonial possessions,
and the necessity of adopting some large and judicious plan of
emigration. Of the topics which occupy reflective and philanthropic
men at this moment, pauperism, national education, and emigration are
three of the most conspicuous; and in each of these Southey may claim
to have led the way, in drawing towards them that public attention
which they so eminently deserve. He is always alive to whatever seems
to him a feasible scheme for the improvement of society. If he goes
abroad, and visits the _Beguinages_ in Belgium, he thinks whether a
like institution might not be introduced into Protestant England, for
the benefit of a class of women, whether single or widowed, who with
difficulty find any active employment--who are not paupers, but whose
poverty condemns them to a cheerless, solitary existence. If Robert
Owen of Lanark comes across his path, no fear of having his own early
dream of Pantisocracy revived before him, of being reproached for an
old abandoned faith, (the constant terror of men who feel themselves
apostates,) prevents him from expressing the natural interest which
such a man, and the projects he _then_ had in view, naturally excited
within him. His _Colloquies_ may not earn him a reputation amongst
political economists; but no one will deny the philanthropic spirit
which they breathe. In his _Life of Wesley_, and all his religious or
theological publications, however devoted he may show himself to the
Church of England, he never fails to inquire how this great institution
may be made still more serviceable to the nation at large, and this,
too, by embracing within its pale those very sectaries towards whom he
was accused of having so bigoted and unfriendly a feeling.

Those of his opponents who, in the later part of his career, were
accustomed to represent Southey as the unscrupulous, drilled, formal
advocate of a party in Church and State, ready for his pension and his
pay, for court honours and the praise of bishops, to espouse its cause
to the utmost, never made a greater mistake in their lives. Innumerable
proofs are here before us in his letters, if we did not find them
in his works, that he retained to the last a certain bold, erratic,
independent manner of thinking, quite his own.

Always was he Robert Southey, and no representative of a party. At
one time of his life he contemplated the profession of the law, and
studied for the bar. What sort of lawyer he might have made, if he had
been able to give up his mind to the study, or what the practice of
Westminster Hall might have made of him, there is no saying; but there
was never any literary men, earning subsistence by his pen, who had
less of the spirit of the retained advocate. A self-willed, untamed,
quite individual manner of looking at things, is always breaking out.
If he had taken that seat in Parliament which, without any consultation
of his wishes, was so strangely bestowed upon him, he would, we are
persuaded, have greatly disappointed any party that might have relied
upon his steady and unswerving co-operation. He would often have
deserted them for the cross benches, and as often perplexed them by his
uncompromising zeal. No whipper-in would have been quite sure of him,
or kept him steady in the ranks. In that position where he was most
subject to restraint--as a writer in the _Quarterly_--it is amusing to
see how restive he is, how he rears and plunges at first starting, how
he chafes at that harness which each one in such a team must be content
to wear, though every steed were a veritable Pegasus, and Apollo
himself in the editorial car. He thinks "a sprinkling of my free and
fearless way of thinking would win friends" for the _Review_. "It is my
nature and my principle," he says, "to speak and write as earnestly,
as plainly, and as straight to the mark as I think and feel. If the
editor understands his own interest, he will not restrict me." We must
confess, judging by the ebullitions he sometimes gives vent to in these
letters, that the most indulgent editor must have been occasionally
called upon to "restrict" a certain impetuosity of manner, which, it
may be observed, would have embarrassed Mr Gifford almost as much as it
would have done Mr Jeffrey.

But from this somewhat rash incursion into the very centre of our
subject, it would be wise--since we are not, in fact, epic poets--to
effect a timely retreat; let us recommence, after the more legitimate
manner of prosaic reviewers, with some account of the work immediately
before us.

_The Life and Correspondence of Dr Southey_, which is here presented
to the public, answers fairly to the description which the author, or
editor, himself gives of it in his preface. A number of letters are
arranged according to their dates, and are connected together with just
such intimations of a biographical nature as enable them to tell their
own story. The life of Southey, meaning thereby a skilful narrative and
analysis of incident and character, remains, of course, to be written;
and a very interesting work it will prove, if it falls into fortunate
hands. Meanwhile, this collection of letters, many of them delightful
compositions, and perfect models of epistolary style, gives us such an
insight into, and appreciation of the man Southey, as was previously
impossible to any one who did not know him personally and intimately.
The editor has performed his part in a very creditable and judicious
manner. It would have been very difficult for the son to conduct a
rigid and impartial scrutiny into the literary merits of the father,
and he has not attempted it; but it would have been the easiest thing
in the world for that son, or for any other editor, to have spoilt
such a work as this by intrusive panegyric, by constant controversy
with old and hostile criticisms, by perpetual contest for place and
pre-eminence for his biographical idol. The mere vanity of authorship,
or an officious spirit, might have given a repulsive air to what is now
a most agreeable book. There are cases, and this is one of them, where,
considering the temptations that beset an editor, the absence of cause
for censure becomes no slight ground of commendation.

The letters of Southey are preceded by the fragment of an
autobiography. Would it were more than a fragment! The author, we are
told, had looked forward to this task as one of a very agreeable
nature; and, so far as he proceeded with it, appears to have found
it such; for he revels in the reminiscences of childhood and his
school-days, and describes the old house in Bristol in which he lived
when a boy, with a loving minuteness that is in danger of outrunning
the interest which any one but himself could feel in such a locality.
But even before his school-days are quite over, he drops the pen. To
one who had so much necessary employment for that pen, a supererogatory
labour of this description ought to be very attractive, and apparently
he found in his task, as he advanced, increasing difficulties and
decreasing pleasure.

The reminiscences of childhood, of boyhood, and even of the first
entrance into youth, have to almost all men an indescribable charm. Up
to this time, we look back upon ourselves with a curious feeling, as
if it were not altogether ourselves we were contemplating, but rather
some _other being_ who preceded us, and whose thoughts and feelings
are the sole remembrance of them we have inherited. We look back upon
the frailties of that other self with an unlimited indulgence; we
smile at his errors, at his passions, at his griefs; we even sport
with his absurdities, and can afford to throw a playful ridicule over
all the follies he committed. This child that we are playing with is
ourself, but still it is only a child; and we have the fuller right
to play with it because it is ourself. No sense of responsibility
intervenes to disturb this singular amusement, where the adult is seen
toying with and holding in his arms the image of his own infancy. But
when this early pre-existent state has passed in review, and the real
man is summoned forth upon the scene, we begin to feel that this is
indeed ourselves; and we become too implicated and too much involved
in the part he performs, to enjoy any longer the position of an
imaginary spectator. We are sensitive to the errors, and responsible
for the faults, of this other self; we cannot treat him with cavalier
indifference; we must be his advocate or his censor. The retrospect
assumes a quite different character. Formerly we called up a departed
self from some half-fabulous region of the past, and questioned it
as to its ways of thinking and acting; we now stand ourselves in
the witness-box, and give our testimony; and the best of us must
occasionally assume the sullen aspect of an unwilling witness. Formerly
we sported with the past absurdity, ridiculed and laughed at it; but
now the remembered folly, the sentimental effusion of the youth, the
absurd oratorical display, the ridiculous exhibition, of whatever kind
it may have been, affords us no amusement. It matters not what the
distance of time, the cheek tingles with the reminiscence. What is
still more to the purpose, the griefs and afflictions which we have now
to summon up are the same in character as those we continue to feel,
and their recollection is but a renewal of suffering. The affliction of
the child rarely revives an affliction in the man--very often calls up
a smile at the idea that so much distress had been felt at so trivial a
cause. This is one reason why childhood appears, in our review of human
life, so much happier than any other portion of it. We find a mirth in
its remembered tears which assuredly we never discovered when they were
flowing. But the remembrance of the sorrows of a later period is but
sorrow itself, and we only taste again the bitterness of grief.

To Southey, whose disposition rendered him peculiarly susceptible to
those domestic losses which death occasions, this last appears to have
been one chief reason for the distaste he felt for his task as he
proceeded in it. Certainly it soon lost its zest. During the early and
playful portions of the biography, he holds on his way with alacrity
and delight; he ransacks his memory, and brings out with great glee
whatever odd and strange things he finds there; but the Westminster
boy has not run his career before the theme has changed its aspect. At
all events, it has no longer sufficient interest _to make_ a time and
leisure for itself amongst the crowded occupations of the author.

In the record of his childhood which Southey has given us, we have
no reason, as we have intimated, to complain of the want of detail.
Indeed, some circumstances are related which at first we thought
might as well have been passed over in silence. It appeared to us
that everything which a person can possibly recollect of his own
childhood, cannot be interesting to others, although every such effort
of recollection may be extremely amusing to the reminiscent himself;
and we were prepared to read a lecture to all future autobiographers,
and to remind them that they must distinguish between the pleasure
of memory, of rescuing the half-forgotten incident from threatened
oblivion--a pleasure which must be exclusively their own--and the
value which the rescued fact itself may possess in the estimation of
the world at large. But while we were preparing this lecture, a little
incident occurred which gave us a lesson ourselves, and induced us to
withhold this part of our criticism. Such details as we have alluded
to, not only give pleasure to the reminiscent, but occasion exactly
the same pleasure to those in whom they call up similar recollections;
and we had overlooked the extreme difficulty the critic, or any one
reader, must have in determining which of such details is absolutely
without this species of interest for other readers. What seems to
him as really "too absurd" to be worth mentioning, may awaken vivid
emotions in another in whom it calls up a similar remembrance from
the all-but-forgotten past: _he_ shares in the very pleasure of the
original reminiscent. Whilst we were perusing this autobiography, and
our pencil was straying down the margin of a passage we intended to
quote as an example of a quite superfluous effort of recollection, a
friend called in upon us. We read to him this identical passage. To our
astonishment, it had thrown him into a perfect ecstasy of delight. It
had recalled an image of his schoolboy days which had never once been
revived since he left school, and which he was certain would never
again have occurred to him but for the paragraph we had read. Here is
the passage:--

    "One very odd amusement, which I never saw or heard of
    elsewhere, was greatly in vogue at this school. It was
    performed with snail shells, by placing them against each
    other, point to point, and pressing till the one was broken in,
    or sometimes both. This was called conquering; and the shell
    that remained unhurt, acquired esteem and value in proportion
    to the number over which it had triumphed, an accurate account
    being kept. A great conqueror was prodigiously prized and
    coveted--so much so indeed, that two of this description
    would seldom have been brought to contest the palm, if both
    possessors had not been goaded to it by reproaches and taunts.
    The victor had the number of its opponent's triumphs added to
    its own; thus, when one conqueror of fifty conquered another
    which had been as often victorious, it became conqueror of an
    hundred and one. Yet, even in this, reputation was sometimes
    obtained upon false pretences. I found a boy one day who had
    fallen in with a great number of young snails, so recently
    hatched that the shells were still transparent, and he was
    besmearing his fingers by crushing these poor creatures one
    after another against his conqueror, counting away with the
    greatest satisfaction at his work. He was a good-natured boy,
    so that I, who had been bred up to have a sense of humanity,
    ventured to express some compassion for the snails, and to
    suggest that he might as well count them and lay them aside
    unhurt. He hesitated, and seemed inclined to assent, till it
    struck him as a point of honour, or of conscience, and then
    he resolutely said, No! that would not do, for he could not
    then fairly say he had conquered them. There is a surprising
    difference of strength in these shells, and that not depending
    on the size or species; I mean whether yellow, brown, or
    striped. It might partly be estimated by the appearance of the
    point or top, (I do not know what better term to use;) the
    strong ones were usually clear and glossy there, and white if
    the shell were of the large, coarse, mottled brown kind. The
    top was then said to be petrified; and a good conqueror of
    this description would triumph for weeks or months. I remember
    that one of the greatest heroes bore evident marks of having
    once been conquered. It had been thrown away on some lucky
    situation, where the poor tenant had leisure to repair his
    habitation, or rather where the restorative power of nature
    repaired it for him, and the wall was thus made stronger than
    it had been before the breach, by an arch of new masonry below.
    But in general I should think the resisting power of the shell
    depended upon the geometrical nicety of form."--(Vol. i. p. 55.)

This odd amusement, it seems, was not monopolised by young Southey's
school. "Oh, I remember it well!" cried my enraptured auditor. "Yes,
conqueror was the word. But Southey is wrong! It was the _empty_ shell
only that we used. How distinctly I remember it!--and it must be thirty
years ago--and never once till this moment have I thought of it since.
How strange a thing is memory! You hold the shell, you see, between
your forefinger and thumb, the forefinger being bent to receive it.
Your adversary did the like with his shell. Then you applied the boss
of your little shield to the boss of his--quite fairly, you understand,
boss to boss, otherwise the strongest part of one shell would come
in contact with the weaker part of the other. Silently, but with all
your might, you pressed them together. The one which broke through
its antagonist's was, of course, the conqueror. But Southey is wrong!
It was only the empty shell we used. Consider, if the animal was
there--what a horrible mess!"

We ventured to suggest to our friend, as soon as his impetuosity
permitted us, that Southey was describing _his_ school, and no other
school whatever; and as to the horrible mess which boys might delight
in, it would be difficult to say, in such a matter, what would pass the
bounds of credibility.

After this unintentional experiment, we gave up all idea of determining
what might or might not be interesting amongst details of such a
description. If this story of the snail-shells found its ardent
admirer or sympathiser, what other could possibly be pronounced to
be superfluous? or down the margin of what other passage could our
critical and expurgatorial pencil have safely strayed? To as little
purpose, we apprehend, should we undertake to examine such stories on
the grave historic ground of their perfect credibility. When "Uncle
William," who is half an idiot, plays a trick upon the servant Thomas,
and substitutes a dead mouse for his quid of tobacco, the thought
did occur to us, that although a mouse is a very small animal, it
would surely make an enormous quid--altogether a most extraordinary
substitute for a quid--and that the servant Thomas must have been the
greatest idiot of the two to have been deceived by it. But such carping
criticism, we repeat, would be altogether out of place; and this
fragment of autobiography is really too amusing to excite any other
feeling than that of regret at its sudden termination.

We learn from it that Southey was born on the 12th August 1774. His
father was a linendraper at Bristol, and by no means prosperous in his
calling. He passed his childhood, however, for the most part under the
roof of a maiden aunt, Miss Tyler, who resided at Bath. To this house
at Bath we must, therefore, betake ourselves, if we would learn the
circumstances which assisted in forming the mind of the future poet
and historian. To be born the son of a linendraper we hold to be no
evil; but to have been bred up in the shop at Bristol would have been
to Southey a real calamity. From this he was spared. The linendraper's
shop may figure on his shield, if the malicious herald is disposed to
place it there; it had nothing to do with his head, or his heart, or
his manners; he was bred a gentleman. Moreover, he had exactly that
sort of breeding which is calculated to foster the imagination, and
develop whatever there was of poetry within him. Miss Tyler had two
passions--one for order and cleanliness, the other for the theatre. She
had, too, a free admission; and young Southey, at an age when other
little boys are fain to content themselves with turning over the leaves
of the great picture-book, was seated, night after night, in the front
row of the boxes, a delighted spectator of the performances of one of
the best companies in England. His first library--and this he possessed
as soon as he could read--was a whole set, more than twenty in number,
"of Mr Newbury's fairy tales, or other wonderful stories; delectable
histories in sixpenny books for children, splendidly bound in flowered
and gilt Dutch paper, of former days." This library, and free admission
to the theatre, and, for the rest, much idleness, few companions, and
a world of dreams,--such is the opening scene of Southey's mental
history.

"I had seen more plays before I was seven years old," he says, "than I
have seen since I was twenty." Miss Tyler, it seems, was living at one
time with some ladies whose property was vested in the theatre. From
their house--

    "A covered passage led to the play-house, and they very rarely
    missed a night's performance. I was too old to be put to bed
    before the performance began, and it was better that I should
    be taken than left with the servants; therefore I was always
    of the party; and it is impossible to describe the thorough
    delight which I received from this habitual indulgence. No
    after-enjoyment could equal or approach it; I was sensible
    of no defects either in the dramas or in the representation;
    better acting, indeed, could nowhere have been found: Mrs
    Siddons was the heroine; Dimond and Murray would have done
    credit to any stage; and among the comic actors were Edwin and
    Blanchard--and Blisset, who, though never known to a London
    audience, was, of all comic actors whom I have seen, the most
    perfect. But I was happily insensible to that difference
    between good and bad acting, which in riper years takes off so
    much from the pleasure of dramatic representation; everything
    answered the height of my expectations and desires. And I saw
    it in perfect comfort, in a small theatre, from the front row
    of a box, not too far from the centre. The Bath theatre was
    said to be the most comfortable in England; and no expense was
    spared in the scenery and decorations."--(Vol. i. p. 71.)

Frequenting the theatre soon introduced him to far other literature
than Mr Newbury's publications. Shakespere was in his hands, he
says, as soon as he could read. He went through Beaumont and Fletcher
before he was eight years old. What hosts of plays beside he may have
devoured, it was probably beyond his power to recall. And he early
began to imitate what he read. In one passage he leaves us to gather
that his first attempts at _poetry_ were so early, that they went
beyond the time of memory.

Miss Tyler had all along intended to give her _protegé_ a systematic
education, and for this purpose she had purchased a translation of
Rousseau's _Emilius_. The systematic education, however, was never
commenced. In 1782 he was placed--for what reason we are not told--as
a day-boarder in a school at Bristol. He then necessarily resided with
his father. Two years after, Miss Tyler herself removed to Bristol,
and again received her nephew. But in this interval of two years, the
holidays were always spent with his aunt, wherever she might be. It was
in these holidays that his real education was carried on.

At home he was on very short allowance of books. His father read
nothing but the _Bristol Journal_. A small glass cupboard in the
back parlour, fastened up against the wall, was sufficient to hold
the wine-glasses and all the library. But in the holidays he gets
back again to Bath, and to Bull's circulating library. He meets, at
his aunt's, people who talk about authors--even sees an author or
two--learns that they are greater personages even than the players. In
one of these holidays a lady gives him a copy of Hoole's translation of
the _Jerusalem Delivered_. This led him into a new course of poetical
reading; it converted the budding dramatist into an epic poet. The
_Tasso_ introduced him to the translation of the _Orlando Furioso_, and
this to Spenser's _Fairy Queen_. How he read, how he revelled in these
books!

    "The copy of Hoole's version (of Tasso) which Mrs Dolignon
    sent me, is now," he says, "in my sight upon the shelf, and
    in excellent preservation, considering that when a schoolboy
    I perused it so often that I had no small portion of it by
    heart. Forty years have tarnished the gilding upon its back,
    but they have not effaced my remembrance of the joy with which
    I received it, and the delight which I found in its repeated
    perusal.... Hoole, in his notes, frequently referred to the
    _Orlando Furioso_. I saw some volumes thus lettered, on Bull's
    counter, and my heart leaped for joy. They proved to be the
    original; but the shopman, Mr Cruett, (a most obliging man he
    was,) immediately put the translation into my hands; and I do
    not think any accession of fortune could now give me so much
    delight as I then derived from that vile version of Hoole's.
    There, in the notes, I first saw the name of Spenser, and some
    stanzas of the _Fairy Queen_. Accordingly, when I returned
    the last volume, I asked if that work was in the library. My
    friend Cruett replied that they had it, but it was written in
    old English, and I should not be able to understand it. This
    did not appear to me so much a necessary consequence as he
    supposed, and I therefore requested he would let me look at it.
    It was the quarto edition of '17, in three volumes, with large
    prints folded in the middle, equally worthless (like all the
    prints of that age) in design and execution. There was nothing
    in the language to impede, for the ear set me right where the
    uncouth spelling (orthography it cannot be called) might have
    puzzled the eye; and the few words which are really obsolete
    were sufficiently explained by the context. No young lady of
    the present generation falls to a new novel of Sir Walter
    Scott's with keener relish than I did that morning to the
    _Fairy Queen_."--(Vol. i. p. 83.)

He had commenced poet, as we have said, at an earlier age than he
can call to mind, so that his first rhymes are utterly lost in the
oblivion of childhood. He can only remember that this discovery that
he could rhyme gave him great pleasure, and that his mother seemed
equally gratified, and still more proud of the achievement. When in
the habit of reading and witnessing so many plays, he of course wrote
dramas. His first subject was "The Continence of Scipio!" Now that
Tasso and Ariosto were his great delight, he commenced the epic or the
metrical romance. He would graft a story upon the _Orlando Furioso_.
_Arcadia_ should be the scene and give the title to the poem. There he
would bring the Moors, and there should his hero Astolfo, riding on a
Hippogriff, &c. &c. This must have been, he says, when he was between
nine and ten, for some verses of it were written on the covers of his
_Phædrus_. They were in the heroic couplet.

It is curious to notice that, although writing heroic couplets on the
covers of his _Phædrus_, his first task in prose composition was
accomplished with extreme difficulty. The master, Mr Williams, would
sometimes tell the boys to write a letter upon any subject that they
pleased. Nothing had ever perplexed our young poet so much as this
task. He actually cried for perplexity and vexation. At last he set
to work. A _Salisbury Guide_ had fallen in his way; he wrote a long
description of Stonehenge, and his master was not less surprised than
delighted with it. He himself was unconscious of having done anything
extraordinary, till the envy of his schoolfellows made him aware that
he had surpassed them all. On coming to school next morning, some
half-dozen of them beset him, and demanded "whether he, with all his
learning, could tell what the letters _i. e._ stood for? You have
written a description of Stonehenge, now tell us what _i. e._ stands
for." Southey dashed at an answer, "John the Evangelist, I suppose."
They shouted with triumph.

In after years, when Southey had written _Don Roderick_, there were
many pedants disposed to ask him what _i. e._ stands for.

But now his maternal uncle, the Reverend Herbert Hill, always his
kind friend and benefactor, determines to send the intelligent lad to
Westminster school, and then to the University of Oxford. By way of
preparation, he is removed from Mr Williams' academy, and placed under
the care and tuition of a clergyman. We have not traced him through the
various schools he attended--it would be waste of time; we have seen
what was the real process of his education. Here, also, according to
his own account, the progress of his mind was very little connected
with the formal tuition he received.

    "I do not remember," he says, "in any part of my life, to
    have been so conscious of intellectual improvement as I was
    during the year and a half before I was placed at Westminster;
    an improvement derived not from books or instruction, _but
    from constantly exercising myself in English verse_; and from
    the development of mind which that exercise produced, I can
    distinctly trace my progress by help of a list, made thirty
    years ago, of all my compositions in verse, which were then in
    existence, or which I had at that time destroyed."--(Vol. i. p.
    117).

Before entering Westminster, our autobiographer takes a retrospective
glance at his home in Bristol, and gives a most graphic description of
his aunt, Miss Tyler. That lady has earned an immortality which she
little dreamt of, and would have hardly coveted. Already every English
reader knows Miss Tyler. She will live for ever as a type of that class
of ladies, whether spinsters or married, who let their love of order
and cleanliness grow into a disease--ladies who keep the best rooms in
their house in such a superstitious neatness, that they are no longer
habitable. The disorder usually drives people from their pleasant and
spacious drawing-room into close back-parlours, deserving of a visit
from the Sanitary Commission. In the case of Miss Tyler, it drove her
from the parlour to the kitchen, from the best kitchen into what should
have been the scullery. We hope those ladies in whom the disease has
not yet attained such a height may take warning by the terrible example
of Miss Tyler. For the rest, she was a woman of violent temper, and of
a proud imperious disposition.

Of course, in a house kept with so much neatness as Miss Tyler's, _no
other boy_ was likely to be admitted; no other specimen of that race
whose shoes no quantity of mats or matting could have rendered clean,
or afforded sufficient protection against; and who might have even
placed his corduroys on the lady's own chair--an offence which, we are
assured, would have excited the highest indignation. Young Southey,
therefore, had few playmates. _Shad_, a handy lad, kept for all manner
of garden or out-of-door work, was his chief companion. He might well
say that "few boys were ever less qualified for the discipline of a
public school." He had, however, an elastic and buoyant spirit, which,
notwithstanding this unsuitable preparation for such a scene, enabled
him to meet the trials and the turmoil of Westminster school. It was
on the 1st April 1788 that he entered there. A rough apprenticeship
to life it seems to have been. One boy holds our epic poet out of
window by the leg, to the manifest peril of his skull. Another appoints
him, "by the law of fist," to write all his Latin exercises, with the
special injunction that they shall be always "bad enough" to pass
muster as the composition of the bully and the dunce. We suppose all
this has been reformed since Southey's time, and that the following
picture is curious only as a record of the past. In this "interior" the
Westminster scholars look very much like a buccaneer's crew:--

    "Our boarding-house was under the tyranny of W. F----. He
    was, in Westminster language, a great beast; that is, in
    plain truth, a great brute--as great a one as ever went upon
    two legs. But there are two sorts of human brutes; those who
    partake of wolf nature, or of pig nature; and F---- was of the
    better breed, if it be better to be wolfish than swinish. He
    would have made a good prize fighter, a good buccaneer, or,
    in the days of Coeur de Lion, or of my Cid, a good knight,
    to have cut down the misbelievers with a strong arm and a
    hearty good will. Everybody feared and hated him; and yet it
    was universally felt that he saved the house from the tyranny
    of a greater beast than himself. This was a fellow by name
    B----, who was mean and malicious, which F---- was not: I do
    not know what became of him; his name has not appeared in the
    _Tyburn Calendar_, which was the only place to look for it; and
    if he has been hanged, it must have been under an _alias_--an
    observation which is frequently made, when he is spoken of by
    his schoolfellows. He and F---- were of an age and standing,
    the giants of the house; but F---- was the braver, and did us
    the good office of keeping him in order. They hated each other
    cordially, and the evening before we were rid of 'Butcher
    B----,' F---- gave the whole house the great satisfaction of
    giving him a good thrashing."--(Vol. i. p. 150.)

Then follow some other and more amusing accounts of his schoolfellows,
and of their after position and fortunes in the world, and the fragment
concludes. It does not even relate the history of his expulsion from
Westminster--apparently a very severe punishment for the offence he
had committed. The boys had set up a paper called _The Flagellant_.
In one of the numbers, which Southey had written, the subject of
corporal punishment was handled in a manner which by no means pleased
the headmaster; and for this offence he was, as is here expressed,
privately expelled. The first appearance in print of our voluminous
author was not fortunate.

With this event, therefore, Mr Cuthbert Southey commences the slight
thread of biography on which these letters are strung. How far this
expulsion from Westminster, by exasperating the mind of our young
author, tended to foster a certain democratic and rebellious mode of
thinking, we have no accurate means of judging; we can only guess that
it would have some such tendency. He was now to proceed to Oxford; but
the expelled of Westminster was rejected at Christ Church, in which
college his uncle had particularly wished him to enter. He found refuge
at Balliol, where he was admitted Nov. 3, 1792.

We have lost our guide, and the only guide that could have traced for
us the course of his reading and the progress of his mind. Southey
now somewhat abruptly appears before us as the ardent republican, and
something verging on the communist. We left him with Tasso and the
_Fairy Queen_, inditing or planning innumerable epics. We find him
writing _Wat Tyler_, that poem whose singular history we shall have, by
and by, to allude to. From intimations scattered through these letters,
we learn that he had dieted rather freely upon Rousseau; that he had
"corrected" this diet by a course of Godwin; and that with Godwin he
had united Epictetus and Stoic morality. As aunt Tyler had purchased a
translation of Rousseau's _Emilie_ in order to educate her pupil, it
is probable that he had heard of the philosopher of Geneva at a very
early period. Perhaps it was the _Contrat Social_ that first received
him when he stepped from poetry to philosophy. At all events, the
captivating ideas of perfect liberty and equality, which are there set
forth, had taken full possession of his youthful mind.

At college his industry was still of the same vagrant self-directed
description that it had hitherto been. He read much, but he did not
distinguish himself in the special studies of the place, nor desired to
do so. Now his uncle, the Rev. H. Hill, had designed that his nephew
should enter the Church, where only he had the means of assisting his
future advancement in life. When Southey first came to Oxford, he
contemplated this as his future destination, though probably with no
very good will. But it is quite evident that his course of reading and
thinking has not been fitting him for the Church; and we are not at all
surprised to find that this disinclination to take holy orders amounts
at length to a decided and unconquerable repugnance. We might be rather
surprised to find, as we do, that, throughout this era of the reign of
liberty and equality, he retains his fervent and deep-rooted sentiments
of piety. What exactly his theological creed had become, we have no
distinct evidence before us: probably it was unsettled enough. But it
is quite remarkable how strong a faith he has, throughout the whole of
his career, in the great fundamental doctrine of religion--a future
state of existence. It is no mere doctrinal belief, no dim and shadowy
foreboding; it was such a belief as a European has in the existence of
the continent of America. No emigrant can have a stronger conviction
that he shall reach the new country he has embarked for, or that he
shall meet such of his friends as have preceded him on the same voyage,
than Southey has in that future world to which we are sailing over the
ocean of time.

Mr Cuthbert Southey very wisely refrains from speaking decidedly upon
his father's religious opinions. He leaves the impression on our mind
that, according to his view, the Unitarian heresy was the utmost limit
of his divergence from the orthodox standard. We doubt if Southey, at
this time, had formed any doctrinal system full and precise enough to
be classed under the name of Unitarianism. However that may be, it
was impossible for him, with his relaxed creed, and his high sense of
moral rectitude, to think of entering the Church. Such unhappily being
the state of his opinions, he very properly abandoned all idea of
taking orders. At a subsequent period of his life, we may remark that
his repugnance to subscribe the articles of the Church of England may
very fairly be attributed far more to the moral feelings than to the
religious opinions of the man, far more to an extreme scrupulosity and
the reluctance to fetter himself, than to any absolute heresy. This
we may have an opportunity of showing as we advance farther in the
correspondence.

But the Church being resigned, it was necessary to look out for some
other career. He thinks of physic, and studies anatomy for a short
time, but the dissecting-room disgusts him. He thinks, as doubtless
many others have thought, and are thinking still, that some official
appointment which would occupy his mornings with business, and leave
his evenings for philosophy and poetry, would be a very suitable
position, and he writes to his friend Bedford for his advice and
interest in the matter. His friend bids him reflect whether he, with
his burning republicanism, was exactly the person most likely to obtain
the much sought for patronage of Government. At last he thinks of
emigration. Rousseau and Coleridge convert the scheme of emigration
into the project of _Pantisocracy_. Here is the provision for life,
and liberty, and equality. The scheme is perfect. It will be house and
home--it will be philosophy put in action.

The letters of Southey are not at this time the interesting
compositions which some may have expected to find them; neither do
they give us much insight into the details of this great scheme
(though tried on a small scale) of a community of goods. The earlier
letters--say those which, immediately succeeding the autobiography,
occupy the remaining part of the first volume of the work--are indeed
anything but pleasing or agreeable. The editor himself speaks of them
in the following manner: "His letters, which at this time seem to have
been exercises in composition, give evidence of his industry, and
at the same time indicate a mind imbued with heathen philosophy and
Grecian republicanism. They are written often in a style of inflated
declamation, which, as we shall see, before many years had passed,
subsided into a more natural and tranquil tone under the influence of
his matured taste." They are the letters of a clever confident youth,
and quite as disagreeable as such effusions usually are; full of
flippant absurd judgments on men and things, varied with that affected
self-disparagement which never fails to form a conspicuous part of
such compositions. Their writers are profound philosophers at one
moment, and rail at philosophy the next; full of their future fame,
yet despising the only occupation that they love. "I am ready," says
Southey, "to quarrel with my friends for not making me a carpenter, and
with myself for devoting myself to pursuits certainly unimportant, and
of no real utility either to myself or to others." One gets nothing
from letters of this description. Our account of Pantisocracy we must
take from the words of the editor himself:--

    "We have seen," he says, "that in one or two of his early
    letters my father speaks of emigration to America as having
    entered his mind; and the failure of the plans I have just
    mentioned now caused him to turn his thoughts more decidedly
    in that direction; and the result was a scheme of emigration,
    to which those who conceived it gave the euphonious name of
    'Pantisocracy.' This idea, it appears, was first originated by
    Mr Coleridge and one or two of his friends; and he mentioned it
    to my father, on becoming acquainted with him at Oxford. Their
    plan was to collect as many brother adventurers as they could,
    and to establish a community in the New World upon the most
    thoroughly social basis. Land was to be purchased with their
    common contributions, and to be cultivated by their common
    labour. Each was to have his portion of work assigned him; and
    they calculated that a large part of their time would still
    remain for social converse and literary pursuits. The females
    of the party--for all were to be married men--were to cook, and
    perform all domestic affairs; and having even gone so far as to
    plan the architecture of their cottages, and the form of their
    settlement, they had pictured as pleasant a Utopia as ever
    entered an ardent mind."--(P. 211.)

We nowhere gather what provision was made for any other branch of
industry than the agricultural. Was each man to be his own tailor,
shoemaker, carpenter, &c.? Or was each Pantisocrat to train himself
for one special art, to be practised for the benefit of the whole?
Or were they to export raw produce, or poetry, the results of their
much literary leisure, and so obtain from the old civilised countries
the necessary articles for a commodious life? If the last was their
plan, their colony, by still being dependent upon other countries,
would lose its character as a complete experiment of a new social
organisation. The projectors seem to have thought of nothing beyond
the cultivation of the soil, (if they had even studied this,) and the
building or the architecture of their cottages. Never surely was such a
scheme of colonisation devised. Amongst the whole number of emigrants,
there were only two who, apparently, had ever handled anything but
books. _Shad_, the servant lad, and one "Heath an apothecary!" They
were all students, poets, or scholars; if they had ever reached the
banks of the Susquehanna, they would have found, on unpacking their
boxes, that they had all brought nothing but books.

Southey having had some notions of emigrating before he became a
Pantisocrat, is heard now and then to talk about the price of "blue
trousers and cloth jackets;" but Coleridge had a fixed idea, that all
was to be done--at least all his part was to be done--by irresistible
force of argument. "Pantisocracy!" he exclaims, in a letter which is
here quoted; "Oh! I shall have such a scheme of it! My head, my heart,
are all alive. _I have drawn up my arguments in battle array._" His
head and his heart! As to what _hands_ could do, that was to be left
to others. He, on the banks of the Susquehanna, would still draw up
arguments in battle array. "Up I rose," he says a little further on,
speaking of one who had ventured to laugh at their project, "up I
rose terrible in reasoning!" We can well believe it; and if terrible
reasoning would have founded a colony, he would have been the most
successful of emigrants. But it is palpable that in no other way, and
by no other labour, would he have assisted the new settlement. Yet when
Southey, coming to his senses, relinquished the scheme, Coleridge was
grievously offended. He might well, indeed, be the last to resign the
project. He would have gloriously defended the little band of zealots
to the latest hour of their departure; he would have stood upon the
beach, and protected their retreat from every logical assailant; he
would have seen the last man safely on board; and still he would have
stood, and reasoned, till the vessel was out of sight; then would he
have returned home, and triumphed in the great Pantisocratic settlement
he had founded in America!

Very absurd, indeed, was this scheme--very like what children plan
after reading _Robinson Crusoe_. But we must observe, that there was
nothing in it worse than its folly. There was no moral obliquity. If
these enthusiasts formed a perilous scheme, they took upon themselves
the whole of the peril. In these days, when bold theories of social
organisation are more rife than ever, it may be well to remark, that
this is the only honest way to put such theories to the test of
experiment. It is not fair of the speculative man to sit at home,
secure of the enjoyments which the present order of things procures
for him, and, from his library-table and his easy-chair, to promulgate
doctrines that may be preparing the way for future revolutions of
the most disastrous description. Unless he is _quite sure_ of his
speculations, such an act is of the nature of a crime. But to go forth,
as Southey and Coleridge, and the rest of the fraternal band intended,
to the banks of the Susquehanna, and there, unaided and uninterrupted,
reduce into practice their own theories, this would be of the nature of
heroism. Now, if there are a certain number of thinking intelligent men
and women, who have a firm faith in the possibility of a communistic
organisation of society, we should much like them to make the
experiment in the manner these Pantisocrats designed, but, of course,
with vastly better preparations for their undertaking. This would be
fair; and the experiment, though it failed, would not be without good
result. Let a certain number of such educated men and women, willing
and able to work with their hands, as well as with their brains, each
one previously trained to some necessary or useful handicraft, club
their fortunes together. Let them purchase a track of land on the banks
of the Mississippi, or wherever they think fit, and then go forth with
all the necessary implements of agriculture and manufacture, and the
requisite skill to use them, and abundant store of provision, and
there let them put to shame, by their brilliant example of equality
and fraternity, the old civilisation of mankind, founded hitherto on
the law of individual property and self-reliance. Who would not wish
them success? Even those who would prophesy nothing but failure for the
experiment, would admire the courage and good faith of those who made
it. There are few of us who would not like such an experiment to be
made--by others--always presuming, that the worst result to those who
embarked in it would be the blundering commencement of a new colony,
which would soon mould itself on the pattern of the old societies of
Europe.

But to return to the course of our biography. This visionary project,
while it lasted, was not without its real results on the career and
fortunes of Southey. Funds were to be raised, and _therefore_ a poem
was to be written. He composed with redoubled zeal his _Joan of Arc_,
his first epic, and the first performance which rendered him famous
in the world. It was not, however, published till after the vision of
Pantisocracy had vanished into thin air. The history of its publication
is well known, and how Joseph Cottle, who generously purchased the
copyright, has for ever linked his name with those of Southey and
Coleridge, by this and other good services rendered to the young poets,
when as yet the world knew nothing of their greatness.

The next result of his project was of a more serious description. All
the Pantisocrats were to be married. Whether, in Southey's case, a
previous attachment was thus suddenly matured into a formal engagement,
or whether he had been engaged to Miss Fricker even before this notable
scheme had been set on foot, we nowhere learn. Nothing is said of the
early love of the young poet--how it rose and grew and flourished.
This momentous chapter of his life is summed up in the following brief
sentence. It was all, we suppose, that the son knew of the matter.

    "In the course of this month, (August 1794,) Mr Coleridge
    having returned from his excursion in Wales, came to Bristol;
    and my father, who was then at Bath, having gone over to meet
    him, introduced him to Robert Lovell, (a Pantisocrat,) through
    whom, it appears, they both, at this time, became known to Mr
    Cottle; and here also Mr Coleridge first became acquainted
    with his future wife, Sarah Fricker, the eldest of the three
    sisters, one of whom was married to Robert Lovell, _the other
    having been engaged for some time to my father_. They were
    the daughters of Stephen Fricker, who had carried on a large
    manufactory of sugar pans or moulds at Westbury, near Bristol,
    and who, having fallen into difficulties in consequence of the
    stoppage of trade by the American war, had lately died, leaving
    his widow and six children wholly unprovided for."

Whatever was the date or progress of the attachment, Southey was now
engaged to be married. But there was one person whose opinion had not
yet been consulted in all these momentous enterprises. "Hitherto,"
says Mr Cuthbert Southey, "all had gone on pretty smoothly; the plan
of emigration, as well as my father's engagement to Mary, had been
carefully concealed from his aunt Miss Tyler, who, he was perfectly
aware, would most violently oppose both; and now, when at last she
became acquainted with his intentions, her anger knew no bounds."
In fact, she turned him instantly--though it was night, and raining
hard--out of her house, and shut the door for ever upon him.

We must quote the letter in which Southey gives an account of this
terrible denouement. It introduces us at once into the state of
affairs, his enthusiastic project, and the associates with whom it was
to be carried out. A rather different account, it will be observed,
is here given of its origin, than that which we have quoted from Mr
Cuthbert Southey--

  "TO THOMAS SOUTHEY.
  BATH, _Oct. 19, 1794_.

    My Dear Brother Admiral,--Here's a row! here's a kick up!
    here's a pretty commence! We have had a revolution in the
    College Green, and I have been turned out of doors in a
    wet night. Lo and behold! even like my own brothers, I am
    penniless. It was late in the evening; the wind blew and the
    rain fell, and I had walked from Bath in the morning. Luckily,
    my father's old greatcoat was at Lovell's; I clapt it on,
    swallowed a glass of brandy, and set off. I met an old drunken
    man three miles off, and was obliged to drag him all the way to
    Bath, nine miles! Oh Patience, Patience! thou hast often helped
    poor Robert Southey, but never didst thou stand him in more
    need than on Friday the 17th of October 1794.

    Well, Tom, here I am. My aunt has declared she will never see
    my face again, or open a letter of my writing. So be it. I do
    my duty, and will continue to do it, be the consequences what
    they may. You are unpleasantly situated, so is my mother, so
    were we all, _till this grand scheme of Pantisocracy flashed
    upon our minds, and now all is perfectly delightful_.

    Open war--declared hostilities! The children are to come
    here on Wednesday, and I meet them at the Long Coach on this
    evening. My aunt abuses poor Lovell most unmercifully, and
    attributes the whole scheme to him: _you know it was concerted
    between Burnett and me_. But of all the whole catalogue of
    enormities, nothing enrages my aunt so much as my intended
    marriage with Mrs Lovell's sister Edith: this will hardly take
    place till we arrive in America; it rouses the whole army of
    prejudices in my aunt's breast. Pride leads the fiery host, and
    a pretty kick-up they must make there....

    _Everything is in the fairest train._ Favell and Le Grice, two
    young Pantisocrats of nineteen, join us; they possess great
    genius and energy. I have seen neither of them, yet correspond
    with both. You may, perhaps, like this sonnet on the subject
    of our emigration by Favell." [We skip the sonnet. It seems to
    have been held sufficient testimonial for his qualifications
    as an emigrant.] "This is a very beautiful piece of poetry;
    and we may form a very fair opinion of Favell from it. Scott,
    a brother of your acquaintance, goes with us. So much for news
    relative to our private politics.

    This is the age of revolutions, and a huge one we have had on
    the College Green. Poor Shadrack is left there, in the burning
    fiery furnace of her displeasure, and a prime hot berth has he
    got of it: he saw me depart with astonishment. 'Why, sir, you
    be'nt going to Bath at this time of night, and in this weather!
    Do let me see you sometimes, and hear from you, and send for me
    when you are going.'

    We are all well, and all eager to depart. March will soon
    arrive, and I hope you will be with us before that time.

    Why should the man who acts from conviction of rectitude,
    grieve because the prejudiced are offended? For me, I am fully
    possessed by the great cause to which I have devoted myself: my
    conduct has been open, sincere, and just; and though the world
    were to scorn and neglect me, I should bear their contempt with
    calmness. Fare thee well.

  Yours in brotherly affection,
  ROBERT SOUTHEY."

"It might have been hoped," continues the editor, "that this storm
would have blown over; and that, when Pantisocracy had died a natural
death, and the marriage had taken place, Miss Tyler's angry feelings
might have softened down; but it was not so--the aunt and nephew never
met again!"

To describe this "natural death of Pantisocracy" is hardly necessary.
When the expense of a passage to America presented itself as a serious
obstacle, the scene of the experiment was shifted to Wales, evidently a
mere stage in the natural process of dissolution. Brought from America
to Wales, the scheme looked even still more hopeless, and was finally
abandoned. Mr Cuthbert Southey, in the preface to his work, says,
speaking of his father--"the even tenor of his life, during its greater
portion, affords but little matter for pure biography." That portion of
his father's life with which he was personally acquainted, exhibited,
no doubt, this even tenor; but there are few men whose lives will, upon
the whole, afford more striking materials for the future biographer.
He who passed the day so evenly and uniformly at Keswick, amongst his
books, and with his ever-busy pen, had experienced some of the most
startling vicissitudes of life, and could recall scenes in which the
very strongest passions of our nature must have been called into play.

What a singular and dramatic position--how full of agitating
emotions--is that which next in order reveals itself! Pantisocracy
is relinquished; but he is engaged to be married. Aunt Tyler is
unmitigable. What is to be done? His uncle Hill comes to the rescue.
He is chaplain to the English Factory at Lisbon; is at present on
a visit to England, and will shortly return. Apparently he has
never interfered, by any useless remonstrances, with his nephew's
proceedings; he now invites him to return with him to Lisbon. Here,
at all events, is an asylum for the present; here he may enjoy an
interval of quiet thought, may study Portuguese and Spanish if he
will, may see a foreign country; above all, may pursue his cogitations
remote from republican associates--so thinks the uncle--and from Miss
Fricker. Southey accepts the invitation. But whatever may become of
his political opinions, he is resolved to put it out of his power to
commit any inconsistency towards Edith Fricker. As soon as the day
was finally fixed for his departure, he also fixed his marriage-day.
On the 14th of November 1795, he was married at Radcliffe Church,
Bristol. "Immediately after the ceremony, they parted. Edith wore
her wedding-ring hung round her neck, and kept her maiden name till
the report of the marriage had spread abroad." Writing to his friend
Bedford, he says, with truth and feeling--"Never did man stand at the
altar with such strange feelings as I did. Can you, Grosvenor, by any
effort of imagination, shadow out my emotion?... She returned the
pressure of my hand, and we parted in silence."

We cannot look upon his conduct on this occasion in any other light
than as the natural course of a noble and generous nature. There was
nothing in it unfair to the uncle. The uncle had speculated on the
probability that separation would weaken his attachment; but the
nephew had never stipulated that it should have this effect. The
uncle had also anticipated that a change of scene would cure him
of his democratic politics, but this did not put the nephew under
any obligation to renounce his politics, or to submit them as fully
as possible to the experiment to be made on them. One motive for
his hastened marriage, he tells us, was, that in the event of his
death at Lisbon, or on the voyage, his widow might have some claim
on the protection of his own relatives, some of whom were wealthy.
But on these relatives he threw no unwarrantable burden--no burden
whatever--unless such as pure generosity might feel. There was no young
family to be provided for. He would have left behind him a widow, whose
prospects in life could not have been injured by merely having borne
his name for a few months. Southey was of a confident nature, conscious
of his own great abilities, of habitual and indomitable industry.
Notwithstanding some occasional and very natural fits of depression,
he must have felt persuaded that, sooner or later, in one way or the
other, he should secure for himself a respectable position in life. He
was engaged to Edith Fricker, and he was determined she should share
that position with him, and that, in the mean time, she should at all
events have no other doubts or fears than what the inconstancy or
perversity of fortune might suggest.

Of this, his first visit to Lisbon, very little is recorded. His mind
underwent no perceptible change. We have only two letters written by
him at this period to his friends in England. From the last of them, he
appears to have been impatient to return. It is dated thus--"Feb. 24,
1796, Lisbon, from which God grant me a speedy deliverance!"

He returned the same man, and returned to the same perplexities. Full
of his poetry, occupied incessantly with literary projects, he has not
yet the courage to trust to his pen for the necessary supplies. He will
enter the profession of the law. From this he will extract that needful
revenue which shall one day establish him in his country house, with
his Edith, and amongst books of every description--except the legal.

Here follows a chapter in his history which, we think, is one of the
most instructive of the whole; certainly not the less instructive
because many others have been, and many others will be, submitted to
the same trials. If Southey had fulfilled his design, and completed his
own biography, it is probably upon this interval, between his first and
his second visit to Lisbon, that he would have thought it necessary to
dwell with the greatest minuteness.

    "My father," says the son, "continued to reside in Bristol
    until the close of the year 1796, chiefly employed in working
    up the contents of his foreign note-books into _Letters from
    Spain and Portugal_, which were published in one volume early
    in the following year. This task completed, he determined to
    take up his residence in London, and fairly to commence the
    study of the law, which he was now enabled to do through the
    true friendship of Mr C. W. W. Wynn, from whom he received,
    for some years from this time, an annuity of L.160--the
    prompt fulfilment of a promise made during their years of
    college intimacy. This was indeed one of those acts of rare
    friendship--twice honourable--'to him that gives and him that
    takes it;' bestowed with pleasure, received without any painful
    feelings, and often reverted to as the staff and stay of those
    years when otherwise he must have felt to the full all the
    manifold evils of being, as he himself expressed it, 'cut
    adrift upon the ocean of life.'"

He was fairly to commence the study of the law, but he had not the
least idea of renouncing his poetical and other literary labours. If
the passion of authorship had been felt by Southey only in a slight
degree--if it had been _a little book_ he wanted to write, just to
"exhale his soul," and then to sober business--this scheme would have
been rational enough; but authorship, with its love of fame, had
become the master passion of his mind--his second nature. Of "little
books" Southey never thought--all his designs were vast, and they were
innumerable. His whole life was already pledged. He was then upon
_Madoc_, with _Thalaba_ looming in the horizon. He is writing to his
friend Bedford, just before he proceeds to London to commence the study
of the law; and only note the sort of _impedimenta_ he carries up with
him, and the very auspicious temper in which he enters on the campaign.

    "I want to write my tragedies of 'The Banditti.'

    Of 'Sebastian.'

    Of 'Iñez de Castro.'

    Of 'The Revenge of Pedro.'

    My Epic poem, in twenty books, of 'Madoc.'

    My novel, in three volumes, of 'Edmund Oliver.'

    My romance of 'Ancient History of Alcas.'

    My Norwegian tale of '---- Harfagne.'

    My Oriental poem of 'The destruction of the Dom Daniel.'

    And, in case I adopt Rousseau's system, my '---- Pains of
    Imagination.'

    There, Grosvenor, all these I want to write....

    The law will neither amuse me, nor ameliorate me, nor instruct
    me; but the moment it gives me a comfortable independence--and
    I have but few wants--then farewell to London. I will get
    me some little house near the sea, and near a country town,
    for the sake of the post and the bookseller.... And perhaps,
    Grosvenor, the first Christmas-day you pass with me after I am
    so settled, we may make a Christmas fire of all my law-books.
    Amen, so be it."

He goes to London, and is admitted of Gray's Inn, Feb. 7, 1797. A few
days afterwards, he writes in a graver mood to his early and staunch
friend Joseph Cottle.

    "I am now entered on a new way of life, which will lead me to
    independence. You know that I neither lightly undertake any
    scheme, nor lightly abandon what I have undertaken....

    As to my literary pursuits, after some consideration, I have
    resolved to postpone _every other till I have concluded Madoc_.
    This must be the greatest of all my works. The structure is
    complete in my mind; and my mind is likewise stored with
    appropriate images....

    On Tuesday we shall be settled; and on Wednesday my legal
    studies begin _in the morning_, and I shall begin with _Madoc
    in the evening_. Of this it is needless to caution you to say
    nothing, as I must have the character of a lawyer; and though
    I _can_ and _will_ unite the two pursuits, no one would credit
    the possibility of the union."

What follows shows, nevertheless, the folly of attempting to combine
things utterly incongruous, and the mischief that may ensue from the
attempt. It was very little that Southey could have studied the law,
but the effort to force his attention to one subject, while his mind
was really absorbed in another, and the perpetually intruding and
distracting thought that he _ought_ to be studying the law, was very
nearly ruining his health irretrievably, and converting one of the most
buoyant hilarious of men into the confirmed hypochondriac.

It was in February he came to London. The spring no sooner appeared
than he began to pine for the country; he felt his spirits exhausted;
he thought his legal studies could be as well pursued at the sea-side
as in the smoke of London; he goes to Burton in Hampshire. There, or
elsewhere in the country, he spends the whole summer. In December he
returns to London, but "remains there only a very short time." He takes
a cottage in the pretty village of Westbury, there to prosecute his
legal studies. He stays a twelve-month at Westbury; nor does he again
return to London to reside. He had attributed his ill-health to the
smoke and confinement of the metropolis, but it is after his escape
from London that his health becomes seriously deranged. He had not
escaped from his legal studies, or rather from the sense of obligation
constantly impending over him to pursue them, and the occasional
attempts to compel his attention to the repulsive task.

The law cannot be accused of having encroached seriously on time that
would have been else devoted to literature. He took long vacations,
when the hated text-book and the detestable reports were banished
entirely from his mind. Speaking of his residence at Westbury, he
says, "it was one of the happiest portions of his life: he had never
before or since produced so much poetry in the same space of time."
But still the profession hung over him, urging, from time to time, its
distracting obligations. Having escaped from the smoke of London, he
now attributes his shattered nerves to the climate of England. But it
was as little the climate of England, which his constitution afterwards
endured very well in the cold and rainy regions of Cumberland, as it
was any fair amount of intellectual labour, that was undermining his
health. It was the sense of an _unperformed_ task, and that compulsory
and distracted attention, one half hour of which more tries and
fatigues the brain than a whole morning spent in willing harmonious
effort.

Bearing these observations in mind, the following letter will be read
with peculiar interest:--

      "TO GROSVENOR C. BEDFORD, ESQ.
      _Kingsdown, Bristol,
      Dec. 21, 1799._

    Grosvenor--I think seriously of going abroad. My complaint--so
    I am told by the opinion of many medical men--is wholly a
    diseased sensibility, (mind you, physical sensibility,)
    disordering the functions, now of the heart, now of the
    intestines, and gradually debilitating me. Climate is the
    obvious remedy. In my present state, to attempt to undergo
    the confinement of legal application were actual suicide. I
    am anxious to be well, and to attempt the profession: _much_
    in it I shall never do: sometimes my principles stand in the
    way, sometimes the want of readiness, which I felt from the
    first--a want which I always know in company, and never in
    solitude and silence. Howbeit I will make the attempt; but mark
    you, if by stage-writing, or any other writing, I can acquire
    independence, I will not make the sacrifice of happiness
    it will inevitably cost me. I love the country, I love
    study--devotedly I love it; but in legal studies it is only the
    subtlety of the mind that is exercised.

       *       *       *       *       *

    I am not indolent; I loath indolence; but, indeed, reading law
    is laborious indolence--it is thrashing straw. I have read,
    and read, and read; but the devil a bit can I remember. I
    have given all possible attention, and attempted to command
    volition. No! The eye read, the lips pronounced, I understood
    and re-read it; it was very clear; I remembered the page, the
    sentence--but close the book, and all was gone!

    I suffer a good deal from illness, and in a way hardly
    understandable by those in health. I start from sleep as
    if death had seized me. I am sensible of every pulsation,
    and compelled to attend to the motion of my heart till that
    attention disturbs it. The pain in my side is, I think,
    lessened, nor do I at all think it is consumption: organic
    affection it could not have been, else it had been constant;
    and a heart disease would not have been perceived _there_. I
    must go abroad, and recruit under better skies."--(Vol. ii. p.
    33.)

He reads and reads, and he comprehends, but he does not remember. It
would have been marvellous if he did, reading always with a divided
attention. He never could bring all his mind to this task. "I would
rather," he says in one place, "write an epic poem than read a brief."
And in the most self-congratulatory moment, when he is the most
reconciled, or in the least bad humour with the law, he writes thus: "I
advance with sufficient rapidity. _Blackstone_ and _Madoc_! I hope to
finish my poem and begin my practice in about two years. I am clearing
a farm; I am painting a landscape that shall rival Claude Lorraine!"

Southey had resolved to be poet and lawyer both. If he had really
delighted in both studies--as Sir William Jones seems to have done--he
might, like Sir William, have attained a certain degree of excellence
in both. We have a living example before us of a judge who has written
a far more beautiful poem than half-a-dozen Sir Williams could have
indited. But with Southey one of these studies was not only indifferent
but intolerable, whilst the other was most delectable. Under these
circumstances, the attempt to unite them was ruining one of the best
constitutions that a student was ever blest with by nature. We have no
doubt that, if he had much longer seriously persisted in this attempt,
there would have been a general wreck and ruin of mind and body both.

"My health," he says, writing to Mr May, "fluctuates, and the necessity
of changing climate is sadly and sufficiently obvious, lest, though
my disease should prove of no serious danger, the worst habits of
hypochondriasm fasten upon me, and palsy all intellectual power." He
took the wisest resolution the circumstances of the case admitted
of--he embarked for Lisbon. He threw off entirely--at all events for a
season, perhaps, in secret, for ever--the anxious burden of the law. He
gave his whole soul to poetry; rode about in the paradise of Cintra,
and wrote the concluding books of his _Thalaba_. So was he rescued from
the fate of a nervous hypochondriac patient.

It is a piece of advice we would give to every man, but especially to
the student. Harmonise your labours. If ambition prompt you to mingle
two conflicting studies that will not accord, that breed perpetual
civil war in the mind, we charge you to fling away ambition. If the
higher, and more ambitious, and more beloved study--be it science, or
poetry, or philosophy--will not yield, then choose at once for it and
poverty, if such must be the alternative. Better anything than a ruined
disordered mind; or, if you prefer the expression, than a confirmed
cerebral disease.

Very pleasant was the life that Southey led at Lisbon and at Cintra,
and very agreeable are the letters that he writes to England during
this second visit to the Peninsula.

    "You would be amused," he says in one of them, "could you see
    Edith and myself on ass-back--I sitting sideways, gloriously
    lazy, with a boy to beat my Bayardo, as well adapted to me as
    ever that wild courser was to Rinaldo. In this climate there
    is no walking, a little exercise heats so immoderately; but
    their cork woods, or fir woods, and mountain glens, and rock
    pyramids, and ever-flowing fountains, and lemon-groves ever in
    flower and in fruit, want only society to become a paradise.
    Could I but colonise Cintra with half-a-dozen families, I
    should never wish to leave it. As it is, I am comfortable, my
    health establishing itself, my spirits everlastingly partaking
    the sunshine of the climate. Yet I _do_ hunger after the
    bread-and-butter, and the fireside comforts, and the intellect
    of England."--(Vol. ii. p. 109.)

On his return to England we hear no more of the law, or we hear only
that it was entirely abandoned. We find him writing to Bedford (p. 159)
about one solitary remaining law-book--"my whole proper stock--whom I
design to take up to the top of Mount Etna, for the express purpose of
throwing him down straight to the devil."

His sojourn in the Continent had led him to think that some foreign
consulship would not be unacceptable. No appointment of this kind,
however, offered itself. That of private secretary to Mr Corry,
Chancellor of the Exchequer for Ireland, was proposed to him, and he
accepted it. "This had been brought about," says the Editor, "through
his friend Mr Rickman, who was at that time secretary to Mr Abbot,
and in consequence residing in Dublin--an additional inducement to my
father to accept the appointment, as he would have to reside there
himself during half the year."

He went to Dublin to take possession of his new office, but soon
after returned to London, where the Irish Chancellor of the Exchequer
was in the habit of residing during the winter portion of the year.
Mr Corry is described as a man of mild unassuming manners; and "the
Chancellor and his scribe" got on very well together. But the
Chancellor discovered that he had nothing to do for his very clever
secretary. Having no sufficient official employment, he proposed to him
to undertake the tuition of his son. This "was not in the bond," nor at
all suited to Southey's habits and inclinations. To use his own words,
he therefore resigned "a foolish office, and a good salary."

This was the last serious attempt he made to obtain the necessary
supplies from any other source than his pen. He betook himself steadily
to reviewing and other literary work. The _Annual Register_ offered
him constant employment till the _Quarterly_ was established. For his
residence, he thought first of Richmond, on the Thames; then of the
Valley of Neath in Wales; finally, he established himself at KESWICK.

We have thus brought down his biography to the period when, his
political opinions considerably modified, and his literary avocations
clearly defined before him, he takes up his residence at that place
which will for ever be associated with his name, and assumes that
character and position in which he was so long known and honoured by
his contemporaries. Before leaving England, on his second voyage to
Lisbon, he had written _Madoc_, (that is, in its rough state,) and
had composed the greater part of _Thalaba_. The concluding books of
_Thalaba_--that charming episode of _Laila_--were written amongst the
hills and the cork forests of Cintra. The completed manuscript was sent
to England, and was published soon after his own return. _Madoc_ there
received its last corrections and additions. The time is now come when
we can take a glance at these and other poetical works, which were,
and still are, the basis of his fame. The author is now himself moored
safely in still waters, and his life henceforth is little more than the
history of his writings, of his mind, his opinions, and his acts of
beneficence; for these last occupy no small space in it. No relative
can put in a claim to his assistance but it is granted to the utmost of
his power, and often beyond such restrictions as prudence, and a regard
to nearer claims, would suggest. He is open to the very enthusiasm of
friendship, and prepared for any self-sacrifice that the most romantic
sense of duty can demand. Nor is there any young poet struggling with
that world which his love of letters has made appear so harsh and
cruel, to whom Southey does not extend his sympathy, his guidance, and
his aid. But as the remaining portion of our task would occupy more
space than we could assign to it, and as we have arrived at a fair
halting-place, we will here break off for the present.



THE MINISTRY AND THE AGRICULTURAL INTEREST


In the Speech delivered from the Throne at the opening of the present
Session of Parliament, the following passage will be found:

"Notwithstanding the large reductions of taxation which have been
effected in late years, the receipts of the Revenue have been
satisfactory. The state of the Commerce and Manufactures of the
United Kingdom has been such as to afford general employment to the
labouring classes. I have to lament, however, the difficulties which
are still felt by that important body among my people who are owners
and occupiers of land; but it is my confident hope that the prosperous
condition of other classes of my subjects will have a favourable effect
in diminishing those difficulties, and promoting the interests of
agriculture."

Without attaching too much importance to the phraseology of this
Address, it will, we think, be admitted by every one who recollects the
dissensions of last year, that her Majesty's Ministers, by inserting
in the royal Address this acknowledgment of the difficulties under
which the owners and occupiers of land are labouring, have virtually
abandoned their ground; and are not now, as formerly, prepared to
maintain that agricultural depression, arising from low prices, is
to be considered simply as an accident, and not as the result of
legislation. Last year we were told, on high Ministerial authority,
that the low prices then current were merely exceptional, and could not
continue; and that a signal check had been given to the importation of
foreign grain. "Therefore," said Sir Charles Wood, "the farmer need
not apprehend that ruin from the operation of Free Trade, which he
at present anticipates from prices under 40s. a quarter." But time,
more infallible than Sir Charles Wood, or any other Chancellor of
the Exchequer, has proved that all these notions are fallacies. The
importation continues, and prices droop. During the twelve months
which have elapsed, there has been no symptom of rallying; and it is
now almost universally admitted, that the depreciation of the value of
agricultural produce is permanent, and must so continue in the absence
of a protective duty.

We are always glad to see a fallacy cleared out of our path. The
idea that high-farming can ever be made an adequate substitute for
protection, was exploded last year; and now the efforts of the Whigs
to demonstrate that importations cannot continue, have been abandoned.
The state of the case is precisely that which we laid before the public
in January 1850; and no one thinks of denying it. Even those journals,
which, from time to time, have hazarded vaticinations as to rises in
the value of produce, are compelled to acknowledge their fallibility,
or drop their pretensions to the mantle of the gifted seer.

The matter is, therefore, very materially simplified. We are justified
in holding that henceforth, under the system of free ports, the
average price of the quarter of wheat in England will not exceed 40s.,
and may possibly be much lower when the resources of the Continent
and America, both aware of their market, are fully developed. In
Scotland, the average must necessarily be two or three shillings less.
A corresponding fall has taken place, and will continue, in all other
kinds of cereal crop and of provisions. If these data are admitted--and
a very short period will now suffice to establish or refute their
accuracy--the agricultural question may be discussed without any
specialities whatever. Every man throughout the country will have the
means of forming his judgment upon the actual working of the measure,
and its effect, both direct and indirect, upon all branches of British
industry. It is most desirable, on every account, that there should
be no mistake as to this. Our opponents--perhaps naturally enough
exasperated at the prolongation of a combat in which they have been
uniformly worsted when the weapons of argument were employed, and being
moreover aware, from symptoms which are everywhere, manifested, that
the period of delusion is nearly gone by--have over and over again
charged the country party and its chiefs with a desire to cut short
the experiment, before its results were sufficiently apparent. We need
hardly say that the charge is utterly unfounded. We have no wish to
precipitate matters, or to effect by a _coup-de-main_ that alteration
which never can be permanent unless based on the conviction of the
majority of the constituencies of the Empire. We have no desire to take
a leaf from the book of recent statesmen, and to induce members of
Parliament to act contrary to those declarations on the faith of which
they were returned. But we are entitled--nay, we are bound--to watch
the experiment as it proceeds, and ever and anon to declare our honest
and sincere opinion as to the nature of its working. We cannot shut our
eyes to the vast injury which it is causing, and has already caused, to
a most important and numerous class of our fellow-countrymen; we cannot
reconcile ourselves to the operation of a system which has undoubtedly
disappointed the expectations even of its founders. We have,
therefore, whenever that was needful, expressed our opinion without
any reservation whatever; and we shall continue to do so, not the less
confidently because the views which we entertain are now openly adopted
and received by many who were heretofore unwilling to disturb a course
of legislation which had been deliberately sanctioned by the State.

We beg to assure the Free-Traders that we never, for one moment,
underestimated the advantages of their position. At the commencement
of this Parliament, they had a majority large enough--supposing that
their cause was good, and their boasted experiment successful--to
render all idea of a return of protection perfectly futile and
hopeless. And, therefore, we were told, day after day, and month after
month, that it was in vain for us to struggle against the tide--that
a course of policy such as this, once commenced, must be regarded as
irrevocable--and that we were merely losing time in demonstrating,
what latterly was hardly denied, that the agricultural interest could
not maintain itself under the pressure of the growing competition.
But those who held such language seemed to have forgotten that the
experiment, upon the success of which they had staked their reputation
for sagacity, was all the while progressing before the eyes of the
nation. Had its progress been successful and satisfactory, the country
party must long ere this have dwindled away into nothing. Can our
opponents not see that it is the failure of Free Trade alone which
constitutes our strength? In the late debate upon Mr Disraeli's motion,
Sir James Graham, who is certainly not apt to exaggerate the power of
his opponents, spoke as follows: "I see very plainly that we are on
the eve of a great and serious struggle. I see a party of gentlemen in
this and the other house of Parliament, powerful in numbers, powerful
in the respect in which they are held for their personal and hereditary
virtues, having great influence in the country, and great possessions.
They are an interest which, up to the present moment, has commanded
great influence with the Government; and, with the main body of the
community at their back, they exercise a power upon any question that
is irresistible.... With such opponents it behoves us to gird up our
loins. I know not whether the watchword, 'Up, guards, and at them!'
may not already have been given. It is clear to me that the opponents
of protection must prepare for a severe contest. They must stand upon
the defensive. They must stand to their arms, and close their ranks,
and prepare for a firm, manly, and uncompromising resistance!" Now,
considering that not more than two years have elapsed since it was the
fashion of the Liberal journals to aver that the country party was
all but extinct, helpless in the House of Commons, and unsupported
beyond its doors, this estimate of Sir James Graham is undoubtedly
remarkable. We are naturally led to inquire how it is that the cause of
protection has made so prodigious a stride--why it should now appear
so formidable in the eyes of an old and experienced statesman? No
other reason can be assigned than the justice of the cause which the
country party have maintained, and the failure of the experiment to
which their adversaries were pledged. If there are any new "opponents"
to Free Trade within the House of Commons, they have either been sent
there by constituencies since the present Parliament was summoned, or
they have become convinced of the error of their former views, and
seceded from the Ministerial ranks. If, beyond the House of Commons,
men are changing their opinions to that extent which Sir James Graham
indicates, surely that is no argument in favour of the party which
still is dominant--no testimony which can be adduced to support the
wisdom of their policy. Rather should it be to us a great encouragement
to persevere as we have begun, for it conveys a direct acknowledgment
of the truth of those arguments which we have all along maintained.

Very absurd indeed is the accusation, that the Protectionists will
not allow fair play to the progress of the experiment. Hitherto the
promoters of the experiment have had it all their own way, and have
been allowed to go on without any check or impediment. They profess
themselves to be extremely well satisfied with the result; and yet,
singularly enough, whenever a division occurs upon any point arising
from their policy, they find their boasted majority becoming less and
less. The conduct of the Protectionist party has indeed been marked by
an extraordinary degree of forbearance. But the supporters of the cause
without the walls of St Stephen's have full reliance on the integrity
and the discretion of their champions within. They have not forgotten
the distinct announcement of Lord Stanley that, "it is not in the House
of Lords, nor in the House of Commons, but in the country at large that
the battle must be fought, and the triumph achieved;" and they have
no desire, through rash impatience, to endanger the coming victory.
But, whilst refraining from a direct attack upon the principles of the
Free-Trade system, our representatives in Parliament are by no means
oblivious of their duty. The peculiar burdens on land and agricultural
property and produce have not been removed, notwithstanding the
promises which were made; and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer
announced that he had a surplus of revenue in hand, the Government very
naturally been called upon to consider, whether that surplus should
not be applied to the alleviation of the distress among "the owners
and occupiers of land," admitted, in the Royal Speech, to exist; and
whether, in fact, they have not a righteous claim to a considerable
reduction of their burdens?

Such was the tenor of Mr Disraeli's motion, which was negatived, in a
crowded house, by a majority of only FOURTEEN. In the proposal itself
there was nothing unreasonable--nothing which even faction could lay
hold of. The difficulties of one class in the community were admitted
by Ministers, and contrasted by them with the general prosperity which
was assumed as the condition of all others. It was not denied, but
rather stated as matter of exultation, that this general prosperity
arose from the same cause which had occasioned the depression--that the
same fountain had given forth both sweet and bitter waters, refreshing
and enlivening on the one side, whilst, on the other, it spread decay.
Under these circumstances, it will not be denied, by any unprejudiced
person, that it was the bounden duty of Her Majesty's Ministers--not
to come forward voluntarily with any remission to the suffering class,
which might be construed as a favour--but seriously to consider whether
or not the statement preferred on the part of the agriculturists, that
they were unjustly and unequally burdened and restricted, was true; and
if it were true, then to accord relief in a fair and equitable manner.
Sorry are we, indeed, to say, that neither her Majesty's Ministers, nor
such of the supporters of the late Sir Robert Peel as spoke and voted
on the motion, had the courage to face openly this question of abstract
justice. It was enough for them that the proposition was made by a
leader of the country party, and that it was generally supported by
those opposed to their commercial policy. These circumstances were of
themselves sufficient to secure its rejection, even had the discussion
of it not involved points to which no Free-Trader has ever yet ventured
to address himself.

What these points are, we shall presently examine. But first let us go
back for a little to what are matters of history.

In the first speech which he delivered in the House of Commons,
during the eventful Session of 1846, the late Sir Robert Peel, while
paving the way for the introduction of his Free-Trade measures,
made the following remarks with regard to the peculiar burdens upon
land:--"Further, it may be said that the land is entitled to protection
on account of some peculiar burdens which it bears. But that is a
question of justice, rather than of policy: _I have always felt and
maintained that the land is subject to peculiar burdens_; but you
have the power of weakening the force of that argument by the removal
of the burden, or making compensation. The first three objections to
the removal of protection are objections founded on considerations
of public policy. _The last is a question of justice, which may be
determined by giving some counter-balancing advantage._" Further, on
the very same evening, the present Premier, Lord John Russell, thought
fit to read to the House of Commons a letter which bad been addressed
by him to Her Majesty, of which the following is an extract:--"The
measures which Sir Robert Peel had in contemplation appear to have
been--a present suspension of the duties of corn--a repeal of the Corn
Laws at no remote period, preceded by a diminution of duties--_relief
to the occupiers of land from burdens by which they are peculiarly
affected_, so far as it may be practicable. Upon full consideration
of these proposals, Lord John Russell is prepared to assent to the
opening of the ports, _and to the fiscal relief which it was intended
to afford_." On that evening, (22d January 1846,) Lord John was in
a peculiarly communicative mood; for, besides the letter of 16th
December 1845, of which the foregoing is an extract, he read to the
House another epistle, dated the 20th, informing Her Majesty that
he had found it impossible to form an Administration. That letter,
moreover, contains a sketch of what the noble lord proposed to have
done, provided it had been possible to procure the aid of that galaxy
of talent with which he is now surrounded. "Lord John Russell would
have formed his Ministry on the basis of a complete free trade in corn,
to be established at once, without gradation or delay. _He would have
accompanied that proposal with measures of relief, to a considerable
extent, of the occupiers of land, from the burdens to which they are
subjected._"

Now, we beg the reader distinctly to mark the character of these
several admissions made by Sir Robert Peel and by Lord John Russell.
They were made five years ago--are quite unequivocal--and demonstrate
the opinion of both, that, _in justice_, no alteration should be
made in the laws which regulated the admission of foreign grain,
without granting to the occupiers of the soil a relief from their
peculiar burdens. This is a matter which it is very necessary to keep
in view, inasmuch as we cannot compliment Lord John Russell on his
general ethical perceptions. He has an odd way of addressing the whole
agricultural body as if they were liable for the consequences of the
rejection or acceptance of certain proposals, which, in office or out
of it, he thought proper to make to certain members of Parliament--a
mode of dealing which, in our humble mind, is more suitable to a sharp
attorney than to a wise and enlightened statesman.

What followed is well known to every one. The Free-Trade measures
proposed by Sir Robert Peel were carried, and Lord John Russell
succeeded him in office; still, however, not one word was heard
about the promised relief to the agriculturists. It is quite true
that there was no explicit bargain, but justice is independent of
bargains. Both Ministers had expressed their opinion that, in the
event of the repeal of the Corn Laws, it was not only reasonable, but
JUST, that the agriculturists should be relieved from certain burdens
peculiar to them alone; and yet neither of them took one step in the
direction of justice. At that time it was notorious that neither of
them contemplated the disastrous effects of their measures upon the
landed interest. They imagined--foolishly enough, it is true, but in
accordance with the false data on which they proceeded--that very
limited supplies of grain would be thrown into this country, and that
consequently prices could not be affected to any large degree. We
cannot read the different speeches of Sir Robert Peel, guarded as they
were, without concluding that he never contemplated a permanent fall in
the price of wheat below 50s. per quarter, if he even expected it to
drop so low; and yet, these being his calculations, he admitted that
it was not just to expose the agricultural body to that contingency,
without giving them a measure of relief. We all know what has occurred.
An average of 40s. is now considered a high price in England, as
markets go; and in Scotland we are settling down to 36s.; yet still the
preliminary measure of justice, which, according to both Ministers,
ought to have accompanied the repeal of the Corn Laws, is withheld.
With a surplus in their hands, Ministers refrain from applying it to
the discharge of the just debt and when the debt is claimed--as it
was the other day by Mr Disraeli, in terms not less distinct than
forcible--they give it the go-by, and commence declaiming on the
impolicy of a return to protection--a point which was not before them!

It is difficult, indeed, to observe the limits of conventional decorum
while commenting on conduct like this. Had Mr Disraeli demanded the
re-imposition of a duty, whether fixed or variable, we should of
course have expected that, however strong his case, he would be met
by strenuous opposition. The Whigs have committed themselves so far
that, were it proved to them that in the course of a single year, the
whole agricultural interest must perish unless their whole system of
commercial policy were changed, we should not expect them to step in
and offer to stay the calamity. In this line of dogged inaction and
obstinacy they would probably receive the congenial support of the
small rump of Conservative renegades, who follow them rather through
the necessity of their degraded position, than from any abstract love
they bear to the Whig dominant faction. But Mr Disraeli asked nothing
of the kind. He simply pointed out the fact, which could brook no
denial, that certain burdens and restrictions were still imposed upon
the agriculturists, which prevented them from entering on anything
like, equal terms, into that course of competition which is the glory
and essence of Free Trade. He demanded the removal of these, or, at all
events, all impartial adjustment of them, in order that the British
agriculturist might have fair play, and not be brought into the field
loaded and oppressed by a weight which no other class of the community
is called upon to bear. It was no question of countervailing duties to
put the British on a level with the foreign producer: it was simply
a question of home taxation between class and class, and between man
and man. Under the system of protection, burdens had been laid largely
upon the land, and the land alone; restrictions had been laid upon the
occupiers, forbidding them to grow certain valuable crops, in order
that the revenue might be maintained by fixed custom-duties, levied on
the same articles when imported from foreign countries; and certain
other produce was placed under the fetters of the Excise. The system
of protection fell, but the burdens and restrictions remain. Apart
altogether from the foreign question--apart from considerations whether
the owner and occupier of land in Britain can compete with foreigners
in his own market on equal terms whilst the burden of British taxation
remains undiminished--lies the question of fair and equal adjustment
of taxation among ourselves. It may be that this is difficult--it may
even prove to be impossible. The state of the public revenue may be
such, that no Government can accord to the occupiers of land their
natural right of producing what crops they please, or abrogate the
laws which have the effect of restricting certain kinds of produce to
very narrow limits. It may be that human ingenuity cannot devise a
method for setting agricultural industry free in all its branches, and
allowing that open competition which is not withheld from any kind of
manufacture if so, that is the strongest of all arguments in favour
of protection, and it were well if it were thoroughly understood. And
understood it is by many, though some of those who understand it find
it convenient to do their utmost to perpetuate an act of injustice. Sir
James Graham, Mr Cobden--ay, twenty more of those who either spoke or
voted against Mr Disraeli's motion, have declared themselves hostile
to the continuance of the malt-tax, and yet we see the result. But
there are, according to the recorded admissions of both Sir Robert Peel
and Lord John Russell, burdens from which the agriculturists ought in
common justice to be freed--or rather, from which they ought to _have
been_ freed long ago; and yet even this poor modicum or instalment
of justice is denied. And when is it denied? At the very time when
the Ministry boast of the general prosperity of the country, with the
exception of one single class, at whose expense, they allow, this
general prosperity has been gained! At the very time when they are in
possession of a surplus of revenue, part of which is to be applied to a
remission of duties on foreign timber!

We rejoice that the question has been brought forward fairly, manfully,
and openly. The division, and still more the tone of the debate, must
show the agriculturists how hopeless it is to expect any redress from
her Majesty's present advisers. No one speaker attempted to meet Mr
Disraeli on the ground to which he strictly confined himself. "If I
am asked," said he, "what is my remedy for the difficulties of the
owners and occupiers of land, my answer, on the part of those who sit
around me, is brief. It is--We want justice. We ask that you shall
not prohibit or restrain our industry. We ask that you shall not levy
upon us direct burdens for public purposes, to which very few other
classes contribute. We ask that you shall not throw upon us, who,
according to your own account, are the only class that is in a state
of prolonged distress, the burden of your system. That is what we ask.
We say--remove this enormous injustice, and let us be fairly weighted
in the race. We shrink not from the competition which you have thought
fit to open to our enemies; but do not let us enter into the struggle
manacled." Was there anything in this discordant with the theories
of Free Trade? Was there any claim advanced for the maintenance or
the imposition of burdens pressing upon the rest of the community to
the advantage of the agricultural class? Nothing of the kind. It was,
on the contrary, a demand which, if the Free-Traders had an atom of
principle, could not be refused, unless they were prepared to maintain
that they alone had a right to immunity of taxation. So strong was Mr
Disraeli's argument--so irresistible were his conclusions, that no one
orator on the other side ventured to meet him fairly. The Chancellor of
the Exchequer brought forward statistics, letters, reports, newspaper
articles, and all the other gallimaufry which elaborate subordinates
are expected to supply on such occasions, for the purpose of showing
that trade was in a healthy condition, exports increasing, and what
not;--things, even supposing them to be true, quite as relevant to
the matter in dispute, as if he had read a statistical account of the
commerce of China. One point he certainly did touch, and that was the
saving clause in the Speech from the Throne, expressing "my confident
hope that the prosperous condition of other classes of my subjects
will have a favourable effect in diminishing those difficulties, and
promoting the interests of agriculture." Upon this text Sir Charles
Wood chose to dilate, asking, "Is it possible that the agricultural
interest can stand so much separated from the rest of the community as
not to be benefited by their prosperity, and derive advantage from the
great and increasing demand for their produce which that prosperity
must create?" _Great and increasing demand_ FOR THEIR PRODUCE!! Why,
according to the same authority, the prosperity of the said classes has
been created, or, at all events, augmented, by their deriving their
supplies abroad, from the foreign producer who can afford to undersell
the overburdened British farmer! Something like ten or twelve millions
of quarters of grain are now annually forced into this country,
whatever be the quality of the harvest; as also provisions enough to
feed the army, victual the navy, and supply the sea-coast towns; and
live cattle innumerable are shipped for our eastern ports. And this,
according to Sir Charles Wood, is to create a great and increasing
demand for British agricultural produce! We may say frankly, that
although we never entertained a high estimate of the intellectual
powers, acquirements, or sagacity of this member of the Cabinet, we
should not have ventured to accuse him of such sheer imbecility as this
speech of his betrays, save on his own evidence. We believe him to be
perfectly sincere. Even had he the desire to practise it, nature has
fortunately denied him the possession of the talent of casuistry. His
optics are like those of the owl in daylight, utterly irreconcilable
with the common standard of vision, and therefore we need not wonder
if, ever and anon, he dashes himself unconsciously against a tree.

Neither have we much to say to the speech of the Premier. If we are
to consider it in the light of a hortatory warning against any future
attempt to regain protection, it is not without its value. We know
very well that it is much easier and more popular to remit, than
to impose a duty; and the ancient experiences of the noble lord in
fostering democratic agitation, make him a valuable witness in all
that relates to the probable causes of tumult. But Lord John Russell,
in his forcible sketch of the awful consequences of any return to
the protective system, did, as it seems to us, not only mistake the
question before him, but overlook, whether wilfully or casually, the
express statement of Mr Disraeli, which embodies the declared views
of the chiefs of the country party. Let us see what that statement
was:--"I am extremely anxious that I should obtain no support to-night
under a false pretence, and that I should not incur any opposition by
the same means. I trust no honourable gentleman will rise to-night
and say that this motion is a direct or an indirect attack on our
new commercial system. Far from it. It is in consequence of your new
commercial system that I have felt it my duty to make this motion, and
to try to adapt, if I can, the position of the owners and occupiers
of land to that new commercial system you have introduced. Nor let
any honourable gentleman support me to-night in the idea that this
is an attempt to bring back protection in disguise. Nothing of the
kind. I last year said what I now adhere to severely, strictly, even
religiously. I said then that I would not, in this Parliament, make
any attempt to bring back the abrogated system of protection, and I
gave my reasons for that course. I deeply deplored at the time the
circumstances of the change. I deeply deplored that a Parliament and
a Ministry, which, if not formally, at least virtually--and that is
of much more importance in the opinion of the constituencies--were
pledged to uphold the system of protection, should have abrogated
it. I think there was in that circumstance a clear plain cause of
quarrel between Parliament and the constituencies; but I cannot
forget what passed after that great change. The general elections
took place; that opportunity was afforded to the constituencies, even
if they were betrayed, to recall the legislation the abrogation of
which they deplored. I cannot forget that the agricultural body in
particular were warned by their best and most powerful friend--now
lost to us--not to lose that opportunity, because it was their only
one. I cannot forget that they rejected that counsel; that, misled by
the superficial circumstances of the moment, the prices of the year,
which were undoubtedly the result of exceptional circumstances, they
did not support us in the policy we recommended; and I for one, sir,
cannot consent that the laws which regulate the industry of a great
nation should be made the shuttlecock of party strife. I say that,
if I thought I might, by a chance majority, bring back the system
called 'protection,' I would shrink from it. That is a thing which
must be done out of the House, _and done out of the House by no chance
majority, but by the free unfettered expression of public opinion_; and
no other result can be satisfactory to any class, or conducive to the
general welfare. I have expressed this opinion before, and honourable
gentlemen opposite, if they will condescend to recollect what I have
said, will do me the justice of admitting I have done so. I repeat it
now, because I wish no one to be in error with respect to my motives,
my object, and the policy I wish Government to pursue."

As to the distinctness of this statement in all its parts, there can
be no difference of opinion. Some who are not merely smarting, but
writhing under the injuries inflicted by Free Trade, may think that Mr
Disraeli has taken too dispassionate a view of the case, and that the
line of conduct which he has announced, and which he declares himself
determined to follow, is less energetic than suits the emergency of the
present crisis. Deeply as we deplore the misery which exists, and the
evils which have been occasioned, we cannot do otherwise than express
our entire concurrence with the views so ably stated. Protection cannot
be regained by a side-wind, or a mere casual and hasty vote. It must
be brought in by the voice of the constituencies, and according to the
forms of the Constitution, or not at all; and he is no friend of the
agricultural body who would counsel otherwise. Therefore we say, that
Mr Disraeli performed a most manly, proper, and timely act in making
that distinct declaration; and we verily believe that nothing could
have galled the Free-Traders more, or struck greater consternation into
their ranks, than the simple and clear avowal of the principles by
which the advocates of native industry are determined to abide. Lord
John Russell evidently felt himself placed in an awkward position.
He was of course prepared to combat any proposal for a return to
protection, but he had not one argument to meet the demand for justice
which Mr Disraeli so strongly urged on the part of the agricultural
body. Where could he find any? We have seen that, five years ago, he
acknowledged the justice of the claim, and, by a broad admission of
agricultural distress in the Speech from the Throne, he virtually
confessed that the time had arrived when all fair remissions should be
made, more especially as he had the means to do so. But, finding it
impossible to meet Mr Disraeli on the only ground which he occupied,
the shifty Premier thought fit to evade the question altogether, and,
under the sheltering shield of Sir James Graham, who preceded him in
the debate, to utter a harangue upon the dangers to which the country
would be exposed should protection carry the day. Now, we have nothing
whatever to say upon the subject of Lord John Russell's vaticinations,
simply considered as such. A return to protection may be bad, or it
may be good; it may make us poorer or richer; it may involve us in new
difficulties, or it may free us from those which confessedly exist at
present. All that is matter of opinion. But has Lord John Russell so
far forgotten his old constitutional creed, as to maintain that, if the
majority of the constituencies should declare in favour of protection,
and the majority of the House of Peers adopt the same view, the present
commercial system is not to be reversed? And if he does not mean that,
why all this empty bluster and ridiculous vapouring upon a point which
has not yet been mooted? There is no Guy Fawkes' conspiracy going on in
the cellars to blow the Treasury benches, with their occupants, into
the air; there is no intention on the part of the Protectionists to
call the yeomanry of England together, and march them upon Westminster,
to see their wrongs redressed by force of arms. If the noble lord
dreads anything, it is a moral reaction on the part of the people--on
the part of the voters throughout the country, who hold the franchise,
and return members to the House of Commons; and if he denounces the
acts of a majority so obtained,--why, we must even seek out a new
interpreter of the mysteries of the British Constitution!

In sober sadness, we could almost find it in our heart to be sorry
for Lord John Russell. For years past he has had it in his power very
materially to strengthen his position, by acting up to the tenor
of those letters which we referred to in the commencement of this
article. We do not say that any such arrangement would or could have
satisfied the agricultural interest; for the vicissitude which they
have experienced has proved so tremendous, that no adjustment of
taxation could act as a remedy for the evil. Nevertheless, it was
perfectly open to the Premier to have freed himself at once from
the trammels of party--to have taken a high, honourable, and bold
position--and to have insisted that the interest which was made the
subject of experiment should be placed as nearly as possible, in so far
as regards taxation, on an equal footing with the other interests of
the country. To that line of conduct, indeed, his credit, if not his
honour, was pledged; and we confess that we cannot fathom the motive
which has led him first to delay, and then directly to refuse, what
he once acknowledged to be an act of simple justice. What ulterior
views the Whig Cabinet may entertain, we have no means of guessing;
but if it should be, as has already been surmised, that they calculate
on maintaining their supremacy through the ruin of the most important
branch of the producers of the United Kingdom, they may look for
a struggle not less desperate than that which Lord John Russell
has predicted as the consequence of a constitutional return to the
protective system.

But, to keep to the actual question which was before the House of
Commons--the question as to the peculiar burdens imposed upon the
land--let us see Lord John Russell's opinion in 1851, contrasted with
his opinion in 1846. He thus speaks in reply to Mr Disraeli:--"Well,
but it is said that land is burdened in a special manner, and that
the owners should receive compensation. Why, I remember when a friend
of mine, who is now Governor General of the Ionian Islands, year
after year attempted to gain a Select Committee for the Purpose of
considering what were the burdens upon the land; that those gentlemen
who are the most clamorous for protection never could bear to consent,
and used to come forward to beg that there might be no inquiry, and to
stop all attempts at investigation; and now it appears that, without
any investigation at all, we are to suppose those great and unfair
burdens are placed on the land." Without any investigation at all!
What reduction, then, was Lord John Russell willing to have given in
1846? Was he, an ex-Prime Minister, so entirely ignorant of our fiscal
system, that he did not know what were the peculiar burdens upon land?
If so, it is manifest that he had not passed his apprenticeship when he
was pretending to act as a master. But, in reality, the subterfuge is
as mean as it is ridiculous. Never was a promise to pay more clumsily
and disgracefully eluded; and we only regret that the stamp duties
are not sufficiently comprehensive to include within their reach, in
a legally binding form, the promises or offers of an ex-Minister who
is making a violent effort to re-establish himself, his relations and
friends, in the highest offices of these kingdoms.

Absolutely, however, we care nothing for what was said in this
discussion by Lord John Russell or his colleagues. They have taken
their part, and they are determined to abide by it; and from their
hands the agriculturists need not look for the slightest measure
of relief. According to the Whig creed, each fresh importation of
corn, flour, provisions, and cattle, must tend to "diminishing the
difficulties, and promoting the interests of agriculture," since by
those means the general prosperity of the country has been attained,
and it is through that general prosperity alone that agriculture is
hereafter to profit. In short, the doctrine is, that an increased
consumption of foreign produce in Great Britain must materially tend to
the prosperity of the British agriculturist! Truly, political economy,
as thus interpreted, is a great and wonderful science!

But we have a few words to say with regard to another section of
politicians, who were represented on this occasion by their present
chief Sir James Graham. Notwithstanding the violent efforts which
have been made to keep it together, that party has undergone, during
the last twelve months, a very considerable modification. The great
head and originator of it has been removed from this world, and many
who were content to fight under his banner have not cared to renew
their oath of allegiance to a less trusted and popular captain. Sir
James Graham has some excellent qualities and accomplishments, but he
is wanting in others. He is the very Reuben of politics; unstable as
water, uncertain as the winds of heaven. With the fussy assistance
of his prime janissary, Mr Cardwell, he has been attempting for some
time back to intrench himself in a small camp, apart from the larger
leaguers, and to maintain such a semblance of exact neutrality,
that neither party, on the eve of joining battle, can confidently
reckon on his support. It must be acknowledged that he is true to his
hereditary traditions. The Grahams of "the Debateable Land," as that
tract of country occupied by the clan was denominated, were, in the
days of Border warfare, accounted neither Scots nor English. One day
they appeared on the one side, and on the next they showed face on
the other. That method, however, though it may have its conveniences,
is not likely to meet with much approval at the present day. The
Free-lance system has gone out of fashion; and we confess that we
are not sorry to observe that Sir James Graham has at last committed
himself so decidedly, that the country party must hereafter regard him
in the light of a permanent foe. Do not let us be misunderstood. We
acknowledge the great advantage of his services as a friend: we have
not the least desire to depreciate or undervalue his abilities as a
debater. But now, more than ever, it is important to know distinctly
who are for us, and who against us. Sir James Graham, in so far as
his own opinions are concerned, has left no doubt whatever on the
matter. He has not only joined with Lord John Russell in denying
the justice of any claim whatever on the part of the agricultural
interest, but he has taken the bolder step of practically denying the
existence of agricultural distress. We cannot attach any other meaning
to that portion of his speech, in which he alludes to the state of
his own tenantry, and the condition of the Scottish farmers. We shall
transcribe it here, in order that our readers may fully understand the
views of the right honourable baronet:--

    "I pass from the handloom weavers to the farmers and landlords
    of Cumberland. I know none of the cases to which the honourable
    member alluded of my own knowledge; but he adverted to a farm
    which has been recently relet in Cumberland at a considerable
    diminution of rent. The noble marquis has spoken of his
    labourers. Perhaps I may here be permitted to say a few words
    of mine. I have already stated to you the infinite obligations
    I am placed under by the conduct of my tenantry, but I stand
    here this moment without an acre of land unlet which I wish to
    let. I have not for the last five years changed two tenants
    who pay me above £100 a-year, and I have not an arrear of £300
    on my whole rental. That is the state of my county, so far as
    I am concerned. But I look to the estate of my neighbour, of
    my colleague, and of my friend, as I am proud to call him, the
    Duke of Buccleuch, one of the greatest proprietors in the south
    of Scotland, and one who differed from me as to the policy of
    Free Trade. He has not, in Roxburghshire and Dumfries, let land
    falling out of lease--and those leases are usually for nineteen
    years--at any diminution of rent. A case has been mentioned,
    again, of a farm in East Lothian; and I dare say some hon.
    member more conversant with the details of that property than
    I am will speak upon that point; but, as I am informed, the
    farm in question had been previously in the hands of the owner,
    and had never been let before the last letting--that it was
    never calculated to be worth more than £1800 a-year--that some
    speculative farmer took it at £2200--that he made an imprudent
    and improvident bargain--and that a remission, therefore, has
    taken place, reducing the rent below £1800 a-year, but not
    much. I have friends in East Lothian, and I have made it my
    business to inquire into these matters, and I am told farms
    let freely as they fall out of lease, without any diminution
    of rent whatever; and also I am informed that the value of
    the fee-simple, which is the real test among the shrewd and
    sagacious people of Scotland, has increased since the repeal of
    the Corn Laws. I have said I have no farms to let; but I have
    perceived that, since the repeal of the Corn Laws, there has
    been a competition for land, arising among a class of persons
    with whom there was formerly no desire to occupy land, while
    there was the uncertainty which attended the operation of these
    laws."

The natural inference from this is, that Ministers have been
entirely deceived as to the condition of the owners and occupiers of
land--that, notwithstanding the great fall of prices, agriculture is
flourishing--and that the whole of the agitation which has been got
up on the subject is no better than a gigantic imposture. We call
this "the natural inference," because such undoubtedly would be the
impression conveyed to the mind of any unprejudiced reader. It is
very much to be regretted that such statements should go forth to the
public on the authority of Sir James Graham. In so far as Scotland
is concerned, they are calculated to lead to a conclusion directly
opposite to the truth. It is always a delicate thing to allude to
individual instances; but we cannot help observing, that when Sir James
Graham cites the case of the Buccleuch property in "Roxburghshire
and Dumfries," he does not add, for the information of those who
are unacquainted with the locality, that the great bulk of these
possessions consists of sheep-farms; and it is notorious that, owing to
the price of wool, the sheep-farmers constitute the only agricultural
class which has not suffered severely from the introduction of the
Free-Trade measures. Of the Buccleuch estates in Mid-Lothian, where
the land is entirely arable, Sir James Graham makes no mention. In the
south-eastern districts of Scotland, the fall in the value of farms
has latterly been remarkable. To this point we may have occasion to
recur hereafter; for although we do not think that the letting of
particular farms is to be taken as a criterion of the general condition
of agriculture, still we are desirous that the public should know how
the case really stands. It is quite true that, until lately, instances
have occurred of farms being let without any diminution of rent; nor
is this the least surprising, considering the language which was
employed so late as last spring by Lord Lansdowne and other members
of the Government, as well as by individuals of considerable station,
influence, and intelligence, like Mr W. E. Gladstone. The whole tenor
of their addresses was calculated to persuade the farmers that the
depreciation of prices then existing was attributable to an excellent
harvest in 1849, and not at all to foreign importation. They scouted
the idea that the averages of wheat could remain permanently at or
near 40s.; and they prophesied a speedy rise. It is no great marvel
if these representations induced some people to offer for farms which
were falling out of lease. A farmer cannot, from the nature of his
profession, be idle. He must have ground whereon to place his stock,
unless he chooses to sell it off; and as the value of stock had also
greatly fallen in the spring of last year, few were willing to part
with theirs, and so virtually to abandon their profession. But it
is a gross mistake to suppose that, in the majority of cases, the
reletting of a farm in East Lothian or Roxburghshire, at the same rent
as formerly, is to be taken as evidence of continued agricultural
prosperity. During the last nineteen years, the common period of the
endurance of a lease, the land in these counties has been so much
improved by a liberal expenditure of capital, that a considerable rise
of rent was anticipated, and would have been obtained but for the
operation of the new commercial measures. Be that as it may, we are
assured by the most competent authorities, that since last harvest
there has been a general disinclination on the part of farmers to
offer for land, except at greatly reduced rates; and we have heard
of instances in which the highest offers did not reach two-thirds
of the previous rental. We are speaking just now of the best arable
land in Scotland. It is commonly and currently stated, and has never
yet been contradicted, that elsewhere the depreciation is at least
as great. Earl Grey, perhaps, may be able to afford some rather
startling instances of the decline of rents in Northumberland. In the
cattle-breeding districts of the north and Argyleshire, tenants have
almost entirely ceased offering for vacant farms. They consider their
occupation gone; and many of the best and most prudent of them are
either on their way or preparing to emigrate to America. As for the
islands, they are now no better than so many districts of pauperism.

Perhaps, however, we are attaching too much importance to this
statement by Sir James Graham. So far as we can see, he now stands
alone, a solitary believer in agricultural prosperity, whilst every
one else has admitted the distress, though differing as to the nature
of the remedy, or even denying the propriety of administering a remedy
at all. From what is passing in England, we should imagine that
the distress among the agricultural classes there is of unexampled
severity. We read in the _Times_ of 17th February--the last number
which has reached us--a curious account of the South Nottinghamshire
election, which has resulted in the return of Mr Barrow. As one
paragraph bears directly upon the point which we are now discussing,
and as it, moreover, contains a wholesome warning to such landlords
throughout the country as have chosen to stand aloof from the tenantry
during this momentous struggle, we shall here extract it.

"The result astonishes everybody, even here; and that, in the most
aristocratic county of England, with the landlords almost to a man
banded together in support of their nominee,--a scion of one of the
largest landed proprietors in the county should be defeated by a plain
country gentleman, a retired solicitor, with scarcely an acre of his
own in the county, appears truly marvellous. _It can only be accounted
for by the fact of the losses of the occupiers during the last two
years rendering them indifferent as to whether they be expelled from
their homesteads or not_; even though Mr Barrow has for many years
presided at and taken part in their farmers' clubs and other meetings,
and Lord Newark has never been seen by one elector in a thousand until
this contest."

Assuming this account to be true--for we have no other knowledge of the
case--we rejoice that the electors of Nottinghamshire have acted so
independent a part, and returned to Parliament a gentleman who has made
their grievances and condition his especial study. Such men are wanted
at the present time, and it is to such we look for the firm vindication
of the rights of an injured tenantry. But what degree of agricultural
prosperity is implied by the previous statement?

Of course it is very easy for Sir James Graham, holding such views,
to descant on the impolicy of any return to protection. If no injury
has been inflicted upon any one, and if all interests are prospering,
there certainly can exist no conceivable motives for a change. For,
not to mention the obvious difficulties which lie in the way of a
reversal of the present commercial system, what chance should we have
of persuading any one to join us in such a mad crusade, if there indeed
exist no grievances of a weighty and intolerable character? According
to Sir James Graham, the landlord is receiving the same rent as before,
the tenant is equally comfortable, the labourer much more comfortable
than he was under the system of protection--grant all this, and no
censure, no reproach, can be severe enough to stigmatise our conduct.
Unfortunately for his theory, the Knight of Netherby has to contend
against something more stubborn than arguments. Before he can establish
his conclusions, he will in the first place demonstrate that 38s., the
present average price of the quarter of wheat, is equal to 56s., the
former remunerative rate. Next, he must explain and make clear to the
comprehension of the farmer, how all public and private taxes, imposts,
and obligations, can be discharged by the same amount of produce as
formerly, that produce having fallen upwards of thirty-five per cent in
value. And lastly, rising to economics, he must show us how the home
trade can be improved by the depression of the principal customer. When
these points are satisfactorily disposed of, we promise to give in; for
why should we prolong a contest, to our own great discomfort, for no
substantial reason?

But we must now allude to a passage in the speech of Sir James Graham,
far too serious to be passed over without indignant commentary. Irish
iteration may of late years have somewhat blunted the nicer sensibility
of the ear of the House of Commons, once painfully acute to the
remotest whisper of sedition; but we certainly never expected to see
the time when such language as the following, from the lips of a Privy
Counsellor, should be allowed to pass without rebuke:--

    "Now, I will not venture to make any prediction with respect
    to the price of corn in future; but this, sir, I say, that, be
    the price what it may, the time has arrived when it must be
    left to its natural level; and that for any Government or for
    any Legislature artificially, and by power of law, to enhance
    it,--I say the day is past. And why do I say so? I say there
    is not a ploughboy who treads the heaviest clay in England,
    who does not feel practically his condition improved within
    the last three years--and he knows the reason why. I tell you
    there is not a shepherd on the most distant and barren hill of
    Scotland, who does not now have daily a cheaper and a larger
    mess of porridge than he ever had before--and he also knows the
    reason why. I tell you, again, there is not a weaver in the
    humblest cottage in Lancashire who has not fuller and cheaper
    meals, without any fall in his wages, than he had before--and
    he knows the reason why. _Now I must tell you the whole truth._
    The time has arrived when the truth fully must be spoken.
    _There is not a soldier who returns to England from abroad,
    that does not practically feel that his daily pay is augmented,
    that he has a cheaper, larger, and a better mess, and that he
    enjoys greater comforts,--and he also knows the reason._ Now,
    sir, I entreat my honourable friends who sit below me to be
    on their guard. You may canvass the country--you may endanger
    property--you may shake our institutions to the foundation,
    (hear, hear, from Lord John Russell, and cheers from the
    Government benches); but I am persuaded that there is no power
    in England which can permanently enhance by force of law the
    price of bread. Now, that is my honest and firm conviction. The
    peace of this country, my own possessions, are as dear to me as
    any honourable gentleman who sits on the benches below me; _but
    I feel that we have arrived at the period when it is necessary
    to speak the truth_, and I have spoken it without reservation."

It is much to be regretted that Sir James Graham did not choose to
speak the truth at an earlier stage of his career. Since the clatter of
the muskets of Pride's detachment of soldiery was heard in the House of
Commons, no more insolent sound has jarred on the ear of that popular
assembly than this suggestive harangue. We pass over the declamatory
passages about the ploughboy and the shepherd without comment, as mere
bombast; but Sir James Graham ought to know, and if he does not he
should be made to know, that such language as he used with respect to
the British army is not more offensive than it is greatly dangerous to
the State. Are gentlemen of the House of Commons, acting upon their own
honest convictions of what is best for the interests of the State, and
deputed by constituencies to represent their feelings and opinions, to
be threatened by a Privy-counsellor and Ex-minister with the attack of
a Prætorian guard? Anything so monstrous--so unpardonable as this, it
has never been our lot to comment upon. Not only the dignity of the
law, but the liberty of the subject, and the prerogative of the Crown,
are here passed over as matters of no account; and a presumption is
directly reared--that the soldier is a political functionary, and may
exercise his judgment as to what side he should adopt, or what course
he should pursue, in the event of any legislative enactment whatever!
Grant but that, and we are indeed on the verge of anarchy. Now, we
entreat our readers and the public to weigh well the meaning of this
language, considering the quarter from which it came. It is no trifling
matter. Those sentences were not the rapid conceptions of an orator
in the heat of debate. Their context shows that they were prepared,
studied, and committed to memory, with a serious intent and purpose;
and the sooner we understand their entire significance the better. This
gentleman, Sir James Graham, after having assumed all the postures of
the weathercock--after having looked, in the maturity of his years,
all winds of political doctrine in the face--finds himself at last in
the position of a Cabinet Minister, pledged to his constituents to
uphold a certain line of commercial policy. The head of the Cabinet,
equally, or even more, deeply pledged, wavers, turns round, belies his
former profession, and carries his colleague along with him. Having
carefully ascertained that a considerable number of the representatives
of the people, though pledged directly or indirectly to an opposite
course, are ready to obey their orders; and being thus certain of a
majority, these statesmen refuse an appeal to the country, and proceed
to obtain the sanction of the law for certain measures diametrically
opposite to the opinions which they formerly professed. They are so
far successful, that the measures are carried, but the Cabinet shortly
afterwards falls, in consequence of the treachery of its members. A
new Parliament is summoned, and the members of that Parliament are
bound, not more by pledges than by evident considerations of the public
welfare, to give a fair trial to the working of the new commercial
system. The Cabinet, and the majority of the members of Parliament,
believe in the excellence of that system: the minority do not. Time
rolls on, and the system develops itself. No attempt is made to impede
it: it is left as free as the metal is to run into the mould. But
in the course of its progress it crushes and breaks down various of
those interests which were always considered the most important in
the British commonwealth; and a cry is heard, that to persevere is
to ensure destruction. Still no attempt is made towards a retrograde
movement. The experiment was asked for--demanded--let it be seen in its
true colours. The cry, however, is not altogether without its effect.
The majority is weakened--the minority materially increased. Beyond the
walls of Parliament the ferment increases daily. The anticipations and
the prophecies of the supporters of the new system prove to be not only
inaccurate, but so wholly contrary to the real result that no one can
venture to defend them. The small party rapidly swells into importance,
because it has public opinion with it. Almost each casual election is
given in its favour. And at last the leader of that minority comes
forward and, without requiring a total change of system, requests that
Parliament should at last take into consideration the unjust, peculiar,
and unequal burden of taxation, which the most suffering interest is
still compelled to bear, notwithstanding that it has been deprived of
that position which alone could justify the imposition of peculiar
burdens. Whereupon this quondam Minister and adviser of the Crown,
avoiding the question before him, and practically denying that meed of
justice which his former colleague, the head and front of the whole
offending, had directly admitted to be due, stands up in his place,
and warns the opposite party to desist from the course which they are
pursuing; not because their case is hopeless, for he acknowledges
their power and the extent of their support; but because he foresees a
rebellion looming in the distance, with the soldiery arrayed against
them! We say deliberately, that such language as this is eminently
and grossly mischievous. It presupposes, what we certainly never
expect to see in this country, the masses of the nation and the army
drawn out, not against the House of Commons, or the House of Lords,
or the Sovereign individually, but against all these three estates in
the exercise of their undoubted functions. The Protectionists do not
propose to imitate the example of Sir James Graham and his friends, by
perverting the House of Commons against the will of the constituencies.
Even were that in their power, they would abstain from doing so, for
the nation has already suffered by far too much from the consequences
of such a total abandonment of principle. The success of the country
party depends solely upon the will of the constituencies. Nothing shall
be done illegally--nothing deceitfully. When an appeal shall be made
to the electoral body of these kingdoms, they will have it in their
power to decide, whether the nation is to persevere in a system which
has already proved so disastrous to many interests, or whether British
industry is to be again protected to the extent, at all events, of
its burdens. And if the constituencies decide in our favour, and the
two other estates of the realm act in accordance with the opinion of
the House of Commons, what is it that we have to fear? Not certainly
the dark hints and insinuations of Sir James Graham. When the two
Houses of the legislature are divided in opinion, and when neither of
them will yield, or, when the Sovereign authority is broadly opposed
to the declared will of the Commons, it is perfectly possible that a
most serious and lamentable struggle may ensue. But so long as the
three great estates act together in harmony and concord, there is no
power in the land that can set their councils at defiance. Therefore,
when Sir James Graham sketches his imaginary league of ploughboy,
shepherd, weaver, and soldier, against the resolutions of the Imperial
Parliament, he is contemplating an anomaly which never has occurred,
and which never can occur in Great Britain. Why or wherefore should we
accept his affectionate entreaty, and be on our guard? How are we to
convulse the country--endanger property--or shake our institutions to
the foundations? Are we plotting? Are we conspiring? Do we destroy the
law? Are we doing anything, or do we propose to do anything, contrary
to the spirit of the Constitution? And if not, why are these big words
thrown at our heads? We may be quite wrong in our anticipations. The
country may not accord us its support. The electors may determine that
henceforward and for ever Free Trade shall remain the sole and dominant
system. If so, we shall submit, as is our bounden duty. We shall rear
up no phantom armies, such as are said at times to be seen skirting the
hills of Cumberland, to oppose to the levies of Sir James Graham; but
whilst we are acting constitutionally and openly, let us hear no more
of such language, which is somewhat worse than offensive.

We observe from the report, that these passages in the speech of Sir
James Graham were cheered emphatically by the Premier. Indeed, in his
own address to the House, he touched upon similar topics: "I should be
most grieved if I thought the great mass of the people of this country
were induced, by the restoration of laws which enhance the price of
food, to consider that, by imitating the example of the democracies on
the Continent, they could gain any advantage which they could not now
obtain, or increase the prosperity they are deriving from the ancient
institutions of this country." We cannot of course presume to say that
we distinctly apprehend the meaning of this complicated sentence,
which we now put upon record for the benefit of future students of
composition; but it sounds very like a hint of civil insurrection. Now,
we take leave to say, once for all, that such hints and inuendoes are
excessively indecorous and improper when emanating from any Minister
of the Crown; and that Lord John Russell, in particular, considering
his antecedents, is a vast deal too fond of indulging in this sort
of dubious talk. His business and his duty is to inculcate respect
for the laws, not to contemplate their infraction. If he entertains,
as he professes to do, a deep regard for the Constitution, he should
cautiously abstain from hinting that there is a power beyond the
Constitution which may possibly be called in to control it. Certainly
we are not inclined to submit ourselves to this sort of despotism,
or to be deterred from doing our duty, and expressing our opinions,
by vague threats of future consequences. There is another passage in
Lord John Russell's speech which is open to peculiar animadversion.
He, the champion of popular opinion, deprecates any appeal to the
country on the subject of import duties, on account of the damage
which might thereby arise to trade! Does the noble lord think that the
great body of the British agriculturists now under the pressure of the
screw, and with the prospect of ruin before them, will be deterred
from prosecuting their demand for what they conceive to be their just
rights, by any such considerations as these? Are the yeomanry to suffer
themselves to be crushed and expatriated without a murmur, simply
for the sake of putting the manufacturers to no temporary or extra
inconvenience? The Premier may depend upon it that he will never save
himself in an emergency by putting forward such worthless and shallow
arguments. Why, if he, like Sir James Graham, recognises the great and
growing power of the country party, can he shut his eyes to the fact,
that that power is simply the embodiment of public opinion, without
which to back him, Mr Disraeli's speeches and motions would be as
innocuous as the sheet lightning of a summer's evening?

There are several other points arising out of this memorable debate,
to which we intended to refer had our limits permitted. We cannot,
however, avoid noticing the prosperity terms of the Royal Speech
delivered at the opening of the Session.

It is a very remarkable circumstance, that the trade and manufactures
of Great Britain, however much they may have been depressed at
different periods of the previous year, are always marvellously
resuscitated towards the opening of the Session. Thus, in December
1849, the cotton trade was, according to the confession of the
Free-Trade organs, in a very bad condition. Less business than formerly
had been done during the year; and even the _Economist_ questioned
"whether 'the power of purchase,' on the part of the British community,
is nearly equal to what it was in 1845." In February thereafter, under
the medical treatment of Ministers, all kinds of manufactures received
an amazing fillip. Mr Labouchere almost wept for joy at the amazing
prosperity of the shipowners, who, ungrateful villains as they were,
instantly and unanimously repudiated the soft impeachment. This year
there has been the same burst of sunshine precisely at the same season.
Everything is _couleur de rose_. We were exceedingly delighted to hear
it. In our ignorance we had been led to believe that the iron trade was
nearly in a state of stagnation, and the cotton-mills not remarkably
remunerative; but it appeared that we were wrong. However, a day or two
afterwards, in turning over the _Times_, we lighted upon a paragraph
which did not appear to us indicative of a high degree of prosperity in
one important branch of manufactures. It is as follows:--

    "STATE OF TRADE. MANCHESTER, _Feb. 13_.--The continued decline
    of cotton places our spinners and manufacturers in a very
    awkward and critical position. The market appears to have lost
    all confidence, for the present, in the maintenance of prices,
    and heaviness and gloom are its prevailing characteristics.
    There has scarcely been business enough to-day to determine
    what rates would be acceded to; but there can be no doubt that,
    for any considerable order, a modification of price equal to
    3d. per piece on cloth on the nominal rates, or of 4½d. to
    6d. on the prices of Thursday last, would be accepted. The
    decline on yarn is to a proportionate extent."

Messrs Littledale's circular of 20th February is not much more
cheerful in its tone. It opens thus:--"The dulness which has pervaded
our different produce markets since the opening of the year still
continues, but with little change in prices during the last fortnight."
As regards the article of silk, we are told that--

    "Since the commencement of the month, several parcels of China
    raw silk have changed hands at rather lower prices than in
    December last. The manufacturers, finding a great falling off
    in the sale of their goods, have shown but little disposition
    to purchase. This, with the announcement of the public
    sales which are now in progress, has caused great dulness
    throughout the manufacturing districts. East India and China
    piece-goods--the demand for which has suddenly diminished; and
    prices for all sorts are lower, except good and fine Corahs
    (which for some months past have been very scarce.) These have
    sold at previous rates; but all other descriptions have been
    unsaleable."

This is at best but April prosperity--gloom and brightness,
intermingled sunshine and showers.

In a very few days we shall learn how Ministers are to meet the
opposition which the absurd and incoherent financial statement of Sir
Charles Wood has provoked. We have seen bad budgets before, but this is
incomparably the worst that was ever devised. The obnoxious and unjust
Income Tax is to be renewed, solely for the purpose of bolstering
up Free Trade, and the removal of the Window Duties is to be nearly
neutralised by the imposition of a house tax! The "happy family,"
it must be owned, have an especial talent for making themselves
universally unpopular.

The result of the division on Mr Disraeli's motion cannot fail to be
very cheering to those who look for the advent of better times, and
more enlightened legislation. It marks the progress which has been
made, even in the present Parliament, from which we had so little to
expect; and it will be our own fault if the advantage is not pursued.
We would earnestly recommend to the serious perusal and consideration
of all, but more especially the landlords of Great Britain, the
emphatic peroration of Mr Disraeli in his admirable reply:--"I
hope honourable gentlemen will not be frightened by threats, from
whatever quarter they may come. I hope there is still so much spirit
in gentlemen of the United Kingdom, that they will not be daunted
even by the mystical reference of the First Minister, or the more
authoritative, more decided threats that may reach them from any
other quarter. I hope honourable gentlemen, if they believe they are
doing their duty by supporting this motion--and let no man support it
who does not believe that he is doing his duty--will feel in future
that their part is one of more activity in defending the interests of
the tenantry of this country. This is mainly a farmers' question. No
one has met my argument about rent, which showed the fallacy of that
barbarous slang that has been too long prevalent. It is a farmers'
question. Upon the farmers the pressure for years has been too severe;
it is now increasing. From motives I call appreciate, and feelings
of delicacy I can comprehend, the owners of the soil have not stood
forward to vindicate, as they ought to have done, the interests of the
tenantry. I hope that this is the commencement of a new era in that
respect; and that no man, whether owner or occupier, will hereafter be
ashamed or afraid of asking from an English Parliament that justice to
which every English subject is entitled."


_Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh._


[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]





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