Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 71, No. 437, March 1852
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 71, No. 437, March 1852" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



Transcriber's note:

Text enclosed by underscores is in italics (_italics_).

Small capital text has been replaced with all capitals.


       *       *       *       *       *



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCCXXXVII.      MARCH, 1852.       VOL. LXXI.



CONTENTS.


  MISS MITFORD'S "RECOLLECTIONS,"                      259

  STRUGGLES FOR FAME AND FORTUNE. PART III.,           272

  SKETCHES FROM THE CAPE,      289

  MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE. PART XIX.,  298

  ENGLISH ADMINISTRATIONS,                             320

  TIBET AND THE LAMAS,                                 335

  FOREST LIFE IN CANADA WEST,                          355

  FAREWELL TO THE RHINE,                               366

  THE REFORM MEASURES OF 1852,                         369



EDINBURGH:

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

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

SOLD BY ALL THE BOOKSELLERS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.


PRINTED BY WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS, EDINBURGH.



BLACKWOOD'S

EDINBURGH MAGAZINE.

  NO. CCCCXXXVII.       MARCH, 1852.        VOL. LXXI.



MISS MITFORD'S "RECOLLECTIONS."[1]

  [1] _Recollections of a Literary Life; or, Books, Places, and
  People._ By MARY RUSSELL MITFORD, author of "Our Village," &c.


No one can have glanced at _Our Village_, or any of the charming
sketches of Miss Mitford, without having been struck by the peculiar
elegance, the raciness, the simplicity of her style. It is as free
in all its movements as that pet of hers, the Italian greyhound
she has made so familiar to us all--as free and as graceful. A
beautiful style is no singularity in our days, and there are many
orders of such beauty; nevertheless, Miss Mitford has a dialect of
her own. It is a style gathered from familiarity with the classic,
and especially the dramatic poets, and with whatever is most terse
and elegant amongst our prose writers, and yet applied with perfect
ease to the simplest details of life, to the real transaction and
the daily scene before her. You would think every one was talking in
the same manner; it is only Miss Mitford who speaks this dialect.
It is as if any one should learn Italian from the works of Petrarch
or Tasso, or any other of their classics, and be able to apply
the language he had thus acquired without the least restraint to
the common purposes of life; every Italian would understand him,
and seem to speak like him, and yet he would remain in exclusive
possession of his own Tuscan speech.

Miss Mitford is one of those who have made the discovery that there
is always a "California" under our feet, if we look for it. She
detected, by her own independent sagacity, and before the truth was
so generally known and so generally acted upon as it is at present,
that what most interests in books is precisely that which is nearest
to us in real life. She did not find it necessary to go to the Alps
or the Pyrenees for her landscape, nor to Spain or Constantinople
for her men and women; she looked down the lane that led from
her own cottage-door; she saw the children in it, and the loaded
hay-cart; she saw Arabia with all her tents in that gipsy encampment
where the same kettle seems to swing for ever between the same three
poles--nomadic race, eternally wandering and never progressing. She
looked out of her own window, and within it her own home--always
cheerful, or always deserving to be such, from the cheerful spirit
of its owner; and she found in all these things, near and dear to
her, sufficient subjects for her pencil. And very faithfully she
paints the village scene--with, at least, as much fidelity to truth
as a graceful womanly spirit could summon up resolution enough to
practise. A light something too golden falls uniformly over the
picture.

A work professing to be the _Recollections of a Literary Life_, and
that literary life Miss Mitford's, could not fail to attract us.
The subject is one of the most interesting an author could select;
for, in addition to whatever charm it may acquire from personal
narrative, the recollections in which it deals are in themselves
thoughts, in themselves literature. They must always have this
twofold interest--whatever they gain from the reminiscent, and
whatever they possess themselves of sterling value. The subject is
excellent, and we are persuaded that Miss Mitford is capable of
doing ample justice to it; all we have to regret here is that she
has not thrown herself completely and unreservedly into her subject;
she never seems, indeed, quite to have determined what should be the
distinct scope and purpose of her work. This apparent indecision
or hesitation on her part is, we suspect, the sole cause of any
disappointment which some of its readers may possibly feel.

Our authoress has been unwilling to launch herself on the full
stream or current of her own personal reminiscences and feelings,
to write what would be, in fact, little else than an autobiography;
she has shrunk back, afraid of the charge of being too personal,
too egotistical. A delicacy and sensitiveness very natural; and yet
the very nature of her subject required that she should brave this
charge. It was not a mere selection of extracts and quotations,
accompanied by a few critical remarks, which she intended to give
us. If this had been her sole, original, and specific purpose, we
venture to say that it would have been, in many respects, a very
different series of extracts she would have brought together.
Now, if Miss Mitford had boldly recalled her own intellectual
history--giving us the favourite passages of her favourite authors,
as they were still living in her memory and affections, (for of
that which has _ceased_ to be admired the faintest glance is
sufficient)--she would have produced a far superior work to that
which lies before us. Or if, discarding altogether her own personal
history, she had merely gone into her library, and, pulling down
from the shelves a certain number of favourite authors, had selected
from each what she most approved, accompanying her quotations with
some critical and biographical notices, and arranging them in
something like harmonious order, so that we should not be tossed
too abruptly from one author to another of quite different age and
character, she could not have failed, here also, of producing a
work complete of its kind. In the first case, we should have had
the unity and the interest of a continuous and personal narrative;
in the second case, we should have had a higher order of selections
and criticisms; the beauty of the quotation would have been the sole
motive for inserting it; and her clear critical faculty would have
been unbiassed by the amiable partialities of friendship.

As we cannot tell, however, with what anticipations the reader may
open a book of this description, (which, in its premises, must be
always more or less vague,) we are perhaps altogether wrong in
supposing that he is likely to feel any disappointment whatever.
There is much in it which cannot fall to interest him. But if he
does experience to any degree this feeling of disappointment, it
will be traceable to the simple fact we have been pointing out--the
want of a settled plan or purpose in the work itself. No one knows
better than Miss Mitford that, if a writer is not quite determined
in the scope and object of his own book, he is pretty sure to leave
a certain indistinct and unsatisfactory impression on his reader.

Having said thus much in the absence of a definite purpose, we
ought to permit the authoress to explain herself upon this head.
"The title of this book," she says in the preface, "gives a very
imperfect idea of the contents. Perhaps it would be difficult
to find a short phrase that would accurately describe a work so
miscellaneous and so wayward; a work where there is far too much of
personal gossip and of local scene-painting for the grave pretension
of critical essays, and far too much of criticism and extract for
anything approaching in the slightest degree to autobiography. The
courteous reader must take it for what it is."

We hope to rank amongst "courteous readers," and will "take it
for what it is." _Recollections of a Literary Life_ was a title
which promised too much; but there was no help for it: a title the
book must have, and we can easily understand that, under certain
circumstances, the choice of a name may be a very difficult matter.
Whatever name may best become it, the book is, without doubt, full
of pleasant and agreeable reading. A better companion for the
summer's afternoon we could not recommend. That "personal gossip"
of which the preface speaks, is written in the most charming manner
imaginable; and it will be impossible, we think, for any one,
however familiar with our literature, not to meet, amongst the
quotations, with some which he will sincerely thank the authoress
for having brought before him.

Having thus discharged our critical conscience by insisting, perhaps
with a more severe impartiality than the case demanded, on the one
apparent defect in the very structure and design of this book, we
have now only to retrace our steps through it, pausing where the
matter prompts an observation, or where it affords an apt example of
the kind of interest which pervades it. And first we must revert to
that "personal gossip," to which we have a decided predilection, and
in which Miss Mitford pre-eminently excels: in her hands it becomes
an art. Here is something about "Woodcock Lane." She is about to
introduce her old favourites, Beaumont and Fletcher, and carries
us first to a certain pleasant retreat where she was accustomed to
read these dramatists. "I pore over them," she says, "in the silence
and solitude of a certain green lane, about half a mile from home;
sometimes seated on the roots of an old fantastic beech, sometimes
on the trunk of a felled oak, or sometimes on the ground itself,
with my back propped lazily against a rugged elm."

     "In that very lane," she continues, "am I writing on this sultry
     June day, luxuriating in the shade--the verdure, the fragrance
     of hay-field and bean-field, and the absence of all noise,
     except the song of birds, and that strange mingling of many
     sounds, the whir of a thousand forms of insect life, so often
     heard among the general hush of a summer noon....

     "Occasional passengers there are, however, gentle and simple.
     My friend, Mr B., for instance, has just cantered past on
     his blood-horse, with a nod and a smile, saying nothing, but
     apparently a good deal amused with my arrangements. And here
     comes a procession of cows going to milking, with an old
     attendant, still called the cow-boy, who, although they have
     seen me often enough, one should think, sitting underneath a
     tree writing, with my little maid close by hemming flounces,
     and my dog, Fanchon, nestled at my feet--still _will_ start as
     if they had never seen a woman before in their lives. Back they
     start, and then they rush forward, and then the old drover emits
     certain sounds, which it is to be presumed the cows understand;
     sounds so horribly discordant that little Fanchon--although to
     her too they ought to be familiar, if not comprehensible--starts
     up in a fright on her feet, deranging all the economy of my
     extempore desk, and wellnigh upsetting the inkstand. Very much
     frightened is my pretty pet, the arrantest coward that ever
     walked upon four legs! And so she avenges herself, as cowards
     are wont to do, by following the cows at safe distance, as soon
     as they are fairly past, and beginning to bark amain when they
     axe nearly out of sight. Then follows a motley group of the
     same nature--colts, yearlings, calves, heifers, with a shouting
     boy, and his poor shabby mongrel cur, for driver. The poor cur
     wants to play with Fanchon, but Fanchon, besides being a coward,
     is also a beauty, and holds her state; although I think, if he
     could but stay long enough, that the good-humour of the poor
     merry creature would prove infectious, and beguile the little
     lady into a game of romps. Lastly appears the most solemn troop
     of all, a grave company of geese and goslings, with the gander
     at their head, marching with the decorum and dignity proper to
     the birds who saved Rome. Fanchon, who once had an affair with a
     gander, in which she was notably worsted, retreats out of sight,
     and ensconces herself between me and the tree.

     "Such are our passers-by. Sometimes we have what I was about to
     call settled inhabitants, in the shape of a camp of gipsies."

After describing this camp of gipsies, and how the men carry on a
sort of "trade in forest ponies," and how the women make and sell
baskets "at about double the price at which they might be bought at
the dearest shop in the good town of Belford Regis," she proceeds to
tell us how, notwithstanding her perfect knowledge of this fact, she
is induced to become a purchaser.

     "Last Saturday I happened to be sitting on a fallen tree
     somewhat weary, my little damsel working as usual at the other
     end, and Fanchon balancing himself on the trunk between us; the
     curls of her brown coat--she is entirely brown--turning into
     gold as the sunshine played upon them through the leaves.

     "In this manner were we disposed, when a gipsy, with a pair
     of light baskets in her hand, came and offered them for sale.
     She was a middle-aged woman, who, in spite of her wandering
     life--perhaps because of that hardy out-of-door life--had
     retained much of her early beauty: the flashing eyes, the
     pearly teeth, the ruddy cheeks, the fine erect figure. It
     happened that, not wanting them, my companion had rejected these
     identical baskets when brought to our door in the morning. She
     told me so, and I quietly declined them. My friend the gipsy
     apparently gave the matter up, and, claiming me as an old
     acquaintance, began to inquire after my health, and fell into
     the pleasantest strain of conversation possible; spoke of my
     father, who, she said, had been kind to her and to her tribe,
     (no doubt she said truly; he was kind to everybody, and had a
     liking for the wandering race,) spoke of her children at the
     gipsy school in Dorsetshire; of the excellent Mr Crabbe, the
     friend of her people, at Southampton; then she began stroking
     Fanchon, (who actually, to my astonishment, permitted the
     liberty; in general she suffers no one to touch her that is not
     gentleman or lady;) Fanchon she stroked, and of Flush, the dear
     old dog, now lying buried under the rose-tree, she talked; then,
     to leave no one unpropitiated, she threw out a word of pleasant
     augury, a sort of gratuitous fortune-telling, to the hemmer of
     flounces; then she attacked me again with old recollections,
     trusting, with singular knowledge of human nature, to the power
     of the future upon the young, and of the past upon the old--to
     me she spoke of happy memories, to my companion of happiness to
     come; and so--how could I help it?--I bought the baskets."

After this little excursion into Woodcock Lane, we are introduced to
Messrs Beaumont and Fletcher. The quotations from these authors we
should have no object in reproducing here. One thing we cannot help
noticing. Both on this and on some other occasions we are struck by
an omission, by a silence. Though she may think fit to represent
these dramatists as her favourite companions, we are morally certain
that it was a far greater than either of them who was generally her
delight and her study in that shady solitude. Could we have looked
over the page as she sate there leaning so amiably against that
"rugged elm," we are sure that it would have been Shakspeare that
we should have found in her hands. But why no word of Shakspeare?
We think we can conjecture the cause of this omission; and, if our
surmise is correct, we quite sympathise with the feeling that led
to it. Miss Mitford is a sincere and ardent admirer of Shakspeare;
she must be so--in common with every intelligent person who reads
poetry at all. But Miss Mitford likes to keep her senses; has a
shrewd, quiet intelligence; has little love for what is vague or
violent in criticism any more than in poetry; and she has felt that
the extravagant, rhodomontade style of panegyric now prevalent
upon our greatest of poets, reduced her to silence. She could not
out-Herod Herod; she could not outbid these violent declaimers who
speak of Shakspeare as if he were a god, who admire all they read
which bears his name--the helter-skelter entangled confusion and
obscurity, the wretched conceit, the occasional bombast--admire all,
and thereby prove they have no right to any admiration whatever. She
was, therefore, like many others who love and reverence him most,
reduced to silence. Some years hence a sensible word may be written
of Shakspeare. At present, he who would praise with discrimination
must apparently place himself in the rank of his detractors.

Miss Mitford's critical taste leads her to an especial preference
of what is distinct and intelligible in all the departments of
literature. To some it may appear that she is more capable of
doing justice to poetry of the secondary than of the higher and
more spiritual order. However that may be, we, for our own part,
congratulated ourselves on an escape from that vague and mystical
criticism which is so prevalent in our day. There are two words
which a certain class of writers never pronounce without going
off into frenzy or delirious raving. "Shakspeare" is one of these
words; the "Infinite" is the other. They have made the discovery
that this poet or that painter talks or paints the "infinite."
They find in every obscurity of thought, in every violence of
passion, the "infinite." There is no such thing as "sound and fury
signifying nothing." They always signify the "infinite." If there
is the "infinite" in criticism, they certainly have reached it. In
Goldsmith's time, it was "Shakspeare and the musical glasses;" it
is now "Shakspeare and the Infinite." We suspect that the musical
glasses were more amusing, and are sure that they had quite as much
meaning.

We go back to Woodcock Lane. We rather cruelly abridged our last
extract, on purpose that we might have space for one other of the
same description. We make no apology for clinging to this "personal
gossip." Very few of the poetical quotations throughout the work
have more of beauty and of pathos than the concluding paragraph of
the next extract we shall give. _Apropos_ of Sir Philip Sydney's
_Arcadia_, she makes us participators in her country rambles;
and _apropos_ of these she introduces us to an old friend, a
walking-stick--"pretty nearly as well known as ourselves in our
Berkshire village." Some sixty years ago it was "a stick of
quality," having belonged to a certain Duchess-Dowager of Atholl;
but the circumstance that her own mother had taken to using it,
during her latter days, had especially endeared it to her.

     "And then," as she observes with finest tact, "everybody knows
     how the merest trifles which have formed part of the daily
     life of the loved and lost, especially those things which they
     have touched, are cherished, and cared for, and put aside; how
     we dare not look upon them for very love; and how, by some
     accident that nobody can explain, they come to light in the
     course of time, and after a momentary increase of sadness, help
     to familiarise and render pleasant the memory by which they are
     endeared."

This is very beautifully expressed, and it is the tone of right
sentiment; truthful, natural, the unaffected sadness that tempers
into a sweet and pleasant memory.

     "So the stick," she continues, "reappeared in the hall, and,
     from some whim which I have never rightly understood myself, I,
     who had no more need of such a supporter than the youngest woman
     in the parish--who was, indeed, the best walker of my years for
     a dozen miles round, and piqued myself not a little upon so
     being--took a fancy to use this stick in my own proper person,
     and most pertinaciously carried this fancy into execution. Much
     was I laughed at for this crotchet, and I laughed too. Friends
     questioned, strangers stared; but, impassive to stare or to
     question, I remained constant to my supporter. Except when I
     went to London, (for I paid so much homage to public opinion as
     to avoid such a display _there_,) I should as soon have thought
     of walking out without my bonnet as without my stick. That stick
     was my inseparable companion."

The staff had met with its share of misadventures and accidents;
"one misfortune, so to say personal, which befel it, was the loss of
its own head;" but its loss from the pony-chaise, its fall from the
chaise into a brook which had been passed through the day before, is
the especial calamity here celebrated. By this time we learn with
regret that the stick has become more than a whim--has grown into a
useful and necessary friend:--

     "I might have observed that something was amiss in our small
     household; that Sarah answered the bell, and that the hemmer of
     flounces, when she did appear, seemed flurried and fatigued.
     But I was thinking of Sir Philip Sydney, of the _Defence of
     Poetry_, of the _Arcadia_, and of my own resolution to proceed
     to the green lane, and to dissect that famous pastoral, and
     select from the mass, which even to myself I hardly confessed to
     be ponderous, such pages as might suit an age that by no means
     partakes of my taste for folios. So I said to her, 'That the
     afternoon being cool, and I less lame than usual, I thought we
     should not need Sam and the pony-chaise, but that I could manage
     by the help of my stick.'

     "At that word out burst the terrible tidings. My stick, my poor
     old stick, my life-long friend, the faithful companion of so
     many walks, was missing, was gone, was lost! Last night, on our
     return from the lane, the place in the pony-chaise where Sam
     and I had carefully deposited it was found vacant. Already hue
     and cry had everywhere been made. 'And really, ma'am,' quoth
     she, 'there is some comfort in the interest people take in the
     stick. If it were anything alive, the pony or Fanchon, or little
     Henry, or we ourselves, they could not be more sorry. Master
     Brent, ma'am, at the top of the street, he promises to speak to
     everybody; so does William Wheeler, who goes everywhere; and
     Mrs Bromley at the shop; and the carrier; and the postman. I
     dare say the whole parish knows it by this time! I have not been
     outside the gate to-day, but a dozen people have asked me if we
     had heard of _our_ stick. It must turn up soon. If one had but
     the slightest notion where it was lost!'

             .       .       .       .       .       .

     "Well! we at last sate down on our old turf seats, not far
     from the entrance of a field, where an accident (in the
     wheat-carrying, which was then in full activity) had evidently
     taken place; a loaded waggon must have knocked against the gate,
     and spilt some of its topmost sheaves. The sheaves were taken
     away, but the place was strewed with relics of the upset, and
     a little harvest of the long yellow straw and the rich brown
     ears remained to tempt the gleaners. As we were talking over
     this misfortune, and our own, and I was detailing my reasons
     for believing that my poor stick had found a watery grave, we
     became aware of two little girls, who stole timidly and quietly
     up to the place, and began gladly and thankfully to pick up the
     scattered corn.

     "Poor little things, we knew them well! We had known their
     father died of consumption scarcely a month ago; and affecting
     it was to see these poor children, delicate girls of seven and
     five years old, already at work to help their widowed mother,
     and rejoicing over the discovery of these few ears of fallen
     wheat, as if it were the gold mines of California. A drove of
     pigs was looming in the distance; and my little damsel flung
     down her work, and sprang up at once to help the poor children.
     She has a taste for helping people, has my little maid, and puts
     her whole heart and soul into such kindnesses. It was worth
     something to see how she pounced upon every straggling straw,
     clearing away all round the outside, and leaving the space
     within for the little girls. The ground was cleared before the
     drove came near.

     "Pleasant it was to see her zealous activity, and the joy and
     surprise of the little creatures, who, weak, timid, and lonely,
     had till then only collected about a dozen ears, when they found
     themselves loaded with more than they could carry. Their faded
     frocks were by her contrivance pinned up about them, filled with
     the golden wheat-ears, and the children went home happy.... Many
     a rich mother might be proud of the two gleaners that we have
     seen this afternoon. They so pleased and so thankful to carry
     their poor store to that poor home; they carried thither better
     things than wheat."

But for the fate of the stick, and how it was found, and what was
done that day with Sir Philip Sydney's _Arcadia_, we must refer the
reader to the book itself. We must now proceed to take some general
survey of the far larger portion of the work, which consists of
extracts, with some biographical and critical notices.

The series of quotations does not open very auspiciously: we are
presented with some Irish ballads of Mr Thomas Davis, which we do
not think will excite in many readers the same amount of admiration
they appear to have done in Miss Mitford. We must prefer the song
she has given, as by Mr Banim, the author of the _Tales of the
O'Hara Family_. It is simple and graceful:--

    "'Tis not for love of gold I go,
      'Tis not for love of fame;
    Though Fortune may her smile bestow,
      And I may win a name,
                    Ailleen;
      And I may win a name.

    "And yet it _is_ for gold I go,
      And yet it _is_ for fame--
    That they may deck another brow,
      And bless another name,
                    Ailleen;
      And bless another name.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Oh! when the bays are all my own,
      I know a heart will care!
    Oh! when the gold is sought and won,
      I know a brow will wear,
                    Ailleen;
      I know a brow will wear.

    "And when with both returned again,
      My native land I see,
    I know a smile will meet me then,
      And a hand will welcome me,
                    Ailleen;
      And a hand will welcome me."

There is a brief notice of another writer, a countryman of Mr
Banim's, which is very touching. Gerald Griffin seems to have
sounded every note of that gay and sad and mournful destiny which
the young poet has to endure, who, with a proud, aspiring, sensitive
nature, fronts the terrible commonplace of human life--who out
of dreams and imagery and sentiment has to coin the means of
subsistence. We see him starting from some place near Limerick, with
his pocket full of plays. Alas! we see him labouring in London,
almost friendless and alone, at mere literary toils, some hopeless
love added to his other despondencies, till, broken down in health
and courage, and despairing of success, he quits the field, and
"joins the Society of Christian Brethren at Cork." No need to go
back to the middle ages for romance, if the romance of life consists
in suffering and the alternation of hope and despondency, or of
hopes transplanted from this world to the next. The soldier and
the monastery; the dramatic poet and the "Christian Brethren at
Cork"--there is the same tale in both.

We have another contemporary instance brought before us, where the
poetic fervour or ambition led to a far sadder retreat than this
Society, whatever it may be, of Christian Brethren. John Clare,
while following the plough, had looked on nature with the eye of
a poet. Pity that he could not have written his poetry, and still
clung to his plough. But he left the fields for life in cities, and,
instead of singing for the song's sake, commenced singing for the
support of wife and family. Hence came madness--in this instance,
that actual insanity which the physician can catalogue and describe.

It is worth noticing that his first patron, Lord Exeter, had
really entertained the design of so assisting the rustic poet that
he should be able to unite his favourite pursuit with his early,
healthy, invigorating occupations of husbandry. Surely there is
nothing incompatible between them. "Lord Exeter," we are told, "sent
for him to Burleigh, and hearing that he earned thirty pounds per
annum by field-labour, settled an annuity of fifteen pounds upon
him, with a view to his devoting half his time to agricultural
pursuits, and half to literary pursuits." We like this idea of his
noble patron; it bespeaks, we think, a very reflective as well
as a generous mind. But there were patrons of a very different
stamp, or rather, according to the account we have here, a number
of officious, vulgar admirers of poor John Clare, who rendered the
design abortive; who had nothing to offer to the village poet,
but who disturbed his quiet, intelligent, safe, unostentatious,
and healthy existence, by their absurd and idle curiosity. He was
called away from his fields--to be looked at! "He was frequently
interrupted, as often as three times a-day, during his labours in
the harvest-field, to gratify the curiosity of admiring visitors."
We cannot blame poor John Clare for leaving his labours in the
harvest-field; it has always been the weakness of the poet to love
praise too much; without this weakness he would hardly have been
a poet, at least he would have been a very careless one; but we
think those "admiring visitors" showed their taste and their love
of poetry in a most extraordinary manner. Whatever else they felt,
they felt no respect for the dignity of the man. They ought to have
understood that visits of such a kind, for such an idle purpose,
whatever flattering shape they may have assumed, were insults.

Miss Mitford terminates the painful history by the following
singular account:--

     "A few years ago he was visited by a friend of mine, who
     gave me a most interesting account of the then state of his
     intellect. His delusions were at that time very singular in
     their character: whatever he read, whatever recurred to him from
     his former reading, or happened to be mentioned in conversation,
     became impressed on his mind as a thing that he had witnessed
     and acted in. My friend was struck with a narrative of the
     execution of Charles the Fist, recounted by Clare as a
     transaction that had occurred yesterday, and of which he was
     an eye-witness--a narrative the most graphic and minute, with
     an accuracy as to costume and manners far exceeding what would
     probably have been at his command if sane. It is such a lucidity
     as the disciples of Mesmer claim for clairvoyance. Or he would
     relate the battle of the Nile and the death of Lord Nelson
     with the same perfect keeping, especially as to seamanship,
     fancying himself one of the sailors who had been in the action,
     and dealing out nautical phrases with admirable exactness and
     accuracy, although it is doubtful if he ever saw the sea in his
     life."

As might have been expected, and is both graceful and natural, the
poets of her own sex occupy a considerable space in Miss Mitford's
selections. In some cases the names were new to us, but the
extracts given made us feel that they ought not to have been so. An
Englishman may be very proud, we think, when he reflects how many
highly cultivated minds there are amongst his countrywomen, minds
so gentle and so intelligent, whose cultivation goes hand in hand
with the truest refinement of character. Here in one chapter we
have four names strung together, most of which, we suspect, will be
new to the majority of readers--"Mrs Clive, Mrs Acton Tindal, Miss
Day, Mrs Robert Dering"--yet the extracts in this chapter will bear
comparison with those of any other part of the work. A little poem
called "The Infant Bridal," is, as Miss Mitford describes it to be,
one of the most perfect paintings we ever _read_. Its subject is the
marriage of Richard Duke of York, second son of Edward IV., with
Anne Mowbray, Duchess of Norfolk. The bridegroom was not five years
old, and the bride scarcely three. The procession, where, at the
head of "belted barons" and courtly dames,

    "Two blooming children led the way
      With short and doubtful tread;"

the ceremony, where the venerable prelate gives his
blessing to this infant bride and bridegroom, and

    "Their steady gaze these children meek
      Upon the old man bent,
    As earnestly they seemed to seek
      The solemn words intent."

Every part of the narrative is so charmingly told that we cannot
consent to mar the effect by any broken quotation. It is too long to
be extracted entirely.

From the poem which follows, of Miss Day's, it will be easier to
break off a fragment.

     "I have now to introduce," says Miss Mitford, "another fair
     artist into the female gallery of which I am so proud; an artist
     whose works seem to me to bear the same relation to sculpture
     that those of Mrs Acton Tindal do to painting. The poetry of
     Miss Day is statuesque in its dignity, in its purity, in its
     repose. Purity is perhaps the distinguishing quality of this
     fine writer, pervading the conception, the thoughts, and the
     diction. But she must speak for herself. As 'The Infant Bridal'
     might form a sketch for an historical picture, so 'Charlotte
     Corday' is a model, standing ready to be chiselled in Parian
     stone."

    "Stately and beautiful and chaste,
      Forth went the dauntless maid,
    Her blood to yield, her youth to waste,
      That carnage might be stayed.
    This solemn purpose filled her soul,
      There was no room for fear;
    She heard the cry of vengeance roll
      Prophetic on her ear.

    "She thought to stem the course of crime
      By one appalling deed;
    She knew to perish in her prime
      Alone would be her meed.
    No tremor shook her woman's breast,
      No terror blanched her brow;
    She spoke, she smiled, she took her rest,
      And hidden held her vow.

    "She mused upon her country's wrong,
      Upon the tyrant's guilt;
    Her settled purpose grew more strong
      As blood was freshly spilt.
    What though the fair, smooth hand were slight!
      It grasped the sharpened steel;
    A triumph flashed before her sight--
      The death that it should deal.

    "She sought her victim in his den--
      The tiger in his lair;
    And though she found him feeble then,
      There was no thought to spare.
    Fast through his dying, guilty heart,
      That pity yet withstood,
    She made her gleaming weapon dart,
      And stained her soul with blood."

In another chapter of her work Miss Mitford gives us a slight
biographical sketch of one who needs no introduction here or
elsewhere--of the now celebrated Mrs Browning. The sketch is very
interesting, but the extract given from her poems is not very
happily selected. Miss Mitford does not seem to have ventured to
trust herself among the more daring beauties--the bolder and more
spiritual flights of her friend Mrs Browning. Her taste clings, as
we have said, to what is distinct and definite. Of this we have
rather an amusing instance in the criticism she passes on Shelley's
_Alastor_. There is good sense and some truth in the criticism, and
yet it is not all that ought to have been said of such a poem:--

     "The first time," she says, "I ever met with any of his works,
     this vagueness brought me into a ludicrous dilemma. It was in
     the great library of Tavistock House that Mr Perry one morning
     put into my hand a splendidly printed and splendidly bound
     volume, (_Alastor_, as I think,) and desired me to read it, and
     give him my opinion. 'You will at least know,' he said, 'whether
     it be worth anybody else's reading.'

     "Accordingly I took up the magnificent presentation copy, and
     read conscientiously till visitors came in. I had no marker,
     and the richly-bound volume closed as if instinctively; so that
     when I resumed my task, on the departure of the company, not
     being able to find my place, I was obliged to begin the book
     at the first line. More visitors came and went, and still the
     same calamity befell me; again, and again, and again I had to
     search in vain amongst a succession of melodious lines, as like
     each other as the waves of the sea, for buoy or landmark, and
     had always to put back to shore and begin my voyage anew. I do
     not remember having been ever in my life more ashamed of my own
     stupidity, than when obliged to say to Mr Perry, in answer to
     his questions as to the result of my morning's studies, that
     doubtless it was a very fine poem--only, that I never could
     tell, when I took up the book, where I had left off half an hour
     before--an unintended criticism, which, as characteristic both
     of author and reader, very much amused my kind and clever host."

Now, if, instead of the magnificent presentation copy, read in the
great library of Tavistock House, where visitors were coming in
and going out, Miss Mitford had taken a little homely manageable
volume down Woodcock Lane, and there read _Alastor_, undisturbed,
beneath the shadow of the trees, she must, we think, have had to
record a very different impression of the poem. She would have
needed no "marker." Perhaps there would have lived in her memory an
hour of intellectual pleasure as great as any that the page of the
poet had ever procured for her. Though not the highest effort of
Shelley's genius, _Alastor_ is probably the most pleasing. There is
no tortuosity of thought to pardon or to forget; it is one unbroken
interwoven strain of music, of imagery, of sentiment. Those who have
defined poetry as the luxury of thought, could nowhere find a better
example to illustrate their meaning--it is all music, imagination,
feeling. Oh, when the summer months come round, let us entreat
Miss Mitford _to try it in Woodcock Lane_! How could she trust to
anything she had read out of a magnificent presentation copy, in the
great library at Tavistock House?

The quotation from Keats is very skilfully selected; it must
please the most fastidious taste, and is yet sufficiently peculiar
to suggest that no one but Keats could have written it. From the
writings of W. S. Landor she might have gathered much better, and
without devoting to them any larger space than she has done. If she
had turned to the miscellaneous poems which conclude his collected
works, she might have extracted two or three of the most polished
and perfect lyrics in our language, and which have the precise
qualification, in this case so indispensable, of being very brief.

Mr Landor, by the way, will be much amused to find himself
praised--for what will our readers think?--for modesty! "I prefer,"
says Miss Mitford, "to select from the Hellenics, that charming
volume, because very few have given such present life to classical
subjects. _I begin with the preface, so full of grace and modesty._"

In the lady's mind, grace and modesty are no doubt inseparable
companions; and, finding abundance of the one in Mr Landor's
style, she concluded that the other must be there also. Of _that
other_ there is not an atom in all his writings, and there never
was intended to be. It is a maidenly quality which he never had
the remotest design of laying claim to. The very preface which she
quotes is a piece of undisguised sarcasm. We doubt if there is much
grace in it, certainly there is no modesty. Here is the commencement
of this modest preface. "It is hardly to be expected that ladies
and gentlemen will leave on a sudden their daily promenade, skirted
by Turks, and shepherds, and knights, and plumes, and palfreys _of
the finest Tunbridge manufacture_, to look at these rude frescoes,
delineated on an old wall, high up, and sadly weak in colouring. _As
in duty bound, we can wait._"

If Miss Mitford should ever read this preface again, she will pass
her hand over her brow, a little puzzled where it was she saw the
"modesty." She will appeal to Fanchon, who will be sitting in her
lap, looking very intently over the page, and ask him what he thinks
of the matter. Fanchon will laugh out obstreperously, will bark
delighted, at the amiable blunder of his mistress.

We remarked that we had been occasionally struck with an omission,
or a silence. It seems to us a characteristic circumstance that
we hear no mention made of Lord Byron. Wordsworth and Southey,
Coleridge and Shelley, get some space allotted to them, larger or
smaller; but he who occupied so conspicuous a position among these
very contemporaries has none whatever. It is not because he still
holds a very high rank amongst our poets--though by no means the
same eminence that was once assigned to him--that we notice this
omission; but because his writings had so strong and peculiar an
influence on most minds open to the influence of poetry, that we
naturally expect to meet with his name in the literary recollections
of one who, we way venture to say without any ungallant reference to
chronology, must have lived in that period when Lord Byron was in
the ascendant. There are few persons who, in acknowledging the happy
influence of Wordsworth's poetry, would not have to commence their
confession by some account of the very opposite influence of Lord
Byron's. We should have said that the Byronic fever was a malady
which hardly any of our contemporaries, who are liable to catch a
fever of any kind from books, had entirely escaped. Miss Mitford,
however, hints at no such calamity. Her excellent constitution seems
to have preserved her from it. She bore a charm against all such
plagues, in her clear sense and cheerful temper. She was thereby
preserved from some very absurd misery--very absurd, but most
indisputable misery; and she also lost some experience of a not
unprofitable nature--certain lessons of wisdom which, being _burnt
into one_, are never afterwards to be obliterated from the mind.

If the subject were but one shade more attractive, or less repulsive
than it is, we would, for the benefit of such exempted persons as
Miss Mitford, describe the course and the symptoms of this Byronic
fever. We would describe how, some luckless day, the youth who
ought to be busy with his Greek or his Euclid plays truant over the
poetry of _Childe Harold_ and _Manfred_; how it makes him brimful
of unaccountable misery; how, as is most natural, he reads on the
faster--reads on insatiate and insensate.

But what tossings and throbbings and anguish the patient endures
we have no wish to depict. The one thing worth noticing is this,
that although the sufferer is perfectly convinced that the whole
world is, or ought to be, as wretched as himself, he has not, in
all his compositions, one jot of compassion left--not one jot for
any species of misery, not even that which resembles and re-echoes
his own. Some calamities are said to teach us sympathy with the
calamities of others--so sings Virgil, we remember--but this misery
has the property of hardening the heart against any human sympathy
whatever. One of these imaginary misanthropes cannot even tolerate
the lamentations of another. You may listen to his outcries and
denunciations if you will, but if, in your turn, you wish to bellow
ever so little, you must go into the next field--go many fields off.
Very curious is the hardness of heart bred out of a morbid passion
of meditative discontent. Why does he _live_? why does he continue
his miserable existence? is the only reflection which the sufferings
of another man excite in our moody philosopher. For every lamenting
wretch he has daggers, bowels of poison--no pity. If mankind could
commit one simultaneous, universal act of suicide, it would be a
most sublime deed--perhaps the only real act of wisdom and sublimity
mankind has it in its power to perform.

Well, this absurd and horrible, this very ridiculous and most
afflictive of morbid conditions, our clear-minded authoress never
seems to have passed through. She never gave the beggar a shilling,
muttering some advice to buy a rope withal. If the money were spent
in that way, and more were wanted, he should have _two_. She never
lent her friend a brace of pistols by way of consolation for his
losses. Or, since ladies, even when misanthropically disposed, have
seldom anything to do with pistols, she never wove or platted for
him a silken bowstring, and sent it in a perfumed envelope, with
compliments and instructions how to use it. All this chapter of
mental history has been a sealed book to her. We, for our parts,
have no desire to open or to read further in it.

The happiest step made by those whose temper and mode of thinking
were likely to be formed by practical literature, was when they
deserted Byron for Wordsworth, the _Childe Harold_ for the
_Excursion_. If we were to indulge in "Recollections" of our own, we
should have much to say--and to say with pleasure--of this second
epoch, this Wordsworthian era. A very beautiful _Flora_ appeared
upon the earth during this period. Life smiled again; nature and
humanity were no longer divorced; one might love the solitude and
beauty of hill and valley, lake and river, without hating man, or
breathing any other sentiment than that of gratitude to Him who gave
this life, who gave this nature.

Wordsworth was peculiarly fitted to be the successor of Byron. He
had himself shared in the dark and desponding spirit of the age
just so much as enabled him to understand and portray it, to assail
or to alleviate. He had scanned the abyss looking down from the
precipice, but his feet were well planted on the jutting rock.
He threw his vision down; he stood firm himself. He drew many an
inspiration from the dark gulf below; but nothing betrays that he
had ever plunged into the abyss. His poetry will at all times have a
genial influence, but it can never again exert the same power, or,
as a consequence, excite the same enthusiastic plaudits, which it
did amongst the generation who have now advanced to manhood. It then
fell upon the ear of the tired pupil of doubt and discontent. It had
a healing power; it was sweet music, and it was more--it was a charm
that allayed a troubled spirit.

Why should any poet, it may be asked, capable of moving the human
heart, exert so much more power at one period than another? He has
but his book to conjure with; his book is still, and always, with
us. The answer is very simple, and yet may be worth recalling to
mind. The book is with us, but it is only when it first comes forth
that we are all reading it _at once_. When numbers are reading this
same book at the same time, the poet shares in the advantages of the
orator: he adresses an audience who kindle each other's passions,
each one of whom contributes something to the enthusiasm of the
multitude, and receives back in his bosom the gathering enthusiasm
of the crowd. When novelty, or any other circumstance, directs all
eyes to the same page, that page is no longer read with the same
calmness, the same perspicuity and judgment, that we bring to any
other composition. The enthusiasm of friends, of neighbours, of the
whole country, is added to our own. And thus the genuine poet may
descend somewhat in public estimation, and yet retain a lasting
claim upon our admiration. It was one thing to read him when all
the world were reading too, talking of him, and applauding him; and
quite another when the solitary student takes down his book from the
shelf and reads it in its turn, and reads it separately--he and the
author alone together.

One advantage of works of the description we are now reviewing, is
that they bring together popular specimens of the poetry of very
different ages. Miss Mitford gives us a few from Cowley, and still
earlier writers. The impression they made upon us led to some trains
of thought upon the manifest progress of taste, which we have not
space here to pursue, and which would be wearisome on the present
occasion, if we were to attempt to follow them out. But we cannot
help observing that even quite secondary writers are daily producing
amongst us far better verses, in every respect, than many of those
which have acquired, and seem still to retain, a high traditional
celebrity. We are not altogether blind, we think, to the literary
foibles of our own age, although we cannot, of course, hope to
appreciate them as clearly as those who come after us will do. We
suspect that the poets of our own day are exposed to the charge of
vagueness, of being what is sometimes called mystical, of verging
too closely, in their subtilty and spiritual refinement, upon the
land of no-meaning; but this is "a better bad habit" than that
very mechanical manner of verse-making, so obvious in many of
those specimens which are handed down to us in our "Speakers," and
"Elegant Extracts," as choice selections from the old standard
poetry of England. The least possible quantity of thought seems to
have sufficed for their manufacture; one image suggests another,
either by resemblance or contrast; and thus the writer goes on,
contriving new verses, with never a new thought. If a pleasing image
is introduced, it is spoilt by the incessant _variations_ that are
forthwith composed upon the same theme; if a fine expression is
struck out, it is marred the next moment by the mechanical changes
that are rung upon it. Here is a noble line of Cowley's:--

  "Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good!"

But you must read it alone: the next line ruins it--

  "Hail, old patrician trees, so great and good!
  _Hail, ye plebeian underwood!_"

Having written the word "patrician," it followed, as a
rule, that he must look about for something to be called "plebeian!"

Miss Mitford has placed amongst her extracts the song by Richard
Lovelace, supposed to be written when in prison, in which the
well-known lines occur:--

    "Stone walls do not a prison make,
      Nor iron bars a cage;
    Minds innocent and quiet take
      That for an hermitage."

The mind being free, there is true liberty. A very
excellent theme for the poet. In the first verse, speaking of his
"divine Althæa," he says,

    "When I lie tangled in her hair,
      And fettered with her eye,
    _The birds, that wanton in the air,
      Know no such liberty_."

This is pretty; but unfortunately the birds in the air
suggest the fishes in the sea. So the next verse concludes thus:--

    "When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
      When healths and draughts go free,
    _Fishes, that tipple in the deep,
      Know no such liberty_."

We meet here also with that poem attributed to Sir Walter Raleigh,
called "The Lie," which seems to have a hereditary right to a
place in all poetical collections. Miss Mitford speaks of "its
extraordinary beauty." It is a very extraordinary delusion that
any one, with such poetry before him as the English language now
possesses, should call it beautiful. It is composed of the mere
commonplaces of satire, very rudely put together. The soul of the
speaker is sent forth to charge all the world with corruption; the
world defends itself, and then the soul gives it the lie--in other
words, repeats the charge in a manner which has been felt, it seems,
by many readers, to be peculiarly pungent. The first verse is by far
the best, and every subsequent verse seems to grow more loose and
jejune as the composition proceeds.

    "Go, soul, the body's guest,
      Upon a thankless errand;
    Fear not to touch the best,
      The truth shall be thy warrant.
        Go, since I needs must die,
        And give the world the lie.

    "Go tell the court it glows,
      _And shines like rotten wood_;
    Go tell the church it shows
      _Men's good, and doth no good_:
        If church and court reply,
        Then give them both the lie."

And so it goes on through thirteen wrangling, jangling
verses. In some of them this virtuous soul makes a strange medley of
complaints:--

    "Tell them that brave it most
      They beg for more by spending,
    Who in their greatest cost
      Lack nothing but commanding:
        And if they make reply,
        Spare not to give the lie.

    "Tell zeal it lacks devotion;
      Tell love it is but lust;
    _Tell time it is but motion_;
      Tell flesh it is but dust:
        And wish them not reply,
        For thou must give the lie."

There must have been surely a great charm in this "giving the lie,"
to have secured for verses such as these the place they have so long
retained amongst our "Elegant Extracts."

But we are in danger of forgetting that Miss Mitford's selections
consist of prose as well as of poetry; and yet, though these occupy
a large space in her volumes, they cannot detain us long. We have
little room either for quotation or for comment.

There is, however, one extract from this portion of the work, which
we have all along promised ourselves the pleasure of giving to our
readers. When we saw the name of Richardson, the author of _Sir
Charles Grandison_, heading one of the chapters, our only impulse
was to hurry on as fast as possible. We have no other association
with his name but that of a mortal weariness, the result of a
conscientious but fruitless effort to read his novels. We laboured
conscientiously, and might been have labouring to this hour, if
a kind friend had not relieved us from our self-imposed task, by
his solemn assurance "that no living man had read them!" It was a
feat that had not been accomplished for years. When, therefore,
we saw the name of Samuel Richardson at the head of a chapter,
we ran for it--we _skipped_; but, in turning over the pages, the
name of Klopstock caught our eye, and we found ourselves reading
some letters of the wife of the poet Klopstock which had been
addressed to Richardson. They are the most charming of letters. The
foreigner's imperfect English could not be replaced with advantage
by the most classical elegance. One of these, we resolved, should
lend its interest to our own critical notice. Here it is--

  "_Hamburg, May 6, 1758._

     "It is not possible, sir, to tell you what a joy your letters
     give me. My heart is very able to esteem the favour, that you in
     your venerable age are so condescending good to answer so soon
     the letters of an unknown young woman, who has no other merit
     than a heart full of friendship, though at so many miles of
     distance.

     "It will be a delightful occupation for me, my dear Mr
     Richardson, to make you more acquainted with my husband's poem.
     Nobody can do it better than I, being the person who knows the
     most of that which is not yet published; being always present at
     the birth of the young verses, which begin always by fragments
     here and there of a subject of which his soul is just then
     filled. He has many great fragments of the whole work ready. You
     may think that two people, who love as we do, have no need of
     two chambers. We are always in the same. I, with my little work,
     still, still, only regarding my husband's sweet face, which
     is so venerable at that time! with tears of devotion, and all
     the sublimity of the subject--my husband reading me his young
     verses, and suffering my criticisms. Ten books are published,
     which I think probably the middle of the whole. I will, as soon
     as I can, translate you the arguments of these ten books, and
     what besides I think of them. The verses of the poem are without
     rhymes, and are hexameters, which sort of verses my husband has
     been the first to introduce in our language; we being still
     closely attached to the rhymes and the iambics.

     "And our dear Dr Young has been so ill? But he is better, I
     thank God, along with you. And you, my dear, dear friend, have
     not hope of cure of a severe nervous malady? How I trembled as I
     read it! I pray God to give to you, at the least, patience and
     alleviation. Though I can read very well your handwriting, you
     shall write no more, if it is incommodious to you. Be so good to
     dictate only to Mrs Patty; it will be very agreeable for me to
     have so amiable a correspondent. And then I will still more than
     now preserve the two of your own handwriting as treasures.

     "I am very glad, sir, that you will take my English as it is. I
     knew very well that it may not always be English, but I thought
     for you it was intelligible. My husband asked me, as I was
     writing my first letter, if I would not write in French? 'No,'
     said I, 'I will not write in this pretty but _fade_ language to
     Mr Richardson.'...

     "I wish, sir. I could fulfil your request of bringing you
     aquainted with so many good people as you think of. Though
     I love my friends dearly, and though they are good, I have,
     however, much to pardon, except in the single Klopstock alone.
     _He_ is good, really good--good at the bottom--in all the
     foldings of his heart. I know him; and sometimes I think, if
     we knew others in the same manner, the better we should find
     them. For it may be that an action displeases us, which would
     please us if we knew its true aim and whole extent. No one of my
     friends is so happy as I am; but no one has had courage to marry
     as I did. They have married as people marry, and they are happy
     as people are happy.

     "How long a letter is this again! But I can write no short ones
     to you. Compliments from my husband," &c., &c.

There are several of these letters, and all distinguished by the
same tenderness and charming simplicity; and the sad fate and early
death of the writer of them are brought home to us very touchingly.

We have shown enough to justify our opinion, that every reader,
whatever his peculiar taste may be, will find something to interest
him in these volumes; and if, we repeat, he feels the least degree
of disappointment, it will only be because he compares them with
that imaginary work which he believes Miss Mitford _might_ have
written.



STRUGGLES FOR FAME AND FORTUNE.

PART III.


CHAPTER X.

I saw nothing of Catsbach for a whole week, but continued my
study of Hamlet, in perfect reliance that the so long wished-for
opportunity was at hand. Miss Claribel also was very constant at
our rehearsals. My mother's delight and admiration of us both knew
no bounds; but though she still wept at Ophelia, it was evident
that the philosophic Dane was her favourite. In gratitude for my
exertions to revenge my father's death, she forgave any little
demonstration of rudeness I made towards the Queen; and indeed
was always greatly rejoiced when I shook the cushion out of the
arm-chair in the energy of my expostulation with that ancient piece
of furniture, which generally did duty for the wicked Gertrude. In
fact, nothing could go off better than the whole play; and boxes,
pit, and gallery, all represented by one enraptured spectator,
were unanimous in their applause. There was one of the performers,
however, who did not seem to share in the enthusiasm. Miss Claribel
appeared discontented with the effects of her finest points, and
began to hint her doubts as to our ultimate success. "The words are
perfect in both of us," she said, "the actions appropriate, and all
Hamlet's own instructions to the players scrupulously obeyed"--

"Well," I interrupted, "what is there to fear? You see how our
audience here is affected."

"It is that very thing that gives me uneasiness. Nature on the
stage is quite different from nature off it. Whether it ought to
be so or not, I don't know; but it is so, and that is enough. We
give the passion of these characters as they affect ourselves, but
a real actor must give them as they affect others. We ought to
study the perspective of grief or rage, and give it so as to be
seen in the true light, not where Mrs de Bohun is sitting on that
sofa, but where crowds are seated at the farther end of a theatre;
and therefore the great and almost insurmountable difficulty of a
tragedian is to keep such a proportion in his performance as not to
appear absurdly exaggerated to people close at hand, or ridiculously
tame to the more distant spectators."

"You would, then, act by an inspiration from without, and not from
the divine fire within?" I answered, with a tone of indignation.

"No, no," she said; "keep all the fire you can; only let it be
seen and felt by all the audience. But if you trust on each
representation to the fiery impulse of the moment, you will
sometimes find it glow too much, and sometimes it will probably
be hidden in smoke. The genius feels the passion and grandeur of
a great Shaksperian creation, perhaps as entirely as Shakspeare
himself, but it is only the artist who can place it before others.
A poet could see the Venus of Canova in a block of marble, but
it was the hammer and chisel of the sculptor which gave it its
immortal form. I feel with regard to this very Ophelia that I know
every phase of her character; that I can identify myself with her
disappointments and sorrows; but the chances are, after the identity
is established, that I end by making Ophelia into Miss Claribel, and
not Miss Claribel into Ophelia."

"No, for you speak Shakspeare's language in Ophelia's situation, and
with Ophelia's feelings."

"But with Miss Claribel's lips, and shakings of the voice, and
tears in the eyes, which arise from the depths of Miss Claribel's
nature; and, in fact, I now feel convinced that, in order to
succeed on the stage, a flexibility of character that enables one
to enter into the minutest sentiments of the personage of the
drama, is by no means required, but only such a general conception
of the character as preserves the Shaksperian heroine from the
individualities of her representative; and gives to an intelligent
pit, the spectacle not of a real, living, breathing woman, born of
father and mother, but of a being of a more etherial nature--human,
yet not substantial--divine, yet full of weakness--the creation
of a splendid imagination, and not the growth of mortal years, or
supported by 'human nature's daily food.'"

My mother went on with her knitting in a most hurried and
persevering manner--a habit she indulged in whenever she was
puzzled. I might have followed her example if I had had the
knitting needles in my hand, for I did not see the drift of these
perplexing observations. Miss Claribel saw our bewilderment, and
translated her dark passages into ordinary prose by saying that her
oration had been a lecture against mannerism, or the display of the
individualities of an actor instead of a clear development of the
character represented. "It was also a theory," she added with a
smile, "that mannerism often arises from a too close appropriation
of a character, which makes a performer assimilate it with his own."

"From all which I conclude," I said, with a mortified air, "that
in spite of black bugles and silk stockings, I shall still be Mr
Charles de Bohun, and not Hamlet, prince of Denmark."

"'The hands are not the hands of Esau,'" she replied, "'but the
voice is the voice of Jacob.' Still there is no reason to despair,
nor even perhaps to augur a disappointment, for nobody can form an
opinion either as to success or failure till the experiment has been
fairly tried, and I trust we shall now not have much longer to wait."

"But with these misgivings--to call them by the gentlest name--I
wonder, Miss Claribel, you still insist on trying your fortune on
the boards."

"I made a vow, under very peculiar circumstances," she replied,
"that I would support myself by my dramatic powers; and though a
fortune of millions were to fall at my feet to-morrow, I would show
those who derided my ambition that it was justified by my talents. I
will be an actress, and the first on the stage!"

When I saw the play of her features, and heard the calm, subdued
energy of her voice, I felt little doubt that her prophecy would
be accomplished. I, however, began to feel some very lively doubts
as to Hamlet, and it required several criticisms from my mother,
and a great deal of stamping and grimacing before the mirror, to
restore me to the enjoyment of the sunshine of self-respect. At
last Catsbach returned. He sent to announce his arrival, and to
say he would join me that evening, and bring with him a literary
friend, who might be very useful to me in my dramatic career.
They came. "Let me introduce you to my friend, Mr Wormwood, the
orator and poet," said Catsbach, shaking me by the hand very warmly
himself. "You will be the best friends in the world; and Wormwood
has been very anxious for a long time to make your acquaintance."
The stranger bowed low, and so did I; not without a strong tickling
of my vanity at the wideness of my reputation. We sat down, and I
could contemplate my visitor at full leisure. He was a little man,
of whom the prevailing feature was a nose of astonishing prominence,
that overshadowed not only the remaining features of his face, but
the whole of his person. It formed the central point of his whole
organisation, and was, in fact, Mr Wormwood, without the help
either of face or figure. His brow retreated in apparent alarm,
pulling the eyebrows with it nearly to the top of the skull; his
chin also had retired into his neck, and there was nothing visible
but the one prevailing feature--a pyramid in a waste of sand. The
sudden retrocession of his brow was only seen in profile; and as he
was bald, and treated all the exposed skin of his head as forehead
up to the very crown, he presented a very intellectual appearance in
the eyes of those with whom high brows are considered "the dome of
thought, the temple of the soul." His side hair was carefully combed
off, so as to expose as great an expanse as possible; and it was
evident that great pains were bestowed on the picturesqueness and
poetry of the appearance--a small thin man, rather shabbily drest,
and with manners duly compounded of civility and pomp.

"I am delighted to know you, Mr De Bohun. I form a very high
estimate, indeed, of your genius and accomplishments; though I have
not yet had the pleasure of seeing any of your works."

"I am indebted to the good opinion--too much indebted, I fear--of
our friend, Mr Catsbach," I replied.

"By no means. You have had a play ignominiously rejected by a
brutal and unjudging world. Sir, I honour you on the triumph, and
congratulate you on the success."

The man seemed quite serious as he spoke; so I looked for some
explanation to his friend.

"Wormwood has achieved the same victory on several occasions," said
Catsbach; "and on carefully going over his plays, according to the
severest principles of art, he finds that they were ludicrously and
inhumanly laughed at, or still more inhumanly refused a place on the
stage, in exact proportion as their merits lifted them above the
intellectual level of an audience, or the narrow understanding of a
manager."

"Exactly so," said Wormwood; "and you will find it uniformly the
case. Success in literature is almost the surest sign of an author's
imbecility; and, _à fortiori_, public neglect a sign of his genius
and erudition. I have already heard that your tragedy is refused; I
hope to congratulate you on your Hamlet being hissed off the stage."

"Really, sir," I said, somewhat nettled, "I scarcely understand
whether you are in jest or earnest; and I sincerely hope to escape
your congratulations on my Hamlet, as I am not aware of any right I
have acquired to them on the fate of the play."

"Was it not returned on your hands, sir? Catsbach certainly gave me
to understand that you had attained that mark of eminence; but if
you are still in danger of being accepted, and performed, I must
withhold the expression of my praise till I see whether an audience
will be more propitious than the manager, and overwhelm your tragedy
with derision and contempt, as I have no doubt it deserves." After
accompanying this with a smile, which he evidently meant to be
propitiatory and complimentary, he seemed to retire for shelter
behind his nose, and employed himself in throwing on each side any
of the straggling locks that intruded on the sacred domain of his
expansive brow.

"What sort of fool is this you have brought?" I said to Catsbach,
availing myself of the temporary seclusion of our visitor behind the
promontory I have described.

"A tremendous author, I assure you. A poem in forty books, called
'The Brides of Solomon,' which nearly ruined him, for it never sold,
not even to the cheesemongers; a 'History of the World previous to
its Creation, an Epic in Seven Days," which it would take seven
years to read, was his next; then a dozen plays on the Roman
Emperors--a play to each--which were never acted; so now he is a
prodigious critic in the Hog in Armour, and talks German mysticism,
and gives dissertations on the Philosophy of Historic Research in a
review of Tom Thumb. I thought it as well to secure his help; for,
if you succeed, we can do without him; and if we fail, he will find
out a pleasant reason, and enlist you in the corps."

"That would be an honour I don't aspire to, and the use of such
assistance I cannot see."

"Pooh! Never mind the fool. Give him some brandy; let him talk; he
may be useful, and the day of trial is near at hand."

"You've got a theatre?" I inquired.

"Theatre, orchestra, company, and all," said Catsbach; "so let us
light our cigars, and hear some critical drivel."

Mr Wormwood, as if he had heard our conversation, emerged from his
shady situation, and turning his full face towards us, commenced a
dissertation on his principles of art, which, being founded on, and
exemplified by, his own writings, was a most comfortable doctrine
for candidates for fame, and made a pelting with oranges and apples
little less agreeable than a crowning with garlands and a shower of
bouquets.


CHAPTER XI.

"This will be a busy week, big with the fate of more than Cato
or of Rome," said Catsbach next day. "I have secured, for a very
moderate sum, the use of a theatre down the river; and dresses,
advertisements, and decorations are promised us on the most splendid
scale. All the second-rates I have already retained, being, in fact,
the regular company of the establishment; and I assure you they are
all in the highest state of excitement about the new Hamlet and your
friend Miss What's-her-name's Ophelia."

"Her name is Miss Claribel," I replied; "and I can't imagine how you
take so little interest in a person whom I consider so wonderful, as
to have forgotten it."

"Pardon, my dear fellow, I meant no offence either to her powers or
your discernment; but I probably forgot what you called her, from a
very strong idea I entertain that her name is fictitious. Don't you
remember the Montalbans and De la Roses of the Stepney Star? Her
name is Jones."

"How? Have you made any inquiry?" I exclaimed, rather astonished
myself at the interest I took in the personal history of the
beautiful actress.

"O! that's it, is it?" said Catsbach, with a shrug. "What! She has
played Ophelia to the perfect satisfaction of Polonius. She knows
you are heir of the De Bohuns."

"Polonius! My dear Mr Tooks, what can you possibly mean? You
remember that Polonius is the father of Ophelia."

"Well, I suppose Miss Claribel has a father also, or some person
who takes a tender interest in her prosperity. They are very often
captains in the army, those Poloniuses of modern life; and are a
little more strict in exacting an adhesion to promise, than the
courtier of Elsinore. I therefore advise all Hamlets to be very
cautious how they put pen to paper, or request a lady to be an
astronomical heretic as to the sun and stars, but never to doubt
their love; for, when Polonius is too old or too ill for work, there
is generally a Laertes or two who are masters of fence, and very
careful of their sisters' settlements."

"You try to put suspicions into my head. I will not yield to them. I
feel sure you would not harbour the slightest doubt of her perfect
openness and sincerity, if you only saw her for, half an hour."

"Possibly enough, if I only saw her for half an hour: what a few
days might do, is a different question. In the mean time, I will bet
your bill to Montalban that she turns out a deceiver, worming her
way into your mother's favour by false representations, and into her
son's, by arts which it does not need many months of the Stepney
Star to bring to perfection."

"Done!" I said; "with all my heart! I would stake all I have on her
perfect truth. See her, and judge for yourself."

"I shall see her at the theatre in plenty of time to prevent any
mischief; but, in the meanwhile, I rely on your assistance to-night
at a ball in Grosvenor Square, where I positively require you to
complete the band."

Our agreement was so binding that it was useless to offer any
opposition. I began to look on my flute as a frightful instrument of
degradation, and thought what a different position I ought to have
filled on my first introduction to the society of Grosvenor Square.
The position of the temporary orchestra, at the window of the middle
drawing-room, gave me a view of the whole company, both in the front
room, which was very large and lofty, and the more commodious and
luxuriously fitted up third apartment, at the left of where I sat.
A city Croesus was the giver of the feast,--a short thin man, very
pale and very silent, who stood at the centre door, and bowed coldly
and formally to his visitors as they were announced. His lady-wife,
on the other hand, was as gorgeous as feathers and silk could make
her; an immense expanse of humanity, covered with at least an equal
expanse of pride, for she sailed through the apartments as if the
weight of empires, or at least the price of kingdoms, lay on her
shoulders; and round her gathered, at respectful distance, the
lesser plumb-holders of the commercial world, like a set of yachts
and merchantmen round a first-rate at Spithead. Mrs Willox was quite
aware of the position she held, and made no secret that a cousin of
hers had married an Irish baronet, and that her aunt was the widow
of a city knight. Connected to this extent with the aristocracy, she
felt she had a right to look down on Mr Willox, who had begun his
career as purser in an Indiaman, and accordingly she looked down
upon him from morn to night. At my left hand stood two gentlemen,
pilloried so immovably in white neckcloths that they could not turn
their heads without an effort that made them red in the face. Two
young patricians they were from the India Docks, whose conversation
was very loud about their shootings in Scotland, and hunting-boxes
at Melton. This enlivening conversation, though apparently addressed
to each other, was in reality intended for me. So fond of admiration
are some of our weaker brothers, that they will angle for it
even from a professional player on the flute. They soon saw that
I attended to what they were saying, and they launched out into
various subjects, evidently for my improvement and edification. "Sir
Peter, and Lady Potts, and Miss Emmeline Potts," were announced in
stentorian sounds, and Mr Willox made his customary bow.

"That Emmeline Potts," said one of my instructors, "is no go. She
has been trying it on with Harry Buglefield of the Guards; but the
father won't fork out the coin, and Harry fights shy. He told me
so himself when I was selling him my brown filly last season in
Leicestershire."

"He ought to give her a hundred thousand down," said the other, "and
the rest when he's run to earth; but he's a jaded old screw, and
can't last long. I would advise Harry to wait."

"He says he's very willing to wait if his creditors could be
persuaded to wait too. A fine generous fellow as ever lived; and a
very intimate friend of mine. He has never paid me a farthing for
the brown filly, though he sold her to his uncle, Lord Silliveer, at
a profit of a hundred and fifty."

"Mr Hoddie, and the two Miss Hoddie's!" bawled the footman at the
drawing-room door, and the individuals announced sailed into the
room. Dancing was now in full force, so that I missed the first
appearance of the party, but I heard the criticism of the two
arbiters of fashion on my left.

"That Malvina Hoddie is the vainest little fool in England," said
the senior Petronius, whose name was Baggles, to Mr Hooker--both in
the West India trade--as expectant heirs and successors of their
respective fathers. "She believes every word that a fellow says to
her, and tells her father all the soft speeches from her partner,
as if they were proposals of marriage. Hoddie is therefore for ever
sending letters to ascertain what men's intentions are, as, after
the very warm manner in which his little darling was informed that
the hope of meeting her was the only thing that kept Mr So-and-so
from committing suicide, if not murder, it is impossible to doubt
that Mr So-and-so cannot intend to leave matters as they are."

"What an old fool," replied Mr Hooker. "Why didn't you tell me this
before? for I met her last night in Harley Street, at the Molasses';
and when she put up her absurd little face to my shirt pin, when
we were in the middle of the Row Polka, and asked if I didn't think
love in a cottage was better than a gay and festive scene like this,
I said, 'Ah! certainly, if you had the choice of the partner of your
bliss.' 'Do you mean it?' she lisped, and looked very hard at me.
'Certainly,' I said. 'Papa will be so delighted,' she continued, and
swung round, with her chin fairly resting on my shoulder; and when
the dance was over, tript up to the old snob, on which I took the
opportunity of rushing out of the house."

"You'll get a note to-morrow morning, to a certainty, demanding
what your next step is to be; and then, if you shuffle out, they
will be very industrious in circulating a report that you have been
ignominiously rejected."

"There she goes," exclaimed Hooker, "dancing with Hugs of Blackwall.
I hope she'll catch him, for it would be very awkward if she spread
any nonsensical report about my having either proposed for her, or
being rejected."

"It might be very unpleasant, old fellow," replied Mr Baggles, "if
it reached the good people at Muswell Hill."

"Mr, Mrs, and Miss Pybus!" shouted out the St Peter of the
drawing-room door; and the well-remembered name gave me such a shock
that in a moment my accompaniment attenuated itself into a feeble
whistle, and suddenly the music stopped. I looked at Catsbach,
who returned my look with no very complimentary expression, as he
discovered that the astonished dancers, and, in fact, the whole
brilliant assemblage of the fair and brave, had fixed their eyes
on the performers. The whistle, also, in which I had concluded my
musical exercise, was so irresistibly ludicrous, that there was a
wonderful display of white teeth, and a not very inaudible laugh.

"What's the matter with the band?" inquired Mr Willox, coming up,
red with rage. "Mr Conductor, you must have, at all events, one
very poor performer in your number, which, considering the sum you
charge, I consider inexcusable--quite inexcusable, sir. I insist on
your turning him out, or, at all events, telling him to be quiet the
rest of the evening."

"Encore!" exclaimed Mr Catsbach, striking his bow across the fiddle.
"Donner und blitzen!--der teufel!--now, den!" and the dancing was
once more resumed. So I sat silent and horror-struck, with my flute
lying quietly on the ledge of the music-desk before me. I had
blackened my eyebrows, and wore a false beard, with a tuft on the
lower lip. There was no chance of recognition, and I had a curiosity
to see the gentleman who had been so generous and friendly at the
examination of Puddlecombe-Regis school. I was anxious, also, to see
the beautiful little girl who had made such an impression on the
hearts of all the scholars, and deepest, perhaps of all, on mine.

"Very odd," continued Mr Baggles, renewing the conversation with
his friend, "that we should be speaking of the Pybuses at the very
moment they made their appearance. Emily, I suppose, would never
forgive you if she thought you cared a straw for Malvina Hoddie?"

"She would be very severe," replied Mr Hooker. "She's very sharp,
and can say such cutting things." At which words he seemed to
shudder, as if at some appalling recollection of her powers of
repartee.

"Why don't you read _Punch_ and _Joe Miller_, and learn to retort?
She's very young, and ought to be put down."

"She doesn't think sixteen so very young; and as she is the pet
at home, and an immense heiress, it is not so very easy to gain
a victory over her, if you were as witty as the Honourable Bob
Chockers of the Blues."

"Your true plan is to keep in with the father. He is a jolly old
ass, and very fond of high society. If you were a lord, you might
have Emily for the asking."

"I know a good many lords," replied Mr Hooker, "and that's the next
thing to being one myself. But here comes Emily and the ancients."

O, the change that two years produce on a girl of fourteen!--two
years of health, and wealth, and education! There came towards
us, from the outer drawing-room, a figure as perfect as ever was
revealed to sculptor--with intelligence and sweetness radiating from
a countenance such as no sculptor could ever fix in marble. She did
not walk, she touched the floor with her feet, and seemed to repress
a bound at every step, that would have sent her dancing in like a
Hebe holding forth a wine-cup, or like one of the nymphs of Venus,
who are all far prettier, I beg to say, than Venus herself--tripping
forward and scattering roses on the pathway of the goddess. Never
did I see so radiant a beauty, combined (when you examined the
features, the firm lip, and high imperial brow) with as much dignity
and power. The dignity and power were hidden, to be sure, below the
transparent veil of her sixteen summers; but there they were, ready
to expand when that veil was removed--a dissolving view, as it were,
where the solid outlines and severe majesty of a Grecian temple
were already faintly visible over the disappearing lineaments of a
bower in fairyland. From this glorious apparition I looked to Mr
Hooker--good features, but inexpressive; eyes blue and feeble; nose
finely chiselled, but effeminate; lips well shaped, but uneducated;
and a bearing mock-easy, mock-aristocratic--loud, conceited,
contemptible! I could have killed him with ineffable delight.

Her father was unchanged; the same stately presence, the same
benevolent smile, the same appearance of having Golconda in one
pocket, and the Bank of England in the other, and a chuckle in
his voice as if his throat was filled with guineas. How is it,
thought I, as I looked at the father and daughter, that wealth
always softens and refines the woman, while it only swells out and
amplifies the man? In the man, we see the counting-house resisting,
or ill accommodating itself to the drawing-room. There is either an
uneasy effort to escape from the ledger, or a still more painful
attempt to convert it into a book of fashionable life. He has had
fights about sugar in the morning, disquisitions with underwriters,
reports of bankruptcies in Ceylon, of short crops in Jamaica,
or a fall in the funds in Mexico, and he finds it impossible to
give himself up entirely to the careless enjoyment of an evening
assemblage of friends, and yet cannot relieve his mind by making
the objects of his thoughts the subject of his conversation. So he
takes to political talk, by way of doing the genteel, and discusses
Lord George, or Sir Robert, or Lord John, in the violent effort
he makes to escape from indigo and muscovadoes. With the daughter
how different! Here wealth merely represents the absence of those
petty and worrying annoyances which narrow the circle of thought,
when a grim vision of the weekly bills is seldom long absent from
the mind. She has magnificence, luxury, refinement all round her,
and imbibes a grace from the very furniture and ornaments of her
room. A blue sea with its tossing waves, by Stanfield, insinuates
its life and freshness into her habitual thoughts--vases from the
antique, statues from Canova, and flowers from Chiswick, are her
daily and homely companions. Her nature gets raised to what it works
in; and though her mother is not very intimate with Lindley Murray,
and her father has some strange ideas about the letter H, she is as
graceful, as pure, and elegant, as if she could trace up her lineage
to the Plantagenets.

"O, such a funny thing!" said Mr Hooker, as Emily came up to where
he stood. "Your very name made a conquest of one of the fiddlers,
and he broke down the moment you came in. He'll get such a wigging
from his commander-in-chief."

"Was it only one?" inquired Emily. "I thought the whole band had
come to a stop."

"The poor young fellow with the flute put 'em all out," replied
Hooker. "He went off in such a scream, as if the drawing-room was
hurrying right into a tunnel. He has never held his head up since."

"Poor man," said Emily; "which is it?"

"That foreign-looking, bewhiskered lad, with the pale face next to
us. A bad job for him, I guess."

"O no! As you say my coming in was the cause of his misfortune, I
must try and not let it be too serious."

In spite of all my efforts to appear ignorant of the conversation,
I found my cheeks growing alternately red and white, as anger or
confusion got the upper hand. I took up my flute, and had thoughts
of suddenly leaving the room--of knocking Mr Hooker down--of
introducing myself to Mr Pybus; but before I could make up my mind
what to do, I felt that her voice was addressed to me. I felt it, I
say, for I did not look to where she was. I looked upon vacancy, and
must have had an intellectual expression on my countenance congenial
to that interesting employment.

"He doesn't hear me," she said to Hooker. "Perhaps he doesn't
understand English."

"Hollo! you sir," said the gentleman, "don't you hear the lady
speaking to you? Do you only sprichen Dutch or parley-vous?"

His hand was laid roughly on my shoulder to call my attention to his
speech. I half sprang up, shook off his hand as if it had been a
toad and was on the point of saying or doing something very absurd,
when I was checked by the alarmed look of Emily, who evidently
thought I was going to commit murder on the unfortunate object of my
wrath.

"The dooce is in the fellow," said Mr Hooker; "he couldn't look more
lofty were he a prince in disguise."

"Will you pardon me, madam, that I did not hear you when you did me
the honour to address me?" I said.

"I merely regretted that your flute played false a few minutes ago,
and prevented me from the pleasure of hearing its accompaniment. It
seems a beautiful instrument. I suppose the keys are very apt to get
out of order?"

"Yes; and the slightest tremor in hand or breath is fatal."

"Of course, that holds good in all musical performances. Have you
professed music long?"

"Not long."

"It requires immense practice to excel in it--longer time and harder
study than would make a first classman at Oxford, I have heard it
said; and, after all, the reward of it is very poor."

I sat horror-struck. Did the girl recognise me, and twit me with the
profession I had chosen, as well as the career I had refused?

"No profession is poorly paid," I replied, "that brings with it
independence and self-respect."

"O, surely not. Do you give lessons?"

"No."

"Ah! many people refuse to become teachers from false pride, and a
notion that it degrades. I don't think so. Do you?"

What was I to say? The girl certainly had discovered me in spite of
beard and eyebrow. I looked at her full in the face. No--there was
no consciousness there. Nothing but kindness, and a strange look of
compassion, with which it was impossible to take offence, for there
was an appearance of deep interest in it, which was flattering to my
self-love.

"Madam, I have never hitherto thought of having pupils."

"O, but you will now. I have long been anxious for a flute
accompaniment to my piano. I will speak to papa."

"Miss Pybus," whispered Mr Hooker, "if you have had a long enough
conversation with that fiddler, will you fulfil your promise of
dancing with me this dance?"

"Certainly," she said--"I never draw back from my promise;" and I
was left alone. In one of the pauses of the dance I saw her speak
to her father. He expanded into a smile like a gigantic sunflower,
and chucked her under the chin, and away she went, still followed
by that beaming smile. I grew tired of watching the happiness of Mr
Hooker, and was about to slip noiselessly away--Mr Pybus glowed up
to where I stood.

"My daughter tells me you have no objection to give her a few
lessons on music, and accompany her on the flute," he said.

"I am not aware, sir," I began. But at this moment I saw Emily's eye
fixed on me as she moved towards us in the dance.

"Well, well, if she's quite satisfied with your proficiency, I am.
Come up on Friday to Muswell Hill, Holly-Hock House--Mr Pybus.
Here's my card; we have a party on that evening, and you can
begin by accompanying the piano. Hire a cab, and let me know your
expenses. We shall not fall out about terms."

"I really, sir, scarcely know--"

"O, any one will point out Holly-Hock House," said the father. "The
cabman is sure to know it."

"I am so happy you have agreed to come," said the daughter, who had
again careered within earshot of our talk. "I shall expect you on
Friday."

What was to be done? I bowed--and the bargain was closed.


CHAPTER XII.

I must have been asleep when Catsbach came home, if that night he
came home at all. Frightful dreams haunted me all night. A thousand
demons came down on me, like the Guards at Waterloo, all playing on
broken-winded flutes. Twenty Hamlets, all in sable hat and tumbled
silk stockings, whistled "To be, or not to be," through the same
detestable instrument. Then I dreamt of Emily Pybus, and instantly
she turned into Miss Claribel in the costume of Ophelia. All the
scenes of my past life jumbled themselves up into one confused mass.
Well-known faces looked in upon me from all sides of the room--Mr
Montalban, the old schoolmaster at Puddlecombe, the examiners,
Miss de la Rose, and Fitz-Edward--all piping and screaming on that
inevitable flute. It showed that a deep blow on my vanity had been
inflicted by my failure at Mr Willox's ball. I tried when I awoke to
remember whether I had taken opium, I felt so feverish and confused;
but the excitement was caused by my injured self-love; and, waking
as well as sleeping, I entertained a frantic hatred against Mr
Hooker. I determined to take counsel of Catsbach, to whom I had
hitherto confided all parts of my history, with the sole concealment
of names. I resolved to lay the whole case before him, and ask his
advice how to proceed. Should I go to Muswell Hill and take the
very office of tutor in music which I had already so indignantly
refused in literature and classics? I found I was very much changed
since then--or rather that Emily was more attractive, as a pupil,
than I had thought her at fourteen years old. There was romance
also in becoming acquainted with her in a fictitious character; and
I felt less degraded as an unsuccessful musician than I had felt
as a disappointed schoolboy. But Catsbach should decide upon it
all. In the morning, however, a note was put into my hands--"The
incident last night," he said, "makes it too dangerous for us to
attend at private parties. You will never be able to preserve your
incog. I have got some intimation of the whereabouts of Ellinor.
You won't see me for two days. Meantime, go on with rehearsal with
Miss Claribel, and on Thursday take her to Chatham. The 'Paragon
Royal' will be in ecstasy at your approach, for I have said you
will give them five pounds and a supper after the play. I shall
be there in plenty of time for the overture, but at present I am
off to Guildford, where I suspect my charmer keeps a school. The
mistress has been described to me as a perfect angel; and what can
be a closer description of my Ellinor? Take care of Miss Claribel's
arts. Beauty is a fading flower. So am I.--AUGUSTUS TOOKS." I
followed the advice contained in this letter, and perfected myself
in Hamlet. Miss Claribel herself began to have hopes of my success;
and my mother, in the midst of her rapture with my performance, only
insisted more and more on a strict preservation of my incognito. My
uncle, she said, was about to return to England. She did not know
how he might like to hear that his nephew had gone upon the stage.
The Paragon Royal had scarcely a grander sound than the Stepney
Star. Critics might be hostile; for all literary people, she heard,
were unjust; and, at all events, I was to appear as Julian Gray
till my position was fairly assured, and I could announce myself as
the Shakspeare and Garrick of modern times. I smiled at all these
cautions; I smiled at the hostility of the critics; I frowned at
the possibility of a failure; I started when I heard her allusion
to my uncle; in fact, I found that I was a regular playactor, and
that I went through the gamut of stamps and facemakings exactly
like Messrs Martingdale and Fitz-Edward. Miss Claribel laughed. "You
rehearse very well," she said, "even when you are not repeating your
part. You have immense command of feature, as much, I should say, as
Grimaldi; but then he never attempted the tragic."

"I don't quite understand your meaning, Miss Claribel," I said,
looking as dignified as Coriolanus when he banished the Romans. "Do
you mean that I grimace too much?"

"Certainly, if you grimace at all. There is no surer sign of a man
being a mere actor, than a reliance on scorning lips and upturned
eyebrows. It is not natural. The words and passion must force their
own way from the heart, and make their mark on the countenance at
the moment of the burst. When you see a man throw himself back with
his arms stretched out, his one leg forward, his mouth gaping, and
his eyes ready to fall out of his head, in expectation of a ghost
or some other dreadful sight, he is a mere conventional figure of
fright, with no terror or apprehension whatever within. He should
wait for the apparition; he should show the pit the first glimpse he
gets of it; through his eyes they should see the undefined horror
grow into consistency; and without the palpable presence either
of the murdered Banquo or of Hamlet's father, they should feel a
graveyard air about them, and see the dreadful shadow take shape and
form. This is not produced by starts and grins."

"Then, in heaven's name! how is it produced?"

"By feeling it, by seeing it, by believing it."

"I feel it, see it, believe it, and my eyebrows ascend, my mouth
opens, my arms stretch out."

"So they would if you saw a house on fire. These are the hereditary
exponents of surprise and fear; but a ghost creates a different
feeling; it ought to be differently expressed: not surprise--it is
above it: not fear--for neither Macbeth nor Hamlet are capable of
such a feeling; but awe--something very different from any other
state of mind they ever experienced before. They should move little,
speak low, make no faces, and, above all things, show that the
sentiment comes from within. It will find its way, by sympathy,
to the pit. They will see the propriety of making little noise in
presence of a murdered general or a buried king. Martingdale roars
as if he were in presence of a murdered bull, and was triumphing
over its death. He bellows as if he felt he had conquered a rival,
and now had all the noise to himself. But more: I would invest the
whole character of Hamlet with an atmosphere of the supernatural.
No man who had held parley with the dead, and was marshalled on
to a great act by invisible hands, should ever be without an
impression of the awful presence. I would make him throw inquiring
glances round, even in his talk with the gravedigger. That ghost
should never leave the eyes of the pit; present or absent, the
supernatural should rule the stage. When Hamlet is silent, he should
be _distrait_--inattentive to what is going on, and holding inward
converse with his unearthly visitor. Don't you think he went really
mad? To be sure he did. Who wouldn't, if night and day he were
haunted by a ghost, commanding him to commit a murder, to revenge a
father, to break the heart of the girl who loved him? Of course he
went mad, though I don't found that belief on the crumpled state of
his stocking, but on the broad ground that no man can see ghosts,
and hear strange voices from the other world, and see a dreadful
action forced on him of which he doesn't know the result, and yet
remain as firm in his pulse, and collected in his faculties, as a
chairman of Quarter Sessions, or an alderman at a city feast."

"I fear, Miss Claribel, you form such an estimate of an actor's
requirements, that you will never fulfil your own expectations." I
spoke with a slight tone of displeasure.

"You are very severe," she replied; "but I will fulfil my own
expectations, for they are not very high. I will enter into
Ophelia's feelings--they shall enter into me; and I and Ophelia
shall be one and indivisible."

"Now, you are not afraid of the 'mannerism' you spoke of some days
ago?"

"It is the rock people who enter into a character are apt to split
on; but I will endeavour to bear Juliet and Desdemona, and Viola,
all with a difference."

"We shall see," I said, in no good humour. "On Thursday we shall go
down to the Paragon Royal. My mother will go and be spectatress of
the fight; and, come what may, I will show the world a true reading
of the noble Dane." Miss Claribel smiled, and so did my mother,
exemplifying the numerous meanings that can be conveyed by that
position of the lips. Miss Claribel's was the more beautiful mouth,
but I liked the expression of my mother's more.

I pass over the preparations, the journey, the disappointment at the
sight of the ugly street and hideous building in which our fortunes
were to be tried. At six I was dressed and on the stage, Miss
Claribel in her dressing-room, my mother in a stage-box; not a soul
in the pit, nobody at the door; two orange-women standing beside
their baskets near the orchestra, and the whole house, as seen by me
through a hole in the green curtain, deserted and uncomfortable in
the extreme. The manager, a most polite little gentleman, who was
great in comedy, and enacted the part of Osric, was at my side. I
pointed out the discouraging aspect of the theatre. "O, you'll see
in half an hour," he said, "crowds filling every seat. My Osric is a
poor part, but very popular."

Polonius joined us, an old man, who at Christmas was a great
favourite as Pantaloon in the pantomime.

"It will be a great house, I feel sure," he mumbled through his
toothless gums. "Old Jack Ivory as Polonius is sure to draw." Not
one of them attributed the expected multitude in any respect to the
debutant in Hamlet, or the beauty of the Ophelia.

"The worst thing I see about it is, that the band with your friend,
the foreign gentleman, has not arrived," said Count Osric; "and if
a Paragon audience are disappointed, they always throw ginger-beer
bottles at the manager's head. I wish we had opened in Coriolanus: I
should have worn a helmet."

"I feel quite certain my friend, Mr Catsbach, will not disappoint
us," I said; "and from the present appearance of the boxes, pit,
and gallery, I think I may congratulate you on the small number of
bottles you will have to sustain."

"Wait a little, I beg, my dear sir; Osric has never failed me yet,
and the artisans and mechanics are not able to appear here much
before seven."

"The nobility and gentry?" I inquired.

"O, some of the garrison will come in after mess, at half price, in
time to make bets on the fencing scene."

"I am glad they take so deep an interest," I began.

"Lor' bless ye! they very often jump on the stage and take a turn
with Laertes themselves; and once a very curious thing happened:
Two of the young officers gave ten shillings apiece to the Hamlet
to tire Laertes down. Hamlet was an excellent fencer. He wouldn't
on any account accept the button on any part of his clothes--there
was no palpable hit--the whole house took a great interest in the
Shaksperian drama, and half-crowns were posted in all parts of
the boxes on the bout. I was afraid the buttons might come off
the foils, and made them exchange their rapiers for single-stick.
Laertes at last planted a hit on Hamlet's nose, and upwards of £20
changed hands on the occasion. Hamlet drew every night after that
for three weeks, until the colonel-commandant interfered, and we
were driven from the bard of Avon to the "Miller and his Men." There
is no freedom for the legitimate drama; but I hope to-night, sir,
the tragic muse will be reinstated on these boards. I expect a great
house, for I have let it be pretty generally known that you are a
master of fence."

"If the worst comes to the worst," said Polonius, "and the fiddlers
don't make their appearance, I think old Jack Ivory can always
appease a storm. Pray, sir, do you play on any instrument?"

"The flute," I said, hesitatingly, and with a look of inquiry what
the object of his question could be.

"That makes it quite safe," replied Polonius; "you shall accompany
me by way of an overture, for there ain't a man in England gets more
applause in 'Hot Codlins' than myself."

I tried to laugh, as if I considered the proposition an excellent
joke; but I have every reason to believe the wretch was serious. I
began to perceive that every person engaged on the stage, though
only to deliver a message, thinks himself the principal performer;
he also is of opinion that there is no disparity of rank upon the
boards, but that what the clown does, may also be done by the
tragedian. I have no doubt Diavolo Antonio looked down on Edmund
Kean. I was on the point of renewing the conversation, when an
enormous noise at the pit-entrance attracted my notice. A thrill
of gratification came into my heart. All regard for Shakspeare is
not yet extinct, in spite of fencing Hamlets and ignorant managers.
The rush into the pit was prodigious. I looked through the green
curtain once more. Her Majesty's ship, the Periander, 44, had
been paid off that morning, and the gallant crew and their wives
filled every bench. The majority of the valiant defenders of their
country were polygamists to the most undeniable amount, and seemed
rather proud of the extent to which they broke the law. Those who
rejoiced in single blessedness limited themselves to one wife. The
trebly blessed were numerous, and the boatswain had six to share
his heart and fortunes. Here I perceived the manager's perils, but
not from ginger-beer. There were cans of gin and rum, that would
have supplied a tavern for a week. Single bottles of whisky were
brandished in the air, as on festive occasions landsmen wave their
hats; and in a short time the calls for music became overpowering,
and the manager sent secretly for a company of marines and a
division of the police.

"If that hairy-cheeked foreigner doesn't come," said Osric, with
unaffected fear, "there will be a row, like the boarding of an
enemy's ship. They always think us foreigners when we wear slashed
doublets; and in the war time they shipped off my predecessor, who
was acting a Parisian marquis, in a cartel that was just starting
with a batch of French prisoners to be exchanged. The poor man died
in the hulks at Toulon, for he had been counted against an English
captain, and they kept him in captivity because the captain refused
to return."

I looked at my watch: it only wanted ten minutes to seven, and the
storm rising every moment. If Catsbach plays me false, I shall
rescue my mother, I thought, and fight my way into the street. I
looked at my sword; it was of silver-gilt tin, and couldn't have
committed manslaughter on the body of Tom Thumb. A universal cheer
proclaimed an arrival; and I declare the first scrape of the fiddle
was the sweetest music I ever heard. It gave quite a new turn to
the behaviour of the sailors. They ordered "God save the Queen" and
"Rule Britannia," and then roared lustily for a hornpipe. Catsbach
gratified them in whatever they asked. At last they called for
a gangway to be placed from the orchestra on to the stage, and
proposed commencing the dramatic proceedings of the evening by a
miscellaneous country dance. This, however, was not accorded--the
little bell rang--and the serious overture began.

At this moment Mr Wormwood, out of breath, and enraptured apparently
with my approaching triumph, caught me by the hand. "Let me
introduce you," he said, "to the three greatest critics in Europe.
We have hurried from London to see your _debût_. I have the highest
opinion of your genius, and feel sure you will be most unanimously
and ignominiously cat-called--as _we_ were."

The three gentlemen bowed, and retired into the stage-box beside my
mother, to write a description of my reception. I was too indignant
to speak, and suddenly the curtain rose, and the play began. The
ghost was received with the most vociferous applause, and seemed
to strike the naval mind as the liveliest personage in the play.
His silence was considered a remarkably comic piece of character,
and evidently assumed to cover his forgetfulness of the words. Many
exhortations were offered to him to take another spell at the book,
or spin them a yarn out of his own head. Allusions were also made to
his obesity, which evidently did not accord with the forecastle's
idea of a ghost; and when, in spite of all the advice and suggestion
that had been offered him, he maintained an imperturbable silence,
they got into a violent state of indignation at having been
defrauded of the speeches; for they could not believe it possible
for a personage to stalk across the stage and look so very solemn
without having anything to say. Whereupon Count Osric went forward
and soothed them by a solemn promise that in some of the succeeding
scenes the ghost would be as talkative as they chose. Satisfied with
this, they received the opening scene of the court of Denmark with
several rounds of applause, which were duly responded to by each of
the performers on the stage.

With a dignity befitting the crown-prince of a gallant nation,
I maintained my position on the left of the king, and made no
recognition of the welcome offered me in so tumultuous a manner. I
observed an orange glide within a few inches of my face, and splash
on the back of the royal chair; but affairs advanced so rapidly from
this point that I had no time to take notice of the insult. When
the king had arrived at about the middle of the first speech, a
quarrel took place in the pit between two captains of the maintop,
and a challenge was rapidly exchanged. A sudden whistle from the
boatswain called attention to the interesting fact, and the play was
suspended for a few minutes till the belligerents gave and received
the satisfaction which their injured honours required. While the
two captains were belabouring each other, to the admiration of all
the audience, the manager slipt up to where I was standing, and
whispered, "I feel greatly obliged for the five-pound note, and also
for the three guineas you have left for the supper to-night; but my
advice to you is to slip off the stage as fast as you can; convey
the lady who accompanied you to the coach-office--and----"

"Why?" I said. "This riot will soon be over."

"A worse is coming; for a dreadful disappointment has occurred. Do
as I advise you, or I won't answer that we shan't all be ducked in
the river--lady, too, if she's found out to belong to your party."

"And not a word of my part yet spoken! Perhaps they will be stilled
when they hear the voice of Hamlet."

"My dear sir, they've taken a disgust to you already. If you spoke,
they would throw the benches at your head. There! one of the men is
going to give in, and I must announce that the play is changed for
three farces and some rope-dancing."

I saw the pit looking rather excited, and Bill Hatches was declared
the winner. I was hurrying off the stage to change my clothes. I
was stopt by Mr Wormwood and his friends. "Your attitude, my dear
friend, offended them at once. It was sublime. Princes should always
stand on tiptoe; it was above their comprehension. They have stamped
you a great and original genius with the seal of their unqualified
disapprobation. I congratulate you heartily, and feel sure of your
unanimous reception in the brotherhood we have established, called
the Unappreciables--entrance fee one guinea--and undying hatred to
successful mediocrity."

"I have no time for such offensive absurdity," I said, and hurried
away, in imitation of the whole of the Danish court, which had gone
off to dress for the rope-dancing and the farce. I merely slipped
my cloak over the spangled grandeurs of Elsinore, and was rushing
towards the dressing-room of the ladies, to warn Miss Claribel,
and place her along with my mother in safety from the predicted
storm, when I heard Count Osric, now dressed as a heavy father, in a
domestic drama of George I.'s time, addressing the audience, which
was for a moment hushed in grim repose to hear what he had to say.

"Ladies and gentlemen," he said, "such a grievous calamity has
befallen this establishment, that it is impossible on this occasion
to proceed with the play of Hamlet."

"Pipe all hands to quarters," shouted a voice at the end of the
pit; "prepare for boarding;" and the obedient crew stood up, ready
to cast themselves over the side of the pit, and carry the orchestra
and stage, bottle in hand.

"The fact is, that a serious mishap has occurred to the
representative of the innocent and beautiful Ophelia."

"'Vast with all that palaver," cried a hundred voices. "Why don't
you clap all sail on her, and bring her into line?"

"She has this moment eloped with one of the fiddlers," resumed the
manager, "and we throw ourselves on your indulgence, to allow us to
withdraw the immortal Hamlet, and offer you 'Hot Codlings,' by your
old friend Jack Ivory, in its place."

"Scoundrel!" I said, and seized the manager by the neckcloth, as he
came behind the scenes after this eloquent address. "What do you
mean by such ribald impertinence, inventing such an infamous lie
to save your wretched theatre, and more wretched carcass, at the
expense of Miss Claribel's reputation?"

"It's a perfect truth, sir; they're off; the dirty foreigner led her
out of the theatre, and told me not to expect them again. I'll hold
him answerable for all damage."

I contented myself with giving the heavy father a hearty shake;
sent round for my mother to join me behind the scenes; and amazed,
bewildered, horror-struck, and sick at heart, conducted her to the
coach-office, leaving the manager to sustain the assaults of his
exasperated audience as he best could.

"Miss Claribel has deceived us," said my mother.

"Not me," I said bitterly, "I suspected her to be no better than
she should be, from the strange notions of acting she entertained.
Besides, Catsbach warned me of her from the beginning; and betted he
would prove her to be an impostor and hypocrite. He has won his bet."

"I can't believe it yet," replied my mother; "but time will show."

"If Catsbach ever comes into my presence," I said, "I will horsewhip
him like a hound."

"My dear," said my mother, "I am afraid you admire Miss Claribel too
much yourself."

"Psha!" I replied, "I hate her, and Catsbach more; and if I ever see
them, I will tell them so."


CHAPTER XIII.

I saw them often and often after that, but never told him anything
of the sort. On waking next morning, I saw the bugled satins and
silver-buckled shoes of the Prince of Denmark, in which I had
performed my hurried retreat to London, lying near my bed. They
were like basilisks, and offended my eyes, though they did not
altogether strike me dead. Disappointed in my hopes of theatric
glory, I held a calm consultation with myself on the state of
affairs. It took several days to come to a final resolve, for there
were many counsellors who interested themselves in the question,
and held fierce debates on every point laid before them. Above all,
there was the Hope of nineteen, and the Vanity of a spoilt child.
How warmly they argued the matter against the cold objections of
common sense and experience, I need not tell. Most people have gone
through the dreadful process of awakening to the knowledge of their
own inferiority. The pertinacity of that spirit of self-inquiry,
that strips off a man's delusions one by one, "till fold after fold
to the piercing air," his mediocrity, dulness, and insufficiency
are all laid open, brings with it, at one time or other of our
existence, a wholesome lesson that alters our whole being. There
are probably not two neighbourhoods in England that do not boast of
embryo Shakspeares and future Lord Chancellors--clever, flippant,
superficial young fellows, who, relying on the real abilities which
they possess, and comparing themselves only with the sober old
curate, the uncultivated surgeon, the turnip-growing squire, and
a bevy of old maids and dowagers, believe that, when the world is
opened to their ambition, they will retain the same superiority in
that wider field which they have undoubtedly achieved at home.
Their aspirations being greater than their powers, they gain fresh
food for their self-conceit, from the failures of other men; and,
comparing what they fancy they can do with what they see actually
done by others, they look down with ill-disguised contempt on
authors whom they can only half understand, and betake themselves
to criticism before they have learned to write. The more foolish
of them, and the vainest, persist in their fancied superiority, or
attempt to drag down others to the miserable level to which they
feel they have sunk themselves. The wiser and honester shake off
these sable stains, measure their stature with that of the great
and good, and give up the race before they have either become
broken-winded or are made a laughing-stock to the spectators. I took
a pair of scissors and deliberately reduced the small-clothes of
Hamlet into shreds. I removed the buckles from His Royal Highness's
shoes, and used them as comfortable slippers. But I did more: With
self-devoting hands, I laid Hengist and Horsa on the fire; saw the
noble speeches of heroes and heroines ascend the chimney in smoke,
and sat and watched the shrivelled-up paper as it alternately glowed
and blackened on the top of the coals. It was delightful; and I
felt happier than if I were bowing from a private box, amidst the
unanimous acclamations of the Stepney Star.

A week had elapsed since the display at the Paragon Royal. I started
up all of a sudden, rushed up stairs, dressed as if for an evening
party, took my flute in my pocket, and was going out of the house.

"What are you going to do?" said my mother, alarmed at the excessive
energy of my proceedings.

"I'll tell you when I come back," I said. "I am going to look out
for honest occupation." A cab hurried me rapidly to Muswell Hill.
We entered a handsome gateway. Mr Pybus was at home, and I was
ushered into the drawing-room. There was nobody in the room when I
entered. Two candles were burning on the mantel-piece, and left the
other portions of the magnificently furnished and large apartment
completely in shade. I had announced myself merely as a gentleman
who wished to see Mr Pybus. I had hoped for a private interview,
in which to explain to him, if possible, the reasons of my past
conduct, and ask him to accept me as a clerk in his counting-house.
My pride was broken at last, and I never entertained either a
thought or a wish that he would renew his offer of sending me to
the university. I determined even to accommodate myself so entirely
to my altered prospects, as to undertake the office of music-master
to his daughter. I was immersed in these meditations, when I was
suddenly conscious of a presence at my side. It was Emily, who had
slipt in over the luxurious carpet, without her footfall being heard.

"I expected you last week," she said, without the least apparent
surprise at my altered appearance; for I had discarded, of course,
the false beard and mustaches that preserved my incognito in
Grosvenor Square. "You are faithless to your engagement with papa;
but I felt sure you would come."

"At one time I had determined never to present myself at your house;
but late events have opened my eyes to the folly of my conduct. I am
come to thank your father for his great kindness."

"Not at all: it's all my doing and mamma's; and now we take a
greater interest in you than ever. It was a dreadful business that
murder of poor Hamlet at the Paragon."

"You amaze me!" I began. "How have you possibly heard of that
ridiculous catastrophe?"

"O! we know all about it--and about the Hengist and Horsa, and the
Stepney Star. Some bill, or other extravagance of yours, has come
into papa's hands in the way of business, and he has paid the full
value of it to Mr Montalban. So he laughs, and says he is your
creditor now; and if you don't give good lessons, he will put you in
prison."

"I wasn't aware that my proceedings were of so much importance," I
said, "as to have required such a number of spies to find them out."
I suppose I frowned.

"You needn't be angry again," she replied. "You will be soon
beginning to remember that your name is De Bohun."

"That, at all events," I said, with a lingering feeling of pride,
"is a satisfaction of which it is impossible to deprive me."

"Don't be too sure of that," replied Emily, with a gay and slightly
sarcastic laugh. "We may have as many dramatic surprises here as
in a tragedy. But, in the mean time, till papa comes up from the
dining-room, do accompany me on the flute."

She flew rather than walked, towards the piano, seated herself in a
moment, and dashed into a florid piece of music, which it required
all my skill on the instrument to keep up with. "Bravo!--bravo!"
she said, at intervals; "you play beautifully. This is better than
Hamlet. What would Fitz-Edward say--or Miss de la Rose?"

I stopt. "Will you save me from insanity," I said, "or prevent me
from thinking you a witch, by telling me how you know all those
horrid names?"

"Perhaps I'm a clairvoyante--perhaps you are magnetised; but go
on--I can't lose the concert."

So we played--turned over page after page--tried overtures, and
operas, and dances--and took no note of anything, except what we
were engaged on. Suddenly I was aware that we were no longer in
the dark--the room was comfortably lighted. We were also no longer
alone. While absorbed in our music, several persons had entered the
room, and were standing behind our chairs in deep attention.

"Capital!--capital!" cried a well-known voice, laying a hand roughly
on my shoulder; "better a hundred times than your attempts on
Shakspeare, or your triumphs at the Paragon Royal."

I looked round, and saw my friend Catsbach, or rather Mr Tooks,
for he was shorn of his foreign ornaments, and was an honest,
plain-faced, handsome English gentleman.

"You don't know Mrs Tooks," he continued. "Ellinor, my love, give
your hand to Mr de Bohun."

Miss Claribel stood before me, radiant with beauty, and leaning on
Mr Tooks's arm.

"You are his Ellinor?" I stammered, endeavouring to recall the
story of Catsbach's woes. "You left him at the door of the
church--he advertised for you in vain--went in search of you to a
boarding-school at Guildford--"

"And found her, my boy, in the act of going on the stage as
Ophelia--wrote a penitent letter to this good lady, her aunt, Mrs
Pybus--was accepted as a returned prodigal--and here I introduce
you to our family circle:--my uncle, Mr Pybus--my cousin, Emily--my
grandaunt, or grandmother, I forget which, Mrs Bone, from Bath;
for she is my relation through my wife. And, now that we are all
at home, we had better consult what is best to be done." We did
consult, and the result was satisfactory. I declined the army--I
declined the university--I accepted the chair in Mr Pybus's office,
vacated by my friend Tooks. I was to continue my accompaniments in
music, and my lessons in Latin and mathematics every Saturday, and
determined to begin on the very next morning.

The whole party were delighted, especially the old woman from Bath,
who, after a minute inquiry into my father's Christian name--the
curacy he held--the name of his father, and dates of births and
marriages--fell on my neck in the midst of supper, and claimed me
for a second or third cousin. Oh! the agony of this last blow! What!
part with my connection, through twenty descents, with the Norman
knights--the English nobles--the heroes, warriors, statesmen--who
illustrated our family tree!

"I never had any relations of the name of De Bohun," said the old
lady; "but I remember my husband's uncle, which was George Bone,
which was senior partner in the firm, Bones, Brothers, in Milsom
Street, the dentists, took lofty notions into his head, and sold
his share of the business. He brought up his children with very
fine ideas, and was always engaged making out pedigrees proving he
was somebody else. So his son went the same way, and called himself
De Bohun, and never took any notice of his cousins, Philip and
Sampson, which carried on the business--which Ellinor is daughter
of Sampson, who died when she was a baby. And at last this Mr De
Bohun, as he called himself, he sent his son to Oxford, and a fine
gentleman he was, and believed all the rubbishy old names that his
father and grandfather had written out on parchment, and married the
sister of that good Colonel Bawls, which he looked down on, we used
to hear, because she wasn't a De Bohun; and so, my dear young man,
you see you are a near relation of Ellinor and me, and we are truly
happy to make your acquaintance."

I am afraid I did not respond so warmly as was expected to this
family recognition. Emily touched me on the shoulder--"Never mind,"
she said, "whether your name be De Bohun or not. Behave as if it
were De Mowbray. It will make no difference to any of us here."

A day or two reconciled me to my fate, especially as Saturday came
very rapidly round, and sometimes forced itself into the middle of
the week. I devoted myself to my new pursuits--was as attentive a
clerk as if I had never heard the name of a theatre--rose gradually
to a confidential post in the counting-house--and saw the origin of
the interest taken in me by Mr Pybus. He was agent for my uncle,
the general, and had instructions and authority from him to advance
whatever might be required for the comfort of my mother or my
advancement in life. I need not tell how kindly I was treated by
the Indian warrior when he came home on a special mission to the
Government--how I refused his offer to accompany him back to the
scene of his command--and how he winked and poked me in a facetious
manner in the ribs as he perceived the cause of my wishing to remain
in England. Modesty had now taken possession of me in place of the
vaulting ambition which had so often made me fall on the other side.
I never ventured to put into words the sentiments that filled my
heart with regard to Emily Pybus. A clerk in her father's office--a
dependant on my uncle's bounty--a rejected author--a broken-down
stage-player--I considered myself too far below her in position to
aspire so high.

But time rolled on--the Saturdays came round with unfailing
regularity; and when I was twenty-three, my kind old uncle, who had
distinguished himself greatly by some prodigious increase of the
Company's revenue, and probably his own, wrote me a letter to say he
entirely approved of my conduct--that he had accepted a baronetcy,
and got a clause inserted in the patent insuring the reversion of
the title to me;--and, in short, about three months ago, we sent
round to our friends a couple of nice little calling-cards, tied
together with a silver thread, on which was printed Mr and Mrs
Charles Bone, Wilton Place, Belgravia.



SKETCHES FROM THE CAPE.[2]

  [2] _The Cape and the Kafirs; or, Notes of Five Years' Residence in
  South Africa._ By ALFRED W. COLE. London, 1852.


In the year 1841, a young Englishman, without fortune, friends,
or prospects in his own country, not unwisely resolved to seek
all three in a land where the race of life is run upon a less
crowded course than in thickly-peopled Britain. He embarked for
the antipodes. His ship must have sailed on a Friday--unless,
indeed, we may attribute the mishaps and disasters she encountered
to a deficient outfit and an incompetent captain. Compelled to put
into Portsmouth to amend bad stowage, she next cast anchor--after
being buffeted by storms, wearisomely becalmed, and visited by
the small-pox--in a Brazilian port, there to take in live-stock
and fresh provisions. Once more at sea, it was soon discovered
that these--for whose reception three weeks had been idled away
at Bahia--would scarcely last three weeks longer. So a pause must
be made at the Cape. The ship was a tub, the captain a bungler,
the lighthouse (since removed) was invisible where most needed.
The vessel struck on the rocks of Table Bay, upon which, all night
long, the breakers furiously hurled her to and fro. The darkness
was profound, the ship full of water, rescue seemed hopeless, the
boom of the signal-guns was drowned by the roar of the storm. At
last succour came. Five gallant fellows perished in bringing it, but
perished not in vain. Crew and passengers were taken off the wreck.
Life was saved, but goods were lost. After five tedious months,
which, with ordinary skill and foresight, should have brought the
young emigrant to his final destination, he found himself stranded
at the Cape, instead of landed at New Zealand; his clothes, money,
letters--all he possessed, in short--buried, fathoms deep, beneath
the stormy billows of the South Atlantic.

To this calamity are we indebted for the spirited volume before us.
The proverb about "an ill wind" exactly fits the occasion. After a
while a ship was chartered for those who chose to proceed to New
Zealand. Mr Cole was not of the number. He had conceived a liking
for the Cape Colony, and proposed remaining there. He did so for
five years, with what amount of profit we are not informed, but
evidently passing his time pleasantly, and departing with regret. He
made himself well acquainted with Cape life in most of its phases,
and amongst all classes; and he has cleverly transferred to paper
the vivid impressions he received.

How Mr Cole occupied himself during his residence at the Cape does
not appear from his narrative. His active disposition, as well as
his own statement of his slender means, forbids the supposition of
rambling for mere amusement's sake. Whatever his employment, he
travelled much, and visited most parts of the colony, preferring
the rural districts to the towns. The first glimpse he gives of
South African scenery is pleasing enough. With a fellow-passenger he
drives out to Rondesbosch, "the Richmond of Cape Town," a pleasant
cluster of handsome houses, with large gardens. Thence, along an
excellent road, to Wynberg, another agreeable village.

     "Beyond Wynberg the road loses its trim, pretty, artificial
     appearance, and becomes more African and barren. No, not barren
     either; for who could apply such a term to land covered with an
     innumerable variety of Cape heaths in full bloom?--aloes, wild
     stocks, and a thousand other delicate and lovely plants, making
     a natural carpet, more beautiful than all the corn-fields and
     gardens of civilisation. This road leads to Constantia, famed
     for the delicious wine to which it gives its name."

A history of celebrated vineyards would be a work attractive alike
to the antiquarian and to the _bon vivant_. Strange that it has
never been written, considering how many it would interest. Its
author would not fail to note the peculiarity of certain small spots
of ground, differing to all appearance in no way from hundreds of
thousands of neighbouring acres, save in the quality of their grape
juice. Near at hand, the Rhine ascending, St John's Mount furnishes
an example. Far south of the line, thousands of leagues removed,
Constantia's hill repeats the marvel.

     "There are but three farms, situated on the side of a hill,
     where the grape producing this beautiful wine grows. It has
     been tried, but without success, in various other parts of
     the colony. Even a mile from the hill, the wine is of a very
     inferior description. The hill is named after the wife of one
     of the former governors of the Cape--whether from the lady's
     too great fondness for its productions, history sayeth not.
     The Constantia wine-farmers are rich men, and have elegant
     and well-furnished houses, surrounded by gardens and their
     vineyards. The names of the three farms and their proprietors
     are--High Constantia, Van Reenen; Great Constantia, Cloete;
     Little Constantia, Coligne. A visit to them is a treat."

So thought Jones, a thirsty Cockney, who shared the buggy with Mr
Cole. The "pikeman" grinned as they paid the toll and inquired the
way to the renowned vineyards. "He hoped," he said, "they'd look
as well when they comed back." A demand for an explanation was
met by the deprecatory reply, "that he meant no offence, but had
see'd many look very different arter swallowing the sweet stuff up
there--that's all." Whereupon Jones, indignant, savagely whipped the
hired nag, and they soon reached Great Constantia.

     "We visited the vineyards, which are kept beautifully neat and
     trim; and we then went to the storehouses, which are models of
     cleanliness. Here we tasted a dozen varieties of the delicious
     wine; and I began to have an exact idea of the pikeman's
     observation. Nothing can be more seductively delicious than the
     purest and best Constantia. I may remark, however, that I have
     never tasted a perfect specimen of it in England. The greater
     quantity of so-called Constantia, sold in London, is sweet
     Pontac, a very inferior wine, grown all over the Cape colony--at
     least, wherever there are wine farms.

     "We afterwards visited the other two farms, and found everything
     equally handsome, liberal, clean, and well-ordered; and we
     tasted all the varieties of each of these also. I now began to
     have a _very_ clear idea of the pikeman's meaning."

So did Jones, perhaps, when, with fishy eyes and uncertain gait, he
climbed the buggy, assumed the reins, and drove homewards, shaving
every gate he passed through and corner that he turned. At a certain
distance from the vineyard he informed his companion that the sweet
wine was "stunning," and, having expressed that opinion, astounded
him by the announcement that he had ordered three butts of the best
to be sent to his (Cole's) lodgings, which consisted of two very
minute rooms. Besides the difficulty of stowing so large a store
of liquor, Mr Cole made no doubt it would be booked to him, and
was equally certain he should have to pay for it, Jones being a
shipwrecked passenger, and copperless Cockney, already in his debt.
His first impulse was to pitch Jones out of the gig; his second,
to countermarch and countermand. But Jones, positively refusing to
return, drove valiantly onwards.

     "After driving for about an hour along what seemed to me a very
     circuitous route, we were approaching the entrance to some
     grounds, very like those we had quitted. On coming still nearer,
     Jones remarked that 'he did not recollect passing this d----d
     place before.' I did. So I suggested that I would just run in
     and ask the way. I left him for a minute, and returned with full
     instructions as to our route, and with much persuasion managed
     to keep my friend to the right road to Cape Town. I had no fears
     about the wine now, for we had returned to Constantia, and I had
     countermanded the order. Jones knew nothing about it next day."

Much valued by the wine-merchant, Cape wines, as a class, and with
the single exception of Constantia, are odious to the English
consumer. Theirs is the dog's misfortune;--they have a bad name,
which the growers do their best to keep up by sending to the
mother-country the worst product of their vines. Mr Cole frequently
pointed out to them the bad policy of this. The answer he got was,
that Cape wine is in such disesteem that it is bought in England
without distinction of vintage or class, the worst fetching as good
a price as the best. Yet, according to Mr Cole, there is a vast
difference in the qualities; and even the best are susceptible
of great improvement, if properly managed. On the subject of
wine-growing at the Cape, he makes some shrewd observations, which,
if ever the unlucky colony is restored to tranquillity and delivered
from dread of Kafirs, may be well worth the consideration of
speculators conversant with that class of cultivation.

     "There is a great similarity between the Cape and the Madeira
     grape. Both are cultivated much in the same manner, and in both
     the natural acidity is great; but the grand point of difference
     between the two is in the time of gathering the grapes. In
     Madeira they are not gathered till so ripe that many begin to
     fall, and are withered from over-ripeness: these, of course, are
     rejected. By this means a smaller amount of wine is obtained
     from a vineyard than would have been produced had the grapes
     been gathered earlier; but the quality of the wine is improved
     beyond conception. Every grape is full, ripe, and luscious,
     and the wine partakes of its quality. Nothing can prove more
     clearly the necessity of the grape being fully, and even _over_
     ripe, than the difference of the wine produced on the north
     side of the island of Madeira, where this perfection of the
     grape can scarcely be attained, and that grown on the south
     side: the latter is luscious and rich; the former is Cape, or
     little better. Now, at the Cape, the object of the farmer always
     is to get the greatest _quantity_ of wine from his vineyard;
     and consequently he gathers his grapes when they are barely
     ripe, and none have fallen or withered; whereby he fills his
     storehouses with wine full of that acidity and vile twang which
     all who have tasted shudder to recall. Some of the wine-growers
     in the colony have lately pursued a different course, and with
     vast success."

English colonists these, not Dutch, for the boers are wedded to old
systems. Had the first settlers at the Cape been Frenchmen from
Rheims and Bordeaux, instead of Dutchmen unused to more generous
drink than swipes and Geneva, the vintage of South Africa might now
be renowned instead of despised. One of Mr Cole's fellow-passengers
was a Frenchman, from Champagne, a smart, active fellow, who
had followed all sorts of occupations, from teaching French to
commanding a privateer. Shipwrecked and penniless, but far from
dejected, he prevailed on a companion in misfortune, an Englishman,
who had means, to take a wine-farm, and him for a partner. The
Cape champagne they made was excellent, and often since, Mr Cole
pathetically declares, when swallowing extract of gooseberries at
a public or private dinner-table, in England, he has sighed for a
bottle of their vintage. He sums up the subject as follows:--

     "From observation and experience, I am inclined to think that a
     company might be profitably established, here or at the Cape,
     for cultivating the vine in the colony, and importing its
     produce to Europe; but they must send out their own labourers
     and superintendents, carefully selected from the best vineyards
     in Germany or France; take care to adopt the Madeira plan of
     gathering the grapes; agitate for a reduction of the duty on the
     wine, which is too high; and do all they can to get rid of their
     greatest obstacle--a bad name in the market."

Disguised as sherry or Madeira, who can tell how much Cape he
annually swallows? Port wine, too, is adulterated with a red Cape
called Pontac. Were the cultivation of the African wines improved,
and the best qualities imported, there is no reason why we should
despise, in its neat dress, that which we have so often accepted
under Spanish or Portuguese colours. And certainly it would be more
satisfactory to drink the produce of a British colony than that
of countries who show so little disposition to reciprocate the
liberality of our tariffs, and our immense consumption of articles
of their growth. Nor is the vine the only plant which, with proper
care and encouragement, might, in Mr Cole's opinion, and with every
appearance of probability, be raised at the Cape, to an extent that
would greatly diminish the necessity we are now under of purchasing
from the thankless foreigner.

     "On the very spot where the village of Somerset now stands,
     TOBACCO was first raised in the colony, under the care of a Dr
     Makrill. Like almost everything else, it grew and flourished
     admirably in a Cape soil, and is now raised in considerable
     quantities in various parts of the colony. It is called
     Boer's tobacco, to distinguish it from the various species of
     the imported weed. Here, again, the want of proper energy,
     so constantly observable in the colonists, whether Dutch or
     English, is displayed. Every man smokes--and immense numbers
     also chew--tobacco. The Hottentots of both sexes take heaps
     of snuff--not, by the way, up their nostrils, but in their
     mouths!--and yet tobacco has to be imported to a considerable
     extent into a country which might not only grow enough for its
     own wants, but sufficient to supply half the world besides.
     Every one admits the fact; but the answer is, 'Want of labour,'
     that eternal complaint of South Africa. There is much truth in
     it; but there is a considerable 'want of energy' also."

There is no manifest reason why, with care and good cultivation,
we should not grow cigars at the Cape, such as might successfully
vie--if not with the _regalias_ of the Havannah--at least with the
indigenous cabbage, and with the coarser Cuban and South American
weed. If an ardent sun be one essential for obtaining a fine
description of tobacco--and we are led to suppose so by considering
the latitudes whence the best sorts come, and the inferiority of
those grown in Europe--there is no want of it in certain districts
of Cape Colony. At Fort Beaufort the heat is so terrible that
the sentries' buttons are said to melt and drop off. But it is a
delightful peculiarity of the Cape climate, that, even in these
desperately hot places, it is always healthy. As regards the "want
of labour," alleged by the colonists as an excuse for neglecting
many valuable sources of profit, it is only to be repaired by
encouraging a steady stream of emigration from the mother country to
the Cape. The general and most important impression left upon the
reader's mind by Mr Cole's book--which, although light and often
playful in style, contains valuable information, and is the book
of a sensible man--is, that, with its fertile soil and beautiful
climate, it ought to become a most prosperous and flourishing
country. Immigration and good government are all it wants. Of
course, neither of these has it any chance of obtaining so long as
Lord Grey rules its destinies; but we may venture to hope that he
will not do so long. The Cape, Mr Cole justly observes, has never
been a "pet" colony with our Colonial administration. Incompetent
governors, threats of convict importations, and Kafir wars, have
rendered it unpopular with every class of emigrants. And, doubtless,
they have all, more or less, contributed to the apathetic indolence
and discouragement which, as we gather from Mr Cole's volume, is to
be noted in most of the colonists. With the Dutch, apathy may be in
some degree constitutional; but it is not natural to Englishmen;
nor is it to be explained by any enervating or sickly properties of
the climate. As to the sheep-farmer, he is the very incarnation of
laziness.

     "He turns out of bed about eleven, huddles on a pair of
     trousers, with the shirt he slept in; thrusts his feet into a
     pair of shoes, pulls a wide-awake hat over his head, and his
     toilet is complete. He then sticks a short pipe into his mouth,
     loiters about the homestead, and talks to Hottentots not _more_
     lazy than himself, from the simple reason that _that_ were
     impossible; takes a cup of coffee, and perhaps a chop; smokes
     and dozes away the whole day; looks at the sheep as they come
     home in the evening; 'slangs' the herds, eats mutton again, and
     calls it 'dinner;' smokes again, and drinks '_smoke_,' (Cape
     Smoke is a sort of brandy;) pulls off his shoes, hat, and nether
     garments, and turns in again, to snooze till eleven the next
     day, and then gets up, and goes through the same process once
     more."

When the white man sets such example, what can be expected from the
black? The Hottentots are the general servants of the colony, both
farm and domestic, at least in all the eastern districts. Shocking
bad ones they are, but yet they get good wages, abundant food, and
are engaged without being asked for a character, which indeed were
superfluous trouble, one very bad one fitting them all.

     "A Hottentot," says Mr Cole, "is the most improvident, lazy
     animal on the face of the earth. He will work for a month, and,
     as soon as he has pocketed his wages, leave his master, and be
     drunk whilst he has a solitary sixpence left. He is a living
     paradox; a drunkard, and a thief, and yet one that can practise
     abstinence, and never rob his master. Sometimes you may trust
     him with anything of any value, whilst in your service, and he
     will not pick and steal. After he has left you, he will as soon
     appropriate your Wellingtons (if he calls to see his successor
     in office) as wear his own shoes. He is the dirtiest fellow on
     earth, and will clean neither your rooms, your boots, nor your
     knives and forks, unless you are eternally driving him to his
     work; yet he will wash his hands with the utmost care before he
     touches the food he is preparing for your dinner, though he has
     the greatest natural antipathy to the contact of cold water."

These Hottentots have an ugly habit of leaving their master in a
body, without apparent cause, or previous notice. It is their way
of taking a holiday. They are sure to find employment, when willing
again to work; the demand, even for such labour as theirs, being
much greater than the supply. As yet civilisation has done little
for them. As to the result of missionary efforts, Mr Cole estimates
it as exceedingly small. There is considerable discrepancy between
his statements on this head and the glowing reports occasionally
issued by missionary societies, of their successful labours amongst
the heathens of Africa. Briefly, but forcibly, Mr Cole shows up
the humbug and delusion of the system. From personal experience he
declares himself convinced that, out of every hundred Hottentot
Christians, (so styled,) ninety-nine have no notion of a future
state.

     "I have frequently been at the bedside of the sick and dying
     Hottentot, who has been a constant attendant at some missionary
     chapel, and I have asked him whether he has any fear of dying?
     He has smiled, and said,

     "'None.'

     "I have asked him whether he expected to go to heaven? and he
     has answered,

     "'No.'

     "'Where then?'

     "'Nowhere.'

     "I have endeavoured to explain to him that his minister must
     have taught him the doctrine of a future state of rewards and
     punishments. He has laughed and said, that perhaps it might
     be so, 'for the master, but not for him; he lies down and
     dies, that is all--that is enough.' This I have heard over and
     over again from the lips of some of the 'pet' Christians of
     missionaries--model men, whom they talk of and point out to
     every 'griffin' in the colony, and write long communications
     about, to their societies in England."

Professing Christians abound amongst the Hottentots, for the sake
of the temporal advantages. Every missionary station has a tract of
land belonging to it, on which the Hottentot who attends school and
chapel regularly, and assumes a becoming appearance of piety, is
permitted to build a hut, and plant a garden. Seeds and tools are
given to him; and, with very little labour, he is enabled to pass
the rest of his time in idleness.

     "It is notorious," says Mr Cole, "that these people, living at
     the missionary stations, are the idlest and most useless set in
     the colony. You cannot frighten a farmer more seriously than by
     telling him that a missionary station is going to be established
     near him. Visions of daily desertion by his servants float
     across his mind's eye."

But if the Hottentot be a bad servant, and if, notwithstanding the
well-meant but misdirected efforts of missionaries, whose zeal
might find better employment at home, he still continues an idle,
besotted, and filthy savage, there yet is to be found, in his
immediate vicinity, a still more degraded and untractable race.
These are the Boschjesmen, or Bushmen, of whom specimens have been
exhibited in England. In their own land they live in a state of
barbarism, without clothes, often without huts, growing no corn or
vegetables, and subsisting upon such animals as they can kill with
their arrows--also upon locusts.

     "In the year 1844 or 1845, a traveller in their country came
     upon whole kraals, (or villages,) which appeared at first to
     be deserted; but he found, on searching, that 'most of the
     inhabitants were still there--dead! There were great quantities
     of dead locusts in their huts, and the supposition was, that
     they had died from eating them, either from some poison
     contained in them, or from a surfeit."

They are fierce and cruel, and as mischievous as monkeys, to which
they bear a strong resemblance. On the first journey that he made
in a waggon, Mr Cole had as "leader"--the name given to the boy
who leads the two front oxen of the span--a Bushman lad, about four
feet high, the most hideous monster, according to the description
given of him, that ever walked on two legs. The expression of his
countenance was diabolical, his disposition equally so. The lash
was the only argument he understood; and even to that, owing to the
extraordinary toughness of his hide, he was long callous.

     "On one occasion the waggon came to the brow of a hill, when it
     was the leader's duty to stop the oxen, and see that the wheel
     was well locked. It may readily be imagined that a waggon which
     requires twelve oxen to draw it on level ground, could not
     be held back at all by _two_ oxen, in its descent of a steep
     hill, unless with the wheel locked. My interesting Bushman,
     however, whom I had not yet offended in any manner, no sooner
     found himself at the top of the hill, than he let go the oxen
     with a yell and a whoop, which set them off at a gallop down
     the precipitous steep. The waggon flew from side to side of the
     road, destined, apparently, to be smashed to atoms every moment,
     together with myself, its luckless occupant. I was dashed about,
     almost unconscious of what could be the cause, so suddenly had
     we started on our mad career. Heaven only knows how I escaped
     destruction, but we positively reached the bottom of the hill
     uninjured.

     "The Bushman was by the waggon-side in an instant, and went
     to his place at the oxen's head as coolly and unconcernedly
     as if he had just performed part of his ordinary duties. The
     Hottentot driver, on the contrary, came panting up, aghast with
     horror. I jumped out of the waggon, seized my young savage by
     the collar of his jacket, and, with a heavy sea-cow-hide whip, I
     belaboured him with all my strength, wherein, I trust the reader
     will think me justified, as the little wretch had made the most
     barefaced attempt on my life. I almost thought my strength would
     be exhausted before I could get a sign from the young gentleman
     that he felt my blows; but at length he uttered a yell of pain,
     and I knew he had had enough. Next day I dropped him at a
     village, and declined his farther services."

Waggon-travelling in the Cape Colony is a slow, but not a
disagreeable, manner of locomotion. The same team of oxen takes you
through, however great the distance; and as grass and water are
all they get--and sometimes a scanty ration of these--the pace is
necessarily very moderate, twenty miles a-day being considered good
going. Of course you have abundant stores in your waggon; for inns
are scarce, and it is not usual to quarter yourself on the farmers,
as you do when travelling on horseback. A stretcher, with a mattress
on it, is slung in the waggon, to lounge on by day and sleep on by
night; or if the party be numerous, a tent is pitched at evening.
The Hottentots sleep under the waggon or round the fire. The start
is at six in the morning. At ten a two hours' halt is made, to eat
and smoke, to sketch or shoot. At noon, the cattle, which have been
turned out to graze, are "in-spanned," and the march continues till
three or four o'clock. Then another halt and another meal; a pipe,
a shot at an ostrich or bushbuck; and then once more on the road
for two hours, before "out-spanning" for the night. The bivouac
is delightful; the sky of a deep dark blue, the moon radiant, the
magnificent Southern Cross glittering in the heavens, underfoot a
carpet of scented and variegated blossoms, stillness over all, and
in the dark shadow of the bush a bright fire, with the wayfarers
stretched lazily around it. The whole thing is a pleasant sort of
picnic party, and it is easy to believe Mr Cole when he declares
that he never enjoyed a European trip so much as waggon-travelling
in South Africa. Of course this is the sunny side of the picture.
Disagreeable occurrences are by no means unfrequent. A bridgeless
rivulet, swollen to a torrent by recent rains, detains you for
a week upon its banks, on half rations or less. Your Hottentots
discover a hedge tavern, and whilst you take a stroll with your
gun during the "out-span," they get helplessly drunk, and you must
halt for the day. You thrash them and stop their tobacco; they
revenge themselves by accidentally upsetting you in the next river
you cross; or they neglect to watch the grazing oxen, which are
next heard of ten miles off, having been "pounded" by some surly
landholder, with whose green corn they had taken a liberty. The
traveller who dreads such mishaps and desires faster progress,
packs a valise, straps it on his saddle, and throws his leg over
a sturdy Cape horse, which will carry him fifty or sixty miles a
day without flinching. Here is Mr Cole's sketch of these useful,
ill-looking animals:--

     "Generally speaking, a regular Cape horse, one whose pedigree
     cannot be traced to any imported stallion, is an ugly brute.
     He is about fourteen hands high, and his chief characteristics
     are, a low narrow shoulder, a ewe neck, and a goose rump. His
     'pins' are generally pretty good. He is villanously broken; his
     mouth is as tough as an oak; his pace is a shuffling, tripping,
     wriggling abomination, between an amble and a canter, with a
     suspicion of a 'run' in it. Put him beyond this pace, and he
     gallops as awkwardly as a cow. As for walking, he is innocent of
     the pace beyond three miles an hour. Trotting, neither he, nor
     his breaker, nor breeder, nor owner (if a Dutchman) ever heard
     of. He is apt to be ill-tempered too--often given to kicking,
     and occasionally to 'bucking.' So much for his evil qualities."

Some of his good ones have been already implied. He is hardy,
enduring, can live on grass, do without groom or stable. You may
shoot off his back--or sleep on it, for his pace is the easiest of
motions. He is never ill, save of one complaint, which resembles
glanders, (although it is a different disease,) and is always fatal.
This malady he evidently contracts in the pastures, for horses kept
in the stable, and never allowed to graze, are not subject to it. He
is cheap to buy.

     "A horse good enough for all ordinary purposes may be bought
     from £9 to £15. I once rode a journey of two hundred and thirty
     miles with the same set of horses, (four in number, one for my
     servant, one for myself, one for saddle-bags, and another for
     changing) in four days. The most expensive of the four cost me
     £12, and the cheapest £4, 10s. It is true that I fed them well
     on the road, but a Dutch boer would have taken them the same
     distance without a handful of corn all the way."

Mounted on one of these serviceable brutes, Mr Cole rambled about
the colony, sleeping at inns when he found them, but much oftener
profiting by the boundless hospitality of the Cape farmers, and
making acquaintance with all sorts of people, from puny Cockney
settlers to gigantic Dutch boers. The latter are--

     "The finest men in the colony. I have seen them constantly
     from six feet two to six feet six inches in height; broad and
     muscular in proportion. Their strength is immense. They are
     great admirers of feats of daring, strength, and activity. A
     mighty hunter, such as Gordon Cumming, would be welcomed with
     open arms by every Dutch boer in South Africa. Poor Moultrie,
     of the 75th, the 'lion-hunter' _par excellence_, was one of
     their idols. So is Bain, the 'long-haired,' who has made some
     half-dozen excursions into the far wilderness in search of the
     lord of the forest and all his subjects. They hunt far more than
     the English farmers, and are, as I have said, 'crack' shots,
     though they use a great, long, awkward, heavy, flint-locked gun,
     that would make Purdey or Westley Richards shudder with disgust."

Frugal and industrious, these stalwart descendants of Hollanders
have one great fault, almost a fatal one in a new country. They have
a rooted antipathy to novelty and improvement. They use the same
lumbering plough their big-breeched forefathers imported from the
Low Countries some eighty years ago, although it requires twelve
strong oxen to draw it. They reject steam, and pound their corn
instead of grinding it. Despising flails, they completely spoil
their straw by having the grain trodden out by horses or oxen. Of
the English settlers, the Cockneys make the best farmers, "because,
coming without any previous knowledge of the art they intend to
follow, they take advice of those whom experience enables to give
it, instead of trying to manage things in South Africa as they do
in England." Stories are traditionally cited, of inexperienced
Londoners, just landed at the Cape, purchasing a flock of sheep as
breeding stock, and discovering them (too late) to be wethers; and
of another who planted split pease to raise a crop ready for use;
but such instances of ignorance, Mr Cole assures us, are by no means
common.

The present unfortunate condition of the Cape Colony, and the
destructive war now raging there, give peculiar interest to that
portion of Mr Cole's book which relates to the Kafirs. During the
greater part of his residence at the Cape, these troublesome
savages were on their good behaviour, and he was enabled to become
personally acquainted with them, and especially with their powerful
chief Macomo. Riding from Graham's Town to Fort Beaufort, through
that immense jungle and favourite Kafir lurking-place, Fish River
Bush, he paused to bait at a roadside inn, and entered into chat
with his host, who, on hearing that he had never been in Kafirland,
pointed out to him a distant mountain.

     "A very noted place, sir," he said, "is that mountain. It is in
     the territory of the Kafir chief Macomo. When that rascal wants
     to attack the colony, or his neighbours, the other chiefs, he
     lights a great fire on the top of that hill at night, and, on
     seeing it, every Kafir in his dominions immediately flocks to
     his standard, and he can collect ten thousand armed men, sir."

Mr Cole expressed a fervent hope that it would be long before Macomo
lit his fire, but the innkeeper expected it would shortly blaze;
and the innkeeper was right. At Fort Beaufort Mr Cole first saw the
great Kafir, dressed in cast-off European clothes, but without shirt
or stockings, and more than half-drunk. He won his favour by lending
him sixpence, and received an invitation to visit him at his kraal,
a very few miles from Fort Beaufort. Accordingly, next morning he
mounted his horse, and rode into Kafirland. From Chapter X. we glean
some of his first impressions.

     "The Kafir is certainly a fine animal. He is tall, well-knit,
     clean-limbed, and graceful in his motions. It is rare to see a
     Kafir with any personal deformity, however trifling. I have seen
     some dozen races of coloured people, and I have no hesitation
     in pronouncing the Kafirs by far the finest of them. Their
     features are not negro; though some of them (especially Macomo,
     who is the ugliest man in his dominions) partake very much of
     that character. Their colour varies from almost black to a
     light copper hue. Amongst them I frequently met with Albinos.
     These are certainly the most repulsive-looking creatures I
     ever beheld. Their skin is dead white, not the whiteness of a
     delicate European skin, but the colour of a white horse--it is
     scaly and coarse; their eyes are pink like those of a ferret;
     and their hair very much the colour of a ferret's coat, though
     still woolly and tufted."

The Kafirs Mr Cole met upon the road scowled at him in no friendly
manner, but dared not rob a visiter to their chief. Macomo received
him well, regaled him on beefsteaks and coffee, tried hard to sell
him horses or cattle, expressed most hypocritical affection for the
English, and extracted another sixpence from him, in exchange for a
stick.

     "I rode back to Fort Beaufort, well pleased with my visit,
     but more than ever satisfied of the natural cunning, avarice,
     craft, and dishonesty, the low moral nature, and utter
     untrustworthiness of Kafirs in general, and, above all, of
     Macomo."

Mr Cole makes some sensible suggestions for averting future wars
with the Kafirs, and securing the tranquillity of the colony. Whilst
justly disapproving certain points of the constitution tardily
granted to the Cape, he admits it to be a great improvement upon the
present state of things.

     "When the Cape colonists," he says, "commence self-government,
     doubtless one of their first acts will be to embody a militia
     throughout the land. Every man in the country, between certain
     ages, will be a soldier, and the most fit and effectual soldier
     to contend with the savage enemies across the boundary. This
     will be, in effect, a revival of the old Dutch Commando
     system--a system, with all its faults, the most efficient in
     repressing the rapine and murder of the Kafirs, and under which
     no such war as the present could have originated."

The abolition of this system, which allowed the Dutch boers, when
aggrieved or plundered by the Kafirs, to muster in bodies, recover
their cattle by the strong hand, and chastise the robbers, has
always been a subject of bitter complaint and discontent with the
frontier farmers. They fear not the Kafirs, if they are but allowed
to defend themselves and their property, and to retaliate with the
strong hand. Give them thus much licence, and, says Mr Cole, "I have
no hesitation in saying that the colonists of the border would very
soon settle the Kafir question." Let it be clearly understood what
the Cape "bush" is. It is a dense thicket studded with thorns, and
impenetrable to persons in ordinary European garb. The Hottentots
and colonists wear leather "crackers"--as breeches are called at
the Cape--which in some degree protect them; and the Kafirs, naked
and with their bodies greased all over--blest, besides, with thick
skins--crawl through it on their bellies. Speaking of Fish River
Bush, Mr Cole says:--

     "One of the greatest benefits that could be conferred on the
     colony would be its entire destruction by fire. But I fear it
     will not burn; and so it will continue to harbour wild beasts in
     peace, and Kafirs in war time. All the Kafir nation could hide
     in it, and be out of sight and out of reach of English eyes and
     English bullets. At the first symptom of an impending attack on
     the colony, the report always flies like wild-fire, 'The Fish
     River Bush is full of Kafirs.'"

Then are sent out against these lithe and dusky savages, who can
writhe like snakes through the underwood, and whose brown hide is
scarce distinguishable from the tints of the rocks and branches,
and aloe-stems amongst which they lurk, a party of red-coated
Englishmen, to be shot down by invisible foes.

     "A splendid target that same scarlet coat," exclaims Mr Cole.
     "Even when those bushes intervene, though you see not the
     man--neither his face, nor his shako, nor his trousers--yet
     _there_ is the piece of scarlet cloth glaring through the
     boughs; take steady aim at that, for a soldier's heart beats
     behind it, and a bullet sent through the gaudy garment hurls one
     more shilling target to the dust."

Nearly six years ago, when the subject of military punishments
was before Parliament, we proposed and urged certain reforms and
ameliorations in the equipment of the army, some of which are now
in process of adoption, whilst others, we have little doubt, will
ere long be forced upon the authorities by public opinion and their
manifest necessity. We then denounced scarlet, "first, because it is
tawdry, and, secondly, as rendering the soldier an easier mark than
a less glaring colour. Blue coats and grey trousers are the colours
we should like to see adopted in our service, preserving always
the green for the rifles, who ought to be ten times as numerous as
they are, as we shall discover whenever we come to a brush with the
Yankees, or with our old and gallant opponents, the French."[3]

  [3] THE ARMY--_Blackwood's Magazine, No. CCCLXX._, for August
  1846.

Our troops, it is understood, are about to get the rifles; of the
scarlet we hope soon to see them get rid. A very inferior foe to
either American or Frenchman has sufficed to show the necessity
of marching with the century, at least in matters military. The
long guns of the naked Kafirs outshoot our regulation muskets;
and earnest and unanswerable representations--amongst which must
prominently be reckoned the able letters of that practical and
experienced soldier, Sir Charles Shaw--have opened official eyes to
the advantages of grooved barrels over smooth bores. Soon we hope to
see scarlet replaced by a more rational and less brilliant colour,
knapsacks lightened, and pipe-clayed belts abolished. We advocated
blue for the soldier's dress, because tailors, professional and
amateur, have still so potential a voice in our military councils,
that we scarcely dare hope the adoption of less becoming tints;
otherwise, grey, green, or brown mixtures, although not showy
on parade, will be admitted by all military men who have seen
service--especially skirmishing service in bush, mountains, or
forest--to constitute by far the least visible uniform, and worst
mark. In time, perhaps, these sober but service-like colours may be
introduced. Perhaps, too, in time, the Horse Guards will discern
the wisdom of keeping heavy cavalry for home parades, or European
wars--should the latter unfortunately occur--and of sending the
lightest and most lightly-equipped of their dragoons in pursuit of
nimble savages, in colonies too distant to ship horses to, and where
chargers, up to the weight of the men, are unobtainable.

     "When the 7th Dragoon Guards came out to the Cape, they had
     considerable difficulty in horsing the regiment, though they
     took as low a standard as fifteen hands for their chargers.
     Even at this standard, the men in full dress, with their brass
     helmets, carbines and accoutrements, looked rather absurdly
     mounted, and reminded one forcibly of the hobby-horse figures in
     a Christmas pantomime."[4]

  [4] _The Cape and the Kafirs_, p. 110-11.

When we picture to ourselves these bravo "heavies"--so formidable
if opposed to French or German dragoons--inefficiently floundering,
on overweighted horses, through bush and brushwood, after the agile
barbarians of South Africa, and when we contrast them with the
really "_light_-horse" we have seen shipped from Provençal ports for
service in Algeria, we cannot but admit, however unwillingly, that
these things are better managed in France than on our side of the
Channel. May it soon be otherwise!



MY NOVEL; OR, VARIETIES IN ENGLISH LIFE.

BY PISISTRATUS CAXTON.


BOOK X--INITIAL CHAPTER.

It is observed by a very pleasant writer--read now-a-days only
by the brave pertinacious few who still struggle hard to rescue
from the House of Pluto the souls of departed authors, jostled and
chaced as those souls are by the noisy footsteps of the living--it
is observed by the admirable Charron, that "judgment and wisdom
is not only the best, but the happiest portion God Almighty hath
distributed amongst men; for though this distribution be made with
a very uneven hand, yet nobody thinks himself stinted or ill-dealt
with, but he that hath never so little is contented in _this_
respect."[5]

  [5] Translation of _Charron on Wisdom_. By G. STANHOPE, D.D., late
  Dean of Canterbury, (1729.) A translation remarkable for ease,
  vigour, and (despite that contempt for the strict rules of grammar,
  which was common enough amongst writers at the commencement of the
  last century) for the idiomatic raciness of its English.

And, certainly, the present narrative may serve in notable
illustration of the remark so drily made by the witty and wise
preacher. For whether our friend Riccabocca deduce theories for
daily life from the great folio of Machiavel; or that promising
young gentleman, Mr Randal Leslie, interpret the power of knowledge
into the art of being too knowing for dull honest folks to cope with
him; or acute Dick Avenel push his way up the social ascent with a
blow for those before, and a kick for those behind him, after the
approved fashion of your strong New Man; or Baron Levy--that cynical
impersonation of Gold--compare himself to the Magnetic Rock in the
Arabian tale, to which the nails in every ship that approaches the
influence of the loadstone fly from the planks, and a shipwreck per
day adds its waifs to the Rock: questionless, at least, it is, that
each of those personages believed that Providence had bestowed on
him an elder son's inheritance of wisdom. Nor, were we to glance
towards the obscurer paths of life, should we find good Parson Dale
deem himself worse off than the rest of the world in this precious
commodity--as, indeed, he had signally evinced of late in that
shrewd guess of his touching Professor Moss;--even plain Squire
Hazeldean took it for granted that he could teach Audley Egerton
a thing or two worth knowing in politics; Mr Stirn thought that
there was no branch of useful lore on which he could not instruct
the Squire; and Sprott, the tinker, with his bag full of tracts and
lucifer matches, regarded the whole framework of modern society,
from a rick to a constitution, with the profound disdain of a
revolutionary philosopher. Considering that every individual thus
brings into the stock of the world so vast a share of intelligence,
it cannot but excite our wonder to find that Oxenstiern is popularly
held to be right when he said, "See, my son, how little wisdom it
requires to govern states;"--that is, Men! That so many millions of
persons, each with a profound assurance that he is possessed of an
exalted sagacity, should concur in the ascendency of a few inferior
intellects, according to a few stupid, prosy, matter-of-fact rules
as old as the hills, is a phenomenon very discreditable to the
spirit and energy of the aggregate human species! It creates no
surprise that one sensible watch-dog should control the movements
of a flock of silly grass-eating sheep; but that two or three silly
grass-eating sheep should give the law to whole flocks of such
mighty sensible watch-dogs--_Diavolo!_ Dr Riccabocca, explain _that_
if you can! And wonderfully strange it is; that notwithstanding
all the march of enlightenment, notwithstanding our progressive
discoveries in the laws of nature--our railways, steam-engines,
animal magnetism, and electro-biology--we have never made any
improvement that is generally acknowledged, since Men ceased to
be troglodytes and nomads, in the old-fashioned gamut of flats
and sharps, which attunes into irregular social jog-trot all the
generations that pass from the cradle to the grave;--still, "_the
desire for something we have not_" impels all the energies that keep
us in movement, for good or for ill, according to the checks or the
directions of each favourite desire.

A friend of mine once said to a _millionaire_, whom he saw for ever
engaged in making money which he never seemed to have any pleasure
in spending, "Pray, Mr ----, will you answer me one question: You
are said to have two millions, and you spend £600 a-year. In order
to rest and enjoy, what will content you?"

"A little more," answered the _millionaire_. That "little more" is
the mainspring of civilisation. Nobody ever gets it!

"Philus," saith a Latin writer, "was not so rich as Lælius; Lælius
was not so rich as Scipio; Scipio was not so rich as Crassus; and
Crassus was not so rich--as he wished to be!" If John Bull were once
contented, Manchester might shut up its mills. It is the "little
more" that makes a mere trifle of the National Debt!--Long life to
it!

Still, mend our law-books as we will, one is forced to confess
that knaves are often seen in fine linen, and honest men in the
most shabby old rags; and still, notwithstanding the exceptions,
knavery is a very hazardous game; and honesty, on the whole, by far
the best policy. Still, most of the Ten Commandments remain at the
core of all the Pandects and Institutes that keep our hands off our
neighbours' throats, wives, and pockets; still, every year shows
that the Parson's maxim--_non quieta movere_--is as prudent for the
health of communities as when Apollo recommended his votaries not
to rake up a fever by stirring the Lake Camarina; still people,
thank Heaven, decline to reside in parallelograms; and the surest
token that we live under a free government is, when we are governed
by persons whom we have a full right to imply, by our censure and
ridicule, are blockheads compared to ourselves! Stop that delightful
privilege, and, by Jove! sir, there is neither pleasure nor honour
in being governed at all! You might as well be--a Frenchman!


CHAPTER II.

The Italian and his friend are closeted together.

"And why have you left your home in ----shire? and why this new
change of name?"

"Peschiera is in England."

"I know it."

"And bent on discovering me; and, it is said, of stealing from me my
child."

"He has had the assurance to lay wagers that he will win the hand
of your heiress. I know that too; and therefore I have come to
England--first to baffle his design--for I do not think your fears
exaggerated--and next to learn from you how to follow up a clue
which, unless I am too sanguine, may lead to his ruin, and your
unconditional restoration. Listen to me. You are aware that, after
the skirmish with Peschiera's armed hirelings sent in search of
you, I received a polite message from the Austrian government,
requesting me to leave its Italian domains. Now, as I hold it the
obvious duty of any foreigner, admitted to the hospitality of a
state, to refrain from all participation in its civil disturbances,
so I thought my honour assailed at this intimation, and went at
once to Vienna to explain to the Minister there, (to whom I was
personally known,) that though I had, as became man to man, aided
to protect a refugee, who had taken shelter under my roof, from the
infuriated soldiers at the command of his private foe, I had not
only not shared in any attempt at revolt, but dissuaded, as far as I
could, my Italian friends from their enterprise; and that because,
without discussing its merits, I believed, as a military man and a
cool spectator, the enterprise could only terminate in fruitless
bloodshed. I was enabled to establish my explanation by satisfactory
proof; and my acquaintance with the Minister assumed something of
the character of friendship. I was then in a position to advocate
your cause, and to state your original reluctance to enter into
the plots of the insurgents. I admitted freely that you had such
natural desire for the independence of your native land, that,
had the standard of Italy been boldly hoisted by its legitimate
chiefs, or at the common uprising of its whole people, you would
have been found in the van, amidst the ranks of your countrymen;
but I maintained that you would never have shared in a conspiracy
frantic in itself, and defiled by the lawless schemes and sordid
ambition of its main projectors, had you not been betrayed and
decoyed into it by the misrepresentations and domestic treachery of
your kinsman--the very man who denounced you. Unfortunately, of this
statement I had no proof but your own word. I made, however, so far
an impression in your favour, and, it may be, against the traitor,
that your property was not confiscated to the State, nor handed
over, upon the plea of your civil death, to your kinsman."

"How!--I do not understand. Peschiera has the property?"

"He holds the revenues but of one half upon pleasure, and they
would be withdrawn, could I succeed in establishing the case that
exists against him. I was forbidden before to mention this to you;
the Minister, not inexcusably, submitted you to the probation
of unconditional exile. Your grace might depend upon your own
forbearance from farther conspiracies--forgive the word. I need not
say I was permitted to return to Lombardy. I found, on my arrival,
that--that your unhappy wife had been to my house, and exhibited
great despair at hearing of my departure."

Riccabocca knit his dark brows, and breathed hard.

"I did not judge it necessary to acquaint you with this
circumstance, nor did it much affect me. I believed in her
guilt--and what could now avail her remorse, if remorse she felt?
Shortly afterwards, I heard that she was no more."

"Yes," muttered Riccabocca, "she died in the same year that I left
Italy. It must be a strong reason that can excuse a friend for
reminding me even that she once lived!"

"I come at once to that reason," said L'Estrange gently. "This
autumn I was roaming through Switzerland, and, in one of my
pedestrian excursions amidst the mountains, I met with an accident,
which confined me for some days to a sofa at a little inn in an
obscure village. My hostess was an Italian; and, as I had left my
servant at a town at some distance, I required her attention till
I could write to him to come to me. I was thankful for her cares,
and amused by her Italian babble. We became very good friends.
She told me she had been servant to a lady of great rank, who had
died in Switzerland; and that, being enriched by the generosity of
her mistress, she had married a Swiss innkeeper, and his people
had become hers. My servant arrived, and my hostess learned my
name, which she did not know before. She came into my room greatly
agitated. In brief, this woman had been servant to your wife. She
had accompanied her to my villa, and known of her anxiety to see
me, as your friend. The government had assigned to your wife your
palace at Milan, with a competent income. She had refused to accept
of either. Failing to see me, she had set off towards England,
resolved upon seeing yourself; for the journals had stated that to
England you had escaped."

"She dared!--shameless! And see, but a moment before, I had
forgotten all but her grave in a foreign soil--and these tears had
forgiven her," murmured the Italian.

"Let them forgive her still," said Harley, with all his exquisite
sweetness of look and tone. "I resume. On entering Switzerland,
your wife's health, which you know was always delicate, gave way.
To fatigue and anxiety succeeded fever, and delirium ensued. She
had taken with her but this one female attendant--the sole one
she could trust--on leaving home. She suspected Peschiera to have
bribed her household. In the presence of this woman she raved of
her innocence--in accents of terror and aversion, denounced your
kinsman--and called on you to vindicate her name and your own."

"Ravings indeed! Poor Paulina!" groaned Riccabocca, covering his
face with both hands.

"But in her delirium there were lucid intervals. In one of these she
rose, in spite of all her servant could do to restrain her, took
from her desk several letters, and reading them over, exclaimed
piteously, 'But how to get them to him?--whom to trust? And his
friend is gone!' Then an idea seemed suddenly to flash upon her,
for she uttered a joyous exclamation, sate down, and wrote long
and rapidly; enclosed what she wrote, with all the letters, in one
packet, which she sealed carefully, and bade her servant carry to
the post, with many injunctions to take it with her own hand, and
pay the charge on it. 'For, oh!' said she (I repeat the words as
my informant told them to me)--'for, oh! this is my sole chance
to prove to my husband that, though I have erred, I am not the
guilty thing he believes me; the sole chance, too, to redeem my
error, and restore, perhaps, to my husband his country, to my child
her heritage.' The servant took the letter to the post; and when
she returned, her lady was asleep, with a smile upon her face.
But from that sleep she woke again delirious, and before the next
morning her soul had fled." Here Riccabocca lifted one hand from
his face, and grasped Harley's arm, as if mutely beseeching him to
pause. The heart of the man struggled hard with his pride and his
philosophy; and it was long before Harley could lead him to regard
the worldly prospects which this last communication from his wife
might open to his ruined fortunes. Not, indeed, till Riccabocca had
persuaded himself, and half persuaded Harley, (for strong, indeed,
was all presumption of guilt against the dead,) that his wife's
protestations of innocence from all but error had been but ravings.

"Be this as it may," said Harley, "there seems every reason to
suppose that the letters enclosed were Peschiera's correspondence,
and that, if so, these would establish the proof of his influence
over your wife, and of his perfidious machinations against yourself.
I resolved, before coming hither, to go round by Vienna. There I
heard with dismay that Peschiera had not only obtained the imperial
sanction to demand your daughter's hand, but had boasted to his
profligate circle that he should succeed; and he was actually on his
road to England. I saw at once that could this design, by any fraud
or artifice, be successful with Violante, (for of your consent,
I need not say, I did not dream,) the discovery of this packet,
whatever its contents, would be useless: his end would be secured. I
saw also that his success would suffice for ever to clear his name;
for his success must imply your consent, (it would be to disgrace
your daughter, to assert that she had married without it,) and your
consent would be his acquittal. I saw, too, with alarm, that to all
means for the accomplishment of his project he would be urged by
despair; for his debts are great, and his character nothing but new
wealth can support. I knew that he was able, bold, determined, and
that he had taken with him a large supply of money, borrowed upon
usury;--in a word, I trembled for you both. I have now seen your
daughter, and I tremble no more. Accomplished seducer as Peschiera
boasts himself, the first look upon her face, so sweet yet so noble,
convinced me that she is proof against a legion of Peschieras. Now,
then, return we to this all-important subject--to this packet. It
never reached you. Long years have passed since then. Does it exist
still? Into whose hands would it have fallen? Try to summon up all
your recollections. The servant could not remember the name of the
person to whom it was addressed; she only insisted that the name
began with a B, that it was directed to England, and that to England
she accordingly paid the postage. Whom, then, with a name that
begins with B, or (in case the servant's memory here mislead her)
whom did you or your wife know, during your visit to England, with
sufficient intimacy to make it probable that she would select such a
person for her confidant?"

"I cannot conceive," said Riccabocca, shaking his head. "We came
to England shortly after our marriage. Paulina was affected by the
climate. She spoke not a word of English, and indeed not even French
as might have been expected from her birth, for her father was poor,
and thoroughly Italian. She refused all society. I went, it is
true, somewhat into the London world--enough to induce me to shrink
from the contrast that my second visit as a beggared refugee would
have made to the reception I met with on my first--but I formed no
intimate friendships. I recall no one whom she could have written to
as intimate with me."

"But," persisted Harley, "think again. Was there no lady well
acquainted with Italian, and with whom, perhaps, for that very
reason, your wife became familiar?"

"Ah, it is true. There was one old lady of retired habits, but who
had been much in Italy. Lady--Lady--I remember--Lady Jane Horton."

"Horton--Lady Jane!" exclaimed Harley; "again! thrice in one day--is
this wound never to scar over?" Then, noting Riccabocca's look of
surprise, he said, "Excuse me, my friend; I listen to you with
renewed interest. Lady Jane was a distant relation of my own; she
judged me, perhaps, harshly--and I have some painful associations
with her name; but she was a woman of many virtues. Your wife knew
her?"

"Not, however, intimately--still, better than any one else in
London. But Paulina would not have written to her; she knew that
Lady Jane had died shortly after her own departure from England.
I myself was summoned back to Italy on pressing business; she
was too unwell to journey with me as rapidly as I was obliged to
travel; indeed, illness detained her several weeks in England. In
this interval she might have made acquaintances. Ah, now I see;
I guess. You say the name began with B. Paulina, in my absence,
engaged a companion; it was at my suggestion--a Mrs Bertram. This
lady accompanied her abroad. Paulina became excessively attached to
her, she knew Italian so well. Mrs Bertram left her on the road, and
returned to England, for some private affairs of her own. I forget
why or wherefore; if, indeed, I ever asked or learned. Paulina
missed her sadly, often talked of her, wondered why she never heard
from her. No doubt it was to this Mrs Bertram that she wrote!"

"And you don't know the lady's friends, or address?"

"No."

"Nor who recommended her to your wife?"

"No."

"Probably Lady Jane Horton?"

"It may be so. Very likely."

"I will follow up this track, slight as it is."

"But if Mrs Bertram received the communication, how comes it that it
never reached--O, fool that I am, how should it! I, who guarded so
carefully my incognito!"

"True. This your wife could not foresee; she would naturally imagine
that your residence in England would be easily discovered. But
many years must have passed since your wife lost sight of this Mrs
Bertram, if their acquaintance was made so soon after your marriage;
and now it is a long time to retrace--long before even your Violante
was born."

"Alas! yes. I lost two fair sons in the interval. Violante was born
to me as the child of sorrow."

"And to make sorrow lovely! how beautiful she is!"

The father smiled proudly.

"Where, in the loftiest houses of Europe, find a husband worthy of
such a prize?"

"You forget that I am still an exile--she still dowerless. You
forget that I am pursued by Peschiera; that I would rather see her
a beggar's wife--than--Pah, the very thought maddens me, it is so
foul. _Corpo di Bacco!_ I have been glad to find her a husband
already."

"Already! Then that young man spoke truly?"

"What young man?"

"Randal Leslie. How! You know him?" Here a brief explanation
followed. Harley heard with attentive ear, and marked vexation, the
particulars of Riccabocca's connection and implied engagement with
Leslie.

"There is something very suspicious to me in all this," said he.
"Why should this young man have so sounded me as to Violante's
chance of losing fortune if she married an Englishman?"

"Did he? O, pooh! excuse him. It was but his natural wish to seem
ignorant of all about me. He did not know enough of my intimacy with
you to betray my secret."

"But he knew enough of it--must have known enough to have made it
right that he should tell you I was in England. He does not seem to
have done so."

"No--_that_ is strange--yet scarcely strange; for, when we last met,
his head was full of other things--love and marriage. _Basta!_ youth
will be youth."

"He has no youth left in him!" exclaimed Harley, passionately. "I
doubt if he ever had any. He is one of those men who come into
the world with the pulse of a centenarian. You and I never shall
be as old--as he was in long-clothes. Ah, you may laugh; but I am
never wrong in my instincts. I disliked him at the first--his eye,
his smile, his voice, his very footstep. It is madness in you to
countenance such a marriage: it may destroy all chance of your
restoration."

"Better that than infringe my word once passed."

"No, no," exclaimed Harley; "your word is not passed--it shall not
be passed. Nay, never look so piteously at me. At all events, pause
till we know more of this young man. If he be worthy of her without
a dower, why, then, let him lose you your heritage. I should have no
more to say."

"But why lose me my heritage?"

"Do you think the Austrian government would suffer your estates to
pass to this English jackanapes, a clerk in a public office? O, sage
in theory, why are you such a simpleton in action!"

Nothing moved by this taunt, Riccabocca rubbed his hands, and then
stretched them comfortably over the fire.

"My friend," said he, "the heritage would pass to my son--a dowry
only goes to the daughter."

"But you have no son."

"Hush! I am going to have one; my Jemima informed me of it yesterday
morning; and it was upon that information that I resolved to speak
to Leslie. Am I a simpleton now?"

"Going to have a son," repeated Harley, looking very bewildered;
"how do you know it is to be a son?"

"Physiologists are agreed," said the sage positively, "that where
the husband is much older than the wife, and there has been a long
interval without children before she condescends to increase the
population of the world--she (that is, it is at least as nine to
four)--she brings into the world a male. I consider that point,
therefore, as settled, according to the calculations of statistics
and the researches of naturalists."

Harley could not help laughing, though he was still angry and
disturbed.

"The same man as ever; always the fool of philosophy."

"_Cospetto!_" said Riccabocca, "I am rather the philosopher of
fools. And talking of that, shall I present you to my Jemima?"

"Yes; but in turn I must present you to one who remembers with
gratitude your kindness, and whom your philosophy, for a wonder, has
not ruined. Some time or other you must explain that to me. Excuse
me for a moment; I will go for him."

"For him;--for whom? In my position I must be cautious; and--"

"I will answer for his faith and discretion. Meanwhile, order
dinner, and let me and my friend stay to share it."

"Dinner? _Corpo di Bacco!_--not that Bacchus can help us here. What
will Jemima say?"

"Henpecked man, settle that with your connubial tyrant. But dinner
it must be."

I leave the reader to imagine the delight of Leonard at seeing once
more Riccabocca unchanged, and Violante so improved; and the kind
Jemima, too. And their wonder at him and his history, his books and
his fame. He narrated his struggles and adventures with a simplicity
that removed from a story so personal the character of egotism. But
when he came to speak of Helen, he was brief and reserved.

Violante would have questioned more closely; but, to Leonard's
relief, Harley interposed.

"You shall see her whom he speaks of, before long, and question her
yourself."

With these words, Harley turned the young man's narrative into
new directions; and Leonard's words again flowed freely. Thus the
evening passed away happily to all save Riccabocca. But the thought
of his dead wife rose ever and anon before him; and yet when it did,
and became too painful, he crept nearer to Jemima, and looked in her
simple face, and pressed her cordial hand. And yet the monster had
implied to Harley that his comforter was a fool--so she was, to love
so contemptible a slanderer of herself, and her sex.

Violante was in a state of blissful excitement; she could not
analyse her own joy. But her conversation was chiefly with Leonard;
and the most silent of all was Harley. He sate listening to
Leonard's warm, yet unpretending eloquence--that eloquence which
flows so naturally from genius, when thoroughly at its ease, and not
chilled back on itself by hard unsympathising hearers--listened,
yet more charmed, to the sentiments less profound, yet no less
earnest--sentiments so feminine, yet so noble, with which Violante's
fresh virgin heart responded to the poet's kindling soul. Those
sentiments of hers were so unlike all he heard in the common
world--so akin to himself in his gone youth! Occasionally--at some
high thought of her own, or some lofty line from Italian song, that
she cited with lighted eyes, and in melodious accents--occasionally
he reared his knightly head, and his lip quivered, as if he had
heard the sound of a trumpet. The inertness of long years was
shaken. The Heroic, that lay deep beneath all the humours of his
temperament, was reached, appealed to; and stirred within him,
rousing up all the bright associations connected with it, and long
dormant. When he rose to take leave, surprised at the lateness of
the hour, Harley said, in a tone that bespoke the sincerity of the
compliment, "I thank you for the happiest hours I have known for
years." His eye dwelt on Violante as he spoke. But timidity returned
to her with his words--at his look; and it was no longer the
inspired muse, but the bashful girl that stood before him.

"And when shall I see you again?" asked Riccabocca disconsolately,
following his guest to the door.

"When? Why, of course, to-morrow. Adieu! my friend. No wonder you
have borne your exile so patiently,--with such a child!"

He took Leonard's arm, and walked with him to the inn where he had
left his horse. Leonard spoke of Violante with enthusiasm. Harley
was silent.


CHAPTER III.

The next day a somewhat old-fashioned, but exceedingly patrician,
equipage stopped at Riccabocca's garden-gate. Giacomo, who, from a
bedroom window, had caught sight of it winding towards the house,
was seized with undefinable terror when he beheld it pause before
their walls, and heard the shrill summons at the portal. He rushed
into his master's presence, and implored him not to stir--not to
allow any one to give ingress to the enemies the machine might
disgorge. "I have heard," said he, "how a town in Italy--I think it
was Bologna--was once taken and given to the sword, by incautiously
admitting a wooden horse, full of the troops of Barbarossa, and all
manner of bombs and Congreve rockets."

"The story is differently told in Virgil," quoth Riccabocca, peeping
out of the window. "Nevertheless, the machine looks very large and
suspicious; unloose Pompey!"

"Father," said Violante, colouring, "it is your friend Lord
L'Estrange; I hear his voice."

"Are you sure?"

"Quite. How can I be mistaken?"

"Go, then, Giacomo; but take Pompey with thee--and give the alarm,
if we are deceived."

But Violante was right; and in a few moments Lord L'Estrange was
seen walking up the garden, and giving the arm to two ladies.

"Ah," said Riccabocca, composing his dressing-robe round him, "go,
my child, and summon Jemima. Man to man; but, for Heaven's sake,
woman to woman."

Harley had brought his mother and Helen, in compliment to the ladies
of his friend's household.

The proud Countess knew that she was in the presence of Adversity,
and her salute to Riccabocca was only less respectful than that
with which she would have rendered homage to her sovereign. But
Riccabocca, always gallant to the sex that he pretended to despise,
was not to be outdone in ceremony; and the bow which replied to the
curtsey would have edified the rising generation, and delighted
such surviving relicts of the old Court breeding as may linger
yet amidst the gloomy pomp of the Faubourg St Germain. These dues
paid to etiquette, the Countess briefly introduced Helen, as Miss
Digby, and seated herself near the exile. In a few moments the two
elder personages became quite at home with each other; and really,
perhaps, Riccabocca had never, since we have known him, showed to
such advantage as by the side of his polished, but somewhat formal
visiter. Both had lived so little with our modern, ill-bred age!
They took out their manners of a former race, with a sort of pride
in airing once more such fine lace and superb brocade. Riccabocca
gave truce to the shrewd but homely wisdom of his proverbs--perhaps
he remembered that Lord Chesterfield denounces proverbs as
vulgar;--and gaunt though his figure, and far from elegant though
his dressing-robe, there was that about him which spoke undeniably
of the _grand seigneur_--of one to whom a Marquis de Dangeau
would have offered a _fauteuil_ by the side of the Rohans and
Montmorencies.

Meanwhile Helen and Harley seated themselves a little apart, and
were both silent--the first, from timidity; the second, from
abstraction. At length the door opened, and Harley suddenly sprang
to his feet--Violante and Jemima entered. Lady Lansmere's eyes first
rested on the daughter, and she could scarcely refrain from an
exclamation of admiring surprise; but then, when she caught sight of
Mrs Riccabocca's somewhat humble, yet not obsequious mien--looking
a little shy, a little homely, yet still thoroughly a gentlewoman,
(though of your plain rural kind of that genus)--she turned from the
daughter, and with the _savoir vivre_ of the fine old school, paid
her first respects to the wife; respects literally, for her manner
implied respect,--but it was more kind, simple, and cordial than the
respect she had shown to Riccabocca;--as the sage himself had said,
here "it was Woman to Woman." And then she took Violante's hand in
both hers, and gazed on her as if she could not resist the pleasure
of contemplating so much beauty. "My son," she said softly, and with
a half sigh--"my son in vain told me not to be surprised. This is
the first time I have ever known reality exceed description!"

Violante's blush here made her still more beautiful; and as the
Countess returned to Riccabocca, she stole gently to Helen's side.

"Miss Digby, my ward," said Harley pointedly, observing that his
mother had neglected her duty of presenting Helen to the ladies.
He then reseated himself, and conversed with Mrs Riccabocca; but
his bright quick eye glanced ever at the two girls. They were about
the same age--and youth was all that, to the superficial eye, they
seemed to have in common. A greater contrast could not well be
conceived; and, what is strange, both gained by it. Violante's
brilliant loveliness seemed yet more dazzling, and Helen's fair
gentle face yet more winning. Neither had mixed much with girls of
her own age; each took to the other at first sight. Violante, as the
less shy, began the conversation.

"You are his ward--Lord L'Estrange's?"

"Yes."

"Perhaps you came with him from Italy?"

"No, not exactly. But I have been in Italy for some years."

"Ah! you regret--nay, I am foolish--you return to your native land.
But the skies in Italy are so blue--here it seems as if nature
wanted colours."

"Lord L'Estrange says that you were very young when you left Italy;
you remember it well. He, too, prefers Italy to England."

"He! Impossible!"

"Why impossible, fair sceptic?" cried Harley, interrupting himself
in the midst of a speech to Jemima.

Violante had not dreamed that she could be overheard--she was
speaking low; but, though visibly embarrassed, she answered
distinctly--

"Because in England there is the noblest career for noble minds."

Harley was startled, and replied with a slight sigh, "At your age I
should have said as you do. But this England of ours is so crowded
with noble minds, that they only jostle each other, and the career
is one cloud of dust."

"So, I have read, seems a battle to the common soldier, but not to
the chief."

"You have read good descriptions of battles, I see."

Mrs Riccabocca, who thought this remark a taunt upon her
daughter-in-law's studies, hastened to Violante's relief.

"Her papa made her read the history of Italy, and I believe that is
full of battles."

HARLEY.--"All history is, and all women are fond of war and of
warriors. I wonder why."

VIOLANTE, (turning to Helen, and in a very low voice, resolved that
Harley should not hear this time.)--"We can guess why--can we not?"

HARLEY, (hearing every word, as if it had been spoken in St Paul's
Whispering Gallery.)--"If you can guess, Helen, pray tell me."

HELEN, (shaking her pretty head, and answering with a livelier smile
than usual.)--"But I am not fond of war and warriors."

HARLEY to Violante.--"Then I must appeal at once to you,
self-convicted Bellona that you are. Is it from the cruelty natural
to the female disposition?"

VIOLANTE, (with a sweet musical laugh.)--"From two propensities
still more natural to it."

HARLEY.--"You puzzle me: what can they be?"

VIOLANTE.--"Pity and admiration; we pity the weak, and admire the
brave."

Harley inclined his head, and was silent.

Lady Lansmere had suspended her conversation with Riccabocca to
listen to this dialogue. "Charming!" she cried. "You have explained
what has often perplexed me. Ah, Harley, I am glad to see that your
satire is foiled: you have no reply to that."

"No; I willingly own myself defeated-too glad to claim the
Signorina's pity, since my cavalry sword hangs on the wall, and I
can have no longer a professional pretence to her admiration."

He then rose, and glanced towards the window. "But I see a more
formidable disputant for my conqueror to encounter is coming into
the field--one whose profession it is to substitute some other
romance for that of camp and siege."

"Our friend Leonard," said Riccabocca, turning his eye also towards
the window. "True; as Quevedo says wittily, 'Ever since there has
been so great a demand for type, there has been much less lead to
spare for cannon-balls.'"

Here Leonard entered. Harley had sent Lady Lansmere's footman to him
with a note, that prepared him to meet Helen. As he came into the
room, Harley took him by the hand, and led him to Lady Lansmere.

"The friend of whom I spoke. Welcome him now for my sake, ever
after for his own;" and then, scarcely allowing time for the
Countess's elegant and gracious response, he drew Leonard towards
Helen. "Children," said he, with a touching voice, that thrilled
through the hearts of both, "go and seat yourselves yonder, and talk
together of the past. Signorina, I invite you to renewed discussion
upon the abstruse metaphysical subject you have started; let us see
if we cannot find gentler sources for pity and admiration than war
and warriors." He took Violante aside to the window. "You remember
that Leonard, in telling you his history last night, spoke, you
thought, rather too briefly of the little girl who had been his
companion in the rudest time of his trials. When you would have
questioned more, I interrupted you, and said, 'You should see her
shortly, and question her yourself.' And now what think you of Helen
Digby? Hush, speak low. But her ears are not so sharp as mine."

VIOLANTE.--"Ah! that is the fair creature whom Leonard called his
child-angel? What a lovely innocent face!--the angel is there still."

HARLEY, (pleased both at the praise and with her who gave it.)--"You
think so; and you are right. Helen is not communicative. But fine
natures are like fine poems--a glance at the first two lines
suffices for a guess into the beauty that waits you, if you read on."

Violante gazed on Leonard and Helen as they sat apart. Leonard was
the speaker, Helen the listener; and though the former had, in his
narrative the night before, been indeed brief as to the episode
in his life connected with the orphan, enough had been said to
interest Violante in the pathos of their former position towards
each other, and in the happiness they must feel in their meeting
again--separated for years on the wide sea of life, now both
saved from the storm and shipwreck. The tears came into her eyes.
"True," she said very softly, "there is more here to move pity and
admiration than in"--She paused.

HARLEY.--"Complete the sentence. Are you ashamed to retract? Fie on
your pride and obstinacy."

VIOLANTE.--"No; but even here there have been war and heroism--the
war of genius with adversity, and heroism in the comforter who
shared it and consoled. Ah! wherever pity and admiration are both
felt, something nobler than mere sorrow must have gone before: the
heroic must exist."

"Helen does not know what the word heroic means," said Harley,
rather sadly; "you must teach her."

'Is it possible,' thought he as he spoke, 'that a Randal Leslie
could have charmed this grand creature? No 'Heroic' surely, in that
sleek young placeman.' "Your father," he said aloud, and fixing his
eyes on her face, "sees much, he tells me, of a young man, about
Leonard's age, as to date; but I never estimate the age of men by
the parish register; and I should speak of that so-called young man
as a contemporary of my great-grandfather;--I mean Mr Randal Leslie.
Do you like him?"

"Like him?" said Violante slowly, and as if sounding her own mind.
"Like him--yes."

"Why?" asked Harley, with dry and curt indignation.

"His visits seem to please my dear father. Certainly I like him."

"Hum. He professes to like you, I suppose?"

Violante laughed, unsuspiciously. She had half a mind to reply, "Is
that so strange?" But her respect for Harley stopped her. The words
would have seemed to her pert.

"I am told he is clever," resumed Harley.

"O, certainly."

"And he is rather handsome. But I like Leonard's face better."

"Better--that is not the word. Leonard's face is as that of one who
has gazed so often upon heaven; and Mr Leslie's--there is neither
sunlight nor starlight reflected there."

"My dear Violante!" exclaimed Harley, overjoyed; and he pressed her
hand.

The blood rushed over the girl's cheek and brow; her hand trembled
in his. But Harley's familiar exclamation might have come from a
father's lips.

At this moment Helen softly approached them, and looking timidly
into her guardian's face, said, "Leonard's mother is with him: he
asks me to call and see her. May I?"

"May you! A pretty notion the Signorina must form of your enslaved
state of pupilage, when she hears you ask that question. Of course
you may."

"Will you take me there?"

Harley looked embarrassed. He thought of the widow's agitation at
his name; of that desire to shun him, which Leonard had confessed,
and of which he thought he divined the cause. And, so divining, he
too shrank from such a meeting.

"Another time, then," said he, after a pause.

Helen looked disappointed, but said no more.

Violante was surprised at this ungracious answer. She would have
blamed it as unfeeling in another. But all that Harley did was right
in her eyes.

"Cannot I go with Miss Digby?" said she, "and my mother will go too.
We both know Mrs Fairfield. We shall be so pleased to see her again."

"So be it," said Harley; "I will wait here with your father till you
come back. O, as to my mother, she will excuse the--excuse Madame
Riccabocca, and you too. See how charmed she is with _your_ father.
I must stay to watch over the conjugal interests of _mine_."

But Mrs Riccabocca had too much good old country breeding to leave
the Countess; and Harley was forced himself to appeal to Lady
Lansmere. When he had explained the case in point, the Countess rose
and said--

"But I will call myself, with Miss Digby."

"No," said Harley, gravely, but in a whisper. "No--I would rather
not. I will explain later."

"Then," said the Countess aloud, after a glance of surprise at her
son, "I must insist on your performing this visit, my dear madam,
and you, Signorina. In truth, I have something to say confidentially
to--"

"To me," interrupted Riccabocca. "Ah, Madame la Comtesse, you
restore me to five-and-twenty. Go, quick--O jealous and injured
wife; go, both of you, quick; and you, too, Harley."

"Nay," said Lady Lansmere, in the same tone, "Harley must stay,
for my design is not at present upon destroying your matrimonial
happiness, whatever it may be later. It is a design so innocent that
my son will be a partner in it."

Here the Countess put her lips to Harley's ear, and whispered. He
received her communication in attentive silence; but when she had
done, pressed her hand, and bowed his head, as if in assent to a
proposal.

In a few minutes the three ladies and Leonard were on their road to
the neighbouring cottage.

Violante, with her usual delicate intuition, thought that Leonard
and Helen must have much to say to each other; and ignorant, as
Leonard himself was, of Helen's engagement to Harley, began already,
in the romance natural to her age, to predict for them happy and
united days in the future. So she took her stepmother's arm, and
left Helen and Leonard to follow.

"I wonder," she said, musingly, "how Miss Digby became Lord
L'Estrange's ward. I hope she is not very rich, nor very high-born."

"La, my love," said the good Jemima, "that is not like you; you are
not envious of her, poor girl?"

"Envious! Dear mamma, what a word! But don't you think Leonard and
Miss Digby seem born for each other? And then the recollections
of their childhood--the thoughts of childhood are so deep, and
its memories so strangely soft!" The long lashes drooped over
Violante's musing eyes as she spoke. "And therefore," she said after
a pause--"therefore I hoped that Miss Digby might not be very rich,
nor very high-born."

"I understand you now, Violante," exclaimed Jemima, her own early
passion for match-making instantly returning to her; "for as
Leonard, however clever and distinguished, is still the son of Mark
Fairfield the carpenter, it would spoil all if Miss Digby was,
as you say, rich and high-born. I agree with you--a very pretty
match--a very pretty match, indeed. I wish dear Mrs Dale were here
now--she is so clever in settling such matters."

Meanwhile Leonard and Helen walked side by side a few paces in the
rear. He had not offered her his arm. They had been silent hitherto
since they left Riccabocca's house.

Helen now spoke first. In similar cases it is generally the woman,
be she ever so timid, who does speak first. And here Helen was the
bolder; for Leonard did not disguise from himself the nature of his
feelings, and Helen was engaged to another; and her pure heart was
fortified by the trust reposed in it.

"And have you ever heard more of the good Dr Morgan, who had powders
against sorrow, and who meant to be so kind to us--though," she
added, colouring, "we did not think so then?"

"He took my child-angel from me," said Leonard, with visible
emotion; "and if she had not returned, where and what should I be
now? But I have forgiven him. No, I have never met him since."

"And that terrible Mr Burley?"

"Poor, poor Burley! He, too, is vanished out of my present life. I
have made many inquiries after him; all I can hear is that he went
abroad, supposed as a correspondent to some journal. I should like
so much to see him again, now that perhaps I could help him as he
helped me."

"_Helped_ you--ah!"

Leonard smiled with a beating heart, as he saw again the dear,
prudent, warning look, and involuntarily drew closer to Helen. She
seemed more restored to him and to her former self.

"Helped me much by his instructions; more, perhaps, by his very
faults. You cannot guess, Helen--I beg pardon, Miss Digby--but I
forgot that we are no longer children: you cannot guess how much we
men, and, more than all perhaps, we writers, whose task it is to
unravel the web of human actions, owe even to our own past errors;
and if we learned nothing by the errors of others, we should be dull
indeed. We must know where the roads divide, and have marked where
they lead to, before we can erect our sign-posts; and books are the
sign-posts in human life."

"Books!--And I have not yet read yours. And Lord L'Estrange tells
me you are famous now. Yet you remember me still--the poor orphan
child, whom you first saw weeping at her father's grave, and with
whom you burdened your own young life, over-burdened already. No,
still call me Helen--you must always be to me--a brother! Lord
L'Estrange feels _that_; he said so to me when he told me that we
were to meet again. He is so generous, so noble. Brother!" cried
Helen, suddenly, and extending her hand, with a sweet but sublime
look in her gentle face--"brother, we will never forfeit his esteem;
we will both do our best to repay him! Will we not--say so?"

Leonard felt overpowered by contending and unanalysed emotions.
Touched almost to tears by the affectionate address--thrilled
by the hand that pressed his own--and yet with a vague fear, a
consciousness that something more than the words themselves was
implied--something that checked all hope. And this word "brother,"
once so precious and so dear, why did he shrink from it now?--why
could he not too say the sweet word "sister?"

"She is above me now and evermore!" he thought, mournfully; and the
tones of his voice, when he spoke again, were changed. The appeal
to renewed intimacy but made him more distant; and to that appeal
itself he made no direct answer; for Mrs Riccabocca, now turning
round, and pointing to the cottage which came in view, with its
picturesque gable-ends, cried out--

"But is that your house, Leonard? I never saw anything so pretty."

"You do not remember it, then," said Leonard to Helen, in accents of
melancholy reproach--"there where I saw you last! I doubted whether
to keep it exactly as it was, and I said, 'No! the association is
not changed because we try to surround it with whatever beauty we
can create; the dearer the association, the more the Beautiful
becomes to it natural.' Perhaps you don't understand this--perhaps
it is only we poor poets who do."

"I understand it," said Helen, gently. She looked wistfully at the
cottage.

"So changed--I have so often pictured it to myself--never,
never like this; yet I loved it, commonplace as it was to my
recollection; and the garret, and the tree in the carpenter's yard."

She did not give these thoughts utterance. And they now entered the
garden.


CHAPTER IV.

Mrs Fairfield was a proud woman when she received Mrs Riccabocca
and Violante in her grand house; for a grand house to her was that
cottage to which her boy Lenny had brought her home. Proud, indeed,
ever was Widow Fairfield; but she thought then in her secret heart,
that if ever she could receive in the drawing-room of that grand
house the great Mrs Hazeldean, who had so lectured her for refusing
to live any longer in the humble tenement rented of the Squire, the
cup of human bless would be filled, and she could contentedly die of
the pride of it. She did not much notice Helen--her attention was
too absorbed by the ladies who renewed their old acquaintance with
her, and she carried them all over the house, yea, into the very
kitchen; and so, somehow or other, there was a short time when Helen
and Leonard found themselves alone. It was in the study. Helen had
unconsciously seated herself in Leonard's own chair, and she was
gazing with anxious and wistful interest on the scattered papers,
looking so disorderly (though, in truth, in that disorder there was
method, but method only known to the owner,) and at the venerable
well-worn books, in all languages, lying on the floor, on the
chairs--anywhere. I must confess that Helen's first tidy womanlike
idea was a great desire to arrange the litter. "Poor Leonard," she
thought to herself--"the rest of the house so neat, but no one to
take care of his own room and of him!"

As if he divined her thought, Leonard smiled, and said, "It would be
a cruel kindness to the spider, if the gentlest hand in the world
tried to set its cobweb to rights."

HELEN.--"You were not quite so bad in the old days."

LEONARD.--"Yet even then, you were obliged to take care of the
money. I have more books now, and more money. My present housekeeper
lets me take care of the books, but she is less indulgent as to the
money."

HELEN, (archly.)--"Are you as absent as ever?"

LEONARD.--"Much more so, I fear. The habit is incorrigible. Miss
Digby--"

HELEN.--"Not Miss Digby--sister, if you like."

LEONARD, (evading the word that implied so forbidden an
affinity.)--"Helen, will you grant me a favour? Your eyes and your
smile say 'yes.' Will you lay aside, for one minute, your shawl
and bonnet? What! can you be surprised that I ask it? Can you not
understand that I wish for one minute to think you are at home again
under this roof?"

Helen cast down her eyes, and seemed troubled; then she raised them,
with a soft angelic candour in their dovelike blue, and, as if in
shelter from all thoughts of more warm affection, again murmured
"_brother_," and did as he asked her.

So there she sate, amongst the dull books, by his table, near the
open window--her fair hair parted on her forehead--looking so good,
so calm, so happy! Leonard wondered at his own self-command. His
heart yearned to her with such inexpressible love--his lips so
longed to murmur--"Ah, as now so could it be for ever! Is the home
too mean?" But that word "brother" was as a talisman between her and
him.

Yet she looked so at home--perhaps so at home she felt!--more
certainly than she had yet learned to do in that stiff stately house
in which she was soon to have a daughter's rights. Was she suddenly
made aware of this--that she so suddenly arose--and with a look of
alarm and distress on her face--

"But--we are keeping Lady Lansmere too long," she said, falteringly.
"We must go now," and she hastily took up her shawl and bonnet.

Just then Mrs Fairfield entered with the visiters, and began making
excuses for inattention to Miss Digby, whose identity with Leonard's
child-angel she had not yet learned.

Helen received these apologies with her usual sweetness. "Nay," she
said, "your son and I are such old friends, how could you stand on
ceremony with me?"

"Old friends!" Mrs Fairfield stared amazed, and then surveyed the
fair speaker more curiously than she had yet done. "Pretty nice
spoken thing," thought the widow; "as nice spoken as Miss Violante,
and humbler-looking-like,--though, as to dress, I never see anything
so elegant out of a picter."

Helen now appropriated Mrs Riccabocca's arm; and, after a
kind leave-taking with the widow, the ladies returned towards
Riccabocca's house.

Mrs Fairfield, however, ran after them with Leonard's hat and
gloves, which he had forgotten.

"'Deed, boy," she said kindly, yet scoldingly, "but there'd
be no more fine books, if the Lord had not fixed your head on
your shoulders. You would not think it, marm," she added to Mrs
Riccabocca, "but sin' he has left you, he's not the 'cute lad he
was; very helpless at times, marm!"

Helen could not resist turning round, and looking at Leonard, with a
sly smile.

The widow saw the smile, and catching Leonard by the arm, whispered,
"But, where before have you seen that pretty young lady? Old
friends!"

"Ah, mother," said Leonard sadly, "it is a long tale; you have heard
the beginning, who can guess the end?"--and he escaped. But Helen
still leant on the arm of Mrs Riccabocca, and, in the walk back, it
seemed to Leonard as if the winter had resettled in the sky.

Yet he was by the side of Violante, and she spoke to him with such
praise, of Helen! Alas! it is not always so sweet as folks say, to
hear the praises of one we love. Sometimes those praises seem to ask
ironically, "And what right hast thou to hope because thou lovest?
_All_ love _her_."


CHAPTER V.

No sooner had Lady Lansmere found herself alone with Riccabocca and
Harley than she laid her hand on the exile's arm, and, addressing
him by a title she had not before given him, and from which he
appeared to shrink nervously, said--"Harley, in bringing me to visit
you, was forced to reveal to me your incognito, for I should have
discovered it. You may not remember me, in spite of your gallantry.
But I mixed more in the world than I do now, during your first visit
to England, and once sate next to you at dinner at Carlton House.
Nay, no compliments, but listen to me. Harley tells me you have
cause for some alarm respecting the designs of an audacious and
unprincipled--adventurer, I may call him; for adventurers are of all
ranks. Suffer your daughter to come to me, on a visit, as long as
you please. With me, at least, she will be safe; and if you too, and
the--"

"Stop, my dear madam," interrupted Riccabocca, with great vivacity,
"your kindness overpowers me. I thank you most gratefully for your
invitation to my child; but--"

"Nay," in his turn interrupted Harley, "no buts. I was not aware
of my mother's intention when she entered this room. But since
she whispered it to me, I have reflected on it, and am convinced
that it is but a prudent precaution. Your retreat is known to Mr
Leslie--he is known to Peschiera. Grant that no indiscretion of Mr
Leslie's betray the secret; still I have reason to believe that
the Count guesses Randal's acquaintance with you. Audley Egerton
this morning told me he had gathered that, not from the young man
himself, but from questions put to himself by Madame di Negra; and
Peschiera might, and would, set spies to track Leslie to every house
that he visits--might and would, still more naturally, set spies to
track myself. Were this man an Englishman, I should laugh at his
machinations; but he is an Italian, and has been a conspirator. What
he could do I know not; but an assassin can penetrate into a camp,
and a traitor can creep through closed walls to one's hearth. With
my mother, Violante must be safe; that you cannot oppose. And why
not come yourself?"

Riccabocca had no reply to these arguments, so far as they affected
Violante; indeed, they awakened the almost superstitious terror with
which he regarded his enemy, and he consented at once that Violante
should accept the invitation proffered. But he refused it for
himself and Jemima.

"To say truth," said he simply, "I made a secret vow, on re-entering
England, that I would associate with none who knew the rank I
had formerly held in my own land. I felt that all my philosophy
was needed, to reconcile and habituate myself to my altered
circumstances. In order to find in my present existence, however
humble, those blessings which make all life noble--dignity and
peace--it was necessary for poor, weak human nature, wholly to
dismiss the past. It would unsettle me sadly, could I come to your
house, renew awhile, in your kindness and respect--nay, in the
very atmosphere of your society--the sense of what I have been;
and then (should the more than doubtful chance of recall from my
exile fail me) to awake, and find myself for the rest of life--what
I am. And though, were I alone, I might trust myself perhaps to
the danger--yet my wife: she is happy and contented now; would
she be so, if you had once spoiled her for the simple position of
Dr Riccabocca's wife? Should I not have to listen to regrets, and
hopes, and fears that would prick sharp through my thin cloak of
philosophy? Even as it is, since in a moment of weakness I confided
my secret to her, I have had 'my rank' thrown at me--with a careless
hand, it is true--but it hits hard, nevertheless. No stone hurts
like one taken from the ruins of one's own home; and the grander the
home, why, the heavier the stone! Protect, dear madam--protect my
daughter, since her father doubts his own power to do so. But--ask
no more."

Riccabocca was immovable here. And the matter was settled as he
decided, it being agreed that Violante should be still styled but
the daughter of Dr Riccabocca.

"And now, one word more," said Harley. "Do not confide to Mr Leslie
these arrangements; do not let him know where Violante is placed--at
least, until I authorise such confidence in him. It is sufficient
excuse, that it is no use to know unless he called to see her, and
his movements, as I said before, may be watched. You can give the
same reason to suspend his visits to yourself. Suffer me, meanwhile,
to mature my judgment on this young man. In the meanwhile, also,
I think that I shall have means of ascertaining the real nature
of Peschiera's schemes. His sister has sought to know me; I will
give her the occasion. I have heard some things of her in my last
residence abroad, which make me believe that she cannot be wholly
the Count's tool in any schemes nakedly villanous; that she has some
finer qualities in her than I once supposed; and that she can be won
from his influence. It is a state of war: we will carry it into the
enemy's camp. You will promise me, then, to refrain from all farther
confidence to Mr Leslie."

"For the present, yes," said Riccabocca, reluctantly.

"Do not even say that you have seen me, unless he first tell you
that I am in England, and wish to learn your residence. I will give
him full occasion to do so. Pish! don't hesitate; you know your own
proverb--

    'Boccha chiusa, ed occhio aperto
    Non fece mai nissun deserto.'

'The closed mouth and the open eye,' &c."

"That's very true," said the Doctor, much struck. "Very true. '_In
boccha chiusa non c'entrano mosche._' One can't swallow flies if one
keeps one's mouth shut. _Corpo di Bacco!_ that's very true indeed."

Harley took aside the Italian.

"You see, if our hope of discovering the lost packet, or if our
belief in the nature of its contents, be too sanguine, still, in
a few months it is possible that Peschiera can have no further
designs on your daughter--possible that a son may be born to you,
and Violante would cease to be in danger, because she would cease
to be an heiress. Indeed, it may be well to let Peschiera know this
chance; it would, at least, make him delay all his plans while we
are tracking the document that may defeat them for ever."

"No, no! for heaven's sake, no!" exclaimed Riccabocca, pale as
ashes. "Not a word to him. I don't mean to impute to him crimes
of which he may be innocent. But he meant to take my life when I
escaped the pursuit of his hirelings in Italy. He did not hesitate,
in his avarice, to denounce a kinsman; expose hundreds to the sword,
if resisting--to the dungeon, if passive. Did he know that my wife
might bear me a son, how can I tell that his designs might not
change into others still darker, and more monstrous, than those he
now openly parades, though, after all, not more infamous and vile.
Would my wife's life be safe? Not more difficult to convey poison
into my house, than to steal my child from my hearth. Don't despise
me; but when I think of my wife, my daughter, and that man, my mind
forsakes me: I am one fear."

"Nay, this apprehension is too exaggerated. We do not live in the
age of the Borgias. Could Peschiera resort to the risks of a murder,
it is for yourself that you should fear."

"For myself!--I! I!" cried the exile, raising his tall stature to
its full height. "Is it not enough degradation to a man who has
borne the name of such ancestors, to fear for those he loves! Fear
for myself! Is it you who ask if I am a coward?"

He recovered himself, as he felt Harley's penitential and admiring
grasp of the hand.

"See," said he, turning to the Countess with a melancholy smile,
"how even one hour of your society destroys the habits of years. Dr
Riccabocca is talking of his ancestors!"


CHAPTER VI.

Violante and Jemima were both greatly surprised, as the reader may
suppose, when they heard, on their return, the arrangements already
made for the former. The Countess insisted on taking her at once,
and Riccabocca briefly said, "Certainly, the sooner the better."
Violante was stunned and bewildered. Jemima hastened to make up a
little bundle of things necessary, with many a woman's sigh that
the poor wardrobe contained so few things befitting. But among the
clothes she slipped a purse, containing the savings of months,
perhaps of years, and with it a few affectionate lines, begging
Violante to ask the Countess to buy her all that was proper for her
father's child. There is always something hurried and uncomfortable
in the abrupt and unexpected withdrawal of any member from a quiet
household. The small party broke into still smaller knots. Violante
hung on her father, and listened vaguely to his not very lucid
explanations. The Countess approached Leonard, and, according to
the usual mode with persons of quality addressing young authors,
complimented him highly on the books she had not read, but which her
son assured her were so remarkable. She was a little anxious to know
where Harley had met with Mr Oran, whom he called his friend; but
she was too high-bred to inquire, or to express any wonder that rank
should be friends with genius.

She took it for granted that they had formed their acquaintance
abroad.

Harley conversed with Helen.--"You are not sorry that Violante is
coming to us? She will be just such a companion for you as I could
desire; of your own years too."

HELEN, (ingenuously.)--"It is hard to think I am not younger than
she is."

HARLEY.--"Why, my dear Helen?"

HELEN.--"She is so brilliant. She talks so beautifully. And I--"

HARLEY.--"And you want but the habit of talking, to do justice to
your own beautiful thoughts."

Helen looked at him gratefully, but shook her head. It was a common
trick of hers, and always when she was praised.

At last the preparations were made--the farewell was said. Violante
was in the carriage by Lady Lansmere's side. Slowly moved on
the stately equipage with its four horses and trim postilions,
heraldic badges on their shoulders, in the style rarely seen in the
neighbourhood of the metropolis, and now fast vanishing even amidst
distant counties.

Riccabocca, Jemima, and Jackeymo continued to gaze after it from the
gate.

"She is gone," said Jackeymo, brushing his eyes with his
coat-sleeve. "But it is a load off one's mind."

"And another load on one's heart," murmured Riccabocca. "Don't cry,
Jemima; it may be bad for you, and bad for _him_ that is to come. It
is astonishing how the humours of the mother may affect the unborn.
I should not like to have a son who has a more than usual propensity
to tears."

The poor philosopher tried to smile; but it was a bad attempt. He
went slowly in, and shut himself up with his books. But he could not
read. His whole mind was unsettled. And though, like all parents,
he had been anxious to rid himself of a beloved daughter for life,
now that she was gone but for a while, a string seemed broken in the
Music of Home.


CHAPTER VII.

The evening of the same day, as Egerton, who was to entertain a
large party at dinner, was changing his dress, Harley walked into
his room.

Egerton dismissed his valet by a sign, and continued his toilet.

"Excuse me, my dear Harley, I have only ten minutes to give you. I
expect one of the royal dukes, and punctuality is the stern virtue
of men of business, and the graceful courtesy of princes."

Harley had usually a jest for his friend's aphorisms; but he had
none now. He laid his hand kindly on Egerton's shoulder--"Before I
speak of my business, tell me how you are--better?"

"Better--nay, I am always well. Pooh! I may look a little
tired--years of toil will tell on the countenance. But that matters
little--the period of life has passed with me when one cares how one
looks in the glass."

As he spoke, Egerton completed his dress, and came to the hearth,
standing there, erect and dignified as usual, still far handsomer
than many a younger man, and with a form that seemed to have ample
vigour to support for many a year the sad and glorious burthen of
power.

"So now to your business, Harley."

"In the first place, I want you to present me, at the first
opportunity, to Madame di Negra. You say she wished to know me."

"Are you serious?"

"Yes."

"Well, then, she receives this evening. I did not mean to go; but
when my party breaks up"--

"You can call for me at 'The Travellers.'--Do!

"Next--you knew Lady Jane Horton better even than I did, at least in
the last year of her life." Harley sighed, and Egerton turned and
stirred the fire.

"Pray, did you ever see at her house, or hear her speak of, a Mrs
Bertram?"

"Of whom?" said Egerton, in a hollow voice, his face still turned
towards the fire.

"A Mrs Bertram; but Heavens! my dear fellow, what is the matter? Are
you ill?"

"A spasm at the heart--that is all--don't ring--I shall be better
presently--go on talking. Mrs----why do you ask?"

"Why! I have hardly time to explain; but I am, as I told you,
resolved on righting my old Italian friend, if Heaven will help me,
as it ever does help the just when they bestir themselves; and this
Mrs Bertram is mixed up in my friend's affairs."

"His! How is that possible?"

Harley rapidly and succinctly explained. Audley listened
attentively, with his eyes fixed on the floor, and still seeming to
labour under great difficulty of breathing.

At last he answered, "I remember something of this
Mrs--Mrs--Bertram. But your inquiries after her would be useless. I
think I have heard that she is long since dead; nay, I am sure of
it."

"Dead!--that is most unfortunate. But do you know any of her
relations or friends? Can you suggest any mode of tracing this
packet, if it came to her hands?"

"No."

"And Lady Jane had scarcely any friend that I remember, except my
mother, and she knows nothing of this Mrs Bertram. How unlucky! I
think I shall advertise. Yet, no. I could only distinguish this Mrs
Bertram from any other of the same name, by stating with whom she
had gone abroad, and that would catch the attention of Peschiera,
and set him to counterwork us."

"And what avails it?" said Egerton. "She whom you seek is no
more--no more!" He paused, and went on rapidly--"The packet did not
arrive in England till years after her death--was no doubt returned
to the post-office--is destroyed long ago."

Harley looked very much disappointed. Egerton went on in a sort
of set mechanical voice, as if not thinking of what he said, but
speaking from the dry practical mode of reasoning which was habitual
to him, and by which the man of the world destroys the hopes of an
enthusiast. Then starting up at the sound of the first thundering
knock at the street door, he said, "Hark! you must excuse me."

"I leave you, my dear Audley. Are you better now?"

"Much, much--quite well. I will call for you,--probably between
eleven and twelve."


CHAPTER VIII.

If any one could be more surprised at seeing Lord L'Estrange at the
house of Madame di Negra that evening than the fair hostess herself,
it was Randal Leslie. Something instinctively told him that this
visit threatened interference with whatever might be his ultimate
projects in regard to Riccabocca and Violante. But Randal Leslie
was not one of those who shrink from an intellectual combat. On the
contrary, he was too confident of his powers of intrigue, not to
take a delight in their exercise. He could not conceive that the
indolent Harley could be a match for his own restless activity and
dogged perseverance. But in a very few moments fear crept on him.
No man of his day could produce a more brilliant effect than Lord
L'Estrange, when he deigned to desire it. Without much pretence to
that personal beauty which strikes at first sight, he still retained
all the charm of countenance, and all the grace of manner, which
had made him in boyhood the spoiled darling of society. Madame di
Negra had collected but a small circle round her, still it was of
the _élite_ of the great world; not, indeed, those more precise and
reserved _dames du chateau_, whom the lighter and easier of the fair
dispensers of fashion ridicule as prudes; but, nevertheless, ladies
were there, as unblemished in reputation as high in rank; flirts and
coquettes, perhaps--nothing more; in short, "charming women"--the
gay butterflies that hover over the stiff parterre. And there were
ambassadors and ministers, and wits and brilliant debaters, and
first-rate dandies, (dandies, when first-rate, are generally very
agreeable men.) Amongst all these various persons, Harley, so long
a stranger to the London world, seemed to make himself at home
with the ease of an Alcibiades. Many of the less juvenile ladies
remembered him, and rushed to claim his acquaintance, with nods, and
becks, and wreathed smiles. He had ready compliment for each. And
few indeed were there, men or women, for whom Harley L'Estrange had
not appropriate attraction. Distinguished reputation as soldier and
scholar, for the grave; whim and pleasantry for the gay; novelty
for the sated; and for the more vulgar natures, was he not Lord
L'Estrange, unmarried, heir to an ancient earldom, and some fifty
thousands a-year?

Not till he had succeeded in the general effect--which, it must
be owned, he did his best to create--did Harley seriously and
especially devote himself to his hostess. And then he seated himself
by her side; and, as if in compliment to both, less pressing
admirers insensibly slipped away and edged off.

Frank Hazeldean was the last to quit his ground behind Madame
di Negra's chair; but when he found that the two began to talk
in Italian, and he could not understand a word they said, he
too--fancying, poor fellow, that he looked foolish, and cursing his
Eton education that had neglected, for languages spoken by the dead,
of which he had learned little, those still in use among the living,
of which he had learned nought--retreated towards Randal, and asked
wistfully, "Pray, what age should you say L'Estrange was? He must be
devilish old, in spite of his looks. Why, he was at Waterloo!"

"He is young enough to be a terrible rival," answered Randal, with
artful truth.

Frank turned pale, and began to meditate dreadful bloodthirsty
thoughts, of which hair-triggers and Lord's Cricket-ground formed
the staple.

Certainly there was apparent ground for a lover's jealousy. For
Harley and Beatrice now conversed in a low tone, and Beatrice seemed
agitated, and Harley earnest. Randal himself grew more and more
perplexed. Was Lord L'Estrange really enamoured of the Marchesa?
If so, farewell to all hopes of Frank's marriage with her! Or was
he merely playing a part in Riccabocca's interest; pretending to
be the lover, in order to obtain an influence over her mind, rule
her through her ambition, and secure an ally against her brother?
Was this _finesse_ compatible with Randal's notions of Harley's
character? Was it consistent with that chivalric and soldierly
spirit of honour which the frank nobleman affected, to make love
to a woman in mere _ruse de guerre_? Could mere friendship for
Riccabocca be a sufficient inducement to a man, who, whatever his
weaknesses or his errors, seemed to wear on his very forehead a soul
above deceit, to stoop to paltry means, even for a worthy end? At
this question, a new thought flashed upon Randal--might not Lord
L'Estrange have speculated himself upon winning Violante?--would
not that account for all the exertions he had made on behalf of her
inheritance at the court of Vienna--exertions of which Peschiera
and Beatrice had both complained? Those objections which the
Austrian government might take to Violante's marriage with some
obscure Englishman would probably not exist against a man like
Harley L'Estrange, whose family not only belonged to the highest
aristocracy of England, but had always supported opinions in vogue
amongst the leading governments of Europe. Harley himself, it is
true, had never taken part in politics, but his notions were, no
doubt, those of a high-born soldier, who had fought, in alliance
with Austria, for the restoration of the Bourbons. And this immense
wealth--which Violante might lose, if she married one like Randal
himself--her marriage with the heir of the Lansmeres might actually
tend only to secure. Could Harley, with all his own expectations, be
indifferent to such a prize?--and no doubt he had learned Violante's
rare beauty in his correspondence with Riccabocca.

Thus considered, it seemed natural to Randal's estimate of human
nature, that Harley's more prudish scruples of honour, as regards
what is due to women, could not resist a temptation so strong. Mere
friendship was not a motive powerful enough to shake them, but
ambition was.

While Randal was thus cogitating, Frank thus suffering, and many a
whisper, in comment on the evident flirtation between the beautiful
hostess and the accomplished guest, reached the ears both of the
brooding schemer and the jealous lover, the conversation between
the two objects of remark and gossip had taken a new turn. Indeed,
Beatrice had made an effort to change it.

"It is long, my lord," said she, still speaking Italian, "since I
have heard sentiments like those you address to me; and if I do not
feel myself wholly unworthy of them, it is from the pleasure I have
felt in reading sentiments equally foreign to the language of the
world in which I live." She took a book from the table as she spoke:
"Have you seen this work?"

Harley glanced at the title-page. "To be sure I have, and I know the
author."

"I envy you that honour. I should so like also to know one who has
discovered to me deeps in my own heart which I had never explored."

"Charming Marchesa, if the book has done this, believe me that I
have paid you no false compliment--formed no overflattering estimate
of your nature; for the charm of the work is but in its simple
appeal to good and generous emotions, and it can charm none in whom
those emotions exist not!"

"Nay, that cannot be true, or why is it so popular?"

"Because good and generous emotions are more common to the human
heart than we are aware of till the appeal comes."

"Don't ask me to think that! I have found the world so base."

"Pardon me a rude question; but what do you know of the world?"

Beatrice looked first in surprise at Harley, then glanced round the
room with significant irony.

"As I thought; you call this little room 'the world.' Be it so.
I will venture to say, that if the people in this room were
suddenly converted into an audience before a stage, and you were as
consummate in the actor's art as you are in all others that please
and command--"

"Well?"

"And were to deliver a speech full of sordid and base sentiments,
you would be hissed. But let any other woman, with half your
powers, arise and utter sentiments sweet and womanly, or honest
and lofty--and applause would flow from every lip, and tears rush
to many a worldly eye. The true proof of the inherent nobleness of
our common nature is in the sympathy it betrays with what is noble
wherever crowds are collected. Never believe the world is base;--if
it were so, no society could hold together for a day. But you would
know the author of this book? I will bring him to you."

"Do."

"And now," said Harley rising, and with his candid winning smile,
"do you think we shall ever be friends?"

"You have startled me so, that I can scarcely answer. But why would
you be friends with me?"

"Because you need a friend. You have none?"

"Strange flatterer!" said Beatrice, smiling, though very sadly; and
looking up, her eye caught Randal's.

"Pooh!" said Harley, "you are too penetrating to believe that you
inspire friendship _there_. Ah, do you suppose that, all the while I
have been conversing with you, I have not noticed the watchful gaze
of Mr Randal Leslie? What tie can possibly connect you together I
know not yet; but I soon shall."

"Indeed! you talk like one of the old Council of Venice. You try
hard to make me fear you," said Beatrice, seeking to escape from
the graver kind of impression Harley had made on her, by the
affectation, partly of coquetry, partly of levity.

"And I," said L'Estrange calmly, "tell you already, that I fear you
no more." He bowed, and passed through the crowd to rejoin Audley,
who was seated in a corner, whispering with some of his political
colleagues. Before Harley reached the minister, he found himself
close to Randal and young Hazeldean.

He bowed to the first, and extended his hand to the last. Randal
felt the distinction, and his sullen, bitter pride was deeply
galled--a feeling of hate towards Harley passed into his mind. He
was pleased to see the cold hesitation with which Frank just touched
the hand offered to him. But Randal had not been the only person
whose watch upon Beatrice the keen-eyed Harley had noticed. Harley
had seen the angry looks of Frank Hazeldean, and divined the cause.
So he smiled forgivingly at the slight he had received.

"You are like me, Mr Hazeldean," said he. "You think something of
the heart should go with all courtesy that bespeaks friendship--

        "The hand of Douglas is his own."

Here Harley drew aside Randal. "Mr Leslie, a word with you. If I
wished to know the retreat of Dr Riccabocca, in order to render him
a great service, would you confide to me that secret?"

"That woman has let out her suspicions that I know the exile's
retreat," thought Randal; and with rare presence of mind, he replied
at once--

"My Lord, yonder stands a connection of Dr Riccabocca's. Mr
Hazeldean is surely the person to whom you should address this
inquiry."

"Not so, Mr Leslie; for I suspect that he cannot answer it, and that
you can. Well, I will ask something that it seems to me you may
grant without hesitation. Should you see Dr Riccabocca, tell him
that I am in England, and so leave it to him to communicate with me
or not; but perhaps you have already done so?"

"Lord L'Estrange," said Randal, bowing low, with pointed formality,
"excuse me if I decline either to disclaim or acquiesce in the
knowledge you impute to me. If I am acquainted with any secret
intrusted to me by Dr Riccabocca, it is for me to use my own
discretion how best to guard it. And for the rest, after the Scotch
earl, whose words your lordship has quoted, refused to touch the
hand of Marmion, Douglas could scarcely have called him back in
order to give him--a message!"

Harley was not prepared for this tone in Mr Egerton's _protégé_,
and his own gallant nature was rather pleased than irritated by a
haughtiness that at least seemed to bespeak independence of spirit.
Nevertheless, L'Estrange's suspicions of Randal were too strong to
be easily set aside, and therefore he replied, civilly, but with
covert taunt--

"I submit to your rebuke, Mr Leslie, though I meant not the offence
you would ascribe to me. I regret my unlucky quotation yet the
more, since the wit of your retort has obliged you to identify
yourself with Marmion, who, though a clever and brave fellow, was an
uncommonly--tricky one." And so Harley, certainly having the best of
it, moved on, and joining Egerton, in a few minutes more both left
the room.

"What was L'Estrange saying to you?" asked Frank. "Something about
Beatrice I am sure."

"No; only quoting poetry."

"Then what made you look so angry, my dear fellow? I know it was
your kind feeling for me. As you say, he is a formidable rival. But
that can't be his own hair. Do you think he wears a _toupet_? I am
sure he was praising Beatrice. He is evidently very much smitten
with her. But I don't think she is a woman to be caught by _mere_
rank and fortune! Do you? Why can't you speak?"

"If you do not get her consent soon, I think she is lost to you,"
said Randal slowly; and, before Frank could recover his dismay,
glided from the house.


CHAPTER IX.

Violante's first evening at the Lansmeres, had seemed happier to
her than the first evening, under the same roof, had done to Helen.
True that she missed her father much--Jemima somewhat; but she so
identified her father's cause with Harley, that she had a sort of
vague feeling that it was to promote that cause that she was on
this visit to Harley's parents. And the Countess, it must be owned,
was more emphatically cordial to her than she had ever yet been to
Captain Digby's orphan. But perhaps the real difference in the heart
of either girl was this, that Helen felt awe of Lady Lansmere, and
Violante felt only love for Lord L'Estrange's mother. Violante, too,
was one of those persons whom a reserved and formal person, like the
Countess, "can get on with," as the phrase goes. Not so poor little
Helen--so shy herself, and so hard to coax into more than gentle
monosyllables. And Lady Lansmere's favourite talk was always of
Harley. Helen had listened to such talk with respect and interest.
Violante listened to it with inquisitive eagerness--with blushing
delight. The mother's heart noticed the distinction between the two,
and no wonder that that heart moved more to Violante than to Helen.
Lord Lansmere, too, like most gentlemen of his age, clumped all
young ladies together, as a harmless, amiable, but singularly stupid
class of the genus-Petticoat, meant to look pretty, play the piano,
and talk to each other about frocks and sweethearts. Therefore this
animated dazzling creature, with her infinite variety of look and
play of mind, took him by surprise, charmed him into attention, and
warmed him into gallantry. Helen sate in her quiet corner, at her
work, sometimes listening with almost mournful, though certainly
unenvious, admiration at Violante's vivid, yet ever unconscious,
eloquence of word and thought--sometimes plunged deep into her own
secret meditations. And all the while the work went on the same,
under the small noiseless fingers. This was one of Helen's habits
that irritated the nerves of Lady Lansmere. She despised young
ladies who were fond of work. She did not comprehend how often it is
the resource of the sweet womanly mind, not from want of thought,
but from the silence and the depth of it. Violante was surprised,
and perhaps disappointed, that Harley had left the house before
dinner, and did not return all the evening. But Lady Lansmere,
in making excuse for his absence, on the plea of engagements,
found so good an opportunity to talk of his ways in general--of
his rare promise in boyhood--of her regret at the inaction of his
maturity--of her hope to see him yet do justice to his natural
powers, that Violante almost ceased to miss him.

And when Lady Lansmere conducted her to her room, and, kissing
her cheek tenderly, said, "But you are just the person Harley
admires--just the person to rouse him from melancholy dreams, of
which his wild humours are now but the vain disguise"--Violante
crossed her arms on her bosom, and her bright eyes, deepened into
tenderness, seemed to ask, "He melancholy--and why?"

On leaving Violante's room, Lady Lansmere paused before the door of
Helen's; and, after musing a little while, entered softly.

Helen had dismissed her maid, and, at the moment Lady Lansmere
entered, she was kneeling at the foot of the bed, her hands clasped
before her face.

Her form, thus seen, looked so youthful and child-like--the attitude
itself was so holy and so touching, that the proud and cold
expression on Lady Lansmere's face changed. She shaded the light
involuntarily, and seated herself in silence, that she might not
disturb the act of prayer.

When Helen rose, she was startled to see the Countess seated by
the fire; and hastily drew her hand across her eyes. She had been
weeping.

Lady Lansmere did not, however, turn to observe those traces of
tears, which Helen feared were too visible. The Countess was too
absorbed in her own thoughts; and as Helen timidly approached,
she said--still with her eyes on the clear low fire--"I beg your
pardon, Miss Digby, for my intrusion; but my son has left it to me
to prepare Lord Lansmere to learn the offer you have done Harley the
honour to accept. I have not yet spoken to my lord; it may be days
before I find a fitting occasion to do so; meanwhile, I feel assured
that your sense of propriety will make you agree with me that it is
due to Lord L'Estrange's father, that strangers should not learn
arrangements of such moment in his family, before his own consent be
obtained."

Here the Countess came to a full pause; and poor Helen, finding
herself called upon for some reply to this chilling speech,
stammered out, scarce audibly--

"Certainly, madam, I never dreamed of--"

"That is right, my dear," interrupted Lady Lansmere, rising
suddenly, and as if greatly relieved. "I could not doubt your
superiority to ordinary girls of your age, with whom these matters
are never secret for a moment. Therefore, of course, you will not
mention, at present, what has passed between you and Harley, to any
of the friends with whom you may correspond."

"I have no correspondents--no friends, Lady Lansmere," said Helen
deprecatingly, and trying hard not to cry.

"I am very glad to hear it, my dear; young ladies never should have.
Friends, especially friends who correspond, are the worst enemies
they can have. Good night, Miss Digby. I need not add, by the
way, that, though we are bound to show all kindness to this young
Italian lady, still she is wholly unconnected with our family; and
you will be as prudent with her as you would have been with your
correspondents--had you had the misfortune to have any."

Lady Lansmere said the last words with a smile, and pressed a
reluctant kiss (the stepmother's kiss) on Helen's bended brow.
She then left the room, and Helen sate on the seat vacated by the
stately unloving form, and again covered her face with her hands,
and again wept. But when she rose at last, and the light fell upon
her face, that soft face was sad indeed, but serene--serene, as if
with some inward sense of duty--sad, as with the resignation which
accepts patience instead of hope.



ENGLISH ADMINISTRATIONS.[6]

  [6] _The Grenville Papers._ Edited by W. J. SMITH, Esq. 2 vols. 8vo.
  London: Murray.


The last century was the era of monarchs. The _people_ had not
yet formed a visible object. They were the counters at the table
of the great gamesters of the day. In England, which had since
the Reformation always advanced before the age, the people had
started into substantial existence. It was impossible totally
to overlook a power which had subverted one Constitution, and
erected another--which had dethroned one dynasty, and enthroned
another--which had begun its existence under theories of divine
right, and signalised the maturity of its generation by establishing
the most perfect national freedom which man had ever seen.

But, in continental Europe, the people formed no more an object,
in the general polity of nations, than a submarine mountain takes
its place in a map of the ocean. It had an existence, but no
recognition; it had a place, but the ship of the State passed over
it without casting the lead or shifting a sail. The government
of all foreign nations existed only in the Council Chamber. The
king was at once the author and the agent of all measures; the
decrees of the administration were as mysterious, as inscrutable,
and as unexpected, as Oracles. Men saw nothing in the political
world but kingdoms--masses of power--revolving before the eye of
the politician and the philosopher, as the planets revolved, with
irresistible force, with vast and various splendour, but by laws as
much beyond human dispute as the Laws of Nature.

The maxim which in our day is felt to contain the consummation
of despotism, _L'Etat--c'est moi_, was once the _motto_ of
every throne, the essential character of dominion, the crown
jewel, the substance of the sceptre. Whether that maxim is to be
revived--whether the struggle between popular power and the throne
is once more to be tried--whether the monarchies of Europe, unwarned
by the rents already made in their ramparts by the comparatively
slight incursions of the popular surge, are prepared to defy the
ocean in its strength, must be left to the future.

But there can be no doubt in the prediction, that whenever the
ultimate conflict arrives, it will be tremendous; it will shake all
the old barriers of power, and either cover society with ruin, or
sweep away the ruin itself, for a total renovation.

It is difficult to touch upon this subject without some reference
to that country which, for the last fifty years, has gone the
whole round of revolution--has lived in an atmosphere of fiery
vapours--has been acclimated to epidemics of overthrow--and reckons
her years by the flight of monarchs, the fabrication of hollow
governments, and the crush of constitutions.

France seems resolved on making the dreadful experiment of
Despotism. It failed before, and its failure consigned the Imperial
experimentalist to a fate so singular and so condign, as to seem
a direct punishment from Providence for daring to counteract
its purposes in the progress of man. With his successor to his
principles, the experiment is but beginning. How will it end? He has
invoked a spirit that had been laid these thirty years. Whether,
like the magicians of old, he must find employment for the demon,
under the penalty of being in his grasp, or he is finally to evade
the bond, no man within memory has placed himself and his country in
a more trying and threatening dilemma. If he attempts to make war
his policy, he will be guilty of every drop of blood shed in the
field. If he attempts to re-establish despotism, he has the warning
of St Helena before his eyes.

But, without conjecturing the personal fate of this man of power,
nothing can be clearer than the fact that he has placed himself in
a position to mould the fate of Europe for a century to come. If
he shall succeed in concentrating all national power in himself,
the example is sure not to be lost upon kings. The insults which
characterised the triumphs of the mob in the late Continental
tumults--the remembrances which must rankle in the hearts of all
Continental governments--the revenge, which is the natural passion
of arbitrary power--and even the rational alarm at the possible
return of the popular excesses, must make all foreign princes
partial to the revival of Despotism.

This hour is a _Crisis_. Principles are on their trial; the
antagonists are in the field; and the first shock may decide, for
a long period, the victory of bold measures over impassioned men,
and of unlimited might over confused, but daring, and defeated,
but obstinate, right--a contest which will never wholly cease
henceforth, and which, in its continuance, may shatter the whole
frame of society.

How far this great political change in the most influential
of kingdoms may be but the indication of a new course of
Providence--how far it may be connected with those new and singular
means and powers of nature and of mechanism which, in our time,
have been assigned to man--how far it may be, in politics, a
corresponding phase to the railroad, the electric telegraph, and
the discoveries of gold in the ends of the earth--can be only a
matter of conjecture; but while we are convinced that Providence
does nothing without system, and does nothing in vain, we cannot
altogether suppress the feeling, that an Era of _Revelations_ in
government, science, and society, has begun.

But it must be acknowledged that the monarchs of the last century
bore their honours well. They were all bold, brave, and intelligent.
Whether in the right or the wrong, they showed decision--the
first qualification for the government of kingdoms. Some were of
remarkable intellectual power, and none, with slight exceptions,
were inferior to the weight of the diadem. The age which reckoned
among its sovereigns, Frederic II. of Prussia, Maria Theresa of
Germany, the Emperor Joseph, the Czarina Catherine, and, in its
earlier portion, Louis XIV. and William III., could not be regarded
as destitute of minds equal to the conduct of affairs in perhaps the
most complicated, struggling, and difficult period of Europe before
the French Revolution.

The reign of George II. formed a strong contrast to those of the
Continental sovereigns: their difficulties arose from war--his from
peace; their combats in the field were scarcely less anxious than
his in the cabinet. The conclusion was different; the successes
and failure of the foreign monarch equally wasted the blood and
treasure of Europe; the struggles of the British king issued in
larger accessions to liberty, and to the power of that body which is
politically called the _people_.

George II. was a stern and stubborn man, possessed of considerable
ability, but unpopular in its application; unimpassioned, but
ambitious of fame; longing to figure in war, but compelled by
the nation to peace; uneasy in England, and never happy but in
Hanover, from which he imported his prejudices and his favourites,
his politics and his household; fond of power, but capable of
complying with the public will; and retaining all the feelings of a
German Elector, yet respectful to the laws of a limited monarchy.
Whatever were the morals of the court, he never sought to make them
the fashion in England; and whatever might be his own sense of
decorum, he governed his people with dignity, dying at the age of
seventy-seven; and, after a reign of thirty-four years, he was, if
not loved, regretted by the empire.

The volumes which have recalled us to this subject consist of the
correspondence of George Grenville, Lord Temple, and their chief
contemporaries--among the rest, the celebrated Earl of Chatham.
It extends from 1742 to the tenth year of George III., and is
peculiarly important in its references to the last seventeen years
of that period.

It has long been the custom of the leading English families in
public life to preserve the documents connected with their career.
This habit exists, perhaps, to a greater extent in England than in
any other country, from the superior nature of public character,
from the frequency of public investigation, from the severity of
public judgment, and, as the general result, from the importance of
having a ready defence of the statesman's reputation against the
casual charge as well as the studied libel.

The history of the present _deposit_ may be briefly told. Earl
Temple's papers were always kept at Stowe, the well-known and
superb mansion of the Buckingham family. A considerable portion of
Mr Grenville's correspondence, preserved at Wotton, was brought to
Stowe, and arranged with that of Earl Temple, and the remainder was
discovered by the editor, in a large chest at Buckingham House,
which had remained unopened since it was brought there. The whole of
these papers were rearranged by the late Duke, with the assistance
of the editor, (then librarian at Stowe,) but with the ducal wish
that they should not be published before the death of his uncle, the
Right Hon. Thomas Grenville. The latter, however, surviving the Duke
seven years, the publication was retarded till, by the present Duke,
it was committed to the hands of the editor, in conformity with the
intention of his father.

In England in the last century there were _castes_ as marked as
in India: there was a military caste, a class of society in which
the generality of the military commissions, and all the leading
employments of the court, went; there was also a political _caste_,
a class in which all the great offices of administration went, as
regularly as the night succeeded the day, and in which any deviation
from the routine, any appointment of any individual _not_ in the
muster-roll of the aristocracy, would probably have been considered
as a deviation from the law of nature. In this condition of things,
men of other classes had no imaginable chance of prominent office on
their own account. Their only hope must be in attaching themselves
to some of those "_Dii majorum gentium_"--those sons of fortune,
those hereditary possessors of high positions, those natural rulers
of the powers and the privileges of political high life. The
government, in consequence, was an Oligarchy under the name of a
monarchy, and the authority of the Crown was merged in the actual
authority of the political connection.

The monarch had, undoubtedly, the right to choose, but it was the
right to choose between submitting to the captain of the ship and
going over the side. He might appoint his cabinet, but he must
appoint it from the men whom the political class offered; he could
not stray into the world for a better selection; he could not follow
the man of talents, or the man of integrity, into the less nobly
born and less dexterously combined orders of society: _there_ stood
the aristocratic recruits for his government, and unless he took
them as they were, he was a general without an army. The advantages
and disadvantages of this system were equally conspicuous. On the
one view, ministers were not the creatures of place; they had
personal characters to lose, their principles were publicly known,
they were not dependent on the emoluments of office, nor thus had
grown up through a succession of minor employments into places of
distinction, the most ill-omened education for public men; they
were not adventurers, they brought with them an accession of family
influence, which raised them beyond the great temptation of _new_
men--that of courting the populace; and as the natural result of
their birth, connections, and intercourse with men of a high class
of society, they acted under a higher sense of dignity, and their
public acts were more generally marked with a fearless, open, and
generous stamp.

On the other hand, the evils were of some moment in the monopoly of
power in turning the State into a corporation, in the restriction
on the rising ability of the humbler conditions of life, to the
loss of doubtless much vigorous and original aid to the public
councils, in the jealousy which that restriction naturally created
in men who felt their talents, and in the consequent difficulties
produced by the direction of those talents to party, as the only
means of claiming justice for themselves. This was continually felt
in the political tumults of England for the last fifty years of the
century, and it was eminently experienced in Ireland, where every
rising barrister instantly took the side of Opposition, and where
even his attainment of office was felt as a stimulant and a bribe
for new assaults on the Government: like buying off an invasion, the
purchase was only a proclamation for a new march against the cabinet.

The Grenvilles were of the political _caste_, and for two-thirds of
a century there was no political good fortune in which a Grenville
was not sure to share, if on the ministerial side--nor measure of
opposition in which a Grenville was not sure to be busy, until the
change came round, and the bustling patriot was transformed into the
complacent placeman.

The _public_ origin of this family was derived from Richard Temple
of Wotton, by his marriage with the sister of Lord Cobham of Stowe,
whom she succeeded, by the title of Countess Temple, in 1759. The
eldest son of this marriage was Richard, Earl Temple, born in 1711.
The second son was George Grenville, the minister, born in 1712. The
next brother was James Grenville, a Lord of Trade, Deputy-paymaster
of the Forces, and Cofferer of the Household. The third was Henry
Grenville, successively governor of Barbadoes, ambassador to
Constantinople, and a Commissioner of Customs. The fourth was Thomas
Grenville, a captain in the navy, who was unfortunately killed in
action.

George Grenville, the minister, had three sons, equally heirs
of official fortune;--George, who succeeded to the earldom of
Temple, and afterwards obtained the marquisate of Buckingham;
Thomas Grenville, who, after filling several lucrative offices,
died lately, and honourably left his fine library to the nation.
The youngest son was the late Lord Grenville, the coadjutor of
William Pitt. The connection with that illustrious statesmen was
formed through the marriage of Lady Hester Grenville, the sister of
the first Earl Temple, with Pitt, afterwards Earl of Chatham, and
the father of William Pitt. The present Duke of Buckingham is the
great-grandson of George Grenville.

As George Grenville forms the principal personage of these volumes,
a sketch of his progress to power may be given. Educated at Eton and
Christ-Church, he was intended for the bar, but, at the suggestion
of his relative, Lord Cobham, he soon determined on a political
career. The borough of Buckingham was at his disposal, and he was
its representative for thirty years. His rise through office was
rapid. He was first made a Lord of the Admiralty, then a Lord of
the Treasury, then Treasurer of the Navy, then Secretary of State,
then First Lord of the Admiralty, until finally, in April 1763, he
rose to be Premier, or First Lord of the Treasury, and Chancellor of
the Exchequer. This consummation, however, was short-lived. Within
two years he was deprived of the premiership, held office no more,
and retired from public life for ever, leaving, as the principal
memorial of his political career, the unlucky Stamp Act, so well
known as the pretext for the revolt of America, the watchword of
party in Parliament, and of faction in the streets, and yet a
measure which no man could fairly charge with injustice, and whose
consequences no man could charge upon the minister.

That Parliament had as valid a right to tax a British colony as it
had to tax a British county, is beyond all doubt; and, remote as the
question now is with respect to the American contest, we have other
colonies which may be the wiser for stating its true grounds.

The British subject emigrating to a colony, however distant, is
still a British subject; and the child of that emigrant born in
the British colony is still a British subject. Allegiance cannot
be extinguished by distance. If he takes arms against England, he
is liable to be punished as a rebel. The support of the law, the
support of the government, the support of the fleet and army, all
which protect the empire, and with it the colony, must require
contributions, and the colony, sharing in the protection, must be
bound to assist that contribution--it must pay _taxes_. The outcry
of the time, that the colonies were taxed _without_ representation,
was utterly unfounded. The colonies _were_ represented in the
British Parliament; they were represented by the whole Parliament
legislating for the whole Empire. The wisdom of adding to the
numbers of a parliament, already perhaps numerous enough for
every purpose of deliberation, was a question exclusively for
the Government, and the British colony in America had no want of
advocates; the whole Opposition were its virtual representatives.

The question of right was thus decided. The question of policy
was another consideration; and there can be no doubt that, by
admitting American members into the House, the United States
might have remained British for a few years longer. But distance
and difficulty, population and power, would soon have solved the
problem, and the great colony would have now been a great _kingdom_.
The war made it a great _republic_. The bitterness of hostilities
envenomed the colonies against the only form of government
_congenial_ to the British mind; and for a limited monarchy, the
most fortunate and rational of all governments, they adopted a
limited democracy, which nothing but the extent of their territories
could have prevented, long since, from being an anarchy. But
stubbornness on the one side, and faction on the other, prevailed.
The Stamp Act was felt to be so legitimate, in the first instance,
that it scarcely raised a debate in Parliament. The resistance
revived the spirit of opposition in the legislature. It was too
favourable an opportunity for metaphorical indignation and verbal
virtue to be thrown away; and by the help of parliamentary intrigue,
backed by popular outcry, this natural, obvious, and easy act of
legislature was stigmatised as the foulest oppression. Time has
rectified the opinion; and while we rejoice in the prosperity of all
nations, we may calmly respect the principles of social law.

To George Grenville we owe the "Act for securing purity of
Election," which was once regarded as a model of legislative wisdom,
adequate to preserve the hustings from contamination and the House
from influence for ever. But the dexterities of modern corruption
have proved too subtle for the provisions of our ancestors. How many
hundred elections have been driven through the Grenville Act, is
not for us to say, and it would perhaps be difficult to calculate.
But the constant lowering of the franchise has shown the weakness
of all defences against a bribe; and as the expedient of every new
candidate for popularity is to put the elections into hands lower
still, we may safely predict the growing inefficiency of all laws
against the temptation to corrupting of the populace.

The celebrated Burke, in his speech on American Taxation, a
masterpiece of eloquence, and a masterpiece of that sophistry in
which Party involved his illustrious spirit _for the time_, relieved
the House from the dryness of statistics, by a striking sketch of
Grenville, almost ten years after his retirement from public life,
and nearly five years after he was in his tomb.

     "Mr Grenville undoubtedly was a first-rate figure in the
     country. With a masculine understanding, and a stout and
     resolute heart, he had an application undissipated and
     unwearied. He took public business, not as a duty he was to
     fulfil, but as a pleasure he was to enjoy, and he seemed to have
     no delight out of the House, except in such things as in some
     way related to the business that was to be done within it. If he
     was ambitious, I will say this for him, his ambition was of a
     noble and generous strain. It was to raise himself, not by the
     low politics of a court, but to win his way to power through the
     laborious gradations of public service, and to secure himself a
     well-earned rank in Parliament, by a thorough knowledge of its
     constitution, and a perfect practice in all its business."

But this panegyric was rather lowered by its peroration. Burke was
fond of looking at every subject in a variety of lights, and it
became the habit of even his vigorous mind to fill up the background
of his portraits with picturesque _shade_. He then closed his
character of the deceased statesman by observing that his having
been a barrister "narrowed the extent and freedom of his political
views."

"He was bred to the law, a science which does more to quicken
and invigorate the understanding than all the other kinds of
learning put together. But it is not apt, except in persons very
happily born, to open and liberalise the mind exactly in the same
proportion." Having flung this passing sarcasm at the profession, he
let fall a drop of contempt on the system of public employment.

     "From that study, he did not go very largely into the world, but
     plunged into the business of office, and the limited and fixed
     forms established there. These forms are adapted to ordinary
     occasions, and therefore persons who are nurtured in office do
     admirably well so long as things go on in their common order;
     but when the highroads are broken up, and the waters are out,
     when a new and troubled scene is opened, and the file affords no
     precedent, then it is that a greater knowledge of mankind, and
     a far more extensive comprehension of things, is requisite than
     ever office gave, or than office ever can give. Mr Grenville
     thought better of the wisdom and power of human legislation
     than, in truth, it deserves."

The fact evidently is, that the fiery and soaring spirit of Burke
despised the heavy uniformity and dull routine of the whole tribe
of which Grenville was the representative; that he disdained the
substitution of heavy regularity for brilliant enterprise, of
precedent for principle, and of taking shelter under obsolete forms,
instead of adopting those lofty innovations which alone can guide a
government through new perils, deserve the name of statesmanship,
and elevate politics into the dignity of a science.

But this attempt to qualify his panegyric, by laying the weight
of Grenville's failure on his profession, was keenly retorted by
Wedderburn, (then Solicitor-General, and afterwards Chancellor and
Earl of Rosslyn,) declaring that he had no intention of taking
a part in the debate, but that he had been called up by Burke's
character of Grenville. He observed, "that the gentleman had neither
done him that justice with which posterity might treat his memory,
nor had he spoken of him as the general voice of a grateful people
would even at that moment express itself of his person, his conduct,
and his acts." After alluding to the remark, that his mind was
narrowed by the bar, and that he had plunged into office before he
mingled in the world, Wedderburn (who _might_ have observed that he
came into Parliament and politics at twenty-nine, consequently had
practised but little in his profession, and that at thirty-three he
held the office of a Lord of the Admiralty) said cleverly--

     "Going into the world is a term too large for my narrow
     comprehension. If it means that he neither played, nor dressed,
     nor was a member of any of the fashionable clubs, I believe it
     may be true. But his birth and his talents introduced him to
     an early intimacy with the first men of the age. He passed,
     by regular gradations, from one office to another. Whatever
     related to the Marine of this country, he had learned during
     his attendance at the Admiralty. The Finance he had studied
     under a very able master at the Treasury. The Foreign Department
     was for a time intrusted to him. The proper business of the
     House was for several years his particular study. In almost
     every various office of the state he had acquired a practical
     knowledge, improved by theory; and, from the general course of
     his observation and researches, he had adopted principles and
     habits which the firm temper of his mind would not stoop to
     abandon or unlearn, in complaisance to the opinions of any man.
     Such were the _disqualifications_ under which Mr Grenville was
     called forth to the first situation of administration, at a
     time when ancient _prejudices_ were still respected, and before
     it was understood that parts were spoiled by application, that
     ignorance was preferable to knowledge, and that any _lively
     man of imagination_, without practice in office, and without
     experience, might start up at once, a self-taught minister, and
     undertake the management of a great country in difficult times."

We have given these extracts, as displaying both sides of the
character, and by comparison enabling the student of history to form
an estimate of a man who for twenty-one years had been exercised in
the various administrations of the empire, and who finally rose to
the highest official rank in the country.

But it is still more to the advantage of his character, and it may
have constituted the chief secret of his success, that he was a man
of integrity; that the corruptions universally charged upon Walpole
were never fixed on him; that, in an age when the highest rank in
the realm often startled the nation, by following foreign fashions
of morality, he was a good father, a faithful husband, and a firm
friend.

One of the observations which these volumes force upon us, is the
agreeable evidence of the improvement in the public health. Every
man in high station seems to have been the victim of a perpetual
tendency to disease. Ministers seem universally to have been
tortured by gout, or some painful disorder, which drove them to the
country, the Continent, or the Bath waters. The women of rank had
some unaccountable and indescribable malady of their own, which they
called the Vapours; every judge had some excruciating disorder,
which he could alleviate only by opium; every man of letters had
some ailment of the same kind. The common people, living in the
unventilated and obscure haunts of cities, had, of course, all the
diseases which we are now so slowly striving to prevent; and the
ploughman appeared to enjoy the only health in the land. How far the
improvement in this all-important matter may be owing to improved
medical science, to the drainage of the soil, to more extended
agriculture, or to some fortunate change in the atmosphere, or even
to the adoption of more temperate habits, and the substitution of
lighter food, we cannot precisely say; but there can be scarcely a
doubt of the change in the general state of health, in the duration
of life, in the proportion of those who grow up to maturity to those
who die in infancy, and even in the continued vigour of the frame
and faculties to a more advanced age.

The first letter in the correspondence is from Lord Cornbury,
recommending Mr Grenville to travel for his recovery from a sickness
which apparently enfeebled all his earlier years. His lordship
suggests the south of France as a supplement to Bath, where he had
gone to drink the waters, then a _panacea_ for the distempers of
high life, and where his residence is mentioned in a lively epistle
from Lyttleton to Pope. "George Grenville is in a fair way of
recovery; the waters agree with him. Cheyne (the physician) says
he is a giant, a son of Anak, made like Gilbert, the Lord Bishop
of Sarum, and may, therefore, if he pleases, _live for ever_; his
present sickness being nothing but a fillip given for his good, to
make him temperate, and put him under the care of Dr Cheyne."

Lord Cornbury was an amiable young man, given to hospitality and
letter-writing, and panegyrised by Pope in such tributes as his
pretended scorn for nobility did not prevent him from paying to his
entertainers:--

    "Would you be blest, despise low joys, low gains,
    Disdain whatever Cornbury disdains;
    Be virtuous, and be happy, for your pains."

Such are the honours and the advice of poetry; but it may be
suggested that a British peer has little temptation to _low_ joys
or low gains, and that it is not difficult to bear the trials of
life in possession of every advantage which life can give. The
pungent pen of Lady Wortley Montague gives an easier account of this
_dilettante_ lord on his death. "He had certainly a very good heart:
I have often thought it a great pity it was not under the direction
of a better head. His desire of fixing his name to a certain
quantity of _wall_, is one instance, among thousands, of the passion
men have for _perpetuating their memory_"--(possibly an allusion,
sufficiently contemptuous, to his having built at Cornbury Park in
Oxfordshire.)

We next have a letter from the first Lord Lyttleton, on the subject
of a tour which the minister was still making, recommending that
he should not risk his final recovery by coming to the House of
Commons,--"Not that, if you were present, either you or I could do
any good."

Lord Hervey, in his _Memoirs of the Reign of George II._, gives a
sketch of Lyttleton, such as a modern fop might give of a successful
rival, closing with--"He had a great flow of words, that were always
uttered in a lulling monotony; and the little meaning they had to
boast of was generally borrowed from the commonplace maxims and
sentiments of moralists, philosophers, patriots, and poets, crudely
imbibed, half-digested, ill put together, and confusedly refunded."

Such was the caricature of _the_ Lyttleton with whose poems all the
ladies of England were enamoured, and who won all the plaudits of
the clergy by his "Tract on the Conversion of St Paul;" certainly a
very clever performance, and an extraordinary one, as coming from a
man living in the fashionable circles of the last century.

Then follows a letter from the celebrated Lord Mansfield on the same
subject:--

     "I am very impatient for your recovery, and I rejoice in the
     favourable accounts I hear. I rambled about, as usual, during
     the leisure hours I had; and, among other places I was at, I
     spent three days most agreeably at Hagley with our friends
     Lyttleton and Pitt; where, you may believe, you _was_--[_sic_,
     in orig.]--not forgot.... Pope is at Bath, perched upon his
     hill, making epigrams, and _stifling_ them in their birth; and
     Lord H., [Hervey]--would you believe it!--is writing libels on
     the king and his ministers."

Lord Hervey was the son of the first Earl of Bristol--was the most
inveterate courtier of his time, and in remarkable confidence with
the whole of the royal family. Unfortunately, he knew _too much_,
and has bequeathed his knowledge to posterity in a Memoir, fatal
to the moral character of his age, yet lively, epigrammatic, and
anecdotical. The whole family, even to the close of the century,
were eccentric. The keen and witty Lady Wortley Montague defined
them as a third class of the human race--"men, women, and _Herveys_."

Those were curious times. The letter ends with the news that
Lord Bradford's _mistress_, to whom he had left his estate, had
bequeathed it to Pulteney, Earl of Bath. Thus that most parsimonious
of all peers got £12,000 a-year!

A letter from Richard Grenville (Lord Temple) to his brother, when
abroad, thus gives him the political news of the day:--

     "Lord Cobham and Lord Gower have refused going into the cabinet,
     and we have had very warm work in the House of Commons, the
     first day, upon the Address. Pitt (Earl of Chatham) spoke like
     ten thousand angels! and your humble servant was so inflamed at
     their indecency, that he could not contain, but talked a good
     while with his usual modesty.... We divided 150 against 259;
     we reckon ourselves, however, 200. And it is inconceivable how
     _colloquing_ and flattering all the ministers are to all of us,
     notwithstanding our impertinence.... Who but young Bathurst to
     answer me, in the most ridiculous, indecent, stupid speech that
     ever was made. It was melancholy, but entertaining enough, to
     see them skulk in, with their tails betwixt their legs, like so
     many spaniels.... We shall have a glorious day about the sixteen
     thousand. We shall then see, also, who are Hanoverians and who
     Englishmen."

The day of the sixteen thousand was the debate on fixing the subsidy
for the payment of that number of Hanoverian troops. On this point
Opposition made a great and popular stand, contending, truly enough,
that nothing could be more derogatory to the honour of a great
country than the employment of mercenaries; but George II. had all
the prejudices of a German Elector on the subject, and the motion
was urged and carried.

The first two Georges seemed actually to think that the English
throne depended on the Hanoverian, and that the security of England
itself was imperfect without a few German brigades. The third
George, however, was of a different opinion; he boasted of his
"being born a Briton;" and in that manly and rational feeling, he
found England able to defend herself.

The Bathurst mentioned in the letter was the son of the lively and
pleasant old Lord Bathurst, the associate of Pope and the wits of
his day, alluded to in Burke's fine Episode of American Progress.
This son became Lord Chancellor. There is an allusion to Bubb
Dodington in the letter referring to his marriage. He led a loose
life; and in this instance Horace Walpole gave him but little credit
for reformation:--"Mr Dodington has at last owned his match with his
old mistress. I suppose he wants a _new_ one."

Dodington (Lord Melcombe) deserves some recollection for the mere
sake of his political _flexibility_. He entered Parliament young,
and was shortly after sent Envoy to Spain. Inheriting a considerable
fortune from his father, whose name was Bubb, he acquired a large
estate by the death of his maternal uncle, Dodington, whose name he
took in consequence. Still the pursuit of place was the business
of his life, and he became proverbial for the eagerness of his
avarice, and the slipperiness of his principles. Some talent, some
plausibility, great perseverance, and unblushing impudence, gained
him a succession of employments under all the successive parties.
Beginning his political life under Walpole, by whom he was appointed
a Lord of the Treasury, he secured for himself the lucrative
sinecure of the Clerkship of the Pells in Ireland. When Walpole
began to totter, Dodington _ratted_; and when the minister finally
fell, he was made a sharer in the spoil, obtaining the Treasurership
of the Navy. When Frederick, Prince of Wales, started in opposition,
Dodington hastened to worship the rising sun, and became head of the
"Prince's party." When Frederick died, Dodington returned to his
old quarters, and figured again as Treasurer of the Navy, under the
Newcastle administration.

On the death of George II., Lord Bute was the new dispenser of
places, and Dodington joined him accordingly. His reward was the
peerage in the same year. This was the summit of his busy, arrogant,
aspiring, and _humiliating_ career. Whether he contemplated further
experiments on fortune is not now to be known, for he enjoyed
his _honours_ but a twelvemonth, dying in 1762. All this labour
of servility was for himself alone, for he had no offspring. His
_Diary_ is familiar to the readers of political biography, and it is
uniformly quoted as the most singular instance, in public life, of
fearless exposure to contempt, of sinister caution, and conscious
tergiversation.

A _bon mot_ of Chesterfield was long remembered. Dodington, on
going abroad on some mission, observed to Chesterfield the vexation
of having such a name as Bubb appended to his better-sounding
appellation. "Poh!" said Chesterfield, "enlarge it--call yourself
Silly-bubb."

In this correspondence, it is surprising that we meet so few
references to the invasion of the Pretender in 1745, unless we are
to account for it by the letters having been destroyed. The event
itself was the most memorable since the Civil War; and if the nation
had been less Protestant, it might have changed the dynasty. But the
bigotry of James II. had raised a spirit of determined resistance
to his line, which nothing but actual overthrow in the field could
extinguish. The enterprise was gallantly conceived, and as gallantly
executed by the Highlanders; but there was a want of force. The
Clans fought boldly, but their blood was shed in vain; and the
invasion actually gave additional strength to the Protestant throne.

One of George Grenville's letters adverts to the progress of events
briefly in these words:--

     "The last accounts from the North say that the Highlanders
     have begun plundering part of the country between Edinburgh
     and Berwick. This manner of proceeding may be an unfortunate
     one with respect to those on whom it falls; but cannot be more
     so to them than to the party which suffers it, whose hopes,
     I think, it must entirely destroy, if carried to any length.
     It is now said that the Castle of Edinburgh is in great want
     of provisions; that the governor of the Castle ordered the
     inhabitants of the city to supply him, and threatened, in case
     of refusal, to burn the town, and beat it down about their ears.
     They obeyed for two or three days; but then the Highlanders
     threatened them with military execution if they continued it
     any longer; upon which they desisted immediately: and the
     magistrates have applied to the King, stating their miserable
     situation, and beseeching him to give orders to the governor not
     to execute his threats. The answer to the application I do not
     know; but I imagine it is a favourable one."

An amusing feature of these volumes is the style in which public
men, in the last age, spoke of each other. It was contemptuous in
the extreme--every character was a caricature. Pitt, in a letter
to George Grenville, had alluded to Sir William Yonge, a veteran
placeman, as telling him of Grenville's "being very well; and I
most sincerely hope he tells me truth. I could more easily pardon
any of the _fictions_ in which he sometimes deals, than one on this
occasion."

Lord Hervey, in his _Memoirs_, thus sketches Yonge:--

     "Without having done anything that I know of remarkably
     profligate, anything out of the common track of a ductile
     courtier and a parliamentary tool, his name was proverbially
     used to express everything pitiful, corrupt, and contemptible.
     It is true, he was a great _liar_, but rather a mean than a
     vicious one. He had been always constant to the same party, he
     was good-natured and good-humoured, never offensive in company,
     nobody's friend, nobody's enemy.... He had a great command of
     what is called parliamentary language, and a talent of talking
     eloquently without a meaning, and expatiating agreeably upon
     nothing, beyond any man, I believe, that ever had the gift of
     speech."

After all, this description leaves Yonge, as regards talents, a very
considerable man. His lying, however, blackens the whole character.
Yet it throve with him; for he was, in succession, Commissioner of
the Admiralty, and of the Treasury, Secretary-at-War, finishing all
by the opulent sinecure of joint-Treasurer of Ireland.

All the Memoirs of the time remind us of the adage of Solomon,
"There is nothing new under the sun." Who will not recognise, in
the character of Admiral Vernon, (which has had the honour to be
delineated by Lord John Russell,) something of a celebrated living
Admiral?

     "Vernon was a man of undoubted talent, but ill qualified, by his
     character, to govern those under him, or to obey those above
     him. Vernon was raised to the rank of Admiral of the White, in
     April 1745. He was immediately appointed to the command of the
     fleet, for the defence of the Channel and north coast, and in
     this situation his vigilance has been greatly commended. The
     Board of Admiralty, however, having found fault with some of his
     dispositions of the force, he complained bitterly, and, after
     an angry correspondence, desired leave to strike his flag. The
     Admiralty, finding it useless to give orders, which were always
     cavilled at, complied with his request. Hereupon, the Admiral,
     who seems to have thought that the public would support him
     against the Government, published two pamphlets, in which he
     revealed the orders he had received, and published, without
     leave, his official correspondence. The Admiralty visited this
     offence in the most severe manner. Admiral Vernon was called on
     to attend the Board. When he appeared, the Duke of Bedford asked
     him, if he was the publisher of the two pamphlets. He declined
     to answer the question. The Duke of Bedford then informed him
     that the Board, after such a refusal, could not but consider him
     as the publisher. He stated his surprise that he should have
     been asked such a question, and withdrew. The next day, the Duke
     of Bedford saw the King, and signified to the Board the King's
     pleasure that Vice-Admiral Vernon should be struck out of the
     list of flag-officers."

A letter from Pitt speaks of his election, and the unlucky battle of
Lauffeldt, in the same breath.

     "My dear Grenville,--I am this moment arrived from Sussex,
     victorious as yourself, (Grenville had just been elected for
     Bridport,) after being opposed by Mr Gage and the Earl of
     Middlesex. It is certain my own success does not give me more
     pleasure than yours does.... Would to God our victories were
     not confined to our own little world. A full detail of the late
     action I have not yet seen. The clearest and best makes it
     evident that the British and Electoral troops did all that can
     be expected from men overpowered by numbers, the whole weight
     being upon them. The Duke (of Cumberland) has done himself great
     honour, by the efforts he made in person during the action," &c.
     &c.

William Duke of Cumberland was always unfortunate on the Continent,
and, we believe, never succeeded but at Culloden. In the battle of
Lauffeldt, Walpole says, "he was very near taken, having, through
his short sight, mistaken a body of French for his own people. He
behaved as bravely as usual; but (he adds sarcastically) his prowess
is so well established, that it grows time for him to exert other
qualities of a general."

In this action, considerable loss seems to have taken place among
the officers of rank. Walpole says of Conway--"Harry Conway, whom
nature always designed for a hero of romance, and who is _deplace_
in ordinary life, did wonders, but was overpowered and flung down,
when one French hussar held him by the hair, while another was going
to stab him. At the instant, an English sergeant, with a soldier,
came up and killed the latter, but was instantly killed himself.
The soldier attacked the other, and Mr Conway escaped, but was
afterwards taken prisoner, and is since released on parole."

The description of the Lord Middlesex, mentioned in the letter, has
all the keenness of Walpole's style. (He was the eldest son of the
Duke of Dorset, and Master of the Horse to the Prince of Wales.)
"His figure was handsome, had all the reserve of his family, and
all the dignity of his ancestors. His passion was the direction of
operas, in which he had not only wasted immense sums, but had stood
lawsuits in Westminster Hall with some of those poor devils for
their salaries. The Duke of Dorset had often paid his debts, but
never could work upon his affections; and he had at last carried his
disobedience so far, in complaisance to, and in imitation of the
Prince, as to oppose his father in his own boroughs."

The death of Pelham, in 1754, awoke the bustle of parties in a
singular degree. The activity of Fox (Lord Holland) was remarked
by every one. Pelham had died about six in the morning; Fox was at
Lord Hartington's door _before eight_, called on Pitt at an "early
hour;" and a letter from Lord Hardwicke says--"A certain person
(Fox) within a few hours after Mr Pelham's death, had made strong
advances to the Duke of Newcastle and myself." Pitt's letter,
addressed to Lyttleton and the Grenvilles, containing the proposal
for a new cabinet, thus speaks of Fox:--"As to the nomination of a
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Fox, in point of party, seniority
in the corps, and, I think, of ability for Treasury and House of
Commons business, stands, upon the whole, first of any. Dr Lee, if
his health permits, would be very desirable. You, my dear Grenville,
would be my nomination. A fourth idea, which, if practicable, might
have great strength and efficiency for Government in it--I mean to
_secularise_, if I may use the expression, the Solicitor-General
(Murray,) and make him Chancellor of the Exchequer."

This fabric of the ministerial brain vanished, and Pitt remained in
the subordinate position of Paymaster of the Forces. The ostensible
cause was, the King's disinclination to have any intercourse with
Pitt. That disinclination, however, ceased to be a pretext when Pitt
became necessary to the Crown.

The fluctuations of memorable minds are the most interesting part of
their history. Pitt's political disappointments always brought on
a fit of his philosophy. When fortune smiled again, he forgot the
philosophy, and grasped at the political prize. After the failure
of his plan for the cabinet, he flew to Bath, and there, between
disgust and distemper, he became romantic.

He thus writes to Earl Temple:--

     "I am still the same indolent, inactive thing your lordship
     saw me; insomuch that I can hear unmoved of Parliament's
     assembling, and Speakers choosing, and all other great earthly
     things. I live the vernal day on verdant hills or sequestered
     valleys, where, to be poetical, for me health gushes from
     a thousand springs; and I enjoy the return of her, and the
     absence of that thing called Ambition, with no small philosophic
     delight. In a word, I envy not the favourites of Heaven, the
     few, the very few, '_quos æquus amavit Jupiter_;' the dust of
     Kensington causey, or the verdure of Lincoln's-Inn-Fields."
     (The King resided at Kensington, and the Duke of Newcastle in
     Lincoln's-Inn-Fields.) "I shall despatch my necessary business
     as fast as I can, and pursue you to Stowe, where the charms, so
     seldom found, of true taste, and the more rare joys and comforts
     of true friendship, have fixed their happy residence. There it
     is that I most impatiently long to enjoy you and your works."

Wilkes now comes on the _tapis_. A letter from Earl Temple
congratulates him on having returned from the "expensive delights
of Berwick." "I hope this will find you in good health, spirits as
usual, and with an excellent cause. It is very gracious and kind in
the pious Æneas, after his conversion after the love-feast, to keep
up that kind of friendship with one who has so slender a claim to be
admitted to the table of the saints."

The letter is written in a strain fitter for Wilkes than for a
man in a public rank, and with a public character. The "expensive
delights of Berwick" was an allusion to Wilkes's contest for the
borough, which cost him between three and four thousand pounds, and
in which he was defeated after all by the Delaval interest. Fox's
description of the debate on the petition is pungent. "Mr Wilkes, a
friend, it seems, of Pitt, (so little was he publicly known at this
period,) petitioned against the younger Delaval, chose (chosen) at
Berwick, on the ground of bribery only. Delaval made a speech, on
his being thus attacked, full of wit, humour, and buffoonery, which
kept the House in a continued roar of laughter."

From this period, for forty years, Wilkes flourished before the
public. The man will do a striking service to the history of the
constitution, of popular passion, and of political character, who
shall write a "History of Wilkes." There have been memoirs of his
life, publications of his letters, and registers of his political
victories; but these are still but _Mémoires pour Servir_. The
history of the _partisan_ is yet to be written; and it will still be
the more curious, since it will be the history of a political age,
which could have existed in no other country. Wilkes was embodied
Demagogism. Athens might have her Cleon, Naples her Massaniello, and
modern Rome her Rienzi; but England alone could produce a Wilkes,
tolerate him, triumph in him, struggle for him, and finally pay
to his indolent, helpless, and exhausted old age, almost the same
popular veneration which the multitude had paid when his intrigues
convulsed the whole fabric of the state. A temperament daring,
crafty, and unscrupulous, a fluent pen, and a sarcastic wit,
were the instruments of an ambition as remorseless, worldly, and
grasping, as dwelt in the bosom of a Cæsar Borgia or a Catiline.

An outline of this singular man's bustling career will best show
the pertinacity, the trials, and the troubles which belonged to the
candidate for the Tribuneship of Great Britain.

John Wilkes, born in 1727, the son of a rich distiller, began his
public life in the canvass for Berwick--alluded to by Lord Temple's
letter. Having lost that election, he obtained a seat for Aylesbury,
which involved him in heavy expenses. Parliament now became his
resource and his profession; and he connected himself with Lord
Temple, who gave him the colonelcy of the Buckingham militia.

In 1762, on the retirement of Lord Temple and Pitt from the
ministry, he became an Opposition pamphleteer. Lord Bute, though a
man of ability, was unpopular, as the royal favourite, and Wilkes
attacked him in the _North Briton_. In 1763, Lord Bute resigned,
and Wilkes, in the memorable No. 45 of the _North Briton_, libelled
the King's speech. The sarcasm stung so deep that a prosecution
was ordered against him. The prosecution finally became a triumph.
The Home Secretary having issued a "General Warrant" for the
apprehension of the author, printers, and publishers of the libel,
Wilkes, on his arrest, denied its legality, and, as a member of
Parliament, was committed to the Tower. The attention of the country
was now fixed on the question. He was brought up before Chief Baron
Pratt, who decided on the illegality of general warrants, and he
was discharged amid the popular acclamations. Wilkes, in his turn,
brought actions against the Home Secretary, the under secretaries,
the messengers, &c., and gained them all, with damages--the Crown
paying the damages. He was now the declared champion of the populace.

He republished the libel--fought a duel on the subject--was severely
wounded--and fled to France. A second prosecution was commenced,
and, on his non-appearance, he was expelled from the House of
Commons. A third prosecution was commenced against him for language
in a publication which was pronounced flagitious; and not returning
to meet it, he was _outlawed_.

On the change of ministry he returned to England, and was
imprisoned; and yet, during his imprisonment, was elected for
Middlesex. He was tried, and condemned to remain in jail twenty-two
months, or be fined £1000.

In 1769, in consequence of a pamphlet censuring the ministry for the
employment of troops to suppress the riots at his election, he was
again expelled, and again elected.

He was now declared incapable of sitting in Parliament, and Colonel
Luttrel was returned as the sitting member, though with but a fourth
of the votes. This act roused the popular indignation once more.

Wilkes, driven from Parliament, now turned to the city, and was
elected alderman; and on some printers being brought before him,
apprehended by a Royal proclamation, he discharged them all, on
the ground of maintaining the privileges of the city. The Lord
Mayor, Oliver, and Crosby, an alderman, followed Wilkes's example,
and being members of the House, were sent to the Tower. Wilkes, on
being ordered to attend at the bar, claimed his seat. Ministers
now dreading further involvement, adjourned the House over the day
appointed for his attendance, and, in 1774, he took his seat in
triumph as member for Middlesex!

But his fortune was now decayed; old age was coming on, and he was
glad to be chosen Chamberlain for London, (with a salary of nearly
£4000 a-year.) On the fall of the North Cabinet, 1782, he moved that
the resolution against him on the Journals should be expunged. The
motion was carried; his victory was complete, and the remainder of
his life was opulent and calm. That remainder, however, was brief,
for he died in 1797, at the age of seventy.

Wilkes was a man of education, a man of wit, and a man of
intrepidity. But his education had begun under an English sectary,
and was finished in a foreign college--the first accounting for
his republicanism, the next for his dissoluteness. But, though the
man himself was worthless, his struggles were not unprofitable to
the country. They fixed the popular attention on the principles
of national liberty; they brought all the great constitutional
questions into perpetual study. They rendered the public mind so
sensitive to the possible encroachments of the Crown, or even of the
Commons, that the future tyranny of any branch of the Legislature
would be next to impossible. Let the merit of Wilkes be, that he
drew a _fence_ round the Constitution.

But Wilkes had a support unknown to the public of his time, yet
amply divulged in these volumes. He appears to have kept up a
constant correspondence with Earl Temple, the head of the Grenville
interest; to have been anxious for his opinion on his publications,
and to have depended on him, even for pecuniary resources, which
probably were applied to those publications. The connection of
Wilkes in public sentiment with the Grenvilles, was, of course,
well known; but we doubt if the evidence of an intimate agency was
understood before. In these letters, Wilkes twice draws on Lord
Temple for £500; and as his lordship was opulent, and his client
quite the reverse, it is likely that those calls were not the only
instances of craving. But this connection largely accounts for the
otherwise marvellous daring of Wilkes. He had the Grenvilles, Pitt,
and their whole connection, then a most powerful party, to fall
back upon. The Cabinet which sent him to prison one day, might be
succeeded by the Cabinet which would open his gates the next; his
patrons might be the possessors of all power, and in the mean time,
however he might be persecuted, he was sure not to be crushed.

We have a letter from Lord Temple on this subject, which shows, by
its wish to mislead suspicion, the nature of this intimacy. The
letter is from a corrected and much obliterated draught, in Lord
Temple's handwriting; and as the editor says, "The very guarded
manner in which the letter is expressed, renders it probable that
Lord Temple expected that it would be read in the Post Office before
it reached its destination; for it cannot be supposed that he was
ignorant of the connection between the North Briton and Wilkes.
Almon (the printer) says, "Lord Temple was not ignorant of his
friend's design, and certainly approved of it."

The letter thus begins--"As to public events, I am sorry to see that
the paper hostilities are renewed with so high a degree of acrimony
as now appears on all sides; and although I make it a rule not to
agitate any matter of a political nature by the Post--this Argus,
with, at least, a hundred eyes--yet, while my thoughts agree with
Government, I may venture to hazard them, subject even to that
_inspection_. I am _quite at loss_ to guess through what channel the
_North Briton_ flows." The remainder is a critique on the paper,
concluding, "as the N. B. will, I suppose, endeavour by every means
to lie concealed, it will be impossible to ferret him out, and give
him good advice, otherwise I am sure I could convince him."

The caution of this note shows at once the confidential nature of
the connection, and the consciousness of the responsibility. But
the subsequent letters of Lord Temple to Wilkes prove the continued
and increased interest taken by his lordship in Wilkes's political
productions. A paper, called the _Monitor_, whether edited by Wilkes
or not, but evidently conceived by Lord Temple to be under his
direction, having expressed strong opinions relative to the royal
personages, his lordship writes as follows:--

     "As all the sins of the _Monitor_ against the ruling powers
     are principally charged upon our friend B., [Bradmore, his
     attorney,] and then, by way of rebound, upon _two other
     persons_, to whom the _Monitor_ has been so kindly partial, it
     is of the more moment to avoid that sort of personality which
     regards any of the R. F., [royal family.] I am glad, therefore,
     _my hint_ came, at least, time enough to prevent the publication
     of what would have filled up the whole measure of offence.... As
     to other matters, sportsmen, I suppose, are at liberty to pursue
     lawful game. I am only solicitous to have them not trespassers
     within the bounds of royal manors.... I hope I may be allowed to
     defray the loss and the expense of _laying aside the paper you
     sent me_."

This evidently implies that the paper was submitted to his lordship
before publication.

The intercourse of a man like Wilkes, a notorious profligate, and
impeached in public for his excess of profligacy, could not have
been suffered by a man alive to character, but for some motive
beyond the public eye; it was, of course, political, the common
pursuit of an object, which is presumed to salve all sins.

A strong instance of their intimacy occurs in what Wilkes might have
considered as his last act in this world. Lord Talbot, having been
attacked in the _North Briton_, demanded an apology from Wilkes, who
denied his lordship's right to question him. A challenge ensued,
which produced a meeting, which produced an exchange of shots,
without injury on either side. But Wilkes had given to his second,
Colonel Berkeley, a note to be delivered, in case of his fall, to
Earl Temple. This note Berkeley desired to return to Wilkes on the
close of the affair; but it was forwarded to Temple, "as a proof of
the regard and affection he bore your lordship, at a minute which
might have been his last."

Wilkes's letter is dated

  "BAGSHOT, _Nov. 5--Seven at night._

     "MY LORD,--I am here, just going to decide a point of honour
     with Lord Talbot. I have only to thank your lordship for all
     your favours to me; and to entreat you to desire Lady Temple to
     superintend the education of a daughter, whom I love beyond all
     the world. I am, my Lord, your obliged and affectionate humble
     servant,

  JOHN WILKES."

The second volume contains the Correspondence of Ministers, actual
and expectant, down to 1764. Among those letters is one which
exhibits a curious coincidence with the late transactions of the
Foreign Office, though the relative positions of the persons were
changed.

  "The Earl of Egremont to Mr Grenville.

  _February 12, 1763._

     "DEAR SIR,--Perhaps the Duc de Nivernois has sent you word that
     the Treaty was to be signed yesterday. If not, I would not leave
     you a moment ignorant of the news after I had had it. Ever yours
     most faithfully,

  EGREMONT."

     "What think you of the Duke of B., [Bedford, then ambassador
     in Paris,] who lets the _King's Ministers_ be informed by the
     _French ambassador_ of the appointment to sign the Treaty!"

The volume abounds in references to high names. Among the rest
we have a "Note" from the great Samuel Johnson, which, though
only a receipt for his pension, has the value of a national
remembrancer:--"To Mr Grenville. Sir,--Be pleased to pay to the
bearer seventy-five pounds, being the quarterly payment of a pension
granted by his Majesty, and due on the 29th of June last to, Sir,
your humble servant, SAM. JOHNSON." The merit of this pension,
so worthily bestowed, was due to Wedderburn, afterwards Earl of
Rosslyn, and Chancellor.

A letter from the Countess Temple contains some lively Court gossip.

     "Mrs Ryde was here yesterday. She is acquainted with a brother
     of one of the yeomen of the guard. He tells her, that the King
     cannot live without my Lord _Bute_. If he goes out anywhere, he
     stops, when he comes back, to ask if my Lord Bute is come yet.
     And that his lords, or people that are about him, look as mad as
     can be at it."

     "The mob have a good story of the Duke of Devonshire, (Lord
     Chamberlain.) That he went first, to light the King; and the
     King followed him, leaning on Lord Bute's shoulder; upon which
     the Duke of Devonshire turned about, and desired to know 'whom
     he was waiting upon?'"

The name of the Chevalier D'Eon occurs in the Correspondence as
demanding some wine detained in the Customs. The Chevalier was a
personage who excited great public curiosity, even almost within our
own time. He had been a captain of French dragoons, and was brought
to England as the secretary to the Duc de Nivernois, who conducted
the negotiations for the peace of 1763. On the Duke's departure,
he left D'Eon minister-plenipotentiary. The Count de Guerchy, the
new ambassador, desired him to resume the post of secretary; this
hurt his pride, and he quarrelled with the ambassador and with the
English Court, but was pensioned by France. A report at length
was spread that D'Eon was actually a female; this the Chevalier
fiercely denied, and we believe threatened to shoot the authors of
the report. However, in a short time after, he adopted the dress of
a female, and retained it till he died. As all matters in England
_then_ turned to gambling, wagers were laid on the subject; until,
at length, it was proved that the assumption of the female dress was
either an eccentricity or a wilful imposture. His pension having
been cut off by the Revolution, this singular person was reduced to
great difficulties; so much so, that, to raise money, he appeared as
a fencer on the stage, but still appeared in woman's costume.

We must now close our observations on this collection, which is
indispensable to the historian of the time. Not referring to any
of those great transactions which make the characteristics, or the
catastrophes, of nations, these letters exhibit the _interior_ of
public life with remarkable minuteness, and must have a peculiar
interest for public men. But, with the honours of the statesman,
they lay before us so vivid an example of the troubles, the
vexations, and the disappointments of political life, and the
struggles of men possessing the highest abilities and the highest
character, that we doubt whether a more stringent moral against
political ambition ever came before the eyes of England.



TIBET AND THE LAMAS.[7]

  [7] _Tibet, Tartary, and Mongolia_: Their Social and Political
  Condition, and the Religion of Boodh, as there existing, &c. By
  HENRY T. PRINSEP, Esq. London, 1851.


Some years ago we had taken our passage for Alexandria on board
a packet from Valletta. The Ægyptus, spick and span new from the
Toulon dockyard, with the tricolor flaunting over her stern all
resplendent with gilded sphynxes, lay, steam up and ready for
departure, near the centre of the Great Harbour, amid that glorious
cluster of cities which the knights of St John reared round the
banner of the Cross, when Christendom was forced to shorten her
cords and draw in her outposts before the swelling power of the
unbelievers. Berth selected, baggage stowed away, and hour of dinner
ascertained, we were at leisure to enjoy the familiar but never
palling glories of the sky and scenery, and to amuse ourselves in
watching the travellers of various nations who, party by party,
mounted the deck, speculating the while on whatever promised in
the first aspect of those who were to be our messmates on the five
days' voyage. They were not numerous or very interesting--a party
of French artists, bloused and bearded, who returned from their
brief circuit of Valletta as full of the stalwart figures and novel
costume of its garrison (the Forty-Second) as of the picturesque
grandeur of its palaces, or the Titanic sublimity of its bulwarks--a
grey-haired English veteran proceeding to his divisional command
in India, with wife and daughters, and a most ante-Napierian
baggage-train, received by M. le Commandant with scowling courtesy,
as if the stately dame were _perfide Albion_ in proper person--then
one or two half-Frenchified Moslems, returning from their studies in
Paris with a complement of Western vice and science--and lastly, in
coarse brown robe, sandalled feet, and shaven crown, with shining
breviary beneath the arm, three Capuchin monks, going forth to
make disciples for Holy Church in the far East. Each of the latter
had his trunk--one of those lanky, hog-backed articles in which
the continental European rejoices--and on the trunk his name and
destination painted. Two, if we remember, were bound for Agra--the
destination of the third we never can forget. On his coffer the
painter had inscribed, as coolly, we daresay, as a railway porter
would ticket your portmanteau for York or Glasgow,

  "FR. ANASTASIO
  TIBET."

"It is a far cry to Loch Ow;" and whether brother Anastasius and his
long pack ever reached their destination as per ticket we know not.
But Tibet and its capital have since been visited by two brethren of
his Church, though not of his order; and we have to thank Mr Prinsep
for calling attention to their narrative in the very able abstract
which he has published.[8]

  [8] _Souvenirs d'un Voyage dans la Tartarie, le Thibet, et la
  Chine, pendant les années 1844, 1845, et 1846._ Par M. HUC,
  Prêtre-Missionaire de la Congregation de Saint Lazare. Paris, 1850.

To many readers, possibly, the name of Tibet calls up but a vague
and shadowy image of a sort of eastern Lapland, which serves as a
top-margin to the map of Hindostan, and produces lamas, generally
understood to be a species of shawl goats from whose fleece the
Messrs Nicol make world-renowned paletôts. Our purpose, then, is to
define our ideas of the region called Tibet, and to gather together
as we may, from old and new sources, some picture more or less dim
and fragmentary of the land and its inhabitants.

Conquerors and congresses may make rivers the frontiers of polities
and zollvereins, but mountains are the true boundaries of races.[9]
The Rhine may part Germany from France, but the Vosges, not the
Rhine, parts the German from the Frenchman. Not Tweed, but the
Grampians, have marked in our native land the marches of Celt and
Saxon. On the side of the Five Rivers the Indian population shades
gradually from the true Hindoo into the shaggy robber of the valleys
west of the Indus; at the extremity of the peninsula the Tamul
tribes of the continent have peopled the coast of Ceylon, as the
ancient Belgæ peopled the coast of Kent. But along the northern
limit of India runs a barrier which,

     "With snowy ridge the roving Tartar bounds,"

dividing the Caucasian from the Mongolian race now as completely as
it did two or three thousand years ago.

  [9] _Vide_ Greek Lexicon--Ορος--A mountain; Ὁρος--A boundary.

From the plains of the Punjab, hard baked beneath the blazing May
sun--from the dusty levels of Sirhind, where meagre acacias cheat
the eye with promise of shade--from the long lines of thatched
pyramids that greet the traveller in the Doab, as he approaches a
British cantonment--eastward through the rich misgoverned tracts
of populous Oude, that year by year pour forth their streams of
stalwart soldiers, servants, and labourers, to push their fortune in
the service of the Kumpanee Buhadoor or its representatives--still
eastward from the fertile prairies of Tirhoot and Purneea--from the
bamboo thickets and rice swamps of northern Bengal--yet far eastward
from the _ultima Thule_ of Anglo-Indian power, where the majestic
flood of Burrampooter sweeps down into Assam from the unknown
hills--from all these

     "Dusk faces with white muslin turbans wreathed"

look northward through the clear morning air on the same mighty
Himalaya,[10] stretching beyond their ken its awful barrier of
unchanging snow.

  [10] _Hema-alya_, _i. e._ Hiemis Aula--The abode of snow.

In mounting from the plains of India over the arduous passes,
ranging from 12,000 to 20,000 feet above the sea, through which the
pressure of human need, curiosity, and superstition, has forced a
scanty and intermittent stream of intercourse, the traveller, after
traversing the last ridge of the Himalaya, instead of having to
descend again to the level of the southern regions, finds himself
but little raised above a vast table-land, in some places extending
in barren wastes of plain, or of bare monotonous hills, intersected
by sudden deep valleys or great ravines, in which the rivers flow
and the few villages are scattered; in others forming an endless
alternation of lofty mountain ranges and low valleys, but the
bottom of these last still many thousand feet above the plains of
the Indian peninsula. To this elevated region, stretching from the
Indus north-west of Kashmeer, to the extremest point of Assam, and
somewhat farther east, a space of more than 1500 miles, the name of
Tibet applies. The limits of its extent northward are somewhat more
vague; but if they be considered to include a breadth of three or
four degrees of latitude (33°-36°) towards the western extremity,
and of nine or ten degrees (28°-38°) in the eastern and widest part,
the estimate will not be far wrong. The identity throughout this
"very large and long countrey," (to borrow the expression of an old
traveller,) consists in the general use of the same language and
customs, the prevalence, except in the extreme west, of the same
faith, and the possession of the same religious books, written or
printed in a character common to all. To these we might perhaps add
the domestication of the shawl-goat and the yak throughout the whole
territory.

The name of Tibet does not appear to be known, or at least applied,
either in the country itself or by its Hindoo neighbours. Tubbet, or
Tobot, is stated to have been the Mongolian appellation of a nation
who anciently occupied the mountainous country on the north-west
confines of China. Our old travellers doubtless learned the word
from the Mongols; and from them also it has been adopted as the name
of the high country north of India, in all the Mussulman languages
of Western Asia. It was more particularly, perhaps, applied in these
to Balti and Ladakh, the two most westerly districts, which, in the
time of Bernier, were commonly distinguished as Little and Great
Tibet. The natives apply to their country the name of Bód or Pót,
and as Bhoteeas they are themselves known in Hindostan; though the
appellation of Bhotan has in our geography-books come to be confined
to a small dependency of Tibet bordering on the north of Assam,
where the race comes most closely in contact with our knowledge and
the British power, just as our forefathers gave the title of Dutch
specially to that fraction of the Teutonic or _Deutsch_ race which
most nearly adjoined their shores.

The central and most elevated portion of this region is the province
of Ngari--called by the people of the adjoining British territory
_Hyundes_, or "Snowland." It embraces extensive desert tracts,
intersected by several lofty ranges, the chief being that of Kylass,
the sacred celestial mountain of Indian mythology. The table-land at
the foot of Kylass, on which lie the twin lakes of Rákas Thal and
Manasaráwur, at a height of 15,250 feet above the sea, is probably
the most elevated in Asia, or in the world. On the shores of these
sacred lakes occurred, some years ago, the catastrophe of a curious
historical episode. Zorawur Singh, commanding the troops, of Goolab
Singh of Jummoo, (now well known as the Lord of Kashmeer,) after
overrunning Little Tibet and subjugating Ladakh, advanced up the
Indus and beyond it, till he had occupied posts on the frontier of
the Nepalese Himalayas, as if he meditated a foray on the Grand
Lama's capital at last. But it proved a Moscow expedition on a small
scale. His troops, unused to such a climate, and straitened for
fuel, were beset in the depth of winter by a superior force from
Lhassa, and, helpless from cold, were overpowered: their leader
was slain, their officers captured, and the mass perished in heaps
miserably. A few poor, frost-maimed wretches--the sole relics of
Zorawur Singh's adventurous band--brought the tale to the British
station at Almora, having fled across passes 16,000 feet high in
mid-winter. The bleak aspect of the Tibetan plain, as seen from the
pass of Niti, somewhat westward of the lakes--shrubless, treeless,
houseless--is compared by a traveller to the dreary moors of Upper
Clydesdale, with stone and scanty brown herbage in the place of
heather. Some of the most celebrated rivers in the world have their
not unworthy source in the lofty table which forms the base of
the Hindoo Olympus. The Ganges rises in the mountains immediately
adjoining Ngari on the south-west, the Gogra, which, were size alone
to decide the rights of river nomenclature, might perhaps claim the
Ganges as a tributary, has its source in Ngari; so have the Indus,
the Sutlej, and the Sanpoo. The Sanpoo, after flowing eastward
behind the Himalayan range for some eight hundred miles, is lost to
geography in the untraversed regions south-east of Lhassa. In the
last century, D'Anville identified the Sanpoo with the Irawaddy,
flowing through the whole extent of the Burman Empire to the sea at
Rangoon; but the sagacity of Rennel suggested that the Burrampooter,
emerging from unexplored mountains into the valley of Assam, and
bearing to the sea a flood of waters greatly exceeding the Ganges,
is the true Sanpoo. Turner, who, in his mission, reached the banks
of the Sanpoo, indicates its course from the information of the
Lamas in entire coincidence with Rennel's view.[11] In later years,
however, Klaproth has revived the theory of D'Anville, apparently
without good grounds. The Dihong, which is the principal contributor
to the Burrampooter in Assam, though its course above the plains
remains unexplored, bursts on our knowledge with a stream of
such capacity as quite justifies the length attributed to it by
the supposition that it is identical with the Sanpoo. And there
seems little reason to doubt that the two great rivers, Ganges and
Sanpoo, rising from the same lofty region, within 150 miles of one
another, after diverging to an interval of some 17° of longitude,
combine their waters in the plains of Bengal. In Rennel's time, the
Burrampooter, after issuing westward from the Assam valley, swept
south and south-eastward, and, forming with the Ganges a fluvial
peninsula, entered the sea abreast of that river below Dacca. And
so almost all English maps persist in representing it, though this
eastern channel is now, unless in the rainy season, shallow and
insignificant; the vast body of the Burrampooter cutting across the
neck of the peninsula under the name of Jenai, and uniting with the
Ganges near Pubna (about 150 miles north-east of Calcutta), from
which point the two rivers, under the local name of Pudda, flow on
in mighty union to the sea.

  [11] On the other hand, it is curious that Rennel should have
  misapprehended the true courses of the other Ngari rivers as he
  has done. The upper streams of both Indus and Sutlej--the one as
  flowing past Ladakh from the range of Kylass, and the other past
  Chaprung from the Rakas lake--are represented with a general truth;
  but instead of tracing them westward to their true debouchments in
  the Punjaub, under the well-known names just mentioned, the Ganges
  is made to draw its waters from the combination of these two Tibetan
  streams, thus acquiring an imaginary extension of several hundred
  miles.--(See _Memoir of a Map of Hindostan_, 1778, p. 102.)

The upper part of the Indus valley, with the adjoining pastures,
bears the name of _Chanthan_, or the _Northern Plains_, and
produces the finest shawl wool. The export of this was long almost
monopolised by the Ladakh market for the supply of Kashmeer, but
much of it now finds its way direct to British India by the Sutlej
valley and more eastern passes. The population is most scanty, and
partially nomadic--the names which dot it on the map being mostly
mere shepherd shelters, or clusters of nomad tents round a few
houses of sunburnt brick. Tashigong, the only place of any extent,
is the site of an important monastery. North of the Indus, and
separated from it by a range of mountains, is the extensive salt
lake of Pangkung. On the Singhkhabab, or Indus, farther westward,
are strung, as it were, the principalities of Ladakh and Balti.
These consist of a mass of mountain ranges rising from a base
elevated 11,000 feet and more above the sea. This rugged country
occupies the whole breadth of the Indus drainage from the Kashmeer
Himalyas to the Karakoram mountains. The levels along the borders
of the streams, and the slopes at the bases of the mountains,
are diligently cultivated and irrigated, being first formed into
terraced steps by a great accumulation of patient labour--a practice
that prevails through the whole extent of the Himalaya Mountains.
The uncultivated part of the country has the usual Tibetan aspect of
bleakness and sterility.

Balti, or Little Tibet, is still independent under various
chieftains, of whom the most powerful resides at Skardo, a
considerable village, doing duty for a city where cities are so
scarce. Ladakh was conquered by the Sikh feudatory, Goolab Singh,
in 1835; and after the Sutlej victories of 1846, possession was
confirmed to him by Lord Hardinge, at the same time that Kashmeer
was made over to his tender mercies. Le, the capital, and probably
the only aggregation of dwellings worthy of the name of town,
situated in the valley of the Indus, and containing from 700 to 1000
houses, had before that period been visited by only two or three
Europeans, of whom the persistent and unfortunate Moorcroft was the
first in this century. Captain H. Strachey, of the Bengal army,
belonging to the commission appointed to define the boundary between
Ladakh and the Chinese or Tibetan dependencies, spent several years,
between 1846 and 1849, in those regions; and far more accurate and
full information than has ever yet been obtained may be expected
from his researches. The whole population of Balti, and a half in
Ladakh, are Sheea Mahommedans.

Returning to the centre of the table-land, we have, on the
north-east of Ngari, extensive and almost unknown deserts,
containing numerous salt-lakes, and haunted by a scanty nomad
population, called by the Tibetans _Sok_, and supposed to represent
the ancient Sacians. South-east lie the provinces of U and Tsang,
or, conjointly, U-Tsang, to which the natives specially apply the
name of Bód, and which may be considered as Tibet Proper. It is
that part of the region to which we turn with most curiosity and
interest, as containing the centre of spiritual and chief political
supremacy--Lhassa, so long the unreachable Timbuctoo of the East.
Lhassa is situated in the province of U, on a northern tributary
of the Sanpoo, by which it is separated from Tsang. The latter
territory is immediately governed by the Teshoo Lama, the potentate
with whom we made an accidental acquaintance in Warren Hastings'
time--our first and last brief but cordial intercourse with Tibet
Proper. The provinces of U-Tsang are intersected by lofty alpine
ranges, which, as they trend east and south-east, converge, but
without uniting, insomuch that, in the inexpressibly rugged country
where the frontiers of Tibet, Burma, and China approach one another,
we find four parallel valleys traversed by four of the greatest
rivers of Asia, embraced within the narrow space of one hundred
miles. The Tibetan portion of this wild region, known as _Kham_, is
inhabited by a rough race, of warlike and independent character,
retaining many primitive superstitions beneath the engrafted
Lamanism, and treating with little respect the Chinese pretensions
to sovereignty. Through this region the missionaries Huc and Gabet
were escorted back to China--the first Europeans, there can be
little doubt, who ever trod those wilds. The plundering excursions
of the Kham-pa extend all across the breadth of Tibet, and the fear
of them haunts even the pilgrims to Kylass and the Manusaráwur Lake.

The Bhotan territory remains, which, from language, religion,
manners, and political connection, may justly be considered as
Tibetan, though occupying not the table-land north of the Himalaya,
but the whole breadth of the range itself, from the Tsang country to
Assam. Bhotan is a mass of mountains clothed in perpetual verdure,
its slopes covered with forests of large and lofty trees; populous
villages, girt with orchards, are scattered along the sides and
summits of the spurs; every declivity of favourable aspect is carved
into terraces, cultivated to the utmost, and carefully irrigated
from the abundant streams. Nothing could be physically in greater
contrast with the bleak and arid plains or rocky hills of Tibet. The
people of Bhotan are a remarkably fine race. Scarcely anywhere else
in the world shall we find an equal proportion of men so straight,
so well made, and so athletic, many of them more than six feet high.
Deformity is almost unknown, except that arising from goitre, which
is very prevalent among them, as it is, indeed, over the whole
extent of the Himalaya, and of the Turaee, or forest tract, at the
base of the mountains; whilst Tibet Proper is entirely free from it.
Tibetan geographers, according to Csoma de Körös, compare Ngari,
with its fountains, to a tank, U-Tsang to the irrigating channels,
and Kham to the field irrigated. We do not appreciate the aptness of
the similitude. More intelligibly, European geographers have likened
Tibet in form to a vast cornucopia pouring from its wide eastern
mouth vast rivers forth, to fertilise the happier plains of China,
Siam, Burma, and Assam.

All these countries, with the exception of Little Tibet, or Balti,
and of Ladakh since its seizure by the Sikhs, acknowledge more
or less directly the supremacy of the Dalai Lama at Lhassa, and,
beyond him, that of China. Since the accession of the existing
Manchoo dynasty to the throne of Pekin, they have always maintained
two envoys at the court of Lhassa. Mr Prinsep aptly compares the
position of these ministers to that of a British resident at the
court of Luknow or Hyderabad. They do not, however, appear to
meddle much with the ordinary internal administration, nor is their
military force maintained in the country large. Besides a few
hundred men at Lhassa, and guards established at intervals on the
post-road from China, they take upon them the superintendence of the
passes of the Himalaya, and see to the exclusion of Europeans by
those inlets with unrelaxing rigour. In other parts of Tibet there
are no Chinese.

The whole of this country, though so near the tropic, is the
coldest and bleakest inhabited by a civilised people on the surface
of the earth, if we except Siberia. Forests of cedar, holly, and
other Himalayan trees, are met with in the valleys of the extreme
east, bordering upon China. Lhassa is surrounded with trees of
considerable size; and a few straggling willows or poplars, artfully
pollarded for the multiplication of their staves, are found by the
watercourses of Ladakh and Tibet Proper; but the vast extent of the
table-land is bare and desolate, and as devoid of trees as Shetland.
The ancient Hindoos are said to have esteemed it as a vault over
hell. The only shrubs that dot the waste are the Tartaric furze, or
the wizened wormwood, with its white parched stalks, or perchance,
in more favoured spots, a few stunted rose-bushes. Though the winter
is long and severe, snow is not frequent in the valleys. The air is
of a purity and brilliance which dazzles and fatigues the eye, and
its excessive dryness produces effects analogous to those of the
scorching May winds in the torrid plains of Hindostan;--

                      "The parching air
    Burns frore, and cold performs the effect
        of fire;"

vegetation is dried to brittleness, and leaves may be
rubbed between the fingers into dust. Mahogany chests, and furniture
belonging to Turner's party, which had stood the climate of Bengal
for years, warped and split under the cold dry winds of Tibet. Wood
seems subject to no other cause of injury from time.

As might be expected, tillage is scanty, and the population depend
much on imported food. Villages are small, seldom containing more
than twenty houses. These, in the better parts of the country, have
a cheerful appearance, the dwellings being all white-washed, with
doors and windows picked out in red or yellow. Lhassa would seem
to be the only city of Tibet worthy of that title: the Chinese
geographers, indeed, and native itineraries, speak of one or two
others, but nothing is known of them. Teshoo Loombo on the Sanpoo,
ten days from Lhassa, though the residence of the second personage
in Tibet, seems to be merely a monastic establishment. Indeed, the
large convents are probably, after Lhassa, the most considerable
nuclei of population in the country; and Lhassa itself has perhaps
grown to importance as an appendage to the Potála, or residence of
the Grand Lama.

No European traveller has described this celebrated city before
M. Huc, and we cannot say that he succeeds in bringing its aspect
before his readers very vividly. When within a day's journey of
the city, one of the most rugged mountain passes of the many which
the missionaries had met with, in their journey from the east of
Tartary, still intervened. "The sun was about to set as we completed
our descent of the innumerable zigzags of the mountain path. Issuing
into a wide valley, we beheld on our right Lhassa, the famous
metropolis of the Buddhistic world. The multitude of aged trees,
which encircle the city as with a girdle of foliage--the lofty
white houses, terminating in flat roofs surrounded by turrets--the
numerous temples, with their gilded canopies--the Boodhala, crowned
by the palace of the Dalai Lama--all unite to give Lhassa a majestic
and imposing appearance." The city is stated to be nearly two
leagues in circumference, and it is now without walls. Outside the
suburbs are numerous gardens planted with the large trees mentioned
above. The main streets are wide, well laid-out, and tolerably clean
in dry weather; but the dirt of the suburbs is unspeakable. The
houses, which are large, and several stories high, are whitewashed,
according to universal Tibetan custom, the doors and windows being
bordered in red or yellow. M. Huc does not enter into any detail
of their architecture, but we may suppose that these houses are
analogous in character to what is seen in other parts of Tibet. The
lower part of a house presents lofty dead walls, pierced only by
two or three air-holes; above these are from one to half-a-dozen
tiers of windows with projecting balconies, and, over all, flat,
broad-brimmed roofs, at a variety of levels; add to this, that
the houses run into one another so strangely that it is difficult
to determine the extent of each mansion, and that the groups of
building generally contract in extent as they rise. On the whole,
we may conceive a Tibetan city like a cluster of card-houses of
various altitudes. In the suburbs of Lhassa there is one quarter
entirely built of the horns of sheep and oxen set in mortar. The
construction is solid, and the effect highly picturesque, the varied
colour and texture of the two species facilitating the production
of a great variety of patterns. Lhassa bustles with the continual
traffic of crowds attracted by commerce or devotion from all parts
of Asia, and presents an astonishing variety of physiognomy,
costume, and language.

Less than a mile north of the town a conical craggy hill rises
like an island from the middle of the wide valley. On this hill,
Potala, (the name of which M. Huc writes Boodhala, and interprets,
questionably,[12] to mean "Mount of Buddha,") is the residence of
the Tibetan flesh-and-blood divinity. It is a great cluster of
temples and other buildings, terminating in a lofty four-storied
edifice towering over the others, crowned by a dome or canopy
entirely covered with gold, and encircled by a range of gilded
columns. From this lofty sanctuary the great Lama may contemplate
on festival days the crowds of his adorers moving in the plain, and
prostrating themselves at the foot of the holy hill. The subordinate
buildings of this acropolis serve as residences to a crowd of Lamas
of all ranks, who form the court and permanent attendants of the
sacred sovereign. Two avenues lined with trees lead from the city
to the Potala, generally thronged with mounted lamas of the court,
and with pilgrims from a distance, who, as they move along, thread
their long rosaries, and mutter the sacred symbol of their faith.
The crowds around the Potala are in continual motion, but generally
grave and silent, as if in religious abstraction. It is probably
etiquette to be so.

  [12] The Tibetan scholar Csoma de Körös writes it _Patala_.

Unfortunately our missionaries have ventured on no graphic
illustrations; and the only attempt that we know of to delineate
this interesting citadel of Buddhism, is a plate contained in the
narrative of Grueber and Dorville's journey, given by Athanasius
Kircher in his _China Illustrata_. It is meagre enough, but yet
looks genuine, and not a mere Amsterdam concoction.

A singular legend is stated by Huc to exist, both at Lhassa and
among the dwellers by the Koko-Noor, (the great salt lake on the
north-east frontier of Tibet,) that the waters of that basin
formerly occupied a subterraneous site beneath the capital city;
but, on the breaking of a charm which detained them there, they
passed off under ground, and flooded the valley where the lake
now exists. It is curious that Turner met with a version of this
same tradition on the southern frontier of Tibet; but there it was
related that Buddha, in compassion to the few and wretched creatures
who then inhabited the land, drew off the waters through Bengal. A
similar tradition regarding the valley of Katmandoo exists in Nepaul.

The people of Tibet are of the great Mongolian family, and
exhibit its characters in a very marked degree;--platter face,
with prominent cheek-bones, button-hole eyes and upright eyelids,
squashed nose, wide mouth, retiring chin, scant beard, coarse black
hair, deeply-marked and weather-beaten countenances; naturally of a
pale-brown colour, but tanned to any depth of copper, not without
a ruddy tint at times; of a considerable variety of stature. The
English traveller who, in traversing the steep valley-sides of
the Himalaya, comes for the first time on a party of Tibetans
driving southward their flock of sheep and goats--each little
quadruped, like a camel from Lilliput, laden with some twenty
pounds of salt or borax--is struck at once with the idea that he
has stumbled on a group of Esquimaux out of Parry's voyages. These
quaint, good-humoured people frequent the fairs of the British
hill-territory, to exchange their salt for wheat and barley; and
sometimes they get so far from home as to astonish, with unwonted
apparition, the evening promenaders at Simla or Mussooree.

These uncouth peasants, though perhaps the best ethnographic
studies, are not to be taken as samples of the culture and
refinement of Tibet. The higher classes of the country have only
been known to those few travellers who have penetrated to the
capitals--Ladakh on the one side, Lhassa and Teshoo Loombo on
the other. All these seem to have been most favourably impressed
with the kindly and simple, but by no means unpolished manners
of the educated class; the plain and unaffected language, the
mild and unassuming demeanour, of the ruling prince at Teshoo
Loombo--which Turner, at the same time, says was characteristic of
all well-educated Tibetans--fully accords with the character of the
regent-minister at Lhassa, as he appears in the later narrative of
M. Huc.

Dark woollen cloth is the standard material of dress, formed into
a wide frock, trousers, and leggings, the last replaced in the
wealthy by boots of Russia, or other costly leather. Over all is
worn a capacious mantle of cloth, sometimes lined with fur. From
a red girdle depend various purses, containing the wooden teacup
inseparable from a Tibetan, flint and steel, and other odds and
ends. Gay broad-brimmed hats are in vogue at Lhassa, but are rarer
in the west. The women dress much like the men, and plait the
hair in narrow tresses hanging on the shoulders. On the top of
the head the Ladakh women wear a flat lappet of cloth or leather,
descending in a peak behind, stuck over with beads of turquoise,
amber, and cornelian; and the back hair is gathered in a queue,
which is lengthened by tassels of coloured worsted intermixed with
shells, bells, and coins, until it nearly touches the ground.
Though not veiled, like the Moslem women, with muslin or calico,
their charms are subjected to a much more efficacious disguise.
Before leaving home, every respectable woman at Lhassa plasters
her face with a black sticky varnish like raspberry jam, which
gives her an aspect scarcely human. The practice is said at Lhassa
to have been introduced some centuries ago, in order to check the
immorality which was then rampant in the city. But it appears to
be widely diffused, and is probably ancient. Rubruquis refers to
something like it in the thirteenth century. Grueber and Dorville,
who travelled through Tibet and Nepaul in 1661, say, "The women
of these kingdoms are so hideous that they are liker demons than
human creatures; for through some superstition, instead of water
they always use a stinking oil to wash with; and with this they
are so fetid and so bedaubed that they might be taken for hateful
hobgoblins." But tastes differ, and the same unguent which the
missionaries represent as intended to render the women hideously
unattractive, or at least a modification of it in fashion at Ladakh,
Moorcroft appears to think is adopted as a cosmetic. From all the
fathers could learn, the black varnish has not altogether reformed
Tibetan morals.

The strange, repulsive custom of _polyandry_, or the marriage of
one woman to several brothers, is diffused over the greater part
of Tibet, though it is not mentioned by Huc as existing at Lhassa.
It is not confined to the lower ranks, but is frequent also in
opulent families. Turner mentions one instance in the neighbourhood
of Teshoo Loombo, where _five_ brothers were living together very
happily under the same connubial compact.

Moorcroft speaks of three meals a-day as the practise of Ladakh,
but this extraordinary symptom of civilisation does not seem to
be general. In Eastern Tibet, regular meals are not in vogue; the
members of a family do not assemble to dine together, but "eat
when they're hungry, drink when they're dry." We remember to have
heard a graphic description of the Tibetan cuisine from a humourous
_shikaree_, or native Nimrod, of our Himalayan provinces. "The
Bhoteea folk," he said, "have a detestable way of eating. They take
a large cooking-pot full of water, and put in it meat, bread, rice,
what not, and set it on the fire, where it is always a-simmering.
When hungry, they go and fish out a cupful of whatever comes
uppermost, perhaps six or seven times a-day. Strangers are served
in the same way. If a man gets hold of a bone, he picks it, wipes
his hands on his dress, and chucks it back into the pot; so with
all crumbs and scraps, back they go into the pot, and thus the
never-ending, still beginning mess stews on."

Tea, however, is a staple article of diet, and is served on all
occasions. A vast quantity is imported, artificially compressed
into the form of solid bricks of about eight pounds weight, in which
shape it requires little packing, and forms a most handy article for
barter. Instead of infusing it after our fashion, they pulverise a
piece of the brick and boil it in water, with a proportion of salt
and soda; then churn it up with a quantity of butter, and serve
the mess in a teapot. At Tassisudon, Turner admired the dexterity
(comparable to that of a London waiter manipulating a bottle of
soda-water) with which the raja's attendant, before serving the
liquid, "giving a circular turn to the teapot, so as to agitate
and mix its contents, poured a quantity into the palm of his hand,
which he had contracted to form as deep a concave as possible, and
hastily sipped it up." When taken as a meal, _tsamba_, or the flour
of parched barley, is added, each man mixing his own cupful up into
a sort of brose or gruel with his five natural _spatulæ_. Meat is
abundant, but is taken as an extra or embellishment, rather than
as a staple of diet. In cookery, the people appear to have none of
the genius of their neighbours, either of India or of China. Hares,
winged game, and fish, though abundant, are not eaten, so that they
have scarcely any meat but mutton, (excepting occasionally yak
beef,) and their mutton they have but three ways of serving--viz.,
absolutely raw, frozen, and boiled. The frozen meat having been
prepared in winter may then be kept throughout the year, and carried
to any part of Tibet. European travellers generally commend this
meat, which undergoes no process of cookery.

The Tibetans, being no great water-drinkers, the liquid next in
importance to tea is an acidulous beverage made from fermented
barley, known through more than 20° of longitude as _chong_.
Turner absurdly calls it whisky, but it is rather analogous to
beer. It requires a large quantity to produce intoxication, but,
nevertheless, that result _is_ attained.

One of the peculiar customs which prominently mark the whole Tibetan
race is the use of the _khata_, or scarf of ceremony. This is a
fringed scarf of Chinese silk gauze, which is interchanged on all
occasions of ceremonious intercourse, even the most trivial, and in
every rank of society. They are to be had of qualities and prices
suited to all pockets, and no Tibetan travels without a stock of
them. In paying formal visits, in asking a favour, or returning
thanks for one, in offering a present or delivering a message to
a superior, the _khata_ is presented. On the meeting of friends
after long separation, the first care is to exchange the _khata_.
In epistolary correspondence, also, it is customary to enclose
the _khata_; without it, the finest words and most magnificent
presents are of no account. Turner mentions that the Bhotan Raja
once returned a letter of the Governor-General's, because it was
unaccompanied by this bulky but polite incumbrance.

Of all the quaint modes of salutation among men, that in fashion at
Lhassa is surely the quaintest and most elaborate; and we can fancy
that it affords room for all the graces of a Tibetan Chesterfield.
It consists in uncovering the head, sticking out the tongue, and
scratching the right ear! and these three operations are performed
simultaneously.

Tibet has always been a subject of curiosity, not more from its
inaccessibility than from the singular nature of its government,
resting, as is well known, in the hands of a sovereign, elective
under a singular and superstitious system, who, by the name of
Dalai (_the ocean_) Lama, is not only king and spiritual father,
but also the embodied divinity of his people. The Buddhistic faith,
numbering as its adherents a greater population than any other
existing creed, when driven from its native soil, India, (in which
it has long been totally extinct, though its gigantic footsteps
still mark the surface in all parts of the peninsula,) spread over
Nepaul, Ceylon, the kingdoms of the Transgangetic Peninsula, China,
Corea, Japan, Tibet, and the whole Mongolian region to the confines
of Siberia. The essential idea of Buddhism appears to be a peculiar
development of the notion which runs through nearly all the Asiatic
pagan philosophies, and which, interwoven with the fantasies of the
innumerable Gnostic sects, once spread its influence to the centre
of the Christian world--viz., that all the external world is but
a transient manifestation of the Divine Being, and the souls of
all living creatures are emanations from Him; that these souls,
whilst included in material and perishable bodies, are in a state of
imperfection, degradation, and suffering; and that the great object
of intelligent creatures should be final release from the clog of
the flesh, and abdication of all personal identity, to be absorbed
in the universal soul. Considerable difference of opinion exists
among the learned as to the true epoch of Sakya Muni or Gautama, the
Indian deified saint, or _Buddha_, who was the propagator of the
doctrine in the particular form which derives its appellation from
him; but the latest of the various periods assigned for his death is
543 B.C. After a long life spent in preaching humility, self-denial,
meditation on the divine perfections, and the celebration of solemn
ritual services of praise and worship, he is believed himself to
have been, at death, absorbed into the divine essence on account
of his great attainments in sanctity. Sakya was followed by a
succession of sacred personages, who are to be regarded either as
mortals whose attainments in sanctity have reached, in repeated
transmigrations, to a divine eminence, though not yet to the final
absorption of a Buddha, or as voluntary incarnations of souls whose
virtue _had_ attained to freedom from the necessity of renewed
terrestrial life, but who chose to dwell again on earth in order
to aid men in the attainment of perfection, and facilitate their
reunion with the universal soul. It is this part of the system which
has assumed an exaggerated prominence in Tibet and Mongolia, where
these regenerations have gradually, in the general faith, taken the
form of continual and manifold incarnations of Buddha, or the Divine
Being.

In combination with this doctrine, and the stress laid on meditation
and ritual worship, a vast proportion of the inhabitants, both in
Tibet and Mongolia, one at least out of every family where there are
more than one son, devote themselves to a religious life, and many
of these dwell together in monastic communities. The Shabrongs or
Regenerate Buddhas are so numerous that many of the chief convents
possess one. These personages, though all esteemed divine, appear
somehow to vary in spiritual consideration as well as temporal
grandeur, as one Marian idol in the Church of Rome has more sanctity
and miraculous power ascribed to it than another has. The most
eminent and most venerated of all is the Dalai Lama. The exercise
of his authority is in theory unlimited; he is the centre of all
government. But since, in the capacity of manifested divinity, he
could not, without derogation of his sacred character, mix himself
up with the numerous trivialities of human affairs, few questions
are actually submitted to him; he is regarded only in the most
amiable light, as absorbed in religious duty, or interfering only to
exercise the most benign attributes. The general administration of
the government is carried on by another personage, also a Shabrong,
nominated by the supreme Lama, and known as the _Nomé-Khan_; by the
Chinese and the Western Tibetans, he is generally called King of
Tibet Proper. The Nomé-Khan is appointed for life, and can only be
removed by a _coup-d'état_. He is assisted in administration by four
lay ministers called _Kalongs_.

The provinces are governed by ecclesiastical princes receiving their
investiture from the Dalai Lama, and acknowledging his supremacy,
but enjoying apparently a good deal of practical independence.

The most important of these princes, and in spiritual estimation but
little below the Dalai Lama himself, is the Punjun Rimboochee of
Jachee (or Teshoo) Loombo, known to the British in India as Teshoo
Lama. The intercourse between the Anglo-Indian Government and this
prince arose as follows:--In 1772 the Deb Raja, or sovereign of
Bhotan, laid claim to and seized Kooch Bahar, a district at the
mouth of the Assam Valley, adjoining Rungpoor. A sepoy force was
sent to expel the hill people, which they speedily accomplished,
pursuing the enemy to their mountains. The raja, alarmed for his
own dominions, applied for the intercession of Teshoo Lama, who was
then regent, spiritual, and political, of the whole of Tibet, during
the minority of the Lhassa pontiff. The Lama sent a deputation
to Calcutta, with a letter to Warren Hastings, then Governor--"an
authentic and curious specimen," says Turner, "of his good sense,
humility, simplicity of heart, and, above all, of that delicacy
of sentiment and expression which could convey a threat in terms
of meekness and supplication." The deputation, and the presents
which it bore from a country so mysterious and inaccessible,
excited intense interest at Calcutta--the Governor at once acceded
to the Lama's intercession, and determined to take advantage of
the opportunity afforded to acquire knowledge of those obscure
regions, and to find, possibly, new outlets to British commerce,
under circumstances so favourable and unlooked for. He accordingly
despatched Mr George Bogle, a civilian, with presents and specimens
of articles of trade. Bogle started in May 1774. There was a good
deal of delay and difficulty made on the part of the Tibetan
government about granting him a passport; and it was not till
October that he arrived at the residence of the Lama. The two seem,
during Bogle's visit, which continued till April 1775, completely to
have gained each other's confidence and good-will. The Englishman,
on his return, always spoke of the Lama as one of the most able and
intelligent men he had ever known, maintaining his rank with the
utmost mildness of authority, and living in the greatest purity
and simplicity of manners. Turner, whose mission will be mentioned
presently, found these praises confirmed by the very strong and
unusual impression of regard which the sovereign's gentleness and
benevolence had left among his subjects. On the other hand, the
Lama showed his confidence in Bogle, by remitting to him some time
after a considerable sum of money, to be expended in the erection
of a temple and dwelling-house on the banks of the Hoogly, for the
use of his votaries in Bengal. The characteristic reason assigned
for this wish was, that during the numerous series of the Lama's
regenerations, Bengal was the only country in which he had been born
twice. In 1779, when the Lama, after repeated invitations, visited
Pekin, he, in the same friendly spirit, requested Mr Bogle to go
round to Canton, promising to obtain the Emperor's permission for
his proceeding to the capital. This singular tryst came to nothing
in consequence of the death of the Lama at Pekin--in accordance
with a fatality which seldom spares the vassal princes of Central
Asia on their visits to the Chinese court--and that of Mr Bogle
himself about the same time. The brother and minister of Teshoo Lama
communicated the circumstances in letters to Mr Hastings, stating
that they were in continual prayer for the accomplishment of the
transmigration; and, soon after intelligence of this important event
was received, the governor sent a renewed deputation as bearers
of congratulations, in which (in the lax Anglo-Indian spirit of
that age) the continued identity of the Lama was fully recognised.
The result of Captain Samuel Turner's mission, as regarded the
establishment of commercial intercourse with Tibet, was nothing,
but it obtained for us at least a very interesting and valuable
book. Turner had the privilege of an interview with the young Lama,
at that time past eighteen mouths old; and as the occasion was
unique of its kind, we abstract his account of it. The envoy found
the infant placed in great form on an elevated mound, covered with
embroidered silk; on the left stood the child's father and mother,
on the right the officer specially appointed to wait on him. Turner,
advancing, presented a white scarf, and put into the Lama's hands
the Governor-General's present of a string of pearls and coral. The
other things were set down before him, and having then exchanged
scarfs with the father and mother, the Englishmen took their seats
on the Lama's right. The infant turned towards them, and received
them with a cheerful look of complacency. "During the time we were
in the room," says Turner, "I observed that the Lama's eyes were
scarcely ever turned from us, and when our cups were empty of tea
he appeared uneasy, and, throwing back his head, and contracting
the skin of his brow, continued to make a noise, for he could not
speak, until they were filled again. He took some burnt sugar out
of a golden cup containing confectionary and, stretching out his
arm, made a motion to his attendant to give it to me. He sent some
in like manner to Mr Saunders, who was with me." Turner then made
him a speech, expressing the Governor-General's grief at hearing of
his decease in China, and his joy at the news of his reappearance;
his hope that their former friendship might be increased, and that
there might be extensive communication between his votaries and
British subjects. "The little creature turned, looking steadfastly
towards me with the appearance of much attention while I spoke,
and nodded with repeated but slow movements of the head, as though
he understood and approved every word, but could not utter a
reply.... His whole attention was directed to us; I must own that
his behaviour on this occasion appeared perfectly natural and
spontaneous, and not directed by any external action or sign of
authority."

The existing Punjun or Teshoo Lama is described by Huc from report,
in 1816, as a man of about sixty years of age. It is, therefore,
very probable that he is the same person who was seen by Turner
in infancy; and if so, he has fulfilled the promise of mark, then
precociously exhibited. He has great fame throughout Tibet and all
Tartary, his partisans claiming for him spiritual power at least
equal to that of the Dalai Lama, and never naming him without deep
reverence. His influence has waxed the more from the fact that three
successive Dalai Lamas have perished before attaining majority.
He is said to be of majestic port, and surprising vigour for his
age. All pilgrims to the holy sites of Tibet visit Jachee Loombo,
and, after making their offerings to the Teshoo, are enrolled in
the brotherhood of Gylongs instituted by him, of which all Tartar
Buddhists aspire to be members, and which, doubtless, will one day
play an important part in the history of that part of Asia. The
votaries of Teshoo Lama are satisfied that he is acquainted with
all languages, and converses with the pilgrims of all countries,
"each in the tongue in which he was born." His predecessor, Panjun
Irtinnee, being a native of Ladakh, was able to converse with Mr
Bogle in Hindustanee, and as the bystanders believed their unknown
language to be English, this strongly confirmed their belief in the
polyglot powers of their chief.

Prophecies of coming events, all tending to the glorification of
Punjun Remboochee, are in the mouths of all; and that personage is
said to be preparing himself, by the practice of military exercises,
and the accumulation of horses, for his warlike career.

The Lama next in influence and sanctity appears to be the
Geesoo-Tamba, whose residence is at Oorga or Kooren, among the
Khalka Tartars, beyond the great Gobi desert, on the banks of the
Toola river, which flows northward into the Siberian Lake Baikal.
This potentate, from his special influence over the Mongol tribes,
is an object of great jealousy at Pekin. In 1839 he alarmed that
court by announcing an intended visit. Great stringency was employed
in reducing the number of his retinue, but his progress through
Mongolia was a continued ovation, the Tartars thronging on all
sides to meet and worship him. Geesoo Tamba's visit was hurried
over, and, according to the rule in such cases, he died on his way
back.[13] Most of the living Buddhas, even in the Tartar convents,
are natives of Tibet, and the influence of the Chinese Emperor has
been exerted to arrange that the Geesoo Tamba shall always seek his
transmigration there.

  [13] "It is said that when the son of a chieftain attains the age
  of from ten to fifteen, the father is invited to Pekin, and, after
  being treated with every mark of distinction, is sent back to his
  tribe. On the route, some Chinese functionary, in the course of the
  usual interchange of civilities, in which tea forms a prominent
  part, takes an opportunity of giving him a medicated draught: his
  son, whose youth and inexperience render him harmless, is raised to
  his father's dignity, to be removed by a similar method in his turn
  before he becomes dangerous."--MOORCROFT and TREBECK, vol. i. p.
  380.

Other sanctities of celebrity are the Chang-kia-fo, a sort of grand
almoner to the court of Pekin, and the Saja-fo, residing near the
Himalayas, who has a singular and special mission. He is day and
night in prayer for the perpetual fall of snow on the peaks of the
mountains; for, according to Tibetan tradition, behind that range
dwells a savage race, which only bides the thawing of the snows
to pass the barrier, massacre the tribes of Bod, and seize their
country.

The story related by Tavernier Grueber and Father Giorgi,[14]
regarding the degrading superstition with which the basest personal
relics of the reigning Lama were cherished by his votaries, was
utterly denied to both Bogle and the French missionaries. The
former ascribes the origin of the story to the Lama's practice
of distributing little balls of consecrated flour, which the
superstition of his more ignorant votaries may have converted into
what they pleased.

  [14] _Alphabetum Tibetanum_, p. 247.

Convents are exceeding numerous both in Tibet and Mongolia. In the
former their number is said to amount to 3000, some near Lhassa
containing as many as 15,000 members.

These convents consist usually of groups of whitewashed cells or
cottages, clustered together on a hill-side, interspersed with
temples of fantastic architecture. Opposite the great entrance to
a temple is a sort of altar, above which the idols are enshrined,
usually of handsome Caucasian features and colossal size, seated
cross-legged. Before the chief image, (representing Maha-muni or
Sakya,) and on a level with the altar, is a gilded seat for the
Regenerate or Grand Lama of the convent, the rest of the apartment
being occupied by rows of carpeted benches.

At prayer time, a conch blown at the temple-gate summons the members
to their devotions. After making three prostrations to the head,
they take their places, according to precedence, on the benches,
seating themselves cross-legged and _vis-à-vis_, as choir and
anti-choir. When a bell, rung by the master of the ceremonies, gives
the signal, all commence muttering in a low tone a preparatory act
of devotion, as they unrol on their knees the rubrical form of the
day. After this short recitation is an interval of profound silence.
The bell rings again, and then rises a psalmody of responsive
choirs, in a grave and melodious tone. The Tibetan prayers, broken
usually into verses, and composed in a style of rhythmic cadence,
lend themselves with marvellous effect to concerted recitation. At
intervals of repose, fixed by the rubrics, the instrumental band
executes a piece of music. In the Tartar choirs this is described
by Huc as a confused and stunning jumble of instruments, all the
performers emulous in din. Turner, however, in a similar description
of the service, speaks more respectfully of the Tibetan instrumental
music. According to the latter authority also, the Tibetans possess
a musical notation. Their instruments are generally on a large
scale;--sliding trumpets from six to ten feet long, which Moorcroft
describes as of very deep and majestic intonation; kettle drums;
cymbals, highly mellow and sonorous; gongs, hautboys; a large
shallow drum, mounted on a tall pedestal: these, with the human
tibia and the sea-conch, compose their religious band.

From the earliest traveller to the court of the Grand Khan, to
the last vice-regal aide-de-camp whose arduous duties have led
him up the Sutlej to the pleasant slopes of Cheenee in Kunawur,
whence Ramsay of Dalwolsie dealeth law to the millions of India
from under the ripening grapes, all witnesses of the Lamaitic
worship have been struck with the extraordinary resemblance of many
features of the ecclesiastical system and ritual to those of the
Roman Catholic Church. Rubruquis, who travelled in the thirteenth
century, mentions a Mongolian people called Jugurs, (probably the
Chakars of M. Huc,) whom he brands as rank idolaters, but at the
same time admits that it is most difficult to distinguish many of
their observances from those of the Catholic Church. They had holy
candles, rosaries, and conventual celibacy. The further description
of these Jugurs identifies them as Buddhists. "They placed their
ideas of perfection in the silent and abstracted contemplation of
the Divinity. They sit in the temples on two long forms, opposite
to each other, repeating mentally the words, _Om mam hactami_,
but without uttering a word." The missionaries of after days are
struck by the same resemblances. Father Grueber, in 1661, states
that at Lhassa there are two kings--one civil, the other sacred.
"They regard the latter as the true and living God, the eternal and
celestial Father. Those who approach prostrate themselves before
him and kiss his feet, exactly as is done to his holiness the Pope;
so showing the manifest deceits of the devil, who has transferred
the veneration due to the sole Vicar of Christ to the superstitious
worship of barbarous nations, as he has also, in his innate
malignity, abused the other mysteries of the Christian faith."
Father Desideri, without directly making such comparisons, indicates
more marvellous coincidences than any one else; in fact, he drew
some aid from a lively imagination when he deduced that the people
of Ladakh had some idea of the Trinity, because they sometimes used
the singular and sometimes the plural in speaking of the Deity,
and from the form of the sacred symbol constantly in their mouths,
which he simplifies into _Om ha hum_! "They adore," he goes on to
say, "one _Urghien_(?), who was born seven hundred years ago. If you
ask them if he was God or man, they will answer sometimes that he
is both God and man, and that he had neither father nor mother, but
was born of a flower. Nevertheless, they have images representing
a woman with a flower in her hand, and this, I was told, was the
mother of Urghien. They adore several other persons, whom they
regard as saints. In their churches you see an altar covered with
an altar-cloth; on the middle of the altar is a sort of tabernacle,
where, according to them, Urghien resides, although at other times
they will assure you that he is in heaven." Turner and Moorcroft,
Protestant laymen, were as much struck by the resemblance of the
choral service to the mass as the Roman priests, and none testify
to it more frequently than our latest travellers, Huc and Gabet.
"The crosier, the mitre, the Dalmatica, the cope or pluvial which
the Grand Lamas wear in travelling, the double-choired liturgy,
the psalmody, the exorcisms, the censer swung by five chains, and
opening and shutting at will; the benedictions given by the Lama,
in stretching his right hand over the head of the faithful; the
rosary, the ecclesiastical celibate, the spiritual retreats, the
worship of the saints; fasts, processions, holy water," (and they
might have added, the tonsure, the ringing of bells during service,
the conclave assembled in a temple to elect a pontiff, and the
appellation of _Eternal Sanctuary_ applied to Lhassa, the Rome of
their faith, by the Tartars,) "in all these numerous particulars
do the Buddhists coincide with us." The matter-of-fact Moorcroft
describes a Lama of Ladakh as dressed almost like a cardinal.
Allowing for some accidental and some exaggerated similarities,
more analogy remains than can well be explained, without supposing
that the Lamas may have borrowed and adapted parts of the Church
ritual from the Nestorians, who were early diffused over Asia; or
perhaps that the churches of the latter, sinking in corruption and
ignorance, had merged in the sea of superstition which surrounded
them, leaving only some corrupted relics of external rites floating
on the surface to mark that a church of Christ had once existed
there.

As the Christian world is divided into Papist and Protestant, and
the body of Islam into Soonnee and Sheea, so also the Lamas have
their two great sects, the _Gelook-pa_ and _Dok-pa_, distinguished
by the colour of their caps--yellow being adopted by the former, red
by the latter.[15] Celibacy is _binding_ only on the Gelook-pa, but
all who aspire to superior sanctity profess it. They all abstain
from taking animal life, and some of especial austerity will not
even take vegetable life, deeming it unlawful to cut down a tree
unless it be withered, or to gather fruit unless it be ripe. Strong
drink is forbidden to all the sects. The reform which originated
the sect of the Gelook-pa, now predominant over Tibet and Mongolia,
and claiming the Emperor himself as one of its adherents, was the
work of Tsongkhapa, a celebrated Tibetan teacher of the fourteenth
century. He is traditionally stated to have derived his doctrine
from a mysterious western stranger, endowed with great learning and
Slawkenbergian nose. To the innovations in the Lamaitic worship
introduced by Tsongkhapa, the missionaries ascribe many of the more
striking resemblances to Roman ritual, and they feel inclined to
believe that the mysterious stranger from the West may have been
a Catholic missionary, whose teaching was imperfectly received or
apprehended. The large nose they conceive may only be an indication
of the European physiognomy from the Mongolian point of view. We
have a counterpart portrait of the Mongolian from a Caucasian
pencil, in Benjamin of Tudela, who speaks of the "Copperal Turks"
as having _no noses_, but only two holes in the face through which
they breathe. So also Rubruquis, when he was presented to the wife
of Scacatai, a Tartar Khan, verily thought she had cut and pared her
nose till she had left herself none at all!

  [15] The red Lamas are stated by some travellers to constitute
  several sects.

Among other Romanising rites we find something analogous to masses
for the dead. In a temple at Ladakh, Moorcroft witnessed the
consecration of food for the use of the souls of those condemned
to hell, without which, it was believed, they would starve. The
chief Lama consecrated barley and water, and poured them from a
silver saucer into a brass basin, occasionally striking two cymbals
together, and chaunting prayers, to which an inferior Lama from
time to time uttered responses aloud, accompanied by the rest in
an under-tone. Somewhat different appears to have been the annual
festival in honour of the dead, or "All Souls," of which Turner
gives a striking description. As soon as it became dark, a general
illumination was displayed on the summits of all the buildings
of the monastery; the tops of the houses on the plain, and of
the distant villages, were also lighted, exhibiting altogether a
brilliant spectacle. Though accustomed to esteem illuminations the
strongest expressions of public joy, Turner now saw them exhibited
as a solemn token of melancholy remembrance--an awful tribute of
respect to the innumerable generations of the dead. Darkness,
silence, interrupted occasionally by the deep slow tones of the
kettle-drum, trumpet, gong, and cymbal; at different intervals, the
tolling of bells, and loud monotonous repetition of sentences of
prayer, sometimes heard when the instruments were silent, all united
to produce an impression of seriousness and awe. Remarkably similar
is the description given by the Frenchmen of the nocturnal litanies
which they witnessed when resident in the convent of Koonboom.[16]
Another impressive devotional practice is mentioned by the last
travellers, and one which is the more pleasing, as not being
confined to the clergy. "They have at Lhassa a touching custom,
which we were almost jealous of meeting among unbelievers. In the
evening, as the daylight is passing into twilight, all the Tibetans
suspend their occupation, and meet in groups, according to sex and
age, in the public places of the town. As soon as the parties are
formed, all sit down on the ground, and begin to chaunt prayers in
a slow and subdued tone. The aggregation of the sound of prayer,
rising all over the city, produces a vast and solemn hum of harmony,
which strangely moves the spirit."

  [16] HUC, vol. ii. ch. iii.

The Buddhistic, symbol, or mystic form of concentrated prayer, _Om
mani padme hom_, is not only heard from every mouth, or silently
repeated on the rosary, but is to be seen written everywhere--in
streets, public places, walls of apartments, on the fringes of the
ceremonial scarf, on the flags that wave from the house-tops, and
from cairns on the mountains; engraven on the rocks, carved on
monuments by the way, or formed with stones, in gigantic spelling,
on the hill-side, so as to be legible at considerable distances.
Rich Buddhists maintain travelling Lamas, to go about, like Old
Mortality, with hammer and chisel, multiplying the sacred sentences
on the faces of the cliffs, and on stones by the highway. The words
are Sanscrit, and came from India with the Buddhist faith in the
seventh century. The Lamas say that these sacred words include an
infinity of doctrine, which the life of man suffices not to survey,
but their infinitesimal amount of meaning to the uninitiated is said
to be--"_Oh, the precious lotus.--Amen!_"

The great difference between the Tibetan lama-serais and the
convents of Romanised Europe appears to be, that the members of
the former, though subjected to the same rule, and under one
superior, cannot be said to live in common, the various gradations
of wealth and poverty being as distinctly marked among them as among
the laity. Lamas in rags may sometimes be seen begging of their
wealthy brethren in the same convent. The revenue of the convent
foundation, if it has one, is distributed at intervals in the form
of a scanty supply of meal, in rations proportioned to rank in the
hierarchy. Occasionally donations from pilgrims also fall to be
divided. Sometimes a pilgrim "stands" tea to the whole convent--no
small expense, when it numbers several thousand members. Many Lamas
augment their means by practising as physicians, fortune-tellers, or
exorcists; by various handicrafts, or by keeping retail-shops for
the benefit of their brethren. Others are occupied in printing or
transcribing religious books. The character is alphabetic, being a
modification of the Nagari or Sanscrit letters introduced by Tongmi
Sambodha, one of the first missionaries of Buddhism; but printing
is, of course, conducted on the Chinese block system. The leaves
are loose, printed on both sides, placed between two wooden boards,
and tied with a yellow band. The character used in correspondence
differs greatly from that of the printed books and literary MSS.,
being much more rounded and fluent. It is, however, perhaps, like
our own writing, only a modification of the other adapted to a
current hand.

The classic Tibetan literature appears to consist in two or three
great collections, or cyclopædias, in many volumes, the greater part
translated in remote times from ancient Sanscrit works. From the
abstracts given in the _Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal_,
by the one European who has mastered the subject, Alexander Csoma de
Körös,[17] these books appear to be a dreary wilderness of puerile
metaphysics and misplaced labour.

  [17] This very remarkable person, a native of Pesth, travelled
  to the East about thirty years ago, with the view of tracing the
  original birthplace of the Hungarian race, which he conceived was
  to be found in Tibet. Moorcroft, on one of his expeditions, whilst
  resident at Ladakh, encountered him travelling in the garb of
  an Armenian, and obtained for him from the khalun, or minister,
  permission to reside in the monastery of Zanskar, (south-west of
  Lé). Here he spent several years mastering the Tibetan literature,
  and composing a grammar and dictionary of the language. This great
  work was carried on when, for four months, the thermometer was below
  zero, in a room nine feet square, and without a fire! He afterwards
  proceeded to Calcutta, and resided there till 1841 or 1842, engaged,
  under some patronage from the Bengal government and Asiatic Society,
  in publishing the works above mentioned, and many other notices of
  Tibetan literature.

  In 1842 he visited the hill-station of Darjeeling, in sanguine
  expectation of being able to prosecute a long-meditated journey to
  Lhassa, but shortly after his arrival was seized with fever, and
  died.

According to M. Huc, the Lama physicians reckon 440 maladies
affecting the human frame, neither more nor less. Their medical
books, which the students of the faculty have to learn by heart,
consist of a mass of aphorisms, more or less obscure, and a number
of recipes. Most of their medicines are vegetable simples, generally
mild and inoffensive. The number of their "simples," however,
includes "_laudamy_ and _calamy_." At least, they have the art of
preparing mercury, and use it as a specific, producing salivation.
This result they promote by gagging the patient with a stick.
Their diagnosis they derive principally from the pulse, professing
to discover the seat of disease from its peculiar vibratory motion
rather than its frequency. They have not the Chinese horror of
bleeding, and practise cupping by help of a cowhorn and oral
suction. Small-pox is held in great dread; indeed, they scarcely
attempt to treat it, but endeavour to save the uninfected by cutting
off all communication at the risk of starving the sufferers. The
infected house or village is often razed to the ground.

Some of the baser class of the Lamas seek notoriety and lucre
by juggling and disgusting feats, professing to rip open their
stomachs, to lick red-hot iron bars, &c. &c., and to perform other
such exploits. Messrs Huc and Gabet knew a Lama who was generally
reputed able at will to fill a vessel of water by means of a
certain form of prayer. They never could get him to perform in
their presence, however. He said that, as they had not the same
faith, the attempt would be unsuccessful, and perhaps dangerous. He
obliged them by reciting his charm, which, it must be confessed,
reads so like a Dr Faustus contract, that one cannot but suppose
that the preconceived ideas of the good missionaries have lent
it a little colouring. The Lama was, perhaps, after all, only an
_electro-biologist_. Respectable Lamas affect to frown on such
displays, but wink at them occasionally, for profit's sake.

Lamas of an ascetic spirit, not content with the duties of the
convent, sometimes seek the seclusion which the desolate wilds
of their country offer so plentifully, dwelling in eyries on the
pinnacles of hills, either cut in the rock, or formed of timber
attached to the cliff like swallows' nests. Sometimes these
eremites, like Simon of the pillar, renounce all intercourse with
the world--depending for their sustenance on the gifts of the devout
dropt into a sack, which is let down from the inaccessible cell by a
long cord.

Convents of nuns also exist, both in Tibet Proper and in Ladakh;
they do not, however, appear to have been visited by any traveller,
and the French fathers make no mention of them.

The inhumation of the dead is entirely unpractised in Tibet. The
body of the sovereign Lama alone is preserved entire, and deposited
in a shrine which is ever after looked on as sacred, and visited
with religious awe. The bodies of inferior Lamas are burnt, and
their ashes carefully preserved, to be enclosed in small metallic
images, which have places assigned them in cabinets ranged in the
sacred buildings. Sometimes, but not often, bodies are committed to
the waters of lakes or rivers; but the common disposal of the dead
is by making them over--

  ----κυνεσσιν
  οιωνοισι τε πασι--

either in carrying the corpses to the tops of lofty
eminences, where the divided limbs are left for a prey, or, in
depositing them in regular golgothas assigned for the purpose. These
are enclosed yards, having openings left in the foot of the walls
for the admission of dogs and wolves. But the most popular form of
this practice is when the body is cut in pieces at once, and given
to the dogs to eat. For the interment, or rather the _incanition_,
of persons of distinction, in certain convents sacred dogs are
maintained, which are set apart to this office. Strabo, Cicero,
and Justin mention such customs as current among the nations of
Central Asia. They prevail not only in Tibet, but among the nomad
tribes of Mongolia, and appear to have no connection with the
existing religion of these races. The practice of the Parsees is
well known to be of a similar character. The most sanctified Lamas
are privileged to eat and drink out of the skulls of bodies which
have been thus devoured by beasts. Rosaries also are made from these
skulls, and the larger bones are often converted into trumpets.

The profane vulgar, though uninstructed in the tedious liturgic
lore which the Lamas acquire, not without plentiful corporal
chastisement in the days of their pupilage, are enabled to achieve
a meritorious amount of devotion by the aid of certain whirligigs,
or prayer-mills--cylinders of wood or pasteboard, inscribed with
the words of prayer, and rotating on a spindle. These _chu-kor_, or
turn-prayers, which at one time, as a pet subject of allusion with
Thomas Carlyle, almost rivalled Thurtell's gig, are either portable
or stationary, generally turned by hand, but often by water-power;
and in the Tartar huts they are suspended over the fireplace, so as
to rotate like smoke-jacks, in behalf of the peace and prosperity of
the family.

Various penances are performed by the pilgrims who visit the sacred
places. Some make the circuit of the convent buildings laden
with enormous piles of sacred books. The task achieved, they are
reckoned to have recited all the prayers which form their load.
Others perform the same circuit in measuring their length upon
the ground at each step. This is a task often undertaken by great
numbers following each other in single file; and if the convent be
extensive, the day, from dawn till dusk, is occupied in the task.
Some penitents, instead of making the tour of a single convent,
perform long journeys in this fashion. The practice is known in
India; and we remember to have heard of a Hindoo worthy, who, some
sixty or seventy years ago, undertook to measure his way from
Hurdwar to Calcutta, prophesying the while that, when he should have
achieved his dusty task, the days of the Feringees' power would be
numbered. Great was the twisting of mustaches and the furbishing of
tulwars among the disaffected; but, alas! in passing Cawnpoor the
unlucky prophet made his last prostration; he was laid hold of by
the general, and hanged.

We had purposed to conclude this paper with a sketch of the journeys
of previous travellers in Tibet, and some details of the last very
interesting one from which we have derived many particulars, but we
have now room for only very brief indications.

The name of Tibet appears to have first become known to Europe in
the itinerary of Benjamin of Tudela, a Jewish Rabbi, who travelled
to the far East about the year 1160. He mentions that country as
producing musk, but errs widely in placing it only four days'
journey from Samarkand.

In the succeeding century, when the flood of Mongolian conquest,
under Jenghiz and his successors, dissolved all political barriers,
and brought the civilisations of the East and West for the first
time in contact, a greater amount of intercourse ensued between
Europe and interior Asia than has ever occurred before or since.
At the noise of the coming Tartars, Europe stood amazed, and even
the bewildered Danes were deterred for one season from starting
for their herring fishery on our northern shores, lest they should
fall into the hands of this mysterious foe. Pouring over Hungary
and Poland to the frontiers of Silesia, they defeated and cut in
pieces the duke of that country with his army, and it seemed as
if the knell of Christendom had sounded, when providentially the
death of the great Khan summoned the host back into Tartary; and
the invasion of Western Europe, though often threatened, was never
resumed. Embassies from the Roman Pontiff and European princes, at
first of intercession and supplication, afterwards on more equal
terms, when the dread of the Khan had passed away, were despatched
and reciprocated. Monks of Flanders, France, and Italy, visited the
seat of the Grand Khan, and a Latin archiepiscopate was established
in Pekin. French artists worked in gold and silver for the court of
Kara-Korum, and a banished Englishman was the first ambassador from
the Tartars to the king of Hungary; whilst Mongols of distinction
found their way to Rome, to Barcelona, to Paris, to London, to
Northampton. "The arts, the faith, and the language of the nations
of Asia became a subject of curiosity and study, and it was even
proposed to establish a Tartar chair in the university of Paris."[18]

  [18] REMUSAT, quoted in Huc.

During this extraordinary intercourse, which continued for a century
and a half, the lines of travel eastward lay generally to the north
of Tibet, and hints of its existence are rare and slight. Marco
Polo, indeed, who travelled in the last quarter of the thirteenth
century, devotes two of his Herodotean chapters to "the Province
of Thibet." A few particulars, such as the existence of powerful
dogs, of the musk animal, and the current use of salt in barter, are
recognisable, but the country referred to is apparently the wild
and rugged region of the Si-fan, towards the east and north-east of
Tibet.

Oderic of Portenau, a travelling friar, who died in 1331, mentions
Tibet, and is the first who speaks of the Grand Lama as the _pope of
the idolaters_.

The Romish missionaries of later times made repeated attempts to
establish themselves in the Trans-Himalayan regions. The first who
appears to have succeeded in penetrating them was Antonio d'Andrada,
a Portuguese Jesuit, with three companions of his order. In 1624
they ascended the Ganges by Hurdwar and Srinuggur to Budrinath, a
celebrated place of Hindoo pilgrimage on the eastern branch of the
sacred river. Apprehending hindrances to their advance, they made
a desperate attempt to cross the pass into Tibet, (probably the
Niti, or one of those nearer Lake Manusaráwur,) whilst it was still
deep in snow, and without a guide. They succeeded, after frightful
suffering, in surmounting the pass, but, finding the country at
their feet a trackless sheet of snow, were compelled to return.
Waiting for the usual convoy after the melting of the winter snow,
they again effected the passage, and proceeded to what they call
Rudac, the capital of Tibet. There is a fort so called (Radokh or
Rohtuk) beyond the Indus, near the head of the Pangkung Lake; but
Ladakh or Le is more likely to have been the place intended.

Though it seems scarcely credible that four strangers should have
found their way twice across the Himalayan passes unguided, and
before the regular season of transit, and yet survive to tell
the tale, it must be said that Andrada's description of their
Himalayan travels, in other respects, bears every mark of truth.
The precipitous paths along the Ganges, the files of pilgrims
shouting as they trudged to Budrinath, the demon-like Jogees whom
they encountered, the straight and lofty pines and cypresses, the
large rose-bushes, and forests of flowering trees, (rhododendron,)
the rope bridges, the sufferings in the snow and from the attenuated
air, are all plainly drawn from actual experience.

The next visitors to Tibet, and the first Europeans, so far as we
know, who reached Lhassa, were the Fathers Albert Dorville and J.
Grueber of the Chinese mission. They started from Pekin in June
1661, and travelled through China to Sining-fu, on the north-west
frontier. From this place their route probably coincided with that
of Huc and Gabet, who reached the same place from Eastern Mongolia.
Their journey thence to Lhassa, Grueber describes as extending for
three months through the deserts of Kalmuk Tartary, alternately
sandy and mountainous. After some stay at Lhassa, they proceeded
over the mountain range of "Langur, the highest existing, so that
on its summit travellers can scarcely breathe on account of the
subtlety of the air; nor can it be passed in summer, on account of
the virulent exhalations of certain herbs, without manifest danger
to life." Descending into the kingdom of _Necbal_, (Nepaul,) they
passed some time at the capital, _Cudmendou_ (Katmandoo). Quitting
Nepaul, they entered the kingdom of _Maranga_ (the Morung, or
forest tract below the hills.) Proceeding by _Mutgari_ (Mooteeharee
probably, in Tirhoot) to _Battana_ (Patna) on the Ganges, and thence
to Benares, they reached Agra after 214 days' travelling from Pekin,
exclusive of stoppages. Dorville died of fatigue shortly after the
accomplishment of this heroic journey. The narrative, as abstracted
in Kircher's _China Illustrata_, is adorned with some rather good
cuts, most of which appear to have been derived from genuine
sketches.

In the fifteenth volume of _Lettres Edifiantes_ is an epistle dated
from Lhassa, 10th April 1716, by Father Hipolito Desideri, a Jesuit.
It relates his journey from Goa to Delhi, where he was joined by
a brother missionary; thence by Lahore over the Pir Punjál to
Kashmeer, and, after a residence of six months there, across the
passes of the Himalayas, to Le or Ladakh, which he describes as the
royal fortress of the kingdom of Great Tibet, or _Buton_. Whilst
making arrangements to settle at Ladakh, and commencing the study
of the language, the fathers heard for the first time of a _third_
Tibet, (viz. the Lhassa country, in addition to Little Tibet or
Balti, and Great Tibet, or Ladakh,) and thought it necessary to
proceed to explore it. The journey occupied them from August 1715 to
March 1716. Desideri and his comrade are the only Europeans who have
ever travelled from Ladakh to Lhassa; but, unfortunately, they give
no particulars of their route except these dates, and even the great
delay which they indicate is not accounted for.

Previous to this, a Capuchin mission had visited Lhassa _via_ Nepaul
in 1707, and a few years later, a dozen brethren of that order
were established there under Father Horace della Penna. They sent
home flourishing accounts of their success; but their additions
to our knowledge of the country were very meagre. About 1754 this
mission appears to have been expelled, and found refuge for a time
in Nepaul. Some fifty volumes, the relics of the mission library,
were, in 1847, recovered from Lhassa by Mr Hodgson, through the
courtesy of the Grand Lama himself, and were transmitted to Europe
to be presented to Pio Nono, whose reputation was then fresh and
fragrant. Some itineraries and other curious particulars, derived
from the correspondence of the Lhassa mission, are buried, among a
mass of crude learning and rubbish, in a quarto published at Rome in
1762, under the name of _Alphabetum Tibetanum_, by Antonio Giorgi,
an Augustin friar.

Of the missions of Bogle and Turner we have already spoken. In 1811,
a Mr Manning succeeded in reaching Lhassa by their route, but was
arrested and sent back by the Chinese. He died soon after without
publishing any particulars of his journey. The sacred lakes of Ngari
have been visited by Moorcroft, Captains Henry and Richard Strachey,
and one or two more. Ladakh and the adjoining districts have been
explored by the two former travellers, the Cunninghams, and others.
But within this century, save Manning, no European, till Huc and
Gabet, had penetrated to Tibet Proper. The enthusiastic Hungarian
scholar, who would have gone with advantages possessed by none else,
was cut off just as he deemed this object of his cherished hopes
attainable.

A few words remain to be said more particularly of the work which
suggested this paper. These need be few, because a translation of
the whole work has been announced since we commenced writing.

The book which the missionaries have produced is not altogether
satisfactory. It too well justifies its title of _Souvenirs_ by the
lamentable paucity of dates, of which there are not half-a-dozen
in the whole narrative of their two years' pilgrimage. Even the
period of their starting is not stated at the time, and is only to
be distinctly gathered from some retrospective calculations. Their
geographical starting-point, too, is as obscure as the chronological
one. Our maps help us little in following the details of their
travels; and that which is inserted in their book is of as little
aid as any other, being, in fact, dated five years previous to
their journey. Nor, we fear, will they be found to have added much
to the materials of future geographers; their work contains no
indication of a single bearing or altitude, nor indeed had they the
necessary instruments. The possession, indeed, of MS. maps would
have endangered their lives in any collision with Chinese authority,
such as actually befel them at Lhassa; but many valuable data
might have been recorded without graphical embodiment. The worthy
men, however, make no pretensions to science; they record of the
Ko-ko-noor or Blue Lake on the north-east frontier of Tibet, that it
has a flux and reflux of tide, without any further particulars of
so marvellous a phenomenon, though they were some time encamped on
its banks: they ascribe unquestioningly their sufferings, in passing
certain lofty mountains, to poisonous exhalations from the soil; and
they quit Tibet without a word as to the vexed question regarding
the course of the Sanpoo. But they have given us a most readable and
interesting personal narrative of a life of continued hardships,
and of frequent suffering and danger in remote regions, the routes
through which were partly never before recorded in detail, and
partly never before trodden by any European.



FOREST LIFE IN CANADA WEST.[19]

  [19] _Roughing it in the Bush; or, Life in Canada._ By SUSANNA
  MOODIE. In 2 vols. London: 1852.


Ladies of Britain, deftly embroidering in carpeted saloon,
gracefully bending over easel or harp, pressing, with nimble finger,
your piano's ivory, or joyously tripping in Cellarian circles,
suspend, for a moment, your silken pursuits, and look forth into
the desert at a sister's sufferings! May you never, from stern
experience, learn fully to appreciate them. But, should fate have
otherwise decreed, may you equal her in fortitude and courage.
Meanwhile, transport yourselves, in imagination's car, to Canada's
backwoods, and behold one, gently nurtured as yourselves, cheerfully
condescending to rudest toils, unrepiningly enduring hardships you
never dreamed of. Not to such hardships was she born, nor educated
for them. The comforts of an English home, the endearments of
sisterly affection, the refinement of literary tastes, but ill
prepared the emigrant's wife to work, in the rugged and inclement
wilderness, harder than the meanest of the domestics, whom, in her
own country, she was used to command. But where are the obstacles
and difficulties that shall not be overcome by a strong will, a
warm heart, a trusting and cheerful spirit?--precious qualities,
strikingly combined by the lady of whose countless trials and
troubles we have here an affecting and remarkable record.

The Far West of Canada is so remote a residence, and there is so
much oblivion in a lapse of twenty years, that it may be necessary
to mention who the authoress is who now appeals (successfully,
or we are much mistaken) to the favour of her countrymen, and
more especially of her countrywomen. Of a family well known in
literature, Mrs Moodie is a sister of Miss Agnes Strickland, the
popular and accomplished historical biographer. In 1831, Miss
Susanna Strickland published a volume of poems. Had she remained
in England, she in time, perhaps, might have rivalled her sister's
fame as one of the most distinguished female writers of the day.
But it was otherwise ordained. In 1832 she sailed, as Mrs Moodie,
an emigrant to Canada. Under most unfavourable circumstances, she
still from time to time took up the pen. The anxieties and accidents
of her forest life, her regrets for the country she loved so well,
and had left perhaps for ever, and, subsequently, the rebellion in
Canada, suggested many charming songs and poems, some of which are
still extremely popular in our North American colony. Years passed
amidst hardships and sufferings. At last a brighter day dawned, and
it is from a tranquil and happy home, as we gladly understand, that
the settler's brave wife has transmitted this narrative of seven
years' exertion and adventure.

Inevitable hardships, some ill luck, some little want of judgment
and deliberation, make up the history of Captain and Mrs Moodie's
early days in Canada. "I give you just three years to spend your
money and ruin yourself," said an old Yankee hag with whom the
Captain was concluding the purchase of a wretched log-hut. It
scarcely took so long. Borrowing our colours from Mrs Moodie's
pages, we may broadly sketch the discomforts of the emigrant's first
few months in Canada. These were passed near the village of C----,
on the north shore of Lake Ontario. A farm of one hundred and fifty
acres, about fifty of which were cleared, was purchased by Captain
Moodie, for £300, of a certain Q----, a landjobber.

     "Q----," says the Captain, who has contributed two or three
     chapters to his wife's book, "held a mortgage for £150, on a
     farm belonging to a certain Yankee settler, named Joe H----, as
     security for a debt incurred for goods at his store. The idea
     instantly struck him that he would compel Joe H---- to sell him
     his farm, by threatening to foreclose the mortgage. I drove
     out with Mr Q---- next day to see the farm in question. It was
     situated in a pretty retired valley, surrounded by hills, about
     eight miles from C----, and about a mile from the great road
     leading to Toronto. There was an extensive orchard upon the
     farm, and two log-houses, and a large frame-barn. A considerable
     portion of the cleared land was light and sandy; and the
     uncleared part of the farm, situated on the flat rocky summit of
     a high hill, was reserved for 'a sugar bush,' and for supplying
     fuel."

Pleased with the place, Captain Moodie bought it, and, having done
so, had leisure to repent his bargain. Of the land he got possession
in the month of September; but it was not till the following
summer that the occupants of the house could be prevailed upon to
depart. Until then the new comers dwelt in the wretched hut already
mentioned. Even to this hovel Mrs Moodie's English habits of order
and neatness imparted something like comfort; but a still greater
evil, beyond her power to remedy, was connected with her residence.
Her nearest neighbours were disreputable Yankee settlers.

     "These people regarded British settlers with an intense feeling
     of dislike, and found a pleasure in annoying and insulting
     them when any occasion offered. They did not understand us,
     nor did we them, and they generally mistook the reserve which
     is common with the British towards strangers, for pride and
     superciliousness.

     "'You Britishers are too _superstitious_,' one of them told me
     on a particular occasion.

     "It was some time before I found out what he meant by the term
     '_superstitious_,' and that it was generally used by them for
     'supercilious.'"

All that poor Mrs Moodie endured from her reprobate neighbours,
could not be told in detail within the compass of a much larger
work than hers. But we may glean a tolerable idea of her constant
vexations and annoyance from her first volume, which contains
sketches, at once painful and humorous, of the persecutions to which
she was subjected. Impudent intrusion and unscrupulous borrowings
were of daily occurrence, varied occasionally by some gross act of
unneighbourliness and aggression. Although evidently a person of
abundant energy and spirit, Mrs Moodie, partly through terror of
these semi-savages, and partly from a wish to conciliate and make
friends, long submitted to insolence and extortion. The wives and
daughters of the Yankee settlers--some of whom had "squatted,"
without leave or license, on ground to which they had no right,
made a regular property of her. Every article of domestic use,
kettles and pans, eatables, drinkables, and wearables, did these
insatiable wretches borrow--and never return. They would walk into
her house and carry off the very things she at the moment needed,
or come in her absence and take her gown from the peg, or the pot
from the fire. The three families from which she had most to endure
were those of a red-headed American squatter, who had fled his own
country for some crime; of "Uncle Joe," the former proprietor of
her farm, and still the occupant of her house; and of "Old Satan,"
a disgusting and brutal Yankee, who had had one eye gouged out in a
fight, and whose face was horribly disfigured by the scars of wounds
inflicted by his adversary's teeth. A pertinacious tormentor, too,
was old Betty Fye, who lived in the log shanty across the creek.
Having made Mrs Moodie's acquaintance, under pretence of selling
her a "rooster," she became a constant and most unwelcome visitor,
borrowing everything she could think of, returning nothing, and
interlarding her discourse with oaths, which greatly shocked the
good-tempered English lady.

     "'Everybody swears in this country,' quoth Betty Fye. 'My boys
     (she was a widow with twelve sons) all swear like Sam Hill;
     and I used to swear mighty big oaths, till about a month ago,
     when the Methody parson told me that if I did not leave it off
     I should go to a tarnation bad place; so I dropped some of the
     worst of them.'

     "'You would do well to drop the rest; women never swear in my
     country.'

     "'Well, you don't say! I always hear'd they were very ignorant.
     Will you lend me the tea?'"

Tea to-day--it was something else to-morrow. Mrs Moodie tried every
means of affronting her, but long without success. The most natural
and effectual plan would have been to refuse all her demands; but to
this Mrs Moodie, perhaps from unwillingness to disoblige, was tardy
in having recourse. At last she got rid of her by quoting Scripture.

     "The last time I was honoured with a visit from Betty Fye, she
     meant to favour me with a very large order upon my goods and
     chattels.

     "'Well, Mrs Fye, what do you want to-day?'

     "'So many things, that I scarce know where to begin. Ah, what a
     thing it is to be poor! First, I want you to lend me ten pounds
     of flour to make some Johnie cakes.'

     "'I thought they were made of Indian meal?'

     "'Yes, yes, when you've got the meal. I'm out of it, and this is
     a new fixing of my own invention. Lend me the flour, woman, and
     I'll bring you one of the cakes to taste.'

     "This was said very coaxingly.

     "'Oh, pray don't trouble yourself. What next?' I was anxious to
     see how far her impudence would go, and determined to affront
     her, if possible.

     "'I want you to lend me a gown and a pair of stockings. I have
     to go to Oswego, to see my husband's sister, and I'd like to
     look decent.'

     "'Mrs Fye, I never lend my clothes to any one. If I lent them to
     you, I should never wear them again.'

     "'So much the better for me,' (with a knowing grin.) 'I guess
     if you won't lend me the gown, you will let me have some black
     slack to quilt a stuff petticoat, a quarter of a pound of tea
     and some sugar; and I will bring them back as soon as I can.'

     "'I wonder when that will be. You owe me so many things that it
     will cost you more than you imagine to repay me.'

     "'Since you're not going to mention what's past, I can't owe you
     much. But I will let you off the tea and the sugar, if you will
     lend me a five-dollar bill.'"

This was too much for even Mrs Moodie's patience. She read the
incorrigible Betty a sharp lecture upon her system of robbing under
colour of borrowing, and concluded by saying she well knew that all
the things she had _lent_ her would be a debt owing to the day of
judgment.

     "'S'pose they are,' quoth Betty, not in the least abashed at my
     lecture on honesty, 'you know what the Scripture saith, "It is
     more blessed to give than to receive."'

     "'Ay, there is an answer to that in the same book, which
     doubtless you may have heard,' said I, disgusted with her
     hypocrisy, 'The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again.'

     "Never shall I forget the furious passion into which this too
     apt quotation threw my unprincipled applicant. She lifted up her
     voice and cursed me, using some of the big oaths temporarily
     discarded for _conscience'_ sake. And so she left me, and I
     never looked upon her face again."

Uncle Joe was another pleasant neighbour, and brought up his
children to resemble himself. Mrs Joe would occasionally stroll over
to visit Mrs Moodie, and exult over the unaccustomed toils to which
the young English wife and mother submitted with a cheerfulness that
did her infinite honour. It was a rough and hard life, even for men,
in that Canadian loghouse; much worse, then, for a delicate woman,
and worst of all for one who arrived there with an infant, and whose
family rapidly augmented.

     "For a week I was alone," writes Mrs Moodie, in the early days
     of her exile, "my good Scotch girl having left me to visit her
     father. Some small baby-articles were needed to be washed,
     and after making a great preparation, I determined to try my
     unskilled hand upon the operation. The fact is, I knew nothing
     about the task I had imposed upon myself, and in a few minutes
     rubbed the skin off my wrists, without getting the clothes
     clean. The door was open, as it generally was, even during the
     coldest winter days, in order to let in more light and let out
     the smoke, which otherwise would have enveloped us like a cloud.
     I was so busy that I did not perceive that I was watched by the
     cold, heavy, dark eyes of Mrs Joe, who, with a sneering laugh,
     exclaimed, 'Well, thank God! I am glad to see you brought to
     work at last.'"

Further, the amiable Mrs Joe declared her intense hatred of all
Britishers, and her hearty wish that her unoffending neighbour might
be brought down upon her knees to scrub the floor. Mrs Moodie had
sense and dignity enough merely to smile at her vulgar malignity.
The impudence of these people knew no bounds. The same evening, Mrs
Joe sent over two of her offspring to borrow something she needed of
the woman she had spitefully abused in the morning.

During Mrs Moodie's abode near C----, Old Satan got married for
the fourth time. This was the occasion of a charivari, a custom
dating from the French occupation of Canada, and still kept up
there. Mrs Moodie has an amusingly _naïf_ chapter on this subject,
concerning which she has collected some curious anecdotes. It is
hardly necessary to explain that a mismatch--of a young and an old
person--is the usual pretext for a charivari.

     "The idle young fellows of the neighbourhood disguise
     themselves, blackening their faces, putting their clothes on
     hind part before, and wearing horrible masks, with grotesque
     caps on their heads, adorned with cocks' feathers, and
     bells. They then form in a regular body, and proceed to the
     bridegroom's house, to the sound of tin kettles, horns, drums,
     &c. Thus equipped, they surround the house, just at the hour
     when the happy couple are supposed to be about to retire to
     rest, beating upon the door with clubs and staves, and demanding
     of the bridegroom admittance to drink the bride's health, or in
     lieu thereof, a certain sum of money to treat the band at the
     nearest tavern."

Mrs Moodie expresses all a woman's indignation at what she styles "a
lawless infringement upon the natural rights of man." The charivari
is usually bought off--she mentions an instance when thirty pounds
were disbursed by an antiquated swain who had wedded a handsome
widow--but sometimes the victim resists, and the consequences are
serious. Shortly before old Satan's bridal, a tragical affair had
taken place at one of these saturnalia.

     "The bridegroom was a man in middle life, a desperately resolute
     and passionate man, and he swore that if such riff-raff dared
     to interfere with him, he would shoot at them with as little
     compunction as if they were so many crows. His threats only
     increased the mischievous determination of the mob to torment
     him; and when he refused to admit their deputation, or even to
     give them a portion of the wedding cheer, they determined to
     frighten him into compliance by firing several guns, loaded
     with peas, at his door. Their salute was returned from the
     chamber-window, by the discharge of a double-barrelled gun,
     loaded with buck-shot. The crowd gave back with a tremendous
     yell. Their leader was shot through the heart, and two of the
     foremost in the scuffle dangerously wounded. They vowed they
     would set fire to the house, but the bridegroom boldly stepped
     to the window and told them to try it, and before they could
     light a torch he would fire among them again, for his gun was
     reloaded, and he would discharge it at them as long as one of
     them dared to remain on his premises. They cleared off."

In point of amusement there is little difference between the first
and the second volumes of Mrs Moodie's book--which, however, is
not intended merely to amuse, but also as "a work of practical
experience," written for the benefit of, and conveying useful hints
to, persons contemplating emigration to Canada. The first volume
is the gayest of the two; there is a vein of great humour in Mrs
Moodie's descriptions and sketches of her neighbours, and of her
wild Irish servant, John Monaghan, who gave Uncle Joe an awful
thrashing for purloining the captain's hay; and of Mrs D., the
Yankee lady, who considered her English neighbours shocking proud
because they did not eat with their "helps," but was of opinion
that all negroes were children of the devil, for that "God never
condescended to make a nigger." But it is in the second volume that
the interest is strongest, and at times becomes intense. Disgusted
with their neighbours, Captain and Mrs Moodie left their farm at
C----, and removed to the township of Douro, forty miles off,
in the backwoods, where they had friends and relatives settled,
and where the society--consisting chiefly of English, Irish, and
Scotch gentlemen, recently come from Europe, and many of them
half-pay officers--was more congenial to their tastes and habits.
Unfortunately, about this time Captain Moodie sold his commission,
in consequence of an intimation in the newspapers that half-pay
officers must either do so or join a regiment. This was not enforced
in the case of officers settled in the colonies, and the captain
greatly repented his haste; the more so, as he was induced to
invest the proceeds of his sale in shares in a steamboat on Lake
Ontario. Q----, the landjobber, appears to have led him into this
investment. He received no interest on his shares, and when, some
years afterwards, the boat was sold, he got back only a fourth of
his capital. The mistake he made in parting with his half-pay was
the cause of great privations and anxiety.

     "It was a bright frosty morning," says Mrs Moodie, "when I
     bade adieu to the farm, the birthplace of my little Agnes,
     who, nestled beneath my cloak, was sweetly sleeping on my
     knee, unconscious of the long journey before us into the
     wilderness.... It was not without regret that I left Melsetter,
     for so my husband had called the place, after his father's
     estate in Orkney. It was a beautiful, picturesque spot; and,
     in spite of the evil neighbourhood, I had learned to love it;
     indeed, it was much against my wish that it was sold. I had a
     great dislike to removing, which involves a necessary loss, and
     is apt to give to the emigrant roving and unsettled habits.
     But all regrets were now useless; and, happily unconscious of
     the life of toll and anxiety that awaited us in those dreadful
     woods, I tried my best to be cheerful, and to regard the future
     with a hopeful eye."

Most nobly, when the toil and anxiety came, did this high-hearted
woman bear up against them. Severer hardships and trials were
perhaps never endured, for so long a period, by one of her delicate
sex. At first, affairs looked promising in the forest. A timely
legacy supplied means to purchase and clear land and to build a
house; a considerable sum still remained in hand, and a good income
from the steamboat stock was looked upon as certain. The first
spring in the forest was spent in comparative ease and idleness.

     "Those were the halcyon days of the bush. My husband had
     purchased a very light cedar canoe, to which he attached a
     keel and a sail; and most of our leisure hours, directly the
     snows melted, were spent upon the water. These fishing and
     shooting excursions were delightful.... We felt as if we were
     the first discoverers of every beautiful flower and stately tree
     that attracted our attention, and we gave names to fantastic
     rocks and fairy isles, and raised imaginary houses on every
     picturesque spot which we floated past during our aquatic
     excursions. I learned the use of the paddle, and became quite a
     proficient in the gentle craft."

They received visits from the Indians, a number of whom (of the
Chippewa tribe) frequented a dry cedar-swamp hard by, fishing,
shooting, and making maple-sugar, baskets, and canoes. They were
friendly and communicative, grateful for the slightest kindness,
never intrusive or offensively familiar; in short, they were born
gentlemen, and in every respect a perfect contrast and immeasurably
superior to the Yankee squatters at C----. Mrs Moodie devotes the
greater part of a most interesting chapter to stories and traits of
her red friends. No attention, however small, was lost upon these
warm-hearted people. One cold night, late in autumn, six squaws
asked shelter of Mrs Moodie. It was rather a large party to lodge,
but forest hospitality is not stinted. There was "Joe Muskrat's
squaw" and "Betty Cow," and an old white-haired woman, whose scarlet
embroidered leggings showed her to be a chief's wife. After they had
all well supped, mattresses and blankets were spread on the parlour
floor for their use, and Mrs Moodie considerately told her servant
to give the aged squaw the best bed.

     "The old Indian glanced at me with her keen, bright eye; but
     I had no idea that she comprehended what I said. Some weeks
     after this, as I was sweeping my parlour floor, a slight tap
     drew me to the door. On opening it I perceived the old squaw,
     who immediately slipped into my hand a set of beautifully
     embroidered bark trays, fitting one within the other, and
     exhibiting the very best sample of the porcupine-quill work.
     While I stood wondering what this might mean, the good old
     creature fell upon my neck, and kissing me, exclaimed, 'You
     remember old squaw--make her comfortable! Old squaw no forget
     you. Keep them for her sake,' and before I could detain her she
     ran down the hill with a swiftness which seemed to bid defiance
     to years. I never saw this interesting Indian again, and I
     concluded that she died during the winter, for she must have
     been of a great age."

When fortune frowned on _Nono-cosiqui_, "the humming-bird," (the
name given to Mrs Moodie by the Indians, in allusion to the pleasure
she took in painting birds,) when her purse and pantry were alike
empty, and, in Indian phrase, "her hearthstone was growing cold,"
many an acceptable supply of much-needed food was brought to her by
her red friends.

     "Their delicacy in conferring these favours was not the least
     admirable part of their conduct. John Nogan, who was much
     attached to us, would bring a fine bunch of ducks, and drop
     them at my feet, 'for the papoose [child,]' or leave a large
     muskinonge on the sill of the door, or place a quarter of
     venison just within it, and slip away without saying a word,
     thinking that a present from a poor Indian might hurt our
     feelings, and he would spare us the mortification of returning
     thanks."

The coolness and courage of these Indians are remarkable. Mrs Moodie
tells a story of a squaw who was left by her husband in charge of
some dead game, and who, whilst sitting carelessly upon a log,
with his hunting-knife in her hand, heard a cracking amongst the
branches, and, turning round, saw a bear within a few paces of her.

     "It was too late to retreat; and seeing that the animal was very
     hungry, and determined to come to close quarters, she rose, and
     placed her back against a small tree, holding her knife close
     to her breast, and in a straight line with the bear. The shaggy
     monster came on. She remained motionless, her eyes steadily
     fixed upon her enemy, and as his huge arms closed around her,
     she slowly drove the knife into his heart. The bear uttered
     a hideous cry, and sank dead at her feet. When the Indian
     returned, he found the courageous woman taking the skin from the
     carcass of the formidable brute."

Mrs Moodie was not likely to emulate such feats as this. She had
a horror of wild beasts, and was afraid even of cattle. Her dread
of lions, tigers, and other unamiable carnivora, was the reason
of her finding herself in Canada. Her husband had a property in
South Africa, where he had passed many years, and whither the fine
climate and scenery made him desirous to return. But his wife
would not hear of it, and, when he tried to remove her exaggerated
terrors, referred him triumphantly to the dangerous encounters and
hairbreadth escapes recorded in a book of his own, called _Ten
Years in South Africa_. A European woman's fear of tigers and
rattle-snakes is natural enough, and let none impute want of courage
to Mrs Moodie. The hero of a hundred fights might feel nervous, if
perched on the top-gallant-yards of a frigate, whose captain might
prefer boarding a French three-decker to riding at a bull-fence.
Mrs Moodie's courage was not of the bear-fighting sort, but of a
higher kind--moral, rather than physical. We read with admiration
and deep sympathy of her presence of mind and intrepidity upon many
trying occasions--when her house, for instance, was blazing over
her head, and she alone was there to rescue her four children and
such portions of her worldly possessions as her strength enabled
her to carry out of the cedar-log dwelling, whose roof "was burning
like a brush heap, and, unconsciously, she and her eldest daughter
were working under a shelf upon which was deposited several pounds
of gunpowder, procured for blasting a well. The gunpowder was in
a stone-jar, secured by a paper stopper; the shelf upon which it
stood was on fire." As to her fortitude under severe suffering--from
bitter cold and other causes--and the perseverance with which she
toiled, even at farm-labour, they are beyond praise.

     "In the year 1835, my husband and I," she says, "had worked
     hard in the field; it was the first time I had ever tried my
     hand at field-labour, but our ready money was exhausted, and
     the steamboat stock had not paid us one farthing; we could not
     hire, and there was no help for it. I had a hard struggle with
     my pride before I would consent to render the least assistance
     on the farm, but reflection convinced me that I was wrong--that
     Providence had placed me in a situation where I was called upon
     to work--that it was not only my duty to obey that call, but to
     exert myself to the utmost to assist my husband, and help to
     maintain my family."

Most affecting is the account that follows, of hopes disappointed
and hardships endured, in the years 1836 and 1837. To pay off
debts--incurred chiefly for clearing land, and in confident
expectation of deriving an income from the steamboat--Captain
and Mrs Moodie resorted to a pinching economy. Milk, bread, and
potatoes, were for months their only fare. Tea and sugar were
luxuries not to be thought of. "I missed the tea very much," says
the poor English lady, who, on an anchorite's fare, performed a
day-labourer's task, hoeing potatoes, and cheerfully sharing with
her husband the rude toils of the field. "We rang the changes on
peppermint and sage, taking the one herb at our breakfast, the other
at our tea, until I found an excellent substitute for both in the
root of the dandelion." This root, roasted crisp, and ground, proved
a very good imitation of coffee. Squirrel--stewed, roast, and in
pies--was a standard dish at the dinner-table in the bush. In a trap
set near the barn, often ten or twelve were caught in a day. But the
lake was the great resource.

     "Moodie and I used to rise by daybreak, and fish for an hour
     after sunrise, when we returned, he to the field, and I to dress
     the little ones, clean up the house, assist with the milk, and
     prepare the breakfast. Oh, how I enjoyed those excursions on the
     lake!--the very idea of our dinner depending upon our success
     added double zest to the sport."

Even here there was some compensation. The strange,
Robinson-Crusoe-like existence had its joys as well as its sorrows.
Who can doubt that, seasoned by labour, squirrel pie had, for the
dwellers in the forest, such savour as few epicures find in pasty
of choicest venison? The warm breath of summer, too, alleviated the
hardships of the poor emigrants. But winter came, and, with winter,
privation and misfortune.

     "The ruffian squatter P----, from Clear Lake, drove from the
     barn a fine young bull we were rearing, and for several weeks
     all trace of the animal was lost. We had almost forgotten the
     existence of poor Whisky, when a neighbour called and told
     Moodie that his yearling was at P----'s, and that he would
     advise him to get it back as soon as possible. Moodie had to
     take some wheat to Y----'s mill, and as the squatter lived
     only a mile farther, he called at his house; and there, sure
     enough, he found the lost animal. With the greatest difficulty
     he succeeded in regaining his property, but not without many
     threats of vengeance from the parties who had stolen it. To
     these he paid no regard; but a few days after, six fat hogs,
     on which we depended for all our winter store of animal food,
     were driven into the lake and destroyed. The death of these
     animals deprived us of three barrels of pork, and half-starved
     us through the winter. That winter of '36, how heavily it wore
     away! The grown flour, frosted potatoes, and scant quantity of
     animal food, rendered us all weak, and the children suffered
     much from the ague."

Under these circumstances, great was the glee when a stray buck was
shot. Spot, Katie's pet pig, had to be killed, in spite of the tears
and entreaties of its little owner, for the family were craving
after a morsel of meat. Here is a melancholy note in the diary of
the emigrant's wife:--

     "On the 21st May of this year, my second son, Donald, was born.
     The poor fellow came in hard times. The cows had not calved, and
     our bill of fare, now minus the deer and Spot, only consisted
     of bad potatoes, and still worse bread. I was rendered so
     weak by want of proper nourishment that my dear husband, for
     my sake, overcame his aversion to borrowing, and procured a
     quarter of mutton from a friend. This, with kindly presents from
     neighbours--often as badly off as ourselves--a loin of young
     bear, and a basket containing loaf of bread, some tea, fresh
     butter, and oatmeal, went far to save my life."

Think of this, ye dainty dames, who, in like circumstances, heap
your beds with feathers, and strew the street with straw. Think of
the chilly forest, the windy log-house, the frosted potatoes, the
five children, the weary, half-famished mother, the absence of all
that gentle aid and comfort which wait upon your slightest ailment.
Think of all these things, and, if the picture move you, remember
that the like sufferings and necessities abound nearer home, within
scope of your charity and relief.

Quitting, for a while, the sad catalogue of her woes, Mrs Moodie
launches forth into an episode which fills one of the most
characteristic chapters of her work. In the midst of these hard
times, an Englishman--with whom Captain Moodie had once travelled in
the mail to Toronto, and whom he had invited to call on him, should
he come into his part of the country--dropped in upon them one
evening, proposing to remain for the night. He was their inmate for
nine months. Mrs Moodie disliked him, from the very first day, for
he was a surly, discontented, reckless scamp, but somehow there was
no getting rid of him. He grumbled over his first meal of salt pork,
dandelion coffee, and heavy bread; and he grumbled almost daily,
until the happy morning when he left them for good and all. Malcolm
(as Mrs Moodie chooses to call him) told his host that he was in
hiding from the sheriff's officers, and should esteem it a great
favour to be allowed to remain a few weeks at his house. The captain
was far too good-natured and hospitable to refuse his request. "To
tell you the truth, Malcolm," said he, "we are so badly off that we
can scarcely find food for ourselves and the children. It is out of
our power to make you comfortable, or to keep an additional hand,
without he is willing to render some little help on the farm. If you
can do this, I will endeavour to get a few necessaries on credit, to
make your stay more agreeable." The proposition suited Malcolm to
a hair. By working for his keep, he got rid of the obligation, and
acquired a right to grumble. As to the work he did, it was really
not worth speaking of. Mrs Moodie had a sort of rude bedstead made
for him out of two large chests, and put up in a corner of the
parlour. Upon that he lay, during the first fortnight of his stay,
reading, smoking, and drinking whisky and water from morning till
night. There was a mystery about the fellow which he did not care
fully to clear up, but portions of his history oozed out.

     "He was the son of an officer in the navy, who had not only
     attained a very high rank in the service, but, for his gallant
     conduct, had been made a Knight-Companion of the Bath. He had
     himself served his time as a midshipman on board his father's
     flag-ship, but had left the navy, and accepted a commission
     in the Buenos-Ayrean Service during the political struggles
     in that province. He had commanded a sort of privateer under
     the government, to whom, by his own account, he had rendered
     many very signal services. Why he left South America, and came
     to Canada, he kept a profound secret. He had indulged in very
     vicious and dissipated courses since he came to the province,
     and by his own account had spent upwards of four thousand
     pounds in a manner not over-creditable to him.... He was now
     considerably in debt. Money he had none; and, beyond the dirty
     fearnought blue seaman's jacket which he wore, a pair of
     trousers of the coarse cloth of the country, an old black vest
     that had seen better days, and two blue-checked shirts, clothes
     he had none. He shaved but once a week, never combed his hair,
     and never washed himself. A dirtier or more slovenly creature
     never before was dignified by the title of a gentleman. He was,
     however, a man of good education, of excellent abilities, and
     possessed a bitter sarcastic knowledge of the world; but he was
     selfish and unprincipled in the highest degree."

This piratical sea-bear quarrelled with Mrs Moodie's servants,
disgusted and offended her by his ungentlemanly habit of swearing,
and behaved altogether so outrageously that any one less forbearing
and good-tempered than Captain Moodie would have turned him out of
the house before he had been a month in it. But the captain, who
lacked not spirit on occasion, had Highland notions of hospitality;
and, moreover, he pitied the unhappy scapegrace--whose vile temper
was his own greatest curse--and bore with his infirmities. Malcolm
got the ague, and poor Mrs Moodie nursed him.

     "During the cold fit, he did nothing but swear at the cold, and
     wished himself roasting; and, during the fever, he swore at the
     heat, and wished that he was sitting in no other garment than
     his shirt on the north side of an iceberg."

The only trait that somewhat reconciled Mrs Moodie to her rude guest
was his affection for one of her children, a merry golden-haired
little boy. When left alone with her in the house, he almost
frightened her by his strange, sullen stare, and told her stories
about wild deeds of bloodshed committed in his privateering days,
and was very anxious to read her a manuscript work on South America,
for which Murray, he said, had offered him a sum of money, but to
which she preferred not listening. At last he got so indolent and
insolent that Captain Moodie was roused to anger, sharply reproved
him, and ordered him to be gone. But it was not a trifle in the
way of rebuke that would drive Malcolm from free bed and board.
He walked away for a few hours, and then returned and joined
the family party, as if nothing had happened. One day, however,
a nickname applied to him by Mrs Moodie's eldest girl put him
in a furious passion, and he took himself off for ever, as his
entertainers hoped. They were mistaken.

     "Two months after, we were taking tea with a neighbour, who
     lived a mile below us on the small lake. Who should walk in but
     Mr Malcolm? He greeted us with great warmth, for him; and when
     we rose to take leave, he rose and walked home by our side.
     'Surely the little stumpy man (the name Katie had given him) is
     not returning to his old quarters?' I am still a babe in the
     affairs of men. Human nature has more strange varieties than any
     one menagerie can contain, and Malcolm was one of the oddest of
     her odd species. That night he slept in his old bed below the
     parlour window, and for three months afterwards he stuck to us
     like a beaver."

The manner of this strange being's final departure was as eccentric
as that of his first coming. On Christmas eve he started after
breakfast to walk into Peterborough to fetch raisins for next day's
pudding. He never came back, but left Peterborough the same day
with a stranger in a waggon. It was afterwards said that he had
gone to Texas, and been killed at San Antonio de Bexar. Whatever
became of him, he never again was seen in that part of Canada. Mrs
Moodie's account of his residence in her house is full of character,
and admirable for its quietness and truth to nature. "Firing
the Fallow," and "Our Logging Bee," are also, apart from their
connection with the emigrant's fortunes, striking and interesting
sketches of Canadian forest life. We are unable to dwell upon or
extract from them, and must hasten to conclude our notice of this
really fascinating book.

Rebellion broke out in Canada. Captain Moodie, although suffering
from a severe accident he had met with whilst ploughing, felt
his loyalty and soldiership irresistibly appealed to by the
Queen's proclamation, calling upon all loyal gentlemen to join
in suppressing the insurrection. Toronto was threatened by the
insurgents, and armed bands were gathering on all sides for its
relief. So Captain Moodie marched to the front. Regiments of militia
were formed, and in one of them he received command of a company.
He left in January, and Mrs Moodie remained alone with her children
and Jenny--a faithful old Irish servant--to take care of the house.
It was a dull and cheerless time. And yet her husband's appointment
was a great boon and relief. His full pay as captain enabled him to
remit money home, and to liquidate debts. His wife, on her side, was
not inactive.

     "Just at this period," she says, "I received a letter from a
     gentleman, requesting me to write for a magazine (the _Literary
     Garland_) just started in Montreal, with promise to remunerate
     me for my labours. Such an application was like a gleam of light
     springing up in the darkness."

When the day's toils--which were not trifling--were over, she robbed
herself of sleep--which she greatly needed--to labour with her pen;
writing by the light of what Irish Jenny called "sluts"--twisted
rags, dipped in lard, and stuck in a bottle. Jenny viewed these
literary pursuits with huge discontent.

     "You were thin enough before you took to the pen," grumbled
     the affectionate old creature--"what good will it be to the
     children, dear heart! if you die afore your time by wasting your
     strength afther that fashion?"

But Mrs Moodie was not to be dissuaded from her new pursuit. She
persevered, and with satisfactory results.

     "I actually," she says, "shed tears of joy over the first
     twenty-dollar note I received from Montreal."

Emulous of her mistress's activity, Jenny undertook to make "a good
lump" of maple-sugar, with the aid of little Sol, a hired-boy, whom
she grievously cuffed and ill-treated, when he upset the kettle, or
committed other blunders. Every evening during the sugar-making Mrs
Moodie ran up to see Jenny in the bush, singing and boiling down the
sap in front of her little shanty.

     "The old woman was in her element, and afraid of nothing under
     the stars; she slept beside her kettles at night, and snapped
     her fingers at the idea of the least danger."

The sugar-making was a hot and wearisome occupation, but the result
was a good store of sugar, molasses, and vinegar.

     "Besides gaining a little money with my pen," writes Mrs Moodie
     at about this time, "I practised a method of painting birds and
     butterflies upon the white velvety surface of the large fungi
     that grow plentifully upon the bark of the sugar maple. These
     had an attractive appearance; and my brother, who was a captain
     in one of the provisional regiments, sold a great many of them
     among the officers, without saying by whom they were painted.
     One rich lady in Peterborough, long since dead, ordered two
     dozen to send as curiosities to England. These, at one shilling
     each, enabled me to buy shoes for the children, who, during our
     bad times, had been forced to dispense with these necessary
     coverings. How often, during the winter season, have I wept
     over their little chapped feet, literally washing them with my
     tears. But these days were to end. Providence was doing great
     things for us; and Hope raised at last her drooping head, to
     regard, with a brighter glance, the far-off future. Slowly the
     winter rolled away; but he to whom every thought was turned, was
     still distant from his humble home. The receipt of an occasional
     letter from him was my only solace during his long absence, and
     we were still too poor to indulge often in the luxury."

The spring brought work. Corn and potatoes must be planted, and
the garden dug and manured. By lending her oxen to a neighbour who
had none, Mrs Moodie obtained a little assistance; but most of
the labour was performed by her and Jenny, the greatest jewel of
an old woman the Emerald Isle ever sent forth to toil in American
wildernesses. A short visit from the captain cheered the family.
In the autumn, he expected, the regiment to which he belonged
would be reduced. This was a melancholy anticipation, and his wife
again beheld cruel poverty seated on their threshold. After her
husband's departure, the thought struck her that she would write
to the Governor of Canada, plainly stating her circumstances, and
asking him to retain Captain Moodie in the militia service. She
knew nothing of Sir George Arthur, and received no reply to her
application. But the Governor acted, though he did not write, and
acted kindly and generously. "The 16th of October my third son was
born; and a few days after, my husband was appointed paymaster to
the militia regiments in the V---- district, with the rank and full
pay of captain." The appointment was not likely to be permanent,
and Mrs Moodie and the children remained at their log-cabin in the
woods during the ensuing winter. Malignant scarlet fever attacked
the whole family; a doctor was sent for, but did not come; Mrs
Moodie, herself ill, had to tend her five children; and when these
recovered, she was stretched for many weeks upon a bed of sickness.
Jenny, the most attached of humble friends, and a greater heroine in
her way than many whom poets have sung and historians lauded, alone
kept her suffering mistress company in the depths of the dark forest.

     "Men could not be procured in that thinly-settled spot for
     love nor money; and I now fully realised the extent of Jenny's
     usefulness. Daily she yoked the oxen, and brought down from the
     bush fuel to maintain our fires, which she felled and chopped up
     with her own hands. She fed the cattle, and kept all things snug
     about the doors; not forgetting to load her master's two guns,
     'in case,' as she said, 'the ribels should attack us in our
     retrate.'"

What says the quaint old song? that--

    "The poor man alone, when he hears the poor moan,
    Of his morsel a morsel will give,
                            Well-a-day!"

It were a libel to adopt the sentiment to its full
extent, when we witness the large measure of charity which
the more prosperous classes in this country are ever ready to
dispense to the poor and suffering. But doubtless the sympathy
with distress is apt to be heartiest and warmest on the part of
those who themselves have experienced the woes they witness. It
is very touching to contemplate Mrs Moodie walking twenty miles
through a bleak forest--the ground covered with snow, and the
thermometer far below zero--to minister to the necessities of
one whose sufferings were greater even than her own. Still more
touching is the exquisite delicacy with which she and her friend
Emilia imparted the relief they brought, and strove to bestow their
charity without imposing an obligation. "The Walk to Dummer" is a
chapter of Mrs Moodie's book that alone would secure her the esteem
and admiration of her readers. Captain N. was an Irish settler in
Canada, who had encountered similar mishaps to those Captain Moodie
had experienced--but in a very different spirit. He had taken to
drinking, had deserted his family, and was supposed to have joined
Mackenzie's band of ruffians on Navy Island. For nine weeks his
wife and children had tasted no food but potatoes; for eighteen
months they had eaten no meat. Before going to Mrs Moodie, Jenny
had been their servant for five years, and, although repeatedly
beaten by her master with the iron ramrod of his gun, would still
have remained with them, would he have permitted her. She sobbed
bitterly on learning their sufferings, and that Miss Mary, "the
tinder thing," and her brother, a boy of twelve, had to fetch fuel
from the bush in that "oncommon savare weather." Mrs Moodie was
deeply affected at the recital of so much misery. She had bread for
herself and children, and that was all. It was more than had Mrs N.
But for the willing there is ever a way, and Mrs Moodie found means
of doing good, where means there seemed to be none. Some ladies in
the neighbourhood were desirous to do what they could for Mrs N.;
but they wished first to be assured that her condition really was as
represented. They would be guided by the report of Mrs Moodie and
Emilia, if those two ladies would go to Dummer, the most western
clearing of Canada's Far West, and ascertain the facts of the case.
_If_ they would! There was not an instant's hesitation. Joyfully
they started on their Samaritan pilgrimage. Ladies, lounging on
damask cushions in your well-hung carriages, read this account of
a walk through the wilderness; read the twelfth chapter of Mrs
Moodie's second volume, and--having read it--you will assuredly read
the whole of her book, and rise from its perusal with full hearts,
and with the resolution to imitate, as far as your opportunities
allow--and to none of us, who seek them with a fervent and sincere
spirit, shall opportunities be wanting--her energetic and truly
Christian charity.

_Le diable ne sera pas toujours derrière la porte_, says the French
proverb. The gentleman in question had long obstinately kept his
station behind Mrs Moodie's shanty door; but at last, despairing,
doubtless, of a triumph over her courage and resignation, he fled,
discomfited. The militia disbanded, Captain Moodie's services were
no longer needed. But his hard-saved pay had cleared off many debts,
and prospects were brighter.

     "The potato crop was gathered in, and I had collected my store
     of dandelion roots for our winter supply of coffee, when one day
     brought a letter to my husband from the Governor's secretary,
     offering him the situation of Sheriff of the V---- district.
     Once more he bade us farewell; but it was to go and make ready
     a home for us, that we should no more be separated from each
     other. Heartily did I return thanks to God that night for all
     his mercies to us."

Short time sufficed for preparation to quit the dreary log-house.
Crops, furniture, farm-stock, and implements, were sold, and as soon
as snow fell and sleighing was practicable, the family left the
forest for their snug dwelling in the distant town of V----. Strange
as it may seem, when the time came, Mrs Moodie clung to her solitude.

     "I did not like," she says, "to be dragged from it to mingle in
     gay scenes, in a busy town, and with gaily-dressed people. I
     was no longer fit for the world; I had lost all relish for the
     pursuits and pleasures which are so essential to its votaries;
     I was contented to live and die in obscurity. For seven years
     I had lived out of the world altogether; my person had been
     rendered coarse by hard work and exposure to the weather. I
     looked double the age I really was, and my hair was already
     thickly sprinkled with grey."

Honour to such grey hairs, blanched in patient and courageous
suffering. More lovely they than raven tresses, to all who prefer
to the body's perishable beauty, the imperishable qualities of the
immortal soul!



FAREWELL TO THE RHINE.


LINES WRITTEN AT BONN.

    Fare thee well, thou regal river, proudly-rolling German Rhine,
    Sung in many a minstrel's ballad, praised in many a poet's line!
    Thou from me too claim'st a stanza; ere thy oft-trod banks I
          leave,
    Blithely, though with thread the slenderest, I the grateful rhyme
          will weave;
    Many a native hymn thou hearest, many a nice and subtle tone,
    Yet receive my stranger lispings, strange, but more than half
          thine own.

    Fare thee well! but not in sorrow; while the sun thy vineyards
          cheers,
    I will not behold thy glory through a cloud of feeble tears;
    Bring the purple Walportzheimer, pour the Rudesheimer bright,
    In the trellis'd vine-clad arbour I will hold a feast to-night.
    Call the friends who love me dearly, call the men of sense and
          soul,
    Call the hearts whose blithe blood billows, like the juice that
          brims the bowl:
    Let the wife who loves her husband, with her eyes of gracious
          blue,
    Give the guests a fair reception--serve them with a tendance
          true;
    With bright wine, bright thoughts be mated; and if creeping tears
          must be,
    Let them creep unseen to-morrow, Rhine, when I am far from thee!

      Lo! where speeds the gallant steamer, prankt with flags of
          coloured pride,
    And strong heart of iron, panting stoutly up the swirling tide;
    While from fife, and flute, and drum, the merry music bravely
          floats,
    And afar the frequent cannon rolls his many-pealing notes;
    And as thick as flowers in June, or armies of the ruddy pine,
    Crown the deck the festive sailors of the broad and German Rhine.
    "_Der Rhein! Der Rhein!_" I know the song, the jovial singers too
          I know,--
    'Tis a troop of roving Burschen, and to Heisterbach they go;
    There beneath the seven hills' shadow, and the cloister'd ruin
          grey,
    Far from dusty books and paper, they will spend the sunny day;
    There will bind their glittering caps with oaken wreaths fresh
          from the trees,
    And around the rustic table sit, as brothers sit, at ease;
    Hand in hand will sit and laugh, and drain the glass with social
          speed,
    Crowned with purple Asmannshausen, drugged with many a fragrant
          weed;
    While from broad and open bosom, with a rude and reinless glee,
    Sounds the jocund-hearted pæan,--_Live the Bursch! the Bursch is
          free!_
    Thus they through the leafy summer, when their weekly work is
          o'er,
    Make the wooded hamlets echo with strong music's stirring roar
    From young life's high-brimming fulness--while the hills that
          bear the vine
    Brew their juice in prescient plenty for the Burschen of the
          Rhine.

      Oft at eve, when we were sated with the various feast of sight,
    Looking through our leafy trellis on the hues of loveliest light,
    Poured on the empurpled mountains by the gently westering sun;
    When at length the blazing god, his feats of brilliant duty done,
    Veiled his head, and Güdinghofen's gilded woods again were grey;
    When the various hum was hushed that stirred the busy-striving
          day,
    And the air was still and breezeless, and the moon with
          fresh-horned beam
    Threw aslant a shimmering brightness o'er the scarcely-sounding
          stream;
    We with ear not idly pleased would rise to catch the mellow note
    Softly o'er the waters wandering from the home-returning boat;
    And we saw the festive brothers, sobered by the evening hour,
    Shoreward drifted by the river's deep and gently-rolling power;
    And our car imbibed sweet concord, and our hearts grew young
          again,
    And we knew the deep devotion of that solemn social strain.
    And we loved the Bursch that mingles truth and friendship with the
          wine,
    While his floods of deep song echo o'er the broad and murmuring
          Rhine.

    Fare thee well, thou people-bearing, joy-resounding, ample flood,
    Mighty now, but mightier then, when lusty Europe's infant blood
    Pulsed around thee; when thy Kaisers, titled with the grace of
          Rome,
    With a holy sanction issued from hoar Aquisgranum's dome,
    And with kingly preparation, where the Alps frost-belted frown,
    Marched with German oak to wreathe the fruitful Lombard's iron
          crown.
      Then the stream of wealth adown thee freely floated; then the
          fire
    Of a rude but hot devotion piled strong tower, and fretted spire,
    Thick as oaks within the forest, where thy priestly cities rose.
    Weaker now, and faint and small, the sacerdotal ardour glows
    Round the broad Rhine's unchurched billows; but an echo still
          remains,
    And a fond life stiffly lingers, in the old faith's ghostly veins.
    Ample rags of decoration, scutcheons of the meagre dead,
    By thy banks, thou Christian river, still, from week to week, are
          spread.
    Flags and consecrated banners wave around thee; I have seen
    Strewn with flowers thy streets, and marching in the gay sun's
          noonday sheen
    Lines of linen-vested maidens, lines of sober matrons grey,
    Lines of feeble-footed fathers, priests in motley grim array;
    I have seen the bright cross glitter in the summer's cloudless
          air,
    While the old brown beads were counted to the drowsy-mutter'd
          prayer;
    I have seen the frequent beggar press his tatters in the mud,
    For the bread that is the body, and the wine that is the blood,
    (So they deem in pious stupor,) of the Lord who walked on earth.
    Such thy signs of life, thou strangely-gibbering imp of Roman
          birth,
    Old, but lusty in thy dotage, on the banks of German Rhine:
    Though thy rule I may not own it, and thy creed be far from mine,
    I have loved to hear thy litany o'er the swelling waters float,
    Gently chaunted from the crowded, gaily-garnished pilgrim-boat;
    I have felt the heart within me strangely stirred; and, half
          believer,
    For a moment wished that Reason on her throne might prove deceiver.
    Live, while God permits thy living, on the banks of German Rhine,
    Fond old faith!--thou canst not live but by some spark of power
          divine;
    And while man, who darkly gropes, and fretful feels, hath need of
          thee,
    Soothe his ear with chiming creeds, and fear no jarring taunt from
          me.

    Fare ye well, ye broad-browed thinkers! pride of Bonn upon the
          Rhine,
    Patient teachers, in the rock of ancient lore that deeply mine;
    Men, with whom in soul lives Niebuhr, and loves still to glean
          with them,
    From huge piles of Roman ruin many a bright and human gem;
    Oft with you, beneath the rows of thickly-blooming chestnut trees,
    I have walked, and seen with wonder how ye flung with careless
          case
    Bales of treasured thought about ye, even as children play with
          toys.
    Strange recluses! we who live 'mid bustling Britain's smoke and
          noise,
    Ill conceive the quiet tenor of your deeply-brooding joys;
    How ye sit with studious patience, and with curious travelling
          eyes
    Wander o'er the well-browned folio, where the thoughtful record
          lies;
    Musing in some musty chamber day by day, and hour by hour,
    Dimly there ye sit, and sip the ripest juice from Plato's bower;
    Each fair shape that graceful floateth through the merry Grecian
          clime,
    Each religious voice far-echoed through the galleries of time,
    There with subtle eye and ear ye watch, and seize the airy booty,
    And with faithful ken to know the rescued truth is all your duty.
    Souls apart! with awe I knew your silent speculative looks,
    And the worship that ye practise in the temples of your books;
    And I felt the power of knowledge; and I loved to bridge with you
    Gulfs of time, till oldest wisdom rose to shake hands with the
          new;
    May the God of truth be with you, still to glean, with pious
          patience,
    Grains of bright forgotten wisdom for the busy labouring nations;
    And, while books shall feed my fancy, may I use the pondered line,
    Grateful to the broad-browed thinkers, pride of Bonn upon the
          Rhine!

    Fare ye well, old crags and castles! now with me for ever dwells,
    Twined with many a freakish joy, the stately front of Drachenfels.
    O'er thy viny cliffs we rambled, where the patient peasant toils,
    Where the rugged copse scarce shelters from the sun that broadly
          smiles,
    And the fresh green crown is plaited from the German's oaken
          bower:
    Here we wandered, social pilgrims, careless as the sunny hour,
    Gay and free, nor touched with horror of the legendary wood,
    Harnessed priests and iron knights, and dragons banqueting on
          blood.
    Praise who will the mail-clad epoch, when the princes all were
          reivers,
    Every maundering monk a god, and all who heard him dumb believers;
    Me, the peaceful present pleases, and the sober rule of law,
    Quiet homes, and hearths secure, and creeds redeemed from
          idiot-awe;
    Peopled cities' din; and where then tolled the cloister's languid
          chime,
    Now the hum of frequent voices from each furthest human clime,
    Every form of various life beneath the crag that bears the vine,
    Borne upon the steam-ploughed current of the placid-rolling Rhine.

    Fare thee well, thou kingly river! while the sun thy vineyards
          cheers,
    I will not behold thy glory through a cloud of feeble tears.
    Bring the purple Walportzheimer, pour the Rudesheimer clear,
    In the green and vine-clad arbour spread the goodly German cheer;
    Call the friends who love me dearly, call the men of sense and
          soul,
    Call the hearts whose blithe blood billows like the juice that
          brims the bowl;
    With free cheer free thoughts be wedded; high as heaven, deep as
          hell,
    Wide as are the dark blue spaces where the starry tenants dwell.
    Let the German hymn, that echoes from the Sound to Adria's Sea,
    Ring damnation to the despot, peal salvation to the free;
    And when I from vine-clad mountains and from sunny woods am far,
    By the cold bleak coast of Buchan, where wild Winter loves to war,
    In my memory crag and castle, church and learned hall, shall shine
    Brightly, with the seven hills glorious of fair Bonn upon the
          Rhine.

     J. S. B.
     FAHRGASSE BONN,
     _August 1851_.



THE REFORM MEASURES OF 1852.


Lord John Russell's new measure of Representative Reform has
resolved itself into the shape of a negation. It is, perhaps, the
most abortive and unsatisfactory scheme that was ever presented to
the nation. It is not good enough to be accepted by one section
of politicians, at least as a permanent gift--not so utterly bad
as to excite the anger of another, though it may well challenge
their contempt. It is not based upon any new principle--it hardly
even professes to alter or improve any principle at present
acknowledged. It amounts to little more than an arbitrary lowering
of the electoral qualification. Small boroughs are to retain their
privileges, submitting only to an infusion of new blood from
villages in their respective neighbourhoods. Large towns remain as
they were, but with a lower scale of voters. So with counties. Every
man paying 40s. a-year of direct taxes is to have a vote. This seems
to be the whole measure of reform as regards constituencies. It is
an alteration in towns from £10 to £5, and in counties from £50 to
£20. For the future, no property qualification is to be required
from members; and the Parliamentary oaths are to be qualified, so
that every kind of unbeliever may enter. The legislature ceases to
be Christian.

Considering that the scheme has been brought forward by the Whigs
purely for party purposes, and to postpone, if possible, their
expected ejection from office, we are surprised that it is not more
democratical. We leave others to inquire why no second crusade has
been made against the close boroughs--why Calne, for example, and
Arundel, and Tavistock, are not to figure in a new schedule of
disfranchisement. We can conjecture sufficient reasons, without
pushing speculation far. But--putting aside the religious question,
which Lord John Russell has most indecorously mixed up with a mass
of electoral details--we should really like to know what party,
or what class of men, this measure is intended to satisfy. That
is, we must maintain, a consideration of primary importance. All
are agreed that it is not for the benefit of the nation that the
constitution should be perpetually tinkered. Even Lord John does not
broadly avow his predilection for annual repairs; though, in the
true spirit of an itinerant metallurgist, he proposes, in 1852, a
new solder for the constituencies of Ireland, in place of that which
he gratuitously applied in 1851. If Parliaments are habitually to
reform themselves, whether at the instigation or against the will of
ministers, it is quite evident that all hope of discharging the real
business of the nation is at an end. If repairs are needed, let them
by all means be made; but let the work be done in such a substantial
manner that it shall last for a given time, and not subject us to
the perpetual annoyance of new experiments.

Now, we think it must strike every one that the projected measure
of the present session is so far from being a permanent settlement,
that, if carried, it must lead to an immense deal of future
agitation. The Radicals do not even affect to deny this. They
express themselves disappointed with the limited amount of the
scheme. They wish for the suppression of the smaller boroughs,
the enlargement of the urban constituencies, electoral divisions,
household suffrage, vote by ballot, and triennial, if not annual,
parliaments. These are their avowed objects--for what ultimate
purpose we need not inquire; and they very candidly state that
they will not rest satisfied until they obtain them. They will
accept Lord John Russell's measure as an instalment, but nothing
more. They think that the lowering of the franchise is a step in
the right direction, because they calculate that it will give them
more immediate power, but they will not take it as a settlement.
Next year, if this bill should be carried, though we hardly think
the Ministry will survive long enough to reach it, they are again
to be in the field, busy, warlike, and active as ever; and the
agitation is not to cease until their demands are satisfied. But
will it cease even then? Hardly. The Chartists have the next turn,
and they, too, doubtless, will insist upon _their_ schemes, all the
more practicable because the intervening barriers have been taken
down. So that, if the peace and quiet of the nation, and the real
efficiency of Parliament as a working and legislative body, are
worthy to be taken into account, it appears that Lord John Russell's
measure will, if enacted, neither promote the one nor the other.

Looking simply at the broad features of the measure, with the
reservation which we have already made, and without investigating
the details, a shallow observer might conclude that it is calculated
to do much immediate mischief. We cannot style it a revolutionary
measure, simply because it lowers the franchise from a point which,
twenty years ago, was arbitrarily assumed, without any shadow of
reason, as the correct one. The five-pounder may be, and often is,
quite as intelligent a person as the ten-pounder. But where is the
line of demarcation to be drawn? If property or rent is to be the
qualification and criterion, it must be drawn somewhere, else there
is no answer to the Chartist; and if you once begin the system
of diminishment, there is no possibility of any stoppage. Tile
electoral shillings are like King Lear's hundred knights: they will
be beaten down until the final question is asked, "What needs one?"
and then the triumph will be complete.

Is this desirable? In the name of everything sacred and dear to
us--in the name of intelligence, education, and common sense, we
answer, No! We have but to look across the Channel to see what are
the effects of universal suffrage; and surely there is no man in
this country infatuated enough to wish that our free constitution
should be exchanged for alternate anarchy and despotism. That is
not the wish of the nation--nay more, we venture to say that it
is not the wish of the nation that any experiment should be made
tending in the least degree towards any such consummation. We have
watched--most attentively--for the last two years, the movements of
the so-called reformers; and we are satisfied that, had they been
left to themselves, their agitation must have died out as surely as
a fire expires for want of fuel. The faggot-master, in the present
instance, has been her Majesty's Prime Minister.

The electoral franchise is a privilege which, for its own sake,
is very little coveted by the people of this country. Even in the
towns, men who possess the qualification are exceedingly backward to
enrol themselves; and often, when enrolled, they positively decline
to vote. A rush to the poll, as every electioneering agent knows,
is seldom a spontaneous movement--indeed, the general difficulty is
to overcome the _vis inertiæ_. We think this feeling may be carried
too far, but undoubtedly it exists; and the proof of it is, that
in most large constituencies, but a small portion of those who are
qualified to vote appear at the poll, except under circumstances and
on occasions of peculiar excitement. Nay, more than this, unless a
case of very strong grievance can be made out and established, it
is difficult to prevail upon the men of the middle classes to lend
their countenance to or attend public meetings for any political
object.

The last general election did, in reality, cause little excitement.
The conduct of Sir Robert Peel--we shall not now call it his
manoeuvre--had disposed of the question of Free Trade for the time;
and no one, whatever might be his secret thoughts or forebodings,
wished for an immediate reversal of that policy, until the effects
of the experiment became apparent. Therefore a Free-Trade House
of Commons was returned, and the Ministry had it all their own
way. Undoubtedly they have declined in influence, since then.
But why? Simply because their policy was then undergoing the
test of experience, and the result has proved adverse to their
anticipations. There is no other reason. If it should be said
that their unpopularity is owing to the continuance of the hated
Income-tax, we can only reply that Free-Trade and the Income-tax are
inseparable; and that, so long as Sindbad chooses to call himself
a Free-Trader, he must submit to carry the Old Man of the Sea
upon his shoulders. But the constituencies were quiet. Except when
accidental elections took place, which generally terminated in the
defeat of the ministerial candidates, the electoral view could not
be ascertained. But there were held in every county, and in the
metropolis itself, immense meetings of those who thought themselves
wronged by the chicanery of a former Minister--not demanding a
readjustment of the franchise, but simply requiring that the general
voice of the electoral body might be taken on the subject of their
complaint. Thus the only classes in the country who could allege a
specific and substantial grievance, were utterly silent upon the
subject of a reform in the constitution. They had faith in the
justice of their cause, and believed that, sooner or later, that
cause must prevail, without the intervention of any violent remedy.

It was only in one or two of the large towns that any attempt
at agitation for an increase of the suffrage was made. For such
agitation it was difficult to find even a tolerable pretext.
According to the political and commercial views of the reformers,
the system established in 1832 had worked wonderfully, nay,
marvellously well. They could, in fact, point to no practical
grievance affecting life, liberty, or property, such as could only
be remedied by a strong organic change. They could not accuse the
House of Commons of turning a deaf ear to the representations of
the urban population. But as, in the absence of reason, a pretext
was necessary, they reared one up in the cry for economy and
retrenchment. Supposing that there had been any grounds for such
a demand, that our national expenditure was too great, and our
finances unduly squandered, it is difficult to understand the chain
of reason which connects the cure of these things with a change
in the representative body. But, in truth, nothing could be more
monstrous than such an allegation. When forced to specify and
particularise the nature of their proposed reductions, the agitators
could only refer to our military and naval establishments, and the
expense of our colonial empire. If any doubt at all existed in the
minds of men as to such points, that doubt has since been removed.
After all the trash that has been uttered at Peace Congresses and
Manchester gatherings, it has become clear, even to the meanest
capacity, that our establishments, instead of being too large, are
in reality too small, and insufficient even for our defence! We have
no desire now to discuss such matters. We allude to them simply
for the purpose of showing that the one pretext of the would-be
agitators for a representative reform has given way under their feet.

If the anticipations of those agitators had been fulfilled--if they
had carried, as they proposed, a sweeping measure of reform, based
upon household or universal suffrage--and if, in consequence, the
majority of the House of Commons had consisted of men professing
the opinions of Mr Cobden, and resolute to put them into practice,
into what a state of anarchy and abject terror would this country
now have been thrown! Without a fleet to scour the Channel, without
an army to defend our shores, we should have been at the mercy of
almost any assailant. Yet such were the results which Mr Cobden and
his friends distinctly contemplated, and which they proposed to
bring about by lowering the franchise, and giving a large accession
of political power to the manufacturing towns.

It is creditable to the sense of the country that the agitation
totally failed--in fact, there never was any agitation at all. The
electors generally abstained from giving countenance to any meetings
on the subject of reform. Sir Joshua Walmsley and Mr Joseph Hume
undertook journeys for the purpose of stirring up the embers, but
they nowhere could create a blaze. Delegates, who represented nobody
but themselves, assembled at Manchester, in the vain hope of hoaxing
the country into the belief that there was a very general feeling
in favour of radical reform. They might have spared themselves the
trouble. Never was there so ludicrous a failure. The central English
meeting was held under such sorry auspices that even Messrs Muntz
and Scholefield, the members for Birmingham, declined to attend it.
The conduct of the whole scheme reflected no credit on the strategy
of Mr John Bright, who acted as generalissimo on this occasion. The
Edinburgh meeting, held shortly afterwards, was, in every sense of
the word, contemptible. With hardly any exceptions, it was avoided
and abjured by every man of station, intelligence, wealth, and
respectability within the city. In fact, the movement broke down.
The Radicals wished to demonstrate that public feeling was with
them; and their demonstration resulted in a clear proof that public
feeling was against them.

Radical reform, therefore, is clearly not wanted, and would not
be tolerated by the nation. Lord John Russell's measure, however,
not being violently radical in itself, though convenient for the
ulterior designs of Radicalism, will doubtless be supported by
those who now perceive that they cannot at present hope to carry a
broad scheme of democracy. It is, therefore, proper that we should
consider whether any of the objections that can be urged to the
larger scheme apply equally to the lesser one.

In our opinion, it will be impossible for Lord John Russell to
prove the preamble of his bill. He certainly has not established,
as yet, the necessity, or even the policy, of such a change in our
representative system; nor can he hope to show that this measure
of his has been called for by, or is calculated to meet, the
requirements of the great bulk of the community. It is a gratuitous
offering on his part: no one has asked it at his hand. Let us see,
then, how he attempts to justify his introduction of this measure.
To preface any measure with a justification is impolitic, because it
implies the existence of a serious doubt in the mind of the speaker.
He begins with one of these rhetorical commonplaces which has always
a counterpart or opposite, either of which may be selected, as
Aristotle tells us, according to the option of the speaker. We shall
quote his own words:--

     "The state of affairs in which I bring forward this motion ought
     to be satisfactory to Parliament and to the country. During four
     years we have seen the continent of Europe torn by convulsions;
     during that period the aspect of this country has been tranquil,
     and any threatened danger has been averted by the general spirit
     and unanimous feeling of the people. It appears to me that this
     is a proper time for considering whether any further extension
     can be given to the right of voting, consistently with the
     principles of the constitution, by which the prerogatives of
     the Crown, the authority of both Houses of Parliament, and the
     rights and liberties of the people, are equally secured."

So far good. But we are almost old enough to recollect the time
when the same speaker, on the occasion of moving a previous measure
of reform, had recourse to the counterpart of this commonplace.
_Then_ a reform in the constitution was necessary because the people
were discontented; _now_, a reform is necessary because the people
are contented. State the proposition in any mode you please, the
argument resolves itself into that; alter the argument, and you must
subtract from the present instance the plea of necessity, and fall
back immediately upon the minor one of expediency. But as neither
the satyr of the fable, nor the ventilating Dr Reid, can compete
with Lord John Russell in the art of blowing hot or cold as occasion
requires, we need hardly dwell upon this evident self-contradiction.
It is, however, not a little remarkable, that he cautiously abstains
from averring that there has been anything like a general demand
for an extension or alteration of the suffrage. We confess that we
were not prepared for this abstinence. The Whigs are not usually
so scrupulous in their statements, at least since they began to
enlist prosperity as a standing argument on their side; therefore it
was with an agreeable surprise that we marked Lord John's implied
admission, that nobody had thought it worth their while to solicit
that boon which he was so gracious as to accord. It is beyond a
doubt that he was wise in limiting himself thus. The right and
practice of petitioning Parliament against any existing grievance
is well known to the people, and is held _in viridi observantia_.
Can any man believe that, if reform was really and substantially
the wish of a large section of the community, the tables of both
Houses of Parliament would not be groaning under the weight of the
accumulated mass of petitions? Nothing of the kind has happened.
Such petitions as have been presented to the House of Commons do not
pray for moderate and gradual reform, but for universal suffrage,
vote by ballot, annual parliaments, electoral districts, and all
the other abominations dear to the hearts of the in-dwellers of
Marylebone. The extension they require is specific, not couched
in general terms. Lord John's measure will receive from them just
the same consideration which would be bestowed upon a cup of milk
and water, by an inveterate gin drinker whose soul was bent upon a
dram. We are decidedly of opinion, and will remain so until we have
proof to the contrary, that the class which Lord John Russell now
proposes to enfranchise is supremely indifferent to the privilege.
We used to be told that one particular reason for fixing the limit
of the franchise at ten pounds, was the hope that the possession of
that right would be so strongly desired, as to act as a wholesome
spur and incentive to industry. That view seems to have been given
up. The people will not work up to the franchise, so the standard
of the franchise is to be lowered to their reach! Very convenient
legislation this, but somewhat slovenly withal.

If, then, we are correct in our premises, Lord John Russell is
volunteering a measure, which is asked for by nobody, which will
satisfy nobody, and which, so far from settling the question
permanently, must be regarded as a stimulus to farther agitation. He
is, although he may not know it himself, on the highway to universal
suffrage. People had begun to consider the ten pound clause in
the old Reform Bill as something equivalent to a principle--now,
her Majesty's chief adviser unsettles that faith, descends fifty
per cent, and proclaims to the world that a further discount may
probably be expected, if a material increase shall take place in the
circulation of newspapers and periodicals, thereby, as supposes,
testifying the augmented intelligence of the nation! It is really
no laughing matter. Such was one of the leading arguments of the
Prime Minister of Great Britain in justification of his scheme,
and we can only hope that it was founded upon intense ignorance of
the state of our present periodical literature. That the elements
of education--that is, the power of reading and writing--are more
generally diffused among the lower orders than formerly may be
true, though we greatly doubt it; but that has nothing to do with
the question at issue. No argument is required to convince us that
some of the class which the noble Lord intends to admit to the
franchise, possess much more than the mere rudiments of education;
the question ought to be, whether what they do read is likely to fit
them for discharging the important duty of selecting and sending
proper representatives to Parliament. Let Lord John Russell, or any
other legislator who may be of his way of thinking, but take the
trouble to send to Manchester or Birmingham for weekly sets of the
political, religious, literary, and moral miscellanies, which are
most eagerly bought up and perused--let them read those carefully
through, and consider well their tenor--and we are satisfied that
the sturdiest advocate for progression would shudder to commit
the fate of his country to men who were daily and weekly imbued
with the principles inculcated by such publications. It is utterly
absurd to talk of the mere increase of schools, as if such increase
implied education in the proper sense of the word. At the schools
a boy is taught to read and write, but he is not taught, and never
can be taught, what he ought to read, and what he ought to abstain
from reading hereafter. His mind is simply made photographic. He
can take in and retain the ideas of others; and, unfortunately,
the expressed ideas which come most naturally, easily, and perhaps
most palatably within his reach, are precisely those which are most
dangerous to his morals, and most likely to give him false views of
society, and to unfit him for a proper discharge of his duties alike
as a Christian and a subject. Lord John Russell, we are thoroughly
convinced, is at this moment entirely ignorant of the kind of
literature which is current among, and greedily devoured by the
operative classes. It is no wonder that such should be the case. We
confess, quite frankly, that our attention was drawn to the subject,
not much more than two years ago, by certain representations made
by publishers on the subject of the paper duty as affecting popular
publications. Being unable to reconcile their statements with
certain facts which came under our own knowledge, we thought it
advisable to institute an inquiry, and in the course of that we
collected copies of such works as were most generally circulated
among the working classes. We are most happy to admit that some of
them were entirely unexceptionable in their tone and doctrine. Many
men are working among the operative classes with a true knowledge
of their calling, and a sincere and devout intention to dedicate
themselves to the task of raising the minds of the people, by
inculcating sound principles of economy, morality, and healthful and
religious feelings. But these constitute the exceptions, not the
rule. The political journals which have the largest circulation are
something more than Radical; they are, if not avowedly, at least in
spirit, republican. The Peerage and the Established Church are the
institutions which they assail with the most undisguised ferocity;
and no means which falsehood can suggest are left unemployed to
turn both into contempt, and to inflame the minds of the people
against the aristocracy and the clergy. Personality, vituperation,
and ignorance, are the characteristics of those journals. Lord John
Russell, we suspect, would hardly have ventured to lay so much
stress upon this educational argument, had he been aware of the
manner in which he is habitually mentioned by those oracles of the
lower orders. We have read descriptions of and commentaries upon
himself, his character, and his measures, which assuredly were the
reverse of flattering, as they were clearly calumnious and wicked.
Several of the works of fiction, which are most greedily bought up,
are utterly loathsome and depraved. The public appetite is not to be
sated, as in days gone by, with mere melodramic romance, and tales
of the wild and wonderful--there must be a relish of cantharides
in the dish in order to make it palatable. We seldom hear anything
nowadays of our old friends, the benevolent robber, the mysterious
monk, the misanthropical count, or the persecuted damsel--these
characters belonged to past times; our caterers for the public
taste deal exclusively with the present. The nobleman of these
fictions, whether he be old or young, is invariably a profligate
and a seducer. No imaginable combinations of vice are too revolting
for him--no villany too hideous to deter him. The heroine usually
is "a daughter of the people," who sometimes successfully resists
and sometimes falls a victim to the arts of the noble miscreant.
But in either case, she is compelled to go through various stages
of temptation and trial, which are described in glowing colours.
Brothels, both public and private, are represented with an
abominable minuteness of detail. So are clubs and gambling-houses,
in which the aristocracy are represented as squandering the hard-won
earnings of the poor. Compared with such writers, Eugene Sue appears
almost a pattern of austere morality; and we believe that no man
who has had the curiosity to inspect his works can misunderstand
the force of that observation. Then there are biographies, in which
the modern Plutarch gives a detailed and circumstantial account of
such worthies as O'Connor who was murdered by the Mannings, giving
due prominence to his personal intrigues from boyhood downwards.
For the younger portion of the community there are cheap editions
of pickpocket prowess, both in the narrative and the dramatic form,
and enticing details of the exploits of divers other ruffians and
burglars. All of these publications are illustrated by woodcuts,
some of which, though not by any means the majority, display a
considerable degree of artistical accomplishment.

Such is the favourite reading of the lower orders--such the
practical application of their boasted educational powers. Unless
education can go beyond this, we regard it not as a blessing, but
as a curse. This is not the kind of liberty of the press which was
contended for by Milton--it is a base license, calculated to deprave
the morals, and pervert the understanding of the people. If the case
be as we have stated it--if it is an undeniable fact that such are
the doctrines and views inculcated by some of those publications
which have an immense sale in the manufacturing districts--surely
we may be excused if we hesitate to admit that the education of the
lower orders is such that they can be safely intrusted with the
franchise. It is not true that they are compelled to take this kind
of literary diet for lack of better food. With them it is absolute
choice. There are, as we have already said, many cheap journals
and publications of an unexceptionable character, but, unless our
information is altogether erroneous, these are neglected and put
aside for the others of a vicious tendency.

Now, it does appear to us, though we shall be glad to be informed
to the contrary, that the qualification which Lord John Russell
proposes to establish in the towns and boroughs will admit a large
proportion of the class for which such publications are intended, to
the possession of the franchise. We are sure, at all events, that
it will bring in a large mass of those whose political opinions
are represented by the _Weekly Despatch_. Indeed, it seems to us
very like household suffrage under another name. If we take a house
rated at the annual value of £5, we shall find that the tenant of
it is paying only 2s. 6d. per week, which appears to be very nearly
the minimum of rent in large towns. If the reader will look at
Mr Mayhew's interesting and instructive work, _London Labour and
the London Poor_, he will find in the 42d. number, at page 231, a
statement of the rent usually paid by the operative scavengers of
the metropolis. Mr Mayhew gives us two estimates of the rent of
those who have regular work and pay--the one being 3s., and the
other 3s. 6d. per week. Now, it must be obvious that a qualification
which admits the scavenger, can hardly exclude any one else; so
that, in reality, in so far as regards towns, it would be difficult
to push democracy further. We should like to ask Lord John Russell
if he really and sincerely believes that the scavengers, as a
class, are proper, fit, and competent persons to return members
to Parliament? It is very easy to talk in general terms about the
growing intelligence and increasing education of the people; but
we should much prefer, in a matter of this sort, to be instructed
by actual facts. We are not of opinion that the lower classes in
this country are better educated or more enlightened than they were
formerly; and we have been unable to find any evidence at all to
justify such an assertion. What evidence does exist upon the subject
leads us to form a conclusion directly opposite; and we beg to draw
the attention of our readers to the following tables. The first
shows the number of criminals throughout England and Wales who could
neither read nor write. The investigation embraces a period of ten
years--from 1839 to 1848 inclusive--the average annual number of
criminals being 27,542:--


NUMBER OF CRIMINALS IN ENGLAND AND WALES UNABLE TO READ OR WRITE.

  Year.   Number.
  1839,    8,196
  1840,    9,058
  1841,    9,220
  1842,   10,128
  1843,    9,173
  1844,    7,901
  1845,    7,438
  1846,    7,698
  1847,    9,050
  1848,    9,691

Here, certainly, there are no signs of educational improvement; on
the contrary, the last year, with but one exception, exhibits the
greatest amount of ignorance. But in case this list should not be
thought a fair one, it being quite possible that education may not
yet have penetrated so low as the class of society which affords the
largest contribution to crime, let us adopt another, which is liable
to no such exception. The following is an abstract of the number
of persons in England and Wales who at their marriage signed the
register by marks, in consequence of their being unable to write;
and it extends over precisely the same period. The average annual
number of persons married was 261,340:--


NUMBER OF PERSONS MARRIED IN ENGLAND AND WALES UNABLE TO WRITE THEIR
NAMES.

  Year.   Number.
  1839,   100,616
  1840,   104,335
  1841,    99,634
  1842,    94,996
  1843,   101,235
  1844,   107,985
  1845,   118,894
  1846,   117,633
  1847,   104,306
  1848,   105,937

The result of the whole is, that out of every hundred persons
married during the above years in England and Wales, _forty could
not write their names_; and the ignorance in 1848 was much greater
than in 1839!

Really, with these facts before us, we cannot but wonder at the
temerity of Lord John Russell in using the following language on the
occasion of the introduction of his measure:--

     "But there is another ground which I confess has great influence
     on my mind, and it was that ground which formed a case for the
     original proposition of reform in 1822, namely, the growing
     intelligence and education of the people. _I could prove,
     if I were not afraid of wearying the House by going into
     statistics--I could show_ by the number of newspapers and of
     books, by the great number of schools established since 1831,
     that a great increase has taken place in intelligence among
     the people. _But I do not think the proof necessary_, as the
     experience of every honourable member is sufficient to induce
     him to concur in my statement, and to say that the franchise
     given in 1831 might be made more extensive at the present time."

Why did he not prove it? Certain we are of this, that the House of
Commons would neither have shown nor felt any weariness at listening
to statistics which could satisfactorily establish that the people
of this country were rising in the scale of intelligence. But it was
utterly impossible for Lord John Russell, dexterous as he is, to
prove facts which have no foundation. He durst not appeal to such
tests as that afforded by the register of marriages; and therefore
he calmly assumes "intellectual improvement," just as his colleagues
were in the habit of assuming "prosperity," without any substantial
proof; and he applies for corroboration to that most unsatisfactory
source, "the experience of every honourable member"! We say,
however, that this is a matter in which no juggling or evasion can
be allowed. The question of lowering the suffrage is one of the
deepest importance to the nation; and if Lord John Russell rests, as
he undoubtedly does, the greater part of his case upon the increased
intelligence of the nation, he must prove that, if he can, to the
entire satisfaction of the country, and we challenge him to do it.
But it is quite evident that the noble lord has no confidence in his
own statement. Towards the close of his speech we find him using the
following language, which we cannot regard as altogether consistent
with the passage which we have already quoted:--

     "Sir, I trust that when this enlarged franchise is given, we
     shall next see the government of this country, in whosesoever
     hands it be, consider most seriously and earnestly the great
     question of the education of the people. _This question of the
     franchise is not alien from that other one of providing that the
     instruction, the education of the people, should be in a better
     state than it now is._ I am convinced that if, after a measure
     of this kind, in another session of Parliament, this House shall
     consider the means of establishing a really national system
     of education, they will confer one of the greatest blessings
     which can be conferred upon this country; a measure for which,
     I believe, the people are now almost prepared, and which, after
     further discussion, I do trust might be carried with very nearly
     a general assent."

Surely it must occur to every one to ask why the noble
philanthropist, entertaining such strong and generous views on the
subject of national education, has delayed so very long reducing
them to a practical form? Instead of consuming the last session in
fruitless debates to carry through the Ecclesiastical Titles Bill,
the provisions of which have already become a dead letter, to the
gross scandal and positive detriment of the cause of Protestantism,
Lord John Russell might have occupied himself wisely and profitably
by promoting the general advancement of education throughout the
country. We fear, however, that his present educational zeal is not
one whit more earnest and real than his indignation against Papal
aggression. We are getting used to these promissory notes of the
noble lord, as also to his accommodation bills, which sometimes
are drawn to supersede them. We know quite well what purpose is
intended to be served by his hints of grand national improvements
to be proposed "in another session of Parliament." The purpose is
Whig supremacy, and the perpetuation of that family and oligarchical
alliance which is the sole principle of the present Ministry.
But, supposing him to be in earnest, what sort of a logician does
he prove himself? If education is, or ought to be, one of the
conditions of the franchise, what shall we say to the man who first
gives the franchise and then proposes to educate? This certainly
is the most notable instance which we have seen in our day of that
process which is properly expressed by the metaphor of "putting the
cart before the horse." Undoubtedly the question of the franchise is
not alien from that of the education of the people--knowledge and
power may very well go hand in hand together; but in this instance
Lord John Russell proposes to give the power first, and to impart
the knowledge at some more convenient season. In our view, it would
be quite as rational a proceeding to intrust the conduct of a
railway engine and train, to a party wholly ignorant of the nature
of the machinery, on the understanding that, at some future period,
he was to acquire a knowledge of its working!

May we be allowed to express, with all humility--although in doing
so we may be subjected to the charge of being behind the march
of modern intellect--our very serious doubts whether the class
which Lord John Russell proposes to enfranchise, is, on the whole,
adequate to the proper discharge of the electoral duties? It may be
a prejudice upon our part, but we cannot think that a scavenger or
a dustman is as likely to form a correct opinion of the qualities
which ought to recommend a candidate as the man who has enjoyed
the advantages of a superior education. We hesitate to put the
costermonger on an exact political equality with the philosopher.
We think, for the sake of the general welfare and security, that
he should not be so placed; because it is very obvious that, if
this bill passes into a law, the general average intelligence of
the electors will be greatly lowered, and a fearful preponderance
given to the unlettered over the lettered classes. Below a certain
point you cannot expect to find generally such a degree of imparted
intelligence--though you may find much natural shrewdness--as
ought to prevail among those who are intrusted with political
power. Therefore we cannot but regard the urgent and admitted
necessity for general education as a direct argument against the
arbitrary lowering of the franchise; and we further think, that
the franchise, if conferred in this way, will, in many cases, be
morally detrimental to the people who receive it. We all know
that, under the present system, corrupt practices have prevailed
to a very odious extent. The late disclosures at St Albans show
us that bribery is more common and widely diffused than any one
would willingly believe; and there are good grounds for suspecting
that even the metropolis of England is not altogether untainted.
The mischief has become chronic. There are places, possessing
the privilege of returning members to Parliament, in which the
vote of almost every man is rated at a certain sum; and unless a
candidate is willing to satisfy these demands, he may as soon hope
to stop the Thames as to succeed in the object of his ambition.
This is a monstrous evil; but we cannot see how it is to be cured
by the admission of a new class of electors, more straitened in
circumstances, and therefore more liable to be swayed by pecuniary
influence, than even the older one. The bribery will continue; the
number of the bribed will be enlarged; but the dividend per head
will be smaller. Now, we entertain very strong opinions upon this
same matter of bribery. We hold it to be the foulest blot in the
working of the British Constitution; and we say advisedly, that
nothing can be done to purify the system, short of an enactment
enforcing rigorous pains and penalties, both on those who are proved
to have tendered, and on those who are proved to have accepted, a
bribe. There is no other way of dealing with corruption. Under the
ballot--which many of the Radical reformers represent as a sure
and certain check, but which we hope, for the sake of manhood and
truth, will never be enacted--bribery could most easily be reduced
to a system of organised betting. What could be simpler than for
an agent, if the ballot were in operation--thus, be it remarked,
precluding the possibility of an after inquiry--to offer bets
of a certain amount to every man on the roll, that Mr So-and-so
would _not_ be returned, naming the opponent of his employer,
and paying these, very honourably, whenever the event came off?
The present bill does nothing whatever to prevent bribery; and
although the "Corrupt Practices at Elections Bill," which has
also been introduced, may facilitate an inquiry into the peculiar
circumstances of any suspicious case, we greatly doubt the soundness
of the principle upon which it professes to be based. Lord John
Russell's view seems to be shortly this, that when it can be
shown that corrupt practices prevail, the offending borough or
constituency is to be disfranchised, and its privileges transferred
to some other place which is not at present represented. He assumes
that bribery prevails only in small boroughs, and he looks upon
these as a fund which, some time or other, will become available
for the supply of towns which ought, from their importance, to have
a further share in the representation. We doubt both the accuracy
and the morality of this view. Bribery is not confined to small
constituencies; it has been practised largely in others. The only
constituency in Scotland known positively to be tainted, numbers
between 1800 and 1900 electors. Is London itself so virginal that no
suspicion has been raised as to the purity of its electoral fame?
We can hardly believe that it was made the subject of an unfounded
calumny. Now, if justice is at all to be observed in matters of
this sort, it is difficult, nay impossible, to understand why
small corrupt constituencies are to be disfranchised, while larger
ones are to be allowed to escape unpunished. And what is to be
the criterion for disfranchisement? Let us suppose the case of a
constituency of 2000, whereof one-half are proved to be bribed--a
number more than sufficient to pervert the true expression of that
constituency's opinion--are the remaining thousand electors, who
have not participated in such practices, to be deprived of their
privilege on account of the sins of their neighbours? This, we
apprehend, would be neither just, politic, nor practicable; yet,
if we understand him aright, Lord John Russell proposes to adopt
this method with regard to small constituencies. Then again, it is
alleged that there are places which, from their growing importance,
ought to have representatives. If so, surely the present was the
proper time to have supplied that want. There would have been but
Petty regret for the extinction of Calne and divers other places,
which, by some miracle or other, escaped disfranchisement twenty
years ago, and which do not represent any interest, public or
private, entitled to Parliamentary consideration. As it is, the
"places of growing importance"--we wish we had been favoured with an
accurate list of these--must wait until the corruption alleged to
exist in the smaller boroughs shall extend itself to the villages
which are now hung on as pendants, and until the taint is no longer
endurable by a human nostril. Is there not something grossly absurd
and unstatesmanlike in the proposition, which would make places of
admitted importance dependent for their chance of representation on
the possible increase of corruption?

We do not deny that there are several anomalies in the present
distribution of representation, but not one of these is touched by
the provisions of this measure. We are clearly of opinion that it
would have been far better for the interests of the country had
matters been allowed to remain undisturbed. It is plain that there
was no general call for such a measure; and we have already pointed
out several most serious objections to the proposed lowering of
the franchise in the burghs. But if the question of reform of the
representation is really to be taken up, it should be approached in
a very different spirit from that which seems to have dictated this
slovenly and imperfect scheme. The whole system should be considered
and examined from its very foundation; and, in particular,
the soundness of the principle which makes the possession of
the suffrage depend upon a property qualification ought to be
deliberately discussed. Several schemes, which have been proposed
during the last year or two, are deserving of serious thought.
One of these, suggested by Mr Stapleton,[20] formerly the private
secretary of Mr Canning, is, at all events, worth consideration,
and is certainly much preferable to a plan for bestowing power upon
ignorance. He proposes that a considerable number of members of the
House of Commons, from eighty to a hundred, should be returned by
the different learned professions, and large public institutions,
just as is presently done in the case of the universities. He says,
with much show of truth,--

     "Is it not then a matter of extreme wonder that, in a
     legislature consisting of six hundred and fifty-six members,
     only six should be returned by the _learning_ and _education_
     of the nation? Is it not unaccountable, that when the body of
     the old House of Commons was thrown by the Medeas of the day
     into their seething cauldron of reform, in order to infuse into
     its aged limbs livelier and more vital powers, it should never
     have occurred to these daring men to create some constituencies
     composed exclusively of educated persons above the suspicion of
     bribery, who would select their representatives for no other
     motives than that they believed them to be the best men at
     once to understand and to promote the imperial interests of
     Britain's almost boundless dominions? But is not this still
     more extraordinary when there existed no need for the creation
     of such bodies, seeing that they existed already made to their
     hands; seeing that they are to be found in all the professions
     to which English gentlemen belong?"

  [20] _Suggestions for a Conservative and Popular Reform in the
  Commons House of Parliament._ By AUGUSTUS G. STAPLETON, B.A.
  Hatchard, London.

Mr Stapleton then proceeds to give an outline of his plan, which we
need not discuss, because, under present circumstances, we deprecate
any change whatever, on the general ground that no change is wanted
by the nation. It is impossible that any kind of constitution can be
made absolutely perfect; and therefore, when we have a constitution
which, at all events, is satisfactory to the majority, we see no
reason to disturb it. We have no objection to amendments which
do not infringe upon a principle already laid down, and tacitly
acquiesced in by all parties; indeed, we shall presently have to
notice some amendments which might advantageously be introduced
with regard to the representation of Scotland; but we do so solely
because Ministers have insisted upon making themselves agitators,
and have, therefore, in a manner, forced the discussion upon us. We
do not think a new Reform Bill necessary; and we very much doubt
whether this one will be read a second time; nevertheless, as it
has been introduced, we are justified in pointing out such obvious
improvements as might be made without any lowering of the franchise.

We do not pretend to possess that degree of information which would
justify us in criticising the details of the English Reform Bill,
introduced specially by the Premier. We shall say nothing of the
tinkering process which he proposes to apply to the lesser boroughs,
or of the curious selection of the places which are set down in
the schedule by way of additions to them. We are not qualified
from personal knowledge to speak of those matters, but we rejoice
to observe that the subject is in the hands of that practised
anatomist, _The Times_, whose dissection, so far as it has gone,
is an exposition of insufferable corruption. But we have a word or
two to say regarding the new Reform Bill for Scotland, to which we
earnestly entreat the attention of our countrymen, whatever may be
their shade of political opinion. We regard the matter as a national
one of the utmost importance; and we shall try to approach it
without any feeling of prejudice.

Of late years there has been a prevalent feeling in Scotland, that
this portion of the United Kingdom did not receive full justice in
the distribution of representatives which was made in 1832. That
view has been over and over again stated and illustrated in journals
widely differing from each other in general politics, but agreeing
as to that particular point; and we shall presently have occasion to
notice some of the leading arguments which were employed. We think
it, however, right to say, that the entire change which was made in
the Scottish representative system by the act of 1832, rendered it
very difficult for the framers of that measure to calculate with
certainty on its results. They had few data from which they might
calculate the probable amount of the constituencies; and it is quite
possible that they thought it safest, in the case of a population
hitherto unused to open elections, to be parsimonious rather than
liberal in the allotment of the members.

But twenty years have since then gone by. The people of Scotland
are now as well used to elections as their southern neighbours; and
it is admitted on all hands that intelligence and education are at
least as widely diffused in this country as elsewhere. Therefore,
now that the question of reform has been again brought forward,
and a new bill introduced for amending our representation, it is
incumbent upon us to consider whether the allotment of members
made to Scotland is a just one; and that we can only ascertain by
instituting a comparison with certain constituencies of England.
We must be very cautious in doing so, to avoid exaggeration of
any kind, and not to leap at rash conclusions by contrasting the
constituency of this or that small English borough with a large
Scottish one, possessing the same amount of political power. We
must remember that there are many anomalies even in the English
representation; and we must not try to make out a stronger case
than we really have, by setting, for example, Calne, with its 159
electors, against the populous county of Perth with 4806 on the
roll. We have overwhelming arguments on our side for an increase
of the representation, if it should be determined that any kind of
change is to be made, without having recourse to extremes.

We shall consider this matter simply on its own merits, without
any reference whatever to the proposed increase of the franchise;
our observations upon that point being applicable alike to the
constituencies of England and of Scotland. We shall take the
electoral rolls as they stand at present, and state our case from
them.

By the Reform Act of 1832, every English county returns at least
two members to Parliament--many of them possess a larger privilege.
Yorkshire has six members; twenty-five counties, being divided, send
four each; seven have the privilege of three.

No Scottish county returns more than a single member to Parliament;
the number of the whole being precisely that which was fixed by the
Act of Union.

Now, if, in 1832, no addition had been made to the English county
representation, we should perhaps have no reason to complain.
But such addition was made, to a very large extent; and now that
a period of accounting has come, at the instance of the Prime
Minister, it is our duty to see that, if there is to be a change at
all, we are at least allowed something like a measure of justice.

Let us take the case of ten Scottish counties returning only _ten_
members:--

  Scottish Counties.      No. of Constituency.

   Perthshire,                    4806
   Aberdeenshire,                 4022
   Ayrshire,                      3823
   Lanarkshire,                   3785
   Fife,                          3211
   Forfarshire,                   2882
   Dumfriesshire,                 2520
   Renfrewshire,                  2450
   Stirlingshire,                 2257
   Mid-Lothian,                   2071
                                ------
  Constituency of ten Scottish}
    counties returning        }
    _ten_ members,              } 31,827

Let us now contrast that table with another containing the electoral
statistics of ten English counties, or divisions of counties,
returning _twenty_ members to Parliament:--

  English Counties.      No. of Constituency.

   Notts, N. D.,                   3817
   Notts, S. D.,                   3539
   Cambridge County,               3757
   Hants, N. D.,                   3580
   Salop, S. D.,                   3445
   Sussex, W. D.,                  3289
   Northumberland,                 3063
   Huntingdon County,              2892
   Wilts, S. D.,                   2539
   Rutland,                        1908
                                  ------
  Constituency of ten English   }
    counties returning          } 31,829
    _twenty_ members,             }

Here is an aggregate constituency, almost exactly equal in amount;
and yet the number of members returned by the English is precisely
double of that returned by the Scottish counties.

This is a monstrous inequality; and it cannot be defended by
reference to other anomalies. There can be no reason why Perthshire
should not stand at least on an equality with Rutland, or why the
metropolitan county of Scotland should not be put upon an equality
with it. If the Tweed is to be an imaginary boundary, not separating
two distinct nations, but flowing through one cordially united--and
if, again, we are called upon, even partially, to remodel the
constitution--let this enormous discrepancy in political power be
immediately remedied, as remedied it can be, if Lord John Russell
chooses to deal with the trash of small English boroughs as he
ought to do. We, on our side, would have no objection whatever to
make concessions. One or two of our Scottish counties are, in point
of population and constituency, hardly worthy of the name. Bute,
which was separated from Caithness in 1832, and which has only a
constituency of 491, principally derived from the little town of
Rothesay, might conveniently be incorporated with Dumbartonshire.
Sutherland, with a wretched constituency of 207, ought certainly
to be annexed to its nearest neighbour, Caithness; and, if further
consolidation were required, Selkirk might be annexed to Peebles. In
this way, only seven additional seats would be required to satisfy
the just claims of the leading Scottish counties--claims which,
if not satisfied just now, since the Whig Ministry have chosen
to unsettle existing arrangements, will certainly be preferred
hereafter, with possibly less temperance of tone than would be
proper on the present occasion.

If the case needs further elucidation, we shall be glad to elucidate
it. Without descending to the small English boroughs which return
one member each, here is a list of twenty, each of which returns
_two_ members. The number of the constituency in none of them
reaches 400; and we do not believe that any man in the country will
maintain that the best of them is entitled to the same consideration
which should be given to Perthshire or Mid-Lothian.

    English Boroughs
  with two members each.   No. of Constituency.

   Bodmin,                          381
   Tewkesbury,                      378
   Buckingham,                      376
   Ripon,                           365
   Devizes,                         358
   Totness,                         362
   Marlow, (Great)                  357
   Evesham,                         352
   Wycombe,                         346
   Tavistock,                       336
   Cockermouth,                     332
   Chippenham,                      314
   Lymington,                       287
   Harwich,                         272
   Richmond,                        262
   Marlborough,                     254
   Andover,                         252
   Honiton,                         240
   Knaresbro',                      230
   Thetford,                        210
                                   ----
  Constituency of twenty       }
    English boroughs returning }   6264
    _forty_ members,           }

It cannot, even on the ground of other existing anomalies in the
representation, be considered fair that twenty English boroughs,
none of which are of any separate importance, should, with an
aggregate constituency of only 6264, return to Parliament _ten
members more than are allowed to the whole counties of Scotland_,
the constituency of which amounts to 50,943.

With regard to the Scottish burghs, fewer changes are required; but
three at least, whose constituency is above 2000, ought to possess
the same privilege as Edinburgh and Glasgow, of returning two
members each. These are--

  Burghs.    Constituency.

  Aberdeen,      4547
  Dundee,        2964
  Leith, &c.,    2027

Surely this is a reasonable demand. The great importance of these
towns, as seats of manufacture and commerce, cannot be denied; and
it is not just that their interests should be disregarded for the
sake of maintaining intact a few nomination boroughs in the South.

Since the passing of the Reform Bill of 1832, two manufacturing
towns in the south of Scotland have greatly increased in importance.
These are Hawick and Galashiels. We would propose that these towns,
along with Peebles and Innerleithen, should be erected into a
new group of burghs, with the privilege of returning one member
to Parliament. In this way, the constituency of Roxburghshire,
now amounting to 2033, would be reduced below the point of 2000,
which we have assumed, both in counties and burghs, as the number
entitling us to demand an increase of representation; and the
principal objections to the amalgamation of Peebles and Selkirk
counties would at once be removed.

Finally, we would urge upon the legislature, in the event of any
organic change being seriously discussed in Parliament, as a
measure not less of expediency than of justice, the propriety of
giving a fair representation to the Scottish universities. It is
not creditable to the learning of this country, and not conducive
to the welfare of these important national institutions, that
they should be placed on a lower footing than the universities of
the other kingdoms. As a proof of the detrimental effects of this
neglect, we may state the notorious fact, that so far back as the
year 1826, a Royal Commission was issued for the inspection and
visitation of the Scottish universities. The visitation was held;
an immense mass of information was collected; and, after an inquiry
of unusual duration, the whole proceedings of the Commissioners,
along with detailed reports, were printed and laid before
Parliament. Since then, not the slightest notice has been taken of
these reports, nor any effect given to the recommendations of the
Commissioners--a circumstance which we can only attribute to the
utterly unrepresented state of the universities. Let the Scottish
universities, therefore, be adequately represented; St Andrews
being combined for electoral purposes with Edinburgh, and the two
Colleges of Aberdeen with the University of Glasgow. In this way, by
the addition of two members, the learning of Scotland would have a
direct voice in the legislature.

Such is the nature of the Reform Bill which, in our humble opinion,
ought to have been introduced for Scotland, supposing that any
change in the existing system was really advisable. It would be
a very perilous experiment indeed to lower the franchise here,
especially in the burghs. Our constituencies, we are glad to say,
have hitherto, with scarcely any exception, maintained their
character for purity, a circumstance which we attribute very much
to the non-existence among them of a class corresponding to the
freemen and potwallopers. But to descend lower in the scale would be
to invite the very evil from which Lord John Russell professes to
recoil in horror. We need not, however, again enforce that division
of our argument. If there is to be any reform at all, it should be a
substantial, not a theoretical one; and in dealing with the Scottish
measure we have attempted to point out the real improvements which
ought to be made on the existing arrangements, without departing in
any way from the spirit or principles of the Reform Act of 1832.

Let us shortly recapitulate our views with regard to Scottish Reform.

We would give to ten counties, the constituency of each of which is
at present above 2000, an additional member each.

We would give to three burghs, with the same amount of constituency,
an additional member each.

We would erect a new group of burghs, with the privilege of
returning one member.

We would give the Scottish universities the right of returning two
members.

This would imply an addition of sixteen members to Scotland; but
there are three counties which, from their proximity to others, and
the smallness of their constituencies, might well be amalgamated,
just as Ross is at present with Cromarty, Clackmannan with Kinross,
and Elgin with Nairn. The numbers of the amalgamated constituencies
would stand as follows:--

  Dumbarton and Bute,       1805
  Caithness and Sutherland    49
  Peebles and Selkirk,       905

with some slight deduction in the latter case for the
small towns separated from the counties, and erected into a group of
burghs along with Hawick.

Thus, only thirteen new members would be required for Scotland; and
surely, when we limit our demand so far as to desire no additional
representation for any existing constituency which does not exceed
2000, we cannot be charged with extravagance. Lord John Russell,
if he must needs unsettle his own handiwork, and assume, for the
future, the part of a mere political cobbler, can very easily spare
us the required number: at all events, if he does not, his bills
should be summarily rejected. Hitherto we have not asked for reform,
or for any increase in the number of our national representatives.
We were contented to leave matters as they were, so long as no
change was proposed. But now that the proposal for a change has been
made, and made on the part of Ministers, the people of Scotland
will be strangely wanting in duty to themselves, and in fidelity to
their country, if they do not insist upon a fair measure of justice.
And they must do it early. Upon the arrangement made with regard to
the English boroughs, depends our sole chance of increased Scottish
representation. If we wait until the English bill has passed into a
law, we need not hope to extort from the ministry the concession of
a single member.

We ought, perhaps, to say--for it is as well to exhaust the
subject--that we have no objection to make to the minor measures of
detail contained in the Lord Advocate's Scottish bill. He stated,
very truly, that the manufacture of fictitious votes was a system
which ought to be put an end to; and also, very fairly, that no one
political party was more chargeable than another with blame in this
matter. Without, then, inquiring too curiously into the origin of
the system, we shall simply express our entire concurrence in the
sentiments of the learned lord, and our acquiescence in the remedy
which he proposes.

We cannot, however, regard the Scottish measure otherwise than
as entirely subsidiary to that proposed by Lord John Russell
for England. In our opinion, the noble lord has brought an old
house about his ears. He wants to do two things which are hardly
reconcilable. He seeks to retain the nomination boroughs, with such
change only as may give a colour for their retention; and, at the
same time, in other places, to increase the popular franchise; and
this he has managed in so clumsy a way, that he has only succeeded
in unsettling what was fixed, without providing for stability for
the future. Even if the Radical party were contented with his
measure--which they are not--and if they religiously abstained
from urging their peculiar panaceas on our acceptance, it is quite
plain that sufficient matter of discord must arise out of this
bill, to give full employment to the Legislature for several years
to come. It is an inflammatory, not a sedative prescription: it
is rather a blister than an opiate. In the Reform Bill of 1832,
a distinct principle can be traced, though the details are not
always consistent with it. In this measure there is no principle
at all. It is on all hands allowed that, in one respect at least,
the Reform Act has not improved the character of the Legislature.
Under its operation, a class of men decidedly inferior to their
predecessors in talent, training, sagacity, and mental acquirement,
have found their way into Parliament. Questions of national import
are less considered--certainly less thoroughly understood, than
formerly; and class interests, too often antagonistic to sound
general policy, are advocated, with a selfish and pertinacious
zeal. It may be said that this is an evil inseparable from popular
representation; and so it is, to a certain extent: but the evil will
be greater or less according to the prejudice or the enlightenment
of the representatives. It is a huge mistake to suppose, though it
is constantly assumed by public writers, and even made matter of
boast by orators upon the hustings, that men are sent to the House
of Commons to represent this or that class, community, or interest,
without reference to any other consideration. They are sent there
for no such purpose. The whole tenor of their deliberations ought
to be directed towards the general wellbeing of the community; and
if this principle is disregarded, public debate degenerates into a
contest of classes. We shall find, on observation, that very large
constituencies rarely send distinguished statesmen to Parliament;
the reason for which, as we take it, is, that the representative is
expected to identify himself entirely with the peculiar interests of
the electors. We require from judges, who administer the laws, an
entire absence of any personal interest in the suit which is brought
before them. We cannot exercise the same strictness in the case of
those who make the laws; but this at least is clear, that the higher
the representative standard can be raised in point of intelligence,
the better. And how is this to be secured? Not, certainly, by
lowering the franchise, as Lord John Russell proposes, so as to let
in a flood of ignorance and prejudice upon the existing electoral
body--not certainly by increasing the number of those who estimate
every measure solely by the effect which it is calculated to have
upon themselves. We all know that, in addressing popular assemblies,
the first and most effective appeal which the demagogue can make,
is directed to the self-interest of his audience. It must always be
so--for this plain reason, that ill-educated men, who have neither
the leisure nor the capacity for reflection, invariably act upon the
motive of self-interest. They know, or think they know, what would
be good for themselves; and very seldom, indeed, do they take pains
to investigate further. Hence the popularity with the lower orders
of such subjects as the reduction of taxation, no matter by what
means accomplished--as the demolition of the Established Church, as
the cheap loaf, and many others. They will not listen to--or, if
they do, they cannot understand--any arguments to the contrary; and
they measure out their favour to the speaker or candidate, precisely
according to the degree in which he coincides with their own
prejudices. Orators, ancient and modern, who understood their art,
have invariably attempted to reconcile their conclusions with the
self-interest of their audiences, rather than appeal to the higher
motives of truth, justice, or moral obligation. It is on account of
this natural tendency that, after such deliberation as Lord John
Russell has mercifully allowed us, we are forced to express our
conviction that his proposed measures are eminently mischievous and
impolitic. Being so, and entertaining very serious doubts whether
he really expected to carry them, they seem to us eminently stupid,
and, when taken in conjunction with other recent exhibitions, we can
hardly resist the conclusion that, as a political leader, Lord John
Russell has very nearly fulfilled his mission.

Such are the views which have occurred to us on perusing the
draughts of the contemplated measures. Some points we could well
desire to have reconsidered, had the necessary time been allowed us;
on others--such, for example, as the changes which ought to be made
on the existing system of Scottish representation--we have long ago
formed a calm, deliberate, and dispassionate opinion. The haste with
which Lord John Russell seems inclined to force on his incongruous
measures, argues but little confidence, on his part, of their actual
wisdom, or of their fitness to withstand scrutiny. It is, of course,
desirable that no measure should be unnecessarily delayed; but there
is a wide difference between the fair and proper determination of a
Minister to have his project discussed with all convenient speed,
and that indecent hurry which deprives the country at large, and the
organs of public opinion, of the opportunity of duly considering
his plan, and weighing it as its importance deserves. Lord John
Russell, in this instance--we are sorry that we cannot use a milder
expression--has attempted a discreditable _coup-de-main_. Up to the
last moment the nature of his proposed measures was not divulged
to the public, although he had ample means within his power of
affording general information. Yet no sooner was the bill brought
in--it not even having been printed or tabled when leave was given
to introduce it--than a single fortnight was arbitrarily fixed
as the intervening period before the second reading, upon which,
in the general case, the principle of a bill depends! We do not
profess to be adepts in Parliamentary lore and precedent, but it
does strike us that, when no urgency can be alleged, a measure of
this sort, affecting as it does the whole interests of the Empire,
and involving a change which, if not organic, is certainly enormous,
ought most assuredly to be submitted to the public for a reasonable
time before it is forced through the House of Commons. However late
examples on the other side of the Channel may have prepossessed Lord
John Russell in favour of long secresy and rapid subsequent action,
we cannot as yet allow him to assume the functions of a dictator.
Were he a wiser man than he has shown himself to be, his schemes
might require less deliberation; but he cannot now expect, after
his many failures and abortive devices, that any party will take
him on trust; or repose, without full investigation, confidence
in his powers of statesmanship. What is worse, there is a general
impression abroad that the Cabinet has not been at unity regarding
the nature of the measure to be proposed. We can readily believe
it. In a junta so constituted, there must have been considerable
clashing of private and of public interests; and if it should turn
out that the former have prevailed, it needs, we think, little
argument to show that the greater was the necessity for giving
the public time to deliberate seriously upon a question of such
paramount importance. We have outlived the days of "_sic volo, sic
jubeo_." We recollect the time when Lord John Russell assumed the
bearing of a Tribune of the people; and if his memory is defective
on that point, we refer him to Mr Roebuck's lately published
_History of the Whig Ministry_. He may now, if he chooses, disown
the part; but if so, he must submit to the fate which has overtaken
all lapsed Tribunes. He is not now without competitors. The modern
Sicinius Velutus and Junius Brutus, genuine Tribunes of the people,
are watching him as closely as their prototypes did Coriolanus;
and he is not the less selected for their victim, because, at the
present moment, they appear to b, favourably disposed. What urgency
was there on the present occasion? If for twenty years it has not
been thought necessary to make any violent change on the working
of the constitution, surely a longer period than a fortnight ought
to have been granted, in order that men, both within and without
the Houses of Parliament, might consider the principle and master
the details of a measure which is entirely to alter the electoral
arrangements of the empire. We cannot help thinking that, if Lord
John Russell could have calculated upon any considerable degree of
public support--if he had expected to see monster-meetings held in
the towns for the purpose of backing up his schemes--he would not
have exhibited such unmistakable symptoms of hurry. If the coin
which he tenders is a good one, and of sound metal, it will bear
inspection; if, on the contrary, it is a mere counterfeit, there is
the more need of scrutiny. That it is counterfeit, we have not the
least shadow of a doubt. It is not always our fortune to coincide
in the political opinions advocated by the _Times_; but we are glad
that, in the present instance, there is no difference in our views
as to the practical working of the measure, one certain result
of which would be the continual introduction of new elements of
strife into the Legislature. "We have not alluded," says a late
writer in the _Times_, "to a tithe of the evils incident to the
protracted and detailed operation now recommended by the Premier.
Every Parliament, every Session, every election--and we have, on
the average, a new member once a fortnight--the fires of party
spirit would be fed with a new politico-judicial process. Borough
would be dragged into Parliament in requital for borough, and the
result would be a series of angry retaliations, or of disgraceful
compromises. We do not hesitate to avow our belief, that the
operation of gradual reforms, advised by Lord John Russell, would
take up at least one-third of the time of the House of Commons for
the next twenty years, and, after all, disappoint the intentions
of its author, by driving Parliament to some much larger measure
than any it has yet seriously entertained. The last Reform Act
was a summary, a severe, and, in some respects, a final measure.
Accordingly, the wounds it inflicted were soon healed, and in two
or three years everybody acquiesced in it. The present measure is
expressly made not to be final. The ship leaves the port with the
fire already smouldering in its cargo, the leak already gaping in
its timbers; and, instead of an end of controversy, we have only the
beginning of the end."

Our old acquaintance, the Jew Bill, now figures as a clause in
the new measure of reform. It seems as if the introduction of a
vast flood of electoral ignorance would not altogether satisfy the
noble lord. The House of Commons, in order to approach his ideas of
perfection, must also cease to be Christian. Is this a bill which
ought, in any shape, to receive the support of the people of England?


POSTSCRIPT.

Just as our last sheets were passing through the press, we learn
that the Ministry have resigned. We are not surprised by the
intelligence. We are exceedingly glad, however, to think that they
cannot draw upon the country for any fund of credit on account of
their proposed reform measures, which clearly was their object;
and that, by general acquiescence, their scheme, even before
discussion, was condemned. We do not claim for the author of "Cupid
in the Cabinet," which appeared in our last Number, the possession
of _clairvoyance_; nevertheless, his vaticination has been most
signally and literally fulfilled.


_Printed by William Blackwood & Sons, Edinburgh._

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's note:

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

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

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





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 71, No. 437, March 1852" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home