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Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 69, No. 427, May, 1851
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 69, No. 427, May, 1851" ***

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generously made available by The Internet Library of Early



  NO. CCCCXXVII.       MAY, 1851.       VOL. LXIX.


  SOME AMERICAN POETS,                                    513
  TRANSATLANTIC TOURISTS,                                 545
  ONWARD TENDENCIES,                                      564
  THE PAPAL AGGRESSION BILL,                              573
  THE BOOK OF THE FARM,                                   588
  AN EVENING WALK. BY THOMAS AIRD,                        603
  MODERN STATE TRIALS. PART V.,                           605
  THE DINNER TO LORD STANLEY,                             635



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





  NO. CCCCXXVII.        MAY, 1851.       VOL. LXIX.


    LONGFELLOW'S _Poetical Works_.
    BRYANT'S _Poetical Works_.
    WHITTIER'S _Poetical Works_.
    _Poems._ By O. W. HOLMES.

It is probable that there has been written much excellent poetry on
the other side of the Atlantic with which we are unacquainted, which
perhaps has never crossed the water at all. We should therefore be
very unwise if we professed to give here, even if such a plan could
be executed within the compass of a few pages, a general review
of American poetry. All that we propose is, to make some critical
observations on the writers before us, accompanied by such extracts as
shall not unworthily occupy the attention of our readers. Even the list
of names which we have set down at the head of this paper is the result
more of accident than design: the works of these authors lay upon our
table. The two first names will be recognised directly as the fittest
representatives of American poetry; they rise immediately to the lips
of every one who speaks upon the subject. The two last will probably
be new to our readers, and if so, it will be our pleasant task to
introduce them. One name only, familiar to all ears, has been purposely
omitted. We have elsewhere spoken, and with no stinted measure of
praise, of the writings of Mr Emerson. That writer has found in prose
so much better a vehicle of thought than verse has proved to him, (and
that even when the thought is of a poetic cast,) that to summon him to
receive judgment here amongst the poets, would be only to detract from
the commendation we have bestowed upon him.

We say it is not improbable that there is much poetry published in
America which does not reach us, because there is much, and of a very
meritorious character, published here at home in England, which fails
of obtaining any notoriety. Its circulation is more of a private than
a public nature, depending perhaps upon the social position of the
author, or following, for a short distance, in the wake of a literary
reputation obtained by a different species of writing. Not that our
critics are reluctant to praise. On the contrary, they might be
accused of rendering their praise of no avail by an indiscriminate
liberality, if it were not the true history of the matter that a
growing indifference of the public to this species of literature led
the way to this very diffuse and indiscriminate commendation. If no
one reads the book to test his criticism, the critic himself loses his
motive for watchfulness and accuracy: he passes judgment with supreme
indifference on a matter the world is careless about; and saves himself
any further trouble by bestowing on all alike that safe, moderate,
diluted eulogy, which always has the appearance of being fair and
equitable. Much meritorious poetry may therefore, for aught we know,
both in England and America, exist and give pleasure amongst an almost
private circle of admirers. And why not sing for a small audience as
well as for a great? It is not every Colin that can pipe, that can now
expect to draw the whole countryside to listen to him. What if he can
please only a quite domestic gathering, his neighbours or his clan? We
are not of those who would tell Colin to lay down his pipe: we might
whisper in his ear to mind his sheep as well, and not to break his
heart, or to disturb his peace, because some sixty persons, and not six
thousand, are grateful for his minstrelsy.

One fine summer's day we stood upon a little bridge thrown over the
deep cutting of a newly constructed railway. It was an open country
around us, a common English landscape--fields with their hedgerows,
and their thin elm-trees stripped of their branches, with here and
there a slight undulation of the soil, giving relief to, or partially
concealing, the red and white cottage or the red-tiled barn. We were
looking, however, into the deep cutting beneath us. Here the iron rails
glistened in the sun, and still, as the eye pursued their track, four
threads of glittering steel ran their parallel course, but apparently
approximating in the far perspective, till they were lost by mere
failure of the power of vision to follow them: the road itself was
straight as an arrow. On the steep banks, fresh from the spade and
pick-axe, not a shrub was seen, not a blade of grass. On the road
itself there was nothing but clods of earth, or loose gravel, which
lay in heaps by the side of the rails, or in hollows between them: it
was enough that the iron bars lay there clear of all obstruction. No
human foot, no foot of man or of beast, was ever intended to tread that
road. It was for the engine only. From time to time the shrill whistle
is heard--the train, upon its hundred iron wheels, shoots through the
little bridge, and rolls like thunder along these level grooves. It is
soon out of sight, and the country is not only again calm and solitary,
but appears for the moment to be utterly abandoned and deserted. It has
its old life, however, in it still.

Well, as we were standing thus upon the little bridge, in the open
country, and looking down into this deep ravine of the engineer's
making, we noticed, fluttering beneath us, a yellow butterfly,
sometimes beating its wings against the barren sides, and sometimes
perching on the glistering rails themselves. Clearly, most
preposterously out of place was this same beautiful insect. What had
it to do there? What food, what fragrance, what shelter could it find?
Or who was to see and to admire? There was not a shrub, nor an herb,
nor a flower, nor a playmate of any description. It is manifest, most
beautiful butterfly, that you cannot live here. From these new highways
of ours, from these iron thoroughfares, you must certainly depart. But
it follows not that you must depart the world altogether. In yonder
hollow at a distance there is a cottage, surrounded by its trees and
its flowers, and there are little children whom you may sport with, and
tease, and delight, taking care they do not catch you napping. There is
still _garden-ground_ in the world for you, and such as you.

Sometimes, when we have seen pretty little gilded volumes of song and
poetry lying about in the great highways of our industrial world, we
have recalled this scene to mind. There is garden-ground left for them
also, and many a private haunt, solitary or domestic, where they will
be welcome.

We have heard it objected against American poets, but chiefly by their
own countrymen, that they are not sufficiently _national_. This surely
is a most unreasonable complaint. The Americans inhabit what was once,
and is still sometimes called, the New World, but they are children
of the Old. Their religion grew, like ours, in Asia; they receive it,
as we do, through the nations of the west of Europe; they are, like
us, descendants of the Goth and the Roman, and are compounded of
those elements which Rome and Palestine, and the forests of Germany,
severally contributed towards the formation of what we call the Middle
Ages. They have the same intellectual pedigree as ourselves. No Tintern
Abbey, or Warwick Castle, stands on their rivers, to mark the lapse of
time; but they must ever look back upon the days of the monk and of
the knight, as the true era of romance. Proud as they may be of their
Pilgrim Fathers, one would not limit them to this honourable paternity.
It is very little poetry they would get out of the _Mayflower_--or
philosophy either.

There are, it is true, subjects for poetry native to America--new
aspects of nature and of humanity--the aboriginal forest, the
aboriginal man, the prairie, the settler, and the savage. But even
in these the American poet cannot keep a monopoly. Englishmen and
Frenchmen have visited his forests; they have stolen his Red Indian;
and have made the more interesting picture of him in proportion as they
knew less of the original. Moreover, many of the peculiar aspects of
human life which America presents may require the mellowing effect of
time, the half obscurity of the past, to render them poetic. The savage
is not the only person who requires to be viewed at a distance: there
is much in the rude, adventurous, exciting life of the first settlers
which to posterity may appear singularly attractive. They often seem to
share the power and the skill of the civilised man, with the passions
of the barbarian. What a scene--when viewed at a distance--must be one
of their _revivals_! A camp-meeting is generally described by those
who have witnessed it, in the language of ridicule or reproof. But
let us ask ourselves this question--When St Francis assembled _five
thousand_ of his followers on the plains of Assisi, and held what has
been called, in the history of the Franciscan order, "the Chapter of
Mats," because the men had no other shelter than rude tents made of
mats--on which occasion St Francis himself was obliged to moderate the
excesses of fanaticism and fanatical penance in which his disciples
indulged--what was this but a camp-meeting? In some future age, a
revival in the "Far West," or a company of Millerites expecting their
translation into heaven, will be quite as poetical as this Chapter of
Mats. For ourselves, we think that any genuine exhibition of sentiment,
by great numbers of our fellow-men, is a subject worthy of study, and
demands a certain respect. Those, however, who can see nothing but
absurdity and madness in a camp-meeting, would have walked through
the five thousand followers of St Francis with the feeling only of
intolerable disgust. Yet so it is, that merely from the lapse of time,
or the obscurity it throws over certain parts of the picture, there are
many who find something very affecting and sublime in the fanaticism
of the thirteenth century, who treat the same fanaticism with pity or
disdain when exhibited in the nineteenth.

"Miltons and Shakspeares," says an editor of one of the volumes before
us, "have not yet sprung from the only half-tilled soil of the mighty
continent; giants have not yet burst from its forests, with a grandeur
equal to their own; but," &c. &c. Doubtless the giant will make his
appearance in due course of time. But what if he should never manifest
himself in the epic of twelve, or twenty-four books, or in any long
poem whatever? A number of small poems, beautiful and perfect of their
kind, will constitute as assuredly a great work, and found as great a
reputation. We are far from thinking that the materials for poetry are
exhausted or diminished in these latter days. As a general rule, in
proportion as men _think_, do they _feel_,--more variously, if not more
deeply, themselves--and more habitually through sympathy with others.
Love and devotion, and all the more refined sentiments, are heightened
in the cultivated mind; and speculative thought itself becomes a great
and general source of emotion. As almost every man has felt, at one
period of his life, the passion of love, so almost every cultivated
mind has felt, at one period of his career, what Wordsworth describes

          "The burden and the mystery
    Of all this unintelligible world."

We are persuaded that both the materials and the readers of poetry
will increase and multiply with the spread of education. But there is
apparently a revolution of taste in favour of the lyric, and at the
expense of the epic poet. A long narrative, in verse of any kind, is
felt to be irksome and monotonous: it could be told so much better
in prose. We do not speak of such narrations as _The Paradise Lost_,
where religious feeling presides over every part, and where, in fact,
the narrative is absorbed in the sentiment. If Milton were living at
this day, there is no reason why he should not choose the same theme
for his poem. But Tasso and Ariosto would think long before they would
now select for their flowing stanzas the _Jerusalem Delivered_, or the
_Orlando Furioso_. Such themes, they would probably conclude, might be
far more effectively dealt with in prose.

Fiction, told as Sir Walter Scott tells it--history, as Macaulay
narrates--such examples as these put the reading world, we think, quite
out of patience with verse, when applied to the purpose of a lengthy
narrative. They and others have shown that prose is so much the better
vehicle. It may be rendered almost equally harmonious, and admits of
far greater variety of cadence; it may be polished and refined, and yet
adapt itself, in turns, to every topic that arises. No need here to
omit the most curious incident, or the most descriptive detail, because
it will not comport with the dignified march of the verse, or of the
versified style. The language here rises and falls naturally with the
subject, or may be made to do so; nor is it ever necessary to obscure
the meaning, for the sake of sustaining a wearisome rhythm. If you have
a long story to tell, by all means tell it in prose.

But the short poem--need we say it?--is not ephemeral because it is
brief. The most enduring reputation may be built upon a few lyrics.
They should, however, not only contain some beautiful verses--they
should be beautiful throughout. And this brings us to the only real
complaint which we, in our critical capacity, have to allege against
the tuneful brethren in America. We find too much haste, far too
much negligence, and a willingness to be content with what has first
presented itself. Instead of recognising that the short poem ought to
be almost perfect, they seem to proceed on the quite contrary idea,
that because it is brief, it should therefore be hastily written, and
that it would be a waste of time to bestow much revision upon it. We
often, meet with a poem where the sentiment is natural and poetic, but
where the effect is marred by this negligent and unequal execution.
A verse of four lines shall have three that are good, and the fourth
shall limp. Or a piece shall consist but of five verses, and two out
of the number must be absolutely effaced if you would re-peruse the
composition with any pleasure. Meanwhile there is sufficient merit in
what remains to make us regret this haste and inequality. To our own
countrymen, as well as to the American, we would suggest that the small
poem may be a great work; but that, to become so, it should not only
be informed by noble thought, it should exhibit no baser metal, no
glaring inequalities of style, and, above all, no conflicting, obscure,
or half-extricated meanings. We believe that it would be generally
found, if we could penetrate the secret history of really beautiful
compositions, that, however brief, and although they were written at
first during some happy hour of inspiration, they had received again
and again new touches, and the "fortunate erasures" of the poet.
By this process only did they grow to be the completely beautiful
productions which they are. Such exquisite lyrics are very rare, and
we may depend upon it they are not produced without much thought and
labour, joined, as we say, to that happy hour of inspiration.

_Mr Longfellow_ occupies, and most worthily, the first place on our
list. He has obtained, as well by his prose as his poetry, a certain
recognised place in that literature of the English language which
is common to both countries. His _Hyperion_ has been for some time
an established favourite amongst a class of readers with whom to be
popular implies a merit of no vulgar description. Mr Longfellow has
relied too much, for an independent and permanent reputation, on his
German and his Spanish friends. An elegant and accomplished writer, a
cultivated mind--a critic would be justified in praising his works,
more than the author of them. He has studied foreign literature with
somewhat too much profit. We have no critical balance so fine as
would enable us to weigh out the two distinct portions of merit which
may be due to an author, first as an original writer, and then as a
tasteful and skilful artist, who has known how and where to gather
and transplant, to translate, or to appropriate. It is a distinction
which, as readers, we should be little disposed to make, but which, as
critics, we are compelled to take notice of. We should not impute to Mr
Longfellow any flagrant want of originality; but a fine appreciation
of thoughts presented to him by other minds, and the skill and tact of
the cultivated artist, are qualities very conspicuous in his writings.
Having once taken notice of this, we have no wish to press it further;
still less would we allow his successful study, and his bold and
felicitous imitations of the writings of others, to detract from the
merit of what is really original in his own.

What a noble lyric is this, "The Building of the Ship!" It is full of
the spirit of Schiller. A little more of the file--something more of
harmony--and it would have been quite worthy of the name of Schiller.
The interweaving of the two subjects, the building and launching of
the vessel, with the marriage of the shipbuilder's daughter, and
the launching of that _other bride_ on the waters of life, is very
skilfully managed; whilst the name of the ship, The Union, gives the
poet a fair opportunity of introducing a third topic in some patriotic
allusions to the great vessel of the state:--

    "Build me straight, O worthy Master!
      Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel,
    That shall laugh at all disaster,
      And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!"

Such is the merchant's injunction to the master-builder, who forthwith
proceeds to fulfil it.

    "Beside the master, when he spoke,
    A youth, against an anchor leaning,
    Listened to catch the slightest meaning.
    Only the long waves, as they broke
    In ripples on the pebbly beach,
    Interrupted the old man's speech.

    Beautiful they were in sooth,
    The old man and the fiery youth!
    The old man, in whose busy brain
    Many a ship that sailed the main
    Was modelled o'er and o'er again;--
    The fiery youth, who was to be
    The heir of his dexterity,
    The heir of his house and his daughter's hand,
    When he had built and launched from land
    What the elder head had planned.

    'Thus,' said he, 'will we build this ship!
    Lay square the blocks upon the slip,
    And follow well this plan of mine:
    Choose the timbers with greatest care,
    Of all that is unsound beware;
    For only what is sound and strong
    To this vessel shall belong.
    Cedar of Maine and Georgia pine
    Here together shall combine.
    A goodly frame and a goodly fame,
    And the UNION be her name!
    For the day that gives her to the sea
    Shall give my daughter unto thee!'"

Under such auspices the vessel grows day by day. The mention of the
tall masts, and the slender spars, carry the imagination of the poet
to the forest where the pine-trees grew. We cannot follow him in this
excursion, but here is a noble description of some part of the process
of the building of the ship:--

    "With oaken brace and copper band
    Lay the rudder on the sand,
    That, like a thought, should have control
    Over the movement of the whole;
    And near it the anchor, whose giant hand
    Should reach down and grapple with the land,
    And immovable, and fast
    Hold the great ship against the bellowing blast!"

At length all is finished--the vessel is built:--

    "There she stands,
    With her foot upon the sands,
    Decked with flags and streamers gay,
    In honour of her marriage-day;
    Her snow-white signals fluttering, blending,
    Round her like a veil descending,
    Ready to be
    The bride of the grey old sea.

    On the deck another bride
    Is standing by her lover's side,
    Shadows from the flags and shrouds,
    Like the shadows cast by clouds,
    Broken by many a sunny fleck,
    Fall around them on the deck.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Then the master
    With a gesture of command,
    Waved his hand.
    And at the word,
    Loud and sudden there was heard,
    All around them and below,
    The sound of hammers, blow on blow,
    Knocking away the shores and spurs.
    And see! she stirs!
    She starts--she moves--she seems to feel
    The thrill of life along her keel,
    And spurning with her foot the ground,
    With one exulting joyous bound
    She leaps into the ocean's arms!

    And lo! from the assembled crowd
    There rose a shout prolonged and loud,
    That to the ocean seemed to say--
    'Take her, O bridegroom old and grey,
    Take her to thy protecting arms,
    With all her youth and all her charms!'

    How beautiful she is! How fair
    She lies within those arms that press
    Her form with many a soft caress
    Of tenderness and watchful care!

    Sail forth into the sea, O ship!
    Through wind and wave right onward steer!
    The moistened eye, the trembling lip,
    Are not the signs of doubt or fear!
    Sail forth into the sea of life,
    O gentle, loving, trusting wife,
    And safe from all adversity
    Upon the bosom of that sea
    Thy comings and thy goings be!
    For gentleness, and love, and trust,
    Prevail o'er angry wave and gust.

    Thou too, sail on, O ship of state!
    Sail on, O UNION, strong and great!
    Humanity, with all its fears,
    With all its hopes of future years,
    Is hanging breathless on thy fate!
    We know what master laid thy keel,
    What workmen wrought thy ribs of steel,
    Who made each mast and sail and rope,
    What anvils rang, what hammers beat,
    In what a forge, and what a heat
    Were shaped the anchors of thy hope!
    Fear not each sudden sound and shock!
    'Tis of the wave, and not the rock;
    'Tis but the flapping of the sail
    And not a rent made by the gale!
    In spite of rock and tempest roar,
    In spite of false lights on the shore,
    Sail on, nor fear to breast the sea!
    Our hearts, our hopes, are all with thee,
    Our hearts, our hopes, our prayers, our tears,
    Our faith triumphant o'er our fears,
    Are all with thee--are all with thee!"

This noble ode leads the van of a small collection of poems called, "By
the Seaside." A series of companion-pictures bear the name of, "By the
Fireside." We may as well proceed with a few extracts from these. The
following are from some verses on "The Lighthouse."

    "The mariner remembers when a child
      On his first voyage, he saw it fade and sink;
    And, when returning from adventures wild,
      He saw it rise again on ocean's brink.

    Steadfast, serene, immovable, the same
      Year after year, thro'all the silent night
    Burns on for evermore that quenchless flame,
      Shines on that inextinguishable light!

    The startled waves leap over it; _the storm
      Smotes it with all the scourges of the rain_,
    And steadily against its solid form
      Press the great shoulders of the hurricane."

This is bold and felicitous: the following, to "The Twilight," is in a
more tender strain. The first verse we cannot quote: we suspect there
is some misprint in our copy. Mr Longfellow could not have written
these lines--

    "And like the wings of sea-birds
      Flash the _white caps_ of the sea."

Whether women's caps or men's nightcaps are alluded to, the image would
be equally grotesque. The poem continues--

    "But in the fisherman's cottage
      There shines a ruddier light,
    And a little face at the window
      Peers out into the night.

    Close, close it is pressed to the window,
      As if these childish eyes
    Were looking into the darkness
      To see some form arise.

    And a woman's waving shadow
      Is passing to and fro,
    Now rising to the ceiling,
      Now bowing and bending low.

    What tale do the roaring ocean,
      And the night-wind, bleak and wild,
    As they beat at the crazy casement,
      Tell to that little child?

    And why do the roaring ocean,
      And the night-wind, wild and bleak,
    As they beat at the heart of the mother,
      Drive the colour from her cheek?"

Mr Longfellow understands how to _leave off_--how to treat a subject
so that all is really said, yet the ear is left listening for more.
"By the Fireside" is a series, of course, of mere domestic sketches.
The subjects, however, do not always bear any distinct reference or
relation to this title. That from which we feel most disposed to quote
is written on some "Sand of the Desert in an Hour-Glass." It has been
always a favourite mode of composition to let some present object carry
the imagination, by links of associated thought, whithersoever it
pleased. This sort of reverie is natural and pleasing, but must not be
often indulged in. It is too easy; and we soon discover that any topic
thus treated becomes endless, and will lead us, if we please, over
half the world. At length it becomes indifferent where we start from.
Without witchcraft, one may ride on any broomstick into Norway. But
the present poem, we think, is a very allowable specimen of this mode
of composition. The poet surveys this sand of the desert, now confined
within an hour-glass; he thinks how many centuries it may have blown
about in Arabia, what feet may have trodden on it--perhaps the feet of
Moses, perhaps of the pilgrims to Mecca; then he continues--

    "These have passed over it, or may have passed!
      Now in this crystal tower,
    Imprisoned by some curious hand at last,
      It counts the passing hour.

    And as I gaze, these narrow walls expand;
      Before my dreamy eye
    Stretches the desert, with its shifting sand,
      Its unimpeded sky.

    And, borne aloft by the sustaining blast,
      This little golden thread
    Dilates into a column high and vast,
      A form of fear and dread.

    And onward and across the setting sun,
      Across the boundless plain,
    The column and its broader shadow run,
      Till thought pursues in vain.

    The vision vanishes! These walls again
      Shut out the lurid sun,
    Shut out the hot immeasurable plain;
      The half-hour's sand is run!"

We notice in Mr Longfellow an occasional fondness for what is _quaint_,
as if Quarles' _Emblems_, or some such book, had been at one time a
favourite with him. In the lines entitled "Suspiria," solemn as the
subject is, the thought trembles on the verge of the ridiculous. But,
leaving these poems, "By the Seaside," and "By the Fireside," we shall
find a better instance of this tendency to a certain quaintness in
another part of the volume before us. The "Old Clock on the Stairs" is
a piece which invites a few critical observations. It is good enough to
be quoted almost entirely, and yet affords an example of those faults
of haste and negligence and incompleteness which even Mr Longfellow has
not escaped.


    "_L'éternité est une pendule, dont le balancier dit et redit
    sans cesse ces deux mots seulement dans le silence des
    tombeaux. 'Toujours! Jamais!--Jamais! Toujours!'_"--JACQUES

    "Somewhat back from the village street
    Stands the old-fashioned country-seat:
    Across its antique portico
    Tall poplar-trees their shadows throw;
    And from its station in the hall
    An ancient time-piece say to all--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'

    Half-way up the stairs it stands,
    And points and beckons with its hands,
    From its case of massive oak,
    Like a monk who, under his cloak,
    Crosses himself, and sighs, 'Alas!'
    With sorrowful voice to all who pass--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'

    By day its voice is low and light,
    But in the silent dead of night,
    Distinct as a passing footstep's fall,
    It echoes along the vacant hall,
    Along the ceiling, along the floor,
    And seems to say at each chamber door--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'

       *       *       *       *       *

    In that mansion used to be
    Free-hearted Hospitality;
    His great fires up the chimney roared,
    The stranger feasted at his board;
    But, like the skeletons at the feast,
    That warning timepiece never ceased--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'

    There groups of merry children played,
    There youths and maidens dreaming strayed:
    O precious hours! O golden prime,
    And affluence of love and time!
    Even as a miser counts his gold,
    Those hours, the ancient timepiece told--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'

       *       *       *       *       *

    All are scattered now and fled,
    Some are married, some are dead;
    And when I ask, with throbs of pain,
    'Ah, when shall they all meet again!'
    As in the days long since gone by,
    The ancient timepiece makes reply--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'

    Never here, for ever there,
    Where all parting, pain, and care,
    And death and time shall disappear--
    For ever there, but never here!
    The horologe of Eternity
    Sayeth this incessantly--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'"

Mr Longfellow has not treated Jacques Bridaine fairly--certainly not
happily. The pious writer intended that his clock, which represents
the voice of Eternity, or the Eternal Destiny of each man, should, by
the solemn ticking of its pendulum, utter to the ear of every mortal,
according to his conscience, the happy "Toujours!" or the mournful
"Jamais!" for the joys of Heaven are either "Always" or "Never." But
no clock could utter to the conscience of any man a word of _three_
syllables, and by translating the "Tou-jours!--Ja-mais!" into "For
ever!--Never!" we lose the voice of the pendulum. The point of the
passage is the same, in this respect, as that of the well-known story
of the Dutch widow who consulted her pastor whether she should marry
again or not. Her pastor, knowing well that, in these cases, there is
but one advice which has the least chance of being followed, referred
her to the bells of the church, and bade her listen to them, and mark
what they said upon the subject. They said very distinctly, "Kempt
ein mann!"--"Take a husband!" Thereupon the pastor re-echoed the same
advice. Jacques Bridaine intended that, according to the conscience
which the listener brought, the swinging pendulum of his eternal clock
would welcome him with the "Toujours!" or utter the knell of "Jamais!"
This _conceit_ Mr Longfellow does not preserve. But, what is of far
more importance, he preserves no one distinct sentiment in his piece;
nor is it possible to detect, in all cases, what _his_ clock means by
the solemn refrain, "For ever--never! Never--for ever!" When at the
last verse the pendulum explains itself distinctly, the sentiment is
diluted into what Jacques Bridaine would have thought, and what we
think too, a very tame commentary on human life. At the fifth verse, as
it stands in our quotation, the old clock quite forgets his character
of monitor, and occupies himself with registering the happy hours of
infancy. Very amiable on its part; but, if endowed with this variety
of sentiment, it should be allowed to repeat something else than its

    "Even as a miser counts his gold,
    Those hours the ancient time-piece told--
          'For ever--never!
          Never--for ever!'"

These remarks may seem very gravely analytical for the occasion that
calls them forth. But if it were worth while to adopt a _conceit_ of
this description as the text of his poem, it was worth the author's
pains to carry it out with a certain distinctness and unity.

Considering the tact and judgment which Mr Longfellow generally
displays, we were surprised to find that the longest poem in the
volume, with the exception, perhaps, of "The Spanish Student, a play
in three acts," has been written in Latin hexameters--is, in fact,
one of those painful unlucky metrical experiments which poets will
every now and then make upon our ears. They have a perfect right to
do so: happily there is no statute which compels us to read. A man
may, if he pleases, dance all the way from London to Norwich: one
gentleman is said to have performed this feat. We would not travel in
that man's company. We should grow giddy with only looking upon his
perpetual shuffle and _cinq-a-pace_. The tripping dactyle, followed
by the grave spondee, closing each line with a sort of _curtsey_, may
have a charming effect in Latin. It pleased a Roman ear, and a scholar
learns to be pleased with it. We cannot say that we have been ever
reconciled by any specimen we have seen, however skilfully executed,
to the imitation of it in English; and we honestly confess that, under
other circumstances, we should have passed over _Evangeline_ unread.
If, however, the rule _de gustibus_, &c., be ever quite applicable, it
is to a case of this kind. With those who assert that the imitation
hexameter does please them, and that they like, moreover, the idea of
_scanning_ their English, no controversy can possibly be raised.

But although _Evangeline_ has not reconciled us to this experiment,
there is so much sweetness in the poetry itself, that, as we read on,
we forget the metre. The story is a melancholy one, and forms a painful
chapter in the colonial history of Great Britain. Whether the rigour
of our Government was justified by the necessity of the case, we will
not stop to inquire; but a French settlement, which had been ceded to
us, was accused of favouring our enemies. The part of the coast they
occupied was one which could not be left with safety in unfriendly
hands; and it was determined to remove them to other districts. The
village of Grand Pré was suddenly swept of its inhabitants. Evangeline,
in this dispersion of the little colony, is separated from her lover;
and the constancy of the tender and true-hearted girl forms the subject
of the poem.

Our readers will be curious, perhaps, to see a specimen of Mr
Longfellow's hexameters. _Evangeline_ is one of those poems which leave
an agreeable impression as a whole, but afford few striking passages
for quotation. The following is the description of evening in the yet
happy village of Grand Pré:--

    "Now recommenced the reign of rest and affection and stillness.
    Day with its burden and heat had departed, and twilight descending
    Brought back the evening star to the sky, and the herds to the
    Pawing the ground they came, and resting their necks on each other,
    And, with their nostrils distended, inhaling the freshness of
    Foremost, bearing the bell, Evangeline's beautiful heifer,
    Proud of her snow-white hide, and the ribbon that waved from her
    Quietly paced and slow, as if conscious of human affection.
    Then came the shepherd back with his bleating flocks from
        the sea-side,
    Where was their favourite pasture. Behind them followed the
    Patient, full of importance, and grand in the pride of his instinct,
    Walking from side to side with a lordly air."----

All this quiet happiness was to cease. The village itself was to be

    "_There_ o'er the yellow fields, in silent and mournful procession,
    Came from the neighbouring hamlets and farms the Acadian women,
    Driving in ponderous wains their household goods to the sea-shore,
    Pausing, and looking back to gaze once more on their dwellings,
    Ere they were shut from sight by the winding roads and the woodlands.
    Close at their sides their children ran, and urged on the oxen,
    _While in their little hands they clasped some fragments of

If in "Evangeline," Mr Longfellow has hazarded a trial upon our
patience, in the "Spanish Student," on the contrary--which, being in
the dramatic form, had a certain privilege to be tedious--he has been
both indulgent and considerate to his reader. It is properly called
a play, for it does not attempt the deep passion of tragedy. It is
spirited and vivacious, and does not exceed three acts. Hypolito, a
student who is not in love, and therefore can jest at those who are,
and Chispa, the roguish valet of Victorian, the student who is in
love, support the comic portion of the drama. Chispa, by his Spanish
proverbs, proves himself to be a true countryman of Sancho Panza. We
must give a specimen of Chispa; he is first introduced giving some very
excellent advice to the musicians whom he is leading to the serenade:--

    "_Chispa._--Now, look you, you are gentlemen that lead the life
    of crickets; you enjoy hunger by day, and noise by night. Yet
    I beseech you, for this once, be not loud, but pathetic; for
    it is a serenade to a damsel in bed, and not to the Man in the
    Moon. Your object is not to arouse and terrify, but to soothe
    and bring lulling dreams. Therefore each shall not play upon
    his instrument as if it were the only one in the universe, but
    gently, and with a certain modesty, according with the others.
    What instrument is that?

    _1st Mus._--An Arragonese bagpipe.

    _Chispa._--Pray, art thou related to the bagpiper of Bujalance,
    who asked a maravedi for playing, and ten for leaving off?

    _1st Mus._--No, your honour.

    _Chispa._--I am glad of it. What other instruments have we?

    _2d and 3d Mus._--We play the bandurria.

    _Chispa._--A pleasing instrument. And thou?

    _4th Mus._--The fife.

    _Chispa._--I like it; it has a cheerful, soul-stirring sound,
    that soars up to my lady's window like the song of a swallow.
    And you others?

    _Other Mus._--We are the singers, please your honour.

    _Chispa._--You are too many. Do you think we are going to sing
    mass in the cathedral of Cordova? _Four men can make little use
    of one shoe, and I see not how you can all sing in one song._
    But follow me along the garden-wall. That is the way my master
    climbs to the lady's window. It is by the vicar's skirts the
    devil climbs into the belfry. Come, follow me, and make no


Chispa is travelling with his master, Victorian. When they come to
an inn, the latter regales himself with a walk in the moonlight,
meditating on his mistress. Not so Chispa.

    "_Chispa._--Hola! ancient Baltasar! Bring a light and let me
    have supper.

    _Bal._--Where is your master?

    _Chispa._--Do not trouble yourself about him. We have stopped a
    moment to breathe our horses; and if he chooses to walk up and
    down in the open air, looking into the sky _as one who hears it
    rain_, that does not satisfy my hunger, you know. But be quick,
    for I am in a hurry, and every one stretches his legs according
    to the length of his coverlet. What have we here?

    _Bal._ (_setting a light on the table._)--Stewed rabbit.

    _Chispa_ (_eating._)--Conscience of Portalegre! Stewed kitten,
    you mean!

    _Bal._--And a pitcher of Pedro Ximenes with a roasted pear in

    _Chispa_ (_drinking._)--Ancient Baltasar amigo! You know how
    to cry wine and sell vinegar.--Moreover, your supper is like
    the hidalgo's dinner, _very little meat, and a great deal of

    _Bal._--Ha! ha! ha!

    _Chispa._--And more noise than nuts.

    _Bal._--Ha! ha! ha! You must have your jest, Master Chispa. But
    shall not I ask Don Victorian in to take a draught of the Pedro

    _Chispa._--No; you might as well say, 'Don't you want some?' to
    a dead man.

    _Bal._--Why does he go so often to Madrid?

    _Chispa._--For the same reason that he eats no supper. He is in
    love. Were you ever in love, Baltasar?

    _Bal._--I was never out of it, good Chispa.

    _Chispa._--What! you on fire too, old haystack? Why, we shall
    never be able to put you out.

    _Vict._ (_without._)--Chispa!

    _Chispa._--Go to bed--the cocks are crowing."

This Chispa changes masters in course of the piece, and enters into the
service of Don Carlos; but the change does not seem to have advanced
his fortunes, for we find him thus moralising to himself at the close
of the play--

    "Alas! and alack-a-day! Poor was I born, and poor do I remain.
    I neither win nor lose. Thus I wag through the world half the
    time on foot, and the other half walking.... And so we plough
    along, as the fly said to the ox. Who knows what may happen?
    Patience, and shuffle the cards! I am not yet so bald that you
    can see my brains."

It would not be difficult to select other favourable specimens both of
the graver and lighter manner of Mr Longfellow; but we must now proceed
to the second name upon our list.

Mr Bryant is a poet who not unfrequently reminds us of Mrs Hemans.
Perhaps we could not better, in a few words, convey our impression
of his poetical _status_. His verse is generally pleasing--not often
powerful. His good taste rarely deserts him; but he has neither very
strong passions, nor those indications of profounder thought which
constitute so much of the charm of modern poetry. For he who would take
a high rank amongst our lyric poets should, at one time or other, have
dwelt and thought with the philosophers. He should be seen as stepping
from the Porch; he should have wandered, with his harp concealed
beneath his robe, in the gardens of the Academy.

Short as Mr Bryant's poems generally are, they still want concentration
of thought--energy--unity. In quoting from him, we should often
be disposed to make omissions for the very sake of _preserving_ a
connection of ideas. The omission of several verses, even in a short
poem, so far from occasioning what the doctors would call a "solution
of continuity," would often assist in giving to the piece a greater
distinctness, and unity of thought and purpose. This ought not to be.

Mr Bryant's poems, we believe, are by this time familiar to most
readers of poetry; we must, therefore, be sparing of our quotations.
In the few we make, we shall be anxious to give the most favourable
specimens of his genius: the faults we have hinted at will sufficiently
betray themselves without seeking for especial illustration of them.
Our first extract shall be from some very elegant verses on a subject
peculiarly American--"The Prairie." We quote the commencement and the
conclusion. The last strikes us as singularly happy. Mr Bryant starts
with rather an unfortunate expression; he calls the Prairie "the garden
of the desert;" he rather meant "the garden-desert." He may describe
the Prairie, if he pleases, as one green and blooming desert; but the
garden _of the_ desert implies a desert to which it belongs--would be
an oasis, in short:--


    "These are the gardens of the desert, these
    The unshorn fields, boundless and beautiful,
    For which the speech of England has no name--
    The Prairies. I behold them for the first,
    And my heart swells while the dilated sight
    Takes in the encircling vastness. Lo! they stretch
    In airy undulations far away,
    As if the ocean, in his gentlest swell,
    Stood still, with all his rounded billows fixed,
    And motionless forever. Motionless?
    No!--they are all unchained again. The clouds
    Sweep over with the shadows, and beneath
    The surface rolls and fluctuates to the eye;
    Dark hollows seem to glide along, and chase
    The sunny ridges....

       *       *       *       *       *

    Still this great solitude is quick with life.
    Myriads of insects, gaudy as the flowers
    They flutter over, gentle quadrupeds,
    And birds that scarce have learned the fear of man,
    Are here, and sliding reptiles of the ground
    Startlingly beautiful. The graceful deer
    Bounds to the wood at my approach. The bee,
    A more adventurous colonist than man,
    With whom he came across the Eastern deep,
    Fills the savannas with his murmurings,
    And hides his sweets, as in the golden age,
    Within the hollow oak. I listen long
    To his domestic hum, and think I hear
    The sound of that advancing multitude
    Which soon shall fill these deserts. _From the ground
    Comes up the laugh of children_, the soft voice
    Of maidens, and the sweet and solemn hymn
    Of Sabbath worshippers. The low of herds
    Blends with the rustling of the heavy grain
    Over the dark brown furrows. All at once
    A fresher wind sweeps by, and breaks my dream,
    And I am in the wilderness alone."

It is a natural sentiment, though somewhat difficult to justify, which
poets, and others than poets, entertain when they look about for some
calm and beautiful spot, some green and sunny slope, for their final
resting-place. Imagination still attributes something of sensation, or
of consciousness, to what was once the warm abode of life. Mr Bryant,
in a poem called "June," after indulging in this sentiment, gives us
one of the best apologies for it we remember to have met with. There is
much grace and pathos in the following verses:--

    "I know, I know I should not see
      The seasons' glorious show,
    Nor would its brightness shine for me,
      Nor its wild music flow;
    But if around my place of sleep,
    The friends I love should come to weep,
      _They might not haste to go_.
    Soft airs, and song, and light and bloom
    Should keep them lingering by my tomb.

    These to their softened hearts should bear
      The thought of what has been,
    And speak of one who _cannot share_
      The gladness of the scene;
    Whose part, in all the pomp that fills
    The circuit of the summer hills,
      _Is--that his grave is green_;
    And deeply would their hearts rejoice
    To hear again his living voice."

"The Lapse of Time" is a piece which might be quoted as a favourable
specimen of Mr Bryant's poetry. It might also serve as an instance of
its _shortcoming_--of its want of concentration--of a distinct, firm
tone of thought. As it is not long, we will quote the whole of it. Our
complaint of a certain weakness--the want of a steady and strong grasp
of his subject--could not be less disagreeably illustrated, nor brought
to a more rigid test. Our italics here are not complimentary, but
simply serve the purpose of drawing attention to the train of thought
or sentiment:--


    "Lament who will, in fruitless tears,
      The speed with which our moments fly;
    I sigh not over vanished years,
      But watch _the years that hasten by_.

    _Look how they come_--a mingled crowd
      Of bright and dark, but rapid days;
    Beneath them, like a summer cloud,
      The wide world changes as I gaze.

    What! grieve that time _has brought so soon
      The sober age of manhood on_!
    As idly might I weep, at noon,
      To see the blush of morning gone.

    Could I give up the hopes that glow
      In prospect like Elysian isles,
    And let the cheerful future go,
      With all her promises and smiles?

    _The Future! cruel were the power_
      _Whose doom would tear thee from my heart,_
    _Thou sweetener of the present hour!_
      _We cannot--no--we will not part._

    Oh, leave me still the rapid flight
      That makes the changing seasons gay--
    The grateful speed that brings the night,
      The swift and glad return of day;

    The months that touch with added grace
      This little prattler at my knee,
    In whose arch eye and speaking face
      New meaning every hour I see.

    The years that o'er each sister land
      Shall lift the country of my birth,
    And nurse her strength till she shall stand
      The pride and pattern of the earth:

    Till younger commonwealths, for aid,
      Shall cling about her ample robe,
    And from her frown shall shrink afraid
      The crowned oppressors of the globe.

    _True--time will seam and blanch my brow_;
      Well--I shall sit with aged men,
    And my good glass shall tell me how
      A grizzly beard becomes me then.

    And then should no dishonour lie
      Upon my head when I am grey,
    Love yet shall watch my fading eye,
      And smooth the path of my decay.

    Then, haste thee, Time--'tis kindness all
      That speeds thy wingèd feet so fast;
    Thy pleasures stay not till they pall,
      And all thy pains are quickly past.

    Thou fliest and bearest away our woes,
      _And, as thy shadowy train depart_,
    The memory of sorrow grows
      A lighter burden on the heart."

Brief as the poem is, it should have been divided into two; for it is
a song of resignation and a song of hope mingled together. It must
strike the least reflective reader that no man needs consolation for
the lapse of time, who is occupied with hopeful anticipations of the
future. It is because Time carries away our hopes with it, and leaves
us the very tranquil pleasures of age, that we "sigh over vanished
years." Every sentiment which Mr Bryant expresses in this poem is
natural and reasonable; but it follows not that they should have been
brought together within the compass of a few verses. At one moment we
are looking at _the past_, or we are told not to grieve

    "That time has brought so soon
    The sober age of manhood on!"

the next, we are called upon to sympathise in some unexpected rapture,
by no means happily expressed, about _the future_--"The future!"
&c.,--as if some one had been threatening to cut us off from our golden
anticipations. The only result we are left in unquestioned possession
of is, that if the present time did not move on, the future could
not advance. But it is not such an abstraction or truism as this, we
presume, that the poet intended to teach; he intended to portray the
natural sentiments which arise as we reflect on human life, whether
passing or past, or as seen in the hopeful future; and these he should
not have mingled confusedly together. It would be tedious to carry on
the analysis any farther; but we may add, that it is hardly wise, in
the same short poem, to speak rapturously of the Elysian glories of the
future, and mournfully of "Time's shadowy train," which can be no other
than these Elysian glories _seen from behind_.

Like Mr Longfellow, Mr Bryant is both a German and a Spanish scholar;
and he has enriched his own collection of poems with some very pleasing
translations. We are tempted to conclude our extracts from this poet by
two brief specimens of these translations--the one from the Spanish,
the other from the German:--

    "Alexis calls me cruel--

       *       *       *       *       *

    I would that I could utter
      My feelings without shame,
    And tell him how I love him,
      Nor wrong my virgin fame.

    Alas! to seize the moment
      When heart inclines to heart,
    And press a suit with passion,
      Is not a woman's part.

    If man comes not to gather
      The roses where they stand,
    They fade among their foliage;
      They cannot seek his hand."

Here the maiden is very maidenly. Our next is far more piquant. We
often hear of young ladies angling; they catch, and they are caught;
and they are sometimes not a little frightened at their own success in
this perilous species of angling. Uhland has put all this before us in
a very pictorial manner, and Mr Bryant has very happily translated him--

    "There sits a lovely maiden
      The ocean murmuring nigh;
    She throws the hook and watches
      The fishes pass it by.

    A ring with a ring jewel,
      Is sparkling on her hand;
    Upon the hook she binds it,
      And flings it from the land.

    Uprises from the water
      A hand like ivory fair.
    What gleams upon its finger?
      The golden ring is there.

    Uprises from the bottom
      A young and handsome knight;
    In golden scales he rises,
      That glitter in the light.

    The maid is pale with terror--
      'Nay, knight of ocean, nay,
    It was not thee I wanted;
      Let go the ring, I pray.'

    'Ah, maiden, not to fishes
      The bait of gold is thrown;
    The ring shall never leave me,
      And thou must be my own.'"

It cannot be complained of _Mr Whittier's_ poems that they are not
sufficiently national; but they are national in a very disagreeable
point of view--they introduce us into the controversies of the day. Mr
Whittier appears to be one of those who write verses, hymns, or odes,
instead of, or perhaps in addition to, sundry speeches at popular
assemblies in favour of some popular cause. His rhymes have the same
relation to poetry that the harangues delivered at such meetings
bear to eloquence. We were at a loss to understand on what wings
(certainly not those of his poetic genius) he had flown hither, till
we discovered that his intemperate zeal against slavery, as it exists
in the southern States of America, had procured for him a welcome
amongst a certain class of readers in England. If we insert his name
here, it is simply to protest against the adoption by any party, but
especially by any English party, of such blind, absurd, ungovernable
zeal, upon a question as difficult and intricate as it is momentous.
Both Mr Longfellow and Mr Bryant write upon slavery; and both have
produced some very touching poems on the subject; but they treat the
topic as poets. Mr Whittier treats the subject with the rabid fury of
a fierce partisan. No story so preposterous or ridiculous but he can
bend it to his purpose. He throws contumely upon the ministers of the
gospel in the Southern States, because instead of attempting, every
moment of their lives, to overthrow the unfortunate organisation of
society that is there established, they endeavour to make the slave
contented with his lot, and the master lenient in the exercise of his
authority. Sentence of death was passed, it seems, on a man of the name
of Brown, for assisting a slave to escape. The sentence was commuted,
but this does not prevent Mr Whittier from hanging the man in his own
imagination, and then, _à propos_ of this imaginary execution, thus
addressing the clergy of South Carolina:--

    "Ho! thou who seekest late and long
      A license from the Holy Book
    For brutal lust and hell's red wrong,
      _Man of the pulpit, look!
    Lift up those cold and atheist eyes,
      This ripe fruit of thy teaching see_;
    And tell us how to Heaven will rise
    The incense of this sacrifice--
      This blossom of the gallows-tree!"

And thus he proceeds, lashing himself into frenzy, through the whole
of the piece. We dismiss Mr Whittier, and venture to express a hope
that those who appear to be looking into American literature, for
the purpose of catering for the English public, will be able to
discover and import something better than strains such as these--which
administer quite as much to the love of calumny, and an appetite for
horrors, as to any sentiment of philanthropy.

The next person whom we have to mention, and probably to introduce
for the first time to our readers, is not one whom we can commend for
his temperate opinions, or knowledge of the world, or whatever passes
under the name of strong common sense or practical sagacity. He is much
a dreamer; he has little practical skill, even in his own craft of
authorship; but there runs a true vein of poetry through his writings;
it runs zig-zag, and is mixed with much dross, and is not extracted
without some effort of patience; but there is a portion of the true
metal to be found in the works of _James Russell Lowell_.

Mr Lowell has, we think, much of the true poet in him--ardent feelings
and a fertile fancy; the last in undue proportion, or at least under
very irregular government. But he lacks taste and judgment, and the
greater part of the two small volumes before us is redolent of youth,
and we presume that those compositions which stand first in order were
really written at an early age. To the very close, however, there is
that immaturity of judgment, and that far too enthusiastic view of
things and of men, which is only excusable in youth; as witness certain
lines "To De Lamartine," towards the end of the second volume.

With one peculiarity we have been very much struck--the combination of
much original power with a tendency to imitate, to an almost ludicrous
extent, other and contemporary poets. We find, especially in the first
volume, imitations which have all the air of a theme or exercise of a
young writer, sitting down deliberately to try how far he could succeed
in copying the manner of some favourite author. Sometimes it is Keats,
sometimes it is Tennyson, who seems to have exercised this fascination
over him: he is in the condition of a bewildered musician, who can do
nothing but make perpetual _variations_ upon some original melody that
has bewitched his ear. He revels with Keats in that poetic imagery and
language which has a tendency to separate itself too widely from the
substratum of an intelligible meaning, which ought always to be kept
at least _in sight_. At other times he paints ideal portraits of women
after the manner of Tennyson. On these last he was perfectly welcome
to practise his pictorial art: he might paint as many _Irenes_ as he
pleased; but when, in his piece called "The Syrens," he recalls to mind
the beautiful poem of "The Lotus Eaters!" our patience broke down--we
gave him up--we closed the book in despair. However, at another time we
reopened it, and read on, and we are glad we did so; for we discovered
that, notwithstanding, this proneness to imitate, and often to imitate
what should have been avoided, there was a vein of genuine poetry in
the book, some specimens of which we shall proceed to give. It is a
task which we the more readily undertake because we suspect that most
readers of taste would be disposed, after a cursory perusal, to lay the
book aside: they would not have the motive which prompted us to explore
further, or to renew their examination.

Mr Lowell's faults lie on the surface; they cannot be disguised,
nor will there be the least necessity to quote for the purpose
of illustrating them. He is an egregious instance of that _half
excellence_ which we have ventured to attribute to such American
poets as have come under our notice. The genius of the poet is but
partially developed. The peach has ripened but on one side. We want
more sun, we want more culture. To speak literally, there is a haste
which leads the writer to extravagance of thought, to extravagance of
language and imagery; an impatience of study, and of the long labour
that alone produces the complete work. The social and economical
condition of America has probably something to do with this. It is a
condition more favourable to the man and the citizen than propitious
to the full development of the poet. In England, or any other old
established country, the educated class crowd every profession, and
every avenue to employment; if a youth once gives himself up to the
fascination of literature, he will probably find himself committed
to it for life, and be compelled to accept as a career, what perhaps
at first only tempted him as a pleasure. If he wishes to retrace his
steps, and resume his place in any profession, he finds that the ranks
are closed up; no opening at all presents itself--certainly none which,
if he is only wavering in his resolution, will solicit his return. He
has wandered from his place in the marching regiment; it has marched
on without him, in close order, and there is no room for the repenting
truant. Now in America there cannot yet be such over-crowding in all
the recognised pursuits of life as to render it difficult or impossible
for the truant to return. He is probably even invited, by tempting
prospects of success, to re-enter some of those avenues of life which
lead to wealth, or to civic prosperity. This must act materially upon
the young poet. He indulges his predilections, yet does not feel that
he has irrevocably committed himself by so doing. Or if he adopts
literature as the main object and serious occupation of his life, he
can at the first discouragement--he can, as soon as he has learnt the
fact that authorship is a labour, as well as a pleasure--abandon his
hasty choice, and adopt an easier and a more profitable career. He has
not burnt his ships. They lie in the offing still; they are ready to
transport him from this enchanted island to which some perverse wind
has blown him, and restore him to the stable continent. Retreat is
still open; he does not feel that he must here conquer or be utterly
lost; there is no desperate courage, nothing to induce strenuous and
indefatigable labour.

But to Mr Lowell. The first piece in his collection of poems is
entitled "A Legend of Brittany." The subject is as grotesque as
legendary lore could have supplied him with. A knight-templar, a
soldier-priest who has taken the vow of chastity at a time and place
when that vow was expected to be kept, has fallen in love with a
beautiful girl. He seduces her; then to hide his own disgrace he
murders her; and he buries the body, with the unborn infant, under the
altar of the church! One day at high mass, when the guilty templar is
there himself standing, with others, round the altar, a voice is heard,
a vision is seen--it is the spirit of the murdered girl and mother.
She appears--not to denounce the assassin--she regrets to expose
his guilt--there is so much woman in the angel that she loves him
still--she appears to claim the rite of baptism for her unborn infant,
who, till that rite is performed, wanders in darkness and in pain. The
legend must have received this turn during some _Gorham controversy_
now happily forgotten. Notwithstanding the very strange nature of the
whole story, there is a pleasing tenderness in this address of the
spirit to the wicked templar. After glancing more in sadness than in
anger at his falsehood, it continues:--

    "And thou hadst never heard such words as these,
      Save that in heaven I must ever be
    Most comfortless and wretched, seeing this
    Our unbaptisèd babe shut out from bliss.

    This little spirit, with imploring eyes,
      Wanders alone the dreary wild of space;
    The shadow of his pain forever lies
      Upon my soul in this new dwelling-place;
    His loneliness makes me in paradise
      More lonely; and unless I see his face,
    Even here for grief could I lie down and die,
    Save for my curse of immortality.

    I am a mother, spirits do not shake
      This much of earth from them, and I must pine,
    Till I can feel his little hands, and take
      His weary head upon this heart of mine.
    And might it be, full gladly for his sake
      Would I this solitude of bliss resign,
    And be shut out of heaven to dwell with him
    For ever in that silence drear and dim.

    I strove to hush my soul, and would not speak
      At first for thy dear sake. A woman's love
    Is mighty, but a mother's heart is weak,
      And by its weakness overcomes; I strove
    To smother better thoughts with patience meek,
      But still in the abyss my soul would rove,
    Seeking my child, and drove me here to claim
    The rite that gives him peace in Christ's dear name.

    I sit and weep while blessed spirits sing:
      I can but long and pine the while they praise,
    And, leaning o'er the wall of heaven, I fling
      My voice to where I deem my infant stays,
    Like a robbed bird that cries in vain to bring
      Her nestlings back beneath her wings' embrace;
    But still he answers not, and I but know
    That heaven and earth are but alike in woe."

The sacred rite, so piteously pleaded for, was of course duly
performed. This poem seems to have been written when Keats was in the
ascendant, and predominated over the imagination of our author. Nor has
he failed to catch a portion of the finer fancy of that exuberant poet.
Such lines as the following are quite in the manner of Keats.

    "The deep sky, _full-hearted with the moon_."
    ...."_the nunneries of silent nooks_,
    _The murmured longing of the wood_."

Or this description:--

    "In the courtyard a fountain leaped alway,
      A Triton blowing jewels through his shell
    Into the sunshine."

In the second volume we have another legend, or rather a legendary
vision, of the author's own invention, which is of a higher import,
and still more redolent of poetry. It is called "The vision of Sir
Launfal." This knight has a vision, or a dream, in which he beholds
himself going forth from his proud castle to accomplish a vow he had
made, namely, to seek "over land and sea for the Holy Grail." What the
Holy Grail is, Mr Lowell is considerate enough to inform, or remind his
readers, in a note which runs thus,--"According to the mythology of
the Romancers, the San Greal, or Holy Grail, was the cup out of which
Jesus partook of the Last Supper with his disciples. It was brought
into England by Joseph of Arimathea, and remained there, an object
of pilgrimage and adoration, for many years in the keeping of his
lineal descendants. It was incumbent upon those who had charge of it
to be chaste in thought, word, and deed; but one of the keepers having
broken this condition, the Holy Grail disappeared. From that time it
was a favourite enterprise of the knights of Arthur's court to go in
search of it." Well, Sir Launfal, in his vision, starts forth upon this
knightly and pious enterprise. It is the month of June when he sallies
from his castle, and the poet revels in a description of the glories of
the summer:--

    "Whether we look, or whether we listen,
    We hear life murmur, or see it glisten:
    Every clod feels a stir of might,
      An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
    And, _grasping blindly above it for light,
      Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers_.
    The cowslip startles in meadows green,
      The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
    And there's never a leaf or a blade too mean
      To be some happy creature's palace;
    _The little bird sits at his door in the sun
      Atilt like a blossom among the leaves_,
    And lets his illumined being o'errun
      With the deluge of summer it receives.
    His mate feels the eggs beneath her wings,
    And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings--
    He sings to the wide world, she to her nest.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Joy comes, grief goes, we know not how;
    Everything is happy now,
      Everything is upward striving;
    'Tis as easy now for the heart to be true
    As for grass to be green or skies to be blue,--
      'Tis the natural way of living:
    Who knows whither the clouds have fled?
      In the unscarred heaven they leave no wake;
    And the eyes forget the tears they have shed,
      And the heart forgets its sorrow and ache;
    And the soul partakes the season's youth."

The drawbridge of the castle is let down, and Sir Launfal, on his
charger, springs from under the archway, clothed in his glittering

    "To seek in all climes for the Holy Grail."
    "As Sir Launfal made morn through the darksome gate
      He was ware of a leper, crouched by the same,
    Who begged with his hand and moaned as he sate;
      And a loathing over Sir Launfal came;
    The sunshine went out of his soul with a thrill,
      The flesh 'neath his armour did shrink and crawl,

       *       *       *       *       *

    For this man, so foul and bent of stature,
    Rasped harshly against his dainty nature,
    And seemed the one blot on the summer morn,--
    So he tossed him a piece of gold in scorn.

    The leper raised not the gold from the dust:
    'Better to me the poor man's crust.
    Better the blessing of the poor,
    Though I turn me empty from his door;
    _That is no true alms which, the hand can hold_.'"

Sir Launfal proceeds in search of the Holy Grail; but he finds it not.
He returns an old man, worn with toil, and sad at heart, and full of
tender commiseration for all the afflicted and distressed. It is winter
when he returns to his castle. There sits the same miserable leper, and
moans out the same prayer for alms; but this time it is answered in a
very different spirit.

                  "Straightway he
    Remembered in what a haughty guise
      He had flung an alms to leprosie,
    When he caged his young life up in gilded mail
    To set forth in search of the Holy Grail--
    The heart within him was ashes and dust;
    He parted in twain his single crust,
    He broke the ice on the streamlet's brink,
    And gave the leper to eat and to drink;
    'Twas a mouldy crust of coarse brown bread,
      'Twas water out of a wooden bowl,--
    Yet with fine wheaten bread was the leper fed,
      And 'twas red wine he drank with his thirsty soul.

    As Sir Launfal mused with a downcast face,
    A light shone round about the place;
    The leper no longer crouched at his side,
    But stood before him glorified,
    And a voice that was calmer than silence said--
    'In many climes, without avail,
    Thou hast spent thy life for the Holy Grail;
    Behold it is here,--this cup which thou
    Didst fill at the streamlet for me but now!
    The Holy Supper is kept, indeed,
    In whatso we share with another's need.'"

Such was the dream or vision of Sir Launfal. We need hardly add that,
when he awoke from it, he exclaimed that the Holy Grail was already
found--bade his servants hang up his armour on the wall, and open his
gates to the needy and the poor.

We shall venture upon one more quotation before we quit Mr Lowell.
We must premise that we do not always mark by asterisks the omission
that we make, when that omission creates no obscurity whatever in the
passage. The following poem we take the liberty of abridging, and
we print it, without any interruption of this kind, in its abridged
form. In this form it will perhaps remind our readers of some of those
tender, simple, and domestic lyrics in which German poetry is so rich.
There is no other language from which so many beautiful poems might be
collected which refer to childhood, and the love of children, as from
the German. It has sometimes occurred to us that our poetesses, or fair
translators of poetry, might contrive a charming volume of such lyrics
on childhood.


    "I had a little daughter,
      And she was given to me
    To lead me gently onward
      To the Heavenly Father's knee.

    I know not how others saw her,
      But to me she was wholly fair,
    And the light of the heaven she came from
      Still lingered and gleamed in her hair.

    She had been with us scarce a twelvemonth,
      And it hardly seemed a day,
    When a troop of wandering angels
      Stole my little daughter away.

    But they left in her stead a changeling,
      A little angel child,
    That seems like her bud in full blossom,
      And smiles as she never smiled.

    This child is not mine as the first was,
      I cannot sing it to rest,
    I cannot lift it up fatherly,
      And bless it upon my breast.

    Yet it lies in my little one's cradle,
      And sits in my little one's chair,
    And the light of the heaven she's gone to
      Transfigures its golden hair."

We have still a brief space for _Mr Holmes_. It is fit that, amongst
our list, there should be one representative of the comic muse. Mr
Holmes, however, is not always comic. Some of his serious pieces are
not without a certain manly pathos. Some, too, are of a quite didactic
character, and have the air of college exercises. But it is only a few
of his lighter pieces we should feel any disposition to quote, or refer
to. Mr Holmes portrays himself to us as a boon companion;--a physician
by profession, and one to whom poetry has been only an occasional
amusement--one of those choice spirits who can set the table in a roar,
and who can sing himself the good song that he indites. Such being the
case, we have only to lay down the critical pen to court amusement
ourselves, and conclude our paper by sharing with the reader a few
specimens of wit or humour.

Civilised life in New York, or Boston, seems to have the same
disagreeable accompaniments as with us--as witness.


    "There are three ways in which men take
      One's money from his purse,
    And very hard it is to tell
      Which of the three is worse;
    But all of them are bad enough
      To make a body curse.

    You're riding out some pleasant day,
      And counting up your gains;
    A fellow jumps from out a bush,
      And takes your horse's reins;
    Another hints some words about
      A bullet in your brains.

    It's hard to meet such pressing friends
      In such a lonely spot;
    It's very hard to lose your cash,
      But harder to be shot;
    And so you take your wallet out,
      Though you had rather not.

    Perhaps you're going out to dine,
      Some filthy creature begs
    You'll hear about the cannon-ball
      That carried off his pegs;
    He says it is a dreadful thing
      For men to lose their legs.

    He tells you of his starving wife,
      His children to be fed,
    Poor little lovely innocents.
      All clamorous for bread;
    And so you kindly help to put
      A bachelor to bed.

    You're sitting on your window-seat,
      Beneath a cloudless moon;
    You hear a sound that seems to wear
      The semblance of a tune,
    As if a broken fife should strive
      To drown a cracked basoon.

    And nearer, nearer still, the tide
      Of music seems to come,
    There's something like a human voice
      And something like a drum;
    You sit in speechless agony
      Until your ear is numb.

    Poor 'home, sweet home,' should seem to be
      A very dismal place,
    Your 'auld acquaintance,' all at once
      Is altered in the face--

       *       *       *       *       *

       *       *       *       *       *

    But hark! the air again is still,
      The music all is ground;
    It cannot be--it is--it is--
      A hat is going round!

    No! Pay the dentist when he leaves
      A fracture in your jaw;
    And pay the owner of the bear,
      That stunned you with his paw;
    And buy the lobster that has had
      Your knuckles in his claw;

    But if you are a portly man,
      Put on your fiercest frown,
    And talk about a constable
      To turn them out of town;
    Then close your sentence with an oath,
      And shut the window down!

    And if you are a slender man,
      Not big enough for that,
    Or, if you cannot make a speech,
      Because you are a flat,
    _Go very quietly and drop
      A button in the hat_!"

Excellent advice! How many hats there are--and not of music-grinders
only--in which we should be delighted to see the button dropped! The
next in order is very good, and equally intelligible on this side of
the Atlantic. We give the greater part of it:--


    "They've built us up a noble wall,
      To keep the vulgar out;
    We've nothing in the world to do,
      _But just to walk about_;
    So faster now, you middle men,
      And try to beat the ends,
    Its pleasant work to ramble round
      Among one's honest friends.

    Here, tread upon the long man's toes,
      He shan't be lazy here--
    And punch the little fellow's ribs,
      And tweak that lubber's ear,
    He's lost them both--don't pull his hair,
      Because he wears a scratch,
    But poke him in the further eye,
      That isn't in the patch.

    Hark! fellows, there's the supper-bell,
      And so our work is done;
    It's pretty sport--suppose we take
      A round or two for fun!
    If ever they should turn me out,
      When I have better grown,
    Now hang me, but I mean to have
      A treadmill of my own!"

"The September Gale," "The Ballad of an Oysterman," "My Aunt," all
solicit admission, but we have no space. A few of the verses "On the
Portrait of 'A Gentleman,' in the Athenæum Gallery," we will insert.
Perhaps we may see the companion picture to it on the walls of our own
Exhibition at Trafalgar Square:--

    "It may be so, perhaps thou hast
      A warm and loving heart;
    I will not blame thee for thy face,
      Poor devil as thou art.

    That thing thou fondly deem'st a nose,
      Unsightly though it be,
    In spite of all the cold world's scorn,
      It may be much to thee.

    Those eyes, among thine elder friends,
      Perhaps they pass for blue;
    No matter--if a man can see,
      What more have eyes to do?

    Thy mouth--that fissure in thy face,
      By something like a chin--
    May be a very useful place
      To put thy victual in."

Not, it seems, a thing to paint for public inspection. _Apropos_ of
the pictorial art, we cannot dismiss Mr Holmes' book without noticing
the two or three tasteful vignettes or medallions, or by whatever name
the small engravings are to be called, which are scattered through
its pages. We wish there were more of them, and that such a style of
illustration, or rather of decoration, (for they have little to do
with the subject of the text,) were more general. Here are two little
children sitting on the ground, one is reading, the other listening--a
mere outline, and the whole could be covered by a crown-piece. A simple
medallion, such as we have described, gives an exquisite and perpetual
pleasure; the blurred and blotched engraving, where much is attempted
and nothing completed, is a mere disfigurement to a book. The volume
before us, we ought perhaps to add, comes from the press of Messrs
Ticknor and Co., Boston.




"I hope, Pisistratus," said my father, "that you do not intend to be

"Heaven forbid, sir! what could make you ask such a question? _Intend._
No! if I am dull it is from innocence."

"A very long Discourse upon Knowledge!" said my father; "very long. I
should cut it out!"

I looked upon my father as a Byzantian sage might have looked on a
Vandal. "Cut it out!"--

"Stops the action, sir!" said my father, dogmatically.

"Action! But a novel is not a drama."

"No, it is a great deal longer--twenty times as long, I dare say,"
replied Mr Caxton with a sigh.

"Well, sir--well! I think my Discourse upon Knowledge has much to
do with the subject--is vitally essential to the subject; does not
stop the action--only explains and elucidates the action. And I am
astonished, sir, that you, a scholar, and a cultivator of knowledge"--

"There--there!" cried my father, deprecatingly. "I yield--I yield. What
better could I expect when I set up for a critic! What author ever
lived that did not fly into a passion--even with his own father, if his
father presumed to say--'Cut out!' _Pacem imploro_"--

MRS CAXTON.--"My dear Austin, I am sure Pisistratus did not mean to
offend you, and I have no doubt he will take your"--

PISISTRATUS, (hastily.)--"Advice _for the future_, certainly. I will
quicken the action, and"--

"Go on with the Novel," whispered Roland, looking up from his eternal
account-book. "We have lost £200 by our barley!"

Therewith I plunged my pen into the ink, and my thoughts into the "Fair


"Halt!" cried a voice; and not a little surprised was Leonard when the
stranger who had accosted him the preceding evening got into the chaise.

"Well," said Richard, "I am not the sort of man you expected, eh?
Take time to recover yourself." And with these words Richard drew
forth a book from his pocket, threw himself back, and began to read.
Leonard stole many a glance at the acute, hardy, handsome face of
his companion, and gradually recognised a family likeness to poor
John, in whom, despite age and infirmity, the traces of no common
share of physical beauty were still evident. And, with that quick
link in ideas which mathematical aptitude bestows, the young student
at once conjectured that he saw before him his uncle Richard. He
had the discretion, however, to leave that gentleman free to choose
his own time for introducing himself, and silently revolved the new
thoughts produced by the novelty of his situation. Mr Richard read with
notable quickness--sometimes cutting the leaves of the book with his
penknife, sometimes tearing them open with his forefinger, sometimes
skipping whole pages altogether. Thus he galloped to the end of the
volume--flung it aside--lighted his cigar, and began to talk.

He put many questions to Leonard relative to his rearing, and
especially to the mode by which he had acquired his education; and
Leonard, confirmed in the idea that he was replying to a kinsman,
answered frankly.

Richard did not think it strange that Leonard should have acquired so
much instruction with so little direct tuition. Richard Avenel himself
had been tutor to himself. He had lived too long with our go-ahead
brethren, who stride the world on the other side the Atlantic with
the seven-leagued boots of the Giant-killer, not to have caught their
glorious fever for reading. But it was for a reading wholly different
from that which was familiar to Leonard. The books he read must be new;
to read old books would have seemed to him going back in the world.
He fancied that new books necessarily contained new ideas--a common
mistake--and our lucky adventurer was the man of his day.

Tired with talking, he at length chucked the book he had run through to
Leonard, and, taking out a pocket-book and pencil, amused himself with
calculations on some detail of his business, after which he fell into
an absorbed train of thought--part pecuniary, part ambitious.

Leonard found the book interesting; it was one of the numerous works,
half-statistic, half-declamatory, relating to the condition of the
working-classes, which peculiarly distinguish our century, and ought
to bind together rich and poor, by proving the grave attention which
modern society bestows upon all that can affect the welfare of the last.

"Dull stuff--theory--claptrap," said Richard, rousing himself from his
reverie at last: "it can't interest you."

"All books interest me, I think," said Leonard, "and this especially;
for it relates to the working-class, and I am one of them."

"You were yesterday, but you mayn't be to-morrow," answered Richard
good-humouredly, and patting him on the shoulder. "You see, my lad,
that it is the middle class which ought to govern the country. What
the book says about the ignorance of country magistrates is very good;
but the man writes pretty considerable trash when he wants to regulate
the number of hours a free-born boy should work at a factory--only ten
hours a-day--pooh! and so lose two to the nation! Labour is wealth: and
if we could get men to work twenty-four hours a-day, we should be just
twice as rich. If the march of civilisation is to proceed," continued
Richard, loftily, "men, and boys too, must not lie a-bed doing nothing
_all night_, sir." Then with a complacent tone--"We shall get to the
twenty-four hours at last; and, by gad, we must, or we shan't flog the
Europeans as we do now."

On arriving at the inn at which Richard had first made acquaintance
with Mr Dale, the coach by which he had intended to perform the rest
of the journey was found to be full. Richard continued to perform the
journey in post-chaises, not without some grumbling at the expense, and
incessant orders to the postboys to make the best of the way. "Slow
country this, in spite of all its brag," said he--"very slow. Time
is money--they know that in the States; for why, they are all men of
business there. Always slow in a country where a parcel of lazy idle
lords, and dukes, and baronets, seem to think 'time is pleasure.'"

Towards evening the chaise approached the confines of a very large
town, and Richard began to grow fidgety. His easy cavalier air was
abandoned. He withdrew his legs from the window, out of which they had
been luxuriously dangling; pulled down his waistcoat; buckled more
tightly his stock: it was clear that he was resuming the decorous
dignity that belongs to state. He was like a monarch who, after
travelling happy and incognito, returns to his capital. Leonard divined
at once that they were nearing their journey's end.

Humble foot-passengers now looked at the chaise, and touched their
hats. Richard returned the salutation with a nod--a nod less gracious
than condescending. The chaise turned rapidly to the left, and stopped
before a smart lodge, very new, very white, adorned with two Doric
columns in stucco, and flanked by a large pair of gates. "Hollo!" cried
the postboy, and cracked his whip.

Two children were playing before the lodge, and some clothes were
hanging out to dry on the shrubs and pales round the neat little

"Hang those brats! they are actually playing," growled Dick. "As
I live, the jade has been washing again! Stop, boy." During this
soliloquy, a good-looking young woman had rushed from the door--slapped
the children as, catching sight of the chaise, they ran towards the
house--opened the gates, and, dropping a curtsey to the ground, seemed
to wish that she could drop into it altogether, so frightened and so
trembling seemed she to shrink from the wrathful face which the master
now put out of the window.

"Did I tell you, or did I not," said Dick, "that I would not have these
horrid disreputable cubs of yours playing just before my lodge gates?"

"Please, sir--"

"Don't answer me. And did I tell you, or did I not, that the next time
I saw you making a drying-ground of my lilacs, you should go out, neck
and crop--"

"Oh, please sir--"

"You leave my lodge next Saturday: drive on, boy. The ingratitude and
insolence of those common people are disgraceful to human nature,"
muttered Richard, with an accent of the bitterest misanthropy.

The chaise wheeled along the smoothest and freshest of gravel roads,
and through fields of the finest land, in the highest state of
cultivation. Rapid as was Leonard's survey, his rural eye detected the
signs of a master in the art agronomial. Hitherto he had considered the
Squire's model farm as the nearest approach to good husbandry he had
seen; for Jackeymo's finer skill was developed rather on the minute
scale of market-gardening than what can fairly be called husbandry.
But the Squire's farm was degraded by many old-fashioned notions,
and concessions to the whim of the eye, which would not be found in
model farms now-a-days--large tangled hedgerows, which, though they
constitute one of the beauties most picturesque in old England, make
sad deductions from produce; great trees, overshadowing the corn, and
harbouring the birds; little patches of rough sward left to waste; and
angles of woodland running into fields, exposing them to rabbits, and
blocking, out the sun. These and suchlike blots on a gentleman farmer's
agriculture, common-sense and Giacomo had made clear to the acute
comprehension of Leonard. No such faults were perceptible in Richard
Avenel's domain. The fields lay in broad divisions, the hedges were
clipped and narrowed into their proper destination of mere boundaries.
Not a blade of wheat withered under the cold shade of a tree; not
a yard of land lay waste; not a weed was to be seen, not a thistle
to waft its baleful seed through the air: some young plantations
were placed, not where the artist would put them, but just where the
farmer wanted a fence from the wind. Was there no beauty in this?
Yes, there was beauty of its kind--beauty at once recognisable to the
initiated--beauty of use and profit--beauty that could bear a monstrous
high rent. And Leonard uttered a cry of admiration which thrilled
through the heart of Richard Avenel.

"This _is_ farming!" said the villager.

"Well, I guess it is," answered Richard, all his ill-humour vanishing.
"You should have seen the land when I bought it. But we new men, as
they call us--(damn their impertinence)--are the new blood of this

Richard Avenel never said anything more true. Long may the new blood
circulate through the veins of the mighty giantess; but let the grand
heart be the same as it has beat for proud ages.

The chaise now passed through a pretty shrubbery, and the house came
into gradual view--a house with a portico--all the offices carefully
thrust out of sight.

The postboy dismounted, and rang the bell.

"I almost think they are going to keep me waiting," said Mr Richard,
wellnigh in the very words of Louis XIV.

But that fear was not realised--the door opened; a well-fed servant out
of livery presented himself. There was no hearty welcoming smile on his
face, but he opened the chaise-door with demure and taciturn respect.

"Where's George? why does not he come to the door?" asked Richard,
descending from the chaise slowly, and leaning on the servant's
outstretched arm with as much precaution as if he had had the gout.

Fortunately, George here came into sight, settling himself hastily into
his livery coat.

"See to the things, both of you," said Richard, as he paid the postboy.

Leonard stood on the gravel sweep, gazing at the square white house.

"Handsome elevation--classical, I take it--eh?" said Richard, joining
him. "But you should see the offices."

He then, with familiar kindness, took Leonard by the arm, and drew
him within. He showed him the hall, with a carved mahogany stand
for hats; he showed him the drawing-room, and pointed out all its
beauties--though it was summer the drawing-room looked cold, as will
look rooms newly furnished, with walls newly papered, in houses newly
built. The furniture was handsome, and suited to the rank of a rich
trader. There was no pretence about it, and therefore no vulgarity,
which is more than can be said for the houses of many an honourable
Mrs Somebody in Mayfair, with rooms twelve feet square, chokeful of
buhl, that would have had its proper place in the Tuilleries. Then
Richard showed him the library, with mahogany bookcases and plate
glass, and the fashionable authors handsomely bound. Your new men are
much better friends to living authors than your old families who live
in the country, and at most subscribe to a book-club. Then Richard took
him up-stairs, and led him through the bedrooms--all very clean and
comfortable, and with every modern convenience; and, pausing in a very
pretty single gentleman's chamber, said, "This is your den. And now,
can you guess who I am?"

"No one but my Uncle Richard could be so kind," answered Leonard.

But the compliment did not flatter Richard. He was extremely
disconcerted and disappointed. He had hoped that he should be taken for
a lord at least, forgetful of all that he had said in disparagement of

"Pish!" said he at last, biting his lip--"so you don't think that I
look like a gentleman? Come, now, speak honestly."

Leonard wonderingly saw he had given pain, and, with the good breeding
which comes instinctively from good nature, replied--"I judged you
by your heart, sir, and your likeness to my grandfather--otherwise I
should never have presumed to fancy we could be relations."

"Hum!" answered Richard. "You can just wash your hands, and then come
down to dinner; you will hear the gong in ten minutes. There's the
bell--ring for what you want."

With that, he turned on his heel; and, descending the stairs, gave
a look into the dining-room, and admired the plated salver on the
sideboard, and the king's pattern spoons and forks on the table. Then
he walked to the looking-glass over the mantlepiece; and, wishing to
survey the whole effect of his form, mounted a chair. He was just
getting into an attitude which he thought imposing, when the butler
entered, and, being London bred, had the discretion to try to escape
unseen; but Richard caught sight of him in the looking-glass, and
coloured up to the temples.

"Jarvis," said he mildly--"Jarvis, put me in mind to have these
inexpressibles altered."


Apropos of the inexpressibles, Mr Richard did not forget to provide his
nephew with a much larger wardrobe than could have been thrust into Dr
Riccabocca's knapsack. There was a very good tailor in the town, and
the clothes were very well made. And, but for an air more ingenuous,
and a cheek that, despite study and night vigils, retained much of the
sunburnt bloom of the rustic, Leonard Fairfield might now have almost
passed, without disparaging comment, by the bow-window at White's.
Richard burst into an immoderate fit of laughter when he first saw the
watch which the poor Italian had bestowed upon Leonard; but, to atone
for the laughter, he made him a present of a very pretty substitute,
and bade him "lock up his turnip." Leonard was more hurt by the jeer
at his old patron's gift than pleased by his uncle's. But Richard
Avenel had no conception of sentiment. It was not for many days that
Leonard could reconcile himself to his uncle's manner. Not that the
peasant could pretend to judge of its mere conventional defects; but
there is an ill breeding to which, whatever our rank and nurture, we
are almost equally sensitive--the ill breeding that comes from want of
consideration for others. Now, the Squire was as homely in his way as
Richard Avenel, but the Squire's bluntness rarely hurt the feelings;
and when it did so, the Squire perceived and hastened to repair his
blunder. But Mr Richard, whether kind or cross, was always wounding you
in some little delicate fibre--not from malice, but from the absence of
any little delicate fibres of his own. He was really, in many respects,
a most excellent man, and certainly a very valuable citizen. But his
merits wanted the fine tints and fluent curves that constitute beauty
of character. He was honest, but sharp in his practice, and with a keen
eye to his interests. He was just, but as a matter of business. He
made no allowances, and did not leave to his justice the large margin
of tenderness and mercy. He was generous, but rather from an idea of
what was due to himself than with much thought of the pleasure he gave
to others; and he even regarded generosity as a capital put out to
interest. He expected a great deal of gratitude in return, and, when he
obliged a man, considered that he had bought a slave. Every needy voter
knew where to come, if he wanted relief or a loan; but woe to him if he
had ventured to express hesitation when Mr Avenel told him how he must

In this town Richard had settled after his return from America,
in which country he had enriched himself--first, by spirit and
industry--lastly, by bold speculation and good luck. He invested his
fortune in business--became a partner in a large brewery--soon bought
out his associates--and then took a principal share in a flourishing
corn-mill. He prospered rapidly--bought a property of some two or three
hundred acres, built a house, and resolved to enjoy himself, and make
a figure. He had now become the leading man of the town, and the boast
to Audley Egerton that he could return one of the members, perhaps
both, was by no means an exaggerated estimate of his power. Nor was his
proposition, according to his own views, so unprincipled as it appeared
to the statesman. He had taken a great dislike to both the sitting
members--a dislike natural to a sensible man of moderate politics,
who had something to lose. For Mr Slappe, the active member--who was
head-over-ears in debt--was one of the furious democrats rare before
the Reform Bill--and whose opinions were held dangerous even by the
mass of a Liberal constituency; while Mr Sleekie, the gentleman member,
who laid by £5000 every year from his dividends in the Funds, was one
of those men whom Richard justly pronounced to be "humbugs"--men who
curry favour with the extreme party by voting for measures sure not to
be carried; while, if there were the least probability of coming to
a decision that would lower the money market, Mr Sleekie was seized
with a well-timed influenza. Those politicians are common enough now.
Propose to march to the Millennium, and they are your men. Ask them to
march a quarter of a mile, and they fall to feeling their pockets, and
trembling for fear of the footpads. They are never so joyful as when
there is no chance of a victory. Did they beat the Minister, they would
be carried out of the house in a fit.

Richard Avenel--despising both these gentlemen, and not taking kindly
to the Whigs since the great Whig leaders were Lords--looked with a
friendly eye to the Government as it then existed, and especially to
Audley Egerton, the enlightened representative of commerce. But in
giving Audley and his colleagues the benefit of his influence, through
conscience, he thought it all fair and right to have a _quid pro quo_,
and, as he had so frankly confessed, it was his whim to rise up "Sir
Richard." For this worthy citizen abused the aristocracy much on the
same principle as the fair Olivia depreciated Squire Thornhill--he had
a sneaking affection for what he abused. The society of Screwstown was,
like most provincial capitals, composed of two classes--the commercial
and the exclusive. These last dwelt chiefly apart, around the ruins
of an old abbey; they affected its antiquity in their pedigrees, and
had much of its ruin in their finances. Widows of rural thanes in the
neighbourhood--genteel spinsters--officers retired on half-pay--younger
sons of rich squires, who had now become old bachelors--in short,
a very respectable, proud, aristocratic set--who thought more of
themselves than do all the Gowers and Howards, Courtenays and Seymours,
put together. It had early been the ambition of Richard Avenel to
be admitted into this sublime coterie; and, strange to say, he had
partially succeeded. He was never more happy than when he was asked to
their card-parties, and never more unhappy than when he was actually
there. Various circumstances combined to raise Mr Avenel into this
elevated society. First, he was unmarried, still very handsome, and
in that society there was a large proportion of unwedded females.
Secondly, he was the only rich trader in Screwstown who kept a good
cook, and professed to give dinners, and the half-pay captains and
colonels swallowed the host for the sake of the venison. Thirdly, and
principally, all these exclusives abhorred the two sitting members, and
"idem nolle idem velle de republicâ, ea firma amicta est;" that is,
congeniality in politics pieces porcelain and crockery together better
than the best diamond cement. The sturdy Richard Avenel--who valued
himself on American independence--held these ladies and gentlemen in an
awe that was truly Brahminical. Whether it was that, in England, all
notions, even of liberty, are mixed up historically, traditionally,
socially, with that fine and subtle element of aristocracy which,
like the press, is the air we breathe; or whether Richard imagined
that he really became magnetically imbued with the virtues of these
silver pennies and gold seven-shilling pieces, distinct from the
vulgar coinage in popular use, it is hard to say. But the truth must
be told--Richard Avenel was a notable tuft-hunter. He had a great
longing to marry out of this society; but he had not yet seen any one
sufficiently high-born and high-bred to satisfy his aspirations. In
the meanwhile, he had convinced himself that his way would be smooth
could he offer to make his ultimate choice "My Lady;" and he felt
that it would be a proud hour in his life when he could walk before
stiff Colonel Pompley to the sound of "Sir Richard." Still, however
disappointed at the ill success of his bluff diplomacy with Mr Egerton,
and however yet cherishing the most vindictive resentment against that
individual--he did not, as many would have done, throw up his political
convictions out of personal spite. He resolved still to favour the
ungrateful and undeserving Administration; and as Audley Egerton had
acted on the representations of the mayor and deputies, and shaped his
bill to meet their views, so Avenel and the Government rose together in
the popular estimation of the citizens of Screwstown.

But, duly to appreciate the value of Richard Avenel, and in just
counterpoise to all his foibles, one ought to have seen what he had
effected for the town. Well might he boast of "new blood;" he had
done as much for the town as he had for his fields. His energy, his
quick comprehension of public utility, backed by his wealth, and bold,
bullying, imperious character, had sped the work of civilisation as if
with the celerity and force of a steam-engine.

If the town were so well paved and so well lighted--if half-a-dozen
squalid lanes had been transformed into a stately street--if half the
town no longer depended on tanks for their water--if the poor-rates
were reduced one-third,--praise to the brisk new blood which Richard
Avenel had infused into vestry and corporation. And his example itself
was so contagious! "There was not a plate-glass window in the town
when I came into it," said Richard Avenel; "and now look down the High
Street!" He took the credit to himself, and justly; for, though his own
business did not require windows of plate-glass, he had wakened the
spirit of enterprise which adorns a whole city.

Mr Avenel did not present Leonard to his friends for more than a
fortnight. He allowed him to wear off his rust. He then gave a grand
dinner, at which his nephew was formally introduced, and, to his great
wrath and disappointment, never opened his lips. How could he, poor
youth, when Miss Clarina Mowbray only talked upon high life; till proud
Colonel Pompley went in state through the history of the siege of


While Leonard accustoms himself gradually to the splendours that
surround him, and often turns with a sigh to the remembrance of his
mother's cottage and the sparkling fount in the Italian's flowery
garden, we will make with thee, O reader, a rapid flight to the
metropolis, and drop ourselves amidst the gay groups that loiter along
the dusty ground, or loll over the roadside palings of Hyde Park. The
season is still at its height; but the short day of fashionable London
life, which commences two hours after noon, is in its decline. The
crowd in Rotten Row begins to thin. Near the statue of Achilles, and
apart from all other loungers, a gentleman, with one hand thrust into
his waistcoat, and the other resting on his cane, gazed listlessly on
the horsemen and carriages in the brilliant ring. He was still in the
prime of life, at the age when man is usually the most social--when the
acquaintances of youth have ripened into friendship, and a personage
of some rank and fortune has become a well-known feature in the mobile
face of society. But though, when his contemporaries were boys scarce
at college, this gentleman had blazed foremost amongst the princes of
fashion, and though he had all the qualities of nature and circumstance
which either retain fashion to the last, or exchange its false
celebrity for a graver repute, he stood as a stranger in that throng
of his countrymen. Beauties whirled by to the toilet--statesmen passed
on to the senate--dandies took flight to the clubs; and neither nods
nor becks, nor wreathed smiles, said to the solitary spectator, "Follow
us--thou art one of our set." Now and then, some middle-aged beau,
nearing the post of the loiterer, turned round to look again; but the
second glance seemed to dissipate the recognition of the first, and the
beau silently continued his way.

"By the tombs of my fathers!" said the solitary to himself, "I know now
what a dead man might feel if he came to life again, and took a peep at
the living."

Time passed on--the evening shades descended fast. Our stranger in
London had wellnigh the Park to himself. He seemed to breathe more
freely as he saw that the space was so clear.

"There's oxygen in the atmosphere now," said he, half aloud; "and I
can walk without breathing in the gaseous fumes of the multitude. O
those chemists--what dolts they are! They tell us crowds taint the
air, but they never guess why! Pah, it is not the lungs that poison
the element--it is the reek of bad hearts. When a periwig-pated fellow
breathes on me, I swallow a mouthful of care. _Allons!_ my friend Nero;
now for a stroll." He touched with his cane a large Newfoundland dog,
who lay stretched near his feet; and dog and man went slow through the
growing twilight, and over the brown dry turf. At length our solitary
paused, and threw himself on a bench under a tree. "Half-past eight!"
said he, looking at his watch--"one may smoke one's cigar without
shocking the world."

He took out his cigar-case, struck a light, and in another moment
reclined at length on the bench--seemed absorbed in regarding the
smoke, that scarce coloured ere it vanished into air.

"It is the most barefaced lie in the world, my Nero," said he,
addressing his dog, "this boasted liberty of man! Now here am I, a
freeborn Englishman, a citizen of the world, caring--I often say to
myself--caring not a jot for Kaisar or Mob; and yet I no more dare
smoke this cigar in the Park at half-past six, when all the world
is abroad, than I dare pick my Lord Chancellor's pocket, or hit the
Archbishop of Canterbury a thump on the nose. Yet no law in England
forbids me my cigar, Nero! What is law at half-past eight, was not
crime at six and a-half! Britannia says, 'Man, thou art free,' and she
lies like a commonplace woman. O Nero, Nero! you enviable dog!--you
serve but from liking. No thought of the world costs you one wag of the
tail. Your big heart and true instinct suffice you for reason and law.
You would want nothing to your felicity, if in these moments of ennui
you would but smoke a cigar. Try it, Nero!--try it!" And, rising from
his incumbent posture, he sought to force the end of the weed between
the teeth of the dog.

While thus gravely engaged, two figures had approached the place.
The one was a man who seemed weak and sickly. His threadbare coat
was buttoned to the chin, but hung large on his shrunken breast. The
other was a girl of about fourteen, on whose arm he leant heavily. Her
cheek was wan, and there was a patient sad look on her face, which
seemed so settled that you would think she could never have known the
mirthfulness of childhood.

"Pray rest here, papa," said the child softly; and she pointed to
the bench, without taking heed of its pre-occupant, who now, indeed,
confined to one corner of the seat, was almost hidden by the shadow of
the tree.

The man sate down, with a feeble sigh; and then, observing the
stranger, raised his hat, and said, in that tone of voice which betrays
the usages of polished society, "Forgive me, if I intrude on you, sir."

The stranger looked up from his dog, and seeing that the girl was
standing, rose at once as if to make room for her on the bench.

But still the girl did not heed him. She hung over her father, and
wiped his brow tenderly with a little kerchief which she took from her
own neck for the purpose.

Nero, delighted to escape the cigar, had taken to some unwieldy curvets
and gambols, to vent the excitement into which he had been thrown; and
now returning, approached the bench with a low look of surprise, and
sniffed at the intruders of her master's privacy.

"Come here, sir," said the master. "You need not fear him," he added,
addressing himself to the girl.

But the girl, without turning round to him, cried in a voice rather of
anguish than alarm, "He has fainted! Father! father!"

The stranger kicked aside his dog, which was in the way, and loosened
the poor man's stiff military stock. While thus charitably engaged, the
moon broke out, and the light fell full on the pale care-worn face of
the unconscious sufferer.

"This face seems not unfamiliar to me, though sadly changed," said the
stranger to himself; and bending towards the girl, who had sunk on her
knees and was chafing her father's hands, he asked, "My child, what is
your father's name?"

The child continued her task, too absorbed to answer.

The stranger put his hand on her shoulder, and repeated the question.

"Digby," answered the child, almost unconsciously; and as she spoke the
man's senses began to return. In a few minutes more he had sufficiently
recovered to falter forth his thanks to the stranger. But the last took
his hand, and said, in a voice at once tremulous and soothing, "Is it
possible that I see once more an old brother in arms? Algernon Digby, I
do not forget you; but it seems England has forgotten."

A hectic flush spread over the soldier's face, and he looked away from
the speaker as he answered--

"My name is Digby, it is true, sir; but I do not think we have met
before. Come, Helen, I am well now--we will go home."

"Try and play with that great dog, my child," said the stranger--"I
want to talk with your father."

The child bowed her submissive head, and moved away; but she did not
play with the dog.

"I must reintroduce myself, formally, I see," quoth the stranger. "You
were in the same regiment with myself, and my name is L'Estrange."

"My lord," said the soldier, rising, "forgive me that--"

"I don't think that it was the fashion to call me 'my lord' at the
mess-table. Come, what has happened to you?--on half-pay?"

Mr Digby shook his head mournfully.

"Digby, old fellow, can you lend me £100?" said Lord L'Estrange,
clapping his _ci-devant_ brother officer on the shoulder, and in
a tone of voice that seemed like a boy's--so impudent was it, and
devil-me-carish. "No! Well, that's lucky, for I can lend it to you."

Mr Digby burst into tears.

Lord L'Estrange did not seem to observe the emotion. "We were both sad
extravagant fellows in our day," said he, "and I dare say I borrowed of
you pretty freely."

"Me! Oh, Lord L'Estrange!"

"You have married since then, and reformed, I suppose. Tell me, old
friend, all about it."

Mr Digby, who by this time had succeeded in restoring some calm to his
shattered nerves, now rose, and said in brief sentences, but clear firm

"My Lord, it is idle to talk of me--useless to help me. I am fast
dying. But, my child there, my only child, (he paused an instant, and
went on rapidly.) I have relations in a distant county, if I could but
get to them--I think they would at least provide for her. This has been
for weeks my hope, my dream, my prayer. I cannot afford the journey
except by your help. I have begged without shame for myself; shall I be
ashamed, then, to beg for her?"

"Digby," said L'Estrange with some grave alteration of manner, "talk
neither of dying, nor begging. You were nearer death when the balls
whistled round you at Waterloo. If soldier meets soldier and says,
'Friend, thy purse,' it is not begging, but brotherhood. Ashamed! By
the soul of Belisarius! if I needed money, I would stand at a crossing
with my Waterloo medal over my breast, and say to each sleek citizen I
had helped to save from the sword of the Frenchman, 'It is your shame
if I starve.' 'Now, lean upon me; I see you should be at home--which

The poor soldier pointed his hand towards Oxford Street, and
reluctantly accepted the proffered arm.

"And when you return from your relations, you will call on me?
What!--hesitate? Come, promise."

"I will."

"On your honour."

"If I live, on my honour."

"I am staying at present at Knightsbridge, with my father; but you will
always hear of my address at No. -- Grosvenor Square, Mr Egerton's. So
you have a long journey before you?"

"Very long."

"Do not fatigue yourself--travel slowly. Ho, you foolish child!--I see
you are jealous of me. Your father has another arm to spare you."

Thus talking, and getting but short answers, Lord L'Estrange continued
to exhibit those whimsical peculiarities of character, which had
obtained for him the repute of heartlessness in the world. Perhaps the
reader may think the world was not in the right. But if ever the world
does judge rightly of the character of a man who does not live for the
world, nor talk for the world, nor feel with the world, it will be
centuries after the soul of Harley L'Estrange has done with this planet.


Lord L'Estrange parted company with Mr Digby at the entrance of Oxford
Street. The father and child there took a cabriolet. Mr Digby directed
the driver to go down the Edgeware Road. He refused to tell L'Estrange
his address, and this with such evident pain, from the sores of pride,
that L'Estrange could not press the point. Reminding the soldier of his
promise to call, Harley thrust a pocket-book into his hand, and walked
off hastily towards Grosvenor Square.

He reached Audley Egerton's door just as that gentleman was getting out
of his carriage; and the two friends entered the house together.

"Does the nation take a nap to-night?" asked L'Estrange. "Poor old
lady! She hears so much of her affairs, that she may well boast of her
constitution: it must be of iron."

"The House is still sitting," answered Audley seriously, "and with
small heed of his friend's witticism. "But it is not a Government
motion, and the division will be late, so I came home; and if I had not
found you here, I should have gone into the Park to look for you."

"Yes--one always knows where to find me at this hour, 9 o'clock
P.M.--cigar--Hyde Park. There is not a man in England so regular in his

Here the friends reached a drawing-room in which the Member of
Parliament seldom sat, for his private apartments were all on the
ground floor.

"But it is the strangest whim of yours, Harley," said he.


"To affect detestation of ground-floors."

"Affect! O sophisticated man, of the earth, earthy! Affect!--nothing
less natural to the human soul than a ground-floor. We are quite far
enough from heaven, mount as many stairs as we will, without grovelling
by preference.

"According to that symbolical view of the case," said Audley, "you
should lodge in an attic."

"So I would, but that I abhor new slippers. As for hair-brushes, I am

"What have slippers and hair-brushes to do with attics?"

"Try! Make your bed in an attic, and the next morning you will have
neither slippers nor hair-brushes!"

"What shall I have done with them?"

"Shied them at the cats!"

"What odd things you do say, Harley!"

"Odd! By Apollo and his nine spinsters! there is no human being who
has so little imagination as a distinguished Member of Parliament.
Answer me this, thou solemn right honourable,--Hast thou climbed to the
heights of august contemplation? Hast thou gazed on the stars with the
rapt eye of song? Hast thou dreamed of a love known to the angels, or
sought to seize in the Infinite the mystery of life?"

"Not I indeed, my poor Harley."

"Then no wonder, poor Audley, that you cannot conjecture why he who
makes his bed in an attic, disturbed by base catterwauls, shies his
slippers at cats. Bring a chair into the balcony. Nero spoiled my cigar
to-night. I am going to smoke now. You never smoke. You can look on the
shrubs in the Square."

Audley slightly shrugged his shoulders, but he followed his friend's
counsel and example, and brought his chair into the balcony. Nero came
too, but at sight and smell of the cigar prudently retreated, and took
refuge under the table.

"Audley Egerton, I want something from Government."

"I am delighted to hear it."

"There was a cornet in my regiment, who would have done better not to
have come into it. We were, for the most part of us, puppies and fops."

"You all fought well, however."

"Puppies and fops do fight well. Vanity and valour generally go
together. Cæsar, who scratched his head with due care of his scanty
curls, and, even in dying, thought of the folds in his toga; Walter
Raleigh, who could not walk twenty yards, because of the gems in
his shoes; Alcibiades, who lounged into the Agora with doves in his
bosom, and an apple in his hand; Murat, bedizened in gold-lace and
furs; and Demetrius, the City-Taker, who made himself up like a French
_Marquise_,--were all pretty good fellows at fighting. A slovenly hero
like Cromwell is a paradox in nature, and a marvel in history. But to
return to my cornet. We were rich; he was poor. When the pot of clay
swims down the stream with the brass-pots, it is sure of a smash. Men
said Digby was stingy; I saw he was extravagant. But every one, I fear,
would be rather thought stingy than poor. _Bref._--I left the army, and
saw him no more till to-night. There was never shabby poor gentleman
on the stage more awfully shabby, more pathetically gentleman. But,
look ye, this man has fought for England. It was no child's play at
Waterloo, let me tell you, Mr Egerton; and, but for such men, you would
be at best a _sous-prefêt_, and your Parliament a Provincial Assembly.
You must do something for Digby. What shall it be?"

"Why, really, my dear Harley, this man was no great friend of

"If he were, he would not want the Government to help him--he would not
be ashamed of taking money from me."

"That is all very fine, Harley; but there are so many poor officers,
and so little to give. It is the most difficult thing in the world
that which you ask me. Indeed, I know nothing can be done: he has his

"I think not; or, if he has it, no doubt it all goes on his debts.
That's nothing to us: the man and his child are starving."

"But if it is his own fault--if he has been imprudent?"

"Ah--well, well; where the devil is Nero?"

"I am so sorry I can't oblige you. If it were anything else--"

"There is something else. My valet--I can't turn him adrift--excellent
fellow, but gets drunk now and then. Will you find him a place in the
Stamp Office?"

"With pleasure."

"No, now I think of it--the man knows my ways: I must keep him. But my
old wine-merchant--civil man, never dunned--is a bankrupt. I am under
great obligations to him, and he has a very pretty daughter. Do you
think you could thrust him into some small place in the Colonies, or
make him a King's Messenger, or something of the sort?"

"If you very much wish it, no doubt I can."

"My dear Audley, I am but feeling my way: the fact is, I want something
for myself."

"Ah, that indeed gives me pleasure!" cried Egerton, with animation.

"The mission to Florence will soon be vacant--I know it privately. The
place would quite suit me. Pleasant city; the best figs in Italy--very
little to do. You could sound Lord ---- on the subject."

"I will answer beforehand. Lord ---- would be enchanted to secure to
the public service a man so accomplished as yourself, and the son of a
peer like Lord Lansmere."

Harley L'Estrange sprang to his feet, and flung his cigar in the face
of a stately policeman who was looking up at the balcony.

"Infamous and bloodless official!" cried Harley L'Estrange; "so you
could provide for a pimple-nosed lackey--for a wine-merchant who has
been poisoning the king's subjects with white-lead or sloe-juice--for
an idle sybarite, who would complain of a crumpled rose-leaf; and
nothing, in all the vast patronage of England, for a broken-down
soldier, whose dauntless breast was her rampart!"

"Harley," said the Member of Parliament, with his calm sensible smile,
"this would be a very good clap-trap at a small theatre; but there is
nothing in which Parliament demands such rigid economy as the military
branch of the public service; and no man for whom it is so hard to
effect what we must plainly call a job as a subaltern officer, who has
done nothing more than his duty--and all military men do that. Still,
as you take it so earnestly, I will use what interest I can at the War
Office, and get him, perhaps, the mastership of a barrack."

"You had better; for, if you do not, I swear I will turn Radical, and
come down to your own city to oppose you, with Hunt and Cobbett to
canvass for me."

"I should be very glad to see you come into Parliament, even as a
Radical, and at my expense," said Audley, with great kindness. "But the
air is growing cold, and you are not accustomed to our climate. Nay, if
you are too poetic for catarrhs and rheums, I'm not--come in."


Lord L'Estrange threw himself on a sofa, and leant his cheek on his
hand thoughtfully. Audley Egerton sate near him, with his arms folded,
and gazed on his friend's face with a soft expression of aspect,
which was very unusual to the firm outline of his handsome features.
The two men were as dissimilar in person as the reader will have
divined that they were in character. All about Egerton was so rigid,
all about L'Estrange so easy. In every posture of Harley's there was
the unconscious grace of a child. The very fashion of his garments
showed his abhorrence of restraint. His clothes were wide and loose;
his neckcloth, tied carelessly, left his throat half bare. You could
see that he had lived much in warm and southern lands, and contracted
a contempt for conventionalities; there was as little in his dress
as in his talk of the formal precision of the north. He was three or
four years younger than Audley, but he looked at least twelve years
younger. In fact, he was one of those men to whom old age seems
impossible--voice, look, figure, had all the charm of youth; and,
perhaps it was from this gracious youthfulness--at all events, it
was characteristic of the kind of love he inspired--that neither his
parents, nor the few friends admitted into his intimacy, ever called
him, in their habitual intercourse, by the name of his title. He was
not L'Estrange with them, he was Harley; and by that familiar baptismal
I will usually designate him. He was not one of those men whom author
or reader wish to view at a distance, and remember as "my Lord"--it
was so rarely that he remembered it himself. For the rest, it had been
said of him by a shrewd wit--"He is so natural that every one calls him
affected." Harley L'Estrange was not so critically handsome as Audley
Egerton; to a commonplace observer he was, at best, rather goodlooking
than otherwise. But women said that he had "a beautiful countenance,"
and they were not wrong. He wore his hair, which was of a fair
chestnut, long, and in loose curls; and instead of the Englishman's
whiskers, indulged in the foreigner's moustache. His complexion was
delicate, though not effeminate: it was rather the delicacy of a
student, than of a woman. But in his clear grey eye there was wonderful
vigour of life. A skilful physiologist, looking only into that eye,
would have recognised rare stamina of constitution--a nature so rich
that, while easily disturbed, it would require all the effects of time,
or all the fell combinations of passion and grief, to exhaust it. Even
now, though so thoughtful, and even so sad, the rays of that eye were
as concentred and steadfast as the light of the diamond.

"You were only, then, in jest," said Audley, after a long silence,
"when you spoke of this mission to Florence. You have still no idea of
entering into public life."


"I had hoped better things when I got your promise to pass one season
in London. But, indeed, you have kept your promise to the ear to break
it to the spirit. I could not presuppose that you would shun all
society, and be as much of a hermit here as under the vines of Como."

"I have sate in the Strangers' Gallery, and heard your great speakers;
I have been in the pit of the opera, and seen your fine ladies; I have
walked your streets, I have lounged in your parks, and I say that I
can't fall in love with a faded dowager, because she fills up her
wrinkles with rouge."

"Of what dowager do you speak?" asked the matter-of-fact Audley.

"She has a great many titles. Some people call her fashion, you busy
men, politics: it is all one--tricked out and artificial. I mean London
life. No, I can't fall in love with her, fawning old harridan!"

"I wish you could fall in love with something."

"I wish I could, with all my heart."

"But you are so _blasé_."

"On the contrary, I am so fresh. Look out of the window--what do you



"Nothing but houses and dusty lilacs, my coachman dozing on his box,
and two women in pattens crossing the kennel."

"I see none of that where I lie on the sofa. I see but the stars. And
I feel for them as I did when I was a schoolboy at Eton. It is you who
are _blasé_, not I--enough of this. You do not forget my commission,
with respect to the exile who has married into your brother's family?"

"No; but here you set me a task more difficult than that of saddling
your cornet on the War Office."

"I know it is difficult, for the counter influence is vigilant and
strong; but, on the other hand, the enemy is so damnable a traitor that
one must have the Fates and the household gods on one's side."

"Nevertheless," said the practical Audley, bending over a book on the
table, "I think that the best plan would be to attempt a compromise
with the traitor."

"To judge of others by myself," answered Harley with spirit, "it
were less bitter to put up with wrong than to palter with it for
compensation. And such wrong! Compromise with the open foe--that may be
done with honour; but with the perjured friend--that were to forgive
the perjury!"

"You are too vindictive," said Egerton; "there may be excuses for the
friend, which palliate even"--

"Hush! Audley, hush! or I shall think the world has indeed corrupted
you. Excuse for the friend who deceives, who betrays! No, such is the
true outlaw of Humanity; and the Furies surround him even while he
sleeps in the temple."

The man of the world lifted his eyes slowly on the animated face of
one still natural enough for the passions. He then once more returned
to his book, and said, after a pause, "It is time you should marry,

"No," answered L'Estrange, with a smile at this sudden turn in the
conversation--"not time yet; for my chief objection to that change
in life is, that all the women now-a-days are too old for me, or I
am too young for them. A few, indeed are so infantine that one is
ashamed to be their toy; but most are so knowing that one is a fool
to be their dupe. The first, if they condescend to love you, love
you as the biggest doll they have yet dandled, and for a doll's good
qualities--your pretty blue eyes, and your exquisite millinery. The
last, if they prudently accept you, do so on algebraical principles;
you are but the X or the Y that represents a certain aggregate of
goods matrimonial--pedigree, title, rent-roll, diamonds, pin-money,
opera-box. They cast you up with the help of mamma, and you wake some
morning to find that _plus_ wife _minus_ affection equals--the Devil!"

"Nonsense," said Audley, with his quiet grave laugh. "I grant that
it is often the misfortune of a man in your station to be married
rather for what he has, than for what he is; but you are tolerably
penetrating, and not likely to be deceived in the character of the
woman you court."

"Of the woman I _court_?--No! But of the woman I _marry_, very likely
indeed. Woman is a changeable thing, as our Virgil informed us at
school; but her change _par excellence_ is from the fairy you woo to
the brownie you wed. It is not that she has been a hypocrite, it is
that she is a transmigration. You marry a girl for her accomplishments.
She paints charmingly, or plays like St Cecilia. Clap a ring on her
finger, and she never draws again--except perhaps your caricature on
the back of a letter, and never opens a piano after the honeymoon.
You marry her for her sweet temper; and next year, her nerves are so
shattered that you can't contradict her but you are whirled into a
storm of hysterics. You marry her because she declares she hates balls
and likes quiet; and ten to one but what she becomes a patroness at
Almacks, or a lady in waiting."

"Yet most men marry, and most men survive the operation."

"If it were only necessary to live, that would be a consolatory and
encouraging reflection. But to live with peace, to live with dignity,
to live with freedom, to live in harmony with your thoughts, your
habits, your aspirations--and this in the perpetual companionship of a
person to whom you have given the power to wound your peace, to assail
your dignity, to cripple your freedom, to jar on each thought and each
habit, and bring you down to the meanest details of earth, when you
invite her, poor soul, to soar to the spheres--that makes the to be, or
not to be, which is the question."

"If I were you, Harley, I would do as I have heard the author of
_Sandford and Merton_ did--choose out a child and educate her yourself
after your own heart."

"You have hit it," answered Harley seriously. "That has long been my
idea--a very vague one, I confess. But I fear I shall be an old man
before I find even the child.

"Ah!" he continued, yet more earnestly, while the whole character of
his varying countenance changed again--"ah! if indeed I could discover
what I seek--one who with the heart of a child has the mind of a woman;
one who beholds in nature the variety, the charm, the never feverish,
ever healthful excitement that others vainly seek in the bastard
sentimentalities of a life false with artificial forms; one who can
comprehend, as by intuition, the rich poetry with which creation is
clothed--poetry so clear to the child when enraptured with the flower,
or when wondering at the star! If on me such exquisite companionship
were bestowed--why, then"--He paused, sighed deeply, and, covering his
face with his hand, resumed, in faltering accents,--

"But once--but once only, did such vision of the Beautiful made human
rise before me--rise amidst 'golden exhalations of the dawn.' It
beggared my life in vanishing. You know only--you only--how--how"--

He bowed his head, and the tears forced themselves through his clenched

"So long ago!" said Audley, sharing his friend's emotion. "Years so
long and so weary, yet still thus tenacious of a mere boyish memory."

"Away with it, then!" cried Harley, springing to his feet, and with a
laugh of strange merriment. "Your carriage still waits: set me home
before you go to the House."

Then laying his hand lightly on his friend's shoulder, he said, "Is it
for you, Audley Egerton, to speak sneeringly of boyish memories? What
else is it that binds us together? What else warms my heart when I meet
you? What else draws your thoughts from blue-books and beer-bills, to
waste them on a vagrant like me? Shake hands. Oh, friend of my boyhood!
recollect the oars that we plied and the bats that we wielded in the
old time, or the murmured talk on the moss-grown bank, as we sate
together, building in the summer air castles mightier than Windsor. Ah!
they are strong ties, those boyish memories, believe me! I remember as
if it were yesterday my translation of that lovely passage in Persius,
beginning--let me see--ah!--

    "Quum primum pavido custos mihi purpura cessit,"

that passage on friendship which gushes out so livingly from the stern
heart of the satirist. And when old ---- complimented me on my verses,
my eye sought yours. Verily, I now say as then,

    "Nescio quod, certe est quod me tibi temperet astrum."[2]

[2] "What was the star I know not, but certainly some star it was that
attuned me unto thee."

Audley turned away his head as he returned the grasp of his friend's
hand; and while Harley, with his light elastic footstep, descended the
stairs, Egerton lingered behind, and there was no trace of the worldly
man upon his countenance when he took his place in the carriage by his
companion's side.

Two hours afterwards, weary cries of "Question, question!" "Divide,
divide!" sank into reluctant silence as Audley Egerton rose to conclude
the debate--the man of men to speak late at night, and to impatient
benches: a man who would be heard; whom a Bedlam broke loose would not
have roared down; with voice clear and sound as a bell, and form as
firmly set on the ground as church-tower. And while, on the dullest of
dull questions, Audley Egerton thus, not too lively himself, enforced
attention, where was Harley L'Estrange? Standing alone by the river
at Richmond, and murmuring low fantastic thoughts as he gazed on the
moonlit tide.

When Audley left him at home, he had joined his parents, made them
gay with his careless gaiety, seen the old-fashioned folks retire to
rest, and then--while they, perhaps, deemed him once more the hero
of ball-rooms and the cynosure of clubs--he drove slowly through the
soft summer night, amidst the perfumes of many a garden and many a
gleaming chestnut grove, with no other aim before him than to reach the
loveliest margin of England's loveliest river, at the hour the moon was
fullest and the song of the nightingale most sweet. And so eccentric a
humourist was this man, that I believe, as he there loitered--no one
near to cry "How affected!" or "How romantic!"--he enjoyed himself more
than if he had been exchanging the politest "how-d'ye-do's" in the
hottest of London drawing-rooms, or betting his hundreds on the odd
trick with Lord De R---- for his partner.


[3] _Lettres sur l'Amérique._ Par X. MARMIER. 2 volumes. Paris, 1851.
_The United States and Cuba._ By JOHN GLANVILLE TAYLOR. London, 1851.

Books of European travel beyond the Atlantic, of rare appearance only a
few years ago, bid fair to become plentiful as snags in the Mississippi
or buffaloes on the prairies of the West. Emigration, Californian
gold, and the perfection of steam-navigation, have brought America to
our door. The falls of Niagara now behold as many European visitors
as did those of Schaffhausen half a century since; and Broadway is as
familiar a word as were the Boulevards before the Peace. Even amidst
her own revolutions, embroilments, and alarms, the eyes of Europe have
of late been fixed with unusual attention upon the New World. Mexico,
California, Cuba--aggrandising wars, treasure-seeking enterprise,
piratical aggression--in turn have filled the columns of our newspapers
and occupied a large share of our thoughts.

Mr X. Marmier is a French gentleman who has devoted his life
to wandering in foreign lands, and writing narratives of his
peregrinations. North and south, east and west, nothing is too hot or
too cold for him. To-day, in frozen Iceland, he studies Scandinavian
history; to-morrow, on Algerine sands, he rambles in the footsteps
of Bugeaud. Behold him, in the sweet springtime, strolling beneath
blossoms on the sunny banks of Rhine: autumn comes, and he pensively
roams by the mystical waters of Nile. Russia, Sweden and Holland,
Lapland and Poland, have in turn had the happiness to possess him.
Europe, to him, is thrice-trodden ground, and Asia bears the print
of his foot. His travels are reckoned by thousands of leagues, his
writings by dozens of volumes. No wonder that his erratic tastes
have at last driven him across the Atlantic. There he adheres to
his magnificent contempt of space. His is no limited excursion to
Boston and New York, Washington and New Orleans: the St Lawrence and
the Mississippi are boundaries too narrow for his aspiring soul and
many-leagued boots. One vast continent is insufficient to satisfy his
craving after locomotion. North America explored, Cuba visited, he
pauses and hesitates. The quay of the Havana is the last place where
a professed wanderer can be expected to cut short his rambles and go
home. There sea and sky are both so bright and calm, that recollections
of past tempests and less hospitable shores fade into indistinctness.
There, too, are facilities of departure for almost any part of the
globe. "Thence," says M. Marmier, in an ecstasy of perplexity,
"sail the English packets which coast, in their rapid course, the
whole emerald chain of the Antilles; thence, the American steamers,
transporting to Chagres the legions of pilgrims attracted by the
worship of gold to the Californian shrine; thence, French and English
vessels, which in a few weeks convey their passengers to the noble
city of Nantes or the spacious harbour of Cadiz." Beset by so many
seductions, M. Marmier could not be expected to choose the nearest way
to Paris. Nor did he; and therefore is it that, upon the title-page of
his book, Rio de la Plata succeeds the names of Canada, United States,

Mr John Glanville Taylor is a traveller of a very different stamp.
No amateur wanderer, in quest of novelty or with a view to a book,
he crossed the Atlantic (in the spring of 1841) when a lad of
eighteen, to seek his fortune--as appears from his own account of the
matter--but with mining more particularly in view. Finding nothing
to do in the States, he proceeded, after a short sojourn, to Cuba,
to investigate the prospects of a newly-discovered gold-vein. This
proving unproductive, he entered into partnership with a planter and
slave-owner, was ruined by the drought and famine of 1843-4, served
as overseer of a sugar plantation, and, finally, after upwards of
three years' residence in the island, returned to England _via_ New
York. The volume containing such portions of his adventures and
observations, during his absence from this country, as he has deemed
worth recording, is manly in tone, tolerably interesting in substance,
and contains, here and there, scraps of useful information, although
the author's opinions are sometimes crude and hastily formed--the
fault of a young writer, and yet younger traveller. His downright
matter-of-fact views often contrast amusingly with those of the more
experienced and literary Frenchman. As a traveller sentimental rather
than adventurous--as a writer we have usually found M. Marmier facile
rather than fascinating, and oftener insipid than graphic. In his
books of European travel there is a lack of the vivid and lively; and
his style, correct and not ungraceful, has yet a monotony that acts
somniferously on the reader. His work on America is an improvement
on his previous publications. The nine hundred pages might perhaps
have been compressed, with advantage, into two-thirds of the space;
but still, amidst a superabundance of words, we find pointed and
interesting passages, and occasionally an original view of men and
things Transatlantic.

Frenchmen are very apt to express great sympathy with, and admiration
of, the people of the United States. This arises from various causes.
Some are smitten with their democratic institutions; some exult
in American independence as a triumph over England; others assume
a share in that triumph, on account of French auxiliaries in the
American War; whilst others, again, suffer their imaginations to be
captivated by the wonderfully rapid rise and prodigious development
of American wealth and power. It does not require any great amount
of sentiment and fancy to get up this kind of love-at-a-distance.
Many of our readers remember Miss Edgeworth's clever tale of _L'Amie
Inconnue_, where a romantic young lady conceives a violent attachment
for the authoress of a sentimental novel, corresponds with her under
the name of Araminta, makes a pilgrimage to Wales to seek her in a
cottage amidst honeysuckles, and finally has her illusions destroyed
by discovering her in a two-pair-back at Bristol, putting brandy
in her tea, and bullying a lover named Nathaniel. This is exactly
the sort of disenchantment in store for those Frenchmen who, after
picturing to themselves the United States as a democratic Utopia,
the very paradise of the worshippers of Liberty, have occasion to
visit the unseen land of their affections. On arrival in the States,
nineteen out of twenty of them find themselves about as comfortable
as a cat in a kennel of terriers. They are not spitefully worried,
certainly, but unintentionally they are most awfully annoyed. In
fact, no two characters can be more antagonistic than those of the
Frenchman and American. However strong his predetermination, the former
finds it impossible to be pleased in the country where he had fondly
anticipated so much gratification. The most he can do is to laud
Yankee energy and enterprise, and to pass lightly over the details of
manners and customs that jar with all his notions of propriety and
enjoyment of life.

"Before I put foot on shore," says M. Marmier, "I felt disposed to
love that American land whose mere aspect makes so many hearts beat,
and gives birth to so many hopes." He may love the land, but he very
soon lets us see that he does not much like the dwellers upon it. After
sketching their busy habits and feverish activity, their unremitting
pursuit of lucre and contempt of an intellectual _far niente_, he thus
continues his epistle to the unknown lady-correspondent to whom all the
_Lettres sur l'Amérique_ are addressed:

    "It would be false to say that such vigorous commercial
    faculties, and such habits, constitute an amiable people;
    and truly I would not wish you to live amongst them, nor do
    I imagine that they will ever leave in my heart one of those
    tender memories which I still retain of the dear natives of
    Germany and Scandinavia, and even of the Turks, who are such
    worthy people."

M. Marmier, we may here observe, is constitutionally tender. A pensive
softness is the general characteristic of his writings. He is addicted
to moonlight; the sight of a wooden hut in a sunny nook of the Hudson
sets him dreaming about love in a cottage, and quoting Tom Moore with
indifferent orthography; in his moments of melancholy he loves to
muse by the river-side, and repeat to himself a certain ditty about
roses, rivulets, and nightingales, which he picked up in Canada. With
such gentle tastes, something more than a trifle is needed to betray
him into wrath and sarcasm. On the other hand, the delicacy of his
organisation evidently makes him peculiarly liable to be shocked by
certain Yankee qualities and habits. One of the first annoyances he
experiences is from the curiosity of his fellow-passengers on board a
Hudson steamboat. He feels it the more that he has just suffered from
their taciturnity, and found it impossible to obtain from them other
than monosyllabic replies to his questions concerning the places they

    "With a phlegm, compared to which British phlegm is jovial
    vivacity, the American combines an inquisitiveness worthy of
    a savage; and the attention which was denied me when I sought
    a few details concerning the scenes we traversed, was soon
    fixed upon me, to my great discomfort, by various parts of my
    dress. One of them took hold of my watch-chain, without the
    least ceremony, turned and twisted it about between his dirty
    fingers, then, satisfied with the examination, walked away
    without uttering a word. Another, seated beside me, suddenly
    exclaimed--'_You have got a Paris hat_,' and forthwith took it
    off my head, closed and opened the springs, showed it to one
    of his neighbours, and, when they had both looked at it inside
    and out, gave it back into my hands. A moment later, having to
    pay my bill to the steward, I was so unfortunate as to open my
    purse--a beautiful little purse of cherry-coloured silk and
    gold. Forthwith an American fell violently in love with it,
    pulled out a horrible knitted bag, and proposed a barter. I
    laughed in his face. I hid my purse, but he still persecuted
    me. At last I ground between my teeth, Yankee fashion, a d----,
    which made him step back a pace or two. To avoid being thus
    beset, I put my hat into its box, and covered my head with a
    cap; I put my watch-chain into my pocket, buttoned my waistcoat
    over my breast-pin, and, thanks to these precautions, I could
    at last walk about and sit on deck without being exposed to
    stupid importunity."

It may be said that M. Marmier is hardly indulgent enough to the
honest Yankees, to whose curiosity the sight of a live Frenchman, in
trinkets and a Gibus hat, and 'fresh as imported,' was doubtless a
strong stimulant. A countrywoman of his (by connections, habits, and
residence, although not by birth) has described, in a very charming
work,[4] similar traits in a more tolerant tone. She also was in a
steamboat on the Hudson, when she suddenly found herself surrounded, or
rather assailed, by a crowd of women, who wonderingly contemplated an
embroidery in brilliant colours with which she was occupied.

[4] _La Havane._ Par Madame la Comtesse MERLIN.

    "After an examination of some minutes' duration," says Madame
    de Merlin, "they seized upon the tapestry without looking at
    me or making the least apology, as if the knees on which it
    rested had been the tray of a work-box; then alternately taking
    possession of wools, scissors, thimble, they passed them from
    hand to hand without taking the slightest heed of the person to
    whom they belonged. At last the boldest amongst them carried
    off the embroidery and disappeared. I begged my companion to
    follow her, and ascertain what she meant to do with it. In
    a few minutes she brought it back, after showing it to her
    friends, who were below in the cabin. Soon a second group of
    women accosted me; one of them, without the slightest preamble
    or polite preface, asked me if I were French. On my reply in
    the affirmative,--'We never see your countrywomen in these
    parts,' said she; 'you please us. Do all Frenchwomen resemble
    you?' Then she ran to fetch her husband, and planted him before
    me like a sentry, showing me to him as she might have done
    a curious bird. What think you of this savage curiosity of
    the women of the West, of these strange manners and artless
    avowals? They have something confiding and primitive which
    pleases me."

Lenient to the deficiencies of American women, the amiable and
accomplished Countess Merlin expresses plainly and forcibly her disgust
at the manners of the men. M. Marmier echoes her complaints. Not
so Mr Taylor, who visited America at an age when all that is novel
pleases, and who can see no fault in the natives. He reluctantly
admits their dress to be a little precise, and their manners rather
graver than he likes; in their cities and societies he complains of a
lack of cordiality, and of the scarcity of dinner-parties. He thinks
tobacco-chewing a nasty habit, although he doubts not that to others
it may seem just the reverse. But he totally denies that Americans are
at all inquisitive, and refutes, quite to his own satisfaction, the
rash assertions of those European travellers who have declared the bulk
of them to be coarse and gluttonous feeders. In the enthusiasm of his
vindication, he says that, "far from being guilty of gluttony, they
appear to eat _merely_ to live, and may be blamed rather for seeming to
care _too little_ for the good things of this life." The Englishman,
according to Mr Taylor, is the exact opposite of the American in this
respect, and the Spaniard has hit the happy medium. Here is what M.
Marmier says upon the subject:--

    "Whilst I thus gossip with you, as if I were seated in an
    arm-chair at your chimney corner, I forget the dining-room
    already noted, the bill of fare printed on vellum paper, the
    smart waiters in round jackets and white aprons, exactly like
    those at Vefour's. My fellow-travellers, are far from a similar
    forgetfulness of one of the chief enjoyments of the steamer.
    Some of them, as soon as they came on board, paid it a long
    visit, and soon returned thither for the second time. Is it
    not Brillat-Savarin who has said--'Elsewhere men eat, at Paris
    only do they know how to dine.' Had he seen this country, he
    would have said--'Here men do not eat, they devour.' The word
    is hardly expressive enough. Better to understand the full
    force I wish to give it, please to refer to Buffon under the
    heading _Pike and Shark_. You will then, perhaps, have some
    idea of American voracity. Here is the usual order of the daily
    meals in the United States:--Between seven and eight o'clock in
    the morning, a bell, a gong, or some other noisy instrument,
    announces breakfast. This consists of joints of roast-beef,
    ox-tongues, ducks, and fowls, accompanied with potatoes, bread
    and butter, and other light dishes. The Americans rush to
    table like starving animals. It is really the only suitable
    comparison. Heedless of his neighbours, careless of the most
    ordinary rules of European politeness, each man draws towards
    himself every dish within his reach, and piles upon one or two
    plates enormous pyramids of meat, butter, and vegetables. Then
    he works away with hands and teeth, as if his moments were
    numbered, without speaking, almost without drawing breath, but
    following with haggard eyes the dishes that travel away from
    him, and harpooning them as soon as they come within reach, to
    seize upon a fresh supply.

    This first operation finished, the American lights a cigar;
    goes to the place where spirits are sold, which is here
    called the bar-room; tosses off a glass of whisky or Madeira,
    and sets himself to ruminate till the hour of noon. Noon is
    very far off, and many are unable to get through this mortal
    interval of four hours without a second and third visit to
    the dear bar-room, after which they ruminate again. The bell
    announces luncheon, consisting of soup, a box of sardines,
    cold meat, butter, and a lump of cheese. At three o'clock,
    another tap on the tom-tom--the best, the most desired of all;
    it proclaims dinner, of which the two preceding repasts were
    but the modest preface. This time the table is covered from
    one end to the other with vast dishes, containing enormous
    roasted joints, highly-spiced sauces, prodigious puddings. The
    same appetite as at breakfast, the same universal silence. No
    sounds but the clatter of knife and fork, and the crunching of
    bones between impatient jaws. So great is the hurry in which
    this third repast is got through, that the diners do not even
    think of wiping their knives before plunging them into the
    salt or butter, and napkins are habitually thrown aside, for
    the manifest reason that the use of the napkin entails a loss
    of time. Yet these people laugh at Turks for using neither
    spoons nor forks at their meals. I remember to have eaten a
    few dinners with Turks, and I declare that they were models of
    cleanliness compared to those at which I have been compelled to
    assist in American hotels and steamers.

    Dinner over, the rest of the day is long to get through.
    Accordingly, towards seven o'clock, you hear, for the fourth
    time, the blessed bell inviting the inmates of the building
    to a cup of tea or coffee, accompanied by cold game or salted
    meats, after which visits to the bar-room may be recommenced
    _ad libitum_.

    To see these men of business thus rush to table, and stow
    away a whole cargo of miscellaneous viands in less time
    than a Spaniard takes to imbibe a single cup of chocolate,
    one might imagine that they consider every minute passed in
    the dining-room as so much time lost, and that they are in
    desperate haste to return to their counting-house, and bury
    themselves in ledgers and day-books. Unfortunately, as on
    leaving the eating-room I have almost invariably found every
    man of them with his body on one chair, and his feet, raised to
    a level with his head, on the back of another, I am bound to
    conclude that it is not business, but an unparalleled voracity,
    which induces them to feed at steeple-chase pace.

    Many travellers who here, in the States, are considered very
    impertinent, but who nevertheless write with the most amiable
    intentions, attribute the cold taciturnity of Americans to
    their preoccupation with commercial combinations or political
    affairs. I believe that, without doing them injustice, one
    might very often attribute it to the labour of the digestive
    organs, put four times a-day to a severe task, and which
    frequently, in their fatigue, require the employment of
    soda-water, and almost continually the acrid and hideous
    mastication of a roll of tobacco. The fact is, that in general
    the American is much more silent than the Turk. There is also
    this difference between them--the Turk, seated on a carpet,
    with his silken vest, his long beard, his large turban, appears
    nobly indolent or gently meditative, and the stranger's eye may
    rest with pleasure on his calm and benevolent physiognomy; the
    silence of the American, on the contrary, is gloomy and uneasy,
    dry and hard, (_sec et dur_.) His countenance is _pointed_, his
    movements are stiff and angular. His repose is not the happy
    placidity of the Oriental, or of the southern European--the
    enjoyment of _kief_, the pleasure of the siesta; it is a sort
    of prostration, agitated from time to time by a feverish

The following sketch is certainly not very flattering. After laying
down the rather novel proposition, that man is one of the ugliest of
created animals, M. Marmier proceeds to prove the American the ugliest
of all civilised races of men:--

    "Picture to yourself, if you please, a lean figure with bony
    wrists, feet of dimensions that would for ever tarnish the
    scutcheon of a gentleman, a hat stuck upon the back of the
    head, straight hair; a cheek swollen, not by an accidental
    cold, but from morning till night by a lump of tobacco;
    lips stained yellow by the juice of the same plant; a black
    coat with narrow skirts, a tumbled shirt, the gloves of
    a gendarme,[5] trousers in harmony with the rest of the
    equipment, and you will have before you the exact portrait of a
    thoroughbred Yankee."

[5] Thick clumsy buckskin gloves.

All this would shock Mr Taylor. Substantially, however, it is true
enough. Sealsfield, himself a naturalised American, and a warm admirer
of the institutions of his adopted country, has sketched scenes very
similar to M. Marmier's delineations of hotel and steamboat life--life
in those places of resort being pretty equally divided between the
dining-table, the bar, and the spittoon. Hamilton, Marryat, Mrs
Trollope, and other keen observers and able writers,[6] have enabled
us to dispense with the accounts of foreign travellers in the States.
But still the verdict passed upon the citizens of the Great Republic
by an educated and intelligent Frenchman must always possess weight
and interest. Were M. Marmier an irritable or grumbling traveller, one
might think it right to receive his impressions with caution; but,
on the contrary, in all his previous books that we have seen, he has
shown himself so indulgent and easy to please, that it is impossible
to refuse him credit when he adopts a different tone, and abandons
his habitual suavity for such severity of sarcasm as he may have at
command. We have seen him annoyed and disgusted on board the steamers;
presently we find him put to the torture in an American stage:--

[6] Amongst these, Professor James Johnston now takes honourable rank.
His valuable _Notes on North America_ reached us too late for notice
in the present article--admitting even that they could with propriety
have been included in a review of works of a lighter and more ephemeral
character. His volumes, which address themselves particularly to the
agriculturist and emigrant, are replete with useful information, and
we shall take an early opportunity of drawing attention to their
instructive and interesting contents.

    "The railway left me at Cumberland, and handed me over to the
    stage-coach. Probably you do not know what a stage-coach is in
    this country. It is a wooden box placed on four wheels, and
    intended to convey travellers along roads which the locomotive
    has not yet favoured with its visits. But what a box, and
    what a road! We were nine, packed together like herrings in
    a barrel, jolting through the ruts and bounding over the
    stones as if we had been afflicted with St Vitus's dance. Add
    to these comforts the delightful society of seven graceful
    Americans, chewing, spitting, and (in order to be more at their
    ease) _taking off their boots_. A timid, delicate young girl,
    seated in one of the corners of this infamous box, suffered in
    silence, and the next morning we found her in a swoon. For my
    part, I passed the night in tossing to one side or the other an
    enormous dirty body which constantly fell back upon me, and two
    enormous legs which seemed determined to crush mine. Assuredly,
    if a severe penance can, according to expiatory dogmas, cleanse
    us from our sins, my soul ought, after these twenty-four hours
    of coaching, to be as pure as that of the newborn child; and
    if ever I meet an Indian fakeer in quest of a new torture
    wherewith to propitiate the goddess Siwa, I will send him to
    America, to travel by the Cumberland stage."

Madame de Merlin, certainly a very amiable and hardy traveller, slow
to feel small annoyances or to censure foreign habits, is unable
to conceal her disgust at some of the practices which so shocked
M. Marmier. She went out to New York in the same vessel with Fanny
Elssler, and was present at her first appearance in that city.

    "The enthusiasm," she says, "was immense; I thought myself
    at Rome, and had difficulty in recognising the nation that
    talks by measure and walks by springs. But soon these men,
    with hat on head and coat off, lying down upon their seats,
    and who, after placing their heavy-nailed shoes on the ground,
    carelessly rested their woollen-stockinged feet on the back of
    their neighbours' chairs, reminded me that I was in the United

On entering the railway between New York and Philadelphia, the Countess
found it--

    "Full of men and newspapers, the former carrying the latter.
    There were sixty-five travellers. When I went in, every place
    seemed full, and no one stirred. I had a right to my place,
    for which I had paid beforehand. The conductor addressed a
    few words to one of the occupants of a bench intended for
    four persons, but which was then occupied but by three. The
    traveller continued to read, and paid not the least attention
    to what was said to him. Second appeal, same insensibility.
    Then the conductor pushed him. He yielded to this third and
    energetic summons, but without raising his head from his
    newspaper, and as if he had been displaced by a jolt of the
    carriage. This passenger was the only one who wore gloves. One
    must see this nation to form an idea of its manners. Here a
    man lets himself be pushed, elbowed, hustled, and suffers his
    toes to be trodden upon, without wincing; what is still more
    astonishing, he sees people lean upon his wife before his eyes,
    and endures all these insults with stoical tranquillity--the
    contrary would appear absurd or ridiculous.... During the
    journey, my neighbour thought proper to rest his back against
    my shoulder. I gently told him of it. He took no heed, and
    preserved his position--not with any impertinent intention,
    but because he found himself comfortable. At sight of this, my
    young companion, a Spaniard by blood, a Frenchman by education,
    turned red and pale alternately; his lips were compressed, his
    eyes flashed. I was frightened; but suddenly, assuming an air
    of calmness, he extended his hands, placed them on the back of
    my boorish neighbour, and pushed him quietly into his place.

    'If I had put myself in a passion with him,' he afterwards
    said to me, 'he would never have understood why.'

    'And you would have been wrong,' added Mr W--n; 'how can one
    be angry with people who would think it quite natural that you
    should behave in the same way to their wives and daughters?'"

It is not surprising that Mr Taylor, at his age, and in his superficial
glance at the United States, should have overlooked a point of
American character which particularly strikes M. Marmier, the poet
and dilettante, and Madame de Merlin, the high-bred and intellectual
woman. This is, the general sacrifice, to the positively and materially
useful, of those pursuits and refinements which are the grace, and
embellishment of human existence. The neglect of the fine arts, the
absence of feeling for the beautiful, are there the result of the
ardour for speculation and the all-absorbing pursuit of dollars.

    "The artist," says Madame de Merlin, "is assimilated to the
    artisan, and art is measured by the yard, like merchandise.
    They do not cultivate music or painting, or even flowers. Do
    you wish to inhale the perfume of a flower? you must buy it
    at a high price: it is an article of trade, and only to be
    found at the nurseryman's. I am not aware of a single picture
    in the United States, unless it be in the Pantheon, where
    several memorable epochs of the American Revolution are rudely
    represented upon some old panels of wall. In this country, all
    that is beautiful is forbidden: the beautiful is not useful.
    The grace of the human form, music, poetry, painting, flowers,
    are blessings vouchsafed by Providence to man to soften the
    bitterness of his days of mourning, to alleviate the burthen
    of his chains; they are gleams of joy amidst long years of
    struggle, brilliant flashes through the gloom of night; they
    are the luxury of human life."

Less elegant and eloquent than Madame de Merlin, M. Marmier resumes in
greater detail, but with equal force, nearly the same idea:--

    "The Americans may say to me, 'We are not a polite people it is
    true; we seek not to be affable or attentive, it must be owned;
    and the foreigner who comes amongst us may well be shocked by
    our coldness. But if we disdain, as frivolous, the elegant
    habits of European society, we have an audacity of enterprise,
    and a rapidity of action, which must astonish Europe. To start
    from the spot where we now are (on the Hudson.) In less than
    forty years, we have covered this desert river with steamers
    and vessels of every kind, we have cleared and peopled its
    banks, converted its hamlets into flourishing cities, dug
    harbours and canals, laid down railroads, given life, movement,
    and commercial prosperity to the whole district. Before us is
    Albany, which, in the seventeenth century, was a mere fort, and
    which now has a population of forty-two thousand souls; and
    down yonder is the commercial metropolis of New York, the first
    in the world after Liverpool. Nothing equals the spring of
    our activity and the boldness of our conceptions. Things that
    you in France take years to combine, and which you lengthily
    discuss in the tribune and the newspapers, we accomplish in a
    turn of the hand. In a couple of months we shall establish a
    line of steamers to Havre, and another to England. Already we
    have similar communication with Germany by the port of Bremen,
    with the Antilles and the Pacific Ocean. Not a corner of the
    globe is there where our flag does not wave. How many projects
    have there not been elaborated in your old Europe for cutting
    through the Isthmus of Panama? England and France sent thither
    their engineers, who published long reports--reports which were
    examined by councils of ministers, submitted to commissions,
    and finally shelved in public offices. At New York, two or
    three merchants formed an association, which decided, in two or
    three days, that the Isthmus of Panama should be crossed by a
    railroad. No sooner said than done. Already the workmen are on
    the ground; another year, and the United States' steam-engine
    will connect the two oceans.'

    I recognise," says M. Marmier, "the justice of such reasoning,
    and I bow my head before this power of human genius applied
    to the wonders of industry. But, O worthy Yankees, Scripture
    says that '_man shall not live by bread alone_,'--the heart and
    the mind have other requirements. Unless our mind be absorbed
    in the movements of a high-pressure steam-engine, and our
    heart changed into a bank-note, there will always remain to us
    pleasing reveries, thoughts of art and poetry, the enjoyments
    of social life and of expansive affections, which all the
    efforts of your courage and the success of your toil can never

Appositely to Madame de Merlin's slighting mention of the pictures
of Revolutionary scenes, comes in a passage from M. Marmier's first
volume, relating to the Americans' exaggerated estimate of their
military glories.

    "At Plattsburg, situated where the Saranac enters Lake
    Champlain, there is a chance that the American, who has passed
    whole hours without heeding you, and who has hitherto received
    your advances like a dog in a bad humour, will suddenly
    embellish his metallic physiognomy with a jovial smile, and
    approach you with a complaisant air. For he longs to tell you
    of the victory gained near this town by the Americans, in the
    year 1814, commanded by Commodore Macdonough, over the English
    troops; and he narrates the story with so many details, and
    such an emphasis, that you at last wish he would relapse into
    his habitual silence.

    The Americans, like the Russians, have a national pride
    surpassing all expression. They cannot, like the Russians,
    talk of their old traditions; nor have they, like them,
    ancient monuments of a venerable character, and modern ones
    of grand aspect. They have not, like the soldiers of Suwarrow
    and Alexander, conquered a valiant reputation upon the chief
    battle-fields of Europe. Neither have they the literature of
    Russia, so artless in its popular poetry, so original in the
    compositions of Pushkin and Gogol. But little do they care
    what exists in other countries. They have the happiness to
    believe all other nations very inferior to them, and all the
    imagination that the perpetual use of figures has left them is
    agreeably employed in raising the airy edifice of their glory.
    Their least success is an event which must occupy the thoughts
    of the whole world. A battle in which they have taken a banner
    And slain thirty men is a second Marengo. The name of their
    General Scott is to be transmitted to posterity with the same
    lustre as that of Alexander or Cæsar; and not a soldier who
    served in the war against Mexico but is a Napoleon on a small
    scale. When they talk of their country and of its progress, the
    ordinary vocabulary is too weak for their enthusiasm. They are
    fain to seek extraordinary epithets, words which the learned
    Johnson never admitted into his dictionary. They remind me of
    the Italian cicerone who exclaimed, when showing a picture of
    Albano to a traveller, '_Ah, Signor! questo è un maestro, e un
    grande pittore, e un pittorissimo!_'

    I accordingly heard, from one end to the other, the story of
    the battle of Plattsburg, after which my officious American,
    satisfied probably with my attention, made me a bow--a rare
    circumstance! I even believe--a still rarer event--that he made
    a motion as if to raise his hand to his hat. Then, having no
    other Homeric epic to narrate, he took himself off, and left me
    opposite to the shores of the Champlain, at liberty to indulge
    in meditation."

Thus left to his reflections, M. Marmier grows pathetic--as is not
unfrequently the case with him--and feels his heart oppressed with
an unspeakable sadness, and gives us a French prose version of some
German verses by Tieck, which he might just as well have omitted, as
also some gossip about the moon and other analogous matters, which
merely serves to swell his book, and will inevitably be passed unread
by every sane reader. However, we must take the gentleman as we find
him, and sift, as well as we can, the wheat from the chaff, when the
latter occasionally predominates. Presently he relapses from the
pathetic into the sarcastic, on occasion of a visit to the Legislative
Assembly of the United States, which reminded him a good deal of that
of France. There were certain points of difference, however. "The
American deputies, he says, chewed tobacco very agreeably, and spat
with remarkable dexterity to a distance of fifteen paces,"--through
a keyhole at that distance, we have heard it asserted, but do not
guarantee the fact. Even Mr Taylor but imperfectly conceals his disgust
at the "antique vases, vulgarly called spittoons," placed beside
the desk of each member of Congress. From the senate-house to the
President's levee is but a step. It is taken by M. Marmier under the
guidance and protection of a lady, to do honour to whose introduction
he put on, he tells us, his whitest cravat and his blackest coat. But
soon he perceived that this garb of ceremony formed a striking contrast
with the motley costumes that thronged the White House at Washington.
Frocks of every colour were there, and vests of every cut, but of coats
very few.

    "There was no servant at the door or in the antechamber. We
    walked at once into the saloon, where the President was on his
    legs, fulfilling the arduous duty imposed upon him, without
    respect for his age and for the dignity of his military
    services, by the arrogant republic. My amiable conductress
    advanced towards him. He held out his hand and said, 'How do
    you do?' She named me, he turned towards me, holding out his
    hand, and saying 'How do you do?' A crowd of visitors came
    up; he shook hands with them all, repeating 'How do you do?'
    These amiable salutations bidding fair to be indefinitely
    prolonged, my charming introductress thought I had enough of
    it, and took me up to the President's daughter, who welcomed
    me with the never-failing 'How do you do?' After which we went
    to walk about another saloon with a crowd of individuals who
    were parading it in pairs in silent procession; women, such
    as exist nowhere but in Henri Monnier's comedies, and men to
    whom you would fear to grant admittance into your anteroom. For
    opening his marble palace once a-week to this plebeian crowd,
    for courteously saluting all these ladies who keep stalls,
    for shaking hands with some hundreds of unclean citizens, the
    republic gives its President only one hundred and twenty-five
    thousand francs a year. It is poor pay!"

The pittance certainly appears paltry, contrasted with the more ample
allowance of a French president; but the two cases will hardly admit
of a comparison, nor does M. Marmier draw one. There is evidently very
little of the republican in his composition; we should rather take
him for one of the class which M. Louis Blanc's followers designate,
in picturesque abbreviation, as _aristos_; and indeed he makes no
secret of his aversion to what he terms _demagoguery_--a word which is
probably not to be found either in Boyer or Walker, but which some of
our ballad-writing friends may possibly think no bad rhyme to roguery.

Soon after his visit to the President, we find our errant Frenchman
steaming down the Ohio and Mississippi to New Orleans. At Cincinnati,
when about to embark on a steamer pompously advertised as "The
splendid and fast-running John Hancock," he is somewhat startled by
a conversation between two Americans, from which he gathers that the
said "Hancock" is a worthless boat, whose boilers have been condemned
by the inspector, and which the insurance companies refuse to take,
but out of whose rotten hull and rickety engines the considerate
proprietors propose to squeeze a little more passage-money at risk of
the passengers' lives. So M. Marmier takes his place by the "Western
World," also announced as "splendid and fast-running," but which, he
flatters himself, is more sea, or at least river worthy, and devotes
a few pages to the perils of the West, the recklessness of steamboat
captains in America, and the unpaternal nature of a Government which
imposes no check on the employment of damaged steamers. Explosions,
conflagrations, inundations, snags, sawyers, and races--he makes out a
terrible list of dangers, and estimates at thirty or forty per annum
the number of steamers lost in the Western waters.

    "The average existence of a boat is here about four years. In
    four years it must have brought in its cost, with interest.
    If it lasts longer, it is by unhoped-for good luck. But the
    American does not trouble his head about difficulties or
    perils. He _must_ travel, and he travels at all risks. You have
    doubtless read the account of that terrible explosion of the
    "Louisiana," which, about a month ago, discharged the fragments
    of her boilers and some hundreds of corpses upon the quay of
    New Orleans. Next day, not a steamer had a passenger the less.
    _Go ahead_ is the American motto. Is there a new territory to
    explore at three hundred leagues distance, a sale of goods to
    be effected north or south--_go ahead!_ The weather may be bad,
    the roads covered with snow, the journey long and difficult,
    no matter--_go ahead_. The steamer by which they are to go is
    of bad repute, is ill organised and worse commanded; there
    is danger of its sinking at the very first casualty; never
    mind--_go ahead_. Fatigue and danger are nothing--movement
    before everything. I ought to admire such intrepidity; but,
    with my old-fashioned European notions, I regret to think that
    the seductions of fortune can inspire as great courage as the
    chivalrous sentiments of glory, religion, and love."

M. Marmier is manifestly of too romantic a turn to travel in the
States with gratification to himself, or to write about them in a
manner likely to satisfy their inhabitants. He humbly confesses his
deficiencies, and implores indulgence. A poor tourist, he says,
incapable of correctly adding up a column of figures, and ignorant of
the very first principles of mechanical science, he prefers the fresh
morning breeze to the roar of a locomotive, and would never dream of
putting a railway in competition with a hawthorn-hedged footpath.
And although, before starting on his Transatlantic expedition, he
assiduously studied the works on America of Michel Chevalier, De
Tocqueville, and Miss Martineau, even _they_ had not sufficiently
guarded him against disappointments. At the bottom of his heart there
still lingered fanciful dreams of vast forests, Indian traditions, and
deep silent savannahs. He had dreamed of New York as "rising like an
enchanted isle between the waves of ocean and the azure current of the
Hudson, in the poetical prestige of a world decked in all the charms of
youth." We feel that our imperfect translation but feebly renders the
elevation of M. Marmier's style and sentiments; but it may suffice to
give the reader an idea of that gentleman's bitter disappointment on
finding the city of his dreams a vast focus of speculation, cupidity,
and roguery; where "the stranger is every moment exposed to find
himself gently duped or audaciously robbed;" where the proportion of
knaves and adventurers to the mass of the population exceeds that in
any other city of the world; and where the religion, even of the most
honest, is the blind and unbounded worship of the Golden Calf. The most
ungallant of Frenchmen, he spares not even the ladies, but imagines
that the gay swarm which daily flutters in Broadway, between the hours
of twelve and two, laden to excess with silks and velvets, shawls and
laces, collars and jewellery, do not repair thither solely for their
amusement, nor yet for the more important business of shopping; but
that they are intended as sauntering advertisements of the wealth of
their houses, "and to announce, perhaps, by an increased display of
plumes and diamonds, each new victory achieved in the campaigns of
speculation." In America, according to M. Marmier, and particularly in
New York, everything is reducible into dollars and cents, and is duly
reduced accordingly.

    "To understand the ardour with which they toil in this
    reproduction, (of dollars,) we must bear in mind that, in their
    virtuous democracy, there is no other real sign of distinction,
    neither birth nor titles of nobility, nor artistic and literary
    talent. Here everything must be reckoned by figures, or
    weighed in the goldsmith's balance. A captain of a vessel has
    distinguished himself by a voyage of discovery, and you take
    pleasure in quoting the interesting places he has seen, and the
    observations he has made. You are interrupted by an inquiry
    of how much he was paid. A painter has been successful at the
    Exhibition, and has received the most encouraging eulogiums,
    accompanied with a gold medal. They overlook the eulogiums,
    but desire to know the weight of the medal. Tell an American
    that Murray gave Lord Byron sixteen hundred guineas for a canto
    of _Childe Harold_, he opens his eyes, and exclaims, with
    poetic enthusiasm, that he should like to have written _Childe
    Harold_. But if you add, that Béranger lives in a cottage
    at Passy, and that his whole fortune consists of a slender
    annuity, he ridicules Béranger's glory, and reckons he would
    have done better to take to trade. With such ideas, you will
    understand that here literature takes no very high flight.
    Cooper, Washington Irving, and the learned historian Prescott,
    have certainly acquired much more fame in Europe than in the
    United States. For there the merit of their works is alone
    thought of; but here it is gravely remarked that, with all
    their writings, they have not made their fortunes.

    Nevertheless, standing in a New York library, and reckoning
    up the immense number of newspapers published in America, one
    might suppose that a more literary country did not exist on
    the globe's surface. But those publishers do but reprint,
    in a compact form, and at the lowest possible price, the
    _feuilletons_ of France, and the elegant octavos of England.
    Alexander Dumas gives employment to more printing-presses,
    papermakers, and stitchers here than in France. As to the two
    thousand four hundred newspapers of which the United States
    boast, as of a sign of the diffusion of enlightenment, it is
    impossible, until one has held them in one's hand, and read
    them with one's own eyes, to form an idea of such a mass of
    personal diatribes, coarse chronicles, puerile anecdotes--of
    such a confused medley of political and commercial notices,
    mingled with shopkeepers' puffs in prose and verse, and
    smothered in an ocean of advertisements. Nothing that you see
    in France can give you an idea of these advertisements. They
    are a daily inventory of all imaginable merchandise, heaped
    up, _pêle-mêle_, as in an immense arena--a register of all the
    inventions possible, and of every conceivable trade.... With
    the exception of the New Orleans _Bee_, and of the _Courier of
    the United States_, (both published in the French language,) I
    do not know an American paper--not even the best of all, that
    of a distinguished poet, Mr Bryant--which can be compared,
    for the order of its contents, and its general getting-up, to
    the most unpretending of our provincial newspapers. As every
    considerable city publishes at least a dozen papers, and every
    little town two or three, the consequence is, that none attain
    sufficient circulation to afford fair remuneration to a body
    of able writers. Some are sustained by the funds of partymen,
    whose organs they are; and the majority exist only by the
    proceeds of their advertisements."

Arrived at New Orleans, M. Marmier makes his moan over the fair and
broad territories once possessed by France in the Western Hemisphere,
and predicts the loss of nearly all that she still retains in those
latitudes, the Islands of Guadaloupe and Martinique, as a natural
consequence of that decree of the Provisional Government which
liberated, at one blow, the whole of the blacks, thereby ruining the
white proprietors. The slaves had cost three or four thousand francs
a-piece; four hundred francs was the indemnity granted to their owners.
The negroes, thus suddenly emancipated, at once took to idleness, and
would work only when they pleased, and as they pleased, and on their
own terms. The sugar-fields were deserted, and the Creoles, abandoning
their plantations, worthless for want of hands to cultivate them, were
emigrating in numbers to the United States. M. Marmier met a great many
of these unfortunate men, ruined and exiled by the mad precipitation of
one of the most worthless and despicable Governments that ever swayed,
even for a brief space, the destinies of a great country and its

    "Some day," he says, "the negroes will no longer be satisfied
    to receive wages. With the ideas of equality preached to them
    by their apostles, they will grow indignant at their condition
    of hired labourers. They will desire to possess lands. The
    sooner to have them, they will seize them by force. All the
    emigrants from Guadaloupe and Martinique with whom I conversed
    respecting the present condition of the two islands, foresaw a
    bloody and terrible catastrophe. Failing energetic repression,
    those islands, like that of St Domingo, will be lost to us.
    But we shall have the satisfaction, perhaps, of witnessing the
    foundation of a new kingdom of blacks, and of manufacturing at
    Paris the crown and sceptre of another Faustin I."

Such gloomy accounts of their condition and prospects were not
calculated to encourage M. Marmier in any design he may have
entertained of a visit to the French West-Indian colonies. He preferred
Cuba--previously, however, abiding some days in New Orleans, where,
as in Canada, he fondly traced the lingering habits and traditions of
his native land. The gay, urbane, and sociable Creoles contrasted most
favourably with the dry, taciturn, tobacco-chewing men of business of
the Northern States. M. Marmier was no less surprised than pleased at
the striking difference, having expected to find the people of New
Orleans already "vitrified by the American furnace."

    "For of all the things," he says, "which astonish the stranger
    in the United States, the most astonishing, perhaps, is the
    power of absorption of the American character. Suppose a
    skilful chemist throwing five or six different ingredients
    into his crucible, mingling and crushing them with a view to
    the extraction of one homogeneous essence, and you have the
    image of the moral and intellectual chemistry which continually
    acts upon this country. What we call the American people is
    but an agglomeration of emigrants from various regions and
    races. The first came from England; others have come from
    Germany, Ireland, France, the mountains of Switzerland, the
    shores of the Baltic--in short, from all the countries of
    Europe. At first this agglomeration was effected slowly, by
    small detachments. Now it annually consists of whole armies
    of artisans and tillers of the soil, and of thousands upon
    thousands of families. All these foreigners naturally take
    with them to the United States their particular predilections,
    their national habits, doubtless also their prejudices. At
    first the character of the American displeases them, and they
    are disagreeably surprised by his habits. They resolve to keep
    aloof from him, to live apart with their own countrymen, to
    preserve, upon that distant continent, the manners of their
    native land, and in their mother tongue they energetically
    protest that they never will become Americans. Vain is the
    project! useless the protestation! The American atmosphere
    envelopes them, and by its constant action weakens their
    recollections, dissolves their prejudices, decomposes
    their primitive elements. Little by little, by insensible
    modifications, they change their views and mode of living,
    adopt the usages and language of the Americans, and end by
    being absorbed in the American nation, as are the streamlets
    from the valleys in the great rivers that bear them onward to
    the ocean. How many are the honest Germans, who, after cursing
    the rudeness of American manners, and bitterly regretting
    their good kindly Germany, have come at last to stick their
    hat, Yankee fashion, on the back of their head, to stiffen
    themselves, like the Yankee, in a coat buttoned up to the chin,
    to disdain all the rules of European courtesy, and to use no
    other language but the consecrated dialect of business."

Fearing a like transformation in the French population of New Orleans,
M. Marmier, delighted to find himself mistaken, thanks Heaven for his
escape from the frigid zone of Yankee-land, and for once more finding
himself, for the first time since he left Canada, amongst people with
hearts as well as heads, whose commercial pursuits do not preclude
social enjoyments and friendly attentions to a stranger. He notes a
vast difference between the aspect of New Orleans and that of the
other cities of the Union. In the Louisianian capital there is more
of holidaymaking, and less of unremitting money-seeking; there are to
be found gay dinners, agreeable pastimes, music in the streets and
coffee-houses, manners more courtly and dress more elegant, an opera
and a vaudeville. This, at least, is the case in the French portion of
the city; and the inhabitants of the American quarter have benefited,
our traveller assures us, by the contact and intercourse of their
lively and amiable neighbours. Even in New Orleans, however, he finds
things to blame, or at least to deplore. The principal of these is
the fatal practice of duelling, which has brought desolation into
so many Creole families. _A. N., victime de l'honneur à 24 ans_, is
the brief but significant inscription upon a plain tombstone, before
which he pauses during his ramble amidst the flower garlands and green
shrubberies of the carefully kept cemetery. Duels in Louisiana are much
less frequent since the passing of a law which deprives the duellist of
his civil rights for a space of five years, and which closes to him the
profession of the bar, and the avenues to certain public employments.
No law, however, can tame the fierce passions of the men of the
Southern States, or prevent those extempore duels, fought out on the
instant of quarrel, with revolver and Arkansas toothpick--a Gargantuan
toothpick, M. Marmier shudderingly explains, having a two-edged blade,
a foot long and two or three inches wide.

Before quitting the Union, whose inhabitants and institutions have
certainly met with little favour at his hands, M. Marmier apologises
for any undue severity into which he may possibly have been betrayed.

    "If," he says, "in my remarks on the social relations of the
    Americans, I have been unjust towards them, I sincerely ask
    their pardon. In towns and cities one feels a desire to meet
    benevolent glances and friendly words from our fellow-men;
    and this, with some rare exceptions, which I gladly treasure
    up, is what I sought in vain in the great cities of the
    United States. Whether my search was unskilful, I know not; or
    whether, like an impatient miner, I too hastily abandoned a bed
    of rocks which concealed a precious vein. It is possible I may
    have done so. The one thing certain is, that in Canada and at
    New Orleans the sympathetic vein was revealed to me at once,
    and I had but to extend my hands to be met on all sides with a
    friendly grasp."

Finally, M. Marmier, who, whatever his faults of style or occasional
flimsiness of substance, must be admitted to form his own opinions
and to speak them out frankly and boldly, whether right or
wrong--prophesies the rupture of the Union as a consequence of the
slavery question.

    "When the two halves of this immense country shall have taken a
    greater development, when each of them shall have grown strong
    enough to need no longer the other's support, the consciousness
    of its power will give keenness to its susceptibilities, and it
    will repel with anger what it now with difficulty tolerates. A
    fortuitous circumstance will cause a long-repressed animosity
    to burst forth; and slavery is, perhaps, the straw that shall
    break the steel bar of the United States."

With which ominous valediction M. Marmier closes his first volume, and
embarks on board the "Ohio," the leviathan of American steamboats,
constructed for the express purpose of conveying Californian
gold-seekers to Chagres, and boasting, according to advertisement,
engines each of a thousand horse power, and cabins for five hundred
and fifty passengers--figures which the incredulous Marmier, long
since initiated in the mysteries of Yankee puffery, inclines to think
exaggerated. The vessel, however, is undeniably both fine and fast,
and on the fourth morning after her departure from New Orleans,
(four-and-twenty hours having been lost getting over the bar,) she
flashes past the walls of the castle of the Moro. A narrow passage
between rocks, fortresses right and left, frowning batteries of
cannon--the entrance to the port of Havana is a menacing introduction
to the delightful panorama that presents itself within. A vast
semi-circular basin, which no tempest ever ruffles, envelops the
city with its azure waters. So gay and bright is the aspect of the
city itself, that the enthusiastic Marmier is at the gangway in an
instant; his carpet-bag in one hand, his pilgrim's staff in the other,
shouting for a boat to convey him ashore. He forgets that he is no
longer in the States, where passports are unknown and all may come
and go unquestioned. Cuba is the paradise of police and custom-house
officers, the purgatory of tourists. Before embarking at a foreign
port, your passport must receive the visa of the Spanish consul. Two
dollars for that. On arriving at Cuba, the authorities take your
passport and give in exchange a document of their own fabrication.
Eight dollars for that. Still you are not allowed to land till an
inhabitant of the island has guaranteed your respectability. It is a
puzzle how to obtain this guarantee whilst you are forcibly detained on
ship-board. The difficulty is removed by the appearance alongside of a
number of obliging individuals, offering to certify your morality and
orthodoxy; in return for which service you cannot do less than offer
them a four-dollar bit. So that on summing up, and including boat-hire
and porterage, it costs the humblest traveller something like twenty
dollars to cross the quay of the Havana and reach his hotel.

But it is worth while to pay a good price for leave to land upon the
enchanting shores of the Queen of the Antilles, to roam in forests of
orange trees, to repose beneath the broad shade of the banana, and
to enjoy, in their delightful quintas, the hospitality of the kindly
Havanese. Besides, as M. Marmier exclaims, what are a hundred francs
in a country whose soil produces golden harvests! _There_ are none of
your coarse copper coins, or dirty Yankee bank-notes. A silver _medio_
(about threepence) is the smallest current coin, dollars are spent
like francs in France, and a Cuban thinks no more of a portly golden
ounce than a Paris dandy of a light napoleon. In that beauteous and
luxurious isle, now almost the last colony remaining to the Sovereign
of "Spain and the Indies," whilst the rich have abundant facilities
for squandering their wealth, the man of humble fortune is at no loss
for enjoyments. The bright sky, the glorious scenery, the gorgeous
flowers, the cooling fruits of the tropics, are as free to him as
to the _millionnaire_. And both alike are subject to the perils and
annoyances of those sultry regions, where venomous plants and reptiles,
offensive vermin, and the relentless _vomito_, the terrible Yellow
Jack, are more than equivalent, as evils, to the grey skies and
chilling blasts, snow-drifts and long winters of Northern Europe. It
was in the month of January that M. Marmier reached the Havana, and by
aid of open doors and windows, of curtains, mosquito nets, and a bed
composed of two sheets and a sackcloth stretched on a frame, the heat
was rendered very endurable. He scarcely dared imagine what it might be
in the dog-days, when the demon of fever stalks abroad, invisible but
fatal. In some years, however, the _vomito_, even at the most unhealthy
season, commits few ravages, its virulence seems impaired, and the
rejoicing Cubans almost imagine it is dying out upon their shores.
The delightful dream of security is soon dispelled. Suddenly the grim
phantom reappears, more deadly than ever, smiting alike the stranger
and the native, the rough European mariner, and the graceful daughter
of the tropics.

    "Last year, in the month of August, the ships in harbour
    resembled those which are deserted by their sailors in the
    port of San Francisco. But it was not to hurry to the dazzling
    _placer_ that sailors and officers abandoned the national flag.
    It was to seek in the hospital a remedy for their tortures, to
    be buried in a foreign graveyard, far away from their pleasant
    Scheldt and beautiful Gironde."

As if the isle itself did not harbour enough disease, the winds of
heaven and the ocean tides wafted it thither from other climes, from
the fever-ridden shores of Tampico and Vera Cruz.

    "One day the watcher on the Moro saw an English brig pass at
    the foot of the ramparts, steered by a woman, whom a pale
    skeleton-like man strove to assist in her task. Captain
    Jackson, who commanded this brig, had left Tampico with his
    wife, two young children, and seven sailors. A few days after
    they sailed, the seven sailors sickened of the fever and died,
    one after the other; the captain and his children, attacked by
    the same malady, lay in bed, unable to move. The woman, with
    a superhuman courage, inspired by her trust in God, threw the
    corpses into the sea, furled a part of the sails, took charge
    of the wheel, nursed her husband and children, and, thanks
    to a favourable wind which seconded her resolution, directed
    the ship towards the island of Cuba, until such time as her
    husband, rising from his sick bed, was able to give her some
    assistance. And thus she came into port, after forty days'
    navigation, timid and modest, casting down her eyes when lauded
    for her heroic energy, and seemingly unconscious of having
    achieved that from which the imagination of the most resolute
    man might well recoil with terror."

All who have read _Tom Cringle's Log_, will call to mind its glorious
descriptions of Cuban scenery, its graphic and thrilling sketches of
tropical sports and perils. We think all the better of Mr Taylor, that
he has attentively studied Captain Cringle's admirable work, and refers
to it with the respect due from a tyro to a master of the art. At St
Jago de Cuba he became acquainted with the original of Don Ricardo
Campana, the Spanish Scotchman who accompanied Cringle and Captain
Transom on their memorable expedition into the interior of the island.
Who has forgotten that exquisite chapter of the Log, "The Pirate's
Leman"? Mr Richard Maxwell Bell, the gentleman whose name Cringle has
humorously translated, is not a Scotchman, (as he is stated to be in
the Log,) but is every bit as hospitable, sensible, and kind-hearted
as he is there represented. By his good offices, Mr Taylor obtained a
companion in the person of a young Spanish officer, proceeding up the
country to join his regiment, for the journey to Gibara, a small town
on the north shore of the island, five and forty leagues from St Jago.
In the district of Holguin, whose capital is Gibara, the promised gold
vein was said to exist, and that was Mr Taylor's destination.

    "After seven days' delay, I received intimation that my
    fellow-traveller, Don Carlos Saldivar, was now ready, and
    awaited my joining forces with him at eleven that night, so
    as to get a long cool march by moonlight. About half-an-hour
    after the appointed time, we filed off down the street, the
    cavalcade consisting of about twenty-four horses, the head of
    one being tied to the tail of the other; and Don Carlos and
    myself brought up the rear. I have met with very few, even
    old residents, who have ever crossed the island by the road
    we took. It leads all the way over highlands, rocky passes,
    and through mountainous streams, except where it crosses some
    immense savannas; whereas the main road is mostly all the way
    on the banks of the Cauto, the principal river of Cuba. But
    the main road, though short and level, is dreadfully muddy
    and clayey in rainy weather, and for that reason our arrieros
    chose the other. After passing a small _ingenio_ or sugar-mill,
    worked by oxen, which Don Carlos pointed out on the side of
    the road, we entered a perfect forest of orange trees, whose
    ripe and tempting fruit hung in profusion from every tree,
    and lay also on the ground by cart-loads. I let the party get
    ahead some distance, and then, quietly dismounting, eagerly
    clutched the finest and ripest I could see. My mind misgave me
    a little on applying the test of smell, although that was very
    refreshing; but my worst fears came out on removing the peel,
    when I found my orange was both bitter and sour, being of the
    kind called in England "Seville," indigenous to and abundant
    in all the forests of Cuba, as well as the lime. I rode up to
    my friends, feeling considerably "sold," and now began to be
    aware that good fruit, although abundant enough in Cuba, is
    not to be had on every tree. We had accommodation, none of the
    best, the four nights we passed on the road. One of them saw
    us in a small _rancho_, the dwelling of a solitary negro, who,
    it seemed, was a tailor, and where the only place I could find
    for passing the night was on a _barbacoa_, or platform of small
    round sticks; and of all the beds I ever tried to sleep on,
    this was the most hopeless! I suffered much on this journey for
    want of a hammock, and seriously counsel all who may have to
    make a journey, long or short, in Cuba, to travel always with
    one. But how different the mode of travelling in Cuba, where
    Coolies are not to be had for a song, as they are here where
    I am writing, (Ceylon.) A Ceylon planter or merchant cannot
    move through the jungle or take any trip at all, without the
    attendance of six or eight of these poor creatures, toiling
    under a weight of baggage, bedding, &c. A Spaniard will travel
    seven or eight hundred miles, suppose from the Havana, to
    Holguin, on one and the same horse, and carry all he requires
    with him. Folded partly over the cantle of his saddle, and
    hanging on each side, the two capacious pockets of his _seron_
    hold his coffee-pot, bread, and provisions on one side, and
    several changes of garments on the other. In front are strapped
    his cloak and holsters; behind, his hammock; and his trusty
    _machete_ hangs by his side. He is a perfectly independent
    man--a man after Sir Charles Napier's own heart; can carry two
    or three days' provisions in his _seron_, and cares not a fig
    where night overtakes him. To be sure there are, fortunately,
    no venomous reptiles or wild beasts in Cuba. Here, in Ceylon,
    perhaps it would not do to try on that 'dodge' too far. You
    might find a cobra de capello alongside of you in your hammock,
    or be unceremoniously ejected therefrom by an inquisitive
    elephant, a playful cheetah or an affectionate bear."

The above extracts, culled from half-a-dozen pages of Mr Taylor, give
a fair idea of the texture of the earlier portion of his book, which,
it will be seen, is slight but agreeable. He is not strictly correct
in stating Cuba to be exempt from the plague of venomous reptiles. The
island certainly produces nothing to compare to the _cobra_, but it
has varieties of the serpent tribe that would be found anything but
pleasant bedfellows--to say nothing of most formidable scorpions, and
of gigantic spiders whose sting brings on fever. In his later chapters,
Mr Taylor grapples with graver subjects--gives us a few statistics,
describes the culture and preparation of sugar, and argues the question
of slavery, for the gradual extinction of which he propounds a project.
Although he passed upwards of three years in Cuba, the greater portion
of the time was spent in the plantations; and he saw nothing of the
great towns, except St Jago, where he slept through an earthquake, in
the next room to a man with the yellow fever, and where he was duly
impressed with the merits of Madame Sauce's boardinghouse and Bordeaux
wine. For sketches of Cuba's capital, the gay coquettish city of the
Havana, we must revert to M. Marmier, whom we find, with his national
versatility, driving in _volantes_, (the light cabriolets which are
almost the only equipages used in Cuba,) quoting Horace, Byron, and
Lamartine, lauding Havanese courtesy, glancing at Hegel's philosophy,
criticising Spanish colonial government, telling anecdotes of General
Tacon, (the stern but efficient governor to whom Cuba is indebted for
many reforms,) admiring the Creole beauties in the theatre, and cooling
his heated interior in the vast coffee-houses, where the delicious
fruits of the island--the orange, the pine, the guava, and many others
for which English names are wanting--are transformed into preserves,
ices, and frozen drinks. At one of these coffee-houses, an ingenious
French _glacier_ had so multiplied his refreshing inventions, that he
had exhausted his Spanish vocabulary, and was driven to politics and
the Anglo-Saxon. "Waiter!" cried a thirsty customer, within hearing of
M. Marmier, "bring me a President Taylor!" "A President Jackson for
me!" exclaimed another voice. M. Marmier, with praiseworthy curiosity,
tried both Taylor and Jackson. The ingenious confectioner, he declares,
had had due regard to the characters of the two venerable Presidents,
when he gave their names to his cunningly compounded liquors: Taylor
was a sweetish and cooling draught, Jackson an energetic punch. At the
theatre, where an Italian company performed _Lucia_ in most creditable
style, M. Marmier was struck with the elegance of the house and the
aristocratic appearance of the audience. The pit was full of men in
white waistcoats and trousers; the three ranges of boxes, instead of
wainscoting at the back, and a heavy wooden balustrade halfway up the
front, had Venetian blinds in the one place, admitting air and light,
and in the other a light trelliswork, which afforded a full view of the
fair inmates from their luxuriant hair down to their fairy feet.

    "Above the boxes is the place allotted to the negroes, who seem
    stationed there that their thickset figures and black faces
    may serve as a foil to the white doves in the boxes. Ladies'
    fashions have here no resemblance to those of Paris. Velvet is
    not to be thought of; even satin is too heavy and inflexible
    for those delicate forms, and Cinderella's slipper would be too
    heavy a load for those bird-like feet. A flower in the hair,
    a flood of gauze and lace on the body, a silk ribbon, with an
    imperceptible sole, for a shoe, and another ribbon of the same
    colour round the instep,--this is all that these lilies of the
    tropics can support. One might take them for those Northern
    elves, who formerly, in the forest glades, wove themselves
    garments out of moonbeams."

Lavish and luxurious in dress, the Havanese lady does not long retain
the fresh and delicate tissues that drape her slender person, but
transfers them, often scarcely worn, to her black waiting-maids, who
turn out upon the Sunday, like so many African princesses, in all
the glory of satin shoes, lace mantilla, and muslin robes. At the
Havana, as at New Orleans, and even to a still greater extent, the lot
of the domestic slaves might be envied, as far as material comforts
go, by most of the lower classes of free Europeans. They form part
of the family in which they are brought up, enjoy great kindness and
indulgence, and frequently grow rich by hoarding the presents they

    "Many economical negroes," says M. Marmier, "especially those
    of the tribe of Caravalis, amass in service a sum which they
    well know how to employ. The law of Cuba obliges the proprietor
    to liberate his slave when he repays the sum he cost, either
    at once or by instalments. There is a lottery at the Havana,
    similar to those of Germany, which has already contributed
    to the enfranchisement of many negroes. There are tickets at
    twenty francs and at five francs, and prizes of forty thousand,
    eighty thousand, and a hundred and fifty thousand francs. Once
    there was a prize of five hundred thousand francs, which was
    won by a negro, unluckily for him; for when he saw the mass
    of gold spread upon the table, the excitement killed him.
    Once free, the negro opens a workshop or warehouse, and buys
    other slaves. Unhappy those who call him master. They are
    worse treated by the man of their own colour than by the most
    merciless of the whites."

However fortunate the lot of the domestic slaves in Cuba, neither of
the books before us gives a very pleasing picture of the life of those
on the plantations. Of course much depends on the character of their
owner, and whether he resides on his estate or leaves it entirely
to an overseer. Mr Taylor, who saw much more of plantation life than
M. Marmier, and indeed may be considered excellent authority on that
subject, gives quite a pastoral sketch of negro life on one particular
estate, partly owned and wholly managed by a kind-hearted friend
of his, from whom the slaves had no undue severity to fear; but he
significantly hints that cases of this sort are the exception rather
than the rule, and, indeed, in more than one place, his italics and
suppressions give us gloomy glimpses of the condition of the blacks
in Cuba. M. Marmier describes the corporal chastisements inflicted as
frequent and cruel, and occasionally leading to suicide and flight. But
neither the virgin forests of Cuba, extensive and intricate though they
be, nor the lofty and rarely-ascended mountains, secure the fugitive
slave from pursuit and capture. As soon as he is missed, the terrible
bloodhound is on his trail. Whilst residing on the sugar estate of
Santa L., Mr Taylor, sitting one evening in the verandah, happened to
fix his eyes on a distant clump of palms, which he had often before
admired. Suddenly the tallest of them disappeared.

    "Struck by such a strange circumstance, I called to the
    overseer, who was quietly walking his horse up the avenue,
    and told him. Quick as lightning, without giving an answer,
    he struck his spurs into his horse's flank, and quicker than
    I can write, he was on the spot. A noble palm of eighty feet
    lay prostrate, cut through with an axe, and already minus its
    glory, (its crown,) cut off for the cabbage. In vain, however,
    did he look for the culprit, and shout. But in less than two
    minutes, behold him back! 'White or black, I have him now!'
    shouted he, as he and the dog scampered off again. One sniff
    at the tree was enough for the bloodhound, and in five minutes
    more the negro, for it was one belonging to the estate, was in
    custody--uninjured by the dog, for his master was close on his
    track. He was punished, but, I believe, not very severely."

Madame de Merlin, from whose graceful pages we have already quoted,
speaks at some length of these celebrated slave-hunting dogs, whose
strength and sagacity are as remarkable as their intense instinctive
aversion to runaway negroes. These seldom dare resist them, but when
they do, the contest is never long nor the victory doubtful. The dog
seizes the man by the ear and pulls him to the ground; having thus
daunted him, he suffers him to rise, and takes him home without further

    "Yesterday," says Madame de Merlin, "three malefactors who had
    devastated the environs of Marianao, at a short distance from
    the Havana, and who had escaped from the pursuit of justice,
    were brought in by two dogs. On arriving near the town, one of
    the dogs, his jaws all bloody, his eyes glittering, remained on
    guard over the prisoners; whilst his comrade, running to the
    entrance of the town, howled, shook people by their clothes,
    and indicated, by the most ingenious signs, the spot where the
    captives were waiting. At last he made himself understood, and
    guided the police to the place where the other dog, stanch to
    his post, was guarding the malefactors, who lay half-dead upon
    the grass. One of the unfortunate wretches had a broken jaw,
    and all three had been grievously wounded in the conflict."

The greater part of the labour on the sugar-plantations is necessarily
of the very severest description, and the hardship is trebled by the
burning heat of the climate; the negroes are punished by the whip,
twenty-five lashes being the number permitted by law, and which Mr
Taylor believes to be seldom exceeded, although there is no security
against it not being so, since he admits that the owner or manager,
offending in this particular, can evade the fine by a bribe to the
Government official. If a slave, weary of stripes and toll, takes to
the woods, the bloodhounds are on his track; and if he escapes for a
while the keen scent and unwearying pursuit of these sagacious and
formidable brutes, it is only at the cost of a life of constant terror
and privation amidst the jungles of _canas bravas_[7], or in the depths
of gloomy caverns, strewed with the bones of the aborigines of the
island. There exist, however, according to Mr Taylor, colonies of
fugitive negroes, dwelling in comparative security on mountain summits
of difficult approach.

[7] A species of gigantic reed or cane, which attains an elevation of
fifty feet, in clumps of two or three hundred stems.

    "At the very eastern end of Cuba, within the triangle between
    the cities of St Jago and Baracoa and Point Mäysi, is a wild
    and rugged tract of country, and in the centre of all, an
    immense mountain, called the Sierra del Cristal, which I have
    often seen from the sea. Hither no adventurous topographer has
    yet directed his steps; but, were the proper admeasurements
    made, I am almost certain the Cristal would be found the
    highest eminence in Cuba. On this mountain range, every one
    unites in declaring that the runaway negroes have established a
    large settlement."

Such collections of wild Indians or negroes are called Palenques, and
the men composing it are known as Apalencados. When more than seven are
congregated, it is a Palenque. The pursuit and suppression of these is
under the superintendence of an official, appointed for the purpose,
and of a tribunal called a consulate.

    "If the expedition be considered one of extreme danger, special
    rates of reward are offered. In that case, _extirpation_ is
    probably determined on; but such cases have rarely happened....
    The great Palenque of the Cristal remains as much a mystery
    as ever; and some even doubt if the Spanish Government does
    not leave it purposely as a kind of safety valve for the
    discontented, for no expedition of importance enough to reduce
    it has ever been undertaken, although small parties are
    annually formed in Baracoa, who hover about it and capture a
    great many negroes. Common report says that the settlement is
    high up on an elevated plateau, only approachable by one pass,
    which is fortified by overhanging rocks, kept ready to hurl on
    the invaders, and strictly guarded by wary sentinels; and, that
    on this plateau, whose inhabitants are said to amount to many
    hundreds, grain, tobacco, &c. are grown sufficient for their
    wants. It is further hinted that some whites have more dealings
    with the Apalencados than they would wish generally known, and
    supply them with clothes and necessaries unattainable in the

Spaniards are generally admitted to be much kinder slave-masters than
most Americans. Were we to give implicit credence to the Countess
Merlin, which her enthusiasm for her own countrymen and womanly
partisanship prevent our doing, we must believe Havana the very
paradise of slaves. "The humanity of the generality of the laws and
regulations of the Spaniards in the particular of slavery," says Mr
Taylor, "contrast favourably with that of _some_ of the States of
the American Union." M. Marmier considers the houses of the Havanese
to be "the El Dorado of slaves, the plantations their purgatory."
But all three authorities agree in preferring the condition of the
slaves to that of the _emancipados_--slaves captured by our cruisers
and liberated in the Havana, or confiscated by the Cuban authorities
in some rare moment of zeal and good faith. These are hired out to
taskmasters with a view of their being taught some trade, which they
very seldom manage to learn; and, meanwhile, they drag on in bondage
from year to year, often worse treated than slaves, because, as Mr
Taylor says, the _emancipado_ belongs to nobody, whilst the slave has
an owner who is interested, to a certain extent, in not destroying
his _animal_. It is the free black, in short, in these cases, who
gets least victuals, hardest work, and most whip. Mr Taylor is rather
good upon this head, and quotes with considerable effect the report
of the Sugar and Coffee Planting Committee, printed by order of the
House of Commons, and of which he received a copy in Ceylon, just as
he was writing his book. The document, he says, singularly confirmed
the impressions he had received five to eight years previously,
during his residence in Cuba, as to the shameful manner in which the
treaties respecting slavery are evaded in that colony. It shows how
the _emancipados_ are virtually sold (hired out for terms of years)
in an underhand manner, for the profit of the Spanish Government and
officials; how his Excellency the captain-general supplied the Gas
Company, of which the chaste and tender-hearted Christina is the
chief shareholder, with dark-complexioned lamp-lighters at five gold
ounces a-head; how Mrs O'Donnell, (now Countess of Lucena) lady of the
captain-general of that name, procured herself a snug little income by
the labour of four hundred _emancipados_, transferred to the paternal
care of the Marquis de las Delicias, chief judge, of the mixed court(!)
_and one of the greatest slave-holders in Cuba_--all these statements
being given upon the undeniable authority of a letter from the British
consul-general Crawford, read by the chairman of the Committee above
referred to. And there would be no difficulty in producing equally
reliable authority for a host of similar iniquities, incredible to
persons unacquainted with the atrocious immorality of Spanish colonial
administration, with the insatiable greed of certain high personages in
Spain, and with the immense fortunes amassed by Cuban captains-general.
"It is said," says Consul-general Crawford, as quoted by Mr Taylor,
"that upwards of five thousand of those unfortunate wretches (the
_emancipados_) have been resold at rates of from five to nine ounces,
by which upwards of six hundred thousand dollars have been made in
the government-house, one-sixth of which was divided amongst the
underlings, from the colonial secretary downwards." "I heard the other
day," says Mr Taylor, "of a grand new _ingenio_ having been set up by
Queen Christina, with every latest improvement; behold the secret!" He
makes bold to believe that not a few of the five thousand "unfortunate
wretches," spoken of by Mr Crawford, might be found doing duty in the
queen-mother's plantation and sugar-mill. A very probable hypothesis.
There can be no doubt, however, that the means by which the estate is
worked, and the gas-lamps lighted, would bear investigation quite as
well as the mode of acquisition of the funds invested in them by the
enormously wealthy widow of the Well-beloved Ferdinand.

Those recent visitors to Cuba who have written of what they there saw,
have in few instances done more than glance at the subject. They have
either treated it superficially, like M. Marmier, who, in his love of
locomotion and eagerness to get afloat again, dismisses the Pearl of
the Antilles in three or four hasty chapters; or, like Mr Taylor, their
opportunities of investigation have been limited to a small portion of
the island. Mr Madden's little volume is of a special and statistical
class; and, as far as it goes, we think well of it, notwithstanding
the attack made upon it by Mr Taylor, who is shocked at the faulty
spelling of Spanish words and names, and who laughs at Mr Madden for
deprecating the annexation of Cuba to the States, which he (Mr Taylor)
inclines to advocate. Madame de Merlin's work is much more copious and
comprehensive than any of the three above named; but if her sketches
of Havanese society and manners are pleasing and characteristic,
her descriptions of scenery vivid, and her retrospective historical
chapters careful and scholarly, on the other hand she is frequently
biassed, when touching on matters of greater practical importance, by
the joint prejudices of a Frenchwoman and of a Spanish Creole; whilst
her sex necessarily precluded her from acquaintance with various phases
of Spanish colonial life, and from exploring those wilder districts,
an account of which is essential to the completeness of a work on Cuba
professing thoroughly to describe the island and its motley population.
For such a work there is abundant room; and of such a one, in this
century of intelligent and enterprising travellers, we confidently hope
before long to welcome the appearance.



MY DEAR DUNSHUNNER,--Is it too great a liberty to inquire into the
nature of your present avocations, or to ask if you are occupied with
any magnificent scheme to take the public mind by storm? You have
of late maintained so mysterious and obstinate a silence, that your
friends are becoming anxious regarding you. Like Achilles, son of
Peleus, you seem to be sulking in your tent, whilst all the rest of
the Greeks are abroad in the clear sunlight, making head against the
Trojan army, and skirmishing in the front of their ships. We miss you,
and the public miss you. Your red right arm was wont to be seen far
in front of the battle fray, and, at the moment when the political
strife is hottest, we cannot afford to lose the countenance of our
bravest champion. I hope there is no Briseïs in the case? If so, tell
us which of the Free-Traders has wronged you, and the damsel shall be
immediately restored, with a corresponding recompense of plunder.

The fact is, Dunshunner, that we are in a devil of a scrape. Matters
have not turned out exactly as we anticipated; and, although we are
endeavouring to maintain the attitude of perfect confidence, I need
not disguise from you my conviction that Free Trade has proved an
utter failure. Of course you will keep this to yourself. We cannot
venture to let it be publicly known that we have lost faith in our own
nostrums; and we are doing all we can, by means of mitigating the tenor
of the trade circulars, to keep the great body of the manufacturers,
who of late have shown certain symptoms of revolt, at least neutral
and reasonably quiet. Our friend Skinflint of the _Importationist_
is fighting a most praiseworthy battle, and every one must admire
the pluck which he has exhibited under extraordinarily difficult
circumstances. He has had not only to defend the general policy of Free
Trade, but to maintain that his own predictions have been fulfilled to
the very letter--a task which most men would have considered rather
arduous, seeing that figures are entirely against him, and that all the
facts which have occurred are directly in the teeth of his prophecies.
But Skinflint is an invaluable fellow to lead a forlorn-hope. He can
prove to you that an unfulfilled prophecy is quite as good as one
which has been accomplished, and he is truly superb upon the subject
of the natural limits of capital. Political economy, as you know, has
long been my favourite study; but I fairly confess to you that, with
all my reading and acquired knowledge, I cannot cope with Skinflint.
He has gone so deep into the science--he has dived so profoundly not
only through the water but the mud, that to follow him is absolutely
impossible; and--to pursue the metaphor--you can only ascertain the
whereabouts of this unrivalled professor of the art of sinking, by
the dirt which ascends to the surface, and the rising of the fetid
bubbles. At present he has as much work on his hands as might stagger
the stoutest Stagyrite. The farmers, the millers, the sugar-refiners,
the shipowners--yea, the very delegates of the working-men--all are at
him! You may conceive what a breadth of buckler and how many folds of
brass are necessary to shelter him against such a multitude of weapons;
yet still Skinflint combats on. I wonder if he is descended from the
Berserkars, who, in consequence of abstaining from ablutions, succeeded
at length in rendering their hides invulnerable?

The farmers--poor devils!--are entirely up the spout. I will admit that
I am sorry for that; but my sorrow arises from no maudlin compassion
for their misfortunes. You are aware that I never had any sympathy with
things bucolic. I always considered the towns as the proper habitations
for mankind, and have maintained the opinion that the sooner we could
get rid of the country the better. What man of common sense cares one
farthing for cows, or buttercups, or sheep? Are we in the nineteenth
century to pin our faith to the Georgics, or to babble in senile
imbecility about green fields? What care I about purling brooks? They
may be useful for a dye-work, or as the means of motive power, but
otherwise they are entirely superfluous; and we may thank those idiots,
the poets--who, by the way, are perfectly useless, for not one of them
pays Income Tax--for having created a false impression about them. I
cordially agreed with Cobden, that the sooner we could lay Manchester
side by side with the valley of the Mississippi, the better; and,
had it not been for the obtuseness of those pig-headed scoundrels,
the Yankees, who, forsooth, have got a crotchet in their heads about
maintaining their own miserable industry, the job would have been done
long ago. Had Jonathan acted by us fairly, as he was in honour bound to
do--had he demolished his mills, blown out his furnaces, shut up his
mines, and passed an Act of Congress to inflict the penalty of death
upon any presumptuous loafer who should attempt to manufacture a single
article in the United States, my life upon it that at the present
moment we should have been driving a roaring trade! But the infatuated
blockhead wont have our goods, and is actually heightening his tariffs
to restrict their admission still further! The German ninny-hammers and
pragmatical Spaniards are doing the same thing; and, in consequence,
our whole anticipations have been violently frustrated. Perhaps you see
now why I am sorry for the farmers. My regret is, that their power of
purchase has decreased--that they can't buy from us as formerly--and
that, in short, the home market is going to the mischief. Personally,
I am connected with an exporting house; and yet I must acknowledge
candidly that business is anything but brisk. We have overdone the
thing in trying to get up an enormous increase of exportations; and
the consequence is, that we have caused a glut in many of the foreign
markets. It is not impossible that, before a healthy demand is
restored, new competitors may step in, and our grand staple of calico,
upon which the prosperity of Britain entirely depends, go down to a
further discount. These are gloomy anticipations, but I cannot quite
banish them from my mind. I look forward with considerable apprehension
to the time when we shall fairly have eaten up the farmers. Of course,
when that arrives, we must look out for another class to devour; and,
according to my view, the Fundholder is the next in order. He will make
a hideous row when he finds himself marked out for general mastication,
but no doubt we shall, somehow or other, contrive to stifle his cries.
His fate is perfectly natural. In all cases of shipwreck, when the
supplies of provisions are exhausted, the fattest individual of the
crew is selected for the sustenance of the rest. It would be absurd
to pitch upon a lean victim; for the amount of suffering is the same
in either case, and the economical principle is to secure the largest
amount of supply. Of course he must be dealt with gently. We have the
high authority of Seneca for supposing that gradual phlebotomy is an
easy manner of death; and we shall not put an end to him in a hurry. He
is unquestionably a full-blooded animal; and, when tapped, will yield
as readily as a barrel of October.

All this, however, is mere anticipation; and doubtless you have already
in your own mind maturely considered our prospects. What presses
upon us most immediately, is the chance of a speedy dissolution of
Parliament, and a new general election. I strongly suspect that the
Whigs cannot hope to remain in office long. With all my regard for
that party, I must admit that they are a shocking bad set, in so far
as business is concerned, and their exclusiveness is really quite
insufferable. Had they reconstructed the Cabinet upon a liberal
footing, by taking in half-a-dozen of us original Free-Traders, there
might have been no occasion for any dissolution until the expiry of the
seven years. Our demands were not extravagant. Cobden would have done
the business of the War-Office in a highly creditable manner. Bright
would have been too happy to go out as Governor-General of India, and
look after the growth of cotton. Joseph Hume is at least as fitted for
the situation of Chancellor of the Exchequer as Sir Charles Wood; or
if Joseph is rather too ancient, why not our undaunted M'Gregor? He is
the only man alive who can improvise a budget at a quarter of an hour's
notice. I myself should have been happy to have served in a subordinate
capacity. Williams, Walmsley, or Kershaw, would gladly have relieved
Earl Grey from the trouble of looking after the colonies; and I really
think that, with such an infusion of new talent, the Government might
have gone on swimmingly. Of course, we should have put an end at once
to that ridiculous Protestant howl about Papal aggression, which is
directly opposed to the spirit of Free Trade, and to the liberal
tendencies of the age. Black cattle are admitted duty free; and I can
see no reason why a cardinal should be considered contraband, merely
on account of a slight peculiarity in the colour of his legs. Let him
call himself anything he pleases--what need we care? Protestantism, my
dear Dunshunner, is about the only obstacle in the way of our becoming
perfect cosmopolitans. Why should we, of all people on the earth,
affect eccentric distinctions? Luther was a sad fool. If he had played
his cards properly, he might have been a bishop or a cardinal, or
anything else he chose, and we should have been spared the trouble of
this hubbub about a matter which seems to me of no earthly consequence.
But our friend Lord John is, as you know, as obstinate as a whole drove
of pigs, and will always take his own way. And a very nice mess of it
he has made this time, to be sure!

However, the Whigs did not choose to come to us, though they were
glad enough to make overtures to Graham and Gladstone, and the rest
of that lot, who, after all, would have nothing to say to them. In
consequence, they now feel themselves more ricketty than ever. The
Protectionists are making powerful head, and gaining strength daily;
and I cannot look forward to a new general election without feelings
of great anxiety. I quite concur in the sentiments expressed by that
patriotic creature, Colonel Peyronnet Thompson, that he would as lieve
see London occupied by a foreign army, as the Protectionist party in
power. I do believe that, in such an event, the cause of Free Trade
would be desperate. You see we have no party whatever in the country
to fall back upon for support. The artisans are declaring against us;
the small traders have been unmercifully rooked; the shopkeepers are
making no profits; and, as to Ireland, it is more than beginning to
wince under the operation of a system which has destroyed its only
product. We have tried to keep the Irish in good humour for a year or
so by hinting at an immediate influx of English capital. That idea
was mine. It was not by any means a bad dodge while it lasted, and
our friends of the press took care to do it full justice. But, after
all, it was merely a dodge. As for English capital going to Ireland,
where no possible expenditure could insure a penny of rent, the thing
is as preposterous as the notion of applying guano, for agricultural
purposes, to the island of Ichaboe! Notwithstanding, we have done some
good. We have ruined the proprietors, and starved a reasonable portion
of the peasantry; and I am glad to see that the same operation is going
on in the Hebrides. Labour in the towns will, no doubt, be considerably
cheapened in consequence. But we cannot calculate with certainty on the
support of Irish members after a new election. They won't work together
as formerly. We miss our perished Daniel, who, with all his faults, was
a capital ally, if you gave him a sufficient equivalent.

It is no use disguising the truth; the Protectionists are like enough
to beat us. There is a vigour and a perseverance about that party which
I am quite at a loss to understand. Two or three years ago, when they
first began to look really formidable, we took the utmost pains to
write them down; and, if good sheer abuse and hard hitting could have
accomplished that object, we ought to have succeeded. We worked the
old joke about a Protectionist being a spectacle as rare as a mummy
in a glass-case, until it was perfectly threadbare. We sneered at
and scouted their statistics. We questioned their sanity, and talked
with mysterious compassion about Bedlam. We assured them, that to
restore protection to native industry was as hopeless as an attempt
to re-establish the Heptarchy. We used and abused, in every way, that
fine metaphor touching "the winds of heaven and the waves of ocean;"
and we pressed poets into our service to celebrate the cheap loaf in
dithyrambics. We reviled Disraeli, misrepresented Newdegate, lampooned
George Frederick Young, and insinuated that Lord Stanley was a traitor.
Finally, we became affectionate, and warned the besotted Protectionists
of the danger which was hanging, in a heavy cloud, over their devoted
heads. We did everything which ingenuity could suggest to prevent
the mummy from being resuscitated; but Cheops has come again to life
with a vengeance, and has given us a shrewd blow on the skull as he
started full armed from his sarcophagus. We must now deal with him as a
reality, not as a shadow; and, for my own part, I cannot aver that I am
inordinately eager for the encounter.

Still, something must be done; and our first duty, according to my
notion, is to look out for new candidates. To the disgrace of human
nature be it spoken, some of our most esteemed veterans have little
prospect of being again returned by their present constituencies. There
will be changes, and changes too of a most extraordinary kind; and that
circumstance renders it the more necessary for us to prevent, at all
hazards, a dissolution. You may now, my dear Dunshunner, fathom the
real object of this letter. We want you to come into Parliament, on the
independent, Ministerial, or any other interest you please, provided
that, when returned, you give us the benefit of your vote, and the aid
of your powerful eloquence upon any occasion when the cause of Free
Trade may be in jeopardy. I know what your own private leanings are,
but these are not times to be scrupulous. The League expects every man
to go the entire hog. If you want a subscription, or--what would suit
us better--the promise of a place, say so at once, and you shall have
either. But, if you follow my advice, you will content yourself with a
positive promise. We are strong enough to wring anything from the Whigs
in case of emergency; and as in all human probability, judging from
the past, no single week can pass over without the shadow of a crisis,
we shall be able to make terms for you, better and earlier than you
might suppose. Some few pickings there are still left, which are well
worth a gentleman's acceptance; and it will be your own fault if, after
having taken your seat, you do not make your parliamentary position
advantageous in more ways than one.

I suppose there is no chance of an immediate vacancy in the Dreepdaily
Burghs? Well, then, you must even make up your mind to come south and
attack a Saxon garrison. I have one or two places in my eye, either
of which you will be sure to carry in a canter, provided some fiery
fanatical fellow does not start up to oppose you. They are cotton
boroughs under the complete control of the millocracy; and I think you
are certain to step in, provided matters are properly managed, at the
expense of a small judicious outlay. And here, I know, you will begin
to object--You cannot afford the expense, &c. My dear friend, you
_must_ afford it, if you wish to cut any figure in life, or to make
yourself accounted worthy of purchase. No parsimony is so ill-judged
as that which boggles at the outlay of an election. No matter how many
firkins of beer may be consumed in the course of the canvass--how many
hundred dozen _goes_ of brandy-and-water may lubricate the throats
of the thirsty potwallopers and freemen who espouse your cause, and
bear your colours--the true principle is to consider these charges as
a debt which a grateful Ministry must refund on the first convenient
opportunity, with such rate of interest as you are fairly entitled to
expect, taking into account the risk which you have run, and the labour
which you have performed on their behalf. Altogether independently of
this, a seat in Parliament is well worth the expense. It gives you a
position in society which is otherwise difficult to attain; and any
man who can talk as you do, glibly and off-hand, is certain, before a
session is over, to push himself forward into notoriety.

I'll tell you why we want you, and I shall do so with the most perfect
frankness and unreserve. Our best men are used up. In the opinion
of the Secret Committee, of whose views I am the humble expositor,
Cobden is no longer worth his weight in oakum for any practical
purpose whatever. We committed a monstrous mistake in subscribing that
unlucky fund. We ought to have remembered the story of the soldier
who carried with desperate gallantry a redoubt the morning after he
had been rooked of his last penny at cribbage, but who invariably
declined to volunteer for any subsequent enterprise, in consequence
of the injudicious douceur awarded him by the commanding officer.
Just so has it been with Cobden. The testimonial turned his head. You
remember the awful exhibition he made of himself, when, in attempting
to lecture the farmers on the best method of cultivating land, he
assumed the character of a country gentleman; and the undying ridicule
which was excited by the immediate publication of a lithographed plan
of his estate, which, in a good year, might pasture a couple of cows,
and afford precarious subsistence besides to a brood of goslings?
Then came his Peace platform tomfoolery, just at the very time when
war was becoming universal on the Continent, and revolutions were
springing like mines under the feet of every government. Then, again,
instead of cajoling the bucolics, he chose openly to defy and insult
them at Leeds; and the result has been that, from that hour, every
man connected in the most remote degree with the landed interest
has drawn off from our body. In the House of Commons he can hardly
command an audience. The Liberal whippers-in say that a speech of his
is equivalent to a dozen votes added to the Opposition minority, and
they never see him crossing the threshold without quaking with terror
lest he should take it into his head to commence a harangue. Bright's
eloquence is usually smothered by cries of "Oh, oh," and derisive
cheering. He is a sturdy chap in his way, but woefully injudicious;
and he has been so exceedingly rude to Lord John Russell, that the
Whigs will have nothing to say to him. Old Joe is rapidly becoming
imbecile. He can no longer fumble with figures as he used to do; and
his perception, in most cases, is not sufficiently clear to enable him
to state the "tottle of the whole" with accuracy. I love and revere
the veteran, but I am afraid his best days are gone by. Milner Gibson
won't do; and of course we have too much respect for our cause to allow
M'Gregor to come down to Westminster without his muzzle. We require,
of all things, a new hand with gentlemanly manners, an easy address,
some flow of language, and a slight dash of humour--one who will not
weary the House with interminable statistics, or get into a passion
because he is contradicted, or fasten upon his opponent with the brute
ferocity of a bull-dog. We want some fellow not fully committed to
Free Trade, who can keep, as it were, on our flanks, and amuse the
enemy at times by suggesting articles of condition. He must have no
one-sided predilections, no abstract preference for the Cottonocracy
over the other interests of Britain. He must appear to be animated by
a fine, generous, patriotic spirit--ever ready to listen to distress,
and always eager to condole with it. Fine words, you are aware, butter
no parsnips, but they are fine words notwithstanding. This is the part
which we wish you to undertake, if you consent to come among us. The
fact is, that we must do something of the kind if we wish to escape
annihilation. I am afraid we have derived no benefit from sneering
at the farmers. The proposals which were made in the public prints
for their wholesale emigration have excited general disgust, and men
are beginning to ask each other what crime the agriculturists have
committed, to justify the infliction of such penalties? The question,
of course, is a foolish one. Every sound economist knows that the
farmers are mere creatures of circumstance, and that their interests
cannot be allowed for one moment to stand in the way of the approaching
supremacy of Manchester. But, unfortunately, all men are not political
economists, and we must, for some time at least, humour their fancies.
I should be the last man in the world to admit that any feelings of
compassion should have weight in the settlement of a great national
question; and you, who know me well, will do me the credit to believe
that I could see every farm-house in England made desolate, and the
inmates transported to the antipodes, without the weakness of shedding
a tear. We cannot, however, expect so much Spartan stoicism from the
masses. They are still by far too much under the influence of the
clergy; and it will be some time before we can eradicate from their
minds the lingering fibres of superstition. I agree in the main with
the sentiments expressed the other night by that trump, Joseph Sandars
of Yarmouth, that all we have or ought to regard, is the interest of
the manufacturers. Did you observe what he said? Excuse me if I quote
the passage. "Look at the fearful consequences which would result to
the commercial classes of the country, if their powers of competition
with foreign nations were weakened or crippled. If that large portion
of the community did not spin and weave for the four quarters of the
globe, the subsistence and happiness of millions of our population
would be destroyed. That competition went on day by day, and year by
year, increasing in force and intelligence, and formed the great social
question of our times. If adequate provision were not made for that
class of the population, there must be danger." Sandars was undeniably
right; but what demon could have possessed Sandars to make him say
so in as many words? It amounts to a pure and unqualified admission
of the real truth, that Free Trade was intended to operate, and must
operate, solely for the benefit of the exporting houses, to the ruin of
all other interests in the country; but was it in any way necessary to
tell the country that? These are the sort of speeches which are playing
the mischief with us. How can we attempt to bamboozle the shopkeepers
who are losing custom, and the artisans who have little or nothing to
do, and the small tradesmen who are verging towards the Gazette, if
members of our own party will have the consummate imprudence to tell
them that they are merely parts of a general holocaust--infinitesimal
faggots of a grand pile of British industry which is to be fired, in
order that the aged phoenix of cotton-spinning may be regenerated,
and soar, triumphant and alone, from the heart of the smouldering
ashes? Our game is to keep all these things in the background. Three
years ago, at one of our private Manchester conferences, I indicated
the course which we should pursue. My advice was--on no account to
break with the farmers. I represented that, when agricultural distress
arrived, as it must do immediately, our first business was to attribute
that entirely to exceptional causes--such as a good harvest, which we
could have little difficulty in doing, considering the deficiency of
agricultural statistics. That, I said, would gain us a year. Next,
we could fall back upon the subject of rent, and sow dissension in
the bucolic ranks, by alleging that the whole loss might be met by a
remission on the part of the landlords, and that they were in fact
the only parties interested. I explained that this line of policy, if
properly and dextrously pursued, could not fail to add enormously to
our strength, since, by radicalising the farmers, we must separate them
entirely from the landlords, and make them ready tools for our grand
final move--which, I need not say, is the repudiation of the National
Debt. My advice was not only applauded, but adopted. We surmounted the
difficulties of the first year pretty well; and, but for the folly
of some of our own men, we should by this time have had the farmers
clamouring on our side. Cobden, however, reviled them in all the terms
which his choice and polished imagination could suggest; others told
them to go to Australia or to the devil, whichever the might think
best; and now Sandars deliberately comes forward, and lets the cat
out of the bag! I ask you, Dunshunner, if it is not enough to make any
man of parts and intellect as rabid as a March hare, when he sees his
finest and best-adjusted schemes utterly ruined by such deplorable
bungling? Our only chance is to gain time. Give me another year, or
eighteen months more, at the utmost, of the present Parliament, and,
I trust, the death-warrant of the Fundholder will be sealed. If we
can extend the suffrage in the mean time, so much the better. We have
managed to get up a tolerable hatred of taxation. The anti-excise
party is very powerful, and, by giving them a lift, we might knock off
several more millions from the revenue. Cardwell, and some of that
soft-headed set, who call themselves Peelites, wish to take the duties
off tea, and they ought by all means to be encouraged. Tobacco follows
next, of course; and as smoking and snuffing are now almost universal,
the repeal of the duties on these articles would be immensely popular.
Malt goes, and so does sugar,--and then, my dear friend, where's your
revenue, and where the means of paying the interest of the national
debt? Don't you see what a beautiful field is open to us, if we can
only keep our own men from making premature disclosures, and pander
properly to the public appetite for getting rid of taxation? By
itself, direct taxation cannot stand six months. That fact in natural
history has been ascertained by so many experiments, and consequent
revolutions, from the days of Wat Tyler downwards, that I need not
fatigue you by recapitulating them. The reimposition of the Income Tax
for three years is an immense point in our favour. I never felt so
nervous in my life as during the Ministerial crisis, when it appeared
possible that Stanley might come in. I knew that, if he succeeded in
forming a Government, the Income Tax was doomed, and then, of course,
we must have had a revision of the tariff; and probably he would have
proposed to levy such duties upon imports as might put the British
artisan, labourer, and grower, on a fair level to compete with the
foreigner, at least in respect of taxation. Had he succeeded, our game
was up. But, most fortunately, we have escaped that danger. I shall
ever regard the glass house in Hyde Park with feelings of peculiar
gratitude; for I am convinced that, but for that sublime erection,
we should have lost the services of Sir Charles Wood, and, with him,
lost all chance of carrying into execution those schemes which we
consider most important for the entire ascendency of Manchester.
Fortunately, Wood is spared to us. He is an excellent confiding
creature--as innocent as a lamb who is tempted into the precincts of
the slaughter-house by the proffer of a bunch of clover; and if we can
manage to keep him in office a little longer, why, between ourselves, I
think, Dunshunner, we may look upon the matter as achieved.

Did you ever read old Cobbett's political writings? It is rather funny
to refer to these just now. We are precisely in the state which he
vaticinated some thirty years ago, when viewing prospectively the
effects of Peel's Currency Act of 1819: and I confess that I have
lately conceived a wonderful respect for the prescience and sagacity
of that queer ill-regulated genius. I call him ill-regulated, because
I believe that, were he alive, we should have found him our bitterest
opponent in any scheme which involved, as ours does, the expatriation
of the British yeomanry. The old fool had a heart--that is, the
amount of cellular or medullary tissue, which anatomically answers to
that portion of the human frame, was acted upon by natural impulses,
which it is the duty of the scientific Free-Trader to control. We of
Manchester flatter ourselves that we are above any such deplorable
weakness. But, setting his heart entirely aside, Cobbett had a head,
and it is perhaps as well for us that that head is mouldering in the
grave. He would have broached the grand question too early, and thereby
given our booty time to escape; whereas, now, we have the fundholders
gone to sleep, like pheasants on a tree at sunset. If no untoward
barking--no alarum on the part of our own lurchers unsettles them--they
are safe enough. Granting that they are startled for an instant, a
very little delay will suffice to put each bird's neck beneath its
wing; and then--hey, my fellow countrymen, for the brimstone-match, and
the sack to receive the fallen! Let them kick and spur as they like
afterwards--it is a mere question of the expenditure of feathers.

Of course you are quite aware of the present state of the colonies.
Some of the more enthusiastic of our men were anxious to get rid of
them at once, which they thought might be done by a simultaneous
withdrawal of the troops. I have seen this plan recommended more than
once in respectable quarters, and the arguments in its favour are
not without plausibility; still, I think it better that we should
abstain from active measures, and allow the colonies to drop off, like
blighted fruit, as they must naturally do, without any violent effort
on our part. Under the operation of Free Trade, colonies can be of no
earthly use to us. We do nothing for them, and they do nothing for us;
therefore, the sooner we cut the cable, and let them go, the better.
The Whigs are doing all they can to precipitate the crisis with Canada.
The removal of the seat of Government to Quebec will give such an
impetus to the Annexation party, that the Canadas must go over to the
United States, notwithstanding all the scruples which may be preferred
by those fools who talk of loyalty as if it were something hereditary,
or, indeed, as if loyalty were otherwise than an absolute sham. We know
better. Crowns are usually estimated according to the value of the
jewels which they contain; and, if certain jewels are detached from
their setting, and transferred, it is not difficult to ascertain the
value of the remanent bullion circlet. You take me? This involves a
point which we don't wish to broach at present, though we have long had
it in view. Do you take any interest in the affairs of France? That,
now, is a country worth living in! None of your aristocrats there! Why,
if England were France, you or I, Dunshunner, might be riding in the
royal carriages, with half a squadron of the Guards before and behind
us, receiving that homage which is the due of genius, political wisdom,
and recondite science, instead of tramping, as we do, on foot, at the
perpetual risk of catarrhs. I cannot sufficiently admire the coolness
of our little friend Louis Blanc, who, as he was stepping into one of
old Louis Philippe's vehicles, specially devoted by the Provisional
Government to the service of the Lilliputian patriot, thus addressed,
with a graceful wave of his hand, a group of envying _ouvriers_:--"My
friends! one of these days we shall _all_ of us ride in our carriages!"
There is a sublimity about this which utterly distances our feebler
flights of imagination. We have never been able hitherto to hold out
higher expectations to the people than what are inferred by pictures
of gigantic pots of beer and dropsical loaves; and we have tried these
baits so often that they have now lost something of their freshness,
and much of their original significance. We really must have some new
device for our banners. I wish you would turn your mind to this, and
let me have your opinion what kind of property would be most acceptable
to the million.

What do you think of the Girondists? That is the new name we have
got for Graham and his party, and it seems to me a very happy one.
Hitherto they have played remarkably well into our hands, but they are
clearly not to be trusted. As Watt remarks, in his treatise on the
steam-engine, there are wheels within wheels; and those gentlemen have
been so extremely gyratory in their motions, that it is impossible
with the least certainty to predicate the direction of their course.
One thing, however, seems to me perfectly clear--they never can join
the Protectionists. Two years ago I should have hesitated to say this
authoritatively, but they have thrown away so many excellent chances of
reconciliation, and invariably manifested such rancour and bitterness
towards their former allies, that I do not see how they can possibly
return. There is no hatred equal in intensity to that of a deserter.
Awake or asleep, he has ever before him the awful apparition of the
provost-marshal; his back tingles with the imaginary lash of the
cat-of-nine-tails; and, if you watch him in his slumbers, you will hear
him moaning something about a file of musketry and a coffin. It is
something to be certain of this. You see that the party of the Gironde
is very small, and never can act effectively of itself. It is simply
useful as a make-weight, and as such we consider it. Now, a glance
at the late division-lists will show you that these men, whatever
else they may do, are resolutely determined never to go into the same
lobby with the Protectionists. They have no abstract affection for the
Whigs--which is not wonderful, considering the tenacity and strength
of the family alliance; and though they may occasionally seem to help
them, they would be sorry to lose any chance of giving them a sly dig
with the stiletto. We are by far their most natural allies--indeed, if
they had any sense, they would throw themselves into our arms at once.
But, unfortunately for them, they are tainted with the aristocratic
leaven. They affect to look down upon us, pure democrats, as though
they were something infinitely superior, and they will not fraternise
with that cordiality which we are surely entitled to expect. You may
rely upon it, this will not be forgotten at the proper time. Nothing
is, to my mind, so purely offensive as the demeanour of an aristocratic
Liberal. His look, his language, and the very tone of his voice,
tells you that he considers his support of your principles as an act
of magnificent condescension; and that, if you entertained a proper
feeling of gratitude, you ought to go down upon your knees and thank
him. Now, considering that one-half of the Peelites are little better
than pragmatical coxcombs, and the other half, with a few exceptions,
venerable serving-men of the Taper and Tadpole school, you may easily
conceive that these airs give us infinite disgust, and that we are
keeping an accurate account with a view to a future settlement.

And now, Dunshunner, I must conclude. I have thought it best to state
to you my views without any reservation, because it is always bad
policy to enlist a recruit without making him distinctly aware of the
nature of the service which he is expected to perform. Our Committee
never forms its conclusions, or takes its measures hastily. We have
been long preparing for the great work of national regeneration; and
although we may have been, and certainly are, disappointed with the
results which in some cases have followed our exertions, we are not
less firmly convinced that our cause must progress, and be triumphant.
If we can only prevent a legislative return to indirect taxation--if we
can maintain for a little longer the struggle of unprotected British
industry against foreign competition, we cannot choose but win. The
struggle with the earth-born Antæus has been a very severe one. A
poet, now, would tell you that the old mythical story of the Greeks
had an occult meaning--that Antæus, the son of Terra and Neptune, was
a typification of Agriculture and Navigation, which the manufacturing
Hercules is attempting to destroy, and that, every time the giant is
overthrown, he derives new strength from his contact with his venerable
mother. So be it. Hercules, you know, strangled him at last by lifting
him up into the air; and there is no reason why we should not repeat
the same operation. On second thoughts, you had better not make use of
this illustration, happy as it may appear. On consulting Lemprière, I
observe that Hercules was finally consumed in consequence of putting
on one of his own shirts, and that circumstance might be awkwardly
interpreted by some ungenerous enemy.

The sooner you can make up your mind the better. Let me hear from
you without delay; and if your answer, as I anticipate, should be
affirmative, we shall bring you into the House in time to take part in
the debate on the confiscation of the revenues of the Church.

  Believe me alway yours,
  MANCHESTER, 15_th April_ 1851.


We do not underrate the difficulty in legislating upon the Papal
Aggression; but the acknowledgement of a difficulty is a confession
of a danger. Legislation, therefore, is often the more necessary as
it becomes less apparent what direction it should take; for every
obstacle has its accompanying mischief. Nevertheless, the greater
peril lies in suffering an evil to grow. The nature of the evil, and
the principles from which all its action proceeds, must be examined,
and thoroughly sifted. It is not the present magnitude which is so
much to be considered, as its innate growth--its power of reproducing
itself, even when apparently cut down to the ground. There are
poisonous plants of such an obstinate root, that they will spread
both on the surface and below it: and such is the Papacy. It is hard
to overcome. Its one steady purpose is domination. It must either
be a tyranny or a conspiracy. It is a religion without a religious
obligation, for it professes to be the maker of the world's religion,
and demands obedience to an individual will--the will of one man whom
a superstition sets up--a will that is guided by no fixed rules;
that, however varying and contradictory, claims infallibility. The
inheritance it would assume is Satan's promise, "the kingdoms of
the earth and the glory of them." If the Papacy cannot take full
possession, it is only because it is hindered, not by its own will, but
by external resistance. It never has relaxed its demand of universal
obedience, and, whenever and wherever it has had power, has enforced
it. It would have an absolute jurisdiction over all the affairs of
Christendom, as above all kings and princes, to judge them and depose
them at pleasure. More than this: from being God's Vicar, the Bishop
of Rome would be above his Master, and abrogate Divine laws and
precepts; exercising absolute authority over the Scriptures, even to
annul them, and to set up his own decrees as more divine; taking to
himself the resemblance of him of whom it was said that he "should sit
in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God." Yet with all
his presumptuous titles, remembering that it is written that he that
would be greatest among the disciples should be servant to the rest,
he is also "_servus servorum_," that he may himself fill every office,
and enlarge the view of his dignity, from the depth of that affected
humility--measuring up to the highest from the lowest, himself usurping
every space.

From the moment the Bishop of Rome usurped this sovereignty, then
commenced the necessity of maintaining it, _per fas et nefas_. To
abrogate one iota of his power was to abrogate the whole. He took
upon himself and his successors a contention that can never cease,
but with a universal submission. The whole history of the Papacy,
from the day of its assumption, proves this. It does not come within
the scope of our object to enter into the details of that history.
They are well known: the remembrance of many and sore atrocities has
been too deeply engraven on the minds of the people of England to be
easily obliterated. When they hear of the Papal Aggression, they ask,
When was the Papacy not an aggression? Neither are we very desirous
to treat minutely of the Romish corruptions and apostacies, excepting
where they evolve principles that will not amalgamate with any civil
polity, or the laws and governments of nations. It is possible there
may be religions that, being tolerated, would in practice not only
destroy every other, but the very name of liberty. Even Thuggism
professes to be a religion, and secret murder its duty. Would it be
religious liberty to tolerate the Suttees and Juggernauts of India?
We do not mean to make offensive comparisons: we only put the case
strongly, to show how obvious it is that toleration must have its
limits; if not, toleration may become a domination, and the thing be
lost in the name. There must be in every state some agreement between
religion and its social laws. The Mahometan may have his mosque in
a Christian country, but could he be allowed to set at defiance the
decency of Christian morals, on the plea of his religious liberty?
We have "Latter-day Saints," believers in Joe Smith, and interfere
not with them. We trust that they do not infringe the laws, nor break
their civil obligations, or at least we do not know that they do so.
We know nothing of mischief in their history, have no record of former
doings, that should lead us to dread their principles. But to return
to the Papacy: it stands apart from every religion, in its abhorrence,
intolerance, and persecution of all that is not of itself. It will
never cease to strive openly if it can, if not secretly, to subvert
every other--to set up its own absolute authority. Persecution is its
law, its creed, its necessity. Where it is quiet, it is undermining;
where it is visibly active, it sows dissensions and rebellions, because
they promote its own supremacy; where it has the smallest chance of
success, it moves onwards. Besides, it has organisations wondrously
adapted to its work. There is not only a large submission to the Pope
throughout territories and kingdoms that are not his, but there is
that especial order of obedience, the Jesuits, who bind themselves to
have no will but that of their "Holy Father;" whose first religion it
is to do his will, whatever it be--to have no conscience, with regard
to what is good and evil, but the Pope's dictation;--a working army
they may be called, that, though they seem dispersed and banished, are
emissaries everywhere, and rise up in multitudes where it was thought
there were none. They are allowed to assume whatever dress they please;
for their better disguise, any occupation: they are in the highest and
the lowest conditions, and have been known to appear as zealous members
in conventicles.

Having constantly in view the firm establishment of its own power, as a
foreign sovereignty the Papacy has communication, league, and intrigue
with all the principal courts in Europe. It is therefore mostly
dangerous to Protestant countries, as it naturally leagues with their
enemies; and it is doubly dangerous in those countries where it has
any large number professing themselves its subjects, organised by its
authority, looking to Rome in preference to their legitimate governors.
We need but instance Ireland, where that authority has borne its fruits
in rebellions, and the sad, the continued degradation of the people.
Are we at war with other nations?--the Pope's aid may be solicited by
them to create distractions in Ireland. _There_ is a sore that is never
allowed to heal: it has paralysed and still paralyses the power of this
great country. Hence it has been the arena of political warfare. For
party purposes, the Church of Ireland has been discouraged, the Romish
priesthood coquetted with, ten bishoprics of our Church annihilated to
please them, and that fatal error Catholic Emancipation perpetrated.
And here we are compelled to add, that one of the professed principles
of Romanism has been made patent--that faith is not to be kept with
heretics; for how ill the oath of doing nothing to the disparagement of
the Church of England was kept by Roman Catholic members is too well

It may not be amiss here to make one remark. We remember the warnings
given when the Emancipation was carried; we now see how just--how
prophetic they were. But the remark we were about to make is this:--How
little trust is to be placed in any prospective promises that
Ministers at any time may make! They too often speak as if they had
a prescriptive right to a perpetuity of office. We remember the Duke
said, that, should the country be disappointed in their hopes of the
peace, amity, and good faith of the Roman Catholics, he would be the
first to come forward to annul the grant. He has been called upon to
fulfil his promise. His reply is, that he is not in office.

It is admitted by the best advocates for leaving this aggression to
itself, that the Roman Catholic religion is dangerous; that, if it
could recover its political ascendency, another Marian persecution
would follow. It is said that, although it never renounces anything
to which it had once committed itself, that times and circumstances
are changed; that the coercion which made it more dangerous has been
relinquished by Governments. Emancipation, if it has not changed
its character, has rendered it innocuous. And it is asked, What has
occurred since emancipation? The question may well create surprise.
What has occurred! Has Ireland acquired the promised peace, the absence
of rebellions, the discontinuance of denunciations from altars, and
murders, which a shamefully palliating press almost excuse by naming

True, indeed, is it that the Papacy renounces nothing of all it ever
claimed, however it has renounced its creeds. This obstinacy delayed
Roman Catholic Emancipation twenty-five years, because the suggestion
of allowing the Crown a veto in the nomination of bishops was treated
with scorn. Every Popish priest, says Blackstone, renounces his
allegiance to his lawful sovereign upon taking orders. That he may
more substantially, more effectually do so, the attempt is made to
substitute their canon law for the law of the land. And here we see
one great object of the aggression. The so-called Cardinal Wiseman
alleged that the object of the Pope's brief was to introduce the "real
and complete code of the Church; that, for this purpose, the Roman
Catholics must have a hierarchy; that the canon law was inapplicable
under vicars-apostolic; that, besides, there were many points that
required to be synodically adjusted; and that, without a metropolitan
and suffragans, a provincial synod was out of the question." What
are these points to be so adjusted--requiring this extraordinary
organisation, but that this kingdom, in the fustian simile of the
Cardinal, is to be restored as a planet to roll round the centre, the
Pope? But this centre is no fixed sun, disseminating its certain and
seasonable heat. The comparison will not hold with Popery, that is only
the _semper eadem_ in one course--that of perpetual aggression; of
one only law--domination. Are its creeds one and the same consistent
unerring faith from the beginning? Creeds have been thrown off that
implied a submission, or even subscription, to the creeds of the
ancient church, that were built upon the authority of the Scriptures
and the Apostles. All things of doctrine and authority must have
their real origin in, and arise _primo motu_ from, the Papacy. St
Peter himself, from whom the succession is claimed, is discarded;
the inspired dictum of a present Pontiff is all-sufficient. There is
a law now for all this, unknown to the Apostles, not sanctioned in
the Gospels; they call it the law of "development." It is not a new
doctrine this, but is now prominently brought forward, sanctioned,
established. St Peter orders, "If any man speak, let him speak as the
_oracles of God_;" that is, as the Holy Scriptures speak. They say, Let
no man speak but the Pope; he is the only oracle of God. The Scriptures
give the rule of faith. They say--No, the Scriptures are insufficient;
the true faith is locked in the Pope's breast, and he delivers it
out when and in such portions as he pleases. He is neither bound by
antiquity nor Scriptures. Development is in him. It is true, many
eminent divines of the Romish Church--as, for instance, Bossuet--have
strenuously opposed this doctrine of development. But there is another
progress besides Popery. Inquiry has its developments: the old
foundations of Papacy have been shaken; antiquity and apostolic faith,
it has been proved, it has departed from. It must, therefore, change
its foundation. There was no resource but to this law of development.
The Scriptures have failed the Papal doctrines. They have been
hidden--they have been mistranslated--translation set aside for new
translation, each more false--and Pope after Pope have declared their
predecessors, and those who received these Bibles, heretics; till, it
being impossible to remove the Scriptures altogether, a new doctrine
is invented, that at least shall supersede them--and that doctrine
is now in the greatest favour. It is the grateful and acceptable
offering to the Court of Rome by the neophyte author of the _Essay
on Development_--the convert Mr Newman. It is for this he has been
graciously received at Rome, and welcomed on his way by the Archbishop
of Paris, and flatteringly received by the Nuncio of the Apostolic See;
lauded by the most eminent bishop of the French Church and the journals
of France, and honoured by lectures on his essay by the Roman Catholic
Bishop of Edinburgh. It may be worth while to look a little into this
law of development, as declared in this essay of Mr Newman, and put
forth as the doctrine to be received by the faithful of the Papal
Church. It has been well sifted, perhaps by none more ably than by Dr
Wordsworth, Canon of Westminster. And how, with such a comment, will it
be received by the old members of the Roman Catholic Church!

"Mr Newman's conversion to Romanism," says Dr Wordsworth, "was
accompanied, as I have said, by the publication of his _Essay on
Development_, which is intended to declare the grounds of his change.
But it so happens that, in this volume, he has inflicted a severe
wound on the Papacy. Its very name is ominous against it. What is
Development? The explication and evolution of something that was
wrapped up in embryo. St Paul gives us a very pertinent illustration
of this process with respect to doctrine. He speaks of a Mystery. What
is a Mystery? A thing concealed, _undeveloped_. He speaks of a Mystery
of _Iniquity_--or rather, of lawlessness ([Greek:anomia]) He says that
this mystery is already at work, like leaven, secretly fermenting the
mass in which it is; and he adds, that in time it will be developed.

"Let us apply this to the fundamental doctrine of Romanism, viz.,
the Pope's supremacy. 'On this doctrine,' says Cardinal Bellarmine,
'the whole cause of Christianity' (he means Romish Christianity)
'depends.' Let us now turn to the essayist. He allows (indeed, with
his well-stored mind he could not do otherwise) that, in the first
ages of the Church, this doctrine existed only in a seminal form; that
is, it was a _mystery_. 'First the power of the Bishop awoke, then the
power of the Pope,' (p. 165.) 'Apostles are harbingers of Popes,' (p.
124.) Again, (p. 319,) 'Christianity developed in the form first of
a Catholic, then of a Papal Church.' So that, in fact, the primitive
ages of the Church--the purest, the apostolic times--did not hold
_that_ doctrine on which the 'cause of _your_ Christianity depends.'
(Dr Wordsworth is writing to M. Condon, author of _Mouvement Réligieux
en Angleterre_.) And thus you are brought into the company of those
_heretics_ of whom Tertullian writes, 'that they were wont to say
that the Apostles were not acquainted with all Christian doctrine,
or that they did not declare it fully to the world; not perceiving
that, by these assertions, they exposed Christ himself to obloquy, for
having chosen men who were either ill-informed, or else not honest.'
Let me remind you also, my dear sir, of the words of a greater than
Tertullian. Our blessed Lord himself says to his Apostles, '_All_
things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you;' and
that the 'Holy Spirit should _teach them all_ things, and guide them
into all truth, and bring all things to their remembrance, whatever
he had said unto them.' And he orders them to proclaim to the world
what they had heard from him: 'What I tell you in darkness, that
speak ye in light; and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon
the house-tops.' 'Teach all nations _all things_ whatsoever I have
commanded you.' And accordingly, St John witnesses, that Christ's true
disciples 'have an unction from the Holy One, and know _all things_;'
and St Paul, as a faithful steward of his Lord's house, the church,
declares that 'he has kept _nothing_ back from his hearers;' that he
'uses great plainness of speech;' and 'not being rude in knowledge,
has been thoroughly made manifest to them in all things;' and has 'not
shunned to declare unto them _all the counsel of God_;' and he plainly
intimates that he should not have been 'pure from their blood,'--that
is, he would have been guilty of destroying their souls, if he had done
so. And he warns all men against building 'hay and stubble on the only
foundation which is laid;' and says that, 'though an angel from heaven
preached unto them anything _beside_ what he had preached unto them,
and they had received from him, let him be accursed.'"

According to the theory of development, if a doctrine be said to be
evolved from Scripture, it is not from the plain, but the mystic sense,
from "the spiritual or second sense." Thus, any doctrine may be drawn
from Scripture--and there is to be but one interpreter--the "one living
infallible judge." Let us see a specimen of this honest interpreter.
Pope Innocent III. (who dethroned our King John) thus explains the text
of Genesis i. 14,--"God made two great lights." "These words" (says
that Pope) "signify that God made two dignities, the Pontifical and
the Royal; but the dignity which rules the day--that is, the spiritual
power--is the greater light; and that which rules the night, or the
temporal, is the lesser. So that it may be understood that there is
as much difference between Popes and Kings as between the sun and the
moon." Pope Boniface VIII. thus applies to himself the tenth verse of
the first chapter of the Prophet Jeremiah--"See I have this day set
thee over the nations, and over the kingdoms, to root out, to pull
down, and to destroy." "Here," says the Pope, "the Almighty is speaking
of the power of the Church, to create and to judge the temporal power;
and, if the temporal power swerves from its duty, it shall be condemned
by the spiritual; and since Peter said to Christ, 'Ecce duo gladii,'
('Lord, behold here are _two_ swords,') therefore the Pope has _both_
the temporal and spiritual swords at his command; and since also Moses
writes--'In _principio_ Deus creavit coelum et terram,' and not _in
principiis_, therefore there is only one princedom, and that is the
Papacy." Be it remembered the Papacy has never receded from any claim
of power.

If such be the interpretations from Scripture, the Fathers and Councils
of the ancient Church are handled according to pleasure. Whatever they
say in opposition to the Papacy is of no authority; and the power of
"correcting them" is assumed. Directions are given for the "Index
Expurgatorius," that passages shall be expunged; nay, the Fathers of
the Church, it is said, should be grateful for the correction--for
the Fathers of the Church are the children of the Pope, and when "the
Pope revises the lucubrations of his children, and corrects them when
it is necessary, he discharges an office gratifying to the writers,
and useful to posterity, and, in good truth, he then performs a work
of mercy to his sons." Neither Scripture nor ancient Church must
stand in the way of the Pope's will. In them the mystery was in a
"seminal state" undeveloped. There is, according to this theory of
development, but one real authentic inspiration, and that in the breast
of the present Pope. Nay, it is asserted, that though the Pope for
the time being should decree that which his successor contradicts and
interdicts, the falsehood was true at the time, and for the time, as is
the new developed truth. Thus--dreadful blasphemy!--God may be false;
but man, one man, must be infallible. To support this infallibility
the development theory is necessary. Now, it is this theory reduced
to practice which at once makes the Papacy dangerous and hard to deal
with. We have no security as to what it shall decree--as to what it
shall establish as Christian doctrine, built upon no really Christian
foundation. It is possible it may retain the name, and forsake
Christianity altogether. We can be sure but of one thing, that it
will never cease to proclaim, and to endeavour to enforce, its own
supremacy. It has two capacities, mutually involved, each brought into
play as occasion serves; and each serving, subtending to the other.
It is both political and spiritual. But times and circumstances, we
are told, are changed. True, but is the Popedom changed? It only wants
the power. Pius V., who pretended to depose our Queen Elizabeth,
and ordered her subjects to rise in rebellion against her, is now
_worshipped as a saint_. Gregory VII., who deposed the Emperor Henry
IV., has still his festival-day; and these words are in the second
Lesson (not taken from Scripture)--"He" (St Gregory) "stood like a
fearless wrestler against the impious attempts of Henry the Emperor,
and deprived him of the communion of the faithful and of his crown,
and released all his subjects from their allegiance to him." Roman
Catholic sovereigns have prohibited the printing this second lesson;
but is it withdrawn? "As far as the Roman Pontiffs are concerned, it is
read in every Church at this day." But, more than this; though formerly
suppressed by the Parliament of France, 1729, it has found its way into
the Paris and Lyons edition of the Roman Breviary of the year 1842. The
Church of Rome, by eulogising these acts in her Liturgy, "shows her
desire that they may be repeated."

But let us look to that which comes still nearer to us. The Church of
Rome requires the oath of Pius IV., as declared in the Canon Law, to be
taken by _all_ her ecclesiastics. In the "Roman Pontifical," printed
at Rome _by authority_, in the year 1818, the oath is thus given as
required from the bishops:--"To be faithful and obedient to his Lord
the Pope, and his successors; to assist them in maintaining the _Roman
Papacy and the royalties of St Peter against all men_; to preserve,
defend, augment, and promote its rights, honours, and privileges; to
_persecute and impugn, with all his might, heretics and schismatics,
and rebels against his said Lord_; to come when summoned to a Roman
council; to visit the threshold of the Apostles (the city of Rome)
once in every three years, to render an account to his Lord the Pope
of all the state of his diocese, and to receive his Apostolic mandates
with humility; and if he is unable, through any lawful impediment, to
attend in person, to provide a sufficient deputy in his stead." Let us
ask who are "rebels against his said Lord." Is it without design that
the Papacy, which weighs nicely the force of words, in the recent brief
speaks, not of the British Empire, but the "Kingdom of England?" Is no
recognition intended of his claim to the disposal of the Kingdom of
England, once surrendered to him? Does he not look upon all the Queen's
subjects in England as rebels to him, "their Lord?" Can, we ask, a
bishop taking this oath, and obeying its imperial mandates, and going
to the "Roman Council," be said to owe any allegiance to his own lawful
sovereign in England? Put the case, that it shall appear advisable to
the "Roman Council" at which such bishop shall be summoned--either
at the instigation of some foreign power, or with a view to promote
the Pope's interests--that the Queen of England's council shall be
thwarted, and that a rebellious spirit shall be encouraged and fostered
in Ireland: to which sovereign shall the said bishop pay obedience?
Will it not be that one whose "mandates" he has sworn to "receive with
humility?" Is there any one at all acquainted with our politics of
the last half-century who will doubt that mandates injurious to the
interests of England have been received, and have been obeyed? Need we
refer to the Irish Rebellion of 1795? We shall there find an account
of one Dr Hussey, an Irish priest, who had been bred at Seville, and
was recommended by Burke to superintend the recently erected College
of Maynooth, how he frequented the camp at Schaunstown, and tampered
with the soldiers. We need not refer to the notorious fact of priests
in active rebellion. "Bartholomew massacres" are thought old wives'
tales, and impossible in modern times. Impossible!--is human nature
so changed, and in so few years? Many of us remember the first French
Revolution, to say nothing of very recent most cruel revolutions. By
the Report of the Secret Committee of the House of Lords in 1797,
it appears that it was decided by the conspirators that all persons
who, from their principles or situation, may be deemed inimicable to
the conspiracy, should be massacred; and the first proscribed list
was calculated by one of their leaders at 30,000 persons. We would
not dwell upon these atrocities; but we entreat those who speak so
confidently of altered "times and circumstances" to consider for a
moment what times they have lived in, and are living in. It is true
we in England have been mercifully spared; but while even we were
boasting of peace, cruel revolutions were commencing throughout Europe,
brutal assassinations performed, for a fanaticism which belongs to
human nature, and may readily be called into action either by religion
or politics. Nay, we say more, that, according to the "development"
theory, we know not how much of religion political fanaticism
may take up, nor how much of revolutionary politics religion may
assume. The Roman Pontiff has had to fly for his life. Their boasted
threshold of St Peter has been deluged with blood. We do not mean
here to charge our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects with any of these
diabolical intentions--far from it; but we must say that we do not
see, in countries where their teaching has prevailed, any remarkable
abhorrence of them. And we gather from the tenor of history that such
atrocities grow out of events--and events of great importance grow out
of creeds--and a struggle for religious supremacy (and the Papacy must
ever strive to that end) always tends to persecution; and what shall we
say, when persecution is a duty of obedience, and the consciences of
the many are merged in the infallibility of a Pope? The history of the
Popes shows a frightful list of these claimants of infallibility.

Few who speak or who write on this Papal Aggression approach the
principle of toleration with any doubt; but surely toleration has its
limits. "Civil and religious liberty:" under that banner we may have
strange armies--destroyers.

Religious development is going on beyond the Popedom. The assumption
of a kind of religion, or more properly a cant of religion, is the
homage vice pays to virtue. The subverters of all social order are
propagandists of a new religion. What are St Simonites? Even Red
Republicans associate themselves to a kind of creed; and perhaps many
take up one, purposely that they may demand a civil and religious
liberty. We do not subscribe to the doctrine that "full and complete
liberty" is to be given to every society that proclaims itself of a
civil polity, or of a religious agreement. The principles of creeds
should be ascertained, before full scope be given to them--and the
principles of civil communities, before a state is justified in arming
them with power. There are societies that can, and societies that
cannot, live together peaceably, with equal power. There is a strong
conviction in the public mind, (and certainly justified,) that if
Popery can once reach an equality in visible power with the Church of
England, or even with Protestant Dissenters, a system of persecution
would commence.

The present aggression is of a two-fold character. It is against the
Church, which it ignores; and the sovereignty of England, which it both
insults and defies. It sets up bishop against bishop--altar against
altar. It takes up a position of authority, and impudently declares
that it neither can nor will recede one step. Hear the "Bishop of
Birmingham" so styled, Dr Ullathorne. He thus writes to Lord John
Russell:--"There is one point for your Lordship to consider--the
hierarchy is established; therefore it cannot be abolished. How will
you deal with the fact? Is it to force a large body of her Majesty's
subjects to put the principle of the Divine law in opposition to
such an enactment?" Here is obstinate defiance; but there is more.
He proclaims that the Pope's brief is a "_Divine law_." Is not this
the Pope's supremacy over the supremacy of England's sovereign? And
if England's sovereignty maintains its own, what kind of warfare are
we to have from Rome? Of course, the first step will be an Irish
rebellion, or the attempt to raise one. Then is our Queen to be
excommunicated--the old game played--the interdict, the absolving from
allegiance, and the curse? Is the Pope, the foolish man, who has been
driven from his Popedom, and just kept in it again by French bayonets,
in his disappointment to enact the spite of a witch turned out of
doors, and look back and spit, and take a revengeful pleasure in seeing
the Canidian venom take effect? And of a truth it may be said Lord John
Russell, Earl Grey, and some others of the Government, grow somewhat
pallid from the poison; it has at any rate reached them. Lord John
Russell thought it absurd to deny titles, which he now brings in a bill
to interdict; Earl Grey would have the Roman Catholic Bishops sit in
the House of Peers--and has given strange encouragement to them in the
Colonies. Their titles have been smuggled into a Charitable Bequest
Bill. It is a hard thing for a Minister to eat his own words, tainted
too by the Pope's venom. But, besides this, there appears to have been
a connivance with this aggression, or an unpardonable ignorance, on
the part of the Ministry. Whence is the suddenly conceived indignation
that breaks forth in the Durham Letter? The event had actually
taken place long before. Dr Wiseman was gazetted, as Archbishop of
Westminster, at Rome on the 22d January 1848; in the _Gazette_ he is
called, "His Eminence the most Reverend Monsignore the Vicar-Apostolic,
Archbishop of Westminster." What was Lord John Russell doing then? Was
he practising "mummeries" that, in his after mind, bore similitude
to those of Rome? He had not then been exorcised by Dr Cumming! He
has now, however, been tutored to make mighty preparations, to doings
of large professions for little ends. If he has not done worse, he
has made a burlesque for the page of history, and the age of his
Administration ridiculous to posterity.

Dr Wiseman, it has been shown, was gazetted in Rome, January 1848. If
the Government knew that fact, did they know, do they know, the exact
position in which that ecclesiastic is? Mr Newdegate, in the House of
Commons, very clearly shows this position, that "Cardinal Wiseman is a
legate of the Pope--a legate _à latere_, armed with still wider powers
than Dr Cullen, and who, as he (Mr Newdegate) believed, merely delayed
interfering with our social, civil, and temporal affairs, until that
House should have separated for the recess." He showed them "that,
from the earliest periods of our history, it had been contrary to the
constitution and common law of the country that a legate of the Pope,
and especially a cardinal, should come into this country without the
leave of the sovereign, and without an oath taken that he would attempt
nothing against the realm and liberties of the people."--"He found that
there was a meeting of the clergy of the Established Church, a few days
ago, at Zion College, at which Dr M'Caul, quoting from a recognised
authority of the Catholic Church, stated that the order of Cardinals
was literally a part of the Papacy and constitution--the privy council,
which was the body corporate of the Pope; and then gave an account of
how the office and power of the cardinal was wielded throughout. From
that account it appeared that the office of cardinal, when the Pope
assumed the temporal attributes of the Emperor, was converted into that
of privy councillor; and that the cardinals ought not to be absent
from the Papal court, except by reason of being sent out as legates.
Cardinal Wiseman, then, could only be there as legate. Van Espin, whose
works were recognised at Maynooth, also said, that whatever might be
the case with other legates, cardinal legates were called legates _à
latere_, because they were taken from the side of the Pope. He believed
that Cardinal Wiseman had been asked whether he had taken the oath of
privy councillor, and that his answer was that he had not. But he had
taken the oath of archbishop in full, and that would be an excuse for
not taking the oath of privy councillor; but he (Mr Newdegate) could
find no possible authority for the omission. However, the oath of the
archbishop was strictly the oath of privy councillor, binding the party
to discharge temporal functions; and with this remarkable addition,
that for the recovery of such rights and property as had been alienated
from the Romish Church he would do his utmost. He wanted to show that
Cardinal Wiseman, by his own act as cardinal priest, adverted to that
very function, of labouring to the utmost for the recovery of the goods
of the Church. It was a very long time since there had been a cardinal
legate in England; and for this good reason, that it was contrary to
the ancient statute law of this realm that these temporal officers of a
foreign potentate should reside among us. Even Cardinal Beaufort, the
brother of Henry VI., had found it necessary to have a special statute
enacted in his favour, before he could reside in England as cardinal
legate. Cardinal Wolsey was appointed legate at the express instance
of Henry VIII.; and Cardinal Pole, after he had been compelled to
leave England because he resisted Henry VIII.'s proceedings with the
temporalities of the Church, was appointed legate in England, not upon
the motion of the Pope, but at the desire of Queen Mary. In the time
of Elizabeth, the cardinal whom the reigning Pope had sent to England
as nuncio, received in the Netherlands, whence he had sent to request
permission to enter England, a prohibition from entering the realm, on
the distinct ground that the ancient statutes of the realm declared
that no legate from the Papal Court might reside in England. Happy
would it have been for this country, (emphatically adds Mr Newdegate,)
had the advisers of the present Queen emulated the firmness of those of
Queen Elizabeth."

How much better would it have been to put in force an existing and
old law, which can only be said to be obsolete because the offence
against which it provided was obsolete, than to nullify it by a new and
uncertain one, satisfying no one, and such as no one believes will,
and perhaps the framer does not intend should, be obeyed. Sir Edward
Sugden is of that opinion, and can there be a better legal authority?
The people of this country have more confidence in old than new laws:
they were made with more precision; and it was not then the practice
to smuggle into them expressions for ulterior though hidden use. It is
the boast of modern legislation, that a coach may be driven through our
acts of Parliament. Queen Elizabeth, who would not suffer the legate
to touch our shores, right royally said, "I will not have my sheep
marked with the brand of a foreign shepherd." Modern liberality would
be content to see Queen Victoria the Pope's sheriff. Is it to be borne,
that a cardinal legate, whom existing laws exclude, should be allowed
to organise a conspiracy of priests, all, not only virtually, but in
word and deed, abnegating allegiance to their lawful sovereign? It is
their business, it is in their bond, to persecute the majority of their
countrymen as heretics, and to effect in the British dominions as much
evil as shall so weaken their country as to make her unable to resist
the foreign usurpation of their Pope, or even those of our enemies with
whom he may be in league. It is surprising that Mr Gladstone should
palliate the doings of the Synod of Thurles, and seem to justify them
on the right of civil agitation allowed to other leagues. But surely
the difference is great. Political agitators, bad as they often are,
do not bring the authoritative dictum of a religious synod. The Synod
of Thurles denounces with an authority more potent than the law of
the land; they appeal not to reason, to policy, but to obedience. The
law is given out by the legate, and enforced by the Synod. They know
the danger of mooting questions between landlord and tenant; and it
is the very danger which tempts them to it. It is in fact a threat,
and the first move of its action. It is almost a declaration to this
effect:--The Pope, and we in his name, have right to the land, to
dispose of it as we please; and if you in the slightest degree resist
or interfere with us, we will stir up those who shall take it from
you. They know the threat extends to the life as well as property. All
means with them are lawful for the one end. Do we, in all these fruits
of the aggression, and of the Ministerial favour which created it,
see the promised gratitude of the Roman Catholics? Every obstacle to
the free exercise of their religion had been removed; and we were to
have peace, but have it not, because, from the vantage-ground of their
emancipation, a dominant supremacy was to be superadded. The hierarchy
is not for the use of the Queen's Roman Catholic subjects, but for the
Pope and his priesthood's power. Even the time it has been allowed to
be here, while there was a law that might instantly have been put in
force, is a submission to it. It is tampering with illegality and with
insult; neither the one nor the other should be suffered to remain a
day. The dignity of England is deteriorated by delay. And what has
this delay--this sufferance of the evil done, but added to its growth?
It is worse than ridiculous, it is mischievous to be furious against
an enemy, as our Prime Minister was in his Durham Manifesto, and not
to crush his power. All the fury and fierceness is made to appear
cruelty for the time and weakness after; and thus the enemy gets more
than he had before. The difficulties attending the dealing with this
aggression now cannot be denied. They have been greatly enlarged by the
mode of proceeding adopted. Parliament, or the executive, might have
instantly demanded reparation for the insult, and the law have been as
immediately enforced.

The difficulties now must not be denied; and they increase day by
day, and will be sure to increase with _new_ legislation. Suppose we
have in the British dominions a Roman Catholic population of seven or
eight millions. It is too vast a number to ignore, even though the
"Protestant brotherhood" out of the Church should desire so to do.
If we were a strong Government we might, and ought to do this--to
enact that every Romish priest, having sworn obedience to a foreign
potentate, has so far renounced his allegiance to his lawful sovereign,
and therefore should be subject to a registration, and, with some
limitation, be considered an alien.

We might abrogate "Catholic Emancipation," seeing that it was a
compact broken by one of the contracting parties. But although we
believe all this would be just and fair, and safe, and that one day
or other--after, perhaps, frightful rebellions--it will be done, it
is nearly certain we cannot do it now. The whole system of government
is on another principle--it is called a "Liberal" one. It is that of
reconciling to you those of whose dispositions you cannot be certain,
if they will be reconciled; and you renounce the government of fear,
of which you may be certain, and for which you need but consult your
own breast. There is no general liberty where even comparatively a few
evil-doers have no fear. The Government has put itself in the position
in which it can scarcely do anything that is not mischievous; for
if effectual suppression is out of the question, there is only left
a something to do which will satisfy none, and will irritate beyond
measure the Roman Catholics in Ireland. We can only look to a future
day for the registration of the priesthood, and allowing them defined
rights, and the imposing restrictions, by which they shall no longer
denounce from altars and preach rebellion.

There are other evils, likewise, attending this hierarchy introduction,
which require immediate remedy--the evil of their convents and
nunneries. These are the real instruments of the Papal tyranny. How
are they increasing! In 1847 there were in this country thirty-four
convents--in 1848, thirty-eight; and in 1851, fifty-three.

The country is demanding, and well it might, a legal inspection of
these houses. It cannot be borne that young inexperienced women of
the most tender age, with the common feelings of nature undeveloped,
ignorant alike of themselves and the world, should be entrapped,
imprisoned in these so-called religious houses, perhaps for life,
and their properties seized for the benefit of these religious
establishments. Who knows anything of the inmates? If they are
miserable, they are shut out from the notice of the world, which is
ignorant of their lives and of their deaths--how they live or how they
die--in regrets, in a repentance they believe sinful--broken-hearted.
The recent disclosures, coming as they do unexpectedly, not as things
got up, appear providential, offering, as they do a most wholesome
check, as well as creating abhorrence, disgust, and, an active enmity
to the whole system. These disclosures have not been without their
effect on those who have seemed inclined to look upon the Romish Church
not unfavourably.

In the case of Miss Talbot, is there one person concerned in that
affair that does not appear implicated in a plot--from the bigotry of
Lord and Lady Shrewsbury, to the perpetrations of the so-called Bishop
of Clifton? Dr Hendren, unfit as he is to be the bishop of any church,
is also a weak and vulgar-minded man--and from his weakness we learn
something worth remembering. He avows that the Romish Church wants
money; and his own letters show what methods, or rather what arts, are
to be used to obtain it. That case is too well known to need farther
comment now. We wish we could think Miss Talbot still protected. This
is but one case out of many. The case of the two young women of the
Black Rock convent tells the same story. They were, it was given in
evidence, as much compelled to sign away their property as if a pistol
had been held to their heads.

Money must be obtained for the Romish Church, and the end justifies the
means. No sum is too small, and no large sum large enough. In the case
of Carré, the poor man did not even receive that for which he had paid.
The deed signed, he was suffered to die without the last offices. What
does Mr Newdegate say of his own neighbourhood, in his place in the

    "In his own neighbourhood there were convents, too many. From
    one of them, some years ago, a nun escaped. Unfortunately
    she was taken back. What did they know farther of that
    woman? Nothing: except that within a week afterwards fifteen
    hundredweight of iron stanchions were put up to barricade the
    windows, and convert the place into a perfect prison. Women
    entered there--they died. There was no account of their illness
    or their death. No coroner's inquest was held. They were
    utterly shut out from light and life, and, he would add, from
    the protection of the law."

We venture to extract a case from a Hereford paper, because the writer
received the narration, as will be seen, from the best testimony:--

    "We know a case where a young lady of wealth became an inmate
    of one of these 'Religious Houses.' It was here in England. She
    had not been so long, ere she began to write home for money for
    purposes of charity. Her requests were complied with at first,
    not unwillingly; subsequently, as the requests became more
    frequent, and in larger sums, with reluctance. At length the
    amount became so considerable, that her friends became uneasy,
    and felt it right that her guardian and trustee should have an
    interview with her, and remonstrate on the extent to which she
    was impoverishing herself. He did so, and discovered that not
    one shilling of the money had reached her. The applications
    were all forgeries. Apparently they were in her hand-writing;
    she knew nothing whatever of them! This, of course, led to a
    searching inquiry, which every endeavour was made to baffle;
    but the trustee was resolute. It turned out that one of the
    sisters in the nunnery was an adept at imitating handwriting,
    as was another in worming out of all new-comers the amount
    and particulars of their property. Between them--it is not
    difficult to understand how--the pillage was effected. What
    became of the money so obtained we know not. But the worst
    remains to be told. In order to save the character(!) of the
    superior, and of the establishment, the poor girl was prevailed
    upon--how and by whom may be imagined--to _adopt_ the whole.
    There was, of course, an end of the investigation, and of the
    affair. The young lady became a nun herself, and is so, we
    believe, at this moment. Her guardian and trustee is a merchant
    of eminence in the city of London. We have given the facts as
    narrated by himself."

This case is so like others, that it may be said, without much reserve,
_Ex uno disce omnes_. "Faith is not to be kept with heretics." Even
saints of the Romish Church have declared that a lie may be, and ought
to be, told for the good of the Church. Such maxim may be found in the
works of the canonised Ligouri. We give Cardinal Wiseman credit for
a high moral character, and learn that he is much esteemed; but we
cannot acquit him of a _suppressio veri_, in a statement made recently
by him, that the children of the person who had bequeathed (to him,
we believe) a considerable sum for purposes of the advancement of the
Romish religion, were _in possession of the property_. Now it was not
even quite true, for they were only in possession of a _life-interest_
in the property. Suppose the property to be £3000 per annum, what is
_the property_ of a life-interest, and what of the reversion? Whoever
was in possession of the value of the reversion, was in possession of
the larger amount. The children, therefore, were not in possession
of the property. It is absolutely necessary that Mortmain should be
applied to bequests of this nature. The item of purgatory in the Roman
Catholic creed is too potent upon the fears of the dying, when weakness
of body and of mind aids those fears, in providing, by bequests, a
release from purgatorial pains. But there are legacies, gifts, or
confiscations of another kind that must be looked to. The property of
all who enter monasteries or convents for life should pass, excepting
an annual portion, to the immediate relatives; in case of none, to the
Crown. This would be a merciful provision, for it would be the surest
protection, perhaps the only one. It is the temptation to possess
their property which makes nuns. We are here supposing monasteries and
nunneries still allowed to exist, and vows to be taken. But we confess
we have another view. There are "illegal" oaths, and laws provided to
take severe cognisance of them. It may be doubtful if there is not a
treason against oneself, that ought to be illegal, as there is against
a sovereign or a government. To take the vow of celibacy, of perpetual
virginity, is a treason against nature, and against the first law of
our Creator. It is a suicidal vow, and should be considered a crime;
and we believe it would be sound legislation, though suiting not some
notions of religious liberty, to put a stop at once to these vows in
England. At all events, it is not according to civil liberty that
either parents or guardians, or parties themselves, should be allowed
permanently to bind their conscience down, and to inflict or to submit
to a perpetual imprisonment, from which there is no possible subsequent

It should be no matter of surprise if Christians, whatever be their
denomination, unite in endeavouring to resist this growth of a power
sworn to put down, to persecute to the utmost, as heretics and rebels,
all who submit not in obedience to the Pope. "Cunningly devised"
indeed must be that system which has, most unfortunately, shown itself
to be a potent charm, working in the minds of too many of the clergy
of the Church of England. We cannot imagine by what arguments they
have been persuaded, either by themselves or others. It would seem
to be impossible that they could bring themselves to forsake _their_
first, and _the_ first, Christianity, as restored at the Reformation,
for the adoption of impostures so transparent, were it not that it
often happens that the mind, bewildered in the fever of controversial
curiosity, and wearied by the multiplicity and oscillation of its own
thoughts, yields itself up, in despair of finding a solution of its
own, to the name of an authority which promises rest from restless
thought, and permanent quiet of conscience.

And yet we know not whether this aggression, even in the mischief it
has done, may not in the end prove our strength. Under Providence,
we may find in it a provocation to watch and guard more jealously
the foundations of our Christian faith. It has led, and will further
lead, to a full exposure of the Romish errors. They cannot escape the
scrutiny of an inquiring world; and thus, even at the moment of its
insolence and boasted triumph, the Popish religion may receive in
this country a blow which may damage it in every part of Europe, and
possibly precipitate it to its downfall. But it must no longer have a
Government encouragement; that which has been given to it has, though
not so intended, sufficed to evidence its character. It can never be
trusted. If there had never been heresies, the pure faith might have
been less a living principle. They have practically led to putting into
effect and practice the divine command to "search the Scriptures." It
is the will of Providence to bring good out of evil. Denial of false
doctrines has been the illustration of the true. Received as Popery
is now in this country, with, to the Papists, an unexpected hatred,
with an undying suspicion, and manifested as it has been in some of
its most offensive doings, it will indeed be our fault if it receive
not more than discouragement--a combativeness which shall shake it
to its foundation. Even now a wondrous change is taking place in all
Roman Catholic countries. The Infallible is derided, some fall into the
Protestant ranks, and, as a natural consequence of a long maintenance
of superstitious errors, multitudes sink into utter infidelity. But in
the British dominions a happier change is being effected. What are the
few converts to Rome, of bewildered and dreaming ecclesiastics, to the
large, the wholesale abandonment in Ireland of the Romish doctrines?
The Pope and his cardinals cannot there any longer keep the Scriptures
from the people, and they are sensible of the bondage in which they
have been held. Perhaps this is one cause of the insolent endeavour to
establish their hierarchy. The priesthood and the Roman Catholic press,
with a double object--the keeping up their religion and rebellion--yet
uniting in one purpose, see that any movement is more safe to them than
peace, which is weakening their hold, and confirming the strength and
power over the people's minds of the religion of the Reformation.

Under these circumstances, in that country particularly, it is most
unadvisable to allow any new position to the Papal power. Let it
have no quasi-State authority, which our Government of late years
has laboured to give it. Allow fully religious liberty, but mark
distinctly where religious liberty terminates, and falls into a civil
incompatibility. Allow not an inch of ground to the anomalous mixture,
a divided allegiance. Exact strictly that allegiance, whole and
undivided, without which civil liberty is endangered. If there be any
doctrine in a religion subversive of that, those who hold it ought to
be content with the liberty of holding it, but they must be content
also with restrictions which civil liberty demands. Popery can only
gain strength two ways--by positive persecution, and by indifference
as to its movements. By the latter it is gaining strength at this
day in France. The Church has been shaken off by the State; the mass
of religionists, therefore, are become thoroughly ultra-montane, and
acknowledge no authority but that of Rome. Persecution, we trust, will
never be the law of England, until, if this shall ever be, Romanism
prevails; and, to prevent so dire a calamity, restriction should be our

We have not, as some do, spoken exultingly of our "Protestantism"
through any doubt of the thing; for as in opposition to Rome we are
thoroughly Protestant, we protest most solemnly against all its
unscriptural tenets--against its worse than tenets, its insidious
doings, and its innate incurable tyranny; but we confess we are shy
of the unnecessary use of a term which gives, and has ever given,
them a handle of advantage. It allows them to ask, "Where was your
religion before Luther?" as if we should admit that Christianity began
with Protestantism, and not with the Scriptures themselves, and the
appointment of our only one infallible Head. Nay, we might fairly
retort upon them, that if they will take the word, which we object
not to in itself, in this sense, we have the best right to throw it
back upon themselves; for theirs is the law of development--a law
of perpetual change, a law of continual protest against themselves,
against their doctrines of yesterday--protest against the doctrines of
the Apostles, protest against the Universal Church's teaching before
Popery was, protest against its own Popery at different times--it is
a protest against what it establishes to-day as that which may be
legitimately uprooted to-morrow. And this is what the "Unchanging" is
doing by his infallibility. "The faith delivered to the saints" is not
with the Papacy one faith; there is but one faith, the dictum of the
one present Infallible--the Pope of Rome. By this they protest against
their own best men, and most learned theologians, who have strenuously
contended against this their law of development. What pen could put
down a historical catalogue of all the "Roman variations," which yet
they are pleased to call "one truth?"

The _Index Expurgatorius_ is a curious document: it shows how the
Infallible deals with authorities; what variations he makes--what
subtractions and what additions. That made known by Zetsner, 1599,
contains some curious specimens. The Roman Church did not _publish_
this, but sent it to the prelates, to be by them distributed to a few
fit--"_quos idoneos judicabunt_"--bibliopoles. Thus the Pope will alter
these words of St Augustine: "Faith only justifies," "Works cannot save
us," "Marriage is allowed to all," "Peter erred in unclean meats," "St
John cautions us against the invocation of saints." The holy Bishop
(says the Church of Rome) must be corrected in all these places. St
Chrysostom teaches that "Christ forbids heretics to be put to death;"
that "to adore martyrs is antichristian;" that "the reading of
Scripture is needful to all;" that "there is no merit but from Christ;"
that it is "a proud thing to detract from or add to Scripture;" that
"bishops and priests are subject to the higher powers;" that the
"prophets had wives." The venerable patriarch must be freed from all
these heretical notions. Epiphanius affirms that "no creature is to
be worshipped;" this is an error, and must be expunged. St Jerome
asserts that "all bishops are equal;" he must be here amended. Such,
and others of subtraction and addition, are the directions _secretly_
and authoritatively given by the Roman Church to the venders and
publishers of books. Nor let any be deluded by the idea that there is
no _Index Expurgatorius_ now. These are doings, not of a time, but of a
continuation, as an inherent necessity of the Roman Church; which must,
to keep its position, thus treat authority, whether of the Primitive
Church, or of the Scriptures themselves. The above passages are taken
by Dr Wordsworth from the _Index Expurgatorius_.

But this ever-variable Infallibility, which discovered purgatory at
the time of the discovery of America, as if practically, by cruel
inflictions, to show what its torments might be; this boasted one, yet
ever-varying Infallibility, has, under Pope Pio Nino, now at length
developed a new doctrine--not new, indeed, in invention, for it was
mooted at the Council of Trent, and set aside as uncertain by that
"certain" council, but new as an established authoritative dogma--the
"immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary." It is no longer true, in
the Roman Catholic belief, that there was but "one sinless." There is
now a new exception; it is now no longer a truth that, Christ excepted,
"the Scripture hath concluded _all_ under sin." The Virgin Mary was,
as the infallible present Pope decrees, born without sin; she was
miraculously, immaculately conceived; and hence, what follows? Awful to
contemplate is this most recently received dogma. She has an altar to
her by the side of that to God the Father. The Roman Catholic Church is
no longer Trinitarian--it is Quaternian; it sets up a Quaternity for
that glorious Trinity, "three persons and one God." And where is all
this development to end? Doubtless, it is in the wisdom above man's,
that, like the serpent that was devoured by his own brood, it should be
ultimately destroyed by its own inventions; for it makes "the Scripture
of none effect" by its traditions and developments.

But to return to the present aspect of things, and the position of
the Papal aggression. It will not do to leave the Roman Catholics
the power of holding synods, and thereby doing such work as the
legate, a member of the Pope's Council, shall dictate; and, at the
same time, to fetter the Church of England, which has her legitimate
Parliaments only as a mockery--to ordain that all religious bodies
shall be free, and the Church of England not free. It is well known
that there is a disposition, not confined to a few, to Germanise her
Liturgy according to the rationalistic principle; and that advantage
is taken of this aggression to promote that end. The movement for this
object is on foot: without doubt, it is joined by many who do not see
these ulterior views, and believe they can put down thereby practices
which seem to lean to Rome, and there stop. They will have no such
power. The majority in this movement are desirous of destroying all
creeds--in fact, of repudiating the Church. It is well known that
there is something very like a conspiracy to bring about this change
in Established religion (originating in Germany) in every country.
It is about five years ago since a great metropolitan municipal body
addressed a memorial to the Sovereign of Prussia upon his throne,
embodying principles which still, under the name of Christianity, are
subversive of all Christian doctrines. They are, in fact, principles
which make every man his own God. His own mind is Christianity--and is
infallible. The divine authority of Scripture is ignored. They speak of
the "Spirit of Christ," but only as a principle within their own minds;
and that principle as the "Church." They, too, adopt the development

    "She finds in her foundation and in her history the clue that
    conducts her through the labyrinth of human error, and the
    _rule of the development of her doctrine_. Christianity renews
    itself in the human heart, and follows the development of the
    human mind, and invests itself with new forms of thought and
    language, and adopts new systems of church-organisation, to
    which it gives expression and life. The _Scriptures_ and the
    creeds are the witnesses of _ancient_ Christendom. Being,
    however, the _works_ of _men_, they express the faith of _men_;
    and their form bears the impress of the time in which they were
    made. It is not in _them_ that absolute truth resides, but it
    is in the _spirit_ of truth, holiness, and love, which animates
    mankind. He who revealed Himself to the world by the authors of
    the Scriptures, is _in us_, and _by us_. He interprets the same
    Scriptures, and judges of their truth."

Thus, according to this really atheistical disgusting verbiage,
Christianity is a myth, "within us" and "by us." And we ask if
Protestantism--the Protestantism of the Reformation, or the
Protestantism after the Reformation, as it now exists in the Church of
England or Scotland, or in sects of any Christian denomination--would
not shrink with horror from a proposal to substitute this blasphemous
farrago for the creeds, liturgies, and services in established use?

We have ventured upon this, it may be thought, delicate ground,
because we think it intimately connected with this Papal aggression,
and with modes of dealing with it. The Rationalistic aggression would
be the most intolerant. It has a mortal hatred to creeds. It is of
the Philosophy which, in the French Revolution, massacred priests and
demolished churches. It claims its own infallibility, and would make
it subservient to a tyranny. It would be as dominant as the Papacy,
and denounce its heretics. If there be any that have a confidence in
present times and present _liberality_, and believe that none of these
things can come to pass in our country, we would only refer them to a
few lines in the page of our recent history, wherein may be read that a
furious mob centred itself from all parts in one of the most important
cities of the kingdom, attempted to burn down the cathedral, did burn
and tear and trample on the Bible, and burnt to the ground the bishop's
palace, and eagerly sought the bishop's life.

"The _holiness_," and even the "_love_," "within us," that is not
of the Christianity of the Scriptures, is an absolute deceit and
falsehood; and will ever be, in operation, the most selfish cruelty.

It is an audacious impiety in man to claim infallibility: "_humanum est
errare_." Rationalism and Popery are above humanity. What Cicero said
of the smile, when augur meets augur, it may be thought may take place
when the Pope meets his confessor. For the Infallible confesses--what?

There is but one infallible, the one Head of the Church which He made.
He has given an infallible guide--the Holy Scriptures--all-sufficient,
and which require no "development" to interpret them.

Upwards of five centuries ago, the great poet of Italy spared not the
expression of his indignation against Popes, monkeries, and their
mercenary distribution of "blessings," "pardons," and "indulgences,"
that fatten, as he terms them, the "swine of St Anthony." He refers all
true doctrine to the directions given by the only Infallible, and as
taught by the primitive Church.

    "Non disse Christo al suo primo convento
    Andate, e predicate al mondo ciance.
    Ma diede lor verace fondamento."

    "Christ said not to his first conventicle
    Go forth, and preach impostures to the world,
    But gave them sure foundation."

And, a few lines after, he speaks contemptuously of the mummery, and
promises, pardons, and buffooneries of the Popish preachers of those
days; and adds that, if the gaping populace could but see "the dark
bird that nestles in the hood," they would "scarce wait to hear the
blessing said."


[8] _The Book of the Farm._ By HENRY STEPHENS, F.R.S.E. Second Edition.
2 vols. 8vo. Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London: 1851.

There are some things of which a traitorous Parliament cannot deprive
the agriculturist. His is the only industrial occupation that can be
said to possess a literature of its own--a literature at once ancient,
varied, extensive, and curious. In the Augustan era, the Romans could
number upwards of fifty Greek authors who had contributed to illustrate
the practice and science of agriculture; and we know, with much
greater precision, how important a niche agriculture occupies in the
existing library of ancient Rome. The curious and quaint lore of Cato
the elder--the three works of Varro, the ripest scholar of his age,
and evidently the very model of an accomplished Roman gentleman--the
minute details of Columella--and the various but somewhat apocryphal
information scattered throughout the writings of Pliny, with many
lesser luminaries who have written _de re Rusticâ_, abundantly indicate
the importance which the Romans, in the most brilliant era of their
history, attached to the study and practice of agriculture. But in
a literary aspect the poems of Virgil better demonstrate, than the
professional writers just named, how deeply the love of agriculture
was cherished by the finest intellects of classic antiquity. In the
most original productions of his immortal muse, Virgil has embellished
with the charms of divine poesy the arts of rural economy, and the
habits of rural life. What other _toil_ of weary mortals has genius
enshrined in imperishable verse? Nay, what other industrial calling
could wake the inspirations of genius? "The textile fabrics," as they
are somewhat pedantically called, are now in the zenith of their
popularity; but is Jute poetical, or is Calico propitious to the Muses?
The Budge Doctors of the economic school will smile at the question.
Although not embraced in their philosophy, it may nevertheless be an
important feature in the occupation of a people that it furnishes
meet themes to the poet's fancy, and is in harmony with the purer
sympathies of the human soul. In such an avocation it may be inferred
that there can be nothing innately vulgar or mean, nothing ancillary
to low vice and coarse immorality. The ancient Romans seem to have
thought that agriculture was the only profession in which a gentleman
could engage without suffering degradation. The sentiment is still
prevalent; and the professor of the _Literæ Humaniores_ may yet betake
himself to his Sabine farm without sullying the honour of the ancient
dynasty of letters. One Roman writer speaks of husbandry as an art
noble enough to occupy the attention of kings; and to this day we seem
ready to acquiesce in the opinion. The Prince Consort fitly employs a
leisure hour in observing the processes of agriculture carried on at
the home-farm of Windsor; but the national taste would probably not
allow it to be a regal employment to watch the spinning of cotton or
the printing of calico. The Roman authors duly appreciated the moral
influences which the employment of husbandry exerted on the mind.
_Omnium rerum, ex quibus aliquid acquiritur, nihil est Agriculturâ
melius, nihil uberius, nihil dulcius, nihil homine libero dignius._
And Ceres, according to the poet, _prima dedit leges_. This was indeed
the doctrine of the more ancient Greek writers; and the object of the
Eleusinian mysteries seems mainly to have been intended to represent
the importance of agriculture as the handmaid of civilisation. The mind
insensibly catches a hue and complexion from the natural objects with
which it is conversant, and the beautiful in nature may be friendly to
the beautiful in morals.

                          .... "The soul
    At length discloses every tuneful spring,
    To that harmonious movement from without

The peaceful employments of the husbandman, and his daily converse with
nature in her gentler as well as more solemn moods, can scarcely fail
to be favourable to devotional feeling, and to the milder and more
amiable virtues. Although this must be a matter of infinitely small
moment to those in whose estimation the _summum bonum_ of human life
consists "in buying in the cheapest market and selling in the dearest,"
yet a wise statesman might not be uninfluenced by such a consideration
in cherishing a branch of national industry--of vital moment, no doubt,
in its economic results, but so peculiarly propitious to the growth
of the peaceful and patriotic virtues, to the rearing of a virtuous
peasantry, and of brave and loyal yeomen, who in every peril have
proved the thews and sinews of the commonwealth. Although the statesmen
of the Augustan age correctly appreciated the importance of agriculture
as the surest basis of national prosperity, yet the neglect of
husbandry, and the consequent dependence of the people for their daily
food on imported grain, which occurred at an after period, largely
contributed to the decay of the Roman empire. The history of ancient
Attica reads us a similar lesson. The Athenian farmers, anticipating
the recommendation of Sir James Graham, devoted their attention more
to pasturage than agriculture. The necessary result was an immense
importation of corn to provide for the subsistence of a population
unusually numerous and dense. Demosthenes tells us that the quantity
of corn annually imported from the Crimea alone amounted to 400,000
_medimni_--a _medimnus_ containing about four of our bushels; and
the peril of such stipendiary reliance for the staple article of the
people's food on the caprice of neighbouring, or, it may be, hostile
states, was bitterly experienced by the Athenians, and precipitated
the crisis in which Grecian freedom and Grecian glory sank overwhelmed
never to revive. But history has been written in vain for our modern
statesmen, who are infinitely too wise to be instructed by the monitory
lessons in the art of government which may be derived from the decline
and fall of Greek and Roman greatness.

Without stopping to trace the history of British Agriculture, we
venture to offer an opinion which we believe will be acquiesced in
by those most familiar with the subject--that, while modern times
have contributed not a little to our knowledge of the principles and
theory of agriculture, they have done infinitely more to advance the
improvement of the practice of agriculture.[9] We say so, without at
all intending to disparage the discoveries of Chemistry and Vegetable
Physiology. From these sources we expect much more important services,
in advancing the art of husbandry, than certainly they have ever yet

[9] Those acquainted with the writings of Tull, Arthur Young, Marshall,
and Elkington, must know that, although not exempt from errors, they
evolved the leading principles of a right agriculture. Indeed, we would
seem almost to be recovering only the lost principles and practices of
the Roman farmers of old. They seem to have known the mode of manuring
ground by penning sheep upon it--nay, what will astonish Mr Mechi,
they practised the plan of feeding them in warm and sheltered places
with sloping and carefully prepared floors, upon barley and leguminous
seeds, hay, bran, and salt. They knew the advantage of a complete
pulverisation of the soil, and the necessity of deep ploughing. Their
drainage was deep, and if Palladius does not mislead us, they seem
in certain cases to have employed earthenware or tile-drains. But
to those who wish to know more of Roman husbandry, and who may not
have leisure or opportunity to consult the originals, we have great
pleasure in recommending Professor Ramsay's (of Glasgow) paper entitled
"Agricultura," in the last edition of _Smith's Dictionary of Greek and
Roman Antiquities_,--an admirable specimen of condensed erudition.

We do not believe that there ever was a time in the history of this
country, when so deep an excitement existed in the public mind
regarding the present position and future prospects of our domestic
agriculture. As the sun never attracts so much attention as during
an eclipse, so it would seem to fare with British agriculture in
the disastrous plight into which legislation has plunged her. Our
litterateurs have all taken to "piping on the oaten reed," and to
paying their _devoirs_ at the shrine of Ceres--in whose temple,
however, they are manifestly neophytes, and as yet but playing the
part of postulants. We hope, indeed, that we may remark without
offence, that sometimes they place strange fire on the altar of the
goddess, and that they do not always exhibit satisfactory proofs of
being very intelligent or well-informed worshippers. When Goldsmith
meditated an exploratory journey into the interior of Asia--with the
view of discovering useful inventions in the arts, and of adding
them to our stores of European knowledge--Dr Johnson, assured of his
unfitness for the task, grotesquely supposed that "he would bring
home a grinding-barrow, which you see in every street in London, and
think that he had furnished a wonderful improvement." One cannot help
fancying that some of our most brilliant contemners of the importance
of British husbandry, were they to make a tour of discovery into rural
parts--would run some chance of picking up a three-pronged fork, and of
reporting it as the veritable trident of the god Neptunus. Journalists,
subject to commercial impulses and influences, are for the most part
town-bred, and unacquainted with the habits of rural life, and with
the theory and business of farming. Husbandry is too large a subject
to be learned from the windows of an excursion train, or by the casual
consultation of an agricultural cyclopædia. Unprepared by previous
observation and study, it should not surprise us, when summoned to
discourse Georgical lore to their readers, that our journalists should
find it necessary to confine themselves to vague generalities, or
political speculations on an agricultural question. We beg, however,
respectfully to suggest that the writing of "Pastorals" has always
been thought a somewhat difficult branch of the literary art. It is
now abundantly proved that the agitation flowing from agricultural
distress cannot be sopited by burning eloquence, or brilliant sneers,
or sharp antitheses, or bold paradoxes; and the time would seem to have
arrived when it becomes those whose duty it is to instruct others, and
to consult for the good of the State, to inform themselves accurately
on a branch of national industry so engrossing public attention, and
to weigh maturely and impartially the infinitely momentous and vastly
complicated interests involved in the prosperity or decline of British

The position, on the other hand, of those actually engaged in the
business of agriculture, is far too critical to permit them indolently
to lie on their oars. Within the last twenty years, immense advances
have been made to improve our knowledge of the theory and practice
of husbandry in all its branches; and if the owners and occupants of
land are ignorant of these,--if they are ill-informed in their own
business--if lack of knowledge compels them to sit silent when the
spruce merchant glibly taunts them for their ignorance of the lights
shed on their profession by the torch of modern science--if they are
unable to defend themselves, and to vindicate the important interests
which they represent--let the existing race of proprietors and farmers
know assuredly that, if they are to fall degraded from their present
position, they will, in the case supposed, fall the unpitied victims
of commercial rapacity and a vicious legislation. Whatever may be the
ultimate phase in which agriculture shall emerge from the cloud now
resting on it, it is evident that those whose interests, capital, and
prospects are dependant on the produce of the soil, were never urged by
so pressing considerations to acquaint themselves fully and accurately
with the science and practice of their profession.

There never was a juncture, we venture to assert, in the history of
British husbandry, that so loudly demanded the publication of a work on
agriculture at once copious and minute in its scientific details--fully
up to the mark of modern improvement--incorporating everything old and
new likely to throw light upon the subject--and detailing faithfully
the latest experiments and discoveries of chemical, physiological,
and mechanical science; and we can honestly congratulate the British
agriculturist, that, in the new edition of Mr Stephens' _Book of the
Farm_, he truly possesses such a work.

We have, in our day, been not a little tormented with second editions.
We have sometimes harboured the ugly suspicion that, in the matter
of new editions, publishers and authors were in league to cheat the
honest public; and, under the influence of this uncomfortable feeling,
we have once and again vowed never to buy the first edition of any
book whatsoever. On cool consideration, we feel constrained, however,
to confess that the author of this work must have endangered, if not
forfeited, the high position which he holds as an agricultural writer,
had he not strenuously set himself to emend, and enlarge, and in great
portions to re-write his book, when a new edition of it was demanded.
It is not only that, on a subject so large, completeness in a first
effort might have been naturally expected to baffle any knowledge,
however comprehensive, and any industry, however indefatigable; but
the brief period that has elapsed since the publication of the first
edition has been so fertile in agricultural progress, and so rich in
scientific inquiry and experiment, that not to have noted these, and
embodied their results in this new edition, must have damaged not only
the work, but the author, as implying an ignorance of, or a contempt
for, the advancing tide of improvement. The present is undoubtedly a
very superior work to the first edition; and it seems to us now to
contain a complete institute of agriculture. We venture deliberately
to affirm, that in no country or language was so perfect a work on
agriculture ever given to the world before; and that no work on
this subject, whether foreign or domestic, can for a moment come in
competition with _The Book of the Farm_. Perhaps the most remarkable
feature in the work is the immense mass of varied information which
it contains. _The Book of the Farm_ is indeed a many-chambered
storehouse of agricultural lore--a vast repertory of information on
the subjects of which it treats. To prove the erudition of the work
to those that may be yet unacquainted with it, it may suffice to
state, that there are above fourteen hundred references to authors,
ancient and modern, continental and domestic, who have written on the
subject of agriculture, and on the allied branches of art and science.
The references in the work are equivalent indeed to a _Bibliotheca
Agricolaris_; and, by directing him to the authorities and sources of
knowledge, will enable the educated agriculturist to prosecute his
inquiries on any peculiar branch of his business in which he may desire
more minute information than even the text embraces. _The Book of the
Farm_ is, in fact, another "Stephens' Thesaurus;" and the author must
evidently be one of those robust geniuses, who can grapple with whole
libraries, and reduce them to their service. Let it be understood,
too, that the author's powers of assimilation are as excellent as his
literary appetite; that the information is not heaped together in
rude disorder, but is interwoven naturally with the texture of the
narrative--every fact falling fitly and easily into the appropriate
place, where it may best illustrate the precise point discussed. In
nothing more than in this does the learned author show his complete
mastery of the subject. We fancy that the tenant-farmer, in perusing
this work, must often feel how much its author has dignified his art,
by showing him how many sciences contribute to its advancement, and how
many authors of great learning and talent have devoted their labours to
advance the progress, and to vindicate the rights, of husbandry.

But all this learning may not be allied with practice; and the author
of _The Book of the Farm_ may, peradventure, be only a book-farmer--a
species of impostor that has done a world of mischief in his day
and generation. Quite the reverse. The author is enthusiastically
practical, and his work is intensely practical. He seems, indeed, to
look somewhat askance at any alleged improvement that is not likely to
be profitable and beneficial; and we can fancy that he would abate the
pretensions of an empiric boastful of some grand discovery, by asking,
with an awful mildness, _Cui bono?_ We can assure the agriculturist
that, in Mr Stephens, he will find an instructor thoroughly and
eminently practical. He is perfectly familiar with the processes of
husbandry. He writes not merely as an eyewitness; for it would appear
from his book that there is scarcely any one of the manual operations
of farming which he had not learned, and, by continued practice,
acquired expertness in performing. We believe that there is no author,
living or dead, who has written any similar work on agriculture, of
whom the same thing can be said. It is an unspeakable satisfaction
and comfort to the practical farmer to walk in company with such a
guide. We remember very well the impression made on our mind by the
first perusal of _The Book of the Farm_. We at once learned that the
author, from actual practice, knew perfectly the employments of the
ploughman, the agricultural labourer, the cattle-man, groom, and
shepherd. With the most minute and insignificant, as well as the most
important operations of husbandry, he seems equally familiar. We
soon discovered that his knowledge of the history, habits, diseases,
and general management of stock, was as perfect as if he had studied
nothing else. He writes as minutely about cattle as if he had spent
half a lifetime in the cattle-court; and urges that their "comfort"
should be attended to as earnestly as if he were consulting for his
wife and family. When he discourses on the fleecy people, you conclude
that he must be a mountaineer, and that he has tended his flocks amid
the valleys of Clova, or on the slopes of the Cheviot. This idea,
however, was speedily dispelled by finding our author quite precise on
the piggery; in fact, a most learned and enthusiastic _Porculator_.
We were delighted to find that he did justice to the porcine race,
for long the best abused of all our quadrupedal domestics. He writes
with a genial enthusiasm on pigs that would have delighted the gentle
spirit of Charles Lamb, (see his dissertation on "Roast Pig,") and have
won the regard of Southey, (see his poem, "The Pig,") and astonished
the ignorance of Sydney Smith, (see his late work "On Morals,") and
have caused a gracious smile to mantle o'er the benevolent countenance
of the excellent Mr Huxtable. Pigs and poultry, in life and death,
are natural allies; and it did not surprise us to find Mr Stephens
intimately acquainted with the merits of the winged denizens of the
homestead, and that brave chanticleer and his feathery harem were not
dismissed without an accurate disquisition. By this time, however, we
believed that the practical knowledge of the author was exhausted.
But it was not so. He showed himself forthwith in new characters
altogether, and proved himself to be a dexterous hedger, (no offence
is meant,) no mean proficient in the veterinary art, and quite able
to lend a helping hand to the blundering smith, carpenter, or mason;
while, to complete the range of his attainments, Mr Stephens seems
quite at home amid the perilous retorts and subtle agencies of chemical

The extraordinary extent and accuracy of our author's practical
knowledge, is in some measure explained in the preface which
accompanies the new edition. After a liberal education, he seems to
have carefully trained himself for the business of farming by studying
it in Berwickshire, "labouring with his own hands," as he tells us, at
every species of farm work. He thereafter travelled through most of
the countries of Europe, and thus obtained insight into the methods
of Continental agriculture. Thus prepared, Mr Stephens commenced a
practical farmer; and on a farm of three hundred acres, in Forfarshire,
he executed a series of most successful improvements, some of them
quite new, at the time--not only in the culture of the soil, but in
the management of stock. Everything was done not only under his own
personal inspection, but he scrupled not to put his own hand to the
work; his object being, as he records, "that his mind and hands might
be familiarised with every variety of labour appertaining to rural
affairs." Since he relinquished farming, Mr Stephens has been an
ardent student of his favourite science. If at any agricultural show a
fine animal was to be seen, or if in any country or district or farm
an improved mode of culture was alleged to exist, our author seems
to have resorted thither to test its merits by accurate and patient
observation. His position as editor of the _Journal of Agriculture_
necessarily makes him familiar with the literature of agriculture,
and with every new light which Continental and British discovery has
shed upon the theory and practice of agricultural industry. To these
opportunities of knowledge he conjoins an unbounded enthusiasm and
an unconquerable industry. Never before in one person, probably, had
there met such a combination of qualifications fitting him to compose a
standard work on agriculture. And thus equipped and furnished, never,
we believe, did any author devote his energies with more untiring and
conscientious fidelity to the performance of his self-imposed task.
No inquiry seems too minute or insignificant--none too gigantic or
laborious, if it will add to the store of instruction which he desires
to communicate. He gathers information from all authors, famous or
obscure, and levies assistance from all sciences, that he may satisfy
his reader, and present his work perfect and complete! And now we beg
to congratulate the author on the completion of his great work, for a
_magnum opus_ it emphatically is; and to acknowledge, with gratitude,
the infinite obligations under which he has laid the agricultural world.

The primary intention of the author seems to have been to compose a
work that might prove a manual of instruction to young men who were
studying agriculture, and preparing themselves for the practical
business of farming. But, in reality, the work has outgrown the
original idea; and it forms now a complete code of instruction not only
to the learner, but to the experienced farmer, to the landowner, and,
in fact, to every one whose interests are dependant on agriculture,
or whose duties lie in any one of the multifarious departments of
rural affairs. The plan of the work is perfectly original, (although
old Palladius may have given the hint,) and seems to us peculiarly
felicitous. Mr Stephens divides the year into the four agricultural
seasons--not absolutely coincident with the chronological division,
but sufficiently distinctive--each having its respective class of
operations to perform. The work might, in this aspect, be described
as the Farmer's Book of the Seasons, with the employments peculiar
to each copiously described. There are undoubtedly cycles, recurring
periods, if not of repose, at least of change, in the farmer's
employment; and, by keeping in view these landmarks of nature, the
author enables his reader to comprehend, step by step, the progressive
advancement that takes place in the business of husbandry. We know no
other work that affects even to do this, or from which it would be
possible for the student to acquire an intelligible conception of the
actual system of husbandry, in the natural and consecutive order in
which her processes take place. It seems strange that, in preceding
works, a similar plan had not been adopted. In learning a profession
men begin at the beginning, and proceed gradually onwards through the
curriculum of study and of practice. How should it have been thought
that it could be otherwise in agriculture? Agricultural dictionaries
and cyclopædias cannot possibly expound a system of husbandry; and it
would defy any sagacity to frame one out of them. Their articles may
individually be worthy of occasional consultation by the initiated;
but they present to the student a bewildering and motley jumble of
instruction, "beer" being found, perhaps, next neighbour to "beet,"
and "bones" in juxtaposition with "botany." Their prelections, written
in different styles, and by authors differing oftentimes in opinion,
resemble a multitude of loose, independent, and particoloured threads.
In the _Book of the Farm_ we find all rightly arranged, and woven
by one artist into a web of continuous and consentaneous narrative.
The concluding part of the work is entitled "Realisation," in which
the author places his pupil on a farm of his own, pointing out the
principles that should guide him in his choice of a farm, and teaching
him how he should reduce his knowledge into practice. This is not
the least valuable part of the work, and in the strongest manner
indicates the superior value that the author attaches to skill, energy,
and success in the actual practice of husbandry, in comparison with
any knowledge of the "Book theoric," or any passion for experimental
freaks. Having fairly embarked his agricultural alumnus in the business
of life, Mr Stephens, as if loath to leave him, still accompanies
him with invaluable directions, and continues to counsel him in
kindliest strain regarding the duties which he owes his servants,
his neighbours, his landlord, and himself. Upon the whole, there is
something approaching to epic excellence and dramatic unity in the
conception and execution of the work; and when the author, in his final
paragraph, bids us adieu, and expresses a hope that his labours may
prove profitable and instructive to his brethren, it is impossible not
to feel that the curtain has fallen upon a complete performance.

Until we received the concluding part of _The Book of the Farm_,
which only reached us lately, we were considerably nervous on one
point--quite vital, in our estimation, as to the merits of the book.
The older we grow, we attach the more value to an accurately arranged
index. We hesitate buying any book of importance unfurnished with
such an accompaniment; and if it is a book deserving to be re-read,
and to which frequent reference must be made, as is the case with
the work under review, we put it without compunction into the _index
expurgatorius_ of our library-catalogue, and would without pity place
the author in the pillory. What a time-table is to a railway, or a
guide-book to a traveller in a strange land, such is an index to an
extensive work; and if our readers consider that _The Book of the
Farm_ contains 1456 pages of clear but close print, in double columns,
and embraces the whole range of subjects connected with the conduct
of rural life, they will see the imperious necessity of a carefully
compiled index for such a work. From the beginning we saw that the book
was well planned and paragraphed, (the paragraphs now numbering 6459;)
but no excellence of arrangement could compensate for the want of an
index. We are therefore happy to add that the value and utility of the
work are consummated by the index appended. It is accurately digested
and arranged, rendering reference easy and expeditious, and giving
the reader a complete control over the voluminous contents. We have
found it a prompt and sure guide to any particular point in the varied
realms which the author surveys. We have narrowly tested its virtues;
and having found it to fail but in one solitary case, and that only
partially, we feel bound to approve of the judgment and labour bestowed
upon this part of the work. We dwell upon this feature of it not only
as momentous in itself, but because the possession of such an index
gives _The Book of the Farm_ all the advantages of an agricultural
dictionary, while it has merits of its own to which such a work can
never lay claim.

In describing the general character of the work, it would be grievous
injustice to omit mention of the admirable manner in which it is
illustrated. It is enriched with 14 engravings on steel, and 589 on
wood, of the most exquisite quality. The portraits of the animals
are not from fancy, but are faithful likenesses from life; and we
know nothing more excellent or characteristic--not even Professor
Low's elaborate and coloured plates of the domesticated animals. In
one department the author has, with admirable success, called in
the engraver's aid. We refer to the insects infesting that portion
of vegetable and animal life in which the farmer is peculiarly
interested. This is a province of agricultural instruction which, if
not hitherto neglected, has certainly not been treated by any preceding
author in a useful and intelligible, manner. Mr Stephens describes
the insect-invaders of the farm with a precision that will satisfy
scientific readers; but Mr Stephens does not demand, as seems to have
been unreasonably done by his predecessors, that farmers shall be
familiar with the tremendous terminology of entomological science. He
places the little pests before us in vivid pictures true to the life,
and evidently from it; so that, without determining the import of such
startling vocables as "apterous," "coleopterous," and "orthopterous,"
the husbandman is at once able to detect the winged and creeping foes,
so weak in single combat, but so devastating in legionary myriads--that
ruin his crops and injure the health of his cattle, tormenting their
patience, and by no means improving the sweetness of his own temper.
The black woodcuts, too, depicturing the principal operations on the
farm, are inimitably graphic. But when it is mentioned that the artists
are Landseer, R. E. Branston, Gourlay Steell, and George H. Slight, the
reader will understand that the choicest embellishments which the fine
arts could render have been devoted to the illustration of _The Book
of the Farm_. It was well thus to charm the young farmer, and to teach
him through the medium of his eyes, by presenting him with portraits
of the finest animals, and models of the best implements, and pictures
delineating the employments in which he and his staff of servants must
engage. We shall be bold to assert that no work on agriculture exists
equal to this for the profusion, originality, and excellence of its

It would be utterly vain to attempt, by quotation, to give our readers
any idea of the extent and variety of the contents of this work; but
we may say that we would feel infinitely surprised if an inquirer
into any subject touching the culture and drainage of the soil,--or
relating to the management of stock,--or into any of the collateral
arts and sciences, so far as they are connected with agriculture,--or
into any duty or employment in which the owner or occupant of the
soil may be called upon to engage,--or into any difficulty likely to
overtake him in the discharge of that duty, and out of which a more
perfect knowledge and skill may extricate him,--shall _not_ find in
_The Book of the Farm_ the information of which he is in quest. In
the parts of the work that are strictly theoretical, we conceive that
much originality will be found in the author's exposition of the
rationale of the feeding of animals, of the germination of seeds, and
of the action of special manures. He states the result of every modern
experiment worth noting. The present edition contains, in fact, a
digest of every experiment, down to the present date, that has been
tried in the cultivation of crops, and in the management and feeding of
stock--not omitting Mr Huxtable's method of feeding sheep--and of every
new light and discovery worthy of preservation made by agricultural
chemists. We admire the excellent sense and discretion with which the
author addresses the practical farmer regarding the reception which he
ought to give to the discoveries of modern science. These are not to be
instantly and obstinately rejected, because they may be not only true,
but ultimately of great practical value; they are not to be fanatically
entertained and temerariously adopted, for, if not scientifically
untrue, they may be utterly abortive in application, and may conduct
only to bitter disappointment, and, in the case of the tenant-farmer,
to an unwarrantable waste both of time and money. Nothing, in point
of fact, has more injured chemical science in its relations to
agriculture, than the exaggerated expectations and promises that have
been held out regarding its discoveries. While, in the chemist's room,
the result of an experiment may be demonstrable, it should never be
forgotten that, in the laboratory of nature, the elements and agents
are not under our perfect control, and that the rise or fall of a
few degrees in the thermometer may utterly nullify the most perfect
manipulation of the most expert experimenter. Climatic, atmospheric,
and physiological peculiarities effect strange differences on the
constitution and habits of plants and animals; and although scientific
research may sometimes be able to detect the causes, it may be utterly
unable to assist us in removing them. The supralapsarian employment
of our great progenitor was horticultural rather than agricultural;
but while the art of husbandry dates from the sad exile from Eden, it
seems to be forgotten that chemistry is scarcely half a century old,
and that it is but as yesterday that she volunteered her services
to agriculture. Nothing is easier than to sneer at the inveterate
prejudices that cloud the agricultural mind, and that impede all
agricultural progress; but it may be well to remember that chemistry
itself was at a comparatively late period associated with alchemy--that
its aims were empirical, the chief of them being the discovery of the
philosopher's stone, and the transmutation of the baser ores into fine
gold. It seems the special province and duty of landowners, who have
the leisure and the means, to make experiments; but British farmers,
previous to their adoption, are entitled to satisfy themselves that the
discoveries of science are readily available by them, and are likely
to be profitable. The most enthusiastic chemist will scarcely deny
that the discovery of a very condensed animal manure in the islands
of the Pacific has contributed more to the prosperity of agriculture
than any modern discovery in his favourite science. We write this in
the profoundest conviction of the importance of chemistry and the
cognate sciences, and of the impetus they will yet give to agricultural
progress; but as it is the present fashion to contemn the torpid and
immovable understandings of British farmers, it may be well to remind
our philosophers that they have been very long of thinking how their
philosophy could advance the culture of the soil, or increase the
supply of human food--a vulgar consideration, but not to be despised by
philosophic sages, who must live like meaner mortals--and that, as yet,
they have rather evolved principles, than shown Mr Hodge how he can
profitably apply them. Of late, too, a most ridiculous rout has been
made about liquid manures; and our urinary land-doctors would persuade
us that they could liquify the whole face of the earth into a garden.
To such hydropathic empirics we cry, pish! The value of liquid manures
is undeniable, as seen in the watered meadows adjoining our cities;
and on dairy farms the quantity may be such, that the application of
it may not only be expedient, but profitable. When farmers generally,
however, are abused for their ignorant neglect and waste of liquid
manure, it is necessary to inquire into the justice of the charge. In
the first place, it is certain that the litter in the cattle-court, if
the court is rightly constructed and situated, will easily absorb all
the liquid flowing from the animals in it and in the byres. Suppose the
urine were collected as it passed from the animals, and were prevented
from permeating and saturating the manure in the court, then, nearly
_pro tanto_, the value of the manure would be deteriorated. This seems
undeniable. The leakage from cattle-courts, when properly situated,
arises exclusively from rain-water; and the overflow is caused by the
want of rones to the buildings, and the waste of this diluted liquor
arises from the want of tanks to contain it, so that both the leakage
and the waste are the fault of the landlord rather than of the tenant.
But what are the potent virtues of this liquor which escapes from the
homesteads of our farmers, and the neglect of which has brought on them
such a deluge of obloquy, and by the right use of which their plundered
exchequer is forthwith to be replenished? M. Sprengel tells us that "it
contains two per cent of manuring matter!" From the trouble, expense,
and occasional delicacy required in administering it to the crops,
we are quite satisfied that Sprengel is right in stating that any
surplusage of liquid manure about a farm, from whatever cause it may
arise, can be "most profitably employed in the preparation of compost."
We are fortified in this view by the opinion of that skilful and
judicious farmer, Mr Finnie of Swanston, as lately stated by him at a
meeting of the Agricultural Society of Scotland. The fact is, that this
cry about the untold value of liquid-manure proceeds from the city. The
inhabitants of our large towns have for many a day been living immersed
in a stercoraceous atmosphere, and have been inspiring the fetid
fumes exhaled from their horrid sewers. Awakening to the discovery,
they have been seized with a sanatory mania; and on the instant, with
upturned nostril, they have proceeded to rate the rural population
for not relieving them of their cesspools, and for not admiring with
sufficient ardour the virtues of these turbid and odoriferous streams
that meander amid their dwellings. The Free-trade philosopher, himself
pretty much in the puddle, joins in the cry, and condemns scornfully
the farmer's neglect of the fertilising properties of sewage water. If
these gentlemen were civil, and did not deserve to be soused in one of
their own fragrant ditches, it might be replied, that the moment they
transport their liquid treasures to the country, the tenant-farmers,
after having ascertained their value, will cheerfully pay the worth
of them, per ton, in sterling money. It is quite true, no doubt, as
Mr Stephens contends, that "it is wrong to permit anything to go to
waste, and especially so valuable a material on a farm as manure;"
but when practical farmers are denounced by ignorant parties, who
have shown that they care not a jot for the agricultural prosperity
of the country, but who may hope, by railing at those they so lately
robbed, to divert attention from their own political misdemeanours,
it seems but right that we should ascertain the value of the article
neglected, and the origin of its waste, if waste there be, and perhaps
even inquire into the motives of the new patrons of British husbandry
who have floated themselves into public notice on the black sea of
sewage water. At the same time, he would certainly be an unreasonable
man who would try to prevent the Free-trade water-doctors of the soil
from sweetening the atmosphere in which they live, and from cleansing
themselves from all impurities.

When we remember the excitement and distress under which the
agricultural community are now suffering, we fear that at this
moment they may scarcely be in a humour to accept graciously our
recommendation of _The Book of the Farm_. In the fever of critical
emergencies, men have not patience to study their profession, and
scarcely taste to read anything that does not bear on the one
engrossing theme. Mr Stephens, no doubt, ignores the Corn Laws and
Protection in his work--(we are under no such a vow)--but it should
be remembered that there never was a time when it was more necessary
for the cultivators of the soil to acquaint themselves with all the
improvements and appliances of modern husbandry; and although good
farming, nay, the very best, under present prices and rents must
be unprofitable, that yet it may tend to the mitigation of present
suffering, and to the postponement of coming disaster. But is there
any occupant, or owner of land, with the smallest glimmer of sense,
who really thinks--whatever he may affect--that the present condition
of the British agriculturist can continue, and that his downward
progress to destruction is not to be arrested? We do not believe it.
It is because we anticipate that, ere long, justice will be done the
tenant-farmers of the nation, and that they will be in a position
soon to start upon a new career of agricultural improvement, that we
earnestly urge upon their attentive study the stores of knowledge and
instruction communicated in the pages of Mr Stephens' work.

Supposing the iniquitous competition and taxation to which the
agricultural interests of the country are subjected were to remain
permanent, we do not believe that any knowledge, or skill, or
enterprise, can make the business of farming _generally_ profitable.
We think, however, that on casting the horoscope of British husbandry,
many writers have predicted a speedier ruin to the tenant-farmer than
the nature of his employments should lead us to expect. Everything
connected with the processes of husbandry is slow and operose. There is
only one harvest in the year, and there can only be one annual profit
or loss upon the capital invested. A farmer cannot be ruined in a
season. He may have a little spare capital; and, at all events, he has
capital invested in stock, and by trenching upon the one or the other,
he can for a while meet his losses. Agricultural capital has, however,
been already so much impaired, that if, in present circumstances, a
bad crop at home were to concur with a good one in the corn-growing
countries of the Continent, the coincidence, we believe, would plunge
immense numbers of farmers into bankruptcy. If any easy and apathetic
landlord doubts this, let him ask the country bankers. It may be
difficult to predict the ultimate issue of an unbending adherence to
the present system. After a period of hopeless struggle, the capital of
the present race of farmers will disappear, and, degraded and ruined,
they must go. Who will succeed them? Most probably a race of servile
cultivators, like the helots of ancient Sparta, or the ryots and serfs
of modern Europe, who, content to subsist upon the meanest fare, shall
deliver over to the lord of the soil the produce of the farm. We have
heard that some patriotic lairds and discerning factors, taking time
by the forelock, are looking out for such clodpoles--for the race is
not extinct--to occupy their vacant farms, wisely concluding that men
without capital, skill, or education, will live upon black bread, and
surrender to them the whole proceeds of the soil. A curious comment
this upon the high-farming theory, and a plan of operations highly
creditable to the agricultural sagacity and patriotic benevolence of
its discoverers! Or it may be that Sir James Graham's "pasturage" may
be the _dernier resort_ of a ruined agriculture, in which case we
may have, as in the Australian continent, men living somewhat like
gentlemen, and occupying extensive tracts of country with their flocks
and shepherds. Such a result could, of course, only take place by
approaches slow, insidious, and imperceptible. If it were possible,
_which it is not_, that such a social revolution should be _allowed_ to
take place, it is plain that it must be spread over a large period of
time. We think error has been propagated by anticipations of immediate
disaster. It is conceivable that events may occur that will postpone
the triumph of truth, and that may enable the Free-trade press a little
longer to mystify their readers. A temporary rise in the price of grain
would have this effect. Such a brief respite might lull even the fears
of the sufferer, although, while the organic disease remains uncured,
it is certain to destroy him. The inconsiderate, and those whose
interest is to delude or to be deluded, think the question settled by
individual farms letting higher than before, and point triumphantly
to "grass parks" maintaining their value, or rising in rent. They are
ignorant that, as far as farmers are concerned, they must, in many
localities, take grass, whatever it may cost them, unless they are to
alter and subvert their whole system of farm management, which would
involve a loss more fatal than that which, with open eyes and under
dire necessity, they are content to endure. There is some fragment of
truth, too, in one part of Sir James Graham's speech on Mr Disraeli's
motion--in several respects the most audacious oration ever spoken
in the House of Commons. "Shopkeepers retiring from business," said
the member for Ripon, "small merchants in country towns--(ironical
cheers and laughter)--I repeat it, small traders of little capital
in country towns, are now waiting the moment to make investment in
farms."--(_Times_, 10th Feb.) Isolated cases of this kind may be
occurring, as they always have done, and, generally speaking, after
a brief career, the _emeritus_ shopkeeper retires, impoverished and
disappointed. The merchant, deluded with some poetical fancy about
the charms of a country life, takes a farm, but, like Dr Johnson's
tallow-chandler, who retired to the country, but could not keep from
town on "melting days," his heart is not in his work, and he gets
disgusted with the details of agriculture, and the affairs of his farm
speedily fall into confusion. Is Sir James Graham serious in thinking
that the prosperity of our domestic agriculture is to be recovered or
maintained by "retired shopkeepers,"--that is, by men unbred to the
business, strangers to its duties, and, of necessity, utterly destitute
of any practical knowledge of agriculture? Mr Stephens anxiously
prescribes a course of careful study and practice to his agricultural
pupil; but Sir James Graham can, with his wand, metamorphose retired
shopkeepers into _extempore_ farmers. What elevated notions the Knight
of Netherby must entertain of the qualifications of an English farmer,
and of the importance of the agricultural art--an art that it had
been hitherto supposed required great experience, and a knowledge of
the elements of all sciences, to study and conduct it to perfection!
But if retired shopkeepers are the men for the present emergency,
has Sir James Graham an army of them sufficiently numerous to occupy
the abandoned territory? For before Sir James Graham's remedy--if
its application is to be coextensive with the malady--can come into
operation, he presupposes the extermination of the present race of
farmers. Let the tenant-farmers of the nation ponder his words.
"Small traders of little capital in country towns are waiting the
moment to make investment in farms." Waiting what moment? Why, the
moment, gentlemen, when you are ruined, and are to be driven, with
your wives and families, from your homes. Any sentiment more bitterly
unfeeling, or more mockingly cruel, was never vented within the walls
of Parliament; and, to our taste, it was made more loathsome by the
oily compliments to English farmers with which it was garnished. The
ex-Minister, however, is evidently deceiving himself, and he will find
that retired shopkeepers are not such simpletons as he fancies. The
"small traders in country towns," that _very section_ of the mercantile
community who are _notoriously_ suffering _most_ from the inroads of
Free Trade, are to invest their remaining capital in farming, _that
particular business_ which has received the _deepest_ wound from Free
Trade! And this is the sheet-anchor of Sir James Graham's hope; and
this is a sample of Free-trade wisdom from the lips of its greatest
champion! No doubt there may be small traders with little capital
in the commercial world who are fools; but we begin to believe that
there may be great _traders_, with little principle, in the political
world, who, wily though they be, may reveal the cloven-foot, and defeat
their aspirations after place and power. Let us be thankful, whatever
befalls us, the English O'Connell with his threat of rebellion cannot
harm us, and the fate of the Grahamite faction is sealed! The retired
shopkeepers, instead of adopting the disinterested advice, will more
probably purchase snug villas; thus indulging their passion for the
pleasures of a country life more innocently than by waiting for the
ruin of the farmers; and thus we believe, too, that their "little
capital" will be as safe as under the self-suggested guardianship of
Sir James Graham.

Sir James Graham has no doubt of the present prosperity of agriculture,
because his rents are paid. (See _Times_, 14th Feb.) This is enough
for him, and the rest is all "but leather and prunella"--the mere
constitutional croaking of the agricultural body. We should have
liked better to have heard the views of Sir James Graham's tenantry
on this department of the subject than his own. With the value of
agricultural produce reduced thirty-five per cent, is the reward of
his tenants' industry undiminished, and their capital unimpaired?
What a draft upon the agricultural ignorance of the present House of
Commons, and what a contempt for the understanding of his auditors,
did this bold man evince by hazarding such an assertion! Any inquiry
into the sources whence his rents were paid was not thought necessary
by Sir James; and we believe that there are many more amiable men than
the Laird of Netherby who are solacing themselves with the same view.
Their rents are paid--their grass is letting--they are content--they
eschew inquiry. The struggling farmer is pinching himself and his
family, and is dipping his hand into the hard-earned savings of former
years, in order that he may meet the factor. But examination would be
unpleasant--dangerous; and any expression of sympathy even with the
sufferer, would imply a distrust of the blessings following in the wake
of the Free-trade policy. It might almost seem that many of our landed
proprietors were set at present upon acting the part of the silly bird
of the desert, which hid its head in the sand that it might not see the
destruction that was coming. The Newark election, in which the nominee
of the landlords was unceremoniously set aside by the farmers, and a
man of their own choice selected, might have taught the owners of the
soil that condign punishment may eventually await wilful ignorance
or criminal neglect of the present duties of their station, and
indifference to the condition of those whose prosperity is indissolubly
associated with their own. If degradation from that position of
influence and power which they have hitherto so justly and naturally
possessed be thought no evil, we confess, that we would wish to see
that great interest--whose importance to the welfare of the State
we have ever vindicated to the best of our power--selecting a more
graceful and magnanimous mode of self-destruction. The retention of an
undiminished rent-roll Sir James Graham has set his heart upon, as is
unblushingly implied in the speech already quoted--but this will not be
allowed him; and if there be any meaning or sincerity in his own creed,
he dares not ask it. The Free-trade press unanimously assert--and
unanswerably upon their principles, and Sir James Graham's own--that
the only and the necessary termination of agricultural distress must
conduct to a reduction of rent; and the Free-trade press is stronger
than Sir James Graham.

The _Times_ contends (or rather did contend, for here a delicate
attention to the use of the tenses should be observed) so earnestly for
the reduction of rent as the only possible solution of the difficulty,
that one must conclude that the journalist believes what he writes. We
have not sworn at the altar to fight the battles of the landowners--but
if it were possible so to arrange it, we have yet to learn upon what
principle they are to be singled out as the sole subjects for plunder.
But, as the Free-trade press have resolved upon the reduction of rent
as the right settlement of the question, it may be well for a moment
to consider what this position amounts to. It is usual to make a
threefold division of the whole annual proceeds from a farm. One-third
goes to the landlord in name of rent; one-third meets the expenditure
connected with the farm; and the remaining third goes to the tenant,
as the interest of his invested and floating capital, and as the
reward of his industry. We believe this premise cannot be challenged
as unfair. But it is universally admitted now, that the annual value
of the whole agricultural produce of the farm is reduced immensely by
the compulsion of an Act of Parliament. For the present, let us say
that the reduction amounts to 30 per cent. Then, by what would seem an
equitable distribution of this loss over the three parties, the rent
of the landlord, the wages of the agricultural labourer and the other
industrial classes dependent on agriculture, and the profits of the
farmer, should each be 30 per cent less--that is, each of the three
parties should have 30 per cent less to pay the taxes with, and to
spend upon the home trade of the nation. This would seem the natural
issue of the diminished agricultural revenue, and, when things find
their level, to this pass they will infallibly arrive. But no: the
Free-trade press have determined that the agricultural labourer shall
not suffer, and that the profit and comfort of the tenant-farmer shall
not be impaired. It is solely and exclusively a question of rent, say
they. Well, be it so. Then, in that case, the rent must be reduced, not
30, but 90 per cent; for upon this condition alone can the agricultural
labourer and the tenant-farmer be left uninjured. We defy Sir James
Graham, or any Free-trade philosopher, to escape from this conclusion.
The existing case may be illustrated in another way. Land at 40s. per
acre should produce three rents, while inferior land, at 20s. per acre,
as every competent judge will allow, should produce four rents. A
farm of 200 acres, at 40s., gives a rent of L.400, and should produce
a gross revenue of L.1200. Take wheat now as the test. The farm was
rented, and the capital invested, when that grain averaged 56s. per
quarter. But wheat has fallen one-third in price, and the L.1200 is
reduced to L.800--that is, the rent has disappeared. On the poorer farm
of the same extent, at 20s. per acre, with four rents to be raised, it
will be found, upon the same data, not only that the rent has vanished,
but L.67 in addition. The force of this demonstration can only be
evaded by denying the premises upon which it is based; but, indeed,
so impregnable is our case, that we might consent to any modification
of the premises that the most besotted admirer of Free-trade results
could dare to ask, without imperilling materially the strength of our
position. And yet Free-trade proprietors are talking gravely of a
revaluation of their acres, and of a readjustment of their rent, and
of a relinquishment of some 10 or 15 per cent of their rentals, as the
grand and all-sufficient remedy for all the sufferings under which the
agricultural interest is now struggling, although even to this point of
economic magnanimity Sir James Graham has not reached. The ex-minister
must have been filled with amazement when he heard the Queen lamenting,
not only that the occupants, but that the "owners of the soil" were
suffering. His own experience refuted the rash assertion; and, had it
been otherwise, we may conjecture that the orator would have spoken a
different speech. Personal and pecuniary loss has been known to sharpen
the wits and to clear the reasoning faculty in a remarkable manner. On
the other hand, the Free-trade press philanthropically insist that the
agricultural labourers not only are not suffering, but that they _shall
not_ suffer. It is necessary for the latter class to uphold this dogma;
for if they admitted that the wages of the labourer must diminish,
sooner or later, in proportion to the value of their work--that is,
in proportion to the value of the produce, they are instrumental
in raising--then instantly the popular delusion which they have so
assiduously cherished would be exploded, and their fame as the friends
of the poor would be dissipated. We are ready to admit that only in
certain localities has the evil reached the agricultural labourer; and
where it has not, of course the tenant-farmer is suffering not only
his own share of the infliction, but that which should properly fall
upon his dependants. It has been erroneously supposed by many that the
agricultural suffering would quickly extend itself to the industrious
poor: we never saw any good reason for supposing so. The farmer cannot,
like the spinner of flax or cotton, stop his mills, and pause in his
work, and dismiss his servants, or put them on short time; he must
proceed, at whatever risk, and hire his labourers at what they can be
got for. The fact that the agricultural labourers are not universally
in distress is undoubtedly blinding many honest men to the real
position of the country, while it is enabling Parliamentary orators,
and Whig _snipper-snappers_ from the hustings, to point to the present
comfort of this class as a proof of the success of the Free-trade
policy. But can these gentlemen be honest? Upon what principle of
political economy or common sense can the farm-labourer continue to
receive the same wages as formerly, when the value of the produce of
his labour is reduced one-third? It is certainly a grievous trial of
the patience to listen to Sir J. Graham lending his talents to the
support of a delusion so very cruel, and so very palpable.

But a truce to this strain. A very pleasant book has most innocently
led us into very unpleasant themes. Believing that the reign of
delusion is drawing to a close, and that a spirit of juster legislation
will soon prevail in the councils of the nation, and that the time
draws nigh when the occupants and owners of the soil may prosecute
their affairs with better hopes than they at present have, of enjoying
a fair reward for their toil and enterprise, we again earnestly
commend to their attentive perusal _The Book of the Farm_. To the
landed proprietors it ought to be invaluable, if they wish to be
qualified to discharge those duties which Providence has laid on
them, and which they owe to their tenantry, to the agricultural poor,
and to the nation. While the rights of every petty interest are pled
in Parliament by parties who prove their intimate acquaintance with
the disadvantages--fictitious or real--under which it labours, the
ignorance prevailing, in the present House of Commons, on the subject
of agriculture, and on its various bearings in reference to national
prosperity, is so flagrant as to have excited universal remark. A large
body, however, of that august assembly are country gentlemen, and the
charge might imply a reflection on their education and attainments.
But it would be base ingratitude to forget that patriotic band of
country gentlemen in Parliament, as well as out of it, who, in the
face of discouragements more disheartening than a great party were
ever subjected to before, have fought the battle of just legislation
so gallantly, patiently, and prudently--who have identified themselves
with the suffering tenantry--and are now contending, with brighter
hopes and revived energies, for a fair protection to native and
colonial industry, as the only mode in which the labouring poor of the
land can _permanently_ enjoy the just reward of their industry, as that
system of policy by which alone the taxes can be paid, the national
honour kept untarnished, and the constitution and the monarchy saved
from dilapidation. There are many others for whose return to their
right mind we have waited patiently. We believe that in their case an
ignorance of agricultural affairs may be the source of their present
apathy. To all gentlemen, however, living in the country, although
they may have no stake in its soil, we recommend Mr Stephens' work, as
containing most agreeable reading. We do not say that, from such, a
continuous perusal is required. They may intercalate an agricultural
season from _The Book of the Farm_, now with the corresponding season
from the "Bard of the Seasons," and now with an eclogue from Virgil.
The pleasures of a country life will thus be infinitely multiplied;
for, startling although the paradox may be, there are multitudes
resident in rural parts who look ignorantly on rural sights, and
have no knowledge of rural employments, and no sympathy with rural
habits, and who know not in reality _how to live in the country_.
Mr Stephens' work--or a better, if it can be got--ought, of course,
to be in the hands of every factor and land-steward, otherwise they
must be unfit for their business; and it ought to have a place in
every parish library, that it may be accessible in the winter nights
to the agricultural labourers. It is particularly, however, the
tenant-farmer's manual, if he is to keep pace with the progress of
his art. He may think it costly, but not with reason, if he considers
that it comprises an agricultural library in itself. The thrifty
and buxom housewives of our homesteads, too, will find admirable
instruction in _The Book of the Farm_ regarding the important branches
of duty that fall to their charge. Mr Stephens is copious regarding
everything touching the management of the dairy. Indeed, our author
seems somewhat _recherché_ on the matter of dairy produce. We acquiesce
in his approval of the deliciousness of new-made, unwashed butter,
churned from sweet cream--a luxury which our southern friends never
tasted. "Such butter," says Mr Stephens, "on cool new-baked oatcake,
overlaid with flower virgin honey, accompanied with a cup of hot
strong coffee, mollified with crystallised sugar, and cream such as
the butter is made from, is a breakfast worth partaking of, but seldom
to be obtained." Most excellent sir! on such terms we shall breakfast
with you on the morning of Saturday se'nnight, provided you add to your
matutinal _cuisine_ a veritable "Finnan" and a mutton ham of the true
flavour, (if possible, let it be from one of the Keillor four-year-old
Southdowns;) for we have long conscientiously entertained the opinion
of a late ingenious professor of Church History in our metropolitan
university, "that Edinburgh eggs are not to ride the water upon!"



    The Patriarch mild, who mused at evening-tide,
    Saw blessings come: they who with ordered feet
    Go forth, like him, their blessings too shall meet,--
    Beauty, and Grace, and Peace, harmonious side by side;

    Whether the down purpled with thyme they tread,
    Woodland, or marge of brook, or pathway sweet
    By the grave rustling of the heavy wheat,
    Singing to thankful souls the song of coming bread.

    The restless white-throat warbles through the copse;
    High sits the thrush and pipes the tree upon;
    Cloud-flushed the west, a sunny shower comes on;
    Up goes the twinkling lark through the clear slanting drops.

    In straight stiff lines sweet Nature will not run:
    The lark comes down--mute now, wings closed, no check,
    Sheer down he drops; but back he curves his neck;
    Look, too, he curves his fall just ere his nest be won.

    Here stands The Suffering Elm: in days of yore
    Three martyrs hung upon its bending bough;
    Its sympathetic side, from then till now
    Weeping itself away, drops from that issuing sore.

    Dryads, and Hamadryads; bloody groans,
    Bubbling for vent, when twigs are torn away
    In haunted groves; incessant, night and day,
    Gnarled in the knotted oak, the pent-up spirit's moans;

    And yonder trembling aspen, never still,
    Since of its wood the rueful Cross was made;--
    All these, incarnated by Fancy's aid,
    Are but extended Man, in life, and heart, and will.

    Your eye still shifting to the setting sun,
    The diamond drops upon the glistening thorns
    Are topazes and emeralds by turns;
    Twinkling they shake, and aye they tremble into one.

    Clouds press the sinking orb: he strikes a mist
    Of showery purple on the forest tops,
    The western meadows, and the skirting slopes;
    Down comes the stream a lapse of living amethyst.

    Beauty for man, O glory! yet how vain,
    Were there no higher love to correspond,
    Lifting us up, our little time beyond,
    Up from the dust of death, up to God's face again.

    The Word apart: Nature ne'er made, in whim,
    An organ but for use: our longing hope
    Of life immortal, like our hand, has scope
    To grasp the things which are: that life is thus no dream.

    We tread on legends all this storied land:
    Here flows a ferry through the mountains black
    With pinewood galleries far withdrawing back;
    Man's heart is also here, and dwarfs those summits grand:

    The virgin martyrs, half the ferry o'er,
    By ruthless men were plunged into the tide,
    Singing their holy psalm; away it died,
    Bubbling in death. The moon a blood-red sorrow wore.

    And aye, they tell, when, wan and all forlorn,
    Sickening she looks upon our world of wrong,
    And would be gone for ever, far along
    The mournful ferry dim that dying psalm is borne.

    Yon peasant swarth, his day of labour done,
    Pipes at his cottage door; his wife sits by,
    Dancing their baby to the minstrelsy:
    To temperate gladness they their sacred right have won.

    Rest after toil, sweet healing after pain;
    Repent, and so be loved, O stubborn-viced--
    The Tishbite girt severe runs before Christ:
    Such is the double law complete to mortal men.

    Yon lordly pine bends his complying head
    To eve's soft breath, and the stupendous cloud
    Shifts silently: Man's world is fitliest bowed
    By power when gently used: Force not, love thou instead.

    One cool green gleam on yonder woodland high,
    And day retires; grey twilight folds with dew
    The hooded flowers; in gulfs of darkening blue
    The starry worlds come out to Contemplation's eye.

    Home now to sleep. No part in all man's frame
    But has its double uses, firm to keep,
    Help this, round that, and beautify: of sleep,
    Complex of sweet designs, how finely 'tis the same.

    Touched with the solemn harmonies of night,
    Down do we lie our spirits to repair,
    And, fresh ourselves, make morning fresh and fair;
    Sleep too our Father gave to soften death's affright:

    In sleep we lapse and lose ourselves away,
    And thus each night our death do we rehearse.
    O, at the last may we the oblivion pierce
    Of death, as aye of sleep, and rise unto the day.



[10] _Modern State Trials_: Revised and Illustrated, with Essays
and Notes. By WILLIAM C. TOWNSEND, Esq., M.A., Q.C., Recorder of
Macclesfield. In 2 vols. 8vo. Longman Co., 1850.

"ALEXANDER HUMPHREYS, or Alexander, _pretending_ to be Earl of
Stirling," said Lord Meadowbank,[11] addressing his prisoner, on his
being first placed at the bar, "you have been served with an indictment
charging you with the crimes of forgery, and of feloniously using and
uttering as genuine, certain documents therein described, and alleged
to have been forged and fabricated, you knowing them to be so. Are you
guilty, or not guilty?"

[11] The duty here performed by the President of the Court is in
England discharged by an officer of the Court called the Clerk of

"Not guilty, my Lord," replied the prisoner, standing beside his
friend Colonel D'Aguilar. But now occurs the question--how was he to
be tried?--as a peer of Scotland, or as a commoner? If as a peer, the
court before whom he stood was incompetent to try him; for he was
entitled, by the Treaty of Union, as a peer of Scotland, to be tried
as peers of Great Britain are tried--viz., in the Court of the Lord
High Steward; and the mode of procedure is that prescribed in 1825 by
Statute 6 Geo. iv. c. 66, which required the Scottish judges to be
summoned and to sit with the English judges, and according to the law
of Scotland, [pp. 5, 6.] This privilege, however, as will be presently
seen, the prisoner waived. Then came another question: was he to be
tried as a "_landed_ man?"--by which is meant a landed proprietor. It
is a very ancient privilege of landed men, by the Scotch law, that
they should be tried only by their peers--_i.e._, their brother landed
proprietors. In process of time, however, this right has been so far
modified as to entitle the prisoner to a _majority_ only of his landed
brethren. This right also, as will shortly be seen, the prisoner
waived--having probably no pretence to the possession of any lands in
Scotland, except such as he claimed as Earl of Stirling. To meet any
possible difficulty, however, on this score, two lists of assize had
been prepared--respectively consisting of "_landed men_" and common
jurors, and "_special_ jurors" and common Jurors: the former to be
adopted "if the said Alexander Humphreys claimed, and was entitled to,
the privilege of a landed man;" the latter, "if he did _not_ claim, or
was _not_ entitled to, the privilege of a landed man."

After the prisoner had pleaded not guilty, the clerk in court read
aloud the _defences_ which, according to the procedure in Scotland,
had been lodged in court for the prisoner, signed by his two counsel.
They were entitled "Defences for Alexander Alexander, _Earl of
Stirling_,[12] against the indictment at the instance of her Majesty's

[12] This was subsequently altered to "_claiming to be_ Earl of
Stirling."--Swinton, p. 48.

These Defences were comprised in two paragraphs. The first stated that,
as Lord Cockburn's interlocutor, though not final, had decided against
the prisoner's claim to be the heir of the Earl of Stirling,[13] "he
was advised that he was not in a condition to plead the privilege of
peerage; but was bound to acknowledge the competency of that court to
proceed under the indictment before it." The second proceeded thus:--

[13] _Ante_, p. 477 _et seq._

"The panel pleads not guilty of the libel generally; and, even
particularly, he denies that he had the slightest ground to suspect
that all, or any, of the documents libelled on were forged or
fabricated. He produced them under legal advice, in the belief of
their being genuine, and useful for the support of his interest."

"A third paragraph consisted of an application to postpone the trial,
on the ground that the prisoner was not prepared for it, as _one
of his counsel_ and his agent had gone to London and Paris to make
inquiry as to several of the witnesses for the Crown, and such further
investigation as might be necessary for his defence." The words which
we have placed in italics indicate a course of procedure altogether at
variance with that adopted at the English bar.

As soon as their Defences had been read, the prisoner's counsel rose
and said, "My lords, I do not mean to claim for the panel the privilege
of a landed man; nor do we intend to state any objections to the
relevancy of the indictment." By "relevancy" (a technical term in
Scotch law) is signified "the justice and sufficiency of the matters
stated in the indictment to warrant a decree in the terms asked;"[14]
and, according to the criminal law of Scotland, this objection must
be taken, if at all, before the trial. If it be not, the prisoner
cannot make it the subject of arrest of judgment by the court, but must
refer it to the law advisers of the Crown, after the sentence has been
pronounced by them, to have such weight attached to it as may be deemed
proper, with a view to pardon or mitigation of punishment.[15]

[14] Bell's _Dictionary of the Law of Scotland_, p. 844. In civil cases
this rule is reversed.--_Id. ib._

[15] Alison's _Practice of the Criminal Law of Scotland_, p. 651.

"Let the relevancy of the indictment be determined," said the
Solicitor-General, "by your lordships pronouncing the usual

LORD MEADOWBANK.--"Alexander Humphreys, or Alexander, attend to the
interlocutor of the court," which the clerk read as follows:--

"The Lords Commissioners of Justiciary find the libel RELEVANT to
infer the pains of law, but allow the panel a proof in exculpation and
alleviation; and in respect that the panel has by his counsel waived
his right, if he any have, to be tried by a jury, of which the majority
shall consist of landed men, remit the panel, with the libel as found
relevant, to the knowledge of the _ordinary assize_."

Lists of all the witnesses and documentary proofs, on both sides,
were, as it would appear, interchanged; and the trial having been
postponed from the 3d to the 29th April 1839, on the latter day it
commenced--not however, as in England, with a preliminary statement
on the part of the prosecutor of the course of expected proof, but
with the evidence itself in detail. After that on both sides had been
adduced, the counsel for the Crown addressed the jury, and then the
counsel for the prisoner; after which Lord Meadowbank summed up. We beg
to say that we think the English course of procedure greatly preferable
to the Scottish, in commencing the trial with a temperate and lucid
statement of the case intended to be made out by the Crown, enabling
both the Court and the jury--but especially the latter--to obtain an
early clue through the labyrinth of oral and documentary proof, to see
the drift of it, and appreciate, in going along, the significance of
what is being done. In the present case, for instance, the jury were
plunged instanter into a series of details of somewhat complicated
legal proceedings, and legal and other documents: the Solicitor-General
feeling the necessity many times of interposing, to intimate that
"the object of _this_ or _that_ evidence was to show so and so," &c.
&c. And, indeed, if the jury really saw their way with only middling
clearness through the evidence, _as it was being adduced_, they were
a far shrewder and more experienced jury than it has been our lot
to see for many a long year, even at Guildhall or Westminster. In
the present case, a half-hour's calm preliminary statement, by the
Solicitor-General, of the points of the charge, and the application to
them of the evidence, would have greatly assisted the jury, possibly
even the Court, and, long afterwards, ourselves. In despair, we
leaped out of the intricate evidence into the speeches of counsel,
and the summing up of the judge, afterwards recurring to the evidence
and appendices. At length we found ourselves on sure ground, and in a
clear atmosphere; and grudged not the effort we had made to overcome
the obstacles of which we have been complaining, and also the difficult
technicalities of Scottish criminal law procedure.

It will be recollected that the indictment embraced three distinct
classes of alleged forgeries--the excerpt charter of _Novodamus_, the
Le Normand packet, and the De Porquet packet. To establish the "using"
and "uttering" of these instruments, evidence was given of their having
been adduced, on the part of the prisoner, in the various Scottish
courts in which he had from time to time asserted, and endeavoured to
maintain his claims. Lord Cockburn's important judgment of the 10th
December 1836 was also put in evidence, as were also the examinations
of the prisoner, some of his correspondence, and the instruments
charged by the indictments to be forgeries. Let us take these latter in
their order; and--

this a genuine or a forged document? The acute and learned scrutiny to
which it was subjected elicited remarkable and most decisive results.
We know a little more than was disclosed to the Court--namely, that
the mysterious discovery of this "excerpt" was communicated to the
prisoner from Ireland by his indefatigable agent, Mr Banks, on the
17th March 1829. All that was proved before the Court was, that the
prisoner delivered it in that year to his law-agents, who immediately
commenced proceedings in the Scotch courts to "_prove its tenor_." Let
it be observed, that "this most suspicious scrap of writing," as the
Solicitor-General styled it,[16] professed to be only an "excerpt" of
a lost charter of King Charles I., dated the 7th December 1639--not
an entire copy, but only "an abridged copy;" and the exigencies of
the prisoner's case had required that _that_ identical excerpt should
have been in existence at least as long ago as the year 1723,[17]
since it bore an indorsement[18] by "Thomas Conyers," attesting its
authenticity, dated the 10th July 1723. It will be impossible, however,
to appreciate the force of the delicate but decisive evidence brought
to bear upon this unlucky document, unless we have a distinct idea of
the different stages of progress through which a royal charter would
have to pass in the year 1639. They were explained at the trial by
several learned and experienced officials; and we have taken some pains
to clear away technicalities, and present their evidence briefly and
popularly. The stages, then, through which a royal charter had to pass
were three.

[16] Swinton, p. 196.

[17] _Ante_, p. 470, _et passim_.

[18] _Ante_, p. 474.

_First_ came the SIGNATURE. This was not, as the word would ordinarily
import, and in England, a mere name signed, or mark, but an entire
document, constituting the foundation of the proposed charter, and
containing its essential elements. It is drawn up in English by a
Writer to the Signet, and brought by him, on a given day, to a Baron
of the Exchequer to be examined, in order to ascertain that it is
correct, especially as to the "_reddendo_," or annual feu-money due
to the Crown. On being satisfied of its accuracy, the Baron marks the
signature as "revised;" and in due time the sign-manual is affixed
to it. It is then complete--is recorded in the Exchequer Record--and
retained by the Keeper of the Signet. There is subscribed to it only
the date, and the words, "At Whitehall, [     ] the day of [     ] ."

_Secondly_, Warranted by the possession of this revised "signature,"
the Keeper of the Signet issues a "_Precept to the Privy Seal_," which
is simply a Latin translation of the English signature, and is recorded
in the Privy Seal Office. That office then issues this precept to the
Great Seal; and it is to be noted that this Privy Seal Precept has
subscribed to it the words, "PER SIGNETUM," which seems to be an
abbreviation of the words, "_per_ preceptum datum sub _signeto_ nostro."

_Thirdly_, As soon as this Privy Seal Precept has reached the Chancery
Office, the functionaries there draw up formally, and _in extenso_, THE
CHARTER, which is sealed with the Great Seal; the Privy Seal Precept on
which it is grounded either remaining in the Chancery Office, or being
lodged in the General Records of Scotland. This completed Charter,
alone, has a testing clause; and it is the Privy Seal Precept only
which bears, as we have seen, the words "_per signetum_."

See, then, the origin, progress, and completion of a Royal Charter
in 1639--SIGNATURE; PRIVY SEAL PRECEPT; CHARTER; each having its
appropriate depositary or record--the Signet Office, the Privy Seal
Office, the Great Seal Office; to which, indeed, may be added a fourth,
the COMPTROLLER OF EXCHEQUER'S REGISTER, where also was recorded every
instrument of the above description, to enable that officer to account
to the Crown for the feu-duties. These four old registers, or records,
are all completed from periods long anterior to the year 1639, down to
the present day, with the exception of a _hiatus_ of twelve leaves at
the commencement of the fifty-seventh volume of the Great Seal Record;
but the contents of these twelve leaves were clearly ascertainable from
the indexes of other records. "It is the boast of this country," said
Lord Meadowbank, in summing up, to the jury,[19] "and always has been,
that its registers have been kept with a regularity unknown elsewhere."

[19] Swinton, p.309.

If, therefore, there ever had been such a charter as that of which
the document under consideration professed to be an excerpt, that
charter ought to have been found _in every one of the four_ records
or registers above mentioned.[20] Add to this, that William Earl of
Stirling was himself, at the time, the Keeper of the Signet,[21] and
also "a man of talent, and attentive to his own interests--not likely
to have received grants of such unusual importance as those contained
in the charter in question, without seeing them properly carried
through the seals."[22]

[20] Per Lord Meadowbank, _Id. ib._

[21] _Id._, p. 84.

[22] _Id._, p. 94.

Now for the excerpt itself, and its aspect. It was written on several
single leaves of paper, not numbered, apparently cut recently out
of some book, and stitched together, the outside leaf being brought
round and stitched down on the remaining leaves. The colour was a
uniform deep brown--equally so underneath the margin covered over at
the stitching. There were ruled red lines round the pages. The writing
appeared "fresh"--at all events, not so old as the paper; and was not
in a Scotch chancery-hand, or any hand used in the Register Office,
but like that used in engrossing deeds in England and Ireland. The
language of the excerpt was Latin--but such Latin! and it extended to
about thirty English common-law folios, containing seventy-two words
each. At the beginning of the charter, on the right-hand side, were the
abbreviations, "REG. MAG. SIG. LIB. LVII."--_i.e._, "_Registrum Magni
Sigilli, Liber LVII_."

The only portion of the excerpt with which we shall trouble the reader
_in extenso_, is the conclusion--the testing part--which (especially
the part in italics) is worthy of the utmost attention; and we adopt
the translation used at the trial:--"Witnesses: _the most reverend
father in Christ and our well-beloved councillor, John, by the mercy
of God Archbishop of St Andrew's, Primate and Metropolitan of our
kingdom of Scotland, our chancellor_; our well-beloved cousins and
councillors, James, Marquis of Hamilton; Earl of Arran and Cambridge;
Lord Aven and Innerdaile; Robert, Earl of Roxburghe; Lord Ker, of
Cesford and Casertoun, Keeper of our Privy Seal; our beloved familiar
councillors, Sir John Hay of Barro, Clerk of our Rolls, Register, and
Council; John Hamiltoun of Orbestoun, our Justice-Clerk; and John Scot
of Scotstarvet, Director of our Chancery, Knights. At our Court of
Quhythall, _the 7th day of the month of December, in the year of God
1639, and of our reign the 15th year_.

  _Per Signetum._"

On the back of this document was written--"Excerpt from the original
charter to William, Earl of Stirling, 7th December 1639. T. C."
[_i.e._, Thomas Conyers.] This indorsement was also alleged in the
indictment to be a forgery. Here, then, we have an "excerpt" or
"abridged copy" of a royal charter, dated the 7th December 1639,
granted by King Charles I. to one of his most distinguished subjects,
conferring high dignities and vast possessions; a charter yielded to
the anxious importunity of the Earl in his old age, "when labouring
under great dejection of spirits, after losing three of his sons, who
had given him the highest hopes, and fearing, from the declining health
of two of the survivors, that his honours might, at no distant period,
pass to a collateral branch of his family."[23] And this Earl, too, the
head of the office in which the charter originated. NOW, FIRST, the
records of every one of the four departments above mentioned--viz.,
the Signature Record, the Comptroller of the Exchequer's Record, the
Privy Seal Record, and the Great Seal Record--had been rigorously
searched, _and not the faintest trace of such an instrument appeared
in any of, them_!--it being sworn that, had it ever existed, it must
have been found in ALL! "This might possibly have been accounted for,"
said the Solicitor-General,[24] "had there been but one register only;
more especially if a blank had occurred in that register, through
the obliteration, imperfection, or loss of a volume, or part of a
volume. But where there are four independent registers, and these all
concurring to supply, in the fullest detail, the necessary evidence
as to all _other_ charters, [of which various instances were proved
at the trial,] and when you find that _this_ charter is not recorded
in _any one_ of them, it is quite impossible to believe--it would
really be asking too much of credulity itself to believe--that such
a document could ever have existed." If this instrument were the
handiwork of a forger, it may be reasonable to suppose him capable
of appreciating the efficacy of the negative evidence which might be
brought against him, and to endeavour to supply it. This brings us,
SECONDLY, to the memorandum in the margin of the first page of the
excerpt--_i.e._, _Reg. Mag. Sig. Lib. LVII._--which meant that the
charter itself was to have been found "in the fifty-seventh volume of
the Register (or Record) of the Great Seal." We have already seen[25]
that, in point of fact, twelve leaves, at the beginning _of that
volume_, were amissing; and the suggestion, or rather assertion, of
the prisoner, when he commenced his legal proceedings to prove the
tenor of the missing charter, was, that it was to have been found in
one of these twelve leaves, "which had perished, or disappeared--that
being a matter of public notoriety, and was so observed by the Lords
of Council and Session in their return of the 27th February 1740, to
an order of the House of Lords of the 12th June 1719, respecting the
state of the Peerage in Scotland."[26] Here, then, are only _twelve_
leaves missing; and on referring to one of the writings indorsed on
the map of Canada, (in the Le Normand packet,) the writer stated
he had _seen_ the charter, and "it extended over _fifty_ pages of
writing."[27] On this subject, Lord Meadowbank proposed the following
question to the jury--"Putting aside the evidence of this index,
could you have believed, when there is no evidence or trace of this
charter in the volume where it should be found, that it could, _out
of its place_, have been crammed into the twelve pages that are lost,
when the prisoner's own evidence tells you the charter extended to
fifty-eight?"[28] To proceed, however--What will the reader suppose was
proved at the trial? First, two ancient indexes of the missing twelve
pages of vol. lvii. were produced, unerringly indicating the charters
which had stood recorded there, and among which was _not_ the charter
in question, but only those of date _subsequent_ to the year 1639;
while all the charters of that year 1639 stood regularly recorded in
the previous--the fifty-sixth volume; and among them, also, was _not_
to be found the charter in question. Mr George Robertson, one of the
Joint-Keepers of the Records, thus certified on oath: "I have searched
the principal record of the fifty-seventh volume of the Great Seal
Register, and at the beginning of the said fifty-seventh volume, twelve
leaves have been destroyed or lost. The charters originally recorded
in these missing leaves are, however, ascertained with precision from
two ancient indexes of the Great Seal Record. I have examined these,
and can state as the result, that the twelve leaves now lost did not
contain any charter, diploma, patent, nor other grant, in favour of
William, Earl of Stirling, nor of any Earl of Stirling, nor of any
person of the name of Alexander." Still further, however: the words
on the margin, "_Reg. Mag. Sig. Lib. LVII._," purported to have been
written there by the framer of the excerpt, in the year 1723; and three
experienced official gentlemen declared their confident opinion, that
no such marking was coeval with the making of the excerpt itself. It
was established at the trial, that this mode of referring to the Great
Seal Records was _quite a modern one_, commencing with the year 1806
only: a fact proved by the very author of the arrangement, and his
assistant; by whom, in the latter year, the Records were re-bound,
and the titles made uniform, for facility of reference, in lieu of
the loose and discordant methods of reference till then in use! Other
experienced officials proved that till the year 1806 no such mode of
reference as "_Reg. Mag. Sig._" existed, and they gave specimens of the
former mode: _e. g._ "_Chart. in Archivis_," appeared in a law book
of 1763; and in a subsequent edition, in the year 1813, the reference
was altered to "_Mag. Sig._" If, therefore, the "excerpt" were a
modern forgery, it would almost appear as if the fabricator, aware of
the missing leaves of Vol. LVII., but not knowing _how very recent
was the lettering on the back_--"Reg. Mag. Sig."--had taken it for
granted that it was coeval with the original formation of the volume,
or at least had been there for a century--viz. since 1723. But if this
reference--"_Reg. Mag. Sig. Lib. LVII._"--were a forgery, it must
have been a very modern one, necessarily _later_ than the year 1806,
the date of Mr Thomson's rebinding of the Record, and changing the
titling. But we have seen that the prisoner had accompanied his father
to France in the year 1802, and did not return to England till 1814;
and in the subsequent year told his own agent, Mr Corrie, that he had
no documents to support his claim. Is it a fair inference from these
dates that, down to at least the year 1815, the famous excerpt was not
in existence--or at least unknown to the prisoner? So much for the
negative evidence that any such genuine document as the alleged Charter
of 7th December 1639 had ever existed. But,

[23] _Ante_, p. 473.

[24] Swinton, p. 205.

[25] _Ante._

[26] _Id._, p. 475. Swinton, App., p. vii.

[27] _Ante_, p. 484.

[28] Swinton, p. 311. This seems a slight inaccuracy, on the part of
the learned Judge, of fifty-_eight_ instead of fifty.--_Ante_, p. 484.

THIRDLY, the excerpt itself seemed to furnish a most conspicuous
and glaring demonstration of spuriousness: we allude to the alleged
attestation of the Charter by ARCHBISHOP SPOTTISWOODE, in the capacity
of "OUR CHANCELLOR" of the kingdom, and as such, keeper of the Great
Seal. Spottiswoode, the Archbishop of St Andrews, was undoubtedly for
a considerable period Chancellor of Scotland; and his name is found
in the Records as an official witness to all Charters from the Crown,
passing the Great Seal of Scotland during the time that he held it.
In the excerpt Charter, he appears in that capacity at the alleged
date of the instrument--viz, the 7th December 1639; but, behold! not
only had he ceased to be Chancellor on the 13th November 1638, _but
he had actually died on the 26th November 1639_--that is, eleven days
before that on which he was made to attest the alleged Charter of
Novodamus! These facts were proved, beyond all doubt, both directly and
collaterally, as, for instance, by an instrument of a nature similar
to that before the Court, dated only four days afterwards--namely the
11th December 1639--a Charter in favour of the City of Edinburgh, and
attested, &c., not by "John, Archbishop and Chancellor," but by his
successor, the Marquis of Hamilton, (whose appointment on the 13th
November 1638 was proved,) and this very "William Earl of Stirling
and Canada," and others: all of whom were also witnesses, on the
same day, to another charter, to Heriot's Hospital. Here, then, was
a great Charter, making under the Great Seal magnificent grants to a
Scottish nobleman, and attested by a non-existent Chancellor, whose
temporary successor had been installed in office thirteen months
previous to the date of the Charter! Mr Swinton acutely points out[29]
the source of this blunder, assuming the excerpt to be altogether
a forgery. Archbishop Spottiswoode, as has been seen, ceased to be
Chancellor on the 13th November 1638, and died on the 26th of the
ensuing November--_i.e._ eleven days before the date of the alleged
Charter. Now, from the date of the Archbishop's resignation, till the
appointment of the Earl of Loudon as Chancellor in 1641, the Great Seal
was in commission, the head commissioner being the Marquis of Hamilton.
But it singularly happens, that, in the catalogues of the Scottish
Chancellors appended to Spottiswoode's History, and other works, the
list during the reign of Charles I. and the Commonwealth, is given as

  "1622, George Hay, Earl of Kinnoul.
  1635, John Spottiswoode, Archbishop of St Andrews.
  1641, John Campbell, Earl of Loudon.
  1660, William Cunninghame, Earl of Glencairne."

----no mention being made, nor any notice taken, of the interval
between the resignation of the Archbishop and the appointment of the
Earl of Loudon. From this it may be inferred that the fabricator of the
document, if it were fabricated, took it for granted that from 1635 to
1641, and consequently in the year 1639, falling within that interval,
the Archbishop was Chancellor of Scotland. But again--Is there any
reason assignable for the supposed fabricator having pitched on the
particular date of 9th December 1639? Yes! In Crawford's Life of the
Archbishop, the death of that prelate is erroneously alleged to have
occurred on the 27th _December_ 1639!--_i.e._, just eighteen days after
the completion of the alleged Charter.[30] These really seemed rather
awkward facts! But,

[29] _Pref._ p. xxi.

[30] Swinton, p. 209.

FOURTHLY, there was apparently another great blot pointed out by the
lawyers. Immediately after the above-mentioned _testing clause_,
followed the words "_Gratis._--PER SIGNETUM."[31] Now, it has been
seen that the testing clause is the conclusion of only a _completed
Charter_. This "excerpt," therefore, if taken from any document, must
have been taken from a completed Charter. It could not have been taken
from the Signature, nor the Signet Precept, nor the Privy Seal Precept,
for in none of these instruments could such a clause appear. But in
addition to this testing clause, appear the words "_Per Signetum!_"
which are never to be found in any charter at all, but only in the
Privy Seal Precept! So that here was a document containing, on the
one hand, words (the testing clause) which are to be found in only a
completed charter, and which could not exist in a Privy Seal Precept;
and, on the other hand, certain other words (_Per Signetum_) never to
be found in a completed charter, but only in a Privy Seal Precept! It
was accordingly sworn unhesitatingly by all the professional witnesses,
even on the strength of these conclusive elements of intrinsic
evidence alone, that the document before the Court _could not be_ an
excerpt, or copy, of any authentic writ of any description whatever,
known in the law of Scotland. There seems some little force in the
Solicitor-General's observation on this part of the case: "Gentlemen,
is there not here, then, the clearest and most satisfactory evidence
that this is not, and cannot be, an excerpt from any real or genuine
document? There is an incongruity about it, which shows it could not
have been copied from any document that ever existed. The writer of
it--whoever he was--may have had a sort of glimmering of what it ought
to have been; but still, in his ignorance, he has made a monster of it.
It is utterly impossible, looking merely to the intrinsic evidence,
that it could be the document which it professes to be."

[31] When the precept issues in favour of a Writer to the Signet,
or of the Keeper of the Signet, (as Lord Stirling then was,) the
precept passes the signet _gratis_: and that word is written at the
bottom.--Swinton, p. 84.

FIFTHLY, Not satisfied with these rigorous assaults upon the
genuineness and authenticity of this unfortunate document, the Scotch
lawyers detected, as they considered, several serious _intrinsic_
evidences of spuriousness. _First_, the alleged charter professed to
convey estates which had _never belonged to the Scottish Crown_--viz.,
lands, provinces, and territorial rights in New England. "It is not
possible," said Lord Meadowbank, and the professional witnesses
supported him, "that a charter granted by a king of Scotland could
convey--or be granted, as if it had conveyed any property not belonging
to the Crown of Scotland. That such a SIGNATURE should have passed the
Barons of Exchequer, and their officers, is beyond all belief:" for it
must be remembered, that the "Signature" is, in its first stage towards
a charter, submitted to a Baron of Exchequer, to be "revised," before
the sign-manual is affixed to it. This is, undoubtedly, a fact lending
great weight to any really inconsistent or objectionable provisions in
the "Signature," or subsequent charter. _Secondly_, In Crown charters
of resignation, to which that in question professed to belong, it was
proved that the _dates_ of the resignation were "invariably given:"
here were none--and this objection also must have escaped the somnolent
Baron of the Exchequer of 1639. _Thirdly_, The "Charter" stated a
resignation to have been made by a grandson of the Earl of Stirling,
in the Earl's lifetime; which resignation the grandson had no title
to make; and till he had, _having_ nothing, he could resign nothing
according to the law of Scotland; and such could never have passed
the Exchequer. _Fourthly_, The alleged charter professed to convey
the titles and dignities of the earldom; the Earl professed to resign
his earldom, which the king, by that deed, was made to reconvey, with
_precedency from the date of the first grant_. "This," said Lord
Meadowbank, and the evidence supported him, "I believe to be altogether
unprecedented. It was totally unnecessary--the precedency conveyed
following as a matter of course. I have seen many such grants, and
_never_ such a dignity reconveyed, with such a stipulation." _Fifthly_,
While the invariable practice, in Royal Charters to Peers, is to
address the one concerned as "_consanguineus_ noster," and never to
give that title to a commoner, the alleged charter in question twice
applied that title to Alexander, the son of the peer, (consequently a
commoner,) and _not_ to the Earl himself!

LASTLY, As to the structure and aspect of the "Excerpt." It had red
lines round the margin, which (said the principal witness, Mr Thomson,
the Deputy-Clerk Register,) "were not introduced till the year 1780:
at least it has not come under my notice at an earlier period." Then,
again, three gentlemen, "the most experienced," said Lord Meadowbank,
"as to old writings that are to be found here or anywhere else,"
stated that, at looking at the document, they had at first sight not
the least doubt or difficulty in saying, that they did not believe
it to be genuine, but of _recent fabrication_. One of them, the Mr
Thomson above mentioned, declared that the paper was older than the
ink in which the words on the face of it were written; that where the
paper was folded over and stitched down, it was of the same tinge
with the body of the paper which had been exposed to the air, and
which could not be, had it been folded for any length of time. Here it
must have been so folded for at least a century. That the "excerpt"
appeared to consist of separate leaves recently cut from a book--all
of them half-sheets detached from each other; and that where, under
the cover, the paper should have been whiter, through non-exposure to
the atmosphere, it was not of a different colour from the rest of it.
Two eminent professors of chemistry were engaged by the Court to make
experiments on a portion of the paper, in order to ascertain whether
the dark colour of the paper was the natural result of age, or of
artificial means used to obtain that result. The doctors, however,
came to opposite conclusions; and their evidence, therefore, was
properly discarded from the case. _Finally_, As to the character of the
handwriting, one of the most experienced of the professional witnesses,
Mr Mackenzie, a Writer to the Signet of thirty-six years' standing,
made, in the opinion of Lord Meadowbank, "a very striking remark:" that
the writing was in a peculiar hand, in imitation of _old hand_, which
was altogether different from the _Chancery hand_ in which charters in
Scotland are written; that he had never before seen a copy made like
the one in question, in _old hand_; and that a person sitting down to
make a copy of such a charter, would do it in the running-hand of the
country where it was written. "It is my duty to observe to you," said
Lord Meadowbank, "that impressions made by such appearances," as the
above, "on the minds of persons of skill, at first sight, are often
of great weight.... I leave this part of the case with this single
observation--that the impression of these witnesses, when they first
saw it, was to the prejudice of the genuineness of this document,
as an excerpt from a genuine charter. Whether it was a writing
somewhat older, or only thirty years old, seems to be very little to
the purpose; but they said it appeared to be a document of recent
formation--that that was the first impression made upon their minds,
when it was submitted to their inspection." The Solicitor-General
had thus closed _his_ remarks on the subject of the above excerpt
charter: "These considerations make the absence of all explanation as
to the history of this document a most suspicious circumstance in the
prisoner's case; so much so, with submission, that the possession of
the deed must be accounted for by the prisoner in some way or other,
before he can shake himself free from the charge that is now made
against him."

The following is the substance of the answer to this portion of the
case, offered by his eloquent and ingenious advocate. Unable to
struggle against the bulk of the professional evidence tending to
impeach the genuineness of the excerpt, and to disprove the existence
of the alleged charter from which it was taken, Mr Robertson admitted
that there were the great distinctions which had been alleged, between
a completed charter and the instrument which preceded it; that the
words "_per signetum_" could not properly appear on a completed
charter; that the document under consideration purported to be an
excerpt of such completed charter; that the abbreviations "_Reg. Mag.
Sig. Lib. LVII._" could not appear on an excerpt of the date assigned
by the prisoner to that which he had brought forward before the
Scottish courts; that it was proved that no such charter as that of the
9th Dec. 1639 was entered on record; and that Archbishop Spottiswoode
could not have attested such an instrument, having undoubtedly ceased
to be chancellor, and died previously to its date. BUT he said that
there was a vast difference between a genuine, though erroneous copy,
and a forged principal; and also between a forgery (if such it were)
so palpable as to challenge everybody's notice, and one so skilfully
executed as to have been capable of deceiving all the Scottish law
functionaries, and the prisoner's own law advisers, and himself, for
a period of ten years, during which it had been courting examination,
without forgery having been suggested till that prosecution. But
_was_ the excerpt proved to be a forgery? The statement in the Lord
Ordinary's judgment, relating to Hovenden's affidavit, showed that
there was evidence--or something like it--in that proceeding, to
establish the existence of the excerpt in 1723. The document was not
a _copy_ of the alleged charter, but only an excerpt or _extract_;
and so might be explained the absence of some matters which would
be in the original. And as to the admitted _errors_, the excerpt
was made in Ireland, not in Scotland; was "an old _Irish_ bungled
copy"--a "blundered _Irish_ extract"--"an _Irish_ excerpt of a copy of
a deed"--"an _Irish_ copy." The marking "_Reg. Mag. Sig. Lib. LVII._"
in the margin may have been an _ex post facto_ addition by some third
person, who may be the person who had invented the story of Cromwell
carrying off the records of Scotland. "_Consanguineus_ noster," and
the attestation of the Archbishop, were both Irish blunders. "And on
such evidence," said Mr Robertson, "this bungled excerpt is to be held
proved to be a deliberate forgery!"[32] Before leaving this part of
the case, let us remind the reader of the fact mentioned in our former
Number, that it was Mr Thomas Christopher Banks who, according to
his own letter, discovered this challenged "excerpt" in Ireland, and
transmitted it to the prisoner; that the prisoner's council elicited
at the trial that this Mr Thomas Christopher Banks had been seen, by a
witness, alive, at Edinburgh, _a few weeks before the trial, and at the
office of the Crown Solicitor_; and that Mr Banks was not called as a
witness by either side.

[32] _Ante_, p. 470.

Was then this "excerpt charter" a forgery, or a genuine document? The
reader has before him the same materials for forming a judgment which
were presented to the Edinburgh jury. Let us proceed now to--

before us, in the large _facsimile_, nearly a yard square, (one
prepared for use at the trial,) prefixed to Mr Swinton's Report,
representing eight different inscriptions or indorsements, on the back
of an old French map of Canada. Six of them are written on the paper
itself of the map, and two on two other pieces of paper, which were
afterwards pasted on the back of the map. We beg to repeat emphatically
the observation made in our last Number,[33] that "we doubt whether
such an extraordinary document, or series of documents, as this
map, with its accompaniments, has ever, before or since, challenged
deliberate judicial investigation." It is at once fearful and ludicrous
to regard these documents as forgeries, _expected by their fabricators
to be received as genuine_, and intrepidly submitted to competent
scrutiny. So, at least, we own it would have appeared to ourselves;
but, after all, there is nothing like a jury for deciding upon
conflicting testimony. We cordially concur in the following admirable
observations of Lord Brougham, delivered on a very important occasion,
when he was sitting as Lord Chancellor,[34]--"The best tribunal for
investigating contested facts is a jury [of twelve men] of various
habits of thinking, of various characters of understanding, of various
kinds of feeling, of moral feeling--all of which circumstances enter
deeply into the capacity of such individuals.... The diversity of
the minds of the jury, even if they are taken without any experience
as jurors, their various habits of thinking and feeling, and their
diversity of cast of understanding, and their discussing the matter
among themselves, and the very fact of their not being lawyers, their
not being professional men, and believing as men believe, and _acting_
on their belief, in the ordinary affairs of life, give them a capacity
of aiding the court in their eliciting of truth, which no single
judge, be he ever so largely gifted with mental endowments, be he
ever so learned with respect to past experience in such matters, can
possess." Without presuming therefore to express, or even to suggest or
insinuate, anything like dissatisfaction with the conclusions arrived
at by the jury with reference to the class of facts now before us, but
more fully laid before them, we request the reader to imagine himself
a juryman, under a sacred obligation to resist prejudice and guard
against first impressions.

[33] _Ante_, p. 483.

[34] Starkie On Evidence, vol. i. p. 8, note G. 3d ed.

It is proper to remind the reader that the very essence of the
prisoner's pedigree, as he endeavoured to establish it before Lord
Cockburn, consisted of proof that the Reverend John Alexander (John
No. 3)[35] was the son of John of Antrim, (John No. 2;) and that this
John No. 2 was the son of John of Gartmore (John No. 1.) "The whole of
the case," said Lord Cockburn on the 3d December 1836, "depends upon
_the genuineness of these two descents_."[36] And his judgment, as has
been seen, demolished the case which had been set up before him, for he
pronounced "that the evidence, whether considered in its separate parts
or as a whole, was utterly insufficient."[37] Now, if the writings
on the back of the map were genuine and authentic, they exactly
established, beyond all possibility of cavilling, the case which it
was the prisoner's object to establish; going, moreover, far beyond
the exigencies springing out of the adverse judgment of Lord Cockburn.
For, _first_, those writings were designed to demonstrate not only that
John No. 3 was son of John No. 2, and the son of John No. 1; but also,
_secondly_, that the ORIGINAL CHARTER OF NOVODAMUS, of the 9th December
1639, was bodily in existence in the archives of Canada in the year
1702--as indubitably attested by those who had seen and examined it,
and made copies and extracts from it!--as testified by right reverend,
noble, and royal personages, two very eminent bishops, a marchioness,
and a king of France--all under their own hands. These singular
writings, eight in number, were given _in extenso_ and _verbatim_, but
translated into English in our last Number;[38] and we hope that the
reader will take the trouble of referring to, and carefully reading
them, before he proceeds further with the present paper. We promise him
that his trouble shall be amply repaid, by disclosures which he will
then, and then only, fully appreciate.

[35] See the Pedigree, _ante_, p. 473.

[36] Swinton, Append., p. xxiii.

[37] _Id._, p. xxix.

[38] _Ante_, p. 484-7.

I. FIRST comes the statement, written on the back of the map, of a
certain "M. MALLET"--supposed to be a Canadian French gentleman--who
simply makes the memorandum in question, without signing it, or
mentioning his own name, but heading it, "_Lyons_, 4th August 1706." He
states that in the year 1702 he was residing in Acadia [Nova Scotia.]
"His curiosity had been excited by what he was told of an '_ancient_'
charter, preserved in the archives of that province--it is the charter
of confirmation, _De Novo Damus_, of date 9th December 1639." He says,
"My friend Lacroix gave me _a copy_ of it, which _I took the precaution
of having duly attested_. From this authentic document I am about to
present some extracts, in order that every person who opens this map
[the one in question] of our American possessions, may form an idea of
the vast extent of territory which was granted by the King of _England_
to one of his subjects. _If the fate of war, or any other event, should
replace New France and Acadia under the dominion of the English, the
family of Stirling would possess these two provinces, as well as New
England_, as well as--" and then he quotes the "passages," as from the
original charter. He proceeds, "_The order of succession!_ to this
inheritance is as follows:" and gives the entire of the new limitations
of the alleged charter _in extenso_!--concluding, "Thus the King of
England has given to the Earl, and has secured to his descendants in
perpetuity, enough of land to found a powerful empire in America." So
much for M. Mallet. Opposite his important memorandum was the following
autograph memorandum, forming No.--

VIII. in our series, of LOUIS XV! "This note is worthy of some
attention, under present circumstances; but let THE COPY of the
original charter be sent to me." Subjoined to M. Mallet's memorandum
was another--

II. Signed "CARON SAINT ESTIENNE," and dated "_Lyons_, 6th April
1707," announcing the sudden death of the aforesaid M. Mallet, whose
loss was, it seems, an irreparable one to his friends, from his "good
qualities and rare understanding." He it was who "first procured M.
Saint Estienne a perusal of the charter--an extraordinary document
extending over fifty pages," and the "unclassical Latin" of which
shocked the accomplished reader. He says that "the above note of M.
Mallet is _precious_--giving in few words an extremely correct idea
of the wonderful charter in question." "As to the _copy_," which M.
Mallet had "taken the precaution of having duly attested," M. Estienne
informs us by whom it had been attested--viz. by the Keeper of the
Records, and the Acadian witnesses--and it, (the copy) must be in
entire conformity with the register of Port Royal."--"M. Mallet had
foreseen," observes his friend St Estienne, "that the _copy_ would
not make _the charter_ known in France, hence he conceived the idea
note which all the world may read with interest. Had he lived long
enough"--poor soul--"he could have added to this interest; for _he
wished to obtain information in England_ as to the then situation of
the descendants of the Earl who had obtained the charter; and all the
information which he might have received respecting them, he would have
transferred to this very map." M. St Estienne, however, concludes with
the consolatory assurance--"But, after all, with the two documents [_i.
e._ the duly attested copy, and his own memorandum on the map] "which
he has left to us, no person in France _can question the existence of
such a charter_." Here then were two gentlemen who had been actually
favoured with a sight of the _ipsissima charta_; had obtained a copy of
it from a third (M. Lacroix)--himself, doubtless, similarly privileged;
had taken the precaution of having that copy officially attested;
and had given accurate extracts of its essential provisions. We are,
however, under still farther obligations to the solicitous vigilance
of St Estienne; for two months afterwards he procured no less a person
than Flechier, the eminent Bishop of Nismes, to add the sanction of his
eminent name to the authenticity of his--St Estienne's--memorandum.
Accordingly, the obliging Bishop wrote on the map the following

III. Signed "Esprit, Ev. de Nismes," [_i. e._ Esprit Flechier, Bishop
of Nismes] and dated, "Nismes, 3d June 1707." The Bishop had been shown
by St Estienne the "copy" of the charter, and thus chronicles the
event--"I read lately at the house of Monsieur Sartre, at Caveyrac,
the copy of the Earl of Stirling's charter. In it I remarked many
curious particulars, mixed up with a great many uninteresting details,
[what a natural observation!] I think, therefore, that the greatest
obligations are due to M. Mallet for having, by the above note, enabled
the French public to judge of the extent and importance of the grants
made to the Scottish nobleman. _I also find that he has extracted
the most essential clauses of the charter_; and, in translating them
into French, he has given them with great fidelity (!) Monsieur Caron
St Estienne has _asked me_ to bear this testimony. I do so with the
greatest pleasure." Courteous and venerable Bishop of Nismes! But you
must now make your exit, for an Archbishop approaches, and that no
less a personage than the great, the good, the justly revered FENELON,
Archbishop of Cambray, who, in the ensuing autumn--viz., on the 16th
October 1707--on the solicitation doubtless of St Estienne, and other
zealous friends of the excellent deceased M. Mallet, condescended to
write the following memorandum round the margin of a letter presented
to him for that purpose, and forming No.--

V. "The friends of the late Mr. Ph. Mallet will doubtless read with
great interest this letter of a _grandson of the Earl of Stirling's_!
M. Cholet, of Lyons, setting out to-day, 16th October 1707, on his
way home, will have the honour of delivering it to M. Brossette, on
the part of Madame de Lambert. To authenticate it, I have written
and signed this marginal note. FR. AR. DUC DE CAMBRAY." "Nec Deus
intersit," says our ancient astute adviser, "nisi dignus vindice
nodus." Who, thinks the reader, was the writer of the letter thus
solemnly authenticated by so distinguished a witness? Who but (the very
man of all others on earth that was wanted)--JOHN OF ANTRIM--John No.
2--John Alexander, grandson of the first Earl of Stirling!

IV. This was a letter of John Alexander, dated "Antrim, 27th August,
1707,"--_i. e._ five years only before his death--addressed to a
certain Marchioness de Lambert, a lady of fashion, whose splendid
hospitalities he therein commemorates. He there thanks her ladyship for
having, through the good-natured interposition of _the Archbishop_,
favoured him so soon with a copy of "the note respecting '_my
grandfather's_ charter.'" "I shall preserve with care the interesting
note of M. Mallet. The charter was _at one time registered in Scotland,
as well as in Acadia_: but during the Civil War, and under the
usurpation of Cromwell, boxes containing a portion of the records of
that kingdom were lost during a storm at sea; and, according to THE
ANCIENT TRADITION of our family, the REGISTER in which this charter
was RECORDED was amongst the number of those that perished! Such,
madam, is all that I can say in reply to your questions; for it is
impossible, in this country of Ireland, to obtain any other information
with regard to the registered charter. I believe that MY GRANDMOTHER"
[_i. e._ the first countess] "gave _the ORIGINAL CHARTER (which she
brought from Scotland, when she came to take up her abode in Ireland)
to her son-in-law, Lord Montgomery, in order that he might preserve
it carefully in Castle Comber, where he resided_. I shall ascertain
what this family have done with it; and I shall have the honour of
acquainting you with any discovery which I may make." He proceeded
to give a remarkably neat and succinct account of that state of the
pedigree which the Lord Ordinary had so ruthlessly annihilated;
particularly explaining that John of Gartmore (John No. 1) had had a
second wife, named Maxwell, "the mother" of the communicative writer.
The benevolent and indefatigable Marchioness de Lambert seems to have
pushed her inquiries, even after the death of her correspondent; for we
have, constituting No.--

VII. A memorandum, though without signature or date, showing that "this
lady had not ceased to bestow on the son," the Rev. John Alexander,
(John No. 3,) "of this distinguished man," (John No. 2) "marks of her
good-will and friendship. This son is favourably known in England as
a Protestant clergyman, and a learned philologist.... He is at the
head of a college for the education of young clergymen, established at
Stratford, in the county of Warwick." But this memorandum contained, as
the first sentence, one of infinite significance--"THIS INSCRIPTION has
been communicated by Madame de Lambert!" And that was document.

VI. Forming the inscription on the tombstone of John of Antrim,[39]
whom it stated to be "the best of husbands, the most indulgent of
fathers; as a friend warm, sincere, faithful; a man of such endowments,
&c.; and universally respected for his piety and benevolence."
But what was vastly more to the purpose, as far as concerned his
descendants, he was also the only son of the Hon. John Alexander! who
was the _fourth_ son of William Earl of Sterline! and "married Mary,
eldest daughter of the Rev. Mr _Hamilton_ of Bangor," by whom he had
issue a son, _John_, who "at this present time is the Presbyterian
minister at Stratford-on-Avon, in England." There could not be a doubt
as to these facts, seeing that a certain "W. C. Gordon, junior,"
of Stratford-on-Avon, certified, on the margin of a copy of the
inscription, that it "was a faithful copy!" Here, however, occurred
a somewhat disagreeable fact. The figure "7" in the date, "Oct. 6th,
1723," was originally a figure "8" [_i. e._ 1823] "made into a 7."
This swore Mr Lizars; on which "_a juryman_ asks, Has there been an
_erasure_?--_A._ No. It has been a different figure, corrected, and
made into a 7. _Lord Meadowbank._--Look at it again, Mr Lizars. Are you
sure it has not been a blot? _The witness_, (having carefully examined
the document with a glass.)--No, my lord, it, has been decidedly a
figure. There are both the top and middle of a figure here, my lord."

[39] See it _in extenso, ante_, p. 486.

Such were the documents indorsed on and attached to the map of Canada;
and a perusal of them suggests a few questions. _First_, According
to them, the original charter of the 7th December 1639 was, in the
year 1702, in Acadia, "in the archives there." How did it get thither,
and why was it sent? According to another part of the prisoner's
case before the Lord Ordinary, the first Earl, grievously dejected
by the death of three of his sons, and fearing, from the declining
health of two of the survivors, that his honours might, at no distant
period, pass to a collateral branch of the family, obtained the new
charter in question in 1639. This charter conveyed large estates in
Scotland as well as in America: "but," as Lord Meadowbank observed,
"while the former were within reach, and easily accessible, those in
Canada and the State of Maine, being" [_then_, _i. e._ "in 1639, the
original grants having been made in 1626 and 1628] "in the hands of the
French, were altogether out of the reach of the grantees. In these
circumstances, you are required to believe that the Earl, in place
of retaining this charter in Scotland, and getting it recorded and
perfected _there_, where he might have got something by it, carried it
to Canada, and had it recorded, where he could get nothing; and where,
except as a matter of curiosity to men like Monsieur Mallet and his
friend Lacroix, it was altogether a piece of waste paper.... I again
put it to you, is it credible that, if the Earl had really got such a
charter, and had wished to _change the destination_ of his estates--and
we know that he was a person of no ordinary talents--he would have
omitted taking means for preserving in his own country the evidence of
what he had done?" But, _secondly_, again, the original charter was, in
1702, in Nova Scotia. Now, we have seen that, in 1723, this 'original
charter' was, on the 10th July 1723, in Ireland, in the hands of a Mr
Thomas Conyers, of Carlow, who "permitted" Mr Hovenden "to see it, and
he did most minutely examine the contents:" and on the 20th of that
month, in the same year, the son of the aforesaid Conyers certified
that that charter "had been trusted to his late father, in troublesome
times, by the deceased Mary, Countess of Mount Alexander." At that time
the fifth Earl was living. When, then, did the charter return from
Acadia to Scotland, and go thence to Ireland? According to the letter
of John of Antrim on the map, his grandmother, the first Countess, took
it to Ireland to her son-in-law, Lord Montgomery, to be taken care
of. That son-in-law died in 1670. What did he do with it? Did he send
it to Canada?--and why? What were the three Earls of Stirling about,
that they did not get possession of this document, the very foundation
of their fortunes and honours? It gets, however, to Canada in 1702;
is back again, and in Ireland, at all events, in 1723; and then gets
placed in uncomfortable circumstances, and encounters queer adventures.
It found its way into the hands of the Rev. John Alexander, (John No.
3,) _in the lifetime of the fifth_ Earl of Stirling; and on his death,
in 1743, it gets into the hands of his widow, who took it to Birmingham
when she went to reside there; whence it was stolen, in 1758, by an
emissary of the then claimant of the peerage, William Alexander, who
took it off to America, and either suppressed or destroyed it, the
latest trace of it existing in 1806 or 1812, when it was presumably
destroyed. All this was the original official statement of his case,
by the prisoner himself, in 1829, in the process of "proving the
tenor."[40] _Thirdly_, In 1702, this M. Mallet speaks of the charter as
"an _ancient_ one;" whereas it was then only sixty-three years old--its
date being 1639. _Fourthly_, It having been thus a dead letter for
sixty-three years, owing to the altered ownership of the territories
included in it--they having become the undisputed property of France,
and so continued for half a century afterwards, namely, till General
Wolff's conquest of Quebec in 1760: yet we have a Frenchman, in 1702,
represented as calmly speculating in the year 1702, without anything
to suggest such an idea, on the possibility of the territories being
reconquered from France by the English, and in that event the charter
becoming an object of great interest! _Fifthly_, We have him also
giving himself very particular concern with the _limitations_ and
family destinations of the tenures of the foreign grantees claiming
under this "_ancient_" dead letter--then a mere useless piece of
parchment, likely to attract the eye and attention of none but some
curious antiquarian. Who was this M. Mallet? There is no suggestion
that he was acquainted with any member of the family, or had ever been
concerned in any way with them. Why, then, should he feel it necessary
to "take the precaution" of having the copy which he had made "duly
attested?" Who, again, was Lacroix? What was there _then_ to interest
any one in France or America in the fortunes of the noble Scottish
family of the Alexanders? Why was it to be expected that "all the world
would read with interest" the note which M. Mallet had so quietly
written on his map, and then committed it to his bureau? _Sixthly_, In
1702, and 1706, and 1707, Acadia was in the hands of the French, and
consequently its archives or registers were under their control; and a
copy of any instrument deposited there could be easily obtained. Why,
then, was not the command of Louis XV. obeyed, and a copy procured for
his Majesty? Again, what became of the solemnly-attested copy spoken of
by M. Mallet, Lacroix, and St Estienne? No account whatever is given of
it, nor any reason why it was necessary to set such store by a brief
epitome of one or two of the clauses to be found in that copy! Why,
therefore, was the "Note" of M. Mallet so "_precious_," when those
interested in the matter to which it related could have so easily seen
the original of which it spoke, and obtained a _verbatim_ copy of the
whole? The "Note" of M. Mallet might, indeed, be precious in the eyes
of his suddenly-bereaved survivors as an autograph memento of their
deceased friend, but not otherwise. _Seventhly_, Why should there be,
in 1707, in the family of John of Antrim, a tradition, and that, too,
an "ancient" one--_i. e._, forty or fifty years old--concerning the
loss of the record of a copy of the charter, _when the original_ was in
existence in the archives of Acadia? _Lastly_, Why is the great shade
of the author of _Telemachus_ evoked? Simply to "_authenticate_" the
letter of John Alexander to the Marchioness De Lambert, to whom that
letter was then on its way! This much for the intrinsic indication of
genuineness or spuriousness afforded by the indorsements on the map of
Canada, which we have hitherto been considering. We have now to record
a remarkable incident which occurred at the trial, in open Court. As
already stated, one of the two documents _pasted_ on the back of the
map was the alleged tombstone inscription. As the map was lying on the
table of the court, owing to either the heat of the densely crowded
Court, or some other cause, one of the corners of the paper on which
the inscription was written curled up a little--just far enough to
disclose some writing underneath it, on the back of the map. On the
attention of the Solicitor-General being directed to the circumstance,
he immediately applied to the Court for its permission to Mr Lizars,
the eminent engraver, then present, to detach from the map the paper on
which the tombstone inscription was written. Having been duly sworn,
he withdrew for that purpose, and soon afterwards returned, having
executed his mission very skilfully, without injury to either paper.
That on which the inscription was written proved to be itself a portion
of another copy of the map of Canada, and the writing which it covered
was as follows, but in French:--

[40] _Ante_, p. 475.

"There has just been shown to me _a letter of Fenelon_, written in
1698, having reference to this grandson of Lord Stirling, who was
in France during that year, and with regard to whom he expresses
himself as follows:--'I request that you will see this amiable and
good Irishman, Mr John Alexander, whose acquaintance I made some years
ago. He is a man of real merit, and whom every one sees with pleasure
_at Court_, and in the best circles of the capital.'" These were the
initials, as far as they are legible, "E. Sh." This was represented by
the Solicitor-General as palpably an incohate abortive forgery; and
Lord Meadowbank pointed out to the jury the evident and partially
successful effort which had been made to _tear off_ that portion of the
surface of the map on which the above had been written. That effort
failing, said he, "the only precaution that remained to prevent its
appearing was to cover it over; for which purpose the parties used the
inscription. But then the apprehension of its appearing, if the map
were held between the light and the eye, seems to have come across
the minds of the parties engaged in the operation, and hence, with a
very singular degree of foresight, expertness, and precaution, they
used for their cover that by which the eye of the inquirer might be
misled in his investigation; for you have seen that the lines and
words of the map forming the _back_ of the inscription were exactly
such as would naturally fall in with those on the _front_ of the map
of Canada, from which the extract from the pretended letter of Fenelon
had refused to be separated. Accordingly the invention, it would
appear, had proved hitherto most successful; for though this map has
been examined over and over again by persons of the first skill and
talent, and scrutinised with the most minute attention, the writing
which was thus covered up escaped detection, till, by the extreme heat
of the Courthouse yesterday, or some other cause of a similar nature,
a corner of the inscription separated from the map, and revealed to
our observation that which was hidden below. Gentlemen, it is for you
to consider the _effect_ of this revelation; but I must fairly tell
you, that, in the whole course of my experience, I have never seen
more clear and satisfactory evidence than has hereby been unexpectedly
afforded, of the progress of a palpable and impudent forgery." The
reader will bear in mind these observations against the time when we
apprise him of the finding of the jury. The reason suggested by Lord
Meadowbank for the abandonment and concealment of this sub-inscription
was, that it was of such a nature as could not acquire credit from any
one, as Fenelon was therein made to speak as if he were a courtier,
familiar with the gay scenes of the court and the capital; whereas
it was notorious that he lived more at his diocese than at Paris. Mr
Lizars stated that this newly discovered writing did not resemble
that of the letter signed "John Alexander." "How the Crown counsel
would have chuckled," said the prisoner's counsel to the jury, "if the
marvellous new discovery had resembled that of Mallet or Alexander!"
And that was his only remark on the subject. To us the handwriting
of these three manuscripts appears certainly different: all those on
the map, indeed, appear different; but an obvious suggestion occurs,
that, if they were really forgeries, those perpetrating them may
have taken the precaution of employing distinct writers. Let us now
come to the _extrinsic_ evidence, to determine the genuineness or
spuriousness of these multifarious writings. First, as to the ink and
character of the writings. Two eminent French witnesses, (MM. Teulet,
joint-secretary of the archives of the kingdom of France, and Jacobs,
geographical engraver attached to the Institute of France at Paris)
peculiarly conversant with the art of making _fac-similes_ of ancient
writings, solemnly and confidently pronounced their opinions that all
the documents on the back of the map were false, that they were written
with ink generally used for that purpose--viz., a composition of
China ink, yellow and carmine, or red; and the paper afforded visible
indications of little red splashings, or spottings, the result of
accidents in using that composition.

"_Q._--'M. Teulet, from what you know, are you of opinion that these
writings on the back of the map are authentic writings of the dates
they bear?'

_A._--'I have considered them; and say, on my conscience, that all the
writings on the back of that map are false.'

_Q._--To M. Jacobs.--'Forming a judgment from the ink alone, and the
appearance of the writing itself, is it your opinion that these are
genuine or false documents--documents of the dates they bear?'

_A._--'I should think them false.'"

Mr Lizars also stated that "there was a very great resemblance between
the ink in the writing signed 'Ph. Mallet' and the letter signed 'John
Alexander,' and it was 'like common water paint.'" He said that "if he
were to make any conjecture, it would be that the ink was composed of
sepia and amber." But on being asked--"Suppose the ink were made of a
mixture of China ink, yellow, and carmine, might the carmine come out
at the edge?" He answered--"It would be sure to do it: a bungler only
would use such a mixture, as the carmine would certainly precipitate:
it were much better to use sepia and amber." This gentleman also stated
that he had compared the writings on the back of the map with those
of the prisoner and Mademoiselle le Normand, but found no resemblance
between them. He also stated, that he thought the writings in question
_genuine_, and written in a natural, not a feigned hand.

We come now, however, to an astounding fact, rendering all such
speculations and surmises superfluous. It will have been observed that
all the writings on the back of the map, by Mallet, Estienne, John
Alexander, Bishop Flechier, and Archbishop Fenelon, bore date in the
years 1706 and 1707; that of Mallet only being in the former year.
What will the reader say on being told that it was proved beyond all
possible doubt at the trial, that _the map on which these various
indorsements were written, was positively not in existence till eleven
years afterwards--viz., 1718; and, moreover, that Bishop Flechier had
died in 1711, and Archbishop Fenelon in 1715_? Proof so complete and
crushing as that establishing these facts, scarcely ever before came
under our notice; and the circumstance which had led to this result
would have ensnared the most cautiously astute into the belief, that
the true date of the map's coming into existence was that which it
appeared to bear--viz., 1703--and with relation to, and in consistency
with which, all the above five dates had evidently been selected.

Guillaume de l'Isle was the greatest French geographer of his day, and
his maps were held in the highest repute for their accuracy and beauty.
Amongst others was a very elaborate one of Canada: and the copy of
that on which the memorable indorsements were made bore the following
printed description, or title, on the back. We give it _verbatim et
literatim_, and beg particular attention to the vacant space following
the name Guillaume De l'Isle, which is indicated by brackets, and
the italic words "_et Premier Geographe du Roy_" in the line but one
following, and which is unduly close to the one before, as we shall
endeavour to represent:--

                        Du Canada
                         ou de la
                      Nouvelle France
          et des Decouvertes qui y ont été faites
             dresseé sur plusieurs Observations
  et sur un grand nombre de Rélations imprimées ou manuscrites
              Par Guillaume De l'Isle [      ]
              de l'Academie Royale des Sciences
                _et Premier Geographe du Roy_
                         A Paris
       chez l'Auteur sur le Quai de l'Horloge a l'Aigle d'Or
            avec Privilege de sa Maj^{te} pour 20 ans

The date at the foot, "1703," and which had so cruelly misled the
gentlemen who prepared the indorsements on the map, was the date, not
of the publication of that edition of the map, but of the _original_
publication, from which dated the twenty years' copyright granted
by the king as above stated. When that impression of the map was
originally printed, in the year 1703, the printed title varied from
the above, by having the word "_Géographe_" occupying the vacant
space above-contained in brackets; and by the absence of the line
"_et premier Géographe du Roy_," so evidently interposed subsequently
between the preceding and subsequent lines. And the fact was, that on
the 24th August 1718, fifteen years after the original publication
of the map, De l'Isle had received the high appointment of "PREMIER
Géographe du Roi." M. Teulet, one of the keepers of the "Register of
the Secretary of State" in France, a "register of the greatest possible
authenticity,"--"the _only_ register of authentic documents in which
the commission of Guillaume De l'Isle could be found," produced an
"extract made after the most authentic manner in France, certified
by the keeper of the register, and by the seal of the archives of
France,"--an "extract which would have all possible authenticity in a
court of justice in France," and which extract M. Teulet "had compared
twice over, word for word, and letter for letter, with the record," and
swore that "it was correct." The extract was as follows:--

"Du vingt quatre Aout mil sept cent dix huit

"Brevet de Premier Géographe du Roy pour l S^r. De l'Isle." The entry
runs thus in English:--

"_This day_ (24th August 1718) the king being in Paris, having
authentic proofs of the profound erudition of the S. Guillaume de
l'Isle, _of the Royal Academy of Sciences_, in the great number of
geographical works which he has executed for his Majesty's use, and
which have been received with general approbation by the public,
his Majesty, by the advice," &c. &c., "wishing to attach him more
particularly to his Majesty's service by a title of honour, which may
procure him at the same time the means of continuing works of such
usefulness, has declared, and declares, wishes, and enjoins, that
the said S. de l'Isle be _henceforward_ ['DORESNAVANT'] his first
geographer," &c. &c. This appointment was signed by the king, and
countersigned by the Secretary of State. It was distinctly sworn by
M. Teulet and M. Jacobs, than whom there could not have been higher
authorities on such a subject, that they had carefully examined the
map in question--and that, till the 24th August 1718, there never was
a map of De l'Isle thrown off having on its face the title of "Premier
Géographe du Roi;" but that, _after_ that date, this designation was
invariably added to his name;--and though the period of printing was
later than 1718, it was necessary to retain the original date of the
map, 1703, _in order to secure the copyright_; because the privilege of
printing it, as recited on the map, extended to only twenty years from
the time of the map being originally published. Thus was clearly and
most satisfactorily explained the erasure of the word "Géographe" after
the name of Guillaume de l'Isle, and the contemporaneous interpolation
of the new title of dignity--_Premier géographe du Roy_--between the
next line and the one following. All the three witnesses (MM. Teulet,
Jacobs, and Mr Lizars) swore, and gave conclusive reasons for doing
so, that the same copperplate was used in making the engravings--that
De l'Isle was in the habit of retouching his plates, and making
alterations in them from time to time; and great numbers of his plates
were produced, showing that, in the maps dated anterior to 1718, the
words "Premier Géographe du Roy" were _interpolated_; and in the one
before the court, the interpolated line was much "fresher" than the
rest of the inscription. In those subsequent to 1718 there was no
such interpolation, the words being always regular with the other
part of the title." In addition to this, it was proved, that the word
"Géographe" had been mechanically effaced from the copper; for, on
carefully examining the under side of the copper, there were "evident
traces of hammering, which had been done to fill up the spaces where
the words had been effaced." Nothing could be more lucid and decisive
than the evidence given by the eminent M. Teulet on these points; the
result being a downright demonstration, as far as the nature of the
case admitted of demonstration, that the copy of the map in question
could not have been, and was not, in existence, till after the 24th
August 1718. The prisoner's counsel, fearfully pressed by these
considerations, frankly--but necessarily--admitted, that "if the map
were not in existence till 1718, the writings on it purporting to be
dated prior to 1718 were forgeries." But he contended that, though
"he should be ashamed to deny that there were _strong reasons_ for
supposing the fact to be so, there was not _conclusive_ evidence that
the copy of the map in question was not in existence till 1718; for the
Crown had not proved a search of the Records of France prior to 1718,
and it might be, that the commission which had been proved, was not
the _first_ in favour of De l'Isle--there might have been a previous
one." "But this," said Lord Meadowbank, unanswerably, "was a strange
supposition, refuted by the patent proved before the jury. Had any
_former grant_ existed, it must have been there referred to; notice
of it could not have been omitted." One other suggestion was offered,
faintly, from a sense of its hopelessness; that the alterations on
the title of the map, might have been effected by the use of double
plates; the additional line having been inserted by a second impression
_on the same sheet of paper_. Such a process, however, could not have
_effaced_ the word "Geographe," or effected the changes which appeared
in the statement of De l'Isle's residence--the words "à l'Aigle d'Or"
being manifestly engraved on the site of only partially-obliterated
previous letters. That this, in point of fact, had been the process,
was distinctly sworn to by those who had seen the original plate.
Before quitting this part of the case, we shall quote a very critical
section of the evidence given by the Crown--that of Pierre François
Joseph Leguix, a print and map seller at Paris, whom the prisoner's
counsel made a very desperate effort to exclude from the witness-box.
He said, "My print-shop is in the Quai Voltaire, Paris. I remember _in
the winter of 1836-7_ a person coming frequently to my shop in search
of maps. I think he was an Englishman. The maps he sought for were maps
of Canada. He came during the length of five or six weeks. I sold him
several maps of Canada. He wished to get one map of a particular date.
_It was the date of 1703._ I sold him a map of 1703. It was procured by
me after considerable search. He came to my shop no more after getting
that map. It was similar to this [the one in question]. There were no
writings then on the back of it. He did not explain who he was, nor say
why he wished to have that map. He inquired chiefly for a map of 1703.

"_Q._--'_Have you seen the prisoner before?_'


_Q._--'_It was not he?_'

_A._--'_No, Sir._'"[41]

What a moment for the prisoner!

[41] Swinton, pp. 143-4.

In a letter written to the prisoner by Mademoiselle Le Normand, dated
Paris, 8th January 1839, occurs the following passage, (read in
evidence at the trial) which may possibly relate to the facts above
deposed to. "... Seulement _on a découvert l'homme du Quai_; on veut le
faire partir pour l'Ecosse; il déclare que voilà 18 mois il a vendu une
Carte du Canada à un Anglais, qui plusieurs fois est venu chez lui, on
lui a dit: le reconnaitriez-vous? _je le crois._"

Finally, M. Teulet proved that Fenelon, Archbishop of Cambray, died at
five o'clock in the morning of the 7th February 1715, by the following
examined extract from the Register of the Chapter of Cambray--"_Feria
2, die_ vii _Januarii 1715.--Hodie circa quintam matutinam obiit
illustrissimus Dominus Franciscus de Salignac de la Mothe Fenelon,
Archiepiscopus et Dux Cameracensis, sacri Romani Emperii Princeps,
Comes Cameracensis, etc. Requiescat in pace._"[42]

[42] _Id._, App. lviii.

The death of Flechier, Bishop of Nismes, in 1711, was also proved by
M. Teulet, who produced an examined copy of letters patent for the
installation of the successor of Flechier, dated the 26th February
1711; and one of the witnesses, M. de Pages, stated that the Bishop
died in the year 1710. Notwithstanding, however, this evidence, M.
de Pages, (a nephew of the Marquis de Valfour, and attached to the
Historical department in the King's Library, and possessing some
little familiarity with ancient manuscripts,) having brought over some
alleged writings of Louis the XV. and Flechier, said "that the writing
on the map attributed to Louis was _exactly like_ the specimens of
his writing which the witness had brought;" and of that attributed to
Flechier he said, "I think it is the same as the writing of his which
I produce." On this, one of the Judges (Lord Moncrieff) put this acute

"_Q._--'If you were assured that that map had no existence till 1718,
would you still say that the writing on it was Flechier's?'

_A._--'Wherever it might be placed, I find it conformable to the
writing of Flechier.'

_Lord Moncrieff to the Interpreter._--Remind him that he said Flechier
ceased to be Bishop of Nismes in 1710, and then ask him the question
again. [This was done.]

_A._--'It would be not the less like.'"

Lord Meadowbank, it may be observed in passing, regarded the writings
brought over by M. de Pages as "important," and handed them to the
jury, on their retiring to consider their verdict.

The signatures of Louis, Fenelon, and Flechier were attempted to be
proved also by certificates from M. Daunou, M. Villenave, and other
eminent French antiquaries; but as they were living, such certificates
were of course rejected. If these writings, then, _were_ forgeries,
they must have been most skilfully executed; and, in fact, the question
as to their genuineness or spuriousness excited--as we learn from Mr
Swinton,--great interest and much discussion in Paris. It may also be
here mentioned, as a somewhat singular circumstance, that, a few years
previously to this trial--as we also learn from Mr Swinton--a series
of portraits and autographs of illustrious Frenchmen, published by
Delpech, (Quai Voltaire, Paris,) contained _fac-similes_ of the writing
of Louis XV., Fenelon, and Flechier, exactly resembling the writings
on the map attributed to them;--and in the specimen given in that work
of the writing of Louis XV., which was taken from the collection of
M. Villenave above-mentioned, occur the very _two expressions_, and
_similarly spelled_, which are found on the map--"les c_e_rconstances
presentes"--and "or_e_g_e_nale." Mr Swinton speaks of this coincidence
as "remarkable;" but to us it appears not at all so. What is easier
than to conceive that, if the writings on the map were forgeries, the
fabricator had before him at the time these very fac-similes, and
astutely determined to introduce the expressions in question, with the
peculiar spelling?

Let us now recur for a moment to the excerpt charter of the 7th
February 1639. On the assumption that it was a forgery--_what becomes
of the writings on the map of De l'Isle?_ They then speak of--are
bottomed on--a document of which there is no earthly trace whatever,
except in a forged extract! If the excerpt be annihilated, so is the
charter! And if so,--in the name of holy truth and ordinary common
sense, how comes it, but by a double forgery, that we find on the map
of De l'Isle, produced for the first time in 1837, _all the essential
elements of that charter_, as far as sufficed to further the interests
of the prisoner--viz., the altered destination of the titles and
property, set forth _verbatim et literatim_, in conformity with the
terms of the forged excerpt? "How, but through the evidence of one
in the possession of this first forgery of the charter," asked the
Solicitor-General,[43] "could the persons who executed the second
arrive at such a close and perfect correspondence with the terms and
effect of the former, as has been exhibited through the whole contents
of the last?"

[43] Swinton, p. 237.

The prisoner's counsel said, in defence to this serious section of
the charge--the map is not pretended to have been forged; nor is the
date "1703" false. Who Ph. Mallet, or Caron St. Estienne, was, "at
the distance of one hundred and thirty years, no one could tell."
Flechier was alive in 1707, and therefore _might_ have written the note
attributed to him in that year, and so with Fenelon. "Now, gentlemen,"
said Mr Robertson, "what is the case of the Crown on the map? I think
it rests entirely on the appointment of De l'Isle as _premier géographe
du Roi_," which was unquestionably the true--the inevitable--issue on
which to put the case; and he proceeded to contend, on grounds which we
have already indicated in passing, that the Crown had not established
the act of forgery, by clear, irrefragable, irresistible proof.

What, then, says the considerate reader, we ask, as we did in the
former instance--were these writings on the map of Canada--any or all
of them--genuine or spurious?

III. THE DE PORQUET PACKET. With every disposition to treat this item
of evidence with the gravity and impartiality befitting quasi-judicial
investigation, we acknowledge feeling extreme difficulty in doing
so. To us, as English lawyers, intense would seem the simplicity of
those expecting any rational being to give credit for an instant
to the contents of this astonishing packet, as genuine. Two months
after the judgment of the Lord Ordinary, pointing out the fatal flaw
in the prisoner's pedigree--(viz., the non-proof of two particular
steps in that pedigree--that John No. 3 descended from John No. 2,
and the latter from John No. 1,) a sensitive and conscientious thief
died--viz. in March 1837--in the exact nick of time, having kept by him
till that sad event a packet which he had purloined from his employer
in 1798[44] i. e. _for forty years_; and which packet contained four
family documents, of vital moment, applying themselves with miraculous
exactness to the deficiency in the pedigree aforesaid! We are here
stating shortly, but correctly, the effect of a document under this
head of the charge, set forth in the indictment. That document we
gave _verbatim_ in our last Number.[45] Messrs De Porquet, London
booksellers, received a packet by the penny post, on opening which
they found one addressed to Lord Stirling, accompanied by a note from
a "_Mrs. Innes Smyth_," (of whom no one has hitherto seen, heard, or
known anything whatever,) requesting them to send it to his lordship;
whose son happening in the month of April 1837--_i. e._, a few weeks
after the opportune death of the mysterious thief--to call at Messrs
De Porquet, they gave him the packet addressed to his father. Instead
of at once forwarding it to him, the young gentleman instantly took
it to his solicitors; and after an exciting colloquy as to what this
packet might contain, (the idea never occurring to him, that it would
be the proper formal course to send it off to his parent according
to its address,) it is arranged that they should go on the ensuing
morning to a notary public, and open the packet in his presence! This
was done; on which they discovered the interesting document above
referred to, explaining the theft of the packet which it accompanied,
cased in parchment, sealed with three black seals, "evidently," said
the young Alexander, in his letter to the prisoner, "my grandfather's
seals--not like those _we_ have"--and with the following words, also
instantly recognised as being in his grandfather's handwriting, on
the packet--"_Some of my wife's family papers_"--that wife being the
prisoner's mother, Hannah, daughter of John No. 3 (the Rev. John
Alexander,) the "person of such great humility, and so perfectly
unostentatious," according to her daughter's statement,[46] "that she
did not take upon herself the title of Countess, though she often
told her children that they had noble blood in their veins;--that
she had two brothers, '_John_' and '_Benjamin_,' who had fully
intended assuming their peerage honours, but for their premature
death--_unmarried!_--whereby she," the lady aforesaid, "believed
herself the last of the family of Alexander who were entitled to
be Earls of Stirling!" The sheet of paper accompanying this mystic
parchment packet had a black border, "owing to the death of the
thief!"--who "had never dared to break the seals"--the threefold seals
of the packet--"which accounts for the admirable state of preservation"
in which the contents were after this forty years' interval!!![47]
This inner packet the modest notary felt to be of too solemn a
character to be opened in his presence; and recommended its being
taken for that purpose to a functionary of commensurate solemnity--to
wit, a proctor.[48] No sooner said than done: away they went to
the proctor, with whom they were closeted five hours; and in whose
presence--and that "of four witnesses"--the young gentleman ventured
to cut the parchment over the middle black seal--and there appeared
four enclosures which completely settled the business in favour of the
claimant of the Stirling peerage. Never was anything so beautiful in
aptitude. First, was a genealogical tree--thus:

  Eldest Son, born
  at Dublin, 1736,    BENJAMIN,        MARY,            HANNAH,
  _heir to the_     Second Son,   Eldest Daughter,  Second Daughter,
  _title and_      born at Dublin  born at Dublin,  born at Dublin in
  _estates_ (!)       in 1737.        1733.             1741.
        |                 |             |                 |
        |                 |             |                 |
                  _Sixth Earl of Stirling,_          MARY,        ELIZABETH,
                  _(dejure,)_ died at Dublin,  Eldest Daughter  born 1685, died
                    Nov. 1st, 1743, buried      born 1683, died  1711, leaving
                             there.                unmarried.        ssue.
                                |                     |                |
                                |                     |                |
                               Married MARY HAMILTON
                               of Bangor; _settled at_             JANET,
                              _Antrim! after living many_ _only surviving child_
                              _years in Germany!_ Died     _of the heiress of_
                               1712. Buried at Newtown.       _Gartmore!!!_
                                           |                        |
                                           |                        |
            "Part                          +-------------+----------+
    Of the Genealogical Tree                             |
            of the                                     JOHN,
     Alexanders of Menstry,            Fourth Son--marry'd (1.) _Agnes Graham_,
  Earls of Stirling in Scotland,       the heiress of Gartmore! (2.) _Elizabeth_
            _Shewing_                 _Maxwell!!!_ of Londonderry; settled in
  _only the Fourth and now-existing_   Ireland in 1646; died 1665.
  _branch_ (!)                                           |
  Reduced to pocket size, from the                       |
    Large Emblazoned Tree in the                      WILLIAM,
     possession of Mrs Alexander,     1st Earl of Stirling--born 1580--m: Janet
         of King St., Birm.           Erskine. Had issue, 7 sons and 3 dau^{rs.}
             By me,                   Died 1640. Buried at Stirling."
         Thomas Campbell,
         April 15, 1759."

[44] _Ante_, pp. 466, 480.

[45] _Ante_, p. 480.

[46] _Ante_, p. 467.

[47] _Ante_, pp. 481-2.

[48] Swinton, p. 263.

_Secondly_, came a letter from the above-mentioned "Benjamin" to the
above-mentioned "John," his elder brother, (John No. 3,) speaking of
the tombstone, and giving many interesting particulars concerning
_John of Antrim_--his portrait, his education at Londonderry under
his _maternal_ grandsire Maxwell! his travels abroad, and "visiting
foreign courts," (as indeed Fenelon would seem to have testified, as
well as the aforesaid John himself, on Madlle. le Normand's map.)
_Thirdly_, a letter to the same "John," (No. 3,) from a certain "A. E.
Baillie," certifying as to the missing tombstone, who had written the
inscription, (which was given at length in Madlle. Le Normand's map,)
and assuring "John No. 3" that the writer had "always heard that _your
great-grandfather, the Hon. Mr Alexander_, (who was known in the county
as _Mr Alexander of Gartmoir_,) died at Derry, but 'the Papists of the
north' had unfortunately destroyed the parish registers." _Lastly_, "a
beautiful miniature painting of _John of Antrim_!"

Such were the contents of the De Porquet packet; and we must here
add, that the superscription on the parchment, "Some of my wife's
family papers," was clearly proved to be really the handwriting of the
prisoner's father.

The Solicitor-General, partly from the intrinsic preposterous absurdity
of this whole transaction, and partly from his extended and very able
analysis of the two former heads of evidence, dealt rather summarily
with the De Porquet packet. "This packet, too," he observed, "was
received through the post-office. We have not, therefore, had the
same means of tracing these documents as we possessed in regard to
the map."[49] His commentary, however, though brief, was cutting,
particularly on the "absurd solemnity" of the "opening" of the packet
by the prisoner's son, the "death of the thief in the very nick of
time," and the mysterious unknown "Mrs Innes Smyth." "I admit," said
he, "that there is no _direct_ evidence as to these English documents.
But it must be taken into account how closely the whole case is here
riveted and dovetailed together; so that I think the documents produced
are all parts and portions of the grand machinery of forgery which
has been set agoing here, to meet the effect of the Lord Ordinary's
interlocutor setting aside the panel's title."[50]

[49] Swinton, p. 263.

[50] _Ib._ p. 265.

The prisoner's counsel prudently dealt still more briefly with this
part of the case. The very little that he did say, however, was
excellently said. He dwelt on the proof that the superscription, "Some
of my wife's family papers,"[51] had been proved to be genuine. "Yet
a verdict of forgery is demanded on that paper, and all the documents
contained in that parcel are said to be forged--the one, because
we have proved it to be genuine; the others, because the Crown has
proved--nothing at all. That is the plain English of it, gentlemen, and
I leave it in your hands."[52]

[51] This superscription was charged in the indictment as a forgery.

[52] _Ib._ p. 293-4.

Lord Meadowbank dealt with this portion of the case at considerably
greater length, and very carefully. He remarked on the absurd
improbability of so notable a discovery being made at the precise
moment of difficulty, and in the manner alleged, by the son of
the prisoner--a packet full of most critical documents, sent
anonymously--exactly as in the case of the Le Normand packet, in both
respects--the one in April, the other in July next, after the Lord
Ordinary's judgment had indicated the _hiatus_ in the proof which
these two windfalls _exactly filled up_. The two letters enclosed in
it--viz., from Benjamin Alexander to his brother John, (No. 3,) and
from "A. E. Baillie" to the same person--Lord Meadowbank regarded as
"deserving the most serious consideration of the jury, not so much
for the sake of the letters themselves, as from being a part of that
great mass of evidence which bore upon the whole question of the
authenticity of these various productions."[53] He remarked strongly on
young Alexander's letter announcing to his father the discovery of the
packet--his going to a notary and proctor to have it opened, instead of
at once sending it on to his father. "For aught his son is supposed to
have known, or could possibly tell, it was strictly confidential to his
father, and he had no right to make any conjectures as to the contents
of it. Did you ever hear a more extraordinary story than he tells? I
leave it to you to consider whether such a proceeding can be accounted
for on any rational principle. Did you ever hear of such a thing as
this being done before? For my own part, the proceeding is altogether
incomprehensible upon any supposition but one--and that is, upon the
notion _that the contents of the packet were not unknown to some of
the performers in the drama, before ever it_ [the packet] _entered
the shop of De Porquet_." Lord Meadowbank laid great stress on the
following certainly very significant passage in this letter, relating
to the "_inscription_" mentioned in the two letters of "Benjamin
Alexander" and "A. E. Baillie,"--"You will see that the inscription
is _now made a good document, being confirmed_ by the letters of B.
Alexander and A. E. Baillie. The cause is enrolled to be heard on the
31st day of May." The son was writing on the 23rd April. "The better
to appreciate this letter," continued Lord Meadowbank, "let me recall
your recollection to the map of Canada. You have thus three letters,
and that inscription confirming _another inscription_ (as stated in
young Alexander's letter) _fixed on the map_; and if you do not hold
the map or the papers upon it to be genuine, you will consider how the
two sets of papers are affected by each other--the one produced at the
same moment to confirm that which had been produced before." As for
the superscription, "Some of my wife's family papers," the "writing on
the cover," said Lord Meadowbank, "may be genuine, while the documents
said to be contained in it may be forged; original enclosures may have
been withdrawn, and others substituted."--"If you have arrived at the
conclusion that the documents at the back of the old map are forgeries,
(and how you are to do otherwise it is difficult for me to imagine,)
I think you will not find it very easy to disconnect _this reference
to the inscription_, and to the alleged genealogy of the persons with
whom it was the object of the prisoner to connect himself, from these
documents, or to entertain any reasonable doubt that both are in _pari
casu_--were fabricated with the view of bolstering up one another,
and must be alike liable to the imputation of forgery: both sets of
documents were exactly calculated for making up those defects in the
chain of evidence pointed out by the Lord Ordinary. I shall conclude
what I have to say upon this matter with an observation which will
have occurred to yourselves--that if you hold _the excerpt charter_ a
forgery, and that the documents written and pasted upon the back of
the map are forgeries, it will be difficult for you not to hold that
this must affect in a most material degree the evidence relating to
the _other_ documents, which the public prosecutor avers to be also
forgeries. In other words, if you are satisfied that the proof is clear
that _any_ of these sets of documents are forged, but that the evidence
with respect to others is not so conclusive, you will have to make up
your minds whether, considering that the whole are so connected with
and bear upon each other, there can be any good reason for fixing a
character upon the one which must not also belong to the other."

[53] Swinton, p. 324.

We have been thus particular in laying before the reader the just
and able observations of Lord Meadowbank on this last portion of the
case, chiefly because of the result at which the jury arrived. It
seems to us not a little singular that one material enclosure in the
De Porquet packet escaped the notice of both the counsel for the Crown
and the prisoner, and also the judge: we allude to the Genealogical
Tree, professed to be certified by "Thos. Campbell, 15th April 1759,"
and forming one of the charges in the indictment. If this be really a
forgery, it seems one of extraordinary impudence.

Again, then, as in the two former instances, we ask the reader,
weighing well the evidence, and particularly the above observations
upon it of Lord Meadowbank, to say _Ay_ or _No_ to the question, Were
the documents contained in the De Porquet packet genuine or spurious?
Bearing in mind that all three were the contributions of anonymous
informants--the excerpt charter, sent to Mr Banks by--he knew not
whom; the Le Normand papers, by--an exceedingly mysterious and exalted
personage; and the De Porquet packet, by--a third mysterious unknown:
the first sent to the confidential agent of the prisoner in Ireland;
the second to one of his oldest and most confidential friends at Paris;
the third to his bookseller in London. It may also be worth mentioning
that neither Mr Banks, nor Mademoiselle Le Normand, nor either of the
prisoner's sons, nor his sister, "Lady Eliza Pountney," was called as a
witness by the prisoner, nor by the Crown.

There remains to be determined, however, a question of infinite moment
to the prisoner--whether, in the event of the foregoing documents,
or any of them, being pronounced forgeries, he was guilty of either
having forged them, or having used and uttered any of them, knowing
them to have been forged? "This," said Lord Meadowbank, with an air of
deepening solemnity, "is the heaviest part of the charge against the
panel; and I assure you, gentlemen, that in the whole course of my life
I never addressed a jury with greater anxiety than I do at present."

Let us pause, however, for a moment, to see how this very grave
question was first dealt with by the counsel for the Crown, and then
for the prisoner.

I. The Solicitor-General, it will be observed, according to the
Scottish mode of criminal procedure, had only one opportunity of
addressing the jury--and that after the whole evidence on both sides
had been laid before them, and immediately _before_ the speech by the
prisoner's counsel. In England, the counsel for the Crown speaks also
only once, but that before the evidence has been adduced, unless the
prisoner call evidence--in which event the counsel for Crown "has the
last word," as it is called, "to the jury." This difference may perhaps
account for the earnestness with which the Solicitor-General, in the
case before us, appears to have "pressed for a conviction"--such is
the phrase used on such occasions in England. We are bound, however,
to say that, in our opinion, the Solicitor-General did not exhibit any
undue or unseemly eagerness; nor approach even towards unfairness, or
exaggeration, misrepresentation, or suppression. The prisoner, said he,
is at all events, _de facto_ the utterer of these various documents,
and the presumption is always against the utterer--especially when, as
in the present case, these documents were calculated to advance his own
direct personal interest exclusively. The _onus_ lay on him to prove
that he innocently uttered, having been deceived by others. Could the
jury, in the face of such a marvellous coincidence of times, of means,
of objects, believe that a number of different persons were concerned
in promoting the prisoner's objects and interests, and he all the while
profoundly ignorant of what was being done? The documents are all
proved forgeries; and these he utters, and for the advancement of his
own interests alone! In the agony of his difficulty--the crisis of his
fate--he goes to France clandestinely, and is proved to have been in
constant intercourse with Mademoiselle le Normand, and to have incurred
immense pecuniary liabilities to her at that very period; giving,
however, a most contradictory account of his relations and transactions
with her! Up to the hour of his trial, he had given no explanation
whatever of his doings at Paris, whither he went immediately after
Lord Cockburn's adverse judgment, and returned so shortly after the
discovery of the Le Normand and the De Porquet packets! And Leguix
is found selling a map of Canada, of 1703, exactly at the time of
the prisoner's being at Paris; and Mademoiselle Le Normand writes to
him--"They have found the man on the quay!"

II. The prisoner's counsel made an ingenious, eloquent, and judicious
address--very brief, and directed vigorously and steadily towards the
strong parts of the defence, and leaving untouched the formidable
points arising out of the prisoner's correspondence with Mademoiselle
Le Normand, and the conflicting accounts of his movements and
transactions given in his judicial examinations. All the forgeries are
charged on, or supposed to be, the act of _one man_--the prisoner;
yet not only does no single witness trace the faintest resemblance,
in any of the alleged forgeries, to the handwriting of the prisoner,
or Mademoiselle Le Normand, but an able witness for the Crown, Mr
Lizars, negatives such a fact. Well might the prisoner be deceived--if
the documents _were_ forgeries--when his counsel, his agents--the
Lord Advocate, and the Judge Ordinary, every one concerned during the
ten years' litigation--was so deceived, and never once suspected it.
Why did not the Crown produce Mademoiselle le Normand? And as to the
purchase of the old map of Canada from Leguix, on the Quai Voltaire, he
explicitly stated that the prisoner was _not_ the man! But there was
no evidence of the forgery, and therefore the guilty knowledge, using,
and uttering, fell to the ground. If even there were doubts on the
subject, the prisoner was clearly entitled to the benefit of them: his
character "was everything;" for he had received as high as man could
give. In an early part of his address, Mr Robertson averred that he saw
in the countenances of the jury "the cheering light of an acquittal--so
that he could almost stop _there_;" and his last sentence was one which
would be deemed highly objectionable on the part of counsel, under such
circumstances, in England--"_On my conscience I believe him innocent
of the crimes here charged_, and to have been merely the dupe of the
designing, and the prey of the unworthy!"[54] So solemn an expression
of belief could not, of course, have been made by a gentleman if he
were not sincere; but it is certainly not a part of the duty of counsel
to make such protestations; and in doing so he trespasses beyond his
province upon that of others, and that one the confines of which ought
to be most jealously and sacredly guarded--we mean the province of the
witness, and that of the jury. Bating a little wilful blindness to ugly
facts, which is occasionally to be found elsewhere than in Scotland,
the address of Mr Robertson was as fair as can be expected from a
prisoner's advocate, and calculated to make a strong impression upon
the jury.

[54] Swinton, p. 333-4.

III. Lord Meadowbank's summing up was long and elaborate: stern
and uncompromising from first to last in the expression of a very
hostile view of the whole case, as against the prisoner, but still
never straining the proved facts. It is the charge of an upright yet
severe judge, not ambitious of replying to the prisoner's counsel, but
vigorously expressing his own conscientious opinions.

It is evident that Lord Meadowbank regarded the advantage derived by
the prisoner from the presence in the dock of his distinguished friend
Colonel D'Aguilar, and also from the very flattering testimony to
character which he had received, as likely to prove a disturbing force
to the jury in forming their estimate of the case. He therefore, in the
first instance, addressed himself with a very evident air of anxiety
to this section of the evidence. "That of Colonel D'Aguilar," said
he, "of the gallant officer now seated with the panel at the bar,[55]
was not more creditable to the panel than it was to the witness.
It proved that his feelings of obligation, long ago conferred, had
not been obliterated by the lapse of time; and it was given with an
earnestness which, if it told on your minds as it did on mine, must
have been by you felt as most deeply affecting.... But in weighing
this evidence to the character of the prisoner, you must attend to
what that proof really amounts."[56] He proceeded to point out the
chasm of thirty years in their _personal_ intercourse; and then
exhibited, in lively colours, by way of set-off, the conduct of the
prisoner in raising large sums of money on false representations
as to his resources--"raising a sum of £13,000 on bonds granted by
him for £50,000. All this, gentlemen, is, to say the least of it, a
most discreditable proceeding on the part of a person bearing the
high character which has been given the prisoner.... It is for you,
gentlemen, to consider if the evidence which has been given as to
the character he once bore, be or be not counterbalanced by these
disreputable proceedings at a later period."[57]

[55] Such a thing would not be allowed in England, except, probably,
under very special circumstances. _We_ never witnessed anything of the

[56] Swinton, pp. 333-4.

[57] _Ib._, pp. 335-6.

The "evidence of the prisoner having _uttered the whole_ of the
instruments and documents charged in the indictment to be forgeries
has not been called in question by the prisoner's counsel, he not
having said one word on the subject. For my own part, I see no ground
for disputing that the whole were uttered by the prisoner, and I
shall content myself with referring to the evidence of the official
witnesses, who received them from the agents of the prisoner; who
again, in so producing, and so delivering them, acted under his
authority, and were the mere instruments for carrying into effect those
acts for which he alone can be responsible." Shortly afterwards, Lord
Meadowbank gave a blighting summary of undisputed facts.

On the 10th December 1836, the Lord Ordinary issued his note, pointing
out the evidence that was deficient: "The prisoner admits that he
left the country immediately afterwards, and went to Paris. Where he
went to then, he does not tell; under what name he went, he does not
tell; where he got his passport has not been discovered, because he
concealed the name under which he travelled. He continued in Paris till
the ensuing August, when he returned, as he says, to Scotland, to be
present at the Peers' election, and there he voted. He then despatched
his son to Paris, and _he_ returned with the map (which you are _now_,
in considering the case in this view, to assume to be a fabrication) in
the month of October, having all these documents written or pasted upon
it." Lord Meadowbank proceeded to point out a circumstance "of the last
importance to this branch of the case," which "had been lost sight of
by the prisoner's counsel, and had not attracted the attention of the
counsel for the Crown." And certainly the judge was right. This was the
"circumstance" in question. One of the documents pasted on the back of
the map was a portion of the envelope in which the supposed letter of
John of Antrim (John No. 2) had been enclosed; and on this envelope was
the impression of a _seal_. Now, in the prisoner's judicial examination
before the Lord Ordinary, (the step admitted by Mr Swinton to have
been "unusual,") he was shown the parchment packet contained in the
De Porquet packet, indorsed, "Some of my wife's family papers;" and
the seal attached "was an impression of his _grandfather's seal_ (John
No. 3); he had not seen that seal later than the year 1825; it is in
the possession of my sister, Lady Elizabeth Pountney." The judge then
pointed out to the jury a fact which he had himself discovered, that
the impression of the seal on this packet and that on the envelope on
the map _were identical_--a fact, indeed, which the prisoner himself
had admitted in another part of his examination. "Now, gentlemen,"
continued Lord Meadowbank, "supposing there was not another tittle of
evidence in the case to connect the prisoner with these proceedings,
see what this amounts to. You find a link in his pedigree wanting
in December 1836. Immediately after this has been pointed out he is
in Paris, and stays there till August. During this short interval
he is brought into immediate and close connection with this mass of
fabrications, of fabrications of no earthly use or moment to any
human being but himself, and having among them _the impression of
that seal which he admits to be in the possession of his own sister_.
Gentlemen, suppose that the name of Mademoiselle le Normand had never
been heard of in this case, I leave it to you to consider, whether the
irresistible inference be not, that that seal could have been appended
only by the person in possession of it, and, at least, that that person
was within his own domestic circle!"

Next followed some weighty remarks on the evidence of Leguix as to the
purchase, by an Englishman, in the winter of 1836-7, of the map of
Canada of 1703; and then Lord Meadowbank pointed out certainly a most
serious contradiction in the prisoner's statements, under his different
"examinations," as to the period of his becoming acquainted with Lord
Cockburn's judgment of December 1836. When first examined, on the 18th
December 1838, in answer to the direct question when he first knew of
that judgment, he declared that "it was not till the month of _March_
or _April_ following, [_i. e._ 1837,] that he was made acquainted with
that or any part of his Lordship's judgment or proceedings, _except as
to their general import_, which he had learned from a letter addressed
to him by his own family." Then he was asked whether he had not been
made acquainted with Lord Cockburn's judgment in the same month of
December in which it was pronounced. He declared "that _he had not_,
and even _then_, [_i. e._, 18th December 1838,] he knew nothing of the
particulars of that judgment." On the 14th February 1839, however,
on being again examined before the Sheriff, he declared that, "when
in Paris, in March or April 1837, he heard that Lord Cockburn had
pronounced an unfavourable judgment in his case; and _at that time a
copy of the printed papers of the judgment and of the note_ was sent
him by his family from Edinburgh, and until that time he was not aware
that Lord Cockburn had formed an unfavourable opinion of his case!"
"Here are declarations of the prisoner, contradictory on matters
as to which there could be no error in point of recollection,--an
important contradiction, and one testifying a desire of concealment
of the truth, which, in all cases like this, has ever been deemed
greatly to affect the innocence or guilt of a party." Again, "if these
declarations establish the prisoner's knowledge of what had been done
by Lord Cockburn, you are bound to consider whether that knowledge
does not materially affect the evidence of the fabrication of these
documents, as having been known to him, to whom alone they could be

Then Lord Meadowbank came to the prisoner's visits to Mademoiselle le
Normand--his having trafficked with her as far back as 1812, since
which time he said, "she had been in the constant habit of advancing
money to himself and his wife;" and yet her existence, even, was not
known to his most intimate friends! Then he admits that he and his
wife "desire her to institute a search for documents and charters to
support his claims;" that he had never dreamed of searching _in France_
for documents illustrative of his own pedigree; and it was with the
greatest surprise he afterwards learned that they had been discovered!
Then Lord Meadowbank contrasted the prisoner's statements as to the
paucity of his visits to this old lady with the evidence of one
Beaubis, the porter at the hotel where she resided, and who stated that
the prisoner "saw her _every night_." Infinitely more serious, however,
were the conflicting answers given by the prisoner, as to the nature
and amount of his pecuniary liabilities to Mademoiselle le Normand,
which Lord Meadowbank pronounced to be "a mass of contradictions." At
one time he stated that he had given her his bond for _four hundred
thousand francs_!--then only two bonds for 100,000 francs each, sent by
him to her in 1837!--"payable, palpably, on the event of his succeeding
in his claims on the Earldom of Stirling. This," continued Lord
Meadowbank, "perhaps affords a pretty good key for solving the mystery
of the interest that this woman has taken in these productions!" Having
adverted to various portions of this old lady's correspondence with
the prisoner, which had been seized at his house--certainly containing
matters pregnant with violent suspicion--Lord Meadowbank said, "These
are the circumstances from which you are to infer, or not, the guilty
knowledge of the panel, and of his being, or not, art and part in the
forgery of these documents. Remember, it is not said or proved that
he forged them with his own hand; the question is, whether he had a
knowledge of the forgeries that were going on at Paris during his
stay there.... You will judge whether his obligation to Mademoiselle
le Normand for 400,000 or 200,000 francs was or was not given for the
fabrication of that document. And in looking to that document itself,
[_i. e._, the map with its indorsements,] you will see his statement
as to _the seal_ on the back of it; and consider whether he be not
thereby brought into immediate contact with the fabrication of that
document, in consequence of the impression of the seal on its back,
which he admits was in the possession of a member of his family." Lord
Meadowbank proceeded to advert briefly to "the exculpatory evidence,"
and said that the fact of the fabricated excerpt charter having escaped
the notice of the Lord Ordinary, and also of Mr Lockhart, was "no doubt
a strong circumstance in favour of the prisoner," if that excerpt
charter had been _the only_ case against him; but it was altogether
a different matter when regard was had to the great number of other
documents alleged to have been forged, or knowingly uttered as forged,
by the prisoner. "Gentlemen," said Lord Meadowbank, "the prisoner
_may_ have been _a dupe_ in all these transactions;... but you have
it clearly made out that the only person who enjoyed the fruits of the
imposition was the prisoner himself!... Gentlemen, I have now laid
before you the whole case as it occurs to me. I have never bestowed
more pains upon any case than I have upon this; and in none have I ever
summed up the evidence with greater pain.... Our business is to do
justice, and you, in particular, have to weigh the evidence calmly and
deliberately; and, should you doubt of that evidence being sufficient
to bring the present charge home to the prisoner, to give him the
full benefit of that doubt. But, to entitle you to do so, these doubts
must be well considered, and the circumstances on which they are
founded deliberately weighed. To doubts that are not reasonable, you
have no right whatever to yield. You are not entitled to require from
the Procurator _direct proof_ of the facts laid in his charge. The
circumstances laid in evidence must be put together; and it is your
duty, then, to consider what is the reasonable inference to be drawn
from the whole of them: in short, whether it be possible to explain
them upon grounds consistent with the innocence of the party accused;
or whether, on the contrary, they do not necessarily lead to a result
directly the reverse."

The jury, thus charged with their solemn responsibility, withdrew to
consider their verdict; and as they were absent for FIVE HOURS, we have
time to ask the reader what would have been _his_ decision, as one of
that jury, on this deeply interesting, this most serious and remarkable

_First_, Were any or all of these documents forgeries?

_Secondly_, If they were, did the prisoner forge them?

_Thirdly_, If forgeries, though not by the prisoner, did he use and
utter them with a guilty knowledge of their being forgeries?

We regard Lord Meadowbank's summing up as a dignified and righteous
one, blinking no responsibility, and making difficult matters plain
to the humblest capacity, and leaving no excuse for an inefficient
performance of duty. At length, however, after their long absence from
Court--a torturing five hours' absence--the return of the jury is
announced; the four judges resume their seats with stern gravity and
expectation; the agitated prisoner, still accompanied by his chivalrous
friend, Colonel D'Aguilar, appears at the bar; the anxious crowd is
hushed into silence; and the chancellor (or foreman) delivered in the
following verdict:--

I. "The Jury UNANIMOUSLY find it proved that the _excerpt charter is a
forged document_; and, BY A MAJORITY,[58] find it NOT PROVEN that the
panel forged the said document, or is guilty art or part thereof,--or
that he UTTERED it, knowing it to be forged." [Here arose a burst
of applause from the audience, in consequence of which the Court
immediately ordered the gallery to be cleared.]

[58] In Scotland, the verdict in a criminal case is according to a
majority of the jury; in a civil case they must be unanimous.

II. "UNANIMOUSLY find it proved that the _documents on the map are
forged_; and by A MAJORITY find it NOT PROVEN that the panel forged the
said documents, or is guilty art and part thereof, or that he UTTERED
them, knowing them to be forged."

III. "UNANIMOUSLY find it _Not Proven_ that the documents contained
in De Porquet's packet are forged; or were uttered by the panel as
genuine, knowing them to be forged."

IV. "UNANIMOUSLY find it _Not Proven_ that the copy letter to Le
Normand,[59] in the fifth and last charge of the Indictment, is either
forged, or was uttered by the panel as genuine, knowing it to be

[59] This was the anonymous letter to Madlle. le Normand, dated the
10th July 1837, accompanying the map professed to have been left with
her so mysteriously on the ensuing day. See it _in extenso_ in our last
Number, p. 482.

As soon as the chancellor of the jury had finished delivering the above
verdict the prisoner swooned, and was carried out of court insensible.
On one of his counsel certifying to the court, on the authority of a
medical gentleman in attendance on him, the continued indisposition of
the prisoner, and that it would be dangerous to bring him back into
court, his further attendance was dispensed with, the Public Prosecutor
consenting; and as soon as the verdict had been formally approved of
and recorded, the Court pronounced the following sentence:--

"The Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, in respect of the foregoing
verdict of Assize, assoilzie the panel _simpliciter_, and dismiss him
from the bar."

By the law of Scotland a verdict of "_Not Proven_" has the same effect
as a verdict of "_Not Guilty_," with reference to liability to a second
or subsequent trial on the same charge.

Thus ended, on Friday the 3d May 1839, this extraordinary trial--than
which we know none more so on record. That the jury found the slightest
difficulty in pronouncing the excerpt charter, and the Le Normand map,
with its indorsements, to be forgeries, no one can think probable;
but we own our very great surprise at finding them of opinion, and
that "unanimously," that the forgery of the De Porquet packet, and the
letter accompanying the Le Normand packet, had "not" been "proven."
One thing, however, is perfectly clear, that these forgeries could
not have been committed by lawyers, either Scottish or English; for
the slightest smattering of legal knowledge would have sufficed to
show the stark staring absurdity of imagining that such "_evidence!_"
could be received or acted upon, for a moment, by any court of
justice in a civilised country. In an English court, the De Porquet
packet would have been hailed, but for decorum's sake, with a shout
of laughter. A single rule of English law, that documents offered in
evidence--especially ancient ones--must be proved to have come from the
proper custody, would have disposed of the whole matter in a trice.

On what grounds proceeded the verdict of "not proven," with reference
to the charge against the prisoner of forgery, or guilty uttering of
forged documents, we know not, and it were almost idle to speculate.
We doubt not, however, that Colonel D'Aguilar played the part of a
guardian angel to his friend throughout his ordeal, and think that
the jury attached the utmost weight to the suggestion with which
the prisoner's counsel skilfully concluded his address, that "the
prisoner had been merely the dupe of the designing, and the prey of the
unworthy."[60] He may, indeed, have been a weak and insanely credulous
person, and may have unconsciously encouraged others to be guilty of
forgery, in imaginary furtherance of his own ambitious objects, by the
promise of liberal recompense in the event of his being successful--as
in the case of Mademoiselle le Normand, to whom he had given a bond for
four hundred thousand francs.

[60] Swinton, p. 300.

In conclusion, we have to express our obligation to the accomplished
and learned editor of the report of this trial, Professor Swinton, for
the fulness and fidelity with which he has placed it before us. It is
a valuable and deeply interesting addition to the records of Scottish
jurisprudence; and it is also well worth the while of an English lawyer
to procure and study it. Nay, even the novelist may find it well worth
his while to ponder its marvellous details.


Fifteen years have elapsed since Sir Robert Peel made his memorable
speech in Merchant Tailors' Hall; and the foundation was laid, in the
unanimity of three hundred and fifteen independent members of the House
of Commons, of that great party which at length proved triumphant in
the country, and some years afterwards returned him by a majority of
700,000 out of 1,000,000 of electors, and a majority of 91 in the House
of Commons, as Prime Minister of England. The victory then achieved,
the triumph then gained, rendered the future a matter of comparative
ease in Government, of certainty in anticipation. The nation had spoken
out: PROTECTION TO NATIVE INDUSTRY in all its branches--agricultural,
manufacturing, and colonial--was the principle which had banded the
majority together; and the victory was so great, the bond which united
them so strong, that, for this generation at least, all attempts,
by external aggression, to shake their government must have proved
nugatory. England was once again united: the great cause of domestic
industry of the universal people had triumphed. All that was required
of its leaders was to have remained true to themselves, to have adhered
to their principles, to have proved faithful to their professions;
and most assuredly the great majority of the nation would have proved
faithful to them. An opening was afforded, a foundation was laid, for
the formation of a great NATIONAL PARTY, which, discarding the now
senseless divisions of former times, was intent only on fostering the
industry of the whole working-classes of the community, and on rearing
up, on the basis of experienced benefits and acknowledged blessings, a
great and united British empire in every quarter of the globe.

What has prevented the realisation of so glorious a vision? what has
stepped between Great Britain and the diadem encircling the earth thus
presented to her grasp, and converted an empire which might now have
daily, and for centuries to come, been growing in strength, overflowing
with prosperity, unanimous in loyalty, into one declining in numbers,
shivered in power, divided in opinion? Whence is it that, while the
debates in Parliament are daily filled with the piteous, and, alas!
too faithful accounts of Irish destitution, of metropolitan suffering,
of agricultural distress, of industrial depression, the colonies are
all meditating separation from the mother country, and Government at
home, anticipating a severance of the empire which they can no longer
defend, are already, like the Romans of old, abandoning the distant
parts of the empire to their own resources? How has it happened that,
after reading a glowing eulogium in the leading articles of the _Times_
on the prosperous condition of the country, the increase of its exports
and imports, the cheapened food of its inhabitants, we read in the next
columns of the very same paper a piteous statement from Lord Ashley on
the frightful condition of the working-classes in the metropolis--a
heart-rending account from Mr Reynolds of the daily declining resources
and increasing pauperism of Ireland--an alarming statement, from the
official return, of the daily increasing importation of foreign grain,
at prices below what it can be raised at in this country--a decisive
proof, in the monthly return, of the decline of British and increase
of foreign shipping--and Lord Grey's circular to Australia and the
Mauritius, announcing the approaching withdrawal of the British troops
from those valuable settlements? Whence have arisen those obvious and
undeniable and well-known symptoms of national decline, immediately
after the opening of so glorious a dawn, and when the means of such
lasting and universal prosperity had, by the benignity of a gracious
Providence, been placed within our grasp?

No one need be told from what these melancholy results, after such
splendid prospects, have arisen. _It is dereliction of principle which
has done the whole._ A statesman was placed at the helm, of great
ability, of unwearied industry, of vast influence, but who wanted the
one thing needful for great statesman-like achievement--singleness
and consistency of principle. He rose to power by the exertions of
the Conservative party; and the first use he made of that power, when
fully acquired, was to spread dissension among that party, and for a
time destroy their influence. He made himself not the representative of
the nation, but of a section of the nation; not of the British empire
in every part of the world, but of Manchester and Glasgow. To their
interests everything else was sacrificed. The agricultural interest
was sacrificed by the repeal of the Corn Laws; the colonial, by the
equalising the duties on sugar and wood; the shipping, by the repeal
of the Navigation Laws; the manufactures for the home market, by the
unrestrained admission of foreign manufactured produce. The interests
of no class were consulted but those of the buyers and sellers of
commodities, and of the great manufacturers for the _export_ sale, the
class from whom Sir Robert Peel sprang; and as the interests of that
class are on most points adverse to the interests of the rest of the
community, the vast majority are now suffering for their benefit.

The time was when such an anomaly as this could not have existed.
Within the lifetime of half the present generation, the interests of
the merchant, the manufacturer, and the farmer were identified; and no
one of these classes could be benefited without extending the impulse
to all the others. The toast of "The Plough, the Loom, and the Sail,"
was as regularly to be heard at public dinners as that of the "British
Constitution, and may it be perpetual." But now neither is heard--they
have gone out of fashion together. Whence this extraordinary, this
woeful change, in so short a time, and in a nation which has not
been subjected to the convulsions of at least a violent and bloody
revolution? It is that the principle of protection to native industry
has been abandoned by the Government. A section of the community has
become so rich and powerful, from the shelter afforded to it during a
hundred and fifty years of protective policy, that it has succeeded in
setting all other classes at defiance, and changing our policy for its
own immediate benefit, but their certain decline and ruin.

This class is that of manufacturers for the _export_ sale. When Great
Britain was a self-supporting country, as it was to all practical
purposes down to 1842, the growth of our manufactures, whether for the
home or the foreign market, acted immediately and powerfully on the
interests of all other classes, agricultural and commercial, with which
they were surrounded. They eat the British or Irish farmer's bread and
beef; they were clothed in the British manufacturer's clothing; the
machinery they made use of was made by English hands; their goods, when
completed, were exported in British bottoms; and the profits of the
master manufacturers, who put the whole in motion, were for the most
part spent in the purchase of British luxuries and the encouragement
of British industry. Thence the universal feeling, that the interest
of all classes was identical, and that you could not benefit the one
without at the same time benefiting the others. But since the fatal
period when protection was abandoned, this mutual dependence has been
done away with--this great and beautiful bond of cohesion has been
destroyed. We can no longer give "The Plough, the Sail, and the Loom,"
at any public dinner. Every one feels that the interests of these
classes have now been set at variance. The old fable of the Sheaf of
Arrows has been realised. _One_ arrow, marked "Protection to Native
Industry," has been drawn out, and the whole sheaf is falling to pieces.

It is not surprising that consequences so wide-spread and disastrous
should follow the abandonment of the principle of protection to
native industry; for it is the cement which alone has hitherto held
together the vast and multifarious parts of the British empire. What
was it, during the war, which retained all the colonies in steady and
grateful loyalty to the British throne, and made even foreign colonial
settlements hail with joy the pendants of our fleets fitted out for
their subjugation, and in secret pray for the success of their enemy's
arms? It was a sense of individual advantage--the consciousness that
the Imperial Government on the throne knew no distinctions of locality,
but distributed the same equal justice to the planter of Jamaica or the
back-woodsman of Canada, as to the manufacturer of Manchester or the
farmer of Yorkshire. All were anxious to gain admittance into the great
and glorious empire, whose flaming sword, like that of the cherubim
at the gate of Paradise, turned every way, and which extended to all
its subjects, how distant and unrepresented soever, the same just and
equal protection. Norway petitioned to be admitted into the great
confederacy, and tendered its crown to Great Britain. Java mourned
being shut out from it. The day when the British standard was withdrawn
from the colonies, restored with imprudent generosity by victorious
England at the peace of 1814, was to them one of universal mourning.
There was no thought _then_ of breaking off from the British empire; no
mention of Bunker's Hill or Saratoga. The object of universal ambition
was to gain admission, or remain in it.

And what were the dependencies which were then so anxious to obtain an
entrance into, or retain their connection with, the British empire,
and are now equally, or more solicitous, to break off from it? They
were the West Indies, which at that period took off £3,500,000 worth
annually of our manufactures, and employed 250,000 tons of our
shipping; Canada, which has since, with 1,500,000 inhabitants, taken
off above £3,000,000, and employed 1,100,000 tons of our shipping; and
Australia, which now, with only 250,000 inhabitants, consumes above
£2,000,000 worth of our manufactures; while Russia, with 66,000,000,
takes off only £1,500,000 worth annually. So vast, various, and
growing are the British colonies in every quarter of the globe, that
half our export trade had become to us a home trade; and we enjoyed
the inestimable advantage, hitherto unknown to any country that ever
existed, of reaping domestic profits at each end of the chain which
encircled the earth. This it was which held together the British
empire, which preserved it intact amidst the greatest dangers, and
caused the industry of the heart of the empire to grow with the growth,
and strengthen with the strength, of its most distant extremities. In
casting away our colonies, in destroying the bond of mutual interest
which had so long held them in willing obedience to the heart of
the empire, we have voluntarily abandoned our best customers; we
have broken up the greatest and most growing dominion that ever yet
existed upon earth; we have loaded ourselves at home with a multitude
of useless mouths, which cannot find bread from the decline of the
colonial market, and let the boundless fields of our distant provinces
remain waste for want of the robust arms pining for employment at
home, which might have converted them into an earthly paradise, and
these islands into the smiling and prosperous heart of an empire which
embraced half the globe.

The emigration which has gone on, and has now increased to 300,000
a-year, has done little to obviate these evils: for, since protection
to our colonies has been withdrawn, four-fifths of it has gone to the
United States, where the principle of protection to native industry is
fully established, and constantly acted upon by their Government.

       *       *       *       *       *

Matters, however, are not yet irremediable. Appearances are
threatening, the danger is imminent, but the means of salvation are
still within our grasp. All that is requisite is, to return with
caution and moderation to the Protective policy which raised the
British empire to such an unparalleled pitch of grandeur, and to
abandon, cautiously and slowly, the selfish and suicidal policy which
is now, by the confession of all, breaking it up. The great party--the
NATIONAL PARTY--which placed in Sir Robert Peel's hands the means of
arresting this downward course, of restoring this glorious progress,
still exists in undiminished numbers and increased spirit. It has
gained one inestimable advantage--it has learned to know who are to be
relied on as faithful to their principles, and who are to be for ever
distrusted, as actuated only by the motives of ambition or selfishness.
It has gained an equally important advantage in having had sophistry
laid bare by _experience_. We have now learned, by actual results, at
what to estimate the flattering predictions of the Free-Traders. The
frightful spectacle of 300,000 emigrants annually driven for years
together, since Free Trade began, into exile from the British islands;
the proved decline of the taxable income of the industrious classes
(Schedule D) by £8,000,000 since 1842, and £6,000,000 since 1846; the
rise of our importation of foreign grain, in four years, from less
than 2,000,000 of quarters annually to above 10,000,000; the increase
of our imports in the last eight years by sixty-eight per cent, while
our exports have only increased by fifty-one per cent during the same
period; the increase of crime in a year of boasted prosperity to 74,000
commitments, a greater amount than it had ever reached in one of the
severest adversity; the diminution of Irish agricultural produce by
£8,000,000 in four years, and of British by at least £60,000,000 in
value during the same period; the total ruin of the West Indies,
the approaching severance of the other colonies from our empire, or
their voluntary abandonment by our Government; the admitted increase
of the national debt by £20,000,000 during twenty years of general
peace;--these, and a hundred other facts of a similar description, have
opened the eyes of so large a proportion of the nation to the real
tendency of the new system, that it has already become evident, even
to their own adherents, that, at latest, at the next election, if not
before, the Protectionists will be in power.

Lord Stanley has announced, with the candour and straightforwardness
which become a lofty character, what are the principles on which he
is prepared to accept office. He was instantly to have taken off the
Income Tax, which presses so severely on the industrious classes, and
supplied the deficiency, which would amount to about £3,000,000, by
a moderate import duty on all _foreign_ commodities. The effect of
these measures would have been incalculable: it is hard to say whether
they would have benefitted the nation most by the burdens which were
taken off, or those which were laid on. The first would relieve the
most hard-working and important part of the middle class, and let
loose above £5,000,000 a-year, now absorbed by the Income Tax, in the
encouragement of domestic industry; the second would produce the still
more important effect of enabling the nation to bear the burden of the
necessary taxation, and compel the foreigners, who now so liberally
furnish us with everything we desire _tax-free_, to bear the same
proportion of our burdens which we do of theirs. A large part of the
taxes of Prussia, and all the Continental States--the whole of the
American--is derived from import duties; and in this way our artisans
and manufacturers are compelled to pay a considerable proportion,
probably not less than a half, of the national burdens of these states.
Meanwhile their rude produce is admitted duty free to our harbours, so
that we get no part of our revenue from them. They levy _thirty per
cent_ on our goods, and the whole of that goes to swell their revenue,
to the relief of their subjects; we levy _two_ or _three per cent_ on
their grain, and the miserable pittance is scarcely perceptible amidst
the immense load of our taxation.

The benefit of the fiscal changes which Lord Stanley proposed would
have been great, immediate, and felt by the most meritorious and
heavily burdened class of the community--the middle class; the
burden for which it would have been commuted would have afforded a
certain amount of protection to native industry, so as to relieve
the most suffering classes engaged in production, and that at the
cost of a burden on consumers so trifling as to have been altogether

To illustrate the extreme injustice of the Income Tax, and the way in
which it presses on the most industrious and hard-worked, as well as
important class of the community, we subjoin a Table of Schedule D
(Trades and Professions) for the year ending 5th April 1848; and we
take that year in preference to the subsequent ones, to avoid the
objection of the commercial crisis of 1848 having rendered the view
partial and deceptive.[61] From this important Table it appears that
the sums received from persons _under_ £500 a-year were--

  |      CLASSES.        |Tax Received. |No. of Persons.|Income Assessed. |
  |                      +--------------+---------------+                 |
  | Under £150,          |   £73,539    |    34,270     |    £2,521,334   |
  | £150 and under £200, |   178,986    |    38,825     |     6,136,676   |
  | £200    "      £300, |   195,036    |    29,909     |     6,686,939   |
  | £300    "      £400, |   139,904    |    15,043     |     4,796,729   |
  | £400    "      £500, |    89,856    |     7,324     |     3,080,766   |
  |                      +--------------+---------------+                 |
  |                      |  £677,321    |   125,371     |   £23,222,444   |

And the incomes above £4000 stood thus:--

  |      CLASSES.        |Tax Received. |No. of Persons.|Income Assessed. |
  |                      +--------------+---------------+                 |
  |  £4,000 to  £5,000,  |   £50,500    |      400      |   £1,731,412    |
  |  £5,000 to £10,000,  |   149,740    |      788      |    5,133,931    |
  | £10,000 to £50,000,  |   191,687    |      371      |    6,572,146    |
  | £50,000 and upwards, |    50,184    |       22      |    1,720,593    |
  |                      |              |               |                 |
  |                      |  £442,111    |     1581      |  £15,158,082    |

[61] _Table showing Number of Persons charged for the Income Tax, and
Sum received, for the Year ending 5th April 1848 (under Schedule D.)_

  |      CLASSES.        |   Income on  |   Number of   |  Amount of Tax  |
  |                      |which the duty|   Persons in  |  received from  |
  |                      | is charged.  |  each Class.  |   each Class.   |
  |                      +--------------+---------------+-----------------+
  |                      |       £      |               |         £       |
  | Under £150 a-year    |   2,521,334  |     34,270    |       73,539    |
  |  £150 and under £200 |   6,136,676  |     38,825    |      178,986    |
  |   200       "    300 |   6,686,939  |     29,909    |      195,036    |
  |   300       "    400 |   4,796,729  |     15,043    |      139,904    |
  |   400       "    500 |   3,080,766  |      7,324    |       89,856    |
  |   500       "    600 |   2,858,869  |      5,532    |       83,384    |
  |   600       "    700 |   1,884,934  |      3,043    |       54,976    |
  |   700       "    800 |   1,542,040  |      2,124    |       44,976    |
  |   800       "    900 |   1,417,502  |      1,713    |       41,343    |
  |   900       "  1,000 |     821,923  |        875    |       23,973    |
  | 1,000       "  2,000 |   6,832,015  |      5,234    |      199,268    |
  | 2,000       "  3,000 |   3,431,064  |      1,483    |      100,073    |
  | 3,000       "  4,000 |   2,342,674  |        703    |       68,328    |
  | 4,000       "  5,000 |   1,731,412  |        400    |       50,500    |
  | 5,000       " 10,000 |   5,133,931  |        788    |      149,740    |
  |10,000       " 50,000 |   6,572,146  |        371    |      191,687    |
  |50,000 and upwards    |   1,720,593  |         22    |       50,184    |
  |                      +--------------+---------------+-----------------+
  |                      |  59,511,547  |    147,659    |    1,735,753    |

_Note._--From a Return ordered by the House of Commons to be printed
31st May 1849.

So that out of £1,685,977, which was the sum received from persons
in trades and professions in Great Britain that year, no less than
£677,000 came from 125,371 persons whose incomes were under £500
a-year, while only _one thousand five hundred and eighty-one_ persons
were assessed as having incomes above £4000! This dreadful tax
therefore is, _par excellence_, the shopkeeper's, manufacturer's,
and professional man's tax; and they are assessed for it in numbers
sixty times more numerous than the rich. And yet the assessment of
all is laid on at the same rate! Is it surprising that the Chancellor
of the Exchequer said, in support of this tax, that it was so unjust
to all, that no one was worse off than his neighbour, or had any
reason to complain? And let every tradesman, manufacturer, clerk,
and professional man, who pays this odious and unjust tax for the
next three years, recollect that he owes the burden _entirely to the
Free-Traders_; for if they had not been in a majority in the House of
Commons, Lord Stanley would have come in and taken it off.

Two statesmen, belonging to different schools, have come prominently
forward during the late Ministerial crisis; and to one or other of
them, or perhaps to both alternately, if they live, the destinies
of the empire, for a long period of time, will in all probability
be intrusted. These are Lord Stanley and Sir James Graham. Both are
men of great ability, vast application, extensive experience, tried
business habits, great oratorical and debating power; but, in other
respects, their characters are as opposite as the poles are asunder.
As usual, in such cases, while their characters bear the marks of
distinct individuality, they are the types or representatives of
the two great parties which now divide the British empire. The
first is straightforward, intrepid, and manly--patriotic, but not
vacillating--willing to undertake the burdens of office, but unwilling
to do so unless he can carry out the principles which he deems
essential to the salvation of his country. The second is ambitious,
cautious, diplomatic, desirous of power, but fearful of the shoals with
which it is beset; and desirous so to shape his policy and conceal
his intentions, as to avoid shipwreck by coming openly into collision
with any powerful party in the state. The _device_ of the one is the
steady polar star of duty; the guide of the other the flickering light
of expedience. The first refused the Premiership when offered to him
by his sovereign, because he thought the time had not yet arrived when
he could carry out his principles; the latter has so often changed
his side, and held office under so many parties, that no man alive
can tell what his principles are. The first broke off from Sir Robert
Peel in office, when he deserted his principles; the latter deserted
his principles to join Sir Robert Peel when entering on power. The
first, while still in opposition, has already announced to the country
what line of policy he is determined to adopt if placed in power; the
last has talked of a mutiny in the army as a reason for continuing
the ruin of agriculture, and a rebellion in Ireland as a reason for
tamely submitting to Papal aggression. The one is of the true breed of
the British lion, the other a mongrel cross between the Whig and the

_Printed by William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh._

[Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.]

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